Tuesday, 30 September 2008


Clubs? Next month? Alriiight.

Some truly hexagonal dope to tell you about in Manchester's bopsheds and flashtunnels during October and I'm not talking about the milked-till-tender cash cow, The Warehouse Project, neither. Far more promising is Drowned in Sound's new monthly Tuesday night 'DiScover' showcase at The Death Institute's flush new music hall, which starts with Wild Beasts, Cats In Paris and The Long Blondes DJs amongst others on 28 October.

Last Monday saw the first of this term's monthly Super Super magazine vs Monday Murkage club night at One Central Street. One New Ears mainstay was quoted as stating it was “quite good actually...[with] party anthems aplenty”. The next is set for 13 October with Skepta. Entrance is free if you turn up with a haircut*.
But the main event last week was on Wednesday, which saw the opening night of the weekly 'Now Wave'. Designed as a maturer, less prannock stricken offshoot to their Up The Racket franchise, its promoters deserve credit for enlisting some more than decent bands to play at The Deaf Institute, including Pivot (this week), Holy Fuck & Errors (next week) and Abe Vigoda (3 Dec).

Last week S.C.U.M kicked off proceedings with a set of thrilling, flashing, confident darkwave rambunctiousness, only for Ipso Facto to follow with an instantly forgettable thirty minutes of drabwave. Which left a bad taste in the mouth only bettered by the weariful DJing which displayed next to no correlation to the live music that had just been showcased. In fact it was about a minute into LOTP's 'Focker' being played at the wrong speed that we avowed to pull our finger out and take New Ears' DJing excursions beyond the fifteen minutes afforded us at Big Hands earlier this year. So if you want us to play your jamboree, coke party, box social or bahmitzfa just message us. No really. We promise to play Pictureplane.

Pictureplane - 'Flashion you designed my mind'.mp3

*Unconfirmed at time of posting.

Words: SS

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Offset Festival: S.C.U.M In The Sun

Yo! Remember we told you a few posts back that S.C.U.M were the band to be checking for at Offset festival? Well here’s the news flash - we were right! Rolling Access All Area's style on someone elses pass I headed along to Hainult with the 'fashionable east London set', to catch the only festival worth bothering with this year...

What was it saying? Well actually not a great deal to be honest, EXCEPT for the Experimental Circle Club tent which hosted sets by the cream of the ascendant post-post-punk 'darkwave' set. While attendance at other tents and stages was generally fairly sparse, the ECC was packed for pretty much every band which graced its stage; a sea of dutifully detached faces observing the on-stage goings on beneath a lingering fug of smoke (emanating from the requisite menthol and liquorice paper cigarettes), the overriding aestetic not so much 'festival chic' as simply 'chic'.

O Children, The Violets, Neils Children and the newly streamlined Electricity in Our Homes (whose set was excecuted with sufficient confidence and aplomb to suggest the recent loss of vocalist Thomas Wamerdam might not be the disaster it initially seemed) all delivered performances of note over the weekend, but it was the aforementioned S.C.U.M who ruled supreme as the dandy ring masters of the Experimental Circle Club tent.

With a guitar-less rhythm led racket that sounds a little like early Suicide, not to mention cheekbones you could hang coats off, these monochrome teens are as beautiful as they are brilliant. In a scene which emphasises the necessity of fostering a poised demeanour of dourness and indifference S.C.U.M do the unthinkable and dare to be exciting, adventurous and naively idealistic, and are all the better for it.
Even without their much whispered connections, these young princes are undoubtedly darkwave's most likely to ‘do a Horrors’ and break the over ground; the difference being that, unlike the aforementioned goffs, they’ve got the class, charisma and tunes to back it up.

S.C.U.M are playing in Manchester at the Deaf Institute (the Oxford Rd 'Trof') on the 24th September (along with Ipso Facto). To miss out would be really, REALLY silly.

Words - Billy iDle

Image: Princess Julia, taken from the September issue of P.i.X - go pick it up!

Friday, 5 September 2008

Esqueezy Explains It All

What a week in Esqueezyville! In advance I apologise for depriving New Ears’ readers of ‘Esqueezy Explains It All’ but I'm pretty sure you didn’t miss me too much. I blame it all on the summer lull.... including musical monstrosities like Wiley's 'In The Summer' because quite frankly, Daft Punk samples DON’T really get me going. Anyways, it's September again and we all know what that means.... an arrival of socially inept and under-experienced freshers, all geared up for sex and 5th Ave. Dunno about you, but I don't really envy them.

So what’s been going down….hmmm…Last week saw the start of what I'm calling the 'Esqueezy Entrance'. This one was spawned at an uber pretentio private party on Thursday that was some bullshit to do with a Volkswagen car that somebody had gotten all pre-school on by having the ultra challenging idea of painting strange lines on. I just heard it was free drinks so I didn't really pay much attention to the screwy literature they gave me (hand-packed tidily in some strange rubbery sleeve with the same weird dots as the car...hmmm). Well cutting to the chase, I managed to knock 5 glasses of champagne flying within 30 seconds of entering...and that was after I'd done a lot of swearing and argy-bargy at the front door. It was one of those moments when you’ve either got to curl up and die or count to ten and do it again. All hail Esqueezy...no?

I’m going to start doing it everywhere I go, maybe even at work…but ho, you can definitely expect such behaviour on a weekly basis, cos I'm getting like LL and I’m going back…but not to Cali…to Murkage baby! The drought of decent nights is coming to an end! Murkage was pretty successful last year, but academic year 2008/9 puts the cherry pon cake… brand-new venue and buff nuff bookings every week starting September 22nd! Think Tomb Crew, Toddla T, Afrikan Boy, Skepta, Bigger Than Barry, Deekline, Heavy Feet.... all I can say is thank the Lord because I'm getting pretty tired of only being offered the choice of clapped out indie nights or listening to bass with trustafarians. It does nothing for my complexion, let alone my mentality.

All dates until Christmas can be found on Mypace here and on Facebook hither. Plus, if you really, really, really can’t wait there’s a Mini Murkage tonight, downstairs in the Basement Bar at Trof Deaf Institute. Come join us for status drinks and ridiculous behaviour.

To get y’all in the mood, here's, EPMD - ‘Run It’ (Sinden Remix).mp3. I’m putting it down as a future Murkage anthem…that blend of bars and wonky beats always seems to do it.

‘Til next time…


P.S. Hopefully, if New Ears will let me, I’ll be back mid month with a mix from someone bangin’…… HOLD TIGHT!