Indieterria presents The Columbia Library Archives

Welcome faithful citizens!

After years of preparation, and months of excitement and awaiting, the DAY OF TRUTH has arrived.
The debut album by The Blinders is finally here and now the entire world will hear the story of Johnny Dream and His Codeine Scene.

You are being watched! Johnny Dream is looking at you from the cover of “Columbia”

This musical hurricane will take you on a ride that will not be easily forgotten. To celebrate, Vanadian Avenue has opened the doors to the Columbia National Library Archives and digged out some impressive data to boast about the fruitful last couple of weeks.

The Blinders team has been working extremely hard and we would like to mention several people who made everything possible.

First of all, of course the musicians themselves: Thomas Haywood, Charlie McGough and Matty Neale. Plus Gavin Monaghan (the producer) and Joseph Wildy Murray (the engineer), who get the honorary mention as it was their experience and knowledge that created this masterpiece. They are truly the Wizards of Wolverhampton.

Second, their record label – Modern Sky UK and managers: Tim Abbott and Paul Fassam.

Third – their PR team with Caffy St Luce at the helm, their booking agent Jamie Wade and Sam Crowston – visualizer, artist, filmmaker, photographer and the man behind all graphic representation of Columbia.

Very, very special thanks to Mr Chris Hawkins and Mr Steve Lamacq – a legendary man who is the same to the new generation of musicians as John Peel was to us.

And then their families who supported them from the start, their friends and fellow bands that came to the shows, newspapers and magazines that wrote about them, journalists and DJ’s who played them, BBC 6 Music, BBC Introducing teams and BBC 1 teams, Amazing Radio, Radio X, XS Radio Manchester and other radio stations who played their music, photographers who tirelessly took millions of pictures and edited them right after the gig so people could enjoy them in the morning, promoters who booked shows and shouted on Twitter and other socials trying to sell tickets and bring crowds in, bars and clubs that hosted the band, fans for sticking with the band through thick and thin and countless of others who were there and we will never know their names.

THANK YOU to all and each one of you – you are wonderful human beings and your kindness means a world to three young lads from Doncaster.
Things would not be possible without your help.

The Blinders by Sam Crowston https://www.facebook.com/sam.crowston

The last three months before the album release have been very busy. You may not realize how much planning, work and extra hours go into social media, making of promotional materials or just simple PR. It is never ending job that keeps everything together.

We called this blog Columbia Library Archives as we tried to collect links, videos, interviews, and all sort of strange data that could show you what has been done and achieved.

Please feel free to scroll through this small collection and enjoy it. If you have missed something before, this is now your chance to discover it all over again.

To make it easier for you, we have divided our findings into groups:

Chart position:
Columbia has debuted on the official UK Top 40 on the date of its release, 21st of September 2018. The Party has released an official statement and every woman, man and a child living within the glorious borders of our nation-state is expected to read it and celebrate the success!

The statements reads:
“Having caught wind that our debut album ‘Columbia’ has entered the realms of the top 40 midweek album charts, we would just like to thank every single person who has purchased the record in the past few days. You all mean the world to us, and we really couldn’t be doing this without you. To ensure it stays there, buy it, play it, and tell all yer friends about it.

The statement is accompanied by the special celebratory video:
https://www.facebook.com/theblindersband/videos/2248414732114308/

Visualization and design by Sam Crowston:
https://samcrowstonimaging.com/the-blinders-columbia/?fbclid=IwAR2rvVckytMQG_IC9G1e1M0DZjBD3iwuroL5y84_mlyQ8nt5D2OpDZ5Qx3o

And the band would like to thank everyone who ever supported them so please continue doing!

Official statistics are as follows:

Mid Week Top 40 – 28th place
Official Top 40 – 54th place
Official Record Store Top 20- 6th place
Indie Album Top 30 – 8th place
Indie Album Breakers – 1st place
Vinyl Sales of the Week – 10th place

Mid Week Top 40 – 28th place

Indie Album Top 30 – 8th place
Indie Album Breakers – 1st place

Official Top 40 – 54th place

Official Record Store Top 20- 6th place

Vinyl Sales of the Week – 10th place

You can find the original screenshot here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155474175590563

Music-News Magazine confirms the news with article published on 25th of September: http://www.music-news.com/news/UK/115993/Christine-and-the-Queens-could-score-first-UK-Number-1-album-with-Chris

It reads: “The self-titled debut album from Brighton rockers Black Honey opens at 22, one rung higher than Iridescence, the major label debut from hip-hop group Brockhampton (23). Doncaster group The Blinders are also vying for a Top 40 finish with their debut album Columbia (28)”.

Please check out this section often as it will be updated as new info is available!

The Warpaint is leaking into the streets…
Picture courtesy of ModernSky UK
https://www.facebook.com/ModernSkyUK/photos/a.1208599892580472/1864299447010510/

Additional pictures can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/rita.dabrowicz/posts/10158424422143018

BBC Profile for The Blinders:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/f69e03e7-86d5-49f4-9381-12a4ea3eddd0

BBC Introducing Session at legendary Maida Vale Studios in London:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/articles/cf8a3e9f-4346-4be5-9a12-0b38028c6268

BBC6 Music Album of the Day:
On 1st of October 2018, Columbia has been named the Album of the Day by BBC6 Music. This is one of the highest recognition that can come for a debuting album and millions of people heard 6 songs from the album being played throughout the day.

Album of the Day according to the Gospel aka BBC6 Radio! Thank you so much guys!!!

BBC has said: “Infectious tunes, big drums, hypnotic drones and dystopian visions, Columbia, the debut album from Doncaster three-piece The Blinders, is our Album Of The Day.”
You can find the link to the official announcement here:
https://www.facebook.com/BBCRadio6Music/photos/a.133411500016402/2165559410134924/?type=3&theater

Amazing Radio Album of the Week 01.10.2018-07.10.2018:

Columbia as the Album of the Week


Columbia has been chosen as an Album of the Week at Amazing Radio during the period of 1st and 7th of October. That means the album is played each day during the core hours and on Friday, the 5th of October, you will have a chance to listen to the entire album on air without interruption  from 2:00 PM sharp.
https://amazingradio.com/home/album-of-the-week-the-blinders-columbia

You can listen to the interview Chris Murray did with the band during the Kendall Calling festival.
https://amazingradio.com/home/kendal-calling-chris-murray-interviews-the-blinders 

Festivals:
The Blinders are in such a great demand that each day, a new gig or concert is being added. Those lucky ones who have the tickets, were able to see them performing on two festivals before they embark on a national tour.

The first festival called Neighbourhood Manchester Festival took place on the 6th of October and The Blinders were added as a secret guest just 12 hours before the show.  The band played at the YES the Pink Room and it was of course a sold out performance.

Neighbourhood Festival in Manchester –https://www.facebook.com/NBHDFestival/

The Blinders played at YES The Pink Room on Charles Street

Festival map: https://www.facebook.com/NBHDFestival/photos/a.1703827043238758/2148651485422976/?type=3&theater
Club’s official website: https://www.yes-manchester.com
Review: https://www.skiddle.com/news/all/Neighbourhood-Festival-Manchester-review/53370/
Pictures: https://www.facebook.com/theblindersband/posts/2166582780281711
Videos:
Brutus – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gImw-38FWfI
Rat in a Cage – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVboZfOPJ-8
Brave New World – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5L-CkUfI6_U
Where No Man Comes – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7NF_qmGSPc

The second festival named Twisterella Festival in Middlesbrough took place on the 13th of September. The Blinders were one of the headliners along with Estrons, Avalanche Party and Bryde. As with previous performances, tickets were selling fast and it is a good indicator that many shows will sell out on the commencing tour.  The Blinders played their 50 minute slot at The Townhouse, starting at 21:00 pm.

Twisterella official poster

Festival official website: https://twisterella.co.uk/
Line up and time schedules: https://www.facebook.com/TwisterellaFestival/photos/p.1725299877597394/1725299877597394/?type=1&theater
Article on NARC Magazine: http://narcmagazine.com/exclusive-twisterella-festival-stage-times/
An absolutely huge gallery: https://www.facebook.com/andy.lochrie.9/media_set?set=a.2334316436582013&type=3

Tour:
Please see the main new entry dedicated to the tour:
The blog will be updated daily!
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/10/15/indieterria-presents-the-columbia-tour/

Keep your eyes open and check the latest news on:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/theblindersband/events/

Mailing List/Newsletter
Mailing list and newsletters are very useful tools helping to keep in touch with fans and informing them about new things from the band’s HQ. Like any other marketing materials, Columbia Daily (aka the newsletter) is issued in in monochrome and contains pictures, latest news and the most important links.

The Blinders newslettter

You can see the archived newsletters at:
https://us17.campaign-archive.com/home/?u=3b6499050c5a99dfa9d83f2e3&id=c9af776f56&fbclid=IwAR1B33FdCjT0qdPmPZroNbifMrDXfvVk0CGew4_kvJWDiifM4qB4Y5TFMLo
Sign up to the mailing list:
https://facebook.us17.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=3b6499050c5a99dfa9d83f2e3&id=c9af776f56

Playlist:
Spotify is one of the most popular streaming services on the Internet allowing billions of users to access the music. The Blinders are added to hundreds of small lists made by fans and industry professionals, but recently they came with a list of their own. And it is a pretty special list as it shows the band’s entire officially released catalog! It also looks wonderfully as you ca see at the attached screens below:

Public Playlist

Entire catalog listed

Catalog listing #2

Please add the list to your favourites:
https://open.spotify.com/user/3sjczc69aju809m48302nzmbz/playlist/13kIG3PdHgQJ5zGrRfYMxw?si=wyJPPCZWSg-RgNqPDk1sgA:

Q&A with the band:
www.facebook.com/theblindersband/videos/1358988564238440 (part 1)
www.facebook.com/theblindersband/videos/1559759994130483 (part 2)
www.facebook.com/theblindersband/videos/660643360983368 (part 3)

Video interviews:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qeu3jM4L1I (Kendall Calling)
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl0Can0D6ys/ (Kendall Calling – Chris Hawkins Interview)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIq2RFj8fnI&t=15s (Sound City)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abB7NKmAmFc&t=2s (Leeds Festival)
http://www.neverenoughnotes.co.uk/2018/10/interview-the-blinders-talk-about-what-theyd-cover-in-the-radio-1-live-lounge-and-why-a-columbia-two-is-never-going-to-happen/ (Never Enough Notes Columbia premiere interview)

Acoustic performances:
https://www.facebook.com/theblindersband/videos/1166069736882623 (ICB Blues)
https://www.facebook.com/theblindersband/videos/554302124983440 (Brave New World)
https://www.facebook.com/theblindersband/videos/228938084489705/ (Rat in the Cage)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q96tgY4pedg (Brave New World and Orbit on XS Radio in Manchester)
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p068vq9x (Ballad of Winston Smith at BBC Introducing Manchester)
https://www.pscp.tv/w/1yoKMVaRDBWGQ (Rat In a Cage at BBC Introducing Manchester)
https://www.facebook.com/parisianhigh/videos/1857735434343854/ (Ballad of Winston Smith for Parisian High, Paris at Le Truskel)
https://www.facebook.com/jimmysnq/videos/2149130312020086/ (Ballad of Winston Smith, Jimmy’s, Manchester)

Columbia promotional banner

Visualization Videos:
https://www.facebook.com/theblindersband/videos/521694508274694/

Leeds + Reading Festival 2018:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90vKO4nkkzo (official video)
https://eudaemoniablog.com/2018/08/29/reading-leeds-2018-our-highlights/
https://www.live4ever.uk.com/2018/08/the-blinders-will-headline-bbc-music-introducing-stage-at-reading-leeds/
https://www.rgm.press/festival-review-leeds-festival-2018-my-diary-journey-through-the-festival/
http://northern-exposure.co/reading-still-rocks/
https://gigwise.com/features/3276280/18-things-we-learnt-at-reading-festival-2018
https://yorkcalling.co.uk/2018/08/22/the-blinders-headline-bbc-introducing-stage-at-leeds-
http://www.itsallindie.com/2018/09/reading-festival-2018-real-headliners.html
https://www.rgm.press/interview-the-blinders-at-leeds-festival-2018/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BoPOR5PANgT/?taken-by=matthiggs

Press articles:
https://www.theocelot.co.uk/the-blinders-in-oxford/
https://counteract.co/news/tour/the-blinders-to-hit-the-road-on-massive-22-date-autumn-uk-tour/
https://counteract.co/features/brum/10-gigs-birmingham-october-less-than-tenner/
https://www.morleyobserver.co.uk/whats-on/music/rising-stars-the-blinders-set-for-hat-trick-of-leeds-appearances-1-9316144
https://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2018/08/25/the-blinders-are-currently-enthralling-music-fans-at-reading-leeds-festivals-announce-brighton-date/
http://aboutmanchester.co.uk/home-coming-gig-for-the-blinders/
https://www.dewsburyreporter.co.uk/whats-on/music/rising-stars-the-blinders-set-for-hat-trick-of-leeds-appearances-1-9316144
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/jul/30/kendal-calling-festival-review-
https://www.expressandstar.com/entertainment/birmingham-entertainment/2018/08/08/birmingham-date-promotes-debut-the-blinders-album/
https://www.clashmusic.com/news/track-of-the-day-68-the-blinders
https://www.live-manchester.co.uk/the-blinders-announce-appearance-at-fopp/
https://www.clashmusic.com/news/track-of-the-day-68-the-blinders
http://www.itsallindie.com/2018/09/industry-focus-interview-with-gavin.html
https://blog.ticketweb.co.uk/music/track-track-blinders-columbia-9595
https://wordsformusic.blog/2018/10/28/september-2018-albums-of-the-month/

