Frauds Album Review: With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice

Band: Frauds

Album: With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice

Label: Till Deaf Do Us Party

Release Date: 08/12/2017

By Sam Cutbush

Frauds’ debut album showcases their ability to make 2 people sound like about 5, as well as their ability to mix high energy rock with eerie sounds and have a whale of a time doing it.

Opening track Let’s Find Out starts with an interesting riff that, for me, never really goes anywhere. Backed up by just a kickdrum, you’re left waiting a minute and a half for any vocals. The lyrics do grab you when they finally arrive, and they become more desperate and intense as the song goes on, but the music should match it, and it doesn’t. Next time I listen I’ll probably skip straight to Smooth, as here is where the album really starts for me. Sounding like a brawl between Weezer and Pixies, the energy here is palpable. Lurching from sparse verses to a wall of noise in the chorus, Frauds really hit their stride. The Feeding Frenzy has an organ-like synth riff that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Queens of the Stone Age track. This is another minimalist track like Let’s Find Out, but it’s shorter and sweeter, and has far more urgency. Before you know it you’re asked “who’s eating sandwiches in someone else’s garden?”, and we arrive at possibly my favourite track, Sandwiches. The loud-quiet dynamic is back with a bang, and the vocals really let loose. After an angry middle 8, a Come As You Are-esque guitar sound sees the song, out, with the question no longer about sandwiches, but whether or not we can be friends. Well so far I’m warming to you guys!                 Just Come Of Age is next, and the ‘POG’ style sound that Royal Blood have massively overused is the bedrock of the song. The lyrics here remind me of David Bowie, seasoned with a little of Joe Strummer’s rage in places. These guys do the loud stuff really well, and I’m keen on taking in a live show as I expect they are something to behold. Suck Jobs is a brutal tune, starting like a groovy Talking Heads homage and stepping on a few effect pedals to kick it up another gear as we go. Doom has about as appropriate a title as a song can have, as it’s got a very doomy sludgy feel to it. Shocking that… It’s massive, and must have some kind of world record for the top heavy ratio of intro to lyrics, with the vocals coming in for the last few seconds. Sorry to bring them up again, but where Frauds differ from Royal Blood is that they’ve made good use of an effect they revisit repeatedly. They just seem to have so many more ideas, which is very evident in the sprawling Could’ve Should’ve Would’ve. The album ends on Give In, a 4 minute opus that starts out slow and gentle, picking up as the synth comes in. It gets bigger and bigger, with more layers of synth added to an already volatile mix before grinding to a halt so sudden you think your phone or whatever device you’re on has crashed. Which is a certain kind of exciting.

Overall, Frauds have put together a highly entertaining and unpredictable album, and I really dig 8 of the 9 tracks, which to be honest is quite rare these days. My advice: Give this album a listen, give it a few more, then do all the liking and following stuff, then go see them. Then, repeat the process (apart from all the liking and following stuff, you only need to do that once).

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Husky Loops Q&A with Danio

This week we caught up with Danio of Husky Loops for a little Q&A about his influences and the story behind the new single "Fading Out" ahead of the release of 'EP2' this Friday.

Hey guys, so how did you come together, how long have you been going?

We met in Bologna and then again in London. We actually started this project 2 and half years ago. Time flies… it’s October! Can you believe it? 

Are you very collaborative in your song-writing process ... do you share the same influences generally? 

The creative process is NEVER the same, so I can’t really answer that… We do write together of course, “Tempo” was written by all of us. And influences-wise, not at all! We all listen to very different things, which feels like a good thing… 

Is there a story behind the new single? 

"Fading Out" was written when I was moving out of my old flat, I lived there with my ex girlfriend, we broke up so I had to leave. At the time I was reading all these articles about immigration too, I found it interesting to mix the two things together. It’s confusing, but it will make people think or interpret the song in their own way. 

Is there anyone in particular you would say are so influential that if they didn't exist you wouldn't be doing what you are now? 

Yes, Brian Wilson. He made me want to become a producer and a better writer, and his music is very close to my heart. I feel good when I listen to his music, all the time. He saved my life. I started Husky Loops with the guys having him in mind as main reference, his art pushed me to become a better man. 

Sometimes inspiration can be found in the strangest of places ... anything outside of music that really gets your creative juices flowing? 

David Rudnick, Federico Fellini, Monet, Degas, Canada (the production team, not the place). Love. Relationships. Family. Staring at people on the tube. Sex. Skipping songs really fast (that’s music thought right). 

Are your songs sometimes autobiographical or social comment - do you have a general message you would like people to hear? 

There is no message behind my songs or behind our music, it’s totally up for interpretation. Yes I would say my songs are most of the time autobiographical, I can’t write about something that I don’t know really well. It would feel fake. To me writing songs is like taking photographs, I tried to be a “story teller” but it felt harder than doing what I do and I want songs to come out naturally.

What first turned you on to music in a big way?  

A Jerry Lee Lewis record I heard when I was 8. I couldn’t believe it, it felt amazing. Then it was clear that listening to music was the best thing ever. 

Is there a band /artist at the moment really inspiring musically, or that you think will go far this year / would like to see more of? 

ALL OF OUR FRIENDS ( political correctness mode ON ) Count Counsellor, MEI, Pleasure Complex, Estrons, YAK, LVNA, Them Blends, big shout out to Tiny Factory and Goth Boss Britt. We love you, WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH WE LOVE YOU DO YOU UNDERSTAND? DO YOU UNDERSTAND? 

If you had to describe each band member in just three words, what would they be? 

Annoying, annoying, very annoying. 

The guys are off on tour throughout October and November, we highly recommend catching them at one of the below dates!

October:
10th – Doncaster Dome (Placebo)
11th – Blackpool Empress Ballroom (Placebo)
12th – Nottingham Bodega (with Superfood)
13th – Reading Rivermead (Placebo)
14th – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena (Placebo)
16th – Portsmouth Guildhall (Placebo)
17th – Swindon Oasis (Placebo)
20th – Plymouth Pavilions (Placebo)
21st – Wolverhampton Civic hall (Placebo)
23rd – Brixton Academy (Placebo)
24th – Brixton Academy (Placebo)
26th – Manchester Star & Garter (with Tigercub)
27th – Norwich Waterfront (with Tigercub)
November
8th – Glasgow Garage Bar (attic)
9th – Leeds Brudenell Games Room
10th – Middlesborough Westgarth
11th -  Newcastle Think Tank
12th – Liverpool Studio 2
14th – Birmingham Sunflower Lounge
15th – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
16th – Bristol Crofters
17th – Lexington, London
18th – Southampton Joiners
25th - Luton The Edge

Victorious Festival 2017 - Sunday

Following a successful Friday night headlined by Madness and a Saturday closed by the Stereophonics and Rita Ora, Sunday at Victorious Festival 2017 had a lot to live up to. 
The weather continued where Saturday left off, no signs of the typical British festival rain here in sunny Southsea. As for the line-up, with Olly Murs on hand for X-Factor fans and fellow headliners Elbow having the indie-rock crowd covered, everything was set for another great day’s festivities. 

Although there’s no overall theme to Victorious, there is a love of bands from yesteryear. This would continue with the early afternoon guest slot for America’s Dandy Warhols. If there was anyone watching who wasn’t already familiar with the band, memories of early Vodaphone adverts no doubt came flooding back during “Bohemian Like You”.

Elsewhere in the set, “Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth” was far too catchy for an anti-heroin song (but in a good way!). While many of the main acts came from this side of the pond, Dandy Warhols totally deserved the tag of special guests.

The world stage of course attracted more international names, the well-travelled Maya Youssef for example, brought Arabic influences to Victorious. Her 78 stringed zither unfortunately being drowned out by a sound-clash with the Peoples Lounge in the tent next door. Fellowship of Groove however followed with a horn section that would have given the foghorn on nearby Southsea Castle a run for its money. 

Portsmouth’s Kassassin Street continue to gain a much wider recognition, this year the 60’s influenced psychedelic indie rock heading to one of the main stages. I only caught the last couple of tracks, but as always the boys proved why there going places.

Turin Breaks may not be a local band, but during their set they mentioned plenty of fond memories of the area. Renting out a flat in Fratton while at Portsmouth University, practicing their tricks at Southsea Skate Park and playing football on the very same piece of land as they were now playing.  You could tell they felt at home on stage too, putting in a great performance, unlike Field Music who followed.

