Wednesday, 18 September 2019

ARGH KiD: R10T - Single review

Single / Track Review
DL from Bandcamp
After the fantastic blend of hip hop punk moves ARGH KiD came up with on recently released EP Derelict Dreams, Dave Scott is back with a bang. He aired this live at his Salty Dog gig earlier this month and my jaw dropped. On record it’s just as powerful. Believe me.
This tune couldn’t come at a more precise moment with the shitty state of our fucked up country under chief clown Boris. It’s a massive, dirty bass driven hip hop monster from the stable of Public Enemy and Rage Against The Machine. I claimed on Louder Than War not long ago that Reunion is the best song of the year. I’m wrong. This ups the stakes on my coolometer times 10. You know when you hear something that gets the hairs standing on your neck and the familiar shivers? This is it. Mixing music with politics can be a tricky business and many bands try it and fail miserably. ARGH KiD just fuckin’ nails it with his clever lyrics regarding wrong uns running riot. It’s not a call to arms as such, “Take a look around we’re back in the eighties, We’re being ransacked by right wingers and racists” It’s more about pointing out that the scarily growing minority of British people have moved back years when it comes to racism, right wing extremism and the divide between classes is deepening again. And what better way to put your point across with a powerful punk hip hop tune like this. A thundering bassline, harsh as fuck drumming, that familiar Kill Bill sample added to the mix. “Don’t don’t don’t believe their shite” And that chorus just fuckin’ hits you in the face.
Stand up. Our lives should be fought for….
Tour dates:
AUG 25 SUN  RivFest 2019, Warrington
OCT 4 FRI Mercury Climbing Festival, Stockport
OCT 5 SAT  Jimmy’s, Liverpool
OCT 11 FRI  Barrow Underground Music Society, Barrow In Furness
NOV 15 FRI  Nice n’ Sleazy’s, Glasgow
NOV 22 FRI   Night & Day Cafe, Manchester
Words by Wayne Carey who writes for Louder Than War. 

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Stephen Lynn: The Other Side Of Art - Book Launch Review

Stephen Lynn: Dionysus Art Book Launch.
FAC251 Building, Manchester.
Friday 6th September.
I actually got an invite to this by accident after chatting to Georgina Robinson (ex Factory Records employee and Manc PR dudester) about something totally different and the conversation got to Stephen Lynn. I didn’t realise this was the guy behind the amazing Old Nags Head mural on Bootle Street. (above)
For those who don’t know Stephen Lynn let me put you in the picture (you get me…). He’s an artist from Warrington who now resides in Manchester and his art just blows you away. After getting the nod from Rowetta of Happy Mondays fame he was commissioned by The Old Nags Head to create the massive mural on the rooftop beer garden which everyone talks about around here. It took him months to stencil out all the pictures (as above) and then they were burned into the brickwork to create an iconic scene of familiar Manc faces from all different generations, which includes the famous Tony Wilson quote, Emmeline Pankhurst, Alan Turing, fuckin’ Hilda Ogden and a plethora of music greats, too many to name.
This exhibition at the old Factory records headquarters is a celebration of some of his latest drawings, including some ordinary people he just liked to portray and a few familiar faces from the Manc scene and more.
It’s all about his new book Dionysis art which is a tidy little thing that looks like a notebook but contains some great images and quotes to match the artwork. And to top it all off we get a classic old skool DJ set from Hacienda legend John Da Silva and a short set of Twisted Wheel hits from Jonny Brown to celebrate this release.
Jonny does a short set of Twisted Wheel classics and has the crowd singing along to every tune he airs. He’s still got that magic and it’s great to see in back on form with some great stuff. Strife is just fuckin’ brilliance and the lucky people here are chanting every word back to him. He still has that indie rock star look and belts out his stuff with a confident air like he’s never been away. A wonderful You Stole The Sun lifts the mood and you know they’re gonna blow up The Ritz when they return later this year. The picture of Jonny in Stephen’s book is a play on The Matrix and looks great with Stephen’s signature style.
I won’t give too much away as this is a book you should own if you love his work. They all have a photographic look to them which make them stand out with style. The fact that he’s included some unfamiliar faces along with some outright legends shows he’s a man with a heart for his art and keeps his feet firmly planted in his working class roots with no pretence. A big thanks must go out to Georgina Robinson for getting involved and securing the old Factory offices for this great display of artwork. I could picture Tony sitting at that legendary table in the centre of the room swearing like a trooper at Shaun Ryder and all the other nutjob musicians who graced this place. Sends a shiver up me spine….
Photo credits: Karen Mcbride. Use of these images in any form without permission is illegal.

