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WORKING MEN'S CLUB

Working Men's Club

Working Men's Club

    A rumble on the horizon. Gritted teeth, nuclear fizz and fissured rock. A dab of pill dust from a linty pocket before it hits: the atom split, pool table overturned, pint glass smashed — valley fever breaking with the clouds as the inertia of small town life is well and truly disrupted. Here to bust out of Doledrum, clad in a t-shirt that screams SOCIALISM and armed with drum machine, synth, pedal and icy stare are Working Men’s Club, and their self-titled debut album.

    It’s hard to believe that the three fresh-faced music college kids who bounced out of nowhere and onto the 6 Music playlist with the sweet-but-potent, twangy guitar-led ‘Bad Blood’ (Melodic Records) in 2019 are the same band who clattered back there with maddening techno-cowbellpuncher ‘Teeth’ less than half a year later — and that’s because for the most part, they’re not. Having signed to Heavenly and with the hype around them building, underlying tensions came to a boil a mere five days before the band’s all-important first London headline show, and wunderkind frontman Syd Minsky-Sargeant was left high and dry; guitarist Giulia Bonometti had decided to focus on her blossoming solo career, and drummer Jake Bogacki was against the new electronic direction Minsky-Sargeant saw Working Men’s Club taking. (“I guess WMC started off as a bit more guitar-based, tryna copy stuff in our own way, like the Velvets and stuff like that, but I didn’t want it to be that anymore. It became dancier and dancier as I tried to experiment”, he explains.) All that remained of the outfit was Minsky-Sargeant himself, recently recruited bassist Liam Ogburn, and — given the band’s indebtment to wood panelled, community-run venues for an early leg-up — a rather pertinent name. But with staunch determination burning in his belly, Minsky-Sargeant quickly assembled a lineup consisting of himself, Ogburn, and Mairead O'Connor (The Moonlandingz) and Rob Graham (Drenge, Baba Naga) — both of whom he had met at the Sheffield studio of producer Ross Orton (The Fall, M.I.A., Arctic Monkeys) — replaced the live drums with a drum machine, and rush-rehearsed the new setup before going ahead with the show. “If it wasn’t for Sheffield then we probably wouldn’t have played that gig” he says. “I was shitting myself, because I didn’t know what would work or not.” Luckily, something stuck: “After about three gigs with that lineup it was already way better than what we’d had before.” Two original members lighter and three new ones the richer, Working Men’s Club took on a new hard-edge permutation, their shows becoming ever more sweaty, pulsating and rammed to the rafters; their energy raw; their vigour renewed; their interplay as musicians growing ever-more intuitive and elastic. Their eponymous collection of songs is equal parts Calder Valley restlessness and raw Sheffield steel; guitars locking horns with floor-filling beats, synths masquerading as drums and Minsky-Sargeant’s scratchy, electrifying bedroom demos brought to their full potential by Orton’s blade-sharp yet sensitive production.

    It was at home in the town of Todmorden in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire, feeling hemmed in, that 18-year-old Syd Minsky-Sargeant first began assembling these 10 songs. “There’s not much going on, not much stuff to do as a teenager” he says. “It’s quite isolated. And it can get quite depressing being in a town where in the winter it gets light at nine in the morning and dark at four”. It is this sense of cabin fever, of “thinking that you will never escape a small town in the middle of nowhere” on which the album opens, with the boredom-lamenting and rave-reminiscent ‘Valleys’. In a post-punk talk-sing over an old-skool beat, Minsky-Sargeant begins:

    Trapped, inside a town, inside my mind

    Stuck with no ideas, I’m running out of time

    There’s no quick escape, so many mistakes, I’ll play the long game

    This winter is a curse

    And the valley is my hearse, when will it take me to the grave?

