MESA COSA.

28 12 2019

mc

 

Australia is home to some incredible bands. From the likes of Royal Chant to Amyl and The Sniffers- the bands there are not afraid to be loud, and to tell us their story. Bands like The Chats and Dumb Punts make music to trash a bar to, but amongst all of these insanely great bands are another that must be heard- Mesa Cosa.

Mesa Cosa have been around for some time, but I’m late to the party again but it’s been worth the wait. They recently supported The Cavemen (how cool is that!!) and they just have this wild sound that reinforces your love for music like this- noisy, passionate and a bit like a bar brawl on a Thursday night with no regard for work in the morning. It’s a proper riot and a delight to listen to. I’m currently hooked on their release from 2017, El Es Demons.  There’s a song on this record called Blood & Brains, and it sounds like it should be on some dodgy Horror film soundtrack. It’s a real gruesome song, and hilarious. They’ve got this wicked sense of humour flowing through their songs, and Blood & Brains really does capture this the most.

Their songs are made to be chanted back at them, and this just gives you real insight into how gnarly their live shows probably are. I don’t know if they’ve ever played the UK but knowing my luck I’ve probably just missed out on a tour, usually happens! But anyway, my point is when you listen to them you really get a feel for their live shows and how it’s probably the most chaotic fun you’ll ever have! I just can’t over the fact that they’ve played with The Cavemen! That must have been a crazy show!

 

 

I really love how Mesa Cosa have this gang-like feel to their sound and within the band. They’re not here to please anyone or make music to appease the masses. They make it because they want to, and because they are clearly one of the best bands around within the Garage Rock scene, but they go beyond that. I love how they sound like something from a creepy 70s Horror b-film but also sound like something from the future. They are so talented, and they just make you wish you could see their live shows every night. They have a real basement dive bar sound, and they make you want to throw your drink around and break stuff. I mean, maybe don’t do this because no one likes an asshole, but you get what I mean. Maybe just throw cushions about in your room- play it safe.

El Es Demons is an incredible record. From beginning to end we have got proper rowdy Punk songs to chant along to, and to just play constantly. From Melbourne via Mexico, Mesa Cosa have created something that you just cannot get enough of. I love this record a hell of a lot, and I feel stupid for not finding it when it came out in 2017. I think it’s one of those records that when you listen to it, even if you’ve listened to it hundreds of times- it still feels brand new. It’s just a great listen, and everything about the record is a real work of art. I love every single song on this record. A proper timeless record that you cannot get enough of. Sincerely one of the most exciting bands around, trust me. Aside from this record, they have the equally great Ya Ya Brouhaha record. That came out in 2014 I think, and again when you listen to this, it feels and sounds timeless.?

If like me, you’ve got an addiction to Garage Rock- then you’re probably going to adore Mesa Cosa (if you don’t already, you probably do already to be honest!) Their songs are made to be played loud. Their songs are made to be screamed back at them, and to just become obsessed with. I cannot give you another band to liken them to, and I guess that’s what makes a lot of Australian bands like this standout. They may sort of fall into the same style, but they all have their own unique sound.

 

 

Mesa Cosa truly have something in their music that makes you feel as if you have waited your whole life to find THIS band. I don’t think you can be just a casual listener of Mesa Cosa; I truly feel you become obsessed with them. And when it sounds this good, how on earth could you not be?





VIAGRA BOYS: An Ode To Sweden’s Finest.

25 12 2019

 

VB

Foolishly, I haven’t written about Sweden’s finest Viagra Boys. They have been a band that I have been obsessively listening to over the past few years. I guess I assumed I had already written about them. Never assume. But I guess now is the right time.

Last year they released the exceptional Street Worms, which is one of the most solid debut records we will ever be given by anyone irrespective of genre. It’s got everything you could possibly want from a record. The dark humour and their take on the world, and how fucked it has become is incredible. For me, they are up there with one of my biggest loves- METZ. They’ve got this heaviness in their sound that just blows your mind with every single listen.

