Gig Guide: Bands You Need to See in May

The best ways to fill your ears and empty your wallet this month.

One week in and May has already proved itself as a killer month with a new release from Gnarwolves and the news that Lightyear are permanently reforming (yes, I did just wet myself a little).

We’ve also been blessed with a flurry of pre/post-Groezrock shows from international headliners like Deftones, Choking Victim and Thrice, although there were a few notable absences (Red City Radio have some serious explaining to do).

The summer season is just kicking in so there’s plenty to look forward to: pre-drinking in parks rather than over-priced bars, getting blinded by sunlight when emerging for a cigarette between bands, and your sweat-and-beer-soaked shirt not immediately turning to ice on the walk home.

Here are the gigs you don’t want to miss in May:

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Gig Review: The Menzingers @ Koko (19/04/2017)

The Menzingers, The Flatliners and The Dirty Nil get Camden shouting.

I imagine that watching The Menzingers as a punk fan is the closest I’ll ever get to watching Robbie Williams as a pop fan: in every song the crowd were belting the lyrics out, word-perfect and at full volume, at times even louder the band. If frontman Greg Barnett had dropped the mic and walked out, the audience could have carried the show.

This speaks volumes to how well The Menzingers have not only mastered writing catchy hooks, but how they have tapped into a seam of identifiable, bittersweet sentiments that resonate perfectly with a contemporary audience. Their song-writing truly encapsulates the flawed existence that many of us experience, illustrated best in The Obituaries where the crowd scream, “I will fuck this up, I fucking know it,” repeatedly at the top of their lungs.

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MPF2017: How to Survive the Post-Festival Blues

There is only one effective cure to Post-Festival Blues: make plans to do it all over again.

Are you a weak, bruised husk of your former self? Do you keep clambering onto stranger’s backs, trying to make a human pyramid? Do you have a sudden urge to eat salad? You may be suffering from Post-Festival Blues.

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Manchester Punk Festival: Where I’ll Be and Why

My goal this year is to ensure I don’t miss any of my favourite bands, while shoehorning in as many less-familiar acts as possible. These are my top picks for the weekend.

The last two years of Manchester Punk Festival (and the TNS 10 Year All-dayer before that) have firmly lodged this annual pilgrimage to The North as the most fun weekend of my musical year. Other festivals may boast bigger headliners, flashier venues and pissweak lager sponsorship, but MPF wins for having the best selection of quality underground punk acts and inspiring community spirit. Every MPF event feels like a party with friends, as it draws in like-minded, socially-responsible folks from all around the country (and even further afield).


MPF2017 promises to be bigger, better and louder than ever. Having nearly missed The Flatliners headlining last year due to Sound Control reaching capacity (fortunately giving a worn-out bouncer a sympathetic hug got us in), my main aim this year is to ensure I don’t miss any of my favourite bands, while shoehorning in as many less-familiar acts as possible. The organisers at TNS, Moving North and Anarchistic Undertones have done a cracking job of creating a well thought out and complementary running order but, as someone
with fairly eclectic taste, I’m going to be doing a lot of dashing around.

Using my powers of anxiety-fuelled organisation, I’ve created a personal plan to help make the most of the weekend. I honestly cannot pick a single band from the lineup that I would not want to see, these are just a handful of personal favourites.

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Shout Louder #1

Introduction // Gig Review: New Town Kings // What To Look Forward To

Shout Louder is going to be a source of punk info from the perspective of a dedicated fan and addicted gig-goer. Expect it loud, fast and hard, including ska, indie, folk and hardcore crossovers.

Over the years people have often described me as ‘keen’ – usually in a way that made it sound like an insult – and it’s my aim to harness and share that excitement here.

I’m never more energised than I am when I’m watching a band. I’m still shocked by how excited, joyful and (occasionally) emotional watching people making a racket on stage can make me.

So, what can you expect?

I’m going to write about what excites me most: gigs and festivals, new releases and old classics, titbits of news. I’ll let you know what’s coming up in the next few weeks, so that you can get excited too.

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