22 10 2016



“I got a feeling inside of me
It’s kind of strange like a stormy sea.”


I’ve always felt like I was born at the wrong time. I wasn’t made for ’86 onwards. I was made for at least a decade before, but that’s only if you have the misfortune of looking through the band shirts I own and the records on my shelves. I think my head is there also, it’s never where it is probably meant to be. Let’s go back 40 years.

22nd October 1976, The Damned released their first 7” single- New Rose. The B-side was a cover of Help! By The Beatles. The Damned very quickly became one of the most important and easily, one of the best Punk bands to have ever formed. For me, I loved how strange they were and how their sound was unlike anything I had heard before. I can’t remember how old I was or where I was when I first listened to them, but I’m pretty sure it was my stepdad that got me into them. I love the video to New Rose. I love the close ups of Dave Vanian’s face and his black lipstick. He looked like a handsome Dracula who not much wanted blood but the souls of those who were going to give themselves over to The Damned.

I love the nod to Leader of the Pack by The Shangri-Las in the intro followed by the battle cry drumming which is brought together with a collective  yelp. This iconic intro to New Rose is one of the best I’ve ever heard and any time you hear it, you cannot help but join in. It’s such an important song for Punk. They’re such an important band, and they embodied frustrations in their own way and unleashed it so well on their first record. Their first record for me, is one of the best Punk records ever made. It’s got this raw sound flowing through it that isn’t found in a lot of the Punk records that came out around that time. The Damned took it further. They made it creepy, sinister but approachable. Nothing about them was vulgar or obnoxious (by no means am I saying any of the other bands were) but they could still shock someone’s parents if they weren’t of the liberal kind. The Damned were and are brilliant misfits who gave you a sound to belong to. What I found in their debut record is something I hadn’t found elsewhere before and New Rose started all of that.

Much like the Dead Boys, The Damned were “young, loud and snotty.” The absolute best way to be, especially for a rowdy Punk band. New Rose has been labelled as the UK’s first Punk single and it immediately set a standard that only a few could reach. Whatever The Damned intended to do with New Rose, I am pretty sure they have done. They influenced a wealth of bands and I’m fairly sure that they still do. I play my copy of Damned Damned Damned on a daily basis. I put my record player on most mornings as I get ready for work and I always seem to reach for this one. There is something about it that smacks you in the particulars and gets you ready to get out the house.  A month after New Rose was released, the Sex Pistols released Anarchy In The UK. Both bands have played such a vital role not just for what they did for Punk but for music in general. Rowdy in different ways, both demanded to be heard, again in their own way. Both bands were made to be played loud and 40 years on, we are finding ways and reasons to play them louder than before.

40 years have passed since New Rose was released on Stiff Records. A song that took pretty much only a day to record holds a legacy that not much can compare to. The Damned started something with New Rose that could never, and will never be finished.


19 10 2016



Sometimes I find a band that I spend ages listening to thinking I can write some words about them that I think do them justice. Then I have those times where I don’t even think one semi-decent sentence is enough. That’s how I feel about the band I’m listening to right now. Whatever I write about them will not convey just how incredible they really are, just so you know. So you might as well not bother reading this and just go listen to Os Noctàmbulos right away.

Os Noctàmbulos are one of the finest bands right now roaming the mean streets of Paris. Their sound is dark, intense and like a seductive blow to the brain. It’s like meeting your dream person and falling in love instantly. Over and over. They make the kind of music that’ll make your body gently sway and your mind float away. They don’t sound like anything else you’ve heard in a long time, probably. I first heard of them a while back on my copy of the Vegetarian Meat compilation. I heard them and I was hooked, and delved into all they’ve done. Their sultry and relaxed sound is perfect for those who are content with taking something slightly sinister yet toned down over straight up noise. They sound like a real 60s Garage Rock band. If Paris had a sound, it would be these guys. I wandered round Paris once, a few years ago. Around some graveyards and record stores. I found a copy of Count Five’s Psychotic Reaction and felt like I had won the lottery. Os Noctàmbulos evoke that beautiful atmosphere that Paris conjures up on a damp November day. I also ate too many cheese sandwiches that day.

For me, these guys are one of those band that again, combine everything I love and want from music- and make it their own. Over the summer they released Stranger. Stranger is a group of solid songs that will set you off into a trance. Spin, whirl and fall into a deep trance. Don’t snap out of it, just keep falling into it. Fall into these hypnotic 60s grooves. This is the kind of band my mum would probably dig, and that’s not an insult. Far from it.

