Bedroom Boredom, Live Album Excitement

Following the success of their first two EP’s – 2016’s I Wouldn’t Worry and the more recent Reefs which the group released in mid-2017 – Bedroom / Boredom are back with a live album. Featuring “oldy but goldy” tracks such as ‘Ghost’ and ‘Lemon’, my personal favourite ‘Where’s Kelly?’ and their famed hit ‘Pill’. Not only this but the Surrey six-piece have treated us to a first-look at two new tracks.

Having been fortunate enough to see these lads play back in May, I was enamoured by the idea of being able to hear them live from the comfort of my bedroom. I feel the album perfectly captures the energy these guys have on stage and being able to hear the crowds’ response to every song adds a certain warmth to it all. Hearing such great music be appreciated for just how brilliant it is, especially with such a deserving band, is an incredible experience for everyone.

 

Bedroom Boredom at the Peace and Indiependence charity gig, 10/5/18 photo by Josie Richards

As for these two new tracks. Simply fantastic. Kickstarting their set with ‘Chilly’, a very anthemic song with an uplifting chorus similar to the part in ‘Shuteye’ where it builds up dramatically at the end. ‘Chilly’ is a brilliant example of the band’s ability to progress musically whilst still maintaining that special thing that’s instantly recognisable as Bedroom / Boredom. 

‘Youthless’ introduces new guitar effects and lyrical dynamics whilst boasting their trademark tremolo riffs and raspy vocals from front-man Dan Rimmer.

Be sure to follow Bedroom / Boredom on Spotify as wel as their other social medias and give the live record a spin below.

 

Four Years of Black Honey, The Evolution of Izzy B Philips

It’s been exactly 50 days since Black Honey released their last single, ‘Bad Friends‘ and with their highly anticipated debut album dropping at the end of September, it’s high time we have another single to string us along that bit further.

With that in mind, lead singer – Izzy, recently shared this ambiguous and somewhat allusive post to Instagram containing a simple blue image.

To the untrained eye it’s a meaningless post, easily dismissed. But to a super-fan such as myself I can only assume that there’s a hidden meaning. During a private conversation with Izzy B Philips the other week, she mentioned to me that the band were announcing a new single soon. After some digging, I have every reason to believe that this is in fact a tease for a new single called ‘Blue Romance’.

Blue Romance is one of many new songs to grace their setlists as material from their new album, alongside tracks such as ‘Only Hurt The Ones I Love’ and ‘Midnight’.

But, in order to understand the influences on their new material and to give some insight into what might appear in the album, we need to rewind four or five or even six years to the beginning of their musical care. We need to journey through the heart and soul of the band that is Izzy Philips as the apparent stylist and lyricist. But also take note of the musical influence of all the band members; Chris Ostler (guitar), Tommy Taylor (bass) & Tom Dewhurst (drums).

To those who don’t already know, the band pre-dates the initial four years since the birth of Black Honey in 2014. Formerly known as Kill Moon, after the famed song by Echo and the Bunnymen, the band actually formed in 2012 and had just four songs under their belt. Adopting a much more psychedelic, garage-rock sound the band maintained a very secretive attitude. The tracks were recorded in a bedroom studio and only three remain on YouTube. ‘Shine‘, ‘Black & Blue‘, ‘You Said It All‘ and the missing track ‘Jupiter’ were the first ever indication of Black Honey’s true potential as a band. Hearing the songs in isolation you can still appreciate and acknowledge the clear-as-day influence that Izzy channels into her music, which I believe she will carry with her for years to come.

The band maintained this secretive attitude through their first moments as Black Honey too, releasing their first track ‘Teenager’ and accompanying B-side, ‘Sleep Forever’ with nothing but the title and accompanying artwork, with no inference to who the band were or what they were about. Until word eventually got out that this band were one to be known.

But, Teenager and Sleep Forever weren’t the only two tracks put out in 2014. Two more demos; ‘The Taste’ and the more popularly known ‘Bloodlust‘, which has recently been put out on 7″ vinyl alongside ‘Ghost’.

It’s here you hear the evolution of sound from their earlier psychedelic, garage sound from the Kill Moon-era into their infamous Tarantino-esque sound. 

Fast-forward one year to 2015 and the iconic Tarantino, Western stylings are omnipresent in the three tracks released over the year; ‘Spinning Wheel‘, ‘Madonna‘ and ‘Corrine‘, respectively. That’s not to forget the lesser-known hit, ‘Mothership‘, that accompanied their most popular single – ‘Corrine’. Upon first listen you would be adamant you’d heard the songs previously in a Wes Anderson movie or any cult classic for that matter. Yet, despite this, you’re simultaneously greeted with the euphoric feeling of discovering art for the first time. 

Moving through to 2016 and the band’s momentum is picking up fast following the release of the ‘Headspin’ EP that features the glorious hit ‘All My Pride‘. However… 5th October 2016 marks the day that Izzy truly embraced her inner-creativity as Black Honey released their first music video to their new single – ‘Hello Today’. The video was filmed on set in the Joshua Tree Desert in California, USA where Izzy casts herself as the lead role in her own dream Pulp Fiction – Grindhouse – Kill Bill mash up movie extravaganza. This just goes to show that publicity and a bigger budget only accelerates the band’s vision further, maintaining that same aura they set out with in 2014, and arguably as far back as in 2012 – they just might not have known it to be possible then.

Izzy B. Philips in Hello Today music video

Black Honey have since gone on to release 3 new singles; ‘Somebody Better’, ‘Dig’ and ‘Bad Friends’. All a constant betterment of themselves as they progress through their artistic careers, not just musically but visually as shown in the unique creativity of each music video. 

Izzy herself told me that their work in the new album ‘shits all over the old stuff I wrote’, which obviously sets my already high expectations, exceptionally higher. So, I guess from here on out the countdown begins to the next single, video, album, merchandise release. Whatever they have to throw at us, I know their fans will be ready and waiting with open arms.

Ross Carley x

Whenyoung: Festivals, Declan McKenna and Gender Equality

‘The idea of a show should be a group of people coming together to enjoy music. It was refreshing to see Declan Mckenna calling out a guy when a fight broke out at his show in Manchester.’

After witnessing their captivating set as first support for Declan McKenna at the Manchester Academy back in April, I reached out to the Dublin-London trio that is Whenyoung. Having performed alongside the likes of Dream Wife and Superfood to more recently supporting Peace and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, these rising stars are ones to keep an eye on.

‘So you’ve recently played shows with both Declan McKenna and
The Vaccines, both huge shows and huge venues! How was that as an
experience for you?’

‘It’s a real adrenaline rush to play to such big crowds in massive
venues. It was the first time we’d played to audiences of this size
and we loved it. The energy and atmosphere is euphoric. Also, Declan
McKenna and his band and The Vaccines are all lovely people.’ 
They went on to explain, We’re lucky to have a great agent who booked these shows for us. That, and hopefully Declan and The Vaccines actually wanted us to open up for them!!’. Having witnessed their set at Declan McKenna I can guarantee they were very much wanted, not just by the band but the warm welcome from the crowd was noticeable from the get-go.

Aoife Powell, Whenyoung. credit - whenthehornblows.com

‘What other shows do you have in the future that you’re
looking forward to?’

‘We’re playing lots of festivals this summer and we’re really looking
forward to these as it’s our first time playing them. We’re playing at
Latitude, Deershed, Truck, Kendall Calling, Y Not, Neverworld,
Bestival, All Together Now and Electric Picnic.’

At the time of the interview, Whenyoung had just recently released the single ‘Pretty Pure’ along with B-side (my personal favourite) ‘The Collector’.

‘Pretty Pure is probably more representative of our sound especially
our live sound as we like upfront, melodic, pop songs. It’s about how
being true to oneself is the ultimate feeling of purity. The Collector is a more dreamy song inspired by the films of French new wavedirector Eric Rohmer and the idea of finding yourself and your place
of belonging in the world.’

However, they have since also released their latest single ‘Heaven On Earth’. The new track had been also previewed at their string of live shows. ‘It’s a song about one person’s idea of heaven being someone else’s idea of hell. We also have an EP coming out later in the summer.

Left to right: Myself, Aoife Power, Andrew Flood, Paige Janey (editor), Niall Burns

Following the theme of my last article, (Here’s Where we Draw the Line), I spoke to frontwoman, Aoife and the rest of the band about if and how the band may have been affected by sexual prejudices and mistreatment that is current, particularly in the indie music scene.

The people around us, be it our friends and management are all advocates of gender equality. Hopefully people give us opportunities based on our music rather than our sex.’ Aoife goes on to say, ‘I think there’s a certain idea of how a woman should be and act but
that’s not exclusive to the music industry, it’s a societal expectation. Personally, I’ve mostly had good experiences so far. I’m lucky to be in a band with two men who treat me as an equal and would have my back when I’m treated any differently.’

I’m not sure what can be done other than looking out for each other and making sure that everyone is aware that there is no place for violence or abuse at a gig.’

‘The Bees Still Buzz’ Manchester Arena Attack – One Year On

With the anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack coming up, we believe it’s only fitting to reflect on the tragedy that affected friends, families, communities and gig-goers alike. Remembering the 22 people who lost their lives that night.

Before I go any further, I’d like to mention the We Love Manchester Memorial Fund. It’s an emergency fund in partnership with the British Red Cross that supports those affected by the attack and their families. I’m going to attach a link to their page here if anyone’s interested in making a donation to the charity.

I’m not alone in saying what happened on the 22nd of May shook the nation. Many of us have attended gigs at the arena, some of us even knew people attending that night. To know so many people, especially children, were attending, made the ordeal so much worse.

Gigs are meant to be a safe haven for us to lose ourselves for a few hours, to forget our problems from the outside world and enjoy artists who’ve brought us so much happiness. To know that the night was meant to bring so much joy to thousands, but instead brought so much sorrow, is heartwrenching.

However, in true Manc fashion, the city didn’t take what had happened lying down. Many people continued amongst their day-to-day lives. It never felt as if people were ignoring what had happened, but instead carried on, as a middle finger to the coward who attempted to make us cower away in terror.

Manchester had united together. A memorial began outside the Town Hall before moving to Saint Ann’s Square. The area quickly turned into a sea of balloons, teddy bears, flowers, handwritten cards, and candles.

While tributes were being held, Lydia Bernsmeier-Rullow started the impromptu sing along to ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger.’ Before too long it became so much more than just a song written by Noel Gallagher. It became a symbol of Manchester’s spirit, a sign of the city’s resilience against such terror.

The following Saturday saw Courteeners play their biggest gig to date at Old Trafford Cricket Ground. Frontman Liam Fray took to the stage prior to beginning their set. Standing alone he recited ‘Our Manchester.’ A poem written by fellow Manciuan, Ryan Williams. Check out the video below.

Credit – Souponherhed

Having attended the gig, we’d have reason to believe security would be on high alert due to what had happened, right? And granted, there were a lot more armed police arena the venue itself. But going in wasn’t as to be expected, as neither I or my friend got searched while entering the venue, along with those around us.

I knew I had nothing on me and the same for my friend. But you can never be certain of those around you. It would’ve been a lot more comforting knowing every single person had been searched, even if that meant it would take even longer going into the venue itself.

The week after saw Manchester stand together during ‘One Love Manchester.’ A benefit concert put together by Ariana Grande herself. Taking place at Old Trafford Cricket Ground, the televised event saw host to a number of celebrities from Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Liam Gallagher and of course, Ariana Grande.

The tributes, however, didn’t stop there. Liam Fray dedicated ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ during Courteeners Old Trafford gig. Along with Noel Gallagher who did the same during the arena’s reopening. Liam Gallagher donated all proceeds from his ticket sale from his solo debut gig to the charity and dedicated ‘Live Forever’ to the 22.

A year on it’s clear to see security is still incredibly strict when regarding gigs in Manchester. The arena itself has metal dedicators, police dogs and police on the scene whenever an event is being held. Other venues around town such as Manchester Academy conduct bag searches and pat downs, with security guards having handheld metal detectors.

But further afield the security around gigs has definitely relaxed. Smaller venues only conducting bag searches, with the likes of larger venues such as First Direct Arena in Leeds still following similar procedures as in Manchester.

It could be argued that it’s a good thing venues are now relaxed, that we have no reason to worry anymore. While many agree they’d rather security still be strict to put any worries to rest, knowing waiting longer due to security checks is beneficial for everyone.

Manchester will be holding several events over the following week as a remembrance. With a televised sing-along being held at Albert Square from 7 pm to 9 pm on the 22nd of May. You can click here to see the full list of events.

Reflecting on the night overall, I’d like to thank all the service men and women who tried their very best to save everyone that night. The general public who arrived on the scene or in the surrounding areas to help those who were stranded, opening up their homes for the night. The hotels that took people in, takeaways that gave out food and drink, the taxi’s that provided free journeys home. To see so much humanity in a time of such inhumanity was so comforting. And makes me proud to call Manchester my home.

Alisha x

Fuck Sexual Harassment – here’s where we draw the line.

As a disclaimer, I’d like to put forward that I have no intention of ‘mansplaining’ within this article, and, if at any point I do, I’d like to apologise.

Sexual misconduct is an ever-increasing and an infuriatingly continuous problem that affects an incomprehensible number of women and girls. There are no real statistics available to the extent of harassment and abuse that women experience within this industry, however, if there were I can argue that they would not be representative at all. We live in a time where women struggle to speak out against the issues they’ve experienced for fear of backlash, loss of opportunities, disbelief, and so a lot of them suffer in silence. This is echoed by the struggle I’ve faced to find people willing to talk openly about their experiences of sexual misconduct. While this may be due partly to the fact I am a male, I can’t help but feel there are underlying feelings of fear connected to it. 

The BBC have described sexual harassment as ‘endemic’ in the music industry. So, I decided to reach out to female musicians and music fans to understand their experiences. Hopefully, through this journey I can begin to understand what drives men to exploit these women, how the victims truly feel at their core, and establish possible preventatives. My ultimate goal is to use my platform to deconstruct the patriarchal system within the industry and offer women a greater opportunity of freedom and liberation.

I had the opportunity to speak to Katie Revell, front woman of indie punk band, Peach Club, about the issue at hand.

I’ve always experienced misogyny and harassment in the music scene since I was about 14 because I used to go to a lot of hardcore shows. I used to get groped and pushed around a lot and always got laughed at by dudes for just wanting to enjoy music. Playing gigs, for some reason, people think they can do or say whatever. There was one time we were playing a gig where there was no stage, and some guys picked me up and ‘crowd surfed’ me when actually all they did was pull up my dress and refuse to put me down when I was screaming at them to let go of me. I haven’t experienced anything recently that was *that* bad, we get a lot of guys who hover and don’t leave us alone, guys who insist on coming into our dressing room even when the door is locked or guys who just feel the need to make comments that are absolutely not needed. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misogyny in the music industry and it’s totally disheartening.’

photo by Meg Firth

Admittedly when I first imagined sexual misconduct, I imagined the cinematic portrayal of the rich music businessman exploiting female bands for financial gain. This misconduct is not an issue that exists solely amongst the fat cats, it is well routed in our home towns and local scenes. Speaking to two innocent women – who wish to remain anonymous for obvious reasons, and will henceforth be known as Becky and Sophie – I learnt about a shocking scenario they were involved in.  Becky was hired by Birmingham band Dead Summers for a professional photo shoot along with her ‘assistant’ Sophie. I use the term assistant loosely as she was in fact a friend brought a long due to feeling nervous around the band after getting ‘strange vibes’ from the lead singer. After a previous shoot at Get The Fear and unbeknown to their manager, two members – Lewis and Alex – had arranged for a shoot to take place in a hotel room. After realising the members had consumed lots of drugs and alcohol the girls attempted to leave before being pulled back forcefully and later being coerced into sexual activities. During this time photographs were taken by the band members without consent, and this issue is worsened by the fact Becky and Sophie were aged 16-17 at the time. Lewis and Alex were aged 21 and 22.

I asked the two what’s preventing them from taking the two to court. ‘Our stories aren’t credible when you put our word against their manager who is an older business man’

We are young girls. Anybody will just assume we are stupid little fangirls.’

Not only that but, fear of how the band will retaliate is a fear that looms over the two victims. An issue I’m sure is all too familiar with most, if not all, victims of sexual harassment.

It was very hard for us mentally, emotionally and physically’, says Becky. 

It has seriously affected our ability to trust people and relationships have been a struggle for us.’

It has kind of exposed the entire music business for us and made us see how people can exploit their power as a musical influence.

I feel this story speaks for itself on the extent of this issue. It shows us just how prevalent it truly is and how it can affect anyone.

I also spoke to lead singer of P.E.T., a new punk band on the Birmingham scene. She explained to me that ‘people put you on a pedestal when you’re in a band and think that they can touch you and talk to you inappropriately because you put yourself out there (on stage).’

There’s no acknowledgement of boundaries the second you’re put on stage.’

Now this begs the question, is enough being done to help safeguard women at shows?

‘There can always be improvements, like making sure audiences can’t come in the dressing room.’, says Katie Revell, ‘if security or even other people attending the gigs actually stepped in when they see women being harassed or groped, it would make a huge HUGE difference.’

I’ve had it a few times, being groped by lads who’ve had a bit to drink but nothing usually happens. You try pushing them away, move away or try getting security but they just tell them to stop and that’s it.’ explains Alisha, a fellow editor here at Peace and Indiependence. ‘It happened to me a few weeks ago at DMA’s‘.

 

Sexual misconduct, unfortunately, can also influence many other aspects of the music industry. It exceeds beyond fans harsh experiences and mistreatment of industry workers. It can also encompass sexual discrimination with regards to opportunities and payment. I understand it that female bands (be it all female or containing prominent female members amongst male counterparts) are much less likely to receive opportunities for headline positions or festival slots.

Take, for example, the 2018 Wireless line-up. Shown left is the full line-up and shown right is all the female acts who will be involved. An extremely insignificant percentage by comparison.

Full Wireless line-up 2018
Wireless 2018 line-up (women only)

I’d like to comment also on the unspoken issue of sexual harassment faced by men within the industry too. While I’d argue it is a prominently female issue, there are those who face it and are unable to speak out for this exact reason. Upon writing this I’m reminded of a story I saw on Twitter where Harry Styles was grabbed at in inappropriate places by fans. The issue was laughed off as the fans being ‘crazy’ and what-not. But the reality of it, was that he was being sexually assaulted. In an era where we’re supposedly tackling gender expectations and the idea of toxic masculinity, it is not beneath me to say that men are unable to speak out against issues they may face, in this instance – musicians, for fear of being ridiculed. They are expected to enjoy sex as it’s part of their life.

Things have always happened in the music industry as well. There’s been people complaining about publicists and different things they’ve been expected to do to get a record contract, just like a film contract.’, says Sir Tom Jones in an interview with BBC Radio 5, ‘what’s tried on women is tried on men as well’.

So, it’s important to remember when reading this article that sexual misconduct and harassment can affect anyone and everyone. My aim from the beginning was not to point the blame at all men for harassing women. It was to address a toxic and prevalent issue that we may all face within the industry and to help bring awareness to the problem. I have featured just a few instances of what is happening right now, right under our noses. If we all band together when we see it happening, we can help to eradicate it from what is meant to be a beautiful part of life. That is, music.

Music is For Everyone, But Not Always

In light of the release of the new Arctic Monkey’s album, ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’, I have noticed a lot of harsh back lash to the Sheffield group’s new style of music. 

Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino - Arctic Monkeys, released 11/05/2018

Now, I’m not here to talk about the Arctic Monkey’s LP – as much as I personally love it. Focusing on the theme of our name, ‘Peace and Indiependence’,  I’m here to talk about music and who it’s for. While it’s fair to say that the new, experimental style isn’t to everyone’s taste, it’s important to remember that attacking supporters of the new wave isn’t in anyway productive for anyone.

Music is meant to be a safe-haven for all listeners. People listen to the music they enjoy to make themselves feel something, they lose themselves for a 3-minute period and that is something beautiful. Adding to the beauty of that, we’re also offered such a vast range of musical genres, from Pop Punk, to EDM, to Alternative, to Jazz, to Classical… the list is endless. This offers us all our own sense of independence and identity. It’s also not uncommon for people to share their musical preferences as a means of representing their own self-identity.

The point of all this is to say that, realistically, there is no such thing as bad music. The style of music may not be for you or it might be just your cup of tea. Feel free to share your love for whatever music you love and don’t disrespect others for having a differing opinion.

That being said, you are entitled to not like certain music, just remember that music is all love, there’s no time in this day and age for such negativity around something so special. Go to shows, buy some merch and keep supporting the music industry.

Peace and love x

Noel Gallagher’s Triumphant Return Home

The sunshine is shining, Manchester city center is as busy as usual, and Noel Gallagher is back in town! What more could you wish for? With his third High Flying Bird’s album, ‘Who Built The Moon’  being released November of last year and it’s mixed reviews from both fans and critics alike, Noel and Co definitely put all those worries to bed with the performance!

Being the only hometown gig on the tour, Noel was welcomed to a virtually sold-out arena. His fans eager for his return since his performance last September during the re-opening of the arena. Opening with ‘Fort Knox’, Gallagher was joined on stage with backing vocalist, YSÉE, who is absolutely phenomenal! From the second she started singing the crowd stood and cheered on.

Thankfully I was down towards the front throughout the entire gig, so everyone was happily jumping up and down, singing along to the likes of ‘Holy Mountain.’ But the atmosphere continued to grow stronger as the set continued, ‘Dream On’, ‘Little by Little’ and ‘AKA… What A Life’ were all crowd favourites. Noel finished his set with a cover of ‘All You Need is Love’, dedicating it to his two sons who were also at the gig, cute! You can click here to see the full setlist.

So, without sounding too biased, as I’m a massive fan of both Gallaghers! The gig was spectacular! From the visuals to the atmosphere! There were very few flaws in the performance, if not any. But I mean, do we expect anything less from the man who describes himself as a Godlike Genius? Absolutely not!

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Noel Gallagher gig without any Oasis songs too! ‘Wonderwall’, ‘Half The World Away’ and ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ but to name a few.  And with it almost being a year on since the Manchester Bombing, hearing Don’t Look Back in Anger was an incredibly emotional song to experience live. Especially from within the venue itself.  Realising the song has become more of a stance against hate, the entire arena sang their hearts out. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

Despite criticisms and fans turning against him since the recent rise of Liam, Noel has proven that he still has the charisma and talent that he had all them years ago when Oasis first started. Noel’s gig won’t ever be as lively as Liam’s, that’s just a fact. But by no means does that define if a gig is good or not. With this being my third time seeing Noel I can honestly say that he’s yet to let me down or disappoint me with his performance. There’s no sign he’s willing to slow down anytime soon. If anything, it feels like Noel never left town in the first place.

Alisha x

Record Store Day 2018

This year’s record store day was, as promised, the biggest yet. More artists, more releases and of course more queues. With too many releases to name here (check the official website for the full list), I thought I would start by having a little flex. These are the releases I managed to get hold of:

The Grateful Dead – Filmore West 1969 February 27th (4LP box set with an etching on the side 8)
The Doors – The Matrix Pt. 2 (Black LP)
Kaleidoscope – Faintly Blowing / Jump In My Boat (7” single)
The Rolling Stones – Their Satanic Majesties Request (Clear vinyl with original lenticular cover)

FatBoy Slim – Right Here, Right Now (CamelPhat Remix) [12” single]
Of course, there were many more releases I would have loved to add to my collection but was unable to pick up. Bringing me to the most significant complaint I have with record store day, the releases. The event is a fantastic way to garner attention to the medium and the sellers, driving an immense amount of traffic to local stores. However, when the releases are dictated by studio executives, who, having acknowledged the increase in record sales, jump on the bandwagon putting out un-needed publications year after year. A prime example this year was the re-release of Bruce Springsteen’s Greatest Hits. Originally released on vinyl in 1995 it was issued with the hype sticker stating ‘pressed on red vinyl from the highest quality master recordings’. When ignoring the trashy marketing jargon, it becomes apparent this version is entirely unnecessary and a clear money grab (yes if you cannot tell I am very salty). Another factor that is ultimately unfair for enthusiasts is the lack of awareness regarding the popularity of specific artists. Going back to Springsteen, it had a relatively large (for a record store day release) 5000 copies produced. The Kaleidoscope single, however, only had a run 967 copies made. It is true that Springsteen is infinitely more popular in the contemporary music scene, but I find it unforgivable that record companies would over produce an album in which every song has previously been released multiple time and then under deliver on a single in which either of the tracks has been issued.

