Skip to main content

Author: Jacob Thompson

Live Interview: Tin Pigeons at Jimmy’s

Walking down the stairs into the neon-lit basement of Jimmy’s to meet indie duo The Tin Pigeons ahead of the final show of their ‘You’re No Fun’ tour, I became painfully aware that I might be interrupting their sound check.

Nevertheless I waited for a slight lull in the music before completing my descent and introducing myself, which was met with an enormous grin from frontman Fraser. This tells you all you need to know about the Rutland-based duo, that they are genuinely one of the nicest bands you could ever hope to interview.

Whilst watching the rest of the sound check, I was particularly struck by the performance of their fantastic latest single You’re No Fun. The song combines the upbeat synth-driven indie rock from bands like Blossoms with the self-reflective lyrics from the likes of Catfish and the Bottlemen, making arguably one of 2018’s best indie releases.

The Tin Pigeons were first catapulted into success during 2016, after a song from their debut EP Sparks was playlisted as Radio 1’s track of the week, something that the duo still can hardly believe to this day. What followed was a massive festival tour, including a much-coveted slot on the BBC Introducing stage at Reading and Leeds, and lasting level of national recognition.

Talking to them about their numerous festival appearances, it was clear that festivals are one of their favourite places to perform and, according to Fraser, “one of the nicest things about playing music in the UK” in general. They are also both clearly in love with touring, with Fraser estimating they’ve done at least 150 shows this year alone.

When I bring up their latest tour, which took the pair around the length and breadth of the country from Brighton all the way up to Glasgow, their obvious enthusiasm shines through yet again. As we discuss their touring musical choices, Tom explains their growing fondness for Bob the Builder on account of their vehicle of choice being a white transit van. In addition to their attempt to create a ‘musical wrap’ by only playing songs with the names of burrito ingredients in the title.

Their unique brand of ‘bouncy’ indie music has proved to be a fascination for me, so I was intrigued to find out more about its origins in their musical choices whilst growing up. Whilst Fraser’s weren’t particularly surprising with the likes of Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell amongst his favourites, Tom’s were almost unbelievable. Starting with the revelation that he used to be a Goth and continuing with his inspiration to play bass coming mainly from Korn and Limp Bizkit.

Sticking with the theme of their music, something I was also struck by is the autobiographical nature of their lyrics with each song almost being a self-contained story from their lives. When I put this to them, Fraser, attempting to not be too ‘wankery’ as he put it, explained that their music is usually based on a mood or a vibe so it has to be something that they’ve experienced.

Finally, given their extensive touring schedule in 2018, I wondered if there would be any respite in 2019 but this was quickly met by Fraser explaining their plan to get straight back out on tour again in the spring. Followed by them both agreeing that it is ultimately the best part of being in a band (except for the frequent visits to McDonalds).


Interview and written piece by Josh Sandy

Live Interview: RUEL at The Ritz

Just over thirteen years ago, Ralph van Dijk and his wife, Kate, packed their bags from London and moved to Sydney, Australia. Taking their three-year-old son Ruel with them, back to the country of their birth, they left behind most of their extended family. Ruel was enrolled in a local school and his parents returned to a lifestyle they were more familiar with: warm winters, even warmer summers.

Origin stories often become infatuated by the small details. Ruel has now spent the majority of his life in Australia; he learnt to read and write there, indeed he discovered his musical talent there. But you do ask yourself whether things would have turned out differently for the sixteen-year-old starlet – who’s now being touted widely as Australia’s answer to Justin Bieber – if his family hadn’t emigrated to the other side of the world.

Or, actually, you could ask Ruel himself. “It probably would [be different],” he candidly told me as we sat in backstage at the O2 Ritz in Manchester.

“Living the lifestyle that I have done in Australia has definitely shaped my influences, my experiences and – most significantly – my relationships.”

And it’s the relationship he seems to have with his family that resonated most in our conversation. Having relatives scattered across the other side of the world has appeared to give him an understanding of what he finds most important in life. “We like to make an effort to come back to England all the time – my grandma lives in…”, he ponders his UK geography, “…Bournemouth, I think, so we are going down to see her tomorrow.

