Sunday, 22 December 2013

#227: The Courteeners - Phones 4 U Arena - 13/12/13

It seems to me that The Courteeners are a band you either love or hate. Many people are under the impression that they’re an arrogant Oasis cover band (ironically much like Oasis being an arrogant Beatles cover band), however there’s far more to Liam Fray et al than just being a LAD band, which unfortunately they very much are. They seem to be a band for the people, and for the people of Manchester, and it’s for this reason that we go in to this evening expecting big things.

This review was originally written for God is In the TV Zine, click here to read in full.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

#226: Thee Oh Sees - Singles Collection: Vol 3

As a reviewer, it goes without saying that some of the music you’re tasked with writing about won’t always be to your taste. When this happens, it’s usually quite easy to be able to say why you don’t like it, and then go on to pick out some redeeming features of the record. What can also happen, though thankfully not all that often, is you’re given a record and, even after five or six listens, you still haven’t formed a solid opinion on the piece. One such album was Singles Collection: Vol 3 from San Fran psychers, Thee Oh Sees.

This review was orignally written for Far Out Magazine. Click here to read in full.

Monday, 16 December 2013

#224: Grizzly Bear - Shields: Expanded

Originally released in September 2012, Grizzly Bear’s Shields was a wonderfully rich album of lush compositions and textures. Musically it was an adventurous step for the band, expanding on the ground laid by three previous albums in almost every aspect; lyrically it saw the band expand even further, weaving a loose narrative thread deftly in to a dense patchwork of contemporary folk and neo-psych in what was an important decision for the band. “For this record, it was really important for us to try and make sure that lyrics had a weight to them and at least some sense of a narrative” proclaimed bassist and producer Chris Taylor There were lyrics in previous albums that seemed to have no meaning whatsoever. And that always really annoyed me.” Fortunately for Taylor, it seems as if his wishes came true, as the lyricism across Shields manages to distil an almost feeling of both romantic and platonic distance, that always teeters on the edge of loneliness, without ever headlong in to the gaping abyss beneath. Now, fourteen months after the record’s initial release, the band have released Shields: Expanded, a collection of b-sides and remixes that never made the album’s original cut but are finally seeing the light of day.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

#223: Ecstasy - Exhale (EP review)



December 9 2013 (National Anthem)


Though it's coming late to the game, Exhale could very well be one of the best EPs I've had the pleasure of reviewing this year. Marking London quartet Ecstasy's debut release on National Anthem (Haim, Chvrches), it comprises four tracks of irresistible dream-pop atmospherics and sugary synth loops that sound, somewhat fittingly, like Chvrches would do after a weekend on the band's namesake pharmaceutical (which, by all accounts, is never a bad thing). There is more to it than that, however, and despite there being very little information on Ecstasy at the moment (no bad jokes, please) Exhale feels like the record that's going to get more than a select few excited about them.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

#222: Velocets - Guillver's, Manchester - 06/12/13

It hardly seems like two weeks have passed since the last showcase from illusive Manchester promoter Mr. Peeps. In actual fact, almost four months have been and gone since the the last one, and as a result the expectation and anticipation surrounding tonight is almost palpable. Gracing us with their presence tonight are three of Manchester’s most promising bands, and Cleethorpes-based psychers Kismet Ryding, who kick off the proceedings excellently.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

#221: Itch - Roadhouse, Manchester - 20/11/13

Unfortunately, arriving somewhat later than planned due to a mixture of both work and tonight's unusually early start time, we descend the stairs of Manchester's Roadhouse just as the final notes of the support band RDGLDGRN ring out, and have barely enough time to grab a beer before Itch takes to the stage. Tonight is the Kevin Says Tour, an offshoot from this years Warped Tour featuring a selection of contemporary artists from the line-up including the aforementioned RDGLDGRN as well as The Hype Theory and Ghost Town. Upon listening to those that I missed when I got home, I came to the conclusion that fifteen year old me would have been in my element, which could well explain why much of the crowd were fresh-faced and beerless, and ultimately perplexed by the headliner himself.

