Write Yer Ane Zine

Words about DIY punk; records, shows, interviews, whatever.

Month: August, 2012

Count Your Bruises

The Flatliners fucking ruled last night.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to conduct my interview as scheduled with Chris as there was serious traffic on the way to Glasgow due to all the flooding. However, I spoke to Chris after the set and, being the lovely fella that he is, he suggested that we do the interview by email instead. So that’s exactly what we’re going to do. He assured me that he’ll get it back to me in a timely fashion once they are home, so I should have it up here soon.

The show itself was fucking rad. As I said, we got there later than we had hoped due to traffic so we loaded our gear in around 10 minutes before Yeah Detroit started. They played a tight set of melodic pop-punk. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to film them as my camera was playing up, so I spent my time trying to fix it. This was their last show for a while as they are looking for a new guitarist, but they were good fun and seemed to be enjoying themselves. Hopefully they’ll be back on the scene before too long. If you haven’t checked them out before, do so!

We roasters in UNIFORMS were up next. We had some drum mic issues early on and at some point during our first song, Luke broke his hi-hat cymbal. Jonny tried to fix it but I suspect he ended up making matters worse! Valiant effort though. As such, I played a song by myself and had some banter with the crowd while the rest of the guys tried to get things sorted. Eventually they did so and we cracked on with a slightly slimmed down set. The sound on stage wasn’t great and I had trouble hearing Jamie’s guitar, but all in all I think we pulled it off. It was also hotter than the bowels of hell in Audio and I think I lost a couple of pounds.

The Flatliners were incredible and seemed so much more up for it than when we played with them in Wales in July. They picked a better setlist in my opinion also and the fact that the crowd was going absolutely bonkers for their first Scottish show in 3 years probably contributed to a massively entertaining set. Some lad got up on stage at one point and invited his girlfriend up. He then proposed marriage and she accepted. While I appreciate the gesture, it’s certainly not the kind of thing that I would do, but fair play to them. I found it somewhat amusing that the band then proceeded to blast into “Eulogy”, perhaps not the most romantic of songs! The crowd was going nuts and there was loads of energy in the room, which all amounted to a great show.

Massive kudos must go to Boab at Punk Rock Rammy, Bruce at Firestorm and the guys at Daily Dischord for putting on a great show. Thanks a lot for having us too!

Here’s a good chunk of The Flatliners. Hopefully they won’t leave it so long until they come back next time.

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UNIFORMITY

Tomorrow night, we roasters in UNIFORMS are playing in Glasgow at what is likely our biggest show to date supporting The Flatliners. It’s not every day that you get to support one of your favourite bands and it got me to thinking about how lucky we’ve been as a band over the last year. Tomorrow night also sees the culmination of our efforts over the past year and is one of the last few shows that we’ll be playing this year, so I thought now would be a fitting time to cast the mind back over everything that has happened this year. This show tomorrow night feels like a very important one to me, almost like everything we have done as a band has been leading up to this point. I know that sounds hyperbolic and over-dramatic, but I take what we do pretty seriously and we’ve spilt endless amounts of blood, sweat and tears (not to mention spent a fuckload of money and clocked up some serious mileage) doing what we do over the last year. I know the story is by no means unique as there are millions of bands doing what we do, but it’s special and important to me because this is OUR fucking band and we’re the last fucking gang in town!

It was just over a year ago that we started properly practising, with Jamie and I having spoken about putting a band together for a while and finally came up with the concrete idea whilst we were drunk in the back of a car returning from the Iron Chic show in Glasgow in May last year. Last May really wasn’t that long ago and it boggles my mind somewhat when I think about what we’ve done since then.

Jonny, Jamie, Luke and I had first jammed sometime in the June I believe, but it wasn’t until around the end of July/start of August that we started to do anything “serious”. It was only really once we had booked our first show that we realised we had best collectively remove the finger from the proverbial and get down to some serious songwriting. I wrote the riff to “Schoolboy Errors” to annoy Abbie while she was watching TV and it seems I must’ve done something right as it then went on to become the first proper UNIFORMS song. I feel like I’ve been playing that song my whole life and it blows my mind that it was only written a year ago. Anyways, we recorded our first demo in a day of drunken debauchery with our main man Boab at his house in Cambuslang after spending the whole night before in the boozer and after Jamie had gotten lost the morning of recording when he skipped out of practice to go buy some refreshments. Regardless, we managed to remain (somewhat) coherent enough to record three songs that would become our demo. As it turns out, they would be three pretty important songs, even if I do sound like I’ve suffered some pretty serious head trauma on “Photographs”. You can listen to and download the demo for free by clicking the photo below.

