Posts Tagged ‘England’


Treading the line between Pixies, Hole, and a particular guitar pop je ne sais quoi, Du Blonde’s fourth album is a punchy splash of acerbic melodic colour. written, recorded and produced by Du Blonde (aka Beth Jeans Houghton), ‘Homecoming’ is a refreshing taste of pop-grunge finery, featuring guests including Shirley Manson, Ezra Furman, Ride’s Andy Bell (ride/oasis), the Farting Suffragettes, and members of Girl Ray and Tunng among others. the album began as a few songs hashed out on a porch in la in early 2020, as Houghton’s desire to create something self-made and self-released merged with the then incoming pandemic.

Fans of Du Blonde’s previous two studio albums (2015’s ‘Welcome Back to Milk’ and 2019’s ‘Lung Bread for Daddy’) might be surprised to find that ‘Homecoming’ takes on the form of a pop record. the garage rock, grunge and metal guitar licks that have come to define Du Blonde are still there in spades, but as a whole the direction of the album is pop through and through. Houghton’s freak flag is still flying high however, a fact that’s no more apparent than on ‘Smoking Me Out’, a bizarre mash up of 80’s shock rock, metal and 60’s pop group harmonies. this defiant and energetic attitude can be heard throughout ‘Homecoming’, whether writing about her medication (30mg of citalopram, once a day), her queerness on ‘i can’t help you there’ (“I’ve been a queen, I’ve been a king, and still I don’t fit in”), to the joyous and manic explosion of ‘Pull The Plug’ (“say that I’m deranged, but I’ve been feeling more myself than ever”), Houghton is nothing if not herself, full force and unapologetic in her approach to writing, playing and recording her music.


Due for release in April 2021, ‘Homecoming’ is the first record to be engineered, produced and self released by Du Blonde. Written and recorded over several sessions between Los Angeles, London and Newcastle, ‘Homecoming’ is a no holds barred collection of Garage, Glam and hard rock finery, featuring a couple of tear-your-hair-out slow saddies for good measure.

Releases April 2nd, 2021

Fourth album from UK trio finds them pivoting again, this time into Big ’80s R&Bish synthpop, trio Virginia Wing made 2018’s fantastic Ecstatic Arrow under idyllic conditions — in Switzerland at the family home of a good friend, surrounded by the country’s alpine beauty. This one was made stuck at home in Manchester, England in their “jogging bottoms.” There’s no doubt this is the same group, but “Private Life feels forcibly contained while anxious to break free.

All the sounds on “Private Life are big,  the drum sounds, the thick synthy basslines, the blasts of keyboards — not unlike those early Art of Noise records, hitting like punches in a Shaw Brothers martial arts fantasy or a buzzsaw to the hood of a car. But then they fill the stereo field with wondrous, beautiful organic sounds, from delicate strings, to lilting saxophones and flutes, tinkly windchimes, jazzy piano loops, “nature,” and warm harmonies. It all sort of floats, at times almost anchorless, through the mix. These sounds have also been run through severe digital processing, chopped up, degraded, and warped, giving songs a slightly unmoored feel that, like Merida Richards‘ icy vocals, is distinctly Virginia Wing.


Virginia Wing continue to toy with pop and dance music, but largely keep things at arms length. “I’m Holding Out for Something” flirts with a decidedly R&B beat and synth strings that suggest Prince, while pitched up vocal samples may make some think of Kate Bush. But Richards’ declaring “There will come a time when you have to satisfy the ache face to face” yanks the song in an entirely different direction. (Laurie Anderson may be a more apt ’80s comparison.) Likewise, part of “Moon Turns Tides” wants to be an electro funk jam that will tear the roof off, but before that can happen Richards dryly notes, “Whilst you’re here, it’s important that you don’t touch anything / it’s all very, very expensive.” There’s a distinct look-but-don’t-touch sense of detachment — the kind where you end up having more conversations with yourself than other people — that’s a relatable feeling these days when our lives may be too private. If that’s you, welcome to the party.

Virginia Wing are a Manchester based group.

Released February 12th, 2021

Petrol Girls are a female-fronted band. The point of this band is feminism, delivered to your skull and your heart via an extraordinarily-talented hardcore punk band. But let’s be clear: they do so because they are fronted by a woman – namely, the legend that is feminist activist, punk Masters student and international artiste, Ren Aldridge.

‘Sister’ begins more slowly, showcasing some beautiful, melodic guitar work – but, much more to the point, giving room at the start of the accompanying video for the voices of the band’s punk community to talk about what sisterhood means to them. Allowing others to be heard is a key theme for Ren – she passes the mic, especially to her sisters. She says:

“I’ve been wanting for us to write a song about sisterhood for a long time, because it’s these relationships that have had the biggest impact on my life and that form the heart of my feminism. I think society often puts too much emphasis on sexual relationships when sisterhood is incredibly important and powerful. This song celebrates a relationship that can pose a real threat to capitalism and patriarchy because it challenges competition and is built on care and trust.”

No bourgeois intros for the Petrol Girls: their new EP ‘The Future is Dark’ starts feet on the floor, drums clicks in, and straight in your face with a sucker-punch message:

‘I’m not a victim, I survived – it was my anger that kept me alive’.

Right to it: brutal, honest, raw punk poetry straddling hefty guitars and intricate drums. ‘Survivor’ is a message of fierce solidarity with the #metoo generation. Nodding, crying, dancing, raging: all appropriate reactions to this anthem.

Final track ‘Strike’ is a good old fashioned call to arms, and it fucking rocks. If you haven’t thrown down your tools, nose-thumbed the boss, and organised your fellow-workers into counter-hegemonic action after 3 minutes’ listening then you need to listen again, and better:

Are you waiting to storm the winter palace, bro?
picture yourself on the front page?
do you want a fucking monument
or are you here to make change?

Of course, the band call ‘all out’, leave the studio at around 2 minutes 30 into the track, and presumably go hold some meetings.

A new EP ‘The Future Is Dark’ will be released via Hassle Records on 14th September.

The EP is named after a Virginia Woolf quote that writer Rebecca Solnit uses as a starting point for her essay ‘Woolf’s Darkness,’ in ‘Men Explain Things To Me.’ She writes about accepting uncertainty and not fearing the dark or the unknown because actually we don’t know what will happen next. She describes despair and optimism both as forms of certainty that create grounds for not acting, whereas hope pushes us to act and make change in whatever ways we can. “The dark, just like the future, is full of possibilities” – it makes me think about how its only in the dark that we can see the stars and think about ourselves as just tiny parts of this cosmic system, as part of a bigger picture. I find it really grounding and inspiring to feel individually small but part of something huge.

Releases September 14th, 2018

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UK newcomer Holly Humberstone boasts the maturity of an artist much further down the line, career-wise. Her cache of singles walk the line between gritty indie singer-songwriter gems and alt-radio chart hits. In a relatively short span of time, Humberstone has established a signature vibe – call it gritty pop realness. Prior to hunkering down in her childhood home, an “old, run down” country house in Grantham, England, the 20-year-old ‘Lord of the Rings’ zealot was touring with Lewis Capaldi, gaining the experience of rocking venues like Wembley Arena. To pass the time in quarantine, Holly and her sister shot a DIY vid for her latest single, “Overkill.”

