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Tag: anarchy

AGAINST IMMISERATION; An Essay by Dom Kaddish

WYAZ presents the second post-EU referendum essay by Dom Kaddish. Please read, consider, respond and circulate as you deem necessary. Discussion and discourse is actively encouraged.

End, As In Aim.

So picture the gravest fear and dread.
Here hope is the lie that keeps its head.

Say you’ve got a hope.
Say you want an end to fear.

An end to fear.

Say you’ve got a hope.
Say you want an end to fear.

Photo by J. Cumiskey

AGAINST IMMISERATION

What’s the fucking point of playing in a band when your body is ageing and your hearing damaged? What’s the fucking point of going to gigs and chatting, on the level, to people of different ages, genders, colours, cultures, and backgrounds when the media constantly chastens us with images of violence, and enjoins us to hate others and be suspicious of them? What’s the fucking point of voting in a referendum where the crunch matter appears to have come down to an entitled Tory elite masturbating over how to convince one of their female members to reheat the tired ghost of Margaret fucking Thatcher?

Here’s a suggestion: couldn’t it be that the deluded little spaces in which we play, chat, act, think and commit ourselves are more political by a long shot than the black hole at Westminster that awaits the next bunch of careerists perverse enough to get sucked into it? The fucking point, then, would be that our whole conception of politics has to change. For example, what created the current constitutional crisis in the UK was misplaced faith in an out-of-date form of representative government centred on individuals as well-informed agents, capable of making rational choices in their own best interests, and of acting in the best interests of others when presented with a crude either/or choice on an issue of massive complexity. This model was co-opted by greed, self-interest, stupidity, lack of information, and a giant dose of the negative affects of shame, fear and hate. Given the fallout, perhaps it is now time to try to do something paradoxical, different, and more excitingly difficult: to try, at one and the same time, to think and act both above and below the out-of-date model of politics.

By ‘above’, I mean this: we have to aspire to have the courage and the temerity to look the complexity of our world straight in the face. That is, we have to aspire to a culture, not where no-one is an expert (à la Gove), but where everyone is. This would be a culture in which everyone aspires to learn something about such heady things as economics, statistics, as well as big data patterns in demographics and human geography, and where an understanding of the role of nonhuman actors in politics would be encouraged (e.g. the role of such actors in the current UK crisis as mobile computing, agricultural and fishing yields, the English Channel, globalisation, the ecological crisis, etc. etc.). This would not be a culture where knowledge of such things was used to baffle and belittle; rather, since no one single actor could feasibly claim a knowledge of the whole, it would be a culture where everyone takes some responsibility for educating themselves and others, and where each is empowered and encouraged to do.

By ‘below’, I mean this: the UK referendum of 23 June 2016 was a coup for a reactive form of politics that traded on affects and gut reactions, instead of on concepts tied to the out-of-date model of politics mentioned above (e.g. the concept of the transparently well-informed and rational voter; or that of a ‘minister’ who is ‘prime’ in the sense of being the first and most powerful person to look after the needs of all the people in his or her polity, when the then incumbent was exposed by events for an incompetent beholding to the interests of Tory bigots of depressing resilience and longevity). What was far more effective than concepts and reason in swaying the campaigning in this instance was the propagation of the aforesaid negative affects of shame, fear and hate. Faced with these affects, the fatal mistake of left/liberal sections of the media/social media/the Twitterati was a retreat into the echo chamber of fatalistic intellectualism (consider the typical Brexit crisis moves made by these sections of the media: black humour, condescension, introspection and soul searching, cod philosophy, historical musings, irony, droll memes, the attempt at agonised liberal ‘understanding’ of what could have driven the dispossessed and disenfranchised to it, etc., etc.). The result was two modes of political address that comprehensively talked past one another: one employing the ‘post-fact’ logic of icons, hates, and anxieties; the other employing a form of reason that had become too clever and self-reflexive by half.

