Listen as Yorkshire grungers Allusondrugs stream debut EP in full!

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Yorkshire grunge rockers Allusondrugs are streaming their eponymous – and awesome! – debut EP in full.

You can listen here at Skin Back Alley by clicking below.

The EP will be released via Clue Records on the 21st of July. If you like what you hear, you can pre-order your copy of the six track monster, here.


The band will be playing an extensive string of live shows throughout the summer and early autumn, so there’s really no excuse not to check them out! Tour dates are as follows:

July:

11 Keighley Exchange Arts Centre
12 Leeds Works Skatepark
17 Camden Proud Galleries
19 Huddersfield Bar 1:22
20 Sheffield Rocking Chair
25 Sheffield Tramlines Festival
26 Barnsley Coalfields Festival
26 Workington Lounge 41
27 Wakefield Clarence Festival

August:

1 Sowerby Bridge Puzzle Hall
2 Leeds Temple of Boom
7 Glasgow Bar Bloc
14 Leeds Wharf Chambers
23 Maidstone Rafters

September:

5 Halifax Dog House
8 Wakefield Warehouse 23
11 Glasgow Hairdressers
12 Aberdeen Downstairs
13 Long Division Festival Wakefield
13 Liverpool Pickett / Division
14 Newcastle Think Tank
15 Swansea Static Bar
16 Nottingham Red Rooms
17 London Upstairs The Garage
18 Brighton Sticky Mikes
19 Milton Keynes Crawford Arms
20 Huddlefest Huddersfield
21 Guilford Boiler Rooms
22 Southampton Joiners
27 Carpe Diem Leeds

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Alestorm tease new album and reveal 19 date UK tour

Alestorm Golden Age Cover 2014Scots metal pirates Alestorm are to release their new album, Sunset On The Golden Age, on the 4th of August via Napalm Records.

The band have also announced a 19 date tour in support of the release, covering much of the UK throughout October.

In a statement on their official website, Alestorm said: “It’s been over 2 years since we toured the UK & Ireland, so we wanted to make this one be a wee bit special. We’re calling this tour PIRATEFEST, and we’re going to be bringing some of our very favourite piratical metal bands from all over the world to party with us for 19 shows!”

Of the new album, they said: “The title of the album is a reference to ‘The Golden Age of Piracy’… during which time all the famous pirates you’ve probably heard of were doing their thing in the Caribbean. Stealing treasure, kicking the ass of the British Navy, plundering wenches, and so forth. Like all good things, this age had to come to an end, and so we’ve used that as a general theme for this album.”

“There’s also songs about drinking and partying too,” they continue.

Watch the teaser trailer for Sunset On The Golden Age below, along with the official video for new song, “Drink.”

Alestorm will play:

8th of Oct: Waterfront, Norwich
9th of Oct: Academy 2, Birmingham
10th of Oct: Corporation, Sheffield
11th of Oct: 1865, Southampton
12th of Oct: Concorde 2, Brighton
13th of Oct: White Rabbit, Plymouth
14th of Oct: Academy, Liverpool
15th of Oct: Voodoo Lounge, Dublin
16th of Oct: Cyprus Avenue, Cork
17th of Oct: Mandela Hall, Belfast
18th of Oct: Garage, Aberdeen
19th of Oct: Arches, Glasgow
20th of Oct: Bierkeller, Bristol
21st of Oct: Academy 2, Manchester
22nd of Oct: Lemon Grove, Exeter
23rd of Oct: Sub 89, Reading
24th of Oct: Electric Ballroom, London
25th Of Oct: University, Leeds
26th of Oct: Globe, Cardiff

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Nick Cave to perform live at Barbican documentary screening

Nick Cave 20000 Days On Earth Cap

Nick Cave will be performing live at the Barbican, London during the 17th September screening of documentary film 20,000 Days On Earth.

Fact reports that Cave will perform with bandmates Warren Ellis and Barry Adamson at the event, with the film’s directors, Ian Forsyth and Jane Pollard, participating in a Q&A session. The event will be broadcast live across 150 cinemas in the UK ahead of the film’s official release date of the 19th of September.

The film depicts 24hrs in the life of Cave, and won two awards at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Cave will also be appearing at screenings across North America, including Montreal on the 1st of August and New York on the 4th of August.

Nick Cave and The Bad Seed’s most recent studio album, Push The Sky Away, was released in February 2013.

You can watch the first official clip from 20,000 Days On Earth below:

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Louise Distras announces Shepherd’s Bush Empire show

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UK punk Louise Distras has announced a special show at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London.

Distras will be supporting legendary NYC punk band Television as they perform their seminal album, Marquee Moon, in full.

The show will take place on the 27th July and tickets are available now from SeeTickets.com

Louise’s full length debut album, Dreams From The Factory Floor, was released last year and garnered a 5 star review here at Skin Back Alley.

Check out Louise’s video for her song “Love Me The Way I Am” below:

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Live Review: Holly Williams, The Ruby Lounge, 25th June 2014

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A year ago, these ears were struck dumb by the sound of Holly Williams’ voice on the opening bars of her song “Drinkin’.” And colour me stupid if the same damn thing didn’t happen again last night at The Ruby Lounge, the moment that support act Anderson East opened his mouth to sing.

The effect was all the more powerful for East’s unassuming presence. Cutting a lithe figure, he ambles on to stage, sips a beer, tunes his guitar, and then reveals that he’s been travelling for 25 hours straight from Nashville, TN without sleep, arriving at the venue just 20 minutes before stage time. “It would be funny, if it wasn’t true,” he quips.

Who would have expected the smoky, soulful, emotive sound that erupts from the man’s chest then, as he expertly and fluidly picks at his guitar. With just six strings and his vocal chords to hand, East conjures up a rootsy American sound, drawing on elements of country, folk and southern soul to mesmeric effect.

The audience, seated at round tables adorned with candles and surrounded by stools, look on in awe, something that East interprets as “intimidating silence.” But their appreciation is clear in the applause that erupts at the end of each and every song.

Holly Williams SBA 003And what songs. We’re treated to a number of cuts from East’s 2012 album, Flowers of The Broken Hearted, including the astounding title track, and what will presumably be the title track from his forthcoming new album of the same name too, “Cotton Field Heart.” At the end of his set, if the guy hasn’t just recruited 150 new enthusiastic advocates of his particular brand of southern-rooted rock n’ soul, we’ll eat our proverbial hat.

Trust us, don’t be one of those fools who buys tickets for a gig but only turns up for the main event, skipping the support act altogether. Buy a beer at the bar, sure, but get yourself to a gig and see this guy live. You won’t be disappointed.

Holly Williams herself could be entirely forgiven for seeming a little less lithe than East. “This isn’t a beer gut. I am six months knocked up!” she confirms later in her set for those who hadn’t figured it out, seating herself at the electric piano for a beautiful rendition of The Highway’s “Without You.” To say that she is six months pregnant, she puts on a hell of a show, the result of hard work, strength, determination and skill.

Rewinding for a moment, the set opens with Holly cutting a lone figure on stage – just her and a guitar – singing “a song from my very first album”, “Sometimes.” The assembled crowd are intimidatingly silent again throughout, as that heart-stopping, dumbfounding voice cuts through the air. Skin Back Alley notices one audience member hunched forward, huge grin in place, having earlier admitted in conversation that he had never before heard Williams’ music. Clearly he’s very glad that he has now.

20140625_210119_resized_1At the end of the spellbinding opener, Williams introduces Annie Clements on upright bass and vocals, and here’s Anderson East again, on vocals and guitar, standing in for “…my good friend Jackson Browne” who unfortunately, and with Williams’ tongue planted firmly in her cheek, we are informed “couldn’t be here tonight.” Both musicians do themselves, Williams, and the songs proud, delivering shiver-inducing three-part harmonies, tight instrumentation and, on the part of East in particular, extremely accomplished bursts of lead guitar that take flight and help the songs transcend.

Most of the night’s material is cut from Williams’ The Highway, but that’s no bad thing, as the strength of the music is more than apparent in a live setting. And so it is that we all sit, rapped and in reverent mood, as the masterly trio power through stirring renditions of “Gone Away From Me”, “Happy” and “The Highway.”

Williams introduces “Giving Up”, explaining that the song documents her attempts to help a friend struggling with addiction. You can feel hearts breaking in the room as their owners picture the scenes of a family in crisis, poetically detailed in the songs’ lyric and delivered again in that profound and plaintive voice that has had everyone enthralled all evening.

A couple of earlier songs then make an appearance in “Alone” and “Three Days In Bed.” Sandwiched between them is the aforementioned “Without You”, a love letter addressed to husband, Chris Coleman. Together they paint a picture of different eras of Williams’ life; despair at the thought of being alone forever; a whirlwind romance with a lover in France; the knowledge that another human being exists who has proven to be the one with whom love has been finally found. Soul-stirring stuff.

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The harrowing sonic suckerpunch of “Drinkin'” then gets an airing, and as if that wasn’t enough, another highlight of the evening follows in a cover version, as Williams explains that she recently had the pleasure of performing with the legendary John Prine, “…who signed my guitar here, just by Mr. Kristofferson and Mr. Nelson.” Illustrious company to be in, but the group’s rendition of Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery” that follows blows the place apart. Maybe with the exception of the original, it’s never sounded better.

The evening rounds out with the masterclass in deeply affecting, carefully crafted storytelling that is “Waiting On June.” Documenting the relationship of Holly’s maternal grandparents from initial meeting, through war, marriage, children, infirmity and death, at seven minutes plus, it may sound like heavy going. But it is full of light and warmth and connection too, and brings the night to a close on a tender and life-affirming high.

During the set, Williams briefly alludes to her family heritage, but this night in Manchester belongs entirely to her and her fellow musicians. Last year’s album, this year’s tour, and tonight’s set at The Ruby Lounge prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Holly has a voice, talent and work ethic that is solely, utterly and uniquely her own. Make sure you hear it for yourself.

Holly Williams played:

“Sometimes”
“Railroads”
“Gone Away From Me”
“Happy”
“The Highway”
“Giving Up”
“Let You Go”
“Alone”
“Without You”
“Three Days In Bed”
“Drinkin'”
“Angel From Montgomery”
“Waiting On June”

You can watch fan-shot footage of Holly playing “The Highway” and “Waiting On June” from last night at The Ruby Lounge below:

Find out more about Holly Williams: www.hollywilliams.com
Find out more about Anderson East: www.andersoneast.com
Find out more about Annie Clements: Annie Clements’ Facebook page

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