Gig Review :: Airship, 15th May, Cockpit 3

Manchester band Airship are a band on my radar since they opened Leeds festival in 2009, so when I found out they were playing in Leeds in the cockpit 3 it was too good to turn down.

Leeds rock band Sound Of Sirens were the first support act of the night, and with a audience of 10 it can’t have been the easiest show to play. After a few songs the band loosen up and attempt some rather desperate crowd interaction, however it’s an awkward atmosphere and the bands rather static stage presence doesn’t help. Not that the small stage doesn’t help, this is cockpit 3 after all and not known for its spacious qualities. Music wise it’s a very average feeling performance, there isn’t anything amazing about it, the lack of visible energy in the performance being very notable and a real hold back.

Then next band up are a sharp contrast to Sound of sirens, Soul circus (http://www.soulcircus.co.uk/) are an alternative pop group. The first very noticeable thing is the music, its catchy, infectious and its sung by an amazing vocalist, Lloyd. The performance has so much energy and goes suitably with the music, its difficult to not be amazed by these guys.  Its difficult to overstate how much potential these guys have, and they’re still unsigned. Definitely a band I look forward to hearing more from.

Airship (http://www.myspace.com/airshiptheband) were the final act of the night. The start of the set has some sound problems but they’re soon cleared up. The most striking thing about the set is the unreleased material that is being played, its entirely unexpected from a band that has just released a Single/ EP but enjoyable. Algebra is well received and the best knowns of Airships songs but newer songs such as spirit party are also enjoyable. Airships are upstaged by their support Soul circus in the energy department but they have their moments. The most distinctive moment was when an extra drum was used in the final song, just a little touch, albeit very memorable.

Overall a very enjoyable night, Soul Circus were the highlight for me; I never expected such a strong performance and from a band I’ve never heard of before. But Airship proved they can perform live and were equally amazing in their own way. Airship and Soul Circus, 2 bands that have incredible potential and equally amazing music to go with it.

Interview :: Nuno Pereira (A Wilhelm Scream)

A Wilhelm…Interview?

When A Wilhelm Scream brought their brand of melodic hardcore punk to Manchester, we thought chatting to them (or, at least, one of them) was the right thing to do. As ever, we were not wrong. We spent 15 minutes in the sun with, front man, Nuno Pereira as he answered our most important questions. There is a method to our madness, y’know.


Ian Critchley: So, apparently, you like sausage? *laughs*

Nuno Pereira: Sausage is a delicious food product. I actually had a vegan sausage the other day and it was also delicious.

IC: *laughs* You’ve been touring with Pennywise and Strike Anywhere, how’s that been?

NP: It was fantastic. Both of those bands we had toured with pretty extensively in the past, so it’s always nice to be on the road, away from home, for a month, but still be in familiar company and surroundings. Plus, the bands are great and every night it’s just fantastic, just a party. There’s always some funny shit going down.

Anthony Barlow: You’ve gotta love that. Why has that tour not continued through to Manchester then?

NP: Well, that’s a good question, one that might be better asked of Pennywise or Strike Anywhere. I can make up an answer.

AB: Yeah, just do that.

NP: What happened was, after the London show, both bands got recruited to go slay some dragons in the Middle East. Apparently they’re really fucking shit up out there. After that I think they were gonna go shave the whales. Shave the whale? Save the whale? I’m not really sure. Either way, it’s a noble, noble cause.

AB & IC: *laughs*

IC: Last time you were in Manchester, as far as I know, you had one of your songs recorded with, a friend of ours, Jason Gough from Castle Productions. Do you remember that?

NP: No, I do not. Next question. No, I don’t remember. It was here, right?

IC: Yeah

NP: Yeah, I do recall doing some sort of recording that last show. It’s escaped me.

AB: Well our follow up was, did he try and make you buy a Mac?

NP: *laughs*

IC: Yeah, he’s a Mac enthusiast.

NP: Well, most people who have them are though, I guess. Everyone loves them. I have an iPod Touch, that’s the closest thing to a personal computer I have.

IC: *laughs* I don’t even have a touch, I’ve still got to use the wheel. You’re touring Brazil, how did that come about.

NP: Yeah, we’re headed to Brazil right after this tour. We’ve want to go all over the place. We’ve been over here, in England, countless times now. Like half a dozen times, at least. We always want to go and check out new, fun spots and South America is one spot we didn’t ever think we’d get an opportunity to go to, so when we started getting offers to play shows there we jumped at the opportunity and, after a few months of preparation and working out the minor details, it’s on, dude!

AB: What’s your fanbase like out there?

NP: I have no idea, we’ve never been, but we get tons of emails and comments on MySpace and so on and so forth saying everyone’s looking forward to it. I’m not sure what the pre-sale numbers are, but I think they’re doing well. Hopefully it’ll be some killer shit.

AB: Yeah, definitely. Is there any other places you’d like to tour?

NP: I’d like to go to Africa. I’ve never been to Egypt or even South Africa as well. They’ve got a good surf culture down there, so maybe they’d be a bit more into punk. Where else? I wouldn’t mind going to China and every chance we get to go to Australia I’m down, because that place is awesome.

AB: Fair enough. You moved away from Nitro Records, what was the reason behind that?

NP: Well, our contract was up. Yeah, we had planned on doing three albums with Nitro. We did our three albums with them and the music industry, she ain’t what she used to be *laughs*. Everyone’s losing money and there wasn’t a lot of money to be put towards a band of our status. We still need a lot of promotion, because we’re not hundreds of thousands of copies. So they were moving away from putting money towards that and, you can understand, it kinda sucks, because we loved working with those guys. It’s kinda the nature of the beast.

IC: As a band you apparently fall into the genre of ‘math rock’.

NP: That’s not true.

IC: Well, that’s what the general consensus seems to think. To be honest, I was like ‘what the fuck’s math rock?’

NP: As far as I know, math rock is like…Dillinger Escape Plan is more math rock than we are. Those guys are like on crazy time signatures that don’t even exist to regular humans. We’re not that hectic about it. I would say we’re more technical punk rock. We’re not punk rock because, if you listen to us and listen to Rancid there’s a clear difference. I would say we’re technical punk rock.

AB: You’ve actually been compared to bands like Hot Water Music as well as Strike Anywhere and bands like that. How do you feel about comparisons like that?

NP: They’re all bands I like. I don’t think they’re necessarily spot on. I mean, clearly, we don’t sound like Hot Water Music. We’re influenced by them. If anything, I think people need to start correcting themselves. I don’t know if it’s a lack of proper grammar, but they’ve got to use their words a little bit better. ‘They sound like’ or ‘they’re like’. If you say ‘influenced by’ then you kinda get a better idea, because, clearly, we don’t sound like either one of those bands, but you might be able to pick out some similarities.

AB: The one thing you don’t want to be hearing is ‘derivetive of’

NP: Yeah *laughs*. No one ever wants to be derivative.

IC: No. You released an EP last year, is there any chance of a new album in 2010?

NP: Well, we’re hoping. We’re definitely gonna be in the studio in August, recording. We usually don’t, well we take our time, but we usually don’t sit in a studio trying to figure out which guitar sounds the best. We’ll try to have it banged out as fast as we can. We’re doing it at home, which is nice, so we don’t have to fly anywhere. It’s a little bit easier, I can just wake up, hop in the car and, in 15 minutes, I’m in the studio with a cup of coffee and a joint.

IC: So, are there any new songs written?

NP: No, not all of them. There’s still skeletons, we’ve still got to build up.

IC: So there won’t be any new stuff tonight?

NP: No, no.

IC: You’re playing the entirety of Mute Print at a gig in Kingston at the end of this tour, why’ve you decided to do that?

NP: I found out about that about three or four weeks ago, we got over here and, I guess, it was already booked. We just found out about it. I guess the first Kingston show was selling really well, so maybe our tour manager was talking to a promoter and was like ‘hey, let’s do another show and we’ll just make the guys play this record’ *laughs*.

IC: Are you gonna do it, literally, from start to finish?

NP: I don’t know. That was one of the questions that was brought up and I was like ‘fuck, I’ve forgotten at least two of those songs’ *laughs*.

IC: *laughs*

NP: Even today, on the bus ride over, I was like ‘who’s got that shit on their iPod’. So I had to go back and learn ‘A Picture Of The World’ and ‘Brand New Me, Same Shitty You’. Other than that, I pretty much have the rest of it. You’d be surprised at the amount of lyrics that I store in this brain of mine. I’m not just talking about ours, it could be fucking Patsy Kline.I think that’s the only way.

AB & IC: *laughs*

IC: Are you a big Patsy Kline fan?

NP: Who the fuck ain’t? Let’s be honest.

IC: *laughs*

NP: Who doesn’t like that song ‘Crazy’, right?

AB: Finally, we’ve got a super-serious question here. If Henry Rollins, Chuck Ragan and a shark had a fight, who would win?

NP: Ooh, that’s a good question. This is kinda like a fun riddle. Alright see, it’s like this, I know for a fact that Chuck is an expert fisherman so he would probably know how to tackle the shark. He’s also a carpenter, so he’s pretty strong. Henry Rollins is about my size, he’s not like a tall dude, but he’s also built like a fucking oak door. I’m gonna go…Chuck Ragan on this one.

AB: It’s 3-0 Chuck Ragan.

NP: 3-0 Chuck Ragan. No one ever picks the shark?

IC: No, no one ever goes for the shark.

NP: Does anyone ever bring up that Chuck’s an avid fisherman?

IC: No, you’re the first person to do that actually.

NP: See, I actually, logically, broke it down.

AB: Finally, we have a reader question. Dan asks: Why did you choose the name A Wilhelm Scream?

NP: Because we liked it. We used to be called Smackin’ Isaiah, Koen And Adam’s Crack, we had lost some of the original members and we were putting out a new record, it was kinda a move away from our older sound as well, so we were like ‘fuck it, let’s start a fresh’. So we went through some of the worst band names, it was so funny. We’d come to band practice with sheets of names written down and you could tell some of them were just totally made to take the piss out of us. I can’t even remember half of the bad, A.K.A. ‘good’, ones. Eventually, a friend of ours turned us on to the fact that there’s a soundbite called ‘The Wilhelm Scream’ and, since we’re all pretty much into movies, we all thought ‘that’s cool’. \

AB: Well, thanks a lot man. That’s sort of all we’ve got left.

