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INTERIOR’s Top Acts to Look Out For in 2019


January blues, diet plans, financial experts and Interior invited to predict the must-see acts over the next 12 months for MCR Live. Proverbial hot cakes on-sale right now include the likes of The Orielles, Holy Now and Hen Ogledd. Some other names that spring to mind include offerings from Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, BC Camplight, Swedish Magazines and many more – so little time, so many bands! So here are our top picks to look out for over the coming months:

Leah Senior (Thursday 7th February, The Castle Hotel)

Leah hails from Melbourne, Australia, and is signed to King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard’s Flightless Records label. Fans may already be familiar with her work as the haunting narrator on the bands 2017’s ‘Murder of The Universe’ album by King Gizzard. She heads to Europe in February on her first headline tour. Be warned though, this is as far removed from the world of King Gizzards‘ as you can get, her unique dark folk is just the cure for the winter months.

James Chance + Les Contortions (Friday 15th March, Soup Kitchen)

Central figures in the foundation of the No Wave scene in NYC back in the late 70’s, their first recording was produced by Brian Eno. James Chance used to jump off stage and attack members of the audience who, in his estimation, weren’t exerting enough energy during his earlier gigs – taking into account the fact that he is now 64, I think we MIGHT just be alright. We don’t like to draw opinions on our approach to how we offer shows across the UK / what’s the formula (who cares) but this is is a fine example of the cross over between old and new worlds collide. The music can do the talking on this one.

Sauna Youth (UTR LABEL TAKEOVER) Sat 30th March

We emailed UTR HQ back in June and proposed a takeover / showcase at The White Hotel to celebrate 10 years of the formation of the label. The night features Sauna YouthTrash KitGutternsipe and Dog Chocolate. Fans of UTR will be familiar with their discovery of John Maus, Mac DeMarco and Apostle. The label seems unstoppable and continue to promote shows the UTR moniker. We last caught Sauna Youth in the summer at Soup Kitchen, on the back of their third album. Avid listeners will be familiar with the repetitive and grinding guitar loops of Sauna Youth, with lyrics referencing the daily struggle, politics and working life – delivered in less than 120 seconds.

Strange Cages + Working Men’s Club (Friday 29th March at The Castle, Manchester / Saturday 30th March at HPBC, Leeds)

Strange Cages, are a band that have been building a big reputation down south for some time now, swirling psych riffs reminiscent of Nuggets. Wall-to-wall riffs and squelching vocals to keep your attention all night long. But also, joining them on both nights we have Manchester babes Working Men’s Club. Their next single ‘Bad Blood’ is set to be released next month via Melodic. Already in their short existence they have supported The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Wedding Present (a mean feet for any group).

Girls In Synthesis (The Castle, Thursday 11th April)

Girls In Synthesis, we invited these to join the Damo Suzuki All Day Ordeal (May 2018) that had the last backing group of The Fall as sound carriers. We also brought Sex Cells to the North for the first time. From the off, the group got in the audiences faces, literally decamping the entire stage to the floor, think Fugazi, Albini and Crass. Interior isn’t just a ‘promoter’ we work with some of the most interesting bands and DJs we can get a hold of, since September we have been working alongside the group to set up their first headline tour this coming April and securing them a support slot at Brixton Academy with Wolf Alice a few weeks ago.

The Membranes + Henge  (The Ritz, 8th June)

Membranes frontman John Robb is no stranger to the Manchester punk scene, his now annual event at The Ritz has come along way. Now in its third year, it has been host to The Lovely Eggs, Brix & The Extricated, Sink Ya Teeth and The Blinders. This year is no exception, with most of the lineup still to be teased out over the next couple of months. But for kick off we have Henge, Glove and The Membranes.

Henge are an endearing live act and a festival favourite in the North, where they’ve brought their galactic antics to events like Bluedot, Kendal Calling and Beat-Herder. Firm favourites, big things are expected this year from this group. Claiming partly to be from Manchester but also some other far flung galaxy under the spell of krautrock (perfect Interior medicine).

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LIVE: The Soft Moon @ The White Hotel


It should have been obvious straight away – treading through the barren industrial backstreets of Salford and traversing a jumpy security Doberman, with the imposing Strangeways tower looming overhead – that this is no ordinary polished gig venue, especially with The Soft Moon headlining. A few fenced-off smokers herald an unassuming, dingy white building, and I cautiously step inside; no hand stamps or anything like that, so when ‘you’re out, you’re out’.

