Write Yer Ane Zine

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

Month: February, 2014

Review; Frown EP

frown logoFrown are a new emo/punk/post-hardcore four-piece from the east coast of Scotland. The band played their very first show at The Twa Tams in Perth on Friday 21st February alongside Last Of Us and The Recovery. Their self-titled and self-released EP that was released that same night provides us with four strong tracks of very well produced harmony-laden melodic rock bangers.  The CD itself comes in a printed cardboard sleeve with a full lyric sheet and artwork. The EP is also available for digital download.

Opening track “Cold Season” kicks off with the fizz and energy of early Idlewild with guitars popping off against each other and the big vocals of David Bryceland, not entirely dissimilar to those of John Harcus of PMX/Last Of Us. The song has a stomper of a chorus and has a touch of an epic metal feel to it, structurally, with it’s considered mid-section and guitar interplay, before the twin vocals kick back in and the song takes off towards its end.  Drummer Michael, formerly of Canadian punks Blackjacket, underpins the whole thing with some heavy floor tom work and well placed kicks. Much as Kev wouldn’t agree, there’s definitely a bit of the old Fleetwood Mac about some of the squealing guitars too 😉

“A Broken Man” kicks in with some Hot Water Music-esque guitar work before snapping into a more traditional rapid hardcore beat as the lead vocals of Kevin Thomson take flight. The song reminds me of bands like Daytrader if they’d been raised in Nowheresville, Scotland as opposed to the Atlantic coast. The song screams frustration and home town blues, delivered with passion and a sense of desperation. Morgan Nicol’s solid bass work holds the whole thing together with some heavy heads down riffage that brings some grit alongside the polish.

“American Werewolf” starts with more duelling guitars before settling down into the groove for the verse, once again led vocally by David Bryceland. The song starts off evoking the memory of Thrice before things break down to a Joy Division-like moment of introspection.  Then the hi-hats open up and guitars fly once again and the harmony-fuelled chorus soars.

The final track, “Under Hot Son” is my personal favourite. I think it features the meatiest of all the impressive guitar playing throughout the EP and the riff before the vocals kick in is just sublime. Vocally, there are echoes of The Killers at their sky-scraping euphoric best. There’s undeniable emotion in the guitars too, they seem to stir something in my black heart, like the first time I had my head scrambled by Balance and Composure.

Overall, this is a very impressive and promising first release from a band who sound like they know exactly what it is they are going for. The record is heavy without being forced, emotional without being contrived and accessible without being throwaway pop. This is assured, confident songwriting with a big sound and quality delivery that easily matches up to the biggest and best of modern post-hardcore/emo. With shades of early 00s pop-punk and early 90s grunge/metal, Frown are students of the game.

This EP is a banger and I’m very excited about their first Dundee show on Tuesday 15th April at Kage Nightclub alongside Failures’ Union (USA), Bedford Falls (WAL) and Lost Limbs.

failures union april

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The Roaster Invasion (Part One); Post-Match Analysis

The weekend started with the big one; Dundee United against Motherwell at Tannadice. As the gentlemen involved are of the sporting night, there was only on incident of well-intentioned gloating and the case was closed. Over the course of three legs, however, I reckon this weekend was definitely a case of a Team Cowpunk away win. It was a very important weekend for me personally so I’d like to thank everyone who was involved in making our first weekend of shows in a while a great success. We haven’t played any shows south of the border since our UK tour with Loaded 45 in March/April of last year and things have been both busy and pretty tough since then, so it felt real good to be back in the game!

weekender1

The ROASTER INVASION (Part One) featuring Glasgow melodic punks Sink Alaska and we east coast cowpunks of Uniforms was kicked off on Friday night at The Roxy in Glasgow. As is the way when you discover that the van is sick the day before you depart, things started with a bit of a scramble. It wouldn’t be a roaster invasion if things went smoothly from the off. Being the zen motherfuckers that we are, we solved the problem with minimum fuss (and maximum outside assistance) and were all good to go. Massive kudos of Alshy and Jonny Daylight Savings for spending Friday sorting out the van and all the gear and to Brother Flett for driving my ass and gear from Perth to Glasgow before heading back to Perth to see Frown play their first show. Thanks a lot dudes, you are the glue that holds the ship together!

