News – local and international

There has been a lot happening in the last seven days so here is a quick bullet point round-up of some of the news which has been brought to my attention:

  • Monster Island have a new album – their fifth – called “House of Lancaster”  out on Monday 25th August – which is excellent news for lovers of their particularly fascinating approach to music
  • Mr Heart have got a new bassist to replace Sophie Lord – she is Amy Spray – and they have a gig in Bolton on 30th August at the Blind Tiger with Coroner for the Police
  • German Shepherd records have a new EP out by a band called Scratchings, No Gravy – it’s called “Eccles Cross Breakdown” and you can get it here. The next releases on the label will be a new EP from Modal Roberts and the re-release of the excellent album from The Bacillus called “I Can’t Adapt To This Prison You Call Society”
  • In further German Shepherd news the label is co-curating a gig with Louder Than War signings Kill Pretty at Dulcimer, Chorlton, Manchester on 12th and 19th September. Kill Pretty headline both nights and have special guests – West Coast Sick Line, Indian Pale Male and Poppycock on the 12th, and 2 Koi Karp, Andy T plus As Able As Kane on the 19th. Advance tickets are available with a booking fee from here. All of those purchasing advance tickets will get a free set of Kill Pretty badges when they arrive at the gig!
  • Earth‘s brand new full-length studio LP, Primitive And Deadly, the album shall be released in less than two weeks through Southern Lord. With founding guitarist Dylan Carlson weaving his slow-motion, organic dirges throughout the amazingly restrained percussion of his longtime cohort Adrienne Davies, the duo are here joined by bassist Bill Herzog (Sunn O))), Joel RL Phelps, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) and additional guitarists Brett Netson (Built To Spill, Caustic Resin) and Jodie Cox (Narrows). Rabia Shaheen Qazi of Rose Windows lends her angelic voice to the album’s third composition, “From The Zodiacal Light,” as heard in recent weeks, while the fifth track, “Rooks Across The Gate” and second track, “There Is a Serpent Coming,” feature evocative vocal contributions from Mark Lanegan previously of Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age, Mad Season and more. The lyrics for “Rooks…” were written by Dylan Carlson and the lyrics for “Serpent..” by Lanegan.
  • Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche is a bit of a Montreal supergroup, its members having been active in this city’s experimental rock communities for well over a decade, including participation in Panopticon Eyelids, Pas Chic Chic, Red Mass, Set Fire to Flames, and, from the Constellation roster, Fly Pan Am. Avec le soleil has solidified over the past year into a tight four-piece unit, and moved towards mastery of a highly original, deeply satisfying, giddy and heady avant-funk. They have an album out on Constellation on 29th September. Looks interesting from the notes I have seen.
  • Last Ex is the new instrumental rock ensemble led by Simon Trottier and Olivier Fairfield, both longtime fixtures of experimental/punk scenes rooted in the cross-province hub of Hull/Ottawa (straddling the border of Quebec and Ontario, respectively). In addition to duties in various groups orbiting Fairfield’s E-Tron Records (including H. de Heutz, Ferriswheel and many others), the two are perhaps best known as core members of haunted blues-folk ensemble Timber Timbre, which spawned the Last Ex project. When Timber Timbre’s ambient music for a horror film went unused back in 2012, Trottier and Fairfield began revisiting the sound palette they had built up for the soundtrack at Fairfield’s studio in Hull, expanding on their techniques and textures, adding drums, bass and various other instruments. The duo found that they had dug into some very fertile territory, writing additional songs throughout 2013 and bringing their obsessions with sound collage, tape-based music concrète and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop to bear on the cinematic lyricism of the initial widescreen guitar- and string-based material. Derived from the title of the abandoned film, Simon and Olivier dubbed their new project Last Ex. It is released on Constellation on 13th October.
  • Montreal four-piece post-punk group Ought has been gathering momentum the old-fashioned way, with a humble and deceptively unassuming debut album that’s been worming its way into many many ears thanks to its combination of intelligence, authenticity, directness, simplicity and energy; and with live performances in which it is reported that  the band’s channeling of genuine passion, politics and charisma are consistently connecting with and exuberantly galvanizing audiences. While they continue their relentless touring across North America and Europe this Autumn, Constellation will be releasing a vinyl- and digital-only EP which corrals a couple of selections from the band’s older songbook, re-recorded this Spring at Hotel2Tango to reflect some of the ways they’ve grown and evolved over the past year or so.   Ought will be doing a full UK tour in November. The EP is called “Once More With Feeling” and is released on 27th October.

