First world problems you will say – but it is incredibly hard to sit on a great interview and wait for a right time to publish it. It been a few anxious weeks but the wait is finally over! HUSK`s new single “Feeling Heat” is dropping on November 1st, with funky lo-fi video to accompany it, and we can only tell you to get your dancing shoes on – we are going to a proper party!
We spoke with Alfie Austin about his music, a single that may turn him into a proper pop star, artists that inspired him and where he sees himself in five years time. Despite being incredibly talented singer and song writer, he remains grounded and even humble, looking at his music in practical ways. It is such a welcoming change from all the adrenaline pumped ladsy bands with egos and arrogance bigger than the Beetham Tower. And a stark reminder that is not the hype that makes an artist – but a talent and hard work.
But we digress. Its Monday and we have an amazing singer, song producer and musician to introduce!
The sleeve for Feeling Heat single
Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.
Alfie Austin: I’m HUSK, I’ve been dubbed as “the outsider pop star we’ve all been waiting for” and “pretty darn good” by BBC 6 Music. I describe myself as the ”love-child of 80’s synth nostalgia and fresh leftfield pop”.
Where are you based and who is in the band?
Alfie Austin: It’s just me. I`m from Manchester, UK. I work with a lot of talent because it takes a village to make music happen!
Tell us something about the project – are there any goals that you managed to achieve to date?
Alfie Austin: Since releasing my first EP in 2018, I’ve had some really cool stuff come my way. Being played on BBC 6 Music and BBC Introducing Manchester is definitely a highlight, as well as playing the revered Manchester International Festival this summer and to 15,000 at Pride in Hull. I’m so excited to be releasing my next single “Feeling Heat” on 1st Nov via really cool label AnalogueTrash, that’s already being played in Australia and the UK.
What inspires you? What artists or genres had the biggest influence on you?
Alfie Austin: I’m a hairbrush diva at heart, and grew up on a diet of melody centred Pop, with the likes of Madonna and Girls Aloud and I’m an avid Eurovision fan. In recent years though, the rich, imperfect vocals of Northern Soul and intelligent Pop with smart production and New Wave has influenced me with artists like Prince, Eurythmics, Robyn and Little Dragon.
I’m really influenced by queer culture too. Most queer parties are full of love and expression, and I want to create that good mood in my music, whilst talking about real issues that aren’t just dancing and/or love.
Naturally, I love artist like CHVRCHES & Christine & The Queens but I can’t replicate what they do – I have my own writing style.
It`s all about the music – and we want to hear your tunes and how they have been written.
Alfie Austin: When writing a new track, I will sing melodies and if they get stuck in my head, I know they’re a keeper. Next, I tend to create the bones of the track, including most of the synths and beats. I then take it into the studio and turn it into something really special. I’ve been working with producers Sugar House Music (Viola Beach/ Pale Waves/ Larkins), who are incredibly good at making things sound polished but interesting and work you hard to get the best out of you.
Name your best song. Is there a story behind it?
Alfie Austin: It’s definitely the new one “Feeling Heat”. It’s got really strong 80’s vibes, which I just can’t get enough of. I was having a time where everything I wrote I absolutely hated and I was feeling really under pressure to come up with something in my really busy schedule. “Feeling Heat” is about that! And then once we got it into the studio, everything we tried just clicked – we finished it in a matter of hours.
How do you create your unique sound? What gear are you using?
Alfie Austin: My main tools are my Arturia Microbrute synth and Propellerhead’s Reason. I use a lot of layers. There’s always like 4 snares and 2 kicks, 5 synth sounds playing the lead melody and 2 bass synths. Sugar House also used a really creepy vocoder for vocal harmonies on my EP that we have used ever since.
Squad goals – where do you want to see the band in five years time?
Alfie Austin: I’m not going to lie, it would be really nice if I was signed to Virgin EMI and had a shit hot manager that keeps me in check, filling arenas. But if I’m still making music that people enjoy, and I’m not going hungry, I’ll be okay. I have a few specific goals for this next single “Feeling Heat”, and now that AnalogueTrash are on board, that’s one goal ticked off. Every little piece written about HUSK is still really exciting though.
If any bookers or promoters want to get in touch – what is the best way to contact you?
Imagine you can record an album with any producer, dead or alive in a studio of your choice. Who would be on your record?
Alfie Austin: Totally self-indulgent but Brian Higgins/Xenomania featuring a Nadine Coyle vocal would be a dream! Xenomania have such an amazing repertoire of innovative pop and I think it would make for a really great record. I’d also love, love, love a collab with Janelle Monae. She’s just and all round great artist!
They appeared out of nowhere, with no warning and within a month have been BBC 6 Music single of the week, had Amazing Radio on their team and BBC Scotland taking notice. If that is not a very definition of taking the indie circuit by storm, then we don’t know what that would be. We have sat down with Memes to talk about their new single, future gigs and their lyrics. This band combines post punk fury with intelligence and wit of The Fall. Mark E Smith is probably looking down, nodding his head with approval and saying to John Peel that there are still good bands in the UK.
At Indieterria, we take pride in researching each band we interview. However we weren’t able to find much about Memes. We learnt only that you come from Glasgow and that the band is made out of two friends named John and Paul. Introduce yourselves properly to our readers.
Memes: Memes is John McLinden and Paul McLinden and we are cousins and we are a new duo from Glasgow.
We love your enigmatic attitude. You have no biography on social media, just an email address and a couple of pictures are available. Tell us more about Memes. When did you start playing? Have you been involved in any previous projects?
Memes: To be honest, the mystery hasn’t really been intentional, the missing bio and lack of information on the band is mostly down to the fact that the band is being so new! That said, it’s hard for bands to maintain any mystique in the social media age, which is a shame, as it is one of the things we like about some of our favourite bands.
Memes came about from some downtime in another band we play with (we have been involved in various projects before). We just got together to record some ideas that Paul had written. We were just messing around really and DIY recording in a loft in Glasgow, but we liked the end result of ‘Blah Blah Blah’ and thought we would put a single release together to see if we could get any reaction. We only started working on Memes in February 2019.
Scottish blog Turn Up The Volume compared your music to The Fall and The Smiths with a “healthy dose” of Idles. What are your inspirations?
Memes: Very flattering of them to say so, we would count those bands as favourites of ours for sure. We like anything that is interesting or provocative in some way. That could be anything from Talking Heads to Frank Sinatra to Steve Reich.
“Is that a picture of your grand pa?” – photography by Gary Dickie
In another review you were described as “Fast and furious lo-fi post punk that sounds like a frantic Mark E Smith after a day spent watching BBC Parliament”. And we have to admit that your lyrics have the same wit and edge as the lead singer of The Fall. We will risk saying that he`d be a fan. You are not afraid to be outspoken and yet do it in a subtle way. That’s a very rare quality in music these days.
Memes: There isn’t much in the way of being outspoken (or saying anything really) in the mainstream, but there are bands and individuals out there causing a stir. We haven’t deliberately set our stall out to say anything specific but hopefully the songs catch the imagination.
You just released your debut A side single “Blah Blah Blah”/”Funny man” and captured attention of everyone in the business. You have been a single of the week at BBC 6 Music as chosen by Steve Lamacq himself, you have been championed by Jim Gellatly on Amazing Radio, Tom Robinson from Fresh on the Net is also very fond of the song. This Feeling added the single to their Best New Bands playlist. Is this attention something you have expected?
Memes: No, not at all. We liked the music and hoped others would, but having the airplay we have had for such a new project has been fantastic, we just have to back it up now! Music is a difficult nut to crack and we have only released two songs at the moment, but hopefully our next release will raise the game!
Talking about debuts, The Duct Tape, Edinburgh zine swears that 4 months before “Blah Blah Blah” came out you have released another song that was distributed during underground punk gathering. Sadly we haven’t been able to confirm this piece of news anywhere else. True or not?
Memes: Hmmm news to us! Could be another band called Memes but it definitely wasn’t us.
We would like to ask you about the story behind “Funny Man”. Are you able to disclose the person about whom the song was written?
Memes: It’s not about any one person in particular, just the many “funny” and supposed “characters” out there that you meet…that aren’t funny and have no character, you know the ones!
We keep mentioning The Fall in this interview and on 13th of June you will be supporting Imperial Wax Band (whose members were the longest serving and the last line up of The Fall). You must have the date marked on your calendars!
Memes: Yeah, looking forward to that one. Given that The Fall has been mentioned as part of our sound, it will hopefully go down well with the Imperial Wax crowd.
Memes are just getting started – but you must have some plans made for the future. What can we expect? A new single more gigs or perhaps a bigger release such a EP?
Famous last question. Imagine you can play any venue in the world. Which one would you choose?
Memes: This would have to be the Barrowlands in Glasgow, simply a great venue.
Memes ready to take on the world – photo by Gary Dickie
We will be reporting on Memes in the future since they are about to go though the roofs. Just give them few months, they will give Sleaford Mods a good run! (and we like Mods, actually them and Memes on a tour is such a good idea!).
After years of preparation, and months of excitement and awaiting, the DAY OF TRUTH has arrived.
The debut album by The Blinders is finally here and now the entire world will hear the story of Johnny Dream and His Codeine Scene.
You are being watched! Johnny Dream is looking at you from the cover of “Columbia”
This musical hurricane will take you on a ride that will not be easily forgotten. To celebrate, Vanadian Avenue has opened the doors to the Columbia National Library Archives and digged out some impressive data to boast about the fruitful last couple of weeks.
The Blinders team has been working extremely hard and we would like to mention several people who made everything possible.
First of all, of course the musicians themselves: Thomas Haywood, Charlie McGough and Matty Neale. Plus Gavin Monaghan (the producer) and Joseph Wildy Murray (the engineer), who get the honorary mention as it was their experience and knowledge that created this masterpiece. They are truly the Wizards of Wolverhampton.
Second, their record label – Modern Sky UK and managers: Tim Abbott and Paul Fassam.
Third – their PR team with Caffy St Luce at the helm, their booking agent Jamie Wade and Sam Crowston – visualizer, artist, filmmaker, photographer and the man behind all graphic representation of Columbia.
Very, very special thanks to Mr Chris Hawkins and Mr Steve Lamacq – a legendary man who is the same to the new generation of musicians as John Peel was to us.
And then their families who supported them from the start, their friends and fellow bands that came to the shows, newspapers and magazines that wrote about them, journalists and DJ’s who played them, BBC 6 Music, BBC Introducing teams and BBC 1 teams, Amazing Radio, Radio X, XS Radio Manchester and other radio stations who played their music, photographers who tirelessly took millions of pictures and edited them right after the gig so people could enjoy them in the morning, promoters who booked shows and shouted on Twitter and other socials trying to sell tickets and bring crowds in, bars and clubs that hosted the band, fans for sticking with the band through thick and thin and countless of others who were there and we will never know their names.
THANK YOU to all and each one of you – you are wonderful human beings and your kindness means a world to three young lads from Doncaster.
Things would not be possible without your help.
The last three months before the album release have been very busy. You may not realize how much planning, work and extra hours go into social media, making of promotional materials or just simple PR. It is never ending job that keeps everything together.
We called this blog Columbia Library Archives as we tried to collect links, videos, interviews, and all sort of strange data that could show you what has been done and achieved.
Please feel free to scroll through this small collection and enjoy it. If you have missed something before, this is now your chance to discover it all over again.
To make it easier for you, we have divided our findings into groups:
Chart position: Columbia has debuted on the official UK Top 40 on the date of its release, 21st of September 2018. The Party has released an official statement and every woman, man and a child living within the glorious borders of our nation-state is expected to read it and celebrate the success!
The statements reads: “Having caught wind that our debut album ‘Columbia’ has entered the realms of the top 40 midweek album charts, we would just like to thank every single person who has purchased the record in the past few days. You all mean the world to us, and we really couldn’t be doing this without you. To ensure it stays there, buy it, play it, and tell all yer friends about it.”
The statement is accompanied by the special celebratory video:
And the band would like to thank everyone who ever supported them so please continue doing!
Official statistics are as follows:
Mid Week Top 40 – 28th place
Official Top 40 – 54th place
Official Record Store Top 20- 6th place
Indie Album Top 30 – 8th place
Indie Album Breakers – 1st place
Vinyl Sales of the Week – 10th place
Re-entry (Indie Album Breakers Top 20) – 15th place on 14.01.2017
Mid Week Top 40 – 28th place
Indie Album Top 30 – 8th place Indie Album Breakers – 1st place
Official Top 40 – 54th place
Official Record Store Top 20- 6th place
Vinyl Sales of the Week – 10th place
The Album returned to the charts on 14th of January 2019 at number 15th
Columbia spent three weeks on the charts with the peak position at number 1
It reads: “The self-titled debut album from Brighton rockers Black Honey opens at 22, one rung higher than Iridescence, the major label debut from hip-hop group Brockhampton (23). Doncaster group The Blinders are also vying for a Top 40 finish with their debut album Columbia (28)”.
Please check out this section often as it will be updated as new info is available!
BBC6 Music Album of the Day: On 1st of October 2018, Columbia has been named the Album of the Day by BBC6 Music. This is one of the highest recognition that can come for a debuting album and millions of people heard 6 songs from the album being played throughout the day.
Album of the Day according to the Gospel aka BBC6 Radio! Thank you so much guys!!!
Amazing Radio Album of the Week 01.10.2018-07.10.2018:
Columbia as the Album of the Week
Columbia has been chosen as an Album of the Week at Amazing Radio during the period of 1st and 7th of October. That means the album is played each day during the core hours and on Friday, the 5th of October, you will have a chance to listen to the entire album on air without interruption from 2:00 PM sharp. https://amazingradio.com/home/album-of-the-week-the-blinders-columbia
Festivals: The Blinders are in such a great demand that each day, a new gig or concert is being added. Those lucky ones who have the tickets, were able to see them performing on two festivals before they embark on a national tour.
