Thursday, 27 June 2019

The Pagans S.O.H: Pagan Pilgrimage - New Video and Single!!

Watch This! The Pagans S.O.H. release new video and single!
The Next Wave marches on and The Pagans S.O.H. are back with a cracking new video to their second single Pagan Pilgrimage which features Shaun Ryder, Peter Turner from Elbow and loads of familiar faces from the music scene around Manchester. All this was directed by Paul Husband in his own unique gothic style, mostly on location at The Kings Arms, Salford. Unlike their debut single Banananah which was a manic funked up beast, this is more of a spliffed out laid back yet heavy groove with Marcus’s unique rapping style bringing out funked up beats as usual. It’s a great move which shows they have the material to chop and change, rather than sticking to one style. Anyone who’s seen them live can testify to that. Again it was all recorded with Gavin Monaghan at Magic Garden Studios in Wolverhampton. I’d say it’s great to have them back. They’ve never really been away! The single is available from 4th July on all platforms.

Tour dates:
July 12th - Actress & Bishop, Birmingham.
July 13th - One Love, One Day Festival, Yerrrr Bar, MCR.
July 13th - The Snug, Atherton.
July 16th – Manchester International Festival.
July 20th – Macclesfield Festival.
July 21st - Tramlines Festival, Crystal Bar, Sheffield.
September 6th – Jimmy’s – Manchester.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Cold Water Swimmers / C33s - Live at The Peer Hat, Manchester - Friday 21st June

An 'I was there' moment for all you gig goers out there!

                                                       Trust A Fox Photography

Cold Water Swimmers

The C33s

The Peer Hat, Manchester

Friday 21st June 2019

Last Friday saw a monumental gig featuring two bands that have been part of my Next Wave movement in Louder Than War. The scene at the moment is healthy as fuck. Take The Pagans S.O.H. doing a video with fuckin Shaun Ryder on their second release, Tinfoils, Callow Youth, Dirty Laces, The Empty Page, Witch Fever, Dermo's Time For Action, Narcissus, Def Robot, Adventures Of Salvador, even the soon to be revealed Stepford Wives. Shit a brick, the list goes on and apologies for any bands I've missed out here. Cold Water Swimmers and The C33s are smashing down the wall at the moment and breaking through. Friday proved this as I'm about to reveal......

                                                       Trust A Fox Photography

I arrive at the venue quite early and it's already buzzing with activity. Tucked into a side street just behind Stevenson Square The Peer Hat is becoming a popular venue for up and coming groups to air their noise. I see a few familiar faces around (no fuckin' namedropping on here) and I can't believe the amount of good photographers in the house. Definitely something in the air here. The C33s arrive on stage and kick off their Tarantino surf punk rock with style and are truly honing their live act with every performance. Cav Green slices his guitar like a grunge master, whilst Judy commands those drums like a banshee. Most noted for me tonight with these firebrands is the confidence of Ste Philips on bass. It grows with each gig and he can fuckin' play! There's a mosh pit going on that looks like it could explode onto the stage at any time. There's a couple of over enthusiastic moshers going a bit overboard and at one point are warned to calm down a bit. That's the power emanating from this incendiary threesome. They do a fuckin' slammin Manic Depression that rides out with squalls of feedback after a pummeling rock out session. They air two new tunes tonight that fuckin kick you in the face with their punk ferocity, especially the aptly named Harpurhey Hostility with chugs along frenetically with a blast, and the Motorhead like Big Winner which ends the set with proper punk fireworks. This lot are not going away anytime time soon with performances like that.

Next up are the ultra cool Cold Water Swimmers. Another band making a massive splash (fuck me...) on the scene in a totally different style from The C33s. They have a similar backbone to provide Chris Bridgett with his perfect band yet their material has style that oozes the experience of the musicianship. She's Falling Apart opens the set with that familiar guitar chug us Swimmers fans are getting used to, and Carrie and Selina keep to their punk ethics with a rhythm section to kill for. Stark post punk garage is the best way I can describe as they sound out on their own. The textures of the songs are hypnotic as are Bridgetts vocals, such as I'll Be Your Witness and the brilliant new Burn Your Idols which has a proper psychedelic sixties pop vibe to it but is smattered with the post punk minds of the band to give it a modern feel. Sounds fuckin great live. What is criminal though? Next track Summer Breeze (which Chris dedicates to my late mate Noel Hurley) is a stunner. It should be plastered all over the radio. It's a wonder live, and the trio fuckin nail it live. It's got one of those choruses that you can hear ringing out at festivals, catchy as fuck! A masterclass in songwriting which should be an example to any up and coming songwriter. They are that good tonight the crowd want an encore of course. What a fuckin' pleasant surprise n all. A barking mad cover version of The Cure's The Forest which is proper punked up and has Chris cranking up that axe of his with some wonderful noise resonating the area. Should be massive. If the night can't get any better what happens next makes it a night to remember for music heads. Ex Fall drummer (Fall Heads Roll) Spencer Birtwistle literally fell onto the stage and did an impromptu drumming session with a six foot plus Peer Hat regular (I forget your name sorry) on bass.

