Saturday, 30 August 2008


Dry Bar
28 August 2008

The reaction of the local media (e.g.) to the release of the debut album from Manchester's The Whip earlier this year proved that whilst you can't polish a turd, you can roll it in glitter. Thankfully Late Of The Pier's own d├ębut album, with the help of Erol Alkan, has shown just how to inject not only electro into your average indie-rock but weight and substance too. In so doing, LOTP completely exposed the redundancy of The Whip's baggy beats to the point that even lobotomised berk, Bez, now politely refuses seconds. Fortunately, Manchester doesn't have to look to Castle Donington to highlight the redundancy of its former-glories-obsessed music scene, we have our own spazzcore pop trio, Copycats.

Copycats - 'Suns Son' (original version).mp3

Flagged by a couple of their own friend litter onstage, New Ears' favourite Manchester-not-Manchester band ripped through a stirring if slightly disjointed set of scratchy guitar lines, skewed techno beats and broken/temperamental Korg melodies. Being that he was the only one who looked comfortable in his own skin and has his own techno-pop knob-twiddling side project, it's clear, ably supported though he was, that expertly fringed vocalist Alex Hewett is the ringmaster, on and off stage, to these young felines.

That they played to a crowd barely sufficient for a decent game of Cluedo was disappointing but there was more than enough to suggest a luminous future for both Copycats and a slowly emerging new Manchester scene. Check their myspace to stream the recently reworked version of standout track, 'Suns Son'. Go now!

Copycats - Bed Room Demon (Alex Hewett Rmx).mp3

Words: SS

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Go Ear: Gentle Friendly @ Islington Mill - 10/08

“Huge glistening party anthems, which have a tendency to really bum you out.” That’s the best way to describe Gentle Friendly’s sound according to its drumming half, Daniel. Being that he's also a fifth of multi-instrumenatlists, Buttonhead, Dan represents 28.57% of London's two foremost thigh-slapping noise-pop bands. Check my sums, it stands up. Gentle Friendly are visiting our fair city twice in the next month so we asked him a few questions about all things GF...

"We just try to play well. We don't really have any gimmicks or anything, I think we're both sort of against that. We just try to play loud and not fuck up. There may well be some drum related breakages however. I have a tendency to do that. I once broke the drummer from Sleeping State's ride stand in half. I felt really bad but he was a really nice guy and charged me almost nothing to replace it. I think his name was Robin, very nice man.”

Musical - “Arthur Russell, Paul Simon, 1980s cassette trade boom, 2000s rap mixtape boom, cave-punk, Neu!, Moondog.”
Others – “John Gray, The Wire, vegan mac & cheese, mountains of keyboards, unlabelled cassettes, hot boring summer days. Speaking personally, drum microphones. I brought this set when I had no money, but I just get a kick out of them though, I think its lame.”

"We’re putting out our first record proper [a four track vinyl EP] with No Pain In Pop in November and a collection of our lo-fi recordings will be out on limited edition tape release [through cassette heroes, Stop Scratching] at the same time."

"We have an All Tomorrow's Party show with Indian Jewelry which we're both super excited about. We’re also doing a Paris date which should be cool. I guess we'll begin to play more in Europe and in the U.S. The offers have been there, it’s just been a case of a lack of money or bad timing. I guess we’re mostly just thinking about the Ponytail tour next month though, those are awesome dates and we dig on Ponytail hard, so that should be rad!”

You can see Gentle Friendly this Sunday at Lamb & Wolf's alldayer at Islington Mill. They're back on 8 September with Ponytail at Satan's Hollow, so go!

Gentle Friendly - 'Five Girl Night' (download here or listen below)