Initially Field Music came across as the perfect festival band, with accessible tunes sure to appeal to the masses. Then everything got a bit too samey and rapidly went downhill. Frontman David Brewis looking disheartened with it all, the set eventually cut short, which in honesty seemed to do everyone a favour.

In contrast the Mighty Z All Stars kept things more lively in the World Music Village, where summer vibes always go down well. That said, I couldn’t stick around so can only assume they continued in the same vein.

It was then a mad dash to catch one of the weekend highlights, with a 2 piece from London about to make some big noise. In conventional terms, Slaves shouldn’t work on such a large scale. The pair look and sound as though they’d be more suited to small and sweaty clubs. 
Slaves drummer Isaac Holman stood behind his kit and takes on lead vocals, every so often going for a wander, as Laurie Vincent almost takes a backseat switching between bass and guitar. Holman comes across as a loveable East End geezer, charming the crowd between songs. Tracks such as “The Hunter” and “Cheer Up London” were thrashed out like a personal attack, while “Fuck the Hi-Hat” answered any questions about the bands minimal use of symbols. 

It was soon to be more reggae back on the world stage, as Macka B took to the stage. Well, it would have been had the dancehall legend not been a bit of a diva. While the rest of his band stood in waiting, trying hard to drag out their soundcheck the singer eventually came on board.

Luckily the late start was the only disappointment (forgetting any cucumber references). Macka B keeping the crowd bouncing along to tunes from his mid-career albums, as well as recent single “Never Played a 45”. There was a lot of love in the crowd and a coming together of like-minded individuals for “Everybody Loves Bob Marley”.

It wasn’t Macka B spreading the L word alone though, as Elbow were about to prove during the weekends finale. There’s something heart-warming about front-man Guy Garvey, he’s a nice normal bloke with an exceptional and naturally beautiful voice. 

They may be a bit middle of the road, but on record Elbow sound great. It’s not just about Radio 1 airplay and a Mercury Award winning album though, as the weekends final headliners soon proved.

“Magnificent (She Says)” from the latest release was placed early in the set and with a live string section on stage, the newer tunes floated soulfully across the field. Guy Garvey would repeatedly bring back that “love” word and it truly was a special performance. 
Closing with the 2008 hit single “One Day Like This”, Elbow couldn’t have provided a more beautiful ending to another successful Victorious Festival. 

Victorious Festival 2017 - Saturday

by Keith Sandys

Headliners for the Saturday of Victorious Festival 2017 were to include Rita Ora, Stereophonics and Olly Murs. There were other big names elsewhere on the bill too with Feeder, Maximo Park and Jake Bugg all appearing on the main stage.

In keeping with previous years, Victorious Festival is also proud to support local talent. Those arriving in the midday sun would be greeted by Blackfoot Circle taking to the stage. Full of energy and confidence, you could easily have mistaken the Portsmouth band as a wider known act.

Another local lad was on next, albeit from down the road in nearby Winchester. This time it was someone who’s definitely no stranger to playing in front of larger crowds.

Frank Turner has performed at the Olympic opening ceremony, sells out venues up and down the country and is a regular on the festival circuit. When it came to Victorious Festival 2017 he was given a special early afternoon slot, with another gig already planned for later the same day.

The solo acoustic set would take some beating. In fact, Frank Turner probably has everything you want from an artist, as he belted out the likes of “Photosynthesis” and “Recovery”. His naturally joyful persona puts the crowd at ease, while lyrically there’s something everyone can relate to. Even more so when it comes to reminiscing about a youth spent on the very field on which we stand. 

Another act who would make local references were the Bog Rolling Stones. The tribute band remembering when they played their infamous Stones in the Park gig, “Not Hyde Park, Leigh Park” being one of many gems courtesy of singer Mick Slacker.

Echobelly were a pretty big deal in the mid 90’s, so it was singles from this era that entertained the large crowd. Sonya Madan’s vocals stood out, while the slide guitar of Glenn Johansson was sounding awesome on set closer “Dark Therapy”.

Having walked the length of the whole site, checking out some of the smaller stages (including the heavier side of things with Climb the Attic) it was time to embrace the family area. The main focus being on my own little tiddler, who enjoyed seeing televisions Mr Bloom.

The Victorious Kids Arena is more than just a token gesture, although CBeebies favourite gardener was entertaining enough. With arts and crafts, fairground rides, the University of Portsmouth Science Tent, parkour demonstrations, live karaoke and a circus tent, the list goes on… any way, back to the music.

Having missed the majority of Feeder, it was Newcastle’s Maximo Park up next on the main stage. Although half the set came from their latest album “Risk to Exist”, frontman Paul Smith knows how to work a crowd. It was of course the classic indie-rock tracks “Girls Who Play Guitar”, “Our Velocity” and “Apply Some Pressure” that were always going to be the real highlights.

Another walk took me to Sasha Ilyukevich & the Highly Skilled Migrants, playing a folk rock set that Gogol Bordello would be proud of on the World Music Stage. Sasha quite rightly telling the like-minded audience to “come closer, don’t fear the immigrants”. 

Pulled Apart by Horses were on the itinerary over at the Butser Fest stage next and soon became one of my favourite performances from the weekend. Covering the heavier end of the spectrum it felt like a gig in a sweaty club rather than outside after dark.

With song titles including “I Punched a Lion in the Throat” carnage ensued. There was a friendly mosh pit throughout the set and singer/guitarist Tom Hudson crowd surfing during “High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive”.

Even if Deaf Havana were the stage headliners on paper, in reality they were going to have to do something special to follow. Although I was looking forward to seeing them, as it turned out they were pretty lame.

I wasn’t going to end my Saturday on a low point, so it was off to watch local band Is Bliss on the Seaside Stage. It was unavoidable not to briefly catch pop star Rita Ora bringing in the masses on the way through, so even though not my thing, it was soon obvious she’s damn good at it.

As for anyone disappointed that the Jesus and Mary Chain had been replaced at the last minute by Pete Doherty, then you probably should have been at Is Bliss. After all, what better way to end day 2 of Victorious Festival 2017 than supporting local music, with the sound of the ocean as your back drop?

Victorious Festival 2017 – Friday Review

Words by Keith Sandys

The first Victorious Festival took place in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard in 2012, against a backdrop of Lord Nelson’s HMS Victory and the home of the Royal Navy.  Now in its 6th year the music festival has since moved to a much larger location, along the nearby Southsea seafront.

It’s not just the venue that’s become bigger, for 2017 included off-site camping facilities and a Friday night opening party. The additional evening now making it a 3 day event for the first time.

As I took a stroll around the grounds, Sundara Karma were already playing on the Castle Stage. The sizeable crowd being far removed from seeing them at Southsea’s Pie & Vinyl for an acoustic instore session. Listening to them on the bigger stage, it was clear what all the hype had been about.

Before returning to the main arena there was time to check out some local talent. First up was DJ Gentle Bren in the Champagne Bar, while DJ Tom Mayhem was over in the Beats & Swing tent. I would say I’m biased, but it’s well known whenever Tom’s behind the decks the party’s started.

Beats & Swing may have resembled a messy school disco by the end of the night, but on the Rhino AV Stage things were more in keeping with the nights headliners. Portsmouth/Southampton based Ska Dogs played a blistering 40 minute set with plenty of 2-tone classics to keep the older crowd dancing.

Sounding even more psychedelic than usual with their mid-nighties indies rock, were penultimate band The Charlatans. From early single “North Country Boy” through to Deep Purple inspired “The Only One I know”, Tim Burgess and Co were already on top form before ending on an epic organ fuelled “Sproston Green”.

That left ska legends Madness to wrap up the first night of the festival. Overall they were as I had expected, it’s just with anything post ‘90s, Madness don’t really live up to their heyday. Even Suggs sounded surprised when announcing the recent success of their 11th studio album.

It was of course Madness classics such as “Baggy Trousers”, “Our House” and the Prince Buster cover “One Step Beyond” that had everyone bouncing along. Even though things sounded a bit flat at times, when it came to “It must be Love” you couldn’t have asked for a better tune to close the main set.

The obligatory encore followed, ending with “Nightboat to Cairo” and soon it was time to start skanking towards the exit. Friday may have been an abridged version of the rest of the Victorious Festival, but it was only one more sleep before doing it all again.

Reading Festival 2017

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READING 2017: Friday

Brimming with the a varied selection of musical genres across the site and headline sets from Eminem, Muse and Kasabian, at Reading Festival this year we delved into the best alternative noises the festival had to offer.

