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 Methods

Dear Readers,

One of the things Vanadian Avenue has been trying to accomplish in the past year was to bring Manchester and Birmingham scenes closer together. We networked, attended gigs, introduced people to each other, nagged, bugged and dragged folks by their collars. As you do. We have just found ourselves allies in our continuous struggle to connect Kingdom of Mancunia and The Black Country.  Please meet Methods. This five piece has been born between Wolverhampton and Salford and they just released an incredibly good EP at the beginning of October.

For A&Rs there is nothing better than a new band to interview so we went and did just that. And it was such a fun.

Band`s logo

 

Ash Bradley (vox)
Ryan Deakin (guitar/keys)
Adam Hall (bass)
Peter Bates (drums)
Jon Nash (key/vox)

Official bio:

Influenced by life and their soundings along with the likes of Joy Division, Depeche Mode, The National and Interpol, METHODS formed with the mutual understanding to do things their way and write what they love.

Methods have made their mark with their own dark sounding synth indie anthems. The Midlands based 5 piece have been gaining recognition in the last few years, playing countless shows to crowds across the UK. The band have been garnering support from the likes of BBC Introducing West Midlands as well as nominations at The Birmingham Music Awards and Black Country Music Awards.

We have seen Methods live earlier this year as part of Magic Garden Studios fundraiser for Musicians Against Homelessness in Birmingham. Magic Garden is of course the very famous recording studios where Gavin Monaghan and Joe Murray help create the best music around. Think The Blinders, The Pagans SOH, The Novus, The Lizzards etc. Methods, who also work with Magic Garden, played a wonderful set at The Coach and Horses on May 3rd and quietly we knew we were to expect something huge from them.  Their stage presence was immaculate, the songs sounded exciting and in general we had jumped up and down on the night having the best time.

The sleeve for Anything – a new EP from Methods.

When Methods` new EP “Anything” landed in our office both Rita and I could not wait to give it a listen. As you probably can deduct from the tone of this post, we loved it to bits, but before we will offer some words on the EP itself,  its only fair to give you some back ground information about the artists. What`s the point of a review otherwise?

We have sat down with band`s guitarist Ryan Deakin for a quick chat about the band`s inspirations and song writing process. This is what he told us:

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.  

Ryan Deakin:  Hello,  we are Methods.

Where are you based and who is in the band?

Ryan Deakin:  The band is based between Wolverhampton and Salford.

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

Ryan Deakin:  We played some good support slots with some high profile bands – but – we haven’t really got any goals, just making music we want to hear and see what happens.

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

Ryan Deakin:  The one that we all seem to love is Bowie.

It`s all about the music – and we want to hear how your songs have been written.

Ryan Deakin:  Normally we send each other voice messages of melodies and we work stuff out from that.

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

Ryan Deakin: We love all our children. We are proud of “Back of Your Hand”, we literally did the whole thing in about 2 hours. People take so many different meanings from it which is great, and what it’s all about. It was written when Trump was supposed to meet Kim Jong-Un….take from that what you will.

How do you create your unique sound?

Ryan Deakin:  We kind of mix 80`s synths with some 50`s surf guitars…and add a mad singer to the mix.

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

Ryan Deakin:  We will appear in Manchester at  The Peer Hat on 13th October.

Squad goals – where do you want to see the band in five years time?

Ryan Deakin:  We want to be playing some decent sized venues and have a couple of good albums under our belts – that will be fine.

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

Ryan Deakin:  Contact us at Methodsmusik@mail.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?

Ryan Deakin:  Recording at Sun City with Phil Spectre (pre Homocide) would be interesting.

Methods photographed by Nidge Luhg Sanders (Trust A Fox Photography)
https://www.trustafoxphotography.com/

So, let us pen few words about Methods` new EP “Anything”. As we mentioned, it was released on October 4th 2019 to rave reviews from blogs and music magazines alike.  You will find four songs on the record (“Back Of Your Hand”, “Collector”, “No Cover” and “Human Existence”) and two short instrumentals (Intro, Interlude).

The EP starts with unsettling “Intro” –  and despite just being 40 seconds long, this track actually stands on its own and serves a very important purpose – to set the mood for the record. Call it cliché but there is something cinematic about both instrumental tracks on the EP. They are not fillers, more like road signs pointing in which direction the music will go.

