Indieterria Review – “Red Hot Military Audition” by The Garage Flowers

Dear Readers,

They have been described as “explosive, dark and sexy” but that would be an understatement. The Garage Flowers are the most riotous, creative and bold four piece that London has seen since The Manics` infamous stay in the capital. In the era of safe pop music and forgettable starlets, The Garage Flowers have all qualities of proper rock stars: swagger, nonchalance, determination, perseverance and real, raw talent. On the record or on stage the band will hypnotise you, will grab your attention before you can blink and will leave you being absolutely, hopelessly in love with them. Had it been 1970`s The Garage Flowers would be Gods. Or maybe they were and now returned to show all the lads in parkas in the North how to do rock and roll properly.

The Garage Flowers in bloom. Photo by Sophie McCarthy https://www.facebook.com/sofielaurenmccarthy

2019 has already been very busy for the band. They have released acoustic version of their older single “Miss Maggie May” and premiered a proper belter “Panic Street Again”. They toured both internationally and on domestic front. Now they return with “Red Hot Military Audition” – their new single. On the cover you can see The Garage Flowers dressed in military attire that make one think of Manic Street Preachers (in the Holy Bible period) or The Clash. And we have to give it to the band  – they know exactly what they are doing. “Red Hot Military Audition” has the punk attitude of The Clash, with energy of Guns n Roses and melody line that James Dean Bradfield would love to claim as his own. There are even samples – something that Manics practised a lot on The Holy Bible. And yet, the song does not feel like a mash up of influences. It doesn’t feel dated either. It`s fresh, modern day indie record that you have on repeat and will sing to yourself without even realising it. Oh NME where are you in your large print format? We need your pages at the newsagents every week so bands like The Garage Flowers can look at us from every stand and remind us that rock and roll is still alive and kicking.

Give The Garage Flowers a year or two and you will see them on SXSW and touring large venues.

We have been lucky enough to be able to sit down with  Joe Capaldi – the voice and front man of the band and ask him few questions regarding the new single. You have no idea how busy and in demand those guys are!

Its only rock and roll but we like it! Photo by Eric Mouroux https://www.facebook.com/eric.mouroux

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

Joe Capaldi:  The Garage Flowers are

Joe Capaldi on vocals/guitar from Kings Cross, London
Mike Serapinas on bass/backing vocals from Chiswick, London
Jonny Webber on guitar/backing vocals from Finsbury Park, London
Norea Persson on drums/backing vocals from Bethnal Green, London

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

Joe Capaldi: Our goal is as it always was:  to have a documentary made about us and have it be narrated by Alan Clayson.

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

Joe Capaldi:  In college I’d wear cardigans (whatever the weather) and keep a bottle of red wine with me all the time. Taking swigs from it when the teacher would leave the room to get much needed attention. I also started messing my hair up consciously – with hair gum (before I wisened to hairspray) to look more like my obsession at the time – Bob Dylan. I loved the whole myth of him. Would religiously listen to his music, watch the few interviews that were on YouTube and screen “No Direction Home” endlessly.

The sleeve to Red Hot Military Audition single

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

Joe Capaldi:  I put together the riff before the band was even formed, and played it for Jonny one of the first times we ever met up. It was a lot faster then and had no singing. I always loved the title but everyone used to loathe it, I eventually won them over though, or just tired them with my stubborn way.

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

Joe Capaldi:  We’ve actually got some very exciting dates we’re finalising now. I’m not yet allowed to announce them though. “All apologies”  as Kurdt Kobain said in 1993.

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

Joe Capaldi:  You can contact us directly through our email address – thegarageflowers@outlook.com

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

Joe Capaldi:  Ooooh great question! For me I’d say Tom Waits, at the moment I’m into putting instruments together that don’t normally go together, and creating atmosphere as well as great songs. I think he’d be great for painting a dark, demented atmosphere. VIVA WAITS.

Future looks bright. Photo by Elly Bailey https://www.facebook.com/EllyBaileyPhotography/

You can follow The Garage Flowers on social media at:

https://www.thegarageflowers.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/thegarageflowersband/
https://twitter.com/garageflowerss
https://www.instagram.com/the_garage_flowers/
https://soundcloud.com/thegarageflowers
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLTq_hTLgIq9HqMO78PkRng
https://open.spotify.com/artist/0GaTRMQodNVTRtNblmPIQW?si=c8GjOaFNScaFnjydYBRsfQ

We will update this blog in few days as there will be a video coming and we want to show you what the band has prepared! And obviously there will be tour dates to announce so please watch this space!

R/M

Indieterria meets Dave Haslam

Dear Readers,

The summer festival season is now in full bloom. Many great events are now behind us (Glastonbury Festival, Isle of Wight, Camden Rocks) and many are yet to take place. One of the festivals that we have been looking forward to for a long time, started on the 4th of July and will last until 21st July. It is of course the Manchester International Festival – a biannual celebration of music, art, theatre and film.

Thousands of people are expected to visit Manchester to participate in more than 250  presentations, art exhibitions, talks and concerts throughout the city.  We are of course interested in the musical part of the event the most and the MIF LIVE is looking extraordinarily good. With gigs from Janelle Monáe (already sold out), Queens of the Electronic Underground (showcase of  the best female DJs and producers in electronic music presented by BBC6 Music’s Mary Anne Hobbs) to free public concerts at Albert Square, there is nothing to complain about. Fans of rock, funk, soul, dance, jazz and even spoken word will have plenty to choose from. We have sat down with Manchester music legend, Mr Dave Haslam, to speak about his involvement with MIF, curating the Albert Sqauare stage and his newly released book “Life in thirty five boxes”.

