Indieterria meets Bunkerpop

Dear Readers,

We have recently reviewed an incredible Manchester band Weimar and now we return with equally amazing gem from the underground. It is our pure pleasure and privilege to welcome Hull`s Bunkerpop to our blog. We sat down with guitarist Paul John Sarel to speak about the bands spiritual home venue (The New Adelphi Club), their genre bending debut album and their cost friendly videos. Bunkerpop consists of living legends of Hull`s music scene and the tunes they produce are brilliant. Wit, talent and strong DIY ethics – everything that we love at Indieterria.

Bunkerpop`s logo

Bunkerpop is a band after our own hearts! You describe yourselves as “self-managed, self-released, self- promo, self everything”. At Indieterria we absolutely adore people who uphold DIY ethics. Please introduce yourselves!

Paul John Sarel:  Bunkerpop are a collection of like minded lazy fluke artists. None of this is designed to be a success but we seem to have managed to become a cult like phenomenon as we all uphold a genuine desire to entertain, make music and uphold core values that are inclusive. It’s not a coincidence that as day jobs we all work with people. We connect and we offer support in our day jobs which we try and carry across into band activities. We are Trevor Simpson (teacher), Carlos  Macklin (barman), Jonathan Wainberg (mental health nurse), Mark Blissenden (youth leader) and Paul John Sarel (youth leader).

You probably will cringe at the expression but Bunkerpop is practically a supergroup! With a huge chunk of Hull musical history attached to it. You formed in 2016 and all members come from massively influential local groups such a Fonda 500, Baby Mammoth, Nyam Nyam, The Schoolgirls or Black Delta Movement. The amount of experience, records and Wikipedia pages between all of you is stunning!  Tell us how did the band start? You obviously known each other for years, but  was there ever a moment where you met one day  in a pub and decided – let`s form a band?

Paul John Sarel:  We all knew each other from either being in bands, attending gigs or just from our local community which is based in quite a artistic and cultural zone of the city.

Some of us had played gigs together in the same bands or attended each other’s gigs in the past. Some of us played veterans football together. We’ve been around for a long time as musicians and our age span ranges from 30 years old up to 58 years old. We’re pretty energetic for a bunch of middle-aged geezers. I like to think we’re quite open to new ideas…that’s how it all started. It was just something to do, to start with but it became very exciting as we’re all from different musical backgrounds but at the same time we all enjoy taking musical risks. We had nothing to lose and it became brilliant.

Bunkerpop ready for action

Bunkerpop material has been recorded at the Gorilla Studios in Hull with sound engineer Bob Wingfield, and then mastered by Pete Maher (The White Stripes, U2). How do you remember the studio session? Were any songs prepared prior the recordings – or were you leaving it for the time when you were already in the studio?

Paul John Sarel:  The album took about a year to record. Initially we had Bob engineer three different live sessions for us where we just played our set. We then had the basic live tracks and took them to our own studio. This is where the majority of the work and overdubs was done. Mark took a lot of the responsibility on with input from the rest of the band. Some of the tunes needed a lot of changing, cutting, throwing in the bin or re-thinking. We decided quite early on to take a different approach to the live version of the band. Because most tunes we do are instrumental we knew we had to create a narrative running through the album in some way. We took a lot of time finding dialogue that wasn’t clichéd or that was trying to be cool….cause that’s not cool.

You released your double debut album in July 2019 to critical acclaim.  Louder Than War lauded you as “unique and brilliant”, BBC Introducing  said “Everything they send is incredible”, other  blogs and magazines compared you to Neu, Devo, Brian Eno and Flaming Lips. Were you expecting such a positive reactions to your material?

Paul John Sarel:  The album has a very Hull feel to it. It’s not trendy, it doesn’t conform and it refuses to take the twists you expect. It’s a bit of a “fuck off” to anyone who wants a hit record. We like a good metaphorical fight. We have a giant Hull chip on our shoulders and we’re quite feisty. I think a lot of folks can relate to that in the current political climate.

The band live is a force to be reckoned with.

We need to ask you about the video to “(Are You Ready) For Something” because it`s the best surrealistic video we have seen in a long time. A boxing match meets eating contest is an incredibly funny idea but we also heard that the band spend a whole £18.80 on the props and costumes. If that is true, Bunkerpop deserve a recognition for not only being incredibly creative, but also efficient.

Paul John Sarel:  The video did cost £18.80. We did it on a cold February morning with hangovers. Our friends Mark Richardson and Anna Bean shot it, edited and added extras. They’re both central to creative things in our community. We got Viki to be the referee. Again she’s an energetic force in the local area. When you can work and play with such talented people like them you don’t need a big budget. You just all drawer from each other’s creativity and energy. Carlos and I look very grey in the video. That’s booze for ya!

The band members are funders and curators of Fast & Bulbous’ Festival. It`s been running for  the last three years raising funds for The New Adelphi Club in Hull. The venue is known for supporting young and emerging artists, but also hosted legends such as The Cranberries, Manics, The La`s and Kaiser Chiefs. How important are independent venues such as The New Adelphi for indie circuit?

Paul John Sarel:  The Adelphi is our spiritual home. It’s shabby and brilliant. In the last month it’s hosted everything from Fat Boy Slim to a youth music gig with all the performers playing being under 18. This speaks volumes about the place. A superstar millionaire DJ to kids playing their 1st gig in the space of a fortnight.

This week there is grime, folk, post punk, country blues and high octane rock on the billing. The Adelphi is one of the most important venues in the world. It’s fiercely independent and ugly. That’s how we like it. Long live independent venues up and down the country!

Bunkerpop in their iconic hazmat suits. Good music is contagious,

There are also plans to turn Fast & Bulbous’ into a proper label. You released your own material as Bunkerpop via Fast & Bulbous’ Records. Do you have any other releases coming up or are you looking for bands and artists to release their material via the label?

Paul John Sarel:  The next Fast & Bulbous release could be out in Spring 2020. We’re hoping to put out a double 7″ gatefold with four different artists on. Each artist takes up one side. It’s quite an ambitious project but the quality of the artists means it’s gonna be a belter. It’ll Bunkerpop, Bitmap (former Salako Chap Luke), Holly Blackshaw (Crooked Weather) and Nicholas Broten (Fonda 500). We’re all top notch artists….I’ve heard the tunes already and it’s going to be a beautiful release.

We are almost at the end of the year so what can we expect from you guys in the 2020? Another album? A Tour?

Paul John Sarel:  Bunkerpop have quite a few gigs lined up and we’re booked in to play Scunthorpe, Barrow, Nottingham, Hull, Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds. They’ll be a few festivals in 2020 too. We’ll possibly start recording a new album too. We have the demos for 4 songs already and we’re writing new tunes all the time. It’s all very exciting.

Last (in)famous question – if you could book the biggest stars of pop music into The Adelphi for a all nighter. What bands would you book and who is headlining?

Paul John Sarel: Gosh….if we could choose to book an Adelphi all nighter with our heroes and inspirations it’d probably look something like this (with the aid of a time machine):

Talking Heads big band line up as headliners. Sly & the Family Stone, Fela Kuti, Kraftwerk, William Oneyabor, Can, Velvets, Roxy with Eno, Flaming Lips, Fonda 500, Bunkerpop.

You can follow Bunkerpop on the socials:

https://www.facebook.com/HullBunkerpop/
https://www.instagram.com/bunkerpopband/
https://soundcloud.com/user-554608742
https://www.youtube.com/user/MrHotMIM
https://bunkerpopband.bandcamp.com/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/3Uuj2nCneKmPA58KY5577l?si=vRAnIn42RWeNRGcht2CdVw

 

Additional readings:

https://www.imnotfromlondon.com/bunker-pop-mentality-album-review-bunkerpops-bunkerpop-album/
http://www.soundspheremag.com/spotlight/band/band-spotlight-bunkerpop/
http://www.hullmusicarchive.co.uk/artist-bunkerpop/

We are so excited to be discovering acts like Bunkerpop and cant wait to see what they will produce in the future.

Good luck guys.

Mal/Rita

Indieterria presents Weimar

Dear Readers, 

We have said it before, but Vanadian Avenue is always on the look out for unusual bands, unique musical styles or new trends in music. Sometimes we find interesting artists on our own, sometimes we receive a tip or sometimes the artists take their time to contact us themselves.

And this is how we learnt about Manchester quartet called Weimar. Last week, lead singer of the band, Aidan Cross sent us an email asking if we would be interested in  reviewing his newest double A single. After listening to both songs, and seeing the accompanying videos we had to say yes!

Weimar is a Manchester-based band consisting of singer-songwriter and rhythm guitarist Aidan Cross (The Bacillus, Black Light Mutants), lead guitarist Stephen Sarsen (Frank Is Dead, The Bacillus, Playground), bassist John Armstrong (The Speed of Sound) and drummer Anthony Edwards (The Deceased).

Weimar Republic of Mancunia by Zac Gale

Official bio: “Combining a range of influences and naming themselves Weimar after the German Weimar Republic of the 1920s in which experimental art, music and cabaret saw a boom, Weimar combine an eclectic range of influences, with their songs containing elements of Art Rock, Post-Punk, Cabaret, Chanson, Prog Rock, Funk, Alt Folk, Gothic Rock, Music Hall and Dark Circus. Lyrically they cover themes of the dark side of culture and human nature, drawing on a socio-political awareness as well as historical inspiration. In the spirit of the Weimar Republic itself, the emphasis is on the need for freedom of expression and rebellion in the face of political and social oppression. In the current turbulent political era, which has already sparked talk of ‘Weimar Britain’, this approach has a profound relevance to contemporary culture”.

The songs “Marvel to the State” and “Undesirable Master” were released on 22nd of November 2019 and they feature the guest vocals of Rose Niland, singer with Rose & the Diamond Hand and Poppycock. The Double A side single was also released digitally on German Shepherd Records, and on CD via Weimar’s own label Marlene’s Hat.

So what can we say about the singles? First thing that comes to mind is that Weimar is reviewer’s real nightmare when it comes to classification. We can easily imagine that if those songs were released back in the 1990’s, Steve Lamacq would tear all his hair out trying to come up with a name for what they do. This is a real mixture of genres – from the classical French chanson, to pop to rock and alternative. There is a lot of Divine Comedy, a lot of the Smiths, The Fall and a bit of a cabaret. To complicate the matters even further – we can swear that “Marvel to the State” has been ispired by 1920’s and 1930’d european jazz. And if we throw trip hop and pop into the cauldron, then we have a real bomb ready to go off.

Weimar in black and white by Zac Gale

The PR note released alongside the singles is confirming what we heard for ourselves:

“Stylistically, both new songs are significantly different from Weimar’s previous single. ‘Marvel To The State’ is written as a celebration of female figures throughout history who have stood up in the face of oppressive politics. It is a duet between Weimar’s frontman Aidan Cross and Rose Niland, set to a jazz-funk inspired backing, with a more upbeat and pop-oriented feel than the previous single. ‘Undesirable Master’ meanwhile, is a romantic torch song with an ethereal backing vocal from Niland. Both songs are accompanied by promo videos directed by Nikos Pavlou. Niland co-stars in the video for “Marvel” while the “Undesirable Master” video guest stars screen thespian Indigo Azidahaka, also vocalist with Granola Suicide.”

