THE HALLOWEEN ISSUE OUR DEFINITION OF AN
A MUSICIAN OR MUSIC LOVER E IV T A N R E LT A N A D N U O F WHO HAS IC S U M IN L U F S S E C C U S E B WAY TO . S IE R T S U D IN E IV T A E R C E O R TH
Staff Founder / Editor Deputy Editor Jennifer Le Roux Ruby Rebelle Design Editor Illustrator Simon Potter Suzanne Greenwood Lead Photographer Music Editor Scott Chalmers Daniel Bateman Proof Reader Copy Editor Joy Lothian Josh Humphrey
CONTRIBUTORS Designers Simon Potter Jennifer Le Roux Suzanne Greenwood Writers Alex Fraser, Cassidy Connors, Charly Phillips, Daniel Bateman, Edward Couzens-Lake, Erin Large, Eris Eveiller, Hannah Mesquitta, H L Lowe, Jennifer Le Roux, Josh Humphrey, Nora Tol, Ruby Rebelle, Steve Young, Zan Lawther, Zoe Cunningham
cover page Photo: Scott Chalmers Subject: Vincent Hyde Design: Simon Potter
EDI ‘ TORS
Welcome to our gothic emporium of Halloween treats and educational tidbits! Our featured ALTMU for this ‘spooky’ issue is Vincent Hyde from The Defiled, a UK metal band who enjoyed the honour of opening the main stage for Sonisphere this year. We also have interviews with the gorgeous corset wearing alternative shoe designer, Frankie Lynn and chat with Mikey from Skindred, Willie Dowling and Jonny ‘Itch’ Fox , the former frontman of cult punk band, The King Blues. For those hoping to conjure up some wisdom and luck in their music careers, we also have plenty of tips from music industry professionals including music marketing tips from Zan Lawther of The Lounge Kittens and some Halloween fashion tips from West End acclaimed drag queen, Cassidy Connors. Last but not least, we have sprinkled some music fiction, a titillating burlesque review and revealing fashion spread in the cauldron for you with plenty of other surprises along the way. Whatever your tastes, fetish or pleasure we are sure to have a trick or treat for you in our Halloween issue. Please don’t forget to follow us on Facebook. com/altmumagazine or Twitter @altmumagazine for updates.
jennifer le roux
Editor & Founder
inside cover page Photo: Scott Chalmers Subject: Frankie Lynn Design: Jennifer Le Roux All rights reserved © ALT-MU Magazine www.altmu.co.uk issuu.com/altmumagazine
14 Top Halloween Tracks That could bring the dead back… 18 House of Burlesque Review Sexy misfits & stripteasingly good music... 30 Kinky Couture Fashion Spread Louise McKay reveals her collection... 44 Halloween Fashion Tips From the glamorous Cassidy Connors… 58 Cat Power is the Real Deal Forget girl power & meet Cat Power… 62 Alternative Scene Vs Halloween A closer look at halloween fashionistas…
10 Featured ALT-MU: Vincent Hyde Musician / Fashion Designer 20 Interview with Frankie Lynn Corsert wearing alt shoe designer 24 Willie Dowling Interview Music, film & TV composer/producer... 40 Mikey from SKINDRED On future plans & keeping it creative… 48 ALT-MU Chat with ITCH Former frontman of The King Blues…
6 Career Pathways: Kai Harris The man behind TakeDown Festival & Southampton Music Magazine... 28 Keep it Down! Noise Abatement Notices killing off local venues... 36 Music Marketing: Zan Lawther Tips from the pink haired Lounge Kitten on how to go viral... 38 Songwriting Tips for Musicians How to get into songwriting....
16 Make-up Tips: Eris Eveiller How to get kissable lips... 52 Live Music Photography Hannah’s top pics from the top gigs… 46 Music Fiction: Silly Superstitions Part 1 of our new fiction series... 56 The ‘Real’ Wedding Singer The musings of session guitarist, Steve Young who has played for top artists like Darren Hayes & Peter Andre... 64 ALT Festival Roundup From music journalist, Erin Large of Planet Loud...
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worked in financial services
career ch at The ange - beca Joiner m s, Sout e promotor hampt on, UK
Freelancer for advance promotions
n o t p m a h t u so e n i z a g a m c musi founded
takedown festival launched in salisbury
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promoter & magazine founder
MUSIC CAREER pathways My best early shows were the
‘Manifest’ all day events in Winchester (1997 – 2002) At ALT-MU we feel it is What was your first step into the important to share stories music industry? from a wide range of Booking shows for my own band because music professionals that everyone else was too lazy! After a demonstrate the potential couple of successes I decided to give job opportunities available it a proper go whilst working full time in to you and many ways in financial services which was a bit of a grind. which you can achieve Eventually an opportunity came up at The your goals. In this issue Joiners (Southampton UK gig venue) and we speak to Kai Harris, after some deliberation (and a whopping the man responsible for drop in salary) I decided to take the plunge TakeDown Festival and with a full blown career change. Southampton Music Magazine (UK). He is What were the biggest hurdles Director and Senior you faced? Promoter for Advance Initially, not having the faintest idea what Music Promotions Ltd (UK) I was doing. There’s no training for this, at and Co Director of pH least there wasn’t back in the late 90’s. That Music Media Ltd. Let’s find and simply being a new guy in the industry out how he got to where when there are established promoters he is today… already on your patch.
Is there anything you would have done differently? I think I may have gone freelance sooner but cutting your teeth in the industry whilst on someone else’s payroll is a good way to gain experience without gambling your house away.
When did Southampton Music Magazine first kick off? In 2008 when I was working my notice period at The Joiners and just prior to going freelance. Well, I wasn’t going to book them any more shows was I ;) It was born out of a crazy idea that it would be nice to be a friend to all of the venues, promoters and players in the city’s music scene rather than in constant competition. It started small, simply to offset the cost of our own advertising. People liked the idea and it launched a whole new business.
What made you decide to start TakeDown Festival?
What has been the key to success for TakeDown?
My best early shows were the ‘Manifest’ all day events in Winchester (1997 – 2002). The idea grew from that simply due to the fact that there wasn’t anything else like it in the area.
A great team of staff, incredible volunteers, a decent indoor site and a good eye for the right acts to play.
How has the magazine evolved since it started?
It didn’t used to have content, it was just a book of ads like you’d get at a London show. We realised the value of content once we had the staff to be able to produce something more comprehensive. Being concert promoters we also had great access to artists for interviews. We now have Dorset and Devon publications and our coverage now almost matches our promotional reach.
What advice would you give to anyone else hoping to start their own magazine or run a festival? Don’t! But seriously, get good trustworthy and ambitious staff behind you and don’t be a martyr. Work hard but hire well, always be moving both yourself and your staff forwards. Oh, and remember to enjoy yourself! Find out more online at: http://www.southampton-music.com http://www.southwestmusic.com http://www.advancepromo.co.uk http://www.myspace.com/southamptongigs
â€œWe realised the value of content once we had the staff to be able to produce something more comprehensive. Being concert promoters we also had great access to artists for interviews ISSUE 5
Don’t Be Scared. Don’t be a follower. I think it’s important to just do what makes you happy, without a doubt. Meet our cover star and featured ALT-MU for this haunting issue, Vincent Hyde. He is a bass player for the hugely popular Industrial metal band The Defiled from England. A band that mixes groove laden hardcore/metal with electronic influences. They have been described by Kerrang! magazine as “The saviours of UK Metal” and championed by Metal Hammer as one of the leaders in a new wave of British metal along with bands such as While She Sleeps, Bury Tomorrow and Devil Sold His Soul. The band have built a fan base following support slots with bands such as Murderdolls, Godsmack and Deathstars as well as regular spots at Download and Sonisphere. He is an ALT-MU indeed because he is also heavily involved in his own clothing line as well as many other interests outside of music. Let’s get started…
or anyone that doesn’t know you, explain in one sentence who you are? I’m a time travelling circus. Apart from being a great bassist, do you have any hidden talents? Nah... I don’t think im great, but thank you. I enjoy a bit of everything really . Guitar, Writing stories, Acting, Sketching, Making masks, Making stop motion animation, stitching up clothes…the list can go on but I just like to learn new things & keep myself busy at all times.
My first festival experience was my first show with The Defiled at Sonisphere 2010 and that was pretty damn groovy
Tell us more about your clothing line, ‘Vile Attire’. Vile Attire, it’s a low key, affordable custom clothing line were I give folks more creative control on what they want made & i bring it to life. Most the time customers just want me to go crazy with my imagination which is fine by me but I like giving customers the option. At the end of the day It works both ways creatively & that feels nice. Do you think it’s important to have other passions outside of the music industry? I think it’s important to just do what makes you happy, without a doubt. Back up plans are wise because you never know what’ll happen next in your life .Although, if one can juggle two careers at once anything is possible. Most importantly just make sure you see those passions till the end. ISSUE 5
Do you think that it is important to keep reaching out and engaging with your fans? Hell yeah, why not? When I’m not busy or in a mood ill make the time & day. I like to keep things levelled. When you were younger, what did you dream you’d be doing when you grew up? Everything. Why do you think ‘The Defiled’ have reached the popularity that they have? Well, The Defiled don’t sound or look like most of the bands kicking .Now don’t get me wrong, IT IS ABOUT THE MUSIC more than anything ; before all the make-up & get ups but, there are some bands that just look & sound like a copy of a copy. To each his or her own but where’s the fun in that ? Mix & Match, That’s what makes us stand out. A lot of fans have said how ‘nice’ you are when they’ve met you, do you think this has helped you gain respect from them? It doesn’t help that I have a gun pointed at their face… I mean yes, good question. Honestly I don’t know, I don’t really think about it. I just like conversing with people in general. Do you have defined job roles within ‘The Defiled’? We all do a bit of everything, Like on this next album coming out we’ll be recording it as band so not only will it be exciting for us but to our listeners as well.
What was it like to film your first music video or play your first festival? My first festival experience was my first show with The Defiled at Sonisphere 2010 and that was pretty damn groovy . I remember feeling quite calm as usual with no expectations, just ready to lose my mind and as soon as we arrived to the stage…no exaggeration, it was jammed packed. It was a beautiful disaster! The first music video I was in was for ‘call to arms’. I gotta say it was fun and painful to smash that grand piano. You have a unique style, what or who are your influences? It’s more about expression than influence. I just like to dress how I feel . What has been the highlight of your musical career? I get asked that question a bit and I can never give a full answer. Opening the Main stage at Sonisphere Festival was quite a step for us. Do you have any advice for any up and coming metal bands that want to break into the scene? To all musicians and people in all sorts of careers on the pursuit. Don’t Be Scared. Don’t be a follower. Do whatever the hell YOU want. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? Thank you very much. I’d like to share some of my ice cream I’m currently feasting on but unfortunately I just can’t .Until then , see you at my next gig folks. Shazam!
