Great Gigs Coming Soon:

The guys from Volume have got some fantastic gigs coming up at Keele University.

with special guests Girl Peculiar

The Ballroom, Keele University

Bank Holiday Sunday May 2  7pm  (14+)

£15 advance     £17 on door

BRITPUNK’S poet laureate and philosopher king Mark E Smith returns to the live circuit ahead of a new album on Domino Records.

His band The Fall have become one of the most indestructible musical ideas to emerge from British indie music.

The NME’s Godlike Genius comes to The Ballroom at Keele University for a Bank Holiday show on Sunday May 2.

The band have recently signed with Domino Records and are touring their new album Your Future Our Clutter for fall1.jpgrelease on April 26.

The release is The Fall at their most rampant, most forward moving, bone shaking best.

With nine tracks that rock like raw fury, we see The Fall heading into their next decade with the same intensity with which they started.

The album, like the band’s current line–up, is lean and fast.

Smith, rarely deluded about the virtues of musicians, can testify to the results audible on the record: “I love this band, it’s the best I’ve ever had, I suppose I would say that but there you are.”

If there is a hint of mortality on Your Future Our Clutter it’s being dealt with by whipping up a white knuckle storm.

Famously described by John Peel as ’always different, always the same’, The Fall were formed in Manchester, in 1976 during the punk era although their style quickly evolved into something more idiosyncratic.

Smith’s lyrics are free, unboxed and unpredictable, touching on an extremely wide range of subjects and places and caring little for being tied down to easily digestible messages.

His vocals have become a uniquely expressive instrument. Smith is not a conventionally great vocalist, but his keen sense of rhythm, his energy and personality more than make up for this.

Always experimental, Smith has claimed to invent several musical genres, including house music; ‘we were doing that years ago’ and even the Internet.

As tribute to the huge influence his music is still having, just last month the NME named him as their number one cult hero.

One thing that is for sure is that The Fall (and their fans) have always pushed the boundaries, and never been afraid to experiment.

Using half-sung, half-snarled, sometimes hysterically funny, endlessly quotable lyrics that tear apart class, art, politics, lit, other bands, themselves, and more, Smith spot-welded his harangues to a rough-and-tumble groove that choogled like rockabilly, droned like Euro art rock, and squalled like the gnarliest punk.

It also shone like dance rock and beeped like techno, but that was later.

As long as Smith is alive, The Fall will never vary all that much from this singular, highly rhythmic racket, but they sure as hell don’t sound like anyone else, and generations of indie rockers have stolen from Smith as if his name were Chuck Berry.

As Rolling Stone magazine said: “Add all of this genius to an obscenely huge discography and you have the makings of a serious-ass cult act.”

Support on the Keele show comes from Manchester’s Girl Peculiar.

Tickets are £15 from or from the box office on 01782 733700.

Entry is £17 on the night. Doors open at 7pm.

with special guests Race Horses + Bleached Wail

The Ballroom, Keele University

Thursday May 6  7pm  (14+)  £10 advance  £11.50 on door

THE trio return to the live arena for a very limited string of dates to showcase some new songs from their upcoming third album.

In Henry’s own words; “I bet you have missed us, we have definitely missed you. We have been keeping our heads down and our noses clean in our Oxford studio and the next album is well underway. We can’t wait to play you some new songs and we have put together an exclusive run of dates so you can hear some of what we have been doing. These are the only dates we have planned for 2010 so if you like the idea of an intimate setting and a special preview of our new smash hit songs before anyone else then get some tickets fast”.

The Young Knives – drummer Oliver Askew, singer/ guitarist Henry Dartnall and his brother The House Of Lords – formed in Ashby-de-la-Zouch eight years ago.

Being young and daft they spent their time playing bad funk and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin covers until, luckily, university split the band.

Four years later; older, wiser and now a bit embarrassed about the whole thing, they decided to reconvene by moving to that other cesspit of punk rock depravity Oxford.

The name apparently came from a Scottish history book, explains The House Of Lords: “I misread an etching that had three young chaps pulling a laird from his horse.

“It actually said ‘young knaves’, but knives was a good approximation.”

“We definitely want to be seen as rock’s answer to Robin Hood,” deadpans Henry, “taking influence from the rich, arty types and making it good for the poor.”

In 2002, TYK brought out the optimistically titled mini-album, The Young Knives… Are Dead, on Shifty Disco.

It led to support slots with Hot Hot Heat and Har Mar Superstar and then… nothing.

Which is mostly down to the band’s very English inability to promote themselves.

“We’ve all got a fear of the phone. Or, rather, a fear of rejection from A&R men,” says Henry.

“Which is admirable if you’re talking about being a nice human being, but doesn’t get you far in a competitive business.”

Luckily, TYK now have managers to do all that cigar-chomping PT Barnum stuff.

Since then TYK have found their wiry tales of suburban angst championed by The Futureheads, Supergrass and Gang Of Four’s Andy Gill, who flipped over their demo and ended up producing their debut EP.

They also signed a whopping publishing deal with BMG and hooked up with the Transgressive label.

Typically sceptical of any sign of success, Henry thought the whole Andy Gill thing was wind-up until they actually spoke: “I had to phone him up, sat in my Toyota in the car-park at work. Even having his number in your phone is pretty daunting.”

Talking of the Junky Music Makes My Heart Beat Faster EP, he added: “It’s one of the best things we’ve ever done.”

A mixture of jerky, whip-cracking (disco-punk) energy and composed, complex songwriting, the likes of Weekends and Bleak Days (an ambivalent tale of crummy office jobs) and Kramer Vs Kramer (about divorce, marriage guidance and friends dumping their troubles on you) revealed TYK as the perfect new band for people who like their guitar bands to be urgent, pointed chroniclers of everyday Britain, literate and slightly eccentric.

So, where do TYK place themselves on the musical map? They don’t. Unless you really push them.

They enjoy the “dry humour” of Pulp and Elvis Costello, but they like weird stuff like Pere Ubu too.

Both Clor and British Sea Power are TYK fans, and, certainly, all three bands share certain characteristics; intelligence, musical unpredictability, wit.

“We like to come across as intelligent, who doesn’t?” asks Henry. “But I try hard not to write songs that try to make me look intelligent; I think we try to be honest and Young_Knives_2.jpgauthentic. We’re honest about our short comings.”

Described, by the NME, as looking like ‘junior partners in a small provincial accountancy firm’, TYK’s individual dress sense is notorious.

But, insists Henry, there is nothing contrived about it: “It’s deliberate in that we all put the clothes on in the morning, but I’ve bought stuff in charity shops since I was about 16.

“I’m quite keen on being a womble. That’s the good thing about living in the London commuter belt, people have got money to burn and they just throw crazily good stuff away.”

Not a band likely to be dazzled by the glittery trappings of fame, then? Hardly, TYK are still giddy about jacking in their day jobs.

“Having proper boring jobs makes you appreciate it when you get to pack them in,” smiles former computer-operative Henry.

“Now, it’s like being your own boss and really caring about everything you do. Plus, we get to go to the pub at midday.”

TYK have no interest in hanging out in cool bars with cool bands or doing coke with influential industry “insiders”.

“We’re much happier ploughing our own furrow,” says Henry. “The London scene isn’t bad, but we’re not from there. And we’re not from Oxford either. We’re always slightly outside any scene and we like it that way.”

The band went from strength to strength with their debut album ‘Voices of Animals and Men’ bringing a refreshing take to the post-punk revival, will killer pop songs such as ‘She’s Attracted to’, ‘Weekends and Bleakdays’ and of course ‘The Decision’ leading to a Mercury nomination, sold out shows and much press love…

The band broadened their horizons with the follow up ‘Superabundance’, leading off with the vitriolic observational masterpiece ‘Terra Firma’, ‘Up All Night’ and the stunning ‘Turn Tail’, blasting over people’s conceptions of the band, and leaving them in a position where next, anything could happen.

Stay tuned for further details on campus and the wider world.

Tickets are £10 and available through Ticketweb and from the Box Office on 01782 733700 / 01782 733816.

Alternatively, you can pick tickets up from Keele Uni Students Union, from Music Mania in Hanley and from A&A Records in Congleton.


About Stoke Gigs
A local site promoting local talent - and everything the local scene has to offer, from bands, comedians and venues.

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