Posts Tagged ‘Black Lips’


Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Ghostface Killah has been doing the rap thing since way back in the early 90s, blasting to prominence in 1993 as part of the now legendary Wu Tang Clan alongside RZA, GZA, ODB, Method Man and more. All of the Wu Tang went on to become successful colo artists and Ghostface is no exception, ploughing his own unique furrow with highly praised storytelling abilities and that inimitable quick-fire, gravelly flow. Over ten solo LPs, countless mixtapes and collaborations he has cemented his reputation as one of the finest to ever jump on the mic, his work with Doom, as Doomstarks has been amongst his most hotly anticipated and the chance to see the two share a stage is a rare treat for real hip hop fans. Here’s a few words from the man himself:

Who or what are your biggest influences?

I’m influenced by God.

Tell us about the hardest tour you’ve done, any good stories?

The longest tour was Projekt Revolution with Linkin park. At the tour’s end they flew in tattoo artists from the shops they own in Arizona and hooked up the whole tour crew with tattoos.

Which country or city in the world is your favourite to play in, and why?

I love every city I play.

Do you write when you’re on the road, what inspires you?

Writing, going to the gym and praying.

Would you say live music is more vibrant than ever? Or is there a ‘golden era’ in the past you wish you could have been involved in?

I would have liked to be in the 70s era.

Who’s the hardest working artist/band in the business?

I feel like that’s what I do. I keep recording, keep touring and constantly on my grind.

How important is the visual element of a show, lighting, projections etc?

I think the combo of both is important. I have not really done the lights and production I have in my mind. Soon though.

If you could support any band past or present, who would it be…?

I’d like to go out with Linkin Park again. But if we goin back it would have to be with a fly 70s group…

…and what would you talk about backstage?

Gentleman don’t tell tales about what goes down backstage.

Ghostface Killah plays The 100 Club, London on April 17th with Doom. For full information and tickets go HERE.


Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

China Rats have come a long way in just two years, from picking up early fans in the form of the BBC’s Huw Stephens and Tom Robinson through to a recent invasion of SXSW. Like headliners of their Get Dirty night, The Cribs they come from Yorkshire, in their case Leeds. They plough a different musical furrow though, channeling classic 50s and 60s guitar-pop sensibilities in a resolutely new way forging irresistible hooks from everyday events. The band has given us an exclusive first look at their new video, above, and below we talk to them about influences, touring and why the golden era for music is right now.

Who or what are your biggest influences?

We take influence from a lot of places but at the moment our music probably reflects influences from the likes of The Ramones, The Stones and The Sonics.

Tell us about the hardest tour you’ve done, any good stories?

Our first tour of the UK was pretty tough. We’re still working so we had to nip back and forth to play shows and then be in work the next morning. We had a show in Glasgow and there was terrible flooding so we couldn’t make it back to Leeds for work in the morning. We had a massive night on the bevs in Glasgow instead and ended up getting back to Leeds a couple of days later, Luke nearly got the sack.

Which country or city in the world is your favourite to play in, and why?

Leeds, because it’s were we formed and where we feel most at home.

Do you write when you’re on the road, what inspires you?

We write as much as we can so often we’re laying down some ideas on the road. Inspiration comes from many places but I guess sometimes someone just comes up with a riff and we all jam along, the words normally comes later!

How do you spend your downtime during a tour?

Drinking as much beer and seeing as many sites as possible. It’s so good to be on the road and see all the cities you’d never get the chance to if you we’re working a normal 9 to 5. Getting on the ale enables you to mingle in the unfamiliar environments and make new friends along the way.

Would you say live music is more vibrant than ever? Or is there a ‘golden era’ in the past you wish you could have been involved in?

I’d say live music is buzzing right now with all this shit regarding illegal downloads there’s no money in records anymore its all about the live show. You can’t really get away with being shit live anymore so I guess we’re in our own golden era. Obviously there are scenes in all the decades that everyone wishes they were involved in, rock and roll in the 60′s was untouchable man.

Who’s the hardest working artist/band in the business?

The Cribs. They’re always touring and they’re shit hot live, their album quality and output is potent, man.

