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 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 review – Who`s Misty? – Supernova

Dear Readers,

Anyone up for a trip to Lincoln? This East Midlands town has a medieval cathedral, a Norman castle, a Roman gate and a stunning waterfront promenade among its many attractions. But wait till you hear about their local music scene! Vigilantes, Sükko or, the main subject of this blog, Who`s Misty? Now this is something we gotta tell you about!

Who`s Misty – your future superstars

About two weeks ago we received an email from a band that have not been on our radar. It read simply “So we have just spent the last hour trying to come up with a great opening line, but fortunately we are better at writing songs than emails!”.  Straight to the point with sense of humour.  We have to say the band had our full attention at that point. They were to release their debut single “Supernova” at the end of the month and were female led indie trio. The single has been attached to the email to make things easier. So we pressed play and then…something hit us but we still try to determine what it was.

It could have been the guitar hooks or the excellent melody line or maybe the vocals. Or just the fact that a young band sent us a single that should have been on BBC Radio 6 playlist. If we could not name one band from Lincoln before, after few days we were familiar with a good portion of the scene and we managed to gather quite a bit on Who`s Misty? themselves.

The core of the band consists of Donald Davis (drums/live guitar), Aidan Betts (bass) and Imogen Camplin (vocals), they occasionally become four piece for live shows.  The trio have been gathering rave reviews across the spectrum: from BBC Introducing (“Absolutely cracking”- Jess Lord), BBC East Midlands (“Unlike anything else”- Hannah Fletcher) to blogs and magazines (“The band are set to rocket to the sky with their debut release. Ready for a silver screen, if the band have more songs like this in their back catalogue, they’re destined for greatness” -Chloe Mogg Reyt Good Magazine).

In a way it was encouraging that we were not the only ones who were absolutely mesmerised by “Supernova”. Who`s Misty? say they are ready to take 2020 by storm and in this case we will believe every word they say.

What Lincoln based trio produced is three minutes of upbeat indie song that could become one of Summers`s anthems. It has all the markings of a radio hit as well – from the catchy chorus to a melody line that is easily recognisable to a wonderful vocal duet at the end of the track. There is something of Wolf Alice, London Grammar,  Echosmith and Sunflower Bean in them. But also a large quantity of their own stage presence and style. It is such a wonderful feeling for a reviewer to be able to see a young band at the very beginning of their career. And it`s not that we want to brag later on how we were “first to know them”. It is a rare privilege and a pleasure to witness how artists mature, develop and go on to conquer the world. We think we know how Steve Lamacq felt when he got that first demo from a band called Cold Play.

Who`s Misty? gigs have been described as electric.

Who`s Misty? may be a young band with barely a year under their belt but they have already been performing on larger stages. Last year the band was invited to play at 2Q Festival in Lincoln. If you find yourself debuting on the same bill as The Blinders, Avalanche Party, Yonaka or Calva Louise then this is a clear indication where this band will go in five years from now.

We don’t know who is the Misty (the bands bio answers cryptically “god knows…”) but we are certain that the Lincoln trio will be a force on the circuit quicker than you can say The Newport Arch. And we will not be surprised if record labels will keep on knocking on their door. Actually, if any label is reading this – do yourself a favour and sign the trio and mentor them in the right direction. You can thank us music scouts later.

You can follow Who`s Misty? on socials:

https://www.facebook.com/whosmisty/
https://twitter.com/whosmisty_
https://www.instagram.com/whosmisty_
https://soundcloud.com/whosmisty
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCinVhOTwvEimVMGi3A0KUig
https://open.spotify.com/artist/5LZvJMrIrEXDpdcDtAlzZb?si=nWH9wHPXQp-XXnQ_NWFT6g

We will be keeping our eye on the bands progress. And so should you. Now we are off to find our jaws – they should still be somewhere in the house. Maybe under the sofa…

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 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

Indieterria meets MOLLYANNA

Dear readers,

We having a lovers’ quarrel  with Google. Why? Because for reasons unknown the interview with Sheffield`s mighty MOLLYANNA was directed into a spam folder where it stayed for few good weeks before we finally realised. This post should have been online in September! Sometimes, there is little we can do to avoid technology being annoying. So big apologies to the band.

Don’t you worry, Google will be punished accordingly (we now see our emails via Outlook) and you dear readers can finally enjoy the wonderful interview with Bernadette Dales – singer and front woman of the band.

We spoke about their upcoming  album “Archaeology”, their inspirations, writing process and who they would like to record with.  Read on.

 

MOLLYANNA logo

Bernadette Dales (vox)
Mike Hukins (guitar)
Josh Roberts (bass)
Laura Moakes (drums)

Official bio:
Beauty can emerge from the most chaotic places – this is something singer Bernadette Dales and guitarist Mike Hukins know very well. During their decade long friendship they have stitched together their disparate and contradictory influences to form rock music that is at once wild, vulnerable and volatile. Their opposition is a clear influence in their latest collection of songs, which deal with nostalgia, destruction, and the hardest kinds of relationship.

