No Title Magazine

This was the website for No Title Magazine for a number of years starting in 2008.The look of the site evolved. The content below is from the site's 2008-2009 posts. Other images show the evolution of the site's design. Until 2014 you could  still follow the magazine on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/notitlemagazine

+++

We are a free monthly magazine dedicated solely to the Leeds music community. We aim to entertain, inform and amuse you with our handpicked selection of features, reviews and rants each month. We have an ever expanding team of writers, photographers and illustrators who are all working towards briging you a magazine that is as inclusive, diverse and exciting as the music that is coming out of this city. We hope that you enjoy what we are doing and are always on the lookout for new bands, artists, photographers, illustrators, freethinkers. If you think you can help get in touch...

Who we are:

No-TiTLE Magazine was launched in January 2006 and is now managed as a not-for-profit organisation by Nadine Cuddy and Roxanne Yeganegy. There are over 70 voluntary music journalists, creative writers, artists, illustrators, proof readers and editors who regularly contribute to our magazine.

What we do:

We print a free magazine that is distributed all over Leeds in cafes, bars, social clubs and record shops and music studios. Some of our funding comes from advertising sales and the rest comes from No-TiTLE Live gigs and events.

Why we do it:

We are proud of our community. There is a flourishing and vibrant arts and cultural scene in Leeds, and by publishing No-TiTLE we hope to be the first to expose the city’s newest musical talent and raise the profile of the area.

Our primary motivation is to champion unsigned, up-and coming artists by providing a non genre-biased approach to their coverage; whether bands, producers, or DJ’s. We like to think that our magazine helps to generate the essential ‘buzz’ that musicians often need for their talents to be seen and heard.

+++

SOME POSTS from 2008 & 2009

Raisetheroof! Spring Festival Lineup Announced!

January 9th, 2009

IMAGE: 2009-raise-the-roof.jpg

The most valuable thing is not that the vision of Glastonbury is only remembered, but that the vision is repeated and extended until it becomes a reality.” (Michael Eavis, 1971) raisetheroof Spring Festival - March 6th - Leeds West Indian Centre The multimedia festival, with alternative entertainment from comedic performance art to virtual graffiti, returns to celebrate the start of Spring with a spectacular evening inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland…. Live Acts powered by the all-Mighty High Pressure Soundsystem and Purple Pro Audio: Bongo Chilli with The Root One Band (formally Roon Bokka) - 7 piece reggae, dub, ragga and jungle band! Honeydrum - The samba percussion collective playing alongside Salsa Como Loco – live Salsa Crew 82 - The champion Yorkshire beatboxing collective Fulibulbus - now known as China Shop Bull - A dirty fusion of brass backed, punk-fuelled ska and drum and bass With KID KANEVIL+EXODUS+DJM+SPECULUM DJ SETS! The backroom is hosted by Moonstomp Soundsystem with a joyous mixture of SKA, 2-TONE, ROCKSTEADY AND REGGAE music! For the first time outside of their usual home at Santiago the MAD HATTERS TEA PARTY will be hosting the outdoor area with cakes, tea, tarot, palm reading from Cardiff’s DirtyFit Grannies, surrealist magic shows and interactive art. WITH PLENTY MORE TO SEE AND DO………. The Urban Angels Circus Giant Trolley Act Hexjibber Art - communal colouring-in for the child in you Aunt Fannies Fancy Dress Shop Buy or hire fanciful items from your paisley goddess, Aunt Fanny. Friispray Virtual Graffiti A digital art installation that lets you paint with light using custom made infra-red spray cans The Pretty in Punk Boudoir Get your head shaved and your eyebrows glittered at Raisetheroof’s in-house hair and makeup engineering service

Peshrooms Décor and Visuals Enjoy the plush v isual surroundings provided by the collective efforts of the Leeds Ladies who stole your bedding to make daffodils and your old hosiery to make charming bright dangley things. Advance Tickets on sale February 1st - a snip at £7.

