Turbonegro Koko live review

Turbonegro,
London, Koko
2/3/18

The announcement of an all-too-rare Turbonegro UK show was a cause for celebration round Crossfire’s way, but as we make our way to a sold-out Koko tonight, there’s an undercurrent of doubt in our minds. Firstly, how many of the Turbojugend faithful will actually show up, given the snow that has paralysed so much of the UK’s public transport? Secondly, we’re not sure what to make of the Norwegian crew’s new album ‘Rock N’ Roll Machine’; whilst it’s great that the band have welcomed a new keyboard player into their ranks (that’s Crown Prince Haakon-Marius to you), his Van Halen-esque synth wizardry has arguably pulled the band away from the down n’ dirty deathpunk sound of their glory days.

We needn’t have worried too much, though, as by the time openers Easy have warmed us up, most of Koko is a sea of dark blue denim, with many a sailor hat floating on top. And although the band themselves have to kick off painfully early (around 8), they rip into ‘Well Hello’ with such panache, you’d defy even the most casual of Turbonegro fans not to feel a sudden and potent jolt of adrenaline. We’re soon pleased to discover that several of those newer cuts grow sharper teeth when played live, and indeed you’d think that the likes of ‘Hurry Up And Die’ and previous single ‘Hot For Nietzsche’ had been around for years, with an increasingly sweaty crowd roaring back every word at vocalist Tony ‘The Duke Of Nothing’ Sylvester.

Ah yes, of course, Mr Sylvester – a man who surely has to take a huge chunk of credit for getting Turbonegro sounding leaner, harder and hungrier than they had in a decade on 2012’s fantastic ‘Sexual Harassment’ (completely ignored tonight, alas), and a true showman to boot. Whether dispensing humorous anecdotes, arranging a ‘wall of deathpunk’ or leading us through a turbo-charged rendition of ‘Get It On’, there is never a dull moment with this guy, and he more than deserves the hometown hero’s welcome he gets tonight.

So yeah, we’re pretty much convinced by now, but Turbonegro are not the kind of band to leave things to chance, and a triple-threat encore airing of old favourites ‘The Age Of Pamparius’, ‘Self-Destructo Bust’ and – of course! – ‘I Got Erection’ leaves us on the ropes and gagging for more. They’ve always been (and probably always will be) a cult concern, but with shows like these, our love for Turbonegro will only grow larger – and harder. Come back soon, guys.

Alex Gosman

Brian Wilson Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary at The Apollo

Brian Wilson / The Beach Boys
Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary World Tour
Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, London
01.08.17

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So here we sit, in a somewhat dated auditorium at the Eventim Hammersmith Apollo watching Brian Wilson helped to his piano ready to deliver a plethora of Beach Boys hits, aged 75. It is, for everyone here, a marvelous sight and one I will personally cherish for years to come. The packed house witnessed a few key hits in advance of why we are all here – the Pet Sounds experience from start to finish, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

The musicianship on show tonight is exemplary. Every melody and harmony finely tuned, every piece of percussion well oiled, much like their very own Little Deuce Coup made back in 1963. This epic platinum track was released two years after Wilson and his brothers, Dennis and Carl got together with their cousin Mike Love and good friend and co-founder, Al Jardine. The latter is here tonight, playing guitar and singing alongside his son, Matt and South African guitarist Blondie Chaplin (pictured below). The crowd here tonight are also warm and in tune, now doing “a hundred and forty with the top end floored.”

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As “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” filled the speakers hairs on the back of necks all over the venue were higher than Brian’s stint with LSD back in 1965 when Pet Sounds was originally written. It’s an opus album that changed the game for many and left a huge thumbprint in musical history books, but to hear the full works in its entirety in this venue was like being in a dream. Wilson may not be the agile man he once was but his desire to tour this experience is to be commended. Nobody in the house talks of a few bum notes, his stature behind his piano is only moved slightly when a session player gives him a massage halfway through the set. He doesn’t speak much either throughout the show, but when he does, you can hear a pin drop.

