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Friday, 11 January 2019

Alphabet Brewery Live Event News and Feature

Alphabet Brewery Live Event News and Feature

Following on from the success of turning Alphabet Brewery into Manchester’s newest pop up venue by staging the Punks 4 West Papua gig with The Blinders, Membranes, Witch Fever and Modern Family Unit, Georgina Robinson (Factory Records) and Jo Lowes (Puffer Fish Press, Fab Radio) are teaming up again under the guise of new venture “Birds on a Wire” to bring more unique gigs and events to the Alphabet Brewery Tap.
This first funked up offering will be Saturday February 23rd in aid of Musicians Against Homelessness featuring The Winachi Tribe, Manc street poet Argh Kid, SWJ Group, The Pagans: Shepherds of Humanity, Karl Hildebrandt and Silverfish Singh. After the live music is wrapped up the Winachi Tribe will be hitting the decks. The brewery will be offering it’s usual blend of Alphabet drinks and street food in their extended outdoor space.
Each band on the bill offer their own unique style, so what better way than to give you the lowdown on each act says Wayne Carey.

SilverFinger Singh
Son of Inda from Ian Brown fame / Winachi Tribe all round geezer he blends a fusion of Hip Hop, Reggae, Indian style to his craft. debut music album in 2018 titled (Education Road EP).
As an artist his music has been featured across BBC Asian Network / BBC Radio Leeds / BCB Radio / TV Conwy / Radio Sangam / Fever FM / Soho Radio & Radio Panj.
In live shows he has had the honour to support live on stage the likes of Ian Brown (The Stone Roses), The Sugarhill Gang, Panjabi MC, Celt Islam & The Winachi Tribe. A great addition to this line up.

Karl Hildebrandt
Poet and professional gobshite from the Dirty North West. Writes to keep the noise quiet. His words have had glowing recommendations from Denise Johnson and MC Tunes amongst others. Currently looking at a busy year. Writes with a honesty that sometimes scares yet titalates. Wears lovely trainers.

Photo Credit: Anthony Conway Photography.
The Pagans S.O.H.
Straight Outta West Brom these guys are one of my tips this year. I saw them first at The Castle last year supporting another promising band Cold Water Swimmers (review here: https://louderthanwar.com/cold-water-swimmers-manchester-castle-hotel-live-review/) and they had me from the start. Think Chilies, R.A.T.M, hip hop / grime and a bonkers frontman. Just check the excellent debut single out and decide for yourself.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thepagansband/

SWJ Group.
SWJ Group are a Mancunian band who make music to nod your head to. Our own Emily Oldfield had the radar out from day one (review here: https://louderthanwar.com/swj-group-scribbles-single-review/) Funky, groovy tunes with a hint of Manchester grit, they hit a groove and stay on it, making every gig an event filled with happy vibes. Wah, beats, keys and above all else top tunes combine to make a huge sound, some call it slacker funk, some call it Mancadelic – It’s best you see them and make up your own mind.In the words of the band themselves “All you got to do is live and love”

Website: http://www.swjgroup.co.uk/
Photo Credit: Paul Grogan Photography.

Argh Kid.
Another recommendation from a LTW fellow writer prompted me to check him out live when he dropped in on Northwich late last year (review here: https://louderthanwar.com/argh-kid-northwich-plaza-live-review-friday-7th-december/) Definitely one to watch as his debut album hits the streets from March and will be up there in the album of the year polls if the stuff I’ve heard is anything to go by.
This Manchester raised poet is winning hearts and minds with his verbal energy, gaining celebrity fans such as Liam Gallagher, Christopher Eccleston and Chris Evans. The “Acapella Eminem” is now the Official Poet for the NSPCCUEFA and Manchester United and his work has been broadcast to homes across the globe. There are few artists in his genre able to provide on-point commentary and storytelling with the same spirit, skill and compassion. David is also a poet on a mission to make the art form accessible to the masses. Using his own experiences as a template he facilitates workshops across the country, creating a sense of what is possible to young people when you pick up a pen. He is often found across UK media and is a regular on ITV, BBC, BT Sport and beyond. His work has been reproduced in different languages and publications around the world from Denmark’s Politiken to The New York Times.

