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Posts tagged the croft

Back on 13th May 2013 a much loved “naturally punk rock” venue in Bristol, just outside of the city centre, closed it’s doors for the last time with a fun but emotional party. To celebrate the venue a small, locally based film company (Rataplan Films) hooked up with one of the cities local unsung music heroes (Fear Of Fiction (now Bristol Live)) to make a short film celebrating the venue & looking to the future. 

This is said film. I’ve written a rather long piece about it & The Croft which ended up touching on many subjects; from conspiracy theories to whether or not the current spike in closures of such places may be an indirect consequence of last years “Small Venue Licence Amendment Bill”.

You can read that in full over at  Louder Than War by clicketting this link

And of course if you haven’t checked out the new venture run by the same guys, The Exchange, go HERE (for the next unmissable gig there) or HERE (for the home page).

In the words of Chris Turbowolf:

“The Croft is Fucking Dead, Long Live The Croft”.

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Posted at 9:24 AM 06 July 2013
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Not long till these guys come to Brizzle. RVIVR. Rocking it old school pop punk style. The songzoff their upcoming album, The Beauty Between, due out February 25, 2013. (Oh, that was yesterday).

They’re here start of April I think. 

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Posted at 7:38 PM 25 February 2013
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Weekend Nachos - Watch You Suffer

Who remembers when Weekend Nachos were fucking brilliant at The Croft waaaaaaay back in July?

They have a new single out in January & set the title track off of it a-streaming yezday. It’s tagged “bloody disgusting” but I’m not entirely sure that’s accurate. 

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Posted at 5:10 AM 19 December 2012
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Woke up this morning feeling like last night …

Woke up this morning feeling like last night I’d spent at least an hour in THAT mosh pit at the Trash Talk gig in Bristol earlier in the year. Like, really fucking aching all over. An hour or so later I visited Crack mag’s home page & found a link to an interview with Trash Talk at the Croft just before THAT gig. Is here

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Posted at 2:10 PM 14 October 2012
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The Menzingers, The Front Bottoms & Above Them @ The Croft, Bristol

Melodic punk ahoy! Got tut Croft just in time for Above Them’s last few songs. They were ok. Had a surprisingly large amount of people watching them considering they were from Pontefract. By which I mean not Bristol. Spent a year living in Wakefield (aka ‘Wako’) & two in Huddersfield (aka ‘uddersfield) so I’m down with the whole West Yorkshire thing. Having said that the best thing about both places were the buses, one that went to Leeds & t’other that went to wonderful Bradford. Anyway, this band were ok & one day will be headlining their own tour.

Front Bottoms were a bit of a band out of place. They reminded me a bit of the band whose name I can never remember & end having to google “the coathangers, fleece, 2011” to find out…….Oh yeah, The Thermals. (The Thermals played The Fleece last year & were supported by The Coathangers). Anyway they deffo weren’t melodic punk, more US indie alt rock. I’m all for mixed up genre bills so this was cool & it was interesting how the audience went from seemingly totally unimpressed (to the point were I felt I couldn’t leave the room as I was sure no one else would whoop or clap if i weren’t there to instigate such) to being really into it by the end of the set. Lead singer / guitarist swapped from his acoustical guitar to one of the ‘zingers electric guitars half way thru. He claimed he’d never played an electric guitar before so no doubt he was waiting for someone to call out “judas” but no one did. If only I could turn back the clock. Good set anyway. I was surprised however that when they shouted out “We’re The Front Bottoms” no one shouted back “Cunts”.

The Menzingers were as good and as Menzingerry as you’d expect. You probably all know what a Menzingers gig entails. Lots of impassioned singing from the audience. Lots of people pretending to sing along when they quite patentently dint know the words. Lots of passion from the band. Quite a bit of sweat from the band. And just general all round melodic punkerry. Oh, & the usual “your cities so dope what with all the burning down of Tesco’s & grafitti”. Yeah, right, & don’t forget the slave trading yo?

