Indieterria Review – Membranes and guests at Manchester Ritz

The Membranes, HENGE, Queen Zee, LIINES, The Pack (Theatre Of Hate) and Glove
Saturday, June 8, 2019
O2 Ritz, Manchester

Membranes fans are probably the most patient fans in the world. It took four long years for the band to return with the follow up to their excellent “Dark Matter/Dark Energy ” album. The new release entitled “What Nature Gives…Nature Takes Away” was finally released on the 7th of June and to commemorate this occasion, John Robb  & Co, booked a home-coming gig. They didn’t invite just one or two support acts. Instead, they have brought a full mini festival to the O2 Ritz.

Glove, a duo consisting of artists Slosilver and Stephanie Finegan opened the night with their energetic set. Many bands are called the next big thing, but Glove definitely deserve this title. Both artists were true firecrackers on stage. Matching outfits and colourful make up only added up to their appeal, but it was their music that made a huge impression on everyone. It’s very hard to classify their sound: there is punk rock, ska, indie, elements of grrlpower movement from the 90’s. From several styles, they create an unique combination that is truly their own. Gloves released their debut EP on May 4th and we had the pleasure of listening to it in its entirety.

 

 

The Pack (Theatre of Hate) were next on stage and their classic, uncompromising punk rock was greeted with delight by the public and massive moshpit formed to test the bouncy floor at the Ritz. I was equally delighted to see many young faces in the crowd wearing fan hawks and studded jackets. Indeed, punk’s not dead. Watching the band from the press pit (for the first time in my life) gives the reviewer a bit of a different perspective and at the same time I can tick this off my bucket list. Press review? Done! Light and sound at the Roskilde festival for the Sweedish death band band? Done! Taking pictures in the pit? Done as well! In the end, my pictures turned not very good and I had to rely on my pit partner in crime, Neil Winward. He kindly donated several excellent shoots of his own for this reviw and I’m very grateful!

You can follow Neil’s photography page at: https://www.facebook.com/neilwinwardphotography/

 

Added at the 11th hour, all female group, the LIINES are going from strength to strength. The band consists of  Zoe McVeigh (vocals, guitar), Tamsin Middleton (bass) and Leila O’Sullivan (drums). On Saturday, they played their best show yet. If you haven’t seen them live, you are committing a crime. Loud, bold and perfect in every detail, the trio easily proved that they are a force to be reckoned with. Their next gig in Manchester will take place on 17th of July at Festival Square, so book your seat in the front row!

 

I was looking forward to seeing Queen Zee for months after reading enthusiastic reviews on the internet and I wasn’t disappointed. Queen arrived in a blaze of glory and red light. Their set was built on powerful riffs, glam rock extravaganza and endless energy. There was a good deal of tongue-in-cheek humour between the songs that brightened the seriousness of their lyrics. My only complaint? Their show was too short and demands for “one more song” saw the band off stage and into the green room.

 

Next act, HENGE were something out of this world. Literally. They didn’t even pretend to be human. In fact, they travelled the universe in the name of rave to teach mankind to love, dance and take care of trees. The lead singer, Zhor wore a cape, voice modulator and plasma ball hat. The rest of the band consisted of  Grok, a human synthesiser player, Nom, the frog drummer and Goo, Venusian refugee on the keyboard. Henge are definitively a party band serving a convincingly alien mixture of rave, ABBA inspired disco, psychedelic rock with some heavy use of cowbell in certain songs. Despite their weirdness, everyone loved them and their merch stand welcomed a large crowd after the gig.

 

The final act for the night, the Membranes were greeted by a massive cheer from the gig goers when they finally appeared on the scene around 20:30 pm. As promised, the band were accompanied by a 10 piece BIMM Manchester choir conducted by Claire Pilling. I have seen Membranes play at the Alphabet Brewery in December 2018 and I thought they were excellent back then, but they sounded and looked even better now. They were like a fantastically oiled machine: well tuned in, strong and surprising. The show started with ” The Universe Explodes Into A Billion Photons Of Pure White Light”, followed by “Dark Energy” and “Do the Supernova” that sent the audience into a frenzied pogo. The new album was also well represented with “A Strange Perfume”, “Black Is the Colour” and the title track “What Nature Gives… Nature Takes Away”. It was one of the best gigs (or mini festivals) I have attended this year and the next show better be earth-shattering as the bar has been set very high indeed.

 

Vanadian Avenue would like to thank The Membranes and John Robb, Claire Pilling and the rest of the Manchester punk community for the opportunity to film and review the gig and for the great time they offered. A big thank you to Neil Winward for his pictures and to Shauna McLarnon from Shameless Promotion for her kind words and assistance. Thank you so much!

Special shout out to the lovely people from AF gang (IDLES community) who took me under their wings. All is love!

Rita Dabrowicz

Indieteria introduce The Festival Season

Dear artists!

Ever year, around November, applications for summer festivals are being opened and we receive a lot of questions regarding them. Where can we find them? How to look for them?  How long are they open? – are the most common questions. We work with a large group of unsigned and signed artists and we inform them about each opportunity as they arrive. But keeping an eye out and a hand on the pulse can be very hard when you are juggling daily work, music career and family life. This post has been months in the making. We were debating how to make it easier for unsigned bands to apply for festivals and in the beginning, we we were posting links on our Facebook Page.

Few days ago, Malicia had an eureka moment and we decided to gather all links into one big database and post it on our blog.

So here there are! Go crazy and apply to as many as you want – just note that they might close at any moment! Be quick, or be late!

UK Festivals (aka Domestic)

TRUCK FESTIVAL
26-28 July 2019, Oxfordshire
https://truckfestival.com/contact/band-app/

Blackthorn Music Festival
19 – 21 July 2019, Stockport
http://www.blackthornmusicfestival.co.uk/apply

Isle of Wight Festival
13-16 July 2019, Newport, Isle of Wight
New Blood competition is organised by London Based agency Hot Vox
https://hotvox.co.uk/isle-wight-festival
Application:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc9rMAhdsT6uD-hrgnglcfd3_o-h1S_DKvm_AobYfu1-Xyzqw/viewform

Boardmasters Festival
7 – 11 August 2019, Newquay
https://marcatoapp.com/forms/19-boardmasters/applytoplayboardmasters19

Electric Fields Festival
4-6 July 2019, Drumlanrig Castle, Thornhill
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfVJaaobAy_pByBQ6HOWmsKzcSXgF1AALdszfCT1aPoVLWtGA/viewform

Merthyr Rising
24- 26 May 2019, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales
http://www.merthyrrising.uk/news_post/rising-rebels-2019
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeGXqGdfvR62jwEPinYyeyXPhlTQaqyEuzqsfOMzhAVufo6ag/viewform

Camden Rocks Festival
1-2 June 2019, London
https://camdenrocksfestival.com/band-submission/

Nozstock The Hidden Valley
18-21 July, Bromyard
https://applications.eventree.co.uk/apply/index/id/1164

Green Man Festival
15 – 18 August 2019, Crickhowell
Send a Soundcloud link to artists@greenman.net
Or use this link below: https://www.greenman.net/rising/

Live at Leeds – 4 May 2019, Leeds
Slam Dunk Festival – 25 May 2019, Leeds – both festivals belong to Future Sounds Group
Music Submissions: sally@futuresoundgroup.com
Live in Leeds: https://www.musicglue.com/live-at-leeds-2019/

110 Above Festival
2-4 August, Gopsall Hall Farm, Leicestershire
Artist applications: Artists@110above.com
https://www.110above.com/information

2000 Trees Festival
11 – 13 July 2019, Upcote Farm, Withington
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2000treesBandApp

Nibley Festival
5 -6 July 2019, North Nibley Cotswolds
https://nibleyfestival.co.uk/info/band-contact/

