Rob Murray – Guitar, Mandolin and Vocals.
Emma Sunerton-Burl – Cajon mandolin and Backing Vocals.
Gala Elvira – Vocals.
Dave Sunerton-Burl – Bass, Guitars, Backing Vocals.
The band met protesting outside a UKIP conference mid 2015. They ended up playing an anti-UKIP song Rob had written and made the first item on the BBC 6 O’Clock News that night.
Since then they have had some high profile support slots. Including Hugh Cornwell, Mike Peters, Ferocious Dog and the Christians (Twice).
Musically their heroes and inspirations are The Clash, The Stranglers, X Ray Spex, The Pistols, Iggy and so on.
The new album is a passionate comment on society from a socialist viewpoint.
Rob: “I personally feel that this is the right time to stand up and speak on things we believe in”
Being a lover of songs and lyrics that mean something, having to listen to mainstream radio every day at work, I couldn’t agree more with Robs other point:
“Mainstream music is full of young boys with acoustic guitar singing twee songs about some girl leaving them or some such shite”
Rob goes on:
“Music needs to be raw and angry again and there is definitely a ground swell in live music at a grass roots level.”
Again, having seen the top selling albums and tracks of 2017 , and a follower of the live music scene in Glasgow, I also concur with that sentiment.
What’s next for Red or Dead?
“We hope to build on some great live shows with a few festival appearances and a couple of great supports and we will be playing some live shows to promote the CD from late January.
Unsurprisingly, given the name of the band, the album and how they came together, the album is a socialist commentary on today’s society.
The songs are robust and thought-provoking acoustic folk-punk. With lead vocals shared by Rob and Gala with sweet female backing vocals and harmonies. Take the sentiments and ideals of Billy Bragg, the passion of Joe Strummer and a sound somewhere between the Levellers, Roughneck Riot and The Tansads and you have Red or Dead.
Rob and Gala both have strong voices with the female lead vocals on “No-one is Innocent” kicking in with a fair impression Poly-Styrene. A powerful driving track reminding us that we are all part of the problem. “No-one is innocent, no-one is pure, we all poison the land while we look for the cure”
The call to action for today’s youth that is “Take a Stand” is aurally reminiscent of The Levellers “Another Man’s Cause”
Strummer and Burnel
With the poignant and memorable “Strummer and Burnel”, the band make reference to their late 70’s punk heroes. Hankering back to the days when “the world was going to change, we were going to blow them all away” and lamenting the fact that no-one protests or makes a stand as they did before. While the demise of British industry is lamented in “Steeltown”. With both Tory and Labour governments lambasted for the downfall.
The energetic “A New Day” is a massive two fingered salute to those in charge of the country. A prayer for a new day coming to ring in the change. Ending with the words I’m sure many would like to say…
On the other side of the Atlantic, the Trump administration is a gift that keeps on giving for bands writing politically influenced music. Red or Dead are no different in this respect with a song cataloguing everything that is wrong with the most powerful country/man in the world with “In America”
Overall, the album is an eminently gratifying listen. Importantly it has something to say. It is an outstanding antidote to the vacuous acts that make up the majority of mainstream radio playlists and the “charts” these days. Oh dear, I sound like my Dad.
Anyway, want to find out more and get hold of the album?
Compiled and produced by Derek S, Razur Cuts is for fans of stories, poetry and music and caters for those who yearn for the days of self-published fanzines. Get your hands on Razur Cuts IV before it sells out.
With its glossy cover it is a bit more high-tech than the old photocopied fanzines of old but the principle is still there. And it’s something tangible for those who still prefer a physical magazine or book.
The magazine features contributions from a variety of people, both new or more established, showcasing their short stories, poetry, interviews and articles.
Musically, past issues have included features on bands such as The Media Whores, Shatterhand and the Bucky Rage amongst others.
