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ULTIMATE PLAYLIST: SlowHandClap

WORDS BY HANNAH TINKER     PHOTO BY MANC WANDERER

Alternative noise-rock trio, SlowHandClap, came about from their mutual passion for punk and noise rock. Their enthusiasm built and, thus,  the much-appreciated act with the self-deprecating name* came to be. *See definition of ‘slow hand clap’. The Manchester-based act rest amongst the plentiful network of musicians we have in the city and are made up by Sam Bullock on vocals and guitar, Dan Coleman on bass and Michael Duckworth controlling drums.

We asked the trio to put together a playlist for us of their most adored tracks that filter through their inspiration and aspirations for SlowHandClap, following the release of their stonking new single ‘Nobody’s Home’, released on 6th March (listen above). Rife with tracks from the ’90s alternative and ’80s punk scenes, it’s clear to see where the trio draw their influences from – featuring tracks from the likes of Sonic Youth, Pavement, The Fall and Fugazi.

Sure, you might have heard all those acts before, but SlowHandClap project a fresh lease of life within the chaotic genre, controlling their sound with rich chords, melodies and rhythmic grooves to both please and unease the listener – a theme that has been brought to new levels with their latest release. SHC‘s notoriety is clear through support from the likes of BBC IntroducingBBC 6 Music, DHP alongside a loyal fanbase who tread every step of their journey, selling out shows regularly across their hometown base. 

Fictional Decision – Drahla

Are one of our favourite English bands at the moment, they have two great and unique singers and combine the sounds of all our favourite bands like Sonic Youth and Ought and make it their own.

Why Does It Shake? – Protomartyr

Somehow manage to sound minimalist but create a thick atmosphere at the same. This is something we try to strive for being a 3 piece. The singers spoken word vocal style has influenced a lot of our new material too.

Reuters – Pink Flag

Is one of our collective favourite albums, a perfect 10 to me. This song is basically one chord throughout but the vocals and the harmony’s make this tune.

Ether – Andy Gills

Jagged guitar lines and the tight groovy rhythm section are so good on this track. This band make you move and the interplay between the guitar and the bass in all their songs is something we often strive for.

Blindness – The Fall

The bass comes in, then it comes in AGAIN! Just listen.

Pears For Lunch – Girl Band

Girl Band are so unbelievable. The way they use noise to create captivating, cacophonous songs and the surrealistic emotional vocals changed the way we want to write songs.

Silver Rocket – Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth are the primordial ‘ooz’ that birthed us, definitely our biggest influence.

Rattled By The Rush – Pavement

We often get referred to as have a slacker-rock-esque sound and pavement are probably one of the reasons why. So laid back and effortlessly great songs.

Satan In The Wait – Daughters

This song strikes a perfect balance between terrifying and beautiful, we like to try and strike that balance with some of our tunes.

Waiting Room – Fugazi

This is the only track we’ve ever covered. We had to stop doing it because it made all of our songs sound rubbish in comparison.

Like this? Read up on all of our blog posts HERE 👀

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LIVE: OHMNS, HAMER, Springfield Elementary & SlowHandClap @ The Eagle Inn

WORDS BY PATRICK PRESTON

Tucked amongst Salford’s rapidly rising number of new developments, the unassuming Eagle Inn opens its winding corridors tonight for a quadruple set of ragtag guitar bands, here to dole out some intense grooves and positive vibes on an unseasonably warm February evening.

Manchester’s own fledgling noise rockers SlowHandClap first tease the small gig room with hurried bass and drum rhythms and spacey guitar leads, before pushing measured, chuggy staccato through a wall of feedback and skulking around a repeated, grinding note. The fuzzed-out bass foundation and sharp guitar stabs of 2018 single Concrete Bodies support a crawling, sardonic vocal part, leaving its cryptic lyrics to echo ominously through the air long after the stage is emptied.

After not much at all of this relative quiet, Springfield Elementary shamble onto the stage, who jerk into life with a sinister, yet delicately-constructed instrumental, before strutting with confidence through some frenzied garage-punk and breaks of deft interplay. The band cut a delightfully ramshackle shape, with the strangled cry of new track Jacked Up On Jesus proving a particular set highlight – as opposed to the ill-advised funk-rock of 5-Second Rule – before closing on a high with a beefy death-rock stomp, which fills the room with a palpable, bouncing energy.

Even were I not writing up the show afterwards, I’d be hard pressed to miss tonight’s sub-headliners, HAMER, whose self-generated buzz of anticipation quickly found its way around the venue. A suitably bold and quirky stage presence acts as the perfect vessel for the band’s furiously intense, borderline-unintelligible take on garage rock, which draws from jittery cowpunk and dizzying psych freakouts. Carefree banter and some truly impassioned game faces are traded between all three members, who all seem to be vying for first place in onstage theatrics. Even during longer, more drawn-out jamming, the tempo barely lets up once – making the trio’s ability to dance between tightly-constructed passages and hypnotic noise even more daring and impressive.

 

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HAMER & OHMNS @ Eagle Inn, Salford #hamer #ohmns #eagleinn #salford #manchester #noiserock #garagepunk

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Ultimately, however, it’s Liverpudlian noisemakers OHMNS who tie together tonight’s disparate strains of punk, noise and math rock into something more streamlined and digestible. Choppy chord patterns and co-ordinated instrumental parts drag themselves forwards, while venomous vocal barbs are traded between nearly all members, leading to simple, yet blood-pumping singalongs; with the night’s uneasy heat and passionate performances, it’s all but inevitable when the band spills onto the floor and shirts come off. Even slowing to sludgy, repetitive bangers such as Paul Is Sure, does nothing to stop this momentum – quite the opposite, in fact, as a chaotic moshpit breaks out for the last few songs. It’s been a punishing night, with ears consistently ringing throughout, but worth it to catch a glimpse of such uncompromising new and noisy talent.

Like this? Read up on all of our blog posts HERE 👀

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Sabotage MCR’s Top Acts to Look Out For in 2019

WORDS BY ALEXIS PANIDIS

Of course, promoters are at the heart of pushing forward the next wave of musicians that meet the crowds. Sabotage is amongst them, eagerly selecting their best picks from the scene and vying for the attention of an audience. The collective presents some of the greatest upcoming musical talents from across the countries network of independent acts and hoists them on a pedestal at some of Manchester’s best venues. Previous events at Jimmy’s, The Castle Hotel and Soup Kitchen, have seen the likes of Catholic Action, Husky Loops, The Starlight Magic Hour and many, many more that passed under the Sabotage moniker. Next up, they have the likes of Deja Vega, Psyence and Deh – Yey taking to The Castle Hotel on Saturday 16th February. But. ahead of all that, check out their cream of the crop which their expecting to see big things from in 2019, right here:

FEET

After a busy first half of 2018 supporting the likes of Declan McKenna as well as a smattering of festival slots over the summer, FEET released 3 really high-quality singles. Their knack for originality both lyrically and musically under the ever increasing, cheesy, landfill indie blanket, sets them apart from so many similarly labeled bands. Their live show is manic, fun and exciting. If their new songs are anything like their latest releases, 2019 promises to be a great year for them.

SLOWHANDCLAP

Slowhandclap are a band that has taken a year or so to blossom, naturally, but now they are in full bloom and ready to fuck your earholes. Their influences are plain to see, worn on their sleeves – this is a band that is exciting and fresh though. Expect laid back, head bonking verses, silky grooves, meaty riffs, and guitars laden with enough tenacity and skill to impress any wannabe axeman. They’ve just recently sold out The Castle Hotel, in Manchester, and have a host of new singles coming out early in 2019. This band has everything at their disposal to be right up there. Watch this space!

LA MODE

Come 2019 it’ll have been 3 years on since La Mode released their incredible debut self -titled EP. In that time, they took a sabbatical for around a year, had a line-up change and really honed their sound. La Mode are now the complete package. Their exceptional vocalist Millie Sproston is an incomparable force to be reckoned with. The talent and musicianship of this band are exceptional, with maybe even the best rhythm section in Manchester. With a new EP currently in production and a live show that is exciting and monstrous, this could be the year that La Mode really pushes on. World, keep producing incredible female fronted bands.

DYLAN CARTLIDGE

In a time where “popular music” is so void of originality, Dylan sticks his middle finger up and says fuck you. Dylan is a dude, he can rap, sing, oh and he’s pretty damn good at the bass too. Hip-shaking grooves, laid-back rhythms, and bopping choruses are all part of his repertoire. His songwriting ability is only getting better and his live show is already polished, fun, and intoxicating. With a headline UK tour booked for March and more undoubtedly great music on the way, we see Dylan becoming a superstar.

MEALTIME

Mealtime are an extremely exciting new band. Having only played 3 or 4 gigs, they are already in cahoots with promoting powerhouse DHP and rightly so. They’re cool cats, they ooze originality, have a knack for writing great songs. They also have an exceptional lyricist in Sam Craighan, at their helm. “If your love is a breeze in this blistering heat / Yeah then mine’s just the piss on the cold toilet seat”. They bring an army of synthesizers and a sound that is so raw and no-nonsense, that is nothing short of incredible.

SELF HELP

We absolutely love this band. Two boys, Two girls, in your face, straight- up fun, aggressive, rock and roll.  They do not give two shits who you are, they make music because it’s fun and that comes across live, as it always should. Their live set is relentless, not a single bum note, banger after banger. Watch them live in 2019 at a small venue before they explode. But hurry, because the fuse is already lit.

BLACK MIDI

Ah black midi. We first heard about black midi back in March, when there was a small mention of them in So Young Magazine. Immediately after, we scoured the internet far and wide: nothing. Having built a big reputation in London simply by word of mouth, they had no need for social media. On 27th April a live video emerged of them playing an untitled song in a session on YouTube (see above). This had us hooked, we understood the hype, reminiscent somewhat of the noughties underground math scene, although somewhat altogether more complete and encapsulating. We had to see this band live and immediately tried to book them. To our dismay, a band of this talent had already (obviously) been snapped up by a bigger and better promotor (Now Wave) and Black Midi played the opening weekend at YES, one of Manchester’s newest venues. If you can track them down, go and see this band live, for you will never have seen anything like it in your life. Who knows what they have planned in 2019 other than their first headline tour. They now have social media platforms, although they will delete posts shortly after uploading them. Stay mysterious Black Midi, Sabotage loves you.

Like this? Read up on all of our blog posts HERE 👀

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EXCLUSIVE: Slowhandclap – ‘Concrete Bodies’

WORDS BY HANNAH  TINKER      PHOTOS BY MANC WANDERER

Hatched in Manchester, post punk breathes and contorts through Slowhandclap, now armed with new single ‘Concrete Bodies’. Citing Nirvana and Dinosaur Jr as their influences, there are distinctive echoes of these grunge heroes in both their sound and their live performances. Raw energy and eager mechanics grab the attention of an audience when they’re billed on a stage, leaving their namesake a clear contradiction. Haven’t heard? ‘Slow handclap’ is defined as when an audience deliberately gives a slow, rhythmic clap to indicate disapproval. Slowhandclap are a paradox: you’d never disapprove of these.

 

Ahead of ‘Concrete Bodies’, their latest track ‘Vertigo’ feltlike it’s been with us longer than it actually has – though not in a bad way – with heavy guitar strums and hedonistic murmurous lyrics that cast the mind to the likes of Weirds and The Jesus and Mary Chain.

‘Concrete Bodies’ immortalises the fledgling act by way of a rush of guitar fuzz and the thump of the drum. Accompanied by lyrics that echo talk of how overrun society is with political, economic and environmental disputes -leaving us as hallowed figures, almost so used to the calamity by now, that we overlook it.

In a monotone chant, lead vocalist Sam Bullock describes how “everything is happening at the same time”, each with it’s own cost, there’s seemingly no stopping the way the world is going. In terms of the wording (but also the genre and styling of the music) the track is reminiscent of Sonic Youth‘s ‘Society is a Hole’, spouting similar verses about civilisation as we know it being predictable in terms of its disruption.

‘Concrete Bodies’ is thrilling in its messiness, a mix of grunge noise with drums that start and stop at the drop of the hat and guitars that race through the song with no signs of stopping, speed racers moving forward. They’re moving themselves forward at a similar pace too, having recently supported alt-rockers Kagoule, they’re now set to headline their home cities’s The Castle Hotel for a pre-Christmas gig on Thursday 20th December. In terms of a sign of things to come, ‘Concrete Bodies’ showcases Slowhandclap in a fine light, leaving you intrigued about what’s to come from the trio.

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

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LIVE: FREE VIBES x SABOTAGE –
Dylan Cartlidge, Slowhandclap,
Scruffy Bear, Octopus | 29.08.18

WORDS BY HANNAH TINKER        PHOTOS BY MANC WANDERER

Following on from the success of the debut Sabotage Festival back in April, the gig promoter has continued to conquer Manchester with another enviable lineup. Wednesday 29th August was a partnership with Free Vibes – another promoter set to ignite new artists. Now a classic amongst those in the know, FV is a monthly slot at Band On The Wall that pulls together a host of talented new acts and sets them up on one of the city’s most renowned stages.

