Much as I wonder whether anyone reads any of these end of year lists I’m a sucker for them so couldn’t resist putting together a list of records which I stumbled across this year. In all truth some of these came out well before 2016 but I’m often late to the party (only with music, I’m always awkwardly first at any real life party). Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments section or via Facebook or Twitter. Enjoy!
Youth Anthem’s Top Records discovered in 2016 (in no particular order!)
Nervous Twitch – Don’t Take My TV
I’ve been a massive fan of this Leeds garage rock band since we met a few years back at The Fenton. I’m now lucky to consider them friends and have been super happy to see them grow and grow as a band. Now slimmed down to a power-trio their latest album “Don’t Take My TV” is their finest hour yet. 60’s Bubble-Gum pop mixed with 70’s garage and 90’s Riot Grrl with riff after riff after riff. They played to a sell out crowd at one of our gigs this year and I might even break my rule of not repeating bands by having them back again soon.
I saw Ganglions play a pub basement a few months back and immediately (well after watching the other bands and then playing a set myself) went home and downloaded this EP. Ganglions have the full package, lovely people, incredible at their instruments, confident playing live and in spite of playing a genre of music which can often (for right or wrong reasons) be written off as inaccessible, cliquey or pretentious their songs are utterly welcoming, joyfully challenging and having all the jangly bits and the sing along bits in the right places. New favorite band!
The Cut Ups – The Nerves
I think it must be about ten years ago now that I first saw The Cut Ups play at the Windmill in Brixton. I remember putting their first album in my car CD player and listening to it the whole way through on the way back to Brighton. I was blown away but how urgent the music was; It was clearly punk rock but amongst all the riffs and noise were some of the most heart felt and important lyrics I’d ever heard. Every time I saw them thereafter I became a bigger fan and each album pulled me in even more (full of nostalgia I remember picking up their second album at another gig at the Brixton Windmill and listening to that one on the way back to Brighton). The Cut Ups have been in my life through three bands, a marriage, a Child and a move from Brighton to Leeds but they’re still one of the most important bands in the world and this album seals the deal.
Andew Cream – Self-Portrait
Even if Andrew wasn’t someone I’m lucky to call a pal this 12″ would still be on the list. Andrew has been plugging away as a solo singer/songwriter for quite some years now and over the last few he’s been backed on many occasions by the rhythm section from the ace Bolton pop-punk band Don Blake which gives his songs a bit more drive on record and lends the songs some lovely harmonies. This eight track album brings together all the songs Andrew’s been playing over the last couple of years and it’s a fantastic package (both musically and aesthetically). Musically we’re talking acoustic guitar, drums and bass playing folk influenced indie-pop with the odd touch of early 2000 “emo” ala Drive Through Records (to my ear anyway!). Nice one!
Martha – Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart
I have a feeling this cheeky little collection of bangers might be on a few other end of year lists but hey I’m not missing out! We were mega lucky to have Martha come and play at Youth Anthems way back when with Penny & The Sausages (a mega packed out one if memory serves me well). Their debut album “Courting Strong” was an absolute game changer – Beautiful South inspired indie-punk with a hefty touch of Motown and “Blisters in the pit of my Heart” repeats this trick; Instead of just giving us more of the same this time round they up the riffs, giving us solos and power chords that wouldn’t be out of place on an Iron Maiden album before throwing four part harmonies, acoustic breaks and moments of shoe-gaze all over the place. It’s no mistake that this one is produced by MJ from Hookworms, his incredible sound is all over the show here making an incredible album of songs one of the best of our generation. Unmissable.
Biscuithead and The Biscuit Badgers – Dinosaurs Ate My Caravan
I’m very aware that this came out in 2014 and this might look like a shameless plug for our February gig but I genuinely only discovered this album in 2016 after being badgered (ahem!) by members of Nervous Twitch, The Pop Up People and numerous other Leeds acts to get the band to one of our gigs. I genuinely listen to this album 4-5 times a week with my Daughter who loves it nearly as much as me. If the idea of a band mixing up They Might Be Giants, The Magnetic Fields and The Tiger Lillies with songs about Hermit Crabs, the science of snow and Soy Milk is up your street then tuck in!
