Category Archives: Journalism

Pure Reason Revolution at Dingwalls 17.3.09

Pure Reason Revolution Live

Pure Reason Revolution Live

Last Tuesday I headed down to Dingwalls in Camden to check out Pure Reason Revolution on the last UK date of their current tour. I wasn’t sure what to expect, I saw them a couple of years ago in a tiny venue in Cambridge and they were great, but their new album was so different, would they still be as good live, and how would the larger venue and new songs work out live?

After fighting my way through to the bar and grabbing a swift guinness (well it was st.paddys day) I found myself a good spot by the stage and started checking out the first support band. Of The I are a progressive metal band from london, they were really fantastic musicians with a great live sound and some good songs, but they seem a bit too stuck in nu-metal and their lead singer really got on my nerves. His random shouts which didn’t seem to have any bearing to the music were bad enough but he fell foul of my pet hate, singing with an american accent when (as far as I can tell) he’s not american. The next support was The Domino State. They washed past me in waves of blandness and instantly forgettable songs.

When Pure Reason Revolution came on they utterly blew the support bands away. They’ve managed to recreate their impressive rich recorded sound pretty well.It does rely pretty heavily on backing tracks but short of bringing on a full orchestra and choir theres not much else they can do, plus the live guitars and keyboards do more than enough to add that organic spontaneous touch that you want from a gig and give you that rock ‘n’ roll blast that leaves you grinning from ear to ear.

PRR were also incredibly tight musically, I didn’t notice a single missed note, they’ve obviously been playing so much over the last few years that they’ve become an incredibly accomplished live band. They pulled off some incrdibly complex stuff, watching them perform 3 part vocal harmonies live was utterly jawdropping.

All this was also set to a pretty hypnotic light show, featuring tripped out black and white cartoons and sections from Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali’s surrealist piece of genius Un Chien Andalou. PRR were wearing their arty influences firmly.

There was one moment when some of the keyboards cut-out, and the light show died about 3/4 of the way through but there was so much technology there something was bound to go wrong, and it was dealt with pretty promptly by the roadies who were running around frantically throughout the night.

The main revelation that came from the night was how the new songs, which sounded so completly different to their old stuff, seemed to fit perfectly into their live sound. There was far less of a gap between the old and new and instead it was much clearer how their sound had evolved organically and that the new sound is one that has been borne from extensive gigging.

PRR really proved that they may have a new sound but they still now how to throw a bloody good gig.

You can check out my review of their new album here


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Filed under Gig Reviews, Journalism, Music, Reviews

Video Blogging

In this mornings online class we were focusing on video blogging, its benefits and the general gist of how it works. So we set out around the uni and grabbed people to interview on the subject of Michael Jacksons return to the stage and his 45 night residency at the O2 arena. Here was the finished product, made fairly quickly and simply with a digital camera and iMovie.

Although its not fantastic quality its a good example of how you can get video content out rapidly.

The lesson didn’t go entirely smoothly though as we spent the majority of it battling problems with the uni macs, which is really the last thing you want in an online lecture.

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Filed under Blogging, Journalism, Music, Video

How to blag your way into gigs

I’m pretty excited right now about the release of one of my favourite bands, Pure Reason Revolution, news album. It comes out on the 9th and I’m going to see them on the final leg of their tour on the 17th at London Dingwalls.

This is when the idea struck me. I’m a journalist now (or at least a Journalism student), I need not pay for gig tickets like some mere mortal. I realised that as a journalist, bands want me to go visit their gigs and they want me to write articles about them.

So I got hold of Pure Reason Revolutions managers email, you can usually find most bands management or PR details online if you look hard enough, and sent off a hopeful email introducing myself as a Journalist, listing the places I hope to publish the finished article and what it could include. I was honest about where it would be published, in the student newspaper and on this blog as although they may seem like modest outlets bands do care about them and are often hungry for any publicity they can get.

So I sent off my email, and waited. After about a week I got impatient. I decided that the management had obviously seen through my facade of professionalism and had seen me as the amateur I was. I still am a massive fan or PRR and decided that although my attempt to get in as press failed I still wanted ot see them and would happily still go along as a punter and write a review anyway for experience and because I love introducing people to my favourite bands. So, onto ticket site, buy tickets.
Ten minutes later.

Hey NjClarke, you’re on the guest list just make sure you send us a copy of the article afterwards.

*sigh* well I guess the lesson to learn from this is that you should wait a while for the management to get back to you as they’re probably pretty snowed under around tour time.

Still I may have an extra ticket which I couldn’t really afford in the first place but I am heading to my first gig as a journalist, I can start building up my reputation and I can say I’m on the guest list of one of my favourite bands. Which is awesomely cool.
The only things I need to add are that if you are thinking of doing the same, obviously make sure you write the article and get it published, it’s only fair that you hold up your end of the bargain and you won’t be asked back again if you don’t. Also I just want to encourage people to give it a try, even if you just write reviews for forums or on your blog, bands do care about what people are writing about them and it’s always worth a try.

You can find my review of the gig here and my review of Pure Reason Revolution’s new album Amor Vincit Omnia here


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