The first festival called Neighbourhood ManchesterFestival took place on the 6th of October and The Blinders were added as a secret guest just 12 hours before the show. The band played at the YES the Pink Room and it was of course a sold out performance.
The second festival named Twisterella Festival in Middlesbrough took place on the 13th of September. The Blinders were one of the headliners along with Estrons, Avalanche Party and Bryde. As with previous performances, tickets were selling fast and it is a good indicator that many shows will sell out on the commencing tour. The Blinders played their 50 minute slot at The Townhouse, starting at 21:00 pm.
Mailing list and newsletters are very useful tools helping to keep in touch with fans and informing them about new things from the band’s HQ. Like any other marketing materials, Columbia Daily (aka the newsletter) is issued in in monochrome and contains pictures, latest news and the most important links.
Playlist: Spotify is one of the most popular streaming services on the Internet allowing billions of users to access the music. The Blinders are added to hundreds of small lists made by fans and industry professionals, but recently they came with a list of their own. And it is a pretty special list as it shows the band’s entire officially released catalog! It also looks wonderfully as you ca see at the attached screens below:
“It is guitar orientated album that is true to the live performance. Songs are fast and yet catchy, with haunting back ground vocals and hypnotizing drums. It is the fresh perspective on what music should be in 2018 – direct, poetic, enigmatic, political, tearing out your soul and different from what is happening around. And that is what Thomas Haywood, Matty Neale and Charlie McGough bring to the table” – Malicia Dabrowicz for Vanadian Avenue https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/08/30/indieterria-review-columbia-by-the-blinders/
“How important is this release going to be? Personally, I’ve waited for a band to make an album like this for twenty, maybe thirty years. Political albums can often deter because they are hard work, but they do endure… I’m thinking about albums by Gil Scott Heron, The Clash, Billy Bragg, Public Enemy, Manic Street Preachers, The The or Dead Kennedys. When the political scene is as warped and cruel as it is now, music should comment on it and be influenced by it. The Blinders are making music to mark their protest; there should be more like them” – Alan Neilson for BrumLive Magazine http://www.brumlive.com/blinders-columbia-debut-album-released-21-september-2018/
Signed LP on vinyl – back
“Politically charged trio The Blinders have taken the UK music scene by storm. Not only did their track ‘L’Etat C’est Moi’ get playlisted on BBC 6 Music, but they also landed a headline slot on the BBC Introducing stage at this summer’s Reading & Leeds festivals. Needless to say, these boys are destined for success” – Harriet Willis for The Skinny Music Blog https://www.theskinny.co.uk/music/reviews/albums/the-blinders-columbia
“That shamanic, compelling mood is captured perfectly in ‘Columbia’. Ably produced by Gavin Monaghan (Editors, The Sherlocks, Goldblade), the album sees childhood friends Thomas Haywood, bassist/co-writer Charlie McGough and drummer Matt Neale follow Johnny Dream on his spiritual awakening, from the coruscating swagger of the opening ‘Gotta Get Through’ to the raw, beautiful and ultimately redemptive finale ‘Orbit (Salmon Of Alaska)” – (legendary) R*E*P*E*A*T Fanzine https://repeatfanzine.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/the-blinders-debut-album-columbia-out-this-friday-uk-tour/
“It’s a really impressive debut, and we actually found ourselves feeling suitably shocked after our first listen at how accomplished it sounds. The band make indie rock music that is supercharged and political, with groovy yet raw riffs filling each song on the album. It’s raw but the production never sounds too fuzzy, with it all sounding pretty damn perfect to us” – Jane Howkins for York Calling https://yorkcalling.co.uk/2018/09/01/the-blinders-columbia/
“‘Hate Song’ is all urban noir menace, ‘Free The Slave’ a 28-second leviathanesque anthem, ‘Et Tu’ a heads down bass battering Adam and the Ants from Dante’s Inferno and, joining the quote dots, ‘Brutus’ a full seven minutes of charged rock darkness that variously encompasses Floyd, Enter Shikari, Metallica and Nick Cave. Impressive stuff” – Mike Davies for Roots and Branches Zine http://roots-and-branches.com/brum-beat–the-beat/record-reviews-september.html
“Manchester’s Blinders bring the classic rock vibes with their debut outing, Columbia. Brimming with Arctic Monkeys swagger but imbued with a subtle psychedelic edge and semi-spoken lyrical fire, these young upstarts have set a great precedent for things to come. In the meantime, this should definitely sit well in your collection” – Piccadilly Records (Manchester Independent Record Store) https://www.piccadillyrecords.com/counter/product.php?pid=123568
“Whirring riffs dominating, the war drums integral, drone sounds making you check over your shoulder as you listen. It‘s infectious, with bombastic drum beats, western twangs and jangly yet searing guitar riffs getting you ready to dance, mosh or start a revolution” – Johnny Rogerson for Clash Magazine https://www.clashmusic.com/reviews/the-blinders-columbia
“This increasingly rare concept album, coupled with their constant references to history and literature display an artistic intelligence perhaps uncommonly associated with such a heavy-hitting sound. Alongside the likes of Cabbage and IDLES, they are leading the way in creating a new brand of socially aware Punk. With the release of ‘Columbia’, The Blinders are dragging us into a dystopian future where Punk-Rock rules again” – James Booton for Boot Music Blog http://jamesbooton15.wixsite.com/boot-music/single-post/2018/09/19/The-Blinders—Columbia
“Perhaps once in a generation comes a movement that speaks for its outcasts, those who are undernourished but well read, those who see injustice, but have been fed only on a diet of apathy, and corruption. The blue generation before us were emotionally rescued by bands like the Manic Street Preachers, now, rising from the ashes of Brexitopia, (and the burned out ruins of the indie landfill) we have The Blinders” – Dizzy Spell for The Zine UK https://www.thezineuk.co.uk/single-post/2018/09/19/Stepping-into-Columbia-with-The-Blinders
“So where does ‘Columbia’ place The Blinders? It’s an impressive debut, one that captures the essence of what they’re about and as much of the live performance as is possible within the constraints of a studio recording. It doesn’t compromise their personalities and the real core of what they’re about in search of a hit radio-friendly album, but it’s that which has caught the ear of those that champion them. They have influences but not too overt, their songs observe rather than preach, talk of politics in its social context attacking ideologies and beliefs rather than directly attacking individuals which give it more gravitas. But most important of all they remain true to themselves” – Even the Stars Blog http://www.eventhestars.co.uk/2018/09/the-blinders-columbia.html?m=0
“In the age of distraction, it’s hard to craft an album that grips you for a full 40 minutes and doesn’t have you reaching for the skip button, but ‘Columbia’ is a rare breed, as are The Blinders themselves. This is one to not only cherish, but to lose your voice and mind to in equal measures” – Richard Cobb for Little Indie Blogs https://littleindieblogs.blogspot.com/2018/09/album-review-blinders-columbia.html
“Of the lineage of politically charged and anti-establishment albums, The Sex Pistols’ Never Mind The Bollocks and Pink Floyd’s The Wall, stand out as the two that most inform Columbia, which is without doubt an astounding achievement and a seismic debut for the band that labelled their sound in 2016 as ‘a spellbinding punkadelic-esque Roman orgy’. Columbia, the ‘alternate world informed by reality’ reverberates with the sound of the temple’s foundations being rocked to their very core” – Andrew Gutteridge for Words For Music Blog https://wordsformusic.blog/2018/09/21/album-review-the-blinders-columbia/
“An outstanding debut, The Blinders have caused an itch with Columbia, an itch I hope they can scratch with a follow up. We sacked off the ratings system a long time ago, but Colombia feels like an Eight from a band who have the potential to deliver a Ten. Far from a classic, but ever so close. Thoroughly enjoyable and a real kick up the ass for the alternative rock scene who should take notes from this excellent piece of work” – Josh Bell for RGM: Reyt Good Magazine https://www.rgm.press/review-the-blinders-columbia/
Vinyl copy of “Columbia”
“It’s impossible to fully appreciate this album in word form and I cannot stress enough how much you have to listen to it for yourself. The Blinders have truly changed the game with ‘Columbia’. They’re going to take over the world” – Lottie Catrin forLet It Happen Music Blog https://letithappenmusicblog.com/2018/09/21/the-blinders-columbia/
“If The Blinders were trying to get a message across, they couldn’t have achieved it in any more clarity if they’d tried. It’s poetical perfection. This, 12-track, just-under-40-minute album is, at it’s core, just a piece of music. But at it’s best, it’s a statement; a concept; it’s meant to provoke a reaction. And it does. Even during the live shows, the band, clad in face paint and dark clothing, embrace the ideology and the theme of the album entirely, immersing themselves in this make-believe world that they truly believe could become real sometime soon. The hype around this album has been second-to-none amongst independently released albums in the past ten years. But we’re here for it” – The Indie Room Blog https://theindieroomblog.wordpress.com/
“But it is impossible not to be sucked into this scary world of slithering bass, straight-for-the-throat guitars and Thomas Haywood’s cool without being an annoying snob popular cultural references. The deliciously snarling guitars that pave the way of ‘Et Tu’ and then again on the outro to ‘Brutus’ while Haywood screams ‘Et tu, Brute?’ over the top are the stuff of genius. This isn’t songwriting, this is atmospheric musical theatre” – Leigh Sanders, Senior sub editor for the MNA portfolio and entertainments at Express and Star and Shropshire Star. https://www.shropshirestar.com/entertainment/music/2018/09/22/the-blinders-columbia—album-review/
“Doncaster trio The Blinders’ Columbia is a dystopian-infused, literary-inspired social critique on modern day society, comparing our own world to those created by Orwell and Huxley. Before listening I was apprehensive, afraid the ferocious punk sound that has dominated their early works and live shows would become too repetitive, but Columbia’s highlights are the tender moments. Acoustic number ‘The Ballad Of Winston Smith’, and Nick Cave-inspired ‘Orbit (Salmon Of Alaska) are the album highlights as Tom Haywood, under his persona of Johnny Dream” https://therodeoblog.blogspot.com/2018/09/on-trend-future-is-bright.html
“If ever there were a time for heroes, it be now. A band to speak to and for the disaffected, disenfranchised youth about to be trampled on by the aftermath of us adults screwing up their future by withdrawing from the EU and leaving them with a “no deal” Britain that ensures they’ll be working until they drop and the word ‘pension’ will become as obsolete as pronouncing the letter “H” as it is spelt” – James Auton for God is in the TV blog http://www.godisinthetvzine.co.uk/2018/09/24/the-blinders-columbia-modern-sky/
“Emerging from Doncaster as new bastions of explosive live music, The Blinders have become a must-see band on the UK live circuit in the past two years. Fusing punk politics, gnarly hooks and psych-lyricism, the band have found the perfect algorithm to live success. Picking up support from 14 influential playlists, including Indispensables and Walk Like A Badass, The Blinders have enjoyed a 132% increase in their playlist following in the past 7 days, taking their total to over 3.5 million. With a 5.45% increase in their artist following, the trio also seem to be building a solid fanbase” – FRTYFVE Blog, powered by Instrumental https://www.frtyfve.com/new-music/hottest-artist-in-the-world-the-blinders
“On the back of the game-changing album ‘Columbia’, The Blinders have now cemented themselves as one of the hottest bands in the UK. The album itself is racing into the UK top 40 after rave reviews from fellow bands, fans and press – we’ve had it playing constantly since last Friday, and trust us – believe the hype!” – Mock It (the Best in New Music) Blog https://mockitmusic.wixsite.com/mockitmusic/features/tenement-trail-the-blinders
“In tracks such as ‘Hate Song’, ‘Where No Man Comes’, the scintillating power of expression in ‘Ballad of Winston Smith’, ‘Brave New World’ and ‘Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)’, The Blinders have found the right series of buttons which makes, which demands of the debut a sense of the calm, collected, and ready to light the beacons in the anticipation of fighting a bigger battle ahead. It is a battle in which the generations above had better be wary of standing in their way ” – Ian D. Hall for Liverpool Sound and Vision http://www.liverpoolsoundandvision.co.uk/2018/09/25/the-blinders-columbia-album-review/
“Influenced by Arctic Monkeys and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, there’s also a hint of Kasabian in their groove-laden alt-rock sound. This brooding collection of 12 songs is loosely based around the concept of Columbia as ‘an alternate world informed by reality’. It demands your attention from the off with a wonderful brace of singles, the insistent ‘Gotta Get Through’ and ‘L’Etat C’Est Moi’ (it means I Am The State). Like most of the album’s best moments, they’re propelled along by delicious post-industrial bass lines reminiscent of Peter Hook in his Joy Division pomp” – Gary Welford for Hartlepool Mail https://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/whats-on/music/album-review-the-blinders-columbia-1-9365505
“The album provides a unique and enjoyable listen, leaving you feeling fully involved with the dystopia that is Columbia, all helped by the vivid imagery of the lyrics. This band is essential to 2018, and with this album they have literally pulled a blinder” – Katie Macbeth for Rock Chic Blog https://rockchicme.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-blinders-columbia.html
“For a young generation on the cusp of a new political awakening, their debut will no doubt act as an accompanying soundtrack to their cause. After a few years of honing their craft and some impressive slots on the UK festival scene this year, ‘Columbia’ will be taking The Blinders places – so catch them while you can” – Ceri Saunders for ON: Yorkshire Magazine https://www.on-magazine.co.uk/arts/music/album-reviews/columbia-the-blinders/
“The Blinders are a band worth experiencing live. Enrapturing, politically injected lyrics enable the gig-goer to encounter an alternative to what is seen in mainstream media. Catch them on their headline tour alongside White Room and Calva Louise this October and November, you won’t be disappointed” – Sahar Ghadirian for Forge Media http://forgetoday.com/2018/10/02/review-the-blinders/
