Archive for the ‘Previews and Editorial’ Category

Following the release of her latest album ’The Cartographer’ last year and European tours with Wardruna, Emma Ruth Rundle and Amenra, internationally acclaimed composer and virtuoso cellist – not to mention Aural Aggravation favourite Jo Quail has announced her first ever headline UK tour for May this year.

Jo comments: “I am so excited to announce that in May I’ll be playing some headline concerts for you! We’ve got some absolutely beautiful venues in here. I’ll be playing a much longer set then most of you will have seen, I’ll bring both cellos, and the thing that excites me the most is the thought of playing some brand new music to you, seeing what you think, letting the pieces take their shape and form in your company. Tickets are now live, it would mean the world to me to have you with me on my first ever headline tour.

I feel a bit emotional truth be told. I’m here because you’ve been with me from the early days, or perhaps we’ve met only recently, but you’ve all stayed, you’ve shared your stories, you’ve been part of all things, and I know this, and I thank you with my whole heart. All blessings to you all my friends.”

Jo Quail – UK Tour dates:

08TH MAY – Southampton, Suburbia

09TH MAY – Bristol, The Gryphon – SOLD OUT

10TH MAY – Nottingham, The Bodega

11TH May – Colchester, Art Centre

12TH MAY – Leeds, Seven Arts

13TH MAY – Manchester, White Hotel

14TH MAY – Glasgow, The Hug and Pint

Jo is also set to perform at London’s Desert Fest on 7th May.

Tickets are on sale now -


Following the announcement of their monolithic new album nature morte, out February 24th, Canadian trio BIG|BRAVE has announced an extensive European tour for spring 2023. The tour includes performances at Roadburn Festival, Donaufestival and Desertfest, among others. The trio’s first nature morte single "carvers, farriers and knaves" captures the album’s striking balance between expansive atmospherics and direct emotional drive, guitar and vocals twisting atop thundering drums to create one of the most bracing and relentless pieces in the band’s ouvre.

BIG|BRAVE are an elemental trio who harness an earthen heaviness composed of distorted and textural drones, austere bombast, and Wattie’s heart-rending voice. Like recent collaborators The Body, BIG|BRAVE is at the forefront of reconfiguring the landscape of heavy music. The trio brandish sparseness and density like weapons, cast tense atmospheres with languid tempos and mutate feedback into eruptions of enveloping tempests. nature morte sharpens BIG|BRAVE’s ferocity and expansive sound into emotional elegies for the disenfranchised, wringing abstracted textures and pure fervence into songs of unfathomable mass.

Those dates in full:

BIG|BRAVE spring 2023 EU tour dates:

Apr. 9 – Hamburg, DE – Hafenklang
Apr. 10 – Copenhagen, DK – Loppen
Apr. 11 – Malmö, SE – Plan B
Apr. 12 – Oslo, NO Blå
Apr. 14 – Helsinki, FI – Kuudes Linja
Apr. 15 – Tallinn, EE – Sveta Baar
Apr. 16 – Riga, LV – Noass
Apr. 18 – Vilnius, LI – XI20
Apr. 19 – Warsaw, PL – Voodoo
Apr. 20 – Poznań, PL – Dom Tramwajarza
Apr. 21 – Berlin, DE – Urban Spree
Apr. 23 – Tilburg, NL – Roadburn Festival
Apr. 26 – Nurnberg, DE – KANTINE (beim Künstlerhaus)
Apr. 27 – Dresden, DE – Ostpol
Apr. 28 – Krems, AT – Donaufestival
Apr. 29 – Zagreb, HR – Kset
Apr. 30 – Bologna, IT – Circolo Dev
May 2 – Piediripa, IT (MC) Dong
May 4 – Busto Arsizio, IT – Circolo Gagarin
May 5 – Bulle, CH – Ebullition
May 7 – London, UK – Desertfest
May 9 – Manchester, UK – Soup Kitchen
May 10 – Glasgow, UK – Stereo
May 11 – Newcastle, UK – The Lubber Fiend
May 12 – Liverpool, UK – IWF Substation
May 13 – Norwich, UK – Voodoo Daddy
May 14 – Birmingham, UK – The Castle & Falcon
May 15 – Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
May 16 – Bristol, UK – Dareshack
May 17 – Brighton, UK – The Hope & Ruin
May 18 – Brussels, BE – Ancienne Belgique



New label Dead Music Club, which specialises in limited-edition cassettes, today announced its first three releases to showcase what they described as their ‘fledgling catalogue’.

The Stoke-based label, which is pushing the parameters not only of music, but of underground by shunning social media and making news of its releases available via mailing list subscription, is kicking off with a compilation of ‘Stoke weirdness’, which features Aural Aggravation faves Omnibadger, as well as the debut EP from ramshackle punks Dog Train on 10” vinyl, and an EP of mangled noise courtesy of one Christopher Nosnibor in his Noisenibor guise:

DMC-001 ‘DeadMusicClub’ cassette – a collection of Stoke weirdness £5
DMC-002 ‘Extractions EP’ cassette – Chris Nosnibor documents extractor fans £5
DMC-003 ‘Dog Train EP’ – Dog Train’s first EP on 10” vinyl £20

To subscribe, and for order details, go here.

There will be a launch event at Captain’s Bar, Stoke, at 8pm on December 30th.

1. THE DWARVES play music that crosses all rock genres including hardcore, garage, punk, surf, noise, death metal, experimental, industrial, hip/hop, grunge and good old-fashioned pop. Even their modesty is legendary.

2. THE DWARVES first tour in 1988 covered over 6,000 miles and highlights were featured in the Village Voice. The tour consisted of 3 cities, 4 shows and $165 dollars cash. The band slept in a cargo van and booked gigs on stolen telephone cards.

3. THE DWARVES began in the 1980’s as an Illinois punk garage band, covering everything from the Seeds and Moving Sidewalks to Gang of Four and Devo. They still have skinny ties and tight pants to prove it.

4. THE DWARVES have recorded for visionary independent labels including Sympathy For The Record Industry, Epitaph, Fat Wreck Chords, Sub Pop, Bomp!, Amphetamine Reptile, Man’s Ruin, Recess, Theologian, Glitterhouse, Burning Heart, White Jazz, High Voltage, No Balls, Zodiac Killer, MVD, Midnight, Reptilian, Riotstyle, Burger and Greedy Worldwide. Some of them even paid royalties.

5. THE DWARVES have been stabbed, bludgeoned, swarmed, arrested, shut down, sabotaged and even fellated onstage and much of it is available on video, like the compilations FEFU, Fuck You Up & Get Live and Salt Lake City.

6. THE DWARVES were one of the first hardcore bands to regularly use samples, drum loops and found sounds, even on their earliest recordings where they used cassette tapes to generate them.

7. THE DWARVES teamed up with Top Ten producer Eric Valentine (Third Eye Blind, All American Rejects, Slash) to make their last 5 studio albums. He even showed up to some of the sessions! Valentine and Blag Dahlia helped write songs for Smashmouth and Skye Sweetnam.

8. THE DWARVES were kicked off tour with a UK metal band for sleeping with the girls the headliners had hired to hang out backstage. They were banned from venerable punk dive CBGBs for breaking a table and bleeding on the floor making the venue cleaner and improving its décor.

9. THE DWARVES played with the Minutemen weeks before D. Boon died, visited GG Allin in prison and did coke with the Lemonheads in a seedy hotel room. And that was all in one day! Their list of collaborators on records is vast, including the ones they can contractually mention like Dexter Holland, Josh Freese, San Quinn, Nash Kato, Gary Owens, Stacey Dee, DJ Marz and Spike Slawson.

10. THE DWARVES music has been featured on television shows like Viva La Bam, Nash Bridges, Rob and Big, Laguna Beach, 16 and Pregnant, Homewrecker, Jackass and dozens more. They appeared naked on Monster Garage and Playboy After Dark, where HeWhoCanNotBeNamed mated with a pumpkin.

11. THE DWARVES are the very best looking band in show business. They’ve shared bills with the Cramps, the Offspring, Vandals, TSOL, JFA & countless more!

12. THE DWARVES did a live one-hour performance on Japan’s prestigious NHK network. At the dinner afterward, they literally ate a horse. This turned out to be better than all of the food in Indianapolis.

13. THE DWARVES inspired a current popular catch phrase with their bestselling 2013 self-help book Make the Dwarves Good Again.

14. THE DWARVES played Berkeley’s punk collective 924 Gilman Street the first month it opened and appeared there with the likes of Green Day, NOFX and the Didjits. They were later banned for beating a spectator, but don’t worry, he was a fan of some other group.

15. THE DWARVES are a true independent band with no outside management or record deal, DIY forever. They leave no remains when they die, only footprints in the snow.

16. THE DWARVES bassist Rex Everything has been tased while committing battery and resisting arrest. He loves kittens, puppies and long walks on the beach. Guitarists HeWhoCanNotBeNamed and The Fresh Prince of Darkness teach and counsel troubled teens when not ingesting cocaine and masturbating to hardcore pornography.

