Every Band We’ve Been Compared To In Print

Hey, you. Yes, you!

Want to know every band we’ve been compared to in print?


Well, tough.

bands 1bands 2

Amanda Nordin

Nordin grew up in Los Angeles. Her first release, the Airwalker EP appeared in 2007 courtesy of K Records. It included a cover of the Siouxsie and the Banshees song, “Lunar Camel.” The EP was described by Pitchfork Media as “cryptic, compelling short” with “half-crooned, half-spoken vocals into a bed of interlocking guitars, rigid beats, and analogue synths, creating an air of mystery out of disconnected images.”

Her first full-length, A Place Where We Could Go followed in 2008. In its review, Allmusic pictured her way of singing as a mix between Gene Vincent,Buddy Holly, Morrissey and Alan Vega.

In 2009, the singer released the critically acclaimed Slow Dance. To promote the release, she embarked on a tour throughout the year, including dates at the Primavera Festival.

In 2010, Nordin described her third album Splash as “Pavement meets Evol-era Sonic Youth played by Siouxsie Sioux.” Splash was released at the end of May : a tour was later cancelled due to health problems.

In spring 2011, Nordin returned with a new album, Dreamy Diary which was a mix of indie-pop and alt-rock. She was compared to scottish band Belle and Sebastian.

Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Westerlund

Lisa Bouvier Westerlund (May 27, 1971 – April 25, 2002) better known by her stage name Left Eye, was an American rapper, singer-songwriter, dancer, musician, television hostess, and actress. She is best known as a member of the R&B/Hip-hop girl group TLC.  Westerlund contributed her self-written raps to many of TLC’s hit singles, including “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg“, “What About Your Friends“, “Hat 2 da Back“, “No Scrubs“, “Waterfalls“, and “Girl Talk“.

Top Ten Psychological Games

Here are ten games and questions you can ask yourself to pass the time. In no particular order…

Go Sigmund, it's your birthday...

1.Work out who hates you most in the world. Someone must just as there’s someone who loves you most, right?

2.What would it be like if you met yourself without knowing it was you? Would you get along?

3.Would you rather find out all the nasty things you’ve said about people over your life or they find out the nasty things you’ve said about them?

4.Ask your friends the most debauched thing they’ve ever done and see if you feel the same way about them afterwards.

5.Imagine talking to your 14 year old self for an hour about your life now.

6.Compare your life now to your parents at the same age.

7.Discuss whether you’d rather be 18 or 30.

8. Think of the three people closest to you and what they need to do to improve their lives. Then try doing it for yourself…

9. Think about the most embarrassing thing you’ve done and try to stop feeling embarrassed by it.

10. Think of all the people in your life you’ve fancied that you would be embarrassed if anyone else found out about. Think about why for each of them. What does this say about you?

Narrative Nick Thoume


Sometimes there’s a man… I won’t say a hero, ’cause, what’s a hero? But sometimes, there’s a man. And I’m talkin’ about  Nick Thoume here. Sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that’s Nick Thoume, in Lancaster. And even if he’s a lazy man – and the Nick Thoume was most certainly that. Quite possibly the laziest in Lancashire, which would place him high in the runnin’ for laziest worldwide. But sometimes there’s a man, sometimes, there’s a man. Aw. I lost my train of thought here. But… aw, hell. I’ve done introduced him enough.

City Comparisons

I’ve long been fascinated by the fact that places are sometimes referred to as “the something of something else” (for example Montreal is the Paris of Canda).

I’m not sure why. Possibly because it strikes me as really stupid and a little derogatory – that a place is only important in it’s relation to something else or we can boil a place down to one or two characteristics. Maybe it’s because of how tenuous some of the comparisons are – Newport is the Welsh seattle anyone? Perhaps it’s because it strikes me as incredibly lazy journalism of the “band a + band b = band c” type. Probably it’s just because it strikes me as a little odd.

For whatever reason, I have developed a love for these stupid comparisons and began collecting them. And now, with a little help from my friends, I have a biased and completely incomplete list of them. These are all genuine. Google them.

In fact if you want to find more just think of

a) a famous place

b) a direction, country or landmass

type them into google and Bob’s your relative of choice.



17th Century Amsterdam = The California of the East

Why: Place for free thinking; vaguely “cool


19th Century  St Etienne = The Birmingham of France

Why: Grew rapidly with coal and iron, apparently.


1930s Shanghai = The Liverpool of the East

Why: Big ol’ port


1990s Newport = The Welsh Seattle

Why: Good bands; had scene

Bangalore = The Silicon Valley of India

Why: Has lots of people answering phones.


Brighton = London on Sea

Why: Full of people who work in London


Bude, Cornwall = Brighton of the West

Why: Seaside town; probably “cool”


Cisely, Alaska = The Paris of the North

Why: Full of free thinkers (note: this place is not real)


Dunedin = The Edinburgh of the South

Why: It was formed by Scottish settlers who named it after Edinburgh.


Hebden Bridge = Brighton of Yorkshire

Why: Large gay population; vaguely “cool”


Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) = The Paris of East

Why: Has culture; speak French


Johannesburg = The New York of Africa

Why: Has sky scrapers; is big.


Leeds = Knightsbridge of the North

Why: Has a Harvey Nichols


Liverpool = The Barcelona of the North

Why: Was European Capital of Culture, wanted to be more cultural


Many, Many cities  = The Venice of the East

Why: Have canals; are east of Venice


Montreal = The Paris of Canada

Why: Speak French; is in Canada.


New York = Modern Day Sodom and Gomorrah

Why: Lax morals


Saint Petersburg, Amsterdam, Bruges, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Manchester = The Venice of the North

Why: Have canals; are north of Venice


Shanghai = The New York of China

Why: Important commercial centre, but in China


Sheffield  = The Rome of the North

Why: Built on seven hills

Sydney = The London of the South Seas

Why: Commercial centre that speaks English.

23 Essays I Could Theoretically Write About Ketchup

1. Ketchup and childhood: Comfort foods and their Proustian links to growing up.

2.”So the big tomato squashed the baby one and shouted…” : Ketchup jokes and their relationship to society.

3. Ketchup with everything: The eating habits of those who require sauce on all things.

4. Ketchup and Class: What ketchup and its consummation say about status.

5. Ketchup or Catsup? : The etymology of why Americans have two words for this condiment.

6. Ketchup or Catsup? : What the knowledge of Britons about Americans two words for ketchup says about Anglo-American relations.”

7.”I don’t like tomatoes”: People who won’t eat tomatoes and love ketchup – a study on insanity.

8.”Do you want red sauce with that?” – Is takeaway sauce strictly ketchup?

9. Ketchupophaelia: A study of those sexually attracted to ketchup.

10.”That’s not blood, it’s just ketchup” – Common place items used to placate children.

11. Ketchup as signifier: Ketchup in film and its use to set scene.

12. Ketchup branding: How the brand changes the way we taste.

13. Ketchup on Roadkill: Ketchup, the great palletiser.

14. The ergonomics of the ketchup bottle: How ketchup bottle design shows changes in British design throughout the twentieth century.

15. Ketchup, Salsa and Pickle: The tricontinent development of tomato based condiments.

16. A bath of ketchup: Ketchup and charity stunts.

17. Heinz, HP or Daddy’s: which feels best in your pants?

18. The Ketchup Pit! : Use of condiments in obstacles in 1990’s kids’ TV shows.

19.”I prefer mayonnaise”: Choice of condiment as self-aggrandisement.

20. When is ketchup not ketchup? : Can you make recognisable ketchup by removing base ingredients?

21. The perfect ketchup: Scientific dreams of a madman.

22. Ketchup as anarchist activity: The use of condiments in protest movements from 1960 onwards.

23. Why is ketchup the only foodstuff I don’t like? : Shoulder shrugging with John Perry.

John, Dec 11

Band Connections

The Wednesday Club doesn’t exist in a band vacuum, oh no. We have lots and lots of bands we love in our local area and some of these we’ve been in. Or been in a band with someone who’s in that band. Or been in band with someone who’s been in a band with someone who’s been in that band…With this in mind, and to stave off my upcoming breakdown, I’ve made a map of all these (which is nowhere near al- inclusive…). Enjoy!

Who dey?

The Acutes – two piece Davecore band

All My Friends Are Dead – Now defunct post rock band

Anderson Congress – Now defunct psychogaze band

Bear Driver – melodic dream pop

Biscuit Head and The Biscuit Badgers – many instrumented funny band

The Blanche Hudson Weekend – a more restrained Manhattans

Boy Racer – indiepop band from der 90s

Broken Chairs – on hiatus spazzcore band

Crayon – Now defunct up tempo 3 piece Glaciers

The Contortionist – rigid beautiful indiepop – see also Japanese Sleepers

Downdime – Leeds’ premier indiepop band

Folk Theatre Partisans – Now defunct folk supergroup formed of David Broad, Fran Rodgers, Mike Rossiter and Ben Weatherhill

