Archive for the ‘Local’ Category

The Rebellion Is Ready

Posted: October 10, 2017 in Local

In March 2016 when GTS last wrote about Puppet Rebellion we had nothing but nice things to say about the Life Is In Your Hands EP and we truly basked in warm anthemic glow of the euphoric single Fragments (2016). Front man Oliver Davies told us that he believed the best was yet to come. He was telling the truth. November sees the release of their debut album, Chemical Friends, and the band sound ready for the next chapter. At the end of 2016 Rebellion released The Pact EP which included ‘Fragments’ and needed songs of equal quality to sit alongside it and from the opening track you know they were successful in finding them. The Pact is pacey and melodic it hustles from the first minute to the last. Lyrically it’s about two people running into the future, away from somewhere and into someplace new. In this context the second track ‘Fragments’ works very well, The Pact sees us going somewhere at speed, but Fragments is slower and more expansive and has some drive before the drums bring in the wonderful chorus and the whole piece flies majestically, “is it all that you want, is it all that you need?” It’s still a journey, but we are slowing down and smelling the flowers. The song is gorgeously built up and lifts off in all the right places. The third track Maybe You Won’t is another locomotive, literally it moves like a train and it completes the new songs on the EP, leaving a re-recording of The Greatest Lie Ever Told. The first version featured on their debut EP in 2013, also titled Chemical Friends, back then the band was fronted by Simon Monaghan and his delivery of the vocal there was a standout moment on that collection. The band play this song live so you can see why they wanted to re-record it and bring it up to date, there are some differences, the guitars seem more withdrawn for instance and it’s nice to hear but the real strength of The Pact EP lies in the first three tunes. Oliver Davies is the voice of this band and while the band can and do doth their cap respectfully towards their past, Oliver is no-ones sound a like.

This year the band released two very strong new songs. Please Me and Slave have enough in them so that you hear the Puppet Rebellion you know but, excitingly, there’s new directions too. On Please Me the band finds a strut and a funk that shows the confidence the band rightfully has. You gotta have a faith in me…” Oliver sings, owning the vocals masterfully. Please Me might just be the catchiest thing Puppet Rebellion has committed to record but the band did not rest on that, they also gave us Slave a stomp through dirty guitars and a groove we’ve not heard from the band before. It’s different and it’s new. Puppet Rebellion seem to enjoy producing get off your arse music, whether it be a call to arms to make a better life (Life is In Your Hands), not settling for second best (Test Pilot) or taking a chance and risking it all for love (The Pact). For their album they have songs in their repetoir they can recall from day one and these can be redelivered with all of the unity, musicianship and confidence they currently possess. Cupboards Painted Red for example is an earlier offering that was heart breaking back then, sounds stunning live and will be re-presented beautifully.

As the band look to pack fans into their album launch next month, they know they have an audience that has grown with them and they know they can bring on new people. The album is not day one so to speak, but it will be for a lot of people. The album doesn’t whitewash anything that has gone before it, it’s the end of one journey and the beginning of an entirely new one at the same time. They are a forward-looking band; find any of the EP’s discussed over the years on GTS, you certainly won’t find a band that has found their comfort zone and stayed in it. The first song we listened to back in 2013 and the latest from 2017 sound different in all the ways you want them to be when you enjoy a band, but the quality of song has always been strong. Puppet Rebellion have made the foundations of their house unshakeable and they have the freedom to paint the walls whatever colour they want.

Follow the band on Twitter @PuppetRebellion

Check out the official website for information on their album launch.

© 2017 Simon Andrew Moult / Moultymedia. See this site for details.

On the road again, armed with anthems, GTS catches up with the band and finds them sounding better than ever.


Intro, the instrumental part of This Blue World). Part of me was gutted this wasn’t the full thing, but it works as an intro well.


The Bones of You

Open Arms

Real Life (Angel)

The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver

The Night Will Always Win

Puncture Repair
Puncture and the song before it really hit me as a pair. Anytime you hear Puncture Repair done live, be glad. I tingled from head to toe.

The Blanket of Night

The Birds

Grounds for Divorce

These two really work together. Might have expected Leaders but The Birds is heavy live. Grounds, well, crowd favourite as always.

Fly Boy Blue / Lunette (restarted)

My Sad Captains
Already sounds like a staple in the set. Loved this, all of them singing together on a song about friendships and life. This one could be the sister of Weather to Fly. That’s about the boys in the band and this is about the outside friends who aren’t seen as often because life moves pretty fast.


New York Morning

Guy did the usual ‘Good night!’ fake leaving the stage thing but not before he asked us to pick a song to sing to get them back on. Someone in the crowd chose ‘Daydream Believer’ and when the band left, sure enough up it started. It morphed into the football version where I was sat.

Having been used to hearing this as the intro it was nice to see it switched but still kept. Still keeps the ‘beginning’ vibe it had just now it begins the encore.

Lippy Kids
A favourite, the crowd participation gives me goosebumps.

One Day Like This


Polishing a Compass

Last night was really good, the band seemed happy to be back on stage and Mr Garvey was truthfully in the best vocal form I’ve heard. I heard a while back that songs like ‘Powder Blue’ were dropped from the set coz Guy couldn’t hit the high notes. I can only think that’s bollocks because he sang so well last night.

They played the ones most would have picked from older albums and of course they cant get away without playing ‘One Day Like This’. Unpopular opinion alert, maybe, but I could live happily never hearing that song live again. Guy and the ‘gang’ approach it like its the first time they have ever played it. I’ll never forget that night during the homecoming Manchester gig on the Seldom tour, a couple literally sat there sighing with boredom until One Day inevitably closed the night complete with ticker tape and all that. Upon hearing the familiar stringed introduction, the guy in this double act flung his arms in the air like Kevin the teenager and shouted ‘at last, gawwwwd’. Why bother buying tickets at all? It was probably a date. I hope she gave him nowt.

I’m sat here watching the wheels go round and round, and speaking of Lennon; ‘New York Morning’ soared live. Even in the ratty O2 academy. Guy likes to get his northernisms in but folk and Yoko makes me chuckle. John Lennon was hounded out of England and embraced by New York. Let’s let them have Guy for a bit, but then can we have him back?  Cheers. Lennon said it himself though, if he had lived in the Roman empire  he would have wanted to live in Rome. America is the new Roman Empire and New York is Rome itself.

‘My Sad Captains’ is beautiful as I knew it would be but I feel I also have to mention songs that went over my head from Build a Rocket Boys; ‘The Birds’ has more about it for me now. It’s got bollocks now. Maybe it always did but last night I got that one. Another from that ilk is ‘The Night Will Always Win’. Guy said it was about not missing people at night. I finally get that one too, you can fake it and get through the day but it will get you at night, ‘never by the moon’. Listen to the words. In not unrelated news, my nan died recently. I do miss her face and her home truths. Anyway.

I’m sat here speeding back to Prestwich talking about Elbow with Gaz the driver. He loves the new album and specifically ‘New York Morning’ and ‘My Sad Captains’. He describes ‘Real Life (Angel)’ as fantastic. Itwas apparently worthy of repeat status last week. Gaz is also full of praise for ‘Honey Sun’.

The return trip is kicking the first trip’s mega bus dot com arse.

It will be interesting to see what gets added or dropped by the time I see them again a few days from now in the people’s republic of Mancunia. There didn’t seem much to iron out, a few false starts and music scuffs but nowt to right home about, although I guess I did just that, yes well.

I want me bed. I want sleep. I want hot vimto and mushy hot  weetabix and I want to remember hearing Guy sing ‘Puncture Repair’ and exactly how spine tingling it was to hear the crowd singing ‘Lippy Kids’ back to him. 

If you were there…

Hallelujah Morning

It’s a weird feeling and I don’t have it with anyone else. With any other band I’ve felt a distance and an untouchableness to them. Springsteen is immense, but I don’t want to meet him. He speaks to me through his music and he had helped me through that but I don’t walk in his world. Ok, I don’t walk at all, but you get what I mean. It’s seven in the bloody morning, gimme a break. 

Elbow aren’t untouchable. Their music and lyrics mean just as much and help just as much but there’s something extra from them. There’s the band up on the stage and theres the sold out arena crowd with their hands in the air as confetti falls from the ceiling. That band who practised in our church hall, I used to see the drum set up when I was there for cubs every friday night. Drums incidentally played by the lad who was lucky enough to have me in his class at playscheme. The same lad who sat with me in church one Christmas ready to read one of the nine lessons. 

How’s the band going? Really good he says, we just changed the name though.To what, says I; To elbow, says Richard. Elbow? Says me. Why? Richard tells me its Coz it’s the best word in the English language to speak, then goes on to tell me it’s from some detective bloke who sings or something. 

I tell him when he gets the music thing off the ground I’ll of course be on hand to write the words that review it all. I did and they are all here, I’ve been lucky enough to follow them a few times and I’m convincing myself here and now that it’s some kind if Bury solidarity that sees me leaving my lovely corner of the world, putting myself on a mega bus and heading for the north east. Yay, road trip. Enthusiastic. Mean it. I stick me headphones in and Guy starts singing and I realise it’d not going to be that bad.

Wait. No. Yes it is.

I’m on a bus like the one you used to go on trips with school. The wheelchair access lift springs out from the steps…from the steps! It’s like some kind of optimus prime shit, I kid you not. I’m at the front next to the driver, bollocks. Bet the cool kids are at the back. Don’t blame me if someone starts a sing a long about being ‘off in a motor car’ with fifty coppers after us or whatever.

I’m looking right down the stair well and about an hour into the journey the driver stops, comes over and tells me to put the extra safety belt on so that he doesn’t worry about me. Slightly worried now.

They tell you that you can use the toilet on these busses. They don’t mean me. Luckily I saw this problem coming and I didn’t drink. That being said nothing can prevent the ‘I need a wee’ dance when it starts; not even Guy singing about the free world. 

Tonight should be brilliant. I’m quite proud of them.