17. THE DWARVES have been members of groups like KMFDM, Gnarls Barkley, Mondo Generator, Kyuss, Motochrist, Penetration Moon, The Queers, Scream, Bloodclot, Decent Criminal and The Uncontrollable. Don’t hold it against them.

18. THE DWARVES are OG’s (Original Grunge) appearing with Nirvana, Mudhoney, L7, Supersuckers, Rev. Horton Heat and the Fluid. They appeared in the film Kurt and Courtney where they were described as “one of the more violent bands.”

19. THE DWARVES were attacked by a disturbed person enraged over the band’s lyrics. The first rock ‘n’ roll battle record, ‘Massacre’ proved the old adage that the truth hurts, but so does being assaulted.

20. THE DWARVES could be saluted by groups as disparate as the National Organization for Women, the Vatican and the Daughters of the American Revolution for promoting greater gender understanding.

21. THE DWARVES are snotty bastards who live in California. Their notorious ‘Blood Guts & Pussy’ album cover, depicting a dwarf clad only in dead rabbit and blood spattered Amazons, led to widespread banning and protests at gigs for years to come.

22. THE DWARVES guitarist HeWhoCanNotBeNamed died in 1993 as reported in SPIN (100 sleaziest moments in Rock #79), Alternative Press, SF Weekly and Harper’s, among others. Being denied entrance to Hell, he returned to mortal form, commenting later, “that which kills me makes me stronger.”

23. THE DWARVES music has been featured in films like Ghostworld, Hostel, Observe and Report and Me, Myself and Irene, where Jim Carrey crooned ‘Motherfucker’ while having a nervous breakdown in a car. In the hardcore porno ‘Rocksuckers,’ genitals collide to a ballsy Dwarves soundtrack. Lloyd Nickell’s video for ‘Stop Me’ contains content deemed harmful by the FBI, FCC and Mothers Against Intercourse.

24. THE DWARVES are mostly a cat band, but enjoy a good doggy now and again.

25. THE DWARVES singer Blag the Ripper sang the novelty hit ‘Do the Sponge’ on the cartoon series Spongebob Squarepants. Dwarf Sgt. Saltpeter has written and performed over 20 musical pieces featured since the show began. That’s Balls, Folks!

26. THE DWARVES have been active for over 40 years and Blag has published three novels of transgressive fiction, Armed to the Teeth With Lipstick, Nina, and Highland Falls.

27. THE DWARVES performed onstage with Turbonegro at the Leeds Festival, UK and have toured Europe 12 times, performing at Reading, Pukkelpop, Goteborg Gallopp, Download Donnington, Groezrock and Rebellion Fest to name just a few. Please don’t ruin a perfectly good gram of hash with tobacco.

28. THE DWARVES website was hacked by Islamic jihadists ( Peace be upon you!

29. THE DWARVES have an average penis size of nine inches, but most of that is Nick Oliveri.

30. THE DWARVES’ singer Blag co-hosted an advice show with Bay Area radio DJ NoName called We Got Issues. His former podcast Radio Like You Want spread the gospel of bad music and intrusive interviews with accomplice Mike Routhier. Now he croons lounge country style as Ralph Champagne

31. THE DWARVES have just had a slew of their classic back catalogue albums, including Blood, Guts and Pussy, and Come Clean, reissued on vinyl with new (still awful) artwork with infinite gratuitous nudity and bonus tracks, . You can get them all via MVDB online, here.



Photo: James Farrell

Christopher Nosnibor

I am not happy. I was supposed to be at a gig in Sheffield this evening – a gig that had super-early doors – 18:30 – and a super—early finish (22:00). When booking the ticket for the gig, I checked the trains, and there was a 23:05 that got me home some time a little after midnight. Now, the last train home is at 21:22. I could split the journey, and make the 22:25 train to Doncaster, arriving into Doncaster at 22:49. But it only connects with the 23:50 out, which thanks to a lengthy wait in the arse-end of nowhere, takes 9 hours and 58 minutes, arriving into York at 08:48. Getting a train to Leeds is marginally, better, but not really: the sole train that goes via Leeds instead of Doncaster arrives in Leeds at 23:27, missing the 23:25 by 2 minutes, and so getting into York at, or there’s the 23:05 from Sheffield to Doncaster, which then connects to the 23:50 to Leeds, which, having missed the cancelled 23:24 means waiting for the first train out on Sunday at 08:14. No thanks.

This is not a criticism of striking rail staff: there are no strikes involved here. The reduced timetables are companies, heavily subsidised by the government, cutting services to maintain maximum profit. When I say cutting services, it’s not really a service when you can’t get anywhere when you need to.

They may not have sufficient staff to run the services, but why is that? The mantra that ‘no-one wants to work anymore’ is quite simply bollocks. It’s just that no-one wants to work to the detriment of their health and wellbeing, no-one wants to work two or three jobs to then have to still find time between shifts to queue at the local foodbank. No-one wants to work themselves to an early grave without spending any time with their families. People work to live, they don’t live to work, unless they’re deranged.

At a time when the economy is on its knees, the government claim to be supporting both people and businesses. But what gig venues need is for people from beyond the immediate catchment to be able to attend live music shows.

Back in 2014, I published a collection of essays entitled The Changing Face of Consumerism, which focused largely on the demise of the high-street record store and the like. Things felt pretty bleak then, but these were positively halcyon times compared to now, where we’re living in an amalgamation of every dystopian future ever written or dramatized.

Time was when travel was considered a luxury – but that related to air travel, not domestic rail. It simply should not cost more to travel domestically than to travel overseas. And in looking to book tickets for non-existent return to tickets from York to Sheffield, I noticed the price was around £28. Given that it’s approximately 50 miles between the two cities, that’s around 25p a mile, around 5p per mile more than the average vehicle, be it petrol or diesel. It wasn’t so long that it was perhaps £17. Similarly, pre-pandemic, a return to Leeds was around £12. Not it’s about £18. This cannot all be put down to rising fuel prices, and however much the government insist it’s all down to ‘Putin’s war on Ukraine;, this was escalating long before the tensions did.

But with crippling inflation and real-time wages crashing, like many people, I don’t have the same disposable income I had before, and so I choose the events I attend with a no small amount of consideration. To now not be able to attend because it’s simply not possible to travel isn’t only frustrating for me: the rail providers have lost a ticket sale, and the music venue has lost the sale of maybe three or four pints, and the band potentially, say a T-shirt or CD sale, in a climate when bands only survive by the skin of their teeth by selling merchandise on tour because everyone’s streaming music nowadays and the only people who make off that are the streaming platforms and major labels.

It’s a domino sequence, and what should be clear from this real-life example is that by cutting public services, or running what should be public services privately, for profit and the benefit of shareholders, is that the people who actually require the service are the ones who suffer, but it also has a knock-on effect to many other areas of the economy. The venue sells fewer pints, so they buy in less beer; the breweries sales decline, especially in the face of rising production costs and small breweries fold, large ones cut staff to reduce costs against declining sales. The staff who’ve been laid off don’t have an income, let alone disposable income to go to gigs, to go to pubs and bars, to go to coffee shops, to have meals out.

We no longer manufacture or have any industry to speak of: we’re dependent on people dining and drinking out, on going to the cinema, on going bowling, attending sporting events, on watching live music.

So when these tertiary industries are crushed, so is the nation as a whole, because there is nothing else. How does this stack up against the aim for growth and a high-skilled, high salary economy? This is, of course, a rhetorical question.

Call it trickle-down economics, call it what you like: the fact is that giving money to the rich, be it by tax breaks, or allowing major corporations to siphon off immense profits to divvy out to shareholders and top-flight executives does absolutely nothing for the majority of people, be they working people, laid-off people, or zero-hours contracts people who are statistically in work but in reality earning nothing.

One can’t help but feel that capitalism is slowly suffocating itself, and at an accelerating rate. Before long, the top 5% will own everything while the rest are dying in the gutter, at which point the elite will have no-one left to milk anything from. But until that day, they’re just going to keep on draining every last drop.

Fuck’s sake. I just wanted a night off with beer and live music over the county border.


Weekend Recovery have announced the 2023 release of album number three, Esoteric, via Criminal Records, with a pretty plush video that’s all proggy/space rock… New direction? We’ll just have to wait and see…

Click the image below to preorder:


Banging grungy Aussie duo Mannequin Death Squad – longstanding faves here at Aural Aggravation have announced that they’re returning to the UK for the firs time in five years.

Packing in 15 shows the length and breadth of England as far south a Exeter and venturing north of the border for a brace off Scottish dates in Glasgow and Inverness, while also straying off the beaten track, it’s a major undertaking, and with supports from local acts, these should be some exciting nights.

We’ll see you down the front for at least one….



Blood Red Shoed head out on tour this month. The tour comes in celebration of the band’s sixth album ‘Ghosts on Tape’, released earlier this year via Velveteen Records, and will see stops in Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Glasgow, London, Brighton and Birmingham. Support for the entire headline tour comes from CIEL.