Viagra Boys make you want to break stuff, they make you want to pick up a guitar and smash up a stage. They just present the world to you how you see it, but the way they do it is something else. I cannot think of any other band who have this much strength and power in their music. What I love about the band also, is that their fans are so passionate about them and really appreciate the dark humour in the songs and how the songs just make you feel free. There is freedom in relating to your favourite band, and knowing others feel the same. The same goes for bands like IDLES and The Murder Capital. Dedicated fans who are just in love with the music.

 

 

Sebastian has such a distinctive voice. For me, it’s the song Baby Teeth that really cements the sound and style of Sebastian’s vocals. He’s got this effortlessly cool drawl that makes you feel like you’re listening to Lou Reed or Iggy Pop for the first time. When you find a band like this, you really know you have found something special. I can’t write about Viagra Boys and not mention the anthem that is, Sports.

Sports is such a cool song. It oozes coolness so effortlessly, and you cannot help but lose your mind when you play it and shout “SPORTS”! along with Sebastian. I love how the drums and guitar seem to egg each other on in this song to play louder, and to get faster when the hook hits. It’s an underrated anthem, but us shrimps fucking love it. It’s the kind of song that you cannot help but recite whenever you can. The sax hits, and it is the most glorious feeling ever especially when Sebastian is screaming “SPORTS!” as if he has been wounded. I absolutely love this song, and for anyone who has never listened to Viagra Boys- start with Sports and let your obsession be fuelled. There’s six of them in the band, and they are all so vital to creating a sound that is theirs, and theirs alone. They possess the wildness of The Birthday Party and the storytelling of the king that is, Mark E. Smith. These are just a handful of reasons as to why I adore Viagra Boys.

If you check out their live performances on YouTube, you’ll see just how wild they are and how powerful their shows are. You feel like you’re watching something from another planet, and it’s one of the many reasons as to why you should and will love them (if you don’t already!) You can truly see that they are band that put everything into their music, and the way it comes across in their live shows just leaves you in awe. Again, they are a band that will definitely influence the next generation to make something of their own and thank Viagra Boys for it.

Songs like Frogstrap, Can’t Get It Up and Upside Backwards are just incredible. The more I listen to them, the more I hear how they have truly created something that goes beyond Punk or Post-Punk. It goes beyond anything we’ve ever heard before. All you can do is listen obsessively because that’s the kind of hold they have on you. I wouldn’t have it any other way, would you?

 

 

Viagra Boys are on tour in June in the UK. I didn’t get a ticket to the Manchester show because I’m a twat and it’s sold out. Don’t mess up like I have and go get tickets to their shows, if they haven’t sold out yet!





THE LONG WIVES: Feel It All Wrong.

19 12 2019

Image result for the long wives

 

“Someday we’ll be brand new again
Someday we’ll be reborn.”

 

If there’s one person I vow to always write about, it will always be The Long Wives aka Brandy St.John. Her music means the world to me. Beyond the world. I remember when I first discovered her music many years ago, and I get that same feeling every time I listen to her. She seems to release a song just when I need it, and right now I do.

This time of year has now become a time of year I loathe. With the loss of my Grandma 4 months ago, everything and anything has felt wrong. I’ve been in a whirlwind of feelings I’m not sure of what to do with, but I have them so there’s that. Brandy St.John recently released the gorgeous and haunting Feel It All Wrong, and I can honestly say it is one of her most moving songs to date. She has this way with words that just makes you feel a little less alone, and a little less ashamed of what you carry on your shoulders.

The power she has in her has always left me in awe, and on this song it’s the combination of lyrics that hit you in the soul and her voice combined that really hit you. Brandy has this way with words that would make most envious, she has this gorgeous way of just putting you in these scenarios and really testing your strength by accepting your weaknesses. For me, that’s the sign of someone who goes above and beyond a musician. She is truly something else; I think she’s a superhero.

 

 

There are many parts to this song that I cherish, but this section of lyrics will break and mend your heart:

“I am the child again
and I feel it all wrong
Don’t spend your nights
Lost in the years it was all wrong
All that you’ve known is broken will, broken bone
Don’t give your nights to those who will steal it all before you go on.”

