Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Joy Formidable/Dartz!/Calories @ The Jericho (3/5/09)

So I figured it would make sense to blog about all the gigs I go to, shame I didn't start a long time ago as i've missed out on doing so many great ones over the past few years. But today it begins, and with summer coming up it's that time of year when I hit a gig a week so should be pretty interesting stuff.

My day: I was working from 12-6 and the first few hours were pretty shit but after that I had the place to myself (in terms of colleagues) so was way less stressy. Had a couple of drinks there and was paid in cash before I left.

Travel: The soundtrack to the first part of the journey was Nick cave and the bad seeds' Dig lazarus dig and then Courteeners' St. Jude for the conclusion. Fairly straight forward, just to oxford and the venue's just off woodstock road.

Parking: Parking is fine once you know where to look and on sunday's and evenings is free so great times.

The venue (The Jericho Tavern): Downstairs is just like a regular oxford pub, they're all very similar, wooden floors, needlessly spacey, random drinks on tap. They serve food which is a bit pricey £7 upwards but have a bbq outside during the summer. Plus while you're eating outside in the huge garden area you can see the bands getting ready upstairs!

Inside the venue it's got the feel of a very small time place, hand stamps, furniture moved to the sides of the room and actual decoration.

The stage, is literally the size of a bathroom. Not a public bathroom but YOUR bathroom, the one in your house! You're sooo close to the bands, at one point the drummer of calories sneezed and was forced to excuse himself.

Crowd: Seemed to be largely Oxford based which of course is great times, leads to a friendly atmosphere and everyones up for good times and converse and usually some beautiful girls, this wasn't the case last night though, can honestly say I wasn't remotely interested in a single person in there, but the rest was true :p

Bar Tariff/What/How much I drank: Cheaper than usual gigs, pretty much the sort of £3/3.30 you'd expect to pay for a pint at a regular pub. I was driving so couldn't drink... So like I say, had a couple at work, a random cider with the food when I got there, then another upstairs, a red bull and a pear cider. Drink wise I spent around £12. On and- don't fear the reaper yeh!

Toilets: I wouldn't usually mention these in a review but I took a picture in there and wanted to post it :p


Calories began an evening in a math rock style that was to be continued by dartz. They were enjoyable but weren't exactly engaging, talking amongst themselves a bit too much and i think pissed a few people off when they pointed out they won't have to pay to get into truck.

*edit* I wrote a paragraph about band image that made me look a bit like hitler. Ha. *edit again!* of cooourse it doesn't matter but yeah I think that's why they didn't really connect was because there wasn't much energy on stage with the exception of the drummer who was pretty amazing and had the whole math rock thing down as it is a tough task.

This won't be the last time I mention minus the bear in this blog but man are these guys similar to them.

I failed a bit with the opening act and will start taking a pad along to review these gigs cause it's way too easy to forget the opening act and I kinda apologise for that here as I have and all I could comment on was that the lead singer was fat and the drummer was good. Ha.


The lead singer apparently had lost his voice a bit when, at last night's gig in sheffield he'd gotten drunk and seen a poster with matt horne on advertising him DJing the student union with the tag- "THIS IS HUGE!" and disagreeing saying "no, this isn't huge, it's fucking pointless" and went on to violently attack it before setting it on fire :) He still sounded good though, reminded me of if graham coxon fronted a math-rock inspired blur.

Interesting thing about Dartz is, the drummer is the voice of the band, or at least was here, maybe it was because of the lead's lack of voice but quite charismatic and sang vocals on a few of the tracks. His drumming patterns would take a mathematical genius to work out, it was brilliant to watch as well as adding loads to the sound scape vocally.

One thing that definately surprised me about Dartz was how good their lyrics were, on cd they sounded a lot like minus the bear which they surely were influenced by. But that brings me to my next point-

There was a moment in this set (once twice again) which you get maybe once every 100 gigs you go to, I can imagine it when MGMT played electric feel, Arctic monkey's first playing "I bet you look good on the dance floor" there was a genuine moment when the band looked at each other, the drummer played in and the whole place was glued, this track had clearly been practiced to such an extent as to ensure without fail that it reached it's potential live and for the next few minutes the whole place was going wild and became one, everyone connected in the moment and realisation that they'd seen something special.

