Sunday 25 March 2018

Dreadzone at the Gloucester Guildhall

Just over a week ago I went to my first gig of the year  -  I'm such a slacker!  -  the mighty Dreadzone at Gloucester's Guildhall. Dreadzone are a band that have been around for donkeys' years ( how long IS a donkey's year? ), a firm favourite on the festival circuit, but a band whose path I'd never crossed until now. I decided it was time to do something about that and I dragged Borrowed Time superstars Glenn and Cliff along with me to join in the fun...
Although the venue wasn't exactly sold out the crowd were seemingly all rabid Dreadzone fans, apart from about half a dozen newbies ( us included ), and the band went down a storm. Their music, a righteous mash-up of reggae, dub and rave, was an upbeat treat for dancing feet and a sunshine-filled tonic for those brought down by this seemingly endless Winter. With the legendary Leo Williams on bass and two fine vocalists in Earl 16 and the chair-bound but still energetic MC Spee, the front-line of the band was pretty damn impressive, spreading the good vibes around the Guildhall. Propulsive drumming and a heady mix of keyboards and samples made up the bedrock of the sound, forging some mighty grooves. Standout songs were Rise Up, a towering anthem to protest and positivity, and '90s chart hit Little Britain  -  the only song of theirs I knew previously.
A great gig to belatedly start off the year... even though I got showered with beer at one point and some random girl told me I should be moving around more (!)  -  gotta love Gloucester audiences!
It was good to be at the Guildhall again after so long  -  amazingly I didn't go to a single gig at my favourite venue last year. And that's probably the first time that's happened since it opened in 1988! Over the last year the venue has put on a rash of tribute bands instead of "real" bands so there's been very little to tempt me through their doors. Tribute bands have their place, I suppose, and are probably more likely to get punters into the place, but for an arts venue to schedule so many of them seems wrong. Hopefully the Guildhall will redress the balance in their 30th anniversary year and this Dreadzone gig is the start of the tide turning...

Wednesday 14 March 2018

An interesting Twitter conversation about dragons

Simon BartonTweet text

RIP Stephen Hawking

A sad day for the universe. One of the greatest men of our time, the physicist and visionary Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76.
Such a brave, unique and inspiring person. His loss will leave another black hole in the cosmos...


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