+++

December 12th, 2008 

Friday morning… I woke up in a puddle of mud and water. Ew. So when I eventually ventured out of my tent looking like a panda on pills, the set from Mindless Self Indulgence was just what I needed to perk up. I have to say, for a band of reputable arrogance and annoyance, they were highly entertaining. Highlights of their set include the tongue-in-cheek ‘Stupid Mother Fucker’ and high-octane ‘Shut Me Up’, which were both played with energy and at full speed. In between songs, rather than sulking and fiddling around with their instruments (a la Crystal Castles), MSI proved to entertain the crowds further with some ridiculous and self-indulgent behaviour… obviously taking their own name to hand here. Especially entertaining was the lead singer using the camera crew to check his hair, and albeit a one-sided conversation, he provided some insightful advice to the audience (who were most likely there to get an early spot for Alexisonfire, but were highly amused by MSI nonetheless) consisting of ‘Hi. Want free food and a free ticket to festivals? You should start a band!’ MSI: kitsch, obnoxious and very, very funny. However, not one to see sober.

Next to see on my (stolen) festival guide – Crystal Castles. Oh My God. Apart from suffering an alleged cracked rib and some serious bruising across my arms, I managed to survive the Front Row War Zone. About 9 people got pulled out of this dangerous area by the security guards within two minutes of ‘Alice Practice’, and a further two had passed out by the end of the performance. The atmosphere was set effectively at the beginning, with dark and bright lighting clashes and strange sounds emitting from that obscure black box that Ethan obsessively fannies about with. It all made for a dramatic entrance, with Alice crawling onto the stage with a murky sulk. For one of my favourite bands, I have to admit I wasn’t too impressed. Despite having a vast and cultish fanbase, and genre-buggering innovations the actual talent between Crystal Castles is, ahem, dubious. Nonetheless the crowd turned into a pack of animals, full-on obsessing over Alice’s every pout and sulk. Although the set was a success and the tracks were delivered with their own brand of digital quirkiness, after ‘Crimewave’ I couldn’t help but think ‘Alice get the fuck out of the audience and back on stage where you belong, people are dying here’ which, judging by the anguished screams from both Alice and the audience (whom were clearly suffocating and getting trampled to death – fun until it happens to you) made the set somewhat less enjoyable. Funny to watch a crowd so immensely into the songs, yet no-one knew any of the lyrics. Also a little suspicious that the lack-of-control image was calculated and rehearsed only to appear haywire. Hmmm. Either way keep an eye out for these on the NME stage next year… you heard it here first.

 

Saturday. Be Your Own Pet time.

 

This band can only be described as really, really painful yet in a fucking good way! If you’re one for raucous, immature and stupid fun, this band is for you. They’re practically a joke. Coming onto the stage clearly intoxicated and raring to go, they ripped through their set like kids mucking about on Rock Band. Do they take it seriously? Do they hell. And no-one in the audience did either. Always a good one to watch, the energy coming off the stage was stellar. The most ridiculous, rude and rambunctious songs were belted out at full force, including ‘Becky’ which was stripped off the US album due to ‘inappropriately violent content’ and offensive material. Brilliant. Just what will please a crowd of drunken Yorkshire folk dying for a bit of no holds barred rioting and songs that can only be described as a piss-take. Jemina Pearl was on top form, despite the imminent splitting up of the band, and her forthcoming solo album. The band delivered what everyone was desperate for- the most-loved songs from the self titled album, and Get Awkward. If you’re a fan, or just want a good old fashioned punk pit and punchy teenage shoutalongs, make sure you catch them on their last tour before they split up. If they ever get round to sorting one out.

One band I fully recommend going to see are Does It Offend You, Yeah?

Fresh from watching Late Of The Pier’s set (which was not for the faint hearted: they came on wearing bin bags and dressing gowns, playing their four-to-the-floor mashed-up toybox squeaks and disco electro weirdness), the crown pretty much stayed put for DIOYY. “Fuck Metallica” seemed to be the general consensus, and I couldn’t agree more. DIOYY came on with more energy and life that I’d seen in anyone’s eyes for a good few days. Clearly the substance abuse was taking its toll, or the band were genuinely just fresh faced and well up for it! They played professionally, and the atmosphere was electric. I took a friend to see them, stood right at the front, and by the end she had converted to a full-on fan, naming this set as the best she’d seen all weekend. I am pretty disappointed in NME for leaving out good mention of this band, as they deserve a hell of a lot more recognition than the Plain White T’s do any day (shudder). With bags of charisma, it was clear that DIOYY were enjoying themselves as much, if not even more, than the crowd. Their fans were even singing the bits of tunes without lyrics, so the gamble of playing the interlude track ‘Attack of the 60ft Lesbian Octopus’ paid off beautifully for them. Go and watch this band if it’s the last thing you do.

