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.
Antifolk singer-songwriter, Tim Loud, gives us a track-by-track insight into his latest album, ‘Salvation’.
Folk-punk antihero, Tim Loud, is due to release his third studio album Salvation via TNS Records on 28th September 2018. Salvation follows new musical and lyrical themes; a musical chronical of Tim’s personal quest for redemption. Shout Louder asked Tim to give us the background.
I was due to start pre-production on Salvation in December of last year, after a pretty shitty few months. Three years of heavy touring and trying to cram in some semblance of a personal life in the 5-10 day stints when I was back ‘home’ had taken its toll. I tried to go sans abode, thinking that if that financial pressure was gone then it might be better… but the uncertainty that added only made things worse.
My head popped at the end of a tour in August last year. I had to work out a more healthy way to carry on making music, if it was even worth me carrying it on at all?
I’d been drinking a lot over the years and had grown accustomed to taking a good ol’ cocktail of drugs to balance me out on the daily, so I decided to knock those things on the head. I still had a sparsely populated tour for September and October to complete, so I decided I would make those my last dates before taking a break. I wouldn’t stress too much about filling the last dates and maybe even take some days off to camp out in the Western European woodlands. I was doing this tour on my own; I often travel with another performer but due to my state, I knew I had to go this part alone.
I managed to stay off of everything for one month and then gradually began falling back into old habits, although with less gusto this time. I felt the time to clear my head had been useful. One of the last dates I played was at the ADM festival in Amsterdam; I have played there maybe a dozen times over the past 4/5 years and I have a lot of good friends there. They were all busy running the festival and tour fatigue had put pay to what remaining social skills I had left after the head-popping incident. I spent most of the festival wandering round on my own. It was nice, but it’s a strange experience when everyone else is so involved with each other and you’re just an individual.
So anyway, I wound up taking some acid and in the dawn-light in the back of my van. As electricity danced through every structure and a thin layer of ice shimmered atop everything in my line of vision, I had an epiphany of sorts. Two phrases kept repeating themselves in my head, “Find a home,” and, “I am me, and that’s OK,” for about 6 hours.
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.
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:
Manchester’s DIY-heroes’ latest video captures the stunning crowd reaction at Manchester Punk Festival 2018.
Earlier in 2018, Manchester speed-punks and DIY-scene heroes Revenge Of The Psychotronic Man saldy announced that they would be splitting up in December.
The band have been active for 14 years, playing over 500 gigs all over the UK and Europe. In true Revenge fashion, the band decided to go out in style rather than fading away, making 2018 one of their most active years to date.
They announced a collosal run of live dates, all leading up to one massive headline all-dayer at Rebellion bar in Manchester on Saturday 8th December. Revenge have curated a bill of 14 support acts who they’ve shared stages with many times in their career, all doing 20 minute sets. The bands are booked along with a host of other surprises, however they won’t be announced until just before the gig! There are just 110 tickets left this this once-in-a-lifetime show – get yours before they’re gone.
Alongside this run of final gigs, the band have also released That Was Just A Noise. The album features 26 tracks from between 2004 and 2018, including some previously unreleased material and a series of rarities.
Planet Earth II is one of those new tracks. Already a live favourite, the track is a homage of sorts to David Attenborough, but also a discussion about spending every weekend on the road, being constantly knackered at ‘real’ work, but so grateful for the experiences the DIY punk scene offers.
Ska-punk kings Faintest Idea takeover the podcast with stories of Russian fascists, run-ins with the German police and human trafficking. It’s as harrowing as it is hilarious.
On this special episode of the Shout Louder podcast, East Anglia’s hard-working ska-punks Faintest Idea takeover to tell about all the most horrific things that have happened to them on tour.
Sarah is joined by vocalist/bassist, Dani, trombonist, Bobble, and drummer, Jack Brew. They tell us the single most harrowing tour story Sarah’s ever heard as well as not one, not two, but five run-ins with the German police.
Sarah, discovers that the band have a flagrant disregard for international law (allegedly) and a staggering talent for getting themselves out of all kinds of scrapes. Whether it’s human trafficking, getting assaulted by Russian fascists or Little Dan being very late for work, there’s apparently nothing that can stop this band.
Recorded last-minute with only a napkin-scribble for planning, this week’s podcast is scrappy, hilarious and about as DIY punk as you’re going to get. While attending a gig at Warrington’s Old Town House, Sarah approached the band to record a 5-minute story for the ‘worst time’ section of the regular podcast, but they’ve had so many amusingly awful times that it deserved and entire episode.
Obviously, all of this is entirely fictional and Faintest Idea would never do anything even remotely illegal. It was all a dream. Allegedly.
Now widely known as Manchester Pals Fest, MPF 2018 has been even more of a blinder than previous years. I guess we knew that it would be from the moment the line-up was first announced, with Propagandhi topping it. In a landslide of Facebook posts, messages and hugs once the weekend was over, the word out there is that it’s the best festival in the UK. The three-day weekender in the Rainy City is drawing like-minded punk rock fans from all around the world.
The festival is special both as a personal and a collective experience. If you attended, you would have been amazed by the number of familiar faces in crowd. I barely had time to chat to someone properly before running into the next person. With that many dedicated, creative and intelligent people surrounding you, it’s easy to see that the UK scene is thriving at the moment. Although it felt like we were all sharing this one great, special experience, as the weekend is split between five venues around town, it’s possible that you could have had a completely different experience to a friend who also attended.
With that in mind, these are my personal Top 10 experiences of the weekend. What were yours?
Ducking Punches closing Thursday’s show with Smoking Spot
“This is about how punk has taught us all our ethics; this is for all of you,” Dan Allen says between songs, instantly capturing the spirit of the festival. While most of my friends were queueing to get into Random Hand and getting turned away, I opted to catch Ducking Punches at Rebellion on Thursday night and I really don’t regret it.
Earlier in the day, Danny from Fair Do’s had said, “Look around you. This is what a beautiful, intelligent and ethical punk community looks like.” Both are examples of how appreciative the bands are of the event they’re attending. Far from being a big fest where you turn up, play and fuck off, Ducking Punches were around for the whole weekend, partying and enjoying the music like the rest of us. I had a transcendent moment during somewhere between Sobriety and Big Brown Pills from Lynn where I remembered that all my friends in the world are in this city with me, enjoying an incredible time. There is an overwhelming sense of community that I’ve not felt elsewhere – partly from the punk scene and partly from Manchester, a city with a strong sense of identity.
Closing on Smoking Spot was the perfect move from Ducking Punches, who’ve really grown with their new album Alamort. “This is a song about having the best time with your best friends,” Dan says. Perfect.
Watching my friends’ bands playing to sold out rooms
For many bands it’s their first time at the festival (and their first time in Manchester), but every act played to a huge crowd. Through general gigging and through this website I’ve become friends with some of my favourite bands, so I’m absolutely bubbling with pride when I see them getting an enthusiastic reaction from a big audience.
On Thursday, No Matter opened the festival to an almost full room at Rebellion. Following them were Captain Trips, a skate-punk group from the South Coast that I have a massive soft-spot for. I’ve been trying to get as many people to hear about them as possible, so to see Rebellion full for their set was incredible. Not only was the venue rammed – the crowd were dancing, moshing and generally enthusiastic about seeing them. It made my heart melt a little bit. Continue reading “Top 10 Moments of Manchester Punk Festival 2018”
If I had to criticise the previous two Nosebleed releases, their Something In My Head and It’s Alright EPs, I’d have to say that there’s simply not enough of them. This trio from Leeds have a talent for writing short, energetic punk ‘n’ roll ditties, enough to get the soberest of crowds cavorting madly around a dancefloor. If you do not want 22 minutes of solid gold hits then Nosebleed are not the band for you.
The problem with having a reputation for electrifying live performances, as Nosebleed have been building for themselves since 2014, is that the recorded equivalent is often a bit of a damp squib. That’s far from the case with their debut album Scratching Circles On The Dancefloor (up for preorder from TNS now). This record will have you jiving in your bedroom, in your kitchen, in your car, at the bus stop and spinning round on your office chair until your boss yells at you. Scratching Circles transports Nosebleed straight into your home, like Dickie’s set up his drum kit on your sofa, Ben’s stomping on your coffee table and Eliott’s spitting lyrics at your face while you try to calmly sip your morning brew.
There is a lot of new material on the album, plus some recycled hits from the previous releases. Reworking a handful of songs works in this context; Nosebleed are the kind of band who become even more appealing when you are familiar with the words, so opening the album with I’m Okay is the perfect way to draw the audience in. If you’ve seen Nosebleed live then you will already be a fan of Time And Time Again, Psycho and I Can’t Tell You Anything. Good news: the re-recorded/re-mastered versions are even more killer. The production’s got a lot more depth, richness and clarity that makes a world of difference.
The first new track is I’m Shaking which sets the scene for the lo-fi garage punk party we’ve dived into. There’s a lot of twangy rock ‘n’ roll riffs followed by grittier palm muted sections. Through the whole album, every single guitar solo makes you bust into a silly grin: this is proper, dirty punk ‘n’ roll just the way you like it. Continue reading “Album Review: Nosebleed – Scratching Circles On The Dancefloor”