Then through a final tatty wooden door, and it’s pretty striking – a harsh red mist cloaks the high-ceilinged main room, with only a ramshackle corner stage, numerous blurry, black-clad figures and a caged-off sound-desk being roughly discernible. I crack a can and try to ignore the persistent ember aroma, but I’m mostly just glad I’ve found a gig venue cold enough to keep my coat on. A DJ pumps some experimental, discordant noise, but as this evolves into a long, thrumming drone, the crowd’s disaffected hum becomes an impatient chatter. Suddenly, Chicago’s HIDE violently manifest into existence, dredging up some jump-scare strobes, apocalyptic drum sounds and hellish looped screaming; vocalist Heather Gabel’s anguished vocals and tall, tattooed, utterly demonic stage presence lift the thunderously repetitive beats and thick, bubbling tones, while beatmaker Sean Sher skulks in the background, poring over an intimidating array of gear.

The impenetrable mass of sound then slows into a scratchy, nausea-inducing soundscape, rich with texture and rhythm, before being met with a last terror-pulsing house beat. Gabel carries this energy into a reverse-Exorcist spider climb up a pillar, which just about puts a capper on this bewildering spectacle; just as quickly, the noise comes to an end, flooding the room with a sudden respite. “You can turn the lights on, we’re done,” she says, cutting through the atmosphere with a charming bluntness.

We’re running half an hour late by this point, and the crowd has carved even further into the room, fidgeting nervously to a bizarre interlude tape of sparse piano, lo-fi synths and a ticking clock. The lights have faded to an eerie, calming blue, and the members of Luis Vasquez’s The Soft Moon gingerly take to the stage. Its three members instantly snap into action with a propulsive, tribal post-punk rhythm, with Vasquez layering additional parts from a carefully-placed drum pad. “What’s up, Manchester?” he delivers in a languid Californian drawl, adding a welcome slant to the evening’s chilly proceedings. Alongside repeated enquiries of who’d win in a fight between a grizzly bear and a silverback gorilla, Vasquez’s personable stage banter is both unexpected and on point – which makes sense, considering the role that naked, raw emotion plays in the project’s aesthetic package.


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After picking up a guitar, the crowd grin with anticipation, and are led through a series of chronological tracks through the band’s history, starting from the earlier, more primal, robotic and (mostly) instrumental; this culminates in Burn, the opener to this year’s truly excellent record Criminal, which showcases Vasquez’s invigorated confidence for densely-layered melodies and impassioned vocals. This reaches a fever pitch, with skittery percussion matched to frantic strobe lights and distorted shrieks, and the band’s busy presence doesn’t let the energy waver – instead channelling it into something more subdued and ethereal, like a slow pulverising death marches, with searing lead guitar lines and a dreary, winding bass forming entrancingly beautiful melodies from their turbulent surroundings. Some inevitable technical trouble doesn’t throw off any momentum, blurring some more visceral tracks from the most recent album with motorik jamming and a thumping drum pad duel, with one of the more blistering cuts of Vasquez’s back catalogue, ‘Die Life’, bringing the crowd into a final jerking, whipped-up frenzy – acting as an ultimate catharsis for a night of exhilarating, fractious tension.

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LIVE: Sink Ya Teeth @ The Eagle Inn | 23.10.18


Even when getting lost down its maze-like industrial side streets seems all but inevitable, Salford’s The Eagle Inn prevails as a warm respite from the snappy autumn evenings. The twisty, linear corridors are packed through, with the distant hum of krautrock emanating from the evening’s cosy side-room venue – oddly enough, the Peel-championed and only relatively recently reformed Dutch post-punkers Eton Crop serve as tonight’s support, attracting more than their fair share of wizened musos.

The band’s three-strong guitars, plus bass and a drumkit, almost entirely fill out the stage, which is mirrored in the thickly-layered, reverberating chords – it’s an assault on the senses, with an eerie, sparse melodica melody and clattering percussion providing a semblance of structure in the delicate, twitchy interplay. Songs such as ‘Gay Boys on the Battlefield’ and ‘Wake Up’ marry rattling garage grooves with dense, socio-political lyrics, raising both a number of eyebrows and a fair share of spirits.

