MIMR Band Chat: Stepford Wives

Blistering their way onto to the blog during the lockdown period, Stepford Wives display their raucous, power-punch post-punk stylings for us all to enjoy with latest single ‘All On Me’ becoming one of our favourite tracks of the year so far.


We spoke to the Saddleworth quartet about influences, earliest musical memories and tangy wine gums!


MIMR: Great to have you on the blog, how did the band come about and what would you say influences you the most in creating your sound?  


SW: Thank you for having us on the blog 😊 Like many bands, we met at secondary school. However, Niklos was a Media teacher and Rowan (bass) and Jaz (drums) pupils! In the summer of 2018, when the two teenagers left school, the three piece started jamming together. They soon bonded over a mutual love of blunt, loud, quirky guitar based music. Within three months word was put out into the local community that a new band had a vacant slot for a sensitive, articulate, bespectacled lead guitarist. Completely fitting the bill, Dom walked into the garage rehearsal room and promptly decided it wasn’t for him!! We plied him with alcohol and the promise of unlimited tangy wine gums. The deal was sealed. Stepford Wives was born.

Influences range from Johnny Greenwood, the Clash, Periphery, Pixies, life, Crass, drum n bass, Sonic Youth, Peter Tosh, the kitchen sink of literature, love, war, death.  

 

MIMR: Needless to say this year so far has been unlike any other, how have you coped with the drastic changes that have occurred and what’s the latest with the band?  



SW: Well all our headline gigs were cancelled. Our slot on Sky TV Soccer AM was cancelled. Our single All ON ME was released in March virtually into lockdown. Early on it didn’t look good.  

THEN – We started sharing ideas over our WhatsApp group. Song writing became more prolific. We practiced hard on our individual instruments. Our gigs have slowly been rescheduled to  a more Covid realistic time.  

Soccer AM honoured their word and gave us a slot on their last programme of the season – and put us straight on to their best of season playlist.  

Just in the last few weeks we have had interviews with Metro news, all local press, punk legend John Robb over Zoom for Underground England and Louder than War, and a BBC Radio Manchester daytime slot.  

On 22 August we played a gig!! Outdoors at the MMTV Festival in manchester. Not even the Manchester weather spoiled the joyous celebration of live music.

If anything, we are emerging from the lockdown in a stronger position mentally and physically than before, which may sound a bit mad!  



MIMR: What’s your earliest musical memory?   


Rowan – sister teacher me how to play the piano when I was 6. She didn’t know how to play, but she helped me learn from a book.  

Dom – flicking through my dad’s albums – I was entranced by a Buddy holly sleeve for some reason. (Dom looks like a cross between Elvis Costello and Buddy Holly 😊 )  

Jaz – my dad teaching me how to play the guitar at the age of 8, which is probably why I am the drummer.  

Niklos – Christmas at Uncle John’s house about 8 or 9 with my dad and uncle on acoustics singing Beatles, Elvis and Simon and Garfunkel songs. Magical times.      



MIMR: When gigs do return, what venues are your favourite to play  at again?  


SW: We love small, intimate sweaty – the exact breeding ground for you know what… If they manage to sort out virus friendly gigging, we would love to play Night people again in Manchester, the Castle, the Eagle, Deaf Institute, Gorilla, the Peer Hat.   Moving further afield, which we have not had chance to do yet, we want to play the equivalent venues of the above in towns and cities all over the UK and Europe. Bring it fucking on.  


MIMR: Despite the current situation the manchester music scene is still thriving, what other bands out there do you admire?  


SW: Other bands we have connected with so far are Liines, Narrow Margin, Dirty Laces, Scuttlers, C33s, ist ist and electronic artists like Antagonist  



MIMR: Thanks for talking to us, wish you well for rest if year. How can people follow you on social media.  



SW: Instagram – stepfordwivesband

Snapchat – stepford_wives

Facebook – @stepfordwivesband

Twitter –  @stepfordwivesuk  

If you read this, thank you for your time.

