Tag Archives: Indie

Distant Correspondent. Music for hangovers.

14 May

I’m sure a fair few of you will know the feeling… The early morning alarm wakes you up after the night before, your brain and tongue feel like a deflated football and there’s a fully fit team putting the proverbial boot in.

Hit the snooze button, even though you know another ten minutes in bed isn’t going to make any difference and only adds to the contemplation of the disastrous day ahead.

Jumping up, as you are now running late, the shower might put a positive dent in this feeling. Think again! 8 + pints of ‘something’ that you can still taste and feel isn’t going to be shifted by a stream of tepid water and cheap shower gel.

By the time you have arrived at your place of work, you wonder how the hell you even managed to crawl in and out of bed. A glance at the clock makes that the fact that you have another 7 hours of the working day left totally unbearable.

Right, it’s time for action, coffee and music. This is where Distant Correspondent came in.

On this particular day music was the only thing that could save me and this is where I searched for a cure for the previous night’s antics.

Meanwhile Back in Communist Russia were one of my favourite bands from the early 2000’s and were my band for lazy days of contemplation, (and were what I was listening to on this particularly painful day) after a night of heavy indulgence, MBICR mixed guitar, electronics and female spoken word and created something that was part Arab Strap part Life Without Buildings before both bands existed.

After searching online for what the guys and girl from MBICR were up to at present, the name Distant Correspondent kept popping up. I read a few bits about the band and knew from the write ups that this would be a project that I would like and needed on this day.

I nipped over to Spotify to see what was available by DC and was pleased to see that the band had release a self –titled album in 2013.


The band consists of  David Obuchowski (Goes Cube), Michael Lengel, Edith Frost and  Emily Gray (Meanwhile Back in Communist Russia). The music is written via the internet as the musicians live on differing continents – You now know where the name comes from.

Anyway, where were we? OK I was about to hit play. ‘Listen’ the first track on the album took me where I needed to be. My hangover took a back seat and was no longer the focus of my previously jaded attention. Guitars drenched in reverb and delay, ice cool ethereal vocals and dreamy textures were the perfect start.


Track three on the album ‘Cyclone’ blew me and my cobwebbed head away completely. Reminiscent of The Cocteau Twins and a slowed down version of DIf Juz, I could imagine Distant Correspondent being a perfect band for the 4AD label.

This self-titled release is music to get joyously lost in. It’s not the most diverse release I have ever heard but the album works wonderfully as a whole. Reverb and delay are the primary features but DC succinctly splash small nuances throughout the songs and the less is more approach fits perfectly here.

Emily Gray’s spoken word pieces float in and out of the songs and this is another area that DC has utilized to perfection. I had always adored her voice, it’s the sort of voice that whispered into your ear, sends shivers down your spine and makes headphones a must for this album.

Some of the songs do pick up the tempo; ’Summit’ is a prime example of this, Gray is on top form and so are the band. This is the musical equivalent of reading a secret diary and feeling waves of empathy for the author’s troubles. ‘Summit’ is a stunning track and one that I have had on repeat along with the whole album for days now

By the end of the first full play of the album, all my thoughts and feelings connect to my inebriation and its after effects were a thing of the past and the only way I could keep them at bay was to hit play and listen to this album again and again.

Trust me, the album sounds even better without the added hangover but in case of emergency it’s the CD cabinet and not the medicine cabinet I will be reaching for after one of those nights in the future, DC are the musical equivalent of pain killers and re-hydration – Very comforting and refreshing.

Here we have an interview with David and Michael from the band.

So, how are you?

David: Pretty good, pretty good.
Michael: Great!

What are the band up to currently?

David: Well, we’re doing a lot of recording right now. My wife and I recently had a baby girl, and so that put our live stuff on hold for a bit. But all this time at home has allowed me to put all my focus back into writing.

Michael: Yes, recording, recording, recording. We’re in the early stages on several new songs I think we’re all pretty excited about. After our fall tour and a bunch of Denver shows, there’s definitely a reflection of the live dynamics we’re drawing from in these new songs.


