Posts Tagged ‘UK’

Chubby and the Gang are a West London punk troupe comprised of members of various bands associated with The New Wave of British Hardcore, among them Violent Reaction, Abolition, Big Cheese and more. The band – helmed by local electrician Charlie Manning – developed a cult following in the UK, largely rooted in the cross-pollinating nature of the punk scene. 

Knock, knock – they’re back. “Lightning Don’t Strike Twice” is a three-minute ride through the band’s entire mood board – opening with lap slide noodling before steering into anthemic pub rock with snarling lyrics. The video was directed by Jasper Cable-Alexander, and takes inspiration from ’90s internet cafés. “Lightning Don’t Strike Twice” is part of a double A-side 7″ out on May 28th that will feature another new track entitled “Life’s Lemons.”

Lead singer Chubby Charles offers: “I wrote this song about social inequality. Not mine but the people I saw around me. I feel like the whole premise of poverty is presented like this game in which if you play your cards right you can escape. In reality it’s more like playing a game of dice when they’re loaded against your favour. Constantly being struck by lightning and being told that it will never happen again. I remember witnessing someone’s telephone voice where they had to change their voice when conducting business or applying for jobs so they don’t come across as if they are from a lower class.

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I wrote the last verse about that because it disgusted me that in a system supposedly created on meritocracy a human being has to change their identity to try and shake unemployment. I’ve had very few jobs that required me to go for an interview. No one really cares who you are when you drive a minicab or lay out cables so I’m lucky in that sense. But many people aren’t.”

This double A-side 7″ contains “Lightning Don’t Strike Twice” (available as an instant download when pre-ordered) and “Life’s Lemons” – released 28th May 2021.

It has been eleven years since Cathal Coughlan committed his voice to record – and the moment you hear it, you will be painfully aware of how much you have missed it. He has a voice like no-one else, expressive and sullen while somehow not coming across as grumpy. Originally from Cork, Ireland, Cathal Coughlan is the co-founder and singer of acclaimed 80s/90s groups Microdisney and Fatima Mansions, and widely considered to be one of Ireland’s most revered singer/songwriters, beloved by fans of caustic literate lyricism and erudite songcraft. 

Although I still prefer his work in Microdisney together with Sean O’Hagan to his Fatima Mansions and solo records, the new album is certainly the best thing he has made since those days. 

Maybe the renewed inspiration is related to the fact that Coughlan was instrumental in reforming Microdisney for a number of concerts, Not only do some of his old mates appear on this record; the songs are great, there is lots of drama in the arrangements, and the intense lyrics are filled to the brim with chaotic pictures expressing the life of alter-ego Co-Aklan.

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The high point on the album is probably ‘The Knockout Artist’, what a pop song! It is also great to hear Sean O’Hagan contributing some synth on it. O’Hagan reappears on the closing track ‘Unrealtime’, this time on vocals.

A real keeper.

Recorded in London, the album features contributions from members of long-time collaborators the Grand Necropolitan Quartet as well as Luke Haines (The Auteurs, Black Box Recorder), Sean O’Hagan (Microdisney, The High Llamas), Rhodri Marsden (Scritti Politti), Eileen Gogan and Aindrais O’Gruama (Fatima Mansions).

William Doyle: Great Spans of Muddy Time: Recordstore Exclusive Flamingo Pink Vinyl + Signed Print

I was never a fan of East India Youth although that was William Doyle in everything but name. However, his first proper solo album ‘Your Wilderness Revisited’ totally and absolutely floored me, Whereas that was a perfectionist album in every sense, William Doyle is now back with something quite different. 

His hard disc crashed and he then had to piece together the album based on cassette copies that he had made. Or at least that is how the story goes, because who really backs their recordings up on cassette these days? Whatever the truth is, these songs are definitely more spontaneous, and definitely represent something that is a bit muddier timewise. Initially, you don’t notice, as the two opening tracks are crisp and pretty great pop songs. But then you are thrown into something that sounds more like a collage. There are more good pop songs further into the album but there are interspersed with more experimental – or maybe I should rather say unfocused – pieces. 