There is something about the above that you just connect to. I hope one day she puts her lyrics into a book because they truly read like poetry. I’d probably buy every copy to be honest. Whilst I’ve resigned myself to the fact that she may never tour the UK, we’ve got songs like this to carry us through.

For me, there is quite simply no one else like her and there never will be. Artists like Brandy are rare and so vital. Her music has been and continues to be such a huge part of my life because there is such beauty and hope in her words. I have no idea if anyone has tried to label her music but to be honest, I highly doubt you could. It’s out of this world- just like Patti Smith, Nick Cave and Townes Van Zandt.

Once you’ve listened to Feel It All Wrong, I encourage you to go and listen to her previous work. The darkness in the sound and the beauty in all she creates on this song, and the rest of her work stays with you and personally- it’s artists like Brandy that reinforce my love for music and writing about it. She is truly one of a kind.





FOOTBALL FC.

14 12 2019

football fc

 

Bristol. Home to many amazing bands. You know who they are; I’ve mentioned my favourite ones many times. It’s evidently a city that is home to amazing talent, and there is a lot more brewing. One band in particular have caught my attention. They only have a handful of songs out, but it is enough for me to fall in love with their sound. 2020 will belong to them, it’s only right that it does.

Football FC are unlike anything else you’ve ever heard. They are the band that I need, that YOU need, and everyone needs. Their sound is rowdy, vital and a joy to listen to. It’s something that you cannot get enough of, and before you know it- one listen has turned into hundreds.

 

 

Big Time came out in August and there’s something about the song, and their sound in general that reminds me a bit of The Fall. There’s this urgency within the vocals and music that just makes you feel like you’re listening to The Fall for the first time- that sheer excitement in your belly and consumes your brain. They’ve got that Mark E. Smith attitude nailed- just listen to Apartment and you’ll hear the King of the North flowing through. It’s brilliant. I know some try to get this sound and end up sounding like a blatant rip off; that is not the case with Football FC at all. The influence may be there but everything else is their own. I love them. I absolutely love them, and all you can do is take in the songs and let them take over your brain and body.

I know nothing about the band, but I do know that they are the most exciting bands around. Based on the three songs I’ve been obsessing over; they do make it so easy to praise them and become an instant fan. Apartment is a fantastic song and sits just under 7 minutes long (video below is shorter.)  It is a euphoric song that stays with you, and you just want to wrap yourself up in the comfort of this masterpiece. If you’re looking for a song to start with- make it this one. It’ll cancel out all you’ve ever known; it really is one of the year’s most beautiful and powerful songs. Everything about it just sums up why I believe in this band, and why they are just phenomenal.

Football FC are one of those bands that you just know are going to put on an insane show. You can sense and feel the passion in their songs on record, and I reckon they will go beyond this in their live shows. No Lover Like A Luger is a dark and captivating song- hugely obsessed with it. I love the way it sounds so intense and poetic, you cannot help but play it over and over. It just has you hooked, and it’s another reason as to why Football FC are going to be massive, they truly deserve to be. Besides, they’ve signed to Permanent Creeps so you know they are going to be huge!

 

 

Alright, I’m saving the rest for when they take over the world with their debut record (hopefully next year!) or their show in Manchester in March. Get behind this band, they are one of the most exciting bands around. Bristol has done it yet again!





DIRTY BURGER.

10 12 2019

dirtyburger

 

As I slowly recover from IDLES’ show last week here in Manchester, it is time to find something new to write about. I’m not over how great IDLES were, and I never will be. Of course, I’m annoyed at myself for waiting so long to see them. There were so many times where I could have gone, but things got in the way. Not this time though. That raw emotion is still there, and fortunately I can pour it all into writing about Dirty Burger.

Dirty Burger are a three-piece Garage Rock band from Gothenburg, and they’ve only got a couple of songs up on their Bandcamp page, but it is more than enough to get me hooked on their sound. If you love bands like BIKES, TV Crime, Leather Party etc- then you’re going to love Dirty Burger. They sound like a motorbike going a stupid speed down the motorway just to get a kick out of it. The band have songs that just fill you up with adrenaline, and the urge to try make your own noise. I say this about so many bands, yet I’ve never picked an instrument up. In my head, I have. That’s probably safer to be honest. Dirty Burger have this sound that just makes you want to constantly be in the state of bliss they give you, and they really give you this idea that their live show is probably something out of this world. You can just imagine being in a cramped room jumping about to their songs and being immersed in it all. There’s nothing better and thank god we have bands like this who aren’t afraid to be loud and off the wall.

 

 

I honestly have no idea how long they’ve been together or how long they’ve been making music for, but when you listen to the releases they’ve put out this year, it is easy to hear that they are so sure of how they want to sound and how they want their sound to come across. There’s something really special about this band, and I’m so excited to hear more from them. Here’s to 2020 being their year!

Their newest single, Drained came out a couple of days ago and it is one to play loud. I highly recommend their song Bathroom Boogie too; it’s got a bit of a New York Dolls feel to it. The guitar reminds me a little bit of Personality Crisis by the Dolls. I can hear a bit of Johnny Thunders in their sound, and I adore that. Afterall, he was the greatest.

Dirty Burger make songs to become obsessed with, to cancel out all exterior noise and to just get lost in the world they’ve created. They give you this Trashy/Glam Rock kind of feel, and it’s something we do not get enough of, and not many delve into but Dirty Burger do it in a way that makes you feel like you’ve headed right into this world that no one else has caught onto just yet. In time, they will. I hope they will.

Daytime TV is another song to really blast out super loud. The guitar on this one is something else, and I think it may be my favourite (for now) but like I said, I’m so excited to hear more from them. Henrik has such a distinctive voice, and it goes so well with Nicke and Sebastian. They fit perfectly, and from this they have truly created a side to Garage Rock that we haven’t heard in a while.

Dirty Burger are truly a remarkable band, and with just a handful of songs they have made a lasting impression on me for sure. They just make you wish you could be at their live shows every night, and just experience their songs in different ways constantly. For a band to do this so early on is something to be impressed with, and something I really hope that they are proud with. They are 3 musicians who are brilliant what they do.

 

 

Play it loud.





IDLES: Manchester Academy. 4th December 2019.

5 12 2019

idles

I apologise in advance for potentially how erratic and lengthy this will be. Last night’s show went beyond meaning the world to me, and although I may not be able to eloquently put into words what the show meant to me, I know that there is an incredible group of people who fully understand. That group of people are the AF Gang. Thank you.

Prior to the show last night Joe, Lee and Bobo walked past me. I stupidly (or sensibly) used my self-control to not go up to them and spurt out words of love and ask for a photo. I think part of me couldn’t believe it. Not that these real people walked past me, but because I was a couple of hours away from seeing them on stage. It hadn’t sunk in yet; the tickets were last minute (and I owe it to two complete strangers who have hearts of gold.)

Sadly, I didn’t make all the 45s set but what I could hear was truly wonderful and it sounded so energetic. But I did catch all METZ’s set. I think anyone who knows me, knows I love two bands a hell of a lot- METZ and IDLES. I saw METZ earlier this year when they played the Pink Room at YES (USA Nails supported, and again this was a dream line up.) I was blown away and I was left struggling to hear the day after. It was incredible. Second time around in a much bigger venue- they sounded the same. Full of this beautiful rowdiness that just makes you want to pick up a guitar and make a lot of noise. They are one of the best live bands around, and to see everyone else react the same was a beautiful thing too. Songs like Get Off and Acetate were sheer madness, and of course just made me fall in love with them all over again. If you ever get to see them, GO. In any capacity, just go. They’ll shake your bones and shatter your skull in the best way possible.

The main event. The bit where my heart beats faster in a good way, not from having a panic attack. The part where my life probably changes. Where it all kicks in.

IDLES take to the stage and open with Colossus. If you ever want to see a bunch of passionate, beautiful people rush to the front upon hearing the opening chords to an anthem- go to an IDLES show. This was the first time in a very long time where I was in the midst of the crowd. I normally stay back or near the side. I don’t do big venues usually. But I can safely say that I felt so fucking safe at this show. IDLES played 18 songs, and I’m pretty sure we would have begged them to stay longer and play them all again. They are a band that just make me feel so fucking happy and I honestly don’t know what I would do without them. They are a band that say the things I probably can’t, and just voice out my worries and emotions better than I ever could. They are my outlet and my safety net. I have never sung (well, shouted) like this at a show before. This morning my body hurts and my throat hurts in the best way possible. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Every single song is a highlight (we got QUEENS for fucks sake!!!) and I wanted to stay in the moment forever. Is this how someone feels when they see their child for the first time? I think this is probably better. From the crowd chanting IDLES prior to them coming on stage, from Bobo ending up in the crowd to Joe ending up with someone’s shoe on stage- this was truly the best gig I’ve ever, ever been to. Sorry Nick Cave, I think you’ve bene overtaken! The crowd chanting “Oh Jeremy Corbyn” to the mass sing along of Wonderwall and All I Want For Christmas Is You. It was the most loving and precious atmosphere; I just wanted to be immersed in it forever.

This was my first IDLES show and it won’t be my last. There is something about seeing them for the first time that just gives you that kick up the arse that you need. Everything that this band and us fans stand for is something to treasure and to pass on. There were kids at the gigs with their parents, and if it was their first ever gig then everything else in life has a lot to live up to! I loved that during Rottweiler birthday girl, Catherine got on stage to play guitar with them. To see a fellow AF Ganger up on stage with the band and just ripping the stage apart was beautiful. That’s how you do a birthday and close a show.

Slow Savage broke my heart. This was the only moment I cried during the show. There is something about the way Joe shouts, “I’m the worst lover that you’ll ever have” that rips you apart. It’s the sheer openness and vulnerability in their songs that lures you in and wraps itself around your heart. This song is a prime example of it. But there is something else about their shows that will wrap itself around your heart- the strong feeling of unity.

Danny Nedelko is sang like a football chant on the terraces. This song means a hell of a lot to me and so many. It’s a perfect example of what makes this country great- the people who come here to better themselves. Our beautiful immigrants. We love you and you are welcome here. Always.

I feel I am missing key moments from the show, but I’ve had 5 hours sleep and a bit of a migraine brewing. I don’t care. I have never felt so alive as I did last night. The atmosphere was safe and full of love- just how it should be. We got Queens for fucks sake! I’m still delirious over that; incredible. Last night changed something in me. I’m not entirely sure what just yet, but something will emerge I’m sure. It has to. Since losing my Gran 3 months ago, I’ve not had hold of any emotion I have; everything has been a downward spiral in my head but last night I had a glimmer of stability. I have to go with that.

There is also nothing more satisfying and therapeutic than screaming along to their song Mother, and yelling “MOTHER! FUCKER!” with a few thousand people. Nothing can beat that.

Keep fucking going, and love yourself. LOVE.YOURSELF.





HATE MOSS.

2 12 2019

HATEMOSS

 

There is so much that I love about Hate Moss that I have no idea where to begin. The name of the band alone should make you love them. This Brazilian/Italian duo are based in London, and I think if I still lived in London, they would be THAT band that I constantly go see. They have something about them that just makes you really want to invest in them. As far as duos go, they’re up there with the best of them. They take elements of bands I love and make something of their own which is beautifully dark and creepy.

I think the best time to listen to Hate Moss is, well, all the time! But aside from that, listening to them in the dark when nothing and no one is around is an ideal setting. I’ve got a few bands that I listen to like this, and there’s something so sacred about listening to music in this vulnerable setting. I guess in a way, it makes you really soak up everything that’s going on in a more heightened manner.

