If you haven’t heard of Reckless Yes before, listen up: they’re a Derbyshire-based record label and promoter, with a habit of unearthing and supporting top-notch bands. So when we got wind of their triple bill takeover at Rough Trade, we couldn’t resist heading down.
First up is Fightmilk, a London-based band who are steadily building a reputation for their off-beat power pop sound, exemplified on their recently released debut album Not With That Attitude. Obstreperous and energetic, there are moments when Weezer and Smashing Pumpkins come to mind. The set is interspersed with injections of irreverent chit-chat, including guitarist Alex letting slip that he thinks he’s in Bristol. The audience seem to forgive him, though, and they continue to roll out a selection of loud, punchy tracks from the new record, with twinges of humour. They end with Your Girlfriend, a track just short of five minutes which shows off this band’s capacity for giving it real welly.
Next up are Mammoth Penguins, a trio from Cambridge who drift onto Rough Trade’s intimate stage with a timidity which belies what is about to happen. Not long after they kick off their set, I am beguiled by their no-fuss brand of indie. The bass is the engine here, powering the astute lyrics and playful rhythms forward with infectious pace. Waves of jubilant pop punk flow through their noisy, lo-fi sound, with some fantastic three-way vocal moments scattered throughout. The Kills and Courtney Barnett spring to mind when they play Strength in my Legs, and I am left hankering for more from this intriguing three-piece.
There’s a real buzz in the air as headliners Chorusgirl take to the intimate Rough Trade stage. As part of the Reckless Yes community, Fightmilk and Mammoth Penguins have the shared ability to channel dissatisfaction with the everyday into joyous indie pop, and Chorusgirl are no exception. Hot off the heels of their latest record release – Shimmer and Spin - the clue is very much in the name with this band. Choral melodies driven by snappy indie riffs hit you from the get go, harmonious yet pleasingly discordant. “I feel like Freddie Mercury if he were fronting an indie pop band,” lead singer and guitarist Silvi Wersing tells us, before unveiling hazy anthem Demon Baby.
Confident, unconventional musings on boredom and the mundanity of life are clearly this band’s jam, and I’m instantly hooked. From offbeat indie hit No Moon, to the melodious In Dreams, Chorusgirl draw from the likes of Cocteau Twins to produce elevatory eighties-inspired pop, channelled through a hazy indie lens. Delicate at times, explosive at others, the delightful vocal harmonies at the centre of their sound make this band a seriously compelling prospect. Closing with the infectiously rhythmic Oh, To Be a Defector firmly cements Chorusgirl reverently in the minds of tonight’s Rough Trade audience.
Reckless Yes presented Chorusgirl, Mammoth Penguins and Fightmilk at Rough Trade on Friday 16 November 2018
Rough Trade website
If you like blues piano then you will almost certainly have liked Dom Pipkin's Smokin' Boogie piano show at new Nottingham Jazz Bar Peggy's Skylight on Sunday 16 December…
We got down to The Maze to check out The Burning Hell…
Bill Ryder-Jones pops up at Rough Trade to celebrate the release of his new album Yawn with an intimate set.
To celebrate the release of their eponymous debut album Black Honey are at Rough Trade. What else were we going to be doing on a Thursday night?
Noel Gallagher calls This Feeling “the best club in the UK for future rock ‘n’ roll stars.” Who are we to argue with Noel? We went down The Chameleon to check out their latest event.
Fuzzbox moves up to The Golden Fleece for its latest event but that won’t stop us from finding it
Americans The Pleasure Routine bring their UK tour into Nottingham in support of Sundaze who are holding their single release party. We headed down to The Chameleon see if there was anything routine about pleasure.
When I say Fuzzbox is a hot night you better believe I mean it H-O-T! We headed down to The Angel to check out the latest selection of cool bands.
On Friday night, Notts born Jake Bugg hit up the Royal Concert Hall to play an acoustic set to his home crowd... and some special kids at the QMC...
It was that time of year again. The bars in Hockley were buzzing, the streets were alive with dancing, music and fire everywhere you turn, and the food vans were out in force. It was Hockley Hustle, of course - the festival that takes one of the liveliest parts of Nottingham and turns it into one hell of a day out (and night out, if you can last that long)...