CORPORATIONPOP: Meet Me By The Viaduct.



I have a few days left in London, then it is off to the place that’s always felt like home. Manchester. Home to some of the best music and poets. Home. It will soon be my home. I’ve wanted to move there since I finished university. Things got in the way. I’ve properly been trying for nearly 2 years now to move there, and now it is happening. I should be scared, I should be nervous. I’m excited. There’s no better person to write about to cement my move than corporationpop aka Elise Hadgraft.

Her words remind me of a Sunday evening, dreading the working week. Her humour and observations are absolutely brilliant. Her voice/accent truly make these songs a joy to listen to. I listen to her words and her way with words, and it gives off this homely feel to it. You feel as if you’re sat down with your best mate in the pub/working men’s club drinking lukewarm beer or sat at home nursing a good cup of teas. Her words are comforting yet uncomfortable. Bleach evokes this. Then you have the beautiful observations of Stockport in the effortlessly brilliant Seven Miles South.

I’m not someone who can always write without being biased, so everything I’m writing about the new corporationpop release is obviously going to be one-sided, but then you listen to songs like Ted Hughes and it is so obvious how amazing Elise is. She’s got this incredible way with words, and you cannot help be in awe of her. The way she writes, the way she presents her words are so full of real life and raw references. References that are so wonderfully Northern. It makes you feel so at home and more aware of what it around you.

Meet Me By The Viaduct is such a fantastic EP that makes the mind wander. You may never get to the place where Elise is, but that’s okay. Maybe you’re watching her watching the world go by and creating it all here- as corporationpop. This EP is the perfect imagery of Northern life, and it is fantastic. I won’t do the North/South divide here- it doesn’t need to be done. It’s obvious what is better! Something I absolutely adore about this EP is the way that Elise says her words. The way she can effortlessly (I know I say it a lot- sorry!) put you where she is, and her way of doing so goes beyond being just words.

It is such a powerful body of work, and her words should be studied by kids at school. Honestly, she has this greatness to her that should be explored by all and learnt. Imagine being in school and having something like Elise’s words being shown to you, and you get to express what they mean to you. I’m pretty sure more kids would be turned on to poetry. And maybe they would turn off their phones.

I love the bitterness in Ted Hughes and how it comes across. I love how these words feel like something expressed after someone has just pissed you off too much you have to write a song about them, but in a way that holds a lot of wit, wisdom and a nice chunk of disdain.

This is the second corporationpop release but by no means does it play into to the “difficult second album” myth. If anything, it totally squashes it. In just 4 songs, you are taken to a place that feels like Corrie circa the 60s mixed with bus stop musings and observations.

I truly haven’t done Meet Me By The Viaduct any justice, so it’s probably best if you pre-order it here: and find out for yourself.

Meet Me By The Viaduct will be released on 20th April via Odd Box Records.

CORPORATIONPOP: The Chester Road Demos.



There is something quite poetic about daily life, and it is thanks to poets like Elise Hadgraft that we are able to find comfort in the mundane tribulations of daily life. Her words remind you of Pulp mixed with the genius that is, John Cooper Clarke. Those that observe closely write the best, and that’s what makes Elise so bloody great.

Her words are beautifully spoken over gentle synths that fortunately do not overshadow her wonderful Northern accent. We all know that Northern accents are the best- this wouldn’t work if she was from elsewhere. You feel as if you are in her living room with her slurping on lukewarm tea as you become engrossed in her words. I love how gorgeous her way with words are. There is something so raw and powerful in how she is fearless with her words.

She may shoot you down, but she’ll do it in a way that doesn’t hurt. A sharp tongue like Morrissey mixed with lighter Suicide sounds. For me, this is ideal. This is what I want from music and from poets. That unapologetic honesty that puts you right where the writer is coming from.

You Write Songs is probably my favourite on the EP so far. I love the picturesque cleverness in her words and how she says them. It also comes across in Before The NME Was Free has this romantic bitterness to it that makes you remember the days when the NME was a respectable broadsheet publication. Now it’s just..well..Topman fodder isn’t it. You see them every week lurking outside train stations, the poor sods, trying to flog free copies of the NME. As the day progresses, you see more and more wet trodden in copies on the floor. Can’t even give it away.

Sylvia Suburban has some of the best lyrics on the EP. You can’t help but think of someone who fits the description of Sylvia. You partly feel bad for them, but the other part of you can’t help but smirk at the accuracy of it all. Or maybe you are Sylvia. For me the makings of a great writer are those who can really make you vision everything in what they are saying, everything they are trying to evoke in their words stirs inside of you. You connect. With each listen you reconnect. There is no switching off here at all.

There is one line on this EP that I love so much. I love the tone of Vintage Lingerie, and for me the line “Your new girlfriend smokes slims. Dances like she swims.” is just genius like- like John Cooper Clarke observant. A sharp-witted tongue that will take no prisoners. There is so much to love about Elise’s words and how she delivers them, and I think in some respects it is HOW she says it that really makes you connect with her art.

