New album from Rum Lad. 'Rude Awakening' his 6th studio album and as fiery as the previous five.
Jul 16, 2023
New album from Rum Lad. 'Rude Awakening' his 6th studio album and as fiery as the previous five.
One Sided Horse (OSH) is singer-songwriter Mark Whiteside who you may already know under his alter ego ‘Side’ the singer and drummer in the band Evil Blizzard.
He has already released a raft of tracks and a critically acclaimed, fantastic debut album ‘Between Light & Space’ back in December 2018 and now is set to release his second album ‘My Favourite City At Night In The Rain’
One Sided Horse is far removed from Mark's persona in Evil Blizzard, where his music sees psychedelic and experimental rock characterised by its heavy, distorted sound which incorporates elements of punk, noise rock, and post-punk into their music.
OSH on the other hand, sees him perform atmospheric and introspective songs that often incorporate elements of acoustic, electronic and ambient styles. Here we have the beauty as opposed to his Evil Blizzard beast.
My Favourite City At Night In The Rain, is a captivating and introspective journey through 12 tracks of atmospheric soundscapes and thought-provoking lyrics. Here we have a collection of songs that are very personal to this musician, yet I found myself on my own personal emotional journey as the songs resonated with my own life experiences.
Side 1, kicks off proceedings with a delightful piano intro on the title track, "My Favourite City At Night In The Rain," a song that sets the tone for the immersive experience that is to follow.
"The Overload of missing you" is up next, a song that sees a delicate blend of acoustic and electronic instrumentation to create a dreamlike atmosphere, while Mark's emotive vocals draw you into a realm of introspection and exploration this track also sees him playing Trumpet that is reminiscent of the Noir-esque songs that Barry Adamson (A hero of mine) of Magazine fame has done. For me, this is the standout track on this album so much so that I think it is, quite simply - a masterpiece!
Throughout the album, OSH showcases an ability to craft evocative melodies and poetic lyrics. Tracks like "Find The Time" and "Uneven Land" transport listeners through songs about strained and broken relationships. There's a real sadness in some of these songs but ones that leave you with hope.
The introspective nature of the album shines through in songs like "A Short Story From A Living Room In Philadelphia" and "Passing Years." These tracks delve into themes of longing, self-reflection, and the human desire for connection. Mark's poignant songwriting and heartfelt delivery invite listeners to contemplate their own experiences and emotions.
The production on "My Favourite City At Night In The Rain" is impressive, allowing each instrument to shine and creating a rich sonic tapestry. From delicate piano chords to subtle acoustic guitar parts and gutsy brass atmospheric textures, the album showcases a meticulous attention to detail.
One Sided Horse's ability to create a balance between atmospheric grandeur and intimate vulnerability is a standout feature of the album. The ethereal soundscapes and introspective lyrics come together to create a captivating listening experience that draws you in from start to finish.
Side 2, kicks off with a 6 string acoustic "I Won't Ask For More" and the lovely, sweet "let's Start Fires" a song that has some fabulous chord changes and a wonderful backing vocal from Carol Hodge who some of you may have spotted performing with Steve Ignorant and Crass, and who is a tremendous singer and songwriter in her own right.
"Flightless," "Like Swans" and I Can't Live Without Your Love" are songs that lead you through that theme of love and angst that will be very familiar to you if you have listened to the first OSH album "Between Light & Space".
As we head into the final track "Close Swim" I must mention the wonderful musicianship on this album as Mark brings in Mickey Dale who also produced the album, along with Steve Firth, and Mike Heaton (From Embrace) Phil Hartley (Space), Norm Helm and Gareth Cole who along with Carol Hodge provide their own distinctive styles with contributions that is simply sublime.
In conclusion, One Sided Horse's "My Favourite City At Night In The Rain" is an album that invites listeners on a journey of self-reflection and sonic exploration. Mark Whitesides songwriting, combined with the atmospheric instrumentation and storytelling, creates a rich and emotive soundscape that lingers long after the last note fades away. It is a record that rewards attentive listening and resonates on a deep, introspective level.
This is a terrific album of songs that is best served within a set of headphones, late at night with a glass of something relaxing in hand.
My Favourite City At Night In The Rain presale is 04.08.23 via Butterfly Effect Records.
For more One Sided Horse check out:
bandcamp - https://onesidedhorse.bandcamp.com/album/between-light-space
My Album of the Year 2022
Photo by Bea Dewhurst
Girls In Synthesis are quite simply the most important band of the last 50 of my 60 years on this earth. Of all of the Punk/Post Punk artists I've watched and listened to throughout the decades, GIS are the ultimate and the most intense of all.
Following on from their fabulous debut album of last year ‘Now Here’s An Echo From Your Future’ the band are set to release their eagerly awaited follow up ‘The Rest Is Distraction’ and what a phenomenal album it is too.
Right off the bat we have the opener 'It's All Beginning To Change' a ferocious bass driven song that builds with a pounding drum and electronic backdrop that I've not heard since the early days of Cabaret Voltaire 'Nag, Nag, Nag' or Bauhaus 'Stigmata Martyr' this is a cracker of a track and kicks the album off with a bang.
Barely time to catch my breath and we are into the bands recent single 'Watch With Mother'. My life cornered in a charmless and inhospitable room is being viewed from afar as is the family life that leaves me feeling utterly dispirited and dejected. Here I am in the head of its subject matter high one minute and screaming the next, I need to get out. Mental Health is a key theme on this album.
Photo by Bea Dewhurst
Up next is 'Total Control' a track I think is going to be one of the new crowd pleasers at their forthcoming live shows, if its included in the set list. The thumping bass from John combined with Nicole's relentless drumming and Jim's screaming guitar and effects are just fantastic. Is this my favourite track on the album? It just might be.
'Swallowed Pill' will leave you breathless, a menacing track that sonically beats you to a pulp as it stamps on your aural senses while 'Screaming' has an intensity in the vocals from John of a desperation to be heard. He wants you to listen. I have to say despite the fact I shouldn't really compare what this band do to those of my past, but I'm going to and that is,
this track could have been lifted off of any of the first two PIL albums, it's that good.
Next up is 'My Husband' with its throbbing bass line, a song that is the second single from the album, and if you thought there was a FALL feel to this then you'd be spot on as it features former Fall member Eleni Poulou on keyboards.
'Cottage Industry' is out and out Girls In Synthesis, a driller killer of a track, "Hate is where the heart is absent, home is where the hate is bred" is this anger and resentment of a home life filled with hatred driven by confinement within four walls? No idea, but I feel the pain.
Track 8 'Not As I Do' pounding and relentless. "And it really doesn't matter what I think anymore".
As we reach 'Lacking Bite' and 'Your Prayers Have Changed' I can't help but feel like I've been run through a myriad of emotions and thought processes as I listened to this album.
It is tense, nervy, edgy, angst driven and full of despair and leaves me with the feeling that I'm being sonically challenged to consider my life, where it was, how it's progressed and where I am today, far removed from those teenage years where like many young men and women I struggled on that hormonal roller coaster living in my bedroom.
It's got me thinking about who I was, how I viewed the world back then and how I dealt with it, the issues of the day and how they have shaped me into adulthood. Am I still that person now or have I really changed?
And that takes us to the final track on the album 'To A Fault' and I guess we are all generous in our own way.
'The Rest Of Distraction' is a much darker, tense and anxious album than that of its predecessor 'Now Here's An Echo From Your Future' and it is absolutely magnificent for it.
This is without doubt going to be my Album of the year for 2022. There is, quite simply, no better band than Girls In Synthesis right now, and you can fucking quote me on that.
Review and live photo by Gary Hough (Shot From Both Sides Photography)
Photos by Bea Dewhurst
‘My Husband’ watch the video HERE
'Watch With Mother' watch the video HERE
‘The Rest Is Distraction’ comes out on Friday 14th October 2022 via the band’s own label Own It/Cargo Records and is available for pre-order HERE:
Catch the band live at the following dates:
13/10/22 - NORTHAMPTON - Black Prince
14/10/22 - LONDON - The Lexington
15/10/22 - TUNBRIDGE WELLS - Sussex Arms
19/10/22 - BRISTOL - The Louisiana
20/10/22 - MANCHESTER - The Peer Hat
21/10/22 - NOTTINGHAM - Bodega
22/10/22 - BRIGHTON - Green Door Store
09/11/22 - GHENT - Bar Bricolage [w. Cocaine Piss]
10/11/22 - BRUSSELS - Magasin4
11/11/22 - TOURNAI - Water Moulin
12/11/22 - SIEGEN - Veb Siegen
13/11/22 - HAMBURG - Westwerk
14/11/22 - COPENHAGEN - Rahuset
15/11/22 - ODENSE - Posten
16/11/22 - BERLIN - Urban Spree
17/11/22 - FRIEBURG - Slow Club
18/11/22 - WURZBURG - Cafe Cairo
19/11/22 - NUREMBERG - Desi
20/11/22 - UTRECHT - Db's
07/12/22 - GLASGOW - The Flying Duck
08/12/22 - NEWCASTLE - Zerox
09/12/22 - HULL - The Adelphi
10/12/22 - BIRMINGHAM - Dark Horse
Girls In Synthesis are:
John – Vocals/Bass
Jim – Vocals/Guitar
Nicole - Drums
Find Girls In Synthesis online at:
Feb 28, 2022
You may or may not have heard 'Rum Lad' a punk singer and songwriter from Retford, although if you've seen one of my previous blog posts you will by now be familiar with some of his work.
Today he sent me a preview of a video and song titled 'Leaders' that he wrote, recorded and has tonight uploaded to his website (See below).
This is a powerful song that gets straight to the heart of all that is wrong with this needless war in Ukraine and the impact on its people.
This is a heartfelt message that does not pull punches.
This is a working class man who writes from the heart and this song and video captures that perfectly in its solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
The words brought me to tears. Please share this far and wide via your own social media accounts. It deserves to be heard.
Aug 16, 2021
Back in December 2018 the music scene lost a true legend in Pete Shelley one of the founder members of Buzzcocks. It came as a shock to many as I'm sure it did the Buzzcocks band line up of Steve Diggle, Danny Farrant and Chris Remington. The band had played together since 2006 when Danny joined with Chris joining the band two years later in 2008 and they've recorded and gigged since then.
When Pete died Buzzcocks were faced with a choice, carry on or stop. Some fans said Buzzcocks without Pete would be nothing more than a tribute band, however as someone who has been fortunate enough to have followed this band since its very first gig in 1976, I was convinced the guys could carry on with Steve fronting the band and it would still be Buzzcocks. Let's face it, it's worked well enough for The Stranglers and Steve has been as integral to this band as Pete.
So in 2019 I went along to see the band perform at Prestons 53 Degrees then in Manchester at Gorilla the night after. Not surprisingly I was blown away by the bands performance, not only where they still Buzzcocks but they had a renewed energy that at times had been lacking, I felt Steve now had the freedom to really push the band forward, keen to write and release and play live new songs that Pete had sadly appeared to me at least lost interest in doing.
Some fans berated Steve and the band for carrying on without Pete, I say fans loosely as they hadn't even given him and the rest of the band that chance, but despite this negativity the band took the courageous decision to carry on. Even faced with COVID 19 and the lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 the band have, I'm pleased to say, returned on top form as witnessed by all who saw their recent two sold out shows at Blackpool's Waterloo Music Bar.
Two evenings, two different set lists saw Buzzcocks deliver fine performances to sell out crowds on both nights as they romped through many of the classics that we have all come to love, and I'd especially call out 'Times Up' and 'Harmony In My Head' which were absolute belters.
The set also included the recent single 'Gotta Get Better' and 'Destination Zero' as well as a blistering new song called 'Senses Out Of Control' that will appear on their forthcoming new studio album that the band are working on.
I am so pleased Steve, Danny and Chris carried on and that they have also introduced Mani Perazzoli to the line up for live shows, Mani is a terrific guitarist and vocalist who you would think had been part of the line up for years he's so comfortable on stage with the other Buzzcocks.
Buzzcocks can now as I see it, move forward performing new songs with some of the Buzzcocks classics thrown into the live sets. Steve Diggle never had to prove to any of us that he has the talent and confidence to lead this band as he has done alongside Pete Shelley for many years but anyone who saw these recent gigs would testify that he's a great frontman, clearly misses his long term music partner Pete like we all do and while we all respect and love Pete's contribution to Buzzcocks it's now time to let this band evolve again because they are more than good enough to do just that.
Here's some of the photo I took at The Waterloo Music Bar 8th and 9th of August.
So it's a big two fingers to the doubter's and for the rest of us to go and watch the band at the earliest opportunity, Buzzcocks go out on a UK tour in March 2022 with tickets available now (Full details here). Go and see them, they deserve to succeed and have Buzzcocks fans continuing to support them.
Pete was fully behind Steve, Danny and Chris continuing as he considered retirement. He's probably looking down now convinced that was the right call and Buzzcocks are in safe hands with Steve at the helm.
May 08, 2021
A few years ago a good friend of mine Stephen urged me to go and see a band whose name I was familiar with yet surprisingly I’d never seen play live. The band was the ‘The SoapGirls’, two French born sisters Millie and Mie Debray and their drummer Sam Ogden.
So I went along to watch them not knowing that this would be the first of many gigs I’d go on to see them perform as well as gaining their trust that they kindly allow me to photograph their gigs too.
One of the first things that struck me when I met them was their passion for what they believe in, a no nonsense approach to their music and the scene they play in as well as the respect they have for their fan base. This is a band who are totally up front, open and honest in their art, their values and their beliefs and boy aren't they going to tell you when things they dislike crop up. I love that attitude it's so refreshing.
Now at this point I'm going to highlight one of the things that really struck me with The Soapgirls when I was first introduced to them and something that differs from many of the young female punk bands I see, and it is this;
As a much older male music fan and gig photographer I'll go to watch and listen to a band perform and almost always if I'm allowed to, I'll photograph the gig as well. In the past few years many of those gigs have had female or gender neutral performers and the audiences vary but predominantly are male dominated.
Now some of these males have questionable behaviour towards some of the performers to say the least. Some bordering on sexual harassment and that includes audience members also not just the artists on stage, and because of this it is rightly being called out especially on social media.
If I see inappropriate behaviour toward bands or audience members I'm going to tackle it head on where I can and challenge it and it's about time all other men at gigs point it out also and help make gigs and events inclusive for all so that everyone in attendance enjoys it without fearing or experiencing that inappropriate behaviour.
I want those around me to feel comfortable as much as I want to be comfortable too yet here's the thing, the Soapgirls perform very comfortable in their own skin, they often perform partially nude often in body paint and I'm fine with that, but more to the point they themselves are fine with that, and that's what matters the most. I never feel uncomfortable at their gigs especially photographing them because of their support of me as a friend and fan of their work. If the band don't judge us nor should anyone else.
Yet some still label us as lecherous pervs. Well let me just say that it is those same guttersnipes that criticise from afar who are the real problem here and ironically they criticise and berate us despite never having seen the band live. Their blinkered, disrespectful attitude and questionable moralistic attitude fucks me off so much. What gives you the right to label us older men at gigs which are female bands when the artist themselves are non-judgemental of those who attend their shows.
So let me be clear, I'm now 58 having watched bands for over 40 years and have seen these miserable, judgemental so and so's come and go, decade after decade and throughout numerous sub cultures. These are often similar so called music fans in the punk scene and who I'd ask, what are you doing in a liberated, punk, post punk independent music scene with a prejudiced attitude like yours? Fuck off out of it and join a bible group that might be more in tune with your christian values.
How dare you question my morals and respect for women simply because of my age just because you have a prejudiced and judgemental attitude.
Prejudice I hate, especially in music and The Soapgirls face this shit day in and day out as do their fans yet despite it they and those same fans rise above it stronger time and again.
I'm sure that all of my music friends and bands I'm a fan of (some of who are good friends now) know that I won't stand by and watch women,girls, transgender, gender neutral, non binary bands or audience members be targeted by vile individuals.
As performers, the Soapgirls set the scene and the agenda at their gigs and they have built up a strong following as a result and while I accept that yes, some fans do go overboard and sometimes their behaviour is questionable, the band deal with it very well indeed and I find myself very comfortable at their shows as part of an all inclusive audience. Less so some other bands I go to see.
Yet there still seems to be this undercurrent that I'm seeing with some people that because we are older music fans that we are only going to these types of gigs to letch and perv. Well this needs to stop because they couldn't be further from the truth.
So what was it that really grabbed my attention of the SoapGirls, well it probably stems from when I got into Punk Rock back in 1976 because like then as I do today, I love bands that come with an attitude and who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in. Passionate people who fight for their rights and those of others who have a right to their own individuality and creativity, the right to present themselves as they see fit, who can use their music to highlight causes that they believe in such as those who are vulnerable or bullied. Exposing the systems of corruption, greed and selfishness that we often see in many of our respective governments and politics today.
One of the things that really struck accord with me after I first saw this band was just how much they are passionate for human and animal rights.
Living in South Africa this is a band that has endured the most disgusting and atrocious treatment at the hands of their own government, here in the UK some venues, promoters, associates of same and online trolls who try continuously to get their gigs pulled, photos, their music and even their merchandise removed from social media, simply because their own prejudice allows them to do so.
This is a band that stands strong and firm with support from a very loyal and growing fan base (affectionately known as Soapsuds) against those who deride them whoever it might be, indeed they shit trolls and bullies and social media companies such as Facebook who themselves removed years worth of the bands and fans posts, music videos and content most of which was lost forever despite being built up over many years.
And this highlights just how bad social media has become when a company can simply moderate as it sees fit without a right of reply or appeal.
And I mentioned earlier the fight against their government, a corrupt bunch if ever there was one and who appear to play a huge part in making life hard for this band, as when they return home from their extensive UK and European tours they often find their internet accounts are locked down and restricted. From evidence I have seen it looks to me like this only female South African band that dare to highlight the abuse and suffering that goes on in their own country may well be under surveillance by the SA authorities.
Controversy is never too far away for the SoapGirls and yet despite it all they continue year after year to fight on, to release their own music, their own videos, merchandise and then go out and tour it for 7 months solid. Indeed despite the Covid Pandemic and lockdown this band has done 58 weeks of online gigs with todays (As I type) being their 174th online gig. Amazing in non pandemic conditions, yet hardly a peep out of the punk scene media.
This band has endured so much shit in the time I’ve known them let alone previously that many would have given up a long time ago.
But the good news is this band won’t give up nor will their manager Sam who works tirelessly to support, promote and manage the band through thick and thin.
You’ll never meet a nicer bunch of people as you will with this band and I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would wish to cause them harm or abuse them in the way in which they have been and continue to be.
But for the record let me just say this. The SoapGirls will shrug it all off, they’ll fight you every step of the way with support from their fans and people like myself and other great photographers, music writers, responsible venue owners and promoters and many other good people. People who will help promote the truth not the lies that surrounds this great band.
The SoapGirls are no easy pushover and you better believe that they will come back time and again no matter how much you try and squash them.
Go Check them out at the: Official SoapGirls Website
Oct 07, 2020
Working Class Punk in 2022Read More
Jan 08, 2020
I've been photographing alongside my partner in crime, contributing editor AJ Phink of thePunksite.com for some time now. Along with a few other great photographers and writers we all have a really good, diverse mix of music knowledge and experience and get to cover many great bands and artists all over the country photographing and reviewing most of the best Punk, Post Punk, Independant and rock music gigs that you could imagine.
I've been very honoured to have been able to photograph performers such as Lauren Tate of Hands Off Gretel, Ginger Wildheart and the Sinners, Black Flag, Grade 2, The Manchester Punk Festival, North West Calling and many more events that showcase the best of not only the new up and coming artists but also those long serving iconic bands that we all know and love.
The Punksite does a fantastic job of helping promote and make visible these great bands the world over and I myself discovered many great bands and events through this site before I got to photograph with them.
You can check out my most recent photos that I took along with AJ's editorial review of the band Grade 2 album launch at Manchester's The Star and Garter promoted by STP Records, HERE. Search my name to see others.
Check out The Punksite on their Facebook page here.
Photos (Gary Hough Shot From Both Sides Photography)
All images © 2010-2022 Gary Hough of www. shotfrombothsides.co.uk