    Fortunately for Syd and a thousand other bored-shitless, dark-dwelling teenagers, the Calder Valley boasts a burgeoning grassroots music scene, chiefly centred around The Golden Lion in Todmorden, and the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge — both of which were instrumental in the early life of the band. “Without those venues we probably wouldn’t have been able to get into playing live music”, Minsky-Sargeant reflects. Working Men’s Club’s first ever gig, at The Golden Lion, was self-booked and self-promoted, landlord Waka having allowed the band to use the 100-capacity room above the pub for free. Even before booking himself onto the stage though, Minsky-Sargeant regularly snuck into the venue to watch the internationally renowned DJs, like Justin Robertson and Luke Unabomber, who passed through its doors. This, combined with the discovery of 808 State, his stepdad’s extensive afrobeat record collection, YouTube videos of Jeff Mills making beats on a Roland TR-909, and a chance festival encounter with Soulwax, provided sustenance and inspiration for Working Men’s Club’s developing sound. Though it is songs almost entirely written and sung by Minsky-Sargeant that appear on the record, he is quick to point out the influence of the other members of his band on the record too; that “everyone that’s been involved in this band, from the old lineup to the new lineup, played on the record, contributed and shaped it in some way, through the phases”, wheedling in and around Minsky-Sargeant’s songs, embellishing them with their own bass, guitar, key or backing vocal parts. And without Orton, “it wouldn’t have been half as good a record.” Working with the producer radically changed MinskySargeant’s songwriting practice — “I tried to replicate what he was doing in his studio in my bedroom, and think more about drum sounds and making them more complicated and messing around with synths and stuff like that. It made me think about more components than just a guitar.”

    The songs following ‘Valleys’ come fast and relentless — momentum ever increasing, mission well and truly stated as the frenetic, pew-pewing ‘A.A.A.A’ speeds through to nonchalant existential groove ‘John Cooper Clarke’ — centred around the realisation that yes, even the luckiest guy alive, the Bard of Salford himself, will someday die.

    Hard holds hands with soft, and rough with smooth. On washily-vocalled, Orange Juicily-guitared ‘White Rooms and People’, there are simultaneously beautifully blooming flowers and ‘people talking shit about you’, and the hazy, ricocheting ‘Outside’, the gentlest track on the album, flips straight into the tough-as-shit, industrially-geared ‘Be My Guest’, which opens the second half of the record with markedly E. Smithian brio. The opening bars of ‘Cook A Coffee’ are momentarily reminiscent of ‘Bad Blood’, but spiral into direct and uncomfortable eye contact in song-form; a lost Joy Division number from an alternate universe, about taking a dump live on the telly. ‘Tomorrow’ glitches and glimmers, whilst outro track ‘Angel’ moves between psychedelic languidity and hardcore thrash, the album playing itself out on a 12-and-a-half-minute noodle.

    It is with war, free-fall, and re-birth already behind them that Working Men’s Club emerge, resilient; inspiration from across breadth of eras, genres and tour-mates merely strata in their very own indie-cum-dance-cum-techno niche in the crag.

    Diva Harris, February 2020

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Neon yellow vinyl in an embossed sleeve with neon pantone and laminated logo.

    Cassette Info: Clear shell + neon yellow slip-case

    Working Men's Club

    Working Men's Club + Album Launch Show Ticket

      We are excited to announce an exclusive Working Men's Club show at Night And Day Cafe on Wednesday June 10th (doors 7.30pm), to celebrate the release of their self titled debut album.

      PRE-ORDER THE LP, CD or CASSETTE BUNDLE OF "WORKING MEN'S CLUB" FOR ENTRY TO THIS EXCLUSIVE ALBUM LAUNCH SHOW ON WEDNESDAY 10TH JUNE AT THE NIGHT & DAY CAFE IN MANCHESTER.

      WE ALSO HAVE A LIMITED NUMBER OF TICKET ONLY PURCHASES AVAILABLE.

      NB: NIGHT & DAY CAFE IS AN 18+ ONLY VENUE. ID WILL BE REQUIRED.

      NB: ENTRY IS VIA TICKET ONLY!

      THE TICKETS ARE ONLY AVAILABLE VIA PRE-ORDER FROM PICCADILLY RECORDS.

       About the album:
      A rumble on the horizon. Gritted teeth, nuclear fizz and fissured rock. A dab of pill dust from a linty pocket before it hits: the atom split, pool table overturned, pint glass smashed — valley fever breaking with the clouds as the inertia of small town life is well and truly disrupted. Here to bust out of Doledrum, clad in a t-shirt that screams SOCIALISM and armed with drum machine, synth, pedal and icy stare are Working Men’s Club, and their self-titled debut album. 

      It’s hard to believe that the three fresh-faced music college kids who bounced out of nowhere and onto the 6 Music playlist with the sweet-but-potent, twangy guitar-led ‘Bad Blood’ (Melodic Records) in 2019 are the same band who clattered back there with maddening techno-cowbellpuncher ‘Teeth’ less than half a year later — and that’s because for the most part, they’re not. Having signed to Heavenly and with the hype around them building, underlying tensions came to a boil a mere five days before the band’s all-important first London headline show, and wunderkind frontman Syd Minsky-Sargeant was left high and dry; guitarist Giulia Bonometti had decided to focus on her blossoming solo career, and drummer Jake Bogacki was against the new electronic direction Minsky-Sargeant saw Working Men’s Club taking. (“I guess WMC started off as a bit more guitar-based, tryna copy stuff in our own way, like the Velvets and stuff like that, but I didn’t want it to be that anymore. It became dancier and dancier as I tried to experiment”, he explains.) All that remained of the outfit was Minsky-Sargeant himself, recently recruited bassist Liam Ogburn, and — given the band’s indebtment to wood panelled, community-run venues for an early leg-up — a rather pertinent name. But with staunch determination burning in his belly, Minsky-Sargeant quickly assembled a lineup consisting of himself, Ogburn, and Mairead O'Connor (The Moonlandingz) and Rob Graham (Drenge, Baba Naga) — both of whom he had met at the Sheffield studio of producer Ross Orton (The Fall, M.I.A., Arctic Monkeys) — replaced the live drums with a drum machine, and rush-rehearsed the new setup before going ahead with the show. “If it wasn’t for Sheffield then we probably wouldn’t have played that gig” he says. “I was shitting myself, because I didn’t know what would work or not.” Luckily, something stuck: “After about three gigs with that lineup it was already way better than what we’d had before.” Two original members lighter and three new ones the richer, Working Men’s Club took on a new hard-edge permutation, their shows becoming ever more sweaty, pulsating and rammed to the rafters; their energy raw; their vigour renewed; their interplay as musicians growing ever-more intuitive and elastic. Their eponymous collection of songs is equal parts Calder Valley restlessness and raw Sheffield steel; guitars locking horns with floor-filling beats, synths masquerading as drums and Minsky-Sargeant’s scratchy, electrifying bedroom demos brought to their full potential by Orton’s blade-sharp yet sensitive production. 

      It was at home in the town of Todmorden in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire, feeling hemmed in, that 18-year-old Syd Minsky-Sargeant first began assembling these 10 songs. “There’s not much going on, not much stuff to do as a teenager” he says. “It’s quite isolated. And it can get quite depressing being in a town where in the winter it gets light at nine in the morning and dark at four”. It is this sense of cabin fever, of “thinking that you will never escape a small town in the middle of nowhere” on which the album opens, with the boredom-lamenting and rave-reminiscent ‘Valleys’. In a post-punk talk-sing over an old-skool beat, Minsky-Sargeant begins: 

      Trapped, inside a town, inside my mind 

      Stuck with no ideas, I’m running out of time 

      There’s no quick escape, so many mistakes, I’ll play the long game 

      This winter is a curse 

      And the valley is my hearse, when will it take me to the grave? 

      Fortunately for Syd and a thousand other bored-shitless, dark-dwelling teenagers, the Calder Valley boasts a burgeoning grassroots music scene, chiefly centred around The Golden Lion in Todmorden, and the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge — both of which were instrumental in the early life of the band. “Without those venues we probably wouldn’t have been able to get into playing live music”, Minsky-Sargeant reflects. Working Men’s Club’s first ever gig, at The Golden Lion, was self-booked and self-promoted, landlord Waka having allowed the band to use the 100-capacity room above the pub for free. Even before booking himself onto the stage though, Minsky-Sargeant regularly snuck into the venue to watch the internationally renowned DJs, like Justin Robertson and Luke Unabomber, who passed through its doors. This, combined with the discovery of 808 State, his stepdad’s extensive afrobeat record collection, YouTube videos of Jeff Mills making beats on a Roland TR-909, and a chance festival encounter with Soulwax, provided sustenance and inspiration for Working Men’s Club’s developing sound. Though it is songs almost entirely written and sung by Minsky-Sargeant that appear on the record, he is quick to point out the influence of the other members of his band on the record too; that “everyone that’s been involved in this band, from the old lineup to the new lineup, played on the record, contributed and shaped it in some way, through the phases”, wheedling in and around Minsky-Sargeant’s songs, embellishing them with their own bass, guitar, key or backing vocal parts. And without Orton, “it wouldn’t have been half as good a record.” Working with the producer radically changed MinskySargeant’s songwriting practice — “I tried to replicate what he was doing in his studio in my bedroom, and think more about drum sounds and making them more complicated and messing around with synths and stuff like that. It made me think about more components than just a guitar.” 

      The songs following ‘Valleys’ come fast and relentless — momentum ever increasing, mission well and truly stated as the frenetic, pew-pewing ‘A.A.A.A’ speeds through to nonchalant existential groove ‘John Cooper Clarke’ — centred around the realisation that yes, even the luckiest guy alive, the Bard of Salford himself, will someday die. 

      Hard holds hands with soft, and rough with smooth. On washily-vocalled, Orange Juicily-guitared ‘White Rooms and People’, there are simultaneously beautifully blooming flowers and ‘people talking shit about you’, and the hazy, ricocheting ‘Outside’, the gentlest track on the album, flips straight into the tough-as-shit, industrially-geared ‘Be My Guest’, which opens the second half of the record with markedly E. Smithian brio. The opening bars of ‘Cook A Coffee’ are momentarily reminiscent of ‘Bad Blood’, but spiral into direct and uncomfortable eye contact in song-form; a lost Joy Division number from an alternate universe, about taking a dump live on the telly. ‘Tomorrow’ glitches and glimmers, whilst outro track ‘Angel’ moves between psychedelic languidity and hardcore thrash, the album playing itself out on a 12-and-a-half-minute noodle. 

      It is with war, free-fall, and re-birth already behind them that Working Men’s Club emerge, resilient; inspiration from across breadth of eras, genres and tour-mates merely strata in their very own indie-cum-dance-cum-techno niche in the crag. 

      Diva Harris, February 2020

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: COLOURED LP & TICKET. Neon yellow vinyl in an embossed sleeve with neon pantone and laminated logo.

      CD Info: CD & TICKET.

      Cassette Info: CASSETTE & TICKET. Clear shell + neon yellow slip-case.

      Working Men's Club

      Teeth - Anthony Naples Remix - Repress

        The awesome "Teeth" gets the remix treatment from NYC DJ/producer Anthony Naples, taking it straight to the dancefloor. Killer! Get your dancin' shoes on.

        Working Men's Club

        Teeth - Feat. Gabe Gurnsey Remixes

        Madding crowds may have found their bounce to the beat of ‘Bad Blood’s post-punk groove but Working Men’s Club will defy all expectation with their eagerly anticipated follow-up. Forcing backs off the wall and deeper onto the dancefloor, electric stomper ‘Teeth’ possesses enough bite to set pearly whites on edge and induce a wildly ecstatic feeling that’s anything but comfortable.

        “It is a metaphor,” teases the band’s singer, guitarist and beat-maker, Sydney Minsky-Sargeant. “It could be about going insane or what you see, what you think you feel inside, a lot of things… put through a drum machine… basically we just want to confuse the fuck out of people, in a good way!”

        For Syd, alongside fellow Club members Giulia Bonometti, Jake Bogacki, and recently recruited bassist Liam Ogburn, the last 12 months has seen the 4-piece buckle up for a meteoric rise that’s been a hell of a ride; “Signing to Heavenly was a big deal for us,” offers Jake. “We’ve worshiped the label and its bands for a long time so it’s nice to be part of the family. It’s a culture; we’re all running in parallel.”

        Like hopping aboard Willy Wonka’s psychedelic boat trip through their own funked-up factory, ‘Teeth’ puts the ‘itch’ into glitch and urges everyone to embrace the rave. Recorded with producer Ross Orton (The Fall, Roots Manuva, M.I.A, Arctic Monkeys) at his Sheffield recording studio, between a brothel and Fat White Family’s base, the vibrations of ‘Teeth’s chatter cut like fork lightning across a fog-filled Hope Valley. As the needle hits the groove, its threatening cowbell and motoric Techno beat buzzsaws Syd’s Mark E mantra, “I see grit in your teeth,” whilst a drum machine and frenetic guitars reinforce the party vibe. “We’re definitely a dance band,” Syd affirms. “If you can make someone move that’s a big thing.” Jake agrees; “When you can convince a person to subconsciously dance without understanding why, it’s a religious feeling and taps into this primal instinct.”

        Shapeshifting through the band’s collaborative writing process, ‘Teeth’ offers an epic fusion of the band’s broad repertoire of influences from godfathers of early Techno, Stingray to Thelonious Monk’s jazzy piano riffs - not to mention LCD Soundsystem or Delta 5 bounce. “It works because there’s a conflict of what we each want from it,” Jake tells. “It’s like tectonic plates and that friction causes an earthquake. When we meet in the middle, ‘Teeth’ is what comes out.” Reworked from Syd’s electronic-heavy demo, laid-down at his Todmorden home through synthesizers and drum machine, the track’s climactic shakedown ignites a love of Detroit House, Acid House, Afrobeat and Cuban rhythms from his DJ beginnings and stepdad’s influence. “I’ve always been into Nigerian 70s funk, like William Onyeabor,” Syd tells. “It’s happy, jolly, danceable; I don’t think my own lyrics are that happy - but it’s not just about that. It’s about how great music can make people dance.”

        Capturing moments to write, whether walking through woods, splitting crisp packets open at the local pubs around their northern hometowns or between chapters of reading Hunter S. Thompson and Sylvia Plath, Working Men’s Club put the groove first, unafraid to rear the wise heads on their younger shoulders. "We’re brought together by the fact we care about being 100% ourselves,” reveals Giulia. “We sing and talk about what needs to be said, to put it out of our minds and bodies. Music is an outlet, a medium to communicate.” Aspiring to the lyrical greats John Cooper Clarke, Lou Reed, Ian Curtis, Glen Campbell and Townes Van Zandt, the band first bonded over back catalogues rather than passing trends. “You should never deny your influences; you do things your own way,” suggests Syd. As for politics? “Bands like Squid, Black Midi, us, Orielles; we’re taken seriously, but aren’t politically adverse for sake of it,” Jake says. “Essentially, the country’s fucked and not enough of us are talking about it. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’re a political band, but we’re not gonna, not talk about it.”


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        Amazing! 🙌🏻 Thanks so much for the musical message John. Looking forward to the new album.… https://t.co/mqNCcp5Ihg
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