This week MIMR RADAR introduces you to Demob Happy, a garage foursome from Brighton, who’s rock and roll style and outlandish stage performances has made them a exciting prospect for 2015. Debut single ‘Succubus’ stormed a wave of attention last year and MIMR fave track ‘Suffer You’ proving the high calibre of songs they have up their sleeves. Plans for a EP in the coming months and a forth-coming, extensive UK tour can only enhance what many people are saying, Demob Happy can be big in 2015. Check them out for yourself here:
A special edition of MIMR Band Chat featuring MIMR featured band for January ‘Horsebeach’ is finally here. The band have gathered many admirers after they released their debut record last year, it reached No.3 in Piccadilly Records, Manchester famous end of year list and was No.9 in MIMR top 50 albums of 2014 as well
MIMR thinks they are up there as the best thing to come from Manchester in a long while and expect their following to grow in 2015. I was very lucky to grab a few words with the band, they discuss their fantastic 2014, their numerous influences and the bands pre-gig routines
MIMR: Looking back on 2014 guys what would be your highlights of last year?
Horsebeach: 2014 was an awesome year, some favourite bits include us going over to Barcelona to play Primavera Club, that was amazing. Also getting the debut out and having all the unexpected attention around it was great. We released it fairly quietly so it’s nice that word seems to have spread around so well.
MIMR: Take us through the making of the debut record and are you overwhelmed by the reception it has received?
Horsebeach: We decided after releasing our second single ‘Faded Eyes’ that we would get an LP out that year, I had already demoed over half the songs by that point so I just had to come up with a few more and record them properly. I really wanted to get everything down on tape, so I got myself a reel to reel and set about fiddling with it in my studio at home until everything sounded right. I just took a few weeks off work, locked myself in my flat and just focused on the album. I’m really happy with the reception it’s had so far, we only pressed 300 at first and we’ve had to get it repressed twice now it’s crazy!
MIMR: Was it quite clear from the early days of the band of what musical direction you were going into and what are your influences
Horsebeach: When we first started I think we were aiming more for a fuzzy surfy kind of sound but after getting a few songs written and learning more about my writing process I just started to feel what I actually wanted to write and ended up where we are now. A lot of contemporary things like Real Estate, Ducktails & Wild Nothing kicked me off wanting to write songs at first, but i’ve always found inspiration in things like Tim Hardin, Fred Neil, The Clean, Stuff on Underwater Peoples, Captured Tracks etc.
MIMR: What are your views on the Manchester music scene at the moment and what bands do you think MIMR followers should listen to?
Horsebeach: The music scene here at the moment is great, there are so many little venues like soup kitchen, kraak, the castle, the kings arms etc. providing outputs for all these new artists turning up. Also the city is pretty small so there’s a lot of crossover with artists helping each other out and interacting.
MIMR: What Manchester venue is your best to gig at?
Horsebeach: I think we all particularly enjoy Soup Kitchen out of the places we’ve played, It’s got a nice feel and it’s real intimate. Also an old edwardian swimming pool we played in for IMBC, that was surreal.
MIMR: What will 2015 bring for Horsebeach?
Horsebeach: We’ve got a lot more in store gigwise this year, we’re planning a few dates in Europe & playing Midi Festival in Toulon. There will be another album later this year & we’ve got a new 7″ coming out soon in March.
MIMR: Do any of the band have any superstitions before gigs?
Horsebeach: Me and Matt both swear by a little whiskey before we go on. Our bassist Tom’s superstitions include hair straightening, black coffee & long walks
MIMR: Thanks for talking to MIMR and it’s been fantastic having you as my featured band for this month
Horsebeach: Thanks, It’s been fun!
Couldn’t of picked a better band to start 2015 and been a pleasure featuring them on the blog this month. It ain’t over yet tho, they will be playing The Castle, Manchester on 26th of the month supporting the excellent ‘Menace Beach’ and yes MIMR will be there, bringing you all the coverage of the nights events, great!!
Here as always are the essential links:
Bandcamp: (where you can purchase their brilliant album) https://horsebeach.bandcamp.com
Idlewild ‘Come on Ghost’
Scottish indie heroes Idlewild make a very welcome return with this fantastic track from their hugely anticipated new album ‘Everything Ever Written’ released Feb 9th. This being their 1st record since 2009 and is marked as a period of transition and a new start for a band who’s career has outlasted many other of their rivals. Check them out on tour in March, this track is a sure thing towards making them shine again, in what is the 20th year as a band
No Hot Ashes ‘Goose’
Adding to the ever increasing list of Manchester bands making a significant impression on MIMR are No Hot Ashes. Their Funky, stylish pop rock is unique to a lot of their peers and this is even more impressive if u consider how young the band are and how mature their sound actually is and why 2015 will be big for the band. This track was released back in October and it’s positive reception has set up the band as being ones to watch, see them on MIMR again very soon
Noel Gallagher High Flying Birds ‘Ballad of the Mighty’
Noel Gallagher returns with his high flying birds with this sublime single taken from new album ‘Chasing Yesterday’ released March 2. Ballad of the mighty is out on Feb 23rd and features a special appearance on guitar from Manchester legend Johnny Marr. Their recent collaborations has been a dream team for two of Manchester’s greatest guitar players. Noel has shown that moving away from the pressure of a big band (Oasis) can bring you further success, legendary status confirmed!!
Episodes ‘Waiting Game’
These indie rockers from Brighton are still fairly early in their development as a band but songs like this bodes well for their future endeavours. ‘Waiting Game’ shows off great guitar hooks and excellent vocal execution which will amaze you baring in mind how young the band are. Keep a very close eye on these guys!!
Django Django ‘ First Light’
Out last Monday (Jan 12) this is the triumphant return of Django Django. ‘First Light’ hints of psychedelic vibes and comes across as a much harder and darker side to their sound. Their excellent debut record in 2013 still lives long in the memory of many, this new record due out this spring shows the band ever changing sound, whilst still reinforcing what made them such a great band in the past
MIMR RADAR is back, in 2014 it introduced you to bands like Telegram, The Wytches, Ought and The districts amongst others. This year looks set to be another exciting year for new bands so RADAR will now be a weekly feature every Sunday, bringing you the bands to give a listen or catch them live. As it’s the 1st week I’ve decided to do 2 new bands, enjoy!!
MIMR RADAR presents: Pretty Vicious
Pretty Vicious are a group of young upstarters who look set to put the Welsh town of Merthyr on the map. Their Indie Rock sound (Think Arctic Monkeys crossed with the angst of early Manic Street Preachers) have made them the most talked about band in wales and further afield, with record labels scrambling for their services after just one track. Having only played their 1st gig last month, 2015 is sure to be huge and they start the year with a small tour of Welsh towns including my hometown of Wrexham, expect to see more of these young chaos on the blog very soon!
Check out their track ‘Cave Song’ here:https://soundcloud.com/prettyviciousuk/cave-song
MIMR RADAR Presents Sunset Sons
This British/Aussie foursome have been on MIMR radar for a few months now and have quickly become one of the bands to watch for 2015. Having already acquired notably success almost a year ago now with ‘Le Surfing’ EP which charted high in the ITunes chart, this led to extensive radio airplay and some well received live performances. Their overall outlook is a breath of fresh air and their sound very melodic and exciting which MIMR agrees with very much. Catch them at a venue near you this year and they will be on MIMR again this year for sure
Get all the latest news on Sunset Sons here: http://sunsetsons.com
Both this week’s bands feature in MIMR sound of 2015 playlist, have a look here: https://soundcloud.com/user429338240/sets/sound-of-2015
Sweet Deals On Surgery have only come to light on the blogs radar a short time ago but have already made a lasting impression. Their raw and energised sound brings MIMR to its knees and puts them up there with a small group of Manchester bands that have made a impact on the blog since its birth
In this Band Chat I spoke to the band about a host of things, they talk about their DIY methods, the great support of promoters and their love for chicken
MIMR: So how did your name come about?
SDOS: Yeh, this ones easy. Its a song by a D.C band called Burning Airlines (formerly Jawbox). We asked J Robbins from the band if we could use it as our band name and he said yes, turns out he’d nicked it from a band called Kerosene 454.
MIMR: What’s your objectives when you write your music and what are your influences?
SDOS: Rob is the main songwriter in terms of lyrics and basic melodies. He’ll come to practise with a song, or part of a song and then me and Tim will go to work on it. Its a dynamic that has turned out to be fruitful and very efficient. I enjoy arranging songs and Rob likes to sit back from that process. We try to keep some running themes in the arrangement of SDOS songs, those being of energy, a certain amount of informed naievity, and playfulness. For instance certain beats are played to imitate a badly sequenced yet over quantized and almost boring drum track. Its not a band where just anything goes. We don’t want to end up a mish mash of all our influences, which are really varied. Me and Tim have Brass Band backgrounds and me and Rob have done solo electronic projects and much more. We have a visions of noisy, punky, scuzzy, obnoxious, lyrically poignant but not preachy, songs and we’ll try and keep to those ideas without stifling ourselves.
MIMR: Your latest EP has a very polished feel to it, while still keeping your intense, raw energy, how did the recording of these songs come about and were their any difficulties involved in its production?
SDOS: It’s interesting you should describe it as polished, when the whole record was a compromise really. We recorded the whole thing with only two microphones and a laptop. DIY to say the least. It was an experiment, just to see if we could, and with a bunch of masking tape, some elastic bands and an old sock, we did. The big studio album will be recorded in a few weeks time. However, yes, we did come into some problems recording ‘Total Reek Hole’. Rob punched his Mac to death so we lost all the drum recordings for his microphone. We have both been prone to tantrums occasionally and this was one of them. However we hugged and made up but couldn’t resuscitate the Mac. So what started out as a cost free recording suddenly became very expensive.
SDOS: Well SDOS have only been gigging since September so we’ve not got loads to choose from. I’d say the Star And Garter at the end of November was brilliant, great sound and everyone was dancing! A shout out to all the promoters that have put us on seems appropriate, thanks to Party Hard, Carefully Planned, Turn It Out, Picture Sound, Hello Bastards, Classic Scum, Love Music Promotions. We should say that if your ever in Preston though, go to The Ferret! Not just because it’s a great venue but you’ll probably see Timble our drummer kicking some doors in and being generally smashed and awesome.
MIMR: What highlights as a band did you have last year?
SDOS: Playing our music to lovely people and the great reaction we’ve had already. Also we had this Spanish couple come up to us after a show in Liverpool and say we we’re going to be big and that they loved our record and they’d come specifically to watch us!It was our first gig there! that was cool.
MIMR: What can MIMR followers expect from the band this year?
SDOS: A full length album to start with! We’re really excited to be recording at Queen Ark Studio in Levenshulme with Karl Sviensson. One of the most talented studio engineers/producers we know. Also we’ll hope to be recording some ridiculous videos and hopefully working with our label Sister9 Records some more too. Also loads more songs and better noisier distortion pedals. MAMMOTH!!
MIMR: Do any of you guys have any special talents…..apart from musically of course?
SDOS: Tim is the champion of Analogue Segway Pumping and Alex and Rob have a special talent for fried chicken consumption. Eating fried chicken in the shower is a very special talent.
MIMR: Thanks for chatting to MIMR. Any other bands that you reckon MIMR should look out for?
SDOS: Not all local but here’s some off the top of my brainbox….Groves, E Numbers, Young Mountains, Blood Lips, 12 Rods, Hum, Bad Grammar, Monoganon, Pictish Trail, Trojan Horse, Duke Mercury, Jackpot Golden Boys, Hyena Kill, Venkman, Sunset Cinema Club, IEPI, Mouses (on our label), Toubadors Grave (Alex’s pick of 2014), 1.21 Gigawatts! Thanks for your interest in our band MIMR
Thanks goes to the guys from Sweet Deals On Surgery for chatting to MIMR, they will closely followed on the blog this year, I’m sure of it!
As always here are the essential links:
Bandcamp (where you can listen too and buy ‘Total Reek Hole’ EP): http://shop.sister9.com/album/total-reek-hole-ep
Mowbird are Ben Sawin (vocals,guitar) Mike Smith (bass) Suzanne Dempsey (organ/vocals) and Ben Trow (drums/vocals)
MIMR: So first up, who are Mowbird and if you had to pitch the band in a sort of Dragon’s Den scenario how you best describe the band?
Ben: We are a four-piece from Wrexham and I would describe us as seasoned interdimensional warriors with a predilection for creation and destruction. I’d love to describe that, straight-faced, armed with a PowerPoint, to Bannatyne and see how furious his scowl becomes.
MIMR: The ‘Islander’ record is a right gem with superb production quality throughout. How did it come together and was their anything different you did compared to previous recordings?
Ben: Thanks! We recorded Islander ourselves underground, in a concrete practise room (in just over 12 hours) under the roads in Liverpool. Islander was our third attempt at recording an album, so we were pretty pleased with just getting it completed and then with how organic and honest it sounded. We’ve steadily progressed from recording with Guitar Hero USB microphones into Garageband to using four-track cassettes and then to Logic/Pro Tools. We’re always looking to learn more and more about capturing sounds so that we have a really deep understanding of what we’re actually doing, rather than just handing everything over to someone behind a big desk
MIMR: MIMR favourite track of the record is ‘Happy Active Horse Organ’ is there any songs that you know get the best response from the crowd at your gigs?
Ben: Not really, unfortunately we’re usually concentrating super hard on playing the songs right to pick up on anything like that! It’s always fun when an audience responds to your performance, but it’s important that we play for each other on stage first and foremost in order for anything to translate positively and enjoyably for an audience.
MIMR: Looking at your Twitter page there appears to be some exciting times for the band, can you tell MIMR what your plans are for 2015?
Ben: We are planning on having a total blast in 2015. We’re recording our second album later this month (January/February) with JT from Islet, who produced our single with Sweet Baboo – we’re very fortunate to have received a grant from the Launchpad Fund which is part of the Horizons Project, a partnership between BBC & Arts Council of Wales, to produce the second album. We’re really great at looking after our artists and creators here in Wales.
We’ll be returning to live performances with some really righteous shows after taking the majority of last year off due to illness and surgery – 2015 is also our fifth year of existence, so no doubt there will be a big party somewhere.
MIMR: Having very close ties in Wrexham I’ve always thought there’s been a music scene to be proud of from such a small town. Do u agree and if so what bands from Wrexham do you follow?
Ben: After a little lull, Wrexham’s music scene is kicking on again and it’s really great to see bands just getting stuff done – whether it’s DIY or punk or whatever, it doesn’t really matter.
Bands-wise, *deep breath* we like:
Seazoo (which has Ben Trow & Mike Smith from Mowbird in!), Lovers Open Fire, Baby Brave (which has our old drummer Mike Jones in!), The Roseville Band are doing phenomenal things over in America & Canada, Falls (although they’re from Flintshire really), A Winning Pair, Doppleganger, Baron La Croix and Orient Machine.
MIMR: What’s your favourite venue you’ve played?
Ben: We’ve got a couple – The Gold Rooms in Glasgow and Tangled Parrot in Carmarthen.
Thanks to Ben for speaking to MIMR, look out for MIMR coverage of Focus Wales, Mowbird will surely be ones to watch. Here are all the essential links:
~UPCOMING SHOWS~2015~ 13th Feb : From Now On, Cardiff // 3rd April : Wales Goes Pop, Cardiff // 23rd April : Focus Wales, Wrexham
Lady Lion (feat. Sweet Baboo) out now via Bandcamp
Debut album Islander out now via Shape Records // Vinyl / iTunes
Bandcamp // Twitter // Tumblr
Yes!! It’s finally back after a 6 week break (Mainly due to MIMR top 50 albums list) MIMR Playlist is here, bringing you the best tracks every Thursday. Here’s the 1st selection of 2015, enjoy!!
1. Jaws – Be Slowly
Taken from their album released 14th September last year, it appeared that this band from Birmingham slipped away from MIMR radar first time round. Their jangly, infectious indie pop and their ‘The Cure’ like qualities make them one of the hottest tickets in town in 2015, check them out at a venue near you soon!
2. Gaz Coombes – 20/20
The second solo album by former Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes will be called Matador and comes to us all on Jan 26. The follow up to 2012 critically acclaimed ‘Here comes the Fruit record’ The 2nd track taken from the new record shows that this could be his best work, a European tour accompanies the album throughout February
3. Jack Reid & The Black Whip – Congress Vampires
Pleased to see another Manchester act join the many previous bands to feature on the playlist. JRTBW are a psychedelic/ Krautrock band, that deliver a lot of punch on their Congress Vampires EP released November last year. Their hard work as paid off and the title track is a classic sing-a-long track, full of good vibes and atmospheric tones, good job!
4. Los Trasgos Muertos – Backdown
Manchester keeping churning out great new music and Los Trasgos Muertos are no exception. These Psych Rockers are full of rich melodies and a stylish output which makes for a winning formula. This track certainly gets stuck in your head…’you gotta backdown, backdown, backdown’…..
5. Sweet Deals On Surgery – Speed Date Yr Way To Fame
Noise pop at its very best by these guys from Manchester via Preston. Sweet deals have only been gigging since September but already have turned many heads, with their EP ‘Total reek Hole’ coming to our attention in December, packed full of intense and raw energy. MIMR anticipates getting to see them live very soon and with a full length album in the near future, 2015 looks like it will be sweet. Also watch out for MIMR Band Chat with the band on the blog this week!