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Puppet Rebellion – Interview

13 Nov

You can quote me on this: Puppet Rebellion are going to be fucking huge. Capital H, full stop.

If there is any justice and common sense left this world, then the above will happen very quickly.

Listen to ‘Chemical Friends’ and you’ll instantly be hit in the face square on with the above facts.

Manchester’s PR possess hooks aplenty, choruses that are larger than an elephants knackers and instrumentation that is just as ballsy. Think The Editors mixed with a splash of Bloc Party and you get fairly close sound-wise but don’t worry PR fizz with a freshness and originality that is way beyond their years.

How many new bands get their new single played at Old Trafford at half time and have Man City also use the same track on their website? Grabbing over fifty thousand people by the ears at Old Trafford at half time is a big ask and Puppet Rebellion are one of few new bands these days that could have done and succeeded at this.

When it comes to bands to look out for in the coming New Year, I can safely say Puppet Rebellion will be at the top of the list come the start and end of 2014.


Here we grab a few words with Simon from the band, here’s what he had to say.

So, firstly. Tell us who is in the band?

I am Simon Monaghan the singer and we also have Craig Gibson (Guitars), Paul Trochowski (Guitars), Jim Halliwell (Bass) and last but not least Chris Carcamo (Drums).

How did the band form?

Well I was in a previous band but wasn’t writing the songs and also sick of the lack of control I had due to a very controlling Manager and his corporate minded Millionaire brother!  I worked with Chris and he was also frustrated with his band.  I then put an advert on Join My Band/Gumtree and found Craig who was also sick of being the driving force in his previous band so we set about finding two more people who wanted the same things as us musically and creatively.  We found Paul & Jim and its like we have always been together. Even our girlfriends love each other!

How would you describe your sound?

I leave it for other people to make those comparisons. From what they say you need to mix Bloc Party, Interpol and the Editors with a little pinch of Vampire Weekend and sprinkle the Stokes on top to finish off.

Who are your musical influences?

Personally I love The Smiths, The Doors, The Kinks, Radiohead, The Strokes, Metronomy, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, The Buzzcocks and a whole host of others.  But we are not really influenced consciously by any band.  Any similarities stylistically are purely subconscious. We try to forge our own sound if a crowded genre.

What are the best and worst parts of being in a band?

The best parts of being in a band are playing to a crowded room.  Its nice to get good comments online when we release stuff but the biggest buzz is having a crowd in the palm of your hand.  The worst part is having to focus on a day job 9-5 when you could be focusing on music all day!

What is your opinion on the X Factor? (Oh, and we hate it).

I hate it.  The less said the better.  It has changed the face of music.

What three words would you use to describe a Puppet Rebellion live gig?

Pacey, Ballsy, Banter.

One of your tracks got played at Old Trafford at Half Time, that must have taken you by storm. How did it feel and what was the reaction like to the track by the Man United Fans?

Being a big United fan myself It was my proudest moment so far.  We have had so many United fans get in touch since then.  Manchester City also featured our track on their October Goal of the Month video on their website and city TV.  That was nice too.

Are you all football fans and what are your views on the modern game?

I am definitely the biggest football fan, Craig is quite knowledgeable on football history and trivia, the others have never really shown a massive interest either way.  I don’t have any strong views on the modern game.  Each season is great in different ways.

What clothing labels are you into are you?

I buy most of my good clothes from a bespoke tailor on Thomas St, Manchester called James Darby as I hate to wear mass produced clothes.  I wear a lot of Fred Perry stuff as well as an unhealthy liking for Dr Denim jeans.

What does the future hold for the band and do you have any gigs lined up?

We are coming to the end of our first year now.  We have a large dedicated fan base in Manchester and are now playing gigs all over the north.  Gigs done and  lined up in Sheffield, Birmingham, Leeds, Warrington, Stoke, Liverpool and London.  Next year is the year we really want to make an impact nationwide.  We are gonna be releasing our second EP called ‘No Means Yes’ in February which we are in pre production for at the moment.  Once that’s out its anyone’s guess but it will be better then the first EP we released in July which has already had over 18,600 plays on sound cloud.  You can’t predict what will happen but one thing is for certain.  We will do everything we can to make something happen. For live dates go to


Casuals Live. Post gig feature and trailer.

28 Nov

On the 10/11/2012 The Garage Highbury, one of the Mean Fiddler’s most prestigious venues, played host to the Casuals Live event. To say there was expectation in the air is an understatement. Vivid Riot Promotions and best-selling author and award-winning documentary maker Cass Pennant spent six weeks planning, promoting and organising this event, which was the very first of its kind.

A page from the gig programme

Bringing together four bands from across the UK, with four different styles, everyone at this event had one thing in common – A connection to the football casual scene and a love of music. A scene where music, clothing and diversity are always in abundance, this was the perfect combination for a gig with a difference.

As soon as the doors opened, the beer was flowing and the conversations were buzzing. The expectancy was electric and as DJ Dan Nolan span the first tunes of his DJ set, the smiles on everyone’s’ faces told a thousand stories. There were people from different football clubs, different walks of life and with very differing tastes but with thing uniting everybody– A love for culture on many different levels.

The job of opening Casuals Live went to Southend’s Plastic Youth. “Animal Style’ fizzed from the PA system and from the offset PY had people swaying to their brand of powerful literate Shoegaze. It was only a short set from PY but with the three songs they played, they certainly left their mark on the crowd. ‘Death Row’ finished a set with well-honed perfection. Job done and the event was well under way.

When it came to picking a band that lived and breathed the Casual scene, second band on the night, Reading’s Violet Class were a perfect choice. These lads live and breathe football culture. Kitted out in all the right clobber and Reading season ticket holders, they certainly looked the part but would their music be as smart as they looked?

Violet Class – Sound Check

Any questions about this bands music were answered after the band’s opener charged into life. ‘Socks on Shoes’ had hints of Ride and The La’s but also made you think, fuck, these boys have something special. The dancing at the front of the stage also put to bed any doubts that people would be standing still tonight – I only say that, because I fancied a boogie myself.

As the first chords of ‘Six Penny Step’ were strummed on the guitar the crowd broke out into rabid applause, this was a song that a lot of people were familiar with and were waiting for. Violet Class delivered the perfect rendition of the song and did themselves and their fans proud, whilst winning over of a whole host of new admirers along the way. Smart and to the point, Violet Class are going places.

Cass, gig programme, Section 60 and a Blue Collar.

As the beer carried on flowing and the DJ Dan Nolan continued to spin the tracks, every single person in the audience was now in full motion and had their dancing shoes on. I spoke to people who had travelled from as far away as Scotland and Dorset and many other places that showed how much dedication interest this event had created.

By the time The Blue Collars took to the stage, the area in front of the stage was now packed. “Alright, we’re The Blue Collars, from Stoke.” I actually thought that the buzz in the air couldn’t get anymore electric but I was very wrong. ‘This Old Town’ has had over 6000 views on You Tube and the prospect of hearing this popular song first was the best way for TBC to kick off. As soon as the song ended, applause rang out across the whole venue and people started pushing even closer to the front of the stage. The audience just wanted to feel a part of everything that was going on and The Blue Collars were more than happy to welcome them with open arms.

The Blue Collars

Melodic, angry and thought provoking are some of the words I would use to describe TBC but seriously, you have to see this band live to get the full range of emotions and intensity. They have the songs, the banter and the confidence to go very far and by the time they finished an exhilarating version of ‘Agree to Disagree’ the crowd were going crazy. Cass Pennant took to the microphone, “That was heavy duty or what?” The roar from the crowd was deafening and the sound of the whole audience singing, “Blue, Blue Collars” was cue for an encore. The Blue Collars closed their set with ‘The Dance One’ and front stage was a mass of jumping and clapping bodies. They came, they conquered. Enough said. Not bad for a support band, eh?

I actually felt sorry for Sheffield’s Section 60. I thought, how the fuck are they going to follow what has gone before them. I have been a fan of this band for some time and could tell straight away that they were here to do the business. “They have to raise the bar after The Blue Collars”, announced Cass Pennant and the boys came out in fighting mood and looked as smart as fuck.

Section 60 live.

‘Gunslingers’ the first tack in S60’s set has a bass line that gets into the very soul of you and could make a snail on valium stand to attention. The boys were back in London town and this time they are taking no prisoners.

When it comes to anthems, S60 walk with the likes of The Verve, Puressence and Oasis and they stand just as tall. Having one band that can move a crowd would have been incredible butting having four is testament of the young talent that is emerging from all over the UK and S60 stand at the forefront of this.

Section 60 and a full house.

‘The North Will Rise Again’ saw S60 bring the roof down. Anthemic, poetic and fucking ballsy, this track represents S60 perfectly. A performance this good only comes from years of practice and bundles of talent. A perfect end to a perfect night.

Cass Pennant, looked moved as he took to the microphone and announced that the whole thing had blown him away. I have to echo this sentiment. If you ask anyone who was at Casuals Live they will tell you that it was “A very special night to remember.”

Cass Pennant bringing the evening to a close.

