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! March 2017

This month's select tracks on our radar this month starts off with NOGA EREZ's new single 'Toy' is out now and as well as playing SXSW, Convergence & The Great Escape, her debut album 'Off The Radar' is due for release 2nd June on City Slang. 

The track is bold, fearless and gutsy, a real exploration of the the more dynamic side of electronica.

Atlanta garage punk girl gang The Coathangers new EP 'Parasite' is due out on June 30th via Suicide Squeeze.

They also announced an extensive UK tour in May and shared the track 'Captain’s Dead' from the EP With its sultry verses, triumphant chorus, and a bombastic freak-out of noisy guitar. We can't wait to head out to see them live!

 

Sharkmuffin is Tarra Thiessen and Natalie Kirch, a duo of Brooklynite sirens bred from the waves of the Jersey shore. Influenced by everyone from Nirvana to The Ronettes. Sharkmuffin adds a unique jagged edge onto ‘60s beach pop meets ‘90s alt sound and are currently mixing their sophomore album Tsuki. They're on tour in the UK this May including a set at The Great Escape (dates below),  check out single 'Space Glow' and previous gem '1097' below:

SHARKMUFFIN May UK tour
5.10    BASSMENT, CHELMSFORD
5.11    THE LADY LUCK BAR, CANTERBURY (tbc)
5.12    The Harp Restrung, Folkestone    
5.13    JOHN PEEL CENTRE, SUFFOLK
5.15    GWDIHW, CARDIFF
5.18    THE GREAT ESCAPE, (STICKY MIKE’S), BRIGHTON
5.19    THE LOCK TAVERN, LONDON
5.20    THE EAGLE, MANCHESTER
5.21    TWENTY TEN, MATLOCK BATH
5.23    THE NEST, BATH
5.34    WHISKERS, NEWQUAY
5.25    THE CAVERN, EXETER (tbc)    
5.27    MELLO FESTIVAL, EVESHAM
5.28    BLANK GENERATION FESTIVAL, LONDON (afternoon performance)
5.28    THE VICTORA, DALSTON, LONDON (evening performance)    
5.31    GREEN DOOR STORE, BRIGHTON

As always you can check our full playlist of recommended NEW NOISES so far this year here!

NEW NOISES! February 2017

This month's select tracks on our radar this month starts off with Meat Wave's 'At The Lake' from their album 'The Incessant' which is out this month, produced by Steve Albini - this very fine noise punk and bouncy as hell - well worth checking out the whole album. 

So our second pick is not so new, but with all the hype about 'Run The Jewels' who have been all over the media with the release of their highly anticipated new album 'RTJ3' last month we couldn't help but give this one another airing. Check out 'Meowpurrdy' from the 'Meow The Jewels' remix album that features Lil Bub, Maceo, and Delonte. Seriously epic work there.

 

 

Sylvan Esso have announced their new album 'What Now' which is set for release on April 28th. 'Kick, Jump, Twist' had a new video released just recently, this intricate and expertly constructed track is a wonderful synth-laden earworm which although has been out for a while now sounds just as fresh on each listen. 

 

 

IDLES debut album is out next month, check out the angrily spitting track 'Mother' here, as bombard us with politically charged lyrical gems like "the best way to scare a Tory is to read and get rich", just magnificent!

 

 

As always you can check our full playlist of recommended NEW NOISES so far this year here!

KATE NASH - Portsmouth 17th February 2017 - LIVE

It's not often enough an artist can make you laugh, fill you with admiration and deliver beautifully honest storytelling through their music all at once, so watching Kate Nash live was always going to be a great experience. 

Support came from Gothic Tropic with their brand of laid back indie. 

Kate Nash started the set with 'Sister' which starting off slow and sultry Kate's vocal ringing out strong as the tempo ramped up and her vocals got more edgy giving that perfect girl gang attitude, "Oh I'm sorry is that too dramatic".

Next up 'Death Proof' had a moody bassey feel with dreamy voiced harmonies and a retro edge, as if L7 did a pop song in the 60's - and that is a really good thing! The contrast between Kate's varied influences all mesh together into Kate's own individual style and clearly shows how she does exactly what she wants - which is the essence of Riot Grrrl to us.

Seconds into 'Mouthwash''s wonderfully simple piano intro the crowd were captivated, the rallying cry call to arms .. we've all been there "singing uh-oh on a Friday night ... and I hope everything's going to be alright" the whole room sang along in unison.

The retro girl-group vibe of 'Do-Wah-Doo' again contrasts the old and new musical styles picking out the best elements of each along with the ever amusing jovial lyrics "Everyone thinks that girl is so fine ... I think she's a bitch", by now the set was in full swing and a perfect time for some surf-rock handclaps.

The chilled start and twangly guitars of 'OMYGOD!' builds into yet another pure pop masterpiece telling tales of acting like you are fine when all is not as it may seem on the surface, "I'm so happy ... oh my god I really really miss you".

'Birds' is a beautifully delicate song, telling of simple pleasures found in the everyday - a tale of falling in love that is honest and touching yet still retains a great sense of humour. 

Before 'Musical Theatre ' a song about mental health Kate stopped the crowd to promote the charity MIND. She had some volunteers that had come forward through Twitter going arlround to raise awareness. It is great to see such an influential artist highlighting such an important charity, saying you're not alone in the hope of reducing the stigma about talking about mental health issues "if you can love yourself it is easier to love others".

Kate dedicated the impassioned angry song 'Dickhead' to Snapchat who it seems had recently used 'Foundations' on a filter without asking permission. She went on to say that "rich f***ing c***s think they can do anything ... that's why we have Trump ... we have to stand up for ourselves". Having not been on a label for 5 years now, Kate thanked the audience for their continued support and said going it alone is hard work but ultimately empowering. 

'Foundations' plinky plonk innocence was chirpy, pure and catchy as hell. The lyrics and engaging attitude again shines through, how can you not love a song that has a line "yeah intelligent input darlin' why don't you just have another beer then".

Kate invited 'Supervet' onto the stage, someone who she had met earlier in the day and she had assisted in a dachshund called Slinky's spinal surgery. Kate is an avid animal lover, 'My Little Alien' is about her dog. 

Honest and sensitive, smart and engaging, jovial and sweary, inspiringly upbeat, Kate's vixen voiced, highly relatable to girl gang set was a really great show.

PAWS/ Frightened Rabbit - Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms Dec 2016

Glasgow 3-piece PAWS have had a busy year touring the release of their album 'No Grace'. Supporting Frightened Rabbit with their indie rock catchy hooks check out our gallery below.  Stand out song of the set was 'Erreur Humaine' about "not dwelling in the past so much", previously hearing the track recorded it did not really pack a punch so much as other songs but live it really transformed into something rousing. PAWS played a great all round set, pretty straightforward musically upbeat while lyrically debating and contemplating life's struggles. 

Scottish indie rockers Frightened Rabbit treated us to an atmospheric beast of a set at a packed out Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth. It did feel like a mid-week date night for a good few of the crowd ... Frightened Rabbit are the kind of band with a broad enough appeal with their style of music lending itself to couples enjoying their set together which is nice to see! Sensitive enough building, poetic songs with a decent edge and entertaining intelligence were the iorder of the night and singer Scott Hutchison's lovely thick Glasgow accent adds a great texture. The Glasgeee contingent were out in full force and there was a brilliant banter atmosphere, at one point there were requests for the song 'Jesus' ... "It's not on the setlist ... you can keep shouting it but your chances of us playing it aer getting slimmer!". Scott was expert at tasking the banter and raising a laugh from it the crowd chanted "I love Scotland!!!" to which they retorted "that doesn't matter to me!". You could tell the band were really enjoying the set too "it really doesn't feel like a Monday" ... "it's Tuesday" came the response, "Well it;'s my concert, if I say it's Monday, then it is". They went on to talk about Radio 2's Ken Bruce saying he's "mildly misogynistic" and the audience were all in on the joke ... they really know their demographic. Altogether a great night we would definitely check them out again.

Shiiine On Weekender 2016

Shiiine On Weekender is a celebration of the Indie & Dance music from the late 80’s, 90’s onwards that fuelled the much revered 90’s popular culture. Headline acts include Echo & The Bunnymen, Shed Seven, Cast, The Wonderstuff, Black Grape, The Bluetones and a rare live set from Orbital’s Paul Hartnoll, as well as pool parties, film screenings, DJ sets and a new bands stage. With a little over 3 weeks before the epic three day weekender kicks off in the great setting of Butlins Minehead we had a chat to James, one of the curators to find out more …

Hey James, Thanks for taking time out to chat to us you must be very busy in the run up to the festival!  How did you and Steve meet, how long have you been working together? We met at a night Jon Brookes (The Charlatans) was dj-ing at in London in April 2012. Sadly, we met up again randomly outside a pub before Jon Boys Memorial gig in October 2013 and have been mates since. We started working on Shiiine On in early 2014 and it’s been non stop since. 

cast

cast

Shiiine On has been going for a couple of years now, how did it come about? It seems to be born from a shared love of music? A drunken conversation and yes a love of shared music. The music we grew up on, if we have grown up, was no longer being catered for live and we decided to do something about it. All my mates remind me that I said for years I’ll get all our bands on a bill one day at Butlins and we did it.  

Do you share the same influences mainly and would you say you listen to a range of genres generally between you? We listen to all sorts as I am sure the bill reflects. We don’t like pigeonholing bands and scenes. A song is either good or shite in our opinion. Music for Music’s sake. We were spoilt for choice between 1988 and 1999. Steve actually had a top 41 hit in his younger days. I wouldn’t buy it personally like.  

What first turned you on to music in a big way? The Jam. Weller was my first musical hero. His tunes have stayed the test of time so I am glad I made the right choice at an early age. My Dad always played records in the house. Not the usual Beatles et al but he loved Country & Western. His hero was Jim Reeves.  

ash

ash

There is a great line-up of acts along with film screenings, pool parties … is there something you are particularly looking forward to? Hopefully, UKE2 covering Arab Strap. Cellar Doors from San Francisco will be amazing. Every band playing will be great or they wouldn’t be playing. The Wonder Stuff where sensational last year and I’m sure they will surpass that this year. If we didn’t buy a band’s records back then, it’s unlikely we will book them now. People buzzing off Deja Vega, Psyence and Echo Raptors last year was a highlight of mine. We ask people to make an effort to go and support the bands they may not have heard off. Oasis didn’t start with the Sally song remember. The Pool Parties have potential mind….. 

Is there anyone in particular that you would say are so influential that if they didn't exist you wouldn't be doing what you are now? Our Parents, Peter Reid and Paul Bracewell. A special mention must go to Steve’s partner, Leanne Jones.  

echo & the bunnymen

echo & the bunnymen

Any advice for festival goers? As the festival is set in Butlins there won’t be weather or tent issues to worry about – happy days! Don’t act like a Dickhead. Last year the atmosphere was special and we would like the same again this year. Enjoy yourself is all we ask and if you can, say thanks to the staff at Butlin’s. They do an amazing job to get the show on the road. Finding your chalet after an all-day session is meant to be an issue. Head to the Inn on the Green on Sunday early afternoon and enjoy a sing-a-long with UKE2. Where else will you hear Half Man Half Biscuit performed on a Ukulele?   

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?  We were made up to see the Sugarmen getting signed by Warner’s. Great lads and it gives other bands hope that if you are good enough you will be spotted. Quite strange that when I first had a meeting with Steve, we started off in Covent Garden at 1pm and ended up in Leaf in Liverpool watching the Sugarmen at 11pm. We also walked in to the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool when they were putting pen to paper with Seymour Stein. He hasn’t seen Dundee though. We are big fans of Deja Vega and Psyence. They are both on another level live at the moment. Catch them both at Shiiine On. You won’t be disappointed. Sulk’s third album will be a work of genius of that I am sure. Hi Fi Sean’s new album is brilliant.  

sex pissed dolls

sex pissed dolls

How do you see the music scene generally in 2016. Is there anything you would change if you had a chance? Guitar music is dead. There will never be another Liam Gallagher or Ian Brown which is a shame. The element of tribalism has gone. Bands are no longer revered in the same way as your Football Team. We are catering to the masses to whom bands really mattered, people travelled miles around the country midweek to see their bands. Can you imagine this happening now? People’s love affair with their favourite band shouldn’t die. Just because the members get older it doesn’t mean their songs lose their appeal. We have been branded as retro and nostalgic. This is missing the point of what we are doing. 95% of the acts we booked are still actively recording new music. People need to be aware of this. The Inspirals last album was sublime and I doubt many have heard it. I think we have changed something though given the gratitude that has been expressed online towards the event. There is a lot of brilliant music about. The best music will never again chart. Does it matter? You shouldn’t need marketed to about new and old music in this day and age. 

Any surprises to look out for at Shiiine On this year? They wouldn’t be surprises if we told you know would they! Mike Flowers secret gig is the big one and there are rumours of the band who inspired the festival, The Shiiine performing their second ever gig. It’s unlikely but you never know. A Steven Naismith winner in the 90 minute would be a nice surprise for our Scottish pals. 

Check out the full line-up below!

Rockaway Beach Festival 2016 - Review / Galleries

Rockaway Beach Festival took over Butlins Bognor Regis again this weekend for the second year running with an impressive line-up including Suede, The Wedding Present, We Are Scientists, Wire and Killing Joke to name but a few. Having been to last year's we were expecting the same great atmosphere and eclectic line-up and were not disappointed at all!

Butlins is a really great place to host such a diverse alternative boutique festival, the staff are so helpful, warm and friendly and despite this being an adults only break there was such a sense of community it felt like a family with so many people of all ages coming together, all for the love of great music. There really was no need to leave the site with so much going on ... established and new bands, film screenings and Q&A sessions, all set in the luxury of a holiday camp - a sound roof over your head and mud free festival that makes you wonder whether you would slum it outdoors again soon.

With alternative music being played all over the site - not just on stage (even in the Spar) - this was a great touch which really added to the ambience and helped this to be a fully immersive and captivating festival experience, this was Butlins but not as you might expect. 

We kicked off Friday at Centre Stage with the hotly tipped Kagoule. Their sound has a bass-fuelled retro vibe that is refreshing in its purity with a unique rousing sound. This trio of childhood friends gel so well together, the quiet / loud dynamic of 'Gush' and 'Adjust The Way' really pack a punch live and along with newer track 'Magnified' they really teamed the dual vocals and heavier aspect together expertly, dipping into a more twangly intricate sound in places - especially in 'Concrete' with bassist Lucy rocking bags of charisma. These are definitely ones to watch out for, check out 'Magnified' here:

Manchester's electro-pop inspired Girl Friend were up next and were a good testament to the diverse variety of musical styles on offer over the weekend in this smaller more intimate gig-like stage.

We Are Scientists were a massive highlight of the weekend, their crowd interaction and sheer levels of enthusiasm are completely captivating. During 'Textbook' Keith came out into the crowd and Chris explained "he always does that .. he's collected 17 wallets this time". So many great tunes; 'Buckle', 'Chick Lit', 'I Don't Bite', 'The Scene Is Dead' and 'Great Escape' really got the crowd moving. We've seen them live a few times now and each time it is still fresh as they bring so much enthusiasm and passion to their performance and clearly have a great sense of humour. Combining just the right amount of banter to entertain, their sense of humour permeates through the set which adds an extra dimension and wins over any ditherers in the crowd every time. They pointed out their awesome artwork that was showing intermittently on the screens around the venue and requested it be put back up, dedicating the next song to the advertisers that just got cut off. Musically the delivery was spot on, as always. Chris asked us "do you think your soul is going to survive this weekend?" intimating that they would see us through ... "this next song is pretty danceable". Keith had some wise philosophical words for us too "music is like dewey petals .. they're round and dewey .. the upshot is, that music is good". They signed off saying they were off to hang out by the Time Crisis machine if people wanted to hang out ... unfortunately that part had already been closed off - we had already tried to find Time Crisis earlier that evening. A great set from an awesome band that always leave you with a smile on your face - there was your money's worth for the weekend right there on the first night.

Next up on this music packed first day were original indie pioneers The Wedding Present who delivered with gusto their bittersweet honest songs ... the darker guitar driven poetic sound a real treat for the beach-goers. 

Saint Etienne performed Foxbase Alpha in full, many saying it was their highlight with Sarah Cracknell poised with alluring, classy confidence as ever. The pure pop melodies of their 60's soul influenced hits went down a storm, not entirely our bag but good to watch all the same. The great thing about Rockaway this year was the absence of the Skyline stage leaving plenty of time to take in each and every act which is a great way to find yourself surprised with an act you might not normally have made the effort to watch.

Black Honey also had a 60's inspired tone to their beautifully textured and complex indie-pop melodies. Singer Izzy really made the show come alive with her honeyed vocals and captivating stage presence. They'd just jetted back in from the US where they made their debut video 'Hello Today' which came out this week, check it out here: 

Saturday dawned and we kicked off our day with Gang's awesomely sludgey stoner rock on the Centre Stage. They dedicated a song to "anyone with a watch or a phone ... without knowing what time it is you'd all be free, time is a concept man". Their demonic harmonies are sarcastically pertinent especially in 'Dead' which they introduced to us with the most poignant lyrics of the festival so far ... "I don't  want to feel better, I want to better feel". The song was fuelled with haunting chanting harmonies, as if from monks who had been on the Buckfast, a great dirty doom-filled rousing set and a great start to the day.

Bloody Knees were fantastically bassy and grunge-esque with a more modern spin and great breathy break-downs. The guys said they couldn't remember when they were last here, "you're too young" came a voice from the crowd, "nah ... I used to come here as a kid with my parents ... that's a boring story - let's play a song!" 'Daydream was a highlight a really well rounded indie rock song with a lingering melody. You can check out their husky screams here:

Wire really are timeless with their heavy and powerful textures. The simplicity of their classic art rock indie underpinned by dark and gloomy undertones has been highly influential and still retains that sought after punky edge. They played a great set and we enjoyed watching them for the first time as much as they clearly loved performing together.

Next up on Centre Stage were Luna with their dreamy indie-pop Americana. Another great contrasting act that although had a slower pace was still a pleasure to watch.

Some beach-goers had clearly been waiting a while to see Suede, the Brettettes were glued to the barrier. Suede fans are a highly excitable bunch, so much cheering even for the appearance of a drum tech on stage and when Suede started it wasn't long before the whole floor started bouncing as they were shaking their bits to the hits. From the second Brett bounded on stage he owned the whole room, working the stage like a true master, constantly traversing the space and up on the monitors reaching out to the beautiful ones. In the first few songs we had already head 'Trash' & 'Film Star' and the rest of the set did not disappoint.  

On Sunday we started off with TVAM, which is Joe Oxley and a VHS player, he combines visual footage and fills the room with unique electro-pounding noises as if he were his own one-man musical force. A highlight was 'Gas & Air' check it out here:

Man Made asked the audience "how are you enjoying your post-apocalyptic break? We came in through a different entrance when we arrived and couldn't see anyone ... thought something horrible had happened!". Nile Marr (yes that Marr) certainly gave the impression he loved performing in what was yet another great set of the day with their own melodic brand of indie-rock. 

Joanna Gruesome were energetic and full of punk attitude, although they didn’t really interact with the crowd so much as some would have liked, favouring their backs to the audience. 

FEWS brought us more twangly indie noises, their single 'The Zoo' a particular mathletic triumph, check it out here:

Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke gave a great Q&A session after the screening of 'The Death & Resurrection Show' which charted their history since their invocation on 28/2/79 when they started working their magic musically.  On his band mates he described how "the guys have that right side brain capacity to understand wider ideas ... they're an inspiration and they make me laugh my head off". He described how there is great interaction in the band with debating and philosophising, Jaz continued, "there's only one philosophy and that's freedom ... people are being moulded into a hive mind at the moment ... governments of today don’t like the arts as they are a hotbed of dissent". Ever political he told us he was still angry about Iraq and that he thinks Tony Blair should be in prison, "the only way to make effective change is to change ourselves". Jaz sees Killing Joke's legacy as self-education, that everyone can achieve mastery with your "true will", a gift he hopes each and every one of us will discover. When asked if he has a favourite period of Killing Joke, he answered "yes, it lies ahead" we can't argue with that ... their intense performance delivered with menacing expressions and a great deal of air- punching were testament to their ongoing longevity as highly relevant and influential industrial noise rock legends.

Best entrance on-stage of the whole weekend goes to Cat's Eyes who came out to the grandeur of the Twin Peaks theme tune, complete with trombone and choir ladies all in matching black leathers. Cat's Eyes are classically trained multi-instrumentalist Rachel Zeffira and Faris Badwan of The Horrors, and they played a great haunting and moving set, yet fun in its drama. Their song 'Chameleon Queen' has a hint of Pachelbel's Canon set over a Divine Comedy vibe ... their sound is totally unique and they obviously sway each other with various styles and influences. Faris reportedly introduced Rachel to the 60's girl group sound which is particularly relevant on the fabulously retro 'Be Careful Where You Park Your Car' check the track out here:

Great acts, lovely staff, fantastic food, we really can't can't fault it - a great value boutique festival with all the comforts of home and an eclectic line-up with something for a whole spectrum of alternative tastes. Same time next year then? 

Victorious Festival 2016 - Review

Victorious Festival took over Southsea Common and Castle Field again this year with an impressive line-up including Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Manic Street Preachers, Ash, Echo & The Bunnymen as well as a whole host great local acts. We had a chat to the local acts in the run up to the festival, you can check out the feature here:

Arriving Saturday at Victorious after weather worries the week before it turned out sunny and dry, fantastic festival weather - not a welly in sight (yet)!

Kicking off the weekend's live music for us were The Boomtown Rats on the Common Stage. With the 80's new wave classic 'I Don't Like Mondays' singer Bob Geldof was on top form in his spangling snakeskin suit, cavorting back and forth across the stage with charisma and attitude in equal measure. They are one of those bands where even if you are not that up on their work there are still sections of the audience getting excited "ahhh this one, this is great!" inspiring those around them to enjoy the music, a great start to the day.

A walk across the burgeoning crowd on the common to the Castle Stage was next for Teleman. A band in constant pursuit of the perfect hook, Teleman gave us a great performance of 'Dusseldorf' which delivered a beautifully crafted pure pop tune whilst combining their melodic indie leanings with Tommy's distinctively vunerable vocals. 'Tangerine' their new single also went down well, this live favourite is taken from their critically acclaimed second album, 'Brilliant Sanity'. A perfectly placed uplifting set from Teleman eased us into the weekend's festivities nicely.

Next up on the Castle Stage was breakthrough star Izzy Bizu the highlight of her set was the deliciously catchy 'White Tiger', an upbeat gem that stood out in her set full of nostalgic summery funk-and-soul elements intertwined with her mesmerising beautifully toned voice. Izzy's debut album 'A Moment Of Madness' and the single 'White Tiger' are out this week.

Back on the Common Stage The Levellers were churning out the classics with ‘One Way’ and 'Beautiful Day' inspiring sing-a-longs across the crowd. Teeming with a nostalgic folk-punk energy tinged with a melancholic counter-cultural undertow, it turned out to be a feel-good set, the songs still ringing relevant as they were when first penned.

Prolific in the 00's with their psychedelic hazey indie The Coral are back with a new album this year. They really shined in their more poppier moments 'Pass It On' was a reminder of the great pop tunes they crafted, 'In The Morning' and 'Dreaming Of You' sparked rousing sing-a-longs ... summery optimistic indie songs ignited expertly by James Skelly's trademark vocals.

Next we jogged back over to the Castle Stage for a winding darkening of pace with The Horrors. Singer Faris Badwan was aloof yet engaging, charismatic and captivating – a great front-man.  The Castle Stage had someone behind the scenes way too trigger happy on the smoke machine throughout the weekend but for The Horrors this really worked well complimenting the shoe-gaze haze of their garage rock sound. With a combination of 80’s-esque electronica and guitars layered over Faris’s wistful vocal there was a great retro atmosphere to their sound while somehow remaining modern at the same time. Intelligently constructed songs full of feeling, building and waning with lovely off-key elements this was not your typical pop or guitar band and brought an eclectic contrast to Victorious … a dark hazey ray of sunshine through the billowing clouds. 

Up next Editors continued along the same theme with their own brand of dark indie rock. 'Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors' was touching with its rousing melody building and undulating along, while 'Munich' ramped up the pace with pure indie expertise as Tom Smith's grandiose vocals punctuated and intensified the musical layers. 'Papillion' with its more electro synth-based driving rhythm saw Tom moving to keyboards and playing up to the crowd with ALL the pyrotechnics! With the catchy riffs and vibe they gave this really was one of the best sets of the day ... unbridled energy, engaging and expressive to the point it would have been exhausting to watch had the performance not been so captivating.

Saturday's Main Stage headliners Manic Street Preachers started their set with 'Motorcycle Emptiness', an older and much loved track, my personal favourite and a strong start to the set. Still full of energy and passion for the music they celebrate 20 years of the album 'Everything Must Go' this year. Hearing the grand title track rolling out over a packed out field along with another cornerstone of their back-catalogue 'A Design For Life' complete with confetti canons it was a great way to round off a fantastic day of live music.

Starting off on Sunday's musical journey there was a much cooler outlook (luckily only the odd shower) which was actually a really nice change for a brand new day back at Victorious. We caught Pretty Vicious over on the Castle Stage who played a cracking set. These guys are firey-fresh like early Manics, with a swaggering attitude and sense of humour to rival that of Slaves. Although young that's not a bad thing as they really have found their unique collective voice and have their style down. Holding up the punkier end of the music spectrum at Victorious it was great to see them live as things are just taking off for them. We spoke to the guys before the festival, you can find the full interview here:

Public Service Broadcasting gave a great show, backed by archive public information film footage on a massive retro TV. They have a great innovative vision uniquely weaving samples of old public information film samples mixed with live new beats and electronica - the music music telling the story too, especially in 'The Otherside' telling Apollo 8's tense journey around the dark side of the moon. Their unusual tongue-in-cheek live set up where the only voices you hear are samples adds a uniqueness to the experience, there was even a spaceman in their set! Blending the past with current, bringing it to life in the tracks 'Spitfire' and 'Go' they intelligently entertained us with their spell-binding future-spun retro sounds, making archive footage relevant ... educating informing and entertaining us along the way. We had a chat to them before the festival, check out the full interview here:

Well what can we say, Ash were vibrant and enthusiastic as ever, with a great mix of old and newer songs. 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. They are setting off on tour later this year celebrating 20 years of their '1977' album and you can see why they have such staying power. 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. As you can see from our images below 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.

Sunday night's main Stage headliner was Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. Noel’s solo project since leaving Oasis in 2009 and although there were a good few singing along with the High Flying Birds tracks it was the Oasis songs where it all kicked off, we  were treated to 'Champagne Supernova', 'Wonderwall' 'Half The World Away' and the very last song of the festival 'Don't Look Back In Anger' . Noel was engaging, full of banter as ever and it was a really fitting end to a great weekend of live music with Southsea Common full of happy people many on others shoulders singing along so loudly you could hardly make out Noel over the rapturous community of fans. 

Victorious Festival 2016

Here at LNM we are gearing up for what is looking to be a great Victorious Festival next weekend, the full line-up times are now up ... check them out here and plan out your day!

With a huge kids arena & family friendly atmosphere and impressive line-up including Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Manic Street Preachers, Ash, Echo & The Bunnymen, as well as a whole host great local acts we had a chat to some of the local performers in the run up to the festival.

Kassassin Street's Rowan told us what we can expect from their set "It’s always very much a highlight of the summer, playing to the home crowd. I’ll probably sing a bit, I may dance, I may break down uncontrollably, it’s all to play for to be honest". Check out the full feature here:

We also spoke to Public Service Broadcasting ahead of the festival and asked them what we can expect from their set at Victorious this year "A few things have changed since we played in 2014 though, and we’ve got some better songs and some more fun additions to the live show, so we’re looking forward to seeing how they go down." Check out the full interview here:

Pretty Vicious took time out of their busy schedule for a chat with us ahead of their performance at Victorious, we asked them about their musical influences "We all have different influences as musicians. But we all tend to listen to similar genres of music, mainly Punk, Grunge and your standard Rock. Iggy Pop is probably our biggest influence musically, although we also draw inspiration from bands like the Stereophonics, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Oasis, The Smiths and loads more". Check out the full interview here:

Behind The Scenes - Southsea's Local Music Talent

With so many music related things going on yet again this year in Southsea, not least Victorious which is shaping up nicely for the August Bank Holiday weekend, Icebreaker Festival and the return of Southsea Fest, we reached out to guys who are performing at Victorious this year to get their take on playing in Southsea ...

Nick Courtney has been promoting live music in Portsmouth since 2003 and booking the local and regional bands for Victorious since it began. 

Each year Victorious Festival continues to grow and the standard of performers continues to get higher every year. This year we welcome a new World music stage and the RMA Tavern stage which has enabled us to increase the number of local performers at the event. The Portsmouth music scene has a great sense of community and I am told by visiting musicians that it is far better here than many other cities. There has been a massive rise in demand for local shows since the law changed a few years ago allowing smaller venues to provide live music without having to pay for a separate entertainment license."

"Portsmouth musicians are very supportive of each other and regularly attend each other’s shows. It's a great city for music and packed full of talent, so much so, that Britain’s got talent, The Voice and X-Factor all now visit Portsmouth during their National audition process.” 

 

Kassassin Street's Rowan also had a chat with us, so how do you describe your sound and how long have you been going? "Angular Indie ... never ask a lady her age! (nearly 5 years!)" 

Where are you based? "We are spread across Portsmouth but most of us live in Southsea. I love Southsea."

kassassin street

kassassin street

Have you played Victorious before ... what can we expect from your set there? "Absolutely, I believe we’ve played at every one. It’s always very much a highlight of the summer, playing to the home crowd. I’ll probably sing a bit, I may dance, I may break down uncontrollably, it’s all to play for to be honest."

How does your environment and people around you affect your music? "I wouldn’t write songs at all without the environment and people around me affecting me to be honest. Some form of social commentary seems to sneak it’s way into most of my songs and I think it’s a really important time to be alive. We’re a society amidst constant change and some awful, awful things have happened around the world in the past few years. Documenting that in art is incredibly important for us all."

What are your thoughts on the local scene, there seems to be a great sense of community? "Very much so, unfortunately I spend most of my time writing in my bedroom so I don’t get to enjoy as much of the scene as often as I’d like to. There seems to be a natural family feel here, and island mentality I guess."

How does this compare to other places you have played? "Everywhere is different I guess, I’m a big fan of travelling myself and love visiting new places. I guess all towns, cities, villages, castles have their own kinda soul. What I would say is that kids in the north dance harder at midday than they do in the south. Prove me wrong Victorious ..."

kassassin street

kassassin street

What is the best thing about living / playing in Southsea? "I walk everywhere. EVERYWHERE." Have you seen a rise in the demand for local shows since you have been involved here? "Sadly the opposite but I don’t wish to be negative"

We see people appreciating and getting down early to shows to support each other, have you found the same? "Yeah of course, supporting your mates is so important and it’s a vital step for any new band to get your mates supporting you. The best bit is, they still support you while you’re completely awful, it’s what mates do!" What could be improved here? The local train networks. Death to Southern Rail." 

UNDERGROUnD PILOTS

UNDERGROUnD PILOTS

 

Mike Hartley from Portsmouth-based Underground Pilots had a chat to us, they have been going for 3 years now, so Mike, how would you describe your sound? "Our new sound is more towards the like’s of Tool & The Cooper Temple Clause – quite dynamic and still heavy!"

Have you played Victorious before? "Yes, this is our third year in a row and very fortunate!" So what can we expect from your set at Victorious this year? "A brand new set with our new direction which hopefully will leave you happy!" and how does Victorious compare to other places you have played? "It doesn’t, Victorious is a real festival without the camping!"

underground pilots

underground pilots

What are your thoughts on the local scene, there seems to be a great sense of community? "The local scene is growing again, it seems that festivals like Icebreaker & Victorious Festival gives bands opportunities to play in front of a large audience, which was missing from our scene for a long time, we now have a good number of venues and promoters to continue building on our amazing music scene. Playing in Southsea means you can always be part of the pulse and can be recognised on bigger stages such as Victorious, Icebreaker, SouthseaFest."

Have you seen a rise in the demand for local shows since you have been involved here? "I’ve been on the scene for 16 years now and seen it go from high to really low but I strongly agree it’s on the rise again!" What could be improved? "Bands could be more vigilant towards playing too many shows in a short space of time."

We see people appreciating and getting down early to shows to support each other, have you found the same? "Yes – I’ve been running the Wedgewood Rooms showcase this year and have found a lot of people are getting down early to support all the bands which is incredible to see!"

 

Skin For A Canvas has been going for about 5 years now, songwriter Ian Mortimer started the project as a duo with Dani Burnett who left to do his own thing, carrying on solo Ian is currently working on other projects.

Skin For A Canvas

Skin For A Canvas

I use my own studio now so I am spending time making my old songs bigger than ever with more spacey like vibes.” I played Victorious when it was in the dockyard, then a year later after they moved to Southsea Common I played again and now again this year”.

Your thoughts on the local music scene? I know a lot of the bands in Portsmouth there are some awesome bands around, I do feel that some of the bands don't get as much notice than I feel they should if that makes sense”. “You get to know some cool people and get to see people's bands play and they see you play the word kinda gets about”.

I feel that not enough shows look after their bands or artist I've played shows and got zip for it I know it's not about money or anything like that but myself and others spend so much time doing what they do and out on great shows but then the places are just not giving back you’re playing in their place bringing new people and playing to their customers it's a shame because it can be off putting to do shows even when you play further abroad. In Europe I've been on tour with a band and you get looked after so much more, I just wish it kinda was the same here too."

"At the moment I'm hardly playing shows because I’m working on my studio stuff as I’m gonna be a dad soon free shows don't really pay the bills but I guess as corny as it is Just keep at it and work hard!”.  

 

Novellas

Novellas

Portsmouth’s Novellas played their first gig in April 2015, with their self-styled “Dreamy Rock N’ Roll and play Victorious for the first time this year.

We asked them what we can expect from their set, which apparently will be “a pure high energy spectacle. To be pulled into our world for half an hour...

How about playing in Portsmouth generally? 

When you start to see a room full of familiar faces when returning to hometown gigs it’s a real honour, so inspiring. It makes you wanna work harder for them and really give them everything you have."

novellas

novellas

"Portsmouth has potential to have a great music scene if it wasn’t for the clique. I think if some of Portsmouth's promoters opened up the doors wider and really gave new fresh acts a proper chance it could be pumping out some of the greatest musicians in the country. The talent is here it’s whether certain people see it or not.

Do you think there has been a rise in demand for local shows? “We couldn't say if the demand for shows in Portsmouth is increasing, however since June last year every Portsmouth gig we've played, other than one, the venue or promoter has approached us. So the response to us has been cool to see...

What about the community of music-goers in general, do you see people appreciating and getting down early to shows to support each other? 

“The role of the support band is important - People should get down when doors open but equally a promoter needs to build a line up to convince people to not sit in the pub until the headline band!”.

Any thoughts on the music industry in general? 

It'd be nice to see more bands saying and doing something different and being true to their own identity instead of an Oasis or Artic Monkeys cliché.

Novellas play Victorious Saturday on the AMP Stage and Sunday on the Seaside Stage at 11:30am. Their eponymous double A-side of debut singles is out now on Spotify.  

 

Foxer

Foxer

Sam Cutbush plays in Portsmouth’s own Foxer who have been going for 3 years now with their mix of grunge, blues and a bit of funk. As Victorious regulars this year will be their 4th year performing at the festival.

We asked Sam what we can expect from their set? 

Foxer’s trademark loud noises are chilling out a touch as we play an acoustic set, headlining the Radweb stage. We write on a wide variety of subjects, and some of our songs make reference to the state of things, be they local or global. Some things you can’t ignore.

foxer

foxer

On the Southsea scene, do you see a good sense of community here?

Yes there is, you look at all the festivals springing up and the crowds that come to gigs, there is a lot of talent here and hard work to go with it. Having played in London, Southampton and Brighton we’re certain that Portsmouth has far and away the best scene in the south. There’s always something going on, if you’re not playing yourself you can be sure to catch one of your favourite local acts.”

 

Have you seen a rise in the demand for local shows since you have been involved here?

I think so, there are some great acts that put on mind-blowing shows, and most promoters seem to want to build a show with acts that complement each other rather than cobbling any genres together.

We see people appreciating and getting down early to shows to support each other, have you found the same? I think that’s still up in the air. A lot of people do come from start to finish, but there are still plenty of people who clear out of a venue after seeing ‘their act. It’s their choice obviously. Sadly it happens with some acts too, they play their set and go. We always try to stick around even if we are miles out of town. It gets noticed. We think every gig should be an event, an occasion. Inviting people on Facebook is all that a lot of acts do. We all need to work hard and give people a reason to come see us. Be creative, be daring.

Do you have any thoughts on the music industry in general you would like to share?

Stay positive. The Justin Biebers of this world won’t last forever. Real music stands the test of time.

We spoke to LST's Leigh who describes his sound "with the acoustic set up, which I like to call 'The Mandem' I would describe the sound as 'acoustic hiphop with a catchy soulful twist' but these days I'm also bringing club vibes along with me as well. Leigh started out as a grime MC working the club circuits and has been performing with 'The Mandem' for around 2 years.

LST

LST

So it's been going well for your Leigh ... "yeah, we've performed a few gigs (understatement of the year) including showcases at Ronnie Scott's, Wembley, Common People Festival, Blissfields, Isle Of Wight Festival & Victorious Festival, performed live on BBC 6 Music with Steve Lamacq & more recently performed in the Live Lounge for BBC Introducing: The South in Brighton. I've also worked my way back into the club scene & have been lucky enough to support the likes of Kano, Wretch 32, Devlin, P Money, Ocean Wisdom & have been asked to support Akala at The Social, Southampton Friday 21st October which I count as a another blessing. "So you're playing Victorious again this year? "This year I am returning to victorious not only to perform an acoustic set on Sunday at the Nevada Music Stage (3:40-4:10) but I have also been invited as a special guest to perform my club MC set in the Beats & Swing Tent by the guys at Beats & Swing. (5:45-6:00). I performed for these guys at the Isle of Wight Festival this year & I'm honoured to have been asked to do it all over again at yet another amazing festival."

LST

LST

"I write frequently in a team & by myself on all sorts of projects. I find that I'm effected quite a lot by my surroundings but a lot of the time it's subconsciously & I don't realise until I'm finished writing. I've learned to appreciate the good times & hold onto them for as long as possible...& the hard/bad times...I do my best to embrace them as much as I can ... sometimes you gotta go through some madness to get the goodness out!"

"The one thing I find with the local scene is that you get a very loyal following...I like that but that's not to say it doesn't happen else where. I'm yet to go to a place where I haven't been made to feel welcome & we've been to a place or two. The best thing about playing in Southsea is ... the people. "

LST

LST

"The local scene has always been good to me & I'm grateful that I get asked to play in my area on a regular basis. Recently I have seen a rise in bookings for local shows which can only be a very good thing. Us guys always try our best to get down early to catch performances from other artists if we can, it's just what you do isn't it?!"

"I think the local scene is doing a good job of making noise about music. Just keep up the good work & no doubt things will just keep getting better. If the local scene can help acts earn enough to live a "normal" life from their passion & talent then that's a win in anyone's book."

So your thoughts on the industry in general? "My thoughts on the industry don't matter right now. All that matters is that you do what you love & love what you do. Too many people being unhappy out here. Be you & get there like everybody else but don't get there being like everybody else."

 

So if you fancy a trip down to the south coast, we highly recommend SOUTHSEA!

Albert Road is a hive of activity with an array of quirky shops and great venues like The Wedgewood Rooms and the Edge of The Wedge for both touring and local bands.

There are summer sessions down on the common at The Bandstand which are great for a summer's day and Castle Road's Pie & Vinyl is a great little venue for acoustic in-store performances as well as delicious pies!

For the morning after we recommend Smile cafe on Marmion Road for their friendly service and great (vegan-friendly as well as regular) breakfasts.

Thanks to all the super-talented guys who had a chat to us and are continuing to shape the local music scene in Southsea ... hope to see you all at some more great local shows real soon!

Tickets for Victorious Festival on August 27-28th are on sale now at www.victoriousfestival.co.uk, you can also check out full details of SouthseaFest for the October 1st event from southseafest.com, as well as all the local venues for fantastic shows all year round.

 

 

 

Pretty Vicious - Interview

Pretty Vicious have been tipped as ones to watch this year which is not surprising when you hear their swaggering, attitude-drenched melodies. Having toured extensively over the last year, next month’s set at Victorious will mark the start of more live dates throughout September, we caught up with them to find out more ...

It’s been a pretty meteoric rise for you guys, you’ve already played the major festivals and supported the Manics, how has your journey been so far? 

It's been incredible. We only formed 2 years ago and we were invited to every major festival in Britain just 8 months later! Last year was our 'getting used to being in a band' year, we played all over the place and did lots of shows outside of the UK. This year has been more of a 'behind the scenes' year, we've been doing lots of recording with different producers and getting loads of artwork and set-up done in preparation for a truly massive next year.

