Chloe Mogg and Amy Crouch – In the service of the 7 Arts

Dear Readers,

Number 7 always had magical prosperities. It was the lucky number in many Western and Eastern cultures. There were 7 Wise Men in Greece, River Styx encircled Hades seven times to protect the underworld. 7 principles of higher education in the ancient times were known as Artes Liberales. Christianity introduced the concepts of 7 Deadly Sins and 7 Heavenly Virtues. Modern times are also filled with all things seven: Seven Up (we are only kidding!), 7 Samurai, The Magnificent 7, seven books in the Harry Potter series and of course the seven pillars of the modern art: Architecture, Sculpture, Painting, Literature, Music, Performing and Film.

The world of art is not always appreciated as it should be. With rampart capitalism on the loose and omnipresent everything-has-to-bring-profit attitude, one has to argue and fight for the funding of concerts, exhibitions, museums and libraries. But when tragedy or unprecedented event happens, such as the corona virus pandemic, everyone turns to the arts for comfort. Music and films are helping millions to get through and we really hope the calming nature of art will not be forgotten once the dust settles.

The 7 Arts Still Exist Online Festival small poster

In the meantime, artists of any kind are doing what they have always done – they make the world more bearable with their craft. And on local level, we have two young girls who are proving that the seven traditional arts are alive, well and kicking even in the digital age.

Chloe Mogg and Amy Crouch organized the first West Midlands Online music and arts festival last week. It took place on 18th – 19th of April and brought together performances from 36 musicians and more than 20 artists. As you can imagine, it was a great success. More than 24.000 people tuned to watch the performances, the event was shared more than 200 times, hundreds of comments were posted on social media and the online art exhibition was seen more than 1000 times. 24 thousand people is enough to fill a big stadium, so if it was a real gig, the festival would have been a sold out affair.

We want this blog entry to serve a specific purpose. To show that artists can do very well online performing from their own bedrooms, and those who are organizing such events, should know how much they are able to achieve. And hopefully the success of  The 7.A.S.E Online Music & Arts Festival will be a great example how to go viral while streaming.

Pretty in Pink – the big poster with all performances listed

1. Organizational team:

As, we have mentioned that the online festival has been the brainchild of two young women. Best friends, collaborators and both equally talented:

Chloe Mogg – Singer, songwriter, journalist and producer. Delivering a mixture of musical influences, Chloe Mogg creates a spacious journey that will take you through all the emotions of music. As a young singer-songwriter with “parrot” hair, she brings life and colour to her performances. Known for her quirkiness and smile, she haunts the audience with her ability to tell a story with only her voice, guitar and ‘strange’ effects. With influences from Jeff Buckley, Nick Harper, Alanis Morissette and Marika Hackman to name a few, Chloe showcases a wide range of inspirations. Supporting artists such as Nick Harper, Jon Gomm & Quill, and playing hundred’s of festivals all over the UK (including Lakefest, Moseley Folk & Arts Festival, Avebury Rocks, Leamington Peace Festival), Chloe’s in her natural habitat on stage. With debut EP “Thalamus” getting radio play on BBC Radio 6 & BBC Introducing Hereford & Worcester, the songwriter has recently released her first single in 2 years “Judgement Day” which sees her experiment in an electronica/trip-hop world. Currently the songstress is in the recording process of her debut album due for release October 2020, the debut album will see all her influences in one place and will become her most diverse work yet.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chloemoggmusic/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChloeMogg
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chloemogg/

Chloe Mogg with her festival make up on

Amy Crouch – Artist and designer. “My work challenges the traditional conventions of painting. The visual elements of the paintings are geometric and abstract in creation however, the physical form of the canvas is manipulated and changed in order to affect how these simple geometric shapes look. In doing this, the focus is always still on the fact that it is a painting and when I’m pushing the boundaries of the canvas, I’m always thinking about how far I can push those boundaries without it no longer being a painting.”

Amy graduated from University of Worcester in Novembert 2018 and won the Meadow Arts Prize 2018. Her exhibitions have included the Degree Show 2018 at University of Worcester and the Parallax Art Fair in Kensington, London. Current exhibition is entitled “Nothing is Square pt2” and is based at Shipton Street Gallery.

Website: https://www.amycrouchart.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amycrouchart/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amycrouchart/

Amy Crouch – with one of her artworks

2. Radio stations:

Everyone of us knows the song “Radio GaGa” by The Queen with its most famous line: “And everything I had to know, I heard it on my radio”. In times of corona virus, except for the internet, radio is the most important source of information, music, news and everything else. And being mentioned by popular DJ’s or being interviewed on air is a huge boost for any event.

Chloe Mogg has an impressive musical resume having been played at BBC 6 Music, BBC Introducing in West Midlands and BBC Hereford and Worcester many times. Her work at the online festival has been quickly spotted and that led to her being invited to speak to Kate Justice at BBC HW twice to discuss the event. Sadly we were unable to find the first interview which took place around the 1st of April (not an April’s Fool joke, we assure you!), but we had secured the second one from 15th of April. Chloe was also mentioned by legendary BBC6 Music DJ Steve Lamacq during his BBC Recommends show on 17th of April and finally appeared on BBC Introducing HW with Andrew Marston on Saturday 18th of April during Jack Cattell set being streamed live! You can listen to all clips below:

 

3. Newspapers:

Establishing a proper relationship with press is vital for any artistic endeavour. Local journalists are always on the look out for an interesting topic to cover and an online music and arts festival during a full country shut down, proved to be a real hit.

Worcester News, the leading newspaper in Worcester, has been especially supportive towards the festival. They printed two large articles: one on Saturday 18th of April 2020 in their online edition and another one on Monday, 20th of April in their printed version of the daily paper.

 

You can read the main article at: https://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/18386422.online-music-arts-festival-promote-artists/
PDF version is available at: Worcester News_page 4 20.04.2020

And once the happy news got out, the sister titles of “Worcester News” around several counties, re-printed the story as well.  In this way, Chloe and Amy went viral from Wales to East Midlands. They appreared in Bromsgrove Advertiser, Kidderminster Shuttle, Tewksbury Magazine, Malvern Gazette, Halesoven News and Droitwich Advertiser among others.

https://www.bromsgroveadvertiser.co.uk/news/regional/worcestershire/18386422.online-music-arts-festival-promote-artists/
https://www.kidderminstershuttle.co.uk/news/regional/18386422.online-music-arts-festival-promote-artists/
https://www.tewkesburyadmag.co.uk/news/regional/18386422.online-music-arts-festival-promote-artists/
https://www.malverngazette.co.uk/news/regional/18386422.online-music-arts-festival-promote-artists/
https://www.halesowennews.co.uk/news/regional/18386422.online-music-arts-festival-promote-artists/ https://www.droitwichadvertiser.co.uk/news/worcester_news/18386422.online-music-arts-festival-promote-artists/

On 23rd of April, another article appeared in Worcester News and Kidderminster Shuttle! This time the journalists praised the festival’s success, attendence and the atmosphere!

Both articles are available at:
https://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/18400222.worcestershires-online-music-festival-saw-24-000-viewers-tuned/
https://www.kidderminstershuttle.co.uk/news/regional/18400222.worcestershires-online-music-festival-saw-24-000-viewers-tuned/

And as last time, the story has been picked up by number of other titles such as Hereford Times, Droitwich Advertiser, Ledbury Reporter, Malvern Gazette, Halesowen News, Bromsgrove Advertiser and Dudley News. You can see the links to each article below:

https://www.herefordtimes.com/news/regional/18400222.worcestershires-online-music-festival-saw-24-000-viewers-tuned/
https://www.droitwichadvertiser.co.uk/news/worcester_news/18400222.worcestershires-online-music-festival-saw-24-000-viewers-tuned/
https://www.ledburyreporter.co.uk/news/regional/18400222.worcestershires-online-music-festival-saw-24-000-viewers-tuned/
https://www.malverngazette.co.uk/news/regional/18400222.worcestershires-online-music-festival-saw-24-000-viewers-tuned/
https://www.halesowennews.co.uk/news/regional/18400222.worcestershires-online-music-festival-saw-24-000-viewers-tuned/
https://www.bromsgroveadvertiser.co.uk/news/regional/worcestershire/18400222.worcestershires-online-music-festival-saw-24-000-viewers-tuned/
https://www.dudleynews.co.uk/news/regional/18400222.worcestershires-online-music-festival-saw-24-000-viewers-tuned/

Additional mentions came from SLAP Magazine in Worcester and New Noise Magazine:

Slap Magazine screenshot

https://www.slapmag.co.uk/the-7-a-s-e-online-music-arts-festival/

New Noise Magazine screenshot

https://newnoisemagazine.com/news-the-7-a-s-e-online-music-arts-festival-is-set-to-take-place-18th-and-19th-april/

4. Founding:

The 7 Arts Still Exists Festival hoped to raise £250 for future artistic projects. And they managed not only to hit the target by mid Saturday, but collected a round £300 to date – a whooping 122% of their original target! This will help Chloe and Amy to cover their production and advertising costs of another edition of the festival. Hopefully, we can get a real 3 dayer next time!