“Despite clocking in 12 songs in just over 42 minutes, ‘Columbia’ never rushes its narrative. Constantly proving that rock and roll is most definitely still alive and well, The Blinders have returned the hope that rock and politics can go hand in hand. With hints of the ‘Stones, The Smiths and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, it’s quite hard to not deem ‘Columbia’ as one of the most influential albums of 2018. It’s a definitive, well-polished record from a young, promising band who stand for something much more” – Paige Smiths for Not Enough Notes Blog http://www.neverenoughnotes.co.uk/2018/10/review-the-blinders-columbia-rock-debut/
“The stunning debut album from Manchester underground band, The Blinders” – Amazon UK/Amazon.com
Official advert for Columbia on Amazon UK
A new review from K Production
“Energetic, goth-tinged Yorkshire three-piece The Blinders take their influences from great lyricists, poets and writers such as Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, John Lennon, Rimbaud, Allen Ginsberg, George Orwell and William Burroughs, but also count Charles Manson and the devil among their influences. Their debut album, Columbia, therefore, is a bit different to the run-of-the-mill indie bands around today. LP and CD on Modern Sky Entertainment.” – KProduction https://www.keyproduction.co.uk/blog/2017/latest-releases-manufactured-by-key-production-group_september-round-up/
Columbia review by Jack Saunders of BBC Radio1. Picture by Sam Crowston
“Delivering an LP of fierce dystopian rock n roll loosely based around the concept of ‘an alternate world informed by reality’, The Blinders are an example of a new breed of guitar band who are noticeably far less complacent than many from earlier on in the decade. They bash out an exciting blend of punk, indie and psychedelica, listing their influences as Dylan, Cohen, Mark E Smith, Lennon, Cave, Kerouac, Rimbaud, Orwell, Ginsberg, and S.Borroughs” – Rewind/Forward Blog https://rwffmusic.blogspot.com/2018/09/album-review-blinders-columbia-2018.html
“Throughout the album, the influence of the works of George Orwell is ever clear, especially on acoustic ‘Ballad of Winston Smith’ named after the protagonist in the novel 1984. The tracks speaks of the mainstream media reporting and building stories out of nothing, whilst letting those in charge get away with whatever they wish” – Katie MacBeth for RawMusicTV https://www.rawmusictv.com/review/2018/The-Blinders-release-debut-album-Columbia
“One of the most anticipated British debuts of 2018, The Blinders deliver a fully rounded rock statement with ‘Columbia’ but leave their future open. The Blinders have created something cohesively packed not only with raw energy and rage also with knowledge, chemistry and the profound. To say Columbia an impressive debut would be an understatement, but it’s also apparent there’s more to come. 8/10″ – Sandie Garland for The Student Playlist https://www.thestudentplaylist.com/review-the-blinders-columbia/
“This increasingly rare concept album, coupled with their constant references to history and literature display an artistic intelligence perhaps uncommonly associated with such a heavy-hitting sound. Alongside the likes of Cabbage and IDLES, they are leading the way in creating a new brand of socially aware Punk. With the release of ‘Columbia’, The Blinders are dragging us into a dystopian future where Punk-Rock rules again” – James Booton for Boot Music Blog http://jamesbooton15.wixsite.com/boot-music/single-post/2018/09/19/The-Blinders—Columbia
“The Blinders debut album ‘Columbia’ is a raw, loud and punky piece of dystopian-themed indie rock that makes you fall in love with rock music, all over again. 🎸👨🎤 🤘” – Roxi for RoxiPicks Twitter Channel https://twitter.com/roximusicsystem
“The album has lots of energy but settles into your standard swampy/punk sound, with odd high spots: I Can’t Breathe is similarly retro to the opener and stands out, as does the slower, and Levellers-ish, Ballad Of Winston Smith. Even the more ‘routine’ tracks are far from predictable: Hate Song speeds, to give the moshpit a reason for frenzy, Where No Man Comes opens with an arty disco beat and jagged guitars” – Review Corner https://reviewcorner.org/2018/12/21/the-blinders-columbia/
Indie For Bunnies Italian Blog – The Blinders review
“The debut album for The Blinders is finally here. Three youngsters from Doncaster who now live and study in Manchester, have been mentioned for a long while now in various English magazines and it seems that everybody has been eagerly awaiting the release of ‘Columbia’. What can be said – it was worth the wait. This is an interesting, magnetic, 100% rock and roll album. Almost two years passed between the releases of their debut album and their first EP ‘Hidden Horror Show’ that saw the light of day back in 2016. The EP showed much potential and maturity and working with legendary producer, Gavin Monaghan on their debut album allowed the band to produced a real magic that will satisfy hundreds and thousands of new fans. Gavin Monagham is called the Wizard of Wolverhampton for a reason. It is worth adding that Columbia was recorded fully at Monaghan’s recording studio, The Magic Garden in Wolverhampton, West Midlands. From the opening chords of ‘Gotta Get Through’ to the magnificent closing track ‘Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)’, The Blinders prove that they have a maximum control over the listeners. They take them on a journey filled with distorted guitars, haunting vocals and protest songs against controlling political systems. Several songs are highlights of the album. ‘Ballad of Winston Smith’ will make your hair stand on its end. It is hauntingly beautiful, mature, with a nostalgic bow and background chants that remind us of a movie soundtrack. It could be a great theme song for the next James Bond movie. ‘Et Tu’ brings us back to reality with aggressive rhythm and ‘Brutus’ flirts with multiple layers of percussion and pulsing bass line that sounds like Arctic Monkeys, Drenge and Slaves mixed together. So, here are The Blinders. Three different people, three amalgamated elements, that made one truly interesting album filled with innovative ideas, mature lyrical themes and classic rock and roll. Columbia is so good, it will withstand the passing of time” – Ben Moro for IBF (Indie for Bunnies) Italian Blog Translation from Italian by Vanadian Avenue http://www.indieforbunnies.com/2018/11/05/the-blinders-columbia/
End of Year Reactions: 2018 is now a history! To celebrate the last 12 months, Vanadian Avenue has prepared Columbia Advent Calendar! We have our own # (hashtag) on Twitter and each day we will be posting really cool things relating to the album, tour, merch or the band! To access all tweets please use the following link: https://twitter.com/hashtag/ColumbiaAdventCalendar
We also have a proper Advent Calendar as well! Please click on each day to reveal something extraordinary about the band!
Columbia was released on 21st of September and is being counted among the albums released in 2018. Its name is appearing in many “End of year” summaries and we thought it would be good to show how well received the album is. Please see the screenshot from Twitter where users are posting their Best albums of 2018!
End of Year summaries – fans
Louder Than War magazine has always been very supportive of The Blinders and we have to thank them for their continuous faith in the band. Columbia has just been called the second best album of the year by their readers and journalists and the editor, John Robb has only the best words for them! Please see the screenshots attached and read the short interview with Thomas Haywood! You can buy the Issue 19 online at: https://vivelerock.net/product/ltw19nickcave/
Editor’s note – Louder Than War, issue 19, December 2018, page 5
Louder Than War, issue 19, December 2018, page 73 – second place (The Blinders lost only to IDLES!) and an interview on the right
The online version of this article can be seen below:
Album of the year 2018 online article from Louder Than War
We are pleased to let you know that Columbia has been placed on yet another “Album of The Year” list! According to Rewind/Fast Forward Blog, the Blinders’ debut album is so good that it went straight to number 24, overtaking The IDLES and Slaves! You can visit the page at: https://rwffmusic.blogspot.com/2018/12/2018-albums-of-year.html
The Best Albums of the Year
Long Live Vinyl Magazine has been incredibly kind to put The Blinders on their list of The Top 100 Albums of 2018! Columbia was not only included on the cover of the magazine (bottom left) but also landed at number 48, almost in the middle of the countdown! This is phenomenal achievement for the band taking into account that the album was released merely 2 months ago and faced heavy competition form established acts such as IDLES and Shame.
Industry praise is hard to achieve but The Blinders managed to convinced almost everybody in the music business that they are the next best thing. Josh Cooper, owner of the popular independent label RoadKill Records gave the Doncaster trio a gloving recommendation and a place number 4. He wrote: “These guys came out of nowhere for me and seem to have had a big a year as any band could, book-ending 2018 with an amazing 300 cap gig at Borderline and then in front of a sold out Garage following the release of ‘Columbia’. A dystopian concept album full of garage-rock anthems, Cramps style beats and hook after hook”.
In August, the Blinders paid a visit to XS Manchester Radio to speak to Jim Salveson and play two acoustic songs live on air. They were “Brave New Wolrd” and “Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)”. The 17 minute interview was a fan favourite from the start and now it has been officially named the best live session at XS Manchester of the year! You can see the results on a screen below, The Blinders scored 39% of all votes!
XS Manchester online voting results for the “Session of The Year” of 2018
Getintothis list of 100 Best Albums of the Year – The Blinders ended up at number 58
Another day and another recognition for the band! Manchester Music Forever (MMF) have chosen their favourite songs from last year and created a nice Spotify list for you to listen to. The Blinders have been placed at number 2 with “Brave New World” and the top spot went to The Slow Readers Club with “Lunatic”. Congratulations to all
GigsandTours.com is the official website of one of the UK’s leading promoters, SJM Concerts. They are also one of the most popular websites in the UK that reports on upcoming shows, music news and everything else music related. With nearly 100k followers on social media, their voice is something of a blessing in the industry. And now the blessing has been given to the Blinders! On 12th of December, Gigs and Tours released their official selection for Gigs and Tours: Best Albums of 2018 and of course, Columbia is mentioned. The reviewer, Jordan Garner wrote: “A concept album about a dystopian future and Johnny Dream (singer Tom Haywood’s on-stage persona), The Blinders give dark commentary to society on Columbia, incorporating influences of protest songs to give a cry for change on negative aspects of today’s world. A snarling whirlwind of indie-punk, The Blinders second album cements them as one of the most exciting new bands to come out of the UK. Standout tracks: ‘Gotta Get Through’, ‘Brave New World’, ‘Et Tu’” – What else can we add?
Gigs and Tours chose Columbia as one of the best albums of 2018
Manchester online service, Flick of The Finger created their own end of the year list, simply entitled “Album choices 2018”. No surprise there – The Blinders ended at number 4 and they received a glowing reviews that says: “Columbia is pure, unadulterated rock and roll. Make no mistakes about that. It is the type of album that does gets you wondering about what the band are all about on the live stage. But whether it’s at your local venue, or at home on your stereo system, they will blow your fucking heads off. And that is fine with me”. This review was written by senior journalist, Mark Sharpley and we cannot agree more!
On 14th of December, Forkster Music Promotions, published their annual FAB Singles chart from new, unsigned and emerging artists. The Blinders were mentioned at number 3 with Brave New World. The review was absolutely fantastic: “We absolutely loved this tunes music definition. It suitcases a mesmerizing rock n’ roll from ‘walloping & swinging’ bluesy riff soaring sockets, ‘thumping and pumping’ rhythm jubilations alongside a magnetic vocal promise that radiates forth with a snarling affection and rebelling attitude brilliance, loved the harmonious chorus fronts too, which brought a wicked industrial rock presence to their music table too, sensational song!”.Thank you so much!
Except the ginger-men with warpaint, the day also brought us a new new list of The Best Albums of 2018. This time it is from Captain Sound Blog who placed Columbia on the top spot! The highest place on the chart was awarded after the contributors and the readers voted. Thank you!
On 17th of December Live4ever website published their own list of the best albums of the passing year. The Blinders’ debut album landed at number 18 overtaking such well known artists as Low, Car Seat Headrest and Johnny Marr. Being included on this list is again a true honour, Live4ever Media LLC was founded by 3-time Emmy Award winning cinematographer and concert photographer Paul Bachmann, who previously spent a big part of his career working in music video production for some of the world’s top acts. Paul is partnered by The Mic, who brings a tenured background in finance and a keen knowledge of the Irish and UK music scene. Their senior editor is Dave Smith, a professional journalist who worked for The BBC, The Guardian and many other mainstream media. The review read: “Columbia doesn’t beat you over the head with its allegories. Brave New World might not be about Trump’s America, it could be about an ‘idiot king building a wall’ (although the Kardashians reference makes it hard to avoid), and Rat In A Cage doesn’t have to be about the migrant crisis, it could be a straight-forward call to arms, as Dream tells us to ‘come together, we need each other’. The politics is there if you want it to be, but it’s oblique enough to ignore should you choose to. The Blinders join Cabbage, Shame and Idles as pioneers of a movement we’ve needed for some time, giving us faith in rock music again”. Amen to this!
On 19th of December Eudaemonia Blog published their own Album of the Year compilation. The Blinders landed the top spot after the readers voted for their favourites. This only shows that each voice truly counts! Thank you to those who voted and please continue doing so as the more people know, the better.
20th of December turned out to be a great day for The Blinders. The band’s debut album was placed on two Album of the Year lists! The first mention came from Manchester Music Forever of (Mancunia) and Columbia climbed all the way to number 2. The popular website wrote: “An outstanding debut album from these adopted Mancunians. Live band of the year? The Blinders are incredibly hard working and deserving of their success to date and more in 2019”
Second mention of the day came from Luton community radio station Diverse FM and their indie rock show called “Transmission”. Columbia wno the top spot with a rave reviews from the presenters and the audience – so it is a double win for the Doncaster trio!