A weird ending to a gig I'll remember for years to come. Definitely one of the best this year for the intimate nature of it, as I'm sure both bands will be moving up to much larger venues very shortly if they can perform like tonight. A belter.

All photos kindly provided by Steve Hampson, Neil Winward and Trust A Fox Photography. Use of any of these images is illegal without permission.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Adventures Of Salvador: Welcome To Our Village - Album Review

Adventures Of SalvadorAOS
Welcome To Our Village
CD/Vinyl/DL all formats
Release Date: 21st June, but available to pre-order now,
Bury’s finest proponents of Urban Surf Punk Rock are back with their second full length “Welcome To Our Village” which is a great leap forward from their debut album Drugs & Chocolate late 2016. Most people call it ‘the difficult second album.’ This myth is blown out of the water from the start says Wayne Carey.
After releasing their debut on their own label a few years back, playing loads of live gigs including Strummer Camp and making a name on the live scene, they are now signed to Manchester label German Shepherd who are releasing some interesting stuff recently. This must be a sign as this album stands out from the rest with it’s simple but strange rumbles of noise that makes you want more. Produced and recorded at Big City Jacks Recording Studio in Bury, Greater Manchester by Tony Long, the band have hit a new creative peak with their intense and hypnotic sounds. This is enhanced with stunning artwork from Jack Jerz. And to top it the vinyl was cut at Abbey Road by Sean Magee who has remastered stuff for The Ramones, Sex Pistols and Bowie to name a few!
Girl With The Broken Face kicks off with a flying start introducing old static footage from something or other, then the riffs kick in with full punk effect layered over with Loop-aznavour’s sneering vocals. Think Lydon’s snarl with the rolling R, the drawl of Mark E Smith and you’re getting their. He’s got that kind of voice, menacing yet funny as fuck as well. he even gets a theremin out for added effect. Nice start.
Uncle Walt is a track they’ve been playing live for a while now and had to be put down on record. Taking a cynical dig at the Disney empire, “Hey Kiddies, hand me down my gun, You see I’m the son a bitch that shot Bambi’s mum” Best line to the start of a song I’ve heard for ages, rumbling bass line catchy as hell and a great shout along “Bring me the head of Uncle Walt” It’s got that proper surf sound going on with a great production that enhances the whole sound. The keyboard from Loop also give you a 60’s feel, yet The Cramps run right through it in spirit.

Retroman is the first single to be lifted and is already being talked about in various music circles. a dirty swamp punk thang with attitude, dirty bass, dark keyboards and that snarl, it bounces and swirls along and gets into your head.

