- Wednesday 30 September Menace Beach (Harley Live) Tickets
- Thursday 1 October Summer Camp (Harley Live) Tickets
- Friday 9 October Euro Childs Harley Live Tickets
- Sunday 18 October Chastity Belt (Harley Live) Tickets
- Wednesday 21 October Gengahr (Harley Live) Tickets
- Saturday 24 October Dave McCabe & The Ramifications (Leadmill presents) Tickets
- Monday 26 October Slug Tickets
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
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.
We’re very happy to announce that Rozi Plain will be playing at The Harley on Sunday 31st May, along with Nat Johnson.
After getting a ton of BBC Radio 6 Music play for ‘Actually’ and being named ‘Single of the Week’ on Jo Whiley’s BBC Radio 2 show, Bristol singer-songwriter Rozi Plain returns with her second album.
With her personal folk-pop and confessional country, Sheffield-based singer-songwriter Nat has been playing sell-out shows and gathering fans including Lauren Laverne, Gideon Coe and Janice Long.
Advance tickets: http://harleylive.gigantic.com/rozi-plain-the-harley-2015-05-31-19-30
Or in person with no booking fee from the venue box office
More on the door
British house & disco pioneers Crazy P bring their full live show to Queens this May.
Six albums and fifteen years in, the band are stronger and more relevant than ever. Playing in support of their forthcoming seventh album, expect a thrilling live show, which will prove why the trio are still see them regarded as one of dance music’s finest live performers out there.
Upholding the heritage of soul, musicianship and songwriting that is an essential part of the fabric of house and disco, the band also stay current, letting those fundamental elements of the sound inform and mark out their take on the genre.
Advance tickets onsale now or in person with no booking fee from the venue box office, more on the door
The ace High Hazels will be returning to our place on 30th April for a big ol’ party to celebrate their new single ‘Valencia’. Tickets for the show are onsale now and are also available in person with no booking fee from The Harley box office.
With acclaim for their eloquent songwriting and gentlemanly charm, James Leesley (vocals/guitar), Scott Howes (guitar), Paul Barlow (bass guitar) and Anthony Barlow (drums) are set to follow on from the success of their self-titled debut album, released in October of last year. The album was recorded with producer Matt Peel (Pulled Apart By Horses, Eagulls) and mastered by Robin Schmidt (The Coral, Jake Bugg).
The young quartet from Sheffield are boys who horde priceless guitars, but can’t afford the bus fare home, rehearse dry George Harrison barbs in the bathroom mirror, read the Angling Times, and go to their Nan’s for Sunday dinner.
Their artistry awash with the Steel City’s reputation for melancholy witticism and intricacy, High Hazels soar in melodies of everlasting wanderlust, as desires of blithe youth permeate in northern nuances both authentic and chaste. Dream pop powered by a lovelorn landscape, A. Barlow drums an upbeat anthem for the doleful, as Leesley’s vocals echo shimmering chords in a sunlit tenor.
“Hazy afternoons spent drifting through an ancient river bed formed the inspiration behind this song,” says P. Barlow.
“The river bed has now dried and is known as the ‘Garden of Turia’.
“Drenched with summery guitars and plenty of Valencian juicy oranges, the drums pound through the back streets and into the town square,” he says.
The release of ‘Valencia’ will be accompanied by an acoustic version of the track, as well as acoustic B-sides of their lead single ‘Misbehave’, and The Kinks’ ‘Waterloo Sunset’, which was first played on BBC Radio 2 for Dermot O’Leary. To celebrate the release of ‘Valencia’, High Hazels will be selling a limited run of 100 DIY handmade sleeves, featuring art drawn by the band.