Has it really been a whole year since our very own Winter Gardens graced the REDS stage on that gloomy Saturday afternoon in Bognor back at Rockaway 2019? Absent from this year’s line-up but austerity were in attendance nonetheless.
This is now the fifth year this fantastic boutique festival has taken place and, as has been the case for the previous four years, the line-up for 2020 was an absolute belter. Day One (Friday) kicked off at 16:00 in REDS and, after a stress-free journey and a pain-free check-in at our lodgings, we found ourselves lost in the dreamy guitar-laden beauty of Indian Queens; the sisters O’Neil treating us to note-perfect harmonies drenched with layered guitars that sent us to a different place. A truly special start the Rockaway weekend. The evening festivities took us to a busy Centre Stage where we were treated to the most amazing show from the swirling Cambridge seven-piece Black Country New Road. These guys and gals really are one of the most important new bands around today. Our Friday was completed by a spell-binding performance from Bridie Monds-Watson, better known as SOAK. Atmospheric and heart-rending, her effortless vocals - complemented by the most beautiful ‘gaze-drenched guitar - left me (and those close-by) absolutely speechless. A delectable set that was truly a highlight of the entire festival.
Day Two (Saturday) found us back at REDS for Scrounge. Admittedly, I had not heard a great deal of their material prior to the festival but left feeling far richer for discovering them, an electrifying post-punk band that I shall definitely be keeping an eye on. Early afternoon saw one of the most fun performances of the weekend, as austerity favourites and great friends Penelope Isles took to the stage. Their set, later described as “a bit rusty” by vocalist/guitarist Jack, was an absolute riot with bassist Lily even crowd-surfing her way through ‘Gnarbone’ without missing a single note. If Jack had thought that not playing live since their sell-out show at CHALK in Brighton back in December had left the band a bit rusty, it was most, and very quickly, apparent that this was a view not shared by the packed crowd that watched them. Whilst handing out flyers for the austerity x Independent Venue Week x Penelope Isles show (tickets available HERE) after the set, there was nothing but praise for what I would say was the perfect way for the band to start a big year. I loved it! A scintillating performance by noise-pop trio The Sweet Release Of Death followed, and my afternoon was completed by an incredible show from Nova Twins. austerity’s very own SNAYX were lucky enough to support the young London act at The Hope & Ruin in Brighton mere months ago, and it was a pleasure to see them owning a main-support slot at one of the most up-and-coming festivals in the country. The duo, fusing equal parts punk and grime, put on a performance that has guaranteed some serious attention to come. Rest assured, Nova Twins will be massive. Up next was alt-rock classics The Jesus & Mary Chain, and the reason why back in January 2019 I purchased an early-bird ticket to this year’s event prior to leaving the site. As expected, they did not disappoint. The Creation legends pulled out one of the most electrifying sets I have ever witnessed (and I’ve seen a few) in their Centre Stage headline slot. Needless to say, that’s the way to finish a day of discovery and enlightenment.
The morning of Day Three (Sunday), after a suitably heavy Saturday night, found me bouncing around our chalet to the tunes of Irish boys Fonatines D.C in preparation for their festival-closing slot on the Centre Stage. I could hardly contain my excitement for what I was sure to be the crowning glory of Rockaway Beach 2020. However, we still had hours to fill and some fine acts ahead of us. The Vegan Leather thrilled us with their unique art/indie/pop, with their 2019 album ‘Poor Girls/Broken Boys’ taken to a new level being performed live. Following on from this was perhaps the most frenetic and energetic performance of the weekend. LIFE blew away any remaining hangovers, finishing on a version of ‘Popular Music’ that saw lead-singer Mez being paraded around on a willing audience member’s shoulders. Stunning! The catchy, synth-driven pop tunes of completed our afternoon in REDS. International Teachers Of Pop A most-entertaining performance, I can now understand why Jim had these guys listed as his top live act of the year in the austerity review of 2019. A fantastic set by indie cult-heroes The Wedding Present - full of all the crowd-pleasers and a gratifying mix of old and new - drew us back to the main stage, and I can confirm that I will never tire of David Gedge’s jangly guitar chords and thick Yorkshire accent. I feel blessed to have witnessed one of the greats of the genre perform once again.
And thus, the end was upon us. It was finally time to experience Fontaines D.C. live for the first time. One of the most talked about bands of the last 12 months and an album of the year for many discerning people (including myself!) in ‘Dogrel’, it was so strikingly evident that these five lads from Dublin City know their craft. Beautiful, moody and utterly captivating, this was the performance that in the chalet at 07:00 in the morning I could only have dreamed of. My morning’s antics forgiven by my fellow chalet inhabitants, we left safe in the knowledge that we had just experienced something very, very special.
So, another year’s Rockaway Beach over and another success for what is fast becoming one of the most important festivals of the year. We departed with ideas of who we believe should be on the line-up for the festival’s return in 2021. Dare I finish on these three words: My Bloody Valentine?
International Teachers Of Pop dazzled with poppy synths and joyous dance routines.
Our sincere thanks and gratitude to each and everyone of you, those who have attended a show we have promoted, purchased vinyl, purchased digitally, streamed, viewed, taken photos, producers / engineers / promoters we have worked with and anyone who has followed or given us a like on the socials. We have been overwhelmed with the positive support we have received and feel incredibly accomplished within our first year.
We have made many new friends as well as discovering unique talents on our doorstop - releasing our first single physically & digitally, signing our first two artists, hosting three shows and co-booking a UK tour.
The 'Coral Bells' 7" is now sold out.
The last five limited edition Winter Gardens shirts are available HERE.
2020 will bring us the debut EP's from both Winter Gardens & SNAYX, both dusting the finishing touches as I type.
Here's to 2020!
All our Love,
Jim, Garry & Matt x
Another fantastic evening of live music at The Blackmarket VIP. Kicking off the evening were Brighton based 'Zooni', we thoroughly enjoyed their intrinsically dour and emotive set, think 'OK Computer' era Radiohead, We are excited to watch them again at Love Thy Neighbours next 'Triptych' event in January. 'Hotwax' have certainly come a long way since the last time we saw them (which was in fact their first gig) The spirit of 60's Psych is captured with a new energy and competent musicianship witnessed seamlessly throughout. Main support came from 'BADLAWS' again, fantastic showmanship held with a jumpy energy and melody. SNAYX.... we are super proud of the boys in what was probably the best performance we have ever seen from them. The visceral energy they manage to create is one that grips the audience in the palm of their hand, it's impossible to keep still as they rip into my personal favourite 'FAYX', with an instant rapport with the audience and songs that just groove and instantly hook, we have every faith it won't be long before the nation gets SNAKEY.
Thank you once again to the talented Sara-Louise Bowrey for her fantastic photography.
Following our big roster announcement last week, we’re happy to confirm that the austerity III event at The Blackmarket VIP in Hastings on Dec 06th will now be the official SNAYX signing party. Come down & celebrate with BADLAWS, Zooni & local faves Hotwax (previously The Kiffs) austerity will also be carrying the party into the morning with some classics. Advance tickets are available now over at SEE TICKETS for only £5, which is an absolute steal. Make sure you head down, the Bucky will be flowing.
Poster art by Alex Brown.
We are absolutely delighted to introduce the newest members of the austerity family, the blistering SNAYX.
austerity cannot wait to delve more into the jagged minds of Olie and Charlie, the boys approach to playing live and writing has grown with much admiration over the past couple of months and have certainly grabbed our attention as well as audiences around the South East.
SNAYX play a unique brand of swaggering alt-punk-rock, complete with huge bass riffs & in-your-face vocals.
Despite only being a band for less than a year, SNAYX have been electrifying audiences around the south coast with their live shows, playing to a number of sold-out crowds with the likes of Kid Kapichi & Nova Twins in the process.
The boys have some stellar new music coming soon, so trust us when we say you don’t want to sleep on this band.
Well... What an amazing week, We highly recommend getting yourself to Dials Festival 2020 next year, efficiently ran, amazing vibes and stellar bands (Swedish Death Candy blew us away!). It's been an amazing journey to watch Winter Gardens evolve as a band this year and see them embark on a mini-tour with a band we/they adore - Acid Tongue. Incredibly proud to see WG make new fans, sell merchandise and play to fresh crowds. The past week has been fulfilling, exciting & rewarding. Onto the E.P!
We are beyond happy to announce that Winter Gardens will embark on their first tour joining the UK leg of psych-rockers Acid Tongue’s world tour this October! It’s an absolute honour to see WG play these shows with a band we’ve known & loved for so long. Check out the dates below, tickets for all shows are available now at https://bit.ly/2kslKsx
We were lucky enough to take some time to pop into the studio and listen to the wonderfully ethereal yet frenetic sounds of the debut Winter Gardens EP last week, their best work to date, this is something to seriously be excited about, more news to follow very soon.
Last call over at our webstore for the ‘Coral Bells’ 7”, the debut single from Winter Gardens. This hand-numbered, limited edition record is pressed on special ‘bone’ coloured vinyl and features an exclusive version of Cocteau Twins’ “Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops” - a song you won’t hear anywhere else. We have less than 10 copies left, so grab one now because once they are gone, they are going to stay gone.
So we've chucked some of our favourite tracks from 2019 onto a Spotify playlist for you all to enjoy, hopefully you'll discover your new favourite band or perhaps conclude that we have no taste...? This is Part I of II.
We would like to send a huge sincere thank you to the stomping, visceral 'SNAYX' for headlining our event last Friday at The Blackmarket.
Thank's to everyone who turned up and for the stellar performances from Mystic Shed, Winter Gardens and new-comers JCK, we could not believe that was their second gig!
As always, we have some exciting news within the next few weeks.
AUSTERITY RECORDS II
After the success of the austerity records launch in February we bring you the second event of the year.
Once again bringing four live performances and a DJ set until late.
A Three piece with a big sound and big personalities.
For fans of Arctic Monkeys & The Kooks but w/ hop-hop influence..
The Mystic Shed -
Local favourites, The Mystic Shed, are an energetic heavy psych rock duo from Hastings.
In 2015 a beanpole and a chest of drawers decided to form a band, and went about sounding like utter drivel and donning dodgy haircuts. After a horrific performance at a summer fayre, the duo pulled their socks up, let their hair down, and wazzed out some ear plugs to turn it up to eleven.
Winter Gardens -
After the success of their debut single WG have secured some impressive support slots as well as defining their captivating set. Taking influence from 80's post-punk, Factory, Postcard, 4AD, Creation era bands, they have developed their own 'dream punk' sound, all the ethereal haze of shoegaze and dreampop with the energy of punk. Winter Gardens have managed to secure support slots for The Waves Pictues, Modern English, Say Sue Me, Magic Wands, Charles Howl and opened this year's Rockaway headlined by Gary Numan and Echo & The Bunnymen.
A blast of direct and anthemic indie that’s as infectious as it is heartfelt, the sound of RATS has already seen them burst out of their native hometown Liverpool, with their sizeable ambition lining up the rest of the world in their sights.
The full breadth and power of RATS becomes even more evident when on stage, where they’ve been hailed by fans and critics alike for sounding record-perfect in the live arena, but with a spine-tingling and raw delivery.
With their debut single Weekend gaining over 120,000 streams on Spotify in under two months, it’s clear RATS don’t do things by half measures and now they’re well and truly in it for the long-game.
AUSTERITY RECORDS DJ SET -
Expect to hear Northern Soul, Warp Records, Acid House, 80's/90's Indie (4AD, Creation, Factory) New Wave, Punk, a splash of twee and 90's hip-hop.
We will be collecting for the charity 'Heads On' - A Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust's Charity. Heads On help people with mental health problems to feel supported, be active and be hopeful.
The Blackmarket VIP Hasting, June 21st, 19:30.
Tickets available HERE
Huge thanks to Alex Brown for the superb artwork.