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.

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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 www.puppetrebellion.com/live

Beverley – A film in progress. Get involved.

11 Nov

 

Beverley is a film about a mixed race girl’s struggles to carve out a sense of identity in a confusing, shifting cultural landscape. A move from the decaying, poverty-stricken, urban environment to the relative comfort and theoretical safety of white suburbia does not provide the hope and opportunities Bev may have wished for. A familiar enemy is ever present – a threat that extends beyond her own safety – more importantly she must protect her brother and sister. By asserting her will and using her guile, Bev tries to shape her new environment into something palatable, but the result is the opposite of what she is trying to achieve.

WHY TELL THIS STORY?

At the heart of the film is the question of identity and in particular British identity, it’s the battle of one individual to define and assert their own identity in a society that doesn’t allow them much cultural capital. At the same time that battle is mirrored by the battle of society at large to define its own identity, something that Britain was struggling with in 1980 and really it’s the collision of those two forces that causes the tension, which is the heart of the drama in this film.

We feel that this mixed race identity that we’re seeking to investigate in this film Beverley, really hasn’t been significantly covered. Beverley herself says it best: “The issue of race is complex and none more so than for the mix-race population. How can you create an identity where none existed before you?”

The other reason we wanted to make Beverley as the next film project is simply that the 80s was the most diverse time for British youth subcultures and the one we’ve not seen in fiction film is the 2 tone movement. Beverley would be a fascinating film about this period which was really about British identity and multiculturalism.

The story of British culture and identity is not complete until a film is made that does justice to the legacy of Two Tone music and fully investigates the experience of mixed-race Britons.

To donate and get involved visit here: http://igg.me/at/BeverleyRelaunched/x/6095900

Keeping it Real. Mosborough Music Festival.

23 Aug

Vivid Riot is proud to present a feature on the Mosborough Music Festival.

When it comes to festivals we happily like to champion the independent spirit that lacks at the major festivals that we see in the UK each year.

Events that take place ever year that charge extortionate prices for tickets, beer and camping which essentially drains the very essence of these types of gatherings. Thankfully, there are still some people willing to put on music festivals for the music and people that want to hear something different

Mosborough Music festival has all the right ideas. Low ticket prices, cheap drinks, and just as important, bands that are there for all the right reasons. It’s not about who’s making NME into Smash Hits yet again this week. It’s much more than that!

MMF have showcased the talents of Reverend and the Makers, Section 60, Cockney Rejects, Modern Faces and musicians that deserve a platform that may be new on the scene. It’s diverse, different and daring, surely that’s an ethos that other festival organizers should take on board. So… Bring on the next one!

It’s time to ask festival organizer Steve Cowens more about MMF and what’s behind the event.

Firstly, tell us more about Mosborough music festival. 

Mosborough music festival, Sheffield, is now 4 festivals old, last June we raised its profile by having two stages, camping and 26 bands on live. we also booked household names in Reverend & the Makers, Paul Heaton and Neville Staple. We have now moved away from it just being a local festival which it started out as, we have people coming from all over the country now as our festival is very good value, high quality and we also keep bar prices to a minimum.
Where did the idea for the festival come from?
The festival started 4 years ago after a very good mate of mine committed suicide and left a 5 year old son behind. I organised a fun day with football matches and a few bands on to raise some money to put in a trust fund for his son, it was so well attended I was asked to do it annually so that’s where Mosborough Music Festival was born. Over the years we have raised over 15k for various charities.
crowd mosborough
Which acts have stood out for you at the events you have put on so far?
Reverend & the Makers were awesome this year, as was Paul Heaton. Bad Manners smashed it last year and had everyone dancing and The Beautiful South were something else in our first year. Its just not about the household names though, I check out local talent and up and coming bands around the country. I had a lad on called John Lennon McCullagh this year, he’s only 15 but he’s one talented lad, so much so that Alan Magee (old creation records founder and manager of Oasis) has signed John up to a 3 album record deal. The quality on show at this years festival was unreal, Exit Calm, The Darlingtons, Two ‘n’ Eights, Bedroom Hour, The Rainband and Marquis Drive came to play from all corners of the country. We also had local bands on which included Sheffield music icons Jon Windle (Little man Tate) and John Reilly (Boy on a Dolphin), couple this with some great young bands in The Sherlocks, Sabella and Section 60 and we had one hell of a line up. I was that impressed by Sabella that we have signed them up and have so far got them support slots with The Enemy, Reverend & the Makers, Paul Heaton and Catfish and the Bottlemen. We have big hopes for Sabella as they are so fresh and talented.
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Reverend and the Makers – Doing it live.
Any acts you’d love to have on the bill that have not yet played?
Because I’m very old school I’d love to have Cast, The Farm, Happy Mondays or Inspiral Carpets etc on. In fact we are in talks with a couple of these bands so fingers crossed. I’d also love to have The Enemy, The Twang, Missing Andy or Shed 7 on, I like bands that have a football type following.
What events/gigs do you have coming up?
We’ve got a cracking event coming up in November, it’s at Doncaster Dome on the 29th. we got The Enemy, Reverend & the Makers, Section 60, John Lennon McCullagh, Sabella, The Sherlocks, The Barristers and The 48k’s all playing under one roof. Its only £22 a ticket (That’s a cracking deal. Ed.) and its selling really well.
622FD New Enemy & Rev & Makers A3
We’ve also just hosted a festival at Don Valley in Sheffield called The United Colours of Music Festival, We had UB40, The Beat, Missing Andy, Neville Staple, Cockney Rejects, The Toasters, The Lambretta’s, Talisman, Lee Thompson and the Skatalites to name but a few. The Skatalites flew in from Jamaica, they were the originators of SKA music and their set was outstanding. Next year the United Colours of Music festival will be a Brit-pop theme and we are hoping to have The Charlatans headline it.
It’s not just music events we do, we’ve got an evening with Danny Dyer in December and an event called the class of 92, its the Sheffield United team that beat Manchester United 2-1 in the first game when the premiership was formed, Brian Deane scored the first ever premiership goal that day. I’m a big Blades fan (for my sins!). We are also promoters of Grimethorpe Colliery Brass Band (the band that the film Brassed Off was based on) and look after a few shows for them, we recently did a performance for Gwyneth Paltrow after Chris Martin (Coldplay) had booked us. We’ve got quite close to Chris, he’s a top bloke, really down to earth so hopefully an acoustic set at Mosborough could happen.
What has the response been like to the events you have put on so far?
The atmosphere at Mosborough has to be seen top be behold, everyone gets in great spirits and in 4 years we have had no trouble what-so-ever, it’s brilliant to see people having such a great time. We keep things cheap as possible and our bar is probably the cheapest festival bar you will see. The thing with Mosborough is it helps charities, Last year we flew a little lad called Reece Winterbottom to Disney Land Florida on his 8th Birthday. Reece had just lost his 30 year old mum to cancer and then two months later he got diagnosed with a brain tumour. He was 5 months in hospital and it was touch and go, watching Reece, his dad and two brothers fly out from Manchester airport was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.
I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so no matter how good our events are I’m always looking at ways to improve them, I get on my own tits at times with how I am. My pals laugh at my ways, they always remind me of the day the Sunday football team I run won 5-1 against a promotion rival, I kept them in the changing room for ten minutes after the match giving them a bollocking for conceding a late goal coz they’d got the billy-big-bollocks on. The response we get from our events is always positive. Long may that be.
Anything else you would like to add?
Yeah, Peace and love to all. X

London Posse – Gangster Chronicle. Re-issue.

17 Jun

London 1990, I was in the last year of Secondary school. Roxette and MC Hammer were climbing the charts – I was climbing the walls. The music of the day meant fuck all to me. “Stop… Hammer time” was the shout in the playground at every break. I needed something else. Something I could relate to. “It Must Have Been Love” – Try telling that to a kid growing up on a council estate in London. It just wasn’t happening in the charts, for me and many others.

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Thankfully UK Hip Hop was poetry to my increasingly discerning ears. My teens had been drenched with US rap that came in waves from the likes Boogie Down Productions, Eric B and Rakim, The Sugar Hill Gang and also the Street Sounds compilations that were the bench mark of 80’s rap/electro. The US was where it was at, or so it seemed.

As much as I cherished these artists, there was still something missing. The key ingredient I needed in this mix was anglocentric. I needed something that spoke about life on these shores and was close to home and in every sense. Something was brewing; I just didn’t know it…Yet.

Back in the day, it was Tim Westwood that had a hand in what a lot of UK rap fans were waiting for. The London Posse (Sipho, Bionic and Rodney P and DJ Biznizz) were unleashed on an un-expecting public and to say they created a storm, is like comparing a draft to a tsunami.

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The band’s first Single London Posse produced by Westwood (and with copious amounts of air play) stayed in the Indie chart for 11 weeks and blew the doors wide open for The London Posse to move their goods into the threadbare UK Hip Hop scene.

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After touring with big Audio Dynamite and having the first ever UK Hip Hop record with just (London Posse founding member Sipho) beat boxing as a backing track, the London Posse had arrived.

Signed to Westwood’s Justice label, The London Posse released what is now regarded as the most important UK rap record ever.

Money Mad smashed you in the face from the opening bars. The track was just over 6 minutes of lyrics and music that you just knew was from fresh the UK. There were no fake American accents, no posturing and there was nothing that you could mindlessly sing along to. This was the real fucking deal – Street music for people on the streets.

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Money Mad was UK street life running from your speakers whilst a reggae selections and samples rang out behind a hail of piano and massive drum beats. Pure poetry and true grit carried the track from start to finish and with Westwood’s clear but in your face production, the London Posse jumped to the front of the queue of UK Hip Hop. The first time I heard the track it was one of those moments that stayed with me forever – I had finally found MY band.

1990 also saw the band’s debut album Gangster Chronicles hit the shelves. A trip to Our Price records was where I picked up the cassette album. I remember looking over the cover, reading the blurb inside and feeling the suspense at getting home and putting it in the stereo. (Yes kids, we had to wait until we got home to hear our music. No instant downloads back in the day).

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Gangster Chronicles opened with Money Mad, which was best way to set the album stall out. Any doubts as to whether the band could produce an album’s worth of strong material were put happily to bed for anyone hearing the album for fully the first time.

Tracks like Original London Style, Live Like the Other Half Do and Gangster Chronicle still sound like nothing that ever went before or after them. Dealing with issues such as unemployment, drugs, girls, money and life on the streets of London, the London Posse won fans all around the country and UK Hip Hop had finally had a voice of its own. I am not saying there were not others around at the time but for me personally, the London Posse gave us Britishness, something that UK Hip Hop was crying out for.

Gangster Chronicles fused rap, Reggae Mc-ing, straight up Hip Hop and youthful urgency in abundance. The album was recorded in a matter of weeks and the ideas buzzing around in the young heads of the London Posse still retain that spark to this day.

LONDON POSSE

In retrospect, Gangster Chronicles isn’t flawless but the album is testament to passion and belief that these young rappers from the UK could achieve the greatness that there US counterparts gained in the Hip Hop hall of fame. The London Posse were not perfect and that is the appeal but to quote Iggy Pop when I think of the small legacy The London Posse left, their music was/is, “music that takes up the energies and the bodies and the hearts and the souls and the time and the minds of young men who give what they have to it and give everything they have to it…” and that was what Gangster Chronicles was all about.

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The album is re-issued through Tru-Thoughts on 17th June 2013.

http://www.tru-thoughts.co.uk/releases/London-Posse/gangster-chronicles-the-definitive-collection

The re-issue comes with bonus tracks, remixes and more.

This article is dedicated to the memory of Sipho the human beat-box. RIP.

One-Eyed Baz: The Story of Barrington ‘Zulu’ Patterson – Book Review

10 Apr

I felt compelled to write a review of ‘One Eyed Baz’ more than any book that I have read in recent years. Despite the menacing picture on the cover and genre that this book falls into, it flips the autobiographical crime book genre onto its head and gives the reader something that is gripping, stark and full of unflinching realism.

one-eyed-baz

Yes, it’s the story of a hard-man but at the same time it is not the tale of an exaggerated Superman. ‘Baz’ has the humility to admit where he went wrong and when he was beat, which gives his life story a sense of honesty, which is sometimes missing within this genre of literature.

Born ‘Barrington Patterson’ in the Midlands during the mid-60’s the narrator was up against the odds from the start. At a time when unemployment was high and racial tension was higher, Barrington’s formative years shaped what was to become the man that he is today – One not to be messed with but one to be trusted.

Blinded in one eye during childhood, after a his sister threw a can at him, Barrington Patterson suffered the tirades and taunts of other children before realizing the only way to curb the teasing was to hit back. You get an understanding throughout the book that this is the reason Barrington hates bullies so much, he takes a very personal stance on this matter. He took these taunts into later life and revenge lay on the back-burner for his tormentors, the fire rage was just starting to ignite.

The books memorable tales of class struggle and the musical culture of the late 70’s early 80’s are brutally candid and are perfectly succinct. This was a desperate time when the UK was on a knife’s edge of political and economic struggle and the music and culture reflected these times.

Barrington Patterson started chiseling out his fighting skills on the streets and football terraces and he found a group of friends and a football team for life.

Home and away, Patterson and the ‘Zulu Army’ (Birmingham City’s hooligan firm) took on any other hooligan gangs that fancied their chances. There were plenty of takers as football related violence was sweeping the country, as lads took to dressing and playing up at football grounds all over the UK. Patterson is honest enough to admit when he and his firm took a kicking and he still retains a sense of humour throughout.

Patterson watched Bruce Lee films as a child and this influenced his career path after his youthful exploits on the terraces. This also gave him the discipline and focus to steer him away from a life in prison and it also put money in the bank.

From Judo, to Kick-Boxing and then Mixed Martial arts, Barrington Patterson excelled in all of these fields and along with his 4 children this gave him a driving force which led him to winning at least two major titles in MMA. Remember Barrington achieved this with the use of only one eye. This never stopped Patterson believing in what he could achieve and is an inspiration to anyone facing a tough life challenge.

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Throughout the book friends of the author tell their version of events growing up, training and getting scrapes along the way with ‘Baz’. This form of narrative adds an extra dimension, as the stories’ characters get involved and tell their honest accounts that heighten the sense of realism already graphically prevalent throughout.

I read this book in less than 24hrs. I was gripped from the start. It’s not very often you pick up a book and get such an insight into a mind, a time, places, music, football and culture.

For that reason I honestly think this will become a classic in the crime genre. And trust me; I have only skimmed over the basics of the book here in this review. Pick up a copy and I promise you won’t put it down, as it’s a real page-turner and one I definitely will re-read.

Below is a selection of music that is suggested to go with this book.

More for 2013.

20 Mar

Cheers to you all for your continued support. We’ve been busy this month.

Firstly it was Vivid Riot Records putting out the two-sided single by Scotland’s finest The Banter Thiefs. ‘Levi Toi’ and ‘Civic Cafe’ are available for free download  on our Bandcamp label page HERE.

Secondly, number 8 in the football Casual Podcast series has been released and already has listeners into the hundreds. Pop over to our Mixcloud page HERE and make sure you follow as a new one will be published in April 2013 and is one not to miss.

Thirdly, we are going to streamline the way we feature bands on the blog. Rather than lengthy reviews, we are going down the route of showcasing the music we like but just putting on videos, page links and biographies. This way, we give your more music less waffle and as you will know, this is the Vivid Riot ethos.

Lastly, I will leave you with video that coincides with a release from Cass Pennant’s book company and I am sure will be of interest to plenty of you.

Barrington Renford Patterson is a former kickboxer and Mixed Martial Arts fighter. The champion ‘King of the Ring’ is well-known to cage fighting devotees and is notorious as one of Britain’s ‘hard men’ — as testified by a full episode of the TV series Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men. The former football hooligan from the Birmingham Zulus firm also cuts a powerful figure in clubland, with a hard-earned reputation gained by running some of the roughest doors in the Midlands.For all his ferocious reputation, ONE-EYED BAZ reveals a character of great warmth and loyalty, a charismatic figure strong enough to turn his back on street violence. ONE-EYED BAZ will surely be lauded as a classic of the hardman genre . . . You can order the book today online with John Blake Publishing or Amazon etc or from Waterstones bookshops. ISBN: 978-1843588115

Click picture below for video trailer.

one-eyed-baz

Football Casual Podcast 8

6 Mar

It’s here – At long last! As usual, an eclectic mix of genres and football related music. Thousands of you have listened to the previous one, so for your lovely ears, here’s number 8 in the series. Let us know what you think and keep your ears and eyes out for the next one for more in the series.

 

http://www.mixcloud.com/VividRiot/football-casual-podcast-8/