HoyFest
4 October 2019, Cardiff, Wales
https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=DQSIkWdsW0yxEjajBLZtrQAAAAAAAAAAAAZAAOQHyZtUNElLREg5S1FPRldBUTMwUEFNM05EUzNDWC4u

Hanwell Hootie
11 May 2019 London
https://www.musicglue.com/hanwell-hootie-2019/

Victorius Festival
23-25 August Southsea, Portsmouth
https://www.victoriousfestival.co.uk/contacts/

Cornbury Festival
5 -7 July 2019, The Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire
https://www.cornburyfestival.com/contact-us
Apply to Play
Send your short clip or link to mail@cornburyfestival.com

Farm Festival
25 – 27 July 2019, Somerset
http://farmfestival.co.uk/bands-and-djs/
Send your music to  music@farmfestival.co.uk

Standon Calling
25-27 July 2019, Standon, Hertfordshire
Application will open soon:
https://standon-calling.com/get-involved/band-submissions/

Are You Listening? Festival
27 April 2019, Reading
http://areyoulistening.org.uk/tickets
Bands interested in playing at the festival, please email the organizers at dave@heavypop.co.uk and include a link to your music and a paragraph of background info.

XPO North
3-4 July 2019, Iverness, Scotland
https://xponorth.co.uk/submissions/music/

Bushstock 
15 June 2019, London, Shepherd’s Bush
https://www.bushstock.co.uk/apply-to-play

Live in Chester
4-7 July 2019, Chester
https://www.musicglue.com/chester-live-2019/apply-to-play

Black Deer Festival (Americana and Country/Blues)
21 – 23 June 2019 Eridge Park, Kent 
https://blackdeerfestival.com/news/play-at-black-deer/

Tiree Music Festival
12-14 July, Tiree Island, Scotland
https://tireemusicfestival.co.uk/artist-submissions/

BrainChild Festival
12-14 July 2019, East Sussex
Applications close on 15th of March so please hurry up!
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScV0oA54dH68Ucv8t-OD4lt9LF0xAIKRLPGXgtqAy9rIyguww/viewform

The Long Road Festival
6-8 September 2019, Stanford Hall Leicestershire (Americana and Roots)
https://www.thelongroad.com/news/artist-registration-long-road-2019-now-open/

Festivals Abroad (aka Away)

If your band is looking to travel outside of the UK or move to the next level of their career, participating in an international gigs is a no brainer.  We receive a lot of questions how to book a show in the EU or even in the USA, and there is no straight answer to this question. The best way is always to hire a professional booker, but those companies can ask for 20%-30% of your earnings per gig to cover their costs. Some bands book their own shows by contacting venues or local promoters in each country and sort out their own travels and housing arrangements. This can be costly and we do not recommend sleeping in your vans. This 1980’s approach may be working in certain cases but is draining and can be destructive. With AirBnB and hotel deals easily available on your mobile phones, it is much wiser to book the tour properly. But we digress. There is also another way, maybe a bit trickier and not as successful but you can look for open applications online. There are plenty out there and they do work as many DIY artists we spoke to booked their performances this way. Some applications can be paid (around £15-20), but the amounts are tiny when compared to what can be gained. A festival slot for a price of two burgers and a soda? Bargain!

The hardest part is always the beginning – musicians do not know where to go. We recommend speaking to your friends and networking with other bands, promoters or record labels. If you have nobody to help you, check the social media pages of artists that inspire you and find out where they will play that season or where they go on tour. Write down each venue, festival or event along with the dates and visit their official websites. Look for Contact, Apply, Submission or FAQ sections to find out if they offer open applications. You can also email the organisers or give them a call. Check social media for each event, applications are  also advertised on Facebook or on Twitter. Sign up for newsletters so you don’t miss deadlines or important news.

Some very useful pages that will help you to start looking:

We have made it a bit easier for you and  below you will find some of the current openings. But please hurry up, the applications stay open for short period of time and if you are late, then you will have to wait a full year to apply again.

SeaSessions Festival 
21-23 of June 2019, Donegal Ireland
Artists/Bands looking to play – bands@seasessions.com
https://seasessions.com/contact/


Rise Festival
14 – 21 December 2019, Les 2 Alps Resort, France
Contact email for artists: hello@risefestival.co.uk

Hopscotch Music Fest
5-7 September 2019 Raleigh North Carolina, US
Applications for artists:
https://podio.com/webforms/22266458/1564667

Live At Heart
4 – 7 September 2019, Orebro Sweden
Application: http://liveatheart.se/applications/

Sweden Rock (application for 2020)
Sölvesborg, Sweden
https://www.swedenrock.com/en/festival/artists/band-applications-2020

Joshua Tree Music Festival
The Joshua Tree Lake Campground, Joshua Tree, CA, US
Artists can apply for three annual festivals at the site here:
https://www.joshuatreemusicfestival.com/artists
or file application at
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1F715iwSjmCTioym1-QhYN3yGl1yMwTvzrR8Qw5m2UCw/viewform?edit_requested=true

Reeperbahn Festival
 
18-21 September 2019, Hamburg, Germany
https://www.reeperbahnfestival.com/en/info/band-application
https://www.reeperbahnfestival.com/en/reeperbahnfestival/band-application/band-application

Enjoy the links and hopefully the summer festival season will be kind to you.
Best  wishes,
R+M

Indieterria Review – The Blinders at Thekla in Bristol

Event poster at Thekla

Gum Soul, White Room, The Blinders 
Thekla
Bristol
11/11/2018

11th of November 2018 was surely a day to remember. At that time each year, we celebrate National Independence Day in Poland and The Remembrance Day in the UK. This time however, for music fans, it was also the last day of the Blinders’ October/November tour supporting their debut album “Columbia”. Jokingly nicknamed “The Last Battle of Bristol” this date was hugely anticipated for several reasons. The Blinders haven’t played Bristol since their This Feeling days (February 2017 at The Stag & Hounds) and in the interviews, the band was adamant that the Johnny Dream and The Codeine Scene personas will be permanently gone. Expecting a bloody send off, fans quickly  grabbed offered tickets. The gig was not a sold out event but not many tickets remained at the door and it is safe to say that Thekla was nicely packed.  We arrived around 6:30 pm as the doors opened and we had to stand in a long queue to get inside. If you have to wait for the admission, it is a good sign that the concert will be a success.

The venue from the outside

It is a common knowledge that Thekla is one of the most unusual venues in the country. It is actually a real boat turned into music venue and when you see it for the first time, it can look really strange. Not Upside-Down strange, just strangely strange if you know what we mean. Yet, you quickly start appreciating the facilities they have: two bars (one long on the ground floor and one upstairs), upper deck with quiet seating section and a balcony, large toilets, bands quarters, rehearsal rooms, cloakroom and a large secured smoking area in the back. There is also an outside sitting area on the main deck that must be really pleasant in the summer, but it was too cold for us to go there although some locals were brave enough to sit there with cold drinks wearing nothing but shorts and a vest. To each their own as the song goes…

Johnny Dream poster exhibited at the lower bar

Better shot of the same poster – this is how A0 format looks like. Its huge!

The view of lower deck as seen from the upper bar

After leaving our bags and jackets in the cloakroom, we entered the main concert space with large scene and merch stands on the left. Previous reviews mentioned already that The Blinders selection was much smaller than on previous gigs but there is no reason to complain about it. The band sold out their vinyl records, CD’s and most of their tees and we were really happy to hear their tour manager repeating himself saying “Sorry, this is our last date, we are sold out!”. We wish all the bands we have seen this year could say the same. There were many signed posters and badges for fans to grab so nobody left the shop empty handed.

