Live Review: BODEGA at Soup Kitchen in Manchester 10 July 2018

I’m sure, like me, you’ve been enjoying the seemingly never-ending heatwave we’ve been experiencing in the UK. For a change, Manchester is no longer in constant downpour (though, funnily enough, it’s pissing it down as I write this…) and whilst it’s been a dream for the most part, the mere thought of being packed in like sardines in a sold out sweltering venue wasn’t the most pleasant.

But for a band like BODEGA – who I’d discovered on Sunday, figured out were playing Manchester on Monday and whose debut record I’d picked up after their show on Tuesday evening – it was very much a whatever the weather scenario.

Norman Records humorously clocked the Austin Brown production of their recently released debut ‘Endless Scroll’, out on the Parquet Courts affiliated What’s Your Rupture? label and the fact that it was recorded onto the same Tascam tape machine as ‘Light Up Gold and suggested Guess who Endless Scroll sounds like”. Humorous, yes, but there’s no harm in this obvious nod of the head from the Brooklyn based collective.

In Manchester’s boiling Northern Quarter, the Parquet Courts comparisons come alive in Soup Kitchen through the likes of ‘Boxes For The Move’ and ‘How Did This Happen?!’, the former greeted with continuous applause at its culmination and the latter a hip-shaking, post-punk delight. The crowd remain lively throughout, lapping up everything on offer from these cool New Yoikers who announce early on that they “Come in peace”.

Computer clicks and nonsense computer chatter permeate the room on BODEGA’s arrival, whilst a computer mouse wrapped around the microphone stand ties in with some of the album’s themes of unwanted computer devotion and being unable to escape the black mirror (“All day at work, stare at computer. Come home from work, stare at computer”). Of the jerking, hypnotic ‘Bookmarks’, vocalist/rhythm guitarist Bodega Ben suggests the song is set in a dystopian universe (“2013…”)

Vocal duties are shared with the lively Nikki Belfiglio, whose frantic run through of the sweat-soaked, rapid punk-y disco jolt of ‘Gyrate’ is a joy. She later jokes of the World Cup’s complications on the evening, noting that her fellow stand up drummer Montana Simone is French, whilst the sound guy is Belgian. “If it sounds shit…

Simone gives it some proper welly behind the kit, soon as sweaty as those shaking their arses down the front. They’re all glowing under the bright lights in fact, a great sign of how much the band are vibing off the crowd. Lead guitarist Madison Velding-Vandam intently eyeballs someone during the huge opening build to a real kraut-y extended blast of ‘Can’t Knock The Hustle’, giving it a right seeing to without taking his eyes off the punter. Elsewhere, he bounces off the super-strength bass line of Heather Elle on funky plink-plonk opener ‘Name Escape’.

Some pleb films the first half with his flash on – one can only assume that it was him who continuously farting throughout too… But otherwise the audience are devoted to BODEGA, erupting in cheers when ‘Charlie’ comes with a dedication to Mark E. Smith (“I’m sure he’s rolling in his grave now” – Bodega Ben).

The speed-run punk effort of ‘I Am Not A Cinephile’ is an unbelieveable rager, whilst ‘Jack In Titantic’ feels like a low-key instant classic. But it’s closer ‘Truth Is Not Punishment’ that leaves the lasting memory – An unreal 10 minute run through, full of unbelievable moments and a proper shift undertaken by the quintet. Velding-Vandam lets loose and rages through guitar solos that bring out shit-eating grins from all around. It’s a thrill – A constant pummelling, brilliant from start to finish.

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2000 Trees a/s/l Special: Demob Happy

Remember the days of the old schoolyard? Remember when Myspace was a thing? Remember those time-wasting, laborious quizzes that everyone used to love so much? Birthday Cake For Breakfast is bringing them back! 

Every couple of weeks, an unsuspecting band will be subject to the same old questions about dead bodies, Hitler, crying and crushes.  

This week: With 2000 Trees Festival almost upon us, we’ve asked a number of our top picks to answer these solid questions. Take it away, Tom Armstrong of Demob Happy!

a/s/l?
26/M/Flying through middle England in a metal tube that belongs to Richard Branson.

Have you ever seen a dead body?
Yeah 3. 4 if you include my dog.

Who is your favourite Simpsons character?
Comic book guy. My kind of hero.

What T-Shirt are you wearing?
A dirty ringer.

What did your last text message say?
It actually said- ‘Sooo. Fancy driving us to 2000 trees? Xx’ (Sounds familiar… – Ed)

What’s the last song you listened to?
The Ducktales theme tune. In an attempt to get it out of my head.