“I think that’s what I like the most. The fact that, when I’m on tour particularly, I have family that I can visit to keep me sane. One of my parents will always travel with me so it’s nice to be able to share my experiences with them.”

Ruel, who combines typical teenage pop production with a mature and, often earnest, soul vocal was in the UK for almost two weeks as he supported Mabel on a tour that covered nine dates across the both England and Scotland. After greeting me personally at the stage door on a torrential night in Manchester and having an off-the-record chat about the varying international success of Devonian singer-songwriter Ben Howard, we pitched up next to each other on a small leather sofa in his blow-heated greenroom at the back of the venue to talk about the sixteen-year-old’s journey so far.

“It was my dad who sent tapes of my voice to different labels and studios, before M-Phazes took an interest,” he recalls. “When I met him, I had no idea he was this huge producer – I was pretty oblivious and super outgoing, which is quite funny looking back!”

Gaining recognition at the age of twelve by M-Phazes, a Grammy Award-winning producer who has worked with the likes of Eminem and Zara Larsson, was a break that nobody really expected, even Ruel himself. “He must’ve just thought I was some random kid from Sydney – my voice hadn’t even broken then,” he admits. “You’d never assume someone like him would take much of an interest.”

That interest ultimately meant a record deal and, two years later, the release of his debut single “Golden Years”. The success of this track and the follow-up single “Don’t Tell Me”, along with a breakthrough live appearance on national radio station Triple J, gathered momentum for Ruel and landed him a Top 100 hit on Australia’s main music sales chart.

Within the space of a year, Ruel had transformed from your average teenage boy with a voice beyond his age, into one of the most exciting pop talents on the emerging world-stage. And you wonder how that affects him, both personally but in terms of ‘RUEL’ as a brand image. He responds in a characteristically mature approach: “From day one, I’ve always wanted to keep everything about my image to be focused on the music.

“When I first got social media and put out my first little releases, we made sure to not put out anything to do with my face or focusing on how old I was. We put nothing out apart from just music and I guess that just resonated with people.”

Overnight, instant success is becoming increasingly synonymous with the Millennial generation of emerging talent across the world, a route modelled most famously by the likes of Justin Bieber, and Ruel seems intent on ensuring that his credibility as an artist is rooted deeper than in just the novelty of his youth. “Everything I put out now is still all about the music. I think that’s what keeps me credible and makes sure I remain an artist instead of a gimmick.”

A crucial factor so far in Ruel’s journey towards stardom has been the recognition he received from an artist whose musical journey also began in their teenage years. “I was in my locker-room at school, by myself after lunch,” Ruel recounts, “I just opened up this message and Elton John’s face was on it. I started freaking out, I’d been put on the radio!”

Ruel is referring to when, in September 2017, ‘Don’t Tell Me’ was aired on Beats1 Radio; a specific selection from Elton John. “The weirdest feeling” came over Ruel as he listened to John describe him as astonishing, live on international radio. “I had a little dance party by myself. It was a music legend, talking about me!”

“We then, later in the year, met in Sydney and chatted for hours about new music. He gave me some real good bits of wisdom.”

And those bits of wisdom seem to have rubbed off on Ruel, who hit his Sweet Sixteen only a matter of months ago. You get the sense that a series of wise moves have been what shaped Ruel’s path so far: the initiative to send out music to record labels, the choice to originally post music under a pseudonym.

In fact, perhaps his father’s decision to up sticks from London and move to Australia was a wise one after all.

“These parts two years have flown by and it all feels like my whole journey has happened in a week,” Ruel finishes up with. “But my family – and the things they’ve done for me – have helped me so much.”

“I suppose that’s what makes sure that everything feels normal in what has been a pretty crazy couple of years.”


Interview and written piece by Adam MacDonald

Live Review: Adrianne Lenker at YES

Now Wave’s YES is fast becoming a firm favourite of Manchester’s music goers, and with good reason. Their roster of touring artists is consistently impressive, YES’ basement and Pink Room are both lend themselves well to electronic and instrumental-led acts respectively, and at £2.95 a pint I have nothing but good things to say about the venue’s bar setup. The Pink Room’s small size and mid-range capacity makes for a reliable up-close and personal gig experience, its marshmallow walls pressing the crowd face-to-face with the artists. Last month Fuse had the pleasure of enjoying Snail Mail’s somewhat hard-fought performance there (Lead singer Lindsey Jordan’s voice had begun to suffer during her long UK tour), and this week we were only happy to return for an act beloved by many in our esteemed upper echelons; Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief fame.