The Lower Bar

The door to the green room

Stage times

On the evening, The Blinders were supported by two bands: Gum Soul and The White Room who replaced Calva Louise for the second leg of the tour. We haven’t seen any of them playing live before, so we were looking forward to their performances, especially after reading very enthusiastic reviews. Gum Soul were the first ones to hit the stage, some 45 minutes after we arrived. Their music can be classified as college rock/grunge that is fused with typical British indie. This is a very good mix and the band played a proper, strong 30 minute set. We had a chance to quickly speak with them after their show and we learnt that they are based in Bath but they play regularly in Bristol and managed to develop a healthy fan following. It was visible as once they started playing, the first few rows were populated by their fans who knew lyrics to each of the five songs they played (“Empty Room”, “Sour”, “In & Out”, “Scratch Ignorance” and “The Knees”). We liked “Sour” the most – it is their leading single and a very good track to play live. Gum Soul have formed only in February this year, but they seem to already have a distinctive sound and they know which direction they want to go. We will be keeping an eye on them in 2019 as the band is promising new material. If you have a chance to see them play locally, please do.

The White Room are described as a psychedelic pop, a marriage of convenience between The Sparks and early David Bowie, with art rock and shoe gaze influences. They are a five piece from Brighton, known for their flamboyant sense of fashion (Simon Le Bon meets David Byrne) and stage theatrics. Their lead singer, Jake Smallwood is very charismatic and he knows how to be in the centre of attention. He grabs the microphone with both hands, walks to the edge of the scene and pushes himself as far into the audience as possible, sometimes singing mere centimetres from the gig goers’ faces. This literal, in-your-face approach, seems to be working like a charm – the girls are mesmerized, the blokes are stretching their hands to pat him on his back and shoulders. With his platinum blonde hair and  jade green shirts, Jake looks more like an actor than a musician but oh boy he can sing. His voice is crystal clear and again balances somewhere between Bowie, Le Bon and Mark Hollis. Except for Smallwood, the rest of the band comprises of Jacob Newman on guitar, Tristan Sava on keyboard, Hen Sava on drums and Josie McNamarra on bass. They have just released their double EP “Eight” and we had the pleasure of hearing all the best tracks from it: “Tomorrow Always Knew”, “Circles”, “Stole the I.V.” and “The Blue”.  The band has been around for nearly two years and they have a large and dedicated fan base. they will be on tour in the late winter/early spring of 2019, so please keep your eyes open as they might come to the (independent) venue close to you.

White Room in action

This band needs to be seen live to understand what an incredible act they are

Just like in Birmingham, once the support acts were gone and the lights dimmed, the atmosphere changed rapidly. With the headliner about to come on the stage, fans grouped tightly on the main floor and on the balcony. In certain moments, the pushing and showing in darkness got so bad that the security had to calm down  some of the most eager of fans. We sadly won’t remember the gig too well as we had to leave after the third song due to medical emergency but it was good to see the band in fantastic shape again. The show started very similar to their London gig, with Gene Wilder’s “Pure Imagination” from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” movie that quickly blended into Columbia style propaganda monologue by Patrick T. Davies. And once the monologue was finished, “Gotta Get Through” smashed our eardrums and sent the crowd into frantic pogo. “Brave New World” followed without break, only to slow down with “Where No Man Comes” and then turn into the poetic declamation of “Free The Slaves”.  We have not seen the rest of the gig but we were told that Thomas Haywood, sat on the floor among the audience singing his mantra “There is no hope” during “Swine”, Charlie McGough battered his bass with intensity not seen previously and Matty Neale nearly broke his drum set with powerful blows. Was it a great send off to Johnny Dream and a proper good bye after 22-day tour? The answer is yes.

Even if it was our first time seeing The Blinders live, those three songs would be enough to turn us into believers. This band is going places, and this is not a secret. This is the truth. They have been predestined for the greatness and they will never settle for anything else.

After all, they’ve got the divine right.

The merch stand

Merch stand

Setlist:

Gotta Get Through
L’etat C’est Moi
Brave New World
Where No Man Comes
Free the Slave
I Can’t Breathe Blues
Swine
Hate Song
Rat In a Cage
Ramona Flowers
Et Tu
Brutus/Berlin Wall
Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)

“Columbia” is available on Modern Sky UK
https://theblindersofficial

The Upper Balcony at Thekla right before The Blinders gig

Audience patiently waiting for the Columbia transmission

****

We often try to photograph and film some part of performance to make sure our review is as close to the experience as possible. It it also to give our readers a chance to see how the event unfolded. Please find below some galleries for your enjoyment.

Photo gallery: Gum Soul


Photo gallery: White Room (soundcheck)


Photo gallery: White Room (performance)

 


Photo gallery: The Blinders

We have been writing extensively about the Blinders on our blog Indieterria, so please have a look if you want to know more.

Introduction to the band:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/07/07/indieterria-presents-the-blinders/
Interview with The Blinders:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/08/24/indieterria-meets-the-blinders/
Columbia review:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/08/30/indieterria-review-columbia-by-the-blinders/
Columbia album performance blog:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/09/21/indieterria-presents-the-columbia-library-archives/
Columbia Tour blog:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/10/15/indieterria-presents-the-columbia-tour/
Beyond Columbia Tour:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/11/16/the-columbia-tour-continues-anno-domini-2019/
The Blinders at Castle and Falcon in Birmingham review:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/10/27/indieterria-review-the-blinders-at-castle-and-falcon-in-birmingham/

Again, our thanks go to the band and the crew for allowing us this extensive coverage.

And we are not done yet! We have seen The Blinders few weeks later in Manchester – so another blog will soon be up. Stay tuned.

Mal+Rita

Indieterria Review – The Blinders at Castle and Falcon in Birmingham

 

Event poster for the gig at Castle and Falcon

Paper Buoys/The Mothers Earth Experiment/Calva Louise/The Blinders
Castle and Falcon
Birmingham
23/10/2018

I was asked a question. A very simple one. Straightforward.

“How was it?”

Thoughts were running wild in my head. I wanted to say so many things and yet I barely could come up with anything. My throat was tight. From shouting and screaming. My head hurt. From head banging and being repeatedly kicked and pushed all over the place in the mosh pit. My body was tired and bruised. I was exhausted.

How can you answer, when a simple, straightforward answer simply does not exist?

Fancy shot of the venue – because the owner of the smart phone felt artsy;)

***

We arrived at The Castle and Falcon a bit late as the traffic in Birmingham was horrendous. Since Paradise Circuit in the city centre has been closed for major works, getting in and out of the Second City during rush hours reminds us of a military operation. You have to jump lanes, watch out for temporary traffic lights located in the strangest of places, swirl and turn and pirouette on narrow lanes like a ballet dancer. Two and a half hours of this mad dance is enough to tire you out before the show even starts. We sadly missed the first support act, a local Brummie gang named Paper Buoys, but at least we can find the solace in the fact that we have seen them open for the Blinders in February this year at the Sunflower Lounge. Maybe next time we will have more luck. Oh well, c’est la vie.