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LIFE

With their debut album 'Popular Music' only out a few months ago, Hull's LIFE are fresh and fiery. The title track 'Popular Music' is a fitting anthem for the disaffected festival-goer; Mez's vocals oozing Mark E Smith attitude "totally off my face I listen to popular music". Showcased by their raucous onstage presence, LIFE package political comment and pop hook laden punk into a captivating live set - highly recommended.

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FREAK

Continuing our delve into all the punky primal noises, FREAK - the alter ego of Connar Ridd gave us energetic garage rock with straight to the point lyrics. First song 'What Happened' was almost over when the power cut but they guys handled it admirably brushing it off with the quip "f**k the power" and the set was really well received.

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IDLES

With their cutting sense of humour, the confrontational 'Well Done'  and 'Mother' were highlights - delivered with piercingly fierce and impassioned vocals in an all-round epic adrenaline fuelled and highly entertaining set.

'1049 Gotho' about depression was cracking live, singer Joe urged the audience to make sure they speak to someone and get some help - IDLES are one of a host of bands at the moment using their influence to speak up about important issues which is really great to see.

Raw, relevant and brutal, they're off to support Foo Fighters later this month.

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It was amazing to see so many furious punk bands, with each with a sharp sense of humour to them and something poignant to say and all before the sun has even started to set on the first day.

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DEAP VALLY

Over on the main stage L.A.'s duo Deap Vally were a well polished machine with two snarling and captivating cogs; Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards. From fuzzy guitars to massive riffs Deap Vally craft a mixed sonic experience from mellower blues right through to full-on punk angst. Yet again we were impressed with another 2-piece who can deliver a massive and raucous depth of sound, the snarling rock and blues is reminiscent of The Kills and Lindsey has a level of showmanship to justify that comparison .

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Tigers Jaw

Tigers Jaw were folky indie-rock with a touching purity to it - sometimes vulnerable, building and falling between pop melodies and heartfelt musings. 'I Saw Water' pulled in Brianna's vocals with Ben's for outstanding harmonies between the two expertly using the rise and fall of the music to effect. 

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Cigarettes After Sex

On the Festival Republic stage Cigarettes After Sex's ambient electro dreamy-pop floated over the crowd and really did have a feeling of lazing in bed with a touch of melancholy. It was beautiful to witness and an ethereal contrast to the raucous bands we saw earlier in the day.

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Kasabian

'Fire' was met with flares let off amongst the crowd which was an amazing sight to see. Kasabian are one of the few bands that really translate differently live, the sound was almost more acoustic in feel - the rich textural noise that normally accompanies their music is still there but somehow different in a good way, 'Underdog' was more of an epic experience with extended solos and great crowd interaction. As well as a bit of Daft Punk's 'Around The World' spliced into the set, the Nirvana cover 'All Apologies' was strangely fitting, an acoustically gentle take on the song with sing-a-longs of "in the sun we feel as one" a great choice for what was a scorching day.

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Billy Talent

Canadian punk rockers Billy Talent headlined The Pit with their upbeat and diverse anthems. 'Rusted From The Rain' was a more plodding grungier sounding track that although ballad-esque still packed a punch. 'Falling Leaves' and 'Red Flag' were always going to be a highlight of the set, the closing track 'Viking Death March' was a frenzied performance delivered with such explosive energy and passion it was a fitting end to our first day.

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READING 2017: Saturday

 

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Sløtface

With a fiery performance from vocalist Haley Shea Sløtface made a point of asking the crowd if they are drinking enough water in the scorching heat and as it's so hot "ladies, if you want to take your tops off do it and if anyone give you and unwanted attention you have my permission to punch them in the nuts really hard". Handing out disposable cameras for the audience to take pictures and pass back at the end of the set they stressed not to "keep it like those f**kers in Leeds!". With slicing punk mixed with grunge and more sombre tones, this spirited melodic punk-pop set was great to watch.

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Marmozets

As 'Move, Shake, Hide' roared out singer Becca's stage presence oozed charisma and attitude in boundless amounts. Their brilliant angsty brand of punk-laden hardcore went down really well with alt-math leanings and raucous guitars underpinned by driving drums, not to mention Becca's incredible talent for switching from vicious gravel to melodic sugar in a split second this was a great show topped off by the ending full of furious energy that is 'Why Do You Hate Me?'.

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Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

Frank did his usual bit encouraging the ladies to crowd surf saying they should feel comfortable and if they had any men giving them trouble he'd "bite their f**king head off and give it to my dog as a chew toy". It is a great sentiment including all the audience and he was clearly humbly proud to be in the influential position he has earned. Frank dedicated "Lullaby" to his daughter who was watching from side of stage, blowing her kisses and waving throughout the set. With the set ending on the angry and to the point “I hate you” it was an all round highly entertaining and uplifting show.

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The Black Lips

From garage punk to fuzzy rock and roll riffs the set was bluesy, psychy with a retro vibe and the highlight for us 'Can't Hold On'. Despite some technical difficulties early on they gave a great performance and left us pepped ready for the final day of the festival.

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READING 2017: Sunday

Muncie Girls

Muncie Girls were great live, the band have a stage presence and demeanour with a natural feel to it - effortlessly cool, indie punk that is as engaging as it is endearing. 

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Raveneye

Raveneye really got the crowd going with great banter and a frenetic performance. They told us we were "popping their Reading cherry" and that they could "see each and every one of you out there ... we have raven eyes". With catchy, bluesy rock dynamic and oozing with character we would highly recommend checking them out live.

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Culture Abuse

Singer David talked of how important it is to have people who are kind and support you - really positive words and totally endearing and engaging. They told of how this was the last day of their UK / European tour- their drummer had a freak out and got violent, the fantastic Ben was sitting in for this show, a broken ankle and other eventful stories!

Tired Lion

Perth's Tired Lion were next up on the Lock Up stage, a highlight for us was their single ‘Cinderella Dracula’ which swings from delicate and gentle one moment to brutal and violent the next, combining front-woman Sophie Hopes raw and emotional songwriting with the bands driving guitar and bass lines and fierce drums. 

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Ash

Vibrant and enthusiastic as ever, with a great mix of old and newer songs - you can see why they have such staying power. Kicking off with 'Kung Fu' the pure passion with which they perform is awe inspiring, Mark Hamilton has possibly the best bass-stance we have ever seen, all the guys are full of pride and commitment to their craft ... true masters of catchy pop melodies. With a massive catalogue of indisputable hits at their disposal they still have all the captivating passion and raw infectious enthusiasm of those three guys in their late teens all those years ago, banging out energetic indie garage rock with such fervor.

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Gnarwolves

Gnarwolves closed off our punk experience of the festival, fittingly introduced as the most clear embodiment of punk on the The Lock Up stage. It was riotous set from the ever touring live favourites who put on an awesome show as always. Stopping mid-song for a small Oasis rendition (Liam was playing the Main Stage by this time) they were full of banter ... tour stories, of broken down vans and the usual adventures in amongst an energetically crowd pleasing fierce set.

Reading Festival 2017 - Sunday

First band for us for Sunday was Denmark’s Baby In Vain with their own brand of snarling post hardcore, crossed with hazy and laid back anthems.

Next up at the Pit stage were Raveneye, who really got the crowd going with great banter and a frenetic performance. They told us we were "popping their Reading cherry" and that they could "see each and every one of you out there ... we have raven eyes". With catchy, bluesy rock dynamic and oozing with character we would highly recommend checking them out live.

Sløtface were next up on the Lock Up stage they said of the festival; "Just thinking of the fact that we'll be on the same poster as Kasabian, Charli XCX, At The Drive In and Eminem is really exciting. We love the festival life in the UK and this is the biggest UK festival we've ever done, so this has to be amazing.”

With a fiery performance from vocalist Haley Shea was an engaging front-woman, making a point of asking the crowd if they are drinking enough water in the scorching heat and as it's so hot "ladies, if you want to take your tops off do it and if anyone give you and unwanted attention you have my permission to punch them in the nuts really hard". Handing out disposable cameras for the audience to take pictures and pass back at the end of the set they stressed not to "keep it like those f**kers in Leeds!".

Highlight of the set was their recent single 'Nancy Drew'. Speaking on how 'Nancy Drew' originally came about, the band said: "We wrote the big rock chords and electronica inspired bass hook first. Then for the lyrics - Haley wanted to take some of that power and make it about something really cool and slick. Nancy Drew in the song is basically a super hero version of the original teenage sleuth, who fights the patriarchy and indie music's boys' club."

