Live Review + Interview : Wallflower w/Muskets + Ten Tombs : Level 3, Swindon : 25/10/17

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Level 3 seems to be building its status in the Swindon live music scene as a bit of a hub for statement gigs and artists to pass through. Recently playing host to some of our favourite artists like Boston Manor, Casey, WSTR, Inheaven and so on. This show should surely be no different as it provides the venue for the first night of a Wallflower/Muskets headline run. Unfortunately a gig on a Wednesday night in Swindon can be a little hit and miss at times, with what should be a bustling venue falling a little short of the mark in terms of numbers. But nonetheless, the bands performed impressive sets that could really showcase the talent. First on was a Spilt Milk favourite, Ten Tombs. Their set showcased new tracks, which carry more maturity into their sound and lean on a more emo feel. Next was Muskets, whose sound brought more vigour and grit to the evening. And last up were Wallflower. We’ve been lucky enough to catch Wallflower a couple of times on the festival circuit this year and, lets face it, they’re pretty exciting. Wallflower are certainly ones to watch for 2018, with atmospheric and exciting live performances, and the recent release of ‘Where It Fell Apart’!

We decided to ask the Wallflower boys a few questions to find out more about them…

 

SM: Please could you introduce yourselves, and give us a brief background to the band?

W: We are Wallflower, we’ve been a band for about 3 years now. We started out as a group of friends who wanted to write some music together and out of that came some songs.

 

SM: You’re currently on a co-headline tour with Muskets, how has that been? And what has been your favourite show on this run?

W: It’s been a lot of fun to hang out with those guys and watch them play songs from their new record. The tours we’ve been on over the last year have been with much bigger bands with their own fan bases, so to play some shows off our own backs and see people in the crowd singing along has been really humbling. It’s been interesting to go to new places but I will say one of my favourite shows of this run has been Newcastle; it’s the third time we have been there and saw some familiar faces which is really great.

 

SM: You put out new EP, Where It Fell Apart, earlier this year, what has the reaction been like to it?

W: People have been very welcoming to the EP which in a sense is a huge relief. When we started writing the songs which would eventually end up as Where It Fell Apart we started to feel a bit of a departure from where we had been before musically and lyrically. It goes without saying that it is always worth taking risks however in those instances there is an underlying anxiety that people will hate it, maybe we will even hate it. On the contrary it turned out to be our proudest piece of work to date, and we feel that listeners have responded in a very similar way.

 

SM: Can you tell us about the process of creating Where It fell Apart – writing/recording?

W: This was the first body of songs that we wrote together since our drummer Charlie joined the band so there was a bit of a different approach to writing the music. We spent a lot more time in rooms together jamming ideas and honing in on parts, getting the best out of every note and beat. We ended up playing these songs a lot on tours months before we ever got in to the studio so we had a lot of time to really understand what worked and what didn’t. We had a complete opposite approach to our first EP, where the entire thing was written and recorded before we existed as a band. Unfortunately this meant as soon as we got on to a stage to play those songs, none of our parts made sense and we had to do a lot more work to make it work live. Taking this in to account by the time we got in to the studio (The Ranch, Southampton) we were very familiar with the songs and we could come up with a product which was a much better reflection of our live sound.

 

SM : What influences you guys lyrically and musically?

W: We take inspiration from a lot of artists that we love and are always looking for new things to take influence from. When we first started we had a very straight forward approach to the music we wanted to write and we very quickly placed ourselves in to a category of music we wanted to play which did end up getting stale pretty quickly. As time has gone on we’ve learnt that it’s ok, and actually a lot more fun, to be inspired by different genres and have that show in our music.

 

SM: What’s your favourite and least favourite thing about touring?

W: Favourite thing is being able to hang out and spend time together. Being in a touring band nowadays involves a lot of work in the build up and not a lot of free time. Once you get to that point where you can finally relax and have a good time with your friends, it all feels completely worth it. Least favourite thing is all the driving around but we try to make that part as painless as possible.

 

SM: What other emerging bands are you guys digging?

W: There’s a lot of bands that we’ve had the pleasure of touring and playing with over the last couple of years. Weatherstate are a band that are doing really cool things, playing pop-punk but in a different way to how most bands in the same scene are. It goes without saying that our tour buddies Muskets’ new record ‘Chew’ definitely deserves a spin from anyone who loves fast-paced grunge and catchy choruses.

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Live Review : The Decrees W/ Underneath the Lights, The Plastic Mac + Messed Up Youth : PJ Molloys, Dunfermiline, Fife Scotland : 28-10-2017

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A spooky dark night at PJ Molloys, where devils, witches and zombies gathered for The Decrees ‘Sons of Rage’ single launch. The crowd started to fill the floor as indie rock band, Underneath the Lights came on stage with their outstanding cover of ‘Rock and Roll Star’ by Oasis. Their set was intertwined with an element of indie pop which created a bouncy, electrifying vibe and had the audience up dancing for the rest of the night. The five piece band are clearly all about the beat, all aspects flowing together professionally, creating rhythms you just have to tap your feet to. Highlights from their set have to be the covers of ‘Whistle for the Choir’ and ‘Same Jeans’; both contrasting in sound and pace but still holding so much passion and dimension. With an EP to soon be recorded and a headliner gig in November, Underneath the Lights are ones to watch.

Up next are The Plastic Mac, with their welcoming presence and incredible energy, they are becoming one of my favourites on the local scene. The dynamic five piece can never disappoint, stripping it back to a raw, fresh sound and being the definition of rock and roll. Glad to see frontman Sean Sneddon hasn’t lost his moves and emphasising his lyrics with his tambourine. From the last time I had seen these lads, they’ve mixed up their set list but still highlighting the night with the iconic cover of ‘Helter Skelter’ by The Beatles. Although the song has been covered by a variety of bands such as Oasis and Motley Crue, The Plastic Mac have put their own twist to it with a grungy undertone. The smooth change overs from covers to originals kept the hype of the audience up through the whole set. Their lyrical skills will soon be shown through their upcoming EP, as the lads have been working hard in the studio recently, and have lots more to come. Can’t wait to see these boys again!

The three piece band, Messed Up Youth were next up on the bill. This trio are a punk rock band with a large following through the locals. Their set gradually built up atmosphere and the frontman began to move with the music and worked the audience. From a slow, slightly stilted start the tension broke when the drummer’s enthusiasm managed to decapitate the cymbal. Various folk jumped to his aid whilst the band kept the crowd dancing. The vocals were so strong at some points they tended to overpower the guitar. Despite the instrument malfunctions, the band still managed to smash their set (literally) and had the crowd chanting their name by the end.

This is what the crowds been waiting for the whole night, the 4 piece band The Decrees hit the stage with full energy. Their new single ‘Sons of Rage’ has a slight contrast to their other songs, with a new groove and a definite folk jazz vibe. They’ve used their talent, having loops and reels, and incorporated inspiration from Scottish folk music to create a refreshing, spirited hit. A lot of the set was based around the frontman’s performance, especially within their track ‘P.E.R.V’, which will soon be followed up with a release of a music video. The band later played their favourite live song ‘105’ which has a fast pace and increased their stage presence with enthusiasm. Frontman, Lewis Akers, explained that “It’s all about driving an aeroplane during the nuclear holocaust. The pilot is feeling more alive than ever because he’s on the edge of death and the edge of a dying world. All he can feel is the adrenaline pumping through his body. In some way the song is so full on it makes us all feel the same way.” Akers proved his point right, with his exaggerated moves, bouncing from one end to the next and into the crowd at every chance he could get. Through their whole set there was a lot of audience participation and interaction, ending with a request of a crowd invasion, everyone gathering to the stage. The Decrees are off to record and release a new single, and I’m sure there will be plenty more of them in the future.

 

Words + Photos : Cheyenne Sherwood

GLOO Take To The Streets of Brighton In New ‘Force You’ Video

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Ahead of a London headline show later this month, Littlehampton trio GLOO are pleased to reveal the video for their latest single ‘Force You’ which recently crashed onto Spotify Official’s #Punked playlist!

Check it out here: https://youtu.be/ImtGGgAyrks

Commenting on the concept for the video, the band said: “We just wanted to do something real simple and to the point. We found the busiest street in Brighton we could without Tom getting run over by a taxi and had him shout through the track at double speed. We’re super happy with how it turned out as all the unknowing passers-by are giving zero shits about what’s going on. It’s in your face and to the point like the track.”

See GLOO live:

17.11.17 – London – Surya
24.11.17 – Worthing – Bar 42
23.12.17 –  Brighton – Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
02.02.18 – Portsmouth – Icebreaker Festival

Live review : Jack The Envious : Surya, London : 26/10/17

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There is no better feeling than getting ready to take photos of bands that you’ve shot before. I think this could be one of the main reasons to improve your skills with the same artists. Add to that the fact that I’m at Surya in London again and you just have the perfect night.

To start off the night, the first band to performing is “Oceans” an Alternative band based between London and Brighton. With my pleasure this is the second time I see them live and I can confirm that they are even better than the first time. Clearly visible to everyone is the energy and the power of this band and lead singer Zach Silver gives an amazing groove to the performance. Such a distinct sound to create the great atmosphere.

By now the crowd is warmed up and ready to move on with the show. Second in line is “Amongst Thieves” a 5 pieces Post Hard-core band from York. Their music is a mix of intense and hooky vengeful anthems and epic crafty atmospheric moments, all punctured by lead singer Josh Nash’s versatile vocal range. To make their set more hard-core, the lead singer decides to perform off stage by interacting with the audience even more. These guys are pretty good and they have the power of making me like their music even if I’m not a big fan of that genre. Hopefully they will grow more and more.

The show must go on so we have “From Inside” – an Alternative Metal band from Liverpool. They formed in 2016 and their aim is that they want to offer their fans something which will help them persist through dark times. Their music takes inspiration from Bring Me the Horizon and the earlier Linkin Park and it is driven by the blend of distorted guitars with emotionally driven orchestral, electronic and atmospheric backings. I notice that to differ from the other bands they add two spotlights on the floor of the stage and two billboards at the two side of the stage. Seeing everyone in the crowd enjoying them makes me feel part of the night.

Last but not least, here we are the main act, “Jack the Envious” a Post-Hard-core/Alternative/Punk band from Israel that moved to London. It is always such a pleasure taking photos of these talented guys. Since July they grown and they are currently on a tour around UK with two of the bands from tonight’s show. I can see that they have already few dedicated fans that come down to every show. Everyone loves them and is partying with them.

My evening turned out amazing and I’m quite happy that I had the chance to be there.

 

Words + photos : Selena Ferro

Live Review : Tugboat Captain

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Tugboat Captain – The Tour review

Right after the success of unexpectedly cult single “Don’t Want to Wake Up on My Own”, Tugboat Captain have just smashed a pint of Red Stripe against the hull of album number two, called “Everybody Seems To Think That I’m A Raincloud”.

Thrown into the sea on October 27th, this Battersea six piece played a week-long promo across the south, and have their biggest show to date at Thousand Island on November 24th supported by Plain Sails.

Lead singer Sox is the Tugboat Captain, and navigates the night with sister Honey Glaze and her accordion, keys wizard Sloppy Giuseppe (who rocks the electric bassoon), bassman Jesus Bigboy, string picker Papa Isaac and Bosun Joe, master of the drums. Together, knitted boat mascot in tow, this lot turned their first seated audience into the happiest crowd I’ve seen at Plymouth’s B-Bar.

‘Signs to Come’ opens the set, all harmonies and drawn-out chords. There’s a potent cocktail of jangly blues and the more psych bits of The Beatles in ‘Grace’, tempered by a lilting folksy melody and self-deprecating bite in the lyrics: Sox sings “I’m drinking from the top until there’s an empty bottle… I’ll wrestle with my thoughts, they grip me and they throttle” with the flat resignation of someone who looks into the mirror and wearily notes that they’re still there.

It’s not just the chants of “OPA!” that make up the bohemian streak: the accordion and banjo give Tugboat Captain the air of flat-capped seafaring gypsies, giving the kind of honest street corner song and dance that used to be travelling musicians’ lifeline. The catchy riff to ‘Don’t Want To Wake Up On My Own’ sticks itself to your mind somewhere between early Cure stuff and Johnny Marr, but the slower vocals make this an interesting dreamy pop song rather than indie attention-seeker.

Tugboat Captain have a very DIY ethos – everything is recorded and mixed at home. Sox’s girlfriend did the album art (and gave an unbiased review) and Papa Isaac’s mum knitted the mascot. It’s really refreshing to get a bunch of talented people enjoying themselves onstage but deliberately being normal. How many other bands tell you about the epic carvery they had on the way here?

