To be Kingmaker is all I need…

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Indie Encounters is a regular feature for guest contributors to recollect a memorable indie moment, whether it’s meeting a band, a special gig or how indie music has impacted on their life in some way.

In this feature Jonathan Powell @ipswichjon reveals the impact Kingmaker has had on his life with a particular focus on those lyrics of Loz Hardy.


“To move the world in some way, without leaving any bad taste…”

On a heady cocktail of cheap pound-a-pint lager and strong antibiotics the drums of Really Scrape the Sky rolled over me and I found myself leaping around like a loony for a thirty odd minute set of brilliant indie pop songs that were all new to me. This was December 1991, Leicester Granby Halls and only the second gig I’d attended, the first I’d actually paid money to get into and it was a visceral experience that had me gig-addicted.

It also started my obsession with support bands: I had a thing for buying their T shirts and badges rather than the main acts, a minor bit of indie snobbery on my part but it did usually mean cheaper merchandise!

That night Kingmaker were second support act on after the cock-waving singer of Eat had thoroughly shocked this sheltered Suffolk lad. Their strut to the stage and bouncing opener grabbed my attention but it was the Wonder Stuff who I’d paid to see and who sticks in the memory more from that gig. It did however lead me to buy Kingmaker’s debut Celebrated Working Man EP and I was hooked.

There’s a lot to recommend Kingmaker to the indie-inclined; they were a great singles band (see Queen Jane, Ten Years Asleep and Really Scrape the Sky as proof of their pop genius) but I’m a lyrics man and it was their lyrics that I loved. With more heart and empathy in each perfectly formed piece than their contemporaries, here was a band that I loved because they spoke for the underdog, they were wry, they were dark in their humour and there was an underlying anger and bitterness in their lyrics that only a misanthropic eighteen-year-old could only get (or so I thought).

Now Kingmaker were one of those bands lumped in with your Cuds and The Family Cats (both bands I love) but they were very different: this was a band who wrote lyrics a latter-day, post-Smiths Morrissey would kill for, dealing with subjects ranging from religion, politics and sexual abuse, to economic deprivation and gender politics. Loz Hardy was a song writer with weight to his words.

I give you a Kingmaker countdown, five songs whose lyrical poignancy will hopefully create a few more converts to the Kingmaker coven:


Freewheeling (from The Celebrated Working Man EP)

Religion is a crooked liar
Wasted flames of a burning fire,
Barbed wire, a funeral pyre
To be freewheeling is all I need
Yes it’s me and it’s got to be all for me

The first song I fell in love with: Loz Hardy tells the tale of a religious girl whose addiction to faith blinds her to everything else, the chorus I always sang with gusto after being forced to attend Sunday school, much against my wishes, as a youngster.


Armchair Anarchist (from Armchair Anarchist EP/Sleepwalking album)

I’m a marked anarchist
Yes, I’m being totally honest
In fact, just the other morning
I was planning a bombing
Firstly, the House Of Lords
Then on to the Brit Awards
“Bomb the idiots”
“Bomb all the idiots now”
“Bomb the idiots”
“Bomb all the idiots now”

I don’t think Loz Hardy was jealous of the Brit Awards Winners but more in a rage with the music industry in general, the gestation of the ‘difficult’ second album had been well – err – difficult (there’s a great interview online that explains why in great detail) and seeing the self-congratulatory bunch of fools awarding honours to Tasmin Archer and Mick Hucknall may have been a step too far.


Kissing Under Anaesthetic (from Armchair Anarchist EP)

She said it was Sod’s law that soon she would self-destruct
What am I waiting for she said – I already wake up in a pool of piss
She remembers innocence like an exhibit in a museum
She knows embarrassment it’s the only thing she ever feels
She said her mother told her that she nearly had her destroyed
An abortion would have been better than this her ghost would have enjoyed
Life’s half jokes

This is such a sad song, detailing the fallout of sexual abuse: heart rending and pulling no punches, its bleak nature is affecting and thought-provoking. When he sings there is so much pathos which is at odds with the music it’s set to.


Honesty Kills (from Sleepwalking album)

People only see what they want to see
It’s a symptom of life’s hypocrisy
People only see what they want to see
That’s why you’re stripping naked in his back seat

This one may be a bit more of a personal choice, I had a bit of a thing for a girl at University who decided some guy called Richard was a better option (he was probably a jolly nice chap) and I spent a long time howling this song at the top of my lungs, especially the opening line. A great take down of one of those guys who are only after one thing with the pay off line demanding he is strung up – plus it has a killer bassline!


Sometimes I Think She Takes Me Along Just For the Ride (from In the Best Possible Taste album)

We walked into town like sister and brother
She wore my hand-me-downs I wore a pair of her jeans
Very soon I was accosted by one of her ex-lovers
He said, “I want what’s mine”. I said, “Take her”
He said, “I meant those jeans!”

This song has a lovely way of revealing the narrator is realising he’s being taken for a ride as the lyrics subtly shift as it reaches its conclusion. It also showcases Loz Hardy’s talent for a nice twist of phrase, coupled with deeply black humour.


I could have chosen many more songs but I’ve gone for a range from each of the albums to give you a general picture. Hopefully a few more people will fall in love with this hugely underrated band and stick two fingers up at the NME’s ironic “still waiting for that Kingmaker revival” running joke!

Jonathan Powell (@ipswichjon)



My first taste of indie was being lent a Beechwood indie top 20 CD, it led me to PWEI, Carter USM, The Cure and a love of vinyl. I became obsessed at University attending every gig and buying every record, tape or CD I could afford. I even wrote my dissertation on indie music!

I’m now happily married to my beautiful wife and fellow indie-ite TracyK (@Perlalaloca) and we both proudly enjoy our daughter’s renditions of songs by Los Campesinos!, The Cure, The Decemberists and Lou Barlow!


Thank you to Jon for sharing that and for taking the time to contribute. If you would like to contribute to our Indie Encounters feature and share your indie moments please email us at or DM us on Twitter

We are waiting in anticipation

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Something New Review – The Train Set “Never California”

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Remember when Esther (@myrtleleaf) reviewed Dot Dash? So adept was she at the job that we had no hesitation in calling on her services when the next opportunity for a review arose.

Although not strictly “new” we let Esther loose on The Train Set’s recently re-issued collection of EPs and unreleased tracks.