GLASGOW

The Roxy used to be The Liquid Ship and is a quality little venue in the west end of Glasgow, just along Great Western Road from where I used to live with Beansie Grief when we moved to Glasgow after I graduated. That was ten fucking years ago. The venue is in a basement underneath the main bar/eatery and it was super cosy, especially once you got a rabble of roaster punk rockers in there. Moonshine Docks kicked things off and charmed us with their endearingly ramshackle gruff punk bluster and razor sharp banter. These dudes have been in the game a while (it’s pretty rare that we’re the youngest band on a bill!) and ken the craic. They’re definitely one of the more underrated bands in the country, that’s for sure.

I was pretty pumped and we were up next. Looking back at it now, I was more wired to the moon than pumped, having worked an 80-odd hour work week before scrambling to Glasgow, fuelled by caffeine and very little sleep. We played so fast that it felt like my head was going to pop clean off my body at several points during our set and I couldn’t hear any of the vocals too well but I think we played a pretty good show. I made a couple of booboos and was maybe a little grumpy afterwards but that was more me being an asshole than anything else. It was only our second show since BYAF and the second show that I’ve played sober, so I was full of nervous energy. Our set felt pretty intense and we definitely rattled through it. It felt good to let off some steam and get a little bit of the mania out of our systems.

Sink Alaska get better every single time I see them and they have only grown in my estimation as both a band and humans after spending three days together with them. I first heard Beauty School Dropout on some old Punk In Scotland compilation CD that Jacko put together some time in the late 90s I believe and I always thought they were incredible, definitely one of the coolest Scottish bands I remember from my “developmental” years in punk. The first time I saw The Day I Snapped was when they opened for Against Me! at King Tut’s in 2007 (I think), the same weekend as Deadfest in Edinburgh. I got to know Alshy and the dudes from the ‘snapped a few years later when we put them on in Dundee, but it’s only been across the last couple of years that friendship has developed. Sink Alaska are also an awesome band with some absolute bangers so I was excited to see them play three nights on the bounce as well as getting to spend some time getting to know each other further.

They killed it in The Roxy and seemed to have a blast doing so. Everybody was having a good time and we hawked some merch and hung out after the show. Cheers to everyone who came along and enjoyed the bands. Uniforms will be back in Glasgow on April 27th as we wrap up our weekender with Bangers at the Punk Rock Rammy half-dayer at Audio alongside Elway, Joe McMahon (Smoke or Fire), Roscoe Vacant, The Walking Targets and Andy Chainsaw.

glashow half dayer

After the show, we hung out for a little while after loading out before going our separate ways for the evening. Half of Uniforms headed out to party and half of Sink Alaska went home to their families, while the rest of us piled back to Yoker and drank tea whilst searching, with ultimate failure, to find the repeat of Friday Night Smackdown. I slept on a couch and made friends with one of Brad’s cats who spent the whole night keeping guard above my head. Thanks pal. In the morning, Brad fixed us up some quality breakfast rolls before I drank the first of a million coffees before rolling out into Glasgow to meet the rest of the troops. By around half twelve, we were all together; fed, watered and fully balmed-up, making our way towards England for our first shows south of the border in almost a year.

As is customary when we go south, we stopped at Go Burrito in Lancaster for lunch. That place is awesome and comes highly recommended to anyone who is passing as it’s definitely worth pulling off the motorway for, instead of spending a shit-ton on dissatisfaction at the roadside services. Such stops are best used exclusively for as piss, coffee and smoke breaks. Jonny New-found Realism kept Jonny Big Baws at bay this time around and he didn’t try to sink The Titanic, but he did have the first of his two burritos over the weekend. As an aside, his comparison satisfaction test failed due to a lack of universal standards; one should never base comparison on different fillings. Jonny Science Fail.

We rolled into Leeds around 6pm and immediately loaded in up the fire escape staircase into the upstairs room. We had an absolute shit-ton of gear with us and it took up pretty much the whole floor when we laid it out, but we set up quickly and got the soundchecks out of the way before spending some time chilling out on the massive sofas in the adjoining room. Andrew Cream opened the show with his Billy Bragg-esque acoustic tales before our boys in Sink Alaska took to the stage. They ripped through their set with the expected gusto and were in and out commando style in around 25 minutes. Believe me when I tell ye that “Among The Wretched” is going to be one of the bangers of 2014 when it comes to year-end lists. Leeds skate punkers Eat Defeat were up next and raced through their A Wilhelm Scream/We Are The Union-style melodic punk with buzzsaw guitars with aplomb and humour.

Then it was us and we played a full 40 minute set for the first time in quite some time. I was a lot more relaxed than I was the previous evening and even though the sound on stage wasn’t great, I personally enjoyed our set more than the previous evening as I was pretty relaxed and focussed, whereas I’d been hyper the night before. The crowd were very attentive and seemed to be into what we were doing and we rocked out, busting out some older shit as well as playing a few songs that we didn’t play in Glasgow. Thank you so much to JRA of Sound Off Promotions for putting us on and Jimmy and Louise for putting us up, as well as everyone who came out to the show and picked up some merch. After load out, we had pizza and chips before heading in our separate directions to for cups of tea and sleep. Kudos to the Leeds punk scene for the posi graffiti in the bathrooms too!

racist shit out

We had originally planned to spend our Sunday afternoon recording with Boothy at his studio, but unfortunately it didn’t happen as young Anthony was called into an emergency at work. However, that meant that we had plenty of time to get ourselves together and take a walk around Leeds. Filling our bellies was our first priority before we made a beeline for Jumbo Records in the St. John’s Centre. I was pretty excited as I picked up copies of Leadbelly’s “Black Betty” anthology collection on double heavyweight vinyl  and the new “Corrupt Fucking Systems” LP from UK crust punk legends DOOM. I also picked up a copy of Bald Cactus fanzine, which proclaimed gleefully that it was the first post-Thatcher issue. It’s got interviews with Acid Drop, Eat Defeat and more. It was a decent read in the van on the way home and a worth the pound I paid for it.

Then it was off to Bolton to wrap up our weekender at the infamous Alma Inn. French punks Maladroit had been added to the bill at the last minute so Boothy was running a tight ship as there were now seven bands on the bill. The Doublecross (Jon Greenwood from Cardiff) kicked off the show with his acoustic alt-country/punk rock goodness before Sink Alaska took to the floor and absolutely destroyed it. The Alma gets a bit of a bad wrap sometimes but the sound both onstage and off was incredible. Sink Alaska played what I thought was their best show of the trip and they absolutely tore it up. I believe at one point during soundcheck I said something along the lines of “that makes me want to shit myself”. This was proven to be a very good thing indeed. They are a fucking great band and I’m very proud that MTAT will be helping put out their 7″ later on this year.

Manchester punks Scumface were up next and blasted through about 50 songs of ridiculous hardcore punk madness in just over 20 minutes and rocked the fuck out before A Victory At Sea brought the positivity with their posi-NYHC melodic hardcore stomp. I absolutely loved these dudes and felt invigorated afterwards. We definitely have to get them up to Scotland this year, so good. They upped the energy and I was completely pumped by the time we went on. I thought we were absolutely on it and I rocked out like I have never rocked out before; it felt like a group exorcism or meditation, a primal release of energy. Without descending into pseudo-intellectual feech, it felt good, like a cleansing lemon sorbet to clear the palette. Cheers troops!

Don Blake were up next and played a really short set as they were splitting time with Maladroit. I only caught a little bit of their set but they were tight and poppy, reminding my of something like Saves The Day. They’ll be in Dundee on Thursday 13th March supporting The Murderburgers as they kick off their 60 day European tour. We’re playing it too, the day before we go to Ireland, as are our pals Lachance who will be playing their very first full band show. I’m very much looking forward to that one.

Maladroit were last up and they were absolutely brilliant, definitely one of the highlights on my weekend. They are super tight and playing rocking melodic pop-punk, like Banner Pilot or Dear Landlord playing Ramonescore, or some such, so fucking good. They are in Glasgow tonight (Tuesday) and Edinburgh on Wednesday. Hopefully next time they are over we’ll be able to get them up in Dundee. Great band and nice dudes to boot. With that, we loaded out, pointed Sneddy in the direction of the chipper, said our goodbyes and headed back to Dani and Boothy’s, where we were hailed as Vikings as we pillaged for toast and preserves before bedding down in preparation for the early trip home in the morning. Poor Richie went straight from the van to work; not ideal!

team

Thank you so much to everybody who helped make Part One of the ROASTER INVASION happen. Part Two will be happening later this year so keep your eyes and ears peeled for details.

CHEERS GED.

DAE YER ANE PODCAST; Episode 3

Episode 3 of DAE YER ANE PODCAST is dedicated to the memories of Jordan Cameron and Jackson Bromley, both of whom have been taken from us too soon and are laid to rest this week.

Jordan was a funny, intelligent and talented young man who played guitar in Drug Couple and My Castle, Your Castle as well as being an enthusiastic participant of the local scene. Jackson is the son of our good friends Annabel Bromley and Rossko MacGregor. Our thoughts and love are with everyone involved at this time, now and always.

Out of respect, there is no talking on this episode of the podcast. As such, I’ve included links and a little brief about each track below.

Sleep easy, fellas.

jordan

Jordan Cameron

jackson

Jackson Bromley

Drug Couple – “Victor Crowley”

The last track of the Perth hardcore band’s first and only EP.

Certain Death – “Faker”

Recorded when they were called Drive By Audio and taken from the BYAF V comp.

In Tongues – Entombed By Existence”

Glasgow hardcore’s bleakest, taken from the new EP on Atonement Records.

Prelude To The Hunt – “Blood Moon”

Aberdoom grindcore, taken from the “First Rites” EP.

MAFAFI – “Ed Burns”

PHC’s filthiest purveyors of hardcore punk sleaze.

Kaddish – “Combray”

Eccosemo’s greatest with a track from the out of print split 7″ with Battle of Wolf 359.

Bed Of Wasps – “Plagued”

New blackened hardcore five-piece from Dundee, taken from the “Plagued” EP.

Black Channels – “Feral Children”

Black Channels were a Perth/Glasgow screamo/punk band featuring members of Mesa Verde and Allergo.

Gunfinger – “Smoked Bowls, Saved Souls”

Glasgow hardcore/powerviolence mayhem on Hawkchild/Party Wound.

Fiesta Minor – “Cold”

Glasgow screamo/hardcore.

Bonehouse – “Gentle Bones”

Dundee emo/punk, taken from the 4-Way Split 12″ with Kaddish, Polina (CAN) and Todos Caeran (CAN).

Carson Wells – “Home”

Aberdeen emo, taken from the “Wonderkid” LP on Art For Blind.

Proverbs – “James Nesbitt Is Not A Legitimate Actor”

Perth emo, taken from the “1.24” tape on ZX Tapes.

Cavalcades – “Frayed”

Aberdeen screamo/punk, taken from the “Coping” 12″ EP on Dog Knights.

Departures – “21”

Glasgow hardcore, taken from the “Teenage Haze” LP on Fist In The Air Records.

Torturo Nervosa – “Saturnalia”

Perth punk rock sleazemeisters par excellence.

Cleavers – “Transmission” (Joy Division)

Download-only bonus track from the “I Can’t Wait Around For You”/”Give Up” 7″ record.

Pink Pills – “Ghost Ships”

Pink Pills is Ryan Gallagher, taken from the “Concrete Heartbeat” album.

The Hotel Year – “There Is A Light”

Now “The Hotelier”, this track is taken from the LP of the same title.

My Castle, Your Castle – “Outro”

Taken from “Discography”.

Failures’ Union (USA) / Bedford Falls (Wal) – Tuesday 15th April

APRIL BANGER ALERT!!!!!

failures bedford split

Failures’ Union (USA)
Super-infectious melodic indie rock/punk of the highest calibre all the way from Buffalo, New York. Failures’ Union feature ex-members of Lemuria/The Exit Strategy and will be joining us in Dundee as part of their UK tour with Bedford Falls. Mixing the nostalgia of the finest in 90s alt-rock (The Lemonheads, Dinosaur Jr) with modern day basement punk rock, the band are supporting their new “Tethering” LP out on DEAD BROKE REKERDS this spring. It’s a rare old treat to have them visit us in Dundee.
http://www.failuresunion.com/
http://failuresunion.bandcamp.com/

BEDFORD FALLS (WAL)

South Wales indie rock veterans pay their first visit to Dundee alongside their pals in Failures’ Union. Having been together for the best part of a decade, these troops hit that sweet spot between 80s hardcore and 90s indie/guitar pop, something like Husker Du partying with Teenage Fanclub. Check out the “Elegant Balloons” on Boss Tuneage Records and their split with their tour buddies.

