Write Yer Ane Zine

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

Tag: Ten Years of Cowpunk

REFLECTIONS; Time, Growth, Evolution and Redefinition.

As alluded to in the zine, it’s impossible for me to discuss Book Yer Ane Fest from any real perspective other than my own. I’m far too closely involved to be truly objective, try as I might, and in the ten years we’ve been doing this label, I’ve learned to accept and understand that there are things over which I have no control. Book Yer Ane Fest seems to mean many different things to many different people, all with their own unique experiences, worlds within worlds. This is a truly beautiful thing.

Book Yer Ane Fest X last weekend was remarkable in many, many ways and even a week later I’m still struggling to fully digest it all. Thoughts and memories come back at me in waves, out of nowhere, and I remember fragments of conversations that I had with people who I see all too seldom. I’ll admit to being pretty nervous about the whole thing, especially in lieu of the the takeover of Buskers and all the fallout from that, and the weight of my own anxiety about hitting the ten year milestone. It’s no trade secret that I was considering that perhaps this year may be the last Book Yer Ane Fest.

Nostalgia unnerves me and life has changed so much since 2006, not just for me but for everyone I know, our entire culture and society. This is the only way it can possibly be, everything is impermanent. However, the older and more experienced I become, the more I value reflection and taking stock as important, not to wallow in perceived past glories and accomplishments but to remember exactly why it is you do what you do in the first place, to give thanks for the path that you’ve traveled and those who’ve supported you along the way. Does the flame of mid-thirties burn as bright as the flame of youth?

Ten years of supporting Safe-Tay, ten years of cowpunk and ten Book Yer Ane Fests seems like the perfect narrative ending; to round things out at a tidy decade and call it job done. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t appeal to part of me, mostly my nihilistic streak, and it is something that I wrestle with. No doubt there’s plenty of ego bullshit in there too. Going into this year, I didn’t know where my own head was at in this regard and didn’t have any answers, in the greatest MTAT tradition of the best plan being no plan at all, which you can never plan for. Sometimes it takes someone to ask the question before you know the answer.

It has been an honour to support Safe-Tay and the causes they support over these last ten years and we thank them for their vital work as they wind up operations, leaving behind an important and impressive legacy of safety education and awareness-raising. I had a conversation ten minutes before my Tragical History Tour set on Sunday evening that floored me and in that moment I knew that what we do is greater than me or any one individual, that we are all part of something so much bigger than ourselves. This was reaffirmed in the conversations I had with friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in years and some whom I was meeting for the very first time. I felt it when I played, punk rock my meditative space.

It’s a long weekend for everyone involved and I did all eleven shows across the five days including playing three times, getting home at 3am on Tuesday after dropping Josh at the airport, then going straight back to work until yesterday. I’m still exhausted and only now is the comedown fully kicking in. Having the opportunity to play with Uniforms one last time before the birth of Matthew Fraser McGinty was a privilege and playing with Joey T again was just indescribable. Ben is my oldest friend, Gain and I have been in this since day one and being in that band was an education like no other. It was like slipping back into the mask and pulling a Springboard Frankendeeker; a total Wrestlemania moment for me.

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Photo by Bev at Hold My Pint Photography. http://www.facebook.com/holdmypintphotography/

I would like to personally thank each and every person that participated in making Book Yer Ane Fest X a success. It was undoubtedly our most ambitious attempt yet and it would not have been possible without the herculean efforts of so many people. Thank you so much to all of the amazing acts who performed over the weekend and every single person who came from all over the world to enjoy them and participate in the festival; to all the BYAF Crew and extended MTAT family and volunteers who opened up their homes and hearts for the weekend, helped with sound, manned the merch booths, ran errands, loaded/loaned gear, cooked food, provided physical and emotional support, we can’t thank you enough. You are all amazing humans.

Much love and thanks to Roseanne, Dave and all the staff at The Firefly Dundee, including Mark for his tireless work with sound and chefs Alex and Sean for going above and beyond the call of duty; Lee and Simon of the excellent sound crew at Buskers for their indefatigable graft over the weekend to support us and Buskers and for allowing us use of the space; all at Bloc+, Conroy’s Basement, Groucho’s and The Banshee Labyrinth; Dundee Music Studios for providing us with backline for the weekend; Rainbow Music for their continued support and endless patience; Mitch and all the crew at Audiowave, all at Sanctuary Tattoo Dundee for Book Yer Ane Flash and all the punks who got BYAF tattoos (pics plz!); Catholic Guilt, No One Knows Records, Black Lake Records, Umlaut Records, TNSrecords, Round Dog Records, Anti-Manifesto and everyone who donated prizes to the tombola; Hold My Pint Photography; GGM Photography; Adam Morrow for all the help with the A Fat Wreck screening; Urban Print; IDIOTEQ.com, Punktastic, TheCourier.co.uk and everyone who covered BYAF in the press and to anyone we may have forgotten; thank you!

We haven’t yet got our final total as we’re having a merch sale and will donate 100% of proceeds from the leftover “Still Joey Terrifying” shirts and the “Complete Collection” CD sales for December to the BYAF total to be donated to Insight Counselling, Tayside Mountain Rescue and The Royal Life Saving Society. Here’s hoping we can beat last year’s total. Check out my friend Graham’s awesome playlist of live videos too, think he’s got most bands from across the weekend. While there may be a few (mostly personal) dissatisfactions from the weekend, there’s no point in belabouring issues, perpetuating beef or throwing people under a bus, and all parties already know the score anyways, so that’s all the vague details I’ll go into. In the finest Paul Heyman tradition, if booked right nobody’d ever know, right? If we don’t learn, we don’t evolve and if we don’t evolve, we stagnate and die.

As with everything, Book Yer Ane Fest must evolve and MTAT along with it. As we embark upon our second decade as a collective and in the current cultural climate, I believe that the DIY punk rock community is of greater importance than ever before. I believe we are at a pivotal point in our evolution, Brexit and Trump the latest twisted manifestations of globalised nuclear capitalism and the echo chamber. We now live in a world where simply being “anti” is not nearly enough, where words and information are weapons. It is what we DO that it is important, beyond rhetoric.

It’s good to engage in discourse, to be challenged, and accept valid constructive criticism and advice; to develop reflective practice, if you will. We will always be an anti-sexist, anti-fascist, anti-racist, anti-homophobic, anti-transphobic collective, but how can we grow beyond defining ourselves by what we are not in a world of perpetual change and unprecedented evolution? If we define ourselves in negative terms, it logically follows that generating positivity becomes a greater struggle. The world will beat you down and “other” you, we need not unnecessarily “other” ourselves.

As such, for the first time, I have redefined our “mission statement”;

We are a progressive secular DIY punk collective and independent record label based on the east coast of Scotland. We aim to contribute positively to our community and believe in the equality of and equity for all humans regardless of gender, race, religion, nationality, class, status or any other perceived identifier.

Our collective/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.

We have a fairly wide understanding of what constitutes “punk”.

For all MTAT enquiries, please email info@makethatatakerecords.com

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The answer to the question is yes, there will be a Book Yer Ane Fest XI. Where it will be and what form it will take remains to be seen but things will continue to evolve as they’ve always done. Thank you to all involved, for everything.

The job ain’t fucking done yet.

 

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BOOK YER ANE FEST X; THE ZINE

This is the upload of the zine I put together for Book Yer Ane Fest X.

There were 150 of them made, printed by the workhorse that is Big Mick’s old HP printer that lives in our living room and collated by my own sossij-fingered hands. I felt it was an important thing to do and I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to it.

I am humbled by the response to Book Yer Ane Fest X and have not yet had the mental space to process everything, memories and moments coming back to me in flashes. The story is also truly not exclusively my own; none of this could be done without the contribution of the many wonderful humans I have the privilege to call friends and the participation of the wider DIY punk rock family. That story will be told in time.

Everyone has their own Book Yer Ane Fest experience. That is a beautiful thing.

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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.