 

 

Hate Moss don’t make sounds for those wanting sickly delicate emotions and thoughts. They’re for those who aren’t afraid to stay on the edge of something that could probably terrify someone else. Their songs have this euphoric glow to them, and it is really brought to life on songs such as The Time Your Remake which is 8 minutes of sheer heaven. Their synth-based sounds remind me of the likes of Drab Majesty and my all-time love, Cold Cave. They give you this atmosphere that gets you right in the gut.

Hate Moss totally stop you in your tracks when you listen to them. You simply can’t do anything when you listen to them apart from just that- listen to them. The vocals will send shivers right through you, and the music alone will increase everything you could possibly feel when listening to them. Two people are doing this- just two people. The incredible thing is that they don’t have that many songs, but every song feels like this ethereal cloak of darkness that you want to constantly cover you. They are such a special band, and you can really hear where they want to go when you stop and listen to their music.

Songs like Evil and Honey were made for you to just play really, loud. They’re the kind of songs you can see yourself screaming back at the band. Sometimes you just find a band or a song that you absolutely cling to, and these songs because your everything for that specific moment in your life.

 

 

I could quite happily switch off from the world and listen to Hate Moss on a loop. I could also sleep for a few days because I am so tired. But anyway, Hate Moss have something about them that just makes you feel like their live shows are really something else. This duo really knows how to get the listener right in the gut, and with just a handful of songs- they have mastered this perfectly.





FANTAZMAZ: Better In My Head.

1 12 2019

fantamaz

 

This isn’t going to be long, because I’m not well and I’m not happy that I had to pass on seeing Amyl & The Sniffers tonight. I saw them earlier in the year, and I was SO excited about seeing them tonight. But it’s not meant to be. Instead, I made myself pizza and watched a film. I’m mad at myself for getting ill. I eat vegetables, I take vitamins and I do my best to look after myself (and the planet by not eating animals!) but it happens. I just wish it happened earlier or not at all! Anyway, you’re not here for that and neither am I.

Fantazmaz have just one song out, and that one song is powerful enough to write about. With the world evidently on its tits at the moment and lies being spat at us by pretty much every politician, it’s pretty easy to cling onto bands or a song that let out our frustrations, and Fantazmaz do exactly that. They are fronted by Thamila who has such fury in her vocals, and just reels you in immediately. I can only liken her to Amy from Amyl & The Sniffers, and I mean that because when I first heard Amy I thought “OH SHIT! WHAT IS THIS!?” And I was hooked, Thamila has done exactly the same. Raf and Chokis keep this fury up with their guitar and bass, then you have Edgar on the drums and it feels like he is the one sort of pushing the band to be louder and unapologetically ferocious. They may just have one song for now, but this one song is enough to make you really believe in this band.

 

 

I love how this song feels like you’re escaping everything around you and opting for living in your head. I wouldn’t recommend living in mine, but when you can create a world to escape from it gives you this comfort and to be honest, we all need that. It is such a vital Punk song, and once you hear it- it really stays with you. You have the chorus repeating in your head like a mantra, and it’s a pretty cool one to take on.

You can stream/buy the song on their Bandcamp page, and you can keep up to date with the band right here. I cannot wait to hear more from them because two minutes and nineteen seconds just isn’t enough!

Play it loud!





FONTAINES D.C. : O2 Ritz, Manchester 19th November 2019.

20 11 2019

 

fontainesdc

 

“A sell-out is someone who becomes a hypocrite in the name of money. An idiot is someone who lets their education do all of their thinking. A phony is someone who demands respect for the principles they effect. A dilettante is someone who can’t tell the difference between fashion and style. Charisma is exquisite manipulation, and money is a sandpit of the soul.”

 

Recently crowned by Rough Trade as being their record of the year, Dogrel by the mighty Fontaines D.C. is a record that you need to witness in a live setting. If like me, you’ve been playing it almost religiously since it came out this year you will know just how powerful this record is. It’s romantic, it’s brutal, it’s honest and it is powerful. There’s only one way to play it, and that’s loud. In a live setting, it becomes something else. I knew it was going to blow my mind, but my god it exceeded everything and anything I thought about this beautiful band.

