Gig Review: Spanish Love Songs @ Soup Kitchen, Manchester

A sold-out Manchester show with Pkew Pkew Pkew and Goodbye Blue Monday showcased the future of melodic punk rock.

Review by Sarah Williams. Photos by Cold Front Photography.

Moving North have sourced an exceptional punk rock line-up for a cold Wednesday in the Rainy City. Tonight’s bill of Spanish Love Songs, Pkew Pkew Pkew and Goodbye Blue Monday showcases the future of melodic punk rock: each of these bands is set to explode in the near future. This is a tour that will go down in the history books.

Selling out weeks in advance, tonight’s also due to be a shoulder-to-shoulder riot in Manchester’s tasteful Soup Kitchen basement. Exposed brick, classy beers and healthy grub here make it one of the best venues the city has to offer. It’s gigs like this that put Manchester at the forefront of the UK’s live music scene.

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Scottish misery-punks Goodbye Blue Monday open the show early to a sparse but friendly crowd. They open with newer tune Red Skies that eases people in gently with a slow crescendo intro, before they plaster grins on our faces for one of their biggest old tunes: The Sickness, The Shame. Continue reading “Gig Review: Spanish Love Songs @ Soup Kitchen, Manchester”

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”

Top 5 Punk Rock EPs of 2018

Sarah’s Top 5 picks of this year’s shorter punk rock releases.

Written by Sarah Williams.

There’s a true beauty in a short, snappy EP. Whether is a new band looking for a cost-effective way to showcase their talents and learn how to record, or a more established act wanting to immortalise some of their current material, EPs are often better than full albums.

To me a full album is an experience. The longer playing time allows the music to breathe and have highs and lows. Conversely, the short, sweet EP is typically a relevant blast of the band’s most recent material: a audio snapshot of this moment in their career, with no room for filler, fuss or faff.

Speaking to Lasse from Forever Unclean recently, I asked him whether they were considering doing an album. “We prefer doing EPs,” he said, if I remember correctly (I was drunk, so let’s paraphrase). “That way we can put out music that we currently enjoy playing, without having to wait for a full album’s worth of material.”

The albums released in 2018 were probably written and recorded long before. With that in mind, the shorter, more manageable EPs offer a more current insight into the musical landscape. That’s why, to me, some of this year’s most memorable releases are the short ones.

#5: Layman’s Terms – An Invite To The End

Bristol shredders Layman’s Terms produced an absolutely superb 6-track effort early in 2018.  An Invite To The End opens with some heavy guitar-work that quickly develops into urgent, frantic fast-punk. Like Fair Do’s, they’ve taken a lot of elements of double-time classic skate-punk and blended some of the heavier elements of metal. It works. Really well.

The whole EP keeps you on the edge of your seat with some adrenaline-loaded riffs and momentary heavy breakdowns. It’s unrelenting, ferocious and suggests there will be some great things from the band in future. I cannot wait to shout along to this live.

If you want to hear melodic hardcore done right, listen to Cut The Line and Letters To The Dead. Layman’s Terms have nailed this. Continue reading “Top 5 Punk Rock EPs of 2018”

Top 10 Live Bands That Blew Us Away in 2018

There’s nothing more exciting than live music and these are the best of the best.

Written by Sarah Williams.

A phrase that’s been whispered in the dark corners of venues this year is that we’re onto something big. We look back upon golden ages when underground scenes were thriving, like the late 90’s Household Name days, but there’s been a tangible undercurrent of something unique and special in 2018 that’s convinced me that we might be in the middle of one of those golden eras. I cannot begin to describe the feeling I get at a gig when I’m surrounded by friends and enjoying a band I love; there’s an electricity and a sense of community that cannot be rivalled.

Although we all bang on about our Top 10 Albums at this time of the year, I think live music is much more essential than the recorded variety. It’s live shows where you get to spit and scream and sweat with your fellow punks. You meet likeminded people, enjoy the bands you love and discover new ones. Live shows are the most essential part of our scene and our primary goal at Shout Louder has always been to get more people to go and support their local bands, venues and promoters.

I have seen an lot number of incredible bands this year, but here are the acts that really stood out. Go check them out in 2019.