Website: https://www.arghkid.com/
Photo credit: WAM Warrington Music.
Winachi Tribe.
‘Since the formation of the band in 2015 opening for Ringo Star’s Son ‘Zak Starkey’ in London’s West End ‘The Winachi Tribe’ have not stopped for a second.
Releasing a number of critically acclaimed singles (with two promotional videos starring acting greats Keith Allen and Hollywood star Tommy Flanagan (Sons Of Anarchy / Gladiator / Braveheart), the second filmed with Tommy Flanagan at his Ranch in Malibu, California, who starred in the bands video for single ‘A Room With A Zoo’ (not a bad black book eh?), collaborating with legendary producer’s ‘Howie.B’ ‘Danny Saber’ & ‘John X (Recording sessions with Danny Saber took place in the Laurel Canyon at his notorious Batcave studio & John X at the legendary Venice Beach Creation Centre). John is currently co.producing the bands debut album. They have gained Global press / airplay in both the U.K, U.S and China, including rotation on national BBC 6 Music, BBC Introducing, KCRW, KEXP, plus features in major publications such as L.A Times, L.A Record, Buzz Bands L.A,  NME, Billboard China Manchester Evening News & The Big Issue (All this achieved with no corporate backing, just raw talent and relentless hard work!!!) Tearing up stages at some of the UK’s biggest music festivals including Victorious Festival, Tramlines, Shiiine On Weekender, Moovin Festival, Bearded Theory & Sunflowerfest Belfast. Being booked as official tour support for Happy Mondays, Soul 2 Soul, Sugar Hill Gang, The Furious Five and The Charlatans, plus also headlining three of their own national U.K tours . The Winachi Tribe show no sign of slowing down!!! 2018 has seen the band head to America in March for their debut headline tour of the U.S (California) and a second tour of L.A in September which saw the band open for U.K Indie legends The Charlatans at the Teragram Ballroom L.A (it’s fair to say L.A has become the second home for this Northern U.K band of Funked up misfits…with their management H.R.B management also being based in West Hollywood). Summer 2018 also saw the release of critically acclaimed single ’Transition’ (picking up an official ‘Grammy’ entry along the way for best Dance track!!!) the release was backed by a 20 date headline U.K tour which was met by rave reviews throughout the U.K music press. The Winachi Tribe’s rise in a relatively short space of time has been astonishing. From humble beginnings as the U.Ks North West Electro Funk underdogs, to collaborating with a large impressive cast of legendary names from the world of music and acting, gaining major press / airplay all over the world and touring both the U.K & L.A to rave reviews. The world seems to literally be in their hands of Winachi, if they choose to take it. It’s an exciting prospect to see what the future holds for this unique band, dare I say it, Tribe.

Tickets are £10 and on sale through Skiddle.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Steve Ignorant's Slice Of Life - S.A.D - New single.

Steve Ignorant’s Slice Of Life are back this year with an as yet untitled album scheduled for Summer. I speak to Carol Hodge and Steve about the new song and video.
Carol Hodge:
“S.A.D is a song very close to Steve’s heart. Written with a definite nod towards its Seasonal Affective Disorder namesake, the lyrics plead with the listener for “some kind of love”, always indecisive as to whether such a gesture will be accepted or rejected by the sufferer.”
Steve Ignorant:
“Anyone that suffers from depression or S.A.D. will probably recognise what I’m talking about. Hope it helps people to know that they are not alone.”
Filmed in Union Mills in Bolton, home to Upender Mehra and his Beaver Of Bolton clothing line, the location echoes the dark themes of the song. If this song doesn’t touch you with it’s stark message and beautiful harmonies then you’re a tougher person than me….

Video filmed by RKid Media, 
Steve Ignorant Official Website
Slice of Life Facebook

Monday, 17 December 2018

Pagans: Shepherds Of Humanity - Banananah - debut single and video.