The view of the stage with red banners with Columbia emblem

The second opening act for the night, The Mothers Earth Experiment may also be local but they are well known and respected for their full blown psychedelic sound and mesmerizing stage presence. The sextet is led by vocalist and guitarist Mark Roberts and consist of James Baker (keyboard, backing vocals), Jake Clarke (bass), Reece Greenfield (drums, vocals), Oliver Overton (percussion) and Jackson Younger (guitar). We saw them play for the first time at the Night Owl in Birmingham in August along with our beloved WorcesterWave acts: The Americas and As Mamas and they made a huge impression on us. On stage, Mark Roberts is more of a shamanic priest with a guitar than a musician, his entire body was perfectly tuned to the music. His movements flowed naturally in coherence with the hypnotic rhythm section. Whenever the music stopped, Mark froze in a dramatic pose with his hands raised above his head and eyes open wide (or fully rolled back). Whenever the tempo changed, so did the performance. Blessed with powerful voice, nearly mystical chanting backing vocals and great skills, Mother Earth Experiment are something fresh and an absolute pleasure to watch. They played four tracks off their self-titled debut album released in 2017: “Ignorance”, “Quietus”, “Bliss” and their best known single “Cool Down Mama”. Two of the tracks were nearly 10 minutes each and even that felt like not long enough. It was heartbreaking to hear that this was one of their last concerts together as they decided to go their separate ways. The final performance will take place in Birmingham on 16th of November so if you want to go down in the rock and roll history, grab a ticket now. This will be one of those “I was there” moments worth telling your grandchildren about. We only hope that the remaining members will regroup quickly and return with a brand new, exciting project.

Tickets can be purchased:
https://www.facebook.com/events/385825898623595/
https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Birmingham/104-/The-Mothers-Earth-Experiment—Final-Show-w-High-Horses/13372200/

Mark Robert of The Mothers Earth Experiment

The Mothers Earth Experiment in full swing on the stage

The Mothers Earth Experience is a cult art rock/psychedelia act in West Midlands music scene

After The Mothers Earth Experiment charmed the audience (including the headliner and their entourage), Calva Louise had a difficult task of raising the bar even higher. The London based trio consisting of charismatic singer Jess Allanic, Alizon Taho (bass, backing vocals) and Ben Parker (drums, backing vocals) put up a great, energetic show full of grunge-like fuzzed riffs, sing-along melodies and angry pop beats. We were glad to hear people singing the lyrics to “I heard A Cry” and their BBC 6 Music acclaimed single “Outrageous”. Being the only woman on stage that night, Jess brought all the teenage girls to the front, where they had a proper 30 minute party. It was good to see their faces alight with excitement, watching a woman shred the guitar, shout her heart out and doing a splendid job.  With recent reports saying that nearly half of all new guitar players being females, we need bands (and role models) like Calva Louise more than ever. Their musical style may be very different than that of The Blinders but putting them together on one tour was surprisingly a very good decision. We are looking forward to see Calva Louise in the future on a tour of their own. Maybe with Soeur? Maybe with Estrons or Mercury Prize winners, Wolf Alice? We would love to see the British version of the Lilith Fair tour. It has been long time overdue.

With the Calva Louise set over, the mood inside the venue changed in a matter of seconds. The infectious, melodic vibe evaporated, replaced by nervous anticipation. The crowd thickened, the lights dimmed, voices reduced to a murmur. And once three, dark-clothed silhouettes appeared on stage, you could feel the temperature rising. The beginning was sudden and heavy like a shotgun blast. Bright red lights blinded those nearest the stage but behind our backs, a vortex of bodies erupted. The Blinders started off with “Gotta Get Through” and quickly followed with “L’Etat C’est Moi” and “Brave New World” without any breaks to catch our breath. It has been written and said many times but the band members are extremely skilled musicians. Thomas Haywood can bleed, throw himself on the floor, climb the amplifiers and still play flawlessly. If you have ever seen Luke Griffiths of the False Heads creating his perfect mayhem on stage, giving himself a concussion and still finishing his riffs, then you probably know what we mean. If you have not, then let’s just say that both Griffiths and Haywood are in the league of their own. They could juggle knives and still play their instruments simultaneously. The same can be said of the rhythm section that grinds everything in its path and spits out the splinters behind them. Looking like a young Nick Cave (and always dressed to impress) bassist Charlie McGough delivers thunderous cannonade and drummer, Matty Neale is properly possessed behind his drum kit, hitting the right notes with the speed of light and murderous precision. Such well-developed technical skills are rarely observed in a band that has been playing together for only couple of years. You could easily attribute them to musicians at least decade older.

Thomas Haywood as his stage persona Johnny Dream delivering a sermon to the faithful citizen of Columbia

The Blinders are a rare beast thought and their technical skills only match their song writing abilities. In one moment they can be as brutal as IDLES, driving their audience into frenzied pogo of epic proportions, in another they are delicate, almost lyrical. “Free the Slaves” is actually a poem recited with minimal, Beatles-inspired background music and the slow and dark “Where No Man Comes” showcases maturity in the use of language and metrical composition. Again, it is a common knowledge that the band is inspired by literature and poetry but it still takes you by surprise how well those artistic references are executed. Haywood’s declamation, gestures, half whispered-half screamed monologues are a small masterpiece in itself. It gives the live performance a bit of a theatrical luster and splendour. His charismatic stage persona of Johnny Dream, simple yet striking black make up, make you think of a Shakespearean actor. If he ever gets bored of making music, his next career move could easily take him to the stages of the East End or Broadway.

Charlie McGough performing on stage

Matt Neale – the beating heart of The Blinders

When you think the band would slow down a bit, the drilling beat and punkadelic aesthetics are back and you are thrown back into the mosh pit. “Swine”, “ICB Blues” and “Ramona Flowers” have the public on their knees and the band covered in sweat. The show goes on with people throwing their hands towards the stage, Haywood surfing the crowd and hanging from the ventilation crate on the ceiling, t-shirts being removed, naked bodies slamming into each other in a wild, almost ritualistic manner. And then comes the final push towards sonic destruction that drives everyone insane – 7 minutes of Dionysian thiasus in the form of “Et Tu”, “Berlin Wall” and “Brutus”. Now everything is allowed, everything is fair – hair is flying in every direction, somebody losses both shoes, the brave ones are stage diving, the meek are dancing and hugging each other. The trio gives it all.

The lights are turned off without warning and we all fall silent, waiting in darkness. Is it the end? We can see Charlie and Matty leaving their posts but Thomas is still hunched on the floor, motionless. One of the technicians is passing him a guitar and he raises, completely exhausted, to perform some sort of an encore, one last song of the evening. It is “Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)” a hauntingly beautiful composition penned as a tribute to a friend who took his own life. We can see tears in the eyes of many people as they sing to “dream the most dangerous of dreams” – to be free.

And then we are free. We are free of our worries, free of bad thoughts, politics, and rotten world that surrounds us. We are happy to experience something unique, a magical performance that brought us all together.

The band is now gone but we are still gathered in front of the stage, hugging each other and re-living the last hour. It will take us another 20 minutes to leave.

Charlie and Max Grindle – who helps the band onstage as part of their technical crew. Max is awesome and a proper legend. Here`s to you mate!

The Blinders in their element.

“How was it”?
It was beautiful. Cathartic. Impossible to describe.

If a picture is worth thousand words, maybe next time, a hug will be enough to convey thousands of thoughts and feelings? I truly hope so as I may be speechless again.

See you in two weeks in Bristol.

The merch stand

All the goodies the money can buy!

You will never escape the watching eye!

Setlist:

Gotta Get Through
L’etat C’est Moi
Brave New World
Where No Man Comes
Free the Slave
I Can’t Breathe Blues
Swine
Hate Song
Rat In a Cage
Ramona Flowers
Et Tu
Brutus/Berlin Wall
Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)

“Columbia” is available on Modern Sky UK
https://theblindersofficial.

Shadows play

————————-
Vanadian Avenue would like to thank: The Blinders’ technical crew and their management (for their time), Caffy St Luce (thank you, thank you – you know for what!!), Dizzy Spell of The Zine UK, Christopher Phee of Junior Weeb (happy birthday!), Lee Richardson, Milo Ferreira-Hayes, James Devine and Matt Rawlings of Dead Dads Club (for being the best of friends), Erin and The Cosmics (for being awesome as usual), Mark Roberts and the rest of the Mothers Earth Experiments (you are worth every taxi fare in the world), Calva Louise, Paper Buoys, Mark Stack (for being an awesome companion in the mosh pit), MOSES (for just being there), Becky Bushnell & Daniel Davies (for being absolute sweethearts!), Sonic Gun Concerts with Tom Holloway and Liam Connolly, Patrick and the rest of the Violet and everybody else who bought the tickets and made it such a special evening.

“Never Fight a Man With a Perm” by IDLES and “The Boy With a Bubble Gun” by Tom McRae are especially dedicated to our fellow gig goers.

And first and foremost to those who make the music

 

Erin Grace (The Cosmics), Thomas Haywood (The Blinders) and Chris Phee (Junior Weeb) at the after party

Matt Rawlings and James Devine (Dead Dads Club), Chris Phee (Junior Weeb) and music promoter Mark Stack at the after party

Matt Rawlings (Dead Dads Club) and Malicia Dabrowicz (Vanadian Avenue) with a broken nose…

Take care for now,
Mal+Rita

We thought that we will add some more photos from the night for the enjoyment of our blog readers. We did not manage to film all the bands, so at least two out of four to illustrate what a wild night it was!

Photo gallery: The Mothers Earth Experiment

 

Photo gallery: The Blinders

 

 

We have been writing extensively about the Blinders on our blog Indieterria, so please have a look if you want to know more.

Introduction to the band:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/07/07/indieterria-presents-the-blinders/

Interview with The Blinders:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/08/24/indieterria-meets-the-blinders/

Columbia review:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/08/30/indieterria-review-columbia-by-the-blinders/

Columbia album performance blog:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/09/21/indieterria-presents-the-columbia-library-archives/

Columbia Tour blog:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/10/15/indieterria-presents-the-columbia-tour/

That`s all for now

Mal+Rita

Indieterria meets Dirty Orange

Hello!

Welcome to our the newest chapter of Indieterria. In this edition of our blog we are hosting an act from London that is recognized as one of the brightest stars on the indie circuit in the capital – Dirty Orange. The band comes to Birmingham to play The Victoria on September 28th 2018 as part of their national tour. They will bring three established acts with them: Whitelight, ANOA and Dead Dad`s Club.

If you’d like to learn more about other acts, please see our other blogs:

Dead Dads Club interview: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/06/04/indieterria-meets-dead-dads-club/
“Must be crazy” EP review: https://www.expressandstar.com/entertainment/wyre-forest-entertainment/2018/09/28/dead-dads-club-must-be-crazy-ep—review/
WhiteLight Interview: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/09/25/indieterria-meets-whitelight/
Anoa Interview: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/09/26/indieterria-meets-anoa/

We sat down with Dirty Orange to discuss their musical influences, their beginnings and the London music circuit. Hold onto your chairs and read on:

Dirty Orange
George (guitar & lead vocals)
Scott  (bass)
Connor (drums & backing vocals)
Beno (guitar)

Official bio: Dirty Orange are a four-piece rock band from South West London building a reputation for “in your face, powerful, dance along” live shows. The band released debut EP ‘X.X.X’ in 2017 which has been described as “having that jolting early Arctic Monkey’s sound” by music scene influencers GetIntoThis. The band are touted as ones to watch in 2018 by Jack Rocks & Some Might Say among others

One of the privileges of being a music journalist is that you can interview bands with rare or very unique names. Dirty Orange seems to fall into the “very unique” name category. Quick research helped us to find a bottle of French perfumes called Dirty Orange, an Australian vegan café and a definition from The Urban Dictionary saying that Dirty Orange “can relate to either alluring fragrance with a hint of danger or someone with sweet disposition that displays violent or foul character traits”. What exactly is Dirty Orange according to you guys?

Dirty Orange: That’s brilliant about the French perfume and vegan cafe. But the name came about quite simply because George (vocals and guitar) and Connor (drums) look dirty and Scott (bass) has orange hair !

Live shows are said to be a high energy experiences

Your sound has been described as a perfectly balanced diet of Arctic Monkeys, The Clash, Nirvana and The Libertines. Do you agree with such classification?

Dirty Orange: (laughing) Yeah this list is a huge compliment as those bands are all massive influences on the music we write, but also there are some heavier rock influences on our sound from Motörhead to AC/DC.

You come from South London that is being described as the busiest part of the capital. How do you remember growing up there? Did having an easy access to cultural and artistic events helped you to reach the decision to pursue musical career?

Dirty Orange: Definitely! Growing up with such easy access to central London and famous music venues as well as art galleries has inspired us to pursue and write our music.

Every band started somewhere: at school, at a party, at football practice. Tell us more about your beginning as a group. Where did you meet and when did you know that you wanted to play together?

Dirty Orange: To cut a long story short, Connor, George and Scott all met doing this random summer job at a rugby club in Twickenham packaging season tickets when we were 17. We all got on so well. Connor played in a band at the time, Scott and George were into music but didn’t play. They decided to pick up their instruments a few years later and we bumped into each other on a night out where we decide to start this band and went from there. Fast forward a few years and we decided, we wanted to thicken our live sound by bringing in Beno (guitarist) who Connor went to school with so we managed to convince him up to come shred with us. Simple!

Your newest single is entitled “Hellraiser” and has been called an anthem for the young generation.  It has a very crisp sound and it is skilfully produced. Where did you record it and who is the producer?

Dirty Orange: “Hellraiser” is a massive track and a massive step up in production and fine detail for us. We were luckily enough to work with Wolsey White who has number one albums to his names and plenty of top 10 singles. We recorded the record in various different studios, all with Wolsey of course.

You have been working really hard this summer. You had some sort of a residency at Dingwalls Camden in London with several shows, you played Shindignation Festival, Red Light Sessions at August Bank Holiday Festival, Tramlines Fringe Festival, Hazfest in Kingstone, Venture Festival in Nottingham, The Great Escape Festival in Brighton and several others. And now you are back on the road again. Where do you take your strength from?  Loads of beauty sleep?

Dirty Orange: (laughing loudly) True, it has been a busy summer for us, but we never get tired from playing as it’s what we all love doing in life! We guess, we all have that extra push and energy to be playing, rehearsing and writing as much as possible! We also bounce off each other’s positivity in the band so it’s important we all have a positive mind set before every show/studio session/etc.

On September 28th you will perform in Birmingham with Dead Dad`s Club, Anoa and Whitelight. Are you planning something special for your West Midlands fans?

Dirty Orange: Oh yeah, it is going to be a massive night! It’ll be our first time playing in Birmingham so we can’t wait to see what the music scene is about and show what we got! So will be a special night!

What’s next for the Dirty Orange after the autumn tour? Are you planning to take a well deserved rest or is it back straight to the studio?

Dirty Orange: After the tour we will be taking a few weeks out as Connor is in Nashville doing some serious Dirty Orange networking! As soon as he’s back mid October, we will be writing rehearsing and gigging again. We already have November 30th planned at the Fighting Cocks in Kingston, plus 10th November in Staines with a local band that are good pals of ours.

Dirty Orange – bohemian like you

Last but very important question – if you could support any band active at this moment , whom would you choose and why?

Dirty Orange: Oooooh good question. Any band? That’s a tough question to answer so we will pick one each. For George, it would be Kings of Leon, for Scott it would be Arctic Monkeys, for Beno – Blink 182 and for Connor – Foo Fighters.

Please follow Dirty Orange on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/dirtyorangeband/
https://twitter.com/dirtyorange3
https://www.dirtyorange.co.uk/
https://www.instagram.com/dirtyorangeband/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/3tNGUtOuqPkXN7R4hIat6u?si=KLNW6wnBQFS_OgCtVxnDcw

We hope that you enjoyed this interview and we will be reporting back from the gig.

