Litmus emerge from hibernation

Colin Allen colinjallen at YAHOO.CO.UK
Thu Jun 9 06:42:00 EDT 2011

The setlist was:
Last Man Standing
Infinity Drive

Not the easiest gig ever!

--- On Wed, 8/6/11, Jonathan Jarrett <jjarrett at CORIOLIS.GREENEND.ORG.UK> wrote:

From: Jonathan Jarrett <jjarrett at CORIOLIS.GREENEND.ORG.UK>
Subject: Re: Litmus emerge from hibernation
Date: Wednesday, 8 June, 2011, 10:11

On Fri, 20 May 2011, Colin Allen wrote:

> As it is now spring, Litmus have awoken from their winter's hibernation with a new line-up and new songs. 
> The first appearance of the year will be:
> Thursday 26th May 2011
> VENUE: Boston Music Room - 178 Junction Road, Tufnell Park, London N19
> 5QQ.


> Sonic Mass - 8.00 -8.30
> Pretty Noose - 8.45 - 9.15
> Litmus - 9.30 - 10.10
> Stubb - 10.25 - 11.00
> Entry is £6.00 on the door or £5.00 from

    It was good to get to this, the first gig I'd been to for a while (and, as luck would have it, the first of three on successive evenings), and of course it's good to see that Litmus are back in action, if slightly odd for them not be headlining in such a minor venue. The venue itself is OK, but the PA wasn't really up to what was going to be asked of it this evening, something from which all bands except the last one suffered.

    I really liked Sonic Mass, who were playing a man down with no singer; the guitarist can do a passable job, in that case! They were playing fairly stark stoner-doom, they would have fitted in absolutely fine on a Roadburn stage (the Batcave, not the Green Room), they were fairly inventive with it and the guitarist, when he let shred, was really quite impressive. They still have some fine-tuning to do, and they told me that with their singer they're much groovier and less metal, but I liked what they were doing.

    Pretty Noose had brought a crowd with them, and they were fairly competent angry pop-rock played by some boys who were learning how to work a crowd, I didn't much care for the music but they put on a good show and seemed like a band-as-phenomenon not just a band-as-group-of-musicians. Probably the last I'll ever hear of them...

    Litmus have shed two members since I last saw them, Anton the swoosh merchant and Ollie the keyboardist, and replaced Ollie with a new guy who had played in Sonic Assassins, and whose name was I think James but I could easily remember that wrong. He was still finding his way, a bit; some nice touches where he'd worked a song out, and some other patches where he wasn't really in the game, but he seems a nice chap, his interventions were musical when they occurred and I'm sure he'll make a good difference. That said, the PA really wasn't up to Litmus's volume settings, and it's possible I just couldn't hear what the keys were doing. Martin's and Simon's vocals were distorted badly, they kept having to ask for changes to monitor volumes and on the whole it wasn't quite a happy performance. I think this line-up may still need to bed down. But it's nice to have them back! (I didn't take a set-list for once, because I'm sure Colin can provide and his
 will be more accurate...)

    Lastly Stubb, whom I only caught a few songs by because I wanted to get home on something other than the very last train, were a surprisingly basic blues band with a very accomplished guitarist-singer, which is only weird because they seemed quite young but he trod the stage like he'd been born there. It was all fairly early Led-Zeppelin-
sounding stuff without quite so much noodling and they were good enough that I'd have enjoyed myself if I'd stayed, I'm just tired and old and had seen the band I'd come to see. Still, despite the silly name, if they happen to be in a pub you're passing they're worth staying to see.

    So there you have it! The next night was Here'n'Now with Lunar Dunes in support, and that was a monster, but matter for a different mail I think! Yours,

-- "It's ridiculous, because everybody's coloured or you wouldn't be able
       to see them." (Captain Beefheart on racism, 1974)
   Jon Jarrett, Oxford, UK      jjarrett at

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