Indie show Transmission on Diverse FM picks the best albums of 2018
On 21st of December, VMPE blog published their own list of Best Albums of the Year and The Blinders made it to number 12! The moderator of the blog, Andy Von Pip, is a radio plugger at Amazing Radio, moderator for BBC 6 Music, DJ Tom Robinson’s Fresh on the Net and a former member of “BBC’s Sound Of” panel so his praise is not just an empty declaration. This man knows the music business inside and out! Thank you Andy!
On 22nd of December, the loveliest of people at Jimmy’s (our spiritual home in the Northern Quarter!) will play the entire Columbia album to celebrate The Blinder’s success in 2018. After all, it is one of their favourites albums of the year. The party starts at 4:00 pm sharp so if you can be there, please come. (and don’t forget to take some pictures). Oh, and have fun of course!
Jimmy’s will be playing Columbia in full on 22nd of December
On 23rd of December Jon Sidwell a staff writer for Music Liberation Blog published an official list of the best albums of 2018 according to readers and contributors. The Blinders’ debut album finished at number 10 and we are truly grateful for each vote that helped the album go so far! Thank you to all who voted and contributed!
24th of December is a Polish Christmas Day and we couldn’t wish for a better present! Yorkshire Evening Post newspaper published their list of The best of 2018 in Music and yes, you have guessed – The Blinders are mentioned as The Best Album of The Year! Journalist David Hodgeson wrote: “Listeners to the Yorkshire band’s debut album need peak physical fitness, such is the relentless and unceasingly intense energy emitted throughout the breathless opening half, drawing breath at Ballad of Winston Smith, before taking the reins back up again until Orbit (Salmon of Alaska) brings one of the freshest, most invigorating albums of the year to a close. The Blinders demonstrate a level of self-confidence and swagger that belies their young age, the bass line of stand-out track L’Etat C’est Moi forever cerebrally lodged in all affected by it, Brave New World the entry level song. The perfect foil to the similarly unrestrained live set”.
On Boxing Day (26th of December), the kind people at Forkster Music Promotions, published another FAB Singles chart, this time the final rankings for 2018. And what do we have at number 8? The Brave New World by The Blinders. The review: “A magnificent diversity of alternative rock muscle, blues rock beauty, indie rock thrust and industrial rock atmosphere charm”. Great achievement for the band and it only shows how good the Doncaster trio truly is.
On the same day, surprisingly The Blinders received a very positive review for Columbia from a popular Italian music blog called IFB (Indie For Bunnies). Columbia was listed at number 8 on the list of their best albums of the year and this is the first Italian mention for the band. Thank you guys! We have translated the review into the universal speak (aka English) so here you have it: “What a debut album for The Blinders. Three, very young English lads, doing what they do best – playing and creating their music. The record is entitled ‘Columbia’ and belongs to the garage rock genre but has everything you look for in an alternative music – great style, good taste and each member of the band brings his unique personality into the mix. It is not an exaggeration on our part. It is truly a rock and roll album that takes the listener to various musical landscapes, nearly pushing us to the edge. The vocals are raw and hoarse and they fit the pressing, duelling rhythm section. For us – almost a perfect album”. Nothing else to add!
Indie For Bunnies Blog – Columbia was placed at number 8
So we had a small break for Christmas and now it is business as usual! 27th of December and we have four mentions for the Blinders in one single day. The first End of Year summary comes from Traveller’s Tunes blog where the trio ended earning the number one for The Album of The Year. Thank you kindly for fantastic review in September and now for the top spot on your list!
Traveller’s Tunes – Columbia is on the top of the list
The second mention is by the loveliest of people at the Flick of the Finger (again). They gave The Blinders’ single “L’Etat C’est Moi” an honourable mention on the list of Best Singles of 2018, right next to Sly Antics (“Sunday Fear”), Black Honey (“I Only Hurt The Ones I love”), Johnny Marr (“Hi Hello”) and Our Fold (“Don’t You Want A Lover?”). Thank you guys! An honorable mention from you means the world to the band!
Flick of The Finger’s Honourable Mention List of 2018
The third mention belongs to Paste Magazine who just published their list of the new bands to look out for in 2019! The Blinders are their band number 3 and this is what the magazine had to say about the boys: “The Blinders released their highly-anticipated debut album, Columbia, earlier this year via Modern Sky. Originally from Doncaster, this Manchester-based trio takes lyrical inspiration from dystopian science fiction, beat poets, modern-day political turmoil and societal outcasts while echoing the doomy musical mannerisms of Nick Cave and the sinister desert rock of Humbug-era Arctic Monkeys. One of their earliest tracks “ICB Blues” commemorates the brutal killing of Eric Garner by police while “Brave New World” pays homage to the Huxley novel of the same name and pokes fun at Trump’s ludicrous border-wall proposal. Frontman Tom Haywood’s clever, offbeat growls position him as prophetic town crier while vigorous guitars circle around him like a pack of hungry wolves. Columbia is what you get when a young rock band grows up on Bob Dylan, but decides to make something saltier and with an added pinch of danger”. Can we add AMEN to this praise?
Paste Magazine places The Blinders at number 3 for the bands to look out for in 2019
The last and fourth mention for the day is given by another super supportive blog – Even The Star. They printed a lovely review of Columbia on 20th of September and supported the band from the very beginning. On their End of Year List, The Blinders were listed at number 20, but it is always a great achievement for a debuting band. Cheers guys, it means a lot!
Even the Stars blog – The Blinders are on the place number 20!
As a bonus entry, we have information from our friends at Indie Rocks Radio, that their internet pool for the Best album of The Year has just finished! And The Blinders vote by overwhelming majority! They were competing against their label mates, The Slow Readers Club and won 65% to 35%. congratulations to both bands!
Columbia won the Internet audience vote for the best album of 2018
On 28th of December (we are nearly at the end of the year!), Words For Music blog published their own Top 10 of the Best Albums of The Year. This is a real banger of a list with “Joy as an Act Of Resistance” by Idles at number one. The list also contains many acclaimed albums such as “High As A Hope” by Florence and the Machine (number 5), Arctic Monkeys “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino” (number 3) and Shame “Songs of Praise” (number 7). And you may already guessed that number 2 belongs to Columbia. Congratulations to the band (yet again) and thank you to all contributors!
Words for Music blog – Columbia earned a second place
It is always nice when you are appreciated by your own label 🙂 On the same day, Modern Sky UK sent their last newsletter of the year to their subscribers and The Blinders received a heartfelt thank you’s from them and a rave review.
On 29th of December, Columbia was voted the second best album of 2018 by the staff and readers of The Fat Angel Sings blog. The writers explained their decision with a great review: “Columbia is what you get when a young rock band grows up on Bob Dylan, but decides to make something saltier and with an added pinch of danger. It is bracingly thrilling debut which firmly places The Blinders at the vanguard of a new generation of politically engaged British guitar bands. Loosely based around the concept of Columbia as “an alternate world informed by reality”, on the album The Blinders display a ferocious intelligence, as influenced by history, literature and art as they are by Britain’s current political and economic woes”. We cannot add anything else!
The Fat Angel Sings review of Columbia is simply amazing!
For the last few weeks, BBC Introducing in Sheffield were revealing their Top 50 Tracks of 2018 and finally on 29th of December we learnt who ended up in the 3rd place. Since this blog is entirely dedicated to The Blinders, there is no surprise here! BBC Sheffield DJ, Christian Carlisle wrote: “No. 3 is The Blinders and ‘L’Etat C’est Moi’. After an incredible year that saw the release of their outstanding debut album, The Blinders have becoming one of the most exciting and promising new bands to ever emerge from the UK”. So true and thank you BBC Sheffield. You have been championing the best emerging artists for a long time and we are so grateful for your help!
A day later, on 30th of December, BBC Radio 1 honoured The Blinders by featuring the band in Huw Stephen’s last show of the year. It summarized the best albums and the best tracks of 2018. Brave New World has been Huw’s beloved track for months now but it was still a very big surprise! Thank you Huw, you are a star!
BBC Radio ! with Hew Stephens chooses The Blinders among the best songs of the year
And on the same day, The Blinders were also featured on Amazing Radio’s Chart of The Year, taking the amazing 2nd place! Amazing Radio has been one of the biggest supporters of the band and it is lovely to see that they continue to do so. Roll on 2019!
Amazing Radio Chart on their website – mentioning The Blinders
Amazing Radio The Blinders are mentioned in a Tweet
And we reached the 31st of December! What a year it has been! We are looking forward to the next 12 months that will take The Blinders to Europe and beyond. We will finish off the End of Year summary section with a beautiful blog from Sahera Walker, a fellow PR lady, blogger, zine editor and music promoter. Sahera prepared a list of bands we have to listen to in 2019 (pay attention to her selection!) but she also prepared a short list of her absolute favourites from 2018. Of course, The Blinders are listed at number 7 in Sahara’s Top 10 Albums of 2018. Thank you!!
Indie Underground Top 10 of the Best Albums of 2018.
So far we have received a lot of nods and approvals for the album but a long written praise just for a single is not that common. Luckily Steve, the owner of SteveForTheDeaf blog came to the rescue with his last review published on 31st of December. The review for “Brave New World” is the second single he has written about (the first being “L’Etat C’est Moi” in June) and he had some fantastic words for the band: “The Blinders? Played up to their name in 2018. I’m expecting big things in the next 12 months, I just hope they can stay this lean and mean and keep the clutter their inevitable success will bring out of their sound”. Thank you Steve!
The last recognition for the band in 2018 (and probably the most important one) came from the legendary BBC DJ, Steve Lamacq himself. Steve has been championing The Blinders for many years and he was the one who brought them to Maida Vale Studios in London in April to record their session for BBC Introducing. Only few emerging artists can dream of such honour, but when you are called the most important new band in last three decades of rock music… well it is a different story! The Blinders recorded the session, spoke to Steve on air and of course their performance was chosen as one of the best in the last 12 months. The boys cannot do anything wrong, can they?
Steve Lamacq`s Best of Guests on his drive time show on 31.12.2018
You can listen to the show on the voice clip below:
2018 may be over but the “End of Year” and “Best of 2018” lists will continue for at least another month or so. Here is a very nice mention of The Blinders from the JoyZine Magazine published on 2nd of January 2019. The reviewer, Paul Maps wrote: “One band who are beginning to look as though they might do just that are The Blinders whose rabble-rousing psych-flecked anthems on debut LP Columbia has propelled the Doncaster trio onto plenty of ‘ones to watch’ lists”. Thank you so much guys!
JoyZine puts the Blinders on their Best of 2018 lists.
On 7th of January, CG Music Blog published their “Review of Music in 2018” and we have to say, it is a truly interesting read! The Blinders scored number one in the “Best Album” category and they beat Shame, Black Honey and Bodega on their way to the top. Columbia review read: “I’m a big fan of their live sets, and even more so of their first full long player. It can be difficult to translate the sort of performance the Blinders excel at onto a recording but kudos to Producer Gavin Monaghan. You get the same sense of the upcoming apocalypse listening on your earphones as you do when aurally assaulted at one of their incendiary gigs. The bass sound is truly terrifying. This is an album of it’s time and if we do have to go through this nonsense at least we get glorious work like this as a by product. It’s a stunner”. No complaints from us here – the album is a blinder!
On 10th of January, A Spanish blog “Peace, Love and Bananas” (a very unique name!) published their own lists of The Best Albums of 2018. Columbia has received a rave review: “Álbum debut de esta banda. Potente sonido, punk en las guitarras, político en los temas, indie en los estribillos, gótico en el estilo… con algún tema más relajado… una montaña rusa de emociones que promete un buen futuro para ellos.”
It translates to: “Columbia is a debut album for The Blinders. It is a powerful record, with strong punk guitars, indie melodies and political lyrics. We can describe it as dark, almost Gothic in places. Roller-coaster of emotions promises a great future for the trio”. Muchas gracias!
Peace, Love and Bananas. Columbia is one of their best albums of 2018
On 2 of November, the band was played by the legendary American radio station, KEXP 90.3 FM and they chose a rather unexpected song from “Columbia” – “The Hate Song”. Next stop for the lads? Top 20 on Billboard charts 🙂
And yet another play for the band on 13th of December! Thank you!!
KEXP played The Blinders again!
We may not have all the plays but we will keep on adding them as they come:
I Can’t Breath Blues – The Blinders – playing on KEXP Radio at 11:05 on 13-Dec-2018
Hate Song – The Blinders – playing on KEXP Radio at 06:12 on 02-Nov-2018
Did you know that The Blinders are getting big in Japan? A famous club, Organ Bar located in Shibuya in Tokyo, organizes a monthly rock parties where the best new British artists are being introduced to Japanese audience. The Blinders were featured on each party since the beginning of the year, but on the 16th of December, the last party of the year will be dedicated entirely to their music! If you’d like to do your own research online – the Japanese spelling for the band’s name is ザ・ブリンダーズ. Individual names for each members are as follows: トーマス・ヘイウッド（Thomas Haywood)、チャーリー・マックゴー(Charlie McGough)、マシュー・ニール（Matty Neale).
This is the last Astile Party for the Year! Let’s have a great rock bounenkai*!
Make sure you are free to attend. We will be playing music from our new favourite band, The Blinders.
Do not mistake them with the Breeders!
*a special kind end of year party in Japan that lets you forget about troubles and problems and concentrate on starting anew
Thank you Emmy Ishida for your help with translation!
Domestic (as per Airplay Ninja):
Please note that this list does not include local radio-stations plays, only the national ones.
This means that all BBC Introducing plays for example are not monitored and we cannot add them here.
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:09 on 18-Oct-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 01:44 on 17-Oct-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:43 on 15-Oct-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:10 on 13-Oct-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:45 on 12-Oct-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:25 on 10-Oct-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:00 on 08-Oct-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:40 on 07-Oct-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:08 on 06-Oct-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 00:06 on 04-Oct-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:00 on 02-Oct-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 04:22 on 29-Sep-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 04:43 on 28-Sep-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions 2018) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:26 on 26-Sep-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:00 on 25-Sep-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:00 on 24-Sep-2019
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 07:44 on 23-Sep-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 01:00 on 23-Sep-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:40 on 21-Sep-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:08 on 20-Sep-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions 2018) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 09:48 on 18-Sep-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:42 on 18-Sep-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 21:13 on 15-Sep-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions 2018) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 16:47 on 15-Sep-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:25 on 15-Sep-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 04:35 on 13-Sep-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:46 on 11-Sep-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:36 on 09-Sep-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:46 on 07-Sep-2019
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 10:26 on 04-Sep-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:44 on 03-Sep-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:00 on 02-Sep-2019
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 17:27 on 01-Sep-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:24 on 30-Aug-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:32 on 30-Aug-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:00 on 26-Aug-2019
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:23 on 22-Aug-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 04:05 on 22-Aug-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions 2018) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 18:26 on 20-Aug-2019
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 06:53 on 20-Aug-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:31 on 17-Aug-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions 2018) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 11:16 on 14-Aug-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:00 on 14-Aug-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 04:44 on 13-Aug-20
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 00:37 on 12-Aug-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions 2018) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 18:18 on 11-Aug-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:27 on 10-Aug-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:00 on 09-Aug-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:43 on 07-Aug-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:41 on 05-Aug-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 21:40 on 04-Aug-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:00 on 03-Aug-2019
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:34 on 02-Aug-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:00 on 01-Aug-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:38 on 26-Jul-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:00 on 24-Jul-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:06 on 21-Jul-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:26 on 20-Jul-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:07 on 17-Jul-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:25 on 15-Jul-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions 2018) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 01:28 on 14-Jul-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:16 on 13-Jul-2019
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 10:57 on 12-Jul-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:22 on 10-Jul-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:39 on 08-Jul-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:06 on 07-Jul-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:24 on 05-Jul-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:30 on 03-Jul-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions 2018) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 04:29 on 01-Jul-201
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:12 on 29-Jun-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:44 on 26-Jun-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:41 on 24-Jun-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:00 on 21-Jun-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions 2018) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:28 on 18-Jun-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:39 on 17-Jun-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:26 on 16-Jun-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:35 on 13-Jun-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:05 on 12-Jun-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 01:20 on 11-Jun-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:22 on 09-Jun-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:24 on 06-Jun-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions 2018) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 01:36 on 05-Jun-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 04:21 on 04-Jun-2019
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 07:55 on 03-Jun-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:43 on 03-Jun-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 04:00 on 02-Jun-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 01:06 on 31-May-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:14 on 29-May-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:14 on 29-May-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:45 on 25-May-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions 2018) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 04:27 on 23-May-2019
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:16 on 21-May-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:37 on 20-May-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:00 on 19-May-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 00:42 on 16-May-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:07 on 14-May-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:46 on 11-May-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions 2018) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 15:21 on 10-May-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 00:00 on 07-May-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 04:24 on 05-May-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:23 on 02-May-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:48 on 30-Apr-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions 2018) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 04:30 on 29-Apr-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 04:22 on 26-Apr-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 18:32 on 21-Apr-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 04:45 on 21-Apr-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:27 on 20-Apr-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 16:27 on 19-Apr-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:00 on 18-Apr-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:34 on 15-Apr-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:45 on 14-Apr-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 12:59 on 10-Apr-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:40 on 08-Apr-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 12:00 on 05-Apr-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 07:27 on 04-Apr-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:40 on 04-Apr-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:37 on 01-Apr-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:00 on 28-Mar-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 11:35 on 27-Mar-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 10:57 on 26-Mar-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:13 on 26-Mar-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 08:23 on 24-Mar-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 00:26 on 24-Mar-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 00:36 on 22-Mar-2019
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 20:32 on 21-Mar-2019
Rat In A Cage – SXSW Festival – RX 14/03/2019 – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 16:26 on 19-Mar-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:06 on 19-Mar-2019
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:11 on 18-Mar-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:13 on 17-Mar-2019
Rat In A Cage – SXSW Festival – RX 14/03/2019 – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 17:24 on 15-Mar-2019
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 15:57 on 14-Mar-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:28 on 13-Mar-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:13 on 12-Mar-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:24 on 10-Mar-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 06:37 on 07-Mar-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:00 on 06-Mar-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 00:28 on 03-Mar-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:38 on 02-Mar-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 15:18 on 01-Mar-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 00:30 on 25-Feb-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 04:25 on 22-Feb-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 00:19 on 19-Feb-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 07:35 on 17-Feb-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:11 on 16-Feb-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:42 on 14-Feb-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 01:45 on 12-Feb-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 00:22 on 11-Feb-2019
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 01:57 on 10-Feb-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 04:25 on 08-Feb-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 01:49 on 07-Feb-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:48 on 04-Feb-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:53 on 03-Feb-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:15 on 01-Feb-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:00 on 30-Jan-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 04:22 on 28-Jan-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 01:44 on 27-Jan-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:31 on 24-Jan-2019
L’E tat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:42 on 24-Jan-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:17 on 23-Jan-2019
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 01:40 on 21-Jan-2019
Brave New World (Live From Eurosonic 2019) – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:04 on 20-Jan-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 11:16 on 09-Jan-2019
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:13 on 08-Jan-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 04:23 on 07-Jan-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:46 on 06-Jan-2019
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 11:50 on 04-Jan-2019
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:21 on 04-Jan-2019
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 12:03 on 03-Jan-2019
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 17:24 on 01-Jan-2019
Brave New World (Introducing Session, 20th Apr 2018) – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 18:10 on 31-Dec-2018
Gotta Get Through (Introducing Session, 20th Apr 2018) – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 18:05 on 31-Dec-2018
Brave New World (Introducing Session, 20th Apr 2018) – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:37 on 31-Dec-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 18:50 on 30-Dec-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 19:56 on 29-Dec-2018
Gotta Get Through (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 13:18 on 30-Dec-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:00 on 29-Dec-2018
Gotta Get Through (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 20:20 on 27-Dec-2018
Brave New World (Introducing Session, 20th Apr 2018) – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:51 on 27-Dec-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:07 on 25-Dec-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 21:39 on 23-Dec-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:53 on 20-Dec-2018
L’Etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 17:04 on 20-Dec-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 12:03 on 18-Dec-2018
Gotta Get Through (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 13:18 on 16-Dec-2018
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 06:22 on 16-Dec-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 00:23 on 16-Dec-2018
Gotta Get Through (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 20:18 on 13-Dec-2018
I Can’t Breathe Blues – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 16:19 on 13-Dec-2018
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 06:41 on 13-Dec-2018
Brave New World (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:33 on 10-Dec-2018
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 06:31 on 08-Dec-2018
Brave New World (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 11:33 on 07-Dec-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:39 on 06-Dec-2018
Brave New World (Introducing Session, 20th Apr 2018) – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 18:19 on 05-Dec-2018
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:25 on 02-Dec-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 17:58 on 29-Nov-2018
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions 2018) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 11:13 on 28-Nov-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:29 on 27-Nov-2018
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions 2018) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 18:13 on 25-Nov-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 17:52 on 24-Nov-2018
Brave New World (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 11:33 on 16-Nov-2018
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:21 on 12-Nov-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 17:31 on 11-Nov-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 00:51 on 11-Nov-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 16:59 on 10-Nov-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 10:24 on 07-Nov-2018
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 01:41 on 07-Nov-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:26 on 06-Nov-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 01:50 on 06-Nov-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 17:25 on 04-Nov-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 04:24 on 04-Nov-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:51 on 03-Nov-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:32 on 01-Nov-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 09:07 on 31-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Radio X at 22:54 on 29-Oct-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:05 on 28-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 16:07 on 28-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:26 on 27-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 10:30 on 24-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:39 on 22-Oct-2018
L’Etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:26 on 21-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 17:30 on 21-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:22 on 20-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 13:57 on 18-Oct-2018
L’Etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 12:22 on 17-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 11:11 on 17-Oct-2018
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 12:52 on 16-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:14 on 15-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:56 on 15-Oct-2018
I Can’t Breathe Blues – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:46 on 14-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:34 on 14-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:10 on 14-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:19 on 13-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 09:54 on 12-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:13 on 10-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 11:42 on 10-Oct-2018
L’Etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:32 on 08-Oct-2018 Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 18:43 on 07-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 19:07 on 06-Oct-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 12:00 on 06-Oct-2018
Orbit (Salmon of Alaska) (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:36 on 05-Oct-2018
Rat In A Cage (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:33 on 05-Oct-2018
Brave New World (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:30 on 05-Oct-2018
Brutus (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:23 on 05-Oct-2018
Et Tu (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:21 on 05-Oct-2018
Ballad of Winston Smith (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:19 on 05-Oct-2018
I Can’t Breath Blues (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:16 on 05-Oct-2018
Free the Slaves (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:14 on 05-Oct-2018
Where No Man Comes (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:10 on 05-Oct-2018
Hate Song (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:07 on 05-Oct-2018
L’Etat C’est Moi (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:03 on 05-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:00 on 05-Oct-2018 Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:57 on 04-Oct-2018 Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:26 on 04-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 11:46 on 03-Oct-2018 Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:34 on 02-Oct-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 12:34 on 02-Oct-2018
I Can’t Breathe Blues – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 17:27 on 01-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 15:09 on 01-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 13:16 on 01-Oct-2018
Orbit (Salmon Of Alaska) – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 12:26 on 01-Oct-2018
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 08:54 on 01-Oct-2018
L’Etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:27 on 30-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 18:46 on 30-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 06:51 on 30-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:54 on 28-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 04:12 on 28-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:22 on 28-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Radio X at 23:02 on 26-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 18:57 on 26-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 11:09 on 26-Sep-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:28 on 25-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:16 on 25-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 17:16 on 24-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 18:10 on 23-Sep-2018
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on BBC Introducing Manchester at 21:52 on 22-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 17:52 on 22-Sep-2018
Et Tu – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 16:23 on 21-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 12:26 on 21-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Radio X at 00:31 on 21-Sep-2018
I Can’t Breathe Blues – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 00:18 on 21-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 19:19 on 20-Sep-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:32 on 18-Sep-2018
Hate Song (Introducing Session, 20th Apr 2018) – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 16:26 on 19-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 13:46 on 18-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Radio X at 22:52 on 17-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 06:44 on 15-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 12:47 on 13-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:42 on 11-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 17:21 on 10-Sep-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:42 on 08-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 06:45 on 07-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 17:03 on 06-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:20 on 04-Sep-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 20:56 on 04-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:12 on 04-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 16:55 on 03-Sep-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 17:00 on 01-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 17:06 on 31-Aug-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 15:51 on 31-Aug-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 17:42 on 30-Aug-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 04:53 on 29-Aug-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 20:59 on 28-Aug-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 18:28 on 28-Aug-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 14:59 on 26-Aug-2018
Photo-session and Exhibition
The Blinders by Paul Husband (copyrighted)
Professionally taken pictures are the heart and soul of each marketing campaign. For the new album and new tour, The Blinders worked with renowned photographers to ensure that their live images (such as taken by Manchester based photography wizard Trust A Fox) or the ones taken in the studio, are of the best quality.
Their studio session has been shot by Paul Husband, another very talented photographer. And the session went so well that The Blinders’ pictures were used in Paul’s international exhibition that opened on 20th of October 2018 at the Manchester Bar in Montpelier in France! How cool is that!!
Although it is not a part of the meet & greet tour, HMV Worcester receives a honorary mention for displaying this by the main doors. You guys are amazing!
Also, we have heard that Glasgow branch had to be re-stoked twice on the premiere day! Oh me, oh my oh Roy… (but it is the wrong band!)
HMV in Worcester knows the best music when they hear it!
Columbia banner is ready to be taken to the barricades
Close up number 2
And close up number 3
Works of Arts; We all know that “Columbia” is a true work of (musical) art and it is nothing shocking that other artists are being inspired by it. If you have seen the band performing on Kendall Calling Festival, you may have noticed two beautiful artworks displayed near the tent. They were made from broken vinyl records and the pieces were assembled into the Columbia’s cover artwork, or the face of Johnny Dream. The artist behind this very unique work is Kirk Whitehouse and his art is known as the “Smashed Hits” artworks. Kirk has been working with pieces of old vinyl records for years and his artworks have been exhibited many times in the UK and abroad. They were also featured in magazines, press and in hundreds of other publications (digital and print). Kirk is not only a very successful artist but also a volunteer and regional manager for Musicians Against Homelessness charity. His work took him recently to London where he spoke to the Parliament about the growing homelessness crisis. He managed to convinced several MP’s to their very worth cause! Kirk lives in Birmingham with his wife and two daughters. He is open for commissions so please contact him if you’d like your own smashed hits piece of art.