MOLLYANNA have spent most of 2019 in the studio. Their new album “Archaeology” is about the year singer Bernadette spent in therapy dealing with the after-effects of abuse. “In my first session, my therapist warned me that it would feel worse before it started to feel better, and sure enough, for a while it felt like Pandora’s box had opened in my brain and all these demons had spilled out onto my brain. The songs on Archaeology are my attempt at dealing with each one.” In May 2019 the band launched their first ever crowdfunding campaign to help them cover the costs of making the record. Fans jumped at the chance to pre-order the record, as well as many other unique and limited edition items – smashing the band’s initial target in just three days. The campaign’s success was down to the raw and honest way MOLLYANNA told their story. MOLLYANNA are proof that beauty can emerge from the most chaotic of places, which is something singer Bernadette and guitarist Mike know very well. During their friendship, they have stitched together their contradictory influences to create alternative music that is deep, dark and wild. The pair began MOLLYANNA as a duo in 2016, but since then, with the help of bassist Joshua Roberts and drummer Laura Moakes, they have grown into an alt-rock band unlike any other. Their music is for the outsiders – those on the fringes with a story to tell.

MOLLYANNA photographed by Mal Whichelow
https://www.facebook.com/malwhichelowphotography/

MOLLYANNA is one of the leading alternative bands in Sheffield area. Their first EP “Ghosts” came out in 2016 and quickly caught attention of gig goers and local radio DJs. Their singles “Louder” and “Thief” established band`s position as a must see indie act. They have been consistently championed by BBC Introducing Sheffield and recently were even invited to the studio to play an acoustic session for the Beeb. No wonder the excitement for their new record is building. The band`s front woman Bernadette Dales is eloquent and speaks in details. Not always we have such a pleasure to interview artists who will patiently answer all the tricky questions we throw at them. It was such a pleasure to hear all the facts and stories from the studio. This is what we found out ahead of the record release:

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria. 

Bernadette Dales: Hey, I’m Bernadette and I’m the front-person of alt-rock band MOLLYANNA

Where are you based and who is in the band?

Bernadette Dales: We’re from Sheffield (UK), and we have Laura on drums, Josh on bass, Mike on guitar and I make mouth noise at the front.

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

Bernadette Dales: We’re about to release our 7-track record on November 1, which we’re pretty excited about. Earlier this year we launched a pre-order campaign to help us fund the recording, and we reached the target in just three days! That was surreal. We ended up reaching 208% overall over the month. 4 of the tracks have been produced by Mark Mynett of Kill II This, and then there are three live tracks too, produced by Nathan Bailey and Mike Hukins himself. It’s a really ambitious record, with orchestral strings, percussion, animated and live action music videos. This year has been so busy but so much fun. I can’t wait to show everyone what we’ve been up to behind the scenes.

What inspires you? What artists or genres had the biggest influence on you?

Bernadette Dales: The obvious influence would be Incubus, I guess! A lot of people ask where our name came from and it’s from their track “Anna Molly”. They were definitely the biggest influence on me growing up and deciding what musical direction we should go in. I think that’s really clear in songs like “Playing Dead”, which came out on October 4. I also love artists like Alanis Morrissette, and the lyrical genius of hip-hop artists like Lauryn Hill. Mike has some very different influences to me, he’s very much into his proggy, math rock stuff. During this album, he was listening to a lot of Porcupine Tree and Plini.

Ready for action. Photo by Mal Whichelow
https://www.facebook.com/malwhichelowphotography/

It’ all about the music – and we want to hear your tunes and how they have been written.

Bernadette Dales: We have a few tracks out already on streaming platforms, and there’s more coming out very soon! I think the best way to describe how Mike and I make music would be “fragmented”. It’s like we each come up with different jigsaw pieces and then meet up and try to fit them together to make a complete picture. Except there’s no box to work from. And some of the pieces are from a different puzzle. Does that make sense? I think this analogy might have fallen apart. Sometimes Mike starts with a riff or chord progression and I’ll fit something over it and send it back, other times I’ll have a tune or some lyrics stuck in my head and I’ll send it to him to see if he can make sense of it. Once all the parts are there we go over it with the whole band to polish it and make it cohesive.

Name your best song. Is there a story behind it?

Bernadette Dales: This is hard, because I know everyone in the band has a different idea of what the best song is! I think mine would be Archaeology, which is also the name of the album. It’s about the year I spent in therapy dealing with the after-effects of abuse. In my first session, my therapist warned me that it would feel worse before it started to feel better, and sure enough, for a while it felt like Pandora’s box had opened in my brain and all these demons had spilled out onto my brain. The track “Archaeology” is about that process of therapy and digging up the past.

How do you create your unique sound? What gear are you using?

Bernadette Dales: I think the uniqueness of our sound ultimately comes from the melting pot of ideas we have. Mike and I are the main songwriters and our influences are quite drastically different a lot of the time. When they merge together we manage to make some really cool stuff – it’s almost prog rock. As a vocalist, I like to bring out the different colours in my voice – I’m not afraid to sound ugly or creepy. There’s some weird whispered backing vocals in our next single to look out for.

In terms of gear, we’re not really a tech band to be honest. Mike has the usual guitar distortion/delay pedals, Josh has a 5-string bass to get the extra beefy riffs in and Laura is sponsored by Meinl for her kit. I just show up and sing.

