Why I’m Not Coming To Your Gig Tonight

Social anxiety in live music can be a challenge. Support your scene, but not at the expense of your own mental health.

This article written by Sarah Williams is part of our #MentallySound series, discussing mental health in music. Trigger warning: anxiety.

Today, my anxiety has anxiety. I am experiencing my own personal apocalypse.

I am entirely aware that the visions of catastrophe in my head are irrational, imagined and impossible (or at least implausible), but they’re there nonetheless. A cacophony of intrusive thoughts, false assumptions and self-criticism rattle round my hollow skull, a jarring, overwhelming rush.

Counting to ten isn’t helping. Telling myself I’m being illogical isn’t helping. Distracting myself isn’t helping. Self-care sounds like a waste of time, when I’ve got so much work to do. I need to just sit, ride this wave out and hope it doesn’t ruin my evening.

I’m going to a gig. I love gigs. I love live music more than anything else.

I desperately do not want to go.

I’m lying facedown on my bed, trying to muster the courage to put a jacket on and locate my house keys. Everything is impossible.

Continue reading “Why I’m Not Coming To Your Gig Tonight”

Premiere: Midwich Cuckoos Release Video For ‘Black Velvet’

Punk-rock/metal crossover act Midwich Cuckoos channel Elvis in this electrifying video for their latest single.

Midwich Cuckoos are here with a brand new single! This international punk / rock / metal crossover band know no boundaries, breaking the mould musically and geographically (although they can largely be found in London).

Their rousing rock cover of Alannah MylesBlack Velvet is both a nod to Elvis’ influence and a milestone for a band, marking the amicable departure of their incredible singer, Valentina Visintin.

Listen to Black Velvet on Spotify

The video for Black Velvet shows Elvis rockingly ressurected, as the band pay tribute at his funeral. Their electrifying live show breathes new life into Black Velvet, which was notably Elvis’ favourite brand of whiskey and the brand of hair dye he used later in life. Continue reading “Premiere: Midwich Cuckoos Release Video For ‘Black Velvet’”

Tour Diary: Fair Do’s Take Japan By Storm

Tree’s laugh-out-loud funny account of Fair Do’s’ Japanese tour will make you feel like you were there.

In January 2019, Manchester tech-punks Fair Do’s toured Japan with good friend (and Manchester Punk Festival organiser) Ian ‘Tree’ Robinson. Tree agreed to write this tour diary exclusively for Shout Louder.

Tree’s Disclaimer: Fair Do’s have asked me to say that these are all my views and not from the mouth of anyone else!

Day 1: “My bass is more important than your merch”

Taxi picked us up at 04:45 to go to the airport. Leaving Bernie [my gorgeous girl] when she’s recovering from surgery is pretty heartbreaking. I kinda wish the tour was happening in a few more weeks. I’ve been so excited for the trip that I’ve just had to put everything to one side; before I know it I’ll be chilling with her at home.

I decided to starve myself of sleep as I’m not a big fan of flying. I prefer just to sleep through it. I find the whole process pretty suffocating and claustrophobic, I’m the kinda person that could’ve got through their entire life without flying and I wouldn’t have felt like I was missing out. English as fuck that, isn’t it?

Danny was getting panicked phone calls from Josh in the taxi about how his case is overweight by 0.5kg. Josh made it clear how important his bass was, I think he thought we’d just suggest leaving it so we could take merch instead (?). Sounds like a spliff would help the situation but we all know that’s out for a couple of weeks.

Fair Do's Airport Excitement
Fair Do’s stoked to be at Manchester airport at 04:30 (l-r: Josh, Danny, Tree, Dave). Photo: Sarah Williams

As soon as we took off from the runway, I could smell the nicest perfume I’ve ever smelt. It’s the kinda smell you get a whiff of and want to marry whoever is wearing it. Continue reading “Tour Diary: Fair Do’s Take Japan By Storm”

Album Review: Hardkore Dokument UK #1 7”

This split from Pizzatramp, Grand Collapse, The Domestics, Guilt Police, Wolfbeast Destroyer and Rash Decisions proves that the UK hardcore scene is still very much alive, well and kicking the shit out of music with its size 12 boots.

Review by Ollie Stygall.

Growing up as a kid in the ’80s was a great thing. It was very much the golden era of hardcore and saw the D.I.Y. ethic, that had grown up around punk in the late ’70s, expand into interesting areas, particularly the rise of the split release.

Split releases allowed bands and labels to co-operate on co-releases that spread costs while also introducing bands to each other’s fan bases. Some of these split releases have become legendary artefacts of the scene at the time: the Chaos UK/Extreme Noise Terror Earslaughter release still remains, for many, the best document for each band. Split releases, such as the Heresy/Concrete Sox release, paved the way for Earache Records and, perhaps a harder to find and more esoteric release was the 4-way Japanese hardcore beast that combined Outo, Gauze, Lipcream and Systematic Death.

Continue reading “Album Review: Hardkore Dokument UK #1 7””

Review: Haest – EP #2

“Haest sound like they’ll drink all your cider and shit in your bathtub.” FFO: Amebix, Axegrinder, Discharge

Review by Ollie Stygall.

Let me ask you a question. What is punk rock?

Is it the aggressive take on hard rock first put forward by bands such as The Sex Pistols and The Damned? Is it the metallic rush of bands such as Discharge and The Exploited? Is it the hyperspeed grind of hardcore bands such as Ripcord or Heresy? Is it the melodic, pop-tinged sounds of The Offspring? Is it the off-kilter, angular, dub-infused sounds of Fugazi? The answer is, it’s all of this… and more.

Haest from Hastings (see what they did there?) is punk but don’t easily fit into a convenient punk-rock pigeon hole. To my grizzled, ancient ears they sound like the modern day bedfellows of 80’s crust bands such as Amebix and Axegrinder as they throw a touch of sludge into their grimy grind. Continue reading “Review: Haest – EP #2”

Album Review: The Overjoyed – Aced Out

Greek power-punks The Overjoyed have made a thrilling start to 2019. FFO: Rocket From The Crypt, Direct Hit!, The Lillingtons

Review by Mark Bartlett.

It’s early January and, with all the fantastic music of 2018 still fresh in our hearts and ears, The Overjoyed have fired a spectacularly catchy and fun starting pistol for what will no doubt be an even better 2019.

For those of you who enjoy making lists (much like myself) you’d do well to check out this fantastic slice of pop-punk n’roll immediately; as well as pop a note in your diary to remember it for your end of year considerations, as I don’t foresee more than a handful of albums being able to match both the catchiness and consistency of this record.

The Overjoyed are a four-piece hailing from Athens, Greece, and I feel they’re somewhat underrated in the UK. Given the strength of the material on offer here, I can’t imagine them being much of a secret for long, though (London’s finest The Burnt Tapes recently concluded an eventful tour of Greece with them that you can read about here). Continue reading “Album Review: The Overjoyed – Aced Out”

Koji: Activism, Community & Collaboration [Interview]

We spoke to America singer-songwriter and political activist Koji ahead of his upcoming European tour.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

Andrew ‘KOJI’ Shiraki is an American singer-songwriter know for his political activism, plaintive songwriting and his collaborations with bands like La Dispute, Into It Over It, Title Fight and Balance and Composure.

He’s embarking on an extensive tour of Europe in January and February, beignning with a run of UK dates with Such Gold and Ducking Punches before a series of headline solo shows on the mainland.

KOJI has been quiet over the last few years, after spending his 20s on the road. Rested and revitalised, he’s aiming to return to music with renewed energy in 2019. We were keen to speak to him ahead of his UK tour.

Thanks so much for talking to us! You’re embarking a major tour around Europe right now, sharing quite a few dates with Such Gold and Ducking Punches in the UK. What are you most excited for?

It’s been a long time since I’ve been over to the UK or toured anywhere for that matter. My one and only tour last year was with the Movielife in Japan and it’s awesome to now experience the culture here in the UK on the back of that experience. Such Gold and I toured here in 2011, so this is such a cool reunion.

You’ve been to the UK quite a few times before. What keeps bringing you back?

The UK music community is amazing. There are so many friends I’ve made here that continue to enrich my life. I’ve always felt inspired by the people, music, and landscape. When I’m in the UK, it really feels like I’m playing music and not just going through the motions. In life, you have to trust the places where you feel joy. Continue reading “Koji: Activism, Community & Collaboration [Interview]”