As good as a nice cup of tea, and a sit down.

Monday, 13 September 2010

20 Years of Twin Peaks @ The Temple Works

"Through the darkness of future past
The magician longs to see
Once chants out between two worlds: 
Fire, walk with me."

David Lynch. After four decades of making controversial and unforgettable films, there cannot be many words in common usage which have not been applied to him and his catalogue.
However, if you were inclined to understatement, you might say he likes to sway towards "the unconventional."

From his first feature length, the deranged Eraserhead, to 2001's seminal Mulholland Drive, Lynch has always filled his films with equal amounts of humour, absurdity and unease. As is the case with the most visionary of film-makers, all of his works remain instantly recognisable - and undeniably his own.

His latest ventures outside of film have been equally bizarre, not least upon the release of his own brand of coffee, the "David Lynch Signature Cup." The tag-line being from Inland Empire: "It's all in the beans ... and I'm just full of beans."

Over time his fans have become a die-hard bunch, and have rewarded his efforts by giving him impenetrable  'cult' status. Evidence of this can be found this Saturday, 18th September, when the Leeds branch of the sect will gather together for an evening celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the release of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

A wonderful and 'most Lynchian' venue, the creative folk at Temple Works have turned the inside of the theatre into Twin Peaks, Pop. 51,201. Whether you fancy catching a live band at 'The Roadhouse,' or even want to bring a cherry pie to the 'R&R Diner,' there are activities to suit all levels of devotion. It's fancy dress competition too, with a prize for the best character costume.

Perhaps the best of all, it's for an excellent cause. Fire Walk With Me is a fund-raiser for the theatre, and will allow them to invest in a new PA system for the space.

Tickets are still available from Visit the website for further details.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Sarah in Wonderland

A good friend of mine from high school has recently become a jewellery designer.

Not only is that sort of thing that makes me so pleased for her, but it just so happens that her designs are truly lovely. They're the sort of thing that if she didn't make, I would be dreaming and wishing that someone did.

As Sarah puts it herself: 'I'm inspired by Alice in Wonderland, fairytales, afternoon tea, France, romance and literature.' I think of it as clever, pretty Jewellery for clever, pretty girls. 

Take a look:

Alice in Wonderland Red Red Rose Bracelet 
(I have the necklace version myself!)

La Fee Vert (Green Fairy) Necklace

I don't think I really need wax lyrically about it further, the pieces speak for themselves! Only to say that you can find her website here: and keep an eye on her blog also for giveaways and competitions: 


Tuesday, 7 September 2010


(Thanks to Matt Reid of Chickenhawk for this beautiful new banner.)

It's lovely isn't it? Well, it comes with some rather big news. I've loved doing the blog over the past couple of years, but it has run it's course. We were itching for a bigger challenge.

And so, as of 1.10.10 this blog will be no more. But I am extremely proud to announce the arrival of our new project:

The new website aims to branch out into a proper swish online community. We're going to be doing features and interviews with all the interesting folk we find, as well as talking about al the shitty music artists and new releases we like.

If you're an artist/photographer/writer/illustrator who'd like to contribute, or you'd just like to suggest what you'd like most to read about, I'd love for you to drop us a line. 

All enquiries to: natalie[at]wearelowculture[dot]com
or Review Submissions to: reviews[at]wearelowculture[dot]com

Ta for all your suppport,
N xx

Friday, 3 September 2010

This is British Cinema: A Night with Shane Meadows

Picture: Colin Baldwin
Shane Meadows’ appropriated title, ‘the Scorsese of the Midlands’, though no doubt meant as a compliment, fails to stick properly. Whilst his cinematography is certainly on a par with some of these greats, it is his character development that sets him apart from his American contemporaries. Scorsese films, Di Palma films, Stone films: however much we are confronted with the ‘grit’ of criminality, we still view it with an element of cinematic distance. The construction of Meadows characters from his endless workshops, in some cases casting individuals with no prior acting experience; results in an intimacy with his characters that has rarely been furthered. You know his people and put simply, you care about what happens to them.