Razur Cuts IV
The latest issue (Razur Cuts IV) features the usual diverse mix of contributions from a variety of writers and musically an interview with Scottish music legend Martin Metcalfe (of Goodbye Mr McKenzie, Angelfish, The Filthy Tongues (with and without Isa) and The Fornicators).
The issue of poor mental health is also tackled in an interesting article by Danny Coyle.
To get your hands on a copy, get it through PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org – a bargain at £4.
If you are interested in having one of your poems, stories or features printed in a future publication contact email@example.com.
Find Razur Cuts on social media on Facebook and Twitter as @razurcutsmag.
It is that time of year when everyone reflects on their “best of” lists for the past year. Why should I be any different? I may as well join in.
I’m not going to write lists as such, or limit myself to a top 5/10 or whatever. I’ll just go with the flow and shout out some of my personal favourites of the year…
I only started thegingerquiff blog in August and have enjoyed many albums, singles and gigs since then that have featured on my blog, but there were plenty from earlier in the year though too.
So, here goes in no particular order (apart from no. 1)
Album of the year – Dead Hope – Songs from the Second Floor
Debut album of the year for me and one of my most listened to of the year was by the magnificent Dead Hope. Their album “Songs from the Second Floor” is packed full of nihilistic post-punk scorchers delivered with passion and fervour. I reviewed the album and launch night gig earlier in the year. They were also the last gig of 2017 I attended, at Nice ‘n’ Sleazy in Glasgow on the 29th December. In fact that gig consolidated for me that their album wasn’t just debut album of the year but for me it is my ALBUM OF THE YEAR. The gig was a joyous occasion where a packed Sleazys greeted every song with enthusiasm. Despite my description of the band as nihilistic post-punk, the music is uplifting and gives great joy. The solid rhythm section on Andy and Keith on bass and drums respectively are complemented by the array of magnificent noise created by Scott on guitar with his selection of effects pedals.
And the Rest
Talking of album launch gigs, another album highlight of the year was The Red Eyes who launched their latest and most accomplished album “Man and Boy” in Audio. I thought they had reached their peak with “From the Outside In” with tracks like “This is My Life”. However, “Man and Boy” exceeded all expectations with tunes aplenty and provoking and passionate lyrics. The band were celebrating their 20th anniversary and played 2 sets in Audio – the first featuring the original line up from back in 1997 and a headline set from “Man and Boy” featuring Alex King from Hateful in the line-up. As mentioned, the album has some of the best song-writing I’ve heard in a while with thoughtful subject matter and accomplished musicianship. The support on the night came from Strung-Out Nights, who released 2 fantastic EPs this year and also the omnipresent Heavy Drapes. I may have seen them more than once this year…
Whilst on the subject of Hateful, I was late in coming to the party in buying “Noize from the Streets” but it is a fantastic album packed full of brilliant tunes and song-writing. It has everything from sub 2 minute punk songs, intro and outro instrumentals that had me reaching for & listening to the Skids “Monkey McGuire Meets Specky Potter behind the Lochore Institute” and epics tracks with strings and the works. I feel both this album and “Man and Boy” deserve a feature of their own on my blog at some point soon. Watch this space.
Back to Heavy Drapeswho also played as part of a Tarbeach Records Scottish showcase gig featuring label-mates, ReAction and The Zips. The gig was a triumph with people travelling far and wide to catch the 3 bands. ReAction threw in a handful of new songs which went down a treat and have whet the appetite for forthcoming sophomore album. Heavy Drapes introduced new bassist Paul Research in a temporary with in the band – with the recent good news that Jerry Dangerous has now returned to the fold to take up bass duties again. Paul has recently released debut single with new band Voicex– also featuring Richie from Heavy Drapes. The Zips played tracks from their extensive back catalogue including early single “Don’t Get Pushed Around”. The great news is that all 3 bands have EPs/albums due to drop in 2018.
Broadcast was also home to “Back in the Garage” earlier in the year. The gig had a stellar line-up including The Media Whores, ReAction & The Zips with a rare Scottish headline appearance by External Menace. Unfortunately I was …ahem… tired and emotional by this point and missed their set…
Back to debut albums, I also thoroughly enjoyed Delinquents debut “About Last Night” a fairly eclectic collection of pop-punk tracks that brought a smile to my face. You’re sure to catch them gigging around the UK in 2018. See my review of the album here.
Savage Cutreleased one of the songs of the year in “Andy from Accounts” featuring Leyla Josephine on vocals and followed it later in the year with a tremendous album of collaborations with a variety of vocalists. “A Ricochet off the Moon” doesn’t disappoint and due to the nature of the collaborations provides a great mix and variety of songs.
Another album that brings a smile to my face on every listen is the latest, and in my opinion one of his best, release from Daniel Wylie’s Cosmic Rough Riders.“Scenery for Dreamers” is an exquisite album of sublime melodies, memorable lyrics & hooks and lush guitar riffs. The album sees Daniel team up with some quality musicians well known in the Scottish music scene in Neil Sturgeon, Johnny Smillie, Jim McCulloch to name a few and the result is exceptional.
Duncan Reid and the Big Headscontinued to prove a treat to the ear-drums with third album “Bombs Away”. The melodic and sophisticated power pop/punk played by the band is second to none and builds on the quality of their previous releases. I had the pleasure of seeing the band live in Glasgow’s Nice ‘n’ Sleazy with 3 Minute Heroesand Heavy Drapes. Like the last gig they played in the city (in Audio with support from the magnificent Media Whores and omnipresent Heavy Drapes) this was probably my GIG OF THE YEAR.
An honourable mention to The Media Whores here. Although “Dangerous Minds” was released in 2015 it was long-listed for this year’s Mercury Music award. To me, this is one of the most important albums of the last few years with its topical subject matters from police and political corruption to mental health and eating disorders, tackled in an eminently listenable way. The band have played some noteworthy gigs securing prime support slots along the way. See my feature on the band here.
LIVE ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Talking of Audio, Martin Metcalfe & the Fornicators recorded an acoustic live album in the venue. Unfortunately I missed the gig but the fruits of the evening’s labours have recently been released in the form of 10 track live album and it is my LIVE ALBUM OF THE YEAR. Tracks feature from throughout his career, from Goodbye Mr MacKenzie classics like Candlestick Park through to The Holy Brothers from last year’s brilliant Filthy Tonguesalbum “Jacob’s Ladder”. The Filthy Tongues also played a storming support set to The Skids in the O2 ABC in Glasgow. A treat for anyone who turned up early. Which to be fair was a large chunk, the draw of the Filthy Tongues was apparent. The Skids also treated us to a fantastic show, proving that the old punks can still cut it. I also wasn’t disappointed as Jobson put on a great display of Dad-dancing as usual.
“Damage and Joy” by The Jesus and Mary Chain was a welcome album of new material for one of my favourite bands and they played a magnificent gig in the O2 ABC to support the album. Unfortunately that gig also goes down in my memory was the one at which I experienced the biggest number of knobs. I’ve still to publish a blog on gig etiquette if there is such a thing… That aside, some of the new songs like “Always Sad” and “War on Peace” stand side by side with the Mary Chain classics of old.
Two throwbacks to the 90’s saw releases that were a complete “pleasure” to listen to. Gun released their best album in years in “Favourite Pleasures” and perennial touring band, Shed Seven’s first album of new material since 2001 was exactly as described in the title an “Instant Pleasure(s)”.
The Fall have gone through an almost endless list of band members through the years. Some of the ex-members led by Brix Smith (ex in more ways than one for Brix), Brix and the Extricated released one of the albums of the year in “Part II”. With a classic indie-rock sound the album was for me a welcome return to the music scene from Brix whose previous incarnation, the more Voice of the Beehive sounding Adult Net, I also thoroughly enjoyed.