“Back of Your Hand” – is powerfully anthemic composition. Close your eyes and you can easily imagine the band playing this track to a full stadium backed by live orchestra and powerful visuals. The band considers it their best song to date and it tells a story of a historical meeting between two political leaders and sworn enemies.

By contrast “Collector” starts slowly but around one minute in incredible drums come in followed by a change of tempo and more optimistic overtones. And the lyrics! Just listen. Not sure who is main writer in Methods but man, they surely can deliver. Not one dry eye in the house – you have been warned.

Methods photographed by Danny Hodge https://www.dannyhodge.photography/

Interlude divides “Collector” from “No Cover” where dystopian theme clashes with uplifting music. Again it sounds nearly as anthemic as “Back of Your Hand” and we could only wish to hear it with accompaniment of a live orchestra.

“Human Existence” closes the record. Like “Collector”, it is slower and contemplative track. Yet the back ground melody line keeps hope despite rather bleak lyrics.

We love how the EP is divided into two equal parts. One faster/anthemic song and one slower/contemplative one. And a short instrumental track to divide them. Like two sides of a perfectly balanced vinyl record. Actually we want that EP on a vinyl.

 

Methods photographed by Rob Hadley
https://www.facebook.com/photosbyindieimages/

You can follow the band on the socials:

http://www.methodsmusic.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/methods2
https://www.instagram.com/methodsofficial
https://twitter.com/methodsmusik
http://www.soundcloud.com/methods_official
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGoNTNzTQv30UVpbeDbxJ2A
https://open.spotify.com/artist/5RG6MWN2BuVHelIs2HRZbo?si=TLYTQKUJT4aq2foeId4BjA

We hope you enjoyed this interview and if you have a chance to see Methods live, go and grab yourself a ticket. Actually two tickets – so you can bring a friend. You both will have an excellent time.

We will be back soon with more music and more kick ass interviews.

Love,

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!

Indieterria review – Second Hand Emotion by Saytr Play

Dear Readers,

This blog was completely unscheduled but sometimes you just have to accommodate an unexpected release. It landed with barely few days of warning and to be frank we had listened to the single whole three times in total before making a decision that it required a review. So here we are typing at night. If we were lazy, we could tell you that this song is a banger, a real jaw dropper, a proper killer et cetera. Technically it is true but what a lousy writing that would be!

New single from Manchester based five piece Saytr Play entitled “Second Hand Emotion” deserves so much more than few cliché compliments. The band has poured their hearts out into a three minutes track and created a dark anthem for dark times we are living though. We can think of a handful of artists that could do something similar in recent years so it puts Saytr Play in the same league as The Blinders, Strange Bones, Avalanche Party, Sunflower Bean or She Drew The Gun.

Fred Farrell during the video for Second Hand Emotion

Saytr Play photographed by Jack Whiting
https://www.facebook.com/jack.whiting.967

But don`t expect a mosh pit starter. Saytr Play are not Idles, they don`t need to kick the door open to deliver their message. They instead will offer a haunting melody, wonderfully produced and written radio friendly indie track with poetic lyrics. Their strength lies not in angry howls and screams but in how quickly you pick up the song and start singing along with it.  Gigwise – who premiered the video – summed it up this way “the single wouldn’t be out of place blasting out of the speakers at the Etihad stadium” and they are spot on. Well, we can take it from there to say that if the band keeps on putting singles like this – soon they will not only be selling out Gorilla or Ritz. They will sell out Etihad itself. Give them five years, a record deal and watch them fly.

“Second Hand Emotion” brings the same feeling as when “Almost A Kiss” by Blossom came out. You could nearly touch the fact that the band were about to hit it big. The sensation is back. If we are not mistaken then another Manchester band will soon need to find new technical help at gigs. (actually, there will be few vacancies to fill in Columbia since Document are also doing remarkably well).

The band prepared a whole package to go with the single. In a video  we can see Fred Farrell – charismatic leader of Saytr Play – dressed in immaculate white throwing himself in agony/ecstasy while the rest of the band are shown donning dark clothes like a canvass of darkness. A male figure dances around providing the only other focus point for the viewer. Funnily enough this review contains words “five years” and we can’t stop thinking that there is so much of Bowie in the video. From the elaborate make up (like a modern Nō theatre mask) to unbuttoned shirt to the  trademark black heart tattoo  Fred Farell is a glam rock god from era passed. A Maxwell Demon at his most powerful if we can throw in a movie reference.  There is a sense of mourning as Fred holds a burning candle in his hands.

