Welcome everyone to the final News Report for 2022! We hope that you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year! Our action packed News Report will return in January, but before then we have plenty of delicious music news to dissect!
Up for this week, we look at the best tour announcements from the past week and we start with Kiss. The band has revealed that their ‘End of the Road’ World Tour will continue into 2023 with a new UK Tour announced starting in Plymouth and ending up in Glasgow.
This *could be* your last chance to catch the band live! Tickets are here.
On Friday, Colchester’s Pet Needs played a huge homecoming show which served as the 2nd ‘Fractured Party’. As the show concluded, the band announced the 3rd instalment will take place on December 16th 2023.
Hell Is For Heroes share ‘I Should Never Have Been Here In The First Place’
New releases are up next in our News Report as we bring you the first new music from Hell Is For Heroes in 15 years. You can listen to their new single, ‘I Should Never Have Been Here In The First Place’, above.
On the week of her highly anticipated ‘DEADGIRL’ mixtape release fearless Doom Trap artist Mimi Barks has unveiled her new track ‘ASHES’.
Talking about the meaning behind ‘ASHES’, Mimi Barks shares, “Women who posed a threat during the dark ages were accused of being witches, intimidated, burned alive, and sentenced to execution. Today, ever since the Age of Enlightenment, a creative, strong-willed, and self-assured woman still gets burnt to the stake verbally by those led by their own anxieties.”
XL LIFE – ‘Baby Steps’
XL LIFE shared new single ‘Baby Steps’ featuring Bob Vylan!
On working with Vylan for the new single, vocalist Traxx says: “We always felt a kinship with Bob because of his message, his boldness, and his morals, so with this song we took the opportunity to have him on the album and co-sign each other’s work. We will support him to the end.”
Commenting on the relevance of the new single, vocalist Traxx says: “We knew this song had to be made, because we had all been going through some heavy stuff outside of the band. The band has been stop-start/stop-start the whole time, trying to prioritise our health and coming up against some really traumatic circumstances, so this song had to address that. The healing journey. Baby steps. Holding onto the promises.”
Fountain Island – ‘Pretty Little Nightmare’
Pop-punk newcomers Fountain Island reveal their contagious new single, ‘Pretty Little Nightmares’.
The band remark about its creation: “’Pretty Little Nightmares’ explores the bittersweetness of the first time with a loved one, and the realisation that one day it will just be a memory and can never be experienced again. The track takes cues from Blink182’s ‘I Miss You’, with its melancholy gothic tone whilst retaining the youthful pop feel.”
Welcome everyone to another edition of our weekly music News Report!
This week we begin with a handful of festival announcements including one that is always a hotly anticipation one, who is playing Reading & Leeds Festivals?
Your headliners this year are Sam Fender, Foals, The Killers, Lewis Capaldi, Billie Eilish and Imagine Dragons. They’ll be joined by the likes of Wet Leg, Nothing But Thieves, Slowthai, You Me At Six, Baby Queen, Inhaler, Don Broco and The Snuts.
DMA’s continue to tease new music from their fourth album ‘How Many Dreams?’, with the release of new track, ‘Olympia’, which you can check out above.
Guitarist Matt Mason comments on ‘Olympia’: “’Olympia’ was written for a crowd, and is a dedication to all of our fans, especially the ones who’ve been with us from the start. we can’t wait to play it for you all.”
Their new album is out March 31st, pre-order your copy here.
Levellers have announced their brand new acoustic album ‘Together All The Way’ will be released on March 10th. You can listen to new single, ‘Down By The River ‘O” above.
Of the album and recording, the Levellers say, “It was truly a fun record to make, under the rigorous guidance of Sean. Sean’s a musician himself, always bringing ideas and get out of jail free suggestions when we got stuck. It’s a stripped back, raw iteration of the collective with deep folk leanings. As energetic as the first one but definitely different.”
Blondshell explains, “I was obsessed with the [US teen drama] show ‘Veronica Mars’ as a kid and I was revisiting it around the time I wrote this song. I wanted to sing about that childhood era when I was being exposed to a lot more than I was comfortable with. ‘Gimme shelter’ refers to the song but I’m also saying please give me shelter from graphic TV and film, from New York City, overwhelming lyrics, etc. I think the song is just about having my boundaries crossed and the effects of those transgressions (for example, growing up to think men are hot if they’re assholes).”
overpass – ‘3AM’
overpass have shared their latest single, ‘3AM’.
They commented, “‘3AM’ is an innocent coming-of-age song that I think most people can relate to. It’s about the excitement you get when you’re going out, knowing you might be able to connect with that person, or at least hope that they will call you back when the night is over and done with.”
Life In Mono – ‘Blackout’
Life In Mono have just shared double A-side singles ‘Blackout/Sex To White Noise’
Speaking about the inspiration behind the singles, vocalist Sarah Clayton says, “Blackout is about people in your life that you know are no good for you but are hard to give up, whereas Sex To White Noise is about trying to find a connection that makes you feel something when you’re feeling really numb. If you’ve ever been on prozac you’ll know!”
When the industry is always looking for the next big thing, The Snuts have certainly thrown their name in that hat over the past couple of years. A huge debut album has now been followed up with a brave, adventurous and importantly well received sophomore record.
To really breakthrough though artists need to back up what they do on record when taking to the stage. Tonight we head to the UEA LCR in Norwich to see what progress the band have made on this front.
Up first however are local favourites Youth Killed It who command the stage as if they were the headliners. Full of genre-bending rifftastic sing-a-long anthems, the band control the stage with utter ease. Whilst just the opening act tonight, there would be worse bets to place than one predicting that Youth Killed It will return to headline this stage.
Next, the audience are serenaded by young singer-songwriter Heidi Curtis who is able to charm the baying crowd with her uplifting performance. Curtis is most definitely one to watch in the coming years.
Finally the venue get the group that they’ve been waiting for as The Snuts arrive onstage to a powerful politically charged video. Yes, video… the band instantly showcase their intentions to raise their live credentials with a elegant stage set up.
It’s not all style and no substance however, as The Snuts are able to back it up with a stunning performance full of effortless cool swagger. The audience are held in the palm of their hand as they mix material from their two albums.
2021 saw The Snuts snag a surprise number one album with their debut, ‘W.L’. Since then the band has hit the road hard, touring all over and gracing plenty of festival main stages. If world domination isn’t their aim, then they may want to slow down!
That however is very unlikely to happen as the band return with sophomore album, ‘Burn The Empire’. This is a naturally important release for the band, and not just because of good old fashioned second album syndrome.
No, ‘W.L’, whilst a huge hit for the band was a collection of tracks from the bands career thus far, honed and crafted on the road. This is the band’s debut album in terms of writing and recording in a short period of time. This may then be the first true snapshot of the group’s talent and potential longevity.
Starting with the politically charged duo ‘Burn The Empire’ and ‘Zuckerpunch’, it’s clear that this also signifies a shackles off moment for the band. Having recently also called out their own record label, clearly The Snuts have no fear, and that’s refreshing considering the often maligned, play it safe culture in music these days.
The themes that run through the album feel particularly relevant right now and the band certainly get credit for their open and direct dialect. They also deserve credit for their musical bravery, showing a willingness to experiment away from the lad rock that has got them this far.
For a band to grow and evolve they need that willingness to experiment and can be forgiven for the odd misstep, such as ‘Cosmic Electronica’, which doesn’t quite hit the spot that they were no doubt aiming for.
All too often when bands have a highly successful debut, subsequent albums only require a hit or two to add to the bands legacy with the rest of the album often instantly forgettable. ‘Burn The Empire’ definitely provides a handful of hits to bolster the setlist, but whilst there is the odd tedious moment the rest of the album also holds up well.
This album will do exactly what it needs to do for The Snuts, as they continue their momentum towards world domination. We’ve needed a new breakout indie band for a while now, and don’t put it beyond this band to be the one to do it!
Pet Needs have just released their sophomore album, ‘Primetime Entertainment’, and this week they announced the obligatory headlining tour to accompany the release.
Support for these shows comes variously from Tundra and Bridget..
The tour finishes in their hometown Colchester on December 16th with special guest Sean McGowan plus Ecto Peach and Oxbowlake!
Speaking about the show, Johnny says: “We’re headlining a 400-capacity venue in our hometown Colchester at Christmas. I moved here 7-8 years ago now. For local bands, if you play Colchester Arts Centre, you’ve got credibility. I never thought we’d headline that venue and If we can sell it out, that’d be incredible.”
This week Black Star Riders shared the latest look at new album, ‘Wrong Side Of Paradise’, which is out January 20th. You can check out new single, ‘Pay Dirt’, above.
Frontman Ricky Warwick comments: “Rock’n’Roll is my lover, friend, enemy, ally, religion and saviour. Rock’n’Roll is my life.Christian Martucci and the late Todd Youth wrote the music for this. And when I heard it, it stank with defiance and attitude. It didn’t need changing, just some words to echo the power of the chords.It’s an ode to Rock’n’Roll… But also a dig at those that don’t learn their art and don’t play from the heart!”
About the album Ricky adds: “I am very proud of this record, Black Star Riders’ fifth release and the first with our new and exciting relationship with Earache Records. As with all BSR albums, ‘Wrong Side Of Paradise’ is an anthemic statement of intent, driven by ferocious guitars and thundering drums. I can only write about my own personal experiences, my families, my friends and how I see a world that is unraveling and changing faster than we can comprehend. That being said, I’m a firm believer in the power of positivity, something that echoes throughout this album”
In addition to the new record, Black Star Riders will embark on their 10th Anniversary tour, starting from 13th February 2023.
Ricky Warwick further comments: “Can you believe 2023 is 10 years of Black Star Riders? … How time flies while you are having fun! We decided to do something special to commemorate this occasion. For the UK tour only, to coincide with the album’s release, we will be bringing back the legendary Scott Gorham (guitar) and Jimmy DeGrasso (drums) for the dates to make them extra special!”
Our News Report continues with the latest single from The Cult, ‘A Cut Inside’, which you can listen to above.
The track comes from new album, ‘Under The Midnight Sun’, which is out on October 7th.
Leading to 2020, The Cult had been on a rolling cycle of releasing albums, touring, and recording. As the world shut down and everyone was forced to reprioritise the way they approached life and work. “When the world stopped, I had this moment to write in real time, to calculate,” says Ian Astbury.
When lockdown lifted and the group could meet to record, they teamed up with Dalgety. “I was compelled by this vision, this anomaly, this memory, of being under the midnight sun. Tom helped us bring a new musical shape and frequency to our process.”
Pixies up next in our News Report as they shared new track, ‘Dregs of the Wine’, this week, which you can listen to above.
The track comes from upcoming new album, ‘Doggerel’, which is out September 30th.
BlackFrancis says the song is about, “Living in Los Angeles in the ‘90s with my then-wife, hanging out with Joey and his ex-wife, lots of trips to Las Vegas, a lot of drinking, little bit drug taking, some genuine good times.”
Flashforward to the present day. Joey Santiago was jamming at home on his guitar and the initial idea behind the song may well have been lost to the moment.
He recalls, “I guess I was in kind of a zombie state, just playing. After I stopped playing I put it down and went, ‘Well, that was a fucking waste of time, what a piece of shit I am.’ I beat myself up a lot, but my girlfriend, unbeknownst to me, was recording me. She played it back to me and I go, ‘Fuck! Hold on a second here! This stuff is good!’”
Smith/Kotzen release ‘Got A Hold On Me’ live video
The duo of Adrian Smith and Richie Kotzen will release ‘Better Days… And Nights’ on September 16th.
This week they shared the live video for ‘Got A Hold On Me’, which you can check out above.
Adrian Smith comments, “I think everyone in the band was extremely happy with how our very first tour turned out. We were all naturally a little anxious as we’d never played live together before but once we got out there, everything fell into place really easily and we all had a tremendous amount of fun. I can’t wait until we can do it again and get to play in many more places next time round.”
Richie Kotzen adds, “We spent a lot of time discussing which of the songs from the live show to include on this CD. We wanted to capture an accurate snapshot of the special vibe we all felt on the tour and I think we’ve achieved this in the songs we’ve selected, and hope our fans will agree. We’re looking forward to seeing everybody again on future tours.”
This week also saw Maximo Park share their latest single, ‘Merging Into You’, which you can check out above.
Singer Paul Smith comments on the song:
“Merging Into You’s organ sound reminds me of some of our early songs, which ended up on the flipside of our first singles. The song is a romantic look at the first, tentative moments of a relationship, enhanced by Du Blonde’s brilliant voice. We’re all fans of Beth’s music and she added a different texture to our sound, along with Faye MacCalman’s swooning sax that carries the song to its close.”
Stray From The Path share video for ‘Needful Things’
Stray From The Path celebrate the release of new album, ‘Euthanasia’, with the debut of the video for ‘Needful Things’.
The band will shortly play an intimate UK Tour to celebrate the album release even further.
Speaking of tour, guitarist, Tom Williams, says “We are stoked to return back to the UK and mainland Europe to do some small and intimate album release shows for our new record, ‘Euthanasia’. By the time we get there, it will be almost three years since we’ve been back. We’ve dropped ‘Guillotine’ and ‘III’ and our UK/EU people have been wanting us back ASAP, I’m glad we can get back there for them. We’re bringing with us a brand new album, two amazing up and coming bands in Vatican and Guilt Trip, and three years of too much time spent away from some of our favourite places on earth.”
As our News Report continues we look towards Wednesday 13 who this week debuted new single, ‘Insides Out’, which you can check out above.
The track comes ahead of 9th album, ‘Horrifier’, which is out October 7th.
About the track, Wednesday 13 says: “Our latest single ‘Insides Out’ is a very heavy song, so it only made sense to make a video to match the sound! Torture and violence is the main theme of this song, and we continue along the lines of the last music video with another horror movie theme here too.”
Beth Orton is another artist with an imminent album release. Her latest effort, ‘Weather Alive’ is out September 23rd, and this week she released her latest single. You can check out ‘Fractals’ above.
Orton says of the song, “The track is a beautiful example of the nature of collaboration, where people come in as they are,” she says. “You’re hearing the first take. I would never have been able to conjure that music without these musicians.”
Oakman have announced that their new EP, ‘SCP’, will be out September 30th. This week also saw the band share the video for the title track, which you can watch above.
“It is finally the end of a period. We are very excited to be able to give you the last pieces of this new baby,” says lead singer, Marine, about the new EP. “The last few months have gone by quickly and have been quite intense but it’s also a relief because we cannot wait to get our heads into what will be the next part of Oakman. We hope you enjoy this EP and we hope you can feel the sincerity of the emotions we wanted to share with you. Soon, this EP will belong to you.”
About the song, the band says, “Marine was watching a show during lockdown called “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”. The main character reminded her of a character she had played when she was doing theater. After the foundation of ‘SCP’ was written, she wrote the lyrics about these two characters. ‘SCP’ is a sarcastic and second degree track about the fear of loneliness and not being loved at all costs with a neurotic side.”
Grave Goods share the song ‘Die’ from their debut album, ‘Tuesday. Nothing Exists’, out now!
Speaking of the single, drummer Sarah Grimes said, “Lois sent us the idea for DIE as a sort of electronic track, and when we were all together we worked out how to make it into a live band sound and add our own stamp to it. Whilst recording at Invada we felt that the build up towards the end of DIE needed more layers, so Lois and Phil tried out a couple of synths and settled on a sound that worked – it’s the only song that has synth.
During the last 15 minutes of our recording time Phil added extra layers by messing around with some guitar feedback – the final sound to be recorded on the album, which is kind of special when you think about it especially as DIE is the closing track of the album.”
Harpy – ‘Medicine’
Harpy is back to share her brand new single, ‘Medicine’!
“Sometimes we don’t want to be saved. Sometimes we want to feel the pain, to revel in the misery. We do things that are bad for us, because sometimes they feel good… so good that we go back to them again, and again, and again. That’s what Medicine is about.” – Harpy
Creature Cult – ‘ughly’
Creature Cult are a duo from Colchester, Essex consisting of Connar Ridd (vocals/guitar) and Jonn Downham (synths/backing vocals). The present their latest single, ‘ughly’.
Explaining the track further, Connar said, “I had to leave a job recently because I was told I didn’t dress the way they wanted me to when I was dressed perfectly fine. If someone without piercings and tattoos and bleached hair would have worn the same thing I doubt there would have been an issue. I’m bored of being made to feel like an alien for just trying to be who I am, this song is exactly about it. It’s about paranoia to leave the f*cking house because you’re thinking about what homophobic comment someone is gunna say when you’re queuing in the corner shop. About feeling exhausted to be yourself because people try and make it hard for you to be. But there is a community for people who stick together and stand tall, a community where difference is celebrated and we are all ‘freaks’ together, and this song is a f*ck you to the people who try to take that away.”
Jonn adds, “I was recently sitting at a bus stop and had a group of guys hurling the foulest homophobic comments at me simply because I was wearing makeup and dressed in a faux-fur coat. It’s both crazy and sad that there are people who still have these sorts of views towards others simply for being or looking different to what’s considered ‘normal’. It’s not okay”
Welcome everyone to another edition of our weekly music News Report, where we roundup the best news from the past week. We start this week with the latest tour announcements, including the above from The Hunna!
Having just revealed the details of their upcoming new self-titled album, the band have now scheduled in a lengthy UK Tour for later this year. Support comes from Kid Kapichi and Lucy Deakin.
‘Trash’, the lead single from the new album kicks things off by giving the music industry both barrels, taking pot-shots at the execs who told them “TikTok, TikTok or else you get dropped”.
“We’re not calling anyone specific out,“ explains Ryan. “it’s just overall industry suckiness. It highlights things we’ve experienced in the industry over the years and things we see going on and hear about now. There’s a lot of bad shit that still goes on in the industry and a lot of it gets swept under the rug. But we’re in the position where we’re on our fourth album, we feel refreshed and confident and this is what we’re going to say. You either like it or you don’t, it’s cool either way. We are who we are.”
Nile Rodgers & Chic announces End of Summer Parties
The legendary Nile Rodgers and Chic have announced two massive concert appearances at the iconic London venue O2 Academy Brixton, on Monday 19th September 2022 as well as a second show at O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester on the 21st of September.
Nile Rodgers said, “After the blues of Covid we’ve had an incredible summer in the UK getting up front and close with all of our incredible fans. What better way to celebrate the last day of summer and the first day of autumn than with our final UK shows of the year at Brixton and Manchester. We want to invite all the Lionesses who’ve made the whole country so proud to get up on stage for what will truly be Good Times!”
Another band with new tour dates to reveal as we continue our News Report is none other than The Wonder Years, who will hit the UK this November!
Speaking of the tour, frontman Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell, says “Fun Fact: We’ve been touring the UK longer than anywhere in the world, including the US. This year marks 15 years since our first UK tour and the memories we’ve made—from playing literal basements up to Alexandria Palace—have been and continue to be some of our most treasured. So it’s with an immeasurable joy that we get to tell you today that, for the first time since 2019, we’re doing a headlining UK tour this November. We can’t wait to play everything for you—new stuff from THGOF, old favourites, the whole damn thing.”
A single piece of festival news in our News Report this week and it comes from Manchester event Neighbourhood Festival.
The festival has revealed a second wave of acts including Pastel, Himalayas, Michael Gallagher, Planet, Rats, Rosellas, and Youth Sector.
They join the already announced The Snuts, Everything Everything, Sundara Karma, Baby Queen, Lauran Hibberd, Louis Dunford, Stone, Ten Tonnes, The Goa Express, The Royston Club, The Skinner Brothers and Courting!
This week also saw IDLES debut the video for their track, ‘Stockholm Syndrome’.
Speaking on the video, directors Charlotte Gosch and the band’s own Lee Kiernan explain, “The process of making the video was very fulfilling for the both of us as we were able to physically create what we were imagining. Both the masks and shapes were handmade and painted by ourselves and friends.
Working with our DOP Rob French we were also able to realise the long shots of each verse and the opening scene of the dancers. We both love the exhaustive and immediate feeling that a long shot can convey, like in Gus Van Sant’s Gerry, which we referenced quite literally.
The initial idea of the video was to try and visualise the monotony hell of having to work to survive and how the ‘machine’ eventually engulfs you and strips you of your freedoms. But we wanted to achieve this in a metaphorical way that kept the meaning as open as possible. So it becomes rather a visual representation that can be read in many different ways.”
There was also new music from LIFE this week as they debuted new single, ‘Duck Egg Blue’, which you can check out above.
The track will feature on new album, ‘North East Coastal Town’, which is out on August 19th.
Speaking on the new release vocalist Mez says: “‘Duck Egg Blue’ is a realist’s love song. The journey of trying to navigate through each other’s feelings and emotions, the strains of close quarters trapped in a tiny flat, the minutiae of everyday life. The overarching sentiment is that no matter what happens, after all that is said and done, we love each other, and we are there for each other.”
Fellow previous ‘Discover New Music Playlist members Oakman have also released new music this week. You can listen to new single, ‘All The Way Up’, above.
About the song, the band says, “‘All The Way Up’represents this long journey in a life between fear, hesitation and the desire to never stop going further. Since we were born, we all have dreams that we never stop fighting for. For which we will always be regarded as an alien by others because we are often misunderstood and not supported. And when everything else gets in the way, it’s often psychologically hard to continue to find strength. But every day is a new day and every day brings a new strength to keep going all the way up.”
The Lounge Society have shared new track, ‘Upheaval’, the latest track to be taken from their upcoming debut album ‘Tired of Liberty’, out August 26th.
The band comments, “Upheaval has a calmer atmosphere than anything we’ve done before and looking back on the album as a whole, it may in fact be one of the most important tracks on there. In the studio Dan [Carey, producer] really helped us bring a certain vintage feel to life – with deep textured acoustic guitars, heavily impacted by the ambient room mixing we focused on in the closing stages of the album. This song, more than anything else we’ve ever done, feels like us together as four mates playing a song that we love.”
Grave Goods – ‘Source’
Grave Goods have shared their new single, ‘Source’, taken from debut album ‘TUESDAY. NOTHING EXISTS.’, which is out 9th September.
On the track, drummer Sarah Grimes said, “This was the second song we wrote. It was written on drums and guitar first, we wanted it to be really minimal in the verse with drums and vocals and contrasted with louder choruses with the guitar and drums working together with bass added later. When we were structuring the song we took the guitar line from the chorus and used it as the intro to hook people in.
When we wrote the song initially, I had a mic set up beside me and I whispered “ha ha” at the end of each bar during the verses. Those were dropped as we started to play the song live but while we were recording we decided to add it back in – me whispering “Ha Ha” on my tiptoes trying to reach Lois’ mic.”
ENOLA – ‘Strange Comfort’
Melbourne-based singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist ENOLA, sharesnew single ‘Strange Comfort’.
ENOLA says of the track, “There is a comfort in knowing that suffering can be a universal experience. We are alone, yet together in our aloneness.”
On the accompanying video they say, “In the film I am not playing a role or character & I’m not playing myself as I am today. I am looking back at a past self and a time & place gone. A time of fearlessness, hopelessness & rebellion.”
Festival season is in full swing, the weather is warm, and the women are setting the standard for football, in many ways life is good. Of course in many other ways things are tough right now.
Music has always been an escape from reality, and we certainly need a distraction right now, so as Y Not Festival open their gates for the first time in three years, it’s time for tens of thousands of fans to let their hair down and celebrate. That is once they can actually get in, with some enormous queues upon entry dampening early spirits.
Now, the last and only time I attended Y Not Festival was the fateful 2017 event which ended in cancellation midway through. I wrote a scathing review for another publication and swore never to return.
Well, watching from a distance the festival has put out some stunning line-ups since then, and organisational changes appear to have improved things and returned the events reputation to pre-2017 levels. This year is in fact billed as their first year back as an independent festival.
Having decided to give the festival a second chance on the basis of their 2020 line-up, I’ve since witnessed the line-up change multiple times for the worse based on my personal preferences. There is no doubting however the overall quality of the line-up at a tough time for festivals.
I’m interested to see how the event will progress and whether it can change my opinion of the festival after the 2017 debacle, so the huge entry queues on Thursday and Friday aren’t the best start.
Thankfully once inside, things pick up quickly! The general layout is well thought out in the main arena, with the main stage, the second stage (The Quarry) and numerous other attractions in the main section of the arena, and the third stage (The Giant Squid) and various other stages and attractions located in a smaller area.
This almost creates two distinct festival areas, with a busy walkway connecting them. The only issue here is that later on in each day this thoroughfare does bottleneck and makes movement very difficult. At one point on Sunday night, this reaches a near dangerous level as fans flood the area trying to catch an Oasis tribute band on one of the smaller stages.
Whilst I quite liked the two separate areas concept, in future additional access would need to be installed at the other end of the second area to avoid any disastrous incidents and make crowd movements flow better.
Now on to the music! Thursday is an add-on day and those to fork out and arrive early are given a splattering of acts to enjoy.
The first such act that we catch is Lucy Spraggan who does a great job in getting the audience into the spirit of things. Spraggan has the crowd singing along to the likes of The Proclaimers cover ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’, and fan favourites ‘Last Night (Beer Fear)’ and ‘Wait for Me’.
Next, The Hunna grace the main stage and also deliver a crowd pleasing set. The band’s momentum seems to have stalled slightly, but that upwards trajectory is set to relaunch if the reaction to new single, ‘Trash’, is anything to go by. ‘She’s Casual’ and ‘Bonfire’ serve as a reminder of what the band is capable of, and leaves the audience fully pumped up for our Thursday headliners.
WATCH ‘TRASH’ FROM THE HUNNA ON YOUTUBE
Those headliners are indie stalwarts The Kooks. The band have been celebrating their debut album, ‘Inside In/Inside Out’, whilst they have also recently released a new album, ’10 Tracks to Echo in the Dark’. It’s no surprise then that 15 out of 21 songs tonight come from those two releases.
The new tracks manage to hold up well with the hits such as ‘Ooh La’, ‘She Moves In Her Own Way’, ‘Always Where I Need To Be’ and ‘Naïve’. All in all this equates to a fun headline show which sets the standard for the weekend to come.
Friday on paper is the best day musically for me heading in with a great mix of the new and established acts that Y Not Festival has managed to book so well.
It’s a new act we start with on the main stage as Lauran Hibberd brings her charismatic indie pop to Y Not Festival. The early risers are treated to a glimpse of a star in the making and those that make the effort don’t regret it. Hibberd’s debut album, ‘Garageband Superstar’ is out this month, and based on today’s showing it will be a breakthrough record.
Hibberd has featured previously on our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist, and next we headed to the ‘Giant Squid’ stage for the first time to catch fellow playlist alumni Daytime TV.
Daytime TV showcase their incredible debut album, ‘Nothing’s On But Everyone’s Watching’, as they quickly blast out the likes of ‘We Can’t Be Friends’, ‘Hush’, ‘Ugly’ and ‘Zombie’. This is another band with a great future, and today they deliver the goods for the early crowd.
Watch our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast with guests Daytime TV
Continuing the run of fantastic young acts we catch MarthaGunn in the ‘Giant Squid’ and The Skinner Brothers in the ‘Allotment’. Two very different acts, but two more acts that make the very most of their time on stage, clearly winning over any fans not already converted.
We then return to the main stage for another newer act, but one that already feel established. The Snuts burst onto the scene with their debut album, ‘W.L.’, and have dominated festival stages this year. Today fans are treated to a look at what comes next with new songs ‘Burn the Empire’ and ‘Zuckerpunch’ sounding massive. Expect The Snuts to continue to climb festival bills over the next few years, and don’t be surprised when they are eventually headlining the likes of Y Not Festival.
The Pale White continue what has been a consistently brilliant day of music with a powerful set in the ‘Giant Squid’, before we head to the ‘Quarry’ for the first time this weekend.
Festival favourite and all round legend Beans On Toast assembles a huge crowd for a sing-a-long session. The heralded folk singer serenades his crowd with favourites such as ‘The War on War’, ‘M.D.M.Amazing’ and ‘On & On’. Really, there should be a law that dictates that Beans On Toast appears at every single festival.
Watch The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guest Beans On Toast
Even before the major issues struck in 2017, one gripe I had about Y Not Festival was the apparent disorganisation in relation to set times. I worry next that perhaps this issue hasn’t been fixed as Manic Street Preachers fail to appear for their advertised start time. Eventually a message appears on the screens citing technical difficulties, and the band finally arrive almost an hour late on stage.
This of course has a knock on effect to our headliners Stereophonics, and also means when the Manics do arrive, they quickly depart again only playing for half their originally scheduled time. The technical difficulties seemingly continue to dog the band throughout their short time on stage, which causes more set changes on the fly. A lesser band may have given up, but Manic Street Preachers force their way through.
Stereophonics are a safe bet as a festival headliner, guaranteed to deliver the goods and give the audience a good time. That’s exactly what they do to close out Friday night, with a set mixed of hits and deep cuts from throughout their distinguished career.
The double header of of Welsh icons Manic Street Preachers and Stereophonics was a major selling point for many fans, so it’s disappointing that the technical issues leave a sour taste in the mouth.
Saturday soon arrives and we start off on the main stage for another double header of established acts. The Futureheads and Levellers bring the crowds in early as the festival rights the wrongs of last night. Both bands deliver solid sets which the audience lap up, and the party is in full swing as we head deeper into Saturday afternoon.
We refocus next however back to the fresh new acts that help to make this festival so appealing. Do Nothing, King No-One and the excellent The Mysterines all draw big crowds to the ‘Giant Squid’ stage and all three acts are able to produce perfect festival sets to the delight of the packed tent.
Sea Girls are one of the bands leading the new wave of indie and they are next up on the main stage, where they are greeted by an army of their fans. The band and fans then reciprocate energy for the next forty-five minutes and the result is a very enjoyable watch.
Our Saturday night is then spent back in the ‘Giant Squid’ for two bands that personify the festival. First up is a hot new band on the cusp of greatness in the form of Yard Act. This is a band that has been touring solidly and making a name for themselves. Today they put the spotlight on debut album, ‘The Overload’, which gets the entire tent bouncing along.
Lastly is an established act of indie folklore, We Are Scientists! The band finish out the night with a fan pleasing set full of favourites such as ‘It’s A Hit’, ‘The Great Escape’ and ‘Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt’.
WATCH ‘THE GREAT ESCAPE’ FROM WE ARE SCIENTISTS ON YOUTUBE
It’s during this time that the heavens open for the first time. Back in 2017 it was the Saturday night when the festival organisers decided enough was enough, come Sunday morning the last day was cancelled and a disorderly evacuation of the site commenced.
One massive criticism of the event that year was a lack of foresight with heavy rain predicted well in advance, the site saw little or no preparation for the weather. It’s great this year then that prior to the rainfall we see straw spread at key points in the arena.
The result is that despite a night of rain, the arena is still in good nick come Sunday morning and we are able to continue with the high quality entertainment. Kudos then to the present organisers for taking proactive action rather than waiting until the horse has already bolted!
So, onto my first Y Not Festival Sunday! We again are on the hunt for new talent early on and catch both Marty and Cucamaras in the ‘Quarry’ and Baby Queen capturing the imagination of the main stage. All three showing that the future is bright.
Sunday really sinks it teeth in on the main stage with back to back performances from Amy MacDonald and Jake Bugg. Two more established acts with stacked back catalogues, two more artists that are able to deliver polished and well received sets as the shine really starts to break through.
After some sing-a-long action with MacDonald and Bugg, it’s back to the fantastic new music offerings as The Hara and Rews in the ‘Giant Squid’, and Vistas and Dream Wife in the ‘Quarry’ all deliver blistering performances which really rile up the audience.
Soon there is a great moment on the main stage where The Vaccines get to announce the incredible result of the Football mid-set. The atmosphere is electric as fans celebrate with more great music.
For us that great music sees us conclude our weekend back in the ‘Giant Squid’, firstly with Blood Red Shoes, who have released one of the albums of the year in ‘Ghosts On Tape’. Their belated set is an intense and ferocious explosion of rock which instantly enters the race for performance of the weekend.
Watch The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guests Blood Red Shoes
That honour is hotly contested as across four days of music we somehow haven’t seen a bad performance. The pure quality on offer despite the multiple line-up changes since 2020 is a testament of the work of the booking team for Y Not Festival.
The last band of the weekend for us is Black Honey, who decide that the crown for set of the weekend belongs to them. They deliver an energetic yet majestic performance that is the perfect way to end what has been a great weekend.
I must admit scepticism coming into the event, and whilst I hoped that a great weekend would be had, I wasn’t sure. The organisers have rectified the issues of 2017 and have earned themselves a clean slate from me.
Whether you just want to chill at the main stage, or go hunting for the best kept secrets in the tents, Y Not Festival had it all this year. The ghosts of the past have been put to bed by the acts of the future!
Within Temptation debut video for ‘Don’t Pray For Me’
We move our News Report on now to the best music releases from the past week and begin with the new video from Within Tempation. You can check out ‘Don’t Pray For Me’, above.
Vocalist Sharon den Adel comments: “‘Don’t Pray For Me’ strives against forcing beliefs and fears onto others and bears witness to being acceptive of everyone’s own journey. It is an anthem about coming to terms with the fact that beliefs can be fluid, multiple or frankly: different. The song is about allowing people to pursue their own destiny.”
Bristol-based rock five-piece IOTA share their new single, ‘Take It’.
Speaking about the single, the band reveal, “Take It was inspired by the fight with yourself in a multitude of circumstances, work, relationships, socially and mentally. The continuum of holding yourself back and having this other side to yourself that is constantly telling you, “you aren’t good enough, you won’t make anything of yourself”.
The persistent reminder of how well everyone else is doing, social media controlling us and having a huge effect on us mentally. Constantly taking that push back and battling with your own mind as if it is a whole other person inside of you.
We wrote the song during and before lockdown with Lee Kiernan who helped us build on the track instrumentally and melodically.”
Rosen Bridge – ‘Watchers’
UK Metal outfit Rosen Bridge make their return with a punishing new offering titled ‘Watchers’. The Welsh originated 5-piece have teamed up with vocalist Jot Maxi of the formidable Hacktivist on the track.
“We were privileged to have Jot Maxi feature on the track having been huge fans of Hacktivist for some time. The song continues the sound we’ve established in our recent singles, pairing an intense heaviness with big melodic moments. We enjoyed experimenting with lots of dark electronic sounds in the track as well, with platinum producer Andrew Wade bringing the cohesiveness we needed in the final mix” – Alex Woodall, vocalist.
“It’s crazy that they (Rosen Bridge) approached me to feature on a song that’s about corruption within organised religion because I actually spent the first 26 years of my life in a cult! In fact, I didn’t find the true God of the bible until very recently… So, directing my verse against false, man-made and twisted religions that are designed to glorify humans instead of God was very natural for me, as I obviously have a lot of passion for the subject!” – Jot Maxi of Hacktivist.
Trashed – ‘Memories’
Bristol-based emo punk-rock three-piece Trashed have released their new single ‘Memories’, the third single taken from their debut full-length album due later this year.
Speaking about the single, the band state, “Memories came together very quickly. It’s about trying too hard to let go of someone while your brain clings tighter and tighter to them. Of course written during a dose of heartbreak Jimmy was going through, it’s relatable and sincere… and will probably stick in your head like heartache does.”
As May draws to a close, the traditional UK Festival season commences. Of course 2022 is the first full season in three long years following the pandemic-related disruption to the 2020 and 2021 summers.
It must be fate then that as we journey towards Earlham Park in Norwich, the skies are grey and the rain begins to fall. It wouldn’t be the UK summer without some of the wet stuff now would it?
Our destination on this chilly spring Sunday is a new venture called Neck of the Woods. The one day festival sees organisers take over a venue vacated by yesterdays Let’s Rock Retro Festival.
I’ve long championed the notion that Norwich needs an indie/rock festival and if tagging along to this existing event makes one viable then I’m all for it. Line-up wise Neck of the Woods is certainly going for the growing younger indie crowd with only headliners The Kooks of a certain vintage.
Access is quick and easy and the atmosphere once inside is nice and relaxed. The usual overpriced festival food and bars are present as are four stages of music.
Given the ongoing cost of living crisis it’s somewhat disappointing yet fully expected post-pandemic that food and drink prices have increased since last year. A hot dog, fries and a can of pop coming to a staggering £14.50! As I say, expected given the past couple of years, but a little frustrating.
The site is setup well for a one day event with the stages spread out between two different areas, each with one outdoor and one tented stage. As expected there is some sound bleed at times, but nothing too invading.
There are a handful of stalls and other activities scattered around the site, with ample facilities such as toilets plus a separate VIP area. Thankfully there are no major queuing issues all day with the amount and distribution of everything on site seemingly well measured.
That’s the amenities taken care of then, now onto the music! That is after all why we are all in this field, with a little sunshine now poking through.
Opening the main stage are local favourites Youth Killed It who do a fantastic job in getting the early attendees engaged. Their unique brand of indie punk captures the imagination of the young audience and shows great promise for a band coming into their own.
The main stage and the tented second stage, sponsored by local venue The Waterfront, alternate meaning eager music aficionados can catch an endless stream of musical pleasures if their legs can hold them. We are able to hold this pace for the first half of the event, allowing us to take in some great young acts including a fair few to have featured on our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist!
One such act is Liverpudlian indie upstarts Rats who open the second stage with a blistering set which wins over every single person present. A glimpse into the future of indie music, and the future is once again looking bright.
Next on the main stage are The Lottery Winners who, with their great onstage banter and even better musical output, may be the perfect festival band. The group have the audience in the palm of their hands throughout their short set and leave the crowd wanting more, which is all you can really hope to do.
Another enthralling act grace the second stage next with their superb 80’s tinged Synth-Pop are Deco. This is a name that is popping up on many a festival line-up this summer and is certainly one to watch out for.
Also on the one to watch list is the fabulous Lauran Hibberd who has been making waves for a couple of years now. Hibberd is preparing to release her debut album later this year, and on the evidence of today it is set to be a big one. Fully expect to see this name playing higher up festival bills next summer!
The Royston Club continue the hot streak of great young bands at Neck of the Woods next with another top showing in the tent. With many fans seemingly already in the know, the band are able to create a fun atmosphere as our legs begin to tire.
No time for rest just yet as we return to the main stage for a band that feel on the cusp of something really big. The Snuts hit the number one spot with their debut album and recently played some huge shows across the country including Brixton Academy.
Songs such as ‘All Your Friends’, ‘Always’ and ‘Glasgow’ from that album feel like they were made with days like today in mind. With the sun now making regularly scheduled appearances from behind the cloud and the crowd fully in the festival spirit, the band go down as expected. A hero’s reception for a group surely destined to headline this sort of event.
Now after that relentless run of superb music, we must stop and retreat to check out the VIP offerings. With a private bar and toilets along with ample seating including a good view of the main stage, the VIP area is basically what you’d expect at a festival; nothing too fancy but a nice place to chill out.
But whilst we rest, the music doesn’t. The organisers have done well to secure a line-up featuring some of the best new bands on the scene with a splattering of larger acts to draw the crowds.
Whilst we relax we get to enjoy dodie who offers something slightly different to the indie lad rock predominantly featured. An enjoyable set from dodie allows us time to recuperate before another onslaught of music.
We pick things back up towards the top of the bill now with Sea Girls on the main stage. Sea Girls are a band that I’ve heard of but never actually listened to. Not really knowing what to expect, the band are able to quickly get my attention. They also have the attention of the majority of the attendees with a clear connection existing between band and fans.
Their time on stage sails by very quickly which is usually a good sign, and with their name featuring on many festivals this summer, I feel they’ve earned a little more attention from me before I hopefully see them again.
In fact, one of my favourite things about festivals is discovering new music. I’d like to say NOISY on the third stage are a new discovery but they’ve actually featured on our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist already. That said catching them live here gives new emphasis to their music as the band play one of the most energetic and passionate sets of the day.
Perhaps this energy and passion is what make our sub-headliners DMA’s fall a little flat having to follow them. Another band that I’ve not personally delved too deeply in before, I can’t say that are able to grab me as much as many others have today. A slower paced set perhaps wasn’t what the doctor ordered following NOISY in a small tent and prior to Yonaka in the big tent.
DMA’s are pleasant enough and perhaps do deserve deeper inspection, but as the weather gets colder and the feet start to ache, they struggle to capture my imagination today.
That was never going to be a problem for our second stage headliners Yonaka however! This after all is a band built on energy and passion, a band whose bond with the audience is synergetic.
Arriving slightly late on stage, the band power through their set which just adds even further impedance and immediacy to their performance. A sublime mixture of the stunning and the powerful encapsulates Yonaka as they deliver the likes of ‘Ordinary’, ‘Call Me a Saint’ and the incredible ‘Rockstar’.
Fans in attendance have probably just witnessed the performance of the day, but having slightly overrun it’s time to leg it back to the main stage where The Kooks have just arrived for their headline performance.
Their setlist tonight features debut album ‘Inside In/Inside Out’ predominantly to celebrate its 15th anniversary. Adding in a few hits from that albums successors makes for a pretty great festival setlist.
Opening with ‘Seaside’ and ‘See the World’, the band instantly have the crowd in hand. They are able to maintain this connection throughout their performance which is more than worthy of the headline slot.
By the time ‘Naïve’ closes their set and sends the fans off into the night, it is very much job achieved both for The Kooks and for Neck of the Woods. Norwich does need an event like this, and whilst far from sold out, the event is well enough attended to be deemed a successful debut.
Hopefully Neck of the Woods can build on this solid start, build their brand and bring some of the biggest indie acts to Norwich in the coming years. Most importantly though I hope that they maintain the focus on new bands!
Today has been a day of discovery, finding great new acts before enjoying a handful of the best indie acts around at the moment; the perfect mix. I’d imagine we will be hearing a lot more from a number of these acts over the coming years, and hopefully we will be back at Earlham Park next year.
Welcome everyone to another edition of our weekly music News Report, where we share the best music news from the past week. We start this week with a real smorgasbord of tour announcements.
First up, is the above special set of shows from Ash. The band will play 3 ‘Free All Angels’ 21st Anniversary Shows in Manchester, Birmingham and London this September!
Drummer Rick McMurray had the following to say: “We’re delighted to announce that we will be commemorating the 21st anniversary of the release of our 2001 classic, Free All Angels. Not least because we will be joined by the fourth member of Ash, guitarist extraordinaire, all-round Shining Light, the one and only, Charlotte Hatherley. Can. Not. Wait.”
We move on now to the new releases of the past week in our News Report. We start off with Skid Row who have unveiled the video for their new single ‘The Gang’s All Here’, which you can watch above.
“‘The Gang’s All Here’ for me represents the brotherhood of this band. And with the addition on Erik our bond is more solid than ever. Our fans have always been part of the family, so when it was time to shoot a video, we handed the camera work over to them. After all, they have the best perspective to capture the excitement of a Skid Row show.” – Scotti Hill
“I’m so f’ing psyched to finally release this video! This video is by the fans for the fans. A big shout out to all the fans who made this video happen. Thank you!” – Erik Grönwall
The song is the title track of their upcoming album which is released on October 14th.
October Drift release new single ‘Webcam Funerals’
October Drift released their latest single, ‘Webcam Funerals’, this week ahead of their new album, ‘I Don’t Belong Anywhere’ on September 23rd. You can listen to the track above, and pre-order the album here.
“I don’t want to go into too much detail out of respect,” begins Kiran, “but this song was written at the time of losing a friend during the height of the pandemic and lockdown. She passed after a long battle with cancer. Her son, a very close friend of mine, was living with me at the time of the funeral.
I watched online from my front room, while many others did the same from their homes. This song was a response to the strangeness and sadness of friends and family members not being able to be at the funeral or there for each other at that time.”
Kiran talks further about the track and album with us on The Full Pelt Music Podcast, which you can watch below.
TV Priest have shared new single, ‘It Was Beautiful’, taken from forthcoming album ‘My Other People’ out 17th June. You can listen to the track above.
Vocalist Charlie Drinkwater says of the single, “‘It Was Beautiful’ is a love song about the past, present, and future. A reminder that love is the most essential thing. The words came fast; it was recorded in a single emotive session, the first song we wrote together after my family had gone through a difficult experience and I think you can hear that in the kind of melancholy euphoria that plays out as the song progresses. In some ways it’s a coda to the whole album; a reminder to guard your hope fiercely.”
APHYXION have released their latest single, ‘Not Gonna Make It’, which you can check out above.
The band elaborate on the theme of the track:
“‘Not Gonna Make It’ is a song about broken love – a sad reflection of a relationship that once was – and trying to clutch at a straw while drowning in emotions. We never really touched the subject of love in our songs before. While our lyrics have constantly been circling around dystopic subjects both on a worldly and on a personal level, we simply wanted to embrace our emotions and thoughts from a new perspective.
While trying to leave a very black and white way of seeing things, we want to explore the polarity of emotions – where both love and hate co-exist because of their mutually dependent nature.”
We close this segment of our News Report with the latest single from Just Mustard. You can listen to ‘Seed’ above, and order their new album, ‘Heart Under’here.
Guitarist Mete Kalyoncuoglu shares more on the song’s inspiration: “Along with a lot of electronics and noise, I was listening to a lot of music which featured bowed string instruments. I had finished reading ‘The Rest Is Noise’ by Alex Ross around the time we started writing and I was revisiting a lot of the 20th century composers that I first discovered watching Kubrick’s films, like Krzysztof Penderecki. The rising tempo strikes at the beginning of ‘Seed’ were inspired from the rising and falling xylophone in Béla Bartók’s ‘Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta’.”
The Native return with their latest single, ‘Changes’, ahead of the band’s upcoming EP.
Singer Charlie Noordewier says, “‘Changes’ is about breaking out from the mundane cycle of life that so many find themselves stuck in, and pushing back against the people that put you down for trying to do something different.”
Chappaqua Wrestling – ‘Full Round Table’
Chappaqua Wrestling have shared their first new single of 2022, and first with new label EMI, ‘Full Round Table’.
The band explains: ‘We wrote Full Round Table as a reaction to the endless negativity put in our faces about our generation’s future. So much news is greeted with the response of how screwed we are – hopeless views from unhelpful people.
Negativity about youth is relative per generation but today it feels stronger. We want to ignore the cynicism, get together, appreciate what really matters, and not let people tell us what we can’t do. The Full Round Table is full of our friends, and that’s not changing.’
Fixation – ‘More Alive’
As Fixation prepare to release their debut album, they return with new single, ‘More Alive’.
“I wanted to highlight the negative effect social media can have om human relations. It’s harrowing how we spend more time maintaining our online facades, than taking care of our real-life relationships.
With “More Alive” we hope to bring attention to this topic and help our listeners make conscious decisions on how they interact with social media.” – Jonas Hansen / Vocals