The album centrepiece is the memorable Welcome To My Village, a song with echoes of Royston Vasey and The Wicker Man, it is the tale of a hedonistic village elder who has his own population drive in full effect. The bass line is fuckin’ belting and it’s speeds along into a psychedelic maelstrom of guitars and swirling keyboards. It’s punk as fuck even 6 minutes in! Best thing I’ve heard yet this year.
Prettier Than You just rocks the fuck out in two and a half minutes of punk attitude with Loop snarling like a deranged Mark E “I’m pa pa pa pa prettier than you”. Nothing technical just a proper stomper of a single.
King Kong slows the pace down a touch (and I mean a touch), kicking off with some old Kong film footage. It swamp rock at its best, the theremin gets in there again the bass sound is slung low, the guitars grind and the lyrics take you on a journey from the perspective of that big gorilla fucker we all loved as kids.
Moody Blues goes into proper surf punk territory kicking off with that dirty bass again and speeding up with that Dick Dale type guitar sound, mental keyboards and an hilarious line about sitting in his easy chair, kicking off his shoes and listening to The Moody Blues, which of course in true Salvador style, they are taking the piss again. “I wanna kill The Moody Blues” shouts Loop (many would agree…).
Now Look What You’ve Made me Do ends the album in style. The whole thing with this album is the distortion sound on that bass has been produced to sound dirty as fuck, reminds me of the Membranes bass sound a little. “I’m a handsome man with impeccable taste, I’m a bonafide credit to the human race” states Loop-azvanour. He’s a cocksure bastard and sounds very convincing. Again The Cramps get a mention in sound and presence, and there’s even some late Fall going on here until that fuckin’ theremin kicks in again. It’s not exactly the Beach Boys this stuff.
If you like a bit of punk, dirty bass sound, upbeat psychedelia, then this is your bag. The verdict is my opinion, but if you want something fresh and out of the normal that makes you want to listen over and over again then get this album. It’s one of my favourite albums this year that should surely be in the end of year polls. Difficult second album?? They’ve fuckin’ pissed it!!
Adventures of Salvador are:
Nigel Beck – booming bass/vox
Mark Berry – Genie of the Gretsch
Dave aka Loop-aznavour – vox/keyboard/theremin
Mike “Complicated” Smith – DRUMS!
Buy the album from here
Live Dates:
June 28th – The Castle Hotel, Oldham Street, Manchester with Electric Cheese and Umbrella Assassins.
July 19th – Blue Moon, Cambridge with The Scissors.     Tickets from here
The band are kindly giving away a signed copy of the album on vinyl for one lucky winner below! 

Monday, 3 June 2019

Dermo: Road To Know Where - Album Review

Road To Know Where
Eromeda / Eye And Eye Records
Available now DL all available streams.
Vinyl / CD later this year.
Being no stranger to the Manc music scene via Northside, and his most recent punk fuelled offering with new band Time For Action, Dermo releases his first solo album and tells me how it’s all been put together.
“The picture cover of the album is from a photo I took a couple of years ago near the East Village in New York. I’ve travelled up and down every one of those roads and now I’m finally at the road to Know Where. It’s about personal discovery.”
“The album is songs I’ve written (some with local musicians) over the last few years, that I wanted to put out one day. My friend Andy Barclay put me on to a mate of his who remixed the original songs for me. It was all done on a laptop and I’d speak to him (we never met in person) over the phone, guiding him on what I was after. I’d like to have done more in the studio with the instrumentation of the music before I released the album, but I didn’t have the separate stems as they were lost, which is a shame. I recorded the guide vocals with Robert Corless (Gabrielles Wish) in Butterfly Records on Oldham St and then completed them with Steve Poppleton in Hope Mill Studios in Ancoats In April.”
“I like collaborating with different musicians as long as we get on. I’m into all kinds of music and love swapping ideas to create something new.”
It’s a different bag of an album with lots of influences from his travels and a massive Manc feel to the whole thing. There are tinges of Ian Brown on tracks like It’s Easy Now and A Few Of My Favourite Things, lots of strings, trumpets and harmonies going on but with that old Dermo style. You get funk flecked North Manc attitude on In My Bed, haunting drawls on Charming Murder and the dark Dark Soldier.
Out Of Touch has a proper Hacienda vibe to it with it’s stomping house beat and cheeky ironic lyrics, whereas What Happened To You? pays homage to nights out with an old friend in The Cyprus Tavern back in the day, a nostalgic funk track to dance the night away.
Mourning after is a mellow love song either about his mum or another loved one, you make your mind up here. There’s Room For Everyone has the classic Northside guitar sounds happening with lyrics that take a dig about people trying to take glory without sharing the love with others. Funky drumming, trademark Manc vocals, proper 90’s indie.
Ups And Downs brings me back to Ian Brown and tells the tale of someone who fabricates their life to try to be cool. “You’ve got a working class accent, your family are Tory blue” Says it all in true working class indie style. Top tune. Closing track You’re Gonna Miss Me (When I’m Gone) is funky as fuck, loads of wah wah guitars, whoops and a proper catchy chorus and a proper dub ending.
Dermo has done alright with his first own financed release and it’s a mixed bag of tunes dwelling on the sounds of Northside with a hint of his love for dance and funk thrown in. A far cry from his other project Time For Action this one is for the old 90’s indie kids who were enjoying the crossover that was happening back then. Promising.