A New Band A Day 2008-2018

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

However, ANBAD also has over 1200 posts featuring about 1500 artists. Most are buried deeeeep 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 music plugins, hyperlinks, images, formatting – and, frankly, the writing itself – is 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.  So scroll down and read on – and maybe you’ll find some long-forgotten band from 2009 that you’ll love.


INTERVIEW // The Circus Sands

Once again, our intrepid and talented southern-UK reporter Sarah Stead has filed a report that delves into the grimy madness at the heart of a young rock band.

She spoke to The Circus Sands, a young, exhilarating rock group from the south-east about sweat, ceilings bowing from the weight of the moshpit and  the vital importance of whether T-Rex was an influence (or not)…

The first time I interviewed The Circus Sands, front man Simon Corcoran was hungover, wearing a strip of material as a tie and there was an earring holding his shirt together.

This time, seven months later, things are looking a whole lot better.

The band – who hail from Reading and Newbury – have been gigging non-stop since then, including slots at a few summer festivals, and at the end of November they released their first EP, Dr Death.

Circus Sands // Dr Death

“The EP has been around for a long time,” said Corky.

“We recorded it in September 2008 but it’s just taken this long to get the money together to get the CDs made.”

Playground magazine recently gave away 15,000 copies of the EP’s title track to accompany an interview and review, but there are only 200 copies of the EP itself, which are almost all sold out already.

It’s a foot-stomping four track introduction to the band, whose scuzzy, lip-biting rock and roll is reminiscent of a less explicit Louis XIV, or a less Swedish Hives. And sometimes it’s arty, but arty like Tracy Emin is arty.

I don’t think anybody’s ever said they don’t like it…” said Corky.

The three-piece play raw, hip shaking, danceable rock but, by and large, are taking a break from performing at the moment.

“It’s been a busy year for us,” said bassist James Hallett. “We must have played at least 60 gigs, it felt right to stop for a while. We’ve been playing the same songs for a year so it was time to have a little break and write some new stuff which we’re hoping to record later this month so we can release two more EPs next year. You could say the band is pregnant at the moment!”

A few days later I learned that by ‘pregnant at the moment’ Hallett actually meant they were about to announce they’d grown a fourth member, Jake Ambridge, but weren’t going to tell me about it. Cheers mate.

Anyway, back at the interview and, as the empty Bulmers bottles stacked up, I asked Corky how the music has evolved since the Dr Death EP was recorded.

“Well, we’ve got a lot of new guitar pedals!” he said. “We’ve tried to get a bit more experimental, we’re aiming for nice melodies and songs you can sing to but keeping the dirty, sexy element to it.

“We’re trying to get away from the garage rock sound, though. We’d like to be a bit more ‘out there’ and a bit more weird sounding, but keeping the melodies.”

Chris said, “The thing is that we’ve stuck to our guns and we’re not just going for what’s cool now.

“We’re rock and roll. There’s a lot of nu rave stuff around but we keep doing what we’re doing. “So many bands think they’re the next big thing but don’t put the legwork in, like travelling back from a gig til 3am then getting up for work the next day.”

Despite a prestigious slot at Basingstoke Festival in July (“We were the act on before Chipmunk so technically we can say we supported him,” said Hallett), Corky said the highlight of the year was gigs in Taunton and Brighton on consecutive days.

The band are nothing if not hardworking. They have gigged all over the South and their live shows are always high-octane, energetic and sweaty.

Chris – who is without fail totally drenched in his own sweat after each gig – recalled with a proud grin, “At one place we played in Bristol it was so hot I passed out afterwards.

“At Birdcage in Portsmouth we had about 150 in this room upstairs, and the ceiling was bowing in the room below.That was a brilliant night!”

In between Chris and Hallett arguing about the band’s influences (“T Rex,” “We’re not influenced by T Rex at all,” “I am,” “But we’re not even slightly glam,” “I am.”), telling bad jokes, slagging off bands that ‘don’t work hard enough’ and debating how old Ian Curtis was when he died, we somehow got an interview done.

The Circus Sands are one of my favourite Reading bands to hang out with. Like their music they’re dirty and sexy and, as Corky said, they’re always up for the after parties. Bring it!

Download the Dr Death EP on iTunes and listen at www.myspace.com/thecircussands

>A New Band A Day Is In A Tent… Again


So, after refusing to learn from our last, chastening experience at a music festival in this summer-less country, the intrepid A.N.B.A.D. team is at another one, this time about as far south as you can go in the UK, in the vain hope that the weather’s better there. It won’t be.

