set mu s ic fr e e f ree / is s ue 66 / AUGUST 2 017 diymag .com
“Our gigs? We try and change your life.”
rat b oy
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The Districts Popular Manipulations 11 August 2017
Soccer Mommy Collection 04 August 2017
A U G U S T 2 0 1 7
GOOD VS EVIL
WHAT’S ON THE DIY TEAM’S R ADAR?
Emma Swann Founding Editor GOOD Arcade Fire’s ‘Everything Now’ is easily my album of the year. EVIL The inflatable tents they’d put us in at Rock Werchter collapsed. At 3am. ............................. El hunt Features Editor GOOD I went to the seaside and ate my own weight in cheese. EVIL My life now resembles the aftermath of DIY’s very glittery 2015 Wolf Alice cover. Except instead of glitter, I’m covered in sand and cheese crumbs. Fml. ............................. LOuise Mason Art Director GOOD I finally met a boy who also carries fireworks in his
pockets. EVIL Sadly it’s Rat Boy. .............................. Lisa Wright Staff Writer GOOD Hopping on board the good ship Kasabian for this month’s cover made for, it’s fair to say, rather a large weekend. Altogether now, OOOOSH. EVIL Went to Truck Festival, it rained solidly for 48 hours, now I’ve got a stinking cold. You don’t get this shit at Primavera. ............................. Will Richards Digital Editor GOOD The 1975’s headline set at Latitude was a heroic end to a brilliant era. EVIL Love Island is over. Where does my life go from here?
EDITOR’S LET TER Let’s not beat around the bush: Kasabian are the Marmite of all bands. And yet, it’s pretty hard to deny that they’re absolutely massive. Not only have they aced their every move, but they’ve managed to have a laugh at the same time. Last month we joined them in the middle of their whirlwind festival tour to try and tap into just a little of their madness. Spoiler alert: it’s pretty bloody ridiculous. Elsewhere, we shoot the rock star shit with The Cribs, delve into heaven (and hell) with PVRIS and dig deep into INHEAVEN’s incredible debut album. Plus, we catch up with the rabble rouser that is Rat Boy’s Jordan Cardy as he gears up to release ‘Scum’, plus get the lowdown on Wolf Alice’s new album (!) as they hit the road in the US. sarah jamieson, Managing Editor GOOD: There are SO MANY good albums coming out this month. It’s like Christmas for music. EVIL: Ed Sheeran’s Game of Thrones cameo was just not necessary, guys.
What’s been tickling the DIY team’s eardrums this month? superfood - bambino
Pulling the proverbial rabbit from the requisite headwear, Superfood’s second might’ve been a long time coming - but the ace singles are just the tip of a very funky iceberg. Plan to dance. Lots.
metz - strange peace
Toronto’s premier noiseniks are back next month with their third record, and it’s another barrage of spiky, creeping noise, led by chaotic first single ‘Cellophane’.
amy winehouse - back to black
Last month marked six years since Amy Winehouse’s tragic passing, and accordingly we’ve been spinning ‘Back To Black’ on repeat. Tackling intense darkness with a witty, acerbic tongue, this is a masterpiece of a record. We miss you, Amy. 3
6 WOLF ALICE 12 FOO FIGHTERS 1 3 K AT E N A S H 1 4 H A L L O F FA M E 1 5 H AV E YO U H E A R D ? 1 8 F E S T I VA L S
2 2 YO NAK A 26 ALASKALASKA 27 THE ORIELLES
28 KASABIAN 3 6 I N H E AV E N 40 PVRIS 4 4 R AT B OY 48 THE CRIBS
REVIEWS 52 ALBUMS 60 LIVE
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Jordanâ€™s Katy Perry impression left a lot to be desired. 4 diymag.com
Cover photo: Jono White. This page: Phil Smithies.
C O N T E N T S
Founding Editor Emma Swann Managing Editor Sarah Jamieson Features Editor El Hunt Digital Editor Will Richards Neu Editor Jamie Milton Staff Writers Lisa Wright, Eugenie Johnson Art Direction & Design Louise Mason Contributors Dan Jeakins, Danielle Wilson, Heather McDaid, Joe Goggins, Matthew Davies Lombardi, Rhian Daly, Rhys Buchanan. Photographers Andrew Benge, Andy DeLuca, Jono White, Lindsay Melbourne, Matt Richardson, Mike Massaro, Phil Smithies, Phoebe Fox, Robin Pope, Sinead Grainger, Tim Easton.
“It’s like ‘My Love Is Cool’ times 50,000.
‘My Love Is Cool’ on steroids.”
- Theo Ellis
Wolf Alice quickly cemented their place as one of Britain’s best on their debut album. On the road in the USA, its successor sounds like a plucky and courageous next step.
Words: Rhian Daly. Photos: Andy DeLuca.
t’s been just over nine months since Wolf Alice finished touring debut ‘My Love Is Cool’ when the four-piece arrive in New York. The skyscrapers of Manhattan loom large across the East River as excited fans begin queuing seven hours before the band are due on stage. Equally as excited are the band themselves.
They’re out here previewing material from forthcoming second album, ‘Visions Of A Life’, traipsing around whatever it is Americans call the toilet circuit. Tonight they’re at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade, which only holds 250 people - over 40 times less than London’s cavernous Alexandra Palace, which they’ll play later this year. It’s like a throwback to their early tours, but this time they’re miles tighter, and supremely confident. “The tour’s been amazing,” says bassist Theo Ellis, backstage. “It’s been scary because we’ve
been away, but it’s been really exciting to be back on the road playing new songs.” Vocalist Ellie Rowsell nods in agreement from the sofa opposite him. “It’s also been refreshing - I feel like there’s a newer perspective on the older tunes as well. With the new new songs that we haven’t put out yet, it’s been interesting for us to see which ones translate the best live.”
ecorded in Los Angeles over three months with producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Paramore, Beck), ‘Visions Of A Life’ marks the beginning of a new chapter. It’s fitting that they spent an extended period away making it: if debut ‘My Love Is Cool’ was created when they were very much immersed in London life, this record was spawned from a time of exploring bigger things. By the sounds of the songs they play tonight, they definitely found something different to tap into. ‘Beautifully Unconventional’ contrasts Ellie’s high def, pristine vocals with buzzing rock riffs, while ‘Formidable Cool’ has a ton of swagger. The title track in particular, though, is something of a glorious shock - eight minutes of doomy, blistering psych that sounds more like something you’d find on a Wand album. It’s also the song they’ve been most anxious about debuting. “I was worried,” guitarist Joff Oddie admits. “I was like, ‘Is that just something we like?’” He pauses for a second and rubs his head. “People have been clapping along so I’m chuffed we’re not wankers,” he adds, his bandmates cackling. Each new track on the setlist - including the barking ‘Yuk Foo’ and loved-up dream of ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’ - pegs Wolf Alice as a band who aren’t yet short of ambition. “It’s like ‘My Love Is Cool’ times 50,000, ‘My Love Is Cool’ on steroids,” jokes Theo, “We approached this one with a kind of belligerent
Yet again, Theo was sent to sit on the naughty chair. 7
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confidence,” adds Joff, “and just said ‘We’re gonna do this our way. Just be brave and go and try things out.’”
Most of the initial ideas for ‘Visions Of A Life’ came on tour. “That’s why the songs are quite interesting to listen to,” Ellie shrugs. “Sometimes you forget how you feel about things - that’s why I keep a diary. Lots of things change your memory and songs can be a good way of remembering how you felt about something.” They weren’t lacking in things to write about, either. As she notes, their lives have changed considerably over the last few years, be that from travelling the world and being nominated for GRAMMYs and BRITs to simpler things like being able to move out of home. “It wasn’t short of emotional experiences,” Theo adds shaking his head, “Which was a blessing and a curse because… too much emotion.”
n this tour, they’re supported by a local act in each city. Tonight, New Jersey’s The Lo Fi’s, not dissimilar to Twin Peaks, open things up and are clearly thrilled to be playing. “We’ve all been in a similar situation with this band or previous bands where it’s impossible to get what is classified as a gig,” explains drummer Joel Amey. “It’s not that easy for people - you can email promoters and they
LIFE STORY Everything you need to know about ‘Visions Of A Life’.
Release date: 29th September Label: Dirty Hit Producer: Justin Meldal-Johnsen Recorded: East West and Music Friends, both in Los Angeles Tracklisting: 1 • Heavenward 2 • Yuk Foo 3 • Beautifully Unconventional 4 • Don’t Delete The Kisses 5 • Planet Hunter 6 • Sky Musings 7 • Formidable Cool 8 • Space & Time 9 • Sadboy 10 • St. Purple & Green 11 • After The Zero Hour 12 • Visions Of A Life
might not be into it. There’ve been bands on this tour who’ve worked at the venues previously and have always wanted to play there, or bands that have never played with monitors before. They’re not jaded support bands - they really wanna be there and it makes for a good atmosphere.” Wolf Alice don’t fall into the jaded category just yet either. There are still plenty of goals they’re gunning for - specifically headlining a little festival in Somerset. “We got closer than I fucking thought we would!” laughs Joel, referring to their late-afternoon Pyramid Stage debut in 2016. That said, Theo says, “We want to make records that people listen to for a long time. We want to be a permanent fixture in musical relevance and we want to be putting out good stuff.” Ellie looks up, a glimmer in her eyes. “We want to be the herpes of albums, rather than chlamydia.” Joff and Joel, sat either side of her, look over, bemused. Theo, deadpan and poker-faced, replies: “This is 110 percent the herpes of albums.” A bold, if bizarre, claim, but an incurably potent Wolf Alice album sounds like exactly what the world needs. Wolf Alice’s new album ‘Visions of a Life’ is out 29th September via Dirty Hit. DIY
Tour time NOV 2017:
8th • Bristol O2 Academy 9th • Manchester O2 Apollo 11&12th • Glasgow Barrowlands 13th • Newcastle O2 Academy 15th • Nottingham Rock City 16th • Birmingham O2 Academy 17th • Norwich UEA 18th • Leeds O2 Academy 20th • Brighton Dome 21st • Southampton O2 Guildhall 24th • London Alexandra Palace 27th • Belfast Ulster Hall 28th • Dublin Olympia
“All together now: Ohhhh Jeremy Corbyn!”
OUT NOW AVAILABLE ON CD & LP
Debut album from the Howling Bells vocalist “A fab, dreamy journey into the dark heart of country-noir” The Sunday Times “It’s the voice that grabs you… A wonderfully lucid piece of songwriting, emotion lingering on each note” Clash “With an utterly flawless, heart-twisting vocal throughout, 'America' spins tales of sorrow and betrayal and turns them into something exquisite.” DIY ****
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S P OT T E D
Believe it or not, pop and rock stars sometimes do normal things, too. They get lost, go food shopping, and catch buses – all sorts. This month, we clocked a fair few of them roaming around the capital... f Royal Blood causing havoc in a golf buggy backstage at French festival Garorock. f Ben from Blaenavon modelling a very fetching tiny hand - crafted out of tinfoil, no less - at the DIY Pub Quiz. f Members of Mystery Jets, Slaves, Peace, The Magic Gang and Dream Wife watching buzzy newcomers Free Money at Birthdays. f The legend that is M.I.A flying to Heathrow from Madrid.
These days, even yer gran is posting selfies on Instagram. Instagran, more like. Everyone has it now, including all our fave bands. Here’s a brief catch-up on music’s finest photo-taking action as of late.
Position of the Month: SAY AHH! First Executed By: GEORGE EZRA
oung Geoff has a fair few well known signature moves in his arsenal - notably the merry little shoulder shimmy he does whenever he performs ‘Budapest’, but to focus on a relatively simple piece of choreography like that would be an insult; both to George’s illustrious skillset, and to you, dear reader. Oh no. Instead, we shall be honing in on an incredibly accomplished act of performance theatre - Say Ahh! Eat a generous breakfast to get your strength up, and then do a bit of method acting. Gradually work yourself up into a very specific mindset. You’re off to the dentist later on today to get a root canal or some other horrific procedure, but do you feel any fear or trepidation? NO YOU DO NOT. Cheerfully open wide - a beam fixed upon your dentally responsible visage - and imagine that you are saying ‘AHHHH!’. Waft your limbs around a bit. Do all this, while holding a guitar and singing about golden grand pianos. It’s as simple as that.
WHAT A LEDGE Let’s not beat around the bush: every month, at least one of our favourite pop stars does something brilliant. So, to celebrate, we’ve decided to dedicate a few column inches to The Best Person In Music This Particular Month™.
Poor Jack from The Magic Gang might’ve broken his leg, but that won’t stop him. (@themagicgang)
Private jets? Nah! Real rock stars fly easyJet. (@blackhoneyuk)
JULES JACKSON, THE BIG MOON Imagine you’ve just released one of the best debuts of the year, and now you’re off to carry on the party with a raucous set at the biggest festival on earth. How do you go about marking such an occasion? Well, if you’re Jules Jackson, you barter with some ice-cold cans of Lilt, borrow a silver spacesuit from a certain DIY cover shoot, and wear it for the entire gig. No helmet? No problem. Jules embodied the DIY attitude in every single way, slapping a silver kitchen colander on her head. In the process, a new superhero was born. All hail Pasta Woman (and fingers crossed that none of Jules’ housemates fancied spag bol that weekend).
Olly Alexander’s interpretive dance version of ‘He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands’ went down a treat. (@yearsandyears)
M on 2 5 Sep
Tu e 2 6 S e p
Thu 28 Sep
mak i ng den s
twe n ty o n e
se r o t o n i n
w it h s pecial guests
with special guests
w i t h sp e c i a l g u e st s
F ri 2 9 S e p
Sat 30 Sep
radl an d s
c u rve o f t h e e a r t h
w it h s pecial guests
with specia l g u e st s
buy ti ck ets : alttickets.com mysteryjets.com - fb.com/mysteryjets
the garage / london
highbury cres, highbury east, N5 1RD thegarage.london A DHP presentation in association with 13 Artists 11
TIPS: DIY’S PICK OF
In desperate need of a live music fix but can’t decide where or who? If you feel too spoilt for choice, here’s just a few of LNSource’s upcoming shows worth getting off the sofa for.
From late September, nationwide From last year’s smasher of a Reading & Leeds Main Stage debut, to the release of debut ‘Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect’ earlier this year, Sundara Karma’s star shows no sign of stopping its lightning-fast rise, as their stellar live show makes its way around the country this autumn. - including a massive date at Brixton Academy. If that’s not enough, support comes from fellow DIY faves The Magic Gang. Ber-limey.
31st October, Heaven, London This one-off Halloween party would be exciting enough after debut ‘About U’ impressed earlier in the year, but by the time MUNA hit the impossibly high stage at Heaven, the Los Angeles electro-pop fiends will be fresh off a ma-hoo-sive string of US and UK tour dates in support of global superstar and all-round hero Harry Styles. Oo-er.
