time to move on
The E.P., time to move on is released by Dovetown Records, and available from:
The gorgeous west London trio have been making waves since 2012. With their latest E.P., the Libertines-cum-Kate Nash mandates set them out as future festival headliners. At the moment, they are very much a ‘D.I.Y.’ band (handling all their own buisness themselves); although one thing is for sure: record labels will soon come a-knocking.
IT is always quite an unpredictable life, when you have my job…
Well I say ‘job’, because reviewing (for me), is really a hobby (until I can record my own music), but the point is this: I never know what I am going to come across. In terms of finding and discovering new music, I am very much my own man. Through Facebook and Twitter, I have quite a few musical friends- and am able to review their work now and then. It always gives me pleasure and satisfaction, when I am able to pormote a great act; wonderful music, and some serious ambition. Sometimes I come across some Scottish Pixie-esque wonder; occassionally some northern Pop and Rock comes to the fore- I even take my travels beyond the U.K. My iteinerary can often encompass sensations from the U.S., Europe and Australia- as well as E.I.R.E. As much as I love to digest some international sounds, I always find it paramount to extol the virtues of homegrown acts. After all, these are the acts that are on our doorsteps: those whom we can see perform live and meet in the flesh. The biggest benefit and necessity (with regards to reviewing U.K. acts) is that it makes you aware about the larger and wider music scene (in this country). There is always a bit of a tendency- when we think of music- to consider the mainstream and what is played on the radio day to day- without too much thought towards new acts. One of the hardest parts of my reviewer-by-day duties, is that I have to look hard for subjects to feature- far too hard as far as I am concerned. There are some great websites that offer up reviews of new artists, yet there are few sites in place, solely dedicated to channelling the augmentations of our sapling musicians. Over the past few months I have existed on a diet of social media contacts and chance occurrence- there seems to be no stability at all. I would love to hear about a great Australian Rock act from Victoria; a fresh Electro-Disco solo act from France; bustling Indie acts from Manchester- yet how would one ever hear of these? I guess- with the proliferation of new acts- it is near-impossible to catalogue them all; sepearate them by country, genre etc., yet it seems that an attempt should be made. I have been formulating plans (amongst many others) to get together an all-encompassing music website. On it, there would be tonnes of features and elements- amongst them would be a thorough representation of new musicians. I have always had the idea of being able to introduce something where you could click on a map; highlight a country/city; then break down the new musicians in that locale by genre/gender etc. and then get a list of the acts that fall under these categories. I digress, but my point is that a lot of my reviews happen by serendipity. I hope some future bright spark will rectify this malady very soon, but for now, I want to raise a couple more points. A lot of my reviews over the last couple of years, have focused on U.K. acts- most of whom eminate north of the border (north of Watford actually). The likes of Crystal Seagulls and Los and the Deadlines are London-based troupes, whom are putting the capital firmly on the map. Outiside of them, I have surveyed some south cost Pop acts as well as a few acts based in Surrey- yet they are in the minority. My featured three-piece hail from London and call Hayes home- an area and hotspot I shall investigate in more depth. I am glad to be putting London back in the spotlight. It is axiomatic to say that it is a city where a lot of new musicians pioneer and dream- yet the best and brightest are based further north. From experience, most of my ‘London reviews’ have focused on bands; those whom prefer their sounds heavier and more hard-hitting, I have found few solo acts or diverse acts to review (although they are definitely out there); there is a slight homogenisation. This is no bad thing, as the likes of Crystal Seaguls and Los and the Deadlines have proven- some of the most invigorating acts in the U.K. play out of London. It is- and should always be- the mecca and epicentre of what is current, fresh and alive; London has always offered up some of the greatest acts of all time- something I hope will not abate. This conundrum and consideration may be something that is a question for the ages, but recently, I have been thinking a lot about bands. Being someone keen to not only record my own music, but recruit a band, I am always on the look out for great talent. I have never been keen on being part of an all-male band; diversity and cross-polination have always seemed more appealing. When I look at bands at the moment, there is still a dominance of the male-only realm. Occassionally, you get some male-female bands (2-4 members typically), and there are all-female bands, yet the following is apt: the styles differ gretly. Th last time I surveyed an all-girl group whom played heavier sounds, was Fake Club. Since then (that was last year), you either find that the (all-girl) acts tend to be largely Pop-based or mould themselves around a former girl group. For the boys, the sounds tend to be harder and more energetic (there are fewer boybands)- I am not sure why. Ever since reviewing Fake Club (and being mesmerised by their music) I have been looking out for a similar act- a band that can offer that potency and promise. Today’s subjects provide the excitment I have been seeking. The London 3-piece act summon up the force and conviction of a four (or five-piece) male act- and do so in their inimitable and unique style.
