Indieterria presents The Blinders Live at The Ritz

Dear comrades!

We have been following The Blinders for more than three years now and it’s always a joy to see them conquer new heights and achieving their goals (and being on a roll as certain songs says). The band has been working extremely hard to be where they are now and their dedication has inspired their fans, industry professionals and countless bands all together.

Being ahead of the game is a hard task, but with a dedicated team, excellent ideas, and a bit of luck, everything is possible. And this blog will be dedicated to another of the band’s ideas that is going to revolutionize the DIY indie scene.

On July 26th, The Blinders notified their followers that to commemorate the first anniversary of the release of their debut album “Columbia” (September 21st), they would be releasing a double live album. Recorded during the sold out show in Manchester on 27th of April, the double vinyl delight will include the entirety of “Columbia” plus several previously unreleased tracks. The record will be released by Blood Records, a recently launched crowd purchasing platform for exclusive LP releases that is run by the same wonderful people who own Flying Vinyl.

Black Records logo

You can get your own copy here: https://www.blood-records.co.uk/current-release/
Buy a copy of “Columbia” (if you have been living under a rock and you still don’t owe one!): https://theblinders.tmstor.es/

Now, as PR people, we do love good marketing, especially a really clever one. The first thing we saw on 25th of July, early in the afternoon, was a cryptic post with a large black and white picture of the band stading in front of the Ritz in Manchester (please notice Twisted Wheel poster on the right!) The caption read: “6 pm today”

Now, this kind of mysterious notifications are not for the faint hearted, as it could mean everything from the new album being announced to the band calling it quits. Our blood pressure went slightly up but after a refreshing cup of melissa tea (good for the nerves), we reached the conclusion that it cannot be anything bad, so we patiently waited for more information. And 5 minutes past six, we were rewarded with the following messages:

Soon, two promotional videos were made available to promote the album and they were seen more than 50.000 times on band’s combined social media (about 30k views on Facebook, 10k on Twitter and 10k on Instagram). Very good achievement with just a couple of Tweets and shares. Colour us impressed.

 

Official statements on Facebook accounts and newsletter followed to activate the fanbase:

 

You can see the newsletter at: https://us17.campaign-archive.com/?u=3b6499050c5a99dfa9d83f2e3&id=1708a96420
Flying Vinyl posts are available at: https://www.facebook.com/flyingvinylmusic/posts/2317772881662911

And in the end, The Blinders posted some of the images taken by Sam Crowston during their show at the Ritz:

The campaign finally went live on 29th of July and during the first 24 hours, nearly 260 copies flew off the virtual shelves. Pre-orders were opened until the 12th of August when they closed exactly at 10:00 am. In all, 1000 copies of the album were ordered and sold. Let us repeat that once again so it sinks in. It took two weeks for the band to sell 1k copies of a double live album. If that doesn’t make your jaws drop to the floor, then seriously your jaws must be either glued or wired. Those who preordered “Live at the Ritz” were told to wait 5 weeks for the delivery and in the mean time, more detailes were made available.

The record was mixed at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool (Elbow, The Verve, Echo and the Bunnymen, New Order, Pulp, The Charlatans recorded there among others) by Alex Queen who quickly shared the good news on Twitter:

Blood Records released the official statement upon the announcement:

“Following their bracingly thrilling debut album, ‘Columbia’, The Blinders continue as one the UK’s most anticipated emerging acts placing them at the vanguard of a generation of politically engaged British guitar bands. This exclusive, vinyl-only Blood Records release of The Blinders: Live At The Ritz features ‘Columbia’ live in its entirety alongside new unreleased material, pressed to 2x black 12″ LPs. The audio was professionally recorded, mixed and mastered from the band’s April sold out show at The Ritz to 1500 fans.

All orders will be signed (if you would like yours unsigned please write ‘unsigned’ in the delivery notes) and hand-numbered on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Customers will also receive priority access to tickets for a special Manchester launch event on September 21st as well as being automatically entered into a prize draw to win an exclusive piece of artwork.

Please note: Blood Records is a pre-ordering platform, providing the minimum sales quantity is met the records will be shipped five weeks after the deal ends.”

THE RECORD:

 

As stated above, it is a double live LP presed on a black vinyl. Running time is 60 minutes. “Columbia” was 42 minute long and we have 4 new, unreleased tracks added. Those who pre-order the album can expect a true VIP treatment: all copies will be signed by the band, buyers will receive priority access to record launch event and an automatic entry into prize draw for exclusive artwork. There will be only 1000 copies of the record pressed.

Personnel:
Thomas Haywood  – vocals and guitar
Charlie McGough – bass
Matty Neale – drums, backing vocals
Max Grindle (bass player of Document) – harmonica on “Rat In A Cage” and piano on “Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)”
Thomas Castrey (drummer of Saytr Play) – percussion on “Where No Man Comes”

Recorded at: O2 Ritz, Manchester, April 27th 2019
Mixed: Parr Street Studios, Liverpool (May-July 2019)
Mixed by: Alex Queen
Live Sound by: James Higham
Mastered by: Chris Daniels
Art Direction: Nasty Man Creations
Photography & Design: Sam Crowston
Lighting Design: Mangata Collective
Special thanks: Mark Payne, Chris Phillips, Dave Bonner, chris Exstance, Patricia Payne, SJM Concert, Jamie Wade & X-Ray touring, Flying Vinyl, Modern Sky UK and team

Label: Blood Records – https://www.blood-records.co.uk

Tracklist:
Side A
Gotta Get Through
Brave New World
Wither*

Side B
Free The Slave
I Can’t Breathe Blues
Where No Man Comes
Forty Days & Forty Nights*
Ballad Of Winston Smith

Side C
L’Etat C’Est Moi
Hate Song
Lunatic With A Loaded Gun*
Rat In A Cage

Side D
Et Tu/Berlin Wall
Brutus
Orbit [Salmon Of Alaska]
Swine**

* (previously unreleased)
** (not included on “Columbia” and released as a stand alone, double side single “Ramona Flowers/Swine” in 2017. The 7″ single was pressed in 500 copies only and is now a collectible item. More information: https://www.discogs.com/The-Blinders-Swine/release/10784923

 

Record release and the launch event timeline:

 

On 9th of August, the band revealed more details about their show that would take place on 21st of September. We have been told that there will be an exhibition, Q+A session and a stripped back set.

A week later, fans were electrified by another announcement – those who preordered the album were offered a chance to purchase tickets to the lauch event before everybody else. The band also revealed where the event would be taking place. Despite first bets being placed on The Night People (The Blinders’ favourite place in Manchester), a popular central location has been chosen – 33 Oldham Street.

Fans were asked to check their emails, follow the link sent to them and register tickets using their unique pre-order numbers. Due to limited number of places (33 Oldham Street can hold only 40 people in seated environment), the band used “first come, first serve” basis. The registration was closed on Sunday, 18th of August 2019 at 12:00 pm.

On 25th of August, The Blinders announced that the tickets will be available to purchase on Tuesday 27th of August, at 10:00 am.

Modern Sky UK (The Blinders’ record label) released their own announcement on the same day, revealing that the event would be hosted by popular Manchester DJ, Shell Zenner (XS Manchester/Amazing Radio):

Tuesday came finally and the loyal fans of the band, went ticket hunting on the internet. As with the demand for the record, the tickets dissapeared so quickly that many were left disappointed! We are not sure how quickly they were sold out but it must have been less than 20 minutes. At 12:20 pm, the band released the following statement:

After speaking to the management, the band released another statement, announcing that due to massive demand for the tickets, The Blinders would host a matinee event on the same day, between 1:00 pm and 4:pm.  Tickets were again released the following day and those who couldn’t purchase them on the previous occassion, could still attend the event, just in the afternoon instead of the evening.

As you may guess, the second batch of tickets, were also sold out in a flash. What else to expect, eh?

On September 11th, another announcement was made. As Shell Zenner was unable to host two events, another special guest was invited to do the Q+A session with the band. This special guest was…the legendary DJ, Dave Haslam himself!

Sadly as the event date was getting closer, something that nobody could predict, has happened. Thomas Haywood became ill and The Blinders were forced to cancel many domestic and European dates. On 16th of September, the band issued the following statement apologizing for pushing both events to 2nd of November 2019:

To make it up to the fans for the unplanned re-schedule, the band along with Shell Zenner came up with a clever plan – they held a DJ set at 33 Oldham Street and the entry to the event was free. Matty and Charlie were to make an appearance and the doors were opening at 9:00 pm.

