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BUMPER DOUBLE ISSUE!

ST. VI NC ENT

SU N DAR A KARMA

DECLAN MCKE N N A

TH E BIG MOON

TH E M AG IC GA NG


THIS MONTH...

CONTENTS ‘N’ STUFF

EDITOR’S LETTER HIYA! “IT’S BEEN THE BEST YEAR” P4 THE BIG MOON

“LET’S SEE HOW FAR WE CAN TAKE THIS JOKE!” P56 THE MAGIC GANG

“WE’RE VERY, VERY AMBITIOUS” P44 PALE WAVES

STEPHEN ACKROYD Editor / @stephenackroyd

“WE’VE TICKED A LOT OFF THE BUCKET LIST” P32 SUNDARA KARMA

“IT WAS JUST ME AND FIVE OF MY BEST PALS” P12 MARIKA HACKMAN

“I MEAN, LIFE IS RIDICULOUS” P20 ST VINCENT

“I’M A BIT OF A FUCKING EMO KID, YOU KNOW?”

“TOAST HAS BEEN A BIG THING FOR ME THIS YEAR”

P74 FICKLE FRIENDS

P40 DECLAN MCKENNA

CONTENTS

“IT’S CRAZY TO SAY THAT I HAVE FANS” P72 SIGRID

AND NOW, THE END IS NEAR... Yep, 2017 is coming to its end, which means two things. Firstly, everyone starts making lists. Lists of everything. Favourite albums, best bangers, greatest gigs - you mention it, you’ll see it. We’re no different. In this issue we’re running you through some of our fave moments of the past twelve months, including fifty records we love. We’re not saying there are none better - that would require something far more far-reaching, obviously - but we love them all. Then there’s the other stuff - the tips for the year ahead. We’ve got that covered, with our 10 things you need to be looking forward to in 2018. Which, yes, actually ends up being more than 10 things, but if you weren’t on board with our ‘pack it in’ content strategy, you’d have buggered off long ago, right? Merry Xmas, and a happy New Year!

“WE GOT CUSSED OUT A LOT” P50 KING NUN

P4 UPDATE P14 CONNECTION P15 CALENDAR P18 BEST OF 2017 P44 2018 PREVIEW P84 REVIEWS P86 ANY OTHER QUESTIONS

DORK

Editor Stephen Ackroyd Deputy Editor Victoria Sinden Associate Editor Ali Shutler Contributing Editors Jamie Muir, Martyn Young Events Liam James Ward Additional Design: Martin Crandon Contributors Ben Jolley, Jake Hawkes, Jasleen Dhindsa, Jessica Goodman, Jessie Atkinson, Liam Konemann, Lily Beckett Photographers Alyssa Gafkjen, Chiara Ceccaioni, Corinne Cumming, Jason MacDonald, Nolan Knight, Phil Smithies, Poppy Marriott, Richard Johnson, Rob Loud, Roy Rossovich, Sarah Louise Bennett Illustrators Rhi Lee, Russell Taysome P U B L I S H E D F RO M

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All material copyright (c). All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form, in whole or in part, without the express written permission of The Bunker Publishing Ltd. Disclaimer: While every effort is made to ensure the information in this magazine is correct, changes can occur which affect the accuracy of copy, for which The Bunker Publishing Ltd holds no responsibility. The opinions of the contributors do not necessarily bear a relation to those of Dork or its staff and we disclaim liability for those impressions. Distributed nationally. DOWN WITH BORING

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UPDATE IF IT’S NOT IN HERE, IT’S NOT HAPPENING. OR WE FORGOT ABOUT IT. ONE OR THE OTHER.

HO H O H O, IT’S TIME FOR TH E B I G M O O N ’S P R E S E N T SWA P AS T H E FO U RSO M E TA K E PA RT I N A V E RY S P EC I A L S EC R ET SA N TA . WORDS: PH OTOS:

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SA R AH

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BEN NET T .


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ats, jumpers an d bundles of ch eer, Jules, Cee, Soph and Fern are huddled around the Christmas tree, trying to untangle fairy lights and find the br oken bulb. “I di d it!” shouts Fern tri umphantly. “I saved Christmas with my tiny spanne r!” Once the band have decided on who’s wearing which piece of festive headwear, they settle down to exchange gifts .

XMAS 2017

S!

your drink. An d Fern always draws elephants, so.” “I do. It’s the on ly thing I can draw. Plus an elepha nt never forget s. I always forget , so we’re the op posite.” “And they’re ve getarians,” adds Soph. “Are they?” sta rts Jules, before answering her own question. “Obviously elep hants don’t ea t animals. Can yo u imagine it pi cking up a monkey an d eating it? It wouldn’t happ en,” she contin ues. “I bet they eat little bugs thou gh. They wouldn’t say no to a lit tle cockroach.” “They’re too ge ntle,” reasons Fern. “They are gent le, right? Wait . I’m not going too off topic, sorry.”

Secret Santa is a Christmas tra dition. You get given the name of so meone, you buy that pe rson a present within the £5 spendi ng limit, someo ne else buys you a present, and you all keep it secret Soph was goin until everyone g to spend he has unwrapped th r £5 on a pint, before eir gift. Happy Jules explains: tidings all around. “I was thinking you co uld buy macar oni cheese.” Jules unwraps “You could!” ex a light-up phot claims Cee. “£ oslash-Christm 4.95 in Pret. Did yo as-card holder u actually go , depending on to any sh ops, Jules? Whe the time of ye n did you com ar. Fern gets a wo e up with that idea oden elephant ?” and a Queen of Aw “She’s very ea esomeness m sy to bu ug y . fo Ce gets a Winnie r, but it was e the first thing The Pooh book I thought of.” of wisdom, and So “I love your br ph spends a go ain ,” says Cee. od ten minutes un “It’s a good br wrapping a sh ain,” agrees Fe oe-box sized present rn. “I just hate wh before finally en you have to getting to a matchboxbuy something ch sized parcel wi ea p, an d you don’t th a folded up £5 no know what yo te inside. Ever u’r e going to get yone is on the floor yet, and the pe in hysterics. rson doesn’t wa nt it. And also, I th ought it would “I’m going to sa be funny. There wa y my present is sn ’t a great thought from Fern,” ventures process behind Jules. “I mean, it,” explains Ju it’s a process of elim les. “Half the joy is ination really,” opening the pr she replies. “We ta esent. I played pass-th lked about ho e-parcel with w Cee got me mine; myself,” starts you got that fo So ph , be r Soph fore Cee adds and Soph said “And us. And th : in the Winnie en yourself ag The Pooh book that ain. So many layers.” it was from he r, so yours probably “I was worried was from me.” it wasn’t goin “Oh, I didn’t ac g to be enough,” admits tually do that. Jules. “But it wa I just know you like s gr ea t. I loved how shopping in Ti you thought th ger.” “If you ever wa gift was a little e nt to find som flannel.” eone a present, just go “And Tupperwa to Tiger,” Fern re,” beams Soph tells us with a know . “But I like Tupp ing nod. “I got erware, and fla that for Jules ‘cos sh nnels are cool for wa e takes good ph sh in g. I got Cee th otos and I thought book ‘cos it’s cu e it would be ni te, and I though ce to put them up. It t Cee would like it be would be nice cause Winnie above your bed. I thou The Pooh is cute. Th ght it would be is isn’t specifica nice and sentim lly ab ou t you Cee, but ental. That’s m it’s e in a good toilet a nutshell. Sent book. One to ke imental. And m ep on the shelf odest.” behind the loo. ” “I was looking Everyone is qu for a nice coffe ick to ask Soph e mug for Fern,” starts if it’s a book from her Cee. “Then I sa own bathroom w the Queen of Awes but no, “I got it from a sh omeness one, op. Plus, it’s ni which isn’t particula ce to get little bits rly nice but sh of wisdom fro e is the Queen of Awes m a bear.” “A fictional be omeness, and ar as we I ll, lik the fact that on which I so e often do,” grin ce you’ve finish s Cee. ed your drink, it sa ys “Yeah” at th e bottom. You wa It’s no surprise ke up; you’ve that The Big M already achieved som oon can turn a silly ething by finish gift exchange ing into something wholesome an d

DOWN WITH BORING

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it out, and all our friends were there, our family. It was this whole big party, and now we can look back and go yeah, we smashed it,” explains Cee. “I’m really proud of us,” beams Jules, as The Big Moon share the feeling with each other.

heartwarming. Back when they were recording debut album ‘Love In The 4th Dimension’, they told us how they just don’t do sad songs. And since its release earlier this year, they haven’t needed any. “It’s been the best year of our lives, probably,” ventures Jules before each one of the gang repeats the same sentiment, word for word. “Yay. We’ve done so many things this year, we’ve been so busy.” She continues as the band start reflecting. “Remember SXSW?” “That was so long ago.” “Was that even this year?” “I’ve forgotten loads. I’ll have that bit between Christmas and New Years where you think about a lot, I’ll think about it then,” promises Fern. “It’s been pretty intense, and now we’ve played the last show of the last tour for a while, and it’s kinda weird.” That show at London’s KOKO was “the best show we’ve ever done in the best year of our lives,” according to the whole band but the tour, in general, was “so good; there were so many people, and they all knew the words. It was the biggest, best tour but that London show especially,” continues Jules, before Fern admits: “I had to have a lay down before.” “And I had a weird laughing fit when we came off stage,” grins Jules. “It was just so much fun. It felt like everyone was really enjoying it. Us, the crowd, and the people on the balconies.” “It was nice to end it on a high. I’m

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glad we rounded off this album cycle with a sell-out tour, visiting loads of different places and with Get Inuit, who are amazing. Then we did this big huge London show at this place we’ve always wanted to play, we sold

“I didn’t get to the point where I got tired of playing those songs,” Cee continues. “I look forward to having fresh ones though. I’m looking forward to next year already. Can’t wait to see what bangers you churn out,” she says, looking at Jules. (“No pressure, Santa,” adds Soph.) “We’re not sure how much time we’re taking off, it’ll be what it is, which is also quite nice about how this year has gone. I don’t feel nervous about this time off or nervous about what happens next, whatever that is. And we also get back into rehearsal phase, ‘cos that’s my favourite phase of banding. You’re just in the rehearsal studio for days at a time, and it feels like you’re going to work every day, but you’re still just sitting around, drinking a lot of tea and yay, we made a song. We’re great. We’re such a great band.” “It’s just remembering to do all that again,” says Fern. “It feels really good when you get it and when it comes together,” continues Jules. “I was thinking last night, you know when we have a new song, and no one knows how the drums are going to go? We just have to work it out. I was trying to remember how all the drums go in all our songs, and I don’t even know anymore. It’s so long since we recorded the album and we play them every night, but I don’t really listen

to the drum beats, I play in time. I don’t think ‘Oh cool fill’, I’m too busy thinking about what I’m doing.” “Stop talking Jules,” interjects Fern. “You know I think you’re the best drummer in the world.” “You don’t know many drummers.” “That’s true.” “In the same way, I don’t think ‘Oh Soph did that solo again’,” starts Cee, before realising: “I was trying to deflect, but now I’m just being a dick to you.” “She’s doing it again,” replies Soph. “Getting on stage, playing our song. What do you expect me to do? Fine, I’ll try some improv next year. Practice my scales.” “Just shake it up,” shrugs Cee. “We’re going to do it all again. Work it all out again, and it’s going to be new and exciting,” promises Jules. “I’ve started writing already. It takes a while to get going. It takes a lot of pottering. I’m doing a lot of pottering at the moment, but I’ll get there. I had to take down a calendar that my boyfriend put up on my bedroom wall ‘cos it was putting me off. It was one of those calendars they have at school, the whole of 2018 on one poster. My boyfriend tried to tell me ‘It’s an artwork’. Nah, it’s horrible, so I took it down. I’ve been doing things like that, planning the atmosphere. I’ve got a pink lamp which is really nice. I’ve been eating lots of brazil nuts.” - “Good fats,” according to Fern. - “It all comes into your creative process.” “How’s the album going?” “I’m eating a lot of brazil nuts.” “Say no more.” “Fat sounds,” winks Fern. P

“IT’S BEEN THE BEST YEAR OF OUR LIVES, PROBABLY”


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WILL JOSEPH COOK’S TOP XMAS F ILMS

W E A L L K N OW T H E T R U E M E S S AG E O F X M A S I S B E ST P O RT R AY E D T H RO U G H A R N O L D SC H WA R Z E N EG G E R’S ‘ 96 F I L M J I N G L E A L L T H E W I L L

J OS E P H

C O O K

1. NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION

Taking the top spot is a Chevy Chase Christmas catastrophe, a festive slice of 80s Americana that stumbles from one suburban mishap to the next. Written by the legendary John Hughes (The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), the film’s unabashed and cynical humour is unmatched when it comes to Holiday classics. Featuring everything from brutal kidnappings to surprise SWAT team raids, Christmas Vacation is the anti-christ of yuletide movies, and you need it in your life.

2. TIM BURTON’S NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS Falling into an IMDB category I would rarely associate myself with (‘Fantasy/ Musical’), this foreboding Christmas fable is an absolute 8

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home run from start to finish. Aside from its very original storyline, the film’s painstakingly immersive stop-motion animation is reason enough to check this film out. Taking the quintessentially innocent theme of Christmas magic and mutating it into a haunting Halloween/Xmas hybrid, Nightmare Before Christmas couldn’t be more Tim Burton if it tried. In short, this film sleighs.

3. THE GRINCH

Jim Carrey recently told the media he doesn’t exist and claims he never did. He explained that there is no birth or death, future or past, self or other, only the eternal present…

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LOL, THE ONLY ETERNAL PRESENT I CARE ABOUT IS THIS HILARIOUS CHRISTMAS MOVIE! Starring the conscious energy formerly known as Jim Carrey, The Grinch is a heart thawing tale of an evil beast learning to love. Throw this on and tell your uncle you tolerate him.

4. HOME ALONE 2

An all-time classic and arguably the greatest sequel to any Christmas flick. Starring Macaulay Culkin as a mischievous Kevin McAllister, this endearing adventure comedy is sure to spice your apples this Christmas. The film is based on the questionable premise

WAY.

F L I C K S . that Kevin’s parents have once again forgotten their son exists at Christmas. Mistaking a New York flight for his family’s Miami trip, Kevin finds himself living the high life in the Big Apple, battling it out with crime duo and longterm nemeses ‘The Sticky Bandits’. Personal highlights include a total lack of realism in regards to life-threatening injuries and a sensational one-line cameo from Donald Trump. To be honest, if you haven’t seen this film, did you even childhood?

5. ELF

You’ve heard of Elf on the Shelf… so why not try this festive Will Ferrell comedy. I know what you’re thinking, why put everybody’s favourite in fifth place? My reason being - this film blows! It sucks! My heart is made of stone! Rubbish! (It’s actually good.) P


YOU’RE INVITED TO THE DORK XMAS PARTY, FYI

STRUGG LING W ITH WH TO G ET AT THE FA M THIS CHRIST MAS? W E TOOK MARIKA HACKM AN DOW TO ROU N G H TRA DE EAS TO PIC T K OUT SOME SUGG ES TIONS.

“Dude, I belong in fucking priso n - I shouldn’t be doing this,” star ts Dave, wh en thinking of the personal connections an d stories he’s heard over th e past few year s. “For a 21 year old girl who is suffering from depression an d anxiety or ha s a really fuck up childhood ed or ha cancer, for them s had a parent die from to come up to me and say ‘Hey this song means a lot to me, this helped me through a really dark tim e’ - damn that fucking good ’s a feeling. “I’m not sure I deserve to be feeling it, but there it is. To experience th at as a person thought they who never had anyt hing to offer in life is like fuck ing cool - I’ve just got to ho tight to that fe ld eling.” For a debut al bum, ‘The Posit ions’ is a rarity. An album not looking for bu zz-hunting glor it instead sits y, as a devastatin g body of work that delved in to a period wh ich found Dave dealing with ca ncer, the disin tegration of a relationship an d the struggle within his min to cope with th d e darkness su rrounding him . It’s an emotio nal, but once again unflinchi examination of ng the depths lif e can throw at you - and spar ked a reaction th at saw Gang Of Youths play the biggest st ages across Australia and beyond. Yet its most powerfu moments were l those connectin g to thousand who found so s lace in its visio n an Dave found in d in turn, himself, somet hing that continues thro ugh ‘Go Farther In Lightness’. “Dude, I belong in fucking priso n - I shouldn’t be doing this,” star ts Dave, wh en thinking of the personal connections an d stories he’s heard over th e past few year s. “For a 21 year old girl who is suffering from depression an d anxiety or ha s a really fuck up childhood ed or has had a pa rent die from cancer, for them to come up to me and say ‘Hey this song means a lot to me, this helped me through a really dark tim e’ - damn that fucking good ’s a feeling.

XMAS 2017

BANGERS JAMIE FROM INDOOR PET S’ ULTIMATE XMAS

SO M E T H I N G S N EVE R Y E A R , W C H A N G E ’ RE A F E . EVE R TE R N E Y A N D EV W X M AS E RY Y E BA N G E R A R W E S , E TO TH E N D U P C O M I N G SA M E O L B D A C L ASS I C K JA M I E CS . W E G L ASS AS KE D O F I N D G ET I N O O R PETS U IT, TH ( N O, N O EY ’ VE C T - E D) T H A N G E O C O M E D TH E I R U P W IT N A M E H TH E D L I ST. W E F I N ITI H I C H H V E E D I D. S E E ? FALL OUT B OY - YULE S HOOT YOUR EYE O happens to be UT lyrically abou Let’s

star t off with one of the mos Christmas” Ch t “antiristm our way backwa as songs going and work rds. I spent m any a teen year flicking back m y Emo fringe un wrapping presents to th e tune of this diddy.

THE DARKN ESS - CHRIS TMAS TIME (DON’T LET THE BEL LS END)

I’m going to sa y something co ntroversial he Brace yourselv re. es. I believe th is was officially the last GREA T Christmas so ng to have be released. Wha en t’s topped it in the last decade Got an answer ? ? You’re wrong. Move on.

RATM - KILLI

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G IN THE NA Maybe not joyf ME OF ul. Maybe not triumphant. But I remembe r how amazin g that Xmas no1 campaign was - and I ca n’t ever see it happening ag ain. Lightning in a bottle.

THE POGUES (FEAT. KIRS TY MACCOLL) FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK

It’s got to be on everyone’s list surely? When that accordion kicks in even those lacking in the festive de partment gear themselves up for a jolly good jig!

THE BEACH BOYS LITTLE SAIN T NICK I love this

song so much because it’s essentially just a classic Beach Boys so und that just so

t Christmas. An love The Beac dI h Boys. And Ch ristmas. And Pe Pasta but that sto ’s not relevant .

CHRIS DE B URG H - A S PACEMAN CAME TRAV ELLING That orga

n intro. That ch orus. Those ey As a child, I re ebrows. member being scared of this song! It was so grand and bello wing! In hindsight, may be it was just the eyebrows did the frighte that ning.

WEEZER - T HE CHRISTM AS SO N G

Because it’s a Weezer Christm as song. And I love Weezer. Ob viously. .. Com e on, have you heard my band ?

SLADE - MER RY XMAS EVERYBODY

Let’s end on a banger. Do I re ally need to explain why th is is on this lis t? It’s the best Always has be . en, always will be. P

U “A L L YO R O WA N T F RE X M AS A E D I M PROV O P H S PH OTO ” ? S K I L LS

“I’m not sure I deserve to be feeling it, but there it is. To experience th at as a person thought they who never had anyt hing to offer in life is like fuck ing cool - I’ve just got to ho tight to that fe ld eling.”

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YOU’RE INVITED TO THE DORK XMAS PARTY, FYI G ET YOUR G LAD R AGS ON , IT’S TIME FO R TH E BEST CHRISTMAS PA RT Y OF 2017.

Christmas parties are a compulsory part of the festive season, you know. Like that awkward present swap with your Aunt Mabel; you have to come. It’s the basically the law. Hopefully Dork’s Xmas bash is a little more enticing than stale mince pies with annoying relatives, though - we’re taking over the Old Blue Last in London on 11th December. Oh, and it’s absolutely free. Heading up the bill are our pals in Indoor Pets - and no, your eyes aren’t deceiving you; it’s Get Inuit under a brand new name. Then we have Dork’s current cover stars King Nun, who bring fun and mischief with them wherever they go - and top-notch bangers too, obviously. And first on are Brighton newcomers FUR, who you might have seen playing their stonking retro indie-pop alongside the likes of Blaenavon and Bloody Knees. Pick up your tickets at Dice now. It’s going to be great.

U “A L L YO R O F WA N T RE X M AS A E D I M PROV O P H S O PH OT ” ? S S K I L L

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BANGERS JAMIE FROM INDOOR PET S’ ULTIMATE XMAS

SO M E T H I N G S N EVE R Y E A R , W C H A N G E ’ RE A F E . EVE R TE R N E Y A N D EV W X M AS E RY Y E BA N G E R A R W E S , E TO TH E N D U P C O M I N G SA M E O L B D A C L ASS I C K JA M I E CS . W E G L ASS AS KE D O F I N D G ET I N O O R PETS U IT, TH ( N O, N O EY ’ VE C T - E D) T H A N G E O C O M E D TH E I R U P W IT N A M E H TH E D L I ST. W E F I N ITI H I C H H V E E D I D. S E E ? FALL OUT B OY - YULE S HOOT YOUR EYE O THE POGUES UT Let’s star t off (FEAT. KIRS with one of th TY M ACCOLL) e m ost “antiChristmas” Ch FA IRYTALE OF ristmas songs Y NEW O going and wo RK our way back rk

wards. I spent many a teen ye flicking back m ar y Emo fringe un wrapping presents to th e tune of this diddy.

THE DARKN ESS - CHRIS TMAS TIME (DON’T LET THE BEL LS END)

THE BEACH BOYS - LITT LE SAINT NICK

I’m going to sa y something co ntroversial he Brace yourselv re. es. I believe th is was officially the last GREA T Christmas so ng to released. Wha have been t’s topped it in the last decade Got an answer ? ? You’re wrong. Move on.

RATM - KILLI

N

G IN THE NA Maybe not joyf ME OF ul. Maybe not triumphant. But I remembe r how amazin g that Xmas no1 campaign was - and I ca n’t ever see it happening ag ain. Lightning in a bottle.

It’s got to be on everyone’s list surely? When that accordion kicks in even those lacking the festive de in partment gear themselves up a jolly good jig for !

I love this song so much beca use it’s essentially just a classic Beac h Boys sound just so happen that s to be lyrical ly about Chris And I love The tmas. Beach Boys. An d Christmas. An Pesto Pasta bu d t that’s not re levant.

CHRIS DE B URG H - A S PACEMAN CAME TRAV ELLING That orga

n intro. That ch orus. Those ey As a child, I re ebrows. member being scared of this song! It was so grand and bello wing! In hindsight, may be it was just the eyebrows did the frighte that ning.

WEEZER - T HE CHRISTM AS SO N G

Because it’s a Weezer Christm as song. And I love Weezer. Ob viously. .. Com e on, have you heard my band ?

SLADE - MER RY XMAS EVERYBODY

Let’s end on a banger. Do I re ally need to explain why th is is on this lis t? It’s the best Always has be . en, always will be. P


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For your BFF who’s witnes, at your very sed you but always s worst ticks by your side BE YO NC É - LE M ON AD E It’s gotta be, rig ht? It’s like th e perfect album for that . I feel like we ’ve all stuck by Beyoncé, an d for much of this record, she’s really ve nting a lot of her worst moments. It’s so powerful, an d I’d wanna give back som e of that powe r to my friend and be like, ‘You know what, I’ve got your back - we’ve got Be yoncé’s back, and I’ve got yo ur back.’ 12

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For that one who only listefriend bands no-on ns to e’s ever heard of SI VU - SW EE T SW EE T SI LE NT I don’t wanna offend him by saying no one’s ever hear d of it, but it’s a fucking great record. He ’s a friend of m ine, and it’s an amazing re cord, but unde r this title, I feel a bit bad, because peop le have heard of him! He’s pr etty lowkey, bu t it’s quality. Yeah? Put it on record: ‘Not m eant in an offensive way.’ It’s his second record, and it’s so beautif ul.

For your you impressiona nger, ble sis

ter

BE AC H HO US E - TE EN DR EA M One of my all-t ime favourite records, I haven’t stop ped listening to it since I found it when I was I don’t kn ow, eighteen? I ju st think it’s ve ry chilled; I can imagine just sitting ba ck and listening to it like I did, and it’s ki that teen angs t you’d want fro nda got m had a little sis ter, this’d be on it. If I e that I’d be like… get it.


MARIKA’S

XMAS 2017

XMAS

G IFT

GUIDE

STRUGG LING W ITH WH CHRIST AT TO G MAS? W ET THE E TOOK FAM TH TO ROU MARIKA IS G H TRA HACKM D E EAST T AN DOW SUGG ES O N TIONS. PICK O UT SOM WORDS E : L I LY

M

BECKET T.

PHOTOS :

JENNIF ER

MCCOR D.

arika Hackman sums up saying that th 2017 in three e album’s help words: “A ed them in so ways and mad mixed bag”. Fr me e them feel m om her ore comfortabl with who they standpoint as e are. That’s been a musician, amazing.” she’s accompl ished a Touring North considerable “I’ve had a reco America with amount. FATH ER JO HN The Big Moon rd out, got a ne has been a mom M IS TY - PU RE w band, toured America, play entous highlig He CO M ED Y ’s a classic croo ed the first sh ht year, and marks of the ner, I feel like ows for this album, so it’s an important a lot of m um s m ig been an excit ht have a crus juncture in Marika’s career ing time.” h on him. He’s . “It was the fir very charismat st time I’d done a headline tour ic, his music’s The parts that . I’d been out very, kind of, funny. The th made her year er M ly e ar ric wi ling a few year th Laura s aren’t super expressly ‘mixed’ materia s ago which wa th ‘out er e’ ab ou lised independ t st different kind uff mums prob s a very ently from he successes, and of tour - we we ably don’t wanna hear, bu r re on a bus, she astutely ac wi t th ag a ai bi n g ve gr ry sarcastic an knowledges oup of us. But the broader pl representative d this time was ain of 2017. “O just me and Th of day-to-day bviously in th world, a lot of e Big Moon, pl life. And he’s just got some e stuff’s been go us en th go e gi od sound neer, driving ou tu ne s, ing on, which so kind of underm I fe mums would el like rselves across ines [her acco of America.” like him! the whole mplishments]. So it’s been th is real juxtapos ition between my life, and ev erything else The trek from that’s gone on West Coast to .” East over two weeks in the su Marika’s second mmer happily proved to be an album, ‘I’m No ad venture rather t Your Man’, was released than an ordeal in June, and sh be . “It would’ve en th e wo e notes how rld’s worst tour her fanbase ha - it should’ve s evolved since been really re she made the ally hard.” Desp move away fro m the predom ite there bein “no days off an g inantly folky sounds of her d endless drive debu s”, Marika fortuitously co “They just seem t album, ‘We Slept at Last’. nfirms that th e tour was “all to be a lot mor totally worth it.” e lively, you know? Like at shows they sin g the words ba and dance. It se ck ems like they’re What made it so wonderful? all quite a confident bunc “The shows we h, which is nice full, the crowds re .” This likely ha something to were amazing, s do with the ra and then it was just me an m bu tongue-in-che nctious and d five of my be ek attitudes th st pals. It was really, just drea JO AN NA NE W at underpin he a newest record my experience.” SO M - TH E M r . IL K- EY ED TE ND ER When asked wh I mean, probab Its lead single et her she could ly ‘Have One On ‘Boyfriend’ moc share any of her plans for 20 Me’ rather than ‘The Milk ks the obliviousness 18, Marika look -Eyed Tender’, of a man who but this is s la sh ug th ift hs e y . on an ‘U e m d remains they’ve got he m, any I can sh unthreatened re and Joanna are? Actually… by his girlfriend don’t?” Dissat Newsom’s a fu I ’s affair with isfied with he another woman cking babe. M r own deflectio , and the them uch the she quickly co same reasons n, es least ncedes and of ambiguously co as Father John fers up some nveyed on this proposals. “I wi Misty for th e m um s, tra I think Joanna to fans openin ll be touring; ck have led Newsom just g up to the sin I’ll be playing festivals, I’ll al fucking genius a ger. “I’ve also had a lot of pe so probably be , an d on e of my favour ople talking to making my next record. Th ar tists. I feel lik ite me about thei sexuality and os e e ar da e the things I ds would appr r stuff like that doing.” P her - my dad wo should be eciate which is cool, uld appreciate her, she’s unique, she ki nd of pushes m usic in quite a strange way, and she’s just a total babe. Dads would be down with that .

For your Mum

For your Dad

For that suc cousin who ycessful always gett ou’re compared toing M AR IK A HA CK M AN - I” M YO UR M AN Can I just pick my record? Sh ould I do it? It’d be like sayin g, ‘Everyone al ways says you’re so grea t, you’re doing this, you’re doing that, bu t this is what I was doing last year. I mad e this, have a listen to it’.

For your eld grandmotheerly r LA NA DE L RE Y - LU ST FO R LI FE It’s timeless, bu t it’s still mod ern, and it resonates right now. I think it’ d be a nice way of approa ching that age gap, and the differences in what’s going on culturally. But also being like, ‘I think yo u’ll dig this, Grandma. This music’s still co ol.’

For your cru sh ALVVAY S - AN TI SO CI AL IT ES I think Alvvay s is just one of those bands; I find them re ally romantic. This’d be my subtle hint, lik e, ‘I fancy you, this is what I’ve been liste ning to while I’ve been dreaming abou t you’. DOWN WITH BORING

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CONNECTION STUFF YOU SAID. STUFF THEY SAID.

“ B LO O D Y H E L L , D O YO U LOT T H I N K I ’ M M A D E O F M O N EY ?”

DEAR SANTA,

W E ASKE D ‘ TH E BA N DS ’ W H AT TH EY WA N T E D T H I S C H R I ST M AS , T U R N S O U T, PRETT Y MUCH EVE RYTH I N G.

Dear Santa, We feel like we’ve been relatively good boys this year, working hard on tour and in the studio, and so for Christmas, we would like: - An RC plane for Tarek (he bloody loves his RC helicopter!) - A set of 20kg dumbbells for Pete (he’s getting ripped this year) - A velour dressing gown for Andy (just to make him that 5% more chilled) - A new set of Birkenstocks for James (although no more socks please, he really needs to cut that combo out...) Thank you, and we hope the commute over Xmas eve isn’t too hectic. Lots and lots of love Spring King xo Dear Santa, We would be eternally grateful for the following items: A pair of lemons, one damp leg, cashew nut butter, Dennis Hopper’s unknown sex tape, yesterday’s croissant, a

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heaped spoon of aniseed, a goose or two, some of Vinnie Jones’ best work, Greek basil, eggless cakes for picky co-workers, a slice of rubber cheddar, felt-tip fingers, a box of stamps, a hot buttered barn cake and Jennifer Aniston’s nineties cut. Also, a TV would be nice. We have an urge to re-watch Die Hard 3. Thank you Santa, our chimney is your chimney. Love LIFE Dear Santa, Just a couple things I’m after this year for Christmas, nothing major. - Exact replicas of every outfit Angela Chase wears in the 90s TV series My So-Called Life, but in pink. - Period cramps to cease to exist. - Safety pins. Because you can never have too many safety pins. - A copy of every Riot Grrl zine made in the 90s. For important research. - A little mini nightclub that I could

store on the shelf in my bedroom and whenever I’m feeling lazy and don’t wanna leave my room but wanna dance and party I can invite some friends over, and we can all shrink and go into the nightclub. Like the Club Kids version of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. - A set of pro-CDJs and sound system for my mini club so I can live out my dream as a top international DJ on the mini nightclub circuit. - Bring David Bowie and Prince back for one night, so I can bring them to my mini nightclub, and we can dance and talk about music all night. - Disable Instagram for a full week. I wanna see how the world reacts. If you can provide, I’ll have warm coconut milk and Biscoff biscuits waiting on a plate just 4 u when you come to deliver. Lotsa love, GIRLI xox Dear Santa, Now, I know I haven’t been a very good boy this year... I’ve spent most of the time in the studio watching Netflix, and when I tell people I go to the gym I’m really just using the sauna... but if you could overlook this I promise I will make it up to you next year. All I’m asking for this Christmas is a DBX 160 compressor so I can make my next record sound boombastic. Give Rudolph a pat on the nose for me, Toothless x Dear Santa, For Christmas, please send us three samoyed puppies! They look like happiness made out of snow, and honestly, you should look into them for pulling your sledge. Noah wants a record player so he can finally play all our friends’ records, and I’d love a set of cast iron pans so I can live my off-tour life as the well-seasoned cook I dream of being. Lastly, tell Nintendo we’re ready for a new animal crossing game already. xo Alex, Diet Cig

Puppies are for life. Not LIFE. They want a box of stamps and Die Hard 3.

Dear Santa, It has been a while since I last wrote to you. I believe the last time you heard from me, I very politely asked for a

-

purple Gameboy Color and you kindly delivered. Thanks, mate. Pokemon Yellow was a huge vibe. This time around, I’m going to ask for something a bit less tangible. I’m not sure if the news has made it to the North Pole, but we’re in a little bit of trouble in Australia at the moment. For some reason, the Australian government feels a need to seriously pump the breaks on making a formal decision regarding same-sex marriage laws in our country. There has been a bunch of money spent on a postal survey - the results of which not actually making any direct contribution to legislative change - which has allowed a platform for unsafe prejudices to be heard and spread. There is a lot of uncertainty about what the results of this survey will be along with the consequential legislative outcomes. So, all I’m asking for Christmas is for Australia and the rest of the planet to open its arms to change, progress, equality and what is right. Help the world take a long overdue step towards stamping out prejudice against a community I am proudly a part of and allow people to make their own decisions about their own lives. That’s all. It’s not much and definitely easier on the elves that whipping up a Gameboy Color. Send my best to Mrs Claus, and I’ll be sure to heat up your milk and cookies before I go to sleep on Christmas Eve. Cheers, Alex Lahey x Dear Santa, I know it’s quite an ask, but I have been a damme good boy this year. Give me: An RC Car A Vegetarian Lasagna Peace on Earth A watch DVDs: Shrek The Third, The Hangover 2, Step Brothers 1 Interrail Ticker UPS guy uniform Dork Magazine (Nice one - Ed) A copy of Blaenavon’s debut LP ‘That’s Your Lot’, out 7th April (2017), on vinyl Money Toilet Roll New Shoes Trainers Electric Guitar Nintendo 3DS Oyster Card Puppy (for Christmas, not for life) Beer Wine Mixed Heaped Nuts Pitta (bread) Carrot Sticks and Hummus DRPNs Starbucks Doubleshot Espresso Can (x2) Nice one. See you on the big day! Blaenavon


CALENDAR 03

IT’S CRIIIIIIIBSMAS!

D EC E M B E R

2017

01

The Jarmans kick off the festive period in style, with the return of Cribsmas - a month-long series of gigs which will see them play four nights each in Glasgow, Manchester, London and Leeds. They’re taking some stonking support bands along for the ride, too including Dream Wife, Dream Wife, Paws, Demob Happy, PINS and Nick JD Hodgson, Magic Mountain and more.

KASABIAN MAKE IT LOOK EEZ-EH

Kasabian are rounding out their 2017 with a humongous UK tour that includes not one night at the O2 Arena, but two - on 1st and 2nd December.

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PARTY POPPERS AHOY

It’s okay guys, put your wallets away this one’s on us. Head to the Old Blue Last in London for Dork’s Xmas party, feat. Indoor Pets (formerly Get Inuit), King Nun and Fur. See you there.

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NEW ALBUMS DAY

POPCORN AT THE READY

It’s the twentieth anniversary of one of the most important films in music history. Yes, Spiceworld: The Movie. What better way to spend Boxing Day than joining Posh, Baby, Ginger, Scary and Sporty as they fly a Union Flagemblazoned bus over the Thames?

Not only does today signal just one more sleep until Santa, Christmas dinner and the Doctor Who special, it also marks Declan McKenna getting one year older. Hurrah!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALEX TURNER!

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FALL OUT BOY ARRIVE IN LONDON

Pete Wentz and Co. are playing a trio of intimate European shows this month, starting in Berlin, then Stockholm, and finally London at the Electric in Brixton.

When was the last good album released? Some time last year? Today’s the day we’re back in business, with new records from Tune-Yards, The Xcerts, First Aid Kit, Fall Out Boy and probably some more we’ve forgotten.

CREEPER GO HOME

The finale of Creeper’s UK tour takes place in their hometown, Southampton, tonight; months in the planning, and with Can’t Swim, Microwave and Nervus in support, it’s sure to be a tour to remember.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DECCERS!

One year older, still no new Arctic Monkeys album. We don’t want to be dicks here mate, but how about you spend your special day working on some new tunes, hmm?

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OMG, IT’S THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM DREAM WIFE

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PARAMORE PLAY THE O2

We’ve been waiting for this tour for bloody AGES. Paramore are playing five nights in the UK this January; tonight sees them play the giant O2 Arena in London.

‘19’ TURNS TEN

Adele’s debut album ’19’ was a ridiculous success; not only did it go straight to Number 1 in the charts (obvs) and launch a global superstar, but it’s sold literally millions of copies. Crazy stuff. It’s now ten years old, too.

Dork faves Dream Wife drop their selftitled debut record today, and - spoiler alert - they’ve knocked it out of the bloody park.

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he Wombats are on a tight schedule. They have just over twelve hours in Ireland, and in that time they need to do some press, and film footage for the music video for their new single ‘Lemon to a Knife Fight’. They’ll get it all in the bag, but by the end of the day, everyone will be running on fumes. The pace also means that the only time the band have to chat is in the van that has just pulled up outside the studio in Dublin 12, ready to take them to the video location. The Wombats clamber into the back of the taxi and settle down in a row. Drummer Dan Haggis is effusive, bass player Tord Øverland Knudsen is quieter, while frontman Murph is exhausted and getting more blearyeyed by the second. It’s already been a massive day, and it’s not even 3pm yet. As the van trundles its way out of town and onto the motorway, the warehouses and canals of outer Dublin fade into the distance.

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH...

THE WOMBATS

A CA M P E R VA N , S M O K E M AC H I N E A N D S O M E D O D GY D E C KC H A I R S BY T H E S I D E O F T H E R O A D - I T C A N O N LY B E . . . E R M , T H E W O M B AT S ’ L ATEST VI D EO SH O OT ? WO RDS:

LI AM

KO N E M A N N .

THIS IS HAPPENING THE LATEST NEWS. ISH.

G ET M O RE AS I T H A P P E N S AT RE A D D O RK .C O M .

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PH OTOS :

TOM

OX L EY.

THE CRIBS HAVE BOOKED LOADS OF GREAT BANDS FOR CRIBSMAS

Joining the Jarmans for their December residencies are main supports Dream Wife, Paws, Demob Happy, PINS and Nick JD Hodgson, alongside Peaness, Mutes, Magic Mountain, Esper Scout, Harkin and more.

THE 1975 ARE RELEASING A NEW EP, BUT NOT UNTIL NEXT YEAR

Matty Healy recently revealed The 1975 have a new EP on the way. “Okay – one more EP,” the frontman Tweeted. “What A Shame – The EP”. The band’s manager Jamie Oborne later confirmed: “EP will be 2018.”

Have they got particularly fond memories of the city? Dan grins. “Oooh, here we go!” Murph laughs and buries his face in his hands, knowing exactly what the response is going to be. Then he resigns himself to his fate. “Haggis is gonna take this one,” he says. “I’ve been here many a time, but one of my favourite Dublin memories was my 21st birthday. I invited a load of friends and family, and we had a boozy weekend,” says Dan. “We started at 6am in Liverpool Airport – that was my Dad instigating the first Guinness.” Murph chuckles. “My red velvet jacket never really recovered from that trip.” “Murph’s red velvet jacket got destroyed while on his body, and he wasn’t even aware of it. He didn’t know what was going on,” Dan laughs. “That was a real bad one, that.” This is the problem with old friends. They know too much. “Another great time was the Arthur Guinness 250th anniversary. We played at Whelan’s and then had to go across to a little pub and do an acoustic thing. That was awesome,” says Dan. “I remember asking someone where the toilets were, and she said ‘Argh, just piss in me Guinness!’” says Murph. “I don’t know whether that was a real offer or not.” By comparison, today’s Irish jaunt

THE VACCINES ARE GOING TO PLAY A MASSIVE SHOW AT ALLY PALLY

The Vaccines have announced a night at London’s Alexandra Palace; they’ll play the whopping great big venue on 14th April 2018. The follow up to 2015 album ‘English Graffiti’ is also on the way, too…


is fairly sedate. With this morning’s photo shoot done and dusted without incident, we’re being whisked off to Crossdoney, County Cavan, so that the band can shoot the video for their latest single ‘Lemon to a Knife Fight’. “It’s directed by Finn Keenan who did the ‘Greek Tragedy’ video [in 2015], which is one of our favourites. He had this idea he was passionate about and we were like, ‘Of course’,” says Murph. “We just put all our trust in him,” Tord agrees. “Finn will smash it.” “Thematically it’s a little bit in the same world as ‘Greek Tragedy’ in that there’s a gang of cowboys hunting... at first you think it’s just a woman and then she turns into a werewolf, and they want to kill the werewolf for sport,” Dan explains. “But then she ends up killing them all and gets in the car and drives off. Right?” He glances around at his bandmates. “Something like that. It’s gonna be really gory, basically.” “Is it B-movie gore or full-on, nasty ‘Greek Tragedy’ gore?” Murph asks. “Hopefully it will be very gory. Like Quentin Tarantino,” Dan says. With a big anniversary behind them and the circus that will come with their upcoming fourth album ‘Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life’ not fully in gear yet, the Wombats are in the eye of the hurricane. That’s just as well - it’s been a big year. Back in June, the band planned to mark the 10th birthday of their debut album ‘A Guide to Love, Loss, and Desperation’ with what they’d originally conceived of as a one-off celebratory gig. But somewhere along the way that show turned into a tour, with their Brixton Academy date selling out in less than twenty-four hours. So naturally, the next step was for the Wombats to take the show to the other side of the world, where they also sold out the Sydney Opera House. Twice.

“BEING IN A BAND’S QUITE A WEIRD LIFE, ISN’T IT?” was ridiculous.” “We did Brixton, which is one of our favourite venues to play in the UK, and Liverpool, and Glasgow. But it was only Sydney that had the wombat-mice, because the costumes were supposed to be getting flown back from Australia, but they didn’t make it back in time,” Dan says. “They sent them with like two weeks to spare because it took ages to actually clean them. And then when they did send them Australian customs held them up massively because they were like, ‘Hmm, a band sending stuffed costumes abroad... something smells a bit dodgy here.’” While the past has much to celebrate, a decade on from their debut, the Wombats are still operating as though the best is yet to come. It’s entirely possible that it is, too. They’ve already booked in two major headline tours for 2018, not to mention a support slot for Weezer and Pixies’ double headline tour in the US next summer. Besides,

their new single ‘Lemon to a Knife Fight’ has all the markings of a classic Wombats anthem. The track was written after an argument Murph had on Los Angeles’ famed Mulholland Drive, and lyrically captures the sense of knowing you’re headed for a losing battle but ploughing in anyway. It encapsulates some of the ongoing themes of the tracks on ‘Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life’; the pushpull change of adulthood, and the sneaking suspicion that you might be in over your head. “Being in a band’s quite a weird life, isn’t it? And throwing a kid into the mix, and marriage, and living in different places, you’ve got to be malleable,” says Dan. “I think being in a band you just enter this state of arrested development for quite a long time and then all of a sudden you fucking pop out of it and you don’t know what’s going on.

“Those shows were amazing,” says Dan. “Initially we were like, ‘Oh 2017, we should probably do some sort of little show,’ and then before we knew it, we were playing the Sydney Opera House twice. There were people dressed as wombats on the stage. It was all pretty surreal.” “Wombats-slash-mice,” Murph corrects. “But they were pretty good wombat costumes, to be fair.” “Most of the ones you look up online look like little bears, don’t they? We had to have them custom made,” Dan says. “It was a big deal,” adds Tord. “We had so many email threads about the costumes; you wouldn’t believe it. It

DECLAN MCKENNA HAS ANNOUNCED HIS BIGGEST HEADLINE DATES YET

Deccers has just wound up a UK tour, but he’s already announced a new ‘un for 2018. The two-night run will kick off at The Forum in London on 5th April, and finish at Academy 1 in Manchester the next day.

BESTIVAL IS BACK NEXT YEAR WITH A NEW THEME AND A NEW DATE

Bestival will now be taking place a month earlier than usual, from 2nd-5th August 2018, shifting from September. The party returns to Dorset’s Lulworth Estate once more with a circus theme; time to dig out the red nose and balloon from Halloween...

WILL JOSEPH COOK HAS RELEASED A NEW EP CALLED ‘IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY’

Former Dork cover star will Joseph Cook has released a new EP. The threetrack release is titled ‘If You Want To Make Money’, and follows on from Will’s debut album ‘Sweet Dreamer’, which came out earlier this year.

That’s how it’s definitely felt for me,” Murph considers. “But I think this album lyrically it’s a lot about a boy wrestling with more mature adult themes and not necessarily winning the fight.” He pauses for a moment to turn this thought over. “Maybe occasionally winning the fight,” he decides. As the traffic slows and acres of farmland unspool beyond the windows, it’s clear we’re getting closer to the location for today’s shoot. Before too long the van deposits us on the side of a back road in Crossdoney. The set features a Winnebago, a tiny prefabricated shop, and not much else. As the sun’s gone down the weather has turned, and a cold rain now hangs in the air. Within minutes everyone is shivering, damp hair stuck to their foreheads. Murph, Tord, and Dan settle into a trio of rickety-looking deckchairs for their opening shot. Someone flips a switch and smoke billows out from underneath the Winnebago. A vintage muscle car slides through the shot, and a bloodied tennis ball sails overhead and into Murph’s outstretched hand. The Wombats are engulfed in a cloud of smoke, the cameras rolling on their next phase. P

WANT TO BUY A COMPLETE RADIOHEAD SONGBOOK?

Radiohead have given their seal of approval to a colossal compendium of over 160 songs – pretty much everything they’ve ever released – across 400 pages, all with lyrics and those little pictures which show you where to put your fingers. Thanks, Radiohead!

DOWN WITH BORING

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TH E BE S T O F 20 1 7

THESE ARE

T HE O UR

OUR

Y E A R O F L O R D E

T WENT Y S EVEN T E E N B T D L B B

E H E O R A

E E A A I N

N

F F A B T P H S V W

A U N A H A I O E I

N L D N E G G M R T

TA S L- L B A GE R N E ES HL I E O Y B H A

H A S

‘ Q U I T E Y E A R ’ , R R E A D E R . DS O F LL I A N T DS , T E L S X W G F E

I N L . T E H

C G T H I S T O V F E ’ L L T T H E S T , S I D E

S I C E R W

O RDER O F F ESTI V E X M A S F UN.

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E N J O Y !

FIFTY FAVOURITE ALBUMS OF 2017, FYI Y S T S T O S B W A W

O O H T H V H U O

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I A I E O T R W HA

GUYS, MANY S S YEAR RTED P S VERY R A HU ULD BE THAT’ K, SO HOLE B T WAS

THE UPER . WH UTTI LIS NDRE IN S NO WE H UNCH LEFT

RE A EN NG T, D TH T IT A .

H LB W T T WE E HO D ND NI

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VE MS F GE ER TH OP N LE TH E

B E E N I R S T T H E R E W E R E O U G H T 5 0 . U M B E R S T E O N I S I S O N E .


# 1 S T VINCENT M ASSEDUCTION

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here’s little shock in the fact that St. Vincent would release our favourite album of 2017. The odds on that at the start of the year would have been ludicrously short. A true pop polymath, her latest record ‘MASSEDUCTION’ was already building on foundations that set up a sure thing move into the triple A-list. To do it in a year that’s seen so many spectacular Big Alt-Pop Albums, though, shows just how all-conquering her talent has become. Between Lorde’s ‘Melodrama’ and Paramore’s move into happysad bops with ‘After Laughter’, an especially strong field simply brought through the best in our Annie. From the twitchy-eyed, uppers and downers ‘Pills’ to the all-time classic ‘Los Ageless’, ‘MASSEDUCTION’ is a record that plays on the biggest of stages. Matched with a live show that split opinions and fired up debate like no other in recent years, and St. Vincent’s move to the gilded halls of legend was sealed.

An album packed with bangers, ‘MASSEDUCTION’ comes from the best stock. Its title track sleazes its way through the neon jungle, while ‘Sugaboy’ bathes itself in baby oil and descends on the disco floor, spilling over with fluorescent confidence. Add the running narrative of ‘Happy Birthday, Johnny’ and the stirring build of ‘Slow Disco’, and we’re talking of a record that confirms St. Vincent as modern alternative music’s great personas. In an era where everything is dragged down to the dirt, Annie Clark ascends.

C O N T E N T S

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S U N D A R A

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G L A S S

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B L A E N A V O N

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T H E O F

V I N C E N T

B O Y

K A R M A

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D O R K T H E

Q U I Z

Y E A R

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P O L L

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S T .

V I NCENT

C O O L E R

THAN

IS YOU T HE BE ST O F 20 17

I N ANY Y E AR THA T S T VINCE N T R E LEASES A T G I U C O B C

N H O T P R N E L

A ER OD W B OW E ST AR

LBU E’S CH ILL EIN NED OF ; A K I

M , A A N E G A T H N N S

C E N D S E I E A

S U PERSTA R O F T H E HIGH E S T O R DER.

WORDS : A L I S H U TLER. PHOTO S : S A R A H LOUISE

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BENNETT.


THE BEST OF 2017

S

t Vincent’s ‘MASSEDUCTION’ captures Annie Clark at her most confident; every brightly coloured corner swells with an assured grin. She’s always stood proud and unblinking, but her fifth album - all capital letters and neon shine - comes with more belief and more desire for the spotlight. “Haven’t I earnt it?” she asks, deadly serious but quickly turning to laughter. And of course, she has. Her self-titled fourth album, secured, underlined and drew little fireworks around her talent as both artist and entertainer. Building worlds and pulling apart constructs, it took her from indie darling to gleaming superstar, via a Grammy win. ‘MASSEDUCTION’ channels the same spirit but reinvents the box before leaving it behind. Which might be why earlier this year, Annie launched the record with a series of interviews in a large, pink wooden box within a warehouse. “Well, I wanted to give people an experience they wouldn’t forget,” offers Annie. Today, a day off from tour and following a wonderfully brilliant show at London’s Brixton Academy, we’re in a hotel room. “You may very well forget being in this ugly hotel room with track lighting and me, half lying down on a couch,” she explains. “We have to work hard to make this remarkable. It’s very similar to a million other interviews you’ve done in hotels with whomever so if we’re going to do it, why not make it an experience?” That attitude drives everything St. Vincent is. “If you’re going to do it, why not make it fun,” she asks with a grin. “Why not?” This new era is “set alongside a very real, very raw look at power, control, love and sex”, and sees Annie sit somewhere between shredding rock star and sparkling pop icon. There’s a sprawling artistry to everything she puts her name to, an intimate understanding to the secrets and revelations she shares. “I don’t know where I fit,” she admits. “We’re super postmodern as a culture. We’re all Tumblr upon Tumblr pages of references, and I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about where I fit in,” she continues, before pausing and thinking for a second just to be sure. “I don’t. Because I don’t know the answer. I’ve only ever made the music that I thought was the best thing I could make at the time.” ‘MASSEDUCTION’, all clear cut synth and lack of distortion, was a twist on the pencil drawn next step for St. Vincent, but she didn’t do it to play with your expectations. “I don’t presume to know what people think

enough to go, ‘I’m going to really toy with them like a cat and one of those cat toys’. I’m not really thinking about that very much, if at all.” And anyway, “There’s a lot of guitar on the record. The first three songs have guitar solos. Solos! Like, solos. Boom, boom, boom. Come on. They might be solos in a Fripp & Eno ‘Evening Star’ way, but it’s still a guitar solo.” Despite the distance of having a character to hide behind, “for me, the record is very first person. I’m not necessarily going, ‘I wonder what it looks like from the other side’, but it’s really personal.” Still, St. Vincent isn’t alone on the record. “The song ‘MASSEDUCTION’ is the thesis of the album, and you meet all the characters on the record in that song. There is a narrative, but I wouldn’t be able to necessarily say this is act 1, act 2 and act 3. There’s an intuitive through-line. An order.” It’s not so much a journey with introduction, conflict and resolution, more a progressive conversation. ‘MASSEDUCTION’ looks at power and works out what can and can’t be controlled. As a concept, it’s something that was maybe worked out in real time alongside recording the record, but Annie doesn’t really remember. “I don’t remember most of my life,” she admits, perhaps because she’s always looking towards the next thing. At its core though, ‘MASSEDUCTION’ is a record about love. “It’s an incredibly heartfelt record. It wasn’t difficult to write. It was difficult to live,” she smiles. “I mean, it is difficult to write, of course it is.” As the saying goes, “I hate writing. I love having written. It’s arduous and painful, and sometimes things all happen like clicking your fingers, and sometimes you’re slaving over a line or a melody or a beat or whatever for ages. I can never see what it’s going to be at the beginning ‘cos what’s the point of doing it if you know where it’s going to go? That’s no fun. ‘MASSEDUCTION’ started to all crystalise in a way at the end. But that’s just weird alchemy. I don’t know how that happens.” And so as the hero, love straddles both sides of control. However infatuated, head over heels or heartbroken she is, everything is given an equal weight. There’s power throughout, even when she’s baring her soul. “I think vulnerability is brave and therefore powerful,” she reasons. “I have agency in every song. We all have agency; we just have to acknowledge and exercise it.” It feels like self-love comes into play, “You mean like masturbating?” Annie asks with a knowing smirk. “Self-love? I don’t know what that terminology means. I’m not sure what people mean by self-love or self-acceptance. There’s not so much judgment in the record. The narrator or me or however

“WHAT’S THE

POINT

OF

DOING

IT

IF

KNOW

YOU WHERE

IT’S GOING GO? NO

TO

THAT’S FUN”

you want to say it, is not standing on high, away from a situation going, ‘This is what’s justice, and this is what’s injustice or anything like that. It’s just human experience as lived, which is complicated and faceted.” The record teeters on the edge of chaos, that feeling of “it’s just inside me.” A little bit political, a little bit personal, “the two are so interlinked”. The title-track plays seduction and destruction off of one another, blurring the lines and holding up a dirty mirror. “You don’t know what you’re going to make until you are in the process of doing it,” Annie reasons, but she knew it was going to be a personal record. “I knew it was going to be a glamorous bloodletting.” Why? “It just seemed like the right thing to do.” There’s hope to the record, because “hope is in life too. It just exists, so I put it in there. I must have wanted it because I did it,” she offers. Her art is made up of “so much thought. So much accident.” “Making a short horror film was really influential in how I thought about the visual side of the record,” she continues, referencing The

Birthday Party, her contribution to horror anthology flick XX. “I started writing with my friend Willo Perron, my creative director, on this. We started rapping about the aesthetic, back in March and the record wasn’t anywhere near done at that point. The visuals were influencing the music; the music was influencing the visuals. It really was symbiotic in a way it never had been in the past.” The mood board ideas of “manic panic, sexy Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and a dominatrix at the mental institution,” set the tone for the world of ‘MASSEDUCTION’. “We live in really absurd times, so this was how we could really lean into the absurdity of the times but also have it be sexy. It’s an odd balance, to be absurd and sexy.” Especially when you have the sincerity of it all. “You’d have to, otherwise there’d be nothing rooting the whole thing. It’s a very sincere record, very heart on sleeve, but if I were to draw the exact visual analogue to the music, it would be Metallica’s ‘Black Album’. I needed a visual that had some humour and some buoyancy to it.”

DOWN WITH BORING

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“IT’S

AN

ODD BALANCE, TO

BE

ABSURD AND

SEXY”

Annie Clark is well aware how silly this all is. Live, she’s the only person on stage. The people handing her instruments wear ski masks, and she’s backed by videos of herself, in various guises. It could be really self-indulgent, but it never is. “It’s not like I’m taking myself particularly seriously in any of the videos. None of it’s done for beauty. It’s just kinda bonkers and weird. I just thought it was funny. I mean, life is ridiculous,” she shrugs. “Donald Trump is President of the United States, what absurd clown hell are we living in?” And that humour and brevity help her stay on a level with her audience. We’re all in on the joke. “People are smart, and the second you underestimate them, you’re done for. I have tremendous respect for the audience and the audience’s intelligence. I’ve never tried to pander or do, ‘Teeheehee, you’re not in on this. You don’t get it.’ It’s not that at all.” Instead, there’s an intimate connection between Annie and her audience. ‘MASSEDUCTION’ gets to the bone of emotion, offering validation and community, without breaking the spell. “I’ve never heard an artist explain what a song is about to them and gone, ‘Oh my god; I love this song so much more’. Ever. I remember being so bummed out when I heard ‘Martha My Dear’ from [The Beatles’] ‘The White Album’ is about Paul McCartney’s dog. The song is ruined for me. People don’t need to know that stuff. They really don’t. It ruins it for them, and that’s not my goal.” Like her place in the world, St. Vincent doesn’t spend much time thinking about why her music connects. She doesn’t know, and that’s good enough for her. “Presumably for the same reasons, in a global sense, art makes you feel understood and not alone

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and so, that’s probably a feeling people have listening to it,” she offers. It’s not why Annie makes art, though. “I can’t not do it,” she starts. “I think about going to Lausanne in Switzerland and going to this museum and seeing this quote-unquote outsider art. There was this woman who had been put in this mental institution, more or less against her will. I don’t know how many people go to a mental institution super willingly, but she was in her forties or fifties, she knew that she was never going get out, she knew she was never going to get married or anything. But her dream was to get married and to wear white on her wedding day. She made the most gorgeous wedding dress you’ve ever seen out of toilet

paper and spit. And that was because she had an irreparable desire to make things. I have that. I just want to make things. I can’t even tell you why; it’s just necessary for survival.” That need to create a universe for her own use is still the divine force behind ‘MASSEDUCTION’, despite the glare of the spotlight. “I heard the tales, fortune and blame. Tigers and wolves defanged by fame,” warns ‘Pills’, putting the reoccurring disconnect into pointed words. “I’m not particularly famous, so this isn’t me harbouring illusions about my status by any means,” she considers, “but there is certainly an anxiety about falling into trappings of success that ultimately take you away from making good music. A lot of people get comfortable, and then the fire dies down because it just becomes about making sure they can keep affording the five mortgages or put the down payment on the condo in Boca. I was just wary of that, but it wasn’t, ‘God, I’m so famous now. I can’t deal with my life’ by any means. ‘I wish I could go to the shops, but I get hassled now’. Not at all.” She doesn’t think people read too much into her art, “but as far as the interpretation of it, people ask me to speak to their thesis all the time. One, I don’t think it’s really my place and two, the songs and the meaning of it all still reveal themselves to me. With this record and the show, so many things were intuitive. ‘This really moves me, let’s go there’. I don’t know why watching people stretch in slow motion in gimp outfits paired with ‘Slow Disco’ makes me feel tremendous sadness, but it does, so maybe that’s okay. I feel it, so let’s go there. I’m not thinking this is a commentary on the state of narcissism and the male gaze, which isn’t to say they’re not there,

but my focus is on making something that is meaningful. And a lot of times, I don’t know the full extent of why. That’s just instinct. That’s just art. That’s why it’s so exciting.” P

F E A R T H E F U T URE “I don’t move on once the record’s been released. I mean, I’m touring it and living in the songs every night, but I don’t have any qualms about being quote-unquote misunderstood. It’s for everybody else now. It’s not for me anymore. I had a wonderful time playing. I just wanted to make a show that I thought was interesting and beautiful. “I’ve been kinda shocked and also tickled that the show’s been so polarising. I think part of it is this analogy, when you think that you really want milk, you’re really thirsty for milk, and you have a cup of something in front of you that you think is milk, and you take a sip, and it’s sprite. And you’re like, ‘Eurgh, this is disgusting’. It’s not that you dislike Sprite, it’s just that you weren’t expecting Sprite. So, I think that for some people expecting milk, they were angered that it was Sprite. I don’t know why I’m using Sprite but hit me up, Sprite. “Also, people are hung up on ideas about authenticity. If they were going to see a hip-hop show and there wasn’t a live band, no one would be bummed. ‘Great, cool, I saw the person that I like, singing the songs or rapping the songs that I like’, but for some reason, some people found it very offensive that there wasn’t a live band, like they were being cheated. Which is very weird to me. Also, I was playing and singing the whole time.”


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#2 LO R D E MELODR A M A

I

f there was ever a fear about where the revolution would go next, Lorde extinguished that in a heartbeat, with ‘Melodrama’ sitting as a defiant and allencompassing masterpiece for 2017 and beyond. Tying up with Jack Antonoff, it’s a propulsive collection of tunes that doesn’t dally with one stage but always has an eye on the big leagues - with chart-smashing anthems underlaid with emotional and raw tales of learning to deal with the ups and down of life in the 21st century. Like an eye into the soul, amplified with a mix that makes every track essential, it’s pop done proper - with the likes of ‘Green Light’,

‘Homemade Dynamite’ and ‘Liability’ all managing to feel incredibly close yet massive at the same time. ‘Melodrama’ is confirmation that Lorde is the pop supremo we need, and for that, we should all turn up the speakers loud and have a moment - this is love and defiance all wrapped in one go.

#3 PARAMORE AFTER LAUGHTER Pop you say? What, Pop? What? Take those question marks and shove it where the sun don’t shine - Paramore’s return is nothing short of extraordinary, daring to go further than they’ve ever done before yet also ripping down the barriers for one for the most honest records of the year. Blending Talking Heads with 80s neon-bliss, it’s a record of powerful significance and takes Paramore further into the mainstream as a result. Hard Times? Maybe, but they look bloody joyous.

#4 WOLF ALICE VISIONS OF A LIFE Gritty and real, Wolf Alice nailed how to do a second album with ‘Visions Of A Life’. The soaring success of ‘My Love Is Cool’ may have felt towering, but Wolf Alice refined and focused their sound on a record that feels carefully orchestrated yet natural at the same time. It’s the sort of record that should catapult them to the A-leagues, an undeniably real look into the emotions and flicks we all go through. An important band, with an important record.

#5 THE B IG M OON LOVE IN

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T HE BE ST O F 20 17

THE 4TH DIMENSION Searing with fun, frolics and energy ‘Love In The 4th Dimension’ manages to capture everything vital about The Big Moon into one punch. Rolling in the free and catchy hooks at every turn, it’s the perfect snapshot of a band in full flight, and can sit as a bible for indie-joy for years to come.

# D M W T

6 E C H H

C K A I

THE

LAN ENNA T DO YOU NK ABOUT CAR?

We knew Declan McKenna would be a superstar, but ‘What Do You Think About The Car’ is above and beyond that. A record that shines on the chameleonic glints our mate Dec has been promising for a while now, it’s a record born to be sung along to and tattooed across the chests of an entire generation. It’s important, and influence can’t be diminished, and as


THE BEST OF 2017

an opening step, it’s nothing short of mesmerising. We’ll be talking about his for a while yet.

# 7 P U M A R O S A T H E W I T C H Carefully crafted and measured, Pumarosa’s debut album is a jaw-dropping display of a band whose sheer scale and powers are breathtaking. Patient and raw, it’s the sort of album that should have plaudits falling over each other, managing to capture that ambition they’ve been promising into an album that needs to be played over and over and over - at each turn unveiling something more beautiful than the lost. Study this record; it’s bountiful.

# B T L

I N HEAVEN’S 5

TOP

MOMENTS

OF

2 0 17

8 L A E N A V O N H A T ’ S Y O U R O T

There may not be a record as staggering and lasting as ‘That’s Your Lot’. While Blaenavon had been showing their chops for a while now, this is a record that stands on its own as undeniably powerful. From blistering indie to carefully mastered alternative swoons, it’s a record that feels and pulls at the most brutal of moments in life, and manages to soundtrack it all in one swoop.

# 9 I N H E A V E N I N H E A V E N Bangers. So many bangers. INHEAVEN trade in them, and their self-titled debut follows suit. Effortlessly blending eras into one, INHEAVEN’s debut is a continuation of everything they’ve promised, into an album that could be played over and over again with ease. A blistering nod to arenasized hits in waiting, primed for big crowds and devoted masses.

# 10 M U N A A B O U T

U

Kicking down doors and demanding to be listened to, MUNA’s debut album is nothing short of breathtaking. Every track is packed with purpose, filled with a message of hope, love (at all ends of the spectrum) and where to go next. Flying in seemingly out of nowhere, it’s a dark-pop masterclass that throws them straight into the A-leagues, with a record that’s essential for everyone struggling and clawing at how to deal with life.

R E L E A S I NG O U R A L B UM

Finally releasing our album into the world was a beautiful moment. Three years in the making and hundreds of shows later we held our baby in our arms. We created every aspect of the artwork which made it even more special to us. We can’t wait to get cracking on number two!

B E I N G O N T H E C O V ER O F D O R K ( S U C K

U P S

-

E D )

While on paper it might sound egotistical, but having our faces on a prestigious magazine cover like Dork was a proper fist in the air Breakfast Club style moment. Our mums were very proud also, which will bide us a bit more time before they shout at us to get real jobs.

P J S G

L O T L

A H A A

YING THE N PEEL GE AT STONBURY

Brandon Flowers said you play the John Peel Stage twice in your career, once on the way up and once the way down. Hopefully, ours was the latter. It was a massive dream come true and one of the highlights of the summer!

S ELLING OUT T HE SCALA I N LONDON

Scala has a huge history being one of the last places the original Stooges played in the UK. In fact, the famous Raw Power cover of Iggy was shot at the venue. So to play it and sell it out was one of the best feelings. A huge step up from our last headline show at Boston

Music Room we dressed the stage in vintage American flags, lots of velvet, an old TV and our signature red roses. Can’t wait to play our next London show.

S T A E C

H O R U I

A U O R R

R R U O C

ING A BUS ND PE WITH A WAVES

Touring in a tour bus is the dream when you start a band. It’s the most fun way of touring, and it was even more fun with those guys as we all get on so well. You’re in such close quarters with everyone when there’s a party going on, but you have your bunk to retreat to whenever you need it. It felt like a real step up for us from what we have been used to in the UK! Lots of amazing memories we’ll never forget. P

DOWN WITH BORING

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After the album’s release, Rat Boy embarked on a nationwide string of in-store performances and signings. “They were really cool; people were standing and singing all of the words... It made me feel a bit like Billy Bragg, actually!” he laughs. “It was really cool meeting everyone afterwards too, excited about the album and wearing all of the merch. It was like wow, they must really be into it.

T H E B E S T O F 2 0 1 7

“We’re really into writing the second album at the moment. Song-wise we’re about half of the way there, just in ideas, getting people involved, that sort of thing. We haven’t got anything produced yet, but we’re thinking mid-next year as a release date. That’s the plan at the moment anyway. “The direction of this one is a bit different,” he continues. “There’s a load more hip-hop influences in it. Lots of the sounds on the first one were almost throwback references, all those old drum breaks and stuff like that. I guess because the first one took two years or something, some of the ideas were a bit all over the place.” The album seems to be the one subject Jordan doesn’t make jokes about, and you can tell he’s put a lot of thought into his next project.

RA T

B O Y

RE A D Y AG A I N

I

“We’ve got a load of stuff happening with SCUM too, which is more of a clothing brand, separate to Rat Boy. The clothing is either coming out, or it’s just come out, I’m not sure. Is it October or November? Shit, I don’t even know! Anyway, stuff is coming out at some point. We’re trying to make a skate company out of it and put a scene together, but it’s a long process.”

IS

T O WORDS:

JAKE

PHOTO:

SARAH

RIDE HAWKES LOUISE

BENNETT

t’s been a hell of a year for Jordan Cardy, better known as Rat Boy, and his band. En route to Newcastle, where the band are set to support Liam Gallagher, they’re just as excitable as usual. “We’re on our way to a rock concert,” Jordan says over the phone, putting on a posh voice. “Supporting Liam Gallagher in Newcastle,” he continues, adopting a mock-geordie accent.

explains, this time in his normal voice. “We’re pretty fucking nervous! We aren’t too sure what the fans are gonna think of us.”

don’t mind making tea either; I can do that,” he adds, referencing the video clip of Liam complaining that nobody makes him drinks anymore.

One of the band says something inaudible, and Jordan’s tone changes. “Oh shit, apparently this is the biggest venue we’ve played in the UK ever, that’s fucking scary! Imagine 11,000 people bottling you, just imagine that.” He takes stock for a second, before adding: “They’ll only have plastic cups, so it’ll be fine. It’s all gonna be alright.”

“We’re doing the first show with Liam tonight; then we go to America for a week to record, then back to the UK for the rest of Liam’s tour,” Jordan

“I’ve seen Liam at Electric Brixton and Reading Festival; we’re really excited for the tour,” he enthuses. “We’re gonna see him every night. I

Talk turns to 2017, and Jordan reflects on the whirlwind year the band have had. “It’s been really good fun; we’ve all really enjoyed it. Done a few tours, Reading Festival was a massive highlight. I think we’ve been happy with how it [the album] turned out in the end,” he says, thoughtfully. “The main thing with the first one was that a load of people that I really wanted to work with, they’ve heard it, and now they wanna work with us! It’s crazy how many doors it’s opened.”

With so much going on, it’s no wonder he forgets what day it is. Does he ever feel like there are things he could’ve done differently? “I dunno really,” he hesitates, before laughing: “No regrets... YOLO!” Talk turns to 2018, and there are a few things the band are working towards. “We really wanna do some stuff in the US. It’s hard because we have to get work visas and all that shit, but we’ve decided we’re gonna do it. We’ve been going out there to record, but we haven’t played any tours there yet.” “We have got a UK tour coming up,” Jordan says, yet another thing the band are currently involved in. “We’re playing Brixton, which is incredible. We’re really gonna make it one to remember.” There’s some noise in the background, followed by laughter. “I really need a piss, and Noah needs a shit, so we’re gonna have to go,” Jordan says. “Sorry, I can’t hold on anymore!” It’s not exactly an orthodox way to end a phone call, but then, this is Rat Boy... P


# L S A

11 C D O U N D S Y S T E M M E R I C A N

D R E A M There was a lot of scepticism about LCD reforming, but ‘American Dream’ throws any doubts to the wayside, with an evolving next chapter in their story. From ‘Call The Police’, ‘Emotional Haircut’ and ‘How Do You Sleep?’ to the panoramic rising of ‘Tonite’ - this is a resurrection that has us all bowing down. The future is even brighter.

# M H I

12 A R I K A A C K M A N ’ M N O T

Y O U R

M A N

Morphing from the delicate strings of her debut, ‘I’m Not Your Man’ is a record that defiantly throws a fist at modern life and ushers in a new era for Marika Hackman. An album that could only truly be made in 2017, it’s a bold and staggering record that thrives in its pop kicks but never forgets its down to earth reality.

# 13 R A T B O Y S C U M ‘Scum’ is a melting pot of hyperactive energy. Skipping between styles, blended in one ceaseless mix, it’s the UK indie underground’s very own Grand Theft Auto radio station. There’s the slacker spirit of Beck, the raw confidence of the Beastie Boys and the urchin cheek of Jamie T, but at heart, it’s all Rat Boy

# 14 B L E A C H E R S G O N E N O W If anyone deserves to have 2017 marked, it’s Jack Antonoff. In-between his spell-binding work on popsmashing albums, his next step as Bleachers is a refreshing collection that pulls upon Beatles-esque foundations glossed over with modern pop bliss. Its unstoppable thirst for ideas and boundary-pushing is blooming marvellous.

# S K Y

15 U N D A R A A R M A O U T H I S

O N L Y

E V E R

F U N I N R E T R O S P E C T Connecting with a congregation of thousands, Sundara Karma’s debut is an immediate gut-check on what it is to be young in the modern age. Taking the heart and drive that burst out of mid-noughties indie, and coating it in a showman-like charm - it put them on course for something special, with an album that captures the pitfalls and highs of youth like no other.

# 16 D I E T C I G S W E A R I ’ M G O O D

A T

T HIS

“It’s hard showing the world who you are, isn’t it?” Alex Luciano questions on ‘Bath Bomb’. Calling out their fears, on their debut album Diet Cig stand victorious. Whether spitting back at the world when it crosses the line or pulling the duvet covers overhead when it gets too much, ‘Swear I’m Good At This’ is as refreshing as it is real.

# W C S D

17 I L O O W E R E

L J O S E PH K E T A M E R

A love of MGMT, Phoenix and carefree pop supremacy - Will Joseph Cook’s debut is an eclectic bag that pulls out something different every time. Full of sun-kissed hooks and infectious licks, it’s the welcoming party of a pop genius - one that’s only set to go bigger in the years to come.

# C E Y

18 R E E P E R T E R N I T Y , O U R A R M S

IN

Most bands who are cursed with the pressure of hype crack under it. Not Creeper, though. Arriving perfectly formed, ‘Eternity, In Your Arms’ is an album that succeeds in every possible way. From its central story to its individual parts; Creeper aren’t just a band. Creeper are the future.

# 19 I D L E S B R U T A L I S M ‘Brutalism’ is politically charged, an emotional bout of unsettling truths delivered with sharp charisma and cathartic vulnerability. In the darkest corners it offers humour, sensibility and scrutiny of life.

“2017

HAS

BEEN INCREDIBLE FOR

US”

2017 SAW CREEPER FULFIL THEIR PROMISE

T O

RELEASE ONE OF THE ROC K ALBUMS OF THE YEAR. Hey Will, how has your 2017 been? 2017 has been an incredible year for us, by the end of the year we will have toured the USA twice, mainland Europe twice and the UK twice it’s kind of hard to take it all in sometimes. How’s planning for your December tour going, are you ready? It always seems we always have a backlog of work, but I’m very confident. I really hope our audience is prepared for what is coming to their cities this December! We’re more than six months on from the release of ‘Eternity…’ now, do you still put it on from time to time? How do you feel about the release half a year on? I’m still very proud of the album; I genuinely think it’s a really interesting collection of songs. It’s always hard to look back with any real perspective though. I haven’t listened to the whole thing in a while; sometimes you get so attached while you are making these things that

you need to give yourself space from them before you can listen impartially again. One of our highlights of the year was its release though. We are still so grateful for how well it was reviewed and how well it sold, all of us feel so lucky and fortunate. What Christmas presents will you get for your bandmates? Dan - Cigarettes; Ian - Butterfly knife; Hannah - Hufflepuff scarf; Ollie - Monkey mittens; Sean - The missing Kiss picture discs he requires. Do you have any New Years resolutions? My main one is to stay focused. There are just a lot of distractions everywhere at the moment; I find myself happiest when I’m focused on my projects. If you could start a hot new trend for 2018, what would it be? An audience who buys records and supports bands they love, a band who abolishes their VIP meet and greets and treats their audience with respect. P

DOWN WITH BORING

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# 25 A LT-J RELAXER

T H E B E S T O F 2 0 1 7

How do you follow two critically acclaimed albums? By tearing up the rulebook and releasing a nine-track record that dips and dives through conventions and norms. Alt-J have never settled for the expected, and ‘Relaxer’ continues that trend, with an even more focused gaze at the band they want to be. With some of their most immediate swoons to date, it’s another dose of originality from a creative force only just getting started.

# 26 J ULIEN BAKER TURN OUT THE LIGHTS

# 20 S U P E R F O O D B A M B I N O Like throwing a firework into a bag of skittles, Superfood delivered on the reinvention of the year with a record bursting with ideas and electric tastes. Like the birth of a whole new band, ‘Bambino’ is a gorgeous buffet of treats, taking sample-cuts and levitating melodies and morphing it into a shape that fits perfectly into earbuds and lights a fuse from deep within.

# C D C

21 I R C A W A V E S I F F E R E N T R E A T U R E S

Different Creatures? Sizzling evolution. That’s what Circa Waves aim at, and they grab that with both hands on their second record - a tour de force of garage-rock influences that takes the sun-soaked vibes of their debut and turns it into something altogether more-darker. Fizzing with ambition, it’s the indie album of the year and a record that reaches for those festival-headlining slots with ease.

# 22 S L Ø T F A C E T R Y N O T T O F R E A K

O U T

‘Try Not To Freak Out’ isn’t just a cocky, tongue-in-cheek title to one of the best debut albums of the year, it’s a warm invitation and friendly reminder that Sløtface are here for you. The group have always had more to them 28

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than big choruses and irresistible charm.

# L Y G

23 O Y L E C A R N ER E S T E R D A Y ’ S O N E

Incredibly personal, immediately direct and indisputably organic, Loyle Carner’s debut could well be the definitive UK hip-hop album of an entire decade. Articulately delving into modern life and its gritty undertones, yet always nodding to classic beats - Loyle’s personal journey is nothing short of captivating, with an album arching over one of the year’s most incredible stories.

# F & R M

24 RA T AT OD

N H T E

K CARTER E LESNAKES RN RUIN

‘Modern Ruin’ is Frank Carter finally reaching the precipice he’s been aiming at his entire career. A perfect crystallisation of the punk fury and rich melodies he’s been toying with since the very beginning, only now reaching its full potential. It’s a hungry and feverish record, the best of Fran’s career, and the moment where he reaches that top stage, he’s been looking for since the very beginning. Click play and go - the rest takes care of itself.

Sometimes joyful, sometimes haunting, ‘Turn Out The Lights’ is constantly and wonderfully arresting. Julien’s music has this was of finding its way into your very being, lighting up parts of yourself that you’d forgotten or long since locked away and reigniting a fire. It’s scary, conflicting but reassuring.

# 27 M URA MURA

MASA MASA

Like a tropical party exploding into life, Mura Masa’s debut album is a mixtape of marvellous treats that doesn’t just provide the soundtrack to club-life hooks, but redefines it. Featuring guest turns from A$AP Rocky, Christine & The Queens, Damon Albarn and Charli XCX amongst others, it’s a record born out of late-night euphoria, an essential play for partying


THE BEST OF 2017

SUPERFOOD! SUPERFOOD! Superfood’s debut album ‘Don’t Say That’ was crazy fun, with its Britpop-indebted catchy-as-hell bangers. Turns out the band weren’t super keen on it though, so they came back this year with something a little bit different. Still gr8 tho. no matter what the occasion.

# 28 A L V V A Y S ANTISOCIALITES Returning refined, retooled and crisper than ever before - Alvvays’ second LP ‘Antisocialites’ is one of those records where a band who shimmered and dazzled into first light blossom into the force they’re primed to stand as for years to come.

# 29 G O R I L L A Z H U M A N Z Bridging the gap between the surreal and the sincere with an innate dexterity, ‘Humanz’ is essentially Gorillaz at their most, well, human. Rejoicing in every ounce of spectacle they make, the collective stand with their world at their feet, giving voice to the belief that you can do the same.

# 30 L I F E P O P U L A R M U S I C LIFE have long built up a formidable reputation with their frenzied live shows. Debut ‘Popular Music’ is everything that you’d expect following such a rise; blustering, brazen, it’s even outright brawling in places. Where this record finds its strength is in the band’s ability to combine inescapable energy with unshakable hooks.

# 31 P I X X T H E A G E A N X I E T Y

O F

Gripping and bubbling with electro flourishes, Pixx’s debut is a rich and daring album that pours into human

emotion with an effortless ease. Touches of indie immediacy make it a record of dazzling importance, one that crystallises everything Pixx has been promising from the start.

# P A O A O

32 V R I S L L W E F H E A V L L W E F H E L L

K N O W E N , N E E D ,

If debut ‘White Noise’ was a stunning bolt into frame, then ‘All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell’ is the moment that PVRIS redefine the frame around them into one that’s exclusively theirs. It’s a record that will become a national call book - and sets them well and truly apart from the pack.

# 33 T H E V

H O R R O R S

The Horrors fifth album ‘V’ is full of surprises. Yes, it does a lot of things you expect The Horrors to do and does them very well, but the magic is in the moments when the band do something that little bit different, adding sparkle and depth to an already vital voice.

# 34 T O O T H L E S S T H E P A C E O F T H E

P A S S I N G

People never seem to expect much of the bass player - which is nearon criminal, especially if they can unravel something quite as bountiful as ‘The Pace Of The Passing’. While Ed Nash’s job in Bombay Bicycle Club may ring through, his debut solo album is a breathtaking journey into a blossoming paradise that only Toothless could create.

Hey Dom, what do you make of 2017 then? It seems to have been a good year for you guys. Yeah, it’s been mint, properly boss. Our new record is now with people, and we can start exploring music the way we’ve always wanted to What do you think the Superfood of 2014 would have been most pleased or surprised about achieving over the past twelve months? Just sticking to our guns and writing music that we actually enjoy listening to, that and surrounding ourselves with some really, really nice people. You said before the album that you’d considered splitting up after your debut - are those thoughts all banished now? Sometimes you over-think things, and sometimes it’s still hard, I don’t think those thoughts will ever be banished until we can live a life where we can just eat sleep and breathe music,

waking up walking downstairs and writing not having to worry about anything else. Things are really good now, though. Are there any other bands you think have really knocked it out of the park this year? The new Flyte record is pretty special, and Wolf Alice knocked it out of town. What are your plans for over Christmas? Are you doing anything fun? A lot of sofas and Quality Street... might go to church? Who’s the most famous person on your Christmas card list? It’s Matty Healy, right? Please tell us you’re Christmas card buddies. Never too late to give it a go... you got a postcode? Do you have big plans for 2018? We’re recording new music right now with the aim to put it out as soon as it’s finished, but that could be a month or two years. Whose album are you most looking forward to being released next year? Maybe ours? P


# 35 L ANA LUST

DEL FOR

REY

LIFE Opener ‘Love’ may well be Lana’s greatest triumph. A goosebumpupon-goosebump tinged voice in the darkness, it’s as timeless as anything she’s offered to date but beautifully vulnerable at the same time. Playing in increasingly brave worlds, Lana stands stronger than ever, the spark of light shining bright from within.

# 36 T HE CRIBS 24/7 ROCK STAR

SHIT

The Cribs aren’t stupid. Well over a decade as one of the UK’s most consistently great bands means they know where their strengths lie, and it’s never been in flashy, slick sounds or carefully positioned radio sheen. ‘24/7 Rock Star Shit’ is The Cribs playing their strongest hand.

THE

CRIBS:

Hey Gary, how has your 2017 been? 2017 was a very consequential year for us. Lots of ups and downs. We had our highest charting record, which was a huge highlight of course, and we took ‘Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever’ back out on the road for its ten year anniversary. It was really nice to see how people still felt towards the record - very humbling. Congrats on the album going Top Ten - did you expect it to go so well? No, we absolutely didn’t - and we actually never intended it to be a record really. We were going to make it a six-eight song EP, and just use it to blow off some steam and get some frustrations out. Surprise releasing something that was recorded in only a few days is really not a recipe for chart-success... particularly as we didn’t service any of the songs to radio or anything. We always say it, but it just shows how passionate our fans are, and how valuable they are to us - they made it what it became. What’ve been your other highlights this year? Headlining Leeds Arena. Totally surreal. The fact that Lee Ranaldo 30

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ROCK flew in to do ‘Be Safe’ was the icing on the cake too. Just a really special night. Our US/Canada tour was a real adventure, and having PAWS supporting us made it even better. So much fun, camaraderie, and Crystal Pepsi. Getting back to Mexico for the first time in nearly ten years was another major highlight. 2017 was pretty cool actually! What do you think has been the biggest music-related news story of 2017? Daisy Berkowitz [Marilyn Manson co-founder] dying. RIP. What’s your album of the year? Did the City Yelps ‘Half Hour’ come out this year? If so, it has to be that. By far the best record I have heard in a long while. [That was 2016 - Ed] I just got the new Lee Ranaldo album ‘Electric Trim’ the other night and am really enjoying that too. As for singles, PAWS’ new 7” ‘Omaha’ is just a punk rock smash hit. Where will The Cribs be this

24-7. STARS. Christmas? On the road! We are taking our (semi) traditional ‘Cribsmas’ shows on the road for the first time this December. We will be playing residencies in Glasgow, Manchester, London, and finishing up with about a million shows at the Brudenell in Leeds! What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever received from a fellow Jarman? Me and Ryan received a Tascam cassette 4-track for Christmas 1996. A Porta 003. It was a joint present from all the elder Jarmans. It has always been our favourite present because it was just so liberating for us - we just immediately started recording and making demos together. We didn’t need to find a band or anything. Back then, recording was something that wasn’t anywhere near as readily available to everyone like it is now - you had to really work for it. It was so important to us. P

# A I L B

37 LE L IK RO

X LAHEY OVE YOU E A THER

Alex Lahey’s debut is gloriously direct. Engaged, full throttle and packed with hooks, every word is written in 100 point neons.

# 38 E VERYTHING E VERYTHING A FEVER DREAM With each album, Everything Everything have pushed things forward, and ‘A Fever Dream’ stands as their most defiant yet. Never settling within its own skin, it pulls and soars with a message aimed squarely at taking 2017 head-on.

# 39 H AIM SOMETHING TO

TELL

YOU

From the opening blasts of the hip swinging ‘Little Of Your Love, every strand of Haim’s infectious personality comes streaming through. There’s no lightspeed jump from ‘Days Are Gone’, sure, but then


THE BEST OF 2017

Hey Matt, how has your 2017 been? It’s been a whirlwind of year. What have been your defining moments? So many. Playing Jools Holland, having a UK Top 10 Album, playing Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, playing our first shows out in South Korea, Japan and the USA.

AMAZONS PRIME

T H E B E S T O F 2 0 1 7

to start messing with that magic formula would be to disrupt a winning recipe. Some things are worth the wait.

# L C S

40 O S A M P E S I N O S ! I C K S C E N E S

‘Sick Scenes’ pushes Los Camp!’s most distinctive qualities to the fore. Speedy guitars and self-loathing battle each other to the finish line via an obstacle course of gang vocals, football analogies and Cure-worthy atmospherics, used to tell some closeto-home tales about love, depression and the ‘is this really it?’ anxiety.

# 41 M R J U K E S G O D F I R S T Instead of taking the obvious route, Bombay Bicycle Club’s Jack Steadman has dipped his feet into new waters. Working with a cast of varied yet brilliant names, it sounds as if he’s found his true calling.

# 42 V A N T D U M B

B L O O D

Something you’ll already know about VANT: Mattie likes to run his mouth. Not as a gobby oik, you understand. The man just has things to say. The topics underneath ‘Dumb Blood’ matter, but they’re delivered with a sense of fun, or at the very least a refusal to be run down by the world.

# 43 T H E X X I S E E Y O U Straight from the opening stabs of ‘Dangerous’, it’s obvious The xx have gone in a different direction for new album ‘I See You’. Gone (mostly) is the ambience of their first two records, replaced with the bombast Jamie xx explored on his solo album ‘In Colour’. It feels like a band renewed with a point to prove.

# 44 T H E

A M A Z O NS

T H E

A M A Z O NS

Ambition is a wonderful thing. All too often, you see bands get a bit scared of going for it; but that definitely isn’t the case with The Amazons, whose intentions of singalong masses and unbridled euphoria have been written across every move and riff they’ve laid out - and now with their self-titled debut album, they have the soundtrack for it all.

# 45 W A X A H A T C H EE O U T I N S T O R M

T H E

Made with the musical input of sister, Allison Crutchfield on keyboards and percussion, Katherine Simonetti on

Which album are you most looking forward to being released next year? I think the Arctic Monkeys new record will be a surprise for everyone.

Do you have any resolutions for 2018? I get a bit mixed between goals and resolutions. I’m working on my goals for next year, and there are plenty. New music is probably at the forefront. I guess with resolutions

Do you have any favourite Christmas party games? We’ve had a fair few never-ending games of Monopoly over the years, so we tend to avoid that one now. I like Risk, but no-one seems to want to play it with me. P

46 HE KILLERS ONDERFUL ONDERFUL

You might have worried about where The Killers would go next five years after ‘Battle Born’, but in ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ they deliver big with their most urgent and personal record for many-a-year. The sound of a band revitalised, hungry and searching for more.

# T N S

Who do you think will be the biggest new band of 2018? We’re tipping Yonaka or The Pale White. Both incredible bands.

What’s your album of the year? Hard to choose. The QOTSA record ‘Villains’ is great; I think the Royal Blood record was a good comeback too. Lorde’s album ‘Melodrama’ probably pips them all to the top, however.

bass, Ashley Arnwine on drums, and Katie Harkin on lead guitar at points, Katie Crutchfield’s ‘Out in the Storm’ is the sonic equivalent of flicking the Vs to all that’s getting you down and going to a gig with your pals.

# T W W

it’s some kind of thing in your life you want to resolve and change. I’d like to relax more and to try and disconnect more from social media/ phone/laptop.

47 HE ATIONAL LEEP WELL

BEAST The National have long been celebrated as purveyors of introspection at its most heartfelt. Whether that’s something that draws you in or passes you by, there’s no shirking the band’s proficiency at what they do. Masters of melancholy and intimacy, the Ohio outfit have perfected the power to inspire the most earnest kind of emotion. Sure enough, with ‘Sleep Well Beast’ there’s a lot that remains true to form.

# 48 LONDON

G RAMMAR THE TRUTH IS A BEAUTIFUL THING London Grammar - they’re not your average band. They don’t need to play by the same rules. They’re not out there looking for that high-energy radio banger to grab the immediate attention. They’re special, for one glorious reason - Hannah Reid’s incomparable voice.

# A E N

49 RCADE FIRE VERYTHING OW

‘Everything Now’ was more than just an album, sure. The band supported the release with a seemingly endless ‘brand campaign’, but strip away the nonsense and you’re left with a record that still hit the places only Arcade Fire seem to reach.

# 50 C LEAN K ID

CUT

FELT What makes ‘Felt’ such a rip-roaring success is the important ingredient that rings throughout: it’s a record packed with fun, an invitation to no longer feel alone and revel in the time we have scattered on this fair planet. Heartache and love can cause some extreme reactions, but Clean Cut Kid will have your back no matter what.

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AR E SU N D A R A KA R M A TH E TR U E SA V I O U R S OF BR I T I S H IN D I E ? S D T H T B T T C I L

I R H A H E H O R N O

N O E V E H E

C E P P E Y E E B T O I N D O 2 C A T O W N D I E . U I S E

T D A E P

H E A R , E N . T H A C C H P R I P H B E

IR T T SU ON JAM E S ADE UP NCE OTO NNE

DEB HE NDA A IE CEN MY WIT S O S: TT.

U S R R M E B H F S

T T A I U S R

A AR K SE IR A IX TH BR ARA

LBUM T OF ARMA TO WEN T T TON E ITIS H H


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“I

remember standing literally right...” drummer Haydn Evans jumps into place, flashing back to a night where he watched Jamie T grace the room in front of him “…here!” When he looks up, he spots not only his bandmates strolling around an empty Brixton Academy, but that stage once again. There’s a smile, one that frequently shows itself as he, frontman Oscar Pollock, guitarist Ally Baty and bassist Dom Cordell take in the venue in all its glory - the four of them removing themselves from the hustle and bustle and breathing in the moment. In a matter of hours, the room will be filled and they’ll be adding their name to the illustrious roll call lining the venue’s many corridors. There are photos of David Bowie, The Prodigy, The Smiths - all primed one next to the other like a timeline of special. They lead the way right through to the stage itself, seen straight away when a band leaves their dressing room. For Sundara Karma, a personal slice of history calls at their door tonight. “Fuck sake dude!” exclaims Oscar, taking a seat as they continue to chat about the show that awaits them. “When you put it like that it’s terrifying, I didn’t even think of it like that. I’ve been walking around today thinking, ‘Ahh, y’know, Brixton tonight - that’s cool’ - and now I’m absolutely

shitting it!” “I was giddy as fuck this morning,” jumps in Haydn, and there’s good reason why. In a year of important records and breakthrough bands, few may have reached as many as Sundara Karma. A fusion of gutgrabbing tales from the highs and lows of youthful adventure and a penchant for souring heart-on-sleeve indie majesty, ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’ took on a life of its own. Like a scrapbook filled with key landmarks of growing up, it’s a record of hearts and minds that has taken them around the globe - something that has catapulted four best mates from Reading into something of a phenomenon. “It feels like a dream,” reflects Oscar. “It doesn’t feel real. To travel the distances that we have and still have people who want to hear our music, to see us play live, to buy our merch - it’s a strange thing, but it means that people have connected to the songs on some level. For those people to want to even say hi to us, it’s amazing.” From the crisp chills of the January air that welcomed its arrival, ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’ was a record years in the making . Since then, it’s become an album that for many has soundtracked 2017. For the band who made it, it will always call back to memories they never dreamed of making. “There have definitely been surreal moments,” says Oscar. “Thinking back

“ARE

WE

WORTHY

OF

BRIXTON ACADEMY? I

HOPE

on some of the stuff we’ve done this year is mental, we’ve ticked a lot off the bucket list. Playing Reading, Leeds then being huge too, going to Japan, the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury was mental…” “South By [South West] as well,” points out Haydn. “Yeah!” continues Oscar, “we’ve done so much it’s crazy.” Starting with a run of huge shows alongside Two Door Cinema Club, the headline run that followed in February saw Sundara Karma getting a proper glimpse at the level they’d now reached.

SO”

That badge of a new band doing ‘okay’ flung well and truly out of the window, the big leagues were calling. “That was sick. Around that kinda time our shows had been picking up quite rapidly in terms of the number of tickets we were selling and the energy people were giving. That was like, I don’t want to say a peak of it, but that was the moment we knew,” enthuses Oscar. “The rooms were big, people were allowed to have fun, and they knew the songs - it all just came together at that point.”

SUNDARA KARMA’S ALBUM OF THE YEAR

EVERYTHING EVERYTHING - A FEVER DREAM Oscar: “Such a great record, depressingly good.” Dom: “I remember listening to it in the car and just not wanting to skip any track, I can listen from start to finish, it’s great.”

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THE BEST

we have done, we would OF have been losing it; it’s 2017 insane. And now Brixton. Y’know, you almost have to check yourself on whether you deserve all of this - are we worthy of Brixton Academy? I hope so. We’ll see, anyway!” Flash forward to 9:30pm, and Brixton is at fever pitch. A drowned out choir pours itself into every note as Sundara Karma take them to church. It’s a rich celebration of a band being welcomed into extraordinary company. Wrapped in gorgeous hooks and chimes, it’s a set that confirms Oscar’s soon-to-be-iconic status, as he glides across the stage and throws himself into the crowd during ‘Flame’. Four Reading lads done good, it has that aura of an unabashed guitar band revelling in what they’ve become.

That foundation can be felt in every detail at Brixton. There’s an inescapable air of a band that means something. It’s there in the fans that can be seen from the dressing room windows, lining up from the early morning to get as close as possible. It’s the sort of reaction usually reserved for the biggest names - for bands on a path to greatness. Ten months after ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’, it’s there at Brixton Academy for Sundara Karma. “With anything creative, there are people who love it and people who don’t, or are half-arsed about it - but the majority of people seem to love it which is cool,” notes Oscar. “I had no idea what to expect; we’d never put anything out like that. It’s not a Marmite record I think though; I think it’s quite easy for people to get into. I don’t think we were expecting people to be offended by it… “That’s for the second album.” Brixton is a long way from the Battle Of The Bands of Sundara Karma’s early days, and that growth is something they’re the first to recognise. “When we started we were the naive school-rock band who thought, ‘We’re going to be the fucking biggest band in the world!’ That was what we aimed for, but I think as the years go on, we couldn’t care less,” states Oscar, met with nods and smiles around the dressing room. “What’s changed is where we place success. For us, it’s being able to do a tour like this, one that we’ve always wanted to do where it’s planned from beginning to end, and we plan how it looks, and work with people who are really talented. That’s it. If we can do that and not do another job then that honestly is success.” As Sundara Karma soundcheck, that

set they’ve always wanted to do is beaming with swagger. Mirrored coating, a platter of dazzling lights and a laser show that flicks and sears around the hall that’ll soon be packed to the rafters - they’re every inch the shining beacon of British indie. It’s not just the anthems they now have at their disposal; it’s more than that. It’s the evolution of a great hope into an undeniable reality.

Oscar, “but for them to really present themselves there needs to be detachment - we need to get really bored! We don’t feel like we’re limited in any way though, and the new stuff, it excites me a lot and makes me happy. “If you’d have told the 17-year-old versions of us that we’d do everything

As the final notes ring out, the band head back to that dressing room once again, passing the shots of those defining moments in years past. Thousands descend onto the tubes and buses of Brixton to whisk them away into the night. They sit clasping at phones, scrolling through their camera roll memories. They’ll be back again and again, and so will Sundara Karma. They’ve looked back in retrospect, and now they’re fixed on the future. P

“There’s definitely been an evolution,” ponders Oscar. “If you take the band thing out, being 21 years old and going into 22 is quite a rapid change. And then when you add the pressure of being in a band, it does get a bit confusing. But I think we’re on top of things at the moment. “It’s really nice because it’s easy to be swept up in things and not be in control, and then it will suffer, which hopefully won’t happen.” The smiles return. With every moment that ticks by, Sundara Karma know something special is on the horizon - a moment that they’ll never forget. In the hours ahead, they’ll search for a local tattoo artist to help them cash in on an old bet made by one of their crew. “When we were playing all these tiny shitty bars, he was like, ‘Oh when you guys play Brixton I’ll get the Sundara Karma sun tattoo on me’,” explains Dom. “And here we are!” “Does anyone know someone?” asks Oscar, searching on his phone for any nearby. “It doesn’t have to be five-star quality, that wasn’t part of the deal.” There’s more talk on where they go next. 2018 feels like an age away for them - even after the non-stop year they’ve had - but there’s hope for a new album, and some much needed holiday time. “Those new ideas are always kinds there,” elaborates

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GL A S S

HEY DAVE, HOW HAS YOUR 2017 BEEN? My 2017 has been sick. Started with a tour in Asia, then Australia, then South America. Then I fell off a stage and broke my leg. Then Drew got in quite serious trouble with a clan of pimps. Then Coachella with the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen. Then we got picketed by the Westboro Baptist Church. Then Red Rocks, the best venue in the world where we got hit with a hurricane, and everyone took their clothes off in the rain. Then I went in a human centrifuge for the ‘Agnes’ video. Then the amazing Glastonbury and Reading & Leeds Festival. Then our first arena shows. Then Radio City and the Shrine and the Greek where the crowd smoked so much pot I got way too high on stage. Then utter chaos in Mexico where we got held up by the cartel etc.

AN I M A L S RU L E D FE S T I V A L SE A S O N T H E B E S T O F 2 0 1 7

ALL ABOARD THE PINEAPPLE TRAIN, GLASS ANIMALS HAVE HAD A BRILLIANT 2017. P H O T O :

P H I L

S M I T H I E S

CRIKEY. SO, PINEAPPLES THEN. THAT READING & LEEDS BAN WAS A BIT WEIRD, WASN’T IT - DID YOU SEE MANY PINEAPPLES IN THE CROWD? That was weird. I think I saw about five real pineapples in the crowd and about 100 inflatable/paper mache ones. People got creative. I saw a LOT of pineapples in bins by security on the way into the arena. They actually enforced that shit. I even saw one security guard confiscate someone’s pineapple balloon. Who confiscates a balloon? That’s like confiscating

joy. Also, a balloon is like the most harmless thing on the planet. I can’t actually think of anything less dangerous. THAT WAS PROBABLY THE MOST FUN MUSIC- RELATED NEWS STORY THIS SUMMER, BUT WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST MUSIC- RELATED NEWS STORY OF 2017? Probably something to do with Ed Sheeran? But the horrific accounts of sexual harassment and assault within the music and entertainment industries are the bravest and most important series of stories to surface in quite some time. That kind of behaviour cannot be tolerated. This year society as a whole has started attacking it head on, and I’d say that’s pretty big. CONGRATS ON BEING UP FOR THE MERCURY WITH ‘HOW TO BE A HUMAN BEING’, WAS BEING SHORTLISTED A SURPRISE? Thanks! It was a huge surprise - we’d actually booked a tour over the announcement and ceremony as we didn’t think we were in for a shot! But it is incredibly heartwarming. It’s the award we grew up with, and every year we go out and buy the whole shortlist and argue about the records. DID IT OPEN ANY DOORS FOR YOU GUYS? I don’t know, but we made a lot of good friends out of it…. Loyle [Carner], Kate [Tempest] and many of the shortlisted artists are lovely people. It made me proud to be part of the UK’s music family… a scene that is constantly changing and churning out such a diverse range of albums all with such cultural significance. WHAT’S YOUR ALBUM OF THE YEAR? SZA, ‘Ctrl’. Or LCD Soundsystem, ‘American Dream’. WHICH BIG OR BUZZY BANDS DO YOU THINK WILL MAKE A COMEBACK IN 2018? Oasis! Go on. WHO DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE BIGGEST NEW BAND OF 2018? Nilufer Yanya. Dave. A Chal. P

TH E

TO P

3

M OM E NTS

GLASS ANIMALS AND THEIR PINEAPPLES Not to detract from their very special sets all over the world this year, but the banning of pineapples at Reading & Leeds was one of the most talked about news items of the summer. 36

READDORK.COM

OF

F E S T I VA L

THE 1975 HEADLINING LATITUDE Matty and co. waved goodbye to the record that made them global megastars, ‘I Like It When You Sleep…’, before disappearing into the studio to work on ‘Music For Cars’.

SEASON

2 01 7. . .

LORDE DELIVERING ONE OF THE GREAT GLASTONBURY SETS The music, the scope, the marvel is timeless, and Lorde’s bold, colourful and intimate set at Glastonbury was one for the ages.


ORDER!

IT’S

BLAENAVON’S JUKEBOX JURY! AN O T H E R

T W E L VE

MONTHS,

YE A R O F HA S H A D

D E F I NING I T S FAIR

ANOTHER

TRACKS. 2017 SHARE OF

BA N G E R S , P O P HITS AND ABSOLUTE ST I N K E R S . W H O BETTER TO O B Q I

F F I C I L A E N A U E S T I N S U G

PH O T O :

A V O G

L O N E

L Y R N ? I . P L S T I O

S A R A H

A T E N

T ’ A S

E THEM THAN S A RHETORICAL SE DON’T SEND .

LOUISE

BENNETT.

D E C L AN MCKENNA K I D S DON’T WANNA

THE COME

H O M E

Dec’s debut proved his mettle, but this was the mega banger. Harris: Three yesses this kid is going all the way to Vegas. Frank: It’s pretty good, innit.

C H A R LI

XCX

-

BOYS

A brill pop song with an even better video. Harris: An accurate description of the apocalypse. Frank: Loving how chill this is! Always thought this song was quite hard for some reason. But yes, big head nod swagger on this. I think the sentiment is well funny too.

S I G R ID V I B E

-

DON’T

KILL

MY

Sigrid is a pop superstar in waiting, you indie swines. Harris: A familiar headache. Frank: It’s really not aimed at me and doesn’t really work for me. Her voice sounds funny tho!

P A R A MORE

-

HARD

TIMES

Paramore’s big comeback song was a banger so bloody huge, Godzilla developed size envy. Harris: Yes, the future is not that promising. Frank: I like how the intro sounds like Countdown on holiday.

T A Y L OR SWIFT - LOOK W H A T YOU MADE ME DO

Divisive? Well, sort of, if you count most people hating it. Harris: Frankenstein’s Monster spewing WKD. Frank: Would have worked better as a chipmunk voice ringtone that kids Bluetoothed to each other in 2008.

THE

KILLERS

-

THE

M A N

Brandon Flowers is quite confident. Harris: Good to listen to seriously or in jest depending on how your life is going. Frank: The Killers are back? Fuck yeah! He’s being way more funny. Would make a great Flight of the Conchords scene.

HARRY STYLES THE TIMES

-

SI G N

O F

Harry Styles is the king of indie rock now, apparently. Harris: Wish he could be a bit more specific - good though. Frank: Think the music really speaks for itself on this one. This generation’s ‘Stairway’?

LUIS FONSI & DADD Y YANKEE - DESPACIT O (REMIX)

The biggest song of the year. We’re presuming. We didn’t check. Harris: Turns my bedroom into a sweaty club. Frank: Yesss another chillin’ head-nodder. Best song of 2017.

ED SHEERAN GIRL

-

GALW A Y

Oh sweet mercy. Harris: Mercifully short, still didn’t make it to the end. Frank: I love all the other new-gen Sheeran singles, but this one pisses me off! C2 at 0:29 though, very impressive.

BLAENAVON MAN

-

ORTHO D O X

What do you mean, ‘suck ups’? Harris: Sounds a bit flat after ‘Galway Girl’. Frank: The greatest song of all time of course. Nice second verse. Ending the playlist in style... Encore!

DOWN WITH BORING

37


1.

T H E B E S T O F 2 0 1 7

Which Cambridgeshire festival celebrated its final year in 2017, with a line up topped by Crystal Fighters and Metronomy?

8.

.

.

.

2.

TH E

.

QU I Z OF

T S S G

W G O T H S K H E O . E R 8

Which spiky fruit found itself banned from Reading Festival, alongside things like fireworks, drones and air horns?

.

.

Y H O V W ? N U F S 7

O A I E E

U T N R L P O W T E R I N O .

.

7. .

.

.

PINS teamed up with which wrinkly rocker for their track ‘Aggrophobe’? .

The Cribs celebrated the ten year anniversary of which album this year? .

12.

In February, Lana Del Rey tweeted out a bunch of seemingly random dates with the caption “ingredients can b found online” - what was she up to? .

13.

Which US big hitters teased their Glastonbury headline set by flying over for a tiny gig in the unsuspecting town of Frome, Somerset? .

.

Which gong did The 1975 take away at this year’s BRITS? .

17.

Which Manchester band challenged their fans to a day of go karting to celebrate the release of their new album, ‘Big Balloon’?

.

.

18.

Which London trio held the buzziest of buzzy residencies at London’s Brixton Academy, joined by Jehnny Beth, Sampha, Cat Power, Robyn and loads more?

.

.

19.

Marika Hackman signed up which rabble of Dork faves to act as her backing back on new album, ‘I’m Not Your Man’?

.

.

20.

14.

Which London popster appeared in smash hit Netflix series GLOW, as wrestler Rhonda “Britannica” Richardson?

Who celebrated their birthday with a massive bash at London’s Brixton Academy this October? .

.

16. .

11.

.

Which US duo were introduced by Jeremy Corbyn at Glastonbury?

20 1 7 K

5.

Which London all-dayer featured more cats on their posters than bands?

YE A R

N W N N T T R T H T W E

.

Los Campesinos! tried their hand at which BBC TV show in their video for ‘5 Flucloxacillin’? “Being stars of daytime TV is something we’ve always dreamed of,” the band explained. .

10.

.

6.

TH E

I O E W S N U

.

Which music superstar was briefly rumoured to be appearing on Pointless Celebrities, thanks to some porkies Richard Osman posted on Twitter?

.

.

.

4. .

H N E O A O O O I E N A

.

3.

DO R K

T K B D L M Y T W T A P

Declan McKenna made the national papers with his video of a what eating some pizza?

Supergroup BNQT released their debut album back in April, but which member of Franz Ferdinand is in their line up?

BI G

.

9.

Which new Scottish festival stood in for T in the Park, hosting sets from The 1975, Biffy Clyro, Radiohead and George Ezra? .

15.

Which pop maestro wrote and directed a short film called the Birthday Party for horror anthology XX?

.

.

.

21.

Britpop legends Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon appeared on which scamp’s debut album? .

.

22. ’S G T VE UT LE ST ME D N

Bombay Bicycle Club frontman Jack Steadman launched his solo project this year, releasing debut album ‘God First’. What was it called?

HE

.

.

23. DGE GA THE

James Blake enlisted the help of which Academy Award winning A-lister for his ‘My Willing Heart’ video? .

.

24.

Which unlikely rock band did Circa Waves team up with for a new adaptation of their single, ‘Fire That Burns’? .

.


25.

Which pop punk legend was crowned UFO Researcher of The Year by the International UFO Congress? .

.

26.

.

.

32. .

Wolf Alice teased their new album ‘Visions of a Life’ by sending fans what in the post? .

28.

Which band returned to Latitude this year for the first time since they cancelled their headline set a few years ago, and were replaced by Lily Allen?

.

29.

.

.

34.

Which band’s punk creds were dragged all over Twitter after they jumped up and down on the Sunday Brunch sofas?

.

.

Which Stranger Things star appeared in The xx’s video for ‘I Dare You’, alongside Paris Jackson? .

38.

Mary the Dog starred in the video for ‘Don’t Matter Now’, the comeback single for which former Dork cover star?

.

.

.

37.

Which American singer starred in Edgar Wright film Baby Driver, as the titular character’s late mum?

Ja Ja Ja The Lexington 30 NOV.

.

.

40.

Who stopped by CBeebies earlier this year to read Zog by Julia Donaldson, the tale of an accident-prone dragon?

.

30 NOV.

.

Lorde revealed that she’s so obsessed with which foodstuff, she’s been running an Instagram account dedicated to reviewing them?

.

.

.

39.

Which pop star was rumoured to be putting in an appearance during Ed Sheeran’s Glastonbury headline set?

33. .

35. 36.

Which classic 00s indiebanger appeared back in the iTunes Top 40 after a bedazzled secret set at Glastonbury?

Who launched a fan fiction contest, where the winner would receive a drawn picture of themselves with the musician, and an inclusion in the Fan Club Fanzine? .

Chvrches collaborated with Kristen Stewart on a reworking of the band’s ‘Down Side Of Me‘ for which charity? .

What was the name of Gorillaz’ summer festival at Dreamland Amusement Park in Margate, Kent?

.

.

31.

27. .

Paramore claimed they were inspired by which Australian psychedelic rock band when writing their latest album, ‘After Laughter’? .

Courtney Barnett teamed up with which American singer-songwriter for new album, ‘Lotta Sea Lice’? .

30.

.

.

24 JAN.

Elder Island Jazz Cafe 25 JAN.

Puma Blue

Songhoy Blues

01 DEC.

26 JAN.

Shacklewell Arms

The Lexington

02 DEC.

31 JAN.

Corsica Studio

Hater

O2 Forum

Trudy and the Romance

Peggy Sue

Oscar Jerome

05 DEC.

31 JAN.

Moth Club

Roundhouse

07 DEC.

09 FEB.

Shacklewell Arms

Montague Arms

The Mystery Lights Oumou Sangare

Briana Marela

Meat Wave

12 DEC.

15 FEB.

The Dome

23 FEB.

Paper Dress Vintage

The Lexington

Cloud Nothings & Anna of the North XOYO The Hotelier 16 DEC.

Dutch Uncles Moth Club

Alvvays Roundhouse

DOWN WITH BORING

39


C

oming to the end of a nearly non-stop series of shows since the release of his debut album, Declan McKenna can now take some time to reflect a little on all that’s occurred in 2017.

T H E B E S T O F 2 0 1 7

Perching in a leather armchair placed in what appears to be one of KOKO Camden’s finest broom-cupboards - the dressing room was occupied Declan is contentedly bemused by his popularity-surge since the release of ‘What Do You Think About The Car?’. “Tonight’s show was sold out in 12 hours. It was so strange, I didn’t realise that was going to happen when we put out the record. I didn’t think anything would really change, but it definitely seemed to connect with a lot of people.”

HA I L DE C L A N MC K E N N A :

The loyalty of Declan’s fans is undeniable: outside the venue, dozens of teenagers sporting dungarees (akin to those the singer dons in his music video for ‘The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home’) and brightly-coloured hairstyles are already milling about, six hours before the show is due to start. “We do have a noticeably young fan-base that’s very, very dedicated. A dilemma we’ve actually had at shows is that there’s this younger, physically smaller demographic, and then there’re also those who are about my age and upwards, the ‘laddish’ demographic… but the mix of it all in the crowd can lead to a few people getting pulled out because of them passing out and stuff.”

TH E CR O W N PR I N C E

The focus of his live shows is to maintain the spontaneity so intrinsic to earlier, small-scale gigs, and to make that work on a larger-scale. “For this new tour, I wanted to do something a little more focused, but still not take away the kind of ‘raw’ improvisations and energy. Now we’ve released the album the crowd knows all the songs, so we’ve had quite a bit more leeway with the setlist. We’ve had a lot of fun putting the set together and developing it over time.”

OF IN D I E PO P G Y D F C A U W N H P

O E E E O N N E A E H

O A B S V D E

D O L R H E U T , T I V A E R O A M A N D I N S E N T T T E R A D L I N O T O S :

D S LA S, D SE N LI B EF E R CO D ’ P L F S G

ECC REL YED AP ORK D A UMB LY ORE AT RIN

ERS EAS LO PEA (A SE ER BEC HI LON NE

; E A R H E O K S D C

TH H S D M IN F TT MA ON’ UMM D D E E M F E

I I O O G A

Declan’s played a mixture of festival sets and headline shows this year, many of which have sent him around the world and back again. “With touring you get to see loads of cool places, and not necessarily places you’d go to on holiday - like Salt Lake City in Utah, or Osaka in Japan.

S S F N

L N F SS S IN

E Y S O I K G

T HE D ), . R A V E O KO. .

“It can take it out of you though. I’m at the end of a weird virus - that reminds me, I’ve got to take some antibiotics…” So, it hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows. This has been particularly apparent during festival season - ironically enough. “Sometimes festivals are just the worst,” he laughs. “Doing a headline tour you just fuck about all day, then it’s like, ‘Ah right,

we’ve got an hour to soundcheck’. But with festivals you’ve got about 20 minutes, and you’re not even going on stage before the show because everyone’s out there already. “One weekend we had three shows: Latitude, a festival in Norway then a festival in Spain, and there were like five different flights, with no sleep. It can be quite intense, but at the same time it can mean you have some of the best shows, just by chance.” Since his album dropped right in the middle of summer, playing festivals turned into the perfect way to gauge the overwhelmingly positive response to the record. “Playing at Latitude was really cool this year, it was the first really huge crowd we saw at a festival. I think that was the moment I first took it all in - it was like the week after we released the record - and there were just all these people there watching the show.” Declan has been inundated with praise from fans - along with other musicians, “Gary Lightbody said he liked it!” since ‘What Do You Think About The Car?’s release. Most of the songs on the album explore serious issues and injustices facing young people in society, some of which remain underreported by the media. As such, the album’s important messages have understandably resonated with so many of his fans, “People just generally say ‘thank you’ for the songs, and I’m always like, ‘Don’t say thank you, just enjoy it!’ You know, I’m so awkward. When I meet people, they’ll open up to me, and it’s actually quite difficult to take it all in because there’s been so much positivity and I never really know what to say! It’s just really great, and everything you can only hope for as an artist.” His first North American headline tour took place in August - a long time coming it would seem. “America was actually one of the first places to pick me up. It was the first place I got any airplay on the radio, way before the UK. ‘Brazil’ got to number one on Sirius XM’s Alt Nation before it got any sort of attention over here.” Despite the enthusiasm coming out of the United States, logistically speaking it’s been difficult to get over there and tour as often as in the UK. It does mean that the gigs that do take place across the pond are full to the brim. “We were playing to 500 people in New York, which is amazing since I rarely ever go there. To have seen that kind of response was cool.” The quintessentially British habit of ‘getting the drinks in’ as a form of social lubrication - both at gigs or literally any other justifiable situation - meant that shows in the US had a slightly tamer feel to those in the UK. “The crowds are great. Obviously, it’s a very different culture, especially with young people and their drinking


“TOAST

HAS

BEEN

BIG

A

THING ME

FOR

THIS

YEAR” culture - it’s just so different. So it was a little bit more mellow. But yeah, the whole tour was just mindblowing.” With everything that’s transpired in 2017, festivals at home and abroad, headline shows all over the UK and North America, plus the addition of a debut album release, there must have been some personal developments going on in between. “I think I understand myself a lot better, and I feel like now more than ever there’s less pretending in life.” “It’s not as though I was ever trying to be fake, but I was always - maybe last year and the year before - trying to be happy all the time. And you’re not always happy. I think I’ve just learnt to be less of a Yes Man. For example, in interviews I might have just tried to agree with things - I’m talking mainly about interviews because that’s how people see you, that’s how you’re presented, and I don’t normally talk very seriously on social media. So yeah, being able to say ‘No’ to things, I think that’s a good development since last year.” What’s been the biggest change since this time last year then? “I’m better at doing eyeliner. Slightly, ever so slightly. I wasn’t very good at it, but I’m slightly better now.” The show taking place later on at KOKO marks the beginning of a ‘winding down’ period; at least three months will be spent nailing down concepts and writing for the next album. “I think my next record is going to be very different; I certainly don’t think it’ll fall in that indie bracket anymore. From what I hear in what I’ve written now, it’s slipping away a bit and becoming a little bit more like what I listen to, and I don’t listen to much indie anymore. “I’m definitely on a weird edge with music where I’m a lot more

understanding of what I wanna do with my sound next. I’ve taken on lots of different influences, listening to a load of classic pop like ABBA and David Bowie, the sort of ‘Greats’ - the kind of music I’d hear on the radio when I was younger and appreciated, but never properly listen to, because it’s just so timeless. Classic pop, classic rock, that 70s era of music for some reason has been massively influential for me.” Thinking about the specific songs and artists that Declan believes will always remind him of 2017, he promptly supplies Superorganism’s ‘Something for Your Mind’. “Actually, all the Superorganism songs - they’ve only put out about three songs ‘Nobody Cares’ as well is amazing. I think they’re gonna be massive.” He muses again for a second, “…Oh! Mild High Club’s ‘Homage’, that’s a really lovely song, I’ve been listening to that loads this year. Me and Will - the keys player - kept playing it again and again and again. It’s got a Beatles-y timelessness to it. I’ll definitely remember this time period when I hear that song because I’ve listened to it so much.” Taking a panoramic view of everything that’s happened over the year, Declan offers up the three words that encompass 2017 for him. “Intense, exciting, and… toast.” Toast? “Yeah. I just fucking love toast. I’ve eaten so much bread this year. There’s a toaster on the tour bus; we keep calling things ‘toast’, me and Will have a little place called Toast that we go to. I don’t know, like I’m actually being serious. Toast has been a big thing for me this year.” There it is then. When you say 2017, Declan says ‘toast’. P


T H E B E S T O F 2 0 1 7

BAND OF THE YEAR B LAENAVON 2. Wolf Alice 3. Sundara Karma 4. Declan McKenna 5. Paramore 6. MUNA 7. Bastille 8. IDLES 9. The Big Moon 10. Will Joseph Cook

IT ’ S

Of all the forces of modern indie pop, the Blaners army are amongst the strongest. Beating the mighty Wolf Alice down to second place, they’re crowning a year where they dropped a barnstorming debut album and scored a first Dork cover. We all know which is the bigger win there, don’t we Dear Readers?

TH E DO R K RE A D E R S ’ PO L L 20 1 7 RE S U L T S !

WORST SONG OF THE YEAR TAYLOR SWIFT - LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO 2. Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Despacito (Remix) ft, Justin Bieber 3. Liam Payne - Strip That Down 4. Katy Perry - Swish Swish 5. Ed Sheeran - Galway Girl You really think there are four worse songs from this year than ‘Galway Girl’? FOUR? You’re more forgiving than we are.

CLEAN POLL

CUT

WORST ALBUM OF THE YEAR ED SHEERAN - ÷ 2. Liam Gallagher - As You Were 3. Taylor Swift - Reputation 4. The Chainsmokers - Memories... Do Not Open 5. Katy Perry - Witness Yes, Ed takes the expected top slot for his twiddly dee ‘look, I have a loop pedal’ swill, but coming in second is one hell of a result for r’kid. The swagger was there, Liam, and the first single back was a definite banger, but after that? Oh dear.

KID’S

READERS’

CHOICES

WE ASKED ONE OF OUR FAVE BANDS TO CAST THEIR VOTE. HERE’S SOME OF THEIR PICKS. THE BAND SLASH ARTIST OF THE YEAR 2017 IS...Pinegrove

B A N G E R M U N A -

O F T H E I K N O W

Y E A R A P L A C E

2. Wolf Alice - Don’t Delete The Kisses 3. Paramore - Hard Times 4. Pale Waves - Television Romance 5. Lorde - Green Light 6. Sundara Karma - Explore 7. Declan McKenna - Humongous 8. Fickle Friends - Glue 9. Dua Lipa - New Rules 10. King Nun - Sponge Technically, ‘I Know A Place’ dropped online in December 2016, but throughout the year it’s been a constant mega-banger. AND it came too late for last year’s poll too, so we’re allowing it.

THE BANGER OF THE YEAR 2017 IS... Phoebe Bridgers ‘Motion Sickness’ THE BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR IS... Big Thief ‘Capacity’ THE BEST NEW ACT IS... Marsicans. Nicest band around, too. ... AND THE BEST NEW ACT IN WAITING FOR 2018 IS... The Van Ts. Hoping next year is their year. THE BEST LIVE ACT IS... Childcare,

so so good! THE BEST FESTIVAL OF 2017 WAS... TRNSMT, they did a good job after T in the Park had to shut down. It was drizzly as but every single person was going for it. Gotta love the Scottish!! THE PERSON OF THE YEAR IS... Our miniature Yorkshire terrier Bea. We’re always saying what a great little person she is. THE ROTTER OF THE YEAR IS... Trump. This year and every year.


A L B U M W O L F O F A

O F

T H E

A L IC E L I FE

Y E A R -

LIVE ACT OF THE YEAR

V I S I O N S

BASTILLE

2. Blaenavon - That’s Your Lot 3. Declan McKenna - What Do You Think About The Car? 4. Sundara Karma - Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect 5. MUNA - About U 6. Paramore - After Laughter 7. Lorde - Melodrama 8. St. Vincent - MASSEDUCTION 9. The Big Moon - Love in the 4th Dimension 10. Marika Hackman - I’m Not Your Man

2. Sundara Karma 3. Declan McKenna 4. MUNA 5. Blaenavon 6. Wolf Alice 7. Idles 8. The 1975 9. Paramore 10. INHEAVEN

Following up ‘My Love Is Cool’ was never going to be easy, but with ‘Visions of a Life’ Wolf Alice smashed it out of the park, setting up a legacy for one of our most important bands. Blaeners, Dec and Sundara prove that British indie is in fine health.

Smashing the festival circuit, including a storming performance at Reading & Leeds, Bastille nailed 2017.

B E S T N E W A C T O F 2 0 1 7 D E C L A N M C K E N N A

B E S T A C T O I N W A P A L E

N E W F 2 018 I T I NG W A VES

2. Blaenavon 3. Sundara Karma 4. MUNA 5. The Amazons 6. Idles 7. The Big Moon 8. Dua Lipa 9. Rat Boy 10. Will Joseph Cook

2. King Nun 3. The Magic Gang 4. Fickle Friends 5. Black Honey 6. The Japanese House 7. HMLTD 8. Dream Wife 9. Bloxx 10. Yonaka

Our Deccers proved himself to be the real deal in 2017, with his brilliant debut album and a squirrel that eats pizza. More on that ‘later’.

Pale Waves take the win, ahead of a list featuring more than one name that’s been in waiting for a while, but are set to take their throne in 2018.

C O M E B A C K

OF

T H E Y E A R L I A M G A L L A G H E R

MOST ANTICIPATED ALBUM OF 2018 THE 1975 2. Arctic Monkeys 3. Bastille 4. George Ezra 5. Dream Wife 6. Fickle Friends 7. The Wombats 8. The Japanese House 9. Peace 10. Black Honey No surprises there, then? Nah, thought not.

FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR READING & LEEDS

2. George Ezra 3. Superfood 4. Paramore 5. Wolf Alice

2. Glastonbury 3. Latitude 4. Truck 5. Live At Leeds

We figured ‘As You Were’ was a bit ropey, and you voted it the second worst album of the year, but still being good at Twitter helps.

With Glastonbury away for 2018, it looks like Reading & Leeds is all set for world domination. Latitude, Truck and Live at Leeds all did well too.

PERSON YEAR: JEREMY

OF

THE

CORBYN

OH JEREMY CORBYN! ROTTER OF THE YEAR: DONALD TRUMP Any shocks here? Thought not. Our domestic brand of useless leader Theresa* had to make do with second place. NATTIEST DRESSER OF THE YEAR: OSCAR POLLACK With coats that would make Snoop jealous, Oscar is every inch the style icon. He must be - he beat out Harry Styles into second place. BEST MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR: PARAMOR E HARD TI MES Day-glo, retro brilliance, ‘Hard Times’ announced Paramore were back! Back!! Back!!! GEORGE EZRA AWARD FOR YOUR MUM’S FAVOURITE ACT: GEORGE EZRA Sometimes, if you wait for it, the universe just works. This is one of those times. BEST MUSICIAN AT SOCIAL MEDIA AND STUFF: DECLAN MCKENNA Beating out Liam Gallagher by a mere handful of votes, indie prince Dec should share his award with the pizza eating squirrel.

* Information correct at time of press. DOWN WITH BORING

43


M

IN G T Z H A

I

A

N

TO LO

K

T

O

O

S

IN... 10

G

8 1 20 RWA R D FO

EXT N E H G T N I , DUC O NET R A T L E P 1. IN H T ON D N BA

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t’s a quiet autumn afternoon in North London; nestled in the corner of a downstairs restaurant are Heather Baron-Gracie and Ciara Doran. Finishing each other’s sentences, recalling stories from a year that has taken them around the globe and cracking jokes, there’s a bond there that fizzes and radiates through everything Pale Waves do. A shared tapestry that they’ve been painting their future on that is now primed and set to erupt. “It feels like right now is the time where it’s getting quite intense and exciting,” beams Heather, “like, we’ve hardly seen our families! They totally understand though, but we both like being busy, always doing something

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and we’re a very hard-working band aren’t we? We strive to be the best!” “When we weren’t that busy we were always saying, ‘When are we going to get busy?’” continues Ciara. “Yeah, we were desperate to finally get on with it; we’d just be at home writing and rehearsing and getting ready for the moment it’d all start - but after it did it was like, sweet!” picks up Heather. “It’s been very surreal, 100%. Like I saw the other day this girl in America who’s going to come to like six of our US shows...” “Think it’s actually 10,” jumps in Ciara. Heather turns to Ciara with an even bigger smile. “Yeah, that just feels like madness to me, and it means so much

that people are willing to truly commit themselves at this early stage. It’s mind-blowing.” “We were discussing this the other day”, elaborates Ciara. “Would we go to see a band after just two singles? We don’t know! All our fans are so lovely, it feels like a proper family.” With ambition aimed squarely at the top, their summer of touring is a pretty clear first step in the direction they’re heading down. Building on that tight bond and shared connection with The 1975, it was a natural fit that found Pale Waves snuggling into the shoes they’ve wanted to own since the very beginning, and coming out the other side even more set on their course. “Doing the American tour and then the European tour, it’s really helped us

because we were playing every night for ages,” details Heather. “Going on stage and getting our songs recognised and appreciated, that made us a lot more confident in ourselves and what we want to do.” For Pale Waves, the biggest stages aren’t just a goal or a dream; they’re a natural home for the ideas and screenings that blister out of every track and every conversation they have together. This is a band not just exciting, but overwhelmingly vital, knowing exactly what they want to achieve. “We’ve always had a clear vision,” explains Ciara. “Even though it evolves, at this very moment in time we have a totally clear vision of what we want to do, and we’ve always had that. I think


“WE’RE A VERY, VERY AMBITIOUS BAND” that’s a big advantage, a lot of people go through that phase of, ‘Who are we?’ and ‘What are we doing?’ When we met each other, we already had a clear idea individually of who we were, and we’ve kinda evolved together.” “We’re a very, very ambitious band,” states Heather, queuing nods and agreement from Ciara. “Like, we want to play our music to the biggest crowds possible. We want people listening to us.” “We want to create a Pale Waves world so that every night is another stop, another tour of our… I don’t know how to describe what we make. Our aesthetic!” continues Ciara. “Yeah!” agrees Heather. “As soon as you step into that room, you’re entering the world of Pale Waves.” For Heather, Ciara, guitarist Hugo Silvani and bassist Charlie Wood - that world is about to take over. To truly find its epicentre, the spark that ignited it all, the only destination you need is Manchester. The thriving streets and late-night tints of a city with culture running through its veins, it’s been pulling them together from the very beginning. Sometimes meeting other people in your lives can be a luck of the chance encounter, with Heather and Ciara it can only be described as destiny. For Heather, it was growing up in Preston. For Ciara, it was nearby in Cheshire. For both, there was that feeling of never quite meeting people who truly understood what they were about - a missing half in everything they wanted to be. Both were into music from an early age, by ten they’d each picked up instruments and were enamoured with the sounds they could create. The next step could only be into bright lights, and while on paper they both headed to Manchester for university, the reality was that they were looking for more. It was an important moment; one Heather recognises completely. “We aren’t small town people at all. We both needed to be around like-minded people. I never went to Uni to get a degree, and neither did you,” notes Heather, taking a sip of her drink as she

turns to Ciara next to her. “We went to meet people that were similar to us both. Before I met Ciara, there was no one who was compatible with me.” Heather spotted Ciara’s profile online before she headed to the city, and since then they’ve been glued to each other’s side. “It’s pretty surreal to think about where we are now and the fact we started off writing songs in your student accommodation,” contemplates Heather. “The way we got to know each other was to get drunk, stay up to 7am in the morning playing music and just talking,” remembers Ciara. “It’d be random music as well, not even talking about it but talking about each other and our lives. We knew everything about each other really quick - it’s very nostalgic now, thinking back to it. It was a nice time.” “We’re such similar people,” continues Heather. “Very ambitious and driven. Soulmates.” They’d both been writing music for a while separately, but after those many hours of bonding and becoming entwined in each other’s lives - writing together was a natural jump. No aims, no labels - it was about feeling good and turning that outer-body connection into something pure and expressive. “We kinda went with that for a bit, and we’d both decided that we were never going to be in a band because we’d had bad experiences in the past” details, Ciara. “But then things started to become more electric, we met Hugo and Charlie, and it just fit together so well. We just knew right away we had a band there.” “We really are a family,” notes Heather, “we love each other so much.” Now as a unit, Pale Waves would spend every waking day (and night) as they do now, working on new music, new ideas, ways they can make themselves even better and spending each hour with one another - like a joined puzzle finally able to dazzle in the brightest way possible. They knew where they wanted to be, stepping out from the crowd and standing apart as something distinctly fresh.

From touches of The Cure at their most carefree and captivating, to a splashing of that 1975 pop charm - Pale Waves have a mixture that can’t be pinned down. It’s daring and bold, yet charming and vulnerable at the same time; four people who made the band they longed for instead of waiting for it to come a-knocking. It’s that which makes them superstars in waiting. “We love a lot of bands, but I’ve never really seen myself in anyone else,” sums up Heather. With early numbers ‘The Tide’ and ‘Heavenly’ raising eyebrows across the country and beyond, Pale Waves’ musical evolution is one that comes from a band learning their craft, yet knowing their heart from the get-go. It took reaching deep-down to find that extra magic ingredient - and for Heather, it was about allowing herself to pour the raw emotions she was feeling into the songs her and Ciara were forming. It’s a process that was both daunting and undeniably key.

case of every element falling into place, it gave Heather, Ciara and Pale Waves the support to take those visions they’d been carrying around with them since the very start, and broadcast them loud and proud into stunning technicolour. It may be big, but Pale Waves are firmly fixed on the detail. The fizzing kicks and instant swoons that scream off ‘There’s A Honey’ and ‘Television Romance’ already feel like classics, and it comes from a meticulous approach to every aspect of Pale Waves.

“You were quite shy at the beginning,” notes Ciara, picking up on the frank conversations and knowledge that comes from having someone so close to them in life. “I think nobody could hear what she was saying so nobody could know who she is.” “Yeah, it was just a load of pointless metaphors at the start really!” opens up Heather. “It was quite scary actually, quite daunting. You meet people now who listen to your music, and they already know so much about you. If you listen to our songs, you find out so much about me, and it’s quite… I’m not a very open person as it is, and that’s why I explain myself with my songs, as I don’t like to talk about things or speak about them otherwise. So I put it all in songs instead, which is a better way for me to handle it. I think people really connect to that. “The music itself has evolved quite naturally. ‘The Tide’ and ‘Heavenly’ were two of the first songs we ever wrote together, so much has changed since then and so much has happened. We’re both still really proud of them though, and people won’t let them go. Our manager Jamie said, ‘You should see how many emails I get through requesting those two songs’.” Those two songs ultimately were the trigger. First catching the eye of John Kennedy at XFM, it set off a chain reaction that ultimately led to the front door of Dirty Hit - already open and eager to embrace them within the family it had built up over the years. A

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“We really love to spend as long as we can on things to make sure they’re perfect,” explains Heather. “That’s why it took so long to release ‘There’s A Honey’ and ‘Television Romance’ because we wanted everything to be as good as the art can be. We’re not one of those bands who’ll just throw out five songs a week; we love everything to be the best it can be.” “It’s the same as writing music as well,” picks up Ciara, seemingly spotting the train of thought going through Heather’s brain and jumping on board. “We’ll come up with ideas quite quickly and finish a song, and then we’ll spend six months going over every part of it to make it right. Your mindset is so different when you look at it one day, then look at it four weeks later you’ve got a completely different view on it. It might be experience or I dunno; you can do things better as you get older, I guess?” The results speak for themselves. In a year of many albums, from many bands and many moments chucked in the mix too - the true arrival of Pale Waves seems significant. There may well have

KING NUN ON PALE WAVES

never been a band to come storming through the gates quite like they have, laying out a guide on who they are and the very feeling they’ll be making thousands experience at a simple drop of a beat. From ‘There’s A Honey’ and ‘Television Romance’ comes the next defining line in the sand, with a debut EP simmering on the horizon packed with a rich and storied look into every facet Pale Waves occupy. As Ciara explains: “We just want to show people that we do have more, we want to do more than just singles.” “A lot of the songs we have,” continues Heather, “you wouldn’t expect after hearing ‘TV Romance’ and ‘There’s A Honey’. People judge us from those two songs, but they’re just the singles we have so far - like, we have some severely depressing songs too so I can’t wait for them to hear that. We have got this other side to us.” Heather and Ciara talk through the many tracks and studio times they’ve had together. Whether it’s one of their favourite songs being on the EP (‘My Obsession’) or the many other tracks

“THAT FEELING OF PEOPLE BELIEVING IN YOU, IT’S AMAZING”

they have cooking at the moment (including the swirling chimes of ‘New Year’s Eve’ that wouldn’t go a-miss as the final track in an American college love-story), this feels like a snapshot where the fire is well and truly lit underneath them.

Nathan: I heard them when they first put out demos on SoundCloud years ago, way before it all, and from there to where they are now is absolutely crazy and it’s going to get crazier! James: I’m jealous of their perfection. It’s so thoughtfully made and sounds so perfect. Theo: The thing with Pale Waves is they’re quite obviously the real fucking deal. They know what they’re doing. We hadn’t met musicians like that before, who just know what the fuck is up. I know they’ll succeed - and I wish that for them!

“There was a really odd moment,” remembers Ciara, stopping in the midst of running through all the enthralling things they’ve got coming, “when we had a meeting about the first video for ‘There’s A Honey’ in Dirty Hit, and it was crazy to think actual adults were talking about a video for our band. That feeling of people believing in you, it’s amazing. When you’re taken seriously in what you do - like from where we’re from when you talk about being in a band we get…” “WHAT’S YOUR ACTUAL JOB THEN?!?” calls in Heather - causing a roar of laughter. It’s that what adds another undeniable element to the Pale Waves mix and what ultimately takes them to another special field. It’s the fact that they’re exactly who we all are - dreamers, itching to find a way to

play on in 2018.

express yourself in a world that can sometimes shadow or try to push you down. Capturing those transcendent moments with an unrelenting honesty yet coated in a glittering spread of dark city nights, it means Pale Waves have the world at their feet - and are unlike anything you can click

“We’ve always wanted to do this,” beams Heather. “We have each other, and we just love it. You get to go around the world, meet amazing people every night in different cities and play music. What else could you ask for?” “We’ve got a two-year plan, too!” chimes in Ciara. “We know what we’re doing!” As Heather and Ciara prepare to head back out into the chilly autumn wind, what’s to come is impossible to limit. There are sold-out headline shows across the UK and America. There’s that sense in the air of something unstoppable coming to life, and for Pale Waves, there’s that sense that the beginning is about to kick-start into the iconic. Here’s a story we’ll all be talking about in years to come - a story of friendship, finding your soulmate and that dream of breaking out of life and to find that home you’ve been searching for. “We met at such a critical time,” points out Ciara. “We were 18, so we’ve grown into adult life together. We’ve experienced a lot together.” “We don’t get distracted by acclaim or fame,” states Heather. “We do it for the music and not for like the look of being in a band. We’re just who we are.” For generations of dreamers looking to find out who they are, Pale Waves are here to introduce themselves. Click play, close your eyes - the rest is here. P

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WORDS : JAMIE MUIR. PHOTOS : SARAH LOUISE

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omeone sent us a tweet,” starts Theo, gathered with his King Nun bandmates on a bench in North London. They’re reflecting on a year full of firsts and full of new experiences that they’d been searching for since playing their very first note together. “And that person said that their son had started a band because they went and saw us - and I was just like, OH MY GOD. It was like that feeling and the moment when we were like, ‘Right, let’s do more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more and let’s do it now’.” “Let’s go! Let’s go!” he exclaims, that energy rising from the rest of the band. For a band who this time last year were itching at the blocks, King Nun have lived the sort of year that every band across the world dreams of when

playing away in a garage or school music room. Playing in different cities, different towns and to different crowds every night, King Nun were born for these times - and these times haven’t seen anything quite like them. “It’s just so nice to see people’s faces light up when we come on stage, rather than people just staring at you thinking, ‘You don’t belong here’,” explains bassist Nathan. “It’s all very new to us though, we’ve been writing music for a long time, but the reactions we’ve been getting are completely new, which is mental. It’s progress, and we’re really happy - but we want more.” A lot of bands claim to have that hunger, but King Nun are insatiable, always looking to go bigger and take on any stage thrown their way. They have an enthusiasm for everything music is and are grateful to have the opportunity to do it on such a grand scale. When somebody claps or puts their hands up at a show, King Nun are the band who’ll thank and feed off it with a swagger amplified even louder. No matter what the response. “Individually, I feel like we were fuelled to become more of a punky-rocky band because of our own criticisms going

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into music; we were driven by criticism from the get-go,” explains Theo, delving into how they infectiously take on the world around them. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive, to the point where I can’t even process all of it, but” - he adopts a vintage English accent - “we’re very bloody happy.” If music is all about gangs, then King Nun are one everyone wants to be a part of. They feel like the group of mates who hang out with each other 24/7; a band wrapped in the fun of it all, whose happiness you can see no matter what they’re doing. Recording? Yep. Playing live? Yep. Meeting fans? Yep. Every part of it is met with a fevered joy. Looking back on the past 12 months it’s been a range of lessons and experiences for King Nun - but one that has kept their core foundations at the forefront. “The nice thing is that we’re still as energetic now as we were back then,” points out guitarist James. “So I’m hoping that we continue that trend of just embracing everything.” Theo glints at something bigger in the future, looking back on the year as the first step towards their ultimate goal. “We’ve always said, from beginning to

now, that the point of being in a band is to inspire as you’ve been inspired on as grand a scale as possible, and we’re still pushing for that. We’re pushing to reach as many people as we can with those moments and feelings. It feels more within grasp now. “We’ve been asking for this kind of hard work since we started a band, so now that all these opportunities have opened up we’re going at it as hard as we can.” There’s no doubt about that. In the past year, King Nun have been a fixture at shows across the country. There’s a good chance you will have bumped into them either in a venue, on the streets around the cities they’ve had the chance to check into, or in muddy festival fields. For a band who were practically frothing at the mouth to get out there, it’s been a storied journey of everything they’ve dreamed of. For Theo, it opened up elements that he hadn’t considered. “I never thought about the travelling aspect of being in a band - I thought constantly about the process of making music, I never thought about being in all these crazy places. Like, there was this moment on the Dirty Hit tour [with Superfood


“WE’RE REALLY HAPPY, BUT WE WANT MORE” and Pale Waves] earlier in the year where we played in Belfast. I was taking this lift up with a bag, and I accidentally took the lift up all the way to the roof! So I stepped outside, and it was this little roof, and there was this beautiful light shining across the city in front of me - and I could see the tour van below. And I was like, ‘Holy fuck’. I never thought about the sort of views and the places you’d get to go to, and that to me was surprising. The views and the places you’d find yourself, I didn’t consider that, but I’m really happy that it is there.” “We had a guy come to a few shows with his son,” recalls Nathan, thinking back to where they were at the end of 2016. “That was absolutely mind-blowing, that someone would take that time with their child and spend it at our shows. That is crazy. It’s amazing. It’s like wow - people care.” “Especially when you can spot that within yourself,” continues Theo, “Because you’re always trying to recreate that moment when you found a band for the first time, and you’re like, ‘Holy fuck’. So if you get a glimpse of that happening with other people, and we’ve seen it a few time, it’s like yeah. More please.” “We had an American kid do a cover of our songs on YouTube, that and a Spanish lyric video for ‘Speakerface’,” details Nathan, memories fizzing between the band as they laugh and recall their own highlights. “To be fair, in Spanish, it’s quite the singalong.” Laughter rings out. “I remember at Latitude,” starts drummer Caius. “I heard a bunch of guys behind me while I was queuing for the showers just rinsing King Nun. I wish I could have joined in with them; it was so funny. I’m glad there was such a strong reaction.” King Nun have had an irrepressible energy since their early days of trying to find gigs wherever

possible and sneaking into venues - lying about their age to get a spot on the stage. They’ve been ready since the start, their sights aimed squarely at the top. They started out frequenting a bill that would usually surround them with bluegrass acts and ram-jam covers, with a crowd that resented bands taking up valuable ‘jam time’. “The gap between then and now is so big that I can’t even see back then,” elaborates Theo. “We spent a lot of time doing that open mic night,” remembers James, “just around the corner from where Caius lives. It was like a proper Dad’s pub where they’d be doing their blues jam nights, but then four 16-year-olds would roll up…” - “It was shit,” calls in Caius. - “It was interesting to start out somewhere where they didn’t want us in the first place.” They’d keep returning to it, week after week after week in succession, defiantly playing the music they wanted to and enjoying the fact they had a stage to play on at all. Even if nobody else in the boozer was younger than 40; it was theirs. “This is the thing though,” continues James. “From then until now playing live has been such a desirable objective that any time we can get a chance to play, it’s always been a great thing. Playing those nights makes you realise that the thing which makes a show good is how you perform. A good audience adds to the show, but a band should be such where they’re just a force unto themselves.” “We’d get cussed out a lot,” Theo recalls, “but it gave us our spine, and made those first recordings and the first songs we wrote together really punky. I’m grateful that we grew up in this improv environment because at that open mic people would go up with different members each night and just jam, do a cover of [Jimi Hendrix single] ‘Purple Haze’ or something, which was cool.

PALE WAVES ON KING NUN Heather: They’re such lovely guys. They’re great to watch live because they’re such an energetic young band, so it’s really captivating. Theo is a genius really and so passionate about what he does. He’s really intriguing and interesting. Ciara: He’s just who he is, he can’t be anyone else - it’s not pretending it’s real. Heather: I think they’re going to be a great band, they’re working so hard and’ll just keep getting better and better.

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“THE POINT OF BEING IN A BAND IS TO INSPIRE”

Watching them was interesting because they were there for the music. It wasn’t like they were trying to be something huge, there was no ego about it all. That improv side of things has spilt into us, when we cover [old-school punk musician] Richard Hell or something, well turn it into something else halfway through and that still happens. We’ll see a time to improvise and turn what we’re writing into another beast. That environment was really important.” That knack for gazing to new realms is vital to the collection of cuts they’ve shown the world already. Opening call ‘Tulip’ is a blistering punk shaker, ‘Speakerface’ is a swinging strut of party-soaked ambition, ‘Hung Around’ is a measured and menacing primal growl that sizes you up before you even hear Theo’s voice reign in, and ‘Sponge’ hypnotises with unabashed freedom and a punch to a gut at the same time. It’s what takes them into another league; a jack in the box of influences and styles that you’ll never be able to predict.

Caius sums it up perfectly: “I think we all like bands who try to do their own take on guitar music and do it in their own way. We want to be more like that, putting our own take on guitar music.” “It’s a good thing to be in a band and want to overthrow your idols,” states Theo, a message of intent for the throne King Nun want to make their own. “It’s interesting,” continues James, “that we’re still at a point - not to say that we don’t have a sound - but that people who listen to us can’t necessarily guess what’s next. It’s interesting that we have several open-avenues ahead of us, and it makes it a very exciting time. That people are expecting something, but they don’t know what.” “It reminds me of one of the first times we were in a studio,” jumps in Theo, his eyes lighting up. “We were recording with [producer] Jolyon Thomas who we’ve done all of our tracks with so far, and he asked in one of our sessions what our message was. I hesitated for a second, and he said something in the realm of, ‘Some bands don’t find out for a long time, some bands never find out. What counts as ‘the feeling’, so let’s do this recording and see where it leads you - but just make sure you mean it’. That has resonated with me so strongly, and it’s become part of our nature now. Carry that feeling with you and the rest, I suppose by some mythical force, will follow.” It’s palpable the excitement that comes from King Nun now they’ve had a taste of becoming the band they’ve talked about being for years. “I didn’t realise immediately our need to evolve and to push our boundaries. We’re having a lot of fun doing that,” lays out Theo. “We knew the specific kind of music we wanted to make, and now I feel like we’re close to the specific type of message we want to make, but we’re having a lot of fun pushing that all around - which is a great thing to discover. When you feel something significant, the first thing you do is share it, and because of where we’ve been over the past year there’s even more to share. There’s more interesting stuff now we’ve lived in a world that was so unfamiliar, and we’re more driven to share it.” “We always wanted it,” points out Nathan, “and we always knew that there was going to be a lot of work involved. We want more, and we’ve always aimed for the top.” As they bundle into their tour van for another night, whisking them off to another stage to bounce around and saying goodbye to those who were strangers at the start of the day but now feel like friends, King Nun are beaming. In a world of serious, the most important antidote is fun - and there’s nobody you’d want behind the wheel more than King Nun. P

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he Magic Gang trade in those joyous indie moments. The ones where any sense of ‘looking cool’ is thrown squarely out the window, leaving behind a barrage of delicious hooks and melodies. Thrusting their marker in the ground, as 2018 comes around it’s time for the full-blown show to begin. “There’s been a lot more craziness around the band this year,” points out bassist Gus Taylor. “I don’t know if there’s been a snowball effect where we’ve suddenly got to this point - it feels like people are catching on with the momentum of all these shows we’ve been doing.”

For frontman Jack Kaye, it’s been a measured progression - allowing four best mates from Brighton to grow and embrace the stages they’re about to reach. “It’s been a steady climb since we’ve started doing all these support tours. It feels like it’s been worked on and hasn’t just suddenly gone up in the space of a year, which is good.” The hunger for a Magic Gang album is huge. Working their way through the bars, late night parties and festivals, they’ve always felt like a band primed for the big leagues. Not just another happy-go-lucky quick fix, but something more. It’s all been leading to this. 2018 is The Magic Gang’s coronation year, and boy, is it going to be glorious. “It feels like the perfect time to do an


2018 PREVIEW

album now,” notes Jack, met with nods and smiles from a band who’ve taken every step-up so far in their stride. “With the three EPs, for us, it felt like finding our feet - especially with production and stuff like that. We’ve found our sound a bit more and [record label] YALA coming along has been really encouraging too.” To look at the future, there’s always a glimpse to the past, and YALA Records are undeniably that. Headed up by Felix White of The Maccabees, it feels like a hand over of the keys to the indie lock-up. “For a long time, it was just us unsigned, so it’s good to have that boost now,” rounds out Jack. “Still skint, though,” throws in Gus. If their bank balance was mirrored by the sheer adoration they provoke, then The Magic Gang would already be millionaires. There are few experiences quite like their live show. Simple and natural, yet with an impossible to define - erm - magic, their rise has been staggering. No matter the town, no matter the slot on the bill - they deliver, and in a big way. At every moment, they pour out that essence of huge moments, free from any restraints or fears, shared with as many people as possible. “I always find it surprising that people are able to

react like that,” states drummer Paeris Giles, “purely because the songs are so slow. Like, how do you manage to go for it like that?” “When they sing along it’s really nice,” adds guitarist Kris Smith. “Seeing crowds get excited by a groove is mad,” picks up Jack. “Like, when you hear a drum beat and suddenly they know exactly what it is and are throwing themselves into it. That’s mad.” Gus has his eye firmly set on history, knowing that role The Magic Gang could very well fill. “There were only a handful of bands growing up that I knew all the words to. The Maccabees were one of them for sure; it’s funny how it’s all turned out. I’m not comparing ourselves to them, but that was how I felt about them, and hopefully, some of our fans feel that way about us and what we do.” Now, The Magic Gang are looking to their debut album. Taking the time to get it right, and conscious of not only that pressure but also the expectations of a growing legion of fans across the UK and beyond there’s a lot to think about. “It’s about trying to showcase everything that the band are

about, and have been about, in 10 to 12 tracks - which is quite difficult,” elaborates Gus. “You want all the bangers on there, but at the same time, you want t to have the moodier numbers too and get the balance right. There’s pressure from that old material, for the benefit of old bands and new fans too - but it’s got to be a documentation of the band up to this point. I think we’re feeling the pressure…” “It’s being aware of the expectation that our fans have,” says Kris. “I think it’ll be good; it’s just getting it right.”

controlled by us.” “I mean, let’s see how far we can take it,” he offers. “Yeah,” laughs Kris. “Let’s see how far we can take this joke! And how many more people we can fool.” P

THE M AG I C GA N G ’S TI PS FO R 201 8 (i.e. all their mates - Ed)

“In the position we’re in it’d be silly not to go for the jugular,” states Paeris. “We could have been a lot of things when we first started, and we’ve decided to go down a certain avenue, so we might as well pursue that as far as we can.” Picking up where his bandmate left off, Gus is keen to point out those down to earth realities that make The Magic Gang resonate so well. “Doing all that, but of course staying very true to what we believe is right and wrong and how we want people to consume our music. Whether that’s music videos or t-shirts, it has to be 100%

VENTURE LOWS

DU DS.

U N D E RWAT E R BOYS

D REAM

WIFE.

A BAT TO I R B LU ES

S U LK Y

BOY.

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WHE N WE TOT UP 201 8 ’S A L BUM S O F THE Y E A R, THE

S E L F -T I T L E D

D E BUT

FRO M D RE A M WI F E W I L L D E F I N I T E LY R A N K A M O N G THE

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D REAM W IFE

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Hey Alice, congrats on announcing your debut album - it must be a super exciting time for you guys? Thanks, we are all very, very pumped for the album to be set free.

Bells), this album feels a bit like a milestone for us, where we are at and how far we have come. It feels like a celebration of everything we have achieved so far.

Have you been sat on the full album for long? When did you record? Recording this has been a fairly long process, as we have been laying this debut down over the last year. It’s tricky with this release being ‘the debut’, as we really wanted it to be perfect and exactly how we saw it before putting it out there. It’s been a journey, but we are really happy and proud of where it’s at, and we just want to show you all already! In a lot of ways having been touring and playing some amazing shows over the last year with some of our favourite bands (The Kills, Sleigh

Can you tell us about some of the topics you cover in your lyrics? Our lyrical content across the album is definitely a message of solidarity, of female-identifying people changing peoples mind about just what a woman is, does or could be. Lyrically we flip the script. Our song ‘Somebody’ addresses issues of sexual assault, and the way in which that is dealt with within our society. This song is about women standing together and having a conversation around that. However, on the other side of the coin, there is our song ‘FUU’. This is full

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throttle energy and lyrically references the Spice Girls ‘Wannabe’. There is still something so powerful about a woman singing “I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want”, especially when followed swiftly after with “I’m gonna fuck you up!” As Rakel sings in ‘Act My Age’, “Do I amuse you, do I confuse you?” Lyrically this album is all about juxtaposition, but also about the conversation.

definitive statement for who you are as a band? This debut is like, “Hey it’s Dream Wife, we have arrived. Check it.” To have the debut self-titled felt like both a statement and an introduction, nuff said.

What else have you got in the diary for 2018? Us Wives are going down under! Very psyched to be playing Laneway Festival in Australia early next year. The line Do you have a favourite song? up is amazing. To give you a taster, it It’s hard to pick a top track, maybe its the includes The Internet, Slowdive, Alex G same as choosing a favourite child, it’s and Wolf Alice. It will be super cool to kind of impossible. As a body of work, all share that journey with such an amazing the tracks come together and really say set of artists; very special festival. P something together. However, they all mean different things individually. We Dream Wife’s self-titled debut album is love them all. out 26th January. The record’s self-titled - do you feel it’s a


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On 16th July, 2014, Sky Ferreira revealed that she was working on her second album, the follow-up to 2013’s ‘Night Time, My Time’. In November of that year she described it as “a little heavier”, and then in 2015 she announced its title: ‘Masochism’. Since then Sky mostly seems to be doing film stuff, notably playing Baby’s mum in Edgar Wright flick Baby Driver. Come on, Sky.

fter two y back w ears, Gengahr ith are to 2015 the follow up process ,a d Outside ebut, ‘A Dream we were nd she ended ’. ‘Where up making Grows’ emotio the alb passing away was cre Wildness nally; I u while m. I thin bands, ated in wa way tha time, it k for m bu a was ha s slightly dra e even m t for this four- t would break in rd m e to d in a dset. T place ore brill lot o piece, it s iant. ’s made ome have fo hings took lo yourself in th f the them r a com e rig nger th “’A Drea a b e n in nd of th they wo ht a m e day, th tion of reaso uld explain Outside’ was you hav n s frontm a e to be e most import s, but at the an Feli closed-door s no exte c a w o n ri n t fi tt th d x c en; th rn ent enario,” ing B what w al force havin ushe. “There think th e song is kin in the songs y is w e were g g at the ou’ve at’s wh doing. H any influenc as recorde e e re n d you hav e on alf d e to pla of it. I manag before we had that album w ‘W ce your here W em as a label faith.” about th ent, there wa o out of th ildness Grows s a naiv r even at whe ’ s e e ir e s c e omfort re we d Gengah great a ty and is s ti zone ch idn ll the mb r mo songs o itions for it, w ’t really have arm wizardry re, but there’s . Their distinc ve an urs e just w t vibe some n thrown years to elves. Since anted to y e s w e in en ours to the m etherea the g go do e l lv ix e . probab et another alb n, we’ve take s “ W as a ba mix it u ly n u nd that e’ve always p, and I like a lo isn’t that abn m together, w two can sort d re o s n tr ’t o ic h thin ng time rmal, b ted of ut it do ich for the want to to one partic k we wanted es feel band.” to be ular thin keep th “There in g W . g e We did s too lo wante wa n process s a lot of stu and it s d to be able to -fi, or grunge ’t ff g ,” F till work , or pop d o w event th elix considers oing on durin h . atever . g . “I had at my m we wan the unfo the um got t, rtunate “That was on really il e of the l during about m mos the a a differe king the albu t challenging m, tryin nt band g to pla things still try y as ing to fe every now an d e potenti a ally, som l like it is Gen gain, and gahr. I th e of the comple te in s what ti ly sonically un ongs can feel k es them related , but ho togethe that ba pefully nd r is the fa and sam , and it’s the s ame lyri ct that it is e drum mer an cist and are the db co singer, necessa nnecting facto ass player. Th ese rily. I th rs , not the ink it’s keep th gen just a c ings in ase of tr re te a long ying to piece o resting. You’re f tr music, repetiti and it w ying to write ve if it were th o e same uld be pretty thing e “The firs very tim t album e. piece in w many w as more of an metaph ays; a lo e s c a p is ors. You t t of it is try and the lim coated eli pu in be dire ght, and you d sh yourself o ctl ut o it’s a lo y linked back n’t want thing of tm to s to unavoid ore honest, it you. On this a lb a b songs, ble to include ecame a lot m um and be m o re y s e lf ab m It feels like a s it more open ore in the tep forw about h ow I fe ard.” P lt. Gengah r’s is out 9 new album ‘W th Marc here W h. ildness Grows’

THE

JA PA NESE H OUSE

Here’s one we’ve been chomping at the bit for all year. “There’s a lot of weird shit on it,” Amber Bains revealed of her debut when we tackled her backstage at Reading Festival this summer. “There’s a lot of crazy stuff going on.” Sounds like our kind of album. “I’m writing every day until I’m either dead or it’s complete,” she added. Oo-er.

CHVRC HES

The follow-up to 2015’s ‘Every Open Eye’, Chvrches announced earlier this year that they were working on their third album in Los Angeles, California with Dave Stewart from synth-pop powerhouse, Eurythmics. What does it sound like? Are they done? When’s it due? No idea. The trio have been super tight-lipped about their plans so far.

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2018 PREVIEW

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IDLES IDL ES

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TH EIR SEC O N D A L BUM EVE R SINCE THEY KI C KE D OUT TO PNOTCH Frontman Dan Smith claims the next record will be about “trying to have a fun time with your friends”, while still acknowledging the challenging environment we live in. “Sometimes it’s necessary to hone in on the things that you love,” he told Beats 1.

TH E

1975

Yes, it’s Matty Healy and Co.’s much gossiped about third full-length, ‘Music For Cars’. He told Dork this time last year that it will come out “early summer 2018,” and that still seems to be the plan. “It’ll be sad but it’ll change the world ‘cause it’ll be fucking sick,” he added.

TH E

VAC C I N E S

“Songs are constantly evolving, but it’d be nice if there’s a bit more life in the songs on the next record,” Justin Young told Dork way back in August 2016. “We’ve got about twenty songs,” the frontman revealed. And hey, look who’s playing London’s Ally Pally next April…

A RCTIC

M O N KEYS

After the shortest hiatus ever following 2013’s ‘AM’, Alex Turner and Co. returned to the studio late 2016. In an interview with motorcycle website For The Ride, bassist Nick O’Malley revealed they’ve a new album due next year “if it isn’t, we’ve got problems”. 60

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DE BUT

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WAY B AC K I N M A R C H . T H E R E ’ S N O RE L E ASE DATE Y ET, BUT AS ONE

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ith the release of their debut album ‘Brutalism’ in March, Idles tapped into a storm of pent-up ferocity and dissatisfaction and fuelled it into something that felt truly vital. Barraging into the public consciousness with a blistering energy, the Bristol outfit ignited a wildfire of enthusiasm that refuses to falter. “Ever since the album has just been a bit of a mind melt,” frontman Joe Talbot comments. “It’s been great, absolutely amazing, but we weren’t expecting any of it.” In a year that’s seen the band open for Foo Fighters at London’s O2 Arena, perform a post-headliner set at Simple Things festival, and sell out some of their biggest headline shows to date, it’s certainly been a surreal twelve months for the Bristol punks. “Nothing seems to be making sense anymore. Selling out shows to me is fucking whacky. It’s not real. I hope that we work hard enough for our audiences to prove that we’re worth it. I can only imagine that I’ll be surprised a lot next year in different ways,” Joe continues. “Hopefully all positive,” he adds

with a shrug. Idles are nothing if they’re not unpredictable. Having spent the majority of the year playing an almost gruelling number of live shows, the group are already hard at work on a follow up to their celebrated debut. If you’ve managed to catch one of the band’s numerous live shows, chances are you’ll have heard a taste of what album two will have to offer already. While recording sessions may still be ahead of them, Idles have been cutting their teeth on new material ever since they started writing it. “The album is more like a piece of work that we put together, like an art piece really,” Joe describes. “It kind of accumulates all our new songs that we love and puts them into a listenable thing. Really, we write it for the live shows.” Presented with their trademark wit and relentless spirit on stage, these new songs offer the promise of Idles at their most vital sounding yet, their characteristically wry commentary and freewheeling energy resounding more brazenly than ever. “We see our music as more of a dialogue than a monologue,” Joe considers. “We want reactions. We want our audiences to talk to us about how it makes them feel, and

show us how it makes them feel, and sit on us if they have to, whatever.” “However they feel, they show us, and we show them,” he summarises. “We play new songs live as soon as we can to make sure they work, and they feel right. If they don’t feel right live, then we’re not going to put them on the album.” Trial by fire might sound like a risky route to take, but there’s no other path that Idles would even consider. “Then everyone gets something out of it,” Joe explains. “We don’t want to waste anyone’s time. We just want to make a record that we love.” Described with a wry smirk as “a bit like the first record, but better” (before a quick explanation that “it’s not a full entity yet, so it’s hard to describe”), Idles’ second album might still be in the very early stages, but the enthusiasm surrounding new music from the outfit is already evident. Whether performing on stage or presenting to go on record, Idles have placed experience at the heart of everything they’ve been working on. “It’s everything to us,” Joe expresses. “That’s why our music’s more like a dialogue. We need an audience. It has to be an experience that we have with people.” “I don’t sit at home listening to our album,” he deadpans. “I’m not going to. I’m not interested in that. It’s about playing them. For me, it’s all about the experience you have with an audience.” With studio time set for January, and two of the band’s biggest headline shows so far set for April, there seems to be no doubt that the next twelve months are going to be even bigger than the past twelve for the Bristol punks. “We’re just going to focus on album two,” Joe states. “I’m sure we’ll do some shit that we can’t comprehend just yet. I’m sure it’ll be a fun year.” P


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There’s been no shortage of Vampy Weekend updates from frontman Ezra. The album was “80% done” at the start of September, and has the working title ‘Mitsubishi Macchiato’. Describing the full-length as a bit more “springtime”, Ezra’s also let slip two potential song titles: ‘Conversation’ and ‘Flower Moon’.

TAY

LOR .

hink yo uk New alb now Hookwo rms? u Februa m ‘Microshift’ but the ry via D - due in n om may tac around I know MJ had kle fam ino Records for insu a lot of iliar the mental rance p landlord waiting mes of he ayouts, s life, but alth and cop the sou flood g there w to pull their ing wit it’s a ste nd you rants, fi a n s g h a e ’l n rs p l y mo to ston out were als king ta remember - ju away from o extre ney to start th etc. before ster tra s t h m a v e v e e repair. W e a liste ry kind ck, ‘Neg ly fortu ative S n e Hey MB was set people donate nate to have pace’. ,h a lot of up, with money sounds ow has 2017 been e o to u t a w been fo fu like you h nough nd that r you g ’v We’ve s money ich there wou uys? It pent th e been busy. ld to com e majo plete th n’t have on the ‘N e rity gative e rebuil ne d. write-o w record. 201 of the year w what in Space’ is a gre orking 6w ff spired at com steam a for us creative as a bit of a it e ? This so back sin ly, so it head th ng beg gle, h is year. Septem an loop th We fina as been full be at open life with the lly finis mid-20 r, having orig w s e k u in ir p d h d the tr ed it in inally s 15. vowe of a tarted messin happy acciden ack, which wa l-y back in g aroun s t that c Have yo d a s m w ampled e from u recov that, an ith some mod ered fro couple added ular ge d then m of mo a over a take to years back no all the floodin year gra r. We percuss re layers and w? How resolve ga dually io p a n rt a s ? nd synth . I think long did T h o e n e , lectro and th the stu bas that dio was in total around en it was just s came quite nic shu – early those id a case actuall Boxing Day 2 t for seven m o e and ma f y empti 015 to onths king su as until every jamming July 20 ed and studio one ha re the tr nicely. 16 co within d pa Lyri ac about 3 mpletely gutt . We loss, pa cally it deals k ebbed and fl rts, e or 4 da rticularl o with de ys of th d the ath, gri wed y who pa e flood ef ssed aw around a clos , e friend and ay last year. of ours What ly rical th emes d on? oes ‘Mic roshift’ It’s all lo focus osely th and the emed a round m various depres th ental h ings th sio ealth grief, lo n, body image at can entail; an ss and , openin failed re g up to xiety, lations others, hips. How do y back ca ou think the re ta cord co mpares It’s the logue? most p to your leased I’ ve com and e away from an creatively fulfi becaus e it y ll music th covers a bro of our albums ed ad ,m a tastes th t falls more in er spectrum o aybe f li a can’t sa n anything w ne with my p e’ve do ersonal y I liste ne befo n to mu these d re. I ch ay more in s, so it’s been guitar or rock nice to terestin music bring s g elem change o ents in th to the b me write it e way we thin and . It k we’ve d ’s certainly po about music a and one be ppier th nd fore, an too, bu d argua an anything tI bly mo way of think it’s ultim re up us a cathars trying to ach tely just a diffe beat ieve eu is and in re p h tensity. oria thro nt P ugh Hookw orms’ a lbum ‘M Februa icroshif ry. t’ is out 2nd

SPRING

KING

Springers have been in the studio since May, working on the follow up to their debut. “We want to get it out early next year,” the band told Dork when we collared them at 2000trees in July. “We’ve already got two-tothree albums’ worth of songs. We have a lot to think about, but it sounds really good.”

CHA RLI

XCX

Our Charli doesn’t have much luck with release dates. Last album ‘Sucker’ suffered all kinds of put-backs, eventually resulting in different versions dropping all over the show. Now she seems to be having similar issues with her new ‘un, but it’s likely to see the light of day in 2018. Here’s hoping, anyway. DOWN WITH BORING

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THE

RHYTHM METHOD WORDS: M A RT Y N YOU N G . PH OTO : JA KE L E W IS .

P OTE NTI A L L E A DE RS O F SOUTH- O F T H E -T H A M E S DWE L L E RS , THE RHY TH M M ETHO D A RE A DUO YOU ’ L L H AV E S E E N O N THESE

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here’s something brewing in South London; something a little bit odd, a little bit funny and a whole lot brilliant. 2017 has seen The Rhythm Method leading the charge, and 2018 promises to see them bringing their unique brand of Methodism to the masses. There isn’t really another band like The Rhythm Method. Nobody comes close to the idiosyncratic duo of Joey ‘n Rowan, who have gradually spent the last few years making some of the best pop music you could ever hope to hear. “We exist in our own ecosystem,” says Rowan. With a whole lot of momentum behind them and a sack full of bangers in tow, The Rhythm Method’s bubble is flourishing.

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“It’s an old friendship is how I would describe us,” begins frontman and top pop poet Joey, as he describes how the band came together. “It was a matter of circumstance. We lived together, and it was out of boredom that we started making music together. We released the video for ‘Local Girl’, and we weren’t taking it too seriously - well, it’s not a serious

RWA R D FO


song really. But other people started taking it seriously and, yeah, two years later we’re here in a Salsa bar in Edinburgh.” The band are currently on tour with fellow South London upstarts Shame, reflecting on a year that’s seen The Rhythm Method’s cult grow and grow. “Pretty much every weekend [this summer] we were away playing festivals. That was a great experience,” says Joey. “We lucked out at a lot of them because it was pissing down outside and we were playing in tents. So, a lot of people were seeking refuge and that paid off. We’ve been continuing to spread our seed.” There’s a lot of things that make The Rhythm Method special. The glorious pop songs, the hilarious but often touching lyrics or their status as the finest purveyors of top quality videos, but the real heart of the band and why they work so well can be found in the relationship between Joey and Rowan, forged years ago in those London flats. They’re a true double act; one wouldn’t quite feel right without each other. Two brilliant characters that bounce off each other perfectly. “We’ve been developing that over the course of the last year,” explains Rowan. “I enjoy being the straight man to Joey’s funny man. It’s the classic thing of light and shade. On stage, I like being that stoical figure because then Joey’s ridiculousness seems even more silly.” “Obviously, it is considered, but it’s the way we are anyway,” adds Joey. “I’m a big show off, and he’s quite straight-laced. We are Morecambe and Wise or Ant and Dec.” The one thing The Rhythm Method don’t lack is confidence. They’re aiming high and preparing to shake things up. Ask Joey why they’re one of the most exciting new bands in the country and the response is emphatic. “The songs we have released and are recording right now are frankly second to none, to be honest. I have so much faith in what we’re doing. I genuinely think Rowan is the best songwriter of his generation and in a lot of ways, I think I’m one of the best lyricists. We balance each other out.” They do recognise they’re a bit different, but that’s all part of the fun. “It’s good music,” explains Joey confidently. “It’s not very in vogue. Every festival we’ve played we’re still surrounded by guitar bands. We’re not willing to change for anyone. We know what we’re good at and we’re running with it.” For Rowan, The Rhythm Method’s

“WE’RE NOT WILLING TO CHANGE FOR ANYONE” purpose is vital and direct. “I want us to give a voice to kids who feel like music is letting them down,” he explains passionately. “I’m one of them, and Joey is one of them as well. Where are the tunes? The storytelling? Where’s the humour?” Tunes, storytelling and humour are abundant in The Rhythm Method’s clutch of turbo bangers. From the tender piano lament to their hometown ‘Home Sweet Home’ to the summer bank holiday anthem ‘Something For Weekend’, The Rhythm Method’s songs have it all. These songs are all borne out of a passion to shake things up and restore clever, thoughtprovoking and gloriously hilarious pop back to its rightful place. “That’s my issue,” says Joey about these seemingly lost values. “Fundamentally I’m an indie kid. I’m 27 now. The Libertines were my band. I loved that stuff. I know I’m quite opinionated on Twitter when it comes to music; I’m not being a hater for the sake of it. Do you ever watch Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares? What we’re trying to do is tough love like him. We’re just trying to say, ‘Look, if you’re going to be in a band, just write better songs’.” “It’s not that hard,” continues Rowan. “We appreciate anyone who just tries. A lot of bands are not actually trying. People are starving for it.” While The Rhythm Method have spent the year honing their craft they’ve also picked up a legion of celebrity fans with a bunch of Dork faves thrown in. Matty, Ellie and Dec all love them, and that’s not all. “It does feel like every successful band in this country fucking loves us,” says Joey with a characteristic confidence. “We’ve got every big band in the country on our tail.” “It’s a bizarre star-studded guest list,” laughs Rowan. “Elton John, George Ezra, Matty Healy, Ellie Rowsell, Right Said Fred, Matt Lucas, Suggs - they’ve all given us a nod.” For a band who have a growing collection of hilarious and moving videos perhaps the next step is to recreate Peter Kay’s ‘Amarillo’ video with a bonkers

collection of celebrity supporters. As The Rhythm Method’s cult has grown throughout 2017, they’ve used their position to back political causes close to their heart and spread a message of hope and change. In the months preceding the election, they went out on tour with Matt Maltese campaigning for an end to the Tories. Just check out their now infamous anti-Tory merch. “I think Jeremy Corbyn’s success was the one thing we took away from that,” says Joey. “On that tour, it felt like there was a real energy. A real feeling of hope. It did feel like, wow, people are coming around to changing their way of thinking. That never felt possible before. We grew up under Tony Blair, you can say what you want about him, but basically, politicians are all the same. We realised that maybe they don’t have to be all the same and there are other options.” In many ways, The Rhythm Method are the alternative option. The antidote to anything bland or fake. They know exactly who they are and where they’re going and they’re going to have fun getting there. “Join the movement,” says Rowan emphatically. “I’ve always thought someone needs to step up to the plate and headline Glastonbury as a new band. I want people to say about us; there’s a band that could do it. Make a seminal moment.” Their ambitions are sky high, but for The Rhythm Method, it’s the only way. “Aim high is us all over. If we don’t get there then at least we tried. I can’t stand people not trying.” There are lots of reasons why The Rhythm Method are exciting. For Joey, it comes down to something simple. “It’s just pure honesty really. I think the aim is, and what we’ve found, is that a lot of people come up to us and it’s almost as if they’ve found something with us that represents a lot of stuff that isn’t spoken about. We’re not too brazen about it. It’s all wrapped up in metaphors, but I feel like we’re representing sad lads and lasses basically. They’re our people.” P

HERE ARE 6 MORE ACTS FROM SOUTH LONDON MAKING A NOISE SHA ME

If there’s any band out of South London set to make that jump into the big leagues, it’s Shame. Grabbing you by the shoulders with their untouchable live show, released cuts like ‘Tasteless’ and ‘Concrete’ point to a pretty stunning debut album.

M AT T

M A LT E S E

Unlike any other artist emerging south of the river, Matt Maltese already has us swooning. Weaving incredibly cinematic stories with the touch of something classic and you have something truly special. Expect more gorgeous cuts to emerge in 2018.

HOTEL

LUX

There’s a menacing aura around Hotel Lux’s spitting lines and horror-esque backdrop that should take them to the headline spots they deserve, packed with meaning and deep purpose (see newly released number ‘The Last Hangman’ for more of that).


HMLTD WORDS: JESSI CA GOOD MAN. PH OTO : SA RA H LOU I SE BEN NET T.

H M LT D A R E O N E O F T H E M O S T F U N , D R A M AT I C A N D A L L- I N B A N D S G O I N G : T H E I R L I V E S H O W R E A L LY I S S O M E T H I N G TO B E E X P E R I E N C E D .

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veryone dreams of tearing up the rule book from time to time. There’s something freeing in disregarding convention, and no uncertain amount elation that can be gained from stepping out of line and doing whatever the hell you really want. It’s a free-spirited nature a lot of bands strive to embody, though few are mastering the art of rocking the boat and making waves quite like HMLTD. “We came together because of a shared ambition, and a shared aesthetic, and a shared desire to do pretty much the same thing,” guitarist James describes. “Obviously we’ve all got different ideas of how we get there.” Rather than balance out these differences, HMLTD thrive in them. The motley personalities that make up the band are a defining part of their identity and the music they create. “It’s like a craft,” James portrays. “You just do it.” In defiance of the notion that making music means “that you have to be some sort of special talent, and this inspiration come down from the

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sky or something,” HMLTD’s music is an exercise in creativity run riot, boasting melodies as vivid as their energy is livid, every moment purpose-built to engage – for better or for worse. With complex song structures that often see the group tear through several styles in the space of just one track, the group describe themselves as “the sound of Spotify” – a mix of influences and ingenuity running wild with imagination. All bets are off, and no holds are barred: HMLTD are creating a world of their own making, and all it takes to be a part of that is to just tune in. As the band’s momentum continues to grow, there’s never been a better time to do exactly that. “We’ve not written a song that we play live in months and months, maybe almost a year,” James conveys. “All the songs we’re writing at the moment, and all the songs we were writing for the past year, have never been played live.” With an armoury of new material that remains untouched and unheard, HMLTD are raring to carve out a future of their own making. If there’s one thing you can expect from the outfit,

it’s to do the unexpected. “I’d like to see the band definitely at the top of the charts, with either an album or an EP or just a couple of songs,” James voices. “I’d like to see us headlining some major festivals. I’d like to see our popularity grow until it was so strong that there’s a big, big backlash at the beginning of 2019 – that would be the ideal.” Far-fetched or unfaltering? That’s for them to decide, but there’s no doubt that HMLTD seem capable of achieving whatever the hell it is they decide to put their mind to. “We’re in a position where we’re not too constrained to pathways of a band,” the guitarist details. “If we were constrained to the pathways of a band we’d be releasing another music video, we’d be clobbering together songs for an album, and then we’d be going on tour.” Whether any of that will happen over the next twelve months is anyone’s guess. What we can be sure of is that whatever direction the band turn in, the results will be a thrill ride for all the senses. “In an ideal world, in heaven, all your

senses are probably stimulated in a really pleasant way all at the same time. So how do you capture that?” James contemplates. “What we do is we go through the senses. We’re like ‘how can we stimulate this?’” It’s not an easy task – the band have many a tale of problems when they’ve tried to utilise flammable mannequins or bring several kilos of fish guts – but HMLTD aren’t concerned with what is easy. Their only concern is making every song, and every show the best it can be. “Watching a band is often quite boring,” James drawls. “You pay however much money, and they strum their guitar and sing, and they expect that to be enough. I find that quite arrogant.” The solution, as far as HMLTD are concerned, is simple. “You’ve got to do everything,” the guitarist states matter of factly. “You owe it to the audience to do everything you can to drag them in and keep them excited.” Keep your eyes peeled and your boots well-heeled, because everything is exactly what HMLTD are setting out to do – and there isn’t anything they’re going to let stand in their way. P


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t ain’t easy being a band with a single syllable name in 2017. Just ask Sorry, the band formerly known as Fish, until they realised the name was already taken. “There’s this guy called Marillion Fish,” starts Asha Lorenz, one half of the duo that makes up the core of Sorry. “He was going to sue us!” Interjects Louis, the other half. “ They’re pretty sure they should be safe now though. “Sorry is really unGoogleable,” Louis explains. “Well, there is that Justin Bieber song called ‘Sorry’, maybe he could trademark that?” muses Asha. “That’d be quite funny though, so I don’t mind.” Potential lawsuits dealt with; Sorry tackle the question of how best to describe their sound. “Bedroom music, but then it’s a bit rockier with the whole band. Lo-fi grunge?” Asha starts. “Sad grunge, but a bit tongue in cheek,”

Louis adds. Unlikely to get confused with anything by Justin Bieber, then.

A band that would rather show than tell, Sorry have just released their first mixtape ‘Home Demo(ns)’ and have plans for an album in the next year. “The mixtape wasn’t proper, it was all bedroom demos,” Asha is quick to say. “Our first actual single is out in November, and we’ll have one out in January, too.” “We’ll probably have an album out and play loads of shows too. Maybe we could go to Japan…” Louis muses, before Asha cuts in, giggling: “For a holiday!” Louis clarifies. “No, we do wanna gig there.” It might sound like Sorry are a band with their collective tongue firmly in cheek, but they aren’t all jokes. “We do see this as a career,” says Louis. “When people started coming to our shows,

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and we could play gigs outside of London a bit, that’s when we realised it could be serious.” “It’s been getting bigger pretty steadily since then, which is good.” Louis continues. “We’ve signed to Domino, which is really exciting, and we’re in the process of starting work on the debut album too...” Asha cuts him off. “Domino approached us a while ago, but we spent a while thinking about it.” “And then we finally decided to go for it!” Louis jumps back in. The constantly interrupt each other and taking the mick, but the mood never goes beyond mild annoyance. “Me and Louis have been friends for like ten years,” explains Asha. “We’ve been playing music together for ages too. Sorry formed when Luke who lives on our road started playing drums with us, and Campbell joined on bass after our first bassist went to uni.”

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She laughs: “We just found Campbell walking around Camden.” “We wanna keep playing while we record the debut, we really enjoy the live aspect,” Louis enthuses, and you can tell he means it. “It’s really important to us, so it’ll definitely still be about, even when we record.” Looking forward to 2018, is there anything Sorry are excited for? “I think Rihanna’s releasing a new album actually,” Louis says. “I wasn’t that much of a fan of the last one, but I did like the ones before it, so we’ll see. Apart from that, Alex G will probably release a new album, knowing him… Oh! It’s the World Cup, isn’t it? That’ll be fun.” Sorry to perform at Russia 2018? Louis laughs. “Shout out to whoever would organise that, just imagine it.” “Festival-wise, I’m not sure,” he muses. “Primavera maybe? We’re really not sure.” “We’ll play any festival, though.” Asha butts in. “Every single one!” What would their dream festival line-up be? “That depends really,” starts Louis. “If we were serious about promoting it, I’d say the Beatles, because then we’d sell loads of tickets.” So there you have it. Catch Sorry next year at any or all festivals, especially the ones that are headlined by the Beatles. P

YOW L

YOWL may have started life in Cardiff but now find Peckham as their home. ‘My Headache Likes To Speak’ is a ripping call to arms, that finds its feet in cracking city life yet aims for scorching heights - and 2018 is only going to see that get bigger and bigger.

M ILK

DISCO

Milk Disco do things differently. Like an apocalyptic fusion of gleaming electronic punk, they pay homage to the likes of LCD Soundsystem and 80s pop swagger to form a melting pot of infectious ideas and visions. Their next move could be anything.

G OAT

G I RL

Measured, spell-binding and ferocious - Goat Girl trade in blending that balance perfectly. Measured yet unpredictable at the same time, they’re a band who capture that spirit of South London perfectly, with a gritty bite behind every soaring orchestration. DOWN WITH BORING

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new music festival called All Points East is coming to Victoria Park in London next year.

Running from 25th May-3rd June with over a week of launch festivities, the event will include three massive festival days featuring The xx, LCD Soundsystem, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Phoenix, Björk, Beck, Lorde and loads more. There will also be three huge APE Presents headline shows, the first of which to be announced is The National on 2nd June, who play alongside The War on Drugs, Future Islands, Warpaint and The Districts.

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“After a thrilling four sold out shows at the Eventim Apollo in September, we are excited to take over Victoria Park next summer,” The National comment, fresh from touring their new album ‘Sleep Well Beast’. “We are already thinking about ways to make this more than just a show.” Sounds good, dunnit? In addition to all the music, there’s also going to be a “community focused programme of midweek entertainment”. No idea what that means yet, but with so much more to come, it’s bound to be a blinder. For tickets and more information, visit allpointseastfestival.com. Sign us up, right now.

LINE UP: FRIDAY 25TH MAY LCD Soundsystem; Yeah Yeah Yeahs; Phoenix; Glass Animals SATURDAY 26TH MAY The xx; Lorde; Sampha; Popcaan; Lykke Li SUNDAY 27TH MAY Björk; Beck; Father John Misty; Flying Lotus 3D; Sylvan Esso SATURDAY 2ND JUNE The National; The War On Drugs Future Islands; Warpaint; The Districts

Ok, sure, there’s not a huge amount of festival news out at the mo, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get excited. Reading & Leeds will this year take place from 24th-26th August, and usually the first line-up announcement lands before Christmas. By the time you’re reading this, you might well already be in-the-know; but we’re not, sadly. The other big hitter, Glastonbury, won’t be happening, meaning the start of the year will truly belong to the buzzy multi-venue escapades of Live At Leeds and The Great Escape, the latter of which has already confirmed fifty buzzy new bands - including many of the acts across these very pages. Bognor Regis festival Rockaway Beach is also an early one, running from 12th-14th January, and will mark Wild Beasts’ last ever festival set, sniff. It’s also booked The Horrors and British Sea Power. Slam Dunk returns with events in Leeds, Hatfield and Birmingham late-May. The lineup features rock legends Jimmy Eat World, alongside Taking Back Sunday, Sleeping With Sirens, Four Year Strong, State Champs, Trash Boat and more. Speaking of heavier festivals, we’ve all three headliners for Download - Mr Sharon Osbourne, Ozzy, will play his first ever bill-topping solo set this year, alongside Avenged Sevenfold and Guns ’n Roses. Heading abroad, SXSW have announced literally hundreds of acts already - including Shamir, The Orielles, Partner, Our Girl, Francobollo, The Magic Gang, Doe, Yonaka and Shame. If you don’t play SXSW, are you even a band? NOS Alive in Portugal have started their one-band-at-atime drop of acts, with The National first on the bill; while Mad Cool in Spain will host Queens of the Stone Age, and Melt in Germany has booked The xx and Florence + the Machine - does that mean the latter’s coming back properly in 2018? We’ll have to wait and see.


VISIONS OF A LIFE OUT NOW WOLFALICE.CO.UK

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HERE ARE 5 MORE ACTS SET TO RULE THE CHARTS WITH POP PERFECTION IN 2018 72

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Somewhere between the shimmering pop of PC Music and a double pack of strawberry Hubba Bubba, GIRLI has the pop star personality signed, sealed and delivered. Her vocal barbs on point, her swagger perfected, she’s a legend in her own hot pink bedroom.

2 . S KOT T

With more magical prowess than the entire Ministry, Skott’s mystic shimmer has already made sparkling waves. Recent single ‘Mermaid’ may start low key, but by the time it builds to its peak, it’s a goosebump inducing power ballad to match the very best.

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our minutes into our international phone call and Sigrid is already humming the infectious hook to her chartclimbing banger ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’. It’s a melody that people all over the world would recognise, even 700 miles away from her native Norway via shaky phone line. This is a track that’s been streamed more than 23 million times on Spotify alone, and has found its way onto Lorde’s playlist ‘Homemade Dynamite.’ “It was in the studio with Martin Sjøllie,” she remembers, picturing the scene of Don’t Kill My Vibe’s conception. “We were playing the piano, and I was humming [it], and we were like, ‘Woah – this needs big production’.”

Humming. That’s what it took to take this 21-year-old from young Norwegian hope, to pop world darlingin-waiting. “I need to hum!” she laughs. And thank god she does. Sigrid Solbakk Raabe’s humming is producing some wonderful results. The ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ EP is one of many to come. The title track, which charted in seven countries, is Sigrid’s “favourite to perform.” It’s “an empowering tune and feel-good anthem: when people hear it they start smiling!” Hailed a millennial anthem for its determined resilience and whip-smart rebuff (“You think you’re so important to me, don’t you?”), ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ is “a happy song”, but it’s a happy song that, Sigrid argues, “has some grit to it.” “I have this mantra about getting something positive out of something negative,” she says, referring in part to the experience that inspired her lyrics: Sigrid’s meeting with a condescending group of bullish male producers. The result is a soaring diss track buoyed up on soaring synth and a trap style beat. On the flip side, sadder songs such as new single ‘Strangers’ – about “the search for perfection; wanting something to be something it’s not” - is plenty upbeat. Of dynamic tracks with diverse content such as these, Sigrid is the queen. “I want my music to be something that you have to react to in some way; the type of pop that says something. I want the whole spectrum. I want to make very emotional pop that hits your nervous system.”

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With her debut EP at Island Records, this pop star has already identified, fulfilled and exceeded her brief. Her tunes have pulled thousands to live shows, which have engorged exponentially. To use London as an example: headline appearances have increased from Hoxton Kitchen to a twice sold-out Scala, to the 2,000 person capacity Shepherd’s Bush she will play in March. “Madness” – that pause again as Sigrid considers – then: “crazy.”

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igrid doesn’t mind if you don’t like her music: “Having people react in some way because it’s ‘in your face’” is preferable to apathy, after all. Of herself though, this star expects a lot. After all, this is a woman who wrote her first song at 16. Her focus is just another reason for her readymade stardom. Case in point: when I ask which artists she enjoyed most at the many festivals she attended in 2017, she is sheepish in her reply: “I didn’t really see a lot of shows because when I’m playing one myself, I prefer silence afterwards… I just want to go back to the hotel and sleep.” The reason behind such a sensible schedule? “I use so much energy on stage!” she says, her grin evident even over the phone. To see Sigrid in concert is to understand the sharp increase in attendees at her live shows. Dressed in mostly jeans, T-shirts and sweatshirts, Sigrid bounces across the stage with fiery pep, delivering her

MEET

lyrics with startling honesty.

Clad in her uniform of sober casualwear, acoustic sessions carry a similar vitality. Her piano session for Radio 1 this year prove that ballads are putty in Sigrid’s capable hands. Her vocals in EP track ‘Dynamite’ take us on a journey: listen live and just try to resist the hairs at the nape of your neck and the goosebumps on your arms. “It’s weird opening your diary with people, but it’s a great thing as well: I get adrenaline from writing about my own experience,” Sigrid says of the themes that run through her material: “I find it easier to write about myself.” Combined with that humming, it’s a winning formula. As we go to print, the songstress has 63k Instagram followers. Her comments are filled with emoji-laden messages of support and love. “It’s crazy to say that I have fans,” she says shyly. But she does. And a lot of them. This incredulity, as well as a fear of fame “going to your head”, make me think that Sigrid hasn’t exactly considered the enormity of her new position in the ever-quickening slipstream towards mega-stardom. She sincerely repeats sentiments of gratitude and thanks at several points throughout the interview, as though her new life writing, collaborating, and performing hasn’t quite sunk in. But who can blame her? Though her early releases gained recognition in her home country of Norway, it’s only in the past year that things have taken

“I’M GONNA BE ME. I THINK THAT’S ENOUGH”

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off on an international scale. Critical reception of her EP, and in particular, her single ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’, has been overwhelmingly positive. She fulfilled a “childhood dream” when she played Glastonbury’s Park Stage in July. But if 2017 was Sigrid’s year, 2018 is going to be the beginning of the Sigrid era. For starters, “there will be an album.” Though we know for sure that it’s coming in 2018 (and that it’ll be full of bangers), details are either secret or in early stages of development. At the dawning of the eleventh month, Sigrid is “in the middle of choosing the tracks for the album.” She might even write some new ones. That electricity that emanates from her voice crackles on the subject of next year: “My calendar is full,” she points out; a quite needless clarification when you consider the exertion of writing and perfecting an album, a UK tour in March, and an inevitable flood of offers to play yet more festivals, radio shows and television slots around the world. To take on the year in which Sigrid will be cemented as a household name, her plan of attack will not change. “I don’t do New Years Resolutions,” she insists stubbornly: “I’m going to stay the same.” “My goal is to keep writing music for the rest of my life,” she continues, “and if people let me do it, I’m very lucky and honoured for the opportunity.” Confident, charismatic, talented and determined, Sigrid has the voice, the demeanour and the Scandinavian beauty that predilects her for superstardom. As such, she’s going to push on, unforgivably herself: “I’m gonna be me,” she says, “I think that’s enough.” 2018’s pop heroine; we certainly agree. P

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f we could throw a festival with all our favourite bands in the whole world on the fucking moon...” Natti Shiner daydreams. “Take them all with us, we’ll all go,” she enthuses. “It’ll be a big party on the rocket ship on the way up. It’d be fantastic.” Sure, the moon might be slightly out of reach for the Brighton outfit, but as they ready themselves for the year ahead, Fickle Friends’ steady rise to fame seems

TA K E

certain to go stratospheric. It’s been almost four years since the band released their first song. Building up momentum through their succession of singles, EPs, and storming live shows, the time has never felt more ripe for Fickle Friends. Fresh from a string of sold-out shows on a headline tour of the UK, the group are making every moment count. “Today on my list of jobs I’ve

OVER

got to go sit in a coffee shop and do some rewrites for this three-year-old song,” Natti details. “I know the guys are at home today working on other things,” she adds. “When we’re so busy it’s do what you can, when you can.” The work that Fickle Friends do is a relentless craft, and one the band have come to command with a grace that feels addictively effortless. Constructing dynamic

SAVE ROCK AND ROLL “When Fall Out Boy did the SSE Wembley Arena I got a phone call from this guy who works for their label. He was wanting to do some work together or something because he was a fan of the band. He was like, ‘Pete Wentz actually turned me onto you guys’. I was like ‘...are you fucking kidding?’ We ended up being guestlisted to the show at SSE Arena, and then Pete texted me saying, ‘Come for drinks after the show!’ I was like, I can’t believe what’s happening. We went to this tiny little place. I actually think it was in Notting Hill? I really don’t remember. We were in this tiny downstairs bar, just hanging out with Fall Out Boy. Working with Patrick Stump came around because of that. It was really fun. A longwinded little story, but quite cool.”

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-offerings of -polished pop grounded in engagingly real emotion, this is music that speaks directly to you. Deep-rooted feelings become fuel for an all-out dance-a-long, creating the soundtrack of shimmering brightness that we’ve all been craving. With music as contagiously buoyant as it is bright, this is a band that aren’t afraid to give voice to their darker sides – and that’s part of their charm. Turning their worries and their flaws into contagious sing-a-longs, this is pop music at its most real. “I’m a bit of a fucking emo kid, you know?” Natti laughs. “I love writing dancey pop music, but all my lyrics are so emo. I just can’t write happy lyrics, obviously,” she smirks. It’s their fine-tuned ability to turn innately felt emotion into something anthemic that presents Fickle Friends as so universally endearing. “Music is the best source of honesty,” Natti states. “I never used to think about how important the message was. But if you’re honest in your writing and music then people start identifying with it so much more and responding to it so much better. And if you’re feeling shit or feeling heartbroken or whatever then when can you say it?” Dancing out of the dark with a boundless energy, the music that Fickle Friends make is born out of a sheer enjoyment of what they’re doing. “It’s the best job in the world,” the frontwoman enthuses. “The fact that people are actually paying money to come see us play a gig is pretty mental.” Not ones to take anything for granted, the band are pulling out all the stops to bring their hopeful expectations to collide with reality. “With the album coming what we obviously want to do is bigger tours,” Natti offers excitedly, grinning. “I think what we’re going to do before that is do a downplay tour; sometimes doing


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intimate shows is really, really nice. Then when the album comes out: boom, hit them with a big tour.” The album in question has been a long time coming. A work in progress since they signed with Polydor Records in 2016, Fickle Friends’ debut record has finally reached its finishing stages, ready to push the band to brand new heights early next year. Described by the group as containing “a hell of a lot of variety,” the album is a presentation of everything the outfit have come to be. “It’s not all upbeat, big pop songs,” Natti mulls. “There’s a couple of darker things in there.” Drawing together songs written as long as three years ago with songs written as recently as the last week, it was working on the album that gave the group the opportunity to flex their creative muscles and really figure out

who they are.

hearing it.”

“A lot of it is about turbulent relationships or feeling like you’re not yourself,” the frontwoman portrays. “I think the overarching theme of the whole record is not recognising yourself, or growing up a little bit.” Establishing their identity as they worked, the result sees the band tighter than ever, truly ready to make their mark and make it last.

“I was thinking to myself, 8000 people came to see us on the UK tour,” Natti considers with a grin. “If every one of those people bought a record then, you know, we’d be doing alright, and we’d probably get picked up for a second option,” she laughs. Coming up with ideas for a second album before they’ve even finished their first, Fickle Friends are paving a road to success of their own making.

“The album coming out is the most terrifying thing,” Natti exclaims, “but it’s also exciting.” With work on the record under completion and a release date set for early 2018, it won’t be long before we all get the chance to dive headfirst into that excitement for ourselves. “I’m just looking forward to playing in places we’ve never been before,” she professes. “Hopefully people who’ve never heard our music can start

“I’M A BIT OF A FUCKING EMO KID, YOU KNOW?”

“Basically I just want it to be well received, and get the goahead to do a second record,” the frontwoman continues. “This one was fun, but such a mess. I kind of know what we’d do with the second one.” If the enthusiasm and energy that’s been present through the crowds at any one of their recent shows is any firm indication, then Fickle Friends have nothing to worry about. “We never expected to be where we are now when we first put a song out so long ago,” Natti gushes. “Every tour has always gotten better. There’s more and more people coming to the shows. It seems to be going somewhere.” Make no doubt about it: Fickle Friends are ready to take the world by storm. With their debut album almost ready and an abundance of tour dates soon to follow, this is only the beginning. P

Another Nordic sensation, fantastic Fin Alma has already been notching up the bangers and steaming superhits. From the ubiquitous ‘Places’ to the equally omnipresent ‘Chasing Highs’, this is one day-glo legend who’s nailed on for superstardom.

4. BILLIE EILISH

Billie may be young, but that doesn’t mean she can’t go toe to toe in the big pop leagues. Described as a ‘formidable talent’ and ‘pop’s best new hope’, her full name is Bille Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell. Yes. Pirate. And that’s why she’s our new fave.

5. TOV E ST Y R K E

We’ve long known Tove Styrke knew her way around a pop banger, but it was most recent single ‘Mistakes’ that proved once and for all we had another Swedish superstar on our hands.

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Listening to their newest single, ‘Dig’ – “honouring the last moment of a relationship before everything falls apart, the last beautiful sunset you see before dying” - the idea of creating a hybrid sound becomes clear. And it’s something Izzy and co. are continuing to build with their

O

“I love the recordings we’ve done, I feel like I’m really coming into my

own with a new direction concerning hip-hop drums,” Izzy says, citing Canadian documentary ‘Hip-Hop Evolution’ as one particular influence. “We’ll always be a rock band at heart, but I think with the discoveries that have really inspired me, they’ve been much more crossover.” They’re not doing anything that’s too out there, though. “We’re still the same band – but I’ve been getting into really experimental sounds and beats, looking at different genres and finding something that feels like more of a hybrid than just linear rock music.” A newly-found appreciation for the Beastie Boys – “looking at how they made a weird marriage between rock music and hip-hop” – was also a creative inspiration.

upcoming debut record. Though it’s been a long time coming, she’s pleased they’ve taken their time with it and not rushed something out. “We could have done an album already, but I think it’s really important that we do it at a time that’s fucking perfect for us. Even if I write a song that’s like, ‘Fuck, this is everything’ in February, I will not wait for that to go on the second album. There’s quite a lot of lucidity…” As for what people can expect from it, Izzy hopes it will feel like “an eclectic emotional spectrum of different things… a sort of best of.” Because of the way she pens songs, though, there’s no running theme. “I’m quite schizophrenic in my writing, I write to how I feel. Sad, happy, empowered, emotional - the contrasts will be clear on the album. Everything will be seen through a cinematic lens, but maybe with rose-tinted glasses across the whole thing.” P

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It’s a friendship that’s been growing ever since Royal Blood watched Black Honey perform a few years ago – though Izzy criticises it as “a terrible show”. Since then they’ve toured together, playing a number of smaller venues around the UK. “They just really feel like a part of our world and our family,” she considers, detailing the one piece of advice that Mike’s given her: “His tip was, ‘If you’re unapologetically and authentically yourself then you can’t go wrong’. And it’s a sentiment that defines Black Honey perfectly: refusing to conform to the perceived idea of how most people interpret ‘rock’ music. Having spent the year recording new music and playing some of their biggest shows to date – including Glastonbury’s John Peel Stage, Reading & Leeds and London’s Alexandra Palace with Royal Blood – they’re now putting the finishing touches to a debut album.

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elaxing on an Italian beach on a boiling hot day, Black Honey are enjoying some downtime after drinking a lot of wine and eating just as much pasta. “It’s my best day off in ages,” says frontwoman Izzy B Phillips. The Brighton fourpiece are in Europe for a massive tour supporting hometown friends Royal Blood – and it’s safe to say they’re all having a great time. “The crowds have been really receptive,” she continues; “they really listen to you.” As for their offstage antics, both bands have been out almost every night, getting smashed. “They come onto our tour bus every day; Ben brings round tequila shots before we go onstage and we jam a lot. It’s nice because we’re from the same place and now we’re in a similar place - being in a band and on the road, and that we’re from the same hometown and are in similar friendship groups makes it a bit more sincere. They take me under their wing a lot, too; Ben and Mike are very protective over me.”

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hen you talk about the biggest live shows in 2018, it’s way, way hard to capture what emotions you’ll be feeling once Big Ben strikes twelve and a new 365 day cycle starts again - but what you can guarantee is that the best live experiences come from being in the moment. Of getting something you’d of never expected twelve months ago - and in that vein, the news that The Streets are once again open for business is news of glistening importance. Unwaveringly British, Mike Skinner helped shape and welcome in a whole new era and genre of domestic hip-hop, with confessional tales of modern life laden over old garage beats and electro-flourishes that never felt tagged on or similar, but always fresh and in an ocean of their own. Across five studio albums, he managed to

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2017 brought in some super sad Wild Beasts news - following a three-track EP released in October, and a clutch of farewell dates, they’re calling it a day. Say goodbye at Dublin Olympia, Manchester Albert Hall or London Eventim Apollo next February. 78

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Friendly Fires have announced a one-off London date for early next year. Headlining London’s O2 Academy Brixton on 5th April, it’ll make the trio’s first UK live show since 2012. “This show’s going to be a profoundly special occasion for us,” say the band.

soundtrack and tug at the very fibres that hold life together - examining every minute detail with a glorious hook in his back-pocket yet with the words that thousands would of been looking their entire lives for, yet summed up so succinctly by one man. The reaction to the shows has been seismic, with all selling out in record time - as a huge headline run roars into gear, proving just how important Mike Skinner is once again. Just in case we needed reminding. Balling uncontrollably to ‘Dry Your Eyes’, sing ‘Fit But You Know It’ word-forword, scat and flex to every chant of ‘Has It Come To This’, throw your ams in the air for ‘Everything Is Borrowed’ and ‘Heaven For The Weather’. It’s time to recognise an icon whilst capturing every emotion in one - and for that, The Streets return is more vital than anything else 2018 could throw at us. We’ll see you down the front. P The Streets tour the UK in April 2018.