"The song is about this super hero I tried to create that's based on Nancy Drew", Haley muses. “The album is full of things we're worrying about, so I wanted to put some positivity and strength in as well. For this song I wanted to create a kind of super hero saviour, so I drew inspiration from Nancy Drew and tried to imagine a bad-ass super hero who crushes the music industry's boys' club and the patriarchy with one punch."

With slicing punk mixed with grunge and more sombre tones, this spirited melodic punk pop set was great to watch and left us anticipating their debut album 'Try Not To Freak Out' which is out September 15th

Next up were Otherkin over on the Festival Republic stage, their debut album 'OK' is due out 29th September. Having opened for Guns 'N' Roses and been touring extensively this year these Irish garage punks are certainly ones to watch.

 

Staying at the Festival Republic stage, next up were London's King Nun. Hotly tipped to be a breakout act this year you can see why through the sheer enthusiasm they exude onstage. 

Muncie Girls were great live, the band have a stage presence and demeanour with a natural feel to it - effortlessly cool, indie punk that is as engaging as it is endearing. 

Singer Lande Hekt had earlier said how exciting it was to be “back to Reading and Leeds this year. Last time Eminem played, Dido made a surprise appearance and amongst the thousands of shocked fans, there wasn't a dry eye to be seen. We can only hope for the same this year. Also the Lock Up stage is amazing. What a way to end our summer!” 

Culture Abuse put on a great show too. Singer David talked of how important it is to have people who are kind and support you - really positive words and totally endearing and engaging. They told of how this was the last day of their UK / European tour- their drummer had a freak out and got violent, the fantastic Ben was sitting in for this show, a broken ankle and other eventful stories!

Perth's Tired Lion were next up on the Lock Up stage, a highlight for us was their single ‘Cinderella Dracula’ which swings from delicate and gentle one moment to brutal and violent the next, combining front-woman Sophie Hopes raw and emotional songwriting with the bands driving guitar and bass lines and fierce drums. 

Sophie said of the song: “This was written at a time when I felt quite lost … I guess you could call it young naivety. I was young and single, ready to experience the world with a kind of ‘youthful embrace’.  I had a one-night stand and what was meant to make me feel content just left me angry and frustrated at myself… I wrote the lyrics down whilst waiting for this guy to leave. It was awful timing but I guess it was my way of saying ‘Fuck you, can you get out of my house’. I felt like I’d garnered this split personality –one side being desperate for affection and vulnerable (Cinderella), the other being dark and well… kinda mean (Dracula).”

Rock ‘n’ roll legend and an unmistakable icon of music history, Liam Gallagher was next up on the Main Stage bringing his highly anticipated solo performance to Reading in a UK Festival Exclusive. As one of the most recognised figures in British music, his show was an attitude filled performance fuelled with Oasis classics and tracks from his debut solo record.

Well what can we say, Ash were vibrant and enthusiastic as ever, with a great mix of old and newer songs - you can see why they have such staying power.

Kicking off with 'Kung Fu' the pure passion with which they perform is awe inspiring, Mark Hamilton has possibly the best bass-stance we have ever seen, all the guys are full of pride and commitment to their craft ... when they played 'Oh Yeah' it's one of our least favourite tracks but the audience really went wild for it singing along arms aloft. 

Ash are masters of the catchy pop melodies and if the guys have any hint reticence of having to consistently play the older songs they absolutely showed none of it. The first time we saw them was 21 years ago - this must have been about the 14th time since then and it really never gets old, we pretty much knew what to expect - in a good way.

Having followed Ash since their inception we are a little biased, favouring the older material generally, quite possibly due to nostalgia, we remember first hearing Jack Names The Planets on John Peel back in the day and thinking What is this?! We love this! and then checking in HMV every week until Trailer finally hit the shops.

With a massive catalogue of indisputable hits at their disposal they still have all the captivating passion and raw infectious enthusiasm of those three guys in their late teens all those years ago, banging out energetic indie garage rock with such fervor.

Tim Wheeler said of their appearance; "We’re very proud to announce an historic 10th appearance for Ash at the Reading festival. We first performed there in 1995 and our shows at the festival stand among our favourite shows that we’ve ever played, it’s always been a highlight of each year we’ve done it. Somewhere along the way we were promised a statue upon reaching our 10th appearance, so we’re looking forward to the grand unveiling in August!"

Stadium rock royalty Muse are the perfect choice to headline the Main Stage as one of the most influential and revered live bands of modern times.

Led by the commanding presence of frontman Matt Bellamy - his voice piercingmy magnificent especially in 'Knights of Cydonia' with such a range and power so fitting to a Reading Main stage headline act.

The band were joined by AC/DC's Brian Johnson for a rendition of 'Back In Black' and with confetti canons full of paper people raining down like snow and an epic fireworks display it really was an amazing send-off to what was an awesome festival.

Gnarwolves closed off our punk experience of the festival, fittingly introduced as the most clear embodiment of punk on the The Lock Up stage.

It was riotous set from the ever touring live favourites who put on an awesome show as always. Stopping mid-song for a small Oasis rendition (Liam was playing the Main Stage by this time) they were full of banter ... tour stories, of broken down vans and the usual adventures in amongst an energetically crowd pleasing fierce set.

Gnarwolves: Thom Weeks had previously said of their appearance; "We're very excited to be playing Reading and Leeds this year. It'll be our 4th time at Reading and we get to play on the stage we first played on 4 years ago! I spent my teenage years at Reading, watching bands like Thursday and Sick Of It All, so getting to play is like living out a teenage fantasy...4 times!" 

Reading Festival 2017 - Saturday

Kicking off our Saturday we headed out to the NME stage for Inheaven, an exciting new band with a genuine talent - their self-titled debut album is due out on 1st September.

We were treated to a genre-defying mix of indie, grungy-rock, and melody with a bite to it. The rebellious 'Baby's Alright' was written before Trump’s election – but it seems particularly potent now; “Bombs will drop and the world will shake / Don't believe a word they say / Pull the trigger now or face your fate / In a messed up place where hate breeds hate.” 

'Regeneration''s fuzzy noise rock with shouted anthemic vocals were nostalgic and cinematic while their newest track ‘Stupid Things’ out this week takes you to a more Americana alt rock place. The band explain: “‘Stupid Things’ is a song for daydreamers. It’s about a love that exists outside of reality, it’s a romanticism you’ve created in your own head - but in the real world you have never even spoken to this person you think you know so well. It’s a school crush that feels like it will last forever. And it’s our very own coming of age soundtrack.”

Next on the NME stage were Marmozets - a set we had been looking forward to as had not yet experienced them live and we in no way were we let down in the slightest.

As the opening track 'Move, Shake, Hide' roared out singer Becca's stage presence oozed charisma and attitude in boundless amounts.

As a band made of two sets of siblings they gel well together and there was absolutely no let-up throughout the set by the whole band, their brilliant angsty brand of punk-laden hardcore, went down really well with the crowd.  

With alt-math leanings and raucous guitars underpinned by driving drums, not to mention Becca's incredible talent for switching from vicious gravel to melodic sugar in a split second this was a great show topped off by the ending full of furious energy that is 'Why Do You Hate Me?'.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes gave their usual high energy show with great crowd interaction. Frank did his usual bit encouraging the ladies to crowd surf saying they should feel comfortable and if they had any men giving them trouble he'd "bite their f**king head off and give it to my dog as a chew toy". It is a great sentiment including all the audience and he was clearly humbly proud to be in the influential position he has earned.

Frank dedicated "Lullaby" to his daughter who was watching from side of stage, blowing her kisses and waving throughout the set. With the set ending on the angry and to the point “I hate you” it was an all round highly entertaining and uplifting show.

Next up we headed over to the Festival Republic stage for Canada's Japandroids, check out the pics here!

Saturday's headliner Eminem is consistently seen as one of the greatest rappers of all time, not only a titan in hip-hop but in modern culture itself. One of the biggest selling artists of the 21st century, his razor-sharp wit and impeccable larger than life anthems continue to defy boundaries, with the likes of ‘Lose Yourself’ and ‘My Name Is’ no matter what your core music tastes this was a sight to be seen.

There was plenty of banter, Eminem paused to tell the audience that he was "not going to name names, but I f**king hate Donald Trump" and instigated a massive chant of 'F**k / Trump'. The set also had plenty to look at, visually staged like a massive boom box and with intense burning city projections through 'Lose Yourself'. He ended the set saying "thanks for making us feel at home ... lets end it like this" with both middle fingers held proudly aloft.

Headlining the Festival Republic stage were The Black Lips. From garage punk to fuzzy rock and roll riffs the set was bluesy, psychy with a retro vibe and the highlight for us 'Can't Hold On'. Despite some technical difficulties early on they gave a great performance and left us pepped ready for the final day of the festival.

Reading Festival 2017 - Friday Evening

After our morning of awesomely loud punk noises we continued on with British pop-punkers WSTR in The Pit. 

The quintet played tracks from their 2017 debut ‘Red, Green Or Inbetween’ a highlights were their latest single ‘Eastbound & Down’ and 'Fairweather' where they inspired plenty of sing-a-longs and encapsulated the essence of pop-punk.

 

Switching up the mood we headed off to the Festival Republic Stage for guitar-pop gang The Big Moon

While slower paced than the bands we had seen earlier, there was plenty of attitude oozing from the stage as they played the slick and hooky 'Cupid' and the anthemic 'Sucker', both from their debut album 'Love in the 4th Dimension'.

The set went down really well and if you want to check them out the indie girl gang are also off on an extensive UK tour this September and October.

We wandered back to The Pit for Counterfeit's as we have heard they give a great live show.

Their debut album 'Together We Are Stronger' was released earlier this year and yet they seem more established, tightly executed with great onstage chemistry and frontman Jamie had great audience interaction.

'Enough', 'Romeo' and 'Washed Out' were highlights of the set and the change in pace for the emotional 'Letters To The Lost' was poignant and captivating.

Next up in The Pit we caught Tigers Jaw's folky indie-rock which has a touching purity to it. Sometimes vulnerable, building and falling between pop melodies and heartfelt musings this was a great set.

'I Saw Water' pulls in Brianna's vocals with Ben's for outstanding harmonies between the two expertly using the rise and fall of the music to effect. 

'The Sun' is an upbeat summery tune perfectly place in the set with the rising anthemic lines "what about your friends, do they make you happy?" while 'Plane Vs. Tank Vs. Submarine' showcases Ben's beautifully raw vocal in a folkier stripped back song that still packs a pop hook.

When we arrived over at the Festival Republic stage for Cigarettes After Sex the ambient electro dreamy pop was already floating over the crowd. Their self-titled debut album came out earlier this year and the dreamy-pop set really had a feeling of lazing in bed with a touch of melancholy - beautiful to witness and an ethereal contrast to the raucous bands we saw earlier in the day.

Queens Of The Stone also played a secret set on the NME Stage which was a highlight for many. The set had the classics 'Little Sister' and 'No-one Knows' as well as a couple of tracks from their new album 'Villains' that was released yesterday.

Main Stage headliners for Friday were Kasabian, with several hugely successful albums one after the other and massive sell-out gigs they have gone from dance-rock outsiders to one of the biggest rock bands in the country. Earlier this year they released their new album "For Crying Out Loud" and along with all the classic tracks the set was great entertainment, cementing their headline credentials.

'Fire' was met with flares let off amongst the crowd which was an amazing sight to see. Kasabian are one of the few bands that really translate differently live, the sound was almost more acoustic in feel - the rich textural noise that normally accompanies their music is still there but somehow different in a good way, for example 'Underdog' was more of an epic experience with extended solos and great crowd interaction.

As well as a bit of Daft Punk's 'Around The World' spliced into the set, the Nirvana cover 'All Apologies' was strangely fitting, an acoustically gentle take on the song with sing-a-longs of "in the sun we feel as one" a great choice for what was a scorching day.

Canadian punk rockers Billy Talent headlined The Pit with their upbeat and diverse anthems. 'Rusted From The Rain' was a more plodding grungier sounding track that although ballad-esque still packed a punch.

'Falling Leaves' and 'Red Flag' were always going to be a highlight of the set, the closing track 'Viking Death March' was a frenzied performance delivered with such explosive energy and passion it was a fitting end to our first day.

Reading Festival 2017 - Friday

Brimming with the a varied selection of musical genres across the site and headline sets from Eminem, Muse and Kasabian, Reading Festival is primed to be the defining festival weekend of the summer and completely sold out a few days ago!

First act of today for us was Hull's LIFE on The Pit stage. Their debit album 'Popular Music' came out in June this year and the title track is a belter live.

The chorus of "totally off my face I listen to popular music" is somewhat of an anthem for the disaffected with Mez's vocals echoing a Mark E Smith attitude and made a fitting start to the weekend. 

Showcased by their raucous onstage presence, LIFE package political comment and pop hook laden punk into a captivating live set.

LIFE

LIFE

LIFE

LIFE

LIFE

LIFE

Continuing our delve into all the punky primal noises Reading has to offer this year, next up were FREAK - the alter ego of Connar Ridd.

It was a great live show with boundless energy, both the EP title track 'I Like To Smile When I’m Sad' and the storming 'Cake' are well worth a listen. 'No Money' was also good to see live, introduced as "for our glorious NHS".

First song 'What Happened' was almost over when the power cut but they guys handled it admirably brushing it off with the quip "f**k the power". 

They're off on a co-headline tour with King Nun next month, so you can check out their energetic garage rock with straight to the point lyrics for yourself!

FREAK

FREAK

FREAK

FREAK

Over on the main stage L.A.'s duo Deap Vally were a well polished machine with two snarling and captivating cogs; Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards.

From fuzzy guitars to massive riffs Deap Vally craft a mixed sonic experience from mellower blues right through to full-on punk angst. 

Yet again we were impressed with another 2-piece who can deliver a massive and raucous depth of sound, the snarling rock and blues is reminiscent of The Kills and Lindsey has a level of showmanship to justify that comparison - bounding about and completely owning the Main Stage. 

Back at The Pit IDLES were next up. Earlier this year they released their debut album 'Brutalism' which is outstanding. The last time we caught them live it was a great show so we were looking forward to catching them again today.

We weren't disappointed despite high expectations as their cutting sense of humour again told us tales of woe with impassioned gravelly vocals, and so much energy from the whole band  in a furious assault on our senses.

'1049 Gotho' was also cracking live, a song about depression singer Joe urged the crowd to make sure they speak to someone and get some help if they are affected - IDLES are one of a whole host of bands at the moment using their influence to speak up about important issues which is really great to see.

Highlights of the set were the angrily spitting track 'Mother', the confrontational lyrics were delivered with piercingly fierce vocals and 'Well Done' which is laced with slicing social comment, raw and relevant. Yet again, they delivered an epic adrenaline fuelled and highly entertaining set.

IDLES

IDLES

IDLES

IDLES

IDLES

IDLES

IDLES

IDLES

It has been amazing to see so many furious punk bands, with each with a sharp sense of humour to them and something poignant to say and all before the sun has even started to set on day one!

Ghost Of The Avalanche - New EP Out This Friday / Interview

Ahead of the released this Friday of Ghost Of The Avalanche's fourth EP ‘Obsessive Compulsive Gender Dysphoria’ we caught up with Nick, one half of the bass and drum driven noise-punk duo.

Nick Wiltone and Mel Per-Hour create the kind of maelstrom that straddles punk, hardcore and guttural rock but in amongst the discordance, you’ll find pockets of pop sensibility.

How long have you been going, how did you come together?

Mel and I met whilst playing in other bands on our local music scene. I told him I was looking to do a side project as a duo and he offered his services. We played on and off together for a couple of years but only as and when we had the time. A few years later we both quit our respective bands and decided to start up what would become Ghost Of The Avalanche again. That was around 2014 so we've been playing as GOTA for about 4 years.

Are you pretty collaborative … do you write your songs together and share similar influences?

Yeah, we are very collaborative. I usually bring a rough idea to practice and we play around with it until it becomes a full song. Without Mel's input those songs would sound very different. We both like all different kinds of music but where our influences meet is usually heavy bands who know how to write a hook. 'Dark Pop' as I like to call it.

How about your creative process, what inspires you to create particular songs?

Each song has a different starting point as an idea and we usually build on that. So sometimes it might start with a line of lyrics or a bass riff but ultimately if it's a goer we have to be feeling it when we come together in the practice room. We know pretty quickly if something is going to work or not. A lot of our songs are socio-political in their lyrical content but we don't like to be too obvious about it. We want people to think and listen and take what they want from it. In terms of the music, we try and write songs we want to listen to so generally they are high energy, a bit riffy, and we try to write good hooks as we believe that's what makes a song memorable. We also try and write songs that let us put on a great show whether we're playing in your parents living room or at an open air festival.

So is there a story behind the new EP?

This new EP has been in the making for quite some time. Last year my wife and I had a baby daughter which meant I didn't have loads of spare time to write so we didn't make it into the studio until earlier this year. Whilst that was happening Mel came out as gender-fluid and so we both had a lot going on (and still do) in our personal lives. The EP is a reflection of change and growing up. I've previously struggled with OCD and always thought of it as a negative thing. I used to be quite secretive about it, trying to hide it from my peers much like Mel with his gender fluidity as I didn't want to be judged by others. But now I have a daughter (she's asleep on me as I type this) I want her to be able to grow up not feeling scared of anything and that these kinds of issues are not taboo. Mel and I decided to call the EP 'Obsessive Compulsive Gender Dysphoria' as it's a combination of the things we've both struggled with but we're transforming them into something positive and wearing them on our collective sleeve. It's recognising we have these issues, being ok with that and you never know, hopefully we help others who may be struggling with their own issues by being honest.

If you had to describe each band member in only 3 words, what would they be?

Mel - Funny, energetic, sassy

Me - handsome, suave and debonair

What's next for you this year?

The EP is out on 25th August and then we start our 'Obsessive Compulsive Gender DysTOURia' which is a bunch of shows in the UK then a few in France. We will also hopefully be putting together a couple of videos to go with a couple of tracks off the new EP and then I guess we'll do more shows and start writing some new songs!

You can check them out at www.facebook.com/ghostoftheavalanche and grab merch & music from: www.ghostoftheavalanche.bandcamp.com.

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The special edition pre-order comes with limited edition GOTA tote bag featuring EP artwork. 5-track CD (with additional bonus material) complete with special edition artwork is limited to 100 copies worldwide. Pre-order comes with stickers and badges.

Also check them out on their upcoming tour dates:

27th August – Teapfest, Barnstaple

1st September – The Granary, Frome

2nd September – Mothers’ Ruin, Bristol

9th September – Wagon & Horses, Birmingham

7th October – The Royal Oak, Bath

Sextile - Albeit Living

 LA’s SEXTILE's sophmore album 'Albeit Living' is out now, the album title, inspired by a Circle X song, means in-spite of living and sets the tone for a politically charged, introspective album of impassioned observations on our world today. 

Opener 'One Of These' is a dark electro-pop track, the video features camera work & projections by Cloaking and brings together the band’s infamous visceral live show with imagery capturing the vast industrial sound that underpins this striking new record.

‘One of These’ is a tirade on the feelings frontman Brady Keehn experienced during his personal struggle with addiction and escapism, is empowered by these suitably impassioned & urgent visuals. 

'Who Killed Six' has an almost Joy Division-esque driving bassline and clearer vocals, a menacing punk attitude laid over the menacing guitars. 

The album moves on becoming more industrial sounding with 'Ripped', the dark and primitive early industrial feel could be the soundtrack to some grand movie where the machines have evolved, with their own language of disdain while 'Floored' has a more dancey in feel, making you imagine just how imposing that wall of noise would when seen live.

'Mental' is another great driving track that leads you through with a strong rhythm, bass and drums driving the track forward while the sound effects, vocals and guitar add interesting interplay and again a visceral punk feeling. 'Sterilized' has a darker, plodding, atmospheric cleverly textured sound, while 'Das Cat' screams with real sense of movement, continuing the album along on its winding intricate journey to great effect. 

'Situations' starts off with an unfolding electro wall of noise and a drum beat reminiscent of The Fall's 'Totally Wired'. "The song came to me while I was on my way to steal groceries, a period of my life where I struggled financially and that I am not too fond of” explains Brady Keehn. “While on the way, I started thinking about all the other weird situations I had been in through course of my life. I started singing the melody, recorded to it my phone, and there it is, 'Situations'."

Fading in, the next track 'Crisis' builds into a thick texture with stop-start changing layers while 'AVC' exudes pure evil ... more industrial and cleaner in sound and another reminder of the variety on the album.  

There are moments when the album echoes a fuzzier Devo, it sometimes has Joy Division's slower pace and driving bass-lines, with splicings of later Nine Inch Nails and The Horrors which is a testament to the varied interesting and intricate sound all of their own. We were left entertained but with a forboding feeling, the atmospheric walls of sound are all passionately spun into a dark imaginary world where the machines are the new disaffected - set to take over the world - and they aren't happy about what we've done with the place ...

Isle of Wight Festival 2017

Bastille

Bastille were among the most talked about and highly anticipated acts of the festival - they seemed to live up to the hype, putting on a really good live show while engaging their loyal fanbase. We were most impressed with their use of samples which kept the set flowing nicely.

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Arcade Fire

Festival headliners Arcade Fire always encompass the true festival spirit with their flamboyant shows and have that wide reaching appeal that works so well at Festivals. The new Arcade Fire album ‘Everything Now’ will be released on July 28 2017 - the title track went down well with it's ABBA-esque summer vibes at the festival, check it out here:

George Ezra

In little more than 18 months George went from virtual unknown to one of the international breakthrough artists of recent times: taking in a top 10 album in 10 countries; three sold out UK tours; nominations for four BRITs, one BBC Music Award and an Ivor Novello. His set at IOW went down really well, check out his latest single 'Don't Matter Now' and the brilliant 'Barcelona' below:

The Kooks

One of those bands that have been around doing their own indie-pop thing for a while now - it's easy to forget just how many songs you actually know of theirs. Having just issued 'The Best Of ... So Far' album they proved how much they clearly enjoy performing and that they can still command a decent festival following.

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Rag'n'Bone Man

Last year was incredible for Rory - he was also a hotly anticipated performance at Isle of Wight this year by many festival-goers. The phenomenal success of his single Human around the globe follows years of relentless performing and he has built up an incredible following - his set on the Main Stage was impressively powerful with his soulful, honest voice ringing out across the site.

Razorlight

Reinvigorated and back from hiatus, Razorlight headlined the Thursday at the Isle of Wight Festival this year. Singer Johnny Borrell put on a great performance and it was a fitting start to the weekend.

Hands Off Gretel

Strong and fresh but at the same time nostalgic of 90's Riot Grrrl, we are properly impressed with Hands Off Gretel. Perfectly placed to make a Mary-Jane shaped dent in 2017 Lauren Tate oozes charisma with an attitude drenched Brody-like tone to her vocals that twists into full-on Courtney husky growls. Check out a little taster here in the form of 'One Eyed Girl':

PINS

Manchester's alt-punk dark-pop group PINS played the Hard Rock Stage at this year's Isle of Wight Festival. They amassed a large crowd many of whom were waiting for their headline set. They gave a great performance, really engaging the crowd throughout the set and the single 'All Hail' went down especially well. By the end of the set it seemed anyone left not already familiar with them were inspired to catch up ... check out 'All Hail' below:

RUN D.M.C.

Widely known as one of the most influential acts in the history of hip hop culture RUN D.M.C. put on a great show on the Main Stage on Friday night, performing older songs for their hard-core fans as well as their hits 'It's Like That' and of course 'Walk This Way'.

Lucy Spraggan

We caught up with Lucy backstage ahead of her set, we cahtted about the fest and what's been going on in Lucy's world ...

 

So how's musical journey been? "it's been good, my latest 2 records were released on my own record label" so that gives you a bit more control? "Yeah my record label is called control records!" How are you finding the Festival? "Lovely, we just got here but I've actually been here as a punter before, so I love it as a vibe it's just like the most bohemian thing out there" Is it your first time performing? "Yeah, and I was just saying I just love this festival and I feel that its a great place to be playing so I appreciate being asked to play." With your songwriting is there a particular message you are trying to put across, is it storytelling about your life? "Some of it's observations about life, I guess some of it can be interpreted as political but I try and keep the message positive ... about what everybody is facing in their lives" What are your main musical influences? "I love Dolly Parton & Don Maclean, Biggy & Tu-Pac any rappers, I like literally all different kinds of music" What plans do you have for the rest of this year? "I'm going on tour through Sep-Oct, I'm writing my 5th album and we've recently been approved as foster carers so we've been doing a lot of respite care so that's quite hard work." Who are you looking forward to seeing at the festival? "I'm really looking forward to Rag'n'Bone Man and just everybody walking around and seeing what's going on!"