The Pagans: Shepherds of Humanity ( S.O.H. ) announce the release of their debut single ‘Banananah’
Once in a while you come across a band you just know are going to shake up the scene. The Pagans are one of them. I walked three miles in the wind and rain to see these live after the blew me away earlier in the year. They’re already making waves live with their bonkers frontman. They just have that unique freshness that separates them from the normal. Banananah is a debut single that should rocket them straight onto the scene. It’s got the lot, mad freestyle rapping from Marcus which goes falsetto, crunching funk guitar riffs, infectious chorus and a top notch video to boot. It’s the start of a rollercoaster ride to kickstart the talent we’re gonna hear in 2019. One of my top tips for next year. Kirk Whitehouse and Sarah Wakefield give me the exclusive lowdown.
Hailing from the Black Country, an area often revered as the birth place of raucous noise, these hip hop infused, rock, punk, funk alchemists haven’t fallen far from the musical tree, combining foot tapping beats, hypnotic flutes and banging guitar riffs with engaging, storytelling prowess. This is a tune with serious fucking groove. As the country seems to be increasingly heading towards a cliff edge, Banananah at least lets you enjoy the journey with a soundtrack of swagger and shenanigans.
Produced by the mighty Gavin Monaghan at the ‘Magic Gardens Studio’ Wolverhampton, The Pagans S.O.H don’t just make music, they take you on a voyage of discovery, exploring the often unchartered territories of innovative sounds. Completely smashing through the concept of genres, their live shows have already drawn praise from a number of industry heavyweights.
“Anyone somehow deluded into thinking there’s nothing new or exciting among young bands in 2018 need to spend just a minute watching this lot. So full of life and potential…” Dave Haslam, Writer/Broadcaster/DJ
“Watching The Pagans S.O.H live is like going on the best magical, mystery tour. You don’t know where you are going or how you will get there, but it’s a great journey.” Pete Salisbury, Drummer (The Verve/The Charlatans)
“What the fuck?? This band hit the stage and bollocksed my head up. A total fusion of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Rage Against The Machine, Dust Junkies – fuck me, they are great! Keep your ears open folks because they are special…” Wayne Carey, Louder than War

The Banananah video directed by Sam Crowston (Nasty Man Creations) was shot in Portmeirion and gives a subtle nod to the 1960s iconic hit programme ‘The Prisoner’ also filmed in the Riviera inspired village in North Wales.
Banananah is released on the Fade to Dust label and will be available across most online platforms from 21st December 2018. Bostin’.
The Pagans S.O.H. Band Members are:
Marcus – Vocals/Song writer
Daragh – Guitar
Connor – Drums
Tom – Bass Guitar

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thepagansband/

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Time For Action: Northwich Plaza - Live Review


Time For Action
Northwich Plaza
Sunday 9th December
 The last of three gigs tonight in a rainy Northwich sees Dermo’s latest incarnation Time For Action. If you’re expecting Northside think again. The man himself hasn’t changed but his sound has! Wayne Carey is on hand to check em out!
 Last time I met Dermo was back in the mid-nineties, where he was frequently seen out and about in Greater Manchester, everywhere and anywhere with his Northside posse. But that’s another story…. He’s back with a bang with Neil and Keith Pleasant on drum and bass duties, joined by Simon Burton on guitars. This venue is supposed to be haunted and the lighting tonight does give it that creepy look. Dermo and band hit the stage and launch into debut album opener Time For Action which is a down and out shout out loud punk single. Even when the mic goes off mid-song this doesn’t phase the man himself and he uses his initiative and grabs the guitarists mic to finish off the song. He likes to make the quips and banter in between songs, but if you’re not a Manc you wouldn’t get it.
Bone Idol has that characteristic Manc snarl going on which will never change, however, the music has a raw punk energy unlike the baggy tunes of Northside. The songs are infectious in a punk-pop way and the bass player is really getting into it especially on Uniform which takes on the theme of not conforming and fighting the man. Dermo and co definitely have a lot of old punk influences going in here like The Damned, Buzzcocks, Slaughter & The Dogs and Stiff Little Fingers. Dermo keeps that indie element alive on songs such as Never Alone which has that New Order feel going on and could be a future anthem. Your Two Faces is a nice punk tune with its straightforward shouts of ‘backstabber’ for the chorus. No explanation here then. The set builds with each song as the crowd get into it and the set ends with a great Leave Me Alone. Dermo may be onto something here as he’s changed direction totally and could easily win over the punk crowds with this stuff.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Pagans S.O.H: Northwich Plaza - Live review