Their set is basically Dogrel in full, and every song is performed with this ferocious energy that makes you believe in every single word that comes out of Grian’s mouth. He’s a poet yet he delivers the words in a way of a preacher, it’s absolutely hypnotising and such a great thing to witness. As I watch the band, I can’t help but feel that they have the same energy and presence that The Birthday Party had. Grian stalks the stage like a young Nick Cave; Carlos and Conor are like Rowland S. Howard and Mick Harvey/Blixa.

 

 

Fontaines D.C. are unapologetically loud, and they touch on subjects that most tend to shy away from. Their songs touch on the sexism in the workplace to dreaming of being big to black cab drivers. There is so much reality in their songs, and this reality is something that many would fear or try to shy away from. No one at the Ritz last night was shying away from any of this. Pints of beer were flying; middle aged men were screaming the songs at the top of their lungs and the kids at the front were no doubt soaking up everything Fontaines were giving us to create their own noise in the future. I sure hope they do.

Songs like Too Real, Sha Sha Sha and Liberty Belle see the venue absolutely erupt in euphoria. We all know that this is one of the greatest records of the year and beyond, but trust me it all changes when you see it live and when you are surrounded with people who love this record, and this band as much as you do. You feel at home and oddly secure. Chequeless Reckless was my highlight for sure, but I’m going to touch on the set closer Big shortly which was equally as powerful. So, Chequless Reckless goes beyond being a song; it is a vital piece of poetry that should be studied. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if, in the future their lyrics find their way onto syllabuses in schools. Fontaines are no doubt our future and are showing us a side that we need to be exposed to. You can see their world anywhere, but so many chose to ignore it. Don’t. Just don’t. I love the way the band just play with this urgency and dedication to make these songs be heard. Grian’s vocals takeover the venue, but when you see the sheer devotion in the way Tom beats the living shit out of the drums and how Conor treats his bass like a machine gun not to forget how Carlos and Conor thrash their guitars about with this sheer Punk energy that would make even Johnny Ramone proud if he was here. If you were at this show last night, chances are that like me, your love and obsession for Fontaines has gone through the roof.

The band end with Dogrel’s opener, Big. In a way, this has become a bit of an anthem. All their songs have done this. Fontaines could easily sell out arenas there’s no denying that, and maybe this will now be the last time we get to see them in a venue this size but their songs and the way they perform them do create a sense of intimacy and sheer devotion between the band and the fans. Big is THAT song that will inspire many to get out of their current town and to make it elsewhere. Anyone can do it, and the self-belief that Fontaines have, and had got them where they are now. Big is the song you play to pump yourself up or to just give yourself reassurance that you can make something of yourself, even if your beginnings aren’t grand.

 

 

If you’re looking for a band that will blow your mind, burst your eardrums and leave you covered in other people’s drinks- then go to a Fontaines show. It was most certainly one of those shows that you know people will be talking about in decades from now; it was memorable for so many reasons, and as time goes on those reasons will evolve. People will start bands because of this show, people will create their own poetry because of this show, this band and Dogrel. There is no denying just how brilliant Fontaines are and of course, they deserve to be big. Last night’s show went beyond proving that. Definitely one of my favourite shows of the year.

 





EZRA FURMAN: Albert Hall, Manchester. 12th November 2019.

13 11 2019

 

ezra-furman-2019

 

Yesterday was my birthday; it was the first without my Grandma. It was a weird and painful day. Thank god I had my girlfriend and an Ezra Furman show to distract me.

I’ve been a fan of Ezra for so long, and various things I’ve always got in the way of me ever catching a show of his. The main being me having panic attacks. He once played a tiny venue right by my old house on Chatsworth Road in London, of course I couldn’t go because I had a panic attack and was broke. Living just to pay rent and have no life is now a thing of the past, but back then it was pretty much all I did. Last night was special for so many reasons.

