A New Band A Day 2008-2018

Welcome to ANBAD, which is celebrating ten years online in April 2018, and is now “resting.” (I’m still jabbering on about new bands like, oh, I dunno, The Chats, on Twitter.)

However, ANBAD also has over 1200 posts featuring about 1500 artists. Most are buried deep in the blog, rarely seen by human eyes. This seemed a bit unfair, so I randomised the posts and the ones you see below are yanked arbitrarily from the archive for you to explore.

As with anything this old on the internet, some of the music players, hyperlinks, images, formatting – and, frankly, the writing itself – are broken. But even I will begrudgingly admit that randomly looking at ten years of once-new bands is a fascinating glimpse into a very specific time capsule.

I’m as surprised as anyone that this ridiculous and utterly niche music blog has stumbled around online for a decade, surviving all of my attempts to break it, render it defunct, or let it wither on the vine. I’ll post something longer soon, probably around the Official ANBAD 10th Birthday in April; but for now, scroll down and read on – and maybe you’ll find some long-forgotten band from 2009 that you’ll love.


 

The View From… Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

Bridie Jackson is a singer, songwriter, and – as will become apparent – an excellent writer. She was featured on ANBAD a while ago, too. She hails from the North-East of England, and, in the article below, provides a fascinating insight into the music scene of a part of the UK that is sometimes considered remote, or backward, or – worse – both. It’s an excellent, and refreshingly positive, read

The North-East gets a bad rep. The national belief that its grim up North combined with a few too many harrowing BBC two dramas, featuring sallow faced minors and scenes of parochial, small minded vigilantes has done nothing to help with the belief that Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and all its counterparts, are places to be escaped from at the first possible opportunity.

Bridie Jackson // Bitter Lullaby

But recently Newcastle, previously known only for mining strikes and the enduring charm of the Stottie, has evolved into a thriving and wonderfully unique city.

Despite years of being patronisingly viewed as the underdog, the place has gone stoically about its business with enviable diligence, creating a powerful grass root movement that feeds into a rich and diverse cultural backdrop of art, theatre, dance, and of course, music.

You only have to walk down Northumberland Street to be inundated with music of every genre, thanks to the cities vibrant busking culture. This began back in 2008, when a free thinking arts exec, in a bid to improve the chance of winning the highly coveted City of Culture prize, lifted the requirement for a licence to busk to in an attempt to liven up the streets of the city.

Although cruelly robbed of the title (we were pipped to the post by Liverpool) the decision has left a fascinating legacy and the City centre, especially Monument and Northumberland street heave with buskers of every quirk and trend, including duelling accordionists, a tuneless but enthusiastic panpipe troupe and a resident contortionist to mention but a few.

With an ever growing number of venues and promoters, you can attend a gig every night of the week and whatever your niche, you’re bound to find something worth seeing.

Slap bang in the centre of the city Centre is the Head of Steam, the heaving epicentre of the music scene, and the place everyone ends up at the end of the night, thanks to its late licence.

Famed for its basement venue, Northern soul soundtrack and sticky floors, this is also the perfect place to go if you are hankering after the authentic celebrity sighting, as regulars include Maximo Park, the Futureheads, Beth Jeans Houghton and Field Music to name but a few.

For the more esoteric listener we have the Jazz Club, found on former red light district, Pink Lane. Revered for its high quality music, erratic opening times, free ‘Jazz Burgers’ upon entry, and fearsome, heavily bearded owner, this is the place to go if you want an abrasive, uncensored experience.

As well as your standard pubs and venues, there’s several astounding, unique venues in the city, such as Morden tower, a turret built in the 12th century in the walls of the city, All Saints church and The Castle Keep, that all host infrequent, but utterly unique gigs and concerts.

Just outside the City Centre is the Ouseburn valley where, perched amongst a gritty industrial backdrop, are a stream of fantastic pubs and venues, most notably, The Cluny, The Cumberland and the Tyne Bar, famed for its all dayers, where bands play on the outdoor stage from midday day til late at night.

Also in the Ouseburn Valley, you can find The Star and Shadow, a venue run entirely by a team of committed volunteers and featuring a cinema, gallery, bar and stage. The venue has hosted some amazing gigs over the last few years, including sell out performances by a range of artists, including Alasdair Roberts, The Unthanks, The Slits, and Katherine Williams, to name but a few.

So, to round up, Visit Newcastle. Its mint.

www.myspace.com/bridiejackson

>A New Band A Day is One Today!

>Agonise over your choice of cheap-but-unusual gift, wonder whether you can think of a good excuse to leave the party early and make awkward conversation with people you barely know, because A New Band A Day is one year old today!

And my, haven’t we grown – from barely literate burbles to quasi-thoughtful “opinion pieces” via drunkenly effervescent enthusiasm. And to think that people said we were crazy before we set out to write about a new band every single (working) day.

Anyway, it’s a day for a reflection – I’d like to say that ANBAD is a little older, a little wiser, and a little more worldly, but that would sound like some dreadful monologue from Dawson’s Bloody Creek. The truth is that all of us people who make ANBAD what it is are just as endearingly* naive as ever – a trait which is probably essential for the happy, grinding task of digging up new bands.

*frustratingly

Some of the bands that were featured on ANBAD pinged onwards and upwards to bigger and better things. It’d be a fib of epic proportions to claim that it was all down to our influence, but… actually that’s it. Anyway, we hope we gave them a bit of a leg-up on the way.

Thanks to everyone who has sent in suggestions for new bands: that’s all the friends, PRs and fans of bands, and bands themselves, of course. We always listen to each one suggested, and have discovered so many that our overwhelmed ears would otherwise have missed this way.

Please keep it up! We’d be nowhere without you. Here’s hoping that the next year of ace new bands will bring as many thrilling bands as this year’s lot did. Oh – and in case you were wondering (you weren’t), the song that has been in my head the most over the last year is The Little Patton by The Seedy Seeds.

AND NOW IT’S TIME FOR PRESENTS!

And, in the spirit of giving, as a gift to you, dear reader, here’s possibly the greatest single use of the English language ever. For once, please believe the hype and have a look, I promise that you’ll either LOL, ROFL, WTF or possibly a combination of all three.

Happy birthday indeed. Here’s to another year!

Tantrums; Laser-Focussed, Hell-Bent

Just what is it that makes today’s young bands so different, so appealing?

Of all the new bands I’ve heard in the last 12 months, it’s Tantrums who are most laser-focussed and hell-bent on success . This destiny may or may not be of their own making.

Just listen to Mek Ya Feel Hype, and feel begin to feel old in two distinct ways. First is the woozy sensation of senility, as you wonder whether or not you haven’t already heard this song squeaking tinnily from a teen’s mobile phone as you sat at a bus-stop.

Tantrums // Mek Ya Feel Hype

And then secondly, brace yourself for the reality: the other thing you’re feeling is just pure, dumb age. This band are so firmly entrenched in the thrilling naivety of youth that they probably jerk out a song like this in an afternoon.

More than anything, this song is a product of the youthful now. Look beyond the blitz of youthful energy, and there’s High School Musical choruses coursing through the song.

And to be even more in keeping with today’s so-how-are-we-going-to-pay-the-rent? music biz ethos, this song is available FREE! here.

Go crazy. They just did.

www.myspace.com/tantrums

>Today’s New Band – Transmittens

>Rock ‘n’ roll depends on surprises for its excitement. Just look at Coldplay and their plodding snooze-rock as an example of how predictability ruins any attempts of thrills. This is why Chris Martin, who is, remember, signed to a multi-million pound record deal with the multinational company EMI, writes Fair Trade slogans on his hand, and names his children after fruit. No-one seems to have pointed out to him that a simpler way of appearing ‘edgy’ would be to record some songs that don’t sound as if they are explicitly written for car adverts.

Today’s New Band, Transmittens, are all about surprises. Their name and music pops a big, happy, colourful clown’s balloon in front of your face, and because of that it’s easy to miss the glumly sung lyrics while you’re happily running around in the subsequent glitterstorm. Transmittens are a little bit like a down-tempo Bis. Not only is their sound reminiscent of an acoustic, less Japan-o-frenzied approach, but their cuteness is similarly tweaked to a more introspective level. That’s of course, assuming, that introspective cuteness is even possible.

Up All Night isn’t a tale of rock ‘n’ roll excess at all, but a story of someone not being able to stay up, even thought they’d like to. In Our Dreams the nursery-school melody disguises lyrics as grim as “Why oh why did we come all this way to say goodbye? Because dreams don’t come true – but we thought maybe they do,” and Saturday Socks is so stupidly upbeat that the glum lyrics get missed because you’ll be happily shaking your head like a 1960’s Top of The Pops audience member.

So, as such, Transmittens are a lovely mind-melting band, coating gloomy lyrics with so much sugar, you’d be happy to gulp them down all day long. Listen to their great songs here!

The Facts and Figures – Manfully, Involuntarily, Succeeding

There are days at ANBAD Towers where the air is turned first blue, and then brown, due to the scatological nature of the swearwords projected darkly at the computer monitor.

It’s usually down to it being One Of Those Days, where finding a suitable new band seems entirely, and unusually, impossible.  The cycle of frustration goes thus:

1) Minor confusion as to why a good band hasn’t appeared yet

2) Grumbling ‘there’s no good guitar bands now’

3) Vulgarities spat out loud

4) Listen to Pixies for 10 minutes to ‘prove’ point 2

5) Find good guitar band after all

6) Intense shame

Today was one of those days. Apologies are clearly due to The Facts and Figures; not only did I involuntarily hold them up in comparison to the best guitar band of the late 80’s/early 90’s, but I have foisted responsibility onto them to prove that their chosen instruments are still valid.

Manfully, they succeed: The Internet starts seasonally with a winter-crisp shuffle, and lurches woozily into a boozy, happy song that is warm, simple and satisfying. The Facts and Figures are a band with a knack for an tune and who know how to find the elusive finger-snapping qualities that The Internet sports proudly.

As such, the song ends abruptly, possibly in order to cajole the listener into listening to it immediately again, or possibly because the band were having such fun they didn’t – couldn’t – know how to stop. And why should they?

myspace.com/thefactsandfigures

AKIINE: Between 7 and 14 pH

akiineBecause I’m a moron and have the attention span of a gnat, I mis-read Akiine‘s name as “Alkaline” the first dozen times I looked at it.

Akiine it is, though, and, with two consecutive i’s and four vowels in a six-letter word, would score a measly 10 points in Scrabble.

On the plus side, Akiine is a truly lovely name in all sorts of ways, providing the type of visceral thrills that certain combinations of letters do, like puddle and undulate.

 

Oh, yes, the music: it’s lovely too. It’s not hard to create music that sounds like it comes from now; it is difficult to create music that does that and has a lovely chorus.

Blueberry Mountain is both these things, and it’s funny how, when you secure the more difficult bit – the nice chorus – how the easy part (sounding very now) fades into pointlessness.

Akiine has made a clutch of very, very, gentle and sweet songs. Great stuff.

MORE: soundcloud.com/akiine

>The ANBAD Time Machine – November 08!

>
Wow, last November was cold. Re-reading posts from back then is more of a task whereby filtering out seething resentment at the weather is the priority, rather than reading about, you know, new bands.

Still, you too can now enjoy that festering anger, as well as discovering which great new bands floated our collective boat in November 2008!

As always, there is a generically-good Scandiwegian pop-rock band, a mentalist noise band and one super-smashing-great band in the lovely, er, Ex-Lovers.

So load up on blankets and warm socks and hunker down with the best bands from last November!

Spell Hound – Now (Not Now)

Yesterday I visited BBC Radio Manchester, at the impressively futuristic Media City UK in Salford (which, when lit up at night looks just like a spaceport), to tip some bands for the coming year.

The show goes out on Sunday night, so I can’t tell you which bands I staked my flimsy reputation on yet, but needless to say it was a uniquely stressful half-hour – not only because I was suggesting who might ‘make it’, but also because I was asked to comment on the state of the modern music scene, and where it was heading next.

Well, what would you say? I made the usual noises about new technology, perpetual musical shape-shifting, etc, etc. In fairness, I could have as easily pointed towards Spell Hound and shrugged, “Maybe like this?”

Strictly speaking, Spell Hound bill themselves as Chillwave, which, frankly, is a misnomer – because Circling sounds a lot more interesting and blunt/sharp than such genrefication suggests.

This is a song with heart, and thought and gloom and light – but above all is an indication of what music is now.

That is: a narrowly-determined set of sounds from individuals who value their own expression and direction over everything else. And, as of now, that’s pretty much the best thing that you can hope for – and Spell Hound personify all this, and then some.

MORE: soundcloud.com/spell-hound

>Speeding Bullets, Rabbits, Futility and Today’s New Band – Amnésie

>Here’s a question: if you were given the chance to do anything, what would you do? Up sticks and travel the Dreaded Student Trail of Thailand – VietnamAustralia, which is surely so well-worn that there must be a metre-deep groove trodden all the way from BangkokSydney? Maybe you’d copy Paris Hilton and buy every terrible handbag, dress and tiny dog available and then thrust your way onto MTV, ensuring that your bank balance and feelings of self-worth are forever at opposite ends of the scale.

Both of those things pale into comparison to announcing that you’re going to build a rocket car that travels at over 1000 MPH. This is an impressively crazy idea, and, I’m truly proud to say, is a crazy British idea. While other nations are trying to travel to Mars or find out ways of making clean energy, we’re bragging about how we’re going to sling a trembling man along a Utah salt flat faster than a bullet.

All of these are ultimately futile activities (especially the 1000 MPH car one – I’m wondering what applications that it might have in the ‘real world’ other than making 15 year old Physics Club nerds weak at the knees) but that’s the point. The fun things in life are the ones that, in the grand scheme of things, are pretty pointless.

If all that is true, then Today’s New Band, Amnésie, are as pointless as it gets, because the music is brilliantly daft, noisy and direct. Once again France proves to be the originator of more throwaway, inventive, fabulously danceable music, and Attention Petit Lapin is a glistening example of this. It follows the rules and it doesn’t follow the rules. It builds and releases, but sometimes it doesn’t build and release. It draws sounds from any recent decade you care to mention, and then squeezes it into whatever shape it wants.

Amnésie must have a soft spot for rabbits – Lapin Numero Un is also jumpy, jokey fun. It’s the sound of him stretching his muscles and creating a brilliant song without much effort, as are the rest of his songs. I dunno how they keep doing it in France, but they do and they are.

If this has made anything explicitly clear (and it probably hasn’t) it’s that it doesn’t matter if your ambition is to write songs about rabbits or just going very fast in a straight line – but do listen to Amnésie here!

>Today’s New Band – Dave Osbourn PLUS! The Apocalypse Cometh!

>Why is it that at the exact point that you think that things are calming down, in reality – the reality that you can’t see or feel or taste until it’s poking you in the ribs and sneering – it’s the exact opposite and suddenly you have a bazillion new things on your plate? Thanks, life. Thanks also to Today’s New Band, who, usefully, provided an equally sudden calm today.

Dave Osbourn is Today’s New Band. Dave Osbourn might not even be a band, using friends and acquaintances to pad out his sound. Either way, Dave Osbourn doesn’t have the usual name you’d associate with gentle, electronic-y, folk-y hybrid music. I suppose I expected something more… post-apocalyptic, which is a moderately stupid thing to say, but is an adequate indicator of my mindset, and much more importantly, of the softly troubling music Dave makes.

Imagine the world ended in a nuclear catastrophe, and you were lucky enough to survive, and in the new wilderness you found a radio and scrolled through the dial. Dave Osbourne’s music would be tucked away in the hiss. And you’d feel at ease with everything. Night Time Chances is a bitty, bare, mournful song that only just lifts itself off the floor, but with grace.

In his songs are one or two sounds that are just too quiet to be fully recognised, and the effect is slightly disarming. Right By, a song that almost reaches the dizzy heights of ‘happy’, but not quite, is full of echoing knocking sounds and faint washes of noise to spread warmth and confusion.

He says his songs are meant to be reassuring. They are. Self-intervene and soothe by listening to his songs here!

Coming Tomorrow: we’re all thrilled to welcome new writer Jamie into the ANBAD ‘fold’. His first post will be tomorrow and will not only delight, but inform, it says here. So come, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, tomorrow for his first dalliance with A New Band A Day!

Oh, and apologies for those of you that have been using Internet Explorer and wondering why the homepage has been so mangled. We’re confused too. I’m working on it RIGHT NOW!

In the meantime, try the ANBAD eBOOK for happy memories of when ANBAD worked properly!