Live Review: Black Ju Ju, The Weavers, Aylesbury 26/05/13

Over the past two years Black Ju Ju have quietly gone about their business of loud music by performing in dingy pubs, empty clubs, Royal British Legion’s, ex-bondage parlours and the living hell that is Leighton Buzzard.  They have put in the hours and the result is a transformation from a transparent pub rock backing band to a finely-oiled, if not slightly battered, psyche rock Cadillac. ‘Yodellay’ kicks off their set at Aylesbury’s Weavers pub, a charming working class backwater where the band play at the bottom of a series of open-plan ‘levels’, amusingly resembling the Queen Vic by way of M.C. Escher.  New drummer Paul Standing’s talents are immediately noticeable from the off, his pounding rolls on the track demonstrating speed, power and accuracy.  Frontman and guitarist Thom Harris looks like a smartly dressed but slightly pissed off French academic.  He cruelly stalks his microphone in between the verses of ‘Time to Kill’ before punishing it with a bellowing torrent that resembles a heated exchange between Tom Waits, Gerry Roslie and a bear.


‘Dole Rocket’ is performed at a speed and velocity that moves the pub’s pool balls and temporarily sends the equally sharply dressed bassist Jim Marvin into a head bobbing frenzy.  The tracks riff is reminiscent to Supergrass’ ‘Richard III’ but with a sleazy distortion more in line with say Bleach-era Nirvana or the Jesus Lizard.  ‘Waste Me’ and ‘Idle Child’ introduce the bands friend Lawrence Fernando on keys, slotting into the former like a psychedelic jigsaw by adding a subtle dreamy depth to its slower tempo.  On this performance Black Ju Ju have come a long way, but through passion and determination it has been the right way and they now have the set that will hopefully take them somewhere.

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Home Taping is Killing Music Playlist March 2013

March’s playlist comes from the curious mind of local DJ and music producer Ben Amesbury.  Ben runs ‘The Funktion Room’ recording studio near Long Crendon and his career has taken in recording, mixing and remixing the likes of Freestylers, The Magic Numbers, Mint Royale and even the legendary Slade.  So, come on feel the noise – with Ben (and his cat)


1. BEAK – “Wulfstan II” taken from the album ‘>>’ (Invada)

Always loved Portishead and was interested to here Geoff Barrow’s other stuff so when I got invited to go see them play at the Lexington at the end of last year I couldnt pass it up.  Show was great but you know when a band play THE track that your humming to yourself on the tube home, this was that. Bought the album the next day and love the lot.

2. RADICAL FACE – “Family Portrait” taken from ‘The Family Tree: The Roots’ (Nettwerk)

An acciental discovery from evenings of eating my dinner in front of Hollyoaks and when the Nikon camera ident came on I liked the tune and eventually Shazammed it and downloaded this guy’s album.. And then, when his new one came out, I bought that too.  I love the atmosphere that surrounds all of his production and he seems to have a real nack of creating real imagery with his lyrics, this one is a great example of that I think. His voice takes a little getting used to but I’m glad I found this band.

3. THOM YORKE – “The Eraser” taken from the album ‘The Eraser’ (XL)

I wasn’t ever the biggest Radiohead fan, especially not there early stuff which may be seen as slightly controversial but whatever, it was “In Rainbows” that really got me hooked and it was mainly because my friend Hugo worked on it so I was naturally curious.  I think its more the programmed side of what they do that I like and that made checking out ‘The Eraser’ album the logical progression, which I like a lot of, but the title track is probably my favourite at the moment.

4. MASSIVE ATTACK – “Paradise Circus” taken from the album ‘Heligoland’ (Virgin)

I couldnt possibly do a playlist without including something by my favourite band so this was a difficult one as they can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned. So I decided the best thing to do was look at my iTunes and sort all my Massive Attack songs by play count. Paradise Circus came up on top.

5. APPLEBLIM & PEVERELIST – “Circling” taken from ‘Soundboys Ashes Get Hacked Up and Spat Out in Disgust EP’ (Skull Disco)

Well, I used to like dubstep, and now the stuff that bares the name infuriates me! Where’s the dub gone? confused me a bit.  This track came on my shuffle the other day and I’d completely forgotten about it but I still love it’s minimalism.

6. BRAINTAX – “Syriana Style” taken from the album ‘Panorama’ (Low Life Records)

My favourite British hip-hop artist, wicked lyrics, great backing tracks, always has something heavy to rap about and I love this mocked up video.  Shame he isnt doing music anymore.. Long Live Low Life!

7. JAMES BLAKE – “Limit to Your Love” taken from the album ‘James Blake’ (ATLAS)

I always liked the original of this as Feist is just amazing but James Blake caught my attention like he did everyone else’s a year or two ago and this track is such a stand up version and I think totally does it justice.

8. ORBITAL – “Belfast” taken from the album ‘Orbital’ (FFRR)

I was obviously off school the day that Orbital became cool as I kinda missed the boat at the time but then many years after it’s initial explosion onto the electronic music scene I discovered this track, mainly due to a drum n bass track by Tom Middleton using the same vocal loop and because I was a bit of a sample geek at the time, I went hunting and stumbled across this.  Reminds me of my days as a postman wierdly!

9. TY SEGALL – “Finger” taken from the album ‘Finger’ (Goner)

Has to be said, I don’t know ANYTHING about this guy but I heard the album round a mate’s flat about a year ago and was totally struck by it’s overall knarlyness. Again, a hard choice to pick a fav but I think this just gets it.

10. BDP – “Love’s Gonna Get You” taken from the album ‘Edutainment’ (Jive)

Finally, A bit of old skool classic hip hop me thinks.. KRS one seems to me to be one of those rappers who really should be listened to more.  I can remember this being blasted from my older brothers bedroom when i was growing up and I’d sneak in there when he was out and sift through all of his vinyl to find it.  Got into all sorts of different stuff that way as it took AGES to find!!

Oh yeah, sorry, this just came on my stereo whilst I was writing this so i’m gonna push my luck and stick a bonus track in! Hope no-one minds! I love this song and especially the video!

Can’t get enough of Ben?  Best click on these links then Radio showStudio and Company / Sound system

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All Rejoice the Return of Hobble on the Cobbles

You heard it right in the title, Aylesbury’s legandary music all-dayer returns to the town on Sunday 25 August 2013 with a mixture of local and national talent. The Searchers top the bill, bringing their timeless 60’s beat sound to Market Square.   SubSiren caught up with organiser Stuart Robb for a chat


1. Hobble on the Cobbles returns this August following a two-year break – you must be over the moon?

Yes, we’re all very pleased to have the opportunity to give Aylesbury another ‘Hobble on the Cobbles’ – which will make this one ‘number 6’!  Once again, we are working very closely with and on behalf of the Aylesbury Town Council, and Town Centre Partnership to make this event viable, and try and re-establish itself into the hearts of the local music fans.

Its’ been well documented this large scale free music event has had some financial difficulties in the past – most notably in 2011, during the height of the recession.  And last year, because we obviously had the Olympics and Paralympics, there was no room in the calendar (or budget) for HOTC, so I think this will be a welcome return for the town.

2. Were you always confident the event would return?

Let’s just say I was hopeful..!  It’s a great event, and the music fans and families of all ages plus the local bands all seem to enjoy it – we’ve had tremendous support over the years, which is fantastic.  Like anything though, it has to be financially viable – and as this is a free gig, and as we cannot sell or allow alcohol in the Market Square, straight away there goes two of the biggest income streams for any festival, so we have to simply rely on the support of local businesses through advertising and sponsorship.


3. It’s headlined by Merseybeat veterans The Searchers, who along with the Beatles were one of the original British invasion groups to break America in the early 60’s. What drew you to them?

As you and your readers probably know, we have already featured 70’s bands (John Otway (above) / Eddie & The Hot Rods), 80’s bands (Fish, Kajagoogoo), a 90’s band with local rock outfit The Original Sinners, and 00’s and present day bands with Scouting For Girls, and The Red Bullets to name but a few. We’ve not had a 60’s band before, and as this is also the 6th HOTC, it seemed to fit together quite nicely.  The drummer [Scott] is also a friend of mine, (who incidentally grew up in Aylesbury) – so we are also able to keep with our ‘local connection’ theme as well.

4. What other acts are on the bill which you would recommend?

Once again we have so many great bands lined up for HOTC, which is fantastic. They will be split across four stages, from 12 noon, when the event opens, to approx 8pm.

In Market Square, we shall have the Main Stage, and Showcase Band Stage, and in Kingsbury, we shall have an Acoustic Tent for Singer-Songwriter’s, plus a Covers Band Stage.  Obviously I recommend them all, but if you can, do try not to miss Tin Spirits (which features former XTC guitarist Dave Gregory), Lu Cozma (featuring Steve Askew from Kajagoogoo), John Young Band, Jump, Katie Buckhaven, and Pete & Rob’s Musical Whimsey. [featuring Pete Trewavas of Marillion, and Robin Boult from the Howard Jones Band].

We also have popular local bands Palahniuk, Evette Judge, Almost Midnight and Zealey & Moore to name but a few… and a few extra surprises as well..!

Bands only small rgb

5. The good news about the Hobble’s return follows on from the announcement that the Specials and Steve Hackett will perform at Friars in the Spring. Is this just a blip or do you think the good times are returning for the local music scene?

