Friday 26 January 2024

First gig of 2024: Dub Catalyst in Bristol

Three weeks ago ( this blog is nothing, if not current! ), Sarah and I went to our first gig of the year, and it was a belter! Our good friend Caz plays trombone for Gloucester's premier Reggae / Dub / Hip Hop outfit Dub Catalyst and we surprised her by turning up at this hot, sweaty gig in good ol' Bristol.     ( Hopefully it was a nice surprise! ) The venue was Mr. Wolf's, a very hip 'n' groovy pub / nightclub in the St Nicholas area of the city. Support came from Yuzu Coulis, a Jazz / Soul three-piece who seemed very talented but whose music was just a little too laid back for my liking. I'd probably see them again but Sarah wasn't bothered. As they weren't the most exciting band to watch, we spent a bit of time catching up with Cazbo before she had to take to the ( extremely tiny ) stage...

Dub Catalyst somehow squeeeezed all ten band members ( including the probably superfluous tambourine player ) into the narrow space allotted them and proceeded to blow the roof off the gaff.

Their music is a red-hot gumbo of reggae/dub/hip hop/jazz groovyness, with positive vibes just beaming out of them. All incredibly talented musicians who clearly love what they do, Dub Catalyst instantly won over Mr. Wolf's clientele with their good-time dance music and mellow energy. Highlights were Coffee ( a hymn to staying caffeinated ) and the epic Return Of The Samurai, with some wonderful "rhyme saying" from rappin' / toastin' frontman JPDL. ( No, I don't know his real name, although Caz just calls him Dave. ) Pretty soon everyone was dancing, with Sarah and I bagging a spot at the front, until it got too hot for her and she had to duck out.

It was a fantastic gig to start the year and we're hoping to see the band again as soon as we can. In fact, only tonight the first bands were announced for this year's Wychwood Festival ( where we had such a great weekend last year ) and Dub Catalyst will be playing at that cool event in the Summer. Get your tickets now!

Tuesday 9 January 2024

Things I didn't blog about in 2023: Awesome Artwork

It's apparently a new year, so of course that means I'll start posting all the stuff I was too lazy or disorganised to post in the last year. I'll start with ( as the blog title implies ) some amazingly awesome artwork. First of all, here's a Pulp-inspired piece by the hugely-talented Mark Reynolds, whose work can be found at Stuff By Mark. He produces some cracking Pop art, drawing on influences from old movie posters and classic songs. And, unlike, many chancers who basically steal "vintage" artwork and reproduce it as their own, Mark is an imaginative, accomplished artist with a keen eye and a dry wit. After the phenomenal Pulp gig in Manchester last Summer, it was a no-brainer for me to buy this limited-edition print and give it to Sarah for her birthday. She loves the song Common People ( and Pulp songs in general ) so she was more than happy with this representation of what is possibly Jarvis Cocker's greatest line. I don't own the artwork below ( unfortunately ) but it's another of Mark's pieces, a cheeky interpretation of Pulp's Disco 2000 as an Archie comic. Isn't it great?

Casting my ancient and twisted mind further back in time, I find myself in balmy Bedford back in September 2023. Here, at the awesome NICE comics con, I bought the lovely warrior woman print below from the equally lovely Liam Sharp...

I bent Liam's ear at some length about his stupendous Starhenge comic, and how I thought it was one of the most fab, groovy and cosmically-aware mags I'd read since the halcyon days of Heavy Metal. He seemed suitably happy with that and we also chatted about his recent move back to Brexit Island after years in the States, and about his old mucker, the late, lamented Steve Dillon...

Bedford's premier comic shop, Close Encounters, was showcasing some of Dillon's original artwork, to coincide with NICE con, which they organise. After leaving the con, I literally had half an hour to spare before meeting Sarah so I hot-footed it ( as best I could at the time, with a dodgy back ) to Close Encounters to check out the awesome artwork. ( Hey! Good name for a blog post! ) The gallery was a real treasure-trove of wonders, featuring iconic pages from 2000 AD, Warrior, Preacher, Doctor Who Weekly ( as was ) plus many more pulsatin' publications. It really showed what a loss to the world the passing of the great Steve Dillon was...

Finally, a completely different style of artwork: a beautiful, Aardman-inspired mural in Bristol, the home of Wallace and Gromit, Morph, Shaun the Sheep etc. etc.

Cracking cheese, Gromit!

Monday 1 January 2024

Happy New Year from The Glass Walking-Stick

Here's wishing you lovely people in the Blogosphere a 2024 filled with peace, love and light x


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