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Pagans S.O.H.
Festive Festival
Northwich Plaza
Saturday 8th December
I’m back for day two to check out a band I last saw at The Castle in the Northern Quarter where members of a certain band also were in attendance, and have since been quoted as saying ‘Pagans S.O.H. are one of the best live bands around’. High praise indeed from probably one of THE best live bands around. I totally agree and couldn’t miss them on my own turf! The Brummie madmen have landed!
Marco is one of those frontmen that has it all. A proper funny bastard, proper animated with a don’t give a shit attitude. They don’t even have a planned setlist! Entering the bingo number wall bedecked stage they launch into a funk rock infused number Pagan Pilgrimage,  Marco’s rapping flowing with all the sounds going on around him. It’s like improvisation which can be interesting at the best of times, especially when he does a parody of ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ mid-song. You can’t really put them into a category. They have a mix of everything going on. I could say Funkadelic, a bit of grime, Rage Against The Machine, Chili’s, even Prince. They just ooze funk rock and Marco is just a character and half, Tracks like I Got Soul and the following tune Lazy N****, which is toned down due to kids being in the audience. It’s the way his Brum tinged rapping style goes into falsetto and then back down to Ice T Bodycount style grunting which makes this different. He flies around the stage, rolls around the floor, bounds back up and just seems to freestyle his way through the whole set with his magnetic presence and wit. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the band as a full unit, just that you can’t keep your eyes off Marco wondering what he’s gonna do next! They release their debut single soon with a great video filmed in Portmeirion. Watch this space.
Photo credit: Sal_GigJunkie, Use of this images in any form without permission is illegal.

Argh Kid: Northwich Plaza - Live review

Argh Kid
Festive Festival
Northwich Plaza
Friday 7th December 2018
Northwich is fast becoming a place to be on the music scene again,  after Tim Burgess and friends took over the town earlier in May with a stellar line up of quality bands. This time The Plaza has been taken over for a festive knees up including some quality up and coming bands to show off their skills. Wayne Carey is here to check out the hype of Longsight street poet / wordsmith Argh Kid (aka David Scott).
Being the Mancunian abroad I travel up the road to check out Argh Kid who is making waves on the music scene with his raw street tales layered from behind by his tight backing band. He enters the stage with none of that Manc cockiness we have all witnessed and is quite humble as the band kick off with a funky intro reminiscent of The Happy Mondays partying with The Dust Junkies. You just feel he’s gonna burst into something by his mannerism but he keeps quiet until he launches into Tearaways, a street tale about smoking weed with friends and doing what teenagers do in the backstreets of  Manchester, always on the edge, robbing cars. Takes me right back to the days of going to gigs at the International 2. The band then launch into the next track and if I close my eyes I might as well be at a Fall gig when they aired Blindness live (I speak to David and he confirms this). It’s fuckin brilliant and David’s lyrics are harrowing as he describes the life of a woman beating drunk repeating the same mantra of ‘kicking her to the kerb’ With that rumbling bass and tribal drumming it just hits you hard. He’s good. Never Drinking Again tells the funny as fuck story of that same old same old never drinking again and he ends the poem with ‘until 10am’ which gets a cracking round of applause. This Is England describes the state of our country and how the working class are still be shafted under this Tory government, and also highlights the plight of the NHS which as I know from a personal point of view is on it’s knees. It’s only a short set but he ends with the brilliant Frank which reminds me of so many people I knew growing up on Langley Estate, working cash in hand and pissing it up the wind on Coke and booze. This guy seriously comes from the street and is a spokesman for the downtrodden as he’s lived it. Think Nicky Lockett (Dust Junkies), Plan B with the soul singer samples going on, even a Manc Mike Skinner from The Streets. Awesome stuff from the heart and I can’t wait until his album is completed. He’s gonna make waves. A unique guy with a great backing band to boot.

