Thursday, March 14, 2013

Threshold Festival 2013

Photos by Adrian Wharton

Photo: Michael Kirkham

THE PROBES opened the gig at The Picket and their thundering new wave sound resonated throughout the building, sounding better than ever. Their darker and melodious sound is ethereal and broody. As the guitar fed electronic jaggedness to an already troubled balance it became an emotive experience. A great band to watch out for in the coming months.

As BOLSHY prepared to stage the stage people gathered round the barrier in anticipation. As usual their energetic set had the place bouncing. Their upbeat sounds of reggae ska and a thick slice of brass was enough to get the crowd moving.

JERAMIAH FERRARI left no one in any doubt how good a band they are with this uproarious set, the smooth  glossy reggae sounds reverberated around the venue from the stage to the back wall. The Picket was bouncing to the dub sounds of the mighty J.F.

THE ROUGHNECK RIOT despite their relatively tender age and youthful looks are one of the bands on everyone's lips as they continue to impress with every gig they play. This was no exception, from start to finish every song filed with passion, fire and guts. A real call to the wild and proving to be amazing headliners for this festival appearance.

More images from the night by Adrian Wharton here

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Reviewed - Dinosaur Jr. The Ritz, Manchester 01/02/13

First of all, if you haven’t heard of Dinosaur Jr, I urge you to get off of your ignorant arse and buy a copy of their debut album, Dinosaur. Don’t download it, buy a hard copy and listen to it so much that the CD player melts the disc and you have to buy it again. We need to make sure Dinosaur Jr don’t get buried underneath the same blanket that all the other bands who weren’t Nirvana in the 90s did. Recorded at “Chris Dixon’s house” in 1985, it sounds every bit as raw and exciting now as it did then.

Anyway, history lesson over, this is about the here and now, or last Friday night to be exact – Feb 1st 2013, The Ritz, Manchester. The venue is moist with the sweat of sentimental old grungers, and alive with fresh faced boys and girls. The band (on stage from left to right) are J Mascis on lead guitar, vocals and looking like a real-life Gandalf, Murph in the centre on the drums, and Lou Barlow on the right, playing bass, vocals and handling all of the crowd control. They are here to promote album number 10, I Bet on Sky.

Due to only finding out I was going to this gig an hour before it starts, and being refused my request for an emergency train by the fuckers at Liverpool Lime Street, I end up missing the first ten minutes of the set. When I finally arrive, and force myself to the front of the crowd, the band is already in full flow. There is a healthy sized pit in the centre of the audience, but it’s not violent like a lot of gigs; everybody is just very happy to be here.

They should be. The sound from the stage is awesome; Mascis’ guitar sound is beautiful. Its beauty, in fact, is matched only by its volume – the three huge amps he’s using make sure of that. One problem is that sometimes it’s hard to make out Mascis’ voice in all of that thunderous Fender-brand racket, but that is probably the sound guy’s fault. The only other problem I have is that Mascis doesn’t interact with the crowd – not even once. But I guess that as a grunge veteran, who is probably a little bit stoned, he can get away this.

Lou’s bass sound is so subsonic that humans can barely hear it. His wall of sound is as vast and as endless as the Great Wall of China… he does it well but I’m not sure I like the approach. It’d be nice to hear some twang in those bass lines. Ah well. Another plus though is that Lou has great presence. He compliments the laid back, unforthcoming Mascis by actually giving a fuck and just seriously rocking out. There is synergy between them.

Sadly Murph makes no real impact on me. His drumming is okay, he hits the kit well and I guess he has a few tricks up his sleeve, just nothing that gets me wet.

They don’t play all the favourites, but there are enough classics in there. ‘Out There’ is a highlight, you can really feel what Mascis is feeling; his voice like a ghostly shriek floating over riffmongering. ‘Start Choppin’’ is another, and by the time they get to the encore – their traditional cover of The Cure’s ‘Just Like Heaven’ – the grins on our faces are cheesier than a bag of Wotsits. Some of the newer stuff doesn’t leave much of an impression, but it’s no big deal; nobody expected it to. All in all it’s a kick ass show, and all of our arses are thoroughly kicked.

Dinosaur Jr are the perfect example of a band who really know how to get you moving, smiling and rocking out without anything other than the music. That is a rare talent.

