GURU.

23 02 2018

27336789_548555325506562_1846633502133932940_n

 

Last night, I braved the bitter cold and went to the Lock Tavern in Camden to see a band I had wanted to see for ages- Dr Chan. However, my review of their set will come later on. Right now I just need to write about the absolutely fantastic GURU who are from Brighton. They are loud and nothing short of exciting.

What I loved about their set and their music in general is that it isn’t what you expect. When they took to the stage, I kind of expected them to have a relaxed sound. What hit us all was this gorgeous loudness that reminded me of Sleep but the vocals were something else. I’m not one of these people who say “Oh it is hard to impress me” when it comes to music. I know what I like, and I tend to like stuff that’s a bit dark and tormented and loud. GURU are of course, my ideal band. I’m useless with names, but my god the singer is brilliant. His vocals on the song Roses are exceptional. It is such a great song. To first be aware of them by seeing their live show is awesome. I’ve listened to some of their songs on bandcamp/soundcloud, and it seems much tamer. I love a band that really let rip in their live shows.

The bassist from GURU is massively impressive. I stood pretty close to him (the stage is tiny at the Lock Tavern) and for fear of being smacked in the head by the bass, I moved back a bit. I think I spent most of their set just gawping in awe at him. I loved how he threw himself to his knees during most of their set. I loved how during the last song, the singer walked off and the remaining three just went even wilder on stage. There is no other band around that are like this. They are truly something else, and I am so happy to have seen them.

I’m finally leaving London next month, and I really do hope that GURU find their way up north because they have a fan for life right here. I love the proper aggression in their sound and how every song is played (on record and live) with this urgency that just makes you cling on to every single word. It makes you believe in every single word. They are easily one of the best bands you’ll ever see live. They are just so fascinating and incredible. I honestly feel like whatever I write about them just doesn’t do them justice. GURU are one of those bands that just blow you away. I love that they just fucked over my expectations of them with how I thought they would sound.

If you are able to catch this band, please do. You won’t regret it. Allow yourself to be left deafened by their glorious sound, to have your face melted and your record collection improved immensely. They are easily one of the most exciting bands you’ll hear this year, probably. Brighton’s finest, for sure.

 

*photo credit: Sophie Benjafield





TALL JUAN. Lock Tavern/Shacklewell Arms (21st & 22nd January 2016.)

23 01 2016

0005786178_10

 

 

I’m pretty sure these are my first two shows of the year, and even though I’ve got a rubbish memory, I’m fairly sure I’m going to remember these shows in December. Certain gigs, bands, whatever just stick with you. You always know instantly when something is going to mean a great deal to you.

I wrote about Juan around Christmas time, I was bored at home and I accidentally found his music. I was hooked on his Ramones kind of sound and obviously instantly fell in love with what I was hearing. I caught his show last night at the Lock Tavern in Camden, I don’t think there was more than 30 people there. The stage was tiny. Perfect for a giant to flail about on stage, right? This evening he played the Shacklewell Arms which has a low ceiling. Fortunately Juan isn’t accident prone so no injuries occurred. You always (or you should) take something to treasure from a show. What I took from these two shows was that, Juan is more than just a guy who really digs the Ramones. He’s got a proper Punk sound, and his cover of I Wanna Be Your Dog is one of my favourite things I’ve seen at a show. He plays it in his own way but it’s a way that Iggy would be super proud to hear.

 

I’m not someone who ever takes the set list after a show but for some reason, I did tonight. I wanted to remember what was played during his first UK tour and there’s no way I could remember any other way. His set started with It’s True and went smack into Home. His cover of Chinese Rock  is played quite early on, and it’s one of those covers where you feel it is his song. You don’t feel like it is a Ramones song, and that’s when you know a cover is done right. My two favourite songs he plays (bar the covers) are Far Rockaway and Wake Up Daddy.Break It All is also a great one to watch as he seems to go a bit wild on that one

His energy on stage is what really sets him apart from most. He throws his body about on stage with his guitar firmly on him, knocking the mic stand in a way that makes you think someone is going to get a busted lip or black eye. His songs are gentle at times, and this is where you can hear just how great his voice is. He’s part Joey Ramone, part Buddy Holly. He merges two singers I absolutely adore and has created this sound that is evidently out of this world. The two shows he played in London were free, so I guess it is true what they say- the best things in life are free! The crowd were wonderful and you could tell  that the love was mutual. There’s this infectious passion that comes through when you watch him, and you cannot tear your eyes away. He’s got this way of making you wish you could make this kind of noise with an acoustic guitar. He plays as if his life depends on it, gripping the microphone in his mouth and you get lost in this whirlwind of sweat and fury. It could bring anyone to life. Metaphorically, of course.

 

On record you sometimes can’t imagine how it will come across on stage, but with Juan it is is so easy. He’s just like how you’d imagine him to be. He’s a pleasure to watch and you get a feeling that he can’t believe he’s  come all the way from Far Rockaway to London. Let’s hope it is the start of many more shows here, more people need to be turned onto this guy. I’ve got a few bands/singers I would happily watch live constantly, and Juan is most definitely one of them.