FROWN (First Dundee Show!)
Fresh soaring melodic punk rock/emo goodness from these Dundee troops playing their first home town show. Having just released their EP, Frown provide a refreshing blast of emopunk/post-hardcore with a nod to 90s alt-rock, like Balance and Composure/Title Fight/Thrice from the bleak east coast.

LOST LIMBS (First Dundee Show!)
Another incredible new Scottish band playing their first Dundee show, Lost Limbs are a shouty three-piece indie rock/screamo band that are a very welcome addition to the Ecossemo scene. They blend “traditional” Euroskramz and post-hardcore with classic lo-fi introspection, like Raein/Fugazi/Foals.

TUESDAY 15TH APRIL 2014
KAGE NIGHTCLUB, ST. ANDREWS LANE, DUNDEE
Doors at 7.30pm
£5 Tax please.

MTAT distro will be there; records/CDs/shirts/zines/shit/etc.
http://makethatatakerecords.bandcamp.com/

Facebook event; http://www.facebook.com/events/732403163438196/

Poster to follow.

Perspectives

cover

This past weekend was a very important one for me. It was my first weekend of shows since Book Yer Ane Fest VII and the first weekend of shows I’ve been involved in since attaining sobriety. It’s interesting to me that the new Get It Together EP, with whom I shared two of the three nights of shows, is called “Perspectives” (it’s a banger by the way, coming across like Kid Dynamite covering Descendents), as I faced this weekend with more clarity of mind and thought than previously; a fresh perspective, perhaps.

Friday night at Kage saw the first MTAT show of the year and it got off to an inauspicious start when I got word that Filthpact were running late due to horrendous traffic on the way out of Aberdeen, then they began to experience van problems. We kept in touch and hoped for the best but it became clear that they weren’t going to be able to make it when the van broke down completely and the band were forced to stand on the roadside at Stracathro to wait for a tow truck to take them back to Aberdeen. An absolute gutter across the board and it’s a total bummer that we wouldn’t be able to host them one last time. However, these things happen and the show must go on. Usually we keep the vast majority of the Uniforms gear in Kage, but there was a big clear out after BYAF so we had to scramble to find backline, as Filthpact were due to bring it in the van. We managed to pull it together at the last minute and we were ready to go by around 8.45pm.

Photo by Graham Meldrum

Photo by Graham Meldrum

Rope Spasm kicked things off with their first ever show and they charmed the very understanding audience with their refreshing yet familiar brand of hardcore punk rock mayhem, like the amalgamation of all the sleaziest and most disturbing elements of their previous bands, which include Torturo Nervosa and Drug Couple. The sound was raw as there were no sound checks but it suited these troops perfectly. It’s reassuring that Sam maintains his livewire chaotic presence as he barks out indecipherable mantras like a wounded beast. As far as first shows go, this was an assured and confident first 18/20 minutes, no great surprise given the calibre of their previous projects. Keep your eyes on these animals for sure.

Get It Together were up next. This was the second show of their “Perspectives” EP weekender, having played in Dunfermline the night before, and it was the first time that I’ve seen them as a four piece. It was clear from the very start when Mark started running the ropes across Kage to the Ultimate Warrior’s ring music that this is how the band was meant to be; fun, fast, uplifting and, ultimately, pretty fucking positive. I’ve known Craig and Mark for many years and they’re some of the best dudes in the game and to see them having such a good time playing refreshing yet familiar skate-punk/melodic hardcore in front of 30 odd folk just brought a massive smile to my face. It also helps that the new EP is fucking rocking.

Rounding out the evening were the simply jaw-dropping Sufferinfuck. I’d never seen these dudes before but know that they have a fearsome live reputation and that they’re one of the most intense bands that you’re ever likely to witness. Having listened to their album “In Boredom” (which you can download from the awesomely-named Grindcore Karaoke), I knew that we were going to be in for lead heavy slabs of brutality but I didn’t realise just how intense the experience was going to be. I don’t really have a great many points of reference; it was a bile-spitting display of contempt for everything and it was fucking brilliant. At one point, the guitarist was attacking his instrument with a screwdriver and I couldn’t tell whether he was attempting repairs or accentuating the “ambient” noise passages. Either way, it sounded like the piercing squeals of a million dying souls. Bleak shit, in the best possible way.

Photo by Graham Meldrum

Photo by Graham Meldrum

I must give a shout out to everyone who came to the show on Friday night for their understanding concerning the circumstances with Filthpact, as I know some folk were disappointed. I think it says a lot about the spirit of the community that many people laughed at the idea of issuing refunds, which we offered to do, and nobody took us up on it. I think I gave everyone at the show a MTAT sampler, so I hope that makes up for it. Massive thanks also to everyone who brought donations for Tins For Tunes. The bags will be delivered to Dundee Foodbank tonight. As for Filthpact, godspeed gentlemen and all the best!

We had an early start on Saturday and I was picked up by Jonny and Luke in a motor filled with gear to head to Stirling for a practice before I went to play acoustic at Europa Music. We jammed on the songs that are going to be recorded for our new 7″ (coming soon!) and had some photos taken by Craig as it has been a while since we’ve undertaken such an act of douchebaggery. It was fairly amusing. We also drank tea and I told a story about how a band I spent a whole three hour practice setting up and tearing down their gear so they’d be efficient and timely at shows, all while taking the thick end of half an hour to restring my guitar.  The acoustic show was quiet but great fun. I stood in the shop and played for about half an hour, people flicked through records, applauded politely, heckled gently and took refuge from the absolutely pishing rain. Once we wrapped we dropped the gear and set some shit up in the basement of Barnton Street Music for the evening’s show before setting out in pursuit of a soya chai latte.

photo (12)

The vinyl store at Europa Music

When we headed back along the shifty little alley beside Molly Malone’s to get to the back door of the venue, there was already a small gathering of miscreants who seemed ready to get involved and have a good time. By the time we were due to play, the place was pretty much rammed. The basement of Barnton Street Music is exactly that; a small basement room fit for about 40/50 people and I was absolutely roasting by the time we played our second song. For our first show in two months, it was fucking tight and we played at around 10,000mph. We played a bunch of new songs, kept the banter to a minimum and ripped through twelve songs in half an hour. It felt pretty fucking good to me.

Get It Together then took to the floor and absolutely killed it in front of their hometown troops. Again, it was a case of my cold black heart being warmed by the sight of my friends having a good time. Craig and I used to play in 13 Broken Fingers together and we figured out that it’s ten years ago this year that we broke up. To think that we can still come together ten years later, despite everything that has happened since and how our lives have changed, to have a good time together at a punk rock show like no time has passed at all. Maybe I’m overthinking the matter, but it was a fairly powerful experience for me. All too quickly, the show was over and we loaded out with haste to avoid any unwanted attention from the constabulary or any complaints from neighbours. The Irish boozer round the corner was heaving anyways, so I doubt that anyone outside the basement even knew it was happening. Kudos to Neil and the crew at Barnton Street Music for having a cool thing going; support that shit!

photo (13)

Get It Together killing it.

My weekend wrapped up with a trip to Glasgow on a super-busy train where I was stared at with a look of bewilderment by a lady in her mid-to-late 50s who was sitting directly across from me. I can’t help but think she wanted a houp of my iced tea and a swatch of my Razorcake. I paid my first visit to Plan B Books round by the 13th Note and played my second basement show of the year alongside Marc Ruvolo of Chicago rock’n’rollers The Fur Coats, Phil Taylor from Paws and our pals Greig and Ade from The Kimberly Steaks playing acoustic. It was a cosy little environment and the crowd was very attentive and well behaved throughout. The Steaks played some acoustic versions of songs from their forthcoming “To Live and Die In West Central Scotland” album that will be released at Stuck In Springtime Fest in Glasgow on Saturday 15th March. Phil was excellent and played an amazing version of “Religious Songs” by the wonderful Withered Hand. Marc rounded out an cosy evening of acoustic goodness with a short and sweet set of Americana-tinged acoustic rock’n’roll interspersed with stories about travelling and the Chicago punk rock scene. Thanks to everyone for listening when I played and for everyone that I talked to at the show. See you again sometime!

A great way to end a great weekend that covered a great deal of ground; it’s not every weekend you get to do sound for Sufferinfuck and play fully unplugged in the basement of a book shop. Hearty stuff all round.

photo (14)