The thing about the recording which is a bit backwards is it actually sound tighter live.

So yeah, dartz, some great times, cool bunch of guys, their live shows = a great time whether you know their tracks or not. I'll definately be checking them out again (and indeed am at truck!)

Joy Formidable

I'd seen these live before but had other things on my mind and a lot of empty glasses distracting me from the show. It was a great time but there was actually one part that i'd NEVER seen live before and I was shocked as HELL when it happened-

One thing that kinda ruined it a bit was their were a few middle aged blokes in the front row and one fat fuck in particular was being just that- a fat fuck. I moved to the side of the room cos they were just being dickheads, making eye contact with you and noncing on the girls and stuff. Trust me it was fucking annoying.

They played their whole set right, and it was great times. Sure the crowd wanted more but as I was aware, they'd played everything i'd ever heard from them. She comes back out fired up and starts swearing "fuck me you guys. we're going to play another song you fuckers. get the fuck up here. fucking come on." turned me the FUCK on :p haha anyway they start playing a song that they'd already played earlier on in the set!!!! Like seriously?! It went down great and stuff cos I guess more people knew it after the first time but like for me this was unprecendented like if you don't have material just don't come back out! Or just go over to the bar and drink with people if you're that pumped! It was a bit weird I gotta say. But overall I've enjoyed JF both times i've seen them and I like them for sure but just don't seem to connect with them that well, bit of a poor man's metric maybe.

Mistakes I made: Carrying £150 cash in my pocket as well as camera ipod and phone, coulda gone dreadfully wrong! Didn't but just usually I take the minimum of what I need in so I don't have to worry about getting raped AND pillaged!

Drive Home/Tips to not getting pulled over while DUI: When you're tired and have had a couple your eyes get a little bit more sensitive to light. Do NOT flash cars when they come past as it might just be a police car, like last night with me when it was! Fortunately I know oxford well and was soon off the map lollers.

Work in the morning?: Yes, but not til midday. I'd gotten back at 1am so had about 7 hours sleep and time to go for a little run and then wash and rehydrate before work.

Let me know what you're liking, post a comment or whatevs and if there's anything I should try and include in future reviews :)

Calories- A bear a bison
Dartz- St. Petersburg
Dartz- Once twice again
Joy Formidable- Austere
Joy Formidable- Cradle


  1. The Joy Formidable review is pants..They played a storming set and why shouldn't they come back out for an encore and do a song already played...they looked as if they were really pumped up and enjoying themselves.
    Did you seriously compare them to Metric...I like both bands but have never ever thought of there music in any any comparision.
    I happen to be middle aged/male and was standing at the front with fellow mates so can only think your other comments were directed at us...there was no eye staring/noncing as far as I could see just a group of people really enjoying the gig and having a good time(prehaps you should try it sometime)

  2. Middle aged men eh.....should be banned from gigs, especially those fuckers that insist on enjoying themselves. I was there and all I saw were lots of people really into the band.

  3. Great Band, Great Gig, Great Atmosphere, wank review ....get a life

  4. FFS - I saw Bat For Lashes a couple of times last week or the week before, and even THEY played a song again for the encore - Daniel in this case. I'm off to see Metric on Monday, will have to work on that comparison, not getting it this point. Oh and BTW, I'm male, 49 and don't like being subject to age discrimination.

  5. what a complete cunt, like to see what he is doing when he gets older. B+Q shopping I reckon. I remember the pistols playing anarchy 3 times one night, and what a terrible band they were

  6. I agree with the reviewer, it is annoying having old people at gigs. Well ones that act like they're 21 anyway, it's ok if they know their place but you fuckers obviously don't!

  7. Austere played twice is a bonus. The Joy Formidable are a great band & finished on a high. Age of certain members of the audience is totally irrelevant. Just enjoy the music & get a life.

  8. pic of a fatty-

    i agree that these guys made for an uncomfortable atmosphere near the front of the room, I felt worried for the lead singer they seemed obsessed

  9. Well I'm a middle aged girl (30) who was standing nearer the back with my mates and the gig rocked. It looked to me like they have a great following and i think the name of the previous blogger says its all, you are a sad person, yes get a life and stop giving Oxford a bad name or no-one will come to gigs here and bands will avoid us as well