LIVE (Photos): Cro Cro Land, 06.04.19 (Part 2)

Last weekend saw the launch of Croydon’s brand new festival, Cro Cro Land. Organised by Croydon residents Angela Martin and Julia Woollams, the festival aimed to promote gender equality in both its line-up and staff, whilst championing a number of local bands and artists, and working in conjunction with a number of grassroots organisations and charities, including Lives Not Knives.

And what a festival it was! Paying host to SO MANY incredible bands, it was not only a day filled with all the best live music, but also a completely unmatched sense of community spirit and united joy at being part of the DIY scene. As well as all the superb bands playing on the day, we bumped into so many other bands and artists there to support their peers, as well as other key members from the community, such as Caffy from The Zine UK and staff from Croydon’s best pub, The Oval Tavern. It was like a huge family gathering, filled with all the most life-affirming vibes and, of course, the best live music.

Check out Part 1 of our review of the day here. And here’s some more fantastic photos from Jon Mo and Jamie MacMillan, who were there to capture all the action…

Following Bugeye’s impressive set, we stick around at the main Town Square stage to catch the festival’s ‘secret’ headliner – Liverpool’s She Drew The Gun. Kicking off with the politically-driven power of ‘Resister’, they treat us to an immense and utterly immersive set filled with a sincere, empowering energy.

Photo Credit: Jamie MacMillian

Photo Credit: Jamie MacMillan

Continuing the incredible performances at the Town Square stage, South Yorkshire’s Bang Bang Romeo blast into our eyes and ears with a magnificent energy. As front woman Stars completely blows my mind with her incredible compelling charisma and the soaring soulful power of her vocals, they deliver a truly breathtaking and instantly memorable set, taking full control of the huge crowd.

Photo Credit: Jon Mo

Photo Credit: Jon Mo

Rather nervous about some of my favourite bands clashing (it’s just such a perfect line-up!), I manage to fit in at least some of all the ones I’m desperate to see over the next hour – flitting between the Concrete Playground and Town Square…

From Bang Bang Romeo, I catch a good chunk of the luscious, punk-infused indie-pop of Fightmilk. With their wonderfully raucous energy, they never fail to uplift, as I find myself singing along to each of their dreamily catchy offerings – including personal highlight ‘Dream Phone’ (and yes, sadly I am old enough to remember the game!).

Photo Credit: Jon Mo

Photo Credit: Jamie MacMillan

Dashing back to the Town Square in time to catch South London duo Nova Twins, they once again succeed in completely taking my breath away with their ferocious power and biting energy. Having been following Georgia and Amy for some time now, it’s no surprise to see them achieving the success they have been (supporting Wolf Alice and Prophets Of Rage, praise from the likes of Iggy Pop, playing festivals across the world…); their truly immense, seething offerings are like nothing else I’ve heard before, and the vibrant, mighty force of their live show remains completely unmatched.

Photo Credit: Jon Mo

Photo Credit: Jon Mo

Back at the Concrete Playground, total faves Chorusgirl do not disappoint. Another band I’ve been following for the last few years, it really is wonderful to see them develop their sound, with their incredible dedication to their craft paying off with the release of last year’s truly epic second album Shimmer and Spin. A set filled with a joyous energy and front woman Silvi’s endearing modest charm, I just can’t get enough of their scuzzy, sparkling garage-rock, and may even have shed a tear upon hearing personal favourite ‘Stuck’ live for the first time; a poignant offering from the new album, that tugs at the heartstrings in all the right ways.

Photo Credit: Jamie MacMillan

Photo Credit: Jamie MacMillan

I manage to get back to the Town Square just in time to catch The Lovely Eggs. Despite a significant amp explosion moments before they’re due to start, the Lancaster duo deliver their immense punk-infused sonic fusions to perfection. With the brash, inspiring charisma and no-frills-yet-empowering presence of Holly Ross, they blast out a swirling, psychedelic cacophony and uplifting lo-fi fuzz. And, with their blunt realism and scathing retorts to all the dickheads in the world accompanying their riotous frenzied energy, they remain one of the most relevant bands around (and one of the most exciting to see live).

Photo Credit: Jamie MacMillan

Photo Credit: Jon Mo

Closing the incredible day, Blood Red Shoes deliver a headline set filled with raucous anthems new and old. Oozing their trademark whirring riffs, thrashing beats and the immense, energy-fuelled interplay between Laura Mary and Steven, they fill the room with a mass of buoyant bodies, singing along to each electrifying offering.

Photo Credit: Jon Mo

Photo Credit: Jon Mo

HUGE thanks to Angela and Julia for organising one of the best days ever; and here’s to Cro Cro Land 2020!

Photos:
Jon Mo / @jonmophoto
Jamie MacMillan / @jamiemacphotos

Words:
Mari Lane / @marimindles

 

Record Store Day 2019: GIHE Picks

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… That’s right, Record Store Day. The excitement, the unity of eager queuers, the smell of that shiny vinyl as you release it from its sleeve, the empty pockets at the end of the day… But most of all, the music. A day dedicated to celebrating our favourite music, and those wonderful shop-owners who provide us with so much of it.

Ahead of the big day this Saturday (13th April), we thought we’d share some of the special releases that we’re most looking forward to this year. From the riotous power of classics by legends no longer with us, to our favourite soundtracks, and brand new releases from current bands making waves, here’s some of the records we’re hoping to get our hands on…

Mari Lane:

Elastica – BBC Sessions
I think Justine Frischmann and co. first came to my attention when I saw ‘Waking Up’ on an episode of TOTP, with none other than Damon Albarn appearing on keys/posing; and that was it – I was instantly in awe of the immense sense of cool that oozed from the three guitar-wielding women on stage. Failing my attempts to get hold of their 1995 eponymous debut on special release (plus an exclusive fanzine) in 2017, this year I have my heart set on Elastica’s BBC Sessions, released for the first time ever on vinyl. Whilst Strange Fruit released the Radio One sessions on CD back in 2001, this is the first artist curated release of the band’s sessions –  combining tracks recorded for John Peel, Steve Lamacq and Mark Radcliffe.

White Vinyl plus poster. Info here

Courtney Barnett – ‘Everybody Here Hates You’/’Small Talk’
Last year, I managed to get hold of Barnett’s special Record Store Day Release, ‘City Looks Pretty’/’Sunday Roast’, and this year I’m equally as determined to bag her new single ‘Everybody Here Hates You’, along with B-side ‘Small Talk’, on exclusive 12”. Courtney Barnett is probably my favourite, and most relatable, lyricist in the world. She has a unique ability to tackle everyday life with a spot-on wit and raw honesty, perfectly showcased in this wonderfully blues-infused latest offering.

12″ Vinyl via Marathon Artists. Info here.

Bang Bang Romeo – ‘Cemetery’/’Creep’
Taken from their Shame On You EP, ‘Cemetery’ is one of South Yorkshire group Bang Bang Romeo’s less raucous offerings, and is in itself an ode to record stores and finding your place within a music scene, with the lyrics capturing that excitement of going into a record store: “‘Finally found a place where I feel a part of something more ….in your arms where I found The Smiths & The Flaming Lips”. I’ve been aware of the awesomeness of Bang Bang Romeo for a while now, but it was only last Saturday at local festival Cro Cro Land that I was able to witness the incredible, rip-roaring power of Stars and co. live; my mind was completely blown and will never be the same again.

7″ Vinyl via Five Seven Music. Info here

X Ray Spex – I Am A Cliché
As any regular followers of our site, listeners to our radio show, or attendees of our gigs will be aware; we’re pretty massive fans of X Ray Spex and all that iconic front woman Poly Styrene did for music. We even kicked off our first ever radio show on Hoxton Radio over four years ago with the legendary ‘Oh Bondage, Up Yours’. So, being able to own this brand new compilation, featuring exclusive studio versions of tracks and live recordings, all on dayglo coloured vinyl, would be pretty much a dream come true! There are, however, only 500 copies being released… So, failing getting my hands on this record (or in addition to!), I will definitely be delving into Zoë Howe and Celeste Bell’s new book about Poly Styrene – Dayglo: The Poly Styrene Story. Featuring creative work from her archives, it includes material ranging from the flyers and early design drafts for X-Ray Spex, to her later visual art and lyrics

2 x LP – Dayglo Vinyl, gatefold sleeve with art card. Info here

Kate Crudgington:

The Crow OST
Despite being 26 years old, The Crow’s official soundtrack still feels and sounds as contemporary as many of its modern-day counterparts. Look at the talent featured on it: The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against The Machine, Medicine, The Jesus and Mary Chain – if that’s not incentive to make you don your white face paint and black lipstick and rock out like Eric Draven on a rooftop, I don’t know what is. The soundtrack will be released via Rhino on 2 LPs, white & black with 3 sides of audio and the fourth with an “etching”. I will do whatever I can to get my hands on it!

2 LP – White & Black; 3 sides audio, 4th side etching. Info here

Soccer Mommy – For Young Hearts
I only arrived at the Soccer Mommy party last year when she released her debut studio album Clean, and I’ve had single ‘Your Dog’ in my head ever since. Her career was on the rise way before that though, with her bandcamp EP For Young Hearts being the release that first caught her all this much deserved attention. 

LP via Fat Possum Records with lyrics sleeve and fold-out poster. Info here

John McGovern:

Lost In Translation OST 
Two Scarlett Johansson movies from the early noughties; two wildly different soundtracks. If you’re old enough to remember the late ’90s, before Hollywood indies really boomed, then you probably also remember what it felt like when movies this fresh and sounding this cool suddenly appeared – and with female stars at their centre. Lost in Translation is all early 21st century indie hipster cool – Phoenix, Squarepusher, Peaches.

Violet Colour Vinyl. Info here.

Ghost World OST
Ghost World is more sprawling, reflecting its central characters’ adolescence: blues classics, Bollywood rock. Both also feature nods to some of celluloid’s less pleasant sounds: Bill Murray’s take on Roxy Music’s ‘More Than This’ in a Tokyo karaoke bar; the suburban stylings of Ghost World’s ‘Graduation Rap’ scene. This being Record Store Day though, perhaps what marks it out most is its Enid Coleslaw ’77 punk style’ blue vinyl.

LP via Shanachie Entertainment. Info here.

Honeyblood – ‘The Third Degree’/’She’s a Nightmare’
The second single from Stina Tweedale’s duo-turned-solo-turned-group Honeyblood’s third album, In Plain Sight. Aside from the song’s deceptively simple pop-rock sound, the cover’s tarot card design is particularly appealing if, like me, you’re into the cartomantic fortune-telling aesthetic. Chrysa Koukoura illustrations littered the band’s self-titled debut with moths and butterflies and it’s great to see her return here.

12″ Vinyl via Marathon Artists. Info here.

Iggy Pop – ‘The Villagers’/’Pain & Suffering’
One of the curios of garage rock hero Iggy Pop’s career, 1982’s Zombie Birdhouse incorporates spoken-word poetry, afro-beat and synthesisers all over the place – with ‘The Villagers’ being a perfect example. Despite its production from Blondie’s Chris Stein, the album met with middling reviews but now seems extremely foresighted given latter-day indie/post-punk’s magpie nature and willingness to go abrasive. Added bonus: the cover is a perfect example of Iggy’s ’80s awkward cool.

7″ Single, Coloured Vinyl. Info here.

Ken Wynne:

Bad Religion – ‘My Sanity’/’Chaos From Within’
Founded almost four decades ago in 1980, L.A. punk rock band Bad Religion are preparing to release their seventeenth studio album next month – the socio-political Age of Unreason. With ‘My Sanity’/’Chaos From Within’ the band question the sanity of a world so divided that each side regard the other as out of their fucking mind! Previously released to various streaming services, I have been listening to both songs on repeat in anticipation of the new album, and this limited RSD 7″ from Epitaph. There is no denying that Bad Religion are pissed off with the current political situation in the United States, and who could blame them? If the rest of the album is anything as thought-provoking as ‘My Sanity’/’Chaos From Within’, Age of Unreason could become an important album for social justice.

7″ Limited Edition Print. Info here.

The Lillingtons – Death By Television
Originally released in 1999 by Panic Button Records – an imprint of Lookout! Records – Death By Television was the second studio album from Wyoming pop punkers, The Lillingtons. Emblazoned with artwork lifted from Roger Corman’s 1963 science fiction/horror flick X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes, Death By Television is the result of The Lillingtons incorporating influences from various B-movies of the 1950s and 60s into their Ramones-styled approach to punk rock. If you are as obsessed with sci-fi/horror popcorn pulp as I am, Death By Television doesn’t disappoint. Considered an important record in pop punk, the RSD release – limited to 666 copies worldwide (obviously) – is B-movie bliss and I can’t wait to get my hands on it this Saturday.

LP Picture Disc via Red Scare Industries. Info here.

Shit Girlfriend – ‘Dress Like Cher’/’Socks On The Beach’
Having recently discovered Shit Girlfriend after stumbling upon the music video for ‘Mummy’s Boy’ – and recognising Laura-Mary Carter from alt-rock band, Blood Red Shoes – I’m ecstatic to see that the DIY London glam-punk duo have reemerged with ‘Dress Like Cher’/’Socks On The Beach’ on 7″ splatter vinyl. Previously releasing ‘Mummy’s Boy’​/’​I Don’t Wanna Die’ via PNKSLM on RSD 2017, Laura-Mary Carter and Natalie Chahal return with more scuzzy, distorted pop hooks and no shortage of punk rock attitude.

7″ via Punk Slime.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to give a big thank you to some of our favourite record shops: Bridport Music (sorry to miss the cake this year!), Sister Ray, Reckless Records, Rough Trade and Defend Vinyl.

And, if you can’t wait ’til Saturday, have a listen to our special RSD 19 playlist here:

 

@marimindles
@kcbobcut

@etinsuburbiaego
@Ken_Wynne

LIVE (Photos): Liverpool Sound City 2018

If you weren’t out on a beach/in a pub garden trying to catch as many rays as possible in the untimely good weather last weekend, you may have been enjoying some of the best new music live at Liverpool Sound City.

Our Jon Mo certainly was, and was able to capture some of our favourites on camera.

The lush, folk-inspired beauty of Irish artist Maria Kelly.

GIHE faves HAWK with their poignant, shimmering creations.

The always wonderful, riotous energy of Queen Zee.

The atmospheric power of Sheffield band Bang Bang Romeo.

The catchy, energy-fuelled rock of GIHE faves Berries.

The jangly indie-pop of Peaness.

Stealing Sheep celebrated the centenary of suffrage with a surreal performance art piece inspired by the movement.

 

Photo Credit: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto