Photo by Allan McKay

If you check out MusicRiot regularly, you’ll know that our contributors have one thing in common; they’re all passionate about (maybe bordering on obsessed by) music.  All of the Riot Squad (John Preston, Louie Anderson and, most recently, Klare Stephens) love music of all styles and the reason we do this is because we want to share our passion and maybe get a few more people to listen to the music we love, whether it’s live or recorded.  Also, because music is such a personal thing we like to bring that element into our contributions; opinions are always subjective, but at least we’re upfront about it.  Often it can feel like shouting in the dark: then you have a weekend like the one I’ve just had.

Last week I published a review of the excellent album “Closer than you Know” by The Kennedys and I was invited to review their gig at Kings Place in London on Friday.  I also had a gig lined up for Sunday night, going to watch the Billy Walton Band in High Barnet with some good friends.  Both gigs were superb in very different ways; you can read The Kennedys review and previous Billy Walton Band reviews here on MusicRiot and work out for yourself that I’m impressed.

The live performances by these bands, however, are only part of the story.  All of the musicians at these two gigs (Pete and Maura Kennedy, Billy Walton, William Paris, Rich Taskowitz and John D’Angelo) are extremely gifted musicians who love what they do and love to interact with their audience personally and online. Both bands mix with the audience when they aren’t actually performing (and sometimes when they are; yeah that’s you Billy and Rich) and have a huge amount of respect for their fans, fellow musicians and songwriters.

Both gigs were superb in different ways; The Kennedys stripped down their songs to arrangements for two acoustic guitars and two voices while the Billy Walton Band played raucous r’n’r (and blues and soul and the rest) in the way that bands from New Jersey do.  Both bands were happy to play requests from the audience regardless of the setlist they had prepared.  Most importantly, both bands were obviously having a good time.  So far, so good, but excellence is pretty much what I expected from these two bands and this weekend was about much more than that.

I’ve been reviewing gigs in London and elsewhere for MusicRiot for six years now and sometimes it can be a bit depressing; you watch incredibly gifted bands and artists performing to audiences which just scrape into three figures and most of them are friends of the band.  I’ve been to blues gigs where the majority of the audience at least twice as old as the musicians.   It was great to see two very different gigs this weekend where the ages of the audience ranged widely and everyone was there to hear great live music and have a good time.  And that brings me on to the reason why we all contribute to MusicRiot.

We don’t ignore the established bands at MusicRiot; we had two reviews of the Daft Punk album last week and we’ve reviewed albums by Bruce Springsteen, Scissor Sisters, Lana del Rey and Saint Etienne in the last year or so.  We also love to discover a diverse range of bands and artists that you might not have heard of and tell you all about them so we’ll carry on telling you all about artists like The Kennedys, the Billy Walton Band, MS MR, Sally Shapiro, Tomorrow’s World, Lilygun, Stoneface Travellers, Dean Owens and many more.  We’ve even got some pretty good photos for you to look at.

If there’s one lesson that I’ve learned from six years at MusicRiot it’s this; whatever you hear on daytime radio, there’s always good music out there if you know where to look and that’s why the Riot Squad do what they do.  And thanks to Richie Taz for the title.

Flamboyant Bella - 2MusicRiot favourites and early “MusicRiot Presents.. ” podcast featured band Flamboyant Bella are continuing their inevitable journey to the big time with a headline gig at London’s Islington Academy.

The gig on 19th February is being helped to be promoted by FB’s fanbase who are able to get free tickets by demonstrating how they have spread the word about the gig.

Check out Flamboyant Bella’s website for full details, or just get some tickets to the gig.

It’s the sixth MusicRiot Presents podcast – and we’ve got a couple more great artists.

Have a listen, enjoy and let us know what you think.

Subscribe via iTunes, or directly to our feed, or

Download Title MusicRiot Presents… Episode 6

Kill Cassidy join us on the MusicRiot Presents podcast episode 6, and here they give us a bit of background type info!

Tell us a little bit about each of you.

Tim: My name is Tim Sensation, I have my parents to thank for that. I sing in Kill Cassidy and am half of the song-writing team.

Martino: My name is Martino. I play the guitar in Kill Cassidy and am the other half of the songwriting team. I am 6′ 4″. I like long walks, reading, European cinema, drinking till I’m drunk and talking about the universe and most of all going somewhere ordinary and listening to music that makes it feel unusual. Cat-lover, GSOH etc, etc…

What’s the story behind the name?

M: Simply put, it’s the title of a song from a long lost band, who were gigging friends a few Summers ago!! Read more

Jess Morgan entrances us on MusicRiot Presents… podcast episode 6, and so we thought it was a good idea to find a bit more about the woman behind the voice.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Now let me see… I was born and grew up in Norfolk. I’m a huge fan of the countryside and the coast which Is why i suppose, things didnt work out so well for me in London this year. I moved to the big city after graduating to try to gig as much as possible and make a name for myself.

I did play a lot of gigs and think it came to about 60 gigs from October to October. I’m a hard worker and I’m always writing wherever I go. I’ve moved back to Norwich now and intend to try to build a solid following of likeminded people whilst still keeping links with London and other regions.

How long have you been making music?

I began playing and singing at uni in York. There was a cool little open-mic night every other Thursday and eventually i did pluck up the courage to go and play a song. The support i found while I was at university was tremendous and i couldn’t imagine a better start or more supportive people to be around. Read more

Flamboyant Bella - 1We are excited to let you know the details of the late 2008 tour of MusicRiot fave Flamboyant Bella.

The group, who have featured on two MusicRiot Presents.. podcasts, kick off their tour on hometurf of Hitchin before moving around the country.

Nov 2008
22 20:00 Homecoming at Remix 14+ Hitchin
26 19:30 Academy 2 14+ Liverpool
27 19:30 King Tuts 14+ Glasgow
28 19:30 Dexters Dundee
29 19:30 Cabaret Voltaire 14+ Edinburgh
30 19:30 Academy 2 14+ Newcastle
Dec 2008
2 19:30 Fibbers York
3 19:30 Bar Academy 14+ Birmingham
4 19:30 Club Academy 14+ Manchester
5 19:30 Sugarmill 14+ Stoke
6 19:30 Rescue Rooms 14+ Nottingham
8 19:30 Arts Centre 14+ Norwich
9 19:30 Arts Centre 14+ Colchester
10 19:30 Junction 14+ Cambridge
11 19:30 Joiners 14+ Southampton
13 19:30 Academy 14+ Oxford
14 19:30 Thekla 14+ Bristol

Our fave Cassette Electrik release the video for their 28 days EP.  And here it is in all its glory!

28 Days from flippers on Vimeo.

First things first – the venue. Industry is far enough away from central Hoxton to avoid the “coolest of the cool” mentality of Hoxton Square and the downstairs area is full of people who are genuinely interested in the music. The stage is fairly basic, but the sound system is excellent and the staff are well-organised and friendly – you even get your drink in a proper glass (or bottle).

On to the music. First up were Looptron, who sound exactly like a band with that name should sound and who get all the benefit of a sound system which is set up perfectly to deliver the rich synth sounds and pumping bass. The material is all pretty strong, the performance is professional and a partisan crowd give it a great reception. Pretty good start to the evening really. Read more

Cassette Electrik gig flyerAs we are fast approaching the launch of MusicRiot favourite Cassette Electrik’s latest single, we are jumping over to their official blog to find out more about the song, the gig prep, and many other things. Here is the first entry.

Much as it would be fun to say that this song was an ode to some apocalyptic zombie film I can assure you that no salivating undead types were used in the making of this song…

Instead 28 Days was written about one of those times when the actions you would like to take are, for one reason or another, not possible and as such passions build up all the more so for it. I’m coming to realise that quite a few of my songs seem to be about moment such as these – time of stasis (if I’m going to sound pretentious I may as well do it properly) when everything and nothing is possible, when possibilities are hanging in the air just out of reach and you have a feeling that if you don’t act to make something happen, the moment will probably disappear.

Read more

Cassette Electrik gig flyerCassette Electrik were our very first featured artist on the “MusicRiot Presents…” podcast, and we are happy to once again be involved in bringing you a special gig as they launch their new single “28 days”.

You can get £5 entry on the day by printing off this flyer, click on it for a proper size version, or:

Buy your ticket right now!

Fri 29th August 2008@ Industry, Hoxton

Doors open 7pm, advance tickets are £5

click to buy…

Cassette Electrik are going to be supported on the night by Miss Davina Lee, Looptron, DJ Adamis and Rob EY

We are going to be bringing lots more Cassette Electrik goodies in the coming days, including a review of the single, and a live review of the gig for those of you who can’t get along so you can read about what you missed, you silly, silly people!