Living La Vida Local: Week 7

Intimate venues such as Cluny, THINK TANK? and Head of Steam lend themselves to local acts around the calendar. But, with this supply must come the reciprocated demand. People are too caught up on the notion that the majority of local bands will be one-and-the-same and avoid any names that they are not familiar with, or that big-named music publications have recommended. I am bored of this reserved, safe-zone approach to discovering new artists. Get out there and see something you have never heard of.

Them Things

The line-up of Them Things includes Louis Adams, Ilya Tarnopolskiy, Tom Ungerer and Jack Golightly. It is a mix of British, French and Russian personalities together. The music from their Good Weird EP, from 2014 is driven dream-pop, with spangled guitars, littered with effects, bends and tremolos, but ‘Astronauts’ from earlier this year is sludgy and soaked with shattering riffs behind a boastful, bawling voice.

Earlier in November, the band played a gig at Tynemouth’s Surf Café, handing out free ‘zines and exclusive badges to celebrate the release of their single ‘Mythomania’. This new release has promised to further the stomp of the band’s direction. Them Things are doing a circuit of gigs around Newcastle, in the middle of December, and it would be well worth your time to be at one of these shows.

Goy Boy McIlroy

Goy Boy McIlroy are a Darlington-based, four-piece that can only be described as goth-rock revival. I’m not talking the chewy Gary Numan, Depeche Mode (etc.) goth shit. I mean receding to the dark foundations of Bauhaus goth-rock, with David Saunders, vocalist/self-proclaimed ‘crooner’, sounding shamelessly like Peter Murphy. The band used to have the title Goy Boy McIlroy and the Skirny Pearldivers, after the ‘ragamuffins’ that used to take the golf balls out a lake in Darlington and sell them back to golfing fans. They dropped the latter half of the title because they decided it was a bit verbose.

On their most recent EP Duell, Goy Boy McIlroy are boastfully confident. The first two tracks ‘Life B’ and ‘Wicker Bed’ sound otherworldly, while ‘Pleasure’ is sluiced with operatic elements; the undertones of rich strings recalls Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Finally comes ‘Hyde (Auld Screamy)’, the personal favourite. Manic yelling (perhaps ‘Auld Screamy’?) introduces the song, before krautrock drumming and shattering bass line. The last third of the song is graced with a pulverising guitar solo, comparable to the hard garage rock of Royal Blood. Goy Boy McIlroy offer something fascinatingly different.

Razmataz Lorry Excitement 

The eccentrically named artist is a one man show who owns a cumbersome amount of electronic equipment and is actually called Kev Dosdale. I saw Razmataz Lorry Excitement support Sunderland’s wacky-rockers SLUG, who are fronted by former Field Music man Ian Black. Arguably, he put on a better show than the headline act themselves.

NARC. Magazine courteously hosted his album launch show at our very own Northern Stage back in July. The album is titled Without, and is a stunning debut for the electronic artist. Kev understands the structure of an album as a unity, rather than the popular release of singles taken from an album, which is especially important to electronic music’s ability to smoothly transits. So, the album could be seen as one long 47 minute track.

Unlike so many electronic artists, you can tell Razmataz Lorry Outfit is an assembly of passion, exploration and a diverse understanding of the field that Kev Dosdale has dedicated his life to.

Connor McDonnell

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