Write Yer Ane Zine

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

Tag: Make-That-A-Take Records

Write Yer Ane Mini-Zine; Issue One

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Write Yer Ane Mini-Zine; Issue One

Click the link to devour. Please feel free to read and share.

I’ve uploaded the PDF in its original form, with no hyperlinks, etc. All the bands/records are easy to find so go have a swatch!

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Make That A Take Records; Label FAQ

Preface; We are a small independent DIY label based on the east coast of Scotland. Our label formed at a house party show in 2006 and has evolved over the last decade into something we never anticipated. We are very grateful for the increased level of interest we’ve been receiving recently and are very excited about the possibilities that the future may hold.

However, the volume of emails and inquiries we are receiving has increased massively from even where we were a couple of years ago and we are getting to the point where it’s very difficult to reply to all messages in a constructive manner. Everyone in our collective works full-time jobs and have personal responsibilities and lives that need taking care of. We are not part of “the music industry” and we can’t do anything to “make you famous”. There are many other labels out there who may be able to do these things for you, however that label is not Make That A Take.

The absolute best way to get involved is to come down to a show and introduce yourself. Those who participate in the local music community and support the wider scene will always take precedence over bands/artists who merely see the DIY scene as a stepping stone to “better” things or to further their “career”. That’s not to say that we’re anti-career as such, many good friends of ours have gone onto great things in the music industry, but that has been as a result of years of hard work, not in spite of it. We are always keen to hear from more local bands and to grow our community. This is best achieved in person at shows.

This FAQ will be augmented, added to and expanded upon as required and is by no means exhaustive, although may be a little boring for some. As stated, this isn’t something that we’ve been desperate to put together but given their sheer volume of correspondence of late, it’s something that we feel is necessary. Apologies and thanks in advance for understanding.

We are a progressive secular anti-fascist, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homo/transphobic DIY punk collective. If you have any issue with any of these things, please do not contact us.

How do I get in touch?

For all enquiries pertaining MTAT bands, gigs, bookings, merch, distro, trades or antyhing else related to the label/collective, please email info@makethatatakerecords.com

For all enquries relating to Conroy’s Basement and the third party use thereof, please email kenny@makethatatakerecords.com

Please send all enquiries by email only.

Please DO NOT send messages to our Facebook page as these are very easy to miss and a response is by no means guaranteed. Also, please DO NOT message or add our personal FB profiles looking for shows. This is something that has become unmanageable recently and any breach of this request will be counter-productive. We realise this may seem harsh but you are far more likely to receive a reply in you contact us via email.

Can we get a show?

Possibly. Again, please email info@makethatatakerecords.com

Some general points; we get many gig enquiries and while we do our best to respond to each one, we cannot guarantee getting back to all bands at all times.

We DO NOT put on “showcase” gigs and are not particularly interested in “growing the audience” or “conquering new markets”. We have very little interest in demographics or creating rock stars and/or mainstream “successes”. There are plenty of avenues for this type of thing, we are not one of them.

If you are a small UK band, we think it’s highly unlikely that you actually need a booking agent. While some bands may feel that they do (to “lighten the load” or whatever), we much prefer to deal with bands directly. Your booking agent may want what’s best for your band but he/she also wants their 10/15%. Some of the “biggest” bands you know still book their own shows, you should too. However, that decision is yours alone.

International touring bands are different; we prefer to work with bookers/agents that we know and trust. However, we also like to keep an open mind so if you’re looking for a potential tour date, please do get in touch. We while do what we can but can make no promises.

Bands who support and contribute to the local music community will always be offered support slots with touring bands first. Don’t expect to be offered shows with “bigger” bands if you never come out to the “small” shows.

Do you accept demos?

Yes. We accept physical demos at shows and are happy to get them in the mail too. If you wish to send physical demos, please email us first (info@makethatatakerecords.com) and we’ll be happy to pass you an address.

We also accept LINKS to demos via email. We don’t need a thousand word biography of your band, just a short and simple introduction and a link to some recordings is fine.

Please DO NOT send mp3 or WAV files, videos, large attachments or promo photos as these take up huge amounts of space and will be discarded.

We love hearing new music of all kinds but are fundamentally a DIY punk rock label, so please take a moment to consider whether your band and our label are complimentary. Recently we’ve had enquries from everything from an American Christian pop-rock band to a Chilean right-wing black metal band. Safe to say that we’ll be working with neither so please be mindful of this before emailing so as not to waste your time or ours.

Will you put our record out?

Being honest, probably not. Most of the records we release are by bands/artists that we know and love, who we’ve worked with for years and who have been part of our wider musical community. We always have a variety of projects in the pipeline and are always keeping an eye out for what our next release may be.

While we are not restricted geographically, the artists from further afield with whom we work are those with whom we have already developed relationships in one form or another. While we do love hearing from new bands, the likelihood of us putting out a 7” EP for a French punk band we’ve never met or heard of before is very, very slim.

While not being overly harsh taskmasters, if we do put your record out, we’d expect you to do some touring and help spread the word. Putting a record together can be an expensive and time-consuming enterprise so if we were interested in vanity projects, we’d probably start with one of our own.

We’re a new band and have never toured before; can you give us all your contacts?

Yes and no. We are always keen to help support new bands, especially those who are getting out on the road for the first time, but there are many things that new bands can do for themselves. We are happy to try and provide guidance and assistance but many of our contacts are friends who may or may not appreciate bands getting in touch.

We’ve spent almost 20 years playing in bands and toured before the internet was as key a tool for tour booking as it is today; do some of the groundwork yourself and it’ll be far more rewarding. That said, if you’re a hard working and dedicated band, word gets around and people in the punk scene will know about you. We are happy to help where we can, especially for local bands, but there are limits to what we can do.

Your own hard graft will bring its own rewards!

Do you trade records? Can I carry your records in our distro?

Yes. Please email info@makethatatakerecords.com with your enquries and trade lists.

Will you carry our records in your distro?

Possibly. Please email info@makethatatakerecords.com with any/all trade suggestions and/or wholesale prices.

Can I have a promo copy of the (insert band) LP/7” for review purposes?

Highly unlikely. Records are very expensive to produce so I’m afraid we are unable to send vinyl records for promo purposes. If you’d like a digital promo copy of any release for review/blog/radio/whatever purposes, please email us and we can hook you up.

Anyone who would like added to our mailing list, please just email.

I work for XYZ major label/magazine/blog/radio station; can I get into your show for free?

No.

I work for XYZ music industry/web optimization/financial services/whatever; would you be interested in working with (being exploited by) us?

Highly unlikely but if you’re genuinely interested in working with us/something we do, feel free to fire us an email. A response cannot be guaranteed.

Who does your artwork?

Most gig posters are done by Jamie with the cut’n’paste jobs being done by Derrick. We are happy to help with artwork if we can, although by no means are we professionals or take commissions. That said, please fire us an email if you feel you need our services.

Can I get your music on iTunes/Spotify/etc?

Yes and no. All of our releases are available for streaming and download from our Bandcamp page. However, distribution to digital services are handled by the individual bands/artists as there is no uniform view on these matters, so we leave those decisions in the hands of the acts we work with. This may change in future but for now all releases can be found on Bandcamp.

Will the “Thick Letters To Friends” LP by Kaddish be re-pressed?

Possibly in future but not right now. There’s a new LP on the way.

Where can I buy your music/merch online?

All releases are available for streaming/download (the majority are free/pay-what-you-want) from http://makethatatakerecords.bandcamp.com/

All records/distro/merch/e-tickets are available from http://makethatatakerecords.bigcartel.com/

Why is Derrick so grumpy?