Maria Uzor and Gemma Cullingford, who make up the irrepressible Sink Ya Teeth, then take the stage, grinning at various punter mates and looking unsure with what to do with the limited space they’ve been provided. Their set is heralded when the room suddenly bursts into life, with unfolding layers of pre-recorded synth and percussion sparking a dance-ability that wasn’t there previously; the bouncy opener ‘Freak 4 the Kick’ and the icily minimal ‘If You See Me’ set the tone for the band’s wide-ranging energy – from the rigorous to the more subdued – all linked by a singular incessant groove.

Cullingford’s driving basslines act as the consistent anchor for Uzor’s flailing synth patterns and ethereal vocals, alongside the forceful rigidity of the backing track – this reaches a rhythmic apex in the single ‘Substitutes’, in which Uzor picks up a curio guitar to join in with a spiky staccato line. The pair begin to beam when proudly referring to this as their “third Manchester gig” (before hastily correcting to “Salford”) and have an air of genuine excitement to be playing most of their debut album; the crowd seem to be quite taken with their earnestness and show it with a constant sea of excitable movement.

The band plough on with squelchy synth arpeggi and grungy, industrial beats, pairing them with wry lyrical parts and a rhythmic marching. The track ‘Glass’, a self-professed nod to Giorgio Moroder, bounds effortlessly until reaching a climax of pulsating synth bass in a glorious ‘I Feel Love’ homage, before slowly scrubbing to a stripped-down pulse – the bass, synth and guitar are then reworked into a densely-layered spiral, with each component individually returning one-by-one for a thoroughly engaging climax. After gingerly thanking the crowd, the pair share a warm onstage hug, their musical and ideological chemistry clearly self-evident – and kept  in store for their no doubt countless future audiences.

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PREVIEW: The Rebel @ The Castle Hotel | 30.11.18


Ben Wallers AKA The Rebel is a decidedly prolific songwriter, set to take on The Castle Hotel in November. Initially finding cult fame as the frontman of art punk outfit The Country Teasers – a band Fat White Family cite as key inspiration – he’s additionally been involved with at least eight different musical projects. Under his solo moniker The Rebel, Wallers has released an estimated thirty records since the early 90’s.

Musically it is impossible to pigeonhole The Rebel into one genre. While some tracks resemble the desecrated country music of The Country Teasers, most branch out to incorporate post punk, electronic and even pop elements. It seems that with The Rebel, that Wallers is able to diversify and experiment. Interestingly however, much of The Rebel’s discography is inaccessible to fans. Only three albums appear on Spotify, with a couple more available via iTunes. A deep dive of YouTube uncovers a few additional tracks, demos and live performances.  Physical copies of The Rebel’s releases are also hard to come by – mainly owing to them being published by independent labels and Wallers habit of self-releasing music. A tempting feat for many artists that feature on many a lineup supplied by the notably independent Interior gig promoters.

It seems apt that an air of mystery surrounds much of The Rebel’s discography, for Wallers himself is seemingly an enigmatic and contradictory character. His music is divisive, for some Wallers is inherently provocative and offensive, while for others he demonstrates a type of dark satire and irony. This is because in his songs, Wallers will often assume the role of characters with abhorrent beliefs, for example misogynists and racists and ultimately sing from their perspective. In doing this he attempts to satirise hatful belief systems. Though thought provoking, it can be a problematic approach, and is certainly a controversial one.

Sonically varied and lyrically provocative, Ben Wallers brings his solo act ‘The Rebel’ to The Castle Hotel on Friday 30th November. MCR Live can exclusively announce that support on the night will come from Manchester’s own Swedish Magazine. Find your tickets HERE.

Read more about the latest music news and reviews over on our blog 👀


 PREVIEW – The Ritz All-Dayer ft. The Membranes , The Lovely Eggs & Sink Ya Teeth


Independent minds meet for an independent all-dayer. Run by Interior – the promoters with a penchant for novel venues and formidable artists – The Ritz All-Dayer presents the likes of The Membranes, The Lovely Eggs, Sink Ya Teeth and other transcendent artists. Set against a backdrop, one of Manchester’s listed buildings, there’s little else this bank holiday weekend that can offer such variety within the music spectrum. Featuring LIINES, The Cravats and more, fused together with DJ sets from PINS and Beat Chics topped off with The Membranes starring the full cast of The BIMM Manchester choir in the wings – it’s a delectable day for the music fan.

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To further feed your appetite, we caught up with the wildly unique Sink Ya Teeth and The Lovely Eggs ahead of their consecutive slots at The Ritz All-Dayer to discuss what it takes to make it as an independently fierce act in today’s Instagramable, Snapchat-able world.

Playing host to the 8PM slot, the warm-up for John Robbs’ set are The Lovely from Lancaster. Having met at a music co-operative in their hometown in the early noughties, the duo comprises of married couple Holly Ross (former member of Angelica) and David Blackwell. Much to many a record label and aspiring managers disappointment, The Lovely Eggs have always been (and always will be), wildly independent. There’s little to deter them from this case and point, with the age of money-snatching publicists upon us and an enigmatic career to boot, that’s inspired by the twists and turns of “life itself”. The pair are keen for the All-Dayer, which arrives just ahead of their May tour and brings them predisposed with their new – fifth – studio album: This Is Eggland. As the name suggests, the record is a satirical point-the-finger at the mass of “bad things that are happening in the world at the moment” mentions Holly – a subliminal mockery of ‘This Is England’ and what our country has become.

The pair are known for being passionately autonomous psych rockers with a lo-fi punk edge that happen across the most maddening experiences. “Lots of weird sh**t just happens to us all the time” comments Holly as we discuss This Is Eggland and how they drunkenly left a voicemail with the legendary David Fridmann over a year ago. Fast forward a year on from said voicemail and out of the blue Fridmann got in touch and thus produced the recent album. Controversial and mightily individual, The Lovely Eggs almost weren’t here as Holly hung up her guitar with the thought that the entertainment industry eats individuals up whole and spits them out. Fortunately, her mind was changed: “I realised you can do it your own way, away from the labels, away from the greedy corporations…” and so The Lovely Eggs are fourteen years strong and passionately counting.

Ahead of the calamity of the evening but by no means, tame are another duo – Sink Ya Teeth from Norwich. Gemma and Maria met during their time in the same band. But, once that fell through, just over two years ago, the pair joined together and have been formulating their own sound of synth-driven post-punk pop fantasia. It’s danceable, jive-able and live-able music. “It’s got to groove. That’s the only requirement really.” The foolproof warm-up for the night ahead, to engage the frighteningly wonderful bank holiday feeling across the room, there’s little that can be said to put you off this LCD-Soundsystem-with-a-pop-centre combination.

They too are bringing with them an album, but this time – it’s a debut. The 10-track record was written and produced in true independent manner, from within the four walls of their spare rooms in Norwich featuring “songs about partying too hard, modern-day insecurities and narcissists, with plenty of bass-lines and synths.” Set to be released on June 22nd it features new tracks including new track ‘Substitutes’ which is soon to be released. Next up for Sink Ya Teeth are album launches at The Social in London and Norwich Arts Centre amongst and Summer festivals galore but catch them before all that, at The Ritz All-Dayer Saturday 5th May 2018.

That’s not all,  Tickets are now exclusively £12.50 for MCR readers – what more could you ask for?


Review: The White Hotel presents: An All Day Ordeal

The raves and parties our city has seen are long thought to have died out. With Sankeys sticky dance-floors having moved to Ibiza and the Haçienda now a modern block of apartments, just a stone’s throw away from Deansgate Locks – it’d be easy to think that perhaps we’ve met our match. Perhaps Manchester’s history of psychedelic, never-ending parties is over? This isn’t true. Although we have a different Manchester scene now, we have one all the same. What we have now might not be the classics of the past but instead we have made way for: Canal Street’s endless frivolity; Northern Quarter’s hidden discos; boisterous student hub spots; Warehouse Project; Hidden; Victoria Warehouse; The White Hotel. The latter is one of our newest warehouse venues and home to a building fame for secret sets and underground artist showcases, brought to us by the latest in a new breed of promoter. These new support units – such as Now Wave and Hey! Manchester – aim to open Manchester up once more as the hub of the North for musical talent. Amongst these is Interior which, having worked together with The White Hotel, presented the first TWH festival: An All Day Ordeal.

