Indieterria presents North Central Music and A Northern Underground

Dear Readers,

Aren’t you tired of the same songs and voices on the radio? Yes, us too.  So, we will tell you a secret – there is life outside the Top 40. The indie underground music is currently going though incredible renaissance – not only with bands and artists having something new to say – lyrically and musically. Promoters, managers and other industry professionals are trying new things, bringing new gigs and start projects that will soon revolutionise the music scene.

Sed Seddon is one of those industry professionals, who work tirelessly behind the stages and without much fanfare – but the bands he champions and  the events he puts out can be summarised as trailblazing.  We sat down with Sed to speak about his work ahead of massive two day weekender in Liverpool and Manchester he organised called A Northern Underground that will take place on 16th and 17th November.

North Central Music logo

You act as a booker, artist manager, industry influencer – please introduce yourself to readers of Indieterria?

Sed Seddon: Hi I’m Sed! I’ve played bass in bands for a long time and founded artist management company early this year.  It`s what I love more than playing to be honest.  I’ve been involved in lots of scenes in different places and different genres – from Wigan, Manchester, Bolton, Liverpool to London. I started out in heavy metal for about 20 years and now I found this beautiful underground scene that makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop – discovering new bands consistently. More recently, I found The Novus, Kid Kapitchi and of course my new favourite band of all time – Avalanche Party who I adore.

As you mentioned you have been involved in music business for ages. Looking back at the time spent working in the industry – what skills are helpful in the hardest business on earth?

Sed Seddon:  Wouldn’t say “I work” as yet, because I’m still looking to make enough money to live off doing it. But “I`m involved” for sure. Hard industry is probably the biggest understatement one will ever say to me personally. It’s beyond anything for someone from the streets of Wigan with zero support. I’ve lost count of the amount of failed attempts at it in whatever form in this industry. Skill that you need to learn is to recognise change when it’s happening. Be it playing in a band, working for a band, organising events or more importantly when a scene is changing. Play your cards close but the biggest rule is DON`T BE A DICK. It costs nothing to be nice and I don’t care who you are. Never stop learning , soak up opportunity and take it in your stride. When you get knocked down, get up, brush yourself off and start again and repeat for as long as it takes (laughs)

Dirty Circus signing to North Central Music

Tell us about the company you have founded – North Central Music – it specialises in artists management and live events. Who is on your roster and do you look for acts to represent?

Sed Seddon: North Central Music has been an idea for a good while, couple of years maybe. The name only came this year, the company was launched in May/ June after a brilliant Sound City Music Business Entrepreneur course in Liverpool that ran for 10 weeks. The course finished a week before Sound City event so got the logo designed and cards printed up that week and I went on the network hunt which went very well (cheers Joe for putting up with the late video calls trying sort everything last minute).

North Central Music is growing. We have the excellent Fay Toulios on board dealing with our socials who’s amazing and taking everything in her stride.

The point of North Central Music is connection and calibration with our southern friends. In January this year, I had a meeting with two southern friends (even though one of them is actually Mancunian) about partnering up but it went to stale-mate as I didn’t have the full idea of what NCM was going to represent or become at that time. Something else to be learned in this business is the rule is if things works out then go with it, if they don’t – then drop it.

Dirty Circus are NCM first signing to the management roster and they are from Wigan. Like a lot of good bands they had a tough ride a few years ago but they have now returned to the game. The new music is brilliant. Love them boys, we go back years. It’s mad how it came about. Dirty Circus is influenced by Madchester movement, electronic indie vibes with new age punk thrown into the mix for a good measure. Can`t wait to get proper stuck in as it’s only just began really! The plan is to grow around a band a year. I find it pointless having 15 favourite bands on the record – I’m bringing it all together as I go. You need to adapt as a company and I am constantly adapting at the moment, so everything fits into place. But just think how things will look in 3-4 years from now as there’s loads going on behind the scenes.

What is your outlook on the indie circuit at the moment? Any particular scenes and bands that caught your ear?

Sed Seddon: Each part of the country offers something slightly different but as it is in the North, the London scene really is booming. They even have separate  scenes in different parts of London! Just think – it`s actually a scene within a scene!?? I go to London a few times a year but not fully gripped there scene as yet.

But all the new music from around the UK fits underneath this perfect umbrella of “new wave of British punk” and I think we are on the cusp of an amazing movement, everything what’s happening now is the beginning of what’s to come. Rage Against The Machine are now back together  too what’s just adding fuel to the fire. But I think all music genres and punk is crossing over. Electronic punk Fat White Family are a band I’ve only seen once very recently but like Dirty Circus or Tea Street Band they are cross over bands, as are Working Men’s Club. Then you’ve your hardcore Strange Bones, Kid Kapitchi and False Heads. Crows and The Murder Capital are more metal or doom sounding. We also have this commercial sounding punk like Idles, Shame and Heavy Lungs. Avalanche Party, The Novus or The Blinders go along the lines of cult /goth . It’s just huge there’s so many criss -crosses of genres – all representing the exact same thing and it’s all bubbling under the ground…it’s very special.

Another project you have been heavily involved is A Northern Underground. It is a mammoth two day weekender happening in Manchester and Liverpool on 16-17 November 2019. How did that come about?

Sed Seddon:  The event came about completely by accident. I was trying to grow North Central Music on the live front so I spoke to southern friends and fellow promoters at Live Circuit about putting a tour together. They book two dates and send two southern bands and I’ll do the same.

So Saturday (16th November) and Sunday (17th November) are the Northern dates and I thought I’ll make both dates both all dayers to push the boat out. I said to myself “Hmmm Let’s get a good big headliner!”

To make it happen, I chased many agents but it was all too soon . So I asked friends in Rival Bones if they fancied both dates. Then just tied all together with some great poster art (thanks Evercloud). Everything came together in about 3 weeks.

Stage times at Liverpool and Manchester gigs

You basically created a two day festival with incredible line up. Each day will have around ten acts. Let`s start with the Liverpool date. Who will be on the stage and where is the event happening?

Sed Seddon:  Liverpool event happens at The Jaracanda. Some bands such as Idealistics, Rival Bones, Manalishi, Brain Ape and Dutch Mustard are all playing both dates. It made sense as they all fit under the neu grunge wave that’s also bubbling underground around the UK. Idealistcs are from Cambridge – we asked them to join the show quite late after we had had spoken to Ali Hirsz (bassist and front woman) on the phone about her band being refused shows because Ali has a rare condition Ehlers Danlos Syndrome meaning she needs tubes that are on display to feed her heart with minerals and promoters don’t like it basically. This goes against all the NCM ethos and to be honest it completely broke me. Ridiculous situation. Thanks to people for pointing this out to us in the first place. All money raised from this event is going directly to charity EDS Trust to help raise awareness. My mum as well as other promoters has worked for charity for years so it’s nice to follow their footsteps too.

Other bands on the bill are Persian Hugs and Elevant – I`ve seen them at Sound City this year and  I loved them. Mr Ted are on board Society Of Loosers Records – that’s a hardcore label in Liverpool and they are worth huge recommendation. Lastly, I`ve seen Vulture Cult support Rival Bones last year so they were a definitely good fit for the weekender.

For those who want to come to the Manchester date – what do you have in store?

Sed Seddon:  In Manchester we overtake AATMA. Square Wild, Idealistcs and Dutch Mustard are the only bands on the bill fronted by women. Next year we will aim around the 50/50 mark as again the bands with front women are really coming through the ranks. Dutch Mustard are probably one of my latest favourites along with False Advertising and The Mysterines. They are amazing live and can’t wait to see them on Northern Territory so come down and see how they play.

Slow Hand Clap fit under the “three piece band neu grunge” umbrella but these boys add something a little different and don’t just sound like Nirvana. I’ve seen Careering the other month – they are Manchester’s answer to At The Drive In.

The Kecks and Refuge Island are travelling bands. Refuge Island come from Scotland and The Kecks are from Germany. Seen these men few months ago and we stayed friends. Great lads!

Beside promoting new and emerging artists, A Northern Underground aims to raise funds for charity. Please tell us more about the charity you will be supporting.

Sed Seddon:  So the charity is called Ehlers-Danlos Support UK, something I’ve never heard of until chatting to Ali Hirsz of Idealistics. So, with everything that happened with Ali, I contacted all the bands to asked them to waive their fees for charity instead.

Ehlers-Danlos Support UK is the only one of its kind in the UK and its symbol is a zebra. Actually, Idealistics wrote and recorded a single called “Here comes the Zebras”. That song is fucking beautiful and it was that voice and that song that brought me to tears in the end. Everything`s going to charity and raising funds for this cause is fucking beautiful. Music is beginning to speak again against the government and all what’s going on with the country and I guess this is our way of speaking and giving the middle finger to the assholes on the streets and promoters thinking it’s nice to bully people as well to refuse them shows. We created a little chance for Ali and Idealistics to play and hopefully it creates more chances for them and makes other promoters listen.


Your plate is already full – but what are your plans
for 2020? What can we expect from North Central Music in the new year?

Sed Seddon:  Our energy will be going directly on the band we manage, Dirty Circus. Obviously the Underground event is also  100% growing and we are looking at new avenues to less unfamiliar territory but sticking with Northern & NCM ethos. Keeping things new and fresh, some things will stick, some things won’t – but that’s the biz I guess.

Famous last question: You describe yourself as a lover of all you can eat buffets. What would be on your dream buffet, or a dream rider?

Sed Seddon: Mate I don’t even care …just a plate, knife and fork in the middle of an all you can eat buffet and I’m gone for hours! That one on Deansgate is the bomb!

Event poster

A Northern Underground happens on 16th November 2019 in Liverpool:
https://www.facebook.com/events/724294691343894/

And on 17th November 2019 in Manchester
https://www.facebook.com/events/2446994828867804/

Tickets can be  purchased from the links below:

Liverpool
https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/liverpool/the-jacaranda-club-liverpool/lc/2019-11-16/15:00/t-rdgjpj

Manchester
https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/manchester/aatma/lc/2019-11-17/14:00/t-xxjyda

Additional reading:
https://www.rgm.press/a-northern-underground-weekender-musical-double-header-showcases-emerging-talent-across-manchester-liverpool/uncategorized/

You can follow Sed, North Central Music and A North Underground on the social media:

North Central Music:

https://www.facebook.com/northcentralmusic/
https://www.instagram.com/north_central_music/
https://twitter.com/NorthCentralMu1

A North Underground:

https://www.facebook.com/ANorthernUnderground/
https://twitter.com/ANorthernUnder1
https://www.instagram.com/anorthernunderground/

So grab your tickets my dears and lets meet in the underground. Once you know the secret about good music – you can forget the top 40 and enjoy the future.

We will see you in Liverpool or Manchester. Hit the North!

M/R

Indieterria meets HUSK

Dear Readers,

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.

Husk_1

Hand on the heart – HUSK by Roo Gannon Photography
https://www.facebook.com/roogannonphotography/

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.

Husk_2

Strike a pose – HUSK by Roo Gannon Photography
https://www.facebook.com/roogannonphotography/

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?

Alfie Austin:  Email me: husknoise@gmail.com or Facebook message me at HUSK 

 

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!

Pre-order “Feeling Heat” 

You can follow HUSK on social media:

https://www.husknoise.com
https://www.facebook.com/husknoise
https://www.instagram.com/husknoise
https://www.twitter.com/husknoise
https://www.soundcloud.com/husknoise
https://www.youtube.com/husknoise
http://husknoise.bandcamp.com
https://open.spotify.com/artist/5rxW72hkuquJAYuBZz1now?si=WMiX_P_-R8i62o5vvTblYw
https://amazingtunes.com/husknoise/

We have absolutely adore HUSK and his music – you can expect that we will welcome him again in the future on our blog.

All the best Husk and we hope that in five years time you will be playing arenas.

M/R

Indieterria Reviews – “Rebel Forever” by Avalanche Party

Dear readers,

On 13th of September, we had the pleasure of reviewing “El Dorado”, a second single by Avalanche Party promoting their upcoming debut album “24 Carat Diamond Trephine”. And now a month (and few days) later, we are presented with another single entitled “Rebel Forever”. This is the third promotional single released since July, the first being “7” and probably the last one before the album hits the shelves on 22nd of November. As two previous singles, “Rebel Forever” also comes with a fascinating video – in true AP fashion, it is dark, cinematic and quite beautiful.

Avalanche Party photographed by Jason Ferdinando

Writing the previous review, we reached the conclusion that “El Dorado” was the best song written by the band so far. It was experimental, bold and sublime. Having  listened to “Rebel Forever” over 200 times in the last 24 hours, we have now officially changed our mind. The new track is now our all-time favourite, vastly superior to previous releases and (we have to say it) extremely radio friendly at the same time!

There is nothing wrong with the radio-friendliness, mind you. “Rebel Forever” is a catchy (again, a compliment), addictive song that will get stuck inside your head for hours and the chorus is a true masterpiece. The lyrics are linking “Rebel” to the second single when the front man, Jordan Bell sings: “Make a golden bird/ It flies over the mountain ranges/It flies over the seas and across the world/Till it reaches the El Dorado”. Should we take it as a hint that the songs on the  upcoming album might all be linked somehow? Is “24 Carat Diamond Trephine” going to be a concept album? We will have to wait to find out but judging by the musical company the band keeps and their own releases, maybe risking a statement that we have a renaissance of concept albums in the North, is not too far stretched?

Standing at 3 minutes and 36 seconds, “Rebel Forever” can easily be placed in the middle between “7” and ” El Dorado”.  Not only because of the length of all three songs (“7” is just two minute long while “El Dorado is nearly 6 minute), but also because of the videos that illustrate all three tracks. “7” is a nightmarish visualization of somebody (in that role, truly convincing lead singer of Strange Bones, Bobby Bentham), being tortured and injected with a poison, clearly as a part of some horrific Russian/KGB experiment (there is a word “shell” on the syringe written in Cyrillic if anybody has any questions or doubts). The injections causes not only foaming at the mouth but also hallucinations and intense pain to the subject. It ends with the subject destroying the interrogation room and stabbing pictures of the Avalanche Party members with knives.

