THE WILDHEARTS announce Earth vs 25th Anniversary gigs

THE WILDHEARTS announce Earth vs 25th Anniversary gigs

The Wildhearts announce Earth vs 25th Anniversary gigs

1993 saw a seminal debut British rock album released by a group from Newcastle called The Wildhearts and 25 years later (and still going) they are celebrating the anniversary by playing the album back to back. Catch the 25th Anniversary shows:

2nd Dec – London KOKO
3rd Dec – Birmingham The Mill
4th Dec – Glasgow SWG3

THE LAFONTAINES set to play The Cluny | INTERVIEW

THE LAFONTAINES set to play The Cluny | INTERVIEW

The LaFontaines set to play The Cluny

They hit Newcastle on 19th September 2018

Jamie Keenan talks about the upcoming tour and other LaFontaines plans…

You’ve been playing a LOT of shows this year, things seem to have stepped up on that front even by your standards?

We’ve been playing a tonne of gigs this year. It’s amazing being busy and long may it continue. We’ve been right round the UK and Ireland and loads of shows on the continent too. The prestige of the festivals and also the slots have went up another notch as well.

There seems to be a real momentum behind the band- what sparked it?

We’ve done loads of great support tours as a band but were never able to capitalise on it by doing our own gigs a few weeks after them. This is the first time where we’ve had the opportunity to go back out and play the same places and create more of a following, especially in Europe. The calibre of songs we’re beginning to produce is stronger than ever too and it’s all finally starting to take shape.

Of course, you’ve signed a deal how big a boost was that after so many years of near-misses and being messed about by the industry?

It feels for the first time that someone in the industry has actually got our back and has the same vision we do for the band. We’ve been doing this since we were at school 10 years ago and there’s been a lot of people involved over the years but with no fruit to bear. It’s been a fantastic start with the label things are looking to get even better.

The new music is sounding phenomenal with real potential crossover vibes – do you feel that way too?

Definitely! The songs we’re working on just now are by the far the best we’ve ever written. The new single ‘UP’ was a different sound for us and getting on good Spotify playlists and on radio has helped to push the music out to different people who wouldn’t necessarily have seen us play live before. We’re noticing a lot of engagement on social media from new people.

Was it something you consciously decided to do after the rage of the last record, to be more upbeat, or did it just happen with the change in line up etc?

It’s not a conscious decision to be more upbeat, however, the confidence and the optimism that we currently have as a group is at an all-time high. That might just be from the way everything is starting to pan out. Also, the producer we’re currently working within Glasgow is also the best person we’ve ever used and has let us do our own thing.

You got your first ever play on Radio 1 – we know just how big a deal that is for a band who have been ignored by them and others for so long- how did that feel? Must have been real vindication?

It was a really nice feeling to get a track played on Radio 1. They had been saying it wasn’t their thing for a few years now. However,  it’s important not to put all your eggs in the one basket and trying to emulate other songs that appear on Radio 1 because most of it is flash in the pan stuff.

Where are you in terms of music- I know you’re writing all the time, when would you like to have a new record out?

We’ve got a massively busy few months ahead of us and booked right up until next summer so far. Anytime we’re home, we get back into the studio even if it’s just for a day or two. There’s maybe another 5 or 6 songs nearly finished and the bones of another 10 or so. We’re thinking of spending a good few weeks in January doing as much as we can. I reckon there will be another album late summer 2019

You’ve got the ‘Up’ Tour coming up – what can we expect? The fonts are legit the best live band in Scotland, is this about getting out there and showing that to people who haven’t yet been indoctrinated into the cult of Kerr?

For the first time, we are actually selling a good amount of tickets outside the home turf. This is exciting and the venues have all been another step higher on the circuit ladder. This will be by far the best headline tour we’ll have done. We just need to keep going back so the crowds get bigger to the size of shows we’re used to playing in Scotland

What sparked this sudden slew of European dates this year and the sell-out crowds etc? 

No idea! We played in September in a tiny club in Hamburg called Molotow as part of Reeperbahn Festival and it seemed like it was just another normal rowdy drunken crowd. But from the back of that, we got a good amount of festival bookings and club shows and also got introduced to who is now our European booking agent ‘Mario’. The audiences in Europe seem to be taking to our music extremely well and it’s probably where we’ll be looking to concentrate on more next year if this year is anything to go by!

Jamie’s book was the surprise hit of the end of last year – are there plans for a sequel and how are you keeping his ego under control?

There are plans for book 2, possibly to go along with album 3. Another collection of out-there tales from the road and from native sub-urban Glasgow life. At the moment though, we’re currently in talks to have a few pilot episodes made so we’ve been working away at a screenplay which is a very exciting development

You opened TRNSMT at 3 days notice, after being awake for 36 hours – typical Fonts move, but how was it? Can you remember?

We had just landed at Dusseldorf airport when the offer came through on the Thursday afternoon. Our flights were due to land at Edinburgh on the Saturday around 5PM but then had to change these to fly from Cologne at 6AM. We were playing about 11PM on the Friday night and then had to pack the stuff down and drive straight to Cologne where it turned out the flight was delayed. Made it to Glasgow with about an hour to spare. It sounds like a hassle but it was really exciting.

You’re going to India in December. How the hell did that happen and can we come?

Cannot wait to go to India! It came about from sitting next to one of the guys from the label at dinner one night. He had just bought John Lennon’s old flat in St Johns Wood in London. I was telling him that I was a massive fan. He had been in India extensively prior to this meeting, and he was saying how he was working on a new Beatles film about their time in India as loads of new footage had been discovered. I told him I’d always wanted to go and jokingly asked if he could get us any gigs over there. He said he could. And a few days later, we had an offer in for what’s known as ‘The Happiest Music Festival’. It’s going to be something else.

Finally, to those looking at the UK tour and thinking- why should I go see these rapscallions with their accents and big loud noise- what would you say?

I’d say that you should come along and check us out. We are just simply too good. It will beggar belief. You will rub your eyes upon seeing us perform and exclaim “ oh my goodness, this is simply wonderful”

SWANS: SACRIFICE AND TRANSCENDENCE book release

SWANS: SACRIFICE AND TRANSCENDENCE book release

Swans: Sacrifice and Transcendence by Nick Soulsby book release announced

SWANS: SACRIFICE AND TRANSCENDENCE”, the first book to focus on Michael Gira’s legendary troupe of sonic terrorists is out now. 125 interviewees tell the story of how a cluster of frustrated artists and poverty-struck musicians in the fertile chaos of post-bankruptcy New York City morphed into one of the most fearsome live acts ever to grace a stage: the reputed “loudest band in the world.”

MICHAEL GIRAI’m no stranger to failure, and I’m aware it can arrive at any minute – as it often has. You have to keep things close to your chest and be aware of what’s really important: the work, not everything around it. If you have faith in the work then the people will come… It’s an artistic imperative, it has nothing to do with public perception or career or any of that crap.”

Working construction by day, rehearsing by night; near penniless and living on cheap beer; SWANS immediately won a reputation for creating the most vicious intensity to grace a stage anywhere in NYC – as well as for shell-shocked crowds, police intervention, fights with venues, complete alienation. Clawing their way forward, the band self-funded recording sessions and emerged with material that still sounds original at 35 year distance: ‘Filth’, ‘Cop’, ‘Greed’, ‘Holy Money’. The book, including the remembrances of more than 30 former band members, follows them as notoriety became reputation, as audiences embrace a sound like no other.

At the centre of the book stands Michael Gira, a man determined to realize his artistic vision, an approach to the building blocks of music struck through with startling originality and honesty. Surveying the band’s collapse in 1997 in the light of its triumphant return in 2010 with acclaimed albums including ‘The Seer’ and ‘To Be Kind’, the book asks whether there is something unique in Gira’s approach that has allowed SWANS to weather the years, never compromising, never repeating, always making work of singular impact. It also tallies the cost in lost friendships, fractured relationships, public displays of frustration and crackling tension on stage.

The first and only book to tackle SWANS – and with a wealth of first-hand accounts from individuals ranging from Thurston Moore to Jim Thirlwell, Bill Laswell to Lydia Lunch – ‘SWANS: Sacrifice And Transcendence- shows how far a band can be willing to go, how much a human might endure, to unleash their music on the world.

JENNIFER GIRAMichael as an energy – as a force – was one of the greatest things I’d ever seen… the New York shows were the utter peak. It was the end of summer, literally 110 degrees, you could cut the air with a knife. I see this man furiously playing – I seriously thought, ‘This is insane, he’s going to drop dead!’ The crowd was roaring, and he played until he collapsed, basically. Maybe a year later, he admitted to me that he hadn’t been in a good place, emotionally – that he’d been trying to die that night. I certainly saw it. They all looked like they were going to die.”

“SWANS: Sacrifice And Transcendence – The Oral History” (Jawbone Press/Quarto, 2018) http://smarturl.it/swansbook

Hear author Nick Soulsby read a chapter from the book.