Lenker is no stranger to Manchester from her tours with bandmates Buck Meek, Max Oleartchik and James Krivchenia, but this was her first time taking on the city alone. Though most well-known through Big Thief, Adrianne has an impressive backlog of solo albums, dating back to 2014’s Hours Were the Birds, a youthful, soft-tempered bildungsroman of earnest vocals and upbeat pace. Next came a-sides/b-sides, written and recorded over two days in New York with bandmate Meek on guitar. For her January YES gig, however, Lenker was firmly focussed on her newest offering, 2018’s abysskiss, a brooding, rain-soaked hearth of an album with a few powerful tracks and a smattering of experimental embers attached.

Lenker, it would seem, can tell where the strength of the album lies and where it sags. After a brief struggle with a guitar lead and a quiet hello to the already-enamoured crowd, Lenker went straight into the stronger tracks of abysskiss, rattling off Symbol with percussive bombast, before sinking through the meat of Womb, From and Terminal, all lyrically interesting and well-worked songs in their own right. Terminal especially enraptured the audience, its spellbinding refrains lifting the room each time Lenker swooped into them. abysskiss doesn’t lend itself to crowd participation, instead it is anthemic in a quiet sense, and Lenker’s performance lulled the crowd into an intense emotional stream, punctuated only by brief words of thanks. A grateful performer, but not a talkative one, her presence felt ethereal and fleeting.

One wonders whether she is conscious in keeping a distance from the audience, an air of otherness that allows her to reveal her vulnerabilities in song rather than in conversation, bleeding them for all of their emotional content rather than giving them context. Still Lenker’s reticence was equalled only by the admiration she was met with, a few bold onlookers braving a shout to her between in moments of quiet between songs, all in praise, of course, and gratefully accepted. Playing on her 13-year-old acoustic guitar, missing a front tooth and with one rogue lock of hair caught in her mouth, Lenker seems either wonderfully real or an expert at curating an amicable image. Regardless, her music is phenomenal, and her performance was pitch-perfect. With a voice more beloved for its fragile straining than for its power (though there’s plenty there), Lenker never sounded like a live-album. Each song felt like it was being performed for the first time, and some of them were.

After pulling out some old favourites, Kerina, Hours Were the Birds and Big Thief’s Lorraine, she quietly debuted some brand new material. The experimental sensibilities of abysskiss already seem to have provided some growth to Lenker’s ever-dynamic songwriting, and her new efforts ring somewhat stronger than her most recent release. The (working title) Pizzeria Gusto certainly inspired confidence for a future album, more nuanced than Hours Were the Birds early tracks but less overtly melodramatic than a-sides/b-sides safer pieces, and altogether more listenable than some of abysskiss’ misfires. Out of your mind is one such misfire, but Lenker gave it a hero’s burial at YES, receiving hoots of applause for managing to break its high notes perfectly despite an up-pitched start.

Though her interaction with the audience was limited, sometimes to the point that it felt like I was simply waiting for the next song to begin rather than for any kind of artist-audience connection, Lenker remains an inspiring figure and a masterful storyteller. Her performance was less like a modern solo artist and more like an old session player, setting herself down, weaving her warm-hearted stories and eventually leaving with a grateful smile and a “thanks y’all”. I was left wanting more, and wishing I could have a chat with her and pick her brains to see how much of her reticence was real and how much was just for show.

The former of my wishes, thankfully, has an optimistic trajectory, promised by the gripping new track that Lenker dropped for her second encore piece, untitled for now. As for the latter, Big Thief are returning in May for their 2019 European Tour, and this time there’s no PR manager that can stand in my way when it comes to securing an interview.

Watch out Lenker. Fuse is coming for you.


Review by Jacob Thompson

Live Interview: lovelytheband at O2 Apollo

“If we can bond with them as people, then the music will come second”

Sat round the table at the back of their tour bus, lovelytheband seem pretty content. After all, they’ve just come off of a sell-out headline tour of the US, have just broken two-and-a-half-million monthly listeners on Spotify and are beginning their support of Five Seconds of Summer on the European leg of a world tour.