He’s getting long in the tooth, there aren’t enough hours in the day and he dislikes writing FAQs.

Ten Years of Cowpunk; My Top Ten – Jonny Domino

As has been well-documented, 2016 marks Ten Years of Cowpunk. As such, rather than just me banging on about all the stuff that I remember and the cool shit that has come to pass over the last decade, I thought it’d be fun (and more interesting) to ask the troops and close associates of the MTAT family to recall some of their favourite songs/moments in our shared history. It’s always very interesting for me to hear the perspectives of others, as I’m usually so (self?) absorbed with everything that’s going on that oftentimes I forget to take a step back and see the bigger picture.

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We start with the picks of Jonny Domino. It feels as though Jonny and I have known each other forever, certainly since we both started getting more deeply involved in the local music scene at the turn of the century. Jonny is also a total workhorse; he did all the driving on the Uniforms tours, has driven heaps of bands around the UK, does loads of the cooking for visiting bands, has regularly had bands and total strangers kipping on his floor and his wife Michelle even baked the Burst Cow Birthday Cake for the show last Saturday. He’s a good dude with an at-times questionable taste in music and dress, but he’s got a heart of gold and this list is full of some absolute zingers and fond memories.

Joey Terrifying – “Getaway Driver”

The first MTAT release that I personally appeared on, I was part of a bunch of MTAT all-stars that included Kev from Broken Stories that shouted “no school I don’t know!” in the bridge of this in the basement of Seagate Studios.

Billy Liar – “Piss Artist”

Billy Liar is basically my Kaddish when it comes to Book Yer Ane Fest, his streak is getting almost as good as theirs and for some reason every Sunday even though everyone is strung out from 2 days of Festing, there always seems to be a bit more energy getting dug out for Billy’s set.

The Riot Before – “Uncharted Lands”

The Riot Before show in The Balcony stands in my mind as one of the undiscovered gems in MTAT history, just a great night with some genuinely nice dudes and also the first night I met Christian Tollner, who played a much bigger part in the development of MTAT’s touring bands than he probably realises.

Question The Mark – “Bottoms Up!”

By far my favourite thing that I’ve got from 10 years of Make That A Take is some amazing friendships with great people. The chance to see all these people is what makes Book Yer Ane Fest my favourite weekend of the year and the fact that I can go all over the country or in fact the world and never be too far from some of my best friends is not an opportunity that a lot of people will get in a lifetime – QTM are the perfect example of that, I love all these dudes.

Loaded 45 – “Making Enemies Not Memories”

Loaded 45 are genuinely some of the weirdest, most amazing people I’ve ever met in my life. We spent a combined 6 weeks living 8 of us in one van in places that I’d only ever dream of visiting otherwise (and also Rhyl) and we all have a bastardised MTAT HxC cross with the letters MENM after this song tattooed on our stupid bodies to commemorate it, couldn’t leave it off this list!

Franz Nicolay – “Home Is Where They Take You In”

To say I’m proud of what MTAT has achieved in the last 10 years would be a massive understatement and everything about this song is a testament to that. Franz has played in some of my absolute favourite bands of all time so to have this released on our label absolutely blows my mind. The subject matter also speaks to one of the things that I’m most proud of about the MTAT crew, which is the fact that over the past decade we’ve tried extremely hard to be as accommodating as possible to people who have come from all over the world to play for us, and I hope built a solid reputation for that in the process.

The Walking Targets – “Circling The Drain”

Including The Walking Targets on this list is something of a bittersweet experience for me – one of my most vivid BYAF memories was watching these guys play Saturday afternoon, the first time most if not all of us had ever heard of them, with Derrick, Bunky from Question The Mark and Fraser Murderburger and just being blown away. I remember Max winning a bottle of Jager which the QTM guys made him polish off through the course of the day before he vomited all over my house and I remember thinking they were something special. Later that night I still remember the chat being “holy shit did you see that band The Walking Targets?!” and there’s no doubt they got really great, really quick. They’re still my “what could’ve been” moment.

Bangers – “Church Street In Ruins”

Bangers are without doubt my favourite British band, they’re really lovely guys to spend time with – smart, funny and really patient (I know Andrew was one of Derrick’s go-tos for advice in the early days of MTAT as a functioning label and I don’t think I’ve ever said thanks) and they’re a great advert for DIY punk who I’m thankful for a few opportunities to work with. That being said, Uniforms did a few all ages shows with the DIY Rock Shop in Perth and the one time we invited Bangers I remember Roo saying “if I could give you one piece of advice it would be – always say yes to free drugs if someone offers you them, that’s what being a rockstar’s all about”.

Get It Together – “Hole In The Head”

If I was pushed (which I’m not being, but I’m gonna tell you anyway) I’d say this is the best song MTAT has ever released. Get It Together just nail the posi hardcore vibe and their energy and enthusiasm is pretty hard to match. Some of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet they’ve been nothing but a pleasure to be around and this song is pretty much guaranteed to get any room going.

Dear Landlord – “I Live In Hell”

From my favourite song to my favourite show, it’ll be a long time before we pull off anything that compares to hosting Dear Landlord in the basement of Drouthies and it will probably always be my favourite MTAT moment. These guys put on one of the most full on live shows you’ll see and there was sweat (and Guinness) dripping from the ceiling of Drouthies before they finished. Occasionally to this day I still wonder how they ended up there and not in some much bigger venues but I’m also really, really glad they did.

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!

100th Post – New Release; Tragical History Tour – “Live in Dundee” EP

Today we celebrate the release of the Tragical History Tour “Live in Dundee” EP recorded by Russell Brown of Maxwell’s Dead live at Buskers, Dundee at the Franz Nicolay 7″ launch show with Billy Liar and Broken Stories on Saturday 14th March 2015. The EP is available for free/pay-what-you-want download with all donations being greatly received and going towards the EU Tour fund for the forthcoming jaunt with Get It Together.

This post also marks the 100th post on Write Yer Ane Zine, so what better way to commemorate such an occasion than with some fresh live acoustic cowpunk jamz?

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Tragical History Tour will be “headlining” a hometown show at Cerberus Bar, Dundee this coming Thursday night at the last MTAT show of the month alongside an hat-trick of Edinburgh singer/songwriters in the form of Paper Rifles (Jon of Curators fame), Benny Monteux and James Johnson (ex Shields Up, current Elk Gang). The show kicks off around 7.30pm and entry is by donations please.

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The Get It Togther and THT UK/EU Tour then kicks off next Thursday in London. We are still looking to fill one final date on Thursday 9th April somewhere between Leipzig and Dresden. We are willing to play anywhere within reasonable (6/7 hours maybe?) drive of both of these cities and are just looking for some place to play as days off on  tour suck. If anyone out is keen to help us out at all and/or can point us in the right direction, please do give us a shout and email makethatatakerecords@gmail.com

Thus far our schedule is looking as such;

Thursday 2nd April; The Unicorn, Camden, ENG
Friday 3rd April; Quadrant, Brighton, ENG
Saturday 4th April; Cafe Asgard, Beverwijk, NL
Sunday 5th; Cafe Bluff, Heerlen, NL
Monday 6th; Auto Control. Amsterdam, NL
Tuesday 7th; KTS, Freiburg, GER
Wednesday 8th; Kulturcafé Manfred, Leipzig, GER
Thursday 9th; ***Free To Book***
Friday 10th; Luther 33, Dresden, GER
Saturday 11th; Ramones Museum, Berlin, GER (afternoon)
Saturday 11th; Venue TBC, Berlin, GER (evening)
Sunday 12th; Sub071 Leiden, NL

Get It Together continue to support their incredible “Rebuild, Recover” 7″ EP and I very much look forward to slamming down with these boys every single night across tour. I’ll be the hype man jumping into the pit and getting y’all fired up! As I said previously, any donations for the new THT EP will go straight into the tour fund to keep the show on the road, so please give generously if you can.