The shows swiftly follow a brand new piano version of “Morbid Fascination” — a haunting cut of floaty key taps and visceral vocals that sees the ‘Ghosts on Tape’ track transformed from a buzzing cut of alt-rock into an emotive ballad.

New album ‘Ghosts on Tape’ marks a huge jump forwards for the band, one that develops their sound almost beyond recognition, while capturing Blood Red Shoes at their most musically and emotionally mature. As Steven explains:

“We’ve always been outsiders right from the very beginning… We have made an entire career out of being told what we are “not”, of being rejected, of not fitting in, and this album is us deliberately pushing into all of our strangeness, emphasising all of the things that make us different”.

Obsessed by true crime and murder podcasts, many songs on the record are told in character and explore the dark psyche of those at the pinnacle of outsiderdom: serial killers. ‘Ghosts on Tape’ paints a picture of a dark and unsettling world. It is the sound of a unified and confident duo who know exactly who they are, even if the wider world doesn’t really get it. The sound of two people who have spent their entire adult lives making music together and who, more than ever, are finding new pathways for their creativity.

“Ultimately this album is an invitation”, adds Steven. “It’s us saying, this is our world, these are our darkest thoughts and feelings – our ghosts – caught on tape. You are welcome to join us. Come and embrace the strange”.

In the wake of the album’s release, the band also unveiled a 15-minute short film of the same name sound-tracked by songs from the album. Premiered to a packed audience at London’s Everyman Cinema, the film was written and directed by Craig Murray and unfolds as an unsettling, brooding and psychological horror story, featuring the band plus their future ghosts, and a blue-hooded death cult reminiscent of Eyes Wide Shut. 

Listen here:




6 – TT The Races, Isle of Man

8 – The Fleece, Bristol*

9 – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds*

10 – Academy 3, Manchester*

11 – Think Tank, Newcastle Upon Tyne*

12 – King Tuts, Glasgow*

14 – The Garage, London*

15 – Chalk, Brighton*

16 – The Rainbow, Birmingham*


29 – Y Not Festival, Newhaven

*w/ support from CIEL

Tickets on sale now here:


Shit happens: some good, some bad. Feather Trade, who grabbed our attention when supporting Benefits in York back in February, were scheduled to support The Mission on May 26th. As fate would have it, the night’s scheduling with an early curfew meant they got dropped from the lineup, although their regular drummer is now occupying the stool for Hussey and co. How does stuff like that even happen? But when life gives you lemons, Feather Trade book a run of shows instead.

If you’re in the vicinity of any of these places, we’d very much recommend going.


w / Cold Water Swimmers

Inca Babies

Jim’s Rolling Beat


w/ Urban Theory


w/ Triptych (from Glasgow)



Kick Out The Jams & End Of The Trail Creative are putting on a 3-day mini-festival, The Brighton Rock ‘N’ Roll Circus at The Black Lion between the 12th-14th May 2022. The event, supported by CD Baby, Blackstar Amplification & The Zine UK, which features bands like The Pearl Harts, Moon Panda, Berries, A Void, Enjoyable Listens, Sons, DEH-YEY, Bullet Girl, and Aural Aggro’s new faves, Warning Signal is a free entry alternative to The Great Escape.

And what a lineup!

Circo das Arabias

From the organisers: "Driven by a desire to offer live music fans in Brighton and from further afield a free alternative to the official Great Escape programme of shows, which are only accessible with an expensive conference badge or festival wristband, indie promoters Kick Out The Jams and End of the Trail have come together at The Black Lion for The Brighton Rock’n’Roll Circus; an exciting free entry three-day mini-festival of over forty bands running from 12th-14th May.

This show is the natural successor to The Brighton Mix-Up which last took place in May 2019, a similar three day show also at The Black Lion. Of course, the pandemic put a stop to all music festivals for a couple of years, so it’s really good to be back in Brighton again with an amazing lineup of bands from around the country, playing in an intimate venue in the heart of The Lanes area, bang in the middle of the town."

Kick Out The Jams & End Of The Trail Creative need your help! Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to secure the usual sponsorship for their 3-day FREE ENTRY mini-festival in Brighton in May.

Faced with taking a pretty big hit on production expenses associated with putting on an event of this kind, as the pub is not a regular music venue & doesn’t have any live music tech in place for the show, they are having to hire it all in.

So, if you are planning to come to the show and seeing some (or all!) of the 40+ bands they’ve lined up for you, please consider helping them with these costs by contributing to the Go Fund Me campaign.

Thanks for your support!