Loaded 44 have announced a series of winter UK tour dates commencing on the 12th November at the Stalybridge Tavern in Manchester and concluding on the 30th December with a hometown show at the Black Bull in Gateshead, the tour includes dates with UK Subs, Hi-Fi Spirfires, Discharge and First Wave. Loaded 44 released their stunning Get Ready! EP last year to critical acclaim, and the EP is available via their Facebook page here or their website here
The Hi-Fi Spitfires have released a brand new five track EP, Doors To The USA, that is now available to order from the band. The EP’s official launch party will be at the The Doll at the Black Bull in Gateshead, UK on the 30th December, with support from Loaded 44 and Pitbull. The Hi-Fi Spitfires will also be reissuing their first album, England Screaming, as a numbered limited edition of just 300 on red vinyl next month.
The video for the title track from the Doors To The USA EP can be viewed below Read More…
Hi Fi Spitfires have announced they will release their new five track EP, Doors To The USA, next month, the new EP is the first new material from the band since the release of their critically acclaimed Nightraid LP in 2014. The official launch party for the EP will take place at the The Doll at the Black Bull, Gateshead on the 30th December with support from Loaded 44 and Pitbull. Doors To The USA will be available at their live shows and direct from the band, Hi-Fi Spitfires will also be releasing a numbered limited edition red vinyl edition of their debut album, England Screaming, later this year.
The Punk Site review of Nightraid can be read here
Loaded 44 have announced their latest tour dates, including a trio of dates in Italy in May, they will also be playing a number of dates across the UK with Dirt Box Disco and will be appearing at the The Unholy Messtival and North West Calling punk festivals in addition to a series of headline dates across the UK and Ireland
The Punk Site review of the Get Ready! EP can be read here
Loaded 44‘s tour dates can be viewed below Read More…
Loaded 44 have released a video for the track Tell Me, this is the second video that showcases the material from their critically acclaimed Get Ready! EP. Loaded 44 have already started making plans for 2017, they will be playing a number of dates across the UK with Dirt Box Disco and will also be appearing at the North West Calling Punk Festival.
The Punk Site review of the excellent Get Ready! EP can be read here
You can view the video for Tell Me, and their tour dates for 2017, below Read More…
Loaded 44 have released a video of the title track from their Get Ready! EP. The video captures the energy that was on display when they launched the EP earlier this year with a triumphant appearance at this years Rebellion Festival.
The Punk Site review of the excellent Get Ready! EP can be read here
You can view the video of the title track from the Get Ready! EP below Read More…
Winter Gardens, Blackpool, UKFriday 5th August 2016
By AJ Phink
We couldn’t really call ourselves thepunksite.com without having someone at Rebellion Festival, well it’s a dirty job but someone’s got do it. I got late notice I’d be able to go this year, I managed to book a hotel, which suspiciously still had rooms left, and so it’s off to Blackpool. Due to the late notice, and other hindrances I won’t bore you with, I can’t be there until Friday so I’ve already missed the Descendents on their only UK appearance, things don’t get much better when I reach the hotel, appropriately enough it appears to last have been decorated in 1976. After all, this is the Rebellion Festival‘s 20th Anniversary, and obviously it’s the 40th Anniversary of punk, so it’s a double celebration this year. The sprawling setting and fading glamour of Blackpool’s Winter Gardens is a strangely appropriate setting for Rebellion Festival, which is Europe’s largest punk festival. It boasts hundreds of bands across seven stages over four days, In addition to this there are literary stages, a punk art exhibition, acoustic stages, poetry, vintage clothing, tattooists, films, interviews, record and clothing stalls and even a healing workshop.
My first ambition for the Friday was to be there in time for Loaded 44‘s appearance where they are launching their new EP, Get Ready! I made good time and managed to catch the band prior to them on the Pavillion Stage, Norwich’s Dogtown Rebels. They play a rousing set that makes a perfect start to the day, despite the early start and furnace like temperatures a good crowd has attended for their set of defiant street punk anthems. Loaded 44 deliver their high energy new wave influenced punk rock. Hyperactive singer Beki Straughan prowls every inch of the stage and their efforts pay off as the appreciative crowd swells significantly during their set. Parisian street punks Komintern Sect follow, they are making their UK debut and, despite one of their guitarists missing their flight, they play a solid and noisy set that makes me hope that their promise to return to our shores is one that they keep. Despite the temptations available on the other stages these three bands have set down an impressive marker for those that appear after them.
