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CIGARETTES AFTER SEX

SONIC YOUTH

SLOWDIVE

www.louderthanwar.com

THE TWANG

MARK LANEGAN TINDERSTICKS ECHOBELLY BLACK GRAPE THE JESUS JONES RADIOHEAD MELVINS LEFTFIELD PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING THE STEREOPHONICS cover ISSUE 10.indd 1

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LOUDER THAN WAR STUDIO G12

HEARTBREAKING.

REGENT HOUSE 1 THANE VILLAS LONDON N7 7PH 0207 281 8880 LOUDERTHANWAR.COM EDITOR IN CHIEF JOHN ROBB Johnrobb@louderthanwar.com EDITOR JAMES SHARPLES Jim@bigcheesemagazine.com PUBLISHER EUGENE BUTCHER Eugene@vivelerock.net DEPUTY EDITOR DICK PORTER Dickfjp@yahoo.co.uk ASSOCIATE EDITOR SARAH LAY Sarahlay@louderthanwar.com REVIEWS EDITOR IAN CHADDOCK Ian@bigcheesemagazine.com DESIGN/PRODUCTION STEVE NEWMAN Steve@bigcheesemagazine.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS PAULA FROST, ROBERT MAIR, FERGAL KINNEY, PAUL HAGEN

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JAMES BATTY, MARTIN LEAY , LOUISE BROWN, ANDY PEART

ears. It’s the darkest day in pop history. Thousands of children having fun at a pop concert. Dancing. Happy. Manchester Arena packed with smiling faces at an Ariana Grande concert. Kids.

JOE WHYTE, HUGH GULLAND, JON FALCONE, NICOLA GRIFFITHS SAM CUNNINGHAM, TIM GRAYSON, ROXY GILLESPIE ARIEL WIMFREY, CRAIG CHALIGNE, GED BABEY ABIGAIL GILLIBRAND, KRISTEN GOODALL , LEE HAMMOND, GUS IRONSIDE, MARK RAY, PAUL SCOTT-BATES, BRUCE TURNBULL, SEAN SMITH, IOAN HUMPHREYS, DAVE BROWN, JAMES GATES PHOTOGRAPHERS MARK LATHAM EMMA STONE DOD MORRISON MELANIE SMITH CONTACT FOR GENERAL ENQUIRIES EMAIL INFO@BIGCHEESEMAGAZINE.COM PUBLISHED BY BIG CHEESE PUBLISHING LTD DISTRIBUTION COMAG SPECIALIST 01895 433 600 COMAGSPECIALIST.CO.UK ALL CONTENT COPYRIGHT BIG CHEESE PUBLISHING LTD 2017

And then. 22 people, mostly children, dead, blown up by a spineless, cowardly, pathetic individual. All for what? Creating terror instead of joy? No agenda. No point. Cowardly carnage. They say ‘lone wolf’ – hardly a wolf. The city has been full of sirens all night. Full of tears. Thoughts and love to the families who lost loved ones or were caught up in the attack. Minutes after the event the city centre felt strange. Heavy. Heartbreaking. Where do we go from here? Manchester will never buckle. Manchester was created with bravery and compassion. Small acts. Big hearts. You picked on the wrong city. We need to look after each other. We need to look at security at our concerts and events. We will need to accept changes to our culture to increase safety. We need to spread the love to defeat the hate. Love is louder than war.

John Robb Editor In Chief May 23rd 2017 8:39am

FACEBOOK.COM/LOUDERTHANWARMAG TWITTER.COM/LTWZINE LOUDER THAN WAR intro and contents issue 10.indd 2

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CONTENTS THE TWANG

103

JIM JONES AND THE RIGHTEOUS MIND

20

THE FRANKLYS

10

MELVINS

25

REGULAR 10. ON THE STRIP: NEWS & VIEWS

The Melvins, Chris Cornell remembered, Bash & Pop and more. 20. POPSCENE: THE TWANG

James Sharples meets a returning Twang as they prepare to tour ‘Love It When I Feel Like This’ 22. NU-CLEAR SOUNDS: INTRODUCING...

Auction For The Promise Club, The Franklys and Dead Heavens.

6

BLACK GRAPE

84. OUT OF THE VOID

Albums, books, DVDs and gigs reviewed.

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107. ACCELERATOR

Upcoming gigs for the months ahead plus a conversation with American Football. 114. THEN & NOW: SLOWDIVE

Ian Chaddock gets up to date with Slowdive’s frontman Neil

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SLOWDIVE

LOUDER THAN WAR

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Goldenvoice AEG Presents in association with APA Agency

SEPTEMBER 2017

01 GLASGOW O2 Academy 02 LEEDS O2 Academy 03 MANCHESTER O2 Ritz 05 BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute 06 BRISTOL O2 Academy UT 07 BRIGHTON SOLD O Concorde 2 09 LONDON O2 Forum Kentish Town 10 OXFORD O2 Academy 11 NORWICH UEA

PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS

SEPTEMBER 2017 22 LONDON O2 ACADEMY BRIXTON

OCTOBER 2017 05 NEWCASTLE NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY SU 19 LINCOLN THE ENGINE SHED 20 SHEFFIELD O2 ACADEMY 21 MANCHESTER ACADEMY 1 25 LEEDS BECKETT STUDENTS’ UNION 26 BIRMINGHAM O2 INSTITUTE 27 CARDIFF Y PLAS 28 BRISTOL O2 ACADEMY

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NOVEMBER 2017 02 EXETER THE LEMON GROVE 03 SOUTHAMPTON UNIVERSITY SU 04 BRIGHTON DOME 07 CAMBRIDGE CORN EXCHANGE 08 NORWICH UEA 09 NOTTINGHAM ROCK CITY

September 2017 14 Leeds Key Club 15 Brighton Concorde 2 16 Bristol Thekla 17 nottingham rescue rooms 18 Wolverhampton Slade rooms 19 newcastle riverside 20 Manchester Gorilla 21 London Islington Assembly hall

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ALLSPARKS.COM THE NEW ALBUM “HIPPOPOTAMUS” OUT 09/2017 AEG PRESENTS IN ASSOCIATION WITH SEARCH LYTE

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28 SEPTEMBER LONDON O2 SHEPHERD’S BUSH EMPIRE

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MARK LANEGAN

PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING

76

62

44

THE STONE ROSES

FEATURED 26. TRUE MOON

Having recently played with Killing Joke and releasing their self-titled debut album, Paula Frost digs deep into the post-punk/new wave duo. TRUE MOON

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of the release of his ‘You Love Us: Manic Street Preachers In Photographs 1991-2001’. 40. JESUS JONES

Gloriously resurgent, the indie are preparing to hit the road once again in between recording their first album in over fifteen years. Mike Edwards explains the hows and whys... 42. BLACK LIPS

26 28. TINDERSTICKS

One of the UK’s best-loved and most acclaimed alternative acts have regrouped for the stunningly atmospheric soundtrack to a new film. James Gates finds out more. 30. THURSTON MOORE

Fergal Kinney meets the former Sonic Youth man to discuss new album ‘Rock’n’Roll Consciousness’, the benefits of church recording and Donald Trump... 34. THE MANIC STREET PREACHERS

Photographic legend Tom Sheehan gives LTW an inside look into his time with the Manics ahead

8

With a new line-up and a freshened sound, Atlanta flower punks Black Lips have leapt into the deep end with their eighth album. Ian Chaddock finds out how it came to be. 44. THE STONE ROSES

As they prepare to capture the hearts of the UK with their latest touring stint, Louder Than War Editor In Chief John Robb picks up where Issue 1 of Louder Than War left off, telling the tale of the resurrection of the Stone Roses. 50. CIGARETTES AFTER SEX

LTW speaks to one of the most buzzed about bands in the world right now and discovers that, with their debut album, the hype is justified. 54. THE CHARLATANS

Celebrating the release of thirteenth album ‘Different Days’, Charlatans frontman Tim

JESUS JONES

Burgess talks about artistic development, cups of tea with Johnny Marr and their emotional Manchester takeover gig. 62. MARK LANEGAN

Chatting to Louder Than War Editor In Chief John Robb, Mark Lanegan explains the birth of new album ‘Gargoyle’ and the influence of Joy Division on his life. 64. RIDE

Returning with their first new album in more than two decades, Sarah Lay talks ‘Weather Diaries’ with Ride. 72. THE BIRTH OF GOTH

With the release of Cherry Red Records’ weighty ‘Silhouettes and Statues’, Paula Frost explores how punk and post-punk birthed the bleak beauty of goth. 76. PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING

PSB architect J. Willgoose Esq. talks through new album ‘Every Valley’ track by track. 78. FLYING NUN RECORDS

Nick Tesco celebrates the often overlooked genius of New Zealand’s Flying Nun Records.

LOUDER THAN WAR

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Jaw clenching, sonic quenching, panty drenching stomp-rock licks, melding with raw, driving coffin blues grooves. The melodic hard rock of Queens Of The Stone Age with the live energy of The Hives. Dirty, flirty, throbbing songs, to ease the pain and please the throngs. Sit back, buckle up and surrender to the boozey swagger of these boys from Bath as they create the soundtrack for a modern uprising. www.bitethebuffalo.com CADIZ LOUDER 1/2P AD_Layout 1 31/05/2017 12:26 Page 1

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THE MELVINS RETURN WITH NOT ONE, BUT TWO NEW DOSES OF SONIC ODDITIES.

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EVER ones to do things by halves, the experimental genius of the Melvins has ascended to brand new heights of late. Hot on the heels of 2016’s ‘Basses Loaded’, the trio of sonic explorers are gearing up for the release of ‘A Walk With Love And Death’, a two album set that comprises of a ‘regular’ Melvins album (not that there is such a thing) in the form of ‘Death’ and ‘Love’, a soundtrack to the upcoming short film ‘A Walk With Love And Death’ directed by Jesse Nieminen. We caught up with frontman Buzz Osborne to find out more...

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So, how did this all come about Buzz? “We wanted to something that was a bit weird. I always thought we wrote really great stuff that would be perfect for soundtracks but that wasn’t really happening so we just made our own soundtrack and came up with our own idea of a movie for it to go along with.”

Surely this must have been a massive undertaking? “I had a lot of ideas for texturised soundtrack material so we did that in the conventional sense – or as conventional as

LOUDER THAN WAR

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in the trailer is my photography – I have a big passion for photography, I always have. A lot of that was stuff that I took out of my store of photos. Most of those were taken on cheap cameras or iPhones or whatever. To me a good photo is a good photo – is you have Man Ray a shitty iPhone he’d be able to take you a great photo. It’s the Indian, not the arrow as they say.”

Does that apply to anything creative? “Definitely. If you gave Francis Bacon a bunch of magic markers he’d’ve been able to come up with something. It’s the hand, the mind, the creative genius behind it. Technical ability doesn’t mean you’re able to do something creative. Walk into a big guitar store and there’s lots of amazing guitarists but they won’t make a buck from music because they can’t put two chords together in a way that’s pleasing to anyone. Why? I don’t know.”

You’ve retained a forward momentum with each Melvins release which is kind of rare for a band. There’s no phoning it in. “Well, it’s not kind of rare, we’re the only band that’s ever done it. It’s as rare as the dodo bird. I can’t think of any other band that’s come even close to what we’re doing. You could argue there’s some people that’ve done it but not an actual band.”

How do you keep pushing yourselves as a band though, to keep it interesting for yourselves?

we get – but we did in the way that I would like. I’m not a big fan of John Williams soundtracks and I wanted do something weirder that so I just approached it as stuff I thought would be good for the movie but I didn’t think of it in terms of having it be the background. I wanted it to be the foreground so it’s the most important thing instead of the visuals.”

How do you feel about it now it’s completed? “I think it’s great and it came out really good. It was a lot of work but I’m not afraid of a lot of work and I’m very proud of it. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever done. Even the regular record is different and it’ll be surprising to people but we’re always surprising to people: we never do exactly what people think we’re going to do. And that’s what keeps it interesting.”

What can we expect from the film? The trailer’s highly unnerving... “You can expect more of that – don’t go expecting ‘Mary Poppins’! It’s our vision along with Jesse’s vision. A lot of that

“You can’t be afraid to do stuff that’s crazy, you know? Don’t be afraid to do things that people won’t expect and make sure you think it’s good. I don’t try to make records that I think people will like; I try to make records that I like, figuring that I have good taste so other people will like it. I would appreciated a band doing a weird double album. That’s the kind of shit I would like. Not everybody’s gonna appreciate something along those lines. There’ll be people who won’t care at all about that sort of thing. They’re just gonna think it’s stupid or whatever. Oh well, welcome to my world! That’s nothing new to me! If I listened to what people and critics said I’d have quit a long time ago. All I have to do is keep my head down and continue working and just be completely and solidly aware that they’re not only wrong but they’ve never been right. About anything. And we’ll see who’s standing at the end of the day. That’s been my work ethic for as long as I can remember.

Is there a key component that makes Melvins’ music Melvins? “Fearlessness. We’re fearless. What’s the worst that can happen? Nobody likes it? I’ll make another record. That’s the worst that can happen. That was the beginning of our career – in the beginning no one liked what we were doing. We liked it. I loved it and I knew it was right. And as it turns out, in the end, what we were thinking about, our concepts as far as music goes, those concepts changed the entire scape of music throughout the entire globe for two generations. It doesn’t matter if I’m recognised for that or not, I don’t care about any of that.” ‘A Walk With Love And Death’ is out July 7th on Ipecac Recordings

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LOUDER

THAN WORDS Have your say, get Louder... VIVE LE ROCK

T

he new issue of our sister magazine, Vive Le Rock, is out now and features rockabilly legends the Stray Cats on the cover. As well as interviews with all three members, there’s also features on The Polecats, The Living End, The Dickies, The Jam, Body Count, Flogging Molly, Midnight Oil and a special piece on London’s seminal Roxy Club. Get your copy now at Vivelerock.net

THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN

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he Scottish alt-rock heroes have announced more shows for September and October. The tour, in support of their new album ‘Damage and Joy’, will begin at the Norwich LCR UEA on 19th September and finish up at Dublin’s Vicar St on 17th October. It will also include a date at London’s O2 Forum on 20th September.

JAMES GATES

I was never a fan of [The Jesus And Mary Chain]. Never heard an album by them either. Then I saw Issue 8 on my feed and thank you Louder Than War Magazine! I thought ‘I’ll check this out’ and wow! Very good. I’m now gonna buy a copy. Keep up the good work at the mag guys. Mark Winsford Love the countdown of post-punk songs (in Issue 9) and wonderful to see what you selected as number one. Worth the cover price just for that list. Nikolas Lagartija All good in my book! Not a bad article in Issue 9 but loved Wire and Joy Division Kram Notelgnis My favourite article in the post-punk issue was Will Sergeant’s (of Echo And The Bunnymen) top ten albums that shaped him as a musician. Kim Bragg The post-punk issue is the first issue I have b ought great read! Peter Burchell

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enning the Tindersticks feature in this month’s issue of Louder Than War, James has been with us from the start of LTW, last issue sitting down with Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli for a cracking interview. A fan of the majority of musical genres and with a keen love for anime, independent cinema and the absurd, he also DJs as well as writing for the likes of Sick Chirpse online.

DINOSAUR JR.

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n surprising/weird/fun/silly news, J. Mascis and co. have teamed up with Moji Mojo Ltd to release an emoji set in time for their summer European tour. “The set features J, Lou and Murph along with memorable images from throughout their career: the eye goggles from the ‘Freak Scene’ video, Mascis’ glittery pink Jazzmaster guitar and more. It’s available now in the Apple store. Okay.

LIAM GALLAGHER

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ith his debut solo tour in late May and early June (with shows in Manchester, London, Dublin and Glasgow) the former Oasis and Beady Eye frontman is back. Liam has also announced the title of his debut solo single, ‘Wall of Glass’, and made it available for pre-order. The forthcoming album which the single is taken from is title ‘As You Were’ and will be released in October. Here comes our kid!

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CHRIS CORNELL DEAD AT 52 Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman gone too soon.

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nown as one of the finest voices in rock music and a defining voice of grunge, Chris Cornell died on 18th May. Sadly, just a couple of hours after a triumphant Soundgarden gig in Detroit, he was found in the bathroom of his hotel and the cause of death was recorded as suicide by hanging. A central figure in the Seattle grunge rock scene of the ‘90s, his powerful, distinctive voice made Soundgarden hits like ‘Black Hole Sun’ and ‘Spoonman’ anthems for millions. He also sang with Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder in the supergroup Temple of the Dog, whose 1991 single ‘Hunger Strike’ is a classic. Cornell teamed up members of Rage Against the Machine to form Audioslave, releasing three hit studio albums of towering rock between 2002 and 2006, and best known for stomping debut single ‘Cochise’. He also release four solo albums, the last of which was 2015’s ‘Higher Truth’. Our condolences to Chris Cornell’s friends and family. His music will live on forever.

Fo th

“ For

LOUDER THAN WAR

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In Stores 23rd June 2017

In Stores 30th June 2017

Formed at the Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2009, the Art-Rock sextet combines myriad influences from across the rock, pop, minimalist, and avant-garde spectrums.

FATES WARNING / OSI guitarist Jim Matheos debuts with his Ambient Instrumental Rock project.

“The silo-smashing Bent Knee’s unique mix is equal parts ingenuity and deliciousness” – The Wall Street Journal For fans of Radiohead, The Cardiacs, King Crimson & Kate Bush

Features God Is An Astronaut drummer Lloyd Hanney. Taking cues from Boards of Canada, Explosions in the Sky & Sigur Ros.

Also available as CD Digipak (incl. bonus track) and as 180g Vinyl Edition (incl. the album on CD)

Available as CD, 180g. LP + CD or Digital Download. www.insideoutmusic.com

Available from

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KEVIN GARCIA

GRANDADDY BASSIST DIES

K

evin Garcia, the original and longtime bassist for Californian indie rockers Grandaddy, died on 2nd May after succumbing to the effects of a massive stroke he suffered the day before. He was aged just 41 and had played with Grandaddy since the age of 15. The band posted a full statement on Facebook, including that they are understandably “absolutely shattered” and more recently have cancelled all upcoming tour dates. Our condolences to Kevin’s friends and family.

THE NATIONAL

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hio indie rockers The National have announced that they will release their seventh studio album, titled ‘Sleep Well Beast’, on 8th September through 4AD. They have also released first single ‘The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness’, as well as detailing a huge UK and European tour, including four dates at London’s Hammersmith Apollo in September. The National are also set to play Glastonbury Festival in June.

TIGERS JAW

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head of their Reading/Leeds festival performances, the Pennsylvania indie rockers have confirmed details of a UK tour in support of their new fifth album, ‘Spin’. They will play six dates in the run-up to the festivals in August, starting with Southampton Joiners on 18th August and including London The Garage on 20th August. Culture Abuse support on most gigs. DOWNTOWN BOYS

DOWNTOWN BOYS

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aving recently signed to Sub Pop, the Providence, RI band have detailed their upcoming third album, ‘Cost of Living’, which will be released on August 11th. The follow-up to 2015’s critically acclaimed ‘Full Communism’, produced by Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto (Blonde Redhead, The Gossip) it sees them hone their protest punk, as shown on new song and album opener ‘A Wall’, up for streaming now.

“I FOUND IT LIBERATING” Known for his metal band Fates Warning, Jim Matheos’ new ambient instrumental project TUESDAY THE SKY is quite a change. With the release of debut album ‘Drift’, LTW found out more... Sometimes people write an album around a pivotal song - in this case you said it was ‘Today the Sky’. But isn’t it fair to say this whole band/project spun out of that one song? That must be quite an exciting and creative feeling when you realised it was something new? “Yes, that’s fair to say. As I’ve mentioned, that particular song started off as an idea for Fates Warning but I soon realized it probably wouldn’t work without some major changes, which I was hesitant to try because I liked the song as is. The real challenge for me was seeing if I could create an entire album’s worth of material in that vein, but I actually found it relatively easy and quite liberating actually.”

It’s pretty different to your Fates Warning material, this ambient instrumental rock is another shade entirely to your songwriting. How was it to write and experiment with? “Because there were no expectations or pre-conceived notions about what TTS should sound like, and actually, early on I wasn’t even sure it would become a full-length album, it took a lot of the pressure off and I was able to experiment with music and sounds that I’m not usually associated with, and that’s always fun.”

You’ve collaborated with several people on this record. What do you feel that they brought to the album? “Well, we have Lloyd Hanney on drums. I knew I wanted someone more from the post-rock world rather than the prog world. I thought the songs called for a more restrained vibe, with bursts of energy here and there to be sure, but overall a bit more subdued and laid back – mood setting rather than putting on a clinic. I’m a big God Is An Astronaut fan and I thought Lloyd would be a good fit. I think he added a really nice feel and overall dynamic to the record. He compliments the songs well without ever overplaying. Anna-Lynne Williams added some vocals to two of the songs. I was a fan of her band Trespassers William and recently discovered her solo work under the name Lotte Kestner, which is equally inspiring. She has a beautifully delicate voice and a great sense for phrasing, she sings on ‘Westerlies’ and ‘Vortex Street’. Then we have Kevin Moore playing keys on a couple songs. For ‘It Comes In Waves’ he added some nice electric piano parts and on the title track he’s a bit more involved, playing a few layered key tracks and adding some nice colour to the track.”

What was the atmosphere and mood you tried to capture on ‘Drift’ and are you happy with the results? “I’m very happy with the record. I don’t know that I was trying to capture any particular mood or atmosphere, at least early on in the writing process. I wanted to write some instrumental, mostly guitar based music. Other than that I didn’t have a lot of direction. Once the first few songs came together though an overall mood started to develop and that set the tone for the rest of the record.” ‘Drift’ is out June 30th on InsideOutMusic

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SOUND SYSTEM BOOK Dave Randall (a musician and activist who has played guitar with Faithless and more) explores the political power of music, from Glastonbury festival to the Arab Spring, punk to Trinidadian Carnival. Get your signed copy (while stocks last) from Philosophyfootball.com

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SOUNDGARDEN T-SHIRT With the tragic loss of the legendary Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, pay tribute to one of grunge’s finest who will be much missed with this new allover bleached design saluting the seminal ‘Badmotorfinger’ album. Pick yours up today over at Rockabilia.com

ENAMEL PIN BADGES The perfect decoration for your denim jacket, these highly collectible and tradable custom enamel pins give artists the chance to show their work in an affordable and cool way. With a bunch of enamel pins available “that fit our Aggro mentality”, head over to Aggronautix.com for their full range!

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PRESENTS PRESENTS

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MELVINS CHRIST HAMMER

ARCADEA INFINITE END

THE STONE ROSES ALL FOR ONE

The sludge/ noise rock weirdos are back and Buzz and co. are as crazy as ever with this Clutch-like creeping tune from new double album ‘A Walk With Love and Death’. It’s melody, but not as we know it.

Otherworldly synth-driven psyche is the order of the day in this unusual and compelling new project from drummer-vocalist Brann Dailor, better known as Mastodon’s sticksman. Heavy but not metal, it’s stellar!

Touring the UK in June, the Stone Roses’ 2016 single takes on new meaning following the recent terror attack in Manchester. “All for one, one for all”. Manchester and the Roses forever.

THE BATS

THE CHARLATANS

THE THE

MADE UP IN BLUE

New Zealand indie pop band The Bats are back touring the UK in June so there’s no better time to revisit this former NME single of the week and first UK single, released back in 1986. CIGARETTES AFTER SEX APOCALYPSE

Melancholic shoegaze that’s romantic but with a noir feel, Cigarettes After Sex are burning bright right now with their highly anticipated self-titled long player. Ones to watch. CAYETANA

PLASTIC MACHINERY

This first single from The Charlatans’ new album ‘Different Days’ sees them joined by legendary ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr and drummer Pete Salisbury (The Verve) for a soulful, catchy tune. SOUNDGARDEN

WE CAN’T STOP WHAT’S COMING

Their first new song in 15 years, this stunning song features guitar from Johnny Marr and was released as a limited edition 7” single for Record Store Day. Also check out the new documentary film ‘Inertia Variations’ on frontman Matt Johnson.

LOUDER THAN WAR ILLUMINATES FORGOTTEN TRACKS.

ARTIST: SALAD TRACK: MOTORBIKE TO HEAVEN YEAR: 1995

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aving recently reformed to play acoustic at London’s 100 Club (and full band at Indie Daze festival in October), Salad narrowly missed out on the top 40 with this infectious indie rocker from their no.16 charting 1995 debut album ‘Drink Me’. Driven by the powerful, sensuous vocals of Dutch singer (as well as former model and MTV VJ) Marijne van der Vlugt, it would be their highest charting single at no.42, with success eluding them on 1997 second album ‘Ice Cream’, splitting the following year.

OUTSHINED

BETH DITTO

Following the tragic recent death of frontman and grunge hero Chris Cornell, we’ve been blasting plenty of Soundgarden at LTW magazine. Here’s a classic single from the seminal 1991 album ‘Badmotorfinger’. Turn it up.

Former frontwoman of The Gossip, Beth Ditto is back with solo album ‘Fake Sugar’ and this first song is a soulful rock stomper. Her fire has been reignited!

BENT KNEE

BLACK GRAPE

FIRE

I N D E P E N D E N T C H A RT H I T S BY T H E N U M B E R S

MESA

Taken from their excellent second album ‘New Kind of Normal’, this highlight channels the kind of infectious indie/pop punk brilliance that these three Philadelphia ladies have become known and loved for over the last few years.

Boston art rock band Bent Knee think outside the box, with an absorbing mix of rock, pop, minimalist and avant-garde ideas, as heard on this first single from new album ‘Land Animal’.

RIDE

RADIOHEAD

HOME IS A FEELING

This atmospheric song from new album, ‘Weather Diaries’, shows that Oxford shoegaze favourites Ride are not only back after over 20 years but can still produce the goods. Stunning.

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HOLY GHOST

CLIMBING UP THE WALLS

Headlining Glastonbury on 23rd June and with the 20th anniversary deluxe reissue of the influential ‘OK Computer’ out the same day, here’s hoping they play some of the album tracks like this (or the album in full!).

POP VOODOO

With Shaun Ryder and Kermit returning with their first Black Grape album in 20 years in July, in the form of ‘Pop Voodoo’, this title track is a spellbinding alt/funk dance tune. It’s pop voodoo! MOGWAI COOLVERINE

This first song from the Scottish post-rock masters’ highly anticipated upcoming ninth album ‘Every Country’s Sun’ is a stunning, cinematic six minute soundscape. Lose yourself in it.

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NEW ORDER

orming in the wake of the suicide of Ian Curtis, former Joy Division members Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris and Peter Hook (along with Gillian Gilbert) combined post-punk with electronic dance music to critical and commercial success. Here we journey back to their inception, running down the singles from 1981 to 1985. Singles Ceremony (‘81) Procession (‘81) Everything’s Gone Green (‘81) Temptation (‘82 Blue Monday (‘83) Confusion (‘83) Thieves Like Us (‘84) Murder (‘84) The Perfect Kiss (‘85) Sub-Culture (‘85)

Position 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 2 1 1

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Bash & Pop in 1993

Bash & Pop in 2017

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TOMMY STINSON’S BASH POP HEADING TO THE UK! REPLACEMENTS FOUNDING BASSIST’S POST-MATS BAND TOURING IN JUNE/JULY OFF THE BACK OF DRIVING NEW ALBUM ‘ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN’.

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ITH the re-energised sounds of “loud, good times rock ‘n’ roll” band Bash & Pop’s reunion album ‘Anything Could Happen’, it’s exciting news that the band Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson originally formed back in 1992 is back and coming to the UK for a run of unmissable shows. Following the collapse of the legendary Replacements in 1991, playing their last show in 22 years that July, Stinson formed Bash & Pop with the idea “to form a group that was basically the same thing the Mats were early on, which was a spirited band with a good chemistry, and which shared the same vision.” Releasing their debut album, ‘Friday Night is Killing Me’ in 1993, the likes of catchy single ‘Loose Ends’ and the rocking ‘Fast and Hard’ stood out

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but the success of his former bands was elusive. After two line-ups, a tour and the use of the track ‘Making Me Sick’ on the soundtrack of the 1994 movie ‘Clerks’, Stinson conceded that “the chemistry was never there” and disbanded Bash & Pop. Stinson got stuck into other music endeavours, including playing bass in Guns N’ Roses and, to the great excitement of many, with the reunion of the Replacements in 2012. However, after a 33-date reunion tour and shortly after UK gigs, they parted ways again in 2015. However, Stinson saw an opportunity and now, 23 years since the Bash & Pop debut, he’s recorded a compelling, driving and energetic sophomore album, ‘Anything Can Happen’, out 23rd June through esteemed indie label Fat Possum in the UK, including the rock ‘n’

roll party single ‘On the Rocks’ and other fun-loving stand outs such as ‘Not This Time’, the title track and the brilliantly titled ‘Unfuck You’. Recorded at his home studio in Hudson, NY and saw him hit the road with friends and quality musicians backing him – Luther Dickinson, Frank Ferrer, Cat Popper, Steve Selvidge and Joe ‘The Kid’ Sirois. If that wasn’t exciting enough, Bash & Pop have confirmed a string of UK dates, finishing up supporting Green Day at British Summer Time in London’s Hyde Park on 1st July, alongside the likes of Rancid, The Hives and The Damned. Before then, Bash & Pop will hit Glasgow’s King Tuts (June 27th), Manchester Deaf Institute (28th), London’s The Garage (29th) and Ramsgate’s Music Hall (30th). With excited recent live reviews that indicate that Stinson has rediscovered a similar fire to that which made the Mats such a phenomenal, unpredictable and thrilling experience, these gigs are set to be some of the most fun of the summer, so make sure you’re there. Anything could happen! ‘Anything Could Happen’ is out now on Fat Possum Bash & Pop tour the UK in June/July

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& GET... THE FALL’S ‘GROTESQUE’ ALBUM FREE ON CD! Subscribe to Louder Than War magazine for a year (6 issues) and receive a free copy of Westworld Recordings’ recent reissue of this 1980 third studio album from The Fall. Mark E Smith’s post-punk legends are on fine form on, with stand outs and fan favourites such as ‘Pay Your Rates’, ‘The Container Drivers’ and ‘The N.W.R.A.’. Smith is on fine lyrical form on the state-of-the-nation address on ‘English Scheme’ and ‘C’n’C-S Mithering’, gothic horror of ‘Impression of J. Temperance’ and the conspiracy theory-fuelled ‘New Face in Hell’.

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THE TWANG Forming in Birmingham back in 2004, The Twang exploded into the charts with their debut album ‘Love It When I Feel Like This’. With tales of the everyday, from brutal hangovers to nightmare neighbours, it spawned three belting singles in the form of ‘Wide Awake’, ‘Either Way’ and ‘Two Lovers’ and soundtracked most of the summer of 2007. Following it up with 2009’s ‘Jewellery Quarter’, since then they’ve released 2012’s ‘10:20’ and, most recently, 2014’s ‘NEONTWANG’. With ‘Love It When I Feel Like This’ celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, The Twang will be hitting the road in November and December to play it live in its entirety. We spoke to Jon Watkin of the band to find out more...

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What’s the best part of being in The Twang if you had to sum it up?

How did the decision to revisit the first album come about?

“The best thing about being in The Twang is being able to knock around with your mates. When we play live all our friends turn up and we have a good old swig up.”

“We’re revisiting the 1st album because it’s the ten year anniversary. That album means a lot to most of our fans, so it would be an opportunity missed really.”

What do you remember most vividly about

recording ‘Love It...’? “I remember huddling round a Calor gas fire watching ‘Alan Partridge’ when we could have been in LA recording with Dave Sardy. I also remember our taxi driver ‘Nasty Naz’ who made it his daily mission to try and kill us. And I remember Saunders (Martin, vocals. The line-up of The Twang in 2017

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LOVE IT WHEN I FEEL LIKE THIS (2007)

TRACKLISTING 1. ICE CREAM SUNDAE 2. WIDE AWAKE 3. THE NEIGHBOUR 4. EITHER WAY 5. PUSH THE GHOSTS 6. REAP WHAT YOU SOW 7. LOOSELY DANCING 8. TWO LOVERS 9. DON’T WAIT UP 10. GOT ME SUSSED 11. CLOUDY ROOM we’ve tried to push boundaries on each album - otherwise you just keep making the same record. It doesn’t always work out like you planned but you’ve got to try.”

Has the band dynamic changed over the years? I’d imagine a lot has changed since you started... is comprised of Watkin, Saunders and Phil Etheridge) nearly accidentally skewering an NME reporter with a pool cue.”

Is it a weird experience revisiting older material and especially material you might rarely if ever play live? And do you find when playing older material that you sort of revisit emotions from that particular period of time? “Yeah, it’s sometimes weird because while you’re playing them you sometimes start reminiscing about when you were writing them. It can trigger little memories that you’d forgotten. Some of them we’ve not played for nearly ten years...”

How did you approach the follow-up to ‘Love It...’? Was there a sort of pressure given the love you’d

gotten for the first album? “We started recording the second album too soon in my opinion. We’d been on tour for about twelve to eighteen months and we’d been partying hard. I think a couple of weeks off chilling would have done us good but we came straight off tour to spending a month in Spain. It was a waste of time and it sounded shite. I sat in the kitchen all day drinking Amstel.”

Do you think the band that went into the studio to make ‘Love It...’ could have made ‘NEONTWANG’? How do you think the Twang have changed as musicians and also as people? “I don’t think a younger Twang could have made ‘NEONTWANG’. We were in a different creative place. I’m proud that

“The band dynamic changed when we sacked our drummer for thieving equipment from us. Sometimes when someone goes you lose more than a musical part, you lose an emotional part also. He was a big loss to us looking back, what a knobhead!”

What’s the best part of playing live? What’s that feeling like when everything is working, everyone is firing on all cylinders and the crowd’s going mental? “It’s one of the best feelings in the world when a crowd are going mental. To see all the smiling faces and people buzzing off your music is incredible. Sometimes you can be tired and/or hungover and a great crowd can just lift you.” The Twang tour the UK in November and December

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AUCTION FOR THE PROMISE CLUB

AUCTION FOR THE PROMISE CLUB

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Razor-sharp indie rock from the Cornish coast.

EMEMBER when alternative guitar acts used to break into the charts, upsetting the corporate applecart with great pop songs that didn’t play by the rules? With the charts pretty much sewn up by manufactured groups and major unitshifting supermarket acts like Ed Sheeran and Adele, the days of maverick artists like the Jesus and Mary Chain, Pulp and Nirvana seem long forgotten. New label Zen Ten aims to change that with its first album release. ‘Silence’ by Auction For The Promise Club is a bold statement of intent, 12 irresistible guitar anthems with massive hooks and a pop sensibility that should see the Cornish trio smashing through the barricades. The St Agnes trio consists of singer/ guitarist Zoe White-Chambers, her brother Toby on drums and Perran Tremewan on lead guitar and keyboards). Refreshingly, in these days of bland, manufactured chart acts and endless musical recycling, Auction for the Promise Club have forged their own sound that’s genuinely

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hard to categorise. Marrying the clear, cutting sound of Editors to the explosive dynamics of Nirvana and Placebo, the band were fully deserving 2015 Unsigned Band of the Year winners. The band remained on their Cornish home turf to record their upcoming debut album with fellow South-West local Paul Reeve

“WE REALLY ENJOYED MAKING THIS...”

garnered the support of BBC Radio 6 Music’s Tom Robinson, the late-night broadcaster much respected for picking up on new bands before they hit mainstream radar. ‘Silence’ is a classic debut album, loaded with potential crossover hits and suffused with the optimism of youth. Recent single ‘Moonlight’ is one of many highlights, a pounding, full on anthem with a trippy, psychedelic edge that’s sure to be a set highlight at this year’s gigs and festivals. ‘See Through’ is a cyber-billy rush somewhat like Muse minus the pomposity, while ‘This May Hurt’ combines coiled tension with anthemic hooks. Zoe White-Chamber’s cut-crystal vocals are deceptively under-stated; never showy or over-emoting, the singer’s intelligent phrasing and melodic sensibilities are a winning combination, while her drumming brother Toby skilfully marshals the songs’ dynamics. Completing the trio, Perran Tremewan is impressively creative on guitar and programming. Auction For The Promise Club are forging their own, unique brand of modern alternative rock. They want the airwaves- the silence is about to be shattered. GUS IRONSIDE

(Muse, Beta Band, Supergrass) producing, at the remote and atmospheric Airfield Studios, which sits in a Second World War airbase on the North Cornish coast. Speaking to Louder Than War, singer Zoe White-Chambers enthused about the recording process: “We’ve really enjoyed making this record. The Airfield Studios felt the perfect place to record these songs and I think we’ve managed to capture essence of the band. We’re very thankful for all the support we’ve had so far and looking forward to getting out and touring the album.” As well as a loyal local SOUNDS LIKE: Editors / Placebo / My Bloody Valentine following, Auction for OUT NOW: ‘Silence’ (Zen Ten) the Promise Club have

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DEAD HEAVENS

DEAD HEAVENS Hardcore legend gets his psychedelic garage rock groove on.

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ALTER Schreifels is a man of many musical hats. Effortlessly flitting in and out of genres during his career in music to date, he’s just come off stage at the Electric Ballroom from his first set of tonight and has another in just over an hour with Together Fest headliners and hardcore punk legends Youth Of Today. He’s sitting crosslegged on the dressing room floor with his shirt off, catching his breath after a storming London debut set from his latest outfit Vanishing Life (which features members of Rise Against and ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead). If anything, we’d expect nothing less from the man who started out as a teen in the seminal youth crews Youth Of Today and Gorilla Biscuits, effectively paving the way for contemporary hardcore punk way back in the 1980s. From there he formed the critically acclaimed Quicksand, touring with the likes of Fugazi and influencing bands such as the Deftones. He remembers that he “was bored with the formula of hardcore and in New York, like most scenes it had kinda disbursed. Like most scenes, people connect and it gets bigger and bigger, then it’s like ‘wow! This is great’

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and after a while its ‘ah, this is getting kinda stupid, boring, samey. I hate this person or fuck that guy’ and then it dissipates as someone goes to college, or someone sells out and that’s the nature of it. For me it had sailed, I just wanted to make a cool band that I wanted to hear. It wasn’t just me, it was likeminded people who wanted to do something off the formula.” From there, he later birthed Rival Schools and such immortal songs as ‘Used For Glue’ from a then-solo project.

“THIS IS STRAIGHT UP”

so it got kinda stuffed there. In the UK it was fucking awesome whereas in the US it was just another cool record in the genre. It was fine, we sold a respectable amount of records but here in the UK we were brushing with pop. We brushed with the mainstream and that was dope.” Trace elements of Rival Schools can be found in his latest project Dead Heavens, but it is an altogether different beast, more at home with the likes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Trail Of Dead and the Brian Jonestown Massacre than with sweaty moshpits. “Dead Heavens is a blues/rock band, more straight up,” he reveals, explaining that it’s “influenced by the classic artists like Hendrix or Sabbath and has a bit of a garage and psychedelic feel to it. It kinda started off under the umbrella of the Walter Schriefels Band but as we wrote more together and played more it developed into its own thing so we gave it its own name – Dead Heavens. It’s really cool to do something musically like this. I’ve been wanting to do it for years and the time became right for it and here we are. To date we’ve only done a handful of singles but we’re touring plenty and our debut album will be out real soon. It’s another part of my musical legacy that I’m very proud of.” KATHI SHEASBY

“I had some songs from things I had laying around and we started with those, like ‘Used For Glue’ so we had a bit of a head start with it, playing in New York, developing the band. There’s a cool club on the Lower East Side called Brownies that we played a lot, so we had this incubation period,” he said, before turning his attention to major label trials and tribulations: “We had to get through the hurdles of the major label system so that took us almost two years to get to the point where we going to make the record and when it came out it did great in the UK, unfortunately they didn’t SOUNDS LIKE: TRAIL OF DEAD / BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB / QOTSA do a single in the States OUT NOW: ‘WHATEVER WITCH YOU ARE (DINE ALONE) like they did in the UK

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THE FRANKLYS

THE FRANKLYS

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Garage punk madness meets righteous rock ‘n’ roll.

PRINGING off their markers come The Franklys, with their four piece riot rock from London. Rapidly gaining ground on their fellow peers of the punk scene, the band are already lined up for a full UK tour this year including Rebellion Festival. LTW spoke to the band to find out how two girls from London and two from Sweden all get along: “We had the same stuff in common and wanted to write the same sort of music, and the four of us just clicked” told singer Jen. Bassist Zoe added: “Fanny and Jen were old school mates in Sweden and met me and Lexi when they moved over to London where we’re all based now.” Though you’re more likely to find the four members Jen, Fanny, Zoe and Lexi out on the road playing live. “Our June tour around the UK couldn’t come soon enough for us.” Explained Jen. “There’s some places that we couldn’t hit this time so we will come to them the next time around later in the year. Then we are heading out to Europe in August for some dates, which we

absolutely cannot wait for.” Influenced by a host of rock giants from The Who, Led Zeppelin and Blondie, to The Hives and Arctic Monkeys, the band have brought in their own garage punk twist on rock ‘n’ roll. We asked how they wrote together. Jen told LTW: “We write about experiences, people, and just stuff that comes about in life. We write all the music together, and spend a lot of time

“WE HAD SUCH A BLAST!”

at Fish Factory, Orgone and Juno Studios with Sean Douglas, who recorded and produced our first EP, and also with Jimmy & Mikey of The Graveltones. We had such a blast together” told Zoe. “There was a really good high energy feel about it and we were really on a roll in the week we spent at Fish Factory laying down the base of all the songs.” Sounds pretty epic to us, we pried into what went down at Juno studios: “We layered lots of guitars, effects, vocals, cool stuff - we were hoping for a gong but think we’ll save it for the next album!” The album artwork features an inkblot painting showing two people sitting on a bench. Before we feel like a mental patent being analysed by the Rorschach test, we asked The Franklys what we were seeing: “Our good friend Cal Sino came on board to do all the artwork that you see on the album, he’s crazy talented. Jen put together a little surprise that you’ll find in the middle of the artwork booklet, and everything just came together so well. We couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out!” PAULA FROST

getting every detail in every single song right.” We asked what struck them most about their influences: “Just the energy and excitement you get from listening to them. They’re all bands that makes you wanna get up and dance, and that’s the kinda music we like to play.” That’s definitely true and we can see from the way The Franklys are shaking up the scene that they certainly have stage presence live. Recently the band have been busy in the studio recording their debut album ‘Are You Listening?’ at two studios, we wanted to SOUNDS LIKE: BLONDIE / ARCTIC MONKEYS / L7 know what was going OUT NOW: ARE YOU LISTENING? (Hälta Hälta) down: “We recorded

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“I WAS BORED OF SINGING IN SWEDISH”

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TRUE MOON

Combining kinetic post-punk with darkly lush new wave sounds, TRUE MOON have emerged from Sweden cloaked in mystery. Having recently played with Killing Joke and released their self-titled debut album, Paula Frost digs deep into the band. How do you write together? Karolina: “I write all the lyrics.” Tommy: “I write all the music.”

How much input did your producer Jari Haapalainen have on the album?

You started this band because you were frustrated with the music scene in Sweden, right?

Tommy: “It varies between tracks. He had no influence at all on lyrics. He produced the last Vanna Inget record as well. Some of the songs changed a lot when he produced them but other songs like ‘Sugar’ stayed the same as when we first played it. He plays guitar in the band as well but he’s not always with us live. He plays on the record because we recorded all the music live.”

Tommy: “Yeah, when we started, everyone in Sweden sang in English, more or less. A small few artists started to sing in Swedish and that felt very fresh. So when we did Vanna Inget it felt natural to sing in Swedish. Now everything sounds more or less the same and we felt we were done with that.” Karolina: “You get bored of hearing yourself sing in Swedish. It’s been since 2011 and for me personally I was bored with singing in Swedish.”

What was the recording process like?

Your band and album are called ‘True Moon’ and you have a song with the same title. What does ‘True Moon’ mean to you? Karolina Engdahl (vocals/bass): “There are two sides of the moon. The bright side and the dark side. They are contrasts and that felt like a good way of describing our music.” Karolina, you’re on the album cover with your face painted and your hands covering your face. What does that mean? Karolina: “Faces are interesting and I wanted to enhance the feeling within our music.” Tommy Tift (guitar): “We wanted to create a shield and a distance. The integrity is important. We don’t want to be like Britney Spears or anything like that. No model photos!”

You were both in a band before this, Vanna Inget. What’s the big difference with this project? Karolina: “For me, I’ve been longing to sing in English for a very long time. This is different and closer to the music I like and listen to now. It felt like I had so much inspiration inside that needed to come out.” Tommy: “This music didn’t fit Vanna Inget, they’re more of an up tempo punk band. The last record we did with Vanna opened up for this though.” Karolina: “Yes, it was a bridge to this project.”

at home first and then we cut the music to fit the vocals. In this band the vocal is more important than the riffs.”

Tommy: “I did the technical part of the recordings. We rehearsed more than we spent recording because we just played all the songs through a couple of times in my studio and we recorded three guitars, bass and drums live. We didn’t add anything after. Then Karolina came in and recorded all the songs through one or two times within ninety minutes. So I think we recorded the whole thing in a couple of days but we rehearsed for about a week.”

Why did you record all the vocals so fast? Were you under pressure for time? Karolina: “No, I just had a good flow and a bit of luck! Everything just felt easy, like a train moving.” Tommy: “We went to record a few songs again but they didn’t have the same feeling as the first take so we decided to keep the first take. The song ‘Guns’ is the first time Karolina sang that song ever because we hadn’t rehearsed with vocals. That’s her first try ever in singing that song.” Karolina, on some tracks you sound like Lana Del Ray and others you sound like Siouxsie Sioux. How did you manage to have such a dynamic voice within ninety minutes? Karolina: “I don’t think about it. Of course it’s hard to go from very light to very low but it just worked really well.”

Do you listen to the music first and write lyrics to it? Karolina: “I write sentences and words, small bits of lyrics all the time, almost every day and if Tom gives me some song material, sometimes the lyrics fit perfectly. It’s like a puzzle.” Tommy: “The song can change after the vocals are added. We do demo recordings

Have you been over to the UK before? What do you think of British music? Tommy: “We’ve only done one show in the UK but it was really cool. We’re looking forward to going over there again because all the bands we listen to come from there. We listen to all the old bands. We don’t know much about the current bands but we’re looking forward to playing with them! I understand that people in the UK have really started to enjoy new wave and post-punk again. We’ve been over to America a lot with the other band and they also like post-punk. It’s a natural progression from punk. Also proto-punk, Television and bands like that.”

What do you love about post-punk and darkwave? Tommy: “We just love the sound of those bands and try to emulate that late 1970s and 1980s production sound. Imagine if you take ‘Disorder’ and put it through modern production. It feels like that song wouldn’t benefit from it.”

Is that why you recorded to tape? Tommy: “Yes, exactly. We also only used analogue tape delays, echoes and outboard reverbs. We more or less only used analogue the same way they would have recorded in ‘79-’80.”

What have you got planned for the rest of this year? “We’re already working on a second album. We’re aiming to go back in the studio. We’d also love to come back over to the UK and play some shows!” ‘True Moon’ is out now on Lovely Records

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ONE OF THE UK’S BEST-LOVED AND MOST ACCLAIMED ALTERNATIVE ACTS HAVE REGROUPED FOR THE STUNNINGLY ATMOSPHERIC SOUNDTRACK TO A NEW FILM. JAMES GATES CHATS WITH THE TINDERSTICKS’ STUART STAPLES TO FIND OUT MORE.

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INCE their inception in Nottingham in the early ‘90s, Tindersticks have forged a path that is all their own. Impossible to imitate, the band have been putting out immersive and emotional music and now they are pushing boundaries yet again with the album ‘Minute Bodies’, a soundtrack to a new film of the same about the life and work of F. Percy Smith, an acclaimed early 20th century experimental film-maker. I had the chance to talk with singer Stuart Staples, who directed the film as well as masterminding its instrumental soundtrack, at his home in the French countryside.

Can you tell me a bit about how this album came to be? “It’s been going on for something like maybe three years. I saw a clip of Percy Smith’s work and it just made want to find out more, and as I started to find out more it made me want to make some music and then I had an idea as to how to make the music for his work and then how to get people to work on it. And then generally just… I wouldn’t say ‘snowballed’ as that’s kind of fast, but it was always gaining a momentum to kind of grow into something. Also I was finding out more about Percy Smith, getting the British Film Institute on board, that kind of thing. It’s always been a very gradual process.”

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You were instrumental in the making of the film as well. “Yeah, I directed the film. It uses a lot of archive stuff so you’re working with a lot of pre-existing footage, so it’s more about editing, decision making, deciding on the things that you want to include and the things you don’t, that sort of thing.”

What was the process like of actually making a film from scratch? “I suppose it was always growing. It was always a conversation between the film inspiring the music and then the music talking back to the images and it gradually formed into something that was tangible, so it was kind of a hobby for a while (laughs). Even when things were kind of more highpressured and it was becoming less of a Tindersticks album, it was always somewhere to go to work in a less pressured, enjoyable kind of way. It was a case of just working with the film and the music together.”

How hard or easy was it to put it all together? “It was never easy, it was never smooth, but I think it was always asking for something, you know, the project was asking me to explore different avenues within it. And all of Percy Smith’s films were generally educational films. I was just generally very interested in things like him being alone in his studio and his scenes that he’d set up where he’d film

something like tin mould for months at a time. He still had to… the film still had to be something that engaged with audiences at the time and had to be entertaining as well, so around that core of his work was obviously long shots and descriptions, captions, music, voiceovers, that sort of thing. So I think what ‘Minute Bodies’ does, it goes right back to his first moments of each film and concentrates on him being in his laboratories and studios. And I think that was thing that I found really inspiring, musically. “Percy Smith ended up being a pioneer filmmaker but he was a person who was there at the right time in the early 20th century, he was a kid who grew up being fascinated by nature, by spiders and insects and he would combine that with

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“WE’VE ENDED UP MAKING MUSIC THAT WAS BEFORE THE REALMS OF MY IMAGINATION BEFORE WE STARTED.”

his enthusiasm for amateur photography at a time when the whole world was open to being amazed by photography at the time. I think at that time he ended up becoming very special, he made these films and he showed people in cinemas for the first time the micro-world of how flowers grow, how insects breed, that sort of thing. Because the images are quite abstract, the soundtrack needed to work musically, the journey through it is always close to the image but the image is not always what he’s trying to get across.”

What was it in particular about his art that spoke to you? “I think one of the reasons was I don’t think

he ever thought about his work as art and I think that was something that resonated deeply for me, even though now it’s difficult not to think about his images as art, I think for him it was just a communicating the things he was interested in to other people. I don’t think he ever thought about himself as an artist and I think for me growing up in the late ‘70s, the idea of art wasn’t very obvious to me and the way I grew up, so I think that if you grew up in a general working-class family then I think the idea of art wasn’t something that was around you all that much.”

“It’s not something that I can see myself making again, it was something very specific for me. I had a very strong feeling for it three years ago and that’s carried through into the present day. I’m pleased because it has a life but it’s always been him and his work that’s kept me engaged with moving forward. There’s been some great musicians involved with it as well, like Christine Ott and Thomas Odell, they’ve brought so much to it and we’ve ended up making music that was before the realms of my imagination before we started. It really feels as if we’ve pushed at something by ourselves.”

Can you see yourself making any more features in the future?

‘Minute Bodies: The Intimate World Of F. Percy Smith’ is out June 9th on City Slang

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FERGAL KINNEY MEETS THURSTON MOORE TO DISCUSS NEW ALBUM ‘ROCK’N’ROLL CONSCIOUSNESS’, THE BENEFITS OF CHURCH RECORDING AND DONALD TRUMP...

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PEAKING once of her now ex-husband, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon remembered “he exuded this faith, he didn’t really worry about the future”. This is still very much true. Since the dissolution of that band in 2011 – brought about by the messy and well documented split between Moore and Gordon – a reawakened sense of possibility has been all over Moore’s output. Testament to this is the sheer volume of projects he’s been involved with in the last half decade – experimental drone tapes, free improvisation jazz, even lecturing in poetry at a US university. In April this year, he returned to the day job with ‘Rock’n’Roll Consciousness’ – his third (or fourth, he’s not entirely sure himself) solo record proper. “I feel really happy about it”, he tells me, “it’s a much more solid affair than I’ve been involved with since possibly the last Sonic Youth record, if not ‘Demolished Thoughts’, around that same time”. When ‘Rock’n’Roll Consciousness’ was first announced, the idea that such an esteemed pioneer of the avant-garde would be working with Paul Epworth – incredibly celebrated, for sure, but largely known for his work with acts like Adele and Rihanna – raised eyebrows. So how did the collaboration with Epworth come about? Well, largely from Thurston raising his

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own eyebrows at a similar collaboration – he was interviewing Mark Stewart of the Pop Group who had just released ‘Citizen Zombie’ (recorded by Epworth) and was curious. “He said he’s a Bristol boy and he’s a Pop Group fan and he’s probably a Sonic Youth fan” explains Moore of his conversation with Stewart, “you should call him up! I thought it was a little out of my league but I was curious so I gave Paul Epworth a call and he was very welcoming and he was very generous and he invited me over to the studio and it was amazing”. So, later in 2015, Moore decamped for a week to Church Studios in Crouch End, a stone’s throw from his home in Stoke Newington. “It’s this beautiful cathedral and the recording room is this huge open area with these beautiful analogue consoles sitting inside of it. I don’t know if then I was expecting Paul Epworth to work with me Sonic Youth in the same capacity he works with Adele or Florence and the Machine; his expertise is in arrangements, songwriting, I think we both knew that wasn’t really what I was looking for…because the music I’m making, even though it’s using a traditional set up it’s pretty unorthodox. So there was nothing really to discuss we all just worked on our intuitions and it was probably one of my

greatest studio experiences, and I’d work there again in a flash.”

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he ensuing record ranks among the strongest releases by any member of Sonic Youth – and it’s certainly Moore’s best so far. It’s sprawling and – just five tracks across 43 minutes, but never feeling indulgent. Instead, it’s a guitar record that brims with ideas given the space to breath, and whilst there are plenty of dirge excavations and crashes of doom, the guitar work (especially the interplay between Moore and guitarist James Sedwards) is remarkably dynamic. Indeed, it’s Sedwards – formerly of instrumental postrock act Nøught – that Moore identifies as a key catalyst in his band (which also includes My Bloody Valentine’s Deb Googe and Sonic Youth stalwart Steve Shelley). He laughs as he remembers first encountering Sedwards when he first decamped to Stoke Newington in 2011. “There was this guy playing guitar all day and all night below our flat, and we met in the common kitchen area and he was a Sonic Youth enthusiast so was really shocked to see me there! You could see the narrative in his eyes –oh I get it now, you’re the boyfriend! So we really bonded. So I started getting engaged in writing new music and I knew that James was going to be somebody I wanted to make a phonecall to. James is kind of the youngest face in the band, but Deb and I have both been in pretty high profile independent rock bands – Sonic Youth and MBV – and we’re not really interested in replicating that or return to some kind of glory that either of those

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bands had. We just feel that we like playing together and we’ll make music together and as long as there’s somebody who’s interested in working with us that’s really fortunate. So I’m more interested, in a way it allows me to be more exploratory and more far-reaching in what I want to do.” In 2014, Moore wondered aloud that Sonic Youth had towards the end ceased being ‘the radical band anymore, we were more of a radical reference point’, I ask him how

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the current band experience compares to Sonic Youth. “Lee (Ranaldo, Sonic Youth) is such a fabulous experimental guitar player, and neither of us dropped into tropes of more traditional lead playing, and that was just the nature of Sonic Youth anyway, but this group it’s a little different, it’s a bit more straight ahead, which I like. I don’t really bemoan being as kind of offkilter or unorthodox as Sonic Youth.” This is Moore’s first major release since 2014’s ‘The Best Day’. That record was concise,

steady and curiously upbeat – all the things ‘Rock’n’Roll Consciousness’ revels in not being. To what extent was the record a reaction to ‘The Best Day’, or simply a band getting more locked in over time? “I wanted to do something more expansive, that’s for sure” agrees Moore, “It’s a different vibe certainly than that material (the Best Day), which is maybe more spidery and disconnected, that record was a bit of a pastiche of the material we recorded as a four piece and solo records. This record was full on

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focused on this group and the material is all in one aesthetic, you know? I took a long time sequencing it and paring it down to five pieces and I thought each one was somewhat distinct from each other and it sort of had a bit of a feeling.”

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he genesis of the record comes from an idea of spirituality, grounded in a oneness Moore finds not in meditation or religious ritual but from an almost academic immersion in music, books and culture. “I really wanted”, he tells me, “to make a record that was all about tying in this idea of avant-garde music informed by spirituality”. Vibrations, magic and karma make up the lexis of the record, and one of the key tracks, ‘Smoke of Dreams’, meditates on a formative moment for Thurston Moore – moving to New York in his late teens to begin a life in the counter culture. “The song is pretty self evident what it’s emoting, which is this feeling of ennui about your own history which is maybe something I could only write at this time period of my life as I get closer to sixty years old and can kind of thing about this period thirty years or more prior to now and being young and aloof. (‘Smoke of Dreams’) was one of the last things we did, we were coming to a close in the week long session and there was some time left and I knew I had some other fragments of songs I could look at. I took out that song and finalized it there in the studio, headphones and notepad and spent a couple of hours just really finalizing this piece together. I got the lyrics from different poems I’d written and published that had similar lines that referenced New York City. This period in the seventies and early eighties when I was young and poor and living in New York and how that kind of defined me psychologically into whatever disciplines I got into.” Another formative influence that Moore has been mining parallel to ‘Rock’n’Roll Consciousness’ is his work in the CAN Project – a live ensemble tribute to the music of CAN. Led by founding CAN member Irmin Schmidt, early vocalist Malcom Mooney and Moore, the project debuted at the Barbican the week before our interview, and I asked Moore about the influence the German band have had on his work. “CAN were super important to me as a teenager. I found a copy of Ege Bamyasi in a cheap record bin in the ‘70s and I held onto it and it was this really curious album that I had and I moved to New York City and eventually in the ‘80s would find other CAN records, and as time went by a whole world of German rock music from the late ‘60s/early ‘70s became more available and the information got out there that there was this amazing scene

that happened around CAN and Faust and Amon Duul and this whole world of underground kosmiche music. But that record was a real entry point into that kind of mantra drone rock sound, it was just fantastic and I always held it very dear.” The influence of Krautrock on ‘Rock’n’Roll Consciousness’, as on plenty of Moore’s work, is clear – ‘Turn On’ takes the famous motoric Klaus Dinger beat and adds a wall of insistent Velvet Underground guitars. How was the experience of the CAN project once it arrived at the Barbican? “It was so much fun, we had fun, we didn’t want to sound like a CAN record or copy every note, we covered the songs but wanted to be our own ensemble, be who we are as musicians coming out of where we come out of – this kind of post indie rock no wave punk experimental everything. So we played the gig at the Barbican and it was super fun and I think we’re going to do it again at Glastonbury so we’ll see how that goes. For me, all of the sudden to be doing something that was so important to me as a 14 year old, you know? And I’m 58. I jumped on stage at the Union Chapel with the brothers from Sparks and I played ‘This Town…’ with them and that to me again, ‘Kimono My House’ when I was like 16 years old was really big news for me. If somebody told me when I was living in a little town listening to ‘Kimono My House’ that in forty years time I’d be performing with the two brothers in London I’d have thought they were talking science fiction. But sure enough it happened.”

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he last time I saw Thurston Moore, it was last year at the literary festival in Stoke Newington – holding talks on radical publishing and the free jazz heritage of the area. When Moore first encountered Stoke Newington, it was long before its metamorphosis into a gentrified spring of prams and florists. “The high street is still kind of wild, but walking down Church Street, you know, where’s all the drug dealers?” he laughs. “It’s a really good community though, it’s a place where I feel there’s a lot of respect for musicians and artists, and I never feel like some kind of weirdo celebrity. I keep to myself, I go to the second hand bookshop and the second hand record shop, and Clissold Park. I go to the

charity shops.” Of course, whilst Moore has been enjoying his exile in London, dark clouds have been gathering over his former home of the US – something that’s increasingly been occupying his thoughts. Last year, Moore released ‘Chelsea’s Kiss’, a standalone single in support of the campaign to free whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Though that campaign was ultimately successful – one of Obama’s final acts in office was to pardon Manning – our conversation swiftly segues into last year’s presidential election and the man Moore terms ‘reprehensible’. “All of that since has been so overshadowed by this overwhelming poisoning of America right now by this… person who is the manifestation of hate speech. Somebody who talks about women in the language of rapists becoming head of the country is almost beyond comprehension, so the fact that that’s our reality right now is high anxiety. I feel really sad for the country I was born and raised in and it’s becoming a situation where America has this reputation with having to deal with racist police brutality and it’s become validated and police brutality is going to be the American ideal that goes across the world. So it needs to be stopped by any means necessary. I suggest getting all the noise musicians in the world to surround Trump Towers and blasting their amps until it crumbles into fake dust… ha ha. But in England I have this sense of being an alien as an American and I kind of like that, that sense of otherness, I’m OK with that. But err…right now I have this conflict of wanting to be in the USA helping join with voices of opposition which I find is a very honorable place to be, I feel like I need to protective over my 23 year old daughter who is living in the USA in a culture that is completely prevalent with gun ownership and so all these things have really…I can only put out messages of hope. I’m really happy to be putting this record out in the spring time because it’s all about new spring, new feeling of coming out and keeping strong in the face of this dark energy. Right now it’s just one thing that can be done, I’m ready to be on sonic attack.” ‘Rock’n’Roll Consciousness’ is out now on Caroline International

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MANIC STREET PREACHERS

Photographic legend TOM SHEEHAN gives Louder Than War an inside look into his time with the MANIC STREET PREACHERS ahead of the release of historical document ‘You Love Us: Manic Street Preachers In Photographs 1991-2001’.

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he Manics arrived fully formed, with a mission, older than their years and more knowledgeable than most,” remembers Tom Sheehan: “Who does a double album as their first release?! The Manics… brave stuff indeed and continuing to be brave to this day.” A photographer whose images have graced the pages of the NME, The Sunday Times, The Guardian and the Observer, Sheehan’s work has also featured on album covers and artwork by the likes of Radiohead, The Smiths, Oasis and The Charlatans. Having released collected photos of Paul Weller (‘Aim High’) and The Cure (‘InBetweenDays’), ‘You Love Us’ is the third in a series from Tom’s archive. Here, he talks us through the stories behind the iconic images of the Manics. (Left) Click Studios Clerkenwell 1991 “This was my first encounter with the chaps... All very young, but boasting a maturity beyond their years. As I recall it took a short time to settle into the flow of taking the pictures. This was before the first album was out – that first album that according to them was the only album they were going to make.” (Below) Video Shoot for ‘You Love Us’ 1991 “This was over west London somewhere on the way out of town on the A4. I spent most a day there. As with all video shoots they can become tedious if one isn’t totally involved. It was a good day all in all. I hung out there for about five hours and left holding a little piece of rock history.”

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MANIC THE STREET FLAMING PREACHERS LIPS

(Left) Highgate Cemetery 1991 “I think it was their idea to go over there when I went over to Askew Road to shoot them. We bundled into a cab and headed off. Once there we set about doing some shots around the Karl Marx tomb. Halfway through we got captured by a warden telling us “you can’t do this”. I tried to explain that I was a lecturer and these were my students and I was helping them out as they had just started a band, and that I was polishing up my photographic skills...” (Above) House In The Woods Studio “I turned up on a winter’s afternoon to find the band pensive and preoccupied. Mind you, they were doing their second album. All of the session took place in this room and they were as hospitable as ever, asking if I’d like a beer. I pointed out the golden rule that I don’t take ale while working.” (Right) Hall Or Nothing Offices 1993 “The series of images taken of Richie was done in a kind of walk in cupboard which was the Hall or Nothing Press Office kitchen. Richie was wearing a great jacket and hat and, being the charming professional he was, we just steamed into a short session that yielded some great casual portraits.”

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MANIC THE STREET FLAMING NIRVANA PREACHERS LIPS

(Left) Holborn Studios 1994 “Just James and Nick were doing press for their up and coming album ‘The Holy Bible’. The cross James is holding I bought in New Mexico knowing it would come in handy one day. In another series of shots I have James holding what looks like a Bible. I’d bought a couple of large books in a local charity shop and sprayed them black then glued a cross I’d bought in NYC. I also made a small cup out of tin foil that I was going to fill with lighter fluid and set it alight with them holding a flaming Bible. You guessed it, they wouldn’t do it. You win some...” (right) Holborn Studios 1996 “This was a Sunday evening and they’d just been at the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party at Wembley. They arrived tired, bemused and pissed off. James needed a certain shirt but I can’t remember if someone went for it or not. I was just concerned about the cost of the hire of the studio on a Sunday.” (Above) Karl Marx Theatre, Cuba 2001 “One of their most outlandish japes: play Cuba, meet Castro... It was great but odd! After the show there was talk that the band were going to meet Fidel. Finally it happened. After a few words Castro got up to go and started shaking the band’s hands. I couldn’t miss this opportunity so I dashed over and just let loose on the motor drive, shooting off a dozen frames in two seconds. I took James by surprise - “Bloody hell Tommy! What are you doing?!” I said that I couldn’t miss that shot. They’re not great shots – just grabbed frames – but it’s rock history. ‘You Love Us: Manic Street Preachers In Photographs 1991-2001’ is out June 30th on Flood Gallery Publishing Manic Street Preachers images copyright Tom Sheehan. These images are supplied for use in conjunction with the Flood Gallery book ‘You Love Us’ by Tom Sheehan.

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GLORIOUSLY RESURGENT, INDIE LEGENDS JESUS JONES ARE PREPARING TO HIT THE ROAD ONCE AGAIN IN BETWEEN RECORDING THEIR FIRST ALBUM IN OVER FIFTEEN YEARS. PAULA FROST SPOKE TO FRONTMAN MIKE EDWARDS TO FIND OUT THE HOWS AND THE WHYS... Your band are known for taking electronic music, techno and house into an indie rock band. Where did that blend come from? “Saying that, now that’s what everyone does! Back at the end of the ‘80s you were pretty much into dance music or you were into rock music and that’s all there was. If you were around at that time you couldn’t ignore things like The Beastie Boys or Public Enemy. And then in ‘87 and ‘88 was the acid house revolution. Everything changed. We accepted influence. We were going to acid house clubs and listening to hip hop, house and techno and for me, I still feel that’s the most interesting area of music, modern electronica. Now I basically listen to trap and dubstep. That’s the stuff I’m really into!”

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Can you tell us a bit about each member of Jesus Jones? “Yeah! In the old days Gen the drummer and I were very straight edge. After the gig we’d get straight back to bed for a decent night’s sleep. We were looking after ourselves. I always used to worry about my voice so looked after it as much as possible. Meanwhile we’d be lying in bed and Al would be being hung out of a window of a hotel by his ankles by another band member. Jerry and Allen were the party guys. Gen and I were the opposite. It’s a personality thing and we like to be in control. Iain was in between depending on what he wanted to do.”

The most common story of the band forming is that you were all in another band and while on holiday in Spain

you all decided to leave and form Jesus Jones. Is that what really happened? “(Laughs) Kind of! That’s the Chinese whispers version. There’s a strong element of truth in that. We were the same band back in the summer of 1988 with the same members, all bar Iain the keyboard player. That holiday was a critical point because we’d been thinking about music for a long time and how we were going to succeed. It was me, the drummer and the guitarist on a beach in Spain doing nothing and I said to them ‘Look, I know how to make this work, I’ve figured it out so give me the reigns. Stand off and let me sort it out.’ By and large, that’s what happened!”

Do you have a favourite tour that you went on with the band? “One was supporting INXS in ‘92 and we were playing stadiums every night. We got to play Wembley Stadium! Sold out! That first tour we did with The Shamen, that was our first ever proper tour and to do it with a band you had massive admiration for, that was really exciting.

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There was a tour at the start of ‘91 when our song ‘Right Here, Right Now’ was taking off in America and we were booked when we were a really small club band and as we moved our way through the tour, the single was going up the charts, making its way into the Top 10, then the Top 5 and we were becoming much too big for the venues we were booked into. So that was really exciting.”

What prompted you to release a new album now? “It’s been something that’s gradually gathered speed over the last few years. Iain said ‘Let’s get the ball rolling again’ and we have! We’ve started gigging more often, recording and it just picked up speed until we decided to do an album. It wasn’t one big decision of sudden action. It was an accumulation of momentum really.”

Why did you name the album ‘Passages’? “It’s a title that makes sense, with various meanings to it: passages of music, passages of time through life, journeys you undertake. There’s many ideas that come to mind for me. The album is very much about the point where

we are in our lives. We’ve been touring and we haven’t released a single for over a quarter of a century. We’ve been doing it a long time and we’re not the people we were when we started out in the ‘80s. I find it interesting to reflect on where we are and the passages of time in our lives.”

Where are you recording the new album? “We’re in the process of recording it now. Some gets recorded in a house in Dartmoor, a dingy rehearsal room in Surrey and a house in Chicago somewhere. Such is the digital age! I live in Devon and most of the work is done here. I send it over to our drummer in Surrey and our bass player lives in Chicago so we send files back and forth. In a way it seems a logical progression from what we recorded a century ago.”

Could you tell us about some of the song content on the new album? “I do write in quite a bleak way and I don’t like things being very obvious. I don’t like simple stories. The song ‘Grateful’, I’m looking at myself thinking “You don’t half moan a lot!”

And honestly there are a lot of things going on in life you should be incredibly grateful about. ‘Chemistry’ is pondering the way hormones change the moods that we have. We are just kind of a collection of these chemicals that swill around and have such profound but subliminal effect on us. ‘Fall’ is about how I can’t stand British weather from October through to about May. I think it’s a depressing place to be and that’s what that song is about!”

Do you have a favourite song you’ve written? “Yes! ‘Right Here, Right Now’ was always a favourite of mine which was why I was so thrilled when it became a big hit. I thought I’d done it! I’d finally managed to write some decent words. I liked the tune, I liked the sentiment and it was really good. On this new album there’s some tracks I really like such as ‘How’s This Even Going Down’. I love that and am very pleased with it. Also ‘Chemistry’ is a favourite of mine too.” ‘Passages’ is out later this year Jesus Jones tour the UK in June

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WITH A NEW LINE-UP AND A FRESH SOUND THAT’S A COLLISION OF ROCK ‘N’ ROLL AND PSYCHEDELIA, LOVE AND EVIL, ATLANTA FLOWER PUNKS BLACK LIPS HAVE LEAPT INTO THE DEEP END WITH EIGHTH ALBUM ‘SATAN’S GRAFFITI OR GOD’S ART?’. IAN CHADDOCK TALKS TO VOCALIST/GUITARIST COLE ALEXANDER ABOUT THEIR NEW DIRECTION.

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E’RE a little rusty but we’re getting there,” Cole Alexander explains, adding that it’s good to be back on the road, as they head to Philadelphia for the second show on their US tour, kicking off the night before in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “It was awesome, we played with this cool band called Surfbort who are on tour with us. It was fun!” But to get to this point, the last few years have been a strange journey. Following 2011’s ‘Arabia Mountain’ and 2014’s ‘Underneath The Mountain’, Black Lips were skirting the edges of the mainstream, touring the Middle East for a month in 2012 as well. However, with a large scale line-up change (only Cole and vocalist/bassist Jared Swilley remain from their last album), it’s all change in the Black Lips camp. “We really wanted to make the record but we’d been playing with Joe [Bradley, former drummer] for 16 or 17 years,” reasons Alexander. “We had Ian [St. Pé, former guitarist] and Joe on the last record and I think they just kind of wanted to do some other things in their lives, rather than just one thing. I don’t blame them. They took some time to do other things in their lives and that’s when we brought in some of the other people, like Zumi [Rosow] on saxophone and Oakley [Munson] on drums. It was kind of refreshing to get a little bit of new blood. It had gotten a little bit stagnant

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and I think that would have broken us up eventually.” With this new look five-pice line-up, completed by returning guitarist Jack Hines (who served a short tenure in the band previously from 2002 to 2004), Alexander admits that the new configuration “took a little bit, we did four sessions and the first one was kind of a bust. It took a bit of time.” However, he also explains that without the new line-up there would be no shift and evolution. “It’s only because of the new lineup that there’s a new sound, I’ve got to give them credit for that.” Produced by Sean Lennon and recorded at his secluded studio compound in his upstate New York throughout 2016, it was a new experience for the new-look band. “Sean invited us. I had done a Fat White Family recording with him, I went to help out with that. I really liked the studio and I had a talk with Sean about maybe doing our band and he was really into that. The whole band came up for it so we had the time to do it. He’s getting more into production these days. There were no distractions whatsoever. That was really helpful. We haven’t really recorded like that before and it was totally different. I’ve never quite been in a situation like that.” Another situation that they hadn’t been in before was a little more dangerous during recording. “He warned us about deer hunters up there. You had to be careful you didn’t get shot by the deer hunters running around.”

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voiding the hunters, the Black Lips recorded ‘Satan’s Graffiti Or God’s Art?’ with contributions from Saul Adamczewski of Fat White Family and atmospheric guest vocals by Sean Lennon’s mother, Yoko Ono. “She’s very kind of zen,” confirms Alexander. “She has an image of having a very avant garde mindset but I found her to be a mentor personally. She looks at everything in such a different way than we’re schooled. It’s a very refreshing way she looks at the world.” However, the new album mixes up their scuzzy rock ‘n’ roll sound with themes of spirituality and death. “As I get older I think about that more. I was very excited about that, it felt like we’d breathed new life into the band. It’s that feeling of doing something new.” With the title of the record stressing that mix of good and evil, the album is an 18-track, loose concept record that seems

to laugh at the very idea. The flower punk stomp of single ‘Can’t Hold On’ and the psychedelic country-infused ‘Occidental Front’, not to mention the bongo-filled ‘Interlude: E’lektric Spider Webz’ show a band pushing their limits. However, it’s songs like ‘Crystal Night’, a painful love song with set against the 1938 Nazi raids that started the Holocaust, and ‘Wayne’, “about a serial killer who killed about thirty people in Atlanta”, that unveil the dark heart of the record. Alexander elaborates,

“It’s dark with love too. Finding love within evil.” Hitting the reset button and with a new lease of life 18 years and eight albums into their career, the Black Lips have never sounded more wild and genre-defying than on ‘Satan’s Graffiti Or God’s Art?’ Will you dare to take the journey with them? ‘Satan’s Graffiti Or God’s Art?’ is out now on Vice Black Lips play Reading/Leeds Festival in August

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Frontman Ian Brown

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the STONE ROSES

AS THEY PREPARE TO CAPTURE THE HEARTS OF THE UK WITH THEIR LATEST TOURING STINT, LOUDER THAN WAR EDITOR IN CHIEF JOHN ROBB PICKS UP WHERE ISSUE 1 OF LOUDER THAN WAR LEFT OFF, TELLING THE TALE OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE STONE ROSES.

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T was sat there doing an in-conversation with Mancunian legend and former Stone Roses tour manager Steve Adge a few months ago about his upcoming and definitive account of his time with the band that you realise that this was a band operating like no other. As he detailed his brilliant war stories and wild tales of his times with the Roses, you realised that this was a tightly knit gang of Mancunian mates who took their own path as they ran around the world at their peak, swerving all the correct ‘career’ moves and following their own instincts. Adge’s raucous and brilliant storytelling and worldly wisdom is so classic Manc and, like many raconteur you find around the city he has the scars to prove it. With tales that make you laugh and cry, he was a key part of the soundtrack that changed UK pop culture for ever - the facilitator, the man who put on the famous warehouse parties in 1985 that still frame the band’s love of special events that make the upcoming Wembley show work or the secret warm up shows so brilliant - it’s a key part of the Roses mythology and Adge is the man who created it. It’s in the middle of another great story that he is telling that you realise just how off the scale the band was and will hopefully be printed in his upcoming book that you realise that perhaps the Stone Roses are the quintessential Mancunian band with all that entails. Like Robin Hood and his gang of merry men the Stone Roses exist somewhere just beyond the periphery, emerging for spectacular moments and then disappearing back into the thick forest leaving a trail of question marks longer than when they arrived. It was always like this. Even before they were famous they would take a year off the road to write songs instead of slogging around the local circuit. Even when they did make it they disappeared

for five years with the confidence in their own ability to return on their own terms when they felt like it. For years Twitter has been twitching with hopeful information on whether they will ever release a new album. The lack of information and that misty mystique are part of their story. Obviously, this is no normal band with a five year plan. Most rock bands release an album and then tour it for a couple of years and then go back into the studio for another attempt to capture the magic of their finest moments. Perhaps the Roses’ burden is the genius of that 1989 debut album, a moment so spectacularly perfect even the most self assured of bands looked shocked. And an album that is so timeless that, along with its eventual follow up ‘Second Coming’, it still forms virtually the whole of their live set. It’s a burden that they wear well. In many ways playing virtually the same set in their comeback years could be seen as a copout but there comes a time when a band is no longer the custodian of its songs. They belong to its audience and to a generation. Etched into the psyche of a time and a place. Songs that promised everything with their perfect balance of melancholy and euphoria and from a distant time when one love was all that was needed to change the world. The comeback Roses play the songs with such love and an astonishing skill that they still sound huge and alive and full of nooks and crannies and melodic moments that still feel undiscovered. Of course, 1989 is a long time ago now. An historical epoch. A different world. Manchester was in the tail end of post-punk and ecstasy had made everyone look gonzoid and feel unbeatable. It’s hard to believe in these chaotic and dangerous times but there was a real feel good factor, a coming up, a rush. The iron curtain was pulled away and the drugs and the

music were in synchronicity. It was a wonderful time to be around. The stiff and damp UK of the previous years where men would greet each other from three feet away with a grunted ‘hello’ was swept away in a tide of optimism and man hugs and opposite sexes would greet with a flurry of kisses and that cold Victorian England was swept away finally in the loved up rush of the time. Dance music was the soundtrack but famously bands like the Roses and the Mondays caught the feeling with guitars in a genius crossover moment.

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hen the needle hits the groove for the Roses’ debut you still feel that rush, that holy rush of perfection. It was a moment that defined a generation and set them up to be potentially the biggest band in the world. Five years in the Manchester underground and then suddenly thrust into the fastlane with an attitude that was part punk rock and part Manchester, that disdain for the VIP showbiz world of pop stars that saw them shrug away the glamour and the glitz. While the party that the band had invented was well under way they did one of their famous disappearing acts - becoming shadowy baggy figures in the hills of pop culture with a snatched story here and a snatched story there. When they finally remerged with ‘Love Spreads’ in December 1994 it seemed to appear from nowhere, a mysterious, glorious blues wander that far away from the shimmering guitar pop rush of their debut. It was an instant Top 5 and the cheekily titled ‘Second Coming’ album seemed to be set to follow suit. With stunning bravado the band released it on the week before Christmas when the serious music fan was burying themselves away from the rush of Christmas compilation crap. The album stalled at number four - not a flop but not the Oasis-

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style supernova moment that pop culture was now used to as the Gallaghers had sneaked in and stolen the Roses’ thunder a few months before. Reni quit the band and they were wounded, battling on with a world tour, hit singles pulled from the album and then finally collapsing at the infamous Reading festival show. No sane band would have carried on like this. The post-punk big band model was a far more sensible affair but the Roses were not built of sensible stuff and that chaotic balance between sublime genius and a self destructive gene is part of what made them so fascinating. The band was also made up of four disparate and talented individuals who all knew that they had a key role in the group. This was also part of their brilliance and part of their inbuilt danger.

Guitarist John Squire

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he much documented comeback caught everyone by surprise - the Roses did seem to reappear from a vacuum. Yet again, the band seemed to be in full steam mode. This time with proper management from concert promoters SJM, they were surrounded by a team of people steeped in Northern music culture and a fine understanding of the brilliant lunacy of music who knew what the fuck they were doing and made sure the band were on the right path. The UK gigs were phenomenal: huge and with an atmosphere that was drenched with sweat and celebration. The Twitter feeds started to fill up with questions about the third coming. Would there, could there be third album? Rumours of studio time and songwriting appeared and were dashed, as the band seemed to pull back from the brink of mega success yet again and disappear back into the dense thicket of expectation. Surely this was the point in time to release an album. Speculation mounted again. What would it sound like? did it exist? And then… Silence. All the fans had now was Shane Meadows fly-on-the-wall documentary of their adventures, ‘The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone’, in 2013. Meadows was the perfect choice for making the film. An ex-skinhead scooter boy, like some of the band he was deeply imbued in the same culture, that smokey room and dusty dancehall late seventies, early eighties backdrop of Northern soul, punk rock and associated musics that soundtracked punk’s fallout into skin and scooter culture - that network of gangs looking for fun before the door slammed shut on teenage kicks. He caught the band still somehow immersed in this kind of lifestyle - a mixture of artful brilliance and devil-may-care madness that kind of defined their unique madness. The Roses had always been different for a Manchester band - they were from the scooter clubs and the teenage gangs more than the art set. They were the last of the punk generation bands to make it and that attitude was still inherent in their mix.

And then… An announcement. Many hoped that finally this was the album they had been waiting for but it turned out to be a trailer for the announcement on the 2nd of November 2015, of two gigs at Manchester’s City Of Manchester on the 17th and 18th of June 2016 that sold out fast, resulting in a further two shows being added, a headline slot at T In The Park festival and a show at Strathallan Castle in Scotland. The months slipped by. The Roses became shadows again and the talked about third album was a distant wish.

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s ever, it was out the blue that the lemon posters appeared all over Manchester. There was no explanation. Just a lemon. Twitter exploded and with a neat piece of playing the pop culture codes the band announced themselves as doing something - but what? Understanding the new millennium pop culture perfectly the band were shadow boxing with the announcements, creating rumour and mystery in a world of dull press releases. The lemons went viral. Mobile phones snapped the images and flashed them all over social networks in an attempt to work out what was going on. As winter’s cruel, barren months slipped into spring there was another moment when Robin Hood and his merry men were snapped lurking outside the Church recording studio in London. What the fuck was going on? The band had still only done one interview (a press conference). Always friendly and always chatting, they gave nothing away but, when ambushed near the studios in London Ian Brown let slip that they had been recording - but how much had been recorded was up in the air. The game was back on. the Roses had new stuff. On the 12th of May 2016, the band released ‘All For One’, their

first new release in more than twenty years. Expectations were, understandably, sky high. The song was a rabble rousing populist anthem that split opinion. It was different from the shimmering magic of the debut or the Zeppelin pomp of ‘Second Coming’. The single was an almost punk rock football anthem, a singalong like their material from their very early days when they were skinny kids rehearsing in Manchester. In many ways the expectations got in the way and a perfectly good single was overlooked. The reaction was 50/50 but live the track would get the best reaction - a surging huge beast that prompts an enormous singalong. A second single, titled ‘Beautiful Thing’, was released on the 9th of June. The quicksilver funk of ‘Fools Gold’ and ‘One Love’’s verses was revisited for one of those Roses grooves that saw the single embraced, with lyrics that seemed to be directly addressed to someone with the deep funk bass and wahwah guitar laid over shuffling drums, dripping in

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groove. The song seemed yet again to hint at an album - could the Can-style funk opus that everyone had longed for decades ago suddenly be back in the works? Yet again silence. Then another sudden reappearance in June when the band did one of their famous secret shows - a tradition that goes hand in hand with their sense of playing gigs as events. This time it was Halifax Victoria Hall that got the gig- the Yorkshire town perched in the hills not far out from Manchester. Tagged ‘The Gig With No Name’, a term stamped onto the wristbands given to the 1500 fans who turned up, Victoria Hall is one of those beautiful classic 19th century halls that so perfectly frame rock ‘n’ roll music. In many ways the band are, of course, custom built for those glorious community singa-longs in stadiums but the perfect place to capture them is in these halls with their echoes of grainy clips of the Rolling Stones or the Who. The atmosphere is electric and those classic songs echo around the ancient walls, a sweat soaked room and a thrilled audience with that sense of occasion that the band have always been so perfect at capturing. That sense of community, that sense of space and time captured by the band’s music and Ian Brown’s charismatic stage presence. A crowd-pleasing greatest hits set including ‘I Wanna Be Adored’, ‘Begging You’, ‘Love Spreads’, ‘Waterfall’, songs that mark out people’s lives. Also the new single, ‘All For One’, live it was perfect. People joined hands and made a wall like the lyrics asked. It was communal. Louderthanwar.com was there and reported that “they tore through their powerful back catalogue in style. Squire played his licks stoically, barely looking up or acknowledging the crowd until the final moments. Mani looked like a kid in a sweet shop, thrilled to be playing his favourite tunes with his best friends. Reni, as ever, was unfathomably good on the drums, and Ian Brown was at his absolute coolest.” Ready, the band were going to play four shows at the Etihad stadium, the home ground of Manchester City - not the Manchester club they were mostly famous for supporting.

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ike Heaton Park, the city seemed to be gripped with a fever as the Roses pulled of another series of big shows in the town - like an elongated bank holiday where you invite thousands of madeyed nutters into your house, the gigs had a special atmosphere. In the city centre in the afternoon your author was making his way towards the gig and spotted a familiar figure casually walking around in town with his wife. Fuck me, it’s Reni - does this band do anything by the book? The biggest gig of your life and an hour before doors open you’re walking around the city centre like nothing is happening. Reni was calm and in

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a good mood. We talked of old friends and good times for several minutes before he walked towards the stadium claiming he was going to do the thirty minute walk to the gig. The road up to the Etihad is packed - it’s a twenty minute walk out of town along the gradually developing roads into the north of the city to Manchester City’s huge stadium built for the Commonwealth games and given to the local football club. The road is rammed. Snatches of Roses songs pepper the marching masses, there’s a smattering of Reni hats, a multi-aged crowd of new disciples mixed with old lags who looked they lived it back in the day. It feels like a mixture between a concert and a match, a rite of passage and a very Manchester moment. A Stone Roses gig in Manchester is more than just ‘a gig’.

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elling more tickets than last time, it seems that this band’s most idiosyncratic career runs to its own rules and its own fuel. The band that thrives and feeds on chaos and beauty like the Sex Pistols once did don’t play by any boring rules. It could also be that their attitude and their mystique keeps them fresh. I’m with Brian Cannon the charismatic art designer for Oasis - who’s buzzing as he talks like a wildman. Everywhere you look there is a face from the recent past. We move around the seats, hanging out, through the boxes meeting band relatives, parents, mad uncles and wild friends. It’s the biggest party in town. From the opening generational defining bass rumble of ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ to the climactic ‘I Am The Resurrection’, the Stone Roses run through their classics. There’s only the one new song - ‘All For One’ seems to have grown to steroid indie proportions and is a huge communal anthem with 60,000 voices singing the song back at the band. It’s hard to believe that some of these songs are now 31 years old as it still feels fresh and new with the ever enveloping comforting rush. The band make the standards feel vibrant and the audience is with them all the way - it feels like more than half the people here have never seen the band before and they are living out those songs they have lived with for decades. The

Roses have ended up in a curious position - like the Pistols or Pink Floyd - one of those bands whose whole career feels like unfinished business; classic bands with one or two albums who are trapped in the amber of time and yet somehow never date. Maybe it’s the fact that they never got to their fifteenth album that is their strength - they never had that disappointing middle period and everything was left open-ended with the ‘what if...’s outnumbering the certainties. Age kind of suits the band – the grey hairs and the toughened up skin is worn with pride. There are no subtle Mick Jagger hair tints here - what you see is what you get with the Roses. They have grown older with their audience but have never grown old in spirit. We always used to joke that they would have to reform before they didn’t look like themselves anymore and somehow these older bones suit their timeless songs. ‘Sally Cinnamon’ is one of those songs that soundtracked the youthful days of freedom with that perfect blend of churning guitar and shimmering psychedelia. Songs like this are part of the UK soundscape, the music to the first snog, the first pill, the first proper clothes. ‘Mersey Paradise’’s crystalline beauty always makes me think of the Mersey, wending its way

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through Didsbury near the bohemian flats of the mid-eighties post-punk Manchester that we and the Roses used to neighbour. ‘Sugar Spun Sister’ still drips lysergic melody and Reni’s effortless grooving drums. ‘Bye Bye Badman’ is still lighter on its feet than primetime Muhammed Ali. Live, that almost gothic psyche of the glowering, spectral intro is still so perfect. Somehow the Roses make it all feel so effortless. Ian Brown’s voice sounds good but does that kind of stuff matter? All the great punk generation singers deliver the words in their own voice – Rotten, Strummer, the whole gang delivered from the gut. The voice is perfect for the songs and echoes around the arena as Manchester celebrates its soul.

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his summer’s gigs quite possibly promise more of the same. The Roses are one of the few bands who could get away with this. Many have wondered about that possible new album but

they will return due to the magnetic power of these songs, songs that capture a moment when everyone was young and free and life was laid out in front of you. Somehow, decades later they suspend everything with their rare beauty and rhythmic undertow, choruses that echo through time and guitar lines that are played with a stunning skill. Somehow, the band make the timeless fresh and the past into another future. They curate their museum perfectly and somehow the

past remains your and the future theirs. God knows how they make it work but they do. It’s this spirit in which they return again to the stage, Wembley, Leeds, Glasgow - the bi-annual resurrection - the big shows, the reaffirmation of British guitar culture from one of its key bands. A celebration of pop culture when it was in the hands of the people and not the grubby machinations of the music biz which the band spectacularly collided with so many times. Their indomitable spirit and their unblinking determination to follow their own agenda and not jump through hoops is a big part of why they are in this curious position and yet there they are selling out stadiums, flying back from two huge shows in Japan where they sounded faultless. They are still a band that could take the world and they still tease, they still disappear back into the deep forest and they still sabotage the mundane album/tour rock career. It’s a riddle wrapped in a conundrum wrapped in an enigma and we still get to celebrate it every couple of years: the great music and the ‘what if...’s and the endless question marks of the most curious career of them all. The Stone Roses tour the UK in June Photos: Melanie Smith

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FOLLOWING THE SUCCESS OF 2012’S EP ‘I.’ (RECORDED IN A UNIVERSITY STAIRWAY) AND THE SONG ‘NOTHING’S GONNA HURT YOU BABY’ FROM THAT EP, THERE’S BEEN A GROWING BUZZ SURROUNDING NEW YORK-BASED DREAM POP/SHOEGAZE BAND CIGARETTES AFTER SEX, THEY’RE FINALLY SET TO RELEASE THEIR HIGHLY ANTICIPATED EPONYMOUS DEBUT FULLLENGTH. IAN CHADDOCK TALKED TO FRONTMAN GREG GONZALEZ TO FIND OUT MORE.

Photo: EbruYildiz

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REG Gonzalez writes songs about blossoming, aching love. They’re powerful and honest while at the same time being immersive, confessional, sexual and sonically subtle. Founded in 2008, Gonzalez was influenced by The Smiths, Joy Division, Red House Painters, Leonard Cohen and more. But it was the debut EP ‘I.’ three years later

which really kickstarted the project. It would propel the band to fame and sell out tours, including a recent four-date sold out UK tour finishing with a gig at London’s Koko. Having relocated from El Paso, Texas to Brooklyn, New York a couple of years back, the cinematic self-titled debut is sure to see this upwards trajectory continue. From the opener ‘K’, a story of blooming love over

chiming guitars, to the sumptuous ‘Twin Peaks’-like ‘Each Time You Fall in Love’ and the haunting ‘Sunsetz’, this is a debut album that oozes confidence and Gonzalez’s spellbinding and romantic songwriting and vocals. With their biggest London headline show to date, the Roundhouse in Camden, announced for 20th November, this is just the start for Cigarettes After Sex.

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You started out in El Paso, Texas but relocated to New York in 2015. Did these very different environments affect your songwriting in different ways at all? “It mostly just changed the scenery of the songs. I like to get a sense of place, how the rooms looked, how the night felt or what the the weather was like, before I really start digging deeper into writing… New York added its brutal but beautiful winters to the lazy sunsets and warm midnight drives I’d known in El Paso.”

Your growth seems to have been incredibly organic, with worth of mouth, recommendations and YouTube plays seeing your music spread. Was that exciting to watch happen and do you think

there’s a more dedicated, solid and passionate fanbase as a result? “It was actually incredibly emotional to watch happen. It was as if my life was flashing before my eyes a bit, lying in bed stunned as I watched my phone go crazy with activity over the course of a weekend, unsure of what was happening. The way the fans found the music seems very genuine though, meaning that it wasn’t promoted to them in any way except by a YouTube recommendation that was mostly random as far as I can tell. I truly think we have the best fans in the world and this element seems to be part of it, that most of them found the music in such an honest way.”

“LOVE IS THE SUBJECT THAT FEELS THE MOST EXHILARATING AND SATISFYING FOR ME TO WRITE ABOUT.” LOUDER THAN WAR

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“NEW YORK ADDED ITS BRUTAL BUT BEAUTIFUL WINTERS TO THE LAZY SUNSETS AND WARM MIDNIGHT DRIVES I’D KNOWN IN EL PASO.”

Photo: EbruYildiz

You recorded your debut EP, ‘I.’ in a stairway at the University of Texas in El Paso. What are your memories of that unusual experience and selfreleasing the EP?

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“I vividly remember it. I was on one story of the building with the acoustic guitarist, Emily Davis, sitting with a mic in front of her. The drummer, Greg Leah, was down a long flight of stairs on the story below us with a bunch of ambient mics in the middle of the stairway between us. Up the flight of stairs from me was the keyboard player Steve Herrada and guitarist Philip Tubbs, also with mics setup between us. I couldn’t even see Steve from where I was and no one had headphones on except for me, mostly because I just needed to hear what I was singing clearly.”

Did it surprise you how much the song

‘Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby’ took off, with 46 million views on YouTube? What is that song about and what does it mean to you, both personally and as a band? “It was surprising since the song had already been out for three years mostly. It’s a little memoir of some of the sweetest moments I had with a serious girlfriend during that time. All the imagery in the song is based on real moments we shared together.”

Upon relocating to NYC, you released singles, including an REO Speedwagon cover. Was that just fun? “I had become a bit obsessed with ‘Keep On Loving You’ by REO Speedwagon when I first moved to New York. I usually learn songs I like on guitar and noticed that when I slowed it down a bit the song became much sadder to me. In particular

the line, ‘I don’t wanna sleep, I just wanna keep on loving you’ felt very desperate to me this way. I had had the idea around to cover it like this for quite awhile, but we didn’t get to it until the session we recorded ‘Affection’.”

The self-titled debut album has been a long time coming (almost a decade into the band) but it feels like you’re still a new band, which must be exciting? Does this feel like a new beginning? “It feels like a new beginning mostly in terms of everything surrounding the band and the exposure and intense gratitude we, and the music, are receiving. As far as it being different artistically, I’d say it’s very much coming from the same place as the first EP and it’s the same fire burning, so the LP feels like the fulfilment of what was started there.”

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Who are your musical influences, and other influences, for this record and what do those artists and bands mean to you? Cocteau Twins, Red House Painters, Mazzy Star and ‘Twin Peaks’ are all names I’ve seen in reference to your sound. “There’s luckily so many to choose from. Mostly I’m inspired by one song by a band or singer rather than an entire album and am looking to extend the feelings of songs I truly love instead of an entire LP I love by someone, though there are exceptions. For this record I was thinking of atmospheric, pastoral and beautifully written pop songs like ‘Unknown Legend’ by Neil Young, ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’ by The Flamingos, songs with a powerful aura to them like ‘Nights in White Satin’ by the Moody Blues. Also, the dream-like sense of place conjured by many of the songs off of ‘Selected Ambients Works, Vol. 2’ by Aphex Twin and the simple sweetness of a song like ‘Fallin’

For You’ by Colbie Calliat or ‘Warm Ways’ by Fleetwood Mac.”

Love seems so central to all your music and especially the new album. Is that your driving force to make music, both the ups and downs? How honest and open about it are you and has your music affected your love life, as well as vice versa? “I wouldn’t say it’s my driving force to make music necessarily, but it’s the subject that feels the most passionate and therefore most exhilarating and satisfying for me to write about. I try to be as honest as possible about my relationships in songs and it’s gotten me into a bit of trouble over the years, but it’s mostly been received warmly by anyone I’ve written about luckily.”

As well as coming over for a sold out UK tour imminently, you’re returning for a London Roundhouse show in November. Are you excited

for that? It’s a beautiful building with an amazing atmosphere. What are your UK fans and crowds like? “We’re always excited to visit London and we definitely have one of our biggest fanbases there. The London crowds seem so focused and considerate in regards to the music and it makes for a truly great show usually.”

What’s next for Cigarettes After Sex, coming into summer and for the rest of the year? “This summer, along with dealing with everything going into the release of our LP in June and the steady amount of tour dates we have lined up, we’ll actually be attempting to record some new music as well for a possible second LP or some upcoming post LP singles at least.” ‘Cigarettes After Sex’ is out now on Partisan

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VERYONE was ready for it to be a great day for the album launch but then it took on a greater meaning really after the events of the previous Monday,” an honest and reflective Tim Burgess explains about his band, the Charlatans and their takeover of Oldham Street in Manchester just days after the tragedy of a suicide bomber killing 22 people and injuring more at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester’s MEN Arena. “I don’t know. Without wanting to sound weird, it just took on a meaning that was far greater than the album. I love the album and I think the album is the most important thing of our lives for the past six months. It was just a part of something that was all about Manchester.” Based in the north-west, Northwich to be precise, the Charlatans were always strongly linked to Manchester, tied to Britpop and Madchester in the mid ‘90s and releasing some of that period’s most iconic indie anthems. Manchester has always been there for Tim so it made sense that the band were there for the city in return. “I was born in Salford and lived there for the first few years of my life. I moved to Northwich with my mum and dad. My dad got a job in Runcorn so we moved to Northwich, which was somewhere in between, and I grew up there. Manchester was always somewhere close to me, my dad always supported United and it was the place to go for me as a nipper and through my teenage years. “It has changed a lot. Affleck’s Palace was always a place for me to go as a teenager, up until my late teens really. Then I went to live in America, came back and it had all changed. (laughs) It was about 12 years but it’s gone from this place that no one wanted to live in or even be in to being a place where people are being creative and now all the businesses are starting to move there as well.” If you thought that maybe the band would cancel their takeover day for the album launch (as some bands cancelled gigs in the city) or even that the band were in any way nervous or afraid, you’d be wrong. They didn’t want to be anywhere else. “We weren’t nervous at all. It was going to be a huge celebration of the release of

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‘Different Days’ and it started out as a signing event at Piccadilly Records and then we wanted to include everybody. Koffee Pot, the Oxfam Emporium, Magma Books – everybody was involved. We were going to even open a pop-up pub and have our own crisps. We got rid of the crisps and we got rid of the pub. It took a more serious tone. That was the only thing that we were nervous about really, that we got the tone right. No one was nervous. We’d heard before that people would not go into town and that people wouldn’t let their kids out but I think, by all accounts, with us, more people came out because of what happened and because they wanted to be part of something and feel good. They wanted to reconnect with the city and people again. Instead of celebrating in a pub with a packet of crisps, people got together and talked about people and loss; real things. They wanted to have a sense of community again. “There were big crowds and we played in the former United Footwear shoe shop. There was maybe 300 people in there. When

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we played ‘Just When You’re Thinkin’ Things Over’ some people were crying. The chorus was quite uplifting. There were certain songs, like ‘The Only One I Know’ that had an effect that you wouldn’t expect normally, and took people to places they weren’t expecting to go. Uncontrollably. I think it’s part of the healing, in a way. I say that not thinking for a minute that I’ve been part of the healing but the songs maybe helped to do that, I don’t know. We just wanted to be together with everyone. It doesn’t surprise me at all that the people of Manchester would be like that. But you wish you didn’t have to see what happened beforehand.” With these songs resulting in such an emotional response at such a hard time for a city, when they’re coming together to share their grief and show solidarity together, it must feel humbling. “You want your songs to have feeling and meaning, but you don’t know it’s going to mean something to someone in a particularly hard time. There are certain times when you feel like

the writing is good, things come to you and you let things in. You’re an open door.”

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etting emotions in and flow into their songwriting, it’s interesting to think about how the Charlatans – completed by Martin Blunt (bass), Mark Collins (guitar) and Tony Rogers (keyboards), with several temporary drummers since the sad loss of Jon Brookes to brain cancer in 2013, write songs. With a pretty staggering and always growing back catalogue and a dedicated, sizeable fanbase, do they write for their fans sometimes, with a solid and established sound, or do they push themselves to new places? Are their fans open minded? “On occasion you compromise. The one that springs to mind is the song ‘Get On It’ from ‘Tellin’ Stories’. It was kind of a headphones moment lyrically, at least. But I think the people who like the band are quite open minded really. With our second album some people were deeply upset by the path we took (laughs). We got in

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THE CHARLATANS straight away really. I don’t think they expect us to be contrary or do the unexpected but I think they expect us do music that reflects how we’re feeling. There’s certain constants in my life now that there never used to be. My lifestyle has changed, it’s like if you’ve got a hangover or if you’re on a come down, you know? There’s a certain randomness and unpredictability about it and now I’d say there’s probably not. There’s constants in my lifestyle now so looking back on the last four albums that I’ve made, which include two solo albums, they involve a certain level of calmness and a feeling that I know what I’m doing.” Call it growing up or call it maturing, the Charlatans have obviously evolved and developed as musicians and people. “It’s time, isn’t it? It’s also stability in my surroundings.” Having said that, when asked if the Charlatans that came out with their cult favourite 1990 debut ‘Some Friendly’ could have written their new, thirteenth studio album, ‘Different Days’, Tim is very complimentary of the musicians who

were originally in the band. He explains how he was blown away he was when he walked in to try out with the band before they recorded that first record. “The day I walked into a rehearsal room with Rob [Collins], Martin [Blunt], Jon [Brookes] and John Baker, it was the best band I’d ever heard. Martin was just brilliant and Jon Brookes was a maestro. They were already the best band that I’d heard and I felt really fortunate because I thought they could go all the way.”

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ith something that felt so right joining the band, how does he know when, as a musician, songs feel right? “It just does. Even though I’m not really a musician I still write songs on an acoustic guitar, that’s what I’ve got. I’m fortunate that Mark [Collins] can translate the ideas that I give to him and put it out into the world. It starts off pretty interesting at least and then it starts to get good, with the changes and the feeling has to be captured then. It should sound interesting

but it might sound shit – it’s like a giant jigsaw puzzle and trying to put it together. You could be missing some pieces and they might have been chewed by the dog but you just find them, fix them up and the overall effect is that it’s a finished jigsaw.” You may have noticed that Tim didn’t refer to himself as a musician. Why is that? “Well it’s not really a thing but I don’t think about it. I’m not the type of person who would like to play a musical instrument in front of people that much. I don’t know how to do it so I guess I’m not a musician. All it means is that I get to boss musicians around, as a non-musician and someone who knows better. (laughs) For me, Mark is a brilliant musician. Tony [Rogers] is as well. I just like to help them.” It’s clear the respect and admiration Burgess has for his bandmates and the result is a creative relationship that has produced thirteen impressive albums to date. So why is working with these musicians such a good fit for him? “I absolutely love working with Mark. He’s

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unning The lowdown on the st of the e gu album back catalo Charlatans. SOME FRIENDLY

Released: 8th October 1990 Label: Situation Two Chart peak: 1

BETWEEN 10th and 11th Released: 23rd March 1992 Label: Situation Two Chart peak: 21

UP TO OUR HIPS

Released: 21st March 1994 Label: Beggars Banquet Chart peak: 8

THE CHARLATANS

Released: 28th August 1995 Label: Beggars Banquet Chart peak: 1

TELLIN’ STORIES

Released: 21st April 1997 Label: Beggars Banquet Chart peak: 1

US AND US ONLY

Released: 18th October 1999 Label: Universal Chart peak: 2

WONDERLAND

Released: 10th September 2001 Label: Universal Chart peak: 2

UP AT THE LAKE

Released: 17th May 2004 Label: Universal Chart peak: 13

SIMPATICO

Released: 17th April 2006 Label: Sanctuary Chart peak: 10

YOU CROSS MY PATH

Released: 12th May 2008 Label: Cooking Vinyl Chart peak: 39

WHO WE TOUCH

Released: 6th September 2010 Label: Cooking Vinyl Chart peak: 21

MODERN NATURE

Released: 26th January 2015 Label: BMG Chart peak: 7

DIFFERENT DAYS

Released: 26th May 2017 Label: BMG Chart peak: TBC

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my mate and one of my closest friends for 25 years. He just has an instinct. He can just tune into what I want without me giving him very much at all. Then we’ve got something going and I can manipulate what he comes up with into the shape I want it to be, and that’s it really. It’s something indescribable really. He just takes something from me and records it then we work on that. That’s what I love about our working relationship. We take that to the band and fill it out and it ends up sounding really good. There’s times when you’re learning and you borrow things from people – you know the Stones or whoever, okay brilliant. And you’re like, ‘let’s take ‘Paint It Black’ and reverse it, that’s pretty intelligent’. But as you get older, you don’t want to do that anymore, you want to start from scratch and see what you can come up with. Who knows where ideas come from but you have an idea and you go with it.” With that instinct to keep pushing forward collectively and looking forward to the future, it’s obviously central to why they still sound fresh, exhilarating and relevant after over two and a half decades as a band. “[Moving forward is] the most important thing because people expect it and for people who have played music for as long as we have, you just want something new. You want to write something new.”

think about the future. But I don’t know, there’s something about those gigs sometimes. There’s something about that first album, maybe it’s still my favourite in some ways. There were no things to judge it against.” That first album, recorded in Wrexham 27 years ago, was free of expectations and music industry pressures. “That does become involved in your everyday life,” Burgess considers. “You might do an album that sounds like nothing and you’ve never done it before and then with the second record people straight away will say, ‘yeah, it’s not as good as the first’. People starting suggesting things to you and it’s really difficult to maintain that and enjoy things really. Which is why I feel that with some of the later things that I’ve done I don’t

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lso, with such a wealth of material, many bands who’ve been around as long as they have struggle to get the balance of working these new songs in with crowd pleasing older songs. It seems that the Charlatans don’t care too much for nostalgia and aren’t afraid to push forward with their live sets as well. It’s a brave approach that sums up their confidence and creativity – they’re far from a band looking back at glory days wistfully. “Well, ‘Modern Nature’ was a real breakthrough in that. The whole of the ‘Mother Nature’ tour we were playing seven new tracks and that might have been the first time that had happened for a couple of albums and it was a real breakthrough. For this one, we’re not touring yet but what we’ve been playing is five or six from ‘Modern Nature’, five or six songs from this new album then ‘Just When You’re Thinkin’ Things Over’, ‘Sproston Green’ and we might touch on another couple. It’s not been that difficult. And we’ve been doing ‘Over Rising’ for the first time in years, we might have played it once or twice but not three times on the run ever. It’s one of our old songs from 1991 and it just sits well with some of new songs we’re doing.” Despite this approach and fearless setlist writing, Tim admits that he’s softened to the idea of some nostalgia in the form of anniversary gigs and playing albums in their entirety, but only sparingly and when it’s right to do so. “I didn’t used to like it at all until I saw Iggy do it and then we were asked by the same guy to do ‘Some Friendly’ and I thought, ‘you know what? Let’s do it’. I think we just did it as a date or two – one was at Primavera and one was at the [London] Roundhouse. For me, I really only face forward and

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THE NIRVANA CHARLATANS really get that. To feel that everything comes from the same source of purity, I think the songwriting is just brilliant.”

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ith many fans, a certain album (regardless of whether it’s the first, fourth or thirteenth) is often their favourite because of the memories associated with it. But does that work the same way for the writers of an album? When Tim is revisiting songs live does he get a snapshot of a memory or emotion from when he wrote it? “For me the songs that have stayed in the set,

like ‘Weirdo’, ‘The Only One I Know’ and ‘Sproston Green’, I kind of only associate them with life memories. I don’t really associate them with 1992 or 1990. They’ve kind of been with us the whole time. But with ‘Over Rising’, the one we’ve not done for a long time, that does remind me of 1991 and it kind of reminds me of the video. I remember there was uncertainty within the band at that point, before the second album and I remember mixing it. We did fourteen mixes of it. We didn’t know what we were doing. The songs that have been with us all the time remind me of a gig but an old song that we haven’t played in ages reminds

me of a time. There’s so many memories from the 27 years we’ve been doing it. It’s weird.” It’s hard to believe that the Charlatans have been a band for quite that long, still looking youthful and sounding invigorated. Obviously they’ve been through ups and downs over the years but they’re onto something, that’s for sure. “It’s been 27 years. We must be doing something right. There’s been times when we might have knocked it on the head but I wouldn’t want to now. I’m just concerned about now, whether it’s a new record or a solo record. I just want to keep writing really.”

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The new Charlatans album is more packed full of guests than most hiphop records. Here’s the full list of who’s jumping on each track! 1. HEY SUNRISE Drums – Pete Salisbury (The Verve), Programming – Stephen Morris (New Order) 2. SOLUTIONS Drums – Stephen Morris, Backing vocals – Nik Void (Factory Floor) 3. DIFFERENT DAYS Guitar – Johnny Marr, Backing vocals – Sharon Horgan (writer/ actress)

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ith the new record, ‘Different Days’, it has a different, refreshing approach too, with the list of contributors and collaborators almost as long as a hip hop record. With The Verve’s Pete Salisbury behind the drum stool, special guests on this album include legends such as Paul Weller, Johnny Marr and New Order’s Stephen Morris. But was it difficult to let others in to their creative headspace whilst crafting an album? “Not really because we did it in the band’s studio with good friends and we just invited people in who we liked. There’s no real pressure. When Johnny [Marr] came over, he came over for a cup of tea and I did ask if he wanted to play on it and he laughed and said that he would. It could have gone either way, he might not have liked any of the songs. But he did and we got him on several songs. He would have gone on because that’s the kind of person that he is. It’s only time that got in the way really, otherwise he probably would have played on the whole lot. We wrote one song for Neneh Cherry. It didn’t work out because she was writing something and her head was somewhere else but I sent a voicemail to her, then a demo and then a recorded version with the band. That was

an idea.” With the likes of Marr and Weller, these are people that the Charlatans have built friendships with over the years and have always looked up to. “Paul Weller has been very encouraging all through the band’s lifespan really. In 1993 he called up my studio in Monnow Valley and told us how good he thought ‘Can’t Get Out of Bed’ was. He’d never spoken to any of us at all but he just decided to find out what studio we were in and just make a random call. It was just me that picked it up, I was the fortunate one to pick it up. We have done stuff since then really. Live stuff and we always see each other doing festivals and things like that. I was a big fan of when he did some Curtis Mayfield-style singing. It might have been late Jam but certainly early Style Council. I wanted to bring that style back into his world, that’s why I sing high pitched.” When Tim Burgess sees Johnny Marr to have a cup of tea and then Marr is in the studio playing guitar on his band’s new record, does that fan feeling come back? “Oh yeah,” Tim exclaims. “When I saw Johnny and Mark play together on ‘Plastic Machinery’ it just blew my mind. I was like a kid, of course. I’m like that when something brilliant happens in the studio anyway but to see Johnny and Mark playing

4. FUTURE TENSE Spoken word intro – Ian Rankin (crime writer) 5. PLASTIC MACHINERY Guitar – Johnny Marr and Anton Newcombe (The Brian Jonestown Massacre) 6. THE FORGOTTEN ONE Spoken word – Kurt Wagner (Lambchop) 7. NOT FORGOTTEN Guitar – Johnny Marr, Organ – Anton Newcombe 8. THERE WILL BE CHANCES Drums – Pete Salisbury 9. THE SAME HOUSE Synthesiser – Gillian Gilbert (New Order), Drums & Programming – Stephen Morris 10. OVER AGAIN Percussion – Donald Johnson (A Certain Ratio), Backing vocals – Nik Void 11. LET’S GO TOGETHER Drums – Pete Salisbury 12. THE SETTING SUN INSTRUMENTAL 13. SPINNING OUT Co-written, Piano & Backing vocals – Paul Weller

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THE CHARLATANS their guitars together, like gunslingers, running through it a few times. It was just this moment of like, ‘fuckin’ hell’. But I’m pretty good with people in bands. The only people who do my head in are New Order. I’m just like a bloke down the pub with people like Mick Jagger or Keith Richards, even though I’m a massive Stones fan, but when it comes to talking to talking to Bernard Sumner, I get lost for words. I have too many memories, being at the Hacienda and Warrington. I waited five hours to see them in London and I just went down there on my own. Teenage Tim. Stephen [Morris, New Order drummer] I’m just getting there with now. (laughs) That was my teenage band. I’ve met

Bernard lots of times but I still stumble over my words. I’m alright until the memories start flooding back.”

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orking with their heroes and friends, still pushing their boundaries and providing some form of solace to many of their closest fans at their hardest time. When it’s laid out like that it’s easy to forget that being a band is a full-time job. But how do you stop this band, which means so much to Burgess and his bandmates, from feeling like a job after so many years and so many records? “It is a job but it’s the best job ever,”

explains Tim. “If you have the best job ever you want to keep it. So it doesn’t feel like a job because you can’t clock in 9 to 5. You can put the hours in and hope something happens but it’s not a 9 to 5 thing. You can’t switch it on and switch it off. If you put yourself in a good spot where the chances are something will happen then you’ve got a good chance. I think that’s what it boils down to really. It’s not 9 to 5. It’s 24-7 really - with bank holiday overtime!” ‘Different Days’ is out now on BMG The Charlatans tour the UK in November/ December

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MARK LANEGAN

TALKING TO LOUDER THAN WAR EDITOR IN CHIEF JOHN ROBB, MARK LANEGAN EXPLAINS THE BIRTH OF NEW ALBUM ‘GARGOYLE’ AND THE INFLUENCE OF JOY DIVISION ON HIS LIFE. “There’s a few more songs that are a little more playful lyrically than I usually do so I’m into that. Is the music brooding? Yeah, business as usual on that front! Rob Marshall did it (the change in sound). He did the music on six of the songs and co-wrote them with me. He added a different flavour. There’s a British twist to it as Rob’s British. He thought his ideas were sketches but I considered them to be completely done. When he sent me music he considered them to be demos but I was like ‘Dude this is perfect for me!’ I had to talk him into allowing me to use them as they were. Of course we added to them here in California. We added live drums, bass, synthesisers but mostly they were finished. What he sent me had bass guitars and one or two actually had live drums and piano. They were really more complete than a lot of stuff I put on record! “Last year his manager got in touch to do some vocals and writing for his thing, ‘Humanist’. I did three songs and really liked it. I didn’t know who he was at that point but really liked the music. It was really easy for me to write to. He got in touch and he said: ‘I’d really like to do something for you at some point’. I said ‘Okay’ and sort of filed that idea away. When I was finishing my record I wasn’t really inspired by what I was working on. I had a timeframe to get it done because my producer Alain Johannes had to go on tour with PJ Harvey as part of her band. I was gonna lose him for the rest of the year so I thought: ‘Hey maybe this guy Rob has something!’ I sent him an email saying: ‘Hey man I’m trying to finish the record, have you got anything?’ He did and sent me about ten demos and I thought ‘Wow’. It was just as good as the stuff I’d done for him, just as easy to write to and within a couple of days I had written words and singing parts for six of the songs and those ended up being on the record. Then I realised he was

in the band Exit Calm who had opened for Soulsavers back in 2008-ish.”

THE JOY DIVISION GATEWAY “I used to take the greyhound bus to Seattle and it took about five hours because they stop everywhere. When I would get there I’d just walk around the record stores buying music by the cover. That’s how I discovered Joy Division, I had no idea what it was - I just loved the artwork. That’s also how I found The Gun Club. The Smiths I heard playing in a record store and I went up and asked what it was, same with The Cure so I bought those. Where I came from I had no place to listen to that stuff and nobody to tell me what it was. Joy Division’s ‘Closer’ I had on cassette and it got stuck in the car player. It was a really cold winter, foggy. It spoke to me and I love that record to this day. It’s literally one of the greatest records ever made. It saved my life and I was lucky to come across it. The songwriting of Jeffrey Lee Pierce (The Gun Club) and Ian Curtis was personal to me but also exotic. Jeff was making something I’d never heard anything like before and it went straight through me. Those records are the reason I began thinking about writing myself. They were the soundtrack to my existence for a really long time. As a band, The (Screaming) Trees listened to a lot of the ‘80s stuff. Joy Division, Gun Club. The Connor Boys were into Simple Minds, Echo and the Bunnymen and were also into this California paisley scene: Rain Parade, Dream Syndicate. The stuff we ripped off back then was The 13th Floor Elevators, 60’s psychedelia when we started.”

AN EVOLUTION OF WRITING “With me this album is perfectly in line with the previous two records but expanding on it. I’m trying to make records I’d enjoy listening to if I wasn’t writing them. Before I could only write in a certain way and now I’m able to write in a new way. I felt constrained by my own ability to translate what I was feeling. On the early records I sang so much crap. It was stupid and energy driven because I couldn’t sing. My singing on all of the early Trees records in the ‘80s is atrocious really. “I always write the melody to the music. Even when I’m writing the music it comes first. I go with my instincts and start refining it from there. I always go with my instinct. We’ve done ten records now so it’s a working formula.” “I wrote four songs on this album before Rob and I collaborated. His stuff fit completely. He brought a ‘pop’ sound into some of the tracks which I hadn’t touched on since the mid ‘90s with The Trees - ‘Be High’ for instance. If I’d have done that song back then I would have had a big hit!” ‘Gargoyle’ is out now on Heavenly/PIAS The Mark Lanegan Band tour the UK in June

PhOTS BY Roberto Bentivegna

ON NEW ALBUM ‘GARGOYLE’

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RIDE TALK TO SARAH LAY ABOUT GETTING BACK TOGETHER, THE SUPRISE OF MAKING NEW MUSIC AND THE INFLUENCES FEEDING INTO ‘WEATHER DIARIES’.

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N uncertain times nostalgia, the longing for something you once knew well, can be a comfort. That yearning for familiarity, that evocation of feelings already felt, the cosiness of already-lived memories hazy through the rose-tinted glare as you gaze back across the years can all become a tempting escape from the now. When all is unsettled seeking the past can become an much-needed safe harbour. That nostalgic pull has undoubtedly played

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a part in reunions over the last few years from many giants of the early nineties guitar music scene, coming back to take us back through anniversary tours, reissues and reappraisals some quarter century on, making us temporarily young again. And with the returning tide of shoegaze now rising high around us there was always a danger of being anchored too firmly to bygone days and both band and fan being pulled ever backward when Ride announced

their return in 2014. Originally reforming, more than a decade after their split, for a series of live dates it became clear to the band they were still a creative force, that there was unspent potential to be tapped. What started as looking back began to be about moving forward. Guitarist and vocalist Mark Gardener is “positively excited for a 47-year-old” about the release of the band’s first album in 21 years.

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RIDE

‘Weather Diaries’ is an album which has distilled the classic sound of the iconic band’s early albums with a vast array of influences from the intervening years to form a warm, and at times surprising, record. Following the dissolution of Ride Gardener found acclaim through his solo work and as a producer including credits with Brian Jonestown Massacre and Swervedriver. But while Ride had enjoyed a well-received reunion tour he was determined it wouldn’t lead to a backwardlooking album, “I didn’t want to make a retro record. It doesn’t interest me at all. If it’s not for tomorrow, whatever you’re doing, then don’t do it. It was really important to feel this is contemporary sounding and influenced record; a 2017 record.” It’s a view shared by the rest of the band Andy Bell (vocals, guitar), Steve Queralt (bass) and Laurence ‘Loz’ Colbert (drums) - as they began to work together again, collaboratively exploring what would become the songs for the new album. Colbert, who in intervening years has played with bands including The Jesus and Mary Chain and Supergrass, is positive about the new release, “I’m feeling really proud, it almost feels like a debut record. There’s been enough of a gap that everyone has wider influences, and life experiences to bring in, and experiences as musicians and artists. It’s all pouring in to the new album in a way that it wouldn’t have done if we just kept churning albums out on a regular basis. “We’ve had more time to let the songs evolve instead of previously having an idea and get it down and out. What I’ve really enjoyed about this one is that you might have some chords, or a beat, or anything but you can look at it from this way, or that way and try different drums, different vocals or arrangements and gradually work through what works and it sticks. That has felt like a real luxury. “It’s an interesting release pattern for Ride, those first four albums in quick succession, bang bang bang, then nothing for 20 years and then this one, so it feels almost like our first record.”

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ueralt, who didn’t play professionally after the band’s split in 1996 until they reformed, agrees, “It feels like a debut, a second crack at the nut. But in a lot of ways it feels like a continuation. Us getting back together hasn’t felt strange at all, those 20 years just melted away and we’re just carrying on not exactly where we left off but from our peak, when we were firing on all cylinders.” Bell, who went on to form Hurricane#1 before joining Oasis on bass, continues, “Recording ‘Weather Diaries’ was a bit different to before, but also quite familiar. After such a long time we needed a game plan of how we were going to do this because we didn’t want to pick up where we left off,

because where we left off in 1996 was pretty grim. We wanted to go back to ‘Going Blank Again’ (the band’s second album released in 1992) when everything was on the up after our debut. We were feeling quite free and easy to try anything, and came out with a really nice album that was quite varied. “We approached it that way this time too, it’s how we went into it. So that massive similarity but the difference was we brought in a producer, we let someone into the room with us that we hoped would bring a lot to the table and he did. That was Erol Alkan.” Having crossed paths with Alkan informally Bell was already sure he would be a good fit when his name was muted for the album. Well known as an electro-DJ and remixer (both in his own name and as Beyond The Wizards Sleeve) Alkan also has solid indie and rock credentials having produced albums by Mystery Jets, Late Of The Pier, and The Long Blondes. Gardener enthuses, “He is a total music freak. He isn’t all about dance music at all, he has a wide palette of musical references. The guy is just a music freak and it’s great!” Bell picks up, “I thought we might be going in on some mad experimental electronic thing - and we might still go back and do a remix album with him as an extra thing if we get time - but on the basis of a rock band working with Erol he was able to bring loads from the rock mentality to it.” It’s helped to round an album on which the band’s own varied influences and experience were already shining through, nudging forward the shoegaze style they helped to define while signed to Creation Records in the early nineties. When Gardener sings about coming “the long way round” on album closer ‘White Sands’ you can’t help but feel resonance with the band’s journey, not just the 20 year break bringing them back together to move forward once more, but with key personnel such as engineer and producer Alan Moulder back involved and current label Wichita Recordings providing a link to back to Creation via Dick Green. Queralt said, “The relationship with Wichita is a comfort, they seem to operate in a way we’re all used to - in a classic record label way. They remind me a lot of the early Creation Records set up, probably because of Dick Green’s involvement. It’s a nice way of rounding the circle for us, working with Alan Moulder again, and Dick Green being in charge of our label just made sense.” Their very name suggests a journey but rather than force us backward to revisit their past Ride have found their footing on a new stage, taking us forward with this new material. From spun out noise, loops and electronic touches, through the layers of vocals and lyrics reflecting both the personal and political on ‘Weather Diaries’ they have delivered an album burgeoning with as much fresh potential as it does draw on the best of the genre they helped define.

Nowhere (1990) The band’s debut was described by Rolling Stone as ‘a masterpiece’ and became one of shoegazing’s most enduring records.

Going Blank Again (1992) Certified gold the band’s follow-up studio album peaked at number 5 in the UK Albums Chart and saw the band bringing in wider influences while building on the classic shoegaze sound.

Carnival of Light (1994) Band members and critiques alike were disillusioned with the band’s third album for Creation as Ride moved away from shoegaze toward a more psych-rock sound.

Tarantula (1996) Tensions came to a head during the recording of their fourth album with relations breaking down and leading to the band’s split just weeks before its release.

Weather Diaries (2017) Marking a return to form for the band their fifth studio album, on Wichita, builds on their classic sound while covering new ground through broader influences, melody and technique.

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“I didn’t want to make a retro record. It doesn’t interest me at all.” Mark Gardener

On reforming and becoming a band again Reforming in 2014, Ride played a series of live dates across Europe and the US throughout the following year including sets at Coachella and Primavera Sound. How did it feel to become a band again?

Mark: “The old stuff feels like an old friend, familiar, you don’t really have to think about it. Live you go on that trip with people and you feel that reverence in the air. We did ‘Vapour Trail’ in the Manchester Albert Hall and certain little moments were like ‘woah’. There were grown men crying and all sorts. It’s powerful stuff and I feel honoured

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and privilege to be involved and be part of something that means so much. There’s a comfort in nostalgia in these unsettled times. We’re hoping that people are open to a new set from us. It’s a trust thing; are you open to go to new places in your head as well as the ones you know. We’re hoping so.” Loz: “There was a lot of success early on for Ride, before we were still in our teens and really only just out of school. It came and went in a flash of eight years but there always seemed to be a lot of potential with the four members and things we were just touching on and starting to explore. We never really had a good stab at a studio album, apart from ‘Going Blank Again’, so we

didn’t really get to embrace the potential of the hard work of a studio album, and then with this one we did. This is where we are now, and this is what we bring to the party.” Steve: “It was a long break. I didn’t disappear from music, I was still a passionate consumer of music with too many CDs and records and stuff but when we decided to get back together again it was probably the most exciting 24 hours of my life. Whenever I would see bands play there was a part of me that was like ‘I used to do that’ and whatever I was seeing they were going to have to do a lot to impress me. And they did a lot of the time. I didn’t miss it as such, I was resigned to the fact

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NIRVANARIDE

that I achieved all my childhood ambitions when I was quite young. My life is sort of round the wrong way; you should take years and years building up to your final ambition but I did it the other way, so I had to move on. At the very very back of my mind there was a thought that there was a chance the band would get back together. When we did it really was very exciting.” Andy: “Time helps these things. From my point of view when the band finished no one was interested. When we split we

didn’t even announce it because everyone had moved on, we just felt like we were forgotten. I kept that feeling for years and years and only recently realising the music has taken on its own life. I think a lot of it happened in America. I noticed when I was on tour, in the years in-between being in Ride, that people were asking me about Ride who I wouldn’t have expected to know about it. Bands like Brian Jonestown Massacre. It stopped being that shoegaze crap and being The Mighty Shoegaze. We

did a few shows with Diiv (on US tour in 2015), I was a huge fan and was really pleased when they said they’d come on tour with us, and I really wanted to find out what drove them as a band. They said they’d been into the old Ride music and it had been an influence on them. But their music has also been a massive influence on my songwriting, in huge ways. Them and bands like them, I don’t necessarily hear a direct Ride influence on their music but I do hear someone taking that approach to guitars,

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On new music and a new era of Ride

From jamming during the reunion tour new music began to emerge, and Ride became not a band looking back but one finding themselves moving forward. Was it surprising to find themselves writing new music?

Steve: “We didn’t come together to be creative, we came together to do those first reunion shows. My initial excitement turned into horror when I thought, ‘hang on a minute I’m going to actually have to play the bass in front of people again’. It was sort of ‘can I still do it?’. Andy cleverly suggested we go into the studio, I think he was a bit nervous about whether we could all be in a room and play music together. We went into a studio and jammed around, initially intending to play old songs but we just jammed around. I guess you could call it new music but we were just getting to know each other again. It was like a spa weekend for middle aged men - food, great surroundings and instruments to play around on. And the great thing was we were all together when the reunion announcement was made and we watched it all go off on Twitter, so it was all well planned in the end. The idea of making new music, I think it came quite early on, but it was still a bit of a pipe dream until well into that year long tour. We were jamming out new tunes in sound checks and making music on our laptops at home and swapping ideas. I think I speak for all of us when I say we were nervous about putting out new music, we were always keen on quality control so if it wasn’t good it wouldn’t have happened but it all went fantastically well so we’re going to inflict it on the world.” Andy: “At the beginning it started off as those shows and let’s see how it goes. As we started it was obvious it was working as a live thing. But then as it goes on, you think maybe this could be just nostalgia. We’re playing all our old songs and its a great crash course in the best of Ride, it really locks you in. It started to feel inspiring and we started to think about doing more and doing old songs, but jamming out bits of them that were quite open ended like our ‘Drive Blind’ Valentine’s rip off bit that goes on for five minutes of mad noise terror. We made that a lot stronger and better and bigger and added more parts to it during that tour. Because we were very into loud we started to introduce quiet. We maxed everything out as far as it could go so it’s good to spend some time in every gig, going right down in the very quietest moments, like the pin-drop silence bits on ‘Nowhere’. We didn’t do it too much on the reunion tour but it was always a jam, so it was opened ended what we could do, so we took that down to the quiet stuff. It’s only a short step from realising you’re making new stuff out of the old stuff, to jamming a new stuff and then later on writing some words for it, and you’ve got the beginning of a song there.” Loz: “What is really interesting for this album is that there has not been one single approach, every track has had something about it which has given it a unique journey. Something like ‘Charm Assault’ came from a demo and a real band approach, everyone playing at same time going for a proper rock band playing together live but in the studio. At the other end you’ve got ‘All I Want’ where you have me jamming and improvising over the chords for seven minutes and then going back and creating something completely constructed from that with Erol Alkan in the studio. We all submitted demos and sometimes going back and replacing parts, but other parts stuck and became a part of the new song. Other’s working from the inside out and replacing every single part. Going through track by track it really does feel as if every song has a story and there wasn’t one approach. I think it’s another factor of us coming at it at this point in our lives. If we’d already had another two or three albums out before this and we were just going in to the studio to do another one it probably would be quite formulaic but coming at it from this approach, we pushed each track as far as we could and Erol just seemed to understand what

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needed to happen next. It was the great thing about all being in the studio together, and with Erol, it was such a release. We’d take it as far as we could and - dare I say it - he would take it to the next level. He would pick it up and carry it somewhere else, and you’d just think ‘that’s exactly right’ which was a bit of a minor revelation.” Mark: “Hindsight is a wonderful thing and in life you rarely get to do anything about it and this time we did. ‘Weather Diaries’ is like a second debut, and also a continuation from when we were playing to our strengths. I think all our records have been quite honest diaries about what is around us and what is influencing us at that point in time. I see this one being like that as well. I’m probably a better singer than I used to be, and we’re all probably better musicians than we used to be in a way - that doesn’t always make for a better record of course. There is more soul in the band in a way - we’ve all been through loads more stuff, the ups and downs of life, and been knocked around by that. We’ve all had normal lives for the interim period where we weren’t a band and you hit this age where we’ve all lost friends and we’ve all lost family. That all comes into it and of course we live in quite unhinged times politically, that comes into it as well. I think good, honest, art reflects and bounces off what is happening at the time and I think good inspiration is all around you if you have your eyes and your ears open. Thankfully when we all got back in the room it all felt so familiar and there is a special chemistry with Ride and that was able to come straight to the surface again, and start working.”

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On ‘Weather Diaries’ producer Erol Alkan

The relationship between producer, band and music can be the making or the breaking of great records. What did ‘Weather Diaries’ producer Erol Alkan bring to the band’s evolving sound?

Loz: “You’re always looking for that missing piece and it’s never taken for granted you will find that with a producer. I’m sure there are many bands who can relate to that experience, where you can be in the studio with a well known producer for four weeks and really nothing is happening - they have their name and their CV and you have yours but nothing really connects, but an album can get released on that basis. With Erol it did connect and that was a relief. Once we’d met Erol we felt like we were getting started and that’s always a good sign.” Andy: “He brought something different. When you’re a band and you want to go in the studio and record an album the producer is such a big choice because you’re inviting one more head into that room, it’s quite a personal situation. Your good ideas and your bad ideas are out there in front of each other and you need someone to manage that situation. Which he did in a really nice way. He’s

very chilled but also very enthusiastic. He is a born producer. The biggest thing he brought was as a DJ. The way you programme a DJ set relating to the way you programme an album, or even within a song. The way he’s cut between and within songs - like with ‘Charm Assault’, it doesn’t cut naturally between verse and chorus it just launches straight in and then at the end it sort of loops around. Things like that are nice little nods to the DJ world without being Fatboy Slim - not that Fatboy Slim is bad - but we managed to do something cool with that DJ knowledge without disrupting the Ride flow too much.” Mark: “A really good relationship. I was aware of him but maybe more as a DJ. We’re good at what we do, we understand what we do, we could have carried on and finished off the album ourselves but I think it’s good to bring someone else in, like Erol. His energy is very good because he is with people every weekend, and in touch with what is around. Like the rest of us he is a total music freak. He isn’t all about dance music at all, he has a wide palate of musical references. When Erol got involved I could hand over that responsibility. That was really important to me because my studio experiences up until that point had been more in Erol’s role, or

“I’m feeling really proud, it almost feels like a debut record.” Loz Colbert

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mixing, or working the band in that way and I didn’t really want to do; I just wanted to be the guy back in Ride again. He was already vibed up about what he’d heard and where we’d got it, he was already a fan of the band. He came back to us to do the final takes at the studio and to push us to what we were great at, to get the best out of us really, which is what making albums is about because we’ve got to live with these things for the rest of our life.” Steve: “In my view how we work now is how a band should operate. It’s how we worked on the first two albums where everyone was confident about putting ideas forward, and working on ideas at home, or riffs we had. No one felt that anything was too out there or not good enough. It’s very collaborative. By the time we sat down to work with Erol most of these songs were in great shape already. I’d worked with Loz on some of the arrangements, on the drums and bass parts, and Mark and Andy worked together too so by the time we went in with Erol we were in pretty good shape.”

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On influences and highlights of ‘Weather Diaries’

Age brings with it a great many things but experience and exposure to more music have both fed into the new album. What are the influences behind and highlights of ‘Weather Diaries’?

Andy: “My highlight of the album, the one I keep playing now, is ‘Cali’. A song toward the end of the album, quite light-hearted. It’s just a simple love song and designed as a regular four minute poppy tune. But it’s had this whole long thing that we just kept playing. We kept thinking we would fade it but in the mix we felt like we were betraying ourselves by fading it so we left it, it just felt good, it ended up long. It felt right. I like those moments in album where it’s natural, you’re not worrying about the next bit, you’re just carrying on in a loop.” Steve: “There is twenty more years of music than when we were around in the nineties. I think we were quite blinkered. We listened to the very obvious things when we were starting as a band. We did listen to the Creation bands, the 4AD bands, the Beatles and the Stones. Then we discovered other bands, discovered a bit more musical history as our career went on, The Byrds, Neil Young etc. Now there is some great electronic music which has come out - Boards of Canada, the more obscure stuff like Max Richter and Nils Frahm. And bands like Mogwai have been in ascendency in those 20 years and making great music, and that has an influence on what you do as well. We’ve all consumed music over the last 20 years, probably to different degrees, but all those influences have fed into the new

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RIDE album.” Loz: “Because we were so young the first time round we did have a lot of shared influences, although I have to say we were all very different then too. We were all drawing from quite narrow influences and so it’s easy to be cohesive and powerful and seemingly united force. We were from the start, oddly, it used to freak people out how united we were. We were very much on the same page. This one has been harder to shoehorn so much into it, we’ve different opinions and our influences are so much wider. It’s a lot harder to do it. I do think that if we have they are probably the strongest tracks on the album.” Mark: “For me a highlight is that I’ve got a record that I’m involved in and I love it from start to finish. That makes it worth it for me.”

On playing ‘Weather Diaries’ live

A very studio-based approach was taken to the album, how are the band finding the record translates to being played live?

Mark: “We’re okay with how the live thing will sometimes be different from the record, and the record will have a few bits on that we can’t totally replicate. We’re alright with that, we won’t try and replicate it entirely but we’ll give it a shot and see what happens. As incredible as the reunion was I was at the point where that could feel like we could have been in ever decreasing circles with it. It’s been great to go back and to play those songs again as we did but for me real creativity is about reacting to now; it feels like new blood and a

new life force when we start playing new songs.” Loz: “It feels like a new energy. We’ve spent the whole of 2015 playing songs we’d written 20 years previously and those were the only songs we’d ever played live as a band. No problem in that, it was great, it was amazing to be on those stages at the likes of Primavera and Field Day. Lots of moments of having that thought of ‘here we are playing these songs and it’s great’ but as soon as those new songs were in the set it felt like a new lease of life. You just feel such a great energy in the set and in the room. Almost from day one we’ve had complete confidence in the new songs and not ‘ooh, this is new’ and feeling a bit worried about it, just happy with it. We’ve only done four songs live so far but playing ‘Lannoy Point’, ‘Charm Assault’ and then playing ‘All I Want’ in Ireland recently felt ‘here we go, this is it, we’re in the future now.’” Steve: “I’m really looking forward to touring this one and hopefully we’ll get a good 12 months of going back to places we love but those we didn’t get to visit on the 2015 tour, like South America and Australia.” Andy: “I went from being the person in the band who didn’t want to do stuff yet to being held back a bit. I was that into it. From the least up for it I’d like to do a whole set of new songs now, but I know we have to do the hits - well the most popular, we never really had a hit - the fan favourites. We have that faithful core in our audience and they were definitely there all through our reunion tour, we were fully supported.”

On the future

Festival spots including Glastonbury, Benicassim, Latitude and Pitchfork join UK and North America dates across the summer in support of ‘Weather Diaries’. What lies beyond this record for Ride?

Steve: “We’d love to make another album after this. We’re always looking to the long term. We’re a going concern, Ride is a band that is operating now. It’s not a reunion album, we’re back and operating as a normal band.” Mark: “It’s almost like the stars align when we come together and start making something, and we’ve realised we could actually continue this, not just some reunion shows. We’ll see what’s next but I think it’s ultimately something that really turns us all on; being creative in studios.” Andy: “We might go back and do a remix album with Erol as an extra thing if we get time. Erol got a bit obsessed with some bits and you’d have to sort of smack him round the head, get him to stop playing it over and over. It would be good to reimagine Weather Diaries in an ambient, almost dub style. There’s more to do with Anton (Newcombe, Brian Jonestown Massacre and director of ‘Charm’ Assault video) I think. We’d love to do a joint tour. We keep saying we’ll do it and then it doesn’t get sorted. But it will happen at some point.” Loz: “We are enjoying what we do again which is great, but the fans seem to be enjoying it too. I have seen it with other bands I’ve worked with who have reunited and it’s a wonderful thing when you get together. Hopefully we’ll get together and do it more.” Weather Diaries is out June 16th on Wichita Recordings Ride play Glastonbury Festival on June 21st

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Alien Sex Fiend Courtesy of Cherry Red

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THE BIRTH OF GOTH

Violets were embracing Underground’s ‘Ocean’, new music technology, and worked with including synthesizers and producer Martin Hannett drum machines. Alongside to create a spacey hypnotic effects pedals, atmosphere. The whole haunting vocals and album arguably sounds emotionally instinctive like it was recorded in a lyrics, they pushed the cathedral. In 1980, lead defining sound of goth singer Ian Curtis took his forward. Lyrically the own life and the band, bands looked away from along with their precious music and took inspiration few recordings, rose to from psychology and cult hero status. literature, making goth By 1982, bands were ATHERING momentum in the tribal music intellectual and embracing elements of suburbs of Britain’s music scene as introspective. Elements avant-garde, poetry, punk fell into the late ‘70s was a Death Cult - Courtesy of Per-Ake Warn of German expressionism film and literature, dark and obscure new sound. Punk would also be mixed into incorporating it into had been a crucial driving force that gave a their presentation and artwork. their independent, uncompromising music. platform to the disillusioned youth, liberating Northamptonshire’s Bauhaus intruded into the working class kids with a new freedom of oon clubs like London’s The Batcave living rooms of Britain on prime-time BBC2 expression through music and clothing. gave the movement a home, whilst television on new culture show Riverside and Resonating from that platform, a wave of new John Peel’s support on Radio One and the eyes of the mainstream media were finally music emerged and an influx of colours were fanzine interviews with the bands drew turned to this daring and dramatic new musical injected into the landscape. Everything from a fascinated audience. Without a doubt, this form. The songs and image of this evolved new romantic to oi! and anarcho to postnew wave of dark bands had stripped away music were dark, mysterious, melancholy and punk boiled out of the youth’s frustration the music industry fake glamour to reveal fascinating, and it dazed viewers. Over in with social entrapment and the mundane, the reality of the bleak social and political the US, The Doors were the first band being but nothing quite painted the colour black landscape most lived in at the time. A number labelled as gothic as far back as 1967 by a like the emerging goth music. Punk had said of post-punk bands were associated with goth. student newspaper, but the word ‘gothic’ had “Fuck you” and goth bravely bared the honest It’s also fair to say that bands recognised as been used for hundreds of years, originally statement “I’m fucked”. punk, such as The Damned and Penetration, as a way of describing architecture, literature The first band to officially be referred to as experimented with goth in songs like ‘Dr Jekyll and fine art. Now it was a ‘gothic’ in the press And Mr Hyde’ and ‘Stone Heroes’. description for a music that was Joy Division, The gothic insurgence from 1978 to 1986 pulled from all three. when Factory Records saw a huge amount of daring new acts break During the ‘60s, rock boss Tony Wilson through, with many of its pioneers gaining giants like Alice Cooper described their song performances on Top Of The Pops and reaching and Black Sabbath had ‘Shadowplay’ as “dance Top 40 success. already tipped their hat music with gothic From the Crawley punk scene of 1976, The towards the genre with overtones” during an Cure grew to become one of the UK’s most their horror-inspired interview. Originally iconic and influential new bands. By 1980 sounds. Ozzy Osbourne was named Warsaw, with the release of their second album ‘Seventeen allegedly fascinated by the the intent of being a Seconds’ defined their sensitive pop-noir sound. cinema queues stretching punk band, Salford’s In 1982 ‘The Hanging Garden’ embodied their around the block for horror Joy Division recorded gothic sound. Today they are still an arenamovies with people paying their debut album filling international success. One of their earlier willingly for the thrill of ‘Unknown Pleasures’ albums, ‘Pornography’ (1982), is thought to being terrified. in Manchester’s be their crucial gothic peak. Initially the band By the 1980s, new Strawberry Studios hoped to record with Kraftwerk’s producer artists like UK Decay, Sex in 1979. They Conny Plank, but he unfortunately died before Gang Children, The Sisters wrote ‘Shadowplay’, Attrition - Courtesy of Martin Bowes they had the chance. The Cure then worked Of Mercy and The March inspired by The Velvet

With the release of Cherry Red Records’ weighty ‘Silhouettes And Statues’, Paula Frost explored how punk and post-punk birthed a bleak beauty with a brief overview of goth.

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FleshForLulu - Courtesy of Per-Ake Warn

TEN ESSENTIAL GOTH ANTHEMS 1. BAUHAUS BELA LUGOSI’S DEAD 2. THE DAMNED PLAN 9 CHANNEL 7 3. THE SISTERS OF MERCY THIS CORROSION 4. SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES HONG KONG GARDEN 5. THE MARCH VIOLETS WALK INTO THE SUN 6. THE MISSION WASTELAND 7. THE CURE A FOREST 8. THE BIRTHDAY PARTY NICK THE STRIPPER 9. FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM MOONCHILD 10. THEATRE OF HATE DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE WEST WORLD

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the band in 1986 after leaving The Sisters Of with Phil Thornally to lay down eight tracks of mournful lyrics, tribal drums and atmospheric Mercy, drafting in Simon Hinkler on guitar synthesisers. and Mick Brown on drums. In their ten-album In 1982, The Sisters Of Mercy recorded career, the band have had a turbulent history, ‘Floorshow’, a harrowing gothic track both including two breaks and a number of line-up inspired and inspiring. Formed in Leeds in the changes. 1980s post-punk scene, their sound was shaped by the ‘Doktor Avalanche’ electronic drums n 1978, German expressionist inspired and honed by the duo of Andrew Eldritch and Bauhaus formed, originally called Bauhaus Gary Marx. With Craig Adams on bass and 1919, releasing their debut single ‘Bela Benn Gunn on guitar, the band developed Lugosi’s Dead’ on 4AD in 1980. Soon a reputation of legendary status through a changing their name to simply Bauhaus, they succession of innovative and successful singles released their first album ‘In the Flat Field’ that throughout the 1980s, which carried on into same year. Its instinctual, pounding drums, the early 1990s. Tired of the romantic drama of its their record label’s unfair lyrics and overall atmosphere treatment, they called a characterized what went on to writing strike in 1993 and be known as the gothic rock despite the band still touring sound. Their track ‘Stigmata today with one original Martyr’ includes backwards member (Eldritch) they have monk chants and has an never since recorded. However, intense and unnerving vibe. It the band do play new was used for the cult horror material live and there are movie soundtrack of Night Of rumours of a fourth album. The Demons. Initially known as The Warhol superstar and Sisterhood, The Mission German singer-songwriter Nico remain closely associated with was best known for her work their ‘gothic rock band’ label. on the Velvet Underground’s Frontman Wayne Hussey and debut album, ‘The Velvet Rubella Ballet - Courtesy of Sid Truelove bassist Craig Adams started Underground & Nico’ (1967). In

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THE BIRTH OF GOTH Screaming Dead - Courtesy of Tony McKormack

ClockDVA - Courtesy Of Adi Newton

Each song is a credit to its artist, ranging from downhearted to hysterical. It may make you reanalyse your idea of ‘goth’, revealing the hidden darkness of The Damned, Public Image Ltd, Adam and The Ants and others. From satanic subtexts in the singers’ vocals to the dark and edgier sound of the guitars, there’s no doubt goth allowed its audience to linger in sadness and honesty with self. It’s no surprise that the youthful, raw style that once bubbled under the surface throughout the punk movement of the late ‘70s has since seen many of its pioneering bands finding their way onto Top Of The Pops performances and Top Anorexic Dread - paint - Courtesy of Patrick Moriarty 40 success. In recent years t’s clear that we’ve seen a huge resurgence the Year Zero Sisters Of Mercy - Courtesy of 1981 Nico hadn’t written a record since 1974’s of interest in goth, with atmosphere Per-Ake Warn ‘The End’ and her single ‘Sãeta’, released on many of the pioneering present in the Flicknife records marked a comeback and bands reforming and touring, and an increased UK during hopeless political times, deprived a new direction of new wave minimalism influence on today’s up-and-coming new council boroughs and low enthusiasm brought entrenched in darkness. bands. Not only that, but new documentaries up a change in fashion, music and attitude: Theatre of Hate were a band of apocalyptic and books on the genre are on the horizon, all valid, all exciting and all new. The splinter post-punks ejected out of punk band The including Louder Than War’s John Robb, tribes of punk varied hugely and by the late Pack in 1980. Led by Kirk Brandon, who who will be releasing his excellent ‘The Art of 1970s a despondent sound clearly took root, later led Spear Of Destiny, they stormed the Darkness’ tome in early 2018. as gothic music reset the limits of expression strata of the UK Independent charts with their Without a doubt, goth music marks another in music and lyrics. ‘Silhouettes and Statues’ debut single ‘Original Sin’. Known for their triumph for the generation of the creative passages through the gothic uprising that classic ‘Westworld’, they’ve since had sporadic flourished, bringing together the bands who strange. reunions and in 2016 released a new album piece together every aspect of the movement, ‘Kinshi’. from the bewildering to the perverse, the shy ‘Silhouettes and Statues’ is out June 30th on Gene Loves Jezebel singer Julianne soul-searchers to the outlandish and wild Cherry Red. Regan joined Manuela Zwingmann of Xmal vampirish rock ‘n’ Deutschland forming a new band The Swarm roll caricatures. The in 1982. Joined by bassist Gus Ferguson collection, although and guitarist Tim Bricheno, the duo swiftly based around goth, expanded into the band All About Eve, starting includes a number their own label Eden. Their first single, ‘D For of genre-defying Desire’, swirls in psychedelic sound effects, tracks whilst including off-beat percussion and ghostly vocals, as greats from the punk, their gothic offering to the times gained them post-punk and pop a solid fanbase. Later the band signed to scene of the times, Mercury Records, and reached chart success going as far reaching with their debut self-titled album going to as avant-garde. Each number 7 in the UK, alongside single ‘Martha’s track is backed up Harbour’ entering the Top 10. They also had with detailed sleeve chart success with follow-up album ‘Scarlet notes, embellishing its In The Nursery - Courtesy of Bill Stephenson and Other Stories’. All About Eve continued to need to be noticed. enjoy success until 1993 when they parted. All of these bands played crucial roles in defining the gothic genre. These are just a few of the stories behind some of the artists, but there were many more postpunk bands who embraced the style at the time. Released by Cherry Red Records, the comprehensive 5CD boxset titled ‘Silhouettes and Statues’ tells the full sonic story.

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Following up the breakout success of 2015’s ‘The Race For Space’, PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING have narrowed their conceptual scope from stars and galaxies and written about the Welsh mining industry with new album ‘Every Valley’. Band architect J. Willgoose Esq. talks through the album track by track. ‘PROGRESS’

‘EVERY VALLEY’ “It suggests something of the richness, hopefully, of the history of the area and some of the pride that was certainly associated with the industry. It’s the Richard Burton sample that shows how highly regarded the miners thought of themselves as being, and it’s delivered in a way that only he can really do.”

‘THE PIT’ “This is probably the most industrial sounding track of the album, and it’s much more about painting a picture of what life was like underground. It’s really just trying to highlight the sort of dirty and dangerous and ominously terrifying in some ways, but also every day, aspects of life working down a pit.”

‘PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS NEED COAL’ “There’s a kind of dark irony to it, and it’s not necessarily the kind that’s going to illicit laughs beyond a ‘Ha.’ The advert that opens that song is miners drilling underground and then in a pool with bikini-clad women and champagne everywhere, it’s extraordinary. Really, it only draws into sharper relief, what’s about to hit. Not ten years later, the end of the strike and death of an industry, it’s quite remarkable, I think.”

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“If you said to somebody you’re putting an album together about Welsh coalmining, I think a lot of people would instantly assume that that’s going to be a record pretty much entirely focussed around the strike and the aftermath, and it’s just going to be unrelentingly miserable. One of the things I wanted to do with the record was not make it too easily pigeon-holed by that and show some of the positivity and optimism. Even if they end up being misplaced, I suppose. ‘Progress’ does stand out as the most wilfully optimistic one on there.”

for me personally because The Manics are such an important band for me and ‘The Holy Bible’ was an album that I think I listened to, to and from school, probably, every single day from the age of fifteen through to eighteen. In terms of the vote

‘GO TO THE ROAD’ “This is almost a bridging in terms of the narrative and getting you from a superficial optimism of a song like ‘Progress’ and then descending, as soon as you flip the record over onto side two and it’s like, bam, with ‘All Out’ and the strike has begun proper. It’s just a sense of a gathering storm. I think a working title for that song for a while was ‘A Storm Comes’ or something like that. That was the function of that song.”

‘ALL OUT’ “I think ‘All Out’ is probably our expression of truest anger to date. The goal with that one is to reflect the anger and the tumult and the chaos of the time and the ugliness of it as well. Saying to the guys when we were making it, I was like, ‘I want the speakers to be on the verge of exploding with this one. Really just push everything into the red, basically.’ There’s not much room for prettiness in that one, I don’t think, but there isn’t always, in life.”

‘TURN NO MORE’ “Getting James Dean Bradfield on the record, you know, it’s obviously important

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of confidence, I suppose, of somebody like that who’s so closely identified with that area and the story of it, and who grew up through all that, being willing to engage with us and appear on it, it’s an immense, kind of, privilege as well.”

‘THEY GAVE ME A LAMP’ “There’s another example of not just focussing, I suppose, on the negative aspects of the strike itself, certainly, and trying to see what positive things did come out of it. I think the great political awakening that there seemed to be among these women support groups and literally coming out of the kitchen and assuming a more active role in life and in politics, I think that could only really be a good thing. It’s a powerful message to spread and certainly with a lot of the regressive elements that are currently pushing against that.”

‘YOU + ME’ “If you’re making an album about Wales it really would be a shame, almost a crime, to not include some actual Welsh language on there, and we’ve got Lisa Jen Brown from the band 9Bach. She was up for not just translating the words in a direct translation of the spirit of the sort of thing I was after, but she took it and rewrote it and made it work better in the native language. She changed the meaning a bit so that it has other resonances that as a non-native speaker you’d just never be able to get out of whacking it into Google Translate or something. I think this is the first time my voice has appeared on a PSP record, though it might be on the background swearing at Wrigglesworth (drums/piano) on one of the other ones.”

‘MOTHER OF THE VILLAGE’ “There’s no real way around it, you are descending into the sad death of an industry, and in terms of the title

of the track ‘Mother Of The Village’, you know, where the industry is so closely linked to the community you’re often seeing the community itself wither. That’s what we’re after with that track, really, and there’s not much room for hope within that one. It is pretty sad and definitely a bit melancholy.”

‘TAKE ME HOME’ “One of the things that probably drew me to the idea of making this album, and making it so specifically about South Wales, was the opportunity to work with Welsh male choirs, because it’s just such an incredibly rich and emotional sound. You’re obviously drawing on a whole range of cultural history when you use a group like that, just a rich history of Welsh choirs, I suppose, for one, let alone the, kind of, personal involvement of the industry. It’s such an incredibly rich and emotional sound, and it’s something I wanted to get on the record.” ‘Every Valley’ is out July 7th on PIAS

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the s e t a r b e l ce Nick Tesco looked genius of often overland’s FLYING NUN New Zea CORDS. RE

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OR as long as I can remember New Zealand was famous for two things: the All Blacks world crushing rugby team and sheep. New Zealand lamb was the plat de jour of my childhood to such an extent that before I played there in 1980, the first British punk band to reach their shores, it was pretty much all I was looking forward to, and yet the country remains, to this day, one of my favourite places in the world. This sense of love was magnified in the ‘80s with my introduction to some of the best music ever recorded, a close friend spoke in reverent tones about The Clean, The Bats, Straightjacket Fits and the phenomenal and shimmering (The) Chills. This was how I first discovered the powerhouse that was Flying Nun Records. As with all scenes and sounds, Rough Trade bands, Postcard, Tamla Motown, Flying Nun had by chance developed its own sound. Partly down to the early recording facilities that the bands had to use but also down to the fertile musical petri dish that was the university town of Dunedin, the second largest city on New Zealand’s South Island. From the early ‘80s a whole procession of bands came and went, some blazing a trail and disappearing in moments and others reaching levels of legend. The Clean became such a band. When I first met several NZ musicians they all spoke in reverential terms of this band who had already been and gone. It was The Clean who first drew Roger Shepherd’s attention to the plethora of groups springing up in Dunedin. The band had been the catalyst for Shepherd to get the Flying Nun Records bandwagon rolling when he first saw them play in his hometown of Christchurch supporting The Enemy (not the British band). In an interview with Vinyl Factory in 2015 Shepherd said: “Punk coincided with my first experiences of live music. Seeing The Enemy play in Dunedin certainly changed everything. The

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Enemy were a remarkable band with great songs out about the recording process. Realising and an electrifying performance. And there that the artists he was interested in, and the was a nice connection to my future with The projected market, would never justify spending Clean playing a shambolic support set that same the huge figures necessary to hire state of the night.” art recording studios. As luck would have it the Shepherd, like so many influential founders answer arrived in the form of Chris Knox, one of labels, was working in a record shop, partying time frontman for The Enemy and Toy Love, and Clean manager Doug Hood owners of a Teac and going out to gigs. Like so many people Four track machine who around the world at that were adept at bringing out time punk had opened the best in recordings of minds and attitudes to bands they worked with. the idea of making music just for the hell of it. In he first single his excellent book ‘In released on Love With These Times’ Flying Nun was articulates the problem for The Pin Group’s bands in countries outside ‘Ambivalence’, a kind of sub of the recognised major Velvets mesmeric number markets, dominated by that still sounds fresh today major labels who like all but it was with the second multinational corporations release that the label began are extractive rather than to motor when they put out productive; pushing foreign The Clean’s ‘Tally Ho!’. The chart fodder onto a pliant band were hard working, population. touring regularly and had “Part of my personal built an audience who motivation for starting a promptly went out and bought the single and label was having seen a number of very good put it into the New Zealand charts. Their follow Christchurch groups develop and then break up without ever recording or releasing a record.” He up, the EP ‘Boodle Boodle Boodle’ established continues: “I thought I could offer a solution by Flying Nun commercially allowing it to move forward. The reviews were great and student and taking on quality local projects that would sell non pop radio were hammering the tracks. The enough records to a mainly local audience to break even.” A revolutionary concept? No, in fact the seed idea for one of the world’s greatest independent labels and a concept shared by all of them. Shepherd set about learning about the actual process of making Francisca Griffin, Look Bl records, visiting ue Go Purple pressing plants and finding

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We hung out all the time. Some of us lived same places. We werein the over each other’s live all s.

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Flying Nun was the sound of people not being careful, because it really didn’t matter.

Shayne Carter, Straightjacket Fits

inch double EP. The four bands who were lined up were The Chills, The THE CLEAN Verlaines, Sneaky Feelings and The Stones; a venue was sorted, The Star label pressed 10,000 copies and couldn’t keep up & Garter, and the bands played in rotation of with demand after its release in December 1981; several nights. Meanwhile Knox and Hood had the EP went top five and stayed on the charts set up the four track and as the bands honed for six months. As Hamish Kilgour, drummer for their sets playing live the recording started. the band, said with usual Kiwi modesty: “Our importance, if you want to call it that, is more he Chills were fronted by Martin down to the attitude we instilled in people, Phillipps, who had played on The rather than sales or style or anything else.” Clean’s single ‘Tally Ho!’. He was already You could say that aside from Shepherd and developing as a strong songwriter and his label the second most influential factor in the a confident band leader, it was the first step for development of this scene and musical surge was the band that went on to be probably Flying The Clean. They swept aside the old order. Nun’s strongest international export. On the After The Clean had impressed upon double The Chills supplied the haunting element, Shepherd that the bands forming in Dunedin The Verlaines were a complex post-Punk outfit, were well worth a look it was decided to record The Stones were, like their namesakes, a balls four of them, giving them each a side of a 12 out bunch of rockers and Sneaky Feelings were

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“slightly out on a limb” according to Shepherd. The Dunedin Double became the first example of what became termed “the Dunedin Sound”; a term coined by The Clean’s David Kilgour, who apparently came to regret it. Though there was no obvious similarity musically there are certain tropes that are evident. They were guitar bands recorded on a four track, reverb was all over them and the jangle and drone of the players gave the bands a sonic dreaminess that became popular years later in the shoegaze movement. The songwriting was serious, strong construction and often unusually structured. Matthew Banister from Sneaky Feelings was quoted saying: “Many of the musicians involved [in the Dunedin Sound] denied its existence, but to outside observers, early Flying Nun releases had a distinctive sound, which was only partly attributable to rough recording techniques. This ‘sound’ was typically marked by the use of droning or jangling guitars, indistinct vocals and often copious quantities of reverberation. Punk amateurism was a big influence, especially on the Clean, but the Dunedin bands tended to lack punk aggression, and favour, at least in theory, a more “pure pop” approach.” As with all musical movements the bands and musicians need a locality to coalesce around, a sense of belonging. Fashion, drinking and strong New Zealand weed alongside bars and venues were the catalysts, as in Britain, before social media, when people got together in a real space ideas would flourish and Dunedin was no different to Liverpool, Manchester, London or New York; just smaller. As Shepherd says in his book, this whirlpool of talent initially produced two bands, Bored Games and The Same. The musicians from these bands moved around, in and out of bands centred on strong singer-songwriters; the three prime writers were Martin Phillipps of The Chills, Graeme Downes of The Verlaines and Shayne Carter of Straitjacket Fits and Dimmer. As Shayne Carter said: “Flying Nun was the sound of people not being careful, because it really didn’t matter.” Now with the success of the Dunedin Double and the first two Eps by The Clean, Flying Nun had the funds to fire up. “After just over a year Flying Nun was well established,” Shepherd said. “Selling

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really good volumes of its releases and, most importantly, had a strong roster of young bands at the start of their careers.” The Clean, never particularly happy being the focus of adulation and fandom called it a day in 1982 after the release of ‘Getting Older’. Happily, for Shepherd, other bands were filling the space, particularly The Chills who released a couple of singles, most notably the classic and mesmerising ‘Pink Frost’ and The Verlaines, arch, arty and boho centred, with ‘Death And The Maiden’. Both bands were staple sounds on student radio stations.

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nitially all the Flying Nun releases had been singles and Eps, then in 1984 they released the Sneaky Feeling’s album, ‘Send You’; it was the first Flying Nun record to be recorded in a 16 track studio. Shepherd always admired their professionalism and they followed a more Americana path than their Dunedin contemporaries. As Martin Durrant, songwriter and drummer with Sneaky Feelings: “We sound American, basically. If you want to say what’s different about us from other Dunedin groups. We like American rock ‘n’ roll, that’s what we listen to most. But we listen to all kinds of music. I’m a fan of that point where country music meets soul, people like Percy Sledge.” Other commentators felt that the band was a little too straight for the hipsters but a bit too rough for the mainstream market. As a result it was always felt that they never got the recognition they deserved. By 1985 The Clean had split and the coming band, the great South Island hope were The Chills. Based around the exquisite song writing of Martin Phillipps the group had gradually become the obvious choice to expand the label’s horizons, into an international market. After the release of the Dunedin Double the band had been steadily building a base of adherents to

THE VERLAINES

their airy and ethereal sound, deceptive given the spine that ran through it. The band weathered upheaval in 1983 when their drummer, and close friend of Phillipps’s, Martyn Bull died of leukaemia; he was 22 years old. By 1985 the band had regrouped and recorded ‘The Lost’ EP which went top five. Shepherd, with growing international interest, went to Europe; The Chills were not far behind him. Waiting in London was Craig Taylor, That Petrol Emotion’s manager, general man about town and all round good guy. “I had left Dunedin in 1978, long before Roger had started Flying Nun. My first taste of the Dunedin Sound was when a friend from home, Dean Allen visited and demanded I listen to the Chills Pink Frost at high volume several dozen times,” Taylor recalls. “I was blown away on the first listen and proceeded to make contact with them to offer my services. I met Roger came some time later after working with the Chills in the UK. We first met when the band played the New Music Seminar in New York in 1987 I think. That led to a record deal with Slash Records/Warner Brothers for the Chills.” In his memoir Shepherd praises Taylor for both his vision for the band, his UK music industry know how and, though a laconic and laid back guy, a dynamo when it came to music and ambition. Doug Hood shared these views and it was agreed that Taylor would represent Flying Nun in Europe and manage The Chills internationally. It was in London, in 1985, that Phillipps and the band recorded the stunning ‘I Love My Leather Jacket’, a tribute to Martyn Bull who had gifted the jacket to Phillipps shortly before his death. It is a beautiful, touching tribute; a rolling, growling riff, the kind you want to continue forever, over which Phillipps intones his pain at the loss of his friend: “I love my leather jacket, I love my vanished friend.” This was the label’s first international office. “Yeah, I think it was the first international office, if you could call my bedroom an office,” laughs Taylor. “Roger had licensed records in various overseas territories, including the Chills compilation Kaleidoscope World to Creation Records

THE CHILLS I LOVE MY LEATHER JACKET THE PIN GROUP AMBIVALENCE SOLID GOLD HELL BITTER NEST STRAITJACKET FITS SHE SPEEDS LOOK BLUE GO PURPLE CIRCUMSPECT PENELOPE JEAN-PAUL SARTRE EXPERIENCE FLEX FAZERDAZE TAKE IT SLOW THE COURTNEYS SILVER VELVET ALDOUS HARDING IMAGINING MY MAN THE CLEAN TALLY HO!

in the UK. It took considerable effort to get the rights back from Alan McGee, Normal Records in Germany, and Homestead Records in the North America. The US was a very important market with strong support from the College Radio stations who had been a huge champion of Flying Nun.”

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longside the development of this phenomenon there was another, less obvious shift happening, the rising number of female musicians. New Zealand, like Australia, has tended to be seen in a machismo light, blokes, rugby, the All Blacks, these were the stereotypes, but if you watch a playlist of Flying Nun bands on YouTube you realise that many of the bands, many of the revolving line ups include female players. There are obviously evident examples of all-woman line-ups like the brilliant Look Blue Go Purple. Post-punk but influenced by the freedom offered by punk, with its formidable female personalities, the band went from hanging out to playing,

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just like any other outfit. Flying Nun have just released a double album retrospective of the band. In an interview with Martyn Pepperell bass player Francisca Griffin painted a vivid picture of the times. “We hung out all the time,” Griffin says. “Some of us lived in the same places. We were all over each other’s lives.” More Do It Together than DIY, they didn’t let their early limitations hold them back. “I don’t think the idea of limitations even occurred to us,” Griffin laughs. “We’d look what other bands were doing, and go; we can do that! Let’s just try it out? We’re not good on guitar yet? That’s okay; we’ll do other things.”

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espite the openness of the scene they swam in, that warm Dunedin pool of creativity, it was still hard for young women going out and playing in front of pissed up rugger buggers in the boonies. As Pepperell pointed out: ‘Although being part of the Flying Nun scene located them inside an emerging musical counterculture, that counterculture still existed within a climate powered by rugby, cheap beer and the aftermath of New Zealand’s third National Party government. “When the counterculture collided with the mainstream, it wasn’t pretty,” Griffin continues.’ These musicians were trailblazers and thanks to them, their strength and talents, Flying Nun has continued having a roster that reflects the world it lives in. The

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current roster boasts several great acts who are there because of their music and not any other reason: Aldous Harding, with her Nico influenced inflections, a thread that goes back to Laura Nyro; Fazerdaze who continues down the road travelled by the early bands like The Chills and The Clean, sparse and ethereal music, timeless and beautiful; Mermaidens, a powerful three piece with splashes of Warpaint and Sleater-Kinney, are another of the label’s recent signings who are enthralling and project New Zealand music into the future. Shepherd, when asked about role women played in the music of Flying Nun told me: “Yes, it would seem played a solid role when I think about it just now. In the ‘80s we were all making it up as we went (the label and the bands) and it seemed perfectly natural that women were inspired by the punk thing to pick up instruments and learn to play and be in bands just as much as the guys. The post punk experience broke down so many (but not all) of those terrible rock macho idiocies. In a sense music and the way it could be made was reinvented. I never even thought about it. Jane Dodd was a fantastic bass player in the early Chills and later in the Verlaines, Caroline Easther was a fantastic drummer in the Chills. I loved Look Blue Go Purple. Good people making good music. Simple as that.”

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he release of the first Flying Nun compilation ‘Tuatara’ brought the initial period to a close. By late 1985, the Chills became the first band on the label to tour overseas. Craig Taylor, Flying Nun’s European head, also doubled up as tour manager: “The Chills were the second or third western band to play a concert in East Berlin, before the wall came down, though I think the Scorpions were there before us. We sold out the Government run Municipal Hall with no promotion. The first three or four hundred punters in front of the stage were real fans wearing homemade Chills T-shirts and they sang along to all the songs. The wall couldn’t stop the music broadcast from West Berlin radio. The back of the hall was a different

story with a mix of curious bystanders and Stasi operatives. I have never before or since seen a lighting desk made from an old typewriter, controlling car headlights mounted in tin cans. We were paid in Ooust marks so had to stay a few days after the show to find something to spend the money on. We choose art books over lemons and cabbage!” In 1988 The Chills signed to Slash, a subsidiary of Warners, thus making them the first Flying Nun band to sign to a major label. 1988 also saw Flying Nun move its offices from Christchurch to Auckland, a move dictated by Auckland’s proximity to ‘the biz’ and overseas markets. In an interview with Shepherd, originally published in the Christchurch Star, he explained: “We had to be that bit closer to markets and to the people who pressed our records. Auckland is also that little bit closer to the world. Some bands like Straitjacket Fits and The Chills are ambitious in what they want to do, and have gone after what they want to achieve, and in order to facilitate this, bands with track records are licensed to major record companies who have the dollars and cents to invest in a band. And that’s not just recording and airplay but marketing, touring and advertising a band properly. Touring somewhere like the US can be time consuming and expensive.” New Zealand distribution was now ‘handled’ by majors, first WEA and then the Australianbased Festival/Mushroom, which also bought a 50% interest in the label in 1990. At this time a number of bands emerged who were, along with the Chills, the mainstay of the label into the ‘90s, while a number of others disintegrated or migrated to other labels - Sneaky Feelings and Look Blue Go Purple broke up in 1989, while the Verlaines left the label and signed with Slash/Warners. Some would argue the Auckland move also influenced the sound of the label, moving away from its South Island roots to a darker, harder, more contemporary sound. Such a split can be clearly heard on the second Flying Nun sampler issued in 1988 ‘In Love With These’, which is very much divided up into a light side (LBGP, Chills, Bats, Sneaky Feelings, Able Tasmans) and a dark side (Snapper, Skeptics, Headless Chickens, Bailter Space) of the Nun. “High points were often when the bands toured with sold out shows and fantastic live reviews,” Taylor told me. “Especially The Chills who had the advantage of being based in the UK, enjoyed considerable success. We had to be frugal to make it work with Kiwi can do attitude. I remember we played a show in Birmingham to five men and a dog. The dog actually shat on the stage after soundcheck! It was possibly a low point until I read a review of Submarine Bells in NME a long time later. It started with ‘I once saw The Chills play live in Birmingham with four other punters and a dog, they were brilliant as is this album.’” This was the period of The Chills’ greatest

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LOOK GO PURPLE PICBLUE - WILLIAM ELLIS

commercial success with the recording of the classic ‘Submarine Bells’ album. Produced by Pixies and Throwing Muses producer Gary Smith and recorded at the residential Jacobs Studio this was a tour de force where all the rivers of inspiration met. Songs like ‘Heavenly Pop Hit’, ‘Oncoming Day’ or ‘Tied Up In Chains’ and ‘Familiarity Breeds Contempt’ have given this album a longevity and timelessness that few records possess. Very few bands achieve such a thing and yet if this album was released now, twenty five years later, it would still reverberate.

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t would easily sit alongside a current artist like Fazerdaze’s new release, as Shepherd agrees: “I like Fazerdaze a lot. If it is ‘dream pop’ then it is a sparklingly bright example. Have you noticed how much ‘dream pop’ sounds a bit depressing? We are always looking for new bands and music. A record label needs to be about the new act’s its working with. We have been working away reissuing the back catalogue but which is great and important but simply is not what being a record company is about. It’s about doing new and exciting stuff and moving forward.” As the label grew, and acts like The Chills,

I was the guy who happened to be there at the right place and time with the idea of starting a record label.

Straitjacket Fits, the Jean Paul Sartre Experience and The Bats felt the pull of an international career but New Zealand is so Roger Shepherd, Flying Nun far away and touring is so expensive. Straitjacket’s frontman, Shayne Carter, referred to it as made the thing work.” the tyranny of distance and pointed out: Craig Taylor, now back living in New “It didn’t matter how good Straitjacket Fits Zealand, captured it: “There is so much good were; it was two years before we could afford will and enthusiasm for the label from so many to return.” people from all over the world. From Greece to The label, a victim of its own success and Norway there were fans everywhere. It made the vagaries of a music industry intent on me proud that they were invested in the music aggressive acquisition went through many troubled times finally ending up as a satellite of made mostly in my home town on the other side of the world. Proud to of played a small Warners, a dusty backwater. In 2009 Shepherd part in making that happen, very satisfying.” bought the label back, with the help of Neil

Finn and others; back catalogue continues to get rereleased and new acts signed. Still vibrant, still interesting, never boring. As Roger Shepherd writes in his excellent book “I was the guy who happened to be there at the right place and time with the idea of starting a record label. It was born out of a positive combination of enthusiasm and naivety. The bands and all of those involved at Flying Nun collectively battled our own ignorance and

The last word belongs to The Chills: “Once we were dead now I guess we are angels For we passed through the dark and avoided the dangers Then I walk with startling changes All the tension is ended, the sentence suspended And darkness sparkles and gleams....”

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BLACK GRAPE POP VOODOO (UMC)

Imperious return to form from the Manchester legends of chemical-rock.

9/10

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t’s apparently 20 years since the last Black Grape album and given that Shaun Ryder, it seems, has barely been out of the public consciousness in that time, the years have flown by. I’m going to be contentious here and say that I think Black Grape (in their first incarnation) were a better-realised proposition than Happy Mondays ever were; if anything, their ferocious mash-up of dub, dance and don’t-give-a-fuck punk ideals gave a better platform for Ryder and cohorts Kermit and the now-departed Bez than The Mondays, at times a baffling mixture of dance/ rock crossover meets hippy counterculture rock. Of course, The Mondays were never dull; the characters therein and the lifestyle kept it so but if you put the two against each other, I’d say that Black Grape’s records stand up today way better than Happy Mondays’ do. Anyway, twenty years on and Shaun and Kermit are still railing against the world and, in particular, their own weird world. The lyrics remain as cryptic,

84

clever and laugh-out-loud funny as ever; the thudding dub/disco basslines and deliciously skewed pop remain a constant and the sliding, sloping hypno-grooves delight and entrance in equal measure. The thrusting bass and coiled drumming of ‘Everything You Know is Wrong’ sets the scene perfectly; with the feel of a paranoid Funkadelic, Ryder lays into the new POTUS in typically tongue-twisting, jagged style. With a sax break sweetening the catcalls and vitriol of Kermit, it’s a startling opener. The title track (and single) is totally engaging; the horns and flanged bass in the little breakdown are a neat, synapse-bothering touch and the chorus is a real mind-worm. ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ is a slower, more laid-back song with Ryder’s barbed, sarcasm-dripping lyric a poisonous treat. The little Italia house piano breakdown is a nod to the ‘90s before a stinging guitar break steals the show. ‘Losing Sleep’ has a strutting, cycling Snoop-style bass riff with Kermit’s dub-infused cackles and voice-overs as Ryder intones “I won’t be losing sleep, over the secrets that I keep from you” over a backing that is hypnotic and lysergic. ‘Nine Lives’ is surely an autobiographical and apocryphal account of these rock ‘n’ roll survivors. Closer ‘Young and Dumb’ drops orchestral samples into a widescreen, travelogue of a song. The spacey, late-night feel is a fitting and languid ending to an album that barely has a dull moment on it. Young and dumb? Not these guys, that’s for sure. And that’s a true testament to an album that delights from start to finish. Joe Whyte

“20 years on and Shaun and Kermit are still railing against the world.”

LOUDER THAN WAR

reviews issue 10.indd 1

02/06/2017 12:38


ANAT

THE OP

(Kscop

Liverpud

7/10

A

ANATHEMA THE OPTIMIST (Kscope)

Liverpudlian progressive rockers return with their eleventh long-player.

7/10

A

fter the deserved critical success of ‘Distant Satellites’, Anathema have returned with their “darkest material yet”. Cited as a continuation of the band’s ‘A Fine Day to Exit’ album, ‘The Optimist’ is conceptual and a lot heavier than previous recent efforts. There are plenty of dense instrumental passages that corroborate with claims of darker material; however some of these sections do meander. Anathema shines brightest in their lush orchestration, melody and Lee Douglas’ soaring voice. ‘Endless Ways’ (a potential classic) and ‘Ghosts’ are two examples where Anathema thrives. They are a thing of beauty when in full flow. ‘Can’t Let Go’ is more upbeat in its tempo and album closer ‘Back to the Start’ is a truly soaring tune that demands to be played loud in a festival field somewhere. This album is a real grower. Dominic Walsh

AUCTION FOR THE PROMISE CLUB SILENCE (Zen Ten)

Audacious debut album of anthems from the youthful Cornish trio.

9/10

H

ailing from St Agnes, Cornwall, Auction for the Promise Club boast the pop hooks and production smarts to breach the mainstream. Singer/guitarist Zoe White-Chambers impresses with perfectly under-stated vocals that always serve the song, while her drumming brother Toby provides driving rhythms with subtle dance inflections. Perran Tremewan completes the trio on lead guitar and programming. The group has a distinctive sound all of its own, but there are echoes of Editors, Placebo and My Bloody Valentine in the mix. With killer tunes like the pounding ‘Moonlight’ and the inventive modern rock of ‘See Through’, Auction For The Promise Club ought to be making their presence felt on the airwaves soon. A highly impressive debut from a band that’s likely to be around for a long time to come. Gus Ironside

BENT KNEE

BMX BANDITS

LAND ANIMAL

BMX BANDITS FOREVER

(InsideOut)

Songs of struggle shape the Boston art rockers’ fourth album.

7/10

W

hile the InsideOut label usually deals in a roster of classic prog rock, they pitch the occasional curve ball. With Bent Knee’s previous releases hitting the art rock bullseye, ‘Land Animal’ comes described by lead vocalist Courtney Swain as “juicy and immediate” – not terms you’d associate with an exploration of the reality of 21st century life and the current climate of change. An absence of musical boundaries results in a wide spectrum of the familiar and the bizarre as they consider our innate biological capacity to deal with rapidly developing technologies. Twelve minutes of the musical kaleidoscope of ‘Boxes’ based on the notion that we’re marching towards our own demise; an extended snapshot that provides an indication of their manifesto promoting music as a force for positive change . Mike Ainscoe

ft “d Optimist instrume tions do soaring thrives. album c field som

(Elefant)

ARCA

Scottish indie pop veterans with album ten.

8/10

ARCAD

L

ed as always by Duglas T. Stewart, BMX Bandits seem to still be going strong, thirty years into their career. They’ve had their ups and downs but they’re always an interesting prospect and without doubt masters of indie/ jangle pop. The 16 tracks here show a band on fine form, from opening single ‘My Girl Midge’ through the trademark infectious melodies on ‘It’s In Her Eyes’ and ‘It’s Time’ to the heartbroken ‘No Matter What You Say’. Brian Jonestown Massacre frontman Anton Newcombe pops up on the glorious ‘Razorblades & Honey’ too. With an album like this it’s very hard to argue with the album title and very easy to see why BMX Bandits have had such a strong cult following over the years. Here’s to many more years of great indie pop music. Long live BMX Bandits! John Youdon

(Relap

Mastodo

7/10

I

f you’v direct cover art Core Ato drums, a of galaxi consume the trio a muscula

AUCT

SILENC

(Zen Te

Audacio

9/10

H

ail tio perfectly driving r and prog The grou Bloody V rock of ‘S waves so

BASH

ANYTH

(Fat Po

Replacem

ARCADEA

BASH & POP

BITE THE BUFFALO

BORIS

ARCADEA

ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN

BIG BLIND

DEAR

(Relapse)

Mastodon drummer goes synth crazy.

7/10

I

f you’ve seen the music video for Arcadea’s ‘Army of Electrons’, well, it pretty much sums up the direction of the band. Essentially, it’s as trippy as balls. Just look at the Essy May designed album cover art. Arcadea is a project from Mastodon drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor, who has recruited Core Atoms (Zruda) and Raheem Amlani (Withered) to create a record comprised entirely of synths, drums, and vocals. Lyrically it concerns the universe five billion years in the future, where a collision of galaxies creates a new order of planets. Like I said, trippy as balls. It’s not essential to have consumed psychedelics while listening to ‘Arcadea’ (although it probably helps) as the soundscapes the trio are able to produce with limited instrumentation are rich and wide-ranging, with Dailor’s muscular drumming propelling the synth album in a hard rock direction. Paul Hagen

(Fat Possum)

(Dissention/Sony RED)

Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson returns with a new album.

Second album from Zambian garage rock brothers.

S

F

8/10

ix years elapsed between Stinson’s last solo LP and this new release. In between there was the small matter of a successful live reunion with his former partner in crime Paul Westerberg. Aborted sessions for a new Mats LP resulted in Stinson using the songs and recording them with a new line-up under his early ‘90s alias of Bash And Pop. A fine collection of songs played with passion proves that this was a wise choice. The title track rocks like the Mats in their heyday, while ‘Unfuck You’ sounds like the best Faces song they never wrote. The band are not afraid to display a poppier side on the catchy ‘Anybody Else’. Not just a collection of ballsy rockers, the album also includes an excellent country song ‘Anytime Soon’ and the gentle ‘Shortcut’. Craig Chaligne

7/10

ollowing on from their rousing 2013 debut full-length ‘Blue Lips’, Bite The Buffalo are back, bigger and better than ever. Hailing from Central Africa but now based in Bath in the UK, twin brothers Stos Goneos and Miti Goneos, along with Cassidy Jones and Jake Salvador Meeking, kick out the fuzzy rock ‘n’ roll jams in a way that the Black Lips or Black Rebel Motorcycle Club would be proud of. The stand out is the fun-filled party tune ‘Keys to Your Coffin’, but there’s not really weak tracks here. A great soundtrack to a summer roadtrip, blast ‘Big Blind’ loud and rock out this summer. If you’re into garage rock ‘n’ roll then this album is essential listening. You should be seeing and hearing a lot more from these Buffalo brothers. Sam Cunningham

8/10

S

ix ye sma Aborted a new lin passion ‘Unfuck a poppie includes

(Sargent House)

It’s heavy and it rocks.

8/10

I

t’s Tokyo metal titans Boris’s 25th anniversary so they’ve celebrated by unleashing a near 70-minute monolith of bludgeoning noise, which will howl in your veins and grind your bones to dust. Opener ‘D.O.W.N.-Domination of Waiting Noise’ ushers us in with a swift drum fanfare before a detonation of such amped-up ferocity, shards of power electronics sparkling in its vast tidal wake, that it’s immediately clear we’re in the presence of a group who are still very much in the business of maximum demon expulsion. The overall impact of ‘Dear’ is an approximation of how it might feel to be swallowed whole by a raging black supernova. Yet there are moments of respite inside this charred paean to cathartic carnage. Boris have topped an increasingly impressive quarter-century with a record which both returns them to doom metal roots and blasts them into another stratosphere entirely. Euan Andrews LOUDER THAN WAR

BENT LAND

(Inside

Songs of

7/10

W

hile curv comes d associat An absen consider of the m demise; force for

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BITE

BIG BL

(Dissen reviews issue 10.indd 2

02/06/2017 12:38

Second a


BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE HUG OF THUNDER

CAST KICKING UP THE DUST (Cast/Absolute)

(Arts & Crafts/City Slang)

CELEBRATION

CHASTITY BELT

WOUNDED HEALER

I USED TO SPEND SO MUCH TIME ALONE

(Bella Union)

Reformed and re-energised collective deliver the goods.

Liverpool’s Britpop favourites with slick sixth studio album.

Kaleidoscopic, uplifting fifth album from Baltimore psychedelic soul band.

K

S

F

9/10

evin Drew’s constantly morphing Broken Social Scene collective were somewhat ubiquitous in the early noughties, with 2002’s ‘You Forgot It In People’ and 2005’s self-titled efforts finding a home in every self-respecting muso’s record collection. ‘Hug of Thunder’, the Toronto group’s fifth full-length, is possibly their most rounded to date, possessing some insidiously incisive pop hits that are unmatched in scale and scope. The first half in particular is a delight; ‘Protest Song’ is a bombastic anthem, ‘Skyline’ a majestic ballad and ‘Stay Happy’ an elaborate and beautifully-orchestrated indie-pop jam. It makes for a kaleidoscope of sounds – but rarely have BSS sounded this electric. Featuring the likes of Leslie Feist, Emily Haines (Metric) and Amy Millan (Stars) ‘Hug of Thunder’ is BSS bringing their ‘A’ game – and it’s genuinely great to have the innovators back. Rob Mair

7/10

urviving Britpop is not an easy task but the bands who have done and moved forward have mostly evolved, like The Charlatans and Suede, for example. You can add Cast to that list because, following on from their 2012 reunion album ‘Troubled Times’ (their first in over a decade at the time), they’re back with this confident sixth album. ‘Kicking Up the Dust’ lives up to its name, with John Power’s gritty vocals and spacey guitars hitting home on the title track. Elsewhere, there’s ‘70s rock-style ballads on ‘How Can We Lose’ and ‘Paper Chains’ and something heavier on ‘Clear Blue Water’. The soulful groove of ‘Baby Blue Eyes’ and the melancholid country ballad ‘Out of My Hands’ show that Cast have matured but still have the songwriting nous to deliver passionate, catchy tunes. Ariel Wimfrey

9/10

ollowing on from 2014’s ‘Albumin’, Celebration have experienced the peaks and troughs of midlife, challenged and inspired by it. The result is the stunning fifth Celebration album, ‘Wounded Healer’, living up to their band name by unleashing an album of resilient joy. From the soulful opener ‘Rolling On’, with Katrina Ford’s powerful vocals and string-infused epics of the Bond-theme-like ‘Velvet Gloves’ through to gospel-flavoured ‘Granite, the sax funk of ‘Stevie’ and the alt-pop of ‘Paper Trails’, this album is a triumph. With guest vocalists including Samuel T Herring from fellow Baltimore band Future Islands, it’s an album full of warmth and depth across all eleven tracks and is arguably their finest work to date. In a dark and scary time where it’s easy to be morose, ‘Wounded Healer’ is a warm, upbeat embrace. Charles Baker

DEAD CROSS DEAD CROSS

GORILLAZ HUMANZ (Parlophone)

Virtual band return in cartoon times.