Fundraiser

5. Arts Gallery:

More than 20 artists participated in the Art Exhibition curated by Amy Crouch and hosted on her personal website. It featured a wide range of styles (graphic design, photography, abstract and mixed media) and attracted more than 1000 views during the weekend. If the opening took place not online but in a traditional art gallery or a museum, people would have been queuing outside of the doors!

We dont think we have a venue that large in Worcester. The exhibition would have to be probably held in the Guild Hall, on both floors!

6. Aftermatch:

With the event completed, comments exchanges, links shared, streams finished and fundraisers reaching their targets – it’s now time to relax and enjoy the festival memories. Luckily we have no wellies to clean and tents to wash! To summarize what has been achieved during those two days, Chloe has created two playlists that contain the majority of the acts that performed.

Please give them a listen. You may discover your next favourite artist.

Soundcloud:

 

And on Spotify:

 

 

Please visit the events socials:

Festival Main Page:
https://www.amycrouchart.co.uk/the-7-a-s-e-online-music-and-arts-festival/music

Festival Arts Gallery:
https://www.amycrouchart.co.uk/the-7-a-s-e-online-music-and-arts-festival/exhibition

The 7 Arts Still Exist group has more than 1200 members already! It can be accessed at:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/the7artsstillexist/

Main event page on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/events/2616013701977211/

The event was free but you can still donate in lieu of tickets at:
https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/the-7-arts-still-exist

This of course is not the end! Chloe and Amy are thinking about new editions of the festival. Bigger and better, with more attractions for everyone to enjoy. We will keep an eye open and our hand on the pulse to cover any future events, streams and shows that this dynamic duo will be involved in. Our West Midlands scene is doing very well, despite lock downs, isolation and closures.

See you down the (virtual) front row,
R+M

Indieterria meets The Psycho Relics

Dear Readers,

We wanted to have something special to celebrate a band that means a lot to us. Not only because we are following their career from the very beginning, but also because we call them friends. We will even go as far as to name them some of our favourite people on the planet.

Sometime in 2017 we walked into a gig not knowing who was on the bill and found ourselves mesmerised by a duo called As Mamas – consisting of a drummer and a guitarist. They produced some of the grooviest psychedelia we ever heard and that was a love at the first notes.  Since then we have seen them at least ten times across West Midlands and hosted them on our blog in 2018.

In 2019 the band moved to Brighton, expanded to a five piece and returned with a banger of a single – “Rocking Chair”.  They are The Psycho Relics.

Official bio: The Psycho Relics are a garage rock n roll five piece formed and based in Brighton. Taking influence from the classic rock and psych bands of the 60s and the new age of fuzzed out garage revival. The band  consists of  Harrison Baird-Whitman (vox/guitar), Joseph Devine  (guitar), Daniel Stirrat  (bass), Ed Prideaux  (keys) and  Sam Morley  (drums).

“Rocking Chair” may not re -invent the wheel  but it ticks all the boxes for a great rock and roll song. It brings together all elements that make guitar music so appealing  – the soul, the groove, the beat. It grabs you by the collar and shakes you out from the haze of indifference. You  thought rock was dead? Well check again!  The underground is bursting with talent, revitalized by the youth who picked up instruments and have something important to say.

The Psycho Relics brought psychedelic revival from Birmingham and made sure Brighton noticed. Their first gig sold out on the spot. The reviews for the single are only favourable. The word on the street is that the band has more material and gigs planned in the future and once the lock-downs are over they will hit the stages.

The buzz around Psycho Relics is undeniable. We wanted for a while to sit down with the band and ask them about the relocation, the new line up and the new material. After we sent the questions to Joe Devine and Harrison Baird-Whitman – they came back to us with a whole video instead.

So first time in the history of this blog we have a visual interview – and with people we truly adore to make things even more exciting! Please have a watch. It`s one hell of a ride. Joe and Harrison have wicked sense of humour, they love what they do and they have utmost respect for one another. Actually, they finish each other`s sentences. These are two childhood friends who went on to play the music and make history. And we will be tagging along on that journey, you can bet on it.

You can follow The Psycho Relics on socials:

https://www.facebook.com/thepsychorelics/
https://twitter.com/EdPrideaux
https://www.instagram.com/psychorelics/
https://soundcloud.com/thepsychorelics
https://thepsychorelics.bandcamp.com/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/1BLADGwneSC9u72vsnpHma?si=DZ0vyolkRgmtVqpEEZWxUg

“Rocking Chair” has received favourable reviews from blogs and music magazines:

https://www.badluck.co/music/2020/4/3/bl-premiere-the-psycho-relics-share-rocking-chair
http://www.indiemidlands.co.uk/reviews/the-psycho-relics-rocking-chair
https://moggblog.com/2020/04/11/the-psycho-relics-rocking-chair-review

We will be trying to catch The Psycho Relics live this year.  And boy, this is gonna be legendary.

Big thank you to Joe and Harrison for being awesome. And without sounding cliche – we miss you like crazy.

Mal+ Rita

Indieterria meets Chloe Mogg

Dear Readers

Chloe Mogg had a very busy period – despite all the incredible things happening lately. She released her new single “Judgement Day” to rave reviews, played three online gigs to thousands of views, given interviews to BBC while also reviving music of other artists for several musical publications. It was a high time that Vanadian Avenue would sit down with Chloe to speak to her about her music, keeping busy while in isolation, fighting for the rights of artists with disabilities and her achievements.

 We are happy to tell you that despite her hectic schedule Chloe found time to answer our questions.

Chloe Mogg
Photo by Taff Rimages
https://www.facebook.com/taff.rednot.3

 Signature rainbow hair and an unique vocal range earned  you  a nick name “a bird of paradise” and recognition of gig goers in West Midlands. Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.

Chloe Mogg: (laughs) Thanks! I’m Chloe Mogg, a singer-songwriter, multi instrumentalist and music journalist with a passion for creating, finding new music and being as colourful as possible! Thanks for running this interview with me!

Your started to draw attention very early on. In 2016 you were voted Wyre Forest Young Musician of The Year – alongside with Hannah Law as “Wyldwood”. At that time you were still in college. In music business with great talent comes big pressure.  Is it easy to deal with expectations of audience and press?

Chloe Mogg:  Expectations and pressure used to really get to me, to the extent of not knowing what path to go in. I think the best advice to stick by is, if you’re enjoying your own music that you’ve created, then you’ve got to be doing something right. If everyone else likes what you’re doing, then that’s a bigger bonus. I must be doing something right because I’m gaining a strong following now!

One review called you a music critics` worst nightmare – you cite Jeff Buckley, Bjork, Frank Zappa, Herbie Hancock, Esperanza Spalding and Nora Jones as your inspirations. On top of that you are known for your own version of Status Quo’s “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” . We won`t even try to squeeze you into one musical genre – but how important is having a broad knowledge of music and different techniques for a performer?

Chloe Mogg:  Being a music journalist, I listen to A LOT of genres. My go to music is dream-pop, trip-hop, jazz fusion and acoustic folk. I think it’s important to have a broad knowledge just like an artist would use different colours to paint on a canvas. As a musician, you have all these colours (genres) to experiment with.

In 2019 you released your debut EP “Thalamus” earning airplays from BBC Introducing and BBC 6 Music. The latter happened after somebody handed your CD to Steve Lamacq at a gig.  He also described you as a powerful musical figure. That must have been quite a proud moment for you as an artist.

Chloe Mogg:  Definitely one of the highlights of my career so far! Still haven’t come down from that cloud yet and don’t think I ever will!

Besides your musical career, you are also a journalist championing young and upcoming acts though reviews and press articles and you run a series of gigs Female Voices Night at the iconic Birmingham venue Tower of Song. You put a lot of effort to support other artists.

Chloe Mogg:  Yeah for sure. I support independent artists looking for more coverage in the industry. Female Voices Night has really blossomed into supporting females across the country (even touring artists) to have a platform where they can showcase their songwriting and storytelling. I think us unsigned artists must stick together because it’s a tough industry to break into, plus, I just love helping others out.

You are very vocal about your struggles with health issues, especially ME. There is no cure at this moment for the illness and the pain and fatigue can severely impact your ability to perform. Musicians with long term disabilities are facing many obstacles in the music industry. If you could propose any changes or improvements that could be introduced to help them, what would they be?

Chloe Mogg: I’ve been quite lucky so far with gigging and also cancelling gigs before, due to my health, because people have understood. There was one time though when mid set at a show last year I had a flare up with M.E and Fibromyalgia, causing anxiety to spark. So I went outside to catch a breath and to compose myself to going back inside and finishing my show off, only for the manager of the venue to come outside and call me a ‘disappointment’ and that I should go back inside and tell everyone I’m not playing anymore. I repeatedly told him what was wrong and he wasn’t having any of it. He was very rude and horrible, causing me to have a full blown panic attack. Anyway, the change and improvement that I’ve always dreamt of is for people to fully understand invisible illnesses. It bugs me that you can’t “see” what’s wrong, but I can tell you now, it’s THERE.

Your newest single is called “Judgement Day” and was released on 14th of March. It signals a brand new direction for you – more electronic, trip-hop like. Is it just one time experiment or are you planning to properly investigate this new path?

Chloe Mogg: Trip-hop has always been a passion of mine and one of the main music styles I listen too. I’m trying to incorporate that style into my studio work more, for example; creating groovy drums to sit behind my main music. “Judgement Day” came out more electronic based than I had hoped, but I’m still really proud of it. It was more of an experiment that came out well and I decided to release it. I have other tracks in the pipeline that are more “true” to my style. I’m definitely still sticking with my alt-rock/folk-grunge sound, but I feel that I’m just evolving that little bit more now.  (laughs)

Your friendly neighbourhood ass kicking singer songwriter – Chloe Mogg

During the lockdown caused by the Corona virus outbreak, you came up with idea of organizing a online concert for your fans. The first gig took place on March 21st and another one on 28th of March. What do you think about streaming your shows online? Did you enjoy the experience? 

Chloe Mogg: I absolutely LOVE it! I’ve never streamed shows like that before and decided to start during the lockdown otherwise I would have lost my mind. I really enjoyed it and definitely was a nerve-wracking experience too. People of the world are so generous and supportive and I wouldn’t be where I am now without my fans.

Tell us more about your brand new initiative called The 7 Arts Still Exist. What is it?

Chloe Mogg: The 7 Arts Still Exist is a group where creatives can show their talents. It’s also a platform where lovers of creativity can get inspiration and check out other peoples work. During the outbreak, my best friend Amy Crouch and I saw a lot of groups aimed mainly at musicians sharing their songwriting or covers, and noticed there was a community for artists, photographers, dancers, film-makers. Hence why we created the group.

Once the national quarantine is over and things return to normal, you will be back to touring. Are you planning something special to celebrate?

Chloe Mogg: I definitely want to put on a show with an awesome line up to celebrate. Obviously, we’re not sure when the national quarantine will be over and everything will resume back to normal, but I’ve definitely got things in the pipeline for a return!

We try to keep the last questions fun at Indieterria. Let’s imagine you can duet with Jeff Buckley and he leaves the song of choice to you. What is the audience gathered at the legendary Sine going to hear?

Chloe Mogg: Well, firstly…I’d probably be star-struck and be doing goldfish impressions while listening to Jeff. I think the song would have to be “Bloom” by Nick Harper with added harmonies for a duet arrangement. Nick is joint first place with Jeff as my main influences. Check Nick Harper out, underrated artist who is an amazing songwriter.

You can follow  Chloe Mogg on socials:

https://www.facebook.com/chloemoggmusic
https://twitter.com/ChloeMogg
https://www.instagram.com/chloemogg/
https://chloemogg.bandcamp.com/
https://soundcloud.com/chloe-mogg
https://www.youtube.com/user/EpicBlondieMogg
http://chloemogg.wixsite.com/chloemoggmusic
https://open.spotify.com/artist/6XvJ26er6tjMnGruJ9DE9w?si=bjjse9ZuSYKp0eMflHtgkg

You can also check Chloe`s music blog – MoggBlog

https://moggblog.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MoggBlog/
https://twitter.com/MoggBlog
https://www.instagram.com/MoggBlog/

And finally, you may want to support her via Patreon. She does incredible work on the circuit.

https://www.patreon.com/chloemogg?

Chloe Mogg is just starting to spread her wings and her songs across the land and we will be reporting on her achievements.

We keep saying that the talent on the Birmingham scene is incredible so all your pluggers, music scouts and labels – once the lock downs are done send your people in. We will be very loud in Second City you will not miss it. What you may find is a ton of musical gems ready to be signed. We mean – how can you NOT want to sign Chloe Mogg on the spot?

M/R

Indieterria review – Q&A with Joe Talbot and Alan McGee

Dear Readers,

We promised you a detailed review from the Q&A session with Joe Talbot and Alan McGee in Birmingham and we are keeping our word. Kevin Fitzgerald of Toura Toura and his team did the impossible and delivered one of the best events we attended in a very long time. It was intimate (despite being nearly sold out), full of hope, community spirit and unplanned confessions from Joe himself and the audience. At times it felt like a group therapy or a meeting of people hell bent on changing the world. AF Gang as a secret society for betterment of humankind? We will take it and sign ourselves right up.

Q+A in Birmingham poster

It  was a beautiful evening at The Night Owl – one of our favourite venues in Digbeth (Birmingham`s answer to Manchester`s Northern Quarter). The amount of psychedelic shows we have seen at the Owl is a story for another blog!  We arrived early to find best seats and to speak to people (big shout out to Rebecca and Arron a couple of awesome kids who travelled all the way from Stoke and had their return journey on a coach at 3 in the morning). We grabbed our drinks and strategically positioned ourselves next to a heater and were ready to be entertained.

Believe us, everyone was properly spoiled on the night. Before Alan and Joe took to the stage we had a chance to see two local bands play their sets (about 30 minutes each) and  they were excellent picks. First came The Jack Fletcher Band – a four piece from Wolverhampton. We had a pleasure to interview them for Indieterria in 2018 and we knew what to expect from Jack and his men. The band went to play some of their biggest hits (“Young Man At Heart”, “Carousel”) and left audience speechless. It was so quiet during the set you could swear the Q&A was held in a cathedral instead of a music venue. The Jack Fletcher Band offer indie rock anthems that can only be described as real life stories. There is something in their music that has Paul Weller quality to it – the ability to tell stories of ordinary people with such grace and compassion. If you haven’t seen them live yet – do so as soon as possible.

After The Jack Fletcher Band came The Pagans S.O.H. We must have attended a dozen gigs of The Paganistas by now and its always a pleasure to see them doing their thing. They mix hip hop, rock, funk into a concoction that is truly unique on the circuit. Show us a band like Pagans and we will be buying you lunches at Digbeth Dining Club for a year. Every song played on stage was vibrating with positive energy that all hearts and phones in the room charged up immediately to 100%. And Pagans did not stop for a second – from “Banananah” to “Da Vinci” and “Come Down to Reality” – the band played flawlessly and enjoyed themselves as much as the audience.

Once the music stopped – chairs were brought on the stage, lights dimmed and Alan McGee and Joe Talbot entered the room.

Joe and Alan gave a fantastic talk with many tips for people struggling with mental health, addictions, bands trying to make it in the business. There was a lot of laughs – Joe is a really funny man with wicked sense of humour. And it’s true that he’s very honest and very open about everything. He joked that the crowd gathered to see him last night was the biggest that IDLES ever had in Birmingham!  Alan guided the conversation for the first half, then the microphone has been passed to the audience. Fans themselves had some incredible and  well prepared questions: what gig IDLES  frontman thought was his favourite (you will guess it was Glasto), what he would like to be asked about (Joe got philosophical pondering about questions about questions) and his advice for starting artists (don’t look at others, do your thing, play the best gig even if you play to empty room, surround yourself with people who uplift you rather than mindlessly criticise you, value quality over quantity,  try to spend less time online, create for yourself first – were some of the best ones).

The main consensus in the room was that IDLES and everyone else is part of something much bigger than ourselves and only combining forces could allow everyone to be better off. The Be Kind spirit was very much in the air and if there was one thing to take away from the meeting it was just that –  be considerate, be optimistic, be kind to yourself and others and you will make a huge social and even political difference.

We gave Joe a small gift on behalf of all AF West Midlands fans who couldn’t make it to the show. He actually loved it and laughed hard when he saw the writing on the Thornton’s chocolate cup.

We have made just one video from the talk as we didn’t want to record the entire show. As Joe said it is important to participate instead being constantly on the phone trying to capture the gig.

Our night was further made when we had a chance to speak to Alan McGee  and he told us we were great. Not like we are gonna brag about it now but it did put a big smile on our faces. We went home in an Uber, over tipped our driver, fed the livestock (aka the cats) and then slept until midday.

It was totally worth it. What a night!

M/R

Just a small update – we wanted to show you how the event looked from all sides so we edited some of our mobile pictures. The Night Owl is such an iconic venue and the Digbeth part of Birmingham has some of the city`s most vivid and extraordinary murals. So we captured that as well.  We hope you will enjoy – especially Joe`s reaction to the lovely Thortons` Chocolate Cup with “Well Done” on it. We simply could not help ourselves.

 

If we find any more resources or materials that need to be added to this review – we will surely add them.

All Is Love,
M/R

Indieterria presents Weimar

Dear Readers, 

We have said it before, but Vanadian Avenue is always on the look out for unusual bands, unique musical styles or new trends in music. Sometimes we find interesting artists on our own, sometimes we receive a tip or sometimes the artists take their time to contact us themselves.

And this is how we learnt about Manchester quartet called Weimar. Last week, lead singer of the band, Aidan Cross sent us an email asking if we would be interested in  reviewing his newest double A single. After listening to both songs, and seeing the accompanying videos we had to say yes!

Weimar is a Manchester-based band consisting of singer-songwriter and rhythm guitarist Aidan Cross (The Bacillus, Black Light Mutants), lead guitarist Stephen Sarsen (Frank Is Dead, The Bacillus, Playground), bassist John Armstrong (The Speed of Sound) and drummer Anthony Edwards (The Deceased).

