Here you'll find some exclusive, short, amateur reviews of gigz at the Kinema.
These are purely individual opinions and are designed to offer an honest personal observation, nothing more. If you find them informative, useful, even entertaining then I'm pleased. If you don't, it's no big deal, we simply disagree. Please tell me your view and I may publish that too.
If you would care to offer your thoughts on a particular performance, please send your views to me via the 'Feedback' page and I will consider publishing them. Note, I may edit your work before publishing, however I will also subsequently remove any reviews at the author's request.
I will also republish some professional reviews and credit them fully too.
They're in chronological order.
Saturday 19th January 2008
Chris McCall - lead vocals
Rod MacNeil - guitars and vocals
Martin MacDonald - electric bass
Paddy Cameron - drums
Well, … it’s been a long time coming but live bands have returned to
'The Kinema', oops, 'Velocity' I mean! Saturday night kicked off with an outfit from Edinburgh called ‘The Wynd’ at 19:30. Their 30min set left me cold and unimpressed I’m afraid. They describe their sound as being like ‘a tank’, … I reckon the tracks have fallen off.
I couldn’t remember a single tune because I don’t think there were any! They badly need a singer, some songs and some stage presence. As far as I can gather they’ve only been together a year or two so it’s early days but they must learn to ‘sell’ their craft to the punters. About thirty folk politely acknowledged their existence and that’s fair enough as I’ve seen better outfits bottled-off! Lots of work to do but don’t give up yet guys. To be fair the recordings on their myspace site aren’t so bad.
Here's their 9-song set list:
The Move Out
The Boy Who Had to Deny His Pride
Friends Say You're Really Something
Sheila Was a Drinker
Last of the Great British Summers
Fraz - vocals, guitar
Craig - vocals, guitar, synthesiser
Gec - bass, backing vocals, synthesiser
Gaz - drums
After a very swift 10 min stage change, local (Rosyth) boys, The Draymin, set off to liven things up a bit with their 30min slot, and this they did! I’ve seen them only twice before and they hadn’t impressed me then, however tonight was different. They seemed to have a new confidence which came over in the performance and this time I was disappointed when they were done. The floor filled-up rapidly once they began and stayed busy with attentive fans (led by their bouncing contingent at the front) throughout the memorable set. Quite a contrast.
I noted that young Fraz’ vocals could be compared with Kirk Brandon (Theatre of Hate / Spear of Destiny / Dead Men Walking). Check out their bebo site to sample several toons for free. Congratulations lads.
Mark Morriss – vocals, guitars, keys
Adam Devlin – lead guitar
Scott Morriss – bass, vocals
Eds Chesters - drums
This Bluetones 5-date mini tour of Scotland kicked off at 'The FuBar' in Stirling on January 18th before their Dunfermline ‘Velocity’ appearance on the 19th. They then set off up North to 'Moshulu' in Aberdeen for the 20th and 'The Classic Grand' in Glasgow on the 21st before wrapping at 'The Liquid Rooms' in Edinburgh on January 22nd.
The headliners took to the 'Velocity' stage at 21:15 and played more than an hour before returning for two encores. Hounslow’s quartet of class tunesmiths did us proud on Saturday’s live music relaunch. And didn’t Fife do well in supporting the venture at about ¾ full, though frankly it looked like more. A pretty good turnout for January and at a 'new' venue.
The Bluetones are truly a smooth, class act. Multi instrumentalists and songsmiths to a man, they have learned their craft over the last decade or so and the experience shows. They even made time to express their appreciation of the venue’s history and that they were honoured to be playing here in Dunfermline!
The enduring Britpoper’s set was populated with newer & fairly recent material, studded with gems from their illustrious past such as ‘If’ & of course their UK #2 hit from 1996, ‘Slight Return’ much to the crowd’s delight. The 18-song set was as follows:
Solomon Bites the Worm
You're no Fun Anymore
One Speed Gearbox
Head on a Spike
Keep the Home Fires Burning (uk version)
Baby Back Up
Never Going Nowhere
Hope and Jump
Between Clark and Hilldale
Their varied soundscapes can be difficult to categorise but I hear influences such as Squeeze & Prefab Sprout together with the jangliness of The Byrds along with the vocal qualities of Crowded House and a tonal quality reminiscent of Simon & Garfunkel, yet they often surprise by showing a jagged edge too. Truly an interesting, eclectic mix. One tune even had a latin rhythm.
The Bluetones are noted for tight, memorable, brooding tunes and thoughtful lyrics and it sounds to me we’re about to see their second coming as the newer material sounds entirely commercial & wholly contemporary while the older material was hardly dated at all – surely the most important hallmark of the quality song.
The sound was good, visibility was great from almost anywhere in the hall, the crowd were appreciative if a little slow to start, but they got there. (Please note for future gigz though: You’ll have to make a great deal more noise than that to nail regular encores people!)
As it turns out, this will be the only gig at 'Velocity' under the 'V:Live' brand. As of Saturday 26th January 2008, all future gigz at 'Velocity' will be under the 'Kinema:Live' banner!
Incidentally, the band thoroughly enjoyed the evening too, I understand, and are keen to return.
I’ll be there.
By Matt Meade - Dunfermline Press
Friday 21st November 2008
First on, the Black Arrows made a terrific noise, a scuzzy wall of sound, verging on the frantic, that sauntered unafraid into punk/rock'n'roll territories.
The Modern Faces brought a fair bit of finesse to the night, but they'll need more than a couple of belting tunes and a savvy singer. The four-piece seem to play it just a bit too safe when they're capable of more. The type of band who would visit an exotic Japanese seafood restaurant and choose Plaice over Puffer Fish.
Val Verde up the ante with vocal domination and guitar histrionics. They might like to delve into unorthodox time signatures and enjoyable to-ing and fro-ing but they are essentially solid traditional songwriters underneath all that psychedelia and giddy thrashing. Is there a more consistently formidable live band in Dunfermline?
The headliners swept over from the West Coast, not so much to teach our bands a lesson, but to show them the myriad possibilities of having a spot-on guitar-pop sensibility. The infectious melodies and brilliant harmonies featured tonight, mainly from their Friday Night Lights debut album, will propel Attic Lights onto greater things.
Covers of Guided by Voices and Mental As Anything hint at their influences, but it's singles God and Never Get Sick of the Sea that demonstrate their uniqueness and a future as bright as Mossmorran.
Isa and the Filthy Tongues
Bruce & Jamie Watson
By Matt Meade - Dunfermline Press
Thursday 18th December 2008
PUNK didn't die – they just grew up and became accountants.
If that adage is true, there were a lot of number crunchers out on Thursday to witness Scotland's premier sci-fi punk/new wave band.
The reformed Rezillos played their 1978 debut 'Cant Stand…' in its entirety to a mainly reserved crowd, far more soberly dressed than they would have been 30 years ago upon the album's release.
But while the audience dipped their tentative toes at the side of the dance floor the band were giving it laldy at the deep end.
Fay Fife on vocals/tantrums was relentless in her yelps and pouts delivering Can't Stand My Baby, Flying Saucer Attack and new single No1 Boy with aggressive aplomb.
Meanwhile, ex-Human League man Jo Callis, bedecked in ill-advised kilt, used his guitar like a savage extra in Braveheart.
It takes the camp, comic book, witty daftness of the Rezillos to hammer home just how important their debut album was.
And while such reformed and ageing groups often prompt a rolling of eyes from people young enough to be their kids, they could do far, far worse than request a fresh copy for Christmas.
HUE AND CRY (review 1)
Thursday 19th February 2009
Another great gig at the Kinema last night.
Support Honey Ryder appeared as a three-piece with additional guitar & provided a set of contemporary acoustic folk (ala 'All About Eve' perhaps) including an interesting cover of 'When Doves Cry' and their current single 'Fly Away' for which profits are to be donated to Children in Need. Lindsay O'Mahony has a beautifully clear, controlled voice attracting fans such as Annie Lennox.
Hue and Cry had a full seven piece line-up with Vocal / Keys / Guitar / Bass / Drums / Sax / Flugelhorn. Their set of full-on jazz-pop was divided in two by a set of quiet introspective vocal & piano which showed off Pat's voice control very well.
Their funky jazz pop material (including all the singles you would expect) was delivered in a solid enthusiastic & highly professional way as expected from such experienced musicians comfortable with their talents. The band were tight and patently having a ball on their debut tour appearance and the highly appreciative crowd managed to persuade them to part with a couple of encores.
