Archive for the ‘Shift-Static’ Category

Foot Village and Shift-Static Head of Steam Newcastle Wednesday 11 November 2009

A week or so after playing the same venue, Shift Static were back at the Head of Steam, this time supporting Foot Village. Now Foot Village are drums, drums, lots of noise, lots of rhythm and soaring screaming vocals! Pretty scary stuff actually and amazing in a small venue, where we were all surrounded by the sound of percussion and lots of drumming. Marie and I left the gig with our ears ringing!

foot2“Foot Village is a tribal noise rock band from Los Angeles, consisting of four drummers of which two also do the vocals. Band members Brian Miller and Grace Lee come from the band Gang Wizard, Josh Taylor was in Friends Forever. ” (Wikipedia)

I have written elsewhere about Shift-Static, this post is more an update to remind me of seeing Foot Village. A couple years later I was with Laura at the Alexandra Palace in London to see Portishead and PJ Harvey and we ran into the members of Foot Village, who were one of the support acts. Laura was quite touched that they remembered her after a couple years, as I recall. She got a signed copy of their album and was quite chuffed.

“FOOT VILLAGE are a thunderous drum-n-shout assembly from Los Angeles – a thick forest of whirling limbs beating out rhythms for whispers and hollers to leap and dive through. Featuring members of Gang Wizard, Friends Forever and the infamous International Voice of Reason, Foot Village are pure hardcore spirit without the spark of electricity. foot 1

Erecting civilisation with drums and voices alone, Foot Village are the first nation built after the foreseeable apocalypse. Don’t get this self-imposed restraint confused with some neo-luddite stance however, as Foot Village only want to inspire others with the wide potential of rock music. Anything becomes possible if you have an idea to run with.” (Upset the Rhythm)


Roundhouse Rising Festival 21st – 24th February 2014

Roundhouse Rising Festival 21st – 24th February 2014
roundhosueprog So the Shift-Static guys made it down to London for their big-city debut at Camden’s Chalk Farm Roundhouse, courtesy of Generator and the Roundhouse Rising festival. Second on the bill on the Saturday evening; Gordon, Laura, Charlie, Joe and Will took to the stage at 9pm in front of a packed Studio audience, including many friends and family who had ventured south especially for the occasion. After some technical glitches which were sorted during sound-check, their short 30 minute set went beautifully, without any further hitch. Their aural soundscapes filled the room much to the delight of the crowd, who gave the band a reception fit for heroes. Shift-Static music is a mix of pounding beats, soaring vocals and challenging musical dynamics. In it I hear elements of Joy Division, Julie Tippetts, Portishead and Eno with a smattering of the African rhythms of Osibisa; but they probably won’t thank me for any of those comparisons 🙂 .
roundhousetixRoundhouse Rising is the Roundhouse’s annual festival of new music. Taking place across 4 days, the festival sees live music from over 75 artists plus 3 days of special events dedicated to help new atcs break into the music industry. Each year the Roundhouse works with over 3,000 11-25 year olds enabling them to realise their creative potential in live music, circus, spoken word, theatre and new media. Around 45 of the artists performing this weekend have come through this route.

Shift-Static The Cluny 2 Newcastle May 12th 2012

Shift-Static The Cluny 2 Newcastle May 12th 2012
So Shift-Static returned after a gig hiatus, the members regrouping from various corners of the UK to play a show in The Cluny 2, along with Houses, Baskin’s Wish, and Euan Lynn. A healthy crowd gathered to see this home gig, some having travelled especially for the show. Laura ventured from her normal situation behind keyboards, taking front of stage to deliver her haunting vocals. The set consisted of five songs, and lasted around 30 minutes, featuring some new tunes and one old favourite. Crowd members were shouting for recent online release Sky Burial, which proved to be a big hit. The songs are a sublime mix of electronica, dance, and guitar jangles, Gordon concentrating on the beats and the electrickery, Will on the jangle guitar, Charlie master of the samples and further beats, Joe pounding away on the rhythm bass, and Laura overlaying her textured, haunting vocals. The band received a well deserved positive reception from the assembled Cluny crowd, the new set hitting the right spot with everyone. Shift-Static next perform at Newcastle Miners Institute on Friday 25 May. Setlist: Intro; New Song; Father’s Footsteps; Five Bar Gate; Sky Burial.

Evolution Emerging The Star and Shadow 27 May 2011

Evolution Emerging The Star and Shadow 27 May 2011
Shift-Static played a great set at Evolution Emerging on Friday. They were first up, but still managed to draw a decent size crowd into the Star and Shadow. This is likely to be their last gig for a little time as some of the band are off travelling for the summer.


Laura Smith of Shift-Static

Love Music Hate Racism The Cluny May 13th 2011

Love Music Hate Racism The Cluny May 13th 2011
This gig featured local bands: O’Messy Life, Shift-Static and Our Imaginary Friends.
First up was Our Imaginary Friends who play melodic guitar-based pop with a 60s flavour. The singer reminded me of Richard Hawley and Divine Comedy. They have some nice tunes and went down well with the local crowd. Next up was Shift-Static who played their normal exquisite set to a great reception. I spotted Terry Reid in the audience (he was playing the Cluny the following night); and he seemed to be enjoying the local talent. Local photographer Jazzy Lemon was in attendance and took lots of great shots. The night was rounded off by local band O’Messy Life who headlined the evening.

Our Imaginary Friends website:
Shift-Static website:
Some great photos from Jazzy Lemon: Jazzy Lemon photos
O’Messy Life website:

Marina Celeste and Shift-Static The Cluny Newcastle 17 April 2011

Marina Celeste and Shift-Static The Cluny Newcastle 17th  April 2011

Shift-Static got a call a few days ago inviting them to support Marina Celeste at the Cluny. I hadn’t heard of Marina but advice from Laura, and some web searching, revealed to me that she is “the voice of Nouvelle Vague”, who made their name playing classics from the New Wave music era, reinterpreting them in a bossa nova style.
Marie and I arrived at the Cluny just in time to catch the end of the first support act, Tamara Schlesinger from 6 Day Riot, who played some nifty ukelele. After a short break Shift-Static took to the stage to a fair size crowd and started with IL1 / IL2. This was followed by Get the Echo, Fathers Footsteps Part 1 and The Furrow; all which went down well with the crowd. They finished with Haystacks which got a great cheer and shouts for more. The set was the same as they played at the Sage a few weeks ago, and the sound was equally clear and sharp.
Marina wasn’t really my cup of tea to be honest. Her songs are bossa nova versions of punk classics. Imagine Orgasm Addict (the Buzzcocks) sung in a breathy French vocals, backed by a Parisian jazz cafe type band. Marie and I beat a retreat back home for a drink in the local Wetherspoons.

Marina Celeste website:
Shift-Static website:
6 Day Riot website:


You can see Shift-Static play Haystacks here:

Shift-Static Sound 11 The Sage Gateshead 5 March 2011

Shift-Static in Sound ’11: Electronica and World Rhythms
Saturday 5 March 8:00 pm Hall Two, The Sage Gateshead

Sound 11 is an annual event which showcases the best in local student music and performance. Shift-Static shared the bill at this event in a three band concert at the end of the evening in Hall 2. The other bands on the bill were Dale Burundanga who (from the programme) “play unique arrangements of Afro-Peruvian tunes”, and Hannabiell and Midnight Blue “with their distinctive African-influenced funk and jazz”. The programme said of Shift-Static: “Shift Static combine warped ambient samples with home-brewed instruments and stunning vocals.”

This was Shift-Static’s highest profile gig to date, and the guys had spent months rehearsing and preparing for it. And it showed.
They came on last around 10.20 and performed a short 30 minute set comprising five of their songs. Each song was performed to perfection with Gordon’s soaring, reverb-ridden lead, Will’s jangling rhythm guitar, Charlie’s samples and beats, Joe’s pounding bass, and Laura’s haunting vocals. The music was accompanied by an excellent light and visual show which had been specially designed for the night by Ed (lights) and Mark and Will (visuals), who are Newcastle students. Laura was dressed in a lovely psychedelic original 60s dress which gave out a nice fluorescent glow under the lights.
You can see them performing Haystacks here:

and Father’s Footsteps here:

Friends and family had assembled to be part of the event and the band didn’t let us down. The performance was stunning, and showed how their songs and approach fits well with a venue of this sort. Can’t wait to see the full video.
IL1 / IL2
Get the Echo
Fathers Footsteps Part 1
The Furrow



Visit their myspace site at :

Shift-Static The Telegraph Newcastle 16 Oct 2010

Shift-Static The Telegraph Newcastle 16 Oct 2010
This was the first Shift-Static gig that Marie and I had seen for some time. They were playing upstairs in the Telegraph to a home crowd, sandwiched between a few other local music combos. They had played a gig at the Head of Steam and a sold out show at the Cumberland Arms during Freshers week, but we hadn’t made it along to those shows. The band have been using the gap over the Summer to craft some new tunes for us, and had also bought some new sparkly hardware gismos which were on display (and in use!) and which produced some wonderful new sounds for us. The set was short as time was limited; the new songs such as “Get the Echo” blended well with older favourites such as “Haystacks” and the crowd showed their appreciation by giving them a great reception. Next gig up is on the 16 November.


Setlist: IL1; Get the Echo; Fathers Footsteps Part 1; No Rush; Green Knees; Haystacks

Shift-Static Hyem Cafe 30 May 2010

Shift-Static Hyem Cafe 30 May 2010
Shift-Static shared the bill with half a dozen local bands tonight. We were treated to an acoustic set as not all members could make tonight. The set contained a couple of new songs and went down well with the crowd. Last gig before Uni holidays; look forward to a return after the Summer.


running order of bands

Shift-Static Bridge Hotel Newcastle & Pure Sunderland March 2010

Shift-Static The Bridge Hotel Newcastle March 4th 2010 and Pure Sunderland March 7th 2010
Shift-Static played the Bridge Hotel in Newcastle on Thursday night. They were first on stage and shared the bill with three other bands, including headliners Polarsets. They came on stage around 8.30pm to a small but appreciative crowd. The sound tonight was very clear, the mix was great, and their wonderful sounds filled the small upstairs room in the pub. Everyone seemed to enjoy them.
I have vague memories of being in the venue before; I seem to recall seeing some local bands there in the 70s, but can’t remember who. I finished the evening by being an honorary roadie; Laura’s keyboard is heavy to carry downstairs!
On Sunday night they played Pure in Sunderland, as part of a competition. They played really well; best time I’ve seen them. They went down well with the crowd and got through to the next round! Great stuff!