by Elliot Davies
The 2015 Clear Your Throat Fest takes place at The Chameleon Arts Cafe in Nottingham on Saturday March 14. It’s an all day celebration of the DIY ethos featuring some of the UK’s finest, fuzziest, and loudest. Here’s what to expect.
As I believe I’ve mentioned before, my greatest fear is the octopus. I’ve had a recurring nightmare that involves me heading to the bathroom in the middle of the night, blearily lifting the toilet seat, and finding an octopus, staring up at me. How he got there, I don’t know. But he’s not leaving.
How disquieting it was to see my worst nightmare realised on the poster for Another DIY Event’s Clear Your Throat Fest 2. Designed by Double Ferox, for me this striking poster carries a strong message: It’s time to wrench yourself from your comfort zone and take a dip in some murky waters. Have a root in the dark corners, and who knows what you might find?
All the bands playing at Clear Your Throat 2 specialise in the sort of vital, energetic party music that’s devastatingly effective at spreading optimism and positivity.
No matter how many “guitar music is dead” articles are written by the snarky press, music of this sort will always be made – simply because it’s never not been fun to make loud noises with friends.
So let’s take a look at some of the highlights, shall we? Clicking on the images will take you to each band’s Bandcamp page. Streaming joy ahoy! Turn up the volume to dispel the gloom!
WOAHKNOWS have released a number of beautifully scuzzy lo-fi recordings on Big Scary Monster Records. Last June, they released a limited run of hand-numbered tapes on Crust Pop records. After playing Clear Your Throat, the band are heading out on a short UK tour, taking in Southampton, Leicester, Cambridge, and Cheltenham.
Bristol’s Caves remind me of a noisier, happier Rainer Maria. Nestled inside the screeching feedback and the furious tempos are a series of captivating songs that are as joyous as they’re urgent. Says one of their supporters, “Takes me from CRAPPY MOOD to HAPPY DUDE within the first few moments!”
Doe list their influences as Weezer, Sleater-Kinney, Helium, Plumtree, and Pavement. Released on Specialist Subject Records, their First Four LP gathers a number of their EPs to create a revitalising blast of beautiful indie pop. Fresh from playing their first US shows, Doe are sure to enthrall large swathes of every room they play.
Nottingham’s own Bluebird are one of the darker and heavier bands on the Clear Your Throat lineup, and are recommended for fans of complex arrangements, screamed vocals, and bleeding hearts. Why has it taken this long for a band to call themselves Bluebird?
Pure Graft have been at it since 2008, having released a number of split 7″s and 10″s with such bands as Beasts, Caves, and Little League. Based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, 4/5 of Pure Graft enjoy “exceptional quality beers”, but they all enjoy playing loud and fast. There will be pogoing. And beer.
Cheltenham’s Austeros have a couple of releases on Don’t Ask Records. I’ve been listening to their Model Home EP all afternoon, which might explain why I’m now in such a good mood. Clear Your Throat 2 falls in the middle of a short UK tour for Austeros, which also takes in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Glasgow, Cheltenham, and Redditch.
London/Southampton three-piece Happy Accidents have just released their debut EP on Don’t Ask Records. Not Yet Jaded is available on a limited run of 50 translucent purple cassettes, each of which comes with a badge and a sticker. If you’re a fan of melodic pop punk, you’re sure to wear that badge with pride.
Nottingham’s Isaac release their Builder album on Don’t Ask Records on March 9. Until then, you can stream the masochistic Sweetheart to your heart’s content. Influenced by “punk bands who play pop music”, Isaac also played the inaugural Clear Your Throat, so it’s safe to say that they know what they’re doing.
So there you have a selection of the bands that are playing this year’s Clear Your Throat. If the day’s even half as nice as today, it will be a very nice day indeed. It may even feel like a very early start to summer! At the very least, it will feel as though the punishing winter has finally drawn to a close.
Clear Your Throat Fest takes place at The Chameleon Arts Cafe in Nottingham on Saturday March 14. The tickets have a face value of just £7.50, and can be bought here.