Friday, 12 August 2011


Venue: MADCAP, Wolverton
Bands: The White Moths / Phil Sky / The Further Adventures Of Vodka Boy / The Baron Makabre Band / Harikiri Heartbreak
Words: MMT & Phil W.

We think its criminal - given the amount of talent on show - that the recent MADCAP Fundraiser gigs have been so thin on the ground for audience. Not that we’re biased or anything, given that these gigs currently operate under the name of “The Dudebox Chronicles”! But if another one comes around, you really should check it out – whether it’s cos you dig the bands on offer, or just because it’s all for a good cause! And when you see the lights flashing and hear the sounds pumping, you’ll wish every night could be a MADCAP night!

The opening chapter of this second volume in The Dudebox Chronicles was written by THE WHITE MOTHS, who I hope won’t be offended if I describe them as having an impressively hard rock sound given that they all look very young indeed! Powerful bass and pummelling drums topped off with squalling electric riffs and very strong vocals which don’t like they should physically be able to come out of the body of the singer! I’d not seen them before, but I very much liked what I saw – definitely excited to see how they progress. Check out the live footage from this very gig on their Facebook group!

What The Dudebox Chronicles aim to do is mix together some of the best up-and-coming talent from the young bands who play in and around the MADCAP Music Centre along with some of the more established acts around. And I think the “lo-fi King of Milton Keynes” (© MK Citizen) PHIL SKY very much falls into that second category. Playing some totally new songs, the dude seemed totally at home framed by the beautiful old proscenium stage. I’m fast thinking his newish track “Supergirl” with its Evan Dando charm might be one of his best yet.

The second of the more established acts on this evening were none other than Milton Keynes's premier acoustic three-piece ‘man band’ THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF VODKA BOY, who this evening were also launching their third and probably best album yet – “Triple Filtered”. The band tore through a set of hits both old and new, plus a couple of covers reflecting the broad range of skills this band have accumulated over the last few years. I probably enjoyed the last two songs of the set best - a brilliant Eddie Cochran cover followed by their own new song “Cheerful Is The New Miserable”.

If you’ve never before seen Baron Makabre in action, I’m honestly not sure how to describe it to you! But if even if you have, if you’ve not seen him in action with THE BARON MAKABRE BAND then you totally have to! It makes the whole experience at least a thousand times better, if you can imagine such a thing! With a whole backing band of henchmen – sorry... Igors! – the songs become fully fledged monsters of rock. Literally! Plus the Baron’s use of stage props and his commitment to the role (he comperes the evening too) puts other acts to shame.

Final act of the night - HARIKIRI HEARTBREAK – seemed a little cross that their drummer couldn’t be with them because he’d gone on holiday! All sounds pretty rock n’ roll to me... We’ve seen them before as a full-on electric proposition, but it was actually interesting to see them perform as a duo, with just one acoustic guitar and a bass. The vocalist’s particular vocal technique was effective in a very different way stripped of the usual background sound. Intriguing!

All in all a fascinating night of musical variety – if you see a third volume advertised, get along. It doesn’t matter that you may not have read the first two in the series... it could still prove the read of your life! (yes... this metaphor is going to run and run!)