The literate, ART-iculate British rockers, Manic Street Preachers and Mansun have flavoured music magnificently since the 90s. No surprise that their classic soundtracks inspire the future. Manics describe new album, ‘Futurology’ as “post punk disco rock”. They could be describing events we are staging this year. They start in London, with friends (around the UK and beyond) investigating further possible venues/events. The situationist tale will tell its own story.
The 90s bands, eye-lined with punky escapism, poetic souls and DIY chic are genuine cults with followers of all ages. Their fans include a wealth of favourite new musicians (some of whom were in prams and schools even in The Libertines heyday a decade ago). At MSP’s (My Little) Shepherd’s Bush Empire gig a few months ago with my friend Rhiannon (more of her, later) my heart was warmed by young lads, glammed up in leopard print shirts with skinny white jeans. They looked like an 18 year old Wire’n’Richey time travel moment.
Mansun and The Manics gigged together quite a few times. The former ended in 2002 but their music has taken on a life of its own, especially after the myspace era of social networking. (Quality) noisy escapism with attitude continues to grab my attention. Visually original audience members glitter with original art laced with delicious obsession. You are not at a Michael Buble/Coldplay gig, that’s for sure. The Rocklands shows are on that vibe.
Bright Young Things – let them entertain you;
Fur Cough (existential prosed rock n roll)
CuT (sex beat space rock)
Rhiannon The Nightmare (Holy Bible album country punk)
Mourning Birds (garage rock blues riot)
16 Hole Boots (newer wave post punk)
Stella + (Lo Fi Hi NRG anarchy)
Aeromancy (aural alt rock adventures)
and Hall Of Strangers (Hypnotic Weird-Pop) are going to be playing live.
ArtBeat word-smith, Freewheelin’ Troubadour (poetry, both nights) and multi talented instigators, Dizzy Spell (curated most of the bills, compering, playing live) and Rocklands own Jean Genie Graham (DJing, gigging) are movers n shakers of uniqulture’s anti scene which is high in female ring-leaders. By the way, if Jean Genie is on the decks at a club, you CAN request Mansun!
Admiring the get up and go on the new music under ground scene, I have been an event promoter in small venues for a decade. I still love/play the bands we kicked off with. Heck, some of them were Manics and Mansun fans too. Half of this time there has been a recession, plus an apathy to “step away from the screen” and see the whites of musician’s eyes as they play, uncompressed into an MP3, at close range. With audiences that will pay a fiver or under, or even come to free gigs, outside music bars a lot, to smoke, grass roots is a hit and miss gamble, financially and in terms of view from the stage.
Having said that, one of my favourite Mansun gigs had 23 people in it (including the band, bar staff, security etc.), all the house lights on, the venue door wide open (in November) and everybody in coats, hats and scarves. Their set rocked like Wembley Arena, though. Thank you Newport TJs.
Nowadays, competing with computer game induced apathy, celebrity fuckwittery and people being skint and in need of cheer, positive creativity is required to propel the promising. If you’ve no passion to promote, fuck off. Anyway, where was I? Mixing the visual talents of up and coming photographers and film makers with the audio magic of driven, self marketing musicians has given many results to our uniqulture of the past few years. I guess 2014 rounds that all up.
I don’t always know when new friends are fellow Manics/Mansun fans. Its not a uniform, its a wave length. I admired the Bowie-esque look of a young lass that came to one of our Rocklands nights a couple of years ago when poet, Patrick Jones headlined. I asked if I could please take a photo of her and instead of saying “go away stalker nutjob lady”, Dizzy Spell kindly said yes.
Although Patrick (recently at Cardiff Mind Festival) is known as Nicky Wire’s brother, his literature, theatre and community work has its own following, but yes, of course where were some Manics fans there. One or two of them shot out in panic when they spotted James Dean Bradfield at the bar, but I sent them back in to natter as he’s a lovely bloke, and it was a low key show. Dizzy Spell and The Side Effects came back, played for Rocklands a few months later and art punked Malcolm McLaren to death that night. Its what he would have wanted.
Now here we are, united again by ArtBeat events born at the end of 2012. 365 days (exactly) of a music scouting social with cake, documenting and visual creativity weaved into a poem of whatever will be. Rhiannon (off stage, NOT a nightmare), found her singing mentioned in a James Dean Bradfield live review in Rolling Stone last year before she had started recording. See near future for updates.
Video: Rhiannon The Nightmare ‘Kiera’ http://youtu.be/3fYSUsjFmd4
In the same accidental-star-is-born manner, I have been privy to Jean Genie’s Massive Hugs and more huge tunes and potential. Again, coming soon.
Being in small venues with stars that belong on bigger stages is a privilege if you are lucky enough to feel that energy.
George Orwell’s ‘1984’ could not have imagined the 30 Year sequel, George Osbourne’s 2014. We may not bring down Big Brother’s Bigger Badder Bastard Brother with our fuck you punk art noise, people power poetry, glamorous eye kicks and star shaped riffs, but we’ll have fun trying, inspired by the 20 Year anniversary of The Holy Bible.
Our crowd is high in visual artists and musicians. We know ain’t easy. We have made the Legacy of the new Generation Terrorists affordable. Support the artists and ask them (nicely) to put you on their cheap list if you want to go the January 23rdlaunch in Central London for £2 cos you don’t have £5. Get there before 7pm if you want to come for free to the 15th February event. Info/downloads/involvement;http://smarturl.it/
105 Seconds of glorious gutter punk energy; ‘Oh Yeh’ by Mourning Birds who play both the kick off shows. http://youtu.be/
Manic Street Preachers tour March/April http://www.
Mansun (started 2014 voted No.1 band that music fans would like to see reform on Xfm Radio) Fans convention, Chester this summer https://facebook.com/Mansun
Professional Love Pirate @rocklandstv