Do Not Miss – ArcTanGent 2019 Top Tips

Can you feel it? It’s that week of ArcTanGent tremor that runs through those in the know. The genre-shirking festival all the way over there in Bristol is highly regarded for those who love their alternative music and is, quire rightly, critically acclaimed and award winning. 75% of tickets have already been sold for this years festival (their seventh edition), potentially making this their busiest year to date!

Chances are, if you’re a regular Birthday Cake For Breakfast subscriber, you’ll know we go mad on ArcTanGent every year around this time – You may even be a regular attendee yourself! For those unfamiliar or if you’re just in need of a steer, we’ve picked out some unmissable moments forecast throughout the forthcoming festival for you to keep an eye on.

Dan Wild-Beesley celebrations

(Photo Credit: snaprockandpop)

In terms of memorable ArcTanGent moments over the years, a number of unforgettable performances can be attributed to Dan Wild-Beesley in one form or another. From last year’s triumphant GUG showing to their Alpha Male Tea Party mash-ups over the years and the very first ArcTanGent outing for festival favourites Cleft back in 2013!

Following the incredibly tragic passing of Dan late last year, ArcTanGent 2019 will see a celebration of life in the form of a tribute showcase featuring Alpha Male Tea Party and friends. Surprises and special appearances galore, you’d be daft to miss ‘The Beft‘!

Elsewhere, Nordic Giants have arranged a special dedication to Dan – A ripped up and stapled back together rendition of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody‘ that they’ll somehow work into their Thursday afternoon set!

The Elephant In The Bar Room

Lovingly named after the shouty Cleft smash that got right under the skin of all ArcTanGent attendees, this latest addition to the festival will see an entirely new stage featuring stripped-back acoustic sets to piano-jazz and everything in between. Certainly worth a punt, we recommend attending to catch the likes of A-Tota-So, No Violet and Pave!

Horrifying noise for breakfast

We still to this day talk favourably about the mind-melting wake-up we received from USA Nails a few years back at ArcTanGent – A set that genuinely had people have to leave the tent as it was too much for them…

This year sees early sets from the likes of Cocaine Piss, Big Lad, Cattle and The St. Pierre Snake Invasion, with ringing ears on the menu for afters.

Danceable double action

Last year at ArcTanGent, one of our definitive highlights came via Belgium based duo LA Jungle bringing danceable daftness, a pair we lovingly called “a not at all mainstream Death From Above”. This year we predict a similar math-rock dance-a-thon from Aiming For Enrike, another double act who were a major highlight at the wunderbar StrangeForms Festival in Leeds earlier this year.

Being mega-lashed in a field and seeing Battles (hopefully) play ‘Atlas

(Photo Credit: Chris Shonting)

A song that has forever been in my brainbox since I heard a strand of it many years ago, it’ll be a hypnotising affair when Battles take to the Arc Stage on Friday night. They’ve got a new album in the works too, so expect to hear some choice cuts from ‘Juice B Crypts‘!

Discovering a new favourite

(Photo Credit: Puzzleman Leung)

As is often the case at ArcTanGent, you will likely wind up discovering a new favourite in the fields. For us last year it was the aforementioned LA Jungle and their fellow Belgians The Guru Guru. Having become acquainted with the festival playlist this year, we’re expecting to become loved up over the likes of Elephant Gym, Ogives Big Band, Oxygen Thief and DJ Perro!

BLAKFISH taking up the secret spot on Saturday afternoon

Because it’s going to happen, eh? It could be worse…

Tickets are still going for this year’s ArcTanGent Festival – For all the information you might require, you should head here!

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Exclusive: Melt yourself with ‘Battery Acid’ – The new single from Heavy Salad!

Let your freak flag fly with Heavy Salad! A trio we’re very much buzzing off, the band formed in the autumn of 2018 “United by a love of heavy cosmic music, mind bending horror stories, psychedelia and off kilter pop songs“.