Apart from the track ‘Semi-bionic’, which literally starts out sounding like a hard disc crashing, the sound quality on the album isn’t muddy or full of tape hiss, but you definitely get the feel that some of tracks aren’t still finished. While that does lend the album an air of spontaneity, it also makes for a somewhat stumbling listening experience. But when it clicks, it is clear that Doyle’s sense for melody combined with ambient drama is intact!

It’s nearly a decade since William Doyle handed a CD-R demo to the Quietus co-founder John Doran at a gig, who loved it so much he set up a label to release Doyle’s debut EP (as East India Youth). Doyle’s debut album, “Total Strife Forever”, followed in 2014, as did a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize. A year later, he was signed to XL, touring the world and about to release his second album – all by the age of 25.After self-releasing four ambient and instrumental albums, Doyle’s third full-length record – and the first under his own name – “Your Wilderness Revisited” arrived to ecstatic reviews in 2019:  Described it as “a dazzlingly beautiful triumph of intention” and Metro declared it an album not only of the year, but “of the century”. Just over a year later, as he turns 30, Doyle is back with Great Spans of Muddy Time.

Born from accident but driven forward by instinct, Great Spans was built from the remnants of a catastrophic hard-drive failure. With his work saved only to cassette tape, Doyle was forced to accept the recordings as they were – a sharp departure from his process on Your Wilderness Revisited, which took four long years to craft toward perfection. “Instead of feeling a loss that I could no longer craft these pieces into flawless ‘Works of Art’, I felt intensely liberated that they had been set free from my ceaseless tinkering,” Doyle says.“The album this turned out to be – and that I’ve wanted to make for ages – is a kind of Englishman-gone-mad, scrambling around the verdancy of the country’s pastures looking for some sense,” says Doyle. “It has its seeds in Robert Wyatt, early Eno, Robyn Hitchcock, and Syd Barrett.”

Doyle credits Bowie’s ever-influential Berlin trilogy, but also highlights a much less expected muse: Monty Don, presenter of the BBC programme Gardener’s World, Doyle’s lockdown addiction. “I became obsessed with Monty Don. I like his manner and there’s something about him I relate to. He once described periods of depression in his life as consisting of ‘nothing but great spans of muddy time’.

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When I read that quote I knew it would be the title of this record,” Doyle says. “Something about the sludgy mulch of the album’s darker moments, and its feel of perpetual autumnal evening, seemed to fit so well with those words. I would also be lying if I said it didn’t chime with my mental health experiences as well. ”Lead single “And Everything Changed (But I Feel Alright)” is representative of the album as a whole: eclectic and unpredictable, but also playful and properly danceable. On top of the gently pulsing electronics, soothing harmonies and glowing melodies, there’s a ripping guitar solo that ricochets around the song like a pinball. “I wanted to get back into the craft of writing individual songs rather than being concerned with overarching concepts,” Doyle says. Elsewhere there’s the synth pop strut of “Nothing At All”, pulsating static on “Semi-Bionic”, incandescent synths and enveloping soundscapes in “Who Cares”, and the ambient glitch groove of “New Uncertainties”. Great Spans of Muddy Time is a beautiful ode to the power of accident, instinct and intuition. The result, however, is far from an anomaly: this celebration of the imperfect album is one that required years of honed craft and dedicated focus to achieve, “For the first time in my career, the distance between what I hear and what the listener hears is paper-thin,” Doyle says. “Perhaps therein reveals a deeper truth that the perfectionist brain can often dissolve.”

Tough Love Records,

Ed’s first album came out in 2017 on Lost Map Records. His music has regularly appeared on BBC6 Music and BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction, which included The Uncle Sold in their Top 12 albums of 2017. His 2nd album, “The Obvious I” is out now on Needle Mythology. 

It has been four years since Ed Dowie’s debut album ‘The Uncle Sold’. I liked that very much and although maybe his new album is a little less experimental, I like it every bit as much. With arrangements very much designed to lift Ed’s strong voice to the fore, it plays like a synth pop album for those of us who never liked synth pop albums. It is all here, sampled instruments, blips and blurbs, programmed drums and more. But done with restraint and a sense for the rather straightforward songs on the album. In 2017, Ed released his feted debut album ‘The Uncle Sold’, prompting The Quietus to hail him as a “bold and starry-eyed visionary” and The Skinny to praise his “beautiful… stolen snapshots of glimpsed futures and lost pasts.” and BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction made the record one of their albums of the year. Now, four years on, Ed is to return with an album that will surely find him new followers alongside long time fans such as Lauren Laverne, who described its predecessor as an “absolutely extraordinary” achievement.

And while there are many layered sounds here, they never unnecessarily take over the soundstage, allowing for much space between instruments, sometimes even creating a cavernous yet simultaneously clear sound for the vocals to inhabit.

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So whereas there are clear homages to the sounds of the 80s here, and the 8-bit cover art had me worried, Dowie has delivered a powerful album of gentle pop that really shines.

‘The Obvious I’, the second album from Ed Dowie, is the second new master release from Needle Mythology, the label founded by music writer, author and broadcaster Pete Paphides. “The Obvious I” was co produced by pioneering British experimental musician and sometime member of Polar Bear “Leafcutter John” Burton “John’s become something of a hero of mine over the years. Way back when he was in Polar Bear, I approached him after a couple of gigs, and he’d remembered me from those days. And really, his presence on the record was invaluable. He lent me equipment and gave me advice, then when I finished recording, I sent him the stems and he mixed the album.”

Released March 26th, 2021

Homecoming

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.

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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

‘Bad Time’ is the new EP from Peeping Drexels. The London based 5-piece, who have been together since they were sixteen, have to date released a series of singles on the Permanent Creeps and Fierce Panda labels. This is their first release on BY Records. They’ve previously received support from the likes of Steve Lamacq, DIY, So Young among others, performing live with the likes of Shame, Goat Girl and Public Practice.

Baby Blue 12″ Vinyl limited to 500 copies worldwide

May be an image of 5 people, beard, people sitting and outerwear

Having all lived in London for most of their lives, the band are now just a ‘stone’s throw’ from each other, with daily walks to maintain contact and the occasional shout from a balcony. The friendships dating back to college led to open conversations about playing together, and when the drummer leaving Alex’s previous band timed well with the group moving nearer to each other, Margot was formed. ‘We kind of talked about playing together. Rob and I had done some stuff together so it kinda made sense’, explained Alex. ‘I especially admired Alex’s songwriting, the way he was writing lyrics and singing in his band… so I thought that would have been fun to work with him’, Ben added. The quiet respect that they have for each other and their craft was evident throughout our conversation as they gently jibed each other with affectionate, dry humour and sarcasm.

It’s about a mate. It’s certainly a tragedy.
He’s had a hardship of sorts.
He’s got a life to look forward, for sure, and so do all of us, but things external, out of his control, took over. He had started to rebuild, to see beyond the internal damp colours, he had a life back. And after losing the comfort of the person he loved, and after coming to terms with all of the pain and the rubble, all the regret, he had a pandemic. Lost job, no soulmate and back living with his family at 27.

He dreamed of an ideal life; he dreamt that he could change his circumstances, he fought against a raging brute that cared little for his dreams, for his determination. He just had to sit and wait, sit and wait, and be still with his ambitions.
It’s about fear, loss, uncertainty, pain, hope and then the recoiling turgid desire for familiarity.

With all of the band members taking influence from various genres of music, the ‘music that [they] bonded around was American indie bands, like Real Estate, and Gear Hunter. That kind of 2010 guitar,’ Ben explained. ‘We all have very eclectic tastes you know,’ Mike continued. ‘I love jazz, and hip hop, and then I love indie music, even though that’s such a broad genre. Khurangbin and Andy Shauf, to shout out a few names!’

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The vinyl release for Falling in Between Days and Walk With Me is one to look forward to on 19th February

With a stream of singles released in their first two years as a band, followed by the release of Margotzeko at the beginning of early 2020, Margot have continued to be ‘on it’, despite the difficult times. 