By way of background The Train Set are from Crewe  (no need to elaborate on the etymology clearly) and were signed to Hacienda DJ Dave Haslam & Happy Mondays manager Nathan McGough’s Play Hard Records in the late 1980s releasing 2 EPs. They are Clive (Camel) Jones, Andy (Booty), Mark (Shiggy) Shaw, Adam Halford & Dave Hassell.

Here is what Esther had to say about the The Train Set’s “Never California” album


For a band that released a couple of EPs and singles in the late 80s, the Train Set’s songs are as fresh-sounding as any good music released today. So it could have been a fairly new band whose music I was hearing for the first time.

I say this because it was only last summer that I discovered this band through a song (Sink Or Swim) posted on Twitter which immediately caught my ear (thank you Richard Weir @Rich_W27). I found very little info on them except for some videos on You Tube and an interview on the Cloudberry Records blog site. So I was thrilled to discover that the excellent Firestation Records was releasing a compilation of their music this summer!

Every song is uniquely written, straying from the typical song structure. It is upbeat guitar pop, fine keyboards balanced by great bass lines and steady but varying drum stylings within their songs, but with an underlying melancholy in the lyrics.

One of the darkest lyrics about an abusive relationship is in the haunting Hold On. Their big single, She’s Gone – the song that back in 1988 made NME’s single of the week – is a jaunty song with a train drum beat (there is such a thing) that contains the memorable lyric ‘the music goes on and on and ON and on’ and an outro that fades in a wild tangle of guitar. Stop Stalling (Sob Stories), one of the strongest songs, should have been a single. Clive sings in a crooning voice loosely carrying the melody up and down beautifully, and has a great driving beat in the chorus.

Throughout these songs there are brief interludes of finely crafted music that carry you away from the song before Clive’s voice reels you back in, as in the majestic Untouchable, about a stormy relationship. There are lots of strings, with an ending containing a hint of piano and acoustic guitar. On All Blown Over (The Recall), the opening bars make me think of the Bunnymen’s album Ocean Rain. The song ends with another beautiful stretch of piano.

This song is contrasted with the cleverly re-titled The Recall (All Blown Over), the same song perfectly re-imagined in a stark post-punk style. That’s All introduces congos and horns, and again I hear some Echo and the Bunnymen in Clive’s cries and even some Doors in the ensuing guitar solo following the quieter moments during the middle of the song.

Sink Or Swim is infectious and upbeat with gorgeous guitar and should have been at the top of the charts in 1988, it could easily be today. Harped On sounds like the Smiths’ Rusholme Ruffians, with added fiddle and a great refrain at the end. Yet another possible single.

The band’s influence of the emerging Madchester scene is reflected in the upbeat songs Gets Me Down, Beautiful Monster, Tell Us All, and they showed no signs of stopping in crafting their songs.

‘Never California’ is a collection of their EPs and unreleased songs, but with all strong tracks, this may as well be a greatest hits release. The generous stretches of music must have come off great at their gigs, something I hope new fans will get a chance to experience.

Let’s hope that the Train Set have more steam left in them for new music. I couldn’t resist the pun!

Esther (@myrtleleaf)

 Where to find The Train Set:
Twitter: @theTrainSet
Never California from Rough Trade:
Never California from Firestation Records:


Thank you to Esther for a another wonderful review.

Watch out for further reviews, whether it’s re-issues or new releases. If you would like to review something yourself, you know where to find us.

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Great Lost Indie Bands #2- Sweet Jesus

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In this regular feature hosted by Simon Smith (@HertfordSoul) we will be re-discovering some of our long lost indie favourites who didn’t quite make the grade and have since disappeared off many people’s radars.

We’ll be featuring one Great Lost Indie Band each time and, in true indie style, we’ll be following the ‘Who? Why?’ Where? format (copyright Jesus Jones). ‘Who are they?’, Why are they a Great Lost Indie Band?’ ‘Where are they now?

Of course there are only so many bands a middle aged indie kid can muster so, once Simon has posted a few of his own chosen long lost gems, he’ll be opening this feature up to the rest of the Everything Indie Over 40 community to share theirs.

In this edition, Simon turns his attention to….


Great Lost Indie Bands #2 – SWEET JESUS

Who are they?

Sweet Jesus were a 4 piece indie band from Birmingham, consisting of Ben, Roy, Gavin (Dave prior to him) & Paul. They released 4 singles between 1991 and 1992 but unfortunately an album never appeared. Like Formula One before them, their name has now been stolen by a hardcore punk band from New England, far from the shoegazer style of the original band.

I first discovered Sweet Jesus on a cassette that came free with an Indie fanzine (which I can’t remember the name of). The song ‘Albino Ballerina’ was included on there and I instantly loved it. Not that long after I went to my first Reading Festival (1992) and they really impressed me live. I thought this could be the start of a beautiful musical friendship but unfortunately they wouldn’t be around for much longer.

Why are they a Great Lost Indie Band?

Just listen to ‘Albino Ballerina’ (YouTube clip below) and you’ll see for yourself, it’s a great tune. Ben’s vocals remind me a bit of one of my current favourites, Gengahr, but a lot more shoegazey, of course.

Unfortunately, even though they were tipped as “ones to watch” in the music press in the early 90s, the demise of Rough Trade Records also saw the band call it a day.

Before they did, however, they appeared on MTV’s 120 Minutes which in those days was great exposure for up and coming indie bands.

Where are they now?

Each of the members went on to form various bands after Sweet Jesus – Venus, Groupie and, more recently, Butterfly Fan the Inferno – but nothing hooked me like when I first heard them on that fanzine tape. I just wish I still had it, the only other band I remember on there were the excellent Magic Faraway Tree Band with the song “I love life”. Another Great Lost Indie Band to add to the list…

Anyway, here’s ‘Albino Ballerina’, enjoy…



Failed Rock Star in awful early 90s grunge band, Prehistoric Wife, failed blogger with dad blog ‘musodad’ and collaborative music blog ‘Session Bloggers’, Simon went solo in 2013 with the release of his own music blog ‘Hertford Soul’.

With over 6 months without a post, Simon was recently plucked from obscurity by the lovely people at EIO40 with a chance to resurrect his music blogging career. Many have likened the transfer to the risk Brendan Rodgers took in signing Mario Balotelli but Simon sees himself as more of a Rickie Lambert-type blogger. Erm, hang on a minute…


What great lost indie band will Simon be tracking down next?