Mad Caddies Punk Rock Holiday cred Silvy Maatman
Mad Caddies @ Punk Rock Holiday 1.8. Cred: Silvy Maatman

#10: Mad Caddies

I’ve caught Mad Caddies quite a few times in the past and, although I like them, I can’t say I’m their biggest fan. Perhaps as a result, I was absolutely blown away by them this year. Continue reading “Top 10 Live Bands That Blew Us Away in 2018”

Top 12 Bands Not To Miss At Book Yer Ane Fest XII

Check out out top recommendatons for Dundee’s premiere punk festival.

Book Yer Ane Fest is a gem in the UK punk rock calendar. Over the years I’ve heard the name whispered, dropped into any conversation about the best punk festivals, but it’s shrouded in an air of mystery. Perhaps because of its wintry date (November 30th – December 2nd) or its ‘foreign’ location (taking place in the Scottish coastal town of Dundee), it’s sometimes overlooked on circuit English festival-goers follow.

I’m here to tell you the trip is more than worth it. Every year Book Yer Ane Fest has a stunning line up – an exceptional selection of the best DIY punk bands the UK has to offer, plus some choice selections from overseas, handpicked by the crew at Make-That-A-Take Records. They’re spread across two venues over three main days, with pre- and post-fest shows and a host of labels, zines and chartiable causes.

There are some absolutely incredible bands on the BYAF XII line-up, however we’ve picked out ten for you to check out.

N.B.: I’ve excluded a couple of my all-time favourites as they’re too ‘obvious’, but you should all clearly go and watch The Burnt Tapes, Forever Unclean, Roughneck Riot, Tim Loud and Uniforms, and all the other bands too!

Paper Rifles

Catchy, delightfully intelligent lyrics, with a rousing undercurrent of anger much needed in this brand of acoustic-led indie punk rock. From Edinburgh, Paper Rifles released a sterling album The State Of It All in March that is an instant love affair.

Lost Avenue

Having recently released Fears via Little Rocket Records, Irish alt-punk trio Lost Avenue have been touring heavily round. Their songs are powerful, driven and loaded with irresistable hooks.

Continue reading “Top 12 Bands Not To Miss At Book Yer Ane Fest XII”

Shout Louder Fest in Manchester Announced!

We are proud to announce the first ever Shout Louder Fest!

We are seriously excited to announce the first ever Shout Louder Fest, created in association with Lockjaw Records.

Shout Louder Fest will take place at Gullivers in Manchester on February 2nd, promising a mix of melodic punk, ska, skate-punk and hardcore. Grab your ticket now!

We’re calling it a ‘fest’ but, if we’re honest, Shout Louder’s head honcho Sarah W is turning 30 and wants you all to come and party with her. To celebrate, she’s hand-picked a line up of all her favourite bands for this massive all-dayer in Manchester, including Faintest Idea, Fair Do’s, The Human Project, PMX, Aerial Salad, The Burnt Tapes, Goodbye Blue Monday, Nosebleed and Follow Your Dreams.

Let us know if you can join us on our Facebook Event.

Here’s a taste of all the awesome bands you can enjoy:

Faintest Idea

Long-term TNS favourites Faintest Idea bring the rudeboy street/ska-punk party all the way from the East of Anglia. Shouty smash-the-state vocals, irresistible brass, Alan Partridge accents. What more do you want?

FFO: Random Hand, Rancid, The Specials, dancing till you drop

Fair Do’s

Masters of shred, breakdowns and political ‘choruses’, locals underdogs Fair Do’s bring seriously uptempo, technical skate-punk with a metal edge. Now that they’ve finally released their album ‘Leopards’ you can learn all the lyrics and sing along too.

FFO: Death By Stereo, Propagandhi, Protest The Hero, telling Tree to fuck off Continue reading “Shout Louder Fest in Manchester Announced!”

Exclusive: Goodbye Blue Monday FINISHED

Goodbye Blue Monday announce major announcement.

Yesterday Scottish misery-punks Goodbye Blue Monday announced that they would be making a major announcement at 7pm CET. As this was shared across the internet, anticipation gripped the punk rock world. As the forefront of punk rock in-jokes, Shout Louder is proud to bring you this exclusive announcement of an announcement.

Goodbye Blue Monday are finished… with their tour.

Following an incredible five show extravaganza, taking in Beligum, London and Shout Louder’s kitchen, Goodbye Blue Monday will be heading home for a well-deserved sleep, tattie scones and hugs with their dogs. They will also be reuninted with their absent guitar player, Jack, at whom this exclusive announcement was aimed.

When asked about their tour, singer Graham Lough commented, “It was a time.”

We wish the boys all the best with their announcement of an announcement and with their trip home.