Fallowfield’s The Corner is one of Manchester’s most dank, disturbing bars – a purposefully droll parody of run down bars and garish tack, it’s a self concious hole in the wall that has built a reputation for itself as most daring of Trof’s local outlets. The seemingly water damaged walls, awkward wall fittings and ridiculous seating arrangements perfectly lend themselves to the stripped back, dark beats that Brown Brogues specialise in. On a damp Friday night, the duo come on stage well after midnight, storming through a set whilst their equipment fails them – a floor tom needing an impromptu added band member simply to hold it up, a guitar struggles to deal with the effects of some idiot spilling cider on it.
In emails after the gig, Mark from the band claims that the gig was a ‘shocker’, but if it was, it barely showed. A mere 24 hours after supporting the amazingly bad Shit Browne, the twosome showcased everything that has made them on of the regions hottest talents – barely concealed venom laying at the heart of their superb, almost rockabilly rhythms, furious but utterly under control. That they’ve got a tape out on Suffering Jukebox isn’t a surprise – that boutique labels from across the land haven’t been bashing down their door before hand is. The cassette is called A Night of Living Sickness and Mark from the Brogues has answered a few questions about it, as well as grazing on being from Wigan and fancying Colleen Green:
Brown Brogues – Treet U Beta
Hello Brown Brogues. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Mark I play guitar I’m gonna answer these questions overlooked but not read by Ben who plays drums.
You’ve got a new tape out on Suffering Jukebox called ‘A Night of Living Sickness’. How did that come about?
The lovely Jack Cooper emailed us a few weeks ago around the same time as the Avi Buffalo show and asked if we wanted to do a tape on SJ and then we met at that show we talked and sorted it he wanted a very warts and all recording and we had the perfect one from a long day in Darwen a long time ago. We’ve been following the label since it’s inception really psyched to be working with them. The best bands in Manchester are working with Suffering Jukebox Milk Maid, Mazes and Former Bullies. Plus Colleen Green’s really cool she’s from California not Manchester…I fancy her, I think
And what was the recording process like? Sounds pretty bizarre from what I’ve heard.
Well the recordings for the tape are quite early, I did them semi legally in a post war industrial unit in Darwen that I ‘managed’ to get the keys to, It was cool though like a fortress you drive in and lock yourself in. The Buildings were really long and thin so it was really cool to go put microphones at the other end and play around with massive reverb sounds. It was not long after I finished an Audio Engineering course which was all digital and close micing and boring. Now we record the opposite way, with old mics to tape and in one take because the reel to reel spits off the drive belts if you rewind it. After recording I jammed it through a cassette for some extra compression. We went back to that industrial unit to practice but some local band gave me there number to hire a practice room from me, I was tempted to do that but as we were trespassing in the eyes of the law thought it was best not to and we’ve not gone back.
Sadly not, Ben got that image from somewhere. We are kind of related to the guy on the inside of the cover and thats a better image than the front taken on my holga. It makes me laugh every time I see it..It’s worth buying just for that image alone.
I hear that you’re from the wilds of Wigan or roundabouts, does it get frustrating being lumped in as ‘Manchester’? Is there much of a scene where you’re from?
No we prefer to be lumped in as Manchester. I hate Wigan, Wigan can suck my Johnson.
You seem to be playing everywhere, all of the time. What’s the worst gig you’ve played?
The worst one was at an all day Folk festival in Wigan (of all places) when we’d just started out, we did it as a favour for a friend who probably thought he was helping us out. As we got there we realised it was a terrible mistake, we didn’t want to be there and I’m pretty certain nobody wanted us to be there either. Awful. We played 5 songs to 5 pissed off cardigans, died inside, then went home.
You’ve also been getting a fair amount of hype – what do you think about all these acts who purposely set out to be a hype band? Are you counting down the days until Altered Zones feature you?
I think they’re funny and usually really talented. What’s Altered Zones?
What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened to you since you’ve been in the Brogues?
Its not really band related but the weirdest thing was my last birthday I came downstairs and there was a crazy old woman with a dog in my house. Eventually the police took her away and she was sectioned because she thought her son and her husband were trying to get her.
What can we expect in the future then? Anything exciting?
Err after the tape we were talking to Jack about putting out some vinyl which would be amazing. We are supposed to be playing in Paris around October time. We are both traveling across the states in early 2011 then moving up to Manchester finally.
The tape is out now, priced at £4 and featuring 8 songs. You’ll probably quite like it.