Just a brief pre-review since I have to prepare for an exam tonight. Basically an effing Fantastic show, can't say I've ever seen Juanita get soo into her performance - she's at her best ever I swear - WOW!
On the subject of Juanita, some fab news; she's gonna be a mother soon!! Congratulations Juanita!! pic ->
Thanks for the photos incoasterble (good to see a couple more songs from Radio Wars on the setlist - it was sadly neglected on last September's tour), and I saw your comment on Facebook about the new bass player - did anyone catch who he is?
And good luck with the exam - glad I haven't had to do one of those for a very long time!
Just found a vid posted to facebook courtesy of this management guy/his company who (randomly?) friended me on there... Ballad for the Bleeding - shows how much better they're getting, hitting everything so powerfully.
....Wednesday evening started by meeting up with R&F at KX & walking up to The Lexington together. We arrived ‘a bit’ early, so got ourselves some burgers and beer. I instantly liked the place, not least due to the massive – in fact London’s largest - selection of bourbon on offer (although I didn’t partake what with my drive home from Leeds Station on the horizon) accompanied by The Kills’ second album ‘No Wow’ playing in the background – an album which is truly special to me, in fact a while later they played their first album too! But I digress. An hour and a half of catching up ensued, wholly focussed on all things music, during which we heard the enticing noises of a sound check upstairs and watched members of the band (& Steve Smyth) arriving and hanging out in a quieter spot in the corner (though when I say watched; more we were reacting like a couple of hyper-excited schoolgirls!). Eventually 8 o’clock came, & up the stairs we went. ....We hung out in front of the stage watching people trickle in, growing evermore impatient as the clock rolled on passed the billed time of 8.30 to 8.45 and still nothing was happening (in fact to my advantage as this killed some time which would otherwise have been spent standing around at Kings Cross), then onto the stage walked Steve Smyth and Glen. Wow! I knew from his first line why Bells are so fond of him, basically he’s ‘Entertainment: The Man’. He has a powerful voice, is very talented with a guitar, but just his persona, sense of humour and interaction of the crowd were exemplary. My only criticism would be my ever escalating impatience to see Howling Bells play, which I know kept me from getting 100% into his performance, especially the more serene moments. Oh, and he said he had a bad cold and apologised and coughed periodically, but I think he was having a laugh and faking it since it didn’t seem to have any detriment to his performance whatsoever. ....On hearing the opening sounds of ‘Stay Young’ I was a little disappointed that Juanita hadn’t joined him; but honestly the song, especially live, comes across so deep and meaningful, it more or less overwhelmed me and didn’t feel lacking in any way from the lack of her grace, which I think really says something. Certainly I found this the most emotive of his songs. A really diverse set, some parts with Glen, some parts just him and his guitar, and even a song completely sans microphone and a-cappella! He does the real gentle stuff very well but I ****ing loved the moments when he got good and heavy with the guitar. Later, at the end of the night, I caught his eye and proclaimed ‘you’re awesome’ but halfway through saying this I realised how insincere & daft I sounded, something I think he too realised as he shook my hand and thanked me in passing. ....In the following minutes I became a little self conscious and unfocussed on our conversation as Joel readied the stage a few feet in front of us. He positioned Juanita’s mike right in front of me. The venue finished filling up, not cramped but certainly a good crowd and atmosphere. Maybe something like 100-150 people – intimate but not scarily so. ....Howling Bells’ arrival on stage was just so surreal! On walked Juanita, Joel, Glen and who after a few seconds transpired to be the new bassist (will edit his name in when I find out!) firstname Gary. They all looked incredibly well, and more at one with the world and themselves than I’ve ever seen them. What followed I feel like I need to relive about five times before I can really find the words. I’ve known myself to be on a +++, completely absorbed in a performance only a handful of times in my life; first Eric Clapton, then Jack White, then more recently TJF, Blood Red Shoes and Howling Bells are the only who’ve made me feel this way at some of their shows. But this really was the beyond; like with plenty a precious experience in life, the beginning was quite unnerving and blurry, and I hardly found myself until song three, by which point Cities’ & The Bell Hit (no less!) had been performed beautifully. At this point I leaned to R&F and said ‘she’s pregnant!’ – he also hadn’t figured this out until the second song began. I have to admit Juanita, who was a few feet in front of me, held my attention for 90% of the show, but I did see and hear a lot of ****ing amazing work from the rest of the band peripherally. For as much as it counts or not, I believe the band’s new bassist is nothing but a good thing for them. True, in these opening days Gary (in looks alone of course) seems kind of auxiliary, you can tell who’s been bonded by years of mateship and who’s new. This is exasperated a little by the fact he doesn’t sing backing vocals (I think now in retrospect the three part falsetto backings were excessive and stole from Juanita, perhaps clouding the sound and taking from the completeness in the lower tones which perhaps a more wholly focussed bassist brings). He sure plays well and moves and grooves well – in my mind he’s already upstaged Brendon a little. ....For the first time I saw Juanita fully commit herself to the audience, not wondering off about the stage or closing into her brother or Brendon. She was more animated than I’ve ever known her, pulling above and beyond her signature moves, dancing with such passion. She played and danced so well around her baby, the guitar a bit higher and to one side, the dancing balanced against the weight. Really a radiant wonder to behold. She had such powerful facial expression she could have rivalled Ritzy, and her interaction with the audience was the most confident I’ve ever seen. They’re all such a world away from when I went down to Islington Academy for the Radio Wars release show, when relatively they looked nervous and uncomfortable with their songs, Juanita nervously joking about how hit and miss her guitar playing was – opposite poles. ....Halfway through the set Juanita proudly announced ‘two new members, Gary and Baby Bell’ to the biggest cheer and applause of the night. They played a brilliant set, everything was a highlight really. The gig finished round 10.45, in perfect time for us to mooch back down to the stations and get a drink/ snack. What a wonderful evening, and what great company R&F is, much looking forward to meeting him and some of his fellow Garbage fans in Manx next week! ....Obviously Juanita’s pregnancy is a big reason for them not touring the USA, etc but I think it’s real good for them that they can get together and focus so wholly on their creativity, something I think many a bands’ music sounds soo for want of the time and devotion to, and of course once you get some real good songs, you can play gigs real good. Definitely new albums from HB and the solo projects are something we should really be looking forward to. ....Winding up, well, whilst I wish I could be at Hop Farm seeing them again, I don’t think a tent gig could ever be quite as good, and I’m certainly not a mud/camping kind of guy at all – sure are some lucky people at a festival in Kent today though. ....I’ll leave with a congratulatory note both for Juanita and the band, not least because they’re all looking and playing better than ever, but because they’ve a baby coming and I know Juanita’s gonna be the most wonderful mother a kid could have.
Tuning's just 1 step / 2frets up from standard. Guess of course that's just what Juanita's performing rhythm guitar in, & when she's not got the capo.
'F#; tuning - F#-B-E-A-C#-F# / G♭-B-E-A-D#-G#; One full step up from standard. Primary tuning for the band The Chameleons. Johnny Marr also used this tuning extensively with The Smiths; bassist Andy Rourke remained in standard, however, even when Marr was playing in F#.' wikipedia
I can also say based on a photo of his setlist that Joel plays lead on Secrets in Dadd9 / D-A-D-F#-A-E when performing; not so much info on that one, at least not on wikipedia.
Might retune me guitar, that said it's kinda the wrong direction for me; quite fond of my Db; / Sabbath tuning.