Penny Black Music Bands Night, 29/10/2010
published: 6 /
We profile our next Penny Black Music Bands' Night, which will take place on Friday October 29th at the Half Moon in Herne Hill, South London and feature sets from the Willard Grant Conspiracy, the Monroe Transfer, Altai Rockets and Adam Donen
Pennyblackmusic presents...the Willard Grant Conspiracy, the Monroe Transfer, Altai Rockets, Adam Donen
We return to the Half Moon, Herne Hill, South London on Friday 29th October with four great acts.
THE WILLARD GRANT CONSPIRACY
Led by the charismatic Robert Fisher, longtime Pennyblackmusic favourites Willard Grant Conspiracy formed in Boston in 1995 but currently reside in Los Angeles County, California. Purveyors of the very finest dark folk-noir, some thirty musicians or so have contributed to the band’s music over the years, with Fisher’s compelling stage presence remaining a central focus.
Their 2003 album ‘Regard the End’ – which featured an appearance by Kristin Hersh on vocals – was included in the top 150 Albums of the Decade (as well as Album of the Month) by 'Uncut' Magazine (whose monthly cover CDs have also included tracks by the band), and it’s not hard to see why, with the album’s gothic Americana, haunting orchestration and sombre lyrics. The themes of loss and redemption may have featured regularly on all of their albums, yet musically WGC have proven to be dynamic and unpredictable, veering from refined acoustic-based collections of songs to squealing, expansive rock, the latter particularly on the 2006 album ‘Let It Roll’.
They have toured in more than twenty countries; have played at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas; and have released albums on Loose Music, Glitterhouse, Rykodisc, and Kimchee Records. We are honoured to be hosting the opening date of their European tour, and for this gig they will be appearing as a duo of Fisher on guitar/vocals and David Michael Curry on viola/saw, performing songs from across their eight studio albums.
THE MONROE TRANSFER
Every now and then, a truly special band comes along that bowls us over. We’ve only been aware of The Monroe Transfer for a short while, but what they’ve released (through their own label Organ Grinder Records) has been truly unique and spellbinding. Frequently swelling to eight members or more, and featuring violins, violas, cellos, drums, guitars, double bass, ukuleles, pianos, toy organs, glockenspiels, saws, samples, and Lord knows what else, they are genuinely one of the most unique and original bands to have emerged in London recently. Try any laden and clichéd adjectives you like – post-rock, ambient, modern classical – but none are really appropriate. Don’t miss what promises to be a very special appearance.
Deep in Russia, in a province called the Altai Republic, lies the world’s biggest space junkyard – a legacy of its geographical position near the flight paths of the remote Baikour Cosmodrome space launch centre in nearby Kazakhstan. Foreboding and mysterious, it’s also where this London outfit have taken their moniker from. Restoring your faith in all things indie-rock at a time when the genre is filled with somewhat questioning quality, Altai Rockets have came out of nowhere with a bewitching and captivating set of songs. Featuring Nick Bergin of Pennyblackmusic favourites Madam and Sophia, and featuring assistance on record from Swervedriver’s Adam Franklin, this is only their second gig, and should be a corker.
South Africa-born Adam Donen is certainly one of the more unusual solo acts residing in the capital, with his unique voice more attuned to long monologues than strictly singing. He grew up in Cape Town to anti-apartheid activist parents, and delivered his first poetry performance at the age of six – the works of William Blake and Samuel Taylor Coleridge recited to African National Congress freedom fighters inside a maximum security prison. Moving the London at the age of 18, he formed the influential band Alexandria Quartet while reading English, their songs churning forth a Birthday Party-style mixture of raw garage blues and Old Testament-inspired Biblical lyrics to blank Shoreditch fashion victims. His subsequent burnout led to his acoustic-based solo career, which blossomed on the album Immortality. Get there early to catch this idiosyncratic talent before he gets big.
First act on 8:15
£7 in advance from WeGotTickets
£8 on door