When looking around for new bands, I have been somewhat dissapointed lately. Certain acts such as Kongos (U.S. funtime purveyors) provided no feedback or acknolwegement when I reviewed one of their songs- which left me feeling angry and jaded. I have- as a result- slowed by workrate, and going after bands whom seem deserving of attention or focus- and that would seem grateful for any review. It is a minor quibble, but it is better when a band (or act) can use a review or feature; spread the word and get more people atuned to their music. My featured trio, should have no fear: they will be big news, very soon. Our heroines are comprised, thus:
Nadia– Vocals and Guitar
Harriet– Bass and vocals
The girls, themselves, describe themselves in these terms: “We’re a feisty all girl punk band from West London! Recently supported Kate Nash on her UK tour, played Indietracks Festival and many indie pop and punk shows! We’re self-managed, completely DIY and book all our own shows“. One of the most impressive elements of new music, is when a band or act manages to put out music at all- such is the demanding nature of the industry. Record label bosses and venues tend to not come calling right from the start, so musicians are often charged with make all their own moves and making all their own decisions. The Tuts not only book their own gigs, but write their own music; organise all their day-to-day activities and movements- they are a three woman army. The girls are all striking and gorgeous to behold, yet it is when their music hits your ears, that the biggest impressions are made. Our heroines’ onomatepiac name translates as “To express annoyance, impatience, or mild reproof“- their music whips up a certain distain and rebellion. Rare is their brand of music, that many critics have been allured and staggered by their intentions. The Tuts have a natural home in the live arena, and make most of their music their. When they get into the studio, their energy and glory is not reduced or distilled- it is all in tact and restored. In 2012, their debut E.P., S/T gained the hearts of many fans (and new admireres). One reviewer was compelled to write: “West London three piece buzz like a female version of the Libertines. From the same town as the Ruts, with only a letter difference, the Tuts are a bundle of attitude and suss.” Songs such as I Call You Up (a fan favourite) is a two minute aural assult that puts me in mind of ’70s Punk as well as White Blood Cells-era The White Stripes. That track was a rallying call; yet contained melody and a sunmmery feel. The girls turned lyrics such as “And I’m not just starting beef but you’ve gone to sleep/And I’m shouting and I’m screaming for you“, into something toe-tapping and upbeat. One of the most striking things about The Tuts is their image. Although the girls have plenmty of genuine Punk and Rock spirit; grit and punch to their music, they have plenty of heart and tenderness. If you look at their personal website, it is awash with bright colours, cartoonish figures and vibrancy. The E.P. cover to S/T depicted the girls in shilloutte; colourfully-depicted- it was the kind of image that would adorn the album of a Pop album perhaps. There is a definite air or happiness, joyfulness and sun-kissed variegation. After the success of their debut E.P., combined with a sturdy and busy touring scchedule, the positive reviews flooded in:
“As The Tuts rage on through the tracks in their self-titled EP, the crowd really starts to come alive, including one particularly enthusiastic fan sporting a pair of cat ears on her head. Insightful lyrics in Tut, Tut, Tut chip away at sexism in the music industry, whilst Nadia, sipping from a bottle of lager in between songs, becomes an embodiment of everything The Tut’s music stands for. The rest of the set, along with jokes about Nadia’s “hairy armpits” (they weren’t by the way) receive raucous applause from the audience, signalling that The Tuts have gained a venue’s-worth of new fans“.
The Ark Preston
Part of an ongoing girl-band renaissance that takes in everything from the dark post-punk of Savages and Zoëtrøpe to the lo-fi sounds of Woolf and Skinny Girl Diet, The Tuts instead take a refreshingly punked-up pop approach, citing their inspirations as everyone from The Beatles to Bikini Kill, and wielding enough classic-indie influences to make them serious contenders for mainstream appeal should word continue to spread“.
The Girls Are
“The Tuts let themselves be free to be as cheeky, poppy and cute as like, which turns out to be very cheeky, poppy and cute. The band sound like a Kate Nash, Jack Penate and Shangri-las mash up, which can be most obviously seen in their latest song ‘Call Me Up’, an upbeat catchy number with candy coated riffs and sweet as pie vocals that will definitely take the girls far“.