Dave Haslam – the man himself

Official bio: DJ and writer Dave Haslam DJ’d over 450 times at the legendary Hacienda in Manchester during the late 1980s and has since DJ’d worldwide (including shows in Peru, New York, Berlin, Barcelona, and Italy). He made his debut at the Hacienda on May 1st 1986. Ian Brown, Tim Burgess and the Chemical Brothers all later credited his eclectic Thursday night sets as an inspiration. In 1990 he toured America with Mike Pickering, Graeme Park, and Paul Oakenfold. Since the early 1990s he has hosted a variety of successful club nights in Manchester, including ‘Yellow’ at the Boardwalk. He’s played afterparties for New Order, Gorillaz, and Depeche Mode. He’s is also the published author of “Life in thirty five boxes”, “Sonic Youth Slept on My Floor”, “Life After Dark: A History of British Nightclubs & Music Venues”, “Not Abba; the Real Story of the 1970’s”, “Adventures on the Wheels of Steel: The Rise of the Superstar DJs”, and “Manchester, England”.  In 2012, he co-curated the exhibition “Dreams Without Frontiers” at the Manchester Art Gallery. In 2017 he co-curated a major New Order project for the Manchester International Festival.

Not many people know this, but you were born and raised in Birmingham! At this moment, West Midlands scene is incredibly strong with amazing acts such as Table Scraps, The Cosmics, The Pagans SOH, The Novus, Karkosa and many others. Was it like that when you were growing up?

Dave Haslam: I write about my Birmingham teenage years in my memoir “Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor”. I was lucky enough to be able to see some great bands, many of them local, including the Au Pairs, Steel Pulse, Dexys Midnight Runners, and The Prefects. Birmingham at the end of the 1970s was full of good gigs, and I was already a massive music enthusiast. When I came to Manchester in 1980, I was already trained up to go out looking for exciting new music and the weird stuff.

You are a man of renaissance – an published author, DJ, radio presenter, producer, journalist, legendary promoter. Is there one thing that you regret not doing? If yes, what is it?

Dave Haslam: I don’t think about regrets, really. I probably should have taken more photos and videos etc. In the 1980s not many people did any of that; not like now! But in terms of my work life, I really 100% cannot complain.

So far you have written four books and the fifth one is being released this month. It is called “Life in thirty five boxes”. Can you tell us more about it?

“Life in thirty five boxes” front cover

Dave Haslam: It’s a book about the joys of collecting, specifically vinyl collecting. It’s about how attached we can become to our vinyl; those records are like our best friends, our potent memories. But then the twist at the end I sell them. This was three years ago. And everyone thinks I was mad to do so, but I explain why and I tell the story of what happened to me and the records afterwards. It’s actually a very emotional rollercoaster of a book!

For Manchester International Festival, you are curating a series of gigs that will take place in the Albert Square. There will be nine acts over four days – all performances are free of charge. We love the idea! Was it something you wanted to do yourself or were you approached by the Festival to organize it? 

Dave Haslam: I have done similar things for the Festival before. Way back when I got Everything Everything to play, and also Dutch Uncles, as they were both breaking through, and also Lonelady who I adore and doesn’t play much locally. On the DJ side, I gave Bicep their first ever gig at MIF and now they are mega (their song “Glue” is one of my favourite songs of the last couple of years). So MIF trust my ears, I guess!

You have chosen a mix of legendary acts (Horace Andy) and up-and-coming bands. Some of them proudly represent Manchester (The Blinders, Witch Fever, Liines), other acts come from Birmingham (Pagans S.O.H), Halifax (The Orielles) or Norwich (Sink Ya Teeth). How long does it take to finalize such a varied line up? 

Award winning West Midlands quartet, The Pagans S.O.H debut new single just in time for MIF

Dave Haslam: It took about five minutes to come up with the line-up. I sat down with a pen and wrote the names of six or seven bands I’d like to invite, the ones I’d like to play in an ideal world. Then it took about two months to track everyone down and organise it. But the great thing is, everyone on that first list said YES! Then I was talking to my friend Dom who runs a fabulous sandwich shop in Stockport and DJs playing reggae (he’s basically the Blood & Fire Soundsystem) and I told him I wanted reggae on Sunday evening. He knows so much about reggae, so we threw some ideas together, and then he said, “Oh Horace, might come and get on the microphone”. I asked: “Are you talking about Horace Andy?” and he was. Dom knows everyone! So I agreed: “Yes, Dom, let’s do that. Let’s bring Horace!”.

In February 2018, you published an article in ‘I Love Manchester’ magazine entitled “Women in Manchester music: Are The Times A-Changing?” in which you argued that female artists must be given their rightful place on the Manchester music scene. You mentioned Witch Fever and now you have booked the band for the gig you are organizing. The whole line up is 50% female artists too. It’s refreshing to see somebody actually doing something practical to address the gender gap.  What do you think needs to be do done more to improve the gender equality in the music business?

Dave Haslam: It’s worth remembering that there’s a lack of female representation in many walks of life and in many businesses. Female lawyers, for example, have big obstacles to get through; they work in a very male dominated industry. So there is nothing unique about the gender gap in music. In a way, the answer to your question is in the question itself – it’s about doing practical things. Men need to wise-up and in some cases open their ears. It amazes me how many indie-type lads are totally wedded to the idea that their favourite bands are and will always be basically four boys with guitars. Any deviation from that – either in terms of other kinds of music, or female fronted acts – are too weird for them. And women need to keep nurturing a sense of solidarity, the sisterhood can move mountains!

 

Two of the acts you have chosen played Glastonbury this year: Liines and The Blinders. Are you expecting crowds?

Dave Haslam: I have been organising concerts long enough to know that you can’t guarantee anything, but I’ll be disappointed if we don’t get good crowds because the bands are ace. I like to think some people will come out of curiosity too, knowing these are special events.

If you were to name Manchester acts to watch for in the coming months – who would you recommend? Is any new band catching your attention?

Dave Haslam: I’m actually very excited about the quality of some of the spoken word performers around at the moment. Can I mention Eve Piper? She was at Glastonbury too. She grew up in Chorlton, and she’s a name to look out for. The Manchester band I am kicking myself I didn’t make room for at MIF are Cold Water Swimmers, their new single is called “Burn Your Idols“.