The anticipation for arguably the Beach Boys’ biggest hit, God Only Knows follows a fantastic rendition of Sloop John B. “It’s time to turn over the record to the b-side now,” Wilson explains, before the roof is taken off by a now-standing audience who show their appreciation of the masterpiece they have just witnessed. For me though, the lyrics to I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times left me with a tennis ball sized feeling in my throat and took me to the edge of welling up. These lyrics will stand the test of time for everyone, especially those in today’s society wondering why the world destroys itself from the inside out on a daily basis. Wilson wasn’t just ahead of his time when he wrote this record, this man is time, he buys you time. He sends you to another world where all the best musicians take you in need. To be thrown into his time machine in real time is not only an honour, it’s a journey most will never forget.

Help Me Rhonda and Surfin’ USA brought the house down amongst the encore as the band were joined on stage by two children playing tambourines. It’s a beautiful touch. Hits like these are priceless, timeless wonders and we should be thankful of the effort that goes into a production like this tonight. Thank you Brian, may the curtains always be open for you and the gang, let’s hope you make it back to the UK again sooner than later.

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Words and photos: Zac Leeks

Royal Republic live in London

royalrepRoyal Republic
London Garage
7th October 2016

Opening the main stage of an increasingly rain-soaked festival can be a daunting task, not least because most folks present will probably be focused more on getting lunch and staying dry than on any of your band’s efforts to create a rock show par excellence. Royal Republic, however, managed to do just that at this year’s Download Festival, and made it look painfully easy into the bargain. Fast-forward four months to a sold-out Garage, packed with people itching for the Swedish rockers to give them a good seeing-to.

But all in good time. Canadian quintet Bleeker kick things off with some punchy power pop tunes. The venue is barely a quarter full as they start, but they give it their all, and just about manage to edge ahead of the increasingly crowded bar in terms of head count.

Next up are Dinosaur Pile-Up, whose frontman, Matt Bigland, cuts something of a Kurt Cobain figure with his bleach-blonde hair. He’s probably sick of such comparisons, but his band’s way with a melody and love of fuzzed-up guitar action recall the ‘Nevermind’ legends in the best possible way. We’d probably be singing ‘Nature, Nurture’ all the way home, if it weren’t for the headliners.

Some bands play rock n’ roll because they love to, but Royal Republic play it as if they’d otherwise self-destruct – or, at least, go running naked through the streets of Malmo (their hometown). Fortunately, they also do it very well; be it the staccato attack of opener ‘When I See You Dance With Another’, the earworm chorus of ‘Tommy Gun’ or the disco pulse of ‘Weekend Man’ and ‘Baby’, tonight is like a sweaty, bouncy Greatest Hits-style party. Not bad for a band with only three albums (plus the odd EP) to their name.

Granted, the Royal Republic live experience wouldn’t be quite as much fun without the master of ceremonies that is frontman Adam Grahn. A showman in a similar mould to his compatriot Pelle Almqvist (of The Hives fame), he does ramble on a bit at times, but there’s plenty of heart underneath all that amusing faux-braggadocio. When the crowd scream as one for a closing ‘Full Steam Space Machine’, he and his band are happy to oblige, and it’s awesome to witness band and crowd unite for an explosive ending. If this marks the start of Royal Republic’s journey to the O2 Academies and Apollos of this land, it’ll be just what they deserve.

Alex Gosman

Ripcord reunion show live at Basement 45, Bristol

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Ripcord
Endless Grinning Skulls
Violent Arrest,
Basement 45, Bristol,
15th October, 2016

Back in mid-80s England, once the original energy explosion of punk had dissipated, and the harsh political fury of the Crass movement’s five year plan had ended in 1984, it was the hyper-speed hardcore coming out of America that inspired and charged the next wave of kids ready to strap on guitars and arm themselves with noise and words. The music coming out of Boston, particularly, struck a power-chord with future Weston-Super-Mare thrashers Ripcord. Siege, SSD, Gang Green, Freeze, Deep Wound…the sheer speed and fury sparked the mid-80s explosion of ideas and music that saw the likes of Heresy, Intense Degree, The Stupids and Ripcord heading a charge that was blown into the mainstream and overboard by John Peel’s attention and enthusiasm.

By the end of the 80s, however, times were changing and having scorched their way across Europe and the UK, leaving behind two amazing albums, Ripcord ceased to be, moving onto other projects and lives. Fast-forward some twenty-eight years and to celebrate founder, guitarist and all round good fella Baz Ballam’s 50th Birthday, a one-off reunion gig was arranged that promptly sold out in seconds. Slightly taken aback by the interest that has developed in the band over the years, they agreed to play one further gig (in Leeds with Infest, they couldn’t resist it) but apparently THAT IS IT. Ripcord don’t want to sully their reputation and become just another reunion band and there is the present to deal with and that’s how tonight starts, in the dimly lit basement that is the venue for tonight’s gig.

Violent Arrest feature both John Millier (drums) and Baz from Ripcord, with Welly (Artcore Fanzine/Four Letter Word) on vocals, kicking off tonight’s proceedings in blistering hardcore punk style. This is not all about the past. The present is pretty damn good too.

Next Endless Grinning Skulls take the floor (there is no stage), with Steve Charlesworth from Heresy on drums (always a thrill to watch him play, one of the best!) and Gords of Hard To Swallow, John Holmes etc on bass, plus Andrew Morgan (Army Of Flying Robots) on guitar. They share vocals and create a thick wall of sound that threatens to reduce the venue to rubble.

Laughing that drummer John might pull a Tommy Cooper and have a heart-attack onstage having already played one set with Violent Arrest (hey, we’re not getting any younger), any fears that the passing years may have dampened the energy of Ripcord‘s youth soon disappear once the band start carving through the slow intro that opens their second album ‘Poetic Justice’, before careering through ‘So Strong’ and ‘Aim To Please’ as the years melt away. The band look thrilled to be playing the music again and humbled by the reaction that greets them as the small crowd of 150 punks pile on top of the band, thrashing harder and harder as each song hits the target. ‘Drugshit, ‘Single Ticket To Hell’, ‘Furder’, ‘Collision Of Vision’, ‘Barriers’, they spray them out like bullets. Short, fast, abrupt. Perfect.

It ends all too quick and the band are hemmed in by the crowd, so have to play more as frontman Steve Hazzard barks the band through a repeat play of ‘Single Ticket To Hell’.

It’s a brief but joyous celebration of both Baz’s birthday and the energy and ideas of the past that are still so inspiring to this day. You’ve got one more chance to see them when they play with Infest in Leeds on November 25th. Don’t miss it. Happy Birthday Baz!

Words: James Sherry
Photo/footage: Steve Cotton / Art of the State

Here’s the set list:

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And flyer:

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The Magic Gang / 02 Birmingham

The Magic Gang / Live at the 02, Birmingham / 02/10/2016

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It’s been just over two years since I originally saw the magic gang whilst they supported Swim Deep; nobody was familiar with them and the only person singing their lyrics could have been their mum. From then until now they’ve been to Jamaica recording an EP, and played a number of raucous house parties in their home town of Brighton. Now they have a large following of barely-legal teens clad up in their converse and mom jeans. Being a post-teen alone could be an aetiological reason for adoring this band, since their lyrics cover a lot of the angst and issues we experience as young people.

Magic Gang’s gigs are purely magical in their entirety, even down to the support acts being carefully chosen to complement the crowd. “Island” warm up the room initially, their grinding fuzz broken up by a calm serenity and hush tones which are sure to get your shoulders swaying. Next it’s the turn of band “Babeheaven” who’s soulful funk leave you twinging at the hip as you twist and tap your toes. This audiological foreplay leaves us with just enough time before the main performance to have a quick cig’ down the fire escape and grab another pint.

Entering the room again just as the lights dim and the room falls to silence before the band waltz out to new-ish track “Lady Please”, the eclectic crowd of youth lights up with glee, greeted by an applause and chants of “The Magic Gang Bang” being both a nod to the wistful charm of their songs and a satirical play on words. Other songs from their EP such as “Jasmine” entice the crowd into a synchronised bop, overlaid with the occasional sporadic crowd-surfer, their shoe gaze chime in somewhat of a juxtaposition to what is happening in this room at this very moment.

New released “All This Way” is definitely one of the most favoured songs of the set as it acts almost in retrospect, written on the cornerstone as you begin to pick apart the relationship you’re getting into, an aspect of paranoia or simplistic observations settling themselves under your skin.

Much of their second EP follows this theme whilst keeping a beat that in complete contrast is filled with melodic overtones and clean riffs. Earlier hits such as “No Fun” and “Shallow” which seem to have more of a grunge influence cause absolute chaos in this small, intimate, almost cavern like venue; bodies skewing sight as they float over head, narrowly avoiding security as the front bellows their bodies backwards, away from the sprawling hands of the high-viz fun interferers.

The Magic Gang are not a force to be reckoned with as they’ve gradually earnt and accumulated an almost cult like following that will sing along to whichever track you throw at them. Staggering and saturated in sweat or stella we stagger from the door back onto our coach, left in a state of euphoria and regret that we cannot live that experience every waking minute of our day.

Words: Henry Calvert
Photo: Zoe Shannon

FLAG live at the Underworld, London

FLAG
The Underworld, Camden, London
August 1st

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Respect. That’s the key word here. Respect to Flag for choosing to spread their London debut over two nights at the Underworld rather than spending one night in a larger venue with half the required atmosphere. And respect to the members of Flag for pretty much inventing this thing we call hardcore punk rock, and so much more.

You’re in the presence of true legends here. No, it’s not Black Flag. That’s Greg Ginn’s band. He pissed all over his legacy a couple of years back with that dreadful new album and appalling live shows. I know, I witnessed it at Ieperfest in Belgium three years back – slow, sluggish, terrible rhythm section. Awful. Flag, however, (that’s Keith, Dez, Stephen, Chuck and Bill) play the music right, with energy, passion and power. You’re watching true legends at work here. All of the people involved, minus Descendents guitarist Stephen Egerton who replaces Ginn, lived, breathed, wrote and performed this legendary material and when the band come out onstage tonight and Keith whispers into the mic…”it’s not my imagination,” before bellowing. “I’VE GOT A GUN IN MY BACK!!” and the whole band lurch into ‘Revenge’, the years melt away and the true power of the music is unleashed, knocking the crowd sideways.

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And from that moment on, they fire off bolt after bolt of perfect hardcore punk rock. It’s a total joy to watch these true masters of the art. The way Chuck Dukowski screws up his face and hammers at the strings on this bass like his totally despises all four of them. The way Keith’s unmistakable vocals are both pitch perfect, snotty, sarcastic and drawling. The way he holds his space on the stage, his small frame shielding off endless stage dives and attempts to steal his microphone and scream along with the songs (he does not like this). The way Bill plays with precision and power, lagging on the beat so the songs never run away with themselves. The way both Dez and Stephen’s guitars manage to summon up the undeniable genius of Ginn’s original vision and noise. It’s perfect.

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There’s no need to list all of the songs they played. They performed everything that was important, going as far as ‘My War’ (written by Chuck) and although you can feel the band tiring a little towards the end (‘I’ve Heard it Before’ isn’t quite as intense as it should be), the stamina they hold until that point is totally impressive. These are not young guys. These are people that started it all. Show them some fucking respect.

James Sherry

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Sleep live at The Forum, London

Sleep
Conan
The Forum, London July 6th

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There’s heavy and then there’s none more HEAVY. Tonight is a chest-beating display of heavy as bravado. Heavy as punishment. Volume so loud and intense you can feel your skull rattle and vibrate and your guts clench to withstand the impact. So good it hurts.

Liverpool doom merchants Conan get things off to a suitably oppressive start. They describe themselves as being as ‘heavy as interplanetary thunder amplified through the roaring black hole anus of Azathoth’, a fact that is hard to dispute when faced with the sonic sludge oozing from the stage. All you can do is submit and nod. Their job is done and the stage and crowd are perfectly in the zone to greet tonight’s headliners, Californian stoned doom legends Sleep.

Described as ‘the ultimate stoner rock band’, Sleep’s legendary status is well deserved. Having originally disbanded in ’95 when London Records, their major label paymasters at the time, refused to release their now legendary hour-long-one-song-drone workout ‘Dopesmoker’, their reputation continued to grow in their absence as guitarist Matt Pike concentrated on High On Fire. However, when the band reformed in 2009 to play an ATP Festival, they stepped effortlessly back into their towering doom boots as if no time had passed at all and tonight, the noise that they make is utterly earth shattering. Opening with two tracks from their legendary ‘Holy Mountain’ album – ‘Draugonaut’ and the title track, Pike, shirtless and wild, unleashes wave after wave of power in-front of a massive wall of amps, obviously enjoying every second of the colossal noise being created. The sound is incredible. Normally a heavy band’s sound can suffer in a venue this size, often reduced to a dull thud but not tonight, Sleep have more than enough power and amplification behind them to destroy.

Playing the first twenty minutes of their epic ‘Dopemoker’ track, the air fills with the pungent stench of weed as the crowd take their cue to fire up their pipes and spliffs and a few hundred stoners get deep within the zone as Sleep continue to pulverise and groove.

An epic gig. We’re lucky to have them back. Long may they continue to abuse our hearing.

James Sherry

Adam And The Ants live at Brixton Academy

Adam And The Ants
Kings Of The Wild Frontier at Brixton Academy
Friday 10th June

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I was ten years old when Adam Ant mania first swept across the nation in 1980. Girls loved him, boys loved him, he was beautiful, a dandy man, a pirate, an original punk. I loved him because I was completely captivated by those Burundi Drums; the ferocious tribal rhythms that propelled Adam And The Ants’ second album ‘Kings Of The Wild Frontier’ into the world’s pop consciousness. My dad had a small African drum that I endlessly tapped and whacked, imagining I was part of the ants tribe. I so badly wanted to play drums. And that all started with Adam And The Ants.

The first time I saw them live was on The Prince Charming Revue tour in 1982 at the Hammersmith Odeon. My parents took me and it totally blew my mind. He had a huge pirate ship onstage and those tribal drums and the whole spectacle electrified me (my mum less so, she stood up in the interval and tried to go home thinking it was the end of the show. She now says she wasn’t bored, she was just gagging for a smoke).

Fast forward thirty-four years and I’m standing at Brixton Academy once again waiting for Adam Ant to arrive onstage and do it all over again, playing ‘Kings Of The Wild Frontier’ in its glorious entirety. I’ve seen Adam Ant a few times in the last few years since he returned to the stage. Whilst at those gigs he’s mainly focused on his incredible punk-era material, reinstating his position as one of the original punks, he’s only dipped his toes into the sparkling waters of his mainstream pop years. Now, however, it’s time to revisit the record that for a brief moment in the early 80s, made Adam one of the most iconic and recognisable names in pop.

With two drummers perched high on two risers, Adam strutted to the front of the stage, looking every bit the star he was back then (if he doesn’t take off his hat he looks much the same) and as the band kick into the album’s opening track ‘Dog Eat Dog’ the whole venue detonates in a rush of adrenalized nostalgia that melts away the years and resonates with every individual who was touched by this glorious sound. The sound is fantastic, the impact huge and before we’ve even had a chance to draw breath here comes ‘Ant Music’, another huge hit from the album that has the entire crowd chanting along with every word (“cut off its head, legs come looking for you!”).

As the album plays out and Adam throws himself into every word, note and beat, for such a huge mainstream selling record at the time, it becomes clear how strange and unsettling much of the album is. Although written with an entirely different band to Adam’s debut ‘Dirk Wears White Sox’, ‘Kings…’ was crafted with punk still beating in its heart, a long way from the pop sheen of ‘Prince Charming’ and what came after. ‘Ants Invasion’ particularly, sounds utterly menacing tonight; that creeping riff crawling across the venue, biting all in its path, Likewise ‘Killer In The Home’ is moody, bleak and immensely powerful.

With that sophomore played in full, a few short breaths to recover, the band are back to plough through a selection of tracks that cover Adam’s entire career. Early punk era-tracks like ‘Beat My Guest’, ‘Never Trust A Man With Egg On His Face’ and ‘Cartrouble’, despite their age, still sound utterly contemporary, such is their influence and the forward thinking nature of their writer. These, mixed with moments from his mainstream pop years (‘Prince Charming’, ‘Goody Two Shoes’, ‘Stand And Deliver’) make for a joyfully electric set that should give Adam the respect he deserves. His wilderness years behind him, it’s great to have the ant army back.

James Sherry

As an extra bonus, enjoy these scrap book Ant raps from when I was a child. :)

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LIVE REVIEW: Less Than Jake, Kingston

LTJphotoLess Than Jake
Kingston Hippodrome
May 2nd 2016

“You’ve been coming to see us for 15 years?” barks Less Than Jake singer/guitarist Chris Demakes to someone down the front, shortly before trombonist Buddy Schaub scales a stage-side wall to parp out the intro to a supremely groovesome ‘Nervous In The Alley’. “Well, whose fault is that – mine or yours? Don’t pin that one on me!”

Guys, it’s always a pleasure to have you back. Around the turn of the century, Less Than Jake’s smart ska/punk tunes and colourful, hi-octane gigs were a welcome antidote to the dourness of nu-metal, and after all these years (and some great records to boot), their appeal remains much the same. Tonight is their first ever show in Kingston, and although LTJ certainly have the songs and stage presence for a Big Rock Show™, this feels more like an oversized gathering of friends to rock out, bounce around and generally have a blast.

So that’s exactly what happens, and frankly, it’s hard to tell whether the band or crowd are enjoying themselves more. Predictably, classic cuts like ‘Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts’ and ‘All My Best Friends Are Metalheads’ dominate the set (the latter inciting utter pandemonium in the crowd), but a supercharged run through recent gem ‘Good Enough’ indicates a band with their foot still firmly on the gas. What more could you want? Some large balloons? Some toilet paper guns and a confetti cannon? The crowd bouncing halfway to the ceiling during an anthemic ‘History Of A Boring Town’? All joyfully present and correct.

Like all the best shows, tonight seems to pass far too quickly, although it ends in fine style as an increasingly sweat-drenched crowd almost drown out Chris and co-vocalist Roger on ‘Gainesville Rock City’. Less Than Jake might not be able to pack out the likes of the Brixton Academy like they did about a decade ago, but when they’re on such great form, you can’t help but feel sorry for the folks who didn’t want to stick around for a party that was – and is – far from over.

Alex Gosman

Strange Bones live at Bootleg, Blackpool

Strange Bones
Bootleg, Blackpool
18th March 2016

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The north strikes back, specifically Blackpool, as Strange Bones are spat from the unforgivable black sludge some would call the sea, each time welcomed to their Off The Bone gigs by an ever growing crowd as they amplify their increasingly brazen sound time after time.

The tiny, no barrier basement of the Bootleg Social really is rammed tonight. The venue’s small door, wedged between a Chinese restaurant and an estate agents opens into an immersive room of eagerly awaiting souls. When the band enter through the crowd everyone knows it’ll be a night even more destructive than the last.

With ten years previous experience, playing nearly 1000 shows, their return comes with one loud bang as they introduce new single God Save the Teen. This track, saturated with fitful bursts of energy, interrupted by the belligerent storytelling and heavy drums; punctuating verses that will remain in your ears for weeks, rippling through your body like a parasite.

Wading through a small entourage of tracks fists begin to fly through the air faster than neurotransmissions, however slightly delayed by the free JD from the bar. Beats get heavier and melodically rocky riffs are torn out during their session of Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus.

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As the night draws to a close the flames burn even higher as they kick off their most ferocious of tracks, SOIA which is nothing short of raw, fuzzy punk rock that’s been shred together by loose edges, making it an absolute tinnitus inducing tune. The crowd chanting along as the band crash into an amalgamation of noise and jeers marking the end of the night, but not before a guitar crashes off the symbols and into the wall. Bobby slings himself over the conveyor belt of sweat and steam that the crowd has become, before being left lying against the drums in a dilapidated state, as every ounce of life has been put into the night.

Strange Bones, comprising of brothers Will and Bobby Bentham, as well as fellow skate-rat friend Stuart Newburn are the first British band to record at the famous Studio 606 in LA, recording their upcoming EP with Foo Fighters’ guitarist Chris Shiflett, which you can hear in its tangible state from April 21st. They will be playing live at the venues below, catch them at a town near you real soon.

April
7th – Manchester, Tiger Lounge (supporting Dead!)
9th – Derby 2Q Festival and Leicester, The Cookie *
15th – Birmingham, Sunflower Lounge *
16th – Sheffield, The Rocking Chair
21st – St Albans, The Horn
22nd – Blackpool, Bootleg Social – EP Release party
23rd – Preston, Ferret
25th – Coventry, Kasbah
28th – London, The Islington
30th – Leeds, Live At Leeds Festival

May
1st – Hull, Welly Club
20th – Brighton, Great Escape

June
10th – Donington, Download Festival

* Supporting The Wholls

Written by: Henry Calvert
Photos: Rob Lee