Ex-King Blues frontman Itch struck out on his own soon after the announcement of his band's death, and has obviously been relishing in the new found freedom he has at his feet, particularly when it comes to collaborations. The most recent of which, 'Hopeless Romantic' kicks off tonight's set list brilliantly. With Taking Back Sunday's Adam Lazara taking up vocal duties on the chorus (he isn't actually here), it's a fairly mellowed start to an evening which promises to get heavier. And get heavier it does, almost immediately in fact with 'Diplomat' the first song from Manifesto Part 2 setting the tone for what's to follow excellently. Not one to miss out on the action himself, Itch seems to spend most of the night down on the floor with the audience, much to the surprise of some of the younger members of the crowd.

Perhaps the highlight of the evening comes just after the halfway point in the form of 'Gutter Starz', with sleazy rock guitars forming the verses and an anthemic synth chorus it's a fusion of styles that summarises Itch himself perfectly. Sure it's been done before, but really with this much passion, this much conviction. There's an energy about tonight's show that surpasses that of your usual live performance, sure the political sentiment might be lost on some people, or and people might even disagree with some, but no one can deny the absolute fervour and fire with which Itch delivers his Manifesto.

There's something inherently punk about Itch, and I don't mean 'punk'. It's this that bleeds in to the crowd in a way that rarely happens at gigs and could only happen in a venue such as the Roadhouse, or any other of Manchester's spit 'n' sawdust venues. As a front-man, Itch was just that. As a solo artist, he's far more. The King Blues were a fantastic feel good band to which you could get drunk and dance; Itch feels like someone you have to listen to, have to watch. And for that, his performances are only going to get better. 

#220: Catching Up With...The Slow Readers Club (U&I Music Magazine - December Issue)

The Slow Readers Club were, up until last year, one of Manchester's best kept secrets. While it can't be said that they're unheard of outside of their city, the band hold a special place in the hearts of those who have been there from the word go, seeing Slow Readers Club grow and evolve in to the band they are today, an intelligent and musically sound quartet whose sound has drawn numerous and fitting comparisons to the likes Editors and Interpol.

Not only does their music seem as if it would go down perfectly in one of Manchester's sticky-floored indie clubs, it has gone down perfectly in those clubs, serving to only heighten the sense of Mancunian pride in which the band are draped. The Slow Readers Club, their debut album released last year, was filled with frenetic and angular guitars and driving percussion occasionally offset by candid moments of poignancy. More recenet releases, however, such as last month's single 'Forever In Your Debt' and it's flipside, 'Days Like This Will Break Your Heart', feel much more realised, as if the grandiose aesthetics hinted at in their debut have not only returned, but have been explored, built upon. There was always a maturity exhibited by the band (something attributed to three-quarters of them having been in much-lauded Manc outfit Omerta) but latter tracks in their canon just hold up that little bit more, begging the question, will 2014 see the release of a much anticipated second album?

It's safe to say the answer is yes. With support from XFM, NME, BBC6 Music to name but three, the support behind The Slow Readers Club is incredible and a follow-up to their self-titled is as inevitable as it is anticipated. With a wave of hype building within in Manchester at the moment around bands such as MONEY and Kult Country, it seems a fitting time for TSRC to make a push, joining such influences as Arcade Fire on festival bills, not just club playlists.

We caught up with singer Aaron Starkie for a chat about Manchester, influences, and most importantly, what we can look forward to going in to 2014.

Hi Aaron, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. First of all, The Slow Readers Club is a fantastic name, where did it come from?

AS: Thanks, glad you like it. One of my clearest memories from childhood is being taken around the senior school and being shown the different class rooms. One of the rooms was labeled ‘Special Needs’, I remember finding it alarming that you could be classified like that. I guess our name is an expression of discomfort with that notion.

U&I: Your most recent single 'Forever In Your Debt' has garnered plenty of attention from smaller blogs and online publications. How important do you think this kind of media coverage is to up-and-coming artists such as yourselves?

AS: Very important, we are self funded so don't have a marketing budget for press and radio plugging. At the moment we are promoting our selves using Twitter and Facebook. They have been great tools for getting our music out there and getting in touch with bloggers.