I expected to like them, but was surprised by just how much.
HUE AND CRY (review 2)
by John Murray
Thursday 19th February 2009
The Opening night of a short tour saw the Kanes return with a brass section. New fans alerted by ‘Open Soul’ stood alongside 80s originals renewing alliances and appreciating the catalogue peppering the set.
The old Ballroom was far from capacity and backing vocals from Greg Kane and new drummer Paul Mills were a little low in the mix. But Pat was as commanding as ever.
Current single ‘Fireball’, ‘European Child’ & ‘The Last Stop’ were well worked, soulful new anthems, while ‘Ordinary Angel’, ‘Long Term Lovers of Pain’ and the timeless masterpiece, ‘Labour of Love’ blew away any doubters.
A cover of Beyonce’s ‘Crazy in Love’ with brass was a show-stopper, as was the concluding encore of ‘Stars Crash Down’ blending into ‘People Get Ready’.
by Tomas Bird
Field Officer in Acts of Mayhem
Saturday 22nd August 2009
Once again, I had seriously overindulged on the old mayhem the night before. Every time I make a serious commitment to a worthy cause, some form of depraved activity presents itself to me and I embrace it with arms wide open. This undoubtedly will be my downfall. As a semi consummate professional in ventures such as these, I usually prescribe myself around 4 hours worth of sleep in order to have at least some sort of moral bearing the next day. Waking up in a pool of my own sweat, my eyes refused to accept the sunlight pouring through the open curtains as anything but wholly unnatural. These were bad times. Swift action was required, but exactly what that was still remained unclear. Venturing through to the living room, I was met with several bodies that all appeared to be in the same condition as my depleted self. Sleep had been a hideously unattainable mirage for all concerned. Just as one of us had almost crossed that final stretch of the sandman's fares, some incessant piece of nonsense would once again enter our fragile minds and re-start the cogs of madness that would keep us awake with Prodigy songs on loop mixed in with terrifying faces and skulls in a continuous state of metamorphosis.
Today was "Fife Fest". To give the reader some indication as to what the inventive title means, it is the coming together of some of the most talented bands currently playing along the Scottish music scene and having them brandish Fife – in particular, Dunfermline – with their bravado. In other words, we turn up, we laugh, we drink, we listen, we cheer, we drink some more then we all bundle out into the cold night knowing that our Saturday night has indeed been "a right gid ane".
An hour or so had passed and my nightmare hadn't even begun to kick in yet, although the sweating and severe anxiety most definitely had. Nursing a pint of Amstel whilst receiving jibes about how the night before I was in the worst states many had ever seen me in was doing nothing for my self-esteem, never mind the imminent eye popping headache that was most certainly on it way. I can't remember who cracked first. It may have been me. It may have been Lanky. Either way, the infamous phrase of "I think the joab is f****d" was remorsefully mumbled. Today was definitely on the brink of being described as tragic.
With heads firmly in our hands, and stagnant pints sitting there idly, I seriously considered leaving the dark and morbid surroundings of "The Creepy Wee Pub" and wandering home to enjoy the simple pleasures in life such as a comfortable bed and hot meal. Realistically, I could easily make the gig later on – there was no way I would break an agreement made over a pint of lager. What would Winston Churchill do? I pondered this quietly to myself and eventually decided that no foreboding dread would keep me from my duties as a Field Officer in Acts of Mayhem. How could I even show face around these parts if it became local knowledge that Tomas Bird missed Fife Fest because of a hangover. This would simply not do at all! In booze we trust I proclaimed and lunged mercilessly for the bar.
'Three Voddies and a can of Red Bull please bar keep!' This order has yet to let me down as it is the saviour of the damned. With the good company of Davie Barr and Lanky, belting tunes in the jukebox and a fine order of drinks to quench our thirsts, the scene for redemption was finally set!
The caffeine laced elixir worked like a charm and our spirits began to lift. Laughter filled our bellies and echoed round the pub. Music soured, toasts were made, drinks were downed, high fives painfully connected, and as the song "Feelin" by The La's played its final notes, our stature as jovial members of the drunken community had once again been restored. It felt glorious!