It is a proper work of art that hangs in your mind rather than on your wall. The words echo daily. Over and over.



“I know it’s hard for you to face the fact Max Factor failed your face
And that your social life’s misshapen ‘cuz you feel so out of place.”

Many will argue what defines Punk and what is Punk. Is it still alive or did it die a quick but painful death? Everyone has their own take on it. Some think it is putting a safety pin through their ear but some may regard it being a state of mind. I’m with the latter. For me it is something that goes beyond three chords and ripped jeans. Music always goes beyond what is expected, and Punk did just that. It still does that.

I can’t remember how old I was but I’d imagine I was in my teens when I first heard of Richard Hell. I heard Marquee Moon by Television and was fully aware that I was listening to something I could never be turned off from. Of course I was born too late to experience the Punk movement when it started, but I realised quite quickly that this wasn’t something I was going to let go of nor was I going to take this music lightly. I delved into the bands that Richard Hell had been involved with, but more importantly I seemed to care about what he had to say rather than what band he was in.

Over the past few years I’ve spent a fair amount of time reading his poetry, his reviews, his essays, his thoughts, his autobiography- really anything he wrote, I would track down and read religiously. The only person I’ve had this urge to really indulge in all they do is Patti Smith. For me, they are people with great minds who make you think. I’ll take someone who makes me question everything and everyone over someone who doesn’t, easily. I’m currently nearing the end of Massive Pissed Love, it’s a collection of his work from 2000-2014. I find everything he writes to be utterly captivating and it sets my mind off. He talks about topics most would shy away from and he’s not afraid to voice his opinion. From his thoughts on art to sex, he makes you think. What most would shun as a “taboo” he just gives it to you without a second thought. That is Punk.

The best way to learn anything is to experience it, but I still regard Patti Smith, Morrissey and Joey Ramone as the best teachers I ever had. They held my attention more than any teacher ever could. Richard Hell is up there too. There have been a handful of writers that really got me into poetry and lured me into always having a notebook with me in case I felt the need to unleash pathetic words onto a page. Words no one will ever see. What Richard Hell taught me was to really go from the heart and not be too cautious with where it takes me. Having a careful tongue isn’t fun. It’s alright to cross the line at times and it’s a fucking great thing to question everything around you.

Richard Hell was (and probably still is) my vision of a rebel. The way he was on stage, his words, his look- everything about him oozed something different to everyone else. You couldn’t help but really fall in love with him. I’ve read his autobiography a few times, and with each read I find something new to love and admire about him. In the 80s he pretty much stopped making music and focused on his writing. Sure I’d love a new record by Richard but he writes so beautifully that it doesn’t seem to matter. The music he did made still sounds timeless and his words still resonate with you. He was part of the ULTIMATE super group- The Heartbreakers (featuring the greatest guitarist, Johnny Thunders) and on stage or off, he had this way of just getting under your skin in the best way imaginable.

I didn’t really go into this with any idea with what I wanted to get at, I guess I just wanted to unleash my respect for the guy somehow. I’ve spent years being in awe of his way with words. He doesn’t complicate things in order for you to see things how he does. He has this Rimbaud quality to his work that can be easy to miss but when you get right into the heart of it, you can pick up the influences. But then, you go a bit deeper and realise that there is nobody else quite like him. Sure you can pick up on who has possibly influenced him, but it slowly fades away because Richard Hell is something else. He is truly something else.

His song lyrics read like perfect poetry. The kind of poetry kids should be studying in schools to free and expand their mind. If I was an English teacher, I’d be fighting for the curriculum to have his work along with Patti Smith. Punk taught me nearly everything I know. Sure I don’t know much, but there’s always the time to learn more. I learnt very early on that I always felt like an outsider and where I was, wasn’t where I should be. I never felt part of anything, but I’ll take being part of the Blank Generation any day.




In love, darkness, desperation and heartache, 

I was guided by the angel of New York City. 

Walking with clenched fists and gritting my teeth. 

I want to be set free, I’m in search of Candy. 

The angel took me to their hell and showed me how to make it a peaceful state of heaven. 

A piece of me, a piece of him. 

I turned a blind eye to my sins. 

Slowly and softly his words carry me through. 

 I drag my feet across unfamiliar ground, 

And I welcome the ugly feelings that I should ignore. 

I wait for the unknown. 

His words circle my mind going deep into my soul. 

I’d go back in time to find a cure. 

For all the souls that didn’t quite get there. 

In love and courage, you’re standing in your leather and shades. 

I’ll linger on. 

I wrote this a few hours after hearing Lou Reed had died last year. I know you should never publicise your private thoughts, but I suppose some things just have to be let out. I don’t enjoy showing anyone my poor attempt at poetry, I’ve only ever shown not even a handful. I have no idea why I’m doing this but maybe it doesn’t need a reason. Not everything does.

The loss of someone like Lou is beyond words, and it leaves a gap. But at least someone like him existed and gave us a legacy of music that will forever inspire.

You’re missed Lou.