“Lockdown meant that we couldn’t shoot a professional video, so we had to improvise a little,” she says. No biggie – it came out great, as did our Vevo DSCVR at Home sessions with her. I wanted Overkill to capture all the thrill and uncertainty and confusion and the many other emotions that come with falling for someone for the first time. I’m very aware I can come across as quite full on and I think sometimes I can be overkill lol but that’s fine. It was definitely the most fun I’ve ever had writing such a truthful + personal song and I hope u can relate to the words somehow !! The video for Overkill on the other hand was a relly weird experience. My sister Eleri decided to put me through my paces during lockdown. We took an old VHS camera and a torch out at dusk into the forest near our home. She had me follow her through the trees and bushes, as I played along to Overkill. It was basically my version of a 5k run except I had no idea where I was going, it was pitch black and impossible to see anything and I was tripping over twigs n stuff the whole time hahaha. Anyway I really hope u love Overkill like I do

Check out “Overkill” and “Falling Asleep At The Wheel,” and jump on the Humberstone bandwagon while there’s still room.

Bauhaus at the Hollywood Palladium, Nov. 3, 2019. Photo by Matt Cowan

This was never going to happen. Bauhaus was never going to be on stage again, not together, not after 13 years of acrimony, not after repeated doubts from members that they would ever work together again, not after having gone through the reunion dance twice.

But there they were Sunday night less than three months after vocalist Peter Murphy suffered a heart attack before a solo show in New York, enthralling a black-dressed crowd of 5,000 at the Hollywood Palladium, playing with a fire that seemed to burn a lot of pent-up fuel. Those who expected to see an iconic band were not disappointed.

Whether the show resulted from Murphy’s brush with mortality or merely from a desire to light a fire under their catalog (not that their post-Bauhaus projects haven’t), the crowd cared not a for a moment.

And there was a palpable rush when Murphy, Haskins, Daniel Ash and David J took the the stage and blasted forth a crunching, feedback-drenched version of John Cale’s “Rosegarden Funeral of Sores.” Following that with the blistering one-two punch of “Double Dare” and “In a Flat Field,” it was clear that Bauhaus were back with a vengeance.

Like the best bands of their generation, Bauhaus made magic despite their technical shortcomings. Haskins’ static and angular drumming, Ash’s broken-glass version of glam-rock guitar, David J’s use of dub, pulse and throb, and Murphy’s rich, deep baritone made for a unique combination in 1978, the year of the band’s inception. As a musical genre, “goth” had yet to be coined, and the bleakness of Northampton, England, proved a perfect canvas for the young foursome’s monochromatic tunes of doom and gloom. The band lasted a mere five years and four releases before they parted ways in 1983, with all the members enjoying greater degrees of commercial success outside the group. Murphy had a major hit with “Cuts You Up,” and the Love and Rockets trio of Ash, Haskins and David J scored big with “So Alive.”

Despite being credited as the “Godfathers of Goth,” the band rejected that label, and upon further reflection, one can understand their argument. The magic of Bauhaus comes from the perfect merger of completely disparate elements. Shades of Bowie, Brel, baritone and Berliner camp form Murphy’s shadow. Ash brings forth the pre-glam metal slash and burn of Mick Ronson and the style of T. Rex. David J is steeped in the cheeba haze of dub master Lee “Scratch” Perry and traditional soul like James Brown. Haskins took the mechanical beats of Neu and Can and applied the Martin Hannett technique of making them sound organic and human. So the band credited as architects of “Goth” are not actually goth. Go ahead, ask them. Bauhaus is soul music, moving, emotive, soothing, provocative and sententious, which is why 15,000 people will pack a ballroom across three nights (they play the Palladium again tonight and on December. 1st) to see a band that nary had so much as a sniff of a charting single.

But that’s not to say there aren’t any hits. “Bela Lugosi is Dead” is the “Stairway to Heaven” of post-punk. The song that launched a thousand bands in its wake has lost none of its chilly luster. Played midway through Sunday’s 90-minute set, it is still epic, still icy, still grating — the climax for many of the newbies who had not yet gone full undead. To the faithful, the highlights were a trio of songs that haven’t tickled ears since the early ’80s. It was 1982 when anyone last heard “The Three Shadows, Part II” and “The Man With the X-Ray Eyes,” and it was 1983 when Bauhaus last played “Spy in the Cab.” That along with the Iggy Pop cover of “Sister Midnight” made the evening much more than a rehash of “The Best of Bauhaus.” Yes, it was all killer and no filler, as other set highlights included “A Kick in the Eye,” “She’s in Parties” and a furious version of “Stigmata Martyr.”