We’re really excited to see Friars back at the Waterside Theatre, with two May gigs – and we hope more dates will be confirmed later in the year. Watch this space!

There are still a lot of great bands and musicians currently playing around the local area, like Flicker, Lost Minute, James Manders, Alex Toye, Frowser etc and it’s great to see more venues and pubs are supporting live music too.  I like to think we’ve even helped play a small part in helping build up the music scene over the past few years, obviously with arranging countless gigs and showcases, Aylesbury Festivals and of course Hobble on the Cobbles!

Check out The Green Man, Shoot Pool, The White Swan, Slug & Lettuce, The Aristocrat, Weavers etc to name but a few, and hopefully we’ll see more local music returning to The Queen’s Head, The Rockwood, and Niche in the not too distant future too.

Hobble on the Cobbles will return on Bank Holiday Sunday 25 August 2013, from midday till 8pm

For more information visit the Official Website

There are also Facebook / Twitter / Myspace links via our Lemonrock Page: so do JOIN, FRIEND, FOLLOW & SHARE

There are also a few video clips from previous HOTC festivals here

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Live Review: Sigur Rós, Brixton Academy, London 09/03/13

On their last effort ‘Valtari’, Sigur Rós stripped back their familiar epic sound to a new level of sparseness and minimalism.  Tender and beautiful, it however omitted the pounding drums and massive build-up’s that gave their previous records such fanfare.  In concert I expected a similar approach but what followed was a broad selection of their back catalogue that slotted together like a jigsaw and even included three impressive new numbers.

IMG_3297 Entering to a dark, misty stage, draped in fishing nets, and with William Basinski’s ‘Dip 1.1’ echoing in the background, it looked like the band had stumbled upon heaven.  New track ‘Yfirborð’ opened, a slow burner that built from a distance chant into the bands full on wall of noise.  On second track ‘Í Gær’ a sudden burst of distortion caused the netting to fall dramatically, revealing the band and giving us our first taste of Sigur Rós AKA Pink Floyd.  Other early set highlights included the brass heavy, but slightly industrial new track ‘Brennisteinn’ and the ever reliable ‘Vaka’ from the ‘Untitled’ album.  Surprisingly ‘Hoppípolla’, the groups only real ‘hit’, was somewhat subdued tonight and felt like the set’s weakest link.  Lesser known tracks however, like 2008’s ‘Festival’, faired much better, reminding you of the richness of the band’s treasure chest of a career.  Last of the new tracks, ‘Kveikur’, is worth a mention, again hard sounding with an intense beat that reminded me of Portishead’s ‘Machine Gun’.  It was almost evil sounding, the complete opposite of ‘Valtari’, and hinted at exciting times ahead.  The encore was faultless, starting with Takk’s mesmerising ‘Glósóli’ and was followed by the classic and elegantly delivered ‘Svefn-g-englar’ from the ‘Ágætis byrjun’ album.  They ended with ‘Popplagið’ and left an estastic crowd literally gasping for more, some even whooping.  Very few bands can call themselves unique these days but Sigur Rós are simply in a world of their own.

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Laughter Comes to Wycombe Library

High Wycombe Library plays host to an Evening of Comedy this Sunday (March 2).  The night marks the first time the building will open it’s doors to comedy and entertainment acts.  Hallelujah.


North Londoner Simon Clayton (above) headlines along with Irish comedian Mary Bourke.  Mary you may recall performed at the sell out Limelight Comedy Night in Aylesbury last month.

Simon Clayton’s material covers “being fat, mixed race, married, balding – because that’s what he is”.  He has made appearances onscreen with Punt & Dennis, Harry Hill, Bill Bailey, Jo Brand and was also part of Eddie Izzard’s improvisation team.

Support comes from a selection of local open mic talent.

The night kicks off at 8pm and tickets are only a fiver and can be purchased from the branch.

For more info please click here or email


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SubSiren Jukebox # 24 : Beck ‘Sound and Vision’

This looks fun

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Aylesbury Comedy Variety Night – THIS SATURDAY

The Limelight Theatre plays host to a new comedy variety night for Aylesbury on Saturday night featuring a bumper 7 acts.

Irish comedian Mary Bourke headlines, which is fitting for a night dominated by female talent.  She is joined by Rob Coleman, famed for his quick-firing one liners.  He also has funny hair.

They are joined by Tammy Stone, Harriet Kemsley, Jen Cockburn, Fred Ferenczi and Lucy Fingle.  West End ‘Ballyhoo Comedy Club’ MC Jonny Emmett is master of ceremonies, along with BBC Radio 2 newsreader Fenella Fudge.

Tickets are a bargain £10 or £8 consessions and can be purchased here

aylesbury comedy variety night 16 feb

Tell all your friends your going via the wonder of Facebook

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