It’s very exciting to be able to tell you that Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage will be making a return visit… Lewis is one of our all-time favorite songwriters and performers and previous shows have always been such an evening of sheer joy.
Its hard to know where to begin when describing New York born and based Jeffrey Lewis’s creative activities. As a musician and songwriter he has been active for such a long time, both solo and with an array of bands, performing and recording with The Voltage – formerly Los Bolts – since 2015. In addition to this Jeffrey Lewis both writes and illustrates graphic novels, having published his comic book, Fuff, since 2004 and incorporates artwork and storytelling into his live sets to magical effect.
In addition to writing, performing and recording under his own name, Jeffrey Lewis also collaborates with Peter Stampfel of 60s legends The Holy Modal Rounders and they released their second album, “Hey, Hey its The Jeffrey Lewis and Peter Stampfel Band,” in 2013. A third Stampfel/Lewis album and a new album with The Voltage are both in the pipeline.
Jeffrey Lewis has attracted a great deal of praise from contemporaries such as Jarvis Cocker (Pulp), Dave Berman (Silver Jews), Paul Banks (Interpol) and Will Oldham. The latter said of Lewis, “Really great and impressive and inspiring and exciting… There’s not a lot of people that can tell a story and use language like that in music.”
The Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts 2015 album, Manhattan, is a work of utter genius, an original take on life in the Big Apple by that rare individual, a genuine artist still living in the city despite increasing gentrification and is a lyrical, beautiful and sublime record.
Support from Model Village
Pulled Apart By Horses are less a gang and more one big f**ed-up dysfunctional family. The Leeds quartet are a tightly-knit rock band who make music that thrills and menaces, their songs armed with suckerpunch riffs and zinging choruses. They formed in 2008 out of the ashes of various bands in Leeds. Since then they have existed in their own chaotic ecosystem, embarking on relentless tours around the world and stopping only to make 2010’s punkily infectious self-titled debut and its snarling 2012 follow-up ‘Tough Love’ (produced by Gill Norton – Pixies/Foo Fighters etc.) . Everything they’ve done has been drenched in a sense of youthful recklessness, of all or nothing ardour. With third album ‘Blood’ they took things a step forward with wider musical and lyrical themes, embracing their love of psychedelic cinema and developing as a band whilst retaining the thrilling ‘Horses’ sound.
But life doesn’t come with a user manual. Amid the constant noise, clamour and confusion of the Information Age, sometimes – as with much of the technology which surrounds us human beings work best after simply being switched off, unplugged, reconnected and switched back on again or more accurately, the band felt a simple desire to fall in love all over again with the pure joy of making music.
Support from Baba Naga
An immersive wall of distortion envelopes the powerful fragility of frontman Kiran Roy’s vocals, while he paints a verbal landscape of introspection, despair and hope amid a sonic palette that evokes both the driving, spacious absorptivity of My Bloody Valentine and the poetic, visceral honesty of Nick Cave’s lyricism.
All you need to know: One of the best live bands on the planet. That’s it.
“Once they started back in 1993, Melt-Banana have remained like an eye of a hurricane that’s 10 times crazier than the hurricane itself. One of the core bands to emerge from the same roiling soup that birthed art-damaged titans such as the Flying Luttenbachers and the Locust, the female-fronted Japanese group added a few twists to the genetic makeup of 90s noise rock. Japan’s own rich noise tradition was little more than a touchstone for Melt-Banana, and the group’s cryptic otherness elevated it above its peers.” Pitchfork
At the beginning of 2013, Spector decided to cut short further touring and promotion of their debut album ‘Enjoy It While It Lasts’ in order to start focussing on music that they felt was a more up to date representation of their ideas. Founding members Chris Burman and Fred Macpherson had been making music in various forms since their early teens and had started Spector in order to communicate and share a series of “experiments in pop”. But one album and two years into their career, as far as Burman was concerned, it was mission accomplished.
Shortly after five became four (in a continuing series of events that journalists might one day describe as “difficult”), original drummer Danny Blandy was told by doctors not to drum for six months after “doing his shoulder in”, so suggested moving to keyboard: “The news came at a good time as I’d been playing a lot of piano anyway and I was happy to give my tired arms a rest.” So with Jed Cullen now the sole guitarist in the group and Danny as full time keys player, the new writing core of Spector started to emerge, bolstered by bass player Tom Shickle. “I’d spent the best part of my early twenties with these guys”, Fred explains “but had no idea what any of us were really capable of. The first album happened in such an entertaining haze that it took until a year after it came out for the penny to actually drop and for the band to start to making sense for the first time.”
“When we started out, I almost saw writing a song as a magic trick,” says Fred with typical candour. “It was just a question of doing whatever it took to further this adventure. But at some point on the journey we discovered the art of it and began taking pride in that. Other musicians put me off taking one’s own work seriously, but that’s something I think we’re slowly starting to do.” With a new found self-respect the band started to collate their final ideas locally in Hackney, at Unwound and Strongroom studios, but Dev Hynes’ plans to fly to London to complete production of the album were curtailed by a house fire. Rather than delay further, the band decided to move forward with engineers Duncan Mills and Adam Jaffrey, while also handling a lot of production personally at home. The song selection was bolstered by collaborations with Hynes (‘Decade of Decay’ and ‘Cocktail Party’) and “a day making a banger” with former Craig David mastermind and Adele writer Fraser T Smith.
The live shows also had an overhaul, with new responsibilities for most of the band and the introduction of a new drummer, Yoann from Lille, France. “We’re a hundred times better live now” Tom tells me, “we actually know what we’re doing.”
Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult
Jamie Lenman is best known as the singer, guitarist and songwriter for underground heroes Reuben, who toured and released relentlessly for most of the noughties. Their combination of brutal riffs, heartfelt melodies and frank, intelligent lyrics, together with their explosive live shows and innovative promo videos won them a hard core of dedicated fans and respect amongst peers and critics alike.
Eventually, the pressure of being in the band as well as running their own label and working full time jobs became too much, and they called it a day in 2008, releasing a posthumous rarities collection through Xtra Mile in 2009.
In 2011, after over a year without playing any music, Lenman began working on an ambitious double solo album of folk/blues and thrash metal, which was released on Xtra Mile in 2013 to critical acclaim. After a dazzling live tour featuring a three-piece brass section, Lenman returned again to his illustration work and began recording new music with Prodigy and Idles producer Space in his Guildford hideout.
He shortly signed with indie giants Big Scary Monsters and released his sophomore record ‘Devolver’ to widespread praise, following a lengthy and innovative pre-order campaign, and heralded by a sold-out mini festival entitled ‘Lenmania’.
During two years of touring the UK and Europe in support of the record, Lenman released a double A side single which went to number one in the UK vinyl chart, as well as the double album ‘Live At St Pancras’, before returning to the studio.
The result, released in the summer of 2019 on Big Scary Monsters, is ‘Shuffle’ – fourteen reinterpretations of famous and not-so-famous music, movies, books games and TV.
Big Joanie are a black feminist punk band. They’re like The Ronettes filtered through 80s DIY and 90s riot grrrl, with a sprinkling of dashikis.
Based in London, UK, Big Joanie formed in the summer of 2013 to play at First Timers (a gig where each band plays their set for the very first time) at the close of the year. The band also functioned as a space where its members (Stephanie Phillips, Chardine Taylor-Stone and Estella Adeyeri) could be completely themselves as black women, and within it discover their own power in creativity.