We are not the only ones impressed with both songs. Other reviewers were also truly generous with compliments:

“You know when you get that chill up your back when you hear music that is genuinely different and exciting…..? The most important band to come out of Manchester since Magazine.” – Bob Osborne, Aural Delights Blog

“What makes Weimar stand out from so many other guitar bands is their emphatic execution of highly observant songs informed by life’s surreal and unnerving experiences, underpinned by instrumentation which is accomplished – almost oblivious to how good it actually is. Guitars jangle, jolt and drive emotion in equal measure, matched with point-hitting drums… with enigmatic singer and musician Aidan Cross captivating the crowd.” – Emily Oldfield, Louder Than War

We have to admit that Weimar is one of the most unusual bands we have discovered this year and it will be a pleasure to watch them grow. The band is currently working on their debut album while continuing to gig regularly. The album is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2020.

Weimar in black and whte (again) by Zac Gale

You can follow the band on their socials:
https://weimarbanduk.com/
https://www.facebook.com/WeimarTheBand/
https://twitter.com/WeimarBandUK
https://www.instagram.com/weimarbanduk/
https://soundcloud.com/weimartheband
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRVRYJayyyN0Q46AA_74Aig

 

With bands such as The Blinders, Dirty Laces, Scuttlers, The Document, Saytr Play, The Red Stains, Witch Fever, Liines, Gloves, The Membranes, The Battery Farm and many others (we could go on forever!) Manchester music scene is one of the best in the world. Keep your eyes and ears open as the Kingdon of Mancunia is four steps ahead of everyone.

Xoxox
Rita and Malicia D.

Indieterria meets Avalanche Party

Honourable comrades!

Avalanche Party is one of the most important new bands on the indie scene at the moment. Formed in 2014, AP (as they are known to their fans) built an impressive resume in a relatively short period of time. They travelled throughout the UK and mainland Europe, performed in NYC and at the famous SXSW in Texas, recorded at the desert studios somewhere in the Death Valley in California. They also played at all the important summer festivals and shared stages with the best of the best in rock music.

The band is known for its wild, mesmerizing shows, full of drama, sweat and hypnotic music. And for their specific, dry, half-sarcastic, half-abstract sense of humour. Just few days before their gig in Birmingham and the release of their debut album, we sat down with vocalist and front-man, Jordan Bell to discuss their videos, trips to America and what can we expect from the Avalanche Party in 2020.

Avalanche Party photographed by Jason Ferdinando

BBC Radio 1 calls you “The most exciting rock & roll band in the UK right now.” But let’s take things to the very beginning. How and where did Avalanche Party form?

Jordan Bell: Keep an open yoghurt in your kitchen fridge for long enough and over time, it will morph and grow into something quite remarkably different from the yoghurt you once knew. Until you can no longer bear to keep it in your refrigeration station and have no choice but to toss it out into the big bad world. It was kind of like that. We’re from North Yorkshire, if it makes a difference. Where the wild things are and the OneStops aren’t.

You managed to keep the news of your debut album completely under wraps. There were no mentions, no leaks, no warnings and then on 27th of August a bomb was dropped. In the era where people lead their entire existence online, did you think it was important to keep your fans unaware of what was coming?

Jordan Bell: Definitely and that’s something which extends past fans and straight into the band itself. Two members didn’t even know the album had been recorded and our manager still doesn’t. Keep it to yourselves.

The album “24 Carat Diamond Trephine” is finally due on 22nd of November. We are intrigued by the title? Trephine are commonly used in bone surgery and dentistry, but we are certain that NHS cannot afford a 24 carat ones. Where does the title come from? Is there a particular meaning behind it?

Jordan Bell: Trephines are still knocking around but the album title is based on the more primitive versions used for trepanning – the old practice of cutting holes in the head to let out the evil spirits responsible for strange behaviours. There seems to be some kind of parallel between that and listening to music which makes sense. It’s a 24 carat diamond one because, it’s not just any old Trephine. This one’s special, it cuts right to the heart of the matter. As far as we know, a 24 Carat Diamond Trephine is the only reliable Trephine for evil spirit excavation, these days.

Avalanche Party by Jason Ferdinando

To promote your debut, the band released three singles in span of four months: “7”, “El Dorado” and “Rebel Forever”. They are completely different from each other: “7” is two minute cacophony of noise, “El Dorado is an experimental ballad of 6 minutes and “Rebel Forever” is quite a catchy, mainstream, radio-friendly track. The upcoming album seems to be very varied in terms of genres and song length. What can we expect from it? Was it a conscious decision to make it as variable as possible?

Jordan Bell: Well yeah it is, we’ll give you that one. We made a conscious decision to attempt as many different genres as possible, because Kane’s uncle, Simon said, we need to try and be like a band that appeals to a massive audience. Like Swedish House Mafia or Catfish & The Shottybottlemen. We went away and thought about it for a bit. Next time we saw him, he said, “Well? Who have you chosen with a massive audience in a particular musical genre that you can be like? Preferably a genre with a long musical history, so you can appeal to the mams and dads and grandies, too?” “Yes”, we said. “Who is it? Miley Cirrhosis? Post Maloon?” “Both”, we said. He nearly fell off his whippet.

Buy it and see.

Avalanche Party always had incredible videos – cinematic, pop culture inspired with complicated, sometimes brutal storylines. The video to “7” shows what only can be described as some sort of illegal experiment, “El Dorado” takes the viewer to America for a mini road movie where nothing really happens and “Rebel Forever” is a dream-like, kaleidoscopic drug-induced nightmare. How important is the visual side of storytelling for you? Are you going to use the videos on tour in some way?

Jordan Bell: “El Dorado” is actually a live video we shot at our last gig in Birmingham! (laughing)

Let’s stick to the videos for a while longer – Bobby Bentham, lead singer of Strange Bones and your personal friend, plays the subject of the experiment in “7”. How do you recall working with him on the set? We have to say he’s terrifyingly convincing.

Jordan Bell: Bobby was perfect for the role given he is THE method acting champion of the world. It was a very, very nice afternoon requiring very little direction or instruction, which began with him floating east by the medium of transpennine express and peaked with me serving him watermelons through the air to flamboyantly slice with a samurai sword in slow motion. He fucking nailed it. And the knife throwing. His gran was in the Yakuza for a bit, so he picked up some stuff. When the zombie apocalypse comes, he’ll be fine. In fact, I’m moving into his house. He’s a great friend and Strange Bones are the fucking dons. He taught me how to swim, but that’s another story.

Jordan Bell live, picture by Jason Ferdinand

Few days ago, the band announced that NHS professionals have a free entry to your gigs on this tour. That’s a very generous way of supporting the National Health Service. Is this your way of protesting against the cuts and showing the solidarity with the workers?

Jordan Bell: It’s a nice thing to do for people, who give a lot, working insane hours and dealing with insane shit for fuck all. The harrowing stuff they have to see and do on a daily basis is truly incredible and they have saved the lives of many, many people near and close to us all.

2019 was a breakthrough year for the band. First SXSW and American festivals, then a session for legendary radio station KEXP for The International Clash Day in London. You recently returned to US to play more gigs. And you are about to embark on a 19 dates long national tour. It must be both incredibly exciting time, but also a challenging one.

Jordan Bell: Big up KEXP. Yeah, but we can see the progression in our music and in ourselves and it’s easy to keep going. It feels far more exciting than challenging. And as our tour manager, Jimmy Mac says – you can sleep when you’re dead! Or in his case, whenever he hits the nice straight bit going past that house in the middle of the M62.

After the UK tour is done and a well deserved Christmas break, can we expect an EU tour in the spring of 2020?

Jordan Bell: No, Brexit means Breakfast (laughing). Joke, it’s a joke! Yeah, we’re going back to the mainland, maybe even sooner than spring. We always have a great time over there and it feels like it’s been too long since we last went, so lets see which way the wind blows.

Debut album – track list

The famous last question – trips to US, especially to SXSW are known to be culinary adventurous. We heard stories of the UK bands being hospitalized after trying the nuclear hot Austin sauce or having margaritas for every meal. What was your diet like at the conference? 

Jordan Bell: I ate great. Have you seen the size of the carrots over there? Superb. I survived for 3 days on just one single Carrot. Apart from that, I can see why people could struggle but personally – absolutely no problems.  Our friends in Trail Of Dead took us for the full Austin BBQ experience, our hosts made amazing blueberry pancakes, showed us Cookie Dough and made great egg foo young. And at the festival, we grabbed everything free & edible that wasn’t nailed to Lady Gaga!

Follow Avalanche Party on their socials:
https://www.avalancheparty.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AvalancheParty
https://twitter.com/avalanche_party
https://www.instagram.com/avalancheparty/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVQHS8es36atxJMBqh8jAlQ

 

And while we are waiting for the debut album, the band released a fourth single to a song called “Howl”. You can watch the AP guys perform in some sort of distorted version of “Top of the Pops” below:

“24 Carat Diamond Trephine” is released in three days time, but several influential websites, zines and blogs already listened to it and gave it fantastic reviews. We have gathered several of them for your reading pleasure:

24 Carat Diamond Trephine is an eleven track joyride that veers from the poetic and introspective to a ferocious barrage of explosive energy. Brimming with their infamous live urgency, it’s a masterfully curated album that ranges from full-throttle sonic assault (7, HAHA) to refrained moments of cool clarity to catch your breath (Hey Misdemeanour, Every Last Drop). The legendary James Aparicio (Grinderman, Spiritualized) was the man tasked with taming the beast and it’s a production that does no such thing. It’s an album barely contained, constantly teetering on the edge of insanity but is completely alluring throughout.

24 Carat Diamond Trephine is undoubtedly a fist-raising crowd pleaser, but like contemporaries Fat White Family, Viagra Boys or The Blinders, they’ve used it as an opportunity to enforce their own birds-eye view of the world. They tackle hefty themes of anger and fear, the capitalist machine that drives us ever closer to the great flaming End, cloak-and-dagger corporate greed, the environment, lyrics of love, death and an individual’s walk through a world they were spat into, laughing as they go” – Rough Trade Magazine
https://www.roughtrade.com/gb/avalanche-party/24-carat-diamond-trephine/

“‘24 Carat Diamond Trephine’ is an album of transformation, just as the process that turns leaves to coal, and coal to diamonds. ‘Cruel Madness’ is less At The Drive-In, more The Mars Volta and the kind of theatrical rock the likes of Alex Turner and Muse might favour, the ‘new day, new dawn’ lyric a blatant burn but also a statement of the company this band now sees itself in. Closer, ‘Rebel Forever’ is an instant classic revisiting ‘Howl’’s giddy and unexpected high points and reprising the ‘El Dorado’ theme in the lyrics; and with just enough Psycho Killer energy that should see it become a restless reference point for the band; a moment in time, a place, a memory…” – Steve Spithray for God is in the TV Zine
http://www.godisinthetvzine.co.uk/2019/11/18/avalanche-party-24-carat-diamond-trephine-so-knee-records/

“There’s so much to explore on this album and it’s likely to take a few listens before it starts to really blossom into its true form. But there’s no escaping this is an extremely impressive and ambitious debut that aside from a few nods to influences is unlike anything else out there. The band have managed to showcase their genre-bending best and sewn it all together to create a Frankenstein’s monster of an album that’s indicative of their terrifying potential” –  Richard Cobb for Little Indie Blog
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.com/2019/11/album-review-avalanche-party-24-carat.html

“My favourite track at the moment is ‘Howl’ the current single. It is a very Bowieesque slab of prime heavy riff-laden early 70s rock with a gospel-style chorus. If you are not moved to dance to ‘Howl’ then you might well be clinically dead! This is possibly the finest song that the band have released so far. It is also accompanied by a fabulous video which features a cameo appearance on tambourine from the multi-talented Charlie Swainston! The track which proves how great a band Avalanche Party is is the psychedelic rock circus that is ‘Milk And Sunlight Is A Heavy Dream’. Vocals, backing vocals, keys, bass, guitars, and drums all align perfectly and the chorus will not let you go. James Aparicio has captured the essence of what makes Avalanche Party such a great live band in his production. From the massed Panzer Tank Division sonic assault of ‘HA HA’ to the deeply mellow buzz of ‘Hey Misdemeanour’ the former Grinderman and Spiritualized producer does not put a foot or a fader wrong. I can already picture a crowd incursion from Jordan during ‘Playing Field Blues’ using his rock star evil stare to hypnotise his audience into becoming Avalanche Party‘s helpless mosh puppets. It redefines heavy, scuzzy garage blues into something very 21st Century. I never thought that I would see myself finding a U2 influence from Avalanche Party, but ‘Every Last Drop’ is the kind of song that Bono would kill to have written. I can see the lighters and lit up mobile phone screens waving in the air at festivals to accompany this gorgeous modern, dirty power ballad. Dark menace runs through the veins of ‘Cruel Madness’ and draws you into a dark, descent of a dream to a world that might be populated by all your fears and phobias. The album closes with ‘Rebel Forever’ which opens and is underpinned with a warped fairground organ riff which gives the tune a Cockney Rebel feel and in many ways sums up Avalanche Party. They are rebels and I hope they will remain rebellious forever!” – With Just A Mint of Mayhem Blog
https://withjustahintofmayhem.blog/tag/avalanche-party/

“The two most important things to know about Avalanche Party are they write life affirming songs that give you faith guitar music. What’s more they’re hungry and have ideas. ‘24 Carat Diamond Trephine’ is chocked full of both of these. It’s an album that was worth the five year wait as it finally delivers on Avalanche Party’s initial unruly promise of writing a heartfelt vitriolic lament while trying to cave our heads in through viscous indie rock, whilst doubling down on killer melodies” – Nick Roseblade for Clash Magazine
https://www.clashmusic.com/reviews/avalanche-party-24-carat-diamond-trephine

“Most bands are at their best on their first album and spend the rest of their careers trying to reach the same dizzy heights. If this is Avalanche Party’s piece de resistance, then so be it. Its early days, but I feel whatever they do in the future, this will be go down in history as their ‘In Utero’, their very own ‘The Holy Bible’. ’24 Carat Diamond Trephine’ is Avalanche Party’s defining moment, and one of the best debut album of the year.” – Ben Hughes for RPM Online http://rpmonline.co.uk/2019/11/27/avalanche-party-24-carat-diamond-trephine-so-knee-records/

“The wild record is a possessive trip that spits as you as it scuttles past. It’s disgusting but in all the right ways and mirrors a similar disturbance to contemporaries such as Fat White Family and Viagra Boys. Not many bands can capture their live excitement in an album- especially in a debut- however, Avalanche Party have perfectly crafted their unique sound at an early stage and have created something outstanding. Let the Avalanche Party magic bring you along on its hectic ride” – Jasmine Hodge for Jasmine Hodge Reviews
http://jasminehodge.blogspot.com/2019/11/avalanche-party-24-carat-diamond.html

“Welcome the immersive 24 Carat Diamond Trephine, one of the strongest pieces of artwork 2019 has been lucky enough to be graced with. Sharply corrosive, and harrowingly bleak, Avalanche Party’s debut album is a haunting and melodic mix of heavy edged punk, fuzzy psych rock, and shimmery euphoria, and the band have truly excelled themselves, mashing their heavy punk presence with something so stark and chilling that the album conjures up eclectic and dispersed emotions from the very start” – Sahera Walker for Indie Underground Blog
https://indieunderground.blog/2019/11/21/a-hauntingly-harrowing-and-stunning-debut-from-avalanche-party-24-carat-diamond-trephine/

 

We cannot wait to see AP in Birmingham this Saturday.

Support your scene kids!