Album Reviews:

Long Live Vinyl October 2018 page 102

Classic Rock Magazine August 2018 page 87

“This is the most important debut album to be released this year and definitely one of the top five. Debut albums do not get any bigger or better than Columbia” – Susan Hansen for It’s All Indie
http://www.itsallindie.com/2018/09/the-blinders-eponymous-columbia-release.html

“The Blinders join Cabbage, Shame and Idles as pioneers of a movement we’ve needed for some time, giving us faith in rock music again. In 2018, punkadelia has finally caught fire. Long may they be fanning the flames” – Richard Bowen for Live4Ever
https://www.live4ever.uk.com/2018/09/album-review-the-blinders-columbia

“Columbia as an album is a single piece of art as a concept. Listen, track by track, join up the dots, get the message loud and clear – England is indeed dreaming” – Nigel Carr for Louder Than War Magazine
https://louderthanwar.com/the-blinders-columbia-album-review/

Signed CD version with sleeve

“The adopted sons of Manchester have crafted and presented their debut album Columbia to the masses to be devoured whole – and it’s a ferocious record that won’t stand to be ignored” – Jennifer Jordan for NARC Magazine
http://narcmagazine.com/album-review-the-blinders-columbia/

“With ‘Columbia’, The Blinders take their place among the vanguard of bands currently shaking the UK Indie scene out of its mid-90’s slumber” – The Grey Lantern Magazine
https://thegreylantern.com/the-blinders-columbia/

“The rage and despair is a mesmerising display of rock n rolls spirit. There is no element of pretence. No attempt to be cool. This is desperate and oozes from the gut” – Traveller’s Tune Blog
https://travellerstunes.com/review/theblinders-columbia

“The Blinders are one of 2018’s essential bands. The well-known sporting analogy says it all, the boys played a blinder” – The Ginger Quiff Blog https://thegingerquiff.com/the-blinders-columbia-album-review/

“It is guitar orientated album that is true to the live performance.  Songs are fast and yet catchy, with haunting back ground vocals and hypnotizing drums. It is the fresh perspective on what music should be in 2018 – direct, poetic, enigmatic, political, tearing out your soul and different from what is happening around. And that is what Thomas Haywood, Matty Neale and Charlie McGough bring to the table” – Malicia Dabrowicz for Vanadian Avenue
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/08/30/indieterria-review-columbia-by-the-blinders/

“How important is this release going to be?  Personally, I’ve waited for a band to make an album like this for twenty, maybe thirty years.  Political albums can often deter because they are hard work, but they do endure… I’m thinking about albums by Gil Scott Heron, The Clash, Billy Bragg, Public Enemy, Manic Street Preachers, The The or Dead Kennedys.  When the political scene is as warped and cruel as it is now, music should comment on it and be influenced by it.  The Blinders are making music to mark their protest; there should be more like them” – Alan Neilson for BrumLive Magazine
http://www.brumlive.com/blinders-columbia-debut-album-released-21-september-2018/

Signed LP on vinyl – back

“Politically charged trio The Blinders have taken the UK music scene by storm. Not only did their track ‘L’Etat C’est Moi’ get playlisted on BBC 6 Music, but they also landed a headline slot on the BBC Introducing stage at this summer’s Reading & Leeds festivals. Needless to say, these boys are destined for success” – Harriet Willis for The Skinny Music Blog
https://www.theskinny.co.uk/music/reviews/albums/the-blinders-columbia

“That shamanic, compelling mood is captured perfectly in ‘Columbia’. Ably produced by Gavin Monaghan (Editors, The Sherlocks, Goldblade), the album sees childhood friends Thomas Haywood, bassist/co-writer Charlie McGough and drummer Matt Neale follow Johnny Dream on his spiritual awakening, from the coruscating swagger of the opening ‘Gotta Get Through’ to the raw, beautiful and ultimately redemptive finale ‘Orbit (Salmon Of Alaska)” – (legendary)  R*E*P*E*A*T Fanzine
https://repeatfanzine.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/the-blinders-debut-album-columbia-out-this-friday-uk-tour/

“It’s a really impressive debut, and we actually found ourselves feeling suitably shocked after our first listen at how accomplished it sounds. The band make indie rock music that is supercharged and political, with groovy yet raw riffs filling each song on the album. It’s raw but the production never sounds too fuzzy, with it all sounding pretty damn perfect to us” – Jane Howkins for York Calling
https://yorkcalling.co.uk/2018/09/01/the-blinders-columbia/

“‘Hate Song’ is all urban noir menace, ‘Free The Slave’ a 28-second leviathanesque anthem, ‘Et Tu’ a heads down bass battering Adam and the Ants from Dante’s Inferno and, joining the quote dots, ‘Brutus’ a full seven minutes of charged rock darkness that variously encompasses Floyd, Enter Shikari, Metallica and Nick Cave. Impressive stuff” – Mike Davies for Roots and Branches Zine
http://roots-and-branches.com/brum-beat–the-beat/record-reviews-september.html

“Whirring riffs dominating, the war drums integral, drone sounds making you check over your shoulder as you listen. It‘s infectious, with bombastic drum beats, western twangs and jangly yet searing guitar riffs getting you ready to dance, mosh or start a revolution” –  Johnny Rogerson for Clash Magazine
https://www.clashmusic.com/reviews/the-blinders-columbia

“This increasingly rare concept album, coupled with their constant references to history and literature display an artistic intelligence perhaps uncommonly associated with such a heavy-hitting sound. Alongside the likes of Cabbage and IDLES, they are leading the way in creating a new brand of socially aware Punk. With the release of ‘Columbia’, The Blinders are dragging us into a dystopian future where Punk-Rock rules again” – James Booton for Boot Music Blog
http://jamesbooton15.wixsite.com/boot-music/single-post/2018/09/19/The-Blinders—Columbia

“Perhaps once in a generation comes a movement that speaks for its outcasts, those who are undernourished but well read, those who see injustice, but have been fed only on a diet of apathy, and corruption. The blue generation before us were emotionally rescued by bands like the Manic Street Preachers, now, rising from the ashes of Brexitopia, (and the burned out ruins of the indie landfill) we have The Blinders” – Dizzy Spell for The Zine UK
https://www.thezineuk.co.uk/single-post/2018/09/19/Stepping-into-Columbia-with-The-Blinders

“Columbia is an exceptional piece of art and gets better with every listen. It truly lives up to the expectations set by the band’s immaculate live shows” – Brandon Taylor for Too Many Blogs
http://toomanyblogs.co.uk/2018/09/20/album-review-the-blinders-columbia/

CD version of Columbia

“So where does ‘Columbia’ place The Blinders? It’s an impressive debut, one that captures the essence of what they’re about and as much of the live performance as is possible within the constraints of a studio recording. It doesn’t compromise their personalities and the real core of what they’re about in search of a hit radio-friendly album, but it’s that which has caught the ear of those that champion them. They have influences but not too overt, their songs observe rather than preach, talk of politics in its social context attacking ideologies and beliefs rather than directly attacking individuals which give it more gravitas. But most important of all they remain true to themselves”  – Even the Stars Blog
http://www.eventhestars.co.uk/2018/09/the-blinders-columbia.html?m=0

“In the age of distraction, it’s hard to craft an album that grips you for a full 40 minutes and doesn’t have you reaching for the skip button, but ‘Columbia’ is a rare breed, as are The Blinders themselves. This is one to not only cherish, but to lose your voice and mind to in equal measures” – Richard Cobb for Little Indie Blogs
https://littleindieblogs.blogspot.com/2018/09/album-review-blinders-columbia.html

“Of the lineage of politically charged and anti-establishment albums, The Sex Pistols’ Never Mind The Bollocks and Pink Floyd’s The Wall, stand out as the two that most inform Columbia, which is without doubt an astounding achievement and a seismic debut for the band that labelled their sound in 2016 as ‘a spellbinding punkadelic-esque Roman orgy’. Columbia, the ‘alternate world informed by reality’ reverberates with the sound of the temple’s foundations being rocked to their very core” –  Andrew Gutteridge for Words For Music Blog
https://wordsformusic.blog/2018/09/21/album-review-the-blinders-columbia/

“The Blinders debut album ‘Columbia’ is out on Friday the 21st of September and incorporates an in-your-face sound similar to Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes with influences from Nick Cave and The Fall. It is definitely not one to miss” – Abby Clarke for The Mic Magazine
http://themicmagazine.co.uk/2018/09/21/album-review-blinders-columbia/

“An outstanding debut, The Blinders have caused an itch with Columbia, an itch I hope they can scratch with a follow up. We sacked off the ratings system a long time ago, but Colombia feels like an Eight from a band who have the potential to deliver a Ten. Far from a classic, but ever so close. Thoroughly enjoyable and a real kick up the ass for the alternative rock scene who should take notes from this excellent piece of work” – Josh Bell for RGM: Reyt Good Magazine
https://www.rgm.press/review-the-blinders-columbia/

 

Vinyl copy of “Columbia”

“It’s impossible to fully appreciate this album in word form and I cannot stress enough how much you have to listen to it for yourself. The Blinders have truly changed the game with ‘Columbia’. They’re going to take over the world” – Lottie Catrin for Let It Happen Music Blog
https://letithappenmusicblog.com/2018/09/21/the-blinders-columbia/

“There’s truth and meaning behind every song, and they’ve injected their musical talents around it. It’s contagious, intriguing, and sounds as though taking over the world is highly possible. Who’s going to stop them?” – Captain Sound Blog
http://captainsound.co.uk/new-releases/the-blinders-columbia/

“If The Blinders were trying to get a message across, they couldn’t have achieved it in any more clarity if they’d tried. It’s poetical perfection. This, 12-track, just-under-40-minute album is, at it’s core, just a piece of music. But at it’s best, it’s a statement; a concept; it’s meant to provoke a reaction. And it does. Even during the live shows, the band, clad in face paint and dark clothing, embrace the ideology and the theme of the album entirely, immersing themselves in this make-believe world that they truly believe could become real sometime soon. The hype around this album has been second-to-none amongst independently released albums in the past ten years. But we’re here for it” – The Indie Room Blog
https://theindieroomblog.wordpress.com/

“But it is impossible not to be sucked into this scary world of slithering bass, straight-for-the-throat guitars and Thomas Haywood’s cool without being an annoying snob popular cultural references. The deliciously snarling guitars that pave the way of ‘Et Tu’ and then again on the outro to ‘Brutus’ while Haywood screams ‘Et tu, Brute?’ over the top are the stuff of genius. This isn’t songwriting, this is atmospheric musical theatre” – Leigh Sanders, Senior sub editor for the MNA portfolio and entertainments  at Express and Star and Shropshire Star.
https://www.shropshirestar.com/entertainment/music/2018/09/22/the-blinders-columbia—album-review/

Haiku review of Columbia from the Rodeo Mag

“Manifesto for
A new world order, driven
By dystopia” – Rodeo Magazine 
https://therodeoblog.blogspot.com/p/haiku-reviews.html

Haiku translated into Japanese by Emmy Ishida https://www.facebook.com/emmy.ishida3
Graphic design by Oliko
https://www.facebook.com/oliko.aleksandra

You can also read a more traditional review here:

“Doncaster trio The Blinders’ Columbia is a dystopian-infused, literary-inspired social critique on modern day society, comparing our own world to those created by Orwell and Huxley. Before listening I was apprehensive, afraid the ferocious punk sound that has dominated their early works and live shows would become too repetitive, but Columbia’s highlights are the tender moments. Acoustic number ‘The Ballad Of Winston Smith’, and Nick Cave-inspired ‘Orbit (Salmon Of Alaska) are the album highlights as Tom Haywood, under his persona of Johnny Dream”
https://therodeoblog.blogspot.com/2018/09/on-trend-future-is-bright.html

“There is a movement in the youth of today, a political shift is brewing, and who better than 3 musicians from the North to deliver the message to the masses in this, the greatest of art-forms. ‘Columbia’ is a huge statement from The Blinders, and a powerful legacy in the making” – Kevin Barrett, photographer and writer
https://kevinbarrettphotography.com/2018/09/23/album-review-the-blinders-columbia/

“If ever there were a time for heroes, it be now. A band to speak to and for the disaffected, disenfranchised youth about to be trampled on by the aftermath of us adults screwing up their future by withdrawing from the EU and leaving them with a “no deal” Britain that ensures they’ll be working until they drop and the word ‘pension’ will become as obsolete as pronouncing the letter “H” as it is spelt” – James Auton for God is in the TV blog
http://www.godisinthetvzine.co.uk/2018/09/24/the-blinders-columbia-modern-sky/

Amazon reviews for Columbia

You can read the reviews here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Columbia-Explicit-Blinders/dp/B07D1D8TLL/ref=ice_ac_b_dpb?ie=UTF8&qid=1537828038&sr=8-1&keywords=the+blinders+columbia#customerReviews

“Emerging from Doncaster as new bastions of explosive live music, The Blinders have become a must-see band on the UK live circuit in the past two years. Fusing punk politics, gnarly hooks and psych-lyricism, the band have found the perfect algorithm to live success. Picking up support from 14 influential playlists, including Indispensables and Walk Like A Badass, The Blinders have enjoyed a 132% increase in their playlist following in the past 7 days, taking their total to over 3.5 million. With a 5.45% increase in their artist following, the trio also seem to be building a solid fanbase” – FRTYFVE Blog, powered by Instrumental
https://www.frtyfve.com/new-music/hottest-artist-in-the-world-the-blinders

“On the back of the game-changing album ‘Columbia’, The Blinders have now cemented themselves as one of the hottest bands in the UK. The album itself is racing into the UK top 40 after rave reviews from fellow bands, fans and press – we’ve had it playing constantly since last Friday, and trust us – believe the hype!” – Mock It (the Best in New Music) Blog
https://mockitmusic.wixsite.com/mockitmusic/features/tenement-trail-the-blinders

“In tracks such as ‘Hate Song’, ‘Where No Man Comes’, the scintillating power of expression in ‘Ballad of Winston Smith’, ‘Brave New World’ and ‘Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)’, The Blinders have found the right series of buttons which makes, which demands of the debut a sense of the calm, collected, and ready to light the beacons in the anticipation of fighting a bigger battle ahead. It is a battle in which the generations above had better be wary of standing in their way ” – Ian D. Hall for Liverpool Sound and Vision
http://www.liverpoolsoundandvision.co.uk/2018/09/25/the-blinders-columbia-album-review/

“Influenced by Arctic Monkeys and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, there’s also a hint of Kasabian in their groove-laden alt-rock sound. This brooding collection of 12 songs is loosely based around the concept of Columbia as ‘an alternate world informed by reality’. It demands your attention from the off with a wonderful brace of singles, the insistent ‘Gotta Get Through’ and ‘L’Etat C’Est Moi’ (it means I Am The State). Like most of the album’s best moments, they’re propelled along by delicious post-industrial bass lines reminiscent of Peter Hook in his Joy Division pomp” – Gary Welford for Hartlepool Mail
https://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/whats-on/music/album-review-the-blinders-columbia-1-9365505

A fantastic article mentioning The Blinders and Children of the State as the next gig things! Courtesy of Sheffield Star https://www.facebook.com/sheffieldstar

“The album provides a unique and enjoyable listen, leaving you feeling fully involved with the dystopia that is Columbia, all helped by the vivid imagery of the lyrics. This band is essential to 2018, and with this album they have literally pulled a blinder” –  Katie Macbeth for Rock Chic Blog
https://rockchicme.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-blinders-columbia.html

“For a young generation on the cusp of a new political awakening, their debut will no doubt act as an accompanying soundtrack to their cause. After a few years of honing their craft and some impressive slots on the UK festival scene this year, ‘Columbia’ will be taking The Blinders places – so catch them while you can” – Ceri Saunders for ON: Yorkshire Magazine
https://www.on-magazine.co.uk/arts/music/album-reviews/columbia-the-blinders/

“The Blinders are a band worth experiencing live. Enrapturing, politically injected lyrics enable the gig-goer to encounter an alternative to what is seen in mainstream media. Catch them on their headline tour alongside White Room and Calva Louise this October and November, you won’t be disappointed” – Sahar Ghadirian for Forge Media
http://forgetoday.com/2018/10/02/review-the-blinders/

“Despite clocking in 12 songs in just over 42 minutes, ‘Columbia’ never rushes its narrative. Constantly proving that rock and roll is most definitely still alive and well, The Blinders have returned the hope that rock and politics can go hand in hand. With hints of the ‘Stones, The Smiths and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, it’s quite hard to not deem ‘Columbia’ as one of the most influential albums of 2018. It’s a definitive, well-polished record from a young, promising band who stand for something much more” – Paige Smiths for Not Enough Notes Blog
http://www.neverenoughnotes.co.uk/2018/10/review-the-blinders-columbia-rock-debut/

A new review from K Production

“Energetic, goth-tinged Yorkshire three-piece The Blinders take their influences from great lyricists, poets and writers such as Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, John Lennon, Rimbaud, Allen Ginsberg, George Orwell and William Burroughs, but also count Charles Manson and the devil among their influences. Their debut album, Columbia, therefore, is a bit different to the run-of-the-mill indie bands around today. LP and CD on Modern Sky Entertainment.” – KProduction
https://www.keyproduction.co.uk/blog/2017/latest-releases-manufactured-by-key-production-group_september-round-up/

Columbia review by Jack Saunders of BBC Radio1.
Picture by Sam Crowston

“Delivering an LP of fierce dystopian rock n roll loosely based around the concept of ‘an alternate world informed by reality’, The Blinders are an example of a new breed of guitar band who are noticeably far less complacent than many from earlier on in the decade. They bash out an exciting blend of punk, indie and psychedelica, listing their influences as Dylan, Cohen, Mark E Smith, Lennon, Cave, Kerouac, Rimbaud, Orwell, Ginsberg, and S.Borroughs” – Rewind/Forward Blog
https://rwffmusic.blogspot.com/2018/09/album-review-blinders-columbia-2018.html 

“Of the lineage of politically charged and anti-establishment albums, The Sex Pistols’ Never Mind The Bollocks and Pink Floyd’s The Wall, stand out as the two that most inform Columbia, which is without doubt an astounding achievement and a seismic debut for the band that labelled their sound in 2016 as “a spellbinding punkadelic-esque Roman orgy”.  Columbia, the ‘alternate world informed by reality’ reverberates with the sound of the temple’s foundations being rocked to their very core” – Andrew Gutteridge for Words for Music Blog
https://wordsformusic.blog/2018/09/21/album-review-the-blinders-columbia/

“This increasingly rare concept album, coupled with their constant references to history and literature display an artistic intelligence perhaps uncommonly associated with such a heavy-hitting sound. Alongside the likes of Cabbage and IDLES, they are leading the way in creating a new brand of socially aware Punk. With the release of ‘Columbia’, The Blinders are dragging us into a dystopian future where Punk-Rock rules again” – James Booton for Boot Music Blog
http://jamesbooton15.wixsite.com/boot-music/single-post/2018/09/19/The-Blinders—Columbia

Selected plays (among many, many more)

International: 

London Calling logo

The Blinders have been played by at LondonCalling on A Rádio Rock by DJ Murillo Sguillaro across Latin America on 28th of September 2018. This station reaches 2 million of listeners across Brazil and other countries.
You can listen to it online: http://89play.radiorock.com.br/programa/london-calling
Or listen to our mp3: 

On 2 of November, the band was played by the legendary American radio station, KEXP 90.3 FM and they chose a rather unexpected song from “Columbia” – “The Hate Song”. Next stop for the lads? Top 20 on Billboard charts 🙂

KEXP Radio station played The Blinders!!

Domestic (as per Airplay Ninja):
Please note that this list does not include local radio-stations plays, only the national ones.
This means that all BBC Introducing plays for example are not monitored and we cannot add them here.

Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:21 on 12-Nov-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 17:31 on 11-Nov-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 00:51 on 11-Nov-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 16:59 on 10-Nov-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 10:24 on 07-Nov-2018
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 01:41 on 07-Nov-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:26 on 06-Nov-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 01:50 on 06-Nov-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 17:25 on 04-Nov-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 04:24 on 04-Nov-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:51 on 03-Nov-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:32 on 01-Nov-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 09:07 on 31-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Radio X at 22:54 on 29-Oct-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:05 on 28-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 16:07 on 28-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:26 on 27-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 10:30 on 24-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:39 on 22-Oct-2018
L’Etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:26 on 21-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 17:30 on 21-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:22 on 20-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 13:57 on 18-Oct-2018
L’Etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 12:22 on 17-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 11:11 on 17-Oct-2018
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 12:52 on 16-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:14 on 15-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:56 on 15-Oct-2018
I Can’t Breathe Blues – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:46 on 14-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:34 on 14-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:10 on 14-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:19 on 13-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 09:54 on 12-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:13 on 10-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 11:42 on 10-Oct-2018
L’Etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:32 on 08-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 18:43 on 07-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 19:07 on 06-Oct-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 12:00 on 06-Oct-2018
Orbit (Salmon of Alaska) (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:36 on 05-Oct-2018
Rat In A Cage (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:33 on 05-Oct-2018
Brave New World (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:30 on 05-Oct-2018
Brutus (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:23 on 05-Oct-2018
Et Tu (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:21 on 05-Oct-2018
Ballad of Winston Smith (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:19 on 05-Oct-2018
I Can’t Breath Blues (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:16 on 05-Oct-2018
Free the Slaves (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:14 on 05-Oct-2018
Where No Man Comes (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:10 on 05-Oct-2018
Hate Song (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:07 on 05-Oct-2018
L’Etat C’est Moi (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:03 on 05-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:00 on 05-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:57 on 04-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:26 on 04-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 11:46 on 03-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:34 on 02-Oct-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 12:34 on 02-Oct-2018
I Can’t Breathe Blues – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 17:27 on 01-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 15:09 on 01-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 13:16 on 01-Oct-2018
Orbit (Salmon Of Alaska) – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 12:26 on 01-Oct-2018
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 08:54 on 01-Oct-2018
L’Etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:27 on 30-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 18:46 on 30-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 06:51 on 30-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:54 on 28-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 04:12 on 28-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:22 on 28-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Radio X at 23:02 on 26-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 18:57 on 26-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 11:09 on 26-Sep-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:28 on 25-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:16 on 25-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 17:16 on 24-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 18:10 on 23-Sep-2018
Rat In A Cage  – The Blinders – playing on BBC Introducing Manchester at 21:52 on 22-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 17:52 on 22-Sep-2018
Et Tu – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 16:23 on 21-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 12:26 on 21-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Radio X at 00:31 on 21-Sep-2018
I Can’t Breathe Blues – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 00:18 on 21-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 19:19 on 20-Sep-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:32 on 18-Sep-2018
Hate Song (Introducing Session, 20th Apr 2018) – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 16:26 on 19-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 13:46 on 18-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Radio X at 22:52 on 17-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 06:44 on 15-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 12:47 on 13-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:42 on 11-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 17:21 on 10-Sep-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:42 on 08-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 06:45 on 07-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 17:03 on 06-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:20 on 04-Sep-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 20:56 on 04-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:12 on 04-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 16:55 on 03-Sep-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 17:00 on 01-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 17:06 on 31-Aug-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 15:51 on 31-Aug-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 17:42 on 30-Aug-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 04:53 on 29-Aug-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 20:59 on 28-Aug-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 18:28 on 28-Aug-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 14:59 on 26-Aug-2018

Photo-session and Exhibition

The Blinders by Paul Husband (copyrighted)

Professionally taken pictures are the heart and soul of each marketing campaign. For the new album and new tour, The Blinders worked with renowned photographers to ensure that their live images (such as taken by Manchester based photography wizard Trust A Fox) or the ones taken in the studio, are of the best quality.

Their studio session has been shot by Paul Husband, another very talented photographer. And the session went so well that The Blinders’ pictures were used in Paul’s international exhibition that opened on 20th of October 2018 at the Manchester Bar in Montpelier in France! How cool is that!!

Official websites:
https://www.facebook.com/paulhusbandphotography
http://www.paulhusbandphotography.com/
The Manchester Bar:
https://www.facebook.com/manchesterbarmontpellier/
Pictures:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10209585664117446&set=a.1182860230673&type=3&theater
https://www.facebook.com/Huzzie/posts/10156203558447481
https://www.facebook.com/Huzzie/posts/10156250768007481
Review (in French but Google Translate does an amazing job):
http://www.idem-mag.com/paul-husband/?fbclid=IwAR1Zz8D6luCGEJK9L1BkciTrrkLQI2JfckWzYtV6z_uD25YSMWh8iP039XI

Signing and record stores appearances:

21st of September 2018 –  FOPP Manchester

Columbia on the shelves of FOPP in Manchester

And a poster on the wall

Rat In A Cage Live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-BpE11KyWs
Brutus Live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3ZsMQiMh1g
Video by Shell Zenner: 
Pictures Steve Hampson: https://www.facebook.com/shampson3/posts/10155931689652725
Article by Louder Than War: https://louderthanwar.com/blinders-album-launch-fopp-records-mcr-21st-september-live-review/

22nd of September 2018 – Action Records, Preston

Poster promoting meet and greet with the band in Preston at Action Records

Poster for fans:
https://www.facebook.com/ActionRecordsUK/photos/a.535513003156819/2208618092512960
Pictures: https://www.facebook.com/theblindersband/posts/2158447537761902
Short video: https://twitter.com/NATMPete/status/1043793003884826624/video/1 
Ramona Flowers live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9IIk_3XRRM&feature=share 
Rare cover of Bob Dylan’s “The Ballad of a Thin Man”: https://www.instagram.com/p/BooG4prndak/

23rd of September 2018 – Jacaranda Records – Phase One, Liverpool

Jacaranda, Phase One, Liverpool

Review:
http://www.getintothis.co.uk/2018/10/the-blinders-jacaranda-phase-one-liverpool/?fbclid=IwAR3jkPI-98JwhFgzxXwSnUepK9GUKCfDAhaQ9NnF3pNAgh-6JkQqeiU_AhY
https://kevinbarrettphotography.com/2018/09/23/photo-gallery-the-blinders-jacaranda-records-phase-one/
Video:
www.facebook.com/jacrecsphaseone/videos/358599498015099/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bffrWT4PPJo&feature=share
Pictures:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/jacrecsphaseone/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2154213491565612


https://twitter.com/ActionRecords/status/1044172545916882945?s=20

24th of September 2018  – HMV, Sheffield

HVM poster for Liverpool and Doncaster

Poster number 1: https://twitter.com/hmvtweets/status/1043892894694813696?s=20 

Alternative poster for HMV Sheffield

Poster number 2: https://twitter.com/hmvSheffield/status/1044159820742500352/photo/1
Pictures:
https://www.facebook.com/theblindersband/posts/2160241554249167



Video:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BoHZ1_KAGLU/

25th of September 2018  – HMV, Doncaster

HMV advert in magazines advertising Columbia

A close up showing detailed information about the release

Pictures:
https://www.facebook.com/theblindersband/posts/2160714130868576
https://www.facebook.com/theblindersband/photos/a.1497857810487548/2160891474184175/?type=3&theater


https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/photos/thomas-haywood?phrase=thomas%20haywood&sort=best#license (photosession by Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage)

Although it is not a part of the meet & greet tour, HMV Worcester  receives a honorary mention for displaying this by the main doors. You guys are amazing!
Also, we have heard that Glasgow branch had to be re-stoked twice on the premiere day! Oh me, oh my oh Roy… (but it is the wrong band!)