Stranger is one of the most underrated records of the year and if I decide to list my favourite records of the year in a few months, I’ll definitely have this in my top 5. Although I am rubbish at making a decision, I am sure of the music I have loved this year and Os Noctàmbulos are one of the bands that have truly blown whatever is left of my mind this year.

I love music that makes you feel like you’re in a certain place, a city. Sometimes a place you’ve never been, sometimes somewhere entirely familiar. Os Noctàmbulos do take you into the unknown but they also have a familiar sound about them. I know my obsession for them will grow and probably spiral out of control, but I don’t care. I’ve never seen them live, but I am fairly sure that their live shows would be nothing short of perfect and inspiring.

Regardless of what you’re into, I’m pretty sure that Os Noctàmbulos will appeal to you. Something in their lyrics and in the music will stir something inside of you, like they did to me. I can only hope they do. Sure they’ll make you want to start a band, any decent band will make you feel that way but if anything, Os Noctàmbulos will make you want to invest all your free time in finding as much music as possible and going to as many shows as possible. Bands like this don’t come around often- treasure them dearly.

The majestic and magnetic sounds of Os Noctàmbulos will send you off where you need to go in no time. Don’t let anyone interrupt or take that feeling from you.


19 10 2016




When you adapt the stance of trying to not give a shit, you need to find some music that fits with this. Music that just helps you stop caring. To stop caring about what doesn’t matter. Easier said than done, and that’s why words can be useless. Enough with the heavy, enough with not taking our own advice. Do whatever you want. Just be kind. Anyway.

Dead Ghosts are pretty damn cool. They have this relaxed sound that makes everything that’s crashing in your head seem trivial. Maybe it will end up being trivial anyway, if you don’t lose your mind in the process. I’ve probably lost mine- so much for trying to fix it. What good comes from that? Probably some. I stared at a blank screen for too long before typing any of this. It shows. Maybe I should have gone to the gym instead. It’s warmer there. Are my bones cold? My nose is. Dead Ghosts make you feel warm and as if you are in the presence of your best friend. They feel safe but still have a sound that is teetering on the edge of something unknown.

They remind me slightly of The Doors (early, early version mind) mixed with Punk. Obviously I love them, then. They are the kind of band that you probably need to see live in order to really “get it.” And if you can’t make it to a show, then you can create the scene in your mind. You can picture it, you can almost smell the stale beer being thrown around and people bashing into you in a friendly way as they let the music take them over. The fuzzy vocals echo in your ears. You’re sure of the set list so you learn the words by heart. You scream along. Sweat falls on you. It’s yours. It’s someone else’s. It doesn’t even matter.

Dead Ghosts are a band so easy to fall in love with. Well, for me they are because they’ve got everything I love about music wrapped up in their sound. There’s that slight Punk sound, some kind of lo-fi kick going on. It’s a mash up of everything I love, and the outcome is their glorious sound. A sound that makes you want to do a whole load of nothing. A sound that makes you want to make your own noise. What’s stopping you? Who is stopping you? Or you can just live vicariously through your band of choice. We’ve all done it. We all do it.

The more I listen to Dead Ghosts the more I feel like they aren’t a band from our time. They easily could have been around when the likes of Shocking Blue and The Pretty Things came out. A sound that a lot do try to emulate now, but not many have a grasp on it. Some take it too far and end up being a copy. Dead Ghosts don’t do that, not even slightly. If a band can take you from where you are, spin you around a couple of times and cast you off into another world- you’ve found a band to treasure for a long, long time. That’s exactly what Dead Ghosts will do to you.

They’ve been around for quite some time, but every listen feels like something new. Like something otherworldly grabbing your soul and pulverising you for your undivided attention as you listen to them. Let them grab you and take them where they want you to be taken with their music. Play it as loud as you can stand and drift off into another world.

AUTUMNS: A Product of 30 Years of Violence.

18 10 2016




All music should have an element of fear within in. It should scare you a little bit, it should mess with your head. Anything to escape routine and things that are familiar. Sure you can sleep it off, but sometimes you need to hear something to let it all out. I’ve been writing about Autumns (Christian Donaghey) for some time now, and everything he puts out is as mind blowing as the last, truly. He has this sound that captures the coldness and the lack of fulfillment from having a typical routine. You need something to kick in the walls of your mind and to give you something you’re not getting from whatever you’re putting yourself through. As someone who is dealing with panic attacks and migraines on an almost daily basis now, this is the kind of music I need to hear.

Christian’s new EP, A Product of 30 Years of Violence is out 15th November (3 days after my birthday, so you know) and will be released via the ever excellent Clan Destine Records. The mood is cold, the atmosphere is tense. Its part The Fall, part industrial town on a dark December day and it is every part brilliant. The tormenting sounds would fit perfectly in some film noir or a shocking horror film. These are not songs for those who only see sunshine and rainbows. They are for those who want, who need more- and they know it.