But they seem pretty relaxed about it all, and conversation kicks off by discussing the McDonald’s they’d just picked up off the Stockport Road. “It’s much better here, for sure. It doesn’t make me feel like I want to die afterwards,” tells Mitchy Collins, the band’s frontman, as he drapes himself over the bus’s jet-black leather sofas.

And this sparks debate, in fact. Drummer Sam Price, with long fizzy hair that suit his eccentric scientist glasses, perks up in his chair: “Real talk! You guys have the best sweet chilli sauce. Plus, I didn’t even realise that my drink didn’t have ice, or my fries didn’t have salt!”

The mood they’re giving off is one of comfortability; they seem just as worried by the contents of their lunch as they do by the prospect of opening for Five Seconds of Summer. And now, having just arrived in the northwest after two dates in Scotland, lovelytheband are now preparing for almost four weeks on a European circuit: from Manchester to Milan, Madrid to Munich. “On this tour, when we have days off, we’ll be able to see quite a bit”, guitarist Jordan Greenwald says with an air of anticipation in his voice. “Usually, we don’t get to see much of the cities, but we are excited particularly to get involved in the UK culture.”

After the success of their headline tour Broken Like Me, covering the length and breadth of the United States, lovelytheband – with their spangling guitar riffs and glitzy earworms – now play second fiddle to one of the world’s biggest bands. “It’s definitely different to playing your own show,” Greenwald says. “Having come off the back of a headline tour for a month-and-a-half, the first show back is a switch back into ‘support mode’. For example, we don’t have any of our own lights and the fans aren’t there specifically for us, so we find we have to win people over.”

The strategy of how to win over a new crowd is discussed among the four of us. Mitchy Collins tells: “I found that, for example with lights on your own tour, you can use them to your artistic advantage. When you have just a wash light on just us three members of the band, you really have to ‘bring it’ for a half hour.”

Prince interjects with a drummer’s perspective: “I found I used our lights as a crutch – I wouldn’t have to go all out 1000% for every second of the show as we had our own strobes and big moments of black-out, so you can kind of let that speak for itself. I have to change the way I perform as a drummer, I literally have to flail my arms more!”

A queue of young girls that stretches as far as the eye can see is now growing around the venue, just meters away from where we speak, and the faintest activity in and out of their bus prompts everything from chatters to screams. And it seems lovelytheband, who’ve previously been criticised for producing no more than ‘manufactured pop’, are incredibly conscious of the responsibility their song-writing has.

Prince expresses this: “If we can bond with [our fans] as people, then the music will come second.” Song-writer Collins jumps in: “This record is just what I felt I had to write at the time and the product of what I needed to say. Thankfully, we’re fortunate that we can help other people through our songs and that our fans are able to connect with it and find solace in it – that’s special.”

lovelytheband perform at O2 Apollo, Manchester

And the LA-born trio make clear, on numerous occasions, their respect and admiration for Five Seconds of Summer, who invited to join them on this tour. From performing a near-pitch-perfect cover of every teenage girl’s party anthem ‘Mr. Brightside’ in an attempt to rouse the audience for their successors, to the open admission that they’re certainly not the main-event: “The general nature of seeing a new band for the first time means that you might not fall in love with our music right on the spot,” tells Greenwald. “I think it’s more about working out ‘Oh, do I like this band?” and then they’re likely to check us out. We realise they’re not all here for us.”

lovelytheband open their thirty-minute set with ‘Make You Feel Pretty’: bright track with an impossibly catchy hook, before ‘Broken’ – what Collins describes as the band’s mission statement. “It’s all-encompassing of who we are. It’s the [song] that, if someone asked how our band sounded and what it stood for, I’d show them Broken – it represents us both lyrically and musically.”

This further emphasises the clear onus they’ve put on themselves to deliver music with a punch in its message: “[This record] is all the s*** that I probably should have dealt with earlier in my life, imported into sixteen songs,” Collins continues. “Its impossible to not feel them as I sing them – and I want that to come across.”

“The most courageous thing you can do is ask for help,” Collins preaches to the sell-out crowd of teenagers before signing off with ‘Broken’, that gets everyone singing in unison. Lovelytheband have sparky verses and catchy choruses that will entice you in, indeed their jovial stage presence might sell you a show, but the message in their music is what’ll keep you around.


Review by Adam MacDonald

Live Review: Goodness x Bok Bok at Soup Kitchen

As I walked down the stairs into the Soup Kitchen basement, there was a feeling of excitement in the Mancunian air. Friday night saw forward-thinking promoters Goodness bring some energy to the city in the form of bass-heavy duo Bok Bok & L-Vis 1990 with warm-up duties on the night coming from the equally as talented Bolt and Afrodeutsche. As the temperature outside began to drop the basement of soup kitchen was just heating up.

Soup kitchen has been racking up some impressive bookings recently and is surely becoming a real favourite for Manchester’s music lovers/party goers. With its dimly lit basement, it seemed one of the more fitting places in the city for the night’s festivities. After spreading their wings to Manchester earlier this year, following success in Oxford and London, Goodness have brought some fantastic artists to the city including Hessle Audio’s Joe and Timedance main man Batu. Both occasions have proved to be riotous affairs, so I knew I was in for a treat.

As I arrived BOLT, a member of local collective VAM was handing over the reins after a well-received set to Afrodeutsche, who dived headfirst into a blend of electro & techno, easily grabbing the attention of the room. Her set was a definite nod to the old Detroit electro legends but it was combined fluidly with her own unique sound; the Manchester-based artist showed real talent and I am looking forward to seeing more from her in the future.

This was my first time catching the night slugs head honchos, and after rinsing their boiler room from way back in 2014 I was looking forward to seeing them in the flesh. As Bok Bok & L-Vis 1990 took to the decks at around 2 am it didn’t take long before the basement was shaking. With a genre-spanning set from UK funky to grime, no area of the bass music spectrum was left untouched, the following couple of hours were extremely entertaining.

In a Noisey article earlier this year, L-Vis commented on the way Night slug sets don’t really have a ‘peak time’ as such: “Our sets are not building to one specific moment, it’s more about different waves of energy throughout the set”. Energy was something that definitely wasn’t lacking down in that basement. The reception from the crowd was warmly appreciated by the DJ’s who looked to be enjoying it as much as the revelers on the other side of the booth. The front of the crowd was feeding off this energy as the tempo was upped and classics such as Lil Silva’s now legendary ‘Seasons’ got a predictably huge reaction alongside new productions that had the crowd roaring.

In an industry that sometimes struggles with representation, it was also great to see an equal split of genders on the line-up without the promoters using it as some kind of marketing tool. Hopefully, this positivity can continue throughout the scene.

I can happily say I struggled to find any negatives about this one and I look forward to the next Goodness event. Smiles were aplenty as the crowd headed up the stairs into the cold Manchester morning.


Review by Adam Parker

Live Review: IDLES at The Ritz

A friend of mine has the rather peculiar hangover ritual of writing Facebook poetry. These, at times come across as mad ramblings – a half-drunk students’ stream of consciousness. However, in opportune moments these poems can be a revealing window into the head of a man’s alcohol-induced state of vulnerability. Indeed, upon accompanying me to IDLES’ Manchester Ritz performance he wrote “Joe Talbot changed my life last night.” This remark was perhaps facetious; a frivolous quip slotted into a meaningless poem. After seeing the same performance however, I think he was deadly serious.

IDLES took to the stage. A sold-out room, awaiting, brimming with anticipation. Proceedings were then initiated. Dev’s lingering bass entered slowly, repetitively, like a Blitz air-raid siren. Colossus had begun. This is the band’s opening track from the marvellous album Joy as an Act of Resistance, and it carefully lulled the audience into a trance. Tensions rose. The guitars quietly followed. Anticipation was building. Frontman, Joe Talbot, almost in warning, began his bellow of “it’s coming”, sounding like a man possessed.  And then, it began.