The video has been directed by Matthew Boone and George Webster of Scruff of the Neck and  they did a bloody good job, let us tell you this.

Speaking to Gigwise leader of Saytr Play said “The track’s image explores the vulnerability I feel in today’s society and this idea that we have a voice. In my opinion we don’t have a voice or at least a voice that will be heard. The abstract nature of the image provokes thought. Whatever that may be is irrelevant because it’s your own unique thought! Your second hand emotion.”

The single comes with a black and white sleeve showing a huddled figure – a striking image by Sabrina Olson.

The cover for Second Hand Emotion with photography by Sabrina Olson

Louder Than War Magazine once described the band as “it’s impossible to bottle lightening, Saytr Play come pretty bloody close”. There is very little to add from us truly.

Fred Farrell, Daniel Crowther, Jamie Vere, Thomas Castrey, Juanan Garcia – you did it. Well done.

You can follow Saytr Play on socials:

https://www.saytrplay.com
https://saytrplay.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Saytrplay/
https://www.instagram.com/saytrplay/
https://twitter.com/SaytrPlay
https://www.youtube.com/user/SaytrPlay
https://soundcloud.com/saytr-play
https://open.spotify.com/artist/169EIOeeLOUF8KPn0hAvzG

Additional reading:
https://www.gigwise.com/news/3359866/first-play-saytr-play-premiere-stadium-ready-single-and-video-for-second-hand-emotion

The video to Second Hand Emotion was made by Scruff of the Neck
https://www.scruffoftheneck.com
https://www.facebook.com/scruffoftheneck
https://twitter.com/scruffoftheneck

Directed and edited by Matthew Boone
Shot and graded by George Webster

Second Hand Emotion is released on band`s own label Lovers Music Records
https://www.facebook.com/weareloversmusic/

Love,
M/R

Indieterria meets INEGO

Dear Readers,

Was it Tony Wilson who said that Manchester kids have the best record collections? Well, it would explain the wide spectrum of influences heard in the music that`s being played across town – from metal, prog, psychedelia to indie, rap, hip-hop and dance. Citizens of Mancunia don`t like to limit themselves to just one genre and prefer to mix styles until they arrive at a mixture that will make everyone dance. On tables even, what do you think tables are for, heh?

INEGO is a perfect example of how versatile and creative musicians in Manchester are – they will serve you a wonderful sonic plate of strong beats, rock and dance inspired tunes and before you know it – you are at a merch stand buying a tee. Welcome to another entry in our ongoing series “Hello Manchester” – showcasing local talent. We sat with the band to talk about recording at famous Magic Garden studios, their double A side single and forming a super group with Noel Gallagher.

 

Band logo

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria. Where are you based and who is in the band?

INEGO: We are an indie disco rock band from Manchester. We are made up of Toby Belshaw (vocals/ guitars), Pete Mackenzie Hodge (drums / vox), Steffan Guettel (bass / vox), Dan Myers  (guitars / vox) and sometimes David Trott on the keys.

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

INEGO:  In the last few years we’ve had the honour of working with audio wizards Gavin Monaghan and Joe Murray at Magic Garden Studios in Wolverhampton on a number of different releases including the EP “What You Waiting For?” (2015),  double A single “Exiled Love” (2017) and most recently the  “They Want You”/”Nobody” single which we brought out on a limited run of 7″ vinyl which was a first for the band.

In May 2019 we’ve just successfully closed a kick-starter campaign to help us record a full length album at the Magic Garden and we’ve been completely blown away by the support of our amazing fans !! So it’s now officially happening and the future is very exciting.

There is still loads we want to achieve as a band and we always want to play new places and festivals! We just want people to listen to our music.

One really cool side note is that the King of Manchester Ian Brown has a copy of our 7″.

Every town has a China Town – photography by Nikki Cartin-Hodge https://www.facebook.com/nikki.cartin

What inspires you? What artist or genre had the biggest influence on you?