The video to “El Dorado” is like a quiet break between two outbursts of anger. It reminded us of a road movie, it was quiet, almost melancholic, idyllic but with an undertone of danger in it. And “Rebel Forever” takes us back to some strange location again, another experiment cell or maybe a motel room? There is not much furniture except a mattress in the middle of the room, a bottle of absinthe on the floor and strange collection of artworks and curiosum: taxidermied bird and a pair of moths, small goat figurine in an ornate glass jar, a picture of an bleeding ear, a skull and a statue of a Greek goddess without hands. A young man is laying on the make shift bed, clearly delirious from the drink or maybe something else as well. As usual with AP video clips, it’s hard to find straight answers. We can only wonder if the man was drugged against his will and left in this remote place to die or has ingested the drink himself with the intentions of getting high. Whatever the reason, he’s experiencing a  vivid, almost kaleidoscopic swirl of images and visions. Sometimes he seems to be drowning in water, grasping for air, in another moment he is looking calmly at changing colours stretching out his arms. There are two references to “El Dorado” in “Rebel Forever”. At the beginning of the video, we see a recording of the cowboy walking through the plateau known from “El Dorado” and there is a framed picture of him shooting a gun. We have a sneaky suspicion that the unnamed cowboy and the hallucinating man somehow know each other and will meet up at some point.

Avalanche Party by Jason Ferdinando

“Rebel Forever” came with a PR note attached and it is as cryptic as the video itself, but it provides us with a bit of background information about the shoot and it’s location:

“The video was filmed over the course of a few days in deep, dark Berkshire. It shows a trip through time and the great outdoors and has two main stars. Django is a scaly fiend of the reptile family Chamaeleonidae who spends his time eating rump steak and shedding his dark and succulent past. Ron is a horrible WMC toilet of a cat who would rather the world left him alone. This broadcast was made possible by Welsh wizard Kyle ‘Eagle Burger’ Howells and his unflinching vigour, boundless generosity and eye for a mood. Rebel Forever.”

It seems that the new song made a strong impression not only on us, but on other reviewers as well. We have found some fantastic opinions so please read on:

“Hard-touring underground rock outfit Avalanche Party simply refuse to stop. Capable of sustaining lung-bursting, multi-national spells on the road, the five-piece give 100% each and every night. And with With another massive UK tour on the cards, Avalanche Party have shared their bolshy, bruising new single ‘Rebel Forever'”.
https://www.clashmusic.com/news/avalanche-party-share-bold-clip-for-rebel-forever

“The band have now shared new single ‘Rebel Forever’, taken from their eagerly anticipated debut album to be release on November 22nd. ‘Rebel Forever’ is a gothic, pulsating album highlight that’s now accompanied by a suitably nightmarish video” –
https://circuitsweet.co.uk/2019/10/avalanche-party-share-new-video-rebel-forever-and-announce-us-dates/

“Twisty, hallucinogenic hoodoo from darkest Yorkshire, courtesy of garage punks Avalanche Party offers any indication. A dark, psychedelic yet hooky whoosh of gothic allure, woozy guitars and atmospheric electronics, it’s elegantly unhinged stuff”
https://www.loudersound.com/features/tracks-of-the-week-new-music-from-wolfmother-taylor-hawkins-and-more

“The garage punks knock out a belter of raucously melodic evocation on ‘Rebel Forever’, which may surprise some of their fans, as this feels almost ‘pop-ish’ compared to some of their earlier more heavier numbers. It’s still dark – aided by nightmarishly constructed images in its accompanying video – but both the style and production sound better than ever”
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.com/2019/10/track-of-week-avalanche-party-will.html

“Avalanche Party’s delirious ‘Rebel Forever’ was made for gloomy, gray days (much like this one). Calling to mind the dark decadence that lent itself to the Berlin of Iggy and David, the song’s razorblade riffs and ever-so unhinged vocals lend an elegant, somewhat controlled violence to the band’s sound”  http://www.logicfuzzy.com/2019/10/video-of-day-avalanche-party.html

“‘Rebel Forever’” is a gothic, pulsating album highlight that’s now accompanied by a suitably nightmarish video. Playing out is a dark, paranoid hallucination taking place in a cabin in the lonely northern countryside, we’re invited to take a trip in more ways than one.
https://repeatfanzine.wordpress.com/2019/10/18/yorkshires-feral-garage-punk-quintet-avalanche-party-share-new-single-rebel-forever-and-announce-us-live-dates/

Avalanche Party will be on tour shortly and you can catch them live at the  following dates:

13th November – Preston at The Ferret – http://bit.ly/3465jnQ
14th November – Liverpool at Jimmy’s Liverpool – http://bit.ly/2MInFG5
15th November – Glasgow at Broadcast – http://bit.ly/32bVaUK
16th November  – Leeds at Hyde Park Book Club – http://bit.ly/2HznRDc
20th November – London at The Shacklewell Arms – http://bit.ly/2UiAx6S
21st November  – St Albans at The Horn – http://bit.ly/2ZsHUyn
23rd November – Birmingham at Actress and Bishop (official) – http://bit.ly/2Pkqcbr
29th November  – Newport at Le Pub – http://bit.ly/2ZsH2Je
30th November  – Bath at Moles – http://bit.ly/2NFcoG1

1st December – Milton Keynes at The Craufurd Arms (Live Music Venue) –http://bit.ly/30K3vin
4th December – Sheffield at Record Junkee – http://bit.ly/2ZxfW3E
5th December – York at The Fulford Arms – http://bit.ly/2zxi10Y
6th December  – Hull at The New Adelphi Club – http://bit.ly/2La1N2Y
12th December – Southampton at The Joiners – http://bit.ly/30IbJHP
13th December  – Notthingham at The Angel Microbrewery – https://bit.ly/2kADjqH
14th December  – Middlesbrough at Westgarth Social Club – http://bit.ly/2zsgucu

 

You can preorder their debut album through Rough Trade as well. It will come in red vinyl as an exclusive:

Come  and see one of the best bands on the alternative scene now on tour.
We will be seeing them in Birmingham.

Catch you on the road,
Rita and Mal

Indieterria meets Dirty Circus

Dear Readers,

Rock and roll music is all about storytelling. If pop can get away with repeated lines or lyrics barely making any sense, rock always had bigger inspirations. Drawing its roots from the soul, blues and R&B, it became a proud tradition of the genre to take a stance during political unrest, social changes or at least to describe the lives of the common men. Many of the leading voices of rock are also noted poets (Bob Dylan, Jeff Buckley, Patti Smith or Joni Mitchell) or shrewd commentators of the world (Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Freddy Mercury). Their critical eye helped to shape the musical heritage and the entire post war, modern cultural landscape.

The people behind the rock music are not only singing or telling stories on stage, their lives are full of great tales of friendship, struggles, victories or partying. American journalist Kurt Loder has once said that the annals of rock music are the best lecture and indeed the biographies of its stars are anything but dull. And that’s what makes the genre stand out among thousand of other musical styles. The artists come to us with something to say, with their own baggage of losses and gains the listeners can relate to.

Pardon the long beginning, but it was a pleasure to interview Chris Binns of Wigan’s Dirty Circus. The quartet is returning to the spotlight after a decade and their story is truly unique. We have sat him down to discuss the band’s past, releasing their debut album and the future that looks brighter than ever.

 

Bands logo

Official bio: Hailing from Wigan and Leigh, Dirty Circus consists of Chris Binns (vox), Jon Hollingsworth (bass), Stephen Ahern (guitar) and Ryan Whittle (drums). They catapulted to the top of the North West music scene in the late 2000’s becoming notorious for energy packed raucous live performances and winning an army of devoted Fans. With an impressive CV including a label deal with Columbia Records, work with Hacienda Legend Mike Pickering, a tour support slot to Madchester royalty Happy Mondays, and a very special appearance at Glastonbury Festival, they’re back for round 2 and seem to have something of a point to prove. With their record finally out and northern tour, the band is ready to claim their rightful place at the top.