Have you played or do you plan to play any gigs?

David: Ah well, we actually went on a national tour this past fall in support of our album. Emily even came over from the UK to be a part of it. It was a lot of fun playing nearly every night, drinking beer in a different town every night, and all of us Americans speaking to Emily in our best English accents. We played a slew of shows when we got home from that tour. But as I said, my wife and I just had a baby so we’re spending our time recording and writing right now. Though, I expect we’ll be back at it come summer.

Michael: It’s funny, when you’re in one stage of the process how you can yearn for the other… when you’re touring you start to get fidgety, wanting to write and record; when you’re recording, you can’t wait to play the songs live. We’ll have shows coming in the summer, but for now, speaking for myself at least, just trying to be present and enjoy developing these new songs.

How would you describe your sound?

David: We have a running joke in the band that we’re “trans-Atlantic dreamwave.” For some reason every piece of press that came out when we were on tour used that phrase. We couldn’t escape it. I guess I’d actually describe our sound as being a kind of dreamy, lush post-punk. We try to put tension and dynamics and hooks into all the songs (which is where the post-punk comes from), but then really try to fill it out as much as possible with layers and melody.

Michael: Yeah, “trans-Atlantic dreamwave” has kinda stuck…


What are your musical influences?

David: I mean, as the guy who plays and writes the guitar parts, I think I’m probably wearing a lot of my influences on my sleeve: Cocteau Twins, Smiths, Slowdive, One Last Wish, Kate Bush. But then, I’ve also been playing metal for a very long time, so that still factors into it. So there’s some Russian Circles, Pelican, Isis influences happening for me, too. I’ll let everyone else tell you what their influences are.

Michael: Rhythmically, I draw from Boards of Canada who for me, bring an impressive simplicity but intense groove to their beats. Liars, Fly Pan Am and some older stuff like Scott Walker’s huge sounds from Scott 1, 2, 3 and 4, Harumi which is Japanese psych from the 60s… These don’t really show in our sound per se, but what I love about each of these is that balance of relative simplicity with invention that adds a dimension of intrigue rhythmically.

What was the last album you listened to?

David: As I type this, the last album I listened to was Suzanne Vega’s first LP.

Michael: Echo Lake’s LP, Wild Peace. Absolutely delicious.

I noticed a love of delay and reverb on the album, where did this influence come from?

David: I think the obvious answer, again, is to look at the Cocteaus and Slowdive and Smiths. But from a practical perspective, the answer is probably just as much about the metal bands I’ve toured with (in my band Goes Cube). Goes Cube has always had a big Quicksand, Helmet post-hardcore influence mixed with more straight-up thrashy/grindy/driving stuff like Napalm Death. But between listening to Hydra Head bands (like Isis) and touring with bands like Dub Trio and East of the Wall, I was amazed at the textures that could be created with delay even in the heaviest, most brutal music. So with both Goes Cube and Distant Correspondent, I’ve been a little more interested in that. But with Distant Correspondent, I’m also adding chorus to the delay, which gives it that sort of shameless shoegazey/new wave British sound, which I love. There was a moment early in the record process where I played a chord and it sounded kind of like the guitars in “Headmaster’s Ritual,” and I decided “that’s it!”

If you had to chose one of your own songs for our listeners to hear, which would it be?

David: “Shatter” seems to be a big favorite. And I do love that song. I also love “Summit.” But then, I’ve always felt like “Forward” could be a real kind of “single.” I don’t recommend it as the ONE song everyone should hear, but I think “Department” is one of my favorite songs on the record, though I think it’s probably most people’s least favorite. I didn’t really give you a straight answer, did I? Oh well, I can’t decide.

Michael: “Say” and “Clay” I think are two songs that show a bit of our ability to create a dreamy soundscape that also has a driving element.

Anything else you would like to add.

David: Yes, we had a UK-only single come out on Static Caravan Recordings. It got really good press. We have an amazing British member (Emily Gray, who used to be the vocalist for Meanwhile Back In Communist Russia, a band I’ve been obsessed with for well over a decade now). Point is: We really want to come tour the UK. Aren’t there any booking agents and/or promoters who want to help us out? We practically ARE a UK band. I mean, you should hear our accents!

Michael: I think Emily would confirm our accents are immaculate.






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.
reverend 2 mosborough
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

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.”



“I’ve got a fever inside of me.” FEVER FEVER.

7 Jun

The first time I heard FEVER FEVER I was gobsmacked. Any band that prevents me from hitting the skip button after one minute of hearing a song for the first time deserves credit. I know… I should listen to whole songs but sometimes a minute is enough – I need urgency. I want a band to fly out of the stalls and thankfully, Norwich’s FEVER FEVER kept my hands very still and well away from any notion of not listening until the end. In fact, I had one of those “Fuck me, I need to find everything I can by this band” moments.

Luckily, the band had a new single called ‘The Chair’ ready and waiting for eager ears and again FF didn’t disappoint. ‘The Chair’ is all pounding drums, incredible chiming and fuzzy guitars, and drums that smash away like they are trying to win a race to the death. The female vocals bring some calm to the beautiful noise that is created but sits within the mix perfectly. In terms of overall sound, I would say that Fever Fever sound like a mix of Slant 6, Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs and Sleater Kinney.

FEVER FEVER are a bloody glorious bundle of fun. The band genuinely sounds like they are having a ball whilst making music. Basically, think the opposite of the passion and intergrity that Coldplay put into their music and times that by 1000 and you’ll be somewhere near to feeling the urgency and intensity that will explode from your speakers when you hear this band.

Rosie from the band kindly had a few words with us about FEVER FEVER and here’s the result.

So, who are FEVER FEVER and how did you chose the name for the band?

“FEVER FEVER is Ellie, Smit and Rosie. We met on the carnival circuit. Smit was selling toffee apples and Ellie and I were working the big top.

We chose the name fever fever in a sort of homage to yeah yeah yeahs first album, ‘Fever to Tell’ which is completely bad ass.”

 Who are your musical influences?

” Sonic Youth, Shellac, Jack White, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Patti Smith, Sleater Kinney and Gossip.”

 What releases have you put out to date?

“We have released two singles and an EP on Cherryade Records. ‘Pins’ was released on Gravy Records and our latest offering ‘The Chair’ came out on Kissability. We’ve played a fair amount of shows, not sure how many though, haven’t totted them up on a while!”

 What has been the the best thing about being in FEVER FEVER so far?

“Playing Glastonbury on the BBC introducing stage was our favourite moment thus far. We were stuffed full of brandy and herbal remedies to calm the nerves. Good times.”

 What song is your favourite from your own songs? 

“Probably whatever we’ve written most recently, we aim to make every song better than the last.”

‘The Chair’ sold out before it was even released, how did that feel?

“Yeah, that was really cool. We’re super pumped by the response it’s had, the cassettes are a thing of beauty.”

Tell us about the lyrics. I find them quiet abstract(which I like) but what inspires them and what are the lyrics to the new single about?

“Anything can inspire the lyrics, the words to our songs are less about telling a linear story and more abstract, you’re right. They’re about creating a feel, or a mood rather than anything else, well they are at the moment. The Chair was inspired by Virginia Woolf’s ‘To The Lighthouse’.”

 What is the funniest thing that has happened to the band so far?

“Last year when we played Glastonbury we had to do an interview with Worthy FM. We turned up and soon realised though, that they were expecting Diva Fever, the camp duo from X Factor. Awkward. That was reasonably funny.”

Lastly, what’s in store for the band in the future?

“We planning on getting in quite deep with the avian equivalent of drug addiction. We need heron. Strong winged heron. And get, like, well famous. ”

Anything else you would like to add?

“No other business!”