We don’t have to tell you that the place was packed and people were queuing outside to get into the small club! Matty and Charlie arrived exactly on time and the party lasted until late. What was played? Everything from Manchester classics, to Abba, Britney Spears (“Toxic”), Whigfield (“Saturday Night”) and some unexpected bangers such as Cheeky Girls (“Cheeky Song”). Good fun was had by all. And some pretty good dance moves were caught on camera.

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love you more than words, thank u for having my back, always x

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The Final Product and the reception:

 

On September 21st, the debut album, “Columbia” turned one. The band celebrated the occassion by sending out the “Live At The Ritz” albums out to fans and making a tweet:

And the response to the album has been fantastic. It debuted at number 8 on the official UK Charts! This is the first double-live album by an indie artist to go into top ten on Vinyl Chart!

Official Vinyl charts for 27.09.2019

You can check the statistics for the Vinyl top 40 at: https://www.officialcharts.com/charts/vinyl-albums-chart/
To see those exact results as on the screenshot, please use the date of 27th of September 2019.

That’s not all! Live At the Ritz made it into two other charts as well: Official Independent Albums chart at number 23 and Independent Breakers Albums chart at number 4! We have screens to prove it!

 

We have received our copy as well and we absolutely love the album. The release comes with 2 black vinyls, packed into a single sleeve. It would be much better if it was a a gate fold – but hey we cannot complain! The design is similar to the “Columbia”, each copy is numbered (our is 128!) and signed by all three band members with a lovely silver marker.  We have taken a couple of pictures after unpacking to show you how it looks like:

 

And what do the fans say?
The reviews are universally positive. Just see the reactions that can be found online:

Live At The Ritz showcases the band’s talent and proves that if you haven’t seen them just yet, then now’s the time to do so. The Blinders are only going to grow from here” – Katie Macbeth for Indie Is Not A Genre blog
https://www.indieisnotagenre.com/the-blinders-live-at-the-ritz-review/

“Two years on, they are inevitably a better live band. Tighter, harder, and wiser, this live album is a no brainer of a purchase. If you have never seen or heard them, we cordially invite you to the hoodwink society”- Mike Adams for Travellers Tunes
https://travellerstunes.com/features/the-blinders

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NOW PLAYING | The Blinders – Live at The Ritz. One of my fav bands @theblinders of the last few years have come up with a limited & signed live album. Recorded at The Ritz, Manchester back in April this year. It’s a pure sweaty Rock’n’Roll live experience on double vinyl. Hand numbered, this is 135/1000 and hand signed makes this a nice little collectible of a live force on the music scene right now. Side A. A1 Gotta Get Through A2 Brave New World A3 Ramona Flowers A4 Wither Side B. B1 Free The Slave B2 I Can't Breathe Blues B3 Where No Man Comes B4 Forty Days & Forty Nights B5 Ballad Of Winston Smith Side C. C1 L'Etat C'Est Moi C2 Hate Song C3 Lunatic With A Loaded Gun C4 Rat In A Cage Side D. D1 Et Tu D2 Brutus D3 Orbit (Salmon Of Alaska) D4 Swine – – – – #theblinders #liveattheritz #lp #lps #12inch #33rpm #record #records #vinyl #vinylcollector #vinylcollection #vinyljunkie #vinyligclub #vinyloftheday #vinyladdict #nowplaying #nowspinning #vinylsofinstagram #vinylporn #vinyllove #vinylcommunity #audioporn #turntable #recordplayer #recordcollection #recordcollector #instavinyl #instavinyls

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If you havent ordered the album in the summer, then you may be happy to hear that “Live at The Ritz” is now available on digital platforms. On 29th of November, The Blinders announced that the double album is ready to be  purchased in mp3 form from all good platforms. The announcement was made with  a brand new exciting video:

You can stream it from:

Apple Music – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/live-at-the-ritz/1489344878
Deezer – https://www.deezer.com/en/album/120601052
Amazon Music – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Live-at-Ritz-Blinders/dp/B0821F78X2/
Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/album/1iurgbvHCUpPkDuLyjNCyE

Or you can purchase the linited version album from the official store: https://theblinders.tmstor.es/cart/product.php?id=58136

 

We will be updating the blog as more information becomes available. And of course, please read our review from the event on 2nd of November!

Keep your eyes open and support your scene!
xxx
R+M

Indieterria Photo Review – The Blinders at FIB Benicassim and Super Bock Super Rock

Hola!

The summer festival seasons is in full swing and The Blinders are having one of the busiest periods in their history. They have been on a massive tour since April that has taken them all over UK and Europe.  Due to popular demand, we are keeping our hand on the pulse and we are trying to bring you the best festival coverage as it happens. We can travel to many shows on our own, but if the distance is too far, we team up with our special correspondents for pictures, videos and information.

So far we have covered the main tour for 2019. Please allow few minutes for the blog to open as it is one of the longest and most complex we have ever written.
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/11/16/the-columbia-tour-continues-anno-domini-2019/

Glastonbury performance at LeftField stage:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2019/07/03/indieterria-photo-review-the-blinders-at-glastonbury-2019/

Today, we would like to cover two recent festivals, The FIB Benicassim (19th of July) and Super Bock Super Rock (20th of July). Thank you to those who work closely with us to help cover this summer tour and we hope you will enjoy the review. We will try to update it with reviews and pictures as they become available.

Enjoy!

FIB Benicassim Festival, Madrid, Spain

FIB Festival poster

Set List (not in this particular order): “L’Etat C`Est Moi”, “Rage”, “Brave New World”, “40 Days & 40 Nights”, “The Writer”, “Wither”, “ICB Blues” and “Brutus/Et Tu/Berlin Wall”, “Where No Man Comes” and “Rat In A Cage”,
Time: 30 minutes
Stage Times: 20:20 (original time) and 9:00 (after delays)
Stage: Carefour  Stage

Reviews:
“The Carrefour Stage may be just one out of several stages at the festival but they have prepared a very interesting line up. Among the acts we just had to see this year were singer/songwriter Almendralejo (Hache Retamar), punk rockers The Blinders whose songs contain a huge dose of political criticism, a 19 year old singer Yellow Days that played blues, jazz and soul inspired music, Scottish singer/songwriter Gerry Cinnamon and the Spanish folk and rock and roll septet, La m.o.d.a.” – HOY Magazine
https://www.hoy.es/almendralejo/cantautora-hache-retamar-20190721002044-ntvo.html

“We started the afternoon off with powerful performance from The Blinders. Their music is a mixture of punk and psychedelia and lyrics are loaded with political messages” – text and pictures by Iñaki Espejo-Saavedra for Muzikalia Magazine 
https://muzikalia.com/cronica-del-viernes-del-fib-benicassim-2019

FIB Benicassim 2019

FIB Benicassim 2019

Viernes del FIB Benicassim 2010

 

Sam Hoy, our special correspondent at FIB sent us the pictures below. Please do not share without his permission!
You can follow Sam at: https://www.facebook.com/sam.hoy7

 

 

You can can see more media from the festival below:

Artist profile at the festival:
https://fiberfib.com/en/artist/5c73b9ea0f726

Festival information and social media:
http://fiberfib.com
http://www.fiberfib.com/entradas.php
http://www.fiberfib.com/en/entradas.php
http://www.facebook.com/fibfestival
http://www.twitter.com/fiberfib
http://fiberfib.tumblr.com/
http://instagram.com/fiberfib/
https://www.youtube.com/user/fiberfib
https://open.spotify.com/user/fiberfib

 

SUPER BOCK SUPER ROCK Festival, Lison, Portugal 

EDP stage at Super Bock Super Rock Festival

Set List (not in this particular order): “Gotta Get Through”, “L’Etat C’est Moi”, “Rat In A Cage”, “Rage”, “Brave New World”, “40 Days & 40 Nights”, “The Writer”, “Wither”, “Ramona Flowers” “ICB Blues” and “Brutus/Et Tu/Berlin Wall”
Time: 40 minutes
Stage Times: 4:45 CET
Stage: EDP Stage

Media Reviews:

“The Blinders are power alternative rock trio from Doncaster, UK. The band members were red hot on stage and gave an inspirational, enthusiastic show. Firm bass line, heavy drums, distorted fuzzy guitars and torn yet poetic lyrics makes them one of the best garage bands out there. There is more to them and we want to see them again and again!” – Fernando Araujo (text) and Stefani Costa for SAPO Magazine
https://mag.sapo.pt/showbiz/artigos/uma-mistura-de-ritmos-e-grandes-emocoes-no-ultimo-dia-de-super-bock-super-rock

Large photo review is also availabe at SAPO MAGAZINE:
https://mag.sapo.pt/showbiz/fotos/de-profjam-a-the-blinders-o-ultimo-dia-do-super-bock-super-rock-em-fotos#&gid=1&pid=25

Our Review:
We have asked our special correspondent, Fábio Pais, how did the show go and this is what he had to say: “People really liked their show. The Blinders played a 40 minute set and were the opening act for the festival’s secondary stage. It started with just a dozen of people but the audience kept on growing and growing. By the end of their gig, there might have been hundreds of people in attendence. I think The Blinders really captured their attention. The band seemed to enjoyed their concert. In my opinion, they were really, really great! I hope they return to Portugal soon”

After a very stressful show at FIB on Saturday, Sunday proved to be very good day for the band. They entered the stage exactly on time and there was no technical difficulties that marred their shortened set in Spain. Surprisngly, the change of image, forced by their late arrival, survived overnight and the band decided to perform without the war paint and the black clothing. Thomas wore a white slevless tee, black trousers with stripes and had a plaid shirt wrapped around his waist. As usual, Charlie wore a grey suit and long sleeve light shirt (he took off his jacket in the middle of the show) and Matty opted for a white top and blue jeans. The change in their apperance was noticed by the Super Bock Super Rock Radio Station who praised their “casual style” on their social media, calling their performance “What a blinder!”

All following images and videos (Brave New World) are courtesy of Super Bock Super Rock social media team:

All pictures taken at Super Bock Super Rock in the gallery below belong to Fábio Pais. Please do not use it without his permission. Gracias.
You can follow him at: https://www.instagram.com/fabiopais8/ 

You can see more media from the festival:

 

Videos: A recording of “The Writer” is available on Youtube:

You can see the entire festival schedule at: https://www.instagram.com/p/BzfyERYBrNj/

Festival information and social media:
https://www.facebook.com/events/342954059851119/
https://www.superbocksuperrock.pt/concertos/the-blinders/
https://www.facebook.com/sbsr/
https://twitter.com/sbsr
https://www.instagram.com/superbocksuperrock/

If you have any pictures or videos you’d like to contribute to this review, please let us know!
You can always email as at vanadianavenue@gmail.com

We will be more than happy to add good quality materials. Have fun and watch this space as the coverage is (truly) never ending!
Love and indie,
Rita and Malcia Dabrowicz

Indieterria meets Dario Distasi

Dear Readers,

Do you remember the hit song by White Lies called “Tokyo” with the famous chorus line “every place has a China Town”? Of course, Manchester has its own China Town (a big tourist attraction) but it seems that we discovered Mancunia’s musical Little Italy! After speaking to Federico Cossu, the lead singer of Shiva May Care in March and Pietro Blanca in June, we are proud to introduce you to another Italian born talent that is making a name for himself on the Manchester scene. Ladies and Gents, let us welcome singer/songwriter Dario Distasi to our humble “Manchester, come on in!” project.

Dario Distasi

Dario was born and raised in Italy and attended Saint Louis College of Music in Rome. He has been fascinated by music since childhood and picked up a guitar at the age of 12. As he admits himself, he instantly fell in love with the sound of the instrument and spent years mastering his craft. In 2015, he decided to move to Manchester as the city always had a special place in his heart. Since the move, Dario recorded his debut EP “Nowhere Avenue”, played at the legendary venues such Night & Day Cafe, Gullivers, Castle Hotel, formed his own band and received an universal acclaim from independent music press. With a CV like this (and recording his EP with an award winning producer in Nashville!), we are more than happy to spread a word about his accomplishments.

We have caught up with Dario to ask him several short questions about music, influences and shows.

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

Dario Distasi: (laughing) Hey there! What’s up? My name is Dario Distasi and I am a solo artist based in Manchester. I could be classified as a singer/songwriter but during live shows, I am backed by a proper rock band. Our live performances combine anthemic guitars with punchy drums. Except for me, my band consists of Chris Taylor (backing vocals, lead guitar), Damon O’Leary (backing vocals, bass) and Steve Redmond (drums). I play the guitar and I sing.

The full band on stage

What was the best review of your music you have received so far?

Dario Distasi: An online magazine, A Look Into Music, wrote about our EP: “The result is a sound so tempting, you can’t help but get your body moving to the beat as you listen to the ultimately genuine lyrics travel through your mind uncontrollably”. I like really that!

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

Dario Distasi: Recording my new EP entitled “Letting Go” in Nashville with Drew Middleton (Steven Cade, MuteMath, Merdith Lee) a BMI awarded producer, has been a blast. He instantly realised where my musical influences and background come from and gave my songs a distinctive sound. We have recorded four tracks: “Letting Go”, “Again”, “Stuck In Here” and “Where The Lights Go Down”. The two last songs were released as stand alone singles.

I own and I’m in love with so many albums that have been recorded in Nashville, it is a very special place to me.  I’ve also already recorded a few tunes in Manchester, another magical musical city. Next step: recording in Seattle, maybe? (laughing)

Letting Go single cover


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

Dario Distasi: Usually, I’m inspired by life, good books and music.

During interviews, I’m often asked to mention artists that have or had the biggest influence on me as an musician. Chris Cornell, Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters are three of my biggest influences. However, I’m also into singers/songwriters – that kind of stuff always give me the chills. And I cannot forget that guitar music is a big part of what I do. It literally put me on a musical map, where I am today.  So I listen to a lot of instrumental music, a lot of great guitar players, a lot of guitar solos. The guitar music is always in the background, whatever I do. All band members are big grunge aficionados as well – even though that’s not exactly our style, I guess you can hear that it has been hugely inspirational 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.

Dario Distasi:  My newest single is called “When The Lights Go Down” and it is a song about many things we fear. The fear itself. The abandonment. Refugees. Civil wars. All those things that really shock us every day. Please watch the video to this song. It represent the track very well and has been directed by the amazing Mat Johns.

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

Dario Distasi:  Yes we tour and play gigs in the North West regularly. Recently, we performed at The Abbey in Leigh for Buzzcock’s frontman Pete Shelley Memorial on 15th of June and at the Gullivers in Manchester on 29th of June. We supported Hypnumb from New Zealand!

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

Dario Distasi: (laughing) Social media! It’s the best way to get a hold of me! Please use:

www.facebook.com/dariodistasi
www.instagram.com/dario_distasi
www.twitter.com/dariodistasi

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

Dario Distasi: (laughing) I think, Steve, our drummer would be the best person to answer this question! Should we ask him?

Steve Redmond: Alice In Chains! These guys are immense. Their grooves, melodies and harmonies speak to me on every level. Some of my band mates might be shocked by this coz I idolise Chad Smith!

Dario Distasi: I’m not shocked at all! You both have a great groove, however I think he’s not as loud as you are! Hahahaha!

Follow Dario on social media:
https://dariodistasi.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC31smdE1t5gtbiqHkNedy0w

 

You can purchase his music at:
Google Play: https://bit.ly/2W1qK4w
Amazon https://amzn.to/2JdQnO1
iTunes store https://apple.co/2HnOdd5
Apple Music https://apple.co/2Jg0Mcc

Articles:
https://originalrock.net/2019/05/31/interview-dario-distasi/
https://www.loud-stuff.com/interviews/2018/07/interview-dario-distasi/
https://www.gbhbl.com/music-news-dario-distasi-releases-music-video-for-when-the-lights-go-down/
https://alookintomusic.com/2019/04/30/an-interview-with-dario-distasi/
https://www.moshville.co.uk/feature/botd/2019/07/band-of-the-day-dario-distasi/
https://www.gigstarter.it/blog/dario-distasi-note-italiane-nella-musica-di-manchester (Italian)

Thank you so much Dario! It was a pleasure to speak to you (and to Steve as well). We wish you all the best in your musical endeavours!

Best regards,
R+M

Indieterria meets Ben Taylor

Dear readers,

It is always a pleasure to write about new bands and emerging talent. Equally, it is good to support new initiatives on our independent music circuit. Be it a new zine, a new club night, a new promoter setting up or opening of a brand new venue. These things are not always spoken about, yet they should be celebrated and the word should be spread far and wide. We don’t have to tell you why it is vital to keep the good news going. Not only it lifts our spirits in the times where almost everything we got used to is being sold out, destroyed or falling to bits, but it helps us cherish small successes of our fellow professionals. Those people work harder than most of us realize. They put in hundreds of unpaid hours, their own money trying to build something new, just for the love of music.