As you say we have had great support from a lot of independent music blogs and we have also had lots of great support from fans posting links to our videos and Soundcloud and helping to spread the word.

U&I: 'Forever In Your Debt' seems to somewhat more matured, maybe more fleshed out than some of the tracks on your debut. How much do you think you have progressed as band since the release of The Slow Readers Club? And what can we expect from any forthcoming material?

AS: Yeah I would say it feels like a step forward from the first album. Its more intelligent in terms of arrangement, its quite sparse compared to previous tracks, we had a lot of synths and sequenced stuff on the first album.

In terms of more stuff we have been experimenting with different beats and sounds, we want to do stuff that excites us. We are working on some really cool tracks at the moment and we have a great working relationship with our producer Phil Bulleyment. People can expect good things!

U&I: You've been playing live for a number of years now, as a result you've played with your fair share of other bands from Manchester, who have been some of the best to gig with?

AS: Puressence are probably the best Manchester band we have played with, we have done a few gigs with them over the years and always get a warm welcome from their crowd.

U&I: Similarly playing such an amount of gigs is bound to have given you some stories to tell. Care to share any with our readers?

AS: Ha! What happens on tour stays on tour…

U&I: You've drawn comparisons to the likes of Interpol and Editors plenty of times before, something which can obviously be attributed to the sense of moody anthemics within your music, but what other bands would you cite as influences that we might not have picked up on?

AS: Currently listening to The National, Maccabees, London Grammar, Foals, Arcade Fire, LCD Sound System. In terms of older bands The Smiths, The Beatles, Bowie, Echo and The Bunneymen, Lou Reed, The Doors, New Order, Elvis... too many to mention.

U&I: What do you think it is about Manchester that has made the city such a massive place for both contemporary music, and older bands that have become household names?

AS: You have a good mix of cultures I suppose, it has a massive student population and it draws people in from all over the world. It also has its fair share of council estates, rain and misery. I think a lot of bands start making music to escape the drudgery. You would think geography would be less relevant in the internet age, perhaps it will be in the future.

U&I: Do you think that being a band from Manchester, people already have a certain idea about you, and do you feel that you might be expected to live up to certain stereotypes?

AS: Yes probably, its understandable I suppose. There’s a strong image in most people’s minds of traditional Indie/Madchester in terms of both sound and image but It’s a shame really because the music coming out of Manchester is as diverse as that of any other place.

U&I: Manchester's a city renowned for it's array of eclectic, if not occasionally ramshackle, bars and venues, but which has been your favourite to either play, or watch a gig at?

AS: The Deaf Institute, The Night and Day and The Ruby Lounge

U&I: Finally, what can we expect from the band going in to 2014 and beyond?

AS: We are going to be releasing another single in March with a small tour, with our second album to follow soon after.

U&I: Thanks a lot guys, it's been a pleasure.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

#219: Art Class Sink - Illa (EP review)

Art Class Sink


November 25, 2013 (New Level Music)


Having shared stages with the likes of Skaters and Temples it seems that Oxford-based four-piece Art Class Sink are well on their way to earning the same kind of recognition that the aforementioned found this year. And well they should. Having featured the band earlier in the year, I was eager to hear how far they've progressed in the six months since then and with the release of their most recent EP Illa, it's clear that the band have matured, tightened and built upon every aspect of their sound.

Beginning with 'She', the record begins with a moody and atmospheric aesthetic that feels like being welcomed back to familiar territory. Built almost entirely around impactive instrumentation, the track feels like a statement of intent, hinting at what's to come, and while it ends on a rather heavy note, the opening vocal melody of second track 'Time To Go' offsets the weight brought on by the ever-present freneticism of the drums.

'A Cry For Help', on the other hand, offsets the energy and relentlessness of the previous two tracks, replacing it with a sense of melancholy that, rather atypically, isn't juxtaposed against an inherent optimism Art Class Sink purport in other tracks. It's quite a restrained track, but it's a welcome restraint, providing some brief respite from their driving guitars and pounding percussion.

