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(SXSW 2017 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #119: Mez Green of LIFE

 
By on Monday, 6th March 2017 at 1:00 pm
 

As this year’s SXSW Music Festival rapidly approaches and our preview coverage kicks into high gear, we’re once again excited to bring you showcasing artists’ answers to a special SXSW 2017 flavoured set of Quickfire Questions. We begin this week with the singer of a punk band sure to kick a few arses around Austin next week. Mez Green fronts LIFE from Hull, in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Describe your music / sound in three words.
Well, hung, energy.

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Austin?
Playing our first shows in the USA, hanging out, watching bands, knocking back suds, catching some rays and eating some weird shit. Finding a cowboy & girl. Touching a cacti spike.

Of the bands who have already been announced, do you have any that are must-sees on your schedule? If yes, who are they and why?
I like the cut and sound of everything I’ve heard so far from IDLES and of course our buds Slaves.

Name something you’re packing in your suitcase that we might find unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
A handheld hoover for any stray crumbs in the motel bathtub.

If we happen to run into you in a bar, we’d like to buy you a drink. What is your tipple of choice?
Jameson’s whiskey on ice.

What was your favourite album of 2016, and why?
‘Human Performance’ by Parquet Courts – lyrically superior to any current band.

Will this be the first time you’ve played to American audiences? What have you heard about the festival? Are you excited / anxious / scared / etc. and why?
I’ve heard it’s a beautiful circus. I wanna cut loose.

Now, let’s get into our usual list of Quickfire Questions…

What song is your earliest musical memory?
‘Give ‘Em Enough Rope’ – The Clash on tape as my dad drove us to school in a Nissan Bluebird with two scrap doors.

What was your favourite song as a child?
The theme tune to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the original cartoon). Or ‘Common People’ by Pulp.

What song always makes you laugh?
U2 in general. Awful.

What song always makes you cry?
‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ – Joy Division.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuuObGsB0No[/youtube]

What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
‘Walkin’ After Midnight’ – Patsy Cline.

What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
‘Bird on a Wire’ – Leonard Cohen.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boMZEe9v_SA[/youtube]

Which song (any song written in the last century / 100 years or so) do you wish you’d written yourself?
‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ – Joy Division.

Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
Leonard Cohen, Mark E. Smith, Bukowski, Easton-Ellis.

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
We all work, we are real people!! I’m a frontline youth worker in the beautiful city of Hull.

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
It would be LIFE’s debut album (out this year) ‘coz I like the sound of my voice. It gets me high.

Many thanks to Mez for answering our questions. LIFE will perform at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30 on Thursday the 16th of March, Javelina on Friday the 17th of March, as well as close out the British Music Embassy on Saturday the 18th of March at the BBC Music / Department of International Trade night at 1 AM.

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017: Northern England artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Wednesday, 1st March 2017 at 11:00 am
 

For so many years and continuing on to this day, the North of England has always been a hot bed for new musical talent. Today’s installment of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017. will introduce you to 12 acts from ‘oop norf’, some may you have already heard of or heard on the radio, some you may have not. Except where noted, the summaries below were written by our Northern Irish correspondent based in Derry, Adam McCourt, who also went to uni in Leeds. Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2017 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and artists and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite artist is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the artist’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

All We Are – pop / Liverpool
Liverpudlian trio All We Are describe themselves on Facebook as “The Bee Gees on diazepam”. The description is not far off, as they showcase similarities in vocal textures and harmonies, but with more downtempo and wavy grooves. Although they are based in Liverpool, none of the members actually hail from there. Bassist Guro Gikling is from Norway, Rich O’Flynn from Ireland is on drums and Luis Santos from Brazil plays guitar, making them probably the most multinational band to attend SXSW from this side of the Atlantic. Their self-titled debut album, released back in 2015, is available now. FFO: Warpaint, Wild Beasts, Django Django [As of 21/2, this act is no longer listed on the SXSW Music Festival schedule.]

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_s6Sx4POl3k[/youtube]

Autobahn – punk / Leeds
Five-piece post-punk outfit from Leeds, Autobahn are Northern and proud of it. From depressing song titles to their screechy guitar tones, Autobahn’s music depicts the gloomy industrialisation of Northern England almost perfectly. Autobahn’s debut album ‘Dissemble’ was released in the summer of 2015 and contains all of the above, as well as Johnson’s honest lyrics and droning vocal melodies. [Their Facebook suggests a new album is done and dusted. We wait with baited breath. – Ed.] FFO: Joy Division, Bauhaus [As of 21/2, this act is no longer listed on the SXSW Music Festival schedule.]

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9D7XJ5HXXQs[/youtube]

False Advertising – rock / Manchester
False Advertising (pictured at top) are a self-proclaimed “twisted power-grunge” trio from Manchester. The female-fronted band create a perfect blend of dreamy guitar melodies and equally light-hearted vocal melodies against fuzzy guitar tones and a driving rhythm section. Fronted by Jen Hingley on guitar and vocals, backed by Josh Sellers on bass and Chris Warr on drums, their self-titled debut album was released in September 2015, and an EP titled ‘Brainless’ followed in 2016. FFO: Cheatahs, Nirvana

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNIyVEXC47Y[/youtube]

Findlay – blues / pop / London via Manchester
You can take the girl out of the North, but you can’t take the North out of the girl. Case in point: Natalie Rose Findlay, who goes by her surname just like fellow Mancunian-born Morrissey, doesn’t really give a monkey’s. We’ve seen her charismatic performances at festivals before, and we imagine her rough around the edges style, in line with the ever-burgeoning lo-fi rock scene both in America and the UK, will be just the ticket in Austin. FFO: The Kills, PJ Harvey (Mary Chang)

To read our past coverage of Findlay here on TGTF, go here.

Fizzy Blood – punk / Leeds
Since forming in 2014, Heavy rock five-piece from Leeds Fizzy Blood have made major strides with their huge in-your-face riffs, melodic vocal melodies and insanely energetic live shows. They released their debut EP ‘Feast’ on 22nd of June 2015 and have since amassed under their belt a vast number of international shows and tours alongside acts such as Allusondrugs, Sun Club, The Virginmarys and punk icons The Dead Kennedys, as well as appearing at top UK festivals Download, Live at Leeds and Sound City. FFO: Queens of the Stone Age, Allusondrugs, Pulled Apart By Horses

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlhuzoMmL4s[/youtube]

Her’s – pop / Liverpool
Outsiders from outsider towns, Stephen Fitzpatrick from Barrow in Furness and Audun Laading from Kristiansand, Norway, met whilst at university in Liverpool. They instantly connected over a “love of peculiar, sardonic humour and wide eyed observations”, according to their Facebook bio. Hmm. Any way you slice it, the duo present a loveable blend of dream pop that seems to transport any listener to the seaside towns from which they individually hail from. FFO: Mac Demarco, Beach Boys

LIFE – punk / Hull
Considering all the crap that’s happening in the world today, sometimes you need a release valve. You need music you can listen to, to get your aggressions out. LIFE, hailing from the East Yorkshire riverside town whose most famous musical export has been The Housemartins, are clearly here to put Hull back on the British rock map. Incisive lyrics backed by punishing rock guitars? Yes, please. Oh, and if you needed any convincing, they also wrote a protest song unveiled on the day of that Cheeto’s inauguration. Check. FFO: The Clash, their recent tourmates Slaves (Mary Chang)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh62UUMBtQE[/youtube]

Menace Beach – alt-rock / Leeds
Menace Beach are an alt-rock act from Leeds, mainly made up of core members Ryan Needham and Liza Violet; the rest is somewhat of a revolving line-up. Menace Beach’s debut album ‘Ratworld’ was released in January 2015, which was followed up by the ‘Super Transporterreum’ EP in the same year and last month’s ‘Lemon Memory’, reviewed by our Rebecca here. FFO: Pulled Apart By Horses, The Jesus and Mary Chain [As of 21/2, this act is no longer listed on the SXSW Music Festival schedule.]

Read all of our past coverage on TGTF on Menace Beach through here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8wHP56Dyzo[/youtube]

She Drew the Gun – singer/songwriter / The Wirral
From the banks of the Mersey in a small peninsula called The Wirral is where fuzz pop four-piece She Drew the Gun reside. Formed and fronted by singer/songwriter Louisa Roach, the band offer dark, fuzz-filled pop topped with delightful and emotive vocals. She Drew the Gun have received continuous support from BBC Radio 6 Music after their debut album ‘Memories of the Future’ was named ‘Album of the Day’ upon its release last April 2016. FFO: Big Deal, Julia Jacklin, Lucy Rose

Trudy and the Romance – pop / Liverpool
This Liverpool trio were formerly known as simply ‘Trudy’ and ‘Trudy Sings The Blues’ before settling on the poetic Trudy and the Romance. Oliver Taylor (vocals/guitar), Lewis Rollinson (bass) and Brad Mullins (drums) together produce raucous, guitar-driven indie pop with Hollywood-tinged vocal melodies that will simultaneously tug on the heartstrings and tap on the funny bone. FFO: Mac DeMarco, Tame Impala, Beach Boys [As of 21/2, this act is no longer listed on the SXSW Music Festival schedule.]

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpcdhEQdWtg[/youtube]

VANT – protest rock/punk / London via Seaham
London via Seaham band VANT have been slaving away in the industry since their formation in 2014. The protest rock group, led by Mattie Vant, have garnered attention after appearing as support for Royal Blood, as well as touring with DIY Magazine’s NEU tour. They’ve already hit a dizzying array of festivals, including Dot to Dot, Reading and Leeds, Glastonbury, 2000 Trees and Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, as well as racked up plays of their numerous singles anointed as Annie Mac’s ‘Hottest Record in the World’. Their debut album ‘Dumb Blood’ is out now; you can read our Steven’s review of last year’s ‘Karma Seeker’ EP through here. FFO: Otherkin, Palma Violets

Read our past coverage on VANT here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coeO8HWHjoc[/youtube]

The Vryll Society – rock / Liverpool
Expect the unexpected from The Vryll Society. With a sound that touches on different facets of classic, psychedelic and prog rock, the Liverpudlian quintet present a body of work sure to keep any listener on their toes. Fuzz-infused rock led mainly by the rhythm section of Lloyd Shearer on bass and Benjamin Robinson on drums with lots of decorative guitar flourishes from Ryan Ellis and Lewis McGuinness, all topped by Michael Ellis’ catchy, melodic vocals, The Vryll Society stimulate both the mind and soul with their music. FFO: Tame Impala, The Wytches, Honeyblood

Read our past coverage on TGTF on The Vyrll Society through here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxDXcg8rx3E[/youtube]

 

This Book Will Save Your Life

 
By on Sunday, 10th June 2007 at 5:39 pm
 

This Book Will Save Your LifeLast night I finished reading one of this year’s summer bestsellers, “This book will save your life”. It’s one of Richard and Judy’s reads for the summer, and is definitely a book to polarise opinions.

It follows reclusive Richard Novak through a break-down of sorts and then watches as he re-discovers the dysfunctional Los Angeles area, making friends with Anhil, the local donut shop owner and getting to grips with getting his life back on track. During this time Richard goes through a series of pretty unbelievable events one after another, making for an interesting read.

There were quite a few parallels to the film “Garden State” here for me, as Homes manages to take Richard on a voyage of discovery about himself and the people around him that both captivates and intrigues.

However, it does have its slower moments when I was tempted to put it down and not continue. Little things like the switches from first to third person (often mid paragraph) and the lack of chapters made it difficult to get on with, however it was quite a rewarding read come the end of it, even if most of it was pretty unbelievable and a bit slow to develop.

 
 
 

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