Monthly Archives: December 2015

What Price, Wonderland? – final shows / mission statement

Eh up, this is Joe C again, first of all thanks to everyone who read the “emo is fucking dead uk edition” post, it seems to have worked!

So this one is about my old band and a kinda official statement/info bomb about these shows we’re doing. Mostly waffle, some info.

What Price, Wonderland? is myself, James Wright and Andy Hemming. We formed when we were maybe 13/14 under various names and for the most part was basically mates jamming in a garage playing really poorly conceived covers by bands we liked such as Rival Schools, At the Drive-in etc. After a year or two we decided to try and do a proper band with “our own material” inspired by the mailorder DIY scene and bands we had been told to go see live by bigger kids we met on forums such as Collective-zine and the Kerrang! forums (rock on dude!), in the pre social media / Web 2.0 world.

Originally we had a second guitarist, Clyde Bradford, you may know him from another band of cry babies who are now outstretching everyone in this little scene…. Andy met Clyde at a Zao (yeah the Christian melodic metalcore band) show when we made some flyers asking for a guitarist to play stuff in the vein of “Indian Summer, Cap’n Jazz and Assfactor4”, which in retrospect was a fucking ask, but somehow we ended up doing something like that.  We did some shows and some ill fated demos under the name The Snowman, including some pretty hilarious shows with some top anecdotes I won’t bore you with here. Suffice to say at 15 we didn’t really know how to socially interact with people outside our dumb little group and we sacked Clyde, not even really sure why, but it doesn’t matter as we’ve ended up being close friends for years now (sorry Clyde).  We then dropped the “The”, called ourselves Snowman, I put out a 7″ with the money I saved from dropping out of school and working in washing machine sales and we subsequently imploded, again we were teenagers, no real reason why.

We made friends probably a few weeks later and decided once again to take the band another step more seriously. There was literally no one else around where we lived who liked this music anyway, so the theme of us breaking up and reforming with a new band and pretending it was a new thing was inevitable. This time though we decided to add a second guitar again and Mitch the Witch aka Mike Coley (yep of Belly Kids fame!) joined us but left after one recording. So back with the original three piece lineup we actually started to be a band. We did two slightly dodgy 7″s which we dropped the songs from not long after releasing and played with a bunch of bands. Meanwhile we were both working out how to be human beings and how DIY/punk rock could be the ultimate vessel for our shit.

I can’t speak for the other two, but the first record I can still listen to/stomach is “Claim”, which also marks our first record with our a long time recording man Boulty of Stuck on A Name (both this 7″, the first lp and the Syn Error split were done in his loft). We didn’t really know how to do a genre, but we loved a lot of the emo stuff around on Ebullition, Level Plane etc at the time and kinda got lumped in with that stuff. We played with bands like Raein, Louise Cypher, Daitro, Ultra Dolphins and probably loads more I have forgotten. Musically we tried to mix stuff we liked together without really caring if it fit (remember doing that before you started bands on sub-genre specific forums and Facebook groups?!), our favourite bands were stuff like Yaphet Kotto, Off Minor, His Hero is Gone, Infest, Cap’n Jazz, Blame Game, Assfactor4, Mohinder, Captain Speky… we didn’t really know which genres these fit into but liked bits from all their sounds and took where we pleased. Kinda funny to think we actually tried to play Cap’n Jazz chords over blastbeats and didn’t get laughed down by absolutely everyone, I dunno it made sense to us.

We went on to tour the UK a few times and got the touring bug we never lost. The most inspiration time in our life as a band was probably being asked to go to the continent with the band Syn*Error, completely on faith we turned up after a few Myspace messages between the bands and learned probably more about ourselves and music in that space of time than any other before or to come. We did another lp and some splits and kinda stopped as we lived far away and were becoming involved in our styles of music completely separate from punk rock.

We played the odd show, but didn’t really write new material and that leaves us where we are now. James went on to play in Bird Calls and Kin Shot, Andy is now in Arkless and I played in Plaids and now Soul Structure. The band never really ended and although at times we lost touch, we never stopped being friends at all. One ill fated reunion to play with Raein at the Brudenell in Leeds a few years back kinda put a spanner in things until I checked my personal Last.Fm page to find out what bands my girlfriend might want on vinyl for Xmas I saw a message from 6 months ago asking for WPW to play this fest in Berlin. Not thinking the other guys would do it I started seeing if perhaps Soul Structure could play, presuming the offer had passed long ago, but to my surprise within a day we had set up this fest slot, a warm up show in western Germany and a final goodbye show at the amazing DIY Space For London….

Thursday May 5th – DS4L with a mega lineup of old and new friends

Friday May 6th – Western Germany headline show on the way across to Berlin

Saturday May 7th- We Built The World And Miss The Stars fest in Berlin https://www.facebook.com/events/909323962491133/

 

Then we’re dead.

 

LINKS

https://whatpricewonderland.bandcamp.com/

http://www.discogs.com/artist/2017092-What-Price-Wonderland

http://www.last.fm/music/What+Price,+Wonderland%3F

https://www.facebook.com/What-Price-Wonderland-105672889289/

 

current and ex bands:

https://birdcalls.bandcamp.com/

https://soulstructure.bandcamp.com/releases

https://arkless.bandcamp.com/releases

https://kinshot.bandcamp.com/

https://plaids.bandcamp.com/

 

Thanks,

Joe C

emo is fucking dead get over it (united kingdom edition)

 

(Healing Powers at Fire As A Metaphor fest at JT SOAR, Nottingham by Kyle Jenner)

I wrote a thing out on tumblr a while back to help share some friends and my own bands stuff, its kinda weird trying to promote music which exists almost exclusively in the heads of insular weirdos, but as this information-super-highway fills up with lists, why not add one more?

So here is some info, words, links about some bands I consider somehow related, if not only by the fact me and my friends keep putting on the poor bastards at the same gigs.

Sorry it’s not completely exhaustive, I only listen to bluegrass and speed garage.

Here are some bands to check out…..

CARSON WELLS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8SqL2Rcr_8

One of the handful of power trios in the scene right now, and one of the few bands who seem to really “get” the three piece thing for what it can be (answer: a lot).  They made this album this year after the 12″ combining two sessions from the past few years “Wonderkid” came out the year previous, and it kinda sucks to think that whilst most people who have heard it had their asses kicked by it, so many asses are left un-kicked.  The trio thing works, three personalities, three voices, three completely nailed sounds and playing styles bouncing into each other and dragging you along. Even being “isolated” in the land of oil barons  (Aberdeen (how many DIY bands from major cities moan about gig coverage even locally?)) they still managed to tour the mainland with those Yanks we love so much (Football Etc) and play tonnes of shows in the rest of the UK.

Musically they are a kinda desperate, churning, yet incredibly tight freight train that slows down to sob along at all the right moments.

You can hear their lp in full up there, probably illegally, I dunno…

https://carsonwells.bandcamp.com/

Here is a recent live video from Strugglefest.

 

 

HUMAN HANDS

Somehow unrelenting in the fact they play possibly the most unfashionable music possible, are from the West Midlands and manage to play further afield than most bands I know to good sized crowds, Human Hands are very much still around and turning the mostly hardened crusties into Buckfasted wasted head bobbers and chest tappers. At the time of writing this I know for a fact (and have heard) two more records I can’t share, so have this one off the first lp and follow links below to their very deep back catalogue of small run international splits across many formats.

I managed to work out what they sound like while drunkenly shouting at their bassist and all round nice-man-of-the-scene Chaz: “It’s basically all those really uncomfortable bits on those more fucked up 90s records that never really got popular due to tightness, but looped into actual music”.  Their newer stuff has this kinda Neil Young Crazy Horse meets Red House Painters meets I Hate Myself thing going on. If you liked the first lp and recent splits you’re gonna really like this next stuff.

https://humanhands.bandcamp.com/

Here’s a video of them on their tour of Japan a while back with their standard japery and no fi sound quality

 

and another in a basement

 

SOUL STRUCTURE

Sticking this one the middle quickly and moving swiftly on coz its my band. I got andy malcolm to write what he thought it should say here:

Soul Structure – already moving on after an accomplished debut EP that wasn’t a million miles from the band singer Joe previously emoted in (Plaids, obvs), Soul Structure look set to lose 90% of their “fanbase” with an upcoming record that builds on their sound whilst introducing more introspective elements from all your fave ponderers including Polaris, Slint and Van Pelt.

https://soulstructure.bandcamp.com/ here is our stuff, the new lp will be up very soon.

http://zineandnotheard.co.uk/tag/soul-structure/ decent video here.

 

THE BLUE PERIOD

Related to the above via Chris (Soul Structure drummer, Blue Period guitar and vocalist), Nottingham’s the Blue Period kinda provide the night to the aforementioned band’s day. Now with added ex Plaids and JT SOAR bossman/goofball Phil on drums, their buddy Stephen on violin, Wolf Town DIY alien Sadler and Chris out from behind the kit they are now a proper full ensemble of nostalgic insomnia.  They have a split with Human Hands out when the Adele vinyl is finished in every pressing planet ever. They are also reissuing their demo (when they were just a kinda bedroom wig out) on a 10″, which is nice.

https://theblueperiod.bandcamp.com/

Awkward as hell live vid above.

 

WALL

https://wall-music.bandcamp.com

Not a lot online from this lot yet, do they even belong here? I reckon so… young Welsh kids making a proper racket in the late 80s Dischord vibe.. less Cap’n Jazz.. more Soul Side.. nice! Insane live. Do vinyl please!

 

ARKLESS

Relatively new band from London with folks from Bird Calls and What Price Wonderland doing some kind of introspective and hypnotic stabby vibe with constantly propositioning spoken vocals, if that’s your thing (it is mine if you cared, you didn’t).

https://arkless.bandcamp.com/releases

EP coming soon, but here is a nice live recording from a gig they did at JT which I’ll come onto later.

 

PLEASE, BELIEVE

This is the post Bonehouse band. That Dundeemo lot. Not a lot down yet, but worth keeping an eye on because Bonehouse didn’t really mess about when it came to being a band. They do a kinda breathless groovemo thing, not unlinke their Scotch buddies Carson Wells, but a little more direct.

Here is a live video:

 

AKALLABETH

The Wolf Town DIY in house band. Some kind of lost Ebullition Records compilation band via Birmingham and Mordor (is that the right one, they like some wizard and dragons thing or something)

https://akallabethwolves.bandcamp.com/releases

HEALING POWERS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tbj6nkkZCIU

Less a straight up emo band, but more their own super jangly, screamy take on things, but deserve a mention here for sure. Not sure how active they still are, but having provided us with the very cool photo at the top (by Kyle Jenner) it would be wrong to miss them out either way.

https://healingpowers.bandcamp.com/

ok so that’s probably too short and scrappy but hopefully that opens up some stuff to any interested parties… put any links you wanna add in the comments

some labels to keep an eye on would be:

http://barelyregalrecords.com/

http://sncl.collective-zine.co.uk/

http://wolftowndiy.limitedrun.com/

probably some more? maybe put them in the comments too

once a year I am trying to put these bands on together at this thing called Fire As A Metaphor at our venue here in Nottingham called JT SOAR, keep an eye out for that… and this…

“have you got any more beers?” quite

CAUTION HOT (Human Hands at Fire As A Metaphor by Kyle Jenner)

by Joe C