We’ll be sheltering from the rain, wind and stupefying frustration of 30,000 damp people at the lovely Bestival, on the Isle of Wight. The line-up might just make the inevitable rain worthwhile, comprising as it does of super-music-types like My Bloody Valentine, George Clinton, Aphex Twin and a whole BUCKET LOAD more.

So, there’ll be a reduced service here at A New Band A Day until Monday, but we promise to return refreshed*, happy** and with a brain full of ace bands to yap excitedly about***.

In the mean time, why not have a good old scroll around the column on the right and see if any of the old bands of the day you might have missed tickle your fancy?


Joe and the ANBAD gang

**desperate for warmth
***this bit’s probably true

>Today’s New Band – The All New Adventures Of Us PLUS! Hair!

>I snuck into one of the local university’s end of term parties last night. It’s been a while since I was a first-year Uni-botherer. This is what I learned about 18-21 year-old Film and Media students:

  1. The more swept-across your fringe is, the higher your social status. Some fringes started just above the ear. Men appear to have the monopoly on hair-straighteners now.
  2. The Youth are fat. I was nudged by one student who was so rotund that it felt like I was hit by a milk float.
  3. The songs that filled the dancefloor were by MGMT and Kings Of Leon – but you probably guessed that already.

The upside to all this is that, apart from having a good time at someone else’s party, I left feeling more masculine and slim than I have for a long time. It felt like I’d hopped over the dividing line between us men who hit their late teens at the turn of the century, and those doing it about now, in a flurry of careful coiffures.

What will happen when the same young women, currently enjoying the empathetic sensitivity of these men, decide they want shelves putting up, but don’t fancy doing it themselves? You can’t put an Ikea sofa-bed together with nail buffers and eyebrow tweezers.

Today’s New Band, The All New Adventures of Us, also apparently cross great divides – to rehearse, though – as for them, ‘home’ is listed as Northampton and Dundee. There were about 400 miles between the two cities last time I looked, which must make those weekly meetings in the pub to discuss the fine details of the liner notes for the next single just that bit more complicated. (A note to the band: Barrow-In-Furness is about your half-way meeting point – and they have a nightclub on a boat, complete with pole dancers and intimidatingly pumped men. Ah, good times.)

Still, all that supposed trundling up and down the M6 must give them plenty of time and cramped space to write their nicely bitty pop songs. And for the second day running, there’s have a song with horns driving the melody – the bouncy Firetruck Doki Doki, full of vim and gentle rhymes. It scores extra bonus marks for having a kind of double false ending – biggest and best rock trick in the book. St. Crispin’s Got Our Backs is expansive and large, but TANAOU still manage to keep their indie-ness intact.

Maybe The All New Adventures Of Us are a band for today – young, sensitive and wide-eyed – but without the mindless hair fixation or flab. Listen here!

>Great Scott, Marty! It’s The ANBAD Time Machine!

>Living the life of Riley/a wandering star/the tented semi-homeless somewhere in Europe has given me plenty of time for reflection. One of the nice, yet nasty, facets of A New Band A Day is, well, just that – every day brings a new, mewling and puking bunch of songs from another ace new band.

This, of course, is the point, but it does also mean that some great bands are hidden away in the past, buried too far beneath all the other hundred of bands that have flirted with you each day to be dug out and appreciated.

Thus: Here’s the ANBAD Time Machine, accelerating up to 88MPH and taking you back in tiiiiiime – just like a dreadful DJ at a village hall disco. Except with great bands you may have missed, plucked from the ANBAD archives.

Today, we’re going ALL THE WAY BACK – to April 2008 when ANBAD was a clumsy, wobbling newborn; a time when pictures in posts were scarce, and there was a crappily drawn picture of a robot at the top of the page for some reason, instead of things to do with music.

Still, there were some really ace bands that month, including the brilliant LA Preist, PixelH8 and the first appearance of our old ANBAD pals The Alibies. So go on, get retro and indulge in nostalgic discovery here!

Record Store Day: Redux

Remember Record Store Day? It was only a week ago. Has it changed your shopping habits?

Will you keep buying your exclusive, 1000-only, limited edition, 7″ glitter-flexi-disc vinyls from your local shop now? Or will you continue to order it off the internet like you did before?

Record Store Day enjoyed its highest-ever profile this year. Stories about eager music fans queuing to buy one-off singles featured in the news on non-music radio stations, and every newspaper trundled out someone capable of writing a thousand words on the joys of purchasing a CD without hesitating to think beyond happy teenage memories.

This all seems very heartening, very healthy, very important, doesn’t it? Record stores are special, aren’t they? Aren’t they?

When I was at school, I used to visit Mike Lloyd Records at least three times a week. I’d go after class with my best friend Andy, and we’d loiter among the record racks until the shop closed when we’d get turfed out.

