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.
2018 has been the year of the festival for me. I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy quite a few.
One of the uniquely brilliant factors about the punk scene is that you develop close friendships with people in far flung cities and countries. Our community relies on big events like these to bring everyone together – there are some friends that I would describe as ‘close’ despite only seeing them at musical festivals every couple of months. There’s something about forgetting an entire weekend together that brings you even closer.
It feels a tad unfair ranking punk festivals when, clearly, I can’t go to every single festival. Notably, this year I was unable to make it to Pie Race Festival, Wotsit Called Festival or Level Up Festival, which I suspect might feature highly if I had.
Similarly, I went to some absolutely brilliant festivals that deserve some love that haven’t quite made it onto the list here. Specifically, I’d recommend Belgium’s El Topo Goes Loco to everyone – it’s small, sunny and always has an incredible line-up. I also fell in love with Belgium’s Brakrock Ecofest – anothering stunning location, easily accessible with an excellent roster of bands (looking even bigger in 2019). I also enjoyed Dugstock and Polite Riot at The New Cross Inn, plus handful of smaller fests around the country.
These were the five best experiences of my entire year:
#5: SBAM Fest – Wels, Austria
Going to SBAM Fest was a somewhat impulsive decision, in an effort to overcome the MPF post-festival blues. However, with Propagandhi, Iron Chic, Satanic Surfers and No Trigger it was a no-brainer.
After a seriously long trip (Manchester to Stansted, Stansted to Salzburg, train to Wels) I found myself in a cool location miles away from home; a converted slaughterhouse covered in graffiti and filled with affable punks. I caught bands from closer to home like Darko, Wonk Unit and The Murderburgers, plus some foreign highlights like Astpai and The Bennies. I also did some catastrophically hard partying that led to the worst hangover of the year – typically a sign of a good weekend. Continue reading “Top 5 Punk Rock Festivals of 2018”
Double interview with two of melodic hardcore’s technical powerhouses.
Over the summer, Sarah got the opportunity to chat with two of the international fast-punk scene’s most stunningly melodic acts.
Firstly, at Brakrock Ecofest in Belgium, Sarah caught up with Étienne Dionne and Alexis Trépanier from Canadian technical masters Mute, a band who’ve been stunning audiences with their unrivalled guitar work for 20 years. As true legends of the tech scene they have a brilliant selection of tour tales to share with us.
Later, at Punk Rock Holiday, Sarah had a fun chat with Pekka Multaharju and Emil Stenbäck from One Hidden Frame: a brilliant melodic hardcore band from Lappeenranta in Finland and one of Shout Louder’s personal favourites.
One Hidden Frame have been going since 2002, however some of their best work has come in the form of their 2017 album Harmful Content and their recently released split EP with Thousand Oaks. We were absolutely delighted to get to chat to one another, and no doubt you’ll enjoy it too.
If you’re a fan on technical, interesting melodic hardcore, then you will love this podcast. Even if that’s not your bag musically, we’re sure you’ll love our chat.
These were the songs we played:
Mute – Fill The Void
Adrenalized – Crawling From The Ashes (feat. Étienne Dionne)
Listen to Sarah getting drunk with Spoilers, Rebuke and Captain Trips on this second Punk Rock Holiday special.
On today’s podcast, we will be whisking you back in time to the beautiful, sun-drenched beach at Punk Rock Holiday. Sarah grabbed Spoilers, Rebuke and Captain Trips for a chat at Slovenia’s premier punk festival. Grab a drink, put your feet up and listen to us getting progressively drunker as the day goes on.
Ben Davis and Dan Goatham from Kentish punks Spoilers have just released a sterling debut album in the form of Roundabouts. They’re a hilarious bunch so we jumped at the change to discuss the album, their summer holiday plans and
We speak to Petter Mossberg and Phil Nordling from skate-punks Rebuke. We share a pina colada, discuss their 15 years as a band, the current Swedish music scene and some of the bands they currently admire.
Finally, we spoke to Rich Mayor of Portsmouth skate-punks Captain Trips. We were officially 10+ cocktails deep at the time of recording, so it’s nice to have a recorded reminder of a conversation we’d no doubt have forgotten. We cover important topics like showering, cress, sweat, flip-flops, Dean Gaffney and solo projects.
I highly recommend sticking around to the end, as Sarah’s sobriety goes rapidly downhill in quite an amusing way. As Petter quite accurately puts it, “You meet too many cocktails.”
We play the following songs:
Spoilers – Roundabouts (from album Roundabouts is out now on Little Rocket Records, SBAM Records and Boss Tunage)
Rebuke – Take To The Seas (from their album Wouldworks, out on Disconnect Disconnect Records)
Captain Trips – Bottom Of The River (from their EP Stand By now on Umlaut Records)
If you enjoyed this, check out our first PRH Cocktail Special with Ducking Punches, The Murderburgers and Dead Neck.
Recorded on the beach at Punk Rock Holiday, Dan and Sarah talk gigs, bands and festival antics.
As the guitarist in both TNS folk-punk favourites Matilda’s Scoundrels and new sludge punk band Haest, as well as one of the organisers of Wotsit Called Festival, Dan Flanagan is one of the most active members of our current UK DIY punk scene.
I’ve been meaning to catch Dan to record a podcast since we first got started, but we finally managed to make time while both in Slovenia at Punk Rock Holiday! Where better to record than on an deserted beach in blazing sunshine, with our feet dipped in the crystal clear river, surrounded by stunning mountains?
Although the scenery is idyllic, you can definitely hear our hangovers in the first section of the podcast, and I struggled a bit with my battered vocal chords. Fortunately, Dan’s capable of stringing a sentence together, and we get onto a proper discussion of festival antics. We talk about the joys of Punk Rock Holiday (including Mad Caddies, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Comeback Kid and Almeida), as well as Manchester Punk Festival, Pie Race, Wotsit Called Fest and all kinda of other shenanigans.
We begin by saying we’re not doing to bad on the hangover front, but you can definitely hear the wear and tear in my battered vocal chords and the difficulty in stringing sentences together. You can hear us verbally wake up about 20 minutes in!
These are the tunes we played:
Matilda’s Scoundrels – Mr Martyn
Haest – I Didn’t Throw A Single Stone And Still I Got Pissed On
Sarah recorded with Ducking Punches, The Murderburgers and Dead Neck on the magic of a Slovenian beach!
Punk Rock Holiday is a brilliant week of bands, beers and beaches in one of the most stunning settings Europe has to offer. The festival also hosts a plethora of bands from around the world, so we couldn’t miss the opporunity to speak with a few of them on the Shout Louder podcast!
To capture the full Punk Rock Holiday spirit, Sarah recorded a handful of segments while sat on the beach in Slovenia, typically with a cocktail in hand. On this episode she spoke to Dan Allen from Norwich’s alt-rock wonders Ducking Punches, Fraser from fiesty Scottish power-pop-punkers The Murderburgers and Andy Dazzler and Jimmy Carrol from Manchester skate-punks Dead Neck.
We discussed a whole range of topics including creativity, bees the size of dogs, Glaswegian beatings, rakija and the state of the punk scene today. Perhaps most imporantly, we also try to put out finger on what makes Punk Rock Holiday so special.
Recently, travelling home from Nuremberg to Manchester, I opted to join Fair Do’s in their van for the 20 hour drive, rather than making use of the flight that I’d booked. They thought this was completely insane. It kinda was.
In fairness, I was travelling home from an overwhelmingly good weekend at KNRD Fest, my flight was absurdly early (and would probably have caused anxious, hungover Sarah to have a morning panic attack about missing the plane) and I love hanging out with Fair Do’s. There’s no doubt that 20 hours in a cramped tour van is no piece of cake, but I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to everyone and it meant that I could party hard on Saturday night, now that the worry of impossibly teleporting to an airport wasn’t weighing on my mind.
That said, there’s a romance to tour vans for the punk rock fan. A sweaty, uncomfortable, seemingly endless journey is in itself a part of the fun.
As I write, I’m now locked in a hot tin can on wheels, driving with some of the Lockjaw Crew from Brakrock Ecofest in Belgium to Punk Rock Holiday in Slovenia. It’s 17 hours in total, taking in a pick-up in Cologne and an obscure mission to collect a PRH ticket from a friend in Salzburg. We’re flying through the alps at 120kph in blazing sunshine with fuck all air conditioning, no stereo and so much merch (buying 500 Lockjaw compilation frisbees seemed like a great idea at the time…), vinyl and camping gear that there’s zero space for your feet in the footwell. Continue reading “17 Hours In A Sweaty Tin Can On Wheels”