Arthur Walwin – Hard To Love review

Since we caught up with him at Macmillan Fest last year, we’ve held an eager interest in the music of London based pop-rock singer/songwriter Arthur Walwin, with his last single Bad featuring as our track of the week. Now he’s returned, even better than ever, with the lead single off his debut album Sleepless, out July 27th. The track, which you can check out below, features alternative hip-hop artist Refraze.

It’s easy to see how Arthur takes influence equally from mainstream pop music and pop-punk bands, with the reflecting-on-a-relationship attitude of Mayday Parade meeting the contagious chorus you’d expect in a radio ready single. Fun, infectious, and with a calibre of production that reflects Arthur’s wealth of experience producing for other artists, Hard To Love shows great promise for the forthcoming album.

Listen to Hard To Love below.

Layby at Rock City, Nottingham

Seemingly every year, Rock City host a line up of local bands to tear the roof of the venue in celebration of Christmas (you can check out the review of last year’s show here). For the 2014 round of this, alternative rockers Lacey were joined with support from Cut The Heroics and openers Layby – who proceeded to tear up the show. The Nottingham pop-punk quintet let us have a sneaky listen to their upcoming single, Chronic, off their second EP, which we checked out here, and several months ago we gave a few words on their acoustic show at Nottingham’s Macmillan Fest. Before last night’s show we had a chance to catch up with the band, and you’ll be able to check out the interview tomorrow.

The night kicked off with punchy vocals from frontman Aaron Bowes, clear cut above the backing of the track. These vocals (at moments Enter Shikari-esque in their ferocity and harshness) starkly juxtaposed the musical backdrop of the show (as pop-punk as the likes of Neck Deep), so it’s not hard to see why even the band seem slightly confused about their genre – they’ll be discussing that in the interview, tomorrow. Closing the night with new track, Chronic, it’s not hard to see how they’ve grown since the band just over a year ago, their new work performed with more confidence and enough force to knock you sideways.

People say The Beatles got their fame and refined show from touring constantly for weeks, and practising more at live shows than in rehearsal rooms, and it worked for them. Though Layby have only been a band since November 2013, perhaps they could do with the same harsh treatment to tighten moments up a bit; More Than This had Aaron’s voice breaking, instrumental was too loose and hectic on occasion, and more than one note fell flat.

To say Layby were commencing the night, the five piece were working with a surprisingly full room, albeit not necessarily an enthusiastic. As my guest for the night so aptly said, “there’s nothing more awkward than watching a band try to get an audience to do something… and them not doing it.” Despite the second hand embarrassment lying in the room after the hundred or so crowd turned down the request of a circle pit (though I’ve never seen a circle pit in an opening act), they were willing enough to clap along and even had people singing along.

Frontman Aaron threw all he had into the show, and what they lacked in technical accuracy, they made up for in resilient passion, though it’d have been good to see more of the band less static. It was hard not to get caught up in the enthusiasm of the show, though, and with some refining they’ve the potential to be one of Nottingham’s “must see” acts.

A World Defined interview at Macmillan Fest

We tried (and failed) to do the usual Just A Minute game with A World Defined, so settled for some more, uh, standard questions instead…

You guys are splitting up soon-ish – what’s been your highlights of being together?
Anytime when Liam wasn’t a vocalist.
I’m gonna say Hit The Deck… I know we were on first, but it was packed out.
I liked being in Rocksound, and Kerrang! and stuff. It’s something to say for years, it never leaves you, it sticks with you for life.
Yeah, it’s a real achievement isn’t it.
The EP. Let’s just say the EP.
Going to new towns in the UK and getting drunk.

What’s been the worst moment?
Liam’s top knot.
Meeting all these.
I could talk for a minute on Liam’s top knot.
You might have to cut a lot of words out…
I put up a status about it, just to test the water, before I got the top knot. I got so much abuse, I’ve never got that much abuse.
It’s basically the reason we’re splitting. We were meant to stay together, and we were going to go and support Metallica, but he wanted a top knot.
I think the truth is though, if you’ve got a top knot, you’re cooler. It’s just the way it is.
I’ve got a free beer because you’ve got that top knot. I have a bet about three weeks ago that you’d be the next person to do it, and he is, so.
You won.
I won, yeah. It does look ridiculous though.
I literally, literally do not give two flying f*cks. We good? Cools. I look rad, you look sh*t. Nah, I’m joking.
It looks alright to be fair.
I think the down points, to be fair, are the points where as a band you start arguing and stuff, it’s not always a down point, it’s part of a journey.
Extreme goods and extreme bads.
I don’t think there’s ever been a really bad thing. Apart from earlier when you left all the equipment and didn’t tell me. I had to walk ten minutes with all the gear. That was pretty bad.
You get over those thing, because we spoke about that.
You put us in front of a camera and we’re so nervous, we never know when to speak. Because we’re just having a chat we’re more relaxed.
We’re queued up with our hands behind our backs, trying to point at each other.

I previously saw you supporting Marmozets. How was that, did you get to have a chat with them?
I had a chat with the bassist.
We supported them before, once in Nottingham and once in Leeds, a few years ago, before they were on the radar really.
I think they were 14.
What they say, when they’re on stage talking about how much they appreciate where they are, they genuinely do. Like, when you speak to them, they’re really like, they really deserve it.
They’re a really well dressed band as well.
They’re really nice guys.
Definitely Topman.
They’re just, they’re nice, they’re very switched on. They actually speak to you and remember you and stuff like that.
I’ve got them on my iPhone as well.
I actually quite like them. They actually are quite good.

Any way you’d like to end the interview?
Cutting the top knot off.
It wouldn’t work on audio.
Just by saying… thanks.
Thank you. Buy our EP. We need more money.
If we sell a hundred more EPs in the next week, I’ll stay.
I genuinely won’t, because I’m going to become a druggie.
You look like one.

Layby interview at Macmillan Fest

LAYBYVery shortly we’ll be posting our review of Layby’s debut EP, but until then, you can check what happened at Macmillan Festival when we got them in on our Just A Minute-esque game…

We’re going to play a game where Team 1 has to talk about the new EP for as long as possible, and Team 2 has to do the same about Macmillan Festival. If you deviate, hesitate or repeat yourself, the other team comes into control. Ready?
Team 1: Does it start from when I start talking? Right…
Team 2: Hesitation! So Macmillan Festival, we love playing it, it’s really great of Kris from IKE Productions to offer us to play in the show, we’ve not been going long so it’s great to be offered a show like this, there’s loads of awesome bands of the line-up, and it’s great to do something for cancer research, the fund is great and we’ve been looking forward to it and…
1: Can I talk about the EP now?
1: Basically, the EP is a collection of three songs that mean a lot to us, actually, it’s got the first song we wrote as a band. It’s called Bombsite, which is symbolic of what we wanted it to be about, which is the stereotypical pop-punk theme of getting out of your town and everything getting to down and stuff, trying to overcome that dark time which hangs over you. It was really fun, we played that at Macmillan Fest today, we’re thankful to the people who were listening to it. We’ve started working on our second EP which will be out soon…
2: Do I go back to Macmillan? Yeah, so Macmillan Festival, we enjoyed playing the acoustic set… It’s all for a great cause, we enjoyed raising money for it and Aaron did the Ice Bucket Challenge… awh, I’m rubbish at this.
1: Yeah, we did play a song off the EP, the new EP, which we are currently recording at the moment. That was Chronic, which we’re also filming a music video for soon, and it’s gonna be great. We are currently recording the new EP at Steel Street Studios-
2: It’s Steel City.
1: Oh yeah. Steel City Studios, uh, and we plan to have that out early next year. And that’s gonna have five songs on it. And we’re really looking forward to it. Our next EP is a massive step up from our debut EP, which is you haven’t listened to, then you definitely should. It’s on Bandcamp which you can find via Facebook and other social media outlets which are excessively used and abused by young teenagers.
2: We’ve been hanging out at the acoustic stage all day, been checking out all the acoustic acts, they’re really cool,  we’re really looking forward to later, Vanity Box and Violet are gonna be really cool. Falling Upstairs we’re really good friends with so we’re really looking forward to seeing them… uh, I don’t have anything else to say.
1: We all met via a-
2: Dating website.
1: It’s basically like single nerds in your area, so we all met on there, went to the pub for a few drinks, the decided we wanted to make music together. That was actually before Joe, our bass player, joined, and with Tim, but he’s in Croatia. Since then, ten months on, we’re here at Macmillan Fest, we’re playing music and making friends, and having good times all round.
2: Yeah, we started off as a four piece, but Aaron decided to drop the bass-
1: On the floor.
2: -and just sing, which is a good thing, ’cause he can’t play bass at all. And that’s where we got the lovely Joe in, and Joe plays bass. And that is the current line up, and we hope it stays like that.
1: We’re happy with it. Thank you very much for interviewing us!

Adelphia interview at Macmillan Fest

Whilst we were at Macmillan Festival, we got chance to have a chat to Adelphia – it didn’t go exactly go to plan, but they can’t always! Check it out below.

We’re going to do a version of Just A Minute, where each of you has to talk about a topic for a minute without deviation, repetition or hesitation. If you do any of those three, the other person gains control. Nic, you’re talking about the band, Rik, you’re talking about Macmillan Fest. Let’s start.
N: So, we are Adelphia and there are four members in this band but there is Matt Gascoyne who is the step in for a guitarist. Today I asked Joe if my hands smell like lemon because I’ve been ill recently and I’ve been drinking lemon and honey tea and he said yes-
R: You said lemon twice.
N: Yeah, but I’m allowed to say-
R: (hits table) Macmillan Fest is a great festival, it is a day to raise money for cancer research and I think… is there something else as well?
N: That’s hesitation! The band is nice and is a regular band. I said band twice!
R: There’s a lot of bands playing Macmillan Festival, some of my favourite bands that are playing are The Inside Is Live, Anavae, Violet, A World Defined…
N: That is hesitation! The band is Adelphia, we are that and…
R: Hesitation! We’re in Nottingham for Macmillan Festival, it’s been put on by Kris Davis mainly, I don’t know everyone that’s helped put on the festival and been hired to help out at the festival-
N: Ahh! You said festival! Right, so Adelphia means Greek in brotherhood. No! Adelphia means brotherhood in Greek, and we are like brothers in this band, and that’s why we called… Adelphia is good, and we all play music rock music…
R: Macmillan Festival is a great day, it happens of the sixth of September, I think every year, I’m not sure.
N: That’s a lie, Macmillan Festival isn’t always on the sixth of September!
R: I think we’ve run out of things to say.
Any way you’d like to close the… interview?
N: I’m Rik.
R: I’m Nic.
N: Did I just say I’m Rik?
R: Yeah.
N: We’re gonna go now.