How did you meet the people in your band?
The planets of rock aligned.

What’s the first record you bought?
Think it was Will Smith – ‘Big Willie Style’. So many bangers on that one.

What was your favourite VHS growing up?
The Blues Brothers. Everyday.

When was the last time you cried?
Definitely a wee bit during ‘My Hero’ at a Foo Fighters show a few weeks ago. So fucking what?

Have you ever kissed someone & regretted it?
Nope. I think ‘no regrets’ is an unreasonable mantra but it is a pretty fucking useless emotion so I try to at least avoid regrets.

Best Physical Feature?
What is this, cosmo?

Worst physical feature?
What is this, cosmo?

Reasonably ok/not bad feature that you’re not fussed about?
Scar on my ass cheek.

Do you have any pets?
1) Rufus back home in Newcastle. Dog.
2) Hénri in Brighton. Immortal fish.

Ever picked up any injuries on tour?
Yeah. Plenty. I still owe the Swedish gov money for x-rays and ice-crutches.

What did you do for your last birthday?
Desperately tried to get drunk after 3 days of drinking at Great Escape Festival. Finally achieved this in a karaoke booth in early hours of the next morning.

Name something you CANNOT wait for?
Our first American tour in September.

Do you have a crush on someone?
Damn straight.

What’s the shittest experience you’ve had as a musician?
Too dark to say man. I haven’t loved carrying drums around for like 10 years though.

If you could go back in time, how far would you go?
Gotta be BC. Kick about in Ancient Greece.

How do you want to die?
In a freak time-travelling accident.

What’s your favourite thing about pizza?
Remembering there’s left-over pizza.

What are you craving right now?
I actually haven’t played drums in a week or so and I get pretty itchy to play.

Have you ever been on a horse?
Yes. Bareback way too fast through the countryside. I got on the horse and the person I was with slapped his ass hard and he shot off. I shat a brick.

What did you dream about last night?
Visa-immigration applications. Riveting.

If you could go back in time and kill the baby Hitler, would you?
Sure thing. Or maybe take him to the woods to be raised by wolves. Little Mowgli-Hitler.

Do you like Chinese food?
Yeah. But. Japanese food.

Have you ever been on TV?
Nope. Our music has had a mingle though.

Ever meet someone famous?
Once or twice. Tony Robinson – Baldrick – bought me my first pint. Think it was a shandy. That rocked my little world.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I just hope I’m not a not miserable old asshat like the guy beside me on this train.

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2000 Trees a/s/l Special: Gallops

Remember the days of the old schoolyard? Remember when Myspace was a thing? Remember those time-wasting, laborious quizzes that everyone used to love so much? Birthday Cake For Breakfast is bringing them back! 

Every couple of weeks, an unsuspecting band will be subject to the same old questions about dead bodies, Hitler, crying and crushes.  

This week: With 2000 Trees Festival almost upon us, we’ve asked a number of our top picks to answer these solid questions. Step up Mark Huckridge of Gallops!

a/s/l?
32/M/Wrexham.

Have you ever seen a dead body?
Yes.

Who is your favourite Simpsons character?
Chief Wiggum.

What T-Shirt are you wearing?
An Alan Vega one.

What did your last text message say?
Really nerdy software API stuff that you don’t need to read.

What’s the last song you listened to?
Spell‘ by Blue Magic via my neighbours garden stereo (they’ve got taste, I might talk to them, probably won’t).

How did you meet the people in your band?
Wrexham is small.

What’s the first record you bought?
NirvanaFrom The Muddy Banks of the Wishkah‘ on cassette.

What was your favourite VHS growing up?
Either ‘Top Gun‘ or ‘Kiss: Meets The Phantom of the Park‘.

When was the last time you cried?
Far too recently.

Have you ever kissed someone & regretted it?
Nah.

Best Physical Feature?
Great knees.

Worst physical feature?
Dodgy shoulder.

Reasonably ok/not bad feature that you’re not fussed about?
I’m gorgeous.

Do you have any pets?
Yes, a cat called ‘Poppy’.

Ever picked up any injuries on tour?
Only deep mental trauma.

What did you do for your last birthday?
Went to Belfast.

Name something you CANNOT wait for?
A new cooker.

Do you have a crush on someone?
Yes.

What’s the shittest experience you’ve had as a musician?
Telling people that I’m a musician.

If you could go back in time, how far would you go?
Ages.

How do you want to die?
Screaming.

What’s your favourite thing about pizza?
The terrifying profit margin involved.

What are you craving right now?
Dying screaming.

Have you ever been on a horse?
No, a donkey called Elvis.

What did you dream about last night?
I don’t dream.

If you could go back in time and kill the baby Hitler, would you?
No, don’t put that on me.

Do you like Chinese food?
Yes.

Have you ever been on TV?
Yes.

Ever meet someone famous?
Yes.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A donkey called Elvis.

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2000 Trees a/s/l Special: Frauds

Remember the days of the old schoolyard? Remember when Myspace was a thing? Remember those time-wasting, laborious quizzes that everyone used to love so much? Birthday Cake For Breakfast is bringing them back! 

Every couple of weeks, an unsuspecting band will be subject to the same old questions about dead bodies, Hitler, crying and crushes.  

This week: With 2000 Trees Festival almost upon us, we’ve asked a number of our top picks to answer these solid questions. Gnarly noise and double-trouble is forecast from Frauds!

a/s/l?
Chris (drums):31 & 33, male & half in London/half in Morocco atm.

Have you ever seen a dead body?
Unfortunately yes.

Who is your favourite Simpsons character?
Ermmmmmm gots to be Chief Wiggum.

What T-Shirt are you wearing?
A scabby old work T shirt whilst running errands.

What did your last text message say?
“I didn’t even get a phone call!”

What’s the last song you listened to?
Claw Marks – ‘The Rain

How did you meet the people in your band?
Croydon is a small place if you were into Limp Bizkit and Toploader when you were 15. It was meant to be.

What’s the first record you bought?
Green Day – ‘Basket Case‘… not when it was released but I found it in the HMV sale for £1 and thought it looked cool. I’ve actually still got it.

What was your favourite VHS growing up?
So many.. Wayne’s World 1/2, Alan Partridge, Red Dwarf would probably have been the most fave babes.

When was the last time you cried?
Watching the second season of Queer Eye, it’s so emotional and awesome.

Have you ever kissed someone & regretted it?
We don’t kiss and tell usually but yes of course.

Best Physical Feature?
I’ve got a great smile. I use it to diffuse awkward situations and it’s always got me out of being punched somehow.

Worst physical feature?
Flakey beard from time to time, I’ve started a new routine though to combat this.

Reasonably ok/not bad feature that you’re not fussed about?
Probs my booty not being bootylicious, we both have tiny behinds.

Do you have any pets?
No pets but we bloody love animals.

Ever picked up any injuries on tour?
Some light cramping here and there but nothing major as yet.

What did you do for your last birthday?
It was a snow day! We had plans but ditched them to walk through the park and then sat in our local and got trashed. It was lovely!

Name something you CANNOT wait for?
The new Death Grips album.

Do you have a crush on someone?
All of Warpaint.

What’s the shittest experience you’ve had as a musician?
In our old band we once got paid £4 and it came in a sealed wallet with a receipt.

If you could go back in time, how far would you go?
I’d have to go back to the beginning and see what the fuck happened, then hopefully I could come back and create world peace.

How do you want to die?
Whenever it’s time but if I had a choice I’d like to be comfortable and fed psychedelics to ease me into the next phase.

What’s your favourite thing about pizza?
I love a good crust and get physically sick when I see people leaving them.

What are you craving right now?
As we were just on food my belly rumbles and I’m now craving a lovely Dhansak.

Have you ever been on a horse?
Yes, it’s quite scary as they are so big.

What did you dream about last night?
I dreamt that I was back at my old job and everyone wished I was still there. Don’t know for sure if the latter is true but it was quite a nice dull dream.

If you could go back in time and kill the baby Hitler, would you?
Ermmmm tough one… only if we knew for sure that it would have definitely stopped what happened.

Do you like Chinese food?
It’s at the bottom of the pile for me.

Have you ever been on TV?
Only in the crowd at football and once on the news.

Ever meet someone famous?
As Frauds are from Croydon we have commuted to London for jobs and gigs over the years. Nick Cave lives in Brighton which is on the same line as East Croydon. Both of us have bumped into him many times. As a massive influence and hero I would have never approached him as I’d imagine he could be quite icy. But one night all the trains were cancelled and I heard an Australian accent shout “oh for fuck sake!” right behind me and then I get a tap on the shoulder to ask “What the fucks going on mate?” I turned round and nearly fainted as it was the man himself. I kept it cool and explained what I knew and he thanked me. I then went and had a beer in the Wetherspoons just to calm down.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Fireman Sam.

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2000 Trees a/s/l Special: Nelson Can

Remember the days of the old schoolyard? Remember when Myspace was a thing? Remember those time-wasting, laborious quizzes that everyone used to love so much? Birthday Cake For Breakfast is bringing them back! 

Every couple of weeks, an unsuspecting band will be subject to the same old questions about dead bodies, Hitler, crying and crushes.  

This week: With 2000 Trees Festival almost upon us, we’ve asked a number of our top picks to answer these solid questions. First up: Nelson Can!

(Photo Credit: Bobby Mandrup)

Have you ever seen a dead body?
Maria: Yes. My dead grandparents.

Who is your favourite Simpsons character?
Maria: The one and only, the ultimate anti-hero, Homer Simpson.

What T-Shirt are you wearing?
Maria: A black basic tee I bought from an army surplus store in L.A. The same store appeared in the movie ‘Falling Down’.

What did your last text message say?
Selina: “that’s too hard for my eyes to see

What’s the last song you listened to?
Selina: Eurythmics – ‘There Must Be An Angel

How did you meet the people in your band?
Selina: At school and at Roskilde Festival.

What’s the first record you bought?
Selina: ‘Yellow Submarine’ – The Beatles.

What was your favourite VHS growing up?
Maria: A home recorded tape of Tintin and the Temple of the Sun / The Seven Crystal Balls & Prisoners of the Sun.

When was the last time you cried?
Selina: last night. Couldn’t sleep. Felt extremely sorry for myself.

Have you ever kissed someone & regretted it?
Maria: Yes, your mom!

Best Physical Feature?
Maria: I would love to say my face, but it’s probably my boobs.

Worst physical feature?
Maria: My body is perfect. So are yours.

Reasonably ok/not bad feature that you’re not too bothered about?
Selina: I love everything about my body.

Do you have any pets?
Maria: I have pet fish in a small 30 litre aquarium.

Ever picked up any injuries on tour?
Signe: Out to celebrate. Slippery wooden bridge. Hard fall on head. Concussion. Also a key straight through hand.

What did you do for your last birthday?
Signe: Threw a big party for friends.

Name something you CANNOT wait for?
Maria: Christmas 🎅

Do you have a crush on someone?
Signe: Alex Cameron. (Ed – Yes M8)

What’s the shittiest experience you’ve had as a musician?
Signe: I got an electric shock from a microphone.

If you could go back in time, how far would you go?
Maria: To the post-punk movement of the late 1970s, and hang out in New York with Patti, Iggy, and Debbie.

How do you want to die?
Selina: Old and rich

What’s your favourite thing about pizza?
Maria: Don’t tell anybody but I have a soft spot for pineapple on my pizza.

What are you craving right now?
Maria: An ice cold Coca Cola from a glass bottle.

Have you ever been on a horse?
Signe: Yes.

What did you dream about last night?
Selina: Nothing. I couldn’t sleep.

If you could go back in time and kill the baby Hitler, would you?
Maria: I wouldn’t kill baby Hitler. But teenage Hitler, no problem.

Do you like Chinese food?
Maria: Yes! Char Siu Bao is the best…

Have you ever been on TV?
Signe: Yes.

Ever meet someone famous?
Selina: Yes. Star struck by Patti Smith.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Signe: A rockstar.

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Top 50 of 2K18… So Far – #10 – 1: From Oh Sees to Crack Cloud

It seems like only yesterday we were having a monumental headache trying to whittle down our favourite 100 songs of last year. A painstaking task made worse by doing it at the last minute and (potentially) missing out on some of the year’s biggest bangers.

This time around we’ve been on the clock all year long, making a note of each new release and chucking those not worthy in the trash where they belong. We’ve done the maths and been able to produce our ‘Top 50 of 2K18 (so far…)’ and we’re proud to show off the list here. But because life’s too short, the list isn’t in any particular order… 

Full list here and a handy Spotify Playlist can be found here!

Oh Sees – ‘Overthrown’
(Smote Reverser, Castle Face Records)

It’s a bit of a headscratcher that Oh Sees seemingly only have one record in the pipeline for 2018 (given their multiple releases last year). Luckily, the one record they have scheduled sounds like it’s gonna be a scorcher! ‘Overthrown’ is a furious sprint from the best band knocking about today.

Field Music‘No King No Princess’ 
(Open Here, Memphis Industries)

Another Field Music entry and another delightful backstory – One of the Brewis siblings saying to his bairn that it’s ok to think outside the box and not conform to gender stereotypes. The song itself is just divine, with the bursts of brass enough to bring about butterflies in the stomach!

Parquet Courts – ‘Almost Had To Start A Fight / In And Out Of Patience’ 
(Wide Awake!, Rough Trade)

Another one to receive the 100% Dick Straightener treatment on these very pages, ‘Almost Had To Start A Fight / In And Out Of Patience’ was the first serve from Parquet Courts when putting out their wunderbar new record ’Wide Awake!’ Two songs for the price of one, it’s raging stuff from the band who can do no wrong.

Ty Segall‘Every 1’s A Winner’ 
(Freedom’s Goblin, Drag City)

Who’d a thunk it – Ty Segall covering a Hot Chocolate classic and it being one of the best songs of the year?! Taken from 2018’s ‘Freedom’s Goblin’ album, the glam-disco staple sounds just perfect when set upon by Segall and his Freedom Band. Insanely catchy.

DRINKS‘Corner Shops’ 
(Hippo Lite, Drag City)

More kookiness from Tim Presley and Cate Le Bon, the latter sounding lovely on this whimsical new DRINKS tune. Hypnotic repetition wins out on this quirky number.

Father John Misty‘Mr Tillman’ 
(God’s Favorite Customer, Sub Pop)

Now up there with Otis Redding for showing off his whistling chops, Father John Misty punctuates this brilliant little odyssey from his latest record with a piss-taking, hands-in-pockets whistling solo that is just tickety boo.
I’m feeling good, damn I’m feeling so fine”.

Omni‘Delicacy

Not officially released as such, ‘Delicacy’ is a track Atlanta trio Omni have recently added to their live repertoire and it featured prominently on their recent Audiotree Live session. Sporting a ripper of a riff from guitarist Frankie Broyles, it’s an absolute joy from start to finish.

Arctic Monkeys‘Four Out Of Five’ 
(Tranquillity Base Hotel + Casino,
Domino)

Fair fucks, five seconds into ‘Tranquillity Base Hotel + Casino’ and I thought Turner had fucked it for the Arctic Monkeys. A month on from its release and it could be one of the finest records of the year. Going full on Howard Hughes in appearance and putting on a daft Northern accent (even though he is Northern) has done the trick and ‘Four Out Of Five’ is a fucking stunner. The build towards its crescendo is magnificent.

Protomartyr‘Wheel Of Fortune’ 
(Consolation E.P., Domino)

Featuring very special guest Kelley Deal, Protomartyr continue on their hot streak (following last year’s striking ‘Relatives In Descent’ album) with the brutal surge of ‘Wheel Of Fortune. Its occasional subdued moments are perfectly balanced against the unrelenting vocal attack of frontman Joe Casey.

Crack Cloud – ‘UNCANNY VALLEY!

Easily up there as one of this year’s most listened to songs, this incredible head-fuck of a record from Canada collective Crack Cloud gets better on every listen. Near enough split into two parts, it’s the second half in particular that is just unfathomable. Stupidly catchy and completely engrossing. Long live Crack Cloud!

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Album Review: Rope – Come Closer Now

Review from Ben Forrester

Having made an impact on the underground hardcore scene with their crushing first full length ‘Manteision Bodolaeth‘ in 2016, South Wales outfit Rope wasted no time in getting back in the studio to record its follow up. After a little wait on the release front, the now quartet are ready to unleash ‘Come Closer Now‘. With the addition of a second guitarist for this recording, Rope make some subtle yet exciting dynamic shifts for another white knuckle ride of a release.

These differences can be heard straight away on opener ‘Every Good Boy Deserves Food‘. Centered around a hypnotic bass line with a drum rhythm that feels like it could explode at any minute, you are instantly brought into the dense and brooding theatrics of Rope completed with the gruff, impassioned yelps of frontman Kai. But it’s these silky, desert rock style guitar lines that swim over the top that bring this brighter tone to the track, which totally changes its dynamic into something much more bewildering.

This seems to be a technique employed throughout the rest of the record, with the band digging deeper into their collective pot of influences to bring some interesting reference points into play. ‘Human Resources‘ starts off with this slow and sleazy guitar riff before elevating into this chunky, harmonised chorus that conjurers up a Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds feel. ‘Manoeuvre‘ on the other hand has this driving garage-rock beat it behind it, which gives the band a new sense of urgency and with its 90’s alt rock guitar assault, Rope have never sounded so amped up.

However, for those that came for the intense, doomy hardcore of their debut, ‘Exit Interview‘ and closing track ‘The Rope‘ will be sure to keep your back up, with their long, slow and fearlessly dramatic structures. But it’s the inclusion of in studio sounds as the band chat and mess about in between takes that makes this less of a dramatic statement and more of a personal, honest account of being in a band. It’s that in the moment attitude that really contributes to the heart on sleeve mantra of the band.

In conclusion, ‘Come Closer Now’ feels like a much more digestible set. It still carries that same knife edge tension of its predecessor, but by expanding their sonic palette and adding different textures and shades, Rope have made a strong, self assured and ultimately thrilling return.

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