IN THE CITY 2004
Sept 17th-21st - Manchester - Various Venues
The Darkness, The Raveonettes, The Crimea, Youth Movie Soundtrack Strategies and Kinesis are just a few of the bands we've previewed in the Designer Magazine In The City Previews over the past couple of years. Here are the essential gigs of ITC 2004 as selected by Designer Magazine's editor Alex McCann
7.45pm - Dear Eskiimo - The Late Room (Break In The City) - £5 /£3 Delegates
(Pic: Dear Eskiimo)
With a host of labels already showing interest in the Greater Manchester based 3 piece the big shock is why they didn't make the official ITC Unsigned shortlist. The band already have a licensing deal in place for Canada and North America and ITC should see them inking a deal for the UK. Here's what we had to say about the band in July - "Dear Eskiimo are the bastard offspring of Outkast, The Sound Of Music, Space, Alisha's Attic and Goldfrapp. The sort of band you'd imagine if Richard X and Brian Higgins got together with Andre 3000 whilst creating a frankensteins monster out of every member of Girls Aloud, who had in turn been fed on a diet of Broadway Musicals. The fact that they actually look as good as they sound makes the whole spectacle even more alluring" Designer Magazine (July 2004) - Read the full live review here and read the interview here
Management: 07931 942 961
8.00pm-3.00am - Club Fandango -Night & Day - £5 / First 20 Delegates free
A regular event at the Night & Day, Club Fandango has a fantastic line-up for their In The City Special. Almost an insult to call this event "special" as you can guarantee that each and every month the line up for Fandango will be just as impressive. With Fierce Panda, Drowned in Sound and TCB Live behind it though what did you expect. The two main bands to look out for are The Dears fresh from Canada and Lisa Brown from Manchester. We just happened to chance upon The Dears earlier this week when they did a live session for Steve Lamacq. Parts of the Smiths and the Cure intertwine to bring beautiful and heartbreakingly breathless music. Similarly Lisa Brown have been whispered about in Manchester by the likes of the Northern Ambition label and Blowout who have been early supporters of the band. Tonight we'll see them really shine along with a supporting cast of Kari Kleiv, Sabotage Left and Production G
2.00pm - Gods Of Good Living - Satans Hollow (Break In The City) - £3
When The Gods Of Good Living supported the Dirty Americans back in June they managed to charm the audience into submission. Dressed as monks it would be easy to dismiss the band as a novelty alongside the Polyphonic Spree or Hidden Cameras, but the GOGL truly have the tunes to back it up. Mixing intricate melodies of The Smiths, the fun of a band like Terrorvision and a charming frontman the band can't help to win over the most cynical listener. Playing as part of Break In The City sees the band deliver the first of 2 gigs over the weekend, the 2nd of which is at 5th Avenue's Freshers Week night - an experience i'm sure the guys will revel in.
Contact: Chris Taylor - 07986 611 838
8.40pm - Neils Children - Satans Hollow (Break In The City) - £3
Neils Children offer rudimentary punk at it's most basic, still it's a instant rush from the opening bars of previous singles "Come Down" And "I Hate Models". The latter, a commentary on the various fashionista types who walk round with the mullet haircuts and Sid Vicious T's from Burtons. Although part of the whole Libertines / Razorlight inspired scene this band are clearly outsiders living in their own little world. Expect one full album from them before they split in a wave of speculation and bitching.
9.00pm - Kentucky AFC - Gullivers (Upstairs) (ITC Unsigned)
(Pic: Kentucky AFC)
On first listen Kentucky AFC's "Outlaw" sounds like The Coral, 22-20s and The Basement jamming together. On second listen you realize it seems more youthful than any of the aforementioned bands. While listening to their parents record collections they manage to deliver it in an insanely youthful way much like when Supergrass first unleashed "Caught By The Fuzz". The second track "11" sounds like a Welsh language version of the Sex Pistols before launching into a chorus as infectious as the Undertones "Teenage Kicks". Designer Magazine has always had a great history of backing Welsh bands and this time it's truly justified.
9.15pm - Pioneers - Night & Day Cafe (ITC Unsigned)
Some might say Pioneers are the obvious Manchester option with a sound that recalls both Longview and Haven as recent examples. Perhaps the live shows will further demonstrate why every other Manchester publication is raving about this band. The four track demo we received showed promise, but lacked the killer song which would elevate them above the rest of the pack. When you consider that the Cardinals, who recently signed to B-Unique records, plough a similar field you have to wonder will Pioneers be able to compete. The jury is currently out for the time being?
Contact: Phil - 07946 177674
10.45pm - Longcut - Night & Day Cafe (ITC Unsigned)
This Manchester 3 piece have been creating waves in Manchester for the past 6 months and it's not hard to see why. After wowing crowds at the Blowout nights, Lamacq chanced upon their website and asked them personally to support Graham Coxon in Manchester when 6Music had an outside broadcast. Here's what Designer Magazine scribe Nick Godkin had to say about that show back in May - "Intense, lo-fi and leftfield these guys evoke the spirit of Joy Division with elements of Mogwai thrown into the mix. Longcut show style, promise and versatility to make a difference" Designer Magazine (May 2004)
11.00pm - Ivory - Po Na Na's (Break In The City: Urban Disturbance) - £3
We're yet to get the Ivory CD in the Designer Magazine offices, but from what we've heard on his website he's on to look out for. Playing Break In The City tonight he's expected to perform with his full live band before doing the obligatory dat tape performance at tomorrow nights Urban Next Big Thing Event. Seen very much as the alternative head of the urban scene he mixes it up with rock guitars in a unique style.
2.00pm - 10.00pm - Glasswerk In The City & V:Man Present - 28 Costumes (7pm - Small Stage) & Tramp Attack (4pm - Small Stage), Seven Hours (3pm - Big Stage)
(Pic: Seven Hours)
Over the ITC weekend Glasswerk In The City in association with V:Man have over 70 bands performing and it's to their credit that they can put such a mammoth event together. Taking over 2 rooms in the Dry Bar in the heart of the Northern Quarter the obvious highlights are Art Brut, Distophia and Malibu Stacy who all play on Sundays day of rock.
Saturday of course is the day of indie, in V:Man fashion what they try to do is create a theme of sorts to created a round event for the punters. 28 Costumes who we featured in last years ITC previews return signed to Spank Records and Tramp Attack continue the scouse theme of scouse-adelica. It's Seven Hours though that are intriguing us most on Saturdays line-up. A band with luck on their side, one of the band members handed us a CD in the guest area of Leeds Festival this year where he was working on the Leeds Festival Official Newspaper. The band deliver rough and ready blues music with touches of Motown and reggae thrown into the melting pop. It's a truly classic sound, yet one that never sounds derivative.
8.30pm - 2.00am - Chloe Poems - Green Room - £4
Notorious for the Switchflicker singles "The Queen Sucks Nazi Cock" and "London Is Paranoid" the socialist performance poet plays a date at this years In The City before heading off to America where she's been requested to perform at the prestigious Harvard University. Chloe Poems is supported by a cast of DJs and bands including Manchester punk band Valerie (who take their name from Valerie Solanas). Read our Chloe Poems interview here
11.00pm - 3.00am- In The Chippy III - Night & Day Cafe -£5 / Delegates Free
Last years In The Chippy saw a half naked Har Mar Superstar take to the decks and cause havoc. This years event is headlined by Stazi who feature a gimp go go dancer and Rowetta from the Happy Mondays on backing vocals. Expect and eclectic and unforgettable night of electro pop. Read our review of the last Stazi gig Designer Magazine covered here
1.00pm - Face / North Star - Squares (Break In The City)
Sunday sees the invasion of So Solid Crew to In The City. Cut through all the tabloid crap that surrounded the band and most people will be able to see that So Solid Crew's debut album "They Don't Know" was and still is one of the best urban albums of the 21st Century and personally I don't feel that Dizzee Rascall, Wiley or any of the hyped up heads have bettered it to date. The fact that they're choosing to launch their new solo careers at ITC shows strength of character and a desire to be taken seriously rather than simply booking a club night in London, getting the usual suspects down and trading on their former crews name. As yet music hasn't winged its way to us, but you can bet your life on it that both Face's solo efforts and North Star (managed by the crews Lisa Maffia) will be breaking through big style in 12 months time. A must see event for the best of Urban talent in the UK.
7.00pm - Vib Gyor - Baby Grand (Upstairs) (ITC Unsigned)
After Coldplay and Keane were unleashed on the world it seemed like the next band to quote Radiohead as a reference point was going to take music to new levels of blandness. Vib Gyor are perhaps the first band to truly capture the spirit and intensity of "Bends" era Radiohead and add something new. The Riot demo sends shivers down your spine from beginning to end with gloriously textured intricate songs. David Fendicks vocals soar across the twin guitar of Zane Keenan and Jonny Mulroy while the rhythm section ably backs them up. After a couple of years of bland as f**k rock n roll bands, Vib Gyor have brought some meaning back to rock music.
Contact: Matthew Page - 0207 4993993
7.00pm - Anna Neale - Tmesis (Fringe Gig)
It took the second track from Anna Neale's promo copy of the forthcoming album "All The Little Things" to convince us of Neale's talent. The track, "Everywhere", is a better indicator of her style than the single "What You Do To Me". The latter track reminds us of Liz Phair, but gets lost amongst the plethora of female singer songwriters, while the former track displays a more soulful side to her personality. Similarly, the albums title track starts off with a trip hop beat and stark vocals. Anna Neale is an intriguing proposition.
Contact: Anna Neale - 07718 585522
7.30pm - Twenty Twenty Vision - Squares (Break In The City)
Twenty Twenty Vision is on a one man mission to rewrite the Smiths and Badly Drawn Boy. After watching Manchester get swamped with singer songwriters its refreshing to see a man who truly knows the value of putting your best work into three and a half minutes. Songs such as "Adequately Marvellous" have a wonderful lo-fi quality about them that fans of Belle & Sebastian and Snow Patrol would lap up tomorrow.
9.15pm - Tat - Baby Grand (Downstairs) (ITC Unsigned)
Unless you include Avril Lavigne as the saviour of female rock, and lets face it we know you don't, there aren't many female icons in contemporary rock . Brody Dalle from the Distillers, Auf Der Maur, Kittie and old Courtney Love are about the only visible icons at the moment. Once you've heard Tat it's perfectly clear why Tatianna DeMaria, the bands frontwoman and main songwriter, is going to eclipse them all. Aged 19, Tatianna was born in West London in 1985 but spent many of her formative years in Paris listening to classic punk ala Sex Pistols, Clash and Bad Religion. In 2003, after she'd spent 4 years back in the UK playing in various bands, she hooked up with Tim Vanderkill of the Vegastones fame and the rest is history. Ex-drummer Damonski left the band to play drums for Busted in March this year only to be replaced by the might Robin Guy of Rachel Stamp and ever since then they've had record companies with cheque books at the ready. Earlier this year the band supported The Offspring in Paris, how long can it be before Tat are playing in the same league as Offspring?
10.40pm - The Subways - Satans Hollow (Break In The City)
See listings for Monday 20th
10.45pm - Nizlopi - Baby Grand (Downstairs) (ITC Unsigned)
Describing Nizlopi is nigh on impossible because a simple tag line doesn't give them justice. One of the real true stand out bands from this years In The City Unsigned Showcases, this Midlands duo mix up folk music with hip hop without ever seeming forced. An album "Half These Songs Are About You" (produced by Gavin Monaghan famed for his work with the Smiths and Idlewild) really showcases the breath of the bands output with "Call It Up", a prime choice for a single, creating the perfect summer vibe with brass stabs and hammond organ flourishes backing up the beats, double bass and acoustic guitar. "Faith" is an understated song which gnaws away until you can't resist it. "Sing Around It" is one of the most beautiful songs we've ever heard and features the talent of the Enigma String Quartet. The current trend for more adult orientated pop may see the band saddled next to the likes of Jamie Cullum and Katie Melua on Radio 2, but creatively Nizlopi offer so much more.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Contact Kieron Concannon - 07771 907484
7.00pm - 1.00am - Fat Northerner Wakes... Manchester Roadhouse
The Fat Northerner showcases a mix of veterans and up and coming talent. Denise Johnson of Primal Scream and ACR fame showcases her new solo material while Clint Boon takes to the wheels of steel. Earl, Slims and Evenhand bring us the freshest music from the Fat Northerner stable. Last year the Fat Northerner event featured special guest Guy Garvey (Elbow) playing acoustic versions of the at the time unreleased 2nd album as well as a few choice cover versions. Could this indeed happen again this year? Who knows, but special guests are promised on the night so it will be interesting to see who turns up. Tickets are on sale now at Piccaddilly Ticketline for just £2.50
7.00pm - Late - 10acre - Levenshulme Palace
Designer Magazine and 10acre go along way back from our days at Raw Fish Records. We first witnessed the band play to 2000 people supporting Mansun at the Manchester Academy in their heyday and ever since their mix of Pink Floyd and the Chameleons has dragged in crowds across Manchester, so much so that early on in their career The Smiths Johnny Marr announced on Jo Whiley's show that "10acre are one of the best bands around". With over 40 songs ready to go it's a strange twist of fate that the song that is actually receiving attention is actually a cover of the old 10cc track "Boys In Blue" which has been rearranged by 10acre and adopted as the official Manchester City FC anthem. The track is featured on the b-side of the forthcoming single. As part of 24Rockfest the band play with 5 other bands including hotly tipped The Fever and Boomshanker.
Contact: Richard Grossick - 07903 624904
7.00pm - Late - ITC Urban Next Big Thing - Venue TBC (Invite Only / Delegates Free)
Ms Dynamite, Dizzee Rascal, Wiley - Urban music has played such an important part in the UK music scene over that past few years that the predominantly rock based In The City has opened up the door to Urban artists this year. As well as the Urban Unsigned events there's also the Next Big Thing event which showcases the hotly tipped signings and new artists from the likes of Sony, Def Jam, Virgin and a host of record labels. As well as Ivory who's playing on the Saturday night as well as this showcase we're suggesting you look out for Jamie Scott, signed to Sony and fresh from supporting Lemar, who is a major talent who surprised us all coming out of former boy band Third Edge. Also a name to look out is JD, a So Solid Crew associate who featured on Lisa Maffia's debut single, who is hyped as the UK's answer to Busta Rhymes. Also performing tonight is John The White Rapper, Killa Kela, Lady Sovereign and Smujii amongst others.
7.00pm - Duke Special - Baby Grand (Upstairs) (ITC Unsigned)
The first time we played Duke Special's "Lucky Me" EP we could have sworn The Bluetones frontman Mark Morriss had relaunched under an alias. It's not of course, but Belfast singer songwriter Peter Wilson. Thankfully the vocals were the only similarity as the musical palate of Duke Special is rich, wide and glorious taking the likes of the Brian Wilson and John Lennon. New mini album "My Villain Heart" is beautiful, heartbreaking and at the same time a fantastic pop album. "Love Is A Series Of Scars" has a classic quality which reminds us of "My Way" and "Moonriver" colliding. "Some Things Make Your Soul Feel Clean" sounds like a lost Motown classic played by a bluegrass band. Duke Special's eclectic genius never fails to surprise.
Contact: Stephen Orr (Badger Management) 02890 791666
7.15pm - Pure Reason Revolution - Baby Grand (Downstairs) (ITC Unsigned)
Pure Reason Revolution are the antithesis to every other band in the music industry right now. Forget 3 minute punk songs from Stooges wannabes, the band have no idea of the concept "less is more". Why would they when you can write songs that go on for 12 minutes and still leave you thinking "it's just a bit too short isn't it". Still don't confuse this band for any post rock Mogwai influenced dirge as PRR have an unmistakable pop sensibility with lush harmonies riding over trippy stoner dance beats. "Bright Ambassador" even manages to break down to a vocal break which sounds like medieval monks singing at dawn. A gloriously pretentious band stretching everything to the extreme.
7.30pm - Weapons of Mass Belief - 42nd Street (ITC Unsigned)
(Pic: Weapons Of Mass Belief)
After blowing away industry at the SXSW festival earlier this year it was inevitable that the Weapons Of Mass Belief would make the ITC shortlist. With a way in songtitles that puts most bands to shame, "Terrorist Youth" and "F**k House", thankfully have the tunes to back up the explosive name. The six piece is fronted by brother / sister rappers JG and Georgia from Wales which shows that the Welsh rap scene is healthier than ever (and a lot more than diverse than the GLC...fans of old school hip hoppers Tystion know how rich the scene is anyway). Musically we're thinking Sona Fariq, Mclusky and touches of The Crocketts. Lyrically we're talking pent up teenage angst with looks to question rather than provide answers. If the 3 track demo catches half the energy of the live shows then the Weapons Of Mass Belief are going to tear up the joint.
Contact: Nick - 0781 8014839
8.15pm - Primary - 42nd Street (ITC Unsigned)
Every so often you hear a song which is destined for the Top 10. It was the feeling that we got when he first heard Primary's "Sirmintol", a song which mixes the familiar and spews it out as something. Gentle guitar picks ala Johnny Marr underpin the vocals which are reminscent of Michael Stipe on helium with a cod scouse accent. The other song on the demo, "Sinners", features a more overt dance influence with funk bass lines thrown in for good measure. Primary of a band which remind us in parts of The Killers and they could well go onto emulate their success
Contact: Ben 07932 688617
10.00pm - The Rag Dolls - 42nd Street (Fringe Gig)
(Pic: The Rag Dolls)
Proving that you don't even have to play the ITC Unsigned showcases to make a bang, the Rag Dolls have made a full scale assault on the UK pissing off everyone in their way. When the band posted a message on the ITC Message Board the barrage of criticism from the haters was overwhelming. The main reason being that the bands producer Gary Carrola made his name as musical director for Snap (remember Rhythm Is A Dancer") before going on to develop the careers of Backstreet Boys and N'Sync. The band have been playing festivals across Europe over the summer and head to Popkomm after ITC. If you like female fronted pop punk, a 5 headed beast of Avril Lavigne and Pink, then the Rag Dolls will blow you away. The fact that these girls are pissing off the indie kids already means these girls are set for big things. Read the Designer Magazine interview here
Contact: Gary Carolla - 407-947-2743
10.00pm - The Subways - Tmesis (ITC Unsigned)
"The Hertfordshire trio have youth on their side and impressive yes, original no seems to be the general consensus. Musically they owe a hell of a lot to the Vines with loud and lairy slices of high energy rock n roll. The singer / guitarist has the look of an over eager student during rag week, but he makes a fair stab of being an imposing if polite frontman. The drummer bangs away furiously whilst an attractive petite blonde on bass and vocals catches my eye, she's even cuter than ex JJ72s bass babe Hillary. The Subways perform well, but only time will tell if they're a flash in the pan or the next big things in indie rock." - Designer Magazine (August 2004)
Contact: Ben Kirby (manager) - 07949851898
10.45pm - Goodshirt - Tmesis (ITC Unsigned)
Back in their native New Zealand Goodshirt are a platinum selling band, yet ITC could well prove to be the point where they build their reputation in the UK. Older readers may see similarities between Good Shirt and old skool indie band Tiger, but essentially what the band deal in with is high quality left of centre synth rock classics. "Cement" reminds us of Eels, "Sophie" is a rewrite of Weezer's "The Sweater Song" with someone pissing around with a laptop over it. The debut UK single "Green" is one of those classic namecheck songs which mentions the bands name within the first 30 seconds of the song. An antipodean band with a difference.
Contact: Mark Meharry - 07764 580838
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