The hands emblem that became a symbol for the band

Dirty Circus have a fascinating history as a band. You formed at the beginning on 2000’s and quickly established yourselves as one of the best emerging bands of that period. You got signed to Columbia, started working on an album and then unexpectedly, you parted ways with the label. What happened?

Chris Binns:  In the mid to late 00’s the music industry was in a real transition. This was a time when CD sales had begun to decline, pirating and illegal downloading was rife and record companies hadn’t figured out how to use streaming to their benefit. It was a time before MySpace And Apple Music. The 90’s boom was no longer and the majors had less room for risk. Unfortunately, we were expendable and were part of a cull of bands who were offered ultimatums and too good to turn down offers to terminate the contracts. I think it was a common misconception that we were dropped. The truth is we choose to leave. Knowing that staying with the label at that time would have been more damaging to the band.

After leaving Columbia, the band continued as an independent act for nearly a year under the guidance of manager Phil Saxe. You worked with Mike Pickering of Hacidena fame and toured with Happy Mondays, only to call it a day out of the blue. The infamous “creative differences” were cited as a reason for the split. Looking back on that decision, do you think it was a right path to take?

Chris Binns: At the time we had started to internally combust. In the beginning everything was happening so fast.  We had genuine label interest within the first three months. After six months we had 6 or 7 big labels fighting over us.  The band got to the point where every show we were playing was sold out and were getting 500/700 plays a day on MySpace. Now throw in a packed out Glastonbury set then signing to one of the biggest labels in the world. We felt like we had landed the greatest job in the world.

Fast forward 2 years and everything had become slower. The band practiced and practiced very rarely playing live, working on new material while trying to get the album done. It felt like the label had lost interest then we got a call and that was it. We walked away and had to get normal jobs again. It was then the infighting started, each member blamed others for what happened.

Firstly our synth player Floyd Woolley left and we carried on for a little while after but the magic was gone. Then bassist Ian Halliwell left and personally I couldn’t see the point after that. We had all been best friends way before the band started and it felt like we had run our course.

Dirty Circus are back and ready for action.

Dirty Circus returned as a 4 piece in 2017 to sold out shows and excited public. What prompted you to get back together?

Chris Binns: It was our guitarist Stevie (Ahern)`s wedding so myself and the drummer Ryan (Whittle) decided to go along mainly for a piss up. Me and Ryan hadn’t seen or spoke to Stevie or Jonny (Hollingsworth) for about 7 years so I wasn’t sure how it was gonna be. As soon as we were back together it was like all them years had never happened. We decided then and there to have a practice. The Sunday after the wedding we spoke to Jon and he was up for it. The other boys Floyd and Ian didn’t want to do it which we have to respect and we’re still in contact with them.

I booked a room and when we started playing the energy was back! It was amazing.  The day after I booked a gig in Wigan at the Old Courts -an amazing venue which had sprung up whilst we were out the game – and we were off. The place holds around 400 people and it was sold out within few weeks which blew us away.

Your album “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Worse” was finally released on 4th of March 2019. The story behind this record could be made into a Hallmark movie: a successful band is dropped by a major record label, the demos go missing for a decade, they are found on a old computer drive and re-mastered. How do you feel about this record after all what’s happened? It must have been quite a ride.

Chris Binns:  When we got the masters back it was pretty emotional – that album was nearly 10 years of work and it was amazing to hear it in its entirety. Up to that point we had been so focused on writing new material we had forgot how good the old stuff was!  We had quite an experience getting to that point and listening to the album brought plenty of memories back most of which I can’t repeat in this interview. The songs on that record are a reflection of how we were all living life at that point and the lyrics are all the things me and the boys were experiencing.

Dirty Circus are back. Deal with it.

You recorded the original demos at the Motor Museum studio in Liverpool. This is one of the oldest and most accomplished recording studios in the North – a home to Oasis, The La’s, Arctic Monkeys and The Coral. Your producer, Tristan Ivemy worked with The Holloways, Towers of London, Frank Turner, and recently The Lottery Winners. Where did you re-mastered the tapes? Did you come back to the same place to properly finish the record?

Chris Binns:  In all honesty we didn’t return to the old studios. We got the songs mastered in the US pretty cheaply. At this point we weren’t sure what we were going to do with the album and we got it mastered on a whim. We were originally planning on just dropping it on Soundcloud but when the tracks come back from mastering, we knew we had to make it a proper release. The songs were massive. I remember how excited I was and sent them to them lads immediately. It was full on energy and aggression – just like we sounded live. The only real change was that we decided to record a new version of a track we always wanted on the album. “Dropped” was never recorded in original sessions because we could never get it right. When we reformed we thought we would give it one more try so we worked with our friends Martin and Dan at Strangeway Studios in Manchester. We finally got what we wanted.

We have to ask about the collectible edition of “WDKMYW” on a pink vinyl. Is it still available? If so, where can it be purchased?

Chris Binns: There’s not many records left! We printed 600 initially and we must have 50 left and whatever the stores have. It’s currently in the key independent record stores in most major cities across the UK. And of course in Wigan and Bolton (laughs).

Dirty Circus are currently on tour. You will be playing Manchester soon (The Bread Shed on 26th of October) and a possible date in London is in the works. Are you planning on visiting West Midlands area? We’d love to see you rock Bristol or Birmingham.

Chris Binns:  100% we would love to play in Bristol and Birmingham. Hopefully we’ll get there in the first part of 2020. In fact I had somebody contact me the other day to tell me how big fans of us they used to be, filling mini buses and driving to our Manchester shows from Birmingham. Somebody also had a club night called Dirty Disco named after our song.

Tour poster for Manchester show at The Bread Shed

A home coming show is booked in Wigan on 17th of November at The Bailiff Bar. We are told it is going to be an acoustic night. What can we expect and how does shows normally go down in Wigan?

Chris Binns:  We never did an acoustic performance before so it’ll definitely be interesting. But we’re not doing it full acoustic, we are still gonna have all the electronics in the mix. It’s more of a stripped back performance.

Any plans for the nearest future? Where will 2020 take you?

Chris Binns:  Well we’ve currently got 12 new songs we are really happy with so we’re gonna try and get in the studio and hopefully release them as an EP in April. We have always been a band that prides ourselves on new music and pushing things forward and that’s what this music does. Imagine Jonny Rotten singing in Cafe del Mar on ecstasy (laughs)

Last questions are a bit of fun at Indieterria. Let’s say you can go back in time and fix one mistake from your own past. Which wrongs are you going to right?

Chris Binns: Nothing! Honestly it is what it is. We don’t dwell, we just want to make sure we prove ourselves this time around…. No wait! In-fact I wouldn’t sold my black The North Face 3 in 1 jacket I had. It was a banger.