By Cripps Robert

Sunday, December 16, 2012

WONK UNIT. November 27th 2012 @ Lomax, Liverpool.

Wonk Unit came to town, Lu Lowe was there with her lens. The crowd went crazy. The gig took place on a Tuesday night at the Lomax. Everybody was amazing.

Sheepy opened the night. (L-R Sheepy, Ollie, Villy.)

Elmo and the Styx performing with Tony T on drums. 

Slaves debut gig in Liverpool was an amazing one. The duo blew everyone away.

Wonk Unit's Alex Johnson captivated, confused and inspired anarchy.

Images by Lu Lowe © 

Monday, September 17, 2012

This gig is a kind of big deal, you know?

We asked the boys from the bands, THE DEAD CLASS and ELMO AND THE STYX  their thoughts on NoMeansNo...

Villy (the dead class) you've done this before (In Germany). What is the best thing about supporting Nomeansno?

I have been a massive fan of Nomeansno's music since my introduction to them about 10 years ago so actually getting to share the stage with them was a massive musical achievement for me. The best thing about supporting them was probably the fact that they watched our show and we had a laugh with them.  Also I get a free ticket to watch the best live band in the world.

What is your favourite NoMeansNo lyric?

I couldn't actually pick a favourite lyric but here's one at random from Everyday I start to ooze

"If every 4th animal in the world is a beetle, then every fourth person must be a DUMB FUCK"

Elmo and the Styx open for NoMeansNo on October 5th and are pretty happy about it...

Elmo (pictured): The thing I'm looking forward to most is the chance to show one of my favourite bands ever that my band are just as good, and its thanks to them! 

What is your favourite NoMeansNo lyric? 

Real love on a sunny day
Is a crow on a telephone pole
With something to say
And you feel like someone
Has just walked on your grave
That's real love for more details and to book your ticket now.

NOMEANSNO - October 5th, The Kazimier, Liverpool


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Biteback + Revenge of the Psychotronic Man @ Eric's, Liverpool - June 2012

Biteback + Revenge of the Psychotronic Man @ Eric's Liverpool. 7th June 2012

UK Subs headlined the night, solid as ever, a powerhouse of a punk band, but that's not why we're here.

Two of the bands on the lower bill tonight have new albums in the pipeline and our interest tonight focuses here.

Main support Biteback are currently at the latter stages of mixing debut album Bitten And Twisted, set for an August release on Antipop Records.

One the newest old venues in Liverpool is Eric's, a place Hocky (below) and Richy (above) remember from the previous generation. As Biteback launch into their set they manage to overcome early technical difficulties and a lukewarm audience to get the crowd moving and the PA rocking. The new album will be start-to-finish balls to the wall punk rock if this live set is anything to go by. We cannot wait to hear it. 

Revenge Of The Psychotronic Man take the stage before Biteback and the although a good number of people dwell in the alcoves of the Eric's the place is still filling up as they smash through a set very few people are prepared for. Packing more drive, tempo, lyrics and changes than any of the bands tonight Subs included.

The band from Manchester are about to go into the studio to record their album for TNS Records and look to have a bright future. Andy Davies admits it's a little reality check after the insane reception they received at StrummerCamp the previous weekend but they impress on new turf once again.

Images by Mike Warnes

Mike Warnes on Flickr

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The unofficial Soundcity 2012 review : 

Conferences, guerilla gigs and an after-party never to be remembered...for some.

Day One 

Thursday - 10am registration @ the Hilton. Free papers, free coffee, free food. This ain't so bad. A meet & greet with a bunch of people in a room, half of which we know already but it's nice to catch up with some friends.

Things are in place for the Friday night after-party @ Mello Mello and Friday's guerilla gigs so it's a nice laid back meet & greet before a swift lunch and a talk on Digital Marketing. Whoop-de-doo! But a whole load of boring $^%£ this wasn't, Dave Emery and Darren Hemmings know their stuff when it comes to facebook etc. Notes aplenty. 

Of course there are the usual daft questions like, "How do I get more friends on Myspace?" to which the standard LSC panelists answers arises, "Be good!" This won't be the last time this golden nugget of advice is dished out during the weekend.

