Write Yer Ane Zine

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

Category: Music

Incoming; June Visitors!

Firstly, thanks to everyone who has been in touch this month, bought records from us and that came out to our only show of May with our friends Sweet Empire, Irish Handcuffs, Terrafraid and Shatterhand. Things pick up a notch with the arrival of summertime and things get pretty busy between now and Book Yer Ane Fest IX at the end of November. We’ll be announcing the first batch of bands and releasing a limited number of Earlybird Weekend Tickets for £20 on Monday 15th June, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Lastly on the shill front, we still have some MTAT Half Season Tickets available for £50 which gives you entry to ALL SHOWS and ALL DIGITAL RELEASES this year. Bargain of the year. Grab one now before they disappear.

Before all of that though, we have some incredible shows coming up in June;

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The Scandals are a four piece punk band from New Jersey in the finest tradition of their home state, combining gritty street punk with street-wise rock’n’roll poetry, coming over like The Bouncing Souls/Lifetime getting down and dirty with Ted Leo and Bruce Springsteen. These dudes are a blue-collar band that live in the van and on the road, with lead vocalist Jared often taking to the road acoustically during band downtime. The band formed in 2004 and they’ve spent most of that time on the road, developing the kind of intrinsic tightness that only a life lived in close quarters can bring.

It’s testament to their character that they’re coming to play the only Scottish headline show of their European tour on an off-night from their UK dates with The Gaslight Anthem, and are driving from Peterborough en route to Belfast in order to do so. Our man on the scene Billy Liar has assured us that The Scandals absolutely killed it at the Rotterdam Riot last week and I’m very excited that the band will be playing their first ever Scottish show in Dundee this coming Saturday.

They’ll be joined by a premier league supporting cast of locals too. Maxwell’s Dead are celebrating their eleventh (11!) year as a band and will be on suitably riotous form when they hit the stage for their first Dundee show in a while, alongside Robot Doctors who will be marking almost one year to the day since the launch of their “Time Will Tell” album (which ye can get for free download right now). Opening the show will be Fife Young Team street/dubpunx Salem Street who bring their wise-beyond-their-years reggae/punk jamz to Buskers from fresh blowing Nice’N’Sleazy Festival away.

This should be an absolute banger of a sweaty Saturday night rock’n’roll show. E-Tickets are available for a fiver and it’ll be six quid on the doors, which open at half 7. Please get down early to cut loose for all the bands!

Gab De La Vega

The following Friday (June 12th) sees us return to Cerberus Bar for the first time since hosting Wank For Peace back in April and we’re delighted to welcoming Italian straight-edge vegan punker Gab De La Vega for his first visit to Dundee. Gab is a veteran of the European DIY scene, the founder of Epidemic Records and full-time punk rock activist and educator. In recent times, Gab has stepped away from fronting his long-time hardcore band The Smashrooms to take up arms with an acoustic guitar, taking a rootsy Chuck Ragan/Tim Barry-esque stripped down approach and uniting it with his uniquely poetic punk rock philosophy.

Gab will be joined in Dundee by the wonderful Paper Rifles, who continues to grow as an engaging and powerful performer with every show, seldom-seen Dundee emo-punks Lachance who will be playing a super-rare acoustic show, and by Tragical History Tour. THT will also be joining Gab at the preceding Scottish shows in Glasgow and Edinburgh on June 10th/11th respectively.

This show is entry by donations on the door please with the first act (THT) kicking off at around 8pm.

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Friday June 12th is also NEW RELEASE DAY!!!

We are mad stoked to be involved in the release of the brand new “Short-Brain” 7″ EP from Chicago pop-punks The Fur Coats in collaboration with two of the coolest punk rock labels around in the shape of Drunken Sailor Records (UK) and Rad Girlfriend Records (USA). The record comes on beautiful translucent green vinyl with awesome full colour artwork from the wonderful WOLF MASK as well as lyric sheet, digital download code and free MTAT stickers!

The record is currently streaming exclusively and in full at New Noise Magazine. Check it out here!

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Rounding out our hat-trick of bad ass shows this month is one that we’ve been waiting for for quite some time. We are absolutely overjoyed to finally be bringing the wonderful Andrew Jackson Jihad to Dundee. Sean Bonnette has long been one of our collective favourite songwriters and they are personally a band that I have long admired. I had the pleasure of playing with AJJ during one of their first UK tours a good few years ago (playing the 13th Note in Glasgow) and it’s been incredible to watch them grow into one of the most essential bands in punk rock.

It’s extremely heartening to see a band grow organically whilst retaining everything that made you fall in love with them in the first place, only even more so. They’re one of the biggest punk rock bands in the world right now and it’s our absolute pleasure to be hosting them in Dundee for the first time. This one kinda feels like a home team win!

AJJ are joined on this UK tour by Hard Girls from San Francisco. Signed to Asian Man Records, Hard Girls are a kick-ass indie/punk three-piece in their own right as well as comprising the backing band from Operation Ivy’s Jesse Michaels in the seminal Classics Of Love. One of the most accomplished bands around, Hard Girls provide perfect foil to AJJ and their coming together should make for one of the most exciting tours of the year.

Furthering the Asian Man connection, The Murderburgers will also provide support at what will be their first Dundee show since the annual Book Yer Ane Fest rammy. Opening the show will be the mesmerising Terrafraid who will be playing tracks from their new record “Suadade” as well as prime cuts from last year’s classic “Despondent”.

There are still a limited amount of e-tickets available for £8 here. Please note that no physical tickets will be sent out and that your name will be added to the WILL CALL list at the door of the venue. All ye need to is give your name at the door of the gig and your name will be scored off the list and your hand will be stamped.

If you would like a physical ticket, please grab one in person or over the phone from Groucho’s Records in Dundee. Tickets are £8 also but will be subject to booking fee. Alternatively, physical tickets can be bought directly from us in person at any forthcoming show so just come grab one at the distro table.

It’ll be a tenner on doors so we’d encourage ye to grab an e-ticket if ye want to save a couple of quid for drinks. Of note, all shows at Buskers are 14+ so do please bring ID if you intend to purchase alcohol. Anyone found purchasing alcohol for those under 18 will be kicked out of the venue, so please don’t do that!

Finally, please note that TINS FOR TUNES will be in operation in support of Dundee Foodbank at all shows!

Should be a great month. We’d be stoked if you’d come join us!

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“The Frankie Stubbs School of Economics”

Disclaimer; the views expressed herein are purely my own and are not necessarily representative of the collective beliefs/feelings of MTAT Records.

My intention is not to throw anyone under a bus; that would be an exercise in counter-productivity; and it is not my place to make judgments pertaining the booking practices of others. This piece is purely from my own perspective and any beef should be directed towards me (email please) and not my comrades.

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There seems to have been a lot of talk and controversy on the internet recently about charity gigs and benefit festivals. It’s not just been one or two people talking about it, it seems to be a polarising topic and many people across the punk and wider music scenes have been engaged in debate about the rights and wrongs, do’s and don’t’s, yes’s and no’s surrounding charity events and benefit gigs. I’m not here to tell anyone that they’re right or wrong, people are free to do as they wish, but I aim to address how we do things with Book Yer Ane Fest.

Hosting Leatherface at Book Yer Ane Fest V was one of the highlights of my life. When we started BYAF back in 2008, there was never any goal in mind; we just put a show together for Joey Terrifying that ended up as an all-dayer. We wanted to contribute positively to a local charity that meant something to us, that cause being Safe-Tay, following on from the great work done by our friends the PCC that they had started with the two Motionfests in 2006/7. The fact that things have evolved and developed as they have is equal parts good fortune, serendipity, perseverance and hard graft; “be good to your punk scene and your punk scene will be good to you” and such capers. Sometimes when you gamble, things turn up trumps. Other times, you’re in the shitter. As I seem to be fond of saying; ye cannae enjoy Premier League glory every week, there will always be the shitty 0-0 away games in the rain in deepest, darkest February; not every show can be a 300 troops through the door sell-out.