Malicia and Rita

Indieterria Reviews – “Rebel Forever” by Avalanche Party

Dear readers,

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

Avalanche Party photographed by Jason Ferdinando

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

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

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

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

Avalanche Party by Jason Ferdinando

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Catch you on the road,
Rita and Mal

Indieterria presents – The Kecks on European Tour

Dear readers,

It is always with a great pleasure that we introduce you to an emerging talent. And seeing the artist progressing, growing, going on tours, recording and generally becoming better and better at their craft, is one of the reasons we continue writing and keeping this blog.

In June this year, we interviewed The Kecks, a young four piece indie rock band that grabbed our attention with their music, unique stage image and being innovative in a genre that sees hundreds of bands playing very similar tunes. We promised to keep an eye on them and we are staying true to our word.

The Kecks on Tour

2019 has been a very successful year for The Kecks and yet they are far from sitting down to rest. When every other band is now preparing for Christmas, the lads from Kecks are hitting the road to play UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands. The tour will commence at the famous Molotow Club in Hamburg on 26th of October (just in a couple of days!) and will finish on 17th of January at Cassiopeia with a massive show alongside the Talk Show.

You can see the entire tour listed below:

26th October – Molotow Cocktail Festival, Hamburg DE,
Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/2382978868463735/

31st October – Smoke, Groningen NL,
Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/751717945275994/

1st November – Le Nid de Poule, Lyon FR,
Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/428055024763233/

2nd November – Supersonic, Paris FR,
Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/349547939094494/ 

14th November – The Monarch, London UK
Free entry, https://www.facebook.com/events/2297421773811681/

15th November – The Pipeline, Brighton, UK,
Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/2373445422907103/

16th November – Cafe Totem, Shieffield UK,
Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/405700696817429/

17th November – Aatma, Manchester UK,
Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/2446994828867804/

23rd November – Molotow, Hamburg DE,
Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/937696006599854/

21st December – MTC, Koln, DE,
Tickets: TBA

17th January – Cassiopeia Berlin, DE with Talk Show,
Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/1456368057850215/

To celebrate their success over the last ten months, the band prepared a special version of “All For Me” for their fans which debuted on their Youtube channel on 24th of October.

The band even released a small statement alongside the video: “Making a last grasp effort to cling on to the summer sunshine The Kecks took some time out from a studio session deep in the East German countryside to capture a raw, intimate and personal one take stripped back acoustic version of future single ‘All For Me’. This stripped back version shows a completely new dimension to the band and is a huge departure from fiery debut ‘Stick In My Throat’ which was released in June of this year via AWAL. The snarling, simmering and emotionally charged debut complete with a weird and wonderful trip of a visual filmed and directed in collaboration with the bands close friend Carlos ‘Mexi Kravitz’ Andres was what originally grabbed the attention of the likes of Radio X , BBC Introducing, NDR and FKP Scorpio”

If you have a chance, please come and catch The Kecks playing live before the end of December. 2020 is looking like a breakthrough year for the band and they will be playing much bigger venues. There is magic in the smallest, most intimate places, where you can stand next to the band and see every drop of sweat on their faces.

And nothing in the whole wide world can replace this feeling.

See you soon!
xxx
R+M

Indieterria meets MOLLYANNA

Dear readers,

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

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

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

 

MOLLYANNA logo

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

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

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

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

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

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria. 

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

Where are you based and who is in the band?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bernadette Dales: (laughing) Tupac!

The sleeve to “Playing Dead” single.

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

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

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

 

You can follow Mollyanna on their socials at:

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

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

We will be back with more bangers.

Mal+Rita

Indieterria Review – The Blinders at Leffingeleuren Festival

Dear Readers, 

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

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

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

Digital polaroids from the performance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Schedule: 14 September 2019 (Saturday)

Saturday schedule

 

 

Media Reviews:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Videos:

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

“Rage”

“Free the Slave” and “ICB Blues”

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

“Brutus/Et Tu/Berlin Wall”

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

Leffingeleuren 2019 – Aftermovie

Festival socials:

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

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

Gallery:

 

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

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

In short, well done!

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

Till then,
Rita and Malicia

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