Top 12 Bands Not To Miss At Book Yer Ane Fest XII

Check out out top recommendatons for Dundee’s premiere punk festival.

Book Yer Ane Fest is a gem in the UK punk rock calendar. Over the years I’ve heard the name whispered, dropped into any conversation about the best punk festivals, but it’s shrouded in an air of mystery. Perhaps because of its wintry date (November 30th – December 2nd) or its ‘foreign’ location (taking place in the Scottish coastal town of Dundee), it’s sometimes overlooked on circuit English festival-goers follow.

I’m here to tell you the trip is more than worth it. Every year Book Yer Ane Fest has a stunning line up – an exceptional selection of the best DIY punk bands the UK has to offer, plus some choice selections from overseas, handpicked by the crew at Make-That-A-Take Records. They’re spread across two venues over three main days, with pre- and post-fest shows and a host of labels, zines and chartiable causes.

There are some absolutely incredible bands on the BYAF XII line-up, however we’ve picked out ten for you to check out.

N.B.: I’ve excluded a couple of my all-time favourites as they’re too ‘obvious’, but you should all clearly go and watch The Burnt Tapes, Forever Unclean, Roughneck Riot, Tim Loud and Uniforms, and all the other bands too!

Paper Rifles

Catchy, delightfully intelligent lyrics, with a rousing undercurrent of anger much needed in this brand of acoustic-led indie punk rock. From Edinburgh, Paper Rifles released a sterling album The State Of It All in March that is an instant love affair.

Lost Avenue

Having recently released Fears via Little Rocket Records, Irish alt-punk trio Lost Avenue have been touring heavily round. Their songs are powerful, driven and loaded with irresistable hooks.

Continue reading “Top 12 Bands Not To Miss At Book Yer Ane Fest XII”

Ed Hall: Grafting To Make Your Dreams A Reality [Interview]

All Silk Mastering House has been Ed’s dream project. He got an insight into how he’s made that dream a reality.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

What’s your dream project? Each and every one of us has that fantasy in our heads: a vocation, a band or a goal that we hope we’ll one day be able to make real.

Well, Ed Hall’s dream is All Silk Mastering House and, through hard graft and dedication, he’s made it a reality. You may know Ed from Egos At The Door, but nowadays he’s probably better known for his talented ear and knack for exceptional audio production.

This year he’s finally been able to realise his dreams, by building a bespoke space for mixing and mastering, now offering quality and attention to detail at competitive rates. We spoke to Ed about his love for all things audio and all the hard work and emotional investment that’s gone into to this.

Firstly, give us a little overview of what you do at All Silk Mastering House – explain to us laymen what do you get up to?

For sure! A mastering house is an audio suite (which is more or less a control room, minus being attached to a live room) geared towards mastering as opposed to, say, mixing or recording. An engineer who specialises in mastering takes the final mixes which are often years in the making and analyses their objective traits. Every final mix will have strengths and weaknesses so the processes play to and accentuate or diminish these traits with the end goal of making a competitively loud and tonally pleasing track.

There is more or less a standard intrinsic loudness to most music, especially now, so that it can play amongst thousands of other tracks on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, CD players, iPods and not sound out of place, quieter, uncomfortably distorted/louder or at all noticeably off in comparison to the average.

It’s a mastering engineer’s job to deliver the best version they can of the audio they are provided while ticking these boxes. Of course in the real world it is much more subjective and subtle than this with sympathy to the art/the vision/taste…

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What was your vision for All Silk when you first started out?

I think I had made a decision to push toward mastering maybe 4-5 years ago. I was much more of an all round audio guy at the time, which meant every couple of months a DIY band would need mastering done and I’d just do it! Continue reading “Ed Hall: Grafting To Make Your Dreams A Reality [Interview]”

A Dead Pancreas & A Broken Heart

Diabetes, heartbreak and depression have changed the life of Marie from Punk Rock Avenue in 2018, but she’s brave enough to share the tale.

Guest post written by Marie-Line Cyr, who runs the fabulous French-Canadian blog Punk Rock Avenue. This is part of our #MentallySound series, discussing mental health in music. 

Last year, when I was thinking about my 35th birthday, I pictured myself on Vancouver Island. My plan was to drive across Canada all by myself and celebrate my birthday by the Pacific Ocean. Actually, I celebrated my 35th birthday last September alone and crying on the couch, with a dead pancreas and a broken heart. Here’s the story of my downward slide to the bottom.

2018 has been the worse year of my life. I started having health problems on January 4th. Something wrong in my right eye directly linked to an immune system disorder. Which disorder? Nobody had a clue. I was so scared of what they would find. Finally, they found nothing but prediabetes. So I stopped eating sugar and crap and took care of my health. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to stop the disease. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June. That’s when I started being super sick and had to stop working. I was so weak and tired and I was literally melting while doing nothing at home. There was something wrong. My blood sugar became so high that I spent a couple of nights on the verge of a diabetic coma. I was going to bed at night so scared of not waking up the morning after. It became obvious that I needed insulin and that I was in fact a type 1 diabetic.

I started insulin on July 18th and I will always remember that day. I was in my bathroom, staring at the needle while being too scared to put it in my belly. But I knew I had to do it to stay alive. Just like I knew I would have to do it for the rest of my life. My pancreas was dead and I had no choice but to do its job to survive. So I played Survive from Main Line 10 on Spotify, my diabetes anthem as I call this song, and put the freaking needle in my belly. My diabetic life had just started. Continue reading “A Dead Pancreas & A Broken Heart”

Derry Girls Cherym Breathe New Life Into The DIY Pop-Punk Genre

Discover Irish DIY pop-punks Cherym before they explode.

Article by Alan Corcoran. Cover photo by Mickey Rooney.

Every so often a geriatric pop-punker like myself will see a band that serves as a reminder as to why you like this ridiculous genre in the first place. Derry’s Cherym are one of these bands.

Hitting the stage as a cluster of energy and a little bit of endearing nervousness, it took about 30 seconds before they won the crowd over and had everyone in the venue mentally filing the moment away for future, “I saw them before they were a thing,” conversations.

For such a young band to have songwriting chops this good is frankly sickening. Every song skirts the line between power pop and 77 punk. Every melody and musical movement is delivered with a half smile and a shrug of the shoulders, as if it’s all happening by accident. They are either naturally musically gifted or incredible at acting and this curmudgeon isn’t sure which is worse.

Lead single Take It Back sets out their stall: you’re gonna get driving basslines, drums that will kick you upside your head, plenty of fuzzy guitar tones and vocal melodies to tie these disparate things into approx. 3 minutes of pop punk goodness. Continue reading “Derry Girls Cherym Breathe New Life Into The DIY Pop-Punk Genre”

We Are Just Like You, We Just Don’t Have Instruments

Simon Widdop explains why punk poetry is worth your attention.

Guest article by Simon Widdop, a punk poet from Wakefield. Simon’s debut poetry collecton is Sending A Drunk Text Whilst Sober is available from simonwiddop.com.

The old adage of, “Here’s three chords, now go start a band,” can be translated into, “Here’s a pen and paper, now go start a poem.”

Poetry ain’t dead, far from it. It’s alive and beating hard in books, at lit fests, on TV adverts and at gigs. Yeah, that’s right. But not to be cliche, the poetry you’ll find at shows isn’t the same as the stuff we were forced to recite in grey tones in GCSE English lessons.

But where does all this tie into the punk scene?

Let’s rewind to the initial explosion of punk. You’ve just entered the Mayflower Club in Manchester, waiting for The Buzzcocks when suddenly a matchstick legged, drain pipe jeans clad, backcomb rocking John Cooper Clarke takes to the stage. 20 minutes later (or shorter, depending how ‘Ramones’ he was feeling that night) you’ve just experienced the godfather of punk poetry. Fast delivery, sharpshooter word play and a right hook to the senses. At the same time, across the pond and in the belly of CBGB, Patti Smith was reciting her kitchen sink realism and strong feminist works to an audience of fellow New Yorkers at the height of the New York Scene. Continue reading “We Are Just Like You, We Just Don’t Have Instruments”

We All Fall Apart At Our Own Pace

Reaching out to your friends is hard, but we’re all going through this together.

Written by Sarah WilliamsPart of our #MentallySound series, discussing mental health in music. Trigger warning: depression, self-harm.

During an especially dark and turbulent bout of depression I endured recently, I found a familiar Iron Chic lyric rumbling round my skull:

“We all fall apart at our own pace.”

That one cadence repeating itself over and over; an old, beloved song suddenly taking on new meaning. I was wrapped up in my own personal apocalypse, but that one line reminded me of the importance of reaching out to my friends.

For me, depression comes in waves. Some days the sea’s calm and I’m stood on a beach in the sunshine, digging a moat around my sandcastle and enjoying a Calippo. Other days there’s a light ebb and flow, lapping round my ankles. Sometimes it’s choppy in the waves but my head’s above water, I’m staying afloat.

In this particular period, it was like a tsunami had hit. I’m toppled by giant waves, levelled by the force of it, choking on salt water, crushed by the weight of it on my chest. This is as bad as it gets: I can’t eat, I can’t speak, I can’t get out of bed, I can’t wait to get the courage to kill myself.

Sometimes depression just feels like a part of regular life, like an itch you can’t scratch but you can just about ignore it. But on these occasions, it becomes frighteningly apparent that it’s an illness. It’s utterly, hopelessly debilitating.

I lie still and wait for it to pass. It takes days. Continue reading “We All Fall Apart At Our Own Pace”

Exclusive: Goodbye Blue Monday FINISHED

Goodbye Blue Monday announce major announcement.

Yesterday Scottish misery-punks Goodbye Blue Monday announced that they would be making a major announcement at 7pm CET. As this was shared across the internet, anticipation gripped the punk rock world. As the forefront of punk rock in-jokes, Shout Louder is proud to bring you this exclusive announcement of an announcement.

Goodbye Blue Monday are finished… with their tour.

Following an incredible five show extravaganza, taking in Beligum, London and Shout Louder’s kitchen, Goodbye Blue Monday will be heading home for a well-deserved sleep, tattie scones and hugs with their dogs. They will also be reuninted with their absent guitar player, Jack, at whom this exclusive announcement was aimed.

When asked about their tour, singer Graham Lough commented, “It was a time.”

We wish the boys all the best with their announcement of an announcement and with their trip home.