Page 1



Summer 2011







SPLIT Festival, Hyde & Beast album release, BEAK Yellow Edition

Live Reviews

9 - 13

OFB 10, Beats Happening, Hyde & Beast, Glasvegas

Sarah Hall

14 - 15

Demo and Track Reviews

16 - 17

This Little Bird, The Union Choir, Reckoner, Holy Mammoth

Holy Mammoth

18 - 19


20- 21

Ryan Adams live in Amsterdam

22 - 23

Album Review

24 - 25

Ian West

26 - 27

Simpsons pictures that I gone and done


Bedroom Poets

29 - 31

Joe versus the Volcano

32 - 33

Discount Horse


Kathryn Robertson


On this day...


The Mountain Goats see America right

36 - 37



Tel: 0191 567 6770

ISSUE #2 SUMMER 2011 CONTRIBUTORS EDITOR: Richard Smith WRITERS: Richard Smith Martin Longstaff Dan Carson Morris Ford Nicola Wright Emma Howe Glen Keogh Matt Stalker Simon Whitehead Dee Chaneva ART/DESIGN: Christopher Atkinson Rebecca Young Paul Burgess PRINT: kall kwik Sunderland

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BRIGHT was the summer's noon when quickening steps Followed each other till a dreary moor Was crossed, a bare ridge clomb, upon whose top Standing alone, as from a rampart's edge, I overlooked the bed of Windermere, Like a vast river, stretching in the sun. With exultation, at my feet I saw Lake, islands, promontories, gleaming bays, A universe of Nature's fairest forms Proudly revealed with instantaneous burst,


and welcome to the second edition of Little River! First of all thank you to all that read the first edition, we really appreciate it. Summer is now upon us and what better way to make the most of the sun than to fill this issue up to the brim with all this summers goings on. Our blue sky bumper pack is filled up with musical goodness from in and around the north east. We also have a few new features in this issue like ‘Bedroom poets’ and a very special interview alongside gig reviews, demos and plenty more. No word counts, just quality and interesting writing. For artists, by artists. RS

Magnificent, and beautiful, and gay. WORDSWORTH





fter the disappointing still birth of the inaugural Skinny Twins Festival and the sudden, dramatic demise of Ignition a matter of hours rather than days before the first act was due to step onstage, you’d certainly need to be a glass half full type of person not to doubt the ability of the Split organisers to turn this summer’s open air music hoodoo around. A quick glance at the line-up of this year’s third annual Split Festival suggests the organisers haven’t merely hauled the North East’s festival circuit off the canvas in the twelfth round, they’ve gone one further and landed a brutal knockout blow on the doubters, found a cure for the post – holiday blues and solved the budget deficit crisis to boot. Well, maybe not the last one but with a bill boasting The Drums, Mystery Jets, The Charlatans and Frankie & The Heartstrings amongst dozens of other exciting acts, the Split team have made anything seem possible. The diverse line-up of this year’s Split really emphasizes how the event has come on leaps and bounds since its inception in the summer of 2009. The much vaunted return of Mystery Jets to Wearside and the booking of New Yorkers, The Drums are the sort of profile boosting coups that will hopefully help take the festival to the next level. Up and coming local acts are strongly represented in the form of Chased By Wolves, The Lake Poets and Grandfather Birds amongst others on both the Main Stage and the Fringe Tent.

festival and partly down to our connections within the music industry and they’ve been able to get involved and influence things a little bit. Last year it was all about who knew who, so we managed to get Maximo Park and The Futureheads because they are local lads and they were quite looking forward to taking part in it.” However, Deverson knows that the difference between success and failure relies on a demand for tickets. This is ever more poignant in a summer where the North East has lost music festivals faster than JD in Tottenham lost size 9 trainers, the gamble is an incredibly brave move, “This year we had to be bolder and look further afield. Of course it has cost us a lot more money and that’s why we take a risk at the start in the sense that if we didn’t sell that right amount of tickets we wouldn’t be heading in the right direction.” The festival will take place over the weekend of Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th September at Ashbrooke Cricket Ground with the gates opening at noon. Early bird tickets are available on the official Split website, priced at £20 for a day and £35 for the whole weekend of superb live music.

Speaking in an interview with Split’s official newsletter, The Split Gazette, chairman Rob Deverson felt that the bookings were proof of the festival’s growing reputation, “I think it’s partly down to the kudos of the 5

NEWS DAN’S 5 YOU MUST SEE AT SPLIT: THE DRUMS, Main Stage, Saturday – New single ‘Money’ suggests that when guitarist Adam Kessler left the band, The Drums were never intending to reinvent the wheel with their blend of melancholic lyricism splashed liberally across a backdrop of lo-fi sunburst guitar reverb. As the old adage goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. AJIMAL, Fringe Tent, Saturday – Fran O’ Hanlon’s brand of glacial folk music won’t necessarily receive the most raucous reception of an otherwise up tempo bill on Saturday but the Newcastle songsmith’s ghostly piano driven sound could well be a refreshing tonic for those too hungover to face the Main Stage. GANGLIANS, Main Stage, Sunday – Sacramento surf slackers Ganglians could be the surprise package of the whole festival, their unfeasibly upbeat rhythms perfectly disguising the deadpan misery within their lyrics. ‘Drop The Act’ will rival The Drums’ ‘Surfing’ and your holiday bed-hopping exploits in Magaluf for the most infectious moment of this Summer. LITTLE COMETS, Main Stage, Saturday – The departure of drummer, vocalist and former boy band pin up Mark Harle will have come as a bitter blow for Newcastle’s most recent breakthrough act. Luckily for them, songs like ‘Joanna’ and ‘Adultery’ were made for occasions such as this one and with a setlist crammed with an arsenal of other festival anthems in waiting, the Comets are a safe bet to delight a pleasantly inebriated afternoon crowd. HYDE & BEAST, Main Stage, Sunday – At the time of writing, Hyde & Beast’s first album, ‘Slow Down’ has just hit record store shelves to a rapturous critical response. Not that this should surprise anyone who has caught one of their stunning live performances recently. Expect a thick slab of Americana served up alongside bluesy guitars, pitch perfect harmonies and a plethora of cameo appearances from Sunderland’s finest musical alumni. DC 6