So far, I’m tipping World Hates as my favourite off the EP. Of course I am likely to change my mind because every track on this EP is nothing short of punch to the gut and a shake to the soul. You’ll feel the world in your head crumble and something else within you rebuild itself. Every song has a tense build up, and regardless of how many times you listen to the songs, you’re just never ready for it to happen. I go through stages of where I don’t know if I even want to write about music anymore, but then I’m sent things like this and it all makes sense.

I have the coldest room in my house. I think this is probably the best setting to listen to A Product of 30 Years of Violence. You won’t gain anything from listening to it on a warm beach somewhere. You need a cold setting. Go for a walk and play it. Play it as loud as you can handle. Take in every note, take in how dark, intense and grand the sound is. Let it boldly consume you and go into the unknown. Let the songs throttle and maim you. Let the songs take you where you daren’t go before. Let yourself escape but feel uncomfortable. Be constantly on edge as you let the sounds drip into your ears and swirl in your brain.

The EP closes on Crime of Passion. My idea of love and romance seeps through this song. There is nothing conventional or tame about this song. Crime of Passion sums up the feel of the EP, and when it ends you cannot help but return to the start. Over and over again. This EP feels like it is ahead of what is around now, maybe it could have fit in with what came before but it has something very special about it that has hold of you within the first listen. It is one of those records I’ll keep playing and finding something else to write about or it’ll evoke another feeling. It stirs something within the listener. I can’t define what exactly, maybe it is too personal. Or maybe words aren’t enough. My words and anyone else’s words about A Product of 30 Years of Violence aren’t enough.

Of course I’m a huge fan of what Christian does, and I’m confident enough to say that so far- this is the best thing he’s done. It steps away from all he has done prior to this, and the sound he has created here is something to truly love and to be proud of.

You can pre-order the tape here:

CROCODILES: Night And Day Cafe. 14th October 2016

16 10 2016

I feel I use my holiday allowance from work wisely-to go see bands. Sure I could save up and have a proper holiday, but seeing as my passport has just ran out and I don’t have the money to renew it, I go for sensible options such as going to different cities here to see my favourite bands. Friday night was no exception.

It’s not a lot, but Friday was my tenth time seeing Crocodiles. From finding their debut record by accident to this. I can’t think of any other band I could admire and respect as much as this. Easily the hardest working and most dedicated bunch of people I’ve ever met, and it truly comes through in their music, and in their shows.

This Friday (21st) sees the release of their new record, Dreamless. It picks up where Boys left off and takes you into another direction, again. The fact that none of their records sound the same makes them easy to just love and never shy away from having them on repeat. Their live shows are addictive and I think a lot of the time it can be to do with the crowd. I’ve seen them mainly in London but I’ve always found Manchester crowds to be the best. Not just for their shows, but in general. Night And Day is the perfect place to see Crocodiles. It’s just the right size and the atmosphere is how you imagine it should be when you see a band you love. I marked the occasion by, when leaving the venue, taking the poster of the gig from a board outside. I’ll get a frame for it, because I’m that sentimental.

The set is a solid mix of all albums. All of them make you leave the show feeling as if you should pick up an instrument and make your own noise. If you watch Charlie and you leave not wanting to play the guitar, then you missed the point entirely. They’re the band you need to see when everything seems a bit askew. Songs from the new record sound amazing live, and for purely personal reasons my highlight was Telepathic Lover. It’s not only my favourite song of the year but when I first heard it a few months ago, I knew instantly that it was my favourite song by them. The lyrics are ones I hold very close to me and helped with a lot upon hearing it. I owe them for that.

Songs like I Wanna Kill and Neon Jesus are always a pleasure to see live. Mirrors always unleashes a gentle but stirring rage inside.But for me, it’s their cover of Jet Boy Jet Girl that does it. Accompanied with an intro by Charlie, “this is from 1970 fuck you.” 

And just like that, it’s all over. Here’s to another ten shows and beyond. If someone told me to pick just one band to see live for the rest of time, I would easily pick Crocodiles. There’s something about them that makes me feel like I’m not in this lifetime. I love watching each of them on stage because each of them have this magnetic quality about them. They make it all look so easy. So effortlessly cool, it’s like Lou Reed has come back to life with Joey Ramone in tow. They take everything I love about music and make something that I’ve never heard before. As they take us on a journey through each of their records, you can’t help but wonder why they are so underrated? I have no idea why but it’s obvious how hard-working they are, and how loved they are by those at the show.