Sunlight washed over our faces as we stepped out into the refreshing day. Making our way to Velocity, I realised for the first time that I was about to set foot in the place where icons such as The Who, The Kinks, David Bowie and Marc Traynor's favourite, The Clash enthralled their legions of fans. Obviously, this was back when the venue was called the "Kinema Ballroom" and over the years the building has traded hands several times, each time with a new renovation to suit modern tastes until its eventual closure in July 2007. I suppose the town of Dunfermline could only deal with offers such as £10.00 all you can drink / get battered for, or play the taxi rank lottery (who gets heidered…a pissed up ned decides) for so long. Regardless of the more infamous aspects of its history, the Kinema Ballroom had once been a thriving part of the British music scene and after an intense schedule of refurbishments and upgrades; the old Kinema Ballroom re-opened on Wednesday 13th December 2007 as "Velocity" – much to the delight of the scene.
We arrived at around 17.00, which as it turned out was perfect timing as most of the bands playing at night had also just pitched up and were in the processing of unloading. After many a hand shake and how do's, I re-positioned myself in the darkest corner I could find and soaked up the backstage atmosphere. I sat in rare spirits – literally, as I had sneaked a bottle of Vodka in with me – as the usual hustle and bustle of guitars being re-strung and sound engineers confirming with bands their specific requirements danced around me. With a fresh drink in one hand, and my pen in the other, I relaxed with the young and upcoming band, Crayons.
Having only seen them a couple of times, I had still to make my mind up properly about them. In my mind, it is not always just about having the songs and musical ability to tear a place apart. Personally, I always like to see how a band condones itself around others and view how they accept line-up decisions and set times etc. Professionalism is always something to be revered.
They do not let me down. Brimming with enthusiasm, regardless over the fact that they are on first does not bother them at all. If anything, the fact that they've been given the chance to warm up for this stellar line-up has got them even more mad for it. They are more than aware that the Scottish music scene is no trivial thing – The View and Glasvegas to name but a few of its finest productions. On the grand scale of it all, when opportunities come along and give bands like Crayons the chance to play with other acts who have built solid foundations to whatever aspirations they may have, then the lessons are there to be learnt as well as the legions of their fans to be won over. In my opinion, bands like Crayons are definitely a cause for celebration as there is nothing better when another inventive and exciting genre of music comes along to freshen up our lives. Hangovers aside, these are the good times!
T-Time for Crayons
Frenzied uproar is really the only way to describe the Crayons set. Throughout their performance of intricate combinations of synthesizer and guitar work comes the feverish drumming that is enough to generate a whole new booklet of maths equations. It is awkward genius yet honest, fresh music and it certainly does not by pass the hundred or so teenagers revelling in ecstasy down the front.
The energetic rampage of front man Sean is enough to tire the audience out, but luckily, we are resilient and contently put down our pints or whatever beverage has graced our hands and embrace the jagged dance moves that seem to be taking over our bodies.
Songs such as Parle and Follow the Yellow Brick Road sees Lanky – my co-pilot of the day – take me to one side and proclaim loudly in my ear “******* hell mate, they’re **** hot eh”. I agree whole-heartedly. Responses such as this are echoed all over the room…Fife Fest is off to a good start!
T-Time for Modern Faces
This is swagger. This is a séance of pure Rock ‘n’ Roll. This is louder – much louder – than all the marching powder Columbia could ever hope to flood our fair shores with. Modern Faces seem to have captured everything the 90’s had to offer and catapulted it into the naughties.
Stepping up to each of their songs with a coolness and suaveness that even some of their chosen idols would be in awe of, Modern Faces prove within a mere few seconds why they are playing this gig. They bring the crowd into their rapturous midst and make them part of musical coliseum that they are literally building round us.
Love Frustrates Me, Fallen and the epic finale of Change My Ways takes all religion and makes it irrelevant as the grainy voice of Monty and serotonin pumping riffs of Mick soar to unholy levels – Jesus himself couldn’t turn anything into this outrageously decent salute to Britpop. They may sing “So long, goodbye, my time here is ending” but I can most certainly say that they are going no-where soon, in fact, if my opinion is anything to go by, Modern Faces are just beginning. Here here to that I say!
