I’ve been aware of Northern Embezzler for some time but somehow missed them. Tonight has proven this to be my loss. The venue, Hoof & Rooster, on arrival seems to be a little unlikely for a rock show, a restaurant / barbeque joint, tables full of people gnawing down on various animal parts washed down with beer.

Northern Embezzler - Clitheroe

The band are setting up so I sit down with my family- Clitheroe Festival shows are all family friendly which is a massive bonus! Beer & nachos, that’s a new experience for me at a show. Not the beer, the nachos!  The band take to the stage, four 40 – something geezers that look like they know what they’re doing.  Well that impression isn’t deceiving, they immediately launch into a set of strong punchy mixture of punk, new wave & dub influenced  tunes.  There’s some solid points of reference for this kind of stuff, Clash the Ruts, Joe Jackson, Graham Parker to name a few  but saying that the band never actually sound like those bands, they have a solid vibe all of their own.

The audience are  on side within the first couple of tunes & stay there  for an 11 song set. Well that’s an albums worth right there. Arguably for a first hearing  the set was quite long but they still left me wanting to hear more which is testament to the quality of the tunes & how good the band are.

Cool band, great songs, rock solid performance, where can I buy the album?

Check the tunes here – Reverb Nation

Catch the band live at

Artisan Rawtenstall Lancashire – May 5 – Free Entry

Strummercamp Festival – May 27 – Manchester Rugby Club


Northern Embezzler set List

Future Has been Cover 2

In the midst of the Manchester Oasis and dance craze Manchester produced a 3 piece band that really didn’t fit into the city’s formula.  Mixing up classic punk rock with some good old rock ‘n’ roll. This adrenaline fueled combo were  more than happy to sit outside the city stereotype &  take the hard road.

The band played the Mancunian circuit, Boardwalk, Star & Garter, PJ Bells & Hacienda. As a result of their incendiary live shows the band were spotted by a local management team who put them in the studio. The recording sessions took place between Christmas & New Year 1996 / 97 under the guidance of producer / engineer John Pennington. The songs the band recorded were going to be their first release, the EP ‘The Future Has Been’.  This release has never seen the light of day until now because the band were very quickly signed by Muff Winwood to Sony S2.  This was an ill-fated venture as Sony had ideas about re-inventing the band & turning them into a latter day Stooges with a brand new frontman. The band declined & left the label.

The following years are stuff of punk rock legend, cramped vans, weeks on the road, trying to reach every small venue in the country & across into mainland Europe. They were the support band of choice for the likes of the Damned, Therapy? The Wildhearts, Dwarves, New Bomb Turks, Turbonegro, Misfits & Dee Dee Ramone to name a few. They graced the pages of all the rock monthlies, John Peel got behind them & they did deals with several labels. RCA / Victor ( Japan) Junk records (USA), Radioblast (Germany), State of Decay / Subversive (UK) & signed a publishing deal with George Martin Music.


The band released 3 albums in the period 1996 – 2006 ‘The Future of Rock ‘n’ Roll is in Your Hand’, ‘Sacred Heart’ with legendary grunge producer Jack Endino (Nirvana, Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Supersuckers).  ‘One More Sinner’ with producer / engineer Pete ‘PeeWee’ Coleman. (James, AC/DC, Wildhearts, Paradise Lost, Christians). They also did various EP’s working with ‘Roger Tebbutt (Silver Ginger 5, Demented are Go, Jason Ringenberg). The band received great critical reviews for both their recorded & live work.

During the bands career they worked with three different drummers. First drummer was Ged Roache, they then worked with Memby Jago (Ghost of a Thousand / Macabees / Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes) & finally long serving drummer Phil Nelson who still holds the drum stool today.

Just over 20 years on from the original recording sessions the band feel the time is right to release their debut EP ‘The Future Has Been’ to the World. This will be available on Stereokill Recordings through most digital outlets from April 24 2017. This is the first release of the majority of the bands back catalogue.

The EP features 5 tracks of stripped down, take no prisoners rock ‘n’ roll. Unashamedly drawing on 1950’s rock ‘n’ roll but with a sharp injection of adrenaline. Taught rapid-fire drumming, buzz saw guitars, pounding bass & spitfire vocals … punk as f@&~. The band probably missed a trick not releasing this back in 1997 but 1997’s loss is 2017’s gain.  Hit replay & let’s go kick in some bus shelters!

The EP is released by Stereokill Recordings on Monday May 24 2017.

The band are back in rehearsal with some live dates expected later this year.



Buy on i.tunes

Buy on Amazon




Strummercamp Poster 2017

2016 was lacking something & that something was Strummercamp. I’m happy to report that after a year off Los Amigos  are back with Strummercamp X1, another 3 days of Joe Strummer / Clash influenced music.

This is a not for profit festival, no corporate entities milking you hard earned cash, nobody on the make.  When you’re there you feel like you’re part of some best kept secret & amongst friends.

It’s on a fabulous site at Manchester Rugby Club Cheadle, decent priced beer, decent priced food, free camping if you want it within the secure boundaries of the ground so great for families too.

Check the poster for the line-up & any updates on the festival website.


Tickets online from www.strummercampfestival.com

Or in person from Rockers on Oldham Street Manchester

Cool small venue based festival in Clitheroe Lancashire. Most shows are free with the exception of the veteran punk & dub Ruts DC show at the Grand Venue on the 22nd.

The festival is mostly punk / new wave with some tributes but if previous years are anything to go off well worth a trip out.

The festival will see the second live outing from Dermo’s (Northside) new  punk band ‘Time For Action’. Going off what I’ve heard of their recorded output, they’ll be well worth checking out.

Into The Valley 2017

Into The Valley Grand 2017

Facebook Page


A new album from Dreadzone is always something to look forward to. This is a band that gets better with each album. Which is great for a band that looks like they’re at their peak with every live show. Since their ‘Eye on the Horizon’ album the songwriting of the band has been ever more focused &, well for this listener anyhow, more connected to life & the world around us. Songs that mean something in a world where many songs are about nothing other than girls, money & cars. This feels like a blast of fresh air.

The band are true to their unique brand of dub roots, the opening song ‘Rootsman’ makes that very plain & is a fabulous opener, a statement of intent. The album is filled with outrageous strong basslines, I really do have bass envy on this! The album is uplifting & infinitely danceable. One of the albums many  highlights for me is ‘Mountain’.  Killer bassline, melodic vocals from Earl 16 contrasted by some darker chatting vibes. The interplay is spot on. Talking of basslines ‘Battle’, what a tune!  Dreadzone pull off that very neat trick of combining infectious grooves with strong memorable melodies. They  haven’t abandoned their English folk vibes or trademark breakdowns that their fans love so much.

Dread Times

The upbeat ska driven ‘Area Code’ features 90’s reggae duo Louchie Lou & Michie One’ who had hits with ‘Shout’ & ‘If I Was a Rich Man’ amongst other. Another infectious tune which has this listener hitting the repeat button. ‘Keep it Blazing’ brings back the bands earlier dance flavour mixing it up with some Spanish influenced guitar & it’s so smooooth.  Another ‘sweet’ (in the colloquial Mancunian sense) tune. ‘Never Going Back’ features another well placed guest vocalist, ambient / electronica artist Lena Cullen. Lyrics ‘Why do we hold onto the past? I’m never going back, no I’m never going back’. Sound advice & from a band that keeps moving forwards.

So we have another fabulous album from Dreadzone, ever evolving & refining their sound & always instantly recognisable. Hot on my playlist for the last few weeks since it arrived in the post & will continue to be for the foreseeable future.  They’re one of those bands that are now firmly part of the foundations of British music. A band that, for my money, should be in an arena, I mean have you seen how they light up a festival? However, the selfish part of me likes the fact I can see them in a venue where I can actually really share the vibe with them & feel like part of the family when I’m stood in the crowd. If you’ve never seen this band live, do it at the next time they’re anywhere near, always an unforgettable show.


Dreadzone Store

Dreadzone Facebook

Live Dates


If Leonard Cohen & the Velvet Underground had spent a few weeks in 1970’s Manchester I’m pretty certain this is the recording they would’ve made. Dark, doomladen vibe which rather than drags me down actually picks me up & puts a smile on my face. No mean feat, trust me.

The sound is dark & lo-fi, I guess we can also take a nod at Waits & Nick Cave if we really have to make comparisons but I don’t want to sell this short.  It’s got a personality & identity all of it’s own.

The Hurt introduced themselves with a great tune last year in the shape of ‘Berlin’. A solid track in itself but I’d say they’ve hit the motherlode with ‘Sleeping’. The vocals are courtesy of ex Paris Angels frontman Rikki Turner who is also co-writer of this song alongside Stephen Evans of Manchester buzz band of the moment Cabbage.

Dark, brooding & infectious.

Available on Blindside Records May 12 2017 though i.tunes & all relevant digital outlets

The Hurt Sleeping

The Hurt Facebook



The good news is that Strummercamp is back after a year off in 2016. Now there was a year missing that special something.  As a festival regular myself I can’t recommend this event enough.  Friendly, family friendly, secure, small & perfectly formed.

Based at it’s regular at the Cheadle site of the Manchester Rugby Club. Fair priced food, fair priced beer, art stalls & great music. The theme, if there is one, it music influenced by the music of Joe Strummer & the Clash. The emphasis is on some of the punk & new wave acts of the 70’s period but Strummer influenced so many more which means the festival goer gets a great variety of music.

Strummercamp Poster 2017

Tickets from


And in person from Rockers on Oldham Street Manchester.