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 review Brain Food – Brain Food EP

Dear Readers,

We are absolutely gutted that we can only review this EP good three weeks after its release (came out on March 13th 2020) but the world has been in chaos lately. Maybe you noticed… However social isolation has good sides  – you can sit on your ass and listen to a lot of music. We will not complain too much about being four weeks into a self imposed exile then. After all this is what music scouts do anyway if not attending gigs: typing away mountains of text about artists they seen or are about to see.  Plus, the fridge is stocked and we have 24 pieces of toilet roll…So without any more ado, here is the record we will be ranting about on this blog today. Meet the band.

Brain Food:
Liam Mckeown (vox, guitar)
Jakob Cusp (guitar, keys)
William S Carrott (bass)
Connor Doyle (drums, percussion)

Official bio:

Brain Food are a four-piece cosmic psych outfit originally hailing from the suburbs of East Birmingham. Forming in the dying embers of 2017, the band have been making waves with their energetic, spaced-out and shimmering live set. In their brief history they have supported the likes of Insecure Men, Froth, Stonefield, Boy Azooga, Frankie & The Witch Fingers, Dead Coast, Man of Moon and Public Access TV. August 2018 saw the release of debut EP “Get One On”, a DIY project of five tracks recorded, mixed and produced by the band, on their own makeshift record label, Room 15 Records.

Birmingham is known nationally (and internationally if you ever poked your nose outside the disunited kingdom) for having a vibrant psychedelic and garage scene. If you are local we don’t necessarily have to introduce you to the likes of DOXA, Table Scraps, Cherry Pickles, The Cosmics or The Lizards. Chances are you drink with members of those bands more often at The Sunny than we do. However if you don’t hang around Digbeth too often, Second City may be uncharted musical waters. Then you are cordially invited to have a look at this BLOG we did for the scene and check out the playlists. It`s worth it – we will tell you this much.

Brain Food – photography by Psychedelic Eye
https://www.facebook.com/psychedelic.eye.photography

Brain Food are part of the vibrant Brummie scene and their new, self -titled EP is exceptional, in many regards. It is first time in aeons that we had a pleasure to listen to a space psychedelia record. For those who are not into musical genres: space psychedelia (also known as “space rock”) originated in the late 1960`s and is recognised by lengthy compositions with distorted, other-worldly vocals. Hypnotic drums and keyboards often accommodate poetic, mystic and science-fiction themed lyrics. This sub-genre of psychedelic and progressive rock came to prove itself to be very influential, inspiring every musical movement from the 80s onward: grunge, stone rock, shoe gaze to post rock. Early enthusiasts of the space sound were Jimmy Hendrix, Marc Bolan, The Beatles and Pink Floyd. The ground breaking “wah wah” sound was born out of the genre. But we digress…

The band sticks to a very traditional definition of space psychedelia – this record is full of wonderful riffs, mellow if minimal drumming, ethereal vocals and lyrics that evoke emotional and  spiritual sides of humanity. It`s 27 minutes that should be spent lying in the grass on a summer day with your eyes closed and  enjoying the sun on one`s face.

The Brain Food EP cover

Opening the record  is “Poseidon” – although not a leading single – it is a perfect introduction to the EP. The song greets us with a powerful riff and the words “Wake Up – what do you see?”. The low bass and heavy drums giving this track such a groovy, trippy feeling.

Then comes “Canyon Crawler” with its oriental theme and deep, echo like effects. The song changes tempo several times over the course of seven minutes but does not feel too dragging or boring. It is very Beatles-que in nature (meant in the best way possible).

“That Feeling” could give Pink Floyd a good run for their money had Brain Food been born few decades into the past. For some reason we love how the vocals sound  – there is no indication that they have been reinforced but it feels like there is more than one voice singing.

“Cosmic Jones” starts with a wah wah motif to explode into a distorted, quietly beautiful love song. It may be a strange observation but this is the only song that brings outthe fact that Brain Food are a British band. You can hear the strong West Midland accent clearer than on other compositions. Though out  the record you can`t place where the band comes from – they could easily pose for American quartet or  anywhere else in the world. Which adds to the charm of the EP – anyone from any corner of the world could relate. But on “Cosmic Jones”  the band is undisputedly  British. Also its our favourite track from the record. Not related to the fact that we are Anglophiles.

The EP ends with “Forbidden Tongue”. What we really love about this track are those long  guitar solos that are the central part of  composition. Vocals are here relocated to the back seat and treated  alongside with other instruments. Very clever idea.

It`s hard to rate this record. Brain Food do not reinvent the wheel. But  it`s such a strong  space psychedelic release in all its classical glory. And we have a soft spot for all things psychedelic!

This is a kick ass* release and if you can get your hand on it – do so. Hopefully we will get a physical release sooner than later.

*Kick ass is equivalent of at least 4.5 out of 5.

You can follow Brain Food on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/brainfoodofficial/
https://www.instagram.com/brainfoodofficial/
https://brainfoood.bandcamp.com/
https://soundcloud.com/brain-food-650656456
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt6TgF0ITsxJjDf3MuNMJKg
https://open.spotify.com/artist/4HqwUXaBaTJafihMSgeRsQ?si=JJ7P8nqqTFqjR5j9Dp6QeA

There is so much happening on the Brum scene we need to possibly consider a larger piece. Brain Food is one of those bands that you need to know if you want to know what`s hot on the indie circuit.

Big thank you to Sophie Hack (Bread Birmingham) for helping us with this review. Apologies for the delay.

M/R

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 meets Rob Hirst

Dear Readers

We may live through hard times for the dreamers (as mighty Welshmen Trampolene observed) but we definitely need visionaries and cultural catalysts – perhaps now more than ever. Hard times call for movers, shakers and people who will push things forward when everyone is looking back at nostalgia.

Through our blog we tend not only to support new and upcoming artists but also those who tirelessly work behind the scenes in labels, music websites, venues and radio stations.  Today`s entry is dedicated to a man who will be seen by future generations as Sheffield`s answer to Tony Wilson – Mr Rob Hirst.

Rob has dedicated years to build a network and to promote bands from across the country in conditions that would make others throw the towel in. His strength, persistence and  vision are shining though and elevated artists to better things.

Rob Hirst – a man for the job

We had a real pleasure and privilege to speak to Rob about his label, music industry and his dream band.

Musician, label owner and a walking encyclopaedia of great new bands – please introduce yourself to readers of Indieterria.

Rob Hirst: Hi, I’m Rob the owner and founder of Fans for Bands and These Bloody Thieves Records! (laughs)

It`s been a year since you have founded These Bloody Thieves Records. In that time you worked with artists such as False Heads, The Howlers, C33`s among many others. That is a truly impressive accomplishment. Tell us where did the idea for a label come from and how did you manage to make this a reality?

Rob Hirst:  I guess it was just a progression from all the other things I was doing. I was working with a lot of bands via Fans for Bands, discovering new bands via my Spotify playlists and I was scouting for others management and labels. When Ditto approached me about the label in the box within a few hours I had the branding, put a post on social media and Luke from False Heads was keen to work with me. It was up and running in 24 hours.

2020 started with a bang at the label. You just announced Singles Club – a very ambitious plan to release 24 singles this year. Can you give more information as we are sure many bands would love to get in touch.

Rob Hirst:  Yeah, I wanted to do something different this year after a frustrating end to 2019. I was bored on Boxing day and the idea just popped into my head. I put a post out on social media and the submissions and support came flooding in. By end of Feb 2020 the label will have put out five singles already with artists all over the UK.

You are the man behind the Fans for Bands project. Please tell us more about it. What exactly is Fans for Bands and how does it work? How this platform can benefit  unsigned artists?

Rob Hirst:  The name itself kind of explains what it is. This is my freelance side to my career and the also the PR/marketing brand that supports the label. The idea is to have a budget marketing (PR/Spotify and Social Media Growth) that gets excellent results based on my passion, knowledge and contacts without ripping a massive hole in the artists pockets.

At the end of December 2019, These Bloody Thieves welcomed Matthew Stockman as head of A&R and Live Events. His presence will surely invigorate the label. We are very curious what live events are in the pipe line? Showcases or maybe even a festival?

Rob Hirst:  Matt is incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to discovering new bands and was an active figure on the London scene before moving to Sheffield and then joining the label. Matt will be looking to discover new artists and then give them a slot at our stages in Sheffield and looking to actively promote to new artists to a Sheffield crowd.

We know its maybe a cliché question but what are you looking for as a label? What qualities should an artist/band possess to grab your attention?  And how prospective artists can approach you?

Rob Hirst:  It’s all about the quality of the artist. Preferably discovered as early as possible and to help to support their releases. Obviously, we want to play our part on breaking a band. But the label has never been about making money. It’s about putting out and supporting great artists and to encourage people to listen to something other than Lewis Capaldi (laughs)

Music Business is not the easiest of industries – and we are sure that running a label is not a walk in the park. But it also offers some valuable lessons to us all. If you were to share some of your experiences with those who want to set up their own labels – what would you say to them?

Rob Hirst:  Yeah of course. Success will definitely not come over night. Don’t sign too many artists at once and don’t invest too much money that you will not see back. I have no regrets about the levels on money invested and lost in the first year. It was all about been taken seriously and getting a reputation so that we could then attract the best artists in the UK – Which has definitely worked.

Last (in)famous question – imagine you can create a super group consisting of any musician from history. Who is in the band, what instruments do they plan and what`s their name?

Rob Hirst:  Wow! Depends what mood I am in! I have to reform my old band and have a mid life crisis. Those musicians I played with played a huge part in my life and all led me to working in music full time. But off the top of my head!

Crispin Hunt (Longpigs) – Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Nick McCabe (Verve) – Lead Guitars
John Entwhistle (The Who) – Bass
Reni (Stone Roses) – Drums

These Bloody Thieves Records logo

You can follow These Bloody Thieves on socials:

https://www.thesebloodythievesrecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/thesebloodythieves/
https://twitter.com/TBT_Records
https://www.instagram.com/thesebloodythievesrecords/

 

Fans For Bands logo

and Fans For Bands:
https://www.fansforbands.com/
https://www.facebook.com/fansforbandsuk/
https://twitter.com/fansforbandsuk
https://www.instagram.com/thesebloodythievesrecords/
https://open.spotify.com/user/dbjph28w55odrz4ehj79ckorm?si=IwmniJg1SgmpfxN20g6QSQ

 

Indie radar Logo

Rob Hirst is also the man behind Indie Radar – a mammoth play list for all things indie. If you want to know what is hip on the indie circuit – this is your place to start.

Indie Radar
https://www.facebook.com/weareindieradar
https://twitter.com/weareindieradar
https://www.instagram.com/indieradaruk/

Big thank you to Rob for his assistance and patience. Please support your local scene during this time. We will emerge from it as better, stronger industry.

Mal/Rita

Indieterria meets Scarlet.

Dear Readers,

We are in February – it may still be middle of Winter but we are posting the hottest bands on the circuit. Today`s entry is double special. In recent days a blog showing lack of women on major festivals bills written by music journalist Lucy McCourt went viral. Now the biggest heads of music industry prove left, right and centre the sheer hypocrisy of almost complete elimination of female artists from this year`s festivals. The average % of places for women is 4.75% for UK and 54% for European festivals.

Things need to change but they won’t unless the women themselves will have a voice. So we went and asked Jessie Scarlet Robinson – the vocalist and leader of Scarlet. to tell us how it is. And she had few words to say!

We are blown away by Scarlet. in general – the band have been rocking the circuit since 2014 and every year they get better, stronger and louder.  Please have a read – Jessie is truly an incredible conversationalist – clear, well prepared and straight to the point. Exactly what one would expect from a strong female voice from the world of rock and roll.

Scarlet. photographed by Glam Gig Pics
https://www.facebook.com/glamgigpics/

Abbie McCarthy of BBC 1 called the band “a massive powerhouse”. Please introduce Scarlet. to the readers of Indieterria.

Jessie Scarlet Robinson: We are Scarlet. a 4 piece band from the North West of England: Jessie on vocals and guitar, Laura on bass, Cai on drums and Adam on guitar.