Legendary Kilmarnock goths Southern Approach finally got round to releasing their debut album “Restitution”. An accomplished album of massive soundscapes and powerful vocals from Davie, with beautiful harmonies provided by Shirley. Originally called Legion after the Theatre of Hate song of the same name, 2017 also saw them supporting said band at a cracking gig from both bands in the Bungalow, Paisley. Watch out for more rare gigs from the band in 2018. Also hoping for action from Outstandifold and the Wettygrippers in 2018 (One of the other projects including David and Barry from Southern Approach)
I enjoyed some US punk/ska-punk too this year in the form of Rancid’s new LP “Troublemaker” which was released without much fanfare. Being a Rancid fan it is no surprise that I enjoyed the album. I think I have only missed one Rancid gig in Glasgow, so I was also looking forward to seeing the band live on Glasgow Green in a line-up that included Green Day, The Skids and Slaves. Unfortunately due to “the weather” the gig was cancelled at the last minute. The less said about that the better.
Slaves second album was a major disappointment, but to make up for it Idles similar style in their debut “Brutalism” made up for it in waves.
I’ve also recently been introduced to Jason How and have been listening to his 4 albums with relish. More to follow on the blog…
There were a few re-releases/compilations of note this year too.
“Reissue, repackage, repackage, re-evaluate the songs”. The Smiths took their own advice with a CD and LP box set of The Queen is Dead, including alternative takes and live concert. In my opinion, it is still one of the best albums ever released. It’s a pity Moz is a bit of a tosser these days…
The Fall helped me keep up with their extensive back catalogue by releasing an extensive box set of all of their single releases and B-Sides. Until you see them laid out in front of you, you can easily forget how many memorable songs and hits the band have had in their history. I didn’t get to see the band live this year but it was a shame to see the way Mark E Smith is looking just now. Get well soon.
The multi-talented Alex Lusty (Happy Martyr, Rats from a Sinking Ship) released a compilation songs from his hip-hop/rap incarnation Frigid Vinegar. Titled “Lou Ferringo” the album is lyrically eccentric, think of a hip-hop Half-Man Half-Biscuit and you’ll get the idea. I shudder to think what goes on in his head! Look out for a longer feature on Alex and his various projects as Rats go on tour again in 2018.
Also worth your time is The Membranes 5 CD box set “Everyone’s Going Triple Bad Acid, Yeah!”. It is a completist’s dream as it compiles all their releases and documents the bands journey from 1980 to 1995. The band continue to record and tour with more recent album “Dark Matter/Dark Energy” becoming their most successful. I look forward to future planned dates as I missed their December Glasgow gig.
Gary Crowley’s Punk and New Wave compilation is a superb listen. It takes a different direction than many other punk/new wave compilations which churn out the same tracks over and over again. This 3 CD box set features many lesser known acts interspersed with a few bona fide classics – among them Altered Images best song, the Siouxise and the Banshees-esque “Dead Pop Stars”, 999’s “Emergency” & The Boys “First Time”. The compilation also features Glasgow punk legends and one of the hardest gigging bands in Glasgow, The Zips with “Take Me Down”.
Tarbeach Recordscontinued to release some gems this year, releases by GIFTSHOP, Monkey Don’t Care and The Pepper Kings to a stripped back acoustic “19 Forevva” by Jonzip (of The Zips) and the magnificent “Old School Rules” EP from ReAction. The EP shows all the sides of the band, from the old school(!) punk of “Out of My Head”, the sophisticated 2 part “Street Fight” and the dub of “Crystallised Radio” (remixed from the album Accelerator) to their version of the External Menace classic “Someday”. It was a striking appetiser for the forthcoming second album (did I mention that already?).
Tarbeach also released a brilliant compilation CD (“No Animals Were Harmed”) to raise money for Sonny Vincent’s family (more about this here), but is also a great introduction to various bands on the labels roster (the only place you can currently get Heavy Drapes “Nightrippin’”) and others mentioned here and on my blog previously – such as Thirteen, Hateful, Texas Mod Crushers and so on.