Here is a you tube video that captures Casuals Live in all its glory.

Before I end this piece I would like to say a few thanks to people that made the night happen and also made it very special.

Thanks to our sponsors 80’s Casuals Classics and Peaceful Hooligan. Also to the following people – Jeff, Dan Nolan, Helen T, Jake, Nick S, Dave R, Mick Habeshaw Robinson, Jim Benner, Gemma, Mean Fiddler, Alex T, Vicky, Casual Way of Life, Jela, Kul Britannia, Street Sounds magazine Distant Echo, Cal, Clarkie, Dave E, Kate, all the bands on the night, and everyone who shared our event online and of course to every single one of you that came to the gig on the night. This will not be the last of this… Vivid Riot Promotions and Cass Pennant.

Vivid Riot – The Compilation FREE DOWNLOAD

10 Sep

That’s right – Yes, we know were are good people, and that’s why we are giving away our band spanking new compilation for nowt, nish, free. Just click away for 17 tracks of the finest new music.

The album is already causing a stir on-line, with listens into the thousands. 

Plain and simple, we want to highlight music that floats our boats and hopefully can sink the blues. It’s all good clean fun (Well most of it). 

To get your copy or to just have a nose/listen here’s the link –


“Just listen to the songs because at the end of the day that’s all that really matters.” – Section 60

23 Aug

We’re Section 60 a five piece guitar band from Sheffield. That’s right guitar, I suppose we could get shot these days for saying that word but fuck it, we are what we are and we ain’t going to change for fucking trends.”

“Anyway like we said, we’re Section 60 so just listen to the songs because at the end of the day that’s all that really matters.”

I agree whole heartedly with the above sentiments but Section 60 are much more than a “five piece guitar band from Sheffield”. Section 60 create big fuck off anthemic slabs of indie rock ‘n’ roll.

In this day and age, for some bands it’s hard to get anthemic songs right. Luckily, bands including Section 60, along with Puressence and Oasis do it with ease and conviction. On the flipside, you get bands like Nickleback or Bon Jovi whose sentimental bollocks makes toes curl and vomit rise. I have come to the conclusion that Section 60 are masters of the reputable anthem; put those lighters away, now.

‘Is this our day in the Sunshine’ is the first track on Section 60’s eponymous debut release and it exudes huge melodies, choruses, guitars, drums and vocals. What an opener. Think a sly wink to Oasis and a bow to The Verve and you’ll get the drift.

‘Reputation’ has a massive Puressence influence and reminds me of their track ‘Pallisades’. It’s not a rip off, just a swaggering monster of a song that again gives a nod to an influence of Section 60. A song for whacking up loud, opening a beer, and getting ready for a big night out.

Second Track on this debut release, ‘Soul Uncensored’ is the stand out track for me. Amazing vocals, big hooks  on the guitar and the chorus when measured would be the musical equivalent of lying down under a stampede of one hundred elephants. This is one big fucker of a song, beware.

‘Is this our day in the sunshine’  has some great delicate moments as well, despite being a proper lads band, they can tug the old heartstrings. The musicianship and production is spot on and the vocals are upfront and melodic. When I want an album of good vibes, good song crafting and is also a pick me up, I know which one I will be reaching for– Well done Section 60, ‘Is this our day in the Sunshine’ is an album to cherish and be very proud of.

Here’s a Vivid Riot interview with the lads from Section 60.

Hello lads, let’s start at the beginning. Who are Section 60? And how did the band form?

Addy: We got together a couple of years ago but only been a serious outfit since Summer 2011, thats when Kyle(drummer) joined the band.

Chris: Me and Addy(Rhythm Guitar) had been going to gigs together for years and been into the local music scene in Sheffield but thought it lacked a proper lads rock and roll outfit and we could not see where one was going to come from.

Smit: It always seems to be across the penines where all the best bands come form

Addy: Myself and Chris (Singer) got banned from football for allegedly being involved in football violence so I borrowed my Dad’s old guitar and decided to try to learn a few chords and make a band up. Chris was straight in on vocals even though he had never sung with a mic before not even on a karaoke!!!

Smit: I found out they had made a band up and I joined without asking, I just said I am in your band now on lead guitar and they were all like, “Yeah, sound!” Luke (Bass) lived around corner from Chris and he had been sacked from The Stoops for being a drunken idiot so we thought he’d do for us!

Addy: Kyle lives in Derbyshire and we found him running round after sheep with some drumsticks in his hands and seeing as we had lost our old drummer, we did our bit for the community and he completed the band.

Why did you pick the name Section 60?

Chris: I came up with the name because of a banning from football which lead us to forming the band. Section 60 is a stop and seach order by the police at football matches, this happened many times over the years to me & Addy. We thought it had a ring to it and a lot better than the original name which was taken from WWE Wrestiling “Velocity”

What are your musical influences?

Chris: To me it’s bands like Joy Division, The Cure and definitely Puressence, from Manchester. We’ve ripped off everybody in our practice room at some stage, I mean Noel Gallagher made a career out of it and also made no secret of it, which I think is sound. 

Addy: Manchester band Puressence,  Northern indie bands for me and obviously Beatles!!

Luke: My influences are Guitar bands, northern soul, mod, Beatles, Oasis, Verve etc 

What have the band released to date and roughly how many gigs have you played?

Smit: We’ve released our debut album ‘Is This Our Day In The Sunshine’ and a couple of singles ‘Elysium’ and ‘Diamonds’ and the response has been amazing, We have also been giving away our newer tracks through downloads and CDs at our gigs, Its about spreading the word and growing.

Kyle: I’ve only been with the band for 12 months but weve been at it all over the country, from Newcastle to London. We’ve done about 50 gigs over the past twelve months and the lads have over 200 under their belts. It’s all about putting on a good show and hard graft.

How would you describe the Section 60 sound?

Luke: Anthemic guitar tunes that get you in the mood for wherever you want to be, from chilled out on your settee to being fucked on the dance floor.

Chris: A little bit of this and a little bit of that. Give us a listen!

What has been the funniest moment of being in the band so far?

Luke: I don’t really have a stand out funny moment, but when flying back from our gigs in Berlin I was stopped by the baggage bloke because he saw something in a bag I had, it turned out I had someone else’s bag full of liquid Viagra. I don’t know the German for ‘filthy bastard’ but I think there’s a universal face for it, I got that face.

Chris: We did a gig at Hope & Anchor in Islington, We got down early and went on the piss all day ordered a load of “That” and by the time we went on stage, we were off our nuts. I forgot all the words and we played shit but had a good fucking laugh about it. A couple of us went to Barfly in Camden after and when we got back to the digs one of the lads was sat smoking a joint with a cyclist who had giving him a backy  from where he`d been at, The Bike was even in the room!

I would say that you are pretty much a “guitar band” in terms of your approach. Do you like any electronic music and if no, is there a reason for this?

Chris: Yeah I suppose we are but a tunes a tune no matter what type it is. I’m really having Rhianna, shes the bollocks and Adele is Banging. As far as electro music goes, I’m into LCD Soundsystem, the song ‘All my Friends’,  it cant get much better than that, but you also cant beat a good guitar riff.

 What was the last album that you all bought?

Luke: I can’t remember the last album I bought, but the last album I acquired was ‘Ten Silver Drops’ by Secret Machines, 6 years too late but still a class album.

Chris: Richard Hawley’s, ‘Standing At The Skys Edge’, it blew my head off because it’s such a departure from what hes done on his last fews albums, it’s the album of the year so far for me, well that and ‘Heaven’ by The Walkmen

Addy & Smit: Same as Chris, amazing album by Mr. Hawley!!!!

Kyle: Jack Savoretti – ‘Knock Knock’.

If you all had to pick one album each to take to a desert island, which one would you pick?

Kyle: Kooks – ‘Inside Out’

Smit: Stone Roses

Addy: Puressence – ‘Dont Forget To Remember’

Luke: I wouldn’t need an album, I’d take a copy of Jimmy Radcliffe, ‘Long After Tonight is All Over.’

Chris: Well Smit’s picked Stone Roses so i’d listen to his so id say Otis Reddings Greatest Hits, the mans voice blows me away, when the time comes and I start to get down and realise no fuckers coming to rescue us me and Tom Hanks can sit round the camp fire and listen to ‘These Arms of Mine’ and say, “whatever, who gives a fuck, we’ve got Otis.”

Anything else you would like to add?

 Chris: Jim Morrison once said…..”Im gonna get my kicks before the whole shit house goes up in flames” I fucking love that!

Dig the new breed. The Uptights

21 Aug

I think I have stumbled across what I think is the youngest band to ever feature on Vivid Riot. The Uptights, from Southampton are all aged 17 years old and create music as good as a lot of new bands twice their age. Despite not being old for the pub, they are more than good enough for Vivid Riot!

Younger generations don’t get much credit these days. It seems that all we ever hear about is riots, drugs, drinking and violence. The “yoof” of today as far as the media is concerned are always to blame for any wrongdoings that take place in society. Hold that thought… That sort of generalisation is tarnishing a whole host of creative youngsters who deserve good press but the sensationalism of typical youthful behaviour takes front page instead.

Luckily, there are untold bands, including The Uptights, in their late teens and early twenties that are making music that really can inspire good feelings and thoughts. Think about it, teenage angst has always had a relevant place in music but lazy mainstream journalism and major label interference makes sure that the same old bands get promoted above younger groups that rightfully demand a place in the mainstream spotlight.

I, for one, am grateful that bands like The Uptights exist. Now for the rest of the music world, It’s time to dig the new breed.

The Uptights’ music is big and bold. Somewhere between The Jam and The Libertines. It has an air of confidence and belief.  Take the first song I heard by the band, ‘Liar’. As soon as it came on, I knew I was onto something special. Brash guitars, drums smashed to pieces and snakey bass lines gave me the perfect introduction to the band.

‘La’ is another song that really sets the stall out for The Uptights. The track is a cross between The Cure’s pop classic ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ and it also reminds me of the melodic genius of Orange Juice. A perfect pop song that would go hand in hand with a few pints on a hot summer’s day.

For now, I’ll let the band do the rest of the talking, as I had a chance to ask The Uptights a few questions.

Firstly, hello and how are you all?

All: “Hello. All good thanks.” 

Right, let’s have it from the start. Who are The Uptights and how did you form?

Mack:   “OK so we have Ben Gibson on lead guitar, Tom Richer providing vocals and rhythm, Torrin Rees on drums and I have the bass and sing on the tracks that Tom doesn’t.”

Tom:     “We’re all mates and have known each other from school really.  Some of us have been in different bands before but not a mod styled one, so the Uptights was something new for us.”

What have you recorded so far and released?

Tom:     “We’ve got about 6 songs recorded but have loads more  new songs up our sleeves. The idea is to keep recording and letting people hear our songs for free, then, say October time we will select maybe four or five of our best and release a debut ep. Where we will  include the popular ones such as ‘Today’, ‘Other Side’ and ‘What Comes Around’”

Mack:   “At our gigs, we get a good reaction to a track called ‘Let me Love You’.  It’s recorded but needs some additional vocal work.  I think it maybe our most powerful tune.”

Which song of your own are you most proud of and why?

Torrin:   “All of them for one reason or another!  We all have an input into our sound and each tune reflects who out of the band has had the most influence.  For instance ‘Other Side’ and ‘Liar’ has Mack’s mod input, whilst ‘What Comes Around’ and ‘Today’ shows Tom’s a fan of Joy Division, The Smiths and Oasis.  Ben comes up with some cracking original riffs throughout and I get the occasional drum intro.”

What does the future have in store for the band?

Ben: “We’re just gonna keep at it.  We feel there’s a big space for our music but no one’s letting us or other mod bands get heard because most people these days are obsessed with chart music. We would also like too set up a UK tour but that should all come around when we’ve released our debut ep. But for now we’d like to build up a local fan base as well as one on-line.”

Torrin:   “Our view is that if our music strikes a chord with people then we’ll keep working hard and take it from there.  The time is about right in this country for a bit of energy.  Simple, honest tunes.”

Which bands or artists have influenced your music the most?

Tom: “I’d have to say Joy Division and Oasis, but we’re not trying to take too much bands influences on us were just doing what we think sounds good!”

Mack: “For me it’s got to be the Jam, I inspire to sing like Paul and play the bass like Bruce!”

Ben: “The Vaccines, The Jam.”

Torrin: “The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, Oasis and The Beatles”

If you could tour with any current bands, which ones would you choose?

Ben: “I’d have too chose either Miles Kane or The Enemy, I think both  bands are still doing justice to keep guitar music alive and both bands have so much energy in live performances.”

And if you each had to take one album to a desert island for a month, which album would you each take?

Torrin:   “Hard choice but I’d end up taking Arctic Monkeys debut Album ‘What ever people say i am that’s what I’m not ’, mainly because there’s not one bad track on that album.”

Mack: “I’ve got two favourites, ‘Heavy Soul’ by Paul Weller or ‘All Mod Cons’ by the Jam. Very hard to choose one but id most probably pick ‘Heavy Soul’ by Paul Weller.”

Tom: “‘Rubber Soul’ the Beatles 6th Album”

Ben:  “‘By The Way’ – Red Hot Chilli Peppers”

Anything else you would like to add?

All:   “Grateful for the interview Nick, and wish you continued success with your Vivid Riot blog.  As we said earlier, the time is right for what you’re doing, providing decent exposure of some honest music from bands like us and putting real stuff back on the map.”