PUBLIC EMBARRASSMENT

My wife, Meegan, will tell you one of my best qualities is my innate ability to make a twat of myself. I don’t consider myself the smartest guy in the room, but I wouldn’t say I’m stupid either; there’s just something built into me that makes my public displays of embarrassment a fairly regular occurrence.

Monochrome Photo of People Sitting Inside Theater

The moment that prompted me to write about this was recently listening to ‘Turn It Off‘ from The Book Of Mormon musical. A few years ago Meegan and I travelled into London to catch the live show and after having the soundtrack on repeat for weeks, I knew every filthy word.

Being sat fairly close to the stage, I was blissfully unaware of the thousand-or-so other patrons in the theatre and set about belting every note as fabulously and loudly as I could.

After nearly three hours of word-for-word nailing every note, we were into the last song, ‘Tomorrow Is A Latter Day’, and I was ready for the glorious finale.

What I didn’t expect was for the live show to differ ever so slightly from the recording I had been rehearsing with. Critically, there’s a second-long pause just before the final note. The cast and audience apparently all knew this, but nobody told me.

Right on cue (or off cue, on this occasion), I triumphantly belted out the final note to a completely silent auditorium. Meegan shrank into her seat. There were gasps. The lead actor looked directly at me and pissed himself laughing. 

I’d like to say I won’t make that mistake again but I really can’t promise myself.

Monochrome Photo of Woman Singing

Then there was the time we were on a couples’ holiday in Barcelona with my friends from school and their partners. That trip warrants an entire post by itself.

Like how most good stories start, it was late, and I had been drinking. A dozen of us were sat by the poolside and a few were starting to lose their enthusiasm for alcohol.

A particularly worse-for-wear friend passed me their drink and asked me to pour it into the drain, but in my drunken wisdom I chose instead to belligerently chuck it over my shoulder onto the tiled floor.

white paper cup spilled on road

The rest of the story is not my recollection, but pieced together from everyone else’s account of the evening, which my friends have taken great joy in reciting every time I’ve seen them since.

Ten minutes after throwing the drink, I was returning from the toilet when I spotted the chance to scare one of the hotel staff, who was stood chatting with the group.

I ran at full speed towards her, timed my jump perfectly, slipped in the pool of beer I had created, and blacked out. Much to the amusement of my friends, my blacking out was unusual because I hadn’t hit my head at all, just my leg.

Now I’m forever known as the only person to ever get a concussion of the knee.

Peter Griffin from Family Guy holding his knee and wincing

In typical dramatic fashion I retired to my room that evening and closed the night by solemnly saying to Meegan before I went to sleep, ‘If anything happens to me tonight, I want you to know that I love you’.

As far as I know, no one has ever died of a sore knee, so you could say this was an overreaction.

In December 2016, we were on our honeymoon, a four stop trip around Europe that started in Florence. My love for visiting less-travelled countries then took us on a lengthy train ride and equally long taxi trip to the tiny country entirely surrounded by Italy. No, not The Vatican City, the other one.

san marino castle

San Marino is basically a town on a mountain with a castle on the top, right in the middle of Northern Italy. On the cab ride we had a hard time visualising how high we were because the fog all the way up the mountain was thick and the lighting was poor.

All we knew is we’d been driving up a steep hill for what seemed like forever and the air felt increasingly thinner.

We eventually pulled into the centre of town, right in front of our hotel. The narrow streets, lined with old stone buildings, were empty and the heavy fog limited our view to no more than the length of a Tube carriage.

The dim orange from the streetlamps gave the place a beautiful warm glow. It was like something from a fairytale. 

With a heavy, bulky suitcase grasped firmly in each hand, I opened the door to the hotel, stepping inside to the top of half a dozen beautiful marble steps. The smiling receptionist greeted us from behind her counter and invited us to come and check in. Tired from the journey, I took a relieved breath and obliged.

All relief was quickly extinguished as I slipped straight down the steps onto my arse, hitting each stone tread with greater force than the last. Our suitcases, however, had remained rooted to the top of the staircase. I’d been gripping the handles so tightly I hadn’t had a chance to let go, leaving both arms bent up behind my back, locked in place and leaving me staged like an art installation. 

contortionist

I don’t think I’ve ever heard Meegan laugh for as long. She was still fondly recalling the highlight of the honeymoon when we left for Venice two days later. Our Sammarinese receptionist however, was neither amused, nor immediately concerned. My joke that I’d now have to give a bad TripAdvisor review wasn’t met with the laugh or room upgrade I’d aimed for. 

Despite falling harder than that TV reporter squashing grapes, I was okay. Nobody ever died of a concussion of the arse.

Images by Luis Quintero, Marc Kleen, Lorenzo Castagnone,

HORROR MOVIES

Without question, horror is my favourite genre of film. Regular readers (hi Dad) will know that I tend to get deeply invested into new hobbies for around six weeks, but watching horror movies is one of those things that’s been a part of me for a long time now. It’s not been consigned to the scrap heap just yet.

I think I was probably first hooked to horror by The Blair Witch Project when I was about twelve years old. There had been a rumour around my school that the movie was a real documentary and that the actors had been missing since it’s release, so when I watched it for the first time and saw the events surrounding their disappearance, I absolutely pooed my pants.

Basement scene from The Blair Witch Project 1999
The Blair Witch Project – The scene often replayed in my teenaged nightmares

I quickly became fascinated by the feeling of being terrified. I guess it was cathartic to be scared of something that couldn’t actually hurt you. What ‘terrifying’ means to me has changed over the years, but initially, it was spooky ghosts and jump scares. Worth mentioning at this point there will be spoilers throughout this post.

One of my favourite scary films as a young teenager was House On Haunted Hill, a movie about strangers competing for $1m each if they could spend one night in a haunted lunatic asylum. I probably watched it about a dozen times and the ending always shat me up; there was something petrifying about the way the evil spirit of the house consumed everything in its path. I would later learn this evil spirit was called ‘The Darkness’, a fact which caused the movie to somewhat lose it’s scariness around 2003.

House On Haunted Hill villain, The Darkness
The Darkness – I Believe In A Thing Called 90’s CGI

Another banger from this era is Cube. It might not be a traditional horror movie and the acting is pretty atrocious, but the premise is brilliant. For those of you who haven’t seen it; a handful of strangers wake up in a cube-shaped room. They eventually learn they’re imprisoned in a giant trap, consisting of thousands of individual rooms which move around one another in a seemingly random order, making escape nearly impossible. Some rooms are booby trapped. People die in a gruesome ways.

It’s one of those movies that get their horror from asking you ‘what would you do in this situation?’. I watched Cube again recently and found it pretty entertaining, but the CGI has aged awfully. Still, worth a watch if you’ve got 90 minutes free.

Throughout my teens I worked my way through the classics; the likes of Halloween, A Nightmare On Elm Street, The Exorcist, Poltergeist, and Evil Dead. I’ve got great respect for these movies but they’re not really my cup of tea.

Whilst definitely entertaining, ground-breaking, and no doubt inspiring many of the films I love, they each possess a certain campness that I’m not a huge fan of. With the exception of The Thing, I think I’m just not a fan of overt-the-top practical effects in horror movies, even though artists have done some incredible things for the genre.

Freddie Kruger from Nightmare On Elm Street
Freddie – Edward Scissorhands’ less-friendly brother

Good horror to me now, is; great acting, situational dread, good characters, subtlety, and depth. It’s also not relying on cheap jump scares. A director that does this better than anyone at the moment is Ari Aster.

His most recent film, Midsommar, is two and half hours of slowly-accumulating terror and it’s absolutely magnificent. Arguably, it’s not a horror film, it’s a break up movie. But the way Aster tells the story and juxtaposes beautifully lit, gorgeously coloured shots with a nearly overwhelming soundtrack (in particular the strings at the end of the prologue and the eerie vocal harmonies of the Hårga choir) and a crippling sense of isolation makes it an incredible watch. Also, Florence Pugh’s performance is Oscar-worthy.

Will Poulter in Midsommar
Face/Off (2019)

When I saw Aster’s first movie, Hereditary, I was blown away too. There are so many scenes that give me goosebumps it’s hard to recount them all, but a couple that particularly stick with me are the reflection scene in the school and the finale. It’s been called divisive because people don’t like the ending, but I totally bought into it and loved it. If you haven’t seen it, watch it.

Unlike Midsommar, it’s definitely a horror movie, but just like Midsommar, it’s got so much depth to it that I spent hours over the following few days reading through the fan theories, hidden details, and subtleties that I missed, and then went back and watched it again. Hereditary is deserving of a place in my top three of all time, as is Midsommar. 

Hereditary flaming man scene
Hereditary – just one of the scenes that give me chills

Number one though, is of course, The Shining. Ari Aster has made two incredibly good movies, but I’m not sure anyone will ever touch Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece. I don’t think I can say anything that hasn’t already been said about this film, so if you’re interested in learning about just how deep this film goes, I’d recommend setting aside a few hours and getting stuck into YouTube.

If you haven’t seen The Shining and you like good movies, just give it a go, even if you don’t normally like horror. This isn’t a film that’s full of jump scares, nor is it not overly gory, it’s just an enthralling piece of cinema that has so much to offer and one that, I promise, will leave an impact on you for days and days afterward.

The Shining man in bear costume scene
The Man In The Bear Costume (The Shining, not Midsommar)

Like a lot of other things, I obsess over horror films. Spending hours researching films after I’ve seen them probably puts me squarely in the bracket of Film Nerd but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m looking forward to seeing Robert Eggers’ ‘The Lighthouse’ next (when it gets a UK release), he’s another modern horror director that’s up there with Ari Aster, in my opinion. 

For anyone that’s interested, here’s a list of other films I’d recommend if you want good horror.

  • The Babadook
  • Cabin In The Woods
  • Carrie (1976)
  • The Descent
  • Event Horizon
  • It (2018)
  • It Follows
  • Lake Mungo
  • Misery
  • Paranormal Activity
  • Saw
  • Train To Busan
  • The Witch (2015)
  • Wolf Creek

SONGS THAT TAKE ME BACK

If you’ve read any of my blogs before, you might have noticed that music is my thing. I’ll probably never be invited onto Desert Island Discs, but if I were to answer the final question and request my one luxury item, it’d be a phone with Spotify Premium and a pair of Bose QC35 headphones. Yes, that’s more than one luxury item. Sue me, Lauren Laverne.

One of the many things I love about music is it’s ability to take you back to a certain moment, or time in your life. We can pin most songs to a year, or when we were a specific age, but some songs remind us of an exact moment. These are two of the songs that do that for me.

(sic) – Slipknot

I remember the first time I saw Slipknot on Kerrang! TV, it changed things for me. It was 1999 and seeing their Wait And Bleed video made me feel a combination of breathlessly excited and utterly terrified. Nine masked men in boiler suits playing heavier music than I’d ever heard before? Yes please.

Metal band, Slipknot, in 1999

There was just one problem. In a rare moment of agreement, my parents had forbidden me from listening to Slipknot. Despite living completely separate lives, they had both read in the news that Slipknot were evil and that little 12 year old Matt would likely turn to murder, or drugs and murder if he bought their album. Gutted.

Fast forward about a year and I was visiting my best friend, TJ, who had moved away a few months previously. I was dropped off at their house to have a week away and we had spent the first couple of days skating outside his house and listening to Marilyn Manson.

A few days later we found a creepy, abandoned school and built a mini skatepark in one of the classrooms that nature had started to claim back. Have you seen the photos of Chernobyl now? It was kind of like that, but with less radiation. If you consider ‘likelihood of being infected with Tetanus’ as a yardstick for measuring how cool somewhere was, this place was the shit.

Hallway of an abandoned derelict building

TJ and I had finished up skating for the day and were tearing through his new Lincolnshire hometown on our BMXs when we paused to down our energy drinks. Stopping for air, I asked if I could borrow his Minidisc Player. He obliged and chucked it over to me.

I had recently become a teenager, was clad head-to-toe in skater gear, had just trespassed in a dilapidated old building, and was unknowingly about to hear Slipknot’s debut album for the first time. To say this moment was formative might be an understatement. I pressed play and we tore off on our bikes again.

I had no idea what was going on when ‘742617000027‘ started playing, but I sensed that shit was about to kick off. And boy was I right. At the precise moment ‘(sic)‘ came on, I was changed forever. I felt like an absolute badass. Especially when I realised who I was listening to. Even though it was 100% accidental, I felt like the biggest rebel that ever lived.

Topless tattooed man wearing skull rings and holding fists up
Me at 12 years old.

Hot Dog – Limp Bizkit

Let me start by saying this is not a ‘favourite songs’ list. Limp Bizkit have written some absolute bangers (‘Nookie‘, ‘Rearranged‘, ‘Boiler‘, to name a few) but ‘Hot Dog’ is not one of them. It does hold a happy memory for me though.

My parents split up when I was very young and my dad moved abroad. For a while, my eldest brother Charlie and I rarely got to see him. This is a happy story, stay with me.

When Dad moved back to the UK we started to spend time with him a bit more. On one of our days out, Dad had taken Charlie and I to HMV and had bought me ‘Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Flavored Water’. Like most super cool kids, I had ‘Rollin’‘ on CD single, loved ‘Take A Look Around‘, and ‘My Way‘ had been the theme music to the best Wrestlemania of all time. It was a smart buy and I couldn’t believe it when Dad said we could play the album in the car on the way back.

Album artwork for Limp Bizkit's 'Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Chocolate Flavored Water'

So here’s the scene. A beat-up, old, blue VW Polo. Thirteen year old me, ten year old brother, and Dad, doing his best to entertain us for the day and not give our mum any reason to complain about his parenting skills. Rather than skip to the hits, Dad insists the proper way to listen to any album is all the way through, from the start. Solid advice. We turn the volume up and hit play.

Intro‘ comes and goes. So far, so good. Next up is another song I’ve not heard before. ‘Hot Dog‘. If you’re not bothered about checking this song out, here’s a snippet of the lyrics from verse one.

‘Fucked up dreams
Fucked up life
A fucked up kid
With a fucked up knife’

The word ‘fuck’ appears 48 times in this song. I wanted the world to swallow me up.

Dad made it through an impressive 29 ‘fuck’s before Fred Durst broke into ‘You want to fuck me like an animal’ and his composure broke. The skip button evaded him for a few more excruciating seconds before he located it and I was able to narrowly avoid being the first ever person to cringe themselves to death.

To be fair, Dad handled the whole situation well. I’m guessing he was just hoping we could keep this innocence-ruining incident between the three of us. He was also probably bitterly disappointed at how his own flesh and blood could be into such shit music.

Every time I hear either of these songs, I’m taken right back to these moments. There are so many other songs that have some kind of special memory for me so I might end up writing another one of these blogs in time. In the meantime, what are some of your songs that take you back?

Images by Francesco Paggiario & Clem Onojeghuo

SIX-WEEK OBSESSIONS

I have a tendency to get carried away with things. I’m not the kind of person that goes out and buys all the kit for the hobby they’ve just taken up, but I do get very excited about new things and it can practically consume me. For about six weeks.

Sometimes things will stick, but more often than not, they’ll be the source of all my excitement, anticipation, hopes, and dreams, for forty-or-so days. These short-lived hobbies are pretty wide-ranging and they don’t follow a particular pattern.

Man reading a manga comic

Meditation, Mineralogy, Manga, Movie Music, there really is no rule of thumb. Sometimes a friend will introduce me to something new. Other times I stumble across one little thing that interests me and I end up getting sucked into another black hole. It’s kind of like falling in love over and over again.

While this doesn’t do much for my hopes of becoming a World Champion in many things, it has given me a basic understanding of a lot of subjects. It’s good social currency, like checking the football scores even if you’re not into football. I’ve found that having a little bit of knowledge on a lot of things helps me find common ground and make personal connections a bit easier. I’ve also learned a lot about myself along the way.

Getting really excited about things is something I’ve done for as long as I can remember. I was having dinner with some friends recently and they revealed they always take my recommendations with a pinch of salt because I find literally everything amazing.

Person climbing up indoor climbing wall

Bouldering is something that I really got into back in 2014 when I was living in the Midlands. Meegan and I were working at different ends of the country for a few months and to cure the boredom I decided to buy a pair of climbing shoes (second hand, of course) and head to the local climbing wall.

I was instantly hooked (not to the wall, you don’t use harnesses). I’m slim and tall so was given a natural +5 in Bouldering from the off. I went every week. I got stronger and learned to climb with better technique. I made a few friends and we talked about going climbing in the Peak District in the summer. Then I got too confident and nearly took my kneecap off on one of the climbing holds.

Long story short, that’s the last time I saw my bouldering buddies as I moved away from Leicester shortly after. I’ve only recently started bouldering again so I guess technically it wouldn’t fit the usual six week bill, but I have plenty of examples where that hasn’t happened.

Black reading glasses and pen resting on sheet music

I’m impulsive, at times reckless, and I always give in to my curiosity. You might already know music is my passion and that I studied it at university. I’m also a big fan of film music. It’s those two things that led me to invest six weeks of my uni summer holiday into getting really excited about being a film composer.

I cycled to my local library every day and sat in the audio section for hours listening to Beethoven, Rachmaninov, and Vivaldi and picking apart their music. On reflection, I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing. I knew how to analyse music but I didn’t know what I didn’t know about composing for film.

For weeks I sat alone in a cold library, carefully rewinding my massive iPod so I could figure out how the melody was moving, or what made a piece of music made me feel one way or another. Eventually, I spent enough time on my new passion that I came to a realisation. I loved film music. I deeply admired the skill of the composers. But I didn’t enjoy doing the composing myself. So that was the end of that.

Film and video game music are still things I take an interest in and I’d recommend checking out the amazing videos by 8-bit Music Theory if you’re interested in this kind of stuff.

Black and white photo of microphone in sound booth

A particularly strange one was developing a burning desire to write rap music. I’ve been into hip hop since I was about ten years old, when I bought Eminem’s ‘My Name Is’ on tape (the Radio Edit, before you break out the pitchforks).

To be fair actually, I couldn’t say I was really into hip hop until I was into my twenties and started to get into artists other than Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, and D12. Still, I thought I was cool AF with Eminem and ‘Pretty Fly For A White Guy’ blasting on my bright yellow Walkman Cassette Player.

Anyway, I had decided to write a rap and could think of no better theme to base my first masterpiece on than my favourite film series, The Lord Of The Rings. Yes, I am indeed pretty fly for a white guy. I finished the first song and then the bigger picture set in. I could make a YouTube channel out of this. I could be famous. People love hip hop, people love Frodo Baggins, why not both at the same time?

I registered the channel name, secured all my social handles, and set about writing my first hip hop beat. Then I got bored. I just couldn’t get into it. No matter how hard I tried, all I really wanted to play is rock and metal. So I sacked it off.

Black and white photo of an emergency exit sign and door

I moved home a lot as a kid, lots of people came and went from my life, and I had to do a lot of leaving everything I knew behind. I’m no psychologist but I reckon this has had something to do with my tendency to get bored quickly. It has least made things interesting.

The fact that this blog has been going longer than six weeks is a miracle. But I’m enjoying writing about the things I care for, so who knows, maybe blogging will join live music, guitar-playing, retro gaming, and horror movies as lifelong passions.

If I were to offer one piece of advice for a better quality of life, it would be to always give in to your curiosity. I was at the Royal Academy in Piccadilly last week and outside, in the courtyard, they had one of those electric bollards that sinks into the ground to let cars through. I asked the security guard if it could lift a person. He said, ‘I don’t know, why don’t we find out?’ and gave the international sign for ‘be my guest’.

I stood on the sunken bollard, the guard clicked a button, and a small crowd watched as a giggling 30 year old man was slowly and triumphantly raised four feet into the air. Always give into your curiosity.

Images by Miika Laaksone, Jonathan J. Castellon, Dayne Topkin, Neil Godding, Michael Jasmund

LIVE MUSIC

Crowd surfing, stage diving, moshing, rowing; there’s so much more to live music than the music. I’ve seen live hip hop, jazz, funk, reggae, classical, and pretty much any other top level music genre you can think of. But metal is my thing and most gigs I go to could be mistaken as a wedding between the Addams Family and the Hells Angels.

Black and white image of six Marshall speaker cabinets

My first gig was Killswitch Engage, a metal band that three friends and I drove 250 miles to see at the Wulfrun Centre in Wolverhampton. I remember ripping the sleeves off my band t-shirt before we got in the car because I thought it would look cool. I looked like Aladdin. I also removed precious material that could have shielded me from the brutal cold of a Midlands winter. I am not a smart man.

Killswitch were supported by a band called Johnny Truant, who burst onto the stage shouting the metal-approved, ‘Are you ready to fuck this place up?!’, followed by the singer spitting into the crowd. Not cool. Especially not for my mate, who caught the whole thing with his face. It wasn’t going very well.

A couple of hours later when the headliners were finally on, one of my other friends passed out from heat exhaustion and had to be crowd-surfed to the front of the hall, where he was carried off to a dingy makeshift emergency room to miss basically the whole main event. As first gigs went, it was pretty eventful.

Metal concert crowd with hands raised towards the stage

Despite the misfortune of my friends, I would learn that it was a pretty tame show. I was 16 then and now, 14 years on and over a hundred gigs later, I’ve seen some shit.

Like Babymetal, who play intense death metal and are fronted by three teenage girls in tutus; ho99o9, whose frontman performed in a white wedding dress and threw boxes of cornflakes over the crowd; or Alestorm, the pirate-loving party band that share the stage with a 7ft inflatable duck and encourage sitting down and rowing along to their slower songs. The latter are up there with my favourite live bands now; there’s something almost therapeutic about singing sea shanties with hundreds of pissed up pirates.

My top live band though, has to go to The Dillinger Escape Plan (RIP). I’ve never seen a group of people with such an emphatic disregard for their own safety before. Their fire-breathing, audience-running, set-climbing frontman Greg Puciato was just one part of a group putting Guns’n’Roses ‘world’s most dangerous band’ claim to the test. I’m hopeful they’ll regroup one day and I can be part of another one of their frankly insane concerts.

Guitarist crowdsurfing on his back

Not all shows are good. Some are terrible. I’d been desperate to see The Faceless for years and in 2018 I finally had my chance to go see a two hour headline set with my brother, Charlie. The usual pre-gig rituals were all in place. I’d listened to nothing but their music for around a week, checked out all the band interviews, read some reviews of their latest album. I was feeling pumped. To add to the excitement, the show was at Underworld in Camden, the venue of my first crowd surf and the only place I’d ever seen a mosh pit happen on stage. It’s very special to me.

Charlie and I decided to get to Camden early and do some catching up in the Devonshire Arms; if traditional British pubs could get skull tattoos and face piercings, this place would be the result. We stumbled out of the Dev a few hours later and made our way in to Underworld, heading straight to the centre of the crowd. Anticipation was high.

We then learned that The Faceless’ bassist had just quit and they’d decided to bring in a reliable performer they’d known for years; the guitarist’s MacBook Pro. I’d been to a few raves before so I knew the guy could play. No big deal. But when after just one song the lead guitarist’s amplifier broke, that was a problem. Especially since they clearly had no plan B and oh the MacBook is fucked now too. We’re watching an MTV Unplugged version of a technical death metal band.

Someone in the crowd summoned all their experience from the football terraces and started chanting ‘Bassless… Bassless…’, a song that carried on for the rest of the 40 minute set. Faceless, if you’re reading this, come back to London soon, we still love you.

Side view of music concert crowd with hands raised towards the stage

After being blown away by the tutu-wearing Babymetal and the swashbuckling Alestorm, I’m now a firm believer that before you decide you don’t like a band or artist, go see them perform.

I was at Alexandra Palace recently to see the five-piece metal group, Parkway Drive, who I have to admit, I wasn’t a fan of. The show was a sell out. 12,000 people had just finished watching the support band (Killswitch Engage, ironically) and suddenly, the whole place went pitch black for a few seconds. War-like drums started booming around the hall. If you’ve seen the first The Lord of the Rings movie, think of the start to the Mines of Moria battle (just after ‘fool of a Took’) and you’ll have a good idea of what it was like.

In the darkness, at the back of the hall you could make out what looked like a small fire. As it got closer and the cheers from the crowd started building, the fire revealed itself as four masked men carrying flaming torches. They slowly made their way through the crowd and when they were close enough I could feel the heat burning my cheeks, I could see in the middle of the flames was Parkway Drive. The whole place was going nuts.

As the band made it onto stage and started playing, it became clear to me that I was about to have my mind changed. The rest of their set was unbelievable. I now have a few tunes of theirs on my Spotify playlist.

Rock singer crowdsurfing on his back

If you’re into music and your faves are still touring, go see them if you can. You’re almost guaranteed to have an amazing time, make new friends, and see some weird and wonderful things. Plus it really helps them out, especially the lesser known groups. Streaming has pretty much killed physical album sales and touring is one of the only ways for small bands to keep making music. Get out there and support your scene!

Images by Daniele Fantin, Sebastian Ervi, Thibault Trillet, & Edwin Andrade