After boozing and more boozing, it was time for Babyshambles. Will Pete Turn Up? Contrary to popular opinion, he actually did. And he was not on bad form either. Everyone half- expected him to go AWOL, or be absolutely off his tits to put it bluntly, but he was there in all his ahem, glory. He seems to be redeeming himself in more ways than one. Even the tabloids don’t pester him as much now. Many of the slower paced songs were chosen for the set – not my choice but it seemed to please the indie crowd. The NME tent was packed out – it was surprising that anyone could actually gasp a lungful of oxygen. Although we all know the frontman of Babyshambles, there is a Rest Of The Band that seems to be completely forgotten about, all of whom are very musically talented and played really well, which made it apparent that a lot of slick rehearsals and commitment went into the performance. ‘Fuck Forever’ went down a treat at the end, it was a perfect note on which to end the day. Despite having Rage to compete with, the ‘Shambles gave a cracking set to fans they knew were appreciating every second.

Come Sunday, there were a few disappointments. First of all was ‘Venged’s set of 6 songs, all croaked through by M.Shadows, who whinged about his sore throat all the way through. What a way to piss everyone off. After that, he claimed he couldn’t continue, and walked off saying “see you all in February.” Actually mate, you won’t be seeing half that crowd based on that non-performance. To be fair to the rest of A7X, they put their all into the songs, but were pretty much let down. Even the set list was a joke – only one of their older songs (which are blatantly the best and more popular by far) got any hearing, and despite being really nice towards the girl that got pulled up on stage, letting her sob her way through an entire song was perhaps not a great idea for all the other die-hard ‘Venged fans. M.Shadows: go home and get some Lemsip.

Last but not least (actually no, I take that back) was the Sunday night’s final band… The Killers. I’d like to make a witty joke about their name and the fact that they slaughtered their headline opportunity, but it’s just not coming to me. Never mind.

Basically this set was a total disappointment. The lacklustre effort, dodgy amp wirings, sound system setbacks and that god-awful spangly blue item of clothing that should never, ever have graced the main stage, and will not be forgiven for a while. The band seemed fatigued and gimmicky. Although Mr. Flowers claimed they were there to ‘steal souls and break hearts and bones’ they pretty much failed spectacularly. The cover of Joy Division was… interesting, and although ‘Bones’ and ‘Jenny was A Friend Of Mine’ brought the mood up a bit, these highlights were only due to the popularity of the songs and not the performance.

Words Naomi Speechley

+++

No-TiTLE Festival Diaries… Part 1

December 12th, 2008

 

Sticking it to The Man

 

On arrival at the Electric Picnic festival in Ireland, I was confronted by an enormous, building sized picnic basket. The ‘basket’ was in fact a façade, having been achieved through convincing layers of interwoven wooden panelling. If this structure alone wasn’t impressive enough, inside Pandoras Box was the mother of all sweet-toothed dreams and a sight to make anyone of my generation blink their eyes in delighted disbelief: it was Wonkaland. Complete with candy hanging from trees, giant mushrooms, a ‘chocolate’ river and oversized lollypops. And it was all sponsored by Nokia.

 

Unfortunately, any attempts at nibbling the giant confectionary would have resulted in a cracked tooth; they were all props hired from the Willy Wonka theatre production. Nonetheless, if Nokia had failed to make the dreams of Electric Picnic’s festivalgoers actually come true, then they had certainly brought them to life. This was the most imaginative thing I had ever seen pulled off at a festival and Nokia, a multinational corporation, was behind it. I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about that.

 

It’s not that I have, to use a Yorkshirian term, ‘any beef’ with the Nokia brand (apart from the fact that my Nokia mobile phone has decided, yet again, to stop letting me send texts). I think I could forgive Nokia all of this if they would simply stop throwing their money around and showing the rest of us all up.

