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Stuart Cable, former drummer for the Stereophonics and latter-day Welsh media personality, was found dead at his home on Mon 7 June. The results of the toxicology report – it is suggested that Cable choked on his vomit following a lengthy drinking session – are set to emerge in mid-July; in the meantime, a wealth of tributes have been paid to the 40-year-old. Regarded by most as a consummate gentleman, Cable’s musical endeavours had been low-key since he was ousted from the Stereophonics in 2003 – his band Killing For Company seemingly playing second fiddle to his radio and other media commitments

Push4, a South Wales-based creative events company whose name you may recognise from the many gigs they promote in the area, have just launched a project entitled Designs For Life. The aim is to promote ca- reer opportunities in the creative/cultural industries to youngsters aged 16 and up; this will incorporate the arts in general, but builds on work done by previous projects

such as the SONIG Youth Music Industry programme and Make It Music Media. The first event will be ‘Breaking Into The Music Industry’ at the Muni, Pontypridd, on Sat 17 July, in conjunction with the Welsh Music Foundation

A chap called Scott, who lives in Cardiff, has taken the bold and respect-worthy plunge of launching a DIY – that is to say, entirely bedroom-based – distribu- tion service selling punk rock vinyl, mainly American imports from labels like No Idea, Snuffy Smile and Recess. If this means a thing to you, it might make you very pleased indeed, as you won’t have to pay import prices any longer. Brassneck Records is the name, is where to buy the goods, and it’s worth supporting sez this column

Those of you with a long memory for mi- nutiae might remember that a couple of dance producers from Cardiff (including Neil Cocker, co-founder of Plastic Ray-


gun Records) made a record featuring the cut-up plummy blather of Boris Johnson, pre-mayorhood. However, it was initially shelved due to Jim Campbell, whose idea it was to feature Boris, being diagnosed with cancer. He sadly passed away in 2007, but the single, Is Fatboy Slim A DJ?, has just been released – featuring a video made by Bristol’s Aardman studios, Jim’s last place of work, and thus func- tioning as a posthumous tribute

The Muscle Club, a spiky Cardiffian indie- rock band, have a debut album on its way following a well-received single and EP respectively. Its title has had an odd, by which we mean hilarious, gestation. Ini- tially conceived at a typical brainstorming session, all involved parties decided shortly after that it sounded a bit rubbish, and they’d think of something else. All ex- cept the drummer, who had actually got it tattooed on his arm. Out of sympathy for the sticksman, the band agreed to keep the rogue phrase after all. Rock’n’roll: it is wonderful

The year is 2002, and the writer of this puff piece is settling into the ‘groove’ of getting sent lots of demos from South Walian bands. Some of them are decent, but still don’t leave the writer thinking that he has discovered the n*xt b*g th*ng. One exception to this was Made In China, a full album by Kennedy – full name James Kennedy, a Cardiffian who composed, performed and recorded the whole thing himself. It was a complex, grandiloquent, somewhat pomp- ous and hugely impressive disc; the writer didn’t (doesn’t) tend to crush on bands which recall Jeff Buckley, Muse and Radiohead, but this honestly had something. Needless to say, stardom flatly failed to materialise. Violinist Nigel Kennedy’s decision to start releasing as Kennedy prompted a name change, to Kyshera, and the recruit- ment of a band. This takes us to late 2003. Between then and now, Kyshera largely operated behind the scenes, with Kennedy slowly writing songs which have become Paradigm, an album released by Caerphilly’s Konic label. Songwriting, likewise musicianship, remains full-blooded and accomplished; lyrically there are left-wing politics and non-specific calls to arms. The Mars Volta have emerged as more of a sound-cousin, and Frequency 2 is genuinely new territory for Kyshera, sounding like Bollywood OSTs meets library music prog meets Earth Song. Decidedly out of step with trends, this breed of prog-not-prog still has enough of a groundswell of fandom for you to, eight years on, wonder again if a big label nob is going to do the right thing and snare Kyshera. www.


IT is sometimes weird, the manner in which your mind wanders when you are watching musical performance. It can cause you to drum up thoughts which seem deep, but are only a fine line away from being very shallow. This is what I experienced the other day when watching a band I’d booked, some gents from Norway called Nox- agt. They play what I suppose is called ‘noiserock’ and were great, talented, energetic and REALLY loud. Like, the sort of volume where you’re impressed with everyone else who manages to hack it until the end. It got me thinking initially about the broad application of volume in music (deep) and, presently, the fact that I’ve been partly responsible for booking five of the loudest ‘live events’ I’ve ever seen (shallow). While not graced by a man with a decibel counter, here is my top 10. It is very ‘generic alt.noise dude’ I guess, but it is also honest. Regarding shows I’ve been involved with, theWHITE- HOUSE gig in Clwb Ifor Bach circa 2006 fucked up my hearing more than everything previous combined. This is because Whitehouse are two men who shout abuse over white noise with piercing frequencies. One of them played in 2007, also in Clwb, supportingWOLF EYES. This gig was attended by a lady who admitted she had no idea what was going on, and later appeared as a contestant on Paris Hilton’s British Best Friend. TORCHE, a great rock band from Florida, played Buffalo for us in ’06, prior to achieving deservedly increased success. Word that they were akin to standing in front of a jet engine was not far off. And finally, being in the room for VENETIAN SNARES soundchecking in 2005, with only the engineer also present, was like getting punched in the face 300 times in a minute. The more people in a room, the more the sound will be dampened; if it’s just two dudes and one bastard, someone might get an owie. GREEN VELVET in the Coal Exchange a few years back had more than three people down, but was still a bit un- dersold, which probably helped the surround sound sys- tem installed especially cause the bass from this cat’s DJ sets to push pint glasses off flat surfaces. LIGHTNING BOLT are a bass/drums duo who play through their own PA, on the venue floor. This is always fiercely cranked, but their set in Bristol late last year was off the chain. Sometimes, live acts get their own mixer, with which they can be highly irresponsible.DJ SCOTCH EGG is a lovely man but, um, a bit solipsistic. When I saw him play a rave in Bristol once, he turned everything up to the absolute max and enraged the rig’s owners so much they banned him from playing on it again. One of the odder ones that’s stuck with me was a local electro-rockish band circa 2003, maybe, calledKILO-C. They weren’t very good, frankly, but I turned up early at Barfly and saw them – again, the room was sparse, but they were deafening. It’s sets like that which make you remember that loud music can be most unfun. Which takes me back to my late teens and some yellowing and really quite embarrassing memories of being at dicey Cornish dance festivals and sitting inside giant speaker cabs. Playing acid trance. And to think I have the gall to lambast anyone else for excessive volume or ANYTHING. Handpicked (likely to be the) loudest shows you’ll see in July:DOUGLAS and THE TAKE (awesome reunion shows for charity scenes, Le Pub, Newport, Sat 3 and Sun 4 July); SEPULTURA, GAMA BOMB and TAINT, Millennium Music Hall, Fri 16; THE PLIGHT and THE ARTERIES (Barfly, Wed 21);MOON DUO (Clwb Ifor Bach, Thurs 22) and SONIC BOOM SIX (Meze Lounge, Newport, Sat 31).NOEL GARDNER

one louder

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