And to the singles of the year
Some of the other singles/EPs I’ve been listening to time and time again this year have included what can only be described as feel good song of the year “Ehm Feelin’ Teckle” by Cundeez. From the opening cymbals all the way to the end I defy you not to smile. You’ll want to jump up and skank.
Single of the year – GIFTSHOP
Back to Tarbeach and GIFTSHOP who released my single of the year, a double A sided blue vinyl single featuring two different but equally stunning tracks. The in your face 2 fingers romp that is “Despicable” and the more restrained almost 50’s rockabilly crooner “Dontcha”.
As well as publishing his debut novel “A Rainbow in the Basement”Ian Donaldson has previewed his solo album due to hit the shelves in February with top track “Ticker Tape Parade”. I’m looking forward to the album and live launch dates.
Albums of the Year
Dead Hope – Songs from the Second Floor
Duncan Reid and the Big Heads – Bombs Away
Daniel Wylies Cosmic Rough Riders – Scenery for Dreamers
Delinquents – About Last Night
Jesus and Mary Chain – Damage and Joy
Crimedesk – Louder…..Faster
Red Eyes – Man and Boy
Hateful – Noize from the Streets
Shed Seven – Instant Pleasures
Gun – Favourite Pleasures
Martin Metcalfe and the Fornicators – Live
Brix and the Extricated – Part II
Savage Cut – A Ricochet off the Moon
Southern Approach – Restitution
Rancid – Troublemaker
Singles/EPs of the year
GIFTSHOP – Despicable/Dontcha
Cundeez – Ehm Feelin’ Teckle
Reaction – Old School Rules EP
Drunk Gods – Found the Lord & Lost Ma Soul/Pet Hate
Jonzip/The Zips – 19 Forevva/Barbara Wire
Strung Out Nights EPs
Ian Donaldson – Ticker Tape Parade
Duncan Reid & the Big Heads – Bombs Away/C’mon Josephine
And so to 2018, and loads to excite. The Skids “Burning Cities” is due in January, albums and EPs are due from Heavy Drapes, ReAction, The Zips and Ian Donaldson. There have already been too many gig announcements to mention, filling the calendar and making it hard to choose.
An intriguing announcement is due from Brian Setzer/The Stray Cats on 2nd January – do I look forward to a Glasgow re-union gig to make up for the cancelled farewell gig? Fingers crossed.
A massive thanks to all those who have read, supported and contributed to my blog in 2017, feel free to share far and wide.
Playing catch up with blog posts with few recent releases that deserve your attention.
Drunk Gods officially launched their new single tonight in Glasgow’s 13th Note.
The double AA single is available on CD at gigs and from the band members, but will also available to download from the 4th of December
See my review of the blistering new single(s) on louderthanwar website.
If you haven’t got their debut album – my first question is why? – but its not too late, you can download it from bandcamp or iTunes
To Be a Man – new single
Sway have recently come to my attention and are a distinctive melodic guitar driven 4 piece from Paisley. New track “To Be a Man” is a sumptuous slab of indie/power pop reminiscent of melodic 90s guitar bands Into Paradise/Whipping Boy/Power of Dreams.
They are due to headline King Tuts in January and having sought out some of their previous tracks, they surely have a bright future.
Reptilians from Andromeda
I don’t know what the Istanbul music scene is like, but it is good to see that garage rock/punk is popular and alive in other climes.
Reptilians from Andromeda have recently released a new video for song “Burning Inside” from forthcoming self-titled album.
They are by no means a new band having released several EPs since 2013 (check out their bandcamp site for some cracking tracks)
Their forthcoming album will have 10 tracks written and recorded by the band and mixed and mastered by The Monos frontman Fran Ashcroft. It will be available to download from their bandcamp page.
The bands sleazy goth-like garage sound is supplemented by a female vocal not dissimilar to Distillers frontwoman Brody Dalle.
The Media Whores are a Falkirk based “political power pop punk” band (description courtesy of Vive Le Rock) who have now have three albums to their name.
2013’s “Pornophonica” (9/10 in Vive Le Rock)
and latest release “Dangerous Minds” (2016) (again 9/10 in Vive Le Rock) and was also long-listed for the Mercury Music Prize.
Although Dangerous Minds has been out for a while now, it seemed like a good time to catch up with the band following the Mercury long-listing.
Band members are:
Craig A – vocals & rhythm guitar
Doogie Mackie – bass guitar & backing vocs
Martyn Heath – lead guitar & backing vocs
Andy Russell – drums
The Media Whores have been prominent and noticeably busy since the album release. This included playing alongside an impressive list of bands on landmark gigs and tours. Read ’em and weep:
The Damned’s 40th anniversary show at the ABC in November 2016.
a run of dates with Big Country marking the 30th anniversary of their album ‘The Seer’.
supports with Blue Aeroplanes and The Godfathers,
playing for the 10th anniversary of Record Store Day at Europa Records, Stirling.
Eddie and the Hot Rods, including at the legendary 100 Club, marking the 40th anniversary of ‘Do Anything You Wanna Do’.
supported Stiff Little Fingers on their 40th anniversary date in Scotland during the Edinburgh festival.
some gigs with the re-formed Valves.
and a recent run of gigs with Ruts DC, including the 40th anniversary of their first gig!
Ally: All this and a line up change in March 2017. We changed guitarists with Jimbo MacKellar leaving and Martyn Heath coming in. Martyn’s first gig was the Record Store Day gig in Europa Music, Stirling.
It would be amiss not to thank Jimbo for his sterling efforts, drama and entertainment!
political post-punk with a conscience
In my questions to the band I described them as “political post-punk with a conscience”. This was a result of and reflection on the subject matter covered in their songs.
Take just a handful of songs from latest album Dangerous Minds. Subjects here include protest songs against fracking (“Frack Off“), to bemoaning the growth of online relationships on “Computer Love Affair” commenting that they
“deconstruct real relationships and drive(s) social ineptitude for many people”.
Police corruption in “Raking it In” and on “Black Widow” a “vitriolic swipe” directed at successive Tory governments and their
“privatisation of the NHS, the Post office and begs the question “how come these things are all decided by minority cowboys that I don’t vote for” “.
(Quotes above all from Craig)
The band have also covered mental health issues in their songs – these have been influenced by very personal situations.
Ally: “Like most people we have been affected directly and indirectly with mental health.
We lost 2 friends in quick succession to suicide and one is referenced in the song “Vinyl Head” on Dangerous Minds. It is essentially a song about the love of vinyl and record shops, but also a love of love and one line references a lost friend.
Craig A is the lyricist for all apart from ‘Skinny’ which I am immensely proud to have co-written. It is about eating disorders, depression, anxiety, size zero, photo-shopping, body-shaming. The full range of both female and males depression and anxiety, and specifically eating disorders.
If, like me, you like your music not only with great tunes but also thoughtful lyrics and topical subject matter then Dangerous Minds is the album for you.
I urge you to go and buy a copy, but not just yet…
I have been in touch with the band’s manager, Ally, recently. He arranged for Craig and Doogie to answer some questions for thegingerquiff.
Thanks to Craig and Doogie for taking the time out to answer these and to Ally for organising, providing photos and background and also answering some questions!
MERCURY MUSIC LONG-LIST
thegingerquiff: You have been around now for nearly 10 years and are 3 albums in. How does it feel to finally have some wider recognition and have “Dangerous Minds” long-listed for the Mercury Music prize?
Craig A: It feels fantastic, we are very proud of the Dangerous Minds album and of the Mercury nomination. (We are) very happy that this gives our work wider recognition throughout the music industry; and introduces the Media Whores to a wider audience.
Our previous albums have always been well received and have received excellent reviews from the music industry (Pornophonica and Dangerous Minds were both 9/10 in Vive Le Rock). This type of press really helps us communicate with an audience and ultimately helps sell our records and fills up our shows.
Doogie: That’s 9 years we have been together and suppose it is a form of recognition for a stand out album in this current time although the long list is better than the short list.
tgq: It doesn’t make sense to me that the likes of Ed Sheeran made the short-list. I don’t think that is in the spirit of the award. (In terms of artists getting exposure and a monetary prize to give them a step up to the next level). What are your thoughts on the short-list?
Craig – It is a real honour (and objective recognition of our music, our lyrical content and our attitude) to be nominated. Music is such a subjective medium and is a very competitive industry. The short list is what it is – the opinion of a panel of judges as to what they consider to be worthy of the short list.
You have to be in it to win it and we were in it (up to a point). Good luck to those who made the shortlist and good luck to the winner. It will help their career and raise their profiles in a crowded marketplace.
Doogie: It’s what we expected. It’s all too safe and comfortable. The industry doesn’t like a change but it needs one again and has for a long time. There are so many people that are fed the music and just go with the flow.
Ally: We felt the album, with the lyrics, tunes, sound, artwork, everything about it, may have been left field enough to pique the judges attention.
One of the start points of our thought process, during the recording when thinking about titles and art, was the now rightly maligned NME running a piece saying there was no protest music or politics in music any more. Well there clearly is, in the underground, outwith their metropolitan bubble and cliques of what is hip this year!
However, the shortlist felt entirely predictable, safe and mainstream but also not genre or regional representative. I mean 5 finalists from not only London, but South London!!
Ed Sheeran does not need the exposure or even the cheque that the award generates, but I hear he does support many issues, including mental health issues, which we all should support.
However, no-one can ever lose sight of the fact that the world needs guitars, bass and drums and machines that kill fascists!
tgq: I couldn’t agree more. You make a valid point about Ed Sheeran and what he does outwith the public eye. He certainly seems like a genuine bloke. It would be a boring world if everyone had the same tastes.
However, it does definitely seem that due to the subjectivity of whoever was on the judging panel, there was an uneven distribution in the short list.
In my opinion, Dangerous Minds shoulda been a contender!
MEDIA WHORES background
tgq: I know we are focussing on the present and the Dangerous Minds album, but lets go back a wee bit. What was your inspiration for starting the band? Give me a bit of insight into your progression over the years?
Craig: As a music fan, the inspiration for starting a band was always lodged within the creative process and the opportunity to perform your original music to people. Being in a band is great fun; it allows you to travel, to see new places, to gather life experiences and to meet new and like-minded people. Music is for life and not just for Xmas.
The progression has been incremental and since the release of Dangerous Minds in 2016 we have had honour of sharing the stage with some of our heroes – Damned, SLF, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Theatre of Hate, Spear of Destiny & Ruts DC, as well as having the opportunity to play the album in its entirety from start to finish as it was conceived at packed out album launches in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Doogie: We have all been in numerous bands over the years, some of us together at different times and some attaining more success than others. With this camaraderie we knew this would be worthwhile in making music.
MEDIA WHORES INSPIRATION
tgq: Dangerous Minds (along with your previous releases) is a thought-provoking album with many potentially controversial topics being covered. These topics include, as mentioned earlier, mental health which is a subject close to my heart.
The album could be described as intelligent post-punk with a conscience. Obviously you take a lot of inspiration from issues of the day. Tell me more about writing the album/songs?
Craig: Can’t Say Whore (on the radio) …. fuelled by frustration and the band have had some resistance from the “DJ” gatekeepers on mainstream radio – Galloway, Gelalty et al, ….. playing the same 20 manufactured insipid pop songs, beamed out from hypocrisy central, on sickening repeat.
The DJ community are quite happy to popularise misogyny and sexual exploitation of women but won’t play a song by “The Media Whores”, which ironically has no sexual connotation whatsoever.
Zombies in Mayfair….dedicated to the corporation sluts with their eyes glued shut…… Big business “wants to own the machine and it wants to own the vaccine” – generating wealth from the sickness, exclusion and misery of the vast majority of this “great” Britain.
Do You Think I Am Lying?….The centre for social justice and the assessment criteria of the Welfare reform act, fit for work decision-making, entitlement to disability benefits and the institutional bias that everyone is “at it” come under fire in this acerbic piece of tribal warfare.
Doogie: As you say there is an inspiration from issues of the day, these can be from either what’s going on in our country or all around the world. We see and hear about all issues everywhere worldwide.
We know you can write songs about anything and everything but we have seen bands and played with bands who aren’t saying anything at all. They would be as well singing the wheels on the bus go round and round!
Yes, I think I’ve seen some of those bands….
media Whores live
tgq: I’ve seen you live on a few occasions. You were part of the line-up that was my gig of the year for last year. (with Duncan Reid and the Big Heads and Heavy Drapes in Audio).
You’ve also just completed a string of dates with Ruts DC. The feedback I’ve heard is that both bands were on fire.
How did you enjoy playing with them and how did the opportunity come about?
Craig: It was fantastic, an awe-inspiring experience. Ruts DC are lovely people and we were treated really well and received excellent audience reactions. NB Thanks for the wine Segs – pity I dropped it.
Doogie: We have supported Ruts DC on two occasions previously which were a great experience and again this was a fantastic run of shows with them. The band and crew are absolute gentlemen and a professionally run outfit. They like our sound and what we are doing so have been talking about doing more shows with them in the future.
Click here for a review of the bands recent gig with Ruts DC – from La Belle Angele, Edinburgh on 16/09/17.
Your next gig is at the end of the month in Bridge of Allan. What is next for The Media Whores (gigs/releases)?
Craig: Finish mixing new EP, launch shows and promotional tour of UK towards the end of 2017/early 2018. Thereafter, early in 2018 we will record and release our new album and we are, very, very excited about that.
Doogie: Gigs can come along and be confirmed at anytime at short notice. We have a few festival slots coming up at the end of the year. We have recorded 4 new songs for a new ep to be released as soon as all music and artwork is complete.
I’m also excited about the E.P. and the follow-up to Dangerous Minds. I’ll be keeping a keen eye out for release dates and gigs.
Keep up with what is happening in the world of The Media Whores by following them on Facebook & Twitter.
The current list of gigs looks like this – with more being added all the time:
30th September – Bridge of Allan
21st October – EH6 Festival – the Granary, Leith
26th November – Bannermans, Edinburgh with Roddy Radiation and the Skabilly Rebels
16th December – Lancaster alldayer Punk festival at the Bobbin
22nd December – Smash, Edinburgh with Angelic Upstarts
24th March – Mad Hatties, Inverness
Media Whores Manifesto
tgq: For anyone who is new to the music & convictions of The Media Whores, how would you describe the bands manifesto!
Craig: Talk truth to power and say it like you see it. This is a class war and we are all soldiers.
Media Whores are essentially a protest band. Unless you never look up you will realise there is plenty to protest about in the current political and economic environment. VLR quoted that MW are “political power pop punk perfection.”
Doogie: This manifesto is still being put to the testo. We aim to continue playing and writing in the way we do, there is no plan other than that is the plan.
Ally: Keep on keeping on, doing our own thing, not in a clique or cliché and discombobulating the masses!
Vote Media Whores!!! (And thanks Doogie, Sultans of Ping – Wheres Me Jumper? is now going to be in my head for the rest of the day)
Get the Album!
tgq: Opportunity for blatant promotion time – Where can we get hold of Media Whores releases and merchandise?
Doogie: We have our own slot/space in HMV music shop, yes our own slot/space!
Ally: The label we are on Twenty Stone Blatt has worldwide distro, which is why we generate sales and reviews from as far afield as Australia, America, Germany and Sweden! The physical product is out there in shops and also for the more modern among us, download on iTunes, Spotify, deezur and Amazon!
Thank again to Craig, Doogie & Ally for their time and contributions and congratulations on the Mercury long-listing. l look forward to hearing the new songs and catching the band live again in the not too distant future.