Gig Review: Behind-The-Scenes at Manchester Punk Festival 2019

A review of MPF from Sarah, who volunteers at the event. Friends, frantic dashes between venues and some top-class hardcore, including Not On Tour, Adrenalized, Svalbard, Consumed, Fair Do’s and Snuff.

Although there will be reviews aplenty, at Shout Louder we want to offer two unique perspectives on the fifth year of Manchester Punk Festival. Mark Bartlett’s given us is highlights as an MPF virgin, where as Sarah Williams is an MPF veteran who volunteers at the festival. In this edition, Sarah gives us a unique perspective from behind the scenes.

Excitement for Manchester Punk Festival begins long before the doors open to the public. Unfortunately, excitement can easily be mistaken for stress.

Weeks before the main event, I’m inundated with messages asking about guest list, accommodation, press accreditation and band recommendations. I’m only a volunteer, I’m not even one of the organisers – I can’t begin to imagine the sheer insanity of their inboxes. How they manage to keep it together in the days leading up to the festival, I will never know.

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Thursday

The hard graft starts in earnest on Thursday – the eve of the festival. I drive to Moston to join a five car convoy; our best method of transporting all the festival merchandise in the absence of ROPTM’s van. I’m blasting out Ocean Wisdom round the M60 like some boy racer on the way, which is harshly interrupted by a phonecall about a bounced band payment and a confusing artist hotel booking. We get it sorted in seconds, like pros.

Delivering the merchandise is the first time I’ve seen MPF’s brand new venue: The Union. It’s a huge, modern student building fittingly decorated in Manchester’s signature yellow-and-black. I’m shocked to see the size of the main hall. As we climb ladders to hang banners, it starts to look like a ‘real’ festival venue. It’s fucking huge. Continue reading “Gig Review: Behind-The-Scenes at Manchester Punk Festival 2019”

Gig Review: A First-Time Experience Of Manchester Punk Festival

Mark overcame anxiety to pop his MPF cherry, celebrating with Kermes, Charmpit, Big Joanie, Incisions, Fastfade, Burnt Tapes and more.

Although there will be reviews aplenty, at Shout Louder we want to offer two unique perspectives on the fifth year of Manchester Punk Festival. Sarah Williams is an MPF veteran who volunteers at the event, who’ll be giving us a behind-the-scenes perspective, whereas Mark Bartlett’s has given us his highlights as an MPF first timer. In this article, Mark explores his nerves about attending alone, and why the effort was worthwhile.

Here are some thoughts about my first ever trip to the Manchester Punk Festival over the long Easter bank holiday weekend.

My first ever MPF can only be described as a completely heartening, life nourishing experience, which was briefly prodded by the occasional anxious freak out.

By the time the weekend was done, my notions of what punk is or isn’t was challenged by the massive breadth of genre variety on offer. Ultimately, I felt that the living spirit of punk rock is the ethos, outlook, morality and community of the few thousand individuals who make this annual pilgrimage.

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Incisions @ Gorilla. Photo: Josh Sumner

I fully expected to feel awkward a lot of the time. I’m a real loud mouth once I get to know a person properly, but alone I’m very shy around strangers, and that’s further exacerbated when I’m around people who I think are talented (no shortage of that here). I naturally assume that people dislike me and in groups I always feel very visible and awkward. It’s a behaviour I have to work quite hard to deprogram myself of.

If I’d had somebody to go with, I would have loved to have come to any previous MPF, but the general feeling of being lonesome and weird was insurmountable. Last year, I felt the pangs of jealously having heard about all the fun everybody had, and I was resolved to go no matter what, come rain or shine. Luckily for all of us, the weather was completely glorious and, even as a solo traveller, I didn’t feel alone for any significant portion of my weekend. Honestly, I was surprised to find out that so many people I met have so many of the same social hang ups. I enjoyed the weekend from a social perspective every bit as much as what was on offer musically. It’s a brilliant atmosphere and it was great to finally get the chance to meet some long term social media pals in the flesh, as well as catching up with some old friends. Continue reading “Gig Review: A First-Time Experience Of Manchester Punk Festival”

5 Hot New Punk Rock Releases You Should Be Listening To

Listen to our top picks from this month’s new punk rock releases: Burnt Tapes, Pkew Pkew Pkew, Bash Brothers, Coral Springs and Wolfrik.

Article by Sarah Williams.

Sometimes punk rock goes through a drought. Other times, it’s a flood. February has been a tsunami of top-drawer punk rock records, more than we’ve been able to keep up with!

To make sure you don’t miss out, we’ve rounded up our favourite new releases below. There have also been some excellent new singles from SKIV, Wild Tales, Blind Man Death Stare, Tip of OlympVs and more – check out our ‘Something To Shout About’ Spotify playlist for all the latest tracks!

Burnt Tapes – Never Better

Released February 22nd on Lockjaw Records (UK/EU) & Wiretap Records (US)

The hotly tipped debut album from London ‘regret-punks’ Burnt Tapes has received some sterling reviews in the weeks leading up to its release. Crafted over the last couple of years, Never Better builds on the solid melodic foundation of their EP Alterations (Shout Louder’s EP Of The Year 2017), harking back to older songs through fleeting lyrical references, while also developing the band’s sound into something greater and deserving of major appreciation. Continue reading “5 Hot New Punk Rock Releases You Should Be Listening To”

7 Punk Rock Bands To Stalk In 2019

Our recommendations for ones-to-watch this year – these bands are set to explode.

Written by Sarah Williams. Cover photo by Cold Front Photography.

Now that we’ve completed our round-up of 2018 (check out our top albums, EPs, festivals and live bands) it’s time to look ahead of the future.

The DIY punk scene is thriving in Europe currently; it’s feels like we’re on riding the crest of a wave that’s growing into a tsunami. Online connections are enabling us to share recommendations and enthusiasm across continents, so word is spread quickly about exciting new acts.

It’s easy to find new music nowadays, however I’ve believe there are two methods that stand out above the others: watching support acts at gigs and listening to recommendations from your friends. In 2019, I implore you to get out and see as many new bands as possible. To get you started, here are Shout Louder’s top recommendations:

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Wolfrik

Canadian thrashers Wolfrik are unlike any other band I’ve heard… although it’s safe to say they’re fans of Alexisonfire, A Wilhelm Scream, Protest The Hero and Belvedere. I’ve been keen to get their EP Skeleton City into the ears of anyone I can find and, so far, everyone’s been bowled over by their awesome sound.

Fortunately Skeleton City also found its way to the ears of the Manchester Punk Festival promoters, who pretty much instantly added them to the bill. If Wolfrik are as good live as they are on record then they’re going to tear the faces off the whole UK punk scene when they arrive in England in April. Erring on the metal / rock end of the punk scale, they combine a variety of genres, but it’s all fast, raucous fun with a healthy dose of experimentation. Continue reading “7 Punk Rock Bands To Stalk In 2019”

Band Spotlight: Tip Of OlympVs [Exclusive]

Devestatingly real brutality with pop sensibilities, from mysterious international supergroup Tip of OlympVs. FFO: Car Bomb, Katy Perry, Julio Inglesias.

Have you heard of Tip of OlympVs yet? This mysterious supergroup recently launched their Instagram with a black square, ala Alexisonfire, sparking a ripple of interest in music fans around the country.

Always keen to bring you the best in new music, Shout Louder got an exclusive introduction to this exciting new act.

Tip of OlympVs deliver devastatingly real brutality with pop sensibilites. The band is comprised of three members with backgrounds in the underground hip-hop scene, who have joined forces to bring you a new brand of endless, hook-laden, bass-lad, rock/math/core.

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Left to Right: Thorz Tip, PG Tip, Brok Oli

The name Tip of OlympVs is inspired by the band’s origins, with the three members coming from three different corners of Europe. The band mix elements of Greek mythology, Granada flamenco, with UK hardcore and vegan plant-pop.

“All inclusive, all encompassing. Something that everybody wants but nobody needs,” said drummer and guitarist Brok Oli when asked what audiences can expect from their live show. “We will be hitting audiences with a full on, four-dimensional assault on the senses. It will be like visiting a vegetable garden in your local venue.” Continue reading “Band Spotlight: Tip Of OlympVs [Exclusive]”