Exhibition artwork credits: Portraits of John Robb, Jonny Brown, Karen Mcbride and Sean Brett are all works by Karen McBride.
Words by Wayne Carey who writes for Louder Than War. His author profile is here.

Monday, 2 September 2019

The Rising: The Salty Dog, Northwich, Saturday 21st September gig preview.

The Rising.

Sometimes LTW are accused of sticking to Manchester bands. Well fuck the accusers! The Rising released an important album by anyones standards last year. Hailing from Southampton they have a Manc swagger yet have the psychedelic mod sound and an album that made our Top 20 albums of the year according to me and Ged Babey (another LTW writer). They're working class, working hard and sometimes make it oop North. You seriously need to check them out at one of the best Northern venues around, The Salty Dog.

What fucks me off big time today is how Liam and Noel are fighting to make music on their own terms. Liam's stuck to the tried and tested Oasis formula which is no bad thing if that's your bag. Noel is trying in vain to be different yet churning out 80's pop shit whilst trying to be psychedelic which doesn't wash with me. The Rising have their comparisons but have no illusions about melding the two. Tommy Overington and co have produced a cracking album. No pretense, Tommy states his influences with honesty and the tunes say it all. Oasis, The Who, Tame Impala, The Kinks, Small Faces, proper Mod meets Manc with a heart on the sleeve. Just talented Southern musicians with a love for Mod and Mancunia who need this stuff heard by his Northern counterparts. They need to be heard. Fuckin' end of....

Here's the review from last year by my mate Ged Babey.