IC: Yeah, cheers.

NP: Cheers, gentlemen. Enjoy the show.

Promo :: Fragile Audio

The latest indie foursome to step out of Manchester’s musical melting pot

 

© 2010 Stubee Photography

 

Fragile Audio’s unique brand of retro indie rock is a sound that many, as of yet, will not have experienced. The Manchester foursome aren’t just another band soon to be thrown on to the indie scrap heap, their catchy tunes and intelligent approach to songwriting is sure to make you stand up and take notice.

Formed in 2003 by singer/songwriter Matt Gough, the band have become favorites within the Manchester music scene and have attracted a fairly large following. With three studio releases already under their belt (all of which are soon to be re-released) the band have just signed to Holier Than Thou records and plan to release, new record, Heaven Won’t Take in the near future.

The band are currently playing shows around the UK and if you’re up North like me, there’s a bunch of gigs just around the corner.


 

 

The Castle – Oldham – 08/05/2010

Stereo Juggernaught All-Dayer @ The Gaff – Holloway, London – 15/05/2010

The Globe – Glossop – 22/05/2010

The Packhorse – Leeds – 24/05/2010

Moho Live – Manchester – 26/05/2010

The Soundhouse – Bolton – 29/05/2010

Live Lounge – Blackburn – 5/06/2010

The Underground – Ashton – 19/06/2010

The Grapes – Sheffield – 26/06/2010

Moho Live (in support of Doll & The Kicks) – Manchester – 17/09/2010

 


Fragile Audio on MySpace

Gig Review :: Frank Turner @ Birmingham 02 Academy, 21/03/10

It was one of those weeks, or more so, it turned out to be…

Okay, so this is meant to be a gig review, but I thought I’d make a more of a three date diary thing, as I wasn’t actually meant to be in Birmingham at all. It began with fellow Moon and Back-er/Frank Turner botherer, Anthony Barlow, planning on seeing the Frank man in Manchester on the Wednesday, then hitting the Leeds date the following day. The Manchester day went great, we did the interviews with Crazy Arm, Chuck Ragan and Frank Turner and they went really well. The gig itself was awesome. Unfortunately, the following day, I was DEAD. I’m not sure exactly why, I didn’t drink THAT much, but illness was a wash over me, my stomach felt like it was being eaten from the inside, and the anxiety that enjoys me so much was at an all time high, so Leeds, for me, was canceled. Barlow went, and said it was great, Chuck doing an extended set which included his cover of the Alkaline Trio hit, Bleeder.

So what was I to do? I couldn’t go a Frank Turner tour with only one installment, plus the lovely folk involved with Crazy Arm were super nice and I wanted to see them again, so here’s what happened.

The hugest thanks has to go out to, Xtra Mile’s very own Wonder Woman, Anthea, who has helped us, and Moon and Back in general, so friggin’ much. Once again she saved the day, hooking me up with a guestlist spot for the Birmingham show. But how the fuck am I gonna get there?! Alan Grundy is my dad, an old punker dude, and a God send. I bought him a ticket and around 5pm on Sunday, we were on our way. Once again, the impossible was pulled off with a little help from my friends (fuck off Beatles.)

Now onto the gig. First of all, we’ll get rid of all the negative points, Birmingham’s O2 Academy isn’t a great venue, Crazy Arm once again had a really short set, which is a shame, because they’re awesome, and people would not shut the fuck up during Chuck Ragan.

It has to be said that the Crazy Arm are thieves of the highest calibre, taking our insults from the interview and incorporating them into their set! GREEN ARMY! Plus, the guest vocals by Chuck on Crazy Arm’s International Front, frankly, gave me a music chubby.

Frankie baby takes the stage with a Bob Dylan backing soundtrack before bombing into Photosynthesis, one of my personal favourites, and by the sounds of things, one of the majority of Brummies too.

It seems that every gig, Turner gets a little more confident and his on-stage banter becomes a lot more transient, adding stories, jokes and politics seemingly in-between and even during songs. My personal best for the evening has to be before the song Sons of Liberty, where Turner asks the crowd politely to smash up any CCTV camera’s in their area, an example of just how much Frank hates this new Big Brother government horse-shit that seems to be coming more into effect with each day.

Musically, it’s a good mix from the FT catalogue, a good blend of new and old, with the usual acoustic/Frank solo installation about mid way through, with the full band Long Live the Queen we were treated to last time being scrapped and returning to its roots.

The set closed up with The Road, another of the new Turner tunes that seem to be putting his name up in lights. I can’t help but feel that a lot of the people at the gig were only there for this song specifically seeing as an otherwise stoic crowd seemed to erupt for this one, if only a little. There were no circle pits, but there was some sing-a-longs, with Turner and his band of merry men, as always, on top form.

On a trip to the bar I bumped into some of the Crazy Arm folk, and as the night continued I got to see them all, got a pint of cider in with Bassist Tim, and singer Darren even mentioned him stealing GREEN ARMY as soon as he saw me, damn I’m cool. After that, it was time to head home, filled with beer and cider, many service stops were made.

This turned out more like a blog-post than a gig review…….shit. If you enjoyed it though, you should check out my blog.

Gig Review :: Doll & The Kicks @ The Ruby Lounge, Manchester – 10/03/10

Expectations surpassed.


Stubeee Photography ©

Having seen Doll & The Kicks three times last year I had an idea of what to expect when they returned to Manchester. Once again, the guys exceeded my expectations and put on one hell of a show. To describe them as energetic would be the understatement of the year. I really don’t know how they do it.

As soon as they hit the stage the atmosphere in the room shifted. I could tell we were in for something fantastic. As great as they were on that ill-fated night in Liverpool, they really do shine in smaller venues. They got off to a fantastic start and immediately had us all mesmerized.

The setlist had a good mix of material from their first release and some newer stuff. We were even treated to a song so new, that didn’t even have a title. They proved once again that they are at their best when performing live. The sheer amount of energy, charisma and stage presence these guys posses is unbelievable. They kicked the night off with ‘Fire’ which was more than enough to warm us up (sorry) and even manged to tug some heart strings with songs like ‘If You Care’ – a personal favorite.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, Doll is one of the finest front-people in music. She gave it her all and, as per usual, blew us all away with her vocal ability. Her range never fails to astound me. As much as people herald female vocalists like Florence Welch, I think Doll champions them all.

Of course, we can’t forget about the rest of the band (as if I would). Chris, Matt and Olivier were all on top form and super tight throughout. The way almost every song merged into the next kept the energy up and the crowd moving. Now I know nothing of the technicalities behind playing music, so I can’t fully articulate how great Matt’s guitar playing was, how Olivier’s bass playing demanded movement and how Chris tied the whole thing together with the way he was drumming. What I can tell you is that, to my untrained ears this was good music. Each member of the band, complimented one another perfectly.

This was, without doubt, Doll & The Kicks at their very best. I’d go as far to say that this is the best I’ve seen them and I’m eagerly anticipating anything that these guys do. If you want to see talent, dedication and have a damn good time, don’t hesitate. Go and see Doll & The Kicks.


You can buy Doll & The Kicks’ debut album and any other merchandise here.

Interview :: Frank Turner (Yes, Again) Part 1

If he isn’t sick of us yet, he soon will be. See you in March, Frank!

Frank Turner XFM sessionThose of you who read our stuff will have come to know we really like Frank Turner. In fact, we like him a hell of a lot. We had a good chat back in October, but our time was cut short. We went for a beer with Frank a few hours prior to his set as part of XFM’s Winter Wonderland show in Manchester. God bless you Frank, you’re keeping us in work.


Anthony Barlow: So my first question is, are you sick of us yet?

Frank Turner: *laughs* Not at all, not at all. I remember last time we spoke it was all curtailed because I had 9,000 interviews. This is my only interview today, other than radio stuff for XFM. So we have time, time is on our side.

AB: That’s good because, as we know, you’re a bloody busy guy. You’ve just come off the Revival Tour and you were in Europe yesterday. Was this your only day off then?

FT: No because in Europe, particularly when you start getting into Scandinavia, you have to have quite a few travel days because it’s alarmingly big so we’ve had a couple of travel days. They’re not days off as such really. We did have one day off in Amsterdam, but everyone was in such tiny moral pieces after the night of the gig in Amsterdam. It was a restful day, but me and my tour manager stayed up drinking until 9am after the Amsterdam show. At which point he not only blagged us into a hotel room but also, and this is 9 o’clock in the fucking morning I wanted to go to sleep, he produced a fucking screwdriver and succeeded in unscrewing literally everything in the hotel room he could find that had a screw in it. All the fixtures, fittings, Ikea furniture. I fucking went to sleep, and I woke up to discover that he’d literally demolished the entire fucking room we were in and then gone to sleep.

AB & Ian Crichley: *laughs*

FT: Housekeeping were knocking on the door and shit and it’s like ‘what do we do?’. So we ran away. So yeah, I’ve been busy *laughs*

AB: I’ve heard the song about Little Rock, was there literally 20 people there?

FT: I think there were actually less than 20 people, but that was a weird one. I think the promoter was not quite up to scratch with the show or whatever. As the song says, it’s about playing, it’s about entertaining people regardless of them there are. Jim Ward from Sparta was on the tour as well and me and him are having a full on bromance by the way, like we’re fucking bezzie friends forever. He bought a bottle of whiskey and just sat on the front of the stage with plastic cups and poured a shot for everybody in the room. All the bar guys, everybody in the crowd and everybody in the Revival crew and we all did a shot together. We had a blast and me and John [Snodgrass] actually wrote the song that night after the set. Good songs can come together very quickly. John Snodgrass is an amazing dude as well. I hadn’t met him before this tour, he’s also one of my new favorite people.

AB: Like I said, you’re in the middle of your European tour and it seems to be going really well.

FT: It’s kinda weird, because it’s the first headline European shows I’ve ever done. When I say that out loud it sounds kind of weird to me or slack, like I should’ve gone to Europe more than I have, particularly Germany. All of the German shows have sold out and it’s the second time I’ve ever been in the country. It’s great, it’s just a bit weird though. I’m used to working my arse of for a fucking thousand years and playing every shit-hole club in the entire universe and eventually people took notice. In Germany it’s just gone bang out of nowhere, which is kinda cool. I’m a little bit worried that the people of Germany might just see me as some kind of hype act because I’ve just kind of arrived and everybody’s started liking my music. Hopefully I can get around that little pitfall. Otherwise, yes, Europe is fucking great. We’ve been learning how to count to four in lots of different languages and my merch girl knows some fucking horrendous Sweedish, which she was sharing with me and I shared it with the crowd, which they didn’t find very funny because it was something about hitting their grandfather in the face with my crotch or something, I don’t fucking know.

AB & IC: *laughs*

FT: Anyway. Good times

AB: You’ve flown in this morning from Helsinki and you’re flying out tomorrow morning to Copenhagen. Are you mad?

FT: To be honest, I think tomorrow’s gonna be a bit easier. The problem with yesterday was that between the curfew at the show and the check in time for my flight there was like three and a half hours. I thought stopping was fucking pointless so I just kept on drinking and slept on the plane, so now I’m really fucking tired. At least the guys at XFM were nice enough to get me probably the nicest hotel room I’ve ever slept in. It’s like a suite. It’s got a little sitting room bit as well and all that kinda shit. I’m gonna try and sleep in that as much as I can tonight.

AB: Nice. So, off the back of this tour of Europe, you’ve got the UK tour in 2010.

FT: Yes, and I’m sure I’ll see you guys for another interview when I’m here.

AB: Yeah, we’ll be back.

FT: No, seriously, let’s do it. It’s nice to get a bit of a thing going with people.

IC: You’ve got friends for life now Frank *laughs*

FT: *laughs* yeah

IC: You’re bringing Chuck Ragan on that tour with you as well.

FT: Yeah Chuck’s coming, so that’s gonna be great. Do you guys know who Crazy Arm are?

AB: I got their free track from Banquet Records the other day, but I haven’t listened to it.

FT: They’re the shit. I love that band they’re fucking amazing. I think it’s gonna be a good lineup on this tour.

AB: Well I trust you, because I didn’t know who Fake Problems were before I saw them In Manchester and they’re one of my favourite bands now.

FT: Oh, cool.

IC: Chris from Fake Problems added me on Facebook *laughs*

FT: Did he?

IC: I was like ‘yeah, rockstars add me’ *laughs*

FT: *laughs* Chris is a lovely, sweet guy. My mum was asking if he was gay, which I thought was quite funny. He’s not, for the record. Not that it’d matter if he was. He’s got an insanely hot girlfriend actually, if I’m honest.

IC: That’s on record now *laughs*

FT: *laughs* I’ve told him to his face

IC: *laughs*

AB: What was the decision behind playing an acoustic set tonight? Getting back on topic *laughs*

FT: We just can’t afford to fly the whole band over with equipment and all that kinda shit. We’ve got a van full of a gear that’s currently somewhere between Stockholm and Copenhagen. Yeah, it’s just expensive flying people around the world at the last minute and all that kinda stuff. Plus, I think everyone would’ve mutinied as well and refused to do it. It’s funny I had a big discussion the other day with the band and they were just kinda like ‘if we move towards a point where we’re doing more shows with the full band’ which is what we want to do they were like ‘we’re not gonna do some of the tour schedule shit that you do’. Coming back from an American tour and going straight into another tour then flying to fucking Manchester. They were like ‘we’re not gonna do that’. I just said ‘pussies’.

AB: *laughs*. Is there any chance of hearing that new, “overly political”, song tonight?

FT: No, not tonight because it’s not 100% finished yet. It needs a little bit of tweaking here and there, but it’s essentially done. I just wanted to write a song, you know I might be about to have a rant now.

IC: Go for it

FT: Something that I find increasingly as i get older is that, ironically enough, there’s a real mainstream political opinion within the music world, which is broadly left wing and if you’re not left wing you really better not mention it, because people will get real fucking shirty with you. To start with, most people don’t seem to understand what the difference between left and right is. For example, the BNP are a hard left party. I consider myself a libertarian, I consider myself to be pretty right wing and I get shit for saying that out loud. I was thinking about it the other day, I was thinking about how, quite often, I do keep myself to myself on the subject because I can’t be fucking bothered to have some guy look all shocked at me because I think socialism’s retarded. Then I actually thought hold on a minute here, one of the many things that everybody preaches, which I sincerely agree with, is fucking stand up for what you believe in. I strongly believe that Che Guevara was  a racist, homophobic, murdering thug and I strongly believe that people who wear U.S.S.R. t-shirts are as offensive as people who wear Nazi t-shirts to me because, in fact, they killed considerably more people and I’m fucking passionate about that kind of thing. So I was like I should actually write a song about this, because I do firmly believe it. I do firmly believe that leftist politics lead to the misery of many, the crushing of the little guy and all that kind of thing. I mean, it’s important for me to say that in public because I believe it strongly and that sometimes in life you’ve got to fucking put your foot down.What’re those guys called? The anti-facist lot who are always campaigning against the BNP. There’s this one particular group, they’re just utter fucking morons, just fucking cretins and somebody needs to stand up and say it, somebody needs to remind people about free speech. If you punch a Nazi in the head because you disagree with him, you’re no better because that’s why he’s a dick head. All those people getting in a pissy about the BNP being on question time are fucking morons. They don’t seem to understand what it is that makes it good to live in our free society. It’s these fucking dicks who’re slowly chipping away at things. The bottom line is, the West is a great place to live. The problem with it is, a lot of parts of the world are fucked up and people take that post-colonial guilt and take it one step too far and say the thing we have in the West are bad. Freedom of speech and assembly, freedom to trade, to live, to do what you want as you choose are things spent centuries fighting for and we should all be proud of them and protective of them. Then you’ve got these fucking dick heads who want to have a law about who can say what whenever makes me want to fucking kill everyone I’ve ever met. So, end rant. So that’s what that political song is about. It’s just kind of saying I really don’t want to stand in the same fucking line up as people who think Lenin had something worthwhile to say. I think Lenin was evil, beyond all fucking doubt, evil.

IC: Who’re you gonna vote for?

FT: Well, I don’t know. I don’t want to vote for the Coservatives because I think David Cameron’s a shit and the reason he’s a shit is as statused as New Labor. I think New Labor are one of the fucking worst things to happen to this country ever, pretty much. I think, arguably, particularly with the signing of the Lisbon treaty it’s actually the end of about 800 years of continuous parliamentary history. I think the people responsible for the signing of that fucking treaty without asking the people of Britain need to burn in fucking hell. Cameron’s obviously a turd, we all know that it’s pretty obvious. I dunno, I must admit I’m friends with a guy. Have you ever heard of The Devils Kitchen? It’s a libertarian political blog. The guy, Chris Mouncey, who runs it became leader of the libertarian party, which is a really small political party. Now, I’m uneasy around fringe parties because it just seems like a fucking waste of time. Having said that, I do agree with what they say. I’ve been talking to Chris because I think they’re using the song Sons Of Liberty as one of their campaign songs or something *laughs*. I don’t know, fuckin’ a. You know what, if there’s a Libertarian party candidate I’ll probably vote for them just to make Chris feel better about his life. It’s difficult because, at the end of the day, politics is the art of the possible. The kind of politics where you sit around in circles discussing abstract theorisation of how society can be run is essentially pointless because it doesn’t change anyone’s life for the better. If you’re gonna take an interest in politics, you might as well take an interest in it that’s actually gonna make a difference to anything.

AB: You talked about Sons Of Liberty there and that, sort of in a round about way, relates to a question Ian tried to ask you via the powers of MySpace.

IC: Oh yeah, have you ever played Metal Gear Solid? I tried sending you an email, but I got the address wrong. Because when you were last here, I didn’t have a ticket so I wondered if you had played Metal Gear Solid, y’know where he hides in the box? I could hide in a box and you could sneak me in.

FT: *laughs* I think I played it once, many years ago.

IC: It’s a pretty good game.

FT: Yeah. I used to be quite into gaming, but I just don’t have the time anymore. The phrase Sons Of Liberty is more than a Metal Gear reference though

AB: *laughs* it was actually before the album came out that he tried to send that, it was quite a nice coincidence actually.

[Here’s a brief interlude I thought needed to be included. Enjoy!]

IC: [to himself, looking at attractive girl] Wow. She’s amazing.

FT: *laughs*

IC: Ask her out for me. You can be all ‘hi, I’m Frank Turner will you go out with my mate?’

FT: My god *laughs*

IC: How won’t that work? You’ve been on TV and shit.

FT: *laughs* we’ll see.

IC: If she comes back *laughs*

FT: I’m not sure about my position as a lubricant

IC: *laughs*

FT: Anyway, where were we *laughs*

AB: That ties in quite nicely actually. Do you get recognized in the street and stuff like that?

FT: Sometimes. The thing is, to be honest, because I’m gigging all the time the streets I’m walking around are streets quite close to the venue, so it’s more likely that there’ll be people who know who I am and what I do in that part of the world. It’s very nice when people come up and say hello, for the most part. Every now and again you get besieged by dick heads, but it’s a rarity. Such is life.

AB: I actually thought you were going to say you didn’t get recognized, because last time you were in Manchester you were stood at the merch booth and there was a line of people stood waiting for a drink at the bar and not one person, to my knowledge, acknowledged you were there.

FT: That’s cool. Basically, when I’m standing on a stage I’m doing my job. When I’m not on stage I don’t hold myself as any different than anyone else. What that means is that if someone wants to come over say hi then say hi, that’s normal courtesy. At the same time, I don’t go swanning around expecting people to throw rose petals under my feet. Fuck that. There are times when it’s a bit like my commitment to being available for people to come and talk to me gets skewed by people who have no social graces. People who just walk over and go ‘waheey’. It’s like, interact with me as a normal person, now you’re just being a dick. There was this guy, I actually nearly fucking lamped this guy in Amsterdam. It was right after the show, I was stood at the merch stand with a whole load of people. I was talking to everybody and he was like shouldering people out of the way and saying ‘hey man, another photo, another photo’. I was like mate, fuck off. That’s fucking rude. I’m in the middle of a fucking sentence. I’m talking to somebody else. Anyway, where were we?

AB: I was just gonna ask you about your plans for 2010 besides the tour of course.

FT: Well, my tour schedule is currently solid and in the diary up until the 2nd of May. From January 20th til the 2nd of May I think it is. Then there’s some absolutely insane shit that might come together in the summer. Yeah, so I’ll be busy in the summer. I’ve got this kind of vague plan that I’ll stop by a studio at some point before the end of the year and knocking out another album, because I’ve got the songs coming together, but that might not be realistic. The thing is, I would love to get another album out in April 2011, but that might literally kill me. So we’ll see, we’ll see.

AB: What’re the chances of a live CD or DVD?

FT: It’s happening. We recorded and filmed the Shepard’s Bush show and I’ve been going through edits for the DVD recently. It looks fucking great. My drummer, Nigel, is mixing the audio and as we drive around Europe he sits in the back of the van with his headphones on doing the mixing. Yeah, it’s gonna be cool. Hopefully we’ll have it out before the March tour next year.

AB: Didn’t you do a stage dive?

FT: No, my manager did. Charlie and I go back a long way and we’re very good friends. He was involved with Million Dead as well. When I went solo, there was a moment where literally everybody was like ‘you’re out of your mind. Fuck off.’ Not even fuck off it was just ‘come back when you’re in a hardcore band again’. He [Charlie] was the only guy who was like ‘yeah, fuck it man, let’s see what happens. Let’s do this’. We made a bet years ago that if I ever sold out the Astoria in London he would do a stage dive. The Astoria’s closed down now, but Shepards Bush is the same size. So when we sold out Shepard’s Bush I said ‘you understand that bet is transferable’. He was like ‘is it bollocks’ and he’s 40 odd as well. I was like ‘fuck you man, you aren’t getting out of this fucker. Do a stage dive’. So he did a stage dive and it was fucking hilarious. By the time I’d left the stage, he was still out there. He just did a lap of the ground floor. I was like ‘see you later’. It’s on the DVD anyway.

AB: I was having a look at your forums and people are speculating what you’ll do based of what Springsteen did. Is that the case?h

FT: *laughs* well, you know what, that’s not totally insane on the basis that a year ago, less than a year ago in fact, a lot of my thinking about Poetty Of The Deed was based around trying to make an album like Born To Run. I think it kinda worked for what it was. I would say that my Springsteen fixation has, it’s not even like it’s receeded. It’s just been absorbed by a fixation with Loudon Wainwright. He’s my fucking hero. I’m a comparatively recent convert and I just kinda want to be him. He’s one of the best songwriters in the whole fucking world. I’ve learnt 10 of his songs already, actually I’m gonna play a Loudon Wainwright song tonight. [For the record, he didn’t. Shame]


We’ve split this interview into two parts because it’s really bloody long. The second part will be up soon.  Hope you liked it because We’ll be talking to him again in March.

Gig Review :: Colin Hay – 14/11/09 – Manchester, Club Academy

Colin Hay brought a bit of the American Sunshine he’s used to to Manchester last week. Are You Lookin’ At Me? You bet we are Colin!

ColinHay

Having not seen Colin Hay live before, I was really looking forward to this. The Scotstralian man had returned to Manchester after a two year absence. I’ll tell you what, he better be back soon.

Acoustic guitar music really seems to be on the rise at the moment and after fantastic Manchester gigs from the likes of Frank Turner and Jonathan Coulton it was time for a master-class from Colin Hay. The former man at work wowed the, at least, 500 strong crowd with songs spanning his whole career.

The majority of the set came from, new album, American Sunshine. That was to be expected, well I expected it. It seemed like the majority of the crowd didn’t. Of course, people were singing along and once those who were unfamiliar got the gist of these new tracks, they were in full

voice. A few personal favourites from that album have to be, the Western movie-inspired, Water Over You, Oh California and The End Of Whilemina. I think those three songs show how good a singer/songwriter Colin is right there. The new stuff was great and really mixed into the setlist with some of his older material. The ‘older’ stuff is where the crowd really got into gear. Maggie, Beautiful World and Dreamtime In Glasgow went down an absolute storm. Here’s where you could tell, Mr. Hay was in his element.

Of course, you couldn’t have a Colin Hay gig without some ‘obligatory’ tracks being played. I know you’ve been wondering, yes he did play Land Down Under. The solo/acoustic version is a lot different from the recorded Men At Work version, but it’s still fantastic. Here’s one that everyone knew. Even those who were once disgruntled (yes, I’m talking about you; guy who was tearing into his girlfriend throughout the show) couldn’t help but sing along. This wasn’t the only Men At Work song played that night. Overkill, the song that brought Colin Hay back into the spotlight, was saved until the very end. A perfect way to end the night.

I’ve spoken a lot about the music in this review (obviously), but in between tracks Colin told tales about being on the road, playing alongside Ringo Starr, smoking weed and buying a goat to mow the lawn. This tied the whole night together and proved to everyone there that, not only is Colin a great singer/songwriter, he’s a great storyteller too. Everyone was laughing and having a good time.

Those who’ve read my stuff before know I love a bit of audience participation, be it just singing along or acting like a zombie. Colin got everyone involved during a rendition Are You Lookin’ At Me? As he sang the song it was us in the crowd who had to sing the line back. Simple, but effective.

There’s somewhat of an unsung hero of the night actually and I don’t mean the guy who got on stage to sing Land Down Under. I’m talking about, Colin’s wife, Cecelia Noel. Cecelia, a great singer in her own right, sings backing vocals for Colin and was fantastic. So hat’s off to her.

If you’re a fan of acoustic guitar music, then this is a guy you need to see. Then again, if you’re a fan of acoustic guitar music, you should already know that.

Setlist

  • Oh California
  • I Came Into Your Store
  • Who Can It Be Now?
  • Dreamtime In Glasgow
  • Down Under
  • Beautiful World
  • There’s Water Over You
  • Prison Time
  • Maggie
  • The End Of Whilemina
  • I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You
  • Are You Lookin’ At Me?
  • Waiting For My Real Life To Begin
  • Overkill

Gig Review :: Frank Turner – 16/10/09

Frank Turner rolled into Manchester to play his first show on English soil on the Poetry Of The Deed Tour last week, and what a show it was. I knew that Frank was good live, but this was amazing. I just wish I could remember more of it.

poetry-of-the-deedAs soon as he took the stage, you could tell this was going to be a gig to remember. From the start of the first song, Live Fast Die Old, he had the whole crowd mesmerised. Why this guy wasn’t playing a bigger venue is beyond me. The 900-strong crowd were hanging onto his every word, singing along and really having an amazing evening. If there’s a Frank Turner fan out there who hasn’t heard the man live, you haven’t really heard him.

The set spanned all of the wandering Winchestrian’s career, with early solo songs like Nashville Tenesee and Smiling At Strangers On Trains (a song recorded by his old band Million Dead) making an appearance, as well as a cover of, The Postal Service’s, The District Sleeps Alone Tonight. The majority of the setlist came from Poetry Of The Deed, which was to be expected, and this is what the majority of the crowd seemed to know. It was good to hear some of the ‘classics’ for the Frank Turner Hardcore though.

One thing I really love at gigs is audience interaction, be that in the form of brief chats, rants or getting the audience involved. Frank did all of this. He dragged someone up out of the crowd to play harmonica on Dan’s Song and, whilst it might not have been the most perfect solo in the world, it was great to see Frank getting the people who love his music involved. There was a good bit of banter with the crowd and the occasional contextual rant. All of this was great and added to the whole experience. I really hate it when an artist just gets up on stage, plays their set and goes. I realise that’s what they’re being paid to do, but it’s always good to see someone appreciating their fans in the way Frank did on Friday night.

After a good 16 songs he left the stage, but we wanted more. As expected, he came back for an encore and what an encore it was. This had to be the most energetic part of the evening. He kicked it off with, my favourite Turner song, The Ballad Of Me & My Friends which went down an absolute storm. 900 people chanting “We’re definitely going to hell, but we’ll have all the best stories to tell” must’ve been a great buzz for Frank, I think it was for everyone else. A fast-paced Reasons Not To Be An Idiot followed and the night was topped off with Photosynthesis (another favourite of mine).

I’m going to level with you. I woke up on Saturday afternoon and couldn’t remember a lot of what happened that night, I was just buzzing. I remember, support act (and Frank’s mate), Beans On Toast ‘sneaking’ us back into the gig after Ian lost his stub, drunkenly hugging Frank’s drummer Nigel, telling the Fake Problems (also supporting) singer he was a beautiful man (I was drunk!) and walking to the pub with two detectives from Greater Manchester Police who happened to be at the Editors gig next door. Of course, I could remember some of the songs, but my trusty dictaphone saved the day. . Somehow I have the whole show (and the rest of the night) recorded, which is making for good listening right now.

If you’re a Frank Turner fan and are yet to see the man live, I urge you to get tickets right this second. This gig was amazing, Frank Turner is one of those acts you must see. A truly great man and a great live performer.

Setlist

  1. Live Fast Die Old
  2. The Road
  3. Long Live The Queen
  4. Substitute
  5. Try This At Home
  6. Dan’s Song
  7. The Real Damage
  8. Poetry Of The Deed
  9. Nashville Tennessee
  10. Imperfect Tense
  11. Smiling At Strangers On Trains
  12. Sons Of Liberty
  13. District Sleeps Alone Tonight
  14. Love, Ire & Song
  15. Father’s Day
  16. I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous
  17. The Journey Of The Magi
  18. The Ballad Of Me Of My Friends
  19. Reasons Not To Be An Idiot
  20. Photosynthesis

Buy Poetry Of The Deed