By the end of the day we'd had lunch with festival director and chatted to the most relevant punk rock journalist in the country. Success? Yeah!

Day Two

Friday - Starting with a guerilla gig on the grasses of Chavasse Park. Security at the Hilton immediately alerted L1 staff (pictured in red) and our illegally parked van was causing concern while Super Fast Girlie Show fired into the opening onslaught of their set. Mid-way through they were asked to move away from the private land. Threats to call the police because the van was parked on the pavement meant the concert was wrapped up almost as quickly as it was set-up. That's the beauty of pop-up gigs. Pack up and move onto the next location.

Upon the steps of St. Luke's, the bombed-out church with an impromptu appearance that saw people from all over Bold St, Berry St, Lecce St and Renshaw St converge to watch The Dead Class and Super Fast Girlie Show serenade the streets in a hail of punk rock. Ambrose Reynolds (patron saint of St. Lukes) was more than happy for the pop-up gigs to take place even while there was a SoundCity showcase taking place inside the church. This proved to be a perfect guerilla location and we look forward to other people nicking the idea. Keep an eye out for SFGS back there during the summer. These kind of gigs usually only get announced on Twitter so make sure you follow @AntipopUK if you're up for a bit of spontaneous musical combustion.

The rain started shortly after this and we packed up and departed the scene.

The after-party inside a packed out Mello Mello Cafe kept everybody waiting with it's midnight start and the venue was heaving as The Vermin Suicides took the stage under the Antipop banner. Smashing through a Dub/Punk set of neo-classical rock anthems. Moshpits, one hip-hop track and 30 minutes later it was over and the night was well and truly underway.

Elmo and the Styx (below) are one of the newest bands on the local scene, their debut EP has been out for just over six months. This is their first gig in Liverpool since their debut album was recorded at Parr St. Studios. Their energy and comical cover of Coolio's highschool rap musical Gangster's Paradise delights the crowd, Rob on guitar plays Coolio while Elmo takes the mantle of Cee-Lo. That leaves JJ on drums to play Michelle Pfeiffer.

image: AdrianWharton

The headline band and the fan's favourite The Dead Class show the nicely lubricated audience just how it's done. They're a glossy machine exhibiting a punk rock horrorshow as they wheel out the 'Freak'. In the stand-out moment of an unusual night this concave chested bunny-masked jazz mutant is no match for the crowd of earth punks and Antipoppers as they tear him limb from limb ingesting his form with their hungry eyes.

image: AdrianWharton

And thusly the night descends into utter chaos as the stage is invaded by guerillas Super Fast Girlie Show and friends, turning the Mello stage into a swelling hive of instrument and journalist bashing. One unfortunate writer gets an earful for a negative review from the SFGS drummer. We best not say anything bad about this impromptu drunken gig here! Reviewers beware...

image: LuLowe

The night perfectly captures a self-supportive underground scene, the alternative music label and the real terrifying spirit of anarchic punk rock.

Day Three

Saturday - While Super Fast Girlie are hungover and sleeping we are up and out with Space, the reformed UK Britpop band from the 90s featuring former Drellas (Antipop) members Allan Jones (drums), Ryan Clarke (keys) and Antipop founder Phil Hartley (bass). They are set to play in a warehouse space in Wolstenholme Square and this is the venue a band called Temper Trap filled the previous night. Massive delays from all angles ensure this becomes the longest soundcheck in the history of music festivals. Finally, at 5:30pm, five and a half hours behind schedule, the band leave the stage, done. Yikes! This crappy phone picture taken later in the night with Space mid-set shows it was all worth the wait.

It's now time to round up Super Fast Girlie Show for their final gig of the weekend at Royal Standard Art Gallery on Vauxhall Road, Liverpool. Here they perform in a small glass room on a six-inch high plywood stage. They deafen people with screeching feedback between songs and crashing cymbals during it. It's yet another fitting and rousing performance to shake any cobwebs from your dusty ears after the heavy weekend.

Another year of SoundCity and undoubtedly the best yet. They are making you work harder to keep up with what's cool, and likelihood is you missed the best SoundCity had to offer because it's hard to stay hip in a dying world. One thing's for certain, you can trust Antipop to jam a rusty spanner in the works.

Videos: Antipop

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Artwork Folder 2