The Blinders

The Membranes - What Nature Gives…Nature Takes Away

The Membranes have returned with a new double album ‘What Nature Gives…Nature Takes Away’ via the legendary Cherry Red imprint. Their eighth studio album is set release on the 7th June and is a clear front runner for the Mercury Music Award.

Forever bold, they’ve again thrown down the gauntlet to their peers to match their psychedelic post-punk creativity. The inclusion of a choir raised eyebrows on announcement considering how flat ‘The Kinks Choral Collection’ and Oasis’ live use of the Crouch End Choir was. Here however, The Membranes have embedded the choir as dangerous weapon in the arsenal.

Lead of single ‘Strange Perfume’ is a soaring piece of melodrama. With nods to Bauhaus and The Blinders, it floods the senses on this animalistic funked up piece of punk.

With the recent climate change protests having taken place, The Membranes’ approach to highlighting the impending Armageddon is exemplary timed. Chris Packham’s appearance may roll a few people’s eyes but, the iconic presenter delivers with the panache of Vic Templar on The Claim’s cult classic ‘Mike The Bike’.

The wonder of nature continues on ‘The Murmuration of Starlings in Blackpool Pier’. Featuring folk legend Judy Collins and news reports, it details the flock of birds swirling the famous pier. A reflection of nature’s majesty this is not though. The sinister humanity of Pulp’s ‘This Is Hardcore’ combines with front man John Robb’s savage delivery to conjure images of flailing life and human destruction.

The album hits an astonishingly powerful high point on ‘The 21st Century Is Killing Me’. Robb channels a husky Ian Brown meets Shaun Ryder vocal on this psychedelic choir fuelled affair. As the choir loops “Breathe in, breathe out”, the magnitude of the song title builds to anlmost unbearable reflection of the last 10 years. Years of austerity, Bullingdon arrogance, climate neglect, shit trains, expensive trains, Trump, Farrage, Tommy Yaxley Lennon, Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism, Corbyn failing to lead, Lammy not leading, Mogg’s dodgy 7 million, and Hartley Brewer & O'Brien two sides of the same pathetic LBC coin. It all comes crashing down on this hypnotic plea for humanity to pull its finger out!

There are however, moments of post-punk pop to cut through this tension. ‘A Murder of Crows’ is a furious Happy Mondays meets The Fall punk-funk stomper. ‘Black Is The Colour’ takes the iconic sound of Hooky’s bass to modern day Fat White Family and The Blinders dystopian landscapes. ‘Mother Ocean / Father Time’ calls upon the unruly energy of The Stooges via Death In Vegas.

Meanwhile ‘What Nature Gives...Nature Takes Away’ harness’ the sexed up riffs of Elastica, the desolation of Joy Division and the melodious melancholy of Johnny Marr to deliver a glorious of pop experimentation.

The mainstream music press, too often says things like “where are all the bands”, “where are the outsiders, the rule breakers, the risk takers”. They never went anywhere; this decade has been a great one for music. It’s just been chronically undervalued and under documented.

It’s been a decade of psyche influences. Kicked off by the hazy lo-fi Tame Impala and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, it took until 2013 to have its real moment, Primal Scream’s ‘More Light’. This was joined by The Blinders’ ‘Columbia’ last year and now The Membranes have added to it. There is a real sense that they have left every ounce of their soul in the recording studio for this release. The intensity and the struggle is tangible at times and, it should be serially recognised!

Friday 2nd August marks our 8th birthday. Come down to the New Cross Inn for a night of great live music. Tickets available here:

GETRZ: Nambucca, London

Swindon's Getrz kicked off This Feeling's epic 'Big In 2019' in Nambucca in style. Clearly inspired by 2018's conquering The Blinders, Getrz are intent ramping up the intensity this year.

We all crave iconic front men and women but, Getzr lack of ego was striking. In a set packed with punk rock anthems, they adopt the spirit of Primal Scream in order to deliver the best song. Whether its the more emotive 'Diazefam' or the destruction of 'P.S.A', Getrz come one and come strong.

This was a solid punk set, it's one you'd go see again. However, on 'What He Said', it became a set you'd yearn to see again. The punk became more grandiose and the devilish wobble on the guitars was sublime.

Be sure to check them out on their February tour:

https://www.skiddle.com/artists/getrz-123559059/events.html


*Image courtesy of Jon Mo Photography

Grasshopper - Stricken EP

Grasshopper, a Brighton/Manchester four piece are made in the image of national treasures Joy Division, The Fall and Bauhaus.

Their new EP 'Stricken', was released at the end of November and has been gaining well deserved attention. At a glance, the desolation is striking, but, as their introspection washes over you, a bond forms, an intimate sense of us vs the world.

With the huge of success of Editors in the last decade, Javi Fedrick's vocal will inevitably draw parallels to Editors’ Tom Smith. However, EP opener ‘Grin’, with its long a Capella section, gives Fedrick a chance to clearly define himself so that, when the crisp jingle jangle guitars collide with his brutality, a new world has truly opened up.