THANKING YOU FOR EVERYTHING.

Exclusive Interview / 7″ Stream; Franz Nicolay

We roasters at Make That A Take have long been fans of Franz Nicolay and we’re very proud be putting out his Double A-Side 7″ single on the eve of this UK Tour. I first met Franz when he came to play Book Yer Ane Fest V whilst on tour with Chris T-T and we had the pleasure of introducing him to Frankie Stubbs. We’ve also had the pleasure of putting Franz on a couple more times over the years, developing friendship along the way, and we are very pleased to be welcoming him back to Scotland for four shows starting in Perth next Friday (13th March). Cheap e-tickets are available for the “official” record launch show at Buskers, Dundee with Broken Stories, Billy Liar and Jon Shoe (The Cut Ups) on Saturday 14th March here.

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It is with great excitement that we present the stream and pre-order of the new Franz Nicolay 7″, produced by J. Robbins and featuring Andrew Seward (Against Me), Yoni Gordon and Ara Babajian (The Slackers/Leftover Crack). The record is limited to 300 copies and is “officially” released on Monday 9th March 2015. Thanks to Punktastic for premiering the stream on Monday.

On the eve of the record release and tour, I asked Barry “The” Kydd if he’d like to conduct an interview with Franz for WYAZ. He duly agreed so I put them in touch. This interview took place over email. Thank you to both Barry and Franz for taking the time for do this exclusive interview.

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B : I’d like to start fairly early if possible. What was your local music scene like when you were growing up, and how did you come about to find yourself a wielder of such an array of instruments?

F: There wasn’t any. I grew up in a town of nine hundred in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, in the pre-internet era. I got my music information from the mainstream music press. I was into Pearl Jam and U2. The nearest thing to a local music scene was a handful of jam bands in Portsmouth, about an hour and a half away on the seacoast. There was one called Thanks To Gravity I liked. I was really a rube, musically and otherwise, when I went to New York for college. I consciously scrubbed some of the real New England locutions from my vocabulary after people noticed.

Curiousity, really. I started playing violin at four or five after seeing Yitzhak Perlman on Sesame Street, then piano a year or so later. I wanted to play trombone in elementary school band–as a not particularly manly kid, I was obsessed with low instruments–but my arms were too short to reach seventh position, so they gave me a French horn. I played that from fourth through ninth grade, when, of course, I got a guitar. I got really into The Basement Tapes in high school, hence mandolin and accordion. The mandolin was my graduation present to myself. Etcetera, etcetera. I find the process of learning a new instrument conducive to writing – the process of figuring out the new dialect of a familiar language leads you down some interesting roads.

B :Yeah, I can certainly see the logic in that. In terms or writing, do you find its the music first, or words? Have you followed a process throughout your career or do you take each one as it comes?

F: I used to do music first, when I was a teenager up until I stopped writing my own songs for a while. I would sing a dummy melody and hang words on the vowels. Now I’m more interested in the words, and more likely to have chunks of music and chunks of words and move them around against each other to see what fits. The words usually get precedence, which is why my songs have such odd forms these days.

B: I kinda love the subject matter of most of your songs, and how you tend to approach it. I remember probably the 2nd last time I saw you, which I’m guessing was almost 2 years ago now, the song from To Us, The Beautiful – “Marfa Lights”, was already in your set, so much so we asked you about it afterwards. Have you been writing this new record that whole time? Are you pleased with how it’s turned out?

F : Yeah, “Marfa Lights” had been percolating since 2012, when my wife and I played in Marfa. I had the chorus right away. Then some of the elements of the verses are from my UK tour the previous year with Chris T-T. So yeah, that was the first song I wrote of this batch and had been around for a while. The others were mostly all written in the first half of 2013, either in my wintry apartment in Toronto or in Virginia waiting for my daughter to arrive.

I usually stockpile lyric ideas while I’m on the road, and it’s just a matter of waiting until I have a sustained period of time at my desk to assemble the pieces. And sometimes I’ll go over discarded leftovers from past projects to see if there’s anything I missed. “Shallow Water” was a banjo riff from when I was writing the songs on “Do The Struggle,” that’s why it’s the only non-guitar song on this record, it’s an older part. I scavenged the bridge lyrics for “Open With The Wrestlers” for some lyrics I wrote for a one-off performance of a song by my friends the avant-jazz band Gutbucket from almost twenty years ago. The music for “Pilot Inside” was actually a demo I did for a TV advert for a large internet company which shall go unnamed. They rejected it, so, whatever dudes, I think it’s catchy, I’m keeping it. But mostly everything was written in one burst in the first half of 2013. Then it was a matter of convincing myself it was worth all the stupid effort to make another stupid record. Sigh.

B : Haha, I think the new record is absolutely great, your efforts are fully justified in my eyes. I reckon the sound you achieved this time is far more, accessible, shall we say, and I think the whole record benefits from that shift. On the arrival of your daughter, (congratulations) do you now feel as though the reasons you have to write and indeed sell your music have changed? Has your whole outlook altered?

F: It’s hard for me to pick apart what’s changed about my outlook towards music and my outlook in general. The major effect in terms of how I think of myself as a musician was I had to come off the road, because while I could support myself touring, I’d never reached the level that some people do where they can fund their year on just a couple months of tour. So then I was just an unemployed dad in his late thirties with no way of supporting a family. And that dredged up all kinds of resentments, some justified, some not, about the idea that you could have a decent career and some success and still never be able to make a humane living and just have to start from scratch. I’m no rock and roll martyr.

B : I can imagine it being very difficult. Did you see that documentary – “The Other F Word?” All about punk rock dads trying to find that balance between staying relevant yet needing to feed and keep a household. Really interesting and not something a lot of folk would consider. How long is this current stretch of touring? Do you have any coping mechanisms for being away from your family?

F : No, I haven’t seen it. This tour will be two weeks. That’s about the maximum my wife can conceive of looking after our daughter on her own, for the time being. She’s still young enough that she doesn’t really notice if one of us is away. And as any dad reading this knows, the thing you want more than anything else is just a little quiet alone time, so from that standpoint, a little bit of driving around by myself is a wonderful thing.

B: As a band member, session musician and now into the solo career you have embarked on, has been incredibly impressive in terms of the quality you consistently produce. Do you have a favourite song or project from anywhere your whole career that you are especially proud of?

F: How about if I pick one from each period? I’m a sucker for the expansive, wide-screen songs, so I love World/Inferno’s “We Will Never Run Into One Another On Trains,” The Hold Steady’s “First Night,” my own “Joy.” “Agada” and “Sugar Park Tavern Death Song” from Guignol. I think “Do The Struggle” is my best set of lyrics. “This Is Not A Pipe” has the best balance between how much people like it and how I never get sick of playing it, which is rare, really.

If I had to pick a starter box set for someone who had never heard anything I’ve done, I would do W/IFS “Red-Eyed Soul,” THS “Boys And Girls In America,” Guignol & Mischief Brew “Fight Dirty” (which has the highest ration between how good I think it is and how few people own it) and my “Do The Struggle.”

B: Excellent, expansive answer. You are good at this interview game!

F: Most people have strong opinions about themselves.

B: Haha, I reckon the appeal to both you, and the audience with “This is Not a Pipe” for example, is the way you can alter and vary the methods of delivering each line so well, to keep people’s attention, and to keep it fresh for you. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another artist who can make a whole room just shut the fuck up and listen better than yourself. It’s quite a talent. Who would you say, if anyone, helped you to define your onstage persona?

F: Maybe, but I do that with lots of the songs, that’s just the one that the most people connect with so they notice it more. Anyway, I don’t know, I just study showmanship and pick up ideas where I can. The vaudevillian aspect of the way I present gives me cover to have a wider emotional range, and a show is all about managing the dynamic–offset a sad song with a one-liner, suddenly slow down a fast song–and the wider the range the more I can do. People have short attention spans. One of the reasons I’m ambivalent about guitar songs and playing with a band is it severely limits what I can do with the show. Can’t spend a lot of time chatting at the crowd, or stop the song in the middle and make a joke, if you have other people onstage.

B: Yeah I would certainly agree with that. Watching you is very much a show experience, not just watching a band or singer songwriter.

B: Ok, speaking of short attention spans, I should maybe start wrapping this up with a few quick fire fun ones. What’s the weirdest place you ever played? (Apart from Dundee)

F: Ulan Bataar, Mongolia. I was travelling through and posted on a bunch of expat blogs, ended up at a faux-Irish pub frequented by Australian and New Zealander mining executives and managed by a gay Belgian who’d fallen in love with a member of the Mongolian national ballet and emigrated.

B: Sounds like absolutely your perfect scenario to play in. What will be on the stereo as you drive around the UK next month?

F: I got this amazing trove of Prince demos going back to the mid-seventies, when he was a teenager with a four-track rocking the George Benson sing-along-to-your-fusion-jazz solos style. Still got 600 tracks to get through.

B: Ha. That does sound amazing. Have you performed any marriage ceremonies lately? 🙂

F: Not a one. 😦

B: I suppose those requests are few and far between. Quality, not quantity.
If you could only play 3 more shows in the remainder of your career, who would you want on the bill with you? and where would you want to play?

F: Jeez, I don’t know. On the one hand, it’s a free shot to dish out some compliments; on the other to answer it would involve some touchy alpha ranking assumptions about who would support whom. I’ll take a pass. I love everybody. I would want to play a proscenium stage with those bare lightbulbs around the edge, and thick red curtains.

B: I cannot argue with that. Is there a song that exists that you wish you had written?

F: Many, but the first one that jumps to mind is “Johnny Mathis’ Feet” by American Music Club. Recent songs, Dave Dondero’s “This Guitar” and Bill Callahan’s “Small Plane.”

B: What’s next for you after this UK tour? I noticed you have a book coming out, that’s pretty interesting.

F: I’ll be doing two weeks of festivals and club shows with the band in Europe in August. Maria and Lesia and I will be travelling most of the summer, in St. Petersburg, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. And yeah, the book – “The Humorless Ladies of Border Patrol,” on The New Press sometime early next year. It’s about DIY touring in the former Communist world, from Belgrade to Beijing, with portraits of some of the characters who constitute the local scenes and some deep dives into the history of punk and politics in Russia and China. It’s been a long time in the making and I’m more than a little amazed I’ve been able to find a good home for it.

B: The New Press will certainly be a great home for it. Look forward to picking that up, sounds fascinating. On the east coast of Scotland, there is a certain trend for yelling bizarre heckles that are intended to humour rather than offend anyone, it’s ran for as long as I can remember. What’s the strangest/best heckle anyone’s ever yelled at you?

F: I can’t remember anything specific – but when I’m in the audience, I’m a big fan of “That was a really good song!” It confuses people. Oh, I just remembered one – in Donetsk, Ukraine (which is now the hub of the war) a guy said, “I don’t like USA, but I like you!” So that was…nice.

B: Haha, Constructive heckles are great, we will try to entertain you as much as you entertain us when we see you. Franz, it’s been a pleasure bouncing questions back and forth, thanks so much for taking the time to respond. Very excited about MTAT’s involvement in the 7″ release and the numerous Scottish dates coming up, travel safe and I will see you soon.

F: Yessir! See you in a couple weeks.

Thank you so much to Barry and Franz for taking the time to do this interview, much appreciated gentlemen.

Franz will play an intimate in-store show at Groucho’s, Dundee from 2pm on Saturday 14th March before the record launch show in the evening. It’s a free show so come down and enjoy a unique performance, have some banter and maybe get your 7″ signed!

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Thanks to everyone for reading. Do please grab a copy of what is a little gem of a record!

See ye at the shows!

“We Don’t Glow, We Burn”; UNIFORMS (2011-2015)

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Being in UNIFORMS has been a life-changing experience for me. Punk rock sometimes truly does have healing powers. Being part of this band helped pull me through the darkest period of my life, from the death of my father and everything that followed with it to sobriety, recovery and everything else that comes with it.

I will forever be thankful to my brothers for supporting me through the darkest days; for the unity, for the shared experiences, for the loyalty, for the music, for the love. With that love comes honesty and a responsibility to do what is best for the collective health and well-being of everyone involved, and it is with that in mind that we bring this chapter of the story to a close. I am very proud of my brothers and everything that we’ve done together. We have stood together through things that may have destroyed others. We have always done things with great intensity and (I hope) integrity.

Words are inadequate to express the depth of the gratitude we have for everyone who took a chance on and supported our silly punk rock band. UNIFORMS has been therapy for me, the soundtrack to our lives and a central focus of existence for the last three and a half years. For that I shall be forever grateful.

While our end may come as a surprise to some, it is not a decision that has been made lightly but I truly believe that it will be for the best in the long run, no matter how sad it may be right now. There is nobody more gutted about this than me but sometimes you just have to be a zen motherfucker. While there may be questions, rest assured that this is a decision based on love. There is no drama, no heel turn, no Gainesville screwjob. If you listen to the songs, it’s all in there.

We apologise to those who went to bat for us as regards the European Tour of which UNIFORMS will no longer be a part and to anyone that we may have disappointed. I shall be joining our comrades in Get It Together on the road and will be playing some of the shows solo.

All of our shit will continue to be available for free/pay-what-you-want download here.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who joined us on this ride.

It’s been somewhat emotional.

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WHAT’S A PUNK TO DO???

End of Year List; Favourite Records of 2014

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End of Year Lists are becoming customary it would appear. People appear to compile their lists for many different reasons and while it may just be a piss into cyberspace, I have put together a completely non-scientific list of favourite records from 2014 taken from what I know everyone in the MTAT crew’s favourite records of the year to be. To say that “x record is better than y record” is to engage in endless nonsense, so there are no rankings or such in this list, just a whole bunch of top quality records that we’d recommend checking out. Huge thanks to everyone who continues to support DIY and underground punk rock worldwide!

Bear Trade – “Blood and Sand” (Everything Sucks / Dead Broke Rekerds)

Our favourite northern punks delivered a stone cold classic of modern UK punk rock that ranks up amongst the finest punk records that have ever come from these shores. While there is undoubtedly a big Leatherface influence there, I think it comes more from the geographic and lyrical similarities rather than any overt aping of said band, combined with a heavy dose of melodic witty cynicism as displayed by the likes of Mega City Four, Brocolli and their ilk. Most importantly though, there are songs. Bangers by the fucking bucketload. If “Dead Leg” doesn’t get stuck in your head like a terrace anthem then you have no heart and no soul. Their headline performance at BYAF VIII was just the icing on the cake for me!

The Kimberly Steaks“To Live and Die in West Central Scotland” (MTAT / All In Vinyl)

Quite simply one of the finest Scottish punk rock records of modern times. Grieg Steaks is an exceptional songwriter who manages to wrap modern day punk rock poetry around 90 second pop-punk bangers that are deceptively complex whilst narrating tales of the grim realities of live on the bleak west coast of Scotland. It’s easy to make comparisons to early Green Day, Crimpshrine and the Lookout Records cast, but there’s a depth, wit and distinct Scottishness that sets the Steaks apart from their pop punk peers, in my book at least. We were ecstatic to play a part in the release of the album on CD and the record came out on All In Vinyl with artwork from WOLF MASK. Essential listening!

Terrafraid – “Despondent” (self-released)

One of the finest and most fully realised adventures in romantic pop-art/math-rock/emo-punk to ever emerge from Dundee. In the words of Barry “The” Kydd; I predicted it would happen one day, the coveted number one slot goes to a record born, raised and recorded right here in Dundee. As with every year I need to go with the record that affected me the most during these last 12 months. It’s Despondent by miles and miles and miles. Again, I wrote every thought I have about this in a review right here.

Kaddish – “Thick Letters To Friends” (MTAT, Black Lake, Boslevan, The Ghost Is Clear)

I’d apologise for the bias if this record wasn’t so fucking incredible but I won’t as it is absolutely no secret that Kaddish are one of my favourite bands. “Thick Letters To Friends” took some time to come into existence (having been recorded back in 2012) and its release was a worldwide collaborative effort between the bands and the labels but, by fuck, was it worth it. Coming on 180g heavyweight vinyl, this record is one of the finest hardcore records that I’ve ever heard; full-on throat-scorching yet strangely accessible dischordant emo-core that is arguably one of the defining documents in the Book of Ecossemo. Quite simply stunning. There aren’t many copies left to be had so get one before they disappear.

Against Me! – “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” (Total Treble / Xtra Mile)

One of the most important punk records of the century thus far, Transgender Dysphoria Blues is another fascinating chapter in the story and evolution of Against Me! as a band and of Laura Jane Grace as an individual. As probably the most righteous “fuck you” record of the year, this album is an all out binge and purge chronicling LJC’s transition, shedding light and giving voice to those under-represented and address these issues with trademark candour. I dare say this is a life-changing record for many and the sheer balls of the record has to be admired. A watermark moment in punk history and an absolutely exhilarating piece of work. Rarely, if ever, have I seen a band so stoked as I did Against Me! at The Garage back in November.

Stay Clean Jolene – S/T (Drunken Sailor / Dead Broke)

Though only released at the start of December, Stay Clean Jolene march instantly onto the “Best of…” lists by unleashing an instant punk rock classic. With premium punk rock pedigree featuring members of The Great St. Louis and The Leif Ericsson, SCJ bring together the finest ingredients of UK punk rock and mix with a veteran’s seasoning and experience, the likes of which can’t be faked. Instantly hooky, accessible, melodic and memorable whilst being full of shred, harmonies and more than a hint of darkness, this LP blows the pretenders away. Remember where you saw them first too!

The Hotelier – “Home, Like Noplace Is There” (Tiny Engines)

Again, in the words of The Kydd; “Utterly astounding collection of music and lyrics that devastated and inspired me in equal measure. Soundtrack to 10 months of my year and by far my most cathartic musical experience of the year was hearing this played live, in full, surrounded by pals and in the highest of spirits in Florida. What a rush. OOOOOPEN THE CURTAINS……”. Brutal, beautiful, cathartic emo goodness.

The Walking Targets – “Chasing Days” (Round Dog Records)

The first and sadly only full-length album from young Edinburgh emo punks who played their last show at Fest 13 in Gainesville. They released this record back at the start of the year and it saw them pull together their finest work to date, proving once again that they have the chops and wisdom of those far beyond their tender years. In mixing Gainesville gravel with Midwest punk and the influence of the best of Scottish pop-punk, The Walking Targets created a record that owes as much to the likes of The Murderburgers as it does Hot Water Music and Dear Landlord. “Chasing Days” is a fitting epitaph for one of our most beloved bands.

Blacklist Royals – “Die Young With Me” (Krian)

Another record that was a long time in coming, “Die Young With Me” tells the story of the band struggling with and ultimately surviving their fight for life  soundtracked by some of the finest, most heartwarming Hammond-soaked American rock’n’roll that is equal parts nostalgic and anthemic. While their earlier work may have possessed a street-punk swagger, this new record displays a confidence, grace and maturity that can only be found having experienced near-death. Recorded in LA, they’ve come a long way since playing to 30 folk on a bleak Sunday night in Dundee.

The Holy Mess – “Comfort In The Discord” (self-released)

Straight ahead kick-ass gobby melodic punk rock and roll with a crust edge to the pop-punk sheen from Philadelphia three-piece who unleashed their finest work to date. With razorsharp melodies, buzzsaw guitars and an unimpeachable work ethic, The Holy Mess made it to the UK for the first time and made an instant friend in me as I grabbed this record from them on beautiful purple vinyl. Classic punk in a way that is all too rare these days, these dudes are DIY as fuck and are doing their shit the right way. Hopefully have them back over this way in 2015.

Chris Cresswell – “One Week” (One Week Records)

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One Week Records is the brainchild of Joey Cape and it sees individual punks head to Joey’s California home and spend a week recording. Simple concept, stunning execution, especially when the individual involved is Chris Cresswell of The Flatliners, one of the finest songwriters of this generation. Things are stripped back from the usual Flatliners gusto and reveal a depth to songcraft that may have been missed previously. Originals like “Little Bones” are chilling and the cover of “Arrhythmic Palpitations” by Dead To Me is absolutely gorgeous. A wee gem of a record.

Algernon Doll – “Omphalic” (Struggletown)

 

The third full-length from Glasgow-based singer/songwriter Ewan Grant saw Algernon Doll continue to evolve from multi-layered lofi acoustic experimental/soundscape artist in full-blown fuzzed-out hulking punk rock/noisemongers on an explosive LP issued by Struggletown Records. Drenched in reverb and destructive nightmare-like noise, Ewan’s knack for pop melodies shines through and shows a great 90s grunge/indie influence, like a nervous ritalin-fuelled Nirvana tearing strips from the Teenage Fanclub catalogue. Thrilling noise pop mayhem. We’ve got a few copies on green vinyl left here.

Fat Goth – “One Hundred Percent Suave” (self-released)

“One Hundred Percent Suave” is where Dundee noiseniks Fat Goth complete their transformation from spiky agit-punk noisemakers to full-on monolithic stadium-straddling ultra-rock behemoth, oozing tongue-in-cheek machismo with dark, twisted humour and rock riffs to slay a mammoth at ten paces. With Metallica-esque leads, QOTSA/FNM style experimentalism and a gothic pop-nuance, Fat Goth have crafted an album as thrilling as it is confounding. One of the finest pieces of dark art to emerge from Dundee in some time.

The Smith Street Band – “Throw Me In The River” (Poison City Records)

Our Australian pals pull another absolute blinder from the bag. Again, in the words of Barry; “Again, it’s only been out a month or so but fuck me is it good. In my recent stay in hospital I turned to this to get me through a particularly dark and challenging night of hitting rock bottom. Couldn’t have picked a better record to stick on. Utterly life affirming, jaw dropping. Cannot wait to see them again and scream my brains out to these new songs. Close 2nd on the bonniest looking vinyl of the year. Beaut.”

Ahamkara – “From The Embers Of The Stars”

Super-bleak atmospheric melodic black metal mayhem from the grim north of England that sounds like it comes from the very heart of the scorched earth. Multi-layered, complicated, orchestral and euphoric, this is an outstanding piece of work that needs to be listened to through headphones or massive speakers in order to fully appreciate the depth and majesty on display. I can imagine it soundtracking an endless trek through the tundra, cold, without end, unforgiving. Fours tracks in a little under an hour. Truly epic.

