The Best Ways To Support Independent Records Labels (From The Labels Themselves)

Sarah speaks to the owners of small, independent record labels, to understand the best way people can support them and to demystify some preconceptions about small music businesses.

Written by Sarah Williams.

We’re currently running a competition to support small record labels, where you can win a massive bundle of vinyl, CDs and other goodies. Head to our Instagram to enter.

The role of the record label has changed in recent years. Small, independent DIY labels are popping up all the time, but they don’t have the capital to fund recordings or the clout to market bands to a mainstream audience, as a label would have done traditionally.

Instead, many of the record labels we love are started at kitchen tables by keen music lovers,often to help their friends or to release their own band’s music. Nowadays, record labels are a helping hand, a word of advice, financial support and a labour of love.

Outside of Shout Louder, I’m part of a team that keep the cogs turning at Lockjaw Records. Although we’re relatively well established, we’re not doing anything for profit. The reward for our hard work is seeing our bands reach new listeners and play bigger stages. Many label proprietors are passionate punk rockers, who simply want to keep the scene alive.

I spoke to some of the small labels I respect the most, to understand how best to support them. Continue reading “The Best Ways To Support Independent Records Labels (From The Labels Themselves)”

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 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”

Podcast: Derrick Johnston from Make-That-A-Take Records

Scottish DIY legend Derrick Johnston shares some wisdom and some love for our flourishing punk scene.

2018 has been a busy year for Derrick Johnston. As one of Scotland’s DIY musical stalwarts, he’s probably best known for running Make-That-A-Take Records and being one of the organisers of Book Yer Ane Fest. His band Uniforms have recently released a new 7” EP via TNS Records and he’s been solidly touring his solo project Tragical History Tour. He’s part of a crew that runs Conroy’s Basement in Dundee alongside a good ol’ regular job. It’s been non-stop.

Fortunately, Derrick managed to impart some of his wisdom and share some mutual music appreciation with Sarah on today’s podcast. With years of experience in booking and playing shows, promoting bands and making the most of what you’ve got, Derrick’s an honestly inspiring individual and a pleasure to listen to.

Enjoy today’s podcast and remember, even when you’re feeling like Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill, the pure love created by the DIY punk scene is more than worth the effort.

Continue reading “Podcast: Derrick Johnston from Make-That-A-Take Records”

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.

 

Exclusive: Uniforms Stream New ‘Reasons To Breathe’ EP

Be the first to hear Uniforms’ new 7”: proper, gritty Scottish pop-punk at its best, due out on Make-That-A-Take and TNS Records on August 24th.

Following an emotionally-charged, riotous comeback set at Manchester Punk Festival earlier this year (one of our festival highlights), Dundee’s Uniforms have created a snappy, uptempo banger of an EP entitled Reasons To Breathe. It’s three tracks of their quintessential gruff, gritty, galvanizing approach to pop-punk, chock-full of powerful riffs, positive sentiments and political subtext.

Reasons To Breathe is due for release via Make-That-A-Take and TNS Records on August 24th: a collaboration between two of the hardest-working DIY labels in the UK that’s been a long time coming. You can pre-order Reasons To Breathe on a pure white vinyl 7” right now.

We’ve been enjoying Reasons To Breathe for a while now and we just couldn’t wait to share it with you. Luckly listeners can also catch them on tour around the UK (dates below), but in the meantime make sure you’re the first to Uniforms’ new EP:

Reasons To Breathe was recorded, mixed and mastered by Ant Booth at Kesbri Studios. Continue reading “Exclusive: Uniforms Stream New ‘Reasons To Breathe’ EP”

MPF Band Spotlight: Uniforms [Interview]

Manchester Punk Festival Band Spotlight: Dundee’s Uniforms promise us to ‘a half hour of nae messin bangers’. Stay up for their gritty melodic punk rock at the afterparty.

It’s all gone a bit MPF mad here at Shout Louder HQ. There are so many great bands that we don’t know where to begin! To help you make the most of the festival, we have spoken to a handful of the bands we’re most excited to see. Even if you’re not coming to MPF, there’s plenty to learn and enjoy.

We will be posting every other day in the lead up to Manchester Punk Festival. Check out the full series here.

Band Spotlight: Uniforms

MPF 2018 marks a special appearance for Uniforms, who took a break in 2014 and have only just returned for a handful of shows. Hailing from Dundee in eastern Scotland, they’ll be treating us to some gritty, melodic punk rock to close off the festival on Saturday. They have incredibly good energy live, so it’s worth pacing yourself over the weekend to make the most of their afterparty set.

We spoke to frontman Derrick Johnston, who also heads up respected Scottish DIY label Make-That-A-Take Records to find out more.

Why should people come check out your set at Manchester Punk Festival?

Obviously people are not compelled to come and see us but should they choose to do so, they’ll be guaranteed some heart-on-sleeve rapid punk rock goodness, a dose of hefty real talk and a half hour of nae messin’ bangers.

We’ve been having loads of piley-ons recently, it’s actually a private Uniforms ritual that we’ve been indulging in publicly for the first time, so it’s not outwith the boundaries of possibility that we’ll have a pop punk piley at MPF.

Which bands are you most excited to see at the festival, and why?

The line-up is just jaw-droppingly good. I’ve been friends with the MPF troops for a long time now and I’m so proud of everything that they achieved. It’s also very exciting to be sharing the bill with some MTAT troops and we’ll be down the front for Goodbye Blue Monday, PMX and Forever Unclean for sure. I never thought I’d see the day where our band would be on a bill with Propagandhi. The Copyrights are my quite possibly my favourite pop punk band on earth and I couldn’t be more excited to see them in the UK for the first time.

You’ve been to Manchester Punk Festival before as Tragical History Tour – what was the best thing about last year?

It was an absolute privilege to play last year in between friends ONSIND and Billy Liar. The whole thing was tremendous and a testament to the will and passion of everyone involved in making it happen. Petrol Girls made the hair on my neck stand on end and watching Paint It Black in a massive club was quite the intense experience. It felt like a family reunion to me, an opportunity to catch up with people we’ve met over the years of involvement in the UK punk scene who are rarely all in the same place. Did you even go to the punk fest if you weren’t sitting in the gutter with the crust punks. Continue reading “MPF Band Spotlight: Uniforms [Interview]”