T-Time for Ray Summers
If you came to march on the spot in sheer joy, then Fife Fest was definitely the place to be. Ray Summers – their name is homage to Bassists Billy Kay's dad's former band – evocative sound takes you straight back to the 60's where free love and good feelings are a 'plenty. Their summery vibe – no pun intended – is for all to see, hear, and frankly get involved with. If modern day comparisons are required, then the all the bits from The Coral mixed in with The Bees are apt in my opinion.
Having only formed in 2008, songs such as Careless Leader, Boots 'n' Cats and of course my personal favourite, Heishka Rashka are already the most played efforts on many a folks I-Pods. Taking the fact that they've recently released their debut single The Shepherd, Ray Summers are definitely one of the must see acts of the moment.
Their dress sense is sharp, but their musical ability is sharper and each song is obviously cultivated with harrowing finesse to achieve the outcome of their on stage performance. Curly haired singer Urey is prone to go on tambourine-rattling rampages whilst guitarists Jackson and Dougie take turn about showing why other musicians should just give up now. Davey Foghorn and Billy Bass take care of the harmonies that give new song Follow Me Down their retro edge and the drumming prowess of Lee Burgoyne is second to none – any man who can combine the coolness of Reni mixed with the savage beats of Animal from the muppets is definitely to be revered.
T-Time for Beatnic Prestige
When it comes to Dunfermline band Beatnic Prestige they really can do no wrong in the eyes of Fifers. In fact, I’ve no idea why I am merely limiting their appeal to just Fifers, as over the past couple of years the Beatnic boys have applied their trade up and down Britain and with their relentless passion for good old hard work they have made a name for themselves – and rightly so – in every city they unleash their mod / punk / indie sound.
Walking out to the home grown chant of “We are the Beatnic, the Beatnic Prestige, the lads prepare for another set of sheer carnage. The crowd down the front – that so far has not stopped bouncing – gear up for what surely will be the most trying for their young knees. As they tear through old favourites such as Doubtfire and 9 Clicks, I begin to properly realise that Dunfermline’s scene is now well and truly thriving, and to be blatantly honest, Beatnic Prestige – along with a few others along the way – have more or less spearheaded our stake for acclaim in Scottish music.
On both technical and song writing terms, with regards to the genre of music they play, Beatnic Prestige hold their own against any of their contemporaries. Every member plays their part in achieving the amplified “******* Rights” and “Mon the Beatnic” that seemed to be getting roared all around. Charlie Brown – as always – takes the T-Award as my favourite song of their set but it is Butch’s drumming that has made my night…sheer Bonham!
T-Time for Sergeant
From sell out shows with Oasis, to supporting Britpop legends Supergrass, to special heart warming shows in Wick, Sergeant are always received in an overwhelmingly joyous way. To be fair, the Glenrothes four piece have forever been a band of the young and happy. Their effortlessly summery sunshine hits have took them from festival to festival and in turn have forged themselves into one of Scotland’s most revered bands.
It’s not just the blissful melodies such as See When I See You, or the jingly and jovial treat that is Swiftly Does It that makes a Sergeant gig special. No, for me it’s the strange and surreal coming together of complete strangers who are all just there to have a good time yet somehow manage to come away with 15 new best friends from all over the country…Bathgate and Lochgelly to name but a few places.
As well as what can only be described as their summer classics such as Away With The Fairies, K.O.K and of course the almighty Sunshine, Sergeant have been slowly introducing new songs into their beloved set. Seven Year Itch and Booksales for Jesus show us that the aforementioned old school songs were not accidental. A varied direction is definitely starting to bloom in the Sergeant camp and it is good to see that it has been welcomed with open arms by their ever growing army of fans.
How can I sum the night up to anyone who wasn’t there? I can’t! I can only ask the question…where the **** were you?
Cheers to Miller and all the bands for having a T-Bird along…it was indeed a right belting night!!
Stiff Little Fingers
by Gary Fitzpatrick
Saturday 7th August 2010
PUNK legends Stiff Little Fingers gave a two-fingered salute to their most unlikely fan, David Cameron.
The posh PM was apparently a devotee of the Belfast working class heroes when he was a public schoolboy.
But the old school tie means nothing to straight-talking Fingers front-man Jake Burns who told a packed and vibrant Velocity audience, "Since we were here last, you have a new Prime Minister"- cue loud booing - "and he says that while he was at Eton he was a fan of Stiff Little Fingers.