The Rising – Are You Ready To Fly? (Detour)
 CD /  DL 
Released  9 Nov 2018
The Rising return with their much anticipated second studio album on Detour.  Big production, psychedelic anthems and some thoroughly Modern Mod pop.  A contender for mainstream success… if they can get national media coverage.  Ged Babey gets on the blower to 6-Music.
The world is yours to claim.  Seize this moment!
Local Boys Make Good.  Against all the Odds.
Remember when teachers would say; “You’ll never amount to anything boy!  Your head’s in the clouds. You’re a dreamer”.  Well, this is the moment when Jimmy, Liam, Barrie, Tommy, Matt, Ryan and Emily are vindicated.  Listen to this!  We have made a bloody great album, full of memorable tunes, catchy songs and uplifting lyrics.  A proper, well-produced,  2018 album!
The Rising are ready.  Ready to go up a level from self-managed, self-funded, popular local band and best-sellers on Mod/Scooterist label Detour, to proper contemporary 2018 pop group; they should be on the radio, on TV and touring nationally – were their any justice…  But you need a lot of luck, money or friends in the right places to do that nowadays….
Some of the loyal followers of Detour Records output will absolutely love it whilst others will baulk at the retro-80’s synthesizers and stratospheric psychedelia on half the tracks.  But if this gets the exposure there are a legion of former Lad Rock fans who would lap it up.  There is even a track your mum or nan will like  – (Talk To Me) a ballad which Gary Barlow could’ve written if he was going through a Lennon phase.
Basically, ‘Are You Ready To Fly?’ is the album Oasis and Stone Roses fans have been waiting for (whether they knew it or not!).  A ‘new band’ but with the same kind of attitude and equally good tunes. A similar self-belief and work ethic. working, playing and partying equally as hard and making as many people dance and smile and singalong as they can.  This is instantly accessible music.  This is music for real people.  The ones who only buy one or two albums a year – and those tend to be ‘greatest hits’ sadly – because they don’t have money to waste on arty, navel-gazing shite….  (This aint hipster/trendy/flavour of the month stuff…)
I say that, but there is a lot of serious/emotional content in these songs about aspirations, the power of love, escape, pride, freedom  … and age-old decisions like  ‘toot or blow’ and  ‘whether to get off your tits or on some-one else’s’….
The title track, the opening number is the best.  It’s the one which should be the ‘hit single’. It’s an anthem full of positive energy and self-motivation. Ambition fuelled by love or drugs or both or neither, just a determination, a need.   It builds from an ascending bass line and floor-tom and Emily Blackledge’s soulful voice before the momentum takes it and Tommy Overington rides the waves of choppy guitar with his words.  When the chorus kicks in, it’s a perfect storm.
So Find…Yourself…. By loosing all your inhibitions 
Life itself …. doesn’t need to have restrictions
Take the leap, don’t look down, the end is far from nigh. 
Are you Ready To Fly?
A great pop-song with a stinging guitar motif which appears thirteen seconds in and is then saved for the outro.   It’s the Risings defining moment.  Their ‘Fools Gold’ or their equivalent to the Teardrop Explodes ‘Reward’….talking of which, the album was engineered by an old mate of Julian Cope, Tim Lewis or Thighpaulsandra as he is better known.
Frontman Tommy says of him;
If you have read the Working Class Heroes interview the frontman gave you’ll know that The Rising do wear their hearts on their sleeve as far as inspirations go.  There is a heavy Lennon and a lighter Liam influence throughout the album.
Lord, Please Show Me The Way To Go takes Lennon onto the Northern Soul dancefloor, whilst the epic Feels Like I’m Dreaming But It’s Real takes Double Fantasy era vocals on a trip with some amazing Back-to-the-Future keyboards from Liam Dixon ( former Neville Staples keyboard-player no less.)
Talking about the album and the influences Tommy draws a line from Mod to  Psych – Small Faces , the Chocolate Watchband and The 13th Floor Elevators thru to  Revolver and Sgt Pepper to modern psych pop bands like Tame Impala and Temples. And add to that movie music…
For a so-called ‘Mod band’, musically, there are a real variety of influences which come over; from Guns’n Roses type balladry, Harold Faltermeyer synth,  to Motown, techno, sitar, Fifties type twang and Girl group harmonies, which counter-balance the frontmans Lennon fixation nicely.
I could tell you in great detail how every song on this album is a work of some kind of genius… but I know you don’t have the attention span.  (The only weakness is some cliched lyricism on Kaleidoscope Eyes in particular). But just listen.  Soak it up.  The Rising sound familiar, but they are brand new. They sound ‘old-fashioned’, but they are modern, they are Now!  They are the blokes down the pub with a thousand stories and jokes but against all the odds they have produced a classic album of British working class pop music. Thoroughly modern modernist pop.
(** I’m biased? I’m a mate? …. nope.  I’m an old punk who likes arty, noisy weird shit generally speaking – but I mean every word –  I write about as many local bands as I can but I have learned to love this group and I want them to succeed because they are ordinary, yet extraordinary geezers (and a bird) who have realised their ambition and exceeded even their own expectations thru sheer willpower and hard work -and produced a work of, dare I say it, pop art. )
**Message to (South Coast) cynics and followers of my reviews.  xx

ARGH KiD: Derelict Dreams EP - Review


Derelict Dreams EP.
AWAL Records.
DL all available platforms.
Release Date: 9th September.
Straight from the the streets of Manchester, ARGH KiD comes back with some tunes that are putting homegrown hip hop back on the map. Dave Scott takes on the mantle as our new Manc hip hop street poet hero with a band to back him that fucks up any tag you can lump him with… Wayne AF Carey gets fucked up by the best sounds of the year going.
I’ve listened to some tunes this year. Honest. You should know me by now. I listen to anyone I give a fuck about. Seriously. The Pagans S.O.H. have proved themselves, the man Chris Bridgett has made an impact with his Swimmers, Stepford Wives are on the scene, Adventures Of Salvador are bringing back the Fall feeling. Get my vibe??? Dave Scott is genius. Don’t argue with me. The brilliant Frank was a tale of a working scally who blows his wages getting wrecked every week. Neighbours was a tale of gentrification, dickheads growing beards and taking over our working class areas munching on falafel trying to be trendy looking like twats. Derelict Dreams takes on a totally different slant with a serious theme going on.
Tearaways is just astonishing in vision. A personal tale of growing up in Longsight / Levenshulme that I can totally relate to. Just kids going in the different directions that life takes you. I’m a witness to what he’s describing. It’s all laid down with a soundtrack from a Spike Lee film or all the Blaxploitation movies you watched over the years. Sublime. Laid back as fuck, beautiful harmonies and stunning. The artwork on the cover just lays it all out. What I did in the early eighties in Collyhurst!
Reunion just fucks me up big time. Forget your ordinary hip hop here mate. A thundering bass line, punk as fuck and a stark tale of an estranged son meeting up with his dodgy father. I don’t need to explain. Just listen to his lyrics. “Was it the left or the right when you kicked her goodnight?” Similarities to the famous lines “He hit me and it felt like a kiss?” Fuckin bang on! The best thing I’ve heard this year without a doubt.
B Boy is a rework of his early muse Beige Boy. All about indentification and race issues, Dave tells a real story that should wake these bigots up. you know the score. Haunting stuff which is proper avante garde ambience, similar to the Kate Tempest vibe.
I interviewed Dave not long ago and know exactly where he’s coming from. The streets. He wants us to listen to a soundtrack to what’s going on in his head with no bollocks. Just the honest truth of his life, observations  and the people living around him. Like he says, Movies For The Ears…. I’m not arguing. The best EP I’ve heard in ages and probably my release of the year. Stunned.
Tour dates:
Goose Green Festival 2019
Mercury Climbing Festival
Barrow Underground Music Society
Nice n’ Sleazy’s
Night & Day Cafe
Words by Wayne Carey who writes for Louder Than War. His author profile is here.

