Haest: Hastings’ New Hardcore Supergroup [Interview]

We spoke to Dan and Mark from new Hastings sludgy-hardcore act Haest about their latest musical project.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

You might have heard the name Haest cropping lately. If you haven’t yet, we guarantee you will soon.

Haest are the latest in South Coast hardcore; hailing from Hastings they’re a vertiable DIY supergroup, feturing members of Matilda’s Scoundrels, The Barracks, Wizard Fight and The Dead Anyways. Seeking a new, heavier musical outlet, these four guys recently banded together to create something fresh. The result is EP #1, which showcases their gritty, sludgy take on hardcore.

We spoke to Dan Flangan (guitar) and Mark Tanner (bass) about their latest endeavour.

For a new band, there’s a lot of buzz about Haest at the moment! What first prompted you to start making music together?

  • Mark: Dan could’ve started the idea off before, but I’m pretty sure I got involved after a few drunken conversations with Dan about a side project for a bit of fun playing some heavier stuff.
  • Dan F: Matilda’s Scoundrels had 10 weeks off at the beginning of the year without a show and I had a bunch of riffs I’d written that weren’t really Scoundrels material. So Mark and I spoke about it then got Dan K onboard.

Haest Live 1.jpg

How would you describe your sound to someone?

  • Dan F: I’m not really sure how to describe it. It’s very mixed. Hardcore driven with sludge/metal elements?
  • Mark: My favourite description I’ve heard is that we’re like a punk Black Sabbath mixed with early Black Flag. I guess we’re sludgy hardcore/punk. Slunk!

Continue reading “Haest: Hastings’ New Hardcore Supergroup [Interview]”

Exclusive: Revenge of The Psychotronic Man Premiere ‘Planet Earth II’ Video

Manchester’s DIY-heroes’ latest video captures the stunning crowd reaction at Manchester Punk Festival 2018.

Earlier in 2018, Manchester speed-punks and DIY-scene heroes Revenge Of The Psychotronic Man saldy announced that they would be splitting up in December.

The band have been active for 14 years, playing over 500 gigs all over the UK and Europe. In true Revenge fashion, the band decided to go out in style rather than fading away, making 2018 one of their most active years to date.

They announced a collosal run of live dates, all leading up to one massive headline all-dayer at Rebellion bar in Manchester on Saturday 8th December. Revenge have curated a bill of 14 support acts who they’ve shared stages with many times in their career, all doing 20 minute sets. The bands are booked along with a host of other surprises, however they won’t be announced until just before the gig! There are just 110 tickets left this this once-in-a-lifetime show – get yours before they’re gone.

Alongside this run of final gigs, the band have also released That Was Just A Noise. The album features 26 tracks from between 2004 and 2018, including some previously unreleased material and a series of rarities.

Planet Earth II is one of those new tracks. Already a live favourite, the track is a homage of sorts to David Attenborough, but also a discussion about spending every weekend on the road, being constantly knackered at ‘real’ work, but so grateful for the experiences the DIY punk scene offers.

The video was recorded at the sold out Manchester Punk Festival in April 2018 by Bobby Stikah/Occlumus . Continue reading “Exclusive: Revenge of The Psychotronic Man Premiere ‘Planet Earth II’ Video”

Podcast #10: Fair Do’s Talk Leopards, Foxes and Sasquatches

Manchester’s masters of metal / punk crossover join us for a tongue-in-cheek chat about woodland animals, touring and technical excellence.

On today’s thoroughly entertaining episode, Sarah is joined by Danny Cummings and John Holt from Fair Do’s. These tongue-in-cheek Northerners have been an important part of both the UK DIY punk scene and the wider European skate-punk scene since 2009 so we were delighted to speak to them, especially as they get set to unleash their stunning new album Leopards.

We learn why their bassist is a weasel, why a stage catching fire doesn’t mean the end of a show, and they share the story of their foxy new video for their single, Closing In. We also discuss KNRD Fest, touring with After The Fall and Death By Stereo and, erm, morris dancing.