The crowning point of Illa however, it's zenith if you will, comes in the form of the final track 'Someone to Try For'. Featuring some seriously blissed out grooves, it's the band mellowing, as much as they can mellow, and is the perfect soundtrack to a festival evening, a couple of months the wrong side of summer.

With Illa, the band have expanded on a sound that was already head and shoulders above most of their contemporaries. A fusion of different ideas and aesthetics, the EP brings that many different aspects of Art Class Sink to the fore, it's difficult to even label it. Relaxed and laid back indie-pop is nestled in side by side with moodier tracks that are, in turn, fitted in perfectly next to shoegaze elements in a combination that one wouldn't think would work. It never feels erratic or disjointed though, and that's the beauty of it, the band manage to create a huge sense of space and of openness, whilst never lacking the drive nor energy to keep things interesting, definitely a band to watch out for as we go into 2014 and beyond.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

#218: NARCS - Karaoke (single review)



November 2013 (Clue Records)


Leeds isn't the first city in the North of England that you'd think of when it comes to groove laden indie-rock. It is, however, where snarling five-piece NARCS hail from, and with their most recent single 'Karaoke', a scathing examination of the X-Factor syndrome, the band are contending with some of the North's best underexposed acts, to put Leeds on the musical map permanently.

At less than three minutes long, it's a short sharp and acerbic jibe at celebrity culture. Taking no time to kick off proceedings, a chunky guitar and drumming somewhat akin to that of the first Arctic Monkeys record drive the song forward, all the while backboned by a fantastically produced bass and rhythm section.

With their previous single '19' attracting positive attention from a number of small music blogs such as this one, it's only a matter of time before NARCS gain the attention of a wider musical sphere, and make the waves they've already set in motion, even bigger.

On Twitter

#217: The Darlingtons - Don't Give Me Hope (single review)

The Darlingtons

Don't Give Me Hope 

November 25, 2013 (self-release)


Following on from September's excellent live EP, Who Says There's No Beach in Doncaster? Taunton's The Darlingtons are back with new single 'Don't Give Me Hope' and it's B-side 'Contagious/Courageous'. As I mentioned in an earlier review, there's an air of melancholy that permeates the band's optimism, a kind of relatable miserabilia that manages never to feel cloying, and is, at times, adds to the inherently uplifting nature of their music. With 'Don't Give Me Hope' however, that seems to have fallen by the wayside in what serves to be one of the band's most emotionally intense release to date.

As a standalone track, 'Don't Give Me Hope' would serve perfectly to encapsulate the essence of The Darlingtons in just under four minutes. As it happens however, with 'Contagious/Courageous' following it, the pairing of these two tracks together makes for a compelling listen, that doesn't so much as summarise the band, as showcase their defining facets.

'...Hope' sees the band take a realist's view of a relationship by means of an anthemic and optimistic track, the inevitable narrative outcome juxtaposed effortlessly against the track as a whole whilst the ending sees a shoegaze-y breakdown conclude. Conversely, 'Contagious/Courageous' sees the band head in an almost dream-pop direction, drawing on the softer side of the their influences, draping the track in a lazy haze whilst still maintaining the their optimistic ideals.

Having already been championed by such magazines as Artrocker, it's obvious that 'Don't Give Me Hope' is attracting attention from all the right places. This, coupled with the band's tireless work ethic and gig schedule, they've won over fans across the country, and as we go in to 2014, you can't help but think that it could quite easily become the year of The Darlingtons.

On Twitter
On Facebook

Monday, 2 December 2013

#216: Jubilee Courts - Room With A View (single review)

Jubilee Courts

Room With A View

December 16 2013 (Stalkers Records)


Though they've been writing and gigging for some time now, it wasn't until earlier this year that Northants five-piece Jubilee Courts took on their “final finished form”. Their music - an unusual blend of post-punk, psych and shoegaze - feels as nostalgic as it does contemporary, and finally, despite numerous set backs over the last year, the quartet are set to realise their debut single 'Room With A View' and B-Side 'Strip Down'.