That was on September 24th last year and we released the demo on October 10th. Thanks to our good friend and spiritual leader Randy Reddell (of the incredible Spanish Gamble, who we’d met when the Make-That-A-Take collective had put them on in April of last year), we had managed to blag a show at pre-fest at the now-defunct Wayward Council in Gainesville, Florida as part of Fest 10. We’d been wanting to go to Fest for years and the fact that we’d be playing when going to our very first one is still absolute madness in my mind.

So yeah, we recorded a demo and had merch before we’d even played a show, as we are mad punx like that. Our first show was in Edinburgh and was promoted by our good friend Raph of Walk The Plank Promotions. I’m pretty sure that everyone involved in the Scottish (and UK) punk scene knows Raph, but if you don’t then you need to remedy that. Raph is a very talented and charming gentleman who always puts on incredible shows in Edinburgh and it speaks volumes about the man that he was willing to take a punt on a bunch of roasters like us without ever actually hearing a note of our music. As such, Raph was happy to put us on as support to RVIVR, one of the more vocal pro-feminist queer-core bands featuring the always-polarising figure of Matt Canino, formerly of (and now once again current member of) Latterman, alongside The Stay Gones (RIP) and Smithsonian at Edinburgh’s emporium of madness that is The Banshee Labyrinth. The show was a sell-out and one of the most life-affirming shows I’ve ever been to and I can honestly say that I’ve rarely been so stoked in my life. Looking back at the videos from that night, I think it’s safe to say that it was one of those rare occasions where everything seems to come together and everything goes off. I really don’t think that first shows come much better than that. Unfortunately, I’ve still got no fucking idea where that speaker cable went!

It was pretty odd to play our first show in another city supporting one of punk’s most interesting bands but our second show was in our spiritual home at The Balcony Bar in Dundee with our brothers in Shields Up, Roscoe Vacant and The Gantin’ Screichs plus young Arbroath punks Third Floor Incident (who’s guitarist Geordie strikes an uncanny resemblance to our beloved cowpunk roving reporting Ryan Gallagher). It was one of those sweaty awesome tight-knit shows that we all love and was pretty much the perfect way to introduce ourselves to our friends. To be perfectly honest, I don’t really remember a whole lot about it as I’m pretty sure everyone there made a good attempt at drinking the bar dry, something that has become par for the course at MTAT shows. A couple of days later and all four of us were off to Glasgow to see Red City Radio play. I had never really listened to them that much but knew about them, but Jonny loves that band with all his heart so we all went down. In a random turn of events, the guys from Cavalcades, who were meant to be supporting, broke down on their way from Aberdeen and, seeing as all four of us were there, we stepped in and played a few songs thanks to The Stay Gones letting us borrow all of their gear. That was an unexpected bonus and it ended up being another incredible evening, although I was a little gutted as I’ve still yet to see Cavalcades. This will be remedied at Book Yer Ane Fest VI.

Then it was off to Florida for what would prove to be the first of many ridiculous missions that we would undertake. It seems we hatch a hair-brained idea, ponder for approximately thirty seconds about how ridiculous said idea is and how much grief it is going to cause us, then go ahead and do it anyway. The whole concept to playing our fourth show in America was ridiculous, but just ridiculous enough that we knew we had to do it. We flew out from Edinburgh, first to Paris then to Atlanta and finally onto Gainesville, the plane for which was pretty much the aviation equivalent of the number 57 bus. Randy was there to pick us up and we made our way to Turkey Town, the Spanish Gamble house, and made the first of several trips to the 7-11. Eventually we made our way to our super-ghetto motel, got washed and changed and did what any sensible bunch of goons would do; head into town and get fired in about the grilled cheese and PBR.

I could write for ever about how insane the whole Fest experience was but it really is the kind of thing that you need to experience yourself to fully understand. As mentioned, we played at the legendary Wayward Council, a DIY cooperative record/book/zine store, meeting place, venue, activist space run by volunteers right in downtown Gainesville, such a cool spot. There were loads of our friends at Fest for Andy and Sam Chainsaw’s wedding and it almost felt like playing the Balcony, but in the heat of Florida. Honestly, I’ve never sweated as much in my life playing a show as I did that night. The Florida punks took such good care of us. We didn’t take a single piece of equipment with us and everyone went out of their way to help us out, especially Randy. It’s no mistake to say that this man has done a lot for our band and there was no way that we’d have been there playing if it wasn’t for him. The memories from that first trip will last a lifetime, if I can remember them.