Kaiser Chiefs / Ricky Wilson

The Kaiser Chiefs performed on the main stage on Friday and as if that high energy, entertaining performance wasn't enough, singer Ricky Wilson's appearance at the Old Mout Cider Tent on Sunday was another highlight of the festival for us. Ricky turned up for Rock-eoke (Kareoke with a full band) bursting with all the passion and charisma you'd expect for a main stage crowd in a small tent at the back of the festival. Singing both 'I Predict A Riot' and 'Ruby' to the delight of the crowd, Ricky really demonstrated his natural talent for performing, check out a snippet below:

The Coathangers - The Joker, Brighton, May 2017

Review by Keith 'Mr Teeth' Sandys

It was to be a busy night upstairs at The Joker in Brighton, as the Coathangers attracted a sold-out crowd. Their back-story reads in the same vein as legendry punks the Ramones, in that they formed without really knowing how to play. It may have started as an excuse to turn up at parties, but they’ve since grown into a formidable live act.

Initially sounding a mellow contrast to the headliners, support came from Bristol based Springbreak. It transpired they were unfortunately missing a drummer for the evening, although a stand in would have helped give more of an impact. 

The sweeping effects from the lead guitarist did well to fill the gaps, but it was a shame one of the pedals couldn’t be turned off between songs. Not that it mattered to singer/guitarist who remained full of enthusiasm, making Springbreak all worthwhile.

Garage punk rockers the Coathangers opened with 'Johnny' following their little dance-off at the side of the stage. It was then one song after another in quick succession, with the girls rarely stopping for a breather.

Speaking on the 'Parasite EP' Julia explains “the EP takes you on a journey through the band’s existence”, well tonight it’s a life on the road that’s fast and furious.  The majority of lead vocals are shared between guitarist Julia Kugel and drummer Stephanie Luke, while Meredith Franco provides the bass-lines and backing vocals.

This was only a couple of days into their UK tour, with further dates booked across Europe and already the Coathangers are out to party.  Following an extended version of 'Aderall' shots were downed before some fun instrument swapping. 
Stephanie (aka Rusty) added a bit of surf guitar to 'Shut up' while for 'Cheap Cheap' she was on her knees centre stage, with the mic in her hand.

The indie-hooks of 'Squeeky Tiki' ended the set before the ladies were back to their original spots, for a brief encore in 'Hurricane'. It may have been like any other Saturday night downstairs at the Joker, but up above 3 young punks from Atlanta USA made a sweaty room very happy… now, where did I hang my coat?
 

The Coathangers new EP 'Parasite' is due out on June 30th via Suicide Squeeze, and you can catch them on the rest of the tour on the following dates:

May 17 UK London Oslo
May 18 UK Hastings The Printworks
May 19 UK Leicester The Cookie
May 20 UK Leeds Gold Sounds @ Brudenell Social
May 21 UK Sheffield The Harley
May 23 UK Ramsgate Music Hall
May 24 BE Gent PSYCH OVER 9000
May 25 NL Eindhoven Stroomhuisje
May 26 NL Rotterdam Girls Go Boom Night @ Roodkapje
May 27 NL Amsterdam Pacific Park
May 28 NL Utrecht dB's
May 30 DE Hamburg Molotow
May 31 DE Berlin Cassiopeia
Jun 1 DE Munich Orangehouse
Jun 2 DE Cologne MTC
Jun 3 FR Paris Le Batofar
Jun 4 IT Ravenna Beaches Brew Festival
Jun 8 FR Clermont Ferrand Le Barraka
Jun 9 FR Nimes This is not a Love Song
Jun 10 FI Helsinki Sideways Festival

NEW NOISES! May 2017

New York's Adult Mom release 'Soft Spots' their second full length album this month, check out the fantastic 'Full Screen' here for some bitter-sweet indie loveliness:

Next up, Frauds who just got back from touring with Jamie Lenman. The new single 'Smooth' is out now, give it a spin here:


Atlanta flower punk pioneers Black Lips have announced that their first album in three years, 'Satan’s graffiti or God’s art?', which is out now check out single 'Can't Hold On' here:
 

 
Currently embarking on a US tour in support of their forthcoming album 'You're Welcome', Wavves are back with new track 'No Shade', have a listen below to this final taster of the record ahead of its May 19th release:

Diet Cig - 'Swear I'm Good At This'

Diet Cig have released their hugely anticipated debut album 'Swear I'm Good At This'. Check out the infectious first single off the album 'Tummy Ache' here:

On the single, the band say "'Tummy Ache' is all about unpacking the feeling of approaching punk with radical softness, and the struggle when it's not always read as powerful or cool or whatever enough. Its the shout into my pillow when what I'm saying isn't being heard, and a big old I FEEL YA to all the femme folks creating space for themselves in a world that wants to keep us quiet."

The band, who are well-known for their energetic and bombastic live shows, will be touring the world in support of the album including the following UK dates:

     Oct 13    Rough Trade    Nottingham, United Kingdom        
     Oct 14    Lancaster Library    Lancaster, United Kingdom    
     Oct 16    Soup Kitchen    Manchester, United Kingdom       
     Oct 17    Sneaky Pete's    Edinburgh, United Kingdom        
     Oct 18    Broadcast    Glasgow, United Kingdom         
     Oct 19    HEADROW HOUSE    Leeds, United Kingdom
     Oct 23    The Portland Arms    Cambridge, United Kingdom         
     Oct 25    Moth Club    London, United Kingdom        
     Oct 26    THE HOPE & RUIN    Brighton, United Kingdom

Diet Cig is Alex Luciano (guitar and vocals) and Noah Bowman (drums).  The two have been playing music together ever since Luciano interrupted the set of Bowman's other band for a lighter. The New York duo since released the 2015 Over Easy EP that introduced consistent sing-a-long lyrics with thrashing drums and strums that never held back. 

'Swear I'm Good At This' accumulates Diet Cig's tenacity for crafting life-affirming, relatable tales with a gutsy heart at their core. Luciano has the ability to write lyrics that are both vulnerable and badass, perfecting a storm of emotive reflection that creates a vision of a sweaty, pumped-up room screaming these lines in unison. Diet Cig make it okay to be the hot mess that you are.

But there's also a deeper, more powerful fuck-you among the bangers that see Diet Cig grow into an unstoppable and inspiring force. "I'm not being dramatic, I've just fucking had it with the things that you say you think that I should be" spits Luciano on the album's 'Link in Bio;' "I am bigger than the outside shell of my body and if you touch it without asking then you'll be sorry" she yells on 'Maid Of The Mist'. It's the sound of a band doing things on their own terms.

Honeyblood, Estrons, Tear - Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms 4th May 2017

London four-piece TEAR were first support for Honeyblood at The Wedgewood Rooms, having recently released their mini-album VINYL01 on Tim Burgess' O Genesis Recordings label.

'Careless Again' starts out slow and with a jangly guitar kicking in and sparse drums while the vocals ramp up a good few notches as the song progresses. When the bass-line teases in with full drumming and guitar overlaid, we were taken on a journey, winding along grungy paths through ambient lo-fi.

'The Sprawl' again starts out slowly and soon crescendos into a great rolling energy of a song while 'Never Fade Away''s warbling bass-line has a sultry essence as front-woman Camille Benett proclaims, "I dont want to wait ... you've been waiting your whole life ... never fade away".

Best track of the set for us was 'Nothing You Can't Have'. In this song Camille's vocals turn more Jefferson Airplane psyche-laden and really come ringing through for a touch of the trans-Atlantic.

 

'Begging' is way more garagey and grungey, with Camille's voice deeper and more akin to a PJ Harvey fronted Hole, interspersed with floaty vocal breakdowns the song flows nicely with elements of riotous choral screams. Check out the official video for 'Begging' here:

Renowned for their fiery live shows, Estrons were next up and they certainly did not disappoint.

'I'm Not Your Girl' has a great marching attitude to it which was complimented to great effect with dark and atmospheric lighting, while singer Talisyn Sällström was sultry and fierce, "take it, take it ... I'm not drunk it's how you make me ... make me lose my mind". Check out our live video here:

'Drop' was another high energy song, and 'Make A Man' which starts off slowly really ramped up the pace with its lively beating intensity and teamed well with great melody, delivered with a passion. 'Belfast' flows brilliantly, check out the official video here: 

The new single 'Strobe Lights' which was released last week was the best moment of the set for us.