HYDE & BEAST ALBUM RELEASE Hyde & Beast might just be the most interesting and colourful band to come out of the north east music scene in a long time. The last issue of LR saw a feature on the band but for those who may have missed it lets refresh your memory. Hyde (Dave Hyde, Futureheads drummer) and Beast (Neil Basset, Golden virgins drummer) got together a while back with their hearts set on creating something they thought the rest of the world wouldn't necessarily like, well now its too late and we all love it. You just need to check any reputable music magazine, online blog or just the word on the street to see/hear it. You can pick up the debut album 'Slow down' from record shops or online at Recordstore, Piccadilly records, amazon, Rough Trade Records or from iTunes (where you can also buy a special bonus track). Go buy it and be transported to a place far more insanely beautiful than this grey British summer is allowing us to be. RS "Their neatly crafted debut is rammed with mellow psych-pop gems" TIME OUT "Forget assumptions, just listen to this record" 8/10, NME "A bucolic, psychedelic album that sounds like a lost Beatles and Bolan session recorded during 'Let It Be' ...Bravura arrangements and groovy tunes makes 'Slow Down' feel like a Wearside scene labour of love" *** UNCUT

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B>E>A>K RELEASE ‘THE YELLOW EDITION’ FROM THEIR THE LIFE OF BIRDS FREE DOWNLOAD SERIES RELEASE This summer sees the release of ‘The Yellow Edition’ from Sunderland feathered instrumental rock quintet B>E>A>K. The free download is the 2nd release from the band’s ongoing series ‘The Life of Birds’ and follows the success of the ‘The Red Edition’, which kick started the series back in March. The Yellow Edition features new track ‘Only the Crow Knows’ as well as a rerecorded version of an old favourite ’Pecky Bird’. The two tracks are the next step in the vibrant musical journey taking the listener through the life of birds, represented in this edition by the adventures of the wily and wise old Crow and the cheeky little Pecky Bird. Driving, dynamic and powerful – The Yellow Edition tracks are a great example of B>E>A>K’s ability to forge stomping yet beautifully crafted riffs, creating an atmospheric soundscape with a unique blend of impressive intricacy and blissful simplicity. Each edition of the ‘The Life of Birds’ series will be presented to fans by a different B>E>A>K band member via the bands’ Band Camp site and The Yellow Edition will be available to download from the site for free from July 2011 through The Audacious Art Experiment in the UK and Petit Records in Europe. 8

The release will be accompanied by a promotional video. Revered as one of the north-east’s most vibrant and entertaining live bands, B>E>A>K consist of a group of experienced local musicians all heavily involved in the region’s music scene – with members of bands such as Coal Train, Razmataz Lorry Excitement, This Aint Vegas, Field Music & Where the Sea Starts, The Lake Poets and Cries & Wild Eyes. As a live act, B>E>A>K are not to be missed. With each member brightly colour coordinated and masked, B>E>A>K dominate the venue with a hugely energetic and mesmerizing live show, actively encouraging audience participation and interaction with the crowd. This bond between band and audience has generated an excited and enthusiastic reaction from gig goers up and down the country and has earned B>E>A>K a reputation as force to be reckoned with within the national live music scene. B>E>A>K play Split Festival in September. Get ya BEAK on! 30734886167 BM LITTLE RIVER FANZINE #2 Summer 2011



ets go to the darkest room we can find. It will be charming with its dimly lit corners and candles in jars, with wooden pillars holding up the remnants of a space that appears so fragile, one gust of cold North East wind will have the roof away and leave you looking up at the stars. Seriously, don’t make me gag. For all of my shortcomings, romance appears not to be dead, partly down to nights and gigs like Independents Old Friends Bookends. The Little Room is one hell of a venue, and gigs like tonight are a shiny example of how well a smaller space can be used to showcase some breathtakingly fragile music. An un-expected announcement awaited my arrival as I was informed that support Martha Cook would not be in attendance and instead I was to be treated to a few melancholic tracks from the beautifully crafted tones of Richard Smith (Chased By Wolves). It was refreshing to hear a stripped back version of songs that I have become very familiar with, a peculiar yet satisfying experience to hear the absence of all that surrounds their normal sound. It suited me and the occasion just fine. As beguiling as his vocals are, the

intelligence and longing of Richard Smith’s lyrics are enough to make you throw an arm around your Mrs and ask if she wants a drink, told you I was romantic. Something that didn’t go unnoticed as Richard Smith’s own Mrs, This Little Bird, took to the stage and immediately asked for something to soothe her soon to be tender chords. Romance Is Not Dead, shone with some amiable, understated lyrics that have to be one of the strongest feathers in this birds wing. Although Smith, a more established artist on the local scene, took to the stage to accompany This Little Bird (Rebecca Young) on a few tracks, not for one moment did it detract from her overwhelmingly emotive folk-based treasure of a vocal performance, she strums her guitar pretty decent too. >>>


LIVE REVIEWS >>> Rounding off the night was Emil Friis. It was as if they cared not for the atmosphere that had so gently took hold of the room and instead decided to smack you with some snazzy beach boy-esque shirts and Nordic Country Rock, creating a whole new atmosphere of their own. Not that I or anyone sane in the room was complaining. Tina Turner said it best….’whats love got to do with it’. Emil and his band did not seem out of place in the room, in fact it transformed it into a whole new setting, just another fine example of the strength of the venue. The musicianship was perfectly crafted, and although Emil’s chirruping shared a distinctive Dylan sound, the harmonic picking of the brilliant lead guitar set the rhythm for the set, one minute leading you on a march through a track before resigning you to plod to another. There is nothing too original about Emil Friss however, like the candle jars lighting the room, maybe that is part of their charm. EH



he second night at Ashbrooke Cricket Club since Beats Happening's recent revival, The Ditchburn Rooms once again boast an impressive line up. Opening were new kids James and the Wolf. Recently formed from the ashes of Sea of Glass, and continuing the apparent trend for bands to be christened after the wild members of the canine family, James and the Wolf bring some cheeky indie fare to the table. Upbeat, likable, and well performed, I know I enjoyed their set, but once it was over, I struggled to recall much about it. They were sort of like the indie equivalent of those rubbish, yet well-tailored monsters on Doctor Who. Except not intent on the destruction of our planet. They weren't bad by any means, I would certainly see them again, they just weren't anything to write home about. In these times of indie-rock saturation it's only those armed with considerable talent or at the very least some sort of gimmick that stand out, and at the moment at least, James and the Wolf just don't shine quite as brightly as some of their peers. Newcastle's Young Liar however, have both talent and dissimilarity in heaps. A dark, instrumental five-piece,



Young Liar show exactly how to speak with music and not words with their impassioned, intense live show. Dramatic hooks and heart-break chord changes create swathing, powerful surges of industrialsized noise that are enough to get lost in. Lastly, Sunderland's own Coal Train take the stage. That The Ditchburn Rooms is the sort of venue you'd be more likely to attend a crap wedding in than a gig, complete with disco lights and huge round tables, you wouldn't know by this time. The crowd have packed in like sardines to see Coal Train's first gig since their short European tour last month. Storming as the boys' performance was, the risk of getting my eye gouged out by singer Richard Amundsen's guitar head no doubt added to the excitement. To be fair though, after such a cracking and fervent show I'd probably view it as a badge of honour; ‘Hey look everyone, I got my nose broken by COAL TRAIN!'

