Review: Purs at New River Studios
Written by: Sophie Taylor
Converted furniture warehouse, New River Studios in Manor House host a glut of facilities, made easily accessible to the local community. Run on a not-for-profit basis by a Community Interest Company, the studios support gigs, exhibitions, workshops and pop-ups to support local artists, help people find work and promote regeneration and well being initiatives in the area.
“By integrating diverse uses and users, we aim to create a place that is rich in activity, collaboration and connections, where artists, young people, educators, creative professionals and local residents can co-exist and learn from one another.”
London based shoegazers, Purs are a relatively new band currently dusting off their guitar straps after a cracker of a show at New River Studios last week. With a currently sold out single released only last month on Blak Hand Records, the Australian/Swedish/Warrington band aren’t doing too badly for themselves.
Described as pensive alt rock and compared to Sonic Youth and Pavement, you do start drifting off into a nineties indie film on first listen to their slightly more produced tracks. But live, well there’s a different cinema genre altogether.
The bass is growlier, the vocals raspier and Andy’s Fender takes on a sexy new life of it’s own. Largely North London rooted, Purs gather up their fuzz pedals and meet at Fat Tank Studios in Manor House to rehearse. I had a post gig chat with guitarist Andy about cosmic kraut and sleepy cats.
Who else rehearses there?
“Our mates Thee MVP’s also rehearse at Fat Tank, also Hidden Charms and I’ve heard that Johnny Lloyd from the band Tribes is doing some recording there at the minute.”
Any local recommendations?
“We usually go for drinks at the Finsbury Pub which round the corner from our rehearsal room. It’s also a pretty good music venue, they always have great bands passing through.”
What did you make of performing at New River Studios? They seem friendly
“The guys at new river studios were fantastic!! the venue has such cool intimate vibe. We’re huge fans of Xaviers (the side project of Japanese noise rock band Bo Ningen) wanged-out cosmic kraut-jams are the best!
The café at new river serves really tasty vegan cuisine, has a great selection of ales and a lovely cat that likes to sleep on the stereo behind the bar.”
So how many pedals do you actually own? And what’s your favourite?
“I (Andy) have 5 pedals (including EHX Little Big Muff Pi, EHX Deluxe Memory Man and Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb). Serra is all about the Big Muff and reverb. Mandi owns one pedal which is probably the bands fave called the ‘Fuzzy Agnes’. It’s a transistor fuzz pedal made by Ben from the band Saint Agnes and it sounds gnarly!”
I hear you’d love to play in Brazil, where else is on the map for Purs?
“Haha, yes Brazilians have shown quite a bit of interest in Purs, shoegaze is massive over there! We’ll hopefully be doing some European dates next year but we would love to tour Japan one day.”
Do you write together? Who’s in charge of lyrics?
“The band started off as a studio project by Andy so all the songs so far were written by him. Since we finalised the line up earlier this year we’ve been writing more together and developing the sound.”
What do you get up to when you’re not tuning up/buying pedals/writing intricate bass lines?
“We love cooking (Serra is working on an actual cookbook), making playlists, drinking coffee and researching our next pedal and guitar purchases.”
2016 has been a shitstorm, but exciting for Purs. What’s next, besides hopefully a big fat album?
“Well yes, hopefully a big album and lots and lots of touring.”
And who would we find on your most played from this year?
“Abjects, Temple Songs, Algiers, PJ Harvey, Warpaint and Sweat Shop Boys.”
Staying in a hotel one mile from where you actually live feels strange enough, but doing it on your own is even stranger. These photos are a visual record of me wandering the lonely corridors of a new boutique hotel between the hours of 10-12pm. I would describe the decor as handmade but not cheap, minimal but not clinical. It has the feeling that money has been spent on the things that matter.
The rumours are true: a cheese festival exists and it’s coming to North London. This Sunday. Be there or be … cheese-less I suppose. But you’ve gouda get there early: If you’re as keen as brie and one of the first fifty fromage fondlers to show, you’re in the running for a free bottle of Black Cow’s pure milk vodka. Traders will be setting up stalls along Islington’s Chapel Market: from the Raclette Brothers and Mac to the Future to La Fromagerie and The Cheese Truck.
Dream Talk. It’s like Dream Phone, but not at all. Artist Emma Alonze and musician Andy Becker have joined forces to collaborate on a (possibly prophetic) new sound art project. Londoners are invited to take a moment out of their daily commute, routine or journey and immerse themselves in a narrated collection of dreams. Taking three years worth of forty winks, Alonze has gathered and narrated a chosen few to be set to an ambient soundtrack by Becker.