The driving dynamic guitar and drum interplay was totally energizing and the crowd were really starting to get involved.

With tireless animated energy, Talisyn is a great frontwoman and the rest of the band really clicked together well to produce an awesome and frantically bouncy melodic punky set.

 

Estrons play The Great Escape this month and we highly recommend checking them out live if you can - we highly recommend it!

 

Glasgow's Honeyblood released their much anticipated follow-up to 2014's debut album late last year and they are currently touring the new album ‘Babes Never Die’.

Their first single from 'Babes Never Die' - ‘Ready For The Magic’ is a great song that resonates with deep melodic hooks and is even better live; "you got me frantic ... it's electric". Check out the official video here:

Lo-fi gem 'Choker' from their debut album has a no nonsense triumphant sentiment to it "What doesn’t kill you, Just makes you stronger, What doesn’t fill you, Just feeds your hunger. ... ruby red pearlets".

'Sea Hearts' was another great performance and one of their more punk-rock moments, check out a little snippet of the crowd loving it here; "hey, hey! It's just a little heartbreak":

The ballad paced ‘Walking At Midnight’ has a pop melodrama to it and the sheer beauty of Stina's vocals really shines through. Also on 'Gangs' and 'Hey, Stellar' Stina's voice is haunting and  perfectly supported by Cat's backing.

Of course they played the new album's title track 'Babes Never Die' with it's lo-fi garagey charm and 'Killer Bangs' from their debut with its ear-wormly catchy tune. We were left thinking that it always amazes us just how much impact a 2-piece can have with such a full sound. This was an atmospheric set, expertly delivered with dark and sultry undertones, both Cat and Stina have a great live energy and obvious passion for the music making the whole set a pleasure to watch. 

Record Store Day 2017 - IDLES

IDLES recent debut album 'Brutalism' is outstanding so we were pretty stoked when they were announced to play Record Store Day at Southsea' Pie & Vinyl

It would be easy to compare them to the likes of Slaves, Sleaford Mods & Bad Breeding but they really have a fresh raw edge all of their own. 

'Heel / Heal' kicked off the set with socially charged lyrics and so much energy from the outset, "I want to move into a Bovis home, and make a list of everything I own" putting consumerism squarely in it's place, "ride into the ever setting sun ... marching to the beat of someone's drum". 

Next up the angrily spitting song 'Mother' bombarded us with politically charged lyrical gems like "the best way to scare a Tory is to read and get rich" keeping the crowd enthralled. Check out our videos below.

IDLES have so many intelligently constructed songs like 'Stendhal Syndrome' with an anti-establishment sentiment highlighting the "hot air" of the art world "did you see that painting what Rothko did? Looks like it was painted by a two year old kid."

'Well Done' was also another highlight of the set, "Why don't you get a job, even Tarquin has a job ... I'd rather cut my nose off to spite my face" the lyrics are delivered with piercingly fierce vocals and so much energy from the whole band.

With a cutting sense of humour to it, this is storytelling with a passion, gravelly vocals and a beautifully bound up in furious atmospheric punk set. Fresh, infectious, confrontational songs laced with slicing social comment and cultural references twisted and made relevant with in a frantic assault on the senses, an epic adrenaline fuelled and highly entertaining experience. 

Magnificent.

Brutal.

Washed Out Fest 2017

Washed Out Fest 2017 was certainly no wash-out! A nice clear day greeted us in Brighton for the first year of this great little festival, held over 5 venues in Brighton 50 bands across the day.

First up (after stopping for the obligatory Grubbs burger) we trekked uphill to the Prince Albert for ticket exchange. A great pub with a real nice atmosphere, they even boast an awesome smoking area with Star Wars murals and a pic of John Peel in their upstairs gig space which was host to a whole range of bands throughout the day including sludgy headliners Birdskulls and psychedelic pop-punks Waco

We hurried downhill to The Pavillion Tavern to catch Pompey pizza-punx Misgivings who kicked off our festival to an already surprisingly busy venue for so early in the day. 

Next we headed back uphill (the only downside to the Fest but worth the walk) to the Prince Albert for Brvce Willis, and on to The Green Door Store for Austeros.

Austeros garagey melodic guitars eased us into the best set of the day so far. They couldn't hang around long as they wanted at the Fest and were straight off ... back in the van. Intelligently made songs delivered with feeling made this a really enjoyable performance. The new EP 'I've Got This' is out now. The EP charts the past 6 months for singer / guitarist, Jeremy Pitcher. Relocating to Bristol from Cheltenham (a move that was vital for his mental heath) and navigating the current political climate. Check out a little snippet here:

There were also acoustic acts all day outside the Green Door Store which was a really great idea, keeping the crowds engaged during stage turnarounds and was somewhere you could catch some really good acoustic acts including Portsmouth's Sim Williams (and maybe even a ray of sunshine) check out a clip here:

Sticky Mike's Frog Bar, hosted eight-piece math rock / emo outfit itoldyouiwouldeatyou, as well as headliners Nervus.

Hazy indie punks Gender Roles who have been touring with emo pop-punkers Broadbay and Gun Shy also played Sicky Mike's their new EP ‘The Long Dance’ is due out May 12th, check out a little teaser here:

A short walk just over the road and we caught Modern Rituals with their darker undertones, and Muskets who really ramped up the pace of the day with their energetic performance packing the Festival-goers into to the Prince Albert .

Nottingham based dreamo punks Taco Hell's EP 'Retainer' is out now, they played a great set at the Green Door Store - one of the highlights of the day for us. Check out a little of their set here:

The Latest Music Bar also hosted a good range of acts, including Brighton's own indie-punkers Harker, the dark and brooding Bloody Death.  Drawstring's brought their own brand of edgier indie and headliners His & Hers are well worth a watch for some nice techy noise-punk - their new EP 'Sass-Pool' is out now. 

London based punk rock quintet, Ghouls were over at the Green Door Store, whose new album, 'Run' is out 5th May 2017, check out the single, 'Seasonal Affective' here:

Next headliners Ducking Punches took to the stage at the Green Door Store and did not disappoint, their storytelling songs weave between love and death, friendship and mental illness - their new album 'Fizzy Brain' is out now. 

We caught Never's roaring set back down at the Pav Tav and with Rough Hands and Let It Die rounding off the evening the Pav Tav was flowing full of energy ... everyone was in high spirits and already looking forward to the next one even before the hangovers had properly kicked in! 

 

 

 

NEW NOISES! April 2017

London-based JOHN (timesbytwo) describe themselves as "four arms, four legs, two heads, wood, metal and plastic ... two Johns" - their single 'Cultural Trip' is out now, check it out here and catch them live at Camden Rocks on June 3rd:

Halifax three-piece The Orielles have released their debut single 'Sugar Tastes Like Salt' on Heavenly Recordings and it's a fantastically retro and atmospheric starting track which blooms into fully funky indie noise, check it out and their UK tour dates below:

     May 26 -The Finsbury, London
     Jul 08 - Night and Day, Manchester
     Jul 22 - Truck Festival, Steventon
     Jul 27 - Port Eliot Festival, Kings Lynn
     Aug 17 - Green Man Festival
     Aug 25 - Sea Change Festival
     Sep 03 - Bingley Music Live, Bradford
     Sep 16 - The Good Life Experience, Hawarden
 

Austeros new EP 'I've Got This' is out now. The EP charts the past 6 months for singer / guitarist, Jeremy Pitcher. Relocating to Bristol from Cheltenham (a move that was vital for his mental heath) and navigating the current political climate. Check out a taste of their intelligently constructed beautifully garagey melodies here in the form of 'Figure Of Speech':

 

FREAK's EP 'I Like To Smile When I’m Sad' is our last pick for the best new noises this month, check out their video for the title track here, the storming 'Taste' is also well worth checking out. Tour dates for the band are below ... we have a feeling these will give a great live show from the energy they put across in the video!

 

 

26/05/2017 Dot To Dot Festival MANCHESTER
27/05/2017 Dot To Dot Festival BRISTOL
28/05/2017 Dot To Dot Festival NOTTINGHAM
27/07/2017  LOWTHER DEER PARK, PENRITH
25/08/2017  READING AND LEEDS FESTIVAL
25/08/2017  LEEDS FESTIVAL    LEEDS, UK