This review was originally written for Little Indie Blogs. Click here to read in full.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

#215: The Family Rain - Ruby Lounge, Manchester - 17/11/13 (Photo-review)

Manchester's Ruby Lounge is arguably one of our city's most important venues for up-and-coming local acts, as much as those from further afield. Whilst also playing host to a number of more established acts looking for a more intimate setting, the venue, along with the Night & Day and the Roadhouse, acts as rung on the ladder to the top of any band's game as far as Manchester is concerned, and one such band, Bath's The Family Rain teamed up with London's IC1's to ply their trade up North. Once again, Trust A Fox, was there, camera in hand, to catch the nights action.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

#214: TOY - Join the Dots


Join The Dots

December 9 2013 (Heavenly Recordings)


The first track on the second album from London's TOY is seven minutes given over entirely to an almost sinister ensemble of psychedelic and ominous background whirrs, a relentless hi-hat beat, and abrasive, sporadic guitar work. It's an intimidating introduction for someone who is completely unfamiliar with a band who have always been in my peripheral, but never my focus. As it happens, however, the seven minutes of 'Conductor' prove to be vastly different from what the rest of the album has to offer.

This review was originally written for Little Indie Blogs. Click here to read in full.

Monday, 25 November 2013

#213: Casual Sex - The Bastard Beat (EP review)

Casual Sex

The Bastard Beat

November 25 2013 (We Can Still Picnic/Tri-Trone)


The Facebook page of Glaswegian quartet Casual Sex, declares the music the band are making as 'sleaze' - nothing more, nothing less, and it's easy to see why. 'The Bastard Beat' EP is chock-full of dirty basslines, off-kilter grooves and lyricism that harbours all the bite and snarl of punk. It's dirty and guttural, but in the best kind of way.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

#212: Dave Hause - Gorilla, Manchester - 16/11/13

Gig review: Dave Hause - Gorilla, Manchester - 16/11/13

This review was originally written for Muso's Guide. Click the link above to read in full.

#211: The Others, Night & Day, Manchester - 14/11/13 (in photos)

Once again we were provided with some pictures courtesy of the deft hands of Trust-A-Fox. This time saw the return of The Others to Manchester, taking to the stage of the Night & Day, along with with Black Sonic Revolver. As always it proved to be a good night with some great bands on the bill.

Check out The Others on Twitter

Friday, 22 November 2013

#210: Wooden Shjips - Back to Land

Having never been privy to the sounds and stylings of San Fran psych-rockers Wooden Shjips before now, I approached this review with some degree of caution. Not because I’m adverse to hearing something unfamiliar, of course, but because with words such as ‘experimental’ surrounding the band, one simply didn’t know what to expect. As it happens, however, Back to Land, the band’s fourth album, proves to be a far easier and more cohesive listen than anticipated; gone are the 8 minute freak-out jams of previous releases, allowing for a more streamlined, almost concise record, all the while keeping the band’s psy-soaked idiosyncrasies intact.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

#209: Catching Up With...Landmarks (U&I Music Magazine - November Issue)

Whilst Manchester has been emblazoned on to the psyche of mainstream musical consciousness for last 30 years, it's musical output has always teetered on the brink of being, well, somewhat bitter and cynical. Despite being a city famed for providing us with some of the most maudlin and miserable acts in musical history, as the nights draw in, Manchester is currently enjoying bathing in some so-cal sunshine in the form of pop-punk five-piece Landmarks.

Rather than baying to the bleak English milieu within which the band was birthed, Landmarks are offsetting the stereotypical Manchester sound, anglicising what is quintessentially an American aesthetic perfectly. Stories of growing up and growing old are all part and parcel of pop-punk predication, yet often, tales of adolescent Americana fall flat on English ears due to the differences in culture. Landmarks, however, are seeking to bridge that gap, fusing their own personal experiences of growing up in and around Manchester, with a musical backdrop inspired by the likes of Set Your Goals or Four Year Strong.

Like any true pop-punk band, Landmarks are filled with a relentless tenacity and tireless work ethic that has seen them complete both their debut EP Running On Empty and their first tour in support of Action. However, not satisfied with that alone, the band are currently back in Manchester writing new material ready for the new year.