Writers – Rob Fenner and Alex Hannaway with Alby Cleghorn, Ben Andrewes, Michael Webb

The Snuts - W.L

West Lothian, band The Snuts, have been shaking up the UK indie scene for over five years now, blending their mastery of sing-along, festival anthems with dissonant guitars and a touch of Laurel Canyon-esque emotion. Their sophomore EP, The Mixtape received widespread acclaim and landed them in the UK Top 20 and at number one on the Scottish charts, whilst also smashing over 30 million streams.  Their ability to switch between stadium-slaying choruses and ‘60s style funk in a heartbeat. Now set to release their debut album proper – where they worked with Tony Hoffer of Supergrass, Beck and The Kooks fame – the band are poised to become one of the most prominent guitar bands in the country. Guitarist Joe McGillveray talks about curating their album, the influence of Zappa and just being happy to get out of the house. “It’s been a long time coming, but we’ve always been super aware of how important a debut record can be for a band. We’ve had songs for years, but we wanted to make sure that the finished product felt like a polished piece of work. It definitely feels like what we have now is representative of who we are, and something we can be proud of.”

It’s testament to the sheer power of The Snuts that they’ve managed to sell several nights at Glasgow’s iconic Barrowlands before they’ve even released their debut album. But give the band one quick listen and you’ll soon realise that the Scottish lads are already experts at crafting everyman anthems that combine love, loss and the mundanity of everyday life with killer choruses. When that album arrives in early 2021, expect those shows to get even bigger.

“We have truly loved working with The Snuts on their new music video for Somebody Loves You. After a tough year full of traumatic events in our community in Glasgow and across the UK and the world, it was a breath of fresh air to be approached by The Snuts to work on this project. Timescales were tight and there were so many people involved, from us to the band, the record label, the artist behind the graffiti, producers and designers and not to mention the incredible new Scots who have shared their lives and stories with us. This is just the beginning of a new chapter. We will be sharing the stories of those who took part over the coming weeks and working closely with the band on a new fundraising campaign focused on love, self-love and acceptance. This project couldn’t have come at a better time and we are so grateful to have been part of it. We hope it will provide you with as much joy as it has given us. No matter how tough things get, always remember that somebody loves you, and we at Scottish Refugee Council are here fighting for you and with you. We’ll get through this together.”

The Snuts are already beginning to craft an undeniably magnetic following, having captured the imagination of fans across Scotland with their early demos and infamously anthemic, all-encompassing live show. 

Our debut record will be released on 19.03.21.
It is a collection of milestones and melodies that time stamp our dream becoming a reality. It’s a lifetimes work and we really hope you love it.

Somebody Loves You by The Snuts was released on February 4th 2021 by Parlophone Records.

Nottingham’s Do Nothing release a 5 Track EP “Glueland” on their own label Exact Truth. The band, comprised of childhood friends vocalist Chris Bailey, guitarist Kasper Sandstrom, bassist Charles Howarth and Andrew Harrison on drums, have had a breakout 2020, with all three singles from debut EP Zero Dollar Bill ‘Contraband’, ‘Fits’ and ‘LeBron James’ – landing on the BBC Radio 6 Music playlist. This new EP was produced by Ali Chant at Toybox Studios in Bristol and mixed by Tom Rees, lead vocalist and guitarist of Cardiff band Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard.

Lead track Glueland is a sleazy and low slung dirty groove monster that hints at The Talking Heads, Arctic Monkeys, LCD Soundsytem and Mark E Smith with lyrics about being stuck in limbo land. It’s an instant golden nugget.

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Released March 12th, 2021

Available for 72 hours only! Help raise money for struggling venues, musicians and other live music professionals who are unable to work (100% of proceeds will be donated to Stagehand UK and Save Our Venues charities).

When coronavirus hit, we suddenly stopped being able to play live together, bringing an abrupt end to all of our live dates and rehearsals. In an effort to stay sane and keep in touch while figuring out what we were going to do with ourselves, we remotely recorded a bunch of DIY covers that we put out on a few Sundays last year, an event that we named ‘Ice Cream Sundays’.

After lots of people asked whether these covers would ever be available for download, we’ve decided to release them for a short time in a way that can hopefully do some good for some very worthy causes. You can download them here from Friday 5th March (0:00 GMT) through to Sunday 7th March (11:59 GMT). 100% of the money that we receive from Bandcamp for downloads will be split between the charities Stagehand UK and Save Our Venues 

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Buy our digital EP “Ice Cream Sundays” this weekend, 100% of profits are going to Stagehand UK and #Saveourvenues to help struggling venues / people in the music industry.