There were whispers of a secret set from ‘special guests’ as well as a list of the latest emerging and unmissable acts including Leeds-based Autobahn who brought a Joy Division-esque Gothic twist of punk to their early morning (2am) set when feet and heads were loosened from the evening’s activities. Preludes to them were USA Nails with a heightened and provoking punk rock set, the essence of which felt expertly un-planned but resulted in a hauntingly brilliant 1am set to push those who dwindled after the excitement of our special guests. As for the special guests themselves, none other than one of post-punks most known current contenders were announced on the day of the event: Cabbage. With the atmosphere building up to the midnight set, there were high hopes for the main event. Any dash of doubt was soon wavered as, without drummer nor bassist, Cabbage were still the show-stopping act that they are known to be and as soon as word got out that the trio (formerly quintet) equipped with a drum machine were playing, I overheard rumours of friends now keen to attend The White Hotel’s notorious event.

Divide and conquer. A pared down @cabbage_band celebrate the witching hour.

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Prior to this, Phobophobes took to the stage with the entanglement of guitars and snarling frontman – their tracks astounded and helped in continuing the excitement of the night. There may have a trickle of a thought that there wasn’t a slight sense of girl power on the night but any thought of this type was blasted as soon as Yassassin headlined their slot. With tactfully coordinated outfits and an un-apologetically punk sound, their performances continue to amaze and even brought support from their friends and counterparts PINS who were seen amongst the audience. You might not have attended but it would be surprising if you didn’t hear the raw punk vibe brought by The Starlight Magic Hour.

On at 9pm, the six-piece are like a band of brothers, each mutually supporting one another and creating a raucous atmosphere brought together by the anthemic presence of their frontman of whom was backed by violinist, pacing drums and thick, deep backing vocals. Consisting of members of the more recently formed PhobophobesMeatraffle were one of the earlier acts but by no means did this make them any less brilliant. Their other-worldly take on a post-punk psychedelic mixture  has allowed them to be called “one of the greatest bands of our time” by Fat White Family. Earlier still (and presenting the evening ahead) were Yorkshire-based Drahla whose minimal punk sound blasted any idea that the other side of the Pennines is tame with their eerie post-punk collection. Reeling back to the earlier hours of the day still, first and foremost to take to the stage were MOLD who opened the night with their anarchic post-punk sound that caught the attention of any dull watcher whilst building up the pace for the night ahead. Amongst the mayhem, to keep the groove going between bands, The Beat Chics played their much-adored vinyl-only DJ set to eager party-keen attendees. Amongst the thrill of the evening which took twists and turns throughout (like any decent festival), The White Hotel was proven to be the perfect space for an all-dayer – the venue was packed out to the early hours cementing ‘An All Day Ordeal’ to be irrevocably sensational – this is not just my opinion, though, summed up with the fact that at 1am on that Sunday morning none other than Mr Mac DeMarco turned up at The White Hotel. And yes, he was lovely.

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white hotel all dayer

Preview: The White Hotel presents: An All Day Ordeal

The White Hotel has well been building a cult-like following for quite some time now, with hushes of secret sets and murmurs of the hallowed warehouse turned venue that garnishes the eclectic taste of our city. Unlike the name suggests, it isn’t a hotel – though perhaps your inner frivolity will allow you stay here for the long-haul – but is instead an old industrial unit turned nightclub. Fully equipped with a 360-degree stage and a bar like no other you’ll find above ground; The White Hotel is a hidden gem that lurks in the underbelly of Manchester, out by HM Manchester prison. Formally known as Strangeways, the prison being in close proximity to the venue holds a flag up to the atmosphere that TWH offers. Underground gigs and long, haunting nights are at the hub of the venue, lending an ear to the whispered story that it was born off the back of illegal raves that were thrown at Strangeways Studios.

One particular present event that will be held at the White Hotel – hand in hand with Interior – is their eagerly anticipated All Day Ordeal. If you venture to the backstreets of Salford on Saturday 25th (or even the early hours of Sunday 26th as last entry is 4am) you will be met by a host of individuals enamoured with this particular haunt and keen to stay at the hotel from 6pm until 6am.

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Crowded together in one building, it will be an event not to be missed by any musically-minded individual, particularly as the term “special guest” is being flashed around at an alarming rate. Besides this, locally sourced bands such as Mold, The Starlight Magic Hour and Autobahn are amongst the divine selection of performers. At an alarmingly cheap rate of ten pounds per ticket – what are you waiting for?

Full Times listed above – see you there!