Live Reviews Music

B.Dolan’s Church of Love and Ruin Live

Feat: B.Dolan, Sage Francis, Madge of Honor, The What Cheer Bridage, Dan Le Sac
Sub89, Reading
06th September 2012


As Dan Le Sac wrapped up his triumphant home town DJ set, there came an alarming sound from the back of the venue. A procession appears and they kept on coming, taking everyone by surprise like an ambush. Masked and covered in zombie-like make-up, the marching band arrives from all angles. Drums, cowbells, trumpets, flutes, it was a complete free for all in the intimate venue and the crowed were left in utter shock…

They have no interest in the stage, as far as they’re concerned, the whole venue is a stage. So the crowd dodges drum sticks, ducks under the dude with the massive trombone and dances along with the band. What an into. It was something special.

As the the tempo slowed down the band started to lower themselves to the ground, kneeling, then eventually sitting down, taking everyone with them. Now that’s the 1st time I’ve ever seen a room full of people, at a gig, boogieing their buts off whilst actually sitting down!

They eventually found the stage. But not until after the percussionists had sat chanting together in the centre of the venue like a tribe from the depths of the amazon rainforest. They then did laps getting everyone involved. Reading’s Sub89 was treated like a carnival. We were all in shock. What the heck was that, who are these guys B Dolan found? They are, The What Cheer Brigade.

Its clear straight away that ‘The Church of Love and Ruin’ tour is an experience, not you’re average concert. None of the tedious waiting around whilst each performer finishes their set. After What Cheer left for the back-room, there is an interim performance, B Dolan welcomes the next act on tonight’s bill, Madge of Honor, a burlesque artist. “Does anyone know what burlesque is? It is the art of ass and titties” says Dolan as Madge takes the stage and deliverers her somewhat titillating performance

B Dolan reappears dressed in a robe, with an ornate cross around his neck and black wayfarer sunglasses. He is the pope, the priest of the Church of Love & Ruin. He takes the stage, the bass drops, and he does what he does best, the lyrical mastermind keeps the audience engaged for the next hour. Delivering the best of the best from his albums ‘The Failure’ and ‘Fallen House, Sunken City’. He also opts for the controversial, yet hilarious ‘Open Letter to JT’.

Meanwhile Sage Francis comes on stage dressed like a Biblical shepherd, with a cloak and a white scarf around his head, and of course sporting his legendary lengthy beard. If all shepherds could rap like that, they’d be a force to be reckoned with! The mix of spoken word poetry and and hip-hop was received well by the audience, Finished off with the gripping fan favorite, ‘Best of Times.’

The Church of Love & Ruin is going to be an experience which will be hard to forget!
Dan Le Sac Sub 89

The What Cheer Brigade

The What Cheer Brigade

The What Cheer Brigade

Sage Francis Sub 89

B Dolan Sub 89

B Dolan's Church of Love and Ruin Sub89

Words: Arif Noor
Photos: Adam Waugh

Features Music

Must See Shows: September 2012

After a triumphant Reading & Leeds last weekend, the outdoor festival season has pretty much drawn to a close, but fear not, there are plenty of gigs coming up to get your teeth into for those still hungry for more gnarly music. Below is a list of shows that Crossfire recommends over September 2012.

B.DOLAN’s “The Church of Love & Ruin”

1st – MILTON KEYNES, UK – Crauford Arms (B. DOLAN ONLY, EXTENDED SOLO SET), 2nd – BRISTOL, The Croft (B. DOLAN ONLY, EXTENDED SOLO SET), 3rd – LONDON The Jazz Cafe, 4th – LIVERPOOL Kazimier, 5th – BIRMINGHAM HMV Institute, 6th – READING SUB89 (ft. headlining set from SAGE FRANCIS), 7th – BRIGHTON Coalition (ft. headlining set from SAGE FRANCIS)

Rapper B.Dolan presents ‘The Church Of Love & Ruin’. In the words of the man himself expect the following: “Inspired by the ’boutique festival’ scene, “Church” focuses on atmosphere, handpicked artists, and chaotic, inspired moments of surprise throughout the show (i.e. being part of a ‘toilet paper dodgeball’ game with 800 other people). Come & be blessed.”


11th – BIRMINGHAM Scruffy Murphy’s, 12th – LONDON The New Cross Inn, 13th – SWINDON 12 Bar, 14th – MAIDENHEAD HOBFEST Hobgoblin, 16th – HIGH WYCOMBE Scorpio’s Bar

Pay particular attention to Doomed From Day One on this UK tour. The young band mix everything from The Black Dahlia Murder inspired vocals and riffs to experimental jazz in their unique sound! Out of all the dates, Maidenhead looks like the one, although it doesn’t hit the map too often in musical terms, catching them in this sweaty venue with fine ales on tap seems like an opportunity not to be missed.


16th – BRIGHTON Concorde2 , 17th – NORWICH Waterfront, 18th – BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy 2
19th – READING Sub89, 20th – MANCHESTER Club Academy, 21st – GLASGOW Cathouse, 22nd – DUBLIN The Pint, 23rd – LONDON Underworld

It’d be a challenge to find a tour that is more deadly than the’ Womb to Waste Tour’. The line up consists of headliners Dying Fetus, Job For A Cowboy, Revocation and Cerebral Bore.


28th – LONDON Old Blues Last

Gnarwolves, a sick band, they were awesome at Hevy Fest and their latest release ‘Cru’ is always spinning at Crossfire HQ. This show is free, so there’s no reason not to attend!


18th – LONDON Camden Barfly

The Barfly is renowned for showcasing the best in new talent, with this gig being one of those nights. Her Parents are an exciting indie band born from the ashes of Dananananaykroyd, Stairs to Korea, and Internet Forever.


20th – LONDON The Garage

If you are luckily enough to have a ticket for this one off show, you don’t need telling how special it will be. If you don’t it may well be worth splashing out on Viagogo or ebay. La Dispute put on a mesmerising live performance and Title Fight’s fast paced pop-punk is second to none. This is going to be amazing.


16 LEEDS Cockpit 2, 17 NEWCASTLE Academy 2, 18 GLASGOW Ivory Blacks, 20 NOTTINGHAM Rock City Basement, 21 LONDON Underworld, 22 BIRMINGHAM Asylum, 23 MANCHESTER Moho Live, 25 SOUTHAMPTON Joiners, 26 CARDIFF Clwb Ifor Bach, 27 BRISTOL The Fleece, 28 KINGSTON The Peel

Pierce The Veil are a growing phenomenon over the pond and we can’t get enough of their latest album ‘Collide With The Sky’. These shows seem pretty intimate for a band ready to explode into the scene, catch them while you can.


15th – SOUTHSEA Festival, 17th – GUILDFORD The Star, 19th – KINGSTON Bacchus, 20th – SUNDERLAND Bar One, 21st – HARTLEPOOl The Studio, 22nd – BIDEFORD Palladium, 27 SOUTHAMPTON Avondale House, 28th – RAMSGATE Red Arrows Club

The excellent Scholars are touring in support of new single Blinda Data which you can view below.

15th – SOUTHSEA, Various Venues

Bastions, Tall Ships, Polio, Veils, The Social Club, Black Moth, Gnarwolves and many more play this award winning festival that celebrates underground and independent music. Plenty of names on the bill to check out whilst they are still under the radar.


19th – BIRMINGHAM Hare & Hounds, 20th – MANCHESTER Moho Live, 21st – GLASGOW Captain’s Rest, 22nd – LEEDS Cockpit III, 23ed – SOUTHAMPTON Unit, 24th – BRISTOL Croft, 25th – LONDON Borderline

Melodic punk rock doesn’t get more emotional than The Menzingers, their latest album ‘On The Impossible Past’ is absolutely perfect. Expect songs taken from that release and their large back catalogue of impressive tunes.


18 – EXETER Cavern, 19 – LONDON Barfly, 20 – LEEDS Cockpit II, 22 – MANCHESTER Deaf Institute, 23 – GLASGOW King Tut’s, 25 – CARLISLE Brickyard, 26 – SHEFFIELD Academy II, 27 – WREXHAM Central Station, 28 – DUBLIN Academy II, 29 – BELFAST Speakeasy

After the controversial departure of vocalist Dan Brown and with a new album up their sleeves it’ll be interesting to see the new look We Are The Ocean perform in front of their own fans. But what’s even more exciting is that skate-punks Giants are opening up the shows. We featured this band latest single ‘Snakes’ earlier in August and are expecting big things to come from them.


17th – LONDON, The Borderline

Origionating from Aberdeen, The Xcerts draw influence from iconic Scottish bands such as Biffy Clyro and Suciperro. At this intimate show the young band will be playing their critically acclaimed album ‘Scatterbrain’ in full.

Words: Emma Wallace