Murphy certainly doesn’t look the part of a man who just had two stents stuck in him less than three months ago. He was singing with exceptional projection, pulling his mic away a good 18 inches and yet still filling the hall with his bellow. One wishes that he’d even take it down a notch.

There is still no word on whether this reformation will lead to a broader tour — after tonight’s second sold-out night,

Setlist: Rosegarden Funeral of Sores (John Cale cover)
, Double Dare, In The Flat Field, A God in an Alcove, In Fear of Fear, Spy in the Cab, Terror Couple Kill Colonel, Swing the Heartache, She’s In Parties, Bela Lugosi’s Dead, Kick In The Eye, The Man With the X-Ray Eyes, Stigmata Martyr, Silent Hedges, Dark Entries. Encore: The Three Shadows, Part II, Sister Midnight (Iggy Pop cover), Telegram Sam (T. Rex cover)
, Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie cover).

The UK-based band composed of Billy Easter on bass, Sarah Datblygu on drums and Rivka Gillieron on vocals and guitar excel in creating atmospheric, erratic sounds with a jaunty disregard for anything mundane. Wetdog count a variety of top notch influences on Frauhaus!, citing Micachu, Syd Barrett and Euros Childs, with legendary graphic novel illustrator Robert Crumb and 1979 cult British horror flick “The Wicker Man” also flagged, the latter’s flashing play between gentle pastoral and darker reveals most evident on the twittering bird song and thick, stop-start chords of “Trees Fall.” Though each of the album’s 14 songs has a disjointed style and rhythm of its own, they bob and weave into each other with a connecting sense of joyful weirdness, darkly irreverent rather than pretentious; menacing at times, but in a deliriously fun way.


Fabulously uncompromising, it’s futile to attempt any generic labelling here; Wetdog delight in merging styles, setting keyboard and guitar melodies clashing gloriously against stubborn basslines, beginning songs in one manner only to change all the rules come the chorus. These helter-skelter tactics mean Frauhaus! has a kind of anarchic spontaneity to it, where the ground could shift at any moment. It’s an exciting atmosphere that evokes the tumultuous ethos of The Slits, made even more potent by the darker, Halloween-style motifs of The Need, that cover the corners of their songs with spiderwebs and vampire fangs.


Bea Kristi is all of 19, and her music as Beabadoobee has already evolved in profound ways. She got her start as a bedroom-bound pop singer whose hushed, Elliott Smith-inspired whispers radiated soft intimacy. But as her star has risen — after going viral on YouTube in 2017, she’s released a handful of EPs and racked up tens of millions of streams — her newest singles have located her sharper, more forcefully anthemic edges.

Following the release of a handful of EPs on Dirty Hit, home to The 1975, beabadoobee celebrated mainstream success as the guest vocalist on Powfu’s UK top five single Death Bed (Coffee For Your Head). The track sampled beabadoobee’s 2017 debut Coffee, and paved the way for her first solo charting single, Care. Listed on the BBC’s Sound Of 2020 and nominated for the BRIT Award’s Rising Star accolade, beabadoobee (real name: Beatrice Laus) revealed details of her Fake It Flowersf ull-length in July 2020, to be released in October of this year.

Based on your previous use of Gigs and Tours, we think you might be interested to know about Beabadoobee’s latest announcement!
Beabadoobee, one of the UK’s most exciting recent breakthrough artists has confirmed a run of headline shows for 2021 in celebration of the release of her debut album next month!

The artist has also recently shared her new single ‘Worth It’ from her highly anticipated upcoming debut album ‘Fake It Flowers’, out October 16th via Dirty Hit.
The ‘Fake It Flowers’ tour will take place in September and October next year and includes a hometown show at London’s O2 Forum Kentish Town.

