Bentfest talks

Next week, Bentfest will host a series of talks on their Instagram Live if you want to tune in. The queer punk London festival will host a few of us at 6pm BST:

Images: Bentfest.

Monday, 18th May, Kirsty Fife zine reading and discussion of class, DIY politics, academia and more.

Tuesday, 19th May, Sop will talk about embodiment, chronic illness, sound experiments and more art.

Thursday, 21st May, I’ll be reading a few poems from my upcoming collection Meanwhile, and discuss writing from the in-between.

So yeah, all these days, 6pm BST, go to Bentfest’s Instagram account, look at their live stream on stories, and join the conversation. 👁‍🗨

Alone Together. Ep 2: Arboretum

Adrian B. Earle (ThinkWriteFly) is one of the most active creators and promoters of poetry in the Midlands. VerseFirst is his multimedia portal in which through podcasts and videos he showcases voices from fellow poets across the region.

His latest podcast, Alone Together, is a very interesting project merging words and sounds in small, reflective moments, following a prompt that unites them from a distance.

I am fortunate enough to be featured on its second episode, Arboretum. The poem is called “East Midlands is for Lovers”, and it features Arboretum Park in Nottingham. The episode, less than 15 minutes long, also features work by Lerah Mae Barcenilla and Leila Khanem, threaded through a path of music and ambience by Earle himself. It does feel like a late night walk around an arboretum.

If you want to be part of further episodes, select a prompt that attracts you and follow the instructions on the website.

Manchester Punk Festival

Punk is not just three chords, spiky hair and badly sewn black patches. Punk, above all, is ethos. Out and loud, no middle men, making it work with what you’ve got against a mainstream current that gives advantage to oppressors. Honesty, no fucks given, actual free speech, in unity and solidarity with those who get the short end of the stick. Breaking the law that needs to be broken.

So you can be punk in music. In comedy. In art. In poetry and performance. And I’ve been invited to do the latter at Manchester Punk Festival 2019 in a couple of weeks. The festival takes place on Easter Weekend (19-21 April ) through different venues across the Deansgate/Oxford Road area.

The poetry people will be at The Thirsty Scholar every day during the early afternoon. On Friday, you will get to see and hear the words of Geneviève L. Walsh, the best goth in Halifax. Before her, you can see Martin Appleby from Paper and Ink Zine, and Kit Rayne from Umbrella Poetry.

Source: Manchester Punk Festival.

I will be performing on Saturday 1:30pm sandwiched between the open mic (come and read your stuff) and the fantastic Bridget Hart. So if you like bespectacled heartbroken fem/mes in their 30’s who love Sleater-Kinney and their friends, we are your people.

On Sunday, you can see the colourful Suky Goodfellow all the way from Scotland, writer and facilitator Simon Widdop, and stage organiser Henry Raby from Say Owt. Great stuff.

Of course you can still go for the lols and for the music. And the atmosphere, food, and so on and so on. Some band queens got together and are releasing a special edition beer if you want to try.

Besides performing and being a spoken word dork, I will be seeing a few acts and bands. Looking forward to see Martha, Rachel Fairburn, Suggested Friends, Charmpit (been meaning to catch them for aaaaages), Big Joanie, The Winter Passing, Fresh, Cheerbleederz, Perkie and Crywank. Plus whatever I get to discover in between.

The full lineup, plus some tips about enjoying both the festival and the city, are available now on the Manchester Punk Festival website.

Ugly Music by Ugly Fem/mes

Bringing a semi-recycled two-week old Facebook rant-ish into the wild. Last week, Gemma Wicks and I had a meeting with Kristy Diaz (Nasty Women, Track 7) and she brought up a similar comment. About how even in the experimental, radical, queer-friendly circles of music, arts, and media, beauty stereotypes were still perpetuated and conventionally attractive cis white women were still favoured.

A few Saturdays ago, the fabulous Steph Horak and I went to Nottingham to a field recording and production workshop facilitated by Aja Ireland aka AJA. It was held at The Malt Cross, a multi-level pub and arts centre famous for having its own sandstone cave. We played with chains, drumsticks and all sorts of obscure musical instruments on the walls and tubes of the cave, recorded some of the sounds and later went back to the classroom so AJA could show us some of the things we could do with the files on Ableton.