One solution to this impasse, I am suggesting (the one that goes ‘above’), is to aspire to better education, in terms of better concepts that have a better purchase on the complexities of our interconnected and interdependent world. Here’s another solution for how we might simultaneously get ‘below’ the impasse: first, let’s give up old concepts tied to the values of liberal/humanistic education and grand parliamentary politics; second, let’s avoid propagating negative affects in their place; third, let’s focus instead on the creation and nurturing of positive affects, such as joy, love, and openness. If such an agenda seems liberal, Christian, ‘new agey’ or out of step with what I said above about the necessity of arriving at better concepts, then you have simply missed the point. This is because what is at stake here is not how ‘good’ or ‘wise’ you or I might be, nor how much right we might have to the moral high ground, nor how much we might like the recourse to safe, comfortable, and ultimately hopelessly out of touch old political categories. Rather, what is at stake is what should be termed the ‘ecology’ of our mental health, well-being and fellow feeling, and by ‘our’ here, I mean the mental health of everyone with a stake in the issues of which the current UK constitutional crisis is symptomatic, including everyone else in the world right now, and all future generations.

The ecology of mental health concerns how one’s mindset, mood, and general sense of affect relates to the world in which it finds itself. This ecology has not, we should admit, been in a good way, globally, for some time now, and its problems predate the 2008 financial crisis by some way (in fact, they feed into it as conditions of its possibility). Here’s a suggestion as to what has eroded it: spaces of immiseration. Under this concept, we could group any number of environments that go into shaping the character of the contemporary globalised world, including, but far from limited to: factories in China; Coltan mines in the Congo; sweatshops in Turkey and Bangladesh; battlefields in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria; Social Security offices and dole queues in any ‘developed’ country; all that urban sprawl that was so ripe for sub-priming in the US pre-2008; open-plan offices; bookies; grey and ill-equipped classrooms; call centres; slaughterhouses; Amazon depots; police cells; and the countless situations in which way too much solitude is frittered away in front of a TV or a computer. Here’s a suggestion as to what might act as the antidote: spaces of possibility. Such spaces, to start from the highly dubious base of idealising what I personally know and esteem, might include: live music spaces; classrooms where participants are encouraged and equipped to learn from all others present and not simply shut their mouths and act as consumers of information spoon fed by the guy mansplaining at the front; parks; wilderness; sports pitches where moments of team creativity emerge; seashores; long walks through places either familiar or unfamiliar, with or without guiding thread; art galleries, studios, and workshops where you might actually stand the chance of speaking and interacting with artists and craftspeople; book shops, record shops and libraries; day centres, drop-in centres, and clinics where you can bump into people all too burned out by the state of it all not to speak themselves honestly, with heart.

I said that it was dubious to start from what I personally know and esteem. You are therefore entirely free to take issue with the list I have just contrived, as too ‘male’, ‘romantic’, ‘liberal’, ‘hipster’ (God forbid), or whatever. This apart, however, let me extend two invitations to you that are centred on the concepts mentioned above, and not on what I have grouped under them. First, to reflect on the spaces of possibility that matter most to you. Second, and far more importantly, to reflect and act on how we might convert spaces of immiseration into spaces of possibility. The first of these tasks, undertaken collectively, would amount to an inventory of our weapons: a stocktake of the spaces that matter to us, and that renew our sense of health and possibility for the living of meaningful lives. The second task would involve using these weapons on the battlefields where the real politics of our lives get fought out (and not in exclusive, outmoded, rarefied political vacuums such as Westminster, where fractions of the battles of our lives get misrepresented and used as pawns in games played by self-serving political cadres).

Fear of the other. Fear of the self. Fear of death. Fear of the unknown. Fear of technology and the pace of change. Fear of not ‘being a man’, whatever that means. Fear of irrelevance and poverty in an age of celebrity and the ‘super rich’. Fear of being fat, stupid, old, or useless. Fear of gun and knife crimes, rape, and hate. ETC. FUCKING ETC. These are the negative affects that spaces of immiseration nurture like cancer. How do we take the love, hope, joy, respect, and sense of other possible worlds and horizons that spaces of possibility involve and use them to bring out the possibilities that spaces of immiseration keep repressed under the increasingly shabby and disingenuous veneer of consensus and polite society? And what makes this struggle both worthwhile and eminently doable, on an everyday basis, and from this very instant?

Consider whether something like the following might work for you (if not, invent your own tactic, as is your right and your want): the next time you realise you are in a space of immiseration (and the gut sinking feeling will be sufficient to establish it), think about how you typically act in a space of possibility, and insinuate one such way of acting into the space of immiseration. The next time after this, insinuate two acts. After that, insinuate three. After that, four. And so on, and so on, until new possibilities have reached such a pitch that they have somehow cracked open the space of immiseration in favour of something better and more liveable. The acts I have in mind here can be crude or sophisticated, and might include: making passionate music, for purposes other than consumption; being playful; thinking tangentially; daydreaming; humour; kindness; openness; interest in others and their stories and fates; acts that are revelatory of self and history without tipping into narcissism; expressions of wonder, weakness, and astonishment; recognitions of limitations and ignorance; the construction of a shared focus or creative goal between you and others that adds some measure of dignity to the space, however small; the vigilant attempt to keep the spectre of the profit motive to a minimum. And so on, and so on, etc., etc.

What’s especially funny about such acts is when they work subliminally – that is, when others within the space recognise that a new possibility has been introduced, but resist it, preferring instead the tendencies of immiseration as a kind of short-term comfy/long-term deadly safety net. Because the roboticisms of immiseration cannot recognise new possibilities, you can rest assured that there will be no immediate explicit reproach for the possibility you have introduced (that is, no shared recognition that the recognition has taken place individually within the separate actors in the space). What there might be, however, is a more or less collective implicit recognition – a seed planted that will grow with time. In this case, the words, actions and affects you use to make spaces of immiseration become spaces of possibility will take on the character of a sort of gentle and subtle guerrilla warfare: a thousand little harrying tactics intended to perplex and provoke others into giving up the dubious safety net of immiseration.

To sum up:
Stop thinking in terms of redundant concepts representative of a bygone age of politics.

Start aspiring to think in terms of the complex concepts that we all know are required to think the world in which we live.

Stop tolerating the poisonous effects of negative affects through inaction and resignation.

Start spreading positive affects in any practicable way you can, because they are sufficient to convert spaces of immiseration, however overwhelming, ubiquitous and monolithic these spaces may seem in the contemporary world, into spaces rich in open and positive possibilities for new forms of life.

***

ASTHENIA PDF-page-001

Kaddish play Conroy’s Basement in Dundee with Asthenia (Japan), Human Hands (eng) and Arkless (eng) on Wednesday 17th August.

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October Means I’m Getting Older

I’ve just realised that it has been over a month since I last posted a blog. That’s a long time for me to keep my gob shut but, believe me, it’s not for the lack of subject matter about which to run my mouth, more a lack of time in which to do so. Regardless, it has been a very busy time and there have been some rad shows over the last month or so. Arliss Nancy at Kage was a particular belter and Boab’s show with The Holy Mess, The Smith Street Band and The Menzingers at the Classic Grand was something very special indeed. I remember the first time that The Menzingers played at the Note to about 40 folk and it’s heartwarming to see a band that comes from the DIY punk rock scene crossing over and pretty much selling out an entire UK tour of big venues while still delivering banger after banger. The Smith Street Band were amazing also. Wil is such an engaging character and the band have a bucketful of future classics. It was the first time that I have seen The Holy Mess and I picked up their latest LP. It’s called “Comfort In The Discord” and is a cracker that reminds me of Dead To Me in parts; grubby no-frills punk rock like yer granny used to make. Between work, shows, the label, playing with my owns bands, etc, there just haven’t been enough hours in the day for me to get shit done. On that note, and by way of a public apology, I’m sorry if you’ve emailed me and I haven’t got back to you yet, I’m pretty much an asshole.

The Menzingers in Glasgow

The Menzingers in Glasgow

I spent last weekend out on the road with The Fur Coats (Scotland) for four days at what were four very different yet equally compelling shows across Scotland. It was great to finally get up to Inverness for a show and the dudes at Mad Hatters and Hootenany’s run a super-tight ship and come highly recommended. Marc Ruvolo is a special individual who writes incredible quirky pop songs and is a unique talent. I enjoyed getting to know Marc over the course of the weekend. That’s one of things that I find most special about punk; for strangers from different sides of the planet to meet and connect like family. or some such overly romanticised ideal. Big Ade and Gav Ross nailed it and have got to be one of the tightest rhythm sections in the country, so natural. The ragtag band of misfits is expected to coalesce once more next summer and will be getting together for a bunch of shows, details of which will emerge over time. There is talk of getting involved in a pretty exciting little project too, so keep your eyes peeled for that one. On the subject of rad projects, we’ve got one being announced tomorrow that I’m sworn to secrecy about but it’s pretty fucking cool.

more dangerous finished

Our next Dundee show is one that I’m very excited about; it’s been a long time since we threw a good old fashioned basement punk rock party at Drouthy’s and that’s exactly what will be happening one week from today as we welcome the crushing touring French hardcore package of More Dangerous Than A Thousand Rioters from Strasbourg and Laval’s epic post-hardcore/noise merchants As We Draw to Dundee. They’ll be joined by Perth hardcore’s most maniacal Rope Spasm and Dundee’s modern melodic hardcore crew Condolences. The last full-blast show we threw at Drouthy’s was Dear Landlord way back in 2010 so it’ll be real good fun to get back our roots. We used to put on shows there all the time but haven’t done so much in recent years, so we are all stoked to be going back to the basement. It’ll be four bucks on the door and we’re hoping that you’ll join us for a classic sweaty little hardcore show of a Monday evening.

On the subject of Europe, our pals Bonehouse are currently out on tour on the mainland with Cornwall’s Crows An Wra. It was hoped that the Bonehouse “Tomorrow’s Worn Out Blues” LP would be ready in time for the tour but alas, we have been disappointed. The release of the record is a collaborative effort between a bunch of cool labels; Wolf Town DIY, Boslevan Records, Black Lake Records, Steady Anchor Records, Tief In Marcellos Shuld and Pint-Sized Collective. The first pressing of the record, limited to 500 copies, comes on “pick’n’mix” randomly coloured vinyl, so all records will be unique. The album was recorded by Ross Middlemiss and mastered by Robin Sutherland. Full order details will be forthcoming shortly.

Looking forward, Uniforms play our first show in 6 months and our first with Chic on drums at The Nerd Hutch in Newcastle on Halloween before coming to home to record over the weekend with Ross in Dundee. We’ll be recording four new songs for a 7″ that we plan to launch sometime around March next year. We’re then planning a little trip to Europe alongside our pals Get It Together in April, so keep your eyes and ears peeled as you’ll no doubt be getting balmed up about that shit before too long. Talking of GiT, their “Rebuild, Recover” 7″ EP is currently at press and is an absolute banger that I am very proud to be a part of bringing into life. Not only are those dudes one of the best new Scottish hardcore bands in some time, but they’re also some righteously solid dudes who know a thing or two about being in the punk rock trenches. The record is due to be released at Book Yer Ane Fest VIII when they play on Saturday 29th November at Kage, Dundee. The 7″ will come on classic black vinyl with full colour artwork from the wonderful WOLF MASK, as well as a digital download code and all the usual capers.

front previewGiven that there are a multitude of shows happening in Glasgow on Saturday 15th November, including shows from Against Me, The Ruts, Bob Mould and countless more, we thought it prudent to do the “honourable thing” (shameless cash-in? Shrewd Vince McMahon-like move?) and throw a late show on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow. This will be the first show that we’ve put on ourselves in Glasgow and it’s a little bit of an experiment but, like with the vast majority of things we do and decisions we make, we thought “fuck it, why not?”. As such, we’ve pooled resources with our friends and both Uniforms and Get It Together will be joined by Glasgow’s The Jackhammers for a late show at The Cellars on Sauchiehall Street with doors opening at 10.30pm after the Against Me show has wrapped at The Garage. I hit Laura Jane Grace up on twitter and said we’d be stoked if the band wanted to come down after the show, so who knows what could happen? I should stress at this point that this late show is the 100% completely unofficial Against Me after-show party. You’ll get a quid off entry if you bring a ticket stub from any of the other shows happening in Glasgow that night. MTAT DJs, specifically Jimmy Wrizzle, will be manning the wheels of steel for what should be an interesting evening before we head off to Leeds to play the Sunday of Pie Race Festival.

