Slam Drunk 2018: Dying of Shame

words and photos by oliver butler (@notoliverbutler)

Maybe to you, a boring idiot, Slam Dunk Festival is a pretty nifty one day festival that spreads its rich mix of bands across the four corners of this land (apart from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, because fuck those guys right?!), but to the more experienced and festival-savvy of us, Slam Dunk is a test of endurance; a one day alcoholic assault course that pushes your drinking tolerance, fitness and mental endurance.

Of course, those of you who followed last year’s boozy commentary, or had the severe misfortune of running into me will attest that I push my physical, mental and emotional limits to the maximum when it comes to Slam Drunk. Slam Drunk is for slamming beers, maybe for grabbing a £30 slice of pizza, and absolutely not about sticking to an itinerary of bands you wish to see. The compact nature of the festival makes it ideal to stumble around from stage to stage, spending the whole time trying to work out who the fuck this band is, but largely enjoying their sound.

Same rules as last year apply: a running tally of all beers must be kept, a beer must be drank between or during bands, and the third inning is known as the beer inning.

We run into the NEC with the Official Transistor Beer Counter at 8, and the first band on today are:

Four Year Strong (Jagermeister Stage)

For me, Four Year Strong are that band that did that really good cover of Love Song by Sara Bareilles. I don’t mean that in a negative way, I just remember slamming that Punk Goes Pop album on repeat with FYS getting a LOT of playtime, and that obviously introduced me to the band’s wider work. Maybe I was late to the party then, but I was certainly late to the party today as I rocked up halfway through their set… blame widespread rail cancellations, nationalise it all.

However, if the first half was as good as the second, Four Year Strong put on a blinding show, sounding tight throughout Find My Way Back, Maniac, It Must Really Suck to be Four Year Strong Right Now, closing the set out with Wasting Time. It was at this point the stars aligned and I found some of my friends, so as the final notes from Four Year Strong’s set resonated throughout the NEC’s main hall, I heard the sweetest sound of all as someone said “Beer?”.

BAND RATING: 7/10
BEER COUNTER: 10 (one in Spoons pre-FYS, one post FYS)

34184475_10155346630940811_8272347306926276608_n.jpg

Sure, It Must Really Suck to be Four Year Strong Right Now, but not as much as it sucks to be me, as I dropped my beer. Some might argue it was down to a high level of intoxication, however, I dropped my beer because I saw several assassins approaching my friends, and in the process of performing several highly complex martial arts manoeuvres to save their lives, I dropped my beer. They will not be able to confirm this story due to the high speed in which these moves were performed, but I’m sure they are most grateful. Coming up after that dramatic fight were a band I’m so very excited about, and even more excited about to see for the first time…

Creeper (Jagermeister Stage)

Possibly one of, if not the most exciting bands in the United Kingdom right now, I have been excited to see Creeper since they were announced. Let’s be honest, compared to recent years, the line up’s a bit shit, but Creeper are one of the bands to justify the ticket fee alone. Sure, I was late to the party, as the first time I heard Eternity, In Your Arms, Creeper were just bringing their headline UK tour to a close, but when I did, it was easily one of the best albums I’d heard in 2017. Not too heavy, not too light, it was the Goldilocks of albums in 2017 as it was juuuust right.

As soon as the lights went out, the first bar of Black Rain struck and there was a buzz in the air as, and I didn’t have my glasses on, a suitably filling NEC greeted Creeper to the stage. It was an expertly crafted set from the Southampton band, giving a perfect mix of beginning to present, including Astral Projection, Suzanne and Black Mass. Something I noted on when giving an end of year review to Eternity, In Your Arms was how impressive the vocal blend of Will Gould and Hannah Greenwood was, and in the live arena, it’s no different, but the latter was simply sublime when performing a huge rendition of Crickets, with the vocal blend switching to between Hannah and the NEC. Hiding With Boys was also a highlight, it’s got a real bouncy feel to it.

Fingers crossed these guys get back on it soon and carry on building on the strong foundations they laid in 2017. I’m looking forward to seeing them again at 2000 Trees, where I promise to be more lucid.

BAND RATING: 9/10

BEER COUNTER: 11

img_6579

Shit… what happened after Creeper? I’m pretty sure something happened after Creeper. There was a wrestling match before or after. Look, I paid fifty quid to see Creeper and sink a beer. It’s my money pal, if I want to blow it on indulgent and unnecessary things, you’re gonna have a hard time stopping me. Oh, oh, and if I want to stall for time to fill an article where I can’t remember what happened, I fucking well will. Yeah? Anyway, I remember what happened and we went to the food court, which, seeing as it’s Slam Dunk, meant seeing another band, and oh boy, was this gonna be good as we saw…

Counterparts (Impericon Stage)

I was gutted to have missed Counterparts supporting Architects at Alexandra Palace earlier in the year, so seeing they’d be at Slam Drunk made everything okay again. The good news was the Impericon Stage has been moved into the food court this year, meaning everyone could enjoy something heavy whilst getting a £5,000,000 shawarma. Not for me thank you, I’m on a liquid diet.

Mightily impressed by these guys, especially with their stage presence as they tore it up as everyone grabbed an early tea. Their Spotify bio is just literally “nice music”, which is probably the most honest and least pretentious Spotify bio I’ve ever seen. Oh, and nice it was as they dropped hardcore bombs like Bouquets, Thieves, Choke and Rope. Simple, quick, one word songs. No idea what they opened with as I was still at Creeper as they came on, and beer makes me slow.

However, I turned 25 this year, which means I’m a very old man and must divert my attention to doing things like having dinner parties, and of course, what DO you play for ambient music at a dinner party? Considering that they delightfully soundtracked a room full of people eating dinner, Counterparts are my number one choice for dinner music.

BAND RATING: 8/10

BEER COUNTER: 12

Seriously, why have I drank so much today? Thank fuck I’ve got tomorrow off. I need a wee. I could do with some food but £9,000,000,000 for pizza? Fuck off pal. Sat outside and listened to Capdown on the Fireball Stage. Maybe these guys deserve a review but I can’t really remember anything about them apart from the fact they were pretty good. In this time I also missed Twin Atlantic, due to numerous scheduling conflicts. Basically I’d jump out here, as we’re hitting peak levels of “fucked it” right now. Then you sort of hit a swirl where you’ve seen about fourteen bands in the space of five minutes but you’ve no clue who the fuck any of them are, or who you are. Saw Creeper signing autographs, thought about joining the queue, decided against as I was too drunk and I’d end up interviewing them, but about their favourite drunk takeaway food as several presumably burly security guards whisked me away.

34087921_10155346630585811_182100870979125248_n

Whatever, want me to talk about another band? I don’t. I don’t know why anyone reads the bollocks that comes off the end of my fingers and onto your screen. Anyway, here’s…

Trash Boat (Signature Brew Stage)

Oh these guys were fun, I couldn’t have told you a thing about them before, but they’re definitely one of those you’re pleasantly surprised by. The Hertfordshire punks played a great set to a brilliant crowd, firing blasts like Catharsis, Pangea and Shade. Again, nice one word songs, easy for the drunk, tired brain to process, meaning you can put more time into bipedal humanoid functions like walking, talking and stopping yourself from screaming every five seconds.

I’d say if I had to pick a “surprise” band of the day, it’d be Trash Boat, largely because I was surprised to be seeing them, but overwhelmingly because I was so impressed with their sound and their stage presence. Some bands you see at a festival one year and discard, but Trash Boat sold themselves well, pretty amazing considering they are named after a boat that has garbage on it.

BAND RATING: 8/10

BEER COUNTER: 15 (Saw someone serving two pinters and hot damn did my day go uphill)

34066813_10155346630385811_6104636338647072768_n

Nothing will ever beat Slam Drunk 2015 though, I got blasted, saw a load of metal bands including a headline set from Architects, met Dan from Bury Tomorrow and didn’t have a hangover the next day. Also it was at Wolverhampton Civic which is a far superior venue in a far superior city. The NEC is a cold, unloving monolith, the Civic is a warm, caring building. However, I know a band who’d make up for all that, and I’m hoping that band would be…

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes (Jagermeister Stage)

All day. All fucking day we’d been chomping at the bit for Juggernaut. Electricity followed us as we were just anticipating Juggernaut, and Juggernaut did not disappoint as Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes rattled the NEC with their sonic assault opening the proceedings. Someone got crowdsurfed and booted me in the head. Straight out the game. Big headache. However, that did not stop my fun during Fangs, and did not stop me doing my duty during Wild Flowers. I’ve said it before, but I love how it’s used to have girls safely crowdsurf, of course, this should be every song of every show by every band, but I love the fact that’s what Wild Flowers is for. Neck canes though, when you’re 6″4, you are the stairway to crowdsurfing. I love seeing Vampires in the setlist too, it’s a real simple song but that’s why it’s so good, the chorus is thumping and the drums and the Ooohohwowowowoah in the bridge is sublime.

It was a whistle stop tour through their discography, with Paradise, Snake Eyes and Devil Inside Me rocking up, and rocking out. It’s a shame really, as you can’t help but feel they’ve got the clout to be a bit higher on the bill, maybe at the top on say the Monster Stage? Maybe it’s too soon, but when you have such a plethora of stages available, throwing a box office band in at the top could pay off massively. It would’ve been good to see Beautiful Death, Primary Explosive and Spray Paint Love, but when you’re third from the top, you’ve got to go shock and awe. And awe it was.

It’s at this point I’d like to apologise to Frank Carter, his security guard, my fan and my future children, as during er, Jackals(?), a man called Frank jumped into the crowd, right in front of me! It was at this point a maverick journalist decided he’d get a “selfie”‘ with this man, for the sake of a good story. The selfie didn’t take, I just couldn’t take a good selfie, and I ruined everything. Frank probably doesn’t remember a fat, sweaty drunk man in a Spray Paint Love t shirt fucking up a photo op, because stuff like that is water off a duck’s back to a pro like him, but it will haunt me for the rest of my life. If I saw Frank Carter in the street, I’d cross the road, out of shame, I couldn’t face him. A week ago I’d have shook his hand with enthusiasm, now I couldn’t even look him in the eye. I can’t listen to Blossom or Modern Ruin any more, because I’m so full of shame for trying to take a selfie. Who the fuck am I, Philip fucking Schofield? It’s been five days now and I can’t sleep, I can’t look at myself in the mirror, because the man who stares back is a man who can’t take a selfie. Frank, I’m so sorry…

In my mind, Frank sang I Hate You about me, because I was the man who tried taking a photo. I’ve done some cringe things when drunk but this really takes the cake. To borrow a lyric, “What did I do last night, and will I be ashamed?”. Fuck sake.

BAND RATING: 9/10

BEER COUNTER: 16

ME RATING: -1,000,000/10

Right so, this is where I died of shame and my friend decided he was actually dead so I rescued him and kept everyone awake on the train home. I did see PVRIS, but only like, thirty seconds of them, so just imagine they were fucking brilliant.

As for me, I shall never go to a gig or drink again, apart from tonight where I am drinking, and tomorrow night where I am going to a gig. However, seeing as I died of shame, I shall be doing both of these as a ghost.

If you were at Slam Drunk, please let me know how it was for you, and how you managed to make an arse out of yourself in one of your favourite singers, it would soothe my weeping wounds greatly.

Advertisements

The Best Gigs of 2017

It’s finally here: no, not Christmas, list season BAYBEE! A culmination of all the good, and bad, that the year has had to offer, we’re kicking things off with some positive content about the live shows that the team loved every second of.

Before we get into each team member’s choice, let’s have a glance at some of the honourable mentions that deserve a shoutout…

The Vegan Leather @ TRNSMT

19905019_1053017811499277_8538661191816263813_n1

At a festival with some of the biggest names in music, it goes to show how utterly impressive this Paisley art-rock outfit were at the debut entry of TRNSMT. “Talking Heads meets Yeah Yeah Yeahs meet LCD-Soundsystem” is the only way we managed to describe their sound yet that still doesn’t do The Vegan Leather justice: if you’re lucky enough to have New Years free from work then be sure to boogie on down to see this foursome kill it at King Tuts.

FULL REVIEW HERE

SWAY @ Tenement Trail

Photo Courtesy of Cameron Brisbane | Twitter | Facebook
Photo Courtesy of Cameron Brisbane | Site |Facebook | Twitter

If our accolade of “Best Band At Tenement Trail 2017“, a prestigious award depending on who you ask, wasn’t enough to do SWAY‘s performance at Nice N Sleazy justice then let this be your final telling off. Presenting a beautiful blend of indie rock finesse with shoegaze and pop influences, the Paisley act put on an amazing show featuring great tunes, inflatable footballs and a bloody nose (#PrayForDanDrennan).

FULL REVIEW HERE

Wolf Alice @ Barrowlands

Wolf-Alice-1-1-1024x684.jpg
Photo courtesy of Jose Ramon Caamaño | Facebook | Flickr |

Hot off the back of providing one of the best sophomore releases of the decade, lovely London lot Wolf Alice treated their Glasgow fans to not one but two shows at the iconic Barrowlands venue. Playing a healthy dose of the old and the new, along with some golden oldies like Blush, the indie rock outfit show that they deserve every morsel of hype they’ve accumulated over the past few years.

And now, onto the team’s top picks…

Isabella McHardy (@isabellamchardy)Strange Bones @ TRNSMT

maxresdefault (3)

I hadn’t heard of them before but a friend suggested we go see Strange Bones – it was by far my favourite performance of the festival and ultimately the entire year. They played the tiny Jack Daniel’s Jack Rocks tent on the Sunday and it was perfect. They played with such an infectious energy, I couldn’t stop smiling the whole set.