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She also showed us her setup. So many drone otherworldly pedals.
In the meantime, something kept bothering me. Three-quarters of the students were your average men. Most of them were asking the questions. Then almost everyone else was young and stunning, like out of a NYLON magazine fashion spread. Same with the examples of performers mentioned.

aja-11-of-12[1]
AJA in her raw splendour. Picture by Xenia Onta.
I was drafting a long rant about how, in the noise scene, people who weren’t men happened to be conventionally attractive, white and skinny. Grimes, Pharmakon, Jenny Hval, Cosey Fanni Tutti in her hayday, Aja and Steph themselves, and that we needed more ugly fem/mes making ugly music. I was gonna say that even the Japanese sinewave queens like Sachiko M could swap clothes with the Western primitive curls and still fit in them.

Sachiko-M[1]
Hail Wavy Mum. Sachiko M picture by Carmen Chong.
But then it would’ve been hella hypocritical because:

  • At least this wave of noise beauties is teaching us beasts how to carry on through workshops, videos, etc. like AJA’s workshop, which I’m mega thankful for!
  • Here I am wearing one of AJA’s costumes designed by LU LA LOOP who also designs for Grimes, so even murderfats can make a murderous mess on stage and look alright at it.

lulaloop-synth

It’s just a matter of being noticed by promoters/venues/festivals/media/artists looking for openers, and not being patronised I guess? Trolololol. Like, bitch, I ain’t gonna eat your backline. I’m mostly vegetarian.

If you have any examples of “ugly” women and non-binary folx who make experimental, noisy, “ugly” music, please let me know. The closest I can think of is ANOHNI, but she doesn’t make the music – tho the audiovisual concept is hers. Her last album was produced by Oneohtrix Point Never, who is a freaking genius but yeah, show me your queer fats fiddling with pedals, plz.

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And the Oscars didn’t want dearest Toñita singing her own song at the ceremony because of course they didn’t. Picture by Rafa Rivas for AFP.
 

 

Reporte UK: The Mirror Trap

THE-MIRROR-TRAP

As with every other Monday, last week I shared my latest British music findings with La Pop Life. This Mexican-based website is heavily invested in broadcasting acts and events from around the world; and they have representatives across Latin America, Europe and the USA. I just saw Placebo play live at De Montfort Hall in Leicester, and enjoyed the opening band so much that I had to spread the love. They are called The Mirror Trap, and here is a translation of my report about them.

As usual, you can access the original text in Spanish directly on the website.

Scottish rock, with the support of Placebo and adoration of Russia.

From their beginnings, The Mirror Trap have based their existence in the admiration and respect for those who have filled the world with romance. Their members – singer Gary “The Panther” Moore, guitar players Michael “John” McFarlane and Paul Markie, drummer Paul “Drums” Reilly, and bassist Ben Doherty– got together in 2009 when they were studying music and they would frequently stumble upon each other at gigs and other events.

In those days, the national success of the band The View seemed to put Dundee on the map. Suddenly, several bands from this small Scottish city began to form in order to take advantage of people’s attention. Most of them crumbled a couple of years later, and in The Panther’s words, “only the weirdos were left”.

They call themselves “musical perverts”, and they watch the whole Jools Holland show like a religious service. They soak up everything they see and listen to, from Queens of the Stone Age to Radiohead, Joy Division, The Cure and The Smiths. Not only do they love music and attend gigs like the rest of us, but they wait for their idols and approach them at the end.

They became friends with The View and they opened for them a few times, before releasing their first LP, The Last Great Melodrama (2011). They won a contest to do the same for Deacon Blue, winning the attention and lust of several older ladies. In 2012 they played at T in the Park, released The Visible Hand EP and recorded a live session with Vic Galloway for BBC Scotland.

