Manchester how are ya?

hdqgig

The excitable youngster inside me is full of enthusiasm as i face the day. An early flight to Manchester for a day of fanzine shopping, record shop Hunting and plenty of vegan food. And that’s just the daylight hours. After sunset it will be of to Bolton for HDQ, Southport, stay clean jolene and holiday

I first saw HDQ in mcgonagles, Dublin, playing with Joyce mckinney experience in 1988. It was an exciting time as here were bands that had a sound rooted in u.s. hardcore music playing to us dublin folk. Back in the 80s our exposure to culture outside ireland was pretty limited. Yep there were some record shops and we could get the uk music press but it needed to be sought out. Nothing could be accessed from the comfort of your own home. We were thrilled that Joyce McKinney experience were playing because one of their members used to help bands organise tours. We sat there sponge like as gigs spoke of music. HDQ ‘s sound was familiar to some of us who had heard it from Cassettes that were posted to us. They had the energy and as their singer bounded around the large stage of mcgonagles it helped open our eyes. Educational in many ways.

Soon after they played a band appeared from England with all that energy in their sound but a tightness that was new to us all. There were tunes everywhere but full on attack and gusto that band were called snuff and it was an honour to see them play. Their “not listening anymore” 7″ was the first I rooted out when I replaced my record player last year and got my 3 kids to listen to. They looked on slightly bemused as their manic parents went crazy with the sugar coated riff. And snuff came and went but not after releasing some classic records. They have (not so) recently returned but Simon wells the guitarist has moved on to other bands through the 21st century. One such band is southport. The guitar sound is less beefy but that soul punk influence is strongly evident. Last years Southern Soul was one of the records of the year.

Another record of the year was stay clean jolenes 7″ . Taking a sound that was mastered by husked du its layers of guitar over some great tunes.

Stay clean jolenes single was a split release between 4 labels which is the way holiday released their record too it makes sense, unity is strength. Holidays songs are about the world we live in and what we can do to make it better. I’m on their side.

And so I arrived in Manchester with dreams of days gone by. My first trip to a gig in the uk was the three johns in Leeds. I enjoyed myself so much I stayed an extra night and got to see big black, ut and the dust devils. I travelled over on my own but never felt alone once music was on the agenda. It’s the same today as I sit on the train, ironically it is the Blackpool train that I get on. The train would bring me to my favourite football team should I choose to stay on. I could travel to the land of my childhood holidays. It is tempting, very very tempting but I hold off. Better planning would have ensured I saw the seasiders but maybe next time eh?

Instead I get off at deansgate and take the short walk to hulme park and to the teatime vegan collective Tea time collective
Nestled snugly in hulme park is this vegan collective. Full selection of veg burgers and sandwiches. If you’re searching out a macrobiotic diet then you’ve taken a wrong turn. However if homemade vegan ice cream, chocolate cake and fries with your food excited you then make the trip here. 10 minute walk from the train station so at least you can walk off some of that food after you eat.
A converted container with heat and seats provides most of the instore seating. Great, really great and well worth your support I had mint chic chip milkshake , choc cake preceded by huge sandwich and fries.

I am full to the brim but its important to support the shops that are important so I venture to eight day on Oxford road. I couldn’t eat any if their great vegan fare and had to ignore their good selection of cakes to accompany my vegan milk shake. I did sneak a takeaway but that was in my forward planning stakes for tonight.

And then it was of to northern Quarter for some record shopping. Vinyl exchange is just like record and tape exchange in London used to be. Always something to pick up. Johnny takeaway works in rockers so it had to be a quick hello to them. Thought they’d have more zines and records. In fact places for zines are thin on the ground. Eastern bloc used to be a Mecca for them but then it closed moved and reopened in a slimmed down fashion. If its coffee and dance music you want then pop down to stevensons square. Picadilly records ihas a small selection, maybe people aren’t putting them in shops anymore?

V revolution is up there with tea time collective. Vegan burgers and hot dogs along with milkshakes to rock along to the hardcore music on offer its not dissimilar to ssov in London but it sells records so that gives it kudos. Not many records though, it’d be great to have a wider selection. Heartening to see it was really busy.

And then to the main course, tonight’s gig

My early concerns that this gig would go on until mid Sunday morning were allured when i was told that although dog and partridge had a 4am curfew the last were were due on at 10.45. My sort if gig

Obviously I had travelled over to this gig so I was expecting something good but really it was special. Holidays 7″ fell into the shadow of stay clean jolene, circumstances dictated that as I got them both on the same day. They will forever be linked. They do have some tunes, some quality. First thing i will do when I get home is root out the 7″. It is ridiculous how many good songs were on how tonight. 100 people packed into the dog and partridge and we were all honoured to be there. Don’t know if everyone felt that way but if they didn’t they’re missing out.