I bought my first ever single there, and walked home with my head down, devouring the words printed on the inlay, desperate to absorb every bit of information before I got home.

Andy and I would buy CDs on the basis that we liked the cover art, or that the band had a good name, or had a terrible name. Plonking down the still-ludicrous sum of £15 for an unknown CD represented a huge, thrilling gamble to a 16 year old, but it was a roll of the dice we were more than willing to take.

This was years ago, though. Mike Lloyd’s no longer exists. Most record shops don’t either. I loved Mike Lloyd Records. It gave me my musical education. Now and again, I mourn the halcyon times I spent there.

But things have changed. Almost no-one releases singles any more. I discover music via the internet and can listen to it instantly, as often as I like, without having to scribble down the band’s name as the DJ segues to another song, and then scamper off to a shop to buy it.

Remember: Record Store Day is primarily an event to bolster an ailing industry. Lots of industries  do it. The British Potato council has National Chip Week.

What grates is that in Record Store Day’s case, this truth is obscured by waves of blather about how record shops are essential to find out about new music, and how they are very important to sustain the fabric of our music society. You can even discuss music in them, with people who know about music!

Amusingly, writers were especially keen to point out that record shops are no longer intimidating places: hey, now anyone can come along and shop in them!

Most people won’t, and will continue to download their singles and albums in whichever non-physical format they desire, cutting the old middleman out and paying a new one instead.

Shops are a place to buy physical commodities. Music only fell into this category for a very short period of time, and music isn’t a physical commodity any more.

You don’t need a 12″ plastic disc and the accompanying artwork to listen to your new favourite song, as pleasurably tactile as those things may be. And when people no longer need something, they tend to suddenly become overwhelmed by ambivalence towards it.

I want record shops to exist. I love them. But if they are no longer viable, then their useful lifespan has ended, and the ruthlessly pragmatic human race will just move on. No number of special one-off singles by thoughtful bands will change that.

Record shops are lovely, but so are steam trains. You can’t get a steam train to London any more, and the Virgin Pendolino gets me to London hours quicker than I could by steam. And ultimately that’s what counts, isn’t it? People have a funny way of getting down to brass tacks when the need arises.

It’s also why steam trains are now the reserve of hobbyists and holidaymakers, and why Record Store Day might be viewed as an exercise in faux nostalgia – of a time when such places were successful businesses.

If record shops vanish, we will still find people to discuss new music with, and places to do it. We will still discover new sounds from new bands. The music and the associated happiness won’t change, just the delivery of it.

When I was at college, I had an evening job in a bakery the size of a terraced house. It was a remnant of the time when small local shops, not supermarkets, would provide our staple food – bread – to all and sundry. I knew the family who ran it. It was a happy, tasty, friendly place. It smelled amazing.

In the early Noughties, the bakery closed, suddenly, amid mounting debt and horrendous personal crises. It was soundtracked by the tears that flow from broken lives, and it was the passing of a small, local, wonderful institution.

But no-one gave a shit. They shrugged, and began buying their bread from a supermarket just like everyone else. An old way of life disappeared. Why did no-one campaign for Bread Store Day?



I guess I’ve written endlessly about my listening habits skewing towards music produced in the most basic of fashions.

My drive for Simple Music Done Dirt Cheap™ has accelerated at about the same pace as the general adoption of laptop DAWs as the primary music making resource. There’s just so much going in in music that doesn’t need to be there.

This life-affirming video of A Guy Called Gerald fiddling with analogue boxes in his studio and creating – off-the-cuff, on-the-fly – some huge tunes, cemented my point of view.

Anyway, Erika Glück’s Caress is a seven minute, simple-as-possible workout: all thump, no flimflam. It’s a song to get lost in; a terrific, meditative reminder that simple isn’t scary.

Weirds: Funny Money

Perhaps one of the more exciting things about the music industry having gone into financial freefall is that bands have started looking outside of the traditional streams for that elusive cash-money.

This has had a number of interesting consequences, not least that bands are now doing things for money that they would never have dreamed of doing before.

For instance – next week, music streaming people Deezer are getting The Ramona Flowers to play a gig in a secret location next week in Manchester from inside a perspex box, whilst the audience listens via wireless headphones.

Now, I think this is all very good. Better to be doing slightly bonkers PR events like this where everyone has fun and the band gets paid more than if they’d played half a dozen toilet venues.

(And by the way, if you want a couple of tickets to this gig, get in touch via here and here.)

Speaking of weird, the possibilities are surely endless for the band Weirds. They could have a lucrative sideline in doing odd things for money, a bit like Keith Chegwin’s late-90’s career.

Actually, they don’t need to – Crocodile is a gloriously carefree romp through fuzzpop, buzzpop and noiserock. That a song clocking in at a mere 2min30sec can zip all over the place so much, cramming in idea after idea, is testimony to the ingenuity of this exciting new Nottingham band. Keep an eye on them.

>Today’s New Band – Dinosaur Pile-Up: DINOSAUR WEEK CONTINUES!

>Gimmick, Schmimmick. This dinosaur-theme is a goer, I tell you. The eagle-eyed of you will sport that this is the third consecutive dino-related band in a row, and while some may accuse us here at A.N.B.A.D. of mild idiocy, it turns out that there is method behind this Bronto-Madness. (NB: See previous posts, below, for the previous excursion into Dino-sounds)

That’s because the search for dino-bands – archeology, maybe – has unearthed yet another great band: Today’s New Band, Dinosaur Pile-Up. Firstly, let’s childishly focus again on how super the name is – anything that causes you to imagine a huge collision of freaking dinosaurs and the resulting pile-up is surely enough to make you as giddy as a 10 year old girl watching Hannah Montana – The 3D Movie.

Happily, Dinosaur Pile-up‘s music is great too. My Rock And Roll is a chunky, Pavement-y, Pixies-ish blast, singer Matt mumble-yelling “Since I was young, I always felt some sort of trouble.” It seems that writing great rock songs is outside of this trouble-sphere, as rock ‘n’ roll is a tough thing to get right, but Dinosaur Pile-Up can do it, seemingly without effort. My Rock and Roll is a fantastic song from a great-sounding band, who don’t seem to be slavishly following current musical trends. Fantastic – and apparently, unsigned. Crazy.

Check out their music at their Myspace page, here!

*No new band on Monday – it’s a Bank Holiday! So we’ll be sitting inside, sheltering from the rain, as usual.*

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 11th August 2010

It’s still holiday season, and so the ANBAD donkey is still on holiday, possibly sitting at a jauntily amusing angle by a pool somewhere, but definitely sipping some mmm… delicious Kopparberg cider as he does it.

Kopparberg is pear cider, though really there ought to be a portmanteau word – ‘pider’ – to make it easier for drunks to say. And what a nice bunch of people work for them: after tweeting a disparaging message about their annoying advert on Spotify, I received a love-bomb email asking me to contribute to the next Kopparberg Spotify Mixtape.

Which I did, suggesting brilliant ANBAD alumni Young British Artists, Wild Nothing, The Horn The Hunt, and more. Delicious. Listen to it here.


FIRST! Welsh Assembly – naming yourself after the governing body of a country is a nice idea, but one that ultimately backfires when you try to Google for more information them, bringing up as it does pages of Welsh legalese. Welsh legalese, by the way, is possibly the least comprehensible text of all time, combining the incredible tedium of written law with a beautifully bonkers vowel-hating language.

Welsh Assembly // …(demo)

Therapeutically hypnotic, and almost too simple to be considered actual music, this unnamed song pulses gently until sleep occurs. Clever, but not conducive to making money – the asleep don’t reach for their wallet much.

SECOND! Kinnie The Explorer is Dora The Explorer’s half-sister. Unlike Dora, she’s not ramming the basics of the Spanish language down our throats and has decided to kick back and crank up her home-made tunes, which sound like a post-rock band who have suddenly employed a rhythm section who are a bit more eager to get on with the song than the rest of the band. Nice, creative, urgent.

THIRD! Clean Equations are a delight. Songs like Buried Translations are ripe with slo-mo heavier-than-snow fuzzy dream-pop moments. It builds, builds and builds some more, then implodes in your face in the same way a giant booby-trapped Candy Floss mights. But not as teeth-etchingly sugary.

FINALLY! The Lucky Dip Escapade have a band name that would take them far on its own merits. Songs like Camp Fire Song – self explanatory TO THE MAX – will seek out its willing audience of its own accord. Heartfelt.

Done! And done.



My friend Hagop – crazy name, crazy guy – is setting up a website to help people who are starting new bands. He’s one of those ultra-hyper people who has boundless energy and a zillion interesting stories to tell – he was in a band who played to tens of thousands, he worked with Hot Chip, yadda yadda.

Funnily enough, his fatal flaw is to believe that I have something of use to tell the rest of the world, and so he interviewed me. We talked excitedly, and at peculiar length, about how bands can help promote themselves to music bloggers.

The result was actually interesting, and strangely useful if you’re in a new band:

Interview With Joe Sparrow From A New Band A Day

Reciprocal Promo Bit: Hagop’s new website starts today! and it’s specifically designed to help new bands ‘niche’ there way through the nascent stages. He has a ton of material, like this interview, about helping your band get to where you want to go. Have a look here