"Well we can say to him, Stiff Little Fingers are no f****** fans of you."
The band then launched into 'Liars Club' written about politicians who are economical with the truth.
This gig was long-awaited and turned out to be a memorable occasion. It was never going to be a bunch of old-timers going through the motions. The fire in their belly appears to be burning as strongly as ever and this energy and enthusiasm won them new generations of fans over the years.
It's a tribute to the integrity and honesty of a band that has shunned popular commercial success that their message has stayed true.
'Wasted Life' got them off to a storming start and an early highlight was 'At the Edge' - "The closest we got to a hit" according to Jake and a classic of rebellious downtrodden youth fighting back.
"Doesn't Make it Alright" and Barbed Wire Love" were other stand-outs before Jake dedicated Strummerville - written in memory of his friend Joe, the late great Clash singer - to Dunfermline's own much-missed musical son, Stuart Adamson.
'Johnny Was' and 'Alternative Ulster' brought the curtain down on an electrifying set.
To complete a great night we also had the welcome return of Honk after eight years and they looked right at home supporting such illustrious company.
The local lads did themselves proud and hopefully the rousing reception they received will persuade them to keep the reunion going.
The View (Gig Preview)
Saturday 18th December 2010
THE View's end of tour concert in Dunfermline proved to be the hottest ticket in town recently selling out in just a few hours.
The band aim to round off their U.K. tour and the year on a huge high at Velocity on Saturday night, are having a Christmas dinner here and will be DJing at an after-show party.
This is their closest stop to their home town Dundee and given they can sell out the cavernous Caird Hall up there there, it's no surprise the tickets went so quickly.
The last time they played Velocity was in October 2008 on their first night of a major tour just before the launch of their second album 'Which Bitch?'
This time it's the last night and comes as they are looking forward to the release of their third album.
While 'Which Bitch?' received critical acclaim it did not achieve the same commercial success as 'Hats off for the Busker' which went straight in at number one and featured hit singles in 'Wasted Little DJs' and 'Same Jeans'.
It is almost four years since that debut album took Britain by storm and the band are looking to recapture that success.
They have split from their friend and producer Owen Morris for this album and know there is a lot riding on their new material.
They were not short on inspirational surroundings, recording at Britannia Row Studios where Pink Floyd created 'The Wall' and the band also moved to live for a time in Liverpool, home of Kyle's beloved Fab Four.
He worked with Mark Ronson recently providing the vocals on the Bike Song which topped the NME Charts during in the summer but is enjoying being back on the road with his mates, even though it can be hard work.
He told the Press, "You forget how tough it is out touring. It's been banging but it's tough. Last night we were in Norwich and the last time we were there some people were complaining because they were saying I was away with the fairies.
"This time I was struggling with my voice. I didn't feel right all day and the sound wasn't the best so I think I'm cursed when it comes to Norwich."
Touring around the country during the worst winter for 40-odd years can bring added challenges but Kyle said, "Luckily, we've not been too badly affected but I keep getting phone calls from Scotland saying it's been mental up there."
The album will be out early in the New Year. They've decided on the name but are keeping it under wraps for now.
"Can I say what the name is?" Kyle asked the rest of the band. "No. I better not say anything that gets me into trouble but we've got the name. We had about 30 new songs recorded and we've chosen I think it's 13 for the album."
The first single will be 'Grace' which Kyle expects to go down well. Just to prove the new material has an added touch of class, Kyle said, "We've even got the London Symphony Orchestra playing on it." They also teamed up with American civil rights activist John Sinclair for one track.
When told the band would be doing a DJ set at the post-gig event at PJs Kyle said, "Well it's the first I knew about it," but adds he enjoys getting behind the turntables from time to time. "I just play stuff I like and hopefully everybody gets up and has a good time."
Despite their music taking them around the world, The View keep close to their roots and are hoping to help out the ailing Dundee F.C. by organising a fund-raising gig even though most of them support other clubs.
Kyle said, "A lot of people very close to me, friends and family are massive Dundee fans and they're very worried about this. It's a big thing for the club to be under threat and people are even talking about selling their houses to raise money.
"Pete's a Celtic fan, Mo's a big United fan and I like Celtic as well but whoever you support you want to try and help at a time like this."