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Great Lost Indie Bands #1 – Formula One

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In this regular feature hosted by Simon Smith (@HertfordSoul) we will be re-discovering some of our long lost indie favourites who didn’t quite make the grade and have since disappeared off many people’s radars.

We’ll be featuring one Great Lost Indie Band each time and, in true indie style, we’ll be following the ‘Who? Why?’ Where? format (copyright Jesus Jones). ‘Who are they?’, Why are they a Great Lost Indie Band?’ ‘Where are they now?

Of course there are only so many bands a middle aged indie kid can muster so, once Simon posted a few of his own chosen long lost gems, he’ll be opening this feature up to the rest of the Everything Indie Over 40 community to share theirs.

In this edition, Simon turns his attention to….


Great Lost Indie Bands #1 – FORMULA ONE

Who are they?

Formula One were a 5 piece indie band from Preston who released a number of singles and an album between 1996 and 2000. Oh and they’re not to be confused with a Seattle skate punk band of the same name, in fact, you couldn’t get two bands who were more different. Saying that, they both formed and split up around the same time – coincidence?!

In the mid 90s, due to the lack of that very handy thing we call ‘the internet’, you had to rely on other methods in which to discover new bands. A lot of the bands I fell in love with I would have found through reading about them in the music press, seeing them on the ITV Chart Show, The Beat or Snub TV or hearing them on John Peel or Gary Crowley’s show on GLR on a Sunday afternoon. Formula One were different though, as soon as I heard that Martin Carr and Tim Brown from The Boo Radleys were producing one of their singles that was it, I had to get involved.

Why are they a Great Lost Indie Band?

They had great tunes, melodic and catchy. One music magazine said they were like ‘The Fall playing Krautrock’. Unfortunately they arrived just at the wrong time, at the tail end of Britpop, a scene that they just wouldn’t have fitted into. Then all everyone wanted to hear was ‘OK Computer’ and ‘Urban Hymns’ and if I ever see them again I’ll have to apologise as I was one of them.

But, it was good while it lasted. I remember seeing them at The Hacienda before it closed down, they were bloody nice people and I had a really good chat with them after the gig. I used to send them Christmas cards and write to them (I liken it to tweeting band members nowadays). In return they used to sign their singles for me (see the photo my singles collection of theirs below, Siggy is my nickname by the way).

I once asked them in a letter what time they were playing the Reading Festival and gave them my mum and dad’s number (it would have been during my Uni summer holiday) and the lead singer Lee phoned me up to tell me! Bands would never do that nowadays, would they?! You’re lucky if they tweet you back. Saying that they probably get loads of tweets – Formula One may have only had one saddo who wrote to them.

Formula One single collection

Where are they now?

Being such a ‘lost band’ it has been really difficult finding much info about them online.

Dave Chambers, the drummer, was in Cornershop and a band called Pastel Collision (anyone know anything about them? They could feature in a future Great Lost Indie Band post if so) before he joined Formula One and it sounds like he went on to form The Wandering Step, another local Preston band, when he left.

As for the remaining members, another Dave, Lee, Kerrie (who was also in Pastel Collision) and Emma, I’m struggling to find anything on them, they are well and truly ‘lost’. It’s a shame as they were all brilliant musicians who were different to anything else out there at the time. I’d love to know where they ended up.

Check them out if you get the chance, their back catalogue is on if you want to take a punt. Like I said, there’s not much about them online. I did find a recording of one of their singles though, ‘Aqua Manera’ and a YouTube link is below. This is one of the songs produced by Martin and Tim Boo and once you hear the ‘Lazarus’-style Spanish trumpets you’ll see what influence they had on it.


Anyway, best be off, I need to see what this Pastel Collision band are all about. Until next time…


The Formula One post I wrote made it’s way over to Canada recently and was picked up by Lee Nicholson, the former lead singer of the band. We had a chat over email and he’s managed to fill in a few gaps of what happened to the rest of the band since Formula One stopped playing together – in Lee’s own words “Formula One never officially disbanded, it just kind of fizzled out”.

They recruited a sixth member of the band (Miles) and him, Lee, Kerrie and Dave the guitarist moved to Brighton, formed the band Domestic4 and released an album and two EPs. More information on these releases can be found here :

Even though they have now all gone their separate ways, they all still keep in touch but, since moving across the pond, Lee has been working on a solo project called Electrohome and here is a link to some of his songs :

It’s great and I highly recommend you have a listen.

I feel my job now is to get the original line-up back over here to reform for a 20th Anniversary gig – you never know…”.



Failed Rock Star in awful early 90s grunge band, Prehistoric Wife, failed blogger with dad blog ‘musodad’ and collaborative music blog ‘Session Bloggers’, Simon went solo in 2013 with the release of his own music blog ‘Hertford Soul’.

With over 6 months without a post, Simon was recently plucked from obscurity by the lovely people at EIO40 with a chance to resurrect his music blogging career. Many have likened the transfer to the risk Brendan Rodgers took in signing Mario Balotelli but Simon sees himself as more of a Rickie Lambert-type blogger. Erm, hang on a minute…


What great lost indie band will Simon be tracking down next? 

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Meet The Community – Dalliance68

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Here we divert our attention away from the artists and bands and shine a light on some of those individuals whose contributions in our social media world have been an invaluable source of musical joy. By asking a series of 10 questions we want to get inside the mind of a selected community member and understand their indie DNA.


In this edition – Dalliance68

Dalliance68 image





Shoplifters of the world unite, for today we shall be meeting that man with the Filofax and endless collection of gig tickets. On twitter we know him as @Dalliance68 and every morning we await with anticipation the appearance of that infamous James R Reid photo of Elvis crashing onto our Twitter feed. Discovering what gig ticket or gig memory Dalliance68 may share that day has become bit of a breakfast time ritual. Something to enjoy while we have our cornflakes and a lovely cup of rosey lee.

We are absolutely convinced that Dalliance68 has been to a gig on every calendar day of a year and we are determined to test this theory. You mark our words! As for that infamous Filofax full of carefully recorded gig attendances. Dalliance68 has restored credibility to a much maligned relic of the 1980s. For that the world should rejoice.

So without further ado, let’s meet Dalliance68

1) Where did you grow up?

Harrow in North West London. A fairly unremarkable place.

2) What first got you into “indie” music?

It was December 1983. There I was in my bedroom watching my portable black and white TV. I was doing what would now be called ‘channel hopping’ which was then tuning in the TV via a dial on the front (youngsters ask your parents). As I did so I came across The Old Grey Whistle Test showing a Smiths gig from Derby. I was transfixed.

What was this? Who were these people? A singer waving flowers singing in a way that I’d never heard before, words and phrases that immediately distanced this band from everything else I’d heard up until then.  A guitarist that just looked like the coolest bloke I’d ever seen playing guitar lines that were mesmerizing. A crowd going berserk, throwing flowers and jumping over the stage. It’s been mentioned since by a number of people but I couldn’t reference the sound, it was new exciting and the most incredible music I’d ever heard. I never looked back; it was indie music and nothing else from that moment on.

3) What was the first “indie” record you bought?

Well, my first ever vinyl purchase was Elvis Costello’s ‘Oliver’s Army’ which I suppose is a bit indie. Otherwise I think it was probably ‘Love Will Tear us Apart’

4) What was your favourite record shop?

I have fond memories of Our Price in Harrow, this is where I used to turn up mid-morning on the date of Smiths singles releases. After a while I knew when the brown boxes of singles would be delivered, I’d then approach the counter probably wearing a Smiths t-shirt and cardigan and ask for whichever single was being released that day. As the assistant went to look for it I’d tell them it was in the brown box, I’d then get a pristine copy prior to any price stickers being added. Then home where I’d listen to it constantly for hours on end.

I also liked HMV in Oxford Street where I’d rush to in order to secure The Wedding Present’s Hit Parade singles.

5) What music magazines did you read?

It was NME and Melody Maker with occasional Sounds purchases. I had a couple of letters published in the NME. One asked whether I was the only person in the country who didn’t like ‘OK Computer’. Apparently I was. The second letter was one pointing out how Paul Heaton was beginning to resemble Ron Dixon of Brookside fame. I wasn’t the only one to spot it however, they printed my letter second and then berated me for not being first telling me I was going to “die in a pool of whisky piss” Charming.

6) What was your first “indie” gig?

My first ‘indie’ gig was my first ever gig. March 21st 1986 Red Wedge at Hammersmith Odeon. The line-up was Lorna G, Blow Monkeys (it gets better), Communards, Billy Bragg and The Style Council. A great night which not only turned me into a big Billy Bragg fan it opened my mind to left wing politics and inspired me to play the guitar. I’ve still got the programme.

7) What was your most memorable “indie” gig? And why?

This was a difficult one.  I’ll plump for the indiest line up I’ve ever experienced. Reading Festival in August  1990. The line-up that day was Psychic TV, Wire, The Young Gods, Ride, Billy Bragg, Buzzcocks, The Wedding Present and Inspiral Carpets. The headliners were fantastic, the highlight being the marching band that came on during ‘She Comes in the Fall’. Mooooo!!!

8) What 3 “indie” albums would you take to a desert island?

This is making my head hurt…….
The Smiths ‘The Queen is Dead’ for its sheer perfection
My Bloody Valentine ‘Loveless’ because there’s nothing like it
The Fall – I Am Kurious Oranj
I’ll have to move on quickly before I realise I haven’t included Half Man Half Biscuit, The Wedding Present, R.E.M, Inspiral Carpets etc etc etc

9) What “indie” band/artist would you most like to meet?

Nigel Blackwell of Half Man Half Biscuit. Genius

10) What one song defines your indie-ness?

‘Dalliance’ by The Wedding Present. The perfect mix of quiet and loud. It also conjures up memories of throwing myself round various venues in London


A huge thank you to Dalliance68 for taking part. Hope you enjoyed this insight into his indie-ness.

You could be next.


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The Indie CV – Jez and Andy Williams

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It is unusual for someone to spend their whole working life at the same organisation and that can pretty much be said for band members and artists. In this regular feature Rob Morgan (@durutti74) maps out the career chronologically of a selected band member.

In this edition Rob compiles the CV for Jez and Andy Williams


Jez and Andy Williams

Born: 18th February 1970, Manchester

Jeremy and Andrew, as their birth certificate names them,  are twin brothers and grew up very close and very interested in music, Jez learning the guitar and Andy the drums. During their education at Wilmslow High School they met Jimi Goodwin, a bass player, and the trio played in many local bands during the mid eighties, at that time a particularly fertile musical scene in Manchester.

1987 – Metro Trinity

Jez became guitarist with Metro Trinity, a little known Manchester band who issued one single on their own Cafeteria label. A four song twelve inch EP titled “Die Young”, it was a typically post C86 indie record, lots of jangle and strum. Easily the best song was “Michael Furey”, a mid tempo strum of nicely layered guitars easily comparable to the Railway Children or a less frantic Bodines. Andy joined his brother in Metro Trinity after the EP was released, and the band recorded one more song, “Stupid Friends”, which was issued on a flexi with Debris fanzine later in 1987 alongside “Garage Full Of Flowers”, the debut recording by the Inspiral Carpets which was already referencing the Stone Roses’ “Garage Flower”. But Metro Trinity folded around 1988, just as the Williams twins met up with Goodwin again at the Hacienda.

1991 – 1996 Sub Sub

Influenced by their nights at the home of acid house, Goodwin and the Williams twins ditched their conventional instruments and started to create dance music. They were soon signed to Rob’s Records, run by Rob Gretton, who also became their manager. After a little underground success with their debut “Space Face”, their third single “Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use)”, credited to Sub Sub ft Melanie Williams, was a huge success, Melanie’s soulful vocal over the funky seventies disco groove was highly infectious and the single reached number 3 in the UK charts, and garnered a performance on Top Of The Pops.

Sub Sub would not reach such heights again, but continued to issue singles during the mid 90s, and an album “Full Fathom Five” (it’s a Shakespeare reference, Roses fans). They were well regarded by their peers too, recording singles with Tricky and Bernard Sumner as guest vocalists. However their studio was destroyed by a fire on the Williams twins’ birthday and they took the chance to rethink their direction and motivation.

1998 to 2010 – Doves

Goodwin and the Williams twins decided to return to their electric instruments, Goodwin on bass, Jez on guitar and Andy on drums, naming themselves Doves. Still managed by Gretton, Doves started attracting attention with their debut single “The Cedar Room”, released in 1998. Mark Radcliffe played it often on his afternoon Radio One show and it’s mesmerising slow trudge of glacial guitars and a soaring chorus made Doves a band to watch.

A few more singles led to a deal with Heavenly Records and their debut album “Lost Souls” was issued in 2000. Admittedly Goodwin was their lead singer but both Williams brothers were given lead vocals on each album as a measure of democracy. Indeed the album’s lead single “Here It Comes” contrasts verses sung by Andy with Goodwin’s chorus.

The heart of the album was the song which kicked off side two (in old money). “Melody Calls” was again sung by Andy and describes how music can express thoughts which are hard to speak, the second verse is perfect:

“The words don’t come so easy
She can’t say what’s inside
The sounds they do speak for me
The sounds remain forever
Stays with her till morning time”

“Lost Souls” is an album full of heart, rising like a phoenix from the tragedy of the Sub Sub studio fire, defiant and ready to battle again. The LP was dedicated to the memory of Rob Gretton who had passed away during the recording of the album. It was well received and nominated for a Mercury prize for album of the year and “Catch the sun” became a surprise hit single too.

2002 saw the return of Doves, first issuing the single “There Goes The Fear”, an eight minute monster of a song culminating in a Brazillian percussion carnival, and “The Last Broadcast” LP. While “There Goes The Fear”, “Pounding” and the gorgeous “Caught By The River” all charted well, the album allowed the Williams twins to shine too. “M62 Song”, sung by Andy, sounds like it was recorded on a Walkman beside the titular motorways (and Andy sounds oddly like James Roberts of the Sea Urchins and Delta here). On the other hand, Jez gets the opening song “Words”, a powerful statement of intent over driving drums and circling guitar arpeggios, while Jez sings of resilience and self belief, an absolutely cracking album opener.

Doves’ third album “Some Cities” was released in 2005 and again was highly anticipated, the thumping lead single “Black and White Town” was another success but if anything the album suffered from sounding slightly too similar to their previous work in places. Again each Williams twin sang a song, Andy’s “Shadows of Salford” sounded like ‘M62 Song” on piano, but Jez’s “The Storm” was an orchestrated beauty, slow and gorgeous, which in places sounds like a Bond theme. The best song on the album was the closer “Ambition”, recorded live in a church – they were making a video there and were taken by the acoustics. There’s something of the feel of Bark Psychosis in that song.

Maybe Doves knew they were repeating themselves because when they returned in 2009 with their fourth album “Kingdom Of Rust” their music felt familiar yet refreshed, and the electronic elements on songs such as opener “Jetstream” made a difference. That song, sung by Andy, pulsed like Kraftwerk taking “Trans Europe Express” to an airport and was an early album highlight alongside the title track.

Later in the album Andy had another lead vocal on “Compulsion”, where the strangely funky rhythm pattern sounds like A Certain Ratio throwing Chic down the stairs (in a nice way). “Kingdom Of Rust” was a great return to form but after a tour and a greatest hits album, Doves went on hiatus in 2010.

2014 onwards – Black Rivers

Jez and Andy began working on new material outside of Doves from 2012 onwards and started releasing songs and performing live from 2014 under the band name Black Rivers. Their debut album was issued in 2015 and takes in some wider influences than Doves, there’s hints of 60s psychedelia on opener “Diamond Days” while “The Ship” is a second cousin to Portishead’s “The Rip”.


Andy and Jez share vocal duties equally and it sounds enough like Doves for most fans to find something familiar in it, especially those characteristic guitar arpeggios of Jez’s on “Voyager 1”. Black Rivers are touring this summer (blimey, they’re playing the Trades Hall in Hebden Bridge, clearly a hotbed of indie in Yorkshire) and should be worth seeing if you have the time.

It seems like the Williams twins still have plenty of great music in them to add to their considerable legacy.



Rob writes about music and other less important subjects at his blog A Goldfish Called Regret ( and also creates podcasts for Goldfish Radio (

He never achieved his ambition of making a Sarah Record.



Whose CV will Rob be writing next?

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Something New Review – Dot Dash “Earthquakes & Tidal Waves”

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When the opportunity arose to review the latest offering from Washington DC post punk outfit Dot Dash we knew straight away that this would be a perfect opportunity to sub-contract the task to a guest contributor. Dot Dash featured in our interactive world earlier in the year when their album Half-Remembered Dream was nominated as best album of 2013 in our #30yearsofindiealbums event.

Their sponsor on that day was Esther (@Myrtleleaf) and so it was to California that we headed (virtually) to ask if a she would be up for the task at hand. Not only were we delighted that Esther agreed to do the review but that she targeted the whole album rather than just the Raincoats single that was due for release.

So here is what Esther had to say about Dot Dash’s album “Earthquakes & Tidal Waves”


Dot Dash’s fourth album, Earthquakes & Tidal Waves, was released in March by Canadian indie label The Beautiful Music, run by music taste-maker Wally Salem, through whom I first discovered Dot Dash’s music on Twitter a couple of years ago.

Their songs are 2 to 3-minute blasts of a combination of power pop and post-punk pop, catchy melodies, and memorable clever lyrics. I love singer Terry Banks’ vocals that don’t compete with the music’s energy. (I don’t care for loud or indiscernible vocals, which can make or break a band for me!) Comparisons have been made to The Jam, Replacements and Husker Du, to name a few, and it’s the great production that gives their music a fresh sound (it IS famed producer Mitch Easter at the helm, after all).

The opening track Winter Of Discontent previews what’s in store for the album: generally mid-paced tempos, roaring yet melodic guitars, prominent drums, and lots of ooohs. Outstanding from start to finish, its hooks will continue to buzz in your head long after you’ve heard it. Here I’ll highlight a few favorites:

Rainclouds is an infectious song that showcases Terry’s vocal range. From the low almost gritty voice in its opening verse recalling a lost Jesus and Mary Chain song, to the soaring high vocals near the end of the song. Also, who can spot the Raspeberries’ Go All The Way opening riff? Oh so subtle, but I hear it.

Dot Dash – Rainclouds

Tatters is a beautiful song but you wouldn’t know it by the somber lyrics. There’s the memorable lyric in the chorus ‘It doesn’t matter illusions get shattered along the way, and everything’s in tatters anyway’, lots of jangly guitar and a nice key change as well.

Closing out the album is the mellow but musically cinematic Sleep, Sleep. There’s more clever and somber wordplay. The highlight for me is the beautiful bassline and dreamy keyboard solo–interlude might better describe it–in the middle of the song. Then there’s a break, more oooohs and the song finishes as quietly as it started. All this anchored with understated but effective cymbal rolls throughout. Just beautiful. Easily one of my favorite songs of theirs.

As much as I raved over this album when it came out this year, I have to remember it was their prior release in 2013, Half-Remembered Dream, that was one of my most listened to albums of that year, proving to me again how consistently good their music is. Do your ears a favor and check that one out (and remaining back catalog!) as well.

Where to find Dot Dash:

If you order through the label’s website, Wally will throw in a few goodies as well, as he loves to share good music, and one of the reasons he has one of the best indie pop labels around.

Esther (@myrtleleaf)

Dot Dash image


Thank you to Esther for a wonderful review. 

EIO40 is not solely concerned with nostalgia. We are eager to support new music as well as up and coming artists. So watch out for further reviews of newer stuff and of course if you would like to review something yourself, you know where to find us.

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The Indie Top Ten Songs With Profanities In The Title

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In this regular feature we ask the Everything Indie Over 40 social media community to help us compile a top ten list of a chosen topic. Our resident curator John Hartley (@JohnyNocash) then ponders, disects and finally presents.

In this edition:-

The Indie Top Ten Songs With Profanities In The Title

“Truth is, I used to think it mattered. I thought that music mattered. But does it bollocks. Not compared to how people matter”.

So speaks the legendary British actor Pete Postlethwaite in the film ‘Brassed Off’. And he is right, of course. But sometimes we need the music to help us make the people matter, or to take our minds off the fact that sometimes it would appear that people do not matter. More importantly, however, the above quote demonstrates possibly the finest use of my favourite swear word ever. It’s even better than that album title by The Sex Pistols.

You, dear contributors, of course have different preferences; for swear words, for song titles, for bands. A quite impressive 51 different suggestions, no less, which makes compiling this Top 10 even trickier. You buggers.

1. Flux Of Pink Indians – “Mind Fuckers Fucking Minds”

The prize for the most profanities included in the title is awarded to the @mixless – nominated Flux of Pink Indians. If you were that way inclined you could even afford yourself a childish snigger at the fact that the band name itself includes a word that sounds like it might be rude. However, ‘The Fucking Cunts Treat Us Like Pricks’ is a remarkable title that surely everybody can relate to in some shape or form. Unfortunately, the title is not a song in itself so cannot count. Fortunately, ‘Mind Fuckers Fucking Minds’ is a song, and it can be found on that album, here:

2. Julian Cope “All The Blowing Themselves-Up Motherfuckers (Will Realise The Minute They Die They Were Suckers)”

In the current climate of religion-induced violence (and yes, I know it’s been going on for centuries, but at the moment it doesn’t look like it’s about to vanish) it seems appropriate that Julian Cope’s ‘All The Blowing Themselves-Up Motherfuckers (Will Realise The Minute They Die They Were Suckers)’ should be included. Nominated by @051Omski this particular track wins the award for longest title amongst the contenders.

3. Future Of The Left “Robocop 4: Fuck Off Robocop”

The most-nominated song in the list is a seven-way tie, so I am going to take the casting votes and go with the suggestion made by both @lucyandamysdad and @charlie_clown. Future of the Left released a track entitled ‘Robocop 4: Fuck Off Robocop’; quite a brave title, as personally I would have named it Robocop 2, so credit for making it through three films before being reduced to swearing, folks.

4. The Sugarcubes “Fucking In Rhythm And Sorrow”

It often appears to be the case that the use of profanity within a song is for shock purposes. Many of our modern day profanities derive from old English terminology for functional activities. Only two of the suggestions actually used the language within this context. Only one of these makes it into the Top 10, however: step forward @Billychief for the nomination of The Sugarcubes. True enough, many of Einaar’s vocal contributions were sufficient to reduce many a listener to swearing but Bjork’s voice generally wins over. Such is the case with ‘Fucking In Rhythm And Sorrow’ from their debut album.

5. Belle and Sebastian  ‘Fuck This Shit’

However, sometimes the joy of the profanity is the simplicity and ease with which it shocks. When the chosen word is used by a band normally viewed as soft, gentle, twee even, that shock can only be magnified. Take Belle and Sebastian, for example: a band often associated with daydreaming, picking flowers in the park, going for a nice walk in the countryside and so on. I was quite shocked when hearing them complain about the referee giving them “fuck all” in ‘Another Sunny Day’, so you can imagine how far my jaw dropped when they named a song ‘Fuck This Shit’. Thanks @Wimon for reminding us:

6. Stereolab “You Little Shits”

The swear word can be used to create offence, to insult, to provoke. However, I reckon it works best when there simply are no other words left in the dictionary to express the unfolding situation. Just picture the scene, as I am sure that – like myself – @BeardedSteven has pictured it: it’s bin night, a grimy, grey London towerblock estate, and the air is heavy with drizzle. Stereolab’s Tim Gane has just sent his singer down four flights of stairs (the lift is broken) to put the last few lettuce leaves into the organic waste bin. As she approaches, Laeitita Sadier sees a gaggle of youths scarper from the bins, and on arriving finds that one of them has only gone and put a plastic bottle into the organic waste bin. Exasperation is an understatement, and ‘You Little Shits’ are the only words she can muster…

7. Nirvana “Territorial Pissings”

The joy of the EIO40 community is that everyone has very different tastes which sometimes overlap, like a massive Venn Diagram. However, those of you with gentler dispositions might choose to approach @mkip_68 with caution, given the number of suggestions offered by this particular member of our community (ie more than anyone else). The best-titled of these nominations is ‘Territorial Pissings’ by little known Seattle band Nirvana. They were tipped for big things at one stage, you know. Maybe their mums took offence at their song titling?

8. Blammo! “Wanky Wayne”

So many vulgarities, so many songs, yet some words are clearly more popular than others. Credit must go to @rojoyblancowizs for finding a song with a profanity in the title that nobody else used. (Or at least chose; what you do in your spare time is none of my business… ). This particular term must have been the bane of folk named similarly to the song’s subject; it has certainly been the bane of supporters of my football team (a Wanderers) and my county (Lancashire). Credit must be also due to finding the most obscure song within those suggested. So obscure in fact that intensive research on the internet failed to locate any record of it.

Notwithstanding that I’m taking @rojoyblancowizs word for it’s existence, because that’s the sort of trusting person I am. However, if anyone out there can enlighten us to Blammo!’s ‘Wanky Wayne’ please point us in the right direction so we can share this with you all.

9. Half Man Half Biscuit “The Bastard Son Of Dean Friedman”

I had the pleasure of attending a Babybird gig in the early part of this decade. Not averse to the odd rant or two, Stephen Jones on this occasion decided to rail against radio networks. Taking umbrage at their complete ignorance of his featuring-Johnny-Depp single ‘Unloveable’, Jones bemoaned the lack of radio play his music was getting because “without radio, you’re fucked”. He then proceeded to announce the next song of the evening, the band’s next single: ‘Bastard’. Nobody suggested that particular song, but another of my favourite bands Half Man Half Biscuit were nominated twice, including ‘The Bastard Son Of Dean Friedman’ as offered by @timh0bbs

10. Pixies “Oh My Golly!”

Sometimes, however, not even the most vulgar of words suffice to capture the very essence of anger, frustration, exasperation, rage, rebellion and so on. It is at times like these we must scour deep into our souls, flick the pages of our Oxford English Dictionary and pull out the only words left to capture the rawest of emotion. Step forward @Dalliance68, a community member who must have done this several times before, for that surely can be the only reason behind his Pixies nomination ‘Oh My Golly’

So there ends the Everything Indie Over 40 Top 10 songs with profanities in their titles. Thanks to the many, many other community members who offered suggestions for which there was insufficient space. Now go and wash your collective mouths out with soap and water.


After spending the best part of twenty five years trying to write the perfect pop song John Hartley has turned his attention to writing about those who have done a much better job at it. He tweets as @JohnyNocash and gives away his music, generally for free, at

Listen out on Facebook & Twitter for further Indie Top Ten themes. We need your help.

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Meet The Community – Clive Stringer

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Here we divert our attention away from the artists and bands and shine a light on some of those individuals whose contributions in our social media world have been an invaluable source of musical joy. By asking a series of 10 questions we want to get inside the mind of a selected community member and understand their indie DNA.


The first thing we did when we opened up a HR file on Clive Stringer was look up what a Samoyed was, not being particularly au fait with the canine world. Clive compliments his love of white fluffy dogs from Siberia with a passionate interest is those healthy sporting pastimes of Snooker and Darts. Thankfully he’s never shared Chas & Dave’s “Snooker Loopy” among the community or anything by Darts. If you look at Clive’s twitter profile pic (@Clive_Stringer) he is sporting what looks like a hipster beard of snooker balls.

Most importantly Clive loves his indie music and has been an eager participant in pretty much every interactive event we have done. Although not so eager to agree to be a guest judge in the 30 Years Of Indie Albums or a guest referee in The IndieOver40 Cup. Three times we must have asked him.

However, we are delighted to have finally got our man as Clive has put pen to paper and agreed to let us intrude upon his indie-ness.

So without further ado, let’s meet Clive Stringer

1) Where did you grow up?

I’ve lived all my life in Wantage, an average sized town in South Oxfordshire. I wouldn’t say there’s been a dearth of successful alternative acts from the locality, but the only tenuous connection I can conjure is that the tax-dodging horseman Lester Piggott was born here and who featured in the James ‘Sometimes’ song.

2) What first got you into “indie” music?

I remember this clearly as it was a total Indie Eureka moment. ITV’s Saturday morning Chart Show is oft fondly remembered in our community as it was one of the very few shows where you could hear left-field music back then. Anyway, there I was still half asleep and munching my corn flakes when this weird yet tuneful ditty featuring a woman half shrieking half singing the chorus caught my attention. It was nothing like I’d ever heard before, it was stunning, it was Birthday by The Sugarcubes, and I never played my Suzanne Vega tapes again (this last bit may not be entirely true).

3) What was the first “indie” record you bought?

It would have been the aforementioned, and then retrospectively buying some REM and Go-Betweens albums. The Mighty Lemon Drops ‘World Without End’ was an early one too as I recall.

4) What was your favourite record shop?

Definitely The Manic Hedgehog in Headington, Oxford. Readers of NME, Melody Maker etc at the time may recognise the name as it often featured in the back pages alongside Alan’s Records, Sister Ray etc. I used to attend Brookes University just up the road hence it was convenient, not to mention the only independent record shop within a 20 mile radius of where I lived.

The place always reeked of joss sticks (possibly to overhaul other aromas) and the management used to put stickers on the top right hand corners of the LP’s advising you what genre it was, who it sounded like, etc, because of course there were no listening booths. I bought some memorable EP’s there in particular, including The Badgers Picnic EP and Chicane’s ‘Wanderlust’. I mean, who can forget them?…

5) What music magazines did you read?

The tried and tested Smash Hits to NME / Melody Maker progression. Sad to see the NME’s demise as in that era I bought it with the likes of Maconie, Collins, Quantick etc writing and it was a cracking read irrespective of how strong the music scene was at the time.

That said, I did petulantly boycott the NME for a while after having a letter in praise of The Frank & Walters published in Angst, only for the journo reviewing the letters to slag me off. Thankfully I got over it and am not bitter nor scarred by the experience. The cow.

6) What was your first “indie” gig?

Cue the ‘Our Tune’ music because my first gig ended in disaster. A mate and I boarded the train to see REM at the Birmingham NEC only to realise that the last train back was halfway through the gig. So whilst it would have been more rock and roll to stay to the end and thumb a lift home or something (ok ring Dad) we left prematurely.

Technically, mind, that wasn’t an indie gig as it was the Green tour, REM’s first album on a major. The support act were The Blue Aeroplanes who I saw shortly after at the De Montfort Hall in Leicester, my first true experience of the joys of the moshpit, stagediving, getting covered in beer and if-I-go-to-the-toilet-will-I-ever-get-my-space-back.

7) What was your most memorable “indie” gig? And why?

I would say the Slough Festival in 1991. With Ride topping the bill and Curve, Chapterhouse, Thousand Yard Stare etc in attendance. There were more pedals than the Tour De France and more feedback than an Ebay addict. This was our Shoegazing Woodstock. Only in Slough.

8) What 3 “indie” albums would you take to a desert island?

I’ve often wondered where the power comes from to play these desert island discs but anyway, let’s go Life’s Rich Pageant by REM, Swagger by The Blue Aeroplanes and Eugenie by The Popguns.

9) What “indie” band/artist would you most like to meet?

Bit of a left field answer this one. Simon Rivers from The Bitter Springs. I once wrote to his PO address asking where I could get hold of any Last Party (BS’s previous incarnation) albums. He went up in the loft, fished their LP’s out, and posted them to me with a note for thanking me for taking an interest! So I’d like to meet him to thank him in return. Plus he’s a brilliant lyricist in the Cocker Heaton mould.

10) What one song defines your indie-ness?

Whilst it’s tempting to perm any one of a thousand fey, jangly, Sarah Records-esque tunes, my choice is Mongk II by British Sea Power. Again totally original, a bit of a racket but with a top tune buried in there, to me it’s what indie music is all about – not exactly daytime radio fodder, but different and, in it’s own inimitable way, melodic.


A huge thank you to Clive for taking part. Hope you enjoyed this insight into the indie-ness of Clive.

You could be next.

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Gig Night – The Darling Buds @ Hebden Bridge Trades Club

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We were absolutely delighted when Graeme Lucas offered to share his night out at The Darling Buds gig with us. On Twitter we know him as @GLPNE73 and it didn’t take long for us to crack the code. Graeme Lucas supports Preston North End football club and was born in the year 1973. He has pretty much been a regular fixture in our community since the early days,  sharing tunes and keeping us up to date with his gig nights. We’ve learnt from this that Graeme is rather partial to Nine Black Alps, The Cribs and Toy among others.

Anyway, this is what Graeme has to say about his night with The Darling Buds (and what an enjoyable read it is)


The Darling Buds @ Hebden Bridge Trades Club – Saturday 18th July 2015

Gig reviews always leave me with memories of my youth, which is, like most of us, many moons into the past. One in particular stands out…June 1993, I was about to sit my English Language A Level (resit) and had a problem. The night before the exam, a gig in Manchester had appeared on my radar. Now, as a Prestonian with no car, getting to Manchester Academy midweek usually meant a train, but somehow, on this occasion, another friend said they would drive. They had no exam the following morning, so no issues there for them. Trouble was, back then, I had no self control, no stop button, and therefore, the gig was on. The Lemonheads, supported by Eleventh Dream Day.

The night is a bit of a blur in all honesty, and I stumbled home at around 3am, and wasn’t exactly bright eyed and bushy tailed at 9am when the exam started. Nervously, hung over, I opened the booklet to see the choice of titles. One immediately caught my eye. It simply said, ‘Write a review of a theatre visit or classical concert you have recently attended’. Job done. In my eyes, the world ‘classical’ was open to interpretation. Why am I telling you this? It was the last gig review I ever wrote.

So onto Saturday and a bit of context. Hebden Bridge, unless you live north of Birmingham, is probably somewhere that sounds mysterious, quaint and quirky. In a way, it is. The small town of Hebden Bridge is halfway between the industrial mill towns of Burnley and Halifax, but deep enough into Yorkshire for me to be slightly paranoid about my Preston accent, despite Hebden Bridge having a reputation for being highly tolerant of alternative lifestyles. The night started with a pint in a pub served by an elderly lady so small, she struggled to reach the pumps. Top shelf challenge firmly off our agenda then!

At 8pm, we headed up to the venue, the brilliantly named ‘Trades Club’, a dark and imposing building typical of Yorkshire architecture. We walked in and up the stairs, disturbed by the silence. As we got to the top, a small bar on the right was being used by 5 or 6 people, a game of pool was ongoing but no other sign of life. A further door, into the events room was closed and we were told doors opened at 8-30, with the band on at 9-30. No support band had been found. Back into town, where my fears about the accent were confirmed, on a number of occasions, ‘Where are you from?’ was asked, closely followed by ‘Are you Burnley boys?’ Given that most people in this area support either Leeds or Burnley, my mate took a punt with the response ‘I am, but he’s a Preston fan’. Thanks mate…anyway, I somehow avoided a kicking and at 9pm we headed back to the Trades.

Hebden Bridge Trades Club

Hebden Bridge Trades Club

I’d love to say the place was rammed, but it wasn’t. In all honesty, a venue that probably holds 300 had around 60 diehards. The Darling Buds emerged at 9-30 on the dot, opening the set with the wonderful ‘Spin’, which got the crowd going quickly. Andrea threw flowers into the crowd, which were treasured by those lucky enough to catch. The set continued at a blistering pace, covering a range of tracks from all three albums. In between songs, the band engaged well with a passionate crowd, my particular highlight was someone shouting ‘you rock’, which Andrea misheard as ‘you’re crap’! The warmth from the crowd was notable, with pogoing and even the semblance of a moshpit at times. A Cribs gig it was not, but lively it was. The main part of the set ended, but the band themselves stayed longer, not bothering to go off and on again. The ‘encore’ they designed was not a disappointment. The live sound was edgier and harder than on record, which really worked.

‘You’ll know this one’ introduced Burst, which sent the small crowd wild, swiftly followed by Hit The Ground and they ended with Shame on You. The only shame of the evening was that there weren’t more people there to enjoy a cracking show. Andrea and the rest of the band seemed genuinely touched by the response of the crowd and I hope they had as good a night as we did. The crowd swiftly dissipated and we headed back across the Pennines to Rawtenstall.

My gig buddy had a surprise up his sleeve. Bizarrely named Artisan Cafe was our destination. ‘There’s a band on’ he told me, and as we pulled up, the opening chords of ‘Anarchy in the U.K.’ burst out of the bar. This bar was rammed, loads of 40+ people enjoying Riflemen of War, a local punk covers band. For the next hour or so, we were treated to a variety of punk classics. Stiff Little Fingers, Sham 69, Tenpole Tudor, The Clash and much much more. By the end of their set I’d had quite a few so I have no real recollection of how good they were, or how tight the sound was. I had a damn good time though. Next gig lined up for me involves a trip down south. Oxford. That is the south, right? Taking my son, who is 10, to see the mighty Polyphonic Spree. Who knows? I might write another review, making a total of 3 in my 42 years!

Poster "liberated' by Graeme

Poster “liberated’ by Graeme


We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about Graeme’s gig night. We would love to hear about your own gig experiences whether they are recent or in the past. Please contact us if you would like to contribute, via email or Twitter @IndieOver40

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