We always strive to support charities that mean something to us personally and, specifically, we aim to work to benefit charities that work in our locality. Yes, we have done (and will continue to do) benefit shows for wider international organisations such as Doctors Without Borders, the Haiti Earthquake Appeal, Skateistan and many more, but I feel it is equally, if not more, important to engage with charities that do essential work on our doorstep; Safe-Tay, Tayside Mountain Rescue and Dundee Foodbank specifically (check out TINS FOR TUNES for more information). We also aim to do benefit shows year-round, rather than just on isolated occasions. This is something that was always been woven into the fabric of what we do and something that we will unapologetically continue to do. It’s not about scoring points or being seen to be doing something, it’s about engaging with and supporting local and national communities and the people who undertake the often thankless tasks associated with charity work. I have volunteered for charities for most of my life, donate personally to charities that I support and do everything I can to support those that need supporting. This has nothing explicitly to do with punk rock or music but with who I am as a person. This doesn’t make me any better than anyone else, it’s just my view of the world and something that I personally feel needs done. It’s also not something I feel compelled to crow on about at length, so I’ll leave that part of it at that.

However, when it comes to charity shows, specifically BYAF, it’s a slightly different kettle of fish. As things have grown and evolved, our expenses have grown. It’s a fairly tricky operation to book, accommodate, feed and water 40 odd bands from across the globe, many of whom may be on tour, and keep everybody happy and fulfilled when you’re trying to make money for charity. Sometimes we’ve had success, sometimes we’ve been met with failure. Some BYAFs have made a couple of grand, some have barely made a couple hundred. In total, we’ve raised over eight grand for Safe-Tay and the causes they support. We also continue to do shows and work with them throughout the year; from including literature from the Samaritans with our merch orders to hosting awareness-raising shows. This is something we will continue to do without an end in sight and for nothing more than the desire to do so.

To address the point at hand; to me, there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to booking bands for charity benefits. Obviously the aim is to make as much money and create as much awareness for the cause as possible, but it’s also imperative to remember that there is no benefit for anyone involved if there aren’t the bands playing that people want to see. From my (our) end, the aim is always to provide an interesting, diverse yet complimentary line-up that is reflective not only of eclecticism but also cohesion of message and intent. There are bands that we’ll never book (insert countless thousands of names) and we’ll never book bands aren’t in some way knowledgeable about what BYAF is all about, or at least interested in developing an understanding, as it’s hardly quantum theory, it’s a fucking DIY punk benefit. Essentially, any careerist bands that are looking to make fat cash can get fucked as it’s never going to happen. On another point, local bands generally know what they’re getting involved in and we strive to be unambiguous with all bands when it comes to booking BYAF; it started as a local charity all-dayer and in my heart of hearts, that is exactly what BYAF remains.

When it comes down to it, we will never pay any band more than we paid Leatherface for BYAF, hence the “Frankie Stubbs School of Economics”. I’m not going to discuss specific sums of money but Leatherface came out for a fraction of their usual cost and were absolute gentlemen about the whole thing. Leatherface are also one of my favourite bands of all time and if ever there was a band that I’d have made allowances for, it would have been them, but they responded positively and were more than happy with what we offered. If it’s good enough for Frankie Stubbs, it’s more than good enough for whatever flash-in-the-pan indie rockers that are this month’s flavour or some broken down rehabilitated punk dinosaurs that were barely relevant in the first place.

Bands for benefit shows have to be taken on a case-by-case basis; there’s a world of difference between the need to have expenses covered (a basic necessity of the touring band) and bands being money-grabbing arseholes. I know for a fact that a well-known band took a four-figure sum for a recent festival that actually lost money. To me, that’s bullshit, especially when said band took to social media and crowed on about how great of a cause they were supporting. So great of a cause that they saw fit to deprive the charity of any profits for the festival. To me personally, as a “musician” and “promoter”, such actions are unconscionable. I understand all the “but they’re professionals and need the money” blahblahblah; I call horseshit on that as no band NEEDS a grand to play a show, whether it’s a one-off, part of a tour or otherwise. That said, we’ve had instances (rare, to be fair) at BYAF when bands have “held us up” for more money than was originally guaranteed; those bands will never be asked back and are on the shitlist. Most bands, however, are more than keen to support the cause and get involved, and most are more than happy to be involved.

I often get asked about how best to get bands on BYAF; for locals it’s simple – come and get involved in your local music community, contribute something positive other than bitching and moaning, and actually do some research before getting in touch (I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve posted the FAQ). For touring/national/international bands, it’s case-by-case. If we can make it work, we will, but no one band is bigger than the festival itself. BYAF is generally a “cowpunk family” affair; it takes more than just one person to make this shit work. We also don’t book bands for BYAF that we wouldn’t book a regular show for. For me/us and everyone else involved, ye have to be sensible and realistic about things, but that works two ways. For example, we collectively need to realise that it’d be foolhardy to book Flavour of the Week and The Tasteless Scoots for a grand and hope for the best while only paying Respected Punks and The Internet Darlings fifty quid to drive from London or wherever.

Anyways, long story short; it’s called Book Yer Ane Fest so I’m in no position to tell people what to do and what not to do when it comes to booking their own shows/festivals/benefits/whatever. What I can say is that we strive to be open and honest with the bands that comes to play for us, let them know in plenty of advance what it is we are doing and what we are trying to achieve and that they’ll have a rad time with an attentive (and appreciative audience), will be well taken care of and their presence greatly appreciated. Finances (or the lack thereof) are always negotiated well in advance so there are no surprises for either party. If any band, regardless of “status” has issue with it, we just won’t book them. It’s that simple really.

We aim to provide a quality weekend of diverse DIY punk/hxc/emo goodness for a reasonable price whilst supporting charities that work within our local communities. I hope that is something that we achieve every year. If we fail in this objective, I feel that we have ultimately failed in our mission. This year the price for BYAF is going to be slightly higher than in previous years. This is unavoidable as we no longer have the run of our own space (that’s an entirely separate issue, which we’ll get to soon), but we still operate on the same premise and the objective remains the same. If bands/punters have any issue with how we operate, then they can feel free to let the boots do the talking and stay away or go elsewhere or, indeed, book their ane fest.

It’s important to be realistic but it’s also important to keep things in perspective. Ye can’t expect Recently Reformed 90s Nostalgia Band to play for a door deal any more than ye can expect Super Hyped Local Rock Stars to be grateful for their slot, but there is a middle ground where everyone can be happy (or at least contented) and everyone, specifically the charity, can benefit. That, after all, is exactly the fucking point of a benefit show; not ego, not earning fat cash, not taking the piss.

With all that said, a limited number of Earlybird Tickets for BOOK YER ANE FEST IX will go on sale on Monday 15th June alongside the announcement of the first batch of bands. Ye can ensure your entry to BYAF IX and all other shows this year by grabbing a MTAT HALF SEASON TICKET for £50. Now that’s a fucking bargain.

As Biohazard so eloquently put it; THERE IS NO BLACK AND WHITE, ONLY SHADES OF GREY.

European Tour Report (April 2015)

The Get It Together / Tragical History Tour “Rebuild, Recover” UK/EU Tour kicked off for me on Wednesday 1st April when Craig came to Dundee to pick me, my guitar and the MTAT distro up. We took the short ride in our hired banger of a van (who was a workhorse despite appearances) to Redd in Dundee, where my friend Dave Hughes was playing a show, to borrow a PA and load it into the back of the van. Years of touring with the likes of Papa Gain and Jonny Domino has taught me that you’re definitely better “looking it at than looking for it” and this tour proved to be no exception. After loading, we headed from Craig’s place in Alloa where we met Graham, played a few games of FIFA (at which I was awful), drank some tea then fell asleep to the hypnotic sounds of water flowing through the fishtank. Awaking around 6am with a desperate need to pee, we left to gather Mark and Fraser before hitting the road for our first stop in London; All Ages Records.

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Once we’d dropped off some MTAT releases (grab your copies of the Franz Nicolay 7″, Get It Together 7″, Kaddish LP and Bonehouse LP now) and collectively spent a shitload of cash on records (I finally found a copy of “Everything Sucks”, on tangerine vinyl no less), we headed up to The Unicorn where we met up with our pals in Mug and met the dudes in Waco and Demon Smiles, with whom we’d spend the next two shows. The Unicorn is a great little spot where I played last year and the show was fun with a very attentive crowd, especially for a roaster armed with an acoustic guitar. I also met my old uni friend Bundy of Chi Weapon, who I hadn’t seen for a couple of years, and all the bands killed it. Mug are, to my mind, one of the most under-rated punk rock bands in the country and are definitely due some kudos. Thanks also to Mark for hooking us up with the show and looking after us after such an early start and long drive. Once the show was over, we packed and went to my sister’s house that we used as home base for the next couple of nights.

Day two saw us playing in Brighton and we headed south after taking our time getting ready. We went for a walk throughout the city and paid the obligatory visit to Punker Bunker, where we dropped off some more MTAT releases and spent some more cash on records. Buz is one of the good dudes of UK punk and I can’t back PB enough; a quality little store. We then had our first burrito of tour and I have to say that I was left disappointed. While it certainly filled a hole, it lacked kick even with hot sauce. Bummer. The show was upstairs in an old boozer called The Quadrant and was quality. The room was tiny and quickly filled up with bodies. The assembled crowd were super respectful while I was playing and it was one of the more emotionally intense shows of the tour. It felt like we were connecting on a very cerebral level with punk rock the great unifier.

A local band called Barriers were up next playing on their third show and they showed great promise with their thoughtful metallic-edged hardcore before hometown troops Demon Smiles took to the floor. I enjoyed their set far more than I had the previous evening and they were very emotionally engaging as well as being in possession of some fizzy pop punk bangers that reminded me of Tilt. Good shit indeed. We spent a little time repositioning gear ahead of the Get It Together set, knowing fine well what was about to occur; utter madness. From the moment the band kicked in, the crowd kicked off and it was chaos throughout the entirety of the set, with circle pits, slam dancing and a fucking wall of death when the band were hollered back for an encore. Utter bedlam in the best possible way.

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We loaded out down the tiny stairwell and packed the van, experiencing the only potential beef of tour when some roaster decided it was a good idea to repeatedly try and hit the bass drum as I was carrying it towards the van. I told said roaster in no uncertain terms that such actions were unacceptable, to which he replied “I do what I want”. Being the zen motherfucker that I am, the bass drum didn’t end wrapped upside his head but in the back of the van, despite the strong temptation. We headed back to London to crash out at Lisette’s for a few hours before getting our shit together and heading for the Channel Tunnel first thing in the morning.

The morning started in the usual haze of coffee and sleepyheads. Before we knew it we were driving onto the train and through the tunnel then driving through France. I slept all the way through Belgium, waking only to smoke at the service station where we shared knowing nods with another touring party of punk rock roasters. We reached Beverwijk, Netherlands in the early evening and went for a cup of coffee before loading into the venue and meeting our hosts in Sweet Empire. It was great to catch up with those dudes again and they absolutely nailed it with their set. They seemed to be having a lot of fun at their hometown show and played a quality cover of “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath. Sweet Empire are themselves back in Dundee on Monday 18th May with German punks Irish Handcuffs plus Shatterhand and Terrafraid at what should be a peach at Redd Suite. Thanks so much to Jort for sorting us out with the show and to Rowald for accommodating and providing us with a wonderful breakfast. Also, I don’t often get vinyl envy but I did on this occasion. Rowald has a wonderfully extensive collection of quality records and we all had a pretty good time flicking through them and being jealous!

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3am in Beverwijk, Netherlands.

The next show was in Heerlen, Netherlands and we’d been told that was this Dutch bat country, so we were all pretty excited to check it out. I’ve always loved playing shows in smaller towns that perhaps don’t have the chance to host too many punk rock shows and we were all pumped when we rocked up to Cafe Bluff. The venue was pretty much perfect for a punk rock show and after loading in and setting shit up, went spent some time talking to venue owner Andre and the dudes in Superhero Status who we were sharing the bill with. We met some crazy locals too who we seemed to connect with, especially after we played, and we had a great time talking and hanging out with everyone. At the end of my set, Mattias of Superhero Status came up to me full of compliments, declaring that I’d “blown my (his) fucking mind, man” and that Get It Together played “the true hardcore”. Cannae argue wi that!

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A warehouse on fire somewhere between Heerlen and Nijmegen.

We’d met up with my good friend Graham who lives in Njimegen and he had an empty flat for a couple of days so we headed south and spent the night there before heading up to Amsterdam the next day. This show was one that we were scrambling for before we left for tour and information was pretty scant going in, but there was an address and a gig poster so we figured that we’d deal with whatever came our way. We parked up the van and went for a wander through the city as it was the first time for a couple members of our touring party but, given our lack of proclivities in such directions, the Red Light District held very little interest and we spent our time just having a walk around the heart of the city. We took the ferry back to the other side and made our way back towards the venue, which was a car garage that doubled as a squat.

We met our host Goiz, a Zapatista from Mexico who had been living in the squat for the last year. He explained to us that they were facing eviction and harassment from the police, all the while apologising for the lack of people at the show, for which we assured him that there was no need. He was a sound guy and pretty much the only person that spoke to us while we were there, with many of the rest of the folk present absolutely burst oot their nuts. Fair play to them likes. There was no electricity in the venue so the gig was run off a generator at half-power so we set up the PA (better looking at it than for it!) plus backline and waited until showtime to fire things up. Fraser and I killed some time outside by filming some acoustic songs in the back of the van. Ye can check out “What Would Vinnie Mac Do?” below;

We also met the dudes from Black Volvo and it soon became apparent that the other two bands on the bill weren’t showing up and with them, the crowd of people who’d planned on coming with them. As such, I took to the floor and blasted through a quick set before Get It Together proceeded to blow out the power of the generator with their first note. We managed to kickstart the genny, which then blew out another couple of times before managing to maintain life for both the GIT and Black Volvo sets. Mark got screamed at by a feral punk for playfully blowing out a candle and I thought for a moment that he may get his eyeballs clawed out. Once the show was wrapped, Graham pointed out some unsavoury ongoings, at which point we packed the van and took our leave. It wasn’t quite The Warzone but it wasn’t a kick in the arse off it!

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We headed back to Njimegen for a quick sleep at Graham’s before heading south to Freiburg, Germany and one of Europe’s oldest and most well-renowned punk squats in the form of KTS, an amazing space with living quarters, kitchens, artist studios, accommodations and a fully spec’d up performance space. We met my friend Laurin from the band Casually Dressed and were introduced to the wonders of Club Mate, a German caffeinated malt drink that was pitched to me as the equivalent of Irn Bru. I’m a no-sell on that idea but the stuff itself was magnificent and I must’ve drank at least a dozen bottles of it by the end of the tour. We also met the dudes from Daylight, a pop punk band from Barcelona who were charming and super keen. Mark talked to them about Catalonian independence (a cause that we all support) and football. We didn’t get a chance to go outside and have a kick about though, which was a bit of a bummer. They were really eager beavers but musically weren’t really my cup of tea but they were super-tight and full of saccharine sweet harmonies, although there was a little too much sugar washing down the medicine for my taste buds I’m afraid. I’d imagine the kids today would lap it up *ho hum, old punk grumble*

I really can’t say enough about how amazing I found KTS as a place and the warmth of the people who come together to make such places work. It was truly a privilege to play there and to be their guests for the evening, so thank you so much to Laurin and everyone involved for welcoming us so warmly. After the previous gnarly evening in Amsterdam, it was great to feel re-connected with like-minded individuals and morale in the camp was certainly lifted after some great food and a great show. The dudes in Daylight were also great for a banter too and seemed to appreciate our slightly off-kilter sense of humour; “sounds great, songwriting could be doing with a wee bit work though”.

KTS, Freiburg, Germany

KTS, Freiburg, Germany

We were up early the next day for a cross country drive to Leipzig so after a quick Club Mate and check-up that things had gone well at home with the Joe McMahon/Billy Liar/Broken Stories/Gone Wishing show the night before (I’m assured it went well even though I’m gutted to have missed it), we were all back in the van. We made good time, something that was a theme of the tour so kudos to all involved, so had some time to relax and gather our thoughts before loading into Kulturecafe Manfred. Leipzig is a very interesting place and the venue was in an autonomous zone in the city where all of the buildings are owned by the occupying anarchists. Sindy and everyone at the venue couldn’t have done more to make us feel welcome and invited us to join the community at the weekly supper club before we loaded in for the show. The street is full of different venues all catering to the various sub-genres and movements within punk rock, every scene active and full of activists.

The show turned out to be one of the rowdiest of the tour. Mark ended up getting busted open hardway after taking a beer bottle to the nose in the pit and concluded the set by hanging upside down from the rafters. The only slight bummer of the night was when I noticed an old crust punk helping himself to a couple of CDs from the distro table while I was performing, but we dealt with that in a quiet manner rather than making a public fuss about things. There is no call to steal from us. If you are so strapped for cash that you feel you need to steal music, I’d implore you to talk to us and there’s every likelihood that we’d just give you the CDs that you’re looking for. However, one bad apple need not spoil the harvest and I’d like to extend a personal thanks to everyone for the warmth of their welcome and for enjoying the show to the fullest. It’s nights like that that can remind us of just how vital and invigorating punk rock can truly be.