That year they were discovered by promoter Lee Wilkie, who took up the gauntlet of managing them alongside Dave Mclean from Riverman Management, Placebo‘s management house. Once they got Brian Molko’s attention, they established a charming relationship in which they’ve opened for the London trio/duo in several occasions, including a complete tour around eight cities in Russia during the summer of 2014, a tour in which they took the chance to advertise their second LP,  Stay Young. They made such an impression in that country, that they received drawings and collages, gratitude in unison from the audience, and even marriage proposals.

This year, The Mirror Trap are still opening for Molko and his colleagues around the United Kingdom, hanging out with fans and enjoying as much as they can with every visit. They have already quit their jobs to dedicate themselves one hundred percent to music. They can’t always afford to dine and sleep, so they seize tours to the max.

On February 2015 they released Silent Men EP, and they keep introducing new songs live every night.  “Piranhas”, for example, has been a great favourite.

To listen more and buy their material, merchandise, and perhaps get them some tacos, follow them through Facebook and Bandcamp. If you want to read more about them and learn their lyrics, visit their Blogspot.

The Mirror Trap live, opening for Placebo, De Montfort Hall, Leicester, 16 March 2015.
The Mirror Trap live, opening for Placebo, De Montfort Hall, Leicester, 16 March 2015.

Their tour with Placebo ended in late March, and now they are locked in the studio working on a sparkling new LP. Hopefully they will tour on their own and play in your home town pretty soon.

Other translated editions of Reporte UK: Zun Zun EguiLusts, ist.

Reporte UK: Zun Zun Egui

Last Wednesday, we went to The Musician to see Zun Zun Egui. I had written about them as part of a Reporte UK for La Pop Life a few months ago, and I was more than excited to see them.

They were exciting, friendly and inviting. The show was opened and closed by ritual songs where we sang along and brought in the spirits of music to bless us. There was a lot of comedy between songs and direct audience interaction, Kushal playing with you face to face, off the stage, for several seconds at a time.

Zun Zun Egui, Leicester, The Musician, 11 March 2015

This is what I wrote about them back in the day, and the reason why I was exhilirated when they announced a gig in Leicester. Here you can access the original, something I encourage you to do as usual, so you can also check out all recommendations done by my partner in Anglophile crime Sam Valdés from Sloucher.

Reporte UK: Zun Zun Egui

A band to follow up close in 2015.

Their name means “Group of Trees” in Basque, but it sounds like “Quick, Quick, Crazy” in Japanese. Both the story behind their name and the nationality of their members, from the islands of Mauritius, Japan and the UK, make it look like a small model of the UN, although their concept goes beyond the stereotypes of the It’s a Small World ride from Disneyland.

They got together in Bristol, where singer and guitar player Kushal Gaya stumbled upon keyboard player Yoshino Shigihara. They started playing with several friends, including bassist Luke Mosse and bassist Matt Jones. It was with these natives that Kushal and Yoshino formed this project, joining their international experiences and their love for the DIY culture and improvisation.

Their first LP, Katang, came in 2011, after several raw and deranged EP. It was then that they began to mature their sound and perfectly amalgamate genres such as afrobeat, ethio-jazz, punk funk, tropicalia and no wave. Adam Newton came to replace Luke, while Stephen Kerrison added more guitars to the combination.

For their new LP, Shackles’ Gift, they took shelter under Andrew Hung’s wing, another very dear former Bristol alumni and member of Fuck Buttons and Dawn Hunger. The idea for the album started to take root when Kushal took his partners to play in his homeland Mauritius on March 2013 in order to celebrate Independence Day.

There, they found strong pride and inspiration in the island’s history and its ability to rise by itself after escaping the grasp of the French and the English barely 45 years before.

Mauritius has 12 official languages and a national eclectic cuisine (research Shelina Permaloo, another Mauritian/Brit, winner of the 2012 edition of  MasterChef). Just like its food and culture, Mauritian music is adventurous and finds inspiration everywhere. For instance, the sound the sugar cane grinder makes in the fields. Kushal related this to industrial music from the UK, when ensembles such as Throbbing Gristle emulated the noises from factories and their machinery.

