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Sound is the force of creation, the true whole. Music then, becomes the voice of the great cosmic oneness and therefore the optimal way to reach this final state of healing.” Hazrat Inayat Khan
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20 years of rocket records 9th -11th March 2018 The Garage Highbury Corner

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"It was a strange sensation .It was the same ritual as getting up for work shower break fast walk down to the station get on a tube put the headphones on to drown out the journey but that was where the similarity ended Welcome to Rocket recordings world !

This ones quite daunting to put together and Ive been thinking about it all week .This was 24 hours of the most cutting edge underground acts brought together for a 3 day celebration of a record label called Rocket Recordings in a venue thats about as intimate as it could possibly get .The only band playing on the 3 days that had some kind of mainstream critical acclaim, (BBC 6 played World music lots when it came out) was the Swedish Shamanistic psychedelic afro beat collective Goat .I have written up live Goat gigs on my Campfire blog before .Last time I saw them they had sold out Brixton Academy, so to actually see them in a space like this was for me price less and I ended up having a boogie with them upstairs after the set when they had changed out of their stage masks 

So how am I going to write this one up ?.Ive decided to break it down into the separate days ,but with an opener describing how the passes worked and the 2 area layout (not including the cafe bit in the front )where the bands arrived and set up merch .I had some really good talks with some of them .These are very strange times we are facing and every time I go out and listen to these underground  bands Its almost the unheard sound track to the dystopian night mare that s unraveling more and more so, both here and in  Europe .It was good and refreshing chatting music and politics with some of the bands  The music spanned from Psych to electronica to Free jazz to the most violent angry heavy disturbing distortion   All the bands on this label are thought provoking This isn't safe Saturday night mainstream FM radio or X factor fodder .This is rumbling from a different place .This is the rumbling from the underground  and its not easy to forget . It makes people think .and It hasn't been made to a formula for the brain washed  !.So here goes .20 years of rocket Recordings .Strap your selves in and its lift off  !

 

I purchased the 3 day pass  as soon as they went on sale   I was a bit concerned how Baba Yagas had worked out the day split tickets .I had had a bad experience with the other promoter Dnp at a Foxygen gig up St Johns Hackney earlier In the year (see my campfire blog ) and had some trepidation over it ,but everything was fine .Baba Yagas had reassured  me that the extra day ticket  allocations for the days had been properly worked out and they had .It took a while to get in and get the 3 day pass wristbands on the Friday in the pouring cold rain, but once banded up everything was good .The wrist band meant free access to  come and go  .So after depositing my waterproof in the hat check and checking out where everything was   .It was time to start the musical journey of enlightenment  and what a sonic journey it was !

Friday Flowers must die /Julies Hair Cut /Josefin Ohrn and upstairs in the small room Ahrkh /Dwellings /Cold Nose /Teeth of the sea dj set 

Flowers Must die take their name from a long Ash Ra Temple track I think from 72 .I missed the start of the set due to queuing out side  .They were good very hypnotic with a horn section .The Julies Hair cut sax player was jamming out  with them when I came in .It was a good choice for an opener and I hadn't heard them before .Julies Hair cut were on next .This band I saw up  psych fest last year(check write up  and I blew out Songhoy Blues  on the main stage for them ,Their names quite surreal  and there music is sublime .They have been going quite a long time and are Italian but sing in English .They have a depth to them .I fell in love with them up Psych fest .I spent some time in the cafe by the exit chatting to the main song writer and lead guitarist and singer about the music and right wing populist politics that are rattling  all our collective freedoms at the moment  .Their musics got a complexity and beauty to it .Like a sonic dream scape .I will leave a sampler link .Next I watched Josefin Ohrn and the liberation .I might have seen them supporting Goat up the Cornet when they were touring Requiem when it 1st released  Josefin is a stunning 6ft Swedish girl who fronts a band with a Japanese girl guitarist and a band who play genuine original psych .Her vocal mix wasn't as good as it could have been but I am not being critical .I will leave a link .I also checked out upstairs .The Friday was only 4 hours and I left before the upstairs shut I was going to pace it out .Upstairs was a small area set up with a sound system and strange experimental electronica .I watched a man creating sound with samplers and fx peddles .Loads of whooshing noises .Saturday was going to be a long day 12 hours in fact ,so I left in time I thought to catch the last Hipster rail back to Stratford but it pulled away as I got to the top of the stairs leading to the platform .

Saturday  Temple ov BBV/Mamuthones/Gnoomes/Pigs x7/Hey Colllusus/Goat /Gum Takes tooth and Upstairs Mike Bourne/House Wives/Ved/Nothing is DJs .Today I made sure I had the mother of all full cooked breakfasts before I left the Chighood  .It was going to be long long one and I was going to hit it hard .It was a strange sensation because it was the same ritual as getting up for work Wake up shower breakfast .Same walk to the station get on the tube put the headphones on to drown out the commute,but that was where the similarity ended   (Even though I dont take Hipster Rail ) I got up to Highbury Islington early and headed for the Witherspoons for a couple of pints before entering into the Garage and the Hat check.I was very excited about seeing pigs x7 again and couldn t believe it when a note on the door said they had pulled out because of a family crisis and one of the bands from upstairs were filling the gap in the bill  .I checked out some of the Temple ov BBV ,but it was another Italian band that was new to me that really blew me away called Mamuthones .I was chatting to their Merch guy before I saw them and he recommended another Italian band to me called Anthroprophh that were playing on the Sunday and I came straight back to him after seeing Mamuthones and bought their album off of him .I will leave a link .This band were exceptional  .They sing in English and I had a chat with them after .Next was a Russian band called Gnoomes .I have seen bits of them playing up Psych fest .They are more guitar led and quite powerful Check the play list .I was still in shock after seeing the note on the door that Pigs x7 had pulled out but Ive left live  write ups on my blog before .As far as Im concerned they are possibly one of the greatest rock bands ever to have graced the planet .Think   Black Sabbath but better and that might give a mental picture of what to expect .I saw bits of Housewives but I went back to the Witherspoons because they had Nethergate  Growler on drought and it was in peak condition and I was still a bit traumatized by the news that I wasn't going to see pigs x 7 .Hey Colossus .This bands been going yonks ,but I think this is the 1st time I had ever seen them .They are incredibly powerful incredibly heavy a tripped out wall of electric sound  energy in fact  and have a cult following .Ive left a play list .Im going to see them again .Goat Ive left a couple of past write ups on my blog here on Campfire .When I 1st heard World music it had a similar jaw dropping effect as the 1st time I ever heard the Prodigy Experience album years back when it came out  .I think I have all but their live album and am a massive fan .They have for me a perfect sound Its like Afro beat mixed with psychedelic rock .I still dont think they have surpassed their 1st album but they are defiantly going to do it at some point soon  .Tonights set featured the 1st lp lots with some excellent new material with choice bits of Requiem and Commune .The Goat girls were bouncing like possessed by another worldly spirit .They are very Shamanistic .Ive seen them lots .Live they take no prisoners and tonights no exception .All Hail the Mighty Goat .It was odd when they finished because alot of people went home .I headed upstairs and left about 3 am .The Baba Yagas invited me back to Corsica Studios ,their base but I declined . I wanted to save my self for the 8 hours of cutting edge bands on the Sunday and Elephant and Castle was to far over the other side of London for me 

Sunday  Bonnacons of Doom /Kuro/Zimpel Ziolek/Anthrophh/Teeth of the Sea /Gnod/ and upstairs Ayn Sof/Negra Branca /HUM .For me it was like getting into some kind of routine by now .Wake up have a shower, breakfast, walk down to the station ,change at Stratford for Hipster rail ,get off at Highbury Corner pop in the pub. Fire back a couple of pints of Growler  and then check my coat into the hat check and then watch the bands Bonnacons of Doom were wearing what looked like those mirrored reflective street signs that help drivers see round blind corners .They were very Heavy .I had had trouble crossing the road to the Garage because it was an Arsenal at home day and the police had fenced off the access so I missed some of the 1st set .For me the next 2 bands were the ones that really stunned me ,both I had never heard of before and both were just 2 musicians (Kuros is the band in my header picture ).They were using Violin and some instrument I dont know the name of and were looping the most beautiful sound scapes and the back projections were stunning .Zimpel Ziolek were the only band that were playing who weren't actually signed to the label .I was talking to them after they played .They come from Warsaw Poland and were playing a gig the next day in Wroclaw .(Ive visited both places Wroclaws on the German boarder and has the most beautiful gothic architecture  The Germans never torched it on the scorched earth policy in the retreat in the 2nd world war because they considered it German soil .This band were combining free Jazz with electronica  acoustic guitar and clarinet.They sing in English  .I got right at the front and stood with my jaw open with a big grin on my face for the entire set resting against the railings at the stage front  .Their music is well just transcendental and beautiful and I had never seen anything like them before .I want the lp I posted on the links on vinyl because their music is the kind that will sound best on it .Hats off to who ever booked them .Next was the Italian band the Mamuthones merch man recommended to me .Anthroprophh were brutally heavy and very loud .I had to move away from the front the volume was so deafeningly intense  They were very good Check the link .Teeth of the Sea have been going years like Hey Colossus and I cant remember if I had seen them before or not .I must have done at some point in the past .They have Trumpet and sax what gives them a very distinct sound   I left the link They are a true Psychedelic rock band and are superb and I will see them again ..Last on the bill was Manchester band  Gnod I missed them up Psych fest because so much goes on at the same time .Gnod are Political and very very powerful  they have 2 bassists ,they are a wall of sound .They stunned me .They are kind of the most angry punked up band that played over the weekend they have tracks that build and burn for 15 minutes long .They are revolutionary .The real deal and are playing the Moth Club in May .If anyone reading this goes and sees them after reading this let me know what you make of them .I reckon they are something special and especially in this day and agel ! .I made it upstairs at about the time I think  HUM were playing I missed Negra Branka but left the link   If it was HUm playing there were about 4 on stage  causing extreme madness up there live drummer going nuts and people bouncing .about like crazy .

So that s it. 20 years of Rocket recordings .Its taken ages to put together but the story had to be told and these superb bands need a platform to be heard .When I got home even the professional ear plugs I use these days couldnt keep the extreme volume from my ears .I had been well and truly a sensory  battering of mind fry over the 3 days  and I wouldn t have wished it any other way  .10 out of 10  entertainment Campfire x

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