Tuesday, 30 September 2008


What a great effort that the bands from WCC put into this event to raise money for Whitby Now - there is no way I could let the occasion pass without a review.

I can remember how worried little big Jack Wilson was a few weeks ago that nobody would buy tickets, the kids would all want to drink so wouldn't come etc etc. Pish pash posh - they sold 130 tickets and raised £300 for Whitby Now.

It was very weird indeed walking back into my old school hall, (there were 3 Whitby Now committee members, 3 Yabbadabbado's and one random Radiographer in our gang) and I knew we had made a mistake in our choice of seats straight away as we were sat on a table at the back of the hall but directly in front of the stage and we looked exactly like the judges from X-factor. My sister cruelly insisted that I be Sharon Osbourne as I have short hair, and she be Danii Minogue because she has long hair but in my head I was Cheryl Cole.(oh shut up!)

Mark was Simon Cowell obviously , you can clearly see the resemblance, and Yabba James ,Yabba Dave and Yabba Pete were the 3 Louis'. Thankfully, even though some of the participants were as young as 14 years old - it was clear that these bands were going to make it past the audition stages. That is not to say I won't be making some constructive criticism so if you can't take it bands - look away now.

High Tide kicked off the show with their usual silky hot chocolate with extra cream on type vocals and acoustic guitar. I am used to seeing Liam and Jack in smaller more intimate environs and I did sense that they were perhaps not as comfortable as they usually are. Liam didn't introduce the audience to any of the songs and made that essential connection between act and audience all that harder for them to achieve. And of course, there is no reason why Jack couldn't introduce a song as well. OK, they felt like they could squeeze an extra song in by cutting back on the chat but I would rather hear 3 songs and get the best out of them than 5 where I found I was actually only listening properly to 3. But having said that, I love listening to these guys. They work so well together and sound like peaches and cream, Simon and Garfunkel, Fred and Ginger, vodka and red bull - you get the picture. The highlight of their set for me was their own tune Gothenberg - sublime.

Next up were The Committee and it was the first time that any of the Whitby Now/Yabba's gang had had the pleasure. I will try not to gush - but oooooh, they were good. They are a five piece band and boy did that make a difference. They were storming. It said in the programme that they describe themselves as a mixture of the Kooks and Razorlight but I didn't think so. The lead singers voice was a bit deeper and more mature than either of those. ha ha. Really. They started with one of their own tracks and while I can't remember what it was called - I can remember how well crafted it was and how good it sounded. Next came a cover of On Call by The Kings of Leon and I have to admit a bias here as they are my current fave band/obsession and then an equally brilliant version of Caroline by The Quo - which got the audience whooping and clapping in unison.

I was a little disappointed that the Ukelady boys had cancelled but it didn't really affect the dynamics of the evening and another duo,
The Dapper, took to the stage. It was their first ever performance and to be honest it was a little rough around the edges but as a first time effort it wasn't bad at all. Their enthusiasm certainly made up for their lack of experience and Dom and Francis really looked like they were enjoying themselves so first time nerves can't have been too severe and they relaxed even more when one of their teachers joined them to sing 'Valerie'. She must have been a popular teacher as the crowd were very appreciative.I hope The Dapper are already planning their next gig as you can only learn through experience.

If I can offer a word of advise to all the two-somes that were on tonight - if you want to make a BIG impact - big up! Join together - become a bigger band and a bigger sound. Especially if you dream of filling stadiums one day. You have to be exceptionally good to fill a big space and entertain a big audience when there are only two of you. I felt that The Dapper looked immediately more comfortable when Teach joined them and I think they will benefit by getting more band members.

Wasting Charlie have come on leaps and bounds since I first saw them at Whitby Now 2007. They performed at one of our fundraisers at The Resolution earlier in the year and we advised them to take a few tips from the older acts that were on the same bill that night and try and add some movement to their act and try and look like they were enjoying themselves more. They certainly took note and at Evies Gig they took it to another level and it was heartening to see that they are still dancing around. OK, they got caught up in the leads at one point and had to be entangled but that was a small price to pay for a less static performance. Although perhaps a happy medium needs to be found. Too much movement sometimes leads to slightly slopping playing.(take note The Committee - you need to move around more. Become more engaged with the music you are playing and the audience you are playing it to.) My favourite song from Wasting Charlies set was Molly's Chambers by the Kings of Leon but I can't seem to help myself and am seeking professional help. I used to like Wasting Charlie's own track, Head in the Sand but I don't think they did that. It had a really distinctive sound that showed off Joe's unusual vocals to a great advantage so I would advise them to try and recapture some of that sound because it set them apart from the rest!

Finishing the evening was the beautifully clad
The Scarlett Alliance, Sam seems to like stripes, and Jack seems to really really love red. He was a symphony in red and black but rather disappointingly ditched the hat with feather after the first song. It was hard to believe that this was only The Scarlett Alliance's 2nd gig - their confidence was impressive. Their sound didn't seem to fill the school hall like it had at their gig at The Resolution and again I can't help wondering if they couldn't expand the band further. I know The White Stripes were a twosome but it isn't for everyone. My favourite from this set was Blue Skies, ( I have been humming it to myself ever since) but I felt that this could have been even better if it had been speeded up a bit. One more thing would be to have a look at the set list. Try not to have too many slow songs together, and mix it up. Keep the attention of the audience at all time.