The Blinders perform “Brave New World” at legendary Leftfield Stage at Glastonbury Festival 2019

The last question at Indieterria is usually a bit of a fun. Let’s say you have the opportunity to resurrect Hacienda and to bring it back into the City. Of course the original location is no longer available but you can chose a new place. What’s the new address?

Dave Haslam: Somewhere secret, or at least hard to find. The Hacienda was best before it got commercialised. So many of the best things are under the radar. You can find those places if you look hard enough.

You can follow Mr Haslam on social media at:
http://www.davehaslam.com/
https://www.facebook.com/DJDaveHaslam/
https://twitter.com/Mr_Dave_Haslam

More information:
https://mif.co.uk/whats-on/festival-square/
https://www.facebook.com/events/614253139097527/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1453832158075371/ (Book signing event in Stockport)

Manchester International Festival Albert Square Schedule (in bold events curated by Dave Haslam)

Dave Haslam Live poster

New Pavilion Stage at Albert Square.

Capacity:
Tent – 400 people (please show up early as it is first come first serve basis)
Square – 2500 people at one time

Sun 14 July
12.30 – 2pm – NoTTwins present BeeLive with China Lilly, Emanuel J Burton, Maxi Zee, Pablo & ALEKS
3 – 4.30pm – Young Identity & Contact present One Mic Stand
5.30 – 7pm – KYSO
8pm – 12am – Horace Andy Soundsystem set with Blood & Fire

Mon 15 July
12.30 – 2pm – Kara
3 – 4.30pm – Psychedelic DiscoTech plus guests
5.30 – 7pm – Chorus of Others
8 – 10pm – The Orielles & Working Men’s Club
10pm – late – Psychedelic DiscoTech plus guests

Tues 16 July
12.30 – 2pm – Jon Kenzie
2.30 – 3pm – John Robb talks Ballet with Jordan Mooney
3 – 4.30pm – Matthew Whitaker
5.30 – 7pm – The 7:45s
8 – 10pm – The Blinders, Witch Fever & The Pagans SOH
10pm – late – DJ Shell Zenner

Wed 17 July
12.30 – 2pm – Lingua Franca World Music Agency present The Tebu Project
3 – 4.30pm – Hannah Ashcroft
5.30 – 7pm – NoSpace
8 – 10pm – LIINES & Sink Ya Teeth
10pm – late – DJ Jez Kerr ACR

With multitute of shows, concerts and festivals happening over the summer, Manchester is once again emerging as a leader in cultural entertainment. We all could learn a thing or two from our Northern brothers and sisters.

Have a fun and support your local scene!
M+R

Indieterria Review – “May” by Deadwing

Dear Readers,

Don`t fall in love with yet another band…don`t fall in love with yet another band…

Oh, Hello there! We are glad that you have returned to discover new music via our blog. You came in a right moment. We have been here sitting and listening to newest music submissions, when we found a real sonic gem. They are very young, still unpolished and at the beginning of their journey – but there is so much character, talent and potential in this act that we just cant stay still.

The band is called Deadwing and describe themselves as gothic psychedelia. Their debut single “May” came out last month and the quartet had just played their first headlining show at our beloved venue in town- Jimmy`s Manchester. Deadwing may be putting their first steps in the music industry but they present some serious qualifications: they mix prog rock with some hauntingly beautiful vocals, take inspiration from a wide range of artists and try to form their own sound. Also they write poetic and mature lyrics. Additional point for the band here. Imagine later day Anathema fronted by Anneke van Giersbergen, with The Cure,  Siouxsie and The Banshees and Cocteau Twins lending a hand from the off sides – a tasteful combination of gothic rock, cold wave, ambient, metal and shoegaze (or neo-psychedelia if you prefer).  Even the name is spot on – original, mysterious and you can imagine it on future festival posters and in rock n roll encyclopedias that yet have to be written.

You may think we are going (slightly) bombastic here – but A&Rs have this gut feeling when we hear bands that can shape musical futures.  And this is one of those moments – a group of kids that picked instruments and have yet to realise their power.  Will they be determined to continue and develop their potential that is another story. For every band that makes it – 250 do not. One can only hope that they will stand united as a band and will have both luck and perseverance, good managers and a faithful label to help them along the way.

We are gonna say the same thing as NME once said to My Bloody Valentine when they first started out. Hey Deadwing – please promise to meet us on this blog in five years time when you are about to release your highly anticipated second album. We`d love to speak to you before you go on that long European tour, OK?

Deadwing photographed by Spencer Mason
https://www.facebook.com/ArtisticLogistic

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.

Ellis Elwyn: We are Deadwing, a four piece gothic psych-rock band from Manchester.

Where are you based and who is in the band?

Ellis Elwyn: We are based in Manchester, with me Ellis Elwyn on vocals, Jake Lafferty on drums, Jack Stanley on bass and Isaac Batty on guitar.

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

Ellis Elwyn:  We launched at the start of March this year and released our debut single at the end of May. We also organised and hosted our own headline gig to launch the single at Jimmy’s! In terms of venues, we have been lucky enough to play at some of our favourites in Manchester such as The Deaf Institute, Band On The Wall and Jimmy’s.

The poster for band`s debut headlining show at Jimmy`s Manchester

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

Ellis Elwyn: We have a variety of influences! Including Radiohead, The Beatles, Black Sabbath and Jaco Pastorius.  We tend to take inspiration from drama and emotion.

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

Ellis Elwyn: I  wrote “May” after a particularly difficult time last year. The story is so open to interpretation, but I like to see it as a song with two different perspectives/people in it if that makes sense, almost singing to each other. I wrote the song just on my acoustic guitar but took it to the band and they turned it into something huge!

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

Ellis Elwyn: We aren’t currently touring, but at the minute you can catch us playing live in Manchester on the 15th August and in Leeds on the 9th August! Follow our social media’s for all the details when they get announced.

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

Ellis Elwyn:  Check out our email: thedeadwingband@gmail.com

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

Ellis Elwyn: We’d all probably go for…can we say a band? Because it’d be Pink Floyd in a huge collaborative album! If it just has to be one artist we’d choose David Bowie, at Abbey Road Studios!

Deadwing – a band to have on your radars – photo by Thea Brooks
https://www.facebook.com/photograthee/

You HAVE to follow the band on the socials:

https://www.facebook.com/deadwingband/
https://www.instagram.com/deadwingband/
https://soundcloud.com/deadwingband
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCznzJHpYbj-4xEp0j0-jYiA
https://open.spotify.com/artist/1qZDjUpnTjsYK1yTslsmHj?si=vJeRiDZNR6mep7VHyv93-w

Deadwing are officially on our “bands to watch for” radar, their single “May” has been added to our Spotify list and we are happy A&Rs as we just spotted another talent. What else? Stay tuned because we are not finished yet and “Hello Manchester” will continue in July with more good music and great bands.

Did we mention how much we like Deadwing?

M&R

Indieterria Photo Review – The Blinders at Glastonbury 2019

Dear Readers,

Performing at Glastonbury Festival, the biggest festival in the world, is a dream come true for all musicians. The Blinders have been invited to join the official line up at the last minute after Sam Fender was forced to cancel his apperance at the Worthy Farm due to illness. Their accouncement that they will play the politically charged Leftfield Stage as the main support act for the singer/songwriter KT Tunstall, sent massive shock waves throughout their social media. The band performed on Saturday, 29th of June between 7:30 and 8:30 pm. They shared the scene with a fantastic group of other artists including Fontaines D.C., Billy Bragg, Queen Zee and Dream Wife to name just a few.

Set list (not in this particular order): “Gotta Get Through”, “Brave New World”, “L’Etat C’Est Moi”, “Ramona Flowers”, “The Writer”, “Lunatic With A Loaded Gun”, “Wither”, “ICB Blues”, “Rat In A Cage”, “Hate Song” and “Et Tu/Berlin Wall/Brutus”. Their set lasted about 50 minutes.

Glastonbury artwork and releases:
Once The Blinders have been confirmed, the festival marketing machine went into its standard mode and all social media have been updated to include the Doncaster trio. Within hours, The Blinders name appeared on official websites, posters and an announcement has been issued.

Official social media:
https://www.instagram.com/glastoleftfield/
https://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/areas/left-field/
https://twitter.com/glastoleftfield
https://www.instagram.com/glastoleftfield/
https://www.facebook.com/glastoleftfield

Official pictures and videos:
As usual, on the next day after the gig, The Blinders uploaded a set of official pictures taken by Sam Crowston of Sam Crowston Imagining/Nasty Man Creations.
Sam has been working as an official visualizer for the band since 2016 and is responsible for all videos, pictures and videography.

 

Fan pictures:
Indieterria is proud to say that The Blinders have some of the most beautiful fans in existance! They are not only willing to travel all over the country and abroad to attend their shows, but they always share pictures, videos with those who couldn’t be there. When fans realized that the BBC Glastonbury coverage sadly didn’t cover LeftField, they immediately shared their own recordings and photos. We have teamed with Alan Wells, Bob Wallis and Liam O’Farrell to bring you a great selection of pictures/videos from their Glastonbury set! Thank you so much guys! Please respect the copyrights and if you’d like to share those pictures, please provide full credit to the authors.

Bob Wallis gallery:
Bob can be contacted at: https://www.facebook.com/bob.wallis.75

The Blinders before their show at the Leftfield Stage. Picture by Bob Wallis. Used with permission (and with a guest apperance from Photographer, Alan Wells)

Thomas Haywood of The Blinders at Leftfield stage at Glastonbury 2019. Picture by Bob Wallis. Used with permission

Thomas Haywood of The Blinders at Leftfield stage at Glastonbury 2019. Picture by Bob Wallis. Used with permission

Charlie McGough of The Blinders at Leftfield stage at Glastonbury 2019. Picture by Bob Wallis. Used with permission

Matty Neale of The Blinders at Leftfield stage at Glastonbury 2019. Picture by Bob Wallis. Used with permission

Matty Neale of The Blinders at Leftfield stage at Glastonbury 2019. Picture by Bob Wallis. Used with permission

Liam O’Farrell gallery:
Liam Can be contacted at: https://www.facebook.com/liam.ofarrell.16

Fan Videos:
The Blinders are known for their atmospheric and energetic live performances and their show at Glasto was not an exception. The tent was packed and everybody had good time, danced, pogo’ed and sang along. You will notice that during the set, drummer, Matty Neale, sustained a hand injury but kept on playing! This has earned him a massive respect from everyone in the audience. We have to say, we are very impressed. We also hope that the injury is not serious and Matty will recover in no time.

“The Writer” and “Brave New World” filmed by Bob Wallis:

Another (short) video clip of The Blinders performing “Brave New World” taken by Alan Wells:

“Brutus” (without “Et Tu”/”Berlin Wall”) has been filmed by gorillaprint:

Articles:
There are few interesting articles about The Blinders playing at Glastonbury, so please knock yourself out if you still haven’t had enough 🙂 !

https://www.nme.com/festivals/glastonbury-2019/political-pilton-heres-guide-everything-political-glastonbury-2019-2512338
https://www.doncasterfreepress.co.uk/news/people/doncaster-band-the-blinders-set-to-play-glastonbury-alongside-kt-tunstall-and-billy-bragg-342369
https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/people/doncaster-band-the-blinders-set-to-play-glastonbury-alongside-kt-tunstall-and-billy-bragg-342369
https://offthehookmusic.com/festival-highlights

Thank you again to those who made this post possible. You are absolute rock and roll stars.
We will be monitoring the internets and if something else pop ups, then we will let you know (but of course)!

Thank you for listening and enjoy the summer festival season.
M+R

Indieterria Review – “My Walk” by Pietro Blanca

Dear Readers,

Indieterria continues to showcase artists around Manchester who answered our call to submit their songs. The beauty of project “Hello Manchester” was to allow musicians to speak about their art on their own terms and bring to the light new and upcoming music from the city. It doesn’t matter if the artists were accomplished bands or people who create at their leisure. All music is equal and worth being shared. So far he had the incredible band Hot Minute and electronic indie duo Edits featured as part of our series.

Guitar man – Pietro Blanca is ready to take on the Manchester scene.

Today we meet Pietro Blanca – solo artist and a lead singer of alt rock band Clifftop Empire. And we are so happy to discover Pietro.  Let us tell you why. In March this blog had a pleasure to interview one of the most international acts ever Shiva May Care – where every member comes from different country, speaks different language but all together they create kick ass rock music. Shiva is based in Manchester and was founded by Italian multi instrumentalist and producer Federico Cossu. We are over the moon to discover that Federico is not the only hugely talented Italian artist who chose Manchester to be his home. Pietro Blanca also resides in Mancunia.

If you ever had a chance to listen to Italian guitar masters (Beppe Gambetta or Pino Daniele to just name a few) then you know that the secret of their hugely popular pop and rock music lies in combining classical guitar techniques with ear catching melodies. Continental guitarists don’t just pick up an instrument to play indie – they find their inspiration in folk, medieval, jazz and even flamenco music. Most of them are classically trained. And then bring all those elements into rock music. There is a reason why Sanremo Music Festival both inspired Eurovision and Montreux  Jazz Festival and is responsible for launching careers of Laura Pausini or Eros Ramazotti among countless stars.

The versatility, range of influences from psychedelia to The Beatles and Mark Knopfler (in his Golden Heart era) is evident in Pietro Blanca`s “My Walk” single – dreamy and yet sorrowful song that was just made to be played on the radio on a lazy summer days.  It may surprise you that it lasts just two minutes but such miniature compositions are nothing new in pop music. Just remember “Velocity Girl” by Primal Scream stands at 1:22 minutes.

We had asked Pietro few questions about his music and this is what he had to say:

Pietro during a solo show in Manchester famous Norther Quarter

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

Pietro Blanca: Hello, my name is Pietro. I am folk/pop singer and songwriter based in Manchester.

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

Pietro Blanca:  I started my current project in 2010, when I’ve decided to create some music on my own. I was 14 years old when I discovered the guitar for the first time. Through the years, I got into different genres: from mixture of folk and pop like Kings of Convenience, The Cranberries and José Gonzàlez, to heavy metal, like Metallica, System of a Down and Meshuggah. After playing metal with my first band for 5 years, my mind went into a totally different direction! (laughs). My first demo came out in 2010 (“Andare Lontano/Nessuna Esistenza”) and the first EP was released in 2016 (“Mirrors Beyond The Sea”).

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

Pietro Blanca:  I`m inspired by many artists but most likely by Kings of Convenience, José Gonzàlez, The Cranberries and Imogen Heap.

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

Pietro Blanca: The single is called  “My Walk”. The song has been written right when I was thinking to leave my country to go abroad. Moving away meant a huge change in my life but also a new adventure to embrace.

 

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

Pietro Blanca: At the moment I’m not touring as a solo artist but I am always checking out open mic nights in Manchester and wherever else is possible. I’ve been focusing on another project called Clifftop Empire in my spare time.

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

Pietro Blanca performing with Clifftop Empire in Sheffield

Pietro Blanca:  The best way to reach me is through my Facebook page – Pietro Blanca Music.

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

Pietro Blanca:  I’d love recording some music with Devin Townsend, he is a great artist in whatever genre he plays.

You can follow Pietro on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/pietroblancamusic/
https://twitter.com/PietroBlanca
https://www.instagram.com/pietro_blanca/
https://soundcloud.com/pietro-blanca
https://www.youtube.com/user/pietroblanca
https://open.spotify.com/artist/68TkewCVzLMXtMCpoMtpUn?si=gsTYG0RwSdyANZRKW3ForA

 

You can listen to Pietro`s demos Andare Lontano/Nessuna Esistenza (“Going Away/No Existence”) at this address:

https://www.jamendo.com/album/62053/andare-lontano-nessuna-esistenza

If you would like to check Pietro`s other musical project – alt rock trio Clifftop Empire, you can do so via following links:

https://www.facebook.com/ClifftopEmpire/
https://soundcloud.com/user-434835923

Thank you kindly for reading and there is lots more in Hello Manchester to discover. We will be seeing you soon.

R/M

Indieterria meets The Kecks

Dear Readers,

Music is a funny thing – it has this incredible power of bringing strangers together. And if right people meet, soon the word will spread around of another great band on the circuit. So, when our vast network of international spies (read other A&Rs) alerted us one day of a band from Hamburg that was catching a lot of attention, we had to investigate. Especially if a former bass player from Manuka Hive was involved. Few notes exchanged here and there and one email mishap later, we got in touch with The Kecks to discuss their new single, touring Germany and the state of music in the UK. But we found much more than just another band with potential. This four piece has passion, drive and artistic vision to take them a long way. Please meet “that band” that everybody keeps talking about these days.

The Kecks logo

The Kecks are:

Lennart Uschmann (vox)
Samuel Telford (guitar/vox)
Corentin Neyran (drums)
Joel Phillips (bass)

Official bio: The Kecks have rapidly established a reputation as an enigmatic must-see live act after only completing their lineup in October 2018 after a chance encounter on board a Berlin bound Flixbus to see The Growlers.

After throwing raucous bunker parties in their rehearsal room and several other Guerilla gigs, a buzz is beginning to bubble – culminating in two consecutive sold out shows at the renowned Astra Stube and European dates already in the calendar for 2019.

Drawing from a wide range of influences, not least the Australian, French, Austrian/German, and British nationality of its members – The Kecks offer a fresh and exciting take on guitar music. Delivering sophisticated yet spikey tunes that are expansive in ambition but remain authentic and raw by nature.

The Kecks photographed by Carlos Andres
https://www.carlosxandres.com/

The Kecks have earned themselves a reputation playing guerrilla gigs and throwing parties in a bunker. Also each member comes from a different country.  Please introduce yourselves to the readers of Indieterria.

The Kecks: Hello! We are The Kecks from Hamburg! We have Sam on guitar shipped in directly from Australia, Lennart on vocals originating from Austria, Dragon is our sophisticated French stallion on drums and we’ve got Joel from the deepest darkest north of England on bass.

Lennart Uschmann: Dragon does have a real French name, Corentin. But none of us could pronounce it so we just christened him Dragon and it’s stuck. He even refers to himself as Dragon now!

There is a story about the band that we would love to confirm – is it true that you all met onboard a coach bus on a way to a gig? It`s such a perfect rock and roll story, it almost feels too good to be true.

Sam Telford: (laughing) Yeah, that one is completely true. Me, Lennart and Dragon had been jamming for a little while and getting ideas together but we needed a bass player to complete the line-up and push things forward. That’s when we bumped into this loose unit on the Flix Bus to Berlin to see The Growlers.

Joel Phillips: (also laughing) It was one of my first days in Hamburg actually! I was feeling a little unsure of myself so was having a beer at 10 am waiting for the bus to Berlin and everyone knows that nothing has more of a hypnotic  pull to a Australian than a beer and a mullet. I drew Sam in like a moth to a flame. We spent the next three hours on the bus talking music and the rest is history.

On the way up. Photo by Carlos Andres https://www.carlosxandres.com/

You have recorded BBC Introducing session at the Tonhotel in Hamburg. Two songs from that session “Paris” and “Tonight Might Be Different” have been played on BBC Sheffield. Please tell us more about this particular session. Tonhotel is a cult studio and  rehearsal space  in Hamburg, quite similar to Magic Garden in Wolverhampton. You worked with Gerd Mauff, is that correct?

Corentin Neyran: That was an awesome experience recording the tracks live with Gerd. It was something that all came together a bit last minute and he was very accommodating and did not mind burning the midnight oil with us. He is just a really good guy who is totally into the music and not just there to take a pay check. He has loads of lovely vintage equipment which we were like kids in a sweet shot getting to play with. The studio itself is just a cool old German style house on a suburban street, walking past you would never even notice it amongst a quiet street. Once you get inside though the place has been completely converted into a super homely feeling musical heaven. We immediately felt relaxed and at home.

Your debut single “Stick In My Throat” is scheduled to come out on June 21st – please tell us something about this song. What`s the inspiration behind it?

Lennart Uschmann: We recorded the single at London’s vibey Buffalo Studios With Jean Baptiste Pilon. He was a joy to work with, he just totally got what we were about and what we were trying to do. He was totally into trying weird stuff and experimenting and was totally invested in the project. We even managed to get some omnichord on there which we found at the bottom of a storage box in the studio. Jean Baptiste introduced us to Giovanni Versari (Muse, Nic Cester) of La Maestà studio In Tredozio, Italy who did a wicked job mastering it.

Sam Telford: We just wanted to write something to really set our stall out and leave an impression of what we are about. It’s about those times when a loved one is trying to fight with you but you just don’t want anything to do with the conversation. That burning frustration you get inside when you just want to be left alone. I think we’ve all been there!

The single will be released via AWAL, rather than a regular label. Weren`t you tempted to get signed?

Joel Phillips:  It would always be nice to have somebody else picking up the bill for the studio but we are very specific about what we want to do and how we want to sound and don’t want to have to compromise that at all. I think at this stage we have still got to go out and prove ourselves and what we can do off our own back before anyone significant would come on board anyway. The reality in 2019 is that you don’t need a label to get your music out there so if you truly believe in what you are doing, just do it yourself.

“Stick In My Throat” has already received radio airplay on BBC Introducing and  Amazing Radio and gathered rave reviews from veteran DJs such as Jim Gellatly. We have heard the single and quietly expect it to become a significant release on indie circuit this year. What are you hoping to achieve with this song?

Sam Telford: It’s our debut release so we just wanted it to be a bit of a cock punch really and get into as many ears as possible. You only get once chance to make a first impression so we are just aiming to give everyone a proverbial “kicks in the nuts” and make our way into as many people’s earholes as possible. Nobody has heard us yet so we really appreciate people like yourselves giving us a platform.

Is there a chance that your debut single receives a physical release? The cover is amazing and would make an incredible record to own. Who is responsible for the sleeve design?

Lennart Uschmann:  Physical release is definitely something we would like to do at some point, it is a bit of a musician`s wet dream to stand and hold your own physical vinyl in your hand so we would certainly love to do it in future. Carlos Andres who also directed our debut video was responsible for the artwork, he is a total wizard. All of our graphics stuff has either been created by Carlos or Sam.

Stick In My Throat sleeve – artwork by Carlos Andres
https://www.carlosxandres.com/

You have recently finished a video that will promote your debut release. It was directed by a close friend of the band – Carlos Andres. Do you have any date chosen for the premiere of the video?

Joel Phillips: Yes, Carlos “Mexi Kravitz” Andres is actually my flat mate. The guy is on another level with anything when it comes to visuals and a total pleasure to work with. It’s just like friends hanging out really. We are always helping each other out with various schemes and projects and it’s a really great dynamic to have. It also brings in another nationality into a weird little dysfunctional cross continental family as he is Mexican so another set of outside influences and ideas to the group.

You completed a short tour of Germany supporting Peter Perrett. Is there any chance to see you play shows in the UK?

Corentin Neyran: We are coming to the UK next month actually for a short run of shows around Tramlines Festival! A lot of our influence comes from historic British Rock ‘n’ Roll and the culture around it so it seems to make sense that our music feels most at home here. We are also in talks with This Feeling about doing a more comprehensive run later in the year, so we will be coming to the UK pretty often for sure.

Lennart Uschmann: The experience of touring with Peter was great, as it gave us our first opportunity to get out and play around Germany. It was important for us to be able to get out and play in these new cities and see how people react to nothing but the music and your performance, as they have no preconceived ideas about who or what you are. Opinions are formed right before your eyes and it was a real confidence booster to be so well received. Peter is a genuine legend who has seen it all and he had some unbelievable stories to tell and we will forever be grateful to him, his team, X-Ray Touring and FKP Scorpio for our first proper touring opportunity.

The Kecks come as a full package: incredible music, stunning visuals and perfect image

Being based in Germany gives you a much broader understanding of indie circuit. Looking from the outside on what is happening in the UK – how do you see music scene in  Brexitland?

Joel Phillips: I suppose I have a bit of an advantage here as I only left the UK less than 12 months ago but from what I can see it’s never been healthier. You’ve got bands like The Blinders selling out huge venues. Calva Louise, Strange Bones, Yak all making serious inroads in the UK and in Europe. It’s all still painfully ignored by the mainstream but all of the shit around Brexit and Trump has created a whole new generation of angry youths with guitars and something to say which is a beautiful thing.

The best for the last (question): Let’s say that you can commission any company in the world to create the perfect equipment for you. What are you getting? New guitars? New drum kit? Amps?

Sam Telford: That would have to be me on this one and working with Earthquaker Devices on some super weird and wonderful guitar pedals! Again, I think we were inspired by seeing Kirin J Callinan open for The Growlers in Berlin and he blew our minds with his crazy guitar tones and performance. He had a whole horseshoe of pedals and effects and since then we have been all about weird pedals and making the guitar sound like a synth or a siren or something extra-terrestrial so the dream would be to work with those guys to make a Kecky Bois Supreme pedal that would just instantly melt your brain with far out tones!

The Kecks – perfect mix of creativity and indie hits

You can see The Kecks live on these days next month:

19th July – Vintage Rockbar, Doncaster UK   Event Page  (free entry)

20th July – Tramlines Festival, Sheffield UK   Event Page

21st July  – Yerrr Bar, Manchester UK            Event Page  Tickets

You can follow the band on socials:

https://www.thekecksofficial.com/
https://www.facebook.com/thekecksofficial/
https://twitter.com/the_kecks
https://www.instagram.com/thekecksofficial/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm0wdB5kpFtz5VjJlblmlIQ
https://open.spotify.com/artist/7rq4XneM5dE0uYeAoyMGGn?si=SD6WJsSaR9uBIck6pcusWA

Follow Carlos Andres here:
https://www.carlosxandres.com/

And as usual a bit of extra reading for your pleasures:
https://www.rgm.press/2019/06/21/the-kecks-stick-in-my-throat/

We will monitoring this band and hopefully will have many good things to report about them and their achievements.

M/R

 

Indieterria meets The Howlers

Drear Readers,

As music scounts, the team at Vanadian Avenue, is always looking for new talents and exciting new music. We hunt high and low to bring artists with potential to the light and present them to our community. Sometimes we have to go to the dive bar to descover a gem, sometimes we receive an email with a great tip and in many cases, we hear from others in the business. Photoghraphers, managers, writers, bloggers, label owners – they all have their eyes opened as well and a word can spread quickly if a new talent is found.

The Howlers, a trio from London, were introduced to us by our good friends at These Bloody Thieves Records and after hearing their new single, “La Dolce Vita” we quickly understood why the label was praising them so highly. We sat down with vocalist, Adam Young to ask him about their music, background and their influences to learn more.


Adam Young (vocals and guitar)
Guus ter Braak (bassist)
Cameron Black (drums)

Official bio: Formed in May 2018, London’s Desert Rockers The Howlers have gone on to receive critical acclaim for their ferocious live performances and determination to uproot the current foundations of popular music, and are quickly emerging as one of the UK’s must see bands. Their debut single entitled “La Dolce Vita” is vailable to stream and download on all digital platforms. You can order the limited edition 7” heavy weight vinyl & “orange” casette at: https://smarturl.it/thehowlers

Clash Magazine says The Howlers have confidence of Arctic Monkeys and animalistic charms of The Cramps. Please introduce yourselves to the readers of Indieterria.

The Howlers picture by Rob Blackham

Adam Young: The Howlers are Adam Young on vocals and guitar, Guus ter Braak on bass and Cameron Black on drums. We have coined the term “Desert Rockers” as a description of who we are.

We have to say the band is having a month that other acts can only dream about:  you signed to These Bloody Thieves Records, released a single and the video debuted though The Clash website smashed 10 000 views in less than 48 hours. The Howlers did not just take off – you sky rocketed!  Are you able to catch up with everything that has been happening around you?

Adam Young:  It has been about 4 days since we released our debut single and we’ve achieved so much with Radio 1, Radio X, Clash Magazine and others. The views our video has racked up, everything has been a bit surreal. I have to admit, it has been a bit of a struggle to keep up with everything but were lucky enough to have a team around us of amazing people who are as much part of this band as we are.

The video to “La Dolce Vita” shows you being observed while playing in an empty theatre. It has a very dystopian feel to it. It was directed by Sam Crowston (The Blinders, The Pagans S.O.H, The Surrenders). How do you remember making of the video?

Adam Young: All I remember is it being an incredibly long and exciting day. We filmed the video in Sheffield so we drove up there and then back to London in the same day in order to try get to a gig that evening. The theatre was an amazing space that Sam found but I’m still washing chalk dust off my equipment (laughing). Sam is incredible. He’s one of the best content creators out there at the moment and a great lad too. He made the day a good laugh and he works his little northern arse off so we can’t thank him enough.

Your single comes with a striking black cover with an emblem of a cowboy throwing his lasso into the air. Visual presentation of a record is often not appreciated enough. Please tell us who designed the sleeve?

Adam Young: Between Sam, ourselves and a host of illustrators, we must of created 50+ designs and nothing really hit home. We got close but no cigar so in the end, I ended up doing it. I just sat down with my laptop and taught myself everything I would need to do, to get what was in my head onto the page.

“La Dolce Vita” comes with a B side, an acoustic and haunting ballad “My Apologies”. We would love to hear the story behind this track. 

Adam Young: The track is actually a monologue of how my life was at the time. Nothing was going my way. I was struggling with my mental health, financially and I just couldn’t get a break until I met someone who changed everything. They know who they are and that’s all that matters! The song was never meant to be recorded. I finished it the day before and we were about to pack up and leave the studio and I decided to lay this track down live. And it just happened in one take. I tried to do another one and fucked it up so that’s why “My Apologies” has this raw, primal nature (laughing).

There are two distinctive releases of the single: 7 inch vinyl via Rough Trade Records and an orange limited cassette via Brutalist Records. We can’t believe you bring cassingle back!

Adam Young (laughing): Nothing’s sexier than rewinding cassette though, is there? In all seriousness, we wanted it to be a bit nostalgic and a bit different.

You will be touring relentlessly in support of “La Dolce Vita” around the country. Where can we see you live?

Band picture courtesy of Rob Blackham

Adam Young: Here, there and everywhere! We are playing the length of the country, going back to some of our favorite cities. We are really looking forward to Hull, Liverpool, Sheffield, London as well as the other cities like Manchester, Southampton, Brighton & Nottingham. Those places have always shown us so much support. People in northern cities are some of the kindest we have met so we are looking forward to playing all the dates really.

You have built a reputation as a live band – your shows are wild, unpredictable and fierce.  It would not be an exaggeration to call you one of UK`s must see bands. How do you prepare before the show? Do you have any pre stage rituals or do you prefer to go with the flow?

Adam Young: We do actually. Guus gets shitfaced drunk (god knows how he manages to play) and Cam has his little moment of calm. He warms up and stretches like our very own little Ghandi. I basically act like King Kong banging on my chest getting all pumped up. To be fair, when I start doing that right before we go on, usually one of the boys takes the opportunity to clip me one, giving me a cheeky whack. Bastards!

The Howlers are no strangers to receiving backing from industry heavy weights. BBC Introducing called you “loud and ferocious”, while Jack Saunders of BBC 1 described you as band that is “here to make a difference”.  It must have been a proud moment for you to hear your music on the flag ship program on the Beeb.

The vinyl promo of “La Dolce Vita”

The cover of the single

Adam Young: It was a surreal moment! You know, every band wants to hear their tunes on Radio 1, that’s a given, but to actually achieve it is another animal entirely. We were like excited little school boys. We can’t thank Jack and the BBC enough, as well as John Kennedy for playing us on Radio X. They are all worthy of a few beers in our books.

There is a saying in the music industry that manager is make or break of the band. But having a right label is also critical. Please tell us about your relationship with These Bloody Thieves? You are label mates to some of the best new acts on indie circuit, including another London band that we admire – False Heads.

Adam Young: These Bloody Thieves have been amazing with us! Rob Hirst, the owner, has a heart of gold and he knows we love him. We had a lot of interest in the early days of the band but Rob was the first person we met and spoke with that wore his heart on his sleeve. He gives everything and allows us to be creative in our own way. The first time he saw us, we played the same night as Arctic Monkeys in Sheffield. The venue was dead as a result but Rob stood front and centre. He’s like another father figure alongside our manager Mike. We couldn’t ask for a better bunch of lads to work with. I know our label mates like The C33’s, Feral Family & False Heads all appreciate his hard work. Someone get the man a drink!

In a recent interview with The Line of Best Fit you described “La Dolce Vita” as a song that is about being yourself no matter what. You also spoke about being ridiculed and ostracized for trying to find your own way. If you had a chance to speak to those who did not believe in you in the past – what would you want to tell them?

The casette promo of the single

Adam Young: I wouldn’t want to tell them anything to be honest. I bumped into someone in the pub recently and whilst asking me what I was up to, they turned round to me and said: “You should be thanking me really then, for bullying you at school”! What do you say to that? Guess that sums up my home town very well. There’s an old saying round here that goes “strong in arm, thick in head”. I never understood the meaning until that moment I stood in a ropey boozer with a second rate pint…finally all clicked! (laughing)

Last (in) famous question. We have some tough competition for the next PM recently. If you were able to govern the country for one day – what would you do? What policies would be important to you?

Adam Young: That’s a good question. I really wouldn’t want to govern to be honest. Inevitably, whoever comes to power, never lives up to what they promise. As a working class member of society, I’d say leveling the playing field a bit would be a good place to start. There’s no need for corporate bigwigs to get million pound bonuses when there are queues at the dole office and we have teachers and doctors using food banks. I guess I would go full Robin Hood. Green leggings and all!


You can follow the band on their socials:
https://www.thehowlers.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/thehowlersuk
https://www.facebook.com/thehowlersuk/
https://www.instagram.com/thehowlersuk/

Articles:
https://www.clashmusic.com/videos/the-howlers-share-electrifying-new-single-la-dolce-vita
https://www.thelineofbestfit.com/new-music/discovery/the-howlers-la-dolce-vita
https://www.roughtrade.com/gb/the-howlers/the-howlers-la-dolce-vita/7-inch-plus
https://www.rgm.press/2019/06/13/the-howlers-la-dolce-vita/
http://northern-exposure.co/introducing-the-howlers/
https://gotothetop.co.uk/the-howlers-fiery-desert-rock-debut-la-dolce-vita-brings-an-uplifting-message-about-self-identity/

“La Dolce Vita” is out now on 28th of June and the band will be on tour with shows in Sheffield (Cafe Totem) on June 21st, Liverpool (Jacaranda Records) on June 22nd, their home town (London) at the Macbeth on June 28th, Southhampton (The Heartbreakers) on June 29th and Brighton (Hope and Ruin) on June  30th. July will see them play in Hull, Manchester, Notthingham, Tramlines Festival and many others, so visit their websites for more details.

The summer is very busy for the lads so catch them on the road. We give them a full seal of A&R approval and 4 stars of of 5 (and that’s unheard of). Nah, only kidding! It’s full 5 stars and a hug!

Till next time,
R+M