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CONTENTS •• 4/ Gigs/ News

It may just be coincidence, but every time we put out an issue of Waxxx, a Liverpool music venue dies. This month it’s Le Bateau. Now we’re not into superstitions here, but this freaks the fuck out of us.

• 6/ Ear Waxxx

Sometimes in Ear Waxxx we shamelessly plug artist’s that are playing for us. This is almost certainly one of those occasions. Check out our NEW ARTIST ‘Bwana’ and then come see him play at Waxxx on Safari.

• 10-11/ Festival Previews

Last year we only previewed festivals that we could get into free for. Of course, this year is no different. Check out our biased previews and then come join in on the fun.

• 8-9/ Single & Album Reviews

This is the part where we like to use fancy words and crass analogies to talk about bands you’ve never heard of.

• 13/ How To: Start Your Own Record Label

Ever wondered how shit bands get signed? It’s probably because they made the record label themselves. Now you can be on a label too. Just follow our “how-to” guide.

• 14/ If You Want Something Done Right: Do it Yourself.

Editorial Many of you reading this may have a look of confusion on your faces. You may be thinking, “What the holy flip is Waxxx Magazine? I thought Waxxx was just a monthly party, a very very good monthly party?” The truth in fact is that Waxxx is both; always a very good party, and well, sometimes a magazine. It’s been a while since our last issue (nearly four months to be precise) but rest assured we’re back now and we promise this time we won’t leave you again for so long. While we’re on the topic of parties (kind of anyway), I may as well shamelessly plug our latest offering, Waxxx on Safari. It’s this Saturday (5th May) and if you didn’t somehow guess from the title, the theme is safari. Expect to find life size animals, visuals and music from DJ’s such as SertOne, Citizen, Bwana and Eliphino (we didn’t just book him because of his name, honest). We’re all going dressed up fancy and that so you should too. Anyway, about this issue. Issue 8 is an accumulation of all things D.I.Y. A celebration of independence and individuality. From a how to-guide to starting your own Record Label, to a look at the work of street artist TOMO, it’s all here, just waiting for you to get your Waxxxy fingers all over. See you Saturday! Waxxx xxx Publisher Joshua Burke –

Nathan Connell-Howard takes a brief look at the history of DIY music and ponders what the future holds for grassroots musical movements.

Editor Joe Murphy -

• 15/ Tomo

Assistant Editor Louis Bransgrove -

Tomo is a street artist that has been shortlisted for the Liverpool Art Prize. Before I use some shit Banksy analogy, you should read our feature on him.

• 19/ Art In A Mill

Delyth Briggs takes a look at a little known art exhibition that took place in Manchester last year. We may be a bit late on reporting this one, but better late than never eh?

• 20/ Screenadelica

Things to do with horses are generally considered shit, horseracing, ketamine but not Horse Graphic Design. Find out more about the man behind Screenadelica, along with his plans for this year’s exhibition.

• 21/ The Who?

The Who are a band from the 70s, but we’re not talking about them here. Owen Rogers reflects on the fun and not so fun sides of being in a Liverpool band.

• 22-23/ Listen

Publisher Joshua Burke – Editor Joe Murphy - Assistant Editor Louis Bransgrove - Music Editor: Paul Hutchinson – Designer Rogelio Narito – Advertising Ken Francis - Cover Photography by Rogelio Narito - Contributors Guy Murphy, Jimmy Allen, Ali Horn, Dan Owen, Kraig T. Heymans, Rob Syme, David Lally, Damo Jones, Graeme Fox, Stevie Vedmore, Mike Townsend, Nathan Connell-Howard, Mark Howard, TOMO, Delyth Briggs, Charma Force, Jonny Boxall, Gary McGarvey, Owen Rogers, Jack Bailey, Stephen Baxendale, George McCallum, Charles McIntyre, Hannah Thomas, Rob Kingsford, George Newman and anyone we’ve missed off. Sorry!

Music Editor: Paul Hutchinson – Designer Rogelio Narito – Advertising Ken Francis - Cover Photography by Rogelio Narito - Contributors Guy Murphy, Jimmy Allen, Ali Horn, Dan Owen, Kraig T. Heymans, Rob Syme, David Lally, Damo Jones, Graeme Fox, Stevie Vedmore, Mike Townsend, Nathan Connell-Howard, Mark Howard, TOMO, Delyth Briggs, Charma Force, Jonny Boxall, Gary McGarvey, Owen Rogers, Jack Bailey, Stephen Baxendale, George McCallum, Charles McIntyre, Hannah Thomas, Rob Kingsford, George Newman and anyone we’ve missed off. Sorry!

Ste Baxenale is not talking about you, even if it sounds like he is. Read this, you’ll understand.

• 24 / Waxxx On Film

Read Charles’ loving and slating previews of forthcoming films: Available to watch in beautiful high definition at FACT or on an appalling “CAM Version” from all good illegal immigrant DVD sellers.

• 26/ While You’re Waiting

Our friends mum works in a hospital. She regularly finds all kinds of treasures in the rectums of her ‘patients’. See if you can uncover her discoveries too in our Waxxx word search.

Waxxx Magazine contains explicit content and material throughout. It is intended for a readership of 18+. Sorry we had to get serious here but we’ve watched The Wire and prison isn’t for us.


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Words: Louis Bransgrove, Ali Horn, Ken Francis, Dan Owen, Kraig T. Heymans






Indie-pop mainstays for over 20 years, Saint Etienne bring their own psychedelic dance assault to The Kazimier. They’re probably best known for their excellent Neil Young cover, but don’t let this put you off going; their back catalogue is as consistent as it is groovy. They combine tight, bouncy rhythms with dreamy shoegaze vocals and a truly unique Englishness that is impossible to find outside of the kind of wispy bleeding folk music you pretend you like to get off with that girl/lad in the cardigan you saw in The Masque a few years ago and keep bumping into. It’s not meant to be, drop it.

Forest Swords’ music is strange and desolate, just like the Wirral, where funnily enough, he happens to be from. He’s released an EP and a full-length record, which has unsurprisingly sent Pitchfork writers scurrying to the toilet to knock one out. I like it and I think you will too. Live, I’m not sure what it’ll be like though, as his music is the kind that soothes your head after you’ve had about 15 cans of red stripe and a ‘dutty pint’, the night before. But maybe that’s the answer: drink an unsafe amount, and then drag yourself to see him. Could be fun.

Death In Vegas’ music scared me loads when I was younger (that and the X-Files theme). I was quite a neurotic kid, but this goes some way to describing their ethos. Sexy, insidious and very ‘adult’; they kept the creep-factor of trip-hoppers Massive Attack and Portishead, while opening themselves up to the world of contemporary dance music like coevals Leftfield and The Chemical Brothers. As a live act, Death In Vegas bring their confrontational and repetitive lyrics alive on stage, combining them with glistening yet fractured beats and samples, to deliver a truly unique live experience. See ‘em for yourselves. You shan’t regret it.

White Denim return after almost a 9-month absence, playing the second night of this year’s Liverpool Sound City Festival. The Texan four-piece’s blend of punk, blues, prog and psychadelia never ceases to amaze. Their last outing to Merseyside at the O2 academy back in August was one hell of a show, not even a broken bass string or the iron hands of the soundman killing the volume at curfew time could stop them and now in the beautiful surroundings of The Kazimier, this promises to be one not to miss. Support comes from Portland-based Pond and local boy Eugene McGuinness.







With Sound City, Liverpool’s biggest music festival taking over venues from the 17th to 19th of May, Ghostpoet at The Kazimier certainly isn’t one to be missed. Be sure to expect celebrated tracks such as ‘Cash & Carry Me Home’, ‘Survive It’ and ‘Liiines’ from the outspoken wordsmith’s Mercury Prize nominated album ‘Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam’, alongside promising new material expected to be released later in the year. Such lethargic musings delivered in the rapper’s signature baritone vocals over a live concoction of guitar, drums and synth make for a refreshing, crisp sound that can’t be found elsewhere. Support comes from the unstoppable Thunderbird Gerard whose synthladen pop sound has developed quite a buzz in recent months, and is guaranteed to have you dribbling like a war veteran on Saint George’s Day.






The tagline of “Scouse Mercury” may not be wholly justified in some people’s eyes but you weren’t there maaan. It was awesome. Free beer ‘n’ shit. We were involved in choosing who got the award, designed by Royal Standard artist Sam Venables, which deservedly went to Loved Ones. Also judging were Revo, Craig Pennington, VICE, The Guardian, LFC and some others. It was nice to see The Kazimier get recognition in the form of the “Inspiration Award”. Watching a video of their insane creative feats certainly made us rather jealous though.

(insert hilarious, generic boating reference here). Le Bateau, or “The Boat” as it was affectionately known locally, died on Thursday 26th April 2012. Unfortunately we were barred from Le Bateau for reasons unknown to us so couldn’t tell you what it was like for the past year but before that, it was everything you could ever want for in a night out. I once took friends there from outside of Liverpool and they laughed heartily at the drinks prices, which were insanely cheap - perhaps the reason for its downfall?

The wait is nearly over. From the 17th-19th of this month, Liverpool Sound City once again takes over just about every venue across the city, transforming Liverpool into a citywide festival arena. With Sound City now in its fifth year, Dave & Co. have once again conjured up a delightful roster of artists, with acts ranging from local outfit and Waxxx favorites The Tea Street Band, to Australian superstars The Temper Trap, it’s sure to be bloody lovely. Other highlights include Alt- J (∆), D/R/U/G/S and Willis Earl Beal.

Happa (Samir Alikhanizadeh) is a fresh face on the scene. Real fresh. Baby-faced kind of fresh. We’ve scooped this adolescent producer up and taken him under our wing for the next (unannounced) Waxxx party. He’s fourteen. He’s from Leeds. He’s FOURTEEN! He’s been producing for a year and he cites his influences as Blawan, Bodikka, and Paleman. We wanted more info but he was at school so he couldn’t email back. Let’s just hope he does his homework in time for the next party. Check him out here: halfapersianprinceand

ART ATTACK This month starting the 27th April, Metal at Edge Hill throws its doors open for the annual Liverpool Art Prize Exhibition, think the Turner Prize but for arty scousers. Now into its fifth year, this year’s show sees the work of the four shortlisted artists, Tomo, Alan Dunn, Robyn Woolston and The Drawing Paper, that’s right, a freely distributed, printed newspaper. With a £2000 cash prize at stake, we think we’ll be entering Waxxx for next year’s award. If you want to know a little bit more about the shortlisted artists, head on over to www. However, if you can’t wait that long, then skip ahead to our centrefold. Tomo’s gone and done a special something for you. It’s a nice present though. Honest.


waxxx ad.pdf

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Words: Paul Hutchinson, Ken Francis, Rob Syme








It’s hard to believe that it was only September 2010 that London’s teenage brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence dropped their debut single ‘Offline Dexterity’, released on Moshi Moshi. They have pretty much been strapped on board a rocket of success ever since. Delivering such a high end product has gifted them a well-deserved support slot with another of electronic music’s newest starlets, SBTRKT. Both have graced the stage at Liverpool’s runaway Thursday night event, Abandon Silence. Feeding punters with a blend of bass, 2-step and dubstep, the brothers have now presented us with a bass/house crossover sound that certainly doesn’t fail the ears. Released earlier this month, make sure to support these boys with a necessary purchase of this damn fine remix. This is a seriously big track, which just like the Lawrence brothers themselves, is very much in danger of exploding. In Disclosure we trust.

Death inVegas




After a painstaking month-long delay, Abandon Silence returned to The Hold. We followed a procession of like-minded others down into that dark basement beneath The Shipping Forecast for a highly anticipated B2B session at the hands of Blawan and Space Dimension Controller.




With no warm-up acts, both DJs had plenty of time to test the proverbial water with some deeper material, complimenting SDC’s more laid-back and melodic approach to production evident on last year’s ‘The Pathway to Tiraquon6’.



As expected, Blawan’s signature tune ‘Getting Me Down’ got the crowd moving like a room full of kids high on E numbers. The volume and movement in the crowd dramatically increases, before it drops like an avalanche and the room bounces in unison to a mass sing-along. Resident Advisor’s Top Track of 2011 for a VERY good reason. It went off…big time. Not all of the crowd pleasers are played out tonight however, with the thundering ‘What You Do With What You Have’ noticeably absent. Though after 4 hours of pretty much non-stop, heavy duty house and techno from the back to back duo, a few pleasing curveballs thrown in towards the end of the set made sure this night would not be forgotten. Prince’s ‘I Would Die 4 U’ has been heard here before, with Oneman dropping the 80s classic to great effect back in October. But surely no one would’ve guessed the final tune of the night would be Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time’, keeping the crowd moving right until the lights came up. A welcome surprise and a fitting ending to a night that always promises to deliver: time after time.


Time to get the deep house shovel out the boot of your car and get digging. The perfect tool for when you enter the world of Russia’s leading lady when it comes to all things at the bottom end of the bass spectrum. The beautiful Nina Kraviz has released her self-titled debut album on Matt ‘Radio Slave’ Edwards and Jim Masters’ imprint Rekids. Nina is not just famed for being a “fine piece of ass”, but also for being one of the world’s finest female producers and sought after DJs. Yes, Nina can mix it with the big boys and this album proves her credentials. Nina’s seductive vocals feature on most of her tracks, filling the mind with images of debauchery. With stabs of hip-hop and dark techno fills, this is more than just a deep house album. For me personally, this album could quite easily feature on Michael Mayes’ Kompakt label. Seductive, bordering on moody, layered with subtle undertones, clever fills and deep, dark loops make this a sterling listen from start to finish. Keep your ears to the ground and listen out for the remixes of leading single ‘Ghetto Kraviz’ by Amine and Alexkid respectively.


Hailing from the city that never sleeps is a radio station that quite simply blows my back leg off with every show it airs. Owned and run by Tim Sweeney, the Beats In Space radio station is now into its 13th year and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Frankly it’s quite the opposite. It’s not a question of who has appeared on the show but more a case of who hasn’t. If you are a fan of another one of NYC’s finest establishments DFA Records, and haven’t heard of Tim’s station, then kill yourself, or at least kick the dog. Showcasing the best in electronic music including disco, new wave, Chicago house, minimal techno, Krautrock, funk and soul, or even post punk, Tim has pretty much nailed it. There isn’t a station in the world that can touch BIS at the moment. They even go to the effort of detailing what label every song aired on the show has been released on. So what are you waiting for? Go to and lose yourself in the world of electronic music.




Bwana is a fresh face on the scene; with his EP ‘Over & Done’ showing that this 21-year-old producer is anything but over and done. It’s a promising beginning especially for someone who has, according to his Soundcloud, been producing for just over a year. The EP is a dreamy three-song affair, taking cues from the likes of SBTRKT and Burial. The songs are rife with re-pitched vocals painted over with intense reverb and a healthy dose of spastic percussion. The subtle yet intense builds, catchy melodic development and deep, watery textures will keep you coming back for more. This isn’t one to be missed, and we’re excited to see what the future brings.










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Words: David Lally, Ali Horn, Ken Francis, Rob Syme


Words: David Lally, Ken Francis, Louis Bransgrove




‘Lazuli’, from forthcoming album ‘Bloom’ is Beach House’s latest offering and it seems the pair of Baltimore shoegazers haven’t strayed stylistically from their previous albums. But hey, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. The track opens with a simple drumbeat and a crackly Toys ‘R’ Us keys sound, akin to a Casio keyboard demo. Vocal harmonies come twinned with bass and reverb-soaked percussion. The spacious cymbal splashes and tambourine hits give the track depth and space while the beautiful vocals and bass provide warmth. Victoria Legrand reveals all in this song about her Lapis Lazuli (a blue Afghani antique rock), as she repeats alluringly ‘like no other, you can’t be replaced’. Humanising and fetishising a rock? Not for me, thanks. This ‘dream pop’ trinket drones on a bit too much and doesn’t go anywhere. The whole effort seems lazy; if you’ve heard ‘Teen Dream’, then you’ve heard this. Then again, it may be a grower, not a shower.

An artist sure to cause a stir in bass music circles this Summer is London-based Bobby Tank. Recalling the work of Glaswegian beat-makers Hudson Mohawke and Rustie, May 17th sees the release of the ‘Afterburn’ EP, a technicolour introduction to the producer’s ‘maximalist’ sound that has seen him praised by Radio 1’s Zane Lowe and numerous others. Out on MofoHifi Records, the label is known for putting synth and bass at the heart of everything they do so it’s clear why Bobby Tank caught their ear. The title track is an explosion of arpeggiated synths and chopped-up vocal melodies, complex enough to prove interesting after multiple listens, while packing a huge punch for the dancefloor.





With summer approaching, there’s nothing quite like a new surf-pop album to make you wish you lived somewhere hotter. Best Coast’s ‘The Only Place’ shows signs of the band’s movement towards a cleaner sound - while remaining firmly in the beachtunes niche. The cleanliness is most likely due to moving into a more professional studio to track the record, and the beach-tunes niche is probably because they’re from Southern California.

Death Grips are different to your average rap/hip-hop group in that they probably don’t have bitches in the living room getting it on, and if they do they aren’t rapping about it. Death Grips are a hip-hop trio from Sacramento in California, and they seem to be angry about stuff. They released their mix tape ‘Exmilitary’ around this time last year and were part of a new buzz around hip-hop alongside the likes of Odd Future and A$AP Rocky. There was a hype around the group, which was created because their brand of hip-hop shunned many of the lazy clichés that are sometimes linked to the genre.


The vocal melodies are simple and catchy as before, but the vocals themselves get a much more focused treatment. For most of the album, this makes the songs more polished. However, on tracks like ‘How They Want Me To Be’, this only serves to emphasize the couple of occasions on the album where the lyrics get trite and monotonous. “I don’t wanna be how they want me to be” is not so profound a lyric as to warrant repeating four times in a row.


The Flaming Lips are back, and they’ve brought their fwends. Not that they’d really gone anywhere; they have been steadily releasing a stream of music over the past year. This has included various collaborations on USB drives packaged inside an edible life-sized gummy skull and a song presented as 12 different Youtube videos for simultaneous play on 12 different iPhones. ‘The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends’ album will get a different gimmick treatment, in very limited quantities; a vinyl literally filled with the blood of the band members and the various collaborators. The collaborators are as varied as they come – ranging from pop princess Ke$ha to unkempt woodsman Bon Iver (Bonny Bear) to experimental hip-hop master Prefuse 73. Yoko Ono contributes various vocalisations urging listeners to “do it”, while a track with noise rock duo Lightning Bolt amounts to the sonic equivalent of a group of cowboys being abducted by aliens. Time after time, The Flaming Lips manage to create fuzzy guitar tones so dirty - so hopelessly perverse - that you wish your sister would cover her ears and change into something a little less revealing. With this release, frontman Wayne Coyne and crew bring the same brand and quality of neo-psychedelia that you’ve grown accustomed to. From the swirling vocals with multiple overdubs, to the gnarly synthesizers and the spastic drums - it’s all there. Next year the band will be celebrating its 30th birthday, and if you haven’t enjoyed any of their releases thus far, chances are you won’t enjoy this one. But if you’re a fan already, turn on, tune in, and drop out.

Graham Coxon is 43, which is surprising to the untrained eye, as it would appear that he hasn’t aged since 1995. He has just released his 8th solo album ‘A + E’ on Parlophone Records and the first single is the interestingly named ‘Ooh, Yeh, Yeh’. The song has a large guitar solo in it. As a rule of thumb guitar solos are rubbish and make you sound like Led Zeppelin, but Graham pulls it off. Buy the single partially because it is lovely, but mainly so that our Graham can maintain his expensive botox habit and retain his youthful good looks.

Post-Acid 90s pop trio Saint Etienne are releasing their first album in 7 years, ‘Words and Music by Saint Etienne’. The second single of the aforementioned album is Answer Song. They may be old but their music is still sexy, albeit in a Lorraine Kelly sort of way. This is music that would be lovely to listen to on a sun-drenched beach somewhere in Spain. Unfortunately we live in Liverpool so we will have to make do with listening to it in near gale force winds. However, this can help us look forward to the summer and the bands upcoming date at The Kazimer on the 24th May.

The album is made up of 13 rough and raw tracks, which at times are exciting and at other times bordering on annoying. Album highlights ‘System Blower’ and ‘I’ve Seen Footage’ sound like they could be party anthems for a post-apocalyptic world, where shitting in public has become the done thing. However for those of you out there with slightly more gentle ears, then the album at times becomes slightly heavy, making for a potentially difficult listen. If you do however want an aggressive listen, then ‘The Money Store’ may well be for you.




The buzz around the group, which is made up of MC Ride on vocals with Andy Morin and Zach Hill taking control of production, earned them a major label contract. The group’s production has been likened to that of Bomb Squad, who are famed with producing many of the most famous Public Enemy beats. What really makes them different to your average hip-hop outfit is the dark and aggressive nature of their music. This is what will also divide opinion on their new album ‘The Money Store’.

It’s not all bad though – some of the tracks produce a wonderful nostalgia for the smell of sunscreen. They’ll probably even have you wiping the imaginary sand out from between your toes as your sunburn sets in. Even as someone who isn’t typically into post-90’s guitar-centric rock or pop, the sugary harmonies and melodies left me coming back for more. Where are my flip flops?





Record store day release single ‘Krokodil’ by St. Vincent is underwhelming by way of being overwhelming. Those accustomed to (and overjoyed with) hearing the subtle textural work from her 2011 album ‘Strange Mercy’ will find ‘Krokodil’ a bit out of the left field. Her sound has been increasingly in your face, but this track is a bit of a leap. It’s an over-the-top two-and-a-half-minute furious romp with St Vincent’s distorted side. And here I was expecting another soothing, ambient tune, a la Surgeon or Dilettante. Maybe next time.



Deerhunter’s Lockett Pundt serves up his second offering of side project pie in the form of ‘Spooky Action at a Distance’, the eagerly anticipated follow up to his 2009 debut solo album ‘The Floodlight Collective’. A wash of warm, echoing chord patterns twinned with an ambient confection of reverb and distortion generate a bright and dreamy sound comparable to the likes of Real Estate and Beach Fossils. While there is certainly nothing ‘new’ about this record, there is also nothing that bad about it. Standout tracks include ‘Strangers’, ‘Dusty Rhodes’ and ‘Remember Our Days’. I use the phrase “standout tracks” with a certain degree of generosity as the album lacks variety in certain aspects, making it a real ball ache to distinguish one song from another. That said, it doesn’t take anything away from the rich blend of loops and melodies that Pundt beautifully throws together track after track. If you were hoping for a groundbreaking album set to change the face of indie-pop then I’m sorry to disappoint you good Sirs. This record does not contain the anthem of 2012 nor will it be remembered for years to come. It’s quite simply 44 minutes of decent pop music that won’t change your life, but is well worth a listen. Available now on Kranky Records.

XXXY a.k.a Rupert Taylor is a producer whose stock is on the rise. Going the opposite way from the BBC (from Manchester to London), he is only improving. His release last year ‘You Always Start This/Ordinary Things’ showed what he was capable of producing, and cemented him a place as a big name in a busy UK bass music scene.



His latest release is one that focuses primarily on house. The opening track ‘Everything’ shows this brilliantly and is a straight up party cut. However the centerpiece and coincidentally the middle track of the EP is ‘I Know This Can’t Be Love’. Repetitive loops mixed with high pitched vocals make it sound like it should be irritating, but it is a song that demands attention due to its lush production. It is certain to be a dance floor hit in the next few months. The final track ‘I Can’t Stop’ has a sharp drumbeat that brings the EP to an overall brief but satisfying finale. ‘Everything’ is not a groundbreaking release, but that is never what its intentions were. It’s a party EP that makes me want to put on a party hat, shave my balls and hit the town, therefore fulfilling its brief.


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Words: Damo Jones, Graeme Fox, Stevie Vedmore


Words: Mike Townsend, Dan Owen, Rob Syme


THE GARDEN FESTIVAL AND ELECTRIC ELEPHANT PREVIEW If I hear one more person say Croatia is the new Ibiza I am personally going to wring their neck. If anything, Croatia is like “the old Ibiza”. This was before all the hoards of commercial dance compilation buyers, drug dealing gangs and waves of ket heads began the mass pilgrimage there, because their mates have a profile picture on Facebook next to the Café Del Mar sign, congregating in tens of thousands each summer. All in search of sun, beats, sex and drinks - at €20 a pop - as the rich get richer and the poor pay six months wages for a week of canned hedonism. On a much brighter note, look to the shores of the Adriatic coast and you will find one of the most beautiful countries in the world in Croatia. It’s a stunning place of raw beauty with a difficult and fraught history, now blossoming into one of Europe’s coolest destinations. And it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to get there to party with electronic music’s underground and dance under the sun and stars with a beautifully educated crowd, either. Croatia now boasts a staggering amount of festivals and there and many pretenders to the throne, but two of them stand out having stood the test of time. They have deliberately kept their sizes small and intimate, keeping the vibe personal to the concerned beat consumer. The 7th Garden Festival (4th-11th July, £90) and the 5th Electric Elephant (12th-16th July, £89.99) offer tremendous value for money, or you can get the double whammy pass for both festivals costing you £150 - truly a bargain if I have ever seen one. The festivals cover disco, house, techno, electronica and the grey areas in-between, taking place at the all new site at Tisno along the idyllic Dalmatian coastline. Each festival is a sublime offering of festival and holiday combined. The new site consists of a main stage and a beach stage accompanied by cocktail bars, food outlets and for the hardcore club: Barbarella’s Discotheque, which will take you into the hedonistic hours once the stages have closed down. The new club is much bigger for 2012 too, so more people will be able to check it out and dance under the stars. If this wasn’t enough, let me tell you about an exquisite all wooden salty old seadog called the Argonaughty which sets sail twice a day, taking 200 revellers out to sea on a beat-infused cruise over 4 hours, either through the sizzling afternoon or late into the night. All in all, for all round value for money festivals in one of the most stunning locations Europe has to offer, you would be wise to consider spending your pennies on a Wizz Air flight taking you over to Croatia. Quite simply, both these festivals are most definitely worth checking out. With DJs and live acts including Nicolas Jaar, Crazy P, Greg Wilson, Tiger & Woods and Prosumer at The Garden Festival, and Andrew Weatherall, Ewan Pearson, Ivan Smagghe and Michael Mayer at Electric Elephant, these two revered and intimate gatherings have it all. The Garden Festival ‘A New Beginning’ takes place on 4th - 11th July 2012 Electric Elephant takes place on 12th - 16th July 2012

PARKLIFE WEEKENDER The North West of England is steeped in a rich clubbing tradition, claiming such legendary clubbing destinations as Cream, Sankeys and arguably the birthplace of it all; the Hacienda. In recent times the focus has shifted to the already legendary Warehouse Project and Chibuku nights, so where better than to continue the trend of inner city, student friendly mini festivals than Platt Fields Park in Manchester? This year’s Parklife Weekender is to be the last in the rolling greenery of Fallowfield before it ups sticks and moves to pastures anew. With only six weeks to go until what is set to be Parklife’s third consecutive sell out, promoters are remaining tight-lipped about its future location. The huge popularity of Parklife is due, no doubt, to it’s exquisite blend of artists, bands, DJs and producers boasting a wealth of genres from Indie-pop to the nichest of niche electronica. With 2012 marking 30 years since the opening of the seminal Hacienda we find electronic music in rude health under the reign of Parisian distortion fiends Justice. We caught up with their latest live show earlier in the year and for fans of their infamous brand of sample heavy French house, this show isn’t one we would advise missing. The festival boasts 7 stages on each of the 2 days, each representing some of the latest and greatest club nights from across the UK, so there really should be something for everyone. Be sure to catch Liverpool’s own James Rand playing on the Chibuku stage. Arguably, one of the most anticipated acts at Parklife is the late 70s disco behemoth that is Chic. Based on previous live shows they are guaranteed to play at least a couple of tracks that you had no idea they wrote and with recent reports that their frontman Nile Rodgers is working with Daft Punk on their new album, there’s never been a more perfect time to see one of the most influential bands of our time. The new music comes thick and fast from many of Radio 1’s ‘In New DJs We Trust’ alumni. From trusty DJs such as the first girl of DigitalSoundBoy; B.Traits (Saturday, Thrasher), dark house hero Julio Bashmore (Sunday, Wax:On) and Sheffield dancehall supremo Toddla T (Ape Carnival Sounds, Sunday). The perennial problem of festival clashes means some tough decisions for Parklife attendees, Dizzee or Justice? Crystal Castles or The Flaming Lips? But regardless of whom you do or don’t see, Parklife will no doubt be a blinder of a weekend. The Parklife Weekender takes place on the 9th - 10th June.




Now in its seventh year, Latitude is shaping up to be one of the most culturally relevant festivals the UK has to offer. With headline sets from the incredibly talented Justin Vernon, à la Bon Iver, Elbow and the Modfather himself Paul Weller, you might ask yourself why it is that Latitude brands itself as ‘more than just a music festival’? The answer to this invitingly posed question is provided by the wealth of authors, poets, comedians, filmmakers and artists, which can be found amongst the vast array of musical talent.

Mifest, described as the newest and freshest festival in the North West runs from the 10th – 11th of August. If you aren’t at something bigger and better that weekend, you could do a lot worse than heading down to this one, which has pulled in an impressive line-up for a festival in its debut year.

Bestival is the one you always go back to. Having spent the whole of University listening to insufferable students compare their ‘Bestival times’, it’s clear that people hold a deep and lasting affection for the Rob Da Bank curated weekend on the Isle Of Wight. Bestival has grown from 10,000 people in its first year to nearly 60,000 in 2011 and is filled by a cross section of festivalgoers from the whole summer. From the inevitable mankinisporting wanker to your mate’s mum who thought everyone slept in heated cabins; Bestival’s come-one-come-all attitude earns its reputation as the friendliest festival around. Then of course there is the line-up. The most staggering thing about Bestival’s line-up is just how vast it is. By the time you finish reading the poster you will be blinded with excitement, not least because of soul legend Stevie Wonder. With dance and electronic music aplenty, Spanish House producer John Talabot and his flawless ‘build and release’ sounds will challenge the likes of Julio Bashmore and Soulwax as the weekend’s best dance act. Nero on the main stage will draw all those rave painted brosteppers and their £2 pills away from the dance tent, allowing you to enjoy the likes of Scuba, Blawan, Four Tet and Ellesmere Port’s very own Evian Christ without worrying about getting your head kicked in. Despite looking and sounding like your drunken uncle (if you replaced the alcohol with a lifetime of drug abuse), Jason Pierce and his psychedelic wall of sound: Spiritualized, must not be missed. Imagine hearing the swoon of Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space as the sun starts to set – oh man. There is plenty for all you sensitive souls out there too: Sweden’s First Aid Kit will warm your heart with their simple folk melodies that made this year’s The Lion’s Roar so disarming, and if the hair-raising vocals of Elena Tonra of 4AD’s Daughter don’t bring a tear to your eye then you’ll need to accept that your black heart will probably be alone forever. Those looking to get their funk on will need to get themselves to Brooklyn hipsters Friends, as well as Lewisham producer Kwes, whose infectious rhythms will have you shuffling in your converse until your peaked cap falls off. To be honest, the line-up is so good and has so much strength in depth that you could go on about it for hours. Bestival is quite unusual in that is has the scale and ambition of the likes of Reading and Leeds, whilst retaining that charm and modesty that we love most about our small festivals. Desperately resisting the urge to use the term ‘melting pot’, it’s a place where the metal heads from Download, the pill-heads from Creamfields, the “Stevie Wonder…Who?” crowd from V Festival and the people who don’t give a shit either way can come together with their sights set on ending the summer in style.

Rufus Wainwright and Laura Marling bring their acclaimed sound to the main stage alongside artists who have achieved an unflinching amount of recent success such as Lana Del Ray, Alabama Shakes and the suitably soulful Michael Kiwanuka. Lest we forget Latitude’s eclectic attitude towards the festival-going experience as you will be sure to find a wide variety of Opera and Cabaret performances on the weekend’s bill alongside the likes of SBTRKT and Zola Jesus. If all this isn’t enough then Latitude is also famed for its startling interest in theatre. A reputation that is well deserved, you would have to agree, considering the broad range of theatre that is showcased at the festival each year; Shakespeare, Nabokov and a provocative interpretation of Medea, which takes place from midnight ‘til dawn, provide entertainment unlike that at any other festival. Further cultural stimulation is provided by the worldrenowned poetry of Tony Harrison and Benjamin Zephaniah appearing in the Poetry Arena with festival favourites John Cooper Clarke and Scroobius Pip. With such a diverse festival as this one, the pundit’s problem isn’t finding entertainment, but finding the right type. With just a weekend to soak up the festivities, careful choices will have to be made as to whether you immerse yourself in the Faraway Forest where acoustic sets are a-plenty, the Literary Salon which offers a hands-on approach to festival going, or the numerous amounts of exhibits, live musicians, gymnasts and more that are waiting to be found. Year after year Latitude festival has expanded its offerings in the fields of music, theatre, comedy and literature making for a luring bill of quality entertainment. Take note: this isn’t a festival solely for families, as it is often labelled, but a gathering of some of the most exciting artists from around the world for the person who wants something different from their festival experience this year. Latitude takes place on the 12th – 15th July.

If you’re from the immediate locales surrounding Chester/North Wales and have a soft spot for bass music, you’re most likely already drooling with anticipation for an event that doesn’t count on an appearance by Joey Essex as its main draw. By filling the void left by the lack of alternative nights in the area (not forgetting Chester’s Fractured Sound), the festival is likely to be a big success, with the line-up and proximity certain to tempt people down from Liverpool and Manchester. 40 minutes drive from the former, the festival is set on a farm, and though direct public transport links are lacking, it’s only a tenner to park. At £55 for the weekend + camping and £35 for day tickets, for a couple of bank notes, you get a weekender’s worth of top-notch acts from across the bass music spectrum and beyond. In terms of the lineup, subdued electronics could soundtrack the afternoon sunshine (fingers crossed), courtesy of Submotion Orchestra, James Blake-alike Ifan Dafydd and Mercury Prize nominee Ghostpoet, while the alarmingly young fresh talent Disclosure play both a live show and a DJ set on the Friday. Headlining the main stage on Friday night is beatboxer Beardyman. For those unfamiliar with his vocal theatrics, expect the sounds presented by most of the other acts at the festival to be reproduced in one set by one mans vocal chords. If you’re more concerned with looking serious in your new 5-panel, Swamp81 head honcho and dubstep pioneer Loefah will be bringing the darker vibes over in the dance tent, if it’s still standing after the Night Slugs crew are done with it. Benga’s live show and the appearance of some drum & bass heavyweights on Saturday will prove big draws, though those not in the know should check out the perennially overlooked Foreign Beggars and the math-rock leanings of Tall Ships and local boys Gallops. Closing the second stage on Saturday night, Joy Orbison B2B with Boddika will no doubt be a highlight; since they first teamed-up behind the desk they have produced nothing but quality, and as they have all year, tracks like ‘Mercy’ and ‘Swims’ are sure to level the dance tent as things draw to a close. There are still two big names to be confirmed at Mifest – one on the Friday’s main stage and one in the dance tent on Saturday. With the combined booking power of Abandon Silence and Selective Hearing, don’t expect anything less than massive. Explaining the involvement of the two promoters, festival organiser Benito Apollonio described the decision to get them involved as ‘a pretty obvious one’, pointing to them as ‘arguably the two most forward thinking nights in the whole of the North West’. Maybe he hasn’t been to Waxxx yet, but we’ll let him off. Mifest takes place on the 10th – 11th August.

Bestival takes place on the 6th - 9th September


Words: Mike Townsend


Barely ten years ago it was all about getting signed. All the gigging, all the demos, all the interviews, were in hope of impressing someone at a label and getting handed an advance to record an album. These days the major labels are irrelevant and the ‘independent’ labels such as XL host the likes of Adele and Example - no luck there then. So start your own label. When you’re asking indie record stores to stock your album, promoters to land you a gig, magazines and radio stations for an interview, it sounds more professional and more experienced when you introduce yourself as so and so from so and so records, rather than some nobody who just started his first band. The PPL ( are the organisation responsible for the administration of International Recording Codes (ISRC Codes), which every song you release needs to have. To get these codes you need to sign up for a label account with the PPL, which you can do online for free. It will take a month or so for the registration to be completed, but after that’s sorted then you are all set. When it comes to distribution, there are so many companies out there who can do it all for you. Liverpool’s Ditto Music can put your album on 17 major download and streaming platforms worldwide (iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc) for around £20 whilst taking zero commission. They will give you monthly sales reports with detailed breakdowns of where your royalties were acquired. Now obviously there is much more to starting a record label than just this. But with companies like Ditto and Zimabalam offering cheap distribution and the PPL offering free and open membership, the basic infrastructure is there. The PPL’s phone and email support is excellent, so it might be worth getting in touch and getting some more information before you start. Seriously though, it’s all much easier than you might think.









5 Slater Street Liverpool L1 4BW Tel: 0151 353 7027

Vinyl CDs Clothing Tickets DJ Equipment & Accessories








5 Slater Street Liverpool L1 4BW


/ P. 14 - 15 /


Words: Nathan Connell-Howard Photography: Mark Howard




“In exactly the same way that punk provided an outlet for expression and rebellion in the UK, hip-hop breathed new life into the American urban community.”

Featured Artist - TOMO

TOMO’s Paste Recipes for Waxxx

Tomo is a street artist, a designer and a storyteller. Tomo is also a shortlisted artist for this year’s Liverpool Art Prize. Oooh err. Making art from reclaimed or discarded materials, he describes his work making process as “a kind of alchemy”. Likening it to music sampling, he draws inspiration from different era’s and areas then mixes, chops and changes at his leisure. Where some artists working with this approach create unimaginative, unoriginal, plagiarised shit, Tomo’s work is quite different. He explains, “there’s a bit of me in there of course, the human element” that’s “probably what makes it interesting”. And for us, this is exactly what makes Tomo’s work so appealing: the human element. For every one of his paste-ups you see on Liverpool’s piss stained streets, there is a story of Tomo on a midnight errand armed only with a bucket of paste. Tomo has kindly submitted one of his designs for Waxxx’s first ever centerfold poster. He has also provided us with two of his favourite paste recipes. Now, what you choose to do with this information and the poster is completely up to you, but we definitely do not recommend going out on a late night paste mission. This is illegal and apparently “vandalism”.

1. Wallpaper Paste Method.

To view more of Tomo’s creations, head over to his oddly named online home.

If You Want Something Done Right: Do It Yourself

In 1976 a band from London changed the way we perceive music. In little under a year since their forming, they had completely revolutionised the way in which ‘ordinary people’ could break into the charts. That band was The Damned. Surprised?

“Normal household wallpaper paste is not a bad choice if you need to hit the streets pronto because it’s quick to knock up. Follow the instructions on the packet as usual but you’ll be best putting some extra shit in there to make it more resistant. When I was a boy and I had a little job putting up flyposters for bands we didn’t give a shit how long they stayed up but presumably if you’re affixing some artwork this is more important. You can use lots of things, waterproof wood glue is always a winner, it looks just like PVA but as its name suggests it dries waterproof, failing that normal PVA won’t do any harm. A good half bag of sugar never goes astray in getting the mix more sticky, I’ve contemplated putting eggs in there before but normally I just eat them. Once I might have used acrylic varnish, some people swear by this but it can be pricey, as is honey. Another time when I was in France a punk told me that the secret ingredient is the white dust out of fluorescent tubes but I’ve still yet to try it. Bookbinding glue is a good one too, you can get that in granules from some art shops or online. Some people even grind glass into their paste to make it more of an ordeal for people to remove their posters but I never do this because I’m a man of moral virtue. Some say you can add Witch Hazel or Clove Oil to keep mold away but I quite like to see a bit of grime setting in.” 2. Wheat Paste Method.

While The Clash and the Sex Pistols will always be remembered as punk’s flagship bands, they weren’t the first, and as many old time Punks will tell you, weren’t the most influential. The Damned were the first punk band to release a single and to release an album. They were the first to break into the UK charts and the first to entertain our friends over the pond. None too shabby considering they had absolutely no musical training and that they weren’t from particularly privileged backgrounds. That’s one of the many brilliant things about the whole punk movement; it was made from the ground up, minimal skill involved - DIY in its truest sense. But there was more. What the kids in London were doing was being mirrored over in New York, in a different, but equally important and fresh new movement. Enter hip-hop.

The Damned - 1986 © Mark Howard / Northern Misfits

In the late 1970s it’s important to remember the dire social/ economic situation of many people (in particular from black communities) living in New York - the South Bronx to be precise. This background of poverty and alienation from the rest of the United States proved to be a fertile environment for such a genre to grow. In exactly the same way that punk provided an outlet for expression and rebellion in the UK, hip-hop breathed new life into the American urban community. Artists such as DJ Kool Herc, Afrikaa Bambaataa and Grand Master Flash amongst others came through with this revolutionary new music and created something that would go on to be one of the world’s dominant cultural entities. So is music that came out nearly 40 years ago under a time of repression, economic slump and social ills still relevant today? The answer of course is yes. At the dawn of both these movements, the UK and the US alike were in periods of great social upheaval and economic misfortune. Over the next few years as the economic crisis deepens worldwide, we should expect to see a lot of creativity. The anger and lack of money and jobs that we’re seeing could and should become a huge rallying point for musicians, artists and filmmakers alike. However, after the over-saturation of big labels looking to cash in, can any music ever truly be as DIY and as grass roots as it was back then? The answer again is yes, and possibly now so more than ever. The creation and unprecedented rise of the internet, most importantly it’s availability to near enough every human being on the planet, has had the profound effect of making the world a much smaller place. Sites such as Facebook and Myspace provide a platform for new artists to be discovered by everyone and anyone, anywhere in the world and at any time. It’s become so easy to gain a following from fans all over the globe at the single click of a mouse. One of the biggest bands in the world right now: Arctic Monkeys, showed that uploading your tracks to a social networking site can gain you a huge following before a major label even knows you exist. Software such as Logic and Cubase mean you can record and mix an entire album without having to even leave the comfort of your own home - your only limitation being your own imagination. Home recording is now easily accessible, becoming cheaper and moreover extremely commonplace - something that would seem entirely inconceivable thirty years ago.

Words: Joe Murphy, Tomo Photography: McCoy Wynne

The Damned - 1990’s © Mark Howard / Northern Misfits

In the late 90s a microscopic musical movement in South London was in its infancy. It’s now impossible to go to any city or town in Britain without seeing posters with this word written all over it. You guessed it… dubstep. As most dubstep purists will tell you, that what you think of as dubstep is a load of pony. Pop music that bares little or no resemblance to the genre’s origins; but is still one of the latest examples of a genre that originated from an underground, grassroots music scene. But what does the future hold for DIY music? Are record labels and TV shows such as The X Factor and The Voice corrupting the minds of young music fans, pumping manufactured dribble into their ears and sucking the vast wealth of untapped raw talent into a shit pit of musical obscurity and unfamiliarity? There is really only one way to find out: get out there and do it yourself.

“Take note of all of the above additives especially the sugar, this recipe is the traditional street mixture and is said to be stronger than anything else ever invented. Buddhist monks are known for using it and it can strip concrete right off a wall. Basically you get yourself a big pan and throw about three or four parts water to one part flour mix it up until it’s nice and smooth and then throw it on the heat stirring constantly. After a little while it will thicken tremendously and this is when you add more water to get it almost back to its original consistency. I sometimes use a cordless drill with a bent fork in it to speed things up. Then you just simmer for about an hour, after which time the chemical transformation would have taken place and it will have a more clear and less chalky texture. Add the sugar as it’s cooling. Providing that you go organic and don’t use any broken glass or acrylic varnish you can always eat/drink some if you get hungry during a paste mission, and if you get stopped by the police you can just say that you’re just on your way somewhere to bake a cake.”

“Some people even grind glass into their paste to make it more of an ordeal for people to remove their posters but I never do this because I’m a man of moral virtue.”

Do something different on a Friday night. LightNight Liverpool 2012

18 May 4pm — late

Liverpool’s one-night arts & culture festival


Words: Delyth Briggs Photography: Jonny Boxall, Charma Force

A RT Let’s rewind 30 years, it’s 1982 and Britain is under a Conservative Government. It’s in a recession which affects every aspect of daily life, and unemployment is close to the three million mark. Sound familiar? You’d be forgiven for thinking we’d fallen through a time-warp. Opportunities are thin on the ground and in the art community they’re practically non-existent, especially from the larger establishments. If you don’t know someone from within, then it’s difficult to get your foot through the door. Although Liverpool benefits from a great selection of independent galleries, studios and organisations that help young and emerging artists; the casualties of our time in austerity are still building; The Masque for music, Static Gallery for art. What next? A recent survey concluded that nearly half of all graduates don’t feel ready for life outside of university, specifically getting work. For many of us art graduates, getting art into an exhibition normally means putting on a show yourself. Emulating the YBA’s in the late 1980s, a group of artists put on a show themselves last year in Rochdale, Greater Manchester. Having studied in Liverpool John Moores, Lewis Brownlie and his friend Jonny Boxall discovered that an old cotton mill, owned by Lewis’ family, was vacant and would soon be demolished; upon inspection they realised that the mill was full of usable space. Although they weren’t proactively looking for a space to exhibit at the time, they knew they couldn’t turn up the chance when it was so readily available. It was a lot of work; they might not have had to worry about damaging any walls or keeping to specific guidelines other galleries might have set, but there was still a mountainous amount of tasks to complete. The mill was situated in a small village 15 miles outside of Manchester “with pretty shit public transport links”, so the pair were worried interest would be low. Add a deadline of one month to get everything sorted, and you’d be forgiven to assume that they’d thrown in the towel. Fortunately, they never. After a few texts sent here and there, they were soon overwhelmed by the amount of people keen to join in and take part. “It took a fair bit (of organising), as people were coming from all over the place. One of the biggest jobs I’d say was getting artworks to the mill, dividing out spaces, swapping folk about, adding new people at the last minute... Putting up the artworks was a big communal effort too; everyone was helping each other with ideas and physically putting artworks into place.” How did they feel about the location? Famously, Damien Hirst commented on the ground-breaking “Freeze” exhibition he organised (held in a disused warehouse in Surrey) that it was ‘the kind of exhibition that everybody says they saw and hardly anybody did’. Were they worried no-one would hear of it, or attend? “It was good to have a space were you didn’t have to worry about being able to put work directly onto the walls or about making a mess, if it was a proper space we wouldn’t of been able to do half of the things we did. I quite liked it being out of town; it seemed like more of an event because it was in a remote place and people had to travel to get there. Plus I like the DIY thing, people doing shit for themselves is always more positive than having to rely on getting funding or spaces from other people. I reckon you get a better feeling of actually accomplishing something when you do it all yourself”.


/ P. 20 - 21 /

Words: Stephen Baxendale Illustration: Gary McGarvey



Words: Owen Rogers Illustration: Jack Bailey

MU SIC Screenadelica is a gig poster exhibition, celebrating the art of the screen printed gig poster. Founded by Liverpool based designer Gary McGarvey, a.k.a Horse Graphic Design, the exhibition originated during Liverpool Sound City 2010. Working for EVOL, The Kazimier and Discoteca Poca, Horse has made posters for the likes of Caribou, The XX, Bjork, The Pixies, Andrew Weatherall, Ivan Smagghe and Liverpool’s very own Ladytron. Since then, he has personally been asked to design a cover for Chilly Gonzales. I first met Gary McGarvey back in 2003, spending our weekends pulling pints in The Barfly. Little did I know that the graphics art student from Donegal was soon to become Liverpool’s premier gig poster designer. Spreading his wings (or hooves as it maybe) from our UK shores, this year he is taking the exhibition as far afield as Spain and the USA. Screenadelica plays host to both UK and international artists and displays a wide variety of artistic styles. The posters created are made for bands that the artists love and are inspired by the music they hear. With digital download taking over the music scene, the desire to still own something physical makes the screen printed poster all the more important. This year Gary will be showcasing Screenadelica at now fewer than 15 festivals. With invitations to debut in such locations as New York and Berlin, it’s onwards and upwards for Horse! Be sure to catch the action between the 17th and 19th May at The Academy of Arts, 36 Seel Street.

This is the round up, the final abstract rambling of a local band member. Liverpool has been our home for over a year now. We skulk from rent to rent, fashioning music in our D.I.Y. studio. Our start was shaky. Music’s a life of instability, an irrational choice in a work-now-die-later society, and two of us fell victim to this before we even stretched our wings; but like all ignorant optimists this was just a chance for early renaissance. We gained tempo following our first string of gigs, a little too much if anything. Our early performances were rewarded with support slots for touring artists, before management at Ministry of Sound knocked on our door. But with only a few home recordings in the bag, these early blessings were mixed; we were glad to be well received yet hadn’t enough money, time or material to convert the momentum. So we hibernated, like badgers; now we’re brandishing enough material for an album, and Winehousin’ for a record deal. I see a career in music like a chess game. You’re stepping into a competitive world, with thousands of options, most of which are a bad move. You can win through creativity and artistic thinking, or you can just regurgitate old tricks. We lie somewhere in between. In the realms of ‘Indie’ - which I suppose we fall under - Bido Lito kindly labeled us “the perfect balance between lo-fi electro pop and downbeat post rock” but an artist who really thought outside the box might just say “pfff that’s only a dub beat without the wub wubs.” This juxtaposition will make or break us. Either we’ll smash boundaries in the commercial world and hit that genre lottery jackpot, or we’ll lose out to a trendier band, shoegazing their way to the limelight. I suppose - apart from our growing financial difficulties – that is neither here nor there to us; we create music we want to listen to, if it resonates with others, bonus. Following a sleepy Christmas, our reawakening began with Waxxx’s Magic Eye House party; it was nice to hear incoherent praise from multiple gurn victims by the close, but dead weird to receive no applause for the entire set. It turns out this was nothing personal, the crowd followed suite for the rest of the night; cuh, dance folk, no manners. Threshold confirmed that our music captures less hazy minds - reviews from that night have been a confidence lift. But since February I’ve been scratching my head for local gigs. Liverpool seems to be undergoing a shakeup. Mighty venues have toppled, and power is seeping away from the monopolies. Some think this spells decline for Liverpool’s music scene. It doesn’t. Instead it’s a bull market for the independents that have the ability to create a new movement. Still, movements don’t happen over night, so come March we defected to Manchester, where we were treated to a support slot with Laurel Collective. I suggest scoping them out NOW. They’ve recently been announced on the preliminary Bestival lineup among others and their odd brand of abrasive quirk-pop is a refreshing listen. A good show with them has seen us scouted for a session at DIY radio - of the prolific monster-blog ‘This is Fake DIY’ - in June. This attention raised questions of our Scouse anchorage. Manchester, Leeds and…Wigan - all right, we didn’t get very far - seemed to understand us. But just when you’re ready to up your sticks, Liverpool always throw you a curve-ball, this time in the shape of a nomination for the Merseyrail Unsigned final on May 31st. Winning that means a chance to record beyond our dining room… so we are sitting tight on the judges decision. In the meantime, if you want to hear the soundtrack to this ten month-long saga, it can be found via the usual Internet hangouts. facebook/musicbycarousel carouselyourface.blogspot


Words: Stephen Baxendale Illustration: George McCallum


/ P. 22 - 23 /



Listen. I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about the others. On the way home from work I stopped off at CHICKEN PALACE for one of their £1 snack boxes. The snack box is made of flimsy paper, a few undefinable pieces of deep fried meat are thrown in and then the box is crammed to the brim with fries that have been fried and refried over and over throughout the night. ‘Two pounds,’ the man behind the counter says. ‘Are you out of your mind?!’ I said ‘These have always been a pound, I rely on these cheap calories to survive. I’m a writer, not a banker’. ‘Two pounds. It’s the recession,’ He says. ‘You fucking burglar,’ I mumble, paying the man and taking my greasy box. I was heading home and into a den of weasels. Listen, when I say Liverpool is full of weasels, hopeless dreamers, fuckups and failures, I’m really not talking about you, I’m talking about everyone else. If you’re reading this and you’re in a band I’m sure that one day soon you’ll get signed and you’ll get a big record deal. I’m sure that if you’re an artist or a photographer soon you’ll get that recognition you deserve and your work will hang in white walled galleries and people holding champagne flutes will pontificate about your work. I’m sure if you run a small business/bar/magazine your hard work will pay off and you won’t have to be a wage slave or live off the benefit system. If you’re a writer you’ll probably finish that novel and your name will decorate the inside of the very prestigious Paris Review. You’ll get that promotion and sit in your leatherette chair hiring and firing the people you used to work with. Your lottery numbers will come up. You’ll…. Whatever. I’m talking about the hangers on, not you, honestly. As I walked home I knew that the weasels were there for a number of reasons. For one, a biker looking guy with a mohawk walked past me in the street carrying my microwave. I was being burgled for the second time in ten minutes. Another reason was I could hear the baseline of the music they were playing as I came up the road. Then as I came to the front door there was, passed out on my step, an art student with an asymmetrical haircut. The main reason I knew these people would be there is because Ishmael, my flatmate, and I actively encouraged these parties. We liked having these leeches around because it supposedly reminded us that we were better. I was a psedu-published author and he was a local man of business. No one was quite sure what his business was, but it seemed to make him some legitimate money. He always wore a ragged black suit tucked into knee high lizard skin cowboy boots. He had a long beard and even longer black hair. In his office he had a mounted gun behind his desk, which he claimed to be Chekov’s actual gun; he said you could see where it had gone rusty from where Chekov had pistol-whipped Dostoevsky for stealing Stalin’s dog. By day he stormed around Liverpool at high speed, having meetings and discussions, letting this, borrowing that; Determined to carve a place for himself in this world, determined to not spend his life making money for the already rich. We had first met by mistake, a case of mistaken identity. He had chased me down the street thinking I was a debtor of his. I ran assuming he was one of my lenders. We quickly realised our errors and got to know one another. Moving in together was another mistake entirely. We were sure that we were on the cusp of greatness and that we wouldn’t be looking up at the stars from the gutter for much longer; we’d be flying about the sky like Han Solo and Chewy in no time. We had slummed together for two years and all that had seemed to change was that we’d found some shovels to dig the gutter a little deeper. Attracting these weasels is not difficult, simply because they have nowhere else to go. No money for bars and pubs so they spend their lives in house parties skimming beer and bumming cigarettes. And there are a lot of them. They are legion. They’re anonymous. But they do forget and they do forgive so that no matter how often

you throw them out, they’ll always come back when you need them to. If you live in the city centre, all it takes is a few texts here and there, an update on Facebook, a line on twitter and hundreds of the bastards will storm your house like something from “Zulu”. I stepped over the potentially dead art student and into my flat. The corridor was tightly crammed with sweating, smoking and drinking bodies and any movement would send a ripple through the crowd. A man with a marker pen drew intricate patterns on the wall. He wept the entire time. Two men pushed each other hopelessly trying to start the world’s smallest mosh pit. A makeshift DJ booth was set up at the end of the corridor. A pale DJ with large black pupils played music so loud that the walls shimmered. He had neon lights set up and they flashed red and blue on his pallid face as he insistently and manically flipped through his CD collection, as if he were looking for some magical song which he could never find. I started elbowing my way through the crowd, gripping my box of grease, aiming towards the kitchen, where the real action would be taking place. There were maybe one hundred people in the kitchen. Some strutting around in skinny ill-fitting clothes. Some sitting on work surfaces with dreadlocks, smoking joints and talking utter shit. Some standing, leaning their weight on one leg, talking or waiting for their turn to speak. When I looked a little closer into the throng of people my eyes were gangbanged by sights of depravity. Seeing sights that even Ross Kemp would be unable to fully come to grips with. A man masturbated in the corner of the room as if it were the most normal thing in the world. Young girls made makeshift drinks by going around pouring the dregs of pints into plastic cups, regardless of spit, urine or cigarette butts. A faded pop star sat on a plastic chair with his pants around his ankles injecting something into his thigh while a middle aged woman watched. She shrieked with delight the entire time. Ishmael stood on his stool in the middle of the kitchen, the ringleader in this circus of hell. Still wearing his boots, he had replaced his suit with a stained white sheet, wrapped tightly around his body, roman style. He preached to the crowd from his mount, excitedly waving a bottle of green liquid. He spat abuse at the mass of people and they laughed because they assumed that he was joking. Our eyes met and he stepped down and put his arm around my shoulder. ‘This is the only honest man in Liverpool,’ he said to no one in particular and gestured the bottle towards me. ‘Tonight’s crowd seem particularly terrible,’ I said, taking a swig out of the bottle and then gagging at the vile taste. ‘Potent isn’t it?’ He said ‘This is a far superior drink to absinthe. Van Gough would have sawed his damn legs off after one whiff of this. It’s brewed from something called Kratom. It’s authentic, there’s even a little pickled worm at the bottom of the bottle. I don’t know what Kratom is, but in Thailand they execute you on the spot for possession of it’. ‘I imagine you can get executed on the spot in Thailand for a lot of the things happening in this flat ‘. ‘I hope so,’ said Ishmael. I spotted Munaf drinking a bottle of Perno. He vomited on his own crotch and then continued drinking as if nothing had happened. I heard him grumble a single word to himself. My fridge had been pushed over onto its side and two skateboarder looking kids were ceaselessly beating on it with sticks. People scratched at our tables with knives and pens. People rifled through our cupboards, harvesting precious noodles and tea bags. ‘These people,’ I said taking another swig of the bottle ‘These people are our friends? Who are these fucking people? Where do they come from? What did we do to deserve this? I never knew that if I went off the beaten track it would be like this. All I wanted was an interesting life. I just didn’t want to grow old watching Britain’s Got Talent and getting fat off Tesco ready meals. Kerouac made it sound easy’.

Ishmael had long stopped listening to me. I saw his eyes move rapidly. He had spotted an aging hipster girl, with low self-esteem and drunken eyes. His exact type. ‘You’ll have to excuse me. I’m a man of business, with business to attend to. You can keep that bottle,’ He walked over to the girl, turning to me to say ‘try and enjoy yourself, things will change, we’re on the edge’. The edge of what though, precisely? Fame? Madness? Incarceration? Nobody knew or cared. I walked back into the corridor. A couple were having sex against the wall, seven people stood around watching in a spectrum of moods raging from disgust to arousal. The girl dug her painted black nails into his back and the man’s pelvis moved irregularly. I went to my bedroom door. I’d recently reinforced it with several locks and bolts. It was still secure and safe. I could have gone in and had some peace. I didn’t. I didn’t deserve it. I moved through the crowd to the doorway of the living room. I was about to open the door with an exploratory hand but thought better of it. The light had long since been broken or stolen and the room had casually drifted into a place for people to have no holds barred sex. The stench of it was incredible. I backed away knowing that if I opened the door I would see sex in every conceivable position, and some positions that shouldn’t even exist. I could be driven mad on the spot by the Lovecraftian horror of it and I’d be found weeks later wanking in a bus stop in Slough. I went into the spare room and sat down on a sodden mouldy couch, next to a sodden and mouldy human being. I lit myself a cigarette and looked out at the crowd. I poured a little of the green liquid into a dirty paper cup. I looked at the sad little pickled worm at the bottom of the bottle. ‘You got off easy,’ I said to him, I passed the bottle to a member of the blur of socialites, freeloaders and wankers and they took it thanklessly. I am so sick of these fucking people. Fuck the unpublished poets. Fuck that robbing bastard at CHICKEN PALACE. Fuck the tumblr photographers. Fuck the Facebook philosophers and the twitter event organisers. Don’t even get me started on the Youtube musicians because they make the bloggers look good. Fuck that little worm at the bottom of my drink. Fuck the kids cycling on push bikes to vintage shops with their iPhones in the pocket of their Barbour coats. Fuck Dan Brown and his bookshelves of pre-made formula thrillers. Fuck George Orwell while we’re at it too. Bumming around Paris and London for a few months and now he’s got a Wikipedia page and published novels. Try two years with rats and lizard skin cowboy boots storming around your corridors. Why can’t I have a Wikipedia page? I’m talented, attractive, charming. I’ve swam through the shitty toilet of the lowlife culture. I’d punch Orwell in the fucking face if the lucky bastard wasn’t already dead. But, listen, I’m really not talking about you or Orwell, you’re like me. You’ll get yourself together. We’re just on the cusp. We’re all on the cusp. I sat on the couch, smoking my cigarettes and eating my greasy dinner. How did it get to this? I asked myself. This couch? This shitty re-fried food? These shitty re-fried recycled personalities that bounce around in my house? This poisonous green booze? This crowd of fair-weather friends? I had been on a cusp once before and I could have been anything, an accountant, a doctor, even a damn banker. Everything was so planned. Now nothing was certain and anything was possible. The kid next to me asked if I had a spare cigarette, I lied and told him ‘absolutely not’. I crumpled a couple of Ritalin into my drink to keep me awake until morning, I’ll sleep in work, I thought, where it’s safe.

“When I looked a little closer into the throng of people my eyes were gangbanged by sights of depravity. Seeing the sights that even Ross Kemp would be unable to fully come to grips with.”

Words: Stephen Baxendale Illustration: George McCallum

/ P. 24 - 25 /


Words: Charles McIntyre




The instruction to explore the theme of ‘DIY’ in this month’s issue did little to dispel my numerous symptoms of SDBT - Spiritual Death Brought about by Too-many-fucking-teen-movies - (the diarrhoea is easing off, but my weakness really showed when I found myself watching ‘New Girl’ for over the psychically tolerable limit of 14 seconds, before throwing the TV out of the window and into a skip on the street below (the contents of which I later petrol bombed and had blessed by a priest) but I’m a pro, and I fought through the pain.


The sad truth is DIY films don’t offer the miracle antidote to the prescribed, puerile poison of the Hollywood film industry like we’re led to believe, primarily because they usually aspire to be part of it. I know we’re supposed to “support budget ventures”, and “nurture undiscovered talent”, but let’s not be too sensitive about the issue: amateur films are almost always self-indulgent, abysmally produced love letters to the films they aim to replicate. Call me a hypocrite, but just because I didn’t like Superbad doesn’t mean I have to like whatever hogwash your popcorn munching brother-in-law thought was ‘arty’ enough to turn into a 74 minute long “urban drama”. Hence the conundrum; how can we encourage only the good independent films, whilst strongly, and remorselessly, discouraging bad ones? Max Keiser, outspoken yank and host of the controversial financial program The Keiser Report – broadcast on the Russia Today news channel – may have the answer. In a nutshell, Keiser is a maverick financial expert who seeks to restore social and financial power to the global public community. Having already set up the Karmabanque hedge fund, he set up an independent film ‘crowd funding’ site – Piratemyfilm – the aim of which is to let the public decide which independent films to fund (and thereby own a share of) and which to...not fund. Although currently minuscule in scale, the concept of Piratemyfilm (which has spread to many other sites) is a potential threat to the monopoly over film production held by the archaic and financially unstable Hollywood (and other) film studios. My hope is that if intelligent, fair, level headed people (i.e. me) have the choice from the outset, studio films like Superbad, and amateur films like...well, all of them, won’t get made. Like the great Bill Hicks’ said in his ‘quick capsule review’ of Basic Instinct (‘piece a’ shit’), it’s about time we stopped funding and applauding these films because of “fevered hype phoney fucking debate” or, more often than not, because we’re told to. Sorry, wrong meeting again...

THE REVIEW MARLEY DIRECTED BY: KEVIN MACDONALD RELEASED: 20TH APRIL 2012 If you hadn’t realised it, we are living in a cultural desert. Literature, art, music; we haven’t got any new ideas, and I mean all seven-billion-strong of us. Creatively, we’re about as diverse as the gene pool of a backwater yokel community right now. Sadly, though not surprisingly, our films are suffering in terms of a lack of ‘new ideas’ more than any other art form (Avengers Assemble being a pretty good example of how truly fucked we are). Film studios are flogging whatever half-baked, re-released, retrospective film concepts they can on a daily basis, and as a result I remain sceptical of seemingly uncalled-for biopics, and Marley didn’t escape suspicion. I’m not a Bob Marley aficionado. Like a lot of people, I’ve heard, and enjoyed, his ‘hits’, I knew his death had something to do with his feet, and I had an inkling he was Jamaican. Other than that, I really didn’t know a lot about the man when I went along to see Kevin Macdonald’s abbreviated version of his life; and I think this may be the reason why I enjoyed the film as much as I did. When Tom Dicillo’s Doors documentary When You’re Strange was released, I got excited. I went and I saw some cool footage of Jim Morrison on the big screen. But then it ended, and I was irritated. Irritated because Johnny Depp had narrated the entire film, yes, but also irritated because I didn’t get any real insight into the band as people, at least none I hadn’t had before. I have a feeling that a Bob Marley fan would feel the same about Marley, superior to When You’re Strange though it is. Marley is comprised of archival footage alongside new location shots and interviews with Bob’s band and family members, many of which are simply enthralling monologues of incredible stories about fascinating people. Hearing these stories from someone who was there is rewarding whether you know the story or not, as is the story played out across the two odd hours of the film’s entirety. But in terms of real cinematic sustenance, the film is lacking. This is largely due to the distance built between the audience and Bob Marley as a character within the story. Bob is increasingly obscured by the pace at which the story of his life, or, as is more often the case, the lives of those around him, unfolds. The reverence bestowed upon him throughout the film is never fulfilled in this sense – he is always unreachable; a mythic entity. Just as we encroach on what seems to be a way into finding out who he was, the link is cut short. Thankfully the multitude of characters throughout the film are enriching enough to sustain the film and keep the story of Bob’s life alive, although it is often only the series of events in their chronological order that we are given access to.

Just off Bold Street... FACT, 88 Wood Street Liverpool, L1 4DQ 0151 707 4464 /

The only way this film could offend me more is if it was entitled ‘Scissor Hands 2’. I mean, come on, this film is Edward Scissorhands, right? OK, so Depp doesn’t have scissors for hands, I get that, but in almost every other way, it’s friggin’ identical. The days of Ed Wood, Beetlejuice and Batman are so long dead and buried they may as well not have been made. Burton, you sold your soul, DEAL WITH IT. Go and make films with Spielberg and Lucas and stop trying to convince us that you can still do ‘quirky’. And cut your fucking hair while you’re at it.

THE DICTATOR RELEASED: 18TH MAY 2012 Rappers, Kazakhs, Homosexuals...what comes next on this evolutionary chart of comedy? That’s right, Middle Eastern dictators. Oh how we chuckled. If watching a dog shitting for 105 minutes “tickles your funny bone”, then this could be a film for you.

MOONRISE KINGDOM RELEASED: 25TH MAY 2012 Wes Anderson is one of the few directors who I will testify to having made ONLY GOOD... scratch that... ONLY GREAT FILMS. So please, don’t read a review of this. Don’t even find out anything about it. Just fucking watch it and fuck off.

awesome-art-hub booming-blockbusters tactile-technologies peoples-playspace mega-bites 24 hour arty people

Marley is undoubtedly a very well told and smoothly presented documentary about Bob Marley’s life. Its failing, as with When You’re Strange, is that the life portrayed overshadows any insight into the man, and even the music, which would ultimately be a far more complex and, consequently, rewarding story to unravel. Regardless of its downfalls, Macdonald’s moving documentary is likely to spawn a new generation of Bob Marley fans who may hear his music and his message in a new light. 7/10

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5/1/12 5:44 PM

Words: Joshua Burke, Rob Kingsford, Hannah Thomas Illustration: George Newman


/ P. 26 - 27 /


T o

S p Not just cool people do it themselves. Some very uncool people do it themselves too. Search below for some of the curious rectal findings retrieved from bi-curious poopers across the land....aaaaand clench.

1 F

Candle Hamster Concrete Phallus Light Bulb Frozen Pigs Tail Root Vegetables Glass Bottle Salami Hair Brush Tennis Ball Door Handle Barbie Gold Fish

Libra Stop quoting David Brent. It won’t buy you any friends.

Scorpio Your inner beauty makes you shine like the stars themselves, which is appropriate, as in broad daylight you look like a bulldog licking urine off nettles.

Sagittarius You’ll be delighted to know you’re getting what you deserve this week, although you’ll be disappointed to discover it’s just 45 bonus TESCO Clubcard points.

Aries Love comes in all shapes and sizes. This month, love will come in the shape of a second-hand inflatable sheep in the post. Size XS.

Taurus You always thought of death as an inevitable and beautiful journey in your old age. Turns out it’s actually a lot more sudden and really fucking horrible.

Gemini After much perseverance and support from your friends and family, you will finally achieve your life goal. Unfortunately, whilst achieving said goal, you will come to realise that your penis tastes of seriously strong blue stilton.

Cancer The chemotherapy is making your hair fall out, but don’t worry it’ll also reduce your sex drive so you won’t want to try and sleep with anyone anyway.

Leo This month, a blind date will go horribly wrong when your date turns up with a guide dog.

Virgo Saturn is heading into your cosmos this week, and you just know he’ll be back to his old ways, drinking too heavily, coming onto your wife and explaining why the rest of the planets “just have no idea how to fucking party”.

Capricorn You’ll get to know your neighbourhood a lot better soon, thanks to the fact that you lost your job and your flat and therefore have to wander the streets looking for food and a doorway to sleep in.

Aquarius “LOL, I know, I was like, totally wasted. I can’t remember a thing” you will tell your friends. In fact, they’re not your friends, they’re policemen and you should just tell them exactly where you dumped the body last night – it’ll get your sentence cut short.

Pisces When visiting your elderly Grandmother, she will make you fishfingers for tea. Not the birdseye ones though. Being forced to lick your own fingers after inserting them into her vagina will seem worthwhile when the inheritance cheque comes in.


Waxxx Issue 8  
Waxxx Issue 8  

The DIY Issue