After making use of the showering facilities, having another great breakfast and talking punk, pop and politics, we piled back into the van and made our way towards the Czech border. We were all very excited to the heading towards Prague and were awestruck as we found ourselves winding our way through the narrow streets of this beautiful city. We parked up outside of what I thought was a pretty suspicious looking hotel and had to load the gear up a steep and winding cobbled street and down a tiny stairwell into the basement of the venue, a small punk rock pub called Sběrné Suroviny. Like in Leipzig, we were the only two acts on the bill so we both played slightly longer sets than we usually would and, in what would prove to be somewhat the trend, I found the people to be much more open, receptive and communicative once we had performed. As I’ve said before, punk rock can be a great unifier and it was heartening to see this being repeated night after night. There’s a power in the music, something in the ideas and delivery that transcends the limitations of language; the fractured English of the Czech punks being far better than my non-existent Czech skills, that brings indescribable joy. The Bohemians FC firm seemed into the Scottish hardcore anyways. It was great also to see my friend Ben, also of the aforementioned Chi Weapon, who these days lives and plies his trade in Prague. It seems that the cowpunk connections extend to all reaches of the continent.

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Making friends with Bohemians FC fans

After the show, we made our way to the home of our hosts Arnie and Jonas, a squatted house on the hills overlooking the city of Prague just below the near-derelict former Czechoslovakian national stadium. Jonas has lived in that house for over twenty years and for the brief hours that we were there, it seemed like one of the greatest places on earth. After some tea, we bedded down for the night before waking up early to go and see the sights in one of the most beautiful and amazing cities on earth. Arnie and Jonas were absolutely exquisite hosts, giving us a guided tour of the city and sharing stories about punk, anti-fascism and football whilst walking in glorious sunshine. I’m always so grateful to be able to spend some time in the places that I play and I’m sure I can speak for all of us when I say that we had an amazing time in Prague. Thank you especially to Arnie, Jonas and Anita for sorting us out with the show and making us feel so at home. Once we said our farewells to Arnie, Jonas and Boogie the dog, it was back out on the road and into Germany, where we were immediately pulled over and questioned by the German Border Patrol. Thankfully, they were fairly sound individuals and seemed frankly unimpressed when they questioned our rock’n’roll credentials for having no cocaine or marijuana in our possession. Punk’d by the polis, seick!

Roasters in Prague

Roasters in Prague

Next stop was Dresden and it was great to finally meet Gruni in person. Gruni is a punk that I met online a couple of years ago after we got talking about Uniforms. We were booked to play in Dresden on our tour that didn’t happen last year so it was great to finally meet and we seemed to get along straight away. Gruni fed us and took care of all our human needs before introducing us to our sleeping space for the evening upstairs in the squat. Luther 33 is quality spot on three levels, with the venue/bar in the basement, apartment upstairs and guest accommodation above that. As was the case in many of the squats that we visited, they exist under constant threat of eviction and harassment from the authorities, but the guys in Dresden definitely have their wits about them. Many of the punks in attendance at the show also shared a distinctly dry wit with the show being one of the most “banterful” of tour, with a great deal of back and forth between performing roasters and audience. I had some kind of strange out-of-consciousness moment during my set when I doubled-over laughing at the very thought of what was going on; I was ringleader in a room full of Germans singing along to “Smoke Weed Every Day” at the top of their lungs in an anarchist space in Dresden; in that moment it struck me as the most surreal yet beautiful thing on earth.

Once again, we arose early and left Gruni asleep as we tidied up after ourselves and left him some records as a token of our appreciation before heading to Berlin. I’ve been looking forward to playing in Berlin from almost as long as I can remember and felt like a little kid when we pulled up into the city and parked outside the Ramones Museum. We went inside and met Flo and his staff, gazing round the place in awe. This was another show about which we had scant details but had been set up by my friend Freddy Fudd Pucker, who is currently on tour in the southern hemisphere. We arranged a plan with Flo and it was set that I’d play at 8pm in the evening and that we were welcome to leave the van parked where it was. Absolutely perfect. We then spent the afternoon visiting some of the historic sites around Berlin and took in the panoramic Berlin Wall exhibition before talking a walk up to the wall itself, then walking down to the Brandenburg Gate. We then went for some amazing Mexican food (German burrito 1, English burrito 0) before heading back to the Ramones Museum. We were joined by our friend and Berlin resident Craig Dickson of Taking Chase/Elk Gang as well as drummer Graham’s brother and fiance, so we had a nice little crew assembled for the show. For me, it was an absolute joy and a very deep honour to play in such a prestigious place that has been visited and performed in by a great many artists I admire. To be asked to sign my name on the wall alongside some of the names that are there is humbling and something for which I am eternally thankful.

Ramones Museum, Berlin

Ramones Museum, Berlin

Post-show, we jumped in the van and headed for the East Side Gallery, a part of the Berlin Wall that remains standing and has been preserved as an art gallery. To be at the wall in the dark of night across the street from a massive O2 arena was slightly surreal and the darkness cast an ominous shadow over “The Death Strip” between the two parts of the wall, where trespassers or those trying to cross would be shot on sight. To be standing there for the first time, at night, with all the sounds of a metropolis around me set my heart racing. It was equal parts awe-inspiring, humbling, sickening, eye-opening and heartbreaking all at once, a feeling that I don’t think I’ve fully experienced since visiting Auschwitz many moons ago. To spend time considering the savagery of our species over the past century and, indeed, every century that preceded is a necessary exercise in humility.

East Side Gallery

East Side Gallery

We headed back to Craig’s, had some ginger tea then bedded down for the night as we had another gnarly drive for the last show of tour in Leiden, Netherlands the next day. We thanked Craig for his hospitality, loaded up on breakfast and set the SatNav homeward as everyone settled in for a seven hour drive. We rolled up in Leiden and met Jaap from Black Volvo at the home he shares with his wife and son where we were fed and watered before heading for the show. Black Volvo played with us again and absolutely destroyed it. We’ll be looking forward to having them up in Dundee at some point this year with their manic Dangerfields/Zeke meets Beastie Boys gonzo stomp. That shit is so good and I’d recommend checking out their new LP on Round Dog Records. The show itself was fairly quiet but was a uniquely intimate affair in another functioning squat that is facing closure. The European use of existent resources seems so much smarter than our austerity measures and it seems counterproductive to my mind that the authorities would want to close places that actually benefit the community. Money to be made, I guess!

After the show wrapped, we loaded out for the final time, said our goodbyes to the Black Volvo dudes and headed back to guitarist Roy’s place where we slept for around 5 hours before getting up and straight back into the van to drive through The Netherlands, Belgium and part of France to catch our train from Calais to Folkestone, where Fraser took over the wheel and slammed us back up the road to Stirling in around 8/9 hours. By the time we arrived at the Granada services outside Stirling, we’d covered somewhere in the region of 4000 miles and played 11 shows in 12 days. Papa D was kind enough to agree to come and pick me up so we unloaded the van for the final time, loading all of my and the MTAT shit in the back of Papa D’s motor and had a big group hug.

Get It Together are an incredible band and an incredible crew of dudes who I am proud to call my friends. It truly was a pleasure to share this adventure with you gentlemen, so thank you very much for sticking by your boy. To Mark Bell, Steve Todd, Cat Goodman; Jort, Rowald and the rest of the Sweet Empire dudes; Andre at Bluff, Goiz at Auto Control, Laurin and everyone in Freiburg, Sindy and crew in Leipzig; Arnie, Jonas and Anita in Prague, Gruni in Dresden; Flo and crew at the Ramones Museum and Craig in Berlin and the dudes in Black Volvo, thank you so much for an amazing time.

Cheers!

Cheers!

Tour was incredible and another wonderful experience, so thank you all. Thank you also to Abbie for being my eternally understanding better half and the MTAT crew for keeping things locked down while I was away.

Ye can download the THT “Live in Dundee” EP here.

Check out the Get It Together “Rebuild, Recover” 7″ here too!

Solidaritat Catalana per la Independència!

