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THEM ONOG RAP H .C O. U K
e’ve gone for a stylish, classic, black & white portrait of hot Notts new noise Saint Raymond on our cover this issue.
t’s nearly Summer and festivals galore. We are really excited about having a stage at Handmade Festival in Leicester this year, at the Cookie Jar on Saturday 3rd May. So, we hope to see you down there.
In industry news, It’s sad to see The Fly go. It’s a great music magazine that has unfortunately had to cease production. Times are hard for independent music publications, and indeed most other publications, as the internet continues to devour the world (please visit our website by the way), but we hope to continue providing you with this load of nonsense for as long as we possibly can.
We have expanded AGAIN this issue to the almighty Nottingham, which has been hard work! It’s a huge achievement for the team, growing more and more. We are always on the lookout for new writers, photographers and reviewers, so if you are interested please get in touch.
We enjoy writing and producing it, and we hope you enjoy reading it, or at least pretending to read it, or at least having it stuffed in you pocket or handbag to look as if you read it, or at least lining your hamster’s cage with it.
I would also like to massively thank Sophie Sparham, for all her help in Derby. Sophie has been incredible with helping us gain a wider understanding of Derby.
See you down the front.
dine Tash Walker
MAGAZINE DESIGNERS: Jon Dodd, Tash Walkerdine COLUMNISTS: Gabby Miller, Alex Scoppie, Mark Lisle, Raegan Oates, Alex Bowers COVER PHOTOGRAPHER: Scott Choucino FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY EDITING: Scott Choucino & Tash Walkerdine PHOTOGRAPHERS: Scott Choucino, Gareth Dakin & Paul Barrett - Rococo Imaging , Josh Rai, CharlieEvansDesign WRITERS: Alex Scoppie, Mark Lisle, Raegan Oates, Gabby Miller, Jessamyn Witthaus, Glyn Allen, Sophie Sparham, Charles Joe Gray, Alex Bowers, Rebecca Lunn, Greg Poole, james Baron, Shaun Phillips, Jenny Marshall Becca Bryers ILLUSTRATORS: Barry Bulsara & Imogen Scoppie PRINTED BY: Morton’s via Print & Digital Associates
CO-EDITOR: Tash Walkerdine - firstname.lastname@example.org CO-EDITOR: Alex Scoppie - email@example.com FEATURES EDITOR: Raegan Oates - firstname.lastname@example.org REVIEWS EDITOR: Jessamyn Witthaus - email@example.com DERBY EDITOR: Sophie Sparham - firstname.lastname@example.org COMMERCIAL COORDINATOR: Mark Lisle- email@example.com CO-FOUNDER: Jon Dodd - firstname.lastname@example.org
FONTS: NEVIS & LATO
SPECIAL THANKS TO...
Nik Sharpe, Tinny Hopkins - The Cookie, Gaz Birtles, Warren McDonald- The Donkey, Imogen Scoppie, Geoff Rowe - Dave’s Comedy Festival, Georgina Dunkley, Shane Whitfield - Leicester Music Festival, Tom Hodgson - Pi Bar, John Helps, Paul Keenan - The Hairy Dog, Barry Bulsara, Adam Sumner - The Orange Tree Group, David Wright, Ashley Townley, Harriet Brampton, Caz Harby and Dave Stanley.
6 7 8 9 10 12 19
Team Picks: Kagoule The Black Macks Huskies
Leicester Music Festival
Festival Survival Spotlight
Sexercise Getting... Technical Learning to Play
The Music Shed The Sound & The Fury
40 Martyr Defiled 42
44 Handmade Festival 44 Shonen Knife 47 The Soundcheck 58 Venues Map 61 WIN!
The Interrobang Saint Raymond 25 Cassette Boy
Bombay Bicycle Club
KAGOULE ottingham’s Kagoule are stirring things up at the moment with their new track Adjust N The Way, which has attracted the attention of Zane Lowe, who not only played it on BBC Radio 1 last month, but said, “That music moves me. I love that. I love the way
bands actually play. I love the sound of picks on strings and sticks on skins and heads head butting mics when they sing. It’s friction. I love it.”
The Monograph’s Mark Lisle asked their singer/ guitarist Cai what went through his head when he heard someone like that talking that way about his music? “Excitement and disbelief. We had no idea that he had come across our music and it was amazing to hear he had so much to say about it. It’s a big milestone for us. Something we won’t forget.”
anywhere else in the East Midlands. I’m not sure why but we seem to skip it out a lot of the time. It hasn’t been too hard though: be friendly to bands and promoters, if you’re any good you’ll get offers for shows. Doing things like this interview helps too. Keep things professional and interesting and you’ll be fine. Just let it happen naturally, don’t try to force it.”
M - How was touring with Drenge recently? “It was great - they’re nice dudes and can put on a hell of a show. We’ve done the odd show on quite a few of their tours now and they’ve really grown since the first time we played with them. The other support band TRAAMS are rad too. It was a great few days full of great people.”
M - You say your influences are “temperamental” - for people who haven’t heard your music, what bands would you say you’d work well to supporting? “I’ll go with bands that are all alive to keep things simpler. Slint, Mogwai, Biffy Clyro, Unwound, Uzeda to name a few. I’d like to play at a Gene Wolfe book launch and ask to be paid with his books. Maybe opening for a Ted Talk or a seance too.”
M - You’re from Nottingham - tell us your favourite thing about the city, is there any local music hub or local hangout you love? “Nottingham’s a nice little city. I’ve lived here my whole life so it’s hard to say your favourite thing when you experience it repeatedly every day. There are good venues and good people here. You’ll find most of them at The Chameleon, a sneaky little venue above Clinton Cards. If any good show is happening, it’s probably there.” M - Nottingham is seen as a great place in the East Midlands for up and coming bands in the region. BBC Introducing Is based there, along with plenty of kick-ass venues that sell out consistently. How have you found breaking into other cities in the East Midlands, is there a huge difference, and any pointers for other local bands? “Weirdly, we haven’t really played many shows THEM ONOG RAP H .C O. U K
M - Will we be seeing you play any festivals this summer? What’s the one gig you’re looking forward to this year, and where’s best to see you live? “We should be on a few UK festivals this year, not all confirmed so I don’t want to say the names yet, but if things go smoothly there will be a few. We’re putting on a show on April 28th at the Dalston Victoria with an awesome band called Gang which should be damn good. Going to try and get some kind of odd group activity between bands too. There’s talk of going to Asia too which would be incredible - I’ve always wanted to visit Japan!” M - Is there anything else you want to say? “Yeah: buy our merch so we can pay the rent.”
Words: Mark Lisle
THE BLACK MACKS tried and tested elements of funk, blues and soul and cobbling them into Taking something that’s causing quite a stir on the Leicester scene are the Black Macks. different vibe, like a competitive element. We played at a place called Water Rats with a few other bands the other week and the quality of musicianship was incredible.”
A five piece led by guitarist Ravi Saigal, fronted by the enigmatic Lushon Feare and underpinned by the airtight Joseph Ladlow, Samuel Beckingham and Luke Harley, on keyboards, drums and bass respectively, they got together following the breakup of Moving Mirrors and have been gigging in Leicester ever since.
Oddly, they all seem to agree that their best gig to date has been their first one, at The Orange Tree on Leicester High Street. “There was a hype around that first gig,” explains Ravi, “because everyone wanted to know what we were about and nobody quite knew what to expect, though generally.”
Ravi explains the group’s origins: “When Luke and I left Moving Mirrors we wanted to start a superband. We’d been aware of Samuel and had been trying to jam with him for a while, Joe and Luke knew each other previously and we found Lushon singing at an open mic session in OBar.”
I ask them what they like about the local music scene, and Luke explains, “The best thing about Leicester’s scene is that you can pretty much go anywhere, on almost every street I’d say, and you’ll find some live music playing, even in places where they don’t have a stage!”
“Black Mack was one of our first tracks when we started collaborating, and our name came from there. The fusion that we have is quite eclectic and our sound is quite original, we’re getting great feedback from audiences.
“There’s also quite diverse scene here, no one specific genre, I think,” adds Lushon, “and every band knows every other band, so there’s a close-knit community of welcoming musicians who mix with each other, whatever they’re into.”
“A lot of our lyrics have a fair bit of social commentary in them,” reckons Lushon, “I’ve always thought there are songs that make you cry, songs that make you think and songs that make you dance. Most of our songs will make you dance, but one or two have a darker edge.” Ravi makes the point that, “in previous bands we’ve been in there’s been one person a song to the table and you’d have to elaborate on it, whereas everyone in The Black Macks contributes to the mix, so it’s much more of a collaboration.”
They’re as-yet unsigned, so I ask them whether they have a plan, or are just taking things one gig at a time, and it’s telling that the rest of the band all turn to Ravi, who tells me his plan, rather enigmatically, “Everything has been placed in little boxes - like in Deal Or No Deal - everything is in stages, and the purpose is to get from one stage to the next as fast as possible.
The band will be playing Westival and Kelham Festival, plus they’re already foraging into London too, with three or four shows in the space of a week. “We go to London see what we’re up against I suppose,” says Samuel, “and there’s a completely
“I don’t like basing anything on luck. You hear that a lot in the music industry, that you have to be in the right place at the right time, but I think there’s a formula to this game, so it’s about adhering to that formula.”
Words: Alex Scoppie Photo: Rococo Imaging
HUSKIES Q: Well, what a month you’ve had! You featured in NME, and have been played by every BBC introducing station across the UK. How does it feel to be getting all of this attention? It’s pretty weird for us. None of us have been in a band that’s in the public eye at all, so we’re not sure how to deal with it. When we played our Whatever Together release show in London in front of a packed out crowd, it was awesome. Getting contacted by the NME was definitely something none of us expected, as was our Facebook ‘band interests’ being used in their write-up. We could never have imagined that the words ‘chillin, frisbee and jammin’ would find their way to the eyes and ears of the British public.
city and a lot of major label interest. Jake Bugg and Saint Raymond but also Indiana, Dog is Dead, Amber Run and loads of other acts are getting signed on big deals, and it’s Nottingham’s modest size that also really helps it along. It’s a really tight knit community, and though it might not have the established popular musical culture of Liverpool or Manchester, but Nottingham is definitely a place to look out for nowadays. Q: For anyone that hasn’t heard of you guys, tell them about Huskies, what you are about and what do you sound like? We are an indie pop band who make catchy music for the masses and try not to take ourselves too seriously. We’re students in our last year of uni and are currently about to move into what many students call “The Real World”. Perhaps one day we could even earn a living from doing this, but the day job looms large over us all. We’re pretty much a wholly positive entity. Maybe next year when we aren’t living so comfortably on money borrowed from the government, it might be the time for a sad song, but so far we haven’t felt the need. Our main inspiration comes from 80’s bands like The Smiths, The Cure and The Stone Roses, with a bit of Britpop and more modern elements.
Q: Is there any advice you can give bands on getting noticed? From our limited experience we recommend spending a long time perfecting your songs and play them live at every opportunity, and as far and wide as you have the means to. It’s hard to grab the attention of someone you don’t know online, which is why the live scene is the maker or the breaker of a band; if your songs are good, people will listen and enjoy it. There are lots of people around trying to make things work for bands, and really you just have to get stuck in and see what happens. For example our first ever success as a band was simply a homemade acoustic demo of one of our songs, Stuck on Random, which got played on the Nottingham BBC Introducing by Dean Jackson. Q: Nottingham seems to have gained a lot of attention recently. Do you feel bands like Saint Raymond and Jake Bugg are putting the city on the map? The last big band to come from Nottingham was, well... we can’t even think of anyone, you’d have to ask our parents! Recently though, there has been a diverse amount of acts coming from the THEM ONOG RAP H .C O. U K TH EM O NOG RAP H .C O. U K
Q: Tell us about what 2014 has in store for you? 2014 is going to be a busy year. We don’t plan too far ahead but we do have a few things in the works, such as more singles for everybody! This next one is called Sober, which was produced by our drummer. We also have another big release formulating as we speak but we’ll stay quiet about that for now. We’ll be playing loads over the summer, as festivals are something we would obviously love to get more involved in, having played Y Not last year. If anything gets made official, it always goes straight to our Facebook, so keep an eye out for any updates, silly photos of us and general tomfoolery. Words: Tash Walkerdine
“ lied about being the outdoor type, I’ve never owned a sleeping bag let alone a mountain bike”, as The Lemonheads once sang. I know how they felt. I am not outdoorsy and I don’t pretend to be. I don’t like camping, why would I want to sleep outside on the hard ground rather than in a comfy bed? Why would I want to feel dirty and vile when I could have a shower and straighten my hair?
even look at festivals close to home where you can crawl into your own bed at the end of each day to recharge for more fun. 2) Handbag essentials! Never ever, ever consider entering a festival site without the following two items about your person: hand sanitizer and toilet roll. This is basic common sense more than anything. Festivals toilets are no joke. For some reason when at a festival people turn into savages and behave in ways they never would at home, making the toilets truly grim. Save yourselves some of the mind-scarring upset by ensuring you have a personal supply of toilet roll because the chances of there being any are slim to none and the chances of someone having already p**sed on the seat are high to inevitable.
Some people call that vain; I call it appreciating normality. However, obviously as the summer approaches and festival season is around the corner that same question I face every year comes up once again; how do you deal with festivals when you’re not outdoorsy? As a big music fan I love going to festivals and each year I’ll study the line-ups to see where we should try out. The second stop after that is to assess the accommodation issue. Now, believe it or not I have some friends who are far more high maintenance than me, who wouldn’t even entertain the idea of going to a festival because of the potential camping issues.
3) Wear sensible clothing. I hate this point because nobody likes sensible clothing, where’s the fun or fashion in that? I don’t mean head-totoe waterproofs but footwear especially, just be sensible. Do not wear flip flops or little open sandals because you will get your feet trampled on, you will cry and you’ll have nobody to blame except yourself.
Some of those people are beyond help, but most of us aren’t. Most of us can find a way around the issue and still enjoy a great weekend with our mates. So what are the main things to consider?
If you wear a hat expect to get it stolen off your head. And always remember as sunny and hot as it is at 2pm, by the time the headliner is on at 10pm you’ll be shivering and wishing you’d brought that jumper that you couldn’t be bothered to squeeze into your bag.
1) Avoid camping at all costs. Yes, I said it. I know it’s a festival, but those people who say, “you’re not getting the full experience if you’re not camping,” are talking rubbish. These are outdoorsy people who grew up going camping and probably even go hiking at the weekends for fun. Don’t be offended if that’s you, it’s fine and I’m glad you enjoy it, but I don’t, so don’t preach to me.
The list could go on but I’m limited in my word count - the important lesson to be learnt is this: Music festivals are fun. They’re for everybody. And even the most highmaintenance of people can put certain measures in place to ensure they can join in that fun with their mates.
A few years ago a group of us went to Benicassim in Spain and one friend opted to camp whilst the rest of us hired a villa. “Are you sure you don’t want to stay in the villa?” we asked as we were about to book. “No, because I’m not a princess,” he replied. A nice villa on the beach, or a hot, sweaty tent with communal showers? Princess or not, I think we know who was winning.
Unless it rains of course. If it rains, you’re screwed.
Words: Gabby Miller With questionable beliefs like “just because I sometimes sing along to a boy band it doesn’t mean I’m clueless about music” Gabby decided to waste a law degree on a career in the dependable field of entertainment. Having been Press & Publicity Officer at De Montfort Hall for over 5 years she’s been part of some great shows in the city, from Adele to sold out festivals. Oh, and she got to meet Jedward.
There are always other options besides camping so don’t let that be what puts you off going to a festival. You can opt for a day ticket instead of a weekend (if you’re going to chaV Festival then believe me one day will be enough), stay off-site and find cheap local accommodation as most festival sites will run shuttle buses to the nearest town, or perhaps
“ I love the fact that I was able to go on the show as I am and hopefully show people that are struggling with their identity that they can be whoever they want.“
AN UNEXPECTED VOICE meet James Byron in his hometown of Leicester, fresh from his appearance on BBC’s Ibeing The Voice, where he got through to the battle rounds but not to the live shows. Despite in possession of remarkably powerful vocal talents, in person he is softly spoken with a certain awkward charm.
He is accommodating and quite happy to chat away. However, there is a certain glint in his blue kohl rimmed eyes. Underneath the easy-going and affable exterior seems to be someone who is not only comfortable in their own skin, but also very determined and not without spirit. As it turns out, James’s journey to The Voice has a couple of almost fairy tale twists, starting back in 2011. He explains the experience quite simply;“I applied for it and I didn’t get through, so I just didn’t do it,” he laughs. “I wasn’t planning to do it again; I was like I’m not going to put myself through all that c**p again.” Despite the fait accompli of the situation, it seems it did have an effect. Taking stock, the next year was spent working on his vocals and recording a demo album (which is available now on Soundcloud). It’s an impressive collection of twelve tracks, the raw production of which seems to add to the overall effect. Highlights include the hauntingly catchy Two Days, detailing the complexities of loss, as well as the quietly beautiful and reflective Jigsaw. Fate eventually intervened when a local music promoter asked James to attend a local open mic night where it just so happened there would be a representative of The Voice present. They heard him sing Cry Baby by Janis Joplin, and suddenly he was being plucked out of anonymity.
THEM ONOG RAP H .C O. U K
On being asked to perform that particular song for the blind auditions, he says it was; “like a dream come true for me, because I absolutely love Janis Joplin, like, more than anything in this world. Janis Joplin!” Mentioning her name he gesticulates excitedly. I get the feeling that the prospect of stardom is low in his priorities; it’s the music behind it all that matters most. Talking about being on the reality show, it seems his experience was a positive one, despite stating that he and mentor Will.I.Am were “an odd coupling”. James explains that, “looking back it’s been one of the best moves I could have made because I’ve gained a following from it”.
“looking back it’s been one of the best moves I could have made because I’ve gained a following from it” His competence and calibre as a musician is clear when he talks about working with the resident backing musicians on the show, saying, “they are s**t hot. They are so good. They know all the styles and the techniques to be able to put across any kind of genre of music and make anything into whatever you want”. It does seem though that some aspects of the experience required a few coping mechanisms, and he shows an
awareness of the pitfalls of getting sucked into the fifteen minutes of fame hysteria of such a competition. “I didn’t think at all during the whole process, I reasoned that if I thought about it I might just go mad so I just kind of went with it.”
emulating it but I’m not really because I’ve got quite a feminine voice anyway when I’m talking to people so it is quite unique.” I can’t tell whether he is underestimating his own talents, or simply aware of the way reality television works when he goes on to say, “I think if I hadn’t got that kind of voice I probably wouldn’t have got through on The Voice.”
Despite appearing on the surface to be a reality show mastermind’s dream, with a unique image and startling voice, from his own perspective James seems to think he was a breed apart from the other contestants.
When asked about how his own image evolved, he explains it had quite gothic roots, but eventually he felt he wanted more colour. Seemingly unsatisfied with this explanation, he shrugs and says, “I don’t even know how to explain it”. I take the risk of asking if he ever feels like he has a responsibility to set an example since he is in the public eye, or be a source of help to people who maybe aren’t quite so comfortable in their own skin.
“You meet people that are just so ambitious and you try and fit yourself in to that crowd and it is quite difficult,” he explains. His lack of competitive nature and the ability to take the opportunity and process for what it was are defining characteristics in my mind. When I ask him how important it was to win, his take on the very idea makes me smile with its inherent altruism.
At first he appears baffled at the idea he is in the public eye at all, having returned to a relatively normal existence after the show. Suddenly, gaining a more serious tone, and with that glint in his eye more evident, he says, without any of the scripted sincerity of standing on a soapbox, “I love the fact that I was able to go on the show as I am and hopefully show people that are struggling with their identity that they can be whoever they want, they don’t have to be male or female, they can be in the middle. They don’t have to be anything they don’t want to be.”
“I’ve not taken it to heart that I didn’t get through because in my mind music is not a competition,” he says, “we’re all here for different reasons, and we’ve all got something to say. I’m still the same person, which is the main thing.”
“I’ve not taken it to heart that I didn’t get through because in my mind music is not a competition”
Despite having gone from local gigging musician to a known face on television in such a short time, and seemingly having to put some blinkers on to deal with the emotional roller coaster of it all, James is well aware of the wider picture.
Despite the benefits of being on national television, The Voice only gave a snippet of James and his musical ability; in reality the amount of airtime where he is actually singing is startlingly short. When it comes to his own music he describes himself as very eclectic and, “more of a songwriter than a singer”.
“There’s always been androgyny through music, but it’s been a while, a long long time since somebody has come out that way in the music industry. It’s still very underground.” There’s a certain fiery determination as he laughs and says: “But hell, I’m going to still be doing what I want to do. There’s always somebody that will listen, hopefully.”
This makes sense, as he has such varied influences, from Janis Joplin to Brian Molko, and a penchant for anything from soul to grunge. James is also in a self-described “angsty rock band” as well as being a solo artist. When it comes to subject matter, he says it’s mainly relationships and his own experiences. On listening to his material, it’s practically effervescent with the full spectrum of emotions in every bad break up.
“But hell, I’m going to still be doing what I want to do. There’s always somebody that will listen, hopefully.”
He explains, with refreshing frankness, “I have different people that have an attraction for me so it’s maybe something maybe not many people would hear or talk about very often, so it’s quite interesting. I try and keep it as honest as possible, because when I’m performing it I feel I can be way more honest if I’m singing something that I’ve experienced.”
This pretty much sums him up, equal parts grit and fortitude mixed with easy-going optimism. I get the feeling it wasn’t particularly easy for him to get to this point, but now that he’s here, he’s going to take the chances he’s been given and run with them.
James may be unusual, but there’s nothing fake here. A man in make-up with a passion for female vocalists may be a conundrum to some people, but for him it seems it all comes quite naturally.
Words: Jessamyn Witthaus Photo: Scott Choucino
Talking about his vocal style he says: “I’ve always been quite feminine, and then people kind of assume that I’m
ast month, Kylie Minogue released a video for her new single Sexercise, and one of the things the video highlighted was that Minogue, within the context of pop music success and progression, is likely to fall by the wayside to younger, fresher acts like Katy Perry, Lily Allen and the one from HearSay who now pulls pints in Coronation Street. However, it also demonstrates that her career as an entertainer/object of male lust is likely to continue and flourish for some time. The video sees the 45-year-old pop star surrounded by a group of female dancers all wearing tight white leotards, thrusting and dry humping all over the place. It is pretty hot, I can’t lie, as much as I would like to take the journalistic high ground here, I am afraid that’s just how I’m built. However, that does not mean that I cannot see the bigger picture at play here, and not be concerned by it. The bigger picture being how little shock value a music video like this has, even taking into consideration the consistent close-up nipple and trademark butt camera shots (this is a music video, remember), it is easy to name several music videos where the content displays a similar or advanced level of sexual imagery.
Clearly the ears and eyes of men are of high importance to these parties, as videos like this have become the norm within modern pop music, to a degree where they are now expected from certain pop stars. However, from speaking to women about how they feel about such videos, the overwhelming response out there among the other half of the record-buying community is boredom. Becoming bored with music videos that opt for non-discreet sex appeal, suggests a level of acceptance from the average music consumer, a feeling of, this is just how things are now.
I admit and agree that pop music should be sexy, it should be exciting, playful, fun, and offer listeners an escape from the grey mundane reality of day-to-day life. However, the path that the Sexercise video follows, alongside Rihanna’s Pour it Up and the now infamous Blurred Lines, all border on the ridiculous.
This is particularly concerning; when things become commonplace they tend to merely exist in the background of day-to-day life, they become an accepted part of culture, and it is only the extreme that stands above this acceptance that will infiltrate and linger in the consciousness of the music consumer.
I am not claiming that these videos display what Alan Partridge would describe as ‘hardcore supersex’, and I do not live a sheltered life in terms of sex and sexual imagery, I am fully aware of what else is out there lurking in the dark corners the web, and on the dusty top shelves of local corner shop newsagents.
Therefore, in order to make sure that their music videos are noticed and are embedded in the minds of all viewers (for a bit anyway) pop stars will have to continue to seek out the shocking, the disturbing and the sleazy.
I just believe that consumers need to have the fact that this is the music industry in the back of their minds when engaging with these things. The purpose of the industry is to sell music, not to get drooling men hot under the collar for 3+ minutes. Accepting that a very large percentage of consumers access music through YouTube and Vevo, the direction that Sexercise and the other aforementioned videos take displays an interesting shift in audience priorities from pop music executives.
There does seem to be a level of female alienation that goes hand in hand with these particular videos, in the same way that I would feel alienated if a large percentage of male fronted music videos just featured men greased and gyrating. It is certainly an odd time for the music video. Perhaps pop music will find a way of merging sex appeal with artistic merit on a more consistent basis. Basically, if you are going show butts and boobs throughout a music video do it ironically, or in black and white or something.
Words: Alex Bowers
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’m a huge gamer, I’ll happily admit that I spent way too long playing the likes of Halo, Battlefield, Call of Duty and even World of Warcraft during my teenage years. Now I’m older and hopefully more productive, I thought to myself, Guitar Hero was pretty fun as a kid, but did it teach me anything?
More than anything I hate repetition, practice, practice and practice some more is what I’ve always been told about any skill. The perceived notion of this is completely true, you’ll never gain any skill without practice, so for me practising without the mental stigma attached sounds like the perfect solution to gaining a skill, and what a better way of doing that than learning whilst playing a game?
Developing your muscle memory is in there too, however, with only 5 buttons on the plastic guitar controller, you’re not going to be able to jump from GH to a real guitar any time soon. It’s definitely a good way to start if you’re a total noob though, introducing you to the basics.
So what do we have? Well there are few games out there that both simulate playing guitar and develop your skills through the game, or that use actual guitars and simulate the interface. The most well-known is Guitar Hero, along with Rock Band and Rocksmith. These three are the biggies of the industry. So what skills do we need to look for when analysing them?
Up next it’s Rockband! When this came out I nearly wet myself with excitement - a game that lets you play drums! Like in GH, you can play guitar or bass, even vocals, but by far the biggest attraction to RB was the drums, a small electronic kit which interfaced with your console. The game plays pretty much identically to GH - all in all they’re the exact same game, but RB let you learn drums, without annoying your neighbours, and it teaches all the simple 4/4 beats, with huge variations in difficulty.
Muscle memory, music theory, song structure and composition, technology integration, skill development and finally, creative freedom. I think all of these are pretty important to any musician looking to start out.
So what’s this Rocksmith that I’ve mentioned? Well, I was extremely impressed this one. It’s the only one that replaces those cheap plastic flappy paddle controller guitars with the real thing. Yes, the real thing!
So what’s what? Each game puts you into the shoes of the Lead, Rhythm, Bassist or Drummer in your band. As you progress through the game you take on set lists as your goal. GH, RB and RS each have the same rough concept, but with slight variations. GH founded this style of music game, using flying “notes” that come at you in a tablature type fashion. You start off with the easier songs and progress through the game until you reach the end of your tour, usually at a stadium playing the likes of Iron Maiden and Avenged Sevenfold.
You plug in your guitar or bass and away you go. It’s based on the same concept of flying coloured notes coming towards you, but it uses the whole guitar. It also has multiple mini games that you can play to up your skills. Hammer-ons, octaves, chord progressions, scales, the lot! The only downside I can see is that it’s much dearer on the cost front for downloading extra songs, not to mention you need a real instrument to play.
So, how does Guitar Hero help you learn guitar? Well, it definitely develops your ears, listening for the key changes within a track, predicting the melodies and learning that the higher up the fret board you go, the higher the pitch.
Words: Mark Lisle A Northerner at heart, Mark is a recent graduate of DMU Radio Production and now works in Radio. His speciality for the past 3 years has been recording bands for radio play, along with promoting and managing gigs around the city. He loves Leicester, however he says “t’ pies just ain’t same ”
By far this is the best one I’ve seen. The biggest downfall though, is that you can’t pick up and play with friends. You’d all have to practise like you would in a real band, so you might as well just start one! All in all, video games have improved to the point where I think they can not only introduce beginners into the basics of playing, but also allow more advanced players to hone their skills whilst having some fun. I’d say check them all out, and hopefully we’ll see karaoke bars replaced pretty soon with virtual band open mics, which can only be an improvement!
od I dislike Beyoncé. And when I say dislike, I really mean hate. I can’t figure out G exactly what it is I hate about her, maybe her trying to cite feminism as her secret to success or her Photoshopping every picture on Twitter, creating unrealistic pressure
on the rest of us (you only have to look at her Conan pictures to see the real Beyoncé) or is it because she’s secretly a high priestess of The Illuminati. Wait. What? Now I’m allowed my opinion about her, it’s freedom of speech (please don’t sue me) but to say that she’s risen to the top as a result of the Illuminati controlling mass media, is one of the strangest things I’ve ever heard. However it doesn’t just stop at her. What does Jay-Z and Kanye West, Lady Gaga, Eminem and Katy Perry have in common? Millions of dollars, more worshippers than god? Nope they are also supposedly Illuminati Agents.
The Order of the Illuminati is a secret society, the “Enlightened Ones,” and was founded in 1776 by Adam Weishaupt, a former Jesuit and professor of canon law at the University of Ingolstadt. Over the years the Illuminati have supposedly been at the heart of most things from the French Revolution to the 9/11 bombings, however I’ve never heard them being directly responsible for people making terrible music or terrible videos. The idea of the occult and music isn’t new though. Jimmy Page notoriously bought Aleister Crowley’s Boleskine House beside Loch Ness, and the Rolling Stones were promoting “Sympathy for the Devil” back in 1960s and ’70s causing uproar about witchcraft and Satanism. However, the difference these days is the hysteria appears to be moving away from a few choice artists to becoming an invisible web of faceless puppeteers. Famous performers are allegedly now victims of the conspiracy, not its leaders. They’ve become tools in this secret network where their actions are controlled and their media presence is carefully stage-managed to promote Illuminati imagery – and to keep the public focused on consuming it. The evidence for this can supposedly be seen at any Jay-Z concert with people raising up their hands in a triangle, a classic illuminati symbol. Or when Beyoncé is foretelling the New World Order but only if you listen to her music backwards (I have enough of a problem listening to it the
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right way round.) Or her and Jay-Z’s daughters name, “Blue Ivy,” an alleged acronym for “Born Living Under Evil, Illuminate Very Youngest.” Come on? And regarding the lyrics didn’t Prince do this back in the day? Although I think the only reason that Prince escaped the accusation of being an illuminati member, is because no one wants to see him in purple leathers at one of their meetings. Yes they might all use Illuminati-like symbolism in their videos but these symbols are traditionally associated with power all the way back to Egyptian times, and remember these artists want to be viewed as powerful, that’s how they sell records. And controversy is a popular music artist’s best friend. Could it be that they want to be viewed as powerful, influential and they capitalize on the Illuminati mystique? For example, Jay-Z simply likes to create this identity for himself because it represents power and enlightenment, two things he wants. I think the most amusing celebrity link I’ve read though is Eminem being possessed by a demon on stage. What? If anything he was probably too high at the time on prescription drugs to have been much use to Satan (again don’t sue me) Symbols are what you make of them. You look for signs in things its human nature. So if society is degenerating people are looking for meaning to that. Most recently falling foul to the theories is Katy Perry and Dark Horse. Playing the role of “Katy-Patra”, a Egyptian pharaoh she uses ‘The eye of Horus’, the one eyed sign. She’s
also naked and surrounded by Egyptian Gods supposed proof that The Illuminati are poised at every moment to morally degrade the human race, enslaving it mentally and spiritually. What a load of rubbish. The degradation of society is normal human nature. Before writing this I spent the morning telling a group of children that we used to throw people to the lions for sport, I fail to see how Katy Perry’s new video for Dark Horse can make things any worse. Don’t get me wrong though. I’m not disputing that music is a powerful tool but does it really translate into the occult? It’s supposed link to the downfall of society isn’t a new concept. Music has always been hostile to openly traditional values. It encourages Sex, Drugs Rock n Roll. The real issue is that traditional values have historically been rooted in religion so to defy those values means in essence you are defying God and this is where the idea of the satanic Illuminati comes in. Good vs. Evil. God vs the Devil. The problem is that people have an intrinsic need to believe that everything happens for a reason. The Illuminati can’t be blamed for the reason that these artists are so successful. Our understanding of the world is a direct result of cause and effect. We don’t like randomness and take comfort from things that can be ‘explained’. It’s called Pop music trutherism. A hunt for hidden truth in song lyrics. The truth is they make money out of this sort of nonsense. Now that’s a FACT. The biggest flaw in all of this is if the secret societies were so great at controlling us why would they do it in secret? Why wouldn’t they announce it to the world? Everyone would be in on it. More importantly they’d target the influential ones not create a New World Order full of Justin Bieber fans. How effective is that going to be? Wouldn’t they be targeting people of some intelligence in order to facilitate this? People of real power. The reality is yes we are being controlled and
Features Editor: Raegan Oates Raegan Oates is our Features Editor. Starting as a staff writer for Fd2d magazine she quickly worked her way up to Music Editor. With 5 years of writing and editing experience behind her she joined The Monograph Team in early 2011. She has worked for a number of magazines and occasionally contributes to The Leicester Mercury. manipulated by the music industry but it’s not by Satan worshippers sat around in a secret society wearing hoods. All the Illuminati rumours are doing is fuelling our paranoia and creating a media storm which in turn sells more records. Youth culture has a fixation with the secret society and occult and we’re playing right into their hands. The music industry doesn’t need an explanation for its exploitation, it’s a vacuous wolf pit designed to make money out of idiots. You don’t need a secret society for that. So unfortunately my dislike for Beyoncé is just born out of personal opinion and I can’t blame the Illuminati for that. Or can I …. (cue Ex Files music) Disclaimer – If the Illuminati does really exist sign me up and don’t let me disappear in a skiing accident, one year from now.
Words: Raegan Oates lllustrations: Barry Bulsara
THE ANSWER 2
014 has been a busy year so far for Northern Ireland rockers The Answer, they’ve just completed the Road Less Travelled tour, in which they’ve visited Derby for the first time and released their fourth studio album New Horizons.
The Monograph’s Sophie Sparham spoke to lead singer Cormac to talk about the new album, AC/DC and Irish ales, but first he recalls the first time he came to Leicester. “On our very first UK tour, we played our first show in Leicester. The dressing room of the place was like the boiler room of the venue, complete with leaky pipes, mousetraps, the lot, but it was a great show and some of the friends we made in Leicester still come to the show today.” Sophie: You guys are from Belfast, what’s the scene like over there for rock music? Cormac: “It’s healthy right now. When we were starting out, we really had to fight in the midst of what was a thriving indie scene, and what was quite a cliquey scene you know, if you didn’t wear the right clothes or play the right kind of minor chords then you weren’t really in with the gang so we were up against it in that regard, but we also thrived on it as well. “We were the only real rock’n’roll band in the scene at the time and we took pride in that. But over the last couple of years there’s been a few bands really making some waves in the Belfast scene, playing some good upfront rock and roll so it’s good to see.” S: You play basically no-holds-barred, classic, bluesy rock’n’roll, was that the original intention when you started out?
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C: “We entered into it knowing that we were all into the same bands. Most bands I’m sure always hook up with like-minded people in the end, and while our own personal music tastes do vary in the band, where we kind of meet in the middle has always been the music that we create, and what we’re passionate about, which is blues-based hard rock’n’roll.” S: You’ve just released New Horizons, what’s the inspiration behind it? C: “I suppose it’s a new beginning for the band, but then again every record is for The Answer. Basically we’re kind of drawing on our behind-the-scenes situation, which has changed a lot the past year and a half.
“it’s a new beginning for the band, but then again every record is for The Answer.” “Around about the time of the record’s creation we were changing managers, changing labels, changing our song writing style, just really shaking the situation up in comparison to the last six or seven years of relative stability. We just tried to channel all those energies and conflicting emotions into the songs that ended up on the record. We’re really pleased with the new stuff we’ve put on that record, it seems to be going down pretty well.
“I think musically it’s still our own brand of hard rock, but I think it’s possibly our most direct record, we co–wrote a few songs on there with Toby Jepson from the Little Angels, who produced the record and brought something different as well, a different outlook on things. “It very much focused on capturing the live energy in the room, which is what we’ve pretty much based our careers on. It’s definitely a departure in one shape or form in comparison to the first three records we put out.”
“it very much focused on capturing the live energy in the room, which is what we’ve pretty much based our careers on. ” S: I see what you mean because watching your video for ‘Spectacular’, it’s a real party video but there’s a serious message to the song. C: “Yeah, I think sometimes my lyrics are too serious for their own good. Whenever I’m penning the lyrics to a song I do try and make it count, they’re never throw away, I don’t like to waste any words on there. What I sing about and write about is first and foremost for me and if it can connect with other people that’s great as well, that’s the way I look at it.”
“We managed to vaguely link each one we talked about to a particular song and released ten drinks, one for every song and released them in the ten weeks leading up to the album release. “You can actually notice my face getting redder in each episode because it was all shot in the one day , we’re getting drunker as the weeks go on!” S: You’ve done loads of things in your career, but one massive thing you did was go on tour with AC/DC, what was that like? C: “It was fantastic, we played to over two million people and spent a year and a half in arenas and stadiums, supporting the biggest rock’n’roll band in the world all over Europe, America and Canada. It was a life changing experience. We breathed it all in deep and made the most with the month on the road with those guys. It was just one long adrenaline fuelled roller coaster ride. S: How many bands can say they’ve done that, those guys are such legends! C: “Yeah and great fellas too, very easy to approach and always had words of advice. Brian Johnson and Cliff would be in our dressing room at the end of their show every night, drink a bottle of wine with us and have a bit of banter, all very down to earth guys, which is a testimony to them.”
“Brian Johnson and Cliff would be in our dressing room at the end of their shows every night, drink a bottle of wine with us and have a bit of banter, all very down to earth guys, which is a testimony to them. ”
S: Surely that’s the best combination, a serious message but then a really vibrant live performance. C: “Yeah, we’re so passionate about what we do; our band means everything to us and it has done for the past few years now. Even though we don’t take ourselves seriously, we do take our music seriously, that’s kind of what keeps us alive, we have to take that seriously, or what’s the point?!” S: On a less serious note, I saw the drinking sessions that you guys recorded to promote the band, they made me laugh! C:“That’s the balance we’re striking in The Answer. That was my idea, it was one of those situations when we were like - how do we get this tight-fisted label of ours to get us drunk on an afternoon in Belfast?
“it just dawned on me that we should make a documentary about something we know a lot about: Irish based alcoholic beverages ” “Basically when we were recording the record the A&R man kept coming in and he was talking about some notion of a viral promotion, shooting some videos and releasing them in the release up to the record. We just so happened to be having an alcoholic beverage at the time and as I was staring into my pint of ale it just dawned on me that we should make a documentary about something we know a lot about: Irish based alcoholic beverages!
S: What are your plans for 2014, what happens when you get off the road? C: “We’ll probably have a month and a half before the festivals start to fold and we’re filling our calendar day by day. But between coming off the road and then, we’re actually going to start working on the next record, just to keep things moving as we feel we’re building up a nice momentum at the moment. I think it’s important not to rest on your laurels.” S: Do you have any idea where it’s all going next? C: “We’ve had a few days where we just jammed a couple of riffs out and so far so good. I definitely think our heads are in the right place to start making another record.”
Words: Sophie Sparham
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Photo: Scott Choucino
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THE INTERROBANG? !
allum Burrows, better known as Saint Raymond, has just completed a nationwide tour aged just nineteen. After a whirlwind year of sold out gigs, a jaunt around Europe with Haim, and a full-length album set to drop at the end of the summer, he is back home in Nottingham tonight to play at The Rescue Rooms.
I caught up with him to talk about young people in the music industry, dreams of recording in a cabin in the woods, and why college wasn’t for him. He may perform live with a full band, but whatever you do, do not refer to him as anything other than a solo artist… Jessamyn Witthaus: So tell me about tonight’s gig then, how does it feel to be back and play a home crowd? Saint Raymond: I’m so excited! Tonight’s been a bit of a strange one for me because I haven’t wanted to wish the tour away, but I have for the whole tour had my eye on this show. JW: Has it been quite a journey over the past year leading up to this? SR: Yeah, I think it’s been a big journey in the last couple of years as well. Because I think I’ve been working away at it, obviously only in the last year it’s been for people to see. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind year.
JW: You’ve really risen to people’s attention recently, being mentioned in things like The Guardian’s Band Of The Day. Has all the success been a lot of hard work? SR: Yeah, I think it’s a lot of work but I think that’s been the good thing about things like The Guardian. It’s been nice to have those approvals, but it’s nice to keep busy and not get distracted by that kind of praise because obviously you’ve just got to keep working at it. That kind of just fuels you to keep working. JW: So tell me about the tour, what’s been the highlight so far for you? SR: You know what - I think in general for me, it’s when people sing back. It’s always the songs that you least expect it on as well. I kind of thought there might be sing backs on Young Blood or the lead tracks like Fall At Your Feet or whatever but it’s when they sing back on tracks that maybe haven’t been released it’s always a bit bizarre.
JW: You went on a short tour in Europe with Haim, what was that like?
“You need to write music that is relevant for you.”
SR: They were so positive and so supportive and really accommodating. Obviously being the support act, you don’t want to feel like you’re stepping on anyone’s toes, but they were really accommodating and super sweet.
you have to go and do that stuff. I think you learn about yourself and how to perform as well.
JW: There are a lot of young musicians breaking through at the moment. Do you think people have a tendency of just lumping young musicians into one big group no matter their genre? SR: I think so. I think being a young musician sometimes people don’t really think about what they’ve been through or anything. It’s kind of just like “they’re young.”
JW: Tell me about your style. What influences you in your music? SR: I was brought up on a lot of different styles of music. Anything from Oasis to The Kooks, then rap and then only recently I got into some 80s music. I think that’s the brilliant thing about music these days; you’re not necessarily categorised. Whereas I think back in the day it was more like “you like rap, you like hip hop”, whereas I think now you listen to some rock and it will have hip hop influences. It’s all crazy now how you can cross influence.
JW: Do you feel you still get respect despite your age? SR: I think so; I’ve actually been quite surprised. I think I thought I would come across some patronising people but I haven’t really. It’s been quite nice that there’s been a rise of young artists, I think people are starting to respect that age doesn’t really make a difference in music.
JW: Tell me about the subject matter of your songs. What are the main things that you draw on? I got the impression of a lot of love and love lost and quite complicated ideas about all that.
JW: As a young musician, do feel any pressure to be culturally provocative or do you just feel that you can just be honest with your music is and that’s enough? SR: I think you need to remember the music, and you need to write music that is relevant for you. People get too caught up these days in terms of getting involved in stuff like politics. I’ve got no interest in that so I’m not going to try and have an interest in it just for the sake of people being interested.
SR: Yeah, I think for me I like to build on personal things but then maybe take them away a bit from being too personal and build a story around it. Yeah, I just like writing stories basically. JW: Why did you choose the format of a band as opposed to being a solo artist? Obviously you’re Callum Burrows, but you’re also Saint Raymond.
“ I was doing any gigs I could possibly do. Literally, if there was a gig to go to I would do it.” JW: So how long have you been playing and writing music?
SR: For me it’s like Saint Raymond is a solo thing, but it’s purely just the fact that to create the sound I wanted to create live I play with a band - but Saint Raymond is still me. Just when I play live it’s with a band.
JW: How did you choose your musicians then? SR: When I started writing music, I realised that live I couldn’t play them acoustically to fulfil what I wanted to fulfil. It’s worked out that my brother in law is my bass player, the drummer used to be in a band with my brother in law and the guitarist is a friend of a friend. So it doesn’t feel like session musicians. We all get along, which is great.
SR: I’d say properly, writing and realising “this is a song”, as opposed to just messing around, maybe four years or so. JW: How did you start then, did you do the round of open mics and that sort of thing? SR: Yeah, I was doing any gigs I could possibly do. Literally, if there was a gig to go to I would do it.
JW: So do they have a say in the writing process?
JW: Was that quite a gruelling experience?
SR: (Emphatically) No. It is literally just like session musicians. Saint Raymond is me and when it comes to playing live they just play the parts.
SR: Yeah, I think it was gruelling but also it’s the way you learn. You can’t just jump to something overnight so I think
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JW: But does it help to have quite a good relationship with them?
just carried on playing music. I’ve never really had a Plan A, never mind a Plan B. So yeah, it’s all been a fun ride.
SR: Yeah, absolutely.
JW: Can you remember the point where you woke up one day and thought to yourself “I’m getting somewhere with this”?
JW: You mentioned a while ago that if you could collaborate with someone it would be Bon Iver, what is it about him that you’re drawn to? SR: I don’t know, I think he’s just an absolute genius. He’s just someone I would love to go and spend time with, maybe not even to write music, just to hang out.
SR: You know what, for me personally, because it’s all been so crazy and busy even tonight I’m like “s**t, I’ve sold out a show at Rescue Rooms”. There have been little highlights of course, like this Nottingham show and the tour in general, but I think for me it’s just been a bit, like, “woah!”
“I think he’s just an absolute genius. He’s just someone I would love to go and spend time with”
JW: He recorded his first album in a cabin in the woods didn’t he? SR: (Getting excited) Yeah, and his second album he built his own cabin in the woods, and now people are going out to record there and stuff. JW: So what else do you do besides your music? Are you studying for anything? SR: (Laughs sheepishly) I actually went to college for an hour, so that was fun. Then I had a part-time job. So for me I
JW: Lastly, what are you most looking forward to about actually going home? SR: My dog. I’m super excited to see my dog. I bought a puppy ages ago and I never get to see him. And my little nephew as well, he’s a dude. (He gets out his phone, showing me the screensaver, which is of his nephew).
Words: Jessamyn Witthaus Photos: Scott Choucino @ The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
68, HIGH STREET, LEICESTER
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Internet comedy masher-uppers Cassetteboy have been bringing lunchbreak chuckles to office workers for years now, but they also throw one heck of a disco, as those who caught their Firebug set during the Leicester Comedy Festival can attest. Alex Scoppie had a chat with them afterwards about music, comedy, politics and Simon Cowell’s conspiracy against them. Alex: Great set guys, I think everyone here tonight was blown away by it. Cassetteboy: Thanks a lot, we’re glad people enjoyed it. Alex: You made your name by cutting and pasting videos for Youtube, is the live show a conscious effort to get away from the time and preparation that must take? Cassetteboy: It’s great to do live shows, primarily because you can see the audience – people laughing and dancing, you get energy from them, which is obviously so much better than just sitting at home and reading YouTube comments. Plus of course, live audiences don’t tend to deteriorate into racist comments. Alex: It’s interesting to watch, because you don’t get many comedy discos. Granted, there’s the whole musicians-whoare-comedians crowd - your Bill Baileys and Tim Minchins - but you guys are going a step further, miming live mixing and so forth – Cassetteboy: Oh we only did that tonight because we left our deck on the train getting here! Alex: Oh. Well, you should keep that in, it was hilarious, I think everyone thought it was part of your routine! Cassetteboy: We might just. Alex: A lot of what you do with footage of politicians is satire, which there isn’t enough of these days, and it’s so well received do you ever think of what you’re doing isn’t just entertaining, but perhaps necessary? Cassetteboy: I don’t think we’d take ourselves seriously enough to say that what we were doing was necessary, but I think certainly come the general election next year we’d feel obligated to do some more stuff featuring Cameron, Clegg and all the rest of them. Alex: Is there anyone you’d like to do a mash-up video of, but haven’t yet due to there not being enough material of them around, or because they’re too litigious? I noticed you did something with David Attenborough the other day but it got taken down…
Cassetteboy: Yeah it did, but it got put back up again. People are always asking us to do Simon Cowell off the X-Factor, but the problem is that so many TV shows these days are edited to within an inch of their lives already, plus they’re stuffed full of background music, which means that the material really isn’t there as it’s impossible to sample it effectively. Alex: That’s interesting. Do you’re think they’re doing that on purpose to make it Cassetteboy-proof? Cassetteboy: We hadn’t thought of that, yeah, maybe it’s a conspiracy! Alex: On the flip side, is there anybody you wouldn’t do a mash-up about? Cassetteboy: Well there’s nobody really we wouldn’t consider, but you wanna make sure you make a mark, you wanna attack the rich and the powerful rather than causing harm in the world – I mean, we wouldn’t do anything on the general public – it’s more people who put themselves out there as celebrities, because as soon as you do that you’re fair game. The pompous arses who take themselves so seriously, like Alan Sugar, make the best targets. Alex : Finally, could you make music without comedy, and vice versa, or for you are the two intrinsically linked? Cassetteboy: Well, we have been doing some shorter format, sketch based things which you can find online that don’t have any musical element, but I think that having done stuff with music for so long, because we’ve done albums and always done comedy to musical backing tracks, it’s affected the rhythm of the comedy that we do, and it will always be there in our work, even if there’s no actual music. Cassetteboy’s videos can be found at www.youTube.com/user/ cassetteboy Words: Alex Scoppie
BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB his may sound a wee bit ambiguous, but Bombay Bicycle Club have T a lot of the credentials needed to be a truly great band. They’re consistent, prolific, adventurous and have garnered themselves a reputation as a live force to be reckoned with. What’s more there’s the fab amount of four of them. Their first three albums fluctuated from jangly, indie rock on I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose to the Joni-Mitchellesque, acoustic-based Flaws and then to their first flirtations with electronic music on A Different Kind Of Fix.
winning bands were given a slot at V Festival, which, I’m told, was a good thing at the time. On coming to prominence at such a young age, Ed says, “The success is incredibly tied with being in a band and being a teenager for all of us and I can’t separate one from the other. When I listen to the first or second records it reminds me of first times and growing up and it’s very hard to separate them. I think back on it incredibly fondly and I loved it.”
A year separated each of the three albums and the band took on the ranging forms of music with consistently promising results. Oh, and there’s still four of them. Their newest album, So Long See You Tomorrow, became their first to top the charts and bares the sound of a band that have reached a pivotal point in their career. Entirely self produced, it picks up where A Different Kind Of Fix left off, with songs built around samples cherry-picked from all corners of the world whilst on their travels. If in the past you’ve been quick to dismiss the band as overly pampered indie-rockers, now is the time to drop those misconceptions and become properly acquainted. The Monograph’s Charles Gray spoke to the group’s bassist Ed Nash from his flat in North London prior to the album’s release. “I’m more excited about this album than I have been for all of the others and I loved them to bits,” he says, “it’s been done for a while now and all you want is for people to hear it and to play shows and we’ve been waiting to do that for the most part of last year.” The group emerged while its members were still studying for their GCSEs. It initially comprised of Jack Steadman (guitar, vocals) Jamie MacColl (guitar) and Suren de Saram (drums) but a lot changed in the coming months. They rebranded themselves with the most wince-inducing name since ‘Foo Fighters’, acquired the services of Ed, whom they met at a funeral, and gained national coverage after winning ‘Road To V’, a Channel 4 programme where the
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With three albums in the bag, BBC have returned with a new and expansive sound on an album which was self-produced in a studio they built themselves, drawing influences from hip hop, electronic and worldwide musical forms. “Electronic, dance and hip hop are a huge influence on this album,” Ed continues, “the song structures are all based around loops and repetition and bringing things in and out and bringing stuff up. It’s more that mentality in the way of producing music that has influenced us, rather than specific artists.” On the album being entirely self-produced, Ed says, “It’s kind of a double-edged sword because if you go to a proper studio you have a producer who will tell you to stop when it’s done. You can kind of lose sight of the songs if you’re doing it yourselves. You can overwork them until you start to make them bad, and then at that point you have to realise that and kind of backtrack a few steps.” But though the album has brought the band a whole new kind of attention and elevated them to new heights, it’s getting back on the road and performing live that Ed and co are looking forward to most. “It’s what I love doing most in the world and I think it’s what the band’s best at doing,” he enthuses, “I’ve always thought of
us first and foremost as a live band.”
have released to date, where the viewer can play with the actions of the band and choreograph the two dancers that join them.
Whilst their early gigs were renowned for being uncontrollably chaotic, they have since established themselves as a must-see festival act and have tendered their live shows to suit their ever-changing sound.
“I think a lot of the time interactive videos can be quite gimmicky and I think people probably look at our video and think it’s gimmicky but for us it completely fit in with everything else we were doing,” says Ed. “It becomes quite a coherent package. I think if you’re going to do something you should put thought into it and do it the best you can otherwise it’s not worth doing.”
“We haven’t played that many shows yet so hopefully people will start dancing now instead of what our early shows were like which was just people punching each other in the face and beating each other up. It would be nice if there was some movement but without the violence and the destruction of the early shows.”
Another less productive way BBC grabbed people’s attention was after Ed commented on the backlash of ‘terrible landfill indiebands’ in response to the Arctic Monkey’s success in 2006.
As we start talking about their upcoming shows, including one at Nottingham Rock City, Ed shares with me one of the group’s most calamitous experiences, which occurred after playing Summer Sundae festival and involved inadvertently delaying a fire engine from reaching its destination.
After saying that he was misquoted, Ed goes on to say, “Obviously there are a lot of good bands that lasted but because it was so unbelievably saturated you had a lot of bad stuff getting in as well. I think there was a reaction to that and that is why there aren’t that many big indie bands at the moment.
“Our van broke down three times on the way back. We got to Jamie’s house and it broke down again and we pushed it up the road and parked it outside. On Jamie’s road there happens to be a fire station and as we pushed it outside Jamie’s house at about 4 or 5 in the morning a fire engine had to get out and we were blocking the road. We literally had to push the van for miles with a fire truck chasing us and these fire fighters out the window going ‘get out of the road, what are you doing?’ It was an ordeal getting home.” To coincide with the release of the album, the band uploaded three music videos, including an interactive one for Carry Me, arguably the most enduring and captivating song the band
“It probably is a bit harder to make it as an indie band and you have to make it stick out and really prove yourself to do it. I’m sure there’ll be a time when it turns around again.” No matter what the future brings, the band can rest assured that they have come a hell of a long way from the days of balancing exams with riotous shows to the chart-topping globetrotters they are now. If their past has taught them anything, it’s to keep looking forward.
Words: Charles Joe Gray
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FRIDAY 25TH JULY 2014
This summer sees the inaugural Leicester Music Festival taking place at the Leicester Tigers Welford Road Stadium on the 25th and 26th of July. With a buzz building and anticipation high, the Monograph’s Mark Lisle spoke to the LMF’s organiser, Shane Whitfield. Monograph: Tinie Tempah, Labrinth, Professor Green, making it inclusive was to give some of our local talent the Union J, Katy B, The Saturdays, Billy Ocean, Sam Bailey, opportunity to perform on a national stage. We had over Kool and The Gang - these are just some of the massive 100 bands enter, they have been playing off against one national and international acts already confirmed. Are another in regional heats and the final four winners will there any more big surprises, and what can we expect from perform at LMF. Soul-II-Soul Professor Green Aswad the rest of the line-up? Monograph: We’ve seen city festivals come and go over Shane: We have one last act to announce in mid-April. We the years in Leicester, the most recent being the departure think the fans are going to be very pleased with our final of Summer Sundae. Do you have plans to make LMF a choice, as they have a massive fan base, particularly in the yearly event? Midlands. We also have Leicester’s home grown acts to announce who have been competing in our Play @LMF “We have a five year plan for LMF. Although this is competition.
SATURDAY 26TH JULY 2014
Monograph: When I think of a festival, I think music, beer tokens, burger vans and camping. What will LMF bring from festival culture into Welford Road for the weekend apart from the obvious music part?
our first year we’ve already had great support from local businesses, media and the community and we are working hard to make this year a success”
Shane: Yes, we have a five year plan for LMF. Although this
The Billyis Ocean our first year we’ve already had great support fromReal local Thing
“LMF is a festival with a social conscience – it was devised with the community in mind and will be set up for the whole family to enjoy”
businesses, media and the community and we are working hard to make this year a success so that it becomes an established event on the social calendar of people in and around the Midlands.
LEICESTER MUSIC FESTIVAL, Welford Road Stadium, home of th Shane: LMF is a festival with a social conscience – it was Monograph: Finally, hiring out Welford Road, with the devised with the community in mind and will be set up for line-upTigers you’ve got, is a huge financial undertaking. Most Leicester the whole family to enjoy. We’ll have health stations at the event for prostate screening and donor sign-ups plus food and entertainment.
festivals don’t start making profit until a few years in. Why have you put on the festival, would you say it’s a passion project, and can the city support a festival of this size?
Monograph: PLAY @ LMF is currently underway, a locallyrun competition to give performance slots to local bands. Why did you decide to put on the competition, how many acts are getting the chance to win, and how is the winner chosen?
Shane: LMF is definitely a passion. My business partner and I are both very proud and loyal businessmen who felt Leicester was often overlooked for big name events and so we decided to pool our resources, call on our contacts in the music industry and make an event the people of Leicester will be proud of.
BIG HEADLINE ACTS STILL TO BE ANNOUNC
Shane: We wanted LMF to be an event that the city and surrounding areas can be proud of. We felt a great way of
THEM ONOG RAP H .C O. U K
Words: Mark Lisle
ouble acts in music tend to have a habit of being able to make quite a racket. With just a couple of instruments and vocals, one would imagine you’d feel obliged to push your instruments to their peak and make as much of a commotion as possible. The White Stripes, Drenge, Death From Above 1979, The Kills, The Black Keys, Crystal Castles, The Carpenters - all had a knack for making a beautiful hullaballoo and can all be pointed at as inspiration for double act Royal Blood. OK, so maybe not The Carpenters, but the rest for sure. Founded by Mike Kerr (bass, vocals) and Ben Talent (drums) as a result of a number of tried & tested groups of a similar vein, the band has been thrust into the consciousness of the nation’s rock fans following a string of high profile, high energy gigs, the label of ‘Sound Of 2014’ being bandied about left, right & centre and The Arctic Monkeys’ Matt Helders wearing one of their T-shirts during their seminal Glastonbury headline set. Considering this is all off the back of just a handful of gigs and two songs posted online, you can’t help but wonder what all the fuss is about. I spoke with 23-year-old Mike on his day off, which he spent in a coffee shop in Brighton, the city where the two had been playing the circuit in a number of bands before deciding to go it as a two-piece the day Mike returned from a trip to Australia. “We were both in bands and we just met on the circuit
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really,” he recalls, “we’d played in all sorts of bands together and this one, I guess, is the first we’ve really taken seriously. We were 16 when we started and we’ve been into every sort of genre but rock’s where we’re at.” An engaging, modest and self-assured chap, meeting Mike is not everything you’d expect from a guy in a band with such tenacity and ferocity as Royal Blood. The two songs released, Out Of The Black and Come On Over, both demonstrate a sound rooted in the blues-rock of Led Zeppelin with a relentless urgency and immediacy that is complimented by the heavy riffs from Mike and Ben’s solid drumming, with elements of everyone from Muse to Queens Of The Stone Age through to Rage Against The Machine. On developing their sound, Mike said: “I’ve been in three-pieces and four-pieces before and basically as more members left I bought more amps and my sound got louder and louder until I thought we could just do it as two people.” Armed with just a bass guitar, the sound Mike achieves is staggering. Fluctuating between your run of the mill bassline to some gut-wrenching picking and then to the sort of screaming guitar sound you’d expect of Sonic Youth, you’d
think there’d be an unfathomable amount of effects pedals to go with the metropolis of amplifiers backing him.
Guardian and NME et al to be the guiding force for rock music to make a resurgence over the next year. But for a band so new and with so few tracks to be judged by, can it get a bit stifling?
“I don’t actually use as many pedals as you’d think I do. It took 3 years of me experimenting to achieve the sound and it’s constantly developing. I’m always thinking of new ways to make new sounds.”
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do and I think it’s still very much underground. We’re still being studied by everyone, every day, you know? I can’t say that I’ve yet to experience any negatives.
On the prospects of bringing in more instruments to the picture, he concedes, “Maybe not just yet, but yeah, we’re definitely going to be experimenting with different things, like putting guitar strings on basses and messing around and stuff like that. I’m sure at one point I’ll have a tuba going through the pedal board!”
“I don’t really like praise. As nice as it is, I’m not sure how healthy it is to be experiencing it that much, but in a way I feel the same with criticism. I think we’re just happy to be able to play music and spend all our time writing songs. That’s the real reward.”
With just the two members, I ask if it makes songwriting and creating chemistry a task, or whether it gives them more freedom and inclination to be as wild as they can? “It’s good. It’s simple. It makes decision-making quick. The politics are easy. There’s no one to fall out with. It’s primitive and, for me, it’s freedom musically. The more we’ve resisted taking the easy way the more we’ve come up with creative solutions, you know. It’s like, from day one when the guitarist left I thought ‘how can I make this sound bigger?’”
With just a few live shows under their belts (though, judging by reviews and fan footage, you’d think they’d have been at it for years), the band are gaging themselves for their first headline tour, a string of festival dates in the summer and a support slot for their already-declared-fans Arctic Monkeys at their huge Finsbury Park shows. So what can people expect? “I think it’s loud. It’s quite brutal and loud. If you like rock then we’ll definitely cater for your needs,” says Mike. But then, as though remembering his manners, he adds, “Obviously I’m extremely biased because I’m in the band
‘Big’ would certainly be an accurate way of describing the band’s sound. Riff heavy, adrenaline-fuelled and with Mike’s impassioned vocals driving the songs, it’s hard to not get excited by the prospect of what the future might have in store for them, especially as they’re currently recording an album at the birthplace of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody - Rockfields Studio in Wales.
so don’t take it from me. “We’re such a new band, you know? These shows are our first headline shows so it’s hard for me to say. We’ve had the odd one but we’re still growing and we’re still seeing. I don’t know what it’s going to be like. I’ll let you know.”
On the process of writing the songs, Mike says, “We start with an idea, a riff or a melody and we’ll try and work out what that is and how it works into the idea of a song. It’s that simple really. We just get in a room and play together and wait until something works. I know that sounds vague but that’s how it is. I’m not sure if I know to be honest.”
After bearing witness to the band’s barnstorming set at The Musician, it’s plain to see that Royal Blood are fully entitled to the extensive praise that’s been bestowed on them and, as Radio 1 A-Listers, could be set to follow in the footsteps of their high-profile fans and shake up the musical plateau.
