Happy RSD!! It’s days like today that make us feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t collect those little bits of wax that we put on our turntables. As always, we ventured over to Musics Not Dead in Bexhill, where the enthusiasm, passion & sense of occasion was there for all to enjoy. We spent far too much £££ but we don’t regret it one bit. See you all for Drop 2 in July!
It is with much enthusiasm & great pleasure that we introduce the latest addition to the austerity records roster, Brighton’s own Seadog! This one has been in the works for a while, & we couldn’t be happier to finally let you all in on it. Fresh off airplay from the likes of amazing radio and 6 Music, the anthemic folk project of Mark Benton & Tom Chadd will be releasing new music VERY soon, so keep an eye out for that. But for now, please join us in welcoming the incredible Seadog to the austerity family!
"With a cool motorik rhythm and atmospheric lead vocals floating above fuzzy-folk guitars and vintage sounding synths, "Old Joe" is a delight. It's like being on a train ride through time as the song looks back wistfully at a life gone by, contemplating all that went before, the happy and the sad. A particularly touching song from what already feels like Seadog's most accomplished work to date." - Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins/Bella Union)
“I know I can feel I’m witnessing something a little special here tonight...”
We’re getting kind of sick of saying it, but we told you so. SNAYX ripped the stage to shreds at The Prince Albert on Saturday night. Check out Cris Watkins of Brighton & Hove News’ full review of the show at the link HERE
To say we were a tad nervous about our return to live shows may be an understatement, but we needn’t have been. An absolutely incredible night. Sincere thanks to Pete Fij & Terry Bickers, CIEL & our very own Winter Gardens for the captivating performances, & the team at The De La Warr & Musics Not Dead for being the best of hosts and Sara-Louise Bowrey for the stunning photography. The biggest thank-you, however, is reserved for all those that came down. It was a pleasure to see you all again, & thanks for sticking with us for the past year & a half. Til’ the next one! x
Pre-orders for the brand new Hadd Be cassettes are now live! “Another Life”, the debut 11-track that has had glowing reviews from the likes of BBC Introducing, For The Rabbits & Even The Stars, released on a gorgeous milky-white cassette, exclusive to the AUS C60 Club. Pre-order HERE
Next month marks the one year anniversary of the C60 Club, & we are very pleased to mark this momentous occasion by announcing the latest participants, Brighton & London’s Hadda Be FKA Foundlings, the indie post-punk four-piece will be releasing their stunning debut album “Another Life” on an exclusive milky-white cassette, due for release on June 18th (big thanks to lnfglasgow!). As standard with all C60 releases, these items are limited to only 25 pieces so they won’t be available for long. DON’T SLEEP!
C60 in Conversation: Primitive Ignorant
As part of the C60 Club, we here at austerity will be catching up with some of our favourite artists of the underground music scene. This month, we had a chat with the man responsible for the raw power & passion of Primitive Ignorant – Ladbroke Grove’s own Mr. Symren Gharial…
Hey Sym, welcome to the C60 Club!
S: Hey! Thank you so much for having me, it's a real honour.
Prior to Primitive Ignorant, you established your name in the UK music scene by playing in such influential bands as Piano Wire & the acclaimed psych-rock outfit The 80’s Matchbox B-Line Disaster. Please take us through your musical journey up to now & how the transition to solo artist came to be.
Yeah, it's been an intense journey! Even though I regret getting so messed up in Eighties’ Matchbox, I look back on that band with a lot of pride. We were running on an unfathomable energy at the time. It was blistering, uncontainable & extreme in every way. We did exactly what we set out to do. In Piano Wire, it was a real privilege to work so closely with Andy Huxley. We wrote so many songs together in that band & I learnt so much from a master. However, although I've been playing for a bit, I don't think I can be classified as a musician in the traditional sense. I'm not technical or conventional. I like punk & the freedom, change & individuality that it stimulates. It's really important to me to evolve & surprise people. I don't think anyone expected me to come out with a record like this. “Sandinista!” by The Clash was my inspiration. They were completely unbounded on that album, refusing to stick to one genre & did whatever they wanted.
PI is obviously a very personal project & “Sikh Punk” is inspired by your troubles as a young Sikh growing up on Ladbroke Grove & struggling to fit in. How does this record link to your past & do you see it as a sort of cleansing of some unpleasant memories?
Growing up as a Sikh in West London, I had so much shame in who I was & where I was from. It was such a struggle enduring the day-to-day bullying & I'd cracked by the time I was 15. That's when I cut my hair & got into rock 'n' roll, drugs & self-harm in an attempt to run from my ethnicity. The story of a South Asian immigrant's struggle to integrate into British society has rarely been told in popular culture so it felt really important to share the intimate details of my past & help to emancipate the voice of the South Asian diaspora. Since getting sober nine-and-a-half years ago, I've found a new pride in my ethnicity so although there is a lot of pain & suffering in the album, really it's about victory, justice & renaissance.
The LP touches on the unwelcome return of overt racism to the UK, largely fuelled by the current post-Brexit landscape. As a musician & performer who has seen first-hand just how damaging this can be, do you feel Primitive Ignorant can influence a new generation of young alternative types to take a stand, much like the punk music of years past inspired you?
I think music is an extremely powerful medium, one that's immeasurably special. I feel a responsibility with Primitive Ignorant to raise awareness over struggles with race, addiction & mental health through my music & lyrics - but I'm not trying to directly influence anyone. I'm just sharing my experiences & hopefully someone might relate to them & feel reassured that they are not alone, or even feel encouraged to share their own. I believe there is a huge power in exposing vulnerability with humility & sharing a struggle. The record is not about being a victim though. It's about victory & exuding in your identity no matter what.
“Sikh Punk” contains collaborations with some of the most important names in punk/alt music from the 70’s (The Clash’s Mick Jones) to the present day (Joe Talbot of IDLES). How did these come to be & what do you feel these voices bring to the record?
I first met Mick Jones when I was playing a Rock Against Racism gig at The Astoria & then later on again when he lived around the corner from me in Ladbroke Grove. Mick is probably my favourite ever musician so it was great bumping into him all the time. As the album is set in W10, & has a sprinkling of sounds from Portobello Market running through it, asking Mick to contribute to the record seemed like a pretty cool idea. A dream really. He's such a lovely man! I've been a big fan of IDLES since my manager played me a demo in 2016, so it was a real honour to work with Joe Talbot - another voice of a generation. I spoke to Joe on the phone to chat to him about the idea really early in the first lockdown & I really appreciated his openness & warmth as a human being. It was so wonderful to work with the both of them. Their delivery of the Oscar Wilde poem is so, so beautiful & gives the record so much charisma &, also, this theatrical, story book feel. It's incredibly vivid & extremely moving.
This takes us to the dazzling lead single “Beautiful Scum”, a track that features AUS’ resident superstar Daisy Coburn. After how well the single was received, could further collaborations between the two of you be a possibility further be down the line? We’d love to see it…
Ah I love Daisy so much! She's so amazingly talented & I love “Beautiful Scum”. It was such a privilege to work with her on that song. I think there'll definitely be more from us in the future! It's been such a natural collaboration & so much fun - I'm so honoured to work with her.
Your latest EP, “Infant Joy on Midnight Streets”, has just been released via Something In Construction & has already received rave reviews from the likes of Steve Lamacq, Under The Radar & Louder Than War. With this new music already making big waves & the end of the pandemic somewhat in sight, what is in the future for Primitive Ignorant & Sym Gharial?
Thank you all so much. I just want to keep evolving, changing & putting loads of music out. A new album is being recorded as we speak & there’ll be shows soon too. I feel an enormous amount of freedom with Primitive Ignorant so I'm really excited to discover where the next record is going to go.
The exclusive “Sikh Punk” cassettes are now on general sale! We only have TWO left in stock (!) so it’s recommended that you move quick (tapes available by clicking the photo below). We’d like to send out a big thanks to Symren Gharial & his team for being such a pleasure to work with on this project - enjoy release day! x
Pre-orders are now being taken for the stunning trans-red Primitive Ignorant/C60Club “Sikh Punk” cassette. This is the first time a full length has been released as part of our cassette series & we couldn’t have picked a better album. Remember, these tapes are limited to only 25 pieces & they definitely won’t be hanging around. Get on it ya fuckas.
This is massive. Primitive Ignorant is Sym Gharial of The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, & we’re proud to announce that his latest release “Sikh Punk” is the next instalment of our exclusive C60 Club! The album, a raw slab of ferocious punk-pop that features cameos from the likes of Mick Jones of The Clash, Joe Talbot of IDLES & our very own Daisy Coburn to name a few.The cassette will be available on an extremely limited dark-red cassette in April (with pre-orders available from 26/03). Big thanks to Sym & Something In Construction for this one - we couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome you to the club. Keep a look out for more info soon good people.
Photo - Steve Gullick
C60 in Conversation: Tape Runs Out
As part of the C60 Club, we here at austerity will be catching up with some of our favourite artists of the underground music scene. This month, we’ve talked in-depth to Liam Goodrum-Bell - the vision & force behind our newest family additions Tape Runs Out…
Hello Liam, & welcome to both austerity records & the C60 Club.
L: Lovely to be here!
Tape Runs Out has been a long-running project, originally being formed in Cambridge almost 10 years ago. Please take us through the band’s journey so far & what led you towards joining the AUS family late last year.
Tape Runs Out started as an electronic solo project back in 2012. I posted a couple of songs onto Soundcloud & got a good response, so a friend suggested I form a band to perform them live. Our first EP, “Covered in Tape”, was composed of some of those early electronic songs reworked with a band line-up, & was recorded at the university that I was studying in at the time. We caught the attention of a label called Ear to Ear Records who released “Friends” as a single. We actually recorded a full album for them, but the label broke up before it was released.
At this point university ended & different lives began, so I found myself with a new line-up (including current members Ellie & Rich, amongst others). In this formation we made the “Knife” EP, which had more of an electro-pop feel than our shoegaze-styled first EP. After that, & with Clare joining on violin, came “Go To Sleep”, which contained elements of freak-folk & experimental music.
By the end of 2019 we had welcomed Dan, Takeshi & Taylor & signed with local Cambridge label Kuang Grade Recordings. We released two indie-rock focused EP’s with them – “Talking Through The Walls” (2019) & “Sleepwalking into a Fire” (2020) before the label took an indefinite hiatus due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The “Ghost Fruit” EP was then recorded during the summer of 2020, & as it was nearing completion I reached out to austerity to see if they liked it enough to put it out. Evidently they did, as they offered us a digital release & a cassette release as part of the C60 Club.
The TRO sound, with its unique mix of shoegaze, post-rock & lo-fi indie pop, was once described by notable producer Marc Joy as “a perfect introduction to new & unseen places in the sonic universe.” What goes into creating such an impressive amalgamation of sounds?
I usually do a lot of experimenting with various sounds for each song, & often switch parts or move things around until they’re in the right place. I tend to see it as a combination of shapes & colours as much as sounds, & I work on it until it looks like it all fits together.
As noted before, the band already has a strong body of work behind it. With the “Ghost Fruit” EP, though, it feels like we are privy to the sound of a band that has truly found their stride. Take us through the EP & the creative process behind it.
“Ghost Fruit” actually started life as a potential solo album in which I decided to finally work on a bunch of songs I’d never completed but felt had potential. It was something to work on during the first lockdown in spring when we couldn’t get together as a band to compose new things, as had been the plan. I got as far as having around 18 songs in the shortlist, before changing my mind & deciding to rework some of them for TRO instead.
