Tellison announce tour & Trowbridge date

 

Greeting pop pickers, today I have pleasure of sharing with you the Tellison mini-tour, poster and live audio of the last time we worked with them.

For those who don’t know, Tellison are a BSM / Alcopop!, 4 piece band from London. Ploughing an indie-rock furrow, with choruses designed at gang chanting, that has received such plaudits as “a wonderful sense of hope, regret and youthful abandon” – KERRANG!, “This band deserve your love” – Rock Sound and “Tellison deserve to rule the world.” – The Fly. 

We’ve loved Tellison for some time now, having caught them on Kevin Devine’s full band tour a few years ago. In fact for the Alcopop! 10 Year Anniversary show, Gareth Nichols and I mixed & recorded their entire set, you can hear a track on the Sheer Soundcloud.

Tellison open this brief tour in Trowbridge at the Village Pump. Possibly our most ambitious show in such a small venue. (Well, we did do Alpha Male Tea Party there, so perhaps not!). The tour also includes a show at Manchester’s Punk Festival, that’s also set to include Tom Aylott, so we felt it appropriate to invite Tom to open the show. 

It’s also our first Trowbridge co-pro with our brother-from-another-mother, Hit Or Miss Pomotions aka Mr Rob Dahl aka Mr Cheese & Grain aka The Daddio, friend of all the popstars!

Tickets are available through our usual provider, WeGotTickets here http://www.wegottickets.com/event/429484

Sheer Music & Hit Or Miss Present…
Thursday 19th April 2018
@ Village Pump, Trowbridge
Doors 8pm.
8.30 – 9 – Tom Aylott
9.15 – 9.45 – Stay Voiceless
10 – 11pm – Tellison.

14+ // £7 adv 

Tellison Poster - All dates

MVT Open Letter to the UK Government.

An Open Letter to the UK Government

We are the owners and operators of the UK’s Grassroots Music Venues.
Our Grassroots Music Venues are the fundamental foundations and cornerstone on which our world beating £5.2 billion per year music industry has been built for the last 60 years. Without our Grassroots Music Venues, there would be no Beatles. No Stones, no Led Zeppelin, no Duran Duran, no Sade, no Oasis, no Skunk Anansie, no Adele, no Ed Sheeran, no Dua Lipa. Our Grassroots Music Venues are absolutely essential to the whole UK music industry bouncing back at any time in the future.


Our sector delivers training, rehearsal spaces, recording opportunities and career development to thousands of young people and are essential to our communities. We do not just support the next generation of world beating artists. Grassroots Music Venues are where people come together, where they celebrate, where they socialise. Thousands of cultural professionals get their first taste of working in the creative industries in our venues, including many of those who go on to work in areas other than music. Grassroots Music Venues sit at the very heart of our creative nation.

Public Health advice is clear. Singing is a high-risk activity. Dancing is a high-risk activity. Standing close to other people is a high-risk activity. Being in a confined space for a long period is a high-risk activity. These are the four pillars of the live music experience we offer in our venues. Coming
together with friends and communities to dance and sing with your favourite artists in any of the 800 grassroots music venues across the UK is the very core and purpose of why we exist.

Last year there were more than 175,000 events in our venues that gave people the experiences they love and the artists the opportunities they need. Since 20 March there have been no events.

This is because our sector has complied with the Public Health guidance. We did the right thing. We closed to protect our communities. We engaged with the government task force and we explored every option available to reopen safely and bring live music back. We understand that in order to
protect the public, it should not be done until the health guidance changes and we also know that trying to do it is economic folly which would be financially ruinous; not just for us but for our entire sector.

It is now time for the government to do the right thing.

We are represented by Music Venue Trust, who have laid out a simple clear plan to the government of the support our sector needs to survive the next three months (July, August, September) and to recover in the future. It consists of just two steps.

  1. A £50 million financial support package immediately
  2. A reduction on VAT on future ticket sales, bringing tax in UK Grassroots Music Venues into
    line with our major international competitors
    These measures are simple, quick, effective and would prevent the closure of hundreds of
    Grassroots Music Venues. They are the right thing to do. We are a dynamic, innovative, and inventive sector. We do not need permanent government intervention to exist. We are not asking to become a permanently subsidised drain on the public purse. We do not need the government to step in and tell us how to run our venues. We need government to take two simple steps and leave us to work out how to do the rest.

    We need you to do the right thing.


You can download this letter HERE – We encourage you to send it to your local MP & councillors, with a cover letter in your own words, explaining your own circumstances and why live music and venues are so important to you.

You could use this format;

1. Find your MP at this site: https://www.writetothem.com/
2. Use the messaging system to write a personal message to the MP about your venue, include the following bullet points:
• Name of the venue you are writing about
• Any previous times you have written to the MP before, or a statement that you have not contacted them before
• A brief description of the challenges you have already faced and the impact on you personally
• This statement: Our venue is part of a national network of venues who have today written to the government asking them for the support we need to prevent hundreds of venues being closed down. I have copied that open letter below for you.
• The current future you face if they do not act. We ask you to be brutally honest here; if you will not survive until 1 October unless you receive government support you need to say so. Do not try to paint a positive picture, do not try to struggle through, be blunt. If you venue is going to be closed down by the crisis without their support, this is the time to tell your MP.
Explain what this means to your local community
3. Sign your letter
4. COPY AND PASTE the whole Open Letter below your signature

ULTRASOUND announce 21st-anniversary tour.

You once couldn’t read an NME or Melody Maker article without Tiny from Ultrasound being quoted, referenced or mentioned. It was the way of the world. The augmentative frontman of UKs glorious too-prog-for-indie, too-indie-for-prog band would either be ligging backstage at your gig, ripping up TFI Friday or playing it cool on Later with Jools Holland.

 

They toured with everyone, memorably for me supporting Placebo. They were at all the coolest festivals and events, from Sound City to Radio 1 with John Peel or Steve Lamacq. Sadly despite their creative boom, they imploded after just one album.

 

That album, Picture Everything, was a 2 disc sprawling epic, which managed to keep an underground cult fanbase which as the 00s ground on, even began to find fame and respect on the internet’s darker music corners. So much so that a belated or re-scheduled 21st Anniversary tour for the album is scheduled for April 2021, and it is with much delight that we’re able to announce that 4/5s of the original line up will be performing a celebratory 21 year set at the legendary Moles Club in Bath.

 

It’s our first gig at Moles in a fair few years, since the crazy free entry Beans On Toast riot!

 

Friday 2nd April 2021
@ Moles Club, Bath.
Doors 7pm
7.30 – 8pm – support
8.30 – 10pm – ULTRASOUND

18+


Tickets: £15 adv. Available from WeGotTickets – https://www.wegottickets.com/event/501879

ULTRA TOUR

NEW PAGANS UK tour & Bristol date

It’s going to be unfair but inevitable that the initial focus of New Pagans, will be on the one-time Jetplane Landing axeman and riff master, Cahir O’Doherty.

Cahir shot to our hearts somewhere around 2005, as the newly installed riff hero on Jetplane Landings seminal 2nd record, Once Like A Spark. He helped push the band on from almost indie into the almost post-hardcore scene with his huge, fun riffage. As that band relentlessly toured for a few album cycles and begun to slow down, Cahir continued forging riffs with Fighting With Wire, (FWW) who *almost* made the big time with their 2nd album, Colonel Blood. That wasn’t to be & these days Cahir finds him-self globetrotting with (and occasionally standing in for) Frank Turner, as his guitar tech.

So much anticipation will be forthcoming with the news & release of any new music featuring the guitar work of Cahir. So it goes without saying then that yes, the guitar licks & riffs are all present & correct. There’s something familiar yet new about the bands sound. Track “Bloody Soil” has an early FWW feel to it, while the latest single “It’s Darker” comfortably nestles amongst the Sleater Kinney scene.

New Pagans will be new to a lot of people given this is their first UK tour, but the Northern Irish 5 piece will already have the vast Xtra-Mile shaped scene waiting to greet them, especially after the success of friends and fellow scenesters, Brand New Friend having cut a groove in the UK scene in the last 12 months.

 Opening the show will be South Wales trio Stay Voiceless, who first played for us a few years ago in Frome. The band come with more inevitabilities, being that they’re Welsh and make rock music, The Manic’s are bound to be mentioned. It’s a comparison the band wear on their sleeve with pride. It’s anthemic rock with a policial nouse. Check their latest single in the link below…

Sunday 8th March 2020
@ The Crofters Rights, Bristol.
Doors 7.30pm
8 – 8.30pm – Stay Voiceless (South Wales)
8.45 – 9.15 – TBA (Bristol)
9.30 – 10.15 – NEW PAGANS

Tickets £6 adv, £8 otd. WeGotTickets // See Tickets
18+

TOUR:
Tues 3rd—Glasgow
Wed 4th—Newcastle
Thur 5th—London
Fri 6th—Manchester
Sat 7th—Chester
Sun 8th —Bristol—Crofters Rights

 

Sheer Music’s AOTY 2019

I’ve put absolutely no pre-thought into writing this, it’s coming out in a spew right, now.

10 – DZ Deathrays – Positive Rising #1 (Alcopop Records)

A much more understated album than their last outing, which was an absolute banger, this was a more controlled version of the beast we knew. Their atmospheric & anthemic sound were still in place and the album did drive and punch in equal measure, but it clocked in at 9 tracks, so felt a bit quick.

 

9 – The Real Cheesemakers – Grated Hits (self release)

Wiltshire’s finest silly song writers finally delivered their debut after nearly 20(?) years in the making. Certainly, in the decade I’ve known them. It’s strongest attribute will probably be their biggest hold back from reaching potential fans. People just don’t like silly songs, despite the musical prowess backing it up, and there was plenty of muscle flexed on this record. However, if you enjoy songs about cheese, giant squids, dinosaurs and guest appearances from chap-hop stars, then this record really, really delivered, and crucially, it stood up to repeated listens. Support slots to Creed Bratton, Goldie Lookin’ Chain & Professor Elemental on the way tell their own story. Almost certainly ones to look out for, as they will be hitting that circuit hard in 2020.

8 – Hysterical Injury – Life Death Life (self release)

I was slightly worried this came out in 2018, given it was released so early in 2019. The band played a single release show for us at the Komedia in Bath at the tail end of 2018, and this album followed shortly after. It was quite different sonically from their debut. Less pedal to the metal bass riffs and balls to the wall drums, and instead were more noisy soundscapes, programmed drums and dancy bass beats. This departure was rewarded with a UK tour opening for BEAK>, which is the only review you need.

Friendly Fires - Inflorescent.png7 – Friendly Fires – Inflorescent (Polydor)

In what is probably a wild card from me, big-budget, big label, pop-dance crossover indie disco outfit, Friendly Fires came back finally with their 3rd studio album. They did not reinvent anything of their history, they just continued to release dance floor friendly indie bangers. Not a lot else needed to be added, except to say, if you wanted a feel-good dance record, this was it.

A hand-drawn globe against a white background, with an orange border on the left-hand side. The words "FATHER+OF+THE+BRIDE" encircle the globe, with "Vampire Weekend" and "Sony Music" printed above and below the globe respectively. 6 – Vampire Weekend – Father of the Bride (Columbia)

A stunning return to form, after trailing off since their debut (in my opinion), probably in part due to the introduction of 3 new members. This was an album of short, sharp songs (something of a theme in my list this year), spiked with their usual sun-bleached tunes. All destined to feature on a film 4 film in the future, obviously.

 

5 – Chris Farren – Born Hot (Big Scary Monsters)

If you’re not familiar with Chris’s sound, rest assured that if you picked this record up, you’d be delving in at his very best. His voice just tells stories, and I want to hear him lilting them to us. He doesn’t reinvent himself, but he did reinvent his advertising campaign, which had us all hooked on Twitter for the course of the record.

4 – Brand New Friend – Seatbelts For Aeroplanes (Xtra Mile Recordings)

OK, so not technically released this year, but I picked it up this year at their Swindon show, opening for Sean McGowan. And fuck me, the only reason this isn’t top, is because I got the  year wrong, because THIS is the sound of the funnest band out there right now. Brand New Friend are the natural successors to Ash. Infectious sub-3 minute pop tunes, all power and glory at being barely 20 something. They were my favourite set at 2000 Trees & they tour the UK in 2020, and I will be down the front, singing my heart out.

Image result for gender role prang3 – Gender Roles – Prang (Big Scary monsters)

Haha, now this was a fun album. BSM always find the band that epitomize the underground at that precise moment in time, and with Prang, Gender Roles delivered 2019’s snapshot of the state of the scene. They looked goofy, the wrote goofy and they played goofy. I have a live recording of the opening date of the album tour, in Chippenham. It was a wicked fun show, for a wicked fun band. When Weatherstate played Trowbridge a few weeks ago, these were the band everyone was buzzing about.

Image result for tom jenkins misery in comfort2 – Tom Jenkins – Comfort in Misery (Self Release)

Now here is an album.  Arguably the best-crafted collection of songs released in 2019, only missing my number 1 because of the repeated plays Indoor Pets got, because their’s came out earlier! Each song is an example of utterly perfect execution song writing. Even the shorter link tracks are perfectly weighted. No song grapples with another, the flow of the record was perfect, the weight of each track tempered expertly, none outstay their welcome – It’s a stunning record from start to finish. Tom took us on a journey, and it was beautiful.

1 – Indoor Pets – Be Content (Witchita)

After catching them for the first time since the name change (they played for us as Get Inuit, opening for Ash) at 2000 Trees, their performance was forever etched in my memory, not just because of the company, but because of the passionate delivery of the best collection of indie rock songs since The Pixies (for me at any rate). Their set was brief and faultless, and this album just got repeated and repeated. I’ve not seen them since, but I need to. I drove my family up the wall repeatedly playing Pro-Procrastinator. They hate it now. Oops.

Introducing… The Big Massive Orchestra

A quick reminder of what Sheer & Loathing is – it marks the approximate date of Sheer’s first-ever gig at the Football Club in Devizes in 2004. Fifteen years and 450 gigs later, we arrive at this all-afternooner, where some of the bands I have missed out on many occasions finally come to make their mark on Trowbridge and our memories! 

Kicking off at 3pm and finishing around 10pm (for live music) we have some of the best acts from across Wiltshire and national ones doing the rounds including… THE BIG MASSIVE ORCHESTRA.

Here is a band who probably needs little introduction, certainly not in the Trowbridge, Frome and Bath triangle. 

This band first came to my attention after Mr Rob Dahl of Hit Or Miss promotions booked them for All Roads Lead To Frome #2 last year. The band who then were only like, barely 16, have since turned into one of the absolute best, most exciting prospects we have going. 

A unique set up of guitar, drums, and violin, the band are able to summon some incredibly lush, deep, moving landscapes of music. It was wholly unexpected to see such an accomplished band at such a young age that it led me to liken them to Thought-Forms, who are also well known for making lush textures and soundscapes.

We’ve always looked to support youth music, be it young people or young bands, but this band seemed to skip the part where you’re a bit shit and need to learn the trade of playing live, figuring out what does and what does not work. They came out fully formed – They hadn’t even gone to music college at this point. Part of me fears of what they will be told in the classroom will change what is already an incredibly winning formula. 

This hasn’t gone unnoticed when last year the band were called up to perform at the award-winning* math / post-rock festival the ArcTanGent in Bristol and playing packed shows across the local area, hitting up and outgrowing all the local venues. 

Their recorded music is great despite there being very little of it out there, but what you can hear is on their Bandcamp. However, it is their live show that the band truly excel. It doesn’t seem quite right when they produce such a massive sound, but with two members studying either Jazz drums or classical guitar, it’s no real surprise that they’re able to function at a level higher than they’re currently performing. I mean christ, this is a band who would cover Radiohead’s Idioteque and get away with it!

The Big Massive Orchestra is a band that will undoubtedly grow and grow, and I have no doubt we will be looking back at a time in our scene that we will fondly remember that they graced us with their music. 

For more info on the band, go and like their Facebook Page, subscribe to their Youtube etc, you know how the internet works in this day & age… 

 

Sheer & Loathing In Trowvegas
@ Trowbridge Town Hall
Saturday 19th October 2019
Doors 3pm.
3.45 – 4.15 – Jezilyn Martyn
4.15 – 4.45 – and Alice
4.45 – 5.15 – Dan / The Shudders tbc
5.15 – 6pm – The Big Massive Orchestra
6pm – 6.45 – Mark McCabe
6.45 – 7.30 – Weatherstate
7.30 – 8.15 – Louise Distras
8.15 – 9pm – itoldyouiwouldeatyou
9pm – 10pm – Smokin’ Donuts (Les Carter & Doozer McDooze)

Tickets: £15 adv or £20 otd. Available direct from venue or from WeGotTickets or SeeTickets. The bands have a limited amount of cheap tickets… HTU for links and such…

* (Best toilets in 2013, Best small festival in 2018)

Introducing…. And Alice

Howdy folks welcome to the first in 9 Blog posts about all the artists performing at Sheer & Loathing in Trowvegas on Saturday, October 19th. 

A quick reminder of what Sheer & Loathing is – it marks the approximate date of Sheer’s first-ever gig at the Football Club in Devizes in 2004. Fifteen years and 450 gigs later, we arrive at this all-afternooner, where some of the bands I have missed out on many occasions finally come to make their mark on Trowbridge and our memories! 

Kicking off at 3pm and finishing around 10pm (for live music) we have some of the best acts from across Wiltshire and national ones doing the rounds including… AND ALICE.

This band came to our attention purely by accident. They were one of the cool bands that Chippenham squirrels away and when we had another Chippenham band, Hoggs Bison due to perform who had to pull out. T heir drummer Tom Mallard sent And Alice in their place. And what a stroke of luck that turned out to be.

This previously unknown band to me brought a truckload of friends up from Chippenham to Trowbridge to open for techy-math band AXES. And they blew us away. From the first note, their own mathy-indie rock was just loud dancy fun! If this band aren’t yet on the ArcTanGent radar, they should be. Their sound slots perfectly in with that technical, left field, mathy rock. 

For more info and such, go like their Facebook page HERE, their Bandcamp HERE, and join the Facebook event page HERE!

NOTE: The artists have a limited number of cheaper advance tickets, contact your fav bands and ask for the link! 

Sheer & Loathing In Trowvegas
@ Trowbridge Town Hall
Saturday 19th October 2019
Doors 3pm.
3.45 – 4.15 – Jezilyn Martyn
4.15 – 4.45 – and Alice
4.45 – 5.15 – Dan / The Shudders tbc
5.15 – 6pm – The Big Massive Orchestra
6pm – 6.45 – Mark McCabe
6.45 – 7.30 – Weatherstate
7.30 – 8.15 – Louise Distras
8.15 – 9pm – itoldyouiwouldeatyou
9pm – 10pm – Smokin’ Donuts (Les Carter & Doozer McDooze)

Tickets: £15 adv or £20 otd. Available direct from venue or from WeGotTickets or SeeTickets.

Introducing… Jezilyn Martyn

Howdy folks welcome to the first in 9 Blog posts about all the artists performing at Sheer & Loathing in Trowvegas on Saturday, October 19th. 

A quick reminder of what Sheer & Loathing is – it marks the approximate date of Sheer’s first-ever gig at the Football Club in Devizes in 2004. 15 years and over 450 gigs later, we arrive at this all-afternooner, where some of the bands I have missed out on many occasions finally come to make their mark on Trowbridge and our memories! 

Kicking off at 3pm and finishing around 10pm (for live music) we have some of the best acts from across Wiltshire and national ones doing the rounds and they start with… JEZILYN MARTYN.

Jez was quite well known in the local singer-songwriter acoustic scene well before she came to play for us for the first time. Why it took so long I don’t know, but she made her debut to a sold-out show opening for Gaz Brookfield in February of this year at Devizes Cellar Bar. 

This Calne based musician is quite famous for her song about getting kicked out of a show for a song about her breasts. Mike Barham tells the story way better than me, but trust us when we say it’s always a good one live. 

Jez likes to use a loop station in a way that reminds us of Laura Kidd aka She Makes War. Looping vocal sounds, layed up to create a song sans any instrumentation. It can be hugely effective to a receptive audience, and given Jez is a guitar teacher, her playing is unquestionable! 

Jez includes anecdotal stories in her sets, the music is engaging, relatable and above all good, and with a full 30 minutes, you’ll get to see her perform a proper set of original music, which only took 2 gigs for us to force her way into our conscious. She fully deserves a slot on this incredible line-up and we’re confident you’ll love her too.

For more info and such, go like her Facebook page HERE, the Youtube HERE, and join the Facebook event page HERE!

 

NOTE: The artists have a limited number of cheaper advance tickets, contact your fav bands and ask for the link! 

Sheer & Loathing In Trowvegas
@ Trowbridge Town Hall
Saturday 19th October 2019
Doors 3pm.
3.45 – 4.15 – Jezilyn Martyn
4.15 – 4.45 – and Alice
4.45 – 5.15 – Dan / The Shudders tbc
5.15 – 6pm – The Big Massive Orchestra
6pm – 6.45 – Mark McCabe
6.45 – 7.30 – Weatherstate
7.30 – 8.15 – Louise Distras
8.15 – 9pm – itoldyouiwouldeatyou
9pm – 10pm – Smokin’ Donuts (Les Carter & Doozer McDooze)

Tickets: £15 adv or £20 otd. Available direct from venue or from WeGotTickets or SeeTickets.

Dave McPherson – RETURNS to Swindon!

It’s been a long time since Dave last played Swindon. There are reasons for the long absence, which we won’t dwell on except to say it’s been a long time coming. 

For those who don’t know who Dave is, Dave is a British music legend. A career spanning decades now, he rose to fame in the late 90s with his band InMe when they released their debut album, Overgrown Eden to rapture. Famous for his flowing locks of luscious hair, Dave & InMe graced many the front cover of the British music press including Kerrang! and Rock Sound. 6 studio albums later the band have cemented their place in British rock history and a firm place in our hearts. 

It was a long time ago Dave hit the road as a soloist, releasing a number of solo albums too, that were equally as good as his band’s output and continued his presence among the best in the UK alternative scene and many a festival line up and tours around this country. 

However, it’s been a while since Dave last played Swindon or even Wiltshire for a year or two. So it’s with the greatest of pleasures that we welcome him back to Level 3 for what is effectively our Xmas show party on Saturday 21st December 2019! 

This show is also a co-pro between us and our friend’s BANDIT MUSIC, who have been doing some amazing gigs in Swindon, go like their page and stuff to keep up to date with their shows. We’re currently trying to get one of Swindon’s finest bands to play a rare acoustic support set, that if we pull it off, will really make for a special evening!

This tour has been mooted as an exclusive tour of InMe material, but as I’m currently trawling Dave’s videos on Youtube I cannot believe for one moment that he will ditch his solo material, as this has formed some of my most treasured memories as a promoter when Dave came and played Devizes Lamb to 60 people and made me shed many a tear to tracks like Lady Luck, Spring Hearts Need Blood, Snowball, I’m Possible, Something Bad, Last Year & Love Rats. We may need to give him extra time in his set…. 

Anyway, this is a brilliant excuse and opportunity to get mates together, see those friends we always promise to hang out with but never get the chance, at Christmas time for a bit of a sing-a-long and nostalgia. I’ll be inviting as many friends as I can and hope that some of you can make it for what I hope will be an incredibly special night. 

Saturday 21st December 2019
@ Level 3, Swindon.
Doors 8pm.

8.30 – 9pm –
9.15 – 9.45 –
10 – 11pm – Dave McPherson solo.
Tickets £6 adv. £8 otd.
14+

TICKETS: WeGotTickets // SeeTickets

I’m sure when we get round to this show I’ll be gushing about the amazing year we’ve had, but there is a long way to go and some seriously good gigs to happen before then, so, hang tight & I’m sure I’ll be seeing you all very soon

Kieran x

 

Post-festival, festival optimism (A 2000 Trees review)

2019 is dead, long live 2019. 

Beans on Toast once sang, “Post Festival, Festival Blues” to summerise his post-festival come down, and I know the feeling well enough, but 2000 Trees 2019 has filled me with so much optimism it’s unbelievable. 

Kudos for improving the family vibe and kids offerings. Rebellion Extinction, recycling points for cans, spoken word stage and no-camping in the arena were all fantastic improvements to this year’s experience.

It really is just a festival of love and friends (and lost evenings…) an absolutely unmatched vibe that you just know you’re going next year regardless of the lineup. The people, friends new and old who make the festival, the line up just becomes our opportunity to have some fun. And what fun we had.

After missing the Thursday because of child birthdays, I arrived at the site wayy too late to even catch Nigel’s Sad Song Co. busk set. Despite him calling me Simon when I saw him (totally forgiven) it apparently went really well which is the least comforting report you want. Though I’m glad it went well for him. 

Rest of Thursday night was a haze, as I “drank to catch up” before making my back to my car, and this is the best tip I can offer – Sleep in your car! Futon mattress in the back of an estate with the seats down is bliss. More silent in a field in the middle of nowhere than being at home! And no drunks stumbling into your tent guide ropes. Win win win win win.

Mike Barham finally got the reception he deserved from his busk spot on the Under The Bridge stage on Friday night. The 12 people directly in front of him spent the whole festival thereafter walking past our campsite telling him how fantastic he was. And to be fair he really, really was. The start of more things to come? Let’s hope so. 

Tom Mallard and I played a game of best heckles during his set, and it’s fair to say chanting “One! More! Song!” after they’ve played their first is my favorite. 

Trees was introduced to 11-can Kieran. Yes, I managed to actually drink that many cans of Thatchers and not be sick, despite the very generous donation by Georgie for the ride on the Waltzers. Dan couldn’t hack it and was well on the way to pulling a whitey by this point. I’m a fucking delight when I’m drunk.

IMG_20190712_132246.jpg

Friday’s highlight came early for me. Brand New Friend belted out their 30 minute set without too much banter letting the chorus’ doing the talking. I literally flipped my lid. Since they played for us in Swindon supporting Sean McGowan, I’ve been listening to their album non-stop. It’s utterly perfect from start to finish, and their set too was just perfect. Ben Sydes had already started the day in the nicest possible way, making a long overdue to the official line up in the Forest session. This was after a quick interview with us on the BBC Introducing session on the new Word Stage. Thanks Rich! Always love a good opportunity to regale an audience with the story of how I delivered my child in the back of a car!

I caught Pengshui on the way to Brand New Friend, and they were awesome. Grime-punk? (Basement Jaxx-y) Nothing else quite like it currently on the circuit and in that blistering form of their early days. Superb.

Barry got to be Rocksoxgen Thief again, which is always a pleasure and the first time I think I’ve seen the full band show since last years album (?) and he too was also in superb form. Then came itoldyouiwouldeatyou (our 15 year anniversary headliners!) arguably the band I was most excited about playing. Their busk set the night before was superb, and they managed to play a bunch of songs then, that didn’t make the electric set, so was well worth catching both. Alexi was in fine form and seems to do well with the restraint of not being the focus in the band.

IMG_20190712_150247.jpg

You’ll notice a FTNA sign there… Not entirely sure what that’s all about, but it seems to keep people entertained on Twitter. They were superb though, and thoroughly deserving of the big shout outs I was giving their drummer Sean during our BBC interview. (Hope to have the audio in the coming weeks to share myself.) 

Having caught the end of Sean McGowan‘s set, and dinner, we went for a little stomp like you do a Trees preparing for the inevitable Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun love in, featuring Andy Oliveri on bass duties. They played wall to wall bangers, and despite some awkward squealing were superb. Side shows performers from All Ears Avow Jake Wilcox’ on guitar tech duties, a happy Frank Turner and original bassist Phil, who missed this show. The set probably confirming that Jim’s music is now folklore and timeless.

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Allusinlove were good if not particularly memorable for me, as I probably had one ear on getting in the zone for The Wildhearts. A band I haven’t seen for ages, yet had the pleasure of hosting Ginger last year in Swindon. A faultless set with a guest Frank appearance (he gets about) and a rousing finale of I Wana Go Where The People Go, which on reflection there was a few legacy acts / songs I wanted to hear, this was one of them. Kinda wanted Anthem too, but won’t complain, I’m sure they’ll play it in Bath in a few months.

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As It Is were on next on the main stage, which I will quite happily never sit through ever again. Only wanting to eat food kept me there. Indoor Pets were delightful though, and the first time I had seen them since the name change and playing support for us to Ash a few years ago. They still have all the indie-boy charm and tunes. IMG_20190712_212154.jpg

Really sorry for the terrible picture quality. It’s been a joke for years and I don’t see it ever improving. 

So, the end of the day bought us to Mongol Horde and their 21st show. It’s always a pleasure to see drum giant Ben Dawson, but today he was outshone only by the glitterball that came out to sing. Another absolute banger of a set, fantastic light show ideas that I’m going to try and rip off at our Gender Roles gig in Chippenham in a few weeks and I got to scream my guts up to Million Dead cover, Smiling at Strangers on Trains. Rob and I ruined our voices in that moment, but I am delighted I managed to remember every wordy word Frank put in that song which kick-started my love for MD & latterly everything Frank.

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Then it was a rush back to the busk stage and getting ready to heckle Mike. Sydes had a hard task to follow, but he did (Mike slew the crowd with a City & Colour cover, Dangerzone and the best quips and comebacks to a passing crowd you will see & hear). Sean pulled a blinder and then I believe I went disco dancing at the silent disco. We met a nice medic there who gave us a nice rundown of the top 10 best injuries the festival had had so far, which was sobering. A slow walk back to my car & slice of silence finished day 2 at Trees around 2.30am. Perfect. 

PHEW, what a day. I’ll give you part two tomorrow if you’re interested.  

 

 

 

Sheer and Loathing in Trowvegas

So here we have it… a few teasers here and there, the Wiltshire Times going early on our press release (the classic local-rag sub-headline of “hitting back!”) but we’re finally here, Sheer & Loathing in Trowvegas is alive.

Taking cues from my co-promoted show (with my bro over at Hit Or Miss), All Roads Lead To fRome, an annual, 2 stage, all-dayer. I’ve cut it back to fewer acts to make it more lean and manageable for myself. What we lack in quantity we make up for in quality and this is an incredible line-up.

Featuring *mostly* new acts to Sheer & the area, we handpicked our favourites who we hadn’t worked with but really really wanted to for some time. I will be going over all 9 acts in detail over the coming weeks with dedicated blogs about each, our relationship with them so you can better understand why the line up is what it is. Even better is that a number of bands weren’t able to make this show, so if this goes well we’ll do it all over again in the spring and try and get Dancehall, Woahnows and Fresh in, but for the time being I am still delighted to have mixed the best in our local scene, with some of the best national acts.

This gig does indeed celebrate 15 years of promoting in Wiltshire. A true indie, under our own volition and with no outside funding – this is as about as a hobby as a hobby can be! (expensive to maintain, doing something you love etc) It’s well documented how we got here, so I won’t bore you again, suffice to say it’s amazing to be at this point in time and I’ve really enjoyed this event experience so far, partly down to the fantastic imagery that Evan Cotter at Xtra Mile whipped up for me.

The heron is a symbolic British nod to the animal imagery in the Hunter S Thompson book of lizards and bats etc and we’ve done our best BSM / Alcopop impression by ripping off an existing logo / identity for our own event. And we managed to get Trowvegas into something proper too, so it’s no longer just a quirky colloquial term given to Wiltshire stab city. Which by the way, since living here I have discovered that Trowbridge has a really unfair reputation for being awful. It’s actually an amazing place and if our past gigs here are anything to go by (Alpha Male Tea Party, Axes, Tellison etc) a thoroughly deserving place too!

Anywhoo, what you want to know is stage times and splits, don’t you? OK, so the acts open on the acoustic stage in the Supper Room at Trowbridge Town Hall, then alternate between that room and the Courtroom downstairs which is the electric stage. Nice and simple. All acts get a decent set length, so nothing is rushed and they can really express themselves.

Doors 3pm.
3.45 – 4.15 – Jezilyn Martyn
4.15 – 4.45 – And Alice
4.45 – 5.15 – Dan / The Shudders tbc
5.15 – 6pm – Big Massive Orchestra
6pm – 6.45 – Mark McCabe
6.45 – 7.30 – Weatherstate
7.30 – 8.15 – Louise Distras
8.15 – 9pm – itoldyouiwouldeatyou
9pm – 10pm – Smokin’ Donuts (Les Carter & Doozer McDooze)

Saturday 19th October 2019
Trowbridge Town Hall Arts
14+
£15 adv. £20 otd (if available) 

Tickets available through WeGotTickets & SeeTickets as well as being available direct from the venue without a booking fee, nice. You can also collect tickets form the box office on the day, after purchasing through SeeTickets, to avoid postage costs.

So there you have it, big thanks to everyone so far involved, for the press articles, poster design, promises of running the second stage etc, you all truly make this worth it. We’ll see you soon!

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Gigs… Gigs… Gigs…

THE MOST UNEXPECTED of anniversary tours has been announced.

I say unexpected, as when I mentioned it to …AYWKUBTTOD’s agent, they merely replied “that’s a good idea” as if to suggest is wasn’t already in motion.

So, we gave birth to the very idea of this anniversary show. As if I wasn’t proud already to actually have the gig, but to have in some way set the wheels in motion is quite a feeling.

Seeming as you’re all regulars to our blog, and more than likely identify as a member of then #GigFam, i’ll do my usual whirl through why this show exists.

We need to go back to 1999. To when record shop  PR Sounds in Devizes was at it’s peak (for me at any rate). And the Italian Stallion John Canouter (sp?) was flogging me all these cool American imports. One such album, “Madonna” was spinning one day in the shop, and when I inquired, John refused to sell it to me as it was their only copy.

The very next day I went in as I knew John wasn’t on shift and I bought it, scratched to fuck but I didn’t care, It played and that’s all that mattered.

From the first listen I was hooked. Musically it was so instant – melodic yet crazy. Loud yet quiet. The chords… emotional. I inferred so much from the songs, and loved the way each one melds into the next, much like the way Mansun did on Attack Of The Grey Lantern, which has been released only 2 years earlier and become staple listening for me.

I caught them live at Reading festival a number of times following this album, on the Radio 1 stage (2nd stage, not sure what it’s called now…), but I never managed to make it to one of their gigs proper.

Anyway, a few albums and over a decade later, Conrad finally tours solo, and I forget how now, but  I manage to convince him to come play Devizes. (Recording below…)

He is an absolute pleasure to deal with, and it turns out has an auntie living a stones throw from the venue. What a coincidence! The people who attended the show were spoiled. Conrad literally played requests, and threw in loads of country covers. He brought all his graphic illustrations with him to sell and generally was the ultimate fans dream.

Until this of course.

Now I find myself taking on my biggest challenge yet. In theory the biggest show I’ve done in the nicest venue I’ve had is a dream proposition, but as you’re all aware I have no safety net – This is me out on a wing and a prayer, hoping enough people loved that album as much as I did. If not, you’ll find me washing dishes in the local pub, paying off my credit card.

 

PS. Tickets make great Xmas presents. Why not give someone an experience they’ll never forget?

We’ll update with supports as soon as we know. 

Sheer Music Present…
…AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD.
Tuesday 5th February 2019
@ The Komedia, Bath.

Doors 7.30pm
8 – 8.30pm – tba (already picked, local support)
8.45 – 9.15 – tba (tour support)
9.30 – 11pm – …AYWKUBTTOD – Playing Madonna in full, plus other classics.

14+ (u16 with an adult). Tickets £20 adv. £25 otd. Available through WeGotTickets.com

 

Sean McGowan announces full band UK tour

We’re at it once again, bringing tours to town. This time, it’s one of our favourite new singer song writers, Sean McGowan

Sean played Swindon last year, supporting Frank Turner and the plan was always to follow that gig up with a headline gig for Sean, but it never quite panned out. He signed up to a proper agent, and they took him all over the country, specifically avoiding places he had already been. 

So whilst it may seem a long time since he played our area, it’s because he’s been racking up the miles on other solo tours as well as supporting The Levellers on their recent Autumn tour. 

Also since our last outing together, Sean has released his debut album “Son of the Smith” via one of our favourite labels, Xtra Mile. 

All in all, the #GigFam are already very familiar with Sean and our Devizes antics. Swindon has had the briefest of introductions, so I have no doubt this gig will fill in the spaces! 

There will be a tour support, currently unknown to us, but we will find out soon enough.

Opening the show will be new Devizes rock band, Nerve Endings. Featuring former Ocelot staff writer, Mike Barham on guitar, my ex-Discovery colleague Rob McKelvey on bass and Wiltshire’s newest drummer Luke Bartels. 

After only one show in Devizes (there will be a whole bunch before this gig swings round) the band are very early days, but initial reports are promising, and it’s great to see Devizes producing some exciting bands again!

Go follow them over on their socials, FacebookTwitterInsta

Tickets for the show will be £10 and go on general sale TOMORROW at 10am. However I have 50 limited tickets at £8. Grab them whilst you can, via Nerve Endings links or HERE…> WeGotSecrets.

Thanks everyone, the 2nd show of 2019 has been announced (After Professor Elemental at The Neeld on 1st Feb!) 

Thursday 21st February 2019
@ Level 3, Swindon
Doors 8pm
8.45 – 9.15 – Nerve Endings
9.30 – 10 – tour support tba
10.15 – 11pm – Sean McGowan
14+
£10 adv. £13 otd.

SeanSwindon