MIMR Band Chat: The Heavy North

With the pandemic showing no sign of easing anytime soon, how ever much we all hope it does, new music never stops to be produced and that’s where one of MIMR newest discoveries The Heavy North really shine with their gritty rock sound. I spoke to the band about their EP, pandemic activities and festival highlights.

MIMR: Welcome to MIMR, how best would you describe your sound and what influences greatly shape it?


THN: Thanks for taking for the time to talk to us! The Heavy North’s sound was described as “dirty scuzzed-up dive bar blues” by a gig reviewer after one of our early live shows and that kind of stuck – and that description helped us with a title for our debut vinyl EP.

We’d probably describe ourselves as “garage-blues rock” and although all five members of the band have our own personal influences, some key artists who have helped shape our sound include Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, Cream, The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix, as well as some modern bands like The Black Keys, Rival Sons and Little Barrie.

There’s also a bit of soul thrown in too like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, especially when it comes to Kenny’s vocals which are a massive part of The Heavy North’s sound.




MIMR: You certainly made 2020 a busy one culminating in the release of the excellent 4 track EP ‘Dive Bar Blues’. How was your 2020 overall and what are your plans for the rest of this year?


THN: Considering the last ‘proper’ gigs we played were in March 2020 supporting Temples and Cut Glass Kings in Liverpool, 2020 has actually worked out quite well for the band and we’ve been able to achieve most of our goals during the year and we finally released our first vinyl EP ‘Dive Bar Blues’ in December 2020.

Like a lot of artists we started doing some lockdown videos and live streams in April/May 2020 which was around the same time we released our “breakthrough” single ‘Lying To Yourself’ which went on to pick up plays on BBC Radio 6 and BBC Introducing. Following the release we received some great opportunities including a live radio session and interview with Janice Long on BBC Radio Wales, as well as the opportunity to play to 11,000 empty seats at the M&S Bank Arena in August 2020 for the Liverpool Digital Music Festival which was an incredible experience.

Looking at the year ahead, we’re continuing to promote our 4-track Dive Bar Blues vinyl EP whilst we record some new tracks which we hope we can share this Spring/Summer 2021. It’s difficult to plan any returns to live music at the moment, so we’re focusing on writing and recording and edging closer to finishing our debut album.



MIMR: Now the lockdown has effected everyone in the industry and it still might be a few months before music venues can reopen, where’s the first place you will go once the green light has been given?


THN: It’s been such a difficult 12 months for the industry and especially for so many independent venues across the UK, so as soon as we’re allowed to we’d like to play a run of dates across the country. We’re yet to play a show outside of the North West really, so we’re desperate to get out there again – especially as we’ve started to build a great following over the past 12 months.

We’ve played some great independent venues since we started in November 2018 – including Manchester’s Night & Day, the Bootleg Social in Blackpool and Phase One in Liverpool – and we just hope there’s plenty of grassroots venues left when live music returns.



MIMR: Away from music how have the band passed the time during the pandemic?

Kenny (Vocals): “Crying. I’ve been practicing looking out of windows and I’ve become a very nosey peeper. The woman over the road squeezes her spots in the front window”

Andy (Bass): I’ve taken up road cycling (much to Kenny’s amusement!) and I’ve also enrolled on an online full stack developer course to get into web development. Time to do something I want to do instead of bouncing from job to job – until we get famous and all live in Cheshire of course!


Jose (Guitar): “PlayStation. A lot of Call of Duty. I’m basically a warzone specialist now!”

Mark (Drums): “Mostly brushing up on my barbering tutorials for when I can pick that up again, and I’ve gotten more into bits of photography and editing here and there for fun. Other than music, just been playing a lot of Xbox and trying to relax.”


Ste (Keys): “I’ve been flying through some box sets. I’d never watched the Sopranos or Game of Thrones until lockdown last year, and I’ve gone down a few rabbit holes recently watching some bizarre documentaries too”



MIMR: So we’re not sure if festival season will go ahead this year with Glastonbury being cancelled again but if you could play any festival which one would it be and what 3 bands would like to play with on the same stage?

THN: It’s not looking too good for festival season again this year, but we’d obviously love the opportunity to play at Glastonbury – who wouldn’t? A few of us have been to Glasto over the years and it’s incredible. There’s also some amazing overseas festivals we’d love the opportunity to play – like Primavera (Barcelona), SXSW (Texas) and Coachella (California).

Its’ difficult to name 3 bands we’d like to play with on the same stage – but they’d need to be a ‘proper’ festival band – something like the Stones or Paul McCartney! We’d love to play with some of our modern influences too – like Rival Sons or The Black Keys.




MIMR: Thanks for chatting to us, wish you all the best for this year, let’s hope you can hit the road and play sooner rather later. How can people follow you on social media?


THN: We’re all over social media, and that’s played such a big part in helping us to build a fan base during the pandemic. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @theheavynorth.

We also have plenty of videos on our YouTube channel where you can also find footage of our set at the M&S Bank Arena last August – which is definitely the closest thing to a gig we’ve done during the pandemic – just search ‘The Heavy North’


Thanks for speaking to us!

MIMR Review: The Be Positives ‘It’s Easy (If You Try)

In a long overdue inclusion on the blog, Manchester melodic pop quartet The be Positives glide themselves effortlessly into our hearts with their pre xmas single (Dec 15th) and certainly was one of MIMR favourite tracks to end the troublesome year that was 2020.

Produced at the start of the 1st lockdown, a vintage 60s folk vibe is glowing throughout with blissful vocals and sumptuous, vibrant tones that are hard not to tap a foot or two to.

With the dawn of the new year behind us let’s hope we can experience the joy that one of their live shows would surely bring sooner rather than later.

Check it out here:

Mr Matthew Fisher ‘Micky’

As we dive head first into 2021 hoping for something better than the current state of affairs in this mad world we now live in, this year has already seen the emergence of some new artists to MIMR, with one such act catching the eye at the back end of 2020, that being the mercurial talents of singer-songwriter Mr Matthew Fisher.

His 2nd single ‘Micky’ released yesterday (Jan 8th) is a pop-rock stomp from a chap who was included in our recent Sounds Of 2021 list and who will be sure to gain many more followers throughout 2021.

A suave and sophisticated delivery with punchy guitars and some funky grooves make for a purposeful and cleverly arranged track, take a bow mister!

Here’s the track, not dancing is not a option.

MIMR Sounds Of 2021

In the 1st feature of a brand new year on the blog, it’s time once again for our picks of bands worth checking out this year, lets hope we can see all these live at some point.

Here are MIMR Sounds of 2021 list:

Mr Matthew Fisher

The Galahads

Sinclair

Stepford Wives

Cold Water Swimmers

DEAFDEAFDEAF

The Hyena Kill

The Battery Farm

Giant Boys

Jessica Luise

MIMR Best Albums of 2020

So it’s MIMR final feature of 2020 and we all hope that 2021 will be a lot more back to normal for everyone in the music industry. As we look back on the year, despite the obvious changes that people have had to deal with, a lot of great records were produced.


Here are MIMR’s top 20 albums of the year.




20. Demons of Ruby Mae   ‘We Have All the Time in The World’





19. Orchards  ‘Lovecore’





18. Ghostlawns  ‘Motorik’





17. Kaleiders  ‘Melancholy Undertones’





16. The Lottery Winners ‘The Lottery Winners’





15. Alpha Male Tea Party ‘Infinite Stare’





14. Inego ‘Departures’




13. Wintergreen  ‘The Future Is a Way of Life’


12. SPQR  ‘Ribbons’




11. Peaks  ‘Season’




10. Heavy Salad  ‘Cult Casual’



9. Danny Gruff  ‘Author of My Own Misfortunes’



8. Bethlehem Casuals  ‘The Tragedy of Street Dog’



7. Ist Ist  ‘Architecture’
6. Teenanger  ‘Good Time’



5. Grasshopper  ‘Scuttle’




4. Seazoo  ‘Joy’



3. USA Nails  ‘Character Stop’



2. Grotbags  ‘Grotbags’



1. Kidsmoke  ‘A Vision in the Dark’

MIMR Best EPs of 2020

It’s safe to say that 2020 has been a year like no other in living memory for everyone and the sudden halt to normal life has hit every community and industry. Despite all of this, musicians have revelled in the challenge, bubbling over their creative juices in the absence of live music to make some cracking records.

Here are MIMR Top 40 EPs

40. Alien Feelings ‘Bondage and Lipstick’

39. Little Ways ‘The 4-3-2-1 EP’

38. Soccer 96 ‘Tactics EP’

37. Sheafs ‘Vox Pop’

36. Yard Arms ‘Sanctuary Lines’

35. Magic Spells ‘Bubbly’

34. The Lathums ‘Ghosts’

33. Origami Tsunami ‘Drift Into The Sun’

32. Joell Jordi ‘Joell Jordi’

31. Pizza Crunch ‘Off Their Heads’

30. Cobain Jones ‘Unplugged’

29. Document ‘A Camera Wanders All Night’

28. Wood Ewe ‘I Love You Too, Disembodied Voice’

27. Persian Rug Sale ‘Love Songs’

26. Seagoth ‘Internet Cafe’

25. SPQR ‘No Brain, No Pain’

24. Roxy Girls ‘A Wealth Of Information’

23. Chihuahua ‘Live At Boxyard’

22. Peaks ‘Saturday Soak EP’

21. Michael Webster ‘Live At Spirit Studios’

20. Cassette Apes ‘Don’t Bring a Drum Machine to a Dogfight’

19. Snooker Season ‘The American Office’

18. Van Houten ‘Home Alone’

17. The Lotts ‘We Are The Lotts’

16. Furrowed Brow ‘Dead Dead Dead Still Digging’

15. Those Fucking Snowflakes ‘Straight White Wealthy Male Suffrage’

14. Stepford Wives ‘Soul Waves’

13. Crapsons ‘Clotheslined By a Nun EP’

12. TV Face ‘Work, Work Have Fun EP’

11. Alex Rave and The Spectical ‘Profound Absurdities’

10. Eitha Da ‘Fizzy’

9. Diving Station ‘June Damp’

8. Threads ‘Teletext’

7. Giant Boys ‘Click & Collect’

6. TV Face ‘Like Dominoes EP’

5. Home Counties ‘Redevelopment EP’

4. Dense ‘Abjection’

3. Leisure Theory ‘Deliverance’

2. The Battery Farm ‘Ending Unstoppable Pain’

1. The Sewer Cats ‘Zelda’

MIMR Best tracks of 2020

So this year has been something a bit different to say the least, with our whole lives been changed quite significantly since March. Despite all this there has been a plethora of new music released and it was our tough job to put them in some kind of order and narrow them down to just the best 50, here they are.

50. Nossiennes ‘Vivire’

49. Benji Holmes ‘Move Like A Shark’

48. Joell Jordi ‘Living For Tonight’

47. Cobain Jones ‘Wonder’

46. Thrillhouse ‘Lesser’

45. We Three Kings ‘Savoir Fair’

44. Wood Ewe ‘Commuter’

43. Suave Martyrs ‘Footsteps’

42. The Goa Express ‘Be My Friend’

41. Those Fucking Snowflakes ‘Meat is Murder But Morrissey is a Dickhead’

40. Peaks ‘Knock On Effect’

39. Campfire Social ‘Speak Louder’

38. Springfield ‘Liqourice’

37. Cassette Apes ‘Problematic’

36. Shredd ‘Cobra’

35. Furrowed Brow ‘That’s Why I’m a Ponce’

34. Snooker Season ‘The American Office’

33. Diving Station ‘Fruit Flies’

32. People Soup ‘Rosemary’

31. Deafdeafdeaf ‘Bodies’

30. Crapsons ‘Clotheslined By a Nun’

29. The One Eyed General’s Bandit ‘I’m Glad You Caught Me When You Did’

28. Woman You Stole ‘Evelyn’

27. Valetta ‘Irregular Low’

26. Springfield Elementary ‘Doctor Doctor’

25. The Red Stains ‘Mannequin’

24. Yard Act ‘Fixer Upper’

23. Liines ‘Sorry’

22. Dense ‘Calcium’

21. The Hyena Kill ‘Bleached’

20. Threads ‘Poverty Tourist’

19. Eitha Da ‘Supernaturalism’

18. Stepford Wives ‘All On Me’

17. Salt The Snail ‘Maate’

16. Sick Ducks ‘Coasting’

15. The Battery Farm ‘Poet Boy’

14. Seazoo ‘The Pleasure’

13. Alex Rave and The Sceptical ‘Itch’

12. Leisure Theory ‘Bend and Break’

11. The Sewer Cats ‘Raw’

10. TV Face ‘Like Dominoes’

9. Giant Boys, Oliver James Lomax ‘Don’t Laugh at My Astro Turf Diane’

8. Geisterhaus ‘The Garden’

7. Kidsmoke ‘The Bluest You’

6. Home Counties ‘Redevelopment’

5. USA Nails ‘I Don’t Own Anything’

4. Grotbags ‘Tinder Surprise’

3. Pondarosa ‘Bright Lights’

2. The Early Mornings ‘Artificial Flavour’

1. Blanketman ‘Beach Body’

Here’s a playlist of the full list:

MMR Band Chat: USA Nails

A band that MIMR has followed very closely over the last few years and despite the obvious changes which have been forced on us all this year they have a released a record up there as one of the most thrilling listens that MIMR has had the pleasure to be engrossed in.

We spoke to Gareth from London punk act USA Nails about ‘Character Stop’, 2021 plans and missing greggs at service stations


MIMR: Hey there, fantastic to have you on the blog, amongst all the negative crap that’s happened this year, how has your year been and has it changed anything about being a band?



Gareth: We were lucky enough to have Character Stop recorded at the back end of last year (i.e. pre lockdowns) so we’ve been able to focus on sorting the release for that, all the admin and videos and artwork and logisitics and stuff, so we’ve had plenty to get on with. In some ways it’s been quite useful as we’ve had more time to sort all that bollocks instead of playing gigs and all that boring stuff (some sarcasm for you there you’re welcome).


MIMR: Here at MIMR we can’t stop listening to the new record, tell us all about it’s production and was the release in anyway affected by the pandemic?



Gareth: We we had to cancel a US tour in April, and all gigs in general, so haven’t been able to launch it in the way we would have normally, but the stuff behind the scenes has all worked ok. The labels and dsitributors and such have been getting on with it. There was a bit of a delay at the European pressing plant but it was only a couple of weeks late, so could have been a lot worse. All the recording/mixing/mastering was sorted pre-lockdown so we didn’t have to worry to much about it in that respect.


MIMR: Now the omission of live music has been the obvious big change to everyday life for everyone in the music industry and the fans too. What’s the one thing you miss about playing live?



Gareth: We’ve chatted extensively as a band about this, the answer is – everything. The socialising, the travelling, the greggs at service stations, even sleeping on shit floors. Gigs are the essence of band life, they are a big positive that balance out all the hard work in between. Without them there’s a lot less to look forward to, and a lot less to enjoy about being in a band. Not to mention the fact that it reduces our income.



MIMR: With a vaccine on the horizon, fingers crossed 2021 will return to some sort of normality, do you guys have an idea of what the band will be up to next year?


Gareth: We have some shows tentatively booked for Spring next year, I’m guessing they’ll be allowed to go ahead but with limited attendance. I think I read something about indoor venues operating at 50% capacity? Most of the gigs we play are only half full anyway HAR HAR.



MIMR: During the lockdown period how have you passed the time away from any music business?



Gareth: I’ve been trying to teach myself a bit more about guitars, so I built a couple, and that’ll be useful for doing my own maintenance on the road in future. Steven and his wife had their first kid last Autumn so he’s been enjoying getting to spend more time being a dad, Tom got furloughed and is currently focussing on helping a local take away business in Haggerston stay afloat (The Duke Of Wellington), Dan worked in events so has been hit hard, but thankfully has found other bits of work along the way.




MIMR: What’s the one thing you wish for this xmas and do you have any new year resolutions?



Gareth: I wish for everyone to be healthy and happy this Christmas. My new year resolution is to stop saying “yes” to everything because I always have more on my to do list than I can cope with.



MIMR: Thanks for chatting to us at MIMR, loving the new record and all the best in 2021. 



Gareth: Thanks for having us/me and for the kind words. 




Check out recent single ‘I Don’t Own Anything’ taken from ‘Character Stop’ record here. Also follow link to their bandcamp too to purchase it, it’s one of the top records of 2020


https://youtu.be/qT1hMybsopw

https://usanails.bandcamp.com/album/character-stop

MIMR Review: The Battery Farm ‘Maggot Line’

Shouting from the rooftops and making themselves heard amongst the chaos of the world currently, Manchester viseral punk quartet The Battery Farm unveil their latest devasting and destructive track ‘Maggot Line’ today (Oct 23rd) and it’s a wild whirlwind, spiralling through your body.

Taken from their upcoming debut EP ‘ENDLESSLY UNSTOPPABLE PAIN’ out Nov 27th which we are very excited about on the blog, the track is another bruising and punishing example of their rip-rawing and heartfelt execution through gripping vocals, some explosive, frenetic riffs and a truly hard-hitting furious insight into their visions of the world, which has recently been turned upside down.

Photos credit: Trust a Fox

The Battery Farm were touted by many to have a big year and despite being halted by the virus, the 4 piece can still command to be up there at the top table of the Manchester scene, let’s hope their explosive live shows can return next year, MIMR will be in the pit down the front!

Check out the track here:

MIMR Review: Van Houten ‘You and Me’

MIMR welcomes back to the blog slacker-pop 5 piece Van Houten with their latest single ‘You and Me’ an intriging insight into their fruitful development of their already enriched sound which drew MIMR in last year.

The follow up to the their self titled record from 2019 is a breath of fresh air with their mature sound now reaching new and exciting heights. The track is taken from their upcoming EP ‘Home Alone’ (out Nov 13th) released via Clue Records and it reflects on the darker side of love and relationships, when they break down and your efforts to deal with the situation often making things worse.

The track glistens and shines throughout, piercing hooks, delicious shoegazing melodies and silky vocals that capture the rich soundscapes they achieve effortlessly.

Having already gained significant press attention the 5 piece from Leeds look set for even more deserved praise, this EP is going to be a bit special!

Here’s the track:

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