Touting some rarely heard tracks alongside favourites such as ‘Wish List' and ‘Tall Ships', Coal Train showed once again that can do it all; the big post-rock anthems reminiscent of previous incarnation This Ain't Vegas, and the delicate, pianoled affairs like ‘Building Dens' that pair John Beattie's keys with Amundsen's poignant vocals. Ending on new single ‘Carry You On My Shoulders', the band tie up a set that's exemplary of the drive and vigour that makes them on of the region's best live bands. NW

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very band remembers their first gig. Usually for all the wrong reasons. You're playing in a grubby back room of a pub. The football's on so one's listening. Except your mum. And you're so nervous that by the end of the set you've forgotten what your band is called. Not that it matters, the whole thing was better off forgotten anyway. As such, a band's first gig isn't usually a fair one to review. It's just as well then, that Hyde and Beast aren't your average band. Comprised of Futureheads drummer Dave Hyde, and former Golden Virgins sticksman turned superproducer Neil ‘Beast' Bassett, Hyde and Beast were born of a lack of anything that the duo wanted to listen to while hanging out at Bassett's house. After recording an album to satisfy this requirement in Bassett's Room3Recording studio, they've decided to go public with it, and at tonight's secret gig, the boys will be shaking loose their live performance virginity. Tucked into Independent's Little Room, a crowd of music fans and local dignitaries gather in anticipation of the duo's live debut. Pals including Golden Virgin's frontman Lucas Renney and The Futureheads' Barry Hyde step in to make up a six-piece, as Dave Hyde takes his new position at the front and centre. From the first blunt, twanged notes of ‘If You Could Buy Me Anything', it's clear that this is something special. After all, these songs were never intended


for the auricles of the wider world, and as a result, bear nothing of the expectations or influences of others; they're completely organic and unprocessed, and that spirited freewheeling carries over into their live show. What started out as friends jamming in a studio has only evolved as far as being presented to outside ears, and the rustic, unstructured vibe of the tracks is fully present here. Comparisons will inevitably be drawn to the likes of The Beach Boys, T-Rex and The Velvet Underground, but standing here watching them unveil their baby to a room of elated punters, there's an undeniable feeling that this is not just sixties pop revival, but altogether something more gorgeous, more enchanting. Without a drum kit to hide behind, the notably laconic Dave Hyde is clearly uneasy about his new frontman status, and when teased by his band mates to speak to the audience and explain the origin of the songs, Hyde replies only with a curt and unrepeatable retort. But Hyde and Beast are not about between-song banter; the charisma and ambiance of the songs speak for themselves. The band sail through a short set of intoxicating, balmy tracks, and for all we're in a cramped room on Holmeside, we might as well be strolling in the sun somewhere sometime forty years ago, feathers in hair. And that is the beauty of Hyde and Beast, and of all truly great performances; transportation. NW




athed in the dimming twilight of a sleepy Sunday on Holmeside, Glasvegas’ extensive tour cavalcade cut an unusual shape against a backdrop of discount supermarkets, Mecca bingo and run down vintage stores. The sight of this almost presidential array of vehicles only served to fuel the fire of the audience’s collective desire, for Glasvegas to produce a masterclass in rapturous, life-affirming live music and for Sunderland to finally slap its name down on the map as a credible city for touring bands to visit.

Grasping at a two-pinter of Kronenbourg as the dreamy chords of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata accompanied James Allan’s frantic whispering, ‘You don’t know my family, or their capabilities’. It was hard to tell what was giving me more goose bumps, the beer or ‘Stabbed’. Allan looking resplendent all in white languidly draping himself over his mic as Glasvegas’ rhythm section hurtle straight into a hypnotic rendition of ‘The World Is Yours’. The atmosphere was tense, more ‘Stabbed’ than ‘EUPHORIC/// HEARTBREAK\\\’, the fraying nerves of their piano led intro seem so fitting under the circumstances as the crowd began to turn on Allan with accusations of miming following his admittedly somewhat muted vocal on ‘It’s My Own Cheating Heart’. The confrontational Allan seemed galvanised but ‘Euphoria Take My Hand’ threw the issue open once again with boos ringing out from some sections of the audience. What should have been a grandiose,

ventricle-wrenching synth stomper fell flat and wilted under the fluorescent green stage lighting. The quality of their own sound equipment could be called into question along with Allan’s vocals but you can’t help think that Glasvegas don’t seem to have quite worked out how to translate the juxtaposed serenity and ecstasy of their new material into their live show. ‘Daddy’s Gone’ rounds off a three song encore with Allan squeezing every last drop of his energy into the song, with the crowd seemingly pacified and bellowing every line in tandem with the frontman. Glasvegas mightn’t have been at their best tonight but they still have that empathy, that power to unite five hundred near strangers through music. Now that’s euphoria. DC





ILLUSTRATIONS: SARAH HALL http://sarahha llillustrates.

