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TBF Meets Emma Luck of Canterbury’s Lady Luck Bar

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in Featured, Interviews, Venues | 0 comments

When I first arrived in Kent from South London a year and a half ago, the first thing I did was check out the local music scene online. One name kept coming up, that seems synonymous with live music, the Lady Luck Bar. So on a cold November evening I decided to get a bus into Canterbury and check out what all the fuss was about. I’m happy to say that I wasn’t disappointed at all.

The Lady Luck Bar is situated in St Peters Street, in the heart of Canterbury. To say its a cool little venue is an understatement. With its red and black interior and records on the wall, it epitomizes everything that a music venue should be. Bursting with character, the Lady Luck is a jewel in the heart of Kent (Check out the jukebox it’s awesome. Just try not to spend as much money on it as I did).

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The venue plays host to regular live gigs as well as DJ night and has an excellent food menu, a beer garden at rear and outside seating at the front, which is ideal for smokers just wanting a quick fag. There’s a good drinks menu that caters for everyone and there’s been a great atmosphere every time I’ve visited. We caught up with Emma, one half of the team behind Lady Luck to learn a bit more about the venue and exactly what it has to offer….

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The Black Flag: Let me first start off by saying that this is a great venue. I love the 1950’s Rockabilly theme. Has that been intentional or is it something that has just developed?

Emma Luck: We decided on the name Lady Luck as it is associated with the Rock N Roll/Rockabilly scene, particularly in America where it is used as a gambling term (if you win at the casino you are said to be playing with “Lady Luck”).

 

TBF: When did you open?

Emma: My partner Gemma and I (Emma) opened The Lady Luck in 2009 (6 years on June 12th) We have been hosting live music since October 2012.

 

TBF: So who’s involved with the Lady Luck and what are your backgrounds?

Emma: Gemma and I both ran DJ nights and live music events in London before deciding to run our own venue in Canterbury.

 

TBF: You hold regular live nights. How often are these and what kind of thing could we expect?

Emma: We started off hosting live music once a month out of courtesy to our neighbours and to see how well it would work for us, but because the licensing laws regarding live music were relaxed and the demand for live music increased we now host live music between once and three times a week. Usually Tuesdays, Thursdays and occasional Fridays. We consider live music of all genres but regularly host Punk, Metal, Ska and Psychobilly shows the most.

 

TBF: What big events have you got coming up?

Emma: We are really looking forward to seeing Emp!re play on 27th February. They played Sonisphere in 2014 and are tipped for big things in 2015, Also the return of Ska bands The Talks (19th March) and The Toasters (6th April). There are so many exciting shows coming up its hard to choose!

 

TBF: What’s been the biggest band/act to grace your stage?

Emma: Well The Toasters are one of the worlds biggest and most successful Ska Punk bands, they played to a sold out crowd in September last year and are returning for Easter Bank Holiday Monday in 2015. Les Carter from Carter USM played here in September last year with his other band Abdoujaparov. Les is a huge star and we were honoured to have him play. He even wore a Lady Luck T shirt for his sell out Carter USM final ever show at Brixton Academy. That was one of our proudest moments.
TBF: Out of the local talent coming out of Canterbury and playing at Lady Luck, who would you say is your favourite band?

Emma: Out of the local acts from Kent I would say Funke & The Two Tone Baby (One man Mechanical Blues band from Medway, playing again on Feb 19th) and Rockabilly Punks, Thumbscrew & The Flicknife Barbers from Ashford (playing with Calabrese on 6th May) There’s so much talent out there, I just hope people get out there and see it for themselves and support their local Live Music Scene!

 

TBF: Apart from music what else has Lady Luck got to offer? (The Food menu looks amazing folks)

Emma: Our food trade has really taken off in the last year or so. We now offer many vegan and vegetarian options as well as our already extensive menu containing a large range of burgers, baguettes and pub favourites.
Most of our dishes are homemade and locally sourced too. We get a lot of our meat and cheese from local farmers market The Goods Shed in Canterbury.
We also run other regular entertainment aside from Live music such as rock karaoke, DJ nights and a weekly quiz (Every Sunday from 8pm)

 

TBF: Anything else you’d like to add?

Emma: I would just like to thank all the customers that come out to support live music and alternative venues such as ours who are trying to do something different.
We couldn’t do it without them. It is more important than ever to support independent businesses and bands, with so many live music venues and pubs closing down locally and countrywide.

The Lady Luck is open Mon-Thurs 12 noon- 1am, Fri & Sat 12 noon- 2am, Sun 12 noon- 11pm (Food served Mon-sat 12-7, Sundays 12-3pm)

Contact Emma at The Lady Luck, 19 St Peters Street, Canterbury, CT1 2BQ – Telephone: 01227 763298

www.facebook.com/ladyluckbar
www.theladyluck.co.uk
www.twitter.com/TheLadyLuckBar

 

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TBF chats with Invisus, the “mad-scientist” behind Blodhemn

Posted by on Feb 24, 2015 in Featured, Interviews | 0 comments

Like an impending great wave, Blodhemn – a one-man-band that has raged since 2004 – is approaching, ready to crash onto the forefront of the black metal scene. Described as ‘no-nonsense thrash’ (Blodhemn.no) producing music that ‘remains in memory’ (Metal Only), the Norweigan artist Invisus appears to have a lot more to offer in the future for all devoted metalheads. We chat to Invisus, the sole member of the band and musical scientist behind the madness, to find out more.

  1.       Tell us a bit about the history of Blodhemn – how did it begin?

I started Blodhemn back in 2004. At the time I lived in Fedje, a tiny island off the west coast of Norway. There wasn’t really any suitable people around to start up an extreme metal band with so I decided to do every instrument myself. The first years were spent mainly gaining experience – practicing my skills with the various instruments and making demo tracks. Early in 2008 the first demo, “Logical Madness”, was released, followed by the EP “Brenn Alle Bruer” in 2010. In 2012 the first full-length album “Holmengraa” was released, the second full-length album, “H7”, afterwards released in November 2014.

  1.    It’s amazing that you write and compose all of your music yourself during the creating and recording phases. What motivates you to make your music on your own as opposed to forming a band?

Thank you. I cherish the freedom of having Blodhemn as a one man band. I can do exactly what I want and not have to compromise with anybody. Off course there is an ego motive also.

  1.    Is there a particular message to be heard behind your music?

Yes, every song has a different meaning and message of course. I am not going to speak specifically on these themes…

  1.    Who are you biggest influences?

There’s no particular artist or band. There is no way of telling what is going to influence me musically. I draw inspiration from lots of music from a wide spectrum of genres.

  1.    You’ve been on tour with Mayhem – how was that?

We did a European tour with Mayhem in November 2014. The tour went great. We reached a lot of new audiences and got to promote the release of “H7” properly.

  1.    So tell us about your live performance history. Are there any particularly memorable gigs that spring to mind?

Blodhemn did not start playing live until early 2010. We had two really good gigs on the recent tour with Mayhem; Riga and Stockholm. The Riga gig had really good audience. Stockholm had the best audience of the whole tour. We also did a cover of Tormentor’s ‘Elizabeth Bathory with Attila Csihar on vocals’.

  1.    Would you say that your music has evolved over time in any way, and if so, how?

Brenn alle Bruer was the more straight forward, aggressive release. “Holmengra” was kind of more melodic and maybe not as “edgy” as BaB. The newest album, “H7”, is the most liberal and most experimental of all the releases. In general I think I am moving further away from TNBM with every release.

  1.    What are you working on now? Any new albums to expect?

I have finally picked up the guitar again, after a long pause. So yes, I have started the process of writing a new album, but i’m barely getting started.

  1.    Is there anything else that you’d like to say to your fans?

I would of course like to thank for all of the support! Skål!

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Mr Grimez Poet Warrior Meets Joe Wheeler

Posted by on Dec 8, 2014 in Featured, Interviews, Movies, Videos | 0 comments

Joe Wheeler is the mastermind behind the grindhouse classic Jengo Hooper.

It was great to meetup with the film director at Balham for the cast & crew screening.

For all the years I have known Joe, I have witness the development of his character Jengo.

Trust me he has come a long way and I’m sure that this film will eventually be a cult classic.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/UPyoVnemGaQ[/youtube]

Be prepared to be plunged into a disturbed world of confusion, gore and insane Jengo antics.

If you like your horror films twisted and gritty to the max, then this is for you.

I would say it’s definitely hard to stomach as I feel it really does screw the mind.

So if you are expecting a haunted house type of film, then you will be disappointed.

To be honest this film is no way near suitable for mainstream.

But saying that still, it could become it’s own mainstream due to the content.

Snobby Hollywood Executives will frown on it.

Well hardcore lovers of horror will embrace it.

Jengo Hooper takes you on a rough edgy rollercoaster ride.

So you might need a sick bag.

The soundtrack is well put together with a variety of songs to keep the mood of the film going.

Speaking to Joe in Balham, I asked him what’s next for Jengo Hooper.

He told me and the cast crew that another film will be on it’s way.

As well as a possible animated series.

Jengo Hooper also makes it’s appearance at the RIP Horror Film Festival in Los Angeles California in November 2014.

You can keep up to date with Joe Wheeler & his projects on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/joewheelerfilms

Mr Grimez Poet Warrior

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The Black Flag speaks to Medusa’s Julian Molinero

Posted by on Dec 8, 2014 in Featured, Interviews | 0 comments

Pegged as “the bad boys of metal” by FMV Magazine, Medusa have been creating and developing awesome, raw music for a while – and if you haven’t heard of them yet, you better make sure that you’re paying attention now.  Beloved by us here at The Black Flag and becoming only bigger and better with each new release, we decided that it was high time that we chatted to their front-man, Lancashire-born Julian Molinero – the band’s creator and constant since formation – to find out about their third album and Medusa’s general badassery.

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TBF: Tell us about Medusa. How did you meet and form a band?

Julian: Well it’s one band but I started it when I was fourteen and in school so it was with school friends at first but then that dissolved. It’s a three-piece band so it’s had different bass players and different drummers. The current drummer is Stefan Hale and the bass player is Milo De Nack. Everyone starts music when they’re young but I just happen to have kept the same band – we just matured.

TBF: What’s been your best moment as a band? 

Julian: Best moment would probably be making the albums.

TBF: Who would you say your main influences are and  have they changed over the years?

Julian: The first gig I ever saw was The Buzzcocks when I was fifteen, so that influenced it, but mainly just punk and alternative stuff, like Nirvana and The Offspring. I deviated from that when I was around twenty – I kind of got into that guitar solo type music like Van Halen, and the band changed a bit for a while – but now it’s gone back more to how it was when we were fourteen, more like punk.

TBF: Tell us about your new release – ‘Headcase’s Handbook’. What can we expect from it?

Julian: It’s stripped-down, simple punk.  All of our music is honest, lyrically – the opposite of political. Human experiences and stuff like that. Maybe you could call it a confessional-type, personal work. I write all of the lyrics – the drummer and bass-player add to it and make it better, but before we go into practice I already know exactly what it will be, though they improve it by doing what they do. My parts are already completely decided by the time we go into the practice room. That’s what I’m most interested in now – the songwriting side of it. I don’t think about my voice or anything, it’s just the overall thing and hopefully they turn out to be good, powerful songs.

TBF: Do you have a favourite track on the album?

Julian: No (laughs). I just don’t feel that I would put anything out that I wouldn’t like. I like them all but in a different way – it depends what mood I’m in, I guess. A lot of people keep saying that The Sweetest Elixir is their favourite but I don’t know. Maybe in ten years I’ll be able to see it all more for what it is. I think that everybody must like their own music to an extent just because they made it, they had a thing in their head of what they wanted to do and they created it and then have to justify putting all that effort in, especially if they’ve made sacrifices to be able to do it.

TBF: Are there any stories behind any of the songs?

Julian: I think it’s just there in the lyrics! It’s not mysterious or anything. I guess they’re all stories but they’re not all full of metaphors or pretentious or anything, just embarrassing stories (laughs). Kind of like Weezer’s second album ‘Pinkerton’ which is really confessional – I was bearing that in mind, not throughout all of it but through some of it. I wanted to do a similar thing. And that guy (Rivers Cuomo, Weezer’s frontman) was really embarrassed by his album but it was like my favourite thing ever. It’s just good to be really, really honest, to talk openly about your life, whether your love life’s a disaster or whatever. But our album had a different type of production, it’s a more polished sound so it might not sound the same as ‘Pinkerton’ but it has a similar structure. However, I don’t think I would chase that kind of songwriting again if I could possibly help it, because I think writing in that style encourages you to make a self-sabotaging trap where you chase things going wrong in your life for the songs.

TBF: What’s coming up following the release? Will you be releasing any videos with the singles, and any clues as to which?

Julian: We’re kind of planning to make a video in mid-January for the opening track Sid and Nancy. I had to contact loads and loads of child acting agencies and variations of that to try and find kid-actors – two ten year olds, a boy and a girl. The boy is a normal kid feeling lost and down, and he meets this girl and decides to become a punk so starts dressing really crazy and stuff, but then because he’s gotten so crazy he realizes that he’s gone too far and his life is even worse. We’re just going to try it – it’ll be out next year anyway! After that we’ll maybe make just one more for The Sweetest Elixir because people seem to like that one the best.

TBF: I had a look through your previous video releases and really enjoyed Tinkerbell. Any tales about that one?

Julian: We’ve made three videos so far and that was the first one where I directed it. When we did the first one, the video guy wouldn’t let us do what we wanted in places. With the second one I went all out with crazy ideas and hired a midget and stuff. I kept it a secret about hiring the dwarf to the camera guy so he turned up and after we were in the limo for a little bit, we then picked up the dwarf and a little later when we were all drunk by the Thames, on the raw footage you can hear the camera guy laughing to himself going “Oh my God”, surprised at the craziness of what was going on.

We were drinking properly as well – it’s not fake in the video – it was all just spur of the moment stuff. We actually filmed it on my birthday – it was really stressful directing it and being involved in it at the same time. And I did the cartoons for that one – the ones which aren’t digital, of the band and stuff but that’s my first and last attempt at being an animator!

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCaU40zdJtc[/youtube]

TBF: Where will you guys be performing next?

Julian: The thirtieth of January at Nambucca in London.

TBF: Anything else that you want to say?

Julian: The album can be downloaded for free from the Bandcamp page (http://medusaworld.bandcamp.com/album/headcases-handbook). The music’s free – we don’t care about the money! We just do it for the music, and music’s not the right way to get money.

You can also find Medusa news at: 

http://www.medusaworld.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/medusauk

 

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The Black Flag meets Stone Kings Gregg Stageman

Posted by on Nov 11, 2014 in Featured, Interviews | 0 comments

If you hail from the garden of England and you love your metal loud with a hint of southern rock and a splash of Grunge, then you’ve no doubt heard of Stone Kings. The five piece have been tearing up Kent and beyond since 2010 and show no signs of stopping anytime soon. With about a million shows to their name, two albums, with a third in the works as well as some amazing music videos Stone Kings are rapidly making a name for themselves as a band to watch out for. We met frontman Gregg Stageman to find out a bit more about the band that is slowly tearing the UK a new asshole….                                                                                         

 

The Black Flag:  So tell us a bit about the band. Who’s involved and how did you get together?

Gregg Stageman: Stone Kings formed after my last band Twilight Green disbanded in February 2010. It left myself, my brother Ryan and our lead guitarist Gary still wanting to continue, but in a slightly grungier, heavier new direction. So we called up Dom who Ryan and I had met on a college course some years before, and he was up for it, so we jammed and it worked. And then we put out an ad on join my band looking for a drummer, which Gav responded to and we clicked straight away, that first rehearsal sealed it really.

There was a line-up change in early 2012 when Ryan left to work on a different project, so we brought in Dan on bass and moved Dom onto guitar. The new line-up worked very well from the get go so we were very lucky in that respect.

 

TBF:  What are the bands main musical influences and why?

Gregg: We all have very diverse musical tastes, spanning punk, grunge, hard rock, nu-metal, heavy metal, stoner rock, Avant garde and prog. So yeah a lot of different influences go in to make what we end up creating between the five of us.

 

TBF:  Your described as Hard rock/metal band is this an adequate description?

Gregg:  It’s hard to describe our sound as it covers so much ground, but yes it’s definitely rooted in hard rock/southern rock, grunge and the various genres of metal.

 

TBF: Although you’re from Kent you’ve played gigs all across the UK. What’s been the highlight so far?

Gregg: There have been a lot of highlights. Playing the Bulldog Bash in 2011 was certainly one. Getting to play the Willow Festival in Peterborough for the last two years running has been awesome! Such a good response from the crowd, and definitely some of the biggest crowds we’ve played to.

We’ve also had the pleasure of supporting some great bands like Zico Chain, Electric River and Slam Cartel (coming up in December), as well as playing with an array of great unsigned bands from around the country.

 

TBF: You’re currently in the studio working on your third album. Tell us about your previous albums (Stone Kings and Reset). What can we expect with the new album?

Greg: With our debut album, Ryan, Gary and I actually wrote 14 songs over the course of a weekend, literally the same week that Twilight Green broke up. These are the songs we were jamming when Dom and Gav came on board, but once we had a full band, some songs got dropped and some new songs got written till we ended up with the 12 that we decided would make up the first album.

It was a blend of grunge, hard rock and southern rock, with some stoner influences in there too. We recorded it at the studio where we rehearse and it was produced by our lead guitarist Gary, as was Reset and as will be our next album.

We were really proud of the end result. We felt it was a really solid album, every song having a different feel, while the whole had a very distinctive sound that would be the blueprint for Stone Kings and the springboard for the following albums to branch out from.

It was released in the summer of 2011 and was generally very well received. Then we started work on the 6-track EP that would follow this album, what ended up becoming titled Reset. During the process we lost Ryan and gained Dan, and it had been a real period of transition for all of us. The 6 songs we ended up with showed a progression from the songs on the first album, while not losing our signature sound.

Grungy, heavy, powerful and emotive, Reset ended up being a very solid EP/mini-album and was also very well received by our fans.

The next album, which we are currently working on, will be a progression again. Harder and heavier than its predecessors in a lot of ways, we’ve taken this one in a different direction to our previous albums, while still retaining our sound, but there is something added to it. I don’t want to give too much away at this point but I think our fans will be pleasantly surprised.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/e28eszSyxM8[/youtube]

 

TBF: You’ve had a few videos produced. My favourite being ‘Reset’ which has a whole unnerving feel to it. What the story behind it?

Gregg:  For the Reset video we got in touch with my good friend Pat at Eyes Alive! Productions. He listened to the song a lot to get a feel for it and get some ideas, and then I spoke to him and gave him my perspective on what the song was about and meant to me, and he ended up coming up with a treatment that we really liked.

For the whole band shoot, Pat found a broken down old barn which just looked like a really cool and grungy location, and the style he was filming in was very Gonzo style, with Pat holding the camera and moving around us all as we played getting some really cool angles, and also shots that were right up in our face so that the audience is as close to the action as possible and basically so we had nothing to hide, which was a really cool way to do it I think, like “This is us.This is Stone Kings!”

Then there was one shoot I did in front of a graffiti covered wall in an underpass just performing the song to the camera. The other shoot was me and the two models in the video, filmed in a cavernous underground basement below a venue, with myself embodying the emotions I was conveying in the lyrics as much as possible, and the two models were basically like extreme versions of the crazy emotions going on in the song. I think Pat’s idea was that they might be figments of my imagination, but they add a nice touch to the visual aspect of the video and the emotions being conveyed.

 

TBF: Where can we catch you guys next?

Gregg:  Our next gig is at Platform 5 in Ashford, and venue we love and have played many times now, supporting Slam Cartel for their Xmas Party.

Gonna be a great night! And will be nice to rock out one last time this year before we break for Christmas. Although in between times we’re obviously going to be in the studio working on the new songs.

TBF: Anything else you want to plug?

Gregg: Yeah if you’d like to hear our music to date, you can stream it all at http://stonekings.bandcamp.com, where you can also purchase our albums and merch.

If you’re on Facebook, give us a like at facebook.com/stonekingsmusic and Twitter at twitter.com/stonekingsmusic

There’s also a ReverbNation page  (reverbnation.com/stonekings)

And our main website -> www.stonekings.co.uk

 

TBF: Where do you see yourselves in five years’ time?

Gregg: Hopefully still making albums, playing shows and festivals, and maybe we will have explored some new territories and other countries by then. Just as long as we’re still rocking and flying the Stone Kings flag it’s all good!

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INTERVIEW: The Black Flag Talks ‘Sex, Drugs & HIV’ with Mat Sargent

Posted by on Oct 23, 2014 in Charity, Interviews, Record Releases, Videos | 0 comments

Mat Sargent is a name that is well known on the UK Punk scene, the Chelsea Guitarist has worked with everyone over the years from Jimmy Pursey to Splodgenessabounds. You could say that Mat is Punk aficionado.

What isn’t as well known though, is that Mat is actually HIV Positive, having been diagnosed in 1989. Six years later Mat began working on a project to raise awareness for HIV and funds for HIV charity the Terence Higgins Trust as well as other charities including Release, Rape Crises and Cancer UK. That project was ‘Sex, Drugs & HIV’ a three disc CD album containing 40 tracks of original music and featuring over 200 Musicians as well as videos charting the albums creation.

I sat down with Mat to discuss HIV, the making of the album and the competition of a  project that has been almost 20 years in the making….

[youtube]http://youtu.be/YbPPRnDwe8A[/youtube]

Sex, Dugs & HIV is released on November 2nd 2014 from Amazon.co.uk

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