As you might have gathered I have a bit of an obsession with attending gigs, not as bad as some people I am aware of, but bad compared to a regular joe. 

As I’m in Amsterdam for a few days either side of my day trip to Eindhoven I had to have a look at who else was playing while I was in the city. Our trip fall between the two stools of Between The Buried And Me who play when I’m in Eindhoven and Bad Religion who play two days after I get home. Both are playing the Melkweg and according to the venues website Japanese band Nocturnal Bloodlust are playing on Sunday evening. 

I’ve never heard the band but with a title like that it has to be some brutal death metal band. On closer investigation with the ever faithful Spotify they are a melodic death core band. From the limited songs I’ve heard they probably owe their sound more to Trivium or Bring Me The Horizon rather than Cannibal Corpse or Obituary. The few songs I heard sound alright, nothing exactly ground breaking, but it might give me a reason to cross the Melkweg off my imaginary venue bucket list. A bit steep at nearly €30, so I’ll see how the mood takes me. 

Genesis is one of the top hits on YouTube and is here for no other reason than that. Apparently it’s taken from their 2014 release The Omnigod. 


Monkey Magic

New Years Day has turned into such a lazy day, basically just sitting at the computer and listening to music through iTunes.  Earlier the track Havoc In Heaven was played by Japanese band Godiego.  Those of us at that “vintage” age who were kids (mainly male) in the British Isles in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s will hopefully know Godiego from the theme tune that they wrote and performed for the programme on the 6pm slot on BBC2.  That programme was Monkey (or known by some as Monkey Magic). My wife loses “cool points” for her downright derision and hated towards the whole concept of the show! How cool would it be to be able to fly away on your own cloud? She basically bet me that I wouldn’t post this.  I have no shame.

 In the worlds before Monkey, primal chaos reigned. Heaven sought order, but the phoenix can fly only when its feathers are grown. The four worlds formed again and yet again, as endless aeons wheeled and passed. Time and the pure essences of Heaven, the moisture of the Earth, the powers of the Sun and the Moon all worked upon a certain rock old as creation, and it magically became fertile. That first egg was named Thought. Tatagatha Buddha, the father Buddha said “With our thoughts, we make the world.” Elemental forces caused the egg to hatch. From it then came a stone monkey… The nature of Monkey was irrepressible!

The original Japanese series Saiyūki was based on the 16th century Chinese Wu Cheng’en novel Journey to the West. The abridged English translation is entitled Monkey (or Monkey: A Folk-Tale of China) and is considered a literary classic.

The synopsis of the programme, and indeed the book, is about a young monk named Tripitaka, who volunteers to endure a pilgrimage set by Buddha to retrieve sacred scriptures from India so that the Chinese people can be enlightened.  On his travels he frees the Monkey King and they recruit Sandy and Pigsy on the way. During their travels they rescue a captive princess, reinstate her father as king and fight numerous fierce monsters, all before returning to the palace.

To be fair, the programme hasn’t aged well, but for something that the BBC aimed at kids, who had no clue what the hell was going on, it was great fun to watch, just for the completely over the top acting, and we all wanted a flying cloud, didn’t we? This was definitely one for the boys from the library of the BBC’s  foreign dubbed archives as Silas and Heidi – both of German origin – appealed to the girls more. In my house they did anyway.

The dubbed UK version has a few ties to Doctor Who coincidentally, and that was also at it’s peak at the same time.  David Collings (Mawdryn Undead) voiced Monkey and Gareth Armstrong (The Masque of Mandragora) was the dubbed Sandy.

For a peak at this classic 70’s TV show heres a link to the opening credits.

Right I’m off to look on Amazon and hover my index finger over the add to basket button for the 13 disc compete series DVD set. A bargain at £39.99!


Don’t Leave Me Now

Onto another listen through of a record I’ve never heard before. Today I introduce you to Vow Wow, who used to be called Bow Wow but changed name to avoid confusion with Bow Wow Wow! I’ve plumped for this one as a friend procured the vinyl version of V while we were at Hard Rock Hell. Released in 1987 during a peak in the melodic soft rock and AOR scene.

I’ve had to listen to it twice to get a better feel of it. On first listen it was a little bit uninspiring and just seemed to slide into background music in the car. To me the vocals sounded a bit weak and drowned out by the music.

Listening to it again you can start to pick out all of those mid 80’s traits and it’s almost a colour by numbers release. Grandiose keyboard intros reminiscent of Journey or Europe. Huge nods towards UK AOR rockers Magnum and dashes of early Queensryche in there as well. The vocals come across to me as sounding like Lenny Wolf from Kingdom Come with that Robert Plant inspired sound, but on some tracks the vocals are almost Tom Keifer like. And the obligatory power ballads? Yes, they’re there too.

Maybe a lot of the mixing pot of influences can be expected when you realise the band are from Japan. So many of their bands always seemed to want to be the Japanese version of someone else.

After the second listen I liked it that bit more, but again nothing special here to make me listen to it on a regular basis.