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(SXSW 2014 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #275: Pure Love

By on Thursday, 28th November 2013 at 12:00 pm

2013 may have seen Pure Love unceremoniously dumped from their label and frontman Frank Carter grow a rather unsightly and incredibly hipster ginger beard. But Pure Love are nonetheless one of easiest to recommend live acts doing the rounds at the moment. (And quite nice in person too:read my interview with Carter and musical partner Jim Carroll from last year here.)

Anybody familiar with Mr Carter knows that any live show – whether it’s The Rescue Rooms in Nottingham, The Engine Shed in Lincoln or the NME tent at Reading/Leeds Festival – carries with it a warning, that warning being “at any point Frank Carter may punch you in your face and make you look like a dick”. Yeah, so he is singing songs about being “sick of all the hate”, but that won’t stop the ex-Gallows man slugging you in the chops if you act like a mug in the crowd. Add in to that equation that he spends 90% of the gig in the crowd, singing, screaming and scrapping while also having his photo taken numerous times, and it’s a pretty volatile situation.

A volatile situation, but one that is at least 99% rock and roll.

I mean, for example he got the entire drum kit in the crowd, and started a circle pit around it. That’s fucking cool.

For the epitome of a total live experience, it’s difficult to look any further than Pure Love – and in the searing heat of Austin, Texas, Jonny and Frank are going to cause the kind of sweaty catastrophe of bodies that you would only really expect to find at a really good orgy.

That’s right: a Pure Love gig is like an orgy – sort of. [The kind of orgy that might involve inflatable dingeys; watch below – Ed.]



Hit the Deck Nottingham 2013 Roundup

By on Tuesday, 23rd April 2013 at 5:47 pm

Photos by Jess Mason (@jessislost)

The sun beat down upon the beautiful streets of Nottingham as hordes of scantily-clad teenagers, sporting piercings aplenty and tattoos in abundance. With a plethora of flesh on show, these skipped giddily towards Nottingham’s rock central, Hit the Deck Festival 2013.

Billed as the UK’s premier indoor festival, the artists are shared among seven venues all within walking distance of each other. It’s still in its infancy, with yesterday’s events being the third time the festival has hit Nottingham. If hardcore, punk and metal are your genres of choice, then Hit the Deck presented a veritable orgy of talent from the UK and abroad to feast your teeth into, from experimental instrumental acts to some pop-punk for the young at heart.

After interviewing a number of lovely bands, with a special mention to the utterly mad Dingus Khan who were interviewed on top of a 16-storey parking garage and partially in a lift, the bands were set upon!

First up were female quartet Evarose, whose energy in Rock City’s sweaty basement was infectious from the off. There is nothing quite as contagious as the energy of a band that is obviously enjoying themselves immensely. The smile plastered across the bassist’s face was testament to this. They may not have been playing the big stages, but they committed themselves 100% to the task ahead of them, which was of course winning the festival audience who had stumbled upon them. The lead vocalist was an abundance of the pop-punky jumpiness you expect from a band like this, and whilst her vocal range let her down slightly, it did seem a case of practice will see these girls come good. (7/10)

In the Rescue Rooms directly afterwards, instrumental five-piece Maybeshewill set upon a bit of mindbuggery with their noodling solos and occasionally heavy breakdowns/beatdowns (take your pick). The crowd were either encapsulated, or thoroughly baffled by the band, as the crowd stood permanently affixed, only breaking their statuesque poses to mark the end of a song with a round of applause.

Instrumental music provides the quizzical question to punters, of ‘where do you look?’ Whilst most bands have a focal point, a frontman of some kind, with Maybeshewill your eyes dart around each members instruments. The set though was tight and enjoyable if you could get your head around the lack of vocals and in an understated fashion they slowly won over the pedestrian crowd. (7/10)

From something understated, to something thoroughly over the top in the form of Attack Attack! was the next move, as the American post-hardcore outfit bounded onto the stage with the exuberance of a group of puppies. Cute and cuddly like puppies? Not exactly! With the groups mix of hardcore bass riffs and techno interludes driving the assembled masses of Rock City into a bopping, bouncing frenzy of flailing flesh and roaring fans.

The mix is eclectic, and works somewhat sparingly, but as the set goes on, the rather formulaic song construction wears slightly thin on my cynical (and very large) ears. However, as a live act, the band exude confidence and frontman Phil Druyor proves to be a bastion of charm, energy and everything a band like Attack Attack! need. (6/10)

Following up from the aural assault of Attack Attack! are one of the most hotly tipped bands on the bill: Essex band We Are the Ocean who, forgive the pun, are riding the crest of a wave after the success of hugely-catchy tracks like ‘The Waiting Room’, ‘Bleed’ and ‘The Road’. WATO are the kind of no frills rock and roll act that I just can’t fail to enjoy.

We Are the Ocean Hit the Deck 2013

Heart on their sleeve choruses and an aversion to wonky time signatures which sees some brilliantly catchy tunes roared from the Rock City main stage. The UK has their very own Gaslight Anthem, and with the reception they received from the crowd as evidence, they will be hearing a lot more of WATO’s charming tunage. (8/10)

After a brief interlude for some of the most delectable cookies I’ve ever had the pleasure to consume it was time for a healthy dose of pop-punk tomfoolery with We are the in Crowd. NOT WE ARE IN THE CROWD, as this annoys them greatly. Trust me.

For a WATIC virgin I was in shock as the American five-piece proceeded to pull tune after tune out of their pockets, whipping the packed room of tweens and teenyboppers into a flurried mass of squealing. Each member of the band brought boundless vitality to the stage, whilst Jordan Eckes vocals soared across the wide expanse of Rock City with ease, before set closer ‘Rumor Mill’ produced easily the biggest and most positive reaction of the day’s proceedings. (8/10)

Next up were a band whom are bound to cause chaos wherever they go and I for one feel for their tour manager. Pure Love, fronted by ex-Gallows troublemaker Frank Carter, the Rescue Rooms was literally torn to bits as the rampaging lead singer leapt into the crowd and made his way to the bar for a vodka Coke.

If that wasn’t enough, lead guitarist and ex-Suicide File axe man Jim Carroll managed two crowd surfs whilst still slamming riffs out during the first two songs. With chaos ensuing, it seemed only right that Frank took proceedings to an even odder stage by putting the bands drum kit in the crowd and orchestrating a swirling circle pit around it. Whilst the theatrics made it an engrossing set, the tunes ensured that this was the set of the festival hands down. Carter remains the emphatic draw he was in his time at Gallows, and I can only see Pure Love going from strength to strength. (9.5/10)

To close the night are the champions of lad rock, kings of (dare I say it) swag and purveyors of some of the most memorable tunes you’ll hear this year and the next! Don Broco look every bit rocks answer to The Ordinary Boys, only not shit, with frontman Rob Damiani resplendent in a Fred Perry polo shirt and with his biceps almost tearing through it.

They open with a belter, in the form of ‘Priorities’, and from then on the tone is set. Damiani struts across the stage with a trademark elegance and swag (god, I said it again). The hits are flying out at break neck pace and even a rather laboured break for the bands fabled push-up patrol, for which they have t-shirts, does not interrupt proceedings. Again, it may be clichéd, but there are BIG things for these boys in the future. They are polite, extremely likable and bloody good looking to boot. What they want to do really is up to them, from the reception they received. (9/10)


Video of the Moment #1066: Pure Love

By on Thursday, 13th December 2012 at 6:00 pm

Pure Love‘s next single is ‘Beach of Diamonds’, and look! It’s another mini-film, which stars Frank Carter and Jim Carroll living the life…until they put on masks and things turn violent. Yeah, this one has a explicit content advisory, and with good reason: parents, make sure your kids aren’t watching. What’s kind of infuriating is that the song sounds great and I think the video might turn people away who might otherwise like it. Watch it at your own risk below.

John interviewed the duo in Lincoln; read that interview here. Their new album ‘Anthems’ drops on the 4th of February 2013, and the band will be touring all February in support of it (see the dates after the video embed).


Friday 1st February 2013 – Tunbridge Wells Forum
Saturday 2nd February 2013 – Coventry Kasbah
Sunday 3rd February 2013 – Cambridge Portland Arms
Wednesday 6th February 2013 – Manchester Deaf Institute
Thursday 7th February 2013 – Glasgow King Tuts
Friday 8th February 2013 – Edinburgh Electric Circus
Saturday 9th February 2013 – York Duchess
Sunday 10th February 2013 – Preston 53 Degrees
Tuesday 12th February 2013 – Nottingham Bodega
Wednesday 13th February 2013 – Norwich Arts Centre
Thursday 14th February 2013 – London XOYO
Monday 18th February 2013 – Brighton Haunt
Tuesday 19th February 2013 – Southampton Joiners
Wednesday 20th February 2013 – Newport Le Pub
Thursday 21st February 2013 – Bristol Croft
Friday 22nd February 2013 – Birmingham Temple Rooms
Saturday 23rd February 2013 – Bedford Esquires


Live Review: Lostprophets with Pure Love at Lincoln Engine Shed – 13th November 2012

By on Tuesday, 4th December 2012 at 2:00 pm

Lostprophets returned to Lincoln as part of their Weapons Realoaded 2012 tour on the 13th November, so my first duty is to apologize for the lateness of this review. My calendar has been mad and well… inexcusable as it may be! Here’s the review only less than a month later. But here we are, casting my mind back to the gig in Lincoln’s vast Engine Shed…

Opening the show were Frank Carter and Jim Carroll’s new band, Pure Love, who are out touring before the release of their debut album. (Read my pre-gig interview with the band here.) Now, one thing you should always expect from a Frank Carter-fronted band is well, the unexpected if you get my drift. Carter as the bands focal point’s job is the causing of chaos. After two songs, the ginger haired ex-punk rocker leapt into the crowd to perform the rest of the bands livewire set amongst the crowd. Whether it was to get a photo with the mad lead singer or just get close to someone with a mic, everybody homed in on Agro-Frank, much to his amusement.

The intregration of Frank into the crowd had everybody; even the partisan fans, interested and as Carter unleashed the snail-pit, a rock move where instead of getting rowdy for a circle pit, where fans crawl around on their hands and knees in a circle around Frank. Mad but safe, effective and definitely a crowd-pleaser. I definitely got a cheap kick out of it, as obviously did Frank as he told off a girl, “did I tell you, that you could fucking stand up?” Grinning from ear to ear.

It was always going to be a difficult equation following up Pure Love’s almost primal show of force. However, We Are The Ocean’s maturing brand of radio-friendly, post-hardcore was always worth a shout. The band remind me of a younger and a lot more likeable version of Jimmy Eat World standing on that fine line between The All American Rejects’ levels of rubbishness and Jimmy’s brand of brilliance. Luckily, they come out on the good side with their catchy choruses and riffs winning the crowd easily before the main event.

Now, Lostprophets are a band that will always hold an extremely fond alcove in my heart. I listened to them when I got into rock music, along with My Chemical Romance. (Don’t judge me.) Now while albums like ‘Start Something’ and ‘Liberation Transmission were instant classics’ with some huge tunes on them, the last two efforts from the Welsh band, ‘The Betrayed’ and ‘Weapons’ have been anything but impressive: instantly forgettable and lacking any real substance. They haven’t really produced anything good since when I’d say Muse have produced good material but hey, that’s just me. Sure, ‘It’s Not the End of the World’ was a good track but bar that, I can barely name a song from their past two records.

It was to my delight then, that Lostprophets broke out a set dripping with their classic songs. ‘Rooftops’ was aired, and echoed by every member of the thousand-strong audience. The seething mass of pre-adolescents, who were barely even at secondary school when ‘Last Train Home’ was released, went ballistic at scales of almost One Direction levels as the opening chords were strummed.

But while the classics went down a storm, the new records outings were taken to with the kind warmth that Lostprophets fans can dish out. It was a gig for the fans. The vets. And I, for one, loved it. Although I will say that Lostprophets need to be careful booking a band like Pure Love to open as they almost stole the show… before it had even begun.


Interview: Pure Love

By on Thursday, 15th November 2012 at 12:00 pm

Pure Love are your new favourite band and if they’re not, well go see them live and experience the sheer pandemonium of ex-Gallows frontman Frank Carter and ex-The Hope Conspiracy and The Suicide File guitarist Jim Carroll’s new project, a band that have already made a name for themselves with their raucous, high-energy shows.

Jim Carroll said, “it started out when we got a lot of the songs together that a lot of the actual songs had been around for a while, it was the same with Frank, I mean he had a lot of the lyrics and we started with that as kind of the foundation and then we went from there.

“Most of the songs that ended up on the record were fairly new songs like all brand new songs that we had worked together on. Some of them are based on older pieces or riffs that I had in the past; most of it though is kind of newer stuff that came fresh when we started working together.”

As the two rock stars sat opposite me in their dressing room at Lincoln’s Engine Shed, Jim with a beer in hand and Frank eagerly waiting to get back to watching Dead Set on his Mac, it was obvious that beyond the music there was a truly special friendship between these two musicians. Nothing contrived or forced but a sense of camaraderie and mutual respect.

“It’s definitely been an easy partnership. I mean song-writing wise; it just kind of came very, very naturally. It’s a great dynamic to have, the core of the band the two of us so we can have all the pressure of decision making and everything so it makes it easier for the other guys playing with us.”
Frank said, “when we started the band, keeping it as the two of us was something we took very seriously. It was a very conscious decision to keep the core of the band as just the two of us, because well we’d written all these songs and when we started looking for musicians to play with us it was just finding people who are really versatile.

“So it is a full band of musicians, not just a bunch of kids playing their instruments (make of that what you will Gallows fans) almost everyone is multi-instrumental. So for us it’s really awesome. The partnership is the best and easiest band situation I could have asked for.”

Frank and Jim look like proper rock stars. Frank is covered almost head to toe in tattoos and when asked about anything remotely musical oozes passion, while Jim is rocking the long hair and the classic lead guitarist charm.

When asked whether they are partying like rock star every night the answer isn’t exactly the perennial rock star answer. They’re not as calm and controlled as, say, Them Crooked Vultures who while away the evenings playing Scrabble. However, Jim does admit it is a little different than a decade ago.

“I feel like I used to be a party guy [beer in hand], but touring now is extremely different to how it used to be. I mean there is still the drinking and the having fun.”

Frank added, “I mean just socialising on any level with your friends is fun. I mean we also throw knives together; it’s something that we got into together. We’ve started to get competitive with it and it’s definitely something we’ll bring on tour with us next year as we perfect our technique.”

So they throw knives and that isn’t the end of it. Guitarist Jim does yoga and regularly will break out a headstand before he goes on stage.

“It makes me feel good [doing yoga] and well I’m old [he’s not; he’s 30] and I want to feel good as much as I can. If you watch how hard we play every night you see that it takes a toll on your body over time.

“I started because I was having a lot of back issues and back problems and it was really the only thing which stopped the pain and helped me out.”

Pure Love went on the day in which I interviewed them to absolutely destroy their short set supporting Lostprophets. A Pure Love gig is definitely one that you won’t forget in a hurry.


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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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