Indieterria Review – “97/91” by The Battery Farm

Dear Readers,

If you spent more than five minutes on social media in the last two years, chances are that you have seen this viral quote on how David Bowie kept the universe together. The Starman`s gone and everything is coming apart at the seams.

Band`s logo

It`s hard to deny that we are going through some very dark days and finding hope may seem like an impossible task. But we believe that there is a force out there that is much stronger than bombs, violence or any orange impostor (or his blond counterpart) in office. That force is art/music and we have plenty of incredible artists among us who do an excellent job at repairing the fabric of universe and keeping us all sane.

The beauty of art is that anyone can make it and you don`t have to have top 40 albums to contribute significantly to the eternal quest of balancing cosmic powers.

We want you to meet a brand new band that we recently discovered, who are incredibly apt at channelling the internal anxiety felt nowadays and providing sonic catharsis to listeners. They are called The Battery Farm and come from our favourite place on Earth – Manchester.  Their debut single “97/91” is a powerful anthem of thundering drums, heavy guitars and haunted vocals.  It fits perfectly in the new emerging genre of post punk revival, mixing semi spoken vocals with musical fury. The song will prove ideal both in the mosh pit or in the gym and fans of Idles, Bambara, Sons and Avalanche Party should pay closer attention.

But there is more to The Battery Farm than soundtracking the moment. Its the way they speak in the interviews, how they respect and champion other artists, their ethics. We sat down with their lead singer Benjamin Corry for an interview and the first thing he tells us is that kindness is magic.  Among all the new bands that blow their own trumpet and proclaim that they are new Oasis, how absolutely amazing is to hear that there are artists who have a different approach to life.

This is our entire conversation with The Battery Farm. Worth reading. Every. Single. Word.

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

Benjamin Corry:  Hello! We are The Battery Farm, a doom punk band from Manchester playing vicious, guttural punk music pulsating with rawness, honesty, pain and passion. We are Ben Corry (vocals/guitar), Dominic Corry (guitar), Paul Worrall (bass) and Sam Parkinson (drums)

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

Benjamin Corry:  Me and Dom formed the band on the back of our old band breaking up. The whole mentality since we started has been to put everything together piece-by-piece and just see how far we can get. So with that in mind just managing to get the band together has felt like an achievement. The idea for The Battery Farm only came about towards the end of last year, but actually getting to the point of being able to have a functioning band feels like an achievement. That sounds well trite but it’s true. We played our first gig a couple of weeks ago, released our debut single on 15th June and played our first festival on 6th July (R-Fest in Manchester). That’s the kind of start I wanted for us and so that’s an achievement in itself. Things have started with a bang and looking at what we’ve got coming up it’s only going to get better.

Benjamin Corry photographed by Richard McCann
https://www.facebook.com/richard.mccann.739

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

Benjamin Corry:  Our lives and the world we live in inspire us and drive our sound and our words. The songs me and Dom write are borne – both musically and lyrically – out of the sense of desperation we felt at the end of last year, when we’d just about had enough of everything. These songs are an aural lashing out at ourselves, at the rest of the world, at the human race, at politicians, at the sense of life closing in around us. Passion and fear and anger and joy and desire for something better are things that inspire us. Human stuff. In terms of artists we admire, bands like Idles, Evil Blizzard, Radiohead, Witch Fever, Nirvana and Sleaford Mods bleed into our sound. Idles in particular are doing something remarkable at the moment; I think they’re the most important band in the world. Their music is violent and frantic and pulverising but at the same time is laced with the most beautiful empathy and compassion. I think the world needs more of that. Kindness is magic.

Its 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?

Benjamin Corry:  “97/91” was actually written a couple of years ago. I stumbled upon an article about the murder of Suzanne Capper in the early 90s and the moral panic about it in the newspapers at the time. The article went into excruciating detail about what happened which stayed with me for months afterwards. One of the big factors in the story affecting me in the way it did was the fact that it happened in Moston, north Manchester, which is where I grew up. It sort of brought a horrific sense of reality to the whole thing – I know the street it happened on, I’ve walked past the houses, I’ve grown up with the area being a big part of my life. And it still informs a lot of my writing. To be able to envision it all so clearly made it all the more horrendous. That got me to thinking about why I reacted much more viscerally to this particular instance than I would have to the miserable horrors that go on across the world daily. The answer was because I’m familiar with the setting. It only felt real because I could see it. That is what “97/91” is about – that murder is a jumping-off point to explore the cognitive dissonance that is ingrained into people across the world that allows us to be passive in the face of the mass, grotesque violence going on in far-flung places every day. It’s a frightening, dystopian aspect of the human condition and it’s not generally something we’re aware we’re doing. I guess that’s the worst part. The song is a flailing at the worst things people are capable of. The world can be a fucking horror show, “97/91” is essentially a desperate scream in the face of it.

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

Benjamin Corry:  We’re at Night & Day Café in Manchester on 2nd August, then it’s our first out of town gig at Sound in Liverpool on 28th September for Low Flying Records’ Musicians Against Homelessness weekender. Low Flying have basically put together a huge MAH Festival across Merseyside. We’re on the Saturday and we can’t wait. After that we’re playing at Whittles in Oldham on 24th October. We have a couple more really good ones to announce but we’re not at liberty to discuss them just yet.

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

Benjamin Corry: E-mail us at batteryfarmband@gmail.com, or we’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as @hebatteryfarm

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

Benjamin Corry: Elvis. Every time. I’m fascinated by him. That voice, that face, those eyes, that sheer, raw, uncontrollable presence and charisma. It’d be incredible to see what he could do with our songs and our sound. I doubt he’d like us to be honest, but this is my fantasy and in this universe Elvis bloody loves the punk rock.

The Battery Farm in their rehearsal room

You can follow The Battery Farm on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/thebatteryfarm/
https://twitter.com/TheBatteryFarm
https://www.instagram.com/thebatteryfarm/
https://thebatteryfarm.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChp93XaDBuXnmYQY-o2bhFg
https://open.spotify.com/artist/6qWGopTzUjeSYmsXyQ8RIr?si=DfhOPdjFRgugNDIkLVLuAA

That’s it. Here`s another band to add to our “Must See Bucket List”. And if you have a chance to catch them live – do so. With artists like The Battery Farm we are more than optimistic about the future of music, and even the universe.

M/R

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 – “Red Hot Military Audition” by The Garage Flowers

Dear Readers,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joe Capaldi:  The Garage Flowers are

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

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

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

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

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

The sleeve to Red Hot Military Audition single

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can follow The Garage Flowers on social media at:

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

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

R/M

Indieterria 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 meets The Howlers

Drear Readers,

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

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


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

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

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

The Howlers picture by Rob Blackham

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Band picture courtesy of Rob Blackham

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

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

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

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

The vinyl promo of “La Dolce Vita”

The cover of the single

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

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

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

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

The casette promo of the single

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Till next time,
R+M