A cacophony of noise; a vibrant rapture of pints and bodies flung across the packed room. All promises were actualised. Like a Jürgen Klopp masterclass or a Tarantino classic, this was organised chaos. And it was fucking brilliant. As they relentlessly churned through a string of belters, from the chimerical Never Fight a Man with a Perm to Brutalism’s Mother, it just got better and better.

Madness ruled the stage. Joe’s ethereal presence reverberated throughout the room. Guitarist, Bobo, a man with the appearance of Asterix at Woodstock, walked horizontally across stage, crab-like, whilst balancing his guitar on his head. His co-guitarist, Lee Kiernan, divided his time between head banging and crowd surfing. Dev, and drummer, Jon, wisely stayed on stage, aware of the need to keep such mischief on a loose leash.  The act was was egoless, and belonged not to one individual but to every member of the band. Each of them provided a spectacle in their own manner, whether through extroverted or introverted means. When it all came together, it was impossible to look away.

IDLES’ adopted mantra – “all is love” – was certainly reflected in the crowd; although at times it was rough and energetic, it never felt unsafe. There was a sense of unity and awareness-for-others rarely seen in a gig environment. Such sentiments were epitomised as Joe Talbot pointed the audience’s attention to representatives of ‘Safe Gigs for Women’, before playfully insisting that more women make their way to the front to “throw some elbows”. The almost malevolent riff of Divide & Conquer erupted, and an automated audience of men and women moshed in unison.

This concept of ‘unity’ was perfectly embodied, when members of ‘IDLES AF’, the bands most loyal group of disciples, were invited to the stage for the set’s euphoric crescendo. At least 50 fans contributed to a chaotic yet brilliant noise, some strumming guitars, others smashing cymbals, a few performing their best Bez impressions. It was cathartic – the band’s moment of gratitude to a loyal fan-base. Not only that, it was necessary. Idles are a band that unashamedly and openly explore taboos, whether it be depression, toxic masculinity or, god help them, Brexit. Through anthems like Danny Nedelko, Television and the fiercely pertinent Great, they articulate sentiments many of us feel but choose not to talk about. A hierarchy between stage and crowd is in turn redundant – we are tackling a similar mesh of issues.  Even if IDLES don’t promise an antidote, they create music that can be reflected upon, music that’s therapeutic as well as didactic.

Few bands neatly reflect upon a moment the way IDLES do, even fewer bands are as prophetic. With IDLES, gone are the days of ‘rock star’ stereotypes a-la Liam Gallagher. Behind a frontier of loud guitars and vocals there is music with sensitivity in abundance played by men unafraid of vulnerability, accepting of their insecurities. Perhaps it’s because of this nuance in their work that Joe Talbot feels the need to reiterate “we are not a F**cking Punk band”. Perhaps this is also why I think my friend was being honest when saying the night “changed” his life. It certainly changed mine. Indeed, IDLES at the Ritz will go down as one of the best performances I’ve ever seen, from the most important band in the country.


Review by Christopher Byfield

Live Review: Welcome to the Warehouse 2018

Last Saturday saw the return of The Warehouse Project with their annual opening party, Welcome to the Warehouse. Packed with a cast of renowned DJs from around the globe, on top of marking what will be the Project’s final season at their Store Street venue, the opening night was sure to be on the calendar for anyone with so much as a passing interest in techno or deep house.

Wandering under the train tracks and queuing on a damp Mancunian evening, amidst the excitement of those in the queue, the event’s gritty familiarity was oddly warming. Making our way inside just after the final entry time of 9:30pm, we briefly got ourselves re-accustomed to the venue. The first thing to note is that there has been little change to the interior since last year, or if there has been, it definitely isn’t noticeable. The cavernous brick venue still holds its three impressive stages, meanwhile all the facilities, such as the bars and toilets remain in the same areas as before. This is not a criticism; rather an acknowledgement of the near-perfect formula that WHP have created in Store Street.

By the time of our arrival, music had already been playing for three and a half hours, with DJs like Or:La and Willow in full flow. While it is always painful to miss a set, especially from names that would top other bills, it was especially so when a superstar like Mall Grab is scheduled from 9-11pm, starting half an hour before the listed final entry. While we were able to be there for the latter half of it, I know that we weren’t the only ones who were annoyed to have not caught the whole two hours. The set in question was more techno based than many would have expected from the Australian, punctuated mainly by a heavy four to the floor pulse, as opposed to the house sounds he is best known for. This was perhaps to be expected at this notoriously techno-heavy event, and as such, he found the crowd to be very receptive.  Veterans to his DJ sets however may have been less surprised – it’s rare that Mall Grab lets himself be confined to any genre.