 

After experiencing Wonkaland, I could not help but expound it’s virtues to one of our (Inflatable Church) production crew – to which he grumbled, “well, their bit is only the best because they have more money than everyone else”. Whilst the unsponsored and independent of us struggle on a shoestring, Nokia have the financial muscle to quite simply hire out the best props, equipment and project managers. And, since things like Wonkaland ultimately enhance the experience of the festivalgoer, is this even a problem?

 

I think my problem is that I believe, rather stupidly, that attending a festival still has something to do with ‘sticking it to The Man’. Seeing a band on the Topman Stage, sipping a beer at the O2 Bar and being surrounded by brands doesn’t quite mesh with my romantic idea of the festival as cultural rebellion, or even with my idea of a good time. But the contents of this phenomenal picnic basket have forced me to ask, who exactly is ‘The Man’? Is The Man a metaphor for our over industrialised, capitalist society? Is The Man the polluter, the exploiter, the plunderer of the Earth? Is The Man the Corporation? No, The Man is not a man at all but is in fact a nice Irish lady called Maeve, who speaking on behalf of Nokia said; “Last year we had an information stand. And this year, we just wanted to make it a bit more fun”.

Words: Roxanne Yeganegy

+++

Featured article - THIS IS DIY: a guide to organising your own gig

December 4th, 2008

Attention Leeds Bands: a handy guide to organising your own gig

 

It’s fair to say that if money meant a lot to you, you wouldn’t have decided to devote yourself to playing bass in The Riff of Filth. If money meant a lot to you, you wouldn’t have sacrificed that nice girlfriend in order to play unpaid gigs three times a week whilst pulling pints on the side. It was never about the money and it never will be. It’s about the thrill of performing, the freedom of expression. It’s about that inimitable feeling that are doing exactly what you were darn well put on this planet to do. Nevertheless, there are some unscrupulous promoters out there, the sort of ones that make you buy a book of tickets only to pocket all the cash without a free beer in sight. If the familiar whiff of mild exploitation has grown tiresome, have you ever considered the benefits of Doing It Yourself?

Cut out the middleman and organise a gig. It’s easy, and anyone can do it. If every band member from three or four bands (totalling say, fifteen people) works hard to promote the gig then there is also great potential for the bands involved to get rewarded fairly for their efforts. Now follow our practical, step by step guide to help you Do It Yourself and Do It Properly:

1) Decide a Budget

You will have to be prepared to put some money down before you can expect to see any profits coming back in. Keep in mind the number of paying guests you will need to break even, and always aim to double that figure. Do a breakdown of your budget and stick to it. Don’t pledge money that you don’t have. If you have agreed to pay 150 pounds for a PA, make sure you are not depending solely on the takings of the night to cover it.

2) Select a Date

Good timing is the key to putting on a successful gig. Term time is always better than during university holidays, and weekends are always better than midweek, though with good planning a midweek gig can be as good as any other. When you select a date, make sure you have plenty of time to promote it, especially if this is your first attempt. Remember that the longer you give yourself to spread the word, the better the turnout will be. If you allow yourself four weeks to publicise the gig, the likelihood is that you will have double the turnout than if you only allowed yourself two weeks. Gigs that are badly attended are usually so because things have been left to the last minute.

3) Select a Venue

Living in a place like Leeds means that there is plenty of choice when it comes to selecting a venue. The best thing is to start small. The upstairs of the Packhorse is cheap to hire, as are places like the Brudenell Social Club and TJs. Think about your friends and the sort of people you want to attract – what venues appeal to them?

4) Consider the Soundsystem

Does the venue have its own PA, or are you going to have to sort this out yourself? There are lots of engineers who will offer a full PA and engineering package – your choice of PA should depend on the capacity of the venue, and to an extent, the style of music you plan to put on. Get some quotes from different people – always say you are shopping around for the cheapest deal. Hire companies are expensive – contact local engineers and studios and see what they can offer you.

5) Plan in Advance

For complicated events, designing a project plan can be really helpful. You can use a simple excel spreadsheet for this. Break the period of time you have to plan the gig down into weeks and decide what you are going to do. The intensity of your promotion should grow as the date of the gig approaches.

6) Promote your arse off

Too many bands are sitting around waiting for the World to discover their music. The fact that your band is amazing won’t mean anything to anyone if they don’t know who you are, and it’s up to you to tell them. The same applies to organising a gig – you might think that you have organised the best thing ever but unless you utilise every possible avenue of promotion, people will go to something else. Make sure you flyer, poster, use every internet-based promotion available to you, send press releases to local magazines and newspapers, mobilise all your friends and supporters, and make sure every other band member who will benefit from this gig are pulling their weight and doing the same.

7) Be Imaginative

The thing to remember is that competition is fierce because Leeds is saturated with gigs and music events. You must shout and scream over the hundreds of other promoters, in order to make yourself heard. The secret to standing out from the crowd is making yourself different from everybody else. So you have three bands on. What else is there? Free homemade cake? Visual projections? A local Shaman performing an opening ceremony? Whatever crazy idea it is, create extra depth and make things interesting for the audience. Letting your imagination run wild is sometimes the best, and often the cheapest way to make people want to go to your gig.

+++

Raisetheroof Spring Festival

December 4th, 2008

How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?

The date for the much-anticipated multimedia event, raisetheroof, has been announced to take place on Friday the 6th of March 2009, at the Leeds West Indian Centre.

This will be the first ever Spring festival event by raisetheroof, a collective priding itself on diversity and interactivity, refected by the eclectic range of entertainments that reach well beyond the musical.

In celebration of the dawn of Spring, the next raisetheroof will combine a ‘psychedelic circus‘ and an ‘Alice in Wonderland‘ theme, complete with the ‘Mad Hatters Tea Party‘ moving from their usual location of Santiago’s to the outside area of the West Indian Centre, to celebrate this special occasion.

Choose a fantasy character, and raisetheroof will do the rest. Aunt Fanny’s Fancy Dress Shop will be catering to the needs of last minute fancy dressers, with the Pretty in Punk collective set to return with their in-house hair and makeup engineering service.

A growing team of artists, activists, production crew and creatives will be working hard this Winter in preparation for the much loved indoor festival which will help raise cash to keep the free Leeds unsigned mag, No-TiTLE Music Magazine in print.

Earlybird cheap tickets will be going on sale at the start of February, a snip at £7.

FULL LINEUP WILL BE ANNOUNCED JANUARY FIFTH.

+++

 

No-TiTLE Introducing Ben Pike

December 4th, 2008

BEN PIKE

“An intellectual is a man who says a simple thing in a difficult way; an artist is a man who says a difficult thing in a simple way” – Charles Bukowski

This promising Leeds singer/songwriter falls easily into the second of these descript categories. In just over a year this young artist has risen from playing his local open mic nights to win the Leeds Bright Young Things 2008 award. He has also managed to build an expanding fan-base in the big smoke with appearances down their every month.

In his home city, Ben’s brand of laidback, finger-style blues is already well known with regular appearances around the centre and a near residency at the Adelphi’s Acoustic Revolution: “It has a great atmosphere” Ben tells me “It’s one of the best acoustic gigs in Leeds”. Of his work; he tells me “I’m heavily influenced by the old Blues men like Robert Johnson to more modern players like Kelly Joe Phelps. I’m really into J.J Cale at the moment”. Listening to his music, which meanders along beautifully, I can easily pick out these influences, as well as Nick Drake’s casual mastery of the fret-board, mixed into his deep, heavy blues style. Also coming through, but not as direct, is some of Bert Jansch’s ingenuity whom I’ll presume is one of Ben’s heroes.

‘Can’t Afford Diamonds’ is an instrumental that builds to a quickened intensity through ‘Lap-slide’ and ‘Tapping’ style play. A truly mesmerising sound of tom-toms on hollow wood that live is even better to experience. He elaborates on his passion: “I absolutely love gigging and I’m receiving more and more offers all the time, I try to be out playing as much as I can. I’m currently gearing up to do some more recording, to get some more recently written tracks done”.

If the new songs are as good as his current catalogue then we’re in for a great debut release. ‘Been Here Too Long’ is a deep and dirty tale of packing up and leaving town, accompanied by a falling scale of skilful finger-picking strings that creates great tension. It comes on like a less strained Gomez in places but the young Mr Pike’s voice sets him apart from any of his contemporaries. My pick of his recent collection has to be ‘Waste My Time’, which is just superb. A fine, plodding bassline gives a rolling groove to some head nodding twangs and his voice really comes into its own. It stays on a level but is never boring. Enjoy.

 

 

NoTitleMagazine.com