Mr Ben Taylor himself

And that’s why we are shinning a light on them on Indieterria. We have sat down with Ben Taylor, the director of events at Jimmy’s to talk about their new venue opening soon (Jimmy’s Liverpool), all the cool gigs they have booked and how exactly his job looks like, day in and  day out.

You are very well known person on the Manchester music scene, but not everyone in West Midlands may be familiar with your accomplishments. Say few words about yourself (and maybe a hello to the readers of Indieterria). 

Ben Taylor: Hey everyone! My name’s Ben Taylor. I’ve ran music venues in Manchester for the last 17 years, including Night & Day Cafe, Roadhouse, Sound Control and currently I’m the events director at Jimmy’s. We’re about to launch our new venue in Liverpool.

Your job title at Jimmy’s says “director of events”. What does director of events do? How does a typical day at the office look like?

Ben Taylor: I programme all events for both sites, Manchester and Liverpool as well as external events around the country. My day can be built up by phone calls, emails, meetings, and hitting up shows to catch new and exciting music.

Jimmy’s we all know and we all love (to bits)

Before joining Jimmy’s, you have been a promoter at popular Manchester club, Sound Control (located just off Oxford Road). Sadly it closed in 2017 and the building has been demolished. A similar fate befallen our beloved Ruby Lounge. In your opinion, is there anything that the venues can do to save themselves and their musical heritage?

Ben Taylor:  I get asked this a lot and it’s not always a case of the venues decision. The Sound Control owner, unfortunately, had been offered a sizeable sum to sell, and he took that. I’m a big believer that venues will keep popping up despite circumstances. Too much good music and too many people invested in keeping that alive.

The times for venues may be hard but it doesn’t prevent you from opening a new venture – Jimmy’s Liverpool! Tell us where the new place will be located and how is it going to look like? Are you going for similar design to the Manchester branch or for something completely different?

Ben Taylor:  We’re so excited for this! We’re at the top of Bold Street opposite the Bombed Out Church. For me, that’s the best area in the City, we couldn’t have landed anywhere better. It’ll have the classic Jimmy’s look, with some added extras which you’ll love.

Do you have an opening date for Jimmy’s Liverpool and when will you be booking first acts?

The first show booked and it is sold out!

Ben Taylor:  We open on August 1st with The Coral. They were my number one choice to open the venue, so I’m very excited we made that happen.

We are afraid to ask, but please confirm that the outside sign announcing the gigs will be also included in the new office? It is one of the most recognizable features of Jimmy’s in Manchester!

Ben Taylor: (laughing) I can confirm the light box will be a feature at the front of the venue.

Jimmy`s is known not only for regular gigs and parties, but also for a line of absolutely amazing gadgets: tees, long sleeves, craft beers, bee pins. Your merch line has been very popular with patrons. Will you be introducing new items in the foreseeable future?

Ben Taylor:   Absolutely, keep you eyes peeled for new merchandise.

You are the creator and founded of You Are Not Alone – a festival in support of local independent mental health charity Manchester Mind. First edition of YANA took place on 30th March 2019. Please tell us something about the festival and when can we expect the next year’s edition? 

Ben Taylor:  Mental health is such a huge issue for many people and I feel a lot more needs to be done to make people aware. I wanted to make a fun day, whilst raising that awareness. And I’ll continue to do so. We’ll be adding more venues this year in Manchester and you can be the first to know, I’ll be running the event in Liverpool next year too.

Jimmy’s Liverpool opening soon

 If any band or promoter wants to play/rent out Jimmy’s for an event what’s the best way of reaching you?

Ben Taylor: Best way is email, I’m on ben@jimmys.group. A link to some music and a brief background is perfect.

The last (in)famous question: what is the best and the worst gig you have ever put out? Share your knowledge for the benefit of the future generations of  concert promoters.

Ben Taylor: Best show I’ve put on is always a tough one! One of the most memorable would be The 1975 in the 100 capacity room at Sound Control, with Catfish & The Bottlemen opening. And I couldn’t possibly tell you the worst, my lips are sealed! (laughing)

Jimmy’s is known for their very imaginative merch

And when we thought that Ben and the Jimmy’s crew don’t have any more secrets, they come up with another unexpecting but genius idea!
If you’d like to join Jimmy’s family, you can now becoome a share holder. For as little as £25, you can purchase shares in the company. You will receive a lot of perks for joining: brick in the new venue on the ‘Wall Of Legends’, receive discounts for life, get free guest list for life, or you can go as far as have a mural of yourself on the ceiling (think Leonardo da Vinci style!) among others.

You can lean more about this project at:
https://www.crowdcube.com/companies/jimmy-s/pitches/bvPEjl?fbclid=IwAR2NmPSVE87zzMCgwJdP4oshBAOZe2pn9w7A-CznyWTEy_o4vpPEh2HwOFU

 

You can follow Jimmy’s on social media:
https://jimmys.beer/
https://www.facebook.com/JimmysGroup/
https://www.facebook.com/JimmysNQ/ (Manchester)
https://twitter.com/jimmysMCR
https://www.facebook.com/JimmysLPL/ (Liverpool)
https://twitter.com/JimmysLiverpool
https://www.instagram.com/jimmys/

Articles:
https://www.trustafoxphotography.com/trust-a-fox-blog/2019/5/14/have-a-look-around-the-soon-to-open-jimmys-liverpool
http://www.getintothis.co.uk/2019/07/phase-one-stockroom-jimmys-and-sound-where-are-we-with-music-venues-in-liverpool/
https://independent-liverpool.co.uk/blog/what-you-can-expect-from-liverpools-newest-live-music-venue-bar-jimmys/

The next two weeks are going to be very busy for Ben and the team but we know, whatever they plan to do, is surely going to be a huge success. And we need those successes, we need new places to go and new places to play. As usual, support your scene, discover new bands and dream big dreams.

They do come true.

Love to our spiritual home (Jimmy’s)
xx
Rita and Malcia

Indieterria meets Dave Haslam

Dear Readers,

The summer festival season is now in full bloom. Many great events are now behind us (Glastonbury Festival, Isle of Wight, Camden Rocks) and many are yet to take place. One of the festivals that we have been looking forward to for a long time, started on the 4th of July and will last until 21st July. It is of course the Manchester International Festival – a biannual celebration of music, art, theatre and film.

Thousands of people are expected to visit Manchester to participate in more than 250  presentations, art exhibitions, talks and concerts throughout the city.  We are of course interested in the musical part of the event the most and the MIF LIVE is looking extraordinarily good. With gigs from Janelle Monáe (already sold out), Queens of the Electronic Underground (showcase of  the best female DJs and producers in electronic music presented by BBC6 Music’s Mary Anne Hobbs) to free public concerts at Albert Square, there is nothing to complain about. Fans of rock, funk, soul, dance, jazz and even spoken word will have plenty to choose from. We have sat down with Manchester music legend, Mr Dave Haslam, to speak about his involvement with MIF, curating the Albert Sqauare stage and his newly released book “Life in thirty five boxes”.

Dave Haslam – the man himself

Official bio: DJ and writer Dave Haslam DJ’d over 450 times at the legendary Hacienda in Manchester during the late 1980s and has since DJ’d worldwide (including shows in Peru, New York, Berlin, Barcelona, and Italy). He made his debut at the Hacienda on May 1st 1986. Ian Brown, Tim Burgess and the Chemical Brothers all later credited his eclectic Thursday night sets as an inspiration. In 1990 he toured America with Mike Pickering, Graeme Park, and Paul Oakenfold. Since the early 1990s he has hosted a variety of successful club nights in Manchester, including ‘Yellow’ at the Boardwalk. He’s played afterparties for New Order, Gorillaz, and Depeche Mode. He’s is also the published author of “Life in thirty five boxes”, “Sonic Youth Slept on My Floor”, “Life After Dark: A History of British Nightclubs & Music Venues”, “Not Abba; the Real Story of the 1970’s”, “Adventures on the Wheels of Steel: The Rise of the Superstar DJs”, and “Manchester, England”.  In 2012, he co-curated the exhibition “Dreams Without Frontiers” at the Manchester Art Gallery. In 2017 he co-curated a major New Order project for the Manchester International Festival.

Not many people know this, but you were born and raised in Birmingham! At this moment, West Midlands scene is incredibly strong with amazing acts such as Table Scraps, The Cosmics, The Pagans SOH, The Novus, Karkosa and many others. Was it like that when you were growing up?

Dave Haslam: I write about my Birmingham teenage years in my memoir “Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor”. I was lucky enough to be able to see some great bands, many of them local, including the Au Pairs, Steel Pulse, Dexys Midnight Runners, and The Prefects. Birmingham at the end of the 1970s was full of good gigs, and I was already a massive music enthusiast. When I came to Manchester in 1980, I was already trained up to go out looking for exciting new music and the weird stuff.

You are a man of renaissance – an published author, DJ, radio presenter, producer, journalist, legendary promoter. Is there one thing that you regret not doing? If yes, what is it?

Dave Haslam: I don’t think about regrets, really. I probably should have taken more photos and videos etc. In the 1980s not many people did any of that; not like now! But in terms of my work life, I really 100% cannot complain.

So far you have written four books and the fifth one is being released this month. It is called “Life in thirty five boxes”. Can you tell us more about it?

“Life in thirty five boxes” front cover

Dave Haslam: It’s a book about the joys of collecting, specifically vinyl collecting. It’s about how attached we can become to our vinyl; those records are like our best friends, our potent memories. But then the twist at the end I sell them. This was three years ago. And everyone thinks I was mad to do so, but I explain why and I tell the story of what happened to me and the records afterwards. It’s actually a very emotional rollercoaster of a book!

For Manchester International Festival, you are curating a series of gigs that will take place in the Albert Square. There will be nine acts over four days – all performances are free of charge. We love the idea! Was it something you wanted to do yourself or were you approached by the Festival to organize it? 

Dave Haslam: I have done similar things for the Festival before. Way back when I got Everything Everything to play, and also Dutch Uncles, as they were both breaking through, and also Lonelady who I adore and doesn’t play much locally. On the DJ side, I gave Bicep their first ever gig at MIF and now they are mega (their song “Glue” is one of my favourite songs of the last couple of years). So MIF trust my ears, I guess!

You have chosen a mix of legendary acts (Horace Andy) and up-and-coming bands. Some of them proudly represent Manchester (The Blinders, Witch Fever, Liines), other acts come from Birmingham (Pagans S.O.H), Halifax (The Orielles) or Norwich (Sink Ya Teeth). How long does it take to finalize such a varied line up? 

Award winning West Midlands quartet, The Pagans S.O.H debut new single just in time for MIF

Dave Haslam: It took about five minutes to come up with the line-up. I sat down with a pen and wrote the names of six or seven bands I’d like to invite, the ones I’d like to play in an ideal world. Then it took about two months to track everyone down and organise it. But the great thing is, everyone on that first list said YES! Then I was talking to my friend Dom who runs a fabulous sandwich shop in Stockport and DJs playing reggae (he’s basically the Blood & Fire Soundsystem) and I told him I wanted reggae on Sunday evening. He knows so much about reggae, so we threw some ideas together, and then he said, “Oh Horace, might come and get on the microphone”. I asked: “Are you talking about Horace Andy?” and he was. Dom knows everyone! So I agreed: “Yes, Dom, let’s do that. Let’s bring Horace!”.

In February 2018, you published an article in ‘I Love Manchester’ magazine entitled “Women in Manchester music: Are The Times A-Changing?” in which you argued that female artists must be given their rightful place on the Manchester music scene. You mentioned Witch Fever and now you have booked the band for the gig you are organizing. The whole line up is 50% female artists too. It’s refreshing to see somebody actually doing something practical to address the gender gap.  What do you think needs to be do done more to improve the gender equality in the music business?

Dave Haslam: It’s worth remembering that there’s a lack of female representation in many walks of life and in many businesses. Female lawyers, for example, have big obstacles to get through; they work in a very male dominated industry. So there is nothing unique about the gender gap in music. In a way, the answer to your question is in the question itself – it’s about doing practical things. Men need to wise-up and in some cases open their ears. It amazes me how many indie-type lads are totally wedded to the idea that their favourite bands are and will always be basically four boys with guitars. Any deviation from that – either in terms of other kinds of music, or female fronted acts – are too weird for them. And women need to keep nurturing a sense of solidarity, the sisterhood can move mountains!

 

Two of the acts you have chosen played Glastonbury this year: Liines and The Blinders. Are you expecting crowds?

Dave Haslam: I have been organising concerts long enough to know that you can’t guarantee anything, but I’ll be disappointed if we don’t get good crowds because the bands are ace. I like to think some people will come out of curiosity too, knowing these are special events.

If you were to name Manchester acts to watch for in the coming months – who would you recommend? Is any new band catching your attention?

Dave Haslam: I’m actually very excited about the quality of some of the spoken word performers around at the moment. Can I mention Eve Piper? She was at Glastonbury too. She grew up in Chorlton, and she’s a name to look out for. The Manchester band I am kicking myself I didn’t make room for at MIF are Cold Water Swimmers, their new single is called “Burn Your Idols“.

The Blinders perform “Brave New World” at legendary Leftfield Stage at Glastonbury Festival 2019

The last question at Indieterria is usually a bit of a fun. Let’s say you have the opportunity to resurrect Hacienda and to bring it back into the City. Of course the original location is no longer available but you can chose a new place. What’s the new address?

Dave Haslam: Somewhere secret, or at least hard to find. The Hacienda was best before it got commercialised. So many of the best things are under the radar. You can find those places if you look hard enough.

You can follow Mr Haslam on social media at:
http://www.davehaslam.com/
https://www.facebook.com/DJDaveHaslam/
https://twitter.com/Mr_Dave_Haslam

More information:
https://mif.co.uk/whats-on/festival-square/
https://www.facebook.com/events/614253139097527/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1453832158075371/ (Book signing event in Stockport)

Manchester International Festival Albert Square Schedule (in bold events curated by Dave Haslam)

Dave Haslam Live poster

New Pavilion Stage at Albert Square.

Capacity:
Tent – 400 people (please show up early as it is first come first serve basis)
Square – 2500 people at one time

Sun 14 July
12.30 – 2pm – NoTTwins present BeeLive with China Lilly, Emanuel J Burton, Maxi Zee, Pablo & ALEKS
3 – 4.30pm – Young Identity & Contact present One Mic Stand
5.30 – 7pm – KYSO
8pm – 12am – Horace Andy Soundsystem set with Blood & Fire

Mon 15 July
12.30 – 2pm – Kara
3 – 4.30pm – Psychedelic DiscoTech plus guests
5.30 – 7pm – Chorus of Others
8 – 10pm – The Orielles & Working Men’s Club
10pm – late – Psychedelic DiscoTech plus guests

Tues 16 July
12.30 – 2pm – Jon Kenzie
2.30 – 3pm – John Robb talks Ballet with Jordan Mooney
3 – 4.30pm – Matthew Whitaker
5.30 – 7pm – The 7:45s
8 – 10pm – The Blinders, Witch Fever & The Pagans SOH
10pm – late – DJ Shell Zenner

Wed 17 July
12.30 – 2pm – Lingua Franca World Music Agency present The Tebu Project
3 – 4.30pm – Hannah Ashcroft
5.30 – 7pm – NoSpace
8 – 10pm – LIINES & Sink Ya Teeth
10pm – late – DJ Jez Kerr ACR

With multitute of shows, concerts and festivals happening over the summer, Manchester is once again emerging as a leader in cultural entertainment. We all could learn a thing or two from our Northern brothers and sisters.

Have a fun and support your local scene!
M+R

Indieterria Review – “May” by Deadwing

Dear Readers,

Don`t fall in love with yet another band…don`t fall in love with yet another band…

Oh, Hello there! We are glad that you have returned to discover new music via our blog. You came in a right moment. We have been here sitting and listening to newest music submissions, when we found a real sonic gem. They are very young, still unpolished and at the beginning of their journey – but there is so much character, talent and potential in this act that we just cant stay still.

The band is called Deadwing and describe themselves as gothic psychedelia. Their debut single “May” came out last month and the quartet had just played their first headlining show at our beloved venue in town- Jimmy`s Manchester. Deadwing may be putting their first steps in the music industry but they present some serious qualifications: they mix prog rock with some hauntingly beautiful vocals, take inspiration from a wide range of artists and try to form their own sound. Also they write poetic and mature lyrics. Additional point for the band here. Imagine later day Anathema fronted by Anneke van Giersbergen, with The Cure,  Siouxsie and The Banshees and Cocteau Twins lending a hand from the off sides – a tasteful combination of gothic rock, cold wave, ambient, metal and shoegaze (or neo-psychedelia if you prefer).  Even the name is spot on – original, mysterious and you can imagine it on future festival posters and in rock n roll encyclopedias that yet have to be written.

You may think we are going (slightly) bombastic here – but A&Rs have this gut feeling when we hear bands that can shape musical futures.  And this is one of those moments – a group of kids that picked instruments and have yet to realise their power.  Will they be determined to continue and develop their potential that is another story. For every band that makes it – 250 do not. One can only hope that they will stand united as a band and will have both luck and perseverance, good managers and a faithful label to help them along the way.

We are gonna say the same thing as NME once said to My Bloody Valentine when they first started out. Hey Deadwing – please promise to meet us on this blog in five years time when you are about to release your highly anticipated second album. We`d love to speak to you before you go on that long European tour, OK?

Deadwing photographed by Spencer Mason
https://www.facebook.com/ArtisticLogistic

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.

Ellis Elwyn: We are Deadwing, a four piece gothic psych-rock band from Manchester.

Where are you based and who is in the band?

Ellis Elwyn: We are based in Manchester, with me Ellis Elwyn on vocals, Jake Lafferty on drums, Jack Stanley on bass and Isaac Batty on guitar.

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

Ellis Elwyn:  We launched at the start of March this year and released our debut single at the end of May. We also organised and hosted our own headline gig to launch the single at Jimmy’s! In terms of venues, we have been lucky enough to play at some of our favourites in Manchester such as The Deaf Institute, Band On The Wall and Jimmy’s.

The poster for band`s debut headlining show at Jimmy`s Manchester

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

Ellis Elwyn: We have a variety of influences! Including Radiohead, The Beatles, Black Sabbath and Jaco Pastorius.  We tend to take inspiration from drama and emotion.

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.

Ellis Elwyn: I  wrote “May” after a particularly difficult time last year. The story is so open to interpretation, but I like to see it as a song with two different perspectives/people in it if that makes sense, almost singing to each other. I wrote the song just on my acoustic guitar but took it to the band and they turned it into something huge!

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

Ellis Elwyn: We aren’t currently touring, but at the minute you can catch us playing live in Manchester on the 15th August and in Leeds on the 9th August! Follow our social media’s for all the details when they get announced.

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

Ellis Elwyn:  Check out our email: thedeadwingband@gmail.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?

Ellis Elwyn: We’d all probably go for…can we say a band? Because it’d be Pink Floyd in a huge collaborative album! If it just has to be one artist we’d choose David Bowie, at Abbey Road Studios!

Deadwing – a band to have on your radars – photo by Thea Brooks
https://www.facebook.com/photograthee/

You HAVE to follow the band on the socials:

https://www.facebook.com/deadwingband/
https://www.instagram.com/deadwingband/
https://soundcloud.com/deadwingband
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCznzJHpYbj-4xEp0j0-jYiA
https://open.spotify.com/artist/1qZDjUpnTjsYK1yTslsmHj?si=vJeRiDZNR6mep7VHyv93-w

Deadwing are officially on our “bands to watch for” radar, their single “May” has been added to our Spotify list and we are happy A&Rs as we just spotted another talent. What else? Stay tuned because we are not finished yet and “Hello Manchester” will continue in July with more good music and great bands.

Did we mention how much we like Deadwing?

M&R

Indieterria Photo Review – The Blinders at Glastonbury 2019

Dear Readers,

Performing at Glastonbury Festival, the biggest festival in the world, is a dream come true for all musicians. The Blinders have been invited to join the official line up at the last minute after Sam Fender was forced to cancel his apperance at the Worthy Farm due to illness. Their accouncement that they will play the politically charged Leftfield Stage as the main support act for the singer/songwriter KT Tunstall, sent massive shock waves throughout their social media. The band performed on Saturday, 29th of June between 7:30 and 8:30 pm. They shared the scene with a fantastic group of other artists including Fontaines D.C., Billy Bragg, Queen Zee and Dream Wife to name just a few.

Set list (not in this particular order): “Gotta Get Through”, “Brave New World”, “L’Etat C’Est Moi”, “Ramona Flowers”, “The Writer”, “Lunatic With A Loaded Gun”, “Wither”, “ICB Blues”, “Rat In A Cage”, “Hate Song” and “Et Tu/Berlin Wall/Brutus”. Their set lasted about 50 minutes.

Glastonbury artwork and releases:
Once The Blinders have been confirmed, the festival marketing machine went into its standard mode and all social media have been updated to include the Doncaster trio. Within hours, The Blinders name appeared on official websites, posters and an announcement has been issued.

Official social media:
https://www.instagram.com/glastoleftfield/
https://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/areas/left-field/
https://twitter.com/glastoleftfield
https://www.instagram.com/glastoleftfield/
https://www.facebook.com/glastoleftfield

Official pictures and videos:
As usual, on the next day after the gig, The Blinders uploaded a set of official pictures taken by Sam Crowston of Sam Crowston Imagining/Nasty Man Creations.
Sam has been working as an official visualizer for the band since 2016 and is responsible for all videos, pictures and videography.

 

Fan pictures:
Indieterria is proud to say that The Blinders have some of the most beautiful fans in existance! They are not only willing to travel all over the country and abroad to attend their shows, but they always share pictures, videos with those who couldn’t be there. When fans realized that the BBC Glastonbury coverage sadly didn’t cover LeftField, they immediately shared their own recordings and photos. We have teamed with Alan Wells, Bob Wallis and Liam O’Farrell to bring you a great selection of pictures/videos from their Glastonbury set! Thank you so much guys! Please respect the copyrights and if you’d like to share those pictures, please provide full credit to the authors.

Bob Wallis gallery:
Bob can be contacted at: https://www.facebook.com/bob.wallis.75

The Blinders before their show at the Leftfield Stage. Picture by Bob Wallis. Used with permission (and with a guest apperance from Photographer, Alan Wells)

Thomas Haywood of The Blinders at Leftfield stage at Glastonbury 2019. Picture by Bob Wallis. Used with permission

Thomas Haywood of The Blinders at Leftfield stage at Glastonbury 2019. Picture by Bob Wallis. Used with permission

Charlie McGough of The Blinders at Leftfield stage at Glastonbury 2019. Picture by Bob Wallis. Used with permission

Matty Neale of The Blinders at Leftfield stage at Glastonbury 2019. Picture by Bob Wallis. Used with permission

Matty Neale of The Blinders at Leftfield stage at Glastonbury 2019. Picture by Bob Wallis. Used with permission

Liam O’Farrell gallery:
Liam Can be contacted at: https://www.facebook.com/liam.ofarrell.16

Fan Videos:
The Blinders are known for their atmospheric and energetic live performances and their show at Glasto was not an exception. The tent was packed and everybody had good time, danced, pogo’ed and sang along. You will notice that during the set, drummer, Matty Neale, sustained a hand injury but kept on playing! This has earned him a massive respect from everyone in the audience. We have to say, we are very impressed. We also hope that the injury is not serious and Matty will recover in no time.

“The Writer” and “Brave New World” filmed by Bob Wallis:

Another (short) video clip of The Blinders performing “Brave New World” taken by Alan Wells:

“Brutus” (without “Et Tu”/”Berlin Wall”) has been filmed by gorillaprint:

Articles:
There are few interesting articles about The Blinders playing at Glastonbury, so please knock yourself out if you still haven’t had enough 🙂 !

https://www.nme.com/festivals/glastonbury-2019/political-pilton-heres-guide-everything-political-glastonbury-2019-2512338
https://www.doncasterfreepress.co.uk/news/people/doncaster-band-the-blinders-set-to-play-glastonbury-alongside-kt-tunstall-and-billy-bragg-342369
https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/people/doncaster-band-the-blinders-set-to-play-glastonbury-alongside-kt-tunstall-and-billy-bragg-342369
https://offthehookmusic.com/festival-highlights

Thank you again to those who made this post possible. You are absolute rock and roll stars.
We will be monitoring the internets and if something else pop ups, then we will let you know (but of course)!

Thank you for listening and enjoy the summer festival season.
M+R

Indieterria meets Nuns of the Tundra

Dear Readers,

We arrived into October not so quietly. Our ears are still ringing from both Worcester Music Festival and Musicians Against Homelessness gigs, but there is no sign of slowing down. Actually, next week we will rock out again – back at the Marr`s Bar for the EP launch of Nuns of the Tundra. The Nuns are from Malvern and they have built themselves quite a reputation in the last few years. It will be a sonic pleasure to see them live and to listen to their new material. We hope you enjoy first installment of Autumn selection of Indieterria.

Nuns of the Tundra logo

Music from the Shire

 

Nuns of the Tundra

Troy Tittley: Guitar
Arran Davies: Guitar
Jim Smith: Bass
Melos Moody: Drums


West Midland quartet, Nuns of the Tundra, is a rare beast. They easily melt American rock tradition with typical British favoritism for distorted sounds and gritty tunes, creating a fresh sound that has a chance of revolutionizing the rusted structures of the indie genre. Vanadian Avenue sat down with Nundra’s (their pet name!) lead singer and guitarist, Troy Tittley, to discuss their newest single “Float Away”, the Hobbits, road movies and composing on top of the Malvern Hills.

Banner with original logo

According to your biography, Nuns of the Tundra was formed nearly two years ago. Can you please introduce yourselves?  Tell us how the band was formed and where did you meet.

Troy Tittley: The band is the brain child of me and my childhood friend, Arran Davies. We’d always be showing each other cool new music we’d found since we were about 10 years old, and in fact were in a band together called RoadKill when we were 13. We’re better hopefully by now. We had all these riffs and song ideas that were floating around not doing anything, and we had a ton of free time. We didn’t take it overly seriously at first; we made songs about swamp monsters, vampires, goblins… The song about killer sex robots from the future actually became our first single. I also have been in a band before Nuns with a producer Curig Huws, and Curig basically taught me some song writing rules that made me feel confident enough to give it a crack myself. So after that band broke up,  Nuns were formed.

You have to admit that Nuns of the Tundra is a very interesting choice of a name for a rock group. We tried to look for possible explanation and this is our theory: You come from Malvern that derives its name from the old Welsh word “moel-bryn” meaning “Bald Hill”. The tundra biome is usually described as barren, treeless or bare. Also, Malvern as a town has been established by Benedictine order in late 10th century. Maybe as a joke, instead of the monks you called yourselves The Nuns. Nuns of the Tundra. Sounds pretty good to us!

The Nuns photographed by Colton Halls
https://www.facebook.com/coltonhalls

Troy Tittley: I absolutely love your theory and I wish we were that clever. I have to disappoint, but Arran loves nuns, my favorite word is tundra. Deep, right? Tundra Nuns sounded too indie, Nun Tundra doesn’t really work, I don’t know why. When I came up with Nuns of the Tundra, it was a joke, but when I said it out loud, it just stuck with me. We were going to be called nilbog (goblin backwards), but I think Nuns of the Tundra is equally as ridiculous and that’s why we love it. We also have some twitter followers using Nundra to save precious characters, and we really dig that name too.

Let’s talk about Malvern for a while longer. You describe your music asdirty desert stoner rock from the unlikely Midlands town of Malvern”. However, Malvern always had a strong links to (popular) music. For many years it has been the home of Edward Elgar and Julius Harrison, classical composer and professor of composition at the Royal Academy of Music. Through the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, Malvern Winter Gardens was a popular venue bringing top rock acts such as Joy Division, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbaths and many others to West Midlands. It seems that you are continuing the local tradition of crafting good music.

Troy Tittley: Yes, you’re totally right. Malvern just feels like a tucked away music hub. The hills are pretty inspiring; I did a lot of writing up there because you can get away from everything, so Elgar was definitely on to something. It’s basically the Shire and we’re the Hobbits. It’s rather unlikely because I’d kind of expect a rock band to come from Mordor or Isengard. Maybe Sigur Ros lives in Rivendell! (laughs)

Your music has been categorized as a wild mixture of psychedelic, progressive rock, American collage rock, grunge and mainstream harmonies. Fugazi, Stone Temple Pilots, Queens of the Stone Age, Muse and Grant Lee Buffalo have been mentioned as possible influences. Which other artist you would add to the mix and why?

Troy Tittley: As you can see we have a lot of American influence. I love that Fugazi made its way into that list by the way! Live we can be quite raw, but we like to get the layers and intricacies in there too. Really, I want this sound to evolve into something that shifts from chaos to complexity and back, but that’s for another time. Right now, we are very guitar driven, and try our best not to retread ground structure wise or atmosphere wise, so the wild mixture is probably down to that. I’d probably add Nine Inch Nails and Foo Fighters to that list; it’s basically all I listened to growing up.

Nuns debut single “Robot Love” received fantastic reviews from local and online press. It has been championed by Andrew Marston at the BBC Hereford and Worcester. You were also invited to play at BBC Introducing stage at Lakeview Festival at Eastnor Castle in August this year where apparently “you blew the tent poles off” with your powerful riffs. That’s very impressive start, don’t you think?

Troy Tittley: The thing is that’s not the start! We’ve been going at this for a while now and a lot of the feedback hasn’t been so hot. But that gives you thicker skin and if you can get past it, then that’s when the real stuff starts happening. We used to post demos online to public forums, because face to face people often say things that let you off easy. Online anonymity allows people to be complete dicks to you and you just have to deal with it! So, really it started there. We just got our ass handed to us until our “Mind’s Eye” demo took off. We were on the front page of Reddit Guitar Facebook page for a while and it felt amazing. It doesn’t surprise me as “Mind’s Eye” is currently our most popular song.

Second release entitled “Mind’s Eye” only cemented your reputation as a new band to look out for. Overblown Magazine called you “the saviours of mainstream rock”, Worcester Music Festival described you as “dirty drive 100 MPH through the deserts of the wild west” while Born Music gave you the title of “one of the UK’s most exciting upcoming bands”. By now, you must be accustomed to constant praise.

Troy Tittley: It is a good feeling knowing you are on the right track, but it’s important not to rely on positive press because it can make you soft, in my opinion anyway. I think I work harder when people are being harsh. Josh Homme once said “You’ve got to learn to love being hit by rocks” and I think that’s true. But I am deeply grateful for the positive response.

Your latest single, “Dead in the desert” has almost cinematic feeling to it – a certain dark vibe accompanied by an open landscape of fuzzed guitars and distorted echoes. It is easy to imagine surviving members of Velvet Revolver teamed up with Trent Reznor to write a soundtrack for a new road movie directed by David Lynch. I have to admit, it has been one of my favorite tracks this year. Can you tell us more about it?

Troy Tittley: Can I use that description? I love it. I would definitely watch that movie. That song started off as just the bass riff. Originally, it was a guitar line made by Arran. We changed it hugely and made it way more psychedelic. Then we dropped it from our set for over a year, the chorus just wasn’t right. After that, I got addicted to Arctic Monkeys’ “AM” album and it channeled a lot of how I was feeling at the time and the chorus just came together. Finally, the whole song just made sense. The weird sounds and little guitar licks were improvised in the studio. Our producer Scott Mahoney just set me up with this enormous chain of trippy guitar pedals, went out for a smoke and told me to do whatever I wanted. It was a really fun experience, and we were just trying to create the weirdest and most creepy soundscape we could get away with. I’m glad you like it.

Nuns of the Tundra during their BBC Introducing session
Photo by Andy O`Hare
https://www.facebook.com/andy.ohare1

On the 10th of October, you will release your first EP and a new single “Float Away”.  How many songs will be included? Where was it recorded?

Troy Tittley: The EP is the first 4 songs we recorded at the Funky Bunker in Malvern. “Float Away” will be the new track and all other singles released will be on there too. It’s our first CD and we’re so excited to have something physical. All songs were produced by Scott Mahoney and the current band lineup: me, Arran, Jim and Melos.

Recently, we found out that an animated video to “Float away” was produced by London based indie/alt rock art company YesMan. Its official premiere took place on the 28th of September and it has already been shown to critics at NYC Indie Film Festival where it was included into official festival selection. It will be competing for the main festival award in short movie category on 7 – 13th May 2018. We are very interested in learning more about this unusual collaboration.

Troy Tittley: YesMan caught our attention with his previous work; it has a really different feel to the majority of the stuff out there. We played him a lot of tracks that we’d recorded, and just asked him to pick the one that vibed with him most. We didn’t want any input; we just wanted him to come up with something, to make a song more than a song. “Float Away” is close to my heart, I wrote the main riff when I was very young, probably 13, so a part of me was hoping he’d choose it. And honestly the song works so much better with the video, once you see it, you won’t be able to separate the two. It’s just how I wanted it to be. Plus I get to be the moon!

Nuns of the Tundra are on the (rock and) roll. What are you up to in the nearest future?
Any gigs your fans should be aware of?

Troy Tittley:  We’ve got a few songs that are recorded and ready to go. We like to surprise people, so “Float Away” will be a departure from our main sound. The next batch will hopefully add another element to our repertoire. We have some songs to be yet recorded, a tour through October and big plans for 2018. Also, we’ll be back in the Louisiana in Bristol on the 4th of October, and our EP launch will be held at the Marrs Bar, October 10th. We’re heading back down to London on the 27th of October and we’re playing a special hometown gig in Malvern at the Unicorn too. Can’t wait!

You can follow Nuns of the Tundra online:

http://www.nundra.com
https://facebook.com/nunsofthetundra/
https://twitter.com/NunsoftheTundra
https://soundcloud.com/nunsofthetundra
https://www.reverbnation.com/nunsofthetundra
https://nunsofthetundra.bandcamp.com

That`s all folks. We will see you at Marrs Bar on October 10, for the EP launch.

Mal/Rita

Indieterria meets Thousand Mountain

Dear Readers,

Another chapter in our ongoing project to discover new and exciting music in 2017. And this band happens to be also a headliner of Musicians Against Homelessness gig that is organized in Worcester on September 22, 2017 – so today. They don`t have a leader, discarded lyrics and use the power of music to evoke emotions and imagination of the listener. Thousand Mountain – ladies and gentlemen – one of the best match rock acts in the country!

Band logo

Let the music do the talking

In the visual age, it is increasingly hard for any instrumental band to successfully compete against rock groups fronted by charismatic leaders. Without attention grabbing spectacle or glass shattering vocals, singer-less ensembles are commonly considered a lesser form of entertainment.  There are however exceptions to the rule. Heralded as one of the most innovative music acts on the West Midlands scene, Birmingham based trio Thousand Mountain, do not need cheap tricks to have all eyes focused on them. With their earth-shattering riffs and technical skills, they can create emotional performance that captivates the audience. During their recent visit to Worcester, we spoke to the band about their influences, preferences and the importance of being persistent.

According to your biography, Thousand Mountain is a three piece act formed in early 2016. Please introduce your band members and tell us more about your beginnings.

Thousand Mountain:  Sure! We have Dan Stokes on bass – huge Spiderman fan, Ash Andrews on drums – who is late for everything and Joel Hughes on guitar- who really wishes we were a Fleetwood Mac tribute band!

Like every strong/lasting relationship, we met over the Internet. Got sweaty in a room together for like 6 months – then music happened!

Read to rock – Thousand Mountain have established themselves as the leading match rock force in the West Midlands.

Your name, often abbreviated as TSND MNTN, is quite intriguing. Logo and song titles such as “Open Door” or “Kraken” point towards philosophical or mythological concepts. There are two famous Thousand Mountains in the world, one located in Japan – Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto (known as the Mountain of Thousand Gates) and The Thousand Buddha Mountain near the city of Jinan in China. What’s the inspiration behind this particular name?

Thousand Mountain:  You’ve nailed it, we take a lot of inspiration from eastern culture and we definitely did not need a band name that began with TM because we’d already paid for a logo using those 2 letters, which led to us being called ‘Trevor McDonald’ for an afternoon (laughing). Definitely, the first one which you said!

You classify yourselves as a power house rock band. The official Webster-Merriam definition for it would be a “rock group having great drive, energy, or ability”. We have to agree. You are volcanoes of energy on stage and your technical skills are commonly acknowledged.

Thousand Mountain:  Thank you (laughing again).

Birmingham Promoters, PR and media company based in West Midlands, described you as the eclectic mix of alternative and metal sounds with the aesthetic of classical rock. Can you tell us more about your musical heroes? Who do you look up to musically?

Thousand Mountain:  We’ve not seen that?! That’s cool though.  We all listen to different artists so we each bring something different to the table when we write.  Dan used to listen to a lot of metal so we have a few heavier elements and massive riffs, Ash listens to a lot of math rock bands, so our rhythms are interesting and Joel comes from a jazz and blues background, so the melodies and choral content are something that’s important to us. We really love bands that aren’t scared of doing what they want. We all love Chon, TTNG (This Town Needs Guns), Manchester Orchestra, Plini and bands like that. Anyone with a guitar gets our respect.

Nowadays, almost all bands relay heavily on strong vocals or charismatic front men/women. You seem to deliberately break all existing rules – you play instrumental music and all band members are equal. Thousand Mountain does not have a designated leader that audience could concentrate their attention on during shows. What is the reaction to your very own and quite unique way of playing?

Three very wise and very talented men. Photo from band archives

Thousand Mountain:  None of us are good enough to be the focal point, but when you put all 3 of us together, we make 1 decent musician. We’re not super cool, beautiful hunks or charismatic talkers – so we have to compromise.

Your genre of choice is often criticized as a limiting form of art. Vocal-less by nature, it does not offer listeners a story, and is regarded as “too technical” in comparison to evocative cinematic scores. How would you counter such arguments?

Thousand Mountain:  There’s only 12 notes in music so if your vocalist can only sing in a handful of key signatures, but our guitars can play in all of them, then who’s really limited? Lyrics are telling you one person’s story, most of the time people don’t have anything interesting to say, so just moan about how they’re so deep, our music sets a scene which you can fill with your own story. We could never compete with an orchestra, but for 1 guitar, 1 bass and 1 drum kit, we try our best.

2017 seems to be a breakthrough year for you. You have been performing extensively, sharing stages with the best new acts like Lost Tiger to the Wild, Rubio, Ideal Club (at the Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham), Salt Wounds and others.  On 17th of August you have supported American legends of spoken word movement – Listener during their show at the Flapper. In short – you have an impressive resume for a young band.

Thousand Mountain:  It’s because we don’t leave promoters alone. We work a lot with “Surprise You’re Dead Music” in Birmingham. And as I’m sure they’ll testify to, we’re really annoying.
But, if we see a show that we want to be on, we won’t wait for the invitation. We’re no strangers to playing some really weird shows just to get our names out there, so venues and promoters know about us. When you have a 4 band bill of 3 proper indie bands, then it is us. We’re definitely there to stick out and be remembered! We supported Press To Meco, who we adore on the back of playing to a room full of scared indie kids where the other bands didn’t talk to us all night. But you have to do things like that. It’s pointless updating Facebook once a month asking people to re-blog you on Tumblr – just turn up, put on a sick show and never stop asking for more.

Thousand Mountain has played in Worcester on several occasions in the past, always to sold-out shows. In September, you will grace our local stages twice: on 15th of September you will perform at Heroes Bar as part of Worcester Music Festival and a week later, on 22nd of September, you will headline the electric stage at Marrs Bar as part of Musicians Against Homelessness event in support of Crisis, a charity helping to eradicate homelessness from British streets. What can we expect from you on that night?

Photo from band archives

Thousand Mountain:  We love Worcester, from the first time we played we’ve been welcomed back with open arms. It’s by far our favorite city to play. Everyone’s open-minded about music and they seem to dig us. We get noticed when we’re walking around town now too, that’s why we come back so often – for an ego boost.  We’re really looking forward to that show, we’ve been to a few around the country before and they’re always busy nights. And to be headlining one at our favorite venue is something that’s very important to us. So expect a big, big show.

Two charity gigs in span of few days. You really give back to your own community. In your opinion, how important is it for independent artists to be locally engaged?

Thousand Mountain:  Massively. MAH is a huge platform, that’s all the motivation a band should need, but when you know it’s achieving something positive it makes it even more worthwhile.

What are your plans for the future? Any exciting news or plans for a new release?

Thousand Mountain:  Our first EP should be released soon, and we promise there won’t be a long wait for EP2! Additionally, we’ve recently learnt how to use iMovie – which is extremely dangerous for band with a weird sense of humor like us. Everything else is a super-secret; you’ll need to follow us to see what’s happening!

You can follow Thousand Mountain at:

https://www.facebook.com/ThousandMountain/
https://twitter.com/TSNDMNTN
https://soundcloud.com/thousand-mountain

Musicians Against Homelessness charity concert will take place on September 22nd 2017 at Marrs Bar

If you want to see Thousand Mountain play Musicians Against Homelessness concert, tickets are a £5 and can be bought from the links below:

https://www.wegottickets.com/event/413506
http://www.marrsbar.co.uk/events/musicians-against-homelessness-2/
https://www.facebook.com/events/106395143421500

To find out more about MAH visit Musicians Against Homelessness on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/mahgigs/

As a headliner of the charity fundraiser, Thousand Mountain filled in the role of press spokespersons and they did quite well you have to admit. The local coverage was great, even before the event started:

Worcester Observer 19th September 2017

https://worcesterobserver.co.uk/news/charity-gig-will-help-homeless/

Worcester News 19th September 2017

http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/15544094.Worcester_musicians_to_play_in_support_of_homeless_charity/

Severn Valley Radio, 20th September 2017

http://www.severnvalleyradio.co.uk/news/local-news/worcester-bands-will-play-in-support-of-musicians-against-homelessness/

That`s all for now folks. We will report from after the gig,

Mal+Rita