 

 

The crowd was full of people who just made the show feel like home. To see the front row absolutely scream the words back to Ezra gave off a sense of hope. They are our future, and maybe they’ll be the ones to fix all the fuck ups that past and present leaders have caused. The crowd was made up of beautiful people from our LGBTQ+ community. People were free to be whoever they wanted, dress however they wanted and to just be free. To truly be free. I sincerely hope Ezra is aware of the power and influence he has, and how he is probably spurring on a younger generation to speak up and fight back.

There were so many moments in the set where you could truly feel and hear the words being screamed by Ezra and being screamed back at Ezra louder than most. I did my very best to hold back tears for many reasons, and to hear certain lines being sung just caused some tears to fall. There’s one line that I have in the back of my mind constantly from his brilliant song (and one of my favourites from Twelve Nudes) My Teeth Hurt. I love the line, “I don’t know how I’m doing lately. Fuck you if you ask.” I didn’t have it in me to scream that line last night, but I have it constantly screaming in my head. If I could personally thank Ezra for writing that line, and that song I truly would. I really cannot put into words just how much that line means to be. It’s a crutch for me.

We all know that Twelve Nudes is probably the best record of the year, and it’s been my safety net since it came out. I love how on the record you can truly hear the fury in Ezra’s voice. The cracks in his voice on the songs occur just as beautifully on stage. You can really feel every single emotion when Ezra does songs like Calm Down, Evening Prayer and Trauma. He played about 22 songs last night, and I’m pretty sure we want Ezra and his band to just stay on stage forever. He’s our hero, he’s our voice. Thank fuck we have people like him. He’s 2 months older than me, but I still idolise him in the same way I idolise Patti Smith and Nick Cave. He’s everything to me, and he is everything to everyone who was at the show last night.

Hearing the new songs live was such a beautiful experience but it is older songs like My Zero (who he dedicated to our Mancunian treasure, Marc Riley), Haunted Head and Love You So Bad were such an honour to see and hear. He created moments on stage that you just wanted to stay in for the rest of time. I have never felt so safe at a show; it felt like home. It felt like we were all witnessing something truly powerful yet utterly sacred. Of course, I wish I had seen him live before, but to see him in a venue that I adore, with my favourite person was most certainly worth waiting for.

Suck The Blood From My Wound opened the show, and it was played with this urgency that made you instantly realise just how vital this show was going to be. It is one of those shows that you know you and all those who were there will be talking about in many years to come. I hope the younger kids there start their own band and get their voices heard. I hope anyone who felt out of place, felt at home at this show. The way which Ezra and everyone screams, “To them we’ll always be freaks” is so powerful. Everyone felt it, as did I. You could tell that from the first song that this was going to be a truly remarkable show, and you could see on Ezra’s face that he knew immediately too. This beautiful city means a lot to Ezra, and the love and respect is hugely reciprocated.

I could write thousands and thousands on my love for Ezra and about the show last night. If you’ve ever seen his show, you’ll know exactly what I mean and how safe it all feels. Ezra is someone who plays shows with everything he has. He leaves it all on stage. He pours his heart out into these songs; sure, you can hear it on record, but to truly witness this live is something else. Twelve Nudes is the Punk record he always wanted and needed to make. It’s the Punk record I always needed. His cover of The Clash’s Police On My Back (which is also a cover) was beautifully done, and I saw one person on the opposite side of my totally lose his shit to it. It was beautiful. The setlist was perfect. Every single song was played with such passion and fury. Every song made you feel like you belonged and that they were for you.

 

 

The show last night was made up of all ages, races, genders and sexuality. It was a freeing and welcoming atmosphere. Also, the person selling the merch was just the sweetest. I just needed to add that.

Given my own personal circumstances, I can say that this is one of the best shows I have ever EVER been to. If you have the chance to see Ezra, go. Go and sing your heart out with him.

“And if it’s not enough to keep the lights on
Let ’em turn the lights off
Broken spirit and a bad cough
Turn ’em off, turn ’em off
And when you’re really at the end of your rope
No, you don’t take the night off
Too many demons to fight off
Cut me off, cut me off.”

Thank you, Ezra. Thank you.