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This June has been one of the busier months in recent MTAT memory and one of the most intense, divisive and controversial months in our collective history. MTAT as a collective has always been outward looking, seeking to promote inclusion, tolerance, acceptance and collaboration between all progressive and forward-thinking humans.
While not necessarily aligned along party political lines, MTAT is home to a wide range of political views, all of which seek to promote the ideals discussed above. As such, we are saddened by the divisions being created and exploited by various parties with regards the EU referendum result.
We understand that these are times of great concern and anxiety. As such, we believe that a unified punk scene has a more important role to play than ever before when it comes to creating space for marginalised voices to be heard, to voice dissent, to discuss how we collectively move forward as a species and how we can best serve our communities in times of crisis. A great deal has been written (and will continue to be so) as we endeavour to navigate our way through the oceans of change that are coming our way.
We would encourage everyone to read widely, think deeply and act with understanding and compassion when discussing complicated and nuanced situations that we cannot yet fully comprehend. Not that anyone needs a punk label to tell them so, but in times of great upheaval we must proceed cautiously and mindfully, less we create further divisions and alienate those who are in greatest need of support.
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To this end, we would encourage everyone who has yet to do so to check out the Billy Liar / Paper Rifles split single in support of the Refugee Survival Trust. 100% of proceeds from this release go towards the charity who seek to support refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland, to provide them with emotional and monitory support as they seek to avoid destitution and cultural alienation. Their work is more vital now than ever before. CDs and downloads are available here.
Also, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will also have massive implications for UK bands touring in Europe and, indeed, bands from outwith the UK coming over here too. While not yet initiated, it may be a fairly safe bet to say that with the stroke of a pen (or a ballot in a box), the underground punk scene as we currently know and enjoy it may be eliminated, or at very least its ease of access threatened.
While not huge fans of Punknews.org by any means, this piece contains much relevant information. Likewise, this piece from Pitchfork is also a worthwhile read. Brexit (awful phrase) will have a direct impact on labels across the continent, punk rock or otherwise, and it remains to be seen just how long it will take for the smoke to clear. On a posi note, now is a great time for our Europunk pals to buy some records as the pounds falls through the floor.
Moving on from politics, our month started with two new releases; the “Sunrise” EP from Dundee punks Lachance and the “ScreamerSongwriter” LP from Danish folkcore punker Stoj Snak. Both releases are available as free/pay-what-you-want downloads from our Bandcamp page and on limited edition CDEP and yellow/green splattered vinyl respectively. You can read the full right up on both releases and the Lachance EP launch show here.
We kicked off our “big week” on Saturday 18th June when we had the pleasure of hosting Glasgow poppy lo-fi punks WOMPS in Conroy’s Basement for their first visit to Dundee since BYAF IX as part of their run of Scottish dates in support of their Steve Albini-produced “Our Fertile Forever” LP (of which we have some copies in the distro). One of the noisiest pop bands you’re ever likely to hear, WOMPS ripped through the basement with the passion and fury you’d expect of a band who have spent the last year ripping it up all over the nothern hemisphere.
They were joined by the returning Stonethrower, who absolutely laid waste to proceedings in their newly stripped-down three piece form. Cheers also to Yucks from Aberdeen for bringing their snotty modern pop punk to Dundee for the first time and to young Perth pups Josef Lawrence and The Hypocrites for stepping in to open the show at the very last moment.
The following evening saw us accepting the honour of hosting the final show at Tin Roof, the esteemed Dundee arts collective who are vacating their current premises. The collective are seeking alternative paths for their organisation but it was with heavy hearts that we came together one last time to celebrate the good times that we have shared together and the tireless work that has been undertaken on Bellfield Street over the last five years.
THT opened the show with a full-throated set of intense cowpunk bangers before Bob Flambe and his makeshift Atoms Of Desires ripped through a set of acerbic politically-fiery spoken word poetry. Dundee’s brightest young punk hopes Salem Street introduced us to their new razor-sharp guitarist, bringing dazzling flashes of light to their dub and 50s rock’n’roll influenced melodic punk. There are great things to come from these boys for sure (wink wink!). Stonethrower then returned to the floor to rip our heads off with 25 minutes of utterly visceral discordant brilliance (we have some copies of the tape release of “Swells/Repels” tape from Gold Mold Records in the distro too).
Finally, our wild-eyed whisky-soaked dank punx The Shithawks took to the warehouse floor one final time to bring the house down, almost literally, with a set that can only be described as transcendent, wild, righteous and as a virtually religious experience. Truly one of the wildest, most unhinged shows that we’ve ever borne witness to, we are deeply saddened by their passing but utterly thankful that we were around to enjoy their existence. RIP and godspeed for the future to our comrades in The Shithawks and at Tin Roof. Lang may yer lum reek!
Last week we welcomed PAWS to the basement for the first time as they kicked off their UK Tour in support of their brand new “No Grace” LP that was produced by Mark Hoppus of Blink 182 and released last week through FatCat Records. They are joined on their UK dates by Edinburgh queer punks The Spook School and, to comply with their request and in a progressive move that we fully support, we implemented a gender neutral bathroom in the basement for the first time. Thank you to our hosts at Conroy’s for being compliant and helpful in our requests for everyone to enjoy the freedom to use the bathroom in peace and safety. As such, the gender neutral bathroom shall remain in place.
Both bands were joined for one night only by our favourite west coast pop punks The Kimberly Steaks, who absolutely ripped it apart with around 14 songs in 25 minutes, and by Captain Chaos featuring Chris Clavin of Ghost Mice / Plan-It-X infamy alongside Raph of Turtle Lamone and accompanying singer Sarah. They played 100% acoustic and were the perfect way to open a big-hearted evening of joyous raucous defiant pop punk. We also have some copies of the Captain Chaos “Shadows of Order” LP on beautiful red splattered vinyl in the distro. Huge thanks to everybody who packed out the basement for an early show on a Wednesday night!
We wrapped up our month of shows in the basement with a last minute gig for Perth melodic rockers We Came From Wolves. Being responsible and helpful citizens of punk rock, when we got the call from our comrade Mitch at Struck Dum Records (who’ve just released their first Punks Vs Depression comp, go download it!) that there had been a problem in Aberdeen, we knew we had to help. As such, we threw a show together and welcomed WCFW and their Irish touring buddies Radio Room to the basement alongside local punks Panicbyflare for a show that was thrown together at a week’s notice.
Thanks so much to everyone who came out at the last minute and to all the bands involved for being professional, understanding and super-tight. We followed that up by attending the Scottish Anarcho Folk Fest in rural Morayshire the next day for what was an utterly unique experience and a wonderful environment to discuss both politics in general and the politics of punk rock. Cheers to everyone who came along to the shed stage to check out Tragical History Tour and for singing along with this new jam released in demo form only a couple of days before;
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Moving forward, there is much to look forward to in July, including our SECRET SHOW which will double as Jonny Domino’s birthday party on Saturday 9th July.
We are absolutely delighted to welcome one of the finest singer/songwriters of this generation of punk rock bands back to Dundee once again. Joe McMahon is a well-travelled punk rock wordsmith and founder of the Fat Wreck Chords band Smoke Or Fire from Richmond, Virginia. Joe has since relocated to Germany and has just finished recording his first solo LP, due for release soon. With unblemished voice and heart firmly on sleeve, Joe is the real deal and we’re stoked to have him in the basement for the first time.
He’ll be joined by one of the finest songwriting and performing talents to emerge from Scotland over the last decade. Billy Liar has matured from rough’n’tumble angry young guitar-slinging shit-kicking punker into one of the most well-rounded, intelligent, articulate and witty singer/songwriters to emerge from the fertile Scottish folk/acoustic punk scene. Very excited to host Billy back in Dundee for the first time since BYAF IX. Fresh back in Scotland after two months on the road across Canada and the USA, Fraser Murderburger is the hardest working man in punk rock and jumps straight back in the wagon and out for a bunch of acoustic dates with Joe and Billy. The new Murderburgers LP is called “The 12 Habits Of Highly Defective People” and is due out this autumn on Asian Man Records. Pumped to hear some of those new songs acoustically.
On Thursday 21st July, Exeter’s finest political and socially conscious melodic punk rockers The Cut Ups return to Dundee for the first time since moonlighting as Franz Nicolay’s backing band way back in November of 2013. They’ll be supporting their fourth full-length LP and we are absolutely delighted to have one of the first bands we ever hosted as a collective back in Dundee to help us celebrate ten years of MTAT. One of the best, most engaging punk rock bands in the country, this should be a special treat in the basement.
They’ll be joined by Scotland’s rowdiest positive melodic hardcore punks Get It Together, soaring Dundee melodic rockers Robot Doctors and rural Perthshire’s fiddle-driven folk punkers Broken Stories for what should be an absolute brammer of a show and one of the most exciting bills we’ll host in the basement this year.
Finally on the show front (for now!), we’ll be hosting this absolute zinger on Sunday 31st July featuring a plethora of the finest indie rock bands that the country has to offer. Abjects bring raging garage/punk three-piece rock’n’rollers from London Town and play fierce Cramps/riotgrrl influenced dark fiery punk rock.
They’ll be visiting Dundee for the first time as they wrap up their weekend of Scottish dates with kindred spirits Halfrican; gnarly fuzzed-out dark hearted no wave punk rock’n’roll mayhem from Glasgow’s bleakest sons channelling the twin spirits of Roy Orbison and The Minutemen into supercharged hash-stained bursts of terrifyingly euphoric rock’n’roll mayhem. Sounds just about perfect.
They’ll be joined by Forest Fires, an exhilirating progressive SAMA-nominated alternative rock band from Aberdeen who bring their muscular and melodic rock back to Dundee and into the basement for the first time. Think Jeff Buckley fronting The Mars Volta/Supertramp, with pop hooks, and by The Sparrowhawk Orkestrel who bring tight, taught, angular and mind-bending alt-rock from Dundee and sound like an stoked Tyrannosauraus Rex wreaking havoc in a music shop whilst practicing impossibily technical time signatures and math-rock riffage.
Lastly (as I’ve banged on long enough!), we have a PRE-ORDER online for this specially commissioned “Ten Years of Cowpunk” shirt as designed by our good friend WOLFMASK. Shirts are available for pre-order for the princely sum of ten pounds sterling (approximately six shells and some kindling) and come with COOL FREE SHIT. Pre-orders will remain open for the next 14 days and we’d expect delivery of shirts approximately 10-14 days thereafter.
Thank you to everyone for the continued support, especially in times of such uncertainty. We need to come together now more than ever. Punk rock can heal hearts, protect yours!
All the best,