Fonda 500 – Hull indie electro legends

Glaciers – yearning downtempocore ish

The Half Hour Skiffle Hour – On hiatus skiffle

Hawk Eyes – Capital M metal band, formerly Chicken Hawk, fairly successful

HOTMIM (Heroes of The Mexican Independence Movement) – 3 piece indiepop with a side line in hilarious banter

Hookworms – noisy melodic stuff

The Hospital Bombers – Now defunct all new Leo Trout

Ian Williams – broken/delicate alt country

Leo Trout – Mine and Adam’s first band, sloppy indiepop

Manhattan Love Suicides – Now defunct Jesus and Mary Chain influenced indiepop, fairly successful

The Medusa Snare – Millercore

Nir Death Experience – Lemonheadsy wonderfulness

Nir (Vana) – folk/electro rap project

Olfar – mid rocking alt country

Pulled Apart By Horses – Capital R rock band, fairly successful

The Rocky Nest – Now defunct brass heavy Indietracks fave

Samsa – Now defunct rock 3  piece

Sky Larkin – noisy guitar three piece, fairly successful

The Stay At Homes – 2 piece blues-pop

The Seven Inches – Leeds legends, once and future kings

T.O.Y.S – 3 piece power kraut

Ten – Avante-laptop post rock

Vest For Tysso – On hiatus indie folk

Wallaby Willington – now defunct avante-folk band

The Wednesday Club – pretentious talent wasters

Wonderswan – awesome lofi slackpop

John, Dec 11

Three Obsessions

I have OCD. Doctor says so.  It doesn’t manifest itself in a “must turn lights off 15 times” kind-of-way. Nope, I just get words, phrases or certain scenes stuck in my head. And I think about them over and over again.

It’s not like I consider every aspect of these things, plumbing them for all the hidden meaning and depths, oh no. That would be  almost sensible.I just think about them, repeat them and they go round and round my head like a screen saver (flying toasters anyone?). Einstein spent his spare time mulling over the speed of light and relativity, Bob Dylan runs over old songs in his head until a new one forms, zen masters consider koans. Me?  I  think about these three things (amongst others):

The Cosby Show – We’re Still Soup

From 4 minutes on.

This. This. This – I think about it every time I have soup. And also times when I’m not having soup. Theo Huxtable, Bill Cosby’s on show son, is at a corporate meeting and he tells the people that make soup that their slogan “We’re not just soup” is terrible as people love soup, it’s “hearty and honest”, they should stick to their core business and have the motto “We’re still soup” instead. That’s it.

Have I seen the episode a lot of times? Nope. Am I a big Cosby Show* fan? Nope – this is the only episode I even remember watching. So what is it about Theo Huxtable’s speech about “We’re not just soup” that sticks with me. I have no idea. It’s not really deep or profound. It tells me nothing much apart from what the show’s (and presumably Bill Cosby’s) world view is.

If I had to make a slight guess, I may have been impressed by the “honesty” and insight of the character when I was 7. And that was enough. Enough to make me think about it weekly for the past 20 years.

*isn’t it strange that it’s called the Cosby show even though Bill Cosby is called Dr Huxtable in it?

Tom Jones – If I Only Knew

Again another thing that goes through my head far to often. Obsession with Tom Jones? Nup. Love of the song? No siree, Bob.  Now for this one, I can almost put a finger on why this song comes into my head so often…

This was Tom’s modern comeback record, making number 11 in the charts. I remember being slightly intrigued by Tom Jones before by an advert for British Gas (maybe?) where a wife tells a husband not to worry and put his feet up and listen to Tom Jones – It’s Not Unusual, I think it was.

“Who is Tom Jones?” My young mind wondered. And here he was. Back. Back. Back!

Then the song disappeared (but stayed in my head).

And then he did the Reloaded album that was massive and was really his “comeback” album and it had the Talking Heads cover on it with Kelly Jones from the Stereophonics. I some times think about that too. But it mainly supports/has supported my thinking about this song.

Madness – Lovestruck

Maybe it’s a comeback thing? This was Madness’s comeback single in 1999. Definitely (defiantly?) Not Their Best Song. I think that was important for it sticking in my head. Not as an earworm but more as a concept. The lyric “I’ve fallen for a lampost” gave me something to make me think about it – yes, whenever I consider (e.g. look at) a lamppost I’ll start thinking of this song. And the final thing? The terrible pun of “Love’s Truck” that appears in the video.

This was all it took for me to think of this often.

Until I put this on now I’d only ever heard it once. It’s kind of Beatlesy.

John, November 11

The 48 Counties Project – Cumbria

Our Wonderful Country – Now available in pink.

Recently I’ve been revisiting and rather enjoying the two Sufjan Stevens albums dedicated to American states: Michigan and Illinois. You may well have heard them, but if not I’d highly recommend them. There is much to be enjoyed beyond Sufjan’s admirable pedagogic intent. You have to credit his chutzpah, though you sense he has bitten off more than he can reasonably chew: he still has 48 to go, if you include Delaware, so he needs to pick up the pace a little. Furthermore, recent non-geographically-themed releases seem to be distracting him somewhat from the Herculean task he has set himself.

Sufjan Stevens – Herculean

Anyway, the little man’s big ambition has inspired me, and I’ve begun to plan a series of albums dedicated to England’s green and pleasant counties. Whilst significantly smaller and generally less populated than America’s states, there are almost as many, so it’s fair to say I’ve got about as much work to do. As of the most recent amendments in 2009 there are currently 48 geographical or ‘ceremonial’ counties of England. I didn’t know, for instance, that the City of Bristol is a county – who knows what other informative pearls my research may uncover.

Like Sufjan himself, I intend to start the series with my place of birth: Cumbria, the third largest county geographically yet one of the most sparsely populated. There are clear parallels: like Michigan (aka the Great Lake State), Cumbria is famous for the Lake District national park. I’m hoping to interest the Cumbria tourist board in providing some funding. Here are some of the song ideas I have so far:

Wiper’s (feat. British Sea Power and Wild Beasts)

An epic opening fanfare celebrating Kendal Mint Cake, the sugary confection favoured by mountaineers. I’ll thread in a bit of history about its invention and the emergence of the ‘big three’ manufacturers (my dad favours Romney’s). It sports a slightly tangential middle 8 recalling the fateful occasion when South Lakeland Leisure Centre changed its name to the more familiar Kendal Leisure Centre.

The Gnomes of Wastwater

A jaunty piece in 5/4 time recommending some mountain walks that offer breathtaking views of the Lakes. Did you know that Cumbria contains every peak in England over 3,000 feet above sea level? I might pepper this song with an illuminating autobiographical anecdote of how I climbed the Fairfield Horseshoe this summer.

Tom Fool’s Day

A baroque harpsichord-led waltz explaining the attractions to be found at Muncaster Castle, winner of the Cumbria Tourism ‘Large Attraction’ award 2011: it features a cracking owl sanctuary, a less than demanding maze and ‘heron happy hour’ at 4:30pm daily when the local wild herons show up on the lawn for feeding. Lovely stuff.



Obligatory ode to the Romantic poet William Wordsworth. I expect the lyric will borrow heavily from that “I wandered lonely as a cloud” poem. I may use the recent floods in Cockermouth as a metaphor for how Wordsworth flooded the English language with nice poems.



John Ruskin

To the tune of ‘John Henry’ this folky number lists the achievements of notable art critic, progressive social thinker and philanthropist who spent his last years in Coniston. I gloss over the frankly unfounded accusations of paedophilia.


“Proud to be a Cumbrian, Super Carlisle from the North!”

A singalong romp that draws on a chant sung by supporters of Carlisle United FC, who I briefly supported as a teenager and occasionally still refer to with affection as ‘the lads’. The first verse focuses on the remarkable statistic that The Foxes have won the Football League Trophy more times than any other team, while the second verse is devoted to Rory Delap who spent his early career at Carlisle honing his trademark ‘long throw in’. Delap continues to taunt defences with his long-range missiles for Stoke City.


A homely banjo tune (a duet with Sufjan himself) which takes its cue from the song off Illinois where Sufjan audaciously makes every line rhyme with ‘Decatur’. For my Cumbrian version I have substituted Decatur for Whitehaven, a small coastal town near the Sellafield nuclear power plant. Rhymes I have so far include: shaven, raven, craven, misbehavin’, brazen (half rhyme).

This segues seamlessly into…

The Switcheroo

An instrumental interlude paying tribute to the brave folk of Whitehaven, the town chosen to pilot the switchover from analogue to digital television. At the end of the 18-month pilot period 81% of the Whitehaven residents interviewed claimed they experienced no problems with the switchover. Following the successful completion of the pilot digital television was rolled out nationally to the enjoyment of television audiences everywhere.

We Are Scientists!

A loving ode to two famous scientists who lived for a time in Kendal, now commemorated by a blue plaque: John Dalton, sometimes referred to as the ‘Father of Modern Chemistry’ (though personally I think that honour should actually go to Anton Lavoisier); and Sir Arthur Eddington, Einstein’s chum who led an expedition which provided the first experimental evidence for the theory of general relativity.

Once I’ve completed this I plan to work on Yorkshire, a double album.

Max, November 2011