late show

Right, that’s enough havering for the moment. I feel I’ve aged just writing this piece. There’s lots of shit going on with Book Yer Ane Fest VIII. Best keeping your eyes on the event page to keep up to date with everything that is going on there! Three Day Weekend Tickets are available in person and online from Groucho’s and e-tickets are available from the MTAT Bandcamp merch page.

I turn 32 later this month too. Fuck that noise.

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.

MAYDAY!!! MAYDAY!!!

workers-unite

Okay, I confess; this isn’t a blog about International Workers’ Day or global anti-capitalist action, although I do stand firmly in solidarity with the workers of the world; “there is the elite and the dispossessed”.

I myself have some time off work without obligation for what feels the first time in years and I thought it prudent to catch up with all matters Make-That-A-Take. We’ve got some big plans for across the summer and things are busier than they have ever been. The Uniforms / Loaded 45 split 7″ inches are on their way to us and will be assembled and posted out as soon as possible to those who have pre-ordered, likely within the next couple of weeks. This is the first time that we’ve ventured into the world of vinyl and we’re pretty excited about it. Maybe we should throw a release party or something? Who knows. Regardless, you can pre-order the record at the Make-That-A-Take bandcamp page and it comes with instant digital download. There are also a limited batch of record/shirt deals, so go grab one of them if that’s your bag. Thanks to DyingScene and For The Love Of Punk for all their support. I’ve still got some download codes left so if anyone wants one for review/zine/podcast/radio/whatever purposes, please drop me an email.

Talking of first ventures, we are involved in putting on our first ever Edinburgh show next week in collaboration with Billy Liar and Forest Records. It’s our pleasure to put on Fist City, an oddball punk rock band from Alberta, Canada. They’ll be joined by equal oddities Cleavers, The Kimberly Steaks and FUCK! (It’s Pronounced Shit!) at The Banshee Labyrinth and is sure to be a bit of a special treat. Huge thanks to Drunken Sailor Records and Billy for getting this sorted out. Get the full details here.

fist city edinburgh

Talking of Edinburgh, we have also moved The Cut Ups‘ show from Dundee to the capital on Thursday 1st August as there was a gig clash with a Rusty Hip CollectiveGW show at Kage featuring the wonderful Football Etc, Plaids, Bonehouse, Carson Wells and The Sinking Feeling, so to avoid any split, we’ll be hosting them at The Banshee once again. It’s been almost four years since The Cut Ups played in Edinburgh, playing at The Wee Red Bar with Joey Terrifying, Dick Dangerous and The Love Bastards and Billy Liar way back before Book Yer Ane Fest III. This time around they’ll be joined by us roasters in Uniforms, The Kimberly Steaks and the guys from The Walking Targets. Those dudes were on The Punk Show on Air3 Radio with Samarth Kanal and recorded some live acoustic stuff that you can download here. Talking of which, Uniforms and Loaded 45 did the same thing when we popped in before the Stirling show of tour and you can download the sounds of nine idiots pissing themselves laughing here.

ghost mice dundee 2013

Back on the home front, we’ll be hosting our first acoustic show of the summer at Cerberus Bar, Dundee on Monday 24th June and we are very excited to welcome Ghost Mice from Bloomington, Indiana back for the first time since their tour with Paul Baribeau way back in 2007. That night we hosted a little acoustic punk rock party in the basement of Drouthy Neebors that was opened by Kevin Thomson, who will also be playing this return leg with his new folk-punk two-piece Broken Stories. Kev and Gillian have released a little gem of an EP which you can download here. They’ll be joined by the ever-loquacious Billy Liar, the piano-punk balladry of Turtle Lamone and a first MTAT show from Glasgow based ukulele-wielding singer-songwriter Nyla. It’s been a while since we’ve hosted a show like this one and it’ll be a donations on the door deal. It’d be great if you kind people could come and join us for what’s sure to be in interesting night with the Plan-It-X guys. You should definitely check out Chris Clavin’s book “Free Pizza For Life” book; a heart-wrenching tale of love, friendship and DIY punk.