INEGO:  Being based in Manchester it’s hard not to be influenced by bands such as New Order, James, Oasis or The Stone Roses (just to name a few)! But we’re just as much influenced by music from the other side of the pond as well bands like Fleetwood Mac, Foster The People and Chic. We also like dance bands like Daft Punk and more recently Parcels. We try to fuse all of these influences together to create something fresh. In full musician cliché – life is definitely the main inspiration behind our music. We’re had a lot of ups and downs as a band, but you pick yourself up, keep going and fight for what you believe in! We try to write music that hopefully makes people feel good, join in our live shows and just generally have a good time because that’s what life is all about.

It`s all about the music – and we want to hear about your current single. Is there a story behind the song, where and how was it written.

INEGO:  “They Want You”/”Nobody” is our latest release and it’s a more focused indie-disco-funk-rock-sound and should act as a good pre-cursor for the upcoming album.

We want to create music that people can dance to, so that you come to a show and leave your problems and just have a good time.

“They Want You” has a nostalgic 80’s multiverse theme that runs throughout – it’s somewhere in between a training montage from Rocky 4, Stranger Things and The Untouchables! We were talking about Eleven a lot when we were recording it.

“Nobody” is more of a straight up funky disco rock dance track that is heavily influenced by both Chic and Daft Punk but also has a touch of the North West about it. It`s definitely got a Mancunian Parisian thing going on.

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

INEGO:  You can get in touch with us at inego@hotmail.co.uk, via our Facebook page or our website http://www.inegomusic.com/

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

INEGO:   Going to go for the all out super group – Noel Gallagher upfront, Reni on the drums, Bernard Sumner on synths, Nile Rodgers on guitar and Bernard Edwards on bass produced by Daft Punk and we’re going to record at Real World Studios or Rock-field if that’s booked up.

More than happy to just make tea while everyone does their thing but will play tambourine if needed or maybe even a bit of guitar

INEGO performing at Jimmy`s Manchester – photography by Nikki Cartin-Hodge https://www.facebook.com/nikki.cartin

You can follow INEGO on socials:

http://www.inegomusic.com/
https://www.facebook.com/inegomusic/
www.twitter.com/inegomusic
http://www.soundcloud.com/inegomusic
https://www.youtube.com/user/inegoofficial
https://open.spotify.com/artist/6G79691P6I1HxV4r2jTJKI

We absolutely love the Manchester scene these days and cant wait to bring you more features on new bands and singles. Stay tuned. If you need us we will be at the merch table getting ourselves INEGO tee. What else?

Proper. x
M/R

Indieterria meets Karl Hildebrandt

Dear Readers,

There is nothing better than to interview a poet. They are the people who understand life, who know their scene and who quietly put into words what we cannot even express. In a way, they are chroniclers of victories and struggles of life. It was Czesław Miłosz who said that the poet remembers and it is very true. So it was a true pleasure and privilege to speak to Manchester`s finest spoken word artist and poet – Karl Hildebrandt ahead of Musicians Against Homelessness gig on 21st August at The Night People.

Karl is known not only for his extraordinary poems but also for his active involvement in music and his charity work on a local level. Proper stuff as they say in Mancunia.

Mosh Pit Poet Laureate – Karl bringing poetry to the gigs.

You are a man of many talents: multi – instrumentalist, spoken word artist, poet, roadie and a stage hand. Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.

Karl Hildebrandt: I’ve had a love of music and words since an early age. Bother listening and eventually playing. I’ve always written words. Just never had the nerve to do it live till about 5 years ago. “Mancunian Gobshite” sums me up to be honest.

Dark and witty poetry has won you many notable fans: Denise Johnson, Dave Haslam, MC Tunes to mention a few. You take daily conversations, occurrences and fleeting moments and turn them into heart wrenching observations.  What inspires you?

Karl Hildebrandt: Life inspires me. I tend to brain dump either on paper or my phone. I see the good and the shitty bits and write it down. In the last 8 months or so, my prose has become a lot lighter than previously. I am happy and in love.

You have been performing at concerts, open mic nights and  jam sessions earning yourself a nick name “Mosh Pit Poet Laureate”.  Do you see spoken word as a part of a regular gig? There are still many people out there who think poetry belongs in libraries, not concert halls.

Karl Hildebrandt: I think poetry and spoken word is becoming a bit more popular. A pot of acts are putting words over music. I am, but I prefer the purity of just getting up to “shout at the traffic”. If people hear you, they’re listening.

Looking out for inspiration.

For a while you have been in a band The G-O-D with Chris Bridgett (Dub Sex) and Simon Wolstencroft (Ian Brown, The Fall) as a bassist. Do you think this project will make a come back?

Karl Hildebrandt: No. Chris has a new project called Cold Water Swimmers, who are amazing. And Simon is busy doing what Simon does, being Funky Si. In the San Pedro Collective.

Please tell us about your involvement in San Pedro Collective – another musical project that you are a part of. San Pedro just released an EP that gathered rave reviews in the music press. Is that true that one of the songs was inspired by your mother?

Karl Hildebrandt: The San Pedro Collective is the brainchild of Manchester’s finest maverick, Rikki Turner. His vision to bring artists and musicians together to create something unique for the eyes and ears is genius. The Demon Sessions EP is being rehearsed for live work. Gigs are coming up. And the next single will be dropping soon. And yes, inspired by me losing my mum, but it’s a paean to loss of any kind.

If you had to chose one particular poetry movement to identify  with, which one would it be? Beatniks, Modernists or maybe something more old school like The Cavaliers?

Karl Hildebrandt: The Beats. I hate structure within any art form. Be it music, poetry, art or whatever. I feel hemmed in by conformity. Burroughs, Kerouac and Ginsberg helped me understand you can be honest about writing and not worry about what you’ve written. Never be afraid to create.

You are also known for your charity work, often contributing to incentives as Musicians Against Homelessness. Can you tell us about this charity and its work?

Karl Hildebrandt: MAH was set up by Alan McGee and Emma Rule to create a platform for musicians and creatives to raise both funds and awareness for homelessness. In the North West we have Andy White and Angela Moore, co-coordinating gigs and events. Both top people as well. I’m also doing some spoken word for Action Against Hunger at Moovin Festival for Deborah Faulkner-Moscrop and I’ve done stuff for various other charities. Give it – you get it back.

If you don`t have a pen and paper, mobile phone is a great tool to record poems!

On 21st August you will appear at Night People as part of a fundraiser to fight homelessness.  Who is on the bill and what can we expect from your set?

Karl Hildebrandt: The gig is on at Night People on Princess Street in Manchester. Top line up including acoustic sets from Thomas from The Blinders, Scuttlers, Afghan Sound Gang and Maddy Storm amongst others. And me, of course. I found a poem, a poem I couldn’t remember writing which will fit the bill. I supported Dave Johns (Daniel Blake) at Moston Miners and recorded it on the bus on the way home. It’s very, very sweary.

Imagine that one of your works is to appear in anthologies or school syllabuses, like John Cooper Clarke`s “I Wanna Be Yours”. Do you have a poem that you consider your major or most significant piece?

Karl Hildebrandt: I honestly don’t know. My stuff contains far too many swear words, but if I had to choose one, “Another Bastard List Poem About Manchester”. I’ve done a Liverpool version and have been asked for a London version as well.

We can`t pass this opportunity. Do you think we can get a haiku out of you about Indieterria?

Karl Hildebrandt:  Sorry, I struggle with haiku. I’ll get my mate Dave Norman to do one for you. Here’s one of my favourites though:

“The taste of rain
Why kneel?” –

Jack Kerouac

Proper.

You can follow Karl on the socials (you know those pesky online pages), but he is often found at the nearest Social or other boozer/venue in the neighbourhood.

https://mitherdimps.wordpress.com/
https://soundcloud.com/mither
https://www.facebook.com/karl.hildebrandt1
https://twitter.com/RTransmissions

Essential reading:

http://essentiallypop.com/epop/2016/02/holy-trinity-new-punk-trio-the-g-o-d-features-members-of-dub-sex-the-fall-and-ian-browns-band
http://www.soundspheremag.com/spherecast/listen-spoken-word-karl-hildebrandt-will-it-be-forever/

 

Poster for MAH gig on 21st August 2019

You can see Karl (and many others) doing their thing for Musicians Against Homelessness on 21st August 2019 at The Night People in Manchester. Tickets are £5.

Event page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/703946873388361/

Tickets page:
https://www.fatsoma.com/night-people/cvr968u0/musicians-against-homelessness-night-people

The full line up is as follows:

Thomas Haywood (The Blinders)
Afghan Sand Gang
Scuttlers (acoustic set)
Ellysse Mason
Maddy Storm
Karl Hildebrandt
Shot by a Shotgun Slug

We are proud to say that we will be attending MAH gig at The Night People so there will be a lot to report back! We are hoping to see some of you down the front.

M/R

Indieterria presents The Blinders Live at The Ritz

Dear comrades!

We have been following The Blinders for more than three years now and it’s always a joy to see them conquer new heights and achieving their goals (and being on a roll as certain songs says). The band has been working extremely hard to be where they are now and their dedication has inspired their fans, industry professionals and countless bands all together.

Being ahead of the game is a hard task, but with a dedicated team, excellent ideas, and a bit of luck, everything is possible. And this blog will be dedicated to another of the band’s ideas that is going to revolutionize the DIY indie scene.

On July 26th, The Blinders notified their followers that to commemorate the first anniversary of the release of their debut album “Columbia” (September 21st), they would be releasing a double live album. Recorded during the sold out show in Manchester on 27th of April, the double vinyl delight will include the entirety of “Columbia” plus several previously unreleased tracks. The record will be released by Blood Records, a recently launched crowd purchasing platform for exclusive LP releases that is run by the same wonderful people who own Flying Vinyl.

Black Records logo

You can get your own copy here: https://www.blood-records.co.uk/current-release/
Buy a copy of “Columbia” (if you have been living under a rock and you still don’t owe one!): https://theblinders.tmstor.es/

Now, as PR people, we do love good marketing, especially a really clever one. The first thing we saw on 25th of July, early in the afternoon, was a cryptic post with a large black and white picture of the band stading in front of the Ritz in Manchester (please notice Twisted Wheel poster on the right!) The caption read: “6 pm today”

Now, this kind of mysterious notifications are not for the faint hearted, as it could mean everything from the new album being announced to the band calling it quits. Our blood pressure went slightly up but after a refreshing cup of melissa tea (good for the nerves), we reached the conclusion that it cannot be anything bad, so we patiently waited for more information. And 5 minutes past six, we were rewarded with the following messages:

Soon, two promotional videos were made available to promote the album and they were seen more than 50.000 times on band’s combined social media (about 30k views on Facebook, 10k on Twitter and 10k on Instagram). Very good achievement with just a couple of Tweets and shares. Colour us impressed.

 

Official statements on Facebook accounts and newsletter followed to activate the fanbase:

 

You can see the newsletter at: https://us17.campaign-archive.com/?u=3b6499050c5a99dfa9d83f2e3&id=1708a96420
Flying Vinyl posts are available at: https://www.facebook.com/flyingvinylmusic/posts/2317772881662911

And in the end, The Blinders posted some of the images taken by Sam Crowston during their show at the Ritz:

The campaign finally went live on 29th of July and during the first 24 hours, nearly 260 copies flew off the virtual shelves. Pre-orders were opened until the 12th of August when they closed exactly at 10:00 am. In all, 1000 copies of the album were ordered and sold. Let us repeat that once again so it sinks in. It took two weeks for the band to sell 1k copies of a double live album. If that doesn’t make your jaws drop to the floor, then seriously your jaws must be either glued or wired. Those who preordered “Live at the Ritz” were told to wait 5 weeks for the delivery and in the mean time, more detailes were made available.

The record was mixed at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool (Elbow, The Verve, Echo and the Bunnymen, New Order, Pulp, The Charlatans recorded there among others) by Alex Queen who quickly shared the good news on Twitter:

Blood Records released the official statement upon the announcement:

“Following their bracingly thrilling debut album, ‘Columbia’, The Blinders continue as one the UK’s most anticipated emerging acts placing them at the vanguard of a generation of politically engaged British guitar bands. This exclusive, vinyl-only Blood Records release of The Blinders: Live At The Ritz features ‘Columbia’ live in its entirety alongside new unreleased material, pressed to 2x black 12″ LPs. The audio was professionally recorded, mixed and mastered from the band’s April sold out show at The Ritz to 1500 fans.

All orders will be signed (if you would like yours unsigned please write ‘unsigned’ in the delivery notes) and hand-numbered on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Customers will also receive priority access to tickets for a special Manchester launch event on September 21st as well as being automatically entered into a prize draw to win an exclusive piece of artwork.

Please note: Blood Records is a pre-ordering platform, providing the minimum sales quantity is met the records will be shipped five weeks after the deal ends.”

THE RECORD:

 

As stated above, it is a double live LP presed on a black vinyl. Running time is 60 minutes. “Columbia” was 42 minute long and we have 4 new, unreleased tracks added. Those who pre-order the album can expect a true VIP treatment: all copies will be signed by the band, buyers will receive priority access to record launch event and an automatic entry into prize draw for exclusive artwork. There will be only 1000 copies of the record pressed.

Personnel:
Thomas Haywood  – vocals and guitar
Charlie McGough – bass
Matty Neale – drums, backing vocals
Max Grindle (bass player of Document) – harmonica on “Rat In A Cage” and piano on “Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)”
Thomas Castrey (drummer of Saytr Play) – percussion on “Where No Man Comes”

Recorded at: O2 Ritz, Manchester, April 27th 2019
Mixed: Parr Street Studios, Liverpool (May-July 2019)
Mixed by: Alex Queen
Live Sound by: James Higham
Mastered by: Chris Daniels
Art Direction: Nasty Man Creations
Photography & Design: Sam Crowston
Lighting Design: Mangata Collective
Special thanks: Mark Payne, Chris Phillips, Dave Bonner, chris Exstance, Patricia Payne, SJM Concert, Jamie Wade & X-Ray touring, Flying Vinyl, Modern Sky UK and team

Label: Blood Records – https://www.blood-records.co.uk

Tracklist:
Side A
Gotta Get Through
Brave New World
Wither*

Side B
Free The Slave
I Can’t Breathe Blues
Where No Man Comes
Forty Days & Forty Nights*
Ballad Of Winston Smith

Side C
L’Etat C’Est Moi
Hate Song
Lunatic With A Loaded Gun*
Rat In A Cage

Side D
Et Tu/Berlin Wall
Brutus
Orbit [Salmon Of Alaska]
Swine**

* (previously unreleased)
** (not included on “Columbia” and released as a stand alone, double side single “Ramona Flowers/Swine” in 2017. The 7″ single was pressed in 500 copies only and is now a collectible item. More information: https://www.discogs.com/The-Blinders-Swine/release/10784923

 

Record release and the launch event timeline:

 

On 9th of August, the band revealed more details about their show that would take place on 21st of September. We have been told that there will be an exhibition, Q+A session and a stripped back set.

A week later, fans were electrified by another announcement – those who preordered the album were offered a chance to purchase tickets to the lauch event before everybody else. The band also revealed where the event would be taking place. Despite first bets being placed on The Night People (The Blinders’ favourite place in Manchester), a popular central location has been chosen – 33 Oldham Street.

Fans were asked to check their emails, follow the link sent to them and register tickets using their unique pre-order numbers. Due to limited number of places (33 Oldham Street can hold only 40 people in seated environment), the band used “first come, first serve” basis. The registration was closed on Sunday, 18th of August 2019 at 12:00 pm.

On 25th of August, The Blinders announced that the tickets will be available to purchase on Tuesday 27th of August, at 10:00 am.

Modern Sky UK (The Blinders’ record label) released their own announcement on the same day, revealing that the event would be hosted by popular Manchester DJ, Shell Zenner (XS Manchester/Amazing Radio):

Tuesday came finally and the loyal fans of the band, went ticket hunting on the internet. As with the demand for the record, the tickets dissapeared so quickly that many were left disappointed! We are not sure how quickly they were sold out but it must have been less than 20 minutes. At 12:20 pm, the band released the following statement:

After speaking to the management, the band released another statement, announcing that due to massive demand for the tickets, The Blinders would host a matinee event on the same day, between 1:00 pm and 4:pm.  Tickets were again released the following day and those who couldn’t purchase them on the previous occassion, could still attend the event, just in the afternoon instead of the evening.

As you may guess, the second batch of tickets, were also sold out in a flash. What else to expect, eh?

On September 11th, another announcement was made. As Shell Zenner was unable to host two events, another special guest was invited to do the Q+A session with the band. This special guest was…the legendary DJ, Dave Haslam himself!

Sadly as the event date was getting closer, something that nobody could predict, has happened. Thomas Haywood became ill and The Blinders were forced to cancel many domestic and European dates. On 16th of September, the band issued the following statement apologizing for pushing both events to 2nd of November 2019:

To make it up to the fans for the unplanned re-schedule, the band along with Shell Zenner came up with a clever plan – they held a DJ set at 33 Oldham Street and the entry to the event was free. Matty and Charlie were to make an appearance and the doors were opening at 9:00 pm.

We don’t have to tell you that the place was packed and people were queuing outside to get into the small club! Matty and Charlie arrived exactly on time and the party lasted until late. What was played? Everything from Manchester classics, to Abba, Britney Spears (“Toxic”), Whigfield (“Saturday Night”) and some unexpected bangers such as Cheeky Girls (“Cheeky Song”). Good fun was had by all. And some pretty good dance moves were caught on camera.

View this post on Instagram

love you more than words, thank u for having my back, always x

A post shared by katie (@themagicganng) on

 

The Final Product and the reception:

 

On September 21st, the debut album, “Columbia” turned one. The band celebrated the occassion by sending out the “Live At The Ritz” albums out to fans and making a tweet:

And the response to the album has been fantastic. It debuted at number 8 on the official UK Charts! This is the first double-live album by an indie artist to go into top ten on Vinyl Chart!

Official Vinyl charts for 27.09.2019

You can check the statistics for the Vinyl top 40 at: https://www.officialcharts.com/charts/vinyl-albums-chart/
To see those exact results as on the screenshot, please use the date of 27th of September 2019.

That’s not all! Live At the Ritz made it into two other charts as well: Official Independent Albums chart at number 23 and Independent Breakers Albums chart at number 4! We have screens to prove it!

 

We have received our copy as well and we absolutely love the album. The release comes with 2 black vinyls, packed into a single sleeve. It would be much better if it was a a gate fold – but hey we cannot complain! The design is similar to the “Columbia”, each copy is numbered (our is 128!) and signed by all three band members with a lovely silver marker.  We have taken a couple of pictures after unpacking to show you how it looks like:

 

And what do the fans say?
The reviews are universally positive. Just see the reactions that can be found online:

Live At The Ritz showcases the band’s talent and proves that if you haven’t seen them just yet, then now’s the time to do so. The Blinders are only going to grow from here” – Katie Macbeth for Indie Is Not A Genre blog
https://www.indieisnotagenre.com/the-blinders-live-at-the-ritz-review/

“Two years on, they are inevitably a better live band. Tighter, harder, and wiser, this live album is a no brainer of a purchase. If you have never seen or heard them, we cordially invite you to the hoodwink society”- Mike Adams for Travellers Tunes
https://travellerstunes.com/features/the-blinders

View this post on Instagram

NOW PLAYING | The Blinders – Live at The Ritz. One of my fav bands @theblinders of the last few years have come up with a limited & signed live album. Recorded at The Ritz, Manchester back in April this year. It’s a pure sweaty Rock’n’Roll live experience on double vinyl. Hand numbered, this is 135/1000 and hand signed makes this a nice little collectible of a live force on the music scene right now. Side A. A1 Gotta Get Through A2 Brave New World A3 Ramona Flowers A4 Wither Side B. B1 Free The Slave B2 I Can't Breathe Blues B3 Where No Man Comes B4 Forty Days & Forty Nights B5 Ballad Of Winston Smith Side C. C1 L'Etat C'Est Moi C2 Hate Song C3 Lunatic With A Loaded Gun C4 Rat In A Cage Side D. D1 Et Tu D2 Brutus D3 Orbit (Salmon Of Alaska) D4 Swine – – – – #theblinders #liveattheritz #lp #lps #12inch #33rpm #record #records #vinyl #vinylcollector #vinylcollection #vinyljunkie #vinyligclub #vinyloftheday #vinyladdict #nowplaying #nowspinning #vinylsofinstagram #vinylporn #vinyllove #vinylcommunity #audioporn #turntable #recordplayer #recordcollection #recordcollector #instavinyl #instavinyls

A post shared by Justin (@monkeyman31) on

We will be updating the blog as more information becomes available. And of course, we will be posting a long review from the  event on 2nd of November!

Keep your eyes open and support your scene!
xxx
R+M