Interview by ruby rebelle vincent hyde photography by scott chalmers
Unlike Christmas, Halloween is actually quite a cool time of year with the horror movie classics on TV, kids Trick or Treating and weird parties all over the place honouring the dead and all things macabre. So, we put our Music Editor, Daniel Bateman to the task of choosing his top 5 Halloween tracks and to mix things up a bit, we also asked Alternative DJ Will Chump to throw in his two cents….and there’s no Monster Mash anywhere in sight!
Bela Lugosi’s Dead by Bauhaus. (1979)
To be honest you could choose pretty much anything from Bauhaus’s back catalogue but this track is a great example of Goth Rock, drama and theatre all rolled into one 9 minute classic. The song evokes the atmosphere of Dracula from the 1930’s films starring Bela Lugosi who is often regarded as the ultimate Dracula portrait in movie history. The track itself along with the band are featured heavily in the opening scene of the David Bowie and Catherine Deneurve horror The Hunger by director Tony Scott and to cap it off the sleeve for the single release was a shot from the D.W. Griffith classic The Sorrows Of Satan (1926). For the best version of this song listen to the live version from the album Press The Eject released in 1982. ‘Bela Lugosi’s dead, undead undead.’
Song Of Joy by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds. (1996) The opening track from the infamous Murder Ballads album tells the story of multiple murders on a cold and wet night in what appears to be an early 19th Century folk story designed 14
to frighten children at bedtime. Nick Cave’s low and menacing vocal lead us through one gory harrowing scene after another, a story of a man whose wife Joy and their three children, Hilda, Hattie and Holly, are murdered, leaving the man a drifter, as all he loves and holds dear has been stolen from him. We soon get the feeling that the narrator himself is the murderer giving details of stabbings, gaggings and methods of murder way too gruesome for any ‘pop’ song but this is Nick Cave and this is a wonderful piece, genuinely disturbing. ‘Farewell happy fields where Joy forever dwells. Hail horrors hail’.
A Forest by The Cure. (1980)
The Cure often skip between creepy Goth pop and funny melancholia but A Forest is quite a serious track, with a very evocative vocal from Robert Smith who wrote the song for their album Seventeen Seconds released that same year. Smith has given varying explanations behind his lyrics for “A Forest”. He has said that the lyrics were based upon a dream he had as a child where he was lost in the woods unable to escape but later denied it and stated, “It’s just about a forest”. However, the intention for this track was to create something creepily atmospheric and ultimately be the centre point for the album. In fact the song was so pivotal that it became the sonic archetype
for following Cure tracks of the early 80s, low rumbling bass lines, wobbly guitar twang and that vocal sounding as if they were recorded a mile away. ‘Come closer and see into the dark, just follow your eyes, follow your eyes into the trees.’
Dead Souls by Joy Division. (1980)
Released as a B side to the single Atmosphere, Dead Souls was the bands opening track to a majority of live performances. According to bass player Peter Hook, the song had a long enough introduction to allow lead singer/song writer Ian Curtis enough time to get into the right frame of mind to perform. With that post-punk vibe running through a great deal of their music Joy Division much like Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds were a departure from straight forward spooky Goth music and instead sung about real life events overshadowed by depression, suicide and isolation. Dead Souls was recorded by Nine Inch Nails for the 1994 film The Crow which secured its place within the hearts of industrial rock fans as well as Goths and Punks alike. Of course Ian Curtis’s death from suicide a year later after the release of Atmosphere and Dead Souls adds a heavy melancholy to the track and it’s lyric. ‘They keep calling me, they keep calling me, keep on calling me, they keep calling me.’
The Killing Moon by Echo And The Bunnymen. (1984)
A slightly more up beat track to end with, Killing Moon is considered by many as a masterpiece and was the Bunneymens’ highest chart position entering at number 9. Lead singer Ian McCulloch is quoted as saying when they play this song live he knows no other band in the world has anything near this and most fans would agree. More recently the song has gained even more exposure and praise when it was included on the Donnie Darko soundtrack as the opening tune to the film. With its smart use of strings that amplifies the elegance of the tune, bringing both a musical richness and a sense of quiet dignity to the tune this is a song for any genre evoking the darkness of an approaching night like fate. Killing Moon is one of many great songs from the Ocean Rain album which is still regarded as one of the best albums in modern rock/pop history. A perfect blend of orchestra and rock band that hints towards Goth, Punk and other worldly darkness. ‘ The killing moon will come to soon, fate up against your will.’
s ’ P M U H C WILL 5 TOP Buck 65 - Zombie Delight
The theme song for my favorite Halloween party Zombie Delight held the first Monday after Halloween at the Delight alternative clubnight in Portsmouth. A truly gritty and gruesome underground hip hop gem with some of the best word play this side of hell!
Ray Parker Jnr - Ghostbusters theme A timeless funk classic that only seems to get spun at Halloween, this is guaranteed to fill any dance floor on All Hallows' Eve.
Franz Ferdinand -Evil Eye This absolute monster came out last year and not only rejuvenated the Scottish indie rockers but the genre of Halloween festive songs. Lots of screams and stomping riffs to please any creature of the night.
Ghost Town - Specials Another classic and the message in this song is possibly more relevant than ever. Another song that shouldn't just be relegated to Halloween play!
Zombie Nation - Kernkraft 400 Zombies, a big thumping bassline and one of the most iconic dance tunes from the last decade, this always gets the Zombie Delight hoard in Portsmouth moaning and groaning!
So there you have it, 10 Halloween clas not a Thriller or Monster Mash anywh sics and ere to be seen. But what do you think? Do you have 5? Pop us a tweet @altmumagazine ora better top post your top 5 on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/altmumagazine ISSUE 5
The Power of Kissable Lips
If you have ever watched Beverley’s Party then say it with me “You have beautiful lips”
Column by Eris Eveiller
Burlesque • Performer • Costume Designer • Burlesque Teacher
Photographs by Scott Chalmers
I love the power of strong lipstick. It doesn’t matter if you’re singing, dancing or telling a filthy story on stage, under fames bright light, you want your lips to be noticed. Whether they are in the audience or the object of your affection on a date, a person’s eyes are drawn towards your lips when you’ve slicked them with scarlet or Fuchsia. Here are some tips on how to get your lips smackingly gorgeous…
If you would prefer to rock the natural ‘no effort yet photogenic’ look, then find a colour close to that of your gums.
A Little Scrub & Balm
If you want to show your lips off then make sure they look as amazing as possible. Try to get into the habit (especially in the winter) of gently scrubbing your lips once a week with your toothbrush and using a balm to protect them.
If you never really understood what was meant by lipstick ‘Bleeding’, then here we are to lift the lid on it for you. It simply means that your lipstick has bleed over the edges of your lips. Using lipliner you can avoid this and also create the illusion of thinner or fuller lips as you prefer. You can prepare the lip area with a gentle dusting of loose powder. If you’re getting to an age where you’re aware of the disregard your lipstick has for boundaries first apply a light coast of foundation or concealer to the lip line area and blend in. I love using Mac lipliners and would much rather buy an expensive liner and cheap lipstick than the other way round. Remember that the colour of the liner will affect the final colour of the lipstick. On stage, using a bright coral or pink lipliner will make your lips glow, a dark red lipliner will really define them.
The V Shape
Ignore the traditional advice about simply drawing round your lips edges to create a colouring line. Instead, start by marking a small cross in the centre of the top lip to create a defined ‘V’ shape. Make a smaller cross on the lower lip and then start defining the rest of your pout before shading in the entire Lip. If you have thinner lips, you can create a fuller look by going just outside your natural lip line. Or if you have fuller lips, go just inside your natural lip line.
For Classic Lipstick
Load your lip brush with colour and starting at a corner on the top lip, work towards the centre of the lip. You can ensure a sharp line by holding the skin taut with the other hand. Than start at the opposite corner before repeating on the bottom line. Blot and repeat if necessary.
For Glitter Lips
Take a lip gloss ( I love using a sparkly one for extra glitter) or lipcote, and carefully apply to your lips. Now tap on some cosmetic glitter (avoid using craft shop glitter as it’s very rough). Keep damp cotton bud nearby to tidy up any stray pieces of glitter. Now place your finger in your mouth, close your lips around it and pull the finger out (feel free to direct this at anyone hanging around the changing room who shouldn’t be there). That should take care of the possibility of any lipstick on teeth moments. If you really want to emphasise your lips cupid bow, then pat a little light eyeshadow powder on the skin inside the V on the upper lip. To keep everything in place during your 15 minutes, lipcote is fabulous.
Tools I Love •
Glitter brush: Victoria Loves Beauty
Rimmel Kate Lipstick, Diva Lipstick,
REVIEW e u q s le r u B f o e The Hous thsea u o S , e r t a e h T @The Kings
A show that continues to be embraced by anyone partial to spinning nipple tassels and the saucy entertainment The House of Burlesque never fails to shock, amuse and tantalise its audience. The wickedly talented host, Mister Joe Black, plunged his beautifully made up beady eyes into his little black book of misfits and brought his audience some naughty treats this month including a pint sized vodka drinking, cigar smoking Russian with a lust for danger, Natalia Kalashnikov, aka Velma Von Bon Bon who kept the audience entertained with her take on the famous Dita Von Tease Martini glass act. 18
Glaswegian pin-up girl, Beau Rocks also caused jaws to drop as she stripped down to her tiny whinnies but hid the big reveal with lights out and only a glimpse of the goods with hand held spotlights over her naked body. Once the saucy steam finally cleared from the room Betty Blue Eyes was light relief as she arrived on stage dressed as a whale and returned in the second half with her witty candelabra act. It was very much a women’s world until London based multi-skilled silent clown, Kiki Lovechild took to the stage and gave the ladies in the audience some eye candy. His chapeaugraphy act was simple but incredibly effective, helping to balance out the acts for the evening. We continued to enjoy giggling at his silly antics in the second half with his hunting trip ostrich furlesque act.
the opportunity to showcase their portrayal of the West End Musical Wicked. Among the stripping and teasing it is always great to have some musical talent, which was brought to us by the host himself and the lovely Lounge Kittens who meowed their way through some classics and wowed us with their vocal harmonies. Joe Black embraced the chance to use the theatre’s grand piano, which included his rendition of Britney’s Hit Me Baby One More Time and he also sang along with the kittens, which can only be described as the best musical pussy flirting ever witnessed.