You can see the picture of the Blinders posing with the Columbia artwork at the festival and with the artist in tow):
Another artist inspired by The Blinders is the excellent Nick Dillon! Manchester native, Nick is a pop (culture) artist that specializes in portraits using embossing and debossing techniques. Each artwork he makes takes about 100 hours and everything you see is done by hand. Nick’s works have been exhibited numerous times and the biggest rock stars and football clubs are among his clients. The Columbia artwork is very unique as Nick decided to emboss all lyrics on one canvas – that’s staggering 7500 letters! We don’t know how long this piece took him but it must have been twice the usual amount of time. The artwork will be displayed on The Blinder’s London gig on 7th of November in London.
And here you can see the artwork being prepared. It looks simply breathtaking!
Fanarts: The Blinders’ artistic vision is encouraging fans to create as well. The first fan-arts inspired by the dystopian tale are starting to appear and we are sure, there will be more and more coming up soon. Just last month, we only had two artworks created by Polish graphic designer, Marek Zbrozlo and they feature the lead singer (Thomas Haywood) in a traditional style and his alter ego (Johnny Dream) as a comic book character. In the next few weeks, more and more artists joined in and we now have a small art gallery on the blog!
In July 2018, two friends, Mark and Nick had a genius idea – why not merge bands and musicians’ logos with the logos of their favourite football clubs? After all, it is a common knowledge that there is nothing better under the sun than football and the music. This is how Bands F.C. was born and it quickly took over the world! At this moment, Bands F.C. have nearly 400 logos, badges, prints, t-shirts and one of their design is that for The Blinders! The design merges Doncaster Rovers Football Club logo with the character of Johnny Dream (the make up obviously) and the three Ouroboros joined together (logo of Nasty Men Creations, the visualization company behind all The Blinders videos, pictures and merch).
The Blinders Bands F.C. design
You can also see the design Bands F.C. did for the upcoming Blossoms, The Coral, Fuzzy Sun and Cabbage concert at Edgeley Park (the home stadium of the Stockport Country F.C.) on 22nd of June 2019! We hope to see the bands were their respective t shirts while performing!
The success of Bands F.C. made it possible for other artists to start something similar. Another artistic initiative called Bands as Beer is trying to merge bands logos with their favorite beverages! Simple but genius! The artists behind the Bands As Beer are working as a collective under the 67 Inc brand. The Blinders have been merged with their favourite beer, The John Smith’s and the results look like this:
On August 23rd, we have published our along awaited interview with False Heads. We wanted to do it for such a long period of time so we were truly happy when our plans finally materialized. And today, we would like to add the part deux to the interview in form of a review of their EP entitled “Less Is Better”.
Working with False Heads is incredibly simple. They are very communicative, easy going and open. Listening to their music is almost the same – it gives you some kind of liberty and freedom. Their music is heavy, full of emotions and raw, yet it has healing capabilities. It frees you of bad thoughts, gives you a respite from the world filled with large amounts of everything: bad news, information, cruelty. Even if this is just for a little while, but it helps.
We all know the popular expression “May you live in interesting times”. At first glance, it looks like a thrilling adventure. Interesting times are just that – interesting. You are not being bored, there is always something going on. Moving from place to place, travelling all over the world, an unexpected event here and there. A true bliss for adrenaline addicted folks. Yet, look closely at those “interesting times” and you may find out they mean something more sinister. War, economic troubles, racial tensions, lack of understanding, lack of prospects, industrial and cultural decay, and political oppression – the list could go on forever.
The saying is supposedly a translation of a Chinese curse and it does feels sometimes like we have been cursed to live through the worse. The last decade is certainly an interesting one. It took a lot of things from us that we have taken for granted and gave back nothing but kicks in the teeth and serious headaches. Trump, Brexit, instability, conservative and outdated outlooks on life, austerity, poverty – throw it into the mix and you have a recipe for long lasting troubles. It is not dark yet, but as the bard proclaims, it is getting there.
The times are not easy, money are tight yet silver lining is always there. People are organizing, communities are forming and the art is back on the streets where it belongs. We are experiencing a real renaissance of guitar driven, angst-filled scene with excellent bands popping all over the shop. Idles, The Blinders, Children of the State, Shame, The Surrenders, The Americas, The Wholls – again too many to list them all in this article. There is something special happening in Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Sheffield and in other cities. It is almost like some barrier has been removed and all those tamed feelings and frustrations suddenly found their release in music. We are literally drowning in sound and if this is the end, then it is the beautiful way to die.
We are not dead yet, as a lady keeps reminding us in one of the most important books of the 20th century. And if we are not dead yet, then we can enjoy whatever life throws at us. And today, my rock and roll existence offered me a chance to review a 4 track EP by False Head. And boy, it was a right smack in the face.
False Heads are a trio from South London that shook and stirred the rock and roll scene with such force that Iggy Pop had to stop and watch them. And so did the legendary manager, Danny Fields. You know the one who discovered and gave us The Ramones. With such a strong support from industry’s greatest, False Heads quickly conquered the capitol and large parts of the UK, gaining a truly faithful fan base. The EP is called “Less Is Better” and has been released by These Bloody Thieves Records to fantastic reviews from other bloggers and A&R’s.
The first song (and the second lead single promoting this release) “Yellow” starts as suspected with heavy riffs, catchy melodies and powerful drumming. Luke Griffith’s voice is well matched to the music and this is one of the most important qualities of the band. He knows how to use his voice and does it perfectly. When the music slows down, Luke’s singing technique is almost classical – clear and smooth. Second later, accompanied by fuzzed guitars, his voice is dripping with sarcasm or turning into scratchy, angry scream. His ability to vocally adapt to sudden tempo changes are well known and you need to see him live to fully appreciate how good he is. He is also a skilled guitarist and it needs to be noted that he can sing, play and roll around the stage in a frenzy simultaneously without losing any of his abilities. It is easy to understand why Iggy Pop is praising False Heads so highly. I’m sure he can see a younger version of himself in their stage act and again, this is something worth celebrating. Not many musicians can fall to their knees, crawl, jump and throw themselves off the stage and still deliver without dropping their Fender Cyclone in the process.
Praising Luke’s talents, let’s not forget about Barney Nash (drummer) and Jake Elliott (bassist) who are match made in heaven. These two seem to communicate telepathically as they are perfectly tuned to each other and nothing seems to distract them or break up their musical unison. Their thunderous bass-drum coalition rolls you into the ground like a steam roller and you don’t know what hit you. You only know it came fast, out of nowhere and it was really, really heavy.
In the lyrics department, False Heads are no poets and frankly, nobody expects them to be. You will not find any literary or artistic references in their words. They are street-smart, boyz-from-the-hood, type of lads that talk straight from their hearts, yet they do it with wit and intellect. “I let my hair down” sings Luke Griffiths in “Yellow” only to add playfully in the next line “So you can tear out”. The songs touch on serious topics such as alienation, living with constant stress (“Better let me down, better let me down. You can shoot away, we’ve all seen better days”) and trying to find a way of reducing what we have or what we know (“The less I know, the less I’m beat”).
The second song on this EP (and in a strange twist of things, the first single released to promote it in February) “Retina” is by far my favourite track and will probably end up in the top 5 on my personal list of the bests songs released this year. It reminds me of Nirvana, Green River and early Screaming Trees with its heavy bass line, repeated loops and catchy choruses. It is also the most commercially and radio friendly song the band has released so far and a massive crowd pleaser. Please check the video to this song as it is very nicely done as well.
“Help Yourself” and “Wrap up” bring traditional rock and roll mayhem to the center of the stage. Both compositions are everything we love in this genre: chaos, lo-fi distortions, unpredictability and creativity. Yes, creativity may not be the word you have expected to be used here but there is a serious structure to the songs and a calculated method in this madness. They may sound like an outcome from the strangest jamming session in the studio, but they are neatly written and produced to the highest standard. And they serve a specific purpose, I recon. They are long and wild and allow the band to trash their equipment or create as much noise pollution as possible at the end of the gig. Sonic catharsis, anybody? Here you go, sweat your souls out, dance until you collapse and you can happily march home whistling on your way back from the venue.
How do we rate this EP? 5 stars out of five and a hand shake to Jonathan Hucks who produced this absolute beauty. If you haven’t ordered your copy yet, do it as it is an essential addition to your record collection.
False Heads are currently on their UK/European tour and we will hear great things about this band in the future. If the music continues to be as good as it is now, then I hope to live in interesting times for a little bit longer.
And you will be wishing to do that as well.
EP Less is better is out on 23rd of September (digital) and 5th of October (physical copy) through These Bloody Thieves Record/Cargo Records
“Not scared of no darkness” – The Americas “Guitar Music is Dead” review
When I look back, there is a cinematic quality to it. I can see it in my mind unfolding like a film. A girl is walking into a local venue, wrapped in her over-sized winter jacket. She`s very nervous to the point of feeling lightheaded. Yet, she is very determined. She came to this place to find bands to promote. She is about to rebuild her life from actual scratch and it’s the music business with no plan B. She will find herself some local acts to promote and it will snowball from here. It`s a Phillip Hall or Tony Wilson type of thing. You would not understand.
The bar is half full with some people talking and listening to songs played via PA system. There could have been an open mic night but it ended. The girl was late. She loiters with a glass of cola for a while and then strikes rather awkward conversation with two guys at the bar. They seem like a perfect target. And the conversation goes like this:
– Sooo, are you in a band? – she asks
– Yes – one of the boys is irritated because he has just been mistaken for his twin brother
– We are … ummm a five piece…
– And have a female singer – interrupts the brother and they do look identical
– Would you describe yourself as a good band?
The boys stare at each other:
– Suppose so? – says the first one measuring words – But if you want to find a good band in this town there`s The Americas…
The boy is Fergus Brazier – lead guitarist of incredibly potent indie pop/shoegaze act named nth cave. His hair is still not dyed blue, he is months away from departing to London to work at the Beeb. His brother is Hector Brazier, drummer in the same band. They recorded a session for BBC Hereford and Worcester but have no idea that it will become one of the most popular sessions for local chapter of BBC Introducing. They are unaware that in the future they will co headline Musicians Against Homelessness in Worcester collecting more funds than a similar event in Birmingham. It is also too early for their demos to end up on Steve Lamacq`s desk. It`s only winter 2016 and we have just met.
Similarly, the entire local music scene is yet nameless. It will take several more months before Andrew Marston of BBC coins the term “WorcesterWave” to describe our collective push to be recognized. But the stars are aligning. The nth cave boys just introduced me to The Americas. I don’t know many people in town so it is hard for me to name others in the room. But it is full of people with whom I will work and whom I will call friends. Jesse River Dylan Murray is packing up his guitar – dressed in his fashionable coat, Troy Tittley of Nuns of the Tundra is out in the little garden in the back of the venue. Hanna Webb is saying good bye to her mates from Population 7 by the doors, there is a song by Soeur on the speakers…
The EP banner
The girl goes home quite ignorant that she accidentally stepped in to an environment that resembles Seattle in the late 80s – where local music scene is full of incredible talent and it is ready to make itself known to the country. So far the girl has just learned names of two local bands. One of them will change her considerably. She gets home and puts The Americas into Google…
It took 547 more days (I have been counting, not sure what it says about me) to finally see the band live – on 16th September 2017 during Worcester Music Festival. By then, The Americas had three singles out and they toured the country playing all the important festivals. They rounded up the year being featured by Tom Robinson on BBC 6 Music during his Christmas program.
Second time I`ve seen them was on 30th March 2018 (tendency to remember life events by the gigs), they played to a sold out crowd in the same venue when I first heard their name. They were dressed in matching red suits and white shirts. They debuted some new songs and taunted an upcoming EP.
If I can conjure some more of this nonexistent film about the Worcester scene. In March 2018, I am now at the side of the stage screaming out America`s lyrics and having a very emotional time. Over the two years period The Americas found a way into my soul and into my playlists. I interviewed them for my blog, I discovered their previous project (Holy!), I have their song on my ringtone and I march into work at a local authority to their beat. If allowed – I am harping about them (and The Blinders) to anyone who was unlucky to show interest in anything music related. The band kind of become friends since we all live in the same town.
The WorcesterWave is in full swing – local artists have been on BBC Hereford and Worcester, BBC West Midlands, Black Country Radio, Radio Brum, XS Manchester, BBC Radio 1 (including a Maida Vale session for Soeur), 6 Music, Radio X, Amazing Radio and festivals around the country. Local press (Worcester News, Malvern Gazette, Hereford Times), big rock magazines (Louder Than War, Kerrang, NME), independent zines (Leather + Denim, Some Might Say) have featured artists from the scene. It becomes the norm to see local bands regularly gigging in London, Cardiff, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, opening festival stages and even being considered for labels. If a movie about us is ever going to be made – there surely will be a scene of Fergus (with his now trademark blue hair) pitching local acts to some indie labels at a music fair in London for an hour and forty –five minutes. Or The Americas singing their hearts out at The Lexington while opening for The Blinders…
Our combined efforts, support from Beeb and DJs such as Andrew Marston, Steve Lamacq, John Kennedy, Daniel P Carter, Huw Stephens, Mary Ann Hobbs, Lauren Laverne or Tom Robinson and simple luck pushed WorcesterWave further than anyone of us would dream. But one thing remains certain: The Americas seem to be ahead of everyone. They set trends and go places like they have found a crystal ball and can see the future. Whatever they do today, the scene will try out tomorrow.
And here we get to the meritum of this longish essay – the debut EP from The Americas aptly entitled “Guitar Music Is Dead”.
Signed copy of Guitar Music Is Dead
On September 7th 2018 The Americas debuted a six track EP – their first offering to the world. Recorded at a secret studio located in Oxfordshire countryside, “Guitar Music Is Dead” has been mixed and produced by Mike Hill and the band, using tape instead of digital technology. It gives the record unique, old fashioned feeling – something that you don’t hear on other indie releases. However this is not nostalgia for the golden era of rock and roll. The EP feels very modern, both in sound and output. It just has that “thin mercury sound” that Bob Dylan spoke about – for a lack of better definition.
Analogue approach brings forward the beauty of The Americas that could have been overlooked before – that of honesty, that comes from hearts and experiences of the members. The band does not shy away from hard topics on the record: loneliness in “Come on Out”, political and economical mess of the world in “American Morning” or drug use in “I Don’t Wanna Go Home”. But everything is delivered with a dose of sadness and poetry, rather than a blunt force. The Americas look at the world and see what surrounds us and react to it in their own ways. They do get angry in “Bad News” that seems to be directed at people in music industry (or any industry where you work and struggle) but also deliver a beautifully crafted song about getting away in “Backyard Love Song” and a love song in form of “Rosanna”. This is my personal favourite. If I may dedicate few lines of text to it.
“Rosanna” closes the record with a bang and a wonderful jam at the end of the track. But it is the lyrics that won me over. Perhaps I am wrong, but this is not an ordinary love song. This is a “love beyond the grave” type of a story – where two people have each other for ever, no matter what. “Rosanna” is a possessive, us vs. the world, Bonnie and Clyde, True Romance kind of a feeling. The one that each of us dreamed of but very few will ever experience. And then there is this passage “I am not scared of no darkness, as long as I’ve got you here in my heart”. For a whole list of personal reasons that should not go into the review – this line got to me and became some sort of a mantra in times of trouble. It is nearly a protective spell, and I don’t believe in magic. I do however believe in power of music and “Rosanna” is one hell of a powerful statement.
The EP also brings in a new element to band`s repertoire. For the first time, both Harry Payne and Aaron Whittaker share vocal duties. Aaron takes leads on “American Morning” and “Backyard Love Song” – both compositions he authored. While Harry Payne`s vocals are expressive and at times cutting like knives (last minute of “I Don’t Wanna Go Home will leave you with deep emotional scars), Aaron vocals are soothing and gentle. Harry and Aaron complement each other, when one sings leads, the other does backing parts and it works like magic. I have yet to find an indie record that has this sort of chemistry and fellowship between band members.
That partnership is very much visible on stage when The Americas play live. They instinctively know what the other person will do, where the music goes, what songs follows. Off stage, they sit together like a family unit rather than a bunch of mates. I have seen other acts being fiercely jealous of the unity in The Americas. Come to think of it, “Guitar Music Is Dead” would not be such an exemplary record if it wasn’t for the brotherhood shared between Harry, Alex and Aaron.
And I have to mention something about Alex Bradshaw`s drumming. The legend has it that he was “stolen” by Aaron and Harry from his mother group and was convinced to join The Americas instead. I`m not particularly sure this is what really happened but Alex`s input in the band is crucial for the sound. He hits the tubes like there is no tomorrow in “Bad News”, only to bring delicate textures of “American Morning” next and contributes groove to the phenomenal jam at the end of “Rosanna”. How many times you get to listen to a record and say – yep, the drummer is the right one for the band. The chemistry between Aaron and Harry is kept in perfect balance by Alex and there is no doubt about it.
“Guitar Music is Dead” is a great EP, lasting about 30 minutes and it’s one of two records of the year for me, alongside with “Columbia” from The Blinders. What is a small disappointment to me, unlike “Columbia”, “Guitar Music Is Dead” doesn’t fully capture how the band sound when playing live. You still need to see The Americas on stage to fully understand their powerful mix of Americana, soul, gospel and classic rock. The EP is an excellent record but The Americas are capable of so much more than the format could handle.
If you can get yourself a copy of the EP, do so. It will be exciting for me to see where the band will go from here. And perhaps for the entire WorcesterWave scene as well.
Cover of Come On Out – first single to promote the EP.
It was very hard to write this review. Took me about a week. I wrote at home, in a hotel at 3AM when on a trip to Manchester, on buses and in bed. I reviewed “Columbia” in about 5 hours from start to finish and required four revisions. The Americas took about thirty. This record hits so close to home that I had to take chunks of text out not to make it too personal. Morrissey once said that we should never forget the records that saved our lives. “Guitar Music Is Dead” did just that. On at least three occasions this year.
Alex, Harry and Aaron – thank you.
Cover of “American Morning” – second single off the EP
“Guitar Music Is Dead” was released on 7th September 2018.
1. Come On Out
2. American Morning
3. Bad News
4. Backyard Love Song
5. I Don`t Wanna Go Home
Please do not take just my word for granted how good The Americas` EP is. Here is a whole bunch of other reviews (and this is just a small fragment of what`s out there) if you cannot make up your mind if you shall get your own copy of “Guitar Music Is Dead”:
Gigslutz: „Every track varies from the last, showing the incredible talent and individual sound the band is bringing to the table, and this just the start of what The Americas are capable of”
Words For Music: “EP packs a whole load of guitar in one place. The ring of the classic bluesy vocals are complemented by rock and country guitars while hats are surely tipped towards indie music, making you really question the Midland origin of the band”.
Northern Exposure: “The Americas are a British guitar band trying to make it pay in the 21st century. Taking influences from 70’s Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and American pop-culture.They put on their suits, strap up their boots and take their rock and roll gospel to anyone who’ll listen”.
One Great Song: “Nobody else is producing a sound quite like theirs right now, and the Guitar Music Is Dead EP is all the evidence you need of that. Traditional but quirky, nostalgic and powerful; The Americas are proving that guitar music is in fact thriving”.
Indie Central Music: „The Americas have just released six-track EP ‘Guitar Music Is Dead’, and prove in 29 minutes of 60’s-flavoured rock’n’roll that they are one of the new wave of UK bands making sure guitar music is very much alive”. (also user rating for the band is stated at 8.2 out of 10)
Popped Music: “Have been a big fan of The Americas since seeing them gracing the stages at some small venues and then smashing their set at Isle of Wight Festival (…) Judging from this release, the EP, “Guitar Music is Dead”, is something to look forward to”. (about “Come On Out”)
“Dream the most dangerous of dreams” – The Blinders “Columbia”
So, I have got copy of “Columbia” – the debut album by The Blinders. When I am writing this review (or rather an essay), it is exactly three weeks to physical release of the album and the world is buzzing. Tickets to upcoming tour start to fly out, the performance at Leeds and Reading festivals put the band on radars and lips of thousands of people, series of record store performances and signing sessions has been unveiled for September. Their songs are Radio 1 and 6 Music singles of the week, Guardian mentions, 300-400 tweets generated a day, real talk among A&Rs and business insiders that the album may go into top 40, every indie band I know looks up to them – you get the picture.
This is a young, promising act on the edge of great things to come. They are the new Manic Street Preachers – throwing intellectualism, poetry and art at the world, loudly commenting political reality, wearing war paint and messages on their instruments.
They are once-in-a-generation band, a trio of working class lads from Doncaster with vision, balls and talent to offer the jaded, over-saturated world of pop music something fresh. And people are drawn to it. You will see more and more fans jumping on The Blinders bandwagon as the time goes by. I`m old enough to see this happen several times in the past. It is exciting and scary, both for the writer and the band. I`ll get to that scary part at the end of this essay.
But back to the task at hand. How do you review “Columbia”? A deeply personal record for me for myriad of reasons. Do you do a regular review about the music and the cover and lyrics? Do you do a more in-depth account throwing some of your personal experiences into the mix?
I`ll write the emotional account – because I can`t do otherwise. It would not be honest. Especially since I have been championing and shouting about The Blinders daily for the last 2,5 years. And I don’t want this review to look like it`s written by a PR person for the band.
This review is done because The Blinders won me over.
Because we share the same background and love for high art.
Because we have similar determination in life.
And because we have “met” in a “right” moment.
In store appearances scheduled after Columbia comes out on 21st September 2018
“Columbia” is an angry album. It`s written by musicians who come of age in a dark period – full of corrupted figures that divide not just people but the world with walls and borders, planet full of CCTV cameras and reality shows, party identities, wars, destruction of the environment, zero hours contracts and social media aka Big Brother.
The band grew up in a post industrial town with outdated architecture (“granite building and 1960s concrete bridges and the factories – they were just making electric fridges” from “Orbit”), read Orwell at school (1984 is a constant motive though out several songs on the album such as “Where No Man Comes” or “Ballad of Winston Smith”) and looked carefully around to witness modern poverty (“men and women worked to death”, “darkness seems to take its hold over both the poor and old”), saturation with news (“forgotten stories on the news”), refugee crisis (“fox hunt the refugees”) and general hopelessness (“feel so helpless all time”).
This will lead to righteous anger at previous generations and the state of the world. “Who will stand against them all?” ask The Blinders in “Ballad of Winston Smith” and follow up with a passionate soliloquy in “Free The Slave” against religious leaders, political figures and society in general.
Bleakness takes the center of the stage next to anger on “Columbia”. “They gonna build the Berlin Wall, divide us in two, and kill me and you” – screams Thomas Haywood at one point and this is not the only violent moment. Police brutality is referenced on “I Can`t Breathe Blues,” dragging people in the middle of the night from their beds is mentioned in “Where No Man Comes” and there is talk about having your throat slit in “Brutus”. “Rat in a Cage” goes as far as to offer us an apocalyptic vision of devastated earth (“polluted and poisoned and dying race, our god doesn’t want to see the end of days”).
Columbia Tour poster for Autumn 2018
It is enough to make any young man pick up an instrument and scream into the void. And this is what The Blinders are doing with exceptional skills. Their younger listeners will agree, but what about you older, more established members of society? Do you feel the same anger and hopelessness? Do you remember yourself from the way back when you were twenty – something and you too wanted to change the world? What do you see and what do you feel when you listen to “Columbia”?
I almost forgot how it felt when I breathed anger at lack of prospects, walls and crazed political heads. Until “Columbia” arrived in its 12 track glory and hit me right in the chest. The album caused me physical pain – at the memories of growing up in a rundown mining town (to which I hate to return even now), living in a Grenfell Tower like building in the middle of a council estate. In a world behind the Iron Curtain at a time when Berlin Wall was still standing and people were shot for trying to get to the other side. Give or take, The “Orbit” or “The Ballad of Winston Smith” can be about me – for I too read 1984 in class, as art and literature were the only forms of escape. In desperation to have an impact on the world I even picked a tool of trade, but it wasn’t a guitar. It was a camera…
“Columbia” was recorded in winter of 2017 at the Magic Garden studio with Gavin Monaghan as producer. It is the final stop in a long journey the band went though in the last two-three years. It captures the spirit of their live performance to the last sparkle. If you have seen The Blinders live you will notice immediately that “Et Tu”, “Brutus” and “Berlin Wall” come one after another on the record, in the same order as they come on stage. The band likes to use all three compositions to end their shows with a proper punch. Two older songs “Brave New World” and “I Can`t Breathe Blues” albeit in newer versions made it onto the record. “ICB Blues”originally appeared on the 2016 EP “Hidden Horror Dance”, while “Brave New World” was previously released as a stand-alone single in 2017. If one follows the band, there is very little new material you can hear on the record. All three main singles “Gotta Get Through”, “L`Etat C`Est Moi” and “Brave New World” have been on the radio since March. “Brutus” and “Hate Song” are in regular rotation during live performances since last year. If you watch Pirate Studios performance from 2017 you can see early version of “Hate Song” being named “March March March” (19:00 mins mark). “Rat in a Cage” and “Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)” appeared in live versions on socials in recent weeks, so the only new compositions that have not been heard are “Where No Man Comes” and short “Free The Slave”. Is it bad? Not at all in my eyes. I regard “Columbia” as crowning achievement of the bands potential so far. They evolved so much in such a short time that it is incredible to observe. “Columbia” brings and ties all the ends from their career so far in one spectacular album.
Do yourself a little favour and listen to very early demos from Thomas Haywood`s SoundCloud account. Songs such as “Ballad of Johnny Dream” and “Wither” (or even “Death of Narcissist”) had a huge influence on “Orbit” and “Ballad of Winston Smith”. There is also a very early demo of “Ramona Flowers” and “You`re So Cold” aptly entitled “The Darkest Thing I Ever Did Feel” on the account for those who are familiar with band`s older repertoire.
It is a privilege to see any band develop, less alone a band that will define the voice of a generation. I`ve been very lucky to discover The Blinders in May (?) 2016. Music Business is a cut throat industry, there are more bands that break up than those who make it. It takes determination, sacrifices, and being single minded to stick with being in a band.
I recently interviewed The Blinders and asked them what profession they would pursue if they haven’t been making music. “We’d probably all be butchers or something” came an answer. And then they added: “At the end of the day without signing a deal [with label Modern Sky UK] we wouldn’t be talking to you about our debut album. We’d still be scrapping around trying get Brave New World recorded. We were given the chance and we took it, and we can’t more grateful for that. We are now in a situation where we can pursue art and writing for a living, so you can’t complain”.
Those words stayed with me and returned to me when listening to “Columbia”. The band put everything what they had into their music and stayed on course despite heavy odds. Both Thomas Haywood and drummer Matthew Neale left university without a degree. They were also lucky to land a recording deal. Without it, who can say how things would turn out?
If I can be very personal for a short moment again. Here comes another reason why I have such an emotional relationship with “Columbia” and the band. I mentioned that we “met” in a “right” time. Like them, I was pursuing a dream despite heavy losses, ridicule and scrapping by. In ten years I did not manage to break into the industry I loved despite being ready to sacrifice everything for it. Even my personal safety. Even life. Then trauma came and put the end to my chosen career. I relocated to UK in February 2016 with a life long illness and lack of direction. I put together whatever was left of “old” me and started all over again slowly building up a path as an A&R on the indie circuit. Another country, another career with apologies to David Bowie. The Blinders were one of the first bands I took notice of. And their music stayed with me since. In an ironic twist of fate our paths seem to cross on the indie circuit. If I seen them live at a venue, the next week one of the bands I worked with would be playing the same stage. To me and to me only “Columbia” is not just an album that shows true talent of three young lads. It is a soundtrack to my own personal journey to where I am now. The record entangled itself (or maybe I made it this way) with what happened in the last years and will always remind me of the bleakest and most victorious moments. That’s my own “concept” behind the record.
Thomas Haywood (“Johnny Dream”) performing with The Blinders (“Codeine Scene”) at The Sunflower Lounge on 16.02.2018
To anyone else it can be a striking concept album telling a story of a dystopian state of Columbia, where people disappear at nights, where police is free to murder and oppress, where population live in poverty and the young feel anger and solitude. Where Johnny Dream is calling to break out from mental cages and to support one another. Where despite the evil and the suffering there is still place for compassion, love and will to survive.
It can also be a set of twelve songs without any story behind them that try to make sense of the messed up world we live in.
It is guitar orientated album that is true to the live performance. Songs are fast and yet catchy, with haunting back ground vocals and hypnotizing drums. Sometimes there`s spirit of Jim Morrison there in the spoken parts, sometimes you will hear Oasis or The Beatles or even Pink Floyd flirting with David Bowie. You can hear Mark Bolan`s groove. There are some oriental musical themes that make me think of Kula Shaker. But mostly, mostly it is the fresh perspective on what music should be in 2018 – direct, poetic, enigmatic, political, tearing out your soul and different from what is happening around. And that is what Thomas Haywood, Matty Neale and Charlie McGough bring to the table.
The album may be bleak as the abyss but I can see The Blinder`s future in quite a positive light. At the end of this review I`d like to refer to one single thing I find worrying. Here`s a small appeal to fellow music press folks – please do not treat the bands members and especially the vocalist as some sort of rock gods. I find the comparisons to “messiahs” or “Jim Morrisson” absurd and dangerous. Stage persona is not necessarily how artists are in real life. Please enjoy the show and leave the whole rock god icon in the past. 4REAL.
Columbia is out on 21st September 2018 via Modern Sky UK.
1. Gotta Get Through
2. L’Etat C’Est Moi
3. Hate Song
4. Where No Man Comes
5. Free The Slaves
6. I Can’t Breathe Blues
7. Ballad Of Winston Smith
8. Et Tu
9. Brutus/Berlin Wall
10. Brave New World
11. Rat In A Cage
12. Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)
Today`s blog is very important as we wanted to conduct this interview for a very long time. It has been a privilege to watch this very special London-based band grow for nearly two years. Things are looking really bright for the trio these days: they got signed to These Bloody Thieves Records, on September 6th they will embark on a 23- dates tour across Ireland, UK, France, Netherlands and Germany. September 21st will see digital release of their new EP “Less is Better”, while physical debut will take place on October 5th at their home coming gig at Dingwalls in London. Without further delay – please welcome False Heads to our humble blog. On the eve of the release of their new single “Yellow”, we sat down with their lead singer Luke Griffiths to talk about the music, Iggy Pop and their upcoming tour.
Official bio: Hailing from the outskirts of East London, False Heads formed in 2016. Behind the energy of their live shows, the trio quickly thrust themselves into punk-rock limelight, catching the attention of Punk’n’Roll legend Iggy Pop, ex-Ramones manager Danny Fields and music taste maker Rodney Bingenheimer. Having quickly graduated from playing empty rooms in London to supporting The Libertines on a sold-out tour, the buzz around the young band is undeniable. False Heads are Barney Nash (vocals & drums), Luke Griffiths (vocals & guitar) and Jake Elliott (bass).
You have been making a name for yourselves on the indie circuit since 2015 yet we still wonder, who are False Heads? Would you be so kind and introduce band members to the good citizens of West Midlands.
Luke Griffiths: I’m Luke and I sing and play guitar. Jake plays bass and Barney plays drums and sings as well. Thank you good citizens of West Midlands.
You chose an interesting name for the band. The term “False Head” has several meanings rooted in the theory of communication, journalism and psychology. Our favourite definitions include an informal name for the news caster or a political TV commentator coined in the 1950’s; a social mask worn by an individual hiding their true feelings and an incorrect belief in one’s superiority based on an economic or class advantages (so called “False Head” start). So where does your name really come from?
Luke Griffiths: That’s pretty fucking awesome, that you’ve got that from the name and I always thought it was evocative. Originally, I just misread “False Hood” on a list of names scribbled down and I thought I’d written “False Heads”. I just got an image of all the people I despised from where I grew up – the fake, benign, mediocre, sleep walk through life type then die whilst mocking and turning their nose up at anyone different or creative type moron. I also got the image of irritating “talking heads” on TV of politicians spouting the same drivel they’d had written for them by the same script writer. So, it just conjured up a lot of different things for me. The name seems to be more relevant now, people are carbon copies of each other and base their belief system on what they think won’t get them in trouble. It’s nonsense.
You have been championed heavily by punk rock icon, Iggy Pop himself. He has played your songs on his show on BBC 6 Music. How does it feel to have his backing? It surely seems to be a dream come true.
Luke Griffiths: Yeah, “Raw Power” was and is one of my favourite punk albums. Iggy was a huge inspiration for me and emailing him is slightly bizarre. Him naming us as one of his favourite bands in the UK was crazy. It’s an amazing honour. He’s an incredible person and he still gives a shit about new bands.
Iggy Pop is not the only radio personality who gave you an outstanding review on air. We could mention several others such as John Kennedy of Radio X, Steve Lamacq of BBC 6 Music or Hew Stephens from BBC 1. Do you feel you are on the right track to the rock and roll greatness?
Luke Griffiths: (laughing) I guess so, but I try not to think about it too much. We just try and write the best songs we possibly can and put on a great show. But all of those people, those huge names, we are extremely grateful for the support from them.
You also won a die hard fan on the other side of the Pond in form of senior KRCQ and Sirius FM DJ, Rodney Bingenheimer (and an owner of his own star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame!) Rodney expressed sentiment that you are Nirvana-reborn and the best British act that came out of London scene in the last decade. Are you off to conquer the olde US of A anytime soon?
Luke Griffiths: Yes! Another mad surreal one! He’s a living legend, he helped break bands in America and says things like that about us. It’s crazy. He’s another one we need to thank. There’s been some initial conversations about it, yes but we will see.
Tell us more about your beginnings. You met at the secondary school in Upminster and you played in several bands before separating to attend university. Do you still remember the names of the early projects you were involved in? Did they have any influence on your current sound?
Luke Griffiths: We were all born in East London and then moved out to Upminster which is like half East London, half Essex. Just an odd place, really. Barney and Jake were in a band called FiftyFours and I always operated under the name False Heads. I just could never get a proper band going (laughing)! It was extremely frustrating for me, but gave me a lot of time to write until the band finally did happen. I wouldn’t say there’s much influence from those early days, although I did write the “Twentynothing” riff when I was 15. Although, the chemistry between us comes from school. I think Jake and Barney being in the same band helped the chemistry between them and Barney recorded some demos for me to go to uni with to try and make a band, so it was probably inevitable!
New Single entitled “Yellow” is debuting this Friday, 24th of August
False Heads has been going on for three years now and from the start, you have received a strong support from audience and other bands from the capitol circuit. in November 2015, you played a memorable gig at The Black Heart in Camden and you attracted the attention of Danny Fields, the former manager of The Ramones. He became your mentor and a friend. We are sure you have learnt a great deal from him.
Luke Griffiths: Yes, we’ve learnt so much from him, so much. He’s done so much for us, we’re so grateful for what he has done for us. The advice he gave and honestly it is so true. He said to get a lawyer or someone to help you deal with contracts and dealings at the very least (who knows about law). The stories that guy tells us over a few drinks are unbelievable and his company is brilliant. He can outwit anyone, trust me – do not try and mug him off (laughing). A truly wonderful human being.
Your new EP “Less is Better” will be released very shortly. Tell us more about it. How many songs can we expect on the EP? Where did you record it and who’s producing?
Luke Griffiths: It was recorded and produced by the wizard named Jonathan Hucks and mastered by Tonalex (who are also incredible). Jonny is like our Nigel Godrich at the moment. There’s four tracks on the EP. It was recorded very DIY, sort of all over the joint – some in his room, some in a little studio near Stanstead and some in the epic Grand Cru Studios. It’s a follow on from our first release, “Gutter Press”. The themes and things I wrote about on that have only got worse. The echo chamber, social media culture is extremely damaging. We’re completely fine with censorship, we can’t tell the difference between a joke and a bigot. We have created an environment where people are scared to say what they think, then we wondered how such fucking awful things like Brexit and Trump happened? But at times, it’s also more personal than “Gutter Press”. “Retina” sort of came about from an acid trip, but every song has a few different themes going on. It’s difficult to just pin point one and I also don’t want to sound like a broken record (laughing). It’s a scary world we live in man and the hope shrinks every day, without sounding too bleak. The cover art for me was like there’s this beautiful open blue sky/colour/whatever you want to think it is and there’s so much space there for discourse. Life and building relationships and changing peoples minds yet we’re just sucked into this horrible black hole or echo chamber and people are scared to step out of it, even though it’s much more beautiful.
You also have a brand new label, These Bloody Thieves Records so congratulations are in order! We are interested to hear how your co-operation started.
Luke Griffiths: Thank you! Rob Hirst, the owner, is an incredible guy. He has been a big supporter of us for a long time. He spoke to our manager, Cargo Records, got involved and we built an amazing team around us. It’s all gravy. Rob deserves some serious credit. He is an amazing bloke with an amazing work ethic.
Tour poster – please check the dates and buy your tickets before the gigs sell out
This Autumn we will have a chance to see you on your first European tour. You will be playing UK, Ireland, Germany and France. Are you excited?
Luke Griffiths: Well, our first European tour was early on this year. Sorry to be pedantic (laughing)! We haven’t played in Ireland or Germany before yet and we cannot wait. We played France and Belgium on our last tour and played Rock Olmen Festival and InMusic Festival in Croatia. Europe is amazing for bands so we can’t wait to get back. And we fucking love Guinness so can’t wait for Ireland either. Whelans in Dublin is so iconic as well. All amazing stuff, really!
The famous last question and this is going to be hard! Name a song you wish you have written that was released in the last 12 months.
Luke Griffiths : “Blind Faith No Future” by Strange Bones
These Bloody Thieves Records logo
After speaking to Luke and hearing the praise for their new record label, we decided to approach Rob Hirst himself and ask him few questions as well. We didn’t think he would agree to do it, but he was more than happy to speak to us. This way, instead of just one interview, we got two! And that’s why we absolutely adore the DIY scene. Musicians, record label people, PR teams, fans – they are out there for each other. It is more than just everyday kindness. This is a genuine friendship, a true interest, that can only come from those who really care. People are taking care of one another, they look out for others, they participate and support. It is amazing to see it happen! As our good friend keeps saying: “What a time to be alive!”. We at Vanadian Avenue, are extremely privileged to be a part of that movement.
But coming back to Rob and his record label. This is what he said:
Rob, your dream is coming true. You are now an owner of an independent record label! Can you tell us more about These Bloody Thieves Record. Is there any rock and roll history behind its name?
Rob Hirst: The name of the label was actually the name of the very last band I was in. A very short-lived band that I believe was the best I was in and certainly the best band name I had come up with. I just thought it would be a good way for me to continue my past into the future and I couldn’t be bothered with spending hours of thinking of a label name and branding.
How did you set it up?
Rob Hirst: As you know I already work with bands & my Spotify playlist gets hundreds of submissions a month. I was scouting for other management companies and labels. I just woke up one morning and just thought ‘I’m going to start my our label’ and I did (laughing)! I must admit I have been very fortunate with the support I have had around me, especially coming from Rich (False Heads manager) & Ditto Music.
False Heads are your first release. How did you convince them to join you?
Rob Hirst: They approached me. I’ve known the band for a while and I’m a huge supporter. As soon as they asked I knew I had a label & a solid foundation to show that this label is serious. What a band for a first release.
Besides “Less is Better” EP, do you plan any other future releases linked to False Heads?
Rob Hirst: Er! Really, everything has gone into this release. The band has a great team around them and at the moment it’s all about this release. I’m sure there will be as the band have been in the studio with legendary producer Jonathan Hucks and have a bank of unreleased material in their locker. It’s very exciting times! False Heads have nowhere near reached their potential as a band. Pretty exciting really when you consider how great this EP is.
Are you accepting submissions from an unsigned acts? If so, what are you looking for?
Rob Hirst: I am always searching and always accepting submissions. It’s one of the most exciting aspects of running a label. Nothing better that discovering a band that you instantly gravitate towards and fall in love with everything about them. I don’t have specifics for what I’m looking for. I don’t really know until it comes along and slaps me in the face and says to me ‘Here I am, love me’. The label has a couple of other acts on the radar, one close to signing who I have been following for the last four months and a single deal out next month that is due for announcement anytime now.
You can follow False Heads and These Bloody Thieves Record on social media:
Thank you Luke and thank you Rob for speaking to us! This week is fantastic for so many great new bands and we are happy to be able to witness the revolution in popular music. False Heads will release their new single entitled “Yellow” this Friday, so please come back as we will have a full review for you to enjoy.
Until then, we bid you farewell.
Keep on rocking in the free world and make sure you listen to your vinyls/cds/digital albums loud. Very, very loud.