We shall also be putting on a Dundee show as part of The Lemonaids/Kimberly Steaks tour and it will be a free show at Kage on Saturday 8th June. We’ll have full details of that bad boy in the next week or so. Beyond that, we’ll be hosting Break-Ups from south England alongside the mighty Sink Alaska and others on Friday 19th July then we’ll be welcoming German post-hardcore troops Casually Dressed on Friday 9th August. We’ve also got some incredible shows to announce for later in the summer but I am forbidden from spilling the beans about any of them at this point in time. I will, however, advise that you mark Saturday 28th September in your diaries as we will be playing host to a cheeky little half-day “mini-fest” of sorts at Kage. This is a show that we are all sorts of excited about. You may also wish to pencil in both the fourth and twenty-sixth of October, and maybe the days after too. Just saying!

Then it’ll be time for Book Yer Ane Fest VII, running this year from Friday 29th November through Sunday 1st December. There will also more than likely be a pre-BYAF show of some description on the Thursday night beforehand. We’re having a big MTAT meeting tomorrow night so I may be able to shed a little more light on what special treats we have planned after then. It seems that this year is going to feature the most travelling bands that we’ve ever hosted so will be on the hunt for volunteers who would be keen to help us out with things over the weekend, such as accommodating/feeding bands, acting as guides, etc, in exchange for a free weekend pass and other cool shit. If this sounds like it may be your cup of tea, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Running a three-day event can be a total ballache so any help that may be out there is certainly appreciated.

Finally on the MTAT front, we are going to be releasing Make Yer Ane Comp for download this summer. If any bands would like to get involved, please get in touch. We’ll be making a limited run of physical CDs too and we are now currently taking submissions (I just felt like a total roaster typing that, but I’ll leave it in for authenticity’s sake).

This month also marks two years since our Bandcamp page went live. We currently have 33 releases available for streaming and download, many of them for free/pay-what-you-want download and the rest of them for super-cheap. We’ve had an incredible number of plays/downloads and the donations that people have made (and continue to make) really are incredible. It truly makes me personally feel like we must be doing something right and it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling in my tummy (lolz). Seriously though, the worldwide DIY punk community is inspiring to me. Like I wrote in my guest Pet Piranha blog, the DIY community really is based upon friendship. All of this would be pointless pissing in the wind if there weren’t people out there who share your passions and/or visions. It’s nice to feel you’re not alone!

There are some fucking great records up there if I do say so myself, including all four in the MYAC series and all the BYAF comps. Thank you again to everyone who continues to support what we do. There’s a merch store up there too for all your boutique cowpunk needs and you’ll also find some distro shit up there. We’ll get around to uploading the CD catalogue very shortly, I promise. If any bands/labels out there want involved in our distro or if you’d like us to carry anything (zines, etc), please get in touch with us.

Right, I’ve rambled on for quite long enough for today. I’ve been procrastinating, drinking coffee, doing housework, listening to records and doing various “paperwork” tasks for hours and I still haven’t made it out to the Post Office to send the latest batch of merch out. I’ve been massively distracted due to listening to “The Ballad Of Tony Montana”, the new 25 minute punk rock masterpiece from PMX which is not only the first material that they’ve released since 2004’s “Rise and Shine”, but it may also be the longest punk rock song/rock opera of all-time, outrunning everything from “The Decline” to Crass to Fucked Up. That in itself is some achievement; the fact that it’s mind-bogglingly tech and ambitious as fuck and pulled off with maximum aplomb is quite another. Now I just need to talk them into doing that shit live at BYAF VII! Go download it now, it’s essential listening.

HASTA LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE.