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Notting Hill Arts Club
7th September 2011


pink cigar
Pic by Justin P Brown, with thanks

It's not often that you get the chance to witness two gigs in one evening and certainly not that often that you can actually be bothered to do so. However tonight was an exception. Having seen country and western legend Dolly Parton earlier in the evening at the O2 Arena (yes, you did read that right, I was there on the blag and although she's got her knockers, I actually thought she was great), I decided to stop off at the trendy Notting Hill Arts Club en route towards home because the rather splendid Pink Cigar were playing just before midnight.

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I first witnessed Ladbroke Grove rockers Pink Cigar earlier this year when they supported the Heavy Metal Kids at the Camden Underworld and was immediately hooked by their youthful enthusiam of high energized sleazy gutter rock which contains the phelgm of Iggy Pop And The Stooges, New York Dolls, Faster Pussycat or even the Dogs D'Amour.

The Arts club is packed to the rafters with uber trendy students all hell bent on having a good time. A DJ is providing some cool sounds and looking at the audience I was wondering if they would give a passing toss when Pink Cigar would come on stage, but boy, how wrong was I? The band grabbed the venue by the balls and the place was rocking.

pink cigar
Pic by Justin P Brown, with thanks

With only a tiny stage to perform on, the band were cock sure of giving a perfromance to remember. The Arts Club is split into two areas and it didn't take long for the live music room to fill up. Soon people were falling over the bands monitors, knocking over microphone stands and even some stray middle aged woman, who had obviously had a few too many gins, clamboured up on stage to grab hold of singer Sharkie Cottrell who with tongue in cheek informed everyone that she was in fact his Mother who enjoyed her time in the spotlight for a few numbers.

It was choas near the front and from the side from where I was watching, it was a bit like watching a young Guns 'N Roses at the Roxy. Sharkie has a voice similar to Taime Downe of Faster Pussycat (who ironically they support at the end of the month), drummer Sid Mayall is safely at the back from the animated characters of Johnny Thunders lookalike guitarist Edd Whyte who comes up with some cool original riffs and bassist Sam Rutland who at times almost headbutts the ceiling when he was pogoing away.

pink cigar
Pic by Justin P Brown, with thanks

There's a good mixture of sounds in the set. Full on rockers such as 'Dreaming Of Love' and 'Hot Dog By The River', but the band really shine when they go for a different groove on the strutting 'Strange' or the excellent flamenco razzle of 'Gypsy' or the real howling grower 'Throat'.

Pink Cigar wanted to play on, and the arty crowd was begging for more but the man on the sound desk was frantically calling cut with an imaginary knife across his throat before the place turned into a riot. Tonight's show was that good.

pink cigar
Pic by Justin P Brown, with thanks

Pink Cigar are one of the hottest new bands out there at the moment. Don't be too surprised if they blow Faster Pussycat off the stage at the Camden Underworld on October 29th. I've said this before and I'll say it again, all the women will be putting their numbers up on Pink Cigar's own bathroom wall that night.

Put a pink cigar in your mouth and smoke it baby because the Pink Cigar are fully loaded.

Set list:

Dreaming Of Love
This Girl
Hot Dog By The River
Generation Next




Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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