The trio have dipped their collective toes into genre-hopping outfits previously (drummer Allan Hutchison in Manchester Psych legends Lord Mongo, bassist Lee Mann in notorious mega-group The Moonlandingz) and vibe off all manner of influences – from surf-rock to free jazz, overdriven pop and experimental rock.

Hypnotic new single ‘Battery Acid‘ was produced by Christophe at Oxygene Studio in Salford, with mastering sorted by professional button presser/knob twitcher Dean Honer (he of The Moonlandingz, Eccentronic Research Council) at Bowling Green Studio in Sheffield.

Battery Acid‘ is out now on Mal Loco Records and its video – chock full of Aliens, FBI agents and cult followers – had a worldwide premiere up the road at Fab Cafe in Manchester last week. We’re chuffed now to have the premiere of the World Wide Web version below – Peep your eyes on this!

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Hey, have you heard about…Pizzagirl

(Photo Credit: Neelam Khan Vela)

Here we go again – Manchester taste-making label Heist or Hit bringing out mega pop hits. The outfit behind much beloved and missed Liverpudlian duo Her’s have just recently announced a new album from Pizzagirl – The moniker of Liverpool’s Liam Brown.

Similar to label-mate Guest Singer, the new Pizzagirl single ‘ball’s gonna keep on rollin‘ is the exact type of pop we vibe off – moody, heavy on the synth, sounds like it was released in 1984 (or is it 1979?), is all about dreams of stardom and features a catchy chorus that just won’t quit. The closing 30 seconds is pure pop magic, musically reminiscent of something you might hear from Go West’s self-titled debut.

The second single from his forthcoming debut album ‘first timer’, it follows on from previous single ‘body biology‘ – more of a sped-up fun-time like your early, joyous Darwin Deez. In similar fashion to our favourite Aussie Alex Cameron, one assumes there’s an element of piss-take involved here, but baby – that’s fine with us.

first timer‘ is out this October through Heist or Hit – Grab your sen a copy here and listen to ‘ball’s gonna keep on rollin’ below.

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a/s/l: Die! Die! Die!

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: Andrew Wilson, guitarist and shouter in New Zealand post-punk power trio Die! Die! Die!

(Photo Credit: Joseph Leary)

a/s/l?
35 / Male/ Tamaki Makaurau Aotearoa New Zealand.

Have you ever seen a dead body?
Yes.

Who is your favourite Simpsons character?
Gil.

What T-Shirt are you wearing?
A bananalands Black flag T shirt.

What did your last text message say?
Kia ora Bro let me know when you’re here.

What’s the last song you listened to?
‘Closed Captioned‘ – Fugazi.

How did you meet the people in your band?
The music department at High school for Mikey, A basement show in Sydney for Lachlan.

What’s the first record you bought?
Coolio – ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’, Oasis – ‘(Whats the Story) Morning Glory’

What was your favourite VHS growing up?
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

When was the last time you cried?
This morning.

Have you ever kissed someone & regretted it?
Yes.

Best Physical Feature?
errrrrrr.

Worst physical feature?
errrrrrrrrrr.

Reasonably ok/not bad feature that you’re not fussed about?
errrrrrrrrrrrr.

Do you have any pets?
2 cats.

Ever picked up any injuries on tour?
Yes many.

What did you do for your last birthday?
Had dinner with my closest friends.

Name something you CANNOT wait for?
I am a patient boy.

Do you have a crush on someone?
Always.

What’s the shittest experience you’ve had as a musician?
Drugs.

If you could go back in time, how far would you go?
I am happy here and now.

How do you want to die?
Suddenly.

What’s your favourite thing about pizza?
Whatever.

What are you craving right now?
Nothing.

Have you ever been on a horse?
Yes.

What did you dream about last night?
Not sure!

If you could go back in time and kill the baby Hitler, would you?
Definitely. Fuck that guy.

Do you like Chinese food?
YES.

Have you ever been on TV?
In the UK? Yes.

Ever meet someone famous?
Yes.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Happy.

Die! Die! Die! have got a NEW EP out next week! ‘O‘ sees the return of bassist Lachlan Anderson following an eight year hiatus and with a supremely limited vinyl run, it sold out within 24 hours! You can see the words ‘Sold Out’ here, where you’ll also be able to hear the full EP on August 16th!

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Live Review: COWTOWN at Soup Kitchen in Manchester 26 July 2019

Chances are you’ve noticed the heat has been rising these past couple of weeks. Constant sweaty brow, fashionable armpit patches and singed forearm hair have been this month’s go-to looks for most. They even let us wear shorts in the office the other day (can you imagine?)

It’s Friday night in Manchester and thankfully, whilst the sun has still got its hat on, it’s at least dropped the temperature a bit to make doing anything other than breathing manageable. It’s something we’re grateful for, given we’re down in the basement of Soup Kitchen in Manchester’s Northern Quarter for the return of COWTOWN.

Ahead of them, TONSILS from Belgium were a pleasant set-up for what was to come. We managed to squeeze into the room to catch their last moments, the quintet tucking into ‘Around’ from their last EP. As it started to spit outside, it felt nice to have their lo-fi pop wash over us in the cool basement, the song building from great twinkling pop beginnings to a loud, grin-inducing crescendo.

Well-oiled would be a good descriptor for COWTOWN. Staples of the DIY scene in Leeds and with a number of records under their collective belts over the past decade, they’ve never been ones to disappoint, particularly in a live setting. Heavy on the DEVO vibes, no complaints.

Personal favourite ‘Ski School’ comes out early, a hot piece from their 2013 record ‘Dudes vs. Bad Dudes’ that sounds joyous. It’s from the same record that we get the spiky, kraut-y ‘Monotone Face’, notable for the brilliant robotic monotone voice adopted by Hilary on the synth.

David does an excellent Rick Moranis…” We’re told following an onstage chat about Ghosbusters. Whilst we’d have to take guitarist Nash’s word for it, there’s no denying the chops of the drummer, cooking up a rock hard backing behind Nash and Hilary, holding an intense stare-off with the latter during the build of ‘Castleman’, whilst Nash channels his inner John Dwyer, his guitar squeaking and howling.

Having dished out thanks for everyone behind the show and the “extremely polite audience”, COWTOWN get heads nodding and feet moving on the poppy ‘Emojicore’, closer from their last album ‘Paranormal Romance’. It’s fitting that DEVO played immediately after the last note, given the synth-heavy nod from the trio to their American forefathers.

Following thunder and lightning and hot hot heat throughout the week, this felt like a necessary palate cleanser for the mind. We’d have this every week if possible.

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Exclusive: Hear the captivating ‘Drain the Harbour’ from the forthcoming debut album from Unwavering

A few years back we premiered this one-two punch –Paul Nuttall vs. Wikipedia‘ and ‘Cancelled Phase – post-punk out of Leeds from an interesting trio of chaps going by the name of Unwave. Just the other day I was thinking about the band and where they’d gotten to, such is the wealth of DIY bands in Leeds and the occasional outfits that combust or go into hibernation.

Funnily enough, they broke up not long after we put those two tracks out, due to other commitments and house moves. Drummer Phil took his sticks with him to Mush, whilst bassist Cam now plays in Thank. Vocalist Matt Bennett left Leeds for Edinburgh, adding on a few letters to their previous moniker and going solo as Unwavering.

Still post-punk in essence, but leaning towards the more darker sides of it (think Protomartyr and Viet Cong), Bennett describes the project as ‘subterranean drone songs played solo’, picking up on influences from the likes of Cocteau Twins and Low, with a nod to PJ Harvey’s later work.

With a debut album out this month (‘Freeze, Thaw, Chorus‘ – August 16th), recorded in one session with one guitar track and a host of ambient mics at Mill Hill Chapel in Leeds, you can get a taste of Unwavering below in the form of ‘Drain the Harbour’; sparse and minimalist at first, but a track that completely washes over you and captivates as it builds past the half way point.

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