 

 

Mr Heart with their new line-up
Mr Heart with their new line-up
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Mud, Rubble and Rock n Roll

A rather fine evening (Saturday 28th June) at the Bank Top Tavern in Oldham with a stunning set from Factory Acts, and an admittedly ramshackle but rather joyous affair from Kill Pretty rounded off a busy week musical. Bank Top Tavern is a good venue, and there was a good crowd, many plaudits to Jeff Grainger for organising the whole thing. Highly recommended as a place to watch live music.

Talking of live music there are a pile of gigs coming up if you like the sort of stuff I play on my Podcasts……

Yob
Yob photo credit ©James Rexroad

Yob and Pallbearer are embarking on a tour of titanic proportions this September, both performing in support of their respective new albums. The tour date  confirmed for the Greater Mancunia area is Friday, September 05, at The Roadhouse. They are at the Brudenall in Leeds on the 7th if you cannot make the Manchester date.  For Pallbearer, who recently announced the arrival of their much anticipated new full length Foundations Of Burden (to be released on Profound Lore in August), this marks their first full European tour. The band have said that they are “beyond thrilled” to announce these dates opening for the mighty Yob. Supporting their monumental new album, Clearing The Path To Ascend (which Neurot Recordings are releasing in September) Yob are excited to be returning to the UK and Europe, and both bands couldn’t have picked a better time to share their new material.

Ought have confirmed a tour with dates in the UK and Ireland this November, this follows the recent news of their two upcoming summer festival appearances at ATP’s Jabberwocky and Green Man. Given the praise for their recently released and thrilling debut album, More Than Any Other Day (Constellation Records), this promises to be a great run of shows.  They are playing Sound Control, Manchester on November 18th.

Angry Scousers Corrupt Moral Alter have their debut full length “Mechanical Tides” out on July18th via Season of Mist – they have a string of dates coming up, none of which in the Manchester area – nearest options are 23rd July Maguires, Liverpool and 24th July Packhorse, Leeds. The album is described as a mixture of sludge and punk – looking forward to getting an advance copy to share with you via podcast.

Late this Summer, Southern Lord will release all of the material from late 1980s Seattle hardcore band, Brotherhood, collecting the influential act’s demos and 7″ releases in one remastered, cohesive anthology entitled Till Death Brotherhood was formed during the West Coast Hardcore surge in the same days of Insted, Bl’ast, Chain Of Strength and Uniform Choice, the members all bred in the Northwest on The Accused, Poison Idea, The Melvins, and with East Coast threads born of SSD, DYS, Corrosion Of Conformity and Straight Ahead all comparatively woven into their sound. A straightedge hardcore band that confronted racism, sexism and intolerance, both in their lyrical delivery and on stage with ill-mannered show attendees, Brotherhood was a rare band of this scene as they were accepted in all of the subgenres of punk rock and hardcore, even receiving praise in the — at the time — very anti-straightedge publication MaximumRockNRoll, as they did in the many adamant straight edge fanzines of the time. This near universal acceptance can be clearly be attributed to the many years each member of the band had spent previous to Brotherhood in bands, publishing fanzines, booking shows and promoting bands as well as their strong desire to buck most trends that came their way and forge something new.

 

The band was founded in Seattle by Greg Anderson in 1987, who recruited former False Liberty drummer Victor Hart, friend Ken Hagel on bass and East Coast transplant and Open Your Eyes fanzine editor, John White on vocals. After years as a singer in False Liberty and Inner Strength, Greg picked up the guitar and started writing songs built upon the aforementioned influences. Following local shows and the opportunity to open for such legends as Youth Of Today, Angry Samoans and Fugazi, Brotherhood began to gain recognition on a much wider scale in the hardcore community. This initial lineup was not to last, as in 1988, Ron Guardipee Of Hateful Youth took over on vocals and Nate Mendel of Diddly Squat joined on bass. Having played many times together in their previous bands things quickly came together for this new and much more solid Brotherhood lineup and in November of that year the Music Bank recording session was conducted. Debuting this new lineup on the Pushead curated Thrasher Magazine’s Skate Rock Vol. 7 compilation Brotherhood soon also released their Of Friends demo, their No Tolerance For Ignorance 7″ on Skate Edge Records and Words Run… As Thick As Blood! 7″ on CR Records, all released in 1988 and 89. Playing throughout the Northwest US as well as a North American tour with (quite possibly the bands biggest influence) Seattle’s The Accused, by the end of 1989 Brotherhood came to an end. Their relatively short-lived run went on to inspire many of the seminal bands that have followed in Hardcore and Straight Edge such as Undertow, Unbroken, Champion, No Tolerance and many more.   Members of Brotherhood have since forged numerous other musical endeavours including, but by no means limited to, Christ On A Crutch, Sunny Day Real Estate, Foo Fighters, Resolution, Digh Down, Burning Witch, Engine Kid, Sunn O)) and Goatsnake.   Southern Lord will release Till Death in deluxe LP and digital download packages in September. A confirmed street date, preorders and more on the album will be made available in the coming weeks.

As Earth make their way through the South Pacific as part of their ongoing tour through Japan, New Zealand and Australia, building up to the release of their tenth studio collection, Primitive And Deadly, we are delighted to reveal the very first audio insight into the album, as an early surprise for the band’s vast international fanbase.  The third of the six movements on the hour-long Primitive And Deadly is the sprawling eleven-and-a-half minute “From The Zodiacal Light,” which you can listen to below. Check out my Earth retrospective podcast here.

Ethereal doom trio, Ides Of Gemini, are preparing to unveil their sophomore offering, Old World New Wave, via Neurot Recordings this September.

 

 Ides Of Gemini features guitarist Jason Bennett, drummer Kelly Johnston-Gibson and the haunting vocal prowess of singer/bassist Sera Timms, also of Los Angeles dark-psych conjurors Black Mare. The follow-up to the band’s 2012 Constantinople debut, which Pitchfork christened “darkly beautiful,” and Terrorizer likened to, “a metallic-filtered kinship to Cocteau Twins and Mazzy Star,” Old World New Wave was recorded at Valley Recording in Burbank, California, engineered and mixed by Chris Rakestraw (Danzig), mastered by Grammy award winning producer, Matt Hyde (Slayer) and boasts the striking hand-drawn cover art of Johnston-Gibson.

 

Comments Timms of the offering, “For Old World New Wave we all really coalesced as a band, and were able to work off one another’s strengths. J came up with the basic concept and musical framework of the album, and Kelly and I gave it form and identity. For me, my own personal musical identity, taste, preferences etc. were eclipsed by the power of the music which worked as an animate force unto itself-so much so that I cannot listen to any of it objectively, or tell you if it’s good or bad, but I can tell you that it’s distinctively Ides Of Gemini

 

Adds Johnston-Gibson of the images surrounding the record, “The artwork is an interpretation of Sera’s lyrical narrative, which carries over themes from Constantinople, as well as symbolic of transformations experienced by us as individuals and inevitably as a band. The minimalist, direct style of the cover and accompanying illustrations is indicative of our energies combined to create one clear, singular force, as experienced through the music, while the visual content has more to do with the story: essentially a conflict between opposing energies leading to destruction, therefore allowing a clean slate for integration of opposites into a resurrected whole.

