Indieterria Review – San Pedro “The Demon Sessions”

Hello!

Running a music blog is an exciting thing. You get to interview some of your musical heroes or new emerging acts. You meet interesting people, you go out to gigs, festivals or various cultural events. But most importantly (at least for us) you have a chance to listen to the music before anyone else. And if you are lucky, you may discover a next big thing. When we listened to one of the submissions we received last week, we immediately knew that we have found a winner.

San Pedro Logo

San Pedro is a new project of Rikki Turner, the mastermind behind several Manchester electronic outfits such as The Paris Angels, The New Southern Elektrik and The Hurt. A large collective named after the Californian town where Turner’s favourite writer, Charles Bukowski lived out his final days, San Pedro consists of musicians, DJ’s, writers, poets, artists and singers based in the UK, mainland Europe and in America. We are not sure how many people are actually involved (the collective seems to be quite mysterious and fluid) but several names have been confirmed. So far we know about singer/songwriter Millie MacBean known for her ethereal vocals, Suddi Raval (ex member of rave duo Together, best known for their hit “Hardcore Uproar” that went to the top of the national charts in 1990), Simon Wolstencroft (The Fall, Ian Brown, The Stone Roses, Johnny Marr and Freak Party), Keith Higgins (former member of The Hunt), Justin Leonard, Martin McClaren, poet Karl Hildebrandt and Antnee Egerton of The Winachi Tribe.

San Pedro picture by Paul Husband

San Pedro group picture by Paul Husband

Their debut EP entitled “The Demon Sessions” will be released by Blindside Records on July the 5th and every fan of an old school rave, electronica and house music should be on high alert.

“The Demon Sessions” contains only 4 tracks: two versions of “The Things You See”, acid-house inspired “Theme from San Pedro” and “The View From The Drowning Pool”. The first version of “The Things You See” nicknamed the “Original Version” has been chosen as the leading single and features Millie MacBean on vocals. It reminds us of an early Utah Saints meeting 808 State, with strong ambient background beat a la U.S.U.R.A (“Open Your Mind”) or Sven Väth circa 1992 (“Accident In Paradise”). The second version of the single (called “Rikki Turner Remix”) brings softened loops and more house feelings that could have won many hearts at the Hacienda. Again, it has a strong bass beat with ambient influences but its aesthetics are closer to OPUS III and KLF than to Vath. Also, it makes heavy use of samples which gives the track additional depth. “The View From The Drowning Pool” with spoken word by Rikki Turner will probably not receive much commercial airplay due to expletive language, but has chances of become a fan-favourite song.

San Pedro “The Demon Sessions” cover artwork

The Demon Sessions is a must have for everyone who remembers the good old days of Madchester scene. Hopefully, it will introduce new generation to (quite) forgotten genres such as ambient, big beat, house and rave. Also, we are told, San Pedro Collective is planning on releasing additional material in the autumn and we cannot wait to hear what they’ll come up with next.

San Pedro release poster

You can follow San Pedro Collective online:

https://www.facebook.com/sanpedrocollectivemcr
https://www.facebook.com/BlindsideRecordsUK

Articles:
https://www.attackmagazine.com/features/interview/brief-history-acid-house-suddi-raval/
https://jammerzine.com/the-test-drive-san-pedro-the-demon-sessions/
https://www.xsnoize.com/manchesters-san-pedro-to-release-brand-new-ep-the-demon-sessions
https://artvoice.com/2019/06/25/manchester-heavyweights-san-pedro-release-new-ep-the-demon-sessions/
https://baggingarea.blogspot.com/2019/06/san-pedro.html

As usual, please support your local scene (new and old)!
We will see you shortly.
Rita and Malicia

Indieterria Review – “California” by Hey Bulldog

Dear Readers,

We have another single to review from a Manchester band and this one is a belter. If you are familiar with the scene up North – you will surely know Hey Bulldog – either from their energetic shows or their countless national radio plays and high profile festival appearances. This band has Steve Lamacaq at BBC 6, John Kennedy at Radio X and Charlie Ashcroft on Amazing Radio on a speed dial and will appear at Kendal Calling ad Cotton Clouds among other festivals this summer. On June 28th they will unleash their newest gem – “California”  much to the enjoyment of their fans.

