With a stick of liquorice in my pocket and adventure in my heart, I got myself to the venue and waited patiently for the doors to open. It was only after spending 90 minutes stroking the hessian walls and blocking the way to the toilets that I thought of asking somebody what the darn heck was going on.
“The show? That’s next door, mate,” said the nice man with his craft beer.
This comeback was off to a great start.
Thankfully I didn’t miss any of openers CHAMBERS despite being a moron and that is a very good thing. CHAMBERS are loud as shit and that’s why their name is in capital letters. They’re certainly a capital band.
CHAMBERS describe themselves as a two-piece sister doom band which is probably one of the best things I’ve ever heard and tops anything I could say about them, so I’ll just add that they’re really good. Here’s a terrible photo to prove I was there.
Also, here’s a video to make up for the fact that I wrote my notes in the dark and helpfully smudged them all, leading to this section being a lot shorter than it ought to be.
CHAMBERS. As somebody behind me exclaimed when they finished, “shittin’ ‘ell!”
Shittin’ ‘ell indeed.
Fuckin’ love this band. They just keep getting better and better.
Their new single kicks so much butt that if my butt had a butt on it then it would also have been kicked. La Bête Blooms are clearly as influenced by classic indie rock and Sonic the Hedgehog as everybody else but they stand out with their superior songwriting and passionate performances. Alliteration.
Opening with the wonderful TV Speak from their debut EP, La Bête Blooms played a fast and powerful set full of new songs. A particular highlight was the second song of the night which I am assured will be appearing on their next EP. It was all dreamy and mysterious and it made me feel feelings. Always a good thing.
Sadly, all great nights must come to an end but memories are for as long as you remember them. La Bête Blooms put on a great show as they always do and CHAMBERS were absolutely superb. Give ’em a look for me, will ya?
Howdy. This is a sort of deleted scene from the interview I did with Lewis Young – we talk about Adult Teeth act MyOneManBand, but then things get tangential in a remarkably relevant way. Besides, I promised you another part last night. Have a poke at these fine tracks while you read.
Lewis: Thank you. Yeah, it was a good gig actually. Phill really did something special I thought – he was using all coffee cans and stuff like that. He was sampling stuff live and then looping it and it’s just great. It was in this really small white room with no way out. It was sort of like being in a mental asylum with this guy doing these mental things. It was just awesome.
Sean: I put it on with headphones and I sort of felt like it was drilling into my brain, but in a good way.
Lewis: I think that’s what we strive for, so Phill would be happy with that. I think he nearly came down tonight actually. He lives about 20 miles away so he doesn’t always get to make it, which is a shame. He used to be in La Bête Blooms, actually, Phill.
Sean: Was he the bass player who left?
Lewis: Yeah, he went to Antwerp. He played synth in Glass Delusion as well. He just went to Antwerp and kind of left the bands, basically. It was a shame, but he came back, which is nice – came back and did all his solo stuff.
Lewis: It’s kind of like The Flaming Lips’ Zaireeka thing. We didn’t nick the idea from them particularly but it was definitely a starting point. Dark room… whatever devices you’ve got. Different sound sources make it sound like a different album, so if you heard it through a Playstation on your TV it’s almost like a whole different thing. It’s very strange but it’s great so, enjoy, basically.
Sean: Even the isolated tracks on the sampler CD… I remember hearing… I don’t know what it’s called… it’s the one with the basketball.
Lewis: Oh yeah, Basketball in the Park in Bb Major.
Sean: I was listening to that and it came on when I was in Gateshead. They built a big Tesco there.
Lewis: Yeah, I used to work there.
Lewis: It was soul-destroying but yeah, I worked there while I was at uni.
Sean: Well, they knocked it down, so…
Lewis: DID THEY?
Sean: Yeah, they knocked it down and built a new one.
Lewis: Oh my god! That’s fantastic. It needed knocking down, especially the back area… disgusting. You just think, “Oh god, this is where I buy my food.” It was all these disgusting guys who worked there, they’d go to the toilet and not wash their hands, then they’d go and put the vegetables out. It was fucking disgusting. It was shocking. It was like a whole other world. I’m glad they knocked it down, that’s great.
Sean: I remember I went to the new Tesco the first week they opened it and, uh, they’d run out of lard.
Lewis: The cornerstone of every diet.
Sean: Well, it is in Gateshead.
Lewis: Yeah, so true.
Sean: It’s nice to be a hundred miles from the place and be making jokes about how crap it is.
Lewis: Where it can’t hear you.
Lewis: Yeah, Gateshead is a strange one. It was just very… there’s places in Hull that remind me of Gateshead, it’s just what it is. To go from, y’know, Newcastle’s amazing, and you get the metro to Gateshead and you’re like, “Wow, okay.” It’s just literally a mile away and it’s crazy.
Sean: There’s this pocket of The Sage, but when you’re walking there it feels a bit dangerous. It’s a little bit better now that they replaced the Tesco because they pedestrianised that whole area. It’s supposed to be a shopping complex but nobody really wants to open shops so… there’s a Nando’s and there’s a cinema and all that stuff. We’ll see how that goes. It’s a huge Tesco, though. They’ve got all the world foods and all that stuff. Yeah, I love it.
Lewis: Yeah, it needed something. It was a dying town when I worked there. I think it just needed that [claps hands super-loud]. It’s so weird, because they’ve got Baltic and Sage on that side and then you’ve just got… shit. It’s bizarre.
I served Dwight Yorke in Tesco one time. Very odd – why Dwight Yorke? I mean, I don’t like football or anything, it just seems so odd that Dwight Yorke would come in.
Sean: That’s weird.
Lewis: Yeah, it was just so surreal. I don’t know what he was doing in Gateshead.
Sean: My friend saw Phill Jupitus recently in Newcastle railway station. Don’t why he was there, he wasn’t doing a gig.
Lewis: He gets about, he does. A person I work with, she owns a guesthouse as well as working full-time, and he stayed in that. He left this really nice review in the book and a massive full length signature – hey Paul, alright? – yeah, so, nice guy.
Sean: It’s a good tangent, I may include it.
Lewis: Just ribbin’ on Gateshead. Poor bastards.
Sean: Poor bastards.
This does leave some unanswered questions: Why was Dwight Yorke in Tesco? What was Phill Jupitus up to? Is Paul alright?
Sadly, we may never know.
Much appreciation is due again to Lewis for agreeing to do this interview and for not minding that it also ties into a story about a magic crab. Very Dude.
If you haven’t already, look above for a free download of the Adult Teeth sampler. You can also find The Adult Teeth Recording Company on Facebook, Twitter and their website.
Well, this is jolly exciting. Lewis Young is the founder of The Adult Teeth Recording Company, a Hull-based independent record label which is doing some pretty exciting stuff. I’m abit ofa fan. We had a chat in the back room of the legendary Adelphi Club about music, Hull, embarrassing celebrity encounters and Tesco.
I had to listen to my stupid sleepy voice for this. Sometimes I just want to reach into the past and tell myself to go to bed earlier.
All about Adult Teeth.
Sean: So, what’s it like running an independent record label?
Lewis: Adult Teeth has been running two and a half years now and the whole point is, “Listen to this band, they’re awesome and they’re from Hull.” Now it’s building and people are listening a bit more and they’re paying attention, but when we started it was just really tough to get anyone to pay any attention at all. I’d send out press releases to about 500 bloggers and radio stations and just get nothing and now people are almost looking out for the emails and they’re wanting to know what’s going on.
Tonight’s the most we’ve had for a gig that we’ve put on here under the label. I think we’ve done about six now and we never seem to get more than 30 people, which is really frustrating because I think the bands we’re putting on are great. Obviously that’s why I do it, but yeah, tonight I thought was pretty good.
Sean: How many people were here? I didn’t see because I was right at the front.
Lewis: Judging on how much we got on the door I think it was about 50-something, 55 maybe, which isn’t bad really for a Thursday night. An awful lot of gigs I’ve been to here for – let’s say mid-level bands – like, say, Wave Pictures. Bands you’d expect to be selling out a venue like this and there’s been three people.
There’s a guy called Aidan Smith who played here about ten years ago and I absolutely loved him and listened to all of his albums. I was literally the only person in the audience and he still played, which was awesome but he started – not tearing up – but y’know, something was happening at the end like [makes a ‘bad vibes’ noise].
I just thought, “No one promoted this fuckin’ thing.” One person in the audience – and I nearly didn’t go! But yeah, he gave me an album at the end. I was gonna pay for it but he gave me it. He says, “Thank you for being the one person who came here.” It was like, wow, this is great. So we had a whole chat after, I was like 16 at the time and it was the first time I’ve met someone who I really respect and THAT happened.
So, anyway, can’t remember what my point was. But yeah, tonight was pretty good for a Thursday. I was pretty happy with it people and seemed to stick around which is good.
Sean: Did you manage not to embarrass yourself, being 16?
Lewis: With Aidan Smith? D’you know what, I think I did alright actually. I’ve embarrassed myself in front of a lot of people I respect over the years but with Aidan I think I did alright.
Sean: What was the first gig you ever went to?
Lewis: It was Beautiful South when I was 11. They’re from Hull and everything and I’d never realised that bands from Hull could be famous until that point. I really loved Beautiful South and I had all their albums, so my dad took me out on my birthday to go and see them at Sheffield Arena. I just remember being 11 and thinking, “This is what I want to do with my life.”
I met Dave Stead from Beautiful South about two years ago actually. He owns a venue in Hull and I played there. I got really drunk by the end of it and I tried to explain that story to him and it just came out almost like a tearful… “If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be doing this,” and he was like, “Yeah, well, you were alright,” and I was like [makes a drunk noise].
It wasn’t about me being good or bad, I just don’t think I would be playing music if it wasn’t for that gig because it was incredible. You have to imagine this through the filter of about six or seven pints when I’m in post-gig mode and full of nervous excitement.
It was awful. I completely embarrassed myself in front of him and I just thought, “Shit, you had one chance to tell this guy…” I think that’s probably the most embarrassed I’ve been because it meant so much. It was like, “I really needed to tell this guy this.”
Music is like a beach. You look under a lot of rocks, you find a lot of beach shit, sometimes you find something really special…
I’m getting ahead of myself. It was November, and I woke up with a strange feeling. This was because I was waking up in Hull and that’s not usually where I wake up. Not that I minded.
Hull was very good to me. I had a Subway sandwich, which was as reliably mediocre as any other I’ve had, and I spent some time admiring some very fetching architecture and dodging low-flying pigeons.
Ultimately, I found that I couldn’t really go into any shops because people were trying to buy Xboxes in them, so I left for York. On the way I got to see the Humber Bridge, which appears to stretch impossibly and infinitely. A truly awesome sight. I don’t even have anything flippant to say about it, it’s just amazing.
I sat outside York Minster, listening to Aztec Camera and thinking about Scotland. Then a glint caught my eye. Like any true Scotsman, I went over in case it was money.
It was a rip in space and time.
I was on a beach. A lot of people were listening to Mumford & Sons. It wasn’t very nice, so I went off for a bit of a mope.
I was having a bit of an explore when I saw something. It was like a rock, but it wasn’t a rock.
“It’s a rock lobster!” I shouted, feeling like an idiot but also a little pleased with myself.
I looked a little closer. It was actually a crab, and I was a crustacean racist. I thought it was dead for a while, but it started a-wrigglin’, then it started talking.
“You have awoken me from my crab coma – I hereby grant you three wishes,” he crabbled.
“Can I wish for more wishes?”
“You can fuck off.”
“There’s no need to be so crabby.”
“It’s one wish now.”
I thought about it for ages. I thought about all my regrets and near-misses. Then it came to me.
“I wish I could go back in time to the Adult Teeth showcase gig and interview Lewis Young, founder of The Adult Teeth Recording Company.”
“Your wish is my command.”
With that, the crab scuttled away to do crab stuff and I found myself somewhere a little more familiar.
I was back at the Adelphi Club, and there was Lewis Young sat opposite me.
“So, what’s it like running an independent record label?”
The Adult Teeth Recording Company is a pretty radical record label, in both senses of the word. Not Just Another Indie Record Label, Adult Teeth has released an impressive range of music for being only two years old – so far having covered spoken word, ambient field recordings and experimental/instrumental music. All this with a healthy lashing of rock ‘n’ roll. Mmm. Tasty.
It was the promise of excitement that lead me on an indie pilgrimage to Hull on a Thursday night.
I had a bit of burnt hotel pizza as I waited for my taxi, which was driven by a very nice man who almost killed us both a few times when he mimed playing the guitar as he told me all about his favourite Pink Floyd track. Fucking brilliant. That’s how I want to die.
The Adelphi is rock music history, and probably one of the few small venues to survive the waves of gentrification which have lapped our cultural shores since some bastard invented Milton Keynes. It’s great. It’s really great.
The back room of the Adelphi is something you should see at least once in your life. The front room is too. Go to the Adelphi.
I was able to peer through the telescope and watch the bands setting up, like I was Jimmy Stewart in a Pixies shirt. Ten out of goddamn ten.
I found myself at a teeny weenie table in front of the stage for My Pleasure.
My Pleasure is rock that wears a tie but is aware of it as a sort of silky noose.
They (or he) is really very good, with lyrics which are smart and sometimes funny without being obnoxiously so. There was even a reference to one of my favourite movies of all time, Falling Down (starring Michael Douglas before he melted).
All this makes for a very endearing package, and dude has the tunes to back it up too. For an artist who has only released three singles to date, goddamn.
It should be noted that My Pleasure is Lewis Young, who is not just a member of one of the other Adult Teeth bands (The Glass Delusion, also rad) but runs the label too. Sort of makes you feel bad for not getting out of bed on Saturday, doesn’t it?
I’m pretty excited to see what’s next from My Pleasure. It rocks, it pops, it’s great.
Foolish Atoms were next. It was meant to be a full band show but the bass player was sick, so two guitars was what we got. They were pretty damn amazing anyway.
Foolish Atoms have a sort of ragged folky thing going on, kind of like that third Velvet Underground album. Crucially, they don’t sound like fucking Mumford & pricking Sons. A major plus in my book.
They have a really special sound. You’ve gotta listen to them.
I’ve spoken a fair bit about La Bête Blooms before. I like them so much I even learned the code for the ê (alt+136).
Man, they’re just great. They make a bunch of loud and beautiful noise. The fucking drums, the goddamn bass, the bastarding guitars, the bloody vocals. They’re also just really, really awesome live.
Daniel is a great frontman. Sometimes he’ll hop off stage and go for a walk, sometimes he’ll have a lie down, sometimes you wonder if he’s ever gonna come back. Dude’s not all intensity though, and the band can often be seen laughing and smiling on stage. Both of these things are unbelievably refreshing and definitely reflect the passion they have for the music they’re making. Absolutely brilliant.
I’ve spent a lot of time travelling this year, and I’m so happy to end 2014’s travels in a great city like Hull with three great artists in one of the best venues I’ve ever been to.
I’ll be back.
Adult Teeth have a free sampler available which includes tracks by the bands who played and some of their other artists too, you can find it here. Did I mention it’s free?