ZIG ZAGS: Soup Kitchen, Manchester 21st May 2019.

22 05 2019

Image result for ZIG ZAGS BAND 2019

 

Last night I got the chance to see one of the loudest bands ever. There’s only a couple of bands that have left me partially deaf after a show, and Zig Zags are one of them. They are LA’s nosiest band for sure.

They played my favourite venue here, the Soup Kitchen. The only bad thing about this show was that there was hardly anyone there. I’m disheartened about this because Zig Zags are a brilliant live band. However, although the turnout was poor that didn’t stop them and maybe subconsciously they decided to play louder than usual? I don’t know, but I do know this- it was one of the standout shows I’ve been to this year. It was their first time in Manchester, and I really hope it isn’t their last because they are a band that you’ve just GOT to see live. There’s something about them that just spurs you on.

They recently released their new record, They’ll Never Take Us Alive. I wanted to write a review about the record but, I kind of wanted to see their show first before taking it on. I wanted to see how it’d come across in a live environment because it has such a big sound. So, this is part live review/part record review/part me just going on about how great they are. I don’t know where any of this will go, but it’s out of pure admiration.

 

 

The new record is full of anthems, and I as I watched them in awe last night I couldn’t help but feel that their songs would be perfect in a stadium. They have this wonderful, grand sound but it isn’t overpowering. They are amazing musicians, and I swear Dane is one of the greatest drummers of our time. Although the venue wasn’t full, last night he played as if it was a huge fucking stadium and for me- that just sold it. The way they played last night just cemented my respect for them.

Zig Zags remind me of the Misfits mixed with the Melvins and Sleep; with a hint of Noothgrush. Basically, a perfect sound On record, sure you can hear loud they are but when you see them live, something else happens. The songs are heightened and they have this bigger feel to them. Considering they played a small venue, they made it sound like you were somewhere quadruple the size of where you were. For me, that shows you just how great a band is.

With three records into their career, each one is a step bigger and louder. They evolve in a brilliant way, and I really hope I get to see them live again because this was some show! I don’t think there’s a band around right now that are like this, and I just love how they can just annihilate your eardrums in the most beautiful way possible. They’ll Never Take Us Alive is definitely one of this year’s most out there records, and one that oozes fearlessness and this ferocious energy that you just cannot get enough of.

 

 

Zig Zags are the best at what they do, and not only do their records prove this- but their live shows do too. I’m pretty much going to live in the two shirts I bought last night!

Advertisements




CROCODILES. Soup Kitchen, Manchester 17th May 2019.

21 05 2019

Related image

 

How do you write about a band that you have seen 11 times live without repeating yourself? Who cares! Friday night was my 11th time seeing my buddies, Crocodiles and they played my absolute favourite venue in Manchester- the Soup Kitchen. It’s a sweaty and dark basement venue; just how it should be.

End of April 2009, Crocodiles released their debut record. A record I bought by accident on the day it came out and since then, I’ve just fallen in love with everything they’ve done since. Every record has blown me away, and every show has done the same.

However, there is something truly special about their shows in Manchester that stand out. This was my 3rd time seeing them in Manchester, and I just love how you can see how much this beautiful city means to Brandon and Charlie. There was even a nod to local hero, Pete Shelley with their Buzzcocks cover which I’m sure he would have been proud of.

I stood directly in front of Charlie, and was in awe of his pedal set-up. It’s a piece of art, and he swings his guitar around like a machine gun whilst looking like a young Scott Walker. Brandon and Charlie have this way of just changing how you feel about their music when you see them live, and it is always a wonderful thing to witness. They are just of the most talented people I’ve ever met, and they just put their all into their shows.

 

You can’t help but shift your eyes across the stage to watch them all annihilate the stage. Brandon sings with this passion that is just astounding, and Charlie matches it with his effortlessly cool way of using his guitar as a weapon. As cliched as it is, they are just the coolest cats around, and it just shines through perfectly in their songs and their live shows.

The energy in the crowd is typical of a Manchester crowd, and just an absolute pleasure to be part of. The love that Crocodiles have for this city is just admirable, and something us fans here truly treasure. They feed off the crowd, and this crowd were reciprocating it. 10 years in, and they are still making music to lose your shit to. Songs like I Wanna Kill and Marquis De Sade, and new songs such as Exit My Head come more alive. I can’t ever get enough of hearing I Wanna Kill, and the crowd are the same. It’s one of those songs that just do something to you, and once you hear it. It’s an anthem.

Crocodiles are a band that you just don’t ever get tired of listening to, and watching. They have this way of just making you forget the real world for the time they are on stage. They make you want to start a band, they make you want to always be in the moment of being at a live show. As a fan, this is what I absolutely adore about music and how powerful it is. Also, Brandon and I had Bad Brains shirts on which anyone else would regard as a wardrobe clash. However for this, it’s just two people who love one of the best bands ever!

There’s a good balance of songs from all of their records, and sure I’d want them to play all of them but hey- that’s too much, I know! This was my first time seeing them on my own, and as someone who suffers with depression and anxiety I full on prepared myself to have some form of panic attack. I was wrong, I just felt totally safe at this show. Trivial I know, but small things like this help. Anyway, smushy stuff aside- it was just a brilliant show.

 

They are a band that just need to be seen live. Their live shows allow you to see even moreso just how fantastic they are. If I could, I’d see them on every tour at every date. But shows like Friday’s in Manchester are treasured dearly.

Crocodiles new record, Love Is Here is out now and they have 2 more UK dates left before a couple of shows in Paris this week.

 





THE MURDER CAPITAL.

13 05 2019

 

Image may contain: 3 people, night and indoor

 

With a name as dark, and as sinister as The Murder Capital- you’d hope that their sound is every part moody and brutal. They go beyond that, and in turn it makes them one of the most exciting bands around. I know nothing about The Murder Capital, but I sure as hell know I love their sound. I love how heavy it is, and I love this beautiful and magnetic darkness in the music and lyrics. There is honesty, there is eeriness and there is a wonderful glimpse of vulnerability within their songs. There is so much about The Murder Capital that makes them such an effortlessly brilliant band. There is something about them that stirs something within you, and once it grips you- that’s it.

Last month they supported Idles, which just shows how talented they are. Imagine being at that London show seeing two of the best bands around. Does it get better than that? Probably not.

There is this gorgeous desperation in the music, and it is evident on the song Green & Blue, where James’ vocals just shatter your heart in a way no other song has. His voice is powerful, but not in an overbearing way. He has this tone to his voice that can be brutal when needed but is fragile at the right moments. He truly shows this on Green & Blue. The Murder Capital have a distinctive sound that has you hooked on them immediately.

I wanted to wait a while before writing about them, because I really wanted to take the time to get to know the music rather than do my usual passion ramble about something I love. I’m aware it is annoying. The Murder Capital have got two songs up on their Spotify page, and those two songs are enough to make you fall in love, and believe in them. You just know that something truly remarkable is going to happen with them. I can’t wait to see it, I just know that when their debut record comes out- it’ll blow us all away. But in the meantime, I’ve got Feeling Fades (which has been produced by the genius that is, Flood) and Green & Blue on a loop. However, look below and you’ll be lucky enough to watch a stunning live performance of More Is Less, which is just a masterpiece.

The Murder Capital are a band that just HAVE to be heard. They must be heard as loud as you can stand. I’ve yet to see their live shows but something tells me it’s nothing short of a magical experience that will take over every single part of you. These five pals from Dublin are really one of the most exciting and powerful bands around. They have something about them that just makes you listen. I mean REALLY, REALLY listen to them. Their sound is intense, and it is the kind of intense that is in a record by The Birthday Party. You’re constantly on the edge of something, and you never know when it’ll hit. For me, that’s something I always look for in music. I want something to always keep me on edge. Which sounds a bit fucked really considering I’m on medication for depression and anxiety! Besides, music helps me out more and having something to listen to that throws you deep into the unknown is such a powerful feeling, and one that nothing else in the world can compare to.

The Murder Capital are quite frankly, going to blow your mind. Maybe you’ll catch onto them soon. Maybe in a few months, or a year. But when they grip you, embrace it. Really embrace it because bands like this do not happen  often.

 

*Photo credit: JustGrayce





DR CHAN: The Peer Hat, Manchester 3rd May 2019.

