Indieterria presents Weimar

Dear Readers, 

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

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

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

Weimar Republic of Mancunia by Zac Gale

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

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

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

Weimar in black and white by Zac Gale

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weimar in black and whte (again) by Zac Gale

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

 

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

Xoxox
Rita and Malicia D.

Indieterria meets Avalanche Party

Honourable comrades!

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

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

Avalanche Party photographed by Jason Ferdinando

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

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

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

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

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

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

Avalanche Party by Jason Ferdinando

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

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

Buy it and see.

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

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

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

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

Jordan Bell live, picture by Jason Ferdinand

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

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

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

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

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

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

Debut album – track list

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

We cannot wait to see AP in Birmingham this Saturday.

Support your scene kids!

Malicia and Rita

Indieterria meets The Cosmics

Dear Readers,

The Cosmics has been shaping West Midlands music scene for three years now. They announced their arrival on the local scene with a punkadelic anthem “Johnny” and do not show any signs of slowing down. It does not happen often that so early in their career a band will achieve best of both worlds – cult status in their home town and respect of their musical peers.Ask anyone in West Midlands and they will tell you – The Cosmics are unlike any other band. Not only in sound but how quickly they progress from one stage to another, like they have found a secret formula to make it in the music business. We can only think of one other act in the last four years with such distinctiveness, influence and uniqueness – The Blinders.

This blog will be longer than others – that is because we wanted to do a proper introduction to the band. We interviewed them, we went to see them on their first European tour and gathered some press coverage of their debut EP.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the indie circuit – please meet a trio that will define the future of music in the UK – The Cosmics.

**** The interview ****

Before the band travelled abroad to play shows in The Netherlands, Belgium and France, we have sat down with bassist and vocalist Erin Grace to talk about the band`s Glastonbury appearance, their EP and working on exclusive pressings of their singles via Flying Vinyl. This is what Erin told us:

The Cosmics photographed by Psychedelic Eye
https://www.facebook.com/psychedelic.eye.photography

Many bands claim that they are as close as relatives. You don’t have to – you are one very talented family.  Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.

Erin Grace:  Thank you! We are Erin Grace (bass/vocals), Connor Boyle (guitar) and Danny Boyle (drums).

The Cosmics formed in 2015 and within one year gathered incredible support. In 2017 BBC Introducing invited you to play their stage at the biggest festival of all – Glastonbury. Tell us how do you remember that show?

Erin Grace:  Glastonbury was an unforgettable dream come true, it felt very surreal, being on stage, there was huge  feelings of excitement, it’s something we always dreamt of but never thought would happen when we first started the band.

Since Glasto you have been going from strength to strength – the list of your achievements is longer than  life span of many indie acts: rave reviews from Steve Lamacq and Hugh Stephens, radio play on BBC 1, BBC 6, Amazing Radio, Radio X, coverage from BBC Introducing West Midlands. You played Isle of Wight and Reading Festival.  Your ascent to veterans of indie circuit was swift. Do you feel overwhelmed by your own success?

Erin Grace:  We don’t feel overwhelmed by anything, we just appreciate every opportunity we’ve had and we’re grateful for this journey as a band.

You shared stages with Starcrawler, Surfbort, The Murder Capital, Goat Girl and Birmingham finest -Table Scraps. Its equivalent of playing in Premier League of Indie Circuit. Do you book your own shows or do you prefer to use agents or external promoters?

Erin Grace: It depends what kind of show we’re going for, we love DIY shows and we also use promoters that suit us. Sometimes we book our own shows, though if we’re supporting a band or playing outside of Birmingham, we use promoters.

We have to ask you about your unique stage dress code: vintage dresses or costumes inspired by 60s and 70s have become your trademark. You have also been included in Fred Perry Subculture series.  How important is stage attire to you and was this aspect of your shows something that you wanted to explore?

Erin Grace:  Outfits are relatively important, they can express a mood or an era, we all love vintage fashion too so it just feels natural to wear what we love.

Your debut single “Johnny” came out in 2017 on Flying Vinyl – a company specializing in limited releases on vinyl. You returned to working with them last year when you took part in Flying Vinyl`s first compilation “Paranoid Futures”.  We would love to hear how your collaboration began?

Erin Grace:  Flying Vinyl approached us a few years ago when “Johnny” first came put and ever since, we love what they do!

The Cosmics ready for action – photography by Jessica H_Ingram
https://www.facebook.com/jessicahingramphotography

You just released your debut EP. It was recorded by Rory Attwell (Palma Violets, The Vaccines) and produced by Andy ‘Hippy’ Baldwin (Sundara Karma, The Orb, Blur, Oasis). You got to work with some established names. Where was it recorded and how long it took for the EP to be finished?

