Live Review: The Holy Smokes, The Baroque & Michael Barker @ Sneaky Pete’s 14/03/17

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(L-R: Michael Barker, The Holy Smokes, The Baroque)

Photos: Beth M Cameron 

Words: The Captain

It’s another Tuesday night in Edinburgh. It’s cold and raining, so what better place to be than inside helping The Holy Smokes celebrate the release of their new EP!

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First up is Michael Barker, who introduces himself and says he’ll be playing a mixture of covers and original songs. He makes every single cover his own and performs them so beautifully. If I had to pick a favourite cover, it would be “Adventure Time” by a band called Bry. It was beautiful and quite moving. He also has some good “stage banter” and talks about this “mad hair flapping” and that he doesn’t want to “look like that wonderwall guy” *cue audience laughter*.
Michael has an incredible voice and some damn good guitar playing skills. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch the name of the two original songs he did for his set, but they were amazing!

You can find him on Facebook and YouTube!

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Next up is The Baroque with his incredibly soft vocals layered over an electric guitar with a laptop acting as a piano. This guy is seriously cool and amazing! The music is beautiful to put it very simply and I don’t think any more words could describe it (but seriously, it’s damn good). He has a few funny pun song names too which make me giggle a little for exmaple “Away in a Stranger” from his first album (as he points out, he’s only got the one). and “Sunshine on Grief” (for all you non-Scotland residing folks, that a pun of “Sunshine on Leith” which reminds me… I must actually see that film at some point… anyway…. his last song is from his upcoming album (Songs of Joy and Rhythm) and is called “Song of Joy” and, just like all the rest, it’s amazing and super cool and yeah, you need to check him out! Like now… I’m watching you…..

You can find him on Facebook!

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Last, but by no means at all least, come The Holy Smokes! I’ve reviewed these guys on record before, and loved them, but this my first live show and I’m VERY excited. Like “omg a new kitten” excited. They start out by playing the title track from their new E.P “Let’s Go Out Drinking” and it’s rocky, it’s fast it’s awesome! I’m stood at the back doing a little bum boogie (there’s a lot of people in the venue and I’m small and didn’t fancy getting squashed, plus that gives more room to bum boogie).

They play a lot of their songs that I already know and a few I haven’t heard before so this was a good chance to hear the difference between record and live. The difference? There wasn’t any, they are just as fabulously good live as they are on record, something not all acts can master. They even dedicate their last few songs to the “most dedicated fan in the room”. Which is a guy called Callum (sorry if that’s the wrong spelling, there’s many different ways) who came all the way from Glasgow to see them *cue crowd cheering*. They even point out that they are selling handmade t-shirts at the merch stand, along with hard copies of their new E.P.

I implore you yo check them out because they are so super duper fantasicly cool and awesome. You can find them on Facebook, YouTube and BandCamp 

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Goodbye Electric Circus

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Words and Photo: The Captain

On the 25th of March (this Saturday) The Electric Circus will close its doors for the final time after 7 years.

The Electric Circus has played host to many amazing acts be it touring or local and if you read a lot of our reviews, you’ll know we spent many an hour at this awesome venue, taking in some of the acts that played. The first review we EVER did was at this very venue. It was like a second home.

Edinburgh is losing one of the best medium sized venues and it is very sad. It’s in such a perfect place! You need to get the last train home? Nae bother pal, you’re right next to the train station. Hungry after a good night out? McDonald’s is just round the corner. Need a taxi? THEY’RE RIGHT OUTSIDE! It’s not just the placement of the venue. So many acts need a reasonable sized venue to play in if they;re coming to Edinburgh because they’re so popular that they can’t play a smaller venue. Of course there ARE still other venues in Edinburgh but The Electric Circus has not just been home to gigs and karaoke but also the music industry event Born to be Wide where lots of people have been able to network with proper industry professionals from all sectors of the music industry. If you’ve ever been, you’ve probably seen me dotting about trying to make friends. This event was so paramount to my own education and I’ve heard from others that this event helped them to grow too.

Of course, The Electric Circus also caters to those people who just love to sing, with 7 private karaoke rooms where you can sing your heart out with a plethora of songs. Which brings me onto my next point, the awesome staff!

The staff are certainly part of the character and allure of the venue. Whether it’s the sound guy (Joe you are a legend) making sure every band sounds epic, the bar staff making you delicious drinks,  the karaoke staff making sure everyone has a good time or the people behind the scenes making sure YOU get the best night ever with the bands that play and the general running of the venue. I know that these people are so awesome because I used to be part of the amazing family that is #teamEC. I worked down on the karaoke corridor for 6 months from 2014-2015 and I could not have asked for a more kind, caring, fun and lovely work family.

In the following photo are just SOME of the past and present staff. There are many more people who aren’t in this photo and if they were we wouldn’t all fit.It’s sad think this is the last generation of the team that there will ever be. (That’s me in the red shirt with the lovely Lauren to the left).

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(Photo: Sara Cameron Photography)

Here is a rundown of the last few events The Electric Circus will ever host. Thank you for so many wonderful years, make sure you go out with a bang, you will be missed!

TONIGHT (March 23rd) – Songwriters Celebration Open Mic

TOMORROW (March 24th) – Indigo Velvet/Dancing on Tables + Special Guests (Gig)
TOMORROW (March 24th) – Magic Nostalgic (Clubnight)

SATURDAY (March 25th) – Horsebeach/Mad Gerald/Sevenpenny Nightmare (Gig)
SATURDAY (March 25th) – EC All Stars (Last ever Clubnight)

Live Review: Eyre Llew, L-Space & Echo Arcadia @ Sneaky Pete’s 08/03/17

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Words & Photo: The Captain

It’s a Wednesday night and what better to do than go to a gig on the Cowgate! Out of the line up, I’ve only ever heard Echo Arcadia before because they were on the final episode of “The Captain’s Log” the week before. However, I have heard great things about the two other bands so I am very excited.

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First up are Echo Arcadia and as the smoke machine hisses and releases a cloud of smoke a voice comes through it from the stage… “we get it you vape” which makes the audience, myself included, giggle a little. The lead singer, Leigh, introduces the first song called “Even the voices in my had hate me” which he follows up with “don’t worry haha. Echo Arcadia have an amazing stage presence and know how to please a crowd. Each song is perfectly executed and each one sounds different. You can tell which song is which (you know when some bands make songs that all sound the same, yeah they don’t do that). The vocals are perfectly harmonized and the lead guitarist can really shred the hell out of his strings.

About half-way through their set they have to tune their guitars so Leigh trys to fill that space with some jokes. One of which was “I tried to make a watch out of a belt once… it was a waist of time” *cue loud groan from everyone in the audience* it does mean they’re interacting with the audience and it is quite funny.

Ooooh, wait, I forgot a really exciting bit. THEY HAVE A VIOLA! (I thought it was a Violin until the player told me afterwards what the difference one). If a band has a violin/viola/cello I immediately love them. There’s something quite magical about strings with rock. If I had to choose a favourite song from their set it’s probably “Into the Shadows” with strong bass and drums starting slow and getting rockier and faster and then fading out again leaving only the vocals lingering in the air.

You should 100000% check these guys out and go and see them live.
You can find all their music and social media through their Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/echoarcadia 

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Next are L-Space. These guys are pretty awesome! Think if Doctor Who and Red Dwarf got together and made a band, this would be it. Soft vocals, layered together with guitar, bass and synth and occasional viola. Each song has a story, which I find impressive. It’s all about space and travel and it’s pretty damn cool. They speak about travelling to Mars and ask who would go (about 3 hands go up). They talk about what astronauts have to do in order to be able to go into space. They’re very knowledgeable about space which is very impressive.  It’s a bit out there, but really interesting and I’d definitely go and see them again!