You have been a strong part of the indie circuit since 2015. You debuted with an EP “FISHES” which gained a lot of attention from music professionals and journalists alike. It was like a breath of fresh air and Scarlet. were quickly regarded as the first band to announce revival of Riot-Grrrl movement. Where do you see yourself as musicians and artists?

Jessie Scarlet Robinson:  You’re very flattering for saying this, we have been around for a while yes and we were at the beginning of this whole female “riot grrl” revival. We were doing our thing as Wolf Alice’s old demos were being passed around… I think I personally see myself as having grown massively over these years and I see myself more now as an “artist” than I did in my late teens/early 20s. I feel like we’re developing a craft. I say all the time if we had the money and half a chance, we could headline Glastonbury tomorrow

Scarlet. has also received strong backing from national radio stations – you have been played on multiple BBC Introducing chapters, BBC 6, BBC Radio 1, Radio X among others. Your music has been described as “phenomenal”, “revolutionary” and “groundbreaking”. It’s hard to keep up with all compliments but is there any particular review (good or bad) that you remember the best? If so, who was  it and what was said about you?

Jessie Scarlet Robinson:  I got told I sound like an “ex Disney star that just discovered an electric guitar” once. I think it was meant to be offensive… but I mean, I love Disney… I can only ever dream of being as kick ass as an ex Disney star… Miley me up baby, I’m ready (laughs).

Ready to take on the world

 In 2016 you have released your debut album “Effigy” to universal acclaim. At that time, in an interview with “Fresh On The Net”, you said that this is “probably the best music we will ever make”. Looking back on the record, how do you feel about it now? Is there something you’d like to change or do better? Are you still proud of it?

Jessie Scarlet Robinson: Yeah that was a completely naive comment to make. At the time that album was everything to us. We took it so seriously. And looking back, it’s still something to be proud of and it got our music over to Japan and South Korea, so it was a very important piece to create. But we have so much more to give now. Better tracks, more experience. We are in general a much better band than we have ever been before now.

To finance “Effigy” you collaborated with Pledge Music. Can we ask about your experiences working with the fallen giant? Did you receive all the collected funds? Were there any red flags?

Jessie Scarlet Robinson:  I don’t want to go too much into this but I will say there were lots of let downs and hidden costs/charges. They kept a huge portion of the money we raised and paid us in random instalments making things very difficult to pay for and keep track of. There was lots of keeping professionals and fans waiting. In the end we didn’t have as much money as we thought (because of the charges) and had to sacrifice some of the ‘pledges’. We weren’t guided in what we were doing, we couldn’t afford funding the album and the pledges without the full raised amount. It was a learning curve and I hope we made it up to people that got stung by it. We always said we wouldn’t do anything like it again. To be honest I felt it was my fault.  I felt like I hadn’t researched enough or tried hard enough or raised enough…Then all of this information came out about them and I was like “Ohhhhhhh OK, so this wasn’t just me. This is a thing and it’s happening to everyone involved”.  That felt like a relief. I’ve never forgiven myself for not being able to do it all 100% properly. I had to borrow 2000 pounds from my parents just to get what we had promised done. I still owe some people some bits I’m sure. There wasn’t any clear record of pledges so it was all in a big jumbled spread sheet in the end. Madness!

Two years later, In 2018 you released a standalone single “Bones” that cemented your reputation as one of the indie circuit’s heavyweights. The song is four minutes of fury set to a surprisingly catchy melody. Tell us something about the track and the story behind it.

Jessie Scarlet Robinson:  It took us 2 years to recover financially from the album (laughs), it was hard graft like. The story is centred around a “kamikaze bichon fries” dog. In reality the dog is a metaphor… for an ex “boss” of mine that was all cute on the outside and vicious as hell on the inside destroying people that wanted to be good to her.  She totally tore me a new one and I was very angry about it. What better way to get over your anger towards someone’s attitude than turn them into a bad dog and tell them off in a song!

Scarlet. live – photo by JonMo Photography
http://jonmophotography.co.uk/

Let’s get a bit of political for a moment. It is a festival season and some festivals give women and mix gender band just 10 – 30 % of slots. Where do you place yourself on the issue? Should it be as some say – based on a talent or do we need the 50-50 split? What seems to be a rule in Europe is  harder and harder to find on festivals in the UK.

Jessie Scarlet Robinson:   Before I say anything, I’m gonna highlight, I love men. I have two men in my band. Boys are mint. And there are loads of really fab friends in all boy bands and I want them to be supported too. Here goes the rant. Of course we need 50/50 split. The only difference between say Scarlet. and the many boy bands that we’re at the exact same level as us but they surpassed us is two things.

Opportunity and money.

The boys work hard and were given opportunities. Like playing certain shows and festivals. It should be the same for women too.

Why does it seem so easy for men to stay at the forefront but women seem to get used up and cast off? For example, Kate Nash… have you seen her documentary? The way she was used up and spat out? Why does this ring so familiar within the female circle while men get to be part of the “lads lads lads club”? Certain radio stations play 90% male music and festivals booking 90% male acts…

There are so many female headliners I could list. It’s lazy promoting, lazy booking, lazy broadcasting, huge lack of effort and lack of push by everyone higher up than a grass root band.

If the girls don’t get the opportunities, they simply can’t make the money to grow their act and get bigger opportunities to get more money and the cycle continues.

What a total cop out it is to say “the female pool isn’t big enough” or “there aren’t enough females in the industry”…. COP OUT!!

Every band – male or female – starts off the exact same:  a bunch of nobody’s in a room with their mates. The only things that determine a bands success is hard work, money and opportunity. “Talent” doesn’t really come into it does it? It does a bit like, but I feel it’s all how something is marketed.

Having the money is crucial to release plans. Do you know it would cost us £300 per day in a studio to record. So let`s say: we want to record 4 track EP. Maybe 4 days will be enough, we could do a song a day. That’s £1200. Then it’s £300-£600 for a decent video made by a grass route level videographer. £700 for a national radio plugger. £700 for a good regional radio plugger. £500 upwards for a press agent… that’s £3700 for a 4 track EP before we make physical copies! Now take into consideration the cost of touring and little extras like music websites charging you to put your own music up online… You need money to market something properly. You need opportunity to make money. GIVE THE GIRLS SOME OPPORTUNITIES! GIVE THEM SOME MONEY AND THEY WILL BE ABLE TO STICK AROUND!