Erin Grace:  The EP was released on 13th June and we recorded it all in London, we went to record on few separate occasions over the course of a year so each song was written at a different time.

You also launched the EP in London. How did that go?

Erin Grace:  The EP launch went better than we expected, it was great having our friends on the line up. The show was a lot of fun and The Old Blue Last is a great venue.

The record is promoted by single “Eyes” and a very curious video. Cyclops on skateboards. Please tell us where did you film the video. Some part of it look like Digbeth. Who directed it?

Erin Grace:  We filmed everything for the “Eyes” music video in Birmingham, some bits in the city centre and others in suburban areas. Our drummer Danny directed it and filmed the video.

Before “Eyes”, you released “Trust Is Blind”.  We really want to know the story behind this song. In the video you look like a character from Lynch movie – you smile to the camera and yet the viewer has a feeling that any given moment you will break into tears. Then in a blink, you charge on stage where you tear down the decorations in a  fury that would suit Courtney Love at the heights of her Hole days. Like to keep your viewers on their toes?

Erin Grace:  “Trust is Blind” surrounds themes of betrayal and dishonesty, it’s about trust being broken. Yeah, we wanted to add twist into this track, we enjoy experimenting with noise.

We are hearing that the EP has been selling well and you got played on legendary American radio KEXP. So where do The Cosmic go from here? Any plans for the future?

Erin Grace:  We plan to keep gigging in cities and countries we’ve never played before and we’ll continue to make new music!

You can follow the band on their socials:

https://www.facebook.com/thecosmicsband
https://twitter.com/thecosmicsband
https://www.instagram.com/thecosmicsuk/
https://thecosmicsuk.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx3KjGaX2RJvXI5e7nljvGA
https://soundcloud.com/user-838453312
https://open.spotify.com/artist/0aocL5HcJzJlZJtAZH6caL?si=OYgzbMbGTZ-TwFXsFRmQ7Q

 

 **** The EP ****

The Cosmics presenting cover and the vinyl of their debut EP

The self titled debut EP has gathered rave reviews across the industry. These are just some of the reactions that we have gathered for the purpose of this blog. There are many more out there ranging from big established brands (The Clash Magazine) to local newspapers and blogs (Birmingham Review, Independent Music News), radio stations (Brum Radio, BBC West Midlands, BBC Introducing). The EP received airplay from Steve Lamacq (BBC 6 Music), Huw Stephens (BBC Radio 1), X Radio, Amazing Radio, KEXP in US among others. No management, no booker, no label or radio plugger. Just the strength of their music.

Front cover of the EP and A side of the vinyl pressing.

The Clash Magazine:
“New cut “Eyes” is a short, sharp shock, driven by that urgent vocal and those taut guitar lines. The sound of The Cosmics thrashing away in the unholy night, it carries some uncanny reverberations. Tune in now.”
https://www.clashmusic.com/news/the-cosmics-rev-it-up-on-eyes

Circuit Sweet:
“Lead single “Eyes”, taken from the self-titled record,  perfectly encapsulates the kind of 60’s beat that The Cosmics perform with such perfect refrain before collapsing almost entirely into a much more modern take on the garage-fuzz sound. Addictively catchy, the band walk the line between surf and noise effortlessly while showcasing a raw talent for song writing”.
https://circuitsweet.co.uk/2019/04/brand-new-garage-fuzz-from-birminghams-the-cosmics-debut-ep-announced-for-june/

The vinyl pressing of the EP

The 405:
“On this release they’ve perfectly captures the debauchery of their live performances”
https://www.thefourohfive.com/music/article/the-cosmics-capture-the-youthful-grit-and-glamour-of-their-sound-in-the-video-for-eyes-405-premiere-155

Backseat Mafia:
“The thing about The Cosmics is they’ve mastered sounding like they’re from the 60s girl band sound, strained through a messy, edgy garage punk filter. That’s because they have the melodies at heart that could have made it onto a classic soul all-nighter, but instead of organ and bass, they’ve got this frayed guitar sound that leaks feedback and lashes itself to the track. Brilliant stuff.”
http://www.backseatmafia.com/track-the-cosmics-drained/

Travellers Tunes:
“The immediacy of the record is undeniable. Singer Erin Grace co-opts a Shangri-La’s vocal for the verse before effortlessly sliding into a furious punk rock delivery in the chorus.”
https://travellerstunes.com/review/thecosmics-drained

Back cover of the EP and B side of the vinyl pressing.

**** The Tour ****

Before going abroad, The Cosmics played dates in Birmingham, London, Glasgow and Manchester.  As we had to go to continental Europe for a bit ourselves, we have decided to catch up with the band on the road and bring you an exclusive coverage of their gigs though videos and photos. This is what we have found and you can judge for yourselves that The Cosmics had a lot of fun! Tours can be great!

