Hope & Ruin gig went well – although enough’s happened since that it now feels like a vague, fond childhood memory – and the band gets ever more awesome: from early next year we’re doing more gigs, with new material to play.
I’ve got another meaty interview in Irish rock zine Overdrive – read here. Also, German indie radio’s NBT put Disquiet at 55 on their 410-album Best Of 2018, which as plaudits go is pretty heady: some of the names I beat are big and legendary (of course it’s not a contest… is it?… but a gong’s always welcome).
Anyway, big plans for 2019, including a new solo album and our first recordings as a group – starting February, probably. Here we are in that happy era of five weeks ago:
l-r: MF, Barney Guy, Stephen Bad Mother-Folker
BOUNCING SKULL PRESENTS
L C PUMPKIN
astonishing lo-fi outsiderness
“Warping keyboards, fuzz-banjo, blown-out drum machine beats and extremely catchy songwriting” – Upset The Rhythm
“It was good” – Jarvis Cocker
ADAM & ELVIS
formidable and poignant live band with a mighty work ethic, fresh from supporting Fat White Family, The Correspondents, Splashh and The Zombies
“Their track The Artiste takes you gently by the hand and draws you down a hypnotizing route that leads to some surprising places” – Steve Lamacq, 6MUSIC
Here’s a stranger to daylight, staring back at a camera and talking to Mass Movement about his 10 favourite LPs. I now understand why vloggers do that thing of having loads of apparently pointless fast cuts even if it’s just them talking (to edit out all the times they blew their lines or dried up. Try giving a semi-improvised speech for a quarter hour without deviation, hesitation, repetition or several annoying facial tics… even the most glibly confident would struggle. Still, interesting to try – although I don’t think I could make a “career” out of it). These aren’t the definitive 10 – more the ones that seemed significant that day – but I hope this small addition to the huge reef of pop cult lists is entertaining, anyway. And it’s nice to be asked.
…Reproduced here because it’s bootleg as fuck – a paper zine with minimal web presence, and if you don’t live in Brighton you’re unlikely to see a copy. Both ends of the magnet!
Back soon with gig news…
There’s also a review, courtesy The RingMaster: “a mix of challenge and seduction but most of all a fascination leaning towards needing more”… Hey, I’ll take it.
Here are the links:
Sonic Shocks interview “my feet were floating a couple of inches above the floor and everything was blue round the edges”
Whisperin and Hollerin interview “I got a lot of abuse growing up in England with an Irish surname, so it feels good to parade it now”
Riff Media interview “I’d be seduced by power […] my hands coated with blood and my soul shrunken to a burnt piece of popcorn, then end my days in front of a firing squad”
…There’s stuff about songwriting, inspirations and the dodgy reality of being an independent artist in 2018. Also, the EP’s being streamed by Puregrain Audio, here. So yeah, you can listen and/or read as the mood takes you – with more to come yet.
Here’s the follow-up to Ugly Scene (released earlier this year).
Where that one was… well, ugly… this is the mirror opposite. It’s mellow, but be warned: the tracks get freakier as it progresses. Again, the clue’s in the title. Enjoy x
“this little honesty nugget could poison my future…”
The link above takes you to a lengthy interview I did with Big Issue North recently (then had to keep quiet about for a while). It was a buzz, and hopefully makes a good read – covering such things as:
What informs your music and songwriting?
What’s on your rider?
What’s your worst lyric?
…among others. A lot of words, so I’ll just leave it there for you to take a look.
BOUNCING SKULL PRESENTS
YOUNG FRANCIS – onstage 10pm
Young Francis plays guitar by hand, drums by foot and sings by mouth. No effects, no pedals, no loops, no tricks.
Young Francis sings 2 minute songs about girls, getting high and hanging out.
“A one-man Ramones, with a touch of John Cooper Clarke wit”
– Brighton Unsigned
MATT FINUCANE – onstage 9.15
Deliciously dysfunctional… now with drums!!!!!!!!
“Music runs through the core of the mysterious and ground breaking singer/songwriter/poet” – Brighton Source
LA PEQUENA EM – onstage 8.30
Punked up cover versions on a distorted electric uke with masks, wrestling, sharks and fun.
ART SCUZZ FOREVER!!!
Thur 11 Oct, The Quadrant – 12-13 North Street, Brighton BN1
MUSIC from 8:30 SHARP
This is the first press for forthcoming EP Disquiet – an interview talking about songwriting for AltCorner. It’s a fine, almost invisible line between saying something interesting and giving the whole game away… but maybe I walked it here. Have a look, see what you reckon.
With thanks to David Page and Joe Bridge.
(Actually, there was one other recent gig review – of the electric band, by Plugged In Brighton, here.)
There’s another EP coming out later this year – Fri 19 Oct – which is the opposite half of the picture to the abrasive, noise-heavy protest songs on Ugly Scene. The clue’s in the title: Disquiet – a mellow slab of grandeur and weirdness. Till then, got gigs coming up next month and more in Sept-Nov (a mixture of solo and electric band nights, details to follow). These are the nearest few dates:
The 11 June Hope & Ruin gig, written up in issue 4 of Plugged In Brighton. Grab a copy round town, unless distance and/or the forces of entropy prevent you (you’ll just have to move to Brighton). Anyway, it was a very nice night, good to see the other acts getting due credit. While we’re here… Can I direct you once more to the zine’s latest Mixcloud, which features an old track of mine? Here it is.
photo by Lewis McKale
Two more upcoming local gigs:
What can I say – I’m a greedy bitch. To soak up the folly, the gigs will be poles apart in sound, feel and setlist (very different venues too). For the first, there’ll be electricity, bass and drums; the second, I’ll be alone up there… After that, it’s oblivion for a little while.
Meanwhile, a track from the new EP’s featured on Monolith Cocktail’s Quarterly Playlist Revue, alongside Dr Octagon, Grimm Grimm and Crayola Lectern, to name a few – it’s an immersive, intelligently-structured listening experience; switch that phone off and strap in for a journey by tracklist.
An oldie, Lilith, features on the third edition of Plugged In Brighton’s Mixcloud in a rockier setting; Young Francis, Big Slammu et al bring the scuzz.
The two programmes are very reflective of the two nights – one’s adrenaline noise, the other’s a head trip. Explore!
Badges… badges everywhere
A strange feeling, putting yr image into a 25mm metal circle. How do bands cope with their gormless faces plastered all over T-shirts and other… “merch”? Come to a gig and take these damn things away.
…But there are several more to come, including a third go with Safehouse in the Wildcard Quartet, end of June. Details here, as they become available. Anyway, ask me for a badge and you can have one.
Here, in all its mad glory, is the third edition of 69X Music‘s TV prog… A certain amount of chat from me (with a snippet of the most heat-stroked rendition of City Consolation ever – I’m well out of my element and no mistake), plus The Golgis and Simon from Act of Love.
The new EP’s scored a great review in Monolith Cocktail, which describes it as one of my “best releases yet” – and the in-depth write-up concludes I’ve “seldom sounded better and more imaginative”. Have a look, see if you agree (and read all the other stuff too… It’s a great gateway into loads of interesting music).
On a related subject, another shout out for Plugged In Brighton Mixcloud 2 – which features a track from the EP. Here’s the playlist: Frank & Beans – Card Song/ Big Slammu – Chicken Pocks/ Young Francis – Short Hair Girl/ Bitch Theme – Tigerlily/ Rotten Foxes – Mullet/ Matt Finucane – Not Too Far/ Sit Down – Candy Bar/ Ditz – Two/ Negative Measures – Chained/ Red Shores – Cold War/ Clt Drp – Merry Go Round/ King Bee Buzzkut
My next full-band gig’s on Mon 11 June at the Hope & Ruin, with Pink Narcissus, Peter Cat & Lewis McKale. I’ll be onstage from 8:30, with a new drummer and new songs – truly, playing with the big boys…
Before that, there’s a return to Mr Wolf’s in Bristol (tomorrow!) and another go at Bar 42 in Worthing (electric this time). I chase the phantom wherever it leads, till the oil runs out and the lights go off.
I love a blog entry studded with enticing blue links. So – another track from the new EP can be heard on the second Mixcloud from Plugged In Brighton, and pretty soon I’ll be appearing on the third 69X Music TV show – news of that soon. Here’s me playing live to camera in 30-degree heat:
Not Too Far
The Wrong Side
Out today: the loudest and most obnoxious set of recordings I’ve done in quite a while – it felt like that kind of time again. The follow-up, hopefully due later this year, is already finished and takes a different angle… it’s called Disquiet. But for now, hope you enjoy these dispatches from the feedback frontier x
“spins and spins to weave a heavy and complex sonic web” – indiebandguru.com
There I am on the cover of Plugged In Brighton 2… And here, with their kind permission, is the interview from the same issue:
It was lovely to be asked, and they had some kind words about Ugly Scene too:
“the songs are art rock without being limp and inhabit a weird version of our world […] Matt is raging against whatever is there” … among other things.
There’s good info on local bands in there, so pick up a copy if you live in this hipster gulag – or check their facebook page (link above) and mixcloud, if not.
As part of my musical sideline as a (novice) member of the Safehouse collective, here’s some video footage – and photos – from the 25th April gig supporting Shatner’s Bassoon & Bolide, once again courtesy Agata Urbaniak:
…photos on Flickr here
It’s good to branch out…
These were taken at Sunday’s Bar 42 gig, and include shots of Dran Krwawy, La Pequena Em, Kuroneko… I really like this photographer’s work, which captures the heightened, adrenalised feel of live performance better than most others I can think of – without resorting to any of the obvious moves – so it’s a thrill to be included. Feast yr eyes, glut yr etc.
And for good measure, here’s a video of an unreleased song called Evil Relief :
There’s a new EP due on 11 May in all its ugly glory… I got tired of introspective stuff and dialled up the noise/sarcasm/repetition. It’s also, for the most part, very… direct. Here’s advance word from xsnoize.com.
I’ve already recorded the follow-up, and that’s different again. Meanwhile, think of this one as an outburst of protest – although the final track may be one of the prettiest things I’ve ever done. A conundrum, for sure (but not too much of one… it’s getting playlisted a lot, which is very welcome).
Gigs are lining up – solo, as a guitar/drums duo, full electric band – and dates so far include:
Another improv gig, as described previously, in the Wildcard Quartet:
Mon 21 May, Short Steps presents @ Fortune of War (Brighton) – w/ Ja Sputnik, Noisferatu & Pete Wiseman
Mon 28 May, Mr Wolf’s (Bristol)
Fri 22 June, Real Music Club @ The Brunswick (Brighton) – w/ Andy Roberts & The Boy In The Cupboard
More tbc for June onwards. Ugliness, ugliness everywhere (and I love it)… x
EDIT: you can hear a track from the EP on Indie Arena Radio’s Mixcloud here
the venue (Verdict Jazz Club) in a quiet moment
So I’ve been going to Safe House here in Brighton for a while, and it’s helped keep me honest and open-minded musically (flexible, too). It’s a, well, it’s… right, this is off their site:
…collective that hosts two separate nights that focus on improvised and experimental music: Safehouse, on the first Wednesday of every month, and On The Edge, on the last.
[…] There may or may not be any rhythm, tonal centre or structure to the pieces played. The music is free in that sense. No premeditated ideas or constrictions. Any sound is valid. It is a sonic conversation, in which players respond to each other as spontaneously as possible.
It can be brilliant, terrifying and beautiful or absolute shit, depending on the quiddities of the moment. Some of the players are very advanced indeed, but I’ve managed to reach a point where I can hold my own onstage well enough as part of a free improv scratch ensemble – or at least not embarrass myself too often. One aspect of the gig nights is the Wildcard Quartet: four names are selected at random to go on as first support and improvise for about twenty minutes, no quarter asked or given. (They’re very clear about this… it’s not “jamming”, it’s improvisation. Start spamming out riffs by rote and they take you out back and shoot you. Horribly distorted electric guitars are permitted, however.)
Anyway, my name came up for the gig on 31 Jan. It’s exciting stuff, and will be entirely unique, which is kind of the point.
Graham Dunning, Colin Webster, Sam Underwood
In this trio Graham Dunning plays turntable, dubplates and dentristry tools, walkmans and amplified objects. Colin Webster plays saxophone and Sam Underwood the tuba.
In 2014 Graham and Colin released two albums of recordings on the Linear Obsessional and Raw Tonk labels. They also toured the UK and Switzerland – the video below is from their set in Zurich.
The trio performed a memorable set at Supernormal festival in 2015 and released a CD called Bleed on ADAADAT label – a track from which is below.
Fettucini Spicer attempt to provoke/shock each other into action by the application of a multitude of instruments and objects too numerous to mention!
…I have no idea what to expect, and trust me – neither do you.
Quite a full year: a new live band plus lots of gigs, an EP release and tour. Here’s to another like it, but more so – it’s been great, and thanks everyone who’s listened. (Should point out, I do own more than one shirt… look closely and you’ll see they’re not all the same garment – just very, very similar. Maybe next year I’ll experiment with another colour or two. Maybe.)