Rubby Jones was a refreshing infusion of confidence and creativity as she fearlessly bared all and took a futuristic approach to stripping with a naughty skype session. Lilly Laudanum’s controversial royal stripping was surprisingly entertaining and Terms of unnervement didn’t disappoint as they took
Review by Jennifer Le Roux Photography by Scott Chalmers
All in all a satisfying evening of entertainment with just the right balance of singing misfits, gorgeous clowns and circus thrills to make it a delightful feast for the eyes and ears alike.
You can book your tickets for the next show 31st January online at http://www. kingsportsmouth.co.uk/whats-on/after-dark/ house-of-burlesque/
interview by jennifer le roux
alt-mu interview shoe designer...
Allow us to introduce you to Frankie Lynn. A lady with a talent for designing shoes and penchant for beautiful corsetry and tight lacing. When she is not in a shoe coma, Frankie likes to indulge in woodland walks, fantasy novels and slave over her cauldron. Letâ€™s find out what makes this gorgeous gothic temptress tick!
Halloween is one of my all-time favourite holidays... I have made pumpkin shoes, graveyard shoes, skeleton shoes... All my favourite things! You describe yourself as a Shoe addict and corset admirer – where did this addiction stem from? When I was a little girl, I had a pair of shoes that here magic to me. When I wore them I felt like I was a fairy tale character or had super powers. I would act out the most amazing play scenes, letting my imagination run wild with my magic shoes! As I got older, I still felt like shoes had a special kind of magic. The right pair can completely transform the way a person carried themselves. I want people to feel like a fairy tale character or like they have special magic powers when they wear one of my designs, I guess that’s why
I got into it in the first place and also why I like to write a little story to accompany each design I create. As an extension of that ‘believe in magic’ theory, I also have a love of corsetry. The silhouette of a person completely changes and I swear some corsetieres are really sorcerers with the amount of skill they have! Have you had any requests for Halloween related shoe ware? Absolutely! Halloween is one of my all-time favourite holidays and so, when I get asked to make an order for someone I can’t help but jump for joy. This year I have made pumpkin shoes, graveyard shoes, skeleton shoes and many more. All my favourite things! Your designs and look appear to have a pagan and alternative influence – where did this begin? I guess I have always been inspired by that kind of imagery. Some of my greatest muses are from the Alternative industries and so it was only natural that my work would also be influenced by them.
Were you always interested in gothic / darker aesthetic? I have always had an obsession with ‘darkness’ since I was a child. I have quite a dark sense of humour and in a way, macabre imagery makes Death more endearing. I like to give ‘Death’ a personality and a sense of humour as my way of dealing with it...if that makes any kind of sense. What song would you chose to represent you if you were given an award? Without doubt, it would have to be ‘Enjoy the Silence’ by Depeche Mode. They are my all-time favourite band and that song, even now, makes my heart skip a beat. Do you ever get ‘shoe designer block’? And what do you do to get inspired on a project? I get a mix of things really. But when I am stuck for inspiration, the best thing I can do is to free up some space in my calendar on say a Friday or Saturday night, stick on a huge pot of peppermint tea, play one of my favourite music playlists and lock myself away in my workshop late into the night, just experimenting.
I think this is when I am most content too. On the other hand, I sometimes have an idea that I think is going to be amazing and when it comes to the fabrication, I don’t know how on earth I will pull it off. So I then have to stop my project whilst I go and research and experiment with the necessary techniques to get it right.
of those influences in the pieces I create.
I have a pile of unfinished projects on the go but I think a lot of creatives do too.
What is your most popular design?
Are your designs available in a variety of heel heights? Absolutely! Especially with my bespoke orders because the customer can have whatever they want.
Without doubt is my bespoke orders. They make up the core of How long has your shop been open what I do and they are mainly from Brides looking for something oneand how is it going? of-a-kind. I opened my shop in February 2013 Do you have any exciting plans for and it has been an ever evolving Halloween? We imagine whatever journey ever since. I kind of think it’s become a sort of Horcrux to me you do you will look fabulous! because, well I think a piece of my Why thank you very much! soul is trapped inside my shop! *blushes* what a lovely thing to say! I shall be celebrating How would you describe your Halloween in Whitby with some of overall design style? my favourite Goths! I also like to make a huge fuss Whimsy fairy tale imagery mixed with the avant-garde and a dash of of people on Halloween so I go to great lengths with overflowing Gothic imagery. I am also hugely treat bags, candy cauldrons and inspired by rococo and baroque pumpkin carving. I really get into imagery so you will also see a lot the spirit of it!
interview by jennifer le roux
What top tip would you give to someone trying to make it as a fashion designer? Something that always resonates with me from one of my all-time greatest muses, Tim Burton...when
he was creating the masterpiece ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ (my all-time favourite film might I add), he quoted, ‘Don’t get into a project for the end result, get into it for the love of the meticulousness of it. Enjoy the tediousness of it, even if it never is completed’. I love this statement. It encourages me to enjoy creating and pushing myself in the moment rather than fixating on a ‘thing’. Is there anything else you would like to add? I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Halloween You can check out Frankie Lynne’s shoe designs on her website at www.frankielynnemporium. com or follow her on Twitter @ msfrankielynn
Photographs by Scott Chalmers
Fe atu re I
by Zo e
music, film & TVâ€Ś MEET Willie Dowling
Willie Dowling has seen all sides of a changing music industry, from having been tipped for the top by Kerrang! with his first major band The Grip to writing music for shows by the likes of Armstrong & Miller and Lenny Henry. Not bad for an academicâ€™s son from Newcastle.
WILLIE DOWLING INTERVIEW
T i g h t T ro u s e rs & a D o g C o lla r “The Grip was really an accident, I had moved to London to form a group with my friend who was two years’ older. I got on a National Express Coach on the last day of my A-levels and never came back”. This band went nowhere quickly and after “a disastrous tour of the Orkneys”, Dowling found himself hanging around Rogue Mail, a metal-based music shop in Putney. “I don’t get metal,” admits Dowling. “It’s too full of machismo.” This didn’t stop him giving it a go – he bought a pair of tight trousers and a dog collar and joined a metal band as a bass player. He was soon found out and was sacked for “singing too many backing vocals”. When talented guitarist Mark Keen was also sacked from the band – allegedly just for remaining friends with Dowling – the two seized the chance to start a new band together. This would become the pop-rock-tastic band The Grip. Keen was “rockier” than Dowling, who once again adapted his style away from his true loves – the likes of Squeeze, The Beatles and The Carpenters – in order to write some rock songs to “get him into the band”.
T i p p e d f o r t h e To p by K e r r a n g! They cynically targeted Kerrang! and styled themselves after Slade. Originally thinking that they were unique, they soon realised that they had hit a trend, the “new wave of glam” from 1984 to 1987, which played to their advantage. For eight years were tipped for the top every year in Kerrang!, without ever quite making it. This couldn’t last forever and Dowling decided to chuck in the towel in 1989 when the tone of reviews changed from “next big thing” to “the great band that should have but didn’t”. It felt like the end for his career.
Making Real Money Giving up on stardom enabled Dowling to start to make real money from music. He had dedicated his life to The Grip and now he took a step back, working as a session
musician for the likes of Andy Taylor from Duran Duran, Midge Ure, Hot Chocolate and The Wildhearts, where he would meet his future Honeycrack co-founder. Dowling says that he “really enjoyed it for the first year” but as time went on, in spite of the money and lack of pressure (or perhaps because of it), he began to resent using his musical talents to make the careers of other musicians. He decided to try again.
C o l l a b o r at i n g w i t h CJ fro m T h e W i l d h ea rts For a second time, Dowling collected up a band member who had been sacked, this time CJ from the rapidly disintegrating band, The Wildhearts. Dowling realised that CJ was a very popular guy, so “I called him up. He was very distraught – he had lost everything apart from his guitar.” Dowling persuaded CJ to send out demo tapes as a group. Many of the recordings were a couple of years old and had already been rejected when Dowling sent them in as a solo artist. The Wildhearts were at the peak of their popularity and CJ was hot property. The newly-formed Honeycrack triggered a bidding war between record labels. “The same people who had turned me down three years ago were now courting me” says Dowling, bitterly. “I went with their previous rejection letter in my bag but had the good sense to not pull it out.” Honeycrack didn’t stand the test of time. “It wasn’t like The Grip – a band built on a solid foundation of friendship. When it went it went very quickly.” Dowling was absolutely horrified by how much waste he saw in the industry and he blames this for the spiralling costs and decreasing commercial viability of the band. Sony took an album that had cost a mere £35k to record and wasted nearly £200,000 remixing the tracks, only to backtrack and release the original versions. Dowling was astounded by the huge spend – “huge expenses, company cars”. They sent mirrored limousines to collect Dowling when he could have taken the bus.
Scratching His Creative Itch with Jon Poole Dowling got out and determined that he would stick with writing film and TV music, which enabled him to have ”a lifestyle that I barely believed existed.” But lucrative though it was, it still didn’t scratch Dowling’s creative itch. “It felt like painting by numbers rather than painting freehand.” Not that it wasn’t enjoyable or beneficial for his career. “There is an enjoyment in deconstructing styles and putting them back together and it has improved my ‘freehand drawing’.” It just wasn’t enough. His latest creative partnership once again rests on a chance meeting with a collaborator. “Jon Poole I met on tour supporting Ginger [from the Wildhearts]. I didn’t pay much attention to him because his first appearance was loud, drunk and crass”. Gradually Dowling noticed in spite of this, this “very loud, funny guy” was “a supreme musician”. “He would play very complex parts that he could hear by ear. I started to warm to him. He would do his homework in advance of rehearsals, he took advice very well and he was a supreme musician. The more I worked with him the more I liked him. I kept thinking about Jon Poole, because he was just so good. He sent me a record of re-recordings of Zappa - he had done it at home on his 4 track. You can’t fail to be impressed by that.” Dowling called him up to suggest a partnership. Poole answered “I’ve been wanting to call you up for the past year but I wasn’t sure you would respond”. Dowling’s pre-conceptions turned out to be completely misplaced. “In different company he was a much, much happier, charming and fun guy. A joy to be with. The months I spent recording with him were the happiest recording experiences for me ever.”
