Zen and The Art of Roasterism
I’m going to be honest; I’ve been putting off writing this blog. I’ve lived almost 32 years inside my mind (and what feels like a hundred years in these bones) so I know intuitively that I’m a reactionary motherfucker at the best of times. Sobriety, however, has blessed me with what feels a little like clarity and for that I am grateful. The long and the short of it is that we roasters of Uniforms are down a drummer and our immediate plans have gone out of the window, so unfortunately we won’t be undertaking our European Tour this summer. In the spirit of keeping on keeping on, I am going to attempt to play as many acoustic shows as I can while we regroup and get our collective shit together.
As it stands, I am looking to play a bunch of shows during the first week that we were supposed to be in Europe. I’m playing the London show with The Slow Death, Leagues Apart, Break-Ups and heaps more on Saturday 21st June and will be playing in Exeter with my friend Jon “The Luddite” Curtis the next night. The only other show I have booked that week is the Venetian Love Triangle reunion show in Perth on Friday 27th June at The Green Room, so I am looking for a few shows on my way north throughout the week. There is talk of going to Wales on the Monday and/or Tuesday, so ideally I’d be looking for somewhere in or around Liverpool/Manchester/Leeds/Sheffield/Glasgow for the Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday. If anyone fancies helping me out at all, please get in touch. I’ll playing anywhere for a bus ticket and a place to crash!
Going back a couple of weeks, I’d like to take a moment to thank Kenny and everyone at Kage for allowing us to host the first ever DAE YER ANE CLUB night and the album launch for our friends in Robot Doctors. Jamie, Abbie and I had an absolute riot of a time DJing (we opened the set with Crass and ended with One Direction, in case you were wondering) and we certainly hope that all those present enjoyed themselves. Maxwell’s Dead celebrated their tenth birthday in style and their new shit is sounding top notch, like some sort of gypsy/acid punk NOFX. It is always a treat to see Davey Nolan perform and this time was no exception. Robot Doctors performed their new album “Time Will Tell” in its entirety so respect to them for playing the near 50 minute opus from front to back. The record is available now and comes recommended. Thanks to everyone who came and we look forward to seeing y’all at DAE YER ANE CLUB II, details of which will emerge over the next wee while.
I played a couple of shows this past weekend in place of the band and I must thank Tiny Lights and Dave of O’Messy Life for taking such good care of me in Newcastle and to everyone who came and packed out the show earlybells. The vegan chocolate cake was also delicious and the iced tea was only 99p so I was happy. This was only the third time that I’ve played in Newcastle and it seems that the scene is alive and well in the north-east. Tissue Culture are a great little intense ball of angst and Skull Puppies played as good of a first show that I’ve seen. Good Terms play lo-fi math-y emo/punk and are quality. I could see them fitting together nicely with Bonehouse. It was great also to see my old uni pals Mike and Steve. Their ambient black metal project Ahamkara is mind-mending, terrifying and soothing in equal measure, if such delights are your dish.
Sunday saw Walk The Plank Fest IV take place in Edinburgh and was a thoroughly enjoyed experience that ably demonstrated all of the best things about the DIY punk rock community; diversity, inclusiveness, unity, respect. The range of acts was as wide as you’re likely to see anywhere in the world, from Nyla wielding her ukulele to Danny, Champion of Nothing blowing my mind with their hefty slabs of miserable post-rock and nihilistic hardcore. I hope everybody that watched enjoyed Adam’s screening of FILM YER ANE but I must apologise for not watching it with everyone. It is an incredible piece of work and it still truly blows my mind that anybody would want to make a film let alone watch one about something that we have done, but the experience of watching the film for the first (and thus far only) time in public was more than enough for me. Despite what ye may think, I am in no way a fan of listening to myself let alone seeing my stupid face on screen for the thick end of an hour!
My set earlier in the afternoon was one of the most positive solo shows I’ve ever played and I’d like to thank everyone who listened so attentively and sang along throughout. I’ve tried unsuccessfully on many occasions to articulate the ideal zen-like unconscious transcendent state that the complete immersion in music and “the moment” gives way to and it’s all too rare that these transitory moments of grace manifest themselves. Not the descend into mindless metaphysics, but to me it felt pretty special, like we were in it together and that “we can conquer anything”. I realise how massively self-indulgent and absurd this last paragraph reads but there you go, I’m just EYCing. Plus fuck you! 😉
Talking of emotional engagement, Lachance continue to get better and better with each show that they play. I’ve been friends with Barry and Ade for a very long time now and it fills my black heart with pride and joy to see these dudes, Barry specifically, using music as a tool for healing and bleeding their hearts out all over the floor. It’d all be for nothing if there weren’t any bangers, but by Christ there are (loathe though I am to admit it!). The band have just released the “Old Haunts” EP which was recorded and mixed entirely in Gerold’s basement and it is available now from both their own and the MTAT bandcamp pages for free/pay-what-you-want download. Any and all donations will then be in turn donated to SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) so if you’re downloading, please spare a buck or two for a very important (and underfunded) body.
Moving forward, we have a plenty of top quality shit coming up in Dundee, starting one week from Thursday with an absolute banger of a line-up that has been a bit of a last minute scramble but should be a BEEZER nonetheless. The Walking Targets have just released their debut full length called “Chasing Days” through Round Dog Records, the new label from Fraser Murderburger, and it is everything that they’ve been threatening to deliver over the last couple of years. They are currently out on the road with Get It Together (who last released the incredible “Perspectives” EP earlier this year) and will be winging their way around the UK over the next ten days. They are still looking to fill a couple of dates this weekend and Tuesday next week, so if anyone can help out with a show at super-short notice then please get in touch with the band or MTAT and we’ll put you in touch.
The Targets/GIT tour will be joined for one night only be the concurrent tour with Boycott The Baptist, an uncompromising and down-tuned dirty sludge/punk band from Leeds who visit Dundee for the first time on their way to Aberdoom and their equally blackened chums in Bastardised Workhorse. They come from City of Culture Hull and play low-slung blackened doom/stoner rock, like Neurosis and Black Flag stoned oot their nuts on Perthshire smackmud. I’ll be completing this eclectic visit to the Church of Doom with an opening sermon of acoustic cowpunk roasterism. It’s all happening next Thursday and it’s only four bucks a skull so I’d encourage everyone to come and get involved if ye can.
There is currently nothing on the cards for July but, as always, you count discount the possibility of something popping up. The new Sink Alaska double A-side 7″ single and the Kaddish LP are both currently at the pressing plant so we hope to have full details of their upcoming release soon and we will likely spend a good portion of the month folding together record sleeves and lyric sheets. I also aim to record some new Tragical History Tour shit with my friend Ross Middlemiss at some point over the next few weeks, so it’s likely that these recordings will surface some time in July. I’m hoping to get out and play a few shows around the month too so once again, I’m open to any and all offers.
We have also just announced an EXCLUSIVE SCOTTISH SHOW from Chicago skate-punks COUNTERPUNCH who we are delighted to welcome to Dundee for the first time on Sunday 10th August. They are playing Rebellion Festival on the Saturday before coming to us on Sunday then heading south to support NOFX at their only UK show, so this will be your only chance to catch them up this way. They’ll be supporting their new “Bruises” LP which comes out at the start of August on Cyber Tracks Records, the label run by the legendary El Hefe himself.
They’ll be joined by a veritable all-star cast of Scottish punk rock talent in the form of Shatterhand, who will have wrapped up their European Tour, Last Of Us (featuring 3/4ths of skate punk legends PMX) and First Step To Failure from Glasgow who will be supporting their brand new album “When Best Friends Become Strangers”, which is released this month on Cold War Legacy Records. We’re doing advanced E-Tickets for this one, so you can save yourself a quid and get a free download of Make Yer Ane Comp IV by going here. Should be an absolute peach of a show.
Then just nine days later we have the distinct pleasure of welcoming Jeffrey Lewis and The Jrams from NYC, USA to Dundee for the very first time as part of their extensive European and UK tour which includes the Wickerman, Green Man, Doune The Rabbit Hole Festival and many more dates. They’ll be joined in Dundee by Seth Faergolzia, former front man of eccentric New York lo-fi art-punks Dufus, who shall be performing solo and acoustic.
This delightful package will be complimented by the first Dundee appearance since Book Yer Ane Fest VII of Scotland’s finest guitar-slinging romantic wordsmith Billy Liar and Dundee multi-instrumental soundscape popster Esperi for what should be a unique and engaging evening of art, story and song. You can also get E-Tickets for a fiver for this show here. Physical tickets are also available for this show from the wonderful Groucho’s Music in Dundee for £6 and there will be a limited number of tickets on the door for £7. There’s been a lot of interest about this show so here’s hoping it’s another intimate (and busy!) experience. Poster coming soon too!
Right, that’s about enough for now. It seems as though I’ve over-compensated for my lack of words over the last month or so, so thanks for indulging me if you’ve made it this far through. There are many things to be excited about and we’ll be making announcements pertaining Book Yer Ane Fest VIII over the course of the next few months. Ye just have to keep on keeping on GED.
Finally, buy the new Bear Trade LP. They were fucking brilliant with Iron Chic in Edinburgh last month.