Anyway they played a nice health long set which is cools. And the audience was an impressive size for a Monday. Was kind of one of those many occasions when the noise coming out the from room sounded ACE & I kind of wished I’d been in there too. Or instead. At the end of the day melodic punk’s shmelodic punk & it’s never gonna float my boat as much as the angrier / noisier hardcorey stuff but for what it was it was ok.

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Posted at 6:15 AM 27 September 2012
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Weekend Nachos, The Long Haul, Pariso, Witch Cult

I got in late & missed the first two bands, Merciless Precision & Atomck so here’s who I saw:

Let It Die (Main Room)

Witch Cult (Front Room) 

Shoot The Bastard (Main Room) 

Pariso (Front Room)

The Afternoon Gentleman (Main Room) 

The Long Haul (Front Room) 

Weekend Nachos (Main Room) 

A long anticipated stonking great evening featuring some of the best hardcore around at the moment. It totally didnt fail to please. Not one iota.

I was a bit anxious going down to this gig to be honest as it was entirely feasible that someone who’d been kind of cyber bullying me would be there (you know, making up lies about me, calling me names, threatening me, that sort of shit) but ultimately there was no way I was gonna miss out on this evening & it would’ve looked like I felt guilty if I hadn’t gone. So I went. And shit was I glad that I did coz this was some night.

Two gigs had been amalgamated for this one night, across both front & back rooms at the Croft.  The front room was headed up by Weekend Nachos & The Afternoon Gentlemen, the back by Pariso & The Long Haul. 

In each room every band improved on the previous one (tho it’s probably not accurate to say that of the whole night). If I were to award a top 3 Weekend Nachos would score top spot coz they were, like, out of this world. Really fucking unbelievable. Even better than Trash Talk. Which, I know, is unbelievable. But below them I’d have put Pariso in third place, a mere whisker behind The Long Haul whose music I wasn’t too familiar with before seeing them but bloody well am now - top band.

The front room has a capacity of 75 but the whole venue had almost sold out which made for some hot sweaty, fun times in there. Witch Cult were pretty amazing again but coulda done without the hate moshing, (ie the guys in the ‘pit’ bundling full pelt into those stood round the side). Although that was kind of fun too a bit if I’m completely honest. It makes you feel ALIVE like. Weird how Witch Cult inspire hate noshing - same happened when they played The Gryphon a few months back. Didn’t really happen with any of the other bands.

Pariso were as ace as I knew they’d be, still love (obviously) Nothing Beyond Everything After & a lot of what they played was off that. So much riffage. And like I say, The Long Haul were a revelation, riffs n power but clever with it, tricksy tempo changes, chopping around, keeping you on your feet. Literally in my case, bouncing on tip toes quite excitedly.

I was reminded while reading Jed’s review of this gig that people were crowdsurfing in the room which, with it’s 7 foot ceiling, meant they were getting properly squashed against it. I couldn’t stop with the “haha, oof, haha, oof“‘s as I watched them.

Weekend Nachos were just astonishing. Pummeling violent hardcore at its pummeling violent best. It was great watching the two sets of fans from different ends of the hardcore spectrum all getting down & dirty with each other. No fucking “my scene’s better than your scene” stuff, more like “hey, your scene’s pretty cool too” sort of thing. (I imagine, didn’t actually hear anyone say that). Hopefully these people will be more adventurous in the future.

Be awesome if the Croft made it law that if someone pays to go into a gig in one room you can also go into the other room between bands, like #indiepop in one room & #deathmetal in the other. It worked with #ukcrush bands in one room & #powerviolence bands in the other so I bet it’d could work with other combo’s too. I’d be stoked coz I fucking love anything. Except, as I’ve pointed out before, britpop.

Mad night anyway, gonna be one of the best of the year no question. Roll on the next one.

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Trash Talk, Failure To Follow, Bats About Bats, Jesse Ventura & Knifeman

I did the following review for Louder Than War on Tuesday. I’ve never been in such a seething roomful of mayhem. It was great. Gonna feature in my end of year top 10 no doubt. Also met Jed there. He wrote about this gig on here too, well worth a read. Actually sod my review, just go here & read what he said. Then follow him while you’re there.

Trash Talk, Failure To Follow, Bats About Bats, Jesse Ventura & Knifeman

Bristol, The Croft

19th June 2012 

You can always rely on The Croft to get their priorities right. While most of the rest of Bristol’s venues were arsing about with big screens & some football match, last night The Croft had a cracking lineup showcasing a night of frantic hardcore - just what I needed after 17 days away from Bristol in parts of the UK bereft of live music. Indeed, so long had it been since my last gig that my omnipresent ‘Tinnitus’ was a mere shadow of it’s former self & I was beginning to have trouble getting off to sleep it being so weird not having that gentle “hummmmmmmmm” in my head when I go to bed. Something needed to be done about this & that something was Trash Talk.

Having arrived too late to see Bats About Bats my night began with local band Jesse Ventura who pretty much set the tone for the night - one of straight up, full on, extremely competent hardcore played across two rooms to people all totally into the music & definitely not talking amongst themselves, nor pissing around with phones nor even just standing there watching casually. This is participatory music & demonstrating that fact a mini moshpit sprung up towards the end of Jesse Ventura’s set, not a common sight for a fourth support band. 

 

Following Jesse Ventura we all traipsed across into the main room for Failure To Follow - another great Bristol band who also played a great set. They even provided the audience with a body board to play with, one which was naturally leapt upon by the stage divers who (one at a time) dove off the stage with it & were held aloft by the rest of the audience as they tried to fully stand up. As for the music, again it was brilliant, and anyone with an interest in this kind of music, hardcore with a melodic edge, should deffo check out their Bandcamp page some time soon. They’re a young band but one you’re gonna hear a lot more of pretty soon.

Back to the sweaty front room (there’s about a 20 degree temp diff across The Crofts two rooms) for Knifeman, again from Bristol (who said Bristol was all about bass music?) & again another great set of hard & furious hardcore. They set the stage for Trash Talk perfectly. Upon finishing it was, rather ominously, time to carry all the amps over into the main room.

And so to the highlight of the night. Pretty sure I’ve never seen The Croft so full. If this wasn’t over capacity I dunno what is. But then as Sam Bonham from BBC Bristol’s Introducing show reckons The Crofts capacity’s around 37 I’d say most gigs at the Croft break capacity. England match or no England match it wasn’t gonna stop Bristol representing en masse here tonight. That’s what’s called getting ones priorities right. There was a fair bit of sound checking as Trash Talk set themselves up. Towards the end of it & as the band were finishing their sound checking with some gentle jamming the lights went down & that was it, the steady stream of stage diving began. The band hadn’t even started playing properly & Lee Spielman, Trash Talk’s frontperson, wasn’t even on the stage yet, but the obviously palpable sense of excitement had become so great that people were stage diving in reaction to the tension in the atmosphere & in what I imagine was an attempt to disperse such tension. At this point I felt a foot on my shoulder & turned round to see Lee walking to the stage from the back of the room over the top of us! It took him a few minutes but he made it, finishing up on top of the stack of amps stage right.

And so the chaos began. What followed was pretty much the closest to mayhem I’ve ever seen at The Croft. Trash Talk’s music lilts between full on fast n furious hardcore mixed with slower, grinding sludgy interludes, but no matter how grinding & sludgy they got it was never going to be slow enough to calm the audience down. During the first song the stage diving was limited to just using the stage but then the focus changed as Lee commented “These amps look like they were made to dive off, who’s going to be first?” Cue inevitable frantic scramble to be ‘first’. And second, third, fourth etc. That was it for the rest of the night, a stream of people tipping off the amps, the more daring doing full on forward somersaults (someone call the Olympics diving squad scouts) while the more timid sat on the edge & lowered themselves off. Meanwhile of course, the ‘larger’ members of the “off amp diving community” jumped off only to see the crowd who were supposed to be breaking their fall suddenly part & they inevitably went “Slap” onto the deck.

