This year, the music website Pennyblackmusic celebrates fifteen years of existence. From its humble beginnings in a bedroom in south London 1998, where it began as a zine and online record store (the latter since discontinued), it has evolved to a site read by more than 40,000 users a month, now ran from living rooms in Balham and Edinburgh. In the process, literally thousands of bands and concerts have been interviewed and reviewed in its pages.

2013 also marks another landmark for the website: 10 years ago we began to put on live concerts to 'complement' PB, with previews of the acts on the website. PB's first live home was the Spitz, a glorious and much-missed venue in Spitafields Market, East London; the multi-floored venue had a jazz-themed restaurant/bar on the ground floor opening out to the market and an art gallery, as well as running an in-house Trust and record label. But the real musical action took place in its top floor loft-like gig space, where we promoted from 2003 onwards the likes of Jim Reid (The Jesus and Mary Chain), Vic Godard and the Subway Sect, Glen Matlock (The Sex Pistols), Bikini Atoll/Joe Gideon and the Shark, Rothko, The Telescopes, Bitter Springs, and a host of others. It sweltered in the summer there, but we didn't mind.

The Spitz then closed in 2007, a victim of the area's rising rents, with even then-mayor Boris Johnson adding his voice to the campaign to keep the place open. It didn't, and is now a gastropub. For our part, we decided to go south of the river, pitching up for one-offs at venues such as the Brixton Windmill and Brixton Jamm before finding our natural home nearby at the Half Moon Herne Hill - a glorious old theatre-like back room of a pub. Since an opening gig there with the Television Personalities, PB grew in strength with a number of nights there. Sadly this ended abruptly last year when Herne Hill was hit by floods. The Half Moon was gutted during the flooding, and has been closed ever since.

As a result, this is our first night at The Lexington, based on Pentonville Road. The line-up for this retrospective is culled from the period where we have been at the Half Moon.


MADAM

After playing twice at our nights, we are happy to welcome Madam back on the bill. Fronted by the charismatic chanteuse Sukie Smith, Madam's noirish, nocturnal music brings to mind PJ Harvey, Portishead, and Cat Power at their smokey, intoxicating, late night best. The band have released two critically acclaimed albums, 'In Case of Emergency' and 'Gone Before Morning'; have collaborated with artists such as Swervedriver's Adam Franklin, and completed a soundtrack for the debut feature film of Neophyte Films, 'Hush Your Mouth' - an "urban ghost story." Madam are currently working on their third, as yet untitled album.

www.madam.org.uk
www.madamband.com

MORTON VALENCE

Brixton-based Morton Valence are a five-piece whose songs remain quintessentially British (despite having only two native Englanders among their number), right down to referencing a certain Sham 69 song. Released on their own label - the charmingly named Bastard Recordings - tracks such as 'Bad Times for the Hare Krishnas' and the brilliant 'Man on the Corner' reference south London life. Their first album 'Bob and Veronica Ride Again' came with a 100-page novella, while their sophomore effort 'Me and Home James' followed in 2011. That same year, in October, they headlined one of our nights at the Half Moon Herne Hill, bringing along a huge local audience. They are currently working on a third album, and will be playing as a duo.

www.mortonvalence.com

ROTIFER

Fronted by Robert Rotifer, who has released several albums in his native Austria, Rotifer are something of an indie super-group. Their debut British CD, 'The Hosting Couple', was released on Edwyn Collins' AED label and is in part about Rotifer's experiences as a twelve-year old in the 80's on a hosting arrangement in Canvey Island, Essex. He currently lives in Canterbury.

Also in the band are the Television Personalities' Mike Stone, who replaced Darren Hayman (ex-Hefner) on bass last year, and former Death in Vegas guitarist Ian Button on drums. They played our night back in November 2012. 'The Hosting Couple' was produced by one-time Stiff Records artist Wreckless Eric (he of the legendary 1977 punk song '(I'd Go the) Whole Wide World'. Rotifer's latest album 'The Cavalry Never Showed Up' came out on their own Gare du Nord label in September.

http://rotiferband.tumblr.com/


Pennyblackmusic at The Lexington
96-98 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9JB
Saturday 31st May 2014
8 p.m.
£5 in advance from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/255804
£6 on door
http://www.pennyblackmusic.co.uk
http://www.thelexington.co.uk











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