How important is the visual element of a show, lighting, projections?

To a certain extent I guess it can be quite important for artists to set the mood and feel for the crowd. With rock’n'roll it’s all about the energy bouncing off everyone we dont need fancy lights when we’re tearing the roof down.

If you could support any band past or present, who would it be…?

The Rolling Stones

…and what would you talk about backstage?

How do you do it Keith? Teach me!

China Rats play The 100 Club, London on April 17th with The Cribs & Drenge. For full information and tickets go HERE.


Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Gallows haven’t let up since storming in to popular consciousness with 2005’s ‘Orchestra Of Wolves’. The title and biting social commentary of the follow up, ‘Grey Britain’ resonated with the mood of the nation in 2009 and cemented the reputation they still hold as one of the dominant forces in hardcore music.

A line up change in 2011 where Alexisonfire’s Wade MacNeil replaced singer Frank Carter heralded the start of their current era, most recently documented on last year’s ‘Gallows’ LP. The critically acclaimed album was released on their own Venn Records, giving the band complete creative control. Expect madness and mayhem to ensue when they hit The 100 Club on April 19th. In advance of that date we talked to Lags from the band:

Who or what are your biggest influences?

We’re hugely influenced by the occult, sex and self-destruction. Anything that combines all three is even better. You can kinda tell that by our artwork and lyrics. The world is a dark, dark place and Gallows is a musical representation of how f**ked everything is. Basically anything that challenges the mainstream is a huge influence on myself and the band as a whole

Tell us about the hardest tour you’ve done, any good stories?

Tours aren’t really hard. It’s how you behave on the tour that makes it a struggle. We tend to make the most of being on the road as no one wants to be in a new country and locked up in a hotel room so they can ‘rest’ before a show. The last European tour we did we decided to not even book hotels and tour the way we used to. In a van, sleeping on floors, if crazy shit goes down on then go with it. We’re a band that doesn’t understand the term no and situations get out of hand very quickly. A few hangovers later and we’re still here throwing down hard on stage. It’s hard but it’s an adventure. We might not be here tomorrow so live for today.

How do you spend your downtime during a tour?

My downtime is based around music. If I’m not on tour with Gallows I’m playing metal with Krokadil, experimental indie pop with Moones or DJing/remixing with Rough Diamonds. On top of that myself, Stu and Wade run a record label called Venn Records. We released the latest Gallows album through this new venture and Venn HQ just so happens to be my house. Music is my life on and off the road. It keeps me busy, happy and most importantly sane.

If you could support any band past or present, who would it be…?

Not sure Gallows would be suited to the bill but if I had the chance to play with Pink Floyd that would be a great experience. They’re my go to band when stuck for something to listen to on the road.

…and what would you talk about backstage?

Talk??? I’d be to scared to ask them anything.

Gallows play The 100 Club, London on April 19th with Carnival Kids and Hoax. For full information and tickets go HERE.


Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Friday April 19th

Right from the start it was clear the final night of Get Dirty London would be taking no prisoners. Hoax are about as fresh as you can get having only existed for less than a year, but their performance was up there with bands with a lot more years on the clock. Their latest single, ‘Bitter Angry Fake’ packed an almighty punch and set the stage perfectly for the rest of the night.

Addressing the now heaving mass of sweaty revellers, Carnival Kids knew they had to give it everything they had. The Anglo-Norwegian four-piece are also new to the scene but you wouldn’t know it. Their debut single ‘Fear Of Nothing’ sounded exactly like you might expect a track with that name to sound, a concise three minutes of high intensity guitars and raw punk energy. With the band already drawing comparisons to At The Drive In and Biffy Clyro, 2013 could well be their year.

Get Dirty was always going to be a special night for Gallows, it’s been a while since they played the UK and this was their first show without recently departed guitarist Steph Carter. Their packed international schedule has also kept them from intimate spaces like The 100 Club for some time. Add these things together with a baying pack of rowdy fans and you’ve got the formula for something truly explosive. And explode they did, the whole club erupted as soon as they hit the stage and the next 45 minutes were a textbook lesson in how a punk rock show should look, sound and feel. Flying arms, legs, guitars and who knows what else collided in a cloud of sweat and madness. Without neglecting the classics, they veered musically towards newer material with ‘Cross Of Lorraine’ marking a particularly intense moment.

That concludes Get Dirty, London thanks to the packed-out crowds and all the bands for making it an amazing, intense celebration of the best music from three very different worlds.

Stay tuned to for more on Converse and Get Dirty.

Thursday April 18th

Hip hop royalty descended on the 100 Club on Thursday night with a history lesson served up by two of the godfathers of the underground scene plus a new talent playing his debut show outside NYC.

That newcomer was 16-year-old Bishop Nehru, one of the brightest new stars in a burgeoning new school of East Coast MCs. He had a lot of work to do warming the stage up for such hallowed company, but proved himself more than up to the task. His DJ dropped a succession of solid gold instrumentals including subtle nods to Wu Tang and Doom and he dropped all the highlights from his ‘Nehruvia’ mixtape, which is a good place to start if you want to hear more.

An ever-elusive character, Doom was eagerly anticipated by the crowd and he didn’t disappoint. Taking to the stage with a rendition of ‘Rhymin Slang’ from last year’s JJ Doom collaboration LP the man in the mask was in full effect. Taking the somewhat unus

Converse Gigs @ The 100 Club: Palma Violets, MT & Splashh Review

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

A packed 100 Club once again vibrated to the sound of one of the most exciting bands in the country on Monday night. An electric atmosphere that more than did justice to the legendary club’s heritage was created not only by the raucous sounds coming from Palma Violets and support, but by the excitement coming from the crowd. Only a week on from the release of their highly anticipated debut, and riding high from a slot on the nationwide NME tour this was a one-off chance for true fans to get up close and personal with a band destined to take much larger stages by storm in 2013 and beyond.

Of course it wasn’t just the South London foursome that the crowd were here to see, early buzz throughout the day on Twitter and in the queue showed an equally large number of people eagerly waiting for their chance to see Splashh and MT on The 100 Club’s intimate stage. The club was full to capacity before openers MT even came on and they proved themselves to the be perfect party starters with an accomplished electro-tinged sound and frontman Michael Tomlinson’s natural onstage charm whipping up an early dance floor.

Splashh kept the feel good energy high with their own blend of  90s-referencing psychedelia. With a touch of Spring in the air this week in London, tracks like last year’s ‘Need It’ got the crowd dreaming of festivals, fields and Summer.

Out of the dreamy haze Palma Violets delivered the wake up call with a razor sharp performance clearly honed by the recent tour. Trading reverb-soaked riffs frontmen Sam Fryer and Chilli Jesson were clearly loving every minute of their sixty minutes on stage. With their debut album barely on the shelves the tracklist was never going to be a surprise, more striking were the number of people singing every word. A visceral and exciting band who clearly do much more than just live up to the hype.

Converse Gigs @ 100 Club: Wichita Review

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

An exciting, second season of Converse Gigs @ the 100 Club kicked off last Wednesday with a little help from our friends at Wichita Recordings who brought performances from CHEATAHS, Frankie & The Heartstrings, and Veronica Falls to the stage.

With the bands gearing up for their respective upcoming releases, there were as many opportunities to experience new songs, as there were to rejoice in fan favorites. The most recent addition to the Wichita family, CHEATAHS, welcomed the crowd with several fresh tunes. Having just released their sophomore effort, SANS EP, the band has received a lot of love from critics and radio alike. The newcomers truly rocked the crowd with heavy drums on tracks like the “SANS,” but also got them moving with wild guitar riffs from more poppy tracks like “The Swan.”

Frankie & The Heartstrings took the stage next, bringing literary references and danceable guitar riffs. They carried an almost nostalgic energy of indie discos past, though still maintaining their well-know, modern take on indie rock. The title track and hit single from their debut album, “Hunger,” had the whole crowd bobbing their heads and singing along. The boys closed out their set with “Fragile,” a slower ballad from Hunger, lead into the headlining event.

The show closed out with a brilliant performance from Veronica Falls. Midway through their set, front man Patrick Doyle asked, “Are there any teenagers here?” The crowd answered with an uproarious cheer. “This ones for you.”  The band’s performance truly paid homage to the youth in all of us, with gut-wrenching love songs and upbeat, groovy melodies. But as dripping with shoegaze and reverb as the songs were, Veronica Falls got the crowd on their feet with every song. “My Heart Beats,” one of the band’s hit singles of 2012, really had the listeners moving. And as the soft fade in of “Found love in a, found love in a…” began, fans harmonized along to band’s premier single, “Found Love In A Graveyard.”

Hats off to Wichita. Electrifying!

Converse Gigs @ 100 Club: Veronica Falls

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

October 17th, 2012 will see Converse Gigs return to The 100 Club with no less than indie royalty, Wichita Recordings curating a line-up of the label’s finest new talent: Veronica Falls, Frankie & The Heartstrings and Cheatahs.

For those not aware of Wichita Recordings, here’s a little bit of history for you: the offspring of the legendary Creation Records, Wichita Recordings is the brainchild of Mark Bowen and Dick Green (industry legends) who both met at the label in the mid-nineties amidst a flurry of signings that were to define an era (Oasis, My Bloody Valentine et al.). Self-confessed music fans, the two friends set up the label after Creation sadly dissolved back in 2000, with the main aim of backing genuine talent outside of the major labels. Bloc Party, The Cribs and Simian Mobile Disco are just a handful of the label’s success stories to date.


Cheatahs are a four-piece comprising of James Wignall (guitar, vocals), Dean (bass, vocals), Marc Raue (drums) and Nathan Hewitt (vocals, guitar), that cite a common love for the likes of The Pixies, Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr as some of the main influences that brought them together. Whilst previously residing across different corners of the UK, the band set up shop in London’s east end to put together their new ‘Sans’ EP; to be released on October 22.

Although possessing major grunge qualities, Cheatahs are not averse to adding a little pop into the mix. ‘The Swan’ – taken from the band’s forthcoming EP – is a blossoming pop song, bursting full of swirling melodies and tender hooks: “Some of the band are actually massive A-Ha fans and I’m pretty sure its been sung at a few weddings – maybe that’s where the pop influence originates from!”

Frankie & The Heartstrings

Frankie & The Heartstrings were first penned by Wichita in 2009 after Mark Bowman picked up one of the 777 (that’s seven hundred and seventy seven) 7”s of the band’s debut single, ‘Hunger’/’Fragile’. Frankie said, “It’s an honour to be signed to such an incredible label. We’re like one big extended family, everyone’s so friendly and most importantly we’ve all got one thing in common – a true passion for music”.

Having released their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Hunger’ early last year, the boys are now in the studio working on their new album with Bernard Butler from the legendary Suede. Alongside that, they are planning the imminent release of a new single which they’ll be taking on tour as they support fellow Wichita signees The Cribs on tour this November. Marvelous.

Veronica Falls

Finally, we get to our headliners for the evening; the immaculate Veronica Falls. Managed by Wichita and quoted by NME as being “ridiculously easy to admire”, the group’s quintessential live shows are certainly not ones to be taken lightly.

Roxanne, Marion, Patrick and James are all currently submerged in the recording of their hugely anticipated new album, which we’re told can be expected this coming January: “We’re all really excited about this album. It’s more considered than the last, because we’ve grown closer as a band and Wichita have been great in giving us the space we need to create something amazing”, says Patrick from the band.

Here’s a little something you might not have known: Veronica Falls played their first ever show at the notable Central London haunt Madame Jo Jo’s, where the band first discovered their love of Soho and its exuberant surrounding live venues. “This is real London”, Patrick tells us: “The bright lights and energy which first attracted us as a group has kind of been reinstalled, and the prospect of being one of the few bands being given the opportunity to play such a legendary venue [The 100 Club] is a huge thing for us”.

Well. There you are, three insanely talented bands poised to blow you all away on October 17, and we couldn’t be any happier. See you at the front!

Here’s some more literature for you all. Much Love.

Words by Frazer Lawton