Ta for now,

Mal+Rita

 

Indieterria meets FAITH

Dear readers!

Thank you so much for your kind reaction to our interview with The Racket! We are truly grateful for all the shares, likes and positive comments, it means a world to us! We hope that you are enjoying the interviews as much as we do preparing them and hopefully, we will see you all at the Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham for a real rock and roll banger on 9th of June!

If you’d like to learn more about the event organized by the wonderful crew at Modern Age Music or read the previous interviews we published, please click on the links below:

Poster for gig at the legendary Sunflower Lounge on 9th June 2018

Event page on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/events/216304582300587/
Organizer: Modern Age Music: www.ModernAgeManagement.com
Interview with As Mamas: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/05/09/indiaterria-meets-as-mamas/
Interview with The Racket: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/indieterria-meets-the-racket/

This interview was done as Birmingham native band FAITH was supposed to support The Racket – however after we did the interview band had to cancel. Still so, Indieterria got hold of McCabe, Jason, Tom and Matty to chat about their second EP (which will be simply called “Two”), the joys of working with long-time friends and returning to stage in their home town. As one of our musical heroes keeps saying, it’s great to be alive and it’s a pleasure to be able to discover new exciting bands.

Let us introduce you to:

FAITH

Jason Payne – Vocals & Lead Guitar
McCabe James – Rhythm/Lead Guitar
Tom Jones – Bass Guitar
Matty Neale – Drums/Percussion

Band`s logo

Official bio: Faith is a Birmingham based quartet consisting of Jason Payne (vocals and lead guitar), McCabe James (rhythm guitar), Tom Jones (bass guitar) and Matty Neale (drums and percussion). Founded in 2015 they draw their influences from The 1975, The Cult and Joy Division.

Within the walls of debut EP “One”, FAITH’s true musical introduction to the world is conjured, with a compelling combination of dark pop layers amongst an attack of strings and a rebellious pulse. Hook-filled melodies sit within hard and heavy beats as songs are laced with intelligent yet angst-filled lyrics which speak to a generation. The synth infused, deep funk underlay adds salt to the wound building up to a unique dirty, metallic dance eruption. Their recent single “Honey” received an extensive airplay on BBC Introducing in West Midland.

Local press sees you as one of the outstanding bands in town on par with The Assist, Karkosa and The Clause. Please introduce the band to the readers of Indieterria.

McCabe James: It will be my pleasure. FAITH is Jason Payne, our lead singer and guitarist. He also plays synth. Well in reality, he just pushes one button on it before each song, that’s all (laughing). Next, we have Matt Neale who plays drums. Tom Jones is on bass and backing vocals. And then there’s me, McCabe. I’m the newest member of the band on guitar and some backing vocals but I’ve known Jason and Matt for years and being in other bands.

Jason Payne: We are a four piece indie pop soon bringing to you an explosive new EP, full of silly guitar riffs and mint combination of drums/bass with an average vocal but great lyrics. That’s how I would describe us (laughs).

Matty Neale: So we’re a bit of everything, you have me Matt Neale on drums always up for a laugh and don’t take life too seriously. Jason Payne vocals can be shy but once you get to know him he is possibly the funniest person I have ever met but he’s an absolute legend and knows how to make your cheeks hurt through laughter and he also writes some banging tunes along the way. Tom Jones plays bass like a boss but also originally came up with sex bomb, it’s not unusual etc. McCabe is cockney what more is there to say apart from he’s mad as a box of frogs but is completely devoted to shredding the guitar and living life to the full. Altogether we are FAITH an original indie pop/rock band from the West Midlands.

Tom Jones: We’re just four lads that enjoy making music and having a laugh while doing it to be fair. Jase is the funniest bastard I’ve ever met and a perfectionist in every sense. McCabe knows his way round a guitar better than I know my way round the pubs in Shrewsbury (that’s well). Matt is a quality drummer and we gel well as the ‘rhythm section’ of the band. And well I just turn up half hour late to everything still pissed and get an alright sound out of a bass I suppose.

Faith ready to unleash new music

You have been praised for your eclectic song writing and compared to The 1975, Joy Division and even to The Cure. But we want to hear what new elements you bring to popular music. What makes you unique?

McCabe James: Thank you. We add a nice mix of different influences that shine through on each song but with a big guitar sound when needed. The new music has definitely progressed from our first EP  – “One”.

Jason Payne: Our old management compared us to all those bands and they don’t really have a clue about music so I wouldn’t listen to that. We`re pretty unique I can’t say we sound like anybody to be fair.

Matty Neale: Our EP Two is unique, it is the best piece of music I’ve ever heard from an unsigned band if I do say so myself. Energetic drum beats with powerful guitar riffs shredding through and catchy lyrics that have meaning. We’re a mix of old and new in one.

Tom Jones: I think we’re unique just because I can’t put my finger on our sound, even more so in the new EP but when I got asked to join I listened to some of the tracks from EP One and couldn’t get where the influences had come from but took an instant liking to the band.

FAITH knows how to have good time. Your interests on social media mentions “parties, females and sunshine”. Imagine you are in charge to plan a weekend away for Robert Smith. Where do you take him and what do you do for two days?

McCabe James: (laughing) This is a good question. We would probably take him to Amsterdam and get on it!

Jayson Payne: Who’s Robert Smith?

Matty Neale: McDonald’s drive through would defo be on the cards and maybe my nan`s.

Tom Jones: I’d take him to The Nag`s Head in Shrewsbury cause it’s the best pub in the world and show him how to down a Guinness.

Despite your young age, you are not debutantes. You have been making a mark on Birmingham scene for about six years now. In 2013, Express and Star called you “an indie band on the road to success”. The same year you played your first show at the O2 Academy. Your songs appeared on Amazing Radio, Black Country radio, BBC Hereford and Worcester, BBC West Midlands and BBC Introducing. You crossed the country on tour, filling out important venues such as Sunflower Longue in Birmingham, Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton and Nambucca in London. This is a very impressive CV indeed.

McCabe James: Thank you. Well, we are trying our best! Right now, we’ve been off the scene for a while. We have been rehearsing, writing and recording for the past year and a half since I’ve been in the band so it was a long break for us. After this, we feel like we have to start from scratch in a way but we’ve had a pretty good response to our new single “Honey” even if the Facebook likes don’t prove it (laughing). We just love what we make and we hope the audience will like it as well.

Faith in monochrome

The band’s first EP “One” came out in October 2015. It was immediately promoted by BBC Introducing and received positive reviews in local press and zines. How do you recall the recording session?

McCabe James: I have to admit the recording process for our first EP was a lot easier than the recording for our second one. All our songs were written before we got into the studio to record “One”. This time it’s different. We are in the studio now, writing the material and recording it at the same time.

Matty Neale: I’d been out the night before and went straight to the recording session. Took me about 500 times to get the beats right because I was still wrecked but managed to smash it then fell asleep listening to “Your Love Is Wasted On Me” feeling sorry for myself.

Tom Jones: I don’t because I wasn’t there but if it’s anything like the ones I’ve been at, Jase would just have everyone in tears for ten hours straight.

Over the years, you have had several line-up changes. The core of the band seems to be centred around Jason Payne (vocalist and lead guitar) and Matty Neale (drums and percussion). Can you tell us about your composing process? Do Jason and Matty compose all the songs or does the band work together?

McCabe James: Jason, Matt and myself go a long way together. We were in a band called “The State Of Things” about five or six years ago. After TSOT parted ways, we eventually reunited and went on to form FAITH. Everyone is involved in composing and writing music. We all have our own styles and preferences but what really counts is everyone is engaged in our creative process. We all contribute equally towards writing.