If I had to choose a favourite song from their set I’d have to say the song “Brother Mars”. It was incredibly beautiful with the lead singers soft, quiet voice, no-one is talking, everyone is watching with awe. However, they also do a cover of Radiohead’s “Motion Picture Soundtrack” where they bring in the viola and it’s so slow and peaceful and very moving.

You can find all their music and social media through their Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/lspaceband/

 

EL LIVE

Last, but not least, Eyre Llew from Nottingham hit the stage. Please excuse my language here but.. OH MY FUCKING GOD THESE GUYS ARE INCREDIBLE WHY HAVEN’T I HEARD THEM BEFORE I MUST NOW GO AND GET ALL THEIR MUSIC!

It seems as if all the songs flow perfectly into each other with no space in between. It’s loud, it’s powerful, it’s incredible.! These guys are an ambient/instrumental rock band. Little or minimal vocals with driven guitars, drums, piano and allllllll the reverb! If you’ve read some of my previous reviews you’ll know I really do have a soft spot for this kind of music… well actually I ADORE it. I often like to quote Andy Johnson from the project “Windsor Airlift” when I speak about instrumental music because it rings so true.
“The beautiful thing about instrumental music is that we aren’t telling the listener how to feel, or what to think. But rather we’re letting them conjure up in their minds their own vision of what this song could mean to them.”

These guys are so so so so so so so so SO worth seeing. Do it, do it now! They are playing in Glasgow TONIGHT and Inverness TOMORROW and then a few more dates back in England.

You can find all of their music and your dates on their Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/eyrellew/

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Live Review: Trivium @ Barrowland Ballroom 16/02/17

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Words & Photo: The Captain

It’s a Thursday night and I’m in Glasgow to see Trivium for the second time. I’ve only ever been in Glasgow once before for a gig and I’ve never been in this venue so I’m rather excited to see what the night will bring. We are city 5/7 on the UK & Ireland leg of their “Silence in the Snow” tour.

I’ll be honest, I’m normally more of a pop/ambient instrumental/folk/light rock kind of person, but with Trivium I make an exception. They are, pardon my potty mouth, fucking awesome! Of course, any band can sound good on record, but not every band can move this sound over to the live stage. Trivium are one of the bands that do this EXCEPTIONALLY well.

The stage is set and the crowd is warmed up. Then…”Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden blasts through the speakers. Every fan knows: The band are going to hit the stage as soon as the last note of that song flows into the room. We’re in Scotland so of course the crowd starts chanting “HERE WE, HERE WE, HERE WE FUCKING GO” as the first notes of “The End of Everything” instrumental song sounds which flows perfectly into their first song “Rain”. It’s loud, it’s awesome, it’s braw (that’s a Scottish term for good for those of you not familiar with the term). Every song is perfectly executed and Matt Heafy is great with the crowd. The whole band has an incredible stage presence. At one point he talks to us about the “here we, here we, here we fucking go” chant. He suggests that we change it to “TRIVI-TRIVI-TRVIFUCKING-UM” because that sounds really cool (and it does work too, well done Matt).

Matt takes great care to make sure everyone has fun, but is also safe. The last time I saw them (Kilmarnock , 2016) he actually stopped the whole show in the middle of a song because he noticed that someone had been knocked down in a mosh pit. He made sure the person was picked up and checked before he started the show again.

Trivium are, quite honestly, one of the best bands I’ve ever seen live and I’ve been to a lot of live shows in my 23 years. If you don’t already listen to them, do so! Even if you’re not a big metal fan, do it! Do it, do it do it. I promise you you won’t regret it. They’re currently on the European leg of their tour, check their Facebook for dates.

Live Review: Pronto Mama w/ SeaOfCrowns @ The Electric Circus 03/06/15

Words: The Captain

It’s Wednesday, which means those “mid-week blues”. However, these are easily cured by some awesome live music. So here I am again in one of my favourite venues The Electric Circus to see two awesome bands.

First, we are treated to alterntive Edinburgh rockers SeaOfCrowns. They introduce themselves and tell us to “come over to the party zone” (apparently it’s been scientifically proven that this is the “party zone”. These guys are loud, awesome and just all round fantastic. This is the second time I’ve seen them and they have certainly progressed since then. They seem tighter and more confident.
At one point, the cymbal stand starts to fall over. However a kind young man from the audience LEAPS into action and saves the day for Brett (SOC drummer). Phew! That was close! In return, the band dedicate their next song to that young man (he’s called Pete by the way). In short, you NEED to check these guys out and go and see them next time they play a show. They are going on a wee tour in July, below are the dates!

22//07 – The Mash House – Edinburgh
23//07 – Buskers. – Dundee
24//07 – Dreadnought Rock – Bathgate
25//07 – The Swan Inn – Stranraer
26//07 – King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut – Glasgow

Now, a group appears as if by magic! No, not a puff of smoke and some magic words, they just sneak in through the side door. Now these guys are totally awesome! Imagine Dr Utonium making The Powerpuff Girls, but instead of sugar, spice & all things nice, he added jazz, indie and rock into the mix, with not three but six magical beings pop out. This is Pronto Mama. With their array of musical talent and instruments, they amaze us with their sound and style. Whenever you get the chance, go and see this band they are super cool!

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Live Review: Lyndsey Craig, The Durty Wurks, James King @ The City Café 28/05/15

Words: The Captain

It’s another one of those shitty “summer” nights in Edinburgh (you know, pouring rain and wind that knocks grannies over) and I’m cosied up in City 2 for Cavalier Youth Promotions’ FIRST EVER GIG (certainly THE best place to be tonight)!

First, the brilliant James King graces the floor; a spiffing mix of acoustic/indie with some jazz thrown in for good measure. He plays some of his own music, along with a few covers. My favourite of which is Budapest by George Ezra. His vocals really come out here, they are soft yet strong. James is certainly someone to look out for.
Check out one of his songs here:
One Last Time

I unfortunately missed The Durty Wurks’ first song because nature called and when you gotta go, you gotta go. But…….these guys ROCK! Think the kind of rock that makes you want to grab the person nearest to you and “swing yer partner round and round”. The vocals and instrumentation are amazing and they play together so well as a band. Their latest single Love is awesome (it also makes me feel like I want to grab a surfboard and catch some waves).
You can find their stuff on Spotify and Bandcamp.

The last act is, the beautiful and amazing Lyndsey Craig. As always, her voice is exquisite and I find that every time I see her, her voice is getting stronger. The band she plays with do her justice. The timing, instrumentation and togetherness of the band are second-to-none. When she plays Blue Jays, the entire crowd sings along and it’s almost like I’m at a sold-out show at a huge venue. All we need are some lighters and a few naked fans.
You can hear her song Dynamite <— here.

Cavalier Youth Promotions are new to the scene, but this is one of the best first shows I’ve ever seen, kudos to them! Like their Facebook page to support them in their new and exciting journey into Edinburgh’s music scene.

Live Review: Snide Rhythms, May He Go, Two Wrongs @ The Electric Circus 19/05/15

Words: The Captain

Once upon a time, in a city not so far away, a small crowd gathers at a venue. The city in question is *drum roll* EDINBURGH! Well done, if you got it right, you can have a Bucky Bomb!

The bill tonight looks so simply delicious, so when two-piece instrumental band Two Wrongs take to the stage, my eyes (and ears) and so, so ready.
Think of a bag of Revels (yes, even the coffee ones, I really like them) and imagine closing your eyes and delving in. You never know what you’re going to get. Two Wrongs are like a musical bag of Revels, and it’s fucking brilliant! With just drums and guitar, they manage to fill the whole room with music that can be jazzy and smooth one minute and then groovy and rocky the next (throw in a hint of surfer music whilst you’re at it). Throughout their set they are perfectly in time, perfectly melodic and perfectly awesome.

They don’t have anything online yet, but you can follow their antics on Facebook (just click the bold “Two Wrongs” above) or on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/TwoWrongsBand

Now for May He Go, a three piece instrumental band, with a few backing tracks and a heavy rock backing thrown in. These guys are super, duper, major awesome (like the musical equivalent of the feeling you get after eating your favourite kind of ice cream). Rocky, yet mystic, with a few vocals thrown in at times for good measure, these three wonderful people make beautiful music. It not only fills the room, but bounces off the wall creating a wall of sound that is so bloody fantabulous. There was a slight technical hitch towards the end of their set, where the laptop playing the backing tracks decided it had had enough and wanted to bugger off, but despite this, they carried on playing like nothing had happened.

If you would like to see them live, they are supporting Mt.Doubt at The Mash House (Edinburgh) on the 30th of May.

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/mayhego

Now….. PUT YOUR HANDS TOGETHER FOR THE AMAZING TALENT OF MR. COLVIN CRUICKSHANK AND HIS BAND SNIDE RHYTHMS!
They start off sounding quite, as Dr. Who would put it, “wibbly-wobbly-timey-whimey”. Sort of alien-ish, synth-y awesomeness. Then… suddenly punk takes over and the leader singer is shouting at us (it’s a good kind of shouty and he has good dance moves so we’re all good). After a song called “HMS Junkie” they proceed to thank the other bands for playing, thank Angus for organising it, and thank The Electric Circus’ in-house sound tech Joe for well, I think you can guess.

They end with an instrumental selection of jazzy, rocky and synth-y music, with the lead singer leaving the stage first, followed by the guitarist. Now there is only the bassist and drummer left, who finish on with a very quiet bang. Then comes the silence, which everyone knows to mean “get oot, we’re closing”.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sniderhythms
Bandcamp: http://sniderhythms.bandcamp.com/

Live Review: Dune Rats w/ The Rich at Electric Circus, Edinburgh. (27/03/15)

Review for THROUGH THE WIRE MUSIC No.8

Through The Wire Music

Review: Leah Curtis.

THANK GOD IT’S FRIDAY! It’s the weekend, so it’s time to let your hair down and shake your thang. The Electric Circus is a brilliant place to do so.
On the menu tonight:
Starter – The Rich: Edinburgh Rockers
Main Course – Dune Rats: Awesome Australian Stoner Pop

To wet our appetite, The Rich rock up to the stage and make it theirs. We are greeted with “Hello guys, how you doing?” (Audience interaction: tick). They are fucking awesome! With a good drum beat behind them and some remarkable vocals, these guys are amazing. They also have pretty good stage banter and at one point the drummer gets a drink delivery. Their music interchanges between loud and heavy, to showing their softer side.
Imagine rock, jazz and pop had a baby and this is The Rich. Sugar and Salt mixed together with sweat. Fucking brilliant!

The Rich at Electric Circus. The Rich…

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Live Review: Cousin Kenny, Annie Booth (Band), The Micro Band and Unkeepable @ Teviot Underground 26/03/15

Words: The Captain

Thursday night, gonna take ya to the top…pretty baby (okay it’s not Saturday, but who gives a monkeys?). This is the penultimate Teviot Underground band night before the summer break (booooo!) and four acts are to grace our presence this evening.

First comes the lovely Unkeepable. He gets on stage, grabs his guitar and introduces himself “My name’s Steve & I’m gonna play a few songs” (Steve is his real person name). Straight away, I am drawn to his voice and guitar playing skills. His voice has a gruffness to it, but also a sweetness. I am particularly drawn to his song “Pedestal”. It’s beautiful, it’s amazing, and it’s wonderful. He sounds a wee bit like Ed Sheeran, but with a twist. He is definitely worth a listen and a like!

Favourite Song: Pedestal
Twitter: www.twitter.com/unkeepablemusic
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/unkeepable

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Next are the relatively new, but no less lovely The Micro Band. With 3 vocals and 7 members in total, these guys are #awesome. Upbeat, funky and feet tappingly good. Imagine the Powerpuff Girl’s dad when he’s creating them, only he adds: Jazz, Rock ‘n’ Roll and Funk into the mix and 7 awesome people pop out. Being still quite new, they haven’t got any music online yet, so all the more reason to go and check them out live to see and hear for yourself how awesome they are!

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Eeeeep! Now it’s time for the gorgeous Annie Booth, accompanied by her band. Her voice is beautiful and her talent is flawless. I have seen her before, but not with a band, so I was interested to see (or rather hear) what she sounded like. It was simply amazing. Her set is short, but so, so sweet. For her final song, her band mates leave the stage, leaving her to play us out of her set on her own.

Favourite Song: Song For Him
Twitter: www.twitter.com/annieboothmusic
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/annieboothmusic

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Finally, Cousin Kenny hit the stage. With a good beat and a rock ‘n’ roll riff, these guys are a great headliner. They are a tight band, each knowing exactly what they are to do. Strong vocals make them explosively good. Unfortunately, I only caught their first few songs because busses are shit and I had to run for my last one. Ho hum!

Favourite Song: You’re so Cool
Twitter: www.twitter.com/cousinkennyband
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/cousin-kenny

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The FINAL Thursday’s at Teviot Underground band night before the summer break consists of:
The Warehouse Announcement,
Ordinaryson,
Robert, Knox and Wize
Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/408141442696737/

Live Review: Lyndsey Craig, The Hecklers and Ryan Morcombe @ Teviot Underground 19/03/15

Words: The Captain It’s a Thursday evening, it’s just past 9:15 and I’m at Teviot Underground for another one of the fabulous weekly FREE gigs. First, we are treated to the wonderful Ryan Morcombe. The stage may be small, and he may be on his own, but he takes the stage and owns it. His vocals are strong and his guitar playing impeccable. With a harmonica thrown into the mix, his music is a mixture of country mixed with a wee bit of rock and roll. Favourite Track: “Help Me Pull Through” Twitter: www.twitter.com/RyanAtTheDisco Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/ryan-morcombe rm Next come The Hecklers, who hail from Linlithgow. These guys rock the stage and the crowd seem to love them. Everyone is on their feet and dancing along to their sweet tunes. I can feel my own feet tapping of their own accord. These guys are definitely something to keep your eyes and ears open for. Their music is upbeat, it’s rocky, it’s jazzy, to put it simply, it’s fucking brilliant. Favourite Track: Brand New Twitter: www.twitter.com/thehecklersuk Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/thehecklers th Last, but certainly not least, the beautiful Lyndsey Craig takes to the stage. This is the first time I’ve heard her live with a full band, so I’m certainly excited. Within the first 5 seconds of the first song, I am not disappointed. The band is tight and everything fits together perfectly. The crowd is happy, the band is rocking away and Lyndsey’s beautiful vocals make it an amazing experience. About half-way through her set, the band leave the stage for a wee bit and Lyndsey plays solo. Her voice really comes out in the song “Kids” and it’s simply exquisite. At the request of the crowd, she sings “Blue Jays” the first single she released last year. The crowd go wild for this, singing along and dancing. The band then re-join her to play the last song of the night “Dynamite”, the new single being released tonight. You can buy “Dynamite” here: http://goo.gl/m9CqVh Twitter: www.twitter.com/lyndseyanncraig lc lc2 Thursdays at Teviot Underground only have 2 shows left until they finish up foe the summer! TONIGHT: 26/03/15 —> Cousin Kenny w/ Annie Booth (Band), The Mirco Band and Unkeepable https://www.facebook.com/events/933915576628247/ NEXT WEEK: 02/04/15 —> The Warehouse Announcement w/ Ordinary Son and Robert, Knox and Wize https://www.facebook.com/events/408141442696737/