Manchester, so much to answer for, eh? I remember as a student, me and my best mate would get the train to over the Pennines from Yorkshire. It was mainly because there was so much going on there. It was a sort of exciting city to be in, so we went there on (essentially record-buying) expeditions, to Vinyl Exchange, and Eastern Bloc where we would just hang around really because we knew it was owned by the guys out of 808state and A Guy Called Gerald would frequent it, along with other Manchester Glitterati. And it had Factory records, and everything (as far as we could make out) to do with them was cool. We went to their nightclub, The Hacienda, and we bought the records (even down to Quando Quango) and at the head of it all was this larger than life character, who would say things like ‘I’m not a piece of hash, I’m in charge of Factory records, I think’. I remember being genuinely sad when he passed away, those hours we had spent, my mate and I walking from the station just so we could walk past the Factory records offices.
Exit Calm aren’t from Manchester, they’re from Barnsley, but they do have this Manchester swagger, even if it’s tempered with a bit of Yorkshire grit (and psychedelia). They’re new material has been the cause of much excitement, not just here at Backseat Mafia, but within the whole of the music press (well, the bits I’ve read anyway). Their new single ‘When they rise’ shows signs of the sort of Doves (damn you Manchester, again) and Editors downbeat guitar led indie, and it stands up to those sort of luminaries with some ease. Nicky Smith’s vocals add the grit, pulling out the emotion and acting as a foil for the (as ever) exemplary guitar work of Rob Marshall. It’s out on August 26th and is available on transparent orange 7inch. You can pre-order it here
But more than just the musical influences, Exit Calm have entwined themselves in Manchester for When they Rise, the video, which is an intriguing watch by the way, is directed by Todd Eckert who also directed the Ian Curtis biopic, Control. Oh, and it features Oliver Wilson in the video, son of….you know who.
This could be the end of the War of the Roses.