A change of venue is needed, as tempting as it is, and as consistent as the bands are, I need to investigate the other stages, Boston’s Big D And The Kids Table play an infectious ska infused set that has bought the impressive Empress Ballroom stage to life. Next up on this stage are Italy’s Guida, who sound like the UK bands that were one of the precursors to the punk explosion of the 1970’s. they play an anthemic mix of seventies glam rock and rhythm and blues combined with the delivery and attitude of punk. Despite never heaving heard of them before, let alone having heard them play a note, they are one of the most impressive bands I’ve seen over the weekend and if you get you get the chance to see them live then you should, as It’s not often I’m this impressed by a band. Penetration are next up, they are the first, but won’t be the last, of the class of ’77 to make an appearance at Rebellion Festival. They sound as good, if not better, as they did back in the day, Pauline Murray‘s distinctive vocal delivery still brings her breathless passion to their songs. Whilst it is no surprise that their classic Don’t Dictate is the best received number, that doesn’t detract from an accomplished set that blends material from their recent album along with their classic material
A quick visit to punk art exhibition reveals works by Charlie Harper, of the UK Subs, Knox, of The Vibrators and Beki Straughan‘s Racket Clothing, Loaded 44, as well as many other independent artists. After a break perusing the artwork on display it’s back to Empress Ballroom to catch The Dictators NYC who play an impressive set of proto punk and old school classics that goes down a storm, they are the oldest band at the festival having formed back in the early 1970’s. At this point I begin scrabbling between venues trying to catch a variety of the sights and sounds on offer.
Discharge are playing their intense full tilt punk assault at the open air Tower Street Stage, whilst Discharge are playing their set an unexpected sight occurs in one if the streets surrounding The Winter Gardens. An impromptu, and badly organised, game of football is taking place between some slightly inebriated punks and several Police officers, if you wanted a metaphor for how good natured the Rebellion Festival is then that surely is it. I wander back inside and accidentally catch Splodgenessabounds playing their novelty punk hit, Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps Please, which seems to have an enthusiastic chorus of literally everyone attending, everywhere you go at the Rebellion Festival something is happening or someone is playing and sometimes you just time it right. Further wandering means I catch Swill, of The Men They Couldn’t Hang playing to packed Almost Acoustic Stage.
My meanderings mean that I catch The Anti Nowhere League in full bombastic sweary form, despite this band courting controversy throughout their almost forty year existence they go down a storm, and the material from their debut album, We Are The League, is sung word for word by an enthusiastic and largely quite drunken crowd. Further wandering leads me to catching Brix Smith And The Extricate in The Opera House, they have gathered all the elements that made her former band, The Fall, so compelling, but with none of the negatives or the baggage that that band carries.
I make myself comfy in The Opera House in preparation for Peter Hook And The Light, whilst I’m taking the opportunity to take the weight off my aching feet I get to see an interview with Handsome Dick Manitoba, of The Dictators NYC, who regales the audience with a warts ‘n all discussion about his life and the origins of his band. Peter Hook And The Light take the stage in the impressive setting of The Opera House, former member of Warsaw, Joy Division and New Order, Peter Hook, opens their set by declaring “I’ve been a punk for forty fucking years” before launching into a set of Joy Division material that leans heavily on the material from their classic, and incredibly influential, debut album, Unknown Pleasures, but also features a hefty chunk of early material that dates back to 1977. They open with At A Later Date, which featured on the legendary Live At The Electric Circus compilation album, and you can’t help shake the feeling that Peter Hook relishes these appearances, the energy he puts into revisiting his punk roots indicates that he will always be an old punk at heart and tonight’s set is a triumphant return to the Rebellion Festival.
A final exploration of the sprawling Winter Gardens is in order before Friday draws to a close. I discover Naked Aggression who wake you back up like an intravenous shot of caffeine with their full tilt hardcore sonic assault. I round out the day with insanity of The Cravats, they play a mind expanding garage influenced variety of punk rock, the boast an demented saxophone and, equally unhinged lead singer, and at this time of the morning I can’t think of a better band to close out the first day at the Rebellion Festival and I hobble off into the night in the vague direction of my hotel.
A review of the Saturday at the 2016 Rebellion Festival will follow shortly
Photography by Dod Morrison
Loaded 44 are the streaming the title track from their new Get Ready! EP. They will be launching the EP when they appear at the Rebellion Festival, Friday 5th August at 2.40pm on the Pavilion Stage, where you will be able to purchase the Get Ready! EP from the band’s merchandise stall.
You can stream the title track from the Get Ready! EP here
Get Ready!Shotgun Records
By AJ Phink
Loaded 44 are a punk band from the north east of the UK who have now been around for two decades, they make the kind of glorious punk rock that carries the attitude of the first wave of punk bands, but also has a distinct influence from the poppier new wave bands that followed the first punk explosion. What they deliver is a energetic, irresistible and contemporary hybrid of punk styles that manages to incorporate all of the finest elements of punk rock.
The title track opens the Get Ready! EP, straight away you’re pulled in by this infectious high tempo buzzsaw guitar punk anthem, this is Loaded 44‘s trademark style and it’s never sounded better. Tell Me is a slightly heavier and more frantic number that keeps the momentum going, Lonely is another winner, and probably my favourite from this impressive EP. It’s a catchy and defiant number that carries Beki Straughan‘s trademark vocal delivery, with a chorus you can’t help but sing along to. I Want It All closes the EP and brings ten perfect minutes of punk rock to a close. I’ve been playing Get Ready! on repeat since it arrived, I guarantee anyone who gets hold of a copy of Get Ready! will do exactly the same. Loaded 44 are an example of the grassroots DIY attitude at it’s finest, this is an EP that anyone with a love of punk rock should buy.
The four songs on Get Ready! are a natural progression from their first two albums, 2011’s Wasted On You and 2014’s Come On!, but the everything seems to have been raised up a notch from those two fine albums. The result is that this is Loaded 44‘s best release to date. Sadly this EP, and their appearance at this year’s Rebellion Festival, will be Stephen Straughan‘s swansong with the band, as he’s now playing guitar for the legendary UK Subs, but this a hell of a way to bow out and I look forward to hearing what the next incarnation of Loaded 44 will produce.
Loaded 44 are appearing at the Rebellion Festival on Friday 5th August at 2.40pm on the Pavilion Stage
Get Ready! will be available from the band’s merchandise stall at Rebellion Festival
Live Photo courtesy of Dave Uglypunk
Beki And Steve StraughanAngelic Upstarts, Chaos 8, Hi-Fi Spitfires, Loaded 44, UK Subs, Holy Racket, Symbient, The Last Gang
By AJ Phink on July 2016 at e-mail
Beki and Stephen Straughan are possibly the hardest working couple in punk rock at the moment, Beki is active in Chaos 8, Stephen, also known as Steve Racket, is active in Hi Fi Spitfires and the Angelic Upstarts, and has recently become the guitarist for the UK Subs, as if that wasn’t enough both of them are in Loaded 44. I managed to catch them in a rare quiet moment to get an insight into what the future has in store for us from this industrious couple.
Come On!STP Records
By AJ Phink
Loaded 44 were formed two decades ago in the North East of the UK, the members are all prolific songwriters and are active in numerous bands, including Hi-Fi Spitfires and Chaos 8, making them something of a grass roots punk supergroup. Come On! is Loaded 44‘s sophomore album, it is the follow up to their impressive debut, Wasted On You. Sadly that album is no longer available, but Come On! gives those who missed out a chance to hear this excellent quartet.
Loaded 44 take their influences from late 70’s punk rock and new wave, the eleven tracks that make up Come On! are buzzsaw guitar pop punk tracks, that’s not pop punk as in four trendy haircuts marketed as punky by a major label, but a collection of infectious razor sharp punk songs which build to catchy choruses. Musically the album contains an impressive array of guitar riffs and hooks that are layered over a tight backline, whilst Beki Straughn‘s trademark powerful vocals carry the melody. This combination makes Come On! an irresistible and exuberant punk rock album that conveys an authentic attitude and intensity on every track on the album, throughout the length of Come On! Loaded 44 maintain an impressively high energy level that only drops when the final chord fades away.
Obvious comparisons for any female fronted punk band would the likes of Blondie and The Epoxies, Loaded 44 are less poppy than the former and not as retro as the latter, they balance punk sensibilities and whilst they embrace the past, they certainly aren’t living in it. My only concern would be that as the members of Loaded 44 have so many irons in the fire that it may be a while before we see another release from them.
Come On! can be ordered from STP Records or directly from the Loaded 44 website here
By AJ Phink
Chaos 8 are a alternative quintet from the North East of England, they were forged in 2012 from the songwriting partnership of guitarist Paul Williams and vocalist Beki Straughan. They then expanded the line up with the addition of James Bowey, bass, Stevie Foster, drums, and David Mooney, keyboards, to create Chaos 8, they have been touring relentlessly since their inception and they remain defiantly independent.
Burn is a powerful album of alternative rock with strong post punk influences, musically they are reminiscent of a contemporary amalgamation of the best elements of the likes of late Killing Joke and Lemmy era Hawkwind, but all done with an individual style and flair that makes their material very much their own. They manipulate heavy guitar riffs and combine them with elements of dub and rock, the result is a ferocious and uncompromising album. Musically Chaos 8 are a force to be reckoned with, the guitars are brutal and to the fore, the drums are relentless and precise whilst the keyboards compliment their arrangements, rather than dominating them. in particular Beki Straughan‘s vocals are outstanding throughout the entirety of Burn, powerful and melodic but all the while rasping with constrained fury.
For me the best two tracks on the album are the opening track, At The End, this is a brutal pounding introduction that certainly grabs your attention from the opening seconds of Burn, the driving rocker Chemical Reaction is the other highlight, it boasts a heavy chugging guitar riff and pummelling drum beat. Whilst these two tracks are the ones that stood out for me, it must be stated that this is a remarkably consistent and engaging album across all of it’s ten tracks.
Chaos 8 are a million miles away from Beki Straughan‘s other band, Loaded 44, who are a much more punky affair, and that is a testament to her songwriting, as if the content of Burn wasn’t enough on it’s own. Chaos 8 have their sophomore album in the pipline, on the basis of the four track promo that provided a tantalising glimpse of their next album, Cause And Effect, it sounds like they have honed their sound to a razor sharp point and I can’t wait to hear the full album later this year. Mysteriously Chaos 8 remain unsigned, this is something that needs to rectified on the strength of their stunning debut and their forthcoming album.
You can purchase Burn from iTunes or direct from the bands Facebook page