MPF Band Spotlight: Captain Trips [Interview]

Manchester Punk Festival Band Spotlight: Captain Trips will be bringing some fast, heavy skate-punk straight from the South Coast. Stoked.

It’s all gone a bit MPF mad here at Shout Louder HQ. There are so many great bands that we don’t know where to begin! To help you make the most of the festival, we have spoken to a handful of the bands we’re most excited to see. Even if you’re not coming to MPF, there’s plenty to learn and enjoy.

We will be posting every day in the lead up to Manchester Punk Festival. Check out the full series here.

Band Spotlight: Captain Trips

Keen Shout Louder readers will know that we’re massive fans of Fareham’s Captain Trips. They toe the line of seriously exciting skate-punk, they organise Punkle Fester and in their upcoming new EP they’re delving into an Iron Maiden-like melting pot of heavier, harder rock. If you like your hardcore melodic and if you like your covers to be 80’s power ballads then you will enjoy this band.

I was so excited to see them pop on the Manchester Punk Festival lineup that I had to speak to singer/guitarist Rich Mayor to learn more (and to wind up Manchester locals Fair Dos).

Why should people come check out your set at Manchester Punk Festival?

Well hello, Shout Louder, I trust you’re keeping well. That’s a great question, and if it’s ok with you I’d like to take a moment to speak directly with the people… Hi people, my name’s Rich Mayor from Captain Trips. We’re playing on the Thursday at Manchester Punk Festival. Please come and see us because we would really like it if you did.

Which bands are you most excited to see at the festival, and why?

The line-up is pretty incredibly stacked this year, but before I find out they all clash with each other I hope to see Propagandhi, because I called them headlining when chatting with Danny from Fair Do’s before the line-up was announced. He lied to my face and said they weren’t playing. And you think you know someone…

Anyway, Eat Defeat for the fun times, Wonk Unit because they are also much fun, Waterweed because that’ll be new fun, Darko for old fun, and Fair Do’s because it’s the only way I get to hear their new tunes. I thought we were pretty good at taking ages to get stuff recorded and out there but these guys are just… Incredible. Next level shit.

EDIT: I answered these questions prior to the running times were announced. However, I have minimal clashes the whole weekend, there must have been a large Tree-like guardian angel looking out for me. Also, we’re playing with Waterweed in Pompey the day before MPF. I stand by my comments about the Do’s.

Your influences seem to fall somewhere between Propagandhi and John Farnham. Are there a lot of different tastes in the band?

Yeah for sure. Lee and Phil like a lot of the more rocky side of punk, Andi was a massive metalhead before he saw the punk rock light and I solely listen to power ballads. We package all these styles up and pop them through the fast skate-punk wringer and deliver it to your door. Maybe we should have called ourselves John Gandhi. Or Propagarnham. Definitely Propagarnham. Continue reading “MPF Band Spotlight: Captain Trips [Interview]”

MPF Band Spotlight: Fresh [Interview]

Manchester Punk Festival Band Spotlight: Sharp London indie-punks Fresh provide delightful, catchy, poppy punk.

It’s all gone a bit MPF mad here at Shout Louder HQ. There are so many great bands that we don’t know where to begin! To help you make the most of the festival, we have spoken to a handful of the bands we’re most excited to see. Even if you’re not coming to MPF, there’s plenty to learn and enjoy.

We will be posting every other day in the lead up to Manchester Punk Festival. Check out the full series here.

Band Spotlight: Fresh

Fresh are exactly that: seriously fresh, sharp, poppy tunes from London. They’re part of the Specialist Subject family, playing in a similar style to Shit Present and Honey Joy. At Shout Louder we have been really enjoying their self-titled debut album, which is full of honest, irreverent songwriting and memorable melodies.

We spoke to singer/guitarist Kathryn Woods to learn more.

What can people expect from your set at Manchester Punk Festival?

Lots of riffs and lots of harmonies. I will have had a lot of beer. Also, more importantly, we’ll be testing out new songs!

Which bands are you most excited to see at the festival, and why?

I have never seen The Spook School, and I’ve only seen The Tuts once, so those two are high on my must-see list. The Bennies seem like they’d be fun to watch at a festival, and I’m always excited to see Happy Accidents.

Fresh is the perfect name for your band – that’s exactly what everything you release sound like: fresh. That being said, it’s really hard to search for your band name on the internet. If you weren’t called Fresh, what would you be called?

