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The Cravats - April 2018 - live dates

THE CRAVATS begin a three dates mini-tour-ette this evening (5 April), with a gig in Bristol at The Thunderbolt, with gigs in London (6 April) and Brighton (7 April) to follow, playing alongside Folk Devils

Overground Records are now accepting advance orders on the vinyl re-release of The Cravats’ debut single Gordon (backed by Situations Vacant). This repressing, limited to 500 copies comes with a special. insert. This seven-inch of aural loveliness was originally released in July 1978.
 
The Cravats - Gordon - re-release
 

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Interrobang - Dunstan Bruce

INTERROBANG‽ RELEASE THE band’s self-titled debut album today, and kick off the album launch tour with the first date in Todmorden.

Interrobang‽ was formed in 2012 by ex-Chumbawamba members Dunstan Bruce and Harry Hamer and “former enfant terrible in the London louts, Regular Fries” Stephen Griffin. Their album is released in vinyl, digital download and CD formats. All The Mad Men Records sold out of all pre-release copies ahead of the release, but vinyl and CD copies will be available from the band on tour, and from many of the usual (and some unusual) outlets.

The eponymously entitled Interrobang‽ album is vocalist Bruce laid bare, torn open asunder, as he finds himself deep in those 50-something blues. Lyrically the album is an exploration of his determination to never give up the struggle despite his own malaise. He questions and rails against his own demise with song titles such as Curmudgeon, Mad As Hell and Am I Invisible Yet? whilst still full of that anger about the state of the world in songs such as Are You Ready People? and Here Now. He veers from the personal to the political, from the poignant to the pithy, never pulling any punches, always being brutally honest but with an ability to laugh at himself as well.

The music of Griffin and Hamer is short, sharp and urgent. Interrobang‽ pride themselves on their tightness and economy in these rapid-fire assaults and with their crisp, cutting backing vocals the band have created an album that is pointed and precise, exciting and exhilarating. This is an album’s worth of hard hitting songs for hard hit people with Griffin’s guitar technique building layers of scorching sonics which when seen live will astound.

The band are interviewed discussing the album and the tour in Soundsphere magazine and in Louder Than War magazine, and the album is reviewed on Louder Than War site, Punk Online, NARC Magazine, the Morning Star and elsewhere.

  • Friday 30 March TODMORDEN Golden Lion with Liines
  • Saturday 31 March WELLINGBOROUGH Horseshoe Inn with Eastfield. Wreckage
  • Sunday 1 April NEWPORT Le Pub with Eight Rounds Rapid, Emy Lou Robbins
  • Monday 2 April BRISTOL Louisiana with The Flux Capacitors
  • Tuesday 3 April LEEDS Brudenell with Bilge Pump, Year of Birds
  • Wednesday 4 April LANCASTER The Yorkshire House with Year of Birds
  • Thursday 5 April NEWCASTLE Cluny 2 with The Almighty Uprisers, Year of Birds
  • Friday 6 April NOTTINGHAM Maze with Headsticks, Verbal Warning
  • Saturday 7 April MIDDLESBROUGH Westgarth with Flies On You, Year of Birds
  • Sunday 8 April BIRMINGHAM Centrala with Eastfield, Alcohol Licks
  • Monday 9 April MANCHESTER Jimmys
  • Tuesday 10 April MILTON KEYNES Craufurd Arms with Louise Distras, Eight Rounds Rapid
  • Wednesday 11 April BRIGHTON Prince Albert with Dream Nails, Eight Rounds Rapid
  • Thursday 12 April LONDON The Islington with The Charlemagnes
  • Friday 13 April RAMSGATE Music Hall with Eight Rounds Rapid
  • Saturday 14 April SCUNTHORPE Café Indiependent with Eight Rounds Rapid, Addictive Philosophy

 

 
Interrobang tour dates 2018

Interrobang tour dates 2018

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Penny Rimbaud -Noisey - Vice
 

WITH THE RELEASE of What Passing Bells: The War Poems of Wilfred Owen, Penny Rimbaud discusses the project (and life, the universe and everything else) with Noisey’s Jamie Thomson. Of his work on the Wilfred Owen project he says:

I wouldn’t have done it if it was just a horror story. Because certainly, equally, his poetry is more powerful than any I know of describing the horror and the misery in the trenches, but at the same time there’s this sort of strange, deep love of the people who he was there with, which is the very love that he went back. I mean, he was hospitalised and actually could very easily not have gone back, but he did go back. He went back not because he believed in the war, but that he did believe in his men and loved his men.

Jamie Thomson. 2017. ‘War all the time: a conversation with Crass’ Penny Rimbaud’, Noisey, 10 November https://noisey.vice.com/en_uk/article/ne394x/a-conversation-with-crass-penny-rimbaud

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Antisect - The Rising of The Lights - first album since 1984

EARLIER THIS MONTH Antisect released their first album in 34 years: The Rising of the Lights is the follow-up to 1983’s In Darkness, There Is No Choice.

The album is previewed on the Noisey site, and there’s more information on the band’s official web site.

 

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Interrobang -self-titled debut album - cover

THE DOWNLOAD AND streaming versions of the debut album by Interrobang‽, formed by former Chumbawamba members Dunstan Bruce and Harry Hamer and Stephen Griffin, have now been released, with the CD and vinyl versions now scheduled for March 2018.

NO BULLSHIT DETECTED Interrobang‽ frontman and Chumbawamba co-founder Dunstan Bruce talks at length with Amy Goodman on the US national, daily, independent news program; Democracy Now! – The War and Peace Report. Watch to the end for an impassioned spoken word performance; drawing on writings from Interrobang‽’s album, accompanied by Joey DeFrancesco of Downtown Boys.

Interrobang‽ – the self-titled album is available now via download and streaming platforms and will be released on both Vinyl and CD via All The Madmen Records in Spring 2018, to coincide with a UK tour

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Penny Rimbaud - What Passing Bells

AHEAD OF THE release of Penny Rimbaud’s What Passing Bells, a reading of the war poems of Wilfred Owen set to an original musical soundtrack, on the One Little Indian label in November, Patrick Clarke of The Quietus discusses Rimbaud’s views on Owen’s poetry; the process of developing the studio recording; and his perspectives on politics and culture, both contemporary and historic.

In a new short documentary, Noisey invites Rimbaud to reflect further on the power of Owen’s words and the relationship between his own personal and political history and his musical and philosophical worldview.

Patrick Clarke. 2017. ‘Interview: Penny Rimbaud on Wilfred Owen’, The Quietus, 27 September. http://thequietus.com/articles/23279-penny-rimbaud-wilfred-owen-what-passing-bells-interview

 

Noisey. 2017. ‘Get Out of Your Own Way: Anarchy & Peace with Penny Rimbaud of Crass’

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The Cravats being excited about Dustbin of Sound

Review: The Cravats. 2017. Dustbin of Sound. Overground Records. Over157 LP | Over157 CD

I’VE HAD THE good fortune to see the reformed and rejuvenated Cravats perform live twice in the last few years. On both occasions, they’ve been extraordinary and utterly compelling.

At Steve Ignorant’s Last Supper gig in London in November 2011, The Cravats took to the stage in front of an audience so densely packed together you’d have to conclude that the venue’s published 2k capacity was, in practice, a “minimum occupancy” requirement. Completely unphased by the stature of the event, The Cravats began with a mesmerising version of “Rub Me Out”, the opening salvo in an explosive set. The band took the place by the scruff of the neck and didn’t relinquish the hold until they had delivered their closing declaration of intense dislike for the universe.

As the headliners to Vi Subversa’s Naughty Thoughts in Brighton in December 2015, The Cravats were no less insistent in front of an intimate club audience. The swirling, seething indignation of “When Will We Fall” was a highlight in a riveting set that blended numbers old and new.

They might have put “it” down for a while, during the “Cravatless times” after the band went on indefinite hiatus in the mid-1980s (evolving into several successor outfits) before the 2009 reunion, but seeing The Cravats on stage again now is immediate, visceral confirmation that The Shend and his fellow troubadours have picked “it” up again and fully intend to bash anyone within reach around the ears with it.

In the last 12 months, The Cravats have become something of a vinyl generating machine. Impressive and well-received new singles Jingo Bells and Blurred have now been followed in short order by the band’s first album in 37 years: clear evidence of the band’s renewed surge of confidence and creativity.

With more than three decades in which to prepare, it’s fair to say that expectations are running high. Being The Cravats, the only proper way to reset the preconceptions of others is to select a suitably self-deprecating title for the album. Dustbin of Sound is, as you would expect, anything but a trashcan of discarded, cast-off noises. It is in fact a carefully crafted selection of the stuff that The Cravats (as this release attests) still do so well: musical and lyric creations that are inventive, unexpected, powerful, that little bit weird and unsettling, and delivered with a distinctive, off-kilter sense of panache that remains the band’s signature.

Dustbin of Sound is anything but a trashcan of discarded, cast-off noises. It is in fact a carefully crafted selection of the stuff that The Cravats still do so well

Events begin with scowling, soaring “King of Walking Away”, the fractious and punchy “Batterhouse”, and the disarmingly retro “Motorcycle Man”. Rampton Garstang on drums and Joe 91 on bass make for a formidably tight and accomplished rhythm section, while Viscount Biscuits power-drives his guitar through the twists and turns of every arrangement, dropping out and then surging back in as needed. Svor Naan writes such original and inspired parts for saxophone and clarinet you can’t help but wonder if he’s got some sort of special licence, while throughout The Shend sings, shouts, whispers, and threatens to assail you with a spoken word vocal; sometimes all within the confines of a single song. In the mix, there are moments of jazz-infused switcheroos, hints of The Birthday Party, and echoes of mid-period Dead Kennedys, but mostly there’s a hearty dose of the work of those peerless Cravats boys.

There genuinely isn’t a weak track amidst the 13 that make up the album. It’s therefore difficult to pick favourites, but for this reviewer the shortlist would include the high-amped “Power Lines”; the disconcertingly marvellous “Bury the Wild”, with its wildly upbeat bridge linking the verse to the rumbling, grumbling chorus; and the caustically catchy “Hang Them”.

The Cravats have always been more at home with the Dadaist, semi-surrealist reading of the anarchist idea than with the polemics of Bakunin or Murray Bookchin. You’ll search in vain for singalong slogans or simple wave-fist-in-air issue cues in a Cravats song. The Cravats’ anarchism is more artistically rooted and instinctive than that, although you’re never left in doubt about their clear political affinities. The Shend remains as capable as ever of penning a witty, acerbic or comedic (but always insightful) lyric about some aspect or other of the absurdities of life lived in a state of unfreedom. (So we’ll allow him the stream of disassembled lyrical ridiculousness in “All U Bish Dumpers”).

Dustbin of Sound is exemplary Cravats’ work. The sound mix is muscular and clean, lighting up a band on razor-sharp form; in both the songwriting and performance stakes. This is a more than fitting follow-up to 1980’s The Cravats in Toytown and 1986’s The Colossal Tunes Out, a set of top tunes that deserve to blare out from tannoy systems and other sound devices across the land. In terms of satisfying unmet musical desires, a new Cravats album is the very thing. Let’s just agree that we won’t have to wait another forty years for the next one.

Dustbin of Sound is released on 29 September 2017, and is available for pre-order from the Overground Records site.

The Cravats - Dustbin of Sound - The Shend is flying

The Cravats. 2017. Dustbin of Sound. Overground Records. Over157 LP / Over157 CD

  • In the UK, you can enjoy tracks from The Cravats session for BBC 6’s Mark Riley show (18 September 2017), previewing songs from Dustbin of Sound (“Bury the Wild”, “Hang Them” and “Batterhouse”) on the BBC iPlayer Radio service until 21:00 on 18 October 2017.

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