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.


 

>Today’s New Band – [INSERT CREDITS]

>If you need any proof that the music business is as box-of-frogs, bat-shit, [insert ‘zany’ euphemism here] crazy as ever, just look at the case of Franz Ferdinand. A few years ago, they were all over the music press like a bad suit. Their first album sold squillions, driven by the neat, catchy singles that kept dropping off it. They could do no wrong.

Except, of course, in Rock Music World, they could. Well, not them exactly. In fact, not really them at all. They made the numbskull mistake of releasing another good album of cleverer, catchier songs. But Rock Music World kept up its relentless, spinning pace, desperately hoovering up the new, the young and the easily fooled, and Franz Ferdinand became one of those bands.

You know, those ones. The ones that you know are bright, sharp, exciting and big – except you’re not bothered enough to buy their album, and really, when was the last time you heard them on the radio anyway?

Today’s New Band, [INSERT CREDITS] can gain comfort from the fact that their down-beat and quirky instrumentalism veers neatly around Rock ‘n’ Roll hyperbole. That [INSERT CREDITS]‘ music isn’t the usual Boards Of Canada/Aphex Twin knock-off is refreshing enough; that their music is funky, new and lithe as well is a minor joy.

The music samples this and that, looping funk stabs with film score swoops – and songs like Steal This Song jog and glide with a confident swagger. Invisible Robots is part 50’s Sci-Fi shocker and part glistening late-night slumber-beats.

Gordon Street has the nerve to sample Lou Reed‘s Perfect Day and Wayne’s World 2, and to turn them into a feedback-drenched freakout. Common Enemy is twitchy and nervous; a strange, theremin-‘n-drums, paranoid, step back in time.

[INSERT CREDIT]‘s Myspace page is crammed full of their songs, and they’re all a trip into the groove-laden Twilight Zone that is apparently hidden in a far corner of our minds. Exciting, weird and inventive. Listen here!

Moustache of Insanity – No Extraneous Headlines Needed

Now here’s a band whose headlines write themselves. It’s kind of them to help out us embattled writers like that.

In all honesty, they have little need to supply any more promotional material beyond their songs and their name, because really, what else is there to say once a band chooses to attach the moniker Moustache of Insanity to their endeavours?

LOL-tastic band names might cause you to involuntarily shrink away, fearing a combination of krrrrayzeee! joke songs and knock-around goofy ‘fun’, but suspend your inner taste compass for a moment, because Moustache of Insanity are surprisingly sweet and – yes – normal.

Moustache of Insanity / Talk Along

Talk Along is as touching and sweet love song as you’ll hear all week – heck – all month. Like the band, there’s little else that needs adding – it’s an addictively lovely song.

Moustache of Insanity have featured in the EasyJet in-flight magazine. Now that’s a sign you’ve made it.

MORE: moustacheofinsanity.com

Manchester 2010: The Scene That Ate Itself

Is Manchester a city that is so proud of its musical past it still trades heavily on it, or one that has just given up trying to surpass what was produced before? That revolutionary 80’s period is still leant upon, and how: The Hacienda, now a swanky apartment block; “And on the 6th day, God created Manchester” T-shirts are still available in your size; and Peter Hook, having spent decades learning how not to run a nightclub, proves he has a sense of humour by opening a new, Factory-themed one.

Love And Disaster 1

This isn’t as bad a situation as some people would have you believe: celebrating past glories is one of life’s most rewarding pastimes. It’s just that this particular fertile period – and remember, it was one that spawned Joy Division, The Smiths, The Happy Mondays, New Order, The Stone Roses and all those other bands that are, if anything, lauded even closer to the heavens today – has overshadowed everything Manchester has ever done since.

A city that was so fully, overwhelmingly, endearingly, defined by a specific scene has struggled to shake off its shackles. Good bands have come and gone – but what of the scene? The vibe? The feel? Has enough time passed for a new group of bands to define their locale?

If a new EP, released this week, is to be believed, a new and very distinct Mancunian musical picture is emerging. One where the bands clutch to each other as firmly as they push away – bands that feed off each other, spur each other on, compete, and then go home and listen to each other’s records. The EP is called, aptly, Love And Disaster.

Featuring the toppers of various ‘Big In 2010’ lists, Delphic, as well as Airship, Dutch Uncles, and Jo Rose, it’s a disc that doesn’t just celebrate new Manchester bands: it digs deep into the creative psyche of them, reveals the complex interchange of ideas between them and mines fissures of hot rivalry – all of which powers what may be a nascent, genuinely new Manchester ‘scene’.

I spoke to Dan Parrott – once musical director of local TV station Channel M, and now the determined soul who put Love And Disaster together.

Did you just want to showcase your favourite new bands in Manchester? Or was there something else that drove the creation of the EP?

“Well – yes and no – they’re bands I really really love and so quite unashamedly are bands I want to push. They’re also bands I got to know from Channel M Music – bands I enjoyed showcasing, got on with and asked back for more. I wondered if this was too shallow a reasoning to justify the EP, but quickly realised that the that reason I kept getting them them back on the TV was a good enough reason for putting a record together”.

Why did you want to be so involved with a particular group of bands?

“Because, simply, they are bands I like. I showcased Delphic when they were very, very new – I caught them when they were young and I wanted to be part of the arc of their career, simply because they were great. They didn’t even have any tracks on their Myspace page when we had them on the TV show – they’d just play gigs at Night and Day in Manchester. But you could hear that they were so good and had spent a whole year just writing songs, and not gigging.”

So is it a vanity project?

“No – this EP is similar to what I did at Channel M anyway: I played what I liked then, and this is what I like now. The record was cathartic. Hopefully if they go onto big things, these bands will look back and see this as the start of their careers – and the bands can treat this as a full stop and, hopefully, a starting point. The remit of the record is to tie up and represent not only the sound of Manchester, but the new sound in the UK as well”

And what of this new Manchester scene? What makes it new? What makes it at all?

“It’s an undefined scene if you like. There’s a softly, softly approach – there are these bands together in Manchester but they’re not all the same. They’re helping each other out. They’re all working for each other. That’s perhaps what ties them all together – not their sound but the fact that they all genuinely like each other’s bands.”

Airship

So it seems like the Factory-era togetherness is still there, if not a unifying sound…

“Maybe. The bands are all mates, but it’s still disparate, not very organised. There are bands feeding off each other, but producing different sounds. It’s healthy competition. They appreciate what each other does – they go home and put each other’s music on the stereo. These are bands that will stick at it, and they have albums in them.”

What do people think of this new bunch of bands? They’re not what the public consider to be ‘Manchester bands’.

The reception has been really good – It was difficult getting all the contracts signed, but labels have actually been positive to get them grouping together. They know money isn’t necessarily the priority with a physical release now – but the bands’ stature is still important.”

“Take Dutch Uncles – they are way ahead of their time in many ways: incredibly talented musicians who use technology and creative invention to make their own new sound. I was annoyed that the NME didn’t pick them up previously, but perhaps it was for the best. They’re exposed now, and it’s the right time.”

“And of course Delphic are now being hyped, and are set to be big. Delphic meet all sorts of [industry] people now because they’re getting stellar. And they always push Manchester bands to these people because they love the idea of Manchester and Factory; not in a stereotypical way, but in the idea of a bunch of unusual, good bands that are unified.”

So maybe a new perception of Manchester’s music might emerge?

“Yeah – the whole point of the group photo (above) is to physically unify them together, to define them as a group. Hopefully it’ll be a really important photo in 5 years time – it uses a typical Mancunian warehouse setting but then that’s the point: it is still Manchester.”

Love And Disaster 1: New Tracks From New Manchester Artists is available now.

Poland: Plentiful, Simple, Niche

Perhaps the question today is no longer Why are you making music, but, Why aren’t you?

Think: the computer you’re reading this on will have a rudimentary sound editing program powerful enough to snip sounds from God’s Sample Crate – AKA Youtube – and quickly form a song of your own making.

Sure, the results won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but who do you want to be, Bon Jovi?

Poland doesn’t even aim to be Richie Sambora, and her music is febrile, spasmodic and odd. Note the ‘her’, by the way – almost all electronic music is make by men, so the fact this artist is called Holly is a true rarity.

But that’s the point – Sandy may well be chiefly of interest to its maker, but then almost all forms of art are. Just as blogging is really a writer’s stab at immortality through words, electronic music is perhaps its musical equivalent: plentiful, simple, niche.

Sandy is a formed from beautiful snippets of of other bits of sounds, other bits of songs. Listening to it is like accessing Poland’s mind for the briefest of seconds, and it seems a dizzyingly hectic, winningly bright place.

Bizarre and hypnotic.

MOREpocketclock.org/poland/

>Today’s New Band – Everything Everything

>Last night, I saw Pete And The Pirates* at Moho Live in Manchester. Since I first saw them two years ago, and then again six months ago, they’ve steadily got better – more charming, more interesting, more likely to become the huge success they deserve to be. If their fabulous new songs are anything to go by, their next album will be a corker.

We took a decidedly old-school approach to the gig – blagging our way in for free (“But the band promised we’d be on the guest list”), and smuggling in a hip flask o’ booze for surreptitious topping-up of cola. As we persuasively nudged our way to the front of the crowd (sharp elbows), the difference between a support band and the headliners became a little clearer than before.

Where the support band that we saw (I forget their name, but imagine a swing and a miss at Stone Roses-style Über-confidence and you’re there) tried to fill every moment with noise, P&TP had the confidence to allow ebb and flow, quiet and loud. It lulls the audience in as opposed to battering them with a wall of fudgy noise.

Today’s New Band also have this skill – and it is a skill – so be thankful for Mancunians Everything Everything, whose songs are cute, sharp and unusual.

Suffragette Suffragette is a clicking, polyrhythmic example of their finely-honed approach to songwriting. It weaves and bobs, dashing from choral, harmonising vocal over-indulgence to pared-down calm – which serve to push their superb weirdness to the fore.

Single Photoshop Handsome grabs a wild chorus by the ears and rides it hopefully, wrestling it to fit into their idiosyncratically off-the-wall framework. It yelps, shouts and chirps – but not for the sake of it – and then slips confidently into a huge, pounding, synth finale.

Everything Everything are now getting the radio play they’ve deserved for a while, and this is purely because they’re punchy, innovative and crafty. Lovely. Listen here.

*My amigo Martin said that they sounded like the Strokes had collaborated with 90’s pop-nobodies Eternal, which wins my vote for most ludicrous description of any band, ever.

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 12th January 2011

In a week where we have discovered that all that is needed today to become officially the next big thing is years of stage-schooling, a ton of promo cash, the weight of the whole record industry and an expensive video, let us be thankful that there are still bands plugging away in their garages to make new music.

Quick, divert your attention to the Midweek Mixtape before we’re all forced to get down with the kids to the sound of Jessie J.

FIRST! Mount Fabric sound like they ought to be an 80’s fuzzy-felt animated kids’ TV show, but in Coping With Belief we quickly discover that they are actually an agonisingly lovely epic-rock band, with stratospherically unusual vocals and songs that pan out before you; widescreen, ambitious, dallying with sounds not heard for a long time. Unexpected and exciting.

SECOND! T-Model Ford pushes the concept of ‘new’ beyond its frosty outer limits: the man is 90 years old, for god’s sake. Still, he’s new to me, and probably to anyone within the last three generations, so why use age as an excuse to miss out on his bellowed, rusty old-time blue? Same Old Train is the closest you’re going to get to being transported back 70 years in time this week, at least. Endearingly excellent rough ‘n’ ready grunting.

T-Model Ford // Same Old Train

THIRD! You And Others Around You left me in contorted mental discomfort as I struggled in vain to figure out who they sounded like. Agonised, I listened to their song repeatedly, and it’s a sharp, clever slice of jangly, superior, quirk-pop. Then I remembered, just as I was about to give up, that they sound a bit like The Wedding Present. Which is a good thing.

FOURTH! Crystal Bright and The Silver Hands – and speaking of agony, CB&TSH are the most blatant heart-string tuggers of the week. Little Match Girl is surely the most fragile and overblown; bitter and sweet song that can be produced without the recording studio being ruined by a tsunami of tears. Phew.

FIFTH! The Holidays have made, in Broken Bones, a song which is so airy that it practically bobs past suspended by a helium balloon. It doesn’t though, as that would be ludicrous. An alluring song that makes time slow woozily, it’s accompanied by a pretty smashing video, if you like that kind of thing.

>Today’s New Band – Sleep Party People PLUS! Manflu Disaster!

>

Gah! A New Band A Day is ill, in bed, feeling sorry for itself. The affliction? The dreaded MANFLU. The cure? Plenty of moron-lite daytime TV, Indeterminable amounts of honey and lemon drinks, handfuls of Aspirin, and, most importantly of all, new bands, taken three times a day.
The wonderful thing about Manflu is that complaining pathetically is an accepted symptom, and however much it bugs everyone around the poor victim, the only method of feeling better is to keep whining. Some fevers you have to sweat out. Manflu requires you to whinge until the sickness has abated.
Today’s New Band, Sleep Party People, are almost specifically designed for soothing poorly heads. They create softly ethereal music that recalls the most weirdly calming dreams you’ve ever had. 10 Feet Up seems to slink into your life, seduce you, and then slink out again, leaving you with only the memory of happy times. Our Falling Snow is as cold, gentle and fragile as the freshly drifting white stuff and I’m Not Human At All is just another indication that the pristine, gentle sounds might not be as charmingly naive as first seems.
There’s almost menace in the combining of extreme sweetness and warmth with the sparseness and stiletto-sharp precision in Sleep Party People‘s songs. They’re almost too cosy, too delightful and sweet to be true – some kind of unseen dread is lurking out of sight, out of earshot, but not out of mind. Perhaps it’s Manflu. It’s beautiful terror, whatever it may be. Listen here!

IN THE CITY LIVEBLOG – WEDNESDAY

ANBAD is at In The City for the next three days. Getting up to speed with 2007’s latest trends, I’ll be liveblogging the events throughout the day, and then tweeting ever more incoherently during the gigs at night time.

I’ll start by covering the first debate of the day: the sure-to-be-contentious Pay To Play? discussion, which wrestles with the new idea of bands paying for slots at gig venues.

It starts at noon – so stick around.

This liveblog should (i.e. ‘might’) update itself, but if you have difficulties, press F5.

The full schedule for ITC is here.

END OF CONFERENCE DAY ONE ROUND UP:

Despite delays at ITC, and technical hitches on ANBAD, the day was a thrill, as is any event when you get a bunch of enthusiasts in one place. Guy Garvey proved he could get a loving chuckle from any audience with a few well placed bon mots, and the co-creators of two of the world’s biggest new music behemoths proved likeable, friendly and normal – and people who have their eyes wide open to possibility and change. And that is what In The City is all about. Now the gigs begin – follow me and my thoughts via Twitter on @ANewBandADay.

17.00 The panel ends in the manner from which it was born – brash confidence and uncertainty. Who will fill the void left by NME, John Peel and other singular UK voices? No-one is sure. It seems that, in terms of music coverage at least, the multifarious blogs that have sprung up are covering a gap between the switchover. Where we’re switching to is less certain. Dev and Ryan from Hype Machine and Pitchfork are happy about events – it’s all working out for them, and will continue to – they backed the right horse. They’re also nice guys, so who could begrudge them their success?

16.10 Blogging in the USA has a hugely different role than in the UK. Also – Dev Hype Machine thinks that the fact that the UK music scene produces a disproportionate volume of musical content means that USA blogs will pick it up and they’ll get pushed harder than UK blogs.

15.57 Dave, Rawkblog: Blogging is starting to become mainstream and losing its edge as a result – a natural cycle that happened before with fanzines.

15.56 Sean from Drowned In Sound finally arrives!

15.55 Ryan, Pitchfork says that music blogs have to diversify – offer opinion pieces etc, not just an mp3 a day.

15.50 The panel list some blogs they like (ANBAD gets a mention! *Swoon*) but they all agree that they like blogs that don’t follow the herd.

15.48 Ryan, Pitchfork feels a close relationship with bloggers – they both try and get new music out there from the basis of personal preference.

15.46 The music blog is bigger in the USA because there was a ‘dearth of niche music coverage… unlike in the UK, so blogs were not so neccessary’ – Dev, Hype Machine

15.45 It’s A Brief History Of Blogs at the moment…

15.40 Finally! It begins! Starring Dave from Rawk Blog, Ollie Russian from www.mybandsbetterthanyourband.com, Dev Sherlock from Hype Machine and Ryan Schreider who founded the mighty Pitchfork. Sean from Drowned in Sound is stuck in traffic…

15.35 And if it doesn’t start, maybe Guy Garvey will do a Cliff Richard-style singalong to fill the gap…

15.30 Heavy delays at In The City – this conference on Blogging In The USA, featuring Sean from Drowned In Sound and people from Pitchfork and Hype Machine is apparently just about to start now.

14.00 ERK! Apparently ANBAD dropped off the internet a few times this morning – apologies. All should be working now…

13.39
So the Pay-to-Play panel got heated near the end, as the polarising views finally emerged. But it took time. The overriding moderate opinion of ‘sometimes it’s OK, but then sometimes it’s bad’ seems to be more of an indicator of the state of flux of the music industry at the moment more than anything.
12.49
The general consensus, as the panel winds down, is that this is a minefield. One one hand, pay-to-play offers a stage and a potential leg-up, and then on the other hand, the potential for being ripped off is huge.
Matt from Pigeon Post makes a good point on twitter: “#inthecity panel still seem to think that bands on exist to get signed. Suppose i’ve never been in a bnd.”
In Conclusion: don’t get duped.
12.46
Guy Garvey again: It should not be the norm that bands – people – don’t get ripped off, which is often what pay-to-play means.
Musician’s Union man: The union can respond to bands’ complaints by talking to venue owners.
12.37
Question from the audience: Does Guy Garvey regret paying to play?
Guy: Very much so, because he knows that promoters were ripping him off by promising the presence of A&R men, labels, etc., when actually there were none.
12.25
#inthecity Chris Long from BBC Introducing says that P-T-P may be against your ideals, but it’s too simplistic to flat-out refuse to do it. A compromise is needed. Everyone, when starting out, has to give up something: time or money.
12.15
But Guy also says that the system is open to unscrupulous promoters taking advantage of the bands. This seems quite a measured point of view.
12.12
Answer: yes, the MU is still against Pay-to-Play, but thinks it’s OK under certain circumstances.
Guy Garvey says that Elbow paid to play at the start of his career, and has some fond memories of those nascent times
12.08
The moderator, by the way, is from the Musician’s Union and is broadly outlining his stance on Pay-To-Play: he was anti- Pay-To-Play, but is he now?
12.02
And we’re underway – introducing the panel: Chris Long from BBC Manchester, Helene Linval from the Guardian, and Guy Garvey amongst others. They’ll be discussing whether it’s OK to be made to pay to play your own gigs at venues. The general consensus in the audience is no…

13.39
So the Pay-to-Play panel got heated near the end, as the polarising views finally emerged. But it took time. The overriding moderate opinion of ‘sometimes it’s OK, but then sometimes it’s bad’ seems to be more of an indicator of the state of flux of the music industry at the moment more than anything.
12.49
The general consensus, as the panel winds down, is that this is a minefield. One one hand, pay-to-play offers a stage and a potential leg-up, and then on the other hand, the potential for being ripped off is huge.
Matt from Pigeon Post makes a good point on twitter: “#inthecity panel still seem to think that bands on exist to get signed. Suppose i’ve never been in a bnd.”
In Conclusion: don’t get duped.
12.46
Guy Garvey again: It should not be the norm that bands – people – don’t get ripped off, which is often what pay-to-play means.
Musician’s Union man: The union can respond to bands’ complaints by talking to venue owners.
12.37
Question from the audience: Does Guy Garvey regret paying to play?
Guy: Very much so, because he knows that promoters were ripping him off by promising the presence of A&R men, labels, etc., when actually there were none.
12.25
#inthecity Chris Long from BBC Introducing says that P-T-P may be against your ideals, but it’s too simplistic to flat-out refuse to do it. A compromise is needed. Everyone, when starting out, has to give up something: time or money.
12.15
But Guy also says that the system is open to unscrupulous promoters taking advantage of the bands. This seems quite a measured point of view.
12.12
Answer: yes, the MU is still against Pay-to-Play, but thinks it’s OK under certain circumstances.
Guy Garvey says that Elbow paid to play at the start of his career, and has some fond memories of those nascent times
12.08
The moderator, by the way, is from the Musician’s Union and is broadly outlining his stance on Pay-To-Play: he was anti- Pay-To-Play, but is he now?
12.02
And we’re underway – introducing the panel: Chris Long from BBC Manchester, Helene Linval from the Guardian, and Guy Garvey amongst others. They’ll be discussing whether it’s OK to be made to pay to play your own gigs at venues. The general consensus in the audience is no…

>Today’s New Band – Ivan Campo PLUS! Killing wildlife!

>There have been a few songs that, on the first hearing, the sudden realisation that what I was listening to was so good, so head-spinningly wonderful, so new, that I’ve stopped whatever I’m doing just to listen, in a happy music-coma. Off the top of my head, five of the songs that have lead to this are:

Temptation by New Order
Common People by Pulp
Bigmouth Strikes Again by The Smiths
I Love You ‘Cause I Have To by Dogs Die in Hot Cars
Leg End In His Own Boots by Ned’s Atomic Dustbin

OK, the last one’s a joke. But the rest are about right. When I first heard Temptation, I had to rewind the tape after three minutes because I’d enjoyed it so much, and I couldn’t wait to get to the end to hear it again. I was driving through country lanes when I heard I Love You ‘Cause I Have To, and after almost distractedly running over a pheasant, had to pull over to safely drum along on the steering wheel.

I’m willing to pin the blame for such rank behavioural idiocy onto the dizzying qualities of such stupendously good music. Therefore, perhaps A New Band A Day should have a small yellow and black warning sign, similar to ones in factories that say ‘Do not operate this machinery under the influence of alcohol’.

Today’s New Band, Ivan Campo, might not make your car hurtle towards game birds, but – WARNING – foot tapping may spontaneously occur. They’re named after the impressively-curly-haired footballer who has played for wildly differing teams. There are not many players who have pulled on the shirts of Real Madrid and Bolton Wanderers.

In this respect the band share some similarity with the man, as their songs are sweetly cute one minute (The Curse), and breezily folky the next (The Lotus Eater). Darling Diva is a rambling love song that takes the musical equivalent of a happy stroll down a beach with its loved one, but as the song is punctuated with the bleeping of a digital watch, it occurs that something isn’t quite as rosy as it seemed – “Something just doesn’t quite add up/I smell a rat…”

Ivan Campo‘s band logo is a bastardisation of the one for Malibu rum. Despite coming from dreary Preston, their sound is also summery, warm and intoxicating. Mmmm, easy-going. Listen here!

Wet Nuns: A Punch To The Groin

Once again, a mere band name influences ANBAD’s choice of featured artist.

And once again, this ludicrous intuition serves ANBAD well: welcome Wet Nuns, a band whose very nature makes the niggling question, “I wonder if I’ve featured these guys before?” entirely superfluous – as if a name like that would be quickly forgotten.

The one element of Wet Nun‘s persona I couldn’t grasp from their name alone was the type of music they made.

And then I listened, and slapped my forehead: of course they make trashy, gut-busting, lead-heavy grind-blue-rock. It was almost too simple.

 

Of the pleasing traits a band can have, the art of surprise is the most pleasant: epic blue rock is almost always a dreary, dismal affair played by serious types with too much facial hair and a mistaken belief that drinking Jack Daniels from the bottle equates to having a personality.

Wet Nuns are not these people, and, are thus a surprise: heavy, fun, gritty and slaves to the heaviest of riffs.

And so Heavens Below is all bombast and no trousers; a punch in the groin, a beery, cheery slap to the face. A grubby peach.

MORE: wetnuns.com