Following on, next to the main stage came the South Korean, Berlin based DJ Peggy Gou. With her meteoric rise in the past couple of years, now surely to be counted amongst the biggest DJs in the world, Gou made her return to Store Street for her second performance at the Warehouse. Following on from the high crowd expectations set by Mall Grab as well as her towering reputation, Gou delivered a thumping, party driven set that was sure to have met every expectation. Our eyes were peeled for the raised shoes, a common sight at her gigs, and we were not disappointed in that regard. Expect her to be a mainstay at whatever venue the Warehouse Project finds itself in the future. One drawback- as has often been the case at past events, was the slight overcrowding in the main room, despite the presence of DJ Seinfeld and Lone in Rooms 2 and 3 concurrently.

As the clock rolled around to 1am the audience had begun to thin out slightly, surely towards Midland in Room 2 (sadly missed by these writers). However, it was a necessary sacrifice as playing in the main room was Berliner Dixon, a veteran always touted among the very best, and a DJ we had been aching to see. Definitely our most anticipated act of the evening, it was an undoubted climax, providing two hours of captivating, unpredictable, yet always pounding rhythms sounds that bowled its listeners over. With any of Dixon’s work in the form of mixes, singles, or albums being so scarce in recent years, this was a set that had been prepared for on hype alone, and even then we were shocked by the pairing of power and composure he brought to the decks, with one of many highlights being 5udo’s breakout banger “One,” which seemed tailor made for the Warehouse Project sound system.

With the crowd dissipating and the evening increasingly feeling like an endurance event (not helped by the puzzlingly early last entrance), we decided to call it a night.  On stumbling out of Store Street at 4am, complete with ringing ears and sweat-covered shirts, everyone was unanimous in their praise. While what the future holds for The Warehouse Project may be as yet unknown, for now it undoubtedly remains the top electronic event in a city with plenty of competition.

Reviewed by Ollie Hastings and Adam Tamimi

Live Review: Scout Leader at Nambucca

August 30th, 2018, and the Fuse crew descended on Nambucca, north London, for our first gig of the year. Proto-post-punk rockers Scout Leader did not disappoint, bringing together a smorgasbord of far flung fans for an unforgettable evening. The atmosphere in Nambucca calmly escalated from relaxed family get-together to a deep-dive mosh, with supports Dreamherbs and Flaccid providing a clean run up to the main event.

Dreamherbs, a Walthamstow based free jazz duo drew the first of the night’s dancers to the stage with their mix of ambient and heavy sounds, blending dreamy guitar riffs into heavy choruses and turning lilting lyrics to screamed solos at the drop of a hat. Hot off their heels, psychedelic punk four-piece Flaccid served up a short but sweet set of headbangers to get the crowd ready and riled up for a good old bit of floor-scuffing – they were, as they’ve often said of themselves, ‘a bit noisy’, and all for the better.

For from the noise emerged first-time headliners Scout Leader, smashing straight into their set with a high-energy heart attack of an opener. Charlie Butler’s thunderous voice merged perfectly with the tightly controlled chaos of Linus Munch’s distorted shredding, and bassist Tom Allan provided a well-placed weight to round out their sound. The crowd surged along to the pull of the music and every head in the room tested the strength of the neck beneath it to the beat of drummer Alfie Blundell’s skintight rhythms.

Where Scout Leader really excelled was in embracing the latent power in their enrapt audience, tapping into the raw energy present and launching themselves into the crowd at every opportunity. Shirts came off and sweat swept the floor right up to the grand finale, a bunker bomb of a banger, over as fast as it began, passing by in a hurricane of stage dives and tossed instruments.

As Scout Leader’s loving fans charged forwards to embrace the band one cautious soul managed to spare Linus’ discarded guitar from the stampede – but there’s no real worry here; even should they lose a few instruments along the way, this lot are going places.


See more from the bands here:

Scout Leader: