Top 10 Bands To Discover At Manchester Punk Festival 2019

Excited for MPF 2019? Here are our top picks from this year’s stunning line-up.

Article by Sarah Williams. Read all our MPF2019 articles.

Over five years, Manchester Punk Festival has flourished and become one of the biggest and best festivals Europe has to offer.

For me personally, MPF is a bigger event in my calendar than Christmas. I enjoyed the first three years of the festival so much that I decided to move to Manchester, because it has the most active, welcoming and diverse punk rock scene in the country. I’ve since had the privilege of volunteering at the festival, writing articles for their programme and website, and seeing first-hand the love, stress and dedication that the organisers pour into the event every year.

This year I’m also ‘performing’ at the festival. Come and join us in Font Bar @ 12:30 Friday to watch a live recording of the Shout Louder podcast. I’ll be talking about mental health in music, with Lucias of Call Me Malcolm and Holly from Hell Hath No Fury Records.

With 138 acts at this year’s Manchester Punk Festival, you’re spoilt for choice. These are the 10 I’m looking forward to the most.

Wolfrik

Wolfrik are a recent Lockjaw Records discovery – these guys crank out fiery melodic thrash, with a huge metal/classic rock edge that’s insanely fun to listen to. Knowing the incendiary effect their Skeleton City EP’s had on everyone who’s heard it, I’m excited to see the impact it’ll have on a keen live audience.

Svalbard

I’ve not managed to catch Svalbard live yet, although their 2018 album It’s Hard to Have Hope was one of my favourites of last year. They’re well known in the metal scene, however they’re also an ideal fit for fans of dark, furious hardcore punk. Lyrically tackling feminism and politics and writing soaring Counterparts-esque guitar parts has made front-woman Serena Cherry one of my personal musical heroes. I’m looking forward to an intense, earth-shattering live show.

Continue reading “Top 10 Bands To Discover At Manchester Punk Festival 2019”

MPF Interview: Screech Bats

Manchester Punk Festival will be Screech Bat’s final gig – we spoke to them ahead of the funeral service.

Interview by Sarah Williams. A shorter version is published in the Manchester Punk Festival programme, for which this was written. You can download the programme here. If you haven’t already, be sure to grab your MPF2019 tickets before they sell out!

Alt-rock four piece Screech Bats are sadly calling it a day at Manchester Punk Festival 2019. We’ve caught them live a few times and enjoyed their 2018 EP Wish You Were Her (as well as being consistently jealous of their next-level eyeliner wielding skills), so we’re sad to see them go. We took our last chance to have a chat with the band.

MPF is sadly going to be Screech Bats final show, and you’re treating it as a funeral for the band. Do you have any special planned that you can share with us?

We are planning to go out of this world just like we came into it: screaming, disoriented and sodden with goo.

If there a reason you’ve decided to use MPF as your send off?

MPF is a festival that we really wanted to tick off the bucket list, so it just made sense to go out on a high. Plus, for Christmas our mate adopted Esme a pig called Truffles that lives just outside Manchester, in a Pig & Terrapin sanctuary in Rochdale, so we can all go pat her on the belly for some post funeral sad-be-gones. Continue reading “MPF Interview: Screech Bats”

The Deadnotes: Tackling Beauty Standards [Interview]

We spoke to German indie-punks The Deadnotes about their new single ‘Make Up’ and their UK tour.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

The Deadnotes are an exciting indie-punk four piece from Frieburg, Germany. They joined us in the UK in February, including shows in London, Glasgow and Brighton.

Now in their early 20’s, The Deadnotes have been playing together since they were 14, and they’re due to hit their 500th live show this year. After working hard, they caught our eye with their latest single Make Up, which delivers a hard-hitting message about beauty standards. They’ve released it via their own label, 22Lives Records.

We spoke to vocalist/guitarist Darius Lohmüller to learn more about this fresh band.

Welcome to Shout Louder, guys! How would you sum up The Deadnotes for someone who’s just discovering you?

Someone just sent me a message today describing our style as ‘courageous music for weirdos’ – this is really something I can relate to! I’d say we are a groovy/poppy indie-punk band trying to write songs as genuine and straight from the heart as possible. We write angry songs when we want to and we write bloody cheesy songs when want to.

I enjoyed your latest single Make Up. The song and the video talk about how the beauty standards we uphold have had a negative impact. What’s the message you’re trying to convey?

I think the main message we are trying to convey is pretty simple, and I hope a song like this can encourage the right people to take more care of each other and open their minds: ‘You are beautiful just like the way you are’. The song is definitely a socio-critical song and tackles modern and current beauty ideals. I think the issue itself has been discussed quite often already and is nothing new, but most of the time only relates to the outer appearance of people. However I think that the resulting mental struggles people have to deal with has not been talked about enough already.

A main focus was the bitter conflict too many people have: being insecure and not accepting oneself, whereas your brain is rationally well aware of how irrelevant other peoples opinion or judgement is regarding the way you look, think or act.

It really kills me to see so many people, even with my peers or close friends, who get lost in self hate, hurting themselves psychologically and physically. Unfortunately this sometimes is an even bigger issue in the punk rock scene that usually calls itself open minded and tolerant.

Continue reading “The Deadnotes: Tackling Beauty Standards [Interview]”

The Human Project Tour Diary: Driving 24 Hours For A 40 Minute Set

Why drive all day to play one set? The Human Project make a trip full of in-jokes and good times go quickly, en route to Coral Springs’ album launch in Leiden, Netherlands.

Article by Sarah Williams. Gig photos by Mia Weerdesteijn.

05:15 and I’ve accidentally set my alarm for 5pm, so Luke Yates, guitarist in The Human Project has to knock on my door to wake me up. I have one job (to get out of bed on time), and I’ve failed it.

It’s an early start, as are many of these trips. Loading merchandise into the back of a van at 5am, after staying in Luke’s spare room in Leeds the night before, I start considering why we bother. As a teenager, I imagined going on tour would involve a big Nightliner – a tour lorry with bunks beds, big screen TVs and a bar. As an adult I look forward to jumping in the back of a Mercedes Vito to travel in boredom for 10 hours, just to watch a band play for 30 minutes.

There’s an acceptance to it. It’s not glamorous, but it is fun. Luke jumps in the drivers seat of the van and we taxi round Leeds in the pre-dawn darkness to collect the rest of the band.

Continue reading “The Human Project Tour Diary: Driving 24 Hours For A 40 Minute Set”

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”

Why I’m Not Coming To Your Gig Tonight

Social anxiety in live music can be a challenge. Support your scene, but not at the expense of your own mental health.

This article written by Sarah Williams is part of our #MentallySound series, discussing mental health in music. Trigger warning: anxiety.

Today, my anxiety has anxiety. I am experiencing my own personal apocalypse.

I am entirely aware that the visions of catastrophe in my head are irrational, imagined and impossible (or at least implausible), but they’re there nonetheless. A cacophony of intrusive thoughts, false assumptions and self-criticism rattle round my hollow skull, a jarring, overwhelming rush.

Counting to ten isn’t helping. Telling myself I’m being illogical isn’t helping. Distracting myself isn’t helping. Self-care sounds like a waste of time, when I’ve got so much work to do. I need to just sit, ride this wave out and hope it doesn’t ruin my evening.

I’m going to a gig. I love gigs. I love live music more than anything else.

I desperately do not want to go.

I’m lying facedown on my bed, trying to muster the courage to put a jacket on and locate my house keys. Everything is impossible.

Continue reading “Why I’m Not Coming To Your Gig Tonight”

Koji: Activism, Community & Collaboration [Interview]

We spoke to America singer-songwriter and political activist Koji ahead of his upcoming European tour.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

Andrew ‘KOJI’ Shiraki is an American singer-songwriter know for his political activism, plaintive songwriting and his collaborations with bands like La Dispute, Into It Over It, Title Fight and Balance and Composure.

He’s embarking on an extensive tour of Europe in January and February, beignning with a run of UK dates with Such Gold and Ducking Punches before a series of headline solo shows on the mainland.

KOJI has been quiet over the last few years, after spending his 20s on the road. Rested and revitalised, he’s aiming to return to music with renewed energy in 2019. We were keen to speak to him ahead of his UK tour.

Thanks so much for talking to us! You’re embarking a major tour around Europe right now, sharing quite a few dates with Such Gold and Ducking Punches in the UK. What are you most excited for?

It’s been a long time since I’ve been over to the UK or toured anywhere for that matter. My one and only tour last year was with the Movielife in Japan and it’s awesome to now experience the culture here in the UK on the back of that experience. Such Gold and I toured here in 2011, so this is such a cool reunion.

You’ve been to the UK quite a few times before. What keeps bringing you back?

The UK music community is amazing. There are so many friends I’ve made here that continue to enrich my life. I’ve always felt inspired by the people, music, and landscape. When I’m in the UK, it really feels like I’m playing music and not just going through the motions. In life, you have to trust the places where you feel joy. Continue reading “Koji: Activism, Community & Collaboration [Interview]”