The entire tent was jumping up and down and yelling even if they didn’t know the words. They were probably one of the heaviest bands at the festival but they still managed to pull in such an enthusiastic crowd. The band were crowd surfing and running into the audience throughout the show but no one got tired of it. It was the first gig I had been to in a while where I felt completely ecstatic. After their set, I couldn’t wait to get home so I could go through their discography.

Disappointingly, their EP’s don’t live up to how they perform live, but I would still go see them again just for the atmosphere and the ‘Theresa is a Terrorist’ t-shirts.

FULL REVIEW HERE

Callum Thornhill (@calthornhill) – Sorority Noise, Turnover & Citizen @ Camden Underworld

IMG_5530.JPG

They say good things come in threes. Wise men. Amigos. So on and so forth. For this ridiculously intimate show; it was American emo icons that arrived as a magnificent trio. Heading to Camden’s Underworld via stunning performances at this year’s Slam Dunk Festival came Citizen and Turnover; ‘supported’ by Sorority Noise.

What made this an incredible line-up was the enthusiasm shared by bands towards other bands, fans to bands and even bands to fans. Splitting the set times evenly, no band took the limelight, however, Sorority Noise were first up to get things going. With third LP, You’re Not as _____ as You Think released earlier this year, it was the first time many fans had heard tracks such as Car and No Halo; Cameron Boucher even recited Manchester Orchestra’s I Can Feel a Hot One ahead of No Halo. These new, heartfelt ballads combined with golden older tracks, e.g Nolsey and Using, made Sorority Noise the perfect opener.

Turnover were next up and thankfully, and I am sure fellow fans will agree, they decided to play a set full of classics rather than cramming their set full of Good Nature tracks. Peripheral Vision dominated the setlist with the crowd singing along to everything from Cutting My Fingers Off to the iconic Dizzy on the Comedown. A mellow atmosphere greeted the Virginia outfit, who took it in their stride to engage in a chilled out yet passionate vibe.

‘Headlining’ for the evening were Ohio/Michigan alt-rockers Citizen. Brutally belting out The Summer instantly showed what was about to unfold. The highlight of the set was How Does it Feel? purely because the dark, moody atmosphere perfectly complemented the pitch black surrounding of the Underworld. Giving Yellow Love and Cement air-time before The Night I Drove Alone closed their slot, Citizen gave a stunning performance to cap off an amazing night of bands from across the pond.

To conclude, good things do come in threes, and this line-up does nothing but emphasise that fact.

Ethan Woodford (@human_dis4ster) – Gorillaz @ Hydro, Glasgow

image1

In a year where I finally saw some of my all-time favourite bands (Radiohead, The Libertines) as well as seeing some old friends again (Wolf Alice, Basement), every gig stuck out in my mind but none more so than the Gorillaz‘s massive show at the Hydro.

Having been desperate to see them for years, it was such a joy to hear some of my favourite songs sung back by thousands of people in unison. Damon Albarn was in top form, a massive smile barely leaving his face except when he was stood at the edge of the stage trying to look menacing during Clint Eastwood. It’s commendable a man of his talent and success is still so humbled by fans singing his lyrics and his constant gratitude to his many guests and backing band members made for a wholesome sight. 

Speaking of his guests, they only added to the spectacle, from De La Soul to the show-stealing Vince Staples, each guest injected even more energy to the atmosphere and by midway through the set, the entire crowd was bouncing,

A truly mesmerising gig that had me smiling for the rest of the night after, Damon Albarn and his friends deserve the crown of best live show of the year.

Ryan Martin (@ryanmartin182) – Childish Gambino @ Radio City Music Hall

childish-gambino-radio-city
Photo Courtesy of Bradley Robinson

Seeing Childish Gambino co-headline an event at Radio City Music Hall with Dave Chappelle was truly something special but after his announcement earlier this summer that he would be retiring after his next album, it truly made the concert something to be cherished forever.

Being a massive Donald Glover fan, I had never seen him perform live as Childish Gambino except for a small radio show festival performance where he only did his biggest hits before exiting. Gambino at Radio City Music Hall exceeded my expectations from the multi-talented performer. He performed the majority of his new album Awaken My Love with the help of a full band, backup singers, and an incredible display of lights and visuals.

Hearing AML live without the vocal effects made for an entirely new experience of the album. The album sounded fresher, more exciting and more fun live. Gambino’s performance was incredible, filled with passionate shrieks reminiscent of Prince in his prime. He showcased his dancing skills throughout the set and was all over the stage, even moonwalking at one point.

Gambino’s decision to perform most of AML with exception to 3005, Sweatpants and Sober really showed how much Gambino has matured in recent memory and how he is beginning to grow out of most of his discography. This could be a partial reason for his decision to retire the Childish Gambino moniker and will almost surely affect his future touring schedule. One thing is for sure, if Gambino stops by your area, be sure not to miss out.

Andrew Barr (@weeandreww) – Frank Ocean @ Parklife

frank-ocean-parklife-gettyimages-695300028.jpg
Photos Courtesy of Parklife

Here lies the critical irony; my favourite show of the year, Frank Ocean’s surreal headline slot at Parklife festival could scarcely be considered a performance, serving as more of a glimpse into the elusive star’s psyche.

When Ocean stuttered onto the stage 40 minutes late and restarted opener Solo 3 times, it looked like his long-awaited live return could end in spectacular failure, however, Ocean managed to claw it back in a way only he could. His confidence and stage presence grew throughout the set dominated by Blonde and Endless material, and by the time he walked offstage during the Korean verse on the alt version of closer Nikes, it was clear; this wasn’t a show for everyone, but one that the many diehard Ocean fans will never forget.

Liam Menzies (@blnkclyr) – Run The Jewels & Danny Brown @ O2 Academy

129897_large
Photo Courtesy of Ryan Johnston | Facebook | Site

 

It shouldn’t be much of a surprise to anyone that this gig was a highly anticipated one for myself: Run The Jewels and Danny Brown are both Album Of The Year winners, in our 2014 and 2016 lists respectively, so the prospect of seeing both acts in the one night was too good to pass up.

It was no disappointment (I mean, it’s on this list, isn’t it?) as the Detroit king of rap Danny got things underway, storming through his impressive discography with some running man dancing and what can only be described as an intimate strip show for the thousands in attendance. Tracks from his magnum opus Atrocity Exhibition got just the reaction he must have expected, provoking a wave of moshing and rapping from the enthusiastic crowd.

Not to be outdone, RTJ made their way to the stage (albeit a bit late) and from start to finish, they undoubtedly affirmed why they were a force to be reckoned with. Not only that but there was a great deal of duality on show: Killer Mike is an absolute monster when he’s on the mic but the amount of compassion and love shown between songs, from a speech about mental health to a big fuck you to groping at gigs, the man is like Sully if he had an abundance of sick bars. Don’t worry El, I haven’t forgotten about you; RTJ is a two man show after all and if it weren’t for the bounciness, crassness and sheer bragadociousness of El-P then it just wouldn’t be the same.

Danny even showed up for his verse on Hey Kids, wearing only his underwear as the O2 Academy witnessed not only Mike giving the audience a glimpse of his ass, but two of the best acts on the fucking planet: and the crowd goes…

Jake Cordiner (@jjjjaketh) – Gorillaz @ Hydro, Glasgow

Image result for gorillaz glasgow
Photos Courtesy of Getty Images

 

While I was ever so slightly underwhelmed by Damon Albarn and his band of merry primates’ latest effort Humanz (DO YOU GET IT BECAUSE GORILLAZ?) I still jumped at the chance to see them live at The Hydro when the gig was announced earlier and the year. And I’ll tell you something, I’m bloody glad I did.

Gorillaz live are a different beast entirely from Gorillaz on record. There’s something of a more immediate urgency about them in a live setting, particularly in the vocals of head gorilla Damon “I Love Witches” Albarn. I’ve never seen Blur live in person, but I’ve seen my fair share of their sets from the comfort of my own computer chair and Albarn seems to turn everything up to 11 when he’s performing under the Gorillaz banner. Gone is the subdued, mild-mannered, middle-class Englishman that belts out Tender with a quiet confidence, instead he’s replaced by a grown man doing his best impression of an actual Gorilla. To put it bluntly, when Damon Albarn is in Gorillaz mode, he is a fucking nutter. He jumps around the stage with a reckless abandon, screaming in innocent concert goers in the front row like a man possessed by a pure primal force. It’s a joy to watch.

As are the rest of his band, I was blown away by how flipping CHUNKY everything sounded in a live setting. The bass was lovely and sludgy, both drummers played flawlessly and the keys were whimsical one moment and downright demonic the next. Then came the guests: Bootie Brown, Zebra Katz, Vince Staples, DE LA BLOODY SOUL were all there in the flesh and it was chuffing magnificent.

I’d wanted to see Gorillaz in some capacity for over a decade, and holy fuck me did they deliver. This ranks as not only one of my gigs of the year but genuinely one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. So thank you, Damon and company, you bunch of fucking lunatics. We wouldn’t have you any other way.

Rory McArthur (@rorymeep) – King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard @ Albert Hall, Manchester

unnamed.jpg

If you know me, this choice won’t come as a surprise; I may or may not have a little bit of a thing for this band. This was my fourth time seeing King Gizzard, but this was the first time it properly hit me how unfathomably incredible they are live. From the tried and trusted old favourites to the, at that point in the year at least, new microtonal tracks, everything went down an absolute storm with a suitably energetic crowd. The electricity inside the Albert Hall that evening was honestly breathtaking. I don’t think there’s another rock band in the world right now that can put on a show quite like Gizz. If they’d have decided to play all night long, I wouldn’t have minded one bit. 

Kieran Cannon (@kiercannon) – Protomartyr & Oh Boland @ CCA, Glasgow

unnamed (1).jpg

Protomartyr’s third visit to Glasgow in as many years takes place at Sauchiehall Street’s pre-eminent creative hub, the Centre for Contemporary Arts. Incidentally, this occasion marks their first time playing above ground in the city; apt, considering their meteoric rise from the underground to the forefront of contemporary post-punk, a sort of symbolism that isn’t lost on despair extraordinaire Joe Casey.

Joking that it’s a sign they’re finally moving up in the world, his self-depreciating humour is disingenuous to their cerebral yet deeply enjoyable brand of music. Turning up on stage without further ado, the band launch straight into lead single My Children. Casey’s appearance, grey-suited and formal, carries as little extravagance as his vocal delivery: barking and authoritative, the right level of Angry Da but never unintentionally bombastic. 

Audience interaction is sporadic and generally kept to a minimum, save for a few amusing exchanges; however,  such was the level of quality and electrifying atmosphere that the crowd quickly began dancing of their own volition. In contrast to the chaos of Casey’s performance, Greg Ahee’s guitar work is a controlled explosion of riffs and inventive, often unexpected chord changes complemented by a captivating dynamic between himself, bassist Scott Davidson and drummer Alex Leonard, whose stellar percussion work underpins every track, relentlessly propelling forward. While leaning fairly heavily on their latest material, Protomartyr nevertheless treated veteran fans to plenty of classics including two tracks from their oft-overlooked debut. 

Support act Oh Boland, covering the spot regrettably vacated by Sauna Youth, proved a worthy opener, commendably navigating one or two technical glitches to produce exactly the kind of high-octane introduction needed to prepare everyone for what lay ahead.

Gregor Farquharson (@grgratlntc) – The LaFontaines & The Dykeenies @ Barrowlands

img_2042.jpg

Having a gig at The Barrowlands is a massive achievement for any band. Tonight, The LaFontaines were ready to unleash their chaotic, charisma filled live show to the sold-out Glasgow crowd. The buzz in the buildup to the performance was surreal, with fans everywhere eager to see the fonts once again.

The band tasked with getting the crowd ready? The recently reformed The Dykeenies. The band played a good 50 odd minute set, with highlights being Waiting for Go and Sounds Of The City. The fans were ready and The Dykeenies job was done with success and the fonts took to the stage.

Opening up with Slow Elvis and going straight into Junior Dragon, the atmosphere was something else. The bands unique sound works beautifully live and the feeling in the crowd was magical. New songs Common Problem and Hang Fire went down great with the crowd, proving the band are not just a one album wonder and that their second full length is doing wonders.

If anything, this gig proved that The LaFontaines are going to get even bigger than what they already are. If they keep up the work rate and live shows they have going, it’s a bright future for the band that are already seen as Scottish heavyweights.

FULL REVIEW HERE

Tilly O’Connor (@tilly_oconnor) – Gorillaz @ Hydro, Glasgow

DP4W8N6WAAA2jYE
Photo Courtesy of Aidan | Source

With the Autumnal gig season drawing do a close, I saw Gorillaz at the Hydro in Glasgow. As someone who normally consumes live music in dive bars, the stadium’s sheer size was daunting, even if it’s sticky floor felt like home. The crowd was full of groups of families with grownup-kids near my age. My parents got me into Gorillaz young and I credit them with playing a part in shaping my current tastes in music, visual arts and even politics. The group has always been all-encompassing, and their 29th November gig was no different.

The band rattled the room with M1 A1. This was followed by Albarn, mic in hand, asking the 13,000 strong crowd if we were the last living souls. These songs from the band’s earlier work set the tone for the rest of the show, as it would feature hits peppered with memorable album tracks. A high point for me was Dirty Harry. The live performers were accompanied by a disjointed choir of cartoon South Park-esque kids singing the chilling chorus to the delight and discomfort of all watching. The band’s alter egos played a huge part in the engulfing feeling of the show. Carrying out heists and racing games, 2-D, Murdoch, Noodle and Russell Hobs reached deeper into our collective consciousness, pulling out gleefull pockets of nostalgia, providing the perfect backdrop for the night’s music.

Along with visuals, the main band were accompanied by a vast amount of guest performers, most notably the hip-hop trio De La Soul who feature on one of the bands most famous songs – Feel Good Inc.

Hong Kong was the first encore song, and it provided the most haunting musical moment of the night. The song which plays heavily on imagery surrounding neon lights and electricity was spontaneously met with thousands upon thousands of glowing phone lights, bringing the previously black room to an eery yellow which shined down Damon Albarn’s face. Singing to us, an army of smartphone welding fans, with a wry smile “All the people in a dream, Wait for the machine” he brought the night towards its end. This scene felt stunningly fitting for a band who have continuously captured the zeitgeist. From their self-titled debut in 2001 to this year’s Humanz, the group have always painted a vivid picture of the world in the 21st century.

Will Sexton (@willshesleeps) – Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes @ O2 Academy, Bristol

DQH59ZhX0AAXCc2.jpg
Photos Courtesy of Ashlea Bea | Twitter

Now I know what you might be thinking, “ooh pick the latest gig you went too” but people who are thinking that obviously have never seen Frank Carter live. The stage presence of this man is electric all in itself and arriving on stage with an absolute roar of noise and appreciation is so magical every single time. Frank has had a bit of a tough year but you wouldn’t have ever guessed, coming back from tonsillitis and taking a small break to help recover from the incredible work he has done over the last three years which was very well respected amongst the fans.

He came back with a total bang and every song from Primary Explosive right to I Hate You were electric. Filled with moshing and inspirational speeches about girls feeling safe at gigs, mental health and just straight up appreciation of us, it was a magical night!

Dominic Cassidy (@lyre_of_apollo) – The Mountain Goats @ The Art School, Glasgow

Image result for the mountain goats art school

The Mountain Goats were awaited by the crowd with bated breath and I’d be lying if I said I was not amongst their number, in terms of the mob or the state of breath. North Carolina based folk rockers The Mountain Goats – consisting of the ever-present singer-songwriter John Darnielle and multi-instrumentalist Matt Douglas – ascend to the stage accompanied by cries of devotion from the loving Glasgow crowd. Opening with Have to Explode, the cheers and whooping give way to absolute silence. When the song ends so does the hush, the hanging silence expelled with thankful applause.

Honestly, for me the gig was a beautiful exhibition of long-crafted skill and art, showing how well playing to the crowd can be done. The innate crowd interaction from John Darnielle who was loving the little stand-up bits, made the night all the more special. If you have not seen The Mountain Goats live, I can recommend nothing more, and if you have never heard them, I would start now; on The Sunset TreeTallahassee, or Beat the Champ.

FULL REVIEW HERE

List Season Continues…

10 WORST SONGS OF 2017 – 11TH DECEMBER

50 BEST TRACKS OF 2017 – 15TH DECEMBER

10 WORST ALBUMS OF 2017 – 18TH DECEMBER 

25 BEST ALBUMS OF 2017 – 22ND DECEMBER

 

Gig Review: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes @ O2 Insititue, Birmingham

By Oliver Butler (@notoliverbutler)

Picture Credit: Daniel Curtis

Picture the scene: you’re packed in tight, already breaking a sweat as there’s beer in the air, people using their elbows to push past you to get forwards. Unfortunately, I was a million miles away from seeing Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, and instead was in a very busy pub before the gig. No idea what everyone else was going to see, but it can’t have been as exciting as what was in store.

After the stress & length of this year, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that Modern RuinFC&TR‘s second offering is less than a year old, but here we are. I guess when you have the ferris wheel of a news cycle we have these days, things get lost in the ether. But especially for these guys, it’s been a rollercoaster of a year, with droves & droves of gigs & festival appearances, a new, blistering, single called Spray Paint Love, a few cancelled gigs too as wild-eyed frontman Frank Carter took some time off to put himself back together, ‘better than ever before‘ in his own words. The verdict?

Better than ever before.

Opening the set with Primary Explosive, the packed to the rafters O2 Institute rattled (HA, GEDDIT?!) as the crowd jumped, stomped & cheered their heroes onto the stage. Shout out to Frank Carter for coming onto the stage in a hoodie, jacket & a shirt, there’s wrapping up warm and then there’s turning yourself into a human boil in the bag meal. The sunglasses masked the mischevious glint that lives in his eye, but with Frank Carter, mischief is but a crowd surf away…

Despite being a few songs in, Juggernaut was a definite highlight of the set; everyone got stuck in, safely, fairly and heartily into the moshpit, but they need to sort the floor out – it’s too fucking slippy & someone’s really going to get hurt one day. My memory is hazy, but I’m pretty sure during this Frank got into the crowd, crowd surfed and did a handstand in the middle of it: athleticism. They also played the best song of 2017, which, you guessed it sports fans, was Vampires. I’d say Modern Ruin is definitely up there as one of the best albums I’ve heard this year, do you agree? Tell me and I’ll edit any Best Album lists to put Modern Ruin squarely at the top. You like punk rock? That’s punk as fuck.

Wild Flowers also gave a chance for the girls to crowd surf, which is one thing I really enjoy about FC&TR gigs, especially to hear the crowd go wild as we all agree to the wild concept of not grabbing girls without their consent. Shame it’s actually a cheerable thing in 2017, but the fact Frank Carter champions safe spaces for women at gigs makes him a hero on that merit alone, however, there’s more to the man that makes him one of the most exciting frontmen in rock.

Another big song, but the crowd reaction was a bit mixed, was Spray Paint Love. Ever since Dean Richardson’s guitar growled into the first bar of that song, I’ve been enamoured with it. Rattlesnakes, if you are reading this, write more of these. Fair enough for the mixed crowd reaction as it’s a new track, but hopefully that’ll inspire them to play it on repeat whilst lighting candles in my Dean shrine on a daily basis. Hell of a guitarist. Tom Barclay uses the same amps as me too, so really, this whole band gets a big fucking seal of approval.

A slightly acoustic version of Loss off Blossom was also huge, really added a layer of emotional depth to it. I’d love to hear a proper, fully recorded version of that. The hard and heavy studio version is great, but this piano and soft guitar version is a whole ‘nother level of sad gravy. It was a Modern Ruin buffet after this, with Thunder, Jackals God is My Friend rolling together in one bundle of manic energy, but the real crescendo of this piece was the title track.

Frank Carter, as Frank Carter does, went for a bit of a crowd surf. However, he’s no fool and noticed that the seating in the Institute is quite low. Surfing his way to the seating, he climbs onto the balcony, much to the excitement of everyone who’s in the seats, sings Modern Ruin through the crowd and at the end, well, what goes up must come down right? Frank Carter launches himself into the crowd from the balcony, but fortunately, we all love him, so we caught him. He’s genuinely one of the most exciting frontmen out there today, largely because that glint in his eyes leads to all sorts of things.

You wanna talk encores as well? How about an encore that has Devil Inside Me, Snake Eyes Lullaby? But wait! There’s more! What better way to show your appreciation for your fans, and your fans of the band than to sing a song about how much you hate someone? The biggest irony is how much everyone loves singing I Hate You. Despite the fact we were all screaming about how much we hated each other, you could see it in the faces of the fans & the band how much this all meant. Just three years after they got together, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes are on their way to bigger & better places, keeping the same punk rock values and air of mischief that makes them so exciting.

Best Tracks Of The Week (Oct 30th – Nov 5th)

Contributions from Oliver Butler (@notoliverbutler), Ethan Woodford (@human_dis4ster), Sean Hannah (@shun_handsome) Liam Menzies (@blnkclyr)

Pinegrove – Intrepid

Unashamedly raw with an enticing, emotionally gooey centre, the latest track from alt-rock New Jersey outfit is one that feels as tight as it does evocative.

With a wide array of beautiful lyrics as well some perfectly natural performances, Intrepid is certain to nuzzle its way into Pinegrove‘s setlists as well as into the heart of anyone willing enough to risk shedding a few tears.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Spray Paint Love

We gave this song the full review treatment but for the sake of its inclusion, here’s a little line or two: a sultry, sleazy track that proves The Rattlesnakes are still full of venom. Screaming riffs coupled with Bon Scott style lyrics make for a dirty dirty.

Flood Manual – Empathy 

We’ve had some very nice things to say about the Manchester boys’ latest EP but a highlight from that release has to be Empathy: a melodic affair that feels pretty delightful with somewhat harsh guitars being pressed together with the aforementioned lovely singing to create a tasty, punky panini a la Weezer.

Keep yer eyes peeled for Flood Manual

N.E.R.D ft Rihanna – Lemon

The Pharrell Williams fronted project’s first single in seven years is a song for 2017; referencing everything from Donald Trump to memes and sampling viral videos, it’s clear the group has plenty of material to work from that they have missed over the years. While the track doesn’t seem to have a clear focus and changes topics several times, it serves well as a comeback.

Announcing its arrival with a massively catchy beat and Pharrell’s flow oozing with A Tribe Called Quest influences, Lemon is exactly what a comeback single should be. Also can Rihanna just have guest verses on everything from now on? Thanks.

Sunflower Bean – I Was A Fool

While it may not be the band’s 22, A Million transformation, Sunflower Bean has managed to craft a charming little track as they make their Mon + Pop label debut. 

“I think this song is a good example of how we’ve grown as a band, while still staying true to the band that first played together back in high school,” is what Nick Kivlin had to say about I Was A Fool and it’s hard to say he’s wrong: restrained in its production, allowing for some gorgeous vocals to take centre stage, it’s a sign of things to come and a relieving one at that.

Ought – These 3 Things

Tim Darcy spent most of 2015’s Sun Coming Down doing his best Mark E. Smith, so it should surprise no one that These 3 Things finds the American-born Canadian transplant moving on to aping Robert Smith.

An angular, 808-driven affair, These 3 Things tracks Ought shifting their influences from the abrasion of late-‘70s post-punk to the dejection of its mid-‘80s predecessor: goth. With his lyrics bordering on Yeatsian, Darcy discovers purpose at the song’s envoy: “I must remember to dance with you tonight/ I must remember I owe my heart.”

Eera – Reflection of Youth

Fervent but subdued, this closing track from EERA‘s debut is a standout, not just due to the fact it’s the most stripped back of the last. Hushed vocals and a laid back guitar are all that is left to be heard as opposed to the harsher structures she has weaved throughout her first LP offering.

While it may sound pretty light, Reflection of Youth is still utterly dazzling, making sure that listeners go out on a delicious, delicate high rather than a messy finale. 

listen to our picks via our swanky wee playlist, updated weekly:

Track Review: Spray Paint Love by Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

By Oliver Butler (@notoliverbutler)

Twenty seventeen can only be described as a bit of a busy year for Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. The start of this year saw them release their second album, Modern Ruin, with an ample handful of gigs & festival dates, to keep them occupied throughout the year. More recently, the band has dropped out of their slot supporting Papa Roach & their US tour as frontman Frank Carter took some time out to deal with personal & mental issues. Big love to the big man for speaking so honestly, fluidly and openly about it. It’s okay not to be okay, all of you.

He did, however, state that he was “not crumbling… I’m putting myself back together brick by brick. With better materials”. Fucking on ya, Frank.

Speaking of better materials, it’s about time we discussed their brand new single, Spray Paint Love.

Instantly, this song grabs you by the scruff of your neck and pulls you in with a screaming sound, segueing into a slow, bassy groove as Frank lays down some smooth, sexy vocals. This song feels like it’s about someone, decrying the distance between the two whilst the protagonist is on the road. Or it’s about the fleeting love found on the road. Either way, the lyrics are a sultry veil over the smooth grooves laid down by The Rattlesnakes“Chain fences & gasoline, light up a match, baby burn up my dreams” is a particular lyrical highlight in this track, with “More than a one night song” layering this song in some dirty icing.

This doesn’t feel a million miles away from Modern Ruin, but it definitely feels like an evolution of their sound. It still retains the same grit and dirt of Modern Ruin but the sound feels… bigger. Compared to an absolute hit like Vampires off Modern Ruin, Spray Paint Love feels like it’s a step up. Yes, you’d like to order Modern Ruin because it’s a delicious morsel, but it’s payday, treat yourself and upgrade to Spray Paint Love. Both are good, but this track feels better. The Rattlesnakes have gone away and come back, more venomous than before.

Whilst we had a new album at the start of the year and have a UK tour to look forward to in December, would it be too much to ask for more of this from Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes? Please?

 

 

FESTIVAL REVIEW – Gettin’ Glastönbutlered

By Oliver Butler (@notoliverbutler)

The key thing you need to take into consideration with Glastonbury is that it is not your common garden music festival. I mean, first of all, it’s actually a ‘Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts’, which is true, because no matter where you go in those trillion square acres of Somerset countryside, there is always something weird and wonderful going on.

Whilst yer da was at home complaining about how Jeremy Corbyn and Ed Sheeran was on his telly with 6,000 other available channels, there were a million other things happening. People were indulging themselves in ancient cultures, sampling some of the world’s hottest and most loved musical and artistic acts, and slightly overweight music writers were permanently sipping beer as they thought of what they were actually going to say about Glastonbury.

https://twitter.com/notoliverbutler/status/877657321886896129

Sorry to disappoint you, but there’s no perfect way to describe it. As soon as you sweep through the sleepy village of Pilton, Somerset, you’re greeted by sights that would put Disneyland to shame, and it really is Disneyland for grownups. There’s so much whimsy, magic and wonder as you stroll about Farmer Eavis’ Gigantic Farm of Banter, and the view at night from the hill on which the Glastonbury sign sits is unparalleled.

In every sense of the matter, this festival is huge, and the big name bands are merely just a side show. If you spend an entire Glastonbury weekend just watching bands, then buddy, you done fucked up.

However, my job for this website is literally writing about bands, so let’s talk about that, shall we?

Thursday

Old Dirty Brasstards

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ga25UP2Lt8

Ooooooooh I’m drunk, and these boys are the perfect accompaniment to any decent session. The tweed-clad army of lads play up-tempo covers of some of your favourite pop and rock songs, opening 2017’s set with a beautiful rendition of QotSA’s No One Knows, followed by Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, David Bowie’s Let’s Dance, and of course, for the stars of Friday’s show, a cover of Radiohead’s Paranoid Android, all expertly communicated through the jovial means of brass and percussion. Without hyperbole, if these boys played a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night, there’s every chance I’d have sacked one of the headliners off to see them. The Brasstards are the perfect feel good start to a weekend of quality music.

10/10

BANDS SEEN: 1

BEERS DRANK: Got a bit hazy around twenty. Went to Pimp My Fries, then strolling around the legendary South East Corner, on the hunt for some good times. Threw up. A lot.

Friday

Oh God. Is it possible to be this hungover? I can just about move my body and that’s to poke my head out of the tent pod’s little window to retch the last of my pimped fries up. Damn you Pimp My Fries. This Friday at Glastonbury is going to suck even more as in the evening, Radiohead, Lorde, Sleaford Mods, Dizzee Rascal AND Clean Bandit all clash. Fuck this festival and the sheer amount of quality musicians on offer.

Nothing But Thieves

They’re nonces, Jim.

Royal Blood

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8AuiZ0O6Qg

Here’s another hot-as-bollocks band with a second album that’s come out in 2017, which, at first was a bit disappointing, but has grown on me, with live performances of Where Are You Now?, Lights Out, Hook Line and Sinker and Hole In Your Heart strengthening the love for How Did We Get So Dark? 

But it just wouldn’t be a Royal Blood set without jams like Figure it Out, Little Monster, and the almighty Out of the Black closing the set, with a massive cock tease as sticksman Ben Thatcher went into the crowd just before the final riff, only for the camera to pan to LARS FUCKING ULRICH FROM FUCKING METALLICA, maybe nodding to the fact that Lars took over the drums once before whilst Ben got closer to the crowd. However, it wasn’t meant to be, but Christ almighty, what a set!

8/10

The XX

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhZTexVqRCI

I’ll level with you here. I watched these guys from my chair back at the tent which overlooks the Pyramid, because I couldn’t face standing up for a few hours waiting for Thom Yorke and His Gaggle of Weird Lads to show up. But having never really given them the time of day before, they were very impressive, and their airy, synthy sound was the perfect relaxer for a man with a devastating hangover. However, I did have a can. Lovely.

Look, if you’re looking for someone who spent his weekend sober, whilst sticking religously to his itinerary, trying to review as many bands as he could, you’ve come to the wrong place.

7/10 

Radiohead

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGFg0FN2yBU

Bucket list band time here gang. Ever since I got my pubescent paws on a copy of OK Computer and The Bends whilst only really knowing the words to Creep, I’ve wanted to see this band, but in my heart of hearts, I knew they’d disappoint me because of how much I wanted this.

The first bar of Daydreaming and there was zero possible way that Radiohead could disappoint me tonight. I was stood around the WORST people, including a group of LadBible fanatics doing keys of MD, a man in slacks and a fleece taking photos of EVERYTHING, a couple who wouldn’t stop fucking kissing and literally Your Dad singing every word of every song but sulking through Creep.

However, the set was perfect, the notable highlight being the eerie silence during Exit Music (For a Film), turning that song from a 10/10 to a 20/10. Songs such as Ful Stop, Weird Fishes, Lotus Flower, Bodysnatchers and Nude made an appearance because I’m Thom fucking Yorke mate. A friend commented that they’ve got to play Pyramid Song because they’re on the Pyramid Stage, and they did! But probably not for that reason, probably because I’m Thom fucking Yorke mate.

Whilst some bands stick to their vanilla setlists to please all palettes, I can’t even work out what flavour this set was. Aged pistachio or something. But when you get Fake Plastic Trees and Karma Police as some of the final accents, it can be whatever flavour you want it to be. Truly one of the best sets I’ve ever seen. Ever.

10/10

BEERS DRANK: Two! Two!

BANDS SEEN: Four. Ish. 

Saturday

Fresh as a daisy mate. Fresh. As. A. Daisy. I’ve probably had 10 hours sleep, and I’m ready to have halloumi for breakfast. I think I had halloumi. Really it’s hard to work out what happened and when, but one thing I can tell you for definite is that Saturday started with…

Jools Holland and His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6naZMWemDs

No word of a lie, there were fewer bands I was more excited to see this weekend. When he’s not walking backwards in a studio introducing bands, he’s an accomplished blues pianist, bringing boogie to all the land, and with his full orchestra, oh my, it’s a party!

Jools and his guests played a variety of covers, getting an early afternoon audience up and ready, pumping them full of feel good, including a joyful cover of Enjoy Yourself by The Specials, and an appearance from my favourite, the Queen herself, Ruby Turner.

One thing I would recommend is getting tickets to go and see this man. You won’t have a better evening, I guarantee.

9/10

Craiiig David

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuUZh81B27I

Re-rewind, when I run back to the tent for more beers!

Straight off the bat, Craiiig David was a delight to see, playing a mix of orignal garage, soul and R&B classics, plus a few covers and a TS5 DJ set. It also led to the theory that Bo’ Selecta! did actually ruin Craiiig David‘s life, in that when introducing the stone cold banger that is Rise and Fall, he spoke about coming through adversity and how writing music helped him get through some tough times. Bo’ Selecta! came out in 2002, Rise and Fall came out in 2003. Your honour, no further questions.

But needless to say, Craiiig David had the last laugh, as he’s had a number one album, a UK wide arena tour, played the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury whilst Avid Merrion being about as funny as a haemmorhoid being Keith Lemon. So who won that round? Ya boi Craig did.

8/10

Jeremy Corbyn

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVGFi8balOM

“WOAAAAH JEREMY CORBYN! I don’t give a fuck about him, I voted UKIP” – those lads doing MDMA behind me at Radiohead.

Still never know which way Glastonbury leans. Whilst it’s an inherently left leaning festival in that it used to be a CND festival, it is chock full of Tories, and when they try to mosh, they endager the lives of everybody in that pit. That being said, worst you could do is give them a head injury and create a Lib Dem front bencher.

Oh yeah, Jeremy Corbyn.

It was a rapturous reception for the Labour party leader, with the field surrounding the Pyramid packed to the rafters (there are no rafters in fields, but fuck you) for his address, stirring the souls of every person in that field, giving a lucky young boy named Michael Eavis a signed copy of the Labour manifesto. Well jel. Whilst he was preaching to the many converted, undoubtedly there were a few who couldn’t help but be enthused by his message.

1 billion/10

Run the Jewels

Image result for run the jewels glastonbury 2017

Another tent special. Good guys, good sound, good message.

7/10

Liam Gallagher

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xo_GcOsp4k

Oh my God. This guy is literally Your Dad. He’s in his anorak, trying to sing Oasis coverOH it’s Liam Gallagher. If you were at that gig, please let me know if you were also there, purely for him to say “Oh and by the way, this is my brother Noel“.