Ahead of their slot headlining last month’s Mad Cool Festival in Madrid, we caught up with Foo Fighters’ Nate Mendel to discuss their forthcoming new album ‘Concrete and Gold’. Words: Sarah Jamieson.
y the time a band gets around to making their ninth album, you’d be forgiven for assuming they’d happily fall back into familiar patterns. Not Foo Fighters; with their forthcoming ‘Concrete and Gold’ they decided to try something altogether new by, er, going a bit old school. “The last record – this is a cliched thing to say, I suppose – was a little bit of a soundtrack to the TV series that we ended up making,” begins bassist Nate Mendel, opening up about previous effort ‘Sonic Highways’. Safe to say the 2014 album was a whole other ballgame – complete with an eight-part HBO series, and as he reflects, maybe wasn’t their most successful move. “It was a decent record. I dunno that it was our strongest. But I love it because it was totally different. The thing I liked most about that project was the way that Dave [Grohl] did the lyrics – going out and interviewing people, getting a feel for a city and writing lyrics based on the experience he’d had over that past week. The songs weren’t as thought out as they often are and that record’s got that character to it, for better or worse.”
September, nationwide The Lancashire duo released debut album, ‘Silhouettes’ back in January, unveiling the lead tracks as part of an arty video trilogy. Now, after a successful SXSW back in March - alongside other US dates, natch, they’re touring the UK - including a massive Shepherd’s Bush Empire date in London. For more information and to buy tickets, head to livenation.co.uk or twitter.com/LNSource 12 diymag.com
“Dave! Dave! The camera’s this way! Dave… Oh don’t bother.”
As for ‘Concrete and Gold’, “it’s a very different album. This one’s much more traditional. This one follows how we made our first couple of records, where we went into a studio that wasn’t our own, there were other bands there and lots of people coming and going. It was cool; kind of a throwback way of doing it.” They still, however, have a bit of a curveball up their sleeve: this time around they’ve worked with producer Greg Kurstin, whose CV includes the likes of Sia, Lily Allen, Tegan and Sara and, ahem, Adele. “It was unexpected for me,” laughs Nate. “Dave had known him socially for a while but I just met him when he came in to do this, and I didn’t really know what to expect. I mean, he’s a jazz guy – a wizard jazz guy – so he’s got an understanding of music that none of us in the band have, or anyone we’ve ever worked with has and that’s what he brought to the record. So, it sounds like us, but with all these complex harmonies.” Foo Fighters’ new album ‘Concrete and Gold’ is out 15th September via RCA. DIY
Service Station of the Month
WHAT’S GOING ON WITH...
Lasse’s, Stathelle, Norway
From invading your Netflix binging to gearing up for an anniversary tour of the UK, Kate Nash has been one busy bee these past few months. Lisa Wright had a natter with the GLOW star to find out how everything’s been going. Hello Kate Nash! So let’s cut straight to the chase, you’ve recently been starring in GLOW! Yes! The tagline when I first auditioned was something like ‘Sequins, hairspray, spandex: Women’s wrestling in the ‘80s’. And I was like, ‘Fucking sold. That sounds like the best show I’ve ever heard.’ I feel like my life’s been training for this; fighting with my sisters growing up, being a musician, it’s all the same thing. Has doing the show changed you as a musical performer too? Being a wrestler is like becoming this exaggerated version of yourself and celebrating that stereotype, and taking it to an almost offensive level. But there’s something in that, in breaking through the barrier of what people think of you. Saying that, ‘fucking here I am in my worst or best version’. I feel so comfortable and confident now, and I think my shows are going to be the best they’ve ever been. The emotional shit I’ve overcome by learning how to do this physical stuff; I feel so defiant. Now you’re touring ‘Made Of Bricks’ for its 10th anniversary – how does it feel looking back to that time? I think it’s gonna be really celebratory and euphoric to return to those songs. I know how much they mean to people. I was really put through the wringer by the industry, but I’m really proud of myself for staying true to who I am. I got nervous about GLOW coming out because I haven’t had that kind of attention for a long time and I didn’t like it then, but I’m older and better at dealing with things now.
Bands love service stations more than life itself. Snacks, bogs, time to think - it’s all there. These are miraculous places where festival headliners mingle with lorry drivers. It’s due time we paid respect to the very best.
et me just start off with saying that service stations in Norway generally suck when compared to the UK. They’re small and only sell burgers, hot dogs and cinnamon buns. So for a touring pescetarian like me, you get pretty tired of cinnamon buns. To really get an honest impression of how much I love this service station we need to go back a year, to our ‘done-with-recording-our-album-party’. We had been in Oslo for a month, recording with producer Dan Austin. On our last day we were incredibly tired, but of course had to celebrate. The day after, we woke up to a horrible headache, the sound of Dan puking, and weird scars we don’t remember getting. I guess it would’ve been fine if it hadn’t been that day we had to drive from Oslo to Stavanger. None of us were capable of driving. So we drove for half an hour each, and changed driver and continued like that for eleven hours. The trip normally takes seven. And on top of that, I couldn’t stand the thought of only eating cinnamon buns for a whole day. Imagine you’re expecting to drink pee, but it turns out to be apple juice. That’s how I felt when we stumbled upon Lasse’s. If a normal service station was earth, then Lasse’s would be heaven. And the fact that is has my name on it almost gives it a religious vibe (at least that’s what it felt like). Lasse’s is completely different to other Norwegian service stations. There’s even a park area outside where you can sit. I bought all the food I needed for a whole day and it made it a hundred times better. Thank you Lasse’s for being so good to us.” (Lasse Lokøy, bass) 13
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DIY HALL FAME of
BIFFY CLYRO - ‘PUZZLE’
Now one of the biggest rock bands on the planet, it was Biffy Clyro’s fourth album that set them on the path to world domination. Words: Will Richards.
worldwide success for Biffy Clyro, ‘Puzzle’ served as an intensely important and personal record to frontman Simon Neil, reflecting back to the death of his mother in 2004.
iffy Clyro’s first three albums were, in the simplest possible terms, fucking strange. From brutal, emotionally bleak debut ‘Blackened Sky’ to sprawling follow-up ‘The Vertigo Of Bliss’ and creepy, intense third effort ‘Infinity Land’, the trio were far from mainstream, spending their time playing basement venues and developing a cult-like following. Their fourth changed all that though, adding arena-ready choruses and hooks to the mix, thrusting them towards the upper echelons of British rock. Opener ‘Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies’ is the perfect example - an obtuse, thumping intro folds out into some of their poppiest moments, opening the band up to a whole new audience. Bookended with this huge, intense opener and equally devastating (if much quieter) closer ‘Machines’, there’s barely a second of downtime across the 13-track record. ‘Who’s Got A Match’ and ‘A Whole Child Ago’ would turn out to be some of the band’s most instantly appealing moments to date, adding immediacy to their existing arsenal of brilliant quirks. As well as being a catapult towards
Release: 4th June 2007 Stand-out tracks: ‘Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies’, ‘Who’s Got A Match?’, ‘Machines’ Tell your mates: Each member of Biffy Clyro has a puzzle piece tattooed on themselves in tribute to the record. Fancy, huh.
‘Folding Stars’ is a beautiful, devastating ode to her, and one that still commands the band’s live sets to this day. ‘Puzzle’ really was - and remains - the whole package, and an album which deservedly made Biffy Clyro one of the UK’s biggest bands. There’s still that inherent strangeness - a series of interludes titled 2, 4, and 9/15ths creep around like an uninvited stranger, and ‘Get Fucked Stud’ is a brilliantly unconventional thrasher - but it’s channelled into something universal, and that’s where ‘Puzzle’ strikes gold. The record was followed by ‘Only Revolutions’, a record that cemented Biffy Clyro’s position in the big leagues and saw them go on to headline their first festivals. It’s still ‘Puzzle’, though, that served as a turning point in their career, and even now, seven albums in, that shines as their finest moment. The choruses came bursting out, shirts came firmly off, and the Biffy Clyro we know and love firmly arrived. DIY
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............................................ St. Vincent • New York ............................................. A couple of years on from her ace self-titled album, we’ve got a brand new track from Annie Clark in the shape of ‘New York’. For anyone expecting her usual guitar squalls, prepare to be in for a bit of a surprise. It’s led mostly by piano, with the occasionally danceable, pulsating beat lying embedded deep within the mix, sometimes punctuated by strings and choir-like harmonies. Basically, it’s a ballad. Albeit a ballad with the refrain of “you’re the only motherfucker in the city who can handle me”. Even when Annie’s performing a soft (mostly) tender tune, she can still throw in a biting nugget that makes you sit up and take notice. (Eugenie Johnson)
HAVE HEARD you
.......................................... • Wolf Alice • Don’t Delete The Kisses .......................................... Wolf Alice’s latest newie shows cinematic ambition. Vivid and super-wide-screen, Ellie Rowsell letting her inner monologue tumble out unedited as she stumbles into love. “I like you, and I’ll never let it show,” she announces, any hint of metaphor or filter binned off from the beginning. In the same way that ‘Yuk Foo’ perfectly bottled rage, ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’ does the same, but down the tenderest end of the spectrum. Swig on the love potion, everyone. Wolf Alice have pulled a blinder. (El Hunt)
.......................................... • Fall Out Boy • Champion .......................................... “If I can live through this, I can do anything,” goes the refrain from this second teaser of the Chicago power-pop kings’ forthcoming album, ‘MANIA’, and if there’s anything Fall Out Boy are masters of, it’s spreading good vibes. ‘Champion’ doesn’t quite match the balls-out bombast of the fiercely electronic ‘Young and Menace’, but when Patrick Stump’s belting out lines like “I’m a champion of the people who don’t believe in champions,” it’s almost a dare not to fist-pump in unison. (Emma Swann)
.......................................... • Superfood • Unstoppable .......................................... If recent singles ‘Double Dutch’ and ‘I Can’t See’ suggested that Superfood’s musical horizons had broadened further than anyone might reasonably expect, then ‘Unstoppable’ is the track that cements the Birmingham group as an entirely different band to the one you previously knew. Built around a dubby bounce of a bass line, and coming on like The Specials crashing Notting Hill Carnival, its only real ‘indie’ point of comparison is in its Gorillaz-esque dystopian outro. (Lisa Wright)
.......................................... • The Xcerts • Feels Like Falling In Love .......................................... The Xcerts have always stood on the precipice between fierce, dark rock and a chartreaching pop-rock hybrid. The latter has always seemed like a possible and enticing prospect, and comeback single ‘Feels Like Falling In Love’ is absolutely on the money. The track’s chorus - all soaring vocals and cock-rock-indebted guitars - is absolutely massive. The band leaving all pretence behind to write an absolute whopper of a single has done them the world of good. It’s glorious. (Will Richards) 15
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Marika had grown weary of the Cookie Monster jokes her new purchase had provoked.
Lu c K Y e What’s the most
gory injury you’ve suffered? The scar on my eyebrow is a pig bite. We used to have two pet pigs that my Dad won in an auction. I was a really small kid, and I woke Chessie the pig up while she was asleep, and she was startled, and snapped. She wasn’t a bad pig, she had a good soul, but she did get my eyebrow. And now I have a proper eyebrow scar, but it was only 3 stitches. I have 8 in my knee. I knelt on a wine glass. When I moved to Brighton I was on crutches because of that, and people used to call me Pirate Girl because I walked like I had a wooden leg.
e What is your favourite type of
weather? Very easy one, for me. I like cold, but really bright and sunny, with a few big fluffy clouds. I like cold weather. I don’t like any mugginess. No humidity. I get really irritable really quickly.
e Do you enjoy playing board games?
Erm… yeah! I fucking love a bit of Scrabble, that’s fun. I also love Balderdash. You basically just lie, but in a very specific way, to trick people. That’s my favourite board game. Once you know people really well, it’s really fun because you can start to work out who’s doing what. My mum always tries to act a bit, and lie, and it’s so obvious.
e What’s your go-to
Marika Hackman Ever wondered what your favourite band’s preferred brand of toothpaste is? Or their favourite time of day to talk a walk? With Lucky Dip, we’re here every month to provide you with the answers to the silliest questions you’d never dare to ask.
sandwich? Oh my god, just shove anything in there. As long as it’s got bread around it, I’m in. I like a good cheese and pickle. Mmmm, yeah. I’m going misty-eyed thinking about it.
What are you most scared of? I’m scared of everything! Every common phobia, I’m scared of. So I hate… well, no, actually I love rats, but I hate bugs. All bugs. Particularly spiders. I’m really scared of heights, I’m claustrophobic, I hate snakes, and I’m even a bit scared of the dark. I’m a massive pussy, but I can live. I’m surviving.
e What’s the worst fashion disaster
you’ve ever had? I went through that phase when I was maybe 10 or 11 where I was wearing really wide-leg white jeans and those fake tattoos that are necklaces or wristbands. I had black trousers with bright orange tags, and a t-shirt that said ‘Funky’ on it. I kind of fucking love it, so I don’t know if I’d call it a fashion disaster, though. I’m really not interested in fashion, so I’ve always lived in t-shirts, jeans, and jumpers. That’s how I roll. So I guess that was my big fashion moment, and then it stopped. Also, it’s going to come back in, again! That millennial look at the turn of the century. It was a great time!
AUG 08 XOYO LONDON
AUG 09 LOCK TAVERN CAMDEN
AUG 23 KOKO LONDON
SEP 21 THE LEXINGTON LONDON
SEP 23 OMEARA LONDON SEP 24 SOUND CONTROL BASEMENT MANCHESTER
SEP 26 MOTH CLUB LONDON
PORTUGAL. THE MAN
SEP 26 THE WAITING ROOM LONDON
SEP 26 GORILLA MANCHESTER SEP 27 HEAVEN LONDON
OCT 02 GULLIVERS MANCHESTER OCT 03 SEBRIGHT ARMS LONDON
THE NAKED AND FAMOUS
OCT 03 ELECTRIC BRIXTON LONDON
OCT 09 GORILLA MANCHESTER OCT 10 HEAVEN LONDON
OCT 19 THE CAMDEN ASSEMBLY LONDON
FRENCH FOR RABBITS
OCT 31 HEAVEN LONDON
HO T L S 4 DRE IN 85C AM FO S R LO VE
THE BEST IN NEW LIVE MUSIC
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T o b a s t a r d i s e s o m e p o p - p u n k h e r o e s ’ ly r i c s , s e n d u s t o s l e e p w h e n S e p t e m b e r k i c k s i n .
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BESTIVAL 7th - 10th September
f the move to their new home of Lulworth Castle in Dorset wasn’t exciting enough, the ever-creative gang at Bestival have revealed there’ll be a massive inflatable ‘Happy Kanye’ at this year’s event. In short, it’s a large, inflatable depiction of a smiling Kanye West, and it’s bound to feature in numerous Instagram stories over the weekend. That’s on top of party-starting headliners The xx, A Tribe Called Quest, Pet Shop Boys and Justice, grime pioneers Dizzee Rascal and Wiley, indie heroes Jamie T and Circa Waves, PLUS what’s probably the pinnacle of all live music ever: Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon. We’re also ‘in cahoots with’ the festival’s Invaders of the Future stage, which will host DIY faves Honeyblood, The Magic Gang, Chastity Belt and TRAAMS alongside some brilliant newcomers - including Isle of Wight trio, Freazy.
Stina Tweeddale of Honeyblood talks dinosaurs, fancy dress and who she’s looking forward to in Dorset. What’s new in the world of Honeyblood? We’ve been enjoying the summer, filling our time with festivals! You’re playing the Invaders of the Future stage - if you could time-travel anywhere, when would you visit? Definitely back to the Jurassic era. Meet some cool dinos. Do you have any favourites among the other acts on the stage? We’re big fans of The Magic Gang - also Chastity Belt and Freazy. It’s a pretty decent line up, good work Bestival! This year’s theme is ‘colour’ - are you planning your fancy dress costumes? We could well do, we like to participate! Maybe we will do co-ordinating rainbow outfits this year.
READING & LEEDS 25th - 27th August
With this month’s cover stars Kasabian at the helm, there’s no chance this year’s instalment of the August Bank Holiday weekender will go off without one almighty bang. Headlining alongside bombastic rockers Muse and superstar hip hop stalwart Eminem, they top a bill that includes returning bad boy Liam Gallagher, last month’s cover stars Haim, and infinitely more faves: Charli XCX, Sundara Karma, Sløtface, Black Honey, The Big Moon, The Japanese House, Superfood, King Nun, Bastille, Deap Vally, Declan McKenna, The Magic Gang, INHEAVEN, Blaenavon, and breathe - making a Main Stage debut, VANT.
Mattie Vant looks forward to VANT’s debut on the hallowed Main Stage - and back to some ‘halcyon days’. You’re playing the Main Stage at Reading & Leeds - that’s got to be an exciting (and terrifying?) prospect?! It’s the most prestigious thing we’ve done as a band so far, we’ve got a really special set planned and it’ll be the last big show we do as this incarnation of VANT. The perfect climax to the ‘Dumb Blood’ touring cycle. What have been your favourite sets on the main stage as a fan? I once was crushed pretty much to a horizontal position whilst watching Bloc Party. I’ve also seen the Prodigy blow Arctic Monkeys off the stage, which was pretty spectacular but ultimately disappointing. Do you have any embarrassing anecdotes of past years at the festival? Generally just doing too much of everything when I was younger and suffering the consequences. Oh those halcyon days! Are you gonna be able to watch any other bands there this year? I know King Nun are playing the same day as us! Lovely dudes and they blew my mind when I saw them open for Superfood and Pale Waves earlier this year.
18th - 20th August
The 55,000-strong festival hits the Dutch countryside by storm each August, a theme park a short distance from Amsterdam playing host to bands both old and new. This year’s event is helmed by massive acts including Mumford & Sons, The xx, and Iggy Pop, while lower down the bill there’s space for Solange, Skepta, At The Drive-In, Mac DeMarco, PVRIS and Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes.
Jake Webb reveals why you might catch Methyl Ethel at Sean Paul’s set at the Dutch event. How has taking ‘Everything Is Forgotten’ on the road been so far? It’s been really good. I think, as it stands, the album makes up at least 70% of our set. I think it’ll stay that way for the time being. Though we may introduce some deeper cuts with a twist pretty soon.
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Presumably a second album makes festival sets easier to put together? Ha! Well fortunately for us, our first album is all pretty down-tempo so we could squeeze 45 mins out of about 5 songs if we needed. Who are you hoping to watch while you’re at the festival? I think we’ll all be heading to check out different things, I think the first album Thom [Stewart, bassist] bought was Sean Paul so there’s that at least. Lowlands’ full name is ‘A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise’, so how would you make a tent fly? Fill it full of helium then watch it eventually go down in a blaze of glory.
NEWS in Brief Peace, Black Honey and Dead Pretties head up the acts for Oxford’s Ritual Union (21st October), which takes over a whole host of the city’s venues. TRAAMS, Trudy & The Romance, TOY and Ulrika Spacek are also among those appearing. Marika Hackman, Dream Wife and Girl Ray have been added to this year’s By The Sea (29th September - 1st October). The Margate bash had already announced headliners The Libertines, Metronomy and Everything Everything. Perfume Genius, Childhood and Beth Ditto are all headed to Øya this month (8th - 12th August), joining a line up that includes Lana Del Rey, The xx, MØ, Pixies and Mac DeMarco. MØ and Massive Attack are two of the names confirmed for this year’s Clockenflap festival in Hong Kong, with Dandy Warhols, Tinariwen and Cashmere Cat also headed east. NEU faves Matt Maltese and Nilüfer Yanya are two of the latest names headed to Reeperbahn (20th - 23rd September), playing the newly-announced BBC Introducing showcase.
NeWS THE BIG
thing new music new bands
Pissed off with posh bands, these Brighton firestarters are ready to tip the system upside-down. Words: Dan Jeakins. Photo: Louise Mason.
They may only have three songs to their name, but Brighton four-piece Yonaka have already amassed a formidable reputation as one of the country’s most exciting new live acts. Frontwoman Theresa Jarvis doesn’t spend a split-second standing still, and she’s backed by a band who mix relentless noise with serious swagger. After a couple of years gigging, it wasn’t long until Atlantic Records took notice, but, as Theresa reveals, the band may have celebrated their newfound majorlabel status a little too heavily... “We signed the deal and got absolutely wrecked the same day,” she laughs. “We were due to do a gig that night but none of us could play a single note.” When the band are on form, however, few can match them for sheer ferocity. The quartet received a priceless education from touring with Frank Carter, after joining him and his Rattlesnakes on the road back in March. ”You just don’t get bored of watching that show. Every night there’s something different - you never know when he’s going to jump off a balcony or something!” “You learn a lot from touring with acts like that,” she continues. “We’ve been very lucky to play with incredible bands like Drenge - it’s an experience that allowed us to reach different types of audiences, which I think is really important.”
“Anger is an
important part of
what we do.” - Theresa Jarvis
As for on record, Yonaka’s early tracks are just as adrenaline-packed, but Theresa explains it’s a varied mix of music that inspires them. Favourite albums include everything from Jeff Buckley’s ‘Grace’ to Dr Dre’s ‘2001’ - and the latter is more important to the band’s sound that you might think. “I think that hip hop and rock share a close connection, in that they can both be aggressive, angry types of music,” she says, before essentially spelling out the band’s mission statement: “I think anger is an important part of what we do. People are sick of all this shit posh pop music, and I think that anger is a great thing.” The sky’s the limit for a band like Yonaka: raw, prepared to remain uncompromised, and skilled in matching anger with killer pop hooks. “It’s a lot of work, potentially a lot more than I ever thought it would be,” admits Theresa, “but there are days when I wake up and think ‘Fuck, I’ve got the best job in the world.”’ “This is my life now. I want Yonaka to be massive. I’m in it for the long run. I want all of it - to headline Glastonbury, the lot.” Michael Eavis, take note, because three songs in and Yonaka already feel like a world-conquering proposition. DIY 23
Kali Uchis A genre-hopping star.
There are few certainties in life, but here’s one: Kali Uchis’ steady ascent isn’t stopping anytime soon. After two mixtapes, the Colombian-American 23-year-old is readying a debut album for later this year. It features a sugar-sweet, poised collaboration with Jorja Smith, and this comes after years working with Snoop Dogg, Kaytranada and Diplo. You might recognise her on the latest Gorillaz album, too - she guests on ‘She’s My Collar’. Listen: The Daniel Ceasar edit of ‘Tyrant’ is a 2017 standout Similar to: A pina colada in musical form
Too scared to live, too stoned to die.
Suzie McDermott doesn’t have the patience for polite introductions. On debut track ‘Teenage Witch’, she lays disses on “fuckboys” and “sluts”, claims she’s “too stoned to die,” and interrupts the song to declare: “Yesterday I developed a terrible smokers’ cough. I don’t think I’ll ever sing the same again.” A mix of pure personality and performance, she carries the fire of ‘Arular’-era MIA and the lyrical sway of King Krule. Listen: Debut EP ‘Teenage Witch’ is out 8th September Similar to: Early Jamie T - she’s that good
Twisting pop into strange shapes. Musicians mostly write songs from their own perspectives, or maybe that of a stranger they once bumped into, or a long-lost celebrity who lived a badass life. Londoner Grace Lightman, however, penned her recent 7” single under the guise of her vampiric alter ego, the Silver Eater. Appropriately, these songs carry serious bite. ‘Fangs’ is a bloodsucking triumph, while ‘Halloween is Over’ screens horror movies under gloomy skies. Keep being weird, Grace. Listen: ‘Fangs’/‘Halloween is Over’ is out now via Handsome Dad Similar to: St. Vincent
As uncompromising as they come. Everything London five-piece Yassassin have released so far carries the impression of a gang cornering you on the street, ready to nick your lunch money. And you’d be rude not to hand it over. Latest single ‘Cherry Pie’ is in-your-face to the extreme, provoking until it gets a reaction. It’s no surprise Dream Wife have asked them to support on a summer UK tour. Listen: ‘Cherry Pie’ is available everywhere Similar to: A studded kick to the shins
THU.28.SEP.17 FRI.29.SEP.17 SAT.30.SEP.17
The six-piece have a polarising make-up, with Lucinda, guitarist Calum Duncan and bassist Fraser Rieley bringing backgrounds in pop and rock, joined by the affectionately-labelled ‘jazz boys’ on drums, keyboards and saxophone. It’s a blend of backgrounds that mesh together perfectly on the band’s brilliant pair of debut singles, ‘Bitter Winter’ and ‘Familiar Ways’. Initially powered by vocal hooks and sweet guitar lines, the former (the band’s first official single) disappears off down a sharp tangent full of
“There’s such a positive scene down here at the moment. ” - Calum Duncan
A genre-melting six-piece making brilliant art-pop. Words: Will Richards.
“Look, these are the jazz boys!” vocalist Lucinda John-Duarte exclaims, pulling out a polaroid shot of three topless men on a poolside from her purse. Her two bandmates do the same. “We all keep a photo of them close to us,” she continues. “They get flown all over Europe to talk about jazz music and we just steal them when they’re back in London to come and jam in a room with us for a while.”
Upon arriving at local haunt, Peckham hotspot The Montague Arms, the first thing the three present members of ALASKALASKA do is apologise for the absence of the other half of the band.
screeching sax, a fitting counterpart to Lucinda’s slinky, often despairing lyrics. “I’ve been waiting for the bad news ever since it all began,” she sings on ‘Familiar Ways’, but there’s an innate hope to the band’s music, a togetherness that’s immediately apparent when meeting them. They were last at the Montague for a show with fellow newcomer Mellah, a gig so sold out that the crowd literally spilled out of the venue’s front door. “There’s such a positive scene down here at the moment,” Calum begins, “and it spans genre. It’s more of an ethos that brings us all together rather than a sound,” citing the burgeoning scenes bubbling up around Peckham currently as a source of inspiration. “London’s so massive and scary, but it feels like we’re making this little microclimate down here that feels really comfortable - we should just never go north of the river!” “We’re not too sure about the future, or how quickly everything is going to move,” Lucinda comments when pondering on what’s next, but the diversity of their debut singles throw the door wide open for their future. For now though, she’s just thinking about when the six-piece will next get to be in a room together. Oh, and unsuccessfully trying to convince her bandmates of the genius of Love Island. The second aim might prove fruitless, but ALASKALASKA are already appearing as frontrunners in a scene that’s making this part of South London shine right now. DIY
Blue Man Group, eat yer heart out.
Volorund antium ea arumque ne necto im nos voloria ex eat que dolut et iur, seditatis dolorep
Halifax is not somewhere known for its musical activity. “People would take the piss out of me for being in a band before they’d listened to anything we’d put out,” recalls Orielles guitarist Henry Carlyle Wade. “We were the outsiders,” agrees drummer Sidonie HandHalford. “We were rebelling, but not against our parents - against Halifax.” Finding instant kindred spirits within the creative dearth of their home town, Henry first met Sid and her vocalist/bassist sister Esme at a family party when all three were yet to hit their teens. They formed a band that day and haven’t looked back. Sid and Esme’s musical education began early with a father who played in bands “around the ‘90s Manchester scene”; the trio’s first practise was spent learning The Undertones’ ‘Teenage Kicks’, and the group have only entrenched themselves further into the alt underground since. “Over the last few years more than ever I’ve just got into older music,” explains Esme, before Henry shrugs: “Most modern music just doesn’t really interest us.” It’s the kind of anti-establishment theory that many groups of their age (all are still 21 and under) may tout, but it’s something The Orielles clearly embody. Citing everything from Talking Heads to ‘70s Cuban music to cult US garage-rock label Burger Records as influences, the trio are unashamed musical hoarders, mining the past for inspiration and knowledge. “A lot of the bands in the ‘70s and ‘80s were politically fuelled and that’s what we like,” adds Sid. “We don’t want to be a band that talks about politics in a really obvious way because that’s been done, but it is starting to feature in the music more.”
the orielles Having met at a party as kids, The Orielles have been collectively accumulating a treasure trove of influences ever since. Now, they’re ready to show them to the world… Words: Lisa Wright. Photo: Louise Mason.
Their eclectic foraging seems to be working out just fine. Having recently signed to Heavenly, their first two singles for the label – C86style jangler ‘I Only Bought It For The Bottle’ and sprawling, eight-minute calling card ‘Sugar Tastes Like Salt’ – are the product of a youth spent crate-digging and meticulously learning their craft while their peers were out “at the gym and getting leathered”. “We’d seen bands from the area come and go, but we’d never seen anyone actually [do anything with it],” says Sid. The Orielles, you sense, are going to easily buck that tradition. DIY
ack in 1998, when Tom Meighan was 17 years old, he stepped out onto the stage of The Shed in Leicester in front of a group of friends and family and began Kasabian’s first ever gig as though he were headlining Glastonbury. “I remember hiding behind the stairs and then appearing like it was some fucking [arena]. That’s the level my head was at then,” he recalls. “It was all our mates in the crowd, so everyone’s gonna tell you you’re good. But we knew we were good anyway. We knew we had something special.” Fast forward 16 years and four Number One records later to 2014, and Kasabian were headlining Glastonbury for real. This month, now with yet another Number One (current LP ‘For Crying Out Loud’) to add to the tally, they’ll headline Reading & Leeds for the second time. Tonight, they’re headlining Glasgow’s TRNSMT to 50,000 people. Taking top billing alongside Radiohead and hometown heroes Biffy Clyro, theirs is the only day to sell out. Undeniably, Kasabian are one of the biggest bands in the country, sitting in a top tier cohabited by the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Muse and very few else. It’s a mountain they’ve scaled while being hit with endless criticisms along the way – for their lyrics, their ethos, their entire ‘schtick’; surely no other band of their stature has received such a media mauling as Tom, co-conspirator Serge Pizzorno and bandmates Chris Edwards and Ian Matthews. But through it all, Kasabian have always had two indisputable weapons in their arsenal: a world class live show capable of silencing even the most po-faced of doubters, and a twinkle of the eye that suggests they’re forever having twenty times more fun than any grumbling muso slagging them off. “We’re a big band. We sell albums. People don’t like it, that’s the way it is,” intones Tom, plainly.
“We’ve never been arse-licked; we’ve grafted, me and Serge, to where we’ve got. Everyone hated us when we came out and we’re still here. I don’t regret any of [our choices]. It’s all tongue in cheek, you know? That’s the whole point, isn’t it?” Our whirlwind 36 hours within the Kasabian machine begins the night before at Glasgow’s O2 Academy. The band have hired out the venue for a final rehearsal and, despite their flights from Estonia being cancelled the night before, meaning a time-consuming re-routing and a police escort to get them on a train to the city, they’re trucking on regardless. Flight cases emblazoned with the group’s logo fill up the venue and two delivery drivers bearing stacks of pizza boxes higher than their heads arrive to fuel the touring party; when the band appear just before 9pm, Serge recalls how he was bottled the last time they played here, requiring six stitches and leaving bloodied hand prints down the dressing room corridor walls. It’s fair to say that almost everything in Kasabian’s orbit is bigger and madder and more quoteworthy than normal life. Their reasons for tonight’s additional run through, however, are impressively un-starry. Kasabian don’t like to go into a gig cold - “We’re trying to get this collective mass of people and take them somewhere, but if we have three or four days off, I feel like it takes half a set to get there,” explains Serge. “Whereas now I think, well, we were here last night so we just carry on” - and so for two hours, on the eve of one of their
“K anye getting stuck on a fucking d i g g e r truck at G l a s t o n b u ry – now that’s Spinal Tap.” - Serge Pizzorno 31
I go from Clark Kent to Superman. BANG - like that.” Tom Meighan
summer’s biggest shows, they play some of this decade’s most hedonistic hits to a handful of non-plussed roadies in an empty room. There’s possibly none more fitting a picture of Kasabian’s strange dichotomy – excessive and purposefully ridiculous yet grounded and down to earth – than watching them blast through a live karaoke version of ultimate sesh anthem ‘Fire’ (Tom’s ducked out by this point) to precisely no-one.
“The thing is though, we really care,” enthuses Serge the next day, red roses stitched onto his tracksuit as he lounges with a cup of tea back in the band’s country house hotel. “There’s a responsibility when you’re at the top of the bill to end the night on a massive fucking high, and we’ve built a reputation for that. Anyone who’s indifferent to us and doesn’t get it, misses the jokes and misses the point, they see it live and at the end of the gig they understand. It’s really important to us that people go away thinking...” He pauses. “Well, we try and change your life.” While Tom bats away any mention of the band’s detractors with the dismissive attitude of a man who genuinely doesn’t give a shit (“Nah. Done it. Can’t do anything else. Headlined Glastonbury; got six albums; probably do another 10 more. That’s how it is”), Serge is more frustrated by people’s frequent misconceptions of his band. It’s indicative of the yin-yang personality types at the heart of the duo.
n conversation, Tom is gregarious and hyperactive, with the attention span of a six-year-old on Christmas Day. He says exactly what he thinks and is already distracted by the next thing before you’ve even processed the answer. Serge, meanwhile, is a generous
conversationalist, ruminating in depth on any topic he’s given. On stage, Tom, says his bandmate, has been “exactly the same from day one. He was quite a powerful character [even] at school; he’d walk into the year area and you could tell his presence.” Serge, however, has only more recently come to embrace the thrill of the stage. “I didn’t feel the need to be Freddie Mercury - that compulsion some people have to perform,” he explains. “But there was a moment when I realised I can just fuck about. I think about what I can get away with to make the other lads laugh in front of all these people. It’s ridiculous standing on stage, so you should embrace it.” But while Tom and Serge might come from different angles, both have always been united in the pursuit of fun and playfulness, of keeping things just that little bit silly. During the campaign for 2014 LP ‘48:13’, they performed backed by a series of flashing slogans including ‘Free Deirdre’ and ‘Maggot Munch’. When they headlined Glastonbury, their only ‘special guest’ was pal Noel Fielding dressed as a cartoon vampire. Joyously irreverent, theirs is a humour entrenched as much in a Young Ones-esque tradition of eccentric British comedy as one of boisterous British bands. That’s the bit that so many people seem to struggle with. “One of the most frustrating
ack in the early days, around 2004’s self-titled debut, Serge admits that Kasabian embraced all the “nonsense” rather a lot more. “We didn’t think it was gonna last longer than one album, so we decided that we were gonna experience everything we could,” he grins, with the look of a man who’s seen a few detention slips in his time. “We’d turn up to festivals and just fucking go through people. Run in dressing rooms, off our fucking heads
Dear New Bands, love Serge... What does Serge want in a new band? Not fucking kumquats, that’s for certain...
Most bands I see coming up these days are very calculated, very social media savvy. You know, ‘I’ve got a gig tomorrow guys, have you got my salad? I’m gonna have a fucking kumquat.’ Jesus. When you think of all the best people, they’re all fucking insane. It’s important to stress that
things is when people miss the humour. There’s so much piss taking in everything we do,” begins Serge. “We’re in on the joke, that’s the thing that people don’t seem to understand.” The oft-quoted stereotype, we suggest, is of Kasabian as a kind of real life Spinal Tap, dialling up the rock’n’roll cliché to 11... “It’s that middle class, apologetic, broadsheet opinion,” he replies, getting slightly rattled by the thought. “Kings of Leon: that’s Spinal Tap. Kanye getting stuck on a fucking digger truck at Glastonbury: that’s Spinal Tap. I mean, hearing Kanye singing Freddie Mercury out of tune at Glastonbury is as Spinal Tap as anything anyone else has ever done, so... it’s rich, is what I’m saying. The parody and the ridiculousness of being in a band is all nonsense. It doesn’t matter what kind of band you’re in; it’s all nonsense.”
it’s not about being ‘rock’n’roll’ – I fucking hate that so much – but it’s to do with personality and adventure. I find it hard to believe that someone is gonna write music or be in a band that’s gonna mean something to me without being in some way dishevelled or damaged. I’m too curious. But they’re the best people.
We’r e i n on the j o k e , that’s t h e t h i n g t h a t p eo p l e don’ t seem to u n d e r s ta n d.” -
34 diymag.com 34 diymag.com
P i z zo r n o
How do you solve a problem like
headlining G l as to n b u ry
To infinity… and beyond!
You’re headlining the biggest stage in the world. You’re getting ready to throw a massive party to 100,000 people. How do you prepare? Serge: “Before we went on, me and Noel [Fielding] were listening to ‘Three Men In A Boat’ on an audiobook. Imagine that? We were lying down in the bunks [of the tour bus], fucking crying with laughter. I had my phone in the middle and we were lying next to each other, going ‘This is fucking great’. Just mellowing out. You wanna be still. Like Elvis with black leather over the windows so it’s as dark as possible. Then half hour before the gig, it’s like ‘BAM’. Right. Fucking pupils like that. Eyes open. Ready.”
– honestly, we were so fucked. No-one liked us. We were just fucking horrible little shits, which was perfect. I love The Stooges and those kinds of bands... We wanted everyone to fucking hate us. It was great. It’s all part of the show.” If social media had existed back then, he notes, “it would have been disgusting”. Now, both Tom and Serge are fathers and in their mid-30s. Five albums after releasing the debut they thought would be their only record, they’ve settled into a space surprisingly far down the other end of the rockstar bullshit spectrum. Say what you want about the on-stage swagger and lairy bangers, but underneath it all Kasabian have kept remarkably grounded. “That’s the thing, we’re just not fucking like that. We live in Leicester with all our families and all our pals and that’s because we saw through the fakeness from day one,” Serge shrugs. “You could reel off the people who’ve turned into dicks and that’s fucked them, but that’s just not us. We saw through it. How can I write music for the people that I relate to if I’m not around them? 50,000 people aren’t gonna relate if I stand around with a load of supermodels opening envelopes. No one gives a fuck about that guy.”
ut to later that evening and 50,000 people are most certainly giving all the fucks. Having spent the hour before stage time blasting out Beatles songs and milling among a small and unanimously entertaining group of pals including Trainspotting legend Robert Carlyle and a perma-sunglasses wearing old friend only known as The Turtle, Kasabian take to the TRNSMT stage to a deafening roar. “It’s about anticipation, it’s like a boxing
match,” notes Tom about the build up to stage time. “We’re like monkeys in a cage, and it’s my job to rattle the cage. I go from Clark Kent to Superman. BANG - like that.” The set, as always, is huge and cathartic and powerful; a 90-minute, all-consuming escape from reality that has the entire field uniformly losing their minds in unison. To paraphrase Serge’s own words previously, even if you don’t get it before, by the end of the gig you’ll understand. Off stage, enjoying a post-show beverage or two, we notice that Serge is wearing not one, but three identical gold Casio watches up his arm. The theory, he explains with that twinkle in his eye, is that casually observed on stage, they’ll look like a standard bit of bling. “But then when you look closer...” he chuckles, with a wink. It’s exactly the kind of weird and wonderful thought process that characterises the songwriter and his band of childhood pals. Some people will scoff and chalk it up as another example of the band’s rockstar buffoonery, but Kasabian have always known it’s far more fun, having a laugh down here with the people. “I genuinely just think life’s too short,” smiles Serge. “The odds of any of this happening. I mean, just to be born in this country alone, you’re already dreaming - then to have the life I’ve had. So I figure, I’ve been given this, and I can’t explain why, but man, I’m going out in a blaze of glory. And I figure if I worry and hide, then what a waste. I’m gonna have the fucking time of my life on that stage. I’m gonna have it so big. And maybe that’s what people see in us? Like, you know what? They’re living it.” Kasabian’s latest album ‘For Crying Out Loud’ is out now. DIY 35
Leaders of a pack of hungry new British bands, INHEAVEN’s debut sees them stride out as torchbearers of fuzzy, full-of-heart rock’n’roll. Words: Will Richards. Photos: Phil Smithies.
t’s six weeks before INHEAVEN’s self-titled debut is released, and the band are in good spirits. “We did literally get egged last week though,” frontman James Taylor chuckles, as the band shelter from the rain in an East London boozer. “Pretty retro, that.”
Camden,” bassist Chloe Little takes over. “We told them all we’d have a great time, and then just all ended up covered in egg at the end of the night.” “It was probably a rival band,” James deadpans in response. “They saw some goths hanging out at the side of the road and had to make a statement.”
“Our friends in Pale Waves were down from Manchester and we took them for a night out in
The London four-piece are one of a formidable crop of new, young British bands all releasing their first full-lengths this
year, and there’s a togetherness between the touring partners, labelmates and friends that feels unshakeable. “We’ve all just done it by getting in the van and just playing, all up and down the country, for about the last three years,” says James, thinking back to 2015’s DIY Neu tour that INHEAVEN embarked upon with The Big Moon and VANT - bands who have both also let their debut LPs loose in 2017. Carving out a reputation as a fierce live band and putting out a handful of singles that deserved to become chart-minglers, the band headed out to the aptly-named Rockfield Studios in Wales to record, the first time production duties had been taken out of James’ hands. “We genuinely thought it was a joke that the place was called Rockfield, it sounds like something from a Jack Black movie! But it just turns out the village is actually called Rockfield and is the perfect place for it,” Chloe jokes, with the band returning from their fortnight in the countryside with some pretty incredible second-hand stories. “There’s loads of history there - Black Sabbath recorded there, and, c’mon, Freddie Mercury wrote ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ there!” James recounts, before drummer Joe Lazarus trumps them all. “The Stone Roses story is the best one,” he begins, with grins forming on the rest of the band’s faces. “They lost their minds there a little bit. They were there for a whole year, and Mani managed to have a baby in that time. The band were at the studio for a whole year and he was so bored that he got a job in the fish and chip shop in the village and ended up having a baby with someone who worked there.” “We didn’t have time to get up to any of that sort of stuff though,“ Chloe giggles, “we were only there for two weeks. We left nothing behind in Rockfield.” “There’s definitely no shortcut anymore. [Whereas] it felt like a couple of years ago you could throw something onto the internet and get to a big level quite quickly,” says Chloe, pondering the band’s path to their debut and selling out shows across the country. However there’s an authenticity to INHEAVEN and their peers that’s inspiring a whole new generation of devoted young music fans, with an entire (whisper it) scene of bands in front of their eyes, ready to soundtrack their teens. “Everyone wants a ‘scene’ to latch onto, and for this to be 2007
indie all over again, and obviously it’s not, but there’s definitely something happening. There haven’t been this many great new British bands in a long time.” It’s been nearly two years since INHEAVEN emerged with huge debut single ‘Regeneration’, and the time taken to carve out their debut shows a band that are not only incredibly proud of the finished product, but also ready to kick on into their undeniably bright future. “It’s brilliant,” all four reply, almost exactly in tandem, when asked what they’re proud of regarding their debut, and it’s refreshing to see a band so full of belief in themselves and the album they’re about to let loose. “It’s the biggest moment of our lives,” James begins, “and we had to take a long time making sure that
“It’s the biggest moment of our lives.” James Taylor
we’d look back on our debut album and see it as an accurate representation of us as a band and people right now. Our tastes will change, and we’ll move on to different styles and places and ideas, but this album is the best documentation of us right now that we could’ve made, and we’re so proud of it.” “This is our ‘flag in the ground’ moment, to let everyone know what we’re about,”
INHEAVEN OR INHELL?
There are certain things that divide bands families, even. Be it entertainment choices in the van, or food options mid-tour. With that in mind, we thought we’d grill the quartet on a number of vital, divisive issues, and tell us whether they end up INHEAVEN or, gasp, INHELL. FIDGET SPINNERS All four members, immediately: “INHELL!” MARMITE Again, all at the same time: “INHEAVEN!” “Wow we’re so in sync!” “N*SYNC! Let’s do that one!” “Oh wait we all agree with that one too!” BROWN SAUCE Chloe: “Oh that’s hard!” James: “I’m into it, INHEAVEN!” Joe: “Oh we’re split on this one - is there an In-beige?” LOVE ISLAND Joe: “INHELL, absolutely INHELL.” Chloe: “I agree - I’d never watched it until literally last night, and even though I sort of got into it, it’s going INHELL!”
he continues, album two already firmly on the brain. “The time it’s taken since our first singles also gives us confidence in the songs,” adds Chloe. “If we’ve listened to and played ‘Regeneration’, what, a thousand times, and still like the song, then that must be a pretty good indicator that it’s not terrible, right?” The idea of a gradual progression is important to INHEAVEN, and the lack of a quick-as-lightning overnight success has allowed them to consider each next step and make an organic progression that’s seen their audiences grow and grow with every next tour at a constant level. “It’s kind of gone back to that ‘70s mentality, just playing shows and piling in a van,” James continues. “What’s been really nice to see too, is that when we’ve been touring the country with these other bands, all the kids that come to the shows are really interested in fanzines, magazines, vinyl: they’re interested in bands again. All these bands are getting bigger and bigger audiences, and we’ve all done it the same way.” It’s also not a scene defined by a signature sound - INHEAVEN’s crunchy, sky-high choruses bear little resemblance to the bop of The Magic Gang, or Black Honey’s blues-flecked early singles. “It’s also good in that way because it’ll never be looked back upon like ‘oh that’s “the sound” of 2017’ or whatever, and start cringing,” James chuckles. “Is that a 1975 reference?” Chloe hits back, before doing her best overblown Matty Healy impression. The pair shine at the front of INHEAVEN’s notoriously chaotic live shows, and the band as a whole has a personality and an image that stretches far beyond the confines of their debut album itself. “That’s my favourite thing about bands,
“There haven’t been this many great new British bands in a long time.” - Chloe Little
picking your favourite, and sensing all their characters,” James enthuses. “I’m so happy that it’s something that’s coming back, and something people value in all these bands coming out at the moment. It’s sort of the Beatles mentality, where you fall in love with each member for different reasons, and no-one needs that egotistical one-person show.” The togetherness that INHEAVEN preach, also with regards to their peers and their fans, is infectious, and demands a cult-like devotion. It also makes their debut album like a rallying cry, its choruses meaning the world to those who take them in, as well as those who wrote them. “It’s not about just the music with INHEAVEN, it’s about the details, and the world we create,” Chloe confirms, before James reaches an outstretched arm: “Now we just want people to fall into that world with us.” INHEAVEN’s self-titled debut album is out 1st September via PIAS. DIY 39
Crashing to a halt after a relentless spell touring the world, PVRIS found themselves confronting darkness head on. Second album ‘All We Know of Heaven, and All We Need of Hell’ exorcises all those demons, and fights its way out of emotional limbo; the sound of a band totally revitalised. Words: El Hunt.
PVRIS “P arting is all we know of heaven, and all we need of hell,” concludes Emily Dickinson’s ‘My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close’ – a poem that deals with overcoming two hugely emotionally losses, and then battles with facing the reality that darkness is a regular fixture of life that never quite goes away. It is from this poem that PVRIS’ second album borrows its paradoxical title, but it didn’t just catch their eye because Dickinson was a fellow Massachusettsan (though it’s a handy coincidence). Crashing back into stillness after a punishing world tour, straight off the back of ‘White Noise’’s runaway success, was something that PVRIS didn’t expect to find tricky. When the time came, though, vocalist Lynn Gunn found herself facing up to the most shadowy aspects of life. “It was kind of like an emotional whiplash,” she ponders, speaking over the phone mid-way through supporting Muse and 30 Seconds to Mars on tour in the States. “Just stopping, and having the time to reflect and process the past few years...” she adds. “Where we were mentally, emotionally, physically, energy-wise. It was a lot to adjust to, and all of us dealt with it pretty differently.” For Lynn, facing her demons and moving forward mainly involved buckling up, and throwing herself straight back into the beginnings of what would become ‘All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell’ after just two weeks’ downtime. Accidentally continuing the religious threads of the title, the band headed to a renovated church in Utica – upstate New York – to pitch up “in 40 diymag.com 40 diymag.com
“God damn it, I forgot to take the bins out AGAIN.”
the mountains and valleys and wilderness”. Their huge, space-filled new home crept onto the gigantic bangers that pepper this album, too. “‘We did ‘White Noise’ in what was pretty much a small bedroom,” she explains, “probably the size of two cars put together. So we went from that to this massive church! I really think that comes across in the music.” Holy surroundings aside, ‘All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell’ is never quite sure which camp – good or evil – it really belongs in. The title itself traps the entire record in a kind of emotional limbo, and duality is all over the place, colouring every turn. The artwork itself shows Lynn and bandmates Alex Babinski and Brian MacDonald reflected by an ominous black lake; ‘Heaven’ lyrically brings along yet another opposite in the shape of a “rising and falling chest that’s barely breathing”. And musically, too, it’s one big colliding shard of light and shade, lyrical darkness jarring with euphoric pop melodies. “I didn’t even think of that!” Lynn says. “I didn’t even process the heaven and hell duality until after [we’d titled the album] but it’s right here staring me in the face.” “Once we got off the road,” she starts, “I realised how much I’d suppressed my emotions and hidden them, and I didn’t really
acknowledge or honour them, to the point that I felt numb. Learning to be vulnerable again, and opening up - without shying away from any emotion - was a really important thing. And I think that comes across. It’s a lot more straightforward, and vulnerable, and candid,” she says. “One of the things that I learned personally was embracing dark and the light equally,” she adds. “I definitely went through a lot in the more negative end of human emotions and experiences, and I learned to really embrace that, and find it just as beautiful. You can apply it to anything, and it’s vital; whether it’s music, or your health, physical health, mental health, diet, compositions, artwork, production. It’s everywhere and it’s so important. Lyrically I don’t ever think it was a conscious thing, it just seeped in.”
“It was kind of like an
emotional whiplash.” - Lynn Gunn All that seeping seems to have done the trick, because ‘All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell’ is privy to Lynn Gunn’s most honest songwriting to date, metaphors stripped away, and honesty pushed to the fore. “No, I didn’t want this throne,” she protests on ‘What’s Wrong’ – quite possibly referring to the runaway levels of fame that she and PVRIS have found themselves in reluctant possession of over the last few years. It’s also a song that she had her reservations about ever releasing. “It was a really scary one to let out,” she admits. “The subject matter a lot of people can easily guess what it’s about... and I felt so exposed and scared. I do think that’s a good thing, though,” she reasons. ‘I think anything that scares you is a good thing at the end of the day.” PVRIS’ new album ‘All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell’ is out 25th August via Rise Records. DIY PVRIS are appearing at Lowlands this year. Head to diymag.com for details.
CLOSER to the TRUTH
Last month, in a moment of genius/ madness, Lynn Gunn tweeted one of her own original jokes about AutoTune pioneer and pop legend Cher, which – depending on your appetite for a pun – will leave you either cackling or groaning. “If Cher was a sheriff she would be a Cheriff.” Continuing this fairly tenuous theme, of course we decided to ask her a lot of loosely Cher-related questions. Are you a Cher fan, Lynn? Not really! Oh dear! You’re going to love this, then... It’s one of my most successful tweets! We were in the green room, and somebody was singing Cher. Whenever anyone says anything, I’m immediately thinking of puns or some kind of weird scenario to go along with it, and in that case I was like, Cher! If she was a sheriff, she’d be a Cheriff! And it’s still around today! It’s a very dumb thing, and I didn’t think about it much. I think it’s a really shitty one. Do you believe in life after love? Yes. Absolutely. You’ve been handed a bag of your favourite sweets, and the rest of your band are in the next room, oblivious. Do you Cher them? Yes! I’ll sneak them under the door. I’ll try to, if there’s a crack under the door. If you could ‘Turn Back Time’ where would you go? I would like to go back to early 1900s London to check that out. I have a weird affinity for the Victorian era, a really weird obsession with it, so I would love to go back. Which celebrity would you most like to Cher and RT you? Um, Cher? PVRIS have played shows all across the world, but have you ever been ‘Walking in Memphis’? We actually haven’t! We always play Nashville instead of Memphis... But would you like to go ‘Walking in Memphis’? Oh yeah. Maybe one day.
“They see me rollin’...”
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T H E ON LY WAY I S E S S E X Collaborating with Damon ’n’ Graham and finding himself sampled on the most hyped record of the
year, RAT BOY is releasing his debut album this month, and already looking years into the future. Words: Will Richards. Photos: Phil Smithies.
t’s been barely five minutes since Jordan Cardy and his trio of bandmates showed up at the West London offices of label Parlophone, but they’re already causing chaos. Whizzing around a car park on the Burberry-branded scooter seen on the cover of album ‘Scum’ and trying to, somehow, amazingly, make skipping ropes of their own arms, Jordan and pals aren’t just livewires when thrashing around onstage, it’s their lifeblood. Sitting down in an upstairs room (not before Jordan invites every office worker in sight into the cramped lift with the band to travel up together) the four members pile in, and Jordan and bassist Harry Todd immediately pick up the two dusty guitars perched in the corner. “I heard this one belongs to Chris Martin!” the frontman smirks. There’s a chemistry between the four that makes Rat Boy far more than a solo project, and Jordan is the first to point out that he wants that to shine through more. “I want the other guys to be as involved and as seen as I am in the future,” he begins, fiddling with the dials on the worn-out Stratocaster. “We’ve been making music and playing together for this whole time, and I want it to be seen that way more on the second album.”
Behind the antics and tomfoolery, though, there’s something altogether different about him, and after a few minutes of peering through the glass looking for his departed bandmates, he cuts a very different figure. “Do you like my music?” he asks plainly, said with a genuine desire for an answer and dialogue. “Do you know what rating the magazine are going to give the album yet?” ‘Scum’ is a sprawling first effort, a twenty-five (!) track behemoth peppered with interludes and tangents. It’s a window into the electric, never-resting mind of a man who’s already attracted more than a few famous admirers. Working on the record in Damon Albarn’s West London base Studio 13, the Blur and Gorillaz man took a shine to Jordan. “He really inspired me to not just do stuff with guitars,” the frontman begins, also citing Beck’s genre-bending 1996 LP ‘Odelay’ as a major influence. “Me and Noah made ‘Get Over It’ and then realised that it doesn’t just all have to be guitars, and that genre boundaries don’t really matter at all, and Damon helped us realise that too.”
“I’M NOT NEARLY FINISHED YET - I’M NOT EVEN STARTED.”
Indeed, the gang mentality that’s been cultivated between Jordan, Harry, guitarist Liam Haygarth and drummer Noah Booth is so strong that there’s more than a few complaints and sighs from the frontman when the trio skip down to the building’s fancy cafeteria, leaving him alone to dissect ‘Scum’ and - as the 21-year old sees it - the lengthy career ahead of him.
“Graham [Coxon, who plays guitar on ‘Laidback’] was wicked on the record too. He’s also put stuff down on another track which we haven’t released yet, which is cool. He sings on it too,” the singer continues, an undeniable glint in his eye. Jordan even fell further into the arms of superstars when 2015 mixtape track ‘Knock Knock Knock’ was sampled by Kendrick Lamar on ‘LUST.’ from his new album ‘DAMN.’.
- JORDAN CARDY
“I’m still not completely comfortable in these surroundings,” he says, looking around at the plush major-label office and wall-hung memorabilia, “but I’m getting there.” It seems like more of a case of the label adapting to and accommodating Rat Boy rather than the other way around, though. He reveals he put in an order for every single item on the menu from the McDonalds over the road to be delivered to the office for the celebratory meal that confirmed his signing to Parlophone in early 2015.
“That was trippy,” he chuckles. “I got a message from his producer DJ Dahi about a year ago, telling me that he’d flipped one of my vocals. I messaged him quite a few times trying to found out what he’d done and didn’t really hear anything back so I kind of just dropped it.” “Then the day [‘DAMN.’] came out, someone dug up a tweet I did of the lyrics [from ‘Knock Knock Knock’] about two years ago, and then all these blogs were writing about it and everyone was messaging me like crazy. I just got loads of tweets one morning telling me I’m on the Kendrick album! It’s mad.” It appears it’s not enough for the increasingly insatiable
Rat Boy though. “We’re not at the level we want to be yet,” he begins, sitting firmly upright for the first time, and slightly - but definitely - raising his voice. “Every single day, me and the band sit down and we think to ourselves, we are not where we want to be yet. We’re doing the main stage at Reading & Leeds, but it’s in the middle of the day. We want it to be later. We want it to be bigger. We’re working harder than we ever have done, and we’re pushing every day.” “If I could see where we are now, from the perspective of us a year ago,” he continues, picking up speed, “and saw the views and plays that we get online now, I’d think that was amazing. But now there’s still much more work to do to take it even further and make it even bigger,” he says, before reciting his schedule from the past week in meticulous detail; building and painting skate ramps for a new music video, pitching his clothing line to blogs and magazines, editing adverts to promote the release of ‘Scum’. The DIY element of things is still very much at the heart of Rat Boy, something the singer and his bandmates refuse to give up. “We could easily hand these things over to other people, and have a constant
BA N D
Jordan’s had the same rabble backing him at his live shows for years now, so we think it’s about time he introduces us to his counterparts. Without further ado, it’s time to meet the band. Noah Booth • Drums “Noah plays drums. He never wears socks, and he really needs new shoes. It’s a bit disgusting. He also gets naked a lot when he’s drunk.” Harry Todd • Guitar “Harry plays guitar. He drinks these weird shake things all the time. They’re called like...gout or something [not sure that’s what you’re thinking of, Jordan - Ed] and he eats loads of spinach.” Liam Haygarth • Bass “Liam plays bass. He used to have a Mercedes. He hasn’t got it any more though. Our album is currently in his CD player in the car. He listens to it every day.”
flow of great stuff coming out, but that would make us like every other band out there at the moment,” Jordan hurries on, “and we wouldn’t be learning anything that way either. It might take a bit longer initially, but we want to learn this all ourselves and be left with the skills when it’s all done.” Looking at album two and beyond, Jordan seems even more intent to progress right away, and there’s an infectious charm to his hurriedness, his willing to learn and adapt at every turn. “I started this whole thing on my own, in my bedroom, with a guitar, so it makes sense why people see this as a solo project, or as a band with guitars,” the singer admits. “But it’s not just me - I’m with these three other people all the time. And we’re not just gonna make guitar music,” he continues, before citing A$AP Mob member Playboi Carti as a current influence. “We don’t want to make the same record again, we’re all still young and want to release new, different things every single year, and to learn along the way,” he concludes, picking back up the dusty guitar and worming his way around the fretboard. “I’m not nearly finished yet - I’m not even started.” Rat Boy’s debut album ‘Scum’ is out 11th August via Parlophone. DIY
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BRIGHTON The Haunt
OXFORD Bullingdon Arms LEICESTER The Cookie MANCHESTER Gorilla LEEDS Wardrobe
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NEWCASTLE Think Tank NOTTINGHAM Bodega
LONDON O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
THE NEW ALBUM
I’M NOT YOUR MAN
OUT NOW ON AMF RECORDS www.MARIKAHACKMAN.com
PUNK AS F**K “I
T h e y r e c o r d e d t h e i r n e w a l b u m i n f i v e d ay s w i t h N i r va n a p r o d u c e r S t e v e A l b i n i , a n d t h e n t h e y c a l l e d i t ‘ 2 4 - 7 R o c k s t a r S h i t ’. A f t e r 1 5 y e a r s o f g o i n g a g a i n s t t h e g r a i n , s a f e t o s ay T h e C r i b s a r e n ’ t changing any time soon… W o r d s : L i s a W r i g h t. P h oto s : P h i l S m i t h i e s .
f you’ve managed to sustain what you do for 15 years like we have, and you’re still afraid to nail your colours to the mast by this point, then you either don’t trust yourself or you don’t understand the people who like the band,” theorises Cribs bassist Gary Jarman, nursing a slight hangover but still on as eloquently opinionated form as ever. It’s a problem that he and his brothers, guitarist Ryan and drummer Ross, have never had to struggle with; from their first days as lip-bleeding, hipster-hating outliers among a sea of mid-’00s, next-gen Britpoppers, The Cribs have always steadfastly, almost belligerently gone their own way. The Jarmans’ particular colours are as dyed in the wool as they come. Now, they’re on the cusp of releasing their seventh studio LP – a Steve Albini-produced collection of their heaviest, most abrasive material to date, entitled – brilliantly – ‘24-7 Rock Star Shit’. It’s not, it would be fair to say, a traditional move for a seventh record. But then again, of course it isn’t. “Once you have - Gary a certain degree of success, rather than feeling like you’ve got to preserve what you have, you should feel liberated to do whatever you want,” he continues. “And anyway, it could have been worse. We could have called the album ‘Fuck Your Stupid Male Ego’ or something like that...”
Soon, however, the band found themselves gracing the pages of the nation’s music press, lumped in with Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys and a host of others in the so-called New Yorkshire scene. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t sit well with the trio. “I look back now and I think, why didn’t we enjoy those indie rock salad days a bit more?” laughs Ryan, drily. “We were so, so annoyed all the time. All we ever talked about in every meeting was just us getting completely flustered by the whole thing.” “We were just really purist and really conflicted,” Gary agrees. “If people were overlooking us for major label bands we’d be like, ‘That’s bullshit; we’re the real deal!’. But then if they did come after us, then we’d be like ‘Leave us the fuck alone! You can’t start trying to get onside with us now, where were you guys in 2002?!’”
“We could have called the album ‘Fuck Your Stupid Male Ego’...”
Yet, while the vast majority of their more willing peers eventually burnt out, faded away or, er... joined the judging panel of The Voice, The Cribs simply carried on doing what they’d always done. Having embodied an unwavering ethos of the Jarman kind embedded in zine culture, punk rock and a distinct lack of industry bullshit from the off, it’s been the backbone around which the band has been able to get away with doing whatever they please – from inviting a former Smith into their midst for 2009’s ‘Ignore The Ignorant’, to releasing piss-takingly titled 2013 ‘Best Of’ LP ‘Payola’ (a surprisingly pop star In all senses, a band like The Cribs are an anomaly. Born out move), to the cobweb-blasting record they’ve currently got of the most DIY of mentalities, their only intention initially under their belts. “Our attitudes are what people relate to the “was to send a demo to Kill Rock Stars [cult indie label, home most I think, but that’s just something that comes naturally. to Sleater-Kinney, Huggy Bear etc] and get signed specifically It’s not contrived,” stresses Gary. “We’re just realists. We told to them.” Their early shows were purposefully shambolic [see you all along...” sidebar], their self-titled first album so lo-fi that, at that point, the long-term Albini devotees considered the notoriously vis‘24-7 Rock Star Shit’ – a “deadly serious” title, cast from the ceral, unpolished punk producer’s records as “a bit too high fi, same poser-scorning, industry-bashing cloth as ‘Payola’ – or a bit too big-sounding” for their liking, says Ryan. takes all these constants and adds a rawness that harks back to those earliest days of the band. “I think it represents our
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Do you ever feel like the walls are closing in on you? 49
roots,” agrees Ryan. “Every few years, certain things come up from your past – for example, today I’m looking quite goth, which I used to be,” he gestures, eyelinered up and showing off a fetching drainpipe leather jacket / ragged black top combo. “When we were making this album, that was just where our heads were at, like the way they were a long time ago.” Having taken the more melodic approach of recent albums ‘For All My Sisters’ and ‘In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull’ “about as far as [they] could take them”, ‘24-7...’ lands as far in the other direction as you can imagine the Jarmans going. Where the likes of ‘Anna’ (from ‘ITBOTBB’) or ‘Finally Free’ (from ‘FAMS’) soared by on unashamedly big, emotive riffs, vocals leaping in tandem, the ten tracks that make up their new LP are taught, wired and brilliantly scuzzy. You only need listen to Ryan’s throat-shredding vocal turn on lead single ‘Year Of Hate’ (hell, you only need to read its title...) to know that the album is a markedly different beast to its predecessor. Of course, because this is The Cribs, there’s still a whole fistful of earworm melodies beneath the fuzz. But in terms of polish (or lack thereof), attitude and immediacy, their seventh album is probably the rawest since their first.
been and are still a big band. Their last three albums have all gone Top Ten. They recently played a huge, celebratory, sold-out anniversary tour for third album ‘Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever’ including a homecoming show at the 13,000-capacity Leeds Arena. Every summer, they notch another few small festival headline slots on to the collective bedpost. But, crucially, they’re a big band on their own terms. “We always had ambitions but it was a secondary thing. It wasn’t the priority. When bands say they wanna be the biggest band in the world, to me that says ‘I wanna be the most compromised band in the world’,” explains Ryan. “When we did Leeds Arena, it made it seem so much cooler that we did it in our own way. Even though it was an arena show, it felt like a massive club show. It was a crazy, crammed, sweaty gig. Imagine the biggest mosh pit you’ve ever seen...” “This is someone who doesn’t care about size...” Gary interjects, raising an eyebrow playfully at his brother. “Seriously though, if you want a physical manifestation of [everything we’ve been saying’]: we were the first band to ever headline Leeds Arena who showed up in a van.”
“We were the first band to ever headline Leeds Arena who showed up in a van.” - Gary Jarman
As well as keeping things interesting for themselves, however, the uncompromising nature of ‘24-7...’ also finds the band challenging the “anodyne, businesslike” nature of the wider musical world in general. If The Cribs, halfway through their second decade, can still pull some seriously polarising ‘fuck you’ moves to expectation, then so can and should everyone else. “The music scene is so strange, it feels so weird to me now. The professionalism and the facelessness of it all...” begins Ryan, visibly frustrated. “It’s a confusing time right now,” picks up Gary. “So we just thought, let’s be completely not confusing. Here’s a record we made in five days, with some dirty, aggressive songs on it and it’s called ‘24-7 Rock Star Shit’. There’s no confusion and you’ll either like it or you won’t, and that’s fine.” Ryan continues: “When you look at culture and art in general, the times that people remember are the ones with a generation gap. When the people from the generation before are annoyed that the kids are getting kicks in ways that they don’t understand. There hasn’t been anything like that for a long time [in the indie world]; now everything’s about impressing the grown ups. We’re now in our late 30s – it’s not up to us to do it – but this record is about not even trying to be a part of what’s going on.” Of course, the ultimate, satisfying punchline to this story is that, despite their refusal to play the game, The Cribs have
Teeing up the release of ‘24-7 Rock Star Shit’ by ‘leaking’ a set of ‘Year of Hate’ 7”s into record shops for hardcore fans to find (“When was the last time you remember going to a record shop, buying a 7” and having to wait to get home to play it? Not having it online and not knowing what the track sounded like? It’s magical,” explains Ross), it’s obvious The Cribs’ purist values are still as strong as ever. While their peers are busy with Instagram strategy planning and cash-cow meet and greets, they’re still the band who just want to appreciate the beauty of holding a really good record in your hands, and then playing a blistering punk show. True, they may have sonically dialled up the noise several notches, but underneath, they’re still the same old Jarmans. “When we first started the band, if someone said ‘You’ll make a record with Albini in a week and it’ll be called ‘24-7 Rock Star Shit’ and it’ll be your seventh record, we would have been completely comfortable with that,” Ryan grins. “Our only question would have been, ‘Can someone tell us exactly why it’s taken us this long?!’” The Cribs’ new album ‘24-7 Rock Star Shit’ is out 11th August via Sony Blew. DIY
The Cribs played some pretty chaotic shows back in the early days. Here are their personal favourites... Ryan: “In Wakefield, there was only one punk rock bar called Players that closed down in the late 90s. So we started putting on gigs back in 2001 in this old mill that we also rented as a studio and rehearsal room. They’d always get closed down by the cops. It was just a case of trying to make stuff happen in a place where nothing was happening.” Gary: “We played a show in 2002 around NYE at a place called McDermotts in Wakefield which is now a strip club. In that era we were trying to be more performance art; we were wearing 80s blouses and Beatles wigs and aviators. We were so unrecognisable. We used to do stuff with fake blood, and play the songs on this little wind organ. I don’t know what happened at that gig, if I got spiked or what, but I ended up getting concussed by my bass. We played ‘Another Number’ twice because I was so delirious it was the only thing I could remember. The gig ended when I was grabbed from the stage by my ankles and taken to hospital. Because I was quite incoherent, the nurses wanted to get the police involved because they thought i’d been assaulted by a gang.”
Ross: “The early shows at the Faversham around 2004 were the first time our gigs started to incite real chaos.” Ryan: “There was a lot of rumours about us in Leeds, about how we weren’t gonna make another album. So we headlined this festival called Nasty Fest, only played stuff from ‘The New Fellas’ and then took everyone out into the car park after and blasted out the album to prove we had actually made it.”
ARCADE FIRE Everything Now
some of their most
rcade Fire’s fourth album, 2013’s ‘Reflektor’, saw the Canadians truly push the boundaries of their band for the first time. The James Murphy-produced epic of world-weary disco gave them a whole new lease of life. This time around, with follow-up ‘Everything Now’, they’ve taken the reinvention even further. The album’s title track and first single opens with an Abbalite piano riff while Win Butler muses on a culture of instant
gratification. The song is an earworm, though, soon becoming irresistible. ‘Signs Of Life’ is similarly instant, incorporating pals LCD Soundsystem’s propulsive dance punk into a repetitive lyric that reads like a brilliantly apocalyptic nursery rhyme. There are some polarising moments on ‘Everything Now’ mind: the mid-section of ‘Infinite Content’ and, ahem, ‘Infinite_ Content’, pair a punky thrash repeating the lyrics “infinite content / we’re infinitely content” with a country-tinged crawl with the very same lyrics. ‘Although top-notch, ‘Creature
Everything_Now (continued) Everything Now Signs of Life Creature Comfort Peter Pan Chemistry Infinite Content Infinite_Content Electric Blue Good God Damn Put Your Money on Me We Don’t Deserve Love Everything Now (continued)
She’s done it! Régine’s found the way to Amarillo!
s k y-reaching moment s yet. Comfort’ also harbours some potentially suspect lyrics. “Don’t doubt my sincerity,” Win yelps towards the end of the song, and there are times across the album where you just have to. The band are no less self-aware amongst all this. In the same track he sings: “Assisted suicide, she dreams about dying all the time / She told me she came so close, filled up the bathtub and put on our first record,” a typically wry nod back to his band’s death-obsessed debut ‘Funeral’. Despite its complex and – arguably - self-indulgent concept, ‘Everything Now’ isn’t short on hooks - there’s bucketloads. ‘Put Your Money On Me’ is a late highlight, with Abba comparisons
cropping up once again in the gorgeous harmonies repeating the track’s title. ‘Electric Blue’ is also a sugary gem, Régine Chassagne taking the vocal reins for the first time here with brilliant, spiky results. When ‘Everything Now’ clicks, it’s magical, the band as cohesive and dynamic as ever. When pockets of the record feel more like an inside joke that could take time to cotton onto, there’s a sense that Arcade Fire’s urgent desire for, well, everything now, could be a leap too far. Their ambition is never in doubt though, and ‘Everything Now’ brings some of their most sky-reaching moments yet. (Will Richards) LISTEN: ‘Signs Of Life’, ‘Put Your Money On Me’ 53
RAT BOY SCUM (Parlophone)
Whether through his singles, or his band’s ever-moreinfamous live presence, we’ve come to know Jordan Cardy as somewhat of a scamp; a rogue who might be loveable if he’d only sit still for five minutes. And yes, there’s much on ‘Scum’ to support this view of Rat Boy: ‘Kicked Outta School’, and ‘Everyday’ echo earlier tracks’ tales of suburban hopelessness perfectly. But on this debut, Jordan and pals aren’t afraid to contrast bravado with vulnerability, and it’s in the unexpected that ‘Scum’ shines brightest. The Graham Coxon-featuring ‘Laidback’ is adorably sweet, while Mallory Merk’s velvety vocals on duet ‘Sad Sad’ make the track impossibly tender. At least for someone who’s riding a Burberry-branded scooter on the sleeve, anyway. And, as the collection is held together by tongue-in-cheek interludes voiced by Grand Theft Auto voice Lloyd Floyd - there’s even space for a politically timely antiTrump skit - there’s a pervading sense that Rat Boy’s a whole lot smarter than he’s ever allowed himself to be shown as. (Emma Swann) LISTEN: ‘Laidback’, ‘Sad Sad’
eee BABY IN VAIN
Baby In Vain’s debut is a refined collection of bruising heavy rock, which delivers its riffs with sparing precision. Standout ‘Transcendent’ wastes no time in getting savage. Doomy riffs do battle with each other and Benedicte Pierleoni’s drums are a thundering force to be reckoned with. Over the top, Andrea Thuesen Johansen calmly sings “It’s alright, it’s alright” as if trying to pull against the chaos around her. Packed with a bold sense of adventure and a refusal to retread old ground, ‘More Nothing’ will make you want to laugh, scream and throw yourself around until you’re a sweaty mess. (Rhian Daly) LISTEN: ‘Transcendent’
eeee WILLIE J HEALEY People And Their Dogs
(National Anthem / Columbia)
In the 13 tracks that make up his debut, Oxford singer Willie J Healey manages to move effortlessly between swoonsome balladry (‘Somewhere In Between’), scuzzy thrashes (‘Love Her’) and twinkling, nostalgic dreampop (‘Would You Be’), all while maintaining an unmistakeable identity throughout. What holds it all together is the doeeyed mentality in the middle. ‘People And Their Dogs’ is an album of love songs – to romance, to his pals, to the world – and while the styles Healey uses to portray them may vary wildly, the crackled crooner in the centre is there to hold your hand ‘til the end. (Lisa Wright) LISTEN: ‘Somewhere In Between’ 54 diymag.com
eee GRIZZLY BEAR
painted ruins (RCA)
Certain bands that produce masterpieces find themselves lumbered with a hangover. In the case of Grizzly Bear, their albatross is the near-perfect ‘Veckatimest’. The band’s 2012 follow-up ‘Shields’ was certainly just as inventive, but treading in similar sonic footprints, it didn’t quite stand the test of time. ‘Painted Ruins’, however takes a different tact, swapping sweeping orchestration for door-opening electronic exploration. ‘Three Rings’ glitches and fidgets, while ‘Wasted Acres’ flickers morose strings through cigarette smoke, a melancholy ballad through new eyes. An eclectic slow burner, ‘Painted Ruins’ serves more as an indication of where Grizzly Bear could head next than anything else. (El Hunt) LISTEN: ‘Mourning Sound’
Every Country’s Sun (Rock Action)
For their latest, Mogwai have crafted a scenic, filmic album, but it’s frequently a similar scene. Many tracks of beautiful dawns, but seemingly none of the moon falling from the sky of Mogwai’s past. Fittingly for a band nine albums in, ‘Every Country’s Sun’ demands respect and appreciation for its totality, and punishes those that take it at first glance. By the end one truth remains clearer than ever, across a whole album - Mogwai can really do scale. (Matthew Davies Lombardi) LISTEN: ‘Party in the Dark’
AN UNADULTERATED THRASH THROUGH EVERYTHING THE TRIO DO SO WELL. eeee
THE CRIBS 24-7 Rock Star Shit (Sonic Blew)
If there were any early indications to cling onto for the path The Cribs have taken on their seventh album, its title goes a pretty long way. ‘24-7 Rock Star Shit’ is an unadulterated thrash through everything the Wakefield trio do so well. Having made records with Johnny Marr and added all manner of elements to their sound, the band’s latest is a perfect reminder that Ryan, Gary and Ross are at their most powerful when they strip back their sound to its scrappy core. Single ‘In Your Palace’ is a riff-led beast, taking the band back to the basements they cut their teeth in, even when they can now command arenas. ‘Sticks Not Twigs’ is a reflective acoustic trip, recalling Elliott Smith, while closer ‘Broken Arrow’ ends things with a fuzz-filled blast. (Will Richards) LISTEN: ‘Sticks Not Twigs’, ‘Broken Arrow’
QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE Villains (Matador)
Worried about Mark Ronson parping his brass sections all over Queens’ sacred desert rock riffs? Worry not. If anything, he simply fine-tunes the swagger that’s been there all along. Lead single ‘The Way You Used To Do’ is their most hipswinging offering to date, while the hyperactive basslines and relentless pace of ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’-esque highlight ‘Head Like A Haunted House’ show Josh Homme’s musical tutelage of Alex Turner might run both ways. Even on its stormier moments, the record never loses its sass. As a whole, ‘Villains’ is the Californian filthmongers’ most danceable offering yet – and all the better for it. (Lisa Wright) LISTEN: ‘Head Like A Haunted House’, ‘Feet Don’t Fail Me’
INHEAVEN INHEAVEN (PIAS)
Londoners INHEAVEN have built their reputation on being a fierce live band, their grungy power-pop purpose-built for spilling over from stage to mosh pit. The risk is, of course, for any band in their position - and especially those on their debut - is that not translating to their recorded selves. That’s no worry here. As storming through small speakers as large, on this first full-length they’ve successfully distilled what makes them so infectious IRL. Opener ‘Baby’s Alright’ is every bit the anthem it promised to be way back when, while ‘Regeneration’ and ‘Vultures’ best carry the angst flag for the four-piece. Noisy, riotous, anthemic and bristling with excitement, ‘INHEAVEN’ is an album to rage along with. (Emma Swann) LISTEN: ‘Treats’, ‘Vultures’
PHOTOS: PHIL SMITHIES 55
eeee EVERYTHING EVERYTHING a fever dream (RCA)
2015’s ‘Get To Heaven’ took Everything Everything’s oddball, obtuse pop and catapulted it firmly towards daytime radio. ‘Can’t Do’, the first single from ‘A Fever Dream’, takes that chart-topping ambition and runs with it. ‘Run The Numbers’ is a blistering highlight, featuring their fiercest guitars the band have displayed thus far, while ‘Ivory Tower’ is the album’s crowning glory, a sarcastic, winking, hook-laden triumph. Jonathan Higgs manages to twist the track’s title in every different way possible across its fidgety chorus, making it near impossible to sing along to, but so catchy that it’s simply begging you to try and gleefully embarrass yourself in the process. That’s the enduring charm of Everything Everything. (Will Richards) LISTEN: ‘Ivory Tower’
eee AVEY TARE
Themes of nature hang heavy over ‘Eucalyptus’. The liner notes encourage listening at dawn or dusk and it’s quickly apparent why, seeing as there’s nothing black-and-white about this dizzying odyssey through warped takes on woozy sixties pop (‘Melody Unfair’, ‘Ms. Secret’) and richly layered funk-flecked stompers like ‘Roamer’. ‘Eucalyptus’ is a dense and challenging listen, but whilst it might alienate post-‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’ converts to Animal Collective, it might bring back those who loved ‘Campfire Songs’ but have felt disenfranchised since. (Joe Goggins) LISTEN: ‘Melody Unfair’
Missed the boat on the best albums from the last couple of months? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell (Rise)
Things are not always so black and white, and in ‘All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell’ PVRIS take ownership of the perplexities of many of life’s twists and turns with an album so full of punch that, regardless of where you think we’re sitting on the heavenly spectrum, you’ll be swept up from the off. PVRIS are at their visceral finest – exploratory lyrics and euphoric music quickly take the album from what seems like a reticence to put difficult feelings to paper, to a celebration. The confidence they ooze in what they do is more crystal clear than ever, and with each listen there feels more clarity on just what they do. PVRIS might have been to hell and back, but a new era is here, and it’s utterly brilliant. (Heather McDaid) LISTEN: ‘Separate’
Sheer Mag Need To Feel Your Love
The Philly punks mine ‘70s leather rock ‘n’ roll for all its worth on their stellar debut album proper.
Declan McKenna What Do You Think About The Car?
eeee LANA DEL REY Lust For LifE (Polydor)
Over the course of three major label albums, Lana Del Rey has made a name for herself as pop’s most adept unwrapper of darkness. Enter, then, ‘Lust For Life’. By title alone, it’s humorously upbeat and at odds with Lana Del Rey’s reputation. Frequently it bursts with undiluted hopefulness for the first time in Lana’s career. “Finally, I’m crossing the threshold,” she says straight-up on ‘Get Free,’ “from the ordinary world to the reveal of my heart”. It’s a mantra that’s representative of ‘Lust For Life’ as a whole; as well as being Lana Del Rey’s most complex sonic exploration to date - seeping with surreal turns of production - it’s a record that is prepared to be truly vulnerable, and is all the more impactful for it. (El Hunt) LISTEN: ‘Love’, ‘Get Free’ 56 diymag.com 56 diymag.com
Our Deccers proves he’s more than just a boy wonder with an album that’s as much about bangin’ indie pop as it is big subjects.
The Londoners’ welcome return comes with one huge dollop of Motown. Which is never not a good thing.
GHOSTPOET Dark Days & Canapés (Play It Again Sam)
With the world in a state of flux, it’s only natural that Ghostpoet would continue to look outwards, using the turbulent political and social climate as fuel for latest album ‘Dark Days & Canapés’. The tone here is set by his retention of the moody alt-rock that characterised 2015’s ‘Shedding Skin’. Whether it’s driving, post-apocalyptic guitars or more languid tones, each note helps evoke a sense of unease. Each element is weaved together like a subtle tapestry to create a fuller, even more evocative sound than anything he’s crafted before. Here, the music is just as important in creating a haunting, gloomy atmosphere as Ghostpoet’s words. It might well be his most musically bold but thoughtful album to date, yet another stage in Obaro Ejimiwe’s fascinating evolution. (Eugenie Johnson) LISTEN: ‘We’re Dominoes’, ‘Live>Leave’
eeee JUANITA STEIN America (Nude)
Back in 2006, when Lana Del Rey was a mere glint in plain ol’ Lizzy Grant’s eye, Juanita Stein was already conjuring her own brooding, dusky vocal magic on Aussie quartet Howling Bells’ criminally underrated debut. On her first solo effort, you can basically hear the LDR parallels being drawn, but make no mistake – lilting torch song ‘Shimmering’ and country-flecked, tear-soaked ballad ‘I’ll Cry’ are in debt to noone but Stein herself. With an utterly flawless, heart-twisting vocal throughout, ‘America’ spins tales of sorrow and betrayal and turns them into something exquisite. (Lisa Wright) LISTEN: ‘I’ll Cry’
eeee SOCCER MOMMY Collection (Fat Possum)
Conjuring up images of a proud parent whooping away at the side of a local football pitch - while sporting some sort of garish bumbag and a practical windbreaker - Soccer Mommy is actually the musical project of New York’s Sophie Allison. Quietly releasing ‘For Young Hearts’ last year - and tangling up sadness and insecurity with some first-rate songwriting in the process - ‘Collection’ is the technicolour remaster that her demo deserves. There are more shining stand-outs here than a pack of golden-iced gems, ode-to-hayfever ‘Benadryl Dreams’ and the all-synapses bared ‘Inside Out’ particularly stealing the biscuit. (El Hunt) LISTEN: ‘Benadryl Dreams’
eee THE DISTRICTS
popular manipulations (Fat Possum)
Newly relocated to sunny Margate, and back with ‘Dark Days and Canapés,’ Ghostpoet aka. Obaro Ejimiwe - talks up the benefits of the fresh sea air. Interview: Will Richards. You’re back with a new album, tell us a little bit about it... It’s an album capturing the times that we’re living in. The talented Leo Abrahams produced it and I feel it’s the best album I’ve made to date. You’ve also recently moved to Margate how are you finding life by the sea? The sea air agrees with me. I decided it was time for a change of scene and I craved a bit more space to create and think, so here we are.
There’s a sense of unease at the heart of ‘Dark Days & Canapés’ - did you feel a catharsis from finishing the album? Not really, the world’s still fucked isn’t it?
Like the more uplifting, US counterparts to Scotland’s big-hearted, downbeat emoters (see: Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad et al), Pennsylvania quartet The Districts deal in epic, gut-busting sonic climaxes and Feelings with a capital ‘F’. On third LP ‘Popular Manipulations’, it’s a well-executed ethos that should happily find them on a support tour with The National before long. There are some easy highlights in the darker, Interpol-channeling ‘Salt’ and the almost Biffy-esque ‘Point’ (were this lot Scottish in a past life?), but sometimes all the bluster and crescendo leaves you craving something simpler. Dial it down a notch or two and they could have something truly special. (Lisa Wright) LISTEN: ‘Salt’
ee GIRL RAY
Earl Grey (Moshi Moshi)
If you’re going to name your album after a variety of tea, you better make sure you brew it properly. Early singles of Girl Ray’s - the playfully woozy ‘Trouble’ (strangely omitted from this debut) and the loved-up harmonies of ‘Stupid Things’ - showed bags of promise, but all too often, ‘Earl Grey’ settles into a comfy enough rhythm, and ebbs along in a dirge of platitudes about The Great British Weather and noodling guitars. Playing off music that’s been made a million times over, ‘Earl Grey’ isn’t just a quaint look back, it’s a lukewarm cup of twee. (El Hunt) LISTEN: ‘Stupid Things’ 57
eee THE WAR ON DRUGS
A Deeper Understanding (Atlantic)
BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD with liars
Q1 What does your boat look like? Q2 Can you draw your favourite bird you sampled?
Q3 What did the Australian bush where you recorded the album look like?
Q4 Your last record was very angular and clean-sounding, a bit like the grid of LA. What do the lines that make up ‘TFCF’ look like?
The War On Drugs might have kept us waiting but ‘A Deeper Understanding’ feels like a familiar friend from the off, not derailing from the sound Adam Granduciel and pals have built up, instead adding to it. Those Springsteen-esque qualities are out in full force again - especially on ballads like ‘Knocked Down’. Theirs is still immersive music for thinking and reflecting. This record might lack its ‘Red Eyes’ but is filled with enough quality to satisfy any existing fans. (Rhys Buchanan) LISTEN: ‘Pain’
eeee NADINE SHAH
holiday destination (1965)
On her third LP, Nadine Shah is casting her eye outwards. What she sees is not pretty, especially for a second-generation immigrant. On the strident ‘Out The Way’, she questions “where would you have me go?” After opener ‘Place Like This’ has drifted away, there’s a clip of a crowd chanting “refugees are welcome here.” It’s one of the most strident moments on a record that never shies away from being political. There’s a faint glimmer of hope on closer ‘Jolly Sailor’ where she urges us to “speak of holidays / Of work that pays / Of better days,” a rallying cry to fight for something better than what we currently have. With this record she’s put a critical magnifying glass over why we should do just that. (Eugenie Johnson) LISTEN: ‘Out The Way’
eee TIGERS JAW spin (Black Cement)
Before the release of last album ‘Charmer’, two of the founding members of Scranton, Pennsylvania’s Tigers Jaw left. ‘Spin’, the band’s fourth album, is their first as a two piece, marking a new beginning, then, for Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins. Brianna’s further input across the record is a delight, at the helm on highlight ‘June’, while ‘Guardian’ is the band at their summery emo best. ‘Spin’ doesn’t come with the same urgency as the band’s self-titled debut or its follow-up ‘Two Worlds’, but is a promising, varied hint at the future. (Will Richards) LISTEN: ‘June’
LIARS TFCF (Mute)
Liars are a band with a fair few masterpieces, but ‘TFCF’ seems more like the unexpected exhibition of a sketchbook. A raw and unabridged document of the turmoil at the heart of Liars’ creative force, Angus Andrew, and now sole member, the album seems more something that Andrew needed to release than a coherent next chapter in Liars’ strange narrative. From opener ‘The Grand Delusional’, ‘TFCF’ slopes around in the murky haze, creeping through a fog of disembodied trademark sinister tones and disorientating bursts of sound without the previous recognisable patterns and builds. Shorn of every accessory, everything to mask the sharp taste, the familiar duality of Liars is starker than ever. (Matthew Davies Lombardi) LISTEN: ‘No Tree No Branch’ 58 diymag.com
COMINGup: WOLF ALICE
Visions of a Life
Easily the most anticipated record at DIY HQ since… well, their debut, with top banger ‘Yuk Foo’ and the sublime ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’ in tow, it’s gonna be a good’un.
If there’s a bigger introduction to a record EVER - than ‘The Man’, then we’re yet to hear it. Here’s to the rest of The Killers’ return being as bombastic.
Try Not To Freak Out
Pogo-ing pop-punk at its best, the Norwegians keep putting out smasher after smasher, meaning this debut full-length is bound to be brilliant. It’s out 15th Sept.
Maya had taken an hour off her shift down the brickyard to headline Mad Cool.
MAD FER IT M.I.A.
60 diymag.com 60 diymag.com
Caja Mágica, Madrid. Photos: Emma Swann.
I FOO FIGHTERS
t’s difficult to imagine anything but scorching sunshine in the middle of Spain in July. But this weekend the heavens very much open over Madrid. Luckily, it’s not enough to put a dampener on the opening day of Mad Cool: with both George Ezra and Warpaint helping to kick it off, the showers soon disappear in favour of evening sunshine. Foo Fighters are very much business as usual. Dave Grohl wastes little time in goading his audience, teasing the crowd about whose voice will let out first and, unsurprisingly, it’s not his. The likes of ‘Everlong’, ‘My Hero’ and ‘Times Like These’ still tug on nostalgic heartstrings, while new cut ‘Run’ sounds blisteringly good. It’s a headline set that manages to encapsulate all that’s great about the Foos: from showing off their more experimental side with the likes of ‘Congregation’, to pulling out all the stops for gorgeous closer ‘Best of You’.
While another day of rain threatens to seep in, by the time Deap Vally take to the stage, the early evening sun has appeared. It’s the perfect accompaniment for the Californian duo, who waste little time in causing a ruckus. LP2 cuts like ‘Smile More’ and ‘Royal Jelly’ are real scorchers, and get the day off to a satisfyingly noisy start. On the other side of Caja Mágica, alt-J are whipping up a frenzy. Kicking things off with ‘3WW’, their set is a journey through their back catalogue. From ‘In Cold Blood’ to ‘Fitzpleasure’ and ‘Tessellate’, theirs is a set that feels both dark and light; intense yet freeing all at the same time. It’s around the same time that Ryan Adams decides to take on the trio in a battle of volume. As he shreds away on the other side of the site he encourages the crowd to make more noise, before closing with the blinding one-two of ‘Come Pick Me Up’ and ‘Shakedown on 9th Street’
before a solo rendition of ‘My Winding Wheel’. It’s in the lead up to tonight’s headliners that the widely reported incident involving the death of performance artist Pedro Aunión Monroy occurs. After some delays, the event is given the green light to continue by the authorities and festival themselves, with Green Day hitting the stage soon afterwards. While there is, admittedly, a strange feeling in the air, the headliners’ show marks the final show on the band’s European tour, and there’s no holding them back. This is a band well-versed in the art of headlining a festival. Whipping through the likes of ‘Know Your Enemy’, ‘Holiday’ and ‘Longview’ early on, the crowd sing every word back with a real sense of conviction, while frontman Billie Joe Armstrong is the perfect conductor. Getting things started on the final day, Anna of the North shines brightly, before the ferocious Savages begin their assault. Unsurprisingly, the quartet are as commanding and thunderous on stage as they are on record and their set quickly becomes one of the stand outs of the weekend. In contrast, tonight’s headliners feel a little lacklustre. Kings of Leon have been accomplished bill-toppers for years now, but their show tonight just doesn’t quite pack a punch. Leaning heavily on their newer material and appearing a little too tired of the road, it’s just a bit of a shame, really. By the time the Tennessee quartet finish their set, most of the festival have made their way towards the comparatively tiny stage M.I.A. is about to play. For those revellers hoping for a high to end their festival with, she delivers in droves. A master when it comes to both making a statement and getting people moving, M.I.A also provides the perfect note to end Mad Cool on. (Sarah Jamieson)
GOAT GIRL GLASS ANIMALS
THE MAGIC GANG
RAISING THE BAA LATITUDE
MUMFORD & SONS
Henham Park, Suffolk. Photos: Phil Smithies.
cross the tour for The 1975’s second album ‘i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it’, Matty Healy and co. have become one of the most brilliant bands in the country, and indeed the world. Bringing chaos, controversy and glamour wherever he treads, the band’s leader is as unpredictable and entertaining as every rockstar dreams to be. Their set to end the first day of this year’s Latitude marks the end of the two year-long tour for the album, and sees The 1975 looking firmly into the future. From the second ‘Love Me’ opens the set, Healy is a livewire, flitting between flouncy and brutally sincere. He even starts a Jeremy Corbyn chant at one point - it’s never less than captivating. If Matty’s calculations are correct, ‘Music For Cars’ will begin in less than a year, and will see The 1975 become the biggest band in the world. They’re already one of the best. Day Two sees Glass Animals dominate the festival’s main stage, and there’s an unshakeable confidence to everything the quartet do at the moment. They’re followed by two contrasting sets on the Lake Stage: Nilüfer Yanya is soothing and magical, while IDLES are brutal and uncompromising. Mumford & Sons then close out the day with a celebratory set packed with friends and collaborators.
Sunday belongs to a host of exciting, young British bands making a racket in all different forms. A soothing early set from Girl Ray is followed by a completely different proposition in the form of Goat Girl. Sitting among a crop of exciting acts bursting out of South London, the fourpiece crash and roll their way through their twisted brand of rock’n’roll. Creepy nursery rhyme-style vocals meet invigorating gang chants, and there’s a momentum to every moment of this afternoon’s set that makes it certain that Goat Girl are only going to get bigger. Down on the Lake Stage, Matt Maltese is making one of his first performances as part of a three-piece, and it’s a thoroughly exciting transition. Dream Wife then continue to clatter through a summer that carries them through towards the release of their debut album, before The Magic Gang round off a day packed with promise. Latitude has always been notorious for placing fresh new British bands on their biggest stage yet, and today might be the best example of the plan in action in the festival’s history. (Will Richards)
NOS ALIVE (+ KICKING) Citadel
Victoria Park, London. Photo: Robin Pope.
f there’s an award for Most Excited To Be At Citadel, then Maggie Rogers takes the crown. Bounding around the main stage, she barely stands still, and by a closing rendition of ‘Alaska’, her infectious enthusiasm has taken over the whole field.
Laura Marling might have been doing this kind of thing for a decade now, but today, the ever-composed singer looks like she’s genuinely having fun. Following her, Wild Beasts’ set is a far lustier, more untamed creature, the band thrusting and hip-swinging their way through with gloriously filthy aplomb. Londoners Yonaka round off DIY at the Kopparberg Urban Forest with a set that shows they’ll be gracing stages far larger in no time. Singer Theresa Jarvis is already a superstar in waiting. And so to the main event. With more than 35,000 people all congregating at the main stage, tonight technically marks Foals’ biggest London headline to date. And while it’s a proven fact that their recent heavy hitters sound monstrously huge, tonight’s set goes a good way to proving that Foals have always sounded this massive, they just needed the stage to catch up with them. Plucking out a host of fan favourites, tonight’s debut albumheavy set swings between the old and the new without ever losing focus. ‘Electric Bloom’ is the kind of intense, cathartic scream of a track that sets the tone for ‘Inhaler’ perfectly. In their slower moments, Foals are a quiet apocalypse brewing under the surface; in the big hitters, they’re an unstoppable, abrasive punch in the gut. At no point does the energy dip below utterly electric. Long may they reign. (Lisa Wright)
Passeio Marítimo de Algés, Lisbon. Photo: Andrew Benge.
nder the baking Portuguese sun, Phoenix help kick off a sizzling NOS Alive, a festival that takes over Lisbon’s docklands for one July weekend, perfoming a set filled with mountains of joy. The xx are ecstatic in a different way, tracks from ‘I See You’ sounding transcendent, while The Weeknd’s dark R&B, although a little stodgy in the middle, pretty much proves why he’s a ‘Starboy’. Currently celebrating 15 years together, on Day Two The Kills don’t have anything left to prove. But just because Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart have been around for a decade and a half doesn’t mean they’re taking things easy. Instead, they cram their career-spanning set full of bluesy, dirty riffs, switching it up between pounding, organic percussion and snapping electronic drum
beats that keep things as fresh, alive and fierce as ever. The final night welcomes the gravelly blues-punk of Benjamin Booker and a fun set from Spoon that gets the crowd moving, as well as Fleet Foxes. who come with new album ‘Crack-Up’. After six years of being away, though, it’s older numbers like ‘Your Protector’ and ‘Battery Kinzie’ that pack a heck of an emotional punch. Headliners Depeche Mode bring the firepower too, ramming their careerspanning set with iconic hits. At one point the crowd are so vocal that Dave Gahan and Martin Gore are all but drowned out on both the triumphant ‘Enjoy The Silence’ and ‘Personal Jesus’. With tracks from ‘Wildflower’ in tow, The Avalanches’ genre-bending set feels like the perfect climax to an event that puts musical diversity at its heart. (Eugenie Johnson) 63
MORE BANGERS, LESS WAFFLE(S) Rock Werchter
Festivalpark, Werchter. Photos: Emma Swann.
ake Belgium Rage Again” isn’t a sentence you’d expect to hear broadcast across a field, well, anywhere. But that’s what Prophets of Rage have Rock Werchter shouting on this windy Thursday afternoon. Beth Ditto later charms her way through an early-evening set - ‘We Could Run’ already a certified smash - before Lorde strips things back in the cavernous Barn tent to sparkling results. After her huge, immaculately produced Glastonbury set the week before, which saw her spending half the set in a huge suspended glass box, tonight’s set pushes her band and her vocals to the fore. The results are maybe even more impressive. A quick dash back over to the main stage sees Arcade Fire’s Win Butler on cutting, sarcastic form. “We’ve been here three or four times before, and I don’t get it, do you still like our music?” he winks, asking the crowd for an inch of the gusto the band provide on ‘No Cars Go’, and the crowd respond emphatically. The set strikes the perfect balance between old and new, stadium-ready shiners and the band’s trademark intimacy. Day Two sees Royal Blood and Dua Lipa cement their superstardom in these parts, both playing to monstrous crowds. James Blake then slightly falters on a huge main stage
slot, before Radiohead finish off with a glorious, hit-packed celebration. Closing with ‘Karma Police’, the set is a stunning reminder that they remain an impossibly interesting outfit. It’s bitterly cold and horribly wet when Frank Carter strides out to open the main stage with The Rattlesnakes on Day Three. If anyone can liven up a sodden crowd though, it’s Carter, and he proceeds to do just that. Charli XCX then puts in undoubtedly the set of the day. Older cuts ‘Break The Rules’ and ‘Boom Clap’ fit seamlessly alongside the slinky, brilliant ‘3AM (Pull Up)’ and ‘Lipgloss’ from ‘Number 1 Angel’, and Charli’s stage presence is growing with every next show.
The festival’s final day is kicked off by Noname, whose set showcases highlights from last year’s excellent ‘Telefone’ mixtape. Later, Warpaint are on fire. A notoriously on-off live band, tonight the LA quartet show that when their chemistry is at its peak, there’s no band who bounce off each other onstage quite like them. By the time ‘New Song’ and ‘Disco//Very’ close the set, they’ve scaled every inch of the stage. A homecoming Soulwax impress before Foo Fighters close the festival in the only way they know how: with bucketloads of hits and enthusiasm that could last a lifetime, sending thousands home with beaming smiles. (Will Richards)
The Maccabees Alexandra Palace, London. Photo: Tim Easton.
O THE MACCABEES
n a good day, with the right crowd, a main stage headliner might soak up a solid 15-second cheer at the end of their set. Tonight, at their final ever gig, The Maccabees get that after every single song. Somehow holding it together far more coherently than a good portion of the crowd, singer Orlando Weeks and guitarist Felix White take turns in introducing their back catalogue. “We’re in North London, which is wonderful. But in South London, we’ve got a leisure centre…” begins the frontman before launching into ‘Latchmere’. Later, Felix invites the crowd to boo the band for splitting to get it out of their systems. Before ‘First Love’, Orlando raises his hands aloft, making a heart shape as the entire crowd returns the gesture in tandem. It’s all, to be honest, just a bit too much to handle. Fully going in for one last hurrah, they bring out old pals Mystery Jets and Jack Peñate for a rousing ‘Something Like Happiness’, while Jamie T lends his fretwork to ‘Marks To Prove It’. There’s confetti. There’s a deafening sing-a-long. And as the final notes play out and a solid five minutes of whoops and howls keep the band on stage hugging and bowing long after the music’s stopped, a screen above the stage simply reads ’Thank You’. No honestly guys, thank you. (Lisa Wright)
Super Bock Super Rock Parque das Nações, Lisbon. Photo: Louise Mason.
K FAT BOY SLIM
icking off Super Bock is a task best left to Red Hot Chili Peppers. Few other bands would have the brazenness to play a song as ubiquitous as ‘Can’t Stop’ as their opener, but then again, few bands are Red Hot Chili Peppers. “This one’s for all the Portuguese dogs!” yells Flea for no particular reason. They’re received with the sort of screams usually reserved for the likes of One Direction (R.I.P) and while newies don’t connect with the same velocity as ‘By The Way’ and ‘Californication,’ it’s everything you’d expect, really.
Saturday night sees an onslaught of a different variety, courtesy of Deftones. Dominated by 2000’s ‘White Pony’, with choice cuts from across the band’s 19 year heft of material, there’s plenty of light and shade hidden beneath the snarling noise. Switching gears abruptly, in swaggers a Hawaiian shirt-clad Fatboy Slim to close up the festival with his super-smoothie of massive samples, goofy deck antics, and a lot of screens featuring a lot of fastrotating naughty sweeties in various shades of blue. Attendees clearly got the memo; long after he whizzes off-stage, the party carries on all night. (El Hunt)
Glasgow Green. Photos: Sinéad Grainger.
housands of music fans have embarked upon Glasgow Green for the first ever TRNSMT. Friday’s Jack Rocks stage closes with a bang, Black Honey pulling a crowd as far as the eye can see, and being one of the best bands of the festival. Later, to say there’s anticipation around headliners Radiohead’s set is an understatement. Tonight has a rare outing for the gorgeous ‘Reckoner’, while ‘No Surprises’ gets the biggest cheer of the night. Saturday bill-toppers Kasabian have hearts racing from the first blip of the heart monitor the band come on to, before bursting right into ‘Ill Ray.’ It’s obvious they’re right in their comfort zone, bringing out banger after banger. As the final day looms, there’s just one phrase on TRNSMT’s lips: “’mon the Biff”. Before the headliners, though, there’s a dance party courtesy of Two Door Cinema Club, before The 1975 deliver a perfect set. Finally, the fans who’ve been clinging to the barrier all day get the set they’ve been waiting for. The arena welcomes Biffy Clyro with a roar; the band answer with ‘Wolves of Winter’. Then as Simon Neil concludes “Not to blow smoke up your balls but this is the best show we’ve ever played”, the crowd sense it’s going to be hard for TRNSMT to top this. (Danielle Wilson)
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Chosen subject: GILMORE GIRLS What does Rory steal from Doose’s market after Dean kisses her? I don’t know. His pen? No, it’s a box of cornflour. Has anyone ever failed their whole specialist subject? What is the theme of the DAR function Rory plans when the Huntzbergers show up? Oh, I don’t know the exact name, but it’s a kind of war get up. It’s the army, correct. Name three businesses Kirk sets up throughout the show. Uber - or oooober. He became a movie director? Does that count? Did he do candied apples? No, you could have any of: Printing daily t-shirts with local businesses,
SCORE 3.5/10 Verdict: It’s not that bad.
A note from our contestant: “They were very specific questions. I’m a little disappointed but I think they were tough and I’ve watched every single episode recently so I just want people to know that.”
toiletries range called Hay There, oooober (alternative to Uber), one of a kind mailbox salesman, bath and shower adhesives salesman, dog walker, Yummy Bartenders, engagement ring salesman, Kirk’s Diner, wrapping paper salesman. What confusing present does Logan give to Rory when he moves to London? I’m gonna say, I don’t know, earrings or something? It’s a model of a rocket. Shit! I know all this stuff. What is the historic name the Dragonfly Inn is situated on? It’s about poo and death or something. It’s Sores and Boils Alley. Score:
General Knowledge What’s the smallest country in Europe? Luxembourg? Switzerland? Portugal? Erm... Monaco? No, it’s Vatican City. That’s a trick question!
What is the biggest organ in the human body? Size wise? Lungs? [Isaac from the side shouts ‘skin!’] Yes, it is skin, but you only get half a point for cheating.
What are Bucatini and Busiate types of? Pasta. Correct!
What is the distinguishing feature of a pig’s penis? It’s a corkscrew! Correct! More questions about willies please!
In what year did Britney shave off her hair? 2008? Close but not quite, it was 2007.
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AUGUST 25TH INCLUDES ‘THINKING OF A PLACE’, ‘HOLDING ON’ AND ‘PAIN’ 68 diymag.com