I have to say though, all those points I have made are little things and didn't mean that the evening itself was not a triumph - because it was. I was on a high for about 2 hours afterwards and I know my friends were too. Mark was so excited he said 2 naughty words in his thank you speech and earned himself 100 lines and a detention.

There was so much to enjoy and I suppose the most exciting bit is the enormous potential that all these young musicians possess and how it can only be to Whitbys' benefit.

x jean
PS Remember this is only my opinion, I could be talking a load of b******s so if you were at the gig - please feel free to chime in and tell me so.

Sunday, 28 September 2008


One Way Path were a band formed during the Golden Age of The Stakesby Arms, known locally as The Starms. They were contemporaries of such acts as Jon The Dog, precursors of Panda Lasagne. 2002 to 2003ish.

Ben Quinn was the singer and guitarist, and I think he wrote most of the material. Luzio Loveday played drums, although he now plays bass in Utoxator (the band, not the midlands town. Different spelling.) Damien Whitehead played bass, but he now lives in Brighton and is extremely difficult to contact.

They self released one CD, and it was rather splendid. Here are two selected tracks for your delectation of one of Whitby's obscure lost treasures. Listen and enjoy, and then petition for a reunion.




Have a look at this stunning video, and then tell me honestly if its not worth a fiver to see fiveXnine play a televised set? Jean out of Whitby Now thinks its visually and soundally amazing!

The truth of the matter is that they've got to sell 50 tickets at £5 each by 15th of October. The actual gig is on November 2nd.

If you want to support a local band that's absolutely on fire at the moment, click the top one of the Popwatch links.

falling hard

More details to follow soon. Stay tuned, and contact the band even if you can't make the gig to tell them how cool this video is, or just for a chat. They're right nice lads.

Thursday, 4 September 2008



Hurrah! After a few false starts, here's the Panda Lasagne interview in a form everybody should be able to access.

Some magnificent songs from The Res acoustic gig will be uploaded and posted tomorrow. Sorry there's no visuals, but if it helps we were sat around a little wooden table at The Bridge Inn next to the pool table.

The music in the background is Mark Liddell playing to an empty gazebo in the rain.

And now, as if that's not enough, here are some songs recorded live at the acoustic do a bit back. Lay back and enjoy a pandasonic assault on your lugholes in a distinctly unplugged fashion.

And while you're at it, why not enjoy a bag of Planter's Peanuts, the ones with the Mr Peanut logo?

And kids, don't start sentences with the word 'and'. Its grammatically incorrect so I'm told.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Under Gazebo and Umbrella (ella, ella etc), Ruswarp Feels the Love of Whitby Now

The Bridge Inn, Ruswarp, 2.9.08, Whitby Now Fundraiser

One day, the young amongst our number are going to look back on nights like this one with a wistful fondness, recalling a sense of community perhaps lost, a sense of fun perhaps forgotten, a sense of promise and excitement perhaps faded. Yes you will, you cynical little bleeders.

So you got to hear great live music, in Ruswarp of all places, and they let you eat sausages and smoke fags, the former being for free.

High Tide were as impressive as they were a fortnight ago. Drummerless this time, Paul Whittaker added variety to the sound with his West Coast guitar. I want to hear them with a full band - just as an experiment, mind; you wouldn't want them ending up sounding like the Eagles or anything. Gothenburg is still the hit (pending), but there was further original material on show, and hopes are high for more to come. They're young, good looking, popular, and if they're not having vastly more fun than I did at their age, then they're fucking idiots.

Yabbadabbadoo are still your ultimate jukebox band for a cracking night out, running the gamut of pop to punk and back again, with no noticeable detours. In their current formation, they have little ambition beyond entertaining an audience, and they are all the better for it. Best track of the night was, of all things, Chasing Cars. What James Wales remembers, when he sings this corny song, is that it is supposed to be both moving and humorous, in equal measure. If only a zillion karaoke crooners could treat it to even half as good a performance.

Chris the Poet
, late and flustered,
Took the stage and sniffed the air.
"Hot dogs," he pondered, "sauce and mustard,
Could there be a poem there?"
Black of shoe, brown of jacket,
He stood and shook his auburn hair*.
"Shall I?" he thought. "Oh no, fuck it.
The subject's boring and all I'd end up doing is rhyming it, in some sort of ridiculous contrivance, with, for example, 'Claire'. Which wouldn't be fair."
(*artistic license)

So he didn't. (Actually he didn't even eat any sausages. For all I know he might be a vegetarian. He's never said one way or the other.) Instead he did a couple of old favourites - including the full, unreleased version of Country Song, which got a previously half-interested audience on-side, primed, moistened, and ready for...

Panda Lasagne. Stars. On form, such as you wouldn't believe. Highlight was the newly-comprehensible Swim. Excitement, intensity, razor-sharp smartness and frantic silliness. Luke Pearson joined for Housewives' Choice.

I'd go on about it, but it's pointless trying to describe what's happening when people are absolutely at the top of their game. Except to say that you, the audience, need to go and see them, like now. Nothing lasts forever, said the reviewer, sternly.

Then the rains came. Mark Liddell and Paul Whittaker attempted to restrict their set to one song, thus saving themselves from electrocution. But ML found himself unable to stop, and an epic medley ensued, aided by various Yabbadabbadoos, which traced a non-chronological history of rock 'n' roll interspersed with hideous cracklings from saturated amplifiers and live microphones, each one of which seemed to signal certain death for the pub-rock maestros. But like Gloria Gaynor, they survived, and I for one salute them.