Friday, 5 September 2014


IFC #39





You know 'em. You love 'em. So do i. The masters of Tankology, the innovators of air cymbal, patrons of the squeal and all 'round decent boys. Come, rock out.



Humberside via Dalston. Making waves with MBV inspired dream pop. Fresh from a slew of fezzie appearances this summer including Beacons and Split.



On tour with the Tankers. Hailing from Catalonia. Playing progressive-organic-instrumental-superlative-superalternative-supermarket-noise. Allegedly.


You know the drill... Donations on the door. Help the bands get home.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014


IFC #38

Really excited to have sorted this one... One more band to be added shortly.


Performing live at Pop Recs Ltd, Sunderland.

Friday 26th September, 2014.


Suggested £5 donation on the door





Ryan Needham (vocals, guitar) and Liza Violet (vocals / guitar / synths) formed Menace Beach over a summer of endless bleary-eyed bouts of insomnia. They captured the zero attention span and spontaneous, weird-out nature of a couple of minds totally zoned-in to a fuzz pedal and a cassette recorder in the dead of night. 

After several un-treated breakdowns and a subsequent rash decision to relocate to Leeds, Ryan and Liza managed to shack up with MJ (Hookworms) and  re-imagine their crackly 8-track demos.  Joining them on the session, were Nestor Matthews (Sky Larkin) Matt Spalding, and Robert Lee (Pulled Apart By Horses) who fought their way through Liza’s rats nest of cables and home-made synth modules to blast through the songs during another all-nighters as MJ’s suburban homes studio. The sessions proved so much fun in that they all decided to stick around.

Ryan says of the new EP:

“If, lyrically, the first load of songs we did were a document of losing it again, being ill, moving cities, and all that comes with that, then I guess the songs on Lowtalker are about the aftermath of that; getting better, making friends and trying to reconnect mentally and spiritually. I feel like there’s a lot of positivity on there”. 

Menace beach are currently recording their debut album, due for release late this year.


Fortuna Pop's finest purveyors of indie pop and roll will have just returned from a month in the states to play through their brand new LP 'Courting Strong'. It's mega. Just like them.


2 boys. Guitar and drums. Lo-Fi and lovely. Calvin Johnson nods approvingly. 

Past gigs...

Oops... Forgot to blog about these. They were a hoot. That #1s record is ace. Thanks if you made it down!!

Sunday, 9 March 2014


A couple of weeks ago my friend Richard got in touch to ask if i'd be interested in helping him out with a tour he was booking for a band called The Fish Police... 

Rich is a talented artist and has played in many great bands down the years (Captain Everything!, The Steal, Sauna Youth) whilst also working with people experiencing various learning difficulties in Brighton and London. Recently, Rich combined his efforts in these areas by establishing a community interest company called Constant Flux which aims to provide positive and empowering support for musicians with learning disabilities through creating more chances for their music to be heard. Last year he booked a tour for Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät from Finland and Zombie Crash from Brighton utilising the support of the DIY punk-rock and indie community in the UK to establish a series of fully integrated and inclusive shows which proved to be a roaring success.

On the back of this achievement, and with continued support from Arts Council England, Rich has worked closely with South London's glitch-pop pioneers The Fish Police to book another tour taking in the length and breadth of the country, giving the band an opportunity to showcase their talent in a series of positive, supportive, inclusive and accessible environments. The way things should always be, right?!

As always, we want this show to bring something positive to our town, in terms of culture, energy and experience, but maybe this time round we can place extra emphasis on the idea that the doors at Pop Recs Ltd are open to all sections of our community.

Combining upbeat surreal pop imagery with glitchy beats, The Fish Police have created their own unique blend of electronic future funk, pop and hip hop. Made up of Dean Rodney (singer, rapper, songwriter), Matthew Howe (guitar) and Charles Stuart (keys, co-songwriter, background vocals) they mix their love of computer games, cartoons, fast food and Japanese culture to create sounds that set them apart on the UK urban music scene.

Support on the night will come from Leeds pop-punk power trio Big Wow who feature members of The Dauntless Elite. Hopefully we'll add 1 or 2 more (TBC).

We're looking forward to a great night.

Spread the word. Get down on it. 


The Fish Police

Big Wow

+ 2 More TBC

Monday 7th April
£3 Suggested Donation
Doors: 6PM

Friday, 29 November 2013


Jimmy Islip and The Ghosts roll into Sunderland next Friday (6th December) to showcase their alt-country stylings at Pop Recs Ltd on Fawcett Street. 

If you are not familiar with Jimmy's work you may be forgiven for thinking that this is the Yorkshire troubadour's first foray into Wearside. You'd be wrong (walked into that one, didn't you?!). Over the past 11 years or so, Jimmy has visited our town on numerous occasions with a slew of his previous and current beat combos. Bringing their energy, experience and vibrancy from Leeds (a traditional hotbed of Northern independent art and music), invigorating sets by Kill Yourself, Eighty Six and That Fucking Tank played an instrumental part in influencing the embryonic Beats Happening and IFC gig collectives in town.

Jimmy's most recent venture sees him develop some themes first noticed whilst writing with yet another of his excellent bands, The Magnificent.This time 'round we're treated to a collection of tunes tunes which pay homage to the more Americana elements of his record collection. The subject matter, however, remains firmly rooted in the industrial North, with tales of love, loss and work set against the backdrop of the factories and communities of The Wild West Riding, the title of the excellent debut album.

Recorded with MJ of Hookworms, in Leeds, and released by All In Vinyl earlier this year, Jimmy has been touring hard in support of this fantastic piece of wax. Solo and full-band performances across the UK, US and Europe, sharing stages with the likes of Chuck Ragan and Sam Russo, have fine-tuned the live show and gathered plaudits across the board.

Check out the album here:

And the video for 'It Tastes Bitter' here:

Support on the night comes from two of Tyneside's finest, Mansions of Glory and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaind - both promise to rock your socks off. Believe!

We'll be taking donations on the door so the bands can put some petrol in their vans.

It would be ace to see you down.

Friday 6th December,
Pop Recs Ltd, Sunderland,
7 PM Doors.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The return of The Iron Fisted Champion...

For one reason or another, i've started to put shows on again - I hadn't put one on for around 18 months. There were a few reasons for this... lack of motivation, dwindling attendances (probably linked!), lack of a decent venue, studies taking priority - all contributing factors.

Anyway, the time is right to start again. And it did. Last Sunday...

It was great to kick things off again with a Sunday afternoon matinee as it was something we'd become known for previously, with memorable lunchtime performances from Lemuria, Young Livers, Bridge & Tunnel and Deep Sleep on different occasions.

In the end, there were 5 turns 'treading the boards' on Sunday. Losing Sleep from Kingston and Mikey Erg (of The Ergs!), who was drumming for Worriers, played a couple of short sets too, which was ace. In fact all the bands were excellent.

(Above: ONSIND)

It felt great to be helping touring bands again and contributing to something cool happening in our community. Lots of friends, friends of friends and kids of friends came down to support the gig and everyone enjoyed freshly brewed Chemex coffees, tea and homemade vegan cakes.

(Above: Rhys and Frankie of Pop Recs Ltd, perusing the cakes)

We payed all the bands well and even managed to donate some cash to the guys at Pop Recs Ltd who were such a massive help on the day. The shop is so vital to music, art and culture in Sunderland at the moment, it felt only right to help them out. Even if only in some small way.

(Above: Me and Rachel)

On a personal note, it was ace to catch up and hang out with Rachel again. We first met when we put on her band, Bridge & Tunnel, back in 2008. The following year, they came back again and we've been firm buds since. 

Rachel is playing guitar in Worriers and will be staying on in Europe to tour with her other band, Troubled Sleep, throughout December. Check 'em out if you can.


Next gig:

Jimmy Islip & The Ghosts

Mansions of Glory

Dec 6th @ Pop Recs Ltd