It’s soaring guitars, heartfelt tunes and an integrity that can’t be made up. We are lucky to have bands like stay clean jolene. Lucky they want to continue to play music to 100 people and lucky they feel lucky to do so. Southport the same. They are incredible. 3 people having fun playing to their friends, regardless if they know them or not. Such talent, criminally ignored but whilst it is that way we can still cling on to them.

As for HDQ, it was hard to follow those three bands and I couldn’t get stranded in Bolton. I got three songs and the energy is still there after all this time.

After a train and a bus u finally got my head down for some rest. 20 hours after my journey started and will recommence with the final leg home after 4 hours sleep. I out my head on the pillow thankful that these people are playing music and lucky to know about them

Hope show 54 – the lowdown

Hope Show 54

“The way we see it punk rock is all about trying to lay your soul bare, to say something and connect with people and inspire people to do the same.” cat on form

1. Bear Trade – Age Is a high price to pay for maturity
2. Tone – Incoming
3. The Magnificent – Search Party
4. Personnel – Modern Drab
5. Cat On Form – Sell the kids to the kids
6. Shitty Limits – Swallowed Whole
7. Big Ray – Ten Feet Tall
8. The Ex – Cold Weather
9. Statics – Viewfinder
10. The Mekons – Slightly South of the Border
11. Athletics – Why Aren’t I Home?
12. MDC – Gig and die in LA
13. Vlad and the Impalers – Army Now
14. NOFX – Secret Society
15. Lights & Motion – Home
16. Family Planning – SwingPigs
17. The Evens – I Do Myself

Starting off tonight with Bear Trade from their recent record on waterslide.

Tone are from Washington, not to be confused with the TOne from England. Their off kilter Jazzy sound has been replaced with a more heavy dreamy pronouncement for the new record out now

THe Magnificent’s album came out a coouple of years ago but it has received little press which is a shame as it rocks.

I’m loving Personnels new record. Four songs of Gang Of FOur style angry angular guitar. Every now and then such a band come along, like the Shitty Limits or Cat on Form and I wonder why can’t they go on forever.

SInk played in Dublin way back and were great people. Ed from Sink was in the Stupids and then went on to play in Big Ray. Big Ray had some great songs with a huge guitar sound. Ed has now made their songs available online. You should track them down, it’ll be worth it. Brillinat

I could play the Ex every week and have enough songs for years of shows. They have released som many records in their 30 year history. The new record hasn’t arrived yet but this Cold Weather is really back!!

The statics are from Dublin and have recorded some new material. I played one song a couple of weeks ago so thought it was time to play the other one tonight

I suppose if I can play Big Ray I can play the mekons (actually I can play whatever I like, the beauty of doing your own radio show). This album originally came out a cassette only release in 1987 but was re-mastered for Cd. It’s a live anarchic country music fuelled shambles. The Mekons were great

I suppose considering the Winter Olympics have just started it’s apt to play a song by the Athletics. It is no reflection on the homophobic nature of certain countries which has been further exacerbated in this country by commentary on same sex marriage. Best let Panti do the explaining.

Time to get the punk going again and where better than with MDC form their Hey Cop If I had A Face Like Yours?, gig and die in LA

Vlad and the impalers have been punking it for a few years now as have NOFX

Changing the mood before the end is Lights And Motion, just to slow it down a bit with their full dreamy almost cinemalike sound

Family Planning are from Dublin – It’s kind of hard to find much about them onlione although you sure do get a lot of results back from a google search. This ep came out last year

It’s always good to start with, finish with or have the evens inbetween. The odds lp came out with a blaze of glory last year and deservedly so. Have you got it yet?

Wanna buy a zine?

That was an eventful week. It’s hard as a father of three kids to dive headfirst into the world of DIY punk rock as the kids still need to go school, football training and do all those things kids do. Harder still when DIY becomes the theme for much needed home improvements. Harder still when the man needs to be satisfied (and by that I mean working for the man).

Anyway the zine came out last week and after spending a huge amount of time putting it together I had to ensure it got out there. Contributors had to get their copy, shops and distros had to be stocked and people needed to know of its existence.

And so Social media was hit. facebook, twitter and he forums I know of were all hit. Envelopes were purchased and 30 complimentary copies were sent off. I then had to hit the shops of my hometown to see if they still stock zines. The idea of doing a fanzine is to communicate with people and I purposely had it in print as I wanted interaction NOT just at the click of a button. I want people to go into shops that are struggling, I want some effort to go into either reading or purchasing this. We live ina disposable society and it has many many positives but it’s nice to step away from it every now and then. And so I wnt to the shops I felt were worthwhile in Dublin. Starting with record shops, freebird, Elastic Witch were stocked. Tower are moving so I’m letting them settle with that. I was amazed by Spindizzy’s reaction – “not enough room, sorry”. It’s 26 A4 pages!, can’t take up that much space. I then hit the bookshops. COnnolly Books took them no problem but Books Upstairs were hesitant. I know it mightn’t mean much but if my zine is in your shop I can tell people to go there. Anyway it’s not there. Winding Stair and Gutter Books will get a visit this week.

Outside Dublin I’m a bit lost so I went for the old reliables. Plugd in Cork and WingNut in Galway. Cork has also got Cork Community Print Shop so some went there too. Punker Bunker in Brighton has been flying the flag for independent releases for years so I sent some to Buz. All Ages have yet to respond. Distros are getting thinner on the ground but they still exist, Suspect Device in SOuthampton and Me Distro in Sligo are the first ones. More will be added.

As I said the idea is to put them into shops and distros that deserve support. I will then let you know and encourage you to go to these places.

And then there was gigs. As I mentioned earlier I can’t go out every evening even if I wanted to and priorities in my world revolve around my family but I got out twice. Menshevik in the Academy. they were great but it copperfastened my belief in the diy scene. Merch stall taking huge commission and no way could you walk around with a bag of zines in your hand. On the opposite to this was Goldblade, The Outcasts, Paranoid Visions and Checkpoint where the stall was there but ironically the interest wasn’t. I should have walked around asking people to buy the zine, but I couldn’t. How times have changed? I was never fully comfortable with approaching people and asking for money in return for photocopied paper but I used to do it. I can’t now. Must try harder.

Then there’s the Hope show on Radioactive International. It’s on weekly so I did a special with all bands in the zine.

Getting there.

Hope zine can be purchased on paypal €4 to niall@thumped.com more info

Hope Show 53 – the lowdown

Hope Show 53 – Mostly New to me with some classics

1. Bear trade – Wake
2. Menshevik – Draw The Line
3. Crane – Burning Hole
4. Bobot Adrenaline – Viktor’s Misery
5. Crash Of Rhinos – The Reason I took so long
6. Emm Gryner – Nowhere
7. The UnGnomes – Georgie The Pumpkin
8. Topbunk – Branigan
9. Stay Clean Jolene – Old Songs
10. Sink – Anarush
11. Out of Trust – Occupy The World
12. The Flatliners – I AM Abandoned
13. Goldblade – Do You Believe In The Power of Rock’n’roll
14. Wringer – Closed Book
15. Holy Rollers – Worlds Apart
16. The Pukes – Will I Learn?
17. Personnel – Consumer Electronics
17. Bill Blood – Evil Eye
18. So Cow – Last Train to Pyongang
19. Papermoons – Matchbook
20. The Ex – Listen to the Painters

The lowdown – you can google them yourselves

Bear Trade are new to me, pretty exciting
Menshvik were new to me last month, I saw them on Wednesday and they were ragin’ full on, exciting new 7″ OUT NOW
Crane are old to me but never OLD in that sense
Bobot Adrenaline are on GC records and I got a compilation recently, it’s cool
Crash of Rhinos have a new record out, you might like it
Emm Gryner has a great voice. She released an album of covers by Irish bands, kind of novel and interesting. Here’s her take on Therapy?
The Ungnomes play punk rock from Chicago, I like their youthful carefree attitude
Topbunk is where I wished I used to sleep, I was on the bottom
Stay Clean Jolene have a great single out, I love it you should too.
You would love K-Line too, if you listened to them more, great album on Boss Tuneage, featuring Ed Wenn from Big Ray who I will be playing over the next few weeks. You have been informed.
Out of Trust are from Claifornia This is from their Healthy loud and hponest album, good sing along punk hardcore
The sort of sound the flatliners have down to a tee
2 reasons for playing Goldblade, 1 they played a great set last night in DUblin adn 2 I love them
Wringer’s bullfighter album is out now so I’m sharing them with you
Holy Rollers were amazing in Dublin in 1991, wonder what they are doing now
It’s always good the hear the Pukes Uke-Punk, from their 7″ last year. Just heard they will be playing rebellion in August, glad I got a ticket as a Chrismtas present now
Personnel have a new single out, one of their Personnel was in the excellent Shitty Limits, great recommendation.
I bought the Bill Blood album last July and misplaced it til this week. Cool Irish record from Redneck Manifesto’s Niall Byrne (who’s other previous band Flexihead played with Holy Rollers at that aforementioned Dublin gig)
So Cow are based in Galway and wriote cool songs
Papermoons are touring UK soon with football etc, that’d be a nice double bill
The Ex have a new sngle out and will be touring the UK in April of and I’m going to see them in Birmingham. YESSSSSSSS, new single should have arrived by the nest show

Stay Punk