Perhaps one of the most appealing traits that Landmarks have, is their ability to effortlessly switch between aesthetics. Songs such as 'Living for the Weekend' purport a sense of youthful exuberance that goes hand in hand with sheer energy of the band, whilst 'Lullaby' or 'Growing Pains' exhibit a much more introspective side to the band, belying their relatively young age and suggesting that there's more to them than just another pop-punk band.

Indeed, whilst Manchester will always be synonymous with indie, one can't help but think that with bands like Landmarks making waves steadily, the city is currently feeling the beginnings of a real scene formulating, something more akin to the DIY/house-show movement in The States than has ever really been felt within Manchester and it's surrounding areas before now. Should that be the case, it goes without saying that Landmarks will be at the forefront, spearheading a well deserved pop-punk resurgence that hasn't been seen in the UK for years.

U&I: Hi guys, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. Manchester is a city full of music, but it doesn't seem to have much of an established pop-punk scene. Do you think there's the beginnings of a scene formulating in and around the city?

Brad: I would hope so! There’s a lot of talented musicians in Manchester but you’re right, there doesn’t seem to be a strong pop punk scene. I can think of us, Civilians, Boston Manor (from Blackpool but not too far away) and not many more. Hopefully, with the success of bands like The Wonder Years and The Story So Far though that will change and hopefully we can be at the forefront of it!

Adam: There's always going to be a scene however big or small, Manchester is one of the capitals for music, which is lucky for us. Diverse with its crowd in what they listen to, people are generally open minded and the chance for something big to formulate is always possible, no matter what genre or scene.

McCormick: I don't think there is enough people supporting the local scene anywhere to be honest, whether it's pop punk, metal or jazz fusion. There are too man people sat at home moaning about how bored they are on social media rather than going out and getting involved. Saying that though I have noticed a lot more punk rock bands emerging over the past few years, and with the rise of the new angsty pop punk bands from the states making a name for themselves over here hopefully things will pick up!

U&I: What do you think it is about Manchester that creates so many different and varied types of music?

Adam: It's peoples ability to try something new, listen to something they might not normally go for and then allow that to influence their own music they write. There is never a band that holds exactly the same sound which is what I love about this place.

McCormick: I think it's because there are so many venues and different niche markets, there is something for everyone. Also if you have a wide music taste you could be in one place watching a acoustic act and ten minutes down the road you could go and catch the most brutal hardcore band you've ever heard of.

U&I: Obviously while it does have a fairly rich musical culture, there is a huge amount of indie bands doing the rounds within the city. What made you decide it was pop-punk you wanted to play and has that impacted on the amount of shows you can get, or the number of people you play ?

Brad: Well we grew up listening to that type of music so it just made sense to start a pop punk band. We wanted to re-create the feelings we got when listening to New Found Glory or another band along those lines and pass them on to a new generation, with a bit of a British element added in there. It is hard though to make a splash in a city that doesn’t have a large pop punk scene but we still get some really good shows and play to awesome crowds!

Liam: I myself live breath and eat pop punk and have always loved it and wanted to be part of it as a kid growing up I remember my first pop punk show (bowling for soup) and just thought wow this I what I want to do

McCormick: I think I properly got into punk rock from the Tony Hawks soundtracks playing them games as a kid, since then I was hooked and spent several hours each day learning NoFX and Pennywise songs on my guitar. Me and Adam started our first band in 2003 and since then have been playing together, I’d rather play something I love and enjoy to like-minded people than something I don't have a passion for.

U&I: Being a pop-punk band there must be other, local bands within the genre you've played with, care to mention a few of you're favourites?

Brad: There’s Civilians, a band who released their debut EP last year, we’ve played with them and they’re cool guys playing good tunes. Boston Manor are from nearby (Blackpool) as well and their d├ębut EP is amazing, they’ll go on to big things in the future. Through Colour (though maybe not so much pop punk) are also really talented and nice guys. Check out their EP ‘Somnium’, there’s some great songs on there.

McCormick: The guys pretty much nailed it here as far as local bands go but if you're into your acoustic stuff (think Joey Cape/Tony Sly and Chuck Ragan) You should Check our James F Hattersley and Jimmy Holland. I've had a blast playing with Actions, Hot Damn, Boston Manor, Through Colour just to name a few.

U&I: You've just released your EP 'Running On Empty'. How did that go down?

Brad: We’ve actually self-recorded and self-released it! The drums were tracked at Salford University and we did the rest in Adam and James’s basement over the summer. It was fun yet trying at times but we love how it’s turned out! The response has been pretty awesome as well, especially your review. Thanks for that by the way!

McCormick: It was really tough to write the songs, then record the songs, then mix the songs, by the end of it your ears give up and by the end of it I had no idea what was too loud/quiet in the mix. But we were broke and needed to get the ball rolling so I battled though and the guys seem happy with it so I'm pretty pleased with that. I'll never be recording my own band again though, thats for sure!

U&I: You're currently out on your first ever tour in support of the record. How does that feel? And what have been some of the highlights so far?

Brad: It’s a great experience. We thought it might be difficult at first, 5 guys in a Ford Focus for days but it’s actually been really fun. Harrow was great, we didn’t expect so many people to turn up and buy merch so that was a nice surprise. Manchester was amazing as well, everyone came down to show their support and got into it. The boys in Actions are such nice guys as well, we feel like we’ve known them forever. Playing battleshots after the Manchester show was definitely a highlight for me.

McCormick: It feels great to be playing different cities to a fresh new crowd every night, my throat on the other hand doesn't feel great, I'm really grateful for everyone with an open door that put us up for the night though! I loved getting all the boys from Actions up on stage to sing along to a 5ive cover with us on the last night.

U&I: You've been in several bands in the past, how do Landmarks differ from those?

Brad: I was in an indie-pop-rock band (if you had to classify it) called Dead Kicks playing bass and that was fun for the few years it lasted. In Landmarks I have more of a hand in writing songs though so that’s always nice. Don’t get me wrong, I played a part in Dead Kicks writing but it’s cool to be able to get out what I want to say sometimes.

Adam: In this band I feel all 5 of us want this like we've never before, the 5 of us together with our personalities blend well too and we know this could be our one chance

McCormick: For the first time being in a band I feel like we have something new to offer with our sound. I love the lyrics Brad writes too, when listening to bands lyrics are an important thing for me, if I can relate to the song it's gonna make it's way onto my iPod so hopefully other people feel the same way about our music.

U&I: Here's a stock question I ask every band now: What would be in your ideal rider and why?

Brad: Barburrito’s! Because me and Tom discovered recently what a great hangover cure is. A copy of FIFA 14 and a PS3 because I could beat all these guys and gloat and probably just beer. I try to avoid spirits.

Liam: Barburrito 100%

Adam: 20 chicken nuggets no more…no less

McCormick: Heaps of Mexican food would be awesome, maybe Tony Hawks 2 so I can beat the guys at something.

Tom: All I really want on a rider after being on tour is some plug sockets!

U&I: What do Landmarks have planned for the future? Any plans on a full-length record yet? Forthcoming gigs/tour plans?

Brad: We have a few more shows coming up outside of Manchester and a pretty special one in the city that we’ll be announcing soon. As far as a debut goes I think we need to get to grips with our sound a little more first and build more of a following before we go into that.

Adam: Were ganna be writing a lot over the next few months and heading into the infamous blueprint studio’s in January to record a new EP. As well as that we've got shows over the winter and some big support slots in the new year. Plus some big ideas to possibly invade Europe next summer

McCormick: Like Brad said I think we need to develop our sound a bit more before thinking about a full length, in the meantime we have some studio time booked for early 2013 so hopefully we'll have another EP or maybe a split out early next year.

U&I: Finally, any last parting words for our readers?

Adam: Watch this Space

McCormick: If you're bored sat inside one night, go to a show, even if you're broke there is always something free going on. If you liked a bands set or EP you heard online, let the band know.