Jake & The Jellyfish @ Duke of Wellington

Jake & The Jellyfish are every bit as intriguing and innovative as their name suggests. With their infectious mix of punk, folk and reggae with a violin to boot, their live shows bring to the table the energy and passion which demonstrate everything which is great about the UK punk scene at the moment. In fact, their headline gig alongside three great local bands at The Duke of Wellington last night, proves the age-old saying wrong: punk is not dead—it’s thriving.

Jake & The Jellyfish Live

Jake & The Jellyfish


Opening act Joe Davis, from Lincoln based band, That’s Not Me, warmed the crowd up nicely with a solo acoustic performance. He even took a leaf out of the great Bob Dylan’s book by bringing out a harmonica for one song to accompany his guitar playing and singing.

Stereoepic were up next, a four-piece pop punk band from Gainsborough. With their catchy choruses and teenage life inspired lyrics, they’ve gone with a tried and tested formula, similar to that of pop punk giants Blink 182 and New Found Glory. The formula works very well for their live shows though, with the band having a friendly stage presence and bringing a real feel good factor to the audience.

The third band to take to the stage for the night were Wisecrack, a three-piece punk band from Lincoln. This was their first show with a completely new line-up with vocalist and guitarist Matt Colwell, drafting in a new bass player and drummer to replace previous band members who had left. For anyone on the night who wouldn’t have known this snippet of information however, I don’t think they could ever have guessed. The band played with the skill and confidence that made it easy to believe they’d played together for years. Playing upbeat songs such as the title track from their first album, released earlier this year, called Pining For The Road, the band managed to get the crowd moving. Perhaps the highlight of their performance was the hugely uplifting Sunflower Song, where half of the audience joined in with the band to sing along. I have a sneaking suspicion Lincoln will be seeing a lot more of these guys in the months to come.

Headline act Jake & The Jellyfish were last up on stage and they proved to be the perfect band to crown a memorable night at the Duke of Wellington. The four-piece outfit from Leeds are hard to nail down to a particular musical genre which is a compliment in itself. They manage to knit together punk, folk, and reggae to form an innovative blend of music which is a treat to experience live. Think of combining Against Me! and Frank Turner with Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen and you’ll come up with a cocktail similar in taste to that of Jake & The Jellyfish. Playing songs off their E.P called Landfills, which was released last year, the band converted the audience into a sea of dancing bodies and flying beer. They ended the night by coming into the crowd to play the painfully honest, but beautiful track Same Old, Same Old, which went down so well, the audience asked for an encore.

I turned up to the gig thinking that with a name as inventive as Jake & The Jellyfish, this band had to be something special. They did not disappoint in any way.

Knock Out Kaine @ The Jolly Brewer

Knock Out Kaine @ The Jolly Brewer

In the wild and debauched world of Hard Rock, the aim of the game is to make an impact, to put on a blinding live performance, and to leave people wanting more.

If you were looking for a truly awe-inspiring local rock band, then lay down your burdens, weary traveler.

Your search is over.

Knock Out Kaine rocking The Jolly Brewer.

photo by Greg Smith


With the infectious rock n’ roll attitude and stunning musicianship of Motley Crue, and the ability to deliver a Hard Rock ballad like Skid Row, Knock Out Kaine are a band that will soon be headlining gigs across Europe, and maybe even America. I certainly wouldn’t put it past them.

They played an imbroglio of songs from their fantastic new album House Of Sins, which is available from HMV and at their gigs. These sinfully sweet songs included the electrifying hard rock anthem Set The Night On Fire, the evocative ballad Coming Home and right at the very end, to cap the night off in spectacular style, their unique and brilliant cover of Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell.

This is the second time I’ve seen this band, which is a testament to the infectiousness of their music. It’s undiluted, raw hard rock, the way it was meant to be, yet the band that produced it are definitively English. It’s easy to tell what their musical influences are – the 80’s hard rock movement in America, including such bands as Guns n’ Roses, Aerosmith and Motley Crue is their era of inspiration.

They’ve been going since 2005, getting gigs across the UK to spread their music. Seven years since their birth and they are now standing proud at the very top of Lincoln’s rock scene, a spot they aren’t gonig to surrender any time soon.

The Jolly Brewer can consider itself rocked. When they started playing Rebel Yell, everyone totally lost their… well, you get the picture.

One aspect of their music that is definitely worth mentioning at this juncture is that they are diverse within the genre. They have turbulent rock anthems like title track House Of Sins and Set The Night On Fire, they have ballads like Moving On and Coming Home AND they have delicious, sleazy numbers such as Skinstar and Little Crystal. They know their music, these lads.

Drummer Danny Krash provides the bedrock for the outfit, with classic rock drumming. If you pay particular attention, you might even notice hints of drumming more akin to metal music, which is one of his personal influences. Bassist Lee Byrne holds down the low end for Knock Out Kaine with consistent, driving basslines that really carry the song’s along. Jimmy Bohemian is the man behind the guitar for this musical tour de force, and what a guitar player he is.

Honestly. Mind-blowing.

The spearhead of the band is arguably Dean Foxx, the vocalist and also acoustic guitar player when the ballads roll around. He provides the lyrical paint to the musical canvas, and to complete this rather shoddy metaphor, helps Knock Out Kaine make the masterpieces that they are now renowned for in the city of Lincoln, UK.


Also, a hat-tip to Emperor Chung, who were supporting Knock Out Kaine, and were very good too.


Marina & The Diamonds @ The Engine Shed

Picture: Dave Lichterman

Half Welsh, half Greek singer Marina Lambrini Diamandis began to taste fame in 2009, following the release of several EPs and singles. But it wasn’t until a year later, in 2010, when Marina & the Diamonds really hit it off with fans. Hollywood and I Am Not A Robot sported  quirky yet soulful sounds, and this combined with some catchy relatable lyrics was  the perfect recipe for a super songstress. And that she is. Her first album, The Family Jewels, hit an impressive number 5 in the UK charts, and the follow up, Electra Heart, took a more poppy turn, but shot to number 1 regardless.

Marina Diamandis is stood on a stage, wearing a white outfit, whilst singing. In the background is a bright blue light. She's standing away from the microphone stand, but is gripping it tightly with one hand.

Picture: Dave Lichterman

Now on a UK tour for her second studio album, Electra Heart, Marina is venturing to venues she didn’t go on the first leg of her tour earlier in the year. One of these was in Lincoln. The Engine Shed is a rather

large venue, and whilst the gig wasn’t a sell out, the atmosphere was electric. Even before Marina came on, the crowd was alive with excitement, screaming and chanting her name for several minutes before she actually appeared. Cheeks covered in little hearts, it was clear that most of the audience idolised Marina, and she idolises them just as much (the diamonds in her stage name actually refers to her fans, not the band as you might expect.)She performed an equal blend of Marina classics and Electra Heart songs alike. Starting the gig in a shiny wedding style dress (veil and all) she belted out an incredible rendition of Homewrecker, a tune which depicts a woman who can’t fall properly in love due to being content with breaking hearts. This was followed by some true bubblegum pop in the form of Oh No! and Mowgli’s Road, which work beautifully together to express Marina’s goals and fears of failing at these.  Other fan favourites like Shampain, Power & Control, Lies and Hollywood also made an appearance during the gig, much to the delight of the singing audience.

After an encore, she graced the stage with her presence one final time, closing the show with How To Be A Heartbreaker. Marina’s fixation with the so called American Dream shone throughout the whole performance. Her lyrics express this desire too, seeping with emotion, sadness and dreams gone wrong.

Another major part of the performance was the visuals and props. Varying from a toy dog called Marilyn (which she “rescued” in America and sang Primadonna with) to a proper old school style TV, she completely captured the crowd with her creativity and inventive unique ideas.  It can easily be argued that Marina thrives in this environment. Singing directly to her diamonds, she sounded better than ever whilst live. She hit every note perfectly, and seemed to develop more soul and vibrancy as the gig went on. Reacting to various things said by members of the crowd, she made it obvious that she was paying attention. She’s incredibly talented, and after the success of her newest album, it’s clear that she’s loved by many.  Go Electra!

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