The sleeve for “California” single

Mixing stoner rock with distinctive psychedelia made Hey Bulldog underground favourites in the North and “California” is not a radical departure from the sound established by their other singles such as “No Future (Part Two)” or “Al Lupo”. But there is something in the track that we would describe as a nod to Welsh heavyweights Feeder, especially in their “Comfort In Sound” period. Perhaps it is the urgent bass line and the punky yet melodic vocals, or maybe overwhelming sense of loss waved in between the notes?

We had a pleasure to speak to Hey Bulldog`s front man Rob Manton about the band, the new single and their gruelling touring schedule. And this is what he had to say:

Hey Bulldog live at Jimmy`s Manchester – photo by Jo Lowes
https://www.facebook.com/jo.lowes

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

Rob Manton: We’re Hey Bulldog from Manchester with me Rob Manton on guitar/vocals, Matt Parry on bass/backing vocals and Ben Howarth-Lees on drums.

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

Rob Manton: Opening the2nd stage at a massive festival like Kendal Calling was definitely a box ticked last year and we’re delighted to have been asked back to play again for the second year in a row this July, our first gig abroad playing a festival in Sicily was also an amazing life experience.

We’ve had incredible radio support from day one from the likes of Steve Lamacq 6 Music and John Kennedy on Radio X, Chris Hawkins on 6 Music has been mega to us too. We’re well into double figures for the amount of different songs we’ve had on national radio and the buzz of getting played alongside the best artists in the world never wears off.

We’re currently planning our first vinyl 7 inch release and also our debut album so those steps will also be great ambitions achieved for us.

Hey Bulldog at iconic Manchester venue – The Castle Hotel, photography by Dave Morely

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

Rob Manton: Great musicians and bands like The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Led Zeppelin who were primarily guitar, bass and drums will always be our foundation but that’s combined with artists like Neil Young and David Bowie, who consistently tried to develop and progress all the way through their careers. Modern acts like The Kills, Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, Ty Segall, Mogwai, Nadine Shah, PJ Harvey, who combine lots of different musical elements into what they do are also the current benchmark for us.

 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.

Rob Manton:  Our new single ‘California’ is out on 28th June. It was inspired by a chance meeting I had with lo-fi garage rock legend and now sadly the late great Rex ‘Tatarex’ Thompson. His band The Summer Hits released a handful of singles between 1992-1996 and were played on BBC Radio 1 by legendary DJ John Peel. I met Rex a few years ago in California when he was dj`ing at Burger Records event I was at with my friends who knew him. We got chatting and talked about music and his time in the UK over a couple of days, he was a massive character that anybody who met would never forget so when I heard he had died about a year later I wanted to make a bass driven stoner rock track in tribute to him.

Tour poster

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

Rob Manton:  To promote the new single we’ve got a date in London and a string of festivals over the summer that we really excited to play.

28th June,              Sebright Arms, London                        Event Page                                  Tickets

5th July,                 Not A Cult Festival,  Malvern                Event Page                                  Tickets

19th July,               Blackthorn Festival, Cheshire                Event Page                                  Tickets

26th July,               Kendal Calling, Cumbria                        Event Page                                  Tickets

17th August,          Cotton Clouds, Saddleworth                 Event Page                                  Tickets

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

Rob Manton:   Just send us an email at info@hey-bulldog.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?

Rob Manton:  David Bowie would have been a pretty cool producer. Working with somebody like Jamie Hince from the Kills or James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem in a legendary studio like Electric Ladyland or Abbey Road would be incredible and really interesting to hear how they would want us to sound. We’d also love to be able to record with our current mixers Boe Weaver at their own Studio Humbug in the Isle of Wight, the dream would be to go out to the Rancho de la Luna studio in the Joshua Tree and record with them their too!