“Bleach” single sleeve
Artwork by Joshua Roberts https://www.facebook.com/joshua.roberts.988

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

Bernadette Dales: We have a few dates in the diary for Autumn, and we’re hoping to get a proper tour together for early 2020 (follow us on the socials for updates on that!). Our next gig is November 1 at Record Junkee in Sheffield, which is also our album launch show. We have tickets available on our website, so please come! After that we have Leeds on December 4, Chesterfield on December 7, and Whitchurch on December 14. All the details are on our website.

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

Bernadette Dales: They can get in touch over at www.facebook.com/mollyannaband or at mollyannaband@gmail.com

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

Bernadette Dales: (laughing) Tupac!

The sleeve to “Playing Dead” single.

“Archaeology” will come out on November 1st 2019 and is promoted by two singles: “Bleach” and “Playing Dead”. The band is often described as “alternative rock” but you will find MOLLYANNA to be so much more than your average “female – fronted” rock act. For starters Bernadette`s voice range is absolutely incredible – from a whisper and delicate, nearly ethereal vocals to proper screams. The band is not far behind her with powerful riffs ranging from psychedelia to grunge and match rock. There is something in MOLLYANNA that reminds us of Soeur, or to aim much higher – of Veruca Salt and ExHex. There are melodic lines that could make Sleater Kinney jealous and lyrics that would make Mary Timony or Kristin Hersh proud.

If not this record, then the next will take MOLLYANNA from your local venues to Maida Vale for a session. If we don’t hear them on BBC 1 Rock Show in the new year we will eat a bowl of hot chilli sauce. It’s a promise.

Actually, we will do what Daniel P. Carter once said on air:  hey labels– sign this band. You can thank us later.

 

You can follow Mollyanna on their socials at:

https://www.facebook.com/mollyannaband/
http://mollyannaband.com/
https://www.instagram.com/mollyannaband/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPu-pyDWaTucmkplcZvW6AQ

That`s all from us read readers. As usual – if you dig the music, go and see the band or support them in any way you can.

We will be back with more bangers.

Mal+Rita

Indieterria meets Methods

Dear Readers,

One of the things Vanadian Avenue has been trying to accomplish in the past year was to bring Manchester and Birmingham scenes closer together. We networked, attended gigs, introduced people to each other, nagged, bugged and dragged folks by their collars. As you do. We have just found ourselves allies in our continuous struggle to connect Kingdom of Mancunia and The Black Country.  Please meet Methods. This five piece has been born between Wolverhampton and Salford and they just released an incredibly good EP at the beginning of October.

For A&Rs there is nothing better than a new band to interview so we went and did just that. And it was such a fun.

Band`s logo

 

Ash Bradley (vox)
Ryan Deakin (guitar/keys)
Adam Hall (bass)
Peter Bates (drums)
Jon Nash (key/vox)

Official bio:

Influenced by life and their soundings along with the likes of Joy Division, Depeche Mode, The National and Interpol, METHODS formed with the mutual understanding to do things their way and write what they love.

Methods have made their mark with their own dark sounding synth indie anthems. The Midlands based 5 piece have been gaining recognition in the last few years, playing countless shows to crowds across the UK. The band have been garnering support from the likes of BBC Introducing West Midlands as well as nominations at The Birmingham Music Awards and Black Country Music Awards.

We have seen Methods live earlier this year as part of Magic Garden Studios fundraiser for Musicians Against Homelessness in Birmingham. Magic Garden is of course the very famous recording studios where Gavin Monaghan and Joe Murray help create the best music around. Think The Blinders, The Pagans SOH, The Novus, The Lizzards etc. Methods, who also work with Magic Garden, played a wonderful set at The Coach and Horses on May 3rd and quietly we knew we were to expect something huge from them.  Their stage presence was immaculate, the songs sounded exciting and in general we had jumped up and down on the night having the best time.

The sleeve for Anything – a new EP from Methods.

When Methods` new EP “Anything” landed in our office both Rita and I could not wait to give it a listen. As you probably can deduct from the tone of this post, we loved it to bits, but before we will offer some words on the EP itself,  its only fair to give you some back ground information about the artists. What`s the point of a review otherwise?

We have sat down with band`s guitarist Ryan Deakin for a quick chat about the band`s inspirations and song writing process. This is what he told us:

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.  

Ryan Deakin:  Hello,  we are Methods.

Where are you based and who is in the band?

Ryan Deakin:  The band is based between Wolverhampton and Salford.

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

Ryan Deakin:  We played some good support slots with some high profile bands – but – we haven’t really got any goals, just making music we want to hear and see what happens.

What inspires you? What artists or genres had the biggest influence on you?

Ryan Deakin:  The one that we all seem to love is Bowie.

It`s all about the music – and we want to hear how your songs have been written.

Ryan Deakin:  Normally we send each other voice messages of melodies and we work stuff out from that.

Name your best song. Is there a story behind it?

Ryan Deakin: We love all our children. We are proud of “Back of Your Hand”, we literally did the whole thing in about 2 hours. People take so many different meanings from it which is great, and what it’s all about. It was written when Trump was supposed to meet Kim Jong-Un….take from that what you will.

How do you create your unique sound?

Ryan Deakin:  We kind of mix 80`s synths with some 50`s surf guitars…and add a mad singer to the mix.

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

Ryan Deakin:  We will appear in Manchester at  The Peer Hat on 13th October.

Squad goals – where do you want to see the band in five years time?

Ryan Deakin:  We want to be playing some decent sized venues and have a couple of good albums under our belts – that will be fine.

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

Ryan Deakin:  Contact us at Methodsmusik@mail.com

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

Ryan Deakin:  Recording at Sun City with Phil Spectre (pre Homocide) would be interesting.

Methods photographed by Nidge Luhg Sanders (Trust A Fox Photography)
https://www.trustafoxphotography.com/

So, let us pen few words about Methods` new EP “Anything”. As we mentioned, it was released on October 4th 2019 to rave reviews from blogs and music magazines alike.  You will find four songs on the record (“Back Of Your Hand”, “Collector”, “No Cover” and “Human Existence”) and two short instrumentals (Intro, Interlude).

The EP starts with unsettling “Intro” –  and despite just being 40 seconds long, this track actually stands on its own and serves a very important purpose – to set the mood for the record. Call it cliché but there is something cinematic about both instrumental tracks on the EP. They are not fillers, more like road signs pointing in which direction the music will go.

“Back of Your Hand” – is powerfully anthemic composition. Close your eyes and you can easily imagine the band playing this track to a full stadium backed by live orchestra and powerful visuals. The band considers it their best song to date and it tells a story of a historical meeting between two political leaders and sworn enemies.

By contrast “Collector” starts slowly but around one minute in incredible drums come in followed by a change of tempo and more optimistic overtones. And the lyrics! Just listen. Not sure who is main writer in Methods but man, they surely can deliver. Not one dry eye in the house – you have been warned.

Methods photographed by Danny Hodge https://www.dannyhodge.photography/

Interlude divides “Collector” from “No Cover” where dystopian theme clashes with uplifting music. Again it sounds nearly as anthemic as “Back of Your Hand” and we could only wish to hear it with accompaniment of a live orchestra.

“Human Existence” closes the record. Like “Collector”, it is slower and contemplative track. Yet the back ground melody line keeps hope despite rather bleak lyrics.

We love how the EP is divided into two equal parts. One faster/anthemic song and one slower/contemplative one. And a short instrumental track to divide them. Like two sides of a perfectly balanced vinyl record. Actually we want that EP on a vinyl.

 

Methods photographed by Rob Hadley
https://www.facebook.com/photosbyindieimages/

You can follow the band on the socials:

http://www.methodsmusic.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/methods2
https://www.instagram.com/methodsofficial
https://twitter.com/methodsmusik
http://www.soundcloud.com/methods_official
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGoNTNzTQv30UVpbeDbxJ2A
https://open.spotify.com/artist/5RG6MWN2BuVHelIs2HRZbo?si=TLYTQKUJT4aq2foeId4BjA

We hope you enjoyed this interview and if you have a chance to see Methods live, go and grab yourself a ticket. Actually two tickets – so you can bring a friend. You both will have an excellent time.

We will be back soon with more music and more kick ass interviews.

Love,

Mal+ Rita

Indieterria Review – The Blinders at Leffingeleuren Festival

Dear Readers, 

Throughout the summer months, we tried to cover as many festivals as possible, where the Blinders made an appearance. We have attended several events ourselves and in many cases, we have teamed up with our special correspondents. Hopefully, this allowed fans to enjoy the experience and feel “as they were there” in person.

Having spent several weeks in Belgium, we were lucky to see the band perform at Kliko Festival, Valkhof Festival and recently at Leffingeleuren. It was a great pleasure to see the trio spread their wings on completely unchartered territory. Leaving dedicated fan base hundreds of miles away and facing the unknown can be a scary but exciting opportunity. We can tell you straight away that the band returned home with shields in their hands. If you are looking for a short description then, it was a triumph of an European tour, no doubt about it.

Leffingeleuren Festival is a respected event that has been going on for 40 years. It is not the biggest music festival around, but has the opinion of “quality over quantity”. Only the best selected acts are invited each year and if a band makes the bill, it is universally acknowledged that the music industry in Belgium has taken notice. The Blinders played quite an early slot on Saturday, 14th of September (3:30 pm) but their gig was packed so tight that many didn’t make it into the Zaal De Zwerver, the biggest stage of the festival.

Digital polaroids from the performance

Zaal De Zwerver has the capacity of 750 and is a state of the art musical venue. It has everything a venue should have – a perfect sound system, massive entrances on both sides with a wheelchair slopes, a cloakroom, merch tables, an outside and inside bar, a balcony, large and secure floor and clean toilets with onsite cleaning crew! You will never run out of toilet paper even if there are 13.000 visitors walking around. There is a separate loading bay with its own dedicated street at the back of the venue and secured car park for tour buses, artists changing rooms etc. It’s nearly 10 years old but it looks like it was built yesterday. If we tell you that it has been funded by ERDF grants courtesy of  European Union, it will sound like a political statement, and it kinda is (Bollocks to Brexit). Thinking of our beloved, threatened and underfunded venues back home, we felt a bit jealous. Maybe one day, one can dream and hope for the best.

As usual, the Blinders arrived on stage with the sirens blazing and blinding lights. First thing that we noticed was lead singer Thomas Haywood wore his iconic “Johnny Dream” make up in a different way, which was a surprise. Instead of having the war paint smeared down from his eyes onto his neck and chest, the black paint created Adam Ant-like line across his face. They started off with “Gotta Get Through” and almost immediately merged into “40 Days & 40 Nights”. “Brave New World” followed and the room was dancing and bouncing up and down. If new fans didn’t notice anything, we have seen The Blinders so many times live to quickly realize that there was something going on, which was not right. Thomas’ voice, although clear and raspy, was breaking down at times. During “Free the Slaves”, he had to resort to a whisper, skipping several lines to take a deep breath and to continue. “ICB Blues” and “Something Wicked” gave him a bit of  a respite from shouting but he looked irritated and greeted the crowd with bare minimum of words. His frustration grew further when he was unable to play his guitar at the beginning of “L’Etat C’Est Moi” and he signalled his irritation to Charlie and Matty by raising his hands and shaking his head. Luckily, the third go was a success and the concert continued without any technical  glitches to the end.

A new track “Rage” signalled second part of the show which was stunning. The band played tight and flawlessly, rampaging thorough “Hate Song”, “Rat In A Cage” and  then “Ramona Flowers” that was greeted by a loud cheer from the audience. The ode to Scott Pilgrim came with an extended outro and the rhythm section showed what the band was capable of. Matty is known for keeping an intense gaze throughout the performance but this time his stare was as powerful as the deafening beat. Charlie whirled like a force of nature from left to right, using his bass as it was a machine gun he was about to shoot into the crowd. A journalist standing next to me sent me a half-frightened/half-amused expression, but kept nodding his head in clear approval of the chaos happening on stage. “Brutus/Et Tu/Berlin Wall” closed the set with 9 minute  cacophony of distorted guitars and powerful drumming. However, after extended “Ramona Flowers”, it became apparent that Thomas was exhausted. He was completely covered in sweat, hair wet as he had taken a dive into a pool, shirt drenched. At some point, he clung to the microphone stand, with his head lowered for more than a minute, alarming Tom Castrey of Saytr Play (a fellow Mancunian band, who supported the Blinders on tour as a tech). He nearly came on stage, but Thomas managed to pick himself up and finish the performance with flying colours. The usual chants of “Down with Big Brother” were replaced with “Long live the European Union” and the band was gone.

It took several days for us to find out the reason why Thomas struggled. A serious infection and tonsillitis forced the band to cancel their performances at Indiestaad in Paradiso (the Netherlands) and Waves Vienna (Austria). They also moved or pulled out of several domestic festival in order to give the lead singer time to fully recover.

Despite the technical glitches and illness, the Blinders played a fantastic show that  brought them universal acclaim and won them many a fan in Europe. As one of the reviewers noticed, they are outgrowing middle size venues. Next stage is large festivals and 1000+ capacity places.

If you haven’t seen them live yet, don’t advertise it, but buy a ticket. Your next chance to see them live will be on the 12th of October at the Alexandra Palace in Manchester (Neighbourhood Festival).

Set List:
“Gotta Get Through”
“40 Days & 40 Nights”
“Brave New World”
“Free The Slave”
“ICB Blues”
“Something Wicked”
“L’Etat C’Est Moi”
“Rage”
“Hate Song”
“Rat In A Cage”
“Ramona Flowers”
“Brutus/Et Tu/Berlin Wall”

Time: 60 minutes
Stage Times: 3:20-4:20 CET
Stage: Zaal De Zwerver

Schedule: 14 September 2019 (Saturday)

Saturday schedule

 

 

Media Reviews:

“As with every festival, you had to make some hard choices to see all your favourite artists, but with such a good line up and fine weather, in the end it was a great day. Our highlights included seeing The Blinders, Crows, The Germans, Mystic Braves and Willy Organ” – Niels Bruwier for Dansende Beren
https://www.dansendeberen.be/2019/09/10/tien-acts-om-te-ontdekken-op-leffingeleuren-2019/

“The Blinders played a tight set dressed in black and full suits. Their influences come from early Arctic Monkeys but you can hear the echoes of Queens Of The Stone Age in the distance as well. In short – this is a sharp rock and roll with courage and allure. They display the right attitude on stage that enhances their performance. There was a nice balance between slower and faster songs, allowing some respite for the audience, but it has to be noted that each of the ‘softer’ compositions has an edge and dark aggression lurking in the music. The band is changing on stage right before your eyes – sometimes they are melodic, sometimes they are fury and a storm of angry riffs with a lot of tempo changes. The Manchester based trio are not overly innovative but they play convincingly and with precision. You can tell they are on the brink of breaking through outside of their native Great Britain. Fans of dark indie rock can add a new group to their must-see list now”- Niels Bruwier for Dansende Beren
https://www.dansendeberen.be/2019/09/15/leffingeleuren-2019-dag-2-niets-meer-aan-te-doen/

“An early party, why not? We saw The Blinders playing at Zaal de Zwerver. This  Manchester based, British trio bring great punk rock supplemented by psychedelic poetry. They released their debut album only last year and toured a lot. And it shows as they are definitely the stage creatures. They remind us of The Stooges with influences from Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. The band played ‘L’Etat C’Est Moi’, ‘Gotta Get Through’, ‘Rage’ and their latest single, Rat in A Cage’. The closing number ‘Brutus’ was a nearly 10-minute ode to rock and roll, clearly inspired by Jim Morrison. It consists of three shorter parts entitled ‘Brutus’, ‘Et Tu’ and ‘Berlin Wall’. Talking about Brutus – it was a lucky coincidence that a Belgian band with the same name was to perform later in the day. As for the Blinders, seeing them live is highly recommended” – Trees Rommelaere for Luminous Dash blog
https://luminousdash.be/festival/leffingeleuren-dag-2-14-09-2019/
https://luminousdash.be/category/live/fotos/page/3/ (photos)

Daily newspaper “Het Nieuwsblad” publishing an article on Monday 15.09.2019 with a picture of The Blinders taken by Trees Rommelaere

“The Blinders played a solid rock show and they have a good singer (and guitarist) whose singing style is a reminiscent of Jim Morrison. Musically they are a cross between Stone Temple Pilots and Rollins Band in one moment then Nirvana and Jeff Beck in another. Their composition ‘Hate song’ draws inspiration from Joy Division. It was a good performance by an experienced band”- Koen Asaert for Snooze Control zine
http://www.snoozecontrol.be/reviews/8725/

“We were immediately blown away thanks to The Blinders. Old-fashioned rock/punk with a great stage presence. We hear influences from Queens of the Stone Age and Arctic Monkeys, the singer reminds us a bit of Alice Cooper because of his make-up. Their music is excellent. Those three Mancunian lads were a nice opener if you ask us” – Pieter Bouckhout for Brothers in Raw 
https://www.brothersinraw.com/single-post/2019/09/15/Festivalverslag-Leffingeleuren-2019-op-zaterdag

“What a great thing to see a band giving their best at half past three in the afternoon! The Blinders put their most powerful songs – ‘Gotta Get Through’ and ‘Brave New World’ at the beginning of their set and it brought a lot of crowd into the Great Hall. The British trio plays a certain type of rock music that many bands had attempted to play in the past before them, yet the charisma of Thomas Haywood, the lead singer and the threatening structure of their songs, make them stand out from the rest. They presented quite a show at Leffinge Festival. Are we going to see them playing much larger venues soon?” – Christophe Demunter for DA Music Magazine
https://damusic.be/live/leffingeleuren-dag-2–geen-wafels-wel-tiengangenmenu-4143.html

 

Videos:

“Something Wicked” and “L’Etat C’Est Moi”

“Rage”

“Free the Slave” and “ICB Blues”

“Gotta Get Through” and “40 Days & 40 Nights”

“Brutus/Et Tu/Berlin Wall”

After Movie. You can see Charlie (and Matty in the background) rocking on stage at 1:27 minute mark:

Leffingeleuren 2019 – Aftermovie

Festival socials:

Artist profile:
https://www.leffingeleurenfestival.be/the-blinders

https://www.leffingeleurenfestival.be/
https://www.facebook.com/leffingeleurenfestival/
https://www.instagram.com/leffingeleuren
https://twitter.com/Leffingeleuren
https://www.youtube.com/user/leffingeleuren
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5Ps6BGwRGgTB4rgCBlCX23?si=MLLXCxAfQe2QQujjMwtOZg (official playlist features “ICB Blues” and “Brave New World”)

Gallery:

 

Other galleries:
http://www.enola.be/2019/09/15/the-blinders/ (takes a while to open)
https://www.festivalinfo.nl/artist/123571/The_Blinders/
https://www.facebook.com/pg/EyesWideShutterSpeed/photos/?tab=album&album_id=3048425591897109&ref=page_internal
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10220769307886363&set=a.10202921019010296&type=3&theater
https://www.facebook.com/pg/leffingeleurenfestival/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10156619991731824
https://www.facebook.com/pg/concertpixtrees/photos/?tab=album&album_id=911287822580567
https://www.facebook.com/pg/karenvandenberghefotografie/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1147366568797364
https://www.facebook.com/pg/Alex-Vanhee-Photography-212472195507965/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2459878137434015

Although we could only attend for a single day (Saturday), it was a fantastic, small and family-orientated festival that it’s worth visiting. They do not have the massive stars other festivals have, but this is not a bad thing. We actually liked their alternative attitude – the organizers are booking bands they personally like and the line up is varied. We have seen Brazilian samba rockers, Belgium’s raising stars (pop, dance and hard rock) and international artists of great esteem.  Also, we have had a word with the festival volunteers and we were told that organizers put a huge emphasis on having artists of colour and female  musicians on the bill. This is greatly appreciated and many UK festivals could learn a thing or two from them. It is possible to have 50-50 male to female artist ratio and to give females a prominent positions on posters.

In short, well done!

We will post a longer review shortly so please pop in a bit later.

Till then,
Rita and Malicia

PS. Rita would like to thank Trees Rommelaere and Luk Dufait for their assistance and rock and roll moments we shared in the pit. Dank je!

Indieterria review – Second Hand Emotion by Saytr Play

Dear Readers,

This blog was completely unscheduled but sometimes you just have to accommodate an unexpected release. It landed with barely few days of warning and to be frank we had listened to the single whole three times in total before making a decision that it required a review. So here we are typing at night. If we were lazy, we could tell you that this song is a banger, a real jaw dropper, a proper killer et cetera. Technically it is true but what a lousy writing that would be!

New single from Manchester based five piece Saytr Play entitled “Second Hand Emotion” deserves so much more than few cliché compliments. The band has poured their hearts out into a three minutes track and created a dark anthem for dark times we are living though. We can think of a handful of artists that could do something similar in recent years so it puts Saytr Play in the same league as The Blinders, Strange Bones, Avalanche Party, Sunflower Bean or She Drew The Gun.

Fred Farrell during the video for Second Hand Emotion

Saytr Play photographed by Jack Whiting
https://www.facebook.com/jack.whiting.967

But don`t expect a mosh pit starter. Saytr Play are not Idles, they don`t need to kick the door open to deliver their message. They instead will offer a haunting melody, wonderfully produced and written radio friendly indie track with poetic lyrics. Their strength lies not in angry howls and screams but in how quickly you pick up the song and start singing along with it.  Gigwise – who premiered the video – summed it up this way “the single wouldn’t be out of place blasting out of the speakers at the Etihad stadium” and they are spot on. Well, we can take it from there to say that if the band keeps on putting singles like this – soon they will not only be selling out Gorilla or Ritz. They will sell out Etihad itself. Give them five years, a record deal and watch them fly.

“Second Hand Emotion” brings the same feeling as when “Almost A Kiss” by Blossom came out. You could nearly touch the fact that the band were about to hit it big. The sensation is back. If we are not mistaken then another Manchester band will soon need to find new technical help at gigs. (actually, there will be few vacancies to fill in Columbia since Document are also doing remarkably well).

The band prepared a whole package to go with the single. In a video  we can see Fred Farrell – charismatic leader of Saytr Play – dressed in immaculate white throwing himself in agony/ecstasy while the rest of the band are shown donning dark clothes like a canvass of darkness. A male figure dances around providing the only other focus point for the viewer. Funnily enough this review contains words “five years” and we can’t stop thinking that there is so much of Bowie in the video. From the elaborate make up (like a modern Nō theatre mask) to unbuttoned shirt to the  trademark black heart tattoo  Fred Farell is a glam rock god from era passed. A Maxwell Demon at his most powerful if we can throw in a movie reference.  There is a sense of mourning as Fred holds a burning candle in his hands.

The video has been directed by Matthew Boone and George Webster of Scruff of the Neck and  they did a bloody good job, let us tell you this.

Speaking to Gigwise leader of Saytr Play said “The track’s image explores the vulnerability I feel in today’s society and this idea that we have a voice. In my opinion we don’t have a voice or at least a voice that will be heard. The abstract nature of the image provokes thought. Whatever that may be is irrelevant because it’s your own unique thought! Your second hand emotion.”

The single comes with a black and white sleeve showing a huddled figure – a striking image by Sabrina Olson.

The cover for Second Hand Emotion with photography by Sabrina Olson

Louder Than War Magazine once described the band as “it’s impossible to bottle lightening, Saytr Play come pretty bloody close”. There is very little to add from us truly.

Fred Farrell, Daniel Crowther, Jamie Vere, Thomas Castrey, Juanan Garcia – you did it. Well done.

You can follow Saytr Play on socials:

https://www.saytrplay.com
https://saytrplay.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Saytrplay/
https://www.instagram.com/saytrplay/
https://twitter.com/SaytrPlay
https://www.youtube.com/user/SaytrPlay
https://soundcloud.com/saytr-play
https://open.spotify.com/artist/169EIOeeLOUF8KPn0hAvzG

Additional reading:
https://www.gigwise.com/news/3359866/first-play-saytr-play-premiere-stadium-ready-single-and-video-for-second-hand-emotion

The video to Second Hand Emotion was made by Scruff of the Neck
https://www.scruffoftheneck.com
https://www.facebook.com/scruffoftheneck
https://twitter.com/scruffoftheneck

Directed and edited by Matthew Boone
Shot and graded by George Webster

Second Hand Emotion is released on band`s own label Lovers Music Records
https://www.facebook.com/weareloversmusic/

Love,
M/R

Indieterria meets Dirty Orange

Hello!

Welcome to our the newest chapter of Indieterria. In this edition of our blog we are hosting an act from London that is recognized as one of the brightest stars on the indie circuit in the capital – Dirty Orange. The band comes to Birmingham to play The Victoria on September 28th 2018 as part of their national tour. They will bring three established acts with them: Whitelight, ANOA and Dead Dad`s Club.

If you’d like to learn more about other acts, please see our other blogs:

Dead Dads Club interview: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/06/04/indieterria-meets-dead-dads-club/
“Must be crazy” EP review: https://www.expressandstar.com/entertainment/wyre-forest-entertainment/2018/09/28/dead-dads-club-must-be-crazy-ep—review/
WhiteLight Interview: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/09/25/indieterria-meets-whitelight/
Anoa Interview: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/09/26/indieterria-meets-anoa/

We sat down with Dirty Orange to discuss their musical influences, their beginnings and the London music circuit. Hold onto your chairs and read on:

Dirty Orange
George (guitar & lead vocals)
Scott  (bass)
Connor (drums & backing vocals)
Beno (guitar)

Official bio: Dirty Orange are a four-piece rock band from South West London building a reputation for “in your face, powerful, dance along” live shows. The band released debut EP ‘X.X.X’ in 2017 which has been described as “having that jolting early Arctic Monkey’s sound” by music scene influencers GetIntoThis. The band are touted as ones to watch in 2018 by Jack Rocks & Some Might Say among others

One of the privileges of being a music journalist is that you can interview bands with rare or very unique names. Dirty Orange seems to fall into the “very unique” name category. Quick research helped us to find a bottle of French perfumes called Dirty Orange, an Australian vegan café and a definition from The Urban Dictionary saying that Dirty Orange “can relate to either alluring fragrance with a hint of danger or someone with sweet disposition that displays violent or foul character traits”. What exactly is Dirty Orange according to you guys?

Dirty Orange: That’s brilliant about the French perfume and vegan cafe. But the name came about quite simply because George (vocals and guitar) and Connor (drums) look dirty and Scott (bass) has orange hair !

Live shows are said to be a high energy experiences

Your sound has been described as a perfectly balanced diet of Arctic Monkeys, The Clash, Nirvana and The Libertines. Do you agree with such classification?

Dirty Orange: (laughing) Yeah this list is a huge compliment as those bands are all massive influences on the music we write, but also there are some heavier rock influences on our sound from Motörhead to AC/DC.

You come from South London that is being described as the busiest part of the capital. How do you remember growing up there? Did having an easy access to cultural and artistic events helped you to reach the decision to pursue musical career?

Dirty Orange: Definitely! Growing up with such easy access to central London and famous music venues as well as art galleries has inspired us to pursue and write our music.

Every band started somewhere: at school, at a party, at football practice. Tell us more about your beginning as a group. Where did you meet and when did you know that you wanted to play together?

Dirty Orange: To cut a long story short, Connor, George and Scott all met doing this random summer job at a rugby club in Twickenham packaging season tickets when we were 17. We all got on so well. Connor played in a band at the time, Scott and George were into music but didn’t play. They decided to pick up their instruments a few years later and we bumped into each other on a night out where we decide to start this band and went from there. Fast forward a few years and we decided, we wanted to thicken our live sound by bringing in Beno (guitarist) who Connor went to school with so we managed to convince him up to come shred with us. Simple!

Your newest single is entitled “Hellraiser” and has been called an anthem for the young generation.  It has a very crisp sound and it is skilfully produced. Where did you record it and who is the producer?

Dirty Orange: “Hellraiser” is a massive track and a massive step up in production and fine detail for us. We were luckily enough to work with Wolsey White who has number one albums to his names and plenty of top 10 singles. We recorded the record in various different studios, all with Wolsey of course.

You have been working really hard this summer. You had some sort of a residency at Dingwalls Camden in London with several shows, you played Shindignation Festival, Red Light Sessions at August Bank Holiday Festival, Tramlines Fringe Festival, Hazfest in Kingstone, Venture Festival in Nottingham, The Great Escape Festival in Brighton and several others. And now you are back on the road again. Where do you take your strength from?  Loads of beauty sleep?

Dirty Orange: (laughing loudly) True, it has been a busy summer for us, but we never get tired from playing as it’s what we all love doing in life! We guess, we all have that extra push and energy to be playing, rehearsing and writing as much as possible! We also bounce off each other’s positivity in the band so it’s important we all have a positive mind set before every show/studio session/etc.

On September 28th you will perform in Birmingham with Dead Dad`s Club, Anoa and Whitelight. Are you planning something special for your West Midlands fans?

Dirty Orange: Oh yeah, it is going to be a massive night! It’ll be our first time playing in Birmingham so we can’t wait to see what the music scene is about and show what we got! So will be a special night!

What’s next for the Dirty Orange after the autumn tour? Are you planning to take a well deserved rest or is it back straight to the studio?

Dirty Orange: After the tour we will be taking a few weeks out as Connor is in Nashville doing some serious Dirty Orange networking! As soon as he’s back mid October, we will be writing rehearsing and gigging again. We already have November 30th planned at the Fighting Cocks in Kingston, plus 10th November in Staines with a local band that are good pals of ours.

Dirty Orange – bohemian like you

Last but very important question – if you could support any band active at this moment , whom would you choose and why?

Dirty Orange: Oooooh good question. Any band? That’s a tough question to answer so we will pick one each. For George, it would be Kings of Leon, for Scott it would be Arctic Monkeys, for Beno – Blink 182 and for Connor – Foo Fighters.

Please follow Dirty Orange on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/dirtyorangeband/
https://twitter.com/dirtyorange3
https://www.dirtyorange.co.uk/
https://www.instagram.com/dirtyorangeband/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/3tNGUtOuqPkXN7R4hIat6u?si=KLNW6wnBQFS_OgCtVxnDcw

We hope that you enjoyed this interview and we will be reporting back from the gig.

Ta for now,

Mal+Rita