The Booth Hall & AR Studios Join Forces For 2017 Open Mic Night Relaunch

Reopened in late 2015 by pocket rocket team Arran and Willow Vidal-Hall, The Booth Hall on East Street has become the go-to place in Hereford revered for its friendly welcoming atmosphere, live music and alternative entertainment.

Over the last twelve months it has played host to punk-rock legends TV Smith, Subhumans and Steve Ignorant, supported up and coming artists of all genres from all over the world and has become the home for sell out charitable festivals and fundraisers.

The Booth Hall Hereford Open Mic Relaunch 2017
Photo by Distorted Image Photography

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DOGHOUSE: A CONSTANT STATE OF BECOMING

I was fortunate enough to interview Doghouse and receive a stream of thoughts and information that has brought to life an even more fascinating character. Let’s just say I have unearthed some of the mystery that makes him a special part of the festival and live music circuit.

The former front man of Punk Rave band Sicknote, Doghouse will be gracing us the 24th of February at The Booth Hall in Hereford with support from Hardcore Traveller Punk band Reality Attack and local Noise Rock band Wolfcryer. Expect the building to shake with the latter two. Hey why not? You want a good party we will give it to you.

“I would say that my lyrics are a call for action, a condemnation of the status quo. I like to use humour, to elevate the role of the fool and re-affirm his unique position, as someone who can scathingly criticise the powers that be. The only man who can tell the king the truth and get away with it”

Then prepare yourself to be put into the DOGHOUSE where you find your toes and minds tapping. I mean really…our minds will do little cartwheels. In between acts you will get a chance to get your dance on while DJ BDS Last Tree Squad fills the sound waves with some pretty bomb reggae, hip-hop and bass tunes. Will you ever be the same again after this night? We hope not.

We have also been fortunate enough to team up with the ‘No Herefordshire Cull’ Benefit gig on the following Saturday night (February 25th) headlined by Citizen Fish and two other great support acts –Reverend Schneider and The Band of Angels and Owain Price. We are offering a Weekender Special price of £11 for two nights of great live music with a purpose.

The Underground Revolution Hereford Presents Doghouse

THE INTERVIEW

HEREFORD CITY CENTRIC: So tell me a bit about what the name Doghouse represents?

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‘This is England’ 2017 Night Relived at The Venue Hereford

‘THIS IS ENGLAND’ NIGHT AT THE VENUE, JANUARY 6TH 2017

“Terminal Rage played a blistering set in the middle of this to an energetic response of dancing and pogoing and the bands in your face punk showed another side of the sounds that shaped This Is England”

Though they do still exist, definable subcultures aren’t really as big as they used to be and certainly not as big as they were in the 1980s and 90s. Punks, skinheads, rudeboys and rudegirls, goths and ravers all at one point ruled the country and all had their looks set out just right, as well, as the music that they listened to and all feature highly when you think of the different tribes of those eras. It is that era that Shane Meadows classic film and its subsequent follow up TV series This Is England is set, and this special night at The Venue paid tribute to it and the music that defined it with classic songs from those days along with a set by local punk heroes Terminal Rage.

the venue hereford 2017

Arriving at The Venue to two big screens and a smaller one in the middle of the stage above a DJ setup and the Terminal Rage equipment set the stage as the screens played montages of news, adverts and TV shows from throughout the times when This Is England was set and this nonstop barrage of retro memories really set the scene (who remembers Kellogs Start cereal, Teddy Ruxpin and Trio biscuits?!).

“Hopefully there will be something similar happening again, paying tribute to another classic film and the music that shaped it, with its sequel due out shortly, one for Trainspotting would be excellent!”

These visuals played a big part with the footage that also played from both This is England and the three television series that followed it showing the changing fashions that Shaun, Woody, Lol and the rest of the gang sported from skinheads to up for it ravers inspired by the Madchester scene and the music being blasted out by DJ  MoonOnAStick reflected that.

Throughout the night the crowd skanked along to the likes of Madness and The Specials and some other choice reggae and ska hits, grooved to both the original version and Soft Cell’s remake of Tainted Love, danced to Joy Division and swaggered to the legendary She Bangs The Drum by the Stone Roses before the night ended with a selection of classic acid house anthems. Terminal Rage played a blistering set in the middle of this to an energetic response of dancing and pogoing and the bands in your face punk showed another side of the sounds that shaped This Is England.

Terminal Rage, This is England 2017, The Venue Hereford
Left – Terminal Rage Bassist/Vocals Terminal Rage, Raphael La Roche Right – Guitar/Vocals Rich Lovell

Opening with a scathing selection of dialogue from the film that took firm aim at that parasite Nigel Farage, Terminal Rage wasted no time in blasting out the defiant punk anthems with a mixture of their own material like the far right attitudes bashing Casual Racist and some choice punk classics with songs by the Pistols, The Clash, Anti Nowhere League and the Stooges going down a storm and showing how important punk was to that time and still is today to an energetic audience.

As the night went on, the vibes kept coming and all in all, this was an excellent and vibrant night that paid tribute to a glorious time in this nations culture and the only disappointment were that the drinks were not priced as they were in the 80s! Hopefully there will be something similar happening again, paying tribute to another classic film and the music that shaped it, with its sequel due out shortly, one for Trainspotting would be excellent!

Article by Freelance Writer Gavin Brown

Photography by Dominique Brinkley

2016: The Year Hereford Culture Blossomed

“The scene is starting to settle now (in a nice way). People are beginning to ask what music is on this coming weekend, rather than ‘Is there anything on?’ which is a massive change and a great reflection on the venues, the quality of the acts and the local promoters who have taken the risk in time and money to have a go this year. 2017 I hope will continue with that support from music lovers. I also hope people will take the plunge more and go to see acts they’ve not heard of before. After all, live music is a great night out whether or not you can sing along” – The Underground Revolution Music Director, Rich Lovell

From the day I set foot on Hereford turf I felt a special magnetism to its quiet green fields, open air city centre unobstructed by big heavy concrete monsters you find in places like Birmingham, its proximity to Wales and a view of the Black Mountains in the distance that at times seems like a mirage. There were perks like its reputation for cider making – witness the many orchards around the county – a magnificent Cathedral and history that just keeps on giving, such as, the remains of a Saxon child discovered in a lottery-funded Cathedral excavation project that unearthed many ancient artefacts revealing even further details of its war-torn past and how people lived all those years ago.

Pink Elephant Circus, Sin Palace and The Booth Hall Circus Performers and Masquerade Ball

pink elephant circus, the booth hall hereford, sin palace, masquerade ball

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Culture Shock and the Subhumans Play The Hereford Underground Punk Revolution

The Underground Revolution kicked off December, the last month of 2016 with one of our most successful shows to date featuring anarcho punk/ska legends Culture Shock and support from AtterkopAlvin and the Angry Barrels, and the amazing Last Tree Squad who were spinning the killer Rastafarian tunes mon. We expected a barrage of devotees who not only follow Culture Shock but also Citizen Fish and the Subhumans.

Culture Shock, The Booth Hall Hereford, Photo Nickie Bates Distorted Image
The kids lead the dance crowd at Culture Shock – Distorted Image Photography by Nickie Bates

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When Manchester, Ledbury and a Sonic Youth Connection Came Together and Pablo Alto Was Born

Our sound was recently described as “An Explosion of Colour”.

I met up with John Rose on one of those busy Saturday’s at De Koffie Pot when catching a table is unlikely, regardless of the weather. The Hereford Contemporary exhibit was in full swing all around us complete with live demonstrations, instigating our curiosity and filling us with creative vibes. I was interested to get to know John from an interview perspective since he is part of The Underground Revolution, a friend and a talented contributor to this blog. In reality John is a tireless source of music and art knowledge so it was bound to be interesting. Continue reading “When Manchester, Ledbury and a Sonic Youth Connection Came Together and Pablo Alto Was Born”

Hereford Dead – Make Sure You Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Hereford Dead presents: Vision Quest, Fetus Christ, New Cowboy Builders, Black Boxes, and Brunel: Booth Hall, Tuesday 18th October

“There was something of The Fall in there. The uncompromising angularity of the guitar and perhaps the vocal delivery too, which despite not being Mancunian, has a certain confident disarray of inflection.”

I’m probably not the right person to write this article. I saw a tshirt with a Nirvana smiley that had been changed into a drugged out cat and asked what it said. It said ’52Hz’ which is a name of a band apparently. I don’t know any new rock bands. I listen mostly to folk music now. This evening I’ve been listening to the new Leonard Cohen album (R.I.P). I used to listen to louder music a lot, but any of my frames of reference predate 1999, when I used to hear Steve Lamacq before the John Peel show and buy alternative CDs from Magpie and go to punk nights at the Jailhouse. Now I listen to Radio 6, which despite any cool credentials it seems to have acquired, is about as challenging as magnolia on the whole. The paint, not the film.

The other reason I’m not the right person to write this article is I wasn’t even there for half of it. By the time I got through the door Fetus Christ had finished playing, and I totally missed Vision Quest because I was stuffing myself with a beef burger that had macaroni cheese in it at The Beefy Boys. You might not believe it but I had been looking forward to this night for about a month. I’ve seen Fetus Christ before a number of times, and their energy and intensity drags me out of my mental quicksand like a well-aimed branch handed by an unusually angry man without a shirt on. It’s visceral and authentic.

Club Dead Hereford The Booth Hall , Black Boxes

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WILD SOUNDS FROM THE GARAGE! A BRIEF HISTORY OF PSYCHEDELIA

“The term ‘garage band’ literally means the space where many bands rehearsed. LSD and marijuana played a big part in the music with widespread use among America’s youth across its colleges and cities. This led to some of the wildest and most demented records ever put to vinyl as sounds became….”

Article by John Rose, Pop/Collage Artist and Frontman for Pablo Alto. Featured Artwork by John Rose.

Fuzz, Acid and Flowers

MY FIRST ENCOUNTER

Psychedelia is back!…in fact it’s never really gone away as each new generation turns on and freaks out to a new revamped version of those groovy 60’s sounds. It all started for me after taping an hour long Psychedelic radio show special in the late 80’s (possibly on Radio 1) which I still have featuring wonderful psych gems from The Seeds (Satisfy You), The Chocolate Watchband (No Way Out), Nobody’s Children (Good Times), The Bees (Voices Green And Purple) and the fuzzed up brilliance of The Third Bardo’s ‘Five Years Ahead Of My Time’.

There was also a strange track by Dave Diamond & The Higher Elevation called Diamond Mine with a weird voice over and sinister lyrics and howls (the six foot narcissus and peanut butter fudge angel of love) and a cool, hypnotic song called ‘Cellophane Wrapped Woman’ which will always remain a mystery. I’ve never heard it since and have no idea who its by. Anyway, my mind was suitably expanded and I rushed out to get the Best Of The Pebbles on yellow marble vinyl, a great place to start.

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One November Night Hereford Rocks Warmed Up The Crowd With A Trio Of Indie Rock, Blues and Folk Punk Fusion

Hereford Rocks with Turquoise Llama, Mexicola and Freeborn Rising @ The Booth Hall 4 November 2016

The Autumn chill is briskly creeping upon us and the inclination to hibernate is the backlash wanting to keep us behind closed doors in cosy slipper socks drinking tea and turning us into social lepers. Meanwhile, there is gig after gig filling the musical void that once plagued Hereford’s sluggish pubs and music venues.

Say no to hibernation!! Last Friday November 4th was an exceptionally chilly evening and the Tropic of Cancer blood that flows through my veins was rebelling against the elements. The brick and mortar was at the ready for me to put up that winter wall, not to mention that extra winter layer…after all we know that “Winter is Coming”.

Continue reading “One November Night Hereford Rocks Warmed Up The Crowd With A Trio Of Indie Rock, Blues and Folk Punk Fusion”