In defence of the lesser of the two evils, sound quality plagued the Other Stage for the entire weekend, but the sound quality was still dire, as an anaemic crowd tried to pretend they gave a shit about Wall of Glass. Sure he played Rock n Roll Star, Morning Glory and Slide Away, plus an emotional rendition of Don’t Look Back In Anger, but there was little substance to this set, making the fact I ran out of cans even more upsetting. Jesus.

4/10

Katy Perry

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5vp6usKX_Y

Caught the last bar of Roar, because it takes 9 years to walk anywhere ¯\_()_/¯

The National

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBg9xysCYwU

Mad how Jurgen Klopp manages Liverpool and also fronts The National. Top boy all round. Being honest, I’ve got little to no interest in The National and couldn’t work out why they were sub headlining Saturday but the Eaviseseseseses are absolute r/madlads, so you’ve just gotta ROLL WITH IT, GEDDIT?! Oh wait, Liam Gallagher was the last act.

Yeah these guys sounded pretty good, and drew a decent crowd, but I can’t say I’d ever listen to them again.

7/10

Foo Fighters

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2ER7ChXX6s

The more I think about it, the more I realise Foo Fighters is a ridiculous name for one of the world’s biggest bands, but Dave Grohl could start a band named All My Fans Are Cunts and I’d still lap up every note.

Two years ago I was pencilled in to see the Foos twice in two weeks, once at Wembley, and once at Glastonbury, until Dave selfishly broke his leg. Bastard. So this, in many ways, was a redemption gig. Opening the set with Times Like These, dedicated to Florence from Florence and the Machine, who performed the same song two years ago in their headline slot, you knew it was gonna be a good’un.

The thing about Dave Grohl, much like Thom Yorke, means that little to no fucks are given about setlist content. Which is why cats like Cold Day in the Sun, Wheels and Skin and Bones were thrown in amongst the pigeons of All My Life, The Pretender and Monkey WrenchSonic Highways hit Something from Nothing also seems to be a setlist mainstay these days, which is good, because it’s a high-grade banger, along with medium-grade banger Congregation. Brand new banger Run also got a… wait for it! Run out!

The negative points on this report card? No guests. I’ve seen these guys perform motherfucking Under Pressure with goddamn John Paul Jones and christing Roger Taylor before, but there were no special guests this time. But a cover of Under Pressure performed with Taylor Hawkins doing the vocals so that counts, I guess?

The high point of this set? The Everlong ending. Because quite frankly, if anything could ever be that way forever, if anything could ever be that good again, my word.

10/10

BANDS SEEN: Seven. Ish.

BEERS DRANK: So many. At least thirty. Ended up at a silent disco and a communal sleeping tent that honked of incense. N.B. It was a communal sleeping tent, and not an invasion of someone’s tent. 

Sunday

Hungover as fuck, gotta go load the car, so the first band I saw today was in the late afternoon and it was…

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2oqXN06ffE

He’d be the first to admit it, but Frank Carter is a bona fide madman, and his Sunday teatime slot with The Rattlesnake just adds to that theory. Clad with pink hair, white jeans and a sheer white shirt, the punktastic prince angrily wrangled his way through Sunday afternoon, stopping to throw an entire bottle of piss back in the face of a lad who threw piss at him first during Juggernaut. A madman. A legend. An idol. Tried to start a circle pit through the whole of the tent. Killers fans weren’t having it. Mugs,

The beauty of a Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes set is that you’re guaranteed hits, and with Snake Eyes, Jackal, I Hate You and Lullaby being charmed out the snake basket, it was business as usual from an energetic and enthusing set. Another particular highlight was getting a girls-only crowdsurf during I thiiiiiink it was Devil Inside Me, threatening to decapitate any handsy male who tried groping them, stating that we are all equal, to which the Andy Dick looking motherfucker creepily rubbed his hands together when the subject of groping young women came up, and sulked when Frank said that we were all equal. I hope you do get decapitated, pal.

9/10

The Killers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRF0q6z60hc

Best part about where we camp is that we can hear about four stages clearly. I heard The Killers. In this same time period, I had violent diarrhoea. Go figure.

Chic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2khokvlf_Y

I also heard funktastic disco legends Chic from our tent, which was much, MUCH better, for am I of the opinion that there are few finer guitarists in this world than Nile Rodgers. This set delivered by the bucketload, featuring, Everybody DanceGood TimesLe Freak, fucking He’s the Greatest Dancer, Let’s Dance, GET FUCKING LUCKY, and Good Times. Also featuring a funk off between Nile Rodgers and Jerry Barnes. Jesus Christ.

9/10

Biffy Clyro

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlPt8C5Fnxk

First things first. Biffy should have headline before Sheeran. They’ve got greater pedigree, more albums, more prowess and more fucking everything than someone playing a small guitar. There. I said it. Although someone leaving Chic was saying “I hate Biffy Clyro, he(?)’s shit, ooh, Courteeners are on”. Confusing.

But then again, Biffy were a wildcard. I’d have never painted a band of their demeanour as Glastonbury sub-headliners but they made sure that they secured themselves a second invitation. Definite 2019/20 headliners.

The set was a mix of old and new, opening with Wolves of Winter and ending with Stingin’ Belle,whist throwing Who’s Got A Match?Bubbles, Medicine, Re-Arrange and Animal Style in between those two delicious slices of bread. Also they threw in Puzzle album track 9/15ths because why not? It’s fucking brilliant.

Seriously though, Biffy delivered in a big way, and proved their worth as certified festival headliners.

9/10

Boy Better Know

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_BzqnpyVM8

My relationship with BBK is strained at best. Whilst I remember the days before JME and Skepta had albums and were world renown, I just can’t seem to enjoy a live set, and neither did Glastonbury, as barely anybody showed up. To be honest, the only song I really recognised was That’s Not Me, leading me to realise I’m quite behind on the times with BBK, but will forever remember playing songs like Serious and Doin’ It Again on repeat. Sometimes, the past is best left in the past.

6/10, I guess.

WEEKEND VERDICT

Yet again, this magical festival met my expectations and exceeded them. I had a fantastic weekend with quite literally, all my friends, having a laugh, getting drunk and mooching around the numerous exciting and interesting areas, sights, sounds and indeed, smells, this festival has to offer. Sure I could’ve spent my weekend religiously seeing a lot of bands, but there’s no fucking fun in in that. I could’ve been up, bright and breezy to see someone I’ve never heard of who might be alright, but I’d be on my own, or I could’ve gone for a greasy breakfast and had a few cans with my friends.

What I’m trying to say is that music is beautiful, it’s wonderful and it’s lifesaving, but it’s meaningless if I can’t enjoy it with my pals. They’re the real headliners of any festival, and the highlight of any set. I had a fucking great weekend and had gotten my money’s worth by Wednesday evening, because we were all having a laugh together.

So here’s my final review:

My Pals

A great set from the 14-piece roast-and-booze ensemble, notable highlights including Broken Chairs, Stone Colding Beers, Dancing to Bassline Junkie in the Tent and of course, Saturday Night Piss Up. Could never ask for more from an act.

14/10


CONTACT US 4 REVIEWS

SUPPORT THE SITE

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK