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Zounds, Andy T, Distort, Nape Neck - 27 September 2019

Zounds, Andy T, Distort and Nape Neck
27 September 2019
Wharf Chambers, 23-25 Wharf Street, Leeds LS2 7EQ
Entry: £6-£8 (pay what you can)

Friday 27th September 2019 at Wharf Chambers, Leeds. The mighty ZOUNDS with the equally amazing ANDY T with DISTORT and NAPE NECK! Entry in is a sliding scale pay-what-you-can £6 – £8.

Danbert Nobacon and Kira Wood Cramer - September 2019

DANBERT NOBACON (EX-CHUMBAWAMBA) and Kira Wood-Cramer begin a mini-tour of the UK on Thursday 5 September.

Thursday 5 September – Angel Microbrewery, Nottingham
with Addictive Philosphy (acoustic)

Friday 6 September – The Yorkshire House, Lancaster
with Chris Butler

Saturday 7 September – 1-in-12 Club, Bradford, West Yorkshire
Anarchist Book fair with Nieviem, Gerrard Bell-Fife

Sunday 8 September – Forts Arms, Accrington

Monday 9 September – Rosemount working men’s club, Bacup, Lancashire
with Cherry and Peesh Much More

Wednesday 11 September – Le Pub, Newport, Wales
with Tracey Curtis

Thursday 12 September 12 – Katie Fitzgeralds, Stourbridge

THE MIGHTY CRAVATS release new seven-inch vinyl Shy on Overground Records on 6 September 2019.

Available for pre-order from the Overground Records site, this new slice of Cravatee goodness features the tracks Shy and Good for You.

The cover of The Cravats' single Shy, released in 2019

A new 7inch single from The Cravats? What does this one sound like then?

Really? Okay, it sounds like an invisible Land Rover full of grimacing stoats, re-entering Earth’s atmosphere backwards . . . .

Does that help? Nah, thought not. Best have a listen.

It’s called Shy and is a song of malevolent mutant Motown about er, being shy.

Shy? The Cravats don’t exactly come across as reticent, retiring members of the human race. For a start their frontman is the size of a combine harvester for heaven’s sake.

Well, they are. Everyone is, but some spend a lifetime pretending they’re not or they wear a clown mask.

Rather than locking it up, why not shout about it. Embrace Alan Anxiety in your head and wave it like a flag in the face of your flustered fellows.

Also it’s not necessarily a bad thing as those feelings of apprehension have stopped you doing a whole heap of damned stupid things throughout your life. Running across the road in front of that bloody big lorry, going to that party full of wassocks and of course wearing flip flops or bungee jumping.

It’s ruddy nature watching out for you so let’s dance in defiance.

The B Side, Good For You is the opposite and therefore not like Shy at all. Best have a listen.

Shy is taken from the forthcoming Cravats LP due for release on Overground Records in February 2020.

Whenever I start to feel important, I think ‘well, I never did much for The Cravats and I didn’t stop Toyah’ – JOHN PEEL

Great to hear a saxophonist playing riffs… This group are vicious in their intent, yet relaxed taste abounds – MARK E. SMITH

One of the greatest bands in the history of music – HENRY ROLLINS

I still have every Cravats record I know of – JELLO BIAFRA

AS WORK ON their new album continues, The Cravats have lined up some live dates for September and November.

The Cravats + support
5 September 2019
Claptrap The Venue
108a High Street, Stourbridge DY8 1EE
Advance tickets or £10.00 on door

The Cravats
The Proles
fatherfigures
7 September 2019
The Fulford Arms
York Y10 4EX
Advance tickets or £10.00 on door

The Cravats
Turning Black Like Lizards
The Ruins
29 November 2019
The Hairy Dog
1 Beckett Street, Derby DE1 1HT
Advance tickets

 

Slice of Life - Don't Turn Away - album - cover

Review: Slice of Life. 2019. Don’t Turn Away. Overground Records. LP | CD | digital download. Released 16 August 2019.

FOR A PROJECT that emerged from discussions amongst a bunch of musicians biding their time in airport departure lounges in the closing weeks of The Last Supper tour, Slice of Life has proved to be a remarkablly productive and a resilient musical collaboration. From the moment the band formed, its live and studio activities have wrapped around the other commitments of band members for whom it’s far from their only creative outlet.

As Slice of Life’s identity has crystallized, the band has shown itself just as home on the stage of major festivals as it has been at tiny, cramped punk shows or when holding court at art centres, micro-pubs and other quirky venues across the country and beyond. When it comes to longevity, by the turn of this year, Slice of Life will have been in existence longer than Schwarzenegger (1992-95), Stratford Mercenaries (1995-99) or, for that matter, Crass (1977-84).

As a live act, Slice of Life is definitively Ignorant’s show. He’s ably backed by his trio of talented musicians, but it’s Ignorant who fronts the act, handles the introductions, tells the jokes, delivers the side-stories and pulls the reminiscences and recollections from memory while the band await the next musical cue. Away from the live experience, when you listen to the band’s studio work, the material is immediately reframed in a more collaborative light.

This latest release shows the band growing in collective musical confidence… The result is a compelling mixture of the melancholic and the militant

Don’t Turn Away offers a collection of impassioned, emotionally literate, heartfelt songs which alternate between the empathic and the indignant with an equal sense of confidence. Extending the lyrical vista of 2014’s Love and a Lampost, this material sees Ignorant exploring the themes of personal frailties, of self-doubt and of mental resilience alongside wider concerns of resistance and righteous rebellion. This latest release shows the band growing in collective musical confidence, while frontman Steve Ignorant’s lyrical preoccupations see him move further into more personal, reflective areas alongside wider social and political concerns. The result is a compelling mixture of the melancholic and the militant.

The spartan, stripped back sounds of the band provide few hiding spaces and without the comfort of volume and projection it’s hugely important that they’re tight and rock solid. Carol Hodges brings both a power and a disarming, lilting quality to her work on keyboards, setting the emotional tone for many of the songs. She’s also an extraordinarily accomplished vocalist, although only gets the chance to really show those talents on a few songs here. Pete Wilson on guitar and Pete Rawlinson on bass have developed a great partnership, and in the studio it’s even more evident how effectively the pair craft a rich, full soundscape through clever musical choices and astute understatement.

They craft a space in which Ignorant can make best use of the power of restraint or fully let rip. Ignorant is completely at home belting it out there, but here he allows the quietness of his vocals on different numbers to reveal the vulnerability of a voice pushed to the edges of this singer’s comfort zone. In thinking through his delivery, Ignorant makes great play in his phrasing of hitting (or deliberately sliding past) the subtle percussive beats of the band.

Title track Don’t Turn Away sets the tone perfectly; framing the album’s key creative tension between razor-sharp and sometimes bitter lyrics and beautiful, unfussy acoustic musical arrangements. The seething, barely contained rage of Your Day Will Come, its tense, terse invective pushing against the lightness of the jazz-infused melody, its disarming singsong textures and its rich vocal harmonies.

The Right Way shares a similar juxtaposition, its delicate musical motifs providing a perfect backing for Ignorant’s storytelling. This time his ire is directed towards the self-obsessed keyboard warriors of the web, whose arrogance and disdain can often hide resentful self-doubt. (Its simple but seductive chorus is also an irresistible earworm).

S.A.D. is a thoughtful and sensitive appreciation of mental health challenges, depression first among them. Its explores the sense of weakness and vulnerability that can overwhelm those afflicted by its darkness, and urges empathy and honesty in confronting the stigma and silence. It’s one of the most powerful and affecting moments on the album.

A thoughtful, personal statement of outrage which sees Ignorant push his voice to the point of cracking with the strength of his conviction

The Story Continues might sound more like the title of a Conflict song, but this is a more intricate and its layered affair, with the feel and texture of a confidential late night fireside chat about the iniquities of the world. Song for Myself sees Ignorant calling once again on the spirit of Alan Sillitoe (author of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning) to deliver another melancholic and beautifully atmospheric reflection on self-doubt, loneliness ageing, endurance and personal resilience (“The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Gigger”, perhaps?)

The joyous Diffability sees Ignorant channelling Ian Dury’s songbook, in a riotous and sympathetic shout-out to the weirdos, the outsiders and the “non-normal” of the world in a celebration of uniqueness and individuality. It’s the most straightforwardly upbeat song in the collection, and benefits from that contrast.

Three songs on the album have evolved from the time that Ignorant was fronting Stratford Mercenaries. Slaughterhouse is as passionate an acoustic number as it was as the frothy singalong Won’t Get Me on the 1998 album No Sighing Strains of Violins. Originally appearing on the same album, Stretford Blue is always a highlight of the Slice of Life live set, lit up by Ignorant’s raging vocals as he takes aim at the posturing and plastic rebellion of those who profit from the system they profess to despise (Hodges’ singing is completely ace on this too). Stratford Mercenaries’ song This is Our World here morphs into the fantastic and fitting endpoint Whistle Down the Wind, a thoughtful, personal statement of outrage which sees Ignorant push his voice to the point of cracking through the strength of his conviction.

This is a powerful, assured, convincing set of songs that show Ignorant setting down a marker and asserting his own independence of thought. Back in 2011, The Last Supper tour generated criticism as well as excitement, but that sense of hostility seems to have quietened, affording him more space to perform and switch between whichever voice from his repertoire (from full-on punk to reflective acoustic artiste) he chooses. Next year’s tour of Crass songs will see him reinhabit the former; it’ll be fascinating to see where his experimentation with his other musical and lyrical personas will take him next. On the strength of this album, who the hell would want to turn away from finding out?

Slice of Life. 2019. Don’t Turn Away. Overground Records. LP | CD – Available from Overground Records.

THE REBELLION 2019 punk festival gets underway on 1 August in Blackpool, with many original wave anarcho-punk artists performing across the weekend.

Rebellion 2019 - Slice of Life

Slice of Life, 1 August, The Opera House

Andy T, 1 August, Almost Acoustic

Rebellion 2019 - Rubella Ballet

Rubella Ballet, 2 August, Pavilion Stage

The Subhumans, 2 August, Empress Ballroom

Lost Cherrees, 2 August, Opera House

Hagar the Womb - Rebellion 2019

Hagar the Womb, 3 August, Pavilion Stage

Citizen Fish, 3 August, Club Casbah

Paranoid Visions, 3 August, Arena

Conflict - Rebellion 2019

Conflict, 4 August, Club Casbah

Culture Shock, 4 August, Club Casbah

LAUNCHING AT REBELLION this weekend is a new six song vinyl, CD and digital download EP from Hagar the Womb.

Released by Grow Your Own Records, Hagitate will be made available as a 10-inch six track vinyl (pressed in a glorious red and black marbled design) complete with lyric booklet, as a CD (with gatefold cover and booklet) and as a digital download.

Hagar the Womb - Hagitate - Grow Your Own Records

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