Etching from the 8th side of The Grateful Dead’s Filmore West 1969

In short, over the past few years as the interest in vinyl has seen a resurgence record store day has had to accommodate for this by appealing to the mass consumer. It is no longer an opportunity for collectors and enthusiasts to celebrate local businesses and their favourite artists; instead, it has become a bland regurgitation of existing music by companies ceasing a chance to exploit the consumer. None of this means, however, that come April next year my inner nerd still won’t get excited at the prospect of adding more vinyl to my collection.

Peace & Love

Charlie Vickers.

The Novus Grace Us With New Single, ‘Greyscale’

The very second the song kicks off I was smacked in the face with vibes that liken to ‘VVV’ by Baby Strange. The heavy drum beat and a catchy guitar riff that would make Carl Barât shudder. This song is arguably the lovechild of Muse’s ‘Uprising’ and, well, Muse’s ‘Uprising’.

‘Greyscale’ is the second single to be released by the Stourbridge quartet. Following their succesful debut, ‘Dive’, this is sure to set them on the map. 

With an ever-increasing raucous being made on the Birmingham music scene, this garage-rock revival group are sure to fit right in. With such a diverse market currently available, they still manage to form a sound that’s unique to the West Midlands.

Check out the song on the link below and be sure to follow these guys as they progress beyond this moment.

Make Me Your Queen

Declan McKenna, live from Manchester Academy, 6/04

Following his soaring debut “What do you think about the car?” I couldn’t wait to see Declan McKenna live. Declan’s album was up there with my top 3 favourites of 2017 along with Paramore’s “After Laughter” and “Visions of a Life” by Wolf Alice; to see the talent of the 19 year old quirky kid light up the stage, I wasn’t left disappointed. He came off so approachable and just like your average teenager and I think that’s what I loved most about him- bouncing around the stage with glitter down his face, having the time of his life. He opened with an electrifying rendition of “Make me your Queen”, the lyrics relatable enough to vividly recall your last breakup in high definition.

My favourite number was “Listen to your friends”, hearing everyone chant the political monologue, it was the first time in the evening I felt the room unite and it was a really great feeling. Screaming “GOD BLESS THE WEATHER MAN” with my best friend was a highlight for me, having the time of our lives. It was closely followed by the madness of “Isombard” then of course the iconic “Brazil”, his self released title of 2014 in protest of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, still producing a wild atmosphere by his audience.

What I will say is that a gig is supposed to be a safe place yet the atmosphere was so weird and tense. There was so much crushing even when the acts weren’t even on the stage to the point where I actually didn’t stop to enjoy Superfood because I couldn’t concentrate on the music at all. Declan had to stop “Basic” in its tracks because of a fight that had broken out amongst the gabble. You could see in his face how disappointed he was as it was just not what he stood for as a person or creative at all. It’s so good to see an artist that cares just as much for his audience as he does about getting the job done.

Don’t let this be a reflection of the night though, as genuinely the music performed was spectacular. It left me so excited for the new music Declan has to offer, teasing with a brand new track “Be an Astronaut” experimenting with different elements contrasting to his previous stuff, which should be real interesting to receive. Everyone loved it. And as for support from Whenyoung, I’d never heard these guys music before, an outlandish Irish indie trio in boiler suits? I was so down for what they had to offer (a particular favourite of mine being “Pretty Pure”). They have established themselves as a real force to be reckoned within the indie music community, having supported the likes of Dream Wife, The Vaccines and of course our brilliant Declan McKenna. They were so charming and approachable to chat to at the end of the show, hovering around the merch stand to greet their grinning fans. They were engaged and funny, making a solid effort in reaching out to people and making conversation. And as always I was very happy to see everyone’s favourite Brummie boys, Superfood, getting groovy to their “Bambino” tunes. It’s always so good to see a band completely enthused by their job and the music their making, bringing huge personalities to the stage, beaming while rocking out. They are always true Showmen, yet modest as anything. A real pleasure to see them every time.

https://peaceandindiependence.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/img_0610.mov

“Be an Astronaut”

The Peace and Indiependence team with Whenyoung.

 

Paige x