Holy smoke, her nipples are on fire! Somebody pass the woman an extinguisher. Wait, why is she climbing into that giant margarita glass - does she not know it's highly flammable? She's going to need to be doused with a sizable portion of aloe vera gel at this rate, the poor lamb.
If there's anything the new moon today has told us, it's that it's time to be our true selves. That's what my horoscope told me today anyway. But what does that mean exactly? It means that if you want to eat honey loops for lunch, you 100% can. It means if you feel like learning how to make a bouquet instead of working on your tax forms, you 100% can. It also means if you want to learn how the deep throat (singing technique) you don't have to explain yourself. You're keeping it .
Our exclusive meeting with Eroc: the Beyonce of the skateboarding dog world. Eroc the french bulldog is making waves. With fans like Tony Hawk, BBC Radio and over 30k followers on Instagram (and counting), Eroc has also become something of an online sensation. His viral status comes and goes, randomly popping up on online social media channels every now and again to generate hundreds of thousands of views and clicks via the likes of Buzzfeed, Time Out and rogue iPhone filmers.
We all have our own ways of dealing with life when things get shitty. Having a big cry and getting it all out can be incredibly therapeutic, and even more so when we find ourselves repeating the same line over and over through the tears. “He’s a dick!” or “I’m not a bad person!” These little lines of reinforcement help us push through the crappy feeling. Sometimes we might even revert to a hearty little stamp on the floor / kick of some unsuspecting object. It feels surprisingly satisfying when the rage sets in and we feel helpless.
This Friday sees the release of Malian master musicians, Trio Da Kali’s new album Ladilikan. Fusing rich, expressive vocals with traditional instruments like the balafon and bass ngoni, this is a beautiful mix of ancient Mande culture and contemporary Malian sounds. Luckily for us North Londoners, we have the opportunity to see the trio play live in the rather fitting ethereal surrounds of Stoke Newington Church next month.
Walking along Monsell Road in Finsbury Park, we spy the charming exterior of a shop looking like something out of a children’s book circa 1932. Beneath a green and white striped awning, a whimsical new world of mini animals awaits. Once inside we stumble about the store in hushed awe, reaching over a book of minuscule carpet samples/ family of miniature otters to tap a tiny bell.
Whether you’re looking for something to entertain your kids, your friends’ kids or that particularly large man child in your life, you might just have lucked out. Snug are hosting an open air screening of The Incredibles next Saturday evening. There will be tasty sourdough pizzas from Sodo Pizza (Upper Clapton) and ultimate authentic curries from Rice n Spice, Northwold Road.
Coming soon to a Tufnell Park near you is a whole new vegetable patch of delights / wheat field to run vicariously through. It’s time to get excited for Ceremony: a brand new bar/restaurant serving modern British veggie cuisine. Although the website remains tantalisingly mysterious, you can glean more info from their well stocked insta.
Sound baths, pit parties, fake cheese and nipples, these are a few of our favourite things, said no one ever. Bored of drinking down the pub every evening? Unlikely, but bare with me. Sometimes you just want to let down your hair, shake it off and do something down right odd of an evening... followed by a pint at the pub.
It’s been a few months since the last instalment of Online vs Offline. I deleted Bumble, Happn and Tinder, flirted with the idea of match.com, went to a friend’s wedding, heard the vicar call my name instead of the Bride’s and reflected briefly on the crushing inevitability of my own spinsterhood before realising everyone was laughing in the pews and I should probably join them.
Gluten-free cake consumers, vegan cheese enthusiasts, craft beer connoisseurs, lovers of pies and drinkers of tea; your time is now. Buy food of a quality & variety you can’t easily find in the shops, from organic meat to vegan cheese, fish caught that morning to pickles which have been fermenting for months, at Stroud Green market.
Who’s up for free entry, free cake and free folk (except for a jaunty little hat that is passed around for donations)? Get down to The Finsbury this Wednesday eve for a little mid week hootenanny and celebrate some of the best in new live music from the ‘acoustic, singer-songwriter & indie-folk scene’. Host with the most, Zoe Konez (“Ridiculously talented, Konez handles her guitar like she was born with it” - For Folk's Sake) will be deftly introducing each act from gin soaked folk popster herself, Penniless Cove to German indie band, Kalon.
What if you could mix the joys of your local Sunday car boot and all it’s dog perving potential with your favourite vintage clothes shops and high end antique markets? Within the sparkling depths of Dalson’s former ABC cinema, you’ll find The Big London Flea: London’s largest indoor vintage market.