The Cluny, 36 Lime Street, Ouseburn
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2PQ, 0191 230 4474

[email protected]


The Cluny

Upcoming gigs


Mike Keneally Band / Godsticks

Support from:
  • Matt Stevens

Sat 23 Mar 2013 Price: £14.00 Doors Open: 19:30

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"Keneally is the leading progressive rock genius of the post-Zappa era." – All Music
Long acclaimed as one of the world's most creative and intense guitar and keyboard players, Mike Keneally's talents as a vocalist, songwriter, arranger, producer and multi- instrumentalist are nearly unequalled in rock music.
Keneally has released 20 albums of his original music since 1992, and has built a body of work of remarkable inventiveness and originality.
Keneally played in Frank Zappa's last touring band, performing as a vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist. He's appeared on many Zappa albums, is currently a touring member of Dethklok (as a guitarist) and the Joe Satriani Band (as a keyboardist), and has also recorded or performed with Steve Vai, Robert Fripp, Wayne Kramer, Kevin Gilbert, The Loud Family, Henry Kaiser, Michael Manring, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Andy Prieboy, Mullmuzzler, The Persuasions, and many others.
Known for his innovative, unpredictable live shows, Keneally has played extensively in the United States and Europe, in contexts ranging from solo and duo concerts to performances with large-scale orchestras. His
52-minute orchestra-with-guitar suite The Universe Will Provide received its world premiere in 2003 by
Keneally performing with Holland's Metropole Orkest; the US premiere took place in November
The current Mike Keneally Band – a quartet which includes drummer Joe Travers (Zappa Plays Zappa), bassist Bryan Beller (Steve Vai, Dethklok), and guitarist Rick Musallam (Ben Taylor, Byrd York) – embark on a 10-date European tour commencing in March 2013 in support of the release of his new album 'Wing Beat Fantastic'; an album written with legendary XTC tunesmith Andy Partridge.
Time Out New York says "this band, with such a peculiar genius leading it, is a thing to savor."
Hear Mike's music online anytime at


Since hitting the music scene in 2009, Godsticks have caused a bit of a stir. Self-styled purveyors of progressive rock/pop, Godsticks have been notoriously difficult to pigeon-hole, and one of the few new bands who can claim to possess their very own style and sound. As written by one reviewer upon release of their first EP:
"In a world where a plethora of new albums are issued each year, coming across an act where influences are hard to place - or even find - is an eye-opener in itself".
Formed in 2006, they immediately began to immerse themselves in song-writing and developing their own unique style - borne out of a desire to create song arrangements they wanted to hear but never present in the music of their influences.
The band released their eponymously-titled EP at the beginning of 2009, not really expecting any reaction - thinking that the music may have been a little too left-field in terms of composition. They couldn't have been more surprised with the response it received. The EP received incredible reviews, with the band being considered "a refreshing approach to the contemporary progressive music scene".
The sheer originality of the music was greeted with delight and not the reproach initially feared, with 'imaginative' and 'original' frequently used to describe the band - two words that Godsticks are proud to be associated with.
In July 2010, the band released their debut album 'Spiral Vendetta' which took 2 years to write and record. The lengthy production was worth the effort with the results described as 'mesmerising'. The very first review of the album eloquently sums up both the album and band:
"Spiral Vendetta has it all in spades with chops, emotion, musicality and imagination, the songs pack a breathtaking amount into concise pieces and the album in no way outstays its welcome."
A worldwide distribution deal was secured on the strength of the material and the band completed a number short tours and festivals over the next 2 years, supporting such acts as the 'The Pineapple Thief'. In March 2012, Godsticks arranged and were the support act on a 5-date UK tour by 'The Aristocrats', featuring world-renowned guitarist Guthrie Govan. The tour was a huge success and introduced the band to a much wider audience.
At the end of The Aristocrats tour, recording for the second album 'The Envisage Conundrum' began. The recent and extensive live work began to have an influence of newer material: it became much heavier, guitar-driven, and very live-orientated. None of the originality has been lost but the new album sees a more focused and settled band, still offering an eclectic array of songs, but in a much more accessible package.
‘The Envisage Conundrum’ will be released on 12/11/2012
"Creative, ambitious, well played; it's what we should all aspire to artistically."
Mick Taylor, Editor (Guitarist Magazine)
"There are moments littered across the record that hint at something very special indeed."
Planet Rock
"Godsticks creates a heavenly fusion out of some unexpected sub-genres -- jazz, pop, rock and funk -- to recall the best work of artists like Jeff Beck, Mike Keneally, Level 42, Peter Gabriel, Steve Vai andSteely Dan."
Bill Meredith, (Jazz Times and Jazziz magazines)
“Unique, but accessible: exactly what we need more of! Great stuff.”
Billy Sheehan, (Solo artist, Steve Vai, David Lee Roth)
“Spiral Vendetta has it all in spades with chops, emotion, musicality and imagination, the songs pack a breathtaking amount into concise pieces and the album in no way outstays its welcome.”
"Outlandishly original and mind-bending."
Mike Keneally, (Solo artist, Frank Zappa, Steve Vai)
"The interplay between guitar, bass, drums and keyboard is remarkable and when the rhythm locks in you realize how accomplished these musicians really are."
Holly Wright, (Classic Rock Presents Prog Magazine)
"..successfully blends ’80s-era King Crimson-inspired guitar and vocal phrasing with clever Steely Dan-ish changes and Police-like pop sensibilities, without sounding derivative or retro—and the intelligent lyrics and inspired musicianship keep things interesting throughout.
Barry Cleveland, (Guitar Player Magazine)
"pretty darn impressive"
Rhythm Magazine
"Uplifting and incredibly inspiring"
Rhythm Magazine


A one man guitar orchestra" Acoustic Magazine UK

"He stunned the entire room with his effortless display of virtuoso musicianship" Classic Rock Presents Prog

"An effortless display of cleverly arranged and resourceful playing....(an) acoustic masterclass" Classic Rock Presents Prog (live review June 2011)

"His music is increasingly hard to ignore: A singular voice speaking a new language and getting the message across with skill and fierce intelligence...frequently takes the breath away" Classic Rock Presents Prog

"The most innovative guitar instrumentalist since John Fahey" Unwashed Territories

"a work of beauty and genius, which is why I'd strongly encourage you to listen to the whole bloody thing."

"Matt Stevens is ever, ever so good at the guitar....His looped guitar lines add a spacey, almost epic atmosphere to the acoustic, psych-folk strummings that form up the bulk of the music......A faultless record, out now…" AAA Music

"his consequent growth and development as a musician are in evidence on this beautiful and well judged recording, which is, for my money, his best release yet."

"Matt Stevens is one of the most talented, poignant guitarists on the current scene" Bobetbagundang