 You can follow the band online:
https://www.facebook.com/Dirty__circus-1686236101623735/
https://www.instagram.com/dirty__circus
https://twitter.com/DIRTY__CIRCUS
https://music.apple.com/gb/album/what-doesnt-kill-you-makes-you-worse/1455007989

 

More reading:
https://www.wigantoday.net/whats-on/music/dirty-circus-moves-with-the-times-1-8358276
https://www.theoldcourts.com/single-post/2018/11/14/Sit-Down-Sunday-with-Chris-Binns-Dirty-Circus
http://northern-exposure.co/dirty-circus-wigan-100217/
https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/music/circus-comes-to-town-1024425
https://wiganmusicreviews.wordpress.com/category/dirty-circus/
https://www.wigantoday.net/whats-on/music/roll-up-for-dirty-circus-reunion-gig-1-7817717

Dirty Circus on tour:
Manchester at the Bradshed (along with Red Bricks/Idle Hands/County Rats)
26th of October
More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/411057949498078/
Tickets: https://www.fatsoma.com/scruffoftheneck/qzufeilt/dirty-circus-red-bricks-idle-hands-county-rats

Wigan at the Old Courts (accoustic performance)
17th of November
More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/713534025768387/
Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/friday-night-in-the-bailiff-bar-with-dirty-circus-acoustic-tickets-66323018935

Radio appearances:
Bolton FM/ November 12th
The Unsigned Show at 7:00 and 9:00 PM
https://www.boltonfm.com/

Shock Radio/Salford
Time: TBA
https://www.shockradio.co.uk/

Dirty Circus will be adding new dates and interviews shortly so please keep your eyes open and your hand on the pulse. We will be travelling to Kingdom of Mancunia many times in the new year and if they are playing anywhere close, be sure you will see us in the front row.

xoxo
Rita and Malicia

Indieterria meets MOLLYANNA

Dear readers,

We having a lovers’ quarrel  with Google. Why? Because for reasons unknown the interview with Sheffield`s mighty MOLLYANNA was directed into a spam folder where it stayed for few good weeks before we finally realised. This post should have been online in September! Sometimes, there is little we can do to avoid technology being annoying. So big apologies to the band.

Don’t you worry, Google will be punished accordingly (we now see our emails via Outlook) and you dear readers can finally enjoy the wonderful interview with Bernadette Dales – singer and front woman of the band.

We spoke about their upcoming  album “Archaeology”, their inspirations, writing process and who they would like to record with.  Read on.

 

MOLLYANNA logo

Bernadette Dales (vox)
Mike Hukins (guitar)
Josh Roberts (bass)
Laura Moakes (drums)

Official bio:
Beauty can emerge from the most chaotic places – this is something singer Bernadette Dales and guitarist Mike Hukins know very well. During their decade long friendship they have stitched together their disparate and contradictory influences to form rock music that is at once wild, vulnerable and volatile. Their opposition is a clear influence in their latest collection of songs, which deal with nostalgia, destruction, and the hardest kinds of relationship.

MOLLYANNA have spent most of 2019 in the studio. Their new album “Archaeology” is about the year singer Bernadette spent in therapy dealing with the after-effects of abuse. “In my first session, my therapist warned me that it would feel worse before it started to feel better, and sure enough, for a while it felt like Pandora’s box had opened in my brain and all these demons had spilled out onto my brain. The songs on Archaeology are my attempt at dealing with each one.” In May 2019 the band launched their first ever crowdfunding campaign to help them cover the costs of making the record. Fans jumped at the chance to pre-order the record, as well as many other unique and limited edition items – smashing the band’s initial target in just three days. The campaign’s success was down to the raw and honest way MOLLYANNA told their story. MOLLYANNA are proof that beauty can emerge from the most chaotic of places, which is something singer Bernadette and guitarist Mike know very well. During their friendship, they have stitched together their contradictory influences to create alternative music that is deep, dark and wild. The pair began MOLLYANNA as a duo in 2016, but since then, with the help of bassist Joshua Roberts and drummer Laura Moakes, they have grown into an alt-rock band unlike any other. Their music is for the outsiders – those on the fringes with a story to tell.

MOLLYANNA photographed by Mal Whichelow
https://www.facebook.com/malwhichelowphotography/

MOLLYANNA is one of the leading alternative bands in Sheffield area. Their first EP “Ghosts” came out in 2016 and quickly caught attention of gig goers and local radio DJs. Their singles “Louder” and “Thief” established band`s position as a must see indie act. They have been consistently championed by BBC Introducing Sheffield and recently were even invited to the studio to play an acoustic session for the Beeb. No wonder the excitement for their new record is building. The band`s front woman Bernadette Dales is eloquent and speaks in details. Not always we have such a pleasure to interview artists who will patiently answer all the tricky questions we throw at them. It was such a pleasure to hear all the facts and stories from the studio. This is what we found out ahead of the record release:

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria. 

Bernadette Dales: Hey, I’m Bernadette and I’m the front-person of alt-rock band MOLLYANNA

Where are you based and who is in the band?

Bernadette Dales: We’re from Sheffield (UK), and we have Laura on drums, Josh on bass, Mike on guitar and I make mouth noise at the front.

Tell us something about the project – are there any goals that you managed to achieve to date?

Bernadette Dales: We’re about to release our 7-track record on November 1, which we’re pretty excited about. Earlier this year we launched a pre-order campaign to help us fund the recording, and we reached the target in just three days! That was surreal. We ended up reaching 208% overall over the month. 4 of the tracks have been produced by Mark Mynett of Kill II This, and then there are three live tracks too, produced by Nathan Bailey and Mike Hukins himself. It’s a really ambitious record, with orchestral strings, percussion, animated and live action music videos. This year has been so busy but so much fun. I can’t wait to show everyone what we’ve been up to behind the scenes.

What inspires you? What artists or genres had the biggest influence on you?

Bernadette Dales: The obvious influence would be Incubus, I guess! A lot of people ask where our name came from and it’s from their track “Anna Molly”. They were definitely the biggest influence on me growing up and deciding what musical direction we should go in. I think that’s really clear in songs like “Playing Dead”, which came out on October 4. I also love artists like Alanis Morrissette, and the lyrical genius of hip-hop artists like Lauryn Hill. Mike has some very different influences to me, he’s very much into his proggy, math rock stuff. During this album, he was listening to a lot of Porcupine Tree and Plini.

Ready for action. Photo by Mal Whichelow
https://www.facebook.com/malwhichelowphotography/

It’ all about the music – and we want to hear your tunes and how they have been written.

Bernadette Dales: We have a few tracks out already on streaming platforms, and there’s more coming out very soon! I think the best way to describe how Mike and I make music would be “fragmented”. It’s like we each come up with different jigsaw pieces and then meet up and try to fit them together to make a complete picture. Except there’s no box to work from. And some of the pieces are from a different puzzle. Does that make sense? I think this analogy might have fallen apart. Sometimes Mike starts with a riff or chord progression and I’ll fit something over it and send it back, other times I’ll have a tune or some lyrics stuck in my head and I’ll send it to him to see if he can make sense of it. Once all the parts are there we go over it with the whole band to polish it and make it cohesive.

Name your best song. Is there a story behind it?

Bernadette Dales: This is hard, because I know everyone in the band has a different idea of what the best song is! I think mine would be Archaeology, which is also the name of the album. It’s about the year I spent in therapy dealing with the after-effects of abuse. In my first session, my therapist warned me that it would feel worse before it started to feel better, and sure enough, for a while it felt like Pandora’s box had opened in my brain and all these demons had spilled out onto my brain. The track “Archaeology” is about that process of therapy and digging up the past.