Friday, 9 August 2019

ARGH KiD: Mid Tour Interview

ArghKidEDITS2-16Photo Credit: Debbie Ellis 
ARGH KiD (aka David Scott) is currently on tour spreading the word on the streets with his witty realistic stories, closing down cinemas (I shit you not!) with his band’s massive sound which you just can’t pigeonhole. Wayne ‘AF’ Carey catches up with him before he heads out for more power packed shows across the country including a guest appearance in Northwich with Steve Ignorant’s Slice Of Life!
How did it all start?
“I DIDNʼT START OUT AS A POET. Iʼve been playing/writing music for a long time; earlier ventures just never materialised beyond rehearsals for one reason or another. Iʼve played Saxophone from school and can get around on a guitar, piano, production programmes. “Poetry” was a way to get my words out; the success of that enabled me to meet/interact with a lot of high profile musicians (Steve White for example) and producers that I didnʼt have access to on my first attempts at a music career and from there it was like, OK weʼre doing this.
Where did getting the band together come from?
The music, and band, is just me coming full circle; realising what had always been my ambition. Iʼve been fortunate to form, and those whoʼve seen us live will agree, an ensemble of brilliant musicians in Ian Barber (Bass), Jim(Drums) and Hayley Youell (Vocals). They all come from different tastes which is
perfect because we donʼt have a genre. I hate labels etc – why should one person identify as one thing?? I also act, paint and write so you need a catchall term for that. I find the concept of boxing someone in terrifying (in a good way) and it encourages me to push boundaries. Some people are comfortable with
the idea of being the next so and so but I canʼt be arsed wearing another manʼs shoes.
Who are your main influences in everything you do musically and non musically?
With that in mind youʼll find most of my influences never “stuck to the script”. I love artists stories as much as the work they create; I take guidance that you should never give a toss about what other people think and stay true to self – this more important to me than anything – people like Picasso, Donald
Glover, Da Vinci – I devour biographies and again my music influences are much the same, Bjork, Coltrane, Prince, J Dilla, The Roots – you donʼt get what you expect and thatʼs what I try to emulate in EVERYTHING I DO inside/outside of art. I want to look back on a body of work, in all mediums and see a variety. If Iʼm not striving to be original then you may as well be a tribute band. I donʼt mean that in an offensive way but thereʼs a lot of talented bands that are being steered to be “The Next…” by managers and promoters and itʼs shit. 2019 and people are still trying to be the next Oasis… Iʼm not into reheated cabbage.
Where do you draw your stories from?
Stories…mostly personal, or if not my story a lot of my work comes from other people that I know but at the moment Iʼm playing around with not being so literate with my words and add some ambiguity. I also like to bring humour in, I think thatʼs such an undervalued (and underplayed) card in music; humour is
SO important and there isnʼt enough of it. I like to have a line that will make the listener laugh, and at the same time sucker punch you in the gut. It has to strike the right balance. I love comedians for that – the best ones (Hicks, Pryor, Rock) Iʼve seen as more prophets than clowns.
How would you explain your style?
What we do as a band isnʼt like how other bands tend to work, we create the music to fit the content/words Iʼve written, much in the same way that a composer would create a soundtrack to a film – and because Iʼm so fortunate to work with fantastic musicians weʼre pretty fucking good at it. For example, a song like Never Drinking Again is about being over age in a club you shouldnʼt be in so we took an AfroBeat and Drum and Bass influence; Reunion is an angsty tale about a son meeting his estranged father, so it called for Punk, and so on and so forth. What ARGH KiD do is create Movies for the Ears.
Any surprises in store for the rest of your dates and any you’re looking forward to?
Man, we just had two amazing experiences, at Kendal Calling packing out the House Party tent, then smashing Manchester International Festival. Iʼm really looking forward to getting out and bringing the show to more cities – to be honest we get more bookings in London than we do in Manchester. Weʼve been really embraced by the London audience and weʼre hitting Camden and Hackney in the summer for what will be our 6/7 gigs in the capital this year which is quite an achievement. But everywhere really. We have Glasgow later in the year, then Liverpool. We were invited to be the first band to play in their War Museum and the reception the scousers gave us was insane, I canʼt wait for Jimmyʼs over there. Then of course, last gig of the year Night and Day 22nd November – weʼve got guest appearances and some tricks up our sleeve for that.
Tell us about your upcoming releases on the label and what to expect.
The new EP Derelict Dreams will be out in September; we were looking at an album release but Iʼve realised that they way people consume music now I think the EP is the right sort of appetiser and you can carry a theme through an EP. This is what I call my Nostalgia EP – 3 tracks that are heavily influenced by growing up and the genres (because you music journalists need them)
range from smokey 90s hip hop (Tearaways), Punk (Reunion) and Sigur Ros type shite (Beige Boy) with live strings from Emma Sweeney. No track is the same but each gives you a “movie for your ears”
Tour dates:
Goose Green Festival 2019
Mercury Climbing Festival
Barrow Underground Music Society
Nice n’ Sleazy’s
Night & Day Cafe

