Interview: Leeds’ Dog Hand Srting Band combine dark country with DIY punk, featuring members of Jake and The Jellyfish, Bootscraper, China Shop Bull and more.
Leeds’ Dog Hand String Band are a dark and curious folk-punk collaboration from members of Jake & The Jellyfish, Bootscraper, China Shop Bull, Bad Knaves and, er, a hip hop DJ. In January 2018 they brough Tooth and Nail – a six-track EP recorded as live session, that succeeds in being as moody and mysterious as it is lively.
We spoke to shouty man and banjo twanger Cassius Langhorne to learn more about this DIY supergroup.
Hey! Dog Hand String Band is a relatively new collaboration. How would you sum up the band for someone who’s just discovering you?
That’s a hard one to be honest! We’re basically a rowdy punk folk band with a load of distorted guitars and big man choir backing vocals over the top. We do drinking songs and just about anything else that can be done with a banjo and shouting.
Tell me a bit about how Dog Hand String Band came to be – how did you meet?
Me and Jake used to work on the bar together and admired each other longingly for years before making it official and being in a band together. Electric Sam and I were in a stoner rock band that I had to leave because of my crumbling liver. They’re now called Bad Knaves though and they’re ace.
I was jamming out some stuff with the bassist Pete, Acoustic and Electric Sam for a bit and we decided we needed loads more instruments, to make it really impractical and impossible to organise.
I got our drummer Billy from when we were both working on stage, rigging for an epic Aled Jones performance and he was all like, “Yeah, I’ll drum for you man.” Then he did drum for us, which it turned out was amazing. Oh, and Derek is just in every band now, so he kinda just turned up one day and we didn’t have the heart to call the police. Continue reading “Band Spotlight: Dog Hand String Band [Interview]”
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
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”
I was very excited to hear that Jake & The Jellyfish were releasing a new album. Their last full-length, Dead Weight, was a splendid slice of upbeat folk punk; each song they deliver is foot-tapping, head-nodding, sing-along perfection. They’re also a band that guarantee a raucous live show, which they successfully replicate in the energy of their recorded material.
Their new record Long In Winters is due out on January 26th, with a shiny green vinyl version coming from Invisible Llama Music. At the base of all the songs is a solid unplugged guy-and-guitar ethos that is given a more expansive sound by the full band and the crystal-clear big-room production. Jake & The Jellyfish clearly take influence from traditional folk and riotous bands like the Levellers, but they modernise the sound with poppier ‘whoa-oh’ harmonies and a consistently fast, stomping tempo. The combination of electric guitar, fiddle, plaintive singing and relatable lyrics is irresistable.
The album kicks into action with bright electro-acoustic strumming on the opener Spokesdog. From the first bars we are introduced to Jake McAllister’s witty way with words and gritty, infectious vocal style. The song is uplifting with a sense of urgency behind it: performed solo-acoustic it could be a tearjerker, but instead it floods your stereo with emotive force, not dissimilar to the rousing feel Ducking Punches achieve with a full-band.
Second track, Reading List is more of a singalong opus, with an appealing little fiddle line woven into the mix. The words, “I need background noise so I can sleep, just turn on the radio and leave me be,” is an an ingeniously mundane statement. It’s aptly phrased insights like that which grant Jake & The Jellyfish such mass appeal. Similarly the opening lines to Graveyard (“We used to drink in the graveyard in town…”) encapsulate the experiences of every British teenager with enchanting simplicity. Graveyard is an uptempo stomper of a song, guaranteed to get you dancing whether it be in your bedroom, at your office desk or in sweaty basement venues around the country. Continue reading “Album Review: Jake & The Jellyfish – Long In Winters”