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 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

Indieterria Review – Membranes and guests at Manchester Ritz

The Membranes, HENGE, Queen Zee, LIINES, The Pack (Theatre Of Hate) and Glove
Saturday, June 8, 2019
O2 Ritz, Manchester

Membranes fans are probably the most patient fans in the world. It took four long years for the band to return with the follow up to their excellent “Dark Matter/Dark Energy ” album. The new release entitled “What Nature Gives…Nature Takes Away” was finally released on the 7th of June and to commemorate this occasion, John Robb  & Co, booked a home-coming gig. They didn’t invite just one or two support acts. Instead, they have brought a full mini festival to the O2 Ritz.

Glove, a duo consisting of artists Slosilver and Stephanie Finegan opened the night with their energetic set. Many bands are called the next big thing, but Glove definitely deserve this title. Both artists were true firecrackers on stage. Matching outfits and colourful make up only added up to their appeal, but it was their music that made a huge impression on everyone. It’s very hard to classify their sound: there is punk rock, ska, indie, elements of grrlpower movement from the 90’s. From several styles, they create an unique combination that is truly their own. Gloves released their debut EP on May 4th and we had the pleasure of listening to it in its entirety.

 

 

The Pack (Theatre of Hate) were next on stage and their classic, uncompromising punk rock was greeted with delight by the public and massive moshpit formed to test the bouncy floor at the Ritz. I was equally delighted to see many young faces in the crowd wearing fan hawks and studded jackets. Indeed, punk’s not dead. Watching the band from the press pit (for the first time in my life) gives the reviewer a bit of a different perspective and at the same time I can tick this off my bucket list. Press review? Done! Light and sound at the Roskilde festival for the Sweedish death band band? Done! Taking pictures in the pit? Done as well! In the end, my pictures turned not very good and I had to rely on my pit partner in crime, Neil Winward. He kindly donated several excellent shoots of his own for this reviw and I’m very grateful!

You can follow Neil’s photography page at: https://www.facebook.com/neilwinwardphotography/

 

Added at the 11th hour, all female group, the LIINES are going from strength to strength. The band consists of  Zoe McVeigh (vocals, guitar), Tamsin Middleton (bass) and Leila O’Sullivan (drums). On Saturday, they played their best show yet. If you haven’t seen them live, you are committing a crime. Loud, bold and perfect in every detail, the trio easily proved that they are a force to be reckoned with. Their next gig in Manchester will take place on 17th of July at Festival Square, so book your seat in the front row!

 

I was looking forward to seeing Queen Zee for months after reading enthusiastic reviews on the internet and I wasn’t disappointed. Queen arrived in a blaze of glory and red light. Their set was built on powerful riffs, glam rock extravaganza and endless energy. There was a good deal of tongue-in-cheek humour between the songs that brightened the seriousness of their lyrics. My only complaint? Their show was too short and demands for “one more song” saw the band off stage and into the green room.

 

Next act, HENGE were something out of this world. Literally. They didn’t even pretend to be human. In fact, they travelled the universe in the name of rave to teach mankind to love, dance and take care of trees. The lead singer, Zhor wore a cape, voice modulator and plasma ball hat. The rest of the band consisted of  Grok, a human synthesiser player, Nom, the frog drummer and Goo, Venusian refugee on the keyboard. Henge are definitively a party band serving a convincingly alien mixture of rave, ABBA inspired disco, psychedelic rock with some heavy use of cowbell in certain songs. Despite their weirdness, everyone loved them and their merch stand welcomed a large crowd after the gig.

 

The final act for the night, the Membranes were greeted by a massive cheer from the gig goers when they finally appeared on the scene around 20:30 pm. As promised, the band were accompanied by a 10 piece BIMM Manchester choir conducted by Claire Pilling. I have seen Membranes play at the Alphabet Brewery in December 2018 and I thought they were excellent back then, but they sounded and looked even better now. They were like a fantastically oiled machine: well tuned in, strong and surprising. The show started with ” The Universe Explodes Into A Billion Photons Of Pure White Light”, followed by “Dark Energy” and “Do the Supernova” that sent the audience into a frenzied pogo. The new album was also well represented with “A Strange Perfume”, “Black Is the Colour” and the title track “What Nature Gives… Nature Takes Away”. It was one of the best gigs (or mini festivals) I have attended this year and the next show better be earth-shattering as the bar has been set very high indeed.

 

Vanadian Avenue would like to thank The Membranes and John Robb, Claire Pilling and the rest of the Manchester punk community for the opportunity to film and review the gig and for the great time they offered. A big thank you to Neil Winward for his pictures and to Shauna McLarnon from Shameless Promotion for her kind words and assistance. Thank you so much!

