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February 10, 2010

Everyone wants a blog these days, which is why we’ve moved over to the main Rhubarb site — where all the shows will be able to have a space of their own. Come join us…

Jenny Tate, Review: Hope Order Truth at Robin 2, Bilston

December 29, 2009
Today’s gig at Banks’s Robin 2, Bilston was the perfect post-Christmas entertainment. New band on the scene Hope Order Truth played a sensational live acoustic set. Their debut performance was passionately and professionally delivered. Always a great honour to see a talented local band getting the chance to shine and modern bands don’t get much better than these guys. Hailing from Walsall, Hope Order Truth have just released their first album entitled Renascence and it’s well worth a listen. Refreshingly impassioned lyrics, simply incredible guitar riffs and perfectly co-ordinated keyboard work, providing first rate accompaniment, this is a band who exude the true essence of rock. If ever Kurt Cobain had been reincarnated, he’s been re-born through the voice of lead vocalist Matt Montana! This guy just emanates pure vocal genius and raw passion for rock. His powerful, gritty and soulful voice is to die for and if prizes were being awarded for front man charisma, Matt Montana would win first prize.
As for Mike Starr’s lead guitar riffs, if you want to hear a master at work, look no further. Some of the riffs I heard today took me back to Guns ‘N’ Roses early stuff – when they really were Guns ‘N’ Roses! Slash the 2nd, in the flesh! Talking of masters, keyboardist Rob Allen must be the master of quietly understated art – the kind that creeps up on you when you’re not looking and then suddenly appears in full glory! The band have now been joined by bassist Chris (sorry Chris, don’t know your surname) and drummer (whose name escapes me, but who’ll feature on the electric material in the near future), to complete the set. This band are set to go far. A real pleasure to see such a focused, talented, creative band who truly love what they do. In the short time they’ve been together, Hope Order Truth have already earned the right to massive respect and support.
Let’s hope they build up a big fan base. Check them out on and live on Saturday Rocks,, 1-3pm, Sat 9th Jan 2010. What better start to the new year than to hear some fresh, live rock on the radio?

Jenny Tate: Review Powerquest, Fury UK,The Michael Schenker Group at JB’s Dudley

December 21, 2009
Tonight’s triple bill at JB’s, Dudley, was absolutely magnificent. Powerquest opened with  hit ‘Cemetery Gates’, finishing off with brilliantly played killer track  ‘Neverwold’ – an instantly memorable song, reminiscent of a firework display and an excellent set closer. Great to see a vocalist with such passion and enthusiasm, exhorting the audience to “come closer, we don’t bite!” The band’s synchronicity at the end of ‘Neverwold’ was impressive and made the ending even more enjoyable. Good to see the band in the flesh for the first time, bringing them to life outside of the free cover CD’s of Rock magazines.
Fury UK were, as ever, truly tremendous. Pure rock magic in action. Chris Appleton’s sheer vibrancy and obvious enjoyment of singing lead vocals and playing lead guitar always leaves me wanting more. His cheeky smile and showmanship are totally unique. Martin McNee’s an absolute monster on the Drums and really got the audience going, tonight. Good to hear more vocals from him. Luke Appleton’s bass playing and backing vocals showed a genius at work, as usual. Absolutely second-to-none, effortless skill. The sound of the set was just perfection. From the fabulous crash bang opening of ‘VR’, to the awesome magic that is ‘Brotherhood’, right through to the earth-shattering closer ‘Death By Lightning’, Fury UK owned the stage tonight. No doubt about it – when these guys take to the stage, the earth moves and the world notices!
Headlining tonight were The Michael Schenker Group! What an experience! They’re that rare breed that you can listen to once and get instantly hooked. I saw them for the first time ever and loved them, immmediately! Talk about seasoned, natural musicians – I was simply blown away. Their songs have it all – a pure classic rock sound, with a catchy quality, which embeds and immortalises itself in your mind. Fantastic to hear ‘Armed and Ready’, live. They really know how to command an audience and convey love for the music. Never having seen them live before, it was a privilege to see masters at work and an unforgettable experience.
All in all, a blinding night!
More info on: and and or

Rhubarb and Apple — two new ways to listen

December 4, 2009

Rhubarb on Apple TV

It should now be even easier to tune in to Rhubarb — we’re listed in Apple’s Internet Radio directory.

That means if you’ve got an AppleTV you can find us under the Internet > Radio menu. If not but you have got iTunes on your computer we’re there too (under ‘radio’ in the sidebar).

You can chose two categories to be under, so you can find us under ‘Eclectic’ or ‘News/Talk’.

A little bit about us…

November 23, 2009

Norten Menenez and Jigar Patel have been busy, and as part of their studies, spent a little time with us behind the scenes. Here’s a short clip from their 10 minute feature, which should be ready just after the festive season break.

Thanks guys

Fury UK and Blaze Bayley – Hellfire Fest – Birmingham NEC. Saturday 7th November 2009.

November 8, 2009
Simply astounding performances tonight from Fury UK and Blaze Bayley. The only downside was that it wasn’t long enough! Both bands played like a metal lover’s dream. Chris Appleton’s furious, lightning speed guitar work and raw vocal energy were absolutely fabulous. The way Chris plays and sings to the crowd just has to be admired. Martin’s brilliantly passionate drumming and Luke’s intense and rhythmic, fun-packed bass line delivery made this a brief but impressive metal feast from Fury UK.
Blaze Bayley was astonishing, as always. His love of metal is conveyed so powerfully. The strength in his voice and his style of commanding an audience are truly awe-inspiring. Blaze’s way of singing to everyone in the room marks him out as the showman that he is. You can’t help being affected by the messages behind Blaze’s songs and the powerful way he expresses them. His band’s instrumentals completed the wonderful explosive metallic sound that is the Blaze Bayley Band and with Fury UK’s Luke Appleton playing Bass for Blaze tonight, it was even better! I left both sets tonight feeling like my ear drums had closed up!
The tribute paid to Evile’s recently deceased Bassist Mike Alexander helped to make this evening an even more special show, which anyone would have been proud to have attended.
More details about the Bands at and
Jenny Tate

Disability Access to Rhubarb Radio

October 27, 2009

Hi rhubarb radio Community of Interest

As some of you may know, in addition to my involvement with rhubarb radio, I am a director of ‘DAISY’ (Disability Arts Inspired Social Enterprise), which aims to enable talented people with disabilities to develop as Artists with a capital A, very much in the vein of Outsider Art: though I personally don’t like this term.

Engaged generally, in disability issues; for sometime I have been thinking about the accessibility of rhubarb radio’s programming for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.  From the very outset Birmingham’s leading Social Media exponents have sought to craft the rhubarb radio as a social media platform which could expand the capacity for participation and access to the culture of the city.  That said, given that our primary output is audio, serving people who are deaf or hard of hearing presents us with some difficulties.

During our live audio streaming of the Hello Digital 09 event and quite rightly, a number of issues relating to disability access have been passionately raised via the blog post PeskyPeople.  Some of the issues raised invited the event to consider whether it was possible to have made the audio more accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Again rightly, the point was also raised that it shouldn’t be the job of people with disabilities to organise their inclusion in events or services.

I felt sad to learn of the experiences expressed in the blog post and further so when considering the many people who are deaf or hard of hearing visit such events online.  Ever the optimist, I took to thinking we at rhubarb radio could better address our difficulties in this service area, and how the creative capital of rhubarb radio could possibly meet this problem head on.

Obviously, I can offer to the event organisers the facility to apply a voice to text treatment to the audio archive for the event and then apply that to the website

Beyond this, I believe, requires a far more creative response. I recently returned from an UrbanLab conference organised by Citilab in Barcelona, in which motivated digital creative’s from every discipline came together in a spirit of fun, curiosity and creative endeavour, to apply their collaborative knowledge, skills and experiences to a problem expressed from within the community that required a digital technological solution.

The intention was not necessary to arrive at a complete solution but rather to advance the solution.  With no expected commitment beyond the time frame of the event, first the problem was fully explored and clarified, it was then divided up into relevant solution areas and again relevant creative’s applied themselves to working together for creative digital solutions to the problems that presented. The event was a real delight, engaging, refreshing, enlightening etc.

I am wondering whether there might be interest and motivation out there among our creative and academic communities to attend a rhubarb hosted CreativeLab event; aimed to better enable people who are deaf or heard of hearing to have access to live audio such as radio. There seems to be a fare amount of research, initiatives and innovative approaches out there along with some unresolved software.

Let me know what you think. If members are happy I shall progress the idea with who ever comes forward.

It strikes me, if we could get a decent audio to text translation all manor of things become possible: live text from live audio facility can be switched on and off; Text can reasonably be translated in to the full range of community languages and community language text could easily be re-streamed as text to digital audio; Text to Braille also becomes possible for those who might need it.

Some of you will know that rhubarb radio is currently exploring the possibilities of enabling people to create tags within our listen again audio streams. An audio to text facility could offer us additional benefits in this area by better enabling us to create jump points or auto tags within our streams. The list of benefits to our all round service would be many, and obviously there are much wider applications beyond the rhubarb project.

It may be that at this point in the development of digital technology it’s just not possible, but if all that is achieved through a CreativeLab event, around the issue of disability access to audio, is that we advance towards a solution by one more millimetre it will be worthwhile.

Daniel Cremin






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