Tour poster

On 20th of June, The Cosmics travelled to Ghent in Belgium to participate in Girls Go Boom, a one day festival organised at a popular Muziekcentrum KinkyStar. Located in the historical (and tourist) city centre of Ghent, the venue has a capacity of 80 people and is known for supporting independent and emerging acts, not only local to Belgium but also from all over the world. In the last two years, nearly 100 bands from Europe, Canada, USA and Australia played at the Kinky Star and majority of their shows are sold out. Manchester darlings, WITCH FEVER (whom we have seen recently at the Albert Square during Manchester International Festival alongside The Pagans SOH and The Blinders) performed for Girls Go Boom in October 2018 and completely blew the audience away. We had a pleasure to speak to one of the organisers of the festival and we were told that the team are big fans of indie/post punk music from the UK. The Cosmics were chosen as their songs caught the team’s eye (and the ear as well) while browsing the newest releases on BandCamp. It is worth adding that Girls Go Boom book only female fronted and fully female bands (including LGBTQ+ artists who identify as females). They are the only promoter in Belgium who does it and their shows comes with a set of quite obvious rules. They include no homophobia, no racism and no sexism, girls in the front, safe space for sexual and racial minorities and no patriarchal bullshit. Everyone is cordially invited  – men, women, non binary or gender fluid persons. Their motto is “It doesn’t matter who you are, you will always be among friends”. We can only applaud their initiative as it was one of the nicest, safest shows we have seen in a long time. The venue was packed to the last place, everybody danced (and pogo’ed), drank beer, sang and had a lovely time. And there was no pushing, no shouting, no aggression, the photographers could work uninterrupted without fear of having their equipment destroyed. Every gig goer received a complimentary badge at the door and the entry was free. We need something similar in the UK as some of the gigs we go to are a parade for bullies and football hooligans. Organisations such as Safe Gigs For Women are doing a splendid job but there is a long road ahead of us.

The Cosmics performed alongside Piss KittiVaginas, what else?, Dragon’s Daughters, DJ’s MOSHI MOSHI and Melissa Juice. Their show started exactly at 22:00 CET (21:00 UK time) and lasted about 40 minutes. The band played their recent singles “Trust Is Blind” and “Eyes” along with fan favourites: “Cundy Come Down” and “Brainfuzz” taken off their self titled debut EP. “Velma”, “Johnny”, “I Quit” and “Inishfree” filled the rest of the set.

It was wild and energetic ride, filled with solid dose of sound distortion and vibrations. Lead singer, Erin Grace, is known for her expressive performance and we could see her falling to her knees, bashing the strings of her bass like her life depended on it and move as in a trance. Twin brothers, Conor (guitar) and Danny Boyle (drums) were closely following Erin’s trail with thunderous beat and aggressive riffs. And the crowd loved every minute of the spectacle, responding with admiration to each song. At the end, the Birmingham based trio received a standing ovation and many cheers for the show. Judging by the reactions, The Cosmics have bright future in front of them. If you haven’t seen them yet, please do as they are on rise and soon they will be playing big stages instead of intimate venues.

 

You can learn more about Kinky Star at: http://www.kinkystar.com/media.php
and Girls Go Boom Festival at: https://www.girlsgoboom.com/0

The performance was live streamed on Kinky’s Star website and you can watch it at: https://www.facebook.com/MuziekcentrumKinkyStar/videos/487192875376482/

Two days later, on 21st of July, we met with the band again, this time in Antwerp. They were about to play another EU show at an independent venue called Cafe Cabron. Sadly, we couldn’t stay for the gig itself, but we have taken them for a small photo shoot around the beautiful The Grote Markt of Antwerp. It is so easy to fall in love with The Cosmics. They come as a full package – not only their music is a killer, but they have the looks, the talent and confidence that will take them far.

The show has been organised by Zing Zang Zong and was to start at 9:00 pm.
The Cosmics were to be supported by Belgian duo, De Batteries.
Form what we have heard – it was another success for the band, but that is a standard outcome for the Birmingham trio.

More information about the gig:
https://www.facebook.com/events/858188711217531/
https://www.facebook.com/zzzgarageclub/
https://www.facebook.com/CafeeCabron/

We are hoping to catch the band at another show this tour so watch out this space for additional content and more compliments regarding the band. If you still haven`t noticed West Midlands has the best scene and we are so happy to be part of it.

See ya down the front? You bet!

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 meets Memes

Dear Readers,

They appeared out of nowhere, with no warning and within a month have been BBC 6 Music single of the week, had Amazing Radio on their team and BBC Scotland taking notice. If that is not a very definition of taking the indie circuit by storm, then we don’t know what that would be. We have sat down with Memes to talk about their new single, future gigs and their lyrics. This band combines post punk fury with intelligence and wit of The Fall. Mark E Smith is probably looking down, nodding his head with approval and saying to John Peel that there are still good bands in the UK.

You can listen to Memes on 60 seconds CV on Steve Lamacq’s Recommend’s show at:
https://cocamidemea.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/memes_60-seconds_cv_steve-lamacq-recommends_25.04.2019.mp3

They are going viral and we couldn’t be happier!

Memes logo

Memes are:
John McLinden
Paul McLinden

At Indieterria, we take pride in researching each band we interview. However we weren’t able to find much about Memes. We learnt only that you come from Glasgow and that the band is made out of two friends named John and Paul. Introduce yourselves properly to our readers.

Memes: Memes is John McLinden and Paul McLinden and we are cousins and we are a new duo from Glasgow.

We love your enigmatic attitude. You have no biography on social media, just an email address and a couple of pictures are available. Tell us more about Memes. When did you start playing? Have you been involved in any previous projects?

Memes: To be honest, the mystery hasn’t really been intentional, the missing bio and lack of information on the band is mostly down to the fact that the band is being so new! That said, it’s hard for bands to maintain any mystique in the social media age, which is a shame, as it is one of the things we like about some of our favourite bands.

Memes came about from some downtime in another band we play with (we have been involved in various projects before). We just got together to record some ideas that Paul had written. We were just messing around really and DIY recording in a loft in Glasgow, but we liked the end result of ‘Blah Blah Blah’ and thought we would put a single release together to see if we could get any reaction. We only started working on Memes in February 2019.

Scottish blog Turn Up The Volume compared your music to The Fall and The Smiths with a “healthy dose” of Idles. What are your inspirations?

Memes:  Very flattering of them to say so, we would count those bands as favourites of ours for sure. We like anything that is interesting or provocative in some way. That could be anything from Talking Heads to Frank Sinatra to Steve Reich.

“Is that a picture of your grand pa?” – photography by Gary Dickie

In another review you were described as “Fast and furious lo-fi post punk that sounds like a frantic Mark E Smith after a day spent watching BBC Parliament”.  And we have to admit that your lyrics have the same wit and edge as the lead singer of The Fall. We will risk saying that he`d be a fan.  You are not afraid to be outspoken and yet do it in a subtle way. That’s a very rare quality in music these days. 

Memes:  There isn’t much in the way of being outspoken (or saying anything really) in the mainstream, but there are bands and individuals out there causing a stir. We haven’t deliberately set our stall out to say anything specific but hopefully the songs catch the imagination.

You just released your debut A side single “Blah Blah Blah”/”Funny man” and captured attention of everyone in the business. You have been a single of the week at BBC 6 Music as chosen by Steve Lamacq himself, you have been championed by Jim Gellatly on Amazing Radio, Tom Robinson from Fresh on the Net is also very fond of the song. This Feeling added the single to their Best New Bands playlist. Is this attention something you have expected?

Memes:  No, not at all. We liked the music and hoped others would, but having the airplay we have had for such a new project has been fantastic, we just have to back it up now! Music is a difficult nut to crack and we have only released two songs at the moment, but hopefully our next release will raise the game!

Talking about debuts, The Duct Tape, Edinburgh zine swears that 4 months before “Blah Blah Blah” came out you have released another song that was distributed during underground punk gathering. Sadly we haven’t been able to confirm this  piece of news anywhere else. True or not?

Memes:  Hmmm news to us! Could be another band called Memes but it definitely wasn’t us.

We would like to ask you about the story behind “Funny Man”. Are you able to disclose the person about whom the song was  written?

Memes:  It’s not about any one person in particular, just the many “funny” and supposed “characters” out there that you meet…that aren’t funny and have no character, you know the ones!

We keep mentioning The Fall in this interview and on 13th of June you will be supporting Imperial Wax Band (whose members were the longest serving and the last line up of The Fall). You must have the date marked on your calendars!

Memes:  Yeah, looking forward to that one. Given that The Fall has been mentioned as part of our sound, it will hopefully go down well with the Imperial Wax crowd.

Memes are just getting started – but you must have some plans made for the future. What can we expect? A new single more gigs or perhaps a bigger release such a EP?

Famous last question. Imagine you can play any venue in the world. Which one would you choose?

Memes:  This would have to be the Barrowlands in Glasgow, simply a great venue.

Memes ready to take on the world – photo by Gary Dickie

You can follow the band on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/memestheband/
https://soundcloud.com/memestheband
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAozXPvxbmFDRGmKhGVK8fQ
https://twitter.com/memestheband
https://open.spotify.com/artist/4UHOCHsbn2JNwXQJWzO2WT?si=zx3wwhmwQqWzSmIWdyeo8w

Memes can be contacted at: memestheband@hotmail.com

Additional reading :
https://turnupthevolume.blog/2019/04/08/scottish-post-punks-memes-hit-hard-twice-with-double-debut-single-blah-blah-blah-and-funny-man/

Memes will share the stage with hottest new indie bands – Tiger Mimic and Lower Loveday at iconic venue Nambucca on April 27th 2019. The event is free entry:

Showcase poster

You can find more info on socials at:
https://www.facebook.com/events/658720734568060/

We will be reporting on Memes in the future since they are about to go though the roofs. Just give them few months, they will give Sleaford Mods a good run! (and we like Mods, actually them and Memes on a tour is such a good idea!).

R/M

Indieterria review – Slease by False Heads

Dear Readers,

False Heads can easily be called a band that we love here at Indieterria. They have been on our  radar for over three years. We had a chance to interview them in August 2018 and a month later also reviewed their EP, proclaiming “Less is Better”  as one of our records of the year. We seen them live in Bristol at the minuscule The Mother`s Ruin basement and it was a glorious and sweaty affair. We met them at BBC Live conference in London. False Heads represent pure talent, determination and strong fellowship – all the qualities that make great bands. And now they return with a new single!

Slease cover by Will Hutchinson
https://www.facebook.com/will.hutchinson.921

“We go into the studio next week. Wanna hear what scribbling in a shipping container sounds like?” – wrote the band on their socials on March 1st and they meant it. Slease – their first single post “Less is Better” EP has been written in their rehearsal space somewhere in London  – a large, metallic shipping container. A place that may as well be an epicentre of world domination in the near future.

Slease premiered on 22 March 2019, dropping like a bomb from the sky. Three minutes and fourteen seconds of noise, dirt and impressive bass lines. But surprisingly, there is also a catchy chorus and melody that gets stuck in your head. The vocalist, Luke Griffiths screams out his lyrics with such a passion that you get the feeling you are on a political march (and we had quite a few big marches recently).

“The song was written last year” – explains Luke – “It`s about bad mental states. Addiction. But also how similar the left and right are in terms of tactics they use leaving people  politically isolated”.

The band posing outside their rehearsal space
Photo by Neil McCarty
https://www.facebook.com/neilmccartyphotography

Dark and gritty – False Heads are ready to take over
Photo by Neil McCarty
https://www.facebook.com/neilmccartyphotography

False Heads are a trio with Luke Griffiths on guitar and vocals, Jake Elliot on bass and Barney Nash on drums – but the songs they craft are so powerful  that you`d expect them to be at least  a  five piece. Slease is a good example – there is a wall of sound in this song, changing tempos, roaring bass and drums that will make you deaf if you find yourself  standing next to an amp at the gig.

The single is accompanied by a video directed by Brigitta Szaszfai (who also directed video to “Yellow” for the band last year) showing False Heads violently shaking and being blinded by bright lights in a darkened room.

As expected, Slease made a powerful impact within one week of its release.  John Kennedy  – influential DJ and champion of new music as Radio X described the song as fantastic. It has been added to “All New Rock” playlist on Spotify and “Best New Bands” playlist on Amazon.
The song premiered on Rodney on the Rock on Sirius XM in the US and became “next wave” track at BBC Radio 1 in the UK. It amassed nearly 5K streams in few days days on Spotify.

False Heads played two gigs in London and Manchester to promote the single. Their home town show took place at The Monarch on 21 March with The Estevans and Getrz supporting. On March 20, the band played Manchester`s The Soup Kitchen also with The Estevans. We don’t have to tell you that both shows sold spectacularly well.

Tour poster

False Heads by Nathan Whittaker/ MRC Live
https://www.facebook.com/Nathan.W6

False Heads live in London
Photo by Alan Wells
https://www.facebook.com/thealanwells/

There is something about False Heads that remind us of another band we used to follow in the early 90s. We would carefully gather every bit of information about them and the excitement was felt every time the name was mentioned. The band was called On A Friday at that  time and they went on to do a few interesting things since we first heard about them (like releasing The Bends or Kid A for example). Call it cliché – but we feel the same about False Heads nowadays. Keep them on your radars because they are not just an indie band we like. They are a band that will inspire your children to pick up instruments.  Wait and see.

Slease has gathered some rare reviews from blogs and magazines alike – and we would love to quote here some of them as we enjoy this sort of thing in our reviews:

“Outspoken, heavy post punk trio False Heads have just dropped their first track of 2019 and we are loving it” –  Vulture Hound
https://vulturehound.co.uk/2019/03/track-of-the-day-22-12-19-false-heads-slease/

“Keeping things gritty and fierce with new single “Slease” power trio False Heads have unleashed another monster punk-rock anthem” – Gig Slutz
http://www.gigslutz.co.uk/this-feeling-track-of-the-day-false-heads-slease/

“OOOOOH, we’ve got something awesome for you today! Yes indeed…here’s an incredible grungey alternative rock banger from False Heads. It’s called ‘Slease’ and it’s a bloomin’ masterpiece”  – SoundSphere Magazine
http://www.soundspheremag.com/videos/videos-of-the-week/watch-false-heads-slease/

“This is the first new single False Heads have released following their impressive EP, Less is Better. From the very first few chords, it is abundantly clear that this is going to be a step forward. The sound is immediately rougher, more aggressive and stripped down, and, one might say, more confident”  – Words For Music
https://wordsformusic.blog/2019/03/24/false-heads-slease-new-music/

“False Heads are without a doubt one of the most hard-working bands out there. After travelling up and down the country extensively in 2018 to promote their blisteringly confident EP Less Is Better and hooking us in with exploding riffs cemented firmly in the centre of punk sensibilities, this chaotic trio return with new single Slease” – Unique Lullaby
http://www.uniquelullaby.co.uk/2019/03/unique-to-check-out-false-heads-slease_18.html

False Heads
Photo by Neil McCarty
https://www.facebook.com/neilmccartyphotography

“With shows locked in to support the launch of ‘Slease,’ and the wheels of their debut album now in unstoppable motion, 2019 will be their most ambitious year to date and they want you to be a part of it. Who’s in?” – Rock and Loud Magazine
https://rocknloadmag.com/news/false-heads-drop-new-single-slease/

“[False Heads] crash into 2019 with one of their most explosive tracks to date” – Original Rock
https://originalrock.net/2019/03/07/interview-false-heads-talk-upcoming-single/

“False Heads remain one of the best and most authentic guitar bands” – Its All Indie
http://www.itsallindie.com/2019/03/false-heads-release-explosive-new-track.html

“Slease finds the East London trio in super energetic, ferocious punk mode, and memorable and easy to take in as it is, the dynamic song does not lack in any of the fierceness, the poignant lyricism and the impeccably well done production which have made the band thrive from the very beginning” – Destroy Exist
https://www.destroyexist.com/2019/03/false-heads-slease.html

“Sometimes a really crunchy and meaty bass riff is all you need to love a song. Thankfully False Heads’ latest track not only gives us that for an introduction, but continues down the path of beautiful raw punk in their new track “Slease” – Indie Central Music
https://indiecentralmusic.com/false-heads-release-stomping-new-track-slease/

You can follow the band on socials:

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

You can buy or stream Sleaze from the link below:

https://ffm.to/falseheadsslease

You can also visit the band`s label These Bloody Thieves Records:
https://www.thesebloodythievesrecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/thesebloodythieves/

We hope you enjoy this review. Come back soon, we have more!
M/R

Inditerria meets WITCH FEVER

Welcome again!

 

They are bold, they are loud and they are young. They don’t care what anybody thinks and they are not interested in pleasing anyone. Our today’s guests are truly special. Very rarely, our blog has the pleasure to host a full female band, and we are really happy we can introduce you to WITCH FEVER. The group is known for its strong feminist/equality message, beautifully crafted dynamic shows and excellent music. We caught up with the quartet on the eve of their charity gig, Manchester Punks for West Papua at Alphabet Brewery in Manchester and we spoke about their influences, being catcalled at gigs and playing at the legendary Granada Studios.

The band photographed by Debbie Ellis aka Asupremeshot. Used with permission. https://www.facebook.com/asupremeshot/

Official bio: Manchester based all girl punk grunge band. Angry and honest, bringing grungey riffs, a heavy beat and an eclectic mix of clean and shrieking vocals.

“They are raw, in your face and making a glorious and beautiful racket, are full of explosive and kinetic energy and collapsing new riffs and are going to make a noise musically and culturally” – John Robb for Louder Than War

 

“Imagine the Slits meet Black Sabbath partying with Pussy Riot in Kim Gordon’s angry neighbour’s basement. Drunk. Witch Fever are wonderful.” – Legendary Hacienda DJ, Dave Haslam

“All girl grunge punk band from Manchester with unhinged feral vox and a ramshackle approach yes, but supercool sonics, this band display an undeniable rough-hewn charm.” – Bug Bear Promotions

 

“For a band who were catcalled onstage in Bristol for not being proper punk, they’re near as dammit the epitome of its sound and attitude. So, to paraphrase another great punk band: get outta their way or they’re gonna shove.” – Nightshift Magazine

Amy Walpole (guitar, lead vocals)
Alex Thompson (bass, backing vocals)
Alisha Yarwood (lead guitar, backing vocals)
Annabelle Joyce (drums)

Louder Than War magazine announced Witch Fever`s arrival with the words “deep inside the claustrophobic music scene of Manchester, there is something happening”. Please introduce yourselves to the readers of Indieterria.