Lee’s a great frontman & had the audience in the palm of his hand. When he shouted “everyone take your shirts off & throw them on stage” everyone did without for a moment thinking “Why?” (Lee answered that question at the end of the next song when he said “Wow, thanks for all the new shirts”. Same went for cries of “Circle Pit” & “Go like this with your fists all the way through this song”. A brilliant set whizzed past way to quickly. It ended with Lee inevitably taking to the crowd himself, diving into us then being moved around the room held aloft by everyone. Miraculously only one person was taken away by ambulance during the whole evening & that was before Trash Talk took to the stage. This was one hell of an evening & I can’t imagine that anyone had anything other than a great time tonight. Pure entertainment through & Through.

Oh, & the tinnitus? Yeah, well & truly back.


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Posted at 3:15 PM 21 June 2012
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Went to see Lovely Eggs (again) last night. They were supported by Standard Fare (also seeing them again, again) & Glis Glis (also also seeing them again).

About 6 months since I’d seen TLE’s last, 5 months since I saw SF & GG I last saw 2 months ago. Shockingly The ‘bleeding’ Croft seem to be heading the same way as The ‘motherfucking’ Thekla. Pissing off bands, gig goers & promoters. That sort of thing. On the day of the show they turned round & said the gig had to finish by 10pm coz they had a party / club night booked. And of course students getting pissed spend loads more than gig goers watching a show so the gig goers get fucked over in preference for the student. What sort of a fucked up hierarchy chain is that? A fucked up one is what.

Anyway The Croft never mentioned it on twitter & their website on the evening still said 7.30 ko. So I get’s there at 8 to find I’ve missed Glis Glis who were on at 7.15. I know I only saw em a couple of nights ago but would’ve liked to have seen them again.

Standard Fare & Them Eggs were both great. Really fecking hot in that front room tho - why is it only hardcore bands playing in there have the nous to turn the industrial fans on?They’re fecking effective but so many bands obviously choose to swelter instead. Maaaaaadness. Standard Fare still ply their punchy indie thing & The Lovely Eggs their punky indie thing - both have pretty much nailed their own corners of the indie world. Think I preferred both last time altho the new stuff the lovely eggs played was well hard.

Oh yeah, and what’s with promoters booking TLE in tiny venues? Last time was the cellar at the louis, sold out, this time the front room at The Croft, sold out. It doesn’t make sense.

Tbh if I’d known the gig was gonna be over early I’d have been cool with it - I’m ill (hence why i aint doing rave on avon) & a 10pm ending would’ve been fine. Just pissed the croft never said owt, no excuse in these days of social media an all.

Still feel really uncomfy being stood in a roomful of ageing indie kids mind. Totally freaks me out tbh. Sends the old twee alerts racing (despite bands not being particularly twee the audience deffo were). How I’d love to see that audience at Weekend Nacho’s in July. 

Above is a video for The Lovely Eggs last single (it’s 5 days old). Enjoy.

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Posted at 6:53 PM 19 May 2012
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Look what’s coming up down at The Croft. Same night as Nedry play the main room (8-11) there’s this club night courtesy of Peng Sound (10-3) featuring big names in the current dub / digidub world. You can see the names on the poster but there’s also gonna be Rootystep, Mac Gyver & Pupa Jim on the night.
Particularly stoked to be getting a chance to see Khan & Neek myself. 
Here’s a video from the last Peng Sound night feat. dubkasm & rudey lee. Gonna be biiiig.

Look what’s coming up down at The Croft. Same night as Nedry play the main room (8-11) there’s this club night courtesy of Peng Sound (10-3) featuring big names in the current dub / digidub world. You can see the names on the poster but there’s also gonna be Rootystep, Mac Gyver & Pupa Jim on the night.

Particularly stoked to be getting a chance to see Khan & Neek myself. 

Here’s a video from the last Peng Sound night feat. dubkasm & rudey lee. Gonna be biiiig.

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Posted at 2:27 PM 20 April 2012
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79 play(s)

Unicorn Kid - Pure Space
(Pure Space)

Have loved Unicorn Kid’s ridiculously catchy chiptune since I was a little boy (or since he was a little boy anyway). Can’t believe it’s taking him so long to get his debut album out.

Saw him play the Croft a couple of years ago. Like most Monday nights at the Croft (I seem to spend a disproportionate number of my Monday nights at The Croft) there were very few other people around. That Bristol band who remind me of Nedry a bit were supporting them (I’ll come back & add their name when I remember it). 

Anyway, it was really sad coz half the audience were these 15 yo girls (about 6 of them) & they had to leave about a minute before he came on stage coz they had to catch the bus home. I remember t’Kid stood on stage referring to them as “my fans” coz I sniggered audibly.

Also remember thinking “6 girls, that’s probably 11 parents (expect one of them will’ve been dead already - it’s odds not me being macabre) & not one of the fuckers offered to give them a lift home so they could see the band”. Also wondered whether to go tell em their (probably 11) parents are a bunch of wankers, but didn’t.

"Your probably 11 parents are a bunch of wankers."

Like that see?

He was ace anyway. Amazingly easy to dance to despite his music being so fast. There was one woman virtually windmilling round the whole of the dance floor on her own. I presumed it was his Mum & he was bringing her on tour as a “dancer”. In hindsight I dunno. That’d be weird behaviour right?

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Posted at 5:03 AM 19 April 2012
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Big Crux: Flipper & Big Naturals. The Croft.

dbigcrux:

I did this review of the Flipper / Big Naturals gig I went to at the croft the other day. I always write the reviews here but keep them private till it’s been up on LTW’s site a while.

Should probs warn y’all, it’s a long bastard. About 1800 words. I get carried away sometimes. Still, at one…

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Posted at 3:09 AM 11 April 2012
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It’s now officially less than a week till the first Subloaded of the year. I don’t mind admitting I’ve been missing the monthly Dubloaded knees up down at The Croft. Having said that, the idea of several big blow outs at the Black Swan (aka the dirty bird) instead of 12 smaller nights strikes me as a dope trade off.
I tend to bandy the word “legendary” about rather more than I should but Subloaded literally IS legendary (as in “the stuff of legends are made of”). Nearly ten years old now it was one of the first ever club nights to play dub step in the UK (and hence the world - it even precursed London’s DMZ night) & continues to push boundaries & fuck with heads. 
Especially excited to be seeing Appleblim again. Love his challenging, genre defying but ultimately really rewarding set. It’s the kind of set I like.
Oh, and the night before is mighty Daedelus at Lakota which I wrote about here. 
Feels like I’ve been neglecting the electronic genre recently so looking forward both these.

It’s now officially less than a week till the first Subloaded of the year. I don’t mind admitting I’ve been missing the monthly Dubloaded knees up down at The Croft. Having said that, the idea of several big blow outs at the Black Swan (aka the dirty bird) instead of 12 smaller nights strikes me as a dope trade off.

I tend to bandy the word “legendary” about rather more than I should but Subloaded literally IS legendary (as in “the stuff of legends are made of”). Nearly ten years old now it was one of the first ever club nights to play dub step in the UK (and hence the world - it even precursed London’s DMZ night) & continues to push boundaries & fuck with heads. 

Especially excited to be seeing Appleblim again. Love his challenging, genre defying but ultimately really rewarding set. It’s the kind of set I like.

Oh, and the night before is mighty Daedelus at Lakota which I wrote about here

Feels like I’ve been neglecting the electronic genre recently so looking forward both these.

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Posted at 4:59 PM 08 April 2012
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