Manic Mannequin – poetic songs with an idiosyncratic twist

Manic Mannequin – poetic songs with an idiosyncratic twist

Greg from the band writes…

The main idea behind the band was to play the music that I’ve been slowly working on for the past couple of years. I was going for a Nine Inch Nails concept with me writing and recording all the songs and getting a band to play them. I had a lot of inspiration from bands such as Soundgarden and Alice in Chains but also Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix and even the Beatles with some of the production techniques and experimentation. A lot of the lyrical material is based on stories that I come up with and are very dark and gothic in nature. I basically try to paint beautiful musical pictures of depressing things.

Coming from a classical musical family, I try to use as much musical techniques and twists in my songs as I can and so I ended up classifying it progressive due to the “classical” elements.

In December 2017 I’ve gathered a band and with some adjustments, we’ve ended up as a power trio. We try to go off on a tangent a bit with the live performance of the songs rather than sticking to how the recordings were played as we like to be creative with what we do and make it more fun for us and the audience. We are working on getting more gigs in the future (May 10th Corner House, May 17th Bedford Esquires). Our first EP is also being released on May 17th this year.


The Lovely Eggs single ‘The Big Sea’ and tour dates




With the country in the grip of Egg Mania surreal DIY punk rockers THE LOVELY EGGS return with their latest single “Big Sea” released on 7” surf blue vinyl and will take to the road in May for another bout of UK tour dates. Taken from their newly released and critically acclaimed album This is Eggland ,“Big Sea” explores the mysteries of the universe and is a rallying anthem to everyone who wants to live life different.

“It’s a pretty deep song really,” said Holly, “It questions the ridiculousness of human ritualistic behaviour and tries to look at what life is all about, the universe and stuff, and the mystery that weaves its way through everything.”

Pre-order “Big Sea” here:

Since its release in February This is Eggland has won high praise from critics and fans alike. The Independent’s 4* review described it as “a giant leap forward” with The Guardian describing their single “Wiggy Giggy” as “marvellous.”
Produced and mixed by Grammy award winning producer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, Tame Impala) and self released on their own label Egg Records, This is Eggland confounded expectations, hitting number nine in the UK Independent National Album Chart, it also made it to number 23 in the UK Vinyl Charts and overall number 136 in the UK National Album Chart – although, had they towed the industry line and not sold the album direct to fans via their website and gigs before release day, they would have been in the top 45! Their single “Wiggy Giggy” was number eight in the Official Vinyl Singles Chart, again despite most sales coming from gigs and their own website. The album CD had to be repressed twice and the vinyl once in the first week alone. As industry outsiders, all this was achieved without the help of management, booking agent or record label support.
The Lovely Eggs are one of the most unique, innovative and genuine bands on the British Underground music scene. Holly Ross (guitar/vocals) and David Blackwell (drums) have built up a cult following, selling out gigs across the UK, as well as gaining support from BBC 6 Music and Radio One. Heavier and more in-your-face than anything they’ve done previously, This is Eggland brings together a fierce DIY ethos, surreal sense of humour and kitchen-sink realism, creating an explosive blend of motoric krautrock, 60s psychedelia and punk rock attitude.

20180421_203908-01My RSD 2018 purchases from BSE

The album received a tremendous response from radio. It was declared “Album of the Day” by BBC Radio 6 Music who also added their single “Wiggy Giggy” to the BBC 6 Music playlist. Steve Lamacq stated, “I can’t get enough of this record at the moment,” and made it the “Lamacq livener” (where it has been played every day for a week). It went on to win Roundtable and was the most popular track on both Steve Lamacq and Marc Riley‘s show on consecutive weeks. The pair played their seventh live session for Marc Riley in February before heading out on a sold out tour of the UK, with 9 out of 10 dates sold out in advance.

In April the band will release a special edition of This Is Eggland on giant fried egg vinyl especially for Record Store Day on 21 April. Limited to an eye watering 500 copies, the LP will appear in a special hand packed sleeve, designed by the band with the giant fried egg in its own polythene display sleeve with a uniquely designed cardboard top. This is a true gem for any collector. They will also make an appearance at Rough Trade Nottingham for a special in-store live performance on Record Store Day itself.

To coincide with the release of their new single “Big Sea”, the eggs will take to the road for a string of UK tour dates in May and June, this time with their pals Mr Ben and the Bens (a firm favourite of Marc Riley) and poet and comedian Rob Auton, before a summer-full of festivals and their biggest headline gig to date at The Scala in London on 28 October.