As for the lyrical content, “All sorts of things really. Loneliness. Running away. Breaking up. All the sort of classic rock & roll subject material. But everyone’s got their own way of saying it and singing it. I want to mean what I say.” Since the new year the band have received a tremendous amount of praise and have been tipped by the BBC, The
Words: Charles Joe Gray Photos: Josh Rai
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Every generation needs its poet and one of the best lyrical scribes around right now is Scroobius Pip. Returning with a third album, Repent Replenish Repeat, he and Dan Le Sac have created a lyrical masterpiece of hymnal precision. The master of the thought-inspiring song, with his reflective use of language and quick witted lyricism, he’s created one of our favourite albums of 2014. We caught up with him after the first gig of their new tour to see what life is like in the Scroobius Pip camp.
merchandise stall; I’m always there two hours before and an hour afterwards. People know that. Also, we’ve always had really good support acts. The crowd like to get there nice and early and they’ll get to meet and have a chat and hang out.
How was last night? I’m getting over from tonsillitis and I’m not feeling too bad. Feeling a bit croaky, but first gig croakiness rather than anything else. The gig was great; Manchester is always a great place to kick off in.
Is it important to have that experience with you? When you don’t have major label backing, our contact with our fans is key for our album sales, our tour sales, for everything. We can’t have big billboards everywhere telling everyone what we’re doing - we need to act on word of mouth and people commenting on our Twitter and stuff like that.
Quite a few of your shows are selling out aren’t they? Yeah. It’s really nice that at a time when most people are struggling to sell tickets, I haven’t. I’ve been working hard for six or seven years and its kind of paying off. Is a lot of your success due to the relationship that you have with your fans? All of it adds up and comes together. I run my own
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We don’t have to spend money on all that and that’s what makes the difference. Our first tour we had a budget to put a couple of adverts in The Guardian and we didn’t end up spending it because the tour sold out truly off the back of us announcing it on Twitter and Facebook. It’s that great balance of an interactive experience with our fan base.
How does it feel making music that people connect to so deeply? It’s crazy. It’s not something you can really comprehend or take in. It’s great to have people come up or tweet regularly just saying what the songs and what the experiences mean to them.
in the delivery of the performance of it. It’s odd. Half the time I’ll forget what some of the songs are about because it becomes a mechanical thing of actually delivering it, but my focus is on hitting it really tight and putting a lot of energy and effort into it. I’m making sure that I’m aware of how the crowd are reacting and if I need to interact any more to give them a more enjoyable time. So it’s a weird mix of losing myself in it and being very aware at the same time.
It’s also crazy because music has meant the world to me in my life. It’s always been the big hitting point. Particularly growing up there’s stuff that I’ve fallen in love with and it’s meant everything at that point. It’s impossible to comprehend that people have that same connection to stuff that we’ve knocked up on our laptops. It’s lovely. Can you think of a track that inspired you or motivated you when you were younger? There are loads. The Rancid album …And Out Come The Wolves instantly springs to mind. I grew up more into punk so even Green Day’s early records. The music and the live performance as well; I used to spend all of my pocket money on gigs from the age of 15.
You can hear in your lyrics that you enjoy playing around with language a lot, did you enjoy literature and the English language at school or was that something that come later in life? It came later. I didn’t do great at school. My English teacher once warned my friend Martin that he could do better than hanging out with people like me. I genuinely think that my linguistic dexterity comes primarily from having a stutter. I’ve grown up with a stutter and I’d genuinely be thinking a sentence or two ahead and aware of certain words that I was gonna stutter on. I’d be thinking of words to use instead. I think that was natural selection, that’s given me a decent vocabulary and once I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten far more into literature and reading. But I also like film TV and documentaries and the characters in all of them. I think that’s underrated.
“When you don’t have major label backing, our contact with our fans is key for our album sales, our tour sales, for everything”
I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now. Not in an arrogant way, but I think we’re good live. We leave it all out there. I think a prime example of that is how many times I’ve broken my ribs during gigs. Then the greatest drama of last night’s show - and this is gonna sound more dramatic than it actually was - during one of the songs my mouth started to fill up with blood!
Finally, what are you excited about the rest of the tour? Just all of it! It sounds very forced and faked but I can genuinely say I’m excited to get these songs out. The record went down better than we had hoped. To play the songs in front of people. I’m also looking forward to the festivals. It’s exciting. I can’t wait for the next tour and the festival.
It’s just because of part of the tonsil thing; I’ve had infected gums so when I clean my teeth they bleed. But I’ve never made them bleed from talking so passionately and it was because I was hitting the lyrics so hard and intently that I started to bleed. That shows how much we give out there. We make sure we’re putting on a hell of a show.
Scroobius is back out on tour on the following dates. How did the fans react? It’s on a song called And You Will See Me, which is intense. It was amusing because I turned away and finished and realised it was blood and not just saliva. Tidied myself up a bit on the towel and afterwards I was like “Dude, that was crazy! I don’t know if anyone noticed but I started to bleed from the mouth during that song.”
22 April Wolverhampton Slade Rooms 23 April Preston 53 Degrees 24 April Liverpool East Village 25 April Warwick Arts Centre 26 April Chester – The Live Rooms 27 April Reading Sub 89 28 April Plymouth White Rabbit 29 April Bournemouth Old Fire Station 30 April Eastbourne Winter Gardens 1 May Bath Komedia 3 May Nottingham Rescue Rooms 4 May York - YO1 festival
I let them know it wasn’t because of anything bad just because of my gums, but you know for me it added to the intensity and let me really lose myself in it. That shows a true passion. Exactly. You’ve answered part of my next question already. Are you very self-aware when you perform? It’s a bit of both. I get absorbed into it and I get absorbed
Words: Raegan Oates
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THE MUSIC SHED
ehind many great bands, there are awesome recording studios. Situated in the centre of Derby, The Music Shed celebrates its tenth anniversary B this year in June. The Monograph spoke to Gez, one of the co-owners of the rehearsal rooms to find out, just how much they do for Derby’s music scene behind closed doors. So when and why did you and Bob take on the Shed? We took it on because I was a customer there and me and Bob had been talking about setting up something to do with music, we both had full time jobs at that time, and the guy that ran the Music Shed was going to close it down, so we decided to buy it. I’ve always had a massive passion for music and when I was speaking to Bob, we both agreed that we wanted to do something. The way that the music shed was being run at the time was very casual. It was a small serve for about 18 bands that he was looking after. We didn’t take it on to progress as such, we just took it on to be a base and do what we wanted to do and on paper it looked like it was a viable business. So we just bought it. It was a launch pad for us to do all the services that we wanted and here we are today. What sort of bands use the music shed? Literally every type of band! At the minute, we look after about 250 bands, when we first took it on, there were half a dozen that were still using it. We rapidly generated interest and got those numbers back up. Now we look after everything; we’ve got young up and coming bands doing indie and nu-metal, more established bands literally every genre, punk, reggae, rock , function bands, tribute bands, cover bands, some people that are just doing it for a hobby. We get tutors come down or people that just want to practice for self-gratification and no aspects of being a performer. How do you think it helps aid the music scene? Studios are the unsung, unrecognised- not heroes, but a big resource that people use when they need to. All studios obviously have a wealth of bands and what’s good for us is that we’ve made ourselves accessible, really accessible
to promoters and venues so we get them asking for bands and we do a lot with equipment because we’ve got those relationships. It’s also good for our bands as we can advise them of where’s best to go and because many of them are from around the Midlands and further afield we’ve got a lot of networking capacities. It’s just about being a big networking resource. What do you think about the Derby music scene? It’s always a hard question, because any scene like that is quite volatile. When I look at it right now, there’s a few things going on, the big thing is punk. A few years ago it was metal, Derby’s metal scene was epic, but now Derby’s punk scene is one of the best in the country. The local scene there’s a lot going on; the Hairy Dog and the Sitwell are always pushing local bands, that’s the life blood. It’s relatively easy to get touring bands, they’re a safe bet, the hard work is to invest time in start-up bands. So when you get venues pushing it, it’s amazing. There’s a new night now on a Wednesday at The Hairy Dogs for new bands, so it gives them a chance to perform in one of the best venues in the country. That’s what’s going to keep the scene alive! So 2014, what bands are coming out of Derby? My stock answer to this is always Violet, they’re the big hope for Derby. They’re a metal sound but very poppy and melodic. There’s a screamer and a pure Timberlake, Jackson styled vocalist. It crosses a lot of boundaries and comes together well. The punk scene is on fire. There’s some good metalcore bands, A World Defined came out the metalcore scene, they’re more melodic now and have got some good stuff coming out. Betray Your King are also getting out of the city and doing shows everywhere. Words: Sophie Sparham
“Neighbours; everybody needs good neighbours…” So goes the cheesy theme from the Australian soap opera, and whilst this is a bit of a cliché, we all want to be happy in our homes, wherever they may be. If you think that seems like a strange opening to an article in the Monograph, let me explain. There have been an alarming number of stories in recent times about various bars and venues in city centres receiving complaints about noise nuisance – a quick search of the Leicester Mercury reveals complaints about various premises. Recently, a prominent online campaign has highlighted the problems facing the Night & Day Café, a popular venue in Manchester.
There have been an alarming number of stories in recent times about various bars and venues in city centres receiving complaints about noise nuisance For those who are unaware of the situation, the Night & Day Café has recently received a Noise Abatement Notice from the Environmental Health Department of Manchester City Council, following complaints from a resident of a nearby apartment. The venue, which is credited with launching the careers of Elbow, amongst other acts, has been established for 23 years, and has received complaints from a resident who has lived there for less than a year. Management of the venue plan to fight the decision, and the court hearing is set for July. An online petition against the Notice has, at the time of writing attracted over 70,000 signatures. It is worth mentioning that the Night & Day is situated
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in the vibrant, thriving, fashionable Northern Quarter of Manchester. The area of Leicester which is now named the Cultural Quarter has changed almost beyond recognition in recent years, and is now home to fashionable bars, restaurants and apartments. An area which at one point was run down (I remember making it my mission years ago to get to Helsinki Bar in the shortest possible time in order to enjoy cheap pre-Fanclub cocktails in my student days) is now re-branded as a desirable area for young professionals. The redevelopment of former factories into apartments, and the opening of Curve and Phoenix Square, have contributed to the improvement of this part of the city, as have bars such as the Exchange and Manhattan 34. I started this piece with one TV related cliché, now here comes another; location, location, location. For when it comes to choosing where to live, location is one of the key considerations, along with affordability. Some people love the peace and quiet of the countryside, others prefer the bustle and convenience of the city centre lifestyle. Wherever you end up living, it makes sense to weigh up what is important to you. To give a few obvious examples, don’t move next to a farm if the sound of animal noises sends you barking mad. Don’t move near to a school if the sound of children playing is likely to be an issue for you. It follows that, if peace and quiet is something you crave, then moving next to or upstairs from a bar or live music venue is likely to be a bad idea. I used to live in a flat on Narborough Road, and a friend who came to stay asked me
if the constant ambulance and police car sirens bothered me. They did not, and I would not have moved into a flat on a main road if such things did. It strikes me as utter madness that anyone would have the gall (and indeed, the stupidity) to raise a complaint about noise nuisance when moving into a home adjacent to a bar or venue. For goodness sake people, what the hell do you expect? My advice to anyone who has done this is simple: Move. Go and look for a flat on a quieter street, give your notice on your present accommodation and pack your bags. Simple. Alternatively, if you’re lucky enough to have the convenience of a bar downstairs from your flat, well done you! Now pop down, order a drink and make friends with the bar staff. As one venue manager in Leicester said to me, “It’s about common sense really, isn’t it?” It is worth noting that many of the new city centre flats (sorry, ‘apartments’) are being marketed as a lifestyle choice. Words such as ‘stylish’, ‘vibrant’ ‘fashionable’ and ‘upmarket’ are often used in the promotional material, along with the convenience of the location, and the proximity to bars and restaurants. Often the desirability of such properties is matched by the cost; rarely are such places the cheapest option. As such, people who choose to move in, whether as owners or tenants, tend to be those with a decent income.
One would think that such people really do have the flexibility to live wherever they wish One would think that such people really do have the flexibility to live wherever they wish – the more money you have, the greater the number of options that are open to you. As most people are aware, the availability of decent housing in the UK is an issue that is becoming ever more pressing due in part to the rising population, and the increasing number of single occupancy households. By and large, I am inclined to see the increase in the number of city centre homes as a positive thing. The development of brownfield sites is always going to be less controversial than expansion into the countryside, and the conversion of otherwise empty and derelict former factories into homes helps to keep cities thriving. Also, as a keen cyclist, I would suggest that having more homes within the city and within reach of all amenities should hopefully reduce the reliance on cars. The other side of the coin is that bars, restaurants and venues all contribute to a thriving, vibrant city. Places such as Firebug, the Musician and the Crumblin’ Cookie have all contributed substantially to making Leicester a nicer, better place to live. As an example, imagine the High Street without places such as the aforementioned Cookie and the Orange Tree. The footfall to the High Street in the evening would be greatly reduced without these fantastic establishments. All of the above venues regularly put on live music and enable the people of Leicester to see bands and artists that they might otherwise have to travel
elsewhere to see. As another venue manager told me, the night-time economy is becoming increasingly important to Leicester and other cities across the country, due in part to the increasing competition to high street shops from online retailers. We humans are social creatures, and will always have the need to meet up with acquaintances and friends over a coffee or a pint; and music is an integral part of this experience to many of us. People may be surprised, but there is no single piece of legislation that covers issues relating to noise nuisance. Some useful guidance can be found on at http://www.environmentlaw.org.uk. for those who want to learn more. When complaints are made, it is up to individual councils’ Environmental Health departments to decide what is to be done.
We humans are social creatures, and will always have the need to meet up with acquaintances and friends over a coffee or a pint; and music is an integral part of this experience So, what’s the solution? One venue manager referred to the suggestion made on the Night & Day website recommending the approach taken in Australia – the Government there are now working to implement the Agent of Change planning principle, which means in an area with a long-standing music venue, new residents must pay for sound proofing, but if the music venue opens in an existing residential area, they must pay to soundproof their venue. Certainly, it would be helpful if some level of soundproofing and insulation was a legal prerequisite to the redevelopment and construction of city centre residences. In addition to this, I would like to suggest that having national guidelines, based on the principles of common sense and reasonableness, would enable a consistent approach to be taken by Environmental Health departments across the country. To give an example, no reasonable person minds their neighbours having the occasional party, though playing music loud and late on a regular basis (especially on a school night!) would not go down particularly well. I recall a party held by former neighbours of mine: Picture the scene; I arrived home on a Friday evening, to hear them ‘singing’ along to the Grease soundtrack, then one of them staggering along the corridor, banging into the adjoining wall, and vomiting loudly. I wasn’t annoyed with this; on the contrary, I found the whole thing hilarious. Had this been on a weekly basis, and on a weeknight, this would be a different matter. My current neighbours for their part seem to take the music from our house, including my partner’s bass practice, with good grace. Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours. Please, be a good neighbour too. For more information about the Night & Day petition, visit: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/manchester-citycouncil-to-remove-our-statutory-nuisance-abatement-notice
Words: Becca Lunn Illustration: Imogen Scoppie
After a crazy tour around the UK, Martyr Defiled are showing the world of death metal just how hard they can pack a punch. I caught up with Matt Jones, the lead singer, in Derby to talk about their new album and shooting the video for Demons In The Mist. So how would you describe your live performance? “Lots of energy, we’re an all-over-the-stage sort of band, we’re don’t stand still, we like to move about and get involved and get the crowd involved. We like to have a bit of showmanship, not rock star like, but also a bit of realness.” Do you have a favourite song to play live at the moment? “Yes, our new one, it’s called 616, it’s off the album and we tried it out on the past tour. I’ve got to mosh myself when I play it, I love it, I can’t stand still to my own tune! It’s one of the heaviest songs that we’ve ever done, it’s ridiculous, it’s got so much groove as well. I’m excited for people to hear it in a live environment and see what people think.” Your album, No Hope, No Morality, is coming out at the end of April, what can people expect? “We’ve had a really good long time to decide what we want and want we don’t. We actually wrote two albums; we had 30 to 40 songs when it came down to deciding what we were gonna go in the studio with, so we had a really, really good selection of tunes to pick from and I think it’s really strong.
been tough? “We had a new guitarist half way through the writing process and he wrote a vast majority of what has come to be on the album. When we wrote the first set of songs for this album it was a very different vibe to what it’s come out sounding like. It wasn’t really as ‘us’ as it could have been. Infidels was one of the songs that was going to be the lead track for the album, but then Ryan Smith came in and started writing and we were like, ‘no, we like where we’re going with these so let’s carry on writing and see what comes out.’” And I suppose having that different person come in does bring something fresh. “Yeah, definitely. Ryan is a very, very talented guitarist and songwriter, his composition is insane. A lot of the songs we had, Ryan actually re-wrote and they became the songs we wanted to have on the album. It’s not to slight on Dave Trees, Dave is an incredibly talented guitarist as well and a gifted songwriter. Those two together, have created the album how it should be.”
“I’ve got to mosh myself when I play it, I love it, I can’t stand still to my own tune! It’s one of the heaviest songs that we’ve ever done, it’s ridiculous.”
“It’s got a lot of variety, there’s some stuff in there we haven’t done before, other stuff we have done before, but we’re doing better. The album is that strong that when we had to pick a single the five of us picked five different songs. We had to have someone else come in and pick the song for us - there were fights, it got crazy!”
How do you narrow down that many songs, it must have
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And what’s the inspiration behind this album, what are you trying to put across? “Lyrically, it’s a bit different. Our first album is very Orwellian and dystopian and about the political system, but I feel like I’ve said everything I need to on that subject. “The idea of No Hope, No Morality is if you look at religions and the idea of original sin and consider that even if you say The Lord’s Prayer a million times, then you’re still going to go to hell based on the old testament of Christianity. If you have that mentality, no matter whatever you do to try and
The video for your new song, Demons In The Mist is so intense! What was the shoot like? “It was cold! When we finished the shoot and started picking up all the smoke bombs we had used, we had a look on the label and it said ‘under no circumstances inhale the smoke’ and we’d been breathing like lung-fulls of it! I was coughing up blue stuff for weeks!
be a good person, you’re never going to be as good as the standard you’re setting yourself. “If you have no hope then why would you have an ethical standpoint or a high moral ground or any morality in yourself? If you can’t win, why would you try? And that sort of paranoia and the idea of hell and going to hell even though you’ve tried not to are the type of things I was interested in portraying through the album. It’s an album with a concept, but it’s not a concept album.”
“We had to have someone else come in and pick the song for us there were fights, it got crazy!”
“And then, during the night shoot we had this actor with a bag on his head - he was a trooper. It was about -5C at 2am in an airfield in Lincoln and he was topless, covering himself in mud for the purposes of the video shoot and I was like ‘Dude, I am so not jealous of you right now!’”
Is this something you’ve always thought about, or did you research it after your last album? “It’s something I’ve always been very interested in. I’m interested in sociology and the way the human mind works and how different people deal with that. I’m not a dude that has any sociological or mental disorder, but it really does interest me. I like reading up on it and looking at case studies and it’s something that I’ve spent a lot of time on. Therefore I feel like I have the knowledge to know what I’m talking about.”
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So what’s next? Well we’re currently looking at festivals, some more tours and then writing album number three.
Words: Sophie Sparham
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Ellie, Joel, Joff and Theo are Wolf Alice. They’re tipped as the future of rock by several publications, have just finished touring with the Manic Street Preachers, and are no relation to Wolf Mother, Wolf Eyes or The Wolf Of Wall Street. The Monograph’s Becca Bryers spoke to them. The last 12 months have been particularly amazing for you - what’s been the most significant change to your lives in the last year? “Joff and Theo now share a house, actually the same room in the same house. Also, we signed a record deal so making the album we want to make has become a reality.”
You have a female lead singer, you’re named after a story by feminist writer Angela Carter - is this significant to you? “Feminism as a concept is greatly significant to us personally, we all have mothers and hopefully aren’t ignorant, however it’s not something were trying to involve in the songs themselves.”
You’ve supported the likes of Swim Deep and now the Manic Street Preachers, but also hit the festivals and done your own tour recently - any highlights? What do you take away from the different experiences? “The Swim Deep tour felt like a significant shift for us. We kind of realised we were getting better as a live band. We’re all pals and they have an amazing set of fans, probably the most devoted we have come across. It’s been a while since a headline show and that’s obviously where any band thrives, we have so much new material, we can’t wait for people to hear it.”
The videos for Blush and She both feature the same crossdressing guy - what was the thinking behind this? Will it be an on-going theme? “The interlinking videos are basically a very literal translation of the lyrics within the songs. We wanted it to be one long video including both songs but had to separate them, we’re big narrative based fans.”
Who’s been the most receptive audience? How did you find Leicester? “Last time we were there it was great, we even gained our own sound engineer, Andy “the legend of Leicester”. The kids seem to be well up for it and our show at the Cookie Jar has sold out. It changes each night.” Do you enjoy life on the road? “Yeah for sure. There are times when you’ve been nomadic for a month and you need your mum, but there’s nothing better than good mosh pits and new cities.” Your songs are an eclectic mix - from folksy to grunge - are you intentionally avoiding being pigeonholed? “No. We just have such a varied pool of influences, we like to think we have a distinct sound that people know it’s us, were not tying to keep people guessing.” How do you go about putting a song together - does the sound or lyrics come first? Is it usually a collaboration? “We have no set songwriting style, things can be born out of a melody or riff. Sometimes we will rehearse with a fully formed idea or jam and come up with something original.” You’ve covered Katy Perry for NME - do you find inspiration from artists who sound nothing like you? “Yes we’re all massive fans of good pop music! Our iTunes playlist spans from Rammstein to Katy Perry.”
The NME has labelled you ‘the future of British music’ - and Ellie was pictured on the cover, right next to Jake Bugg. Does the future look bright for British music from where you’re standing? “If you look in the right places then the future of British music has the capacity to be amazing, there is a plethora of great young bands at the moment that deserve some limelight.” Hype Machine and 6Music’s Tom Robinson have just declared you the most blogged about band in the UK this year! How influential do you think the internet been in your success so far? Do you take much notice of what’s written about the band? “The internet is a necessary component of a young band’s early days. It’s massively flattering to get any blog attention at all, initially we read a lot of reviews and were intrigued by all the comments. With time we have learnt that’s a bit dull as it can affect the way you do things, it’s best to go with your gut and not worry about stuff. We started as a band that gigged as much as possible. That’s something the internet won’t be able to replace.” And after an amazing year, what does 2014 still have to hold? When can we expect an album? “There will be new music coming imminently. We aim to record the album in the summertime but aren’t 100% certain of to its release date. We’re not gonna disappear, there will be plenty of new vibes.” Words: Becca Bryers Photo: Scott Choucino
HANDMADE2014 A TOTALLY AWESOME MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL IN LEICESTER
Well, it’s about to happen for the second year, Handmade Festival is back! It’s definitely something to shout about, so we’ve put together a few pages as a little teaser! Over the weekend of 2nd to the 4th of May, we’ll see over one hundred acts hit the city of Leicester for the three day event, and not just any acts, bloody good ones! From music, comedy, art and performance pieces we’ll see huge influx of creative bodies in the city. Shonen Knife, Dry The River, FTSE, Three Trapped Tigers, Charlotte Carpenter, Tellison, Tangled Hair, iLiKETRAiNS and many more I can’t be bothered to write out will be here.
The festival isn’t presented in the traditional format of a festival. You won’t be camping, you won’t be getting overly muddy, and you won’t be seeing anyone doing things they shouldn’t through a fence first thing in the morning (hopefully). You will, however, get to see some wicked bands, in some amazing venues, with beer that isn’t bought through a + bloomin’ token system! I know, I know, ‘surely SILENT DISCO AFTER PARTY this awesome festival is way too awesome to be affordable?
PLUS MORE ART, MUSIC, FILM, COMEDY &
So where is Handmade taking place? Well the curators ofPHOTOGRAPHY ’ Well you’d be wrong! I’ve just worked outTHREE the bang for ACROSS ALL DAYS the festival are based at Leicester’s own Firebug Bar, and your buck, (drum roll....................) have been putting on shows for over a decade working Less than 30p an act! BOOM! with the bar, and they’ve worked pretty much non-stop over the years to put on bigger and better shows. These Check out the full line up online at into White Noise Festival, which has FRIEND HANDMADEFESTIVAL.co.uk! FOLLOWshows US ONaccumulated TWITTER @HANDMADETOTALLY BE OUR ON FACEBOOK /HANDMADEFESTIVALLEICESTER now evolved into Handmade. Not only is Firebug involved, but The Crumblin’ Cookie, St Martins Coffee and plenty of Words: Mark Lisle local promotion teams. Oh and one super cool magazine! (SHAMELESS PLUG) We’ve managed to have a quick chat with one of the headliners the legendary Shonen Knife.
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We also got hold of Headliner’s Shonen Knife’s new album - Overdrive ahead of it’s release date. Here’s our review:
Words: Alex Scoppie
20 albums down the line, and Japan’s greatest girl band show no sign of slowing down, growing up or changing course, which if you’re a fan is great news, and if you’ve never seen what all the fuss about, well good luck to you.
The crunchy, toe-tapping Bad Luck Song is a perfect start – spunky and punky yet with a sweet, philosophical edge that elevates it to something approaching profundity, even if does sound suspiciously similar to The Boys Are Back In Town. The sudden note of seriousness from Black Crow with its night terrors and tone of anxiety is unexpected, but the Knife slip straight back into pop mode with the hedonistic, guilt-free Dance To The Rock.
There follows songs about shopping (Shopping), fortune cookies (Fortune Cookie) and green tea (Green Tea), as well as the obligatory song about cats (Like A Cat). Simple? Undoubtedly. Maddeningly infectious? Unquestionably. Their detractors accuse them of being formulaic, but when that formula is so perfect, why change it? When the girls do attempt to mix things up it doesn’t quite work; Robots From Hell plods rather than menaces, as does the aforementioned Black Crow.
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PM fact is, if a handful of& greasy young haircuts came up with an album half as unpretentious, catchy and likeable as Overdrive 9The SUN-THU 7PM FRI/SAT
they’d be hailed by every blog and DJ in the land as the reincarnation of Sid Vicious. There’s a reason Naoko and Co are still selling records and tickets by the truckload, stick Overdrive on and it becomes abundantly clear.
@FIREBUGBAR | FACEBOOK.COM/FIREBUGBAR
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SHONEN KNIFE unk pop goddess Naoko Yamano formed a band in 1981 in Osaka, before most P Monograph readers (and writers, come to that) were born. She sang and played guitar while her sister played drums and their friend played bass. Three decades, 20 albums and more than 900 gigs later (some of which saw them supporting one of their biggest fans and his band, a Mr K. Cobain) that band, Shonen Knife, are widely, and correctly, regarded as one of the greatest punk acts of all time. The Monograph’s Alex Scoppie spoke to Naoko exclusively in the run-up to their headlining slot at Leicester’s Handmade Festival. Monograph: Thank you for headlining Handmade in Leicester! You must have played dozens of festivals which is your favourite festival in the whole world? Naoko: It’s very hard to choose one. My first big music festival which I played was Reading Festival. Then I’ve ever played at Lollapalooza, Big Day Out in ‘90’s. They were nice. In these few years, I played at ATP. It was fun, too. Fuji Rock Festival in Japan is wonderful, too. I also like small festivals. I like to play at Anime festival, too. But I think Hand Made Festival in Leicester might become the best one!
It’s a beautiful town and people there were so kind. The audience in Leicester is so cool! I also like the beautiful scenery. M: You will soon be playing your 1,000th gig - will you be doing anything special to celebrate? N: Hmmm. Please let me know your idea. I would like to do something special. Anyway, I like to eat delicious cake after 1000th show. M: You have inspired countless bands over the years. Which bands or musicians inspire you at the moment? N: I’m inspired by 70s rock and hard rock bands, which is theme of our new album Overdrive. For example, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, Boston, Judas Priest, Bad Company, like that. 70s rock music is very fresh for me. I didn’t listen them when I was very young because I liked punk pop bands like Ramones and Buzzcocks at that time but now I became to know how they are great.
M: With 20 albums to your name, how do you remember all your many songs, and have you ever forgotten how to play any of them? N: I can play all my songs. I sometimes forget the constitution of the song. M: After 33 years you still seem to still be having fun with music. How do you keep it fun? N: I never look back and am looking just forward. I forget past soon. It’s the key. M: You last played in Leicester less than two years ago, at The Musician. What are your memories of that gig? N: I’m sure that we’ve played in Leicester in 2010 and 2012.
M: We look forward to seeing you soon at Handmade Festival. N: Yeah! Thank you so much!
Words: Alex Scoppie Photos: Selfies from Shonen Knife
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MANIC STREET PREACHERS @ De Montfort Hall, Leicester 31/03/14 Words: Charles Joe Gray / Photo: Josh Rai highlights that get the crowd, which consists of folk from all ages, bouncing around the hall and singing back every word.
There was a touching moment during You Love Us when Nicky Wire catches the projector showing footage of himself and Richey Edwards in a huge embrace that brings a colossal smile stretching as wide as De Montfort Hall to his face.
A mid-set acoustic slot for Bradfield to perform From Despair To Where provides a more intimate moment, but it’s when the entire band are together and the lighting and projections are put to full use that the songs are taken to new heights.
Wire turns back to the crowd, nails a quick star jump and carries on with the song. Tonight’s gig is epitomised by this moment.
Elsewhere, the projections show footage of the miners’ strike over the vindictive 30-Year War, a standout from their previous album and probable indicator of where they intend to go next, and a pensioner in a bingo hall over Rewind The Film, which, despite missing the crooning vocals of Richard Hawley, is delivered with all of its poignancy intact.
Their current tour comes with the promise of a new album, from which the Manic Street Preachers play a couple of new tracks. It also marks the twentieth anniversary of The Holy Bible, the band’s brutally visceral magnum opus. Once the projector has played an introductory video over David Bowie’s A New Career In A New Town the band stroll on to the stage and break straight into a thunderous Faster. It’s a surreal start to the show but one that sets us up perfectly.
Revered for their ability to mix politically conscious lyrics with phenomenal tunes, the likes of Motorcycle Emptiness and set closer A Design For Life, are the sort of songs that bring an entire crowd together in their strife.
21 songs stretching across their long and illustrious career are strewn out and effortlessly fluctuated between, no matter how great the divide in style. Their ability to go from the lush acoustics of This Sullen Welsh Heart to the brooding Archives Of Pain without batting an eyelid is a feat not many bands could pull off. The new songs fit right in with their other material; Europa Geht Durch Mich is built around a krautrock rhythm and sees James Dean Bradfield singing in German, while title track Futurology has a more traditional arrangement and features Nicky on chorus duties. As for the hits, they come in abundance. If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next, You Stole The Sun From My Heart and The Masses Against The Classes are just a few
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“People come for a good night out and you have to bring politics in to it,” says James after a heckler shouts “Bloody Conservatives!” With a smirk he adds, “When have we ever done that?” The Manic Street Preachers provided gig-goers with more than a good night tonight. It was an all-in-this-together atmosphere and a reassurance that they are as vital today as a three piece of 40-somethings than they were 20 years ago as four Welsh lads taking on the world with their instruments, lyrics and wardrobes. Spindly jackets and feather boas may have been tuned down tonight to Nicky’s simple sailor suit but the Manics’ message and music remains as rousing and essential as ever.
ROYAL BLOOD @ The Musician, Leicester 17/02/14 Words: Mark Lisle Photo: Josh Rai So I’d heard tons about this band. Zane Lowe first introduced me to them, days later the rest of the British radio industry started playing them, and they were everywhere within a week. I did my research, and it looked like they only had two songs, Out of The Black and Little Monster, so I was very intrigued to see what their live set could offer. First up were Tiger Club, who reminded me a weird mix of Pixies, Nirvana and Weezer. They used a nice array of effects, the performance was tight, a little lack of movement and interaction, but all in all, nice sounds. Nothing amazing, but still a good supporting act, plus I did learn later on that they’re all named Chris, so that’s a fun fact. Royal Blood came on, relaxed, casual and with a stage presence mirrored from their music videos. Mike on the left, and Ben on the right, low lighting and a few spotlights. For just two guys, they don’t half make a loud noise too. They make simple and powerful tracks, with just of a bass guitar and a drum kit. Mike plays the bass in a way that completely surprised me from the off. I think the only way to
BONG + GUILTY PARENTS + PROPHETS OF SATURN @ Stuck on a Name Studios, Nottingham 01/02/14 Words: Jessamyn Witthaus Approaching a recording studio tucked into a dark and unassuming alleyway, had I truly entered the dark side, or would my wanderings prove worth it? First up are Leicester locals Prophets of Saturn, looking right at home in the somewhat bleak surroundings of the rehearsal space. Distortion almost hides the complexity of their music, just off the mark of metal and not quite melodic enough to dance to. It’s 60s rock for the discerning stoner. The bassist seems to have checked out completely, occasionally sitting down and then switching instruments haphazardly. A few concerned glances between frontman and guitarist, but they power through. The guitarist seems to work overtime, leaving the frontman to croon away as if summoned there from a psychedelic time bubble. Next are Guilty Parents, consisting of just drums and electric guitar. They make one hell of a noise for a twosome, and their own brand of punkish screamo is sharp and visceral. They’re clearly on point and in sync, but to me this is music that normally provokes a physical response, mosh pits and the like, and the crowd are barely moving. They’re definitely listening, and in a perceptive way, but I wonder if it’s the band or the crowd that are out of place in this situation.
describe the style is lead bass; he plays it like a lead guitarist, whilst keeping the rhythm and rolling low end that the bass is traditionally meant for, I was really taken aback by his skill and vision. Ben showed timing perfection on the drums, and the composition of their unreleased tracks used the lack of other musicians brilliantly, emphasising silence and that “wait for it” moment we all want from a live gig. The crowd really got going when Out Of The Black came on. Let’s just say the room got very sweaty, very fast. On a final note, GET THE ALBUM WHEN IT COMES OUT!
Nothing quite prepares me for the headline act, Bong, hailing from deepest, darkest Newcastle. They seem to have quite the following, and are fresh from a gig in Bristol the previous evening. In a crypt, no less. The lights dim, and the crowd gathers. Their logo appears projected on a wall, in front of blackness and tiny pinpricks of stars that seem to be moving ever so slightly, but I could be wrong. The crowd is utterly silent, and the band is almost in complete shadow. Chilling vocals begin their set, old fashioned and almost cult like chants, not even words. Then, they begin, or I think they do. They don’t play separate songs; instead, what follows is a 45 minute piece that takes almost a quarter of that for the drums to kick in. I feel like I’ve been dropped in the primordial soup, and told to deal with it. What starts off haunting, begins to gather pace and heaviness as they continue. The audience stands, sways slightly, enraptured. I question the merit of this kind of music if you’re not under the influence of more than alcohol, but in my professional capacity, I still find myself drawn in. There’s something old-fashioned about their melodies, neither grunge nor classical nor heavy enough to be metal. Their genre of psychedelic doom seems just about the only appropriate pigeonhole. As they finish and the lights come up, I feel like I’ve been set back down to earth with a bump. It’s not often I see music that truly transports me somewhere else, and as challenging as these guys might be to listen to, they’re definitely something other-worldly, in a good way.
imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it’s safe to say they worship at the altar of Nick Cave and Tom Waits. However, the presence of so many musicians on stage, and instruments ranging from a baritone saxophone wielded by what looks like Dita Von Teese’s long lost cousin to a washboard with a painted cat’s face on it, almost all of the gravitas is taken away. Despite their collective musical ability, and dedication to putting on a real show, costumes and all, something about this band falls short of the mark. The actual content of their songs may be the issue, more cabaret than Cash-esque heartache. Popular on the festival circuit, I get the feeling they may be better suited to the tents and other-worldly atmosphere found there, rather than a regular venue like this. However, this doesn’t stop them putting on a damn good show. They clearly have a staunch following, with the audience dressed up in co-ordination with the band. Apparently neither party seems to be running out of steam, and a new album titled Love, Drink and Death can be expected in 2014.
THE URBAN VOODOO MACHINE @ The Donkey, Leicester 14/02/14 Words: Jessamyn Witthaus If the purpose of Valentine’s Day is to bring people closer together, The Donkey certainly appears to be happy to help this evening. It’s a sold out show, and the venue is packed to the rafters. As we wait not-so-patiently for the stage to be graced by The Urban Voodoo Machine, I wonder if their selfdescribed “bourbon soaked gypsy blues” has waylaid them at a party we’re all missing out on. At last, the band makes their way through the crowd and onto the stage, dressed like bleeding hearts in red and black. One of their two drummers is covered in body paint that gives the impression of a cross between Frankenstein and Sulley from Monsters Inc. In the midst of my confusion, they begin. Their frontman stumbles about, lurching into the first of many songs bemoaning love, life and the perils of drink. If
MATT HENSHAW EP LAUNCH @ The Cookie, Leicester 21/03/14 Words: Jessamyn Witthaus Photo: CharlieEvansDesign
Matt Henshaw is someone I have been keeping an eye on for a while, as well as recently having the pleasure of interviewing. It was already apparent he was taking Leicester by storm with his own brand of good-for-thesoul acoustic rock, and judging by the gathering crowd here for the launch of his solo EP, word has spread. He has enlisted some equally compelling support acts, two of them eerily young and self-assured. Matt Zara is simply an instrumental virtuoso, reeling off technically adept covers of Englishman in New York and Billie Jean with a bit of “guitar drumming” thrown in for good measure. Ellie Rosa-Leigh Simmons adds some ethereal vocals and song-writing talent to the equation, bringing to life teenage angst with the diffused light of an Instagram filter. James Byron is last up, and breaks the mould with his spoon-bending soulful vocal abilities and discernibly rougher handling of both subject matter and style. Henshaw himself finally takes to the stage, and although he may not be breaking moulds in terms of his very clear influences and emulations, he is certainly the consummate showman. It’s foot stomping, hand clapping acoustic soul he’s going for, with no irony in the lyrical content of songs such as In The Presence of the Lord. He takes the promotional opportunities of the evening in his stride,
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hashtags and product placement seeming almost second nature. He requests the audience to make use of his copies of EPs for growing seedlings if they don’t deign to actually listening to them. I remarked on his determined nature when I interviewed him, and I clearly wasn’t wrong. Instrumentally and vocally, it’s pretty much what you see is what you get. It may not be shivers up your spine remarkable stuff, but it’s certainly backed up by genuine feeling. This is particularly noticeable in the case of It Ain’t Easy, the title track. His real genius seems to lie in his marketing, both of his music and his wholesome lifestyle aesthetic. I’m still yet to make up my mind if this is good, old-fashioned savvy promotion and catchy material, or more of the contagious variety, but I came away feeling that I had definitely enjoyed my evening.
SPOTLIGHT KID @ Lock 42, Leicester 29/03/14 Words: Alex Scoppie Photo: Alex Scoppie Spotlight Kid have a lot to prove – after the miraculous awakening of My Bloody Valentine from their collective coma with the release of mbv, the Nottingham noiseniks are no longer the hottest things in shoegaze since Slowdive spontaneously combusted. Luckily, their third devastating album, Ten Thousand Hours (reviewed elsewhere in this issue) guides their chosen genre onto a more intriguing, stratospheric trajectory (hatgaze?) and tonight they’re proud to show it off – in fact their first seven tracks follow the new record’s tracklist rigidly. Their swagger is justified, drummer Chris Davis propelling each track irresistibly forward, while guitarists Rob McCleary and Karl Skivington don’t so much build a wall of sound as drop a fully built house of sound onto the venue via a tornado. Elfin singer Katty Heath, with her sultry, dreamy tones
wisely doesn’t dominate, her voice existing as another instrument on the scathing Minor Character and the imperious strut of Bright Eyes, and co-existing to glorious effect with Rob’s vocals on the sky-bound toboggan ride of Can’t Let Go. As well as technical skill and arresting songwriting, they even display that rarest of attributes, a sense of humour, when Katty herself shrugs off a setlist slip-up with a dismissive, “It all sounds the same anyway.” It does – loud and heavenly.
BY THE RIVERS + THE DAYDREAM CLUB
number ‘The Ballad of Stingy Jack’ bringing the set’s end to rapturous applause.
@ The Soundhouse, Leicester 22/02/14
The Daydream Club are a band with a reputation for well-thought out folk with beautiful harmonies, melody and an ear for strong arrangements. They didn’t disappoint, coming on stage to a packed crowd and instantly engaging with them. There is a strong and clear connection between Adam Pickering and Paula Walker as the music sits perfectly in sync. The use of Paula’s modest drum setup of in the song ‘Soundwaves of Gold’ gave more gravitas to the sound and the two-piece won over the crowd with ’Little Face’ in which they got the audience singing as it steadily built into an awakening ending. They finish with ‘Found’, probably their strongest song on show tonight.
Words: Greg Poole There was a wave of anticipation flowing through The Soundhouse ahead of By The River’s sold out show. It would take something special for a band stripped down to their bare basics to cause this level of hysteria, but to the people of Leicester, these local boys are exactly that. After a manic 2013, the city’s biggest musical output since Kasabian came to Southampton Street for a special homecoming show to wrap up their acoustic tour, where they’ve swapped their brass-backed, high-tempo reggae for a more simple approach of just acoustic guitars and a melodica. Starting proceedings were four-piece folk Careen who gave an upbeat and positive set. The harmonies between recently married and leaders of the group Sam and Martha McKenzie were a focal point of the sound, bringing the songs together in unison. Careen got through an eight song set, which included a cover of a Maroon 5 number ‘One More Night’, but the real highlight was ‘Rise and Fall’ which gave the group another dimension. A perfect start to the night. With the crowd now building steadily to capacity it was the turn of The Brandy Thieves, a band that bring elements of punk, ska and gypsy folk with assertive energy. Frontwoman Andrea Kenny carries the songs with her amazingly powerful and attacking vocal for someone so petite and Cain Barriskill’s complex basslines keeps the set moving at a frenetic pace. There was a slight limitation to the set with the band missing their trumpet and backing vocalist for tonight’s show and it did tell despite the band acquiring an added guitarist. “Pressure’ fitted the mood of the gig nicely with its heavy ska influence and the band also introduced a new song to the set which showed promise. Overall, a tight and commanding performance with the band’s last
With the suspense nicely set up with some well-known reggae By The Rivers took to the stage, the Soundhouse was ready for the main event. The three members soon got the crowd bouncing and swaying with early classics such as ‘You Got It Wrong’ and ‘Don’t Stand. The use of three-part harmonies throughout the set are a joy to hear and give the songs a new lease of life stripped back with all three complimenting each other and sounding effortless in the same breath. The widening grins of By the Rivers’ faces throughout tell you that the boy’s are delighted to see Leicester come out for them. Highlights of the set include ‘This Love’ and ‘Run Home’ off their debut album which gets the audience participating with hands aloft clapping and bodies as one swaying. We reach the end of the set with the band launching into an inspired cover of Ini Kamoze ‘World of Reggae’ with white light immersing the stage to leave a statement of intent that the boy wonder’s of Leicester firmly know where their roots lie and whether it’s the full band or acoustically, they are well on course for another big year.
MR PLOW Not the Beginning, Not the End Words: Glyn Allen Three albums in and strangeness is afoot in the Plow camp; not quite a dubstep reinvention but damn - some of these songs are almost cheerful! Satan Wandered In beautifully sets the tone with by-now-familiar religious imagery and some warm gospel overtones courtesy of Sarah Bird. A more mournful slide guitar feel slides us temporarily back to earth on Dwight’s Roadside Grave. “Threw that body down a ditch by the roadside”; a ne’er-do-well meets an unpleasant comeuppance to no-one’s upset. The pace picks up again with distorted vocals on Bo Diddley Memorial Blues and the jaunty fun of Jesus Loves Monster Trucks; “I drive a monster truck for Jesus every night,” Mr Plow deadpans, clearly having fun with the concept of tonguein-cheek country tuneage.
SPOTLIGHT KID Ten Thousand Hours Words: Becca Lunn The third album from these Nottingham shoegazers, Ten Thousand Hours is an expansive, layered affair that rewards the listener with new snippets and discoveries following repeated listens. Opening with the brief title track entrée, the album crashes in with Sugar Pills, a gorgeous, swirly technicolour, reminiscent of Ride and Ultraviolet era All About Eve – the drum crashes recalling one of the former band’s high points, Leave Them All Behind. A Minor Character follows, with the fuzziness of the Mary Chain and a hint of New Order in the woozy, melodic bass, underpinned by the pop sensibility of both bands. I’ll Do Anything meanwhile, is a jangly beauty; regardless of the time of year, this song is guaranteed to make the sun shine.
Bag of Bones is a charming, mid-paced number filled with regret and sadness which sits perfectly halfway through the album, before Theme From Johnny Ng ups the tempo once more with some sweet licks to the fore from Plow’s guitar, followed by the sparse arrangements of Cotton Gin Baby which features the most delicate of percussion. Columbian Cowboy’s Roundup Time rides in (literally) like a close relative of Wandrin’ Star with clippety-cloppety equine hooves grooves as a metronomic backing, whilst The Children and the River continues the twangy, Duane Eddy-esque guitar sound to be found throughout. Lonely Cold Waltz ends the album beautifully, encompassing all of the sparse beauty of this record in one song. Whilst never reinventing the (wagon) wheel at any point, this is arguably Plow’s most accomplished work to date. He has a deft ear for light and shade and also a genuine love of the genre without descending into cliché, which can so often happen when referencing back to what can sometimes be a conservative style of music.
Can’t Let Go feels like the collaboration that never happened between the Dandy Warhols and Stereolab. It simultaneously glides and pulsates, and is the song most likely to get you on the dancefloor. Hold On is more darkly electronic, with fragments of vocals in place of a formal lyric structure. Some of the textures on Ten Thousand Hours recall songwriter and drummer Chris Davis’ underrated former band Six By Seven, and the last two songs Bright Eyes and Disaster Tourist in particular, though overall there is a considerable distinction between the two bands. Another word that comes to mind throughout this album is lush – in terms of the textures and the early 90s 4AD band. This is particularly so on Budge Up, with vocals that recall the harmonies of Berenyi and Anderson, with a nod towards Elizabeth Fraser too. Overall, this is the sound of a band gaining in confidence, and hopefully gaining in terms of their audience too.
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bonus. Her early single Harder slots perfectly in place, and is perhaps the darkest track on here.
ELIZABETH CORNISH Displaced Words: Alex Scoppie Composed over six years and packed full of songs which should be miserable but thanks to their spacious production and Cornish’s tender, tremulous tones come across as warm and hopeful, Displaced is an album about endurance, that is anything but an endurance test to listen to. Cornish’s meticulous songwriting craft shines through on practically every track, and though her vocal range is never overly tested she expresses herself directly and earnestly with conversational tones rather than warbling acrobatics. The title track, a lilting, dreamy train of thought about being out of place and happy with it, is of course meant to sum up the album succinctly, the fact it does so breezily is a welcome
Been A Long Time paces patiently, and perfectly, spinning the yarn of soulmates who have fallen on hard times and miss each other’s company. Another stand-out, Folds, uses stabbing echoes to build a solid wall of sound that is torn down all too soon. There are a couple of miss-steps - Miss You overstays its welcome, while Saint sounds slightly half-baked - but Elizabeth rallies in time for the finale, Above Ground’s heartfelt howls signalling catharsis, and the last kiss-off, Not As Strong, mixes gossamer light guitar with heavy, confrontational lyrics about survival and success. A deep, rewarding debut album then, with enough twists, hooks, plaintive cries and thoughtful musings to constantly engage and sympathise with its embattled heroine. Here’s hoping her next one comes along soon.
instruments and effects provide a sumptuous counterpoint for Tom’s mournful howls, and indeed Navigator sees their work pushed to the foreground more than ever, particularly on the slippery, shifting title track, and the wordless Whale Fall.
HER NAME IS CALLA Navigator Words: Alex Scoppie 2010’s beauteous yet mournful The Quiet Lamb ended with a triptych from these retro sonic adventurers so devastating one wondered where they could go next. As it turns out, the Her Name Is Calla seem to have retreated from the vast, panoramic vistas of their previous effort to inhabit bizarre dreams and nightmares. Navigator starts with singer Tom Morris merrily riding a nightingale and quickly gets darker, the edgy bass throb of The Roots Run Deep twisting around a bitter descent into hermitage, while Ragman Roll’s piano swells carry him downstream toward madness, his final cry of “You rush the stage” either a cry of fear or a plea for help – it’s hard to tell. As ever, the sumptuous orchestration provided by Sophie Green’s violin and Adam “Weikie” Weikert’s arsenal of
The night terrors continue on the sparse, delicate It Was Flood, a lovers’ embrace becoming a suffocating cell as Tom mutters “We were holding each other tight / Until our spines cracked.” Things get even bleaker on Dreamlands, a feverish tumble through spectral effects and nursery rhymes about torture. As arduous as it all sounds, Navigator is actually their most accessible work to date, helped by sudden shifts in tone and mood, some mesmerising melodies and at times, particularly on the balls-out rock of Meridian Arc and the confessional Burial, a lightness of touch. The final, lush moment of awakening, Perfect Prime sees the band emerging, blinking in the light of a new day, refreshed, reborn and no-doubt swearing never again to eat so much cheese in one sitting.
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SLOWRAIDERS Red Lanes
electronica kicks in as we approach the more upbeat Fire Damage.
Words: James Baron I feel like this is should have been made for a deleted scene in Tron where Jeff Bridges starts to seduce Lora but with a touch of Sin City tension thrown in for good measure. I love it! Getting further into the second half of the album though, I felt a little let down and over teased. Let’s call it musical blue balls.
I seem to have had this restless feeling in the pit of my stomach for some new downbeat music, being a fan of Explosions In The Sky, Sigur Ros, and Mogwai, and straight away Derby drone-core outfit Slowraiders are going into my ‘Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ playlist. Red Lanes, which has just been released on Soundcloud is described as a cozy 53 minutes. I totally agree. It’s the type of music that could easily be described as a soundscape, but to me it’s just a simple way of mellowing the mind. The opening track Daylight is great slow builder that introduces us to the style of production. Hints of the 28 Days Later soundtrack are what I pick up on, and then the
Dead Energy had some teasing dub/D’n’B moments, but nothing really hit me as I was expecting. The production of the album is great, even though it’s totally un-mastered, and all the ideas are there, it just seems like there isn’t an endgame to it. Hopefully Slowraiders are in the stage of finding their sound. With a little more clarity on who they are, I’d certainly look forward to hearing more!
ESCAPE TO NEW YORK A Long Time Between Monsters
SAINT RAYMOND Young Blood
Words: Alex Bowers
Young Blood is the follow up to Saint Raymond’s first EP, Escapade, and once again he manages to write lyrics that are astute and on point, but still with the ubiquitous catchy hook. There’s more of the 80s aesthetic and appropriate drum beats this time, and the music itself seems more urgent and sharp.
A few months have gone by since this Derby band’s first EP, Growing Pains, however in The Monograph camp the excitement surrounding this band and the anticipation to hear more remain. Thing spring instantly into life with It’s a Battlefield, a track that displays confident, accomplished and mature songwriting, switching between beautiful slow building verses reminiscent of Foals, powerful choruses and a fast paced, melodic outro. However, it is on the following track, We Got Some Miles To Go where ETNY really captivate; it’s six minutes of magic and by far the most impressive offering from this EP. The band get everything right with this track; the multi-layered vocals, the stunning instrumental backing, the builds, the drops, the epic vocal chants, all of it comes together perfectly. With that being said, it is on the track, The Adventures of Luke Starkiller where the EP stumbles slightly, demonstrating a more direct rock sound, which doesn’t sit as well as its beautiful and atmospheric neighbouring tracks. Overall though, the delightful guitar and synth based atmospherics, catchy vocal melodies and danceable grooves make A Long Time Between Monsters a record certain to excite, impress and captivate listeners old and new.
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Words: Jessamyn Witthaus
The opening track, Young Blood, is an almost shouty misspent youth anthem, with a great full band sound. Bonfires is more of a straightforward guitar led track, making me imagine what would happen if you put Razorlight and Bombay Bicycle Club into a melting pot. There’s even some clapping and “woah oh’s” thrown in for good measure. Thread has some great light and shade, with an interesting pace to it, and once again a catchy chorus. As We Are Now brings the whole thing to a close rather beautifully, with a guitar line that runs through the whole track like a fibre. As he sings “We will never be as young as we are now”, and refers back to familiar themes across both EP’s, I half hope that some new lyrical inspiration will take hold soon. Compared to his first effort, Saint Raymond seems to have taken the same themes and styles, but distilled them. Considering he has yet to release a full -length album, Saint Raymond is certainly going in the right direction. As the haunting refrain on As We Are Now urges, “stick around”.
rock. Singer Luke Spiller can alternate between a gargling snarl and falsetto yelp in a beat, guitarist Addo Slack’s jangly chords on Matter Of Time owe a mortgage to Nile Rodgers and drummer Gethin Davies is so precise he might actually be a cyborg.
THE STRUTS Kiss This Words: Shaun Phillips Damnit, I really shouldn’t like this. This Derby quartet’s over-sexed, overproduced, glammed-up nitro-indie ticks all the wrong boxes and yet somehow sounds so right, and it’s firmly ensconced in my brain as a guilty pleasure the second lurid, overblown opener Kiss This kicks in. They sound (oh, Christ) like Robbie Williams fronting Queen, and are so sickeningly cynically packaged in leather, haircuts and moronic quotes (“We were born to do this. And we’ll die doing it”) that they’re almost a pastiche - they’re what a Spinal Tap reboot would look and sound like. And yet, their tunes are bubonically infectious, with one foot firmly planted in the pop camp and the other in camp
They’re so ludicrously self-assured they even attempt a balls-out cover of Lorde’s Royals, one of the best pop songs of the last 12 months, and pull it off with a panache and swagger that sacrifices the original’s subtlety and charm, but still succeeds on their own terms. Only the last song, Doin’ Time, a lazily thrown together morning-after confessional, fails to impress, and it brings their rock god fantasy down to earth with a much-needed bump. But still, it was fun while it lasted.
SANTE FE Tremors
over and over again throughout the years, but still Sante Fe are showing that new, younger bands can make this music. For me, I feel the genre is drying up, unless your breaking into weird timing structures or pushing into the direction of simplicity, then it’s hard to reel me in.
Words: Jenny Marshall Tremors, a 3 track EP by Sante Fe, recorded and produced by Dan Lancaster, he’s recorded Mallory Knox and Don Broco, so I’m expecting a lot!
I’m not saying the EP is bad by any means. The fact that I can easily compare Sante Fe to the likes of Reuben and Alkaline Trio means that I do like the music, it’s well played, well-constructed and you can hear the passion. I’ll happily have this playing during my working day. But is it new, is it fresh?
Straight away the track Lost Your Fight gave me a kick, great riffs and a great use of the Loud/Quiet technique. The vocals are bang on, with equally perfected harmonies, by far my favourite from the 3 on offer. The track Faraday’s Curse opens the record up, and immediately you can hear what I imagine is on their Ipods; Reuben, Alkaline Trio, Incubus and a load of other once huge American 90’s rock bands. The EP seems to be a culmination of all the needs of rock record. I feel like I’ve heard this style
I think this would be a great buy for anyone who loves their rock music, it’s exactly what rock fans need. I must have listened to it 3 or 4 times now, and you know what, it’s a grower! Give it a download and see what you think!
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AMBER RUN Spark
KAGOULE Adjust the Way
Words: Alex Bowers
Words: Alex Scoppie
Amber Run could not have a picked a better time to release their latest single, Spark. Over the course of its three and a half minute duration sparkles, glimmers and soars, and it matches the start of the summer perfectly. Spark is full of hope, positivity and optimism. This is wonderfully illustrated by lyrics such as “your life’s about to start and you just can’t wait,” which sit flawlessly alongside beautiful instrumentation. Musically, it focuses on catchy vocal melodies, driving bass lines and four to the floor kick drum patterns, as atmospheric guitar chords chime sublimely next to all three.
Cool and clever Notts indie punks Kagoule are here to get under your skin via your ears and make you dance like a meat puppet. Trust us, it’s nicer than it sounds.
The band have cited Explosions In The Sky and This Will Destroy You as big influences to their sound and this is made particularly evident as the aforementioned vocals, bass lines and kick patterns give way to a spectacular crescendo half way through the track, giving listeners a blissful release from the groove filled verses that came before it. Spark is a track that represents modern and intelligent pop music perfectly. It will make you sing, dance, cheer, and most importantly it provides a meaningful and overall positive escape.
Adjust The Way sets out its store with a chugging, bumpy guitar and bass line before making way for giant guitarist Cai and bassist Lucy going straight for the gullet with spiky, shouty verses. The chorus, about seeing omens and stepping into a heaven of disappointment, is more measured yet still muscular, continuously propelled by drummer Lawrence’s urgent beats. The trio are well-oiled enough for their complex interplay to come across as disposable and easy – don’t be deceived. It’s all sweetly fractious and incessant, before things relax for a leisurely post-coital refrain of “Adjust the way of the world / Adjust the way of the world.” Then they do it all over again, topping it off with an unruly, discordant guitar solo. Breathless and full of ideas, Kagoule are clearly here to change things, and with tunes as good as this, managing to attract the attention of Zane Lowe and other meeja types, who knows? Perhaps they can.
HUSKIES Whatever Together Words: Jessamyn Witthaus Whatever Together is the most recent single from Nottingham based quartet Huskies, who have a similarity to The Cure in their music, with its bass heavy nonchalance and purposefully grungeful vocals. However, at least at first, this latest effort sounds more like a different animal. The influence is clearly still there, but they sound like they’ve woken up a little bit. The problem is, although the vocals and actual playing of the instruments has clearly become more competent and confident; their song writing seems to have gone downhill. It’s all very pretty, but pretty in a vacuous way. The hook of the song is an earworm, but not in an uplifting “I must sing along!” sense. There’s also some talk of divinity which doesn’t really seem to tie in anywhere in the theme of the song. There are plenty of bands who spout nonsense and still sound good – Nirvana for example – but if this is an emulation, it’s a poor one. At the end of the day, there’s just too much apathy and aping to get past and make this track noteworthy. That being said, I would quite happily nod my head along to it if it came on a random playlist, while hoping the next track had a little bit more substance to it.
Reviews Editor: Jessamyn Witthaus Musical sponge; happiest at any sort of gig with a pint of cider. Not afraid to ask the difficult questions during interviews, and constantly searching for the best description for the twiddly bit in the middle of a song. Seeking a time machine to go and watch Bob Dylan at the Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975.
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1. Assembly Rooms 2. Bar One 3. Quad 4. The Bless 5. The Flower Pot 6. The Hairy Dog 7. Sitwell Tavern 8. The Venue 9. The Vic Inn 10. Brunswick Inn
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1. Rock City 2. The Rescue Rooms 3. The Bodega 4. Capital FM Arena 5. Malt Cross 6. Old Angel Inn 7. Bistro Live 8. Royal Concert Hall 9. Glee Club 10. Jam Cafe 11. Nottingham Playhouse 12. Spanky Van Dykes 13. The Chameleon Arts Cafe
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1. Curve 2. De Montfort Hall 3. Embrace Arts 4. Lock 42 5. O2 Academy 6. O Bar 7. Pi Bar 8. Basement 9. The Cookie Jar 10. The Criterion 11. The Donkey 12. Firebug 13. The Music Cafe 14. The Musician 15. The Shed 16. The Soundhouse 17. The Y Theatre 18. De Montfort SU 19. Phoenix Square 20. Sophbeck 21. Sumo 22. The Ale Wagon 23. The Exchange Bar 24. The Hind 25. The Looking Glass 26. The Orange Tree 27. The Charlotte 28. The Font 29. Natterjacks 30. The Bowstring
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Rococo Imaging in association with the guys at 151 Films are offering a social media promotional package. You can get your hands on this amazing package, worth approx ÂŁ700: - Half a day shoot in and around the studio. - Images from the shoot to be used for personal use. - 10 High resolution, fully edited images.
HOW TO ENTER: - Go to The Monograph on Facebook. - www.facebook.com/TheMonograph - Comment on our Facebook competition status (which will be highlighted at the top of our wall) with a band name or musician. - The Most comments (by Friday 16th May at Midnight ) of any band name or musician wins!
Terms & Conditions:
Voting Facebook Accounts will only be allowed to vote once. The 10 high resolution images are for the band/artist/musician personal promotion use online only. Any images Rococo Imaging shoot will be owned my Rococo Imaging and may be used for our portfolio and own promotion. All scheduling, booking and shoot logistics are held by Rococo Imaging and not the responsibility of The Monograph. The shoot will be held at 151 Films studio, Western road, Leicester. All bookings are eligible to change and subject to availability. Winners will be chosen at random.
See their work at: rococoimaging.com61 / 151films.co.uk
8 HOURS RECORDING AT
WIN 8 hours recording time with Rofl Audio Recording Studios Nottingham. Rofl Audio is Nottingham’s premier professional recording complex. With a wealth of experienced engineers, the likes of which have worked in LA and in London with clients such as Slash, Snoop Dogg and Elton John. The complex sports top of the line equipment and software to fit every client need. The package is worth a whopping £280!! But how do you enter?
HOW TO ENTER: Just head over to The Monograph Facebook Page and find the highlighted post. Comment with your nominated bands name, Share the post too, and the band with the most comments within 21 days will win! Simple right? Whilst you’re there, head over Rolf Audio’s page and give them a like for letting us host this awesome competition, you can also visit their website, www.roflaudio.co.uk to see the full specifications of the studios. Terms & Conditions:
Voting Facebook Accounts will only be allowed to vote once. Votes will not be counted after Friday 30th May. Voting Facebook Accounts must Comment on and Share the highlighted to be entered. All rights surround recording, booking and scheduling are reserved by Rofl Audio, please allow for up to 4 weeks notice when booking. All bookings are eligible to change and subject to availability. Winners will be chosen at random. THEM ONOG RAP H .C O. U K
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Calling all music lovers!