T

8/10

he world’s most successful virtual band return with their first album in six years. What prompted Gorillaz to return after all these years – according to mentor Damon Albarn – was the election of a cartoon president. Reality and unreality, truth and untruth are mixed up on ‘Humanz’, as in the world we now inhabit. As usual with a Gorillaz album, there is a mix of rap, hip-hop, dub and soul, with stellar guests. It opens with ‘Ascension’, an apocalyptic rap through the darkness of a world where the sky is falling. We then embark on a journey of twenty songs: partying whilst Rome burns, with dark reflection, and hope. It’s a schizophrenic symphony blaring out across a world gone insane. It’s that weird feeling we got waking up to President Trump and thinking “shit, that must have been some party we were at”. Highlights include the dub-heavy ‘Saturnz Barz’, the industrial ‘Momentz’, beating out a rhythm to the tune of the work clock, the beautiful post-party feel of ‘Busted & Blue’, and the distractions of pleasure on ‘Carnival’. There is a psychotic, edgy undercurrent to the songs, representing the seismic shifts of recent times. ‘Hallelujah Money’ is the most overtly anti-Trump song, with its preacher-like vocals extolling isolationism. The album ends with a glimmer of hope on ‘We Got the Power’; a call to love each other. Will we be human, or humanz? The choice is yours. Mark Ray

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(Ipecac)

Supergroup get super.

9/10

I

f you’re playing a game of fantasy rock/ metal supergroup line-ups, a hell of a lot of people would pick Faith No More vocalist Mike Patton and former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo for inclusion. Thankfully, Dead Cross has been created to turn fantasy into reality and Patton and Lombardo (along with The Locust’s Justin Pearson and Retox’s Michael Crain) have launched an absolute beast of a debut album. As soon as ‘Seizure and Desist’ starts, you’re intoxicated by Lombardo’s whirlwind drumming and Patton’s scarily impressive vocal range. It’s a pleasingly concise record, with everyone involved having a great deal of fun just cutting loose and rocking hard, while also displaying levels of experimentation that the individual band members are known for. Perhaps it’s unsurprising given the pedigree of everyone involved, but this really is an album full of unfiltered joy. Paul Hagen

(Hardly Art)

Third studio album from Seattle postpunk band is a moody but rewarding listen.

6/10

W

hile the title of Chastity Belt’s third studio album may nod to the years Julia Shapiro spent as a self-confessed “career loner”, the songs contained here are beautiful reflections of friendship. “I know myself, when I’m by myself, but I’d rather be with you” goes ‘What the Hell’ as the chiming guitar tumbles along over the soft vocal; it’s harder to be together, than it is to be apart. Recorded with producer Matthew Simms (Wire) this album is consistent in its cautious mood and warm but crunchy post-punk guitars. Often with a downbeat feel to the delivery the vulnerability and introspection are striking, making this a record that opens up its true beauty over time, rewarding loyalty. Sarah Lay

DEAD HEAVENS WHATEVER WITCH YOU ARE (Dine Alone)

Hardcore icon Walter Schreifels goes blues/rock.

7/10

W

hile Walter Schreifels is best known for hardcore and post-hardcore bands such as Gorilla Biscuits and Quicksand, in recent months he’s been creating different types of music. Vanishing Life’s album ‘Surveillance’ came out last year and showcased more of a garage rock mentality. Now Dead Heavens’ debut record ‘Whatever Witch You Are’ comes across like a chilled, alt-rock take on classic rock. Drummer Drew Thomas (Youth of Today), bassist Nathan Aguilar (Cults) and guitarist Paul Kostabi (White Zombie) provide the basis for Schreifels’ distinctively smooth vocals to soar over a more slow-paced than normal musical backdrop. It’s a surprisingly coherent effort that demonstrates a lot of easy-going character throughout its runtime. It rarely gets into top gear but that’s kind of the point of the record and results in atmospheric bluesy rock. Paul Hagen

LOUDER THAN WAR

reviews issue 10.indd 3

02/06/2017 12:38


“Connecting through creativity at a time when the world seems to favour becoming insular.” THE CHARLATANS DIFFERENT DAYS (BMG)

Thirteenth, guest-filled album from mercurial band has them at their most forward-looking.

8/10

A

t almost thirty years into a career some bands would be forgiven for sticking firmly to the path well known and giving only variations on whatever theme has gifted them longevity. Not so The Charlatans. “I laughed when I thought about the past, a place I loved but can’t go back, the present is where it’s at”, sings Tim Burgess on ‘There Will Be Chances’, summing up an album which playfully explores themes of time passing, time still to come. On ‘Different Days’, the thirteenth album from the band, part of the approach has been to look beyond their own borders and make the collaborations very much the heart of their album;

one which looks to being open, and connecting through creativity at a time when the world seems to favour becoming insular as a reaction to unsettled times. While some of this ensemble cast are returning following contributions to 2015’s ‘Modern Nature’ - notably The Verve’s Pete Salisbury and New Order’s Stephen Morris - there are also new and sometimes surprising additions. Scottish crime author Ian Rankin contributes a beautifully spoken short story in ‘Future Tenses’, the theme of past, present and future surfacing through it. Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner provides spoken word too on ‘The Forgotton One’, picking up on a collaboration explored more fully on Burgess’ solo output. The track leads into ‘Not Forgotten’ featuring both Johnny Marr and Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe, who weave a melody of Madchester softly infused with psych. Marr adds his touch elsewhere, including on the magnificently punchy and typically anthemic lead single ‘Plastic Machinery’. Actress Sharon Horgan and Factory Floor’s Nik Void add backing vocals to tracks, New Order’s Gillian Gilbert provides synth on ‘The Same House’ and A Certain Ratio’s Donald Johnson brings percussion to ‘Over Again’. Far from being tokenistic or self-indulgent, the supporting cast strengthen The Charlatans’ evolving sound rather than dilute it. Never more so than on final track ‘Spinning Out’, co-written with Paul Weller and the Modfather also supplies piano and backing vocals against Burgess’ falsetto verses and softly reflective choruses. This is the sound of a band at ease but not standing still; The Charlatans at their most relaxed and playful, taking in all parts of their past but pushing on to pastures new. Sarah Lay

LOUDER THAN WAR reviews issue 10.indd 4

87

02/06/2017 12:38


BEACH HOUSE B-SIDES AND RARITIES (Bella Union)

9/10 altimore dream pop band Beach House have released six albums over the last 13 years and realized they had non-album songs that fans were struggling to hear some. The result is this 14-track compilation, containing every song not on an album, plus two previously unreleased songs (‘Chariot’, ‘Baseball Diamond’) from 2015. More stunning Beach House songs. JY

B

CFM DICHOTOMY DESATURATED (In The Red)

7/10 nfluenced by Black Sabbath and The Grateful Dead, Charles Moothart’s CFM have released a second album that’s a push and pull between stoner metal and Sebadoh-like folk. The result is a record that’s every bit, if not more, thrilling as CFM’s previous work. The Californian Ty Segall cohort hits the mark with riffy single ‘Rise and Fall’ and highlight ‘Dead Weight’. AW

I

FEATURE                       BANISHING RITUAL      

DO MAKE SAY THINK

DREAM MACHINE

EIVOR

STUBBORN PERSISTENT ILLUSIONS

THE ILLUSION

SLOR

(Constellation)

…And about time.

(Castle Face)

(A&G)

New band from Warm Soda frontman and his wife.

Classically trained soloist unveils dreamy dark pop in the UK.

ith Austin power pop band Warm Soda having recently released their fourth and final album, ‘I Don’t Wanna Grow Up’, Matthew Melton is back with a new band, Dream Machine, including his wife Doris in the line-up. The result, ‘The Illusion’, is over a half hour of charged up psych rock that’s both energized and very vintage sounding. Powered by Doris’ organ and some synthesizer, not to mention both her and Melton’s vocals, Doris’ shining on ‘All For a Chance’ and Melton’s on the driving ‘I Walked in the Fire’. There’s certainly nods to legends like The Doors, Blue Cheer and Iron Butterfly, but this record has enough swagger and dark magic over the eleven tracks to still sound fresh. This is one illusion that this reviewer has fallen for hard. Dream Machine are here. Ariel Wimfrey

W

C

ELDER

FOOTBALL, ETC.

FUTURE ISLANDS

REFLECTIONS OF A FLOATING WORLD

CORNER

THE FAR FIELD

9/10

T

orontonians DMST will perhaps not be as well-known as many of their leftfield rock peers, which is a shame because refreshingly they are devoid of pretentious pseudo-intellectualism and don’t feel the need to demonstrate just how clever they think they are, unlike certain other people we could mention. What they do deliver is solid, inventive and infrequent post-rock music. Their ability to conjure subtle surprises from a fairly standard set-up, and their avoidance of the loud then quiet then loud thing makes this a very welcome return. It has an old school feel to it, ‘Horripilation’ but also has plenty new to keep their long term listeners enraptured, like ‘Bound’. They aren’t as directly engaging perhaps as other bands and your mind does wander as you listen, but in a way that’s part of its charm.  James Batty 

8/10

8/10

openhagen based talent Eivor releases her first commercial release in the UK despite being established through her 16-year career in Europe. The singer has ten solo albums to date and can be heard on the TV series soundtracks of ‘The Last Kingdom’, ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Deep Water Horizon’. Eivor flits from dark, indie rock verses to huge power pop choruses, playing with your blinkers till they fall clean off. Opening track ‘Surrender’ begins with a Massive Attack/ Portishead sound, merging electronic sampling and synthesizers with a melancholy yet commanding lead vocal. A fan of Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen, Eivor pulls between contemporary and nostalgic in microcosm. From the ‘In My Shoes’ precision triggered beats to the exposed simplicity of ‘Piece By Piece’, the album delves into untapped notions that will have you ever more intrigued with each play. Paula Frost

(Upset The Rhythm)

8/10 ontaining members of the perpetually misunderstood Sauna Youth and one of Slowcoaches, Feature have already called it a day. It has a ramshackle and lo-fi sound, however its main strength lies in the varied songwriting. A tour through jangling indie punk, it’s a bunch of fun and it’s a shame we won’t be hearing it live. JB

C

GNARWOLVES OUTSIDERS (Big Scary Monsters)

8/10 righton three-piece Gnarwolves put out seriously hooky records, but none of them have the unabashed pop-ness of ‘Outsiders’. Opening with the country-flecked ‘Straightjacket’, it’s followed by the Superchunk-tastic ‘Car Crash Cinema’, which strides with pop pride, and is a joy as the chorus crunches. A perfect summer album. JF

B

LIFE POPULAR MUSIC (Afghan Moon)

8/10 his is the debut album from the Hull noise punks and is bursting with dissidence. This is old school UK punk brought up to date to fight the desperation of Brexit Britain, much like Slaves. The vocals sit jagged above the furious music. The youth may be disenfranchised but they haven’t lost their verve and vitality. RG

T

88

(Stickman)

Boston heavy psych trio get cosmic.

8/10

G

etting the last of their stoner metal elements out on their last album, 2015’s ‘Lore’, ‘Reflections of a Floating World’ sees Elder embrace their psychedelic and prog rock nature to create their most sprawling soundscapes to date. Over the course of six songs, Nick DiSalvo’s (vocals/guitar/keys) songwriting shines on tracks influenced by the likes of King Crimson, Pink Floyd and the God Machine. Opener ‘Sanctuary’ takes some turns from stoner to a Mellotron, ‘The Falling Veil’ is a nod to Thin Lizzy and Motorpsycho, where as ‘Sonntag’ channels the krautrock feel of Neu! Fans of the likes of Russian Circles and 65Daysofstatic need to hear this album because you might well just discover one of your albums of the year with this hyperactive, direction changing, yet cohesive, adventure. Float away with Elder. Sam Cunningham

(Barely Regal)

Clear eyes, full heart.

7/10

R

ich textures and dense melodies abound in ‘Corner’, the third fulllength from Texas’ Football, Etc.. After the challenging ‘Disappear’ EP, it represents a more immediate and gratifying listen, with mid-paced torch songs – like the stellar opening number ‘Save’ – rubbing shoulders with the rhythmic and genteel ‘U20’. There’s a timelessness to the songwriting that recalls mid-career REM – in particular ‘Try Out’ and the jangly ‘I Believe’ hark back to the glorious left-of-the-dial radio days – while the preppy pop of ‘Eleven’ cuts fast and true. At times it meanders – and there’s certainly a measured and unforced pace about ‘Corner’ – but that just allows the pop hooks to subtly reveal themselves. Yet, for all this, ‘Corner’ is far from moribund; Lindsay Minton’s wavering and emotional vocals adding steel to Football, Etc.’s free-scoring indie rock numbers. Rob Mair

(4AD)

Sad fifth album from Baltimore synth pop band.

7/10

A

s breakthrough moments go, Samuel T. Herring’s virtuoso performance on Later was a doozy. Dancing like his life depended on it, and singing to the point of near emotional dysregulation, he thrusted the superb ‘Seasons (Waiting On You)’ into the wider consciousness. On their fifth full album, the retro-tinged purveyors of emotionally wrought synth pop shy back from the dramatics that underpinned the memorable TV performances, and deliver a record abrasive, almost unbearable sadness. They can still deliver a pop banger – as the excellent duet with Debbie Harry ‘Shadows’ proves. But this is a record underpinned by a relationship breakdown. Herring discusses death, dying, and bitter longing on ‘Cave’, but most overtly on the desperately morose ‘Through the Roses’. “I’m scared,” he opines, but clearly not afraid to wear their heart on their sleeve. Sean Smith

LOUDER THAN WAR

reviews issue 10.indd 5

02/06/2017 12:38


PAUL WELLER A KIND REVOLUTION

GHOST BATH

HEY COLOSSUS

STARMOURNER

THE GUILLOTINE

(Nuclear Blast)

A punishing yet surprisingly melodic LP from these noise mongers.

U

H

S black metal band Ghost Bath justifiably received a lot of credit for their 2015 album ‘Moonlover’, with its combination of black metal and atmospheric rock performed well enough to make them stand out. Their latest record ‘Starmourner’ sees them expand their sound even further. It clocks in at half an hour longer than ‘Moonlover’ at 72 minutes and is a concept album concerning Jewish angelology. While the previous sentence may raise some concerns about the self-indulgent nature of the record, there’s plenty of black metal fury to be found throughout to balance the more expansive, cosmic rock that underpins ‘Starmourner’. Ghost Bath has never been the type of band to shy away from controversy and it is the same case here, but their ability to mix things up is to be admired. Paul Hagen

Still doing the business after all these years.

8/10

(Rocket)

Black metallers go epic with their third album.

6/10

(Parlophone UK)

8/10

aving gone through a few changes to the line-up since their last releases, London based Hey Colossus return with an eight track LP full of menace and intrigue. Produced by Part Chimp’s Tim Cedar and Ben Turner, this record bludgeons the listener over and over again. Opener ‘Honest to God’ has a slow measured threat combined with crushing devastation. Stand out track ‘Back in the Room’ mixes the Nick Cave-esque vocals of Paul Sykes with punishing walls of sound that absolutely engulf. ‘Expert’s Toll’ is more up-tempo and has an angular post-punk feel. That is however until it descends into the chaos of unflinching noise. There is the dark throb of ‘Englishman’ and the heavy-as-shit bass driven title track that concludes this uncompromisingly loud, yet melodic collection. Ioan Humphreys

P

aul Weller’s 13th solo album follows swiftly on from 2015’s ‘Saturn’s Pattern’, finding him gaining pace in his evolution as an artist of national institution proportions. Possibly in the twilight of a career that sees him coming up on the rails alongside the giant presence of greatest Brits The Beatles, who could conceivably be making this music in 2017? Remarkably, it’s forty years since he arrived fresh faced and intense with The Jam on ‘In the City’, and while the contemporary Weller may have mellowed, he still has a relevant contribution to make whilst avoiding the more obvious sentimentality of relying on nostalgia. The power trio aggression long gone, the ghost of The Style Council still lingers with an ever-changing R&B/soul/jazz/funk mood. The cast includes cameos by legendary soul singers PP Arnold & Madeleine Bell on ‘Woo Se Mama’, plus an appearance by Boy George to funk out on ‘One Tear’ and on ‘She Moves With the Fayre’ Weller twists the arm of the legendary Robert Wyatt. At its best channelling the Weller groove, ‘The Impossible Idea’ tends to more schmaltzy than waltzy, although when the pace is more reflective, ‘Long Long Road’ and ‘Hopper’, a particularly catchy ear worm, work better. There’s the usual expanded version with instrumental and alternative mixes which are all nice touches, but the quality is in the ten core songs. Still as cool as fuck. Mike Ainscoe

UNKLE THE ROAD PT. 1 (Songs For The Def)

James Lavelle returns with UNKLE’s latest opus of unique works.

J HO99O9 UNITED STATES OF HORROR (Toys Have Powers)

US industrial rap punks drop debut album.

6/10

H

o99o9 have been around for a few years now, releasing a couple of EPs and a mixtape along the way, but ‘United States of Horror’ is their first full-lengther. TheOGM and Yeti Bones are known for their riotous live performances and their energy is captured well on record. It’s an abrasive listen, full of harsh industrial action sprinkled with rough rapping and punk energy. They’ve christened the resulting music Deathkult, which does reflect the nihilistic nature of their art. At 17 tracks, it’s a tad overlong but contained within the album’s confines are plenty of high points, with Ho99o9 coming across like a more aggressive version of fellow New Jersey band Dalek rapping over Alec Empire beats. It’s a pretty ragged affair but then nobody really wants a polished version of Ho99o9. Paul Hagen

INVSN THE BEAUTIFUL STORIES (Dine Alone)

Swedish post-punks featuring Dennis Lyxzen.

9/10

C

hanging their name from Invasionen to INVSN (pronounced ‘Invasion’) to release their self-titled third album in 2013, this mesmerizing indie/post-punk band have been quiet in recent years due to the activity of Dennis Lyxzen’s main band, Refused. However, they’re back with album four, and it’s an absorbing listen. Consisting of members of different Swedish punk and hardcore bands, this act shows a different side of their songwriting. From the industrial opening and hypnotic male/ female vocals of opener and single ‘Immer Zu’ to the cold, synth-filled and Gary Numan-like ‘I Dreamt Music’, it’s a powerful record. The likes of ‘This Constant War’ and ‘Bom Bom’ show their political core, while ‘Love’s Like a Drug’ is the perfect closer. At just seven songs, these beautifully angry and frustrated post-punk stories leave you wanting more, in the best way. John Youdon

8/10

ames Lavelle’s UNKLE have gone through several changes over the twenty or so years they have been putting music out. From 1998’s landmark ‘Psyence Fiction’ with DJ Shadow to multiple high profile collaborations, Lavelle has again unleashed a inimitable mix of music to delight the senses. Billed as ‘The Road Pt. 1’, the album opens with the pulsing ‘Farewell’ before the trademark strings and gorgeously gravelly tones of Mark Lanegan make for the first discordant delight of the album. Again, the beat grabs hold of you as the strings and crunching guitar chords envelop your mind. The track is reminiscent of modern day Gary Numan material. Single ‘Cowboys or Indians’ is again another piece of musical magic. The vocals of Elliot Power, Ysée and Mink create a stunning blend over more lush orchestration. Power’s vocal style is reminiscent of Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja on the several tracks he is involved with. ‘Nowhere To Run / Bandits’ is a straight-up garage rocker, which is clearly borne out of the live UNKLE experience. The album’s electronic numbers are where the album really excels; ‘Arms Length’ and ‘Sunrise’ both use standard beats to create lighter moments in an album dense with minor arrangements and dissonant tones. The largely orchestral ‘Sick Lullaby’ closes out the album in a sombre and serene way, however this is a largely triumphant record. There might not be the abundance of high profile collaborations this time around, but the affiliates employed on ‘The Road Pt. 1’ work magnificently. Dominic Walsh

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KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD MURDER OF THE UNIVERSE (Heavenly)

Australian psych rockers’ second of five albums this year.

8/10

K

ing Gizzard are set to release five albums in 2017, each album bridging to the next part of their epic, psychedelic tale. Following ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’, this sprawling 21 track album is broken down into three distinct chapters concerned with the downfall of man and the death of the planet. First chapter ‘The Tale of the Altered Beast’ darts back and forth between Altered Beast parts 1-4 and Alter Me parts 1-3. Second chapter ‘The Lord of Lightning Vs. Balrog’ is as far out as a game of Dungeons and Dragons on acid, including some Satanic sounding speeches which have been pitch bent to sound eerie and unnerving. Third and final chapter ‘Han-Tyumi And The Murder of the Universe’ is a mind bending apocalyptic climax to the album. Paula Frost

MALE GAZE

MAMMUT

MOON DIAGRAMS

MISS TAKEN

KINDER VERSIONS

LIFETIME OF LOVE

(Castleface)

Fourth LP from these gorgeously idiosyncratic Icelanders.

Debut solo album from Deerhunter drummer.

S

ammút return with their fourth LP and build upon the wonky pop and melodic noise of their previous releases that have earned them such a beloved following. ‘We Tried Love’ opens this LP and it’s a gorgeous track that ebbs and flows, both with the otherworldly vocals of Katrína Mogensen, and the quiet/ loud blasts of guitar that leads onto its euphoric second half. The title track has an almost country feel to it, albeit with noise and effects that combine to make this one of the stand out tracks. Just lovely. ‘Walls’ is another belter that has pounding rhythms and harmonies that evolve into a gigantic, overwhelmingly beautiful sound. ‘Pray for Air’ is again a very melodic track that also benefits from noisy instrumentation and a throbbing bass line. Brilliantly powerful stuff. Ioan Humphreys

M

M

PET SYMMETRY

PETER PERRETT

VISION

HOW THE WEST WAS WON

8/10

an Francisco scuzz/post-punks Male Gaze consist of Matt Jones (ex-Blasted Canyons), Mark Kaiser (ex-Mayyors) and Adam Cimino (ex-The Mall) and their sound has taken a step on. Pretty much a year since their last album, the poppy ‘King Leer’, ‘Miss Taken’ offers up ten shots of melodic skuzz-pop brilliance. The ten tracks come on like a gloriously ramshackle collision of The Strokes, Interpol, The Wipers and the Chameleons, operating in a weird space between psych-rock, indie and alt-pop. Opener ‘Keep Your Kools’ sets the choppy post-punk tone and ‘Wha Do Wha Do’ is more melodic, while ‘All Yours’ and ‘African Ripoff’ are based around fuzzy big riffs. The beauty of Male Gaze’s sound is that it’s hard to pin down – guitars scuzzy yet the vocals so clean. It’s those kind of contradictions that make ‘Miss Taken’ compelling. Charles Baker

WEATHER DIARIES (Wichita)

After three years of extensive touring, Ride return with their first album in two decades.

6/10

ollowing the dissolution of Beady Eye in the fall of 2014 and with Oasis on hold, nothing prevented Andy Bell to reunite with Mark Gardener, Loz Colbert and Steven Queralt for a Ride world tour. After a rather acrimonious split during the recording of their last album ‘Tarantula’ in 1996, Bell and Gardener rapidly made amends and the band reunited in 2001 for a TV Special on Channel 4 ahead of the release of ‘OX4: The Best Of Ride’. ‘Weather Diaries’, recorded last year, is their first album in 21 years. Far from being a retreat to the retro sound of ‘Carnival of Light’ and ‘Tarantula’ or to their early shoegaze days, this new record sees the band embrace modern times in a rather brave move. Unfortunately, many of the songs fail to grab the listener and the band place the two best songs at the start of the LP. Opening with a bang with the catchy ‘Lannoy Point’, with its bubbling synth parts, followed by the choppy riffing of ‘Charm Assault’ was a wise move, but it makes the dancey ‘All I Want’ seriously pale in comparison (not helped by some rather simplistic lyrics). Things perk up a bit with the motorik beat of ‘Rocket Silver Symphony’ that features gorgeous harmonies but the rest of the songs glide past without being really memorable. Hopefully the band will pursue their reformation and return with a better effort next time. Craig Chaligne

90

(Sonic Cathedral)

Weirdo punk supergroup back with second proper album.

RIDE

F

(Bella Union)

8/10

(Polyvinyl)

8/10

oon Diagrams is the solo recording project of Deerhunter co-founder and drummer Moses John Archuleta and ‘Lifetime of Love’ was gradually pieced together over the course of ten years. The time shows as the record reflects various states of love, loss and rebuilding, all set to a varied soundtrack of outsider pop, minimal techno and experimentation. There’s dusty art pop (‘Moon Diagrams’) and dark shuffles (‘Bodymaker’), while influences shine through on the likes of Eno-like hymnal opener ‘Playground’, the Warp Records flavoured and lengthy ‘The Ghost and the Host’ and New Order-flecked jubilant pop of ‘End of Heartache’. Despite being eclectic, it’s also the sound of a personal journey and struggle, with all the ups and downs reflected in grandiose moments and subtle reflection. A lifetime of love in one record? Not far off. John Youdon

(Domino)

Second full-length from Chicagoan indie super-group.

England’s greatest living songwriter delivers his masterpiece.

N

R

8/10

o-one can fault the work ethic of Pet Symmetry’s Evan Weiss (Into It Over it) and Erik Czaja (Dowsing). Having returned to their day jobs for 2016 full-lengths, the two Chicago emo icons have once again reconvened for more glorious pop-tinged indie rock with ‘Vision’. Now mining a comfortable seam, ‘Vision’ sees the group stretching the corners of their sound, veering from the gentle whimsy of ‘You & Me & Mt. Hood’ to the raging ‘Eyesores’. Yet, where ‘Vision’ excels is the deft marriage between the group’s ultimately gooey core and cynical irreverence, as found on the likes of ‘Lint Roller’ – a song about switching places with a sleepy cat. It means ‘Vision’ is an album that is effortlessly charming and easy on the ear, but which has plenty of nooks that reveal its true depth. Rob Mair

10/10

evered by his peers as much as his fans, former Only Ones frontman Peter Perrett is an exquisite songwriter whose craft arguably eclipses even that of Ray Davies. Life has not always been kind to Perrett and his beloved wife/manager Zena, but ‘How the West Was Won’ is proof that some real-life stories do have a happy ending. Perrett’s solo debut is a late period masterpiece that would have made Lou Reed weep with envy; the Perretts’ sons Jamie and Peter Jr provide dazzling backing on guitar and bass respectively, while Perrett is in fine fettle vocally on an impassioned set of songs written from the heart. The underlying theme of the triumph of hard-earned love in an unforgiving world makes this an extraordinarily moving, and ultimately transcendent listen. Album of the year. Gus Ironside

LOUDER THAN WAR

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PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING EVERY VALLEY (Play It Again Sam)

Eccentric, historical tunesmiths strike gold again.

8/10

P

SB have seen their star rise prominently with their trips into the historical matter of war and space. This time, their focus is on the Welsh coal mining communities. Musically, the album offers everything you expect from PSB; tight guitar motifs, subtle orchestration and thrilling soundbites of times past. Collaborations come from Lisa Jen Brown and James Dean Bradfield, amongst others. ‘All Out’ is a defiantly heavy highlight, with expertly placed soundbites focussing on people striking, soundtracked by the band’s heaviest tune ever. The intensely personal ‘You + Me’ is a story of strength and togetherness in the face of overwhelming odds. At a time when the UK is politically divided, this album carries political weight and harks back to a time of hardship that will resonate with the many, not the few. Dominic Walsh

A double dose of utter madness from the Melvins.

Can the dynamic duo live up to the impact of their debut?

A

O

ne of the new big things of recent years came courtesy of the duo of Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher. Their arrival heralded a beast of a noise not just from their bass and drums combo but earned the royal seal of approval from Jimmy Page himself. For those who followed his lordship’s lead, plenty wondered what all the fuss was about. Teasers of ‘Hook, Line and Sinker’ and ‘Lights Out’ show that the song pretty much remains the same with plenty of headbanging inducing bravado and gusto. Pretenders to the throne of saviours of rock they might be, yet whether or not the success will prove shortlived, time will tell if they have the scope to move beyond their basic duo sound. Mike Ainscoe

HOME COUNTIES (Heavenly)

A welcome live return convergence of twin spirits.

Concept ninth album from ambient dance band.

U

T

7/10

he Home Counties have always been viewed with a mix of ridicule and sepia-tinged nostalgia; a vision of England that never was. Saint Etienne, themselves residents, take on the stereotypes with a concept album of sorts, reminiscent of The Kinks’ ‘Village Green’. It’s a train trip around the satellites of London. It opens, perfectly, with a Radio 4 announcer and we’re off, calling at ‘Something New’ about a teenage girl creeping in past midnight, ‘Whyteleafe’ which imagines a David Jones who never became David Bowie in a boring office job, the wonderful ‘Train Drivers in Eyeliner’ and the epic ‘Sweet Arcadia’, which is a lament for the lost dream of the Essex Plotland settlers. Saint Etienne have always had a clean sound, creating ambience and dance rhythms for a train journey well worth jumping on board for. Mark Ray

7/10

n album of two very distinct halves, both are equally mind bending. ‘Love’ is a soundtrack to a new short film of the same name, whereas ‘Death’ is a standard Melvins release. The former is a wild trip through a chopped and screwed electronic landscape. While it fails to make a great deal of sense without the film, its cacophonous and discordant sound throughout makes it nothing less than intense and head-spinning. It lacks focus, bordering on utter madness the majority of the time, and although tracks like ‘Queen Powdery Party’ have some substance, they amble along rather than producing anything thought provoking. ‘Death’, on the other hand, seems to possess the direction and seems to chug along powerfully. It does have flashes of brilliance on songs like ‘What’s Wrong With You?’ and ‘Cactus Party’ which air on the lighter side, but are a welcome break from the thick and heavy riffs that otherwise dominate the album. The majority of ‘Death’ seethes with darkness, the driving beats thundering through to the end. Sometimes the riffs can be overpowering but there’s no denying the sheer noise rock carnage here. While one album suffers from too narrow a direction and the other too much, ‘A Walk With Love & Death’ proves how Buzz Osborne and co. are still melting minds and expectations almost 35 years into their career. Look up “uncompromising” in the dictionary and it’ll just say The Melvins. Lee Hammond

7/10

SAINT ETIENNE

pon their dissolution some fifteen years ago, Royal Trux effectively split into two distinct units under the stewardship of one-time partners Jennifer Herrema and Neil Hagerty. Herrema continued Royal Trux’s smeared and skewed rock ‘n’ roll hit as first RTX and then Black Bananas, as Hagerty rolled out the good times with The Howling Hex while toying with reconvening Royal Trux in a completely new line-up, himself not included. Instead, they’ve made it back via the now traditional route of water-testing with rabid festival audiences before full tour and now a new record. It isn’t so much a 12-song live album as a gnarly yet tight as hell sprawl and groove akin to ‘On the Corner’ Miles Davis meeting ‘Funhouse’ Stooges. Summer should be here by now so unwind on a lazy afternoon going nowhere while this record melts you. Euan Andrews

(Ipecac)

(Warners)

PLATINUM TIPS + ICE CREAM

9/10

A WALK WITH LOVE & DEATH

HOW DID WE GET SO DARK

ROYAL TRUX (Domino)

MELVINS

ROYAL BLOOD

SHEER MAG NEED TO FEEL YOUR LOVE (Static Shock)

SLOWDIVE SLOWDIVE (Dead Oceans)

Debut album proper from Philadelphia classic rock-loving punks.

A lush, long-awaited and legendary return.

F

T

9/10

ollowing the release of a compilation of their three EPs to date earlier this year, titled simply ‘Compilation’, Sheer Mag have been on the rise since 2014. This debut full-length is sure to bring them into focus with punk and indie and rock fans all sure to find a band to love. With the powerful vocals of Tina Halladay and the duelling guitars, Sheer Mag set out their stall from the strutting opener ‘Meet Me in the Street’. With punk attitude (Halladay sings “we’re throwing rocks at the boys in blue”) and riffs and guitar lines that show a deep love of Thin Lizzy and AC/DC, it’s a driving start. The title track and single ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ are catchy rock ballads, with Halladay’s vocals able to soar. Defiance and anthems in dark times. Ian Chaddock

9/10

he first thought that strikes upon listening to opening track ‘Slomo’ is “how the hell did they pull this off?” It’s a rule of thumb that bands coming back after an absence of decades make shit records (which we’re all secretly glad of so they can get back to playing the hits). Not so with Slowdive. Chiming, beautifully dense layers of instrumentation serve as the perfect backing for Rachel Goswell and Neil Halstead’s vocals, bass and drums understated by the key to holding everything together. And it continues throughout the album’s eight gorgeously complex tracks, from the stuttering melodies of ‘Sugar for the Pill’ to the closing emotional gut punch of ‘Falling Ashes’. Twenty two years since their last record, it’s fair to say that fans have been champing at the bit for the return of Slowdive. They’re not going to be disappointed. James Sharples

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ECHOBELLY ANARCHY & ALCHEMY (Fauve)

Sixth album, and first in 11 years, for resurrected former Britpoppers.

7/10

I

nfluenced by Morrissey, who himself was a fan of the band, London’s Echobelly are best remembered for their no.4 charting 1995 album ‘On’, along with its accompanying top 30 singles ‘Great Things’, ‘King of the Kerb’ and ‘Dark Therapy’. Although they released five albums between 1992 and 2004, it was that mid ‘90s record, at the height of Britpop, that defined them... until now anyway. Far from a typical laddish Britpop band, Echobelly were sometimes compared to Blondie and penned indie pop songs driven by Indian-born vocalist Sonya Aurora Madan’s distinctive vocals and accompanied by Swedish guitarist and fellow primary songwriter Glenn Johansson. While others have come and gone, the nucleus of Madan and Johansson remained and in 2009 they moved in another direction, with two mini acoustic albums under the banner of Clam Of Zero. Persuaded to play a proper Echobelly show again, October 2015 saw them play a sold-out show at

92

“As artistically ambitious as its title suggests.” London Scala, fuelling their creativity to write a new record. The result is ‘Anarchy & Alchemy’. Their first album since 2006’s ‘Gravity Pulls’, this album sees Madan and Johansson take the band in a reinvigorated and fresh direction. Combining elements of the classic Echobelly sound with influences of heavy rock, jazz, country and American folk, ‘Anarchy & Alchemy’ is as artistically ambitious as its title suggests. Madan’s lyrics are deliberately open to interpretation this time, but there’s certainly hints of her heritage - with the title track a jazz-tinged song about the ancient Sanskrit scriptures and the stage of Kali Yuga, while ‘Firefly’ explores the migratory roots of Madan’s ancestors (with a Zeppelin-loving riff from Johansson in there too!). Elsewhere, opener and single ‘Hey Hey Hey’ is an energetic opener with a memorable riff and primal vocals in a song about taking a stand against all odds, and ‘Faces in the Mirror’, about Madan’s father’s exasperation at her life, was recorded in 444HZ rather than the standard 440HZ, after Johansson read about Solfeggio frequencies – supposedly used in ancient music and the key to the universe. A mix of riff-driven rockers and melancholic melodic songs, ‘Anarchy & Alchemy’ proves that Madan and Johansson are far more than the Britpop artists you may have them pinned as. This is an accomplished and absorbing album, full of surprising depth and driven by Madan’s powerful and impressive vocals. Spellbinding. Ariel Wimfrey

LOUDER THAN WAR

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SMIDLEY SMIDLEY (Triple Crown)

Smart and sassy pop from Foxing’s Conor Murphy.

7/10

W

hile Foxing’s knack for soaring soundscapes is unmatched, it’s great to hear vocalist Conor Murphy cutting loose to some twisted pop songs. Named after Murphy’s deceased pet – hence the song title ‘Dead Retrievers’ – Smidley’s debut record is a breezy pop triumph, far removed from the dizzying post-rock/math-rock/emo of the day job. Cuts swing from the direct baroque pop of ‘Pink Gallo’ and caustic ‘No One Likes You’ to the gorgeously-arranged ‘Nothing’ and ‘Doesn’t Tear Me Up’, pillaging and pinching liberally from pop scenes past and present as it dances along. That ‘Smidley’ is never cloying or played for easy wins shows just how much Murphy is invested in making Smidley more than just a side-project. This dedication to the craft shines throughout, in an album that charms, excites and woos in equal measure. Rob Mair

TINDERSTICKS MINUTE BODIES: THE INTIMATE WORLD OF F. PERCY SMITH (City Slang)

Wonderful soundtrack, but the accompanying film is essential.

7/10

F

rom the 50-minute film directed by Stuart Staples, Tindersticks’ core composer and centre-pin, you imagine Smith carrying out what would now be considered childish experiments (putting twigs in a glass of water and filming the bacterial life within the glass develop, for example) with glee. Smith, an early 20th century naturalist, pioneered micro-cinematography using home-made cameras with which he filmed miniscule natural activity, such as bacterial life in ponds. With this film made from Smith’s self-shot footage, the black and white movement of shapes is accompanied by an equally ambient and pulsating score. For as the shades of grey mix, spread and ebb, choral voices and keyboards hum gloriously. When you take the music away from the score it’s less interesting, but with the visuals it adds wonder to some glorious imagery. Jon Falcone

TRUE MOON

TUESDAY THE SKY

TRUE MOON

DRIFT

(Lovely)

(Inside Out)

Cult rock inspired Swedish duo convert to guitar-driven darkwave.

Ambient instrumental rock from Fates Warning guitarist.

B

J

9/10

lending all the right influences from ‘80s post-punk with their Swedish roots, True Moon release their dark and unflinching self-titled debut album. The band was born of the duo’s mounting frustration with an increasingly sanitised and homogenous Scandinavian musical world and are already rapidly growing into Northern Europe’s most intriguing new band. Melodic punk/dark pop collective Karolina Engdahl (vocals/bass) and Tommy Tift (guitar) open the album with the epic ‘Voodoo’, sounding like PJ Harvey meets The Kills. With all of the album’s vocals recorded in just 90 minutes, Karolina comes across as an honest and immediate performer with power in abundance. Then the stark and sensual single ‘Sugar’ is reminiscent of a Yeah Yeah Yeahs track, with its boldness and intensity. Ending the album with the seductive track ‘Honey’, True Moon leave you in anticipation of new material already. Paula Frost

8/10

im Matheos is the guitarist for Connecticut progressive metallers Fates Warning but, while writing this album’s opener ‘Today the Sky’, he realized he was creating something different and, rather than change its tone a lot to fit his day job, decided to venture further down this path. The result is a shimmering and majestic ambient instrumental rock project, Tuesday The Sky and this debut album is an accomplished and epic listen. Also featuring God Is An Astronaut drummer Lloyd Hanney, former Dream Theater member Kevin Moore (on keys for two songs) and the ethereal, non-verbal vocals of Anna-Lynne Williams (Trespassers William, Lotte Kestner) on two others, ‘Drift’ is a musical journey well worth taking. Influenced by the likes of Explosions in the Sky and Sigur Ros, the likes of ‘Vortex Street’ and ‘Westerlies’ are ebbing and flowing atmospheric adventures. John Youdon

VARIOUS ARTISTS

WARM DIGITS

WAXAHATCHEE

THE WEDDING PRESENT

THANK YOU, FRIENDS: BIG STAR’S THIRD LIVE... AND MORE

WIRELESS WORLD

OUT IN THE STORM

THE HOME INTERNATIONALS E.P.

(UMC/Concord)

Heartfelt celebration of Big Star’s legacy with exemplary cast.

9/10

O

rganized by Big Star fanatic and former Alex Chilton backing musician Chris Stamey, this 2CD/DVD set is a real labour of love. Assembling a superb cast of musicians (Mike Mills, Jeff Tweedy etc.), this concert recording sees Big Star’s final album in their first incarnation played in full, as well a selection of the band’s most well-known tunes. Pat Sansone’s honeyed voice works wonders on three songs, including ‘I’m in Love With a Girl’. However it is the performance of ‘Third’ that provides the highlights with an exuberant ‘Kizza Me’, enhanced by strings and sung with passion by Tweedy. Jody Stephens takes centre stage with his very own ‘For You’, while Robyn Hitchcock is in his element on a quasi-Beefheartian ‘Downs’. The whole cast assembles for ‘Thank You Friends’, closing off the proceedings in an upbeat manner. Craig Chaligne

(Memphis Industries)

(Merge)

(El Segell Del Primavera)

Newcastle-based electronic duo with their most diverse record yet.

Energised fourth album from Katie Crutchfield and co.

Instrumental EP forged in the flames of ‘Going, Going…’

W

P

T

8/10

arm Digits never fail to impress; their trademark motorik beats always possess an incessant groove that induces excited dancing wherever they’re played. However, ‘Wireless World’ sees them add a few new facets to their sound, collaborations with the likes of Field Music (‘End Times’), Sarah Cracknell (‘Better Friction’) bringing these tracks to life. It’s tracks like ‘Wireless World’ that remind us of why Warm Digits are so exciting and fun, with this frenetic title track leaving you worn out just from listening to it. As a coherent album though, ‘Wireless World’ is laced with more subdued instrumentals, like ‘Deluge and Delusion’ and ‘Mute Ocean’, providing a much needed break from the funky disco onslaught that is otherwise ever present. Without doubt, ‘Wireless World’s is Warm Digits’ finest record to date. Lee Hammond

8/10

hiladelphia-based singer/songwriter Katie Crutchfield sounds reinvigorated on ‘Out in the Storm’. And it’s not just Crutchfield – Waxahatchee started as her solo project but has grown into a band and here it’s more evident than ever before, in part thanks to producer John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth) encouraging them to record live. The result is stunning, with Crutchfield’s lush vocals accompanied by flourishes of guitars and crashing drums on the likes of catchy opener ‘Never Been Wrong’ and the rousing shoegazeflecked indie rock highlight ‘Silver’, while ‘No Question’ harks back to the Crutchfield sisters old indie punk band PS Eliot band tonally. There’s still the introspective moments (‘A Little More’) but it’s much fuller and warmer sounding than any Waxahatchee album to date and it’s a refreshing gear change. Sometimes it feels good to be out in the storm. Ian Chaddock

8/10

his slew of instrumentals stems as an extension to the lush instrumentals of the Weddos’ last full-length, last year’s ‘Going, Going…’ Opener ‘Scotland’ is immense, there is crushing noise that recalls Mogwai with its grandeur and cacophony, while the quieter moments share some of the doom-laden contemplation of God Speed You Black Emperor. ‘Northern Ireland’, in all fairness, feels like an album cut that didn’t make it. ‘England’ somehow manages to capture a sense of being ‘green and pleasant’, until it rocks out. Then the hooks become huge and swallow the whole thing (in a good way), showing this impressive EP is the Weddos pushing themselves further out toward angular than they ever have before. ‘Wales’ is a lovely meditation on plucked guitar and flute and concludes this rather powerful, yet short, EP. Jon Falcone LOUDER THAN WAR

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You Love Us Manic Street Preachers in photographs 1991-2001 by Tom Sheehan Limited Edition Deluxe and Super Deluxe 240 page hardback book in slipcase containing 238 pictures

LÖVELY RECORDS SUMMER 2017

MCC

The Demon King

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OUT NOW ON LÖVELY RECORDS GET IT FROM YOUR LOCAL RECORD DEALER MAGNA CARTA CARTEL Valiant Visions Dawn

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DONCASTER DERBY BRISTOL BATH NOTTINGHAM DERBY

LEOPARD THE VENUE (with JESUS JONES) OLD ENGLAND ST JAMES WINE VAULT JT SOARS HAIRY DOG

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hs

END HITS: BACK CATALOGUE EXPLORED

STEREOPHONICS With nine albums, Welsh alt-rockers Stereophonics have thrived and evolved over the years, from their early Britpop days to becoming a stadium-filling rock act. Not ones to look back at past glories and instead choosing to press on – frontman Kelly Jones has recently said he wants to mark the 20th anniversary of their mighty debut album ‘Word Gets Around’ in August by simply releasing their upcoming tenth studio albums, we’ll do it for them. Playing some festivals in July/August – Kendal Calling, Y Not and Victorious, their set will no doubt be filled with hits from across these chart-topping, multi-platinum albums.

06/2017 16:01

ES)

WORD GETS AROUND (1997) Unbelievably only one of three Stereophonics albums not to top the UK Albums Chart (it still got to no.6), this is the one that started it all and is perhaps their most influential, with classics including anthemic rockers ‘A Thousand Trees’, ‘More Life in a Tramp’s Vest’, ‘Local Boy in the Photograph’ and ‘Traffic’. Two decades on and still a belter.

PERFORMANCE AND COCKTAILS (1999) Despite mixed reviews this second album became Stereophonics’ first no.1 album, thanks to hit singles, including the hard rocking ‘The Bartender and the Thief’ and the melody-soaked ‘Just Looking’ and ‘Pick a Part That’s New’.

JUST ENOUGH EDUCATION TO PERFORM (2001) With three top 10 singles – ‘Mr. Writer’, ‘Have a Nice Day’ and ‘Handbags and Gladrags’, it may have sounded like Stereophonics were smoothing off the rough edges and going mainstream but, with another no.1 album, it was working.

YOU GOTTA GET THERE TO COME BACK (2003) Their third chart topping album in a row, Stereophonics had become a huge band and ‘Madame Helga’ and ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ were top 5 singles. It was also the last album founding drummer, the late Stuart Cable played on before being fired in September 2003.

LANGUAGE. SEX. VIOLENCE. OTHER? (2005) Despite more mixed reviews and a rediscovery of their harder edge after a couple of much more melodic albums, ‘Language…’ contained the platinum-selling no.1 single and biggest hit to date, the rousing indie rock anthem ‘Dakota’.

PULL THE PIN (2007) Despite topping the charts again with this sixth album, it was a critical and commercial low-point, with singles ‘It Means Nothing’ and ‘My Friends’ failing to break the top 10. Were they about to implode?

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON (2009) Seemingly with a message to themselves after their last album, Stereophonics expanded to a four-piece but it was still shaky times, with a career low 11 in the UK Album Charts and no single breaking the top 50.

GRAFFITI ON THE TRAIN (2013) Five years after ‘Keep Calm’, it was the last album with drummer Javier Weyler, who was replaced by Jamie Morrison. Peaking at no.3 in the Albums Chart and with their top 30 single ‘Indian Summer’, it felt like the ship was righting.

KEEP THE VILLAGE ALIVE (2015) Their ninth album saw Stereophonics return to the top of the UK Albums Chart for the first time since 2007. A solid rock record, it featured singles such as ‘C’est la Vie’ and ‘I Wanna Get Lost With You’, it was their sixth no.1 album.

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“An influence or inspiration for many musicians to follow.” RADIOHEAD OK COMPUTER OKNOTOK 1997-2017 (XL)

Bonafide classic gets the reissue treatment.

9/10

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aybe one day in time, a generation will look back at an album regularly tagged as best album of the last however many years and proudly boast “we were there.” It might sound pretentious but when said album holds a place in the Library Of Congress, it seems like an authoritative stamp of approval; a history documenting moment. On the other hand, as Freddie Mercury once said about Queen’s controversial soul/funk departure, ‘Hot Space’ - “it’s only a bloody record.” Yes Freddie, but ‘OK Computer’ is a bloody good record. One that certainly affected, if not changed, people’s lives and undoubtedly acted as an influence or inspiration for many musicians to follow. Hindsight shows that it was the album that opened the door for later work, some of which might exceed ‘OK…’ in fan appreciation yet it remains a ground breaker - the

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point at which the inventive rock of ‘The Bends’ set Radiohead on a new course. A new course that was led by ‘Paranoid Android’, ‘Karma Police’ and the long-staying ‘No Surprises’ and although it’s hard to pick a stand out, ‘Subterranean Homesick Alien’ is a turning point and ‘No Surprises’ remains a live staple today. The reissue comes in the usual regular and wallet busting remastered and extended formats, the extras tagged ‘OKNOTOK’. Much fuss has centred on ‘Lift’ – a yearning rock anthem HYPERLINK “https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=Os3l4-wTZ4I”featured on their 1996 tour, the studio version being one of the band’s most sought-after tracks and one Ed O’Brien since admitted the band bottled out of including on ‘OK Computer’: “We’d probably have sold a lot more records. I think we subconsciously killed it because if ‘OK Computer’ had been like a ‘Jagged Little Pill’, it would have killed us.” Time’s a great healer. Alongside it lie the b-sides plus two further out-takes, ‘I Promise’ and ‘Man of War’ – nothing particularly dramatic or revealing for those who’ve been along for the ride; those days of radical surprise have gone. The expanded box boasts the triple LP, a cassette tape of tracks compiled by the band from the ‘OK Computer’ session archives and demo tapes. The limited edition set will also include a replica of Thom Yorke’s handwritten notebook from the era and a hardcover book packed with unreleased artwork and lyrics “to all the tracks except the ones that haven’t really got any lyrics.” Radiohead to the end. Impacting and empowering the disenfranchised in a million bedsits, ‘OK Computer’ pre-empts thoughts of Steven Wilson’s blank planet. A model of progressive (not prog rock, ie, progNOTprog) music. Mike Ainscoe

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CHRIS T-T CAN

THE SINGLES (Mute)

EVAN DANDO BABY I’M BORED (Fire)

23-song collection of German experimental rock/post-punk pioneers.

Solo breakthrough from grunge poster boy with added extras.

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8/10

vant-garde and progressive, Can tore up the rock rulebook and this impressive set shows exactly how they played by their own rules. The first time the band’s singles have all been presented together, it shows the variety and invention across their sprawling career that started in the late ‘60s and spanned decades. As well as much-loved songs like ‘I Want More’, ‘Vitamin C’ and ‘Halleluwah’, there’s more obscure singles like ‘Turtles Have Short Legs’ and ‘Silent Night’. In their original single versions (many unavailable for years), it captures Can at their most exciting and wild. Pioneering what was called “krautrock”, Can set the bar for experimentation and genre-defying music. The perfect jumping in point for anyone wanting to learn more with the singles in one easy collection, it does what it says on the, erm, can. Sam Cunningham

8/10

ollowing the collapse of The Lemonheads in a chemical-coloured crash and burn, a newly sober and clean Evan Dando showed that his melodic nous, often buried beneath his band’s grunge blitzkrieg, showed no signs of letting up. With Howe Gelb and former Giant Sand men Convertino and Burns (latterly of Calexico) along for the ride, the sometime sunny, sometime dysthymic songs of 2003’s solo debut ‘Baby I’m Bored’ were an autobiographical journey that was clearly a catharsis for Dando. In thrall to the rock classicism of The Jayhawks and the alt-country of Uncle Tupelo, it drips with melancholy and great songwriting. ‘Hard Drive’ is a classic and it’s a stunning collection. The disc of extras is unmissable and the duet with Liv Tyler on ‘Shots is Fired’ is worth the price of admission alone. Joe Whyte

THE BEST OF CHRIS T-T (Xtra Mile)

Celebrating twenty years of loyal dissent.

8/10

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ay 2017 marks Chris T-T’s 20th anniversary making music. In an uncanny yet pertinent twist of fate, the same week in 1997 that Tony Blair came to power, Chris moved to London, played his first solo gigs and self-released his debut 7” single. Ten solo albums down the line (four with Xtra Mile) and regular gigging have sat alongside a burgeoning writer/speaker/activist career of many parts. He remains an underground icon but comes into line with a career retrospective double CD set with one disc focusing on Chris’s more obvious highlights from over the years, while the second provides a set of rarities of favourite unreleased studio recordings. His early quirkiness soon developed a more considered political/ protest fuelled edge, but he’s never been without a surprising diversion, as noted in his ‘Sings A.A.Milne’ period. 2016’s ‘9 Green Songs’ sequel to ‘9 Red Songs’ from a decade earlier might suggest he’s matured, recognition from musical peers exemplified in the brilliant ‘Gulls’ tour bus duet with Emily Barker. It’s sad to hear the announcement that after twenty years Chris T-T is giving up his music career, one that for a while burned bright and warmed us all. In the nation’s current climate, the unflinching ‘Shit From All Angles’ might be due a revisit, as would ‘None of Them Give a Fuck About the Future’ – at his best, Chris T-T is a visionary commentator. Mike Ainscoe

PIC: PAT POPE

OF MONTREAL

HISSING FAUNA, ARE YOU THE DESTROYER?

ESG

STEP OFF (Fire)

THE KOOKS

THE BEST OF… SO FAR (Virgin)

NYC post-punk/avante funk band’s 2002 album.

Brighton pop/indie rocks with a best of.

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ormed in the Bronx in 1978 and originally running until ’85, ESG released their self-titled debu EP in 1981, which made them popular with house DJs and led to their track ‘UFO’ becoming one of the most sampled songs of all-time. They’ve been sampled over the years by everyone from the Beastie Boys to indie rockers Liars. This album was released in their second run, after reforming in the early ‘90s. Mixing soul, punk, funk and dance in a minimalist, stripped down and otherworldy way, it still sounds progressive and genre-defying 15 years on from its first release. Over the seven tracks, the likes of opener ‘Be Good to Me’, the title track and ‘Sensual Intentions’ sound just as good (if not better) than their early work. Any post-punk fan should definitely pick this up and get lost in it. John Youdon

6/10

hether The Kooks need a best of album at this point in their career, 13 years and four albums into their career, is debatable but I guess some bands have lasted shorter and put out less material and still felt the need to compile their finest moments. Maybe the title is a cheeky nod to that too, making it more acceptable anyway and showing that this record coincided with their recent hits-filled UK tour. With their first two albums going multi-platinum and with several top 20 hit singles, including ‘Naïve’, ‘She Moves in Her Own Way’, ‘Ooh La’ and ‘Always Where I Need to Be’, their 2006-2008 success was massive. This set has a couple of new singles too – ‘Be Who You Are’ and ‘Broken Vow’, making it worthwhile for longtime fans to investigate as hits-seekers. Ariel Wimfrey

(Polyvinyl)

Landmark eighth album from Athens, GA experimental/glam pop favourites.

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concept album that of Montreal (the long-running project of US musician Kevin Barnes) released a decade ago, this reissue of ‘Hissing Fauna...’ looks back at the band’s breakout release. Hailed by a classic of fans of indie pop now, it remains a rich, kaleidoscopic sounding record today. With some of his most personal and affecting songwriting, Barnes addressed his struggles on the likes of first single ‘Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse’, chronicling his battle with chemical imbalance and prescription of antidepressants. The 12-minute epic ‘The Past is a Grotesque Animal’ at the mid-point marks Barnes’ transformation into his glam rock alias Georgie Fruit for the second half (and two subsequent albums), a nod to David Bowie, along with typically glam topics such as drugs, fashion and art. This is reflected on song titles like ‘Suffer for Fashion’ and ‘Faberge Falls for Shuggle’. The album was written and performed with the help of his friends and family – Elephant Six members Bryan Poole, Jamey Huggins and Heather McIntosh, Barnes’ wife Nina Twin and daughter Alabee Blonde. This vinyl 10-year anniversary reissue comes in a triple gatefold jacket and includes the complete companion EP, ‘Icons, Abstract Thee’ (one track of which was not included on the original pressing) and two live videos for ‘She’s a Rejecter’ and ‘Faberge Falls for Shuggie’ filmed in LA. A beautiful reminder of a fearless and creative album. Sam Cunningham

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LOOK BLUE GO PURPLE STILL BEWITCHED (Flying Nun)

‘80s New Zealand indie pop band’s three compilations (plus live tracks) compiled.

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ailing from the New Zealand city Dunedin, Look Blue Go Purple were part of the second wave of what became known as “the Dunedin sound” - lo-fi music that harnessed jangly guitars, minimal bass lines and loose drumming. Alongside the likes of Doublehappys, Straitjacket Fits and the Abel Tasmans, LBGP combined layered vocal harmonies, keyboards (and even flute), strummed guitars and tribal beats. Inspired by the likes of The Slits and The Raincoats, the five women of LGBP released three EPs – 1985’s ‘Bewitched’, 1986’s ‘LBGPEP2’ and 1987’s ‘This is This’. Their debut EP reached no.21 on New Zealand’s pop charts, the second climbed to no.26 (and included the catchy folk pop tune ‘Cactus Cat’) and the final EP was released around the same time the band split up. Compiling this collection almost thirty years later, they reconnected and put together this set of 14 songs, along with five previously unreleased live songs. From the likes of ‘Safety in Crosswords’ and ‘Vain Hopes’ to ‘Winged Rumour’ and the aptly titled ‘Days of Old’, this compilation is a powerful reminder of an allfemale band going against the grain and showing the guys how it’s done with infectious indie pop songs. With the resurgence of Flying Nun Records, this is the perfect time for this reissue and to revisit LBGP and how important they were, not only on the Dunedin scene but much further afield. Ariel Wimfrey

MOJAVE 3

ASK ME TOMORROW (Sonic Cathedral)

THE GREAT ANNIHILATOR (Mute/Young Gods)

GET BETTER (Banquet)

10th anniversary release of indie/pop punk classic.

8/10

LIFT TO EXPERIENCE

THE TEXAS JERUSALEM CROSSROADS (Mute)

Masterful 2001 sole album from Texan shoegaze favourites.

10/10

decade after Banquet put out the UK version of Buffalo, New York-originating indie punk three-piece Lemuria’s first album proper (preceded by their ‘The First Collection’), they’re now releasing the ten year anniversary edition to coincide with a celebratory July UK tour, on which they’ll play the album in full. The album still sounds great and includes fan favourites like ‘Pants’, ‘Lipstick’ and ‘Dogs’, delivering their bouncy but crunching Discount-meets-Jawbreaker sound. This reissue (limited to just 300 copies on vinyl) includes a UK-exclusive gatefold sleeve, an essay from drummer Alex Kerns, a poster and a 7” in its own sleeve including two catchy tracks from the ‘Get Better’ sessions. Pick up your copy and go catch them on tour. Well worth picking up for fans or newcomers alike, it doesn’t get much better! Ariel Wimfrey

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VAROUS ARTISTS

WITCHING WAVES

INDIE ANTHEMS (Demon)

t is virtually impossible to condense the ethereal, quasi-religious mastery of Lift To Experience’s one and only album into a mere 150 words. Indeed, all these years after listening to it for the first time, it continues to reveal new secrets and nuances with every listen. The cover art would lead you to believe that a trio of hicks went and recorded a record for No Limit, but the music within is a conceptually mind blowing epic of swirling shoegaze, a standalone work of art equally as important as a ‘Spiderland’ or a ‘Loveless’. Josh T Pearson’s voice, which is given new life by the superb remix, tells the tale of “a stupid ranch hand in a Texas rock band/ Trying to understand God’s masterplan”, while his classically trained cohorts let rip beneath him. Utterly essential. Sean Smith

FEAR OF FALLING DOWN (Odd Box)

Slowdive members’ acoustic-driven band’s 1995 debut revisited.

1995 ninth album gets vinyl reissue treatment.

Double LP vinyl of some of indie’s most memorable moments.

Long out-of-print debut from London indie punks.

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fter shoegaze legends Slowdive’s ambient electronica-infused third album ‘Pygmalion’, they were dropped by Creation Records and disbanded. Just eight months later, and still in 1995, three members of Slowdive – Neal Halstead (vocals/guitar), Rachel Goswell (vocals) and Ian McCutcheon (drums) put out this debut Mojave 3 album; essentially Slowdive unplugged. This record arose from demos Halstead had been writing on acoustic guitar after listening to a lot of Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake. A mix of dream pop and alternative country, their name combined that desert-like quality of their sound with them as a three-piece. The highlight is still hazy opener ‘Love Songs on the Radio’. ‘Ask Me Tomorrow’ has been unavailable on vinyl since its initial release through 4AD. Limited to just 500 copies, get yours now. Ariel Wimfrey

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SWANS

LEMURIA

7/10

ollowing the release of Swans’ “final” (in this incarnation, anyway) album ‘The Glowing Man’ last year and reissues for long out-of-print ‘90s albums and their 1983 debut ‘Filth’, this reissue arrives. Remastered by Doug Henderson from drummer Bill Rieflin’s recently discovered DATs and cassettes containing unmastered mixes from the original sessions, it’s a leap forward from the original’s sound. Frontman Michael Gira goes as far as calling it “a revelation of great sonic effect”. Released on double vinyl and CD and including a CD of Gira’s solo debut LP ‘Drainland’ (which Gira has described as a “companion album” to this record), it’s well worth a look. What form Swans will re-emerge going forward is unknown so there’s no better time than, along with band members, look back at what they’ve achieved. Epic experimental rock. John Youdon

7/10

hile it’s easy to level the accusation that you’ve got these tracks or that they’ve been compiled hundreds of times before at indie compilations – admittedly the on-the-nose title ‘Indie Anthems’ doesn’t help, this collection will have you singing and/or dancing if you’ve ever loved indie rock over the years. If not then you’re missing out. The 20 alternative classics over two LPs include big hitters like the Stone Roses, Primal Scream, Radiohead, Kasabian, Pixies and Manic Street Preachers. Sure, there’s certainly greats missing (nothing from Oasis or Blur?) and a few questionable inclusions (Miles Kane, The Coral), it’s still a blast to sing along to. So whether you love Sleeper or Super Furry Animals, Suede or Spiritualized, this indie disco is worth a spin and a dance. Ariel Wimfrey

7/10

aving gone on to release an EP and a critically acclaimed album since – last year’s ‘Crystal Café’ album is essential listening, indie/post-punk band Witching Waves have reissued their 2014 debut LP. Originally released with a small run of just 250 it quickly sold out and hasn’t been available since but thankfully Odd Box have solved that problem here. Bursting with angular yet infectious tunes and the powerful dual vocals of drummer Emma Wigham and guitarist Mark Jasper, the highlight here is definitely urgent live favourite ‘You Better Run’, although it’s a solid and impressive debut throughout. If you want to hear a great homegrown DIY three-piece then look no further than Witching Waves and one of their powerful and driving indie punk albums. This is how debuts should sound: bursting with energy and ideas. Sam Cunningham

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PIC: RICK GUEST

“One of the true centrepieces of dance music.”

LEFTFIELD LEFTISM 22 (Sony)

22 years on, does Leftfield’s debut still stand tall?

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fter over two decades, Leftfield have seen fit to reissue their debut album with a full selection of new remixes for every track on the record. In 1995, ‘Leftism’ was a trailblazing album. Along with Underworld’s ‘dubnobasswithmyheadman’, Orbital’s ‘Brown Album’ and Prodigy’s ‘Music For The Jilted Generation’, ‘Leftism’ was one of the early successful forays into the dance music LP. Moving away from the 12” single release format, putting out a full album was a relatively new thing for a dance act. ‘Leftism’ paved the way for other great dance records and helped ensure that alongside Britpop, big beat dance music had just as much a reputation for creating great songs and albums. Throughout the album, bass is still key. Leftfield’s live shows became legendary on the back of their desire for maximum volume. ‘Release the Pressure’s rolling bass beat is a mid-tempo track that still charms with its catchy melody and hypnotic vocal. ‘Song of Life’ builds the tension superbly before the gradual upping of the beat propels the track. As one of the highlights, ‘Original’s soulful lyric and mid-tempo beat helps build the album as a piece before the straight-

up techno onslaught of ‘Black Flute’ and ‘Space Shanty’. Another of the albums highlights is the well-known ‘Open Up’. A most unlikely collaboration with John Lydon, the track would have chart success and provide Leftfield with a crossover appeal that set their career as pioneers alight. ‘Open Up’ is still a pure delight. Lydon’s vocal could probably be seen as a direct influence on the direction The Prodigy went on ‘Fat of the Land’ – bringing in singers to complement their furious beats and guitars. Included with ‘Leftism 22’ is a collection of brand new remixes. Maafi’s take on ‘Inspection (Check One)’ plays on the dub side of the original and Adrian Sherwood gets his legendary mitts on ‘Release the Pressure’. Skream takes ‘Open Up’ to a darker echelon, which feels like it belongs on turntables at 3am in a warehouse somewhere, and Zomby continue the trip to the darkside with a bass-heavy take on ‘21st Century Poem’. ‘Leftism’ stands the test of time. Aside from a couple of dated anomalies, the album is one of the true centrepieces of dance music. The remixes breathe new life into the songs; and every now and then, it’s nice to update your copy of an album; this is your opportunity to do that. Dominic Walsh

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FEARLESS:

THE MAKING OF POST-ROCK

Jeanette Leech (Jawbone)

9/10

THE INERTIA VARIATIONS 7/10

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rontman of The The Matt Johnson has been silent for a long time as a singer/songwriter but this 84 minute documentary changes that, as he challenges today’s scary political landscape with his own 12 hour live, shortwave radio broadcast. However, a request for him to write a new song for the show unveils his old demons of inertia and bereavement that he hasn’t dealt with properly until now. Through recitations of John Tottenham’s poetry, highly acclaimed British musician Matt Johnson examines his sometimes troubled relationship with celebrity and creativity, as well as how the tragic deaths of family and friends have informed his songwriting and approach to life. The documentary film closes with a live performance of ‘We Can’t Stop What’s Coming’, the song resulting from the request. It’s a powerful, poignant elegy to his brother Andrew, addressing the unbelievably sad inevitability of mortality. Making its UK debut at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival (21st June - 2nd July), ‘The Inertia Variations’ is an affecting film for any fan of The The. Sam Cunningham

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ndie without limits, genredefying rock – there’s no doubting that ‘post-rock’ is one of the most exhilarating, fearless and alternative sounds of recent decades. The term post-rock, coined by music critic Simon Reynolds in 1994, to describe rock music with a broadened scope and huge power, it has been a term prescribed to pioneers such as Slint, Talk Talk, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Tortoise, Mogwai, Sigur Ros, Bark Psychosis, Fridge and many more. With new interviews and never-before-told stories, ‘Fearless’ looks at the diversity and common threads of such a wide-ranging, in-depth and absorbing genre. A well-written and fascinating story of one of the most artistic genres and how it came into being, this is the making of post-rock, told by those who helped shape it. A must-read for any fans of the above bands, ‘Fearless’ celebrates the band’s who live up to this book’s title. Sam Cunningham

UNCOMMON PEOPLE: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE ROCK STARS David Hepworth (Bantam)

7/10

BUNCH OF KUNST: A FILM ABOUT SLEAFORD MODS 8/10

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his documentary about Nottingham post-punk duo Sleaford Mods, helmed by German director Christine Franz, doesn’t just have an aptly witty and bad-mouthed title, it shows the depth behind the ranting and the minimal beats. Examining vocalist Jason Williamson and beats-master Andrew Fearn, it reveals a powerful friendship and artistic urge to unleash their thoughts and frustrations at today’s society. It’s not all fun, the pair are exhausted and nervous in places, making it more real and engaging. However, it’s hard to deny that two guys and some beats playing Glastonbury and winning the patronage of Iggy Pop is anything other than impressive and a win for their refreshing minimalist, angry sound. Elements of post-punk, Britpop and hip-hop collide in their 21st century music, as they go from shitty pub back rooms to stadiums. As manager Steve Underwood explains, “Sleafords is music for everybody”. Ariel Wimfrey

100

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n energetic examination of rock stars and the changing of the music industry itself, David Hepworth’s new book is an entertaining read. Looking at days gone by, Hepworth proclaims that “the rock star” is dead and the time of death was the mid ‘90s, explaining Kurt Cobain was “a genuine rock star, possibly the last one.” Covering year by year the main moments of a 40 year phenomenon, Hepworth argues that “the rock star” started in 1955 with Little Richard and his song ‘Tutti Frutti’. He also mentions pivotal moments in music history in the lives of icons such as Buddy Holly, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Janis Joplin, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Madonna, Freddy Mercury and Michael Jackson. The lack of women in the list is strange, as are other glaring omissions, but ‘Uncommon People’ celebrates many legendary artists who rose above their contemporaries to become timeless. Sadly part of that was supported by a music industry structure that has now gone, so maybe we’ll never see the likes of them again. At least we had them at all. John Youdon

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OUT NOW IN WH SMITHS, TESCOS n’GOOD NEWSAGENTS OR ORDER ONLINE AT WWW.VIVELEROCK.NET issue 10 vive ad.indd 1

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REAL LIFE ENTERTAINMENT LONDON O2 ACADEMY ISLINGTON Words/Photos: James Sharples/Nici Eberi

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T’S a precious rarity in this day and age when a band appears out of nowhere and absolutely floors you. Such was the case with Scotland’s Real Life Entertainment, who lit up a spring night in London. Competing in A Shot At Discovery, the Pogues Irish Whiskey-presented series of events that took the ‘battle of the bands’ format to new heights (through regional heats a thousand bands were whittled down to ten finalists, with the winner having the opportunity to record with Spider Stacy of The Pogues), the Perth and Kinross five-piece were the standout in a night of standouts. Whether it was the likes of Liverpudlian rock behemoths Big Bambora, the alt. folk stylings of Many Moons, the incandescent indie stylings of young ‘uns Garden or the mutant blues stomp of Charles Dexter Ward and the Imagineers, the deep-fried mad-

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ness of Bare Hunter, the energetic indie punk of Stupid Boots or the differing styles of The Velcro Teddy Bears, IDestroy and DD Allen, there was variety galore on offer. However, winners Real Life Entertainment stood out, making the absolute most of their set. Part late 1970s psychedelia, part shuffling Stone Roses swagger and part Joy Division sparsity, material from recent EP ‘Here’ shimmered and seethed in equal measure, the band topping it off with a compellingly skeletal Nina Simone cover, leaving their set with one almighty exclamation mark of an ending. Expect to hear a lot more from Real Life Entertainment throughout the year and roll on the second year of A Shot At Discovery if this year’s calibre of bands are anything to go by.

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WILLIAM McCARTHY LONDON ELECTROWERKZ

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FAZERDAZE LONDON ROUGH TRADE EAST Words/Photos: Ian Chaddock

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N exciting new band from the relaunched Flying Nun Records, Fazerdaze began as a bedroom pop project from New Zealand’s Amelia Murray. With a backing band now, and on the sparkling debut album ‘Morningside’, tonight is one of several gigs in the capital for Fazerdaze and Murray’s spellbinding, soothing vocals on the likes of ‘Take it Slow’, the stand-out should-be-hit ‘Lucky Girl’ and ‘Little Uneasy’ are hazy and majestic shoegaze indie pop that has the crowd gathered in the shop mesmerised. Seemingly very happy to be here (“our heroes are here, David Brent’s up there” - there’s a cardboard cutout of Ricky Gervais’ character on the balcony), Fazerdaze are a new name in shoegaze pop that deserve your attention and that you will be hearing more about if there’s any justice. It would be even better to see them on a hot, sunny day at a festival.

ORMER Augustines lead singer and powerhouse William (Billeh) McCarthy finishes his whirlwind UK walkabout with a second London date after his first sold out in a matter of days. McCarthy’s tour ravaged larynx are pushed to their howling limits as his emotion fuelled performance easily tips the two hour mark. Augustines favourites ‘Are We Alive’, ‘Juarez’ and the soul baring ‘Landmine’ are all inhaled, savoured and then sung back to this ever smiling modern day minstrel. There is a real love for this man, most of those inside are on their second or third date with many having travelled great distances just to hear, sing and immerse themselves in an evening with this vulnerable tour de force. ’Augustine’, ’Weary Eyes’ and the sing-a-long favourite ’Philadelphia’ sit cosily alongside some well placed Dylan, Springsteen and err Sade covers. Tales are told, jokes are shared and each tune is greeted with an ocean of scar soaked appreciation. The raw personal pain within the songs, such as ’Book Of James’ are celebrated with a desperate openness which is so tangible that it breaks your soul, stirs your spirit and reminds you to enjoy every precious fucking moment while never forgetting those you had to leave behind. Tonight is bare knuckled musical therapy, a cathartic celebration to help keep your legs moving, heart beating and head above the surf. With a new self funded album, ‘Shelter’ due any moment and the Augustines film ‘Rise’ now ready for release the next six to twelve months may prove decisive for the future of William McCarthy, don’t let him get lost in the fog. Guy Shankland

BLACK GRAPE

CURSE OF LONO LONDON THE WATER RATS

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AMED after a book by Hunter S. Thompson, London’s self-described “cinematic southern gothic alt-rock” band took to the stage for the launch show to celebrate the release of debut album ‘Severed’. The band’s third sold out London gig in a row, there’s obviously a building buzz around Curse Of Lono, and it’s easy to hear why. Their Americana rock laced with a noir aesthetic is central to the likes of the infectious, emotional ‘Just My Head’ and, despite some temporary technical issues with the keyboards (a spilt beer was to blame apparently), they’re back on fine form for the pulsing, atmospheric drawl of ‘London Rain’, evoking Tom Waits and Alabama 3. The rousing ‘Send for the Whisky’ and the doom-infused ‘Don’t Look Down’ are highlights before frontman Felix Bechtolsheimer shows his vocal prowess on the uplifting closer and hit-in-waiting ‘Pick Up the Pieces’. Curse? Tonight felt more like a blessing. Sam Cunningham

THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN MANCHESTER ACADEMY

E

NIGMATIC and unpredictable, The Jesus and Mary Chain last played London three years ago at this same venue to celebrate 30 years since the release of their highly acclaimed album ‘Psychocandy’. Returning tonight, they launch into new track ‘Amputation’, one of five songs they play from new album (their first in 19 years) ‘Damage and Joy’. However, on these songs like ‘Always Sad’ and ‘War on Peace’, the band are a bit shaky. They have to restart songs a couple of times and it’s not the triumphant return to the city which many had hoped for... at first. However, as Jim Reid sings fan favourites like ‘April Skies’ and ‘Head On’, all seems right again as their noisy alt-rock brilliance really takes off. With distorted guitars ringing out, they return for an encore of ‘Nine Million Raing Days’ and glorious set closer ‘Just Like Honey’. Despite a stormy start, with some fans probably worrying about a total sinking, JAMC righted the ship with style and showed why they’re still one of the most exhilarating bands around. Ariel Wimfrey

LONDON 100 CLUB

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HE sold out 100 Club welcomes another legend to it’s wall of fame, the legendary Shaun Ryder with his ground breaking, genre crossing, anything goes band Black Grape. Ryder arrives on stage dressed in stylish street dealer/hooligan clobber while dragging deeply on an E-cigarette. The band dive straight into the 1995 top ten single ‘In The Name Of The Father’ and the decades melt away in a nostalgic haze. Ryder’s long time partner in rhyme Kermit provides real backbone as the pair bounce lyrics and jibes off each other. Kermit’s rap/ rasp has matured nicely and he ably handles the majority of vocals throughout the night’s performance. Up next is the sofa drooling laconic mess of ‘Temazi Party’ the perfect example of a primal prescription pop song that has the timeless line “I’ve got my boots on my head”. New track ‘Nine Lives’ (from the forthcoming ‘Voodoo Pop’ album) moves and grooves with a distinctive Black Grape verve. ‘Shake Well Before Opening’ highlights some close to perfect crack-pipe poetry which artistically armed then almost destroyed both Ryder and Kermit. ‘Reverend Black Grape’ is just a stone cold timeless classic, a perfect fusion of incisive lyrics and a rave kisses rock tune. ‘Get Higher’, ‘Yeah Yeah Brother’ and another newbie ‘String Theory’ all gel as the dynamic microphone duo swig from a hip flask and joke with the band while never missing a beat. The in-between song banter is as un-PC as Black Grape themselves, Ryder “Do you vote Tory?” Kermit “Do I fuck….I’m black.” The fuel guzzling finale of a full on rocking ‘Little Bob’ ends a sweaty but ultimately memorable night in the smoke. Guy Shankland

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JIM JONES & THE RIGHTEOUS MIND LEEDS BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB Words/Photos: James Sharples

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HE musical path of Jim Jones has been one replete with twists and turns over the years. From Thee Hypnotics and Black Moses to the most recent dissolution of the rock ‘n’ roll overdrive of the Jim Jones Revue, it’s clear that the man’s artistic journey is far from over, as the Righteous Mind will attest to. While the Jim Jones Revue was created in the shadow of Little Richard and Chuck Berry, the Righteous Mind takes trace elements from this (namely the vein-popping intensity) and instead takes the pedal off the gas. Instead, the band’s debut album ‘Super Natural’ holds more in common with the likes of Led Zeppelin and Grinderman, harnessing a primal, brutal stomp, growl and holler. And Jones is at the forefront of it all. Backed by a tighter-than-a-duck’sarse band, all swirling keyboards, pounding drums and low-end attack, he’s at stage left one second shaking percussive instruments like he’s spraying the crowd with gunfire, the next second peeling quicksilver guitar lines out of his six string on stage right. The consummate frontman, right now there’s no limits as to where Jim Jones and the Righteous Mind can go.

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GHOST BATH LONDON SEBRIGHT ARMS

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MONOLORD MANCHESTER STAR & GARTER Words/Photos: James Sharples

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HORTLY after the atrocities wrought at the Manchester Arena, Manchester continues to ring with the sound of music – a fitting testament to the city’s resilient spirit. Tonight it’s the turn of Sweden’s Monolord to tread the boards within the snug and sweaty confines of Manchester’s Star & Garter. With amps turn up to bludgeon and a heavy debt to Sabbath, you could be forgiven for thinking that the three-piece were merely a stoner rock band. However, look closer at material from albums ‘Empress Rising’ and ‘Vænir’ and beneath the bluster beats a psychedelic heart. For every pummelling riff, when these choice cuts are played live there’s a dose of fuzzy melody that floats in the ether, at time bringing to mind both the Brian Jonestown Massacre and even Sonic Youth. Compelling stuff.

T is perhaps unfair that Ghost Bath have somewhat lived in the shadow of Deafheaven since their breakthrough sophomore album ‘Moonlover’ was released. Other than being a black metal band open to musical experimentation, they don’t have that much in common sonically. They’re equally assured as their fellow US black metallers though and the display they put on in this tiny venue is immense. A number of tracks from recently-released new album ‘Starmourner’ are played and, while not upbeat, lack some of the oppressive vibe of ‘Moonlover’. In fact, several guitar parts had the ability to induce boogieing from some of the people down the front. Still, the sheer intensity and skill of Ghost Bath’s musicianship combined with Dennis Mikula’s expressive shrieks mean that their set is a powerful one and highlights their status among the leading figures of the current USBM scene. Paul Hagen

ZEAL AND ARDOR LONDON CAMDEN UNDERWORLD

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AVING only played a couple of gigs before, Zeal and Ardor’s first appearance in the UK is met with high expectation. Still, you wouldn’t know of their inexperience given the performance of SwissAmerican Manuel Gagneux and the band he’s assembled to play his tremendous debut album ‘Devil Is Fine’. The record has made waves due to Gagneux’s decision to fuse together two genres that seem to have little in common. His idea has been to take African-American slave music but instead of singing about God, sing about the Devil and add some rebellious black metal to the mix. It’s a bold artistic decision and one that pays off immensely at Z&A’s Underworld show. Combining songs from the album and a host of new numbers, the band’s hypnotic set provides evidence that they won’t be playing venues of this size for much longer. Paul Hagen

PAUL WELLER WATFORD COLOSSEUM

FORTUNA POP!:

20 YEARS OF TROUBLE LONDON SCALA

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ITH a series of shows over five nights at venues across London, the seminal DIY indie pop/punk label Fortuna POP! called it a day in style, after two decades of infectious and amazing music. This was the final night on the Sunday and it brought it all to a triumphant, yet slightly sad, close, with the bands thanking founder/ owner Sean Price and all he’s done for the bands and community. Arriving just in time to catch an uplifting, anthemic set from Edinburgh queer indie punks THE SPOOK SCHOOL, the dropping of hundreds of multi-coloured Fortuna POP! balloons sets the party off. JOANNA GRUESOME can’t quite match up to that and now, with their recent line-up changes, sound like an interesting mix of riot grrrl and indie pop. However, Durham indie/ pop punks MARTHA send the packed Scala into a dancing frenzy and are the perfect band that sum up tonight’s new wave of Fortuna POP! line-up. Closing with a cover of 4 Non Blondes’ ‘What’s Up’, as Price appears for his first ever crowd surf. Price closes the night with the Fortuna POP! crew onstage before reading lyrics from Big Star’s ‘Take Care’ and telling the crowd they’re off to the Lexington to get drunk. Raise a drink to Fortuna POP! Ian Chaddock

T

he Harrington wearing devotees have turned up suited ‘n’ booted and are still the most brand conscious fans of my Grange Hill generation. Arriving on stage to rapturous applause the group kick off with an opening treble of ‘White Sky’, ‘Long Time’ plus the aptly titled ’ I’m Were I Should Be’. The man and band push their collective chests out, suck in their stomachs and play for a bladder busting two and half hours. ‘Ghosts’, ‘My Ever Changing Moods’ and couples’ favourite ‘You Do Something To Me’ all highlight Weller‘s well maturing, smokey vocal style which seamlessly moves from silk cut smooth to a guttural rasp. A rocking ‘From The Floorboards Up’ sets up a celebratory ‘Friday Street’ before ‘Peacock Suit’ sends the middle age mans style guru stage left. An acoustic encore draws out a stunning ‘Wild Wood’, ’Out Of The Sinking’ and the heartfelt ‘The Ballad Of Jimmy McCabe’ from the Weller written Brit-flick soundtrack Jawbone. PW and Co finish the evening electrically with a duo of older fan favourites ‘Start’ and 1995’s top ten hit ‘The Changingman’. Both musically and professionally tonight is a polished almost faultless performance, however entertainment wise it’s a bit of a long Mod slog. Guy Shankland

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(all dates)

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LOUDER THAN WAR

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ASH - PIC BY ALEX LAKE

LISTINGS

A CERTAIN RATIO June: 24th London 229.

O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, 7th Manchester O2 Ritz.

ARCADE FIRE June: 14th Dublin Malahide Castle. July: 6th Manchester Castlefield Bowl.

CONOR OBERST August: 18th London KOKO, 21st Liverpool O2 Academy, 22nd Glasgow O2 ABC.

THE AVALANCHES June: 15th Belfast Limelight, 20th Bristol Motion, 21st London O2 Forum Kentish Town, 23rd Manchester Albert Hall.

ELBOW June: 15th Tetbury Westonbirt Arboretum, 17th Tunbridge Wells Bedgebury Pinetum, 24th Pickering Dalby Forest, 25th Nottingham Sherwood Pines, 29th Brandon Thetford Forest, 30th Northwich Delamere Forest. July: 7th Rugeley Cannock Chase Forest.

THE BATS June: 14th Leeds Brudenell Social Club, 15th Glasgow Broadcast, 17th London The Lexington.

ELECTRIC FIELDS FESTIVAL W/ FRIGHTENED RABBIT, THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN, ARAB STRAP and more. September: 1st - 2nd Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries & Galloway.

ASH August: 13th Holmfirth Picturedrome, 15th Carlisle Brickyard, 16th Hull Welly Club, 17th Wrexham Central Station, 19th Swansea Sin City, 20th Leicester O2 Academy, 21st Southend Chinnerys, 23rd Brighton Concorde 2, 24th Frome Cheese And Grain. Glasgow SSE Hydro. December: 1st Manchester Arena, 2nd Birmingham Arena, 4th London O2 Arena, 5th London O2 Arena. GREEN MAN FESTIVAL W/ PJ HARVEY, RYAN ADMAS, FUTURE ISLANDS, CONOR OBERST, FIELD MUSIC, KARL BLAU and more. August: 17th - 20th Glanusk Park Estate (near Brecon Beacons). GROUP LOVE August: 23rd London KOKO.

CAST

BEANO ON THE SEA W/ THE BLUETONES, REEF, CAST, DODGY, SPACE, THE SUPERNATURALS September: 8th - 10th Hastings Pier.

GRIZZLY BEAR October: 6th Manchester Albert Hall, 8th Glasgow O2 ABC, 9th London O2 Academy Brixton. THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN

BELLE AND SEBASTIAN June: 15th London Royal Hospital Chelsea.

EMBRACE July: 8th Halifax Boxing Club.

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB October: 26th Glasgow Barrowland, 27th Manchester Academy, 28th Birmingham O2 Academy, 30th Leeds O2 Academy, 31st Brighton Dome. November: 2nd Bristol O2 Academy, 3rd Nottingham Rock City, 4th London O2 Academy Brixton.

FATHER JOHN MISTY November: 1st Edinburgh Usher Hall, 2nd Glasgow O2 Academy, 5th Manchester O2 Apollo, 7th London Eventim Apollo, 8th London Eventim Apollo.

THE CHARLATANS November: 29th Nottingham Rock City, 30th Sheffield O2 Academy. December: 1st Wolverhampton Civic Hall, 2nd Manchester O2 Apollo, 4th Glasgow O2 Academy, 5th Newcastle O2 Academy, 7th Leeds O2 Academy, 8th Cardiff University Great Hall, 9th London O2 Academy Brixton.

HONEYBLOOD June: 16th London KOKO. INDIE DAZE 4 W/ THE HOUSE OF LOVE, VOICE

OF THE BEEHIVE, APOLLO 440, CRAZYHEAD, MILES & ERICA, THOUSAND YARD STARE, SALAD, BIS October: 7th London Kentish Town O2 Forum. INTERPOL September: 1st London Alexandra Palace, 3rd Manchester Albert Hall. JAMES July: 7th Manchester Castlefield Bowl, 15th London Royal Botanic Gardens, 29th Newcastle Times Square. KENDAL CALLING W/ STEREOPHONICS, MANIC STREET PREACHERS, FRANZ FERDINAND, FRANK TURNER, EDITORS, BRIAN WILSON, SLAVES and more. July: 27th - 30th Lake District Lowther Deer Park.

HAPPY MONDAYS

FEIST July: 27th London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, 28th London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, 29th London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire. FLOGGING MOLLY June: 27th Manchester O2 Ritz, 28th Birmingham O2 Institute, 29th London O2 Kentish Town Forum.

CITADEL FESTIVAL W/ FOALS & MORE July: 16th London Victoria Park.

GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL 2017 W/ RADIOHEAD, FOO FIGHTERS & more. June: 21st - 25th Glastonbury Worthy Farm.

COLD WAR KIDS July: 5th Brighton Concorde 2, 6th London

GORILLAZ November: 27th Brighton Centre, 29th

HAPPY MONDAYS November: 14th Bristol O2 Academy, 15th Brighton Dome, 16th London Roundhouse, 17th Cardiff Great Hall, 18th Portsmouth Pyramids Centre, 22nd Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall, 23rd Norwich UEA, 24th Southend Cliffs Pavillion, 25th Cambridge Corn Exchange, 28th Preston Guild Hall, 29th Scunthorpe Baths Hall, 30th Carlisle The Sands Centre. December: 1st Liverpool Olympia, 2nd Leeds O2 Academy, 6th Birmingham O2 Institute, 7th Lincoln Engine Shed, 8th Newcastle O2 Academy, 9th Nottingham Rock City, 13th Manchester Academy1, 14th Llandudno Venue Cymru, 15th Dublin Vicar Street, 20th Aberdeen Beach Ballroom, 21st Inverness The Ironworks, 22nd Kilmarnock Grand Hall, 23rd Glasgow O2 Academy.

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acceleratoR

gow Art School, 11th London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, 12th Brighton Haunt.

Ocean Colour Scene

THE NATIONAL September: 20th Edinburgh Usher Hall, 21st Edinburgh Usher Hall, 22nd Manchester O2 Apollo, 23rd Manchester O2 Apollo, 25th London Eventim Apollo, 26th London Eventim Apollo, 27th London Eventim Apollo, 28th London Eventim Apollo.

OCEAN COLOUR SCENE July: 15th Monmouthshire Caldicot Castle. August: 11th Hull Zebedee’s Yard, 25th Belfast Custom House Square. September: 16th Birmingham Eastside City Park. THE KOOKS November: 23rd Leeds First Direct Arena, 24th Nottingham Motorpoint Arena, 25th Brighton Centre, 26th Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, 30th Blackpool Empress Ballroom. December: 2nd London SSE Arena Wembley.

Nottingham Rock City, 21st Liverpool Guild Of Students Mountford Hall, 24th Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom, 25th Manchester Academy.

THE LIBERTINES August: 3rd Newcastle Times Square. THE MACCABEES June: 27th & 28th Manchester O2 Apollo, 29th, 30th & July 1st: London Alexandra Palace.

MOGWAI December: 16th Glasgow SSE Hydro.

MAC DEMARCO August: 29th Newcastle O2 Academy, 30th Edinburgh Usher Hall. November: 20th

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS October: 5th Leeds Brudenell Social Club, 6th Leeds Brudenell Social Club, 9th Glas-

MOGWAI - PIC BY BRIAN SWEENEY

SLEAFORD MODS

NICK CAVE

NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS September: 24th Bournemouth BIC, 25th Manchester Arena, 27th Glasgow The SSE Hydro, 28th Nottingham Motorpoint Arena, 30th London The O2. PAUL DRAPER (EX-MANSUN) September: 14th Leeds Brudenell Social Club, 15th Manchester Gorilla, 16th Glasgow King Tuts, 21st London Scala, 22nd Bristol Thekla, 23rd Birmingham O2 Institute2.

PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING October: 13th Cardiff University Students Union, 14th Norwich Nick Rayns LCR UEA, 16th Manchester Academy, 17th Newcastle Boiler Shop, 18th Glasgow Barrowland, 19th Leeds O2 Academy, 20th Coventry Warwick Arts Centre, 21st Nottingham Rock City, 23rd Bristol Colston Hall, 24th Portsmouth Pyramids, 25th Bexhill On Sea De La Warr Pavillion, 26th London Eventim Apollo.

AT THE DRIVE IN

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RIDE June: 12th London Village Underground. July: 10th Oxford New Theatre, 11th Manchester O2 Ritz. RYAN ADAMS September: 14th Manchester O2 Apollo, 15th Edinburgh Usher Hall, 17th Gateshead Sage, 18th Leeds O2 Academy, 22nd London Royal Albert Hall. SHED SEVEN W/ CAST December: 1st Glasgow O2 Academy, 2nd Newcastle O2 Academy, 4th Blackburn King Georges Hall, 5th Stoke Victoria Hall, 7th Cardiff University Y Plas, 8th Nottingham Rock City, 9th Sheffield O2 Academy, 11th Norwich UEA, 12th Bournemouth O2 Academy, 14th Bristol O2 Academy, 15th Birmingham O2 Academy, 16th London O2 Academy Brixton, 18th Leeds O2 Academy, 21st Hull City Hall, 22nd Manchester Academy. THE WEDDING PRESENT

PRIMAL SCREAM June: 23rd Hull Zebedee’s Yard.

RADIOHEAD June: 20th Dublin 3Arena, 23rd Glastonbury Festival. July: 4th & 5th Manchester Arena, 7th Glasgow TRNSMT Festival.

SLEAFORD MODS W/ NACHTHEXEN September: 22nd London O2 Academy Brixton. October: 5th Newcastle Northumbria University SU, 19th Lincoln The Engine Shed, 20th Sheffield O2 Academy, 21st Manchester Academy1, 25th Leeds Beckett Students’ Union, 26th Birmingham O2 Institute, 27th Cardiff Y Plas, 28th Bristol O2 Academy. November: 2nd Exeter The Lemon Grove, 3rd Southampton University SU, 4th Brighton Dome, 7th Cambridge Corn Exchange, 8th Norwich UEA, 9th Nottingham Rock City.

REBELLION FESTIVAL W/ SLAVES, RUTS DC, THE SKIDS & MORE August: 3-6th Blackpool Winter Gardens.

READING & LEEDS W/ MUSE, AT THE DRIVE IN, MAJOR LAZER & MORE August: 25th-26th Reading Richfield Avenue & Leeds Bramham Park.

SHIIINE ON WEEKENDER W/ HAPPY MONDAYS, LEVELLERS, THE FARM, THE WEDDING PRESENT, FREAK POWER, POP WILL EAT ITSELF, JIM BOB (CARTER USM), BMX BANDITS and more. November: 10th - 13th Butlins Minehead Arena. THE SHINS August: 22nd Manchester Academy, 23rd Nottingham Rock City. SIGUR ROS September: 16th Manchester O2 Apollo, 17th Manchester O2 Apollo, 18th Manchester O2 Apollo, 20th London Eventim Apollo, 21st London Eventim Apollo, 22nd London Eventim Apollo, 24th Glasgow SEC Armadillo, 25th Glasgow SEC Armadillo. SOUNDS OF THE CITY 2017 W/ RICHARD ASHCROFT, HACIENDA CLASSICAL, LEVELLERS, THE WATERBOYS, ARCADE FIRE, JAMES, BLOSSOMS and more. June: 30th – July: 8th Manchester Castlefield Bowl.

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LISTINGS

MANIC STREET PREACHERS

MANIC STREET PREACHERS July: Llangollen Llanfest, 27th - 30th Cumbria Kendal Calling, 30th Cheshire Carfest North. August: 4th - 6th Cork Indiependence, 5th Newcastle Live From Times Square, 27th Hampshire Carfest South.

SPOON June: 27th Manchester Gorilla, 28th Glasgow Art School, 30th London O2 Forum Kentish Town. November: 6th Brighton Concorde 2, 7th Liverpool Arts Club, 9th Cambridge Junction. STAR SHAPED FESTIVAL W/ THE BLUETONES, SLEEPER, SPACE, DODGY, MY LIFE STORY, SALAD UNDRESSED July: 29th Birmingham O2 Institute. August: 5th London O2 Forum, 12th Glasgow O2 ABC, 19th Manchester O2 Ritz. THE STONE ROSES June: 13th Belfast SSE Arena, 17th London Wembley Stadium, 20th & 21st Leeds First Direct Arena, 24th Glasgow Hampden Park.

Hailing from Urbana, Illinois, American Football was originally formed by former Cap’n Jazz and Joan of Arc vocalist/guitarist Mike Kinsella, alongside drummer (and sometimes trumpet player) Steve Lamos and guitarist Steve Holmes in 1997 and released a seminal self-titled album of soothing post-rock in 1998 before splitting in 2000. Reuniting in 2014, with new bassist Nate Kinsella, American Football are heading back to the UK soon so LTW caught up with Mike Kinsella to look back and forwards...

What are your memories of your first ever American Football gig in 1997? “I think that our first gig was with Rainer Maria at a house party somewhere in Urbana. At that time, I’m pretty sure that we were an instrumental band, and I’m pretty sure that we had a couple of songs where we played along to this old ‘70s-era drum machine. If all this is true, then we must have played something like an early version of ‘Five Silent Miles’, instrumental versions of ‘One With the Tambourine’ and ‘Letters and Packages’, and a couple of others that never made it past that first gig.” SLAVES

VICTORIOUS FESTIVAL W/ MADNESS, STEREOPHONICS, ELBOX, FRANZ FERDINAND, SLAVES, FEEDER, FRIGHTENED RABBIT and more. August: 25th - 27th Southsea Seafront.

TOM CLARKE FROM THE ENEMY June: 17th Nottingham Rescue Rooms, 18th Cardiff Globe, 19th Bristol Fleece, 21st Leeds Brudenell Social Club, 22nd Reading Sub89, 23rd Southampton Engine Rooms, 26th Birmingham O2 Institute2, 28th Stoke Keele SU2, 30th Glasgow O2 ABC. July: 1st Newcastle O2 Academy2, 2nd Liverpool Arts Club, 4th Manchester Gorilla, 6th London O2 Academy Islington, 7th Sheffield O2 Academy2.

THE WAR ON DRUGS November: 9th Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom, 10th Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom, 12th Manchester O2 Apollo, 13th Manchester O2 Apollo, 14th London Alexandra Palace.

TRAVIS July: 13th Northampton Silverstone Circuit. September: 8th Manchester Bridgewater Hall, 9th London Blackheath Common.

WEEZER October: 23rd Leeds O2 Academy, 24th Glasgow O2 Academy, 25th Manchester O2 Apollo, 27th Birmingham O2 Academy, 28th London SSE Arena Wembley.

THE TWANG November: 29th Bournemouth Old Fire Station, 30th Leeds O2 Academy. December: 1st Manchester O2 Ritz, 2nd Glasgow O2 ABC, 8th Oxford O2 Academy, 9th London O2 Forum Kentish Town, 14th Sheffield O2 Academy, 15th Newcastle O2 Academy, 16th Leicester O2 Academy, 21st Bristol O2 Academy, 22nd Liverpool O2 Academy, 23rd Birmingham O2 Academy.

AMERICAN FOOTBALL

WE ARE SCIENTISTS July: 20th Chester Live Rooms, 21st Wakefield Warehouse 23, 23rd Leicester O2 Academy.

What are the differences between your gigs in the ‘90s and your gigs today? “The differences couldn’t be starker! I think that [Steve] Holmes [guitar] recently posted a picture of the three of us playing somewhere in Pennsylvania around ’98 or ’99: there are about 50 people, all sitting down while we played. I remember most original gigs being like that. Now, we feel something like a proper band playing proper venues. Night and day.”

You reunited in 2014 after a 14 year absence. Did it all click when you got back in a practise room together or did it take some time to shake off the dust? “I remember our first reunion practice in spring 2014, which was as a three-piece: it was a bit rough, to be sure, but it also felt oddly natural after all of those years. The reunion band didn’t really start sounding like a proper band, though, until Nate [Kinsella, bass and Mike’s cousin] started playing with us in practice: it was at that point that the songs started to sound like something worth playing live. Nate makes this whole thing a thousand times better.”

How were the three sold out New York Webster Hall gigs in 2014, looking back? Was it exciting to see so many people excited to have American Football back? “Those gigs were truly incredible: people had come in from, literally, all over the world to see us. The enthusiasm and the vibe there was something that I’ll never forget. Not ever. It was at that point that I started to realize that people had been affected by this music despite the fact that we hadn’t played it live in many years.”

How was the London show in February for you? What are your memories of previous UK performances and what does playing here mean to you? “London has been incredible to us three or four times now, and the Shepherd’s Bush show was especially memorable. We were nervous because Nate was not able to play that gig: his wife had just had their first baby. Happily, though, Evan Weiss [Into It. Over It. frontman] stepped in and killed it that night. It was a magical experience for all of us.”

THE WONDER STUFF July: 15th Holmfirth Picturedrome, 16th Reading Sub89. August: 26th Stockton Georgian Theatre. November: 9th Leamington Spa Assembly.

You’re back to play Brighton, Manchester, Edinburgh and Dublin in September. Are you excited to play and possibly explore those cities?

THE XX August: 30th Glasgow SWG3 Galvanizers Yard.

September: 1st Brighton Concorde2, 2nd Manchester Albert Hall, 3rd Edinburgh Summerhall, 4th Dublin Button Factory.

“Extremely excited: we’ve been to Manchester once before, although only really for about 24 hours. I’ve never been to any of the other cities, though, and so I hope that we get a chance to sight-see at least a bit. I also know my mother-in-law, who is from Dublin, will be giving me a list of places to visit when I’m there.”

LOUDER THAN WAR ISSUE 10 listings 3 pages.indd 4

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PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS

TUESDAY 27 JUNE

MANCHESTER O2 RITZ WEDNESDAY 28 JUNE

BIRMINGHAM O2 INSTITUTE

THURSDAY 29 JUNE

LONDON O2 FORUM KENTISH TOWN LIVENATION.CO.UK TICKETMASTER.CO.UK A LIVE NATION PRESENTSENTATION IN ASSOCIATION WITH WME

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LOUDER THAN WAR BACK ISSUES SWANS

MAXIMO PARK

PRIMAL SCREAM

DAVID BOWIE

THE CORAL

RAT BOY

SAVAGES

LUSH

GARBAGE

MOGWAI

STONE ROSES

INDIE

ALTERNATIVE

POST-PUNK

FATHER JOHN MISTY AFGHAN WHIGS PAUL WELLER www.louderthanwar.com

SLEAFORD MODS

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HAPPY MONDAYS

WEIRD!

INDIE. ALT. POST-PUNK. WEIRD

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“PEOPLE FELL IN LOVE WITH US AGAIN”

“EVERYTHING I SAID WAS JUSTIFIED”

MO RRI SSE Y THE POST-SMITHS

CRISIS OF MOZ

NEW PSY CH!

LEAD THE CHARGE STEALING SHEEP BRIGADE! OF THE NEW PSYCH

SLAVES PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING THE CHARLATANS ASH ZOMBI BIRDLAND HOOTON TENNIS CLUB HONEYBLOOD GRAVE PLEASURES KAGOULE SUB POP Deafheaven

RICHEY, RECOVERY AND THE LEGACY OF ‘EVERYTHING MUST GO’

MA NSU N

ODD BAND TO “WE WERE AN ” INFILTRATE BRITPOP ISSUE 1 AUTUMN 2015 £4.99 “I wanna be adored”

MERCURY REV

1996: THE YEAR THAT INDIE SMASHED THE STADIUMS

“Success surprised us”

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THE WONDER STUFF KULA SHAKER

JAMES

DRIVE LIKE JEHU

SWIM DEEP

EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY

THE SMITHS

‘The Queen Is Dead’ turns 30

LET’S EAT GRANDMA “We’ve never fitted in”

SAVAGES / SLEAFORD MODS / AT THE DRIVE IN THE BLACK ANGELS / PULLED APART BY HORSES THE CRIBS / BRITISH SEA POWER / MAXIMO PARK

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ISSUE 3 MARCH/APRIL2016 £4.99

“SLIP INSIDE THE EYE OF YOUR MIND...”

BIS

SLAVES

ULVER

PJ HARVEY

SWANS

BOGSHED

BIVOUAC

NOTHING

PURSON

“LIBRARIES GAVE US POWER...”

MULL HISTORICAL SOCIETY

APRIL/MAY 2017 ISSUE 9 £4.99

“No silver bullets, Tonto’s split the scene”

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CIGARETTES AFTER SEX

SONIC YOUTH

SLOWDIVE

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THE TWANG

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JUNE/JULY2017 ISSUE 10 £4.99 “TREMBLE WITH A SIGH...”

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Then & Now

SLOWDIVE

Indie darlings shortly after their formation in Reading and their signing to Creation Records, three critically acclaimed and chart topping EPs set out Slowdive’s stall to the world. Releasing three hugely influential albums, they stood alongside the likes of My Bloody Valentine before dissolving in 1995. Fast forward to 2014 and the band were back, greeted with rapture at the likes of Primavera Sound in Barcelona. Recently releasing their self-titled fourth album – their first new material in over 20 years – LTW spoke to frontman Neil Halstead about beginnings and the importance of instincts.

THEN COME TOGETHER “Rachel and I had been friends for years, playing in a band called the Pumpkin Fairies since we were 14. We used to do T-Rex, Velvet Underground, The Cult and Simply Minds covers, plus some really bad originals. Slowdive kinda came out of that. We had a drummer called Adrian Sell and Nick joined the band in ‘87 or ‘88. Christian joined after that and we all used to go and see bands at the Afterdeck Club in Reading which, when we were 17 and 18, was great - Dinosaur Jr, Spaceman 3, Loop, House Of Love, loads of bands we loved. Slowdive just grew out of all those influences. We’d rehearse every week, never really played many shows though.”

CREATION & CHART TOPPING “We loved Creation and it was amazing

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signing to the label. I don’t think we worried too much about the business of it, we just loved making the music and were super excited to be on a label with cool bands we all loved like Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, Teenage Fanclub. I don’t think we really noticed stuff like that (single ‘Catch The Breeze’ topping the UK Indie Chart) too much. I don’t think it was too hard to top the indie charts in those days - if Melody Maker gave you Single Of The Week it was virtually guaranteed.”

ALBUM MEMORIES

going to the club Quirky in Brixton. It was a bedroom record for the most part, the studio was there and I worked on the record for over a year. It was hermetic and in some ways isolating but I’m proud of the record.”

NOW REUNION REASONS “We decided it would be fun to try another record basically. Our friend Nat Cramp at Sonic Cathedral Records hassled us so much about putting the band back together that we eventually succumbed! The festivals were amazing and sharing it with the audience was really joyous. It genuinely felt good.”

“In some ways it was weird but we were basically lumped in with a bunch of bands and we all suffered a backlash at the same time. It was unpleasant at times but we were ‘SLOWDIVE’ all young and enjoying making music and it “Working again at Courtyard Studios where didn’t seem as important at the time. SBK we’d worked a lot in the past was lovely and I Records (the band’s US label) were not the think helped us have the confidence to crack right label for us and it felt at times like we on and make something fresh. You have to were in the film ‘Spinal Tap’: weird record trust your instincts as a band. It feels a lot of execs who had no clue where we came from the time that when we all agree something is or what we were about. We confused them good or sounding right then that’s often when and they made us giggle. Working with that’s our best stuff. Brian Eno on ‘Souvlaki’ was brilliant. Really fun and creative. ‘Pygmalion’ was a really intense record to make, ‘Slowdive’ is out now on Dead Oceans Records totally immersed in ambient and experimental music and culture,

LOUDER THAN WAR

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Academy Events present ACADEMY EVENTS by arrangement with AGMP presents

T H E FA M I LY S I LV E R plus special guests

Featuring

MATT DEIGHTON

(Mother Earth, Paul Weller, Oasis and Bill Fay)

DAMON MINCHELLA

(Ocean Colour Scene, Richard Ashcroft, The Who)

STEVE WHITE

(Style Council, Paul Weller, Ian Dury and Jon Lord)

Fri 24th Nov LONDON O2 ACADEMY ISLINGTON Sat 9th Dec NEWCASTLE O2 ACADEMY2 Sun 10th Dec GLASGOW O2 ABC2 Sat 16th Dec BIRMINGHAM O2 INSTITUTE3 Sun 17th Dec LEICESTER THE SCHOLAR @ O2 ACADEMY

THE DAMAGE AND JOY TOUR PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS

SEPTEMBER 2017 19 NORWICH LCR, UEA 20 LONDON O2 FORUM KENTISH TOWN 21 LIVERPOOL OLYMPIA 23 GLASGOW O2 ABC 24 MIDDLESBROUGH THE EMPIRE 25 SHEFFIELD THE FOUNDARY 27 NORTHAMPTON ROADMENDER OCTOBER 2017 01 NOTTINGHAM ROCK CITY 02 BATH THE KOMEDIA 03 CARDIFF Y PLAS, CARDIFF UNI

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PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS

AN ACADEMY EVENTS & FRIENDS PRESENTATION IN ASSOCIATION WITH SPIDER TOURING AND THE MAGNIFICENT AGENCY | ö • s• ö �s

WINTER GATHERING THURSDAY 14th DECEMBER 2017

O2 FORUM KENTISH TOWN LONDON

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WEDNESDAY 8TH NOVEMBER 2017 O2 ACADEMY ISLINGTON LONDON

by arrangement with Selective Agency presents

PLAY CLASSIC ICICLE WORKS AND THE SONGS OF IAN McNABB

The definitive tribute to

A classic Oasis set of their biggest hits & best known recordings SEPTEMBER SAT 09 GLASGOW O2 ABC2 FRI 22 LEEDS O2 Academy SAT 23 LIVERPOOL O2 Academy2 OCTOBER SAT 07 BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy3 NOVEMBER FRI 17 BOURNEMOUTH Old Fire Station SAT 18 OXFORD O2 Academy2 FRI 24 LEICESTER The Scholar @ O2 Academy SAT 25 LONDON O2 Academy Islington DECEMBER FRI 15 MANCHESTER O2 Ritz SAT 16 SHEFFIELD O2 Academy2 SAT 23 NEWCASTLE O2 Academy

GREATEST HITS TOUR 2017 | ö • s• ö �s

OCTOBER 05 BEDFORD Esquires 06 BRISTOL The Fleece 07 CARDIFF Clwb Ifor Bach 13 MANCHESTER Ruby Lounge 14 SHEFFIELD O2 Academy2 20 HARPENDEN Public Halls 21 LONDON O2 Academy Islington 27 HULL Fruit 28 DERBY Flowerpot NOVEMBER 03 HOLMFIRTH Picturedrome 04 YORK Fibbers 10 MILTON KEYNES Craufurd Arms 11 BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy2 16 BRIGHTON Komedia 17 FARNCOMBE St Johns Church 18 NORWICH Arts Centre 24 NEWCASTLE O2 Academy2 25 GLASGOW O2 ABC2 26 ABERDEEN Assembly DECEMBER 09 LIVERPOOL O2 Academy

THE UK’s No.1 TRIBUTE TO THE ARCTIC MONKEYS...

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THURSDAY 24TH AUGUST

PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS

AUTUMN 2017

PLUS GUESTS

DER REST

O2 ACADEMY ISLINGTON LONDON AN ACADEMY EVENTS PRESENTATION

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ACADEMY EVENTS presents

TO CELEBRATE THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF ITS RELEASE, THE TWANG WILL BE PERFORMING THEIR ICONIC DEBUT ALBUM

IN ITS ENTIRETY FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER! NOVEMBER 2017 29 BOURNEMOUTH OLD FIRE STATION 30 LEEDS O2 ACADEMY DECEMBER 2017 01 MANCHESTER O2 RITZ 02 GLASGOW O2 ABC 08 OXFORD O2 ACADEMY 09 LONDON O2 FORUM KENTISH TOWN 14 SHEFFIELD O2 ACADEMY 15 NEWCASTLE O2 ACADEMY 16 LEICESTER O2 ACADEMY 21 BRISTOL O2 ACADEMY 22 LIVERPOOL O2 ACADEMY 23 BIRMINGHAM O2 ACADEMY

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