Bringing guitar infused fury to a venue near you – Hey Bulldog photographed by Steve Hampson
https://www.facebook.com/shampson3

Listen to “California”

 

You can follow the band on socials:

http://www.hey-bulldog.com/
https://www.facebook.com/heybulldogmusic
https://heybulldog.bandcamp.com
https://twitter.com/heybulldog
https://www.instagram.com/heybulldogmusic/
https://www.youtube.com/user/heybulldogmusic/
https://soundcloud.com/heybulldog
https://open.spotify.com/artist/5OLxViZI8qMwA9VV3NzsKW?si=lBbyVNGbSi2K-MvMZXclIw

All right folks, Hey Bulldog receives a full stamp of approval from us and we urge you to see them live in nearer future – because we live in a wonderful times for indie music and great bands seem to pop up all over the shop. Tony Wilson was right – best music does come from Greater Manchester area so don`t miss out!

We have more music to discover so please come again!

R/M

Indieterria Photo Review – Cabbage/Afghan Sand Gang/Thomas Haywood at Night & Day Cafe, Manchester

Dear Readers, 

A lot is being said recently about mental health crisis yet it still reminds a taboo. Mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, eating disorders (bulimia and anorexia) and addictive behaviours (drug use, alcohol dependence) carry a lot of stigma. People suffering from mental illness are often misunderstood, treated badly or even are subjected to prolonged abuse or bullying. hey are twice more likely to be physically or verbally attacked and receive less support in comparison to those who suffer from cancer or other long term illnesses.  According to NHS, nearly 30% of all population of the United Kingdom suffers from or is declaring depression and mood swings. Almost 17% of women and 12% of men are prescribed medication for common and rare disorders. And while almost 80% of all females diagnosed with depression are seeking treatment, only 5% of men are doing the same. This has tragic consequences.

Boys are raised not to cry or show any emotions that could render them vulnerable. They have to be strong in every circumstances. If they are not, their masculinity and their worth are called into question. In a society where seeking help is considered a  failure, man are dying. The statistics are shocking: three out of four suicides (76%) are by men and suicide is the biggest cause of death for men under 35. 73% of adults who go missing are men. 87% of rough sleepers are men. Men are also three times more likely to abuse illegal substances in an attempt so self medicate.

Liam Smith fundraiser – sold out!

On Monday, 24th of June, three of Manchester best bands: Cabage, Afghan Sand Gang and Thomas Haywood (representing The Blinders) came together to play a show at the legendary Night & Day Cafe in Manchester, to collect funds for the family of Liam Smith, a young man who lost his battle with depression in Australia.

The statement released before the concert read: “After the tragic death of our close friend and Mossley brother, Liam Smith, we Cabbage along with The Blinders and Afghan Sand Gang are hosting a fundraiser event at Night & Day Cafe on Monday 24th June. Liam lost his battle with mental health and took his own life on the other side of the world in Australia. This leaves his family in the predicament of an astronomical bill for his repatriation and funeral costs. So many people have been kind enough to donate a large portion of the 20k required to Liam’s Gofundme page, currently standing at £15,000. We are hoping our fundraiser can be the final donation required. Tickets on sale now from Gigs and Tours. A huge thank you in advance for anyone that can contribute and come along. This is also an urgent message to encourage people to speak out if they have any problems of their own and are suffering in silence. Cabbage x”

Tickets sold out within minutes and many people went to contribute to the donation page that is still open at: https://uk.gofundme.com/repatriation-amp-funeral-cost
If you’d like to donate, please do so as the family is undergoing an incredibly hard time and they will need a lot of support. Thank you!