You are also working with Owen Morris who worked with Ash who are also on the bill for Victorious, how is that going?

After trying out loads of other great producers we chose Owen as he was the first to actually "get" our sound. We're about half-way through doing the debut album now and it's sounding insane!

Who would you site as your musical influences ... your work seems to draw on a range of genres?

We all have different influences as musicians. But we all tend to listen to similar genres of music, mainly Punk, Grunge and your standard Rock. Iggy Pop is probably our biggest influence musically, although we also draw inspiration from bands like the Stereophonics, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Oasis, The Smiths and loads more.

Is the band pretty collaborative, do you guys write together and share the same influences? How about your creative process, what really inspires you to create particular songs? 

All of the songs are written differently, but the main process comes through Brad writing a new riff and coming to us and we jam the full song out, all adding our own input into the song. After the song is finished Brad then goes off and writes the lyrics and we spend some time fine tuning the song to make it as good as it can possibly be.

Is there a story behind Cave Song? We love its bouncy energy!

Cave Song is basically the anthem of youth. It's based on what we used to get upto when we were bored on a Friday night when we were young teens, but the meaning behind the song is the freedom of youth and how the memories of fucking around in your younger years will stick with you for the rest of your life.

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? 

Lots of different artists were important in forming our music tastes and influencing the way we write but I wouldn't say there's any specific artist that was that important to us. It's more the culmination of all these separate artists that helped create our sound.

What’s next for 2016 ... have you got any new releases on the way, we see you are back on the road in September? 

There should be one or two new singles coming this year but really we don't kick everything off until 2017. That's when the album is coming and the majority of everything we're doing this year is the foundation for what we want to do next year. Our tour this September should be crazy though, we're proper up for that and everything that touring brings.

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? 

Our favourite artists this year have been Drenge and Wolf Alice. We've played with Wolf Alice a few times now and they're reallygood people, proper cool like. Drenge are the biggest breath of fresh air we've heard in a while and we loved Undertow.

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

Brad - Rizla, Whiskey, Gum. Tom - Great Glorious Quiff. Jarvis - Hair, Sexual Deviant. Elliot - Chunky But Funky

Thanks for taking the time to chat to us, we are looking forward to catching you holding up the punkier end of the music spectrum at Victorious next month! 

We Are Carnivores - Theodor’s A Don, Bro (EP)

Nottingham based trio WE ARE CARNIVORES have just released the new EP ‘Theodor’s A Don, Bro’, a follow up to 2014's ‘Tex-Mexiconomy’. 

The EP combines angular riffs and in-your-face time changes, a great mix of techy-rock for fans of Marmozets, Enter Shikari and Reuben. With intriguing track names like 'You Can't Argue With Sharks' and 'I'm Not An Alcoholic, I Just collect Bottles' these guys seem to have a great sense of humour!

The three-piece math-punk gang have recently been touring their new material ... “Having almost caught the Loch Ness Monster with nothing but our charm and a bag of quavers while touring the ‘Tex-Mexiconomy EP’ in 2015, we are hoping ‘Theodor’s A Don, Bro’ coaxes a whole bunch of mythical creatures out of the woodwork towards the back side of summer 2k16!”

They are also back on tour this weekend:
06.08 CHELTENHAM - Summer Fest
07.08 SWANSEA - The Scene
08.08 LEICESTER - The Shed
09.08 SHEFFIELD - Mulberry Underground
10.08 GLASGOW - Old Hairdressers
11.08 BIRMINGHAM - Subside
12.08 BRIDGWATER - Cobblestones
13.08 NOTTINGHAM - Waterfront Festival

Chedk out the catchy title track Theodor's A Don, Bro here:

Public Service Broadcasting - Interview

Public Service Broadcasting consists of messrs J. Willgoose Esq. and his cohort Wrigglesworth. Their aptly named debut Inform-Educate-Entertain was received with widespread critical acclaim and last year’s The Race for Space was an epic depiction of some of mankind’s greatest achievements. PSB convey the wonder & amazement of information from the past, finding new relevance in old clips, brought right up to date with music of the future in such an intelligent and innovative way. Ahead of their performance at Southsea’s Victorious Festival next month we caught up with PSB to find out more …

What first turned you on to music in a big way - would you say you listen to a range of genres generally?

I’ve always loved music and been moved by it in a way that is unmatched elsewhere, but the one that really lit the touch-paper was Oasis’ Bring It On Down. Something about that song was just so exciting, it made me want to learn the guitar instantly and be in a band. Nowadays yes, I listen to pretty much everything - except some of the more extreme metal genres and two-step, I can’t really stand two-step in any form.

How do you go about sourcing the old public information films and propaganda material that you sample … will one clip sometimes inspire a song or whole project?

It tends to be the other way around these days, although certainly in the past finding some clips has led to some songs. But with The Race For Space, for example, I knew I wanted to write about, say, Apollos 8 and 11, so then it was just a case of finding interesting and new ways of presenting those while trying to avoid the most over-used lines.

Is it a very introverted process – do you spend a great deal of time trawling through archives? Has there been anything surprising you have found along the way?

It is introverted, yes, because I do the researching, writing and demo-ing mostly on my own so there’s a lot of self-doubt and all the usual fun and games that come with trying to create anything, but I don’t think I spend quite as much time trawling through archives as people imagine. I seem to get lucky with research and often hit the good stuff by accident, although I also think I have a reasonable eye for a good title – as soon as I saw ‘London Can Take It’, for example, I knew that it’d be worth watching. Some things just jump out at you, you just have to be ready and open to them.

Adapting samples for your own purposes, do you ever think of subverting their meaning out of context – are there any in-joke undercurrents only you know about?

We’ve done that pretty much from the start, yes, whether it’s poking fun at some of the more ridiculous driving safety films in Signal 30 or trying to undercut the somewhat manufactured patriotic message of Spitfire by putting a Krautrock beat behind it. On The Race For Space, E.V.A. for me is particularly ironic as the official version (‘ten minutes in space!’) differs so wildly from what actually happened – Leonov was out there for 20+ minutes and nearly died. Then they nearly died on re-entry, too! They really were a different breed. Mad, mad, brave men and women.

If you could create the soundtrack to an important upcoming event what would it be? Something technological, or maybe something in a completely different vein?

There are a lot of directors I really admire – I’d love to try and get into film scores at some point but we’re quite busy with our own stuff at the moment. We’ve also got a project in the works that would be amazing if we can get it away.

You have just released the The Race For Space Remixes album, remixed by a variety of contemporary artists showing you have massive respect from your peers. Is there anyone you have yet to work with you would like to and if you could pick any track to remix yourselves what would it be? (We think it might be amusing to see some moon landing conspiracy theory quotes slotted into a remix at some point!)

Oh god don’t start! The moon landing conspiracy stuff is so utterly, utterly depressing. It says so much about us as a race – we can be so technologically and spiritually triumphant against such odds and yet so pigheaded – wrong-headed really – and cynical that a disturbing number of people disbelieve it ever happened. But then as we’ve seen recently a lot of people have an aversion to facts and ‘experts’. Anyway, regarding the remixers, yes – we’re trying to work with a couple of different people on future projects. I never like to say too much though as there’s always a chance that people we really like think we’re terrible. Approaching people to work with them is a bit like asking someone out in that regard.

Is there anyone or anything in particular you would say are so influential that if they didn't exist you wouldn't be doing what you are now? Sometimes inspiration can be found in the strangest of places … what outside of music that really gets your creative juices flowing?

If I hadn’t heard that Archive Hour programme presented by Tom Robinson and had the idea of using the materials he mentioned then I’d never have made a PSB song I don’t think, and ironically it was Tom Robinson who ended up playing us on the radio first on his Introducing show. So many fortuitous things have happened, but then that’s life. You can’t really unpick it to that extent as there are so many millions of chance encounters across your life that change things in such massive ways.

We are looking forward to catching your live transmissions at Victorious Festival next month, are there any surprises we can look forward to in that set, will you have Mr B on visuals, any dapper new outfits?

Ha, we’ve never had any dapper outfits so we’ll be in the old tried-and-trusted cords. I think our look will probably stay the same as we move across different subjects – I think we’ll be the constant at the centre of a shifting choice of subject matters. A few things have changed since we played in 2014 though, and we’ve got some better songs and some more fun additions to the live show, so we’re looking forward to seeing how they go down.

If you had to describe yourselves in just three words, what would they be? (We would like to veto the word corduroy!)

Underwhelming. Self-effacing. Persistent.

Modest, innovative and engaging ... you can check out Public Service Broadcasting 's live transmissions at Victorious next month, they play Sunday on The Common stage.

www.publicservicebroadcasting.net

www.victoriousfestival.co.uk

Massive Attack - Hyde Park

Massive Attack have been performing well over 20 years with their gritty artistic and incredibly creative sound. Born of the Bristol sound-system scene of the 80's they combined sampling and looping electronica with a down-tempo hip-hop elements to become masters of their own genre, dubbed Trip-Hop. They have always had a great visual aspect, their videos being a cinematic experience and with the visual show an integral part of the live experience and this weekend MASSIVE ATTACK headlined BST Hyde Park with other performances throughout the day from Young Fathers, Patti Smith, TV on The Radio, Warpaint and Ghostpoet.

 

Legendary singer-songwriter, poet, writer and activist Patti Smith is one of the most influential figures to come out of the late 70’s New York scene as the ‘Punk Poet Laureate’. Last year saw the 40th anniversary of her seminal album ‘Horses’, which is often cited as one of the best albums of all time. Beginning with a poem, Footnote to Howl by Alan Ginsberg, Patti Smith and her band gave a great performance with her classic Because The Night, a tribute to Prince with a version of When Doves Cry and of course Land (Horses) which ran right into a cover of Gloria to the delight of the audience.

TV on The Radio are one of the leaders of Brooklyn’s indie renaissance with their distinct blend of propulsive art-rock and raw soul. They played a great set but were disappointed with the Hyde Park set up ... the majority of the crowd can only get so far forward "it's a shame you guys are so far away ... can we get these guys forward?" Unfortunately not. It was still a great set with the bouncing indie Lazerray and finale Staring At The Sun being particular highlights.

View of TV On the radio from the very front of the general admission aREA

View of TV On the radio from the very front of the general admission aREA

California's Warpaint have a unique brand of intricate guitar lines, hypnotic vocals and driving post punk rhythms. Currently finishing up a new album which should come out later this year they are really ones to watch this year, their set was great showing they deserve the hype that is building around them.

Following his emergence and the Mercury-nominated debut Peanut Butter & Melancholy Jam in 2011, London-based Ghostpoet has marked his own path, propelled by the sonic illuminations of his third, and once again Mercury-nominated album, 2015’s Shedding Skin. For us his set was the highlight of the day and drew such a great and enthusiastic crowd.

The sultry tones and bass-filled clashing and merging sounds within Cash & Carry Me Home and especially Finished I Ain't filled the Barclaycard stage area with an ambience that enveloped the audience with all manner of people getting into the music. 

With the beautifully haunting duet vibes of X Marks The Spot and the reverence of Msi Musmid (check out the free download link below - we recommend you play this VERY loud for full immersion!) the whole performance was an absolute pleasure to experience - well worthy of a spot on the Main Stage.
 

 

Massive Attack recently released their Ritual Spririt EP and completed a sold out tour of the UK and Europe. Mercury Prize winning Young Fathers are familiar to Massive Attack fans, the Edinburgh trio has supported the band on their recent European tour and they gave a great show within the Massive Attack slot, including their collaboration Voodoo In My Blood.

Reggae legend Horace Andy was wheeled onstage after being unwell to the delight of the crowd and to Massive Attack themselves for Angel his distinctive vocals were great to witness live and after his performance was taken off "straight back to the hospital". With a velvety passion in his voice and the guys on stage showing such admiration for him to be there this was the absolute highlight of the set.

Playing Eurochild for the first time live since '98, getting on for 20 years later, this song is still highly relevant and poignant with Tricky's iconic lyrics ... Hell it seems is still Round The Corner. Tricky made an appearance onstage with Massive Attack for their most recent collaboration Take It There,

There was even a double rainbow over Hyde Park's Great Oak Stage and as the sun lowered in the sky the atmosphere was far more befitting their dramatic style.

The day finished with Safe From Harm in the encore and finally Unfinished Sympathy's beautiful soulfulness closed the set with full strings on stage and a backdrop emblazoned with the slogan "We Are In This Together". With their political musings throughout "this ... is bull****", and their thought-provoking, creative and beautiful sound it truly was an engaging show.

The Kills - Isle of Wight Festival 2016

At the core of The Kills is a bluesy, anthemic and uniquely alternative sound. Alison Mosshart brings a country edge to Jamie Hince's rousing soul-bareing guitar style and both fuse perfectly to form an effortlessly cool sound. 

Meeting in the middle collaboratively The Kills show just how much the two-piece can be an epic partnership with just the right amount of creativity to bounce off and inspire each other ... not too many cooks with so many great ingredients make for an awesomely delicious, perfectly constructed mix.

Ash & Ice, their fifth studio album is out now, with more electronic elements on this album ... it was great to see them live at Isle of Wight Festival to get the full live atmospheric experience of the new songs.

Alison explained "one of the first songs that Jamie brought for the record was called 'Ash and Ice,' and we loved the title. He does that all the time -- he just starts with the title and he hasn’t written a word for the actual song. I guess he was sitting at some bar or some party or someone’s house, and it was just like people ashing into a glass of ice, in that disgusting thing that you just see all the time." Jamie says "I had a drink, and I just threw my cigarette in this glass of ice, and it was just as simple as that. It was like ash and ice, and I said I’ll just call it that. Which is kind of dull. I wish I’d come up with a better story, but that’s the truth of it. And I just like the connotation. It just sort of sounded right, and I liked the idea of it being these two opposite souls. I liked it being the idea of someone with a joint in one hand and a drink in the other." 

The album was five years in the making in part due to Jamie five hand surgeries, resulting in him having to re-learn how to play guitar with a permanently damaged finger. It was during Hince’s recuperation from surgery that he first started sketching out what would become the songs for the album. To shake up the writing process, Hince booked a solo trip on the infamous Trans-Siberian Express for inspiration while Alison Mosshart, now residing in Nashville, wrote some of the most affecting, poetically candid lyrics that she ever has, painting word pictures that mine the dangerous terrain between romantic obsession, prophecy and tough love.

The first single from Ash & Ice Doing It To Death was amazing live, some tracks have more of a menacing edge ... you can see why they've been picked up by TV shows like Peaky Blinders for their fiercely dynamic, dark and soulful sound that would not be out of place set to any gritty, gripping imagery and makes for great music to stride about to in your own little world.

Now over a decade old No Wow still hits you right in the gut with its pure driving bassline rolling along like a quickened heartbeat, combined with Alison's sultry vocals as the song builds so does the onstage performance. Such a great song to hear played out over a festival as we approached dusk, the audience certainly were wow'd.

Even with their slower songs it is  hard not to get totally immersed in their rich well thought out sound. Kissy Kissy parallels a long and winding road where you can imagine you're riding in a convertible across the US ... even if you are standing somewhere in a field in Hampshire.

In such an amazingly captivating set we witnessed awesome renditions of our favourites U.R.A. Fever ... Cheap & Cheerful ... Black Balloon and so many more.

Having been a staple favourite band of ours for a good few years now, we were drenched with anticipation to finally catch them live. It is always slightly nerve-racking to see a band you already admire perform to see how they translate live - we needn't have worried! Jamie & Alison's exuberant set really added an extra dimension to the music, showing us how live music should be .. full of passion and personality, expertly delivered with captivating flair.

Isle of Wight Festival 2016

We traversed the sunny Solent to the Isle of Wight Festival as it geared up for the weekend. One of the biggest festivals of the year in the UK, not just for the south coast, the Isle of Wight Festival has had a long history of hosting music icons, this year is no less legendary with The Who headlining Saturday and Queen and Adam Lambert headlining Sunday with their only UK show in this year.

Stereophonics and electronica legends Faithless were also on the bill as well as Iggy Pop, Adam Ant, Buzzcocks and The Damned taking to the stage to celebrate 40 years of punk.

It's not just classic names there is something for everyone here with so many varied acts across many stages with plenty of things to see and do.

Maxi Jazz & The E-Type Boys in The Big Top brought us Faithless frontman Maxi Jazz's guitar band. Incorporating melodic funk and blues mixed with reggae beats, dub baselines, Jamaican melodies, and smooth insightful, penetrating lyrics from the most iconic wordsmiths, this lyrically poetic and playful set was a great chilled out set to start off the weekend.

Cast were a perfect pick to get that summer festival feeling flowing. With their hits Finetime and Alright they really stirred the crowd into the festival spirit in the Big Top.

We caught up with the Southsea contingent in the Hipshaker Lounge to round off Thursday as they kicked off non-stop entertainment with Rhythm of the 90's treating us to live 90's dance hits.

Friday started off with Busted playing the Main Stage with a mix of new songs as well as their back catalogue they really rallied the crowd in this early festival set including their hit Year 3000 which went down well.

Back together after over 10 years ... they said it would never happen hence their 2016 tour being named Pigs Can Fly! Bassist Matt Willis who won I'm A Celebrity in 2006 and also appeared on Eastenders returned to music in 2013 with McBusted, Charlie Simpson re-joined Busted this year and has had several solo projects including the rock band Fightstar.

One of the most successful Welsh rock acts Stereophonics were next up on the Main Stage. Singer Kelly Jones' gravelly vocals topped off their classics Dakota, Just Looking and Bartender & The Thief to make a perfect set for a fun fuelled Friday with a happy crowd singing along. 

Faithless were Friday's headliners and with over 20 years since the iconic Insomnia was released they still sounded fresh and entirely relevant. Faithless have sold over 15 million records worldwide, toured the globe and been dubbed responsible for the creation of a whole new sonic landscape for Dance Music.

As one of the first to mix dance, hip-hop, blues, folk and classical music and being integral to the whole dance music genre they have always had something poignant to say lyrically with their great mix of musical flavours. Almost ambient at times they created an awesome atmosphere and live show Maxi, Sister Bliss and Rollo rounded off the first day of Isle of Wight 2016 with the greatest performance of the day.  

The Lounge Kittens opened up Saturday's music in the Big Top which went down really well, beautifully rendered popular alt rock classics performed in their own lounge style was a great start to blow away the cobwebs of the previous night's festivities!

With Dodgy in the Kashmir Cafe performing their feel good hits Staying Out For The Summer and Good Enough to a packed out audience and Irish folk pop siblings The Corrs gracing the Main Stage Saturday was shaping up as another great day of music.

Festival organiser John Giddings led a tribute to David Bowie on the main stage while Andrea Corr and Spandau Ballet's Gary Kemp gave a beautiful rendition of Bowie's Starman.

 

The Sex Pissed Dolls have just finished a tour playing songs by The Jam, The Clash, Nirvana and The Specials, and these fierce ladies were in their element celebrating The Sex Pistols to honour 40 years of punk.

At the core of The Kills is a bluesy, anthemic and uniquely alternative sound. Alison Mosshart brings a country edge to Jamie Hince's rousing soul-bareing guitar style and both fuse perfectly to form an effortlessly cool sound. 

Meeting in the middle collaboratively The Kills show just how much the two-piece can be an epic partnership with just the right amount of creativity to bounce off and inspire each other ... not too many cooks with so many great ingredients make for an awesomely delicious, perfectly constructed mix.

Ash & Ice, their fifth studio album is out now, with more electronic synthy elements on this album ... it was great to see them live at Isle of Wight Festival's Main Stage to get the full live atmospheric experience of the new songs in what was a really great performance.

Iggy Pop certainly is one of the most dynamic stage performers of all time known for his outrageous and unpredictable stage antics. He bounded on stage with epic amounts of passion and all the energy and enthusiasm we have come to expect, with absolutely no hint of restraint.

Smashing his set through our ears with epic amounts of on the Main Stage at the Isle of Wight Festival with the anthemic classics Lust For Life, I Wanna Be Your Dog and The Passenger this really was a truly captivating performance. The set could not have been better, Iggy cavorted about the stage writhing with such a passion and vigour, rallying the crowd and demonstrating exactly why he is known as the godfather of punk rock.

Almost 40 years since their inception Buzzcocks are still going strong and played a cracking set with all the energy and enthusiasm you would have expected in the early days. Their more melodic brand of punk still packs a punch and you can really tell how much these guys love playing together. On great form to a packed out audience they mixed new material with old favourites like I Don't Mind, What Do I Get and of course Ever Fallen In Love....

Punk pioneers The Damned are also on their 40th anniversary tour this year. With the iconic Captain Sensible cavorting around the stage they pulled off a great live show. New Rose went down a storm today and 40 years on from being the UK's first punk single, it is as fresh and rousing as it was then, performed with boundless snarling energy and enthusiasm. 

As Smash It Up's gnarled glorious noise rolled out over the audience reminded us all of the energy of of a generation of kick ass UK punk music and how that lives on today as they influenced future hardcore bands with their fast-paced style. 

Adam Ant rounded off the day for us in The Big Top with his alternative classics Stand & Deliver, Prince Charming and of course Goody Two Shoes. Adam Ant proved today that he is still the dandy highwayman and great entertainer!

One of the most influential rock bands in music history The Who headlined the Main Stage today, celebrating over 50 years. Pulling a massive crowd of adoring fans in with so many classics like My Generation and Baba O'Reilly they put on a cracking show. Roger Daltrey's gravelly vocals accented the large psychedelic, rounded out sound, demonstrating how they are still a great live band firmly cemented as the legends of rock that they clearly still are.  

Pendulum closed off an epic day of music with a storming set in the Big Top that started just before midnight and sent their light show streaming across the field. The still pumped crowd went absolutely crazy for their track Propane Nightmares and the night ended on a great buzz around the festival site.  

Sunday started off with Glasgow rockers Twin Atlantic playing the Main Stage and although a little slow for our tastes they played a good set and singer Sam McTrusty's unique vocals were really refreshing.

Billed as the "loudest silent movie on earth" we checked out Gutterdammerung in the Big Top which features a host of rock icons including Iggy Pop as a renegade punk angel Vicious, who sets the world on fire to test humanity and Henry Rollins, (also co-screenwriter) as a "priest Svengali". The brain-child of Belgian-Swedish visual artist Björn Tagemose, this is a fully immersive experience, primarily visual, with a live band playing the epic score to this dark fairytale. With Grace Jones portraying the "ultimate nemesis, an African goddess from Hell" and Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes as a bounty hunter who "kills sound for money," working for people who "use false morality as oppression" visual artist Björn Tagemose's film is a fully immersive experience.

Whilst primarily visual, this is like no movie you have ever experienced - a live band plays the epic score to this dark fairytale in  what is surely to be a cult classic. With so many iconic legends in one film, including Lemmy and Slayer's Tom Araya, the film showed us how sparce dialogue can be loud as hell! With a surprise appearance by Henry Rollins himself this was one not to be missed!

Indie pop-punkers The Cribs gave a great performance on the Main Stage having supported Sex Pistols, played on the Weezer Cruise and had Johnny Marr in the band for a while, this upbeat indie sound was the perfect summer Saturday afternoon tonic. 90's Britpoppers Ocean Colour Scene also brought out all the big hits, from the Beatles-esque Day We Caught The Train to the Riverboat Song and Hundred Mile City for a great festival set.

Another 90's band were up next in the Main Stage lineup, Reef's plodding melodic rock tune Come Back Brighter showed they were a great choice to go before Queen with Place Your Hands making the crowd erupt with singalongs and hands aloft.

Headlining the Main Stage today Queen & Adam Lambert played a sparkling set in their only UK date this year, playing a mix of their popular and lesser known material. Possibly the most recognisable song and loved by all kinds of music fans, their performance of Bohemian Rhapsody was a real sight to see live with rapturous sing-a-longs from right across the heaving crowd. Adam Lambert is truly a great frontman, with all the showmanship and poise you could want for such an iconic band. 

Welsh rockers Feeder played their one of very few UK festival appearances for 2016 after being quiet over the last couple of years. With their well loved singles Buck Rogers, Just The Way I'm Feeling and Just A Day this was a great set to close off an enormously varied weekend of superb music.

Iggy Pop - Isle of Wight Festival 2016

Iggy Pop certainly is one of the most dynamic stage performers of all time known for his outrageous and unpredictable stage antics.

He bounded on stage with epic amounts of passion and all the energy and enthusiasm we have come to expect, with absolutely no hint of restraint.

Smashing his set through our ears with epic amounts of on the Main Stage at the Isle of Wight Festival with the anthemic classics Lust For Life, I Wanna Be Your Dog and The Passenger this really was a truly captivating performance.

The set could not have been better, Iggy cavorted about the stage writhing with such a passion and vigour, rallying the crowd and demonstrating exactly why he is known as the godfather of punk rock.