 

Old World New Wave will be released on CD and digitally via Neurot Recordings and on vinyl via SIGE Records on September 15th, 2014. In the meantime, check out the teaser video

And finally, the productive Mr Stephen Evans has sent another tune to me, this time under his ZX+ name, it’s a short, sharp and rather fine tune, he says he has a bit more recording to do and then he will have a new release, looking foward to that ……in the mean time enjoy this one

 

Diversity, Culture and the Lindy Hop

So I just came in from mowing the lawns, and as serendipity would have is I had been listening to John Nathan Turner’s memoirs on the I Pod – where JNT had on several occasions complained bitterly about the moles at the BBC leaking Doctor Who scripts, plots and other such like. I found in my in box a message from the erstwhile Eon Morse asking me to spread the news about the new Kill Pretty video across the interweb – only to find that on examining the old Farcebook that several over excitable young things had already started to share the above. So be it. That is the nature of social media these days.

Anyhow Rick Sarko filmed it, Eon Morse directed it and a gaggle of Manchester/Salford types gathered in Albert Square to frug uncontrollably whilst bemused passers by looked on.

The tune will be on the new album “Bubblegum Now!” which will be released later in the year on Louder Than War records.

The band play at Manchester Cathedral tomorrow night supporting The Fall – which is sold out, and after that gigs in Oldham and Bury have been fixed and one in Manchester in being planned.

The Time of the Wolf

The first day of February.

The venue – the recently theatre style outfitted concert room of the Kings Arms, Salford. Which makes for an interesting arrangement for watching rockin’ (teen) combos.

The Cryin' Queerwolf
The Cryin’ Queerwolf

The occasion the second visit by the multi-faceted performer currently known as Cryin’ Queerwolf to Salford. This time a more relaxed, organised and altogether cohesive arrangement than the previous visit,  which resulted in some, shall we say, interesting events and reactions from locals. Those of you who regulary listen to either The Be Reet Radio Show, The Monty Show SD’s Sonic Diary on Salford City Radio – or indeed my podcasts – will be aware of an affiliation of artists around a loosely gathered thrust of what one might call alternative or independent (not indie) music. The bill of fayre for the evening reflects that collective with a well constructed evening of music set before us.

The gangs all here –  Tony and Steve are on the door, Moff and Mrs Moff have come over from Leeds, Matt and Susan from Factory Acts, the pair formerly known as Tingle in the Netherlands,  the still drummer-less Ascension, Joey Mutant, Shaun Maxwell,   Johann Kloos, Ding, Jeff Black, SD and many more. Due to necessary organisational arrangements within the Kill Pretty Empire I am somewhat busy and only have chance for quick hellos to some and no chance to speak to others. I’m also taking snaps tonight so I try to position myself in the most advantageous spot.

The Cryin’ Queerwolf starts the proceedings with the first of three numbers for the evening – elegantly attired with a set of heels that probably need planning permission, the ‘Wolf warms up the audience with Brechtian bravura and bonhomie.

Bruce and Gary of The Get
Bruce and Gary of The Get

First up are Southend on Sea  four piece The Get whose effortless charm, via ever smiling front man Bruce Gordon, wins over the audience. We get “Feral Beryl”, “You’ve Made Your Bed” and “Hit” as well as a number of their other inventive and memorable songs. Gordon, as I have said elsewhere, has a passing vocal resemblance to Jello Biafra and their brand of proto pop punk is passionately delivered. At one point in the set the Queerwolf and the shy and retiring Luis Drayton join the band for a performance of “You’ve Got To Wear A Dress”.  All in all a great set and well received.

In between the sets DJ Monty bring back his “New Order Disco” and pumps out some classic dance floor hits before grabbing his bass and joining Kit B on the main stage,

After a breathless performance of the Queerwolf classic “More Camp Than Kirk” from the ‘Wolf incarnate,  Kit B take the stage and deliver a fantastic set. The highlight for some audience members is the inclusion of the Hidden Gem classic “Loudest Silence In The World”. This is my third time of seeing the band and they improve each time and I remain convinced that Tony Ashworth is one of the best drummers I have seen in recent years. The band needs to do more gigs and get some exposure because they deserve some attention. Danny Cusick’s song craft continues to amaze and now he has a band that can deliver the material live.

Danny and Mike of Kit B
Danny and Mike of Kit B

The Queerwolf returns with his “wife” Tamsin for a delightfully camp delivery of the rascally “She’s My Beard” with some serious dance steps and twerking being delivered by both participants. Tamsin then peforms a short but memorable solo set. There’s a couple of songs I don’t recognise, but an emotional reading of “The Hide” and her use of live looping to create a virtual choir of Tamsin’s is very effective.

Tamsin
Tamsin

Topping bill are Kill Pretty. For this appearance the band have decided to shake things up a bit and Josh plays guitar and Chris bass – a reversal of roles. The fascinating and somewhat impressive thing is that not only does this  work as an experiment but it creates a whole new dynamic for the performance. We get a lot of the new album – “Super Soaraway Sun”, “Wild At Heart”, “Swastika Girls” and the first performance of “Burnley” as well as the staples of “13 Moons” and “Rob A Bank”. The band generates a ferocious energy and creates a memorable live experience. Discussions within the band at the moment reveal a desire to keep the performances fresh and challenging and they certainly managed that on this occasion.

Chris Dutton on bass for this show
Chris Dutton on bass for this show

So all in all an excellent evenings entertainment – congratulations to Fast Lane Steve for all the organisation behind the scenes. Let’s do it again soon!

Quick Penelope, into the dimorphic inhibitor……

Saturday March 23rd 2013, and as second ice age creeps inexorably upon us, the faded decadence of Oldham Street in Manchester Town feels a little more faded and decadent than it usually does. We all need cheering up think I….texts are swapped with J Coupe and arrangements are made to meet SD for evening of  fun.

And so he we are again at Gullivers with a tasty selection of music to listen to – all put together by Aiden Cross of The Bacillus in order to raise money for Christies and in tribute to his late mother.

And for those of you who into spotting these sorts of things there were four ex-Fall members, two Rapid Pigs, two Factory Stars/Blue Orchids, two Monkeys in Love, a James, a Gnod, an AAAK and various other luminaries from the rock and roll scene around these parts, in the audience or on the stage.

First up is Stephen Sarsen who is described as “a prolific singer-songwriter, frontman with Frank Is Dead, and ex-bassist with The Bacillus”, who performed a solo acoustic set to begin the evening. Stephen writes very good songs and his performance is effortless and very endearing. Note made to self to check out his work further.

Next the Black Light Mutants in complete contrast – which sets the tone for the evening of variety – in between Mr Coupe and myself wander over to the Castle for a pint of Robinson’s but the place is a tad full so back over to Gullivers again where there is at least a little oxygen to spare. A chat with the sound man reveals he has no CD player so the planned entrance music for Kill Pretty is sadly abandoned. Anyway Black Light Mutants are impressive and deliver their brand of anarcho punk with some vigour and venom. The use of synthesis in this context is impressive and the slower numbers are full of great imagery – both aural and visual.

Then we have Ill – and a bit of a revelation for me – based on their material I had heard to date I was expecting something a little different. What we did get was a mesmerising and hypnotic 40 minutes of music floating somewhere between Can, Faust and the New York down town scene of the early 80s. Building around the impressive rhythm section of Fiona Ledgard and Whitney Bluzma the band create a marvellous, almost shamanic, sound which draws the audience in and batters them into submission. Problems with the keyboard sound, and lack of definition on the vocals does create a degree of disappointment but you would be advised to catch them live at some point as I think they are something special.

And then the return, after a three month break, of Kill Pretty. And it is as if they had not been away. For a man who had major heart surgery a few weeks ago Ian Moss is looking pretty damn good and the Duttons and MJ Leigh are in astounding form playing 13 moons, Rob A Bank, Stress, Kill Pretty (the song), Breakdown Man, Emperors New Clothes, Love Twists and a mammoth reading of Dark Heart. Audience participation is inevitable and expected and the band build to an exceptional climax. The only down side is that Moet’s vocals are mostly inaudible for about half of the set but the band battle on regardless. Ian looks energised and pleased delivering an outstanding performance given his recent health issues. For a band that has not had chance to rehearse I have to say this was one of their better performances.

And to conclude the new three piece The Bacillus  who perform a sterling set with a handful of new material and some of the excellent songs from the first album. For some reason the sound of the band is fuller than when it had more members – Aiden should be rightly pleased with this new line up as they delivered an excellent set.

All in all a very good evening , slightly affected by a lack of oomph in the PA which lead to dominance in the bass and drum area and a general muddiness.

Congratulations to Aiden for pulling it all together.

Bacillus Gig

The Ups and Downs and Ups of a Rock and Roll Band…….

The perversity and downright awkwardness of the rock and roll biz, together with the occasional glorious wonder that emerges from it, has been perfectly embodied, reflected and demonstrated in three gigs featuring Kill Pretty over the last fortnight. This trio of musical events perhaps sums up the year for me in respect of “Aural Endeavours” and places to see artists perform in the Greater Manchester area, and in this instance just beyond in the Lancashire Hills..

What is clear is that the appetite for live music in local pubs and clubs appears to have rapidly deteriorated as 2012 has unfolded. I don’t suppose the weather has helped and the combination of bone chilling temperatures, and more rain than is absolutely necessary to make the flowers grow, must deter people from venturing out into the night. However it is profoundly disappointing to see only a few hardy souls at these gigs.

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Tim Lyons of Sandells

Friday 7th December saw (The) Sandells and Kill Pretty at the Crescent public house on the Crescent (naturally) in Salford. It’s a damp night but the “gangs all here” including several noteable faces from the post-punk scene of the late 70s , and a lot more faces from the current Manchester music scen(e). It’s gratifying that some people do make the effort to come out of Manchester City Centre on a Friday night to see two bands that have, in one way or another, dominated my listening through the year.  Another band – Belter from London – have broken down on the way up the M6 so consequently the two remaining acts get to do longer  sets.

The concert room at the Crescent is relatively full as Sandells invite us into their unique and hypnotic world of Kraut-punk…..the band are in fine form moving effortlessly between “songs” and collective improvisation. The extra time for the set allows the band to stretch out and explore new areas. Kloos, Lyons and Benson seem to have developed a telepathic understanding their aural soundscapes are refreshing and new, but also reverential/referential to the music that has influenced them. It was all a bit Ornette Coleman meets Damo Suzuki round at Michael Rother’s place for a jam and a good time.

This is my 11th Kill Pretty gig this year and tonight they are wonderfully anarchic and a little bit heavy. New song “Back Passage Boys” seems to borrow a riff from Tony Iommi and is full of the usual Moss baleful intent. The band has consistently moved the set list around over those eleven gigs and there has been significant development in the last 12 months from the power punk pop of the Shangri-La gig to this more overtly assertive approach. The whole thing revolves around Josh’s lead bass and MJ Leigh’s drumming with Dutton Senior creating waves of Sonic Youth like guitar noise as the palette on which Moet paints his word pictures. The collective view from the band was that it was bit loose this time around but generally good fun as an enthusiastic crowd join in with some serious moshing around. The down sides are broken guitar strings and broken bass strings that litter the set. Josh ends up using Tim Lyons bass after snapping one of his own strings.

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This man looks nothing like Arthur Lowe

Onto the following night at the Blue Cat Cafe in Stockport – a place I have always reckoned as a great venue for live music, but has gone down seriously in my estimation since this event.  A double shift with MJ Leigh playing a set with Kill Pretty and then The Blimp. Well that’s the theory. Unfortunately Kill Pretty  are struggling with the monitors and the owner thinks Chris’s guitar is too loud. Chris explains he is on notch one on his volume and that turning down means turning it off – the owner still thinks it is too loud and the band decide that they cannot continue. A great pity because the sparse crowd that were there seem to enjoy what is played. Messrs Moss and Dutton decamp into the night obviously at odds with the “man” whilst Mr Leigh stays behind to play with his other band. The only observation I would make was that two songs from Kill Pretty is significantly more satisfying than whole sets from a lot of other bands I get to see. Why it was felt that Chris’ guitar was too loud when The Blimp were at a similar volume is a complete mystery to me. It may be that a band with the power and intensity of Kill Pretty was just too much for a small venue of this nature. Anyway it may be closing soon so the point is moot.

The Blimp are just as good as when I saw them a couple of weeks back, better in fact. The “General” is still snapping guitar strings at an alarming rate and goes through two in the one set this time around…..we get the rare appearance of “50 CC No Silencer” which Mike has never played before. and a brand new song, which again Mike has not played. “Wonga” makes an appearance as the staple tune when the guitar is being restrung, and it’s good to hear “Art Job”, “Snowglobe”, and “Rifleman”. The band move from power punk mania, through psych/kraut to Zappaesque almost jazzy workouts. This lightens the mood somewhat after the earlier shenanigans.

Move on seven days and up the M61 and across the M65 to Blackburn for an Anti-Fascist Awareness event at the Sir Charles Napier. A fine establishment with a great concert room on the first floor which has a couple of very interesting murals featuring scantily clad fantasy maidens and a Conan type figure flexing his muscles and magical powers. Four bands this time around with Kill Pretty headlining. First up are Corned Beef who hail from Clitheroe and describe themselves as punk/ska/hardcore – I enjoyed the majority of their set which had a lot of variety and was impressed with some of the less obvious material they played – some very interesting chord sequences were in play. I guess the only observation is that the variety of genres of music they play is a tad confusing – but I did like the slower more measured stuff a lot. I shall be checking out their album on Bandcamp on the back of this performance.

The mural at the Sir Charles Napier
The mural at the Sir Charles Napier

Next up are The Sanity Clause who deliver old style punk of The Clash ilk with some venom, great hooks and an honest attitude. They hail from various parts of the M65 corridor. I caught them at the Salford Music Festival in October and they improve on a second listening. They are very tight and they get some of the audience dancing.

Third on the bill are Addictive Philosphy  who are from Derby and comprise the interesting line up of trumpet, twin guitars, bass and drums. My immediate reaction to the band was this was a ska version of Fucked Up – they describe themselves as “slow rocksteady into ska and punk finishing with thrash” which is pretty aposite. The variety in the music is pretty compelling and the use of trumpet in this setting is remarkably fresh, and more importantly, it works. They will require further investigation I feel.

Finally it’s Kill Pretty. 

Of the three gigs mentioned in this review this is by far their best performance. It’s the best sound the band have had over the three performances and I think that allows them to deliver a more polished and , dare I say it, professional set. Highlights are the second ever appearance of the excellent “Devil Resides” and the increasingly potent “Super Soaraway Sun”. Having seen the band 13 times now I have to say this is their best performance to date with all of the various elements falling into place to create a barrage of sound which is unmistakably unique, extremely varied and immensely satisfying. About half way through the set I started to get the buzz I got when I saw The Fall at the Band on the Wall in May 1982 – this is a band you can invest your time and energy into. I like bands that make me think and this group both energise me and stimulate me mentally. A truly fantastic performance and this is the last gig I shall be attending in 2012 a rather wonderful way to finish the year.

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