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]”

Gig Review: Ill Guerra & The Domestics @ Fuel Cafe [10/03/2018]

A great night of hardcore held in a Twin Peaks-esque sauna in Withington. Support from Habits, Pat Butcher, Satanic Malfunctions and Social Experiment.

Article by Sarah Williams. Atrocious photos taken from my phone.

The main reason I relocated to Manchester was the luxury of having fantastic punk rock shows right on your doorstep, every single weekend. This particular gig, held at Fuel Cafe in Withington is a stone’s throw from my house, and is therefore the shortest distance I’ve had to travel to see bands since I lived on Camden High Street a decade ago. I’m living the dream.

MBBP have a reputation for putting on raucous live shows, always trying to pack six or more acts onto a short bill. It’s incredibly exciting to see a variety of hardcore punk bands from around the country playing tonight, including Welsh acts Habits and Social Experiment plus Yorkshire’s Pat Butcher and Satanic Malfunctions. The highlights of the line-up are reliably ferocious East Anglian act The Domestics and esoteric Spanish foursome Ill Guerra.

The room upstairs at Fuel is an unusual venue space: it’s a small room divided by an archway, with a stage painted with black and white zigzags. The night begins oddly, with Habits closing the windows and drawing the sumptuous red velvet curtains behind them to kick things off, like the band haev suddenly been transplanted onto the red room set of Twin Peaks.

Habits Live Fuel Cafe
Habits

Habits are a band that I would happily watch headline. They play dark, furious post-hardcore, buoyed by a lot of lush guitar tones and stormy chord changes. It’s like More Than Life, Have Heart and Defeater had a Welsh DIY baby. Nosebleed begins with a solid moody section but mutates suddenly into a much harder-rocking tune, before descending into a frantic, drawn out breakdown. Work is an indignant polemic, although the sound is ultimately positive. Other songs drift through themes of jealousy, sex and drinking yourself to death. The singer introduces each song by name and a brief explanation of the subject manner, which is super-handy for note-taking twats like me. Continue reading “Gig Review: Ill Guerra & The Domestics @ Fuel Cafe [10/03/2018]”

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”

Gig Guide: Bands You Need To See In April

We’ve done all the hard work for you and found the best punk gigs across the country in April.

Article by Sarah Williams.

At Shout Louder, our April revolves the smorgasbord of sonic splendour that is Manchester Punk Festival. Now in its fourth year, MPF takes place over April 19th – 21st and, besides featuring many fantastic bands, it is also a major friends-fest. Every year the festival inspires punk rock pals from around the country to descend upon the Rainy City, this year seeming to pull even more attention from around the UK and further afield.

That said, it’s already sold out so we’re not going to bang on about it here. We will be banging on about it soon, with a series of related interviews and articles highlighting some of the acts you may be less familiar with. Keep your eyes peeled for pieces over the coming weeks, plus a very hungover episode of our podcast.

If you’ve got cash, time and energy leftover from Manchester Punk Festival, there are our top picks of this month’s events:

Gig of The Month: Nosebleed Album Release & Tour

  • When: April 7th
  • Where: Wharf Chambers, Leeds
  • Who: Support from Riggots, Snake Rattlers, Batwölf , Bones Shake and Guns On The Roof
  • Check out the Facebook event

Nosebleed are always jaw-droppingly entertaining live, so imagine how good they’re going to be in their hometown, surrounded by friends, at the launch of their debut album. It’s going to be complete rock ‘n’ roll carnage. Just don’t forget to give Dickie some love when Ben and Elliot abandon him to roam around the dancefloor.

The line-up they’ve organised is the perfect complement to their stripped-back, raucous style. Every act puts their own unique twist on the punk rock that we love, be that minimalist hip-shaking venom from Snake Rattlers, Bouncing Souls-esque perfection from Guns on The Roof or entropy-made-audible in the form of Riggots. Continue reading “Gig Guide: Bands You Need To See In April”