Gig Review: Behind-The-Scenes at Manchester Punk Festival 2019

A review of MPF from Sarah, who volunteers at the event. Friends, frantic dashes between venues and some top-class hardcore, including Not On Tour, Adrenalized, Svalbard, Consumed, Fair Do’s and Snuff.

Although there will be reviews aplenty, at Shout Louder we want to offer two unique perspectives on the fifth year of Manchester Punk Festival. Mark Bartlett’s given us is highlights as an MPF virgin, where as Sarah Williams is an MPF veteran who volunteers at the festival. In this edition, Sarah gives us a unique perspective from behind the scenes.

Excitement for Manchester Punk Festival begins long before the doors open to the public. Unfortunately, excitement can easily be mistaken for stress.

Weeks before the main event, I’m inundated with messages asking about guest list, accommodation, press accreditation and band recommendations. I’m only a volunteer, I’m not even one of the organisers – I can’t begin to imagine the sheer insanity of their inboxes. How they manage to keep it together in the days leading up to the festival, I will never know.

Welcome To Manchester Punk Festival.jpg

Thursday

The hard graft starts in earnest on Thursday – the eve of the festival. I drive to Moston to join a five car convoy; our best method of transporting all the festival merchandise in the absence of ROPTM’s van. I’m blasting out Ocean Wisdom round the M60 like some boy racer on the way, which is harshly interrupted by a phonecall about a bounced band payment and a confusing artist hotel booking. We get it sorted in seconds, like pros.

Delivering the merchandise is the first time I’ve seen MPF’s brand new venue: The Union. It’s a huge, modern student building fittingly decorated in Manchester’s signature yellow-and-black. I’m shocked to see the size of the main hall. As we climb ladders to hang banners, it starts to look like a ‘real’ festival venue. It’s fucking huge. Continue reading “Gig Review: Behind-The-Scenes at Manchester Punk Festival 2019”

Top 10 Punk Rock Albums Of 2018

The punk rock albums that have endured the most repeat listens in 2018.

Written by Sarah Williams. Cover photo by Cold Front Photography.

There have been an overwhelming number of excellent releases this year, and there’s no chance at Top 10 list will ever do justice to the talent out there. I have based this list on the punk rock records that have had the most repeat spins on my stereo this year, as I think it’s that long-term connection that gives an album real weight.

As Burnt Tapes once said, “This year’s been a weird one.” That lyric rung true enough for me in 2018 that I got it inked on my arm, and it’s really only gotten weirder since then.

One of the strangest things to happen to me in 2018 was being invited to join the crew at Lockjaw Records. As a result I’ve been able to work with some of my favourite bands. Clearly I’m incredibly biased towards bands I’ve worked with however I felt like I’d be lying if I didn’t include them here – I wouldn’t have volunteered my time and effort into the releases if I wasn’t completely in love with them.

Note: I’ve restricted this list to punk-related records, however my ‘true’ top 10 includes other genres as well. I’ve written a Top 10 Releases for the Lockjaw Records site that gives an even more accurate picture of my top picks. Notable mentions go to Kali Uchis, Jorja Smith, Tim Loud, Incisions, The Human Project, Nosebleed, Call Me Malcolm, Eat Defeat, Not Scientists and Spanish Love Songs.

#10: Tim Loud – Salvation

Tim Loud Salvation Album Cover

Since his days in Bootscraper, Tim Loud’s been a consistently entertaining songwriter and performer, however 2018’s Salvation is his darkest release to date. The record becomes a window into his soul at times, especially as it skips from genre to genre. The first and second halves of the album are distinctly different releases. Continue reading “Top 10 Punk Rock Albums Of 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”

13 Of The Best Memories From KNRD Fest 2018

Enjoy Sarah’s personal account of a magical weekend over-indulgence in the Bavarian woods. Feauring After The Fall, A Wilhelm Scream, The Human Project, Petrol Girls, Forever Unclean, Money Left To Burn and The Affect Heuristic…

Article by Sarah Williams. Photography by Josh Sumner.

For years, people have been telling me that KNRD Fest is special. I finally bit the bullet this year and made it out to Nuremberg for the two day party in the famed Bavarian woods and… it turns out they’re right. KNRD is something truly special.

KNRD (pronounced ‘conrad’) is a magical, musical fantasy for anyone in the European skate-punk scene; so great that I wonder whether I dreamt elements of it. With bands like After The Fall and A Wilhelm Scream gracing a sterling skate-punk oriented bill, you know it’s going to be a great weekend, but what makes KNRD exceptional is the unique private-party feeling it has.

Human Project KNRD Fest 2018 cred Josh Sumner Cold Front Photography (28).jpg

I arrived quite late on the Friday, just as the bands were beginning, and just in time for to see Darko’s Karl Sursham wielding the mic and welcoming everyone to this wood-chipped glade with a charming boom. A keg is ceremonially cracked open and, thenceforth, it’s feels almost rude not to imbibe as much crystal-clear, chemical-free Bavarian beer as possible.

It’s this, in combination with the generously free-poured gin and tonics, moscow mules and pfeffe (peppermint) shots, that bring me to the theme of today’s article. As people regrouped on Saturday morning, after Friday night’s excesses, the question on everyone’s lips was: “How much do you remember of last night?” Continue reading “13 Of The Best Memories From KNRD Fest 2018”

Podcast #11: KNRD Fest 2018 Special

Listen to our live (and drunk!) podcast with After The Fall, The Human Project, Forever Unclean and The Affect Heuristic!

We are excited to share our latest podcast featuring chats with not one but four bands! We chatted literal shit with After The Fall, The Human Project, Forever Unclean and The Affect Heuristic!

KNRD Fest (pronounced ‘conrad’) is a magical skate/melodic punk adventure in the Bavarian woodlands, taking place near Nuremberg, Germany. It’s a wonderful weekend of bands, banter and excessive boozing that we’ve attempted to capture in audio form for you!

We’ve also aimed to answer some essential questions for you, including:

  • How much do you remember from last night?
  • Whose anus is a “literally like an ex-soviet airbase’s windsock”?
  • Why should you always check the pockets of a pair of pooed-pants?
  • What event nearly killed After The Fall?
  • How do Forever Unclean turn all bad times into good times?
  • What do Sean Arnold’s nipples taste like?
  • Who won’t ‘doink’ with The Affect Heuristic?
  • Who’s the most socially flamboyant person at KNRD Fest?
  • And of course, what’s your personal worst tour story?

We recorded four segments across the Saturday of KNRD Fest and, as they progress, you can also enjoy hearing Sarah and her guests getting progressively more drunk!

We also play a track from each band:

  • The Human Project – The Rhetoric
  • After The Fall – Patroon Island
  • Forever Unclean – Weird
  • The Affect Heuristic – Vessel

 

 

 

 

Podcast #6: The Bennies, Consumed, SBÄM Fest & El Topo

Episode 4 is packed full of punk rock treats for you! We have an interview with Australian party machines The Bennies, a massive Umlaut Records giveaway to celebrate the new Consumed release and tales of SBÄM Fest and El Topo Goes Loco. We also play new tunes from The Human Project, Youth Avoiders, Tragical History Tour and Consumed!

Our highlight was catching up with Anty and Nick from The Bennies in Beligum, and asking them about their worst experience ever! Hold on till the end of the episode for that.

First up, Mark and Sarah discuss their recent gigs, including an account Austrian punk festival SBÄM Fest, including talk of Propagandhi, Satanic Surfers, No Trigger, Astpai, Wonk Unit, Donots and The Murderburgers. Sarah gets emotional, has Iron Chic mansplained to her, gains a boob bruise and discovers the perils of getting drunk with Darko two weeks in a row.

We also cover Belgian sunny ska/skate romp El Topo Goes Loco, including The Bennies, Beat The Red Light, The Affect Heuristic, Thanx 4 All The Shoes, The Burnt Tapes, Slack Birds, Imperial Leisure and Not Available. Mark also chats about TIE Fighter Pilot, Project Revise and Butt Plug Babies, plus we share a love of a Bangers.

Come join us in Sarah’s living room, talking faster than light to get through all this awesome content.

Continue reading “Podcast #6: The Bennies, Consumed, SBÄM Fest & El Topo”

Podcast #5: Jamie from Aerial Salad Chatting Utter Shite

Jamie Munro joins us a guest for this no-holds-barred episode, bonding over a love of drinking, punk rock and conversational tangents.

On Episode #5 Mark and Sarah are joined by the Aerial Salad’s loquacious frontman Jamie Munro. If you’re not already familiar with Manchester’s freshest pop-punks then this is a great chance to get to know them better.

Join us in Sarah’s living room as we bond over a love of conversational tangents and talk utter shite about the UK punk rock world. Share in the laughter as Mark ‘Hunkasaurus’ Bell makes a failed attempt to rein Jamie and Sarah in!

We cover myriad topics, including Jamie’s wholesome adventures in Disneyland, alt-girl-specific paedophilia, drug-induced escapades, an ex-girlfriend crying during Jamie’s set and a prediction for Jamie’s miserable future. We also share our love for Triple Sundae, Fastfade, Burnt Tapes, Incisions, Clayface, Pizzzatramp, Astpai, Sham City Roasters and many more.

We’ve even got an exclusive unreleased Aerial Salad track and an announcement for their upcoming European tour with The Raging Nathans. We also celebrate the line-up announcement for Polite Riot festival, including the addition of Apologies, I Have None to an incredible line-up that already features Teenage Bottlerocket and A Wilhelm Scream.

If that’s not enough for you, we’ve even got music from EAT DIRT, Two Houses and The Affect Heuristic.

Continue reading “Podcast #5: Jamie from Aerial Salad Chatting Utter Shite”