CORPORATIONPOP: Meet Me By The Viaduct.

18 03 2018



I have a few days left in London, then it is off to the place that’s always felt like home. Manchester. Home to some of the best music and poets. Home. It will soon be my home. I’ve wanted to move there since I finished university. Things got in the way. I’ve properly been trying for nearly 2 years now to move there, and now it is happening. I should be scared, I should be nervous. I’m excited. There’s no better person to write about to cement my move than corporationpop aka Elise Hadgraft.

Her words remind me of a Sunday evening, dreading the working week. Her humour and observations are absolutely brilliant. Her voice/accent truly make these songs a joy to listen to. I listen to her words and her way with words, and it gives off this homely feel to it. You feel as if you’re sat down with your best mate in the pub/working men’s club drinking lukewarm beer or sat at home nursing a good cup of teas. Her words are comforting yet uncomfortable. Bleach evokes this. Then you have the beautiful observations of Stockport in the effortlessly brilliant Seven Miles South.

I’m not someone who can always write without being biased, so everything I’m writing about the new corporationpop release is obviously going to be one-sided, but then you listen to songs like Ted Hughes and it is so obvious how amazing Elise is. She’s got this incredible way with words, and you cannot help be in awe of her. The way she writes, the way she presents her words are so full of real life and raw references. References that are so wonderfully Northern. It makes you feel so at home and more aware of what it around you.

Meet Me By The Viaduct is such a fantastic EP that makes the mind wander. You may never get to the place where Elise is, but that’s okay. Maybe you’re watching her watching the world go by and creating it all here- as corporationpop. This EP is the perfect imagery of Northern life, and it is fantastic. I won’t do the North/South divide here- it doesn’t need to be done. It’s obvious what is better! Something I absolutely adore about this EP is the way that Elise says her words. The way she can effortlessly (I know I say it a lot- sorry!) put you where she is, and her way of doing so goes beyond being just words.

It is such a powerful body of work, and her words should be studied by kids at school. Honestly, she has this greatness to her that should be explored by all and learnt. Imagine being in school and having something like Elise’s words being shown to you, and you get to express what they mean to you. I’m pretty sure more kids would be turned on to poetry. And maybe they would turn off their phones.

I love the bitterness in Ted Hughes and how it comes across. I love how these words feel like something expressed after someone has just pissed you off too much you have to write a song about them, but in a way that holds a lot of wit, wisdom and a nice chunk of disdain.

This is the second corporationpop release but by no means does it play into to the “difficult second album” myth. If anything, it totally squashes it. In just 4 songs, you are taken to a place that feels like Corrie circa the 60s mixed with bus stop musings and observations.

I truly haven’t done Meet Me By The Viaduct any justice, so it’s probably best if you pre-order it here: and find out for yourself.

Meet Me By The Viaduct will be released on 20th April via Odd Box Records.



16 03 2018



France is home to some of my favourite musicians such as Dusty Mush and Dr Chan. It was the home to one of the greats, Serge Gainsbourg. The king of song-writing. It is also home to one of the best new (ish) bands around- Metro Verlaine.

Their record Cut-Up came out today, and I have been waiting for a long time to hear this record. It is produced by the wonderful human that is Charlie from Crocodiles. You can hear his influence slightly in this record, and it is a brilliant thing. The record is loud in all the right places and it is perfectly created.

It is truly an exceptional record that just doesn’t get old. Everything about Cut-Up is so effortlessly powerful and just mind-blowing.

For me, it is always about the build up to a record that summons my interest. I’ve watched their progress with this record on various social media platforms, and it really does look like the band and Charlie had such fun making this record. That comes through on the songs, even on songs like Hate- which is really great and brutal. I feel a lot of love for the song Manchester. Probably because I’m moving there next week!

Some of the songs are sung in French, and for the most part I don’t know what’s going on. But I don’t care! It sounds so beautiful. The vocals are full of this determination and passion, and the way it comes through with everything that’s going on in the songs is amazing. I truly cannot get enough of this record. I love how I can hear influences from bands I love, and bands that Metro Verlaine love in the songs. At times you can hear the heaviness of Joy Division. At times you can pick up on the eeriness of The Cure and there is something about The Stone Roses that flows throughout. I think it’s the connection between them all, and this steady rhythm that flows through the record.

I really hope Metro Verlaine tour this record, and bring it to the UK. There is something really special about this record that makes you want to experience it in a live setting. I think the song Ballade Sauvage is one of the songs that just HAS to be witnessed live. There is something so passionately dark about this song. It’s got this ethereal build up within it and it takes over the mind, soul and body. And whatever else you’ve got for the taking. Crocodile is a song that I can’t wait to see live too. It’s got this really raw feel to it, and you feel like you’re being smacked in the face over and over. But it feels good. You want them to keep doing it over and over again. Until your body and soul feel exhausted. You’re just a sucker for the music, man!

