Guide to York’s underground music scene: August 2016

‘York’s mighty titanic metal overlords’ RSJ are headlining the Fully York Festival. Photograph: RSJ on Facebook
25 Jul 2016 @ 4.42 pm
| Entertainment

Now then. My name is Dan Oliver Gott. I am the leader of the York garage/punk band The Franceens, drummer in York legends Surf Sluts, and guitarist/ songwriter in rattlerock newbies Snakerattlers.

I also host regular gigs in York under the banner of Behind The White Door.

This is my first ever column for YorkMix. I am writing this in order to inform the good people of York about the various underground gigs that occur every month in our great city.

I represent the artists from the underground. The live gigs where you will see real, passionate performances from York folk and out of town folk alike, in a more intimate and engaging environment.

All of these gigs and their performers are at either a grassroots, or a semi-professional level.

The Franceens play Wonkfest. Photograph: Franceens / Facebook
The Franceens play Wonkfest. Photograph: Franceens / Facebook

Basically, these are gigs put on by real music lovers, who want to supply York with as much live music as they possibly can. You have to look a bit further down the rabbit hole if you want to see the real music shows in York.

I am your monthly guide into that rabbit hole. I will take you deep into York’s diverse music underbelly.

Fully York Festival

First up, I’ll talk a bit about the festival that me and a few other good souls are organising. It’s called Fully York Festival and features 17 of York’s finest bands.

It’s the first time anything like this has been attempted in York, as the event features bands from all York genres. We’ve got pop punk, death metal, indie, country, pop, acoustic, punk rock and even a bit of grindcore!

It’s going to be a great day, and a celebration of York’s bustling underground music scene. This event is on August 6 at The Fulford Arms, runs over two stages, and starts at 1.30pm until late.

York’s mighty titanic metal overlords RSJ are headlining the event. Free entry.

Please Please You

Next, the August offerings from the legend that is Joe Coates. If you’ve never been to a Please Please You gig, this is something that you need to address. Urgently.

Joe has a habit of booking the bands that are on the verge of “making it”, meaning you get to see a band play a small, enthusiastic gig in York before they make it big and only play at the O2 Academies.

All of Joe’s gigs have a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. You can guarantee that if Joe’s putting his Please Please You stamp onto a gig, then the music within it is going to be top class.
Here’s the events from Please Please You in August:

Thursday, August 4

Irma Vep + Missing Kids – The Crescent, York, £3
Manchester based Welsh lo-fi king Edwin Stevens celebrates the release of his new Irma Vep album with a rare solo headline show.

Saturday, August 6
The Ambiguity of David Thomas Broughton – The Crescent, York, free
A free film screening and live performance. From Otley to Japan and everything in-between. Greg Butler’s brilliant documentary details the journey of a true one off, almost unclassifiable musical act.

Wednesday, August 10
Ryley Walker – The Crescent, York, £11 adv
Illinois psychedelic folk artist Ryley Walker reaches York for the first time after hundreds of shows all over the globe in support of his heavily praised 2015 record, Primrose Green. Word is his new album is better still and this is a must for fans of Tim Buckley, Steve Gunn, John Martyn and their ilk.

Saturday, August 20
Please Please You 11 – The Fulford Arms, York, £6 adv/£8 otd
Celebrating 11 years of independent live music events, York based promoters Please Please You throw a party with their favourite off-the-wall acts including trippy American indie-rock quartet Gun Outfit, mysterious dancefloor animal Eskimoomin and ranty York hero Mark Wynn. Also featuring Wolf Solent, Thick Syrup, Missing Kids, Quarter Horses and Black Lagoons.

Monday, August 29
Jeffrey Lewis & The Bolts – The Crescent, York. £10 adv/ £12 otd
New York singer and comic book artist Jeffrey Lewis is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of the NY anti-folk scene in the late 20th century with numerous releases for Rough Trade Records. Joined here by his new rhythm section, The Bolts, Lewis’ live shows are nothing short of fantastic entertainment often including projections and story-telling.

Behind The White Door

Next up, ‘Ill give you the lowdown on my own Behind The White Door events. What I do at Behind The White Door is simple. I set up gigs for bands that I like.

Sometimes they are midweek (usually if someone is touring), but usually they are on Friday or Saturday. All of my shows are at The Fulford Arms and they are all free/ donations welcome. They always start at 8pm and each band always gets a half hour slot.

I’ve had bands from all over the world play at my events, and I am proud to be a beacon for garage/ punk/ rock and roll bands in the north of the UK.

Here’s what I have with Behind The White Door for August.

Wednesday, August 10
The Kaams, Bull, Highsound, Hoogerland
The Kaams come from Bergamo in Italy and this is the first of their three UK shows, all of which I have booked for them. Booking for overseas bands is something I try my hardest to do.

There’s a massive garage scene in Italy, which I have experienced myself with my own band, and The Kaams are by far and away one of the best garage bands to come out of Italy.

Playing with them, I’ve got Bull, who really don’t need an introduction! They are one of the hottest bands to come from York and they play their 90s style college/slacker rock regularly all over the UK.

Highsound is the premier powerpop band of York’s own Simon Jenkinson, and this will be their only York gig of this year. First up will be Hoogerland, who give a slackery feel to the word “lovesong” and also come from York.

Friday, August 26

Calva Louise, Nosebleed, Fire The Unstoppable Force, Segregates
This show sees a York debut for Calva Louise, who come from London and play fuzzed-out psych-tinged surf rock. They used to be called Mystified, but have had a direction change recently.

Nosebleed is my brother’s band and they are currently gigging all over the country on a never-ending UK assault. They play fast garage punk.

Fire The Unstoppable Force is a gothic/ carnival punk band from Hull, and Segreagates are York’s answer to Motorhead. This show will be very loud. Earplugs are advised!

Just recently, Aaron Brown has returned to the York underground scene. He is a great DIY promoter, and has been responsible for bringing some of the best underground punk rock to York in recent years, under his BGB banner.

He’s got 2 Sick Monkeys coming to The Fulford Arms on the Monday August 22. It’s guaranteed to be a good one. The line-up is two blokes; one bassist and one drummer. It’s one of the punkest bands to ever grace the UK underground and they’ve got serious tunes.

One of the newest promotions outfits to hit York, Pewter City Promotions, has a politically-charged queercore/ punk event on the August 7. This is £3 to get in.

The show features Ay Carmela, who play Blondie-inspired punkpop. Sleevenote Society, which is a brand new band from York, comprised of talented musicians. There’s also Endless Debts, better known for their work with the sensational queercore band Kinky.

The event will kick off with some punk poetry from Luca Hope Fallon. Pewter City Promotions is organised by York’s own political Pokemon-loving punk Henry Raby. He is a charismatic and passionate host, who is sure to involve the whole audience in the affairs of the event.

And that’s my round up of gigs that I know about in August! If you’re a promoter and you’re hosting a gig in York that I have failed to mention, you can email me directly here and I will make sure I include your event next time!