Live Dates:
21 April – The Maze, Nottingham [SOLD OUT]
28 April – Are You Listening? Festival
5 May – Ritz, Manchester (The Membranes and Friends)

12 May 2018 – Brewery Arts Centre – Kendal
24 May – Guildhall, Preston*
25 May – The Exchange, Bristol* [SOLD OUT]
26 May – The Boiler Room, Guildford*
27 May – The Printworks, Hastings*
28 May – Ramsgate Music Hall, Ramsgate*
29 May – Portland Arms, Cambridge* [SOLD OUT]
30 May – The Hare and Hounds, Birmingham*
31 May – The Hairy Dog, Derby*
1 June – Picturehouse Social, Sheffield* [SOLD OUT]
2 June – Long Division Festival – Wakefield
3 June – Glastonwick Festival, Shoreham By Sea
23 June – A Break In The Clouds, Clitheroe
22 July – Nozstock, Bromyard
27 July – Indietracks, Ripley
29 July – Camp Bestival, East Lulworth
3 August – The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge [SOLD OUT]
4 August – Rebellion Festival, Blackpool
11 Aug – Boardmasters Festival, Newquay
7 Sept – Festival Number Six, Portmeirion
14 Sept – Head For The Hills, Ramsbottom
28 Oct – The Scala, London
(*with Mr Ben & The Bens and Rob Auton)

Watch video for “Wiggy Giggy” here:


BBC 6 Music Album of the Day
“A giant leap forward.” The Independent 4*s
“Exhilarating and trashy.” Uncut
“The duo’s sound has toughened, their edge has sharpened and their approach has streamlined as they’ve become more and more the most perfect version of themselves.” Drowned In Sound 9/10
“Impressively focused, relentlessly brilliant and a must-go destination.” Shindig 5*s
“Not since Space Ritual-era Hawkwind has anyone so successfully combined workboot riffing with the swirling bleeps of the unexplored cosmos.” Record Collector
“This is Eggland is a relentless, heartfelt statement of intent. You wouldn’t bet against them unearthing glory from the fringe for decades to come.” The Quietus
Watch video for “I Shouldn’t Have Said That”
Directed by Casey Raymond

Order This Is Eggland
Tickets for Scala show




 One of the UK’s most cherished indie bands The Hit Parade releases its thirteenth single on JSH Records tomorrow to mark Record Store Day 2018.

‘Happy World’ is a new song, a defiant battle cry from this idealistic pop group, to tell the tale of an increasingly belligerent indie band that now exists only as a dream in its songwriter’s imagination, recorded in lo-fi mono and produced by R G Watts. It will be available in all good record stores.  The B-Side ‘Otaku Boy’ is another new song, a vignette about obsessive relationships and the writing of Banana Yoshimoto.


The Hit Parade was formed by three school friends in 1984. They have released six albums and 12 singles since and built a small but determined following amongst record fans in London, Los Angeles, Tokyo, New York, Stockholm and Penzance. After touring Japan in the 1990s (first with Thee Milkshakes then with Edwyn Collins), the Hit Parade went into a period of hibernation although their 2013 single ‘I Like Bubblegum’ was heralded one of the best singles of the year by Drowned In Sound.

Like other Hit Parade 7” vinyl singles, ‘Happy World’ is cut by hand, written and recorded at home and is sold in a limited edition. A new Hit Parade LP, provisionally labelled “Still Julian”, is hoped for in 2018. Over the last twenty years The Hit Parade’s catalogue of songs have been heralded as “perfect pop” (NME) “indie icons” (Word) “casually sophisticated” (Observer) “rare talent” (Q Mag) “bona fide pop smash” (Drowned In Sound).





“The most exciting voice in UK punk right now!”Kerrang!

“Putting punk and protest back into the mainstream”The Guardian

“Given the Frank Turner stamp of approval Louise whips up a storm of passionate, punk’n’roll, somehow conjuring up both Kathleen Hanna and Roy Orbison.”John Kennedy, Radio X

Today, British firebrand singer-songwriter Louise Distras gives the music community their first taste of her forthcoming album, scheduled to be released in the fall of 2018 and the much-anticipated follow up to her 2015 debut album, ‘Dreams from the Factory Floor’.

Titled ‘Land Of Dope And Glory’, Louise returns with two-minutes-and-eighteen-seconds of buzzing anthemic punk rock that is a fired-up two-fingered salute to consumer manipulation from big business and state, it’s words delivered directly with an infectious chorus designed to spread the message far and wide.

“G.O.D. stands for gold, oil and drugs,” states Louise. “Because in a world where God is money, it feels like the constant consumer manipulation that we as people face on a daily basis from big corporations and government stands against everything we value as human beings; peace, love and understanding.”

‘Land Of Dope And Glory’ is the perfect teaser of what to expect come from the new album, recently recorded in Oakland California with Ross Petersen (Bruce Springsteen, Goo Goo Dolls, The Vamps) and Steve Whale of The Business. Louise’s talent for crafting powerful and direct messages with addictive melodies over righteous punk rock hooks has really come to the fore more than ever before. Hold tight.

Catch Louise Distras live at the following dates:

10 April Milton Keynes, The Craufurd Arms

11 April St. Albans, The Horn

12 April Newport, Le Pub

13 April Stowmarket, John Peel Centre

14 April Tunbridge Wells, Forum Basement

15 April Southampton, The Joiners

17 April Nottingham, The Bodega

19 April Preston, The Ferret

20 April Bridgwater, The Cobblestones

23 April Stoke on Trent, The Underground

24 April Newcastle, The Cluny

25 April Glasgow, Audio

26 April Hull, The Polar Bear

28 April Birmingham, The Castle & Falcon

29 April Selby, Pop Punk Pile Up

10 May London, The Underworld

Get tickets here:

Find Louise Distras at:

Bury Fringe instalment of carnage and chaos at The Hunter Club,

For this year’s now-customary Fringe instalment of carnage and chaos at The Hunter Club, we’re hugely excited to welcome five of the most brutal, explosive and exciting East Anglian bands you could ever wish to see: disgustingly intense, recently-reformed sludgecore legends A HORSE CALLED WAR, riff-bludgeoning stoner-doomsters BRACKEN, Latitude festival-slaying hardcore heroes RAD PITT, fast-rising, righteous heavy-groove post-hardcore foursome CLOWN SMASH EVERYTHING and crushing hardcore trio ALL WE KNOW.
Date & Time: Saturday 21st April 2018, 6-11pm
Venue: The Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds
Tickets: £5 on the door, £4.40 advance from
All ages welcome (under-14s must be accompanied by a parent/carer)
Full details of all Bury Fringe events can be found on our website at 

Powderhead release party for their debut album ‘Don’t Let Them Win’

Powderhead release party for their debut album ‘Don’t Let Them Win’

With special guest support from:
The Wicked Jackals
Dirty Little Rebel
False Hearts


“It’s loud. It’s dirty. It smashes you over the head’ – heavy classic rock at its best! Powderhead are a new face on a classic scene, belting out raw, old-school rock that will get your head banging, your body moving and leave you screaming for more!

This Cambridge band began in February 2015 fuelled by guitarist Si Mortlock and vocalist Helen Johnson’s mutual interest in 80s and 90s rock and metal. When in December 2015, drummer Ollie Wallace brought his energetic, thrash inspired beats and bassist James Miller added his no nonsense, stoner rock minded bass lines, the band’s unique style of heavy classic rock emerged. The addition of lead guitarist Jack Lawson in April 2017 with his soaring epic solos, complementing Si’s solid, heavy riffs and Helen’s melodic, soulful vocals, has nicely completed this 5-piece rock act.

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In 2017 they won the Thetford Battle of the Bands and supported the likes of Chris Holmes (ex WASP), Santa Cruz and Attica Rage in some of the UK’s most iconic venues including The Camden Underworld, London and The Robin 2, Wolverhampton. With their debut album due to be released in April 2018, Powderhead are set to bring in next year with a bang! Check out their brand new single here

A Green Mind Gigs and Camblast Promotions presentation

#SpiceUpLondon – The Spice Girls Exhibition

Music and Fashion fans alike are poised to unleash their inner Spice Girl this July and August at #SpiceUpLondon – The Spice Girls Exhibition. A celebration of, and tribute to, the biggest girl-group of all time, #SpiceUpLondon – The Spice Girls Exhibition promises to be the biggest exhibition of its kind in history.

Taking place at the Business Design Centre in Angel Islington, London from 28th July – 20th August, #SpiceUpLondon will be showcasing thousands of items of memorabilia, alongside hundreds of the Fab Five’s iconic stage costumes, some of which have not been publicly displayed since they were first worn by the Spice Girls in the 90’s.


In addition to displaying merchandise from around the globe – ranging from the rare and unseen to the peculiar and unusual – the exhibition will be showcasing just how significantly and successfully the Spice Girls went from band to brand on a scale that truly took over the world!

The exhibition will be the centrepiece of a whole host of events that aim to do exactly what the hashtag says; Spice up London! From dance classes to bus tours #SpiceUpLondon plan to pay the biggest tribute to the most exciting girl group phenomenon the world has ever seen.

Alan Smith-Allison, the event organiser and curator said: “I have joined together with other Spice Girls collectors and designers from around the world, including the Guinness World Record holder, Liz West. It’s been amazing to be able to share this passion with others, but above all it has allowed me to create this collection of iconic Spice Girls history. #SpiceUpLondon has been a long time in the making, but it has grown beyond even my hopes for it. The interest in the exhibition has been massive and I can’t wait to show off what we are achieving. The London exhibition looks set to be the biggest music exhibition ever and it continues to grow with new events and exhibits being added every day.”

Mega fans travelling up to London have the opportunity to make a day of it and travel to the exhibition in style as #SpiceUpLondon have teamed up with the Big Bus Company to offer a unique two-hour panoramic tour of London. Leaving and returning from the venue twice daily, fans will be whisked around the city on a special Union Jack-emblazoned open top bus bringing together the iconic landmarks of London and highlighting particular areas of interest for Spice Girls enthusiasts. Featuring a tour guide clued up on all things Spice Girls, fans will feel like they have been transported onto the ‘Spice Bus’.


And speaking of the ‘Spice Bus’ itself, in what is sure to be a highlight of the event, the original ‘Spice Bus’ which appeared in the smash hit 1999 Spice Girls blockbuster ‘Spice World: The Movie’ will be making an extra special appearance, proudly on display as an iconic landmark outside the #SpiceUpLondon Exhibition.

After filming on the movie finished, the bus suffered years of neglect and is currently situated at the Island Harbour Marina on the Isle of Wight. The current owners of the bus are undertaking restoration work to restore the bus to its former glory, bringing it back in its prime to take pride of place outside the exhibition, and are inviting fans to become part of Spice Girls history by donating to #RefurbTheBus and having their name adorned on a plaque within the Spice Bus.
You can donate to the restoration project here.

Other ways that fans can get involved with the big refurb will be announced shortly, including an auction to take place between 30th March and 6th April.

It’s time to let your inner Spice Girl run wild and dance your way into Spice World for a cheesy, glittery, fun-filled trip down Girl Power memory lane.

Tickets for the #SpiceUpLondon Exhibition are on sale now through the exhibition’s website here and can be purchased for £10 per ticket with student/OAP concessions available. Add-ons, such as guided tours and exhibition programmes, are also available to pre-order now.

Tickets for the #SpiceUpLondon bus tour are priced at £25 for adults and £18 for children under 16. Tickets for the bus tour can be bought here.

Children under 12 are completely free, with the exhibition offering superb family value in the height of the 2018 school holidays.

PETROL GIRLS release new single ‘Survivor’ plus tour inc Cambridge with Baby Seals

PETROL GIRLS release new single ‘Survivor’ with music video:

UK Tour this month + Festival Appearances

PETROL GIRLS have revealed their rallying and emotive new single ‘Survivor’, which is inspired by the growing movement against sexual violence. Vocalist Ren Aldridge explains their motivation — “The people who’ve spoken up so courageously about their experiences have broken the silence that has protected abusers in the past, often at massive risk to their own safety and well being. I hope that their bravery inspires the cultural shift in attitudes that is so desperately needed.”

The track is accompanied my an evocative music video, which Ren herself produced. For the video I set up a collaboration between Andrew Northrop who I’ve really enjoyed making music videos with previously, and painter Mariah Pearl,” she says. “The way that Mariah’s paintings play with the surface of the canvas gives me a really strong feeling of a clandestine power that refuses to be captured or identified. For me, this reflects whisper networks and the erupting movement against sexual violence. It’s like the tree roots that push up through the tarmac.”

Petrol Girls recently signed to UK-based independent label Hassle Records and the band also head off on tour this very month. See below for dates. The band released their explosive debut album ‘Talk of Violence’ in 2016 and have toured extensively throughout the UK and Europe since, empowering and enthusing crowds in every corner their music touches.

Apr 20 – Glasgow @ St. Lukes w/ Propagandhi 
Apr 21 – Edinburgh @ Girls To The Front Fest
Apr 22 – Liverpool @ Sound 
Apr 23 – Sheffield @ Picture House Social 
Apr 24 – Nottingham @ The Bodega 
Apr 25 – London @ The Shacklewell Arms 
Apr 26 – Cambridge @ The Portland Arms
Apr 27 – Bradford @ 1 In 12 Club 
Apr 28 – Newport @ Le Public Space
Aug 24 – Reading Festival
Aug 25 – Leeds Festival


Manic Street Preachers Share Final Track Before Album Release Next Week

 MSP - Liverpool Revisited
Manic Street Preachers Share Final Track Before Album Release Next Week 

Manic Street Preachers – Resistance Is Futile – New Album – Out April 13th

Has it ever struck you that life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quick you hardly catch it going?” – Tennessee Williams

The title ‘Resistance is Futile’ and the cover image just fit together perfectly. The sleeve is a vintage photograph of one of the last samurai warriors; someone who knows his time is over thanks to the coming of the gun. There’s such an intense melancholia in his eyes that the picture seems to visualise the phrase itself. There’s another reason the title is so appropriate too and that’s because the whole thing is so obsessively melodic. Resistance to the actual record itself is futile.” – Nicky Wire, January 2018

In interviews prior to the release of their 2010 album ‘Postcards From A Young Man’, Manic Street Preachers’ Nicky Wire stated that the record represented “one last shot at mass communication”. Twenty years on from their incendiary debut for Heavenly (‘Motown Junk’), it seemed like the biggest cult band in the country were readying to stand aside to let the any number of young upstarts attempt to scale their pedestal.

Recorded concurrently, the twin albums that followed saw the band explore previously uncharted territory. On ‘Rewind the Film’ (2013), the band channelled their Welsh heritage as never before in a series of raw acoustic paeans; released a few months later, 2014’s ‘Futurology’ presented a gleaming, panoramic vision of ‘Europe Endless’. Following those releases, Manic Street Preachers toured two of their peerless albums – 1994’s ‘The Holy Bible’ and its follow-up, 1996’s ‘Everything Must Go’. Maybe Wire’s pre-Postcards prediction was right; perhaps this was time for the band to fade out gracefully?

Unexpectedly lyrically open, ‘Resistance is Futile’ finds the band working from an emotional palette they are not immediately associated with. From the cascading opening of ‘People Give In’ to the scattered resonance of ‘The Left Behind’, the album is very much the work of a band demanding to be heard and joined, at full volume. These are Manic Street Preachers songs written for the stage; songs to be sung against sunsets and shared in full-throated union.

The first Manics album to be recorded at their new Door to the River studio (situated at the head of a valley just outside Newport) with long-term Manics collaborators (producer Dave Eringa and mix engineer Chris Lord-Alge), ‘Resistance is Futile’ finds the Manic Street Preachers completely reinvigorated, clearly revelling in the change of scenery. The songs play to wide-vistas and open roads, nodding to the band’s past (with echoes of ‘Generation Terrorists’ chaotic ambition of and the unrelenting melodies that run right through ‘This Is My Truth…’) while drawing a route map for the future.

Watch James Dean Bradfield discuss the track here

While not overly fixated by the current news cycle, the album does obliquely confront subjects such as predatory tech companies, the impact of the 2016 referendum on personal relationships, and the nagging ennui inspired by modern party politics. Inspiration across the record comes from the deep vastness of Yves Klein’s International Klein Blue, the deaths of both the famous and the anonymous (David Bowie and Vivian Maier), the city of Liverpool and Dylan and Caitlin Thomas’ intoxicating relationship. As Wire says of the record, “In such a fractured and dysfunctional world, we found it impossible to avoid the idea of art as a hiding place and a weapon. Memory, loss and a sense of grace loom large over the record. To quote Phil Ochs, ‘In such ugly times the only true protest is beauty.'”

Cambridge post-punk band Paint Nothing release debut ‘You Can’t See Me’

Paint Nothing release debut single ‘You Can’t See Me’

Available on: Soundcloud and Bandcamp and all major digital outlets

Watch the video: YouTube

Cambridge post-punk band Paint Nothing release their debut single ‘You Can’t See Me’. A two minute, high-volume trip through our voyeuristic society and the unhealthy relationship between the people on either side of the screen.

Frontman Jack shares his frustrations using a shouted delivery last heard in xBomb Factory, who chalked up an album on German label Nois-o-lution, and gigs with the likes of The Fall and Half Man Half Biscuit.

Accompanying the stabbing guitars and drums is a video shot in a claustrophobically-tight space in Cambridge.

To support the release, Paint Nothing will be playing live:

Thursday 22nd March 2018
The Fulford Arms, York (w/ Weekend Recovery and Brooders)

Friday 6th April 2018
The Blue Moon, Cambridge (w/ The Furious Sleep and The British IBM)

Free download cards for ‘You Can’t See Me’ will be available at the gigs.

An album has been recorded at Cambridge’s Half-ton Studios and is due for release later this year.

For more, visit