Jason Payne: The songs are usually a quick group process instrumentally but a long, painful process lyrically. I don’t like to put my lyrics out there if something doesn’t sound right or doesn’t have a meaning.

Matty Neale: It’s weird but we work as a band so well that one of the lads could hit a chord and I’ll put a beat to it or vice versa. Then Jase will put some lyrics on it and before you know it we have a new tune. We all add bits or parts we want to as long as it sounds sick!

Tom Jones: A lot of the time Jase will come to us with an idea and then we’ll all have an input into what we put into the song but a few times we’ve just played some random stuff in practice and accidentally wrote a song in half an hour. I think we all gel really well as a band to be fair and that helps when writing new material.

Cover of “One” EP

FAITH has been crafting the second EP entitled simply “Two” since last year. What can we expect and do you have the release date yet?

McCabe James: We do not have a release date so far, no. What can you expect? Well, we’ve progressed a lot as a band. Since I joined in, we have changed the style a bit. Our music got bit more groovier and funkier. Our personal music tastes also developed and I’m sure you will be able to hear it on our new EP when it is released.

Jason Payne: No release date as of yet but it is pretty fucking decent I’ll give us that.

Matty Neale: You can expect it to be 10 times better than Arctic Monkeys new album to put it that way. Hoping to release it in the summer.

Tom Jones: We have got a proposed date but it’s our secret for the minute! As for the EP it’s the best thing I’ve ever been involved in and we all think it’s the dog bollocks to be honest. I think we all enjoyed writing these tunes and getting them down and I think that shows in the music.

First single to promote your upcoming EP, “Honey” is already hitting radio stations.  It is regarded as the indie anthem of summer. Can you tell us more about the song?

McCabe James: What can I say? “Honey” is basically a song Jase wrote about his misses! (laughing)

Jason Payne: Song is about my misses, always moaned at me for years for not having a song written about her and now she does and she’s happy, and what a tune it is.

Matty Neale: It`s catchy and upbeat with story telling lyrics.

Tom Jones: It’s an upbeat catchy tune and it’s one of my favorites to play. Great for summer.

Jayson Payne

On June 9th, you will be returning to Sunflower Longue to support The Racket. Will you play any of your new material?

McCabe James: We are very excited to perform alongside The Racket, The Jack Fletcher Band and As Mamas.  Definitely, we will be playing our new songs at the gig as well as the older ones. We can’t wait to see you all there.

Jason Payne: (in a very enthusiastic voice) Yeah!

Matty Neale: (in the same time as Jason) Yes!

Tom Jones: (agreeing) Yes.

One last question. You can make your one wish come true. What would that be, except for the world peace of course!

McCabe James: (laughing) I wish we could do this full time so we can finally quit our shit day jobs!

Jason Payne: To play to more than 5 people obviously!

Matty Neale: I would absolutely love for our tunes to be heard around the UK and the world. One of my main wishes is to play our set on The Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. That would be a dream come true!

Tom Jones: Play massive gigs and have as many people as possible listening to our music. Sounds cliche but it’s what we love.

If you’d like to follow FAITH on social media, please use the links below:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/weareFAITHx/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/wearefaithx
Twitter: https://twitter.com/weareFAITHx
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wearefaithx/

We absolutely love FAITH. They are funny, full of enthusiasm and they work/play hard in equal measure. We are heartbroken that they will not support The Racket on this tour but we will do our utmost to catch them live in the near future.

For now, that`s all from us dear readers and keep your eyes open for upcoming editions of Indieterria.

Mal+Rita

Indieterria meets Junior Weeb

Welcome again!

Winter months have been a very busy period for your favourite independent A&R’s. We traveled to gigs, went to Indiecon conference in London, took pictures, filmed shows, handled merch, sent countless emails and wrote reviews and articles about our lovely Worcester Wave bands. The rest of March will leave us very little time to relax as well, but we love what we do!

Last time, we spoke to Lower Loveday – an exciting new rock group that makes a name for themselves on the indie circuit. Today we have something for lovers of young, hip and alternative rock with fuzzed guitars, wall of sound and catchy melodies.

Do we have your attention? Good – please read our conversation with a band that is quickly following the trails of Soeur and The Americas, leaving jaws on the (dance) floor and an insatiable craving for their full-bloodied debut album.

***

Promotional picture of the Weebs

 

Growing-up in the spotlight

Almost a year and a half ago, when we saw Junior Weeb for the first time, we were not impressed. They played a short set and compared to other acts performing that night, we didn’t think the young quarter had any future. How wrong we were! In recent months, Junior Weeb underwent almost miraculous transformation. Their stage presence is electric, their writing improved to the point where their songs could easily conquer the Top 40. Everything about them is matured, sophisticated and exciting.

Luckily for us, the band do not hold grudges and we didn’t have to beg for second chances to interview them. Chris Phee and the company were a joy to talk about their humble beginnings, self-(re) discovery and their upcoming music.

Official bio: Junior Weeb are an indie funk/alternative rock four-piece hailing from Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire. With hard-hitting bass grooves, soulful vocals and sticky guitar licks, Junior Weeb take their influences from a catalogue of different genres hoping to create a finished product that pleases your ears.

Chris Phee (rhythm guitar and lead vocals)
Max Killing (bass guitar and backing vocals)
Joe Webby (lead guitar)
Quentin Hill (drums)

Junior Weeb’s official bio mentions that the band was formed at the beginning of 2016. Tell us more about the beginnings of your musical journey? Where did you meet and who is in the band?

Junior Weeb: We’ve all been close mates since high school. To begin with, we were in 2 different bands, one of our old bandmates had a house party where we all played in his kitchen. This brought us closer together musically so we formed a super group called Junior Weeb in around February 2015 and thus discovered our mutual love and trust in music. We have the soulful enigma that is Chris Phee on rhythm guitar and vocals, Max Killing slapping da bass and vocals, man like Weeb (Joe Webby) providing that sticky lead guitar and the big friendly giant Quentin Hill smashing the shit out of those tubs like.

The Press and your fans affectionately refer to you either as The Weebs or The Juniors. Where the name “Junior Weeb” does comes from?

Junior Weeb: (laughing) Our guitarist Joe has the nickname “Weeb”. We don’t refer to him as Weeb anymore because of the association with the band. He said that if he ever had a son he would want it to be called Junior Weeb. We laughed but never really thought of it as a band name. It wasn’t until many weeks of arguing and moaning about the band name that we referred back to what he said and we finally settled with Junior Weeb. It was something catchy, funny and relatable to the band. We also happen to be the first website that pops up when you type our name into Google. Mad isn’t it?

We have to admit, when we`ve seen you for the first time, we were not into your music. Watching the band for a second time, a year later – we have fallen in love with Junior Weeb. Yours is the biggest, most impressive musical development on the local scene in recent years. Can you tell us what drives you, what keeps you focused?

Junior Weeb live on stage

Junior Weeb: We’re very happy with the progress we’ve made in the last year or so. We all study music at Kidderminster College and the tuition we’ve received has definitely kept us motivated and driven. Our musicianship has developed, each player is learning their instrument well and we’re listening to all kinds of music at the moment which is driving us to succeed. Some of the bands we’ve played/become acquainted with are doing some really great things at the moment which is also inspiring and a gentle reminder that we need to get our arse in gear.

It’s the beginning of the year and 2018 looks very busy for you already. On 17th of February you played at Mr Wolf’s in Bristol, where you supported two other WorcesterWave bands: Soeur and HVMM. You have opened for Soeur before at a sold out home-coming gig at the Marr’s Bar. How does it feel to perform alongside your friends? Have they offered any advice?

Junior Weeb:  Soeur has looked after us a lot over our musical journey and we couldn’t thank them enough for the support. We feel honoured to be playing alongside such talented songwriters who are so lovely and kind.  We don’t think we’ve ever had any advice from Soeur but we know how dedicated and driven they are. They have put so much hard work and passion into their music, they’re probably the most organised band we’ve played with and they deserve all the recognition they are getting. Playing with Soeur has definitely inspired us to work harder and organize ourselves respectively. We love you Soeur! XXX (laughing)

You shared stages with many popular independent acts such as Muncie Girls, The Riscas, Ivory Wave and The Americas. How important, in your opinion, is the close fellowship between different bands on the indie circuit? Is the Worcester scene supportive towards new starting acts?

Junior Weeb: In our opinion, we think the fellowship between bands on the indie circuit is very important. We’ve had some great opportunities recently and as long as we’re all supporting each other, things are gonna keep ticking along. The Worcester scene is always supportive to new bands and we’re always excited to hear new music and meet new people who are keeping the scene alive.  Seeing what all the other bands have achieved and the support we’ve received recently has really helped us out. Long live Da Woo Town scene!

On April 21th 2017, your debut single “No right” was chosen as the track of the week by This Feeling circuit and a month later popular website GigSlutz gave you a glowing review describing your music as “dreamy, psychedelic affair with just a hint of Oasis”. That’s very impressive review for a young band. Have you expected such warm reactions to your song?

Junior Weeb: To be honest we didn’t expect these reactions. “Not Right” was the first song we wrote together and it’s one that’s very close to our hearts. The main riff in the song was something that Max’s brother Sam came up with before he sadly passed away. We decided to write it as a tribute to Sam and his legacy. The reactions to this song have been very heart-warming and we hope Sam is proud of the finished product.

You are currently working on a new material to be published later this year. Can we expect an EP or a full blown debut album? We are curious where are you working and who is attached to the project?

Junior Weeb: We’ve had a lot of fun in the studio recently, we’ve been recording new songs at Kidderminster College with help from the Music Tech students who have made some impressive mixes for us. We thought it would be a good idea to record these songs live because on some of these tracks there is a lot of feel and groove. Hope that doesn’t give too much away (laughing). It’s great being able to record in an environment that we are all so comfortable with and the recording sessions have been fairly regular. We’re not too sure about an E.P or an album anytime soon but there will definitely be new music. Expect the unexpected.

You had to deal with incredible family tragedy. Do you feel confident to talk about it?

Junior Weeb: We lost Sam Killing in December 2015. After a long battle with mental health and drug misuse, Sam took his own life with unclear intent. He was a charming, intelligent and charismatic guy who inspired us a lot. We were all very shocked and upset when it happened but the legacy he left behind in his music and persona helped us a lot with our music. When you have to deal with a tragedy like that it’s hard find comfort when listening to music but we knew that music was the only thing that would help us out. Sam played lead guitar/backing vocals for Babypink and it’s not until you sit down and properly listen to Babypink that you understand the intricacy and beauty of Sam’s playing and writing. He has been a massive inspiration to all of us and one of the main reasons we formed. His legacy will continue to inspire us and live on through our lives as long as music will. R.I.P Sammy x.

Juniors on the green grass

2018 could be a breakthrough year for Junior Weeb. What are your hopes and fears for the nearest future?

Junior Weeb: 2018 is the year of the Weebs. We hope to gig as much as we can up until summer. The plan is to spend summer writing and working so that hopefully we make a fabulous return when we’re finished. None of us are driving yet so we hope to get on the road too. At the moment, we have nothing to fear, we’re going with the flow, taking everything as it comes. Big thank you to everyone who has supported us on our musical journey so far and we hope to see you all in the near future. Weebs out! Xxx.

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Baby Pink

Writing about Junior Weeb, we cannot omit Sam Killing, the incredibly talented elder brother of Max Killing. Hailed as one of the most talented musicians to come out of The Faithful City, Sam played lead guitar for a band Baby Pink along with Andrew Brooks (vocals, guitar), Jack Vaughan (bass) and Jack Cotterill (drums). Formed in 2012, Baby Pink very quickly gained a lot of attention and toured the UK without even releasing a debut EP. Their gigs in London and Manchester drew big crowds even with minimal promotion, giving the band very positive reviews from music journalists and comparisons to the American alternative rock legends, The Pixies. Baby Pink were featured in the New Musical Express (named as precious find) in February 2014 and toured with Jaws, Catfish and The Bottleman, Wolf Alice and many other. Baby Pink decided to call it quits in March 2014 and Sam went on to form Birmingham based quartet named Juice with Davis Armstrong, Matt Burdon and Damon Cox in September 2014. Tragically he lost his life three months later.

You can learn more about Baby Pink by listening their music online:
https://facebook.com/bbypnk
https://amazingtunes.com/brumpromoters/biography
https://amazingradio.com/home/news-babypink-break-up
https://soundcloud.com/babypinkband

More articles about Sam:
https://www.indiependent.co.uk/tribute-late-sam-killing-power-music/
http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/14188972.Bandmates_to_honour_life_of_musician_Sam_Killing__20__who_died_after_being_hit_by_a_train_in_Droitwich/

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Poster for The Americas gig at Marrs Bar

Junior Weeb keep a tight schedule of gigs all over the West Midlands. They recently supported Soer at Night Bus in Bristol, played legendary Fleece,  opened a gig for hugely influential Catholic Action at another iconic venue – The Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham and will progress to 02 in Birmingham in April.

They will play Marrs Bar with Happy Bones and The Americas on March 30th. Its gonna be carnage and a sold out home show – we are warming you. So grab your tickets before they are gone.

https://www.facebook.com/events/266397940564769/
http://www.wegottickets.com/event/429992

As usual we will keep our hand on the pulse and will report all the action. In the meantime, you can follow Junior Weeb using the details below. You will thank us later for introducing you to the quality music and future rock stars.

https://www.facebook.com/juniorweebband/
https://twitter.com/JuniorWeeb
https://soundcloud.com/juniorweeb
https://juniorweeb.bandcamp.com/
https://www.instagram.com/juniorweeb_

All the best,
Mal&Rita

****Update 02/04/2018****

What can we tell you about Junior Weeb that we haven’t said already? They are a perfect combination of youthful indie, funk, blues and classic rock. They emerged victorious from a tragedy that would end much older and experienced bands. They improved their act to the point where they outgrew local circuit by a long distance and moved easily to play bigger venues in Bristol and Birmingham. They will be on a label and touring their debut album sooner than we think.

Junior Weeb supporting The Americas at the Marrs Bar on 30.03.2018

We look at Junior Weeb and see a new Viola Beach. A four piece made for biggest stages, a group with strong work ethic and resilience, talent , sense of humour  and desire to succeed.

And they proved it on the night they supported The Americas. Jumping into crowd, singing their hearts out, being joined on stage by one of their dads for a hilarious blues piece. They are wild, free and  unstoppable as soon as they are in front of the audience with their instruments in hand. There are no apologies, no fear when they play.

Loud and ready. Junior Weeb put everything into their set.

Interaction with audience is very important

But see them back stage, sitting on a sofa in a front of photographer – huddling together,  making sure that all of them are in the frame. This is a band that does not only play good music together. They genuinely like being in each other`s company, they treasure and respect one another. Junior Weeb are a bunch of close friends as much as they are the next big indie act.

And that is why readers you should see them when Junior Weeb play live.

Here`s some videos in case you missed the gig.

 

And some green room shots too.

Junior Weeb with photographer Duncan Graves at the green room

Posing for a photo session right after the set. Junior Weeb work hard and play hard

Everybody in the frame. Post gig photo session at Marrs bar on 30.03.2018

That’s all for now,

Mal+Rita