Finally, they also completely throw their bandmate Dave Speechley under the bus on the personal worst section of the podcast, telling two fabulously embarassing tour stories. Probably serves him right for being such an disgustingly good guitarist.

We also discuss their album Leopards, which is due out on Lockjaw Records on July 27th. We’re a tad biased, but we think it’s one of the best melodic hardcore albums that 2018 will have to offer, and you’re a fool if you don’t pre-order it from Lockjaw Records right this second. Continue reading “Podcast #10: Fair Do’s Talk Leopards, Foxes and Sasquatches”

How To Beat Post-Festival Depression

Written by Sarah Williams, cover image by Josh Sumner. Part of our #MentallySound series, discussing mental health in music.

The struggle is real. We have all been there after a great weekend: suddenly alone, wanting to grin and cry in equal measure. Post-festival depression is the worst part of loving live music.

You’re mentally exhausted from the sheer amount of fun you’ve had. At best you’re a hungover, sunburned mosquito-feast, at worst you’ve sustained an actual injury. You’re bruised and broken from the physical exertion of a ‘holiday’: mosh pits, human pyramids, sleeping on floors.

You’ve showered but you can’t cleanse your insides; sitting in the office on Monday morning feeling like a ragdoll stuffed with shit spaghetti, desperately hoping none of your colleagues notice your mental state.

In the weekend punk-bubble it’s completely appropriate to curl up in a ball on the floor if you need to, to joke about your hands shaking or your jaw aching. You can show off your pit bruises and laugh about all the stupid things you did when you were peak drunk.

Suddenly, Monday comes and you’re crash landing into the reality of your day job, forced to keep schtum about this ‘other life’ you’re living. When your colleagues have innocently spent the weekend ferrying their kids to swimming lessons, doing a spot of gardening and redecorating their kitchens, you can’t exactly counter it with tales of gincidents, Class A’s and a complete disregard for your own physical well-being. When you’re enduring this inevitable dip, the worst part is that you have to keep quiet and pretend you’re totally fine.

Having experienced the crushing loneliness of post-festival depression umpteenth times now, I wanted to share my advice on overcoming it.

Reach out to your friends

There’s a good chance that they’re feeling just as shit as you are, so reach out to your mates and make sure they’re okay. Share the pain. The post-fest depression hits us all at different times; for me it’s usually about half an hour after I say goodbye to the last person I see, when it’s had a little time to sink in. It might vary a bit depending on the strength of your bangover, how long your journey home is or who you’re going home to. Continue reading “How To Beat Post-Festival Depression”

Album Review: Eat Defeat – I Think We’ll Be Okay

Leeds’ Eat Defeat have created a true pop-punk gem, with a positive take on mental health struggles.

Review by Mark Bartlett.

Leed’s based pop punks Eat Defeat were already arguably the UK’s greatest unsung pop-punks, and I mean pop-punk in the classic Drive Thru record’s/Warped Tour sense rather than the diluted squash of the countless Neck Deep-alike easycore contenders. Their last EP Time And Tide, which was released through Umlaut Records, was a shining example of modern UK pop-punk. Their 2nd full album I Think We’ll Be Ok, expands on the promise of Time And Tide in terms of song composition (and recycles one song and a Japanese release exclusive track from it) and adds superior lyrics and a strong uniting album theme.

I Think We’ll Be Ok is their first release for Bearded Punk records and features some pretty gorgeous, colourful artwork that nicely sets the tone for an album that tackles tried and true topics such as depression, anxiety and the complexities of relationships, but all wrapped in a sugary exterior and an ultimately optimistic place.

First track A Little Less Than Ok sets a high bar immediately with an utter sharknado of melody attacking you from every direction. Lovely guitar textures abound and there’s enjoyable harmony and rich, crunchy and full production here in spades. ‘I can’t break out of this mental state’ sets up the lyrical conflict of the album pretty perfectly.

Second track Duvet Day, is as concise a statement as can be at 41 seconds but no less affecting; the lyrical sentiment, “You’ll take this duvet away from me when you pry it away from my cold, dead hands,” is one a lot of us can easily relate to. Continue reading “Album Review: Eat Defeat – I Think We’ll Be Okay”

Four Days Following A Wilhelm Scream On Tour [Column]

Sarah spent a long weekend following melodic hardcore legends, A Wilhelm Scream, on their UK tour with Darko. This is her personal account of the sweatiest weekend of the year.

Article by Sarah Williams. Images from Cold Front Photography, taken at The Star & Garter, Manchester.

It’s sweltering. I’m screaming. There’s a crush of bodies all around me, elbows and fists and softer parts, heaving and desperately scrabbling for space. Every surface is slick with sweat. I turn around just in time to catch a boot to the face, as singer Nuno Pereira is hoisted above the pit, trailing the mic cable, still belting the lyrics out.

He circles above the crowd before being gently propped back onto the the stage, where he immediately bounces back to scream out the chorus. I’m crushed against the edge of the stage and, when I look up, he’s literally dripping a waterfall of sweat straight on to all of us in the front row.

A Wilhelm Scream Live Manchester cred Josh Sumner 3.jpg

It’s the longest, hottest day of the year, and the air feels ripe with anticipation for the chaos that A Wilhelm Scream bring on tour with them, unleashing raw, unbridled energy on stage every single night. This 5-piece melodic hardcore whirlwind have journeyed from their hometown in New Bedford, Massachusetts for a month-long tour, beginning with 7 dates in the UK with Shout Louder faves Darko.

I’ve been known to go to absurd lengths for the love of punk rock and this weekend will be no exception. Taking every chance to see one of the world’s most incendiary live bands, I decided to catch them in Manchester, Norwich, London and Stafford. Fortunately, I managed to convince Tree (of MPF/Anarchistic Undertones fame) to join me, so I wasn’t alone for the ride.

A Wilhelm Scream Live Manchester cred Josh Sumner 7.jpg

Friday: Manchester

Manchester’s show at the Star & Garter is unquestionably the best gig I’ve been to this year (and I’ve seen Propagandhi twice). Perhaps it’s the intense heat. Perhaps it’s the crush of friends at the front. Perhaps it’s the insanely good performance from one of my all time favourite bands…  or perhaps it was the excitement of knowing I get to do it all again for the next three days. Continue reading “Four Days Following A Wilhelm Scream On Tour [Column]”

[Interview] Level Up Festival: Ska-punk is Alive and Skanking in South London

We had an in-depth chat with the collective of promoters working on the UK’s best ska-punk festival.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

Now in its second year, London’s Level Up Festival is proof that ska-punk certainly ain’t dead. Last year was a sold out skankstravanganza, but 2018’s line-up is even more exceptional, featuring the likes of Random Hand and Lightyear as headliners. In terms of DIY-level festivals, this by far the biggest and best ska-oriented event, taking place at New Cross Inn on July 20th – 22nd.

The event is an unusual collaboration between three promoters, bringing three distinct tastes to their bookings. Paul and Mike Smith who run Be Sharp are London based, with Paul spending his days as the Events Manager at the up-and-coming New Cross Inn. Chris Fishlock runs Bristol-based Fishlock Promotions, known for booking DIY all-dayers, including the well-known Fishstock event. Finally, Jason Berden brings his influence all the way from Belgium, where he also books the incredible El Topo Goes Loco Festival. We spoke to all of them, to get an in-depth insight into Level Up Festival.

LUP17
L-R: Paul Smith, Jason Berden, Chris Fishlock, Mike Smith

Level Up festival is looking incredible this year! Tell us what we can expect.

  • Paul: Some of the best bands in the world and happy faces. Last year was one of the most positive events I’ve been involved with, and that’s mostly down to everyone that travels from all over, purely to have a great time. The floor will be fine too.
  • Jason: Some old legends, such as Lightyear or Random Hand, making their return, as well as some of the best upcoming bands of the UK ska scene. I also added my fellow Belgians in Koala Commission to the Saturday bill, to show our island friends that the mainland scene is as strong as ever before!

Continue reading “[Interview] Level Up Festival: Ska-punk is Alive and Skanking in South London”