It’s like with radio. Why is Annie Mac the only well known DJ on Radio 1 for playing actual grass root bands… STOP PLAYING GEORGE MICHEAL AND QUEEN AND OASIS and CALVIN HARRIS AND BEYONCÉ ON YOUR RADIO STATIONS AND START PLAYING PEOPLE ON REPEAT THAT ARE UPCOMING AND GRAFTING LIKE MAD! ESPECIALLY FEMALES because we have the shit end of the stick!!

Jade Bird, ZuZu, Black Honey, Dream Wife, HINDS, Hands Off Gretel, Natalie McCool, White Horses, Bugeye, Tiger Mimic, Berries, A Void – the list of female fronted kick arse acts is so long! Why is it that all the already huge and established acts are getting all the opportunities? Why do these females get to a certain level, and then disappear from the public eye? As though they are a novelty act, a phase for everyone to shout about females in the mainstream music media, and then poof… gone and moved onto the next one… Even worse, the guys that are constantly shoved in our ears eyes and up our… noses… all play each other’s line ups!

Because they have money to buy onto each other’s shows? I don’t get it! Noel Gallagher, did you really need to support Smashing Pumpkins? What did that achieve for you? I mean come on dudes… they can sell thousands of tickets to make promoters money… it’s all about money guys. I’ve gone off on one here and I know there’s  “no simple answer”… but there is though! Book a fair gender split. Play a fair gender split. Fund a fair gender split. Work with a fair gender split. Men in big bands, get girls in smaller bands up on the big stages with you. Just do it.

Jessie Scarlet Robinson rocking on stage – another day in the office.

According to your recent social media posts, you have three brand new songs ready to go. Is it possible to bribe you with something to learn more details or are you going to keep the secret until the beginning of the tour?

Jessie Scarlet Robinson:  The songs are brilliant. There’s an energy to them- a bounce. That’s all you’re getting out of me! Come to a show and you tell us some more details

Talking about the tour, you are ready to hit the road very soon. Where are we going to see you?

Jessie Scarlet Robinson:  Everywhere. We have loads of shows to announce and are going to try to get everywhere we have seen any sort of craving for us. If your nan likes us and wants us to play in her front room for her, all you gotta do is ask!

You can follow Scarlet. on the socials

https://www.facebook.com/Scarletbanduk
https://twitter.com/Scarletbanduk
https://www.instagram.com/scarletbanduk/
https://scarletbanduk.bandcamp.com/
https://soundcloud.com/jessiescarlet
https://open.spotify.com/artist/4czeCqu5UxGT64nIKpc0yo?si=AvHADINoRZ2ibr9pVrdWXg

At Indieterria, we will always support strong female voices and bands that we think will conquer the world. Big kudos to Jessie for talking to us and dedicating us time despite her busy schedule. Hopefully we will see you on tour this summer. At a major festival! Pyramid Stage? Why the hell not!

M/R

Indieterria meets The Assist

Dear Readers,

Here`s a short message to everyone for 2020 – The Birmingham scene is rocking. We are in full swing and every band is gearing to release their best music yet. Nothing will stop us. We begin January interviewing one of the best local bands that have been on our radars for the last three years. In such a short period of time, they went from playing  tiny venues to being on big, renowned stages, from hanging out in tiny green rooms to travelling Europe and Russia.

Please meet The Assist – a band that you need to have in your lives. No need to thank us, we are just humble music scouts. It`s not our fault we know the best music around!

The Assist are:
Mikey Stanton
Ryan Stanton
Jorge Poole
Ben Faulkner
Luke Jones

Official bio: Formed between Walsall and Birmingham in 2014, The Assist quickly made themselves a staple of the Birmingham music scene, selling out shows at some of the city’s biggest and most iconic venues such as the O2 Academy and the O2 Institute. Their infectious energetic pop has led them to share the stage with NME Award winning act Rat Boy, Manchester chart toppers Blossoms, Happy Monday’s front-man Shaun Ryder and they’ve even ventured into Europe with Black Honey. The band have performed at a range of well-known festivals including Leeds & Reading, Isle of Wight, TRNSMT, YNot, Kendal Calling and even a special in store performance for Dr Martens at Live at Leeds. They even had an appearance on Sky’s Soccer AM and have been backed by the likes of Steve Lamacq and Tom Robinson of BBC Radio 6.

The Assist are well known in the West Midlands, but Indieterria attracts readers from all over Europe. Please introduce yourselves to those who haven’t heard about you before.

Ryan Stanton: We’re The Assist, 5 lads from Walsall, who love playing music and having a laugh. We write indie/pop tunes about things going on around us and in our lives. We thrive on making friends and taking all our mates on the journey with us that’s so far taken us from our local pub to the biggest festivals in the country.

The name of the band is truly unique. Would you mind explaining the meaning behind it?

Ryan Stanton: The name sort of grew. We all love football so we started off thinking of football terms, nothing really fit (the free kicks or the penalties). The Assist is also about us helping everyone out with our music, we’ve always got open ears for people who need a chat and everyone can lose themselves and forget about their problems having a dance at our gigs.

The group formed in 2014 and within a year you were considered as one of the leading talents on the Birmingham music scene. Do you remember when you realised that there was something extraordinary in The Assist or were you just wanting to play music you wanted to hear?

Ryan Stanton:
It all happened quite fast we never knew a thing about the industry and we came into this with no expectations. We loved the early gigs so much we could never say no to a gig and ended up playing everywhere. It was definitely us just focusing on enjoying ourselves that attracted the attention, it’s so obvious when bands are manufactured and trying to be something.

For many years you existed as a quartet but recently you expanded into a five piece. Please introduce your newest member.

Ryan Stanton: Luke Jones has been our best mate forever. Hes been documenting the band the last few years as our photographer and videographer. The band was just as much his as it is ours so it was a perfect fit. He’d been helping us out with band decisions and guitar parts in the studio for ages so it was a natural progression. We think hes added loads to our sound and live show and we cant wait to show everyone.

The Assist have impressive CV: appearances at biggest festivals, being invited to Soccer Am, touring with This Feeling, sharing stages with Blossoms, Jaws and Shaun Ryder – you must be being stopped in the streets by now and asked for autographs! Jokes aside, but are there any goals or challenges that you still haven’t achieved?

Ryan Stanton: Its been amazing to play shows with some of our heroes but we still feel our music needs to achieve more. A massive goal and challenge for us is the debut album! (laughing)

2019 was a very special year for the band. You managed to accomplish something that no other band on the indie scene have done so far – a trip to Russia. The band appeared at several concerts entertaining large crowds. How do you remember the trip and are you planning to come back?

Ryan Stanton: The trip was a complete blur we did 6 gigs in 5 days and it was literally the best time ever. We met so many amazing people and the gigs were out this world. No words can really do it justice I’m just glad we’ve got a great tour video of it to remember forever. We’d love to go back to Russia but this year might be out the question with recording commitments.

We have to ask about another international trip you have made – this time to Paris. You have played at the famous club “Supersonic” to a full house. Any good memories from that gig? We heard that you had a lot of the fancy French red wine on the rider!

Ryan Stanton: This was our first away gig and will take some beating. A lot of our mates made the trip with us, think there was around 20 Walsall lads. Hugo the promoter there is a legend and he spent just as much effort organising the after party as he did the gig!

Your new single “I Don’t Care” is catching the attention of the big names in London: John Kennedy at Radio X, Steve Lamacq and Tom Robinson at the BBC6 Music among many others. Where was it recorded?

Ryan Stanton: It was recorded at RML in Wolverhampton by Ryan Pinson. Hes done all our releases to date. We cant speak highly enough of him. It’s so great when a band and producer connect and get the best out of each other.

There is a word on the street that you are working on new music to be released in the summer but you are being surprisingly quiet about it. Not a single mention on your social media or in the interviews. Can you shine a bit of a light on the matter?

Ryan Stanton: Is it a new EP or are you putting finishing touches to your debut album? We’ve always been lethargic with releasing new music and now we feel is the time to really knuckle down and get a solid debut album down. We wont rush out so there`s no timescale at the moment unfortunately.

Let’s talk about the upcoming “Discover Birmingham 2020” showcase. On January 11th you will perform alongside Karkosa, Roma Cove and The New Consistent at the Sunflower Lounge. What exactly is this project? How did you become a part of it?

Ryan Stanton: Discover has sort of been born out the Birmingham music scene doing so well. A lot of eyes in the press are on Birmingham so it feels right to start the year with all the best local acts playing the best local venue. We were asked by Birmingham Promoters who put us on the Spinn support a few months ago!

With packed performances at TRNSMT, Y Not, Kendall Calling and Isle of Wight Festivals, it can easily be said that The Assist is leaving the indie circuit for much bigger, more popular pastures. Where is 2020 going to take you?

Ryan Stanton: If you`d of asked us where we’d be st the start of 2019 we would of never said Russia so we literally have no idea. All we know for sure is there`s going to be loads more new music, loads more exciting gigs and loads more good times!

You can follow The Assist on socials:

Indieterria Reviews – “Rebel Forever” by Avalanche Party

Dear readers,

On 13th of September, we had the pleasure of reviewing “El Dorado”, a second single by Avalanche Party promoting their upcoming debut album “24 Carat Diamond Trephine”. And now a month (and few days) later, we are presented with another single entitled “Rebel Forever”. This is the third promotional single released since July, the first being “7” and probably the last one before the album hits the shelves on 22nd of November. As two previous singles, “Rebel Forever” also comes with a fascinating video – in true AP fashion, it is dark, cinematic and quite beautiful.

Avalanche Party photographed by Jason Ferdinando

Writing the previous review, we reached the conclusion that “El Dorado” was the best song written by the band so far. It was experimental, bold and sublime. Having  listened to “Rebel Forever” over 200 times in the last 24 hours, we have now officially changed our mind. The new track is now our all-time favourite, vastly superior to previous releases and (we have to say it) extremely radio friendly at the same time!

There is nothing wrong with the radio-friendliness, mind you. “Rebel Forever” is a catchy (again, a compliment), addictive song that will get stuck inside your head for hours and the chorus is a true masterpiece. The lyrics are linking “Rebel” to the second single when the front man, Jordan Bell sings: “Make a golden bird/ It flies over the mountain ranges/It flies over the seas and across the world/Till it reaches the El Dorado”. Should we take it as a hint that the songs on the  upcoming album might all be linked somehow? Is “24 Carat Diamond Trephine” going to be a concept album? We will have to wait to find out but judging by the musical company the band keeps and their own releases, maybe risking a statement that we have a renaissance of concept albums in the North, is not too far stretched?

Standing at 3 minutes and 36 seconds, “Rebel Forever” can easily be placed in the middle between “7” and ” El Dorado”.  Not only because of the length of all three songs (“7” is just two minute long while “El Dorado is nearly 6 minute), but also because of the videos that illustrate all three tracks. “7” is a nightmarish visualization of somebody (in that role, truly convincing lead singer of Strange Bones, Bobby Bentham), being tortured and injected with a poison, clearly as a part of some horrific Russian/KGB experiment (there is a word “shell” on the syringe written in Cyrillic if anybody has any questions or doubts). The injections causes not only foaming at the mouth but also hallucinations and intense pain to the subject. It ends with the subject destroying the interrogation room and stabbing pictures of the Avalanche Party members with knives.

The video to “El Dorado” is like a quiet break between two outbursts of anger. It reminded us of a road movie, it was quiet, almost melancholic, idyllic but with an undertone of danger in it. And “Rebel Forever” takes us back to some strange location again, another experiment cell or maybe a motel room? There is not much furniture except a mattress in the middle of the room, a bottle of absinthe on the floor and strange collection of artworks and curiosum: taxidermied bird and a pair of moths, small goat figurine in an ornate glass jar, a picture of an bleeding ear, a skull and a statue of a Greek goddess without hands. A young man is laying on the make shift bed, clearly delirious from the drink or maybe something else as well. As usual with AP video clips, it’s hard to find straight answers. We can only wonder if the man was drugged against his will and left in this remote place to die or has ingested the drink himself with the intentions of getting high. Whatever the reason, he’s experiencing a  vivid, almost kaleidoscopic swirl of images and visions. Sometimes he seems to be drowning in water, grasping for air, in another moment he is looking calmly at changing colours stretching out his arms. There are two references to “El Dorado” in “Rebel Forever”. At the beginning of the video, we see a recording of the cowboy walking through the plateau known from “El Dorado” and there is a framed picture of him shooting a gun. We have a sneaky suspicion that the unnamed cowboy and the hallucinating man somehow know each other and will meet up at some point.

Avalanche Party by Jason Ferdinando

“Rebel Forever” came with a PR note attached and it is as cryptic as the video itself, but it provides us with a bit of background information about the shoot and it’s location:

“The video was filmed over the course of a few days in deep, dark Berkshire. It shows a trip through time and the great outdoors and has two main stars. Django is a scaly fiend of the reptile family Chamaeleonidae who spends his time eating rump steak and shedding his dark and succulent past. Ron is a horrible WMC toilet of a cat who would rather the world left him alone. This broadcast was made possible by Welsh wizard Kyle ‘Eagle Burger’ Howells and his unflinching vigour, boundless generosity and eye for a mood. Rebel Forever.”

It seems that the new song made a strong impression not only on us, but on other reviewers as well. We have found some fantastic opinions so please read on:

“Hard-touring underground rock outfit Avalanche Party simply refuse to stop. Capable of sustaining lung-bursting, multi-national spells on the road, the five-piece give 100% each and every night. And with With another massive UK tour on the cards, Avalanche Party have shared their bolshy, bruising new single ‘Rebel Forever'”.
https://www.clashmusic.com/news/avalanche-party-share-bold-clip-for-rebel-forever

“The band have now shared new single ‘Rebel Forever’, taken from their eagerly anticipated debut album to be release on November 22nd. ‘Rebel Forever’ is a gothic, pulsating album highlight that’s now accompanied by a suitably nightmarish video” –
https://circuitsweet.co.uk/2019/10/avalanche-party-share-new-video-rebel-forever-and-announce-us-dates/

“Twisty, hallucinogenic hoodoo from darkest Yorkshire, courtesy of garage punks Avalanche Party offers any indication. A dark, psychedelic yet hooky whoosh of gothic allure, woozy guitars and atmospheric electronics, it’s elegantly unhinged stuff”
https://www.loudersound.com/features/tracks-of-the-week-new-music-from-wolfmother-taylor-hawkins-and-more

“The garage punks knock out a belter of raucously melodic evocation on ‘Rebel Forever’, which may surprise some of their fans, as this feels almost ‘pop-ish’ compared to some of their earlier more heavier numbers. It’s still dark – aided by nightmarishly constructed images in its accompanying video – but both the style and production sound better than ever”
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.com/2019/10/track-of-week-avalanche-party-will.html

“Avalanche Party’s delirious ‘Rebel Forever’ was made for gloomy, gray days (much like this one). Calling to mind the dark decadence that lent itself to the Berlin of Iggy and David, the song’s razorblade riffs and ever-so unhinged vocals lend an elegant, somewhat controlled violence to the band’s sound”  http://www.logicfuzzy.com/2019/10/video-of-day-avalanche-party.html

“‘Rebel Forever’” is a gothic, pulsating album highlight that’s now accompanied by a suitably nightmarish video. Playing out is a dark, paranoid hallucination taking place in a cabin in the lonely northern countryside, we’re invited to take a trip in more ways than one.
https://repeatfanzine.wordpress.com/2019/10/18/yorkshires-feral-garage-punk-quintet-avalanche-party-share-new-single-rebel-forever-and-announce-us-live-dates/

Avalanche Party will be on tour shortly and you can catch them live at the  following dates:

13th November – Preston at The Ferret – http://bit.ly/3465jnQ
14th November – Liverpool at Jimmy’s Liverpool – http://bit.ly/2MInFG5
15th November – Glasgow at Broadcast – http://bit.ly/32bVaUK
16th November  – Leeds at Hyde Park Book Club – http://bit.ly/2HznRDc
20th November – London at The Shacklewell Arms – http://bit.ly/2UiAx6S
21st November  – St Albans at The Horn – http://bit.ly/2ZsHUyn
23rd November – Birmingham at Actress and Bishop (official) – http://bit.ly/2Pkqcbr
29th November  – Newport at Le Pub – http://bit.ly/2ZsH2Je
30th November  – Bath at Moles – http://bit.ly/2NFcoG1

1st December – Milton Keynes at The Craufurd Arms (Live Music Venue) –http://bit.ly/30K3vin
4th December – Sheffield at Record Junkee – http://bit.ly/2ZxfW3E
5th December – York at The Fulford Arms – http://bit.ly/2zxi10Y
6th December  – Hull at The New Adelphi Club – http://bit.ly/2La1N2Y
12th December – Southampton at The Joiners – http://bit.ly/30IbJHP
13th December  – Notthingham at The Angel Microbrewery – https://bit.ly/2kADjqH
14th December  – Middlesbrough at Westgarth Social Club – http://bit.ly/2zsgucu

 

You can preorder their debut album through Rough Trade as well. It will come in red vinyl as an exclusive:

Come  and see one of the best bands on the alternative scene now on tour.
We will be seeing them in Birmingham.

Catch you on the road,
Rita and Mal

Indieterria presents – The Kecks on European Tour

Dear readers,

It is always with a great pleasure that we introduce you to an emerging talent. And seeing the artist progressing, growing, going on tours, recording and generally becoming better and better at their craft, is one of the reasons we continue writing and keeping this blog.

In June this year, we interviewed The Kecks, a young four piece indie rock band that grabbed our attention with their music, unique stage image and being innovative in a genre that sees hundreds of bands playing very similar tunes. We promised to keep an eye on them and we are staying true to our word.

The Kecks on Tour

2019 has been a very successful year for The Kecks and yet they are far from sitting down to rest. When every other band is now preparing for Christmas, the lads from Kecks are hitting the road to play UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands. The tour will commence at the famous Molotow Club in Hamburg on 26th of October (just in a couple of days!) and will finish on 17th of January at Cassiopeia with a massive show alongside the Talk Show.