JORJA

SMITH

Youngster Jorja Smith has a big old headline tour planned for February, following on from a US and Canadian run which saw a surprise appearance from Drake in his hometown, Toronto. Ber-limey. The run includes two nights at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire.


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OMG, it’s THE tour of 2018. Sorry, all you other bands. New Zealand comedy duo Flight of the Conchords are back for loads of dates all around the UK, including several nights at London’s Eventim Apollo and The O2.

S U N FLOWER B E A N

Sunflower Bean are back for a run of dates in March and April, where they’ll debut material from their upcoming new album, out sometime in 2018 via Lucky Number. You can hear ‘I Was A Fool’ online already.

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Hey Ten Tonnes, how’s it going? All good, thank you! Have you had a good 2017 so far? Any particular highlights? Yeah it’s been great, it’s gone super quickly though, each year seems to go quicker, which is always a bit scary. Highlights are putting out new music, playing loads of great festivals, I’ve loved it all. What do you think has been the biggest music-related news story of 2017? Tom Petty’s death was a massive deal. I got to see him this summer in Hyde Park, and it was hands down one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. I’m a huge fan so it was a real shock, I was gutted. We hear you’re making good progress on your debut album what can you tell us about it?

Oooh, what can I tell you? Not too much at the minute, it’s coming along nicely though, haha. Still very much in the early days of recording but it’s so exciting, I’m gonna have an album! That alone is massive. I still need to think of a name for it though, that might come later in the process though. Do you enjoy working in the studio? I love it, being able to try different things out and using a bit of your brain you don’t always get to use. What else have you got in the diary for 2018? So early next year I’m supporting Rat Boy on his UK tour, which I’m super excited about. They’ll be the biggest shows I’ve ever played! There’s also new music coming out early doors at the start of the year. Then more touring, hopefully my own tour, more tunes, more Ten Tonnes for everyone. Aside from your own, what album are you most looking forward to coming out next year? Good question, I’m not sure what’s coming out to be fair. I mean if Arctic Monkeys release that’ll be huge. When’s Bradley Walsh’s new album coming out? I’m excited for that. I was almost going to be on that album actually, haha. I won a competition to go to the studio with him and then have lunch up the Shard, but I was in the studio myself on the day. If Bradley’s reading this, hi mate, let’s organise a different date yeah? Hope you’re well. P

MØ recently had to postpone a UK headline tour, her biggest run to date - including a huge night at London’s Brixton Academy; but she had to push back the dates to early next year. Lucky 2018.

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Dua Lipa is bringing her new rules to London’s Alexandra Palace on 20th April; it’s the culmination of a UK tour which will see her play some absolutely colossal venues all over the country.

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So let’s talk about proper ground-shaking. Those bands that kick gear into another world and are all about shaking the holy hell out of you right here and right now. 2018 is roaring with ‘em, take Abattoir Blues as a prime example. Sounding like an arm has reached right to the bottom of their souls each and every time, it’s real, guttural and vital - their ‘Blinded’ EP only an opening statement to the important role they’re about to play. Flown in from the glory days of grunge-laden 90s bliss, Bloxx feel like superstars flown in to challenge 2018’s new wave and they know how to deliver. ‘Coke’ and ‘Curtains’ are two dynamite-sized bangers that already point to their ambitions - so imagine the state of those venues after Bloxx take over trust us, more are about to fall to their majesty. What’s that shaking you here? It’s probably the sound of Leeds smashing their fizzing bands through the windows, and that’s perfectly understandable with the likes of Drahla leading the way. The trio surge with purpose, with ‘Form Of Luxury’ an early statement of intent. Sweeter yet burgeoning with ambition, Marsicans are another band from Leeds who surge with energy - life flying through every vein they have yet always cut to the pop world they’ve been born out. ‘Throw Ourselves’ is a prime example of the gliding charm they have hidden in the pipeline, with 2018 set firmly in their eyesight, and we bet they’re going to bloody well nail it. Nailing their own identity too is Our Girl, lead by Soph from The Big Moon - yet surging with their own intensity and vision, a darker tone and a ferocious attitude to getting what they’re aimed at. Sometimes ever so swooning, sometimes a barrage of aggressive pulsations, Our Girl have their own portrait to paint, and it’s destined to be a masterpiece.

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F R E A K H AV E B E E N CAUSI N G A BSO LUTE M AY H E M T H I S Y E A R , W I T H R I OTO U S F E S T I VA L S E TS , A N D T H AT D O R K TOUR W ITH KI NG NU N.

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Hey Freak, how has your 2017 been then? What’ve been your highlights? Hi Dork, yeah it’s been mad, our highlights have been doing our own co-headline tour and playing Reading & Leeds Festival where Jonn smashed his bass, and we blew the power twice, it was great. What news stories have affected you this year? There is an STD carrying ladybird roaming around Chelmsford, and that troubles us quite deeply.

Are you hard at work on new music at the mo? Yeah, it’s pretty crazy, we’re spending every day writing

and recording songs. I’m so excited to release what we are working on; it’s all feeling really good

What are your plans for 2018? More music, more gigs, lots of fun. What would you most like to do over the next twelve months? Roller skate hand in hand with Dave Grohl, we’ll call it Grohler Skating. It’s nearly Christmas now - how do you get into the festive spirit? Classic bit of Muppets Christmas carol and a naughty hint of old Mickey

FRO NTMA N C O NNA R R I D D I S N ’ T G R E AT AT CH RI STMAS C R AC KER JO KES , BUT EVERYTH I NG E LSE ? TO P- NOTC H . I T ’S T H E STA RT O F SO METH I NG

Bubble. If you were to make your own Christmas cracker, what would the joke be? A man walks into a bar and goes up to the guy serving and says, ‘Hey man, hows it going, don’t suppose I could have a beer?’ to which the barman says, ‘Yeah sure mate, no problem, that’ll be £5 please’. So the guy pulls out a £5 note and says, ‘Thanks, here you go’ and hands over the £5 note and has his beer. The second man walks into the bar and says, ‘Oh hi, I was wondering if I could get a beer please mate?’ and the barman says, ‘Yes mate that’s no problem, that’ll be £5 please’. So the

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guy gets out his £5 and gives it to the barman and starts drinking his beer. However, the third guy walks into the same bar, goes up to the barman and says, ‘Hey there, was wondering if I could get a beer please?’ and the barman says, ‘Sure thing, that’ll be £5 please’, to which the third guy says, ‘No problem, here you go’ and gets the beer. Whose album are you most looking forward to landing next year? Rumour has it Arctic Monkeys are releasing an album in 2018, so we’ll be excited to hear that if it happens. P

HEAR THE HOTTEST NEW RELEASES AS THEY DROP, 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK, 365 DAYS A YEAR.

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CONFIDENCE MAN A I F YO U H AV E N ’ T S E E N T H E YOUTUBE CL IP OF CONFIDENCE M A N P L AY I N G L I V E AT SPLE NDOUR IN THE G RASS, PLEASE GO F IND IT N OW.

W E ’ L L WA I T. T H I S AU ST R A L I A N BU NCH ARE A PHEN OMEN ON; A W H I RLW I N D O F F U N , DA N C I N G AND GO OD TIMES. BORIN G O L D FA R T S N E E D N O T A P P LY. WORDS:

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ussie pop oddities Confidence Man are injecting a sense of fun back into music; the charismatic half-elusive fourpiece could well be one of the most exciting bands of 2018. Chatting while cooking bangers and mash after a day of making visa applications to tour in foreign countries, Janet Planet and Sugar Bones are infectiously upbeat. Along with mysterious synth player Reggie Goodchild and drummer Clarence McGuffie, the group came together while living in a house share and playing in a bunch of different, psych-y, guitar-based bands. “They’re all still going, but we wanted to do something that was a little more fun,” starts leading man Sugar. “Basically to please people at 2am on the dancefloor - that’s the core purpose,” Janet interjects; “from your granny to your mum to your cousin...”

“We wanted to, just for fun, make some music that was quite different to them all,” continues Sugar. “And ConMan was what emerged from it.” Janet Planet sums it up best, though, describing the band’s formation as “a happy accident”; from the costumes to the “stupid lyrics”. Though they didn’t think it would work, the four of them decided to keep going with it - “even the beekeeper hats.” Influenced by everyone from LCD Soundsystem and Talking Heads to Primal Scream and Basement Jaxx, Confidence Man released a string of quirky singles with contagious choruses and infectious hooks last year - our favourite is ‘Bubblegum’, FYI. “We always seem to take from mass pop culture,” Sugar continues, discussing the ideas behind their songs; “whatever’s relevant for the young kids these days,” he laughs. “We seem to be good at taking a

N I L U F E R YA N YA

There’s something undeniably organic about everything Nilufer Yanya does. That ethereal grip on life can be heard in every note, plucking raw strings and mind-cleaninsing purity rings out. 2018 is bound to be the year where everyone falls under Nilufer’s spell. 81

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SA LEN

At every touch, every note, Salen hit it out the park, with the sort of cocktail-pop that has you each and every time. It’s a play-like effortless to what they do, taking PC ease and playful kicks and then blending that with a very modern look at life.

concept and making it absurd in some way,” Janet continues. Their songwriting process is equally unusual: “We start with song names, which is quite strange… we all come up with different titles and choose one to write about.” It’s a formula that’s led them to record a debut album to be released on Heavenly Recordings in 2018. Written in their home studio, the four-piece retained creative control: “We did all the sampling, recording and live percussion ourselves - that was a learning process, figuring out what we could do as a band and where we wanted to put our sound,” Sugar says. Before the album’s out though, they’ll be back in the UK and Europe to play more shows. Describing their performance style as a mix of Scissor Sisters, Abba and Vengaboys, it’s no surprise they were greeted by a lunchtime crowd of thousands at Glastonbury this year. “We try and bring the vibe – a lot of choreographed dancing and silly outfits,” Janet adds. Definitely more than just an Aussie phenomenon, Sugar and Janet think Confidence Man really clicked with the English audience. “Every show we played in the UK before Glasto just seemed to get more and more packed they really like to party, too.” And that’s what it’s all about for them - creating an upbeat party atmosphere. “The main thing is to bring a bit of the fun back to music,” Sugar suggests. Janet continues: “We just thought if we went as far out as we could and pushed it then people would have no choice but to enjoy themselves!” And they’re always thinking of ways to make the live shows even more of spectacle: “We could get some harnesses to fly us through the air,” Sugar suggests, half-serious, “or how about strippers, synchronised horse dancing...” P

IDE R

There’s a certain type of electronic that just reaches into the soul, and that’s exactly what IDER have become masters of. Beautifully crafted, there’s a sense of vulnerability that rings through - something that dazzles with ‘Body Love’ and ‘Learn To Let Go’.


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Will you be buying Christmas presents for your bandmates? We are! We’re going to do a YONAKA Secret Santa, which I’m sure will be very interesting…

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At times cinematic, always soaring and always coming with something different to what they’ve laid out before - if indie needed a bastion to lead it on, then The Night Cafe are ready to claim it as their own in 2018. This is a band who can take on the world. 82

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S U PE RORGA NISM

There hasn’t been a band like Superorganism around for a while now. One that takes genres and blends it right round the corner without a care in the world. It’s that what makes them so very very exciting; ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D’ is already a bonafide stormer.

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Aside from your own, which album are you most looking forward to being released next year? Definitely Arctic Monkeys. P

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You’re touring right up to Christmas, are you taking any time off? What are your plans for the festive season? We don’t really have any time off until Christmas. If we’re not touring, then we’re writing and if we’re not writing were recording... on repeat! The thing is, this is what we love to do, and we want to do it forever. Things also

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How do you juggle your time playing live with creating new music? At first, we found it quite difficult to balance writing with touring, but the more we tour, the more we are learning how to manage our time.

Is there much pressure to write your debut album? Have you started work on it yet? There’s no pressure as we have already started. We are constantly writing, and we feel our songs are getting better with every track we write.

MAG I C GA N G , FI C A N D LOA DS MO RE BA N DS . N E XT UP, A N D TH EY ’RE RE A A D I N .

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You guys are touring up a storm at the moment, what is it about being on the road that you love so much? We belong on the road. We’ve managed to tour with such great bands and create relationships with some lovely people. We also love getting to meet and connect with our all our fans.

We’ve got into the habit now of writing in our van and after sound checks. It can create tension within the band though as all we want to do is write more!

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Hey Theresa, hey George, are you excited about 2018? You must have a bunch of plans in the works. Yes, very excited. We’re hoping to skip across the pond in fact. Lots more touring, writing and releases in the works.

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YONAKA

TH E RE ’S SO METH I N G SPEC I A L G O I N G O N D OW N O N TH E SOUTH COAST. BRI G HTO N H AS A LRE A DY BROUG HT US TH E

G RAC I E

Packed and bristling with pure emotion, Isaac Gracie is the next big thing. Gruff and ready, it’s a soothing mix that takes straight-to-thebone stories and means every moment of it. Latest cut ‘The Death Of You & I’ promises at something more explosive.


ETC. ETC. RAYDIO PUUUNK was how Bad Nerves made their mark on the world in 2017, with an immediate gallop to the soaring heights and ambitions they’re gazing out. Sounding like a band who click play in the garage yet have that insatiable knack of hooks in their veins, big things are not just wishing but are necessary for us all to live a healthy and prosperous year ahead. Promising something altogether of their own, Feet already feel like a titan force. Their recent run supporting Declan McKenna felt like a welcoming party of the next mammoth force in fresh British guitar music - taking the visceral grip of the South London scene and blending it with the art-rock pedigree of Maximo Park and The Undertones. It’s captivating, so as you can imagine we’re captivated for what’s to come. Sea Girls are another band swarming with ambition, latest number ‘Lost’ marking out their territory for the stages they want to conquer - while Dama Scout feel like a nuclear bomb ready to go off, unpredictable in every way yet undeniably gamechanging. Somehow managing to carve their own world out in garage-indie rock, they’re a band who could play any stage and make their mark, and that’s really exciting. Equally as exciting, is the panoramic pop-majesty of Artificial Pleasure, a band whose unstoppable fever and vigour for outlandish 80s-pop glory and Talking Headscreativity makes them the best of times, all of the time. ‘Wound Up Tight’ may be one of their latest lines in the sand, but expect a blending of neon-club swagger and sugar-coated pop to land in our laps in a matter of moments, fun is always on the menu. Chopping and changing, Bad Sounds are longtime favourites over here - a band you can’t put your finger on but are always ready to serve up a plate of everything fresh that you need in the world - their next move is essential. With the strident individuality of Suzi Wu, the swinging boldness and charm of Fur and beaming era-defying punch of Starcrawler - 2018 is in safe hands, okay. Oh, and these are the bands that’ll be owning it at each and every moment, get ready to see their names more okay?

ANTEROS YON AKA’S RECENT TOURI N G B U D S , A N T E R O S H AV E A L S O

P L AY E D S O L D O U T S H O W S ALONGSIDE TWO D O O R CIN EMA CLUB, S UN DA RA K A R M A A N D B L A E N AVO N . A L L THIS ALON GSIDE WO RKI N G ON THEIR DEBUT, W H I CH I S H O P E F U L LY G O I N G T O L A N D BEFORE 2018 IS OUT.

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erforming is a form of therapy for Laura Hayden, frontwoman of retro-tinged dream-pop four-piece Anteros. “At this time in life where everything that’s going on seems quite grim around the world, we don’t want to come onstage and just stare at our shoes and wallow in self-pity,” Laura begins, addressing the generally catastrophic events of 2017. Instead, she wants people to be able to forget about everything that they’re going through and “just let it out” at their gigs - a break away from reality, essentially. Over the last year the Londoners – there’s bassist Joshua Rumble, guitarist Jackson Couzens and Harry Balazs on drums, too – have played shows up and down

the country, touring with Two Door Cinema Club and Blaenavon. Despite having completed two summers of festivals, Anteros didn’t understand what touring really meant until they supported TDCC around the UK in January. “We went from being babies to being thrown straight into the deep end,” Laura continues. Performing for people every night who didn’t know their music was “a really bizarre feeling”. “We began collecting all these people from different shows. All of a sudden they start coming to see you, bring their friends along and sing the songs,” Laura explains, citing Blur, The Cure, Fleetwood Mac, No Doubt and David Bowie as some of the band’s musical influences. Regardless of the size of their audience,

though, Anteros enjoy the challenge of winning over crowds. “To see that grow over the last year has been great.”

The most surreal moment of their year, though, was playing Community Festival in London. “That was the point when we were like, ‘Oh shit’. London’s our hometown, but it can be a tough crowd because of the amount of music there is… We were scared and thought there’s not going to be anyone there. But we came onstage, and people were saying our name, moshing - even to the sad songs - and some were on each other’s shoulders singing our songs back to us was. It was great.” It’s a sight they’ve come to recognise more and more over the last few months – especially following October’s Hopscotch tour with Stereo Honey and Yonaka – thanks to their energetic live shows. “The crowds react completely differently in the UK – you get the warm crowd that moshes and just doesn’t give a shit, and then you get the crowd that stands there. They’re enjoying it, too, but differently.” And that’s arguably down to the way Anteros subtly disguise their darker song lyrics through

upbeat, infectious retro-pop production. In terms of their sound, “it’s hard to stick it in a box” as Laura accurately puts it. She and the band instead prefer to meet their fans after the shows and get to know them. “I talk to them about everything from mental health to make up,” she laughs, adding that ‘Drunk’ was about dating an alcoholic – “but then you hear it you want to go and party… We write songs about things that have affected us break-ups, things that you go through in your 20s. Singing about things that upset me makes me happier when I’m letting it all out rather than keeping it all bottled in just stood there.” And what are their plans for 2018? Having started pre-production on album tracks, Anteros will record their debut next year. “It’s something we’ve dreamt of for a long time,” Laura continues. “You’ve got to take it one day at a time, but we want to make something we’re proud of, that is consistent and is a reflection of us. It’s scary, but it’s really exciting. We can die happy after that because it’s on the bucket list; after all, not many people get to record an album.” P DOWN WITH BORING

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REVIEWS

THE BIG MOON I

BRING CARNIVAL TI ME TO KO KO!

t’s been seven months since The Big Moon released debut album ‘Love In The 4th Dimension’ and every show has seen the same fizzying, chemical excitement bubble over on stage. There’s been no lull, no motions to go through, and no moment where it’s felt like The Big Moon aren’t having the most fun possible on stage. Still, tonight as they take to a very busy, very vocal, very buzzing Koko

in London, Cee, Jules, Fern and Soph somehow find the time, space and energy to have more joy than ever before. That grin’s commanding. Launching straight into ‘Silent Movie Susie’, The Big Moon aren’t wasting any time. There’s none to spare, not when there’s a carnival to be had. Jules is already leaning into the crowd, teasing the most out of night and from the front to the back, every song is a reason to cheer, a piece of the band to hold dear. ‘Love In The 4th Dimension’ and ‘Zeds’ let things get tender, confidently strutting about and showing off their heart as ‘Happy New Year’ explodes with rock star flourish and a hands-on-the-heads moment for Jules as she looks around, trying to work out if tonight is even real. “I can’t

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believe how many of you there are,” she laughs. The disbelief in neon letters. The excitement solid and something to build around. The band take little moments for themselves, huddling together around Fern at the end of ‘The Road’ or sharing a wink, grin or giggle midsong, knowing that they’ll want this to last forever. The first song the band ever wrote ‘Eureka Moment’ is thrashed about, torn apart and reassembled. They also can’t stop themselves hurtling forward. A cover of ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ and their own ‘Something Beautiful’ see the band dial up the rose tints while a robust, soaring finale that starts with ‘Cupid’ and goes via a fierce ‘Formidable, and bonkers ‘Bonfire’ before settling at the

shiny, teeth-baring ‘Sucker’ does away with the glasses and falls completely head over heels. Moments to get lost in, moments that are eternal, The Big Moon are a force of sheer wonder, magnetic charm and absolute delight. Their shows are the perfect attack against a world gradually dimming and tonight, focal, united, glittering, is a powerful reminder of just how important standing together can feel. Ali Shutler


NOEL GALLAGHER

WHO BUILT THE MOON?

Sour Mash

eeee Being continuously referred to as a potato must do strange things to a person. Previously, Noel Gallagher felt like the safest of hands. A man who knew his strengths and played to them flawlessly. While it might not have pushed the bleeding edges, it served him well. And then, out of nowhere, comes ‘Who Built The Moon?’. While Noel’s third solo album may be out there only within his own centrist sphere, it’s still the kind of progression that ruffles feathers. This isn’t just about a bloke playing the scissors on the BBC. This is an album trying new things, breaking out of the mould and lighting up its horizons. The bloke from Oasis this isn’t. The brassbound stomp of lead single ‘Holy Mountain’ is only part of the ticker tape parade. Tooting merrily like Dumbo on roller skates, the older Gallagher was the last man you’d expect to pop in a flute solo, but it works, providing what might be his most vital blast since Oasis’ glory days. It doesn’t stop there, either. ‘It’s A Beautiful World’ shimmers and skips to a different beat, while ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’ stalks like a big cat, each deliciously creaky step sounding out loud from whisky soaked floorboards. Every move is anchored to Noel’s heartland, sure. But, like Paul Weller, with age Gallagher seems to have found new opportunities to play within his sandbox. When he does return to his roots, that familiarity feels welcome - ‘The Man Who Built The Moon’ sounding like his Mancunian titans at their later day best, dramatic swagger trailing in his wake. While r’kid may see it as an insult, the humble spud is ubiquitous for a reason. Mashed, boiled, fried or baked, it knows far more than one tired old trick. With ‘Who Built The Moon?’, Noel’s joining the potato circus. Stephen Ackroyd

PALE WAVES + KING NUN ARE FEROC IOUS AT LOND ON’S CAMD EN ASSEMBLY

H

ave I said we’re called King Nun yet?” asks Theo Nun. “Fuck, maybe I never will,” he grins before the riptide of ‘Speakerface’ comes crashing against London’s Camden Assembly. It’s as rampant, ferocious and unchained as we’ve come to expect from the foursided rabble but tonight, there’s a build to the destruction.

Less than an hour later and Pale Waves introduce themselves after the first track. Polished and with plenty of bite, everyone in the room already knows their name; it’s been hanging on the tip of tongues for a while and for good reason. Pulling back the curtain with ‘Television Romance’, the gang open their world of digital daydream, cutting heartbreak and wide-eyed adventure. People sing along to songs that are unreleased, deleted from the internet and best of the year with equal gusto. “This is a dramatic song,” Heather explains before the shadow play of ‘My Obsession” rises up, but there’s a flourish of the fabulous and decadent in every turn the band make. The everyday made eternal. ‘Heavenly’ bursts with a sunshine refrain, lost inhibitions and excited possibility before ‘New Year’s Eve’ finds itself alone, searching for a connection. As the lights flash blue, pink and burning white, it doesn’t take long for the jubilant pop of ‘There’s A Honey’ to place it front and centre. “This is where the fun begins,” she promises. Pale Waves look like superstars. Jamie Muir

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PUMAROSA UESTIONS A N Y O TH ER Q

This month, Isabel from Pumarosa runs the gauntlet of our random, stupid queries. Hello. How are you? Feeling fresh. It’s a sunny autumn morning, and I’m going second-hand shopping, looking for some new stage outfits. Classic. Tell us a secret about yourself? I can’t tell you the really dark ones. When’s your birthday? I’m a Taurus. How tall are you? 5ft 5 and a half.

Have you ever fallen over onstage? Yes. Sometimes I quite like falling on stage. The best was when we did a party at this smashed out house in Peckham. During a frantic bit in the music - in ‘Cecile’ - I started shaking, and then there was a strobe going, and the music got louder and louder, and I was kind of dancing and shaking and then I realised I was not in control of myself. I kind of whirled round, and then I was falling... I brought down all Tomoya’s rig-his synths and everything, and then I was just laying on the floor. I hit them with my head, so I was a bit concussed. But there was so much energy in the room that it was okay. And I think when someone gets up after falling it CAN galvanise everyone. I mean including the audience. Then I had to play the next track solo with just my guitar because Tomoya had to read patch all his gear. Haha You have to support either U2 or Red Hot Chili Peppers on tour. Who do you pick? Well, I know the rest of the band would

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W IT H ...

definitely choose the Chilli Peppers, and I reckon they would be really fun live. But I secretly quite like early U2. It would be pretty epic, and you know you would be playing massive stadiums! I don’t reckon they would be much fun to hang out with though.

Who’s your favourite new band? She isn’t a band, but I think Aldous Harding is very good. We saw her at Green Man. She was astounding. So intense and she was LIVID! Anger. My friend wanted to propose to her. What’s the most impressive thing you can cook? Creme caramel. If you could have a superpower of your choosing, what would it be? I would like to time travel. Actually, maybe to fly. I sometimes get that feeling

in my dreams.

love her costumes.

What was the first record you bought? ‘Stories from the City Stories from the Sea’ by PJ Harvey.

If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose? Sabretooth Tiger.

Have you ever won anything? A breakdancing competition.

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done? I sometimes find heights scary. Walking along a ridge path high up some mountains was FUCKING scary. But it was one of those things where it was too late to turn back. I’ll master the fear one day.

What is your earliest memory? Me and my best friend raided the medicine cupboard when we were about three years old. There were some that were sweet, but we tried them all. And I loved putting plasters on. We were taken to hospital to have our stomachs pumped. How punk are you out of ten? 7. Who’s your favourite pop star? Currently popping I would say Drake. But for the look, Gaga. She is a pop athlete. I

What is the best present you’ve ever been given? I love gift giving and receiving. Hmmm, for my 6th birthday I was given a reversible jacket. One side was indigo blue, and the other was white with a picture of Micky Mouse on the back. I felt so fresh. Have you got any secret tattoos? They’re not secret, but I have a couple. Both stick and poke, just done by hand by some sisters I know and love. If you won the lottery, what would you spend the cash on? I think I would put a lot of money towards animal preservation; snow leopards and tigers and other big cats. Create nature reserves. Have you ever seen a ghost? I think I did as a child... but it may have been a hallucination as I was tripping with fever at the time. I would say this one was a spirit or an echo, not a ghost.. Pumarosa play Birmingham Hare & Hounds on 4th December. Pick up tickets now at livenation.co.uk/source.


E! ER

The Dork Big Quiz of the Year answers: 1. Secret Garden Party; 2. TRNSMT; 3. Alex Kapranos; 4. Kanye; 5. Pineapple; 6. Field Day; 7. Run the Jewels; 8. Annie Clark; 9. Squirrel; 10. Iggy Pop; 11. ‘Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever’; 12. Binding spell on Trump; 13. Foo Fighters; 14. Loyle Carner; 15. Bargain Hunt; 16. British Group; 17. Dutch Uncles; 18. The xx; 19. The Big Moon; 20. Kate Nash; 21. Rat Boy; 22. Mr Jukes; 23. Natalie Portman; 24. PVRIS; 25. Tom DeLonge; 26. Kurt Vile; 27. Demon Dayz; 28. Two Door Cinema Club; 29. Mac DeMarco; 30. Tame Impala; 31. Planned Parenthood; 32. Postcards; 33. The Killers - ‘Mr Brightside’; 34. Slaves; 35. Millie Bobby Brown; 36. Taylor Swift; 37. Sky Ferreira; 38. George Ezra; 39. Onion rings; 40. Josh Homme

KH IC ST

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE TREE TOPPER? CUT IT OUT, GLUE IT UP AND STICK IT ON!

DEC THE HALLS!


TIGERCUB ARE HEADLINING

SCALA LONDON

THURSDAY 18TH JANUARY 2018

CONCORDE 2 BRIGHTON FRIDAY 19TH JANUARY 2018

NEW E.P ‘EVOLVE OR DIE’ OUT NOW. AVAILABLE FROM ILOVEALCOPOP.CO.UK

Dork, December 2017 / January 2018  

It's our BUMPER end of year double issue, featuring the best of 2017 and everything to get excited about in 2018. Including... Pale Waves,...

Dork, December 2017 / January 2018  

It's our BUMPER end of year double issue, featuring the best of 2017 and everything to get excited about in 2018. Including... Pale Waves,...