As mentioned, Dreamless is out this Friday. Buy it, learn the words and I’ll see you at the front.

THE KILLS: Roundhouse. 7th October 2016

8 10 2016

The thing about the aftermath of a gig is the comedown that ruins you. For those couple of hours when you’re crammed in a room full of people who are there with the same motives and thoughts as you is comforting. It becomes your own little world. A world you normally create within the walls of your mind, and in your bedroom. For those few hours you’re not on your own, you feel like you’re home. That’s the power and that’s the beauty of live music. It gives us all a place.

The Roundhouse is a venue I’ve never really felt anything towards. I’m not into big venues. I last went there last year to see Patti Smith and I had a great time. Last night, I saw The Kills on the last date of their UK tour. Was it the best place to see them? Yes. Easily. I saw them 8 days before on the opening night of the tour in Manchester, and even though they’ve been on the road for so long, their show last night looked as if they were just getting started.

Their set is made up of tender moments such as when Alison rests her head on Jamie’s shoulder at the end of Pots And Pans. To when he glides over to her holding his gun like a weapon, then facing it onto the crowd. The way they look at each other, the way they scale the crowd with their eyes, how Jamie is easily the best guitarist I’ve ever seen, how Alison bends her body backwards during Whirling Eye and you think she’s about to snap, how Alison stalks the stage- all these moments and more lock you in. You know where to look. But are you aware of how it’s going to make you feel?
There is something truly, truly special about seeing your favourite band live. Being at the front and one of them look at you as they sing a song you love. You wish you could thank them for these moments- so, I guess writing this is my thank you. Eyes locked and a line from Hard Habit To Break is sung at me. Aware but unaware. I can keep that moment locked somewhere forever.
The set is similar to Manchester but along the way they’ve added songs- they added Love Is A Deserter and Let It Drop. I hadn’t given much attention to Let It Drop, but sometimes when you witness a song live, it changes your view on it. The lyrics are great, and I’m not sure why I’ve not played it as much as others off Ash & Ice.

Let’s go back to the tender moments of the show. For the encore, Alison takes to the stage to perform That Love. A heartbreaker of a song, but if your mind is in a rut, play it and it will help. Trust me. I mean, you’ll cry but that’s okay. What comes after That Love? The Last Goodbye. I’ve always had a hard time listening to that song, and for a period of time when Blood Pressures came out, that song meant the world to me. It in a sense, became my world. For sentimental reasons, that record was my glue for a long time. I thought seeing it live would just break my heart. I’m not in that place anymore, so why would it? Because the lyrics are gorgeous. I don’t know where Alison goes in her mind when she sings this, but there’s no way I could do it. Despite all that, it was truly a beautiful song to finally see live. The lyrics are just beautiful, and the care and feeling that is within them is mind blowing.
The set ends with Sour Cherry. The perfect song to end on (check the lyrics.) But you just don’t want it to be over. It is over far too soon. You feel as if it has just started, and it is done.

The Kills are a band that have no bounds with regard to who is a fan of theirs or who goes to their shows. There is a beautiful mixture of people at their shows irrespective of age, gender, race etc. There’s just nothing there to pin point what kind of person loves this band, and that shows the power they have. It’s amazing to be part of, and as mentioned many times before, being in that moment where it’s just you, them and others who love them as much as you- it makes nothing matter. All that matters is the music.

The gentle songs like Echo Home break your heart (the lyrics are perfect) are intertwined with rowdy limb flailing Whirling Eye to U.R.A Fever. When you think you know what you’re going to get, they upper cut you and you are constantly left in awe. Your head is swimming, jaw on the floor and you want more, and more. I could quite happy watch them play every night and cling on to this feeling as tight as I possibly can. There’s no replica for this. You can’t substitute it for something else.
Your favourite band will always be your world. Live music will always be a way to escape whatever you need, and part of the escapism is finding something you need. And when you get it, cling. Cling. The Kills are medicine for the mind, body and soul. They create moments for you to live in. You feel powerful with their words ringing in your ear. Everyone does mention this bond they have, and it is truly one of the most beautiful things you’ll ever see. 

I could quite happily write thousands and thousands of words about them and their live shows, but words don’t do any of it justice at all.

*all photos from the show are mine.

CROCODILES: Dreamless.

5 10 2016


“If you want somewhere to run to, and if you want someone to tell you the truth- go look out your window, baby.”

I’ve got a handful of things in life that make me truly happy. The obvious one being music. However, getting to write about a band who I adore (they’re not just a band, I’m lucky enough to class them as friends.) Writing about a band you love when they’re about to release something truly beautiful, well, that’s another great feeling entirely. I’ve had a copy of Dreamless by Crocodiles since May. I was given it at a point where I needed something, and I got it instantly from Dreamless. Hopefully when you hear it, you’ll get what I mean. I know I like to take apart each song when writing about a record, but I’m getting by on not much sleep at the moment so it probably won’t start or end well.

It’s so obvious how much I love Crocodiles music. From the moment I picked up their first record based on the artwork to fast forwarding to now, writing about Dreamless. Summer Of Hate and Sleep Forever had this amazing aggressive sound. Effortlessly menacing that left you wanting more. Endless Flowers took this menacing sound and mixed it with something so delicate which fully bloomed (pardon the pun) on Crimes Of Passion. Boys flirted with all their previous records- so what is left for them to do with Dreamless? Oh dear reader, they are just getting started.

I’ve looked through the records I own and also the music I haver stored on my laptop, and I can easily reel off the names of bands who much like Crocodiles change with every record. These are the kinds of bands that make you want to make your own, the kind that keep your attention constantly. Bands like The Kills and back to the likes of Captain Beefheart, Ramones, Patti, Morrissey- I could go on. And on. These are the ones who are gloriously fearless and can make each record sound as if they are a brand new band but still maintain a style that makes them tower above others. Crocodiles do it with every record. Dreamless is no exception. Although record in Mexico City, it sounds like it was born out a damp ridden apartment in Berlin circa early 70s. They’ve always given me that feeling, and for me- that’s how I want something to sound. I want it to take me somewhere I have physically yet to go, but mentally I am always there.

The record opens with Telepathic Lover, which consists of my favourite lyrics to any song I’ve heard all year. When I played it for the first time, it blew my mind. I felt this, massive connection to the lyrics, and they have been the backbone to a lot of thoughts I’ve had this year and god knows what else I’ve carried. “Telepathic Lover, please don’t look into my mind. Telepathic lover, you won’t like what you find.” Hands down my favourite lyrics of the year and probably my favourite by them, ever. There are so many songs by them I could list as being my favourite or what have you, but this one has something that just leaves me in awe of them. This is the one I keep going back to. It’s like meeting someone who really gets you.

Time To Kill has some gorgeous words to, and is beautifully sung. Brandon’s voice sounds like a gentle whisper on this one, and it makes the words echo more in your ears, and brain. It’s got a haunting sound to it, and this eerie tone lures you in. You feel secure but slightly scared all at once. Aside from the whole damn record being a work of glorious art and me obsessing over Telepathic Lover- you should know that Jumping On Angels is also one of the finest moments on the record. If this makes their live shows (I can only hope it does) then I’m pretty sure it’ll make the song sound greater than it already is. What I love about this record, is that the lyrics really make you think. I’ve spent a lot of time going back and forth over songs I love and finding lyrics that I love, and lyrics that mean something. With this record, Crocodiles have again made something that just makes you think and see things differently. They challenge themselves and the listener with every record, and that alone is a reason to completely love and respect them. Produced once again by Martin Thulin, it’s really no surprise that this is probably the best record you’ll hear all year.


Welcome To Hell has this groove to it that makes you want to dance, but when you delve into the lyrics- you’ll again, see just how brilliant they are at writing songs that just make you take your mind elsewhere. Welcome To Hell makes you feel like you’ve wound up in a fight in the middle of some dodgy bar, and as you stumble home, the trouble just doesn’t leave you be. You just need to get yourself home and shut off.Welcome To Hell also has the brilliant line, “I never should have been a Peeping Tom.” Wonderfully perverse, in the best way. I’m Sick has this way of making you feel less alone with burden of self you can carry around at times. An easy song to relate to- listen to it and don’t be too tough on yourself.

I guess it shows at times I never re-read anything I’ve written, and I know I’ve probably missed out so much. I know I could have said so much more about Dreamless and how stunning it is. But, if you’re already a fan of Crocodiles then you’ll already know what to expect. You’ll already know that with every record, they blow your mind and do something to just make you love them even more. Songs like Go Now are perfect to play when you need some quiet time to get it together.

Crocodiles are currently on tour in Europe and will be coming over to the UK within the next few days. I’m skipping the London date and going to Manchester instead. You can’t miss seeing your favourite band at one of your favourite places, can you?!

Come out and see them at any of the following dates. Dreamless will be released on 21st October on Zoo Music.

1th October 2016 – Leeds Headrow House
13th October 2016 – Glasgow Broadcast
14th October 2016 – Manchester Night and Day
15th October 2016 – London Hackney Wonderland