It’s that time of year when people start writing their reviews of the year. It’s been a fairly busy old year for TNS so we thought we’d take the opportunity to recap what has probably been our most successful year to date.
It’s safe to say we started it as we meant to go on. With complete chaos. We hosted a New Year’s Eve party at Gulliver’s in Manchester. Revenge Of The Psychotronic Man went onstage at 11.30, then stopped at 11.55 for everyone to have a complimentary shot of Jagermeister (cheers Steffi Price) before bursting into a suitably ramshackle version of Auld Lang Syne, before finishing the remainder of the set. It’s safe to say that human pyramids and walls of death are a great way to start any year.
We were back at Gulliver’s later that month for our last TNS gig for the forseeable future. It was a TNS all-dayer, headlined by Faintest Idea. After our 10 Year Anniversary gig in 2014 we had decided to get others involved (our good friends at Moving North and Anarchistic Undertones) and use the April date we had traditionally used for the TNS birthday gig for Manchester Punk Festival. Whilst MPF is something we are exceptionally proud of it’s also a ridiculous amount of work. We realised that evening that we were definitely spreading ourselves too thin by trying to do everything. For the same reasons that our zine is currently in hiatus and that our podcast is infrequent right now, something else had to give.
We felt that by putting the TNS gigs into hiatus we would have more time to spend on the label and MPF, so as we were packing up after the gig we decided a break was needed. It was a hard decision, but we’re sure we will be back one day and Manchester certainly isn’t short of amazing punk promoters. We’re not sure we are really even leaving a gap. We want putting on a gig to be something we’re excited about rather than something that is forced. Quite simply, you just can’t do everything. We all have so many amazing memories from the 12 years of TNS gigs and for that reason, we certainly think this is an extended break rather than stopping forever. We’ll see.
As well as being the last band to play a TNS gig, Faintest Idea were also our first release of a busy year. ‘Increasing The Minimum Rage’ is their third TNS album and their finest release to date, showcasing their two-tone infused street ska sound perfectly. Many positive reviews followed and their live shows are attracting more and more people every time. 2017 could be a huge year for them.
2016 also saw us releasing new full length albums for Stoj Snak, Revenge Of The Psychotronic Man, Wonk Unit and Pizzatramp. We also had a couple of collectively released 7”s from Matilda’s Scoundrels and Shot! as well as continuing to release the Wonk Unit back catalogue on vinyl for the first time. Their second album, ‘Trolleys – Thank You’ was our second of the reissues series. Our very good friend from Denmark, Stoj Snak released his Screamer/Songwriter album. This is folk punk at its very best! We are delighted he’s going to be playing at MPF in 2017.
‘Colossal Velocity’ by Revenge Of The Psychotronic Man was the bands third on the label. It also received a fantastic critical response (it was the first TNS release to be reviewed in Kerrang!, getting a great 4K review). Clocking in 17 tracks in just over 20 minutes you’d expect fast and angry music, you’d be right!
Wonk Unit have had an absolutely incredible year, with many tours, including playing huge venues alongside Slaves. Their ‘Mr Splashy’ album is an instant classic, combining punk, indie, ska and many other sounds to make a truly original sound. We can’t wait to see what 2017 holds for this band as they continue to tour constantly.
Pizzatramp are a new band to the TNS roster. We saw them for the first time this year and were blown away by their fast, aggressive and riff driven punk rock. We are so happy to have added them to the TNS family. Again, next year could be huge for these guys.
We also co-released a couple of excellent 7”s for bands that were new to the label. Matilda’s Scoundrels play superb folk punk and are currently recording their debut album. London’s Shot! play an awesome and distinctive blend of hardcore and punk n’ roll. Both bands will also be gracing the MPF stages in 2017.
We have also continued to distro music and zines from all over the world. It’s certainly not just about our own releases. We have some amazing music in the distro right now. Due to time and money restraints we can’t release every band we love but hopefully we can help a few more people to hear their music.
In April we had the second ever Manchester Punk Festival. We were absolutely over the moon that it sold out ahead of the festival. It really couldn’t have gone much better. Every band had a great crowd and everyone seemed to have an incredible time. It was amazing seeing DIY bands playing to huge audiences. It really is awesome what can be achieved when like-minded people work together, pooling their resources and ideas. We are well on with plans for 2017.
Next year’s MPF is set to be even bigger and better. It absolutely blows our minds that we have booked bands like Paint It Black and Strike Anywhere. Not only are these legendary bands that we are huge fans of, they are also bands who really get the DIY ethos of the festival. The future of MPF is something we are incredibly excited by. We hope you can join us in 2017.
The DIY scene in general seems to be going from strength to strength. We’ve all been to/played so many amazing gigs this year and there are absolutely incredible individual scenes in so many places. It’s so cool to see how many people are supporting DIY bands, gigs and labels. Long may it continue! We were going to make a list of small gigs and festivals people should check out but that would do a disservice to any that we miss. Just find out what local gigs are happening near you, get out and support them. You will not be disappointed.
We have so much planned for 2017 already. We already have several releases already lined up that you will hear about very soon. We really hope you can join us for a huge party at MPF.
In February/March we’ll be doing a big TNS showcase tour with Wonk Unit, Roughneck Riot, Revenge Of… and Faintest Idea playing a series of dates across the UK. In the true spirit of DIY gigs we believe that every band on the bill should be supported. So we won’t be announcing the running orders until the gig actually starts. Get down early. It’s all going to be a lot of fun. We hope you can join us for the ride.
TNS would like to say a massive thanks to every single person who has supported what we do over the past 12 months. We really couldn’t exist without you. We do all this in our spare time alongside full time jobs. So many people help out with what we do. We hope you know how much we appreciate your time and effort.
Please keep supporting DIY music. Every single sale makes a difference to a label like TNS. Every single person through the door at a DIY event makes it viable for that event to happen.