Bon Iver – 22, A Million
I was really into the first Bon Iver album but found I really needed to be in the right mood for it as it’s a HEAAAAAVY listen (maan!) so I was mega delighted when the second album came out and instead of being more maudy lo-fi, ‘Ol Bon Iver had gone full 80’s synth. It did leave me wondering what tricky album number three would bring (a maudlin version of Duran Duran perhaps?) but instead this absolute classic came instead. Blending glitchy 90’s beats with a Daft Punk vocal sound (at times) over a rollercoaster of heartbreaking (and thankfully inspiring at times) lyrics the 80’s influences has moved from a fun pastiche to an art in itself. This is the soundtrack to a damn weird party but he’s more than welcome to come and play one of our gigs whenever he wants.
Crumbs – Demo
When I heard that Gem from Fancy Clap promotions was in a band with Stu from Molars and Jamie from Travels By Telephone I was very excited but then when I heard that Ruth from The Cost of Living was on vocals I began screaming SUPER GROUP! They are indeed super as this first demo shows (and I’m glad to hear they’ve been recording an album recently with everyone’s fav Leeds producer MJ at Suburban Home). With a lo-fi sound reminiscent of Beat Happening they also have a lovely spread of a Talking Heads via Devo new-wave sound and a whole lot of fun. They’re also amazing live as well as being some of the nicest people in Yorkshire.
Evening all, I’m finally catching up on my Youth Anthems admin action after a month full of food, work and an incredible gig on December 4th!
Thank you so much to everyone who came along to see Cowtown, The Cut Ups and The Pop Up People. We had something like 96 adults and over 50 young people at the gig (and we sold nearly 70 tickets in advance so thanks a million to Tre at Jumbo Records!). It was a great atmosphere at the gig and the raffle went down a treat too (so once again thanks to all the donaters of prizes; Suma Wholefood, Fred Aldous, Tiny Tree Books, Bombed Out Records, Jahoer and Scene Better Days). Might do another one at some point!
The next gig is going to be a real cracker. I was going to have a gap but then Biscuithead and The Biscuit Baders became available and I didn’t want to miss out! Buuuuut! Following this gig I can 100% guarantee you (and for very good reasons) there will not be another Youth Anthems gig until August at earliest (and September at latest) so get your tickets in now for Feb so your gig fix is sorted for a whilst.
Cheerio till then.
It’s an odd post to put up telling you that we have a website as if you’re reading it then well…you’re looking at the thing! But we’re so happy that it’s here that we’re ignoring general conventions of logic. The talented/lovely Mark Pavey from Mark Made This who you might also recognise as the singer of Pacer (and formerly of The Steal) has designed and created this beautiful online oasis that you now find yourself at. Our very own Kate designed the logo too! So if you have webdesign/branding/illustration needs then seek these two out pronto!
We’re going to be adding content (look at us using the proper words) as regularly as we can so keep an eye out for the monthly record club, interviews and lots more.
You can also sign up to our mailing list and from December we’ll be sending out a newsletter around 3-4 times a year telling you about all the cool projects we’re upto and letting you know a teeny bit in advance of everyone else about how to get tickets for all our upcoming gigs and secret things (SECRET THINGS!). So sign up that below.
Thoughts/questions/ideas? Just email!
Sorry it’s been a bit quiet on this site since the last gig but there’s loads going on so I wanted to update you to what was going on behind the scenes…!
(1) The next gigs is going to be a total cracker. I really think this one might sell out in advance so I really cannot advise getting tickets in advance enough! Head on over to the gigs page to find out more but COWTOWN ARE PLAYING AT YOUTH ANTHEMS!
(2) We have a really snazzy website now! I thought that after three years we need something that wasn’t knocked out in 25 minutes by someone who didn’t know if this would all take off (and didn’t have a clue about webdesign).
(3) We’ve opened up a Youth Anthems branch in Brighton! A very good friend of mine asked if they could start doing gigs under the YA banner in Brighton and I thought that it seemed like a cracking idea so it’s happened! Expect some more news about how their first gig went but if you know anyone who might like our gigs and lives down that way then point them in the direction of HERE for Facebook and HERE for Twitter
(4) We’re on Instagram! I literally have no idea what I’m doing with it but it seems fun so follow us @YouthAnthemsLeeds
(5) What else…? Oh we’ve started a mailing list. I find that whilst Social Media is useful for keeping you all informed, with all the weird algorithms sometimes important news gets lost so if you want to make sure you get all the gossip via 4 or 5 emails a year then sign up at: http://eepurl.com/cdW22.
(6) Nearly there! BIG NEWS is that we’re also currently booking our first ever YOUTH ANTHEMS TOUR! That’s right in July and August 2017 we’ll have some great friends from the U S of A coming over and playing nearly two weeks worth of family friendly gigs across the UK. More information soon!
(7) Last bit of news. As you can see there is a load of stuff going on and all of this takes a lot of time on top of my full time job. I’m also trying to sort out ways of marketing our CD more so we can make mega loads of cash for City of Sanctuary (whilst on that subject feel free to pick up a CD here). They’re selling well but I want to make sure we do the best job we can with it! I’ve also not taken any time since this all started to reflect on how the gigs are run, sort out the finances of it all and generally take on board feedback from you all. So…after the Cowtown gig in December there might be a longer break than normal before our next gig. Don’t worry it is just a break so I can concentrate on the Youth Anthems tour and get all things YA related in order. The very latest we’ll be back at regular gigs will be August 2017 but I’m sure there will be something before then. So here’s another reason to make sure you grab a ticket for the December gig!
Over and out!
Hello fellow users of the World Wide Web! Once again I find myself apologising to you for the lack of updates here. Well here’s a handy bullet point list for you:
- The last gig was aaaaaaaaaaaawesome! How good were those bands? The crowd were pretty good too (pat yourselves on the back!). We also raised £250 for Wheatfield’s Hospice so genuinely thanks for all of your kind contributions.
- The next gig is our third Birthday party so I’ve put together a BIG line up. We’ve had quite a few noisy ones lately so whilst it won’t be totally sedate (it is a party after all!) all the bands will be suitable for all ages and will be nearly all acoustic.
- The CDs had some issues with being pressed but the pressing has now been OK’d by the pressing plant (thank you Discwizards!) so anyone who has ordered one will have it with them within the next two weeks and I will be posting up pictures as soon as they are here (so expect more information ASAP!). City of Sanctuary need as much help as possible with the current political climate so I hope we can raise them some serious dosh with this project (it’s also an incredible CD it that helps).
OK, here’s the big news! On May 16th (i.e our next gig) in collaboration with Cat’s Aye Records we will be releasing a CD (and Digital Download for you hip modern cats). This release will be 20 bands (most of whom have played previous Youth Anthems gigs) playing a mix of original songs and covers with all of the money (like 100%!) from sales going to our amazing friends at Leeds City of Sanctuary. The artwork has been done by Will Tapply (of course!) and the CD version will include a version of the cover which can be coloured in. Ordering information will be up soon but the CD’s will be just £4 and the download version will be £3 (though you can pay more for either if so inclined!). The first chance to buy one will be at our next gig but here’s the artwork and tracklisting and head over to the Cat’s Aye Soundcloud to stream one of the songs (Shake Your Halo Down covering the theme from The Littlest Hobo):
1. Mike Park – Wiggly Wiggly Worm
2. Jesus and His Judgemental Father (featuring Demitaves, Chrissy Barnacle and Naomi Griffin) – Astroboy
3. Shake Your Halo Down – Maybe Tomorrow
4. The Three Amigos – Saved By The Bell
5. Patrick Craig – Arthur
6. Play Date – The Number Song
7. Grotbaby – Banana Splits
8. Andrew Cream – Bob The Builder
9. Tea Leaf – I Found a Way
10. Get Human – One Fine Day (In The Middle of The Night)
11. Zapiain – Thundercats
12. Esper Scout – Sabrina The Teenage Witch
13. Koo Koo Kangaroo – All I Eat is Pizza
14. The Seven Inches – Hanna-Barbera
15. Penny & The Sausages – Ghostbusters
16. Keith Burton – Twirlywoos
17. Happy Wags – Use Your Words
18. Pessimister – Everything Stays
19. No Ditching – Cuppycake Song
20. Wilful Missing – Sweet Dreams
Once again I’m writing this waaay after out last gig but wow, things have been busy! The last gig blew away all expectations, I had to put up a sold up sign on the door as we very quickly hit over 100 adults and 50 people under 14 so nice one folks! Luckily the bands made it worth it for everyone and I’m glad you made it such a great visit for our Southern guests.
I’m actually popping off to Jumbo Records now to sort out a system for some advance tickets for our next gig (check out THAT LINEUP!). You all also brought a phenomenal amount of food and clothing for the Leeds food bank and Leeds Women’s Aid so massive pats on back for that.
We also have some amazing news coming up about our next project so keep your eyes and ears open for that one as it’ll be announced very very soon.
Right any other questions of feedback just get in touch!
Happy New Year!
We have such an amazing year planned out for you and I can’t wait to break out all of the news! Our next gig on Feb 7th (more information below) is such a strong one to kick off with and then we’ll also be announcing our May gig there too (and believe me you won’t want to miss that one either!).
We’ll then be announcing an amazing project that I think you’ll all be into which is also going to be a way of raising funds for Leeds City of Sanctuary and we’re also finalising details of one of our biggest gigs yet. 2016!
So here’s our next shin dig! For the first time we’re bringing a touring band on board so give Break Ups a warm welcome!
I had a lovely coffee with the good people at City of Sanctuary Leeds today. We had a nice chat about how we can help be a welcoming bunch of folk to new arrivals in the UK and hopefully we’ll have some really exciting musicians appearing in 2016.
I was also really happy to give them a cheque for £450 from Youth Anthems which will be helping them continue their great work. Massive thanks to everyone who has bought one of our colouring in books or come to our gigs as its your money that’s been given. Huge thanks to the bands who played our benefit gigs (both YA #10 and the evening gig we arranged) so massive cheers to The Velveteens, The Seven Inches, Tea Leaf, Cordell, Syslak, Get Human and Crumbs.
Huge thanks to people who continue to donate clothes I heard a lovely story today about a family who arrived in Leeds the day after our last gig with only the clothes on their back and were given a package of clothes for all family members just from clothes from the gig the day before so nice one!
So let’s crack on, loads more gigs in 2016, keep buying the colouring in books and we’ll have a new exciting project which you’ll all love and which will also hopefully raise a nice wedge of cash for City of Sanctuary.
I was just browsing this here website (somewhat arrogantly I guess?!) when I realised I hadn’t updated it since before our last gig. Sorry! I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone that came down for our second Birthday. It was everything we could have hoped for and more. All of the bands really put on the best show possible (Protectors’ medley of the Twirlywoos and In the Night Garden theme tunes was a real highlight!) and the Birthday cake(s) from That Old Chestnut were phenomenal.
We’ve got some fantastic things up our sleeves for the rest of 2015 and into 2016 (if some of these potential projects come off then my mind will truly be blown so stay alert!).
One thing we can (and have!) announced is our next gig on November 1st 2015. I’m so pleased to bring you this line-up as once again I think we’ve been able to traverse several genres and scenes with something for everyone (well 60’s garage pop, indie-pop-punks and acoustic ballads anyway which I think is a good stretch!).