Photo credit: Sal_GigJunkie, Use of this images in any form without permission is illegal.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Music Is A Weapon: MCR "Punks For West Papua" - Alphabet Brewing Company, Manchester - Saturday 2nd December - Live Review

This is a late review due to me being busy being ill with a damn virus I'm only just shaking off. And it needs to be out there.....

MCR Punks For West Papua : MFU (Modern Family Unit), Witch Fever, Membranes and The Blinders.

Some gigs are held for good reasons and this was one them. Punks For West Papua if you don't already know originated in 2016 when Jody Bartolo from Australian punk band decided to make people aware of the persecution of the landowners in West Papua who are being slaughtered by greedy source extractors for their own monetary gains. This gig celebrates the launch of the Manchester chapter co-founded by Gary Hilton of Gas Music. It's all about making people aware of the mass slaughter going on which is hidden from the media and to make us all take some kind of action to stop it. Tiny steps and all that.

To the music then.

This is the first gig I've been to in an actual brewery and it's quite surreal. The stage has a backdrop of canned beers and distillery equipment. They are actually serving beer from a bar to the right of me and I get right into the Hoi Polloi lager. First band up are MFU. They are gripping from the start with their power pop punk mix of political tunes, taking the piss out of Trump, and clever lyrics delivered by the enigmatic Gary Hilton. There's a big Talking Heads vibe going in there, tinged with shades of New Order. There's a bit of Krautrock twiddling thrown into the mix which gives them a sinister edge to what could be bangers in the future.Steve and Andy provide the rhythm to good effect and the tunes hold my interest for the full set. Interesting stuff.

Witch Fever are glorious punk grunge I've not witnessed for years. Amy is a tiny figure in person but comes across like a giant with her vocals. They sound like a well oiled crunching engine with that rock power that harks back to L7. I would say Hole or Babes In Toyland but that's cliche and what most blokes would write about girls in bands. I say L7 as I reckon some of their songs could be big enough to hit that stage. They air a track with the chant 'off with his head' and I get a bit scared. This is grunge at it's best and we WILL hear a lot from these four firebrands.

For those who don't know, Membranes are John Robb, Nick Brown, Peter Byrchmore and Rob Haynes. When they were first around they played disjointed raw punk songs that stood out from the norm and reached cult status. Things are about to change. This new direction has that similar sound, however there is a prog element going on with that tribal sound. They kick off the set with the usual The Universe Explodes, John prowling on stage like a man possessed with that wild stare that could make John Lydon back down in a staring competition. A great tune which sets the tone for the explosion of Do The Supernova which has me and Emily Oldfield dancing (well sort of!) like maniacs. The band have that power to keep you hooked especially when they air In The Graveyard. I'm waiting for their new album with anticipation....

I've seen The Blinders live about nine times now, and they just get better and better. It's getting hard to write about them now as I've said it all but I can only try! The opener of Gotta Get Through just drags you by the hair as Tom is compelling as ever. That dirty swamp rock sound makes them stand apart from the rest and you can understand why us folks at Louder Than War voted them 2nd best album of the year. They play most of that album tonight and it's stunning as ever. Charlie is suited and booted, and as I've said before he commands that bass with his Nick Cave-ish stage presence, especially during I Can't Breath Blues. Matt completes the picture with his drumming skills and it's great the way he makes them sound disjointed on purpose to mess with your head as on L'Etat C'Est Moi. They even give us an airing of Orbit (Salmon Of Alaska) to end the show which is a first for the lads. Another great set from the Doncaster lads who have been embraced by the Manchester music scene. You won't see them in a venue this size any time soon. Or will you.......

 A big thank you to Georgina Robinson and Jo Lowes for providing a top night and bringing together lots of like minded people. Everyone worked hard to make this a belter to remember.

Photo credits: Neil Winward Photgraphy. Copyrighted.