Lo v i n g M u s i c & M a k i n g M o n e y Willie Dowling has finally found a way to separate out the music that he writes for love from the way that he makes a living, which he can do with the occasional film or TV credit.
The album “Bleak Strategies” by The Dowling Poole is available for pre-order from Pledge until July 1st http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/thedowlingpoole
ITS A RELIEF AND A SURPRISE TO FIND THAT I CAN STILL WAKE UP EVERY MORNING AND LOVE DOING THIS. ISSUE 5
“It’s a relief and a surprise to find that I can still wake up every day and love doing this. I’d like [the new album] to do very well. I’m going to radio with a song called ‘The Sun is Mine’. It reminds me of a mid-90s britpop summer single, like ‘Staying Out for the Summer’ by Dodgy. This one has all those ingredients.”
Noise Abatement Notices
As if ‘the man’ hadn’t messed us around enough. Now he’s slapping our small venues with notices to keep the volume down. The nanny state being overbearing, or a way to push live music out of indie venues altogether? ALT-MU contributing writer, Alex Fraser, takes a closer look at the issue, discussing how small venues are continuing to be squeezed out of contention.
Every band worth their salt has played one of the many small venues in this most musical country. The Beatles had The Cavern in Liverpool and The Rolling Stones had The Marquee Club in London. From The Gutter to The Stars “Toilet Venues”, as they’re often known as, are where young bands cut their teeth and where great bands are born. Yes, they often smell like a metal-heads armpit, the floors can be sticky with beer and the toilets at some venues are sometimes completely unusable. But there’s nothing like seeing a band two feet from your face playing their hearts out while you chug back a cheap pint. So it’s no surprise that the recent spree of ‘Noise Abatement Notices’ being handed out to small venues all over the country, has been met with a great deal of anger and upset from local musicians and music fans alike.
Venue Victims The Night and Day Cafe in Manchester, The Fleece in Bristol and (closer to home for myself) The Blind Tiger Club in Brighton are the most recent casualties. I booked The Blind Tiger Club more than a few times to put on some of my favourite bands in Brighton. The building itself has been a venue since I moved here five years ago, and, to my knowledge, it was a live music venue a long time before that. It is my understanding that, earlier this year, a new resident bought and moved into one of the apartments above the building and has since forced the local authorities to serve the venue with a Noise Abatement Notice: A piece of legislature that has caused all three of these venues to shut down, sometimes following long and frustrating appeals to said authorities. I’m not going to get personal but it’s ridiculous that someone
Kill off Small Venues would move in directly above a live music venue and then complain to the extent it would be forced to close. Problem & Solution Fortunately there is something we can do to protect our live music venues, the nesting place of our indie music scene, the starting post for all runners in the great marathon of a music career: The Music Venue Trust have launched a new campaign, in the form of a HM Government petition to ensure that such valued centres of art and music in our community are kept safe from closure. I urge you to sign it. Not just if you enjoy unsigned and local bands. But if you value bands playing live music at all. The Blind Tiger Club was a home to me and my friends, my band and my friends
bands, bands I loved and many more bands I wasn’t fortunate enough to meet or see play. It was a means of a living to promoters, sound engineers and bar staff. We need to be protecting such places, with legislation if nothing else. Keep Live Music Loud If you are thinking of moving to a new location, and there’s a music venue nearby, please consider a few simple truths: There’s no volume knob on an acoustic drum kit. We cannot turn down what we do, and we’re not going anywhere. You can sign the sign the petition here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/ petitions/65582
musicvenuetrust. blogspot.co.uk/ At ALT-MU we love it when people get behind a cause. Music is at the forefront for many of us, so please do share how live music is important to you with us on Twitter @altmumagazine #livemusic Feature by Alex Fraser
And you can find more information on the Music Venue Trust here: http://
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Sparrow h e ll a S & ay d e in r e h Photography by Cat emckay.co.uk is u o .l w w w at le b a il Further credits ava ISSUE 5
Music Marketing Tips
r e h t w a l n By za e lou nge kitttenesns h t ngekit u m o l e o h t r / f om ebook.c www.fac
The Lounge Kittens are a harmonious trio who sing popular songs with an alt-lounge twist and went viral on YouTube with their cover of Limp Bizkit’s Rollin. Since then they’ve played Glastonbury, ended up on the main stage at Sonisphere festival with Fred Durst himself (pictured above) and in March 2015 they head out on a UK tour with the bad boys of metal Steel Panther– so they must be doing something right! Here is the sexy vixen with pink hair, Zan Lawther, sharing her top marketing tips… How did you get your video to go viral? That’s the question we’re often asked. The answer is simple. Get one of the world’s biggest rock stars to share it via their ridiculously successful social media platforms! That was the easy bit (thank you Twitter!). But there’s actually a lot more to it than that. Attracting fans, likes, shares and re-tweets and more importantly, getting them to stay with you is pretty much a full time job for any band. These days anyone can tell you they’re a whizz with social media…..but it’s not really true. We’re all still learning as things evolve frighteningly quickly. As Lounge Kittens we work hard on engaging with our fans on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and our website. We’re not experts by any means but here are some of our top tips for making your profiles stand out from the crowd……
Get yourselves organised Good marketing comes from good resources. Get yourselves decent promo photos, high res logos and a well written (and spell-checked!) biography that is regularly updated. Keep them all in a dropbox that you can share with anyone you might to need instantly.
Keep things up to date
Sounds so simple doesn’t it? Yet you’d be surprised how many bands have horribly out of date websites. It’s tough keeping everything up to date when you’re out on the road but it’s vital. If a fan wants to look up when you’re next playing near them and they hit your website and the gig listings are months out of date, they won’t keep checking back until you’ve changed them, they’ll just move on.
Keep your content varied Personally, if I follow a band on one of the many social media platforms available to us these days, I like to feel like I’m getting a little something extra. Keep your content varied. Constantly bombarding fans with events and upcoming gigs will eventually switch people off. Throw something unusual into the mix – we find that photographs usually get the most attention. People love to see what we’re up to! Think about sharing different things from different platforms too, rather than re-posting the same thing to everyone all the time.
Keep the quality high
Less is definitely more when it comes to effective social media, particularly with Facebook. You really don’t want to post more than one thing a day and ideally only a couple of things a week. If your fans aren’t interacting
Photography by Marianne Harris
with your posts you’ll start to get knocked out of their newsfeeds, so keep it relevant. With Twitter and Instagram, however, you can post much more frequently.
Do your research, watch your stats & get planning
We spend time analysing the statistics from our videos and working out when is the most effective time of day/day of the week to post things for maximum reach. Think about where you want the post to be best received and what time zone that effects. Look around and see what else is trending and what’s coming up. It’s not an accident that we released our latest video, a cover of Slipknot’s ‘Duality’ the day their UK tour tickets went on sale.
Don’t forget the basics
Everything is online these days. But sometimes the old fashioned ways can be just as effective. When we’re performing multiple shows at festivals, for example, we’re out there handing out flyers advertising our other shows and physically putting things into people’s hands that remind them they saw us and shows them how to contact us, follow us and where they can see us play next. Meeting people, talking to people and engaging with people is absolutely the best way to ensure you stick in their minds.
WRITE ME A LOVE SONG ng
ti ri w g n o S to in t e G to How
There is precious little careers guidance for budding songwriters, which is why it can be difficult to know where to start. Luckily, ALTMU has professional songwriter, Nora Tol, on board in this issue offering some great practical steps for starting your songwriting career. “When someone gets overtaken by a song people will always wonder who the artist is singing it. Hardly anyone will ever want to know who wrote it. Still everyone has an opinion about your work.”
Step 1: Open Your Ears New writers are often told to listen to a lot of music but we want to go one step further and ask that you step out of your comfort zone by listening to a wide range of genres. Remember that there’s no fixed trick to writing a hit record. In fact, it’s not always your version of the song that will get out there anyway. You also need to be flexible, many hits have gone through a long process of being turned down by various artists and certain songs have been released before and failed. It’s usually a combination of the right song ending up with the right artist and at the right time of release. That’s when the magic happens.
Step 2: Listen Out For Popular Patterns If you want to write the next best hit and be successful in a commercial market, then it is worth noting that most popular songs use the same chords or chord changes. Apparently, that’s what the masses like to hear. You could also yourself to get influenced by trends, keeping an eye on what is popular and being listened to the most. It’s up to you to decide how commercial you want to be.
Step 3: Be Versatile & Find Your Song’s Place The road to success as a songwriter in the music industry as it stands, really is what you make it. Once inspiration has brought you a great song, you will need a great recording of it. When you have that checked, you are set to go. In most cases this means you then shop for placement, starting your search for an artist to record and release it or getting the song in TV, film, games or advertisement.
Step 4: Schmooze Network with plenty of music industry professionals that may like your music. You can also sign up to various wesites like Taxi, ReverbNation and Emeraz to help you find projects and opportunities. Please note hoewver that the websites will usually charge a membership fee or a fee when you want to pitch your song – so you will need a budget to work with. These wesites can also help you to decide what to write, providing you with insight into the genres and trends that are likely to make money. It’s wise to do a little research and ask around prior to subscribing. We would recommend that you read various discussions about them on professional social media like LinkedIn groups.
Step 5: Think Traditional & Find A Publisher... If You Need One A publisher’s role is to seek placement of your songs for you, which they will do in return for a cut of your earning and royalties. The benefit of using a publisher is that you can tap into their network, which means that your songs are more likely to be used in bigger ads or by bigger artists. They can also introduce you to other music professionals for collaborative songwriting. A word of warning though, publishers do have a reputation for not putting in much effort but still taking their cut if you end up getting work on your own. This makes it extremely difficult to filter out the good from the bad or ugly. In a lot of cases it could be well worth signing a publishing deal though – it is just about finding the right publisher to work with. “It’s usually not a smooth ride getting somewhere. Grow a thick skin and learn to take criticism - and use it to improve yourself. Most of all, don’t give up!” Songwriting is a wonderful way to make a living, and we hope that these songwriting tips will make the challenge just that little bit more comfortable. If you’ve got any tips to add, please get in touch @altmumagazine #songwriting to share.