WITCH FEVER: We’re Alisha, Alex, Annabelle and Amy. We are WITCH FEVER. We play punk, we’re all women, and we don’t take any shit!

The band describes themselves as punk – grunge but we see your sound as being much broader than that. Would it surprise you if we qualified you as the heavier end of the indie circuit, boldly crossing into metal scene at times? We have been listening to your material and Val.i.um of Pist.On, Karyn Crisis, Jack off Jill or Tura Satana come to mind almost instantly.

WITCH FEVER: We totally see the cross over into metal – a lot of our riffs are pretty doomy and evil. The indie thing, not so much, but we’ll take your word for it! (laughter).

Not only musically, but also lyrically you seem to be much bolder, going further than many of your peers on the circuit. The Blinders use dystopia/literature to deliver their political message. Cabbage, Shame or Strange Bones are known for their strong opinions but none of them are as direct as you. In “Toothless” you scream out “I`m a force to be reckoned with” and everyone knows you mean business. Was it a part of the plan to become such a heavyweight act or did it come together naturally in the rehearsal room?

WITCH FEVER: We didn’t plan it. When we started, we knew we wanted to be on the heavier side of things but didn’t really have a specific direction.
Amy found that lyrics are the only place we can be totally honest and angry about anything we wanna be angry about. It’s important to us to dispel any myths about women only being pretty or quiet or delicate – of course women are these things at times but they are not ONLY these things. On stage, we make femininity about anger, power and strength.

All the members of the band come from different parts of the country but study in Manchester. Do you think that being “out of town” gives you an edge of being different and fresh on the scene that is dominated by local lads with guitars?

WITCH FEVER:  We’ve all had quiet different upbringings and lived in totally different places so we suppose the experiences from that come together and make us what we are. We all moved to Manchester expecting it to be amazing for music but it was quite underwhelming. There’s a significant lack of women/non-binary people being given opportunities that men are. We’re here to change that, and hopefully inspire others too.

You have recorded incredible session for Stay Fresh/CITY LIFE at the Old Granada Studios playing two tracks: “Toothless” and “Creeper”. It must have been an experience to play the same room in which the Beatles gave their first ever television performance in 1962.

WITCH FEVER:  We loved doing that, however we had no idea about the Beatles thing! Maybe people will be saying that about us in 60 years 😉

John Robb of Louder Than War/Membranes is not the only fan of your music. Dave Haslam – legendary DJ and journalist also is impressed. In his piece for I Love Manchester (Women in Manchester music: are the times a-changin’?) Haslam mentioned you and Liines as the groups he recommends to other music journalists and your image illustrated the article. Did you expect to have such important figures in your corner when you started out?

WITCH FEVER: Not at all! We’re still surprised by things like that. It’s really encouraging to have prominent men in music on our side, and Dave really is lovely! He’s always championing female artists which is great!

You have toured extensively nationally (Leeds, London, Oxford, Birmingham among others) and internationally (The Netherlands). You have appeared with Cabbage at their Glamour At Thee Ritz. You seem determined to bring your music to the masses. How important is touring?

WITCH FEVER: Very important! We love getting to play new places and meeting so many people. We’d rather not have to do the Megabus thing though!

Amy Walpole photographed by Debbie Ellis aka Asupremeshot. Used with permission.
https://www.facebook.com/asupremeshot/

When speaking about touring, we cannot not ask you about a certain gig in Bristol where you have been though some horrible experience. Would you like to revisit the story for readers of our blog – because in 2018 there are still people out there who do not believe that gigs can be harrowing experiences for artists and the public, especially women.

WITCH FEVER: So, regularly we experience misogyny, sexism and harassment, but Bristol was a gig in which it was so bad that we had to formally complain and ask for CCTV footage. We were being constantly leered over and undermined before and during our set. Men grabbed us, a guy from one of the bands shouted at us to take our tops off, a woman asked us to strip for her friend etc. Throughout the set, we kept repeating that we felt uncomfortable and needed space but nobody listened. Now at most gigs, we make a point of saying that we do not tolerate it at our shows.

On 30th November your debut release double A-side single “Toothless”/”Daddy pt.2” will be released via Brassneck Records. The red vinyl 7” looks magical on promos that we have seen. Can you tell us more about this release?

WITCH FEVER: Its blood red, has a sleeve with 4 individually designed sides, and you summed up the rest! We love it!!!