Don’t Dance Her Down Boys
“Very much the definition of power-trio, The Tuts burn with an erratic energy and songs that make an almighty racket. Think of them as southern England’s answer to The 5, 6, 7, 8s (remember them?!) and you’re on the right track…Afterwards they were more than happy to spend a good deal of time meeting and greeting; shifting merch and posing for photos with a few sweaty-browed gents and a seemingly limitless supply of starry-eyed, impressionable young girls“.
At the moment, our trio have just unveilled their second E.P., and it shows them in confident and uthoriative mood. Their online pages- Facebook, Twitter etc.- are informative and kept up-to-date, and their fan base is slowly growing. I am sure that with the release of time to move on, their legions will swell and multiply; demand will flood in from all parts of the U.K.- and venues will come calling. With the likes of the Reading and Leeds Festival playing host to the likes of Arctic Monkeys and Queens of the Stone Age, there is a huge demand for groups whom provide heavy and impressive music. There is a definite niche and demand in the marketplace for groups that can provide the sort of kick that The Tuts have perfected. It is not just the music that has compelled so many, but the personalities of the girls. As well as being luminous and eye-catching with their online presentation, they are very much dedcicated to striking against sexism; reestablishing equality and balance- as well as coming across as relatable and tangible. On their Facebook page, the three-piece list their ‘interests’: “Gigs, drunken nights, eating pizza, playing sweet tunes, feminism, friendships, cuddling, craft, dancing, football, GIRL GANGS, horoscopes and being outspoken bad-ass bitches! Don’t let the patriarchy silence you. Confront sexism and racism head on“. It is clear that Nadia, Harriet and Bev have no intention of being labelled a ‘girl band’ or coming across as flyweight- they mean serious business. Amonst their influences, is the likes of Colour Me Wednesday, The Libertines, Best Coast, Kate Nash, Lemuria, Standard Fare, Martha, Perkie, Feeder, The Aquadolls, The Pipettes, and The Babies. It is the comparisons to- and the influence of- The Libertines that caught my mind. When listening to the girls’ debut E.P. I could hear comparisons with the (sadly defunct) band- especially their Up The Bracket work. The Libertines are one of my favourite bands of the past twenty years, and I have long-bemoaned their demise. It is a sad fact that broken relations (as well as drugs) disintergrated a group whom seemed capable of a long regency. A lot of modern acts are too shiny and polished; there is little intrigue; too little wit and bite in their lyrics. The Libs. boys offered up London back-alleys, deplorable characters; chancers and vagrants; broken love- all wrapped in their festival of sound. The Tuts have the spirit of The Libertines in their bones, and echo some of their finest moments in their threads and movements. As I sat down to review time to move on (knowing everything I do about the trio), I prepared myself for what is to come.
The first thing one notices about the E.P., is the attention to detail. The E.P.’s cover is a mesh of striking lettering, colourful washes and striking images. This consideration and allure is not confined to their visual presentations. From the first notes of Worry Warrior, it is clear that our heroines have seemlessly combined urgency with consideration and thought. A beautiful intro. is unleashed, that put me in mind of the U.S. You can imagine the sounds of Worry Warrior blaring from a speaker in Nashville; there is a bit of a Electro-Country feel to the first moments; the solid and stacatto drum beat gives it some kick and fun- making the combinatuion sound very much their own. I love the lo-fi and raw production sound as well. It sounds like you are listening to a live renedition of the track-it has that feel to it. Sam Brackley’s production gives the track the sensation of an early Libertines cut, but unlike Mick Jones’s efforts, sounds and sights are not buried in the mix- everything is clear and concise. You cannot help but be swept up in the gallop of percussion, drum and bass: the girls combine beautifully. When it comes to the lyrics, they point at some disatisfaction and anxiety (“I evern smile when I’m annoyed“). Our heroine’s voice is sweet and melodic, yet backed with genuine anger. With a Kate Nash-esque delivery, she states that “No one takes me seriously“. Unable to say no to other people, Javed is reflecting on the downside of her trusting and open nature: delivered with impecable energy and conviction. The song has elements of Kilamangiro‘s (by Babyshambles) energy; a bit of Happy Hour Housemartins- and a whole load of attitude by The Tuts. Towards the 0:40 mark, there is a rumbling and raw guitar, with Javed (Nadia) and Ishmael (Bev) clashing, backed (Harriet) Doveton’s solid bass. When proceedings are slowed, and our heroine is pounctuated by a catchy and powerful sonic blast; the song takes another twist. Speaking introspectively and inwardly (“I thought you were stronger“), our heroine comes to a conclusion: “time to move on“. The Surfer Rosa-era Pixies guitar/bass/drum swirls instantly transform back into lighter and linear territoy. Our heroine is back at the mic. as she looks back on life (“I used to fight to keep peace“); her voice inflected with a heavy heart. Such is the spirit and talent of the trio, that they can present such a unique and original song; yet put you in mind of others. The likes of The Bangles, The Libertines (Begging and Time for Heroes) as well as Nash come through: combined and concoted into a heady brew. As the chorus swagger in (with vocal duties being shared between Javed and Doveton), your feet will be tapping. There is such a raw and unadulaterated spike to the sound, that you can imagine yourself in a pub, listening to the song live- maybe being caught in the bow wave of a mosh pit. The final third of the song sees each of our players stepping up. A punchy and solid drum rattle comes forth; a wailing and electryfying guitar solo come in (Josh Homme, eat your heart out!); followed by a twirling and finger-picking bass coda. In the final seconds, the percussive and bass rush is juxtoposed by our heroine’s vocals; which, whilst still imploring and direct, are more relaxed and casual than her cohorts. As we come to the end, I have little time to reflect before the next track arrives: Dump Your Boyfriend. The version on the E.P. is a live one, and shows our heroines in their natural enviorment. With a vibrating and heady guitar storm (in the first few seconds), the track wastes no time in getting into your head. Again there is a slight hint of Kilamangiro, but the girls add weight, potency and force that Doherty and crew could only imagine. There is a Punk rush to the intro. that Buzzcocks undertones and a huge atmosphere whipped forth. Our heroine elonagates her words, as she recounts how peoplke advise her to dump her boyfriend; accusations are abound, as she admits: “But I can’t just dump/Duh-duh-dump my boyfriend/Accusations but what about all the birds in your tree?/So pull off the plaster for me“. Whereas the previous track was penned by Doveton, here Javed is a co-scribe; the two blending their talents together. The recording on the E.P. is clear and consise; like on Worry Warrior, the production allows clarity and consision- making the track stronger for it. The subject of the song has obviously caused issues; our heroine seemingly stuck in a rut (“He took my liberty away/(but I stay)/He clipped my wings so I stay/(can’t run away)/I’ll put it off for another day“). Dump Your Boyfriend has a relentless and unslakable energy and drive (unsurprsing consider the song’s topics); the vocal performance mixes languruous and laid-back with urgent and spiky- the percussion, bass and guitar once again rampant. It seems like there is a lot of regret and hesitation in the mottifs of The Tuts; the need to break away and change is clear, yet there is something holding them back. This is perhaps concecrated in one of the song’s final lines: “Easier said than done, I don’t want to jump the gun“. At just over 1:30, Loving It is the shortest of the four tracks (five, including the remix of Worry Warrior). After a brief lead-in/intro. (with some tantilising shades of Queens of the Stone Age) it is down to business, as our heroine steps to the mic. Caught in the riptide and franticnous of her colleagues’ combinations, our heroine states “It’s making me go mental”- although it is unclear, to begin, what this is referring to. As it is said (that) “We don’t see the struggle” there is a beautiful little guitar, bass and drum stutter and rush (the song snakes and turns in different direction) that adds a sonic smile to proceedings. Our heroine’s vocal is dependably direct and convicning; displaying its hallmarks or sedate and elliptical; breezy and spiky. The vocal delivery- as well as the composition itself- changes directions and pace, giving the song a constant electricity. You cannot help but kick your feet out when the composition is syncopated; unveil a grin when our heroine sings “I’m loving it“- there is a pause- before delivering”It’s making me…”. Again The Tuts seemlessly inject flavour notes of past hits and bands (there were one or two ’60s and ’70s toches and familiarities I enjoyed), with a distinct sound of 2014 London. I would say that Loving It is the catchiest song of the set (thus far); it packs so much dance, jive, rush and movement into 92 seconds- it is hard not to be impressed. The final (original) track of the E.P. is 1,2,3. After a sojourn of percussive pattering- that summons and tees up the vocals- our heroine steps into view. If the song’s title and nursery rhyme delivery makes you think our London trio are penning a song for the young, the first lyric snippets quickly dispel that. Whether the song is directed towards a former sweetheart or ex-friend, it is unsure, but whomever it is, a lot of anger has been provoked. Semblances such as “4,5,6/You can suck my dick” suggest that a common enemy has stirred some hostility; a need to right wrongs and change things is evident (“I wanna take back the night“). Our heroine wants to feel okay; to roll her car window down and shout out- the vocal here is one of the most nuanced and intruiging on the E.P. The entire band performance is (I guess not too shiockingly) tight and mobile; like Loving It, there is a lot of pace changes and direction shifts- meaning that you are always kept to attention. If some of the lyrics point towards juvenille petulance or infantile tongue sticking-out, the vocal performance and wit transcends any doubts. Such is the nature of the band- raw but upbeat; Punk but sensitive- you know that there must have been a smile on their faces when the lines were delivered. Like contemporaries Kate Nash, The Tuts are able to deftly weave witticism with vulgar; sensitive with spiked heels- and make it sound fresh and new. As with the opening three tracks, matters are dealt with with succint regard and concision. No track outstays its welcome, and each track arrives and plays like an explosion: it lasts a fairly short time yet leaves its impressions. By the final strains of 1,2,3 the listener is slightly exhausted and bruised- yet better for it.
On their BandCamp page, the band offered a Deluxe Edition of the E.P. (that included: 1x copy of the brand new EP ‘time to move on’ with signed lyrics booklet + immediate download of the tracks!/1x ‘Always hear the same shit’ Earth Positive T-shirt! (please pick your size! listed below!)/1x ‘Dump your boyfriend’ 13cm tall embroidered patch!!!/1x Tuts plectrum in either pink or blue! (please specify in order if you have preference!)/1x Tuts mirror!/1x Limited edition high quality cartoon tuts gig poster!/1x Limited Edition ‘Happy happy birthday to me records’ mix cassette tape featuring The Tuts & other Indie pop artists from around the world!/1x Randomly chosen hand printed mini patch! (over 4 different designs available!)/1x Akbar Ali Artwork zine/3x Tuts stickers/1x Badge pack). It is evident that the three-piece have a lot of respect and time for their fans. Their website and online portfolio is jam-packed and informative- fans and newcomers have eveything they need. It is impressive that the girls handle all their own business, and run the show: you get the impression they would not want it any other way. By having full artistic control, they have been able to play the gigs they want and make the music truest to them. One feels, however, that labels and venues will be knocking at their door. I have reviewed enough new music to know that the trio will be in demand very soon. Their sound is both evocative, familiar- yet definied by a unique and personal direction and flair. They are a tight and impressive force, and their live performances have gained huge praise. Music is a cruel and unpredicatble mistress where many get buried under its weight. The girls should consider the possibility of being future headline acts; of having many eyes cast their way. At the moment, they are probably more concerned with seeing how time to move on does. I was thoroughly impressed by not only the quality of the songs, but also of the range that they presented. Flavours of the Punk masters of old come to the fore; sparks of The Libertines and Kate Nash can be detected within- all contained within solid and memorable tracks. If I had one suggestion for The Tuts, it would be to allow some additional hands into camp. I know that they are skillfully managing their own careers, yet there are going to be label bosses and record companies that would snap them up in a heartbeat. Creative control and input would not have to be compromised; but the girls would have the opportunity to play their music as far and wide as possible. Bars, venues and localities within New York and California have similar bands (doing good business) here; Australia and Europe are all have definite room in the market for the likes of The Tuts. As much as anything, there are plenty of towns and cities throughout the U.K. whom would love to hear from the girls. That said, they play Cardiff, Birmingham and Exeter in the next few weeks, and will be taking their blend of song to some new faces. When compiling a new band, I would kill for the likes of Nadia, Harriet and Bev. Such is the mark of a great act, that they not only inspire your own work and motivation- but also make you rethink. I have been writing music that is lacking in guts and boldness. The likes of Worry Warrior and 1,2,3 have provided fresh inspiration, and I find myself re-inspired (once more). The ’90s (and early-’00s) was the last time we saw a genuine wave of exciting and new London bands- The Libertines included- so it is great that The Tuts are coming through. Like I said up top, there are plenty of London acts out there, yet few manage to bustle through the herd and steal focus. This year has been an encouraging one for new music, and provided more diversity and quality than I have heard for a long time. I am not sure what future market trends will be, but it is clear that the likes of The Tuts will be around to find out. I hope that as many people as possible listen to time to move on (buy it is as well), and go see them live, as they are determined to be around for as long as possible. It is the mutual friendships and strong bonds between the girls that will keep them togethger- so do not expect any Doherty-esque downfall. The music is impressive and nuanced, and there is something in there for everyone. Too many new acts arrive, implore hard- only to be forgotten about. With our trio doing what they are doing…
THAT will not be something they have to worry about.
Worry Warrior– 9.4/10
Dump Your Boyfriend (Live)– 9.3
Loving It- 9.6
Worry Warrior (Remix)- 9.4
Standout Track: Loving It.
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