“Gardenback launched their new single Health And Wellbeing with a raucous set at Manchester’s Soup Kitchen on Saturday night. Supported by Carnation and Déjà Vega, their biggest headline show to date had them not only launch their single successfully, but also lay down a marker as one of the best live bands in town.”
“Gardenback are a garage rock band have drawn comparisons with Pixies, Sonic Youth, PiL and Parquet Courts. New single, the swirling, raging ‘Heath and Wellbeing’ drops just in time for the band’s biggest Manchester headline gig to date Saturday (Soup Kitchen) and a busy summer which sees them playing the infamous House Party stage at Kendal Calling.
For fans of: Sonic Youth, Shame, Cabbage, False Heads”
A new single due out soon and a mini-tour of the UK means Saddleworth indie prospects Gardenback are gearing up for an exciting summer.
The uber-talented band – front-man and bassist Ellis, guitarist Neil and drummer Jacob – continue to make waves on the local city scene, and they are hoping new track ‘Health and Well Being’ will further enhance their steadily growing reputation when it is released later this month.
Ellis said: “We’re really excited about it because when we started playing it at gigs towards the tail end of last year, we’ve always enjoyed playing it.
“It’s probably our most creatively ambitious song to date, so it’ll be quite fun to put it out there and see how it goes.
“It’s almost two songs stitched together, and that’s not something we’ve done before.
“When we were writing ‘Health and Well Being’ we tried out a few things on the vocals, and there’s a lot more emphasis on the dual vocals between Neil and I.
“It’s stuff we’ve played around with before, but we’ve never committed to recording it.
“Some of the guitar sounds on there are amazing too.
“It’s idiosyncratic, it’s unique, because some of the sounds Neil gets with his pedals are incredible.
“This new track is full of them.
“It almost sounds alien, but we did it first live and there’s no studio trickery involved so that makes it great.
“It’s very honest. We had a lot of fun recording it, there are some very weird sounds on it.”
The track sounds cool, and the lads are hoping the appeal soon spreads, in much the same way as ‘Bulldogs’ did earlier this year.
Even rock mag Kerrang! gave it the ‘Single of the Week’ treatment.
Ellis added: “We were a little surprised because we don’t have any metal heads among our fan base.
“I think one of their DJs must have picked up on it and liked it.
“A guy called Jack Wood started playing it for us.
“We don’t know exactly how well it went down with Kerrang’s listeners, but I suppose any coverage or publicity is good publicity!”
Armed with their new single, Gardenback have now begun their ‘Health and Well Being’ mini-tour, which began in Manchester at the Dot-to-Dot Festival.
They played Liverpool on June 1, Sheffield on June 12, London’s Aces and Eights on June 16, they headline Manchester’s Soup Kitchen on June 30, play Leeds on July 12 and round off at the prestigious Kendal Calling Festival (on the House Party stage), which takes place between July 26-28.
Neil said: “We organised it all with our management – Elephant Management – and they’ve been fantastic with us.
“They really helped us out sorting the dates and stuff.
“We’ve dotted in a few gigs so far this year, but we wanted to create a little run this time.
“Every time we’ve done gigs a bit further afield they’ve helped us pick up new fans, and it’s just nice to meet lots of new people.
“We love playing live too, of course, that’s the main thing more than anything.
“When you get out there you learn things about performances of other bands as well.
“Everyone’s always been really friendly when we play out of town, and it’s all about continuing to learn from each other as well.
“I think generally we’ve been getting more comfortable with our audiences, and just letting our personalities show.
“All three of us are miked up and that helps show our close relationship too.
“We kind of play for each other, and that helps us get into it more, which is always fun.
“It’ll be a bit of a trial by fire for some of the new songs, but we’re all so excited.”
The London show last weekend proved a roaring success.
A good-sized crowd greeted the Oldham lads, while they nailed numerous admiring glances on the way to and from the capital as they travelled in an old Oldham Chronicle delivery van (see picture above).
“It was crucial to play there,” added Neil.
“We have got a lot of friends in London and we had been wanting to play there for quite a while.
“It was great to take a little bit of Oldham to the capital I guess.”
“Gardenback shrug off a stage invasion and the presence of a hen party with an inflatable dummy, cock and all with a Jeremy Corbyn mask on its face, to deliver our favourite set of the day. Punchy, agitated and powerful, the likes of last year’s single Bulldogs, the one-two blow to the head of Motorway, and, best of all, their set-closer and next single Health And Well-Being, demonstrate their two-vocal approach which works brilliantly when they’re either fighting each other for supremacy or they use the call and response technique to hammer home their message. As the hen party form the worst mosh pit circle ever, Gardenback make their case for being much higher up the bill.”
Ahead of their appearance at this weekend’s When In Manchester, we caught up with one of the more local bands on the bill, Gardenback. They’ve built a strong reputation with some great live performances as well as a couple of singles over the last year or so. We had a chat about their past, their favourite gigs and their plans for the future.
We’re Ellis, Neil and Jacob James. We’re been playing together since our teens in various bands, but since 2016 we’re back together in Manchester and been releasing music as Gardenback.
The name is an interesting one, how did you land on that?
Ellis was reading a book about David Lynch and came across the word ‘Gardenback’, it was an unfinished project of his. We liked the word and struggled having an original thought.
What have been your highlights of being a band so far?
Our favourite gigs have probably been our Christmas ones, our last one we sold out Sacred Trinity Church and the time before we crammed The Castle Hotel. Last year we were lucky enough to play Cotton Clouds festival, it was amazing playing just down the road from home to such a huge audience, but really we love small sweaty intimate gigs and have had memorable nights at Manchester’s smallest and finest venues.
It’s been a few months now since your last single Bulldogs. Do you have songs recorded and ready to go and when can we expect to hear them?
We’ve got a few songs recorded from earlier this year and are in the studio again imminently. You can expect within the next few months to hear something new.
You cover Talking Heads’ Psycho Killer in your live set. What made you choose that song, it’s pretty much a sacred cow in the eyes of many people?
For us, we were having fun with it during rehearsals and we’re big Talking Heads fans. We like to throw in a cover as long as we enjoy playing it.
You’re playing the When In Manchester festival at the weekend. Are you looking forward to be playing one of the most innovative and exciting small city festivals?
Yeah, we’re really excited to be playing alongside so many great emerging bands. It’s an amazing new festival and the team behind it have been brilliant. So we can’t wait for a day out across Manchester’s venues.
At the other end of the scale, you’ve also been announced on the Kendal Calling bill. How does it feel to be among such illustrious company on the bill?
We’re excited to see the big name acts, but they’ve done a great job with the smaller bands as well. We recently played with Deja Vega and Scarlet, they were both great live and we’re excited to meet up again. Also bands like Pins, The Blinders and The Orielles, they’ve blown us away with their releases, we’re really excited to see them play a festival set. We’re also really excited to be playing the House Party stage, it’s got a great history at the festival and again the line-up for it is superb.
What else do you have planned for 2018?
We’re really focused on our live shows, new releases and writing more. We’re currently planning our first tour with Elephant Management for later in the year and hope to have a few more major announcements soon. We’re incredibly excited for our Manchester dates this year as we’re playing some of our favourite venues we haven’t done before, but also can’t wait to go further afield.
If you had to sell your band to someone who had never heard or seen you before, how would you set about it?
Music to soundtrack your disappointment.
A SADDLEWORTH band is celebrating after receiving recognition from one of the UK’s top festivals.
Gardenback, who played on the main stage at last year’s inaugural Cotton Clouds Festival in Greenfield, have been invited to appear at this summer’s four-day Kendal Calling event.
The exciting three-piece, who rehearse at Sub Pressure studios in Diggle, will be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Catfish and the Bottlemen, the Libertines and Ocean Colour Scene.
“It’s a great festival and we are thrilled to be part of the line-up,” says guitarist, Neil James.
“Our drummer, Jacob, has been a good few times. But I have never been so it’s really exciting.”
Kendal Calling is held at Lowther Castle in Cumbria and will take place from July 26-July 29. Tickets are already almost sold out.
“We had been in contact with the organisers since we played Cotton Clouds,” added Neil, who divides his time between his music and a job at Oldham Coliseum.
“There are some great headline acts on but also some good, smaller bands which we are huge fans of, including the Blinders and the Orielles.
“There is a diverse range of talent which we are keen to explore and to meet some new friends.”
Gardenback, also compromising of bassist Ellis James and drummer Jacob James, are currently in the process of organising a small UK tour and looking forward to other events.
“We have got a good interest in London which we need to follow up,” said Neil.
“We have played Manchester a lot but can’t wait to step further afield.”
There are dates coming up in Liverpool and Leeds as well as an appearance at the When in Manchester Festival on April 14
Oldham’s Gardenback return to Kick Out after a great response last time. Its easy to fill a review with comparisons and whilst avoiding that cliché its difficult not to go down that path when they wear their influences so brightly on their sleeve. This is no bad thing in their case.
With an intro that disappointingly sounded like they were launching into a cover of OCS’s “Riverboat Song“, everything turns into Tago Mago lite Canand is all the better for it. From that point on its pure joy all the way.
Lyrics about motorways and dark as hell basslines can’t help to raise the spirit of Joy Division and new track “Bulldog” shows perhaps the real Gardenback, despite maintaining decades of musical heritage like a musical version of a bag of Rowntree’s Randoms.
“Health and Well Being” is a beautiful thing, created from a wall of driving guitars and killer drums that sound nothing like a three piece from Oldham should. “Sweetness“, a highlight in this explosive set sounds like one of those belter B Sides by Blur that called on Barrett era Floyd for Brownie points, Gardenback repay the favour.
Whilst “Bury Me” resembles a typical downbeat album closer, there is a sense that this may be the first wrong foot in an otherwise impeccable set, but no, it redeems itself as a classy composition and a perfect place to exit. Gardenback are a band I want to listen to a lot more.
Northern Alive’s review from supporting Scarlet. at the castle hotel in Manchester.
‘Main support of the night came from local band Gardenback. After only hearing their material online, I was thrilled to finally see them and they didn’t disappoint. Opening the set with Motorway, the band played hit after hit which both old and new fans seemed to love. The highlight of the set for me was the track, Health and Wellbeing. The song sports an addictive, punk bassline coupled with vocals reminemcent of the Dead Kennedy’s, you couldn’t help but dance to their ever-growing beat. Playing crowd pleasers such as Bull Dogsand Sleepless, Gardenback brought their driving set to a close with Bury Me. The track showed the band’s more gentle and melodic side before it progressed into a sound I was more familiar with- lead bass lines with attitude, along with a powerful drum beat and reverberating guitar chords. You can listen to their hypnotic, garage sound here.’
Read here the reviews from the All-Dayer at Jimmy’s NQ.
“They’re a band we hadn’t heard of before, but who really impressed us.”
“The trio’s song Bulldog is particularly ear catching and includes a mixture of fierce, warped riffs with chanting vocals.”
“Back in July we went to Gardenback’s debut single launch gig at Jimmy’s and what a show they put on!
Now the trio are back with a brand new track ‘Bulldogs’. A rapid, dirty bassline fits perfectly beneath the roaring vocals and gritty riffs. “B-U-L-L-D-O-G!” gives an added bonus to a live set, as you can imagine the crowd chanting along to the bruising track. We spoke to the lads about their “music for the anxious loner” and what they’ve got in store as the year comes to a close.”
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