Sunday, 27 June 2010


Played three, lost three. Think we'll stick to making clothes...

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Sunday, 20 June 2010


“Pure Genius – the assembly of iron and wood because temples must be made. And the avoidance of all that whiny, sexless bullshit passing for rebellion at the moment”
That’s how Todd Eckhart producer of the Joy Division film ‘Control’ described the music of the band Exit Calm. Everyone’s favourite bassist Mani summed them up rather less succinctly but no less accurately calling their efforts “Proper Fuckin Music”. Both happen to be right, Mani highlights the simplicity, Exit Calm are 4 guys from South Yorkshire having a jam and playing the music hard, loud and bloody well. Eckhart though highlights why Exit Calm should be no flash in the pan in an area of music which is so quickly promoted, celebrated and then tossed aside when the next fad in skinny jeans and pointy shoes arrives. Exit Calm are so much more than that, guitarist Rob Marshall performs ‘epic’ wonders – ‘Epic’ is a word so often used in reviews but in this case, rightly so. Ably joined by Simon Lindley on bass and Scott Pemberton on drums they create a canvas onto which Nicky the lead singer layers astounding vocals and lyrics. This sounds awesome on CD, iPod or whatever format you listen to your music on but put this mix into a live setting and you get an unforgettable experience that leaves you wanting more - so much so that one fan, Pedro from Catalonia flew over for a midweek gig in deepest darkest Barnsley!
Exit Calm started when 3 members of Barnsley band Lycra Sleep left to find a powerful frontmen to add their already highly talented collective. Nicky Smith who had been in a couple of bands in Leeds and tried the singer song writer role in London joined the fray and together they became Exit Calm.
That was three years ago, in that time the quartet have grown and matured with every session and every gig. The process reached a logical conclusion on May 17th when their self-titled debut album was released. Whilst Exit Calm have a dedicated fanbase, the new album is a chance for the band to make their statement and surely in so doing start to get credit they so richly deserve.

We caught up with bassist Simon Lindley...

TNBC: Where does the name come from?
EC: It comes from a book I was flicking through called 'Silent Rebels' – it’s not a direct quote or reference from it. It was just 2 words in a sentence about chaos, which sounds a lot more dramatic than it is.

TNBC: You’ve been going for 3 years, many bands burst onto the scene and disappear in that time, why so patient and what makes you different from the rest?
EC: We've all spent time in bands before and like most things in music, you learn what not to do. When we formed this band we were totally out of step with what was going on cos our guitars weren't strapped around our chins and Nicky didn't sing gibberish about predicting riots.
My desire to just be in a band and see what happens left me when I was about 23 - we do it now cos we wanna do it right. You feel let down by so much music that comes out and it leaves you jaded. What makes us different to others is we know why we do what we do...not many other bands have a fuckin clue.

TNBC: How do you create the ‘epic’ sound? What’s the process?
EC: It comes naturally to us when we write. The stuff that connects us is all big sounding stuff. Rob's got a massive sound for one guitar, he's the most instinctive player I’ve ever heard, and its not just banging loads of effects on everything, it’s about layers. Also we play with a lot of dynamics, drops and builds and some of Nicky’s melodies are pretty mighty. Plus its organic, it all comes from us so we dictate exactly what we do.

TNBC: Customary Verve question – What do you think of the comparisons?
EC: Never heard one. Just kidding. I take it as a compliment, why wouldn't you? They're one of the most forward thinking and important bands of recent times, and definitely an influence. They're also a band which wouldn't exist if you took one member out, which is why we probably get the comparison as well. It’s about scope. Making euphoric music with a minimal approach. But we don't sit in our rehearsal room on our knees gushing at 'the sun, the sea' or anything. That comparison is the only negative we ever get from people - never 'they're shit' or 'they can't play' - just 'they’re a bit Vervey’

TNBC: Yorkshire born and bred? Would you agree that Exit Calm’s output is typically Northern?
EC: I'd say so yeah, obviously we're from near Sheffield and that’s famed for its synthy stuff so not in that way at all. Probably not intentionally but there’s a wide sound and a feel that runs through many Northern bands. From the Roses & Mondays to Doves & Elbow. Even to bands like The Rain Band & I Am Kloot. Northern bands understand drums. It’s like we do the psychedelics but it’s with beats, width and deep grooves...and without having to wear fancy dress.