After Gainesville, we played a string of Scottish shows; Perth with The Jackhammers and Vega’s Loft, Edinburgh with our pals in Acid Drop before taking them to the Balcony alongside Maxwell’s Dead and The Brothel Corpse Trio, and wrapping the weekender up in Aberdeen with the same line-up (minus t’drop). That was the first weekend that we played “Heads Down, Thumbs Up” too, if I remember correctly. We rounded 2011 out by playing early on the Saturday of Book Yer Ane Fest V, sharing the stage with possibly one of the finest line-ups ever assembled in Dundee, then played a benefit show in Blairgowrie for the SOS Bruno and Debbie campaign (to free them from Somali pirates, which eventually met with success!), before embarking on an absolutely disastrous mad mission to London to play a NYE party with our pals The Rocco Lampones in a squatted nursing home. I accept full responsibility for said disaster, although I’m sure everyone (well, maybe with one or two exceptions), would look back on the experience, if not favourably, then likely with a sense of humour! Plus, everyone had made up by the time we got home.

Our first show of 2012 was a Wreckin’ Pit Promotions affair at The 13th Note playing with Anti-Vigilante and Bandito Fleeto. That was the first night that we played “The Fear”. We then did another cheeky little weekender, playing a free show at The Green Room in Perth with our pals Bonehouse, Drug Couple and Shields Up before going back to Edinburgh to play with Shields and Clocked Out.  Then it was Dead To Me in Dundee, which was one of the best shows that we’ve ever put on and was simply a magic night all round. Hopefully we’ll bump into those guys again before too long as they were RAD DUDES.

Our Welsh roaster pals Question The Mark came up a couple of weeks after that and we played shows in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Falkirk (which was absolute insanity). That’s when we originally hatched the plan for the forthcoming split 7″ on Team Beard Records. Realistically at this point, it’s looking like that’ll see the light of day some time next year, but if we can get the finger out and get it sorted before then, then we shall do! Those guys have been super-sound to us and they are some of the nicest, most helpful and funny dudes you could possibly hope to meet, not to mention a great band. We’ll be having them in Dundee for BYAF VI, so in an ideal world we’ll have the split sorted for then. We played in Stirling around that time too with those nutters in Shatterhand and Yeah Detroit at Whistlebinkies. That was a total blast from the past and took me back ten years to when SLAMS (Stirling Live Alternative Music Society) put on shows there.

We then moved on to the serious business of recording our EP. We hatched another ridiculous plan and clocked up nearly 800 miles in Batista moving gear and picking up bodies before settling into our “secret location” for a weekend of recording. Brains fried as usual, we set up a drum cave where Luke proceeded to spend forty-five years obliterating both our skulls and his drum kit while Jamie and I drank beer and Jonny got annoyed. Everyone knows what it’s like when you’re recording; the soaring highs and crushing lows are always there, but I’m pretty sure that we’re all pretty happy with the outcome. Once again, Boab and his endless patience engineered the process and we wrapped everything bar the vocals for the songs in the weekend. I then went home to watch Wrestlemania before we played a show in Glasgow with ONSIND, Eric Ayotte and Scragfight a day later. A couple of days after that, we finished recording the vocals for the EP before hastily sending it off for mastering and duplication in time for the Cobra Skulls tour. In between, we played a show in Aberdeen with Cleavers and Beatdoon Festival in Dundee where I managed to fall off stage like a complete dickhead. That’s what you get for rocking out too hard and lacking spatial awareness. Click ol’ Tezza’s face below to stream/download the EP.

My dad died suddenly on April 27th. At this point, I was faced with a huge decision. We had the EP coming out, our UK tour with Cobra Skulls booked and all flights and dates for our US tour with our Colorado cowpunk brothers Loaded .45 sorted. Jamie, Jonny and Luke were amazing and left the decision up to me. I knew, and know, in my heart of hearts that Mick would’ve wanted us to plough on. He’d have kicked my ass if he thought that I’d second-guessed myself for a minute and he knew how hard we work for our band. I remember the last time I saw him and he told me that he’d see me at the release show. Obviously, that never happened.

We made the decision to tour and have the release show. It’s what Mick would’ve wanted and it was what I needed. The shows on the whole were pretty amazing, the experience of being out on tour with one of my favourite bands was so surreal given the circumstances that we were in, and most of it felt like some kind of outer body experience for me. Derby was notable insofar that someone tried to steal our spare guitar, but that passed without incident. Both Jamie and I have written quite extensively about the the UK tour. You can find Jamie’s musings here and here.

We got back home and a day later it was my father’s funeral. I’ve written about that before and everyone who was there knows exactly what happened, so I’m not going to go into that here. I miss Mick every day and I’d dearly love the boot up the arse he’d no doubt give me right about now. I’d also hope that he’d be proud of how strong we’ve been and how hard we’ve fought through everything. Then two days later, it was off to the USA. Again, both Jamie and I have written about the insanity of that experience already, but it’s safe to say that it was a privilege and an absolute pleasure to meet such great people in so many places so far away from home, difficult though it was for us all. You can read the previous pieces here,  here, here and here. Once we got back from the States, it was straight from Manchester to Crash Doubt Fest 2 in Lincoln before an eight hour drive home in a state of complete zombification, a state that we remained in for weeks. Cue the post-tour blues.

Since then, we played a couple of shows with The Day I Snapped and Mug in Dundee and Glasgow, as well as playing with The Flatliners for the first time in Bridgend, Wales along with the Question The Mark boys and rocking a biker rally in that most rock’n’roll of locations; Brechin Town Hall! On the surface, it looks like we haven’t been doing too much but we’ve been beavering away working on our new stuff and getting ready for recording. We had plans to head out on a UK tour with Loaded .45 but unfortunately real-life problems get in the way of the best-laid punk rock plans. The tour is still going to happen, likely some time early in the new year.

I didn’t intend to write so much when I started this post about two hours ago, I was just going to mention how much I’m looking forward to tomorrow night and how it feels like the culmination of our graft over the past year. I know it might not look like too much, but I feel we’ve done ourselves proud in our short existence. It takes a special kind of relationship to get through all the shit that we have in such a short period of time. Speaking only for myself, this has been the toughest time of my life and the band has been one of things that has helped me cope with everything that has been going on. Focus, passion, drive, the will.

Tomorrow night is one of the last show’s we’ll be playing this year. We’ll be playing the Elway show in Dundee on September 30th, then playing a show in Glasgow with The Cut Ups the night before Book Yer Ane Fest VI kicks off, at which we’ll play our last show of the year. We’re going to write and record for our split releases with Question The Mark and Loaded .45. We may also throw out another cheeky EP as we work our way towards our first full-length. I honestly can’t wait to see our shit pressed on wax.

Tomorrow night is likely to be somewhat emotional.

From Ego to Emo.

This week was a fairly busy one, both for myself and for the Make-That-A-Take collective. I was faced with a serious dilemma; I had tickets for the Social Distortion show in Glasgow at the same time that the collective was putting on Franz Nicolay in Dundee. While it was a tough choice, I simply HAD to see Social D as they are one of the bands that I hold dearly to my heart that I had yet to see live. Abbie had bought me the tickets before we booked Franz and, difficult though it was, I had to go see Social D. This is only the second time that I’ve missed one of the collective shows, the other being Direct Hit when Uniforms were away in the States. From all reports, the Franz show was a major success that was very nearly a sell-out. Franz is coming back next summer and it’s highly likely that we’ll be putting on some sort of all-dayer, or something along those lines, when he does so. I’d like to sincerely thank the other guys in the collective for taking care of everything and to Billy Liar, Algernon Doll and Davey Nolan for playing too.

Jamie and I, however, jumped on the train to Glasgow after work and other commitments were fulfilled, went for a quick pint and arrived in the sold out Garage just in time to hear Dave Hause strumming his first chords. I always find it slightly strange when singer/songwriters play solo shows with electric guitars, but it didn’t impact on my enjoyment of his set. It picked up a gear when he switched to his acoustic guitar and I’m sure that he converted a few of the rabid Social D fans, many of whom didn’t seem interested in anything other than skelping pints and hollering along with Mike Ness. Dave himself didn’t look particularly well with big bags under his eyes, but he has been doing some serious touring so that can be forgiven. His passionate delivery was undimmed and he appeared genuinely humbled to be supporting one of his favourite bands. His set was well-received and he seemed happy when I spoke to him in the merch area afterwards. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Edinburgh show the next night would have been incredible, as was reported to me by everyone who went. I also bought Jamie the 7″ collection that was on sale. I can be uncharacteristically sound like that on occasion.

Social D were up next and the first thing that grabbed my attention was the amount of knick-knack artefacts that Mike Ness had on top of his amps and the fact that they had rugs taped to the stage floor. Our friend Ryan had related some stories about Mike Ness as told to him by a certain transgender punk when we were in the States and, to my observations, it seems as though all the horror stories are true! One thing that I thought was telling was that Johnny Two Bags only played guitar solos when the band did Johnny Cash covers and never on their own songs. Something else that was odd was the fact that the band had apparently told security to stop people filming and taking photographs, despite the fact that Mike spent half of the show posing as opposed to singing. The thing that properly took the biscuit though was when they pulled a 14 year old kid on stage, gave him £20 and said something along the lines of “fuck school tomorrow, you’ll be the coolest kid around ‘cos you were at the Social D show”. In a moment of unintentional comedy genius, Mike called for his tech to come and switch the microphones before he’d let the kid speak into it. A man of the people for sure is our Mike!

Massive egos and unintended hilarity aside, the band were incredibly tight and they reeled out all the hits, as you may have expected them to. The place was absolutely rammed, as befitting their first ever Scottish show, but I can’t help but feel that there was a little something lacking. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so glad that I got a chance to see them but I can’t hide my slight disappointment. It’s like the old cliché says, never meet your idols. Not that I met Mike Ness, but it would’ve been nice if he didn’t come across as such an asshole. The look on Johnny Two Bags pretty much said it all. I’ve never seen someone looking so depressed and miserable playing rock’n’roll in my life. It was strange for me too as I hardly ever go to “big” shows these days, so there was a real disconnect for me. Still, the songs speak for themselves and Social D are undeniably punk legends, so I remain happy with my choice. I also stood at the back and filmed a little bit of their encore;

Then on Friday night, it was all hands on deck as the collective co-promoted the Everyone Everywhere / Chalk Talk / Kaddish / Bonehouse / Uniforms show with GW! at Kage Nightclub. It was a bummer that Defiance, Ohio and Some Sort Of Threat had to pull out and cancel their tour on account of visa problems, but we still had an amazing line-up on our hands. I had been in a mad rush after finishing work, going to my doctor’s appointment and stopping by the printers, not once but twice by virtue of me originally sending the wrong file to be printed. As such, I was running around like a mad man and forgot to pick up my video camera, which annoyed me no end. Luckily, Andy McGarry of Pet Piranha Records had organised for the show to be filmed by his pal Liam from Man Alive Studios. The footage should be available for your viewing pleasure before too long.

Abbie and I rushed to the train and got to the venue for around 6pm, then set about getting the new posters on the walls and flyers cut up whilst the PA was being set up. Everyone Everywhere then soundchecked before Uniforms set up to open the show. Everything was in place and we went on at bang on 8pm and were off less than 20 minutes later. We played a couple of new songs live for the first time and considering the fact that we had all had pretty shitty days (and I’d just come off a sleepover at work) and hadn’t practised in a couple of weeks, I thought we played pretty well. I’m really enjoying our new songs and was so happy to get to play Jolene, my beautiful new Les Paul, at a show for the first time. Abbie filmed our opening song on my phone and, given the quality, I probably should’ve filmed everyone on it. Please accept my apologies for not doing so but I was absolutely shattered after we had played and no matter how many times I went outside between bands, I just couldn’t seem to cool down!

Bonehouse were up next and absolutely nailed it. You can tell that they’ve been on tour as it shows not only in their tightness, but in their levels of comfort both with one another and with the crowd in front. I was very heartened by the fact that a lot of people had made the effort to come down early and catch all the opening bands, standing close and engaging with them like they would a headlining band. It’s always a good sign when you don’t recognise the majority of the faces in the audience and I have to thank the people that went to a lot of effort to make plans and travel to the show from all of the country. I believe there was a couple that had come to Dundee from Norwich for the weekend, inspired by wanting to come to this show. That’s dedication right there. People of Dundee, please take note! I’ve written about Bonehouse quite extensively before and they more than deserve it, so if you haven’t done so already, please make a point of checking them out. They absolutely nailed it on the night and it’s safe to say that they are rapidly becoming one of the finest bands in the country. I also spoke to Owen and Dave about them playing Book Yer Ane Fest VI, so that’s definitely going to happen.

The mighty Kaddish were up next. I could spend all day being hyperbolic about how much I love this band, but then again, pretty much everyone that comes to our shows loves this band. Hell, everyone in the country loves this band. They rattled through a quick six song set that included “To Another”, the epic jam that closes out their first LP. They also ripped through some new jamz from their upcoming second LP including “But A Beat From Your Bones”, an abrasive emotionally-charged belter. To be fair, that description could be used to describe any of their songs and characterises every Kaddish performance. Their intensity levels surpass almost any band I’ve ever seen and there are very few bands, especially locally (ie, Scotland), that inspire such levels of awe and devotion. I spent the majority of the set “dancing” down at the front and screaming along before helping to clear the “stage” for the touring bands. Honestly, Kaddish are fucking amazing and their new record is going to blow minds when it eventually comes out. As ever, I nagged the guys about donating a song to the forthcoming Make Yer Ane Comp IV collection that will be out before Book Yer Ane Fest. You can bet your botton dollar that Kaddish will be making an appearance that weekend too. Such a jaw-dropping band. In the absence of any new footage at the moment, here’s one from a few months ago;

Next up were Chalk Talk from Amherst, Massachusetts. They’re a three-piece basement-style east coast emo/punk band who played brilliantly poppy lo-fi indie rock that really comes alive in  the live setting. Jonny and I were speaking to the guys in the band room before the show started and it continually amazes me how people and bands in the worldwide DIY community can so easily bond over the shared experiences of touring and putting on shows. We shared a couple of mutual horror stories, but being “accommodated” by Ukrainian neo-nazis is definitely worse than being bumped by 80’s hardcore relics at a biker bar in downtown San Diego. The Chalk Talk guys were lovely fellas and appeared genuinely humbled to be getting taken care of so far away from home. It’s pretty easy to keep touring bands happy if you can give them some food, get a couple of beers down them, get them a place to crash and pay them (at least as close to) what you agreed to pay them originally. On the hospitality front, I have to give a big shout out to Papa Gain and Dave McCaffer for sorting out the food and to Owen for sorting the guys out with a place to stay. Much appreciated chaps. It’s this sort of community and togetherness that makes our scene so special. Regarding their actual performance, Chalk Talk absolutely nailed it and definitely won everyone over with their unassuming charm. I think they did pretty well on the merch sales side of things too, although I didn’t manage to get my paws on a record myself as I always seem to leave these things to the last minute when putting on shows and the merch was already in the back of the van by the time I remembered about it. Ah well, I’ll pick one up from them when we’re over in the States next year. Bryce, I look forward to playing in your basement!

The magnificent Everyone Everywhere rounded out the live musical entertainment side of things for the evening with a passionate and well-received set. These guys have just released their eponymous second record and played a good chunk of it along with some choice cuts from their back catalogue. They went on around 10.45pm and played for around 40 minutes, although the did appear somewhat confused at the end of their set when everyone began chanting “one more tune”. They obliged, however, and wrapped things up with “Tiny Planet”, one of the finest cuts from their first full-length. By this point in the evening I was absolutely shattered and spent the majority of their set watching everybody’s heads bopping up and down from the back but their somewhat delicate, introspective yet rocking jamz went down an absolute treat with everyone in attendance.

Again, I can’t over express how heartening and inspiring it is to see a room full of people who are totally on the same page being united in an experience, especially when soundtracked by a band who have never visited these shores before. To me, that’s what the DIY community is all about; having a safe space where everyone involved is united in purpose and looking out for one another, having respect for both the similarities and the differences that we all share. That may sound idealistic but in this instance, it was the absolute truth. After the show, Kenny and crew quickly loaded out the PA then everyone got involved in loading out the gear. I spent a little time talking to the Everyone Everywhere guys and explained to them the concept of “the blag” is I duly “blagged” a record from them. There are varying degrees of “the blag” and in some cases it’s absolutely not appropriate, but I felt that it was okay for these guys. It was pointed out to me that my most frequently asked question of touring bands is “everyone happy?”. It’s important to me that bands, not just touring bands but every band that we deal with, is happy as without happy bands and happy punters, there are no shows.

Abbie and I left about an hour into the Entropy club night thereafter as we had to jump on the last train to Perth. We left utterly exhausted but jubilant at what had been an amazing show and an amazing experience of togetherness for our scene. No two bands on the bill sounded alike yet were afforded both the respect and the attention of the audience. Yes, it was loud as all hell and there was no way that you’d be able to hold a conversation even if you wanted to, but the focus was on the bands, the music and the release afforded you when you feel like you can be yourself. Knowing so many disparate groups involved in the scene, it’s these moments of unity and togetherness that make all the hard graft worthwhile.

Thank you to everyone involved in making the show so special, from the other members of the collective to the bands to the people who travelled from both near and far. These are the kind of nights that restore faith. Let’s please keep this up!

Next up we’ve got Blacklist Royals in Dundee. Should be sweet.

Much love.

Punknews Review No. 2

Can be found here.

New UNIFORMS Songs

We roasters in UNIFORMS are currently writing new material for our upcoming split records with our Colorado cowpunk brothers in Loaded 45 and our Welsh reprobate brethren Question The Mark. We’ll also have a new EP coming out before too long (I think) before we really knuckle down to record our full-length.

We don’t have too many shows coming up just now as real life gets in the way sometimes and we toured our balls off during the first half of the year. Employers don’t always look favourably upon employees disappearing for months at a time to traverse the globe playing punk rock. However, we are playing a few absolute bangers over the next couple of months, starting next week in Dundee;

Friday 24th August @ Kage Nightclub, Dundee w/ Defiance, Ohio (USA) / Everyone Everywhere (USA) / Chalk Talk (USA) / Bonehouse / Kaddish / Some Sort Of Threat. Doors @ 6.30pm. Tickets are £8 advanced, £10 on the door. You can get advanced tickets here (only until Sunday night tho!).

Wednesday 29th August @ Audio, Glasgow (beside The Arches) w/ The Flatliners (CAN) / Yeah Detroit. Again, advanced tickets are £8 with it being £10 on the door. You can get tickets for that banger here.

Then we don’t have anything booked until the Elway / Leagues Apart show that I wrote about the other day. We’ll be holed up in the practice room sweating out the jamz and skelping thumpers. It’ll be deece.

Here’s some of the fruits of our labour in rudimentary visual practice room form. We’ll be playing both of these songs at the forthcoming shows. They are characteristically cheery, as you may expect from a delectable bunch of refined enthusiastic fellows such as ourselves.

Ye can add us up on facebook here and download our shit here.

Bonjour/Invalids/Nai Harvest/Reno Dakota – Split 7”

Bonjour/Invalids/Nai Harvest/Reno Dakota – Split 7”

(Enjoyment Records)

 This transatlantic emo four-way split 7” is the latest release from UK indie label Enjoyment Records and brings together two fine acts from both the US and UK. The record itself comes in a limited run of black and coloured wax, the latter being a pretty splatter-painted affair. Both countries are strongly represented, although I’d hesitate to use the words “squaring off”, being that this is a quintessentially emo record.

Bonjour from Philadelphia are first up with “The Spice Must Flow!” and is the kind of mid-paced lo-fi indie jam that we on this side of the ocean imagine fills basements across the eastern seaboard; introspective guitars meeting hollered shout-a-long vocals with suitably earnest lyrical proclamations of  “I love you but I hate this” ticking all the right boxes. The production is warm with chiming guitars cutting through and the multiple vocals adding depth before things breakdown with gang-chants and more gravelled vocals towards the end. This is a good song that’s probably riot in the basement with a PBR in hand.

Invalids are next and are a very interesting proposition; the two members live on opposite sides of the country (Pennsylvania and Oregon) and have never met each other in person. Whilst cross-country collaborative work is nothing new, this is the first time I’ve heard of it in such circles. However, it works and considering the guys met tabit.net, this track unsurprisingly features some prodigious guitar/bass wizardry. Starting out with handclaps and sing-a-longs, things twist into noodle-territory before settling in with full-hearted melodic vocals. Interestingly, juxtaposing the technical skills displayed, this is probably the most straight-forward “pop” song on the record. From bass tapping and programmed drums to soaring vocals and incredible guitar playing, there is a lot going on in this song. Thankfully, it’s never overtly self-indulgent and is over all too quickly.

Nai Harvest, a two-piece from Sheffield, England, is first up on side two with their song “Red Letter Day, On Play (#2)”. These guys have been favourites within the UK DIY scene for a while, having earned their reputation through hard work and writing great songs. Nai Harvest make a lot of noise for a two-piece but demonstrate a keen understanding of dynamics. The pre-requisite quiet/loud parts are in evidence, but it can be tricky to pull off with only guitar, drums and vocals to play with. Again, as appears to be a staple of this record, the guitar work is of a very high standard. The vocals could strip paint. I mean that in the very best way possible; the emotion and desperation is palpable with every syllable screamed. One of the UK’s best, these guys are worthy of your attention. Kudos for the Get Up Kids reference also.

 Rounding things out are Reno Dakota from Cambridge, England, who offer up “Yeah, I’m Stalking”. Slightly creepy song title aside, the song also starts with a slightly creepy sample before kicking into a minor chord stomp. The vocals are distinctly English, immediately bringing Frank Turner to mind, no great surprise given their location, and bring a sense of bitterness with phrases like “you have friends in all the right places” jumping out at the listener. The song takes a tangential shift in the middle eight before coming back in a torrent of wild drumming, shimmering guitars and soaring harmonised vocals. This track is probably the best produced of the record but while the musicianship is great and the production crisp, I can’t help but feel that the song is the weakest of the four on offer, seemingly going more for epic sound than epic “feel”.

All in, this is a great little release that highlights a range of flavours in the current DIY emo/indie scene. If I was to use a sports reference, I’d say that we’ve ended up in a tie. If fun time yet introspective emo jams are your bag, then you’ll definitely find something you like here.

You can order the record from www.enjoymentrecords.com or stream it here.

ELWAY (USA) / LEAGUES APART (ENG) / UNIFORMS / TRAILS (ENG)

Make-That-A-Take Records presents…

ELWAY (USA)

Classic mid-western American punk rock bangers from Fort Collins, Colorado on their first UK tour playing their FIRST AND ONLY SCOTTISH SHOW.  On Red Scare, they are label mates with the likes of Nothington / The Holy Mess / The Copyrights and last year’s “Delusions” was one of the best records of 2011. “Hence My Optimism”, the new 7″, is out now.

LEAGUES APART (ENG)

One of the hardest working bands in punk rock, Leagues Apart have toured all over the USA and Europe, played Fest in Gainesville and toured with the likes of The Menzingers, The Flatliners and Red City Radio. They are joining Elway on their UK tour. Top quality gruff melodic punk rock from Manchester.

UNIFORMS

Ramshackle doom punk finely honed to 30 minutes of complete misery. East coast cowpunks have had a busy 2012; releasing their first EP, supporting Cobra Skulls on their UK and having a 3 week adventure across the American West. New stuff coming soon too!

TRAILS (ENG)

Soaring mathy, angular, riff-laden melodic punk/pop/alt-rock from Guildford, Surrey featuring members of The JB Conspiracy and Overthrow. This is their first ever Scottish show. Think RX Bandits/Biffy Clyro with a hefty skate/tech-punk influence.

Sunday 30th September 2012 @ Kage Nightclub, Dundee

7.30pm doors. £5 Tax.

Facebook event page here.

Upcoming Make-That-A-Take Shows

Wednesday 22nd August;
Franz Nicolay (USA) / Billy Liar / Algernon Doll / Davey Nolan.
Cerberus Bar, Bell Street, Dundee
7.30pm, £5/6

Friday 24th August;
Defiance, Ohio (USA) / Everyone Everywhere (USA) / Chalk Talk (USA) / Kaddish / Bonehouse / UNIFORMS / Some Sort Of Threat (ENG)
Kage Nightclub, St. Andrews Lane, Dundee
6.30pm, £8/10. More here.

Sunday 23rd September;
Blacklist Royals (USA) / Maxwell’s Dead / The Shithawks / The New Times
Kage Nightclub, St. Andrews Lane, Dundee
7.30pm, £5

Sunday 30th September;
Elway (USA) / Leagues Apart (ENG) / UNIFORMS / Trails (ENG)
Kage Nightclub, St. Andrews Lane, Dundee
7.30pm, £5

BOOK YER ANE FEST VI
Friday 30th November – Sunday 2nd December
Fri/Sat @ Kage Nightclub, St. Andrews Lane, Dundee
Sun @ Non-Zero’s, Castle Street, Dundee

RAD.

GO TO SHOWS.

Tickets available here. More info here.

First Punknews.org Review

I’ve had my first review published as part of the Punknews.org writing staff.

Ye can check it out here.

A BYAF Classic

A Book Yer Ane Fest classic from Black Channels at the inaugural BYAF at Mucky Mulligans in Perth on Saturday 15th November 2008.

Book Yer Ane Fest VI runs from Friday 30th November through Sunday 2nd December.