On Friday 13th February, I will be putting on our first ever night showcasing only new, young, up-and-coming and little known bands from the regional Alternative Rock circuit, on an event called Fresh Meat.
Headlining, are THE VERALS from Sheffield; the Manchester based shoe-gaze band BULL IN THE WHISKY SHOP; with members from all four corners of South Yorkshire, the fuzz heavy Brit-Rock band 10 FLAWS DOWN and from Barnsley, the slacker-punk, alt-rock trio, OUTSIDER. I caught up with all four acts to find out a little about each band.
KANE BARTON (LEAD VOCALS/GUITAR – THE VERALS)
I’d describe us as a typical loud rock band with little twist of various over bands that influence us, such as Queens of the Stone age and Foo Fighters. Some say they hear Biffy Clyro in our music. we love their latest album ‘Opposites’. That album gave us plenty of ideas.
One of our best gigs to date has to be last summer at Tramlines. The crowd was great and we love playing their every year anyway, it’s always a good one.
If I was to pick one track that represents us the best, I’d say ‘Hurricane Headache’. This song is just full-on our own type of sound and most of the public seem to react to this one the most when played in our live sets.
EMILY CARNEY (VOCALS/GUITARS – BULL IN THE WHISKY SHOP)
Bull In The Whisky Shop is a big concoction of various sounds and (as ridiculously emo as it sounds) feelings. We like our grunged up fuzziness and noise but we’re also quite partial to embracing a bit of ambient psychedelia; and I think the variety of topics we write about in our songs reflects that too, there’s a whole batch of different emotions in their so it’s pretty interpretive for each listener.
Personally I quite like the idea of turning a few heads, even if it means a few people are left scratching theirs.
For anyone that has heard us, It would be no surprise when I say that Sonic Youth is an influence. Dirty is a brilliant record of theirs – there’s so much sassiness. My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive have also been a big influence. I just love that idea of crafting a big wall of sound from a guitar, experimenting with different textures and tonalities.
We played our first headlining gig at The Verve in Leeds back in December and that was fantastic, albeit rather intimate and very, very sweaty… but isn’t that hat you want from a gig? There’s quite a scene for noise-rock and grunge growing in the north at the moment (in Leeds particularly) so it was really cool to catch a little glimpse of that within our first month or so of gigging.
I think our track Lion is a pretty good representation of what we’re like as a band, it’s a little bit odd and quirky and there was a lot of experimentation again going on when we recorded it (I mean how many other psychedelic noise-rock bands have an opera singer on one of their tracks?). When the track was finished and we listened to it, I was so proud of it, lyrically and melodically. James put in some brilliant hooks in it and it sounded better than I could have ever imagined it would when we first started writing it.
LEWIS RYAN (BASS/BACKING VOCALS – 10 FLAWS DOWN)
I’d describe 10 Flaws Down as reavy rock with a hint of indie, smothered in heavy fuzz. The good thing about 10 Flaws Down is the wealth of influences we have; it’s what makes our set list diverse I think. There are influences in the pot from crooner jazz to heavy metal with grunge and indie in between.
‘Merry Go Round’ is a good example of what to expect. It’s usually the last song in our set we play live and it’s a song that drives through the audience. It’s one of the songs we recorded last year over in Doncaster with Rob from the Vintage Rock Bar and we had a great time recording it. There’s something about recording a song that somehow makes it tighter live. We all know the intricacies and details of everyone’s part. It’s like you deconstruct it and then put it all back together again, until as a band you completely understand it.
Our gigging highlight to date has to be our last gig at The Hop in Sheffield. It was Halloween and me and Paul dressed up me in full Mexican Day of The Dead make up and Paul was dressed as a Nun. This is the gig that I realised that the band was actually getting somewhere sound wise. It was the first time I had noticed the audience join in with our songs and we even had people filming us. We normally have our regulars that follow us and come to most of our gigs, but that night we had people that had never seen us before really paying us and the music we were making some attention.
ALEX BUKOVINA (DRUM – OUTSIDER)
Describe the sound of Outsider? Imagine Nirvana covering Deftones and you’d be close. Just a load of fuzzy well executed noise.
Those are the bands that influence us the most. And there’s no denying we take influence from the likes of Blink 182 and the rest. But those two bands are pinnicle in the Outsider evolving from your everyday pop punk band to what we are today.
‘Brother’ is probably the track that represents us the most. It’s our most recent song, our best received song and a happy medium between all of our output.
We’ve been fortunate enough to play a load of great shows; we played to 350 people with Neck Deep, but our favourite show was the last ever show at The Cockpit [Leeds]. We were the main support act for Decade and because of that, we’ll always be the second to last band that ever played our favourite venue and that’s not something we’ll ever forget.
ALTERNATIVE BARNSLEY PRESENTS… FRESH MEAT @ THE POLISH CLUB
FRI 13 FEB – 8PM – £2
THE VERALS | BULL IN THE WHISKY SHOP | 10 FLAWS | OUTSIDER