Sad and French – S/T (Black Numbers)

Absolute heartbreaker of a record. Barry wrote at length about this LP for punknews.org so I’d recommend ye check that out here. Puts it in a more eloquent manner than I could muster. Safe to say it sounds like late nights/early mornings that I myself am trying to leave behind.

The Fur Coats – “The League of Extraordinary Octopuses” (Drunken Sailor)

Utterly infectious super-bouncy upbeat melodic pop-rock goodness with tongue planted firmly in cheek from the (short) brain of Chicago queer-punk Marc Ruvolo and his band of merry gentlemen. I had the pleasure of spending the weekend in Marc’s company with The Fur Coats Scotland when we spent a weekend playing shows throughout the country in October and I grew to love the record even more after having time to pick Marc’s brains about it. We’re delighted to be working with Drunken Sailor on the forthcoming 7″ that is due to drop next summer. Keep yo eyes peeled!

 Capitol 1212 – “The Return of Rudy Nacho” (Irish Moss)

Absolutely slammin’ dancehall/reggae/dub/hip-hop mash-up madness from Edinburgh on what is a history lesson in the roots of reggae and hip-hop with a punk rock heart on Irish Moss Recordings, coming on like Jurassic 5, Afrika Bambaata and Grandmaster Flash jamming on crust-punk and hxc records from the mind of From The Cradle To The Rave/My Own Religion mastermind Kenny Dargan. Don’t take my word for it, check out the hooks and bass on that fucker!

Vamos – “More Songs About Circles” (Anti-Pop)

Ultra-hooky Beatles/Beach Boys-like melodies wrapped up in Buzzcocks-esque barbed wire fizzy pop-rock mixing wit, humour and sheer tragedy. One of the most complicated bands that I’ve had the pleasure of touring with Vamos are a band who are at their most thrilling when they’re teetering on the edge of chaos. “Hands” is undoubtedly one of the sweetest pop-punk songs ever written and a beautiful example of what these guys are capable of. The record was recorded 100% analogue to 8-track tape in a farm house in Ireland under the guiding hand of Vinny Vamos. Heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once.

Bongripper – “Miserable” (self-released)

Sludge-core/doom at its absolute pinnacle; this is over one hour of claustrophobic, suffocating doom/metal/punk misery that is as thick as it is rage-inducing. Pure hatred and misanthropy in drop B, this is some caustic, hypnotic, mesmeric shit that thumbs its nose at such silly conventions as “song” and “melody”. While there may be hardcore records of far greater depth, this is one the one doom record this year that made me want to self-immolate. Absolutely vengeful stuff, the kind of revenge you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.

So there ye go, there’s 20 records that we would recommend checking out from 2014. Let us know what ye think or if there’s anything screamingly obvious that we may have missed!

Cheers!

Last Show of 2014; Dundee Foodbank Benefit – This Saturday

2014 has been another very interesting year in the history and evolution of Make That A Take Records. We’ve hosted some incredible bands and put out some records that we are very proud of. Thank you so much to everyone who continues to support what we do. I’ll write up a full retrospective of the year (hopefully) over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, we have our final show of the year to look forward to and we’re doing it as a Christmas Food Drive to benefit Dundee Foodbank. The fact that there are families and children who are dependent upon foodbanks for survival is disgusting in and of itself, the fact that it’s happening on our very doorstep is even worse. I would actively encourage those who are coming to bring items of non-perishable foodstuffs to Kage on Saturday in exchange for a Christmas present from MTAT. All food will then be delivered to the food bank over the weekend in time for Christmas. Please see this list of suggested items.

Christmas show

We are very pleased to welcome Basement Benders from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Dundee for the very first time as part of their whistle-stop UK tour. These dudes have impeccable punk rock pedigree and have collectively been part of literally dozens of DIY punk bands including the likes of This Bike Is A Pimp Bomb, Future Virgins, Cleveland Bound Death Sentence and many more. The band have only released a top notch demo tape thus far but have their first 7″ coming out very soon on Drunken Sailor Records.

The show at Kage will be their second of the day as they’ll be playing a matinee show at the 13th Note, Glasgow at 1pm on Saturday alongside Get It Together and Science Made Us Robots. This triumvirate will then be joined by Dundee’s finest soulful indie rockers Robot Doctors, who shall be playing a rare stripped-down acoustic set to open proceedings. There will be free download codes for everyone on arrival and Christmas presents for all who bring donations for the food bank.

ONSIND

We have also just announced the first of our shows that we’ve got booked for 2015 featuring ONSIND, Spoonboy, The Spook School and A Hopeless Cause. The show is strictly limited to a capacity of 70 people so ye can ensure entry by grabbing yourself an e-ticket. This show, as all others are, is included in your 2015 MTAT Season Ticket which includes copies of all 2015 releases as well as all shows, including Book Yer Ane Fest IX. Ye can get one of them for 75 sheet here.

Hope to see y’all out on Saturday night for the last tear-up of the year!

Book Yer Ane Fest VIII; A Retrospective

Writing the post-BYAF blog is always daunting for me, so much so that I pretty much skipped out on writing about last year’s entirely.  I guess that had more to do with my own circumstances than anything else, though, as has been discussed in detail elsewhere. This time last year was a pretty dark time for me personally, but ultimately a time that led me into the light, so to speak. Without dwelling too much, it’s safe to say that I’m in a far better place this year. I don’t think that I’m alone in saying that BYAF VIII was pretty special and it may well have been the smoothest running fest that we’ve ever done. It’s humbling that so many people can come together and get behind the loose objectives that we all share and there’s no way that things would have ran so smoothly without the support and co-operation of everyone involved.

To everyone involved, I personally and we as a collective offer our deepest thanks. I certainly can’t do it alone and debts of gratitude go out to everyone. Apologies if I miss anyone; the MTAT crew (Abbie, Barry, Jamie, Jonny, Kenny), all the BYAF volunteers who got on board with sound, feeding and accommodating bands (Gav, Sean, Laura, Ross, Russell, Gerold, Gemma, Gaz, Neil and Joanne), Fiona and all the staff at Kage, Audrey, Dave and all the staff at Cerberus Bar, Boab at Punk Rock Rammy, Tristan and Harris at Dundee Music Studios, the staff at Rainbow Music, Mitch and crew from Audiowave Dundee, Team Beard Records, Round Dog Records, all the crew at Shadow Sound Central in Glasgow, Kev and the Anti-Manifesto troops in Edinburgh, Black Lake Records, Alshy for being a top geezer, Mighty Vision Entertainment, Dave Hughes, everyone who donated tombola prizes including Kenneth and the good people of Highland Fling Bungee, Grant George at Badlands Barbers, all of the bands and labels who donated prizes, all of the bands who came and nailed it and every single person that came through the door to support what we do and, more importantly, to support the ongoing work of Safe-Tay and Tayside Mountain Rescue.

For the month of December, all donations for digital downloads from the MTAT Bandcamp page will be added to our total for donation to Safe-Tay. The Legendary BYAF Tombola was a roaring success over the weekend. Huge thanks to Abbie and her crew (Cheryl, Fraser and Barry) for taking care of everything at the tombola table and everyone who took a punt at playing as it made an incredible £444.50 over the weekend. We will have the final figure to share at the end of the month once all digital downloads are taken into account. You can find over 60 releases, most of which are available for free/pay-what-you-want download, on our bandcamp page here.

I’m always interested in hearing about the experiences of other people at BYAF, as I am usually running around like a headless chicken over the course of the weekend. It’s both a blessing and a curse; all of these friends from all over the place assembled in one place for such a short period of time that it’s rare I get a chance to have more than a five minute chat with most people. To this end, I am seeking to put together a BYAF zine of sorts featuring stories from those who have attended BYAF, not only this year but from all the fests that we’ve run since we started in the back room of Mucky Mulligan’s back in 2008. If this is something that you’d be interested in contributing towards and being a part of, please get in touch by emailing me here. With a bit of luck, I’ll manage to throw something together by the time Book Yer Ane Fest IX rolls around (running from Friday 27th through Sunday 29th November 2015, in fact). I realise I failed to make good on my promise of a zine this time around, but believe me when I say that it’s going to happen this time, dammit!

 While BYAF is pretty much a year-round job, I guess my weekend started on the Wednesday night on my way back from teaching a class in Blairgowrie when I got a heads up from a pal (cheers Pete) about potential problems with the pre-BYAF show the following evening. Cue some manic texting and a couple of phone calls with Alshy and we were all set with a new venue. Massive props and shout outs to the troops at Shadow Central in Glasgow for sorting us out with both a venue and a backline at the very last minute and to all of the troops for making it out despite the changes. Alshy and I headed down to Glasgow together on the Thursday afternoon and met Freddy Fudd Pucker, his crew of New Zealanders and the dudes from Austeros for the first time whilst hooking up with our old muckers in Mug, Sink Alaska and The Kimberly Steaks. The show itself was rare; all of the bands killed it, the space for the show was a great one, there was a veritable corridor of merch, we covered costs and everyone seemed to have a great time. After that, it was in the motor and up the road for the back of midnight. Solid job all round and a great way to kick off what was already shaping up to be a wild weekend.

The Kimberly Steaks slayed it at pre-BYAF.

The Kimberly Steaks slayed it at pre-BYAF.

First thing on Friday morning saw me cooking the biggest pots of rice my kitchen has ever seen, drinking coffee like it’s going out of fashion (nothing new there) and ringing round everyone making sure all was in hand. We try to take each BYAF as a learning experience and things were fixing up pretty smoothly. The crew met up at Kage around half 2/3 and we got everything loaded in before I left Boab in general charge of sound and setting up while I scooted up the road to meet Russell and get set-up for the pre-show at Cerberus. I’d like to thank Russell and Dave Hughes for the PA and for volunteering to help with sound over the course of the weekend, your contributions are much appreciated gents. I opened the show playing acoustic THT shit and I can barely even remember what I played. I do remember playing the blues at one point and pissing myself laughing. I guess I must’ve entertained myself at least. Gav and Sean then took to the floor of an increasingly busier boozer and played a quick set of beautiful stripped-down Terrafraid material before Maxwell’s Dead absolutely tore the place apart with a suitably raucous set of rowdy ska-punk stompers that very much set the tone for the evening. Then it was a quick bolt down to Kage to catch Lachance open up proceedings.

I was running around like an idiot at this point, so I didn’t really get a chance to watch any full sets as such for the first half of Friday night but I did manage to catch at least a few songs of every band; The Lemonaids absolutely nailed it and it was the first of drummer Ross’s three sets of the night, seeing as he was drumming for both The Kimberly Steaks and The Murderburgers. Hats off to that man for sure! Austeros were spectacular and definitely made some new friends with their sparkling pop-punk goodness. Speaking of the Steaks, the two shows at BYAF were the first times that I’ve seen the band with the new line-up and they were absolutely incredible both times. I’ve been friends with Grieg for a long time now and it makes my bosom swell with pride to see how far the band has come and how Grieg himself has grown as a songwriter. I’ve said it before that “To Live and Die in West Central Scotland” is one of the records of the year and I’ll reiterate here that it is, to my mind, one of the truly great Scottish punk records; an absolute pop-punk masterpiece. The fact that they wrapped up with a cover of “Going To Pasalaqua” was just the frosted icing on the bittersweet pop-punk cake.

The Murderburgers' Annual BYAF Rammy.

The Murderburgers’ Annual BYAF Rammy.

The Murderburgers then rammied things up another notch and the usual BYAF Boiga chaos ensued. For a band that has spent the vast majority of the year on tour, the boys looked remarkably fresh and ready for a rammy at what was their first Scottish show after tearing it up around the USA. Jonny and I had to do a little of ye olde security at the front to make sure that people didn’t fall teeth-first into the monitors but, as always, the crowd capers were all in the best possible spirits and nobody was hurt. I think the mayhem was respectful over the course of the weekend, but I’m undeniably pro-mayhem so I may not be the best person to ask as far as these things go! Judging by the smiles strapped to awbody’s coupons though, all was good. Lipstick Homicide then stepped up and absolutely destroyed it, ripping through a half-hour of fizzy and gobby pop-punk bangers that reminded me why I got involved in this punk rock caper in the first place; short, sharp bursts of energy and attitude wrapped up in a sugary pop-punk coating. They were fucking brilliant and a more than fitting end to a wonderful first night of BYAF. After sorting out the last of the “business”, we slinked off home to try and get some rest before the madness resumed the next day. As usual, it was 3am bed, 8am rise!

Saturday started with the usual coffee and rallying of the troops before I spent a quiet minute being stoked that I didn’t have a hangover on the Saturday of BYAF for the first time ever. Neil from Bicycle Thieves gave me the heads up that he was running late so Turtle Lamone opened things up in Cerberus with some of his piano punk rock wonderment before Gone Wishing treated us to his first set of the day before hitting a bolt to Glasgow to play later on that evening. The assembled hardcore crew were then treated to something very rare and really rather special indeed; a secret acoustic set from Joe McMahon of Smoke Or Fire. As I have written about previously, Joe and I have been in each other’s orbits for some time and it was really rather surreal to have him sitting playing in the boozer where we throw our last minute shows.

Once Joe wrapped, it was a quick tidy up of the gear before heading down to Kage just in time to catch A Victory At Sea kicking up a storm upstairs in the main room. The acoustic stage was running one behind all day as we felt it important than Neil being able to perform after coming all the way from Wales to play, but I don’t think that anyone minded too much. Unfortunately I didn’t get to spend too much time downstairs during the Saturday but from all accounts it was truly intimate and memorable the whole way through. That’s one of the very few downsides of being involved in putting on a festival of any kind; you can never really catch all of the acts that you want to, despite having the very best of intentions. Luckily, and more importantly, we managed to stagger things so that clashes wouldn’t happen (on the whole) and that no attendees would have to miss out on any acts. I do hope that everyone managed to catch all of the artists that they wished to over the course of the weekend. That said, I managed to miss my pals in Terrafraid almost entirely as I was running around, I think I caught them playing one song. Fair play, that song is a banger; “always does what everyone does, what everyone does, it’s all the same”.

Random observation from Saturday afternoon; Joe McMahon somehow managed to sleep through the entirety of the In Tongues set in the main room, quite the achievement. In Tongues were fucking incredible, not to mention one of the heaviest bands I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing in Kage, truly tremendous stuff indeed.

Our boys in Sink Alaska were up next on the main stage and were a man down from pre-BYAF as guitarist Richie was unwell and deemed sidelined but Alshy, Brad and Sneddy put in a very admiral effort in his absence and ripped through 20 minutes of razor-sharp melodic punk zingers that could peel the enamel from your teeth. Get It Together then took up the baton and ran with it in the way that only they can; Mark a ball of frenetic nervous energy while Craig shreds the skin from your face with his riffage. Unfortunately we didn’t have the “Rebuild, Recover” 7″s ready in time for BYAF (and still don’t, but that’s another story) but their set was triumphant and celebratory nonetheless, with Mark handing out vocal duties to rest his heavily-infected chest. I’m pretty sure that me and Ade got involved in some sort of hardcore version of “Cuddyback Fights” at some point too; not overly dignified but undeniably guid craic. Uniforms played next and, again, it was pretty much a blur for me. We had some technical gremlins messing with us to begin with but that was quickly sorted and I think we hit our stride. BYAF is always a pretty emotional show for us and it was also our first Dundee show since Chic joined the band so we were super pumped. I probably talked a little more shit than usual but what can ye do? Thanks to everyone who checked us out and sang along with us, it truly was something pretty damn special and it means a lot to us.

It was a quick smoke and a quick change for me before getting stage-side for Guerrilla Monsoon. It was great to finally meet those dudes in person as I’ve built up a good relationship with Mark online over the course of the year and they are just a bloody tremendous band. If you haven’t checked them out yet, I’d strongly encourage you to do so; they blend an American emo/punk energy with distinct modesty and a bucketful of indie/punk bangers. Fucking great band and one of the hardest grafting yet ungrizzled bunch of dudes that I’ve ever met who deserve everything that is coming their way. Almost the exact same thing could be said of Algernon Doll, who were at their pulverising and chaotic best. They’re currently in the States recording their new record with Steve Albini and I have absolutely no doubt that it’ll be their best and most fully realised piece of work to date. Ewan is good friend of mine and it has been a pleasure to watch him evolve from shy acoustic multi-instrumentalist to full-on tattooed rock beast. Real as fuck.

Algernon Doll

Algernon Doll

It was great to finally get the dudes from Leagues Apart up for BYAF as it is something that we’ve talked about doing for a while. These dudes are a super talented band and know exactly how to bring the rukus, although I’m pleasantly surprised that there wasn’t more of a rukus in response to James balming everyone up. The dudes were playing only their second show with their new bassist Hub (of Pure Graft) and they rattled through a the pick of the bunch from their banging “Brief Interviews With Hideous Men” LP that came out earlier this year. They may have a reputation to uphold but these roasters have got some absolute crackers up their sleeves when they get to it. Standing at the side of the stage watching them, it was impossible for me not to have a massive smile strapped to my face at the sheer sight of everyone being pumped. Talking of being pumped, being invited onstage to sing “Dead Leg” with Bear Trade during their following set was one of the highlights of my year, if not my life. It’s no secret how much I love that band and their incredible “Blood and Sand” LP has been my most listened-to record of the year. It’s safe to say that they absolutely killed it and peeled out the choice cuts from the LP and dropped in a cheeky Replacements cover for good measure. There was a little bit of confusion towards the end as we’d run a little over time, but when they kicked into “Bastards of Young” as the last song of the evening, sheer joyous bedlam ensued. It sounds cliche and cheesy, but it was fucking incredible; one of those moments that makes all the shit that comes with it worthwhile. Life affirming stuff indeed.

Sunday started with a queue outside Cerberus and some sore heads before Shitgripper played our first show in Dundee and cracked some skulls open with some instrumental doom loud enough to rival the church bells before Ewan played a secret Algernon Doll acoustic set that included a delightful Fugazi cover. Lancashire punks Dead Neck than absolutely slayed it with their 1000mph skate punk, NOFX and Propagandhi covers and the most ridiculous version of “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” that you’re ever likely to hear. Maxwell’s Dead then opened proceedings at Kage with a last minute set of stormers and “nah-nah-nahs” before Robot Doctors slammed it with their high-energy indie rock and enviable high-jumps for such a delicate hour.

Our pals Question The Mark then nailed it and it was great to see them playing with our friend Rich of Team Beard on the bass for the first time. He played with such style and slipped into the pocket so tightly that you’d think that he’d been in the band from the very beginning before reunited Perthshire indie/emo legends Venetian Love Triangle played their first show in Dundee since supporting a little-known Biffy Clyro back in ’03. It was great to hear some of those old songs again, bringing me back to my youth and young manhood as Stef and his bands were always a great inspiration to me as a kid. I remember seeing Tenesee Kait playing Ramones covers at Blair Live in the Wellmeadow when I was around 15 and it clearly left an indelible effect on me. Italian punks Low Derive then took to the floor and entirely blew the place away with their thoughtful European take on midwestern punk rock; such a tight band with intricacy and harmonies all over the place. I was very grateful to be able to catch their full set at post-BYAF the next night. Another truly great band of truly good dudes who I very much look forward to seeing again.

Random memory; “Your voice is part of the space you take up” – Andy Chainsaw. Wise words, my friend!

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Billy on the Acoustic Stage

By this time of the weekend my memory was beginning to haze over a little, something in which I’m sure I wasn’t alone. I think that perhaps the atmosphere in the air at the acoustic stage whilst Billy Liar was performing best exemplified that of the weekend; excitement, humour, togetherness, positivity and everything that is good in punk. Billy is one of my bestest pals and his set was, to me at least, hilarious and I think he spent more time talking shit and going nuts than he did playing songs. Either way, it was another one of those special moments. Talking of which, the Broken Stories set was one of the most poignant and heart-wrenching sets that I’ve ever borne witness to. We were obviously all very excited that the set was doubling as the launch show for the “It’ll Be Alright” 10″ EP but I shall forever hold in my heart the feeling of complete awe and utter respect with tears rolling down my face whilst Kevin and Gillian performed “Playing On Repeat” from the EP. For Morgan Nicol, Jordan Cameron and all who’ve gone too soon, may you find peace. I had to go outside for a little while once they’d finished then helped Chris T-T and The Hoodrats load in. I caught a little bit of Bonehouse’s set beforehand and they were tremendous as always, delivering buckets of blood, sweat and tears as ever. My only regret is not getting to see more.

Our friends in Carson Wells had pulled an incredible shift in driving from London where they’d played at About Time 3 the previous day and destroyed it once more. I could labour on at length about the impeccably high standard of bands across the weekend but Carson Wells are very near the pinnacle of Ecossemo greatness. Truly a spectacular band, I have every confidence that their new LP will blow minds the world over once it is unleashed next year. Don’t sleep on these boys. I finally managed to pick up a copy of their split 7″ with Human Hands too, after many months of meaning to. The mighty Kaddish were up next and were at their mesmeric best, mixing in tracks from the “Thick Letters To Friends” LP with some classics and a couple of tasty tracks from their forthcoming full-length. Browsing facebook the next day, I saw a friend post that “seeing Kaddish at BYAF was the best twelve pound I’ve ever spent”, pretty much the perfect summation of things. By this point, my brain is mush, Fat Goth are on the floor decimating Kage and rattling the remaining skulls while shredding the roof tiles off the place. Then it was over.

To offset the imminent post-fest blues, I got dressed and headed along to Kage to load out the PA loading out all the backline from both Kage and Cerberus then returning them to their rightful homes (DM Studios and our spare room, respectively). A quick shower later and Russell was texting me from outside and we were off to the post-BYAF show in Edinburgh as hosted by our esteemed colleagues of Anti-Manifesto. Unfortunately we missed Dead Neck but arrived just in time to see Paper Rifles charm us with his impassioned Wildhearts-esque acoustic set before Question The Mark smashed it through the walls one more time. I bore witness to my third Joe McMahon set of the weekend and sat quietly before Low Derive rounded out the wildest yet smoothest-running weekend of my life with some rowdy punk rock bangers. Then it was back in the motor, up the road and back to DD1.

To all involved in a truly momentous weekend, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Ye are deece.

See ye at Book Yer Ane Fest IX.

Season Ticket