HMV in Worcester knows the best music when they hear it!

26th of September 2018Rough Trade,  Nottingham 

Official page: https://www.roughtrade.com/gb/events/rough-trade-nottingham-the-blinders
Pictures:

https://www.facebook.com/theblindersband/photos/a.1493204590952870/2161284390811550/?type=3&theater
https://www.facebook.com/theblindersband/posts/2161193344153988 
Video:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BoOdXeZBb-F/

27th of September 2018 – Jumbo Records, Leeds

 

Jumbo Records posters for the performance

Pictures: https://www.instagram.com/p/BoL9W8Ghl7C/?taken-by=jumborecords

Another honorable mention is given to an award winning independent record shop, Picadelly Records, Manchester for displaying this beautiful flag on their walls!
Picture:

Columbia banner is ready to be taken to the barricades

Close up number 2

And close up number 3

Works of Arts;
We all know that “Columbia” is a true work of (musical) art and it is nothing shocking that other artists are being inspired by it. If you have seen the band performing on Kendall Calling Festival, you may have noticed two beautiful artworks displayed near the tent. They were made from broken vinyl records and the pieces were assembled into the Columbia’s cover artwork, or the face of Johnny Dream. The artist behind this very unique work is Kirk Whitehouse and his art is known as the “Smashed Hits” artworks. Kirk has been working with pieces of old vinyl records for years and his artworks have been exhibited many times in the UK and abroad. They were also featured in magazines, press and in hundreds of other publications (digital and  print). Kirk is not only a very successful artist but also a volunteer and regional manager for Musicians Against Homelessness charity. His work took him recently to London where he spoke to the Parliament about the growing homelessness crisis.  He managed to convinced several MP’s to their very worth cause! Kirk lives in Birmingham with his wife and two daughters. He is open for commissions so please contact him if you’d like your own smashed hits piece of art.
You can see the picture of the Blinders posing with the Columbia artwork at the festival and with the artist in tow):

Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Smashed-Hits-Broken-vinyl-artwork-583541998364448/
Personal FB profile: https://www.facebook.com/kirk.whitehouse.3
Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smashedhits/
Website: http://www.smashedhits.co.uk/

Another artist inspired by The Blinders is the excellent Nick Dillon! Manchester native, Nick is a pop (culture) artist that specializes in portraits using embossing and debossing techniques. Each artwork he makes takes about 100 hours and everything you see is done by hand. Nick’s works have been exhibited numerous times and the biggest rock stars and football clubs are among his clients.  The Columbia artwork is very unique as Nick decided to emboss all lyrics on one canvas – that’s staggering 7500 letters! We don’t know how long this piece took him but it must have been twice the usual amount of time. The artwork will be displayed on The Blinder’s London gig on 7th of November in London.

And here you can see the artwork being prepared. It looks simply breathtaking!

Short video how the finished artwork looks like:

View this post on Instagram

#theblinders hand painted

A post shared by Nick Dillon (@ntd1974) on

Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/nickdillon.artwork
Website: https://www.nickdillonart.co.uk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nickdillonart
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ntd1974/

Fanarts:
The Blinders’ artistic vision is encouraging fans to create as well. The first fan-arts inspired by the dystopian tale are starting to appear and we are sure, there will be more and more coming up soon. Just last month, we only had two artworks created by Polish graphic designer, Marek Zbrozlo and they feature the lead singer (Thomas Haywood) in a traditional style and his alter ego (Johnny Dream) as a comic book character. In the next few weeks, more and more artists joined in and we now  have a small art gallery on the blog!

Thomas Haywood of The Blinders – drawn by Marek Zbrozlo https://www.facebook.com/marek.zbrozlo

Johnny Dream by Marek Zbrozlo
https://www.instagram.com/zbrozlo/

Lucy Evans’ portrait of Johnny Dream
https://twitter.com/lucyevanns

Thomas Haywood as Johnny Dream by Ablott Mcr. Please viisit the gallery at: https://www.instagram.com/ablottmcr/

Expressionist mono print with colour underlay copied from a photo by Sam Crowston. Artwork by Ade Riches. You can visit the original at: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10158081008358298

 

MISC
The Blinders were used in the newest commercial for BEATSTREAM application that allows to listen to  any gigs on your phone.

Video on BT TV music

The Blinders on MTV Rocks

Spotify for the Blinders looks very impressive!

The Party in the State of Columbia never sleeps – as you now know very well by now. So the archives will be updated as time goes on.

Additional reading and studying materials can be obtained here:

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/

Birmingham concert review:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/10/27/indieterria-review-the-blinders-at-castle-and-falcon-in-birmingham/

You can follow The Blinders on inter-webs:
https://theblinders.tmstor.es/
http://facebook.com/theblindersband
http://twitter.com/theblindersband
https://instagram.com/theblinders
https://soundcloud.com/theblinders-music
https://open.spotify.com/artist/3Z8Y3Ek99rukRa1Hdo14GE?si=yx5j8oK-RpG6qE7MQtVU5Q

Or their label Modern Sky:
https://modernsky.uk/
https://modernsky.uk/blinders-debut-album-columbia-now-available-pre-order
https://twitter.com/ModernSkyUK
https://www.facebook.com/ModernSkyUK/

We will see you in (Reading) Room 101.

M/R

Indieterria review – Drusila Want You single

Dear Readers

Logo

Writing reviews is not always as glamorous as it looks – most of the times you have to sit though excruciatingly bad demos or records that offer very little, even to a die-hard music fan. After a while to save your ears, you start to develop a skill to spot good material without hearing a note.  Pro-tip:  look at the name. You can learn quite a few things from the way a band named themselves. It can be poetic (“Collective Soul”), abstract (“Talking Heads”) or can hint at close ties among the members (“The Ramones”). So if you see an original and intriguing name  – grab that release. Nine times out of ten you will be right.

So, last week when I found in my inbox a single by Portsmouth based duo Drusila,  I knew I had quality material for the blog. Just by their name alone. Pop cultural knowledge is your friend when you review music. And a band that chooses a name after a prominent female figure from ancient times will surely indicate an ambitious project.

Drusila: these charming men

I can hear  the moans – Drusila is just an old fashioned name. What is there to get excited about.

A little bit of history lesson for you then, before we get to the music.

Drusila (Greek for “morning dew”) was a young and tragic figure in the times of Roman Empire, boasting of  incredible political heritage. Her father was famous general Germanicus (seen by his people on par with Alexander the Great for his military conquests) and  her mother was Agrippina The Elder (grand -daughter of Emperor Augustus and a powerful persona of Roman society). Drusila`s siblings included: Julia Livilla (“princess of Lesbos”), Agrippina The Younger (empress), emperor Caligula, Nero Julius Caesar and Drusus Caesar (heirs to emperor Tiberius). Her grandmother was empress Julia Augusta. Pomponia Graecina (venerated in Catholic church as St Lucy) was her aunt. After the death of Germanicus at the age of thirty three,  Agrippina The Elder returned to Rome with six of her children and started a series of complex political and military intrigues against Emperor Tiberius, whom she blamed for poisoning her husband. The power struggle was so bloody and so intense that it took lives of all six children of Agrippina The Elder before any of them reached age of forty.

In her life Drusila was a prominent member of the royal family and skilled political player. She was also known to be more beautiful than legendary Cleopatra. She had such a close relationship with her brother Caligula that she was seen as his wife and a lover. She divorced twice at Caligula`s request and shared his household. During his illness Caligula named Drusila as the only hair to all his possession and titles. Had he died, Drusila would inherit the throne and would become the first woman to solely rule Roman Empire.

Melancholic visuals are part of the band`s charm and carefully crafted image.

However, it was Drusila who perished first, during a famine at the age of 22. She would not witness executions, assassinations and starvation of all her other siblings. Caligula who was obsessed with his sister to the point of naming himself her husband (and probably marrying her against all rules of the empire) – proclaimed her a goddess and reincarnation of Venus and buried her in a huge public ceremony. Drusila`s death changed Caligula into a tyrant, who pillaged public funds and drove Roman Empire on the brink of collapse.

If you find this somehow familiar – you are right. Drusila and Caligula serve as a blueprint for Cersei and Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones.

You see – a good name can squeeze volumes of information  for a reviewer to decode and it is such a intellectual pleasure to meet a band who are ambitious and dig history and even have a good taste in picking up a TV show. They would surely be great to interview and maybe that`s what we will do in the coming weeks.

But now – to the point. The single, “Want You” just came out and I am more than happy to lend my ears and my pen to review this song.

“Want You” is a sultry electro-pop ballad for the romantics on the indie circuit. You can clearly imagine a club night full of kids on the floor dancing to it, and maybe using it to let their secret crush know how they feel about them. But the single is so much more than a perfect Fresher`s Week club filler. Drusila are very clever – they take elements from their contemporaries (like Hurts) but also from older genres: cold wave, 80s synth wave and electronic music to forge their own unique sound. It is hard to believe that George William Robert and Hugo Seckington (who form the duo) started out this year. They sound like a band with at least two-three years of touring and recording experience with a good understanding where they want to be in five – ten years time.

Single cover for Want You – red roses and suits, some very clever references to Morrissey and Depeche Mode. We approve.

Judging from previous singles and videos (“Forget”, “Something For Nothing”) Drusila have a liking for theatrics on stage and spiky hair that would make Robert Smith right at home. Combine that with ability to write beautiful pop melodies and you have a very interesting mix.

Forget single cover – we do love the spiky hair (and eyeliner!)

On reviewer described Drusila as a “strange affair between The Cure, Hurts and Pet Shop Boys” and I am a bit jealous that I didn’t come with this line myself. It summarizes their sound so nicely. From my end I will definitely add that they have ambition and talent to back up their impressive influences.  So it seems we have a duo that we need to keep an eye on. Those boys will be here for a long while. Lucky us.

Something For Nothing single sleeve – bringing to mind the 80s cult series The Twilight Zone. We said. we love the references Drusila envoke in their visuals.

You can follow the band on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/DrusilaWeAre/
https://twitter.com/DrusilaWeAre
https://www.instagram.com/drusilaband/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE9ry-OOi9EB_UXrHoEoyxA
https://soundcloud.com/user-970258778
https://open.spotify.com/artist/1Lc5UFs2kwrs8HxGLjoIp7?si=W9I4XTBARnmc6eWQMqvQFQ

Or you can listen to them here:

That`s all for us this time around. I will leave you with one more stunning visual from Drusila – in the studio. As this blog goes live, the band has been featured on BBC Introducing and has a session at Rough Trade.  The only way up for them boys is up.

Purple haze – Drusila in the studio.

 

Cheerios,

Malicia

Indieterria review – Less is Better by False Heads

Dear readers,

On August 23rd, we have published our along awaited interview with False Heads. We wanted to do it for such a long period of time so we were truly happy when our plans finally materialized. And today, we would like to add the part deux to the interview in form of a review of their EP entitled “Less Is Better”.

False Heads UK/European tour, September-October 2018

Working with False Heads is incredibly simple. They are very communicative, easy going and open. Listening to their music is almost the same – it gives you some kind of liberty and freedom. Their music is heavy, full of emotions and raw, yet it has healing capabilities. It frees you of bad thoughts, gives you a respite from the world filled with large amounts of everything: bad news, information, cruelty. Even if this is just for a little while, but it helps.

If you’d like to read our interview with False Heads, please use the link below:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/08/23/indieterria-meets-false-heads/

 

Less Is Better cover

We all know the popular expression “May you live in interesting times”. At first glance, it looks like a thrilling adventure. Interesting times are just that – interesting. You are not being bored, there is always something going on. Moving from place to place, travelling all over the world, an unexpected event here and there. A true bliss for adrenaline addicted folks. Yet, look closely at those “interesting times” and you may find out they mean something more sinister. War, economic troubles, racial tensions, lack of understanding, lack of prospects, industrial and cultural decay, and political oppression – the list could go on forever.

The saying is supposedly a translation of a Chinese curse and it does feels sometimes like we have been cursed to live through the worse. The last decade is certainly an interesting one. It took a lot of things from us that we have taken for granted and gave back nothing but kicks in the teeth and serious headaches. Trump, Brexit, instability, conservative and outdated outlooks on life, austerity, poverty – throw it into the mix and you have a recipe for long lasting troubles. It is not dark yet, but as the bard proclaims, it is getting there.

The times are not easy, money are tight yet silver lining is always there. People are organizing, communities are forming and the art is back on the streets where it belongs. We are experiencing a real renaissance of guitar driven, angst-filled scene with excellent bands popping all over the shop. Idles, The Blinders, Children of the State, Shame, The Surrenders, The Americas, The Wholls – again too many to list them all in this article. There is something special happening in Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Sheffield and in other cities. It is almost like some barrier has been removed and all those tamed feelings and frustrations suddenly found their release in music. We are literally drowning in sound and if this is the end, then it is the beautiful way to die.

We are not dead yet, as a lady keeps reminding us in one of the most important books of the 20th century. And if we are not dead yet, then we can enjoy whatever life throws at us. And today, my rock and roll existence offered me a chance to review a 4 track EP by False Head. And boy, it was a right smack in the face.

False Heads are a trio from South London that shook and stirred the rock and roll scene with such force that Iggy Pop had to stop and watch them. And so did the legendary manager, Danny Fields. You know the one who discovered and gave us The Ramones. With such a strong support from industry’s greatest, False Heads quickly conquered the capitol and large parts of the UK, gaining a truly faithful fan base. The EP is called “Less Is Better” and has been released by These Bloody Thieves Records to fantastic reviews from other bloggers and A&R’s.

The first song (and the second lead single promoting this release) “Yellow” starts as suspected with heavy riffs, catchy melodies and powerful drumming. Luke Griffith’s voice is well matched to the music and this is one of the most important qualities of the band. He knows how to use his voice and does it perfectly. When the music slows down, Luke’s singing technique is almost classical – clear and smooth. Second later, accompanied by fuzzed guitars, his voice is dripping with sarcasm or turning into scratchy, angry scream. His ability to vocally adapt to sudden tempo changes are well known and you need to see him live to fully appreciate how good he is. He is also a skilled guitarist and it needs to be noted that he can sing, play and roll around the stage in a frenzy simultaneously without losing any of his abilities. It is easy to understand why Iggy Pop is praising False Heads so highly. I’m sure he can see a younger version of himself in their stage act and again, this is something worth celebrating. Not many musicians can fall to their knees, crawl, jump and throw themselves off the stage and still deliver without dropping their Fender Cyclone in the process.

Praising Luke’s talents, let’s not forget about Barney Nash (drummer) and Jake Elliott (bassist) who are match made in heaven. These two seem to communicate telepathically as they are perfectly tuned to each other and nothing seems to distract them or break up their musical unison. Their thunderous bass-drum coalition rolls you into the ground like a steam roller and you don’t know what hit you. You only know it came fast, out of nowhere and it was really, really heavy.

In the lyrics department, False Heads are no poets and frankly, nobody expects them to be. You will not find any literary or artistic references in their words. They are street-smart, boyz-from-the-hood, type of lads that talk straight from their hearts, yet they do it with wit and intellect. “I let my hair down” sings Luke Griffiths in “Yellow” only to add playfully in the next line “So you can tear out”. The songs touch on serious topics such as alienation, living with constant stress (“Better let me down, better let me down. You can shoot away, we’ve all seen better days”) and trying to find a way of reducing what we have or what we know (“The less I know, the less I’m beat”).

The second song on this EP (and in a strange twist of things, the first single released to promote it in February) “Retina” is by far my favourite track and will probably end up in the top 5 on my personal list of the bests songs released this year. It reminds me of Nirvana, Green River and early Screaming Trees with its heavy bass line, repeated loops and catchy choruses. It is also the most commercially and radio friendly song the band has released so far and a massive crowd pleaser. Please check the video to this song as it is very nicely done as well.

“Help Yourself” and “Wrap up” bring traditional rock and roll mayhem to the center of the stage. Both compositions are everything we love in this genre: chaos, lo-fi distortions, unpredictability and creativity. Yes, creativity may not be the word you have expected to be used here but there is a serious structure to the songs and a calculated method in this madness. They may sound like an outcome from the strangest jamming session in the studio, but they are neatly written and produced to the highest standard. And they serve a specific purpose, I recon. They are long and wild and allow the band to trash their equipment or create as much noise pollution as possible at the end of the gig. Sonic catharsis, anybody? Here you go, sweat your souls out, dance until you collapse and you can happily march home whistling on your way back from the venue.

How do we rate this EP? 5 stars out of five and a hand shake to Jonathan Hucks who produced this absolute beauty. If you haven’t ordered your copy yet, do it as it is an essential addition to your record collection.

False Heads are currently on their UK/European tour and we will hear great things about this band in the future. If the music continues to be as good as it is now, then I hope to live in interesting times for a little bit longer.

And you will be wishing to do that as well.

EP Less is better is out on 23rd of  September (digital) and 5th of October (physical copy) through These Bloody Thieves Record/Cargo Records

Track listing:

  1. Yellow
  2. Retina (EP version)
  3. Help Yourself
  4. Wrap Up

https://www.facebook.com/FalseHeads
http://www.falseheads.com
https://www.instagram.com/falseheads/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqivl1sWLJyZxP3Ywei3HGw
https://twitter.com/FalseHeads

You can pre-order it here:
http://smarturl.it/FalseHeads

Hand written letter from the band received with a review copy (page 1)

 

And page two!

Till we meet again,

Rita Dabrowicz

Indieterria review – Guitar Music Is Dead by The Americas

“Not scared of no darkness” – The Americas “Guitar Music is Dead” review


When I look back, there is a cinematic quality to it. I can see it in my mind unfolding like a film. A girl is walking into a local venue, wrapped in her over-sized winter jacket. She`s very nervous to the point of feeling lightheaded. Yet, she is very determined. She came to this place to find bands to promote. She is about to rebuild her life from actual scratch and it’s the music business with no plan B. She will find herself some local acts to promote and it will snowball from here. It`s a Phillip Hall or Tony Wilson type of thing. You would not understand.

The bar is half full with some people talking and listening to songs played via PA system. There could have been an open mic night but it ended. The girl was late. She loiters with a glass of cola for a while and then strikes rather awkward conversation with two guys at the bar. They seem like a perfect target. And the conversation goes like this:

– Sooo, are you in a band? – she asks
– Yes – one of the boys is irritated because he has just been mistaken for his twin brother
– We are … ummm a five piece…
– And have a female singer  – interrupts the brother and they do look identical
– Would you describe yourself as a good band?

The boys stare at each other:

– Suppose so? – says the first one measuring words – But if you want to find a good band in this town there`s The Americas…

The Americas

The boy is Fergus Brazier – lead guitarist of incredibly potent indie pop/shoegaze act named nth cave. His hair is still not dyed blue, he is months away from departing to London to work at the Beeb. His brother is Hector Brazier, drummer in the same band. They recorded a session for BBC Hereford and Worcester but have no idea that it will become one of the most popular sessions for local chapter of BBC Introducing. They are unaware that in the future they will co headline Musicians Against Homelessness in Worcester collecting more funds than a similar event in Birmingham. It is also too early for their demos to end up on Steve Lamacq`s desk. It`s only winter 2016 and we have just met.

Similarly, the entire local music scene is yet nameless. It will take several more months before Andrew Marston of BBC coins the term “WorcesterWave” to describe our collective push to be recognized. But the stars are aligning. The nth cave boys just introduced me to The Americas.  I don’t know many people in town so it is hard for me to name others in the room. But it is full of people with whom I will work and whom I will call friends. Jesse River Dylan Murray is packing up his guitar – dressed in his fashionable coat, Troy Tittley of Nuns of the Tundra is out in the little garden in the back of the venue. Hanna Webb is saying good bye to her mates from Population 7 by the doors, there is a song by Soeur on the speakers…

 

The EP banner

The girl goes home quite ignorant that she accidentally stepped in to an environment that resembles Seattle in the late 80s – where local music scene is full of incredible talent and it is ready to make itself known to the country. So far the girl has just learned names of two local bands. One of them will change her considerably. She gets home and puts The Americas into Google…

It took 547 more days (I have been counting, not sure what it says about me) to finally see the band live – on 16th September 2017 during Worcester Music Festival. By then, The Americas had three singles out and they toured the country playing all the important festivals. They rounded up the year being featured by Tom Robinson on BBC 6 Music during his Christmas program.

Second time I`ve seen them was on 30th March 2018 (tendency to remember life events by the gigs), they played to a sold out crowd in the same venue when I first heard their name. They were dressed in matching red suits and white shirts. They debuted some new songs and taunted an upcoming EP.

If I can conjure some more of this nonexistent film about the Worcester scene. In March 2018, I am now at the side of the stage screaming out America`s lyrics and having a very emotional time. Over the two years period The Americas found a way into my soul and into my playlists. I interviewed them for my blog, I discovered their previous  project (Holy!), I have their song on my ringtone and I march into work at a local authority to their beat. If allowed – I am harping about them (and The Blinders) to anyone who was unlucky to show interest in anything music related.  The band kind of become friends since we all live in the same town.

The WorcesterWave is in full swing – local artists have been on BBC Hereford and Worcester, BBC West Midlands, Black Country Radio, Radio Brum, XS Manchester, BBC Radio 1 (including a Maida Vale session for Soeur), 6 Music, Radio X, Amazing Radio and festivals around the country. Local press (Worcester News, Malvern Gazette, Hereford Times), big rock magazines (Louder Than War, Kerrang, NME), independent zines (Leather + Denim, Some Might Say) have featured artists from the scene.  It becomes the norm to see local bands regularly gigging in London, Cardiff, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, opening festival stages and even being considered for labels. If a movie about us is ever going to be made – there surely will be a scene of Fergus (with his now trademark blue hair) pitching local acts to some indie labels at a music fair in London for an hour and forty –five minutes. Or The Americas singing their hearts out at The Lexington while opening for The Blinders…

Our combined efforts, support from Beeb and DJs such as Andrew Marston, Steve Lamacq, John Kennedy, Daniel P Carter, Huw Stephens, Mary Ann Hobbs, Lauren Laverne or Tom Robinson and simple luck pushed WorcesterWave further than anyone of us would dream. But one thing remains certain: The Americas seem to be ahead of everyone. They set trends and go places like they have found a crystal ball and can see the future. Whatever they do today, the scene will try out tomorrow.

And here we get to the meritum of this longish essay – the debut EP from The Americas aptly entitled “Guitar Music Is Dead”.

Signed copy of Guitar Music Is Dead

On September 7th 2018 The Americas debuted a six track EP – their first offering to the world. Recorded at a secret studio located in Oxfordshire countryside, “Guitar Music Is Dead” has been mixed and produced by Mike Hill and the band, using tape instead of digital technology. It gives the record unique, old fashioned feeling – something that you don’t hear on other indie releases. However this is not nostalgia for the golden era of rock and roll. The EP feels very modern, both in sound and output. It just has that “thin mercury sound” that Bob Dylan spoke about – for a lack of better definition.

Analogue approach brings forward the beauty of The Americas that could have been overlooked before – that of honesty, that comes from hearts and experiences of the members.  The band does not shy away from hard topics on the record: loneliness in “Come on Out”, political and economical mess of the world  in “American Morning” or drug use in “I Don’t Wanna Go Home”. But everything is delivered with a dose of sadness and poetry, rather than a blunt force. The Americas look at the world and  see what surrounds us and react to it in their own ways. They do get angry in “Bad News” that seems to be directed at people in music industry (or any industry where you work and struggle) but also deliver a beautifully crafted song about getting away in “Backyard Love Song” and a love song in form of “Rosanna”. This is my personal favourite. If I may dedicate few lines of text to it.

Front Cover of the EP, Photo by Holly Elizabeth Beson-Tams (band`s official photographer)
https://www.facebook.com/DenimnLeatherMagazine

“Rosanna” closes the record with a bang and a wonderful jam at the end of the track. But it is the lyrics that won me over.  Perhaps I am wrong, but this is not an ordinary love song. This is a “love beyond the grave” type of a story – where two people have each other for ever, no matter what.  “Rosanna” is a possessive, us vs. the world, Bonnie and Clyde, True Romance kind of a feeling. The one that each of us dreamed of but very few will ever experience.  And then there is this passage “I am not scared of no darkness, as long as I’ve got you here in my heart”.  For a whole list of personal reasons that should not go into the review  – this line got to me and became some sort of a mantra in times of trouble. It is nearly a protective spell, and I don’t believe in magic. I do however believe in power of music and “Rosanna” is one hell of a powerful statement.

The EP also brings in a new element to band`s repertoire. For the first time, both Harry Payne and Aaron Whittaker share vocal duties.  Aaron takes leads on “American Morning” and “Backyard Love Song” – both compositions he authored. While Harry Payne`s vocals are expressive and at times cutting like knives (last minute of “I Don’t Wanna Go Home will leave you with deep emotional scars), Aaron vocals are soothing and gentle. Harry and Aaron complement each other, when one sings leads, the other does backing parts and it works like magic. I have yet to find an indie record that has this sort of chemistry and fellowship between band members.

Back Cover of the EP, Photo by Holly Elizabeth Beson-Tams (band`s official photographer) https://www.facebook.com/DenimnLeatherMagazine

That partnership is very much visible on stage when The Americas play live. They instinctively know what the other person will do, where the music goes, what songs follows. Off stage, they sit together like a family unit rather than a bunch of mates.  I have seen other acts being fiercely jealous of the unity in The Americas. Come to think of it, “Guitar Music Is Dead” would not be such an exemplary record if it wasn’t for the brotherhood shared between Harry, Alex and  Aaron.

And I have to mention something about Alex Bradshaw`s drumming. The legend has it that he was “stolen” by Aaron and Harry from his mother group and was convinced to join The Americas instead. I`m not particularly sure this is what really happened but Alex`s input in the band is crucial for the sound. He hits the tubes like there is no tomorrow in “Bad News”, only to bring delicate textures of “American Morning” next and contributes groove to the phenomenal jam at the end of “Rosanna”.  How many times you get to listen to a record and say – yep, the drummer is the right one for the band. The chemistry between Aaron and Harry is kept in perfect balance by Alex and there is no doubt about it.

“Guitar Music is Dead” is a great EP, lasting about 30 minutes and it’s one of two records of the year for me, alongside with “Columbia” from The Blinders. What is a small disappointment to me, unlike “Columbia”, “Guitar Music Is Dead” doesn’t fully capture how the band sound when playing live. You still need to see The Americas on stage to fully understand their powerful mix of Americana, soul, gospel and classic rock. The EP is an excellent record but The Americas are capable of so much more than the format could handle.

If you can get yourself a copy of the EP, do so. It will be exciting for me to see where the band will go from here. And perhaps for the entire WorcesterWave scene as well.

 

Cover of Come On Out – first single to promote the EP.

***

It was very hard to write this review. Took me about a week.  I wrote at home, in a hotel at 3AM when on a trip to Manchester, on buses and in bed. I reviewed “Columbia” in about 5 hours from start to finish and required four revisions. The Americas took about thirty. This record hits so close to home that I had to take chunks of text out not to make it too personal. Morrissey once said that we should never forget the records that saved our lives. “Guitar Music Is Dead” did just that. On at least three occasions this year.

Alex, Harry and Aaron – thank you.

***

Cover of “American Morning” – second single off the EP

“Guitar Music Is Dead” was released on 7th September 2018.

TRACKLIST:

1. Come On Out
2. American Morning
3. Bad News
4. Backyard Love Song
5. I Don`t Wanna Go Home
6. Rosanna

Order:

https://theamericasyeah.bigcartel.com/product/guitar-music-is-dead-cd-pre-order

Cover of “Rosanna” – third and final single to promote the EP

Interview with the band:

https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/indieterria-meets-the-americas/

You can follow The Americas using the links below:

http://www.theamericasyeah.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theamericasyeah/
https://soundcloud.com/theamericasyeah
https://twitter.com/theamericasyeah
https://www.instagram.com/theamericasyeah/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/1QxPYzki5ME5mHztKXbEir?si=AC1ZwAdZSUemXwrCC3u3TQ
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/guitar-music-is-dead-ep/1422754052

Or listen online:

The EP has been promoted by three singles that were released throughout the summer. You can find them on band`s YouTube channel with respective lyrics.

Reviews:

Please do not take just my word for granted how good The Americas` EP is. Here is a whole bunch of other reviews (and this is just a small fragment of what`s out there) if you cannot make up your mind if you shall get your own copy of “Guitar Music Is Dead”:

Gigslutz:  „Every track varies from the last, showing the incredible talent and individual sound the band is bringing to the table, and this just the start of what The Americas are capable of”

http://www.gigslutz.co.uk/ep-americas-guitar-music-dead-2/

This Feeling track of the day: “Anthemic, groove laden guitar music you can dance to – and no one’s doing it better right now”.

http://www.gigslutz.co.uk/feeling-track-day-americas-come/

Oddscene (French online magazine):  “The Englishmen of “The Americas” start a brand new chapter with their first EP that will see the light of day in September”.

https://oddsceneblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/08/the-americas-on-veut-creer-quelque-chose-qui-soit-hors-du-temps/

Words For Music: “EP packs a whole load of guitar in one place. The ring of the classic bluesy vocals are complemented by rock and country guitars while hats are surely tipped towards indie music, making you really question the Midland origin of the band”.

https://wordsformusic.blog/2018/09/08/ep-review-the-americas-guitar-music-is-dead/

The review was followed by Q&A by the magazine:

https://wordsformusic.blog/2018/09/04/interview-the-americas-answer-10-questions/

Counteract:  The Americas are ensuring guitar music is in rude health”.

http://counteract.co/interview/interview-the-americas-come-on-out-for-new-single/

Northern Exposure:  “The Americas are a British guitar band trying to make it pay in the 21st century. Taking influences from 70’s Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and American pop-culture.They put on their suits, strap up their boots and take their rock and roll gospel to anyone who’ll listen”.

http://northern-exposure.co/the-americas-announce-three-new-singles/

North Exposure:  “These indie rockers cause quite a ruckus when playing and have taken that riot on tour with a slurry of festival appearances last year which were all well received”.

http://northern-exposure.co/daily-exposed-the-americas-come-on-out/

We Close Tonight: “If you can find me a trio of blokes from Birmingham who are better at making Americana music than The Americas, I’ll buy you a pint of something bitter.”

https://weclosetonight.com/2018/08/08/the-americas-rosanna/

One Great Song:  “From indie infused country guitar to melodic piano and bluesy vocals, the trio’s debut EP is shaping up to be a refreshing offering of proper guitar music with a nostalgic twist”.

https://www.onegreat-song.com/single-post/2018/07/30/The-Americas—American-Morning

One Great Song:  “Heavenly melodies meet with bluesy, soothing vocals  to create a classic rock n roll edge”

https://www.onegreat-song.com/single-post/2018/06/04/The-Americas—Come-On-Out

One Great Song: “Nobody else is producing a sound quite like theirs right now, and the Guitar Music Is Dead EP is all the evidence you need of that. Traditional but quirky, nostalgic and powerful; The Americas are proving that guitar music is in fact thriving”.

https://www.onegreat-song.com/single-post/2018/09/13/The-Americas—Guitar-Music-Is-Dead

Indie Central Music: „The Americas have just released six-track EP ‘Guitar Music Is Dead’, and prove in 29 minutes of 60’s-flavoured rock’n’roll that they are one of the new wave of UK bands making sure guitar music is very much alive”. (also user rating for the band is stated at 8.2 out of 10)

http://indiecentralmusic.com/moder-age-music-song-of-the-week/

Reyt Good Magazine:  “With their reputation and fanbase rapidly growing across the independent scene, the band look to be a definite hit this summer”.

https://www.rgm.press/review-the-americas-come-on-out/

Popped Music: “Once again the guys have smashed it and given us a summer anthem that we can listen to all day, every day. “ (about “American Morning”)

https://poppedmusic.co.uk/2018/08/09/just-listen-the-americas-american-morning/

Popped Music: “Have been a big fan of The Americas since seeing them gracing the stages at some small venues and then smashing their set at Isle of Wight Festival (…) Judging from this release, the EP, “Guitar Music is Dead”, is something to look forward to”. (about “Come On Out”)

https://poppedmusic.co.uk/2018/06/03/just-listen-the-americas-come-on-out/

Indie For Bunnies
(Italian Indie Blog): “For lovers of that sound of the ’70s but also for those looking for a half hour of great music: do not waste your time and listen to it, guitar music will never die.”

http://www.indieforbunnies.com/2018/09/15/ep-the-americas-guitar-music-is-dead/

Denim+ Leather: “Beautifully refreshing in a sea of indie rock and their songs truly mean something”.

http://denimnleather.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-americas-come-on-out-single-review.html

Indie Radar added “Bad News” to their playlist showcasing the most important guitar bands in the UK

On 7th September 2018prestigious service Indie radar added “Bad News” to their Spotify playlist

Till the next time.

Malicia

“Everyone can enjoy the sun on their face. It’s a basic privilege even the plants have.”

Indieterria review – Columbia by The Blinders

 

“Dream the most dangerous of dreams” – The Blinders “Columbia”

Dear readers,

So, I have got copy of “Columbia” – the debut album by The Blinders. When I am writing this review (or rather an essay), it is exactly three weeks to physical release of the album and the world is buzzing. Tickets to upcoming tour start to fly out, the performance at Leeds and Reading festivals put the band on radars and lips of thousands of people, series of record store performances and signing sessions has been unveiled for September. Their songs are Radio 1 and 6 Music singles of the week, Guardian mentions, 300-400 tweets generated a day, real talk among A&Rs and business insiders that the album may go into top 40, every indie band I know looks up to them – you get the picture.

This is a young, promising act on the edge of great things to come. They are the new Manic Street Preachers – throwing intellectualism, poetry and art at the world, loudly commenting political reality, wearing war paint and messages on their instruments.

They are once-in-a-generation band, a trio of working class lads from Doncaster with vision, balls and talent to offer the jaded, over-saturated world of pop music something fresh.  And people are drawn to it. You will see more and more fans jumping on The Blinders bandwagon as the time goes by. I`m old enough to see this happen several times in the past. It is exciting and scary, both for the writer and the band. I`ll get to that scary part at the end of this essay.

The Blinders headlining BBC Introducing stage at Leeds Festival 2018, photo by Sam Crowston https://www.facebook.com/sam.crowston

But back to the task at hand. How do you review “Columbia”? A deeply personal record for me for myriad of reasons. Do you do a regular review about the music and the cover and lyrics? Do you do a more in-depth account throwing some of your personal experiences into the mix?

I`ll write the emotional account – because I can`t do otherwise. It would not be honest. Especially since I have been championing and shouting about The Blinders daily for the last 2,5 years. And I don’t want this review to look like it`s written by a PR person for the band.

This review is done because The Blinders won me over.

Because we share the same background and love for high art.

Because we have similar determination in life.

And because we have “met” in a “right” moment.

In store appearances scheduled after Columbia comes out on 21st September 2018

“Columbia” is an angry album.  It`s written by musicians who come of age in a dark period – full of corrupted figures that divide not just people but the world with walls and borders, planet full of CCTV cameras and reality shows, party identities, wars, destruction of the environment, zero hours contracts and social media aka Big Brother.

The band grew up in a post industrial town with outdated architecture (“granite building and 1960s concrete bridges and the factories – they were just making electric fridges” from “Orbit”), read Orwell at school (1984 is a constant motive though out several songs on the album such as “Where No Man Comes” or “Ballad of Winston Smith”) and looked carefully around to witness modern poverty (“men and women worked to death”, “darkness seems to take its hold over both the poor and old”), saturation with news (“forgotten stories on the news”), refugee crisis (“fox hunt the refugees”) and general hopelessness (“feel so helpless all time”).

This will lead to righteous anger at previous generations and the state of the world. “Who will stand against them all?” ask The Blinders in “Ballad of Winston Smith” and follow up with a passionate soliloquy in “Free The Slave” against religious leaders, political figures and society in general.

Bleakness takes the center of the stage next to anger on “Columbia”. “They gonna build the Berlin Wall, divide us in two, and kill me and you” – screams Thomas Haywood at one point and this is not the only violent moment. Police brutality is referenced on “I Can`t Breathe Blues,” dragging people in the middle of the night from their beds is mentioned in “Where No Man Comes” and  there is talk about having your throat slit in “Brutus”. “Rat in a Cage” goes as far as to offer us an apocalyptic vision of devastated earth (“polluted and poisoned and dying race, our god doesn’t want to see the end of days”).

Columbia Tour poster for Autumn 2018

It is enough to make any young man pick up an instrument and scream into the void. And this is what The Blinders are doing with exceptional skills.  Their younger listeners will agree, but what about you older, more established members of society? Do you feel the same anger and hopelessness? Do you remember yourself from the way back when you were twenty – something and  you too wanted to change the world? What do you see and what do you feel when you listen to “Columbia”?

I almost forgot how it felt when I breathed anger at lack of prospects, walls and crazed political heads. Until “Columbia” arrived in its 12 track glory and hit me right in the chest. The album caused me physical pain – at the memories of growing up in a rundown mining town (to which I hate to return even now),  living in a Grenfell Tower like building in the middle of a council estate. In a world behind the Iron Curtain at a time when Berlin Wall was still standing and people were shot for trying to get to the other side.  Give or take, The “Orbit” or “The Ballad of Winston Smith” can be about me – for I too read 1984 in class, as art and literature were the only forms of escape. In desperation to have an impact on the world I even picked a tool of trade, but it wasn’t a guitar. It was a camera…

Cover artwork for Columbia Photo by Sam Crowston
https://www.facebook.com/sam.crowston

“Columbia” was recorded in winter of 2017 at the Magic Garden studio with Gavin Monaghan as producer. It is the final stop in a long journey the band went though in the last two-three years.  It captures the spirit of their live performance to the last sparkle. If you have seen The Blinders live you will notice immediately that “Et Tu”, “Brutus” and “Berlin Wall” come one after another on the record, in the same order as they come on stage. The band likes to use all three compositions to end their shows with a proper punch. Two older songs “Brave New World” and “I Can`t Breathe Blues” albeit in newer versions made it onto the record. “ICB Blues”originally appeared on the 2016 EP “Hidden Horror Dance”, while “Brave New World” was previously released as a stand-alone single in 2017. If one follows the band, there is very little new material you can hear on the record. All three main singles “Gotta Get Through”, “L`Etat C`Est Moi” and “Brave New World” have been on the radio since March. “Brutus” and “Hate Song” are in regular rotation during live performances since last year.  If you watch Pirate Studios performance from 2017 you can see early version of “Hate Song” being named “March March March” (19:00 mins mark). “Rat in a Cage” and “Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)” appeared in live versions on socials in recent weeks, so  the only new compositions that have not been heard are “Where No Man Comes” and  short “Free The Slave”.  Is it bad? Not at all in my eyes.   I regard “Columbia” as crowning achievement of the bands potential so far.  They evolved so much in such a short time that it is incredible to observe. “Columbia” brings and ties all the ends from their career so far in one spectacular album.

Do yourself a little favour  and listen to very early demos from Thomas Haywood`s SoundCloud account. Songs such as “Ballad of Johnny Dream” and “Wither” (or even “Death of Narcissist”) had a huge influence on “Orbit” and “Ballad of Winston Smith”.  There is also a very early demo of “Ramona Flowers” and “You`re So Cold” aptly entitled “The Darkest Thing I Ever Did Feel” on the account for those who are familiar with band`s older repertoire.

It is a privilege to see any band develop, less alone a band that will define the voice of a generation. I`ve been very lucky to discover The Blinders in May (?) 2016. Music Business is a cut throat industry, there are more bands that break up than those who make it. It takes determination, sacrifices, and being single minded to stick with being in a band.

I recently interviewed The Blinders and asked them what profession they would pursue if they haven’t been making music. “We’d probably all be butchers or something” came an answer. And then they added: “At the end of the day without signing a deal [with label Modern Sky UK] we wouldn’t be talking to you about our debut album. We’d still be scrapping around trying get Brave New World recorded. We were given the chance and we took it, and we can’t more grateful for that. We are now in a situation where we can pursue art and writing for a living, so you can’t complain”.

Those words stayed with me and returned to me when listening to “Columbia”. The band put everything what they had into their music and stayed on course despite heavy odds. Both Thomas Haywood and drummer Matthew Neale left university without a degree. They were also lucky to land a recording deal. Without it, who can say how things would turn out?

If I can be very personal for a short moment again. Here comes another reason why I have such an emotional relationship with “Columbia” and the band. I mentioned that we “met” in a “right” time.  Like them, I was pursuing a dream despite heavy losses, ridicule and scrapping by. In ten years I did not manage to break into the industry I loved despite being ready to sacrifice everything for it. Even my personal safety. Even life. Then trauma came and put the end to my chosen career. I relocated to UK in February 2016 with a life long illness and lack of direction. I put together whatever was left of “old” me and started all over again slowly building up a path as an A&R on the indie circuit. Another country, another  career with apologies to David Bowie.  The Blinders were one of the first bands I took notice of. And their music stayed with me since. In an ironic twist of fate our paths seem to cross on the indie circuit. If I seen them live at a venue, the next week one of the bands I worked with would be playing  the same stage. To me and to me only “Columbia” is not just an album that shows true talent of three young lads. It is a soundtrack to my own personal journey to where I am now. The record entangled itself (or maybe I made it this way) with what happened in the last years and will always remind me of the bleakest and most victorious moments. That’s my own “concept” behind the record.

Thomas Haywood (“Johnny Dream”) performing with The Blinders (“Codeine Scene”) at The Sunflower Lounge on 16.02.2018

To anyone else it can be a striking concept album telling a story of a dystopian state of Columbia, where people disappear at nights, where police is free to murder and oppress, where population live in poverty and the young feel anger and solitude. Where Johnny Dream is calling to break out from mental cages and to support one another. Where despite the evil and the suffering there is still place for compassion, love and will to survive.

It can also be a set of twelve songs without any story behind them that try to make sense of the messed up world we live in.

It is guitar orientated  album that is true to the live performance.  Songs are fast and yet catchy, with haunting back ground vocals and  hypnotizing drums. Sometimes there`s spirit of Jim Morrison there in the spoken parts, sometimes you will hear Oasis or The Beatles or even Pink Floyd flirting with David Bowie. You can hear Mark Bolan`s groove.  There are some oriental musical themes that make me think of Kula Shaker. But mostly, mostly it is the fresh perspective on what music should be in 2018 – direct, poetic, enigmatic, political, tearing out your soul  and different from what is happening around. And that is what Thomas Haywood, Matty Neale and Charlie McGough bring to the table.

The album may be bleak as the abyss but I can see The Blinder`s future in quite a positive light. At the end of this review I`d like to refer to one single thing I  find worrying.  Here`s a small appeal to fellow music press folks – please do not treat the bands members and especially the vocalist as some sort of rock gods. I find the comparisons to “messiahs” or “Jim Morrisson” absurd and dangerous. Stage persona is not necessarily how artists are in real life. Please enjoy the show and leave the whole rock god icon in the past.  4REAL.

Columbia is out on 21st September 2018 via Modern Sky UK.

TRACKLIST:
1. Gotta Get Through
2. L’Etat C’Est Moi
3. Hate Song
4. Where No Man Comes
5. Free The Slaves
6. I Can’t Breathe Blues
7. Ballad Of Winston Smith
8. Et Tu
9. Brutus/Berlin Wall
10. Brave New World
11. Rat In A Cage
12. Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)

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/

You can follow The Blinders on inter-webs:

https://theblinders.tmstor.es/
http://facebook.com/theblindersband
http://twitter.com/theblindersband
https://instagram.com/theblinders
https://soundcloud.com/theblinders-music
https://open.spotify.com/artist/3Z8Y3Ek99rukRa1Hdo14GE?si=yx5j8oK-RpG6qE7MQtVU5Q

Or their label Modern Sky:

https://modernsky.uk/
https://modernsky.uk/blinders-debut-album-columbia-now-available-pre-order
https://twitter.com/ModernSkyUK
https://www.facebook.com/ModernSkyUK/

Till the next time,

Malicia D.

Indieterria meets The Blinders

Faithful Citizens of The State of Columbia!

The Blinders are less than a month from releasing their debut album. Each day they cover new grounds and by September 21st the world should know the power of their music. This is your duty as a Citizen to assist them in the conquest for our glorious homeland. Pre-order the record, call your local radio station unit and your local news publisher. Talk to your friends and advise them carefully to follow the same instructions. Your faith and co-operation will be rewarded. This humble blog brings you coverage from the front lines and a State approved message. The Blinders will appear at Leeds and Reading Festivals this weekend. But before they hit the stage – they have gracefully answered our questions. So read this interview, spread the word and don`t forget to eat your meat.

Thomas Haywood (vox, guitar, warpaint)
Charlie McGough (bass)
Matthew Neale (drums, vox)

Fans and music press reached a consensus describing you as “must see band” and “one of most original acts in recent years”. Would you like to introduce yourselves to Indieterria readers?
 

The Blinders: Hello Indieterria, individually we are Thomas Haywood, Charlie McGough and Matthew Neale, collectively we are known as the Manchester based band, The Blinders.

You often describe yourselves as “Johnny Dream and Codeine Scene”. It almost feels like there are two distinctive bands involved. So,  while we do the introductions, would you like to tell us who are the members  of Codeine Scene? Do they have names?  Can you elaborate how did you create the stage personas and their meaning? 

The Blinders: There are no specific members as of such. The Codeine Scene was a title banded about by ourselves when we came to name the band. We dismissed the idea and went with ‘The Blinders’ in its place (what fools we were). Johnny Dream plays a small narrative role on stage dressed in warpaint. However, the whole Johnny Dream and The Codeine Scene thing is a vessel we use in our heads to take on egos outside of our own in order to perform The Blinders’ music to its fullest intentions, all the while allowing us to detach ourselves from the on-stage personas. In short, it keeps us sane and allows us to remain grounded.

Why The Blinders? Are you fans of certain drama on BBC 2?

The Blinders: We are fans of the show. When we came to play our first gig, we were without a name so went with it. We didn’t really see it sticking, but here we are talking to you.

You grew up in Doncaster but relocated to Manchester. Is moving to a bigger city  beneficial for starting artists or is the competition for gigs and recognition not worth the effort?

The Blinders: Both were incredibly important places for us in the beginning of our lives as a band. We wouldn’t be where we are without coming to Manchester and playing its venues whilst friends from Doncaster would travel in busloads to continue on supporting us. This seemed to make a statement in a place that can be cliquey at times but were lucky enough to get in with the right people. In terms of bigger cities being beneficial for starting artists, that’s undoubtedly true because the contacts and resources you need exist in these really quite creative and liberal hubs.

It is hard to categorize your music. The Beatles, Police, Black Sabbath, Sonic Youth, Paul Weller, The Jam, Joy Division, Manics, The Doors and Arctic Monkeys were all mentioned as possible inspirations. If you were to review your own art, which musical heritage would  you subscribe to?

The Blinders: We don’t subscribe to a specific heritage. We obviously lean on certain bands or certain sounds, but it would be ludicrous to pigeon hole yourself as a ‘punk’ band. How could you while there are so many avenues to explore and doors to open in the world of music. We learnt how to write music like any other modern artist in the past 60 years, by having a hunger to listen to all music and interpret it in your own way.

There are many pop/cultural, political and historical references in your lyrics. “Ramona Flowers” is a character from a series of graphic stories by Bryan Lee O’Malley, “Brave New World” shares its title with dystopian novel by English author Aldous Huxley, “The ballad of Winston Smith” is an obvious reference to “1984” and “Swine” comes with the hypnotic chorus “There is no hope” that reminds us of the fated scene in “Terminator2 : Judgment Day”. Your admiration for Jack Kerouac is also widely observed.  You are first band since Manic Street Preachers who put their interest art and literature as a centre point of their music. Is it planned or does it naturally come out during the writing process?

The Blinders: It’s certainly not a conscience thing, perhaps we simply write by immediate influence or inspiration. This can be anything from a piece of literature to walking past the same homeless person every day and their story being impressed upon you. We like our lyrics to have a narrative, which is probably why novels and film seem so natural to draw influence from. Call us lazy.

Response to your music is incredible and it reads like a litany: you have been played on BBC 6 Music by several DJs, recorded a session for Steve Lamacq at legendary Maida Vale, Radio X`s John Kennedy is a fan, you have been on BBC Introducing, Louder Than War featured you in print, NME and MusicGlue offered rave reviews, influential zines such as Northern Exposure and Some Might Say champion you, you have been part of influential This Feeling  circuit and your single “Gotta Get Through” stayed on top of charts on Amazing Radio for weeks. You have achieved more in two years than most bands in their life-time. Where do you plan to go from here?

The Blinders: To the top, Johnny! To the Toppermost of the Poppermost!

You have recently signed to a label (Modern Sky UK). That’s a major step for any artist.  Does it come with losing your creative freedom or does it give more fire power to the band?

The Blinders: There’s clearly a balancing act. At the end of the day without signing such a deal we wouldn’t be talking to you about our debut album. We’d still be scrapping around trying get Brave New World recorded. We were given the chance and we took, and we can’t more grateful for that. We are now in a situation where we can pursue art and writing for a living, so you can’t complain.

Your debut LP “Columbia” will come out on 21st September. So far three singles have been made available from the record: “Gotta Get Through”, “L`Etat C`est Moi” and a new version of “Brave New World”. We can`t help but ask. Is Columbia a concept album? 

The Blinders: It can be a concept album for the people who want it to be. There are narratives and theme to be drawn from the album, however a lot of people will enjoy it as just 12 songs to be enjoyed in their own right. It also means different things for us all individually, we just want people to take what they will. If people simply listen to it, that is enough for us.

We know you try to leave room for interpretation for listeners but, in your eyes, if Columbia was  a real place: would it be a state or a town or alternative universe? Would it be more closer to Oceania with its poverty and lack of resources or would it be a highly advanced society (similar to what  is shown on Fear Factory`s trilogy Demanfacture – Obsolete- Digimortal)?

The Blinders: Columbia is drawn from our own reality. There was never any intention on creating our own dystopian world, it created itself from the worst parts of society we live in today. We used the dystopian narrative and language alongside our interpretation of what is going around us today. So Columbia would probably look a lot like what the UK or America does today.

And a question that must follow: is Johnny Dream a friend or a foe? Can we see him more of a real protagonist like Winston Smith or Edgecrusher  or is it just an idea?

The Blinders: Neither, he doesn’t exist.

One of our favourite songs is “L’état, C’est Moi”. The title can be translated as “I am the state” and is commonly attributed to Louis XIV of France. He established the French absolute monarchy and made France the main political power in Europe in his time. Surprisingly, the song feels very accurate in the current political climate as well. Tell us more about this song and its message.

The Blinders: The song was written around the very phrase that came out of his supposed mouth. It was something we’d picked up in a book somewhere and it stuck with us. As you say, it seems relevant, especially to a world in which frankly insane politicians and other insufferable individuals appear to be grabbing power and moving society in a direction in a way which seems to show a complete disregard for the people.

Once the album is out, you will embark on a 22- date headlining tour around the country. That will be the biggest tour to date. Are there any venues or towns that you are looking forward to visit?

The Blinders: Manchester feels most like home when we play, so that will hopefully be a highlight. We’re not really sure what to expect, we’re just looking forward to getting back on the road.

“Columbia” is being promoted by cryptic advertisements in the press, made out of fragments of lyrics.  What a great idea! What else can we expect? Secret shows?  New single or a video? Are you able to reveal any secrets?

The Blinders: We are working on something here and there, but our lips are currently sealed.

At the end of  August you will  headline BBC stage at Reading/Leeds festivals. What can we expect from your set. And since the show is sold out, will there be a chance to see/hear your performance afterwards? 

The Blinders: We’re presuming that a song or two are going to be filmed, so that will be there for your viewing pleasure.

