ROSE MCDOWALL's trajectory from punk provocateur to chart-subverting pop star to underground neo-folkster has been one peppered with unknowns and adventure. McDowall began her career in her hometown of Glasgow, operating within the nascent punk scene with her first group The Poems. After a meteoric rise to pop stardom with Strawberry Switchblade (along with friend Jill Bryson), McDowall submerged herself in the post-industrial landscape, recording with the likes of Coil, Boyd Rice and Current 93. Shortly after, she began recording with her own group Sorrow, before disappearing into the underground, re-surfacing for occasional performances only.
Throughout this year, Night School Records are attempting to tell the story of Glasgow's wayward daughter through a schedule of reissues and unreleased material. Spanning Rose's 34 year career, the project will include reissues and unreleased recordings alongside unseen photographs and new sleeve notes. Record Store Day saw the first fruit of this collaboration, an official release of the unapproved 'Don't Fear The Reaper' 12" single, and it hasn't left our turntable since. This will be a rare concert from Rose with a full band, in the year of her long-overdue reappraisal, not one to miss!
THE WHARVES, who hail from Ireland, France and England, sport startling duel vocals, courtesy of Gemma Fleet (bass) and Dearbhla Minogue (guitar), which hang gracefully over their minimal rock format. They invoke the reverberated spook of 60's girl groups, the mid-fi guitar crunch of Kim Deal's The Amps, the vocal flavours of The Roches and the narrative and structural panache of 70's progressive folk. Marion Andrau's thunderous drumming drives through these compositions, ensuring the wealth of disparate influences remain focused and celebratory. In 2013 they released a split LP with The Rosy Crucifixion on Glasgow's Soft Power Recordings and released a full length LP last year called 'At Bay' with Nottingham's Gringo Records.
ART TRIP AND THE STATIC SOUND
Friday 29 May
451 Queensbridge Rd, Dalston, E8 3AS | Map
7:30 | Sold out
Saturday 30 May
451 Queensbridge Rd, Dalston, E8 3AS | Map
7:30 | Sold out
MIKAL CRONIN was raised in Laguna Beach, California, where as a teenager he developed a passion for both surfing and rock & roll. While attending Laguna Beach High School, he fell in with a handful of like-minded music fans, and formed a band that played local parties. After a spell as bassist in surf-punk Charlie & The Moonhearts, Mikal began working on his own garage-accented pop tapping into his love of 80's indie rock. Around the same time, Mikal also befriended kindred spirit Ty Segall, joined his live band and also collaborated on an album together called 'Reverse Shark Attack'.
Mikal Cronin's self-titled album was released by Trouble in Mind Records in September 2011. Conceived and recorded as a sort of therapy to help cope with adjusting to life post-college, an ensuing break-up and geographic isolation, Mikal's solo debut is fully realized, cohesive and beautiful, with themes as personal as they are universal; questioning your future, accepting your past and living in the moment. Taking influences such as late sixties Del Shannon and The Everly Brothers and filtering them through his own mutant California fuzz, Mikal deftly explores his singer/songwriter side that at moments feels like a punk Harry Nilsson or Curt Boettcher that balances sweet melodies and chords with hefty, psychedelic guitar freak-outs.
2013 saw Cronin release, 'MCII', his first disc for Merge Records, which was all about new beginnings, looking at new relationships and growing up in the 21st century. This month Merge released Mikal's third album, entitled 'MCIII'. Marked by lush arrangements, stunning melodies, and deeply personal lyrical work for which Cronin is now known, the album is also a deliberate attempt to simply sound bigger in everyone's head.
DIGNAN PORCH smudge the lines between lo-fi pop, 60's psych, indie rock and punk. Hailing from South London, Dignan Porch give the impression that they're careering along with only a couple of wheels still on the road, just about in control, but always on the verge of tipping over. There is a sadness that lurks beneath many of these DIY pop songs, creeping into the fabric of the band's sound. After a couple of albums through Captured Tracks, Faux Discx released their brilliant latest LP called 'Observatory' last year. Check out their recent single 'Out Of The Picture' released through Art Is Hard too!
SAUNA YOUTH are an evolving band of future humans making truly irregular punk, not quite comparable to anything else. 'Weird' is a meaningless platitude, and 'art punk' is a classifier that shouldn't be required. Consisting of Richard Phoenix (drums, vocals), Lindsay Corstorphine (guitar), Jen Calleja (vocals, sampler) and Christopher Murphy (bass), Sauna Youth are a punk band that's happy to embrace all of the contradictions that go along with that notion. On paper Sauna Youth sound considered - live they can barely be contained. They are at times furious, unstoppable and severe with the sampler wailing like an alarm coming from a parallel universe -- then chugging, poppy, harmonious and fun. Forever loud. As Kurt Cobain once asked "Why can't we be both Black Sabbath and The Beatles?" Sauna Youth consistently pose the question, "Why can't we be both The Ramones and Steve Reich?"
'Distractions' (released on 8 June through Upset The Rhythm) marks the first time the band has managed to write everything in a room together and also documents the first time they've entered a studio to record; the songs in turn created through the process of learning to write together. Made up of 14 songs, Distractions is an album about desire, but most importantly, about that area just out of reach of desire. It looks at what it means to be distracted from being yourself. It thrives in the desire to be someone else, the very idea that you could be someone else. It's also an album that feels instinctive and natural, flowing freely from a band that have come to terms with the sum of its parts. Ultimately though, Sauna Youth have made a colossal record which is impossible not to enjoy. This show at Hackney Wick's Old Baths marks the launch of the album, come celebrate its release and look out for a special guest too!
PRIMETIME are self-proclaimed 'chaotic neurotics', finding their balance amid spirited punk clatter with a sense of propulsive fun and maximal energy. Their songs are rampages of sound as raw and minimal as they are inventive, and the band are soon to release their debut four track EP through La Vida Es Un Mus. Harking back to the glory years of 1979 to 1982, 'Tied Down' from the EP is their calling card, a scratchy mix of Kleenex and Delta 5 with an instant hook that won't fail to get you moving.
RATTLE are a drumming duo based in Nottingham and comprised of Theresa J Wrigley and Katharine Eira Brown. Both musicians also play drums for two other well respected bands, with Theresa in Fists and Katy in Kogumaza. Far from the hippy bongo nightmare one might imagine from a band made up of only two drummers, Rattle instead play minimalist rhythms that remain both hypnotic and danceable heavily thanks to the delicate vocal melodies which accompany their beats. Their sound recalls This Heat or ESG whilst remaining uniquely their own.