Do It Together Fest Preview

Introducing the bands playing Do It Together Fest this weekend, including music videos, fun facts and recommended reading.

Do It Together Fest is a celebration of the DIY punk rock community, which we’re hosting alongside our friends Be Sharp Promotions and Colin’s Punk Rock World on 24-25th January 2020.

Sat in a beer garden last summer, I stumbled on the idea of putting on a London weekender (an evolution of Shout Louder Fest in 2019)… a flurry of WhatsApp messages and not a lot of thought later, we’d planned the whole thing.

Paul, Colin and I all have our birthdays over the same two weekends so, rather than competing, we’ve clubbed together to create this shindig. We’ve invited our mutual favourite bands to play, and we’re giving a platform to other promoters by offering stalls to labels and zines. I’m even making PAPERCUTS (our community themed book) to tie in with the event.

Do It Together Fest takes place on 24-25 January at New Cross Inn, London. Grab a ticket and a zine.

Our aim was to create a diverse line-up, hoping to help you to discover some bands you may not have experienced yet. Here’s a run down of all the awesome artists we’ve got playing. Continue reading “Do It Together Fest Preview”

Punk Rock Tour Tales #3: Jason from UNIFORMS

Jason Rees talks about why touring is a gift, despite flight delays, unreliable vehicles and too many hot chillis. We also learn all about his survival techniques and his Megamixes.

Punk Rock Tour Tales is a new Shout Louder feature, where we interview bands about their tour stories. Read them all here.

Many musicians and fans who’ve stayed over in Dundee will be familiar with the smile, hospitality and positive approach of Jason Rees; drummer in UNIFORMS and The Blood Red Moon, supporter of Make-That-A-Take Records and some-time drummer in Terrafraid (and probably plenty of other bands we don’t remember!).

UNIFORMS are a gritty, honest poppy punk band from Scotland, with one hell of a live show. They’re playing Do It Together Fest, which Shout Louder is hosting in London in January 2020. We thought it’d be a great time to speak to Jason about some of his past tour experiences.

Of the touring you’ve done, what’s been your favourite so far?

I have fond memories from pretty much all the tours I’ve been on, though going round Europe with Forever Unclean (whilst drumming for Terrafraid) was bloody great. I’d never met them properly before the tour, but we all got on brilliantly and the tour was stress free. Even when faced with nowhere to sleep and not being able to get over the border, their attitudes towards difficult situations were infectious and we’d all just accept the reality of what was happening and find a solution together. Continue reading “Punk Rock Tour Tales #3: Jason from UNIFORMS”

Top 10 Punk Rock Records of 2019

Make sure you haven’t missed out on any of 2019’s top punk rock albums.

Written by Sarah Williams.

Another year, another deluge of arbitrary Top 10 selections. We punk rockers love a list, and it’s fun to take a nostalgic look back at the past 12 months.

I’ve mapped out a lot of 2019 in records that are a far cry from the punk rock genre, although ethically they’re still subversive and alternative. My true Top 10 of 2019 would include albums by P Money, Lizzo, Loyle Carner and Kevin Abstract. You can read it over at the Lockjaw Records website.

Nonetheless, there have been some great punk rock releases this year. Here are my Top 10 Punk Rock Records of 2019.  Yes, it starts with #9… the reason will become clear at the end. Continue reading “Top 10 Punk Rock Records of 2019”

Punk Rock Tour Tales #2: Lucinda from Cultdreams

Lucinda Livingstone gives us some sound advice for surviving touring, some fond memories and some amusing anecdotes from years on the road.

Punk Rock Tour Tales is a new Shout Louder feature, where we interview bands about their tour stories. Read them all here.

Lucinda Livingstone is the vocalist and guitarist of Cultdreams (previously Kamikaze Girls), and a wonderfully minimalist illustrator under the name Bloodflower Design. She also looks after one of our favourite reads: Ladyfuzz Zine.

As Cultdreams prepare to embark on their biggest ever UK tour in support of their new album Things That Hurt (out now on Big Scary Monsters), Sarah asked Lucinda about their best, worst and weirdest tour experiences.

Of the touring you’ve done, what’s been your favourite so far?

That’s such a hard question, I couldn’t pick one. But out of the last 10 years here’s a couple that stand out…

The 8 weeks that we did in the US and Canada completely self-booked off the back of our 5-track EP SAD coming out. We toured with four different bands over those weeks in Canada, the East Coast, and the West Coast. I remember getting to Fest in Florida at the five and a half week point. The day after Fest we went to the airport and flew to LA and did another two and a half weeks on the West Coast. I don’t think either of us had a clue where we were each day on that final stretch. It was long and tiring but we travelled with so many amazing people and had some really amazing shows. Continue reading “Punk Rock Tour Tales #2: Lucinda from Cultdreams”

Punk Rock Tour Tales #1: Leo from Forever Unclean

Leo Wallin, drummer of Forever Unclean, tell us about his best, worst and weirdest tour stories.

Punk Rock Tour Tales is a new Shout Louder feature, where we interview bands about their tour stories. Read them all here.

Leo Wallin is a well-known part of the Copenhagen punk rock crew: he’s drummed in Forever Unclean, Fabled Mind, Rebuke, Megafonzie, Kill The Rooster, Stars Burn Stripes… and probably a whole bunch of other bands we don’t know about!

Sarah asked him about his best, worst and weirdest tour experiences.

Of the touring you’ve done, what’s been your favourite so far?

That is a tough one, and we have discussed it within the band so many times. But I’d probably say overall it was touring Australia for three weeks in 2018. Some of my dearest friends live there, and the Australian people in general are fucking awesome. The scene is also pretty rad and the standards of the Oz bands are stellar… And then there is the climate, the sights, the beaches, the fauna. Whether you are playing shows or not, it’s really just a big old holiday paradise. Continue reading “Punk Rock Tour Tales #1: Leo from Forever Unclean”

Press Club: The Transformative Power of an Album

Sarah discusses the joy of falling in love with ‘Wasted Energy’, the new album from frenetic Melbourne indie-punks Press Club.

Article by Sarah Williams.

It’s a rare and unique pleasure to discover an album that soundtracks a passage of your life. 

We’re swimming in music videos, live streams and status updates; bombarded with new music every day; our tastes made by algorithms and cookie-crumbs of personalised advertising. Where technology has opened the gates of production to any guitarist with a half-decent laptop, for listeners it’s created an overwhelming and (as much as we’d hate to admit it) often disposable deluge of singles and playlists.

Previously a big collector, even I have eschewed buying CDs and vinyl since I’ve had Spotify readily available on my phone. The majority of my listening takes places via playlists, either ones I’ve made myself or those curated by people I respect. Playlists are an exciting voyage of musical discovery and appeal to the romantic tradition of making mix tapes, but it’s a fast-paced and high-volume form of listening.

My life reflects my listening. I’m constantly on the verge of burn-out: trying to squeeze too many things into my waking hours. I listen to a vast amount of new music in the search for something genuinely interesting, but rarely do I take the time to fully absorb a new release. 

Press Club Wasted Energy.jpg

Press Club have infiltrated my life in secret, and become the key to pressing the pause button when I need it. I saw them a couple of times earlier in the year, at Manchester Punk Festival and Groezrock. There’s no denying that they’re an exceptional band: everyone’s saying it and the jam-packed rooms of fans prove it. 

When Wasted Energy was released on 16 August 2019, I was excited. Moreover, my social timelines exploded with ‘album of the year’ accolades from peers I respect.  

I listened and I thought, “This is great, but I’m not sure it deserves the hype.”

Forever plagued by a snobbish and insecure habit of falling out-of-love with a band whenever they become successful (I’m talking about The Offspring, Green Day and Frank Turner here, not your local DIY heroes), I worried this old malady has come back to haunt me.

Despite my initial lack of excitement, I’ve found myself listening to Wasted Energy a lot. When someone pops round for tea, I stick it on in the background, as it’s easy to listen to. At work, I’ve put it on for the same reason – it’s good and inoffensive. In the car, it’s a great soundtrack to a long drive with a picky passenger.

Slowly, but surely, Wasted Energy crept into my life, gaining a slow-burn of repeat listens and charring an imprint on my daily consciousness.  Until, on my way to work, I realised it’s my instant first choice when I open my library of music. I’m mouthing the words on public transport in that mildly embarrassing but fuck-it-I’m-hardly-the-maddest-person-on-the-bus way.

The album had become background listening for me but, one day suddenly Behave with its impassioned refrain, “Behave, just like a woman,” stood out to me. On the first few listens to Wasted Energy, Behave hadn’t shone particularly brightly, but once I was deeply wrapped in Press Club’s sound it suddenly exploded when I finally took the time to listen.

Now I’m picking up Wasted Energy multiple times as a day, feeling its embrace like a warm blanket, synesthesia sparking muted autumnal auburns and forest greens in my head when I listen. At a time when my life is changing, Wasted Energy is holding my hand, helping me with the transition. When I listen to it, I feel renewed. 

The future is that I’ll play it to death, bordering on the point of private obsession. Like Fair Do’sLeopards and Darko’s Bonsai Mammoth in 2018 and 2017 respectively, I’ll repeat Wasted Energy until I know every intimate minutiae. Then I’ll drop it and it’ll become a warm shadow of that period of my life, intertwined with memories, smells and feelings of the autumn.

Self-described as, “The musical embodiment of the attitude of a generation experiencing impermanence in every way,” Press Club understand my passing obsession with their sound. It’s a theme on the album, through Obsession and Thinking About You.

All their recordings are put to tape live, using a console from the 70’s, rooting their recordings in a familiar, rich warmth, like a favourite jumper, whilst also capturing a transient sense of urgency. It’s the vintage sound that allows Press Club to stand out in a flood of new music. While fresh, frenetic and full of power, the guitars hark back to 90’s grunge, the rhythm conjures flashbacks of blurry basement shows, and the vocals call out glimpses of soul and timeless icons. Natalie Foster’s voice is a love affair in vocal form. 

Now, three months after its release, I can’t even begin to fathom how an album could top Wasted Energy in 2019. It’s a time stamp on this passage of my life, and a repeat listen in ten years will instantly bring back these autumn memories.

Here’s the self-care I’d recommend for you today: find yourself an album and fall in love with it.

To experience the joy for yourself, you can pick up Wasted Energy on one of the most attractive vinyl pressings I’ve ever seen from a range of outlets. It’s out on Hassle Records now. 

Territorial Pissings: Infuriating Queues To Women’s Loos

Em Johnson condemns the insufficient toilet provisions for women; getting pissed off about pissing whilst getting pissed in a brewery.

Guest article written by Em Johnson, who promotes shows in Manchester under the name Bomb Ibiza.

“Because I was an alien, toilets were not prevalent.”

Queuing for bathrooms. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? That rush as the interval nears, as the band finishes, or as the seat belt sign comes off on a plane. That desperate drive to get in the queue. The knowledge that if you don’t get in early you will be trapped for twenty minutes of dead time and awkward chat.

Oh wait. Maybe we haven’t all been there. Women reading this are probably nodding. Many men have probably discarded this as an irrelevance to them, or cracked jokes about women taking longer because of putting on lipstick or gossiping (thanks to those who haven’t). Because guess what? Toilets are a feminist issue. Continue reading “Territorial Pissings: Infuriating Queues To Women’s Loos”