Dr. Martens have withstood the onslaught of – and reinvented themselves through – many – if not all – musical eras, fads, and fashions. No doubt ‘60s rockers found them very handy for keeping their feet protected from the tarmac, forcing a sticky gearlever to shift on a careworn Triumph and for kicking mods in the shins. Into the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, punk and the skinhead movement found DMs perfectly matched their aggressive image, even though most punks no doubt went home to their mums to tuck them in with a cup of cocoa at night.
Later on in the decade, as the hardness of punk split into gothic nihilism and dayglo optimism, Dr. Martens could be found on the feet of both groups – the perfect match to both a pair of leather trousers and a floaty flower-print dress. And then came the 1990s, and with it came grunge, a musical movement tailor made for a decent pair of sturdy footwear. Truth be told, there’s barely an era in music that DMs haven’t been associated with, continuing to the present day. So it’s no surprise that the brand has decided to become directly involved in a bit of music promotion.
Now in its second year, the Dr. Martens #standforsomething tour promises to repeat last year’s achievement of “taking some of the most exciting live acts around into tiny venues”. Which makes it sound like they’ve managed to get White Denim to play a phone box, and that isn’t really the case. I’m not sure the venues involved would agree with the “tiny” description – Newcastle’s Cluny 2 has raked seating, a balcony and 160 capacity. Nor is it unusual for the bands involved to play mid-size venues: Eagulls are playing the Cluny on their own headline tour, for instance.
Such pedantry aside, Dr. Martens have come up with an exciting, directional lineup, heavy on bands that feature the words “post”, “punk”, or indeed “post-punk” in their bios. Wales’ Funeral for a Friend have been plying post-punk pop with a distinctly American twist for over a decade now, and the public’s appetite shows no sign of waning. Leeds’ Eagulls are a touch more ramshackle, more punk and less metal, but nonetheless play in the same league.
A pattern emerges when we come to We are the Ocean – distorted, upbeat guitar riffs, insistent, double-tracked vocals and clean-as-a-whistle production. Only their mothers could tell them apart from Funeral. Things take a left-field turn in Los Campesinos! (pictured at top); instead of distorted guitars, there’s violins, any manner of improvised percussion and vocals that are more sung than screamed.
And then there’s the matter of Sydney’s Tonight Alive. Fresh from gracing the soundtrack of the latest Spiderman film, Jenna McDougall brings her impressively toned abdomen and similarly toned vocal cords to the humble environs of Newcastle’s Cluny 2. A combination of laid-back Australian surf style and distinctly Transatlantic musical chops, there’s no doubt that Tonight Alive will bring a dose of glamour to Tyneside – and to be fair to the promoters, considering the auditoria Tonight Alive are used to playing, the Cluny may indeed appear tiny in comparison.
When you boil it down, #standforsomething is nothing more than a short series of unrelated gigs across the country with a rather large marketing budget attached. The bands are already touring the UK: Tonight Alive, for instance, hit London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow, completely independently, before their Martens-sponsored Newcastle date. Similarly, this gig closes We are the Ocean’s and Funeral for a Friend’s tours, whereas it falls directly in the middle of Eagulls’. Nonetheless, a good bit of promotion for some decent bands never goes amiss, so whichever way you slice it, if you’re into DMs, good music, or perhaps even both, there’s no better way to spend a night with your fellow leather enthusiasts. And you might bounce home with a bit of free swag. Catch the tour on the dates listed below and register on the Dr. Martens Web site here to register for tickets.
Saturday 4th October 2014 – Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire starring Funeral for a Friend
Saturday 11th October 2014 – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach starring Eagulls
Saturday 25th October 2014 – Liverpool Shipping Forecast starring We are the Ocean
Saturday 8th November 2014 – London Lexington – TBA
Saturday 22nd November 2014 – Birmingham Flapper starring Los Campesinos!
Saturday 6th December 2014 – Newcastle Cluny 2 starring Tonight Alive
Scottish duo Honeyblood have announced a list of UK tour dates to accompany the release of their self-titled debut album, out now on FatCat Records. The pair bring their special brand of sugar-coated garage pop back to this side of the pond in September, between summer tour dates in America and European dates in October.
Thursday 11th September 2014 – Stirling Tolbooth
Friday 12th September 2014 – Dunfermline PJ Molloys
Saturday 13th September 2014 – Glasgow CCA
Tuesday 16th September 2014 – Newcastle Cluny
Wednesday 17th September 2014 – Sheffield Old Fire Station
Thursday 18th September 2014 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Friday 19th September 2014 – Manchester Soup Kitchen
Monday 22nd September 2014 – Bristol Louisiana
Tuesday 23rd September 2014 – London Sebright Arms
Wednesday 24th September 2014 – Cambridge Portland Arms
Thursday 25th September 2014 – Leicester Scholar Bar
Friday 26th September 2014 – Birmingham Hare and Hounds
Saturday 27th September 2014 – Brighton Hope
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 14th July 2014 at 9:00 am
Sometimes living in Scotland pays off big time. This is true of an upcoming Highlands tour next month coheadlined by singer/songwriters Paul Thomas Saunders and Sivu (pictured at top), which will begin Inverness on the 13th of August. Tickets are on sale now.
Watch Saunders’ promo video for ‘Appointment in Samarra’ after the tour dates; it appears on his debut album ‘Beautiful Desolation’ released earlier this year on Atlantic Records. To watch the video for Sivu’s next single ‘Miracle (Human Error)’ and read my review of it, go here; he’ll be touring the UK himself in October.
Wednesday 13th August 2014 – Inverness Ironworks
Thursday 14th August 2014 – Ullapool Ceilidh Place
Friday 15th August 2014 – Stornoway Isle Of Lewis Woodlands Centre
Saturday 16th August 2014 – Aviemore Old Bridge Inn
Marika Hackman has just announced her largest ever headline tour of the UK for November of this year. Tickets for the following shows are on sale today at 9 AM. Below the tour date listing, check out the recently recorded session video for ‘Wolf’ filmed at Toe Rag Studios.
Check out our previous coverage on Marika here.
Monday 3rd November 2014 – Edinburgh Electric Circus
Tuesday 4th November 2014 – Carlisle Brickyard
Wednesday 5th November 2014 – Sheffield Harley
Thursday 6th November 2014 – Liverpool East Village Art Club
Saturday 8th November 2014 – Manchester Gullivers
Sunday 9th November 2014 – Leeds Wardrobe
Monday 10th November 2014- Leicester Musician
Tuesday 11th November 2014 – York Duchess
Thursday 13th November 2014 – Birmingham Sunflower Lounge
Friday 14th November 2014 – Nottingham Bodega
Sunday 16th November 2014 – Bristol Birdcage
Monday 17th November 2014 – Norwich Epic Studios
Tuesday 18th November 2014 – London XOYO
Wednesday 19th November 2014 – Cambridge Portland Arms
Thursday 20th November 2014 – Brighton Green Door Store
Scottish singer-songwriter Paolo Nutini is set to follow up his summer festival appearances (including this performance on The Other Stage at Glastonbury) with an autumn arena tour of the UK, which will feature two dates at Glasgow’s Hydro Arena. Tickets for the following shows are on sale now. Below the tour date listing, check out the video for Nutini’s latest single ‘Let Me Down Easy’.
Friday 24th October 2014 – Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
Saturday 25th October 2014 – Sheffield Motorpoint Arena
Monday 27th October 2014 – Glasgow Hydro Arena
Tuesday 28th October 2014 – Glasgow Hydro Arena
Thursday 30th October 2014 – London O2
Wednesday 5th November 2014 – Birmingham LG Arena
Thursday 6th November 2014 – Manchester Phones 4U Arena
South London alt rock trio Happyness have announced an autumn tour in support of their debut album ‘Weird Little Birthday’. They favorably impressed our Martin at Live at Leeds earlier this year (read his thoughts here) and are scheduled for several summer festival appearances before the following headline shows. Stream their latest single ‘Anything I Do is All Right’ below the tour date listing.
Wednesday 8th October 2014 – Sheffield Rocking Chair
Friday 10th October 2014 – Huddersfield Parish
Saturday 11th October 2014 – Middlesbrough Twisterella Festival
Sunday 12th October 2014 – York Fulford Arms
Tuesday 14th October 2014 – London Electrowerkz
Wednesday 15th October 2014 – Birmingham Hare & Hounds
Thursday 16th October 2014 – Bristol Old Bookshop
Friday 17th October 2014 – Leicester Cookie