It’s a record you can enjoy in any setting. You can blast it as loud as possible whilst at home, you can have it ringing in your ears as you wander the streets. However loud you want to play it and wherever you want to play it, it’ll just make you feel good. It’s such a fantastic record, and with each listen there is definitely more and more to love about it. Cut-Up is a record that I know I am going to keep going back to. It sounds like something from the past but also something from the future that we are unaware of yet.

It has such a special and unique feel to it. It’s loud in all the right places, it has tender moments when needed. It’s like a sleepy Sunday afternoon- you just don’t want this record to ever end.


10 03 2018



I’m not counting the days or anything, but I am leaving London for good soon. FINALLY. I can’t wait to not work just to pay rent, which is what I do now and it is no way to live. Anyway, with that aside it is important I find a band to pack to. A band to let my mind drift off rather than sort my life out. I’ve packed my books away already. Three big boxes full. I need a band that can make such a dull task less boring and less irritating. I give you the finest band from Northern Italy, and that band is Freez.

Freez are an incredible band from Schio which is in the Vicenza province. They are 4 friends who make music that send your mind and body off into a whirl. They are easily one of the best bands from Italy right now. I massive rate this band and also Beat Degeneration (who I’ve already written about.) Freez have this brilliant and effortlessly cool sound. There’s nobody else quite like them, and what I really love about their sound is that it just makes you happy right away. The lyrics at times may ooze the boredom of every day life but nothing is ever perfect, and they create the perfect balance of this. Their sound isn’t heavy but there is definitely some Punk undertones in their sound. They do make you feel like hanging out at the beach doing nothing all day, and that’s something I really enjoy getting from music.

The vocals are distorted in all the right places and are mixed beautifully with a relaxed guitar sound. It’s such a clichéd and annoying thing to say, but they really do have a blissed out sound. Freez do have a real summer feel to their music, and it is such a joy to listen to. Freez have perfected this surfer rock sound in a way that would make those who have tried to do so, quite envious of them.

They are most certainly a band that come alive at their shows. A band that you just have to see live in order to really appreciate how great they are. I have no idea when or if they’ll come to the UK but at the moment they are on tour in southern Italy and heading to France.

Routine was released last February and it is such a great record. It has everything you could possibly want from a band who make this style of music, but at the same time they definitely aren’t shy with experimenting with different sounds, and to really push themselves. The cassette was a limited release and came in three colours (white, peach and surf green.) Although there are only 5 songs, it is more than enough to make you fall in love with their music. Freez make music for you to waste your day to. Well, personally I don’t see it as wasting a day but others might. Some days you just need to do a whole load of nothing, and Freez are the band to do nothing to. Witch is my favourite song from the Routine tape. I love the urgency in it and how ferocious it is. It’s probably their heaviest song so far and it is one that I find myself constantly playing over and over again.

There is really no point in me naming bands that you could possibly compare Freez to- that just strips away the effort and passion they put into their music. They are such a young band who really do have such a promising future. I absolutely adore their sound and I love how they just fuse together a surfer rock sound mixed with everything in between to make something of their own. If you feel like going on holiday this month, then head to southern Italy to see them or France if you feel like it.

In my biased opinion, Freez are amazing. I cannot wait to hear more from them.



23 02 2018



Last night, I braved the bitter cold and went to the Lock Tavern in Camden to see a band I had wanted to see for ages- Dr Chan. However, my review of their set will come later on. Right now I just need to write about the absolutely fantastic GURU who are from Brighton. They are loud and nothing short of exciting.

What I loved about their set and their music in general is that it isn’t what you expect. When they took to the stage, I kind of expected them to have a relaxed sound. What hit us all was this gorgeous loudness that reminded me of Sleep but the vocals were something else. I’m not one of these people who say “Oh it is hard to impress me” when it comes to music. I know what I like, and I tend to like stuff that’s a bit dark and tormented and loud. GURU are of course, my ideal band. I’m useless with names, but my god the singer is brilliant. His vocals on the song Roses are exceptional. It is such a great song. To first be aware of them by seeing their live show is awesome. I’ve listened to some of their songs on bandcamp/soundcloud, and it seems much tamer. I love a band that really let rip in their live shows.

The bassist from GURU is massively impressive. I stood pretty close to him (the stage is tiny at the Lock Tavern) and for fear of being smacked in the head by the bass, I moved back a bit. I think I spent most of their set just gawping in awe at him. I loved how he threw himself to his knees during most of their set. I loved how during the last song, the singer walked off and the remaining three just went even wilder on stage. There is no other band around that are like this. They are truly something else, and I am so happy to have seen them.

I’m finally leaving London next month, and I really do hope that GURU find their way up north because they have a fan for life right here. I love the proper aggression in their sound and how every song is played (on record and live) with this urgency that just makes you cling on to every single word. It makes you believe in every single word. They are easily one of the best bands you’ll ever see live. They are just so fascinating and incredible. I honestly feel like whatever I write about them just doesn’t do them justice. GURU are one of those bands that just blow you away. I love that they just fucked over my expectations of them with how I thought they would sound.

If you are able to catch this band, please do. You won’t regret it. Allow yourself to be left deafened by their glorious sound, to have your face melted and your record collection improved immensely. They are easily one of the most exciting bands you’ll hear this year, probably. Brighton’s finest, for sure.


*photo credit: Sophie Benjafield



21 02 2018



10 years ago I started this blog. I started it whilst in my second year at University. I’m not sure if I knew I would stick at this, or if I’d just let it fade away. Everyone has something that keeps them sane. Keeps them busy. Some draw, some play music. I write about it. 10 years is a long time. It’s not out of habit, it’s never forced. It’s been one thing I have solidly relied on, and I’m pretty happy to “celebrate” this by writing about South Korea’s finest band- Crawler.

I know nothing about them, but it doesn’t matter. What I do know is that they make brilliant music that allows you to escape time and place. We always need that, and at the right time- a band will find you that will guide you away.

Their last release, Why Did You Sleep Last Night? consists of 6 mind-blowing songs that deserve to be played as loud as humanly possible. But, if like me you are aware of your surroundings- you’ll keep noise to a minimum. Sort of. The songs will make you want to break stuff, it’ll make you want to do a whole bunch of crazy shit. Do it. Do whatever the hell you want and let Crawler be the soundtrack to it all.

Crawler make effortlessly wild music that will just make you feel, as awfully clichéd as it sounds, alive. They will give you that kick you’ve been seeking for far too long. If you’re feeling disheartened about something or someone, then they will fix you right up. They’ll unleash every ounce of fury inside of you. Songs like Phantom and Baby Doll will make you feel good. They’ll make you feel free.

Something I really love about Crawler is that they really do have such a strong Punk feel to their sound, and they really do make you want to check out their shows and just totally soak up their music and what they are about. They give off that same feeling that bands like Dusty Mush and Dr Chan do. It’s like they have all created their own little scene, and all we can do is lovingly observe it all. Which I am totally fine with. They just make you want to get lost in the music and fall into a different time and place. If music can make you feel, and do this- then surely it is one of the most powerful forces we have, right? There’s no disputing just how powerful music is.

Crawler are such a huge joy to listen to, and like all the music I write about- they have a sound that I am always looking for. A sound that I absolutely idolise and cannot get enough of. Like I mentioned earlier, I know nothing about them but I do know that they are nothing short of brilliant.

You know what to do- buy the music and play it as loud as you can handle!



11 02 2018



There is nothing better than easing the dullness of Sunday by listening to some obnoxiously loud music. Music that makes you feel like something has stomped on your bones, music that makes you want to quit that 9-5 (other hours are available if you wish) and music that just makes you want to do anything other than what you need to. I’m going away on Tuesday, and I’d rather listen to music than pack. I’d probably want to go to sleep more. That’s usually the case.

Flesh Panthers are Chicago’s finest band. They sound as if they have crawled out from wooden crates in dark alleyways to come out and bring some much needed rowdiness to basement bars and desolate streets. They sound as if they lurk until they find their targets to pounce upon and unleash their powerful and loud sounds. Like as panther hunting its prey, of course.

They have a wealth of songs to really get lost in. I think their last release may have been in 2016, which was the Willows Weep record. It’s a really great record that sounds like everything I want from a Garage Rock/Punk band. There’s the right amount of distortion and a brilliant amount of hypnotising guitar grooves. The drums will have you moving your body in all kinds of ways- especially the song Tuff Enuff. It’s one of their tame songs, and it makes you think of summer. It has this really cool and laid-back sound that makes you want to just laze about. It’s pretty comforting considering outside it’s either snowing or raining, again. It’s got this tropical feel to it, and I think at the moment it could be my favourite song by them, but as I delve into their earlier songs such as Bleed Black Leather- I can’t help but want to stay there. However, there’s this slight shift in sound in each record of theirs which shows just how strong they are as a band. Nervous Breakdown is such as fantastic song to let all your frustrations out to. It’s got this proper raw Punk sound going all the way through it. It makes you want to throw stuff around. It makes you want to drive far (but if like me, you can’t drive- maybe take the bus) and they make you want to make your own kind of noise.

I love how the bass has this fuzzy-like sound which goes so well with everything else that is going on. To really get the bass to come alive like this, play it through headphones and it will be the bass that leaves you in a trance. A proper feel good trance that only Flesh Panthers can put you in, and they probably don’t have any intention of dragging you out of it. I mean, why would you want to when it sounds and feels this good.

I can’t possibly pick which record is my favourite but if you are new to them, start from their first release and work on up to now. Some bands you can just start wherever, but there are some bands that you have to go on the journey with. Flesh Panthers are one of those bands, and it’s because you can truly hear how they have developed their sound and have earned their right to be one of the best bands to come out of Chicago in a long time.

They have got such a strong collection of songs and records, and they just make you want to play it all constantly and as loud as you can stand. Edge of the Knife is definitely a song that needs to be played loud as does VooDoo Shang-a-Lang.

A new record by Flesh Panthers should be coming out this year, and I cannot wait for it!


DEAD BOYS: O2 Islington Academy 2 08/02/2017.

9 02 2018




If I was someone who made a bucket list, then last night would have been something I could have ticked off. I never in my wildest dreams, and they are wild, would I imagine seeing one of the bands who made a record that I religiously play. Never would I have imagined seeing one of the greatest bands of all time.

Last night I finally saw Dead Boys play a small venue in London. It felt like we had all been thrown back to the golden year for Punk, 1977. 40 years ago Dead Boys, fronted by the one of a kind, Stiv Bators, released their debut record Young, Loud and Snotty. We all know that Stiv sadly passed away in 1990, so who on earth could come close to possessing his demeanour and way of performing the songs? It’s by no means an easy thing to do, and to some it’s probably damn near impossible but one man is doing it. And he is doing it in a way that probably has Stiv smirking down on the band. Jake Hout is remarkable, and his tribute to Stiv before dedicating Calling On You was beautiful.  His voice is incredible and he really captures what Dead Boys were about. He has that same snarly voice that Stiv had- he’s not as wild as Stiv but bloody hell he is great. For a few songs he hangs off the light above the stage. He also manages to crowd surf.

Although I was stood at the back, it was probably a solid spot to be in. I could see a sea of beautiful Punks in front of me all reliving the first time that they heard Dead Boys. I couldn’t sing the songs; all I could do was just smile like an idiot. I thought about Stiv a lot throughout, and Jake gave a beautiful tribute to him. I thought that was a really beautiful thing for him to do.

The crowd took me back to when I saw The Jesus And Mary Chain in 2014, and the crowd was mainly older men who had grown up with the band. With this show, it was a mix of everyone- and the older crowd were shouting the lyrics back at the band with as much love, passion and power as they must have done 40 years ago.

For me, I think this will be one of those shows that I’ll remember forever. There was such a lovely atmosphere, and given that the lyrical content of some of their songs may make others cringe- who cares?! The songs are as important as ever. The delivery of songs like I Need Lunch, All This And More and of course the ever influencing, Sonic Reducer is just impeccable.

I’m fairly sure last night Cheetah put a lot of people to shame with his guitar playing. He’s just as great as he was the first time around. Still loud. Why should you quieten down? You cannot tame a band like this, and why should you even want to? Johnny Blitz was as loud as ever, and that familiar sound he created all those years ago just took you back to the first time hearing the Dead Boys. The sound of the Dead Boys is massively distinctive, and to see Johnny Blitz and Cheetah- two of the pioneers of this sound, was mind-blowing.

I think with this show, the crowd and the band were equally contributing to how amazing the show was. Sometimes, you see a band and they are amazing but the crowd give nothing. This however, was such a great balance. I’m almost certain Jake would have had the crowd hanging from the lights above the stage with him if he could. I think also that if a kid who had never really heard of the Dead Boys before and was possibly only just getting into music, if they were at this show then I’m sure they would have left wanting to start a band. Like people did when they saw the Sex Pistols at that infamous Manchester show.

I was worried that the show would come across as almost karaoke like or that it would just take away the legacy of the band, and this record. But I had nothing to worry about at all. It was perfect. I could happily go see them every single night. Every night venturing closer to the stage and shouting the words back. It was nothing short of an honour to see Dead Boys and to be part of a crowd that truly idolise this band. Sometimes when I go to shows, I have this romanticised feeling of always wanting to be in that moment forever- I got that feeling last night.


It was such a small venue, and it gave that proper Punk feel to it. All of us crammed in this room to see undoubtedly, one of the greatest bands ever. There is nothing quite like it.