Stepford Wives

MIMR Review: Jessica Luise ‘Television Mister’

Released today (Aug 20th) the latest track to whistle it’s way into our mind is the new single by singer-songwriter Jessica Luise one of the many talented acts to have been picked up by our good friends over at Petty Management.

Television Mister’ is her 2nd official single and her 1st with a full band allowing her to venture away from her indie-folk style and break out into a classic indie-rock sound (The Big Moon, Courtney Barnett, Fleetwood Mac) that is instantly pleasing to your ears.

Hailing from Merseyside but now a resident of Manchester, Jessica bright and breezy vocals are a real breath fresh of air and the track floats along with great vigor thoroughout, certainly her biggest single to date ensuring that Jessica Luise has every chance to be a leading light on the scene for a long time.

Here’s the track:

MIMR Band Chat: Sauce

With their bouncy, vibrant rock n roll sound whistling to your ears, Manchester’s power quartet Sauce are ready to spice up your life and shake you out of the doom and gloom we currently face.

We spoke to the band about lockdown, influences and mad haircuts.



MIMR: Great to have you on the blog, who are Sauce and what are your main influences when creating your sound?  


Sauce: Our influences are normally people in our lives, going out on the piss and wanting some good in the world. We love proper guitar bands – Pink Floyd, Queen, Oasis, The Beatles, Black Sabbath and Arctic Monkeys would probably be a good summary of everything that goes into Sauce.  


MIMR: We have been thoroughly enjoying your recent single and accompanying video too, tell us about the track and are they’re any other releases planned for this year?  


Sauce: You know what – at the moment I have no clue at all whether we’ll be releasing anything else yet. We’re in the early stages of recording our own stuff, but I doubt that’s gonna be release quality for a while yet. Basically at the moment, the aim is to write shit loads of tunes, record them as demos and see where that takes us.   



MIMR: It’s tough times for any band in the industry currently, how has the virus affected your immediate plans as a band?  


Sauce: We can’t think about any level of decent gigs which is the fucking worst thing of all – we just want to be at a stage where we can play in front of a crowd of people having it. It’s one thing writing some big tunes, but shite if you’ve no one to play them to. The virus has fucked everyone over so we’re certainly not gonna complain too much though. The only thing we can do is be proactive as we can and get our teeth stuck into something away from gigs.  



MIMR: Personally how has the lockdown been for you all and in your spare time what activities have you done?  


Sauce: The most mad thing was George shaving his hair off earlier on in lockdown, fuck knows when now. He did it on Facebook live, and his Mum’s a hairdresser so she took care of it. Absolutely class, and raised a big chunk of money for the NHS too. 
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=683913022421163&external_log_id=80ed55c29f4611e88a35fd1b9d4368cd&q=george%20stead  In all honesty, the lockdown and no band practise was shite, we caught up a lot though on the virtual meet and just kept positive.  





MIMR: I have to ask this, with your band name being so, what is your favourite sauce?  



Sauce: We had to rank Sauces once on a radio show earlier this year, and I’m pretty sure Siracha came out on top, mayo was up there and I think Ketchup finished at the bottom – someone had to though. I think we can mostly agree that ketchup is sweet with a chippy / on a chip butty. Make of that what you will.  




MIMR: With the thought of live music returning any time soon still appearing to be a while away, what venues have you enjoyed and which ones do you miss hanging out in?  


Sauce: YES is a top venue, we played there last December. That was the first place I went to for a crispy pint once the pubs reopened so I guess I must have missed YES the most. It feels like so fucking long since I went to a gig or we played one. I miss all the venues to be fair. I’d play anywhere tonight if we could.   


MIMR: Thanks for chatting to us, where can people follow you on social media?



Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/artist/3p0p4PMmycMiOTcZxGAANv?si=5FdMpi5aSrapXifa322vQw 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/bandsauce/ 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/sauce_band 

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sauce_band_/ 

Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/sauce-204939947

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBsEOJ9yzWw

MIMR Band Chat: Yard Act

Emerging as one of best new bands around, rock outfit Yard Act from Leeds with their brand of orchestral post-punk goodness are ready to bring their jaunty sound to the masses

They spoke to us about their beginnings, house renovation and garden parties


MIMR: Thrilled to have you on the blog, tell us a brief introduction about the band and how you decided upon your musical direction and style?


YA: We started in January 2020 and managed 3 gigs before lockdown. All we agreed on in regards to direction and style was that the song comes first. 

MIMR: ‘Fixer Upper’ has become one of MIMR favourite tracks this year so far and it’s totally relatable, we all know ‘a Graham’. Are you happy with how the release was recieved and if you could do up your dream home what would be 3 essential work that would have to take place?


YA: I would have two of everything, new, no old shite and a walk in freezer so I can store more of the dead for longer.



MIMR: Lockdown has been a strange time for everyone in the industry, how have you coped as a band during this time and what plans do you have for rest of the year?


YA: We’ve mainly just drank lager in each other’s gardens, and written about 40 demos in the computer. We’re just taking this year as it comes. 

MIMR: Live music including the festival season have been practically wiped out by the virus, what’s the one thing you miss about live shows?


YA: When gigs return, I will never skip the support act ever again.


MIMR: Being stuck in the house day upon day can be a tiring slog, what acts of pleasure have you found to help pass the time away from music?

YA: Existing in the moment.



MIMR: Great to have you on the blog, how can people follow you guys on social media?


YA: Thanks for having us, if you want to find us on the internet, we aren’t hard to find 


Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/YardActBand/

Have MIMR got news for you

In a brand new feature on the blog we round up the latest goings on featuring some of MIMR favourite acts as they navigate their ways through the difficult musical terrain that look set to grip the music scene for a while longer yet.

Firstly, our good friends Campfire Social emerge from the lockdown with a brand new single released today titled ‘ Awake in the Wake of a Wave’ which is another glorious slice of indie-pop which sparkles and glistens brightly. Bubbly and brisk harmonies are met with poignant and to the heart vocals that symbolize the joyful nature of their enchanting sound.

Next up we have the latest news from Manchester dream pop quartet Diving Station with their well crafted and blissful new single ‘Joanna’ released 11th September.

Building on the success of 2018 fantastic ‘Feather Mouth’ EP as well as the captivating singles ‘Honey Bee’ and ‘Film’ from last year, the 4 piece now embark on the latest steps of their journey culminating in the upcoming new EP ‘June Damp’ which is something MIMR will be very excited about.

Having already gained acclaim from the likes of Guy Garvey and Steve Lamacq amongst others, Diving Station have their sights set in the clouds, this EP is going to be special.

Alt-Indie act Thrillhouse now enter the fray with their new track ‘2045’ released 28th August whisking it’s way into your brain with purposeful intent, needing your urgent attention.

The Brighton Chaps wowed up with previous singles including ‘Lesser’ and now their latest effort is already ringing in our ears.

Taking inspiration from Bowie, Talking Heads and the like, the track meanders along with a blend of uplifting, ambient sounds and a effervescent soundtrack which is essential to your well being.

Finally i’d just like to take a minute to mention the super work that Tim Burgess (Charlatans) has been doing with his Listening Parties via Twitter. With over 350 records featured over the course of the last few months, Tim has brought people together during these troubling times to celebrate in the perfect way, listening to music in all it’s forms and putting a smile on people’s faces, a pat on the back to one of my favourite artists from back when i was in school listening to The Charlatans on my cassette player right through to the modern day

You can check the upcoming schedule and delve into the archive on his website here:

https://timstwitterlisteningparty.com/

MIMR Review: The Goa Express ‘Be My Friend’

With a first appearance on MIMR, garage-rock 5 piece The Goa Express brightly illuminate with their crushing no-nonsense noise which grips you to the very core.

Grumbling under the radar of the northern towns for a little while, they set their sails with this latest track released earlier this month firmly catapulting them into our lives. With razor-sharp, chaotic riffs, turbulent beats and bellowing vocals that instantly take you in under there inviting wing and is a pleasing distraction from the current state the world is in.

Be there friend and check out the track here:

MIMR Band Chat: Wood Ewe



Taking his dreamy alt-pop sound and creative a soundscape that is both engrossing and enlightening is equal measure, the Wood Ewe project created by Iain Henderson has firmly become one of MIMR more interesting finds of recent times. We spoke to Iain about the recent single, the lockdown and the future plans of the project.


MIMR: We welcome Iain better known as Wood Ewe to MIMR, how would you best describe your sound and does your songwriting skills change with each track or do you have a tryed and tested method in this process?


Iain: Cheers for having me! If I was to try to sum it up it would be folk tinged experimental pop? Instruments and electronics meet to get a little weird and make you feel warm inside. Up to this point it’s mainly been a case of sitting at my laptop and trying to find a sound that gets me inspired, and from there the components of the track sort of reveal themselves, hopefully! I’ve been working on a lot of new material for 2021 that has been an effort to try another approach, but I’ll have more to share about that in a little while.


MIMR: MIMR have been thoroughly enjoying your music and ‘Commuter’ is a personal
favourite. What’s the track about and how has the ongoing lockdown affected you and your music?


Iain: Cheers! It sounds silly having written but Commuter is a favourite of mine too. I wrote it when I was getting the bus a lot for UV treatment in 2019, and made an effort to listen to as many new albums as possible. The track came entirely from that starting percussion idea and became a fun way of voicing the annoyances of any repetitive activity. Lockdown has given a lot of time to plan my next steps, but I’ve been struggling a lot with the lack of variety. The days seem to meld into one and it’s hard to set actual times for writing and producing without it just taking over everything! I’ve been fortunate not to have anything cancelled but Commuter did end up coming out a lot later than originally planned!




MIMR: What’s the one thing you miss about pre-lockdown life and can’t wait to return to doing whenever its safe to so of course?


Iain: It’s not the most inspired but I think I’ll look forward to some crate digging at Piccadilly records when it’s properly safe, there’s something a little special about finding an album you’ve been looking for, or even just taking the plunge and hearing something on vinyl for the first time!


MIMR: Personally i missed live gigs and going to the many amazing venues Manchester has to offer, which ones are your favourite hangouts in the city?


Iain: I’m a big fan of YES of course, whether it’s for a gig or a pint and a slice! It’s been incredibly sad to see the news that Gorilla is closing, as probably my favourite venue, it always struck the right balance between having a crowd and being intimate. Hopefully there’ll be some happier developments there, I’ll keep my fingers crossed.




MIMR: During the lockdown and away from music, was they’re any other activities that you found yourself enjoying to pass the time?

Iain: My Yorkie Tess has at least given me a reason to leave the house each day, After finishing up the last of my uni assignments, I’ve been allowing myself to play a few games here and there, whether that’s tabletop, such as Pandemic, or on my PC, mainly Dota but I’ve been losing a lot of time to Death Stranding since it came out, which is wonderfully bonkers in the best way.


MIMR: Despite all the uncertainty around at the moment, what do Wood Ewe have planned for the rest of 2020?


Iain: I’m hoping to have another EP out in time for the end of the year, so there won’t be any shortage of tunes from me, but in terms of live I’m waiting for now, as much as I’d love to be at a gig or playing some myself, I’m a bit cynical about how it’s all going to work out in the coming months. Wait and see though!




MIMR: Great to have you on the blog Iain, stay safe! How can people follow you on social media?

Iain: Always up for a chat, you too! I’m @woodewemusic on FB, Insta and Twitter and i can be found on Youtube by searching for wood ewe.

MIMR Band Chat: Home Counties

During this lockdown period there’s been only few positives to really put a smile on your face: the tireless work of the NHS and key workers being the main one but now MIMR can add the discovery of Bristol 5 piece Home Counties to that with their rousing noises.

We spoke to the band about their upcoming EP, lockdown activities and london shows.

MIMR: It’s a pleasure to have Home Counties on the blog, you’ve been described as wonk-pop which is certainly a first for MIMR, how best would you describe the noise you make and what influences do you draw upon the most?

HC: Some people have called it ‘wonk-pop’, which I think is a pretty apt description. People seem to label us as ‘post-punk’ all the time which is so generic and overused. A lot of our musical inspirations come from the 1970s CBGB’s, early 80s British New Wave and some more recent indie. I think we gravitate more towards the more ‘accessible’ and dancier sides of alternative music.

MIMR: This year has really kicked off for the band, 2 excellent singles, ‘Redevelopment’ is already one of our favourite tracks of the year, plenty of radio airplay and press interest too. Thrilled to see your EP release planned for later in the year too, tell us all about the record and are you itching to get it out there to people?

HC: Absolutely, we’ve been working on this EP for a long time and we can’t wait to share it. We recorded it last Winter just before we publicly launched Home Counties so we’ve been sitting on it for quite some time. It’s been reassuring to see that other people are into it – we’ve had some lovely radio support from Huw Stephens and Jack Saunders.

MIMR: The last few months have been far from ideal for the music scenes across the country, how have the band coped in the lockdown period?

HC: We’ve tried to think positive and we’ve used lockdown to write a ton of new material. We live together in Bristol so it’s actually been a pretty good opportunity to get our heads down. And we’ve fed our appetite for performing by playing a few ridiculous live streams from our living room… the last one we did featured dressing gowns, sunglasses and smoke machines.. we’ve had a lot of time on our hands…

MIMR: So live music has been taken away from us all currently and with no immediate sign of a swift return it must be frustrating as a band not being able to plan ahead with all the uncertainty in the air, what’s the one thing you miss about playing live?

HC: We’re a live band first and foremost so yeah, it’s been a tough year. There’s loads of aspects I miss about playing live but the main thing is the excitement of going on stage with your friends and not knowing how it’s going to go. Life is a lot more predictable without gigs.

MIMR: We would love to see you in Manchester when you’re able to play shows again. What venues closer to home were you favourite hangouts before the lockdown?

HC: I’d say our favourite Bristol venue is probably The Old England, which is a real creative centre in the city for all sorts of music. I also love The Exchange and The Louisiana. We tend to play more gigs in London though, and I think The Lexington is probably our favourite. We went on tour with Pip Blom and finished the run with a sold out Lexington show; that was pretty special.

MIMR: Great to have you on the blog, wish you all the best for the rest of the year and the EP too, how can people follow you on social media?

HC: Lovely to chat with you. The EP is out early September. Follow our socials to stay up to date:

https://www.facebook.com/homecountiesmusic/

https://www.instagram.com/homecountiesmusic/

https://twitter.com/Home_Counties_

MIMR Review: TOEGB ‘I’m Glad You Caught Me When You Did’

With their much anticipated new track The One Eyed General’s Bandit swoop back on the blog with another slice of indie/blues goodness and you won’t resist to press that repeat button over and over.

The manchester trio meld the classic 90s indie sound with a concotion of bluesy riffs and country style melodies that rumbles along with great gusto.

One of MIMR favourite acts showing their undoubted prowess once again to create something that is pleasing to the ear and firmly establishing themselves as a band to check out at a show….whenever that may be, the sooner the better i hope.

Oh all hail Pablo the hamster too (check the video here)

Follow them on Facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/TheOneEyedGeneralsBandit/

MIMR Review: Suave Martyrs ‘Footsteps’

Released last friday (10th July) one of the brightest sparks flying around Manchester are psych-rock act Suave Martyrs with a welcome return to the blog, their new single ‘Footsteps’ firmly captures their enchanting sound.

First coming to our attention in early 2019, the mancunian quartet have grown into a band that has all the tools to become a force to be reckoned with.

Psychedelic grooves grip the track from the outset, a bow to their arsenal which is their strongest and most destructive yet, pulsating your brain instantly.

Having already conquered their home city with a number of well received headline shows throughout last year, the 4 piece will look to resume their place at the top of the bill when the live music scene is awoken from it’s slumber.

Dark, haunting tones, piercing, hypnotic guitars and cruscendo of striking beats really give the track it’s thunderous sound, Suave Martyrs have a EP in the works and it looks like it’s going to be something a little bit special my friends!

Here’s the track:

Head over to their Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/suavemartyrs/

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