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DEMO/TRACK REVIEWS THIS LITTLE BIRD - ROMANCE IS NOT DEAD The first thing I want to say about this song is that it really, really grips me. “Romance is not dead” tells a story of hopefulness, lust and love that just cannot be ignored. Whilst painting a beautiful picture of how two people meet and fall in love with the lyrics, the music just takes off and gains control of you for three and a half minutes. After the first four chords get your head nodding you’re greeted with a short verse that perfectly settles you into the song and makes way for one of the best chorus's I've ever herd. The lyrics “There’s romance left in this old town, so I could be your whiskey and you could be my red, red wine” and the way in which it’s sung just knocks me out, it’s beautiful. The perfectly placed harmony gives the song another level that draws you closer to this little bird and what she has to say to the world. My oh my, this song is brilliant. MF Listen to This Little Bird @ Keep updated with gigs and ramblings @ 16


THE UNION CHOIR - ELEANOR Whats more important, music or lyrics? There seems to be a lot of bands that are really good at one and not so at the other. There are also the really great bands that have it all. Union Choirs track Eleanor is one of these songs and The union choir are one of those bands. I sat and listened to the demo on repeat over and over not because i had to but because it really is a great track and left me really wanting more. The lyrics are honest and soaked in heartache and torment. The string parts really do tug on your heart strings and the bass acts as a heartbeat keeping the song strong and alive throughout. The vocals are like a reading from a diary, a poetic plea and the brass euphoric. Eleanor is taken from the bands latest release and i advise you all to get a hold of a copy and sit back and soak it in. RS

RECKONER WHEN SHE FINDS HOME I have a pretty fine line when it comes to folk music, it can either be the absolute dogs bollocks or very easily the cats arse. For example, Mumford & Sons…over-rated wank, Villagers… intimidating genius. As Sunderland has such an abundance of shit hot folk singer-songwriters it is no surprise when we get another knock on the very much open door (or stairway to The Little Room) to say, ‘hello have you heard my tunes, I am actually quite good’ before they pick up their guitar and the heavens open, and that is exactly what you get with Reckoner. Sean Wilkinson gives a stripped back acoustic with When She Finds Home and although the name Reckoner might suggest a bit of a rock outfit, or at least it does to me, it couldn’t be further off the sound that Wilkinson throws at you with heartfelt passion

and honesty. In fact it is a sound that would equally rouse rebels and warm cockles. Rustic and charming, there is a punchy agenda from the word go as it verges on gilded folk pop, picking up the pace before dropping down to build up to a final crescendo of furious strumming. Where with a lot of folk songwriters, I want to urge them to man the fuck up, I have no way turn on this track but to be completely charmed, and welcome another raw talent to the ever growing set.EH

HOLY MAMMOTH - EAT (DEMO) This North east based indie four piece are somewhat of a mystery, or so their history would suggest moving through a variety of monikers before settling on their current name. They appear to have an obsession with animals previously Catweasel and then Seamonster, not that the nessy is technically an animal. Thankfully it hasn’t taken them half as long to nail down their sound, and boy are we lucky! Eat is a fine example of a band in the superior pot of what we have in the North East and most definitely part of the crop who won’t be hanging around for too long before being snapped up by greedy promoters. The slippery guitar arpeggio and rhythm section loping but providing a solid foundation, comes close to southern American rock with emotive guitar twangs before transforming the sound of the track with dizzying heavy guitar rackets before once again returning to slower moments, it is a track that leaves you exhausted and imagining just how good it would be in a live setting. I can only imagine, but from beefed up harmonic dripping croons I can only see it invading every nook and cranny of a room. This is expansive rock at its best, throbbing in part and crashing in others, the tender vocals are on the verge of being restrained whilst at the same time sparking the track into life. This band and this track are intriguing as hell, accomplished musicianship with a thirst for experimental edges, whilst maintaining the real purity of the Holy Mammoth sound. EH 17

Holy Mammoth “Loud-quiet-loud lo-fi guitar sludge with melody”


ome things deserve a revival. Some don’t. MC Hammer forced his billowing trousers on the world in the late eighties and twenty years later some clever clog fashionista thought it was time to bring them back – cleverly disguised as something called ‘harem pants’. Well let me tell you this ladies and gentlemen, in the words of wise old Hammer himself – you can’t touch this. Thankfully, it was also around this time that bands such as Dinosaur Jr and Sonic Youth crept into the public consciousness, with their scuzzy guitar punk and DIY ethics. Recently, a lot has been made of a so called ‘slacker’ revival inspired by these bands. Former Cajun Dance Partiers Yuck are probably the most notable exponent but now Newcastle have their very own revivalists in the form of the brilliant Holy Mammoth. So take out your shoulder pads and turn off Yazoo because this band is part of a revival that is really worth talking about. Holy Mammoth describe their sound as ‘loud-quiet-loud lo-fi guitar sludge with melody’. Sure, this suits them in a purely descriptive sense but the term ‘sludge’ doesn’t quite do them justice. The tracks available on their Soundcloud page encompass what


must surely be the best aspects of ‘lo-fi guitar sludge’. The muddy guitars act as a perfect base for the refreshing and somewhat surprising vocals from Andrew Davey which reflect on his hometown in both lyrics and accent – a welcome change from British guitar bands of this ilk who have the tendency to become grizzled Americans as soon as they strap on a guitar. They combine the fuzzy guitar and lo-fi production of Yuck with the intelligent vocals of Manchester Orchestra and as a package it doesn’t sound like any other band coming out of the North East at the moment. Guitarist Andrew Metcalfe told Little River how they first came together: “We met at school. Three of us formed a band called Catweasels at age 15 or so (one of us joined later) which went on to be quite successful. “We toured and put out singles and EPs and filmed videos. We had a lot of fun but it came to a comfortable end. “Mammoth was quite a conscious decision because we knew we wanted to get away from what we had been doing and write music that was a lot closer to the music we'd started


discovering as we were growing older, however the sound and the songs themselves seemed to develop naturally.” Indeed, Holy Mammoth is the evolved beast that Catweasels looked destined to become. Evolution dealt them distortion and fuzz pedals and the band names Seamonster and Seamonster Seamonster. Holy Mammoth eventually looks like the finished product of years of hard work, but the band are still working as hard as ever. “Our writing process involves Andy bringing the building blocks to the table, but it's very much a collaborative effort after that. “We normally work out the structure and parts together and it usually ends up being very different to how it started. “A lot of the time it doesn't take us long to write. On the other hand our most recent song took us about 2 years to finish.

“Putting a pin in things and coming back to them can be good.” Although Holy Mammoth sound unique in their native Newcastle, they do believe the local scene is ‘getting canny class again’. The North East seems to be enjoying something of a renaissance with more and more talented bands emerging. They picked out Sunderland’s Coal Train and Newcastle bands Mammal Club and Baskin’s Wish as ones to watch but what about Mammoth themselves? What do they have planned for the future? Well, the band are busy writing and recording a three or four track EP which will be released at the end of the summer, but for now get your ‘lo fi sludge’ fix by visiting their SoundCloud page or see them live at Newcastle’s Dog and Parrot supporting slacker-punk’s Let’s Wrestle on Friday 29th July. GK

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FOR OUR FIRST EVER BAND INTERVIEW WE CAUGHT UP WITH ERIC PULIDO FROM THE BAND MIDLAKE TO DELVE INTO THE MINDS OF THE BAND AND HEAR WHAT HE HAD TO SAY ABOUT LOCAL MUSIC! RICH: This being a local fanzine and the local music scene being important to us, how did your local scene effect you at the time of creating the band and how does it effect you now as an established popular band? Did it have a big effect on the route you took as a band or was it an outside influence that spurred you on? ERIC: Denton, TX is an amazing city and community. The University of North Texas is a breeding ground for great music and art and Midlake met 20

because of that. Beyond the school, the community as a whole is an edifying environment for an artist to live and play and it continues to be a source of love and joy for us. R: What advice do you have for new bands wanting to play music? E: Play! There's so many bands wanting to do the same thing you're wanting to do so strive to make everything you do great and special...oh and try and have fun doing it! LITTLE RIVER FANZINE #2 Summer 2011

R: What were the things that first inspired you guys to make music? E: It was and is a need. I love music in every way...playing it, singing it, dancing to it, etc. From an early age I was addicted to music and I eventually started to play at church. It wasn't before long that I got the itch to do more. And the rest as they say... R: How does the song writing process work for midlake? E: Tim is the chief songwriter and usually has a batch of song ideas that we listen to and work on together to form and record. We

sometimes get musical ideas together that Tim will write over as well, and we've done some more of that on this record. R: Finally, do you have any plans for another UK tour or new album anytime soon?! E: We are working on a new record as I write, and hope to have her done by year's end. We will pop our heads out here and there for a show throughout the year and have plans to be in the UK for End of The Road in Sept. Hope to see y’all there! RS

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Ryan Adams live in Amsterdam Support from Laura Marling. So we set sail across the water (the first time ever for me on a boat!) towards Amsterdam. With only a backpack's worth of clothes, a bottle of wine and enough rolling tobacco to smoke me into next week. I quickly found my sea legs and set my sights on loosing them after we bought another two bottles of the ferry's finest duty-free wine. I came to the conclusion that ferries aren't my kinda thing, small confined spaces full of drunk people on stag dos and what seemed to be angry old people everywhere and of course not forgetting the odd school trip. We managed to catch a pretty amazing sunset out at sea, just before we experienced the beautiful luxury that is a ferry's bunk bed, vibrating and swaying feature does not come separately. I woke up to the sight of land again as I had a wander out on the deck. Greeted by some pretty eerie , what must have been, war bunkers, from a time long forgotten. Once we finally got off and made our way into Amsterdam I fell in love with the city immediately. It was totally not what I expected it to look like. My image of a place people only come to get high and take part in regrettable mistakes was blown out of the window. I was greeted by canals as far as the eye could see, amazing architecture, buildings leaning on one another and 22

holding each other up, tall beautiful European men and women and hundreds and hundreds of bikes. After a good half an hour's walk trying to find our hotel, we eventually found it on a busy main street above a shop near the center of the city. It was delectably bohemian, you could smoke in the rooms, it had a giant window that looked out over rooftops. All it needed was a little desk and it could have been the kind of place I imagine myself living, writing a novel and leading a bohemian lifestyle in for a year or so. We spent the day exploring the surroundings, picking up the tickets, having food in the only cafe in Amsterdam where the owner didn't speak English and who owned the fattest ginger cat I have ever seen. We had a few beers by a canal as we hid from the sun beating down at 31 degrees Celsius. Needless to say, I'm from Sunderland, my body isn't trained to endure that kind of heat. By the time the evening came it was time to head to the gig. The hours leading up to it so far hadn't really got me excited and then all of a sudden it all seemed to come at once. We jumped the tram up to the venue (mainly because we didn't understand how to pay) and got off just outside of the Concertgebouw, probably the grandest venue I have ever set eyes upon. LITTLE RIVER FANZINE #2 Summer 2011

Once inside, the building was filled with an excited hum as people rushed backwards and forwards from the bar and merch stand as they waited for the call for the first band. One thing I noticed was that Ryan Adams' fans really do range from anyone to everyone. We rushed to the bar and drank as many beers as we could before the first act took to the stage. We took our seats in the main hall of the Concertgebouw, it kind of reminded me of The Sage and City Hall put together and decorated with giant chandeliers. Laura Marling out of nowhere walked onto the stage to a hushed applause and introduced herself humbly as Laura and started to sing. I had never really listened to Laura Marling before this gig but she totally won me over in a way in which not many people have done in a while. Playing mostly new songs, her voice rang out powerful and strong filling the whole of the room and captivating everyone in it. I bought both of her albums when I got back and haven't stopped listening. After a short break and lots more beers we went back in and got ready for Adams. He took to the stage,met by a rapturous applause, a sure sign of the mood of the night to come. After a little hello he took a seat and started with 'Oh My Sweet Carolina' only to stop straight away to tune his guitar for a few minutes ,whispering to himself jokingly, 'This is exactly how I pictured this going on my head'.

Hearing all the songs acoustic and stripped back really did make you realise that all the songs he was playing could have easily been on one album; the stylistic differences between albums seemed to disappear. Highlights of the show were a piano ballad version of New York, New York, Let it ride, To be Young, Sweet Lil Gal and Strawberry Wine. He didn't play any new material which I was quite sad about, but in its place we got the classic Ryan Adams tunes in all their glory. After a two and a half hour set and receiving two standing ovations, he played a two song encore with what he said would be 'the two longest songs he had', 'Stop' and 'Strawberry Wine'. After seeing Adams in Newcastle a few years ago where he played a short set and wasn't in the best of moods this was a great contrast and in my eyes couldn't have been better. We left the show to be greeted by the best storm I've ever seen filling the Amsterdam skyline and even got to meet the man himself and Laura afterwards just outside the venue. Needless to say, I rang everyone I knew immediately afterwards. Overall it was an amazing gig in an amazing place and I think, if he tours again, I'll go back. Thank you Amsterdam. For all you RA fans out there, there is still hope! RS

Throughout the night he moved between guitar and piano, flicking through a songbook with his lyrics and presumably the songs he wanted to choose from. He also seemed in a very good mood, making jokes throughout the night, dedicating many a song to Patrick Swayze and playing a whole song with the 'tri hawk' in its full glory. To my great pleasure he played songs from Heartbreaker, Love is Hell and 29. He also ventured into newer songs from Cardinology and Easy Tiger. 23


You could be forgiven for assuming that with his oppositional-sounding moniker and self-described ‘antifolk pianarcho peace punk’ leanings that Daniel Versus The World was not a people person. You may even assume that were he to meet you at one of his gigs, he’d snub you, whether through two-fingered-gesturing arrogance or an autonomy born out of a fear of people. I mean, what is ‘the world’, if not people? But you could not be further from the truth. No, in fact, were you to meet Daniel Versus The World (known to his mother as Daniel Stocker) at one of his gigs you’d be far more likely to find yourself wrapped up in his twenty-three-year-old, sixfoot-something embrace with him telling you how lovely you are for being there. For Daniel is a lover not a fighter, which is why love and all its messy complication and glorious romance takes centre stage in so many of his piano-led songs.


(self-release, August 2011)

‘February’ is Daniel’s second release, and it seems he’s gone and ‘done a Sufjan’; that is, he wrote, performed and recorded this all himself, and in just one month. ‘February’ follows in the wake of the extremely limited run of his first album, ‘Our Hearts All Break The Same’. ‘February’ retains the bedroom-recorded, DIY aesthetic of its predecessor (and, sadly, in places suffers from peaking mic levels), but whereas the former came enveloped in painstakingly hand-made card packaging, the sophomore effort is a lot kinder to the environment, being that it is a digital-only release. Don’t be fooled though; while intangible packaging is relatively effortless, the creation of ‘February’s eleven songs clearly required effort; effort at living life, at finding and losing friends and romances, at being misunderstood, at working souldestroying jobs. Indeed, aside from the bouncy, sounds-of-the-Early-Learning-Centre strains of the titular song, the overall mood here is sombre, reflective, even, though not without occasional vitriolic bursts (and always with his perfect diction). Where on his previous release one might have accused Daniel of cabaretesque camp, here he retains his signature sound warm-hearted, but vocal in his abhorrence of prejudice and injustice - but does so in a manner that is simultaneously more sincere and less forceful. He still wears his influences on his sleeve: Regina’s quirkiness,


Tori’s candour, but owing to both his gender and his lyrical explicitness he escapes accusations of mimicry. ‘February’ is not only a sonic development for Daniel, with strings, glockenspiel and vocal harmonies making their debuts; it is also a sincere and intensely personal album; it could almost be uncomfortable for some, but I think the key is to view it more as a privileged peek into the emotional world of another human, rather than a series of garrulous confessions - especially when the delivery is so understated and artful. For fans of lyrics, a highlight is surely ‘To The Lions’ with lines like, “I’m the hero of this story, I don’t need to be saved / that’s what I wrote in Sharpie on your shoulder blade / and in the time it took you to walk away it had all washed off in the rain”.

Recurrently throughout the album are lines psychologists may call ‘double binds’: on one hand Daniel tells us how much love he has to give, but then quickly tells us how protective he is of his feelings, almost warning prospective partners to back off. In ‘Whose Laughing Now?’ Daniel sings, “And you may take me as I am, but you will never take my heart”. And this, for me, summarises this record’s implicit message: what I am is all I have; I want you to like it, but based on painful past experience I am wary of giving it to you; however, I suspect if he continues to make music this honest and beautiful then it is only a matter of time before his Februaries start to become happy again. MS

The independent northern comedy website - news, reviews, interviews and more from around the North East. Follow us on Twitter: @GiggleBeats

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One of these photographers is

Ian West Ian West is an award winning professional photographer based in the North East of England. Ian's work has been published in NME, MOJO, UNCUT, CLASH MUSIC and Q magazine. His work has also been featured in local publications NARC and THE CRACK. Ian may be a photographer to the stars but also spends a lot of his time shooting local bands in and around the city and has now made quite a name for himself as a great photographer and an all round nice guy! I Recently caught up with Ian to pick his brains about being a photographer in the north east and what the local scene means to him. 26

What first inspired you to get into taking photos of bands? I don't think that I was really inspired to take photo's of musicians or bands as such, I just liked portraiture, and that is still my first love. I love taking portraits, bands just seem to be easier to approach because they have a 'sound'. I like the challenge of trying to find the visual to go with the sound that defines them. LITTLE RIVER FANZINE #2 Summer 2011

What influences do you have on your style as a photographer? I think that the biggest influence I am aware of is trying to make things as cinematic as possible, to create something that's a little nicer than real life in terms of lighting and tone, something a little more mysterious. I love Stanley Kubrick and Terrence Mallick and I think that comes across, as far as photographers go you can't really get any better than Dan Winters and Norman Jean Roy for me.

Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years time in regards to photography? Hopefully shooting famous people for big publications regularly, different locations around the world, different people, different assignments as long as there is a challenge there I hope that's what I'm doing. I think to be in demand for your own style and vision is the biggest hope for me, that someone one day turns around and says "This just won't work unless Ian West shoot's it" that would be excellent.

What have been some of your high points and low points of your career as a photographer so far? A lot of high points. I am very lucky in that I have had the chance, and have been trusted, to create images for some excellent people. The very first shoot I done was with David Brewis for the 'School Of Language' cover, and I love that photograph. Even though I had not much clue about lighting then it seems to work. Working with Hyde & Beast must have been fun because I have no idea what happened but it all looks good, and obviously having images featured as album covers and artwork is always amazing. Low points? Security at gigs and cups of piss landing on you.

What excites you about the local music scene at the minute? It's great at the minute, there's a real buzz. Everyone seems to know

everyone else and people just want to be involved in music again. There seems like a real small town rebellion going on. Huge support for local gigs and lots of bands releasing material on their own labels and touring off their own backs, it's a massive “screw you� to the man and I dig that. Plus the fact there are some excellent bands...

Speaking of bands, any favourites or tips? The Futureheads, B>E>A>K, Frankie & the Heartstrings, Coal Train, Hyde and Beast, The Lake Poets, We Beat The System, Chased By Wolves, Matt Stalker, Field Music, Razzmatazz Lorry Excitement, Young Liar... There's loads!

How did you find moving to moving images with the Hyde & Beast video releases? I found it quite an easy transition to be honest, well shooting them anyway. I shot both videos on a Canon 5D mk 2, which is my stills camera too, so l already knew my way around it. When it comes to the videos though, a big shout out has to go to an old friend of mine and my editor Neil Burdess who managed to stick everything together. and make it look cohesive with me bleating in his ear. I'm happy with them, I know the band is too and I am looking forward to doing more...

Finally, What advice do you have for young photographers in the North East trying to succeed as band photographers? I don't really know, I don't really think of myself as 'successful' I am just hungry. I always want to do better than the last shoot, I'm always pushing myself. I guess if you don't feel that 'hunger' then don't bother. If you do have that feeling then use it, take lots of pictures, get involved and try and feed what's pushing you forward. It don't know if you will ever feel satisfied, but I guess that might just be the point.

For more info check out RS 27

Simpsons pictures that I gone and done.


few of you may have heard about the latest online phenomena 'Simpsons pictures that I gone and done'. A collection of drawings done by Chris (Simpsons Artist) depicting characters from the TV show itself but now also branching out and drawing topical figures in the media. We Caught up with Chris to take a little break from drawing and tell us about what music gets him going! Here is what he had to say... RICH: fIRSTLY WHAT kINd Of MUSIC ARE YOU INTO? GIvE US A fEW Of YOUR fAvOURITE BANdS OR SINGERS! CHRIS (SIMPSONS ARTIST): I try and not listen to music anymore because of what happened but I like to listen to music that has no words and make the words myself, because when you sing your own words, the song is about anything you want it to be about and if a song already has words it is about one thing but if a song doesnt have words then it can be about anything in the world. R: dO YOU LISTEN TO ANYTHING AS YOU dO YOUR dRAWINGS? ANd If SO WHAT? C(SA): I like to listen to the tree in my garden when its windy that is why i sit next to my bedroom window and it means i can look at the sky

which is important to see because i think the sky makes you realise who you are and that we are just small people still and we all live together and are the same on a big ball in the clouds. RICH: dO YOU PLAY ANY INSTRUMENTS? THEY SAY MOST TALENTEd PEOPLE CAN TURN THEIR HANdS TO MOST ART fORMS! C(SA): I play my own guitar and like to make songs about what i have seen in the day or what i would like to see tomorrow. R: If YOU COULd ONLY LISTEN TO ONE ALBUM fOR THE REST Of YOUR LIfE WHAT WOULd IT BE? C(SA): I wouldnt like to only have one thing to listen to for the rest of my life. That makes me think that I would be trapped somewhere with no way of getting to another tape and that scares me when i get trapped. So i think if i had to listen to one tape for the rest of my life i would rather try and escape than just accept that i was trapped and only had one tape to listen to. RS



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A sick fixed kitsch, Tongued up fits, Of constant aggravations. Aggravational constellations, Of one but many servants. Servants of constant fixations, Of a conjured dark attribute. A figure in the shadow, An envied dark glow, Amongst a cloud of conscious grey. with chestnut hints in fumes, And tastes of fruity sickness, A healthy gulp of broken veins. A jittered black bitterness. Biting through the cold brutes prudence, The hammered face of illusion. To be as close to god, As the seventh heaven clouds. with hints of sea in the down poured air, A splendour in composure. I find a beauty drenched in care, Amongst this Casanova.

I’ve never been very good at crosswords, Or anagrams or puzzles, Or game shows, or word Searches. The incoherent patterns on the page, The vacant black and white boxes, Hold my attention more than the letters That fill them. Even the numbers Serve as a welcome distraction From the words themselves. AndrEw dIppEr




I , ve Seen The Hole They thought I didn’t know what was going on in there – Ceramics – they said, pottery – they cried, But I’ve seen the hole. About a foot squared, Three sides cut and smoothed One side worn, uneven. And I’ve seen the grit bin, And I’ve watched cartoons – That grit bin is a door with a slide that takes you down into a Bond villain’s secret lair, There’s a machine of sorts which I know is being used for experiments – And all the while the ‘art’ stands guard To convince people, Through its brute strength. nobody believes me, But one of these days I’m going to open that grit bin, And there won’t be any grit. AndrEw pArk

Gladys and Her dead Husband frank Hairstyle for years The purple rinse meat product of choice ASdA smart price mince Bingo and bridge Is how she passes the time prior to bed A glass of ginger wine In her state of sleep She dreams of the past Her dead husband Frank And their ginger cat After eight hours of slumber She wakes up at dawn Community service smack heads Come to cut her lawn Her daughter and kids She does occasionally miss They don't like to visit As her house smells of piss Its a lonely life Getting old and grey The only treat for the week when its pension day with what little she gets She buys cheap tat From the Betterware catalogue They bring to her flat BArrY FOx





orrowing the name from the cult/crap 90s’ Tom Hank’s film of the same moniker, Joe Versus the Volcano is the solo project of nomadic acoustic troubadour Joe Collins. Shortly after moving away from home to study Philosophy at Liverpool University, Collins found himself struggling to satisfy his urge to perform having left his former band behind on Wearside. Fortunately for us though, this self imposed exile seems to have paid dividends as Joe Versus the Volcano’s beautiful new recordings


hit the web in the first week of June. Recorded shortly before his headline show at Liverpool’s O2 Academy 2, the tracks ooze with charm, hauntingly delicate, brimming with warmth and yet somehow forlorn. In his live shows, Collins draws on a plethora of talent from his hometown and adopted city, a cast of characters that includes co-vocalist Harriet Phillips whose silky, soulful voice provides the perfect accompaniment to Collins’ gravelly


northern dialect and minimalistic guitar lines. Collins is typically equivocal on his fluctuating setup, “Having a rotation of musicians is one of the best aspects of the project. Although I write the fundamentals, it’s the ideas of others that take the songs in new directions and that's something I really wanted to happen. It keeps things exciting and often breathes new life into certain songs I’d given up on.” There is undoubtedly a freshness and an unpredictability to the music that JVTV are making, the demos are a lot closer to contemporary pop than the folk veneer encountered on first listen suggests. ‘That Dress’ in particular has more than a hint of The xx’s blend of solemn lyricism and uplifting melodies to it, as Collins and Phillips dreamy harmonies slink between one another effortlessly. Collins clearly has big plans for the project, we ask the wanderer himself what the next step for JVTV is going to be? “This summer I'm hoping to add a few more people to the project. Eventually I want it to have drums and bass. That way it gives me the ability to use a full set up, or play a stripped down set.” He goes on, “I'm looking to pass my driving test and find a vehicle so that I can play all around the country with friends and artists I've met over the past three years. The ultimate goal is a UK tour with a band, although I'm really happy with the sounds from the latest recording session.” Lofty ambitions indeed for the talented former Deadwoods frontman but don’t be surprised if Joe and his Volcano erupt into the mainstream consciousness before long.

discount Horse... a dIY indie-punk label that started in durham, four years ago. It started as a means of tying together a bunch of wild ideas that we had floating around at the time. We'd been involved with other small run dIY releases but we'd never collected them under the umbrella of a label. Our first release as discount Horse was a split 7” by ONSINd and Short Term Effect. We've worked with all kinds of people from all over the place including Waskerley Way, Ghost Mice, fashanu and most recently the Middle Ones and Spoonboy. We are queer-positive, feminist, vegan punx. We are very stressed but we have the best time. for more info check out: JC/DH

All of JVTV’s tracks are available for the price of one copy of the original film itself at (they’re free). DC

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Kathryn Robertson THIS ISSUE’S COVER ARTIST THIS MONTHS WONDERFUL COVER WAS DESIGNED AND DRAWN BY A NEW CONTRIBUTOR KATHRYN ROBERTSON. HERE IS A LITTLE BIT OF BIO! Well...I'm currently doing art, media,photography and sociology at A level. I love going to local gigs and taking photos! My favourite local band would have to be Frankie and the heartstrings and not so local band...dutch uncles (except they're not that unlocal really...are they?) I don't really know what I specifically want to go on to do, who knows what the future holds, summat 'arty'/design/music related, hopefully. p.s I think people who don't like cats can't be trusted (that's worth putting out there)



On ThIs Day... ”

...A look at past goings on in the music world. A chance to reminisce for some and to learn for others. It was 12th July 1986 and R.E.M. released “Lifes Rich Pageant”, an album named from the most obscure of sources; a quote from Inspector Clouseau in the 1964 film “A Shot in the Dark”. The album continued the band’s timeless nature of lyrics, a stark contrast with the politically charged lyrics aimed directly at the Reagan led White House. The LP received positive reviews and an increase in commercial success for the band, peaking at number 43 in the UK and reaching gold status in the US, their highest achievement prior to its release. Perhaps the most anthemic song being the eponymous “Cuyahoga”, referencing the Red Indian culture surrounding the river of the same name. Intertwining themes of learning, appreciation and retrospect are all present on the song’s checklist after the destruction of the habitat of the river as [their] “father’s father’s father tried/ erased the parts he didn’t like”

while heavily polluting it, resulting in the notable red waters. Pollution was so rife in the river that it had actually caught fire on occasion, a fact not ignored by the band. The track “Fall On Me” continued the theme of story telling from the point of a Red Indian, with ecology and exploit at the forefront of the inclusions. The simple structure and ongoing theme of these two songs provides the backbone of this LP, providing proof that chantworthy choruses aren’t only for the lad-rockers amongst us (take note Oasis fans!). The album was followed a year later by the equally impressive “Document” which continued the band’s ecologically minded lyrics whilst increasing dreamy-pop tendencies and garnishing with the band’s usual dash of humour, adding to the plethora of messages in this alternative rock recipe. Simon Whitehead



The Mountain Goats See America Right Before they got boring I guess. When I first heard that song I did not even understand what he was saying. It was maybe the American accent or the fact that I always usually listen to the music first or maybe most importantly it was the mesmerizing combination of both that just put me in a stupor I did not want to come out of. I have never been to America, and I call it America for a reason. The very action of calling it the USA seems to bring with itself a whole lot of other trouble I am not concerned with. Not saying I do not care about its political implications but in my gut that is not what I feel when I think of America. When I think of that country, the subject of so many songs, movies, literature, political and anthropological dispute, I think of one thing – space and the freedom to rise and fall. Don't understand this in an economical way, I care little about the opportunities that might await me as an immigrant to make a life for myself. As they say over there, every kid has the chance to become a president. Well no, they don't. I also do not think their democracy runs as well as they pretend it does. And seeing this country as the promised land is basically wrong. Not because it's the USA, but because there is no promised land fullstop. Still, for some reason, almost everyone I know, and almost everyone I know is European, sees it this way. Even if they don't


want to admit it as a whole they have all found their particular side of America they hold on to and cherish and consider invaluable to their life and their dreams and their integrity: New Orleans, Nebraska, Alaska, Arizona...We all know these names, we all have a connection with them and especially you, who are reading this, will have undoubtedly a relationship with the music somewhere out there. We all want to take a roadtrip through the desert. We all want to line dance. And we all want to slam the door to the Mustang, light a cigarette and walk into a motel. Is it the movies? Yes, I guess it is. But just like Mark Twain back in the day I have made my impression of America from people's letters, postcards and songs. They sing about the open road. When was the last time you were on the open road here? There is not enough space for an open road . Drive 2 miles out of town and it's roundabout after roundabout and market village after market village. We do not know space, none of us. And we do not know the freedom of being too far out for law or discipline or social posture to reach us. Idealising those things is easy. I tend to do that more often than not. To go back to that song. It revealed to me that I am a romantic. Not a neo-romantic whatever that shit might mean.



I am a real romantic. I like humans and long drives to places that might surprise me and awkwardness and unspoken things and glasses of wine handed to me as a gesture and the wind in my hair and the music in my heart and in my ears shared with people I love. I like letting go. I like feeling the air and the breeze and the dirt underneath my toenails, I hate the police and think we should all make our lives and not ask for permission. I want to sing of walking miles to meet the one you love, of the urgency of the dawn, of the bigness of the world, and its darkness, the lack of control we have over it and how afraid we are of it. Not often we sing of this. As we do not have it, we have a support

system, of culture, history, the dole or whatever. We've been lullabied. I really like lullabies. But I do not feel like if I said 'your love is like a cyclone in a swamp and the weather's getting warmer' many people would understand me. The poetry of America comes with me not knowing it. It comes with me thinking it's rough, raw and ready for anything. That might be a misconception. But it's a misconception I have chosen to follow from the music I listen to. And damn it makes for some music. And some roadtrips.I wish I had a case of vodka in the car. Dee Chaneva

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Little River #2  

The second edition of Little River Fanzine. #2 Summer.