How do you create your unique sound? What gear are you using?

Bernadette Dales: I think the uniqueness of our sound ultimately comes from the melting pot of ideas we have. Mike and I are the main songwriters and our influences are quite drastically different a lot of the time. When they merge together we manage to make some really cool stuff – it’s almost prog rock. As a vocalist, I like to bring out the different colours in my voice – I’m not afraid to sound ugly or creepy. There’s some weird whispered backing vocals in our next single to look out for.

In terms of gear, we’re not really a tech band to be honest. Mike has the usual guitar distortion/delay pedals, Josh has a 5-string bass to get the extra beefy riffs in and Laura is sponsored by Meinl for her kit. I just show up and sing.

“Bleach” single sleeve
Artwork by Joshua Roberts https://www.facebook.com/joshua.roberts.988

Are you touring? Where can we see you play live?

Bernadette Dales: We have a few dates in the diary for Autumn, and we’re hoping to get a proper tour together for early 2020 (follow us on the socials for updates on that!). Our next gig is November 1 at Record Junkee in Sheffield, which is also our album launch show. We have tickets available on our website, so please come! After that we have Leeds on December 4, Chesterfield on December 7, and Whitchurch on December 14. All the details are on our website.

If any bookers or promoters want to get in touch – what is the best way to contact you?

Bernadette Dales: They can get in touch over at www.facebook.com/mollyannaband or at mollyannaband@gmail.com

Imagine you can record an album with any producer, dead or alive in a studio of your choice. Who would be on your record?

Bernadette Dales: (laughing) Tupac!

The sleeve to “Playing Dead” single.

“Archaeology” will come out on November 1st 2019 and is promoted by two singles: “Bleach” and “Playing Dead”. The band is often described as “alternative rock” but you will find MOLLYANNA to be so much more than your average “female – fronted” rock act. For starters Bernadette`s voice range is absolutely incredible – from a whisper and delicate, nearly ethereal vocals to proper screams. The band is not far behind her with powerful riffs ranging from psychedelia to grunge and match rock. There is something in MOLLYANNA that reminds us of Soeur, or to aim much higher – of Veruca Salt and ExHex. There are melodic lines that could make Sleater Kinney jealous and lyrics that would make Mary Timony or Kristin Hersh proud.

If not this record, then the next will take MOLLYANNA from your local venues to Maida Vale for a session. If we don’t hear them on BBC 1 Rock Show in the new year we will eat a bowl of hot chilli sauce. It’s a promise.

Actually, we will do what Daniel P. Carter once said on air:  hey labels– sign this band. You can thank us later.

 

You can follow Mollyanna on their socials at:

https://www.facebook.com/mollyannaband/
http://mollyannaband.com/
https://www.instagram.com/mollyannaband/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPu-pyDWaTucmkplcZvW6AQ

That`s all from us read readers. As usual – if you dig the music, go and see the band or support them in any way you can.

We will be back with more bangers.

Mal+Rita

Indieterria Review – The Blinders at Leffingeleuren Festival

Dear Readers, 

Throughout the summer months, we tried to cover as many festivals as possible, where the Blinders made an appearance. We have attended several events ourselves and in many cases, we have teamed up with our special correspondents. Hopefully, this allowed fans to enjoy the experience and feel “as they were there” in person.

Having spent several weeks in Belgium, we were lucky to see the band perform at Kliko Festival, Valkhof Festival and recently at Leffingeleuren. It was a great pleasure to see the trio spread their wings on completely unchartered territory. Leaving dedicated fan base hundreds of miles away and facing the unknown can be a scary but exciting opportunity. We can tell you straight away that the band returned home with shields in their hands. If you are looking for a short description then, it was a triumph of an European tour, no doubt about it.

Leffingeleuren Festival is a respected event that has been going on for 40 years. It is not the biggest music festival around, but has the opinion of “quality over quantity”. Only the best selected acts are invited each year and if a band makes the bill, it is universally acknowledged that the music industry in Belgium has taken notice. The Blinders played quite an early slot on Saturday, 14th of September (3:30 pm) but their gig was packed so tight that many didn’t make it into the Zaal De Zwerver, the biggest stage of the festival.

Digital polaroids from the performance

Zaal De Zwerver has the capacity of 750 and is a state of the art musical venue. It has everything a venue should have – a perfect sound system, massive entrances on both sides with a wheelchair slopes, a cloakroom, merch tables, an outside and inside bar, a balcony, large and secure floor and clean toilets with onsite cleaning crew! You will never run out of toilet paper even if there are 13.000 visitors walking around. There is a separate loading bay with its own dedicated street at the back of the venue and secured car park for tour buses, artists changing rooms etc. It’s nearly 10 years old but it looks like it was built yesterday. If we tell you that it has been funded by ERDF grants courtesy of  European Union, it will sound like a political statement, and it kinda is (Bollocks to Brexit). Thinking of our beloved, threatened and underfunded venues back home, we felt a bit jealous. Maybe one day, one can dream and hope for the best.

As usual, the Blinders arrived on stage with the sirens blazing and blinding lights. First thing that we noticed was lead singer Thomas Haywood wore his iconic “Johnny Dream” make up in a different way, which was a surprise. Instead of having the war paint smeared down from his eyes onto his neck and chest, the black paint created Adam Ant-like line across his face. They started off with “Gotta Get Through” and almost immediately merged into “40 Days & 40 Nights”. “Brave New World” followed and the room was dancing and bouncing up and down. If new fans didn’t notice anything, we have seen The Blinders so many times live to quickly realize that there was something going on, which was not right. Thomas’ voice, although clear and raspy, was breaking down at times. During “Free the Slaves”, he had to resort to a whisper, skipping several lines to take a deep breath and to continue. “ICB Blues” and “Something Wicked” gave him a bit of  a respite from shouting but he looked irritated and greeted the crowd with bare minimum of words. His frustration grew further when he was unable to play his guitar at the beginning of “L’Etat C’Est Moi” and he signalled his irritation to Charlie and Matty by raising his hands and shaking his head. Luckily, the third go was a success and the concert continued without any technical  glitches to the end.

A new track “Rage” signalled second part of the show which was stunning. The band played tight and flawlessly, rampaging thorough “Hate Song”, “Rat In A Cage” and  then “Ramona Flowers” that was greeted by a loud cheer from the audience. The ode to Scott Pilgrim came with an extended outro and the rhythm section showed what the band was capable of. Matty is known for keeping an intense gaze throughout the performance but this time his stare was as powerful as the deafening beat. Charlie whirled like a force of nature from left to right, using his bass as it was a machine gun he was about to shoot into the crowd. A journalist standing next to me sent me a half-frightened/half-amused expression, but kept nodding his head in clear approval of the chaos happening on stage. “Brutus/Et Tu/Berlin Wall” closed the set with 9 minute  cacophony of distorted guitars and powerful drumming. However, after extended “Ramona Flowers”, it became apparent that Thomas was exhausted. He was completely covered in sweat, hair wet as he had taken a dive into a pool, shirt drenched. At some point, he clung to the microphone stand, with his head lowered for more than a minute, alarming Tom Castrey of Saytr Play (a fellow Mancunian band, who supported the Blinders on tour as a tech). He nearly came on stage, but Thomas managed to pick himself up and finish the performance with flying colours. The usual chants of “Down with Big Brother” were replaced with “Long live the European Union” and the band was gone.

It took several days for us to find out the reason why Thomas struggled. A serious infection and tonsillitis forced the band to cancel their performances at Indiestaad in Paradiso (the Netherlands) and Waves Vienna (Austria). They also moved or pulled out of several domestic festival in order to give the lead singer time to fully recover.

Despite the technical glitches and illness, the Blinders played a fantastic show that  brought them universal acclaim and won them many a fan in Europe. As one of the reviewers noticed, they are outgrowing middle size venues. Next stage is large festivals and 1000+ capacity places.

If you haven’t seen them live yet, don’t advertise it, but buy a ticket. Your next chance to see them live will be on the 12th of October at the Alexandra Palace in Manchester (Neighbourhood Festival).

Set List:
“Gotta Get Through”
“40 Days & 40 Nights”
“Brave New World”
“Free The Slave”
“ICB Blues”
“Something Wicked”
“L’Etat C’Est Moi”
“Rage”
“Hate Song”
“Rat In A Cage”
“Ramona Flowers”
“Brutus/Et Tu/Berlin Wall”

Time: 60 minutes
Stage Times: 3:20-4:20 CET
Stage: Zaal De Zwerver

Schedule: 14 September 2019 (Saturday)

Saturday schedule

 

 

Media Reviews:

“As with every festival, you had to make some hard choices to see all your favourite artists, but with such a good line up and fine weather, in the end it was a great day. Our highlights included seeing The Blinders, Crows, The Germans, Mystic Braves and Willy Organ” – Niels Bruwier for Dansende Beren
https://www.dansendeberen.be/2019/09/10/tien-acts-om-te-ontdekken-op-leffingeleuren-2019/

“The Blinders played a tight set dressed in black and full suits. Their influences come from early Arctic Monkeys but you can hear the echoes of Queens Of The Stone Age in the distance as well. In short – this is a sharp rock and roll with courage and allure. They display the right attitude on stage that enhances their performance. There was a nice balance between slower and faster songs, allowing some respite for the audience, but it has to be noted that each of the ‘softer’ compositions has an edge and dark aggression lurking in the music. The band is changing on stage right before your eyes – sometimes they are melodic, sometimes they are fury and a storm of angry riffs with a lot of tempo changes. The Manchester based trio are not overly innovative but they play convincingly and with precision. You can tell they are on the brink of breaking through outside of their native Great Britain. Fans of dark indie rock can add a new group to their must-see list now”- Niels Bruwier for Dansende Beren
https://www.dansendeberen.be/2019/09/15/leffingeleuren-2019-dag-2-niets-meer-aan-te-doen/

“An early party, why not? We saw The Blinders playing at Zaal de Zwerver. This  Manchester based, British trio bring great punk rock supplemented by psychedelic poetry. They released their debut album only last year and toured a lot. And it shows as they are definitely the stage creatures. They remind us of The Stooges with influences from Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. The band played ‘L’Etat C’Est Moi’, ‘Gotta Get Through’, ‘Rage’ and their latest single, Rat in A Cage’. The closing number ‘Brutus’ was a nearly 10-minute ode to rock and roll, clearly inspired by Jim Morrison. It consists of three shorter parts entitled ‘Brutus’, ‘Et Tu’ and ‘Berlin Wall’. Talking about Brutus – it was a lucky coincidence that a Belgian band with the same name was to perform later in the day. As for the Blinders, seeing them live is highly recommended” – Trees Rommelaere for Luminous Dash blog
https://luminousdash.be/festival/leffingeleuren-dag-2-14-09-2019/
https://luminousdash.be/category/live/fotos/page/3/ (photos)

Daily newspaper “Het Nieuwsblad” publishing an article on Monday 15.09.2019 with a picture of The Blinders taken by Trees Rommelaere

“The Blinders played a solid rock show and they have a good singer (and guitarist) whose singing style is a reminiscent of Jim Morrison. Musically they are a cross between Stone Temple Pilots and Rollins Band in one moment then Nirvana and Jeff Beck in another. Their composition ‘Hate song’ draws inspiration from Joy Division. It was a good performance by an experienced band”- Koen Asaert for Snooze Control zine
http://www.snoozecontrol.be/reviews/8725/

“We were immediately blown away thanks to The Blinders. Old-fashioned rock/punk with a great stage presence. We hear influences from Queens of the Stone Age and Arctic Monkeys, the singer reminds us a bit of Alice Cooper because of his make-up. Their music is excellent. Those three Mancunian lads were a nice opener if you ask us” – Pieter Bouckhout for Brothers in Raw 
https://www.brothersinraw.com/single-post/2019/09/15/Festivalverslag-Leffingeleuren-2019-op-zaterdag

“What a great thing to see a band giving their best at half past three in the afternoon! The Blinders put their most powerful songs – ‘Gotta Get Through’ and ‘Brave New World’ at the beginning of their set and it brought a lot of crowd into the Great Hall. The British trio plays a certain type of rock music that many bands had attempted to play in the past before them, yet the charisma of Thomas Haywood, the lead singer and the threatening structure of their songs, make them stand out from the rest. They presented quite a show at Leffinge Festival. Are we going to see them playing much larger venues soon?” – Christophe Demunter for DA Music Magazine
https://damusic.be/live/leffingeleuren-dag-2–geen-wafels-wel-tiengangenmenu-4143.html

 

Videos:

“Something Wicked” and “L’Etat C’Est Moi”

“Rage”

“Free the Slave” and “ICB Blues”

“Gotta Get Through” and “40 Days & 40 Nights”

“Brutus/Et Tu/Berlin Wall”

After Movie. You can see Charlie (and Matty in the background) rocking on stage at 1:27 minute mark:

Leffingeleuren 2019 – Aftermovie

Festival socials:

Artist profile:
https://www.leffingeleurenfestival.be/the-blinders

https://www.leffingeleurenfestival.be/
https://www.facebook.com/leffingeleurenfestival/
https://www.instagram.com/leffingeleuren
https://twitter.com/Leffingeleuren
https://www.youtube.com/user/leffingeleuren
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5Ps6BGwRGgTB4rgCBlCX23?si=MLLXCxAfQe2QQujjMwtOZg (official playlist features “ICB Blues” and “Brave New World”)

Gallery:

 

Other galleries:
http://www.enola.be/2019/09/15/the-blinders/ (takes a while to open)
https://www.festivalinfo.nl/artist/123571/The_Blinders/
https://www.facebook.com/pg/EyesWideShutterSpeed/photos/?tab=album&album_id=3048425591897109&ref=page_internal
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10220769307886363&set=a.10202921019010296&type=3&theater
https://www.facebook.com/pg/leffingeleurenfestival/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10156619991731824
https://www.facebook.com/pg/concertpixtrees/photos/?tab=album&album_id=911287822580567
https://www.facebook.com/pg/karenvandenberghefotografie/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1147366568797364
https://www.facebook.com/pg/Alex-Vanhee-Photography-212472195507965/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2459878137434015

Although we could only attend for a single day (Saturday), it was a fantastic, small and family-orientated festival that it’s worth visiting. They do not have the massive stars other festivals have, but this is not a bad thing. We actually liked their alternative attitude – the organizers are booking bands they personally like and the line up is varied. We have seen Brazilian samba rockers, Belgium’s raising stars (pop, dance and hard rock) and international artists of great esteem.  Also, we have had a word with the festival volunteers and we were told that organizers put a huge emphasis on having artists of colour and female  musicians on the bill. This is greatly appreciated and many UK festivals could learn a thing or two from them. It is possible to have 50-50 male to female artist ratio and to give females a prominent positions on posters.

In short, well done!

We will post a longer review shortly so please pop in a bit later.

Till then,
Rita and Malicia

PS. Rita would like to thank Trees Rommelaere and Luk Dufait for their assistance and rock and roll moments we shared in the pit. Dank je!

Indeterria meets Elly Bailey

Dear Readers,

Vanadian Avenue is on a mission to shed a light at the girls in the music indystry. We call it “The Girls Who Can” and we try to introduce you to the amazing women who makes things happen. They write, they book, they build stages, run lights, think of marketing campaings, sell tees and tickets at the doors. They are reps and managers, promoters, bookers and everything inbetween. Yet, despite doing a stellar job, having successful careers, they not always receive a fair share of attention and recognition. And we want to change that.

After speaking to Sahera Walker in May this year, we now had the pleasure to sit down with Elly Bailey, a photographer and journalist extraordinaire to discuss recent opportunities for women, her brand new photo-zine Why Generation? and photographic equipment. Please read on (and share) and Elly raised several  very important points in her interview and gives a sound advice to all young girls thinking of entering the business professionally.

Photographer, journalist, promoter and a writer – that’s a very impressive resume for a 22 year old. Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria. Every career has to start somewhere.

Elly Bailey: Thank you! My name is Elly Bailey, I live in London. As you said, I am a photographer and journalist, mainly focusing on music. I write for sites such as The Zine, Gigslutz and This Feeling. I starting taking photos in 2016, originally shooting on film and then in 2018 I moved onto DSLR or digital photography.

 Tell us what inspired you to chose this particular career path? Was it a certain gig you attended or an album you listened to? Or maybe something completely different?

Elly Bailey: I attended the Academy of Contemporary Music, studying Music Business. ‘I think it was being surrounded by so many musicians and also attending so many of my friends gigs that made me want to start taking photos. I’ve always been very into documenting everything I do (I currently have over 29,000 photos on my phones camera roll!) and it was great to be able to document doing what I love best, e.g. attending gigs.

Elly at work

Music business is very male orientated but recently the tide is turning and women are getting noticed and praised for their contribution. There are also more opportunities for young females who want to enter the music business professionally. Last year you took part in the Music Venue Trust and PRS “Fightback Grassroots Promoter” for women. In your opinion, how important are schemes like this? Do they offer any real chance to learn the skills needed in this industry?

Elly Bailey: Taking part in the MVT and PRS venue fight back scheme was amazing as it gave young women the opportunity to put on their own live music event without having to worry about the money, as the scheme completely covered any costs, such as hiring the venue or equipment. I think schemes like this are incredibly important as they help to give young women the confidence boost they may need to take that first step into the music industry and also helps to give them hands on experience whilst making sure that they will be successful.

As a journalist you have worked for the popular GigSlutz website, The Zine and you run your own Youtube channel. If you could offer a piece of advice for girls who would like to follow in your footsteps, what would that be?

The cover of first issue of Why Generation zine

Elly Bailey: Websites such as Gigslutz, The Zine and many others are always looking for writers, so if you’re interested then just email away and ask! Taking that first step towards doing what you want to do can always seem incredibly daunting, but once you’ve done it, then that’s it, you’re on your way! Also everyone I’ve ever worked with have all been so lovely, which makes it so much easier to talk and network with people and find new work.

2019 is a ground breaking year. You have covered Wilkestock and Reading Festivals, interviewed The Sherlocks, False Heads, Sleaford Mods among others, reviewed high profile events such as This Feeling tours. What was the best gig you have seen so far?

Elly Bailey: This has definitely been a crazy year for me, so far I’ve somehow managing to attend 11 festivals, and still have more to go! I was feeling pretty low at the beginning of the year and also got pretty sick, so seeing FIDLAR at House Of Vans at the beginning on February was the perfect cheer up for me, seeing one of my favourite bands in such an intimate setting was the best. Festival wise, The Great Escape was so much fun, I discovered so many new bands that weekend. Also Download Festival was just non-stop laughter from beginning to end, the bands were amazing and the weather was horrendous and we had a sick time! And of course Truck Festival, my hometown festival, was a lovely weekend, surrounded by so many friends, I think we all really enjoyed it.

We need to ask about your new enterprise – a photo zine called Why Generation? You have teamed up with three other female journalists and photographers to create it. Tell us more about it. How did this idea come to be? Who are your co-workers? Is Why Generation a single issue release or are you planning to turn it into monthly/bimonthly magazine? Are you planning to keep it in this format or extend it to contain reviews and interviews in the future?

Why Generation editorial team

Elly Bailey: After I got home from Truck Festival, I went to an exhibition by Nan Goldin at the Tate Modern and saw that she started off making photo-books of her work and decided that I wanted to do something similar. I decided to stick with film photography to give the zine more of a niche and also felt that I have some great 35mm photos that I wanted to print. I contacted the other three photographers, slightly on a whim, and after the positive responses I got from them on the idea, I just jumped in head first and decided to just got for it!

When I first made the zine I wasn’t sure where it was going to go but I know now that I would like to do another issue with articles alongside the photos this time, and also potentially create my own website. After years of working for other people, it’s been great and also slightly scary to be completely in charge of what I’m doing, so who knows what will happen!

There is a launch party scheduled for 23rd of September to celebrate the release of Why Generation. Who is playing and what can we expect? Are tickets still available?

Why Generation? Event launch poster

Elly Bailey: Yes! It’s a free entry gig on 23rd September at The Monarch with three amazing bands playing: Ric, SPIT and Scary Lemons. Each are guaranteed to put on an amazing show. It’s definitely going to be something to liven up your Monday evening.

The famous last question – let’s imagine you can get your dream photography kit absolutely for free. What equipment is going into your shopping basket?

Elly Bailey: I do love my camera and have managed to get so many great photos out of it, but I will be the first to admit it’s nowhere near the best model on the market. With shooting gigs, you’re not allowed to use flash photography in bigger venues or at festivals, so you need a camera that lets in a lot of light, and annoyingly the best cameras for this are the more expensive ones, so one of those would definitely be going into my shopping basket.

Also a lens with a better zoom would be amazing, I’ve done a lot of standing on my tip-toes trying to get closer to the artist playing to make up for my lack of zoom.

You can follow Elly online:
https://www.facebook.com/EllyBaileyPhotography
https://www.instagram.com/elly_bailey_
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000978271449

Buy copy of Why Generation? online:
https://www.ellybailey.com/product-page/why-generation-zine

Contact: ellybailey27@gmail.com​

Why Generation? Event:
Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/235155047375183/
Doors: 8 PM – 11:30 PM
Admission: Free Entry
Address:
The Monarch, 40-42 Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8BG London, United Kingdom

Stage times:
Ric – 8:30pm
SPIT – 9:15pm
Scary Lemons – 10:15pm

Big thank you’s to Elly for answering the questions and if you are attending the event tonight, please send us your pictures or videos. We will gladly update the entry with your snaps!

Support your scene and have fun!
Rita and Malicia