Archive for the ‘Local’ Category

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. 


LAST NIGHT the wait was over and Manchester band Puppet Rebellion pressed the buttons that released their new EP Chemical Friends to the world. If you were waiting, welcome to the other side, you can now hear the fully realised album in all its glory. If you weren’t waiting and you have no idea who the band is then do yourself a favour, download the tracks and wake up your brain, it is new music and it has got people excited. Click to download the EP here.

The first track of the EP, the title track, hits you with an immediacy, an urgency that carries you along – it’s a bit dark and yet still catchy. Next The Greatest Lie Ever Told is an absolute tune, it has a beat that drives and melodic guitar that lays on top. The vocals are one thing ‘we don’t need you, I don’t believe you’ may well be in your head this time tomorrow and the singer goes from yearny and sweet to stinging and raw effortlessly, the drums and guitar work take this song up a level for me because when they come to the fore around the 2 min 30 mark, you’ll believe it. Simon has never sounded better vocally than he does on this track, or on this album generally.

The New Twenty is a chimey, chirpey upbeat track with a really cheeky melody.

There’s a feeling when you listen to the EP that it isn’t designed to slowly grow on you, it’s almost as if it doesn’t want to wait for that, it’s not going to politely sit and wait for you to mull it over and decide if it’s interesting or not – it’s going to grab you by the unmentionables and take you on a quality ride. Chemical Friends is fast and it’s furious, it’s melodic, it’s engaging and it sounds instant but the band have worked very hard and taken their time to put the strongest songs out there, it shows.

This is a very strong EP. Forward the rebellion!

Words © 2013 Simon Andrew Moult / MoultyMedia

Daystar In Demand

Posted: February 24, 2012 in Local
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“We will spread like wildfire!”

Daystar’s Simon Monaghan talks to Given to Sound about the band’s hopes for 2012, making a name on the national scene and… gravel.

The Manchester band Daystar have always been seemed like a band comfortable in their own skin; they have tipped their hat to the sounds that inspired them but at no point have they felt crushed by the ghosts of a Manchester sound. We liked that about them and we liked their self titled album, so much so that we urged you to part with actual money to buy it. Since Given to Sound shone a light on them last March, the boys have been busy trying to get the rest of the country to jump on their bandwagon.

In the past year they have moved on and their confidence has grown; confidence in the music and in the band, importantly they are full of ideas on how to progress it all. Daystar will not stop until the whole nation is singing from their hymn sheet and let’s just say, the nation might well be clearing its voice.

Lead singer Simon Monaghan recently caught us up on all things Daystar. It’s fair to say they’ve worked quite hard:

“We were the only band asked to play on TV for ESPN Talk of the Terrace for the second time which we were proud of”, Monaghan told us. The band has also been featured in the match day football programmes of Simon’s beloved Manchester United and the official magazine of Ste Wood’s favourite, Manchester City. The wider football world seems to be catching on to them as well; around half the teams in the Premier League have already played the band’s music on match day.

Daystar are working hard to achieve success and it’s not a manufactured affair; they have the tunes to make their musical statement and they play them live. When they do walk onto the stage they aren’t playing to one or two people either, make no mistake – the people are supporting this band: they won Pure FM’s Band Of 2011 because people voted in their thousands to make it happen.

The band release Don’t Need This  on March 12th, the third release from their self titled debut album. Here’s a random blast from the past, remember 1996’s Slight Return from The Bluetones? It’s a bit similar. Monaghan’s voice yearns delightfully at the chorus and the guitars keep the whole thing moving.

“The song is about the pretension and conformity of the murky underbelly of the Manchester club scene and the social whores who frequent it. It’s one of my favourite songs to sing live” says Simon.

When we covered the band last year we said we’d be interested to hear what a pissed off Daystar sounded like, what if the vocals snarled every now and again and the band let some songs go past the three minute mark? Some of the tracks were crying out to be extended because musically they pull you in. Maybe we influenced Simon as he told us about performing the song live; “We do an extended vocal at the end where the gravel in my voice really comes out!”

In all seriousness, Daystar deserve success. They have a growing fan base and they have the ear of some of the music’s big hitters such as the legend that is Clint Boon. Simon is ready to see where the band goes and has every right to have high hopes:

“Our hope for this year is to become well-known across the UK. We already have some national coverage but not enough so this year is when we hope to build on everything. Our plan is to be massive obviously and we believe we have the potential to do it.”

We can also confirm that they are also working on new material:

We are working on the yet untitled new album and have five or six tunes pretty much ready to record and loads more ideas. We’re hoping to release something from it in the second half of the year.”

That’s that then, their star is ready to ascend and there will be lots of happy people around when it does, they can’t stay our local secret forever and they wouldn’t want to;

“We have learnt a lot over the last 2 years and grown as a band. When we show people what we have been working on we will spread like wildfire. That’s the plan.”

Daystar perform at  This Feeling in Shoreditch tonight (24th February) and support The Rifles at the HMV Ritz on the 29th March.  Check out Upcoming Gigs for more details. You can also buy the music here.

Thanks to Si Monaghan for giving his time and his comments. Words © Simon A. Moult / Moultymedia 2012. Photography © Stephen Campbell. Used by permission.

Daystar Believer!

Posted: March 25, 2011 in Local
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We at Given to Sound are really excited about a new Manchester band called Daystar. There. That’s the first sentence done. It was a tricky one, because the Manchester thing brings with it the baggage of Madchester and ghosts of bands that swaggered into many a music buyer’s heart and strolled off having made a phenomenal impact. It may lead many to read Manchester band and switch off, preferring to cling to the memories instead.

Daystar are a five piece Manchester band with influences such as The Buzzcocks, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Joy Division, The La’s, The Kinks and The Sex Pistols. It’s easy to get protective over that and think that you’ve heard it all before. One recently defunct Manchester band with brothers in it told us over and over that the same bands influenced them. Then you’ve got, The Stone Roses; a Manchester band that made self-imploding cool well before Noel and Liam, they also had a similar list of influences.

It’s okay to have those influences, those bands made good music. It’s not the influence, it’s what you do with it that counts – and Daystar do something good.