Vanadian Avenue teamed up with Steve Hampson, Louder Than War magazine photographer to bring you a photo coverage of the event. We think that words are not necessary at all to describe what was happening. We want to show you the images taken that night. They speak for themselves. We would like to thank Steve for his images and  for the ability to highlight this incredibly important  event. We need to start talking about mental illness differently: without fear or blame. Only then, we can concentrate on fighting the common enemy.

Thomas Haywood (The Blinders)
Set list: “Ballad of Winston Smith”, “I Will Always Be Here Waiting For You” (original song), “Circles” (original song), “Phantom Lover” (third and last original song), “Ramona Flowers” and “Ballad of Tin Man” (Bob Dylan cover).

Thomas Haywood performing solo. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Thomas Haywood performing solo. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Thomas Haywood performing solo. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Thomas Haywood performing solo. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Thomas Haywood performing solo. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Afghan Sand Gang
Set list: “Mantra”, “Scribe”, “Envy”, “White Lies” “Glistener and Descension” and two new unnamed tracks.

Afghan Gang Sand. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Afghan Gang Sand. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Afghan Gang Sand. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Afghan Gang Sand. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Afghan Gang Sand. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Afghan Gang Sand. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Afghan Gang Sand. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Cabbage
Set list: “Uber Capitalist Death Trade”, “Arms Of Pleonexia”, “Terrorist Synthesizer”, “Dinner Lady”, “Kevin”, “Tell Me Lies About Manchester” (dedicated to Ray Boddington of the Piccadilly Rats), “Necroflat In The Palace”, “These Boots Were Made For Walking” (Nancy Sinatra cover)

Cabbage. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Cabbage. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Cabbage. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Cabbage. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Cabbage. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Cabbage. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Cabbage. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Cabbage. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Cabbage. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Cabbage. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Cabbage. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Cabbage. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Cabbage. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Cabbage. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Cabbage. Picture by Steve Hampson, used with permission

Steve Hampson:
Steve Hampson is one of Manchester’s premier music photographers. Music been a passion of his for as long as he can remember, since he was old enough to sneak into gigs down at the local pub. And his camera is something he’s never been able to live without. A Manc born and bred, Steve has been attending gigs in the city for over 30 years, and he is now following in the footsteps of outstanding photographers like Kevin Cummings. Steve loves nothing more than descending the steps into a dingy basement in the Northern Quarter and photographing the next big thing or one of the country’s most iconic acts. From The Who to The Courteeners, Alabama Shakes to Patti Smith, Steve is never far from the music.

https://www.facebook.com/shampson3
http://www.stevehampson.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/rangerpeg

Thank you to all who made this evening a success!
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

Indieterria meets Mutes

Dear Readers,

Birmingham/West Mids scene at times feels like uncharted territory. You may be an active player locally for years and still come across bands that you have not heard of before. And they usually will be bands that you dig immediately, from the first listen. Let`s take Mutes for example. One evening, on our way home we noticed a poster advertising a gig in the local venue in Worcester.  We checked the headliner to realise not only they were part of the West Mids scene but we had like a million mutual friends and hanged out at the same boozers and venues between Madlands and Mancunia (hello Sunny and Castle!) Mutes were noisy, unpredictable and fiercely independent. The same evening we sent them a message and asked for an interview. There was no time to be wasted. Below, you will find our conversation with vocalist James Brown and Tom Hewson – bassist and founder of FOMA records. It is a long, splendid read but that`s how we like our music – loud, untamed with artists having something important to say.

Band logo

Mutes are:
James Brown  (guitar/vocals)
Tom Hewson (bass)
Craig Philip Bainton (drums)

Official bio: After two long, domesticated years of breakups, job losses, uprooting and rebuilding, Mutes have returned with their reactionary, tempestuous sophomore LP “Pareidolia”– a meandering, exhilarating record that sees the Birmingham post-punk group delivering something entirely new. Mutes have continued to build up a national reputation supporting bands such as Sorry, No Age, Cloud Nothings, The Cribs, PINS, Menace Beach & more. The group have received a steady stream of acclaim for their recorded output and live shows since 2014.

The Mutes ready to take their new material on the road. Photo by Megan Lewis

DIY Magazine described you with these words: “Mutes occupy the kind of territory that heavyweights tend to own”. Please introduce yourselves to the readers of Indieterria.

James Brown: So we’re Mutes- a 3 piece band from Birmingham. Started as a solo lo-fi project for myself but has ballooned into something far more aggy and ferocious. We’re into noise rock, ambient music, math, chamber pop, garage punk… everything really. Our music is kind of arty punk I think. It’s ephemeral in a sense but it’s also a lot more drawn-out than most of our local contemporaries.

Mutes have been on Birmingham scene for a relatively long period and have impressive back catalogue, maybe even the richest on local scene.  Your debut, self titled EP came in May 2014. It was followed by “Starvation Age”, a full band release on One Note Forever Records in 2015. You also have  an LP  – “No Desire” – that came out in 2017 via FOMA Records. That’s a lot of material. James also has three solo EPs to his name:  “Various Distractions” (2013), “No One Is Nowhere” (2014) and “Inertia” (2016). Its seems like you have this urge to record at any time. And even at any place – judging from the fact that your albums have been recorded in a bedroom in Birmingham and  a basement in Leeds.

Overfed singles cover

James Brown:  We’re actually nowhere near as prolific as I’d like to be. It’s hard in this day and age- if you release stuff constantly it just gets lost in the ether. Ideally I’d love to release at least 2 EPs a year and an album every other. But it’s hard to maintain prolificacy when you have a full time job! Above and all music should be self-expression and playing in a band should be fun- there’s no point writing a song if you have no feeling or aesthetic bursting to escape. There’s more than enough songs in the world. We record anywhere we can due to budget constraints- I recorded and mixed “Pareidolia” myself because I knew I had to make the album but I had no money at all. And I’m glad- necessity is the mother of invention and there’s things I did that I could’ve never done on someone else’s clock.

Press release for your new records mentions “breakups, job losses, uprooting and rebuilding”. This struggle must have left its mark on the album. Would you be feeling comfortable to tell what have happened in the band in the last two years?

James Brown:  Well over the last 2 years Mutes have had 8 different members. And I’ve had 2 relationships, 3 jobs, lived in 2 cities. You get the picture. It’s not been a particularly stable existence, but for better or worse having music to keep me going has been imperative to not just jacking everything in. Because when you’re onstage, or laying down vocals, or in a sweaty, smokey rehearsal room and everything clicks – none of the other bullshit matters. I wrote out all the lyrics to “Pareidolia” the other day and they do really reflect everything I’ve gone through over the past couple of years- relationship breakdowns, identity crisis, substance abuse or whatever. Even if I was too mired in it at the time to realise that’s what I was writing about.

New LP is entitled “Pareidolia” and comes out on June 21st 2019. So far three singles have been released: “Swallowing Light”, “Overfed” and “Men of Violence”.  The album brings a brand new line up. How do you think the record will be received?

James Brown:   I honestly don’t know – all I can do is be grateful that anyone might spend their own time listening to it. That blows my mind, the idea that someone might choose to listen to something I’ve created. But if they do that and it elicits any kind of emotional response then that’s incredible and I am thankful.

You remain unsigned but release your material through FOMA that also have Hoopla Blue, Outlander and Repeat of Last Week on their roster. The label also organizes events and offers artists management in house. Can you tell us more about FOMA and the relationship you share?

James Brown:  I’ll pass this over to our beautiful boi Tom

Tom Hewson: I formed FOMA with my brother James Hewson and friend Adam Tomes, who I write music with in Hoopla Blue. We started working with Mutes before the release of their debut LP “No Desire”, which was exciting for us as a label as it was the first time we worked with a band we were not directly involved with. Since then we’ve also worked with Outlander. James self-produced “Pareidolia” before I joined the band on bass duties. The label has become somewhat of a family that share the same values and commitment to our city and the music it offers. It’s all an experiment to be honest. We want to shout about the beauty of Birmingham with each new release and event

The band photographed by visual artist Megan Lewis

Mutes will be going on tour to support the record. Where can we see you live?

James Brown:  Cardiff, Nottingham, Birmingham, Worcester, London, Shropshire, Manchester. It’s pretty drawn out and we’d have loved some more dates up North but we get where we can! I’ve had to book out some of the venues myself so it’s DIY to the bone. I love day trips and playing a gig is like a day trip but with you as the star! And free beer! I mean what’s not to love?

We always get excited when bands come to play in our city of Worcester. For this particular gig you will be supported by SedatedSociety – a project by members of Rubella Moon, Coat of Many, The Americas and Junior Weeb.  That is truly mind blowing! Anything we should be expecting from the performance?

James Brown:  It’ll be loud! I’ve always loved Worcester and have been lucky enough to become friends with some of the bands there – and ones that have flown the nest such as Souer. I absolutely LOVE playing small intimate venues, so I’m really excited to play Paradiddles. Asking SedatedSociety was a given- those guys have been to a couple of our shows and are great, and I like to hand pick line-ups any chance I get. If one person who has never seen us play before has a good night then it’s a success. I have literally played to just the bar staff before and if they’ve enjoyed it then I’m happy. Maybe we can all hit Heroes after and drink too much. I like the low ceiling in there, makes me feel less like a short-ass.

Mutes will tour in support of their new album

Last question: We all say that Birmingham scene is underfunded and not as competitive as Manchester or Liverpool for example. So, if you had a million pounds to throw at the Birmingham music scene – what would you change?  What would you improve?

James Brown:  A million pounds eh? Well, open a new venue- one that’s around 80 cap and has accommodation for touring bands. Put the money into ensuring all bands that play there get some kind of content-based benefit such as a decent quality recording of the set, possibly even filmed too. Maintain a blog that does video interviews. Ensure it’s a safe space for everyone who wants to attend. Keep the toilets clean and the drinks reasonably priced. I love the East Midlands scene – Nottingham, Leicester, Derby. They feel a lot more sincere and less flashy. Dubrek Studios & JT Soar are great examples – Outta Mind Promotions put on a fantastic all-dayer last month and I could play those things every weekend for the rest of my life and be happy. Any money left over I’d love to put into obtaining press and tour support for FOMA artists. You’re really making me want a million pounds now!

You can follow the band on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/mutesuk/
https://twitter.com/mutesmutesmutes
https://www.instagram.com/mutesmutesmutes/
https://soundcloud.com/mutes-1
https://mutesuk.bandcamp.com/
https://mutesuk.bigcartel.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZAMKXTW31pxdXjdEW5LmdA
https://open.spotify.com/artist/52mqrsNlDf6CVhB6XJ6LHf?si=jO6sk6uwTk6XONJKEtyKlg

You can also check out  FOMA on socials and give them kudos for supporting independent scene in West Mids

https://www.facebook.com/wearefoma/
http://www.wearefoma.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/wearefoma
https://www.instagram.com/wearefoma/
https://wearefoma.bandcamp.com

Mutes, photography by Megan Lewis

Some additional reading about Mutes:

https://counteract.co/news/brummie-post-punks-mutes-detail-new-album-announce-uk-tour
http://indiemidlands.com/mutes-men-of-violence/

Poster for Mutes/SedatedSociety gig in Worcester

Mutes will play Worcester on June 25th 2019 at Paradiddles with SedatedSociety supporting. This will be first gig for both bands in town and the venue is very intimate so grab your tickets at the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/events/295350488016053/
https://www.wegottickets.com/event/473034

Door time is 7:30 PM and first band is on 8:00-ish. We plan to see some friendly faces. Tickets are £3 (ADV) and about £5 OTD.

Oh boy we cant wait.

M/R