Interview :: Oli Wood (Above Them)

“I’m not going to lie, I can’t feel my hands.”

Refuse To Lose is always a drunken affair. That kind of debauchery is what makes people want to come back, and Saturday was no different. The tiny basement club at Retro Bar (Manchester) played host to three of the finest punk bands in the UK at the minute: Above Them, Bangers and The Arteries. We managed to catch up with, a rather drunk, Oli Wood from Above Them and ask him a few questions. Or was he interviewing us?


Oli Wood: I reckon you’re gonna be shitter than me.

Ian Critchley: Probably yeah, you’ll be alright.

Anthony Barlow: We’re shit interviewers, don’t worry about that. We’re fucking terrible.

OW: Thing is, you’ve interviewed the wrong guy out of Above Them because I have not got a clue what’s going on. Ever.

AB: Well then, I guess the first question is, how’s it going?

OW: Really… Really great. Yeah this is really, I think I’m the most drunk I’ve been in a while like.

IC: Well one of the questions was, you were drunk at the Southsea fest and you still did that without a hitch.

AB: That was a brilliant set.

OW: Tonight is a different level of drunk.

IC: Was that before or is that now? You didn’t seem too pissed on stage.

OW: On stage was, decent. Like now… I’m not gonna lie. I can’t feel my hands.

IC: I hadn’t realised until the other, but you’ve got a video for one of your songs. Has that been received well? Any major play?

OW: Nah, to be honest, it wasn’t something we did to like, we didn’t think we’re gonna do this video and we’re gonna take it out there and everyone’s gonna love it. We did it through a friend, everything about it was really relaxed. We turned up, it was a Saturday night, it was through a guy from inhaler records, he worked at an airport so we had like an old aircraft hanger…

At this point a girl came over and said she was going to join us as her friend had gone to the toilet, then apologised profusely when she had realised she’d interrupted an interview. We told her it was fine and she hung about for the rest of it.

OW: ….yeah, we played that aircraft hanger?

That Girl: The what?

OW: You play in Above Them as well!

TG: Yes. I play the recorder on the secret tracks on the album.

IC: Yeah, it’s like, REALLY in the background so you’ve gotta turn it up a lot.

TG: Turn it up really loud and I’m the music in between the track, and the extra track.

IC: You just hear a little, Doodeleedoo. It’s like when you level up on Pokémon or some shit.

TG: I’m sorry. I’ll be quiet now.

OW: So basically, we didn’t have a clue what we we’re doing.

IC: Well it looks really professional.

OW: I think they paid like £70 for it to get put out on MTV and shit, but I don’t think we ever got played.

IC: Maybe once?

OW: Not even that.

AB: We heard talk of a new album coming out next year. Any details on that?

OW: I dunno, maybe like January, it’s gonna be all recorded and out there. We’re close to it. It’s not fully done, we’re only ten songs in, we want like 12? At least.

IC: The songs you’ve played are sounding good.

OW: Aww. You guys. You guys.

IC: Shucks.

AB: You said that you were pretty much on the bill too late at Southsea, do you still feel that way?

OW: Yeah. Definitely. We were far too drunk and far too rubbish to follow Attack! Vipers!

IC: There’s always a crazy crowd atmosphere when you’re playing. Does it ever aggravate you when people rob the mic or basically just knock shit over?

OW: No. No. Not at all.

TG: Oh! Can I ask a question? Do you remember at ManchFESTer when someone kept shouting in your face and you were like, “Fuck off, you’re not my manager” or something?

OW: I don’t know.

IC: That wasn’t me, don’t worry.

OW: Aww, was I a dick head?

TG: No, no. This guy was the dick head!

AB: Have you anything in the pipeline before the new album then? You said you were doing a split?

OW: I think we’re doing a few splits. After the (first) album we had the Amistad split. We had err… I’m the worst person to be doing this.

AB: Who’s the new split with?

OW: Cheap Girls. Such an awesome band. If you haven’t heard Cheap Girls…fucking.

AB: Have you noticed at your gigs, there’s some guy who always shouts “get your dick out!”

OW: Errr…

IC: It’s okay if you haven’t, but it’s me.

OW: Thing is, if I heard ya, I’d probably go “oh, good idea. Great idea! Why didn’t we think of that before?” But, I haven’t noticed.

IC: I’ll shout louder.

OW: Yeah, you should shout louder. Can I ask you a question?

AB: Yeah, do it!

OW: Have you noticed that, I haven’t done this a right lot?

IC: It’s alright!

AB: Drunk interviews are the best ones.

OW: I am so useless at everything.

AB: Our final question is, if Henry Rollins, Chuck Ragan and a shark had a fight. Who would win?

OW: Not Above Them. So we’ve got Henry Rollins, Church Ragan and a shark?

IC: Just any general shark, probably a Great White, maybe Jaws?

OW: That’s the hardest question you’ve asked so far. None of them. I reckon the bar guy would come out and behave and they’d be like “yeah, okay, sorry.” But to be honest, it’s gotta be Chuck hasn’t it

IC: Yeah.

OW: I’m gonna sound so stupid on this.

Germs Of Perfection :: Cheap Girls

Kerosene

Cheap Girls are the lastest additon to the Germs Of Perfection roster and they don’t dissappoint. The ‘classic rock’ take on Bad Religion’s ‘Kerosene’ is not what I expected from the Michigan-based pop-punkers, but they’ve managed to provide another great, interesting addition to MySpace and Spin Magazine’s tribute album.

‘Kerosene’ is taken from Bad Religion’s eponymous Recipe For Hate album, an album of choice for many of the featured artists on this compilation. I first heard about these fine fellows the other night from Above Them. They’ve released a split with them on All In Vinyl, and you know what, it’s really bloody good. Cheap Girls can definitely consider me a fan.

Be sure to check out their cover on MySpace. You can get their split EP with Above Them right here.

Going Underground :: Refuse to Lose! (With The Arteries, Bangers & Above Them)

Has it really been 5, 6 or 7 weeks since the last Going Underground? I don’t know, I don’t care and neither should you.

This installment has a bit of a twist as it’s promoting three bands, a gig featuring those three bands and the fucking awesome monthly night this gig is taking place. Intense right? Let’s see how it goes.


Refuse to Lose is a monthly event in Manchester at the Retro Bar, a pub, I’m sure, quite a few are familiar with. If you enjoy good music, good fast hard punk rock music, as I do, then it event is for you. the Anniversary, Lawrence Arms, Against Me! Jawbreaker, Texas is the Reason, the list goes on. In fact, the list never seems to end, with none of the obscure requests I bring to the DJ booth being met with rejection. So if you miss this RTL, there’s always next time.

But don’t miss this one.

It’s this Saturday, 02/10/10, doors are at about 9pm, 21:00 hours soldier! It’s only four pound sterling in and after the bands there’s a party til 3am, will worth 400 pennies.

I’m not entirely sure what order the bands are playing so I’ll just wing it.

Above Them have already been mega vamped within the Going Underground section so go back and read that or check them on their MySpace.

The Arteries are, unfortunately, a southern band, haling from Swansea. I say unfortunately, but it seems to more bands I here from down south, the more I feel like I should live there. To list there influences would be a cliché, repetitious process, so I’ll just say they’re really ace and play some wholesome kick balls punk rock. Check them out.

Bangers are from Falmouth, which is located somewhere in the UK, but I could not tell you were. Google maps it. Another band keeping the groove of 90’s punk alive all the way into the………10’s? Anyway, another is not used in the sense that there are too many bands making this music or that it has gone stale, quite the opposite. There is something very special about Bangers, as there music floods into my ears I imagine Hot Water Music starting out there first tour…….but like, being from the U.K. Fuck it. Here’s their MySpace.

So come down to the show! If you don’t I’ll punch you. All the bands, Refuse to Lose, Retro Bar, everyone involved, everyone who turns up and in fact, everyone on the fucking planet (except Barlow) get’s 5/5 special brews because I love all these bands that fucking much.

Details about the show can be found on Facebook.

The Arteries and the Bangers are releasing a split next month with, the super babe duo of, El Morgan and Kelly Kemp, you can buy that here. Read Barlow’s review of it too.

Above Them’s Album, Blueprint For A Better Time, can be bought here or on iTunes

Video :: Dicking Around In Southsea (Featuring: The 255s Apologies I Have None, Above Them & Crazy Arm)

After an extended leave of absence Dicking Around productions is back with a new video. After the poor audio quality on those Jonah Matranga videos, you thought we’d have learnt something. Well, we haven’t. The audio is as terrible as ever, but that will be fixed for the next installment. This one was kind of on a whim, using borrowed equipment and recorded by two guys that had just taken a 9-hour coach ride. I’m sure you can forgive us.

The story is that we decided we needed a bit of an adventure after sitting on our collective laurels for almost the entire summer, so where else could we go other than to Southsea? The all-day festival, which took up the entirety of the town’s Albert Road, was great. Loads of great bands played and we got to see some people we hadn’t seen in a while. The journey almost took it out of us, we were running on very little cash, but we came out alive. Check out the video below.


Going Underground :: Above Them

With a minimum of bands to bother (probably due to festival season) I’ve slowly found my clarification for existence slipping away, so decided to start ‘Going Underground’ — A cliché-named segment to promote wicked music that very unfortunately evades the public eye. This will feature on the site weekly/bi-weekly/whenever the fuck I feel like it, I haven’t decided yet.

First on the agenda is a beautiful band called Above Them.


Above Them have been flying just below radar for sometime now, but since the release of their “now-nearly-a-year-old” album, Blueprint For A Better Time, the trio have been well and truly making a name for themselves in the punk scene playing with other greats such as Chillerton, The 255s and even the almighty Chuck Ragan.

The bands sound itself is a hard one to pin: It’s slick, smooth and melodic but at the same time featuring all the rawness of true punk rock or a chapped arse, but in a good way. Above Them have totally found their own sound. They’ve a uniqueness that is so relieving when compared to the many ‘might-as-well-be-tribute’ bands that occupy the punk scene.

As a live act the boys don’t hold back, with high energy, hard-hitting sets and some half decent banter to boot. Go and listen to the boys from Pontefract on Myspace, buy their album, go watch them live, whatever. Just make sure you sample the sweet sound that is Above Them. Oh, and buy a t-shirt, they’re smart as fuck.

I give Above Them 4/5 Special Brews, they lose a point because they’re from Yorkshire.


Above Them are playing an all day festival at the Oxford pub in Manchester this Saturday 24/07/10. Details below:

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/event.php?eid=111334772244725&ref=ts

You can buy Blueprint For A Better Time on i-Tunes by clicking this link:

http://itunes.apple.com/uk/album/keep-smiling/id367479798?i=367479828&ign-mpt=uo%3D6