TNBC: You mentioned a few Manchester bands there, any other influences?
EC: Obviously Factory is a big influence, although most people who say that now just mean Joy Division. Rob's big into Durriti Column. One of the first things Nicky and me talked about was Twisted Nerve and the Grand Central label that had A.I.M and Rae & Christian. Also bands like the Longcut, Rain Band who've come and gone sadly. Then there’s The Chameleons, obviously Doves, Elbow, Roses. I remember going to a big beat night in about 1999 somewhere in the Northern Quarter and the DJ played some Monkey Mafia tune, which I’d never heard outside my house, that was pretty inspiring for me.

TNBC: Is there a Lancashire/Yorkshire divide in Music?
EC: I wouldn't say so, but I’m from Barnsley, not Leeds or Sheffield so maybe I don't get it like the cities do. I think the 2 places are miles apart in styles anyway; Lancashire ’s always had the more everyman, big sounding bands and heavier dance side. Yorkshires had more of an indie side and synth background. If we're talking cities it’s more of a stylistic divide sometimes than regional maybe, you lot like it grand - they like it with eyeliner on.

TNBC: Why should people come and see you?
EC: Playing live is what gets you in a band, or it should do. It’s what we're about definitely, its forms you. Its not coincidence that most bands wanna capture their live sound when they record. There’s no frills or gimmicks with us, hopefully that’s what makes it special. This massive sound coming from 4 people. That’s something the Internet can't beat, the honesty of it. The reason people should some and see us is that we give a fuck.

TNBC: You recorded the album in London , how was it?
EC: It was good. Gets a bit intense sometimes but luckily our producer Paddy Byrne is a great man manager and he got the best out of us performance wise. We were in the centre of Hoxton for a month which was interesting. We'd been waiting so long to get in and get it down so we were flying from the first takes - 7 songs done in 3 days.

TNBC: You said in a previous interview that you had “No shit songs” which many fans would agree with, but how did you go about narrowing stuff down for an album particularly as you had 3 years of material?
EC: There’s always the ones that pick themselves. The ones that took some deciding like the ones we’ve released previously, 2 of which haven't made the album. We approached it as a 2-side thing - as if it was vinyl, also not like a traditional band album. For us this album has as much in common feel wise with a DJ Shadow or Talk Talk record. For us it’s about making something that’s vital and stands up on its own, not just our 10 or 11 best recorded songs.

TNBC: If you had to pick 3 Exit Calm songs to best some you up what would they be?
EC: 'Forgiveness', 'We're on our own' & 'Serenity'.

TNBC: Support slots with a number of bands, how do you find putting the shift in? Any stories?
EC: We've loved every support tour – they’ve all been with great bands. The Bunnymen, The Music, The Sunshine Underground. Luckily we've been received well by others crowds. It’s always good cos it’s like a nice battle.
We did 14 dates with The Sunshine Underground all over Britain . We had a day off in Dundee in between so we cut loose a bit, think they were a bit worried cos their tour manager told em we were 'drinking like we wanted to die', but that image of us is mostly down to our soundman - who's a fuckin nutter. Rob Harvey from The Music is marvelous at kick ups as well.

TNBC: Football fans?
EC: Yeah. The others not so much nowadays, music took over after school I think. We've got Barnsley, Hull and Middlesborough in our band.
I still go and try and get to Barnsley matches when I can, I’ve been a few times this season. I didn't go at all in the promotion season weirdly. I was a season ticket holder at Oakwell from 9 till 16.

TNBC: The fans on your forum seem to spend a lot of time debating what trainers and clothes to wear to an Exit Calm gig. Why do you think you guys appeal to this type of person?
EC: Good taste. Specifics in good taste as well. Clothes and music are always hand in hand. Not so much nowadays on the whole, but it used to be how you pick out your own sort. I think it still applies to some of our gigs.

TNBC: How important is how you look to Exit Calm?
EC: Not greatly cos of the band. I'd be the same if I didn't play an instrument. Clothes and music - Its just what you get interested in when you're young and carries on and hopefully matures as you get older. But yeah, I can't get the lads who look like cornettos in skinny jeans. I'm not into this 'looking wrecked' thing, ripped t-shirts and vests. Makes em look ill. What’s the point? I remember not buying singles when I was 16 if a band looked shit. Hardly any bands would exist now if every youth had those principles.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Thursday, 17 June 2010


Here's the extended version of Iain from The Northern Monkey in Leeds' piece in the current fanzine. We couldn't fit all the answers in the issue, so here they are...

TNBC: What team do you support?
IAIN: Leeds United.

TNBC: How's the season been treating you?
IAIN: Like a great night out in your favourite bar with your favourite people drinking free booze absorbing the amazing vibe and then walking outside and getting knocked over by a bus and then being carried back into the bar to carry on the party.

TNBC: First football match you ever went to?
IAIN: Crystal Palace at home in the FA Cup mid 70s, we were top of the old Division One and they were in Division 2 or 3. We lost. I should have known then the life of pain that awaited me.

TNBC: Last top awayday?
IAIN: The last TRULY top away game has to be Jan 3rd in the FA Cup. Nobody needs me to say against who and where – it was a long time coming but worth every minute.

TNBC: Jackets or trainers?
IAIN: Tough one, I hate going out without a jacket even when the weather is nice but also love my trainers so I’m going to be a LibDem and sit on the fence and say both.

TNBC: Last purchased jacket or trainers?
IAIN: I bought a really nice One True Saxon summer jacket last week – but I also bought a new pair of blue Samba’s so again, a bit of both!

TNBC: First item of cherished designer gear?
IAIN: My first ever pair of black/white Adidas Sambas – I think up until I got them in about 82 I always wore whatever were bought for me – I washed a lot of cars to be able to afford those and I finally felt like I’d “arrived”.

TNBC: Favourite brand?
IAIN: Adidas

TNBC: What was your first gig?
IAIN: Adam and the Ants – Leeds Queens Hall around 1981/82 – still ranks as one of the best gigs I ever went to – not ashamed to say it, what a show that man could put on.

TNBC: Best ever gig?
IAIN: I have to say it was New Order and Moby in a place called Mountain View in Northern California in 2001. Unbelievable night and full of English lads showing the Yanks how to enjoy a gig. Closely followed by Tom Hingley here in The Northern Monkey!

TNBC: Top three bands of all time?
IAIN: The Smiths, The Stone Roses, The Wedding Present.

TNBC: What's getting the airtime on your iPod/ghettoblaster at the moment?
IAIN: The Cheek, Exit Calm, Assemblage 23, Two Door Cinema Club, White Rose Movement, Local Natives and The Domino State are all getting plenty of airtime at the moment – play them in the bar constantly but loads of good stuff out at the moment.

TNBC: First record you bought?
IAIN: I’m going to get slaughtered but honesty is the best policy – Under The Moon Of Love, Showaddywaddy!

TNBC: Last gig you went to? Any good?
IAIN: The Sunshine Underground at The Faversham and they were amazing as always – although by the time you read this, it will have been Charlatans Some Friendly gig in Blackpool on May 15th – and I’m sure it will have been a stonker!

If you would like to feature in 'Another Northern Boy', or contribute in any way to the fanzine, just send us an email to


"Talent borrows, genius steals" - Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

WE LIKE #17...

Fun and Games...



The lovely folks at Umbro have given us a signed England shirt to give away. It's not signed by the run of the mill, second rate footballer, but by the designer Aitor Throup himself.

We like things that are done properly, and the new England shirt design has revolutionised kit design. This will be a very collectable piece.

To enter the draw, simply send us you name, address, D.O.B and phone number (phone number so you can be contacted if you win) to as soon as possible!

Monday, 14 June 2010


Our new limited edition t-shirt is now available!
As we all know, it's been fourty-four years since England's last international tournament win. So to celebrate the irony of that, we've only made fourty-four of these. As Jack Charlton said, "Basically, it's all football..."

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


1. Darren Anderton
2. Newcastle, Man City, Coventry, Norwich
3. 19th but they were not relegated as there where 22 teams in the league!
4. Tranmere Rovers with Wirral 1989
5. Peter Shilton at 1005 appearances
6. Dennis Bergkamp
7. Pepe Reina 5/6 20 6/7 19 7/8 18
8. 1, Shearer - 260, 2, Cole - 187, 3, Henry - 174
9. 11...Baresi, De Boer, Flo, Andersson, Mckinlay, Mpenza, Zewlakow, Kova, Kone, Toure, Degen
10. Eleven seconds, Hakan Şükür (Turkey vs Korea Republic) June 29, 2002


With a World Cup theme to boot, get you hands on our latest fanzine offering!
Available from any of the stockists listed on the website or from the website itself for a nominal fee.