Menace Beach, Martha, Rice Milk @ Pop Recs Ltd., Sunderland

Mose Allison wos ere 2k14
Mose Allison wos ere 2k14

This was an occasion that can best be described as ‘historical as fuck’. Menace fuckin’ Beach’s first ever show in the north east. Tubular!

First up, we had Rice Milk. Smashing band! Only two guys too. I really dig that. Bands with only two people are the future of music, ’cause you can tour in a smaller car.

The Italians go on and on about how the best dishes only need five ingredients and a little magic from Mama, and that’s Rice Milk. Sweet noises and one of the most unexpected voices I’ve ever heard – but, y’know, in a good way.

Speaking of Italy, in Pop Recs you can get the most amazing coffee. Try the Al Pacino, they’ll love ya for it. Hoo-ah.

Martha next!

If I’d bothered to do my research instead of idly stroking my beard, I would have probably noticed that I have shared an office and awkward “holding the door open” moments with one of the members. For a year. Fucking oops.

I mention this just so you know that my journalistic impartiality has been impinged. I don’t want death stares every time I go to the loo.

That said, if they’d sucked I wouldn’t have mentioned all of the previous. I would have curled up into a ball of nerves and willed myself out of existence rather than write this review. I probably would have moved to Venezuela.

So, yeah, they’re great. I like bands where everybody sings because it appeals to the socialist in me. They sing about life and Durham.

In my phone notes from the night, I wrote that they are “raw, randy, raucous, Rush-referencing roustabouts.” Clearly the product of too much coffee and not enough sleep. For ten years.

Menace Beach, en silhouette.

Menace Beach are the Earth, Wind & Fire of indie rock bands. Just guitarists all over the shop. You can’t see the five additional bassists here, there wasn’t enough space in the main room so they had to be relocated.

Where to?

The basement.


Bollocks aside, Menace goshdarned Beach. What a great noise they make. I’ve written about them before, but it’s really amazing to see them now that I’ve spent a good seven months listening to their totally excellent EP. Their set flew by, but I could probably see these guys every day of the week and it wouldn’t be enough. There’s really a lot of great new guitar music around at the moment and Menace Beach are the cream on top. You know, the best bit.

How do they sound live? I’ll let them speak for themselves on that one.

They’re so good.

It’s worth giving a shout out here to the Pop Recs guys for running a real classy shop with amazing records all over the place, and also to the promoter Dan Shannon for putting together one of the most stunning bills I’ve seen since, well, the last time I saw Menace Beach.

Also, Simon from the train home, you’re an absolute dude and a crazy mother.

If you liked any of the stuff up there, here are some links. Check these bands out and support this great independent music scene we’ve got going on in the UK. There’s so much great music, guys.

Menace Beach on Twitter, Facebook and here’s their website.

Martha on Twitter, Facebook and here’s their Bandcamp page.

Rice Milk on Twitter, Tumblr and also Bandcamp.

Pop Recs Ltd. on Facebook and their website.


Broview: U2’s Songs of Innocence

When I heard that U2 were giving us a new album for free I was so pumped I did 200 crunches. It’s a shame that it sucks ass, bro. And get this, the singer is called Boner.

The fuck is this. Fuck you.

The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone) starts off with all this, like, piano and shit. It’s hella gay. But then guitar comes in and it’s all, like, metal and shit? There ain’t enough though. There’s all this singing and I’m just here like, how the fuck do I work out to this shit if there’s no beat, y’know? And I’ve gotta say I don’t know who the fuck Joey Ramon-ey is but I bet I could beat him up if he’s got such a lame-ass song about him.

Every Breaking Wave is so fucking slow I nearly dropped my dumbbells. I was workin’ on my triceratops. Gotta work all the different muscle groups, brah. Gotta feel like your insides are like fish, goin’ up the waterfall to bone.
Yo, that’s deep as fuck. I’m gonna send it to Men’s Health.

California! That’s what I’m talkin’ about, man. Home of Arnold Sh… Sch… Shwar… Shwenungnguueer. Fuck you. You make fun of me ’cause I can’t spell but how much can you bench!? I can bench 220lbs easy, bro. Don’t fuck with me. I’ll fight you tomorrow.

Song for Someone sounds like a song for babies. Boner is talkin’ about wounds in his heart or some shit. Boo fucking hoo, man. Sweat it out, you pussy. Do 600 push ups. I’ll race ya.

Iris (Hold Me Close) is halfway through the goddamn album and nothing rocks yet. Goddamn. This doesn’t even get me juiced, dude. Fuckin’ Boner is just singing about his mom. Why don’t you fuck off back to England.

By the way, The Edge. you call that playing guitar? Why don’t you take lessons from some real guitarists like Eddie Van Halen, Richie Sambora or Slash. Probably ’cause those dudes will fuckin’ beat your ass for sucking so much at guitar. Pansy. You ain’t got any balls and that’s why you sing so high.

Are you gonna bring the rock, Volcano? No, you’re gonna clap your fuckin’ hands.  Fuck you.

Raised By Wolves? I sure was, man! Raised by wolves in the fuckin’ woods. There’s all this stuff about bombs and shit which is great. But it’s got all this shitty piano and it’s like, you’ve got all this badass stuff you’re writing about but you’re putting it to this weak-ass music. More like fuckin’ Pissed On By Wolves, am I right? Bro? Bro? Am I right?


Cedarwood Road finally has some goddamn ROCK but they had to FUCK IT RIGHT UP with more FUCKING PIANO. How about you stop writing songs about trees you remember and start writing songs about badasses in, like, ‘Nam or some shit. And they’re all like, blam! blam! blam! kerplurrrzzkkkvvzzkk!, ya dig? I can write better songs.

So I’m here in ‘Nam
And I got a lotta guns
Got a flamethrower too
For settin’ dudes on fire

I killed five helicopters
Only half past breakfast
Armed with protein shakes
And a M-60 machine gun

Fuck you.

Sleep Like a Baby Tonight, I fuckin’ will if you don’t stop writing such shitty songs. This sounds like some German shit. I don’t even know why we saved England in WW2 if they’re gonna turn around and suck German dick like this.

This is Where You Can Reach Me Now. I bet he’s talkin’ about gettin’ reach arounds from The Edge. It sure sounds like it. This goes into some Fire Island shit not even halfway through. It’s like, pretend to kick ass before you start sucking.

Boner, I don’t give a fuck about your Troubles. Why you gotta put this shit on my iPhone, bro. Fuck you.

Songs of Innocence? More like Songs of Dudes In Their Fifties Whining About Shit Nobody Fucking Cares About.

This one.
Deal with it, bro.


This is a song I listen to when I miss Scotland. I put it on a compilation of songs (known as FSM05) which I listen to when I miss Scotland.

There’s a part of me that feels a little sad that I can’t be in the country that I called home for 18 years tonight. There’s a part of me that feels a little sad that I’m facing the forced separation of my identity – which I have a tenuous grasp on at best – regardless of the outcome of the vote. There’s a part of me that thinks it’s too soon, that it’s a question better suited to more certain times.

And there’s a part of me that is proud to consider myself Scottish because it’s ultimately the closest thing I have to a national identity. There’s a part of me that hates that a country which seems so goddamn separate from England should be ruled from the bottom of a place that doesn’t understand them. There’s a part of me that’s always wanted Scotland to be independent and would be proud to register as a Scottish citizen.

So I find myself here, in the north-east of England, wondering how I ended up doing the things I did and how it was that I ended up here. Why I’m not up there, taking part in the future of my country.

I don’t belong here.

But I didn’t really belong there either.

Maybe belonging isn’t the important thing.

Maybe that’s what this is all about.

Jesus don’t want me for a sunbeam.