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Stepford Wives:I Can't Fight - Single review

Stepford Wivesi-cant-fight-single-final
I Can’t Fight
Self Released 1st August
DL all available outlets

Straight outta Saddleworth come along another group that have caught the attention of the LTW ‘AF’ Carey radar to join the group of exciting Next Wave bands hitting the streets. And there’s a slight difference with this lot….

 Stepford Wives are a canny bunch. Take the two elder statesmen in the band Niklos Jackson – the teacher, and Dom Wint the web master. Mix it up with two music students who can’s even fuckin’ vote yet and you get a pile driver of a second single. The first single slipped by me (I’m only human) however this fully gets my attention. It kicks off with a funky ska guitar riff but unlike the ska punk scene from across the pond this is British through and through. It builds up into a massive guitar riff launching the chorus of “Someone told me I can’t fight” and a fuckin’ thunderous assault of machine gun drumming that pummels your head. You can hear the influences in their like Pixies, The Clash, you get my drift. Niklos knows how to pen an anthem and right now they’re back in the studio planning the follow up. 
This second single was recorded at Edge Recording Studio in Cheshire by producer John Delf and engineer Mark Winterburn (New Order, Lana Del Rey, Bugzy Malone, Plan B) 
Already a massive crowd favourite at live shows, I Can’t Fight is the perfect riposte for everyone that has put you down, passed you over or tried to tell you you’re not good enough. 
Stepford Wives’ debut single Follow This Way received universal praise, with consistent radio airplay, and has been added to multiple Spotify playlists, including Manchester Music Forever’s “This Is Manchester 2019” compilation. They were named Revolution 96.2’s “Featured Band” at the beginning of April. Revolution 96.2 DJ and MMTV presenter Dave Sweetmore said: “Everyone is talking about them.”
I Can’t Fight will cause a scene wherever it gets played this summer and beyond. Contact the band directly to discuss interviews, reviews and live appearances.
One of the best releases from the Next Wave this year! Check it out!

Stepford Wives are:
Niklos Jackson- Guitars/Vocals
Rowan Heywood – Bass/Vocals
Jarrod Ogden – Drums
Dom Wint – Guitar
Live Date:
Saturday 10th August: Indie Rocks! Radio Launch Party – Jimmy’s, Manchester.