You will appear at the fundraiser Manchester Punks for West Papua on 1st December 2018 at Alphabet Brewing Company, alongside The Membranes and Modern Family Unit. What can we expect from the set?

WITCH FEVER: Every gig is different and mad in some way! We haven’t played for a couple of weeks so it’ll be a lively one!

You can say that 2018 was a very good year for Witch Fever. What are your plans for the upcoming 12 months.

WITCH FEVER: More records released, new songs, more videos, LOTS MORE GIGS, and a big fuck you to the patriarchy!

Alex Thompson photographed by Debbie Ellis aka Asupremeshot. Used with permission.
https://www.facebook.com/asupremeshot/

The interview wouldn’t be complete if we haven’t had a quick word with the band’s manager, Debbie Ellis. Debbie has been working as a professional photographer and manager for many years and her experience is very valuable. And we are truly proud to have the ability to highlight the wonderful work that women in music do!

Self portrait – picture by Asupremeshot (Debbie Ellis)

How did you start working with Witch Fever?

Debbie Ellis: A few years back, I took up photography. I started out doing gig photos and met a young female photographer who was also in a band. She asked me to go see her band WITCH FEVER and take some pictures. So I did, as I suppose, I’m more intrigued by female artists in general as I was in a band myself and enjoy the dynamic of working creatively with women. I thought they were great and a friend of mine suggested I manage them. The band said yes and now we are here, 3 singles in and there’s a real buzz about the band. They are so talented and driven. They exceed any expectations live. You really have to see them to appreciate their unadulterated power.

Manchester music scene is dominated by guys. Witch Fever  are doing an excellent job causing some ripples and showing that all female bands can be successful as well.You are the only female manager we know! Being a woman, does it make your job harder? Are there any other female managers out there we need to mention?

Debbie Ellis: I know The Moonlandingz have a female manager, which totally makes sense.

AND

Hell YES!

From day one of being in a band to present day of working as a band manager and a music photographer, I have experienced a lot of, mainly negative remarks. Usually with regard to my ability to use technology, write a song, play an instrument, perform on stage. I feel as a manager, my authority is questioned regularly. At quite a few gigs, whether in the role of manager or photographer, I have been asked am I one of the bands mum.

Although on the upside organisations like “Girls I Rate“, “Women in Music” and PRS 4 Music are some I know of that have good support networks. I recently heard about the Keychange initiative set up by the PRS Foundation, which is to encourage festivals to achieve an equal gender balance of performers by 2022 by signing their pledge. To date, many of the big named festivals have signed up, so it will be interesting to see if it comes to fruition. I know Sound City Festival has a lot of women in influential roles and are part of the Keychange Initiative.

Personally for me, the one thing I have always done, is to support and champion other female artists. I love working with women and to be able to give a little back means the world to me, and it goes a long way.

Debbie Ellis photographing Witch Fever

You are not only a manager but also a photographer, again one of only handful of female photographers in rock music. Your pictures are part of the successful “There is a light that never goes out” photography exhibition at Manchester Central Library. Tell us more about it.

Debbie Ellis: The exhibition has been curated by the renowned music photographer, Jill Furmanovsky. She had the foresight to leave one wall of the exhibition clear so she could gather a selection of more recent photographs of contemporary Manchester bands. As the majority of the exhibition features phenomenal images of iconic Manchester bands, such as Oasis, Joy Division, The Stone Roses, The Buzzcocks etc, which have been taken by herself and other acclaimed photographers as Kevin Cummins, Ed Sirrs & Paul Slatery.

As you can imagine I am absolutely thrilled to have two of my images (Blossoms & Witch Fever) included in the exhibition.

I totally think the fact I have been in a band and I’m female works in my favour when working in my photography role, too. I can be so tuned in to how the artist / bands are feeling. My approach is much more creative than technical. Photography to me is a creative process that cannot be rushed, you need to take time to get to know the people you are photographing before you get the results that make for a great image. Irving Penn, the 1950’s master of portraiture, would take over 200 photos on a contact sheet to tire out the subject before he would find ‘truth’ in their face!

You can follow the band on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/witchfever/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WITCHFEVER
Bandcamp: https://witchfever.bandcamp.com/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-502164447/carpet-asphyxiation
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsgn5oXDn_IRBjCjIJ1giCw?app=desktop

Debbie Ellis:
Website: 
http://www.asupremeshot.com/
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/asupremeshot/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Asupremeshot
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asupremeshot/

More information:

http://listensd.com/2018/05/23/manchester-punk-festival-2018/ 
https://louderthanwar.com/witch-fever-interview/

Please come back soon as we will have a full review from the gig ready in a couple of days!
It was an amazing show and  we need to tell you all about it!

Take care,
xxx
Rita and Malcia