We used recordings we’d made previously & had members send me recordings, which I then pieced together & covered in indulgent synths & noises. The resulting tracks are therefore particularly varied in style & sound, having come from ideas written at various times of my life, but tied together by being worked on & completed in tandem. As a seven-piece it has been impossible for us to meet for the last year, so we look forward to finding out how performable the songs are!
“Hospital”, the lead single from the new EP, was released at the start of the year & is one of the most beautiful things. The video, a stunning collection of nature, scientific footage & time-lapses, is also magnificent. How did this track & its video come about?
It’s definitely one of the simpler compositions I’ve done. The first draft actually had a lot more going on, but I decided to cut back most of the layers on the verses to give the bridge section more impact. It felt like a stand-out piece on the EP in terms of melody & likeability &, even though it’s not the most upbeat song, we thought that it felt appropriate for the time.
A stock-footage based video was one of the limited options we had in lockdown, so I found some footage that I felt captured the mood. The grinding cogs of nature are a theme for some of the lyrics, along with trying to come to terms with being simply a part of it all, & I liked how pairing it with emotionally disconnected science footage seemed to heighten that feeling. Reversing the bulk of the footage made for some interestingly abstract visuals, and I was able to piece together a video that, to me at least, was suggestive of the themes I was trying to express.
Geographically, your hometown of Cambridge is pretty far from the AUS base in Brighton. However, it has connections to such legendary acts as Pink Floyd & Sisters of Mercy. Considering its rich history, what is the music scene like today in Cambridgeshire?
Well today it’s very quiet, but in general it’s reasonably active! Cambridge is inherently a slightly divided city, with many dedicated University areas inaccessible to other residents. There are definitely ’scenes’ within the city, as with any place, & once you’ve found your group you have a much better chance at finding opportunities.
One of the things we lack is more medium-level venues. There are a handful of very decent pubs to perform in that have dedicated rooms for performers (The Blue Moon & The Portland Arms are two very notable examples, & are our favourite Cambridge venues to perform in), but other than that it’s mostly places that are either too small, such as cafes or smaller, stage-less pubs, and one of the few larger venues that cater mostly to touring acts. There is no shortage of talented, creative songwriters & musicians here, which makes it all the more frustrating to have to rely on the same few venues, regardless of how lovely the venues are. The reality is, to be an active band based in Cambridge, you’ll find yourself convoying down to London reasonably often.
There is, however, a strong local radio presence with very supportive hosts on Cam FM, Cambridge 105 & the local BBC Introducing station in particular. They do a great job of helping to provide a sense of community amongst the musicians here, which is essential to any local scene.
With the Government’s recent roadmap out of the COVID-19 lockdown promising a much brighter future for the music & events industry, what do you see laying ahead for Tape Runs Out? 2021 seems like it could be a big year for up-and-coming artists such as yourselves.
It’s difficult to tell what the near-future brings, especially with the changes caused by Brexit regarding working & travelling abroad. Together with the uncertainty facing many local venues, it’s looking like there may be a stronger focus on single releases and maintaining a social media presence with extra visual content than the traditional method of releasing albums/EP’s & touring, which could be beneficial to physically larger bands like ourselves who find it hard to tour.
We have not escaped the mental health challenges of the pandemic, but hopefully we’ll be able to find a way to adapt to whatever new reality we find ourselves in!
Tape Runs Out’s “Ghost Fruit” EP (AUS-C04) is now SOLD OUT. Click here to listen on SPOTIFY
Happy release day to our most recent family additions, Tape Runs Out. The “Ghost Fruit” EP is a fine piece of sonic art & we’re so happy that it’s finally making it’s way out to you all. Of course, the limited-edition C60 cassettes have completely sold out (physicals have been shipped, digital items will be mailed out today), but you can still stream/buy on Spotify, ITunes, TIDAL etc. Do it now, it’ll change your life.