Leeds’ finest garage trio Nervous Twitch return to LOUD WOMEN Fest on 14 Sept – kicking off the proceedings at 1pm on the Boston Music Room stage! Here’s their 5 Question Interview …
1. For people who’ve not seen you play live before, what can we expect from you at LOUD WOMEN Fest?
Hook filled pops song with elements of punk, indie pop, and surf, delivered with passion, fun, and energy!
2. Fill in the blanks:
“Our sound is like the lovechild of THE REZILLOS and THE RAMONES with a bit on the side from THE B-52S”
3. Give us your band manifesto in no more than 20 words.
Using songwriting as a form of therapy, transforming our energy into well-crafted punky pop songs.
4. Who are you most looking forward to seeing play at LOUD WOMEN Fest?
The really great thing about Loud Women events is that any of the bands in the line up that you don’t know I can guarantee that you will end up going away loving them! It’s always a great place to discover new stuff. The line ups for the gigs they put on are always great, We’d be at more of them if we weren’t based 200 miles away!
We saw The Baby Seals in Leeds last year and loved their set, also we would wanna catch I, Doris and The Cleopatras.
5. What made you want to play at LOUD WOMEN Fest?
Cassie and the team do a great job of promoting and supporting inclusivity in the music scene and we admire all the work they do. We also believe that some of the most innovative and exciting music being made right now is from within this scene.
“We’re supporting Shonen Knife at the Brudenell next week, be great to see you if you can make it”. That was the message from punktacious threesome Nervous Twitch, and it was one I couldn’t ignore. A hometown gig by one of my very favourite bands, and only an afternoon away by National Express? Ticks more than a few boxes for me, I can tell you.
Nervous Twitch gigs in London and the south generally are something of a rarity, All its members have day jobs and thus can’t do many gigs that require them to be too far away from their Leeds home base. In fact the last time they played anywhere near London was in November 2018 – although they do have a couple of shows coming up down here soon, including a slot at Loud Women 4.
But if the proverbial mountain can’t get to Mohammed, and there’s nothing stopping Mohammed going to the mountain, a little sally forth towards the north seems more than in order – and a busy night at the Brudenell (which was also hosting a gig by Sham 69 in its other room) proved to be the perfect surroundings for a well-received set of classic Twitch.
Not much has changed since I saw them last, although the fourth album that they’re currently working on has impacted on the set in the form of several new songs, all of which sound as good as anything they’ve come up with before. They’re still a tight unit with short, sharp pop songs that carry mighty hooks and sing-along possibilities galore. There’s the same Top 40 ear-friendliness in their repertoire that you might associate with the best bands of the past 40 years and particularly the likes of Buzzcocks, the Runaways and Ramones. Erin Van Rumble’s whisper-to-a-scream voice is the perfect instrument to put them across, and if you come away from one of their gigs without at least one of their songs featuring as your latest earworm, you probably missed their set anyway.
They don’t mess about with too much between-song patter, preferring to let the music do the talking. Thus it was that they delivered 15 songs in less than 40 minutes, 14 vocals and the incredible surf instrumental ‘Tarantino Hangover’ that puts guitarist Jay Churchley in the spotlight for the only time during the set. Otherwise it’s all-Erin, all the time (occasionally with a bit of vocal backup from rock-solid drummer Ashley Goodall) as she tears through a strong cross section of their three past albums and a few from the forthcoming one. Highlights include long-time favourites ‘(My Baby’s Got) Somebody Else’(now promoted to show opener). ‘You Don’t Want Me’ and ‘Get Back In Line ‘. Their lone cover of the Velvet Underground’s ‘After Hours’ is always a good one for a sing-along (as demonstrated by their many pals in the audience beside me) as is ‘John Power’ (‘he’s a real go-getter’). The new songs already sound like they are one or two live plays short of anthemic status, something both sides of their most recent vinyl 45 ‘That Weird Guy’ and ‘Look At You Now’ achieved long ago. I have no doubt that that, even on home turf, they made a lot of new friends among those who were primarily there for Shonen Knife (who were wonderful, incidentally…)
If you are coming to Loud Women 4 – and why on Earth would anyone not be? – please do make sure that you don’t pass up the opportunity to see this band. Their musical message may not be as in-your-face as some of their peers, but they are the kind of band that you would have to be a very cold-hearted person not to love, even a little bit..
Nervous Twitch are playing at Summer Weird Sin at the Windmill, London SW9 on August 17th and are at Loud Women 4 on September 14th. You can also catch them supporting Shonen Knife again at the Square Chapel Arts Centre in Halifax this coming Saturday (July 27th)
Even though they have been around for a few years now, Nervous Twitch may well still be Yorkshire’s best-kept musical secret. Largely because of day-job commitments, the trio of Erin (lead vocals & bass), Jay (guitar) and Ashley (drums and occasional backing vocals) are rarely spotted south of the M6/M1 split, so any opportunity so see them should be grasped with both hands. Unless they add any more in the meantime their upcoming slot on the bill ofLoud Women 4will only be their second ‘Southern’ gig of 2019. You won’t want to miss them, I assure you.
Prior to the band’s recent support slot for the great Japanese trio Shonen Knife – at what was for them a hometown show at Leeds’ most excellent venue, the Brudenell Social Club – NT’s resident Loud Woman Erin Van Rumble kindly subjected herself to LW’s 10 Question Interview…
Who would you most like to cover one of your songs?
Oooh, I dunno…I always find these sort of questions really hard because there are so many (favourites) but, maybe Television Personalities? I’m a big fan and I’d like to see how they would produce our songs.
If you could add one member to your band – any person, living or dead, musical or otherwise – who would it be, and what would they play?
To be honest, I like how it works at the moment and I probably wouldn’t want us to add anyone – we used to have a fourth member at the start, but maybe someone from the B-52s on keys might be good.
What was the last song you wrote, where were you when you came up with the idea, what inspired it, and how did it turn out?
That’s an easy one. As you know, we’re working towards (finishing) our fourth album and the last song I wrote, a couple of weeks ago, came after I sat in with the Wharf Street Galaxy Band. Their songs are more overtly political than ours and I thought I’d like to write something that was inspired by what I was doing with them. It’s about capitalism and how you’re always sold the dream… It’s not quite finished and I haven’t brought it to the table with the band yet but me and Jay have messed about with it a bit. ‘Selling The Dream’, that’s probably the working title really.
Which was your favourite gig you’ve a) played and b) watched?
I’ve got loads of favourite gigs we’ve played, but I think the one that stands out as a turning point for me and the band was when we played Indietracks in 2016. It was the first time we’d done something like that, and it really sunk in for me that, y’know, I was doing this and this was really my life, people were coming to see us and I was part of it…favourite watch? I went to Spain a couple of years ago to see Southern Culture On The Skids, one of my favourite bands. I expected to come away pleased because I loved all their albums but they made me love them even more than I already did, that would have to be the one.
Recommend a record that you think our readers might not have heard of.
Anything by Helen Love. She’s amazing and her songs are so great.
What’s your best piece of advice for young musicians?
Never let anyone tell you that you are not good enough. Oh, and always have fun – because if you’re not having fun, it’s not worth doing.
Your top 3 most beloved albums ever – go.
This is tough because I love such a lot of different music, but I’m going with.…
Cyndi Lauper – She’s So Unusual
The Vaselines – Dum Dum
The Bobbyteens – Young And Dumb
What are your musical goals?
For the band to keep getting better at what it does and for me personally, to become more of an accomplished writer…
What’s the most important thing we need to know about your band right now?
Well, we’re working on a fourth album and it’s really exciting! We’re not trying to do anything different to what we already do, just to improve on what we do all the time.
Give your top 5 contemporary bands/musicians.
Again, there’s a lot to choose from, but I particularly love Duck, the Wharf Street Galaxy Band, Enids, Das Clamps and Wolf Girl (R.I.P). I was a real shame when they split up, they had so much more to come. I’ll probably think of another ten when this is over…can I let you know if I change my mind (laughs)?
14 Sept 2019 at London’s Dome and Boston Music Room looks set to see the biggest (and best?) LOUD WOMEN Fest yet! Here’s the news we’ve been dying to tell you for months … our final* lineup, in no particular order …
*I mean, as final as anything is that could possibly have slight changes here and there in cases of sickness, injury, best friends throwing last-minute weddings, that sort of thing. But pretty damn final I’d say!
All those man-band promoters claim there’s not enough female musicians to play their festivals, yet we went and filled 4 days with awesome womxn-bands without even trying! #accidentalfestival starts today …
LOUD WOMEN’s 2018 HERcury prize shortlist is a bakers’ dozen (whittled down from 30) of albums released between July 2017 and July 2018 by British-based, (self-identified) female, female-fronted and female-driven bands. Votes cast by Team LOUD WOMEN. Not much crossover here, you’ll notice, with lesser, so-called music prizes.
“Raw and fragile and urgent in all the best ways,” to quote Loud Women’s review; Argonaut’s third album presented last year’s new material and revisited key tracks from their first two albums, serving as a liminal release before the unveiling of their revamped band line-up for 2018.
Probably the best Scottish sibling bass ‘n’ drum grunge album since, well, The Twistettes’ LP the year before, Bratakus are just one of many Caledonian bands rocking Loud Women’s world right now. Short sharp punk soundbites and catchy-as-hell chant-a-longs on this well-received debut, like a charmingly-gnarly hybrid of The Exploited and TheDistillers.
No inverse snobbery around these parts: Chvrches’ third Top 10 album has one firm foot in 21st Century stadium pop and the other in 80s electro, and Loud Women love it like we love our Taylor Swift and Yazoo albums. Lyrics like ‘Graves’ hint at political bite beneath the glossy perfect-pop sheen.
Debut album from this Leeds-based ‘funk post-punk disco pop party pack’ fourpiece. They’ve got the stripped-down, melodic tunes, they’ve got the best song titles (‘Stockport Syndrome’, ‘Ciggy Stardust’) and they’ve got a place in the 2018 Loud Women Fest line-up!
A deserved Top 30 chart placing rewarded Goat Girl’s eponymous debut, an unexpected delight of an album from a young, all-female group sounding wise beyond their years and uncategorisable to the genre-fixated. The band traverses a range of moods across 19 song-sketches held together by a deceptively lazy-hazy vocal. Did that song really recommend several methods for literally executing the Tory government? Yes. Yes it did.
“A perfect storm of enigma, whimsy and controlled violence,” according to our reviewer, ILL’s debut album has only been blowing minds for two months, yet already feels somehow like it’s always existed. A genre-straddling state-of-the-nation address, with added bear growls.
‘Long-awaited’ might be a cliche, but in the case of LIINES‘ debut album, it’s a fitting description for a band that’s evolved steadily from fin-de-siecle Manc post-riot grrrl stalwarts Hooker. The tightest, heaviest rhythm section in DIY supports Zoe McVeigh’s emotional vocals and haiku-like songwriting, together conjuring an atmosphere of taut, claustrophobic menace like a UK postpunk time capsule.
“Catchy lo-fi garage pop” says our reviewer, and it’s the third album in only as many years from this DIY Leeds trio. One of three albums in the shortlist from Cardiff’s Odd Box Records, Nervous Twitch present 14 tracks of surfy guitar and Headcoatees-esque vocals, with a 60s girl group influence.
Perfect indie-punk-power-pop with clear riot grrrl influences from this Oxford trio, fronted by Connecticut native Angela Space. The title track tells you everything you need to know, but there’s not a bad song on Rainbow Reservoir’s varied and entertaining debut.
DIY queercore supergroup-success-story Shopping show no signs of running out of credit (yeah we went there) on their third album in five years. With Edwyn Collins back in the producers’ chair, the pace is faster, the bass is heavier, Rachel Aggs’ vocals have a newly-won confidence and their ability to paint propulsive-yet-plaintive pictures (ref. ‘Asking for a Friend’) is in full effect.
Soundbites like “instantly catchy guitar work”, “strong singalong chorus” and “lush harmonies” litter our review of this self-titled debut from Suggested Friends. Something of a supergroup featuring members of Standard Fare, Chorusgirl and WolfGirl, the band brings some of the sensibilities of those groups to this record, mixed with 80s/90s influences and an epic quality unusual for the DIY indiepop scene.