OR   Search for Artist/Title    Advanced Search
you are not logged in...  [login] 
All Reviews    Edit This Review     
Review: 'Portobello Live 2023 at The Maxilla Social Club'
'Wasted Youth, Jo-Jo & The Teeth, The Goldborns'   

-  Album: 'JC Carroll, Electrics, The Freak Elite, Tizane' -  Label: 'Ed Bennett, Jamie Perrett, Vixey, Portobello Choir'
-  Genre: 'Rock' -  Release Date: '8.5.23.'

Our Rating:
Portobello Live is an art and music festival that was taking place this year over the Coronation weekend, in various venues in and around Notting Hill, while some of the other venues also had stuff I would have liked to see we spent all of Monday in the Maxilla Social Club, on a deep journey into my roots spending the day where my Great Grandparents ran there grocers shop and raised their 9 children back when it was Maxilla Gardens, long before they built the Westway.

We arrived while the first act of the day the Portobello Live Choir were performing in front of the stage and this mass choir was making clear they were here to Bring Us A Higher Love with good harmonies they were all having a lot of fun. They then closed with I Think You Can Make it that had them really working to bring the joy to start the day in the sparsely populated Social Club.

Almost as soon as they had left the dancefloor on came Vixey who are an extremely young 5-piece band who have been rocking hard since 2021 they opened with a hard rocking instrumental rave up that saw the guitarists pulling every move they could before Bethan the bands singer joined them as they attacked 38 with passion as the guitars attempted to melt the walls, they had so much energy and spirit. The bands single One More Day had loads of energy in a School Of Rock meets Bandslam kind of way, but with more edge as they performed the hell out of the song striking every pose they could.

There was nothing sentimental about Daffodils another full on in our faces rock monster that the crowd were jumping around too. Then as Orlando seem to have some trouble with his amp they seemed to lose momentum sadly, as they bands set seemed to tail off a bit, but they are well worth seeing and if they stick at it will be essential in a couple of year' time.

Next on was Jamie Perrett who was performing solo with an acoustic and shades almost as dark as the ones his dad always wears. He opened with the sad tale of I'm Not Well that set the tone of this set of down hearted love gone wrong songs about Modern Living and all its' pains. Doe Eyed Disaster sounded brilliant in this sparse setting. God Is Praying has great sardonic lyrics and vocally this came close in places to sounding like Jamie's Dad Peter's vocals.

Another relationship hit the wall on how Dark Can it Be and the spoils were divvied up on Lions Share. Jamie closed with a great version of the Daniel Johnston classic True Love Will Find You In The End.

Next on was Ed Bennett who I'm sure I've seen playing in a band or two I've certainly seen bassist Connor Cotterill playing before in Amongst Liars. From the start of what I guess was Spirit Of Tomorrow this lot had a sound somewhere between mid-period (Non Stadium Anthem) Springsteen and Dan Baird, sort of classic American rock that featured on some songs Trumpet and Sax players to flesh out the sound that references All Along The Watchtower among other things.

The best song was probably Sports Car that had a good edge to it and the song they closed with that seemed to rip off Tennessee Rain.

Next on were Tizane who sounded way better than the last time I saw them last year, a lot more confident and tighter from the opening Don't Tell me or whatever it was called she was in good voice, When Ravens Leave had plenty of emotion as they really nailed it, Forever Is Nothing kept things good and tight as everything seemed to be going well as All I See got to about the second Chorus Tizane started signaling from the stage and as the song came to a close she had some words with her management and apologized for cutting the set short, this was a shame as she was easily starting to win over some new fans.

We took our dinner break and went into the garden and ordered some Pasta that turned out to be some of the best festival food I can remember eating, fresh pasta that was super tasty that allowed The Freak Elite to provide some supper club Psych rock for us as this four piece, who were not the freakiest people in the Maxilla, entertained us singing about Davy Jones while I tried to remember who I last saw the drummer playing with (Probably Steve Dior). They took us with them as they sung Dead End Songs Deep In The Shadows of the Westway, they take their 60's influences adding a cool twist or two while insisting that they took lessons from Dave, they were the right band to eat pasta too.

Electrics were on next as a four piece as they didn't have the bands sax player with them this time, but right from the opening blasts of Life Falls Down Alan Blizzard and the band were in great form very tight as we worked out if we were Victims Or Suspects as the new wave punk edge of Remember led into a group of songs about a bitter break up and Alan's disgust at Someone I Used to Know that got rather bitter on I Don't Want Your Love as the restraining order made clear he was a Broken Hearted Lover the guitars meshed as they flew through No Shit and closed this short vibrant set with My City that celebrated the west London vibe that this festival perfectly reflected.

Next up was JC Carroll who played solo, as he couldn't get his I-pad to work properly just played with his acoustic guitar. He opened as he often does these days with Boy From Nowhere that's one of his great songs about alienation. He then took things a bit darker singing about committing suicide at Surbiton station when it all gets too much. We then got his most recent single from the Caveman Tv Album. Then JC got the crowd going with his version of the punk classic Delilah. As we all went to Bedsitland. The next cover was a mash up of Silver Machines music as JC sang Je Ne Regrette Rien they worked well as one song. His big hit with The Members Sound Of The Suburbs had the whole hall joining in and Offshore Banking Business went down a storm before he closed with Apathy In The UK.

There was a sudden influx of Football hooleydrums in time for the Dance rock of The Goldborns who have a big following among QPR supporters who brought a lot of atmosphere, from the opening Going Out with some great dubby noises from the guy playing all the gadgets. Don't Like Going Places had a mix of dancefloor fun and naked aggression to it. Dead Town was dedicated to local hero Lee Scratch Perry who featured on the original single version of this tune that had a mighty dub edge to it. In between songs there were a lot of football chants going on that might have jarred a touch with the sentiments of I'm In Love Again, but most of the crowd sang along to that too, West London Boy was a proper rabble rouser while Am I Alright was Geezer incarnate before they finished with a great impassioned Broken Homes whose dub rock edge summed things up nicely.

Next on and shifting the atmosphere again to a more glam rock one was a band who were perfectly named for the Maxilla Social Club Jo-Jo & The Teeth. They fizzed into life with My Babe that had glammy guitars and flashy moves as Jo-Jo was bravely performing in bare feet. No More Good News sounded great with plenty of punch and guitar interplay. Hellhound was dedicated to the green lights blinding Jo-Jo rather than whoever was on her tail. They were great fun to watch lots of good moves on I think We're Just Animals before they closed by getting everyone to join them singing Rebel Yell that closed a short, impressive set.

The final act of this very cool day of music was Canning Towns finest Wasted Youth who are of course these days based in West London, they were playing with the band's latest line-up and started with Rocco and the new guitarist who is either Alan or Joseph fading the band in like they are Spacemen 3 before Ken Scott wandered on stage and they launched into Maybe We'll Die With Them it sounded incredible a welter of guitars as Rocco started throwing every Earl Slick pose he has in his armory. Paris France had loads of us singing along and was a perfect death rock anthem.

I'll Remember You kept the classics coming at us as Ken complained they didn't sound as great as they should, well out front I couldn't hear anything wrong. My Friends Are Dead hit home for me hearing it played pretty much where 11 members of my family used to live, all of whom are long dead I had memories of the stories my Nana Lily used to tell me about growing up on Maxilla Gardens flashing through my head as they played this brilliant version of one of my favorite Wasted Youth songs. If Tomorrow was slower and saw Ken try to get his keyboards to co-operate they sounded good but something might have been missing. Man Found Dead In Graveyard was full on imperious and wandered into Sister Ray before going totally wild. They then played the intro to David Bowie's Stay that I think mutated into Housewife but kept the guitar line from Stay and sounded brilliant.

We then got a good long version of I Wish I Was A Girl to sing along too before they closed the festival with a brilliant garage rock rumble through Do The Caveman that was a brilliant way to end a very good days music in a cool venue.
  author: simonovitch

[Show all reviews for this Artist]

READERS COMMENTS    10 comments still available (max 10)    [Click here to add your own comments]

There are currently no comments...