There is a certain darkness in your music. In “Berlin Wall” you ask if voice of a sole person still matters.  In one of your older songs “Swine”, you sing “I need not to be, a man in the street”.  It is a brazen declaration of intent to escape the routine and grey existence of the common man. Yet, many of the most important events of the 20th century were started by the everyman, those invisible individuals who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. We can mention the Tankman, a still unidentified man who stood in the way of tanks coming to suppress the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 in China, Ryszard Siwiec (Poland) and Jan Palach (Czech Republic) who set themselves on fire in protest against police brutality against the Prague Spring, or August Landmesser who refused to perform the Nazi salute after becoming engaged to Jewish woman, Irma Eckler. Their sacrifices contributed to massive social mobilizations and in effect bringing down regimes and corrupted governments. Maybe each one of us is really capable of changing the world?

The Blinders:  As we mentioned before, many of our songs are drawn from the worst parts of our society. Combined with our existential perspective of whether any of this even matters anymore, naturally there is a darkness. In terms of our capabilities as individuals, we can commit incredibly powerful acts. Those acts are even more powerful in unison but that’s the problem we have. How can we stand together while those in power seek to divide us?

In May you have released a short film/video to “L’etat C`est Moi” that was a collaboration between Tom and Sam Crowston. It ends with the mysterious “to be continued”. Are you working on part deux? Will we learn what happened to the messenger and what exactly he was given to deliver?

The Blinders: We had a lot of fun creating that piece, and it’s something we intend to return to. When that will be is another question.

Cover artwork for Columbia Photo by Sam Crowston
https://www.facebook.com/sam.crowston

Let’s say The Blinders were offered to take up teaching residency at the university for the duration of one term.  What subject would you like to teach: creative writing, English literature or political science? Is there something really important to you that you’d like your students to remember?

The Blinders: It would undoubtedly be something on the subject of History, Politics or Sociology. We each have a tutor or lecturer which we were greatly inspired by whilst we attended university/sixth form. We’d like to spark the same inspiration in our hypothetical students.

Let us ask you about the swine masks that are a recurring element in your videos. Your technical crew members were also known to wear them during live shows. Who or what are they?  Columbia’s secret service or symbol of corrupted regimes?

The Blinders: A lot of features in our work tends to start as something trivial, with little meaning attached. We then allow it to manifest into its own ‘thing’. This happened with the masked men, Johnny Dream and our vision of Columbia. It’s a very fun way to work.

One last question. We have already established that you are designed for rock and roll greatness, but if you weren’t in a band, what careers would you pursue?

The Blinders: We’d probably all be butchers or something.

Please read our introduction to the band (long read format):

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

You can follow The Blinders on dystopian (social) media

https://theblinders.tmstor.es/
http://facebook.com/theblindersband
http://twitter.com/theblindersband
https://instagram.com/theblinders
https://soundcloud.com/theblinders-music
https://open.spotify.com/artist/3Z8Y3Ek99rukRa1Hdo14GE?si=yx5j8oK-RpG6qE7MQtVU5Q

Or their label Modern Sky:

https://modernsky.uk/
https://modernsky.uk/blinders-debut-album-columbia-now-available-pre-order
https://twitter.com/ModernSkyUK
https://www.facebook.com/ModernSkyUK/

or just stream the soundtrack to the dark times:

We will be doing a proper review of Columbia once it comes out. Till then we hope you enjoyed our profile and the interview with the band.

Big, big thank you to Caffy St Luce (A&R extraordinaire and our PR goddess) and Paul Fassam (the manager super hero) for all their help and assistance, the band for answering the litany of questions and their patience and Modern Sky for everything else.

This broadcast has been created for the glory and prosperity of The State of Columbia.

YOU ARE BEING WATCHED.

M/R

. -.././-/..-/…/-../.-././.-/–

Indieterria meets Inwards

Dear readers!

Oh, it was a very frustrating beginning of the month! The WordPress went down, their SSL broke and our publishing schedule got delayed by a week and a half. Luckily, Rita is a miracle worker, found the right script, implemented it and voila – we are back in action. But it took a long time and we do apologize for the technical issues. They were outside of our control!

So, in span of just several days, you can enjoy two brand new blogs. The first one is our view/review/official waffling post about The Blinders (you can read it Here) and the other is a brand new interview with the electronic music prodigy, Inwards.

Inwards in another dimension (or maybe just on the stage!)

Of course, we don’t have to tell you that Inwards (aka Kristian Shelley) is the pride and joy of Worcestershire and we are extremely proud of his achievements. And there is a lot to be proud about! His music receives praise after praise and super favourable reviews from journalists, media and radio stations. Kris is going places and he is going to the top at an impressive speed. Before you blink, he will be there at the top of the charts with Burial, Aphex Twin and Chemical Brothers.

Talking to Kris is a rare pleasure. He is entertaining, kind and very pleasing to interview. He is curious about the world, culture and popular heritage. We sat down with him after his session for BBC Introducing in Hereford and Worcester and grilled him about his equipment, music and having his music played on the national radio.

Official bio:  Inwards is the alias of Kristian Shelley, a multi-instrumentalist and music programmer from Worcestershire, UK. His work exists in the experimental domain and draws influence from the far borders of dance music, using modular synths with acoustic and electronic sources to create a nostalgic and colourful sonic palette.  Crackling with the freedom and spontaneity that characterises his studio productions, Inwards live performances vary from one environment to the next, taking on organic forms through the manipulation of his electronic instruments. Gaining a reputation for his absorbing shows, which are often complemented by live visuals, he has played alongside the likes of Lapalux, Adam Betts (Three Trapped Tigers), Tyondai Braxton (Battles) and Ulrich Schnauss, and at festivals including The Great Escape and Brighton Digital Festival. Signing to Small Pond in 2017 after capturing attention with a series of DIY releases, Inwards invites you into a dark yet playful and psychedelic world of sound on his debut album.

According to your bio, Inwards is a moniker of producer, multi-instrumentalist and music programmer – Kristian Shelley. We are intrigued. Can you introduce yourself to readers of Indieterria?

Inwards: Hello readers of Indieterria! I’m Kris and I play instruments and use computers to make music.

Inwards is very poetic term. It describes someone “orientated towards the inside” or something “existing within the mind, soul or spirit, often not expressed”. It can also be applied to a person that is private or even shy. This is not a name that was chosen accidentally, isn’t it?

Inwards:  No, it is not an accident. The music I make is an introspective experience for me so I arrived at the name “Inwards” and it felt right. I stuck with it.

Before becoming a DJ, you played in several alternative and funk outfits. Is working on your own much harder than being part of a group? Do you feel more comfortable relying only on yourself on stage?

Diesel album cover

Inwards:  Working on your own can be a very freeing experience. It also makes you question whether what you are doing is a good vibe because you don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off. Being on stage alone is much more daunting than with a band but I like it. At this moment, I’m looking forward to a new project I have started with some musicians friends this year. I really miss playing in a band and miss the band vibrations!

It is not always possible to meet your musical heroes, but you were lucky to speak with Aphex Twin (aka Richard D James) at Bangface Festival in Cornwall in 2012, right at the beginning of your career. Are you still in touch? If so, did he say anything about your newest compositions?

Inwards:  This was just before I had started making electronic music and the whole festival was very inspirational! We didn’t exchanged details but I was lucky enough to bump into him again last year at a small festival in Cornwall and we had a good chat about modulars and living in the countryside. I don’t know if he has listened to any of my stuff, but it would be great to give him something back for his early support!

You have performed alongside Lapalux, Forest Swords, Adam Betts (Three Trapped Tigers), Tyondai Braxton (Battles) and Ulrich Schnauss (of Tangerine Dream) and at festivals including The Great Escape and Brighton Digital Festival. If you could share the stage with just one artist or a band, who would you choose?

Inwards: (laughing) Slayer! It has to be them!

On 19th of January 2018 you released double single entitled “Amsterdam”/“Computertalsk”. In one interview you mentioned that both tracks are based on your personal experiences.  Can you tell us what events from your life inspired each song?

Amsterdam/Computertalsk double single cover

Inwards: Well, the first track “Amsterdam” kind of gives me that feeling of freedom you get when travelling. It is mixed with undertones of wanting to return home and chill. “Computertalsk” represents a different feeling, the one of trying to make the computer to express itself. It is like giving the machine a voice so it can tell you what’s going on. For me, this tune is like the computer is learning to talk because it’s got something really emotionally potent it needs to tell you. I really like making the machines feel like they have a personality and trying to give them a voice and this was me exploring these possibilities.

You are the only Worcestershire based artist who has been championed by so many DJ across BBC 6 Music: Mary Ann Hobbs, Don Letts, Stuart Maconie, Lauren Laverne, Tom Robinson, Steve Lamacq and Tom Ravenscroft. Your single “When she flashes her smile on me” was named a Song of the Week. That’s a complete take-over of national radio station! What`s your secret?

Inwards: (laughing) I don’t really know how to answer this question. I don’t think there are any secrets to making music! Just do what feels right for you.

We have seen the equipment you use to create your music during your session for BBC Introducing Hereford and Worcester in Pershore. It looks very impressive and very complicated. We are sure that outside of music, it is also capable of answering phone calls and making a cuppa. Help us out and tells us what are all those cables, wires and boxes?

Inwards: I will try to make it easy! So, the main box with the wires is a modular synthesizer. It is basically a synthesizer that you can choose what component parts are inside it. Basically, you can make it your own instrument. The other stuff is a mixer, drum machine and a Delay Pedal which I use alongside the modular and my computer to create the vibes. I wish it could make drinks but not quite there yet (laughing). Would be cool to make a phone module that could randomly call people in a contacts list and then use the audio from the call in the system. Or a prank call module with customizable soundbank for all your favourite prank calls. If you are a modular synth developer and reading this, you’re welcome!

Tell us about your relationship with your label – Small Pond

Kristian at work

Inwards: I met the Small Pond crew through living in Brighton. I remember going to a great party at their studio on Castle Street. I think it was the opening evening of the studio that the Small Pond team had been building for 2 years. I met most of their employees that evening, although I didn’t back then think I would be working so closely with them in the future! Samuel Organ asked me in late 2016 if I would be interested in working on a release with them and if I had any music that I would consider submitting. I put everything I made that I thought was decent enough and sent them a file with about 60 tracks in it. It was quite nerve racking experience really. It felt like sending of all this precious stuff that I wasn’t even sure was any good anymore because I had listened to it so much. I think they were a bit taken back by the number of tracks included! Obviously, they couldn’t make a 60-track album (or could we?). It took some time for us to work out the best combinations of tunes but we got there in the end. The album turned out to be a belter and I’m super proud of it. Yeah in short, the relationship is ace, I had a great time so far working with the whole team and I look forward to future projects with them.

Your music is classified as general electronic /dance but we hear so many elements and inspirations: from Aphex Twin, Ian Pooley, The Orb, Orbital, Future Sound of London, 808 State, Sven Vath to Atticus Ross. At times you cross into territory inhabited by Boards of Canada, Unkle, Bjork and all the way to Radiophonic Workshop. You seem to be familiar with incredible amount of popular music, how do you retain your own distinctive identity?

Inwards:  I think the identity of music comes from chasing a sound or vibe that makes you feel a certain way. For me, it’s like there are massive spaces in music. Almost like big gaps or territories that haven’t been discovered yet. Making music is my way of bridging these gaps and getting to these sonic landscapes that I feel are missing from my current musical world. I think this is perhaps where musical identity comes from. When you are trying to chase an idea or feeling that exists only in your mind and you try to make it into something tangible. It has your own stamp on it.

Your debut offering via Small Pond – “Diesel” was released on 27th April 2018. How did you approach working on that album? Did you enter the studio with prepared material or preferred to compose there and then?

Inwards:  My approach varies to each song individually. Each track is like an experiment where I am exploring music possibilities within a framework of equipment that I set up in different ways each time. When I experiment, I am chasing a vibe or sound that makes me feel in a certain way. Sometimes I can be making music and listening to the same cycle for an hour and not realize it because I am totally sucked in. Some tunes are made in a methodical sequenced way on the computer and others may be coming straight out of the hardware live or a combination of the two methods. I didn’t sit down and said to myself: “Right, I’m going to make a 13-track album this month”.  Every time I make music, I just do it in certain moment. Only afterwards I try and fuse tracks together to make larger works.

Last question – where can we see/hear you next? What`s in your calendar for coming months?

Inwards: I have a live show in London coming up at the Pickle Factory on the 16th of August with my visual bro Irie Pixel. We have been working on a live AV show that I am excited to perform. I’m very excited that the show will take place at the Pickle Factory as they have really good club system. Also, I have a show coming up in Bristol soon and some other very cool things to announce but can’t quite tell you about them yet! You will have to watch and see!

You can follow Inwards on social medias:

Label: Small Pond
Contact: Rosie James
Website: https://smallpondrec.co.uk/
Bandcamp: https://smallpond.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/inwardsuk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/inwards_
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/inwards_92/
Bandcamp: https://smallpond.bandcamp.com/album/diesel
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/inwardsuk
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/542nHHjo4wRmP3AbeJWkse?si=I3pj6B1DSyqchOJ45fV8uw

On 29th April 2018, Inwards visited his home town of Pershore to record BBC Introducing session. We have been there and made some recordings and videos on the day. It is only fair to share some of our materials with you.

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You can also see our videos on Youtube (yes, we have our own channel with a lot of goodies here)

Well, that’s all folks for today, but stay tuned and we will be back shortly with even more news, reviews and interviews!

Please stay beautiful!
xxx
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz