Podcast: Dan Flanagan of Matilda’s Scoundrels & Haest

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?

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Photos courtesy of Dave Sloan

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
  • Bootscraper – The Family

 

Summer 2018’s Best UK DIY Punk Festivals

With so many great festivals popping up, it’s heard to know which to choose! These are Shout Louder’s top choices for Summer 2018.

Article by Sarah Williams. Cover photo by Mark Richards.

The sun’s out, the beer’s flowing and I can hear the echoes of a band sound-checking somewhere over the thrum of conversation. All my friends are here, I’m afternoon-sozzled and teetering perilously close to evening-wasted, ready to do something dumb that I won’t hear the end of for weeks to come. It must be festival season.

I live for this. Warm weekends wasted in sweltering venues; stumbling out into the cool late-night air in a sweat-soaked t-shirt; watching band after band and loving every second of it. Summer of 2018 is loaded with punk festivals, with increasingly more DIY events popping up around the country. It’s beautiful to see so many more people getting involved and organising their own weekenders: booking a gig is stressful enough, let alone a whole festival. The scene is thriving.

These are our lovingly curated top picks of UK DIY festivals taking place this summer.

Wotsit Called Festival

  • Where: The Palace, Hastings
  • When: 28th-30th September
  • Cost: £20 weekend
  • Facebook Event Page
  • Bonus Points: Film night on Thursday + hangover acoustic on Sunday + Wotsit Called themed cocktails!

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One of our top picks of last year’s festivals, we are pleased to see it growing even bigger this year. Music will be starting earlier on Friday and they have added a film-night on Thursday and an acoustic hangover session on Sunday afternoon. Music on the Friday and Saturday remain the main attraction of the festival, with this year’s main draws taking the form of a handful of TNS bands, including Wonk Unit, Faintest Idea, Matilda’s Scoundrels, Casual Nausea and Revenge of The Psychotronic Man.

The latest announcement from Wotsit Called includes the full music line-up for Friday and Saturday, featuring some really big names. Ska-punk stalwarts Inner Terrestrials will never fail to get a room skanking, and feisty Scottish punks The Murderburgers are reliably riotous. Recently announced are Skinny Milk, Punka, Haest, who will be joining The Barracks, Butane Regulators, Plot 32, The Mentstrual Cramps and Batwolf.

The other advantage of this festival is that it’s right on the beach and, although it doesn’t take place until late September, we’re British so we can handle a bit of cold, rainy sea action. If you’re not too hungover there’s also time to enjoy the arcades and quaint shops of Hastings, plus delightful coffee and vegan grilled cheese at Sham City Roasters. This southern gem of a festival is organised by a collective including members of Matilda’s Scoundrels, The Barracks and The Dead Anyways. It’s small, DIY to the core and definitely worth a trip to the South Coast.

Cromstock: Metal, Punk & Thrash All-Dayer

  • Where: The Green Door Store, Brighton
  • When: 14th July 2018
  • Cost: £12 + booking fee
  • Facebook Event Page
  • Bonus Points: There’s a Spotify playlist to get you up to speed with all the crossover thrash!

Cromstock

Cromstock is a brand new all-dayer taking place in Brighton that represents a fresh direction for underground thrash, metal and punk in the UK. This event will appeal to punks who came to the scene from a love of metal, tech or hard-rock… or anyone who used to go to Download before their bookings went downhill.

If you’ve seen prog-thrash-metal melee Almeida before, you’ll know that a) they’re exceptionaly talented and enthralling live and b) they stick out like a sore thumb on most punk line-ups because they can’t be pigeonholed into one genre. Well, they’ve taken matters into their own hands and curated this collision of punk and metal all in one bill. Continue reading “Summer 2018’s Best UK DIY Punk Festivals”

Shout Louder Podcast #4: Manchester Punk Festival Special

Mark and Sarah discuss all things MPF 2018 including insider tips and line-up clashes, plus we announce the Wotsit Called Fest headliner!

We are so excited to share Podcast #4 with you! This is our favourite one so far; we just hope you love it as much as we do. You can listen on iTunes, Soundcloud and many other podcatchers, or on the link below.

Recorded in the extremely silly, hungover aftermath of Dugstock Festival Mark and Sarah discuss all things Manchester Punk Festival in detail. We pick through the whole line-up, talk about the festival’s history and give you insider tips on surviving the weekend. Even if you’re not attending the festival, it’s worth a listen to hear some fantastic punk tunes and to laugh at how tired we are.

Stay tuned till the end as we will also be proudly announcing the Friday night headliner of Wotsit Called Festival. Wotsit Called was one of our top festivals of 2017 and it’s growing even bigger this year. It takes place on the last weekend of September at The Palace in Hastings – you can book tickets here. We can’t wait to tell you who they’ve booked!

The podcast is available on iTunes (here) and all other good podcatchers, or you can listen to it right now:

These are the songs we play:

Continue reading “Shout Louder Podcast #4: Manchester Punk Festival Special”

Gig Alert: Wotsit Called Festival 2018

Inner Terrestrials, Faintest Idea and Revenge announced as first bands for Wotsit Called Fest!

Regular readers will know that last year’s Wotsit Called Fest was one of our top 5 punk festivals of 2017. Well, to brighten this dreary January morning, Toxic Wotsit have announced the first bands for this year’s incarnation of the festival!

Wotsit Called Festival First Announcement

For  the uninitiated among you, Wotsit Called is Hasting’s premier punk festival. This will be its third year and, following all the smashing feedback on their last shindig, it’s growing a hell of a lot in 2018.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Dates: September 28th – 30th 2017
  • Venue:  The Palace, Hastings
  • The gigs will be starting earlier on Friday and Saturday so that more awesome bands can be crammed onto the line-up
  • The promoters have also added a hangover-friendly acoustic line-up on the Sunday

Only three bands have been announced and it’s already looking incredible. Mighty ska-punk veterans Inner Terrestrials will be headlining the Saturday night, and they will be joined over the weekend by my personal faves Faintest Idea and fast-punk hooligans Revenge of The Psychotronic Man. I’ve caught Inner Terrestrials quite a few times in the past and they always turn out a lively show that’s guaranteed to get you skanking. I can only begin to imagine how great they’re going to be in a venue this small! Continue reading “Gig Alert: Wotsit Called Festival 2018”

Top 5 Punk Festivals of 2017

Shout Louder’s selection of the most raucous punk get-togethers in the UK and further afield.

Article by Sarah Williams.

The only thing better than an all-day punk show is multiple days of punk shows. Festivals are undoubtedly the most important part of my year. You get to see your favourite bands, discover new ones and if it’s a bigger event there’s a good chance that your friends will travel from far and wide to party together. I love how punks from around the UK are drawn to gigs like Manchester Punk Festival or Wonkfest like a big punk rock Mecca; there’s nothing better than weekends spent watching bands, catching up and crashing on mates’ floors.

Admittedly, I’ve only been to a handful of major festivals this year. This Top 5 is intended to be a personal and somewhat self-indulgent recollection of my favourite bigger events of 2017. Hopefully reading it will bring back some positive memories for you too.

#5: Wotsit Called Fest

  • When: September 29th – 30th
  • Where: The Palace, Hastings
  • Festival Highlight: Matilda’s Scoundrels’ riotous set

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2017 saw the second Wotsit Called Festival – a little DIY fest run by a collective in Hastings. It was a wonderful weekend away by the seaside, without a dull moment musically.

Friday was the huge party, serving as Matilda’s Scoundrels‘ release show for As The Tide Turns. They played an absolutley storming set full of dancing, crowd-surfing, human pyramids and all that malarkey. Following them were Nosebleed who caused their usual well-dressed ruckus, including a stage-invasion, getting out into the crowd and generally causing chaos. Getting to witness two of the UK’s best live acts all in one place in such an intimate setting was really rewarding.

The diversity of the line-up was what bumped Wotsit Called into the Top 5 for me. I greatly enjoyed starting the day with some skiffle covers, followed by melodic gruff from The Dead Anyways and then gradually descending into the entropy of Riggots via PizzatrampNatterers and The Crash Mats, among many others. This is still a relatively small punk gathering, but definitely one to watch for next year.

Check out our reviews here: Friday and Saturday.

 

#4: Wonkfest

  • When:  June 1st 2018
  • Where: Tufnell Park Dome and The Boston Arms, London
  • Festival Highlight: The raucous Pizzatramp pit

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At the start of Wonkfest I was joking with a friend that it might be funny to find the drunkest person at the festival at attempt to interview them. Later in the evening, I reached the unfortunate conclusion that the drunkest person at the festival may actually be me. As such, my memory of the headline bands is a tad hazy (Wonk Unit played, right?) and on the way home I fell backwards over my own bicycle and got trapped in a hedge for ten minutes. I’m not proud, but I did greatly enjoy waking up bruised, broken and covered in gold glitter. In hindsight, perhaps drinking vodka on the train at 9.30am wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had.

Although it’s the drunken debauchery that will stick in my memory, the festival itself was as fantastic as it is every year. The gig is split between two stages, running 20 minute sets back-to-back with few breaks. It’s a format that works well, although you do have to skip a band if you want to eat, smoke or drunkenly make out with someone. Matilda’s Scoundrels opened the show with an aggro-folk riot, Spoilers were the closest things to Snuff that you’re going to find apart, perhaps, from Simon Wells playing a sweet acoustic set downstairs. Nova Twins were my highlight for the second year running; they’ve got an unprecedented amount of swagger. Aerial Salad and The Kimberly Steaks played exciting and energetic sets, between them managing to be so close to early Greenday that I felt justified in jeering at all the people paying to watch Greenday at Hyde Park the same night. Finally, the pit for Pizzatramp was one of the most wonderful, enjoyably violent experiences I’ve had all year. We got a huge rowboat, people crowd-surfing on inflatable pizza slices and general elbow-dodging chaos. What an incredible rollercoaster of punk fun. Continue reading “Top 5 Punk Festivals of 2017”

Interview with Matilda’s Scoundrels: “A shit Mumford and Sons, but a good Gogol Bordello.”

We spoke to Dan and Jens about writing their new album, organising Wotsit Called Fest and getting thrown off a pier.

Interview by Sarah Williams. Photos and video by Mark Richards.

Matilda’s Scoundrels must be one of the hardest-working bands in the UK DIY scene.

They’ve been touring up and down the country, popping up on all-dayers, in pubs and at a whole range of festivals this summer, building up a reputation as a cannot-miss live act. Although they’ve been together for three and a half years, it wasn’t until September 2017 that they released their first full-length album As The Tide Turns (review here). It’s 42 minutes of rollicking, overdriven aggro-folk, with all the calms and crests of a rough sea and plenty of rousing shout-alongs.

I sat with down guitarist Dan Flanagan and accordionist Jens-Peter Jensen at The Palace in Hastings, just before doors open for the main day of Wotsit Called Fest. The festival is a two-day blend of different genres, with DIY at its heart. It’s organised by Dan and Jens, plus Kathy Butler and The Barracks’ Mark Tanner.  Matilda’s Scoundrels also treated the Friday night as their album release party, playing a storming set to a room full of enthralled fans.

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Given that we were all still up celebrating at 4am, we had a surprisingly sprightly chat, however when I asked them about As The Tide Turns Dan and Jens both paused to give consideration to each answer, rather than diving straight in with a response. I started to get an insight into the care and consideration that’s gone into writing and producing this brilliant new record…

How did Matilda’s Scoundrels first get started?

  • Jens: We all did exactly the same thing that most people did; we met up at gigs, we drank and had fun together. One day we decided it would be a great idea to start a band. It tumbled from there.

You’ve been together a long time, so it feels like there’s been a lot leading up to the first album. How long have you been working on it?

  • Dan: It’s taken us forever!
  • Jens: We’d released a couple of EPs and some singles. We’ve released music every year.
  • Dan: Getting on for 2 years ago, we wrote the first songs.
  • Jens: It didn’t take long to record…
  • Dan: It did take long to record.
  • Jens: Okay, yeah, that’s a lie.
  • Dan: About 8 months. We wanted to take our time with it; an album is quite a big thing so we wanted to make sure we did it right. There’s a lot of us, that’s the thing.
  • Jens: There are six of us. It’s going to be a lot easier to do it if you’re a two piece punk band, because you have three major instruments and that’s it. To be honest, it wasn’t that hard to write, because we are a very writing-focussed band. There are always songs that we’re playing, trying to push up and trying to write.
  • Dan: We’ve already a got a couple towards the next album.
  • Jens: There are several tracks towards the next album! Whether they make it or not is another story!

Continue reading “Interview with Matilda’s Scoundrels: “A shit Mumford and Sons, but a good Gogol Bordello.””

Gig Review: Wotsit Called Fest – Friday (29/09/2017)

Part One: The first day of Hasting’s new DIY punk festival, featuring Nosebleed, Matilda’s Scoundrels, Knocksville and Rotten Foxes.

Photo credit: Massive thanks to Sara-Louise Bowrey (Festival Flyer) for the brilliant photos.

Now in its second year, Wotsit Called Fest is a 2-day DIY punk extravaganza in Hastings. Organised by Toxic Wotsit, there’s a great diversity of bands across the two days: hardcore, skiffle, aggro-folk, ska and plenty of snotty straight-up punk. This is its first year at The Palace and my first year as a punter, so I’m excited to see what all the hype is about.

Bumbling into the bar on Friday night, half an hour before the music’s due to start, it’s good to see the venue already looking packed. There are a lot of excited punks here, including many like me who’ve travelled from further afield, treating the weekend as a little seaside holiday.

Rotten Foxes at Wotsit Called Fest 2017

Rotten Foxes kick off the festivities with loud and lairy hardcore, and an immediate demand to get pints flying through the air. Unlikely bastions of body-positivity, they’re wearing the absolute minimum on stage: bare bellies, leopard print boxers, denim cut-offs so short that you don’t quite know where to look. Bassist, Jimi, has a costume change into a Stone Cold Steve Austin vest midway through the set, in celebration of a wrestling themed tune. They close their set with an enjoyable shoutalong about Danny Dyer – the best kick-up-the-arse the crowd could wish for.

Following them, Knocksville properly get the party started with a hip-shaking rockabilly riot. They blend in punk and ska, to create a potent combo that’s impossible to resist dancing to. There isn’t a still body in the house for their cover of Tainted Love. The smoke machine (amusingly located in a spot that suggests the mixing-desk has caught fire) kicks in just in time for the breakdown, getting everyone moving.

Knocksville at Wotsit Called fest 2017

Jason Walder uses his heavily stickered double-bass as a crowd-pleasing prop throughout the show. He whirls it through the air, straddles its side, and lays it on the floor to play an instrumental section during their biggest stomper, Lockdown. The peak is a song played while standing precariously on the side of the bass, where he courteously pauses mid-tune to give the front row a photo-opportunity. It’s a winning performance and a huge hit with the crowd.

Knocksville would be the ideal lead-in for the headline band, Nosebleed, however before them we have the most hotly-anticipated performance of the weekend: the launch of Matilda’s Scoundrels’ new album As The Tide Turns. This is the first hometown show for the infamous folk-punks since releasing the record on September 8th. Dan and Jens also form half of Toxic Wotsit, the promoters responsible for the festival. This is their show, their hometown and their time. Continue reading “Gig Review: Wotsit Called Fest – Friday (29/09/2017)”