28.07.21 YORK Fulford Arms
29.07.21 NEWCASTLE Cluny
30.07.21 EDINBURGH Opium
31.07.21 GLASGOW Ivory Blacks
03.08.21 MANCHESTER Night People
04.08.21 NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms
05.08.21 WOLVERHAMPTON Slade Rooms
06.08.21 BRISTOL Exchange
07.08.21 LONDON Garage
tickets and information flagpromotions.co.uk / ticketweb.co.uk / fatsoma.com
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, Canadian post-punk goth act The Birthday Massacre have been forced to postpone a November 2020 UK tour to promote their new album, ‘Diamonds’, which was released in late March. All nine shows have now been rearranged for the summer of 2021, as per the itinerary above.
The tour will be the first opportunity for UK fans to see two recently installed group members, drummer Phil Elliott and bassist Brett Carruthers, perform with the band. Carruthers is also the frontman of fellow Toronto-based act A Primitive Evolution, who released an excellent album of industrial tinged rock entitled ‘Becoming’ on Metropolis Records in 2018 and have remained an ongoing concern.
SO EXCITED to announce a BRAND NEW ALBUM, “Nowhere To Go But Everywhere”! The album comes out Sept 18th, BUT, our new single, ‘Jesus & John Lennon’, is OUT NOW!
Swiftly following on from their Independent Music Award winning debut album, Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts are delighted to announce its follow-up: ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’. Pre-order here.
Little over a year since the release of his enthusiastically received debut ‘This Is The Sound’, the Texan maestro backed by his trans-atlantic band will release 11 brand new tracks on 18th September 2020 in what will be their sophomore release for the Wicked Cool label.
& Here’s a handy link to listen to the new single, pre-order the album, and/or pre-save it on Spotify, iTunes etc…
Like some of the greatest records in history, the bittersweet and often beautiful songs of ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ have their basis in break-up. In the wake of a divorce and in urgent need of a new start, Hamilton hit the highway and embarked on a long, soul searching road trip across the US. Losing himself in the heartlands of old America, Hamilton found himself gazing upon the crumbling motels and diners that line fabled arteries like Route 66 and picturing what once might have been; their fading grandeur offering a unique sense of solace and inspiration. As the milometer ticked-on and new experiences began to ease those unshakeable notions of hurt and heartbreak, unexpectedly Hamilton felt himself writing some of the most intimate and personal music he has ever written.
“It’s a group of songs about heartbreak, and finding yourself.” says Hamilton of the new record. “It’s not like anything I’ve ever done. I am certain they’re the best songs I’ve ever written. When this album comes out, it will be like baring my soul… and I’m ok with that.”
Literature fans may be quick to identify the title as a quote from another creative work written “On The Road”, by a certain Jack Kerouac. Though a fan, Hamilton insists its pure serendipity in this case. Or, the influence of a lucky charm perhaps (also seen to feature on the upcoming album artwork)…
“I knew it had to be the title for this album.” he says. “Kerouac is a hero, and because of the way this album was written, his spirit is all over it. I actually own Jack Kerouac’s belt. That he wore in the 60s… It’s a cherished possession.”
With a lifelong adoration for the work of Tom Petty, listeners will no doubt detect the influence of the great man in the warm and radiant arrangements of album opener “Only A Dream” or the gentle Califonian kissed balladry of “Pick Yourself Up”. But it seems a final pit-stop and pilgrimage to the famed Norman’s Rare Guitars in LA, would play its part in determining the resultant sound of ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ too.
“Norman is the go to guy for a lot of big names out there. Including my hero, Tom Petty.” reflects Hamilton. “I went in the store at the end of that aforementioned road trip from Texas… and had no intentions of leaving with a guitar. But, Norm and I got to talkin’, and we talked about Tom… and before I knew it, I was leaving with a vintage Martin acoustic. That guitar feels like my child. I cherish it.”
Returning home filled with a sense of rejuvenation and alive with new ideas, Hamilton reconnected with The Harlequin Ghosts (aka Mickey Richards and Rob Lane) and a host of talented musicians to help recreate his journey in the songs of what would become: ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’.
Taking a similar approach to the recording process of their debut, ‘This Is The Sound’, the new album was recorded using both Hamilton’s home studio in Texas and that of producer Dave Draper’s in the UK, who also produced, mixed & mastered the final cut. Hamilton laid down the bulk of the record whilst also touring his solo acoustic tour in February 2020, before the declaration of the global pandemic saw Hamilton forced to return home to add the finishing touches.
Not one to sit still for long, Hamilton even found time to write an additional EP’s worth of material, ‘Incommunicado‘. Connecting remotely with producer Draper, plus other fellow musicians in lockdown in the UK and France, the EP recorded and released completely in lockdown. Dropped without prior warning in May 2020 and with all proceeds going to the Music Venue Trust’s ‘Save Our Venues’ campaign, it shot straight up the charts to become Hamilton’s first number 1 album (iTunes Country Chart) and sets the precedent for a magnificent long player to follow this Autumn.
Wise with the experiences of life and glowing with the sense of adventure of his travels, ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ is an exceptional new chapter in the Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts story. Just make sure to save them a table at the awards ceremonies next year…
RYAN HAMILTON & THE HARLEQUIN GHOSTS – NEW ALBUM:
‘NOWHERE TO GO BUT EVERYWHERE’- OUT 18 SEPTEMBER 2020, VIA WICKED COOL
PRE-ORDER HERE || LISTEN TO JESUS & JOHN LENNON HERE
First up is the first single off the excellent Pardon Us. ‘Undertow’ sees the band release their lockdown social distanced video for the first track off their ‘Seamless’ album due out towards the end of August.
Another band we a loving here at HQ is Indonesian Junk who also have a new album ‘A Life Of Crime’ out on Rum bar records
Finally, we bring you Stay Voiceless who also have a new record ‘Lies To Tell Your Children’ and the review of said record will be online this week
If you suddenly have the desire to collect The Hip Priests 7 inchers, just forget it already! That’s tantamount to saying you are gonna start collecting Star Wars figures or Kiss merchandise…there’s just too damn many, they’re too expensive and you won’t find ‘em all! But lucky for you, those fuckin’ boys have saved you the trouble and gathered together the lost gems, the hard to find cuts and the curios for all The Hip Priest fanboys and fangals to salivate over.
Yes, if you are a fully-fledged member of the Spasm Gang or even just a casual fan, (ie you don’t wear black denim every fuckin’ day!) then you probably already own the comprehensive double album ‘A Decade Of Disdain’. An album that brought together the best of The Hip Priests singles released over 2 pretty coloured records. And if you don’t, then give yourself a slap and get it sorted before we have words!
Well, ‘Solid Gold Easy Option’ is The Hip Priests strike back! 17 hard to find tracks from singles and EPs released between 2017-2019. That’s 6 cover versions bastardised by the band, sandwiched between 11 glorious original jams previously unavailable to mere mortals until now.
If quality, high octane garage rock is your thing, if you dig sonically seductive sounds delivered with more filth and fury than a Johnny Depp/Amber Heard weekend bender, then ‘Solid Gold Easy Option’ is right up your street. The dirty, the clean and the truly obscene rub sweaty shoulders and bloody knuckles in a defiant “fuck you!” to society, with no hint of socially distancing going on.
The epic ‘No Time (Like Right Now)’ is present and correct. Clocking in at just under 10 minutes, it’s their punk rock masterpiece, channelling the power of the MC5 with the horns and suss of Rocket From The Crypt, while they rant a diatribe about political skulduggery and post Brexit fuckery. It’s a punk rock anthem for right now. The other 3 tracks from that EP are present and correct, but the punk and belligerent ‘All My Rowdy Friends Are Dead’ and album closer ‘I’m Too Good’ seems to pale in comparison to the overly cool ‘She’s A Queen’. It sounds like Ian Astbury jamming with The Hellacopters, with one finger piano stabs, overly fuzzy guitars and vocals delivered straight from the crotch. It could be my favourite Hip Priests song right now.
Covers-wise, the likes of Motorhead’s ‘The Hammer’ and Demons ‘ Hot Running Blood’ are perfect Hip Priests fodder and stay pretty true to the originals. The Stooges ‘Loose’ is suitably ramshackle, sped up and delivered with guts and glory. Saxon’s ‘Play It Loud’ follows the same path and sounds epic. It’s only Adam & The Ants classic ‘Press Darlings’ that doesn’t really benefit from the Hip Priests rough n’ ready, punk rock treatment for me.
Just because this is a b sides compilation, it doesn’t mean the quality has to suffer. ‘Nihilist Twist’ is a brutal, chanting 2 minute assault on the senses. ‘Dead By Sunday’ literally out ‘copters The Hellacopters and ‘I’m In Exile’ is all killer no filler. Wah-wah infused guitars fight with power chords as newest recruit Gentle Ben fills the right speaker and Austin the left, or is it the other way round? Who knows! But what I do know is the twin guitar attack sounds mighty.
27 singles, 3 EPs and 4 albums since their inception in 2007. It’s true to say that ‘Solid Gold Easy Option’ is more than just a stop-gap collection of odds and sods to keep their fanbase happy until album number 5 drops later this year. This is a quality collection of songs from shit island’s best-kept secret, and any self-respecting punk rock junkie should have it in their collection. The only trouble is do you choose green or blue vinyl?
A boundless ball of energy and chaos. Live they’ll put a smile on yer face as they cover every inch of the stage (and the rig and audience given half the chance) This Bristolian quartet is anything but conventional. Their first album is a live one for gawds sake which should tell you that they are comfortable in that environment it’s their turf and they can rock it up on that stage so why not sling out an unpolished set of rockers as your first foray into the big bad world of rock music.
with a sound described as blues-punk, their frantic attack is exciting and bristling with energy. they’ve recorded at Rockfield and Abbey road so stick that in yer pipe and smoke it. Georgi Valentine: Vocals, Brodie Maguire: Guitar/Backing Vocals, Chris Simpson: Bass/Backing Vocals, Matt West: Drums make up this exciting band. You can pick up that super limited record Here but be quick they will sell out!
So Who the heck are Mother Vulture?
Mother Vulture are hectic rock n roll with a punk twist. Quiet off stage, lunatics on stage. We want people to come to a show, laugh and say “look at those idiots”.
Where are the band from?
Simply, wherever the van (Rigby) takes us. Although, I think it’s fair to say that Cornwall is our spiritual home.
How did the band come together?
We started writing music, in uni, but only really became a band last year when we finally started playing shows. The final piece of the puzzle was getting Matt on the drums. He bought the van so we have to say that…
What about recordings?
We’ve got 5 tracks on Spotify that we recorded in 2018/19
Our plans post-pandemic are tour tour tour. And then, maybe we’ll record a real album! But for now, we’ll be shoving the live album down everyone’s throats (out July 24th)
Bristol based four piece Mother Vulture have been making a name for themselves in the pits and dives of the South West music scene with their incendiary live shows over the past couple of years. In packed, claustrophobic venues, music fans watch jaws agape, as they witness guitarist Brodie Maguire and bassist Chris Simpson jerk about the stage like some invisible demon is prodding them with a red hot poker. Centre stage is a diminutive whirlwind of corkscrew hair, armed with just a microphone and the biggest voice this side of Mike Patton or even Rob Halford in his prime. I say centre stage, but take your eyes off him and Georgi Valentine is gone. Into the crowd, on his back on the dance floor singing his lungs out while his bandmates seemingly defy gravity, making a cacophony of noise as intense and brutal as anything you could wish for.
This is the world of Mother Vulture. But all this is inconsequential right now, as Coronavirus has put pay to this band taking off in 2020. So what does a band like Mother Vulture do while they await the go-ahead for their return to live-action? They only go and release a live album on an unsuspecting world!
Recorded live at Rockfield Studios in Wales, ‘Doing It Live’ comprises 10 tracks of high octane, rock ‘n’ roll music that captures the chaos and intensity of a Mother Vulture live show.
The singles are present and correct. Album opener ‘Tell Me’, ’Mr Jones’ and latest release ‘Fame Or Shame’ are all delivered with the confidence and bravado of seasoned pros. The musical chops of Rage Against The Machine, the bluesy howl of Wolfmother and the raw, punk intensity of The Stooges combine to create a glorious musical orgasm that leaves you longing to witness them in the flesh.
The between-song banter serves as a reminder that this album was cut in one take, live in the studio. Shit, this band is tighter than a duck’s arse! Tribal beats and big guitars are the order of the day in ‘Habits Die Hard’, Brodie’s inner Ron Asheton comes to the surface as cool lick follows cool lick. The playing is confident, the rhythm section of bassist Chris and powerhouse drummer Matt West deliver with precision throughout. Larger than life beats, a crackle of distortion and feedback lead off ‘Big Teeth’ before retro riffage and screamo vocals take it to another place entirely. In ‘Bleeding Feet Blues’ they take the genre and turn it upside-down. Not so much a blues lament, as a ‘rip your head off and shit down your neck’ kinda vibe!
Epic closer ‘Objectify’ shows a depth and maturity to a band greater than their years. Finger-picked guitar chords and haunting vocals lead the listener into a false sense of security before the band kick in with a wall of distortion and soaring vocals to make your ears bleed one final time before the (virtual) record stops spinning.
‘Doing It Live’ is not Mother Vulture’s debut album, they’ve not even got around to recording that yet! This is their career-defining live album, they just decided to release it before their career has been defined!
You want a reminder of the intensity of a hot and sweaty club show? You want a snapshot of a young, crazy and talented new band that are hungry to get back at it? Well, what are you waiting for? Hit the link and order this record. But be quick as there are just 100 copies up for grabs. You snooze, you lose, mofos!
Hailing from Oxfordshire and Berkshire, the Suicide Notes ooze gutter-trash rock n’ roll. With low-slung buzzsaw guitars and raw nicotine-soaked vocals, they play rock ‘n’ roll with a swagger. The illegitimate sons of punk and sleaze, conceived on a bed of red wine, cigarettes, and back-alley attitude, in their ranks they featuring ex-Black Bullets vocalist Billy Tee and signed up with a management company in 2019 like most things it sort of ground to a halt with the Covid-19 Virus but they did manage to sneak out the very popular Acoustic EP before everything was locked down. But they’d already banked the Electric EP and with the UK currently unlocking humans from the pandemic its time for The Suicide Notes to get back to business and let the world know what they have to offer.
On the evidence of the response after their acoustic EP came out the future looks very bright for The Suicide Notes. that debut acoustic EP sold out its initial limited art digipak edition in under 36 hours through pre-sale orders alone, and demand was such that a second edition had to be produced hence why we’re here now as they follow up February Acoustic with its more fierce alter ego ‘Pleasures Of Despair (Electric)’ but before that let me introduce the Suicide Notes or rather let Billy Tee Introduce The Suicide Notes…
Who are The Suicide Notes?
The Suicide Notes are Billy T on lead vocals and harmonica, Holmes on lead and rhythm guitar and vocals, Dame on the four-string and sometimes guitar and vocals and Gav is on drums, pizza, and garlic bread. We play tragic rock n roll in a raw carefree and drink idled haphazard style.
How did the band come together?
I ( Billy ) wanted to form a band that reflected my music roots, the red wine stained shuffle of bands like The Faces, The Stones, The Quireboys and The Dogs D’Amour mixed the raw edge of the Izzy Stradlin GnR and the romantic tragi undertones of people like Nikki Sudden, Neil Leyton, The Decedents and The Suicide Twins. I new Alex played guitar and Alex had played with Dame for years so they were a tuned to each other’s way of playing already. Getting the restless dynamo that is Gavin Hobbs to drum was the perfect final piece in our dirty little ramshackle outfit.
Where are the band from?
The boys hail from Witney in Oxfordshire and I’m the posh tart from Berkshire
Whats in the name?
Gore Vidal once said, “Write something, even if it’s just a suicide note”.
So we did, we wrote a bunch of Suicide notes disguised as songs. It’s the only way I tend to write. I’ve spent a long time-fighting depressions and mental health issues, all of the band do, mine was brought on by long term substance abuse. I’ve been clean two years but I’m still one step from falling off the wagon, I can bloody taste it still, but things are looking good I’m keeping my head down and concentrating on the music and my art anyway …
Recordings so far?
We released our first single ‘Smoke It Like A Cigarette’ for our acoustic four-track EP, ‘Pleasures Of Despair’ (Acoustic Demo’s Vol One) then we released the full EP as our debut (like you mentioned already) We then went into the studio and recorded a full almost live electric set.
We’ve written a bunch of new tracks while in lockdown, Alex and I throwing stuff at each other via the wondernet. The plan is to pretty much start from scratch again, literally, we’d only managed four gigs before the whole ‘shithouse went up in flames’ but we had a solid year of festival appearances booked, so hopefully we can get back on the horse in 2021, record an acoustic E.P vol 2 from the new songs and try and find our feet and hopefully we ( all the bands and promoters and venues ) all find some kind of normal again.
As the bells chime on the dark ‘Black Dog Howlin’ it sleazy alright. it’s right in that pocket of early LA Guns sleaze but without the American polish this is genuine Sleaze with attitude from the rolling dirty riff to the chorus where the gang joins Billy Tee for the call back its good stuff. A well-timed guitar solo fits right in the pocket as the three minutes fly by which is exactly as it should be. Not for a second does it outstay it’s welcome and like a donkey punch you know its happened.
No doubt there will always be comparisons with Billy’s vocals and a certain Bard from the Black Country so it would come as no surprise to hear The Suicide Notes taking on ‘On The Rocks’ by The Dogs D’Amours. To be fair there’s no point messing with classic Dogs tunes so whilst it’s pretty much kept intact they do add their own twist on it and to be fair it holds up very well. I like the tone of Alex’s guitar licks its got bite but it isn’t dumb and has a swagger that doesn’t come over like he’s forcing his tone.
Having praised the band for their short sharp attack I did balk a little when I saw ‘Ragdoll’ was in excess of six minutes but once we got past the intro tape I was able to sit back and let the rock and roll flow over me. sure its got the obvious comparisons but I like the chorus and the breakdown works really well and I’m always a fan of using a saxophone in my sleazy Rock and Roll. great stuff!
To wrap it up the Electric treatment of ‘Smoke It Like A Cigarette’ is really good and works better than the acoustic which was excellent to be fair. So all in all a four-track EP that gets better as the songs unfold. The band has energy and style and can and will carve out their own niche as people get to hear them and appreciate what real proper sleaze should and could sound like. Oh, and we need more cowbell – obviously.
Pick it up pronto if you want to get in on the ground floor before these guys climb that greasy totem pole of Rock and Roll and you miss out on the collectible early stuff. Now put on yer silken scarf slide into them boots n skinny jeans and get yerself involved.
Armed with a venomous swagger The Heat Inc. release their debut single ‘Raptors’, a caustic slice of vitriolic rock’n’roll through Melted Dino Records.
On this scorching debut, The Heat Inc. have delivered a visceral thrill, with Alain Johannes (Queens of the Stone Age) hailing ‘Raptors’ as “a perfect rock song.”.
Describing themselves as a “Rock and Roll band”, The Heat Inc. recorded ‘Raptors’ in the RYP Recordings Studio in North West London, with Michael Smith (Elvis Costello) producing.
“So when I say I know rock ’n’ roll when I hear it, you best believe I know rock ’n’ roll when I hear it—and The Heat Inc. are good old-fashioned rock ’n’ roll, just like mother used to hate. You might have a good idea of how great The Heat Inc. sound—but don’t bother because The Heat Inc. are so cool they defy definition. There’s all kinds of heat. There’s the summer hot heat that’ll drive you crazy. There’s the in-ring heel heat that’ll get a wrestler over. And there’s the relentless hard heat that’ll track you down until you’re trapped. But ain’t none of them can compare to The Heat Inc you’re about to hear—and that’s not hyperbole, that’s a fact. Who you gonna believe, me or your own ears?” exclaims Jeffrey Morgan – Creem journalist and biographer of Alice Cooper and Iggy & The Stooges.
The Heat Inc. is the suavest new band around and enough to make most God-fearing rockin’ rollers believe in miracles.
Here we have the second outing from The Blinders, definitely one of the brighter stars of the modern day Post Punk revival. ‘Fantasies Of The he Stay At Home Psychopath’, the follow up to the fantastic 2018 debut ‘Columbia’.
The band are often compared to contemporaries Idles and more recently Fontaines DC, though this does not do them justice. The band themselves are quite young but certainly have something to say, as a result showing the others on the scene to be almost juvenile and of their time rather than timeless.
For me, the songs on this release give off a rare quality where the listener can already envisage what they’ll be like live. First track ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ sends me somewhere mentally akin to being a teenager at a festival experiencing these songs first hand with an ultimate sensory thrill.
If track one was euphoria the next, ‘Forty Days & Forty Nights’ is a call to arms ending it’s barrage as quick as it started. As the album goes on more and more I’m hearing riffs comparable to eighties Cow Punk, differing somewhat from their first album but adding further dimensions to what was already a solid sound.
The trio offers us a brief ‘Interlude’ to catch our breaths. A laid back Cool Jazz number that wouldn’t be out of place alongside Pulp’s ‘This Is Hardcore’. You have very limited time to dust yourself off before you’re back in the throng again with recent single ‘Mule Tracks’. This is certainly the standout song on the record, even with no apparent chorus it grabs the listener with vigor.
The second half of the record continues at this pace, never faltering the listener even for a moment. ‘Black Glass’, another remarkable single with almost ‘Heroin’ esque Velvet Underground guitars hitting you with a desolate psychedelia.
Final track ‘In this Decade’ opens as you have awoken from a surreal dream, entering a beautiful new tomorrow in the form of this early Dylan style number. It leaves you reflective of the fanatical decadence that has preceded it and wondering timidly whether you dare put yourself through it again….. but can you resist?
Riskee and The Ridicule honour New York singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey with their own unique take on her hit ‘Young And Beautiful’.
Not a band you can second guess, unpredictable Kent punks Riskee and The Ridicule follow-up their first lockdown release in May, the seething anger of the Brexit-baiting single ‘Blue Jacket’, with their own respectful take on New York pop singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey’s award-winning 2013 smash-hit, ‘Young And Beautiful’. This, however, is no guilty pleasure for the band, who are longtime fans of Lana’s work.
“Lana Del Rey is one of pop music’s best storytellers,” states frontman Scott Picking. “There’s something about her music that is so intense and descriptive that it’s movie-like and in these times of being locked down, that type of escapism has been a personal paradise. In choosing this song, I knew I could bring something different vocally and musically, we were excited about changing the song dynamically while staying true to the emotiveness of the original.”
Despite being isolated from each other at the time, Riskee and The Ridicule were able to create a video for ‘Young And Beautiful’ by recording their individual parts at home, allowing their former bassist David Thomas to collate them together with footage from one of the bands early hometown gigs.
“The video feels like a nod to both our early days as a band, just us and our own motivation, as well as where we are all at in this unique moment, one that we’re not likely to be in again any time soon (hopefully). ‘Young And Beautiful’ is a song I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” confesses Scott.
2019 was an amazing year for the band and saw the highly anticipated release of their third album ‘Body Bag Your Scene’ well received by both fans and critics alike, with their sets at Rebellion and Boomtown proving to be real highlights of 2019
Body Bag Your Scene was written and recorded at breakneck speed, a reflection of its reactionary nature to the daily uncertainty projected upon us. Taking aim at the powers that be (“Our Time”), sexual exploitation (“Sex”) and the barrage of contradictory news (“Black, White & Grey”) it’s a record that holds a mirror to the world with simultaneously acerbic and humorous analysis.
Growing up in Kent, Riskee and The Ridicule have always been a staple of the UK DIY scene, but their fervent attitude and unique “Grime-Punk” rallied troops of dedicated fans across the world. Musically, the band meld their genre-spanning influences with their intent to challenge preconceptions. On the surface they may appear easy to read, when in fact Scott Picking (Vocals), Jimbo Aglony (Guitars, Vocals), Jordan Mann (Guitars, Vocals) and Matt Verrell (Drums, Vocals) are a gang of progressive punks who form a powerhouse of change. Full of fierce energy, the Kent quartet have motives resting among The Clash with relentless streams of wit, literacy, and observational accuracy akin to The Smiths and a background in the UK Grime scene.
There is much more to come. You can be sure that Riskee and The Ridicule will be back onstage as soon as the world allows.