Feature by Nora Tol Image by Scott Chalmers
INTERVIEW WITH Having released their fifth studio album “Kill the Power” earlier this year, Skindred have been on a mission to create a larger fan base playing at large festivals like Sonisphere but also taking time to perform to fans at alt festivals like Redfest. ALT-MU sat with their guitarist, Mikey to talk about their journey, keeping it creative and making sure you are not a ‘massive dick!’ So guys, how’s 2014 shaping up for you so far? Really good so far. We’ve been very busy; we released Kill the Power in January during a sold out UK / European tour, we’ve been back to Australia for Soundwave festival, been back to Japan, and we’re currently in the midst of summer festivals across Europe. Last weekend for example we returned to the Polish Woodstock Festival, where around 600,000 people were in attendance. Absolutely mental. Festival season is the best, every weekend is like a brand new adventure into rock mentalness. The album, Kill the Power, seems to have taken you further in your endeavour of incorporating drum & bass and dubstep with your rock roots. Was it a natural evolution of your music? Or were there any specific influences? Kinda natural I guess - we never really sit around and consciously decide to make a song have lots of that stuff in. It just sort of happens. So you could say it evolves that way. We’re obviously 4 guys who are into a wide range of music, and that all has its influence on the sound. There have always been a few core influences on the band - Public Enemy, Rage Against The Machine, Queen, and everything in between. The list is endless. During Kill The Power we were listening to all kinds of stuff. The electronic stuff creeps in, it’s a big part of the sound these days. We just recently collaborated on a track with some huge dubstep artists. I can’t reveal who just yet, but it’s a crushing track. So keep your ears peeled.
How was it writing a few of the new tracks alongside Russ Ballard? For me, Russ was a beacon of wisdom, feeling, experimentation, validation, and understanding. He’s just got a knack for melody and keeping things simple, and memorable. There’s decades of experience coupled with innate ability and creativity. He’s a wonderful guy, I’d love to write with him again. Can’t say enough good things about Russ! What advice you would give to aspiring bands or musicians who look up to you? I’d stress the importance of being original, being yourself. Never stop learning & sharpening your shit. Practice is important, but being a virtuoso isn’t. Feel & soul are universally accepted currency when it comes to music. Get solid rest and try extra hard to not be a massive dick to the people around you. The audience interaction and energy from Skindred live is awesome. How important is that for you as a band? I don’t think it’s something any of us got together and decided “right boys, we ARE going to be a great live band.” We all kinda give-it live, and obviously Benji is a second-to-none frontman, which helps. He’s always just engaged people… it’s just what he does. I think it comes from him having fronted reggae sound systems, interacting with a DJ, rewinding the song, dragging in the
You definitely have to remain creative to make things happen in the industry. Ups & downs keep you on your toes, so you become inventive at how to make things happen. There’s no standard approach to ‘band’ business these days.
...maybe Iâ€™ll unleash an old-man lap steel blues band. Or perhaps live out my days playing in a reggae-covers bar band somewhere tropical. Itâ€™s all to play for... 42
crowd. I think all of us are influenced by bands with energy, so it affects the way we perform. Seldom people up there have the ability to rock my world whilst stood still, staring at their feet. I suppose we kinda got a rep for being a great live band, so we decided to build on it. These days we put more thought into our live show; with our headline tours we have the opportunity to bring out lights, more production, put those bits in the set where it’s all about the crowd sorta thing. It’s harder at festivals, you have about 40 minutes to do your thing, and be quick! You really have to work to stand apart. So yes, I do think having a kick-ass live show is very important. It’s rock & roll after all not sit & stare!
spending time with my wife, walking our dog. Time is precious!
How would you describe your journey to this point? Has it always been about music for you?
You’ve were at a lot of festivals this year, do you have anything else planned for the near future? Or are you going to take some R & R?
Yeah totally. We’ve spent pretty much our entire adult lives doing this, which is an amazing accomplishment in itself. I think about where we’ve been, what we’ve seen, to think that the Beatles were done & dusted in less time is a crazy thought. I think all of us were (and still are) compelled by music to keep creating & keep playing. Tenacity is a quality we all share - sure, there are countless better guitarists than me out there, it’s not always about that though. What makes it hard for bands to get anywhere early on is staring into nothingness, having false starts or the rug pulled out from under your feet in ‘the business’. You have to make a lot of sacrifices & compromises to make things work. I practiced guitar all day and night when I was a kid coming up, dreaming of doing something with it. What’s probably just as vital is that given the opportunity I quit my job, moved across the country and lived on various sofas for about 5 years in order to make it work. That was all because I believed (and still do) in the band, and in music. Do any of you have any other creative outlets or hobbies? You definitely have to remain creative to make things happen in the industry. Ups & downs keep you on your toes, so you become inventive at how to make things happen. There’s no standard approach to ‘band’ business these days. At home I try to keep things fairly low-key. I fix things. I have guitars, effects pedals, and motorbike parts in various stages of disrepair at my place. I’m a tinkerer with gear of all kinds. I’m currently re-spraying a couple of guitars, it’s tedious but the final results are worth it. I cook a lot. I drive my car like an old man, and ride my motorbike like I stole it. I am constantly playing and writing at home, that never really stops. I have lots of ideas on the go… my mind is a busy place. I try to make as much of being home as possible,
Let’s pretend that for whatever reason, you were no longer able to perform in the band. How would you continue your career from here? I think when you get the guitar bug, you never really put it down. It’s in your bones. So I’d be working on the next thing. There is still a lot I’d like to do while my knees still work. When it’s all game-over in that department maybe I’ll unleash an old-man lap steel blues band. Or perhaps live out my days playing in a reggae-covers bar band somewhere tropical. It’s all to play for...
Haha, R&R what’s that? Yes it was all festivals, festivals and more festivals. It’s great to be so busy to be honest. We have had a head start on the next album by writing through October then plan to do some European touring in November. We will then probably do some more writing in early 2015, but the most exciting thing we’ve got coming up is supporting Steel Panther in March. We’re doing Wembley together man! I can’t wait. Often performers struggle to wind down after a show. What is your top tip for chilling out after a gig? I still haven’t figured that part out, to be honest. A tour bus isn’t really the most relaxing environment. I’m kind of nocturnal, I find the nights get later and later on tour. But it’s when the sun goes down that all the memorable shit happens, right?...
Skindred have now signed a worldwide record deal with Napalm Records and have plenty of gigs lined up in November, so check out their website if you don’t want to miss out at http:// www.skindred.net/ or follow them at www.facebook.com/skindredofficial. To watch their new video for The Kids are Right now, just go to the link below https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=UG04lf-3WmU Interview by Josh Humphrey
Cassi dy's tri ck o r treat Sh ow Brighton @ The Queens Arms Cabaret Bar (Thursday 30th Oct- 9pm) Weymouth @ The Closet Club (Friday 31st Oct11:30pm)
Getting Spooky With It A look at witchcraft inspired fashionâ€Ś
"Winds in the east, mist blowing in, like something is brewing about to begin.... Can’t put my finger on what lies in store, but I feel what's to happen has all happened before..." Who can help but get swept by a witches broom into the spirit of Halloween; as time moves on, it is celebrated by more people around the globe than ever before... So how has Witchcraft inspired Fashion? And what will you be wearing this Halloween?
H o llywo o d, D ivas & Fra n ken stei n The presence of witchcraft in fashion has been prevalent for many years in Hollywood blockbuster movies and worn by divas, damsels or evil characters in musicals, plays and television shows such as Young Frankenstein, The Adams Family, Sweeney Todd, Bewitched and The Munsters.
From words on the page in popular novels like Stephen Kings IT through to long told tales drenched in pagan history such as Sleeping Beauty – at every turn our imaginations are encouraged to embrace a conjuring vision of blackness to represent darkness, evil and untouchable. Whether you enjoy the traditional aesthetic of a big nosed witch like Mother Shipton, prefer the impending doom of The Grim Reaper or the magical wizadry of Merlin – we all have a little witchcraft influence within us.
W i tc h c r a ft i s A ll A ro u n d
From the subtle to damn right dramatic - we are surrounded by gothic and witchcraft influenced fashion every day. From men dressing in the ever dapper formula of Dracula to women fancying themselves as one of the Witches of Eastwick, embracing the tales of Salem’s Hocus Pocus. Drag queens also embrace their gothic side by becoming Vamps full of Vim and Vigour such as RuPaul and Divine. Even mainstream artists such as Cher, Lady Gaga, Bette Midler and even gloriously camp creations such as Elvira, have all inspired and been admired and shown the world the fabulous insight into Wizardry and Witchcraft!
Finding Your Gothic Persona...
Perhaps you see yourself as a ‘Wicked Queen’ from Snow White or a blood soaked prom queen ‘Carrie’. Or feel daring enough dig up a celebrity by dusting off Dusty Springfield, being The Alchemy of Amy Winehouse or representing the possible
Murder of Marilyn Monroe or even Marilyn Manson. Stuck for unique ideas? Why not delve into Royal Aristocracy- the madness of King George, Mary Queen of Scott’s, Elizabeth I, Ann Boleyn, Marie Antoinette... Of course if you want something a little simpler then a naughty nurse, a devilish doctor or a tart’s and vicar party never go a miss! If you really want to get into character there’s always the option of spraying yourself green and becoming Elphaba from ‘Wicked’ (currently playing in the WestEnd and at the Mayflower, Southampton) or a Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz. If you go with this route then make sure you Google the safest ways of doing this and do not spray your entire body, so your pores are able to breath! Shakespeare’s country may see you as an enchanted fairy; Oberon, Puck or Titania from a midsummer nights dream or one of the three witches from The Scottish play! If you fancy becoming a bit more tribal perhaps an African Witch doctor or a Soothsayer from the Mongolian mountains are your thing... Mental asylum patients always get the party started too! One thing is for sure whatever you do this Halloween, be careful; there may be a wolf baying for your blood, a dead cheer-leader leading you in the wrong direction or a Nun on the run who’s after some fun!
Got Yo u r Halloween O utfit Yet?
There isn’t much time left but the Halloween antics are bound to last at least a week, so it is never too late to embrace the opportunity to experiment with your gothic side. Better yet, Halloween could inspire your next killer outfit if you like to go out in the alternative scene. And for all those performers, no matter the genre you perform a little darkness can go a long way for dramatic effect. The right corset, black dress or tight leather trousers and a little sprinkle or skulls or spiders webs and you have yourself a show. So, whether you want to don your best Rocky Horror’s ‘Frank’n’furter’ Basque & torn fishnets or deliciously drape yourself in ‘Morticia’s’ cleavage exposed fitted black gown or indeed transport yourself back to 17th century Salem’s Winnie with layers of petticoats with a corset to display your wares. Dust off the spell book and summon the fashionista spirits of the past to look divinely devilish or mysteriously murky this season and beyond. Feature by Cassidy Connors https://www.facebook.com/ groups/13329585678/ ISSUE 5
silly superstitions Music Fiction by H L Lowe ALT-MU returns with some fiction to send shivers down your spine at this spooky time of year with a story about a young woman and her first acting part in a drama group. Sally is a freelance pho tographer when she’s not playing the harp in an orchestra, and she’s a down to Earth kind of girl. So she doesn’t belief in all the superstitious nonsense that seems to be rife in the theatre and manages to upset other members of the cast with her insensitive comments. But upsetting the cast is the least of her problems with the drama group’s Romeo, Randy Andy, in hot pursuit. ‘It’s only a stage kiss, Sally,’ Andy whispered, as we stood behind the musty velvet curtains at the side of the stage, ‘actors have to do them all the time.’ ‘Yes, I know.’ I felt my face flush. ‘It’s just that . . .’ I wanted to say that I hadn’t kissed or wanted to kiss any man except Sam for years. ‘Am I so awful that you can’t bring yourself to kiss me?’ ‘No, of course not.’ I moved as far as I could away from him without actually stepping through the curtains and we stood in silence listening to the people going through their lines on stage. ‘They’re only up to the second scene. We’ve got plenty of time to practice,’ Andy said. ‘No, really – I’d rather not.’ I backed away from him again and found myself standing on the stage. ‘Sorry,’ I mouthed silently to the director before I slid back out of sight again.
MACBETH, MACBETH, MACBETH! Andy looked at me expectantly. ‘I think I’ll just learn my lines,’ I whispered. He flashed a confident smile. ‘Ok, there’s no need to panic.’ But there was need to panic. I knew that Andy was going to try and kiss me in the next scene and that Sam would be watching from his place in the lighting booth. What kind of idiot did Andy take me for? No one tried to do the moves at the first rehearsal. We were just running through the lines, learning our entrances and exits, getting to know the play. When the crunch came I held my script up between us to stop Andy’s embrace and I heard stifled laughter from the seats behind the director. ‘No kiss tonight, Andy?’ I heart one of the men say when we stopped for a break. ‘It’s only a matter of time,’ he said, grinning. On the drive home I wanted to tell Sam about Andy’s behaviour but I was worried that he would either give Andy a black eye or want me to pull out of the play. We had been coming to the local amateur drama group for a year now. Sam was brilliant on the stage and he was able to get lots of parts because, as is common with many amateur drama groups, they had a limited supply of young men. Unfortunately, it was the opposite situation with us girls; there were just too many of us. I took all the publicity photos for the group, being a freelance photographer, and although I could have done with the money I did them for free. Sam was only Andy’s understudy in this play but he’d had the lead role in the last one. So far, all I had done was take the photos, make tea and sew costumes.
Image by Scott Chalmers
This was my very first acting part and I was chosen mainly because I was the only female of the right age who could play an instrument well. I played the harp and had played in various orchestras around the world. A leading lady who could play an instrument was a vital part of the plot. They said someone could pretend to play the piano while a recording of music was played but the director was delighted that I played the harp and I even heard him say to the group’s Chairman ‘I think the harp is better than the piano. It creates a particularly ethereal mood.’ The play was about a young woman who was murdered and came back to haunt the man who killed her. Only he could hear the haunting sound of the harp during the night and only he could see her sitting by the harp in the music room. I was so excited to get the part and there was no way I wasn’t going to let Andy spoil it for me. I managed to hold Andy off until the last week of rehearsals. By then, even the director was looking worried when I avoided Andy’s embrace and when I finally succumbed the kiss wasn’t too bad, I suppose, if you’re into kissing snakes. On the night of the first performance everyone was a bag of nerves. To take our
minds off the performance the older members of the group told us stories about ghosts that were supposed to haunt the old theatre. I particularly liked the one about the haunted dressing room on the second floor where voices and screams could often be heard. It was thought to be an actor who was axed to death in 1922 as he waited in his dressing room for the final scene of the play. The theatre’s doorman committed suicide on the same night by hanging himself in his office by the stage door. It was rumoured that the doorman had killed the actor after he assaulted and raped the doorman’s fiancée. The theatre had been unable to find a replacement doorman because of the macabre story and the doorman’s office and the dressing room on the second floor were never used again.
You’re supposed to say “break a leg”.’ ‘Oh, for heaven’s sake,’ I said, annoyed that he had criticized Sam. ‘I can’t believe anyone takes all that superstitious rubbish seriously.’ ‘It’s not rubbish,’ Andy said. ‘If you’re going to continue in this group, you’ll have to learn the traditions of the theatre.’ Sally fumed silently . . . I wonder what everyone would think of your tradition of sexually harassing every young woman who joins the group . . . she thought . . . perhaps it’s time someone taught you a lesson.
The story will be continued with part two in Issue 6 out in 2015.
Sam came in with a tray of tea while we were getting ready. ‘Good luck, everyone,’ he said, Please follow us on grinning at our anxious faces and Facebook www.facebook.com/ altmumagazine or Twitter @ giving me a wink. ‘I can’t believe he said that,’ Andy said, when Sam had gone, ‘doesn’t he know it’s unlucky?
altmumagazine for updates.
alt-mu chat with...
ITCH Former King Blues frontman & street poet
ur chat with former frontman of cult punk band, The King Blues and street poet, Jonny ‘Itch’ Fox took place backstage at the Wedgewood Rooms moments before he performed a brand new King Blues free set of solo material. Itch has toured extensively since becoming a solo artist, including performances at the Reading and Leeds Festivals and UK dates with Scroobius Pip. He also fractured his heel during a show at London’s Jazz Café in June 2013, and subsequently spent the rest of the summer on Van’s Warped Tour in a wheelchair. Itch played a number of dates on The Kevin Says Tour
What were your thoughts when The King Blues split up? I guess at the time I was disappointed with the way the band had gone. I always wanted to be a super rebellious protest group and wanted us to politically go out and make a difference to people’s lives. In the last two years of the band it got taken out of my hands. When we first started there was always a threat that the police would come and shut down the gig and in a perverse way I kind of got off on that; I liked the danger. Then it all got a bit stale when we were just touring like any other band. We had political lyrics but we weren’t going down to the Houses of Parliament and playing or opening up community centres; all the stuff I wanted us to do. It didn’t end the way I wanted it to. Now, looking back I am super proud of everything we achieved and the way we achieved it. Coming from working class kids who had fuck all, except for shitty backgrounds, we managed to make something of ourselves. I am really proud of being the first punk band of our generation to make it to that size and to inspire other people.
Do you think there is anything wrong with modern music? I just don’t think it’s meant for me, a lot of it I listen to and just don’t get off on it. Most of it sucks but I’m sure there are great acts out there. I was talking about this the other day, where are these cool acts, the political bands? People are angry, so where’s the music? I just can’t find it. It is disappointing. Having said that, every couple of years a band comes a long and blows me out of the water and reinstate my passion for it.
How different is it going solo? The writing has changed. I don’t have to sit down and say ‘this song has two guitar parts here, ukulele here, and keyboard here’. I get to collaborate with many people now and that’s awesome. Live, it’s a hell of a lot easier now too. We don’t have to soundcheck 20 drums, a bongo and whatever else - it was ridiculous by the end! We’re not motley crew, we don’t have to do this - it’s a lot more fun. Will you continue to be socially aware with your solo material? Absolutely, it’s a part of who I am. In the early days of The King Blues I hid behind it and didn’t want to show myself. I was scared of revealing who I was. I’ve learnt to make myself more vulnerable and be more confident - warts and all. With the solo material I’ve been able to put across my personal story as well but politics will always be a massive part of me and my material, without a doubt.
Has getting older & having a kid changed you as an artist? I think and hope it has and can’t imagine myself not being a dad now. I definitely took a lot of drugs back in the day and partied hard. I don’t do drugs anymore, which is a huge difference. A lot of people didn’t know that about The King Blues, we took a lot of drugs and really went for it. But I’m more focused now with a reason for what I’m doing. I don’t want to get arrested every five minutes for stupid things, I now have a reason to get out of bed in the morning, something to be responsible for and live for. It’s made me a better person for sure.
What are you listening to at the moment? Man, I’m so not good with new bands! I wish I could say this band is awesome and this band. I always listen to Kanye West on repeat. I also listen to the stuff I have always loved like The Clash, Public Enemy.
Leading on from that, what were your influences growing up? My influences have always been the same. As I said before, The Clash, Public Enemy going right back to Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon. It’s not about one genre of music, it’s about artists who have tapped into deeper things, wanting to make the world a better place. Those artists who went against the grain and were rebellious, were always the ones I took to.
The King Blues had a cult following, do you wish they had been bigger? Yes. I wish we had been the biggest band in the world, that’s what we had always wanted. I think everyone who goes on stage that says different is lying. You don’t want to go out and play to noone, you can’t think ‘this is enough people now’ its musical snobbery. I just don’t get that way of thinking. If we had just stayed angry, it would have been harder but at least we would have got to do the things we had wanted to do.
When I was 13 years old I was begging for small change on the street, not knowing where my next meal was coming from but in my head I was a rock star... On the business side of music, how have you dealt with knock backs? I have always stayed true, we’ve been through DIY labels, indie labels, mayor labels and there are artists who will go in the booth shut up and sing. How ever, with me they always know that I’m not going to be that guy and I think I get respected for that. They have this term in the industry of real artists, it bothers me a bit, and art is art. I’ve only ever gone with labels who have got behind my vision rather than me being behind there’s. Those labels are definitely out there, as long as you’re real and you don’t get seduced by men in suits who buy you dinner, which is very easy to do. What advice would you give the youth of today? Self-belief and having a dream is really important. Use your imagination and see where you want your life to be. When I was 13 years old I was begging for small change on the street, not knowing where my next meal was coming from but in my head I was a rock star. I knew what I wanted to be. It’s called a dream for a reason, once you know where you’re going; put your destination in that satnav, it makes it a lot easier rather that wondering around aimlessly. Don’t be scared to dream or get caught up in being realistic, I hate that - be fucking unrealistic! Have ignorant self-belief, don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not the best at something you want to be. Noone is born the best at anything, they’re only great because they do it over and over again and keep on fighting. I believe greatness lies in each individual. Do you think living on the streets was an essential part of your life? Massively but it is only as I’ve grown older that I’ve realised every struggle has been for a reason. At the time I was like ‘why me?’ I was stuck in that way of thinking. It was a very negative way of thinking, unfortunate things have happened to me but at the same time I can be proud that I got myself out of it. It all happened for a reason.
Most musicians nowadays come from well off backgrounds, I don’t have a problem with that but there aren’t many acts or role models that come from working class backgrounds - they’re forced into shitty jobs and find drugs. So many people could relate to bands like Joy Divison and The Smiths, incredible geniuses whose words and visions could only have come from the most poor and broken places. I do think that there is room for the bands that are out there now but there should be room for everything else as well. What does the future look like, do you have a plan? I always have a plan. I think that if you’re not making art to change the world, then what’s the fucking point? There are easier ways to get girls, drugs and money than doing this so for me it’s touring the new album and fucking shit up! Last question, is Itch becoming content? That’s a really good question - I thought I was fuck, that’s a great question! I don’t know... I still feel angry. I just feel I can express it better and not take it out on myself anymore. I can laugh a lot more now, so maybe... yeah, perhaps!
Don't be scared to dream or get caught up in being realistic, I hate that - be fucking unrealistic! Interview by Ruby Rebelle & Daniel Bateman
If you're not making art to change the world, then what's the fucking point?
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the real wedding singer ALL ABOARD!!
Good afternoon from somewhere in the Baltic Sea. It seems like a long time ago that I last wrote for ALT-MU but here I am still on the sea singing for my supper...
Day 18 of 30 to Copenhagen At the moment I am on day 18 of a 30 day stint on the Oslo â€“ Copenhagen route of DFDS Ferries. Very different to the UK route, a much bigger ship, very mixed group of nationalities. They are mostly Scandinavian but also many Chinese and Japanese passengers are on board too. Good things: Private use of the
Jacuzzi and Sauna after hours, crew sun deck and duty free stuff every day.
taking a Risk
So with my life currently on a treadmill of endless faces, sea ports Bad things: up to 8 sets of 45mins and sea gulls I feel a little lost for in one 24 hour period. I remember words about anything land related. writing in the last article about However, I have been thinking gruelling 5 set nights â€“ on this ship about risk and courage. five sets is a quiet night. There are people that regard my Still the tips are very good and no job as extremely risky. drunken football hooligans to deal with this time!
I sat beside one of the world’s greatest singer/songwriters and thought - I wish I was him, he got lucky, I didn’t.
rely on your mates to carry your songs, don’t be pressured into only singing their songs. Don’t be afraid to feel intimidated and inspired by someone far more talented than A 5 song EP from a **yr old you. Learn from them, understand Troubadour is hardly a comparison them and most of all - take a risk! but in my own little scheme of Not quit your job, or dump your things I now realise it’s not just girlfriend (like I did in 1996) but luck, it’s also courage that was take a risk at exposing your inner missing. It takes courage to make feelings. Who is more at risk? A bank a stand and say “this is my voice, worker? a shopkeeper? a footballer? With my job I can adapt these are my words, now listen”. Not that I’ve ever done one, but to the market. I can adjust my "X Factor is fake. Twitter prices when people are struggling I imagine it’s like a best man’s is saturated with unspeech but a 1000 times more with a budget. I can expand when daunting. clients want more than a solo/duo interesting dross. act. In fact as a product what [us] Facebook is just a glorified “I have spent so many years hiding singer/guitarists have to offer is under the wings of the ‘next great 'LOOK AT ME' but your a very flexible package indeed. band’ and losing myself in the But, what about singing your own feelings and words are songs? Recording your own music? million covers I sing every year. real and if you believe in Until now I have never stood up Is that a risk? It certainly takes them so will other people." and said ‘listen to me’. “ courage - that’s for sure. Putting your feelings on the line, exposing I think there are bands all over the You can do all this and still sing in your thoughts and weaknesses to a listening public who may, or may UK with someone quietly burning pubs to make money, or re-string someone’s guitar, but have courage away in the background waiting not care. before you find yourself on a ship for their chance, waiting for the courage to arrive. Unfortunately it wondering where 20 years went. hardly ever does. That job at the Facing my Fears I am so excited about recording bank arrives, a wife, a baby and my first ever #SYEP that I feel 20 before you know it that person is A few months ago events in my again!! gone for good. life gave me cause to sit down and start writing lyrics - pages & pages Column by Steve Young Sound Familiar? of them. They eventually became songs that I now want to sing live www.steveyounguk.com and record. I’ve never felt this way If you are reading this and you feel that you are the person I am before and with it came a new feeling – utter terror. For five years talking about – take courage, don’t
"Payday is never certain, contracts are never guaranteed. Yet here I am, self employed now for over 10 years and a diary full of gigs."
FORGET GIRL POWER. CAT POWER IS THE REAL DEAL!
T Feature by Edward Couzens-Lake
We take a closer look at singer, songwriter, model and actress, Cat Power. A woman that has inspired millions with the modest little understanding of her own power on us all…
o reach a better understanding of who this remarkable singer songwriter is, a woman raised to the sullen wash of her musical Fathers’ blues Atlanta, Georgia; it is worth noting what renowned producer Dan ‘automator’ Nakamura said about her.
TO ME, SHE’S ALREADY THE BIGGEST ROCK STAR I KNOW WHO’S NOT A ROCK STAR. ISSUE 5
EVERYTHING A MODERN DAY ROCK STAR CAN BE-INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED AND RESPECTED, A REGULAR IN THE BILLBOARD 200 CHART AND SOMEONE IN DEMAND AS A MUSICAL COLLABORATOR. Esteemed muso’s she has worked alongside including Eddie Vedder of grunge purveyors Pearl Jam and Dave Grohl (or Dave Growl as my spellchecker insists on calling him), late of angst band extraordinary, Nirvana. Rock and roll, right? The names, the ligging. Always the ligging. Parties, hilltop mansions, private airplanes, an aircraft hanger full of automobiles and all the indulgences of a multl-million dollar lifestyle? NOT ALWAYS. NOT BY
She first partook of the forbidden musical fruit in an Atlanta basement, her and a gathering of other Georgian malcontents, driven by sound rather than vision. Their unprompted and generously freeform jamming sessions were raw yet emotive enough to earn them a show, that first invitation to play live coming before they had even settled on a name-that is, of course, if they had ever considered having one in the first place. Convention dictated that they did however. So Marshall chose one unconventionally, the collective sobriquet that eventually became her own coming from any self respecting farmers titfer of choice, a baseball cap sporting the hardcore tractor legend ‘Cat Diesel Power’. THUS CAT POWER WAS BORN. When she was 20, Marshall-or, rather, Cat, moved to New York City along with one time jamming mate Glen Thrasher, discovering, in the process, the cities free jazz and experimental music scene, one as spontaneous and without boundaries as that she had first learnt in Atlantaonly with more rules to break. Energised, Cat put on her first solo show in a Brooklyn warehouse, one she later described as “improvisational”. Little has changed since, life and work remains just that for Cat. She lived it. As did her music-and it was, it is her music. She owns it, freehold. Unpredictable, emotional and delicately articulate, a Joni Mitchell without the flower power. And it appealed to a world that shared her tender qualities.
ANY STRETCH OF ANY IMAGINATION.
BY 2006, WHEN SHE’D BEEN LIVING IN HER SELF-STYLED ‘SQUAT’ FOR THIR
Marshall lived in a low rent housing complex for many years, one she regularly referred to as a ‘squat’. No pretensions of grandeur here. This was despite the fact that, by 2006, when she had lived in her ‘squat’ for nearly fifteen years, she was, according to one contemporary feature, “...a relatively rich woman...”
TEEN YEARS, THE SIX ALBUMS SHE’D RELEASED AS CAT POWER HAD SOLD A
FINANCIALLY OR PROFESSIONALLY?
Her 2006 album The Greatest was recorded in Memphis, Tennessee, blues central itself, one that found respected blues veterans lining up to work alongside her. The roster included Mabon ‘Teenie’ Hodges, Steve Potts and bassist Leroy Hodges, a man who everyone and anyone in the industry wanted as a player on their albums and shows. Yet here he was, now wanting to play alongside Power.
As regards the latter, she had certainly ‘made it’ but, wise to those blues origins, had taken the slow train to get there-and certainly not by taking anyone or any place by storm. Cat Power was a slow burner, reluctant to even play her first guitar, preferring it as quirky piece of art in her room. Perhaps her Fathers’ influence is at play here, he strictly forbade her to play his piano, the expression of his soul becoming, as a consequence, nothing more than a piece of furniture to the young Marshall, as remote to her as he was himself, a man steeped in the blues who sang but one song to his daughter with regard to his music-don’t play it and don’t listen to it. Period. HOW CAN YOU NOT WANT TO PLAY WHEN YOU ARE FORBIDDEN FROM
COMBINED TOTAL OF HALF A MILLION COPIES WORLDWIDE Catapulting her into, if not super star dom, then most certainly more than respectable and deserved fame within the music industry, both amongst her fans and, crucially, to her peers, from whom, the demands for collaborations began to grow.
This at a time when Power was living the life of a squatter, one of a sea of community dwellers in New York’s East Village, not the cosy, clean and gentle surrounds of the TV smash at the time, the furiously antiseptic Friends, but in dilapidated streets and buildings, graffiti ridden and a hub of crime and depravity. But where else could you live the blues? That has been the delicious alternative to Power’s life and living as a musician. She has ‘made it’, unquestionably so, despite her unerring conviction that she would perform as she lived: unconventionally. Her act and her songs often go unfinished, if, when performing live, she tires of a song she’ll abruptly stop singing it mid-verse and drift into another one; on some occasions she simply decides that she has had enough and walks off the stage, one of the reasons given for this is that she suffers from overwhelm ing stage fright.
DOING SO? SO MARSHALL PLAYED.
>>>> To the uninitiated such perceived dereliction of duty would be an outrage; to her followers, it would be the ultimate Cat Power experience, shared, intense and very personal. Influential rag The New Yorker’s pouting protest earlier this year that, “... it is foolhardy to describe a Cat Power event as a concert”, citing examples of most un-concert like behaviour during the show including ‘rambling confessions’ (missing the point, surely, that the stage is where any artist submits to confession?) and, how very dare she, chatting to a friend from that stage mid-show. Blasphemy? Maybe only if you don’t really understand art and the artist. REJOICE IN CAT POWER Because as much as it might appear that, musically and professionally, she really couldn’t give a fuck, the joy of her and the work she does is that she does, she really, really does. AND IN AN INDUSTRY SWATHED IN BULLSHIT, HOW REFRESHING IS THAT?
