Indieterria presents – a secret Birmingham concert with The Novus

Dear Readers,

Early this year we introduced you to The Novus – a Birmingham band that is gathering a lot of interest around the country for their music and commitment to art.  The Novus take no prisoners, do not hold back and precisely direct their anger. They play instruments like lives depend on it and wear slogans on their tees with pride. This shoot straight and speak the truth attitude is winning them fans so quickly that even BBC 1 is paying a close attention. Today we return to speak to the band about their biggest show to date – at a 500+ capacity mystery venue in Birmingham. Yes, you heard it correctly – a band found a brand new place to play in the capital of West Midlands and are throwing a party of the year. Everybody`s invited. Not only a new space is being introduced, there will be a killer line up, an exhibition, a special DJ set, one band will play their final set, another one will have their debut one. Its all DIY. We sat down with Tyla Challenger – the bass player for the band to learn more about the concert, preparations and how you can secure yourself a pass for this event.

The poster for a secret gig in Birmingham on 20th September 2019

You have been on Indieterria before.  Just in case somebody recently discovered The Novus  – please tell us who is in the band and where are you based?

Tyla Challenger: In the band is Euan Woodman (drums), Tom Rhodes (guitar), Connor Hill (vocals) and Tyla Challenger (bass). The 3 of us were born in the same hospital, and went to school and college together in Stourbridge, but have since adopted Birmingham as our musical home – and meeting Euan along the way.

On  20th September  you will play a gig at an undisclosed location in Birmingham. Joining you is a fantastic line up of guests. Can you introduce the bands that will support you?

Tyla Challenger:  This show is entirely DIY, almost guerrilla if you will. We have built it from the ground up, even having to build the stage, sound system, and more ourselves – as well as hopefully building a small prop set to make this show like no other. A big part of this is of course, picking the bands. Since the success of the last secret show we’ve been spoilt for choice having more bands than we can name wanting to get involved which is truly humbling – but we managed to get it down to the unreal line-up that is The Assist – council pop powerhouses from Walsall, Echo Beach – a female fronted indie outfit, Pretty Vile – an exciting young punk duo. For every show we do we like to ‘introduce’ a band to the world, delving right into grassroots music and giving them their first ever gig and often a bigger platform than a lot of bands can get for their first gig – almost in an attempt to give them a head start and beat that struggle of trying to get gigs as a brand new band. Last show it was Watermark and they have gone on to do some great shows. This time it’s the wonderful Sterling.

We heard  that a DJ set will also take place. Are you able to say who will overtake the decks?

Tyla Challenger:  There is a DJ set taking place, it hasn’t been announced officially yet but there are fly posters we have had put up around Digbeth and Birmingham city centre stating the DJ and the secret location (go find`em!) The DJ set is from no other than Btown legends!

Connor Hill unleashing his fury on stage

The Novus on stage

We do not recommend messing with The Novus.

This is going to be your second secret gig in the city. In April you held a show at a mystery venue that turned out to be Muthers Studio.  It sold out before you revealed the location of the gig. Do you think a degree of secrecy keeps audience interested in the show?

Tyla Challenger:  We definitely think the secret location keeps people interested in a show. Part of the reason we do this is to make things more of an experience. We never just want to play a ‘gig’. We want everything we do to be providing an experience, a service to and for our fans. And if we can have some fun with it, then even better.

And what draws the band to pick up the venue for the gig?

Tyla Challenger: There are so many factors that go into picking a venue for these kinds of things. Last time with Muthers Studio it was a lesser known venue, and has since become a commonly used Brum venue which was part of the aim. It’s a cool, quirky venue with great sound and aesthetic, which is easily accessible and definitely deserves to be on the Birmingham map.

For this new venue  – Quantum Events Centre –  the capacity was always a factor as this time its triple the capacity of the last venue. But also it is ticking the box of being different, making it a new experience for everyone and we’re pretty sure no one has played here before. At least not in the scene we’re in. As I say we’re having to build everything from the ground up.

We could’ve easily gone for the standard progression of small venue (Sunflower Lounge) and then work our way up the O2 venues in capacity order – but we don’t want to follow the classic blueprint.

Posters advertising the show have been posted around Birmingham guerrilla style

The Novus on the cover of new issue of Ryan`s Gig Guide for Birmingham

Your recent performance for Sonic Gun Weekender at Castle and Falcon turned into a riot, with band members throwing themselves into the audience and large mosh pits erupting. What can be expected this time?

Tyla Challenger: The Sonic Gun Weekender was class yet again. This was our biggest performance to date and for our upcoming show we are hoping for more of the same on a much, much larger scale. We aim to make it so that years from now people are still saying “I was there” and those who weren’t are saying “I wish I was”.

We know tickets for 20th September are still available. How much do they cost and how can they be obtained?

Tyla Challenger:  Tickets are starting at £5/6 and going up to £7/8 depending on how soon the person buys them. They’re available at http://bit.ly/TheNovusSeeTickets  or  http://bit.ly/TheNovusSkiddle as well as a physical tickets being available from all the bands at only £5 each – a bargain considering the line up.

If anyone wants to get in touch with the band – what`s the best way to do it?

Tyla Challenger:  Anyone wants to get in touch with us about the show or any general enquiries – all our social medias are @thenovusband and our email is thenovusband@gmail.com

You can follow the band on social media at the following links:

https://www.facebook.com/thenovusband
https://twitter.com/TheNovusBand
https://www.instagram.com/thenovusband/
https://soundcloud.com/thenovusband
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCRt2uOIvTYDQ8vYaoPEX-w
https://open.spotify.com/artist/3mPpz1sdOXNi3vLokDVbHm?si=JvlBswE-QYap-6PJ7emuww

And check the bands on the bill:

The Assist:

https://www.facebook.com/TheAssistBand/
https://twitter.com/TheAssistBand
https://www.instagram.com/theassistband/
https://www.youtube.com/user/theassistband
https://soundcloud.com/the-assist
https://open.spotify.com/artist/7uO6bPS0yAUPm3jjm1aitC?si=NkaC482eQ16T1ceCOzamOg


Echo Beach!
(playing their final gig)

https://echo-beach.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/echobeachbandtptr/
https://www.instagram.com/echobeachband/
https://soundcloud.com/echo-beach-music
https://open.spotify.com/artist/0Sji449s443fjzjPsLyy5R?si=DE_YYlKlQj6exERWf-6q1w


Pretty Vile

https://www.facebook.com/PrettyVileMusic/
https://twitter.com/PrettyVileUK
https://www.instagram.com/prettyvilemusic/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb6ui5ACqFIIAF2cF4ddTbw
https://open.spotify.com/artist/5Yh27rfCowqKiM3nKRRjUO?si=fpZz4TkoTwK37m0-i2MDjw

And introducing brand new arrival on the Birmingham scene:

Sterling
https://www.instagram.com/wearesterling/

We are hoping to interview few more artists taking part in the secret party. So stay tuned and grab your tickets as they are flying out!

Love
M/R

Indieterria meets Gavin Monaghan

Dear Readers,

Living in West Midlands may seem less exciting than living in London or in a Greater Manchester area. Many of the smaller villages have few buses running in the evenings and trains are expensive – which obviously has an impact on access to entertainment. But our neck of woods produces amazing music and we have some real hidden gems close to us. We want to shine a light on those assets in our blogs. Not so long ago we had interviewed RawSound TV – an incredible service for local acts. Now we had a privilege to speak to Gavin Monaghan – prominent record producer and owner of famous Magic Garden Studios in Wolverhampton. On May 3rd 2019, Magic Garden will host a fundraiser for Musicians Against Homelessness in Birmingham and the line up is just unbelievable. So read on and grab yourself a ticket while they are still available.

Meeting Gavin is a marvellous experience – he is kind, soft spoken and welcoming. He produced some of the best records we have heard and his stories will leave you mesmerised. Thank you so much for sparing some time for us.

The Wizard of Wolverhampton – photo by Lisette Rex

You have earned the title of The Wizard of Wolverhampton by musicians you worked with. Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.

Gavin Monaghan: Hello Indieterra readers! I’m Gavin, my Studio is called Magic Garden, and I’m very pleased to meet you.

You are a producer and owner of Magic Garden Recording Studios that have been going for thirty years. Can you tell us something about the studio and its rich history? Did it change over the years?

Gavin Monaghan:  I’ve been working out of Magic Garden for 30 years in the West Midlands.  I’m currently in my third and hopefully final location. It’s been a wonderful journey so far, and I’m enjoying every minute of it!

We know that Magic Garden is expanding. What new features are you planning to add to the studio?

Gavin Monaghan:  Joe, Liam and I are working with all sorts of inspiring artists in every genre, and my ambition is simply to keep doing more of the same, while practising Kai Zen (The Art of  continuous self-improvement).  I’m constantly adding new (and old) pieces of equipment and software to push things forward. We have recently finished construction on a dedicated mix and overdub room next door, which is now fully operational. It’s quite hard to contain my excitement! I look at Magic Garden as a piece of art in itself, which will hopefully never be finished.

In 2016 in interview with Louder than War you mentioned that you planned to start a record label with your colleague Mark Evans. What happened to those plans? Are they on hold or is the label up and running somewhere in the shadows?

Gavin Monaghan:  Mark and I are always looking for interesting artists to work with, and develop. We’ve currently put out three releases in single vinyl 45 format. Please feel free to send music. It’s a tiny concern designed to champion new music or help people who are already planning a release with strategies so we don’t release that much.

Magic Garden Vinyl was conceived as an idea from two old friends before The Brexit Con was perpetrated by the awful Tory/UKIP machine on the country. Unfortunately, as Vinyl is mostly manufactured in European locations, this will send the cost of vinyl through the roof (I never saw that on the side of a bus) but where there’s a will, there’s a way. Watch this space.

The list of credits to your name is enormous: Twang, Editors, Ocean Color Scene – enough to make young bands speechless. And yet you are known to work and championing up and coming acts: The Blinders, The Novus, Pagans S.O.H, The Lizards. How do you regard your role as a producer. Do you have your own way of working with artists?

Gavin Monaghan:  Every single artist and every member of every band is so different, that my approach is wildly varied depending on what they need to make the best record we can possibly create. We like to join the band for the time we are with them, and continue to do everything we can after they leave and go out into the world with what we have all created together.

I’m happy to be a sort of Rock And Roll helpline whenever I can, I’m so busy it sometimes takes a while for me to get back, but we always try to go the extra mile.

We are used to asking musicians about their influences. But what or maybe whom can influence a record producer?

Gavin Monaghan:  I’m influenced by inspiring people in every category, existing or as yet uninvented: artists, film makers, poets, activists, singers, musicians, chaos, order, kindness, humanity, animals, revolutionary concepts. Magick and changing the outcome of reality with beautiful intent. What if every good thing you could think of was true or could become so? A life without limits. I find that fascinating.

Before moving to Wolverhampton you worked in London’s most prestigious studios such as Maida Vale or the legendary Abbey Road. Why did you leave the capitol for West Midlands?

Gavin Monaghan: I originally left London to be with family. I ended up staying and it’s home now, though I do work in lots of other places (mostly residential studios) when the need arises. As long as I have speakers in front of me and beautiful music pouring out of them, I’m happy.

Gavin at work

On May 3rd 2019 Magic Garden  will organise a gig for Musicians Against Homelessness. The line up is absolutely mind blowing with Methods, Pagans SOH, The Novus, The Lizards, Moses and The Bohos attending. Can you tell us how the gig idea started?

Gavin Monaghan: I’ve been putting Magic Garden nights on in one form or another since the early 2000’s and quite a few people playing them have gone on to do really well. It’s lovely to watch them grow from a small start into something that people enjoy in a larger scale. The gigs are a lot of fun, and I’m only doing them to benefit various charities these days.

What can we expect on the night and where is the gig taking place?

Gavin Monaghan:  We can expect an incredible night of music, as every band is hand-picked for their awesomeness.

Famous last question – tell us  the weirdest thing that ever happened to you in a studio.

Gavin Monaghan: I was working in residential studio with A very famous band years ago, and a heavy silver candelabra jumped off the grand piano on its own and dented the wall while the singer was playing it. The same night, seven large crows flew into a bay window at the studio Manor House and smashed it to pieces.  Weird is definitely an understatement.

Thanks for asking me to do this, I’m delighted to talk about this path I’m on, and look forward to many more studio adventures.

Gavin at Magic Garden Studios

You can follow Gavin Monaghan and Magic Garden Studios online:

https://www.facebook.com/iamgavinmonaghan
https://www.facebook.com/MagicGardenRecordingStudio/
https://twitter.com/gavinmonaghan
https://twitter.com/MagicGardenUK
https://www.instagram.com/magicgardenstudio/

Poster for Magic Garden fundraiser for Musicians Against Homelessness

On May 3rd (Friday) a fundraiser for Musicians Against Homelessness will take place at The Wagon and Horses in Birmingham (Digbeth area). You will have a chance to see some of the best new indie acts with Methods, The Pagans S.O.H, The Novus, Moses, The Bohos and The Lizards – all hand picked by Gavin and the staff at the Magic Garden Studios. We can hardly wait!

Event page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/330685257583461/

You can get your tickets (£5) at the address below:

https://www.wegottickets.com/event/468289

We are hoping you will come down with us to party in West Midlands and celebrate not only our incredible scene – but also the incredible studio and the man behind it. After all somebody mentioned 30th anniversary, right? Who knows, there may even be a cake! 🙂

M/R

Indieterria meets Table Scraps

Dear Readers

Over the last two year, we had a pleasure to speak to many wonderful bands and artists. To interview some of them, we have been waiting several months (in one case, it has even been over a year and still counting!) but it is always worth the time. And sometimes all it takes is you listen to a song, you fall in love with it and  you contact the band asking if they would be willing to talk to you and they say yes under 1 minute. We sat down with Table Scraps, right after their return from SXSW, the biggest music conference in the world, to discuss their influences, musical references and going on tour with Monster Magnet.  We hope you will enjoy reading it as much as we did, talking to the band. Now we need to see them live. Another band added to our bucket list this year!

Band logo

Official bio:  Celebrated for their bruising and feedback-drenched live shows, as well as a knack for crafting the perfect nagging hook, Birmingham’s Table Scraps have gradually fought their way to the top of the garage rock pile by conquering stages and refusing to compromise. After self-releasing a clutch of praised 7’s and an LP, as well as holding their own alongside heavyweights such as Fat White Family, IDLES and Black Lips, the ‘Scraps soon found interest after plays on Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music started to rack up. However, they insisted on continuing to do things their own way: self-recording, creating their own nightmare worlds in homemade zines and shooting their own B-movie style videos. “Autonomy”, the band’s most recent LP, surfaced in February 2018 to widespread enthusiasm and was picked up for release in the US by the legendary Burger Records. A huge European tour with stoner legends Monster Magnet (at the insistence of fan Dave Wyndorf himself) quickly brought Table Scraps to a new legion of enthusiastic continental headbangers. Wyndorf, as well as Joe Talbot of IDLES and Grace Jones, are part of a growing swathe of those who realize that it’s only a matter of time before Table Scraps go on to bigger and better things.

“Dark and brilliant” (DIY Magazine),
“Check‘em out pronto” (Metal Hammer)
“Table Scraps are awesome!” (Dave Wyndorf, Classic Rock).

Table Scraps photographed by Meg Lavender

Scott Vincent Abbott – Guitar & Vox
Poppy Twist – Drums & Vox
TJ – Bass & Vox

Joe Talbot, the lead singer of IDLES said: “If you don’t know Table Scraps, you’re a fucking idiot!”. That’s the best recommendation we have ever heard! Please introduce yourselves to the readers of Indieterria.

Table Scraps: We are Table Scraps – a three piece garage doom band from Birmingham.

Your bands name is very unusual. By definition, table scraps are the leftovers  nobody wants to touch. It is either something disgusting or something insignificant. Why did you decide to go with name like that?

Table Scraps: We’re very much inspired by the gross out tradition, which to us is as diverse as first wave punk to John Waters movies. Trash in all its glory! Disposable and throwaway is what we wanted when Scott chose Table Scraps. Particularly when there is such a modern tradition of agonizing over a band name that is deep, evocative and edgy. That whole thing bored us to the point of going the opposite way: there isn’t a less evocative word than “table” after all.

Table Scraps are being described as Idles meets Duran Duran with Mark E Smith on vocals and David Bowie/The Ramones influences. We very rarely agree with online classifications but this one seems to sum your music pretty well. Do you agree?

Table Scraps: Definitely not when it comes to Duran Duran and Scott’s vocals are far more rooted in the American vocal traditions of blues, rock’n’roll and 80s west coast punk as opposed to someone like the great MES, who is from a much more British evolution of post-punk. It is a genre we all love but don’t bear much similarity to for the most part. Idles and The Ramones are probably closer to our stable, particularly our attitudes towards what bands and songs should be like. There’s a lot of hard rock, metal, psych, garage and 60’s girl group influence that are really foundational to what Table Scraps do too. We love a bit of glam but it doesn’t pop up very often. That’s more of a London band extravagance.

“Autonomy” album cover

You are known for your specific approach to marketing. You are fiercely independent and if you can do something against the current tides or ideas, you will. Creating home made zines, recording in strange places, breaking stereotypes – you are masters of  unconventional PR. Where do you take your ideas from?

Table Scraps: A lot of our approach is very much based on practicality. We are so detached from the UK’s music industry, which is almost exclusively in London, that there isn’t really any benefit to us playing by the rules. We’ve also been there and done that when it comes to “the right way” in our younger years and it only takes one peek behind the big label curtain to realise that it’s all a load of big budget tricks that rarely work anyway.

While so much has changed in the past ten years when it comes to income, streaming, artist discovery and so on, what doesn’t change is the fact that people want to see good bands live and people also like nice physical product. Like the majority of the population, we aren’t rich enough to buy every single LP we want so we only choose the ones that are special or different. It makes perfect sense that we would then use that in our own approach to putting our music out there. Most of our ideas come from boredom and frustration that no one else has done it already!

Let’s talk about your videos – apparently you make them yourselves. They show real directing skills and what’s really important to us, a deep understanding of pop culture. The video to “Electricity” feels like an intro to a Rob Zombie film, “Sick of Me” channels Spoke Jones, “Motorcycle (Straight to Hell)” contains references to several hit songs such as “I will walk 500 miles” by The Proclaimers and “Loser” by Beck. Our favourite video, “I’m a failure” is a very faithful homage to “Beavis and Butt-Head” (down to the same type of sofa and descriptions for each song shown on the telly) and MTV Oddities (The Brothers Grunt, Aexon Flux, or Maxxx). You are too young to remember those shows/songs from your experience – how do you know about them? Through Internet or research?

Table Scraps: Fortunately we are good looking enough to appear younger than we actually are as most of these references are not lost on us. Particularly as Poppy and TJ are children of the internet where suddenly the wealth of history and pop culture becomes an explosion of access instead of a straight line. We are collectors and obsessives so we naturally gravitate towards things that are high quality and know their references. Our dissatisfaction with bringing other people in to the creative process of Table Scraps is what drove us to make it all ourselves. That and it’s just too expensive to rely on a team of people to do everything for you.

Poppy bought her first DSLR at some point in 2014 and we began shooting videos with it immediately. We taught ourselves the whole process to the point that we make music videos for lots of other bands now which is a nice reminder of how far you can come if you just rely on yourself to do things the way you want rather than relying on other people to bring their interpretation to it and muddy your vision.

Your releases (especially your latest LP “Autonomy”) received a flood of rave reviews. DIY Magazine called you “Brilliant” and “Groundbreaking”, Louder than War claimed you defined “21st century rock and roll”, Clash Magazine described  you as “A real punch” and BBC1 gave you 12 stars out of 10. Have you expected such praise?

Table Scraps: (laughing) We think there may be a small element of misquoting going on there but appreciate it all the same! We don’t expect such praise because we don’t seek it out but it is very encouraging to get and it does help to make things happen for us. It’s particularly nice when we don’t have someone greasing the wheels for us behind the scenes and it comes straight from us. The press and radio team we had for “Autonomy” were wonderful and took the time to understand what we were doing so they did an excellent job at getting it out to more people.

Table Scraps promo picture

You went on tour with the legendary Monster Magnet! How did it go? It must have been one-of-a-kind rock and roll journey!

Table Scraps: The tour with Monster Magnet was insane and a real eye opener for us, particularly as everything about it was so out of our comfort zone. We went, virtually overnight, from a small garage rock band mostly playing in 150 cap clubs to an audience mostly comprised of tasteful garage rock fans who got the references to playing in 2000 cap venues to what we feared might be quite a tough crowd in the stoner/metal bracket. We worried that we might not translate to the size of the rooms and that we would seem out of place with such a heavy band as Monster Magnet but Dave Wyndorf loved us, understood us and Magnet’s audience and insisted that we be there.

Clearly he saw it better than we did as we were kind of the perfect fit and we really rose to the challenge as opposed to a meat and potatoes metal band and we went down incredibly well. We got a lot louder and a lot more comfortable with our hard rock/psych influences there which was very freeing. People on the continent are a lot more accommodating and we had an absolute blast. It showed us that we didn’t need to be so protective and could genuinely kill it on a big stage.

We have to ask about SXSW, you have just returned from Texas. Tell us more about your trip. How many showcases you played? Did you have fun?

Table Scraps: As it is with most things we do, official selection for SXSW was 100% something we never expected to receive. It’s probably a Midlands thing but despite our confidence and commitment to Table Scraps, our expectations are usually extremely low. Like everything else we do, we had no industry backing or money other than that we had raised ourselves and it did represent quite a big risk when we need to be careful with what we spend our money on but there was no way we could turn it down.

Fortunately we really drew people towards us at the shows and we got to play to a lot of new people who were really excited by us. Like the Magnet tour it is very representative of another hard fought step forward. We played nine shows altogether (three in one day!) and got to play at Hotel Vegas twice which was a dream come true. You realize quite quickly that lots of bands you admire and have wanted to see for a long time genuinely see you as their equal and are just as complimentary about you as you are of them. It was a really wonderful and empowering week. Americans are so enthusiastic and sincere and it’s really cute.

There is a word on the streets that Table Scraps are working on new material to be released later this year. Are you planning another record or something else. What can you tell us without spoiling the surprise?

Table Scraps: We are always working on new material in our studio! We aren’t making any promises when it comes to a release date but the new material will genuinely be worth the wait. It’s most certainly indicative of our growing confidence and refusal to follow the crowd because it genuinely sounds like nothing else. It might be a bit of a curveball for some but it’s heavy, it’s fun and it’s got what I think are the best songs Scott has ever written on it. It’s all about the songs!

2019 has been a very busy year for you so far. What are your plans  for the next couple of months? More gigs? Long-deserved holidays?

Table Scraps: Back to the studio to add some finishing touches to what we’ve been working away on for the previous twelve months and then lots of good stuff which is soon to be announced. Certainly lots more gigs. We’re playing for our friends in IDLES’ after-party following their third and final headline at HEAVEN on April 6th at The Garage in London. USA Nails are brilliant and are playing too and our friends Danny Nedelko from Heavy Lungs and Steve Lamacq are DJing too. We can’t wait. So proud of The IDLES!

Table Scraps on SXSW, picture by SKCPhotography

It is our tradition to have a bit of fun with the last question. Let’s say you can compose the perfect rider for yourselves but it will be served to you on tour every night. What’s on the menu?

Table Scraps: (laughing) Whatever we want as long as there is double the amount of beer that was originally intended!

You can follow Table Scraps on their social medias:

Website: https://www.tablescrapsband.com 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tablescrapshq/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TableScrapsBand
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChFw0Lv7eMvylKWfXdyuZ7Q
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/table_scraps/
Bandcamp: https://table-scraps.bandcamp.com/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/table-scraps-1

You can also learn more about this excellent trio by reading some of the articles about them:

https://counteract.co/features/band-of-the-week/band-of-the-week-004-table-scraps/
http://drownedinsound.com/releases/20233/reviews/4151646
https://www.musicglue.com/tablescraps/about
https://www.m-magazine.co.uk/newmusic/30seconds/30-seconds-interview-table-scraps/
http://diymag.com/2018/02/23/table-scraps-autonomy-album-review

Come back soon as we are planning something really cool and we cannot wait to share it with you!
See ya later,
xx
R+M