Weimar Republic of Mancunia by Zac Gale

Official bio: “Combining a range of influences and naming themselves Weimar after the German Weimar Republic of the 1920s in which experimental art, music and cabaret saw a boom, Weimar combine an eclectic range of influences, with their songs containing elements of Art Rock, Post-Punk, Cabaret, Chanson, Prog Rock, Funk, Alt Folk, Gothic Rock, Music Hall and Dark Circus. Lyrically they cover themes of the dark side of culture and human nature, drawing on a socio-political awareness as well as historical inspiration. In the spirit of the Weimar Republic itself, the emphasis is on the need for freedom of expression and rebellion in the face of political and social oppression. In the current turbulent political era, which has already sparked talk of ‘Weimar Britain’, this approach has a profound relevance to contemporary culture”.

The songs “Marvel to the State” and “Undesirable Master” were released on 22nd of November 2019 and they feature the guest vocals of Rose Niland, singer with Rose & the Diamond Hand and Poppycock. The Double A side single was also released digitally on German Shepherd Records, and on CD via Weimar’s own label Marlene’s Hat.

So what can we say about the singles? First thing that comes to mind is that Weimar is reviewer’s real nightmare when it comes to classification. We can easily imagine that if those songs were released back in the 1990’s, Steve Lamacq would tear all his hair out trying to come up with a name for what they do. This is a real mixture of genres – from the classical French chanson, to pop to rock and alternative. There is a lot of Divine Comedy, a lot of the Smiths, The Fall and a bit of a cabaret. To complicate the matters even further – we can swear that “Marvel to the State” has been ispired by 1920’s and 1930’d european jazz. And if we throw trip hop and pop into the cauldron, then we have a real bomb ready to go off.

Weimar in black and white by Zac Gale

The PR note released alongside the singles is confirming what we heard for ourselves:

“Stylistically, both new songs are significantly different from Weimar’s previous single. ‘Marvel To The State’ is written as a celebration of female figures throughout history who have stood up in the face of oppressive politics. It is a duet between Weimar’s frontman Aidan Cross and Rose Niland, set to a jazz-funk inspired backing, with a more upbeat and pop-oriented feel than the previous single. ‘Undesirable Master’ meanwhile, is a romantic torch song with an ethereal backing vocal from Niland. Both songs are accompanied by promo videos directed by Nikos Pavlou. Niland co-stars in the video for “Marvel” while the “Undesirable Master” video guest stars screen thespian Indigo Azidahaka, also vocalist with Granola Suicide.”

We are not the only ones impressed with both songs. Other reviewers were also truly generous with compliments:

“You know when you get that chill up your back when you hear music that is genuinely different and exciting…..? The most important band to come out of Manchester since Magazine.” – Bob Osborne, Aural Delights Blog

“What makes Weimar stand out from so many other guitar bands is their emphatic execution of highly observant songs informed by life’s surreal and unnerving experiences, underpinned by instrumentation which is accomplished – almost oblivious to how good it actually is. Guitars jangle, jolt and drive emotion in equal measure, matched with point-hitting drums… with enigmatic singer and musician Aidan Cross captivating the crowd.” – Emily Oldfield, Louder Than War

We have to admit that Weimar is one of the most unusual bands we have discovered this year and it will be a pleasure to watch them grow. The band is currently working on their debut album while continuing to gig regularly. The album is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2020.

Weimar in black and whte (again) by Zac Gale

You can follow the band on their socials:
https://weimarbanduk.com/
https://www.facebook.com/WeimarTheBand/
https://twitter.com/WeimarBandUK
https://www.instagram.com/weimarbanduk/
https://soundcloud.com/weimartheband
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRVRYJayyyN0Q46AA_74Aig

 

With bands such as The Blinders, Dirty Laces, Scuttlers, The Document, Saytr Play, The Red Stains, Witch Fever, Liines, Gloves, The Membranes, The Battery Farm and many others (we could go on forever!) Manchester music scene is one of the best in the world. Keep your eyes and ears open as the Kingdon of Mancunia is four steps ahead of everyone.

Xoxox
Rita and Malicia D.

Indieterria meets Avalanche Party

Honourable comrades!

Avalanche Party is one of the most important new bands on the indie scene at the moment. Formed in 2014, AP (as they are known to their fans) built an impressive resume in a relatively short period of time. They travelled throughout the UK and mainland Europe, performed in NYC and at the famous SXSW in Texas, recorded at the desert studios somewhere in the Death Valley in California. They also played at all the important summer festivals and shared stages with the best of the best in rock music.

The band is known for its wild, mesmerizing shows, full of drama, sweat and hypnotic music. And for their specific, dry, half-sarcastic, half-abstract sense of humour. Just few days before their gig in Birmingham and the release of their debut album, we sat down with vocalist and front-man, Jordan Bell to discuss their videos, trips to America and what can we expect from the Avalanche Party in 2020.

Avalanche Party photographed by Jason Ferdinando

BBC Radio 1 calls you “The most exciting rock & roll band in the UK right now.” But let’s take things to the very beginning. How and where did Avalanche Party form?

Jordan Bell: Keep an open yoghurt in your kitchen fridge for long enough and over time, it will morph and grow into something quite remarkably different from the yoghurt you once knew. Until you can no longer bear to keep it in your refrigeration station and have no choice but to toss it out into the big bad world. It was kind of like that. We’re from North Yorkshire, if it makes a difference. Where the wild things are and the OneStops aren’t.

You managed to keep the news of your debut album completely under wraps. There were no mentions, no leaks, no warnings and then on 27th of August a bomb was dropped. In the era where people lead their entire existence online, did you think it was important to keep your fans unaware of what was coming?

Jordan Bell: Definitely and that’s something which extends past fans and straight into the band itself. Two members didn’t even know the album had been recorded and our manager still doesn’t. Keep it to yourselves.

The album “24 Carat Diamond Trephine” is finally due on 22nd of November. We are intrigued by the title? Trephine are commonly used in bone surgery and dentistry, but we are certain that NHS cannot afford a 24 carat ones. Where does the title come from? Is there a particular meaning behind it?

Jordan Bell: Trephines are still knocking around but the album title is based on the more primitive versions used for trepanning – the old practice of cutting holes in the head to let out the evil spirits responsible for strange behaviours. There seems to be some kind of parallel between that and listening to music which makes sense. It’s a 24 carat diamond one because, it’s not just any old Trephine. This one’s special, it cuts right to the heart of the matter. As far as we know, a 24 Carat Diamond Trephine is the only reliable Trephine for evil spirit excavation, these days.

Avalanche Party by Jason Ferdinando

To promote your debut, the band released three singles in span of four months: “7”, “El Dorado” and “Rebel Forever”. They are completely different from each other: “7” is two minute cacophony of noise, “El Dorado is an experimental ballad of 6 minutes and “Rebel Forever” is quite a catchy, mainstream, radio-friendly track. The upcoming album seems to be very varied in terms of genres and song length. What can we expect from it? Was it a conscious decision to make it as variable as possible?

Jordan Bell: Well yeah it is, we’ll give you that one. We made a conscious decision to attempt as many different genres as possible, because Kane’s uncle, Simon said, we need to try and be like a band that appeals to a massive audience. Like Swedish House Mafia or Catfish & The Shottybottlemen. We went away and thought about it for a bit. Next time we saw him, he said, “Well? Who have you chosen with a massive audience in a particular musical genre that you can be like? Preferably a genre with a long musical history, so you can appeal to the mams and dads and grandies, too?” “Yes”, we said. “Who is it? Miley Cirrhosis? Post Maloon?” “Both”, we said. He nearly fell off his whippet.

Buy it and see.

Avalanche Party always had incredible videos – cinematic, pop culture inspired with complicated, sometimes brutal storylines. The video to “7” shows what only can be described as some sort of illegal experiment, “El Dorado” takes the viewer to America for a mini road movie where nothing really happens and “Rebel Forever” is a dream-like, kaleidoscopic drug-induced nightmare. How important is the visual side of storytelling for you? Are you going to use the videos on tour in some way?

Jordan Bell: “El Dorado” is actually a live video we shot at our last gig in Birmingham! (laughing)

Let’s stick to the videos for a while longer – Bobby Bentham, lead singer of Strange Bones and your personal friend, plays the subject of the experiment in “7”. How do you recall working with him on the set? We have to say he’s terrifyingly convincing.

Jordan Bell: Bobby was perfect for the role given he is THE method acting champion of the world. It was a very, very nice afternoon requiring very little direction or instruction, which began with him floating east by the medium of transpennine express and peaked with me serving him watermelons through the air to flamboyantly slice with a samurai sword in slow motion. He fucking nailed it. And the knife throwing. His gran was in the Yakuza for a bit, so he picked up some stuff. When the zombie apocalypse comes, he’ll be fine. In fact, I’m moving into his house. He’s a great friend and Strange Bones are the fucking dons. He taught me how to swim, but that’s another story.

Jordan Bell live, picture by Jason Ferdinand

Few days ago, the band announced that NHS professionals have a free entry to your gigs on this tour. That’s a very generous way of supporting the National Health Service. Is this your way of protesting against the cuts and showing the solidarity with the workers?

Jordan Bell: It’s a nice thing to do for people, who give a lot, working insane hours and dealing with insane shit for fuck all. The harrowing stuff they have to see and do on a daily basis is truly incredible and they have saved the lives of many, many people near and close to us all.

2019 was a breakthrough year for the band. First SXSW and American festivals, then a session for legendary radio station KEXP for The International Clash Day in London. You recently returned to US to play more gigs. And you are about to embark on a 19 dates long national tour. It must be both incredibly exciting time, but also a challenging one.

Jordan Bell: Big up KEXP. Yeah, but we can see the progression in our music and in ourselves and it’s easy to keep going. It feels far more exciting than challenging. And as our tour manager, Jimmy Mac says – you can sleep when you’re dead! Or in his case, whenever he hits the nice straight bit going past that house in the middle of the M62.

After the UK tour is done and a well deserved Christmas break, can we expect an EU tour in the spring of 2020?

Jordan Bell: No, Brexit means Breakfast (laughing). Joke, it’s a joke! Yeah, we’re going back to the mainland, maybe even sooner than spring. We always have a great time over there and it feels like it’s been too long since we last went, so lets see which way the wind blows.

Debut album – track list

The famous last question – trips to US, especially to SXSW are known to be culinary adventurous. We heard stories of the UK bands being hospitalized after trying the nuclear hot Austin sauce or having margaritas for every meal. What was your diet like at the conference? 

Jordan Bell: I ate great. Have you seen the size of the carrots over there? Superb. I survived for 3 days on just one single Carrot. Apart from that, I can see why people could struggle but personally – absolutely no problems.  Our friends in Trail Of Dead took us for the full Austin BBQ experience, our hosts made amazing blueberry pancakes, showed us Cookie Dough and made great egg foo young. And at the festival, we grabbed everything free & edible that wasn’t nailed to Lady Gaga!

Follow Avalanche Party on their socials:
https://www.avalancheparty.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AvalancheParty
https://twitter.com/avalanche_party
https://www.instagram.com/avalancheparty/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVQHS8es36atxJMBqh8jAlQ

 

And while we are waiting for the debut album, the band released a fourth single to a song called “Howl”. You can watch the AP guys perform in some sort of distorted version of “Top of the Pops” below:

“24 Carat Diamond Trephine” is released in three days time, but several influential websites, zines and blogs already listened to it and gave it fantastic reviews. We have gathered several of them for your reading pleasure:

24 Carat Diamond Trephine is an eleven track joyride that veers from the poetic and introspective to a ferocious barrage of explosive energy. Brimming with their infamous live urgency, it’s a masterfully curated album that ranges from full-throttle sonic assault (7, HAHA) to refrained moments of cool clarity to catch your breath (Hey Misdemeanour, Every Last Drop). The legendary James Aparicio (Grinderman, Spiritualized) was the man tasked with taming the beast and it’s a production that does no such thing. It’s an album barely contained, constantly teetering on the edge of insanity but is completely alluring throughout.

24 Carat Diamond Trephine is undoubtedly a fist-raising crowd pleaser, but like contemporaries Fat White Family, Viagra Boys or The Blinders, they’ve used it as an opportunity to enforce their own birds-eye view of the world. They tackle hefty themes of anger and fear, the capitalist machine that drives us ever closer to the great flaming End, cloak-and-dagger corporate greed, the environment, lyrics of love, death and an individual’s walk through a world they were spat into, laughing as they go” – Rough Trade Magazine
https://www.roughtrade.com/gb/avalanche-party/24-carat-diamond-trephine/

“‘24 Carat Diamond Trephine’ is an album of transformation, just as the process that turns leaves to coal, and coal to diamonds. ‘Cruel Madness’ is less At The Drive-In, more The Mars Volta and the kind of theatrical rock the likes of Alex Turner and Muse might favour, the ‘new day, new dawn’ lyric a blatant burn but also a statement of the company this band now sees itself in. Closer, ‘Rebel Forever’ is an instant classic revisiting ‘Howl’’s giddy and unexpected high points and reprising the ‘El Dorado’ theme in the lyrics; and with just enough Psycho Killer energy that should see it become a restless reference point for the band; a moment in time, a place, a memory…” – Steve Spithray for God is in the TV Zine
http://www.godisinthetvzine.co.uk/2019/11/18/avalanche-party-24-carat-diamond-trephine-so-knee-records/

“There’s so much to explore on this album and it’s likely to take a few listens before it starts to really blossom into its true form. But there’s no escaping this is an extremely impressive and ambitious debut that aside from a few nods to influences is unlike anything else out there. The band have managed to showcase their genre-bending best and sewn it all together to create a Frankenstein’s monster of an album that’s indicative of their terrifying potential” –  Richard Cobb for Little Indie Blog
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.com/2019/11/album-review-avalanche-party-24-carat.html

“My favourite track at the moment is ‘Howl’ the current single. It is a very Bowieesque slab of prime heavy riff-laden early 70s rock with a gospel-style chorus. If you are not moved to dance to ‘Howl’ then you might well be clinically dead! This is possibly the finest song that the band have released so far. It is also accompanied by a fabulous video which features a cameo appearance on tambourine from the multi-talented Charlie Swainston! The track which proves how great a band Avalanche Party is is the psychedelic rock circus that is ‘Milk And Sunlight Is A Heavy Dream’. Vocals, backing vocals, keys, bass, guitars, and drums all align perfectly and the chorus will not let you go. James Aparicio has captured the essence of what makes Avalanche Party such a great live band in his production. From the massed Panzer Tank Division sonic assault of ‘HA HA’ to the deeply mellow buzz of ‘Hey Misdemeanour’ the former Grinderman and Spiritualized producer does not put a foot or a fader wrong. I can already picture a crowd incursion from Jordan during ‘Playing Field Blues’ using his rock star evil stare to hypnotise his audience into becoming Avalanche Party‘s helpless mosh puppets. It redefines heavy, scuzzy garage blues into something very 21st Century. I never thought that I would see myself finding a U2 influence from Avalanche Party, but ‘Every Last Drop’ is the kind of song that Bono would kill to have written. I can see the lighters and lit up mobile phone screens waving in the air at festivals to accompany this gorgeous modern, dirty power ballad. Dark menace runs through the veins of ‘Cruel Madness’ and draws you into a dark, descent of a dream to a world that might be populated by all your fears and phobias. The album closes with ‘Rebel Forever’ which opens and is underpinned with a warped fairground organ riff which gives the tune a Cockney Rebel feel and in many ways sums up Avalanche Party. They are rebels and I hope they will remain rebellious forever!” – With Just A Mint of Mayhem Blog
https://withjustahintofmayhem.blog/tag/avalanche-party/

“The two most important things to know about Avalanche Party are they write life affirming songs that give you faith guitar music. What’s more they’re hungry and have ideas. ‘24 Carat Diamond Trephine’ is chocked full of both of these. It’s an album that was worth the five year wait as it finally delivers on Avalanche Party’s initial unruly promise of writing a heartfelt vitriolic lament while trying to cave our heads in through viscous indie rock, whilst doubling down on killer melodies” – Nick Roseblade for Clash Magazine
https://www.clashmusic.com/reviews/avalanche-party-24-carat-diamond-trephine

“Most bands are at their best on their first album and spend the rest of their careers trying to reach the same dizzy heights. If this is Avalanche Party’s piece de resistance, then so be it. Its early days, but I feel whatever they do in the future, this will be go down in history as their ‘In Utero’, their very own ‘The Holy Bible’. ’24 Carat Diamond Trephine’ is Avalanche Party’s defining moment, and one of the best debut album of the year.” – Ben Hughes for RPM Online http://rpmonline.co.uk/2019/11/27/avalanche-party-24-carat-diamond-trephine-so-knee-records/

“The wild record is a possessive trip that spits as you as it scuttles past. It’s disgusting but in all the right ways and mirrors a similar disturbance to contemporaries such as Fat White Family and Viagra Boys. Not many bands can capture their live excitement in an album- especially in a debut- however, Avalanche Party have perfectly crafted their unique sound at an early stage and have created something outstanding. Let the Avalanche Party magic bring you along on its hectic ride” – Jasmine Hodge for Jasmine Hodge Reviews
http://jasminehodge.blogspot.com/2019/11/avalanche-party-24-carat-diamond.html

“Welcome the immersive 24 Carat Diamond Trephine, one of the strongest pieces of artwork 2019 has been lucky enough to be graced with. Sharply corrosive, and harrowingly bleak, Avalanche Party’s debut album is a haunting and melodic mix of heavy edged punk, fuzzy psych rock, and shimmery euphoria, and the band have truly excelled themselves, mashing their heavy punk presence with something so stark and chilling that the album conjures up eclectic and dispersed emotions from the very start” – Sahera Walker for Indie Underground Blog
https://indieunderground.blog/2019/11/21/a-hauntingly-harrowing-and-stunning-debut-from-avalanche-party-24-carat-diamond-trephine/

 

We cannot wait to see AP in Birmingham this Saturday.

Support your scene kids!

Malicia and Rita

Indieterria review – “Chains” by Lower Loveday

Dear Readers,

It`s always such a pleasure to review a kick ass single. Nothing makes an A&R happier than new music. But a kick ass single coming  from a band that we adore here at Vanadian Avenue is even better.  We have such a soft spot for Lower Loveday. We met them for the first time in February 2018 when the band performed a blinding set at Birmingham O2 Arena during the final of SoundWaves Music Competition. They did not win but being placed in the final five was still a great result.

Since that night at O2 Academy – we have been big fans of this West Midlands quarter. We have interview them on our blog twice (HERE & HERE), they played for our first showcase in London at legendary Nambucca, we ventured together to Salford to watch Freeda and Kashmere play and generally plotted for musical world domination from our corner in the Middle Earth.

Lower Loveday received backing from BBC Hereford and Worcester and BBC Introducing West Midlands

It is a privilege to watch a band develop and reach new heights. And believe us in the past two years Lower Loveday have had many accomplishments. They supported Only The Poets, APRE and Rory Wynne, received national airplay on BBC 6 Music (from Tom Robinson nonetheless), their music has been used by ITV (on Good Morning Britain) and have been championed by both BBC Introducing Hereford and Worcester and BBC West Midlands.

If that is not enough for ya, then add this to the mix. Their newest single “Chains” was produced by famous Sugar House in their studio in St. Helens (Merseyside).

Sugar House consist of a freelance engineering and producing duo – Lee McCarthy and Ady Hall.  Having worked with artists such as Pale Waves, Viola Beach, Mint, Glass Caves, The Empty Page or Larkins, they have built a solid reputation on the indie circuit. They contributed towards songs that  made it to the national playlists on Radio 1, BBC 6 and X Radio and some of them went into Top 40.

Digital sleeve for Chains single

“Chains” is another banger that Sugar House mastered and if the demo of the song was picked up by ITV, then the finished product will be welcomed with open arms at BBC Radio 1 in no time. It is a power pop indie, with dazzling guitar hooks and strong rhythm section. It is almost impossible to resist dancing to the song. We have seen it first hand on live gigs and it is perfect for jumping around while holding hands with other fans. But it will also be a favourite of every kitchen disco around the country.

While musical side of the song remains upbeat, there is a dark undercurrent showing itself in the lyrics. “Chains” tells a story of a man pondering his future in a world that is far from welcoming.

Says the band:  “The song was written from the point of view of a young man, reaching adulthood and deciding what to do with his life. Having had so much fun throughout his university years, the real world doesn’t seem as good as it is made out to be. The punchy beats and thunderous nature of the song, provide the perfect backdrop for the big, melodic chorus of a man calling out for help”.

“Chains” is a second single released by Lower Loveday in 2019 and follows up its older sister “The Fire That Burns Inside”.  It was released  digitally on all streaming platforms on August 30.

You can listen to the song here:


Follow Lower Loveday on the socials:

https://www.lowerloveday.com/
https://www.instagram.com/lowerloveday/
https://twitter.com/lower_loveday
https://soundcloud.com/lowerloveday
https://www.facebook.com/lowerloveday
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClGDR9XIPOo96KRox090yTg
https://open.spotify.com/artist/32uwvjulWxUc90gc7bPXMz?si=Gs6qIX_BQfeiVkQmtJUBBw

 

And you can give kudos to Sugar House at:

https://www.sugarhousemusic.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/sugarhousemusic/
https://twitter.com/SugarHouseUK
https://www.instagram.com/sugarhouseuk/
https://soundcloud.com/sugarhousemusic

Local press responded to the single in a most amazing way – an interview with the band has been published in Worcester News, Hereford Times, Malvern Gazette and Droitwich Advertiser. Please see the galleries below:

 

Press articles:
https://www.malverngazette.co.uk/news/regional/17872448.lower-loveday-rise-jodie-hughes-39-focus-local-music-scene
https://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/17872448.lower-loveday-rise-jodie-hughes-39-focus-local-music-scene/
https://www.herefordtimes.com/news/regional/17872448.lower-loveday-rise-jodie-hughes-39-focus-local-music-scene/
https://www.droitwichadvertiser.co.uk/news/worcester_news/17872448.lower-loveday-rise-jodie-hughes-39-focus-local-music-scene/

PDF files can be find:
https://cocamidemea.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/worcester-news_31.08.2019_page-23.pdf
https://cocamidemea.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/worcester-news_31.08.2019_page-25.pdf

Independent press was also up to the task and the band received a strong coverage from music blogs and online magazines:

 

Articles:
https://www.xsnoize.com/track-premiere-indie-pop-4-piece-lower-loveday-return-with-chains/
http://www.alternativeaddiction.com/AANewsArticle/aa-indie-song-of-the-day-lower-loveday2
https://www.bornmusiconline.com/premiere-lower-loveday-chains/
https://wordsformusic.blog/2019/08/31/lower-loveday-chains-new-music/
http://indiemidlands.com/lower-loveday-chains/

See you soon,
xoxo
Rita and Malicia

Indieterria meets The Cosmics

Dear Readers,

The Cosmics has been shaping West Midlands music scene for three years now. They announced their arrival on the local scene with a punkadelic anthem “Johnny” and do not show any signs of slowing down. It does not happen often that so early in their career a band will achieve best of both worlds – cult status in their home town and respect of their musical peers.Ask anyone in West Midlands and they will tell you – The Cosmics are unlike any other band. Not only in sound but how quickly they progress from one stage to another, like they have found a secret formula to make it in the music business. We can only think of one other act in the last four years with such distinctiveness, influence and uniqueness – The Blinders.

This blog will be longer than others – that is because we wanted to do a proper introduction to the band. We interviewed them, we went to see them on their first European tour and gathered some press coverage of their debut EP.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the indie circuit – please meet a trio that will define the future of music in the UK – The Cosmics.

**** The interview ****

Before the band travelled abroad to play shows in The Netherlands, Belgium and France, we have sat down with bassist and vocalist Erin Grace to talk about the band`s Glastonbury appearance, their EP and working on exclusive pressings of their singles via Flying Vinyl. This is what Erin told us:

The Cosmics photographed by Psychedelic Eye
https://www.facebook.com/psychedelic.eye.photography

Many bands claim that they are as close as relatives. You don’t have to – you are one very talented family.  Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.

Erin Grace:  Thank you! We are Erin Grace (bass/vocals), Connor Boyle (guitar) and Danny Boyle (drums).

The Cosmics formed in 2015 and within one year gathered incredible support. In 2017 BBC Introducing invited you to play their stage at the biggest festival of all – Glastonbury. Tell us how do you remember that show?

Erin Grace:  Glastonbury was an unforgettable dream come true, it felt very surreal, being on stage, there was huge  feelings of excitement, it’s something we always dreamt of but never thought would happen when we first started the band.

Since Glasto you have been going from strength to strength – the list of your achievements is longer than  life span of many indie acts: rave reviews from Steve Lamacq and Hugh Stephens, radio play on BBC 1, BBC 6, Amazing Radio, Radio X, coverage from BBC Introducing West Midlands. You played Isle of Wight and Reading Festival.  Your ascent to veterans of indie circuit was swift. Do you feel overwhelmed by your own success?

Erin Grace:  We don’t feel overwhelmed by anything, we just appreciate every opportunity we’ve had and we’re grateful for this journey as a band.

You shared stages with Starcrawler, Surfbort, The Murder Capital, Goat Girl and Birmingham finest -Table Scraps. Its equivalent of playing in Premier League of Indie Circuit. Do you book your own shows or do you prefer to use agents or external promoters?

Erin Grace: It depends what kind of show we’re going for, we love DIY shows and we also use promoters that suit us. Sometimes we book our own shows, though if we’re supporting a band or playing outside of Birmingham, we use promoters.

We have to ask you about your unique stage dress code: vintage dresses or costumes inspired by 60s and 70s have become your trademark. You have also been included in Fred Perry Subculture series.  How important is stage attire to you and was this aspect of your shows something that you wanted to explore?

Erin Grace:  Outfits are relatively important, they can express a mood or an era, we all love vintage fashion too so it just feels natural to wear what we love.

Your debut single “Johnny” came out in 2017 on Flying Vinyl – a company specializing in limited releases on vinyl. You returned to working with them last year when you took part in Flying Vinyl`s first compilation “Paranoid Futures”.  We would love to hear how your collaboration began?

Erin Grace:  Flying Vinyl approached us a few years ago when “Johnny” first came put and ever since, we love what they do!

The Cosmics ready for action – photography by Jessica H_Ingram
https://www.facebook.com/jessicahingramphotography

You just released your debut EP. It was recorded by Rory Attwell (Palma Violets, The Vaccines) and produced by Andy ‘Hippy’ Baldwin (Sundara Karma, The Orb, Blur, Oasis). You got to work with some established names. Where was it recorded and how long it took for the EP to be finished?

Erin Grace:  The EP was released on 13th June and we recorded it all in London, we went to record on few separate occasions over the course of a year so each song was written at a different time.

You also launched the EP in London. How did that go?

Erin Grace:  The EP launch went better than we expected, it was great having our friends on the line up. The show was a lot of fun and The Old Blue Last is a great venue.

The record is promoted by single “Eyes” and a very curious video. Cyclops on skateboards. Please tell us where did you film the video. Some part of it look like Digbeth. Who directed it?

Erin Grace:  We filmed everything for the “Eyes” music video in Birmingham, some bits in the city centre and others in suburban areas. Our drummer Danny directed it and filmed the video.

Before “Eyes”, you released “Trust Is Blind”.  We really want to know the story behind this song. In the video you look like a character from Lynch movie – you smile to the camera and yet the viewer has a feeling that any given moment you will break into tears. Then in a blink, you charge on stage where you tear down the decorations in a  fury that would suit Courtney Love at the heights of her Hole days. Like to keep your viewers on their toes?

Erin Grace:  “Trust is Blind” surrounds themes of betrayal and dishonesty, it’s about trust being broken. Yeah, we wanted to add twist into this track, we enjoy experimenting with noise.

We are hearing that the EP has been selling well and you got played on legendary American radio KEXP. So where do The Cosmic go from here? Any plans for the future?

Erin Grace:  We plan to keep gigging in cities and countries we’ve never played before and we’ll continue to make new music!

You can follow the band on their socials:

https://www.facebook.com/thecosmicsband
https://twitter.com/thecosmicsband
https://www.instagram.com/thecosmicsuk/
https://thecosmicsuk.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx3KjGaX2RJvXI5e7nljvGA
https://soundcloud.com/user-838453312
https://open.spotify.com/artist/0aocL5HcJzJlZJtAZH6caL?si=OYgzbMbGTZ-TwFXsFRmQ7Q

 

 **** The EP ****

The Cosmics presenting cover and the vinyl of their debut EP

The self titled debut EP has gathered rave reviews across the industry. These are just some of the reactions that we have gathered for the purpose of this blog. There are many more out there ranging from big established brands (The Clash Magazine) to local newspapers and blogs (Birmingham Review, Independent Music News), radio stations (Brum Radio, BBC West Midlands, BBC Introducing). The EP received airplay from Steve Lamacq (BBC 6 Music), Huw Stephens (BBC Radio 1), X Radio, Amazing Radio, KEXP in US among others. No management, no booker, no label or radio plugger. Just the strength of their music.

Front cover of the EP and A side of the vinyl pressing.

The Clash Magazine:
“New cut “Eyes” is a short, sharp shock, driven by that urgent vocal and those taut guitar lines. The sound of The Cosmics thrashing away in the unholy night, it carries some uncanny reverberations. Tune in now.”
https://www.clashmusic.com/news/the-cosmics-rev-it-up-on-eyes

Circuit Sweet:
“Lead single “Eyes”, taken from the self-titled record,  perfectly encapsulates the kind of 60’s beat that The Cosmics perform with such perfect refrain before collapsing almost entirely into a much more modern take on the garage-fuzz sound. Addictively catchy, the band walk the line between surf and noise effortlessly while showcasing a raw talent for song writing”.
https://circuitsweet.co.uk/2019/04/brand-new-garage-fuzz-from-birminghams-the-cosmics-debut-ep-announced-for-june/

The vinyl pressing of the EP

The 405:
“On this release they’ve perfectly captures the debauchery of their live performances”
https://www.thefourohfive.com/music/article/the-cosmics-capture-the-youthful-grit-and-glamour-of-their-sound-in-the-video-for-eyes-405-premiere-155

Backseat Mafia:
“The thing about The Cosmics is they’ve mastered sounding like they’re from the 60s girl band sound, strained through a messy, edgy garage punk filter. That’s because they have the melodies at heart that could have made it onto a classic soul all-nighter, but instead of organ and bass, they’ve got this frayed guitar sound that leaks feedback and lashes itself to the track. Brilliant stuff.”
http://www.backseatmafia.com/track-the-cosmics-drained/

Travellers Tunes:
“The immediacy of the record is undeniable. Singer Erin Grace co-opts a Shangri-La’s vocal for the verse before effortlessly sliding into a furious punk rock delivery in the chorus.”
https://travellerstunes.com/review/thecosmics-drained

Back cover of the EP and B side of the vinyl pressing.

**** The Tour ****

Before going abroad, The Cosmics played dates in Birmingham, London, Glasgow and Manchester.  As we had to go to continental Europe for a bit ourselves, we have decided to catch up with the band on the road and bring you an exclusive coverage of their gigs though videos and photos. This is what we have found and you can judge for yourselves that The Cosmics had a lot of fun! Tours can be great!

Tour poster

On 20th of June, The Cosmics travelled to Ghent in Belgium to participate in Girls Go Boom, a one day festival organised at a popular Muziekcentrum KinkyStar. Located in the historical (and tourist) city centre of Ghent, the venue has a capacity of 80 people and is known for supporting independent and emerging acts, not only local to Belgium but also from all over the world. In the last two years, nearly 100 bands from Europe, Canada, USA and Australia played at the Kinky Star and majority of their shows are sold out. Manchester darlings, WITCH FEVER (whom we have seen recently at the Albert Square during Manchester International Festival alongside The Pagans SOH and The Blinders) performed for Girls Go Boom in October 2018 and completely blew the audience away. We had a pleasure to speak to one of the organisers of the festival and we were told that the team are big fans of indie/post punk music from the UK. The Cosmics were chosen as their songs caught the team’s eye (and the ear as well) while browsing the newest releases on BandCamp. It is worth adding that Girls Go Boom book only female fronted and fully female bands (including LGBTQ+ artists who identify as females). They are the only promoter in Belgium who does it and their shows comes with a set of quite obvious rules. They include no homophobia, no racism and no sexism, girls in the front, safe space for sexual and racial minorities and no patriarchal bullshit. Everyone is cordially invited  – men, women, non binary or gender fluid persons. Their motto is “It doesn’t matter who you are, you will always be among friends”. We can only applaud their initiative as it was one of the nicest, safest shows we have seen in a long time. The venue was packed to the last place, everybody danced (and pogo’ed), drank beer, sang and had a lovely time. And there was no pushing, no shouting, no aggression, the photographers could work uninterrupted without fear of having their equipment destroyed. Every gig goer received a complimentary badge at the door and the entry was free. We need something similar in the UK as some of the gigs we go to are a parade for bullies and football hooligans. Organisations such as Safe Gigs For Women are doing a splendid job but there is a long road ahead of us.

The Cosmics performed alongside Piss KittiVaginas, what else?, Dragon’s Daughters, DJ’s MOSHI MOSHI and Melissa Juice. Their show started exactly at 22:00 CET (21:00 UK time) and lasted about 40 minutes. The band played their recent singles “Trust Is Blind” and “Eyes” along with fan favourites: “Cundy Come Down” and “Brainfuzz” taken off their self titled debut EP. “Velma”, “Johnny”, “I Quit” and “Inishfree” filled the rest of the set.

It was wild and energetic ride, filled with solid dose of sound distortion and vibrations. Lead singer, Erin Grace, is known for her expressive performance and we could see her falling to her knees, bashing the strings of her bass like her life depended on it and move as in a trance. Twin brothers, Conor (guitar) and Danny Boyle (drums) were closely following Erin’s trail with thunderous beat and aggressive riffs. And the crowd loved every minute of the spectacle, responding with admiration to each song. At the end, the Birmingham based trio received a standing ovation and many cheers for the show. Judging by the reactions, The Cosmics have bright future in front of them. If you haven’t seen them yet, please do as they are on rise and soon they will be playing big stages instead of intimate venues.

 

You can learn more about Kinky Star at: http://www.kinkystar.com/media.php
and Girls Go Boom Festival at: https://www.girlsgoboom.com/0

The performance was live streamed on Kinky’s Star website and you can watch it at: https://www.facebook.com/MuziekcentrumKinkyStar/videos/487192875376482/

Two days later, on 21st of July, we met with the band again, this time in Antwerp. They were about to play another EU show at an independent venue called Cafe Cabron. Sadly, we couldn’t stay for the gig itself, but we have taken them for a small photo shoot around the beautiful The Grote Markt of Antwerp. It is so easy to fall in love with The Cosmics. They come as a full package – not only their music is a killer, but they have the looks, the talent and confidence that will take them far.

The show has been organised by Zing Zang Zong and was to start at 9:00 pm.
The Cosmics were to be supported by Belgian duo, De Batteries.
Form what we have heard – it was another success for the band, but that is a standard outcome for the Birmingham trio.

More information about the gig:
https://www.facebook.com/events/858188711217531/
https://www.facebook.com/zzzgarageclub/
https://www.facebook.com/CafeeCabron/

We are hoping to catch the band at another show this tour so watch out this space for additional content and more compliments regarding the band. If you still haven`t noticed West Midlands has the best scene and we are so happy to be part of it.

See ya down the front? You bet!

M/R

Indieterria Review – San Pedro “The Demon Sessions”

Hello!

Running a music blog is an exciting thing. You get to interview some of your musical heroes or new emerging acts. You meet interesting people, you go out to gigs, festivals or various cultural events. But most importantly (at least for us) you have a chance to listen to the music before anyone else. And if you are lucky, you may discover a next big thing. When we listened to one of the submissions we received last week, we immediately knew that we have found a winner.

San Pedro Logo

San Pedro is a new project of Rikki Turner, the mastermind behind several Manchester electronic outfits such as The Paris Angels, The New Southern Elektrik and The Hurt. A large collective named after the Californian town where Turner’s favourite writer, Charles Bukowski lived out his final days, San Pedro consists of musicians, DJ’s, writers, poets, artists and singers based in the UK, mainland Europe and in America. We are not sure how many people are actually involved (the collective seems to be quite mysterious and fluid) but several names have been confirmed. So far we know about singer/songwriter Millie MacBean known for her ethereal vocals, Suddi Raval (ex member of rave duo Together, best known for their hit “Hardcore Uproar” that went to the top of the national charts in 1990), Simon Wolstencroft (The Fall, Ian Brown, The Stone Roses, Johnny Marr and Freak Party), Keith Higgins (former member of The Hunt), Justin Leonard, Martin McClaren, poet Karl Hildebrandt and Antnee Egerton of The Winachi Tribe.

San Pedro picture by Paul Husband

San Pedro group picture by Paul Husband

Their debut EP entitled “The Demon Sessions” will be released by Blindside Records on July the 5th and every fan of an old school rave, electronica and house music should be on high alert.

“The Demon Sessions” contains only 4 tracks: two versions of “The Things You See”, acid-house inspired “Theme from San Pedro” and “The View From The Drowning Pool”. The first version of “The Things You See” nicknamed the “Original Version” has been chosen as the leading single and features Millie MacBean on vocals. It reminds us of an early Utah Saints meeting 808 State, with strong ambient background beat a la U.S.U.R.A (“Open Your Mind”) or Sven Väth circa 1992 (“Accident In Paradise”). The second version of the single (called “Rikki Turner Remix”) brings softened loops and more house feelings that could have won many hearts at the Hacienda. Again, it has a strong bass beat with ambient influences but its aesthetics are closer to OPUS III and KLF than to Vath. Also, it makes heavy use of samples which gives the track additional depth. “The View From The Drowning Pool” with spoken word by Rikki Turner will probably not receive much commercial airplay due to expletive language, but has chances of become a fan-favourite song.

San Pedro “The Demon Sessions” cover artwork

The Demon Sessions is a must have for everyone who remembers the good old days of Madchester scene. Hopefully, it will introduce new generation to (quite) forgotten genres such as ambient, big beat, house and rave. Also, we are told, San Pedro Collective is planning on releasing additional material in the autumn and we cannot wait to hear what they’ll come up with next.

San Pedro release poster

You can follow San Pedro Collective online:

https://www.facebook.com/sanpedrocollectivemcr
https://www.facebook.com/BlindsideRecordsUK

Articles:
https://www.attackmagazine.com/features/interview/brief-history-acid-house-suddi-raval/
https://jammerzine.com/the-test-drive-san-pedro-the-demon-sessions/
https://www.xsnoize.com/manchesters-san-pedro-to-release-brand-new-ep-the-demon-sessions
https://artvoice.com/2019/06/25/manchester-heavyweights-san-pedro-release-new-ep-the-demon-sessions/
https://baggingarea.blogspot.com/2019/06/san-pedro.html

As usual, please support your local scene (new and old)!
We will see you shortly.
Rita and Malicia

Indieterria Review – “California” by Hey Bulldog

Dear Readers,

We have another single to review from a Manchester band and this one is a belter. If you are familiar with the scene up North – you will surely know Hey Bulldog – either from their energetic shows or their countless national radio plays and high profile festival appearances. This band has Steve Lamacaq at BBC 6, John Kennedy at Radio X and Charlie Ashcroft on Amazing Radio on a speed dial and will appear at Kendal Calling ad Cotton Clouds among other festivals this summer. On June 28th they will unleash their newest gem – “California”  much to the enjoyment of their fans.

The sleeve for “California” single

Mixing stoner rock with distinctive psychedelia made Hey Bulldog underground favourites in the North and “California” is not a radical departure from the sound established by their other singles such as “No Future (Part Two)” or “Al Lupo”. But there is something in the track that we would describe as a nod to Welsh heavyweights Feeder, especially in their “Comfort In Sound” period. Perhaps it is the urgent bass line and the punky yet melodic vocals, or maybe overwhelming sense of loss waved in between the notes?

We had a pleasure to speak to Hey Bulldog`s front man Rob Manton about the band, the new single and their gruelling touring schedule. And this is what he had to say:

Hey Bulldog live at Jimmy`s Manchester – photo by Jo Lowes
https://www.facebook.com/jo.lowes

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.  Where are you based and who is in the band?

Rob Manton: We’re Hey Bulldog from Manchester with me Rob Manton on guitar/vocals, Matt Parry on bass/backing vocals and Ben Howarth-Lees on drums.

Tell us something about the project – are there any goals that you managed to achieve? 

Rob Manton: Opening the2nd stage at a massive festival like Kendal Calling was definitely a box ticked last year and we’re delighted to have been asked back to play again for the second year in a row this July, our first gig abroad playing a festival in Sicily was also an amazing life experience.

We’ve had incredible radio support from day one from the likes of Steve Lamacq 6 Music and John Kennedy on Radio X, Chris Hawkins on 6 Music has been mega to us too. We’re well into double figures for the amount of different songs we’ve had on national radio and the buzz of getting played alongside the best artists in the world never wears off.

We’re currently planning our first vinyl 7 inch release and also our debut album so those steps will also be great ambitions achieved for us.

Hey Bulldog at iconic Manchester venue – The Castle Hotel, photography by Dave Morely

 What inspires you? What artist or genre had the biggest influence on you?

Rob Manton: Great musicians and bands like The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Led Zeppelin who were primarily guitar, bass and drums will always be our foundation but that’s combined with artists like Neil Young and David Bowie, who consistently tried to develop and progress all the way through their careers. Modern acts like The Kills, Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, Ty Segall, Mogwai, Nadine Shah, PJ Harvey, who combine lots of different musical elements into what they do are also the current benchmark for us.

 It`s all about the music – and we want to hear about your new single. Is there a story behind the song, where and how was it written.

Rob Manton:  Our new single ‘California’ is out on 28th June. It was inspired by a chance meeting I had with lo-fi garage rock legend and now sadly the late great Rex ‘Tatarex’ Thompson. His band The Summer Hits released a handful of singles between 1992-1996 and were played on BBC Radio 1 by legendary DJ John Peel. I met Rex a few years ago in California when he was dj`ing at Burger Records event I was at with my friends who knew him. We got chatting and talked about music and his time in the UK over a couple of days, he was a massive character that anybody who met would never forget so when I heard he had died about a year later I wanted to make a bass driven stoner rock track in tribute to him.

Tour poster

Are you touring? Where can we see you playing live?

Rob Manton:  To promote the new single we’ve got a date in London and a string of festivals over the summer that we really excited to play.

28th June,              Sebright Arms, London                        Event Page                                  Tickets

5th July,                 Not A Cult Festival,  Malvern                Event Page                                  Tickets

19th July,               Blackthorn Festival, Cheshire                Event Page                                  Tickets

26th July,               Kendal Calling, Cumbria                        Event Page                                  Tickets

17th August,          Cotton Clouds, Saddleworth                 Event Page                                  Tickets

If any bookers or promoters want to get in touch – what is the best way to contact you?

Rob Manton:   Just send us an email at info@hey-bulldog.com

Imagine you can record an album with any artist, dead or alive in a studio of your choice. Who would be on your record?

Rob Manton:  David Bowie would have been a pretty cool producer. Working with somebody like Jamie Hince from the Kills or James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem in a legendary studio like Electric Ladyland or Abbey Road would be incredible and really interesting to hear how they would want us to sound. We’d also love to be able to record with our current mixers Boe Weaver at their own Studio Humbug in the Isle of Wight, the dream would be to go out to the Rancho de la Luna studio in the Joshua Tree and record with them their too!

Bringing guitar infused fury to a venue near you – Hey Bulldog photographed by Steve Hampson
https://www.facebook.com/shampson3

Listen to “California”

 

You can follow the band on socials:

http://www.hey-bulldog.com/
https://www.facebook.com/heybulldogmusic
https://heybulldog.bandcamp.com
https://twitter.com/heybulldog
https://www.instagram.com/heybulldogmusic/
https://www.youtube.com/user/heybulldogmusic/
https://soundcloud.com/heybulldog
https://open.spotify.com/artist/5OLxViZI8qMwA9VV3NzsKW?si=lBbyVNGbSi2K-MvMZXclIw

All right folks, Hey Bulldog receives a full stamp of approval from us and we urge you to see them live in nearer future – because we live in a wonderful times for indie music and great bands seem to pop up all over the shop. Tony Wilson was right – best music does come from Greater Manchester area so don`t miss out!

We have more music to discover so please come again!

R/M