I have no idea. I think names aren’t as important as people might think. I just wanted a divinité name so that I could write music for something. I didn’t anticipate that people would ever search for us on the internet anyway, so that’s my bad!

On a serious note, it really is a beautiful sound. What inspires you when you’re writing songs?

Sometimes it’s anger about living as a woman with depression, but I also write a lot off feeling happy and peaceful. Whatever floats the narrative at the time!

What other big things are coming up for Fresh this year?

Festival-wise, we will be playing Rock the Baita Fest in Italy, and Fiest in Madrid. I have never been to either of those places!

In May we will be doing some shows with The Beths from New Zealand, and in June we’re doing a UK tour with Great Wight from New York! So we’re keeping busy. Continue reading “MPF Band Spotlight: Fresh [Interview]”

MPF Band Spotlight: Uniforms [Interview]

Manchester Punk Festival Band Spotlight: Dundee’s Uniforms promise us to ‘a half hour of nae messin bangers’. Stay up for their gritty melodic punk rock at the afterparty.

It’s all gone a bit MPF mad here at Shout Louder HQ. There are so many great bands that we don’t know where to begin! To help you make the most of the festival, we have spoken to a handful of the bands we’re most excited to see. Even if you’re not coming to MPF, there’s plenty to learn and enjoy.

We will be posting every other day in the lead up to Manchester Punk Festival. Check out the full series here.

Band Spotlight: Uniforms

MPF 2018 marks a special appearance for Uniforms, who took a break in 2014 and have only just returned for a handful of shows. Hailing from Dundee in eastern Scotland, they’ll be treating us to some gritty, melodic punk rock to close off the festival on Saturday. They have incredibly good energy live, so it’s worth pacing yourself over the weekend to make the most of their afterparty set.

We spoke to frontman Derrick Johnston, who also heads up respected Scottish DIY label Make-That-A-Take Records to find out more.

Why should people come check out your set at Manchester Punk Festival?

Obviously people are not compelled to come and see us but should they choose to do so, they’ll be guaranteed some heart-on-sleeve rapid punk rock goodness, a dose of hefty real talk and a half hour of nae messin’ bangers.

We’ve been having loads of piley-ons recently, it’s actually a private Uniforms ritual that we’ve been indulging in publicly for the first time, so it’s not outwith the boundaries of possibility that we’ll have a pop punk piley at MPF.

Which bands are you most excited to see at the festival, and why?

The line-up is just jaw-droppingly good. I’ve been friends with the MPF troops for a long time now and I’m so proud of everything that they achieved. It’s also very exciting to be sharing the bill with some MTAT troops and we’ll be down the front for Goodbye Blue Monday, PMX and Forever Unclean for sure. I never thought I’d see the day where our band would be on a bill with Propagandhi. The Copyrights are my quite possibly my favourite pop punk band on earth and I couldn’t be more excited to see them in the UK for the first time.

You’ve been to Manchester Punk Festival before as Tragical History Tour – what was the best thing about last year?

It was an absolute privilege to play last year in between friends ONSIND and Billy Liar. The whole thing was tremendous and a testament to the will and passion of everyone involved in making it happen. Petrol Girls made the hair on my neck stand on end and watching Paint It Black in a massive club was quite the intense experience. It felt like a family reunion to me, an opportunity to catch up with people we’ve met over the years of involvement in the UK punk scene who are rarely all in the same place. Did you even go to the punk fest if you weren’t sitting in the gutter with the crust punks. Continue reading “MPF Band Spotlight: Uniforms [Interview]”

MPF Band Spotlight: Brassick [Interview]

Manchester Punk Festival Band Spotlight: Brassick are a ferocious hardcore/thrash quartet from the West Mids.

It’s all gone a bit MPF mad here at Shout Louder HQ. There are so many great bands that we don’t know where to begin! To help you make the most of the festival, we have spoken to a handful of the bands we’re most excited to see. Even if you’re not coming to MPF, there’s plenty to enjoy.

We will be posting every other day in the lead up to Manchester Punk Festival. Check out the full series here.

Band Spotlight: Brassick

Brassick are a staggeringly high-octane assault from the West Midlands. They play a mix of punk, thrash and hardcore, delivered with raucous fury and a lot of humour. They’re actively anti-fascist and anti-capitalist, and they back it all up with a lot of technical skill and an enthralling whirlwind presence from singer, Nicola.

We spoke to guitarist Pete Macbeth to find out more.

Why should people come check out your set at Manchester Punk Festival?

We are fast and loud we sing/shout about all sorts of bullshit from political crap and things we don’t like, to other stuff that is literally nonsense.

Nicola will try her best to shout at most of the crowd between and during songs for not dancing enough then, when she feels a strong enough level of enjoyment is being had, she will jump on them. Surely incentive enough right there!

Our songs are decent as well like.

What can people do to prepare themselves, if it’s the first time they’ve seen you?

I don’t really know! We prepare by getting shit faced so it would probably help if they were also shit faced! Oh and plenty of stretches – you wouldn’t want to pull a muscle!

Your sound is a really energetic mix of punk and hardcore. Who do you take the biggest influence from?

Cider and gin: they have really pushed us to become better musicians! Continue reading “MPF Band Spotlight: Brassick [Interview]”

MPF Band Spotlight: Forever Unclean [Interview]

Manchester Punk Festival Band Spotlight: Denmark’s indie-skate-punk trio Forever Unclean are a must-see.

It’s all gone a bit MPF mad here at Shout Louder HQ. There are so many great bands that we don’t know where to begin! To help you make the most of the festival, we have spoken to a handful of the bands we’re most excited to see. Even if you’re not coming to MPF, there’s plenty to learn and enjoy.

We will be posting every day in the lead up to Manchester Punk Festival. Check out the full series here.

Band Spotlight: Forever Unclean

Forever Unclean are a fantastic, energetic three piece from Copenhagen, who formed from the remains of Stars Burn Stripes (if you remember them). They hit the grittier end of the pop-punk spectrum, incorporating the speed and skill of skate-punk and the lyrical angst of indie-punk. Their EP Float was one of our top picks of 2017. On top of that, they’re super-friendly, wonderful people and they’re enormous fun live. Here’s an excerpt from when we last reviewed them:

“The whole set is fast, fun, sweaty and packed full of brilliant melodies – every song has me grinning, and makes me feel like an angst-riddled 17-year-old ready to let loose. Float slays even better live than it does on the record, rivalling the best Gnarwolves songs for self-effacing lyrics and catchy hooks.”

We spoke to singer/guitarist Lasse Mikkelsen (who’s also an incredible animator!) to find out more.

Why should people come check out your set at Manchester Punk Festival?

Important stuff first, I see? Well, there are countless reasons! Maybe we play at the venue with the best bar? Maybe nothing else is playing at the same time? Maybe you like to have fun? We certainly plan to have fun! And maybe… just maybe… you’ll like the music too?

Which bands are you most excited to see at the festival?

Wonk Unit! Their songs are awesome, and we’ve never had the chance to catch them live before. The Bennies are great fun and were absolutely awesome the last time I saw them, so that’s gonna be a party too.

We have a lot of friends playing the festival as well and their shows are all gonna rock! I’ll probably forget some, but here goes: Rebuke, Darko, Goodbye Blue Monday, Revenge of the P-man, Spoilers, Start at Zero, Hoof, Egos at the Door, Uniforms and Dead Neck. Can’t wait to hang with all of those guys again.

You were at MPF in 2017 as punters – what was the best thing about last year?

Everything! The line-up was amazing, and we got to see a lot of our favourite bands. Personally, I prefer venue shows over outdoor-festival shows, so for me it totally beats the other festivals that I’m used to. Going from venue to venue, stumbling into good friends from all over Europe. Nothing beats that!

Forever Unclean Shower

What’s your top tip for having the best time at MPF?

Skateboarding makes going from one venue to another a lot faster and more fun! (And you don’t have to be good at it. I’m certainly not.) Continue reading “MPF Band Spotlight: Forever Unclean [Interview]”

Waterweed Interview: Japanese Melodic Hardcore Heavyweights

Read our in-depth interview with Osaka’s Waterweed ahead of their UK tour this month.

Article by Sarah Williams.

Japanese melodic hardcore heavyweights Waterweed have caused a ruckus in the UK punk scene lately. First, it was announced that they’d be making an appearance at Manchester Punk Festival. Then we heard that Lockjaw Records would be releasing their second album Brightest in the UK. Finally, a further flurry of exciting dates across the UK and mainland Europe have popped up.

Skate-punk fans may already be well aware of Waterweed, as a relatively big act in Japan, but as they’ve never visited Europe and never had a release here before, you can’t be blamed if you’ve not heard of them. We were keen to find out more about the band, the tour and the album, so we spoke to singer/bassist Tomohiro Ohga.

I am so excited to see you live at Manchester Punk Festival, and on your tour around the UK and mainland Europe! Is this your first time in the UK?

This is our first European tour. Outside of Japan, we have also toured in South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?

Everything, I think! The scenery, sounds and smells in Europe will be a new experience for me.  Looking forward to finding some new inspiration.

Waterweed Live 1.jpg

Which bands you are looking forward to playing with most?

We are very excited to be performing with Satanic Surfers in Paris. When Waterweed was first formed, we listened to Hero of Our Time and were deeply impressed. We saw their show in Japan and are honored to perform together with a band we admire.

Also, we are performing with Propagandhi and Iron Chic at Manchester Punk Festival. Not on the same date, but also honored to be involved with the same music festival. We are playing on the same day as Death By Stereo. They came to the venue I work at during their Japan tour last year. I started liking them even more after seeing their great performance and personality. I’m also looking forward to performing with Darko and Bare Teeth after we join them, Almeida and Belvedere on a Japanese tour booked by the RNR crew. Continue reading “Waterweed Interview: Japanese Melodic Hardcore Heavyweights”

Lightyear Interview: “You’re Either There Or You’re Not”

An in-depth interview with Chas Palmer-Williams of 90’s ska-punk heroes, Lightyear.

Article by Sarah Williams. Photos by Piano Slug.

Lightyear are a band who need no introduction. They are infamous on the UK ska punk scene, known for their live antics (see: pantomime horses, morris dancing, gratuitous nudity), off-beat referential lyrics and multiple ‘last ever shows’. 2018 marks a huge milestone year in their career. Now permanently reformed, Lightyear are headlining Manchester Punk Festival plus Level Up festival and fitting in a handful of club shows, however their big news is that they’re crowdfunding to create a documentary telling the story of the UK 90’s punk scene.

This Music Doesn’t Belong To You aims to document the un-documented years when UK’s 2nd wave of punk exploded in the late 90s. As Lightyear put it, “It was a golden era of innocence, passion and debauchery,” which has so far gone unrecorded. At the time of writing, This Music Doesn’t Belong To You has just reached 100% funding, after a long pledge campaign. You can still visit Pledge Music to buy the film and assist with funding.

We had an in-depth conversation with singer Chas Palmer-Williams about the documentary, the development of the underground music scene and what we can expect in the future of Lightyear.

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Welcome back! What took you so long?

Life got in the way. We’ve all become (believe it or not) adult, with kids and stuff. We decided we really wanted to hang out again and make new music. We always felt like we had a third album in us; the second album wasn’t quite the end. We’re writing again and seeing how it comes out, and hopefully we’ll do another album. We’re back on it!

It’s great to hear you’re writing new music! Was it tempting just to turn up and play the hits?

For me personally there’s nothing worse than an old band who are just playing the old hits and not writing new music. If you play a song that you wrote when you were 18 about breaking up with someone and then you keep on playing it without writing anything new to put it into context, then it feels really weird. It’s almost like writing a book but you keep reading the first chapter and there’s no end chapter.

You’ve permanently reformed! ‘Permanent’ is a big word. Do you think you’ll still be playing together when you’re in a nursing home?

I don’t know if I want to be in a nursing home with Neil because he’s a weirdo.

I don’t want to be that band that just stands there blurting out the hits for the sake of doing it. I want to be able to jump around and mean what I say, express it and let loose. We’re pretty shit anyway, but when we get shitter we’d just knock it on the head, but we won’t make a big announcement.

Of course, you did make a big announcement back in the day.

When we were younger we were married to the band, it was everything. We were rehearsing 2-3 times a week, doing nearly 300 shows a year. It took priority over weddings and funerals – someone would die and we’d keep on touring. It was unquestionable dedication and then when that stopped it was this huge vacuum in my life. All of a sudden there was nothing. That totally span me out and I ended up living in a squat in Amsterdam; it went all mad for a while. The big statements and ultimatums all seem a bit dramatic now that we’re older.

Continue reading “Lightyear Interview: “You’re Either There Or You’re Not””