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 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”

The Penske File: Existing In A Moment of Melody [Interview]

“Music is a freeing art form that has an ability to wash away the very real problems in our own lives and in our own communities, if only for a moment.”

Interview by Sarah Williams.

The Penske File are a melodic punk band from Burlington, Ontario, who recently visted the UK for a short run of gigs. We’re been enjoying their latest album Salvation since its release in April, however we were completely blown away by their live show in Manchester this week. They’re full of energy, enthusiasm, catchy melodies and memorable choruses.

We spoke to guitarist Travis Miles ahead of the tour about their new album, their motivations and their growth as a band.

The Penske File cred Eden Kittiver
Photo by Eden Kittiver.

Salvation is a very emotive album title. What are you seeking salvation from? Do you think you found it?

That’s a good question that I’m not sure I fully know the answer to and am doubtful I, or many of us, ever really will. I think in a sense that I am seeking salvation from the confining realities of my selfhood and how that is inevitably framed by the society in which we all live. Music is just a very freeing art form that has an ability to wash away the very real problems in our own lives and in our own communities, if only for a moment.

To me the closest I’ve ever been to a true feeling of salvation has come in those moments when music washes away my sense of the internal and external world and leaves me existing solely within a moment or a lyric or a melody.

So many bands and artists have provided me with this sort of experience over the years and I think our ultimate goal as a band is to hopefully pass those moments of real freedom along to people who enjoy our music. Continue reading “The Penske File: Existing In A Moment of Melody [Interview]”

Shout Louder’s August 2018 Playlist

Listen to our Spotify playlist for all of August’s hottest tunes!

This August Shout Louder’s keeping quiet whilst we all go rock out at Brakrock Ecofest and Punk Rock Holiday! We’ve still got time to share all of our favourite tunes with you, though. These are our hot tips for August 2018, enjoy!

P..S. Clowns, Astpai and The Penske File are all touring the UK in the next few weeks – go catch them live!