Friday, 30 May 2008


Usually of a Thursday we enjoy a good Shadows cover from the wonderful Carl Robinson and sulk on alternate weeks when faced with some inadequate replacement... not this week though, this week we had the rather marvellous Forefathers.

All The Forefathers' trade marks were firmly in place. Alan had his shirt off, Dave, as the owner of the only discernible hair in the group, was shaking it around with abandon, Andy was wearing his glasses particularly proudly, and Steve climbed on the back of someone's chair. There was no stage to jump off, so he had to make do. During their second set I timed it for the sake of accuracy, and it was 11.37pm exactly when Steve made the first reference to his genitals. Fact!

Top songs like Medication Time and Shitty Record proved that if your stuff is good enough, people will warm to original material. Anaesthesia featured Dave wringing feedback from the innards of his amp whilst Alan pounded away on his kit like a demon. A demon that fits carpets and has his own van.

I remember when Alan was the only drummer in Whitby. There are loads now, but he was the original. He was in all the local bands, such as Sludge Ghaut, The Stormdrains, Logfeast, Cyanide Hipflask, Friends of Dorothy, The Mandy Flecks and Sons of Gods Mate.

I was sat rather too close to the band to look consistently in their direction without it appearing slightly pervy, so instead I took to people watching. It was very pleasing to observe the audience, who did look quite scared and very apprehensive at the outset, be thoroughly charmed and converted by the Forefather's great tunes and infectiously charismatic presence. If we could have The Forefathers regularly on 'no Carl' thursdays, sulking would be banished to distant memory!

Reviewed by The Invisible Mice and Chris

Wednesday, 28 May 2008



One of the reasons I want other people to write gig reviews on Whitby Popwatch is because I miss a lot of gigs due to work, and I always get there late due to helping to put the kids to bed. A strategically planned and synchronised manoeuvre that takes place at exactly the same time every night regardless of what is happening in the outside world. I think we read somewhere once that kids like a routine. It makes them feel secure, so we went with that!

True to form I arrived at what I thought was a reasonable 'rock 'n' roll' time to be greeted with a cheery "Where've you been?" from Pug. He informed me that all the bands had been on. Luckily they were all going to do second sets, so all was not lost!

It was good to see so many there. Heath had his 'Who's The Daddy?" t-shirt on for what Mark Liddell refered to as a celebration of the fruits of his sperm. Waterfields were in three of the four bands. That's not bad going, that for one family.


A Waterfield free zone! Liam and Jack, sedately seated, adopted a much less in your face approach than the other bands, concentrating on acoustic renditions of well known songs. Big Beatles fans, a few of Lennon and Macca's works trickled out over the appreciative audience like syrup for the ears.

I know they write mint songs. Gothenburg is on their MySpace site, together with the promise of more to be loaded in the near future. It's a gem, with a Kings of Convenience lilt. They'd be the first to admit that their tactic of sitting down is never going to be visually rivetting, but personally I'd like to hear original stuff, particularly if its as well crafted as Gothenburg. Never apologise for doing your own songs! If you wrote it, and you're playing it, its way more valid than something written in Liverpool in the 60s.


Full of energy and punch, a twin guitar eardrum assault with some brilliant blasted vocals from bass player Jonny Billington. I saw them at The Rifle Club, but tonight they were far better.

Very tight and with some fast guitar licks courtesy of Kyle, camera flashes were going off all the time. There must be some photos out there in webland to use to illustrate this article and to show Five X Nine in all their glory. I'll have to nick 'em off somebody, because I took some myself, but I'm useless. I was only stood behind the first set of tables, really near the stage, but my pictures make it look like I was at the other end of The Albert Hall about 200 yards away. You can just see the band above a sea of people's heads. Extraordinary.

I'd advise anyone to check them out the next time they're playing because disappointment is not an option. You will go home with your ears ringing, and you will have rocked! Of course, gig details will always be available on this site, as long as people send them to me. Use the Chris The Poet link in the top right hand corner of the blog page and send stuff to my MySpace site.


This band have improved so much over a brief period of time that if they keep improving they're in danger of exploding. A wired guitar sound with lyrics coming like machine gun fire and ricocheting off the Resolution's chandeliers. Favouring covers of Arctic Monkeys and Pidgeon Detectives songs, they stuck in some of their own too. Gabriella was the title of one I particularly liked. It would be interesting to see a lyric sheet of that song. It would be interesting if Mark Liddell could remember the band''s name when he was introducing them. Write it on a beer mat!

Driven by Kane's magnificent drumming amidst a flying mop of hair, they stormed it. An edgy look and an acoustic guitar for some songs. Nice to see some different instrumentation at a rock gig. Loved it!

Its not surprising they're getting lots of pub gigs, but I'd like to hear more original material. To top it all Kane had a marvellous t-shirt with a graphic equaliser on that actually lit up to the tunes! Needless to say it was in the red for the whole of their set. I have it on good authority that Kyle had lent it to him. Those crazy Waterfields, eh?


Magnificent as always, The Merkins sent a sonic wave down the length of the long room at The Res that rattled the balls in the pool table at the far end. Heath looked menacing and was indeed The Daddy! Mr De'ath had his killer hat on and looked like an Arizona whiskey salesman, Dave looked intense as a rattlesnake with a guitar and Pug held onto his mic stand as if it was a metal stake driven right through the floor, down into the very vault of Hell itself, providing a direct link to the dark powers that dwell in darkness and fire at the centre of The Earth.

OK. I've gone a bit over the top there, but you get the gist. They were good! How would a rattlesnake hold a guitar anyway?

It was Pete the drummer's last gig too. Sob! More about Pete and hopefully some info on his replacement in a special 'Meet The New Merkin' article later. Missing you already.

The Merkins left us hungry for more, and a bit deaf too. Whitby Now put on a stonking gig that showcased the raw energy and vitality here in Whitby. Whitby Now Fundraisers are a bit like buses aren't they? Once one's gone you don't have to wait too long before another comes along.

June 17th to be precise! Keep logging on!


Saturday, 24 May 2008


The next live event featuring lots of noisy young musicians (and The Merkins) is the Whitby Now Fundraiser at the Resolution on Tuesday, 27th of May. Its free to get in, so there's really no excuse.

The Merkins, The Banter, High Tide and 5x9 are all on. Its been billed as a Festival Of Waterfields, and Heath tells me his Mum and Dad are going too! Apparently thay're not in a band yet, but I wouldn't rule it out!

Kyle's band 5x9 put on a sterling show at The Rifle club last night, so hopefully more people will turn up at The Res. The turnout at The Rifle Club was pitiful, but it didn't deter the performers from giving it up goodstyle. Nevertheless we have to find a way to get the punters back in. More about that in later posts .


You may well ask! Well, ages ago, during what used to be called 'The Fairmead Years' I used to do a fanzine called Absolute Zero. Nobody does zines anymore, but in a bid to document what's going on in Whitby, I've decided to start this blog, which I'm hoping will turn into an online fanzine covering local music.

Please feel free to contribute reviews, interviews and news. We need to boost the local scene and get people coming to gigs again!