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


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.