'The Hand On The Knife’ and 'I Think It's Time To Wake Up Now' both contain the razor sharp rhythm of Bauhaus and the emotive power of The Chameleons’ Mark Burgess. It allows the merest chinks of light to creep into lyrics such as “the ceiling screams: you won’t get through today” and “I see you shaking, fury making”.

This kind of rebellion and dystopian landscape creation, opened up by Cabbage and The Blinders in 2018, couldn’t feel more appropriate at the beginning of 2019. The bleak grey skies of Brexit loom over us all like some giant morose dog turd, this is the aggressive despondent release needed.

*Image courtesy of Jim Federick

You can buy the EP here: https://bandgrasshopper.bandcamp.com/album/stricken-ep

The Blinders: The Garage, London

“I know I'd go from rags to riches
If you would only say you care”

Tony Bennett, 1953


In the space of 12 months, Doncaster trio The Blinders have gone from a support band in small venues to selling out the Garage this past Wednesday, oh we care alright!

Many will reference IDLES as the most vital UK band right now but, for TT, The Blinders, with their meshing of styles and face melting punkadelia have the edge. They also have an ability to unite scenes like no other. The Garage is awash with punks, skins, mods, hipsters, young and old.

Newcomers to the band are obvious from the moment 'Gotta Get Through' blasts through the room. You can see their jaws dropping and souls being blasted into the ether. It's an envious position, no one will forget their first hit of The Blinders.

Having their Orwellian psychedelic punk anthems validated by their fans with the release of 'Columbia' has given them a new found confidence. The power and the drama ‘Ramona Flowers’ is elevated to an extraordinary level. There is an added showmanship to the furious ‘Rat In A Cage’, our raw heroes are becoming masters of their trade before!

Politicians keep dishing out the platitudes of healing a divided nation, well, The Blinders prove talk is cheap. They've ripped up the musical landscape with their sound and forged a togetherness in the darkness that no one saw coming. Long may they reign.

*The amazing image is courtesy of Sam Crowston:

https://twitter.com/Sam_Crowston_

https://samcrowstonimaging.com/

Calva Louise - I Heard A Cry

With a support slot lined up for The Blinders tour and their debut album due out February next year, the London three piece have a =big 6months ahead. Kicking things of is their new single ‘I Heard A Cry’.

Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell raising the bar for what alternative pop music can be, front woman Jess Allanic is right on her heels with this vocal. Where Rowsell is fuelled with angst, Allanic has a wryness to her approach but is no less impactful.

With the spirit of Sub Pop Records in their hearts, Calva Louise have ignited their quest for glory in style!

The Blinders - Columbia

It’s here. The Blinders’ album stream has landed. Awash with fear, we hit play. What if it doesn’t replicate the power of their live shows? This isn’t 1994, they won’t get three re-records like Oasis. They have to get this right, the world needs them.

Thankfully, ‘Columbia’ is a triumph. It’s the crowning glory of the punkadelic movement to date. Cabbage may have nudged the door open, but The Blinders, have taken the hinges of, they are this scenes Nirvana.

Johnny Dream’s vocals, at times, are shamanic. His DNA fuses Morrison and Cobain through a prism of English sarcasm, angst and wit.  The rage and despair of ‘Brutus’ is a mesmerising display of rock n rolls spirit. There is no element of pretence. No attempt to be cool. This is desperate and oozes from the gut.

‘Columbia’, for all its raw purity, is packed with crowd pleasers. ‘Brave New World’ and ‘Gotta Get Though’ howl and hiss in their dank metropolis but, have scream pop music too. The tornado of punk and psyche are breath-taking, a fine display of style with substance. ‘Rat In Cage’, showcases a Charlatans circa ‘Us and Us Only’ moment the harmonica but, they as they euphorically decree ‘come together we need each other’, you feel bigger things lie ahead.

In 2002, The Strokes and The Libertines reset the wheel. It was perfect tonic for a bloated Britpop world and it reenergised a generation of bands. In 2018, bands are a non-entity. Marginalised more than ever (Kings of Leon headlined Reading and Leeds ffs!), it was going to take something special to buck this trend. Three childhood friends from Doncaster have proved, that music is still as powerful as Dylan, Beatles and the Stones.

The Blinders: The Borderline, London

The re-vamped Borderline played host to The Blinders this past Wednesday night. It has been a mere 3 months since their last trip to the capital but, the contrast in the crowd is striking.

The Lexington gig in February had an air of ‘those in the know’ dragging someone along to see the UK’s hottest property. This show was the birth of a cult following. A small army of face painted disciples took to the front to mosh like their lives depended on it. We’ve seen it all before right? Well, the despair and isolation oozing from former single ‘Ramona Flowers’ is proof The Blinders’ existence depends on every note too.

There are nods to Joy Division, The Doors, and Nirvana, but crucially, their own identity is at the forefront now. They’re becoming more guttural in sound and more poetic in verse with every show. A dystopian landscape has been created and an underclass of intelligent creative souls are signing up in their droves.

With McGee and Lamacq in the audience and their debut due in the autumn, the big time is rightly approaching. With hordes of apathetic dullards tuning in to Love Island, let The Blinders infiltrate and remind everyone the power of working class art once again,

 

 

The Blinders - Gotta Get Through

From the most anticipated debut album of 2018 comes the lead single ‘Gotta Get Through’.

The Doncaster trio have built on the punkadelic riots of 2017 and added one vital ingredient, sex! This throbbing mess of lust and brutality viscerally entwines like the passionate Skins love trio Cook, Freddie and Effy.

As ever, The Blinders have a deeper lying message. Despite all the danger, a sense of hope burns brightly throughout. Signifying that, to know lightness, darkness must first ensue is another step on a furious psychedelic journey not to be missed.

Photo Credit: Nidge Sanders

The Blinders Live: Lexington, London

2017 began as the year Cabbage looked set to conquer but, ended up being the year The Blinders invaded our consciousness. The Doncaster trio, support act for so many gigs, upstaged all and sundry. Pulled from the great This Feeling tour last autumn (starring Shimmer Band, Blackwaters and Bang Bang Romeo) to head into the studio, would they emerge with the substance to headline?

The new material is greeted to a positive stunned silence. The Lexington crowd are fully aware that something special is happening. Not only have they continued their visceral punkadelic song writing, but now, the full package is emerging.

Frontman doesn’t do Thomas Haywood justice. He is a post-apocalyptic William Blake wrapped in the soul of Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain. The dank Orwellian poetry oozes from every pour so naturally it feels utterly spontaneous.

For those who imagine the other two In the band sit in the background and follow the coat tails, you imagine wrong. Bassist Charlie McGough is a baby faced Nick Drake who has adopted a Wilko Johnson approach to playing. He fires out behemoth bass lines with a venom and a style unrivalled today.

So, insert drummer joke here right? Wrong again. Matt Neale is hugely reminiscent of The Enemy’s Liam Watts. Neale looks great and like any drummer whoever mattered, drills the skins as though he’s life depends on it.

The Blinders already had half a great album made, it appears another great half is on its way. With only Leeds and Ramsgate left to play, we urge and deplore you to go see them!

The Blinders - Brave New World

The desolate psychedelic outfit have come up with the goods once more on this punk via glam and psyche music stomper. Musically, its perhaps the most honed they have sounded to date, but fret not, all the danger has not evaporated.

This time, it’s staunchly in the lyrics as they venomously pull apart world and its leaders as it currently stands. The best references however, are unsurprisingly aimed at the Donald. The sarcasm is heavily laced in the chorus ‘oooohhhhhh to be / from the land of the free’ and the label ‘Idiot King’ is one which will stick around for a long time.

Happy 4th July. Fuck that, this is The Blinders and their coming to rip down dystopia as we know it!

The Blinders - Camden Assembly, London

The Blinders took to the stage last Friday at the Camden and then, then everything changed.

In three minutes of ICB Blues The Blinders have rendered The Wytches obsolete and made The Horrors classic 'Primary Colours' a footnote. Cabbage might be the frontrunners in the punkadelic scene right now but, make no mistake, The Blinders are its heroes in waiting.

From start to finish, this was more than a gig. It was a piece of art, it was pure drama and exciting as fuck. Frontman Thomas shuffles on stage as if the idea just occurred to him decked out in a John Motson fur coat and black face paint, everything about him screams your new hero. Meanwhile, bass player Charlie, parades around like the offspring of Nick Drake arching his bass at the crowd like Wilko Johnson. This is a band with style and substance.

There is a sense of theatre and poetical beauty despite the mayhem, especially on ‘Swine’. As Thomas decrees ‘I need not to be the man on the street’, a sold out crowd looks on wondering how he has ever been one of us. He is a god.

For 40 minutes tonight, it wasn't about hope or potential, it was about the present. That longing for something heroes to set alternative music lovers is over. Punkadelia has landed in the form of a vomiting, gut wrenching visceral juggernaut from Doncaster.

The Blinders – Ramona Flowers

Anyone who has seen The Blinders recently will attest to the fact that the times they are changing. Fuelled by the political climate, the three piece from Doncaster via Manchester bringing punkadelic toe forefront of the UK scene.

Their latest single, 'Ramona Flowers', is powered by brooding and violent guitars, bridging the gap between psychedelia and Nirvana's 'About A Girl' and 'Love Buzz'. The results are spectacular.

'Apathetic but inviting / She's amazing / You're amazing / Hell raising' drools frontman Thomas. The slow and slightly deranged delivery will lead you down the dank backstreets of the most exciting city.

This year's festival scene has been put on red alert with this single. With their venom and visceral brilliance, The Blinders are going to crash the indie party which, has become far too safe for its own good.