Thankfully, the transposition from big screen to small screen did not hamper this much with the arrival of This is England ’86, Part 1. of which was screened last night at The Showroom, Sheffield.

Picture: Colin Baldwin
A great deal of time was invested into making the experience authentic. The interior was kitted out like a Working Men’s Club down to the minutest details, with scooters revving up outside the doors, vol-au-vent buffet and stubbed-out rollies in plastic ashtrays. The choice of The Showroom as a venue was in part down to the relocation of filming to Sheffield. ‘The [Nottingham] estates we shot the film on were just about to be torn down after the original film,’ Meadows explained, ‘I hadn’t been to Sheffield before but as soon as I came I fell in love with the landscape.’

Picture: Colin Baldwin
Alongside Meadows and the serial’s Producer Mark Herbert, most of the cast of part 1 were in attendance, including Thomas Turgoose (Sean), Vicky Mclure (Lol) and Joe Gilgun (Woody).

To give a brief synopsis, the four parts are one hour each in length, allowing the story to play out much farther than the original film. Part 1. begins with the impending nuptials of Woody and Lol, and Sean’s exit from school with few prospects on the horizon. As could be predicted with any Meadows production, Part 1. reaches the banality, the humour, the sadness and darkness of real working-class life. The depth of development with characters such as Lol shows promise for the further 3 installments, particularly from the excerpt that was shown of the continuation of the end. It is not without its faults. The relationship between Sean and Smell never seemed to make much sense, yet despite this it sees a continuation in Part 1. And some of the costumes seem a little elaborate, perhaps a little too eager to get a cross-section of all 80s sub-cultures.

All in all, the devil really is in the most microscopic observations, and it is this that makes This Is England ’86 compelling. The dialogue is often clumsy and rather stunted, and the scenes don’t always achieve cogence. This is the opposite of what you have come to expect in cinema but then, life is awkward: it isn’t always carried out with a dramatic flourish. This is England ’86 has a common beauty - the flashes of remembrance that surface when watching it for anyone who grew up through that strange and difficult decade. The crap beaded seat covers supposedly meant to make cars look posh, Panda Pops, those awful brown patterned bus seats. You almost can hear yourself saying some of those cringeworthy adolescent assertions, too.

With the death knell for the British Film Council ringing out, it’s sad to think that the next Meadows may not have the support to carry out his or her vision. Meadows’ continues to prove that there is a real vitality in British cinema which needs to able to thrive.

Picture: Colin Baldwin

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


You may have already seen the adverts. In case you are out of the loop: The cast of Shane Meadows’ brilliant and moving drama This Is England return to our screens next month as a 4-part miniseries.

The original film, which saw of a group of teenagers coming-of-age against the politically extreme backdrop of the 1980s, left things at somewhat of a crossroads. This is England ’86 picks up their lives in the year in which Chris de Burgh is at number one, Top Gun is filling the cinemas, VHS is trumping Betamax, the World Cup is raging in Mexico and over 3.4 million Brits are unemployed.

Meadows choice to continue the story wasn’t coincidental: “not only did I want to take the story of the gang broader and deeper, I also saw in the experiences of the young in 1986 many resonances to [society] now: recession, lack of jobs, sense of the world at a turning point.”

For now things look very promising. As you can see by the preview above, the popular cast is reassembled, with a few newer editions. But going one better for anticipating fans, The first episode will premiere at the Showroom, Sheffield on Thursday 2 September, attended by cast including Thomas Turgoose, Vicky McClure, Andrew Shim and Joe Gilgun with a special introduction by director Shane Meadows.  For this rather special event, the Showroom will be turned into ‘Working Men’s Club,’ complete with a set from a local Ska band.

The Low Culture will be there in force and we will be offering all the highlights from the event next week For more information and exclusive previews visit

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


We have returned from our ramblings in Skipton. See our photographic evidence:

There were highs, lows and men in Y Fronts...

So yes, Moor Fest. As we have mentioned, it can be a little unpredictable. In fact it seems ever since TLC has been in attendance it has been grappling with an identity crisis. Is it a family festival or one for dance loving space-cakes? Does it concentrate solely on local bands or try to offer a wider selection from further afield?

Well, 2010 seems no closer to any sort of realisation. There are no official figures for this, the party line usually being: 'It completely sold out.' But it seemed even smaller than last year’s crowd, with the camp site occupying only a stamp-sized area. The relocation from the larger site in Ilkley may have had some influence on this.

Being packed with crusty folk the stalls were suitably hippy in flavour. There was some lovely grub to be had as well as some weird and unpronounceable herbal teas. But the downscaled site meant that all points of interest could be covered in roughly 30 seconds, and through the day at least, there was a lot of sitting around with not much to do. On one hand it's nice to be able to see all the bands you're there for, but the shortage of quality, exciting acts across the entire bill meant that it was a fitful and uneven couple of days.

Friday's weather was miserable but it certainly didn't dampen the spirits of the little flower children playing in the sand pit, or the people walking round in fancy dress. Tall Ships were the first offering that TLC saw on the Earl Hickey Tribute stage (we've no idea why it's called that) and they were amiably pretty, though not likely to set anyone's world on fire any time soon.

The evening's controversy (and entertainment) unsurprisingly came from champion idiots Kong, who shortly after their performance were banned from playing the festival ever again. What did they do? Well, in order: accidentally assaulted a pregnant woman, called the crowd 'a set of fucking boring hippies' and incited a stage invasion which saw the security shoved off the stage. Whilst they may not have endeared themselves to any promoters here, most of the crowd seemed to find it hilarious. All in a day's work for them, but the memorable highlight of the weekend.

Saturday's fun kicked off in the evening with brilliant Jon Jones and The Beatnik Movement, whose sleazy guitars and howling pigeon-chested frontman have been a fixture on the Leeds scene for many a year. For us, their garage rock n roll was a cold flannel on the headache we got from the offensively loud Dubstep tent. Dubstep fans: apologies, but a serious question to you: how do you appreciate it when you are drug-free?

With this in mind, there are rumours that next year, Moor Fest will shirk it's inclusion of bands in favour of a completely dance/live DJ line-up. It may lose a handful of people still in attendance for the live music, but a good indication of the crowd's preference showed in the half full band tents. Not least at Male Bonding on Saturday, whose fun set was witnessed by approximately 1 man and his dog. It's a shame that a decent band newly signed to Sub-Pop couldn't interest more revellers, but that fact is telling of the inconsistencies at play here. With a singular idea behind it and a discerning booker, Moor Fest could appeal well to one particular audience. But at the moment, it's stretched between too many concepts. Let's hope that next year, someone can come along and stop it from flailing in the mud.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Moor Music, No Problems

Moorfest 2008, @ Addingham Moorside, Ilkley

Yes, it's that time of year again! A brief countdown to that curious little hilltop gathering, Moor Music Festival, happening this very weekend @ Heslaker Farm, Skipton.

Moor Music Festival ( has provided a quirky alternative to the bigger summer gatherings for a good while now. Home to circus tents, cabaret performances and a legendary Silent Disco, it's the perfect low-key antidote for those with corporate sponsorship fatigue.

In keeping with the general DIY spirit, its previous line-ups have seen some wicked independent artists. 2010 follows suit nicely and things kick off on Friday with:

Copyright: Martin Cogley

The unholy! The stinking! KONG: who will tear you a new chest cavity . Manchester's weirdest have lately been enjoying praise for their album Snake Magnet, even standard schmindie-rag NME paid attention, giving it 8/10. The uninitiated should expect a proggy, dark live show with lots of surreal conversation.

Photo: Iain Thompson

Saturday brings some wonderful art-pop in the form of Errors. Going on tour with fellow Glaswegians The Twilight Sad in the Autumn, they are admirably lean live, and also benefit from some lovely Christmas jumpers. 

Photo: Steve Gullick

Our top pick of the weekend is this. If you haven't seen the mighty Male Bonding already, then we urge you to show up to this on Saturday. They've not been going for all too long but man, they are furiously fast and insanely catchy - you know, everything exciting about proper punk. Plus, they play live at an even higher breakneck speed. We at The Low Culture are getting very het up about this one, sexy time!

Well, we wish you all a great, safe festival! We will be there in force from Friday afternoon to document everything. Just heed this final warning: girls might want to rethink the (lame) 'festival chic' hotpants/sunglasses look. As returning folk will know, up on t'moortop you are very much at the mercy of the elements. Take your waterproofs and don't say we didn't tell you so. 

See you there!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The Bramham Underground

Picture: WESTM

It's nearing the end of July, and Festival season is well underway. The big one round here has always been Leeds Fest (of course). A strange parallel universe filled with anyone you have ever known, brushed past and went to school with, yet devoid of normal social convention; Leeds has always been a stomping ground of the musical Yorkshire Folk.

If, like us, you're probably not going to be first in the queue for Guns N Roses or Blink 182 then allow us to suggest some alternative local produce for your consumption:



As we write, it remains undecided. But Futuresound's yearly comp for a place on the bill will no doubt be a sure bet. It's always a close run race but this year is especially hard to predict: The competition is just so bloody good! Holy State, Blacklisters, Castrovalva, Sketches, Club Smith, Blood Oranges and Loose Talk Costs Lives are all fine examples of the extended musical renaissance Leeds is enjoying. The only tricky thing will be deciding on who deserves it most.

Picture: Hannah-Rachel Sunderland

PULLED APART BY HORSES Sunday 29th, Festival Republic stage.

Now officially the worst kept secret in underground music, PABH's awesome, muscular punk rock has netted them an army of 14 year old fanboys. Odds are that you've either seen them live hundreds of times (like us) or you've at least heard about their shows. If you're the latter: all the rumours are true, if you're the former, we'll see you at the front. RADICAL!

Picture: Bangers and Mash

THE CROOKES Friday 27th, Festival Republic Stage

Richard Hawley smiled upon these lads by collaborating with them on Steve Lamacq's Evening Session. Let's face it: Richard Hawley doesn't like anything shit. The Sheffield dwellers have beautiful, succinct little pop songs, reminding you that occaisionally 'kitchen sink' music, when done well, can be heartbreaking, memorable and funny all at once.

Picture: The Art Of Agency

ROLO TOMASSI Friday 27th, NME Stage

They might also be from the Steel City, but when compared to most of their successful contemporaries, Rolo Tomassi may as well be from Planet Zog. They may also be young with shiny hair and clean teeth, but their corrosive hardcore is terrifying, and all the more impressive considering their tender ages. Bring some earplugs if you're a wimp and prepare to thrash around like a rag doll.

Picture: Lost at E Minor

WILD BEASTS Saturday 28th, NME Stage

As this is going to press it has been announced that Two Dancers, Wild Beasts's second album, is nominated for this year's Mercury music prize. As the Mercury rarely goes to the most deserving act, it's doubtful that the Beasts will actually win. Never mind though, the album is one of those that comes along once in a while where the planets seems to be in alignment. A rare, blossoming triumph of beautiful songwriting, fresh experimentation and craft. On top of this, they are some of Leeds' most cherished adopted sons: all the ingredients of which make for a very special show.

...and also, for fairness, a taste from t'other side of the Pennines:

Picture: Alt Sounds


Coincidentally, The Low Culture discovered Everything Everything for the first time at Leeds Fest 2009. Stumbling past in search of a kebab (don't do it, just don't), our ears were pricked by the spiky, angular pop this quartet produce. Like the Futureheads before them, their harmonies are so pleasing to the ears that it is impossible not to watch with wide eyed, stupid look on your face because they are so very, very clever - much cleverer than you.

Picture: The Pigeon Post

EGYPTIAN HIP HOP Sunday 29th, Festival Republic Stage

Now it's always advisable to approach 'buzz-bands' with caution. They're unreliable creatures. However Egyptian Hip-Hop seem to have something more going on than just haircuts. Their single 'Rad Pitt' was pretty decent, and they cite Late of the Pier as influences. If they can match their source of inspiration for inventiveness and catchy hooks, then you might just be able to believe the hype. And they're only 17, bless.

Here endeth our guide to Leeds Festival 2010. Go to for day tickets and coach packages, starting at 75 quid. You also might like to try Scarlet Mist or viagogo for weekend resales at reasonable prices.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Interview: Cancer Bats

People might bewail how music has become so shallow and greedy, how no one gives a shit about the fans they play to anymore. But then there are bands like The Cancer Bats, who are so obviously in love what they do that they have toured almost continually for the last 4 years. They're not hugely rich or famous, they don't have massive drug habits to support - two of them don't even drink! They just like being in a extremely noisy, post-hardcore band.

We met Lead singer Liam Cormier at Download. He was only too happy to expound his never ending enthusiasm for the band, their fans and their new album.

How have things been today?

Great! The show was awesome. It was deinfitely f***ing way better than we thought! So many kids were giving us love.

So you tour pretty furiously. What do you have planned in the next couple of months?

After this we go and play a few more European shows. We’ve already been here a couple of weeks. We’re coming back in the fall again. But yeah it’s been good. We try to spend as much time in Europe and the UK as we can.

You do intense ones. So many dates. I look at bands like you and I think ‘how do you do it?’

It definitely is one of those things where you try and bring the same level of energy everywhere you play. You wanna be well-rested! I sleep as much as I can. It helps that we’ve been doing it as long as we have, we’ve been touring hard for 4 years.

Do you prefer it that way?

We’d always rather be playing shows than taking days off. We wanna make the most of it. Once you’re actually there you’re not tired.

You’ve toured with Gallows and The Plight, amongst others. Do you feel closer to bands in the UK?

I definitely feel lucky that we’ve been accepted so much over here. I think because we came up around the same time with Gallows we kinda got lumped into it which was wicked for us. We saw so many good bands and we’ve made so many good friends. The fact that we do UK tours and we never tour with an American band. We always get a British band with us, it’s cool. I feel like we’re really part of the team here.

Are you happy with the new album’s reception?

I’m stoked. I think it’s better than we’ve ever done with any record. So the fact that kids are still interested in what we’re doing, like the record, are coming out to shows more than ever is just unbelievable. All the more reason to try and pack in more dates.

The new album seems like you feel freer to incorporate different musical styles into it.

I think for us the big thing was realising how much kids were up for. We messed around with a few ideas, stoner rock stuff and whatnot. They were still jumping around all over the place so when it came to writing this record we were just like ‘fuck it, let’s just try everything, play all the stuff that we want to.’ I think the fact that we don’t have to worry losing our fans unless we right a straight up punk record from start to finish just says how much kids are into different styles and are more receptive now.

It seems like when people band around things like ‘hardcore’ it can actually become very restrictive. Are you happy for people to call you a hardcore band?

I think we’ve never really confined ourselves to that. We’ve never toured exclusively with metal bands or hardcore bands; we just do whatever the fuck we want. How we write songs, the bands we tour with, just how we operate is different. We’ll tour with big metal bands but we’ll still be punk in the way that we do it. Talk and interact with kids just like we would at a punk show. We just don’t care! We’re older, we’re over it. When you’re younger you might think ‘oh I should maybe do this’ or ‘we should only be a hardcore band.’ But we’re all 30 years old now. If that kid in the Youth of Today shirt thinks we’re sell-outs then he can go fuck himself! I’m fine.

It’s quite impressive how your songs deal with the darker sides of humanity. Do you start with that? Or does the music predicate that?

It pretty much determines where the song structure is going to go. In a lot of ways though, I try to show the more positive side of darker things, a solution. A lot of songs will point out how to rise above that, and we try to live our lives as positively as we can. We deal with the same shit that everyone else does but you’ve gotta try and persevere and go beyond that.

Bears, Mayors Scraps and Bones is out now.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Pulled Apart By Horses: Brudenell Launch Party

That's no soft focus effect on the lens: It was that sweaty! Their album is finally on us, and we get the feeling that Horses are too famous for Leeds to contain them now. Deservedly so. Here they are beating the shit out of a packed Brud.

 New single 'Back To The Fuck Yeah' and album are both out now.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Chickenhawk/Dysrhythmia Gig

Good gig this one. We were chewing the riffs in the air they were so beefy.

Nice facial expression from Ryan Clark.

And again.

The Pitchfork review of the last Dysrhythmia album suggested that if life was fair, Kevin Hufnagel would be bigger than Slash. I'm inclined to agree with them, the man is a wizard.

If you'd like to know what we thought, here's the full review with Hannah-Rachel's pictures for This is Fake DIY. Enjoy, rockers!

Thursday, 17 June 2010


I would provide photographic images to go with this update, but they would be disturbing. So here's a short summary of what I saw:

1. Man naked in mud, being whipped in time by angry mob to Billy Idol's 'White Wedding.'

2. Fat Cyber Goth in pink foil hotpants and a bra, bending right over infront of my tent at 8.30am. Sinead, it was lovely to meet you! Please start wearing underwear.

3. Wandering into the Metal Hammer party by accident. Accquainting myself with Napalm Death's manager, who then offered to introduce me to someone from Lamb of God. I have no idea who Lamb of God are.

4. Dads bringing inflatable guitars to AC/DC, placing more emphasis on fretwork than the average "air guitar."

5. A Dad, upon seeing this, improvising and playing his leg to 'Whole Lotta Rosie.'

6. Captain Dildo: Forty plus hefty bloke in underpants and a cycle helmet, with a dildo sellotaped to the top.

7. Countless Trivium T-Shirts

I could go on, but I feel you get the picutre.

Speaking of pictures, we got 'papped' for whilst we were there, have a look here. I'm also in the next issue of Vice 'talking about my download outfit.' Strange times!

My lengthy review of the whole thing can be found here on Contact Music. And yes, I had a very deep bath when I got home.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The World's Crappest Music Videos: Parte the Firste

THANKS to all the people that contributed, now bask in the glory:

Stefan Dennis - Don't It Make You Feel Good?

No Stefan, it doesn't. Slightly creeped out, perhaps? I've got to say, the net curtain draped over the pillars is an inspired touch. Is your set designer Deb from Napoleon Dynamite? God bless Neighbours, though. Where else would we get our sub-standard Antipodean pop stars from? Imagine a world without it - perms might not have even become popular.

Brian Harvey - Going Backwardz

East 17's Brian is trying to convince us all he has moved on. Look: he has a girlfriend, and he's taken her on a nice day out to a motorway flyover, and a forest clearing! 100% certain she consented to this? Look at 2mins 30secs. But frequenting the areas of rapists aside, to me he will always be the lovable rogue who 'binged' on 47 jacket potatoes and then ran himself over. Long may he go forwardz.

Armi ja Danny - I Want To Love You Tender

At first I thought the slogan on their jumpers said 'D10', so I wondered if this bad-ass posse of dancers were affliated with the equally bad-ass rap crew. But then I doubt even D10 could afford such ground breaking vision. Their dancing makes flying Chitty Chitty Bang Bang into space with your paedo Uncle seem like a wonderful holiday.

The Blackout Crew - BBBBBOUNCE

AKA: 'If You Liked It Then You Should Have Put A Donk On It.'
That's right, the noise that spews out of cherub's mobiles on the back of the no. 56? It has a name, and it is DONK. I'm assured that Blackout Crew are the best in the land at donking. 'Bbbbbounce' is a reminder that they 'don't mess about.' And these lads certainly haven't on costing! Why pay for professional dancers when you can get your GCSE Geography class to do it for free? And screw getting a proper guest spot from a rapper, Neville's Dad will sit in his Toyota and no one will know the difference

So. We've covered RnB, Dance and 80s Pop. There's a gaping hole in this picture. Yes, of course, it's Death Metal!

Satyricon - Mother North

Taken from the album 'Nemesis Divina.' As God (or even better! Lucifer) as my witness: If anyone can tell me exactly what's going on here, I'll write you a cheque for 20 quid.
But who needs a plot when you've got Greta Big Tits running around in a see through nightie? Exactly.

If you have any more suggestions to add to this already fine selection, I'd love to hear about them. N x

Friday, 4 June 2010

California Dreamin'

There are some gigs I would give a testicle to attend (as soon as I grow one)... but I don't have unlimited air miles, time off work, a money tree or a rich husband.

Until any of these things happen, I am limited to drawing (pointless) attention to things I like. So, here it is: I like Woodsist, and they are having their festival on 12th June in Big Sur, CA. have just released more tickets

When I say 'like', I mean I really love Woodsist. They've put out some of my favourite music of the past few years, including:

REAL ESTATE (Real Estate)

I don't know what they've been putting in the water in New Jersey, but long may it continue. Real Estate was released in late 2009, and it's a beautifully simple, nostalgic record. Drifting and hazy, like a long summer, they have burrowed their way into my subconscious and refused to budge. Basically, I've bored everyone I know to death by bleating about how good it is.

WAVVES (Wavves)

To put it mildly: Nathan Williams did not take very well to success. He had a public brawl with Black Lips, a nervous breakdown onstage at Primavera, cancelled his EU tour and sodded off back to San Francisco.
Despite all this, I hope the tiny brat weathers out the storm, because Wavves was a brilliant 30 minute headrush. Try it yourself: Pick the word 'Beach', 'Punk' or 'Goth,' add a couple of chords and some feedback and there it is. Perfecto.


Though Kurt Vile has now absconded to Matador with his new album Childish Prodigy, it was Woodsist who gave him a leg up by releasing his debut, Constant Hitmaker. As an album it
drives a perfect balance between freaky psychedelia and alt.rock, and channels Neil Young at his most dirge-ridden. And in the true tradition of the grunge forefathers, the man is 60% shiny mane. Bonus!

Mr. Vile will be at the aforementioned festival, along with Real Estate, Moon Duo, Woods and The Fresh and Onlys. Check them out, they're all worthy of investigation.

In need of a plane ticket. If anyone wants to buy my kidneys, O.I.R.O. a grand.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Around Primavera...

A PHOTOGRAPHIC retelling of our festival experience, thanks to Jethro Perkins...

We had a fun time this weekend.

Sometimes too much.

We made sure we kept hydrated at all times.

Took plenty of food.

...and exercise

Saw some bands

Took some advice...

...and ignored other bits.

Find my review on Contact Music.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010


Holy State do Beelzebub’s bidding on stage, but I must say, I have never met a set of more fresh faced, polite young men in the flesh.
I meet them just before their set at 2010’s Live at Leeds. Though originally from Norwich, Holy State now call Leeds their home and, like so many other bands before them, they are now the city’s firmly adopted sons.
 They have become involved with the ubiquitous Dance to the Radio, whose new roster of bands, Holy State included, seem to suggest a welcomed creative revival about the place. They are chatty, very funny and empassioned about their music, and happy to share their views on wider issues, including National Express coaches, and their beers. Nice one!

So how long have you been together now?
Rob: Properly about two years?
Max: I was involved from then, we recorded our demo and rehearsed but we didn’t play our first live show for a while.
Victor: Basically it was roughly a year and a half ago.

Where did you form?
M: Well, we formed in Leeds but we struggled to find someone good enough to play drums.
R: We’re all from Norwich originally. Very glamourous place.
We’re based in Leeds but Max drives back and forth.
M: Norwich is lovely but quite isolated, most band tours seem to just skip off that bit of the country.
R: It’s ‘the breast of England.’
Dan: We were all in bands together in Norwich, at one time or another.
R: Dan was in a band called ‘Paradox’! (Laughs)
D: It was a high school band! We don’t have to touch on that, thanks. It’s not that interesting…

You can see many of your hardcore influences. Fugazi, for example.
V: I think they were one of a few bands that we aspired to make similar music to. The first night I came to Leeds, Rob and I got talking, and we agreed that there just weren’t that many bands doing that at the moment.
R:Fugazi have influenced many bands, for us it's their ethics and DIY approach, as well as their music. But there are so many other bands that have influenced us also. When Max and I were 14, 15 we were in his tiny room, practicing Smell Like Teen Spirit.

M: It was the first song I ever played! I’d just got my first drum kit and my dad bought me In Utero and said ‘right, learn that.’  Oh, and we tried to play some Limp Biskit as well.
R: What song was that? Was it ‘Break Stuff’?
M: I dunno, probably!

Tell me about your time at Holy Roar, how have you progressed?
M: They did so much stuff for us. They got us so many shows and were always there to support us.
R: It was a great label for us to work with because they were so diverse at the time, the shows with other bands were always interesting.
V: We were really happy to tour with Brontide, and do the split EP with them.
R: And of course, our split with Pulled Apart By Horses came out on Holy Roar as well.

Is it important to you that your music should progress naturally?
V: It’s really important for us never to become something that we’re not.
R: Well we have done it! I’m sure everyone has tried to force out a song, but for us, it never works. There might be a good riff or two in it, but nothing else.

What releases have you got coming up?
M: The biggest thing is going to be with Dance to the Radio. It’s our first proper EP, really. Our first release with Holy Roar was more like a demo.
R: It was specifically for getting us gigs, something to hand out.
M: It went so much further than expected, really!

You are part of a newer, fresher roster of bands at Dance to the Radio, how are things with the label?
M: They’ve helped us out loads, put us on the stage at Leeds Festival, which was amazing. Several thousand people watching you, kids putting up devil horns. We felt like Aerosmith!
V: We’ve got the release date for the 12” as the 12th July, which is going to be great for us.
R: Their ethos is very similar to ours, the way they want to work with their bands - It’s relaxed. We never feel pressured to do anything.
D: They’re just people who love music and are enthusiastic about what we do, which is the best thing of all.

Have you ever fallen out? How has it been together so far?
M: Well we all have jobs now, the dole isn’t glamorous as it seems!
D: It’s been funny sometimes, sprinting to get the last train out of London with equipment…
R: Getting National Express everywhere, we were the kings of National Express.
V: It got to the point at one time where we were so poor we were forging coach tickets on our mobile phones!
R: One night Dan and I had the worst journey of our lives, because we had to get about 10 different buses, London to Birmingham, Birmingham to Manchester… Manchester to Sheffield. We got back at 6 in the morning, it was horrific.

And finally, any musical skeletons in the closet?
M: I’m quite a big fan of Method Man and Liquid Swords -
D: I like A Day to Remember! I mean, I know it’s shit but… y know, this is what makes music better, knowing the difference!
R: We all know you’re listening to it on the coach home, anyway, because we ask you what you’re listening to and you’re really secretive! ‘Oh Nothing!’ And have a little peek over and it’s like, oh yeah, Bright Eyes!

Holy State's EP comes out on Dance To The Radio in July.