Coming from the idea of African folk music as precursor of futurism and avant garde, Zun Zun Egui dived into as many regional genres as possible and passed them through a filter of Western psychedelia, dub, and rock n roll. A delight impossible to describe in a few paragraphs, but worthy of its own academic dissertation for a PhD… or simply worthy of being enjoyed.

Their latest album, Shackles’ Gift, is now available everywhere.

Note: If you want something more explosive, brainless and primitive, listen to Melt Yourself Down, Kushal’s other project.

Reporte UK: Lusts

LUSTS

As you may know, I collaborate for La Pop Life, a Mexican website on popular music and everything about it. They have weekly sections or “international reports” where different people in different countries share their latest findings and events. My turn with Reporte UK is once a fortnight, and I share the space with the magnificent Samuel Valdés from Sloucher.

Thanks to popular request, every time my article for Reporte UK goes online, I will publish the English translation here. Bands have been asking for translations so they get to know what we say about them, so here it is. For the original reports, please, please visit La Pop Life. It’s also a great way for you to find out what’s going on in other places like the USA, Germany, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Spain, and — of course — México.

This week belongs to Lusts, two brothers from my neck of the woods who have been recently discovered by specialised media. For your reference and delight, here is the original article in Spanish.

Plural lust from Leicester.

Brothers Andy and James Stone are fans of the 80s sound. So much, that their most recent single shares name with a classic from New Order: “Temptation”.

However, in contrast to the optimist and dancefloor-murdering synths from the survivors of Joy Division, this new song borrows early The Cure’s lo-fi and Jesus and Mary Chain’s daydream, all as if it were recorded on a wobbly cassette tape.

Their pop is a dark kind, like it belonged to someone who would shiver in cold after not being able to pay the gas bill in Margaret Thatcher times, but still kept on dancing. Ah, and with a thick local accent.

So far, they barely have two gigs under their belts, but they have already got the attention of publications such as the NME and The Line of Best Fit; and they are now part of the regular schedule of BBC 6 Music.

In March they are going on a nationwide tour with Coves, and they will see what it’s like to play on stages in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Glasgow and Manchester, amongst other places near and far from the final destination of Richard III.

Their double single comes out on the 2nd of March, with “Temptation” on one side and “Cross” on another, with the label 1965 Records. For now you can listen to these songs, along with “Waves” and “Sometimes”, through their Soundcloud account. They are just four recorded tracks, but we expect them to bring more, with more good news and perhaps some LP on the way.

Other translated editions of Reporte UK: ist.

Reporte UK: ist

ist

As you may know, every other week I write for La Pop Life recommending some project or event from the United Kingdom. The UK Report (Reporte UK), as it’s formally known, is written by me one week, by Samuel Valdés from Sloucher another week. Sam used to live in Sheffield and I live in Leicester, so each one of us has had the opportunity of meeting local and national bands, attend their gigs and share the findings with you.

In this occasion, I talk about ist, an Anglo-Scottish-Canadian band that had left four years ago and came back for one night a couple of weeks ago.

I was asked to translate the report so they could read it, so here is the English version. If you want to read the original in Spanish, click on the images or on the link above, visit La Pop Life and in passing, check out all the other reports from around the world. 😉

Never say goodbye. ist did it four years ago, and on the 5th of September they played live again.

Photo: Seed Network
Photo: Seed Network

ist (written like this, all small caps) was born in March 2001 during a drunken meeting in Leicester. Its members Jack Bomb, Detroit Robbins, Mark “Flash” Haynes and the Canadian Kenton Hall chose its (or, in those days, unaltavisteable) name as a way to manifest their lack of prejudice in both social and musical matters, earning comparisons to Stiff Little Fingers, Television and The Clash as well as The E Street Band and Oingo Boingo.

Their first EP was The Adult Tree, written by Hall after leaving his strong religious upbringing and, in the process, his young marriage. While he gathered the band, he recorded a version of each song with the shortly-after disbanded Kyoka. With ist, he recorded everything again and prepared new material for their first LP, Freudian Corduroy, two years later.

In 2004, Bomb left the collective and Detroit lost his life. After a brief time of bereavement, the band prefered to continue with Scottish bassist John McCourt and new guitarist Brett Richardson. The following year, with this new alignment, plus Paul Swannell on the piano, they released King Martha, their second LP and the most downloaded album from Russian website Yanga. The album earned positive reviews, the writers Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks‘ seal of approval, and Hall’s nomination as “Songwriter of Substance” from MOJO magazine.

ist-2

The year 2006 saw them releasing a double single: the polemic “The Wreck of the Eddie Fitzpatrick/I am Jesus (And You’re Not)”, in response to a conversation with singer-songwriter and radio host Tom Robinson. Meanwhile, the Christmas of 2008 lended its ears to “Let’s Not Fight This Christmas”, cowritten by Hall and performed by Chris Difford, founding member of Squeeze.

In August 2009, Toothpick Bridge was their last LP and one of the most glorified by independent media around the world, including specialised magazine Kerrang! and some platforms from New Zealand and the United States. Nevertheless, the band split up in 2010 and everyone took a different road: Flash with a Beatles tribute, Richardson as a music producer, Hall as an actor and director for film, television and theatre, and McCourt as a member of Mr Plow, under Pink Box Records, the same label that hosted ist all the time.

In spite of Wikipedia considering them pop-rock, there are strong punk explosions in their ideology and sound. However, all over their history they have flirted with genres so disperse as ska, country, blues and classical music.

Their lyrics are complex and funny at the same time, filled with metaphors, parables, autobiographies and local jokes: from Jehovah’s Witnesses to unfaithful housewives and gay cowboys, and from hating Daniel Beddingfield because you just broke up and his stupid song makes you cry, to… Remington Steele!

Their comeback was just for that night in September, for a gig at The Musician – the same place that saw them say goodbye to the stage – as a way to gather funds for LOROS hospice and celebrate Detroit’s life. In the studio, they had briefly got together this year to record two songs for A Dozen Summers, the children’s film Hall has been directing.

Whether or not they re-reunite any time soon, here’s their entire catalogue on Bandcamp for you to listen to chronologically or however you feel like.

The Damned en Leicester

El martes fuimos a la Universidad de Leicester y recibimos una cátedra intensiva de punk, sociología, teatro y verdadera contracultura. Los maestros, con casi cuatro décadas de experiencia, vinieron desde Londres para dar todo de sí a sus alumnos, con sangre, sudor y mocos.

La Sociedad de Estudiantes fue sede de tan maravillosa experiencia. En la sala de conciertos, mejor conocida como O2 Academy Leicester, se presentaron los legendarios The Damned. Técnicamente, el primer grupo de punk en haber lanzado disco en el Reino Unido. En lugar de estancarse en la autodestrucción y la muerte, siguieron regenerándose hasta límites insospechables. El vocalista Dave Vanian logró moldearse a sí mismo a imagen y semejanza de Vincent Price. Mientras tanto, el guitarrista Captain Sensible hizo su proyecto solista de punk para niños y su propio partido político.

La noche del 3 de diciembre, vinieron a hacer lo que mejor saben hacer.

Ruts DC, Leicester, 03 Dec 2013
Ruts DC: Leigh Heggarty, “Segs” Jennings, David Ruffy, Molara

Los abridores fueron otras grandes leyendas en lo suyo: Ruts DC, conformada por David Ruffy y “Segs” Jennings, sobrevivientes de The Ruts, acompañados por el guitarrista Leigh Heggarty y la corista Molara, ex-vocalista de Zion Train. Junto a The Clash y The Slits, fueron de los primeros punks en trabajar con maestros del regaae y aderezar su sonido con reggae y dub.

Varias de las canciones fueron dedicadas a Malcolm Owen, vocalista original de The Ruts, quien muriera de una sobredosis de heroína en 1980. La escabrosa “Smiling Culture”, acerca del sospechoso suicidio del cantante Smiley Culture, fue también dedicada a las más de dos mil quinientas personas que han muerto en custodia de la policía desde 1969 en el Reino Unido, incluyendo al primo de Molara.

Ruts DC, Leicester, 3 December 2013
Ruts DC

Pero a la par del recuerdo y la protesta, vino el baile y la diversión. Los nuevos temas de Ruts DC tienen potencial antémico. “Mighty Soldier” sería igual de memorable si la mandáramos en una cápsula del tiempo al pasado. Lo mismo pasa con “One Step”, con su paso adelante y sus dos pasos atrás. Los viejos clásicos, como “Staring at the Rude Boys”, “Babylon’s Burning” e “In A Rut” suenan incluso más contundentes que en sus versiones originales.

Ruts DC, Rhythm Collision Volume 2
Ruts DC, Rhythm Collision Volume 2

Después de los abridores, vino el plato fuerte – aunque los dos grupos fueron platos bastante fuertes, la verdad. The Damned comenzó con relámpagos y teclados fantasmagóricos, y gradualmente se desenvolvió hasta llegar al punk más desenfrenado.

The Damned, Leicester, 03 December 2013
The Damned: Captain Sensible, Dave Vanian, Pinch, Stu West, Monty Oxy Moron

Entre canción y canción, el grupo hacía bromas entre sí y con la audiencia. Captain Sensible se sonó la nariz y aventó el pañuelo a la primera fila. Eso va a costar una fortuna en eBay.

Captain Sensible jugando con el pie del micrófono.
Captain Sensible jugando con el pie del micrófono.

Así como los integrantes de The Damned no han dejado de hacer de las suyas a pesar del paso de los años, sus admiradores siguen festejando como cuando eran jóvenes. Fue increíble ver el recinto lleno de tantos punks y góticos que bien podrían ser nuestros padres. A la hora de temas como “2nd Time Around” o “I Just Can’t Be Happy”, estos señores se tiraban al slam como si fueran adolescentes. Bailaban en círculos, tropezándose los unos con los otros, pero siempre respetándose a su manera y abrazándose al final de cada canción.

thedamned-slam

Los fans tímidos también tenían lo suyo. Ver adolescentes cantando todas las canciones me llenó el corazón de esperanzas. Hay punk para rato.

The Damned, Slam

Para el encore, subieron a su fan número uno: Jonno, el punk más viejo de Leicester. Está a punto de cumplir setenta años y es toda una celebridad, forrado de tatuajes y perforaciones y con muchas anécdotas qué contar. Siempre se le ve en las tocadas punk y lleva más de quinientas presentaciones a las que ha asistido en su vida – sólo contando a The Damned.

Jonno
Jonno

Jonno traía su guitarra de juguete y tocó “I Feel Alright”.

Jonno playing with The Damned

A la salida, unos jóvenes punks pidieron el setlist y se lo llevaron de recuerdo. Aquí está la foto para su consideración.

The Damned Setlist

Un par de adorables chicas punk estaban a cargo del stand, con mercancía tanto de Ruts DC como de The Damned y Captain Sensible.

The Damned Merch

Por si quieren disfrazarse de Captain Sensible en Halloween – o en cualquier día del año:

The Damned Captain Sensible Kit

Y un par de fotos del icónico Jonno. Alguien con el aguante y la insubordinación que no muchos jóvenes tienen. Igual que sus ídolos. Un ídolo en sí.

Jonno Goddard

Jonno GoddardOn Tuesday, we went to the University of Leicester and received an intensive lecture on punk, sociology, drama and true counterculture. The teachers, with almost four decades of experience, came from London to give their everything to their pupils, sweat, blood and bogies.

The Students Union was the venue for such wonderful experience. In the concert hall, better known as O2 Academy Leicester, performed the legendary The Damned. Technically, the first punk band to ever release a record in the United Kingdom. Instead of sinking into self-destruction and death, they continued regenerating beyond unbelievable limits. Lead singer Dave Vanian achieved to mould himself in the image and likeness of Vincent Price. Meanwhile, guitarist Captain Sensible released his solo punk project for kids and his own political party.

On the night of the 3rd of December, they came to do what they know best.

Ruts DC, Leicester, 03 Dec 2013
Ruts DC: Leigh Heggarty, “Segs” Jennings, David Ruffy, Molara

The openers were other great legends in their field: Ruts DC, conformed by David Ruffy and “Segs” Jennings, sole survivors of The Ruts, in the company of guitar player Leigh Heggarty and back singer Molara, ex-vocalist of Zion Train. Along with The Clash and The Slits, they were the first punks working with masters of reggae and condimenting their sound with reggae and dub.

Several of their songs were dedicated to Malcolm Owen, original singer of The Ruts, who died from a heroine overdose in 1980. The rough “Smiling Culture”, about the suspicious suicide of singer Smiley Culture, was also dedicated to the more than twenty five hundred people who have died in custody of the police since 1969 in the United Kingdom, including Molara’s cousin.

Ruts DC, Leicester, 3 December 2013
Ruts DC

But on pair with memories and protest, came dancing and fun. The newest Ruts DC songs have anthem potential. “Mighty Soldier” would be just as unforgettable if we sent it in a time capsule back to the past. The same happens with “One Step” with its one step forward and two steps back. Old classics, such as “Staring at the Rude Boys”, “Babylon’s Burning” and “In A Rut” sound even more outstanding than its original versions.

Ruts DC, Rhythm Collision Volume 2
Ruts DC, Rhythm Collision Volume 2

After the entrée, came the main course – although both groups were very strong main courses, to be honest. The Damned started with flashing and phantasmagorical keyboards, and gradually unravelled into the most reckless kind of punk.

The Damned, Leicester, 03 December 2013
The Damned: Captain Sensible, Dave Vanian, Pinch, Stu West, Monty Oxy Moron

Between songs, the band would joke among themselves and with the audience. Captain Sensible blew his nose and threw the tissue towards the front row. That’s going to cost a fortune on eBay.

Captain Sensible jugando con el pie del micrófono.
Captain Sensible playing with the microphone stand

Just like the members of The Damned haven’t stopped doing their thing in spite of the passage of time, their fans still celebrate just like when they were young. It was unbelievable to see the venue rammed with so many punks and goths who could have easily been our parents. When they played songs like “2nd Time Around” or “I Just Can’t Be Happy”, these men would throw themselves into the mosh pit as if they were teenagers. They would dance in circles, stumbling upon each other, but always respecting each other their way and hugging each other after every song.

thedamned-slam

Shy fans were special too. Seeing teenagers singing every single song filled my heart with hope. There’ll be punk left for a while.

The Damned, Slam

For the encore, they brought their number one fan: Jonno, the oldest punk in Leicester. He’s about to reach 70 and he’s a complete celebrity, wrapped in tattoos and piercings and with so many stories to tell. He’s always seen at punk gigs and has been to more than five hundred shows in his life – just counting The Damned.

Jonno
Jonno

Jonno brought his toy guitar and played “I Feel Alright”.

Jonno playing with The Damned

After the show, some young punks got the setlist and took it as a keepsake. Here’s the picture for your consideration.

The Damned Setlist

A couple of lovely punk girls were in charge of the stand, with merchandising from Ruts DC, The Damned and Captain Sensible.

The Damned Merch

If you want to dress up like Captain Sensible in Halloween – or any day of the year:

The Damned Captain Sensible Kit

And a couple of pictures of the iconic Jonno. Someone with the stamina and insubordination that not many youngsters have. Just like his idols. An idol himself.

Jonno Goddard

Jonno Goddard

Cynthia Escribe en Octubre

Este mes ha sido un descalabro económico, pero también ha estado lleno de gratas sorpresas. Un intercambio de ropa talla extra en Sheffield, un homenaje a Flimsy the Kitten, y la oportunidad de vivir y revivir algunos recuerdos relacionados con Nicaragua. Tal ha sido mi zangoloteo, que he olvidado compartirles algunos textos que realicé este mes por aquí y por allá. Más que nada, estas serán recomendaciones musicales.

Rainy Milo
Rainy Milo

“Rainy Milo creció escuchando los discos de jazz de su madre; su abuelo es DJ de reggae. Desde los catorce años se involucró con bandas locales y colectivos de arte.

Pero más allá de su familia y amigos, la chica de ascendencia guyanesa y criada en el sudeste de Londres tenía pocos modelos a seguir. Agarró la costumbre de descargar beats de hip-hop que tuvieran influencias de jazz, los cuales usaba como pistas para cantar encima y grabarse.” Lean completo el Reporte UK de Rainy Milo en La Pop Life.

Shield Patterns
Shield Patterns

“Claire Bretnall tiene la obsesión de encontrar patrones a partir de las palabras y los números con los que se topa en la vida diaria. En la hostil y áspera ciudad de Manchester, esto le ha servido para protegerse de su entorno y de sí misma. Y es de ahí de donde saca el nombre de su proyecto: Shield Patterns (Patrones Escudo).” Lean completo el Reporte UK de Shield Patterns en La Pop Life.

Anna Calvi
Anna Calvi

“Anna Calvi es inmensa en Francia. Tocando en programas de televisión, en recintos por todo el país, incluso grabando su álbum más reciente en Noyant-la-Gravoyère como recompensa al país que la ama tanto. ¿Por qué no es así de grande en Gran Bretaña? Uno puede sumergirse en su oscuro sonido como de ecos en la capilla y no sentir más que escalofríos de la cabeza a los pies mientras ella titilea sensualmente su guitarra eléctrica y transforma su voz de ratón en un rugido directo desde del centro de la Tierra. ¿Por qué no la escuchamos tanto como se lo merece?” Lean completa la reseña de One Breath de Anna Calvi en Epigram – Bristol University’s Independent Student Newspaper. (en inglés)

Alice in Chains - The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
Alice in Chains – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here

Además, he vuelto a escribir para Círculo Mixup. En la edición del mes pasado, pueden encontrar una reseña al vinil de The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here de Alice in Chains; y este mes se rumora que hay un par de textos que hice sobre AM Arctic Monkeys y un compilado de Saint Etienne.

Por favor, díganme que opinan de mis recomendaciones del mes: Rainy Milo, Shield Patterns y lo nuevo de Anna Calvi.This month has been a major economical setback, but it has also been full of pleasant surprises. A plus size clothes swap in Sheffield, an homage to Flimsy the Kitten, and the opportunity to live and relive some memories related to Nicaragua. Such has been my fidgeting around, that I had forgotten to share a few texts I wrote this month here and there. More than anything else, these will be music recommendations.

Rainy Milo
Rainy Milo

“Rainy Milo grew up listening to her mother’s jazz records; and her grandfather was a reggae DJ. Since she was fourteen years old, she got involved with local bands and art collectives.

But outside her family and friends, the girl of Guyanese ancestry and raised in South-East London had few role models. She got the habit of downloading jazz-influenced hip-hop beats, which she then used as background music to sing on top and record herself.” Read the full Reporte UK about Rainy Milo on La Pop Life. (in Spanish)

Shield Patterns
Shield Patterns

“Claire Bretnall has the obsession of finding patterns inside the words and numbers she stumbles upon every day. In the hostile and rough city of Manchester, this has served to her for protection from her surroundings and from herself. And this is where she takes the name of her project: Shield Patterns.” Read the full Reporte UK about Shield Patterns on La Pop Life. (in Spanish)

Anna Calvi
Anna Calvi

“Anna Calvi is immense in France. Playing in shows on TV, at venues all over the country, even recording her latest album in Noyant-la-Gravoyère as a reward to the country that loves her so much. Why isn’t she that big in Britain? One can submerge in her dark, echoes-in-the-chapel sound and feel nothing but chills from head to toe as she sensually flickers her electric guitar and transforms her mouse-like voice into a growl straight from the centre of the Earth. Why don’t we listen to her as often as she deserves?” Read the full review for One Breath by Anna Calvi on Epigram – Bristol University’s Independent Student Newspaper.

Alice in Chains - The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
Alice in Chains – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here

Plus, I am writing again for Círculo Mixup. In last month’s edition, you can find a review of the vinyl for The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here by Alice in Chains; and this month it’s rumoured there are a couple of texts I did about AM by Arctic Monkeys and a compilation by Saint Etienne.

Please, let me know what you think about my recommendations this month: Rainy Milo, Shield Patterns and the latest Anna Calvi.