Central Lancashire is getting battered by the Tory Cuts. That belt of mill towns with their former wealth flaunted by crumbling town centre Victoriana. The pubs are boarded up and the money is draining away. Its the perfect setting for a band competition. One part something to do and part proof that there is always some great young bands in these battered valleys.
I’m the judge at some of the heats. I’m not arsed about the Simon Cowell thing. It’s a strange task to pick a best band from four so you have to ket instinct run it’s course.
The standard of bands was pretty good but so far there have been four stand outs that are worth your investigation.

Leaning towards indie pop, Linus have good songs and a tight, punchy way of playing. They also have a great bass player who oddly moves like Paul McCartney but can also play like former Beatle. The band’s brisk indie cleanly wires and they have enough cheek to maybe haul themselves out of the small towns.

This trio have the feral power and the inventiveness of a young Nirvana who they collide with the musicality of Muse. they then take this and crank it all up to an insane shrieking raw power that is the sound of being trapped in small town England. They look like waifs but they are not scared to offend, one song is called ‘Cunt’ and they manage to drive half the room away- always a great sign of a band that really has something, and it helps to make them the winners of the first heat.


White swallow
When you strip rock n roll down to it’s basic parts it is thrilling. At these battle of the bands you sort of expect loads of lumpen indie rock so it’s great to see a band who are twisting rock into new shapes. White Swallow are a guitarist who plays a filthy, grungey blues assault staring into the yes of an incredibly powerful drummer and they lock themselves into a filthy groove. It’s highly effective and beautifully powerful. This is band that could easily break out into an international scene.


Moral Panic
Moral Panic play a frantic, heartfelt hurtling indie rock, they have an amazing bass player and a singer who is powerfully emotive. There is a good band here months from finding themselves. They just have to drop the white face paint first…

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. That Metonia critique uncannily describes the band LINUS who played catchy “Indie Pop” that night. Great review, even if you miss-named us!

  2. The review you have put for Metonia seems to describe the band Linus who played the same night. It in no way is an accurate description of Metonia but does fit Linus…


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