Special shout out to the lovely people from AF gang (IDLES community) who took me under their wings. All is love!

Rita Dabrowicz

Indieterria Review – “Magic” by Hot Minute

Dear Readers, 

June is all about reviewing new singles and discovering new artists. We start in Greater Manchester and will slowly move towards different scenes across the county.

We wanted to hear about the music from the artists directly, so we made an open call to musicians in the area. The response was amazing and we are thrilled to be presenting these mini reviews to you.

Hot Minute were the first to get in touch with their music. This all female pop group has been together for only couple of months but their chemistry is undeniable. All three girls are studying and living in Manchester and their first single called “Magic” turned a lot of heads and had many feet tapping.

Hot Minute logo

They call themselves a “synth-pop outfit” and this is a very fitting description. “Magic” is a perfect marriage of the 80’s bubblegum pop a la Bananarama, Alphaville, Sandra and Tiffany with crisp, modern production. There are obvious references to K-Pop/J-pop in their sound and promotional aesthetics. Brilliantly neon pictures taken by Rhian Melvin have a strong dystopian and futuristic feeling to them, a cross between Nar Shaddaa and Los Angeles out of “The Blade Runner”.  The beat of the song is fast, the groove is right and the lyrics are easy to remember – by the second chorus you’ll catch yourself dancing around the kitchen singing along. And this is exactly what you’d expect from a good pop song. It has all the right proportions, it stucks with you for hours and you can listen to it on repeat for three days straight without getting bored.

What’s the most important, the girls can play and sing well. In the last decade, pop music relied more on looks and autotuning than singing abilities and it is  refreshing to see that the talent is being brought back to the mainstream. The harmonies in “Magic” are just magical. Believe us, the song is simply irresistible. In short – this is a proper pop banger. You will fall in love with this track, just like we did. In the first 10 seconds. And if you don’t, then we are sorry to say, but there is no hope for you.

The trio photographed by Rhian Melvin at Jimmy’s in Manchester (or maybe in some dive cantina on the Smugler’s Moon?)

Intrigued by their sound, we asked Hot Minute a few questions and this is what they had to say:

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

Hot Minute: Hey! We’re Hot Minute, Manchester’s newest all female synth pop trio comprised of Keely Hutchinson on vocals, Courtney Williams on synths and Bella Casson on guitar.

Tell us something about the project – are there any goals that you managed to achieve (festivals, radio plays, meeting your musical heroes, EPs, albums released)?

Hot Minute: This is our debut single release as Hot Minute and for us it couldn’t have gone better! We’ve been playlisted by YouTube Music and had an abundance of really lovely blog coverage and some radio play.

“Magic” front cover. Magic is strong with this one…

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

Hot Minute: Our inspirations are women in the industry, Japan and K-Pop. In terms of bands, we love CHVRCHES, Muna, The Midnight, Depeche Mode and The Human League.

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?

Hot Minute: Magic is about taking the negative and turning it into a positive. The message of the song isn’t exactly a happy one but the tone and feel of the song is very upbeat. We started this band based off the mutual prejudices we’d experienced separately, taking those negative experiences and making them into something we could use to benefit us and we mimicked that in our first single to get that point across. It’s not the cards you’re dealt it’s how you play them.

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

Hot Minute: We aren’t touring currently, but we have a gig in September with Section 25 in Blackburn!

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

Hot Minute: You can hit us up on our email itshotminute@gmail.com and you can also find us on our socials:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/itshotminute?
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/itshotminute/

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

Hot Minute: This one took a lot of thinking, but we eventually came to the collective decision of Daft Punk and we’d probably go for Alucard Studios. That was a tough one!

 

Or read more hot reviews for “Magic” online:
http://indietronica.org/2019/05/30/hot-minute-magic/
https://anerdyperspective.com/2019/06/05/hot-minute-magic-debut-single-review/
https://thegirlsattherockshow.com/listen-to-hot-minutes-new-single-magic/
https://reverbium.com/2019/05/29/manchester-synth-pop-band-hot-minute-release-new-single-magic/

The trio is probably the first ever pop band that we have reviewd on Indieterria. They are worth every blog post and every review, as we think the girls have not only talent but a huge potential to become something special. Given proper opportunities, they could turn into international stars in a very short period of time! We will be following their progress closely and if any pop music scout is looking for a new discovery, then here they are.

They might be called Hot Minute, but hopefully they will stick around for a long, long time.

M+R

P.S. A big thank you to Pete Eastwood who told us first about the group and who made this interview possible!