Summer Camp at The Harley

We are very excited to welcome Summer Camp back to The Harley this October.

‘Bad Love’, Summer Camp’s third album, is set in the same spooked domestic terrain in which they made their name back in 2009, but the perspectives have changed. “I think we got all of our teen angst out on Welcome To Condale,” says Elizabeth Sankey of the London duo’s 2011′s debut LP. “But this looks at how the cycles of those relationships repeat. The experiences you have as a teenager still happen to you, but as you grow up you’re better at dealing with them: the relationships you have with yourself, your family, your friends.”

So with ‘Bad Love’, they set about refining what they do best: those heart-racing heavily distorted guitars, battered synths that sparkle like dirty tinsel, the nostalgia triggered by a pastel sky. “We made a fairly conscious effort to try and avoid being so explicit about our influences on this one too,” says Elizabeth’s counterpart (and husband) Jeremy Warmsley. “We’ve wound up in a place where we have our own sound.”

On ‘Bad Love’ they tried to push that sound to its extremes: “‘Keep Up’ is the most oppressive thing we’ve ever done,” says Jeremy of the record’s rapidly intensifying, crashing closer where Elizabeth satirises the toxic social conventions of romantic game-playing and one-upmanship between friends. Meanwhile the softer ‘Run Away’ and ‘Horizon’ – a Jeremy-led pastoral shuffle recalling Nilsson or ‘Ram’-era McCartney- “they’re pretty broad,” he says. “We were figuring out what we do best and then doing that as much as possible.”

That also meant self-producing for the first time: Pulp’s Steve Mackey produced… ‘Condale’ and Smiths legend Stephen Street did ‘Summer Camp’, “which taught us a lot,” says Jeremy. “But self-producing means you get the most direct expression of what you’re trying to do. It’s not filtered through anyone else. That can lead to self-indulgence, which I hope we’ve avoided, but I do feel like this album is the purest expression of what we’re like since the ‘Young’ EP.”

Advance tickets £9.00 from harleylive.co.uk/ticket-shop or in person with no booking fee from the venue.

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Tuff Love at The Harley

We’re very happy to announce that Tuff Love will be playing at The Harley on Monday 9th November.

Tuff Love are Julie Eisenstein (guitar, vocals) and Suse Bear (bass, vocals), two close-knit pals living in Glasgow, Scotland – creators of hyper-infectious, fuzzed-up, lo-fi pop music that the city is so famous for. Writing together in Suse’s bedroom, and recording everything by themselves, their musical partnership has produced a flurry of addictive, perfectly formed songs – tied together by heart-wrenching harmonies, swoon-inducing lyrics, and sun-soaked dreamy melodies.

2014 has been a busy one. Following the release of their debut, Junk E.P., in May – on dazzling 10” white vinyl, via Scottish independent label Lost Map Records – the band embarked on tours of the UK and mainland-Europe, as well as enjoying an endless summer of festivals, with performances at Glastonbury, T in the Park, Wickerman, Coconut Festival (France), Howlin’ Fling, Cloudspotting and Long Division. Over this time they have built up a sturdy live reputation, opening for sell-out crowds with Real Estate, Perfect Pussy, Joanna Gruesome, Honeyblood, and PAWS.

Adored by radio – and championed by the likes of Lauren Laverne, Steve Lamacq, Rob Da Bank, Huw Stephens, Gideon Coe, Vic Galloway, among many others – Tuff Love were filmed in session for BBC Introducing, and also performed as part of the BBC Academy series. The press have been equally smitten; with two separate features with The Guardian (“a band to fall in love with”), a 2 page interview in DIVA (“our new favourite indie band”), profiles in NME Radar (“great college rock”), Metro and Daily Record, amongst other national publications, and with the Junk E.P. receiving glowing praise across the board – both online and in print.

Advance tickets £6.00 from harleylive.co.uk/ticket-shop or in person with no booking fee from the venue.

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Chastity Belt at The Harley

We’re very happy to announce that Chastity Belt will be playing at The Harley on Sunday 18th October 2015.

Taking cues from both the politics of the riot grrrl scene and
the intricate, moody guitar-based sound of early-’90s Pacific Northwestern indie bands like Sleater-Kinney and Autoclave, Walla Walla, Washington-based Chastity Belt formed in 2010. The group quickly integrated irreverent humor into its seemingly serious musical presence. Apart from witty and cutting lyrical content, the band named
its first locally circulated demo recordings Fuck Chastity Belt and later shot press photos that portrayed Shapiro wearing a chastity belt made out of a raw steak. They continued this trend when releasing their proper debut, No Regerts, in 2013. The band toured heavily in support of No Regerts, and returned in early 2015 with sophomore album Time to Go Home on their new label home of Sub Pop.

Ticket price £7.00, available from harleylive.co.uk/ticket-shop

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Menace Beach at The Harley

We’re very happy to announce that Menace Beach will be playing at The Harley on Wednesday 30th September 2015.
Back in the good old of days of 1990, Color Dream Games released Menace Beach for the then popular NES games console from Nintendo. Imagine skateboarding through a side-scrolling 8-bit world filled with balloons, clowns and disgruntled dockworkers in search of your cute pixilated girlfriend Bunny. It’s from this slightly
surreal, esoteric world that this Leeds indie rock revolving cast of local luminaries, headed by Ryan Needham and Liza Violet, draw their name. It’s reference acts as the perfect backdrop to their 90’s American underground and pre-Brit Pop indie; melody heavy, supercharged pop that’s always surprising.
After the success of their EP ‘Lowtalker’ in early 2014, British indie label favourites Memphis Industries snapped Menace Beach up with the band’s debut album in mind. It comes in the shape of ‘Ratworld’, a twelve song assault, a journey through a psyche tinged wonderland, documenting moving away and waving goodbye to the fractured rubble of an unhappy lifestyle. On the title, Ryan says “We’ve created our own grubby little Ratworld to inhabit. Everything is better when it’s a bit grubby and broken”. It’s that dreamy sensation of taking comfort in chaos, looking around at the perfect mess you’ve created and feeling deeply content as it’s yours and no one else’s.
Although Ryan and Liza are the creative core from which the wellspring of inspiration pours from, they’re now joined by Matt Spalding (bass), Nestor Matthews (drums) and Matthew ‘MJ’ Johnson (guitar).
As everyone’s favourite Leeds based producer, MJ sits behind the desk and has been molding the sound in his Suburban Home studios since the start. It’s his keen ear and ability to thread and balance an artist’s sonic themes that is the foundation stone upon which these songs can explode and punch you in the gut. And they do. Over and over again.
Opener ‘Come On Give Up’ recalls moments of Pavement’s ‘Terror Twilight’ but then slams home a bittersweet Wavves-esque boy/girl melody in the soaring chorus. Bratty ‘Lowtalkin’ lurches forward, sweat drenched and punchdrunk against a squealing driving darkness whilst ‘Tastes Like Medicine’ is a giddy head swirling fuzz pop rush. ‘Blue Eye’ offers a different perspective and a glimpse at what the future may hold. It drifts along in a sea of feedback bliss, recalling both My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain.
Menace Beach have taken the bull by the horns. 2015
is theirs for the taking.
Upcoming tour dates as follows:

20 MARCH, Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich
21 MARCH, The Cookie, Leicester
02 MAY, Live At Leeds, Leeds
16 MAY, The Great Escape, Brighton
22 MAY, Dot to Dot Festival, Manchester
23 MAY, Dot to Dot Festival, Bristol
24 MAY, Dot to Dot Festival, Nottingham
13 JUNE, Long Division Festival, Wakefield
25 JULY, Deer Shed Festival, Thirsk
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Gengahr at The Harley

We’re very happy to announce that Gengahr will be playing at The Harley on Wednesday 21st October.

Sit down for a natter with any horror film aficionado and they’ll surely tell you that ‘they don’t make them like they used to’. It’s widely acknowledged that the blood-and-guts gore of modern horror is no match for the classic creepiness of the genre, and it’s these more timeless influences that Gengahr draw upon in spades.

On the surface, the hazy indie that this North London four-piece command seems a million miles from anything that might prompt sleepless nights, but it’s the slowly creeping scares that leave the deepest impression. Through their smog and psych, frontman Felix Bushe’s lyricism draws upon the darkest corners of both the supernatural and the more grounded. Breakthrough track ‘Fill My Gums With Blood’, for example, is a tale of “a little boy vampire who falls for a girl” whilst ‘Powder’’s instrumentation melts around a wistful pondering on death.

“The fantastical side of the world is more exciting to me than the mundane,” he explains. He cites early exposure to Lou Reed and David Bowie and their respective constructions of alternate worlds within their lyrics as a huge turning point – “that was the point that I realised there was more than just writing about smoking cigarettes and drinking beers,” he smiles. David Lynch and Terry Gilliam are also confessed as influences on their cinematic take on indie pop.

Those musical backdrops are building a legacy of their own too, with guitarist John Victor already being framed alongside greats of the instrument like Jonny Greenwood and Graham Coxon. Indeed, it was John who solidified these school-friends’ ambition with his effortless, virtuoso guitar-work, though it was perhaps more accidental a pairing than it might seem. John studied jazz bass at university, and only met the rest of the band when playing bass in function bands – his guitar technique is entirely self-taught. With NME declaring his on-stage physique “octopus-like”, there’s clearly something of that aforementioned otherworldliness seeping into the members themselves, as well as their effortless talents.

Backed by drummer Danny Ward and bassist Hugh Schulte’s alternation between a rhythmic, almost Can-esque krautrock vibe and a more funk and Motown infused groove – most evident on tracks like ‘She’s A Witch’ – Gengahr’s sound seems to wilt through every genre imaginable. “All of our friends were in bands, there was so much creativity going on in our groups” explains Hugh when it comes to their fusion of sounds, citing everything from amateur covers bands to local grime talent as alumni of the school’s practice rooms. “Our school was really good; we got to rehearse at lunchtime, so to avoid being beaten up we’d often just go and sit in a rehearsal room.”

It’s paid dividends, as a cursory glance away from the fantastical worlds they inhabit and back into our own reveals that they’re already reaching impressive heights – the group’s recent signing to Transgressive Records is far from their peak. Their initial three-track demo brought them praise from Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and 6Music’s Lauren Laverne, and landed them on bills alongside fellow raucous upstarts Wolf Alice and Superfood as well as more established countrymen alt-J, Dry The River and The Maccabees; the upcoming debut full-length (recorded at Middle Farm Studios with James Bragg and currently tentatively slated for an early 2015 release) holds an astronomic potential.

“Touring is what makes it feel really legit for bands,” they explain. Felix elaborates on the impact that holds on their writing style: “We don’t play new stuff on the road. We find it gives us a lot of energy, so when we get back home, it’s strange, we have this build up of new ideas come from that starvation of not being able to write properly. You don’t get to rehearse, you don’t get to play new things for weeks on end and then when you get back it’s really exciting again to try something else, to try something new.”

Being back home is also a huge influence on the group, with their London-based upbringing cited as pivotal when it comes to their work ethic and productivity. “Everyone here is so fucking busy, you feel like you should always be doing something,” explains Felix, “for productivity it can’t be a bad thing, for your mental state of mind, I’m not sure how great it is…” Perhaps that explains that warped obsession with the macabre.

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