BACK STAGE AT PEPPERMINT IGUANA HQ: Gigs, Festivals, Parties, CDs, Books, Protests, travels, photography and Cardiff City FC

Monday, April 30, 2007

A BREAK FROM THE PC: Midasuno In Cardiff

Too busy to blog at the moment, busy burning the midnight oil trying to finally get the iguana website on line, but just a quick post to say that we went to see Midasuno last night and they were top hole old chap.

Monday, April 23, 2007

TAXI FOR MR BLAIR!: Sick Note order ride for Big Toe

Time for a quick exit son.

Sick Note, those lovely people who invited us all to ‘Phone In Sick’ back in January take their rebelliousness a step further with their latest offering, a slightly more direct call for a ‘Taxi for Mr Blair’.

‘Taxi’ is probably the most full on four to the floor stomper so far, with a massive pounding rhythm the likes of which has not been heard since Leftfield left the area. The thing that lifts the ‘Note above others though is the fact that there are real drums, real bass and real vocals there to give it an organic edge you do not get with common all bedroom techno. This must be one of the most danceable ‘protest’ songs EVER! Let’s hope this gets noticed before Tony’s taxi really does arrive. Oi! BBC, check this out and use it when the long arm of the law comes a knockin’ at number ten cos of the cash for peerages.

The track can be downloaded from their myspace, but the CD demo has a few little extras on. ‘Headshot’ recorded live (at the Walkabout in Cardiff we think) which starts with the shout “we don’t wanna see anybody else on the dance floor, we want you on the fuckin’ stage”, which brings back memories the entire audience climbing on stage to dance, much to the bemusement of the bar staff and bouncers. There is also a studio version of the Captain Beefheart cover ‘Gimmie Dat Harp’, which previously appeared on the ‘Live At The BBC’ demo and has had the feet tapping here at Iguana HQ for months now; “I like a jig I like a dance, reminds me of a scene from deliverance, I like a dance I like a Jig, but I aint squealing like a pig”. Classic.

There is also a nice little bonus of a video of ‘Freelance Opportunist’ just to keep things interesting.

You really do need to check these out live before they go intergalactic, they aint gonna be in this pond for long!


Saturday, April 21, 2007

DUBBIN' UP A RIOT (AGAIN): AOS3 return after 13 years in the wilderness

Bands reform all the time, some times it is worthy of a yawn because the band were past their sell by date when they split, sometimes it stirs a grin because it brings back memories. Something very odd has been happening over the last few months though, several bands have got back together that we never expected to and they have made us sit up and think ‘Aye aye, this should be interesting, fasten your seatbelt’. This is mainly because bands that left us wanting more when the spilt are coming back to say hello. Omnia Opera, Tribe of Cro, R.D.F., Back To The Planet, Police Bastard, Crazy Pink Revolvers… now you can add to that list A.O.S.3.

As we get older the distances we travel to see a good band get less and less, but a 200 mile round trip to catch AOS3’s first gig for 13 years, hosted by skanking dub beats, was never in doubt though. The Bear Tavern in Birmingham is just how a venue should be, basic, no frills, frayed around the edges and with a staff that are pretty hands off and let everyone get on with having a good time.

Tonight’s crowd was a mixture of local people who had turned up to their local pub to see their favourite local hardcore band and a few old heads that had travelled to witness the rebirth of legend. The more energetic of the crowd were up early for the support, bouncing around like balls in a pin ball machine. When AOS3 hit the stage though the dance floor suddenly filled up as everyone jockeyed for position to get a good view of the AOS3 phoenix rising out of the ashes.

All those AOS3 classics that we have been listening to on CD only for the last 13 years suddenly came to life, only heavier and deeper, the dubby bits got more psychedelic and the punky bits got faster and harder.

We have another Bush in the Whitehouse, even madder than the first one, so ‘Bush Is On The Golf Course’ took on new relevance, as did ‘Warrior Nation’. We were also treated to a handful of cover versions, including ‘Unknown Soldier’ by RDF and everyone was caught off guard by the Jam’s ‘Down In The Tube Station At Midnight’. Given it is not strictly the original line up and there had only been a handful of rehearsals, after an hour they had exhausted their repertoire. They weren’t getting away with that though and an ecstatic crowd demanding an encore meant they had to rewind a bit and re-do some of the set, but nobody cared, they had been waiting too long for this and they were going to make the most of it.

Eventually they had to call time and bring an end to the night, with the general consensus that this is one reunion that will have people sitting up and taking notice this summer.

Check out Sam’s view of the night here


Saturday, April 14, 2007




Thursday, April 12, 2007


We knew this was coming, but we did not know THIS was coming. check the myspace


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

COSMO BUYS A ROUND SHOCK: And givin' away CDs!

Cosmo has come in for quite a bit of stick on this blog in the past, which may have gone over the head of those that do not know him, cos in truth, we love him. We met up today at an anti-BNP type meeting and went for a pint after… and shock horror he paid! The generosity continued with him parting with a copy of his latest CD, ‘Home Thoughts From Abroad’.

Recorded pretty much on the fly during his recent trip to Brazil at various locations on a mini disc the album contains songs penned at various points in his ‘musical journey’, some of them going back quite a few years. Its mostly him, just him, on guitar, harmonica and vocals, although there are two wicked little dubs at the end where some mates provide backing with bass and drums. Oh, nearly forgot, there is also some wild birds singing backing vocals, and various frogs, for the tracks recorded in the rain forest and.. erm.. the Brazilian Army! (?).

Cosmo does not need to think too hard when he writes a song because he is a soul searching philosopher that is constantly thinking about the meaning of life, questioning why life is the way it is, occasionally getting angry about it, wondering what can be done to put it right, and trying to work out whose round it is. When he writes songs he merely opens up his head and lets everyone in on what he is thinking, so here we have songs about love, travel, protests, insecurity and more. It’s a warm little album that makes you feel like you are having a cup of fair trade coffee in his bedsit at 2am, sharing confidences and looking for lighters. Buy it, he needs the money!

Our Cosmo, or Sandor as his mum knows him, thinks too much to fit everything into songs, so the overflow spills into his various blogs, the main one being freedomfortooting. Needless to say, there also be a Myspace


Friday, April 06, 2007

THE SUN HAS GOT ITS HAT ON: 2007 festival list

This summer is set to be very interesting. After a decade or so of money grabbing bastards running events with no soul and legislation making life difficult for the ‘real’ festivals, the grass roots have been getting their act together the last few years and we now have a healthy scene flourishing once more, with events being run efficiently by people who know what a festival is supposed to be. On top of this we have a few old faces returning to the scene; Back To the Planet, Radical Dance Faction, AOS3, Omnia Opera, Tribe of Cro and Billy Childish will be back with us this summer; add to that old favourites like Ozric Tentacles, Eat Static, Pronghorn, Space Ritual, Tarantism, P.A.I.N. and newcomers like Sick Note, Molara and Alienoidz .. the summer is already looking HOT.

Below is a list of some of the events coming up. It is by no means exhaustive, but is a good starter for ten, for the best listing you will need to track down a copy of festival eye which is getting bigger and better each year. If you know of anything worth adding to our list, please let us know (Events highlighted in RED come with a special reccomendation from the Iguana crew)

6 May BLOWOUT: Cardiff: Indoor thing with festival vibe, Dreadzone, Sick Note, 808 state, physycists, kilnaboy and many more warming up for the summer

25/26/27 May OFF THE TRACKS: Donnington: First of two festivals in the grounds of a hotel just off the tracks of Donnington

25/26/27 May GLASTONBUDGET: Leicester. Lots of up and coming bands together with a stage just for tribute bands

25/26/27 May STRUMMERCAMP: Manchester: Joe Strummers mates in the hood

26 May THE FULL PONTY: Pontypridd: Big one dayer with the likes of The Lost Prophets

28 May KINGSTON GREEN FAIR: Kingston upon Thames: One day green community event

31 may 1/2/3/4 June SUNRISE: Somerset. Back for another go after last years premier.

1/2/3 June WYCHWOOD: Cheltenham: low key but high quality event on the race course

2 June STRAWBERRY FAIR; Cambridge. Yes THE Strawberry Fair, still going strong

8/9/10 June DOWNLOAD: Donnington: Noisy mutha, held on the site of Donnington racecourse, take ya ear plugs and sleep with one eye open

8/9/10 June LLAMA: Devon: Community arts and music thing

8/9/10 June ISLE OF WIGHT Isle of Wight: Jimmi is unlikely to turn up, but the Stones will be (gawd help us!)

9/10 June ROCKNESS: Loch Ness: Alabama 3, Groove Armada, Manics, Chemical brothers etc

15/16/17 June HAWKFEST: Donnington: Spaced out man


22/23/24 June GLASTONBURY MEGAFEST: Pilton: not as good as it used to be, but still sells out in 9 minutes

29/30 June/1 July WORKHOUSE: North Wales: Stay away, we don’t want your sort spoiling this awesome little event

5/6/7/8 July ROSKILDE Denmark: Europes answer to Glastonbury

6/7/8 July BLISSFIELDS: Hampshire; in a field full of bliss we assume, don’t know much about it

6/7/8 July T IN THE PARK Scotland: Big corporate thing north of the border

7/8 July CORNBURY: Oxfordshire: David grey, Suzanne Vega, Blondie…. Wipe your feet on the way in

7/8 July OXEGEN: Ireland: Probably the biggest festi in the emerald isle

11/12/13/14/15 July LARMER TREE FESTIVAL: Dorset: Well run civilised little folky/world music event in the Larmer Tree Gardens in Dorset every July. Excellent facilities, and usually has a few good names on the bill. Ideal festival for people who do not like festivals. ALWAYS sells out and always has pronghorn close on the Sunday night.

13/14/15 July SMALL NATIONS: Mid Wales: Mostly local stuff with one or two surprises to make it worth travelling

13/14/15 July GUILFEST: Guilford: Festival for Radio 2 listeners who do not like campfires and late night music, but do like proper bogs.

13/14/15 July FFLAM; Swansea: A new comer to the circuit with big names and big ambitions

13/14/15 July LOUNGE ON THE FARM: Canterbury: Reasonably priced little do with the Alabama 3 (don’t they ever stay still?)

14 July CHAGSTOCK: Dartmoor: One dayer with Saw Doctors type shenanigans

14/15 July ASHTON COURT: Bristol: if you dont know the score.. where you been all these years?

19/20/21/22 July TROWBRIDGE VILLAGE PUMP; Trowbridge: A beer festival with
some cracking music

20/21 July WICKERMAN: Scotland: counter culture vibe of festivals from a bygone era, apparently

20/21/22 July EASTERN HAZE: Suffolk: this is shaping up to look a little bit UNMISSABLE. Old skool with amazing line up

20/21/22 July GLADE FESTIVAL ?? the dudes that run the glade field in Glastonbury

20/21/22 July SHEEP MUSIC FESTIVAL: Mid Wales: bring wellies and a rope

26/27/28/29 July SECRET GARDEN: Huntingdon: shhhh… it’s a secret!

26/27/28/29 July ROCK AND BLUES CUSTOM SHOW: Derbyshire: Get your motors running

27/28 July GLOBAL GATHERING: Warwick: Glowsticks, whistles, bandanas and prancing about doing the ‘big box little box’ thing.

27/28/29 July SHAMANIA: Lancashire: Shamanic tribal celebration with mostly DJs and live dance stuff

27/28/29 July WOMAD: Wiltshire: World Of Music And Dance, too cool for one country

2/3/4/5 August WICKHAM: Hampshire: Jethro tull, the Hamsters and all that sort of thing

4th August CELTIC BLUE ROCK West Wales: you will be surprised how cool West Wales is these days!

1/2/3/4/5 August BIG GREEN GATHERING: Somerset; Big and Green

3/4/5 August BIG WEEKEND: Cardiff: Fun fair, lots of crap music, but always at least one band worth seeing every day… free

4/5/6 August BIG CHILL: Eastnor: Big rip off

9/10/11/12 August BULLDOG BASH: Stratford upon Avon: Biker Heaven

10/11/12 August ENDORSE IT IN DORSET: Dorset: probably the best festival in Dorset. Old skool and wicked, a must do

10/11/12 August SUMMER SUNDAE: Leicester: Indie thing

10/11 August TARTAN HEART: Scotland; 70 squids, so there must be some big names… don’t know who though

16/17/18/ August BLOODSTOCK: Burton on Trent: Metal bloody metal, for fans of tinitus

17/18/19 August GREEN MAN GATHERING: Brecon: cool classy and always sells out

18/19 August V FESTIVAL: Chelmsford: more corporate nonsense from the man that brought you tubular bells and virgin cola

17/18/19 August BEAUTIFUL DAYS: Devon: the Levellers and friends go back to their roots

24/25/26 August SHAMBALA: Plymouth: return of one of the coolest events on the circuit.

24/25/26 August SOLFEST: Cumbria: One of these days we are gonna make the effort to drive that far north

24/25/26 August CARLING WEEKEND: Reading and Leeds: Mean Fi**ler commercial nonsense for kids to line Vince Powers' pocket

25 Auguust CARDIFF CALLING: Cardiff: Streets only festival appearance this year, plus local boys the Super Furies

26 August SOUTH WEST FOUR: Cardiff: Same site as Cardiff Calling, different promoter (Metro newspaper), mostly DJs and stuff

25 August CREAMFIELDS; Daresubry: big name line up for rave by organisers who have never been to a rave

30/31 August 1 September OFF THE TRACKS (AGAIN) Donnington: probably the best facilities of any festival on the circuit

14/15/16 September KNOCKENGORROUGH: Scotland: a sort of world dubby ceildih type north of the border in September. Those Arran jumpers will come in handy!


Sunday, April 01, 2007

NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED: Arcadia and Nemhain Live

Duck! Incoming from Arcadia

Hardcore is a word often used to prefix music styles to make them sound… well.. hard we suppose! There is hardcore-techno, hardcore-punk, hardcore-handbag, industrial-hardcore, happy-hardcore, grindcore and many more ….. not to mention hardcore porn and the stuff you put down for a driveway. But it has to be said, few could argue with the right to use the term when talking about Italian Bastard Core outfit Arcadia. This lot really are HARDCORE with a capital H.

Tonight they have stopped off in the Meze bar in Newport on part of a tour that seems to have them invading half of Europe and America almost simultaneously. With a six string bass, a seven string lead guitar and a vocal style that sometimes resembles Napalm Death, they machine gun their way through a set that is like a sonic weapon of mass destruction. Yet despite the ferocity of the event, if you can find something to hold onto to stop yourself being blown off your feet, there are underlying rhythms that lift them above the run of the mill hardcore… like standing at the back of Download Festival in the middle of a hurricane but still being able to here Rage Against The Machine in the background.

The crowd tonight is somewhat lacklustre, but the band do not let this put them off. Plonk them in front of a packed house with a mosh pit in the front and they would make Bad Brains look like the Nolan Sisters.

After they went off we nearly fell over because we had been bracing ourselves against the uncompromising sonic attack and as the shockwaves subsided normality became weird... but it would not last long.


Morrigan and Cherry, goddesses of panic and frenzy

Next up came Nemhain, named after an Irish goddess of war, and yes the band was full of goddesses and they were about to wage war on us. Not quite as intense as Arcadia they knocked us dead with riff laden, high-octane rock and roll with a heavy dose of Jack Daniels and Harley Davidson’s. Adrian Erlandsson of Cradle Of Filth fame kept the back beat pounding like a life size Animal from the Muppets, ensuring the pace never slowed and even though they were not the nuclear deterrent of Arcadia, they were definitely axe wielding psychopaths. Scary, sexy and funky all at once, just how rock ‘n roll should be.


PS: Big up Craig from Pulse Promotions for the tip off and the list