Marika Hackman is back with ‘the one’, the second single from her forthcoming third album ‘Any Human Friend’, out 9th August via AMF Records (Loyle Carner) and on Sub Pop in North and South America.

Displaying an unapologetic attitude and a more liberated sound than ever before, ‘the one’ has been co-produced by David Wrench (Frank Ocean, The xx, Let’s Eat Grandma) and Marika herself. ‘the one’ shows why Marika is fast turning herself into one of the most interesting songwriters of her time. Layered synthesisers make this the album’s most unexpected musical turn, alongside Marika’s signature new wave guitar fretwork and Blondie style delivery, she’s never sounded as widescreen.

The first song written for forthcoming album Any Human Friend, ‘the one’ is “probably the poppiest song I’ve ever written” she says. “I loved the idea of inhabiting this ridiculous arrogant rock star character who has totally fucked their career by writing too many sad songs.” To that end, it features a riot grrrl Greek chorus hurling such insults at her as “You’re such an attention whore!”


Marika is a ‘Rid of Me’-era PJ Harvey for the inclusive generation: unbounded by musical genre, a preternatural lyricist and tunesmith who isn’t afraid to go there. Hackman’s 2015 debut, ‘We Slept at Last’, was heralded for being nuanced and atmospheric. She really found her footing with her last release, ‘I’m Not Your Man’, and its exceptional, swaggering international hit ‘Boyfriend’, which boasts of seducing away a straight guy’s girlfriend.

Having recently teased new music at the BBC 6 Music festival, The Great Escape, All Points East, and Field Day, Marika is gearing up for an exciting year of touring. Keep an eye on this one!

Pete Shelley in London, Britain - Oct 1977VARIOUS

Pete Shelley, the lead singer of the English punk rock band Buzzcocks, has died, as BBC reports via the band’s management. Shelley reportedly died at age 63 of a suspected heart attack in Estonia, where he was living at the time. On 6th December 2018, Buzzcocks singer and songwriter Pete Shelley died at the age of 63.

The Buzzcocks were formed in Bolton, England, by singer/songwriter/guitarist Shelley and singer/songwriter Howard Devoto, after the two met at the Bolton Institute of Technology (now known as the University of Bolton) and traveled to London to see a Sex Pistols gig. Buzzcocks then debuted in 1976 and opened for the Sex Pistols in Manchester.

Buzzcocks released their first EP Spiral Scratch in 1977, and went on to record nine studio albums. Devoto then left Buzzcocks in 1977, and Shelley became the frontman. Their most recent album, The Way, was released in 2014. The band is known for hits such as “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)?” and “Why Can’t I Touch It?”

A re-issue of the Buzzcocks’ first two albums, Another Music In A Different Kitchen and Love Bites, is due for release on January. 25th, 2019.

The band’s Twitter account posted the following statement:

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Merging a wall of noise with a keen ear for melody, La Bête Blooms have grown from their shoegaze, reverb-drenched beginnings to become a force of guitar-driven pop. With Steve Lamacq, Lauren Laverne, Tom Robinson and Tom Ravenscroft championing the birth of a more aggressive sound, Laverne summed up the bands transition perfectly: “Think Slowdive meeting Pixies, thrown in with a bit of Kurt Cobain’s Incesticide guitar and you pretty much have it”.

I Know It’s Nothing is an exercise in catharsis with a firmly set jaw and an ‘us against the world’ mentality.  The band’s desire to prove their worth with a unique take on life up north echoes their home city of Hull’s sentiments. La Bête Blooms are entwined with the region’s hard work to prove preconceptions wrong, and their name, created in a similar way to Bowie’s renowned song-writing ‘cut up’ method, translates as ‘The Beast Blooms’.

Frontman Daniel Mawer tells us what the EP is about: “I Know It’s Nothing is a collection of songs covering anxiety, depression, northern defiance and Hull as City of Culture! Making this EP was really cathartic and our favourite work to date,