3 05 2019

 

dr chan peer hat 020519

 

It’s obvious how much I love French Garage Rock Gods, Dr Chan. Any chance to write about them or tell someone about them, I’ll do it. You know when you hear something, and you can’t help but think, “Yep, this is the band for me.” Well, that’s what I got from them a couple of years ago when my obsession began.

I last saw Dr Chan live last year in London at the Lock Tavern. It was the last show I attended before I left that city and moved to Manchester. A move that I should have done years and years ago. It was the last show I went to, and it was the perfect way to leave that city. The room was packed and full of love; it was just a brilliant show. Last night, there was no more than 10 of us watching them. I don’t even think it got to double figures. I felt bad for the band because I know just how brilliant they are, and how they are the best at what they do. It didn’t dishearten the band though, they still played as if the room was full.

They blazed through songs from Southside Suicide and Squire. I’m pretty sure that these are my most played records. I love how they just take you somewhere with their music, and give you that opportunity to zone out and forget everything. Yesterday I had a pretty stressful day, but as soon as Dr Chan hit the stage- I was calm again.

I really loved hearing the songs off their most recent record, Squire, last night. Growing Up is probably my favourite off that record and it’s an absolute joy to see live. They play with this effortlessly cool stance, and you can tell how much they love doing it. When you get that from a band, you know that you have found something really beautiful. It’s just an absolute pleasure to watch them.

Dr Chan make the kind of music that I’d want to make. It’s a raw Garage Rock sound, and they are unafraid to really push their sound. For instance, their record Southside Suicide sounds nothing like Squire- but you still know it is them. They have a distinct sound, but aren’t afraid to change it up. They do this so well in their live shows, and as sad as I am that not many of us were there last night, I’m just happy that they played a show here in Manchester. They’re playing the Shacklewell Arms in London tonight I think, and if I still lived there- I’d have been right at the front again.

There’s a handful of bands I love that I would happily go see live every night, and Dr Chan are easily one of them. On record they are brilliant, but something remarkable happens during their live shows. They transform songs like The Sinner and Bloody No$e into something else live, and it’s just a pleasure to watch.

For me, I can easily say that Dr Chan are one of the best bands I’ve seen live and are most certainly one of my favourite bands in general. I love how they can take you to the streets of Paris or make you feel like you’re hanging out at a skatepark. They’ve got something about them that comforts you within the lyrics (this is really apparent on the Squire record) and the music alone just does something to you. Alexin is a great song-writer, and to see the growth into their new record is just astounding.

I can’t tell you enough just how great they are. My only advice is, listen to them and if you see that they are playing a venue near you- go see them!





AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS: The Deaf Institute, Manchester. 6th April 2019.

6 04 2019

“I’m poor, I’m broke, but I’m just fine.”

You know how the world and its mother insists that they were at the Sex Pistols gig decades and decades ago at the Lesser Free Trade Hall? Well, tonight at The Deaf Institute, Amyl and The Sniffers gave off that feeling- this was a gig that EVERYONE wanted to be at. I feel bad for those who didn’t see that their set was at half 8, and walked in just as their show was coming to an end.

I was right at the back, but I saw it all. I was right at the back and not near speakers, but I can’t hear properly. That alone makes it a brilliant show. As someone who has panic attacks a fair amount, I was convinced this would be the reason why I wouldn’t be able to make the show tonight. But I went. No hint of anxiety was there, and amongst a room full of sweaty strangers- I felt safe. I was in my own world. I needed this. I needed to witness this beautiful form of chaos and see a band that I absolutely adore, for the first time.

The first thing I want to talk about is their cover of Deceptacon by Le Tigre. A song that is just obviously one of the best. Le Tigre mean a lot to me, anything Kathleen Hanna does means a lot to me. She’s a fucking goddess, and seeing Amyl and The Sniffers put this song in their set tonight gave me that feeling I got when I first heard Kathleen Hanna’s voice.

The first thing you notice about Amyl and The Sniffers is their energy. If you’re feeling a bit shitty, go to one of their shows or just listen to their music. It’ll do something to you that nothing else will. This gig tonight was truly something else, and I don’t think any band has ever ripped The Deaf Institute apart like this before. There was a mosh pit immediately, Amy stage dived a few times, she handed the mic around to the crowd (one lucky person made it on stage to sing with her for a few seconds before security clocked on.) It was a show that made you feel some type of way. It made you feel alive, and I know that sounds so corny but it really gave you that intense feeling. I love how Amy has this massive grin on her face the whole time. You can tell that they all love playing shows so much, and it truly shows on their faces and the way they all play with this strong and united energy, which flows right into the crowd instantly.

70s Street Munchies was one of my many highlights. It’s easily my favourite song by them, but seeing it live just hyped the song up even more for me. I love how Amyl and The Sniffers are such a strong Punk band yet they don’t make it feel clichéd or make it sound like something we’ve all heard before. They’re doing it their way, and it’s nothing short of perfect. Westgate and Mole (Sniff Sniff) were intense and brilliant. New songs like Monsoon Rock were incredible. Monsoon Rock has this really brutal intro, it’s incredible. I’m Not A Loser and Stole My Push Bike saw everyone go totally nuts and lose their shit. I loved, LOVED Balaclava Lover Boogie so much. I love how this song has this almost Funk rhythm to it- for me, Amy’s vocals on this are my favourite, easily. She has this way of screaming the songs at you but they do not have any hints of intimidation to it. You listen. You listen intensely, and shout the words back. You cannot take your eyes off the band, they are all just a sheer joy to watch, and will leave you wishing, “I wish I could do that.”

They may have only been making music together for a couple of years, but if you heard them and knew nothing about them- you’d have thought that they have been together for decades and are either as band that spilled out of New York in the 70s, or were part of the Riot Grrrl movement in the 90s. What I’m getting at is basically, they take everything I am in love with about music and just blow your mind. They’re like the Ramones meets Bikini Kill, but at the same time they are just unlike anything else.

On record they blow your mind, but live they absolutely burst your eardrums. Tonight’s show in Manchester was nothing short of rambunctious joy. Nobody was stood still at this show; as soon as the band came on stage there was this glorious roar in the crowd, and that energy went straight into the band.

Of all the shows I’ve been to, I really don’t think I’ve seen this much energy in a room before. I hope some people who were there left wanting to start their own band or movement. The atmosphere was nothing less than what I’d expect from a Manchester crowd. They’re the best crowd, always. There was just so much love and respect in the room, and it just added to the beauty of the show.

I really cannot praise Amyl and The Sniffers enough, and something tells me that this will not be the last time I go see this band. They leave you wishing you could be at their shows every night because sometimes, you just need that raw and rowdy feel from a show. They give you it, and a hell of a lot more. Drinks flew, items of clothing ended up on stage and hearing was probably lost by most of us. A memorable show, for sure.

Go see them. Stand at the back and soak up the atmosphere, or go right into the depths of the crowd and throw your body around with everyone else. Wherever you are, you’ll just feel part of this truly mind-blowing experience, and you’ll probably compare everything else you listen to or any show you go to, to them.





BAD HOO: What Is When.

11 03 2019

a0528319882_10

 

Aside from The Coathangers putting out an incredible record on Friday, Bad Hoo also put out something truly remarkable.

If you’re looking for a record to get drunk to, break stuff to, have a good time to or just do a whole load of nothing to- then you’re going to love What Is When. It’s a proper smack in the kisser kind of record. It’s just a brilliant noisy record, and it’s fuelling my obsession for them.

The lyrics and music on this record are hard-hitting. It’s a take on what’s going on, and what is messed up in the world. But you can’t help but be comforted by the music. You kind of feel at ease with all that’s fucked up in the world, and you just throw your cares away to the music. Bad Hoo are definitely a band that are here to be seen live, listening to this record you truly hear how brilliant they are and how their music is meant to be witnessed live. Shit kicking songs like Confuse Bouche and Rootbeer, NZ are the ones you know will set off any crowd. The songs on this record are beautifully wild, and these two are definitely a prime example of this. The songs are made for a good time, all the time. The record will get you to loosen up, and it’ll also charge your mind up when needed.

I love how they make this record a collection of songs that show us all that they are so sure of their sound. When you listen to this record, you feel at times you’ve stepped into a Spaghetti Western or into a dive bar. They give you these brilliant images and situations, and for a band to do this so early in their career is nothing short of genius. I’m in awe of them. I just love Bad Hoo a hell of a lot, and I love how they just have this unfiltered approach to their sound. Nothing is overproduced, no one outshines the other. It’s just a bunch of pals making music for us to believe in.

The best thing to do with this record is this: on your first listen, be alone. Do it through headphones. Second listen: play really loudly and do whatever the hell you want to do as you listen to it. Third listen onwards: play it so your neighbours hear, play loud and just go nuts to it. Oh, and make sure you really let go to Banana Splat- especially the instrumental break. It’s insane. It’s such a great moment on the record, and it’s definitely one of the liveliest songs on the record.

Whatever you’re into, you’ll get into this. It’s such a great record, and the more you listen to it the more you hear how great the band are. Songs like Blind Dolphin just leave me in awe every time. I just really love this band, and I cannot help but praise this record. Everything about this record is all I want from music. It’s rowdy, it’s loud and it’s unlike anything else I’ve heard before. What Is When is such an exciting record to listen to, over and over again. I’ve played it a lot the past few days, and I keep finding different parts to love. The record has this wonderful ability to make you see with every listen, just how brilliant they are as musicians. There is so much going on but by no means is it overbearing. It’s just an absolute pleasure to listen to. Most certainly one of the year’s finest records for sure!

Please go out and buy this record so they can afford to come do a UK tour.





THE COATHANGERS: The Devil You Know.

8 03 2019

a3772472396_10

 

Everything I’m about to say about The Coathangers has already been said before. We know they are exceptional, and this is even more apparent on their new record, The Devil You Know. If you’re looking for a record to totally lose yourself in and just love music all over again- get this record. You don’t even need to read anything anyone writes about it- just buy the record.

This is their sixth record, and its again another example of why they are such an exciting band. There’s no other band like them, and that’s what really grips you. There’s other things that really grab you about this band, but the main thing is- they are fucking incredible. They’ve been going for over a decade, but they still maintain this brand new sound that just makes you want to listen to them, and only them.

This record is ridiculous. It’s heavy, it’s Punk, it’s loud, it’s a work of art. It’s straight up genius. Crimson Telephone is my go to song to play obnoxiously loud. I remember being about 14 years old and listening to Bikini Kill for the first time- I found a band that really spoke to me. I found them on my own, and it changed my life. That feeling they gave me was something that every kid gets when they find a band by themselves, and the band become their life. The Coathangers do exactly the same for me. With this new record, they do it all over again. This is such a great record that has so much emotion and passion within it. It’s absolutely one of the best records we will get this year. Besides, it’s been released again on Suicide Squeeze and we all know that they’ve got a knack on releasing music that is perfect.

The Devil You Know is for us underdogs, the ones who need something in music to do something to us that nothing else can. The fury, my god, the fury and passion in these songs is enough to start a fire inside the tamest of people. Hey Buddy is a song that will have the same power of Rebel Girl by Bikini Kill- it’s an anthem. It’s a BIG song. It’s an important song. It should be the national anthem for the world. Listen to it. Listen to it, and pay close attention. Play it loud. For the love of god play it loud.

Music is powerful, and it is so obvious on this record. Every song is charged by something that is missing in the world- compassion. But this record isn’t soft. This is a record for those who are pissed off, and want shit to get done. Enough is enough. They are the band we need, we want and deserve. They may not save the world from all its fucked up-ness, but who can now? But, what they have done on this record and on songs like Stranger Danger , F The NRA and the whole record to be honest is to be a voice for us.

The Devil You Know is a record that is instantly timeless. There is so much importance to this record, and there is so much to it that you discover with every listen. Play songs like Fuck The NRA really loudly, and you’ll pick up on a Sex Pistols like rage in the sound or other times you’ll hear something like Bratmobile flowing through. It’s just a phenomenal record that I know I’ll keep on going back to. Not just this year, but for the rest of time. It’s a record that shows us how incredible they are as musicians and people. There is so much to love about them. Take the song Last Call- it has quiet moments, then it kicks in and it is the most glorious thing. When it kicks in, you can just imagine this setting everyone off when they play it live. It’s out of this world. It’s my favourite for now, but to be honest every single song is perfect.

Whether you’ve been an obsessed fan of theirs for years like me, or if you’re only just getting into The Coathangers, it is pretty safe to say that this record is going to blow your mind, and then some! It’s a masterpiece, and the sheer excitement and devotion in this record is something to love and treasure.

Play loud.

Oh, and The Coathangers- if you see this somehow, I love you!