Their ease and normality is everywhere in the music too – the anthemic ending to ‘Ikea Mirror’ has everyone up and chanting, grinning at each other. “Sixteen pound Ikea mirror, I can see now so much clearer” would be an ironic joke, or deliberate provocation or affectation somewhere else. With this band of joyous miscreants, it fits our millenial attitude of self-obsession and budget creativity.

“Because we’re on tour, we thought we’d learn a token cover”. Right, OK – some really indie thing, or a take on an anthem of our generation like Wonderwall or Mr Brightside but with added bassoon, right? Nope. It’s a Dad’s Army theme cover, jazz influenced, and has the braver or more drunk of us polka dancing at the front. Please, Captains, keep surprising us.

Fair warning – the live show is very, very different to how Tugboat Captain sound on all good streaming sites. The infectious enjoyment they give off doesn’t come through headphones on the bus or when you’re doing laundry. See them, meet them, drink Guinness with them and dance crazy. Sing about Ikea mirrors and laugh at their cover choices. Blogs and streams are cool and all that, but it’s not the real thing.

 

Words : Joe Morel

SILENCE THE RADIO PREMIERE MUSIC VIDEO FOR SINGLE “FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD NIGHTMARES”

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Out of Providence, Rhode Island, four-piece alternative pop punk band Silence The Radio are premiering the music video for their latest single, “Friendly Neighborhood Nightmares.”

CHECK IT OUT : https://youtu.be/Uyb5AyWRjXs

With the development of “Friendly Neighborhood Nightmares,” the band realized that their biggest strength was their ability to write songs with a catchy, flowing chorus, while still retaining the dark, tongue-in-cheek lyrical style they had originally honed. With a bouncy tempo, memorable theme, and unstoppable chorus, Silence The Radio has delivered potentially their strongest song yet with “Friendly..”

Live review : The Pigeon Detectives w/ Little Comets : SWX, Bristol : 26/10/17

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The nostalgia runs heavy through my veins as I write this review. The Pigeon Detectives were one of my favourite bands circa 2008 and this year marks the 10th anniversary of their debut album ‘Wait For Me’. What better way to celebrate the milestone than a 10th anniversary tour!!!? We caught The Pigeon Detectives as they passed through SWX in Bristol. The perfect venue as it filled to the brim but still offered a certain intimacy.

The Pigeons were accompanied by the Newcastle hailing 5-piece, Little Comets, who performed an exciting set to fans that were bouncing around in the crowd. It was soon apparent that the crowd were there as much for Little Comets as they were for The Pigeon Detectives. Little Comets offered a set of dreamy yet bright indie-pop that got the crowd moving from front to back. Stand out tracks from their set included ‘One Night In October’, which seemed more than appropriate, ‘Worry’ and ‘Dancing Song’ which closed the set in style. The only downfall I can find to this generally bubbly set is that, heading in without much knowledge of Little Comets, I found each track to be pretty similar to the last. This meant that there wasn’t much variety track to track and it became a little repetitive. Saying that, I did enjoy their set and will be paying a little more attention to Little Comets.

Next up were indie heavyweights, The Pigeon Detectives. The crowd was filled with dedicated fans of all ages that were highly anticipating the set. One particular crowd member showed his enthusiasm by shouting at the top of his lungs ‘COME ON YOU SLAGS’ when the change over ran over slightly. They took to the stage, exploding with pure energy into opening anthem ‘Romantic Type’. Despite an earlier accident leaving frontman Matt with a broken foot, he still darted around the stage with as much energy as he did 10 years ago. Next up was ‘I Found Out’ followed by ‘Don’t Know How To Say Goodbye’ which both inevitably sparked a mass sing-along from the crowd. The rest of the set carried through with the same energy and dedicated obsession as they performed tracks from that debut album as well as B-sides and never before heard rarities. Between tracks Matt would chat and joke with the crowd, which really emphasised the intimacy of this tour despite the size of it. There’s a real humble feeling to this band – they performed with as much passion as the first time I saw them 9 years ago. It doesn’t matter when it is, or how big the venue is, these lads smash it every time and no one is left disappointed.

 

Words + Photos : Courtney Brock