An ALT-MU indeed. She is what she is. Vulnerable, honest, self depreciating and as likely to dip into the dark waters of personal angst and mental breakdown as any of us are. Yet she paints that very personal portrait herself, the music reflecting that vulnerability and the honesty that comes from her performances as real and intimately gritty as you will see in any singer songwriter today.
ALT SCENE VS HALLOWEEN Feature by Charly Phillips Image by Scott Chalmers
Is Fashion murdering the meaning of Halloween? Halloween, the evening the ‘dead rise’ and a night where fashion goes to die, stylishly. Pastel colours of summer, darken their doors and everyone embraces their inner Goth. But how can we tell the true Halloween enthusiasts apart from the fashion lovers creating a spooky facade?
Halloween is the only time of year that the two sides of the Fashion world, mainstream and alternative, collide into a bloody battle fighting for the title of ‘who can dress to kill better?’ The true dark souls, whose interests in this spooky holiday go way beyond just October, or the pretty girls wanting to creatively play a part in the madness? Is Halloween just another holiday that fashion has got its claws into and is ripping the heart out of? Alternative Fashion fights Halloween’s corner every year. They thrive in the ability to literally close their eyes and point to their wardrobe at random and have the makings of a demonic spirit costume or a modernist witch. But how hard is it to outdo a look you adopt all year round? How do true enthusiasts creatively display their fascination of the spirit world, demonic worship, pagan witchery or love for vampire culture, through an outfit that now frankly, blends in? ALT-MU magazine spoke to Pagan raised, alternative fashionista and you tuber, Nicoletta Foden-Hall for tips to truly express your interest this Hallows Eve… “I think by being brought up by my mother who is a Pagan (if I’m honest
I believed she was a good witch most of my childhood), I’ve always loved the darker ideas of life and where Halloween was said to have come from. Whether that be the afterlife or Vampires, I have always adored the idea that on Hallows Eve the dead will come and visit their families. I love everything about Halloween whether that be the fancy dress (the scarier the better) or the trick or treating with my baby brothers and niece. Whatever you believe it’s a magical night.” So how does she transfer her true interests and afterlife fascinations into her costume and differentiate this from the already gothic, alternative look she rocks daily? “I use all those influences in my costumes. Like this year I’ve taken influences from ‘Hel’ a Viking Goddess.I think when it comes to incorporating your fashion style into your Halloween costume, try to forget your stereotypes, and be you! Because that’s the bravest and scariest thing you can possibly do! So for me I love maila nurmi in ‘the vampira show’ I think she was flawless and the look was such perfection that I know I will be going as her next year!” Whatever fashion group you fall into, whichever weird and wonderful Halloween interests you have, make sure you take a spooky stand this Hallows Eve and translate these into your costume, to ensure you stand out from the creepy crowd. Nicola recently a Viking Goddess ‘Hell’ inspired half human half skull look for Halloween. You can check out Nicola’s latest video ‘Half Skull Transformation’ on YouTube at https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=ewL4t3uq7cQ
Y L U J
ALT MU ISSUE 5
alt festival roundup Feature by erin large
Music journalist, film maker, bike mechanic and popcorn enthusiast, Erin Large, has head banged, moshed and shoved her way through crowds in the underground festival circuit this year. Here are her quick review round ups for Butserfest, Redfest and Hevy Fest and her thoughts on the non-existent Alt Festâ€Ś
While large festivals such as Glastonbury, Reading Festival and Sonisphere can be awesome, the smaller festivals have a little more spirt and camaraderie about them that has become a little addictive! Enjoying your favourite bands, discovering new bands and having the sense that you are part of something new are all reasons why I will continue to support the underdogs in the festival circuit. Here is my roundup of alt festivals in 2014 . . .
Behind the fields of Redhill Aeroport on a blisteringly hot Friday, hang out tents and food fenders were buzzing with jovial festival-goers and colourful, hulahooping, super soaker shooting, beer swigging characters all ready to soak up the sun and get the festivities underway. There were so many highlights at this festival you will need to read the full Redfest review on the Planet Loud website. In summary, bands to watch were Press to Meco, Networks (aka Set Your Sails), Our Hollow Our Home and A Plastic Rose. The most epic performance award would go to Jessica Calvesbert of Aurora and Baby Godzilla. Overall, where Redfest lacked in numbers compared to much larger festivals such as Download and Sonisphere, as it is a much, much smaller event, it was obvious that Redfest had become a firm, solid
ALT-MU ASKS... Why do you think Alt-fest wasn't successful? Mainly down to poor organisation, and biting off more than they could chew. They didn’t come fractionally close to their funding mark, which in itself must have been very embarrassing for them and I do sympathise with them on that front.
What are the other festivals doing right? They are targeting the right audiences; they were affordable and had good sponsors with a key message, especially Butserfest which introduced a family friendly, no drugs, no alcohol rule which I think was a brilliant way to convince more parents to let their kids come to these events. Hevy Fest wasn’t really a huge success in my eyes to be honest. They didn’t get the right audience for the bands they had headlining and their selection of vendors was weak, which was probably mainly down to the fact that their main sponsor Red Bull pulled out. Having said that, I don’t blame them at all for the lacking numbers as I reckon most people would have bought tickets to the doomed Alt-fest and wouldn’t have had time to buy tickets for Hevy. Having witnessed the level of sheer determination and passion on that weekend, I have every faith that next year will be a resounding success.
How was your overall experience? And what do you hope to see next year? This year I was really impressed by the growing UK talent that was presented to us over the various festivals, especially at Redfest. Next year I’m hoping to see the younger bands I saw this summer rise the ranks to later time slots and see how they deal with bigger stages.
photography courtesy of planetloud.tv & greigclifford.com 66
the unwavering, happy atmosphere of redfest 2014 never faltered... people walked away with new friends & unforgettable memories... favourite of the festival goers and bands alike. The unwavering, happy and ecstatic atmosphere of Redfest 2014 never faltered and it would appear that many a person walked away from that weekend with plenty of new friends and unforgettable memories. Kudos goes to the various organisers, managers, stage hands and volunteers of this festival. They produced one of the most enjoyable and re-visitable occasions of the year. I, for one, shall most certainly be returning to Redfest next year as I hope everyone else will, and I trust everyone to bring their friends too so more people can experience this cheerful and fun filled weekend.
In mid-September down in a hidden valley in Petersfield, tucked into the folds of two large hills you will have heard a noise. A beat of a drum, a child’s delightful scream and a buzzing from hundreds of people gearing up for a fun filled day. This ‘no alcohol allowed’ youth festival was a day filled with acoustic sets from the likes of Dead, The Hype Theory, I Divide and The Blackout, as well as a wide variety of food stalls, football for kids, royal navy tests, floating animal balloons and much, much more. Highlights included the wondrous Welshmen (and one Englishman), When We Were Wolves, who managed to create circle pits and a wall of death with perfect ease. Our Hollow Our Home followed with a yet again explosive set with ear bleeders, ‘If Those Were Guns, Reggie Be Dead’ and personal favourite “Rest Assured”. Baby Godzilla also tore the tent a new hole swinging off the ceiling and circling the tent like bloodthirsty animals. Feed The Rhino put on a captivating, hypnotic, awe-inspiring show as they yet again soared above my expectations once again. Sonic Boom Six ran a little late but got everyone into a dancing mood, jiggling around the tent to their Reggae/Ska/Rock beats. As the night came to a close Welshmen, The Blackout, commanded the stage with their bouncy, boisterous performances. With that, the family festival of Butserfest came to end. Credit must be given where credit is due to the organisers of the excellent day, as I believe everyone went home laughing and smiling.
Laying between some damp fields and Port Lympne’s Wild Animal Park, after a two-year hiatus, Hevyfest was back this year under new direction, ready to take the test of time. In the smallest of nutshells, Hevyfest wasn’t exactly a resounding success among many festivalgoer’s. This largely came down to the lack of food options and choice of bands on various stages and there were also a distinct lack of bodies to fill the festival compared to previous years. It was quite obvious that the sales of tickets to cancelled festival Alt-fest had hit Hevy’s ticket sales
hard, and the numbers were(n’t) there to show it. In addition, the Main Stage bands were left with pathetic numbers to support them due to the much younger, hardcore-based fans slipping off into the smaller tents when their favourite bands were on. When Antiflag is presented with a measly 200 people, you have to raise a sceptical eyebrow. Despite all of that, many people still found fun in their weekend, the weather was good, the laughs were had and we saw some absolutely fantastic performances from many bands. There were enough good moments to make up for the festivals shortcomings and we all particularly enjoyed the moment when Finch’s guitarist disappeared falling off the stage during their song “Letters To You”, which ironically gave singer Nate
the weather was good, the laughs were had & we saw some absolutely fantastic performances Barcalow the opportunity to sing lovingly to his band member who lay crumpled on the ground. Ones to watch include The Catharsis who are forever vastly entertaining and energetic and The Murderburgers, whose name never fails to make me chuckle. It is also safe to say that Palm Reader is one of the most eclectic and energetic bunch of people I have ever seen on stage. Further highlights included Capdown who delivered the most entertaining set of the weekend. The end of Hevyfest saw a surprisingly rare UK appearance from Californians, The Vandals who, to even more of a surprise, were joined by Alkaline Trio’s Derek Grant. The light-hearted and upbeat punk rock veterans interacted with the crowd bringing much laughter and merriment to everyone, especially when guitarist Warren Fitzgerald tried to take his trousers off during the set, whilst also trying to dismantle the entire stage; and who said men couldn’t multi-task?
perhaps the crowd was ill suited to the main stage bands, but everyone was still enjoying themselves and by the third day the alcohol had dulled the senses a little bit... All I can really say about Hevyfest 2014, as I come to an end, is that it has massive potential and shouldn’t be knocked too soon. Perhaps the crowd was ill suited to the main stage bands, but everyone was still enjoying themselves tremendously and by the third day the alcohol had dulled the senses a little bit more. Hopefully they will improve on 2014’s mistakes next year!
ALT-MU BACK ISSUES
Published on Oct 31, 2014
Published on Oct 31, 2014
Welcome to our gothic emporium of Halloween treats and educational tidbits! We have interviews with our featured ALT-MU, Vincent Hyde, the g...