February 2018


Keith Goldhanger reports on what he’s seen and heard during February. A short month that starts sweet and tender and ends with a lot of swearing and loud guitars.

This months round up and music discoveries at least one of us didn’t know about a month ago is a bit of a cheat.

Cheat number one is that February began at the start of the fourth week in January this year due to the first month of 2018 being so impressive that it had to go for an early bath.

Cheat number two is the confession that one or two of these bands who have graced the speakers this month were heard previously but immediately forgotten, either blasted away by some other band who may have been in attendance the same evening or maybe because we just talked all the way through their set that night.

Exhibit one – GRACE LIGHTMAN whose appearance at The Moth Club lead us along the musical path to this gem of a tune. The fact that she stood about ten feet away just before Christmas doing the same (and I thought I was paying attention) is another one of life’s great mysteries. This is faultless in more than one way.

Exhibit two is TEAM PICTURE . The uniformed dress wear of those on stage can be recalled one cold Tuesday evening this month (or the end of last month) and a complimentary nod to the last song of the evening as the last drop of liquid was cleared from the bottom of the glass. This gem of a tune makes one wonder what might have been happening between the ears and the brain leading up to this monstrous set closer that evening. First impressions give the listener the impression there’s more than one side to this band, the dreamy psych side and the loud wall of guitars side. This is the wall of guitars side of the band and this six piece from Leeds are a band at least one of us around here needs to have another look at .

JANELLE MONAE is not a name I’ve ever come across before therefore this counts as something new I didn’t know about a month ago. Looking at the stats (and lets face it if a tune is getting a million hits a day then I’m not expecting her to turn up at the Shacklewell Arms next Tuesday) one feels this is someone the rest of the world already knows. This sounds like Prince. Not a groundbreaking statement but it sounds like Prince. Did I mention it sounds like Prince? – listen to this, it sounds like Prince (it’s ridiculously brilliant).

Back to reality and a band that had one of us punching the air with delight this month were FRUIT TONES who may have looked like a bunch of University Challenge contestants from 1972 but were an absolute delight to witness as they ploughed through forty odd minutes of songs that sounded like Buddy Holly fronting The Shadows one moment or a garage punk rock band the next. A very impressive live performance who seemed to impress all observers in the room with every twist and turn. This is a pretty neat tune and there’s more becoming available soon from this Manchester Trio.

Highlight of the month though was (twice) seeing BLACKWATERS (main pic). They may have sounded like Noddy Holder fronting Stiff Little Fingers for a moment and then a bit like Slaves or even Idles, but frankly their live shows this month had one of us wobbly kneed with excitement and reaching for those play buttons as soon as we got home.

Playing bottom of the bill during a snow storm in front of a decent crowd you can see in the eyes of the early bird attendees that they’re currently content to be simply hanging around on a Wednesday night, quietly singing along for the time being whilst waiting for their mates to get their shit together so everyone can all go mental in the mosh pit that will eventually be a part of this bands show. It’ll happen later on in the year. It’s one of those things noticeable straight away. This band have seven or eight fabulous tunes already and with BlackWaters (I do believe that is actually the correct spelling) we are witnessing the first band who are about to double the average age of their audience since Idles last year. Fuck Yeah as the new catchphrase goes….This is another one of those bands that many people need to hear (and probably will).

Finally, INSECURE MEN, Saul Adamczewski  from The Fat White Family no less and his childhood friend Ben Romans-Hopcraft from Childhood (the band) are about to tour their recently released album. There’ll be more to tell you as the next few weeks pass by but early indications point to a rather splendid album for any Fat White Family fans out there sitting impatient and waiting for a 3rd album (this year apparently).

More next month when the words Indian and Queens may feature however that might just be cheating .

He who makes the rules is allowed to break the rules – more next month.


All words by Keith Goldhanger. More writing by Keith on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. You can also find Keith on Facebook and Twitter (@HIDEOUSWHEELINV). You may subscribe to the Goldhanger Shorts Facebook page or browse some of his photos too if you so wish.

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Keith Goldhanger -- Spent the '90s as a frontman with London noise merchants HEADBUTT - spent the '80s in 'Peel favourites' BASTARD KESTREL. Spent a few years mashing up tunes and remixing bands as HIDEOUS WHEEL INVENTION. Is often out and about getting in the way of things and bumping his head on low ceilings - Will give your band the time of day but will dislike any band that balances full pints of alcohol on the top of guitar amps (Not keen on lead singers that wear hats either).


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