This Is Not A Referendum Post

So it’s the eve of the Referendum and we’re on the crest of a wave of history; hysteria is at a premium and roasters of all persuasions are waving their flags and parroting rhetoric left, right and centre; none of which is in itself suprising. For the record, MTAT holds no official position. There is no authority higher than yourself; inform yourself and do what you feel is right. Personally, I’m pro-independence, anti-nationalist and against government-encouraged free market capitalism. All empires fall eventually. You know shit is getting out of hand when the polis are telling ye to chill out.

I wrote about this shit on my facebook page and said thus;

People not politicians, independence not nationalism. All governments are liars and propagandists in the pocket of big business and corporations concerned with profit, self-interest and self-preservation. Exchanging one brand of sycophant for another solves nothing. A fundamental change in the “system” is required for positive change to come about, not just the colour of the flag and the plaque above the door. Empire is no longer fit for purpose. Question all authority. Free movement for all.

There is no end of exciting shit on the Scottish independent DIY punk rock scene though and there’s a whole bunch of good stuff coming up in Dundee over the next couple of weeks. The Ickle Film Fest kicks off in Dundee tomorrow night and shall be running all weekend, culminating with a showing of FILM YER ANE; The BOOK YER ANE FEST Documentary and a live performance from homegrown emo punks Lachance on Sunday 21st September at the closing party of the festival at Tin Roof, Dundee from 5pm. The festival itself has gone from strength to strength over the last couple of years and there truly is something for everyone over the course of the weekend. Thank you so much to the organisers for asking us to be involved. Please check out the full programme of events below.

There are a couple of banging shows happening in Dundee the following weekend too. Friday 26th September sees our old pals Roughneck Riot return to Dundee for as part of their first full UK tour in 3 years in support of their brand new record “Out Of Anger” that is soon to drop on Manchester’s much respected stalwarts of DIY punk TNS Records. This band of rabble-rousers are true believers for sure and are some of the good guys. Collectively, we owe Matty and company more favours than we could ever hope to repay and they are also one of the hardest rockin’ shit-kicking punk rock bands around. Modernist “traditional” punk rock ain’t usually my bag beyond perhaps Flogging Molly (by virtue of Dave King’s songwriting) but these guys bring all the passion and energy of punk to their intrinsic understanding and respect for folk music. It’ll be great to see them back in Dundee.

roughneck riot

This show will also be the last for Jeff from Maxwell’s Dead before he departs for New Zealand, so it’s likely to be yet another emotionally charged affair. The Dundee ska-punk clowns have just released their new album. It’s called “A Deer In The Headlights” and it’s an altogether darker and more reflective piece of work than their earlier bouncy and super-melodic offerings. Lyrically, the album is more experimental and socio-political in tone whilst also being searingly honest and not proffering up answers, only asking more questions. Without descending into a metaphysical black hole, it’s a great record and a change of pace for the band that shows a more mature and reflective side, yet still retains it’s inherent playfulness and pogo-pop-punk swag. Check it out on bandcamp now. Dundee veteran punks The Eddies and Bathgate’s The Gimme Gimme Gimmes will also be on what should be a rare old Friday night bill at Non-Zeros.

The following day sees a whole bunch of busyness with the Dundee Together Against Racism and Fascism event happening in Dundee’s City Square from 11.30am through 4pm. There will be live music performances from The Cundeez, Buffalo Soldiers and heaps more, plus myself playing an acoustic set under the guise of Derrick Johnston (Uniforms). I think I’m having some sort of identity crisis with all the different pseudonyms I’ve adopted recently. I think I may have developed some sort of tri-polar messianic complex, but that’s probably a discussion for another time. The MTAT crew will be out in force handing out flyers and download codes for free music, so if you are about in Dundee next Saturday afternoon, do please stop by and say hello. We’ll be the ones dressed in black in front of the black flag…

arliss nancy

Later on that night sees a very welcome return to Dundee from our friends Arliss Nancy at an exclusive Scottish show and one of only 3 UK dates that they are playing in 2014. This will be the third time that these Colorado alt-country punks have played Dundee and we’re very excited that they’ve decided to come and play their only Scottish show of tour for us at Kage. Last year’s “Wild American Runners” LP is an essential document of US tour life and is packed full of all the hope and heartbreak of facing new frontiers. Road-wearing yet wide-eyed, Arliss Nancy are a pretty special band that have become friends of ours over the last few years and we are absolutely delighted to be hosting them in Dundee again.

They will be joined by a premier league supporting cast of locals in the form of emo-tinged Scottish mongers of angst, melody and rock Robot Doctors, who will be playing their first Dundee show since the packed-out launch night for their “Time Will Tell” album back in May, alongside the previously mentioned gang-chanted impassioned emo/punk nostalgic sounds of our own troops Lachance. The wonderful Broken Stories will be opening the show and will no doubt be treating us to some old favourites plus a handful of future classics from their forthcoming EP, full details of which will emerge in the next couple of weeks. Physical tickets for the show are on sale at Groucho’s, Dundee or you can save yourself a couple of quid by getting an e-ticket for a fiver here.

Talking of e-tickets, there are less than ten Super Earlybird Weekend Tickets for £20 left so if you want to ensure entry to all 7 BOOK YER ANE FEST shows, then I’d recommend getting on that shit now.

Next up is The Fur Coats in Dundee (at Kage) on Friday 10th October with The Shithawks, Salem Street and Overdose. Full details coming soon but wrap your cranium around this peach in the meantime.

In crust, we trust.

“As Autumn Falls” or Other Such Capers

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August is always a busy month and, all in, I’d say it has been a pretty decent summer. Last month we hosted four shows featuring 15 acts from across the spectrum of punk rock and each show has had it’s own unique energy and atmosphere. The last minute scramble at the start at the month ended up with an absolute banger of a show at Kage on August 10th with Shatterhand, Get It Together, First Step To Failure, young Glasgow punks Veto and myself taking to the floor at a gig that highlighted camaraderie and togetherness that was both heartening and inspiring. It’s all too easy, at times, to let the head drop and question why you do what you do, whatever it is you do. After both the headliners and main support had to pull, it would’ve been easy to cancel the show and stay home. Thankfully I’m not the only one who’s having none of that caper and I applaud the spirit and tenacity of everyone who buckled down and made shit happen. To paraphrase Tosh from Shatterhand; “punk rock might now change the world but it sure as fuck makes it a better place to be for a couple of hours”. Wise words, spiderman!

The Jeffrey Lewis and The Jrams show the following week was sublime. Not only did the band play for well over an hour and pack the house on a dreary Tuesday night in Dundee, but they were also impeccable house guests. I’ve been listening to my newly acquired copy of “Em Are I” almost daily for the better part of the last three weeks and there’s always something new to discover on there. Jeffrey is an engaging character; wry, thoughtful and very funny on top of being one of the most influential musicians of his (our) generation. Seth Faergolzia and Heck Yup were certainly one of the more musically challenging acts that I’ve ever attempted to “do sound” for, mixing up all kinds of interesting instrumentation on top of loopers, synths, flutes, electric cello and multi-layered vocals; a hypnotic and engaging performance that was unlike anything I’ve seen before. The lovely Esperi opened proceedings and treated us to some older classics alongside fresh cuts from his new album “Seasons” that was released yesterday. Thank you to everyone who came out to the show; it seemed like there were a number of MTAT show “first-timers” so hopefully those that were new to our approach found it a positive experience!

Friday night saw the “official” launch of “Thick Letters To Friends”, the incredible new LP from Kaddish and it was one of the most intense shows that I’ve ever been a part of. Kage was absolutely rammed and it was roasting in there. Even so, as I stood at the side watching the band destroy for the thick end of 40 minutes, I had shivers up my spine. The journey to the release of this album has been a long one, more so for the band and producer Ross Middlemiss than anyone, and to see the lid finally bursting off the pot was something that I’ll carry with me for a long time; pure, raw, unfiltered catharsis. I could go on at length about how important and necessary I believe this record to be but I’ll stop myself short and say that it is a vital LP that is best experienced at high volume with full engagement. Thank you to the band for allowing me to be involved in something that is so personal and to Black Lake Records, Boslevan Records and The Ghost Is Clear Records (USA) for helping release the record. Special thanks also to Karol at Idioteq.com for his dedication, insight and support in exposing this record and the band themselves to a much wider audience. Please do take the time to read Karol’s illuminating interview with Dom here.

The show itself was amazing. Stonethrower (featuring the aforementioned Mr. Middlemiss and Cal Sutherland, the man responsible for the album art) kicked things off in suitably impassioned chaotic fashion with 25 minutes of driving yet intricate discordant noisy post-hardcore that seems to grow in power with each live performance. Keep your eyes peeled for their first release as it is guaranteed to be a banger. Next up were Glasgow indie/emo punks The Sinking Feeling who stepped in at the last minute to replace the sadly-missed Bonehouse, who were forced to withdraw on health grounds (get well soon GW!). The perfect replacement, TSF more than held their own and charmed everyone present with their super-infectious youthful grunge/indie/pop jamz, all harmonic yelps, three-way vocals, scorched riffs and fuzz-driven bass. Struggletown Records are just about to drop their new 12″ featuring new EP “Ugly” on side A and last year’s “Old Friends” EP on the flipside, so make sure and pick a copy up.

The masterful Carson Wells then took to the floor and once again demonstrated why they are one of Scotland’s finest musical exports, regardless of genre or geography. They treated us to the prime cuts from “Wonderkid” as well as a peppering of new songs from their forthcoming second LP and a track from their split 7″ with Human Hands. Carson Wells are a band that makes this whole playing music thing look effortless and are three of the most charming gentlemen that you’re likely to meet also. They are currently in the midst of recording with Ross Middlemiss and it’s no exaggeration to state that the album will be another hulking slice of angular angst indie/emo rock goodness. Undoubtedly one of the most powerful three piece bands on this hunk of rock, Carson Wells are a band worthy of your love that absolutely knock the piss out of most commercial rocks acts currently masquerading as emo.

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Kaddish then took to the floor in a dimly-lit room at 10pm and proceeded to blast us all away and leave jaws on the floor, as they also do. There are few bands that play with as much conviction as Kaddish; the way that Chris attacks drums and plays with his whole being is something that I’ll never tire of seeing, while John underpins the chaos with his Fugazi-esque elastic basslines. Dom has presence; he radiates intensity. He also plays guitar in a way that I will never understand. I think that this may have been the longest set that the band have ever played and they delivered their near 40-minute set with exactly the same intensity as they would a standard 20 minute set. Not only did they play the majority of the “Thick Letters To Friends” album but they also dipped into their back catalogue with songs from the first album as well as their split 7″ with Battle of Wolf 359. In short, it was a mesmerising, compelling and memorable performance that had everyone engaged from beginning to end. Kaddish are one of our most treasured bands. There are few bands that make me feel as though hyperbole is not nearly sufficient to express their greatness. Kaddish are one of those bands. I am proud to call these fine gentlemen friends and am proud to have played a small role in bringing this masterpiece of a record to life. I honestly cannot recommend this record highly enough. Please buy a copy, your life will be instantly enhanced for the experience of listening to it.

MAP

Huge thanks to everyone who picked up a copy of the record at the show, those who pre-ordered and everyone who has purchased a copy since the launch show. Massive thanks to everyone who came and packed Kage out too; thanks to your attendance and support we were able to raise and donate £280 to Medical Aid for Palestinians. Thanks also to Alana at Minimal Media for filming the whole show and to Ross Middlemiss and Huw of Carson Wells for recording audio on. This documentation will be present in the forthcoming months as an exciting little project, full details of which will emerge soon. Cheers to all who came out to the show too, you may well have made it onto a live record!

The weekend (and the month) was rounded out with our first ever 16+ Sunday Matinee Show at Non-Zero’s in Dundee. Unfortunately, local kids Palida Mors had to cancel the night before due to injury but the show rolled on with the four bands. Elk Gang are a new band of familiar faces from Edinburgh who are comprised of ex/current members of Shields Up and Taking Chase. They play full throttle hardcore punk rock coming over like a cross between Rise Against/Touche Amore/Strung Out with plenty of hooks and heads-down riffage on display. Bassist Craig is moving to Berlin next month so it’s likely that this will be their only Dundee show with this line-up, but hopefully they’ll get a replacement in before too long as these jamz are top quality and Scotland needs another fine DIY punk band of this pedigree. These dudes are also the brains and brawn behind Anti-Manifesto, so you know this shit is on point.

Glasgow punkers Sink Alaska were up next and took to the stage in good cheer as we celebrated the “official” launch of their new Double A-Side 7″ single. “The Path of Least Resistance” / “Among The Wretched” is exactly what is says on the tin; two tracks of razor-sharp upbeat melodic punk rock bangers that melds the speed and energy of 90s Epi/Fat skate punk with the wry wit and passion of late 80s/early 90s UK punk, coming over like Lagwagon and Ten Foot Pole covering Leatherface and Snuff songs. A band of a high calibre, these troops have been playing punk rock since before some of the kids at the show were born and that experience shined through as they whizzed their way through a half hour set of refined punk rock bangers, including their tracks from the ROASTER split and last year’s demo. The 7″ is out now and is strictly limited to 100 copies worldwide. The record comes with a download code, lyric sheet and full colour artwork as designed by Mark Bell of Mug. Again, thanks to everyone who has bought one thus far and thanks to DyingScene.com for hosting the exclusive stream last week.

Rope Spasm are another compelling proposition and a much under-rated band from our area I feel. While people may feel the have them dialled on account of their previous bands (MAFAFI, Torturo Nervosa, Drug Couple amongst them), there is infinitely more depth there than just your average powerviolence/hardcore band; there are elements of hip-hop and hardcore as well as a more refined “classic” punk sound, on account of Rossko’s deceptively deft guitar playing and Steve’s stomping distorted bass. Front man Sam is another character altogether; a tortured writhing mess of pained cries and contortions in performance, softly spoken and eloquent between songs. They may be close to the bone and primal, but they’d argue that that’s your problem, not theirs. I’d be inclined to agree. Top notch noise here.

certain death

The last act wrapping up a weekend of delectable Scottish hardcore/punk was Kirkcaldy thrash punk’n’roll legends Certain Death, who arrived at Non-Zero’s fresh from obliterating the elder Steedo’s Harley. These hardened road warriors never fail to deliver and scream out the same impassionaed antagonistic noise whether it’s a Sunday matinee in front of 40 folk or the Masters of Rock festival in front of 10,000 German metalheads and are undoubtedly one of the most consistently devastating live bands around. With stomp and swagger aplenty, you know from the word go what you’re getting with these troops and Sunday was no exception as they rattled through their cacophonous set at breakneck pace whilst inviting us to check out the Certain Death Ice Bong Challenge. Check that shit out on YouTube!

Thanks to Dave and Simon at Non-Zero’s for having us and to Scotty Russell for doing the sound. I think it was a quality show and certainly a worthwhile endeavour, so I hope that we’ll be doing another one in the near future. While there are no firm plans in place yet, this is something that we’ll definitely be getting to work on. Cheers also to the youngsters who came down and had their first MTAT experience and to everyone who picked up some records from the distro. Getting home in time for tea before heading back out was an added bonus.

There’s no rest for the wicked, so the saying goes, and it seems there’s no rest for those who try to steer clear of the wickedness also. We’re straight back on the horse this coming Friday when we host SPILL YER GUTS #3 at Cerberus Bar, Dundee with the inimitable Chris Clavin of Ghost Mice/Plan-It-X Records infamy. Chris will be performing live and reading extracts from his essential punk memoir “Free Pizza For Life” and will be regaling us with tales of a life lived immersed in US DIY punk rock culture and more. Chris is an interesting character with stories to tell who has been an influence of countless punkers the world over so having an opportunity to see him perform and speak in the intimacy of Cerberus should be a unique experience. Chris is joined on his travels by the piano-wielding Turtle Lamone who shall be playing his first Dundee show since his victorious performance at Book Yer Ane Fest VII. Andy Chainsaw will be bringing his none-more-gruff Andrew Jackson Jihad influenced acoustic punk gravel to the party and I shall be hosting things and compering for the evening. I’d love if y’all came to join us for an evening of refinement and culture. Doors are at half 7 and entry will be by donations please!

chris clavin dundee

At the end of the month, we will be welcoming back our friends Arliss Nancy from Colorado for what is an EXCLUSIVE SCOTTISH SHOW and one of only four dates in the UK. They’ll be joined by some of the finest local acts in the form of Robot Doctors (last seen on home turf at their album launch show at Dae Yer Ane Club I), our own emotive punk rockers Lachance and the wonderful fiddle-driven folk/punk stylings of Broken Stories on Saturday 27th September at Kage. Advanced e-tickets are available for a fiver here and physical tickets are available at Groucho’s, Dundee (who featured on the Top 10 indie record stores in the world feature from The Guardian).

arliss nancy

Finally, some news as pertains Book Yer Ane Fest VIII; September 30th will be your absolute last chance to get yourself a Super Earlybird Weekend Ticket for £20. Having one of these e-tickets is the only way to ensure your entry to all 7 BYAF shows, including the pre and post shows in Glasgow and Edinburgh respectively and the two morning shows at Cerberus Bar on the Saturday and Sunday of BYAF itself. Cerberus is tiny and we’ll be running full band shows in there for the first time (including “The Menzingers” on the Sunday morning) so priority entry will go to Super Earlybird Weekend Ticket holders, after which it will be first-come, first-served. This is also the cheapest way to support the weekend and is not only a bargain but also cost-efficient. If you’re planning on coming along, get on that shit now!

BYAF Eyes peeledWe shall be announcing the rest of the bands, all of the acts for the acoustic stage, day splits, etc over the next month over on the MTAT facebook page so keep your eyes peeled over there and on the event page itself for updates as and when they happen. We aim to have everything announced, the final line-up confirmed, satellite events sorted, poster on point blahblahblah by the end of the month and hope to have all of this information available to you by the start of October. We’ll get to October soon enough though!

Thanks for everything.

Cheers,

Derrick

MAKE YER ANE COMP V IS GO!!!

MAKE YER ANE COMP V is now available for free/pay-what-you-want download!!!

Thanks to all the bands and all the labels involved. Please follow the link below for full details and your download.

The Walking Targets – “Threads”
The Kimberly Steaks – “Wrong Exit”
Get It Together – “Carry You”
The Murderburgers – “Turning 25 Was Shit”
Sink Alaska – “Hitless Wonder”
Bear Trade – “Bleeding Heart Trouble”
Guerrilla Monsoon – “Big City Plan”
Lachance – “Bright Hearts Burning”
Kaddish – “End, As In Aim”
UNIFORMS – “Father’s Day”
Frown – “Under Hot Sun”
Billy Liar – “Sleep”
The Doublecross – “Houses and Homes”
Terrafraid – “The Fall”
First Step To Failure – “Drowning Out”
Don Blake – “Underpants Collection”
The Luddite – “Quitar”
Eddy & the T-Bolts – “Holy Wars and Mental Wards”
Zen Fuck-Ups – “Victim”
The Shithawks – “Do It Cool”
Rope Spasm – “Marlboro Man”
Bed of Wasps – “Failing”
Algernon Doll – “Relate”
hahira – “Febrile”
Stonethrower – “Vector-Borne”
Proverbs – “8”
Condolences – “Dearly Departed”
Broken Stories – “Best of Friends”
Question The Mark – “Whatgoesaroundcomesaround”
Shatterhand – “Mosaic”
Maxwells Dead – “I Just Wanna Say (Fuck You!)”
The Rocco Lampones – “S.O.S.”
Robot Doctors – “Rules”
Tim Loud – “No Gods, No Masters”
Lovers Turn to Monsters – “One Day At One Moment…”
Mark McCabe – “My Disguise Is Better Than Yours”
The Cinnamon Service – “Grace”
Andy Thomas’ Dust Heart – “Poor You”
Tragical History Tour – “Rebel Girl” (Bikini Kill)
Danny, Champion Of Nothing – “Hawthorn Ridge”

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!

London

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.

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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.

walking targets june

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.

counterpunch

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.

Cheers.

Interview; Fraser Murderburger

fraser

Okay, I admit it; I’ve been slacking. This interview was conducted last month and was originally intended to by published in the first physical edition of Write Yer Ane Zine. The good intentions have gone to pot, however, and I don’t have the zine finished as I’ve been up to my eyeballs with all of the other uninteresting shit as per usual. Abbie and I are moving house though, so that’s deece.

Anyways, given that our pals The Murderburgers kick off their massive 60-date European Tour at Kage, Dundee tomorrow night (with us roasters in Uniforms, Lancashire pop-punks Don Blake and our fellow cowpunkers Lachance playing their first full band show), I thought it prudent to get this interview out there into the world. A physical edition of the zine will appear, just not immediately!

murderburgers

Thanks a lot to Fraser for the interview. You can keep up to date with everything that Da Boigas are up to on the road at their facebook page and website. You can find all of their records for purchase/download at their bandcamp page too.

WYAZ; It’s been a while since we last “officially” spoke and in that time The Murderburgers have been one of the busiest bands on the planet; releasing your latest album and touring the US/EU. Focussing on the album, who do you feel about it now that it’s been out a while and how has your experience of working with Asian Man Records been?

Fraser; I’m really proud of the new album, and I don’t think it could have turned out sounding or looking better. We definitely spent more time on this album than we did on “How To Ruin Your Life”. I wanted all of the artwork to tie in with the song content this time, and Steve did a great job doing just that. It’s the first time I’ve written an album as an album, if you know what I mean. “How To Ruin Your Life” turned out well but it was more of a “right, we have 15 new songs so let’s do an album” kind of record, whereas all of the songs on “These Are Only Problems” were written about a specific and incredibly bleak period of my pathetic excuse for an existence. It’s also the first album we’ve done where we are all happy with playing all of the songs live. I’m definitely not sick of playing any of the songs yet. Working with Asian Man Records has been an absolute pleasure. I spoke to Mike Park on the phone last October for the first time and he could understand my shitty accent, which was a relief. Monster Zero are still involved as well. Kevin from MZ still claims he can still only understand 70% of what I say after knowing him for over 5 years.

WYAZ; The record dropped in September (?) and you went out on the road immediately afterwards. How do you feel the record has been received? How was the US tour on the back of it and how was your first experience of The Fest in Gainesville?

Fraser; The record came out on Oct 8th last year, which was the first day of our US/Euro tour. The response has been overwhelming. People seem to be really diggin’ it and only a couple of people have given us shit for it not strictly being a straight up pop punk record. After spending so much time writing the album it’s good to know that it wasn’t all for nothing. We were really happy with the record when we finished recording it and knew that we had done a good job, but after waiting for it to be mixed and mastered, and then sitting on the album for a while when we were finding a label to put it out, and then waiting for it to be pressed and released, we started to worry that the songs aren’t as good as we thought they were in the first place, or at least I did. So when it’s finally out there and people are really into the songs it’s a huge relief. The US tour was awesome. I flew out a week early to do some recording for a new band with Brad from Dear Landlord and Kat from The Strait A’s called Rat Toilet, which for being something Brad and I joked about for ages actually turned out sounding like a real band. The first week of the tour was with Strong City from Iowa, then the rest of the tour was with Lipstick Homicide from Iowa and Boys from Ohio. All three of those bands are amazing and are great people to tour with. The Fest was incredible and definitely took a few years off of my life. We played the pre-Fest in Ybor and then did a house show in Tampa before heading to Gainesville. We all drank way too much, saw a lot of great bands, made a lot of new friends and caught up with a lot of old ones. We got a tour of the No Idea house, which was pretty cool. Our set at The Fest was one of my favourite ever. We seem to attract some pretty crazy people at shows these days. A good kind of crazy though.

boigas pic

WYAZ; Most bands would want to come home and recharge after such a lengthy US tour, but you guys went straight back out on the road in Europe, finishing up at BYAF VII. How was this European tour? Did Cock’s vital organs make it in home intact?

Fraser; His vital organs did alright this time! The tour was great, as Europe always is. Our good friend Davey was TMing/driving us around and took good care of us. The only things that sucked were the French road tolls, the snow, and the guy that tried to overtake us during a traffic jam in Italy, which resulted in the left wing mirror of the van being smashed off. Italian drivers need to simmer down.

WYAZ; How do you keep yourself motivated and entertained in the midst of such lengthy tours? How did it feel to get home and have a riot of a finish at BYAF VII? Did you have fun at the “secret” acoustic show?

Fraser; I find it pretty easy to keep myself motivated on tour these days. Whenever I start feeling like shit I just have to remind myself that being on tour is way better than being stuck at some shit job at home. We have a lot of good things going for us at the moment, so it would be stupid not to keep that in mind and get the most enjoyment out of it as possible. I much prefer longer tours and fitting in as many shows as possible, so the longer the tour is the more excited I get about it. For entertainment I usually just listen to music and sleep, or try to write new songs in my head. When you’re stuck in a van for weeks on end you get a lot of thinking done, so by the time I get home I’ve always got a bunch of new ideas for songs and lyrics done. I also like to wind up Cock. That passes a lot of time. Finishing at BYAF VII was seriously the best way to end a tour ever. All of the Scottish shows at the end of the tour were just what we needed I think. We were all getting really bummed out about the tour almost being over, so coming back and playing to good crowds with a lot of familiar faces that we hadn’t seen for a while made being home a lot more bearable. Our set at BYAF was, as you know, pretty fuckin’ insane. Biggest human pyramid ever! The acoustic show was a lot of fun as well. Definitely a good cure for a hangover.

WYAZ; The UK punk scene seems to be in some rare health at the moment. Given that you’ve been in bands for years, do you see a difference between how things and now and how they were, say, 6/7 years ago? What UK bands do you dig?

Fraser; There’s definitely a big difference between how things are now and how they were when we started out 7 years ago. The main difference is that it used to suck back then and now it doesn’t. It’s great to see so many bands and people really pushing things, and people actually giving a shit. It’s encouraging to see so many younger bands appearing now, so hopefully the scene will continue to grow. There’s a lot of UK bands that I dig. Too many to list really, but I’ll name a few. Recently I’ve been listening to The Walking Targets a lot, and The Kimberly Steaks too. Both bands have just recorded new albums which I can’t wait to hear. I finally got round to buying PAWS “Cokefloat!”, which is an awesome album. I’ve not stopped listening to Martha‘s E.P yet. Vamos are amazing and great guys. I wish I’d written “Hands”. Bangers rule, and so do River Jumpers and Leagues Apart.  I listen to Great Cynics a lot. Oh, and the mighty Wonk Unit!

WYAZ; Since you’ve been home you’ve recorded a live session for the Radio One Punk Show and cut a new EP. When can we hear the 7″, what label will it be on and how is your next EU tour shaping up?

Fraser; The recording of the new EP should be finished by mid-Feb, and then it should be out in the summer. It’ll be released on Bloated Kat Records and will be called “How To Ruin Your Laptop”, because we (or just Cock) broke Servo from Bloated Kat’s laptop when we were drunk in Atlantic City last October. It’ll be 2 brand new songs, 1 re-recording of an old song and a Chinese Telephones cover. The next European tour is shaping up nicely. It’s another long one. 60 days throughout Scotland, England, Wales, Belgium, France, Italy, Austria, Germany and Holland. I’m still working on it every day, but it’s coming together well. I’m just at that annoying stage of needing details from people and having to hassle them, but overall it’s been less of a headache to book than most other tours I’ve dealt with.

handsome bastards

WYAZ; What’s next for the band? Are you thinking about a new album already or are you biding your time with it? Can we expect more of the typical gonzo Moidaboigas tour scheduling this year?

Fraser; I’ve been working on some new songs, but we have no immediate plans to do a new album anytime soon. We briefly spoke about aiming to start properly working on a new one this time next year. It all depends on our touring schedule though. We want to tour for “These Are Only Problems” as much as we can this year anyway. Once we get back from the Spring tour we have plans to record a full band acoustic split CD with Billy Liar followed by a 2 week UK tour in July to support it. I’ve been talking with Mike at Asian Man about getting back to the US around Oct/Nov, and I’ve been working on some other stuff to keep us busy before then. I’ve been talking to a couple of booking agents in Japan for a while now and would really like to make it out there at the end of the year if possible, but we’ll have to wait and see. I promised Cock we would make it to Japan soon, and also promised him that we would make it back to Spain since he missed out on the Spanish dates in 2012 after his appendix shat the bed, causing him to leave the tour

WYAZ; What has been your highlight of the band’s existence thus far and what are you most looking forward to in the future?

Fraser; The Maida Vale session was definitely a highlight. I used to wait up to 2am to listen to the Radio 1 Punk Show when I was a teenager and ask one of my friends to tape for me in case I missed it, so doing a live session for it a few years later isn’t something I expected to happen. The whole Asian Man Records thing is obviously a highlight. We’ve done so much shit over the past 2 years that I still can’t get my head around, so I guess the past 2 years has been the highlight. I’m mostly looking forward to touring more and seeing where we end up.

WYAZ; Any last words?

Fraser; Thanks for letting me ramble on. I turn 27 in a couple of days and I still can’t grow a beard. How shit is that?

Thu 13 March @ Kage, Dundee (SCO)

Fri 14 March @ Downstairs, Aberdeen (SCO)

Sat 15 March @ Stuck In Springtime Fest, 13th Note, Glasgow (SCO)

Sun 16 March @ Retro Bar, Manchester (ENG)

Mon 17 March @ Bar Santiago, Leeds, (ENG)

Tue 18 March @ The Lughole, Sheffield, (ENG)

Wed 19 March @ The Soundhouse, Leicester, (ENG)

Thu 20 March @ The Blueberry, Norwich, (ENG)

Fri 21 March @ UtrechtSkatePark, Utrecht, (NL)

Sat 22 March @ Crossbonefest, JH The Bassment, Houthalen, (BE)

Sun 23 March @ Le Gibus Cafe, Paris (FR)

Mon 24 March @ Canadian Cafe, Tours (FR)

Tue 25 March @ The Cafe Latin, Angers (FR)

Wed 26 March @ La Scene Michelet, Nantes (FR)

Thu 27 March @ TBC, Limoges (FR)

Fri 28 March @ La Mecanique Des Fluides, Toulouse (FR)

Sat 29 March @ Up & Down Bar, Montpellier (FR)

Sun 30 March @ Venue TBC, Marseilles (FR)

Mon 31 March @ Private show, La Fare les Oliviers (FR)
* if somebody wants to come to the show, write an e-mail to “will@pandarecords.fr*

Tue 1 April @ *acoustic show* La Zonmé, Nice (FR)

Wed 2 April @ Venue TBC, Torino (IT)

Thu 3 April @ Venue TBC, Milano (IT)

Fri 4 April @ Venue TBC, Imperia (IT)

Sat 5 April @ (IT) *Date available, please email Kasper: pantherbooking@gmail.com*

Sun 6 April @ (IT) *Date available, please email Kasper: pantherbooking@gmail.com*

Mon 7 April @ Venue TBC, Livorono (IT)

Tue 8 April @ Venue TBC, Rome (IT)

Wed 9 April @ Venue TBC, Ancona (IT)

Thu 10 April @ Venue TBC, Forli (IT)

Fri 11 April @ Arci Dallo, Brescia (IT)

Sat 12 April @ Venue TBC, Udine (IT)

Sun 13 April @ SUB, Graz (AT)

Mon 14 April @ DasBACH, Vienna (AT)

Tue 15 April @ Venue TBC, Vocklabruck (AT)

Wed 16 April @ PMK, Innsbruck (AT)

Thu 17 April @ Bela Lugosi, Nuremberg (DE)

Fri 18 April @ ZKU, Leipzig (DE)

Sat 19 April @ (DE) *Date available, please email Fraser: themurderburgers@gmail.com*

Sun 20 April @ (DE) *Date available, please email Fraser: themurderburgers@gmail.com*

Mon 21 April @ (DE) *Date available, please email Fraser: themurderburgers@gmail.com*

Tue 22 April @ Jagerklause, Berlin (DE)

Wed 23 April @ Venue TBC, Hanover (DE)

Thu 24 April @ Rote Flora, Hamburg (DE)

Fri 25 April @ Q1, Bergisch Gladbach (DE)

Sat 26 April @ The Eldorado, Nordemham (DE)

Sun 27 April @ Sentiments HQ, Petersburg-Osnabruck (DE)

Mon 28 April @ TBC *Date available, please email Fraser: themurderburgers@gmail.com*

 Tue 29 April @ Club Lola, Groningen (NL)

 Wed 30 April @ Sub071, Leiden (NL)

 Thu 1 May @ Groezrock Acoustic Punk Meeting IV (Campsite BBQ Area), Meerhout (BE)

 Fri 2 May @ TBC

 Sat 3 May @ TBC

 Sun 4 May @ TBC *Date available, please email Fraser: themurderburgers@gmail.com*

 Mon 5 May @ The Cherry Tree, Canterbury (ENG)

Tue 6 May @ Grumpy Whiskers, Cheltenham (ENG)

Wed 7 May @ The Moon Club, Cardiff, (WAL)

Thu 8 May @ TBC, Swindon (ENG)

 Fri 9 May @ WTFEST Official Aftershow, Unit, Southampton (ENG)

fraser2

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

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.