Free Vibes x Sabotage is an ideal pairing that brought together an amalgamation of likeminded folk interested in the movements of the new waves in music. Setting the scene on the evening were self-proclaimed ‘Tentacle Rock’ act Octopus with their infectious shoe gazer sound that oozes a level of experience beyond their years. Britpop at it’s finest and then some, Octopus welcomed the fast-filling main room of Band On The Wall with open arms.

Following on and keeping up the pace – if not heightening it – psychedelia hits and Scruffy Bear appear. Theirs is a sound which is equally transcendent of their years but in a different manner. It’s the melodies themselves, the riffs and hooks with their psychedelic haze. Blues and psych merge together entangled in a rock n roll shell, equipped with a mesmerising stage presence that can’t not catch your attention.

Bringing the outright noise are SlowHandClap poised and ready to go just ahead of the headliner. If you’re fortunate enough to have seen them yourself, you’ll know they’re not a band to be reckoned with. Raw energy and passion erupts from the trio for a mystifying performance reminiscent of fuzzy early Nirvana gig videos. If you’re a Dinosaur Jr fan, keep your finger on the pulse with SlowHandClap – you’re in for a treat.

Last but certainly never least, alternative rapper Dylan Cartildge hosts as the headliner. He’s making waves in his field, with Huw Stephens a notable fan, as well as having had the famed musician Jamie T accompany him on hit track ‘Up & Upside Down’. Notably Dylan is a multiple instrument player – paired with his charismatic stage presence it makes for a live set that hums with an easy solace. His vocals echo, along with that of his backing singer, to a completely entertained Band On The Wall that’s singing every word back to him. He’s just done Reading and Leeds and you can be sure there’ll be no stopping him soon.

Want to see more? You’re in luck. The next Sabotage curated gig takes place at The Castle Hotel on Oldham Street, Saturday 29th September. It’ll be the first headline set from Manchester favourites La Mode, hot off the heels of their recent EP release which fuses modern indie with 60s rock in an eclectic manner that’s not often found. Oxford-based Self Help present their twist of garage and punk that cuts an original figure, whilst the fresh and fledgling Thin-Skinned who only have one track released are set to introduce themselves. Tickets are only available on the door and at just £5 a pop, we’ll meet you at The Castle.

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Dentcha

Review: Dentcha ft. Arrows of Love @ Aatma

You won’t have heard of Dentcha quite yet, but you soon will. The latest addition to our growing set of valuable promoters, Dentcha are the *new* new kids on the block. Drawing us in with the promise of evenings that will stimulate the senses through music and art, the creative outfit fits that space we have lurking between the highly defined “are-you-an-art-fan-or-a-music-fan?” which thrusts the idea forward that it’s either one or the other. Another incentive for their events are acts that compliment each other and have a similar theme running through, although still scraping the surface to take us out of our comfort zones. For the first installment of Dentcha events, a punk thrill was predicted through the choice of line-up and intriguing video clips splashed across social media of chattering teeth toys hurtling away against a Mold-enthused soundtrack.

Premiering the subject matter for tonight were Slowhandclap with their psychedelic grunge ensemble, were first to the stage and didn’t disappoint with their eager mechanics to grab the attention of the audience. Latest track ‘Vertigo’ feels like it’s been with us longer than it actually has – though not in a bad way – with heavy guitar strums and hedonistic murmurous lyrics that cast the mind to the likes of Weirds and The Jesus and Mary Chain. This young trio have a pace going and youth on their side which will only streamline further as their image continues to sharpen. Following up, but in no way cowering behind the opening act, Mold mysteriously lurked on to stage. Exaggerated face paint applied, their appearance already grabs you. You’re there and you’re caught. The lead singer you’ll recognise as one of The Starlight Magic Hour‘s battalion members, but the Mold artistic flair is different. Similar themes of political context within the lyrics are splayed out but the aesthetic and satire of this act represents a set of performance artists, passionate about what they do and set to spread further, as their namesake often does, over things that grow stale.

With a well-rehearsed flair, the historical – 9 years strong – expertly lead flair of Denim & Leather were next to entertain the opening night. The hardcore punk band present a furor of heavy riffs and pelting drumbeats alongside the lead singer hypnotically throwing himself about the stage with pure unadulterated vigor. Lastly, Arrows of Love present their live spectacle, which culminates in a diverse performance of hardened garage punk presented by this London-based act that’s so critically acclaimed that they recently won the PRSF Momentum Award, with the chance to have their second album mastered by Mikko Gordon. Dentcha‘s opening night was everything it claimed to be and more. Drawing each audience member closer and thrusting them out of the door with a new wonderment for music as an artistic art form.

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