You can see the entire tour listed below:

26th October – Molotow Cocktail Festival, Hamburg DE,
Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/2382978868463735/

31st October – Smoke, Groningen NL,
Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/751717945275994/

1st November – Le Nid de Poule, Lyon FR,
Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/428055024763233/

2nd November – Supersonic, Paris FR,
Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/349547939094494/ 

14th November – The Monarch, London UK
Free entry, https://www.facebook.com/events/2297421773811681/

15th November – The Pipeline, Brighton, UK,
Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/2373445422907103/

16th November – Cafe Totem, Shieffield UK,
Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/405700696817429/

17th November – Aatma, Manchester UK,
Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/2446994828867804/

23rd November – Molotow, Hamburg DE,
Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/937696006599854/

21st December – MTC, Koln, DE,
Tickets: TBA

17th January – Cassiopeia Berlin, DE with Talk Show,
Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/1456368057850215/

To celebrate their success over the last ten months, the band prepared a special version of “All For Me” for their fans which debuted on their Youtube channel on 24th of October.

The band even released a small statement alongside the video: “Making a last grasp effort to cling on to the summer sunshine The Kecks took some time out from a studio session deep in the East German countryside to capture a raw, intimate and personal one take stripped back acoustic version of future single ‘All For Me’. This stripped back version shows a completely new dimension to the band and is a huge departure from fiery debut ‘Stick In My Throat’ which was released in June of this year via AWAL. The snarling, simmering and emotionally charged debut complete with a weird and wonderful trip of a visual filmed and directed in collaboration with the bands close friend Carlos ‘Mexi Kravitz’ Andres was what originally grabbed the attention of the likes of Radio X , BBC Introducing, NDR and FKP Scorpio”

If you have a chance, please come and catch The Kecks playing live before the end of December. 2020 is looking like a breakthrough year for the band and they will be playing much bigger venues. There is magic in the smallest, most intimate places, where you can stand next to the band and see every drop of sweat on their faces.

And nothing in the whole wide world can replace this feeling.

See you soon!
xxx
R+M

Indieterria meets Dirty Circus

Dear Readers,

Rock and roll music is all about storytelling. If pop can get away with repeated lines or lyrics barely making any sense, rock always had bigger inspirations. Drawing its roots from the soul, blues and R&B, it became a proud tradition of the genre to take a stance during political unrest, social changes or at least to describe the lives of the common men. Many of the leading voices of rock are also noted poets (Bob Dylan, Jeff Buckley, Patti Smith or Joni Mitchell) or shrewd commentators of the world (Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Freddy Mercury). Their critical eye helped to shape the musical heritage and the entire post war, modern cultural landscape.

The people behind the rock music are not only singing or telling stories on stage, their lives are full of great tales of friendship, struggles, victories or partying. American journalist Kurt Loder has once said that the annals of rock music are the best lecture and indeed the biographies of its stars are anything but dull. And that’s what makes the genre stand out among thousand of other musical styles. The artists come to us with something to say, with their own baggage of losses and gains the listeners can relate to.

Pardon the long beginning, but it was a pleasure to interview Chris Binns of Wigan’s Dirty Circus. The quartet is returning to the spotlight after a decade and their story is truly unique. We have sat him down to discuss the band’s past, releasing their debut album and the future that looks brighter than ever.

 

Bands logo

Official bio: Hailing from Wigan and Leigh, Dirty Circus consists of Chris Binns (vox), Jon Hollingsworth (bass), Stephen Ahern (guitar) and Ryan Whittle (drums). They catapulted to the top of the North West music scene in the late 2000’s becoming notorious for energy packed raucous live performances and winning an army of devoted Fans. With an impressive CV including a label deal with Columbia Records, work with Hacienda Legend Mike Pickering, a tour support slot to Madchester royalty Happy Mondays, and a very special appearance at Glastonbury Festival, they’re back for round 2 and seem to have something of a point to prove. With their record finally out and northern tour, the band is ready to claim their rightful place at the top.

The hands emblem that became a symbol for the band

Dirty Circus have a fascinating history as a band. You formed at the beginning on 2000’s and quickly established yourselves as one of the best emerging bands of that period. You got signed to Columbia, started working on an album and then unexpectedly, you parted ways with the label. What happened?

Chris Binns:  In the mid to late 00’s the music industry was in a real transition. This was a time when CD sales had begun to decline, pirating and illegal downloading was rife and record companies hadn’t figured out how to use streaming to their benefit. It was a time before MySpace And Apple Music. The 90’s boom was no longer and the majors had less room for risk. Unfortunately, we were expendable and were part of a cull of bands who were offered ultimatums and too good to turn down offers to terminate the contracts. I think it was a common misconception that we were dropped. The truth is we choose to leave. Knowing that staying with the label at that time would have been more damaging to the band.

After leaving Columbia, the band continued as an independent act for nearly a year under the guidance of manager Phil Saxe. You worked with Mike Pickering of Hacidena fame and toured with Happy Mondays, only to call it a day out of the blue. The infamous “creative differences” were cited as a reason for the split. Looking back on that decision, do you think it was a right path to take?

Chris Binns: At the time we had started to internally combust. In the beginning everything was happening so fast.  We had genuine label interest within the first three months. After six months we had 6 or 7 big labels fighting over us.  The band got to the point where every show we were playing was sold out and were getting 500/700 plays a day on MySpace. Now throw in a packed out Glastonbury set then signing to one of the biggest labels in the world. We felt like we had landed the greatest job in the world.

Fast forward 2 years and everything had become slower. The band practiced and practiced very rarely playing live, working on new material while trying to get the album done. It felt like the label had lost interest then we got a call and that was it. We walked away and had to get normal jobs again. It was then the infighting started, each member blamed others for what happened.

Firstly our synth player Floyd Woolley left and we carried on for a little while after but the magic was gone. Then bassist Ian Halliwell left and personally I couldn’t see the point after that. We had all been best friends way before the band started and it felt like we had run our course.

Dirty Circus are back and ready for action.

Dirty Circus returned as a 4 piece in 2017 to sold out shows and excited public. What prompted you to get back together?

Chris Binns: It was our guitarist Stevie (Ahern)`s wedding so myself and the drummer Ryan (Whittle) decided to go along mainly for a piss up. Me and Ryan hadn’t seen or spoke to Stevie or Jonny (Hollingsworth) for about 7 years so I wasn’t sure how it was gonna be. As soon as we were back together it was like all them years had never happened. We decided then and there to have a practice. The Sunday after the wedding we spoke to Jon and he was up for it. The other boys Floyd and Ian didn’t want to do it which we have to respect and we’re still in contact with them.

I booked a room and when we started playing the energy was back! It was amazing.  The day after I booked a gig in Wigan at the Old Courts -an amazing venue which had sprung up whilst we were out the game – and we were off. The place holds around 400 people and it was sold out within few weeks which blew us away.

Your album “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Worse” was finally released on 4th of March 2019. The story behind this record could be made into a Hallmark movie: a successful band is dropped by a major record label, the demos go missing for a decade, they are found on a old computer drive and re-mastered. How do you feel about this record after all what’s happened? It must have been quite a ride.

Chris Binns:  When we got the masters back it was pretty emotional – that album was nearly 10 years of work and it was amazing to hear it in its entirety. Up to that point we had been so focused on writing new material we had forgot how good the old stuff was!  We had quite an experience getting to that point and listening to the album brought plenty of memories back most of which I can’t repeat in this interview. The songs on that record are a reflection of how we were all living life at that point and the lyrics are all the things me and the boys were experiencing.

Dirty Circus are back. Deal with it.

You recorded the original demos at the Motor Museum studio in Liverpool. This is one of the oldest and most accomplished recording studios in the North – a home to Oasis, The La’s, Arctic Monkeys and The Coral. Your producer, Tristan Ivemy worked with The Holloways, Towers of London, Frank Turner, and recently The Lottery Winners. Where did you re-mastered the tapes? Did you come back to the same place to properly finish the record?

Chris Binns:  In all honesty we didn’t return to the old studios. We got the songs mastered in the US pretty cheaply. At this point we weren’t sure what we were going to do with the album and we got it mastered on a whim. We were originally planning on just dropping it on Soundcloud but when the tracks come back from mastering, we knew we had to make it a proper release. The songs were massive. I remember how excited I was and sent them to them lads immediately. It was full on energy and aggression – just like we sounded live. The only real change was that we decided to record a new version of a track we always wanted on the album. “Dropped” was never recorded in original sessions because we could never get it right. When we reformed we thought we would give it one more try so we worked with our friends Martin and Dan at Strangeway Studios in Manchester. We finally got what we wanted.

We have to ask about the collectible edition of “WDKMYW” on a pink vinyl. Is it still available? If so, where can it be purchased?

Chris Binns: There’s not many records left! We printed 600 initially and we must have 50 left and whatever the stores have. It’s currently in the key independent record stores in most major cities across the UK. And of course in Wigan and Bolton (laughs).

Dirty Circus are currently on tour. You will be playing Manchester soon (The Bread Shed on 26th of October) and a possible date in London is in the works. Are you planning on visiting West Midlands area? We’d love to see you rock Bristol or Birmingham.

Chris Binns:  100% we would love to play in Bristol and Birmingham. Hopefully we’ll get there in the first part of 2020. In fact I had somebody contact me the other day to tell me how big fans of us they used to be, filling mini buses and driving to our Manchester shows from Birmingham. Somebody also had a club night called Dirty Disco named after our song.

Tour poster for Manchester show at The Bread Shed

A home coming show is booked in Wigan on 17th of November at The Bailiff Bar. We are told it is going to be an acoustic night. What can we expect and how does shows normally go down in Wigan?

Chris Binns:  We never did an acoustic performance before so it’ll definitely be interesting. But we’re not doing it full acoustic, we are still gonna have all the electronics in the mix. It’s more of a stripped back performance.

Any plans for the nearest future? Where will 2020 take you?

Chris Binns:  Well we’ve currently got 12 new songs we are really happy with so we’re gonna try and get in the studio and hopefully release them as an EP in April. We have always been a band that prides ourselves on new music and pushing things forward and that’s what this music does. Imagine Jonny Rotten singing in Cafe del Mar on ecstasy (laughs)

Last questions are a bit of fun at Indieterria. Let’s say you can go back in time and fix one mistake from your own past. Which wrongs are you going to right?

Chris Binns: Nothing! Honestly it is what it is. We don’t dwell, we just want to make sure we prove ourselves this time around…. No wait! In-fact I wouldn’t sold my black The North Face 3 in 1 jacket I had. It was a banger.

 You can follow the band online:
https://www.facebook.com/Dirty__circus-1686236101623735/
https://www.instagram.com/dirty__circus
https://twitter.com/DIRTY__CIRCUS
https://music.apple.com/gb/album/what-doesnt-kill-you-makes-you-worse/1455007989

 

More reading:
https://www.wigantoday.net/whats-on/music/dirty-circus-moves-with-the-times-1-8358276
https://www.theoldcourts.com/single-post/2018/11/14/Sit-Down-Sunday-with-Chris-Binns-Dirty-Circus
http://northern-exposure.co/dirty-circus-wigan-100217/
https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/music/circus-comes-to-town-1024425
https://wiganmusicreviews.wordpress.com/category/dirty-circus/
https://www.wigantoday.net/whats-on/music/roll-up-for-dirty-circus-reunion-gig-1-7817717

Dirty Circus on tour:
Manchester at the Bradshed (along with Red Bricks/Idle Hands/County Rats)
26th of October
More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/411057949498078/
Tickets: https://www.fatsoma.com/scruffoftheneck/qzufeilt/dirty-circus-red-bricks-idle-hands-county-rats

Wigan at the Old Courts (accoustic performance)
17th of November
More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/713534025768387/
Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/friday-night-in-the-bailiff-bar-with-dirty-circus-acoustic-tickets-66323018935

Radio appearances:
Bolton FM/ November 12th
The Unsigned Show at 7:00 and 9:00 PM
https://www.boltonfm.com/

Shock Radio/Salford
Time: TBA
https://www.shockradio.co.uk/

Dirty Circus will be adding new dates and interviews shortly so please keep your eyes open and your hand on the pulse. We will be travelling to Kingdom of Mancunia many times in the new year and if they are playing anywhere close, be sure you will see us in the front row.

xoxo
Rita and Malicia