Write Yer Ane Zine

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

Month: April, 2014

“When I Got The Music…”

It’s been a tough couple of weeks. Our musical community lost two bright lights far too soon, a family friend from my youth also passed and Sunday past marked the two year anniversary since Big Mick left us. As my friend Stef said at Jordan’s funeral earlier this year, “music means more at times like this”. If it wasn’t for playing and writing music, I can’t even begin to imagine how I would have begun to process the emotional turmoil and sense of helplessness that comes with dealing with death and loss. Every one of us will suffer loss but no two of us will suffer and grieve in the same way; there is no true shared experience, at least to my mind. Much like god or punk rock, people come to develop their own processes and understandings. Far be it for me to tell someone how they feel, as I’d resent those who would prescribe unto me. Whatever the truth of the matter may be, I am eternally grateful.

I was and continue to be deeply saddened to learn of Morgan Nicol’s passing. I’ve known Morgan for years as he’s a Shire lad and his father Pete used to live down the road from my own father in Alyth. I did sound at what would turn out to be Morgan’s last show with Frown a couple of weeks ago and it is hard to process that the intelligent, talented, passionate and cheeky boy I spoke to about “Under Hot Sun” being a hit single in waiting is now no longer with us. My thoughts and heart goes out to all his family, friends and loved ones, including my friends at the Twa Tams in Perth and the boys in the band. My heart breaks for you my friends.

Then the news broke that Robbie Cooper of Dundee alternative rock legends Laeto finally succumbed to his long battle with cancer last week. I didn’t know Robbie personally but I met him a good few times over the years. When I was a kid first discovering the DIY scene (though I didn’t know what it was at the time), it was bands like Laeto, Mercury Tilt Switch and Tenessee Kait that I looked up to and admired. Robbie did a lot of work for others and last year’s Human Is Not Alone campaign was inspirational, a success of character as well as music and charity. Chris Cusack, formerly of Dead Or American, articulated these thoughts with more clarity than I could possibly muster in his eulogy for The Skinny. Please read that here. My thoughts and those of the collective go out to everyone who’s lives Robbie and Morgan touched.

All money raised from the download of the Human Is Not Alone compilation goes to Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Friday night saw the start of the Bangers / Uniforms Scottish weekender at The Banshee Labyrinth in Edinburgh. Bangers are one of my favourite bands and are wonderful people whom we as a band have long admired. Andrew’s work with Specialist Subject Records is endless and something to aspire to and all three guys in the band are great dudes, not at all like the characters that have been created on certain UK forums. The Walking Targets opened the show and showed once again why they are the best young punk rock band in Scotland. I am fortunate enough to have heard their forthcoming album and it is an absolute gem. There are also a couple of plans in the pipeline with those boys that I’m very excited to get to work on.  We played next at what was our first set since St. Patrick’s Day in Belfast and slipped right back into the swing of things before Doe took to the floor. They’re a great band with a powerful girl/boy vocal dynamic, armed with great songs and intricate guitars but I couldn’t help but miss the bass. Bangers killed it, as expected. I was especially taken on this occasion by Roo’s guitar playing and the thought crossed my mind (not for the only time over the weekend) that Bangers remind me somewhat of Thin Lizzy.

Big thanks to Kev at Anti-Manifesto for hosting a very fine show indeed. AM have just released the “Anti-Manifesto; Round One” compilation tape celebrating their 10 year anniversary. It features music from bands who’ve played AM shows across the last decade including the likes of Bomb The Music Industry!, Mike Park, The Murderburgers, Sweet Empire, Laura Stevenson, Sundowner and heaps more. We roasters of Uniforms are on there alongside Bonehouse representing Dundee. The artwork was done by the mighty Wolf Mask and it comes on your choice of orange or green cassette (I chose orange, obviously). All profits from sales of the tape will go to Cancer Research UK.

Saturday saw us pull double-duty with a matinee show at The Corinna in Perth. It’s quite amusing that Ali and I have talked about doing a combined MTAT / DIY Rock Shop all ages show for years and when we finally got round to making it happen, I lived in Dundee. DIY Rock Shop is an excellent enterprise, providing a “School of Rock”, if you will, for kids aged 9 – 16. Rock’n’roll will never die so long as there are kids out there busting out noisy Nirvana covers and I would have bitten your arms off if such a thing were to exist when I was a teenager. It’s funny also that Ali gave 13 Broken Fingers our first Perth show when she put us on alongside Stoma at The Grill sometime back in the early 00s when Perth was pop-punk capital of Scotland.

The two young bands that played were Self Will Run Riot and The Mexican Empire, the former of which were busting out some serious post-rock/progressive metal jamz that belied their youth. I struggle to compose a logically progressive song in my early 30s and I’ve been trying for more than half my life; these kids have got me beat already and they’re definitely a band worth keeping an eye on. It was
a personal affair for us too as Abbie’s five year old cousin Noah (rocking his Uniforms Rat shirt!) came to his first hardcore show and had his brain rattled around his skull in the most posi manner imaginable by our friends Get It Together. Thanks so much to everyone involved and everyone who came out for the show. We’ll definitely be doing another one some time, hopefully in the not too distant future.

Then it was up the road to Dundee to set up for the second time and abuse our pizza privileges before doors and the arrival of the mighty Shithawks at their uncompromising and driving best. Our friends in Sink Alaska were up next and absolutely destroyed. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing their new recordings and I’m very excited that we’ll be working with them to put out their new double A-side 7″ single soon. I’d also like to thank Alshy for the thoughts and sentiments expressed prior to playing “Among The Wretched”. Our set was fun as always when we play at home and Bangers again demonstrated their greatness. A quality show all round before a quick load out and down the road for cups of tea and philosophical discussion.

We kicked off Sunday morning with breakfast before Bangers went to Stirling to fail to record a radio session in what can only be described as a Terry Butcher while we took our time getting to Glasgow for the half-dayer with Elway, Joe McMahon, Roscoe Vacant, The Walking Targets and Andy Chainsaw. Given the week that had passed and the day that it was, I was feeling a little reflective but feeling focussed. Thanks to Andy for the thoughtful shout out before playing “Song For Derrick Johnston To Sing”. As a wise man once said, “when I got the music, I got a place to go”. As Abbie said, “well, you certainly raged”. With a tear rolling down my face as we finished up Father’s Day, I felt my chest rise and heart swell so turned my back to the audience. I felt we achieved our aim of raging it all out. It certainly felt like a purging. To me, that’s what a punk is to do.

Thank you to everyone involved in a memorable weekend. Thanks to Chadbro for telling me we have an image and ideology problem and how punk used to be about “fuck this shit”, yet not knowing who Kathleen Hanna was.

At times like this, music means more.

big mick

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“Where You Been, Bro?” / “What’s Happnin’ Bro?”

Things have been busy, as ever, since the last time I blogged here. In a MTAT capacity, we hosted the European Tour kick off for The Murderburgers and they’ve since been announced as both the tour support for the forthcoming Alkaline Trio / Bayside UK tour as well as for Fest 13 in Gainesville and pre-Fest in Ybor City, Florida. Asian Man Records have also announced the second pressing of the amazing new album “These Are Only Problems”, so make sure and pick one up if you haven’t got one already. We were also part of the release of “To Live and Die in West Central Scotland”, the incredible debut full length from The Kimberly Steaks, although we missed the actual release show at the sold-out Stuck In Springtime Fest as we were away in Ireland with Uniforms (check out Jonny Domino’s blog for a full report!). The first pressing of the album is nearly sold out already, but we have ten copies in the MTAT distro, so I’d encourage you to pick one up while you can.

photo

SPILL YER GUTS #2 featuring Mark McCabe, Greg Rekus (CAN) and Oxygen Thief happened at Cerberus Bar last Wednesday and was another cracking little acoustic show. Abbie and I (finally!) moved to Dundee the previous day and I was straight back to work, so once again Jonny picked up my slack and ran the show. I did arrive very late in the game and saw Mark perform his last chorus. Cheers to everyone who came out and donated pennies for the punx and sorry to the guys who played for missing them. Special thanks to the dude in the metal band who drank all night but knocked Jonny back tho 😉

Last Friday saw our Welsh brethren Question The Mark join us in Dundee alongside Terrafraid, The Walking Targets and our own band of big emo kids Lachance, who stepped in to replace The Kimberly Steaks. This was only Lachance’s second show and they performed with a lot more confidence than their first show. Barry in particular seems all the more comfortable, getting back into the role of frontman for the first time in a decade or so. The songs are brilliant too and have that Latterman-type basement punk positivity to them. There is absolutely no doubt how much the music means and it’s heart-warming to see the passion on full display. Bullshit free punk rock for sure. The Walking Targets continue to develop and destroy. I know that I say it so often that it’s likely hyperbolic by now, but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that they are the best young punk band in the UK. I’ve had the privilege of hearing their forthcoming full length and it is incredible. They’ve also been announced for Fest and I can’t think of a band who deserve it more. Once the Americans get into these troops, they’ll be offski. Destiny awaits boys!

In a move that seems to becoming somewhat of a tradition, the QTM troops travelled up to Scotland without a bass player. They played the Glasgow show the night before as a three piece before Big Ade drunkenly agreed to play bass at the Dundee show. The boy has the mad skillz and learned the entire set in less than a day and stepped up and killed it. I spent most of the set down in front of Yogi’s mic as he cranked out his insane guitar pyrotechnics. There are a few guitarists that I just stand there in awe of; Papa Gain being one of them (along with Bobby Simpson) and Yogi. He’s fucking amazing, flamboyant yet tasteful. Subtlety isn’t usually something I’d associate with these boys, but the subtlety is there adding depth and nuance to the gruff punk bangers.

Terrafraid have just released their first album “Despondent” and it’s an absolute jaw-dropper of a record. An album of great depth, there are layers upon layers of things going on, both musically and lyrically, echoing the finest in both US emo and Scottish indie with a punk rock heart and epic delivery. The album is journey and a magnificent achievement that is more than worthy of your affections; a strong contender for record of the year so far. They rounded out the show and were a riot; less subtle  and considered than on record, playing with fire in bellies and ad-libbing through gear problems (a talent in itself). A band of weel kent pusses, the atmosphere was amazing and it was a fine way to wrap up a reaffirming evening of goodness. Double bonus for me is that I only had a five minute walk home rather than bailing for the last bus/train. I’d call that a home win.

Talking of releases, my pal Andy Chainsaw recently released his new EP and it’s available for download now. It’s called “Do Androids Dream of Electric Cigarettes” and it contains five introspective dark solocore punk ballads. Recorded by Chris of Esperi fame, I think this is by far Andy’s best (bleakest) work to date. Ye can get that here.

failures union april

Our next show is this coming Tuesday at Kage, Dundee and is going to be another banger. Failures’ Union are from Buffalo, NY, feature ex-members of Lemuria and play premier league impassioned American indie/emo punk rock that sounds something like The Lemonheads drinking red wine with The Weakerthans, to my mind. They’ve just released their new record “Tethering” through Dead Broke Rekerds and I’m very much looking forward to picking up a copy of the LP at the show. The band are joined on their EU tour by South Wales indie/punk veterans Bedford Falls, who hit the sweet spot before 80s hardcore and 90s emo. This will be the first time in Dundee for both bands and it should be a treat for a Tuesday night. They’ll be joined by Dundee punks Frown, who are playing their first show at Kage, and Glasgow skramz three piece Lost Limbs, featuring the guitar wizardry of the aforementioned Bobby Simpson, who also play their first Dundee show.

movie premiere

The next night, Kage will host an event that I am equally parts excited by and mortified at the prospect of; the world premiere of Film Yer Ane; The Book Yer Ane Fest Documentary. I haven’t seen the film but there is no doubt  in my mind that Adam Morrow will have made a wonderful film, that it is all beautifully shot and put together, and I find it truly humbling that there is sufficient interest in something that we brought life to that someone would even contemplate making a film about. It’s truly boggling to my mind. What I’m mortified about is sitting in a room full of friends and peers watching myself talk bullshit on a screen, especially as I have no idea what Adam will or won’t have used. That’s my own shit to deal with though and it should certainly make for a very memorable evening. Broken Stories will be kicking the evening off with a fully unplugged performance in the bar at Kage then the film will get its very first public airing, followed by a Q+A of some description. We’ll also be hosting a super-cheap merch sale, so please bring along some pennies and peruse the collection. Entry is free with the doors opening at 8pm. We’ll also be announcing the first batch of bands for BOOK YER ANE FEST VIII the very same night.

The next MTAT shows after that both take place on Saturday 26th April and  are part of the Bangers / Uniforms Scottish weekender. We’ll be playing four shows together over the course of that weekend. We’re playing with some awesome bands across the three days including our friends Get It Together, Sink Alaska and The Shithawks as well as highly rated London emo punks Doe. Should be a top quality weekend all round. For more information on the individual shows, click the link on the flyer.

Edinburgh;

edinburgh

Perth; ALL AGES MATINEE!!!

matinee

Dundee; with KAGEMANIA Club night!!!

bangers

Glasgow; Half-Dayer w/ Elway (USA) / Joe McMahon + more!!!

glasgow half dayer

These shows will likely be our last before we get our new 7″ out in preparation for our first European tour. We’re going to be in Europe for three weeks in June/July and we’re going to be visiting loads of countries in that time; France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Luxembourg, Belgium, The Netherlands and more. Rest assured, once the full details emerge you’ll be sorry I ever mentioned it as I’ll be sure to let you know! On the subject of 7″s, there is only one copy of our split with Loaded 45 left in the MTAT distro so if you want a copy, act fast before it disappears. There may well be some copies kicking about in record stores throughout the country (Love Music in Glasgow being one), but it’s the very last one we have in stock. Huge thanks to everyone who has picked one up. The songs themselves are available for free/pay-what-you-want download.

There are a heap more quality shows in Dundee happening over the next couple of months, many of which are being put on by Owen and the dudes from the Rusty Hip Collective, including Thin Privilege on their album launch tour alongside Kaddish and Indica at Kage on Friday 18th April, Doe / Bonehouse / Algernon Doll at Kage on April 23rd, Garrett Klahn from Texas Is The Reason at Tin Roof on April 25 and Solemn League from Germany on April 30th.

Coming up in May we have a couple of righteous bangers;

caulfield cult show

The Caulfield Cult will be in the middle of their European tour and will be the first band from Singapore that we’ve ever put on. Their new album “Things Can Only Get Worse From Here” picks up where the genre classic “Leaving Cemetery Junction” left off and is out now.  They are joined on their tour by English post-hardcore kids Godard and local support is Last Of Us and Lung Season from Aberdeen who play their second Dundee show and first at Kage. Then a couple of nights later is the Robot Doctors album launch / Maxwell’s Dead tenth anniversary party and the first ever DAE YER ANE CLUB NIGHT. It truly is all go, and that’s before we’ve even mentioned the forthcoming Kaddish LP, the Jeffrey Lewis and The Jrams show in August or the three reunion bands for BYAF VIII…

dae yer ane club night

Right, that’s quite enough from me for now. If ye want to keep up to date with everything that’s happening, noise us up online or drop me an email. Cheers!