Posts Tagged ‘Manchester’

A leather-clad Heather Baron-Gracie stands in front of a packed house, Her dark bangs framing her big, green, extravagantly kohl-rimmed eyes. Baron-Gracie is the lead singer of the Manchester, England–based emo-pop group Pale Waves, and onstage she’s flanked by guitarist Hugo Silvani and bassist Charlie Wood, who look eerily alike, with Ciara Doran completing the quartet on drums. As they launch into moody songs inspired by the likes of Cocteau Twins and the Cure, the scene is a bit dark, but once the swirling guitars and synths come in, all the gloom and doom is left behind. In other words, that dark-eyed image belies the band’s sugary hooks. It shouldn’t work, but it does.

If Tim Burton had ever gotten his hands on a John Hughes script Edward Scissorhands’s Day Off Pale Waves would have fit right in on the soundtrack. Baron-Gracie’s dark, honest lyrics: “Oh, baby, won’t you stop it?/You and I haven’t got it/Television romance.” It’s a newfound professional hazard.

“A lot of people think that some songs are quite positive, that I’m saying a positive thing in ‘Television Romance,’Baron-Gracie explained before the show. “It’s not a love song! It’s the complete opposite — me rejecting someone. Jesus Christ, some people are so oblivious these days.”

The origin of Pale Waves goes back to 2014, when Baron-Gracie and Doran met while studying at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM) in Manchester. The pair clicked instantly, staying up and playing music together late into the night, with Doran adding live drums on a few of Baron-Gracie’s solo acoustic tracks. “We’re just the perfect soul mates in music,” said Baron-Gracie.

They bought cheap electric guitars and pedals, and recorded early demos of “The Tide” and “Heavenly,” which attracted significant internet buzz, and got the attention of Silvani, who joined the band on guitar. “We never wanted it to be a duo,” said Baron-Gracie. “We always wanted, like, two other members.” The lineup would be complete after Wood joined the fold in 2015. The girls’ friendship serves as the backbone, and helps them keep the younger boys in line: At 23, they both have a few years on Silvani, 21, and Wood, 20. “We’re the mums,” said Baron-Gracie.

After playing gigs all around England, the band caught the eye of Jamie Osbourne, who signed Pale Waves to his label, Dirty Hit Records, and took over managing duties. Since then it’s been a roller-coaster ride, with the band jumping from tiny gigs in its home country to touring with labelmates the 1975 (also from Manchester), including an opening slot at Madison Square Garden last fall.

All the Things I Never Said, released in February, is a sort of Pale Waves timeline pairing the early infectious hits with newer songs like “My Obsession” and “New Year’s Eve” that have much darker undertones, lyrically. “This is the first introduction of my music,” said Baron-Gracie. “And I write music because I don’t want to talk about it in conversation, so it’s all the things I’ve never said. But now I’ve said them in music form.”

Ciara always laughs at me because ‘My Obsession’ is like my child,” Baron-Gracie said, calling it her favorite track on the collection. “There’s something about it that’s just so emo and, like, Eighties ballad.” At first listen, one might assume it’s about some sort of till-death-do-us-part, all-consuming crush: “And I swear that I’ll never stop loving you/And I’ll die by your side if you want me to.” But as is often the case with Pale Waves, first impressions can be deceiving.

“They always presume, don’t they? Yeah that frustrates me,” Baron-Gracie said. “The main influence is my grandparents, their relationship, and how I sort of watched when my grandma passed away, my grandad sort of died with her in a way,” she said. The song is really about loss and Baron-Gracie bearing witness to what it’s like to lose the one person you love the most. It’s also just really catchy.

At present, the Pale Waves catalog remains tiny, totaling just seven songs with the release of their newest pop single, “Kiss,” this week. “It still feels like we don’t have much music out for how much we’re doing. I kind of like that,” Baron-Gracie added. “I’d rather give less and make people want more rather than overwhelm people with so many unreleased Pale Waves songs.”

The band wrapped up its first U.S. headline tour last month, and has a full slate of festival dates on the calendar, including spots at Lollapalooza and Outside Lands, plus a handful of dates opening for Chvrches’ U.S. tour this August. It’s also hard at work on its forthcoming debut full-length, hopefully set to release sometime this summer via Dirty Hit/Interscope. Baron-Gracie isn’t shy to admit that the band wants it to reach No. 1, despite its emotionally darker material.

“It’s still pop songs though,” she said. “It will always be pop.”

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ILL is a genre-defying band which believes in the power of disobedient noise. With a repertoire of precarious pop songs and frequent improvised departures, ILL revel in the right to be weird, exploring the borders between the funny and the sinister, the personal and the political, the mundane and the surreal.
Formed in Manchester in early 2012, the all-female post-punks ILL have released three EPs along with DIY artwork and music videos. Live performance highlights include “A Disobedient Noise” – an improvised piece at Manchester Art Gallery, Supernormal Festival 2015, Sounds from the Other City (Salford), supporting “riot-goths” Jack off Jill in Manchester, Raw Power Festival 2016, the Quietus Festival at WORM, Rotterdam in 2016 and the Great Escape 2017.

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“WE ARE ILL” is OUT NOW on Box Records.
“A wickedly funny/deadly serious explosion of Day-Glo cartoon punk energy, fierce feminism, troglodyte garage stomp and mutant surfabilly electronics. It’s hard to pick highlights on an album which is all highlights.”
(NARC. magazine)

Recorded over 18 months in the crumbling mills of Ancoats, Manchester, the album captures ILL’s legendary live energy. Immediate, raw and spontaneous, from art-pop bangers like Stuck On A Loop to improvised departures from structure like Slithering Lizards, it drops you right into the basement of a disreputable house party.
Subversive, surrealistic, humorous and fighting fierce, ILL warmly invite you to join them in kicking some ass!

“Grotty, wild, weird, frenzied music… fiercely political.” – The Guardian
Mancunian four-piece ILL bring a welcome female, wonky wooze to the mix.” – Wire
“There is an intoxicating energy about ILL. Their riveting post-punk sound pulses with wrath and defiance…a set list buzzing with kinetic force.” – The Quietus

 

False Advertising present ‘Belligerent’, a new album collating tracks the band has recorded over the last two years. Due for exclusive release this April  via 2670records.

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Band Members
Jen Hingley, Chris Warr, Josh Sellers

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The debut album by Manchester psychedelic rock & roll 6-piece, Control Of The Going. “I Love You, But It’s Going To Rain” is the majestically-titled debut album from Control Of The Going, a band that’s blossomed from the slightly awkward kids that you’d see at every vaguely psychedelic gig in town to one of the leading lights in that very scene that they belonged to. They’ve naturally spread their wings further afield as this record demonstrates, its real power and beauty in the way they’ve taken their influences, span them round, put their own twist on them and made something so ambitious, widescreen yet still peculiarly (Greater) Mancunian in its impact. The rumbling guitars that usher in opening track War Crime give way to pulsating drums, but quickly come back to reclaim their crown. One of the most immediate observations with the album is the amount of space that producer Dean Glover affords these songs, no mean feat given that there’s six of Control Of The Going in action. Liam half sings, half drawls through the chorus, one part dark Californian, one part resembling Ride’s earliest work. As we’ll discover listening further, they never stand still at any point on this record.

Star is a real juxtaposition, guitars deep in the mix, jangling away menacingly with an imminent threat of blowing you away, with deliciously layered vocals in the forefront as Liam breathlessly asks the question “why won’t you be my star tonight?” before almost channeling another famous Liam from these parts as he enunciates the star in the question with increasing intensity. The band then take the song away from him, off into a whirlpool of guitars that feel like they’ve blindfolded you and turning you round and round until you’re dizzy with the impact.

Sell Your Soul also starts with Liam centre stage, with the slow build behind him alluding to what’s to come, but here the guitars have a longing metallic edge to them that feels so far removed from their roots. This is of course what makes Control Of The Going unique from their contemporaries, there’s no attempt here to overpower the listener, to blast them away with a wall of noise that them being a six-piece would feel like a logical approach. Subtlety is the key here, both in the playing and the production that affords each member the oxygen to allow the songs to breathe

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The debut album due out on March 30th, 2018 On Infectious Music containing the singles  ‘CELEBRATION OF A DISEASE’  & ‘GIBRALTAR APE’ plus new single ‘ARMS OF PLEONEXIA’

The new single ‘Arms Of Pleonexia’, was premiered on Radio 1 by Huw Stephens, ‘Nihilistic Glamour Shots’ is the debut album from Manchester band Cabbage,  released 30th March 2018 on Infectious MusicProduced by James Skelly and Rich Turvey (Blossoms, The Coral, She Drew The Gun) at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool,
‘Nihilistic Glamour Shots’ is an album that confirms Cabbage as one of the most nuanced bands in years. Equally drawn to socialist politics and mucking about, they’re devotees of both big choruses and anarchic totems like GG Allin, Genesis P Orridge and Butthole Surfers. It’s a mixture writ large throughout ‘Nihilistic Glamour Shots’, from the frenetic opening salvo of ‘Preach To The Converted’, ‘Arms Of Pleonexia’ and ‘Molotov Alcopop’, via ‘Perdurabo’s swampy blues and wild funk of ‘Exhibit A’ to the devastating seven-minute finale ‘Subhuman 2.0’. It’s hard to think of another band who could write a magnificently infectious two-minute frantic anthem and then call it ‘Obligatory Castration’. Only two album tracks have been heard before, the BBC6 Music playlisted singles ‘Celebration Of A Disease’ and ‘Gibraltar Ape’. Indeed, the savagely brilliant ‘Postmodernist Caligula’ was written and recorded in a matter of days at the end of the album recording sessions.

While it broadens Cabbage’s sound further still from their already eclectic previous five EPs, ‘Nihilistic Glamour Shots’ also does a superb job of capturing the raw energy of their freewheeling live shows. The band have kept the gigs fresh partly by theming each tour, with autumn’s Healing Brexit Towns Experiment living up to its name.

“The video is an opportunist representation of how our simplistic, questionable minds view the odious backdrop of the arms trade and the delicate situation of political control that arises tensions all over the world. Catch 22 in layman’s terms. The tensions not only exist in public safety and international bravado but is increasingly called upon in culture which reflects in our song and video. Lee and Joe, although their hairlines and blemishes are in high definition, are metaphorical states. With such institutions controlled by excessive greed, this inevitably leads to decisions that have huge detrimental effect. There are no winners in the arms trade. There are no winners in the video.”

 Nihilistic Glamour Shots

Preach To The Converted
Arms Of Pleonexia
Molotov Alcopop
Disinfect Us
Postmodernist Caligula
Exhibit A
Celebration Of A Disease
Perdurabo
Gibraltar Ape
Obligatory Castration
Reptiles State Funeral

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Blackjack is the latest single for Manchester Indie pop four-piece The Dantevilles. With similarities to contemporary Stockport band Blossoms, and perhaps even the Courteeners too, it is clear that Dantevilles are fans of baggy, Indie, shoegaze, and yet they take these genres into 2018 in their own, fresh way.

From their hometown of Manchester, Dantevilles are regenerating alternative pop at the same rate as the city regenerates itself. Soulful and diverse, their clean, canny guitars and dual vocals reimagine the city’s sound through the crisp architecture of their atypical rearrangements. As England’s industrial noise dissolves, This band deliver slick, energetic soulful pop with a nod to the 80s electronica, and yet with a modern, up-to-date approach. This latest offering is a catchy, uplifting, melodic appealing little dance number. Led by a synth and electronic sound, fused with crisp guitar riffs, this track will surely appeal to any lover of Indie pop with its strong steady beat and trademark Manchester indie vocals. I would guess it’s only a matter of time before we see Dantevilles supporting well-known bigger acts on tour.

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If 2017 proved to be a bit of a whirlwind year for Manchester band Pale Waves, Then 2018 is likely to be something else entirely. As if earning fifth place in the BBC’s Sound of 2018 wasn’t enough, this month also sees the four-piece release “All the Things I Never Said”, their Matt Healy-produced debut EP.

A precursor to the band’s debut LP that’s due to drop later this year, All the Things I Never Said is four tracks of effortless indie-pop; its silky-smooth pop licks and sugar sweet vocal delivery masking a darkness that seems inherent to Pale Waves’ genetic make-up.

Opening with current single “New Year’s Eve” the band’s brand of glitzy goth pop is established from the outset. An infectious chorus belys an angsty sense of self-deprecation that permeates the track, establishing a dichotomy of pop pomp and twenty-something cynicism that works in Pale Waves’ favour, and continuing throughout the course of All the Things I Never Said.

Any such cynicism is left to fall by the wayside however, at least as far as following track “The Tide” is concerned. Possibly familiar to those who’ve been following the band for a while, its pimped-up production does nothing to hamper its hugely uplifting nature.

Elsewhere, closing number “Heavenly” might be familiar as well, that too undergoing a sonic makeover that serves to enhance the track’s expansive and texturous composition. It’s forthcoming single “My Obsession” that’s the most intriguing track included however. Slower than everything else on offer, you can’t help but feel that this is the direction the band’s forthcoming album will take. Darker in tone than its counterparts, and harbouring a sense of maturity that shows Pale Waves have more than just an ear for a melody.

Though the sugary delivery of much of All the Things I Never Said might leave some with a toothache, it’s impossible to deny how much fun their music is. More than just another synth-pop outfit however, the undercurrent of darkness that bubbles underneath the frothy, poppy façade separates them from their contemporaries and proving that Pale Waves will be this years must see band.

It’s possible you managed to miss the debut album from Manchester’s The Breath – the unique pairing of Rioghnach Connolly (of folk-hoppers Honeyfeet) and guitarist Stuart McCallum (of The Cinematic Orchestra). If they can build on its brilliance in 2017, then prepare to see them hit the mainstream.

Tantalising in theory; and in reality, a creative union between singer/flautist Rioghnach and guitarist Stuart surpassed our already high expectations. Carry Your Kin’s charm lays in its organic, unhurried sense of musicality. Tough to pigeonhole, it flowed easily between soul, folk and ambient styles.”

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