How Was 2022 For Blistering Scottish BLAH BLAH BLAH Engine MEMES?

7 December 2022

Glaswegian post-punks MEMES are a sharp-teethed and politically/socially outspoken
2-motor engine that produces loud and clear uppercuts. From their steamed-up debut single, Blah Blah Blah, (released in 2019) on, my ears fell in love with the duo’s blistering sound.

And when I saw them cheering up the crowd in Antwerp (Belgium) last April, when playing
a whirlwind post-Fontaines D.C. show I knew they are here to stay, leading us to more big bangers in 2023.

But first this chat with the nephews (yep, they are family) about nonsmokers, Wham, Steve Lamacq, the Scottish national anthem and more. And as usual Turn Up The Volume starts an interview with a slice of music. Here’s MEMES newest single Leader.

Hell John,
Hell Paul,

How/when did you start jour musical journey?

“We were playing in another band together with some other musicians. It became really difficult and really expensive to drive drum kits around in vans to gigs so we decided to try and simplify our sound as much as possible and see if we could play a show with only the bare essentials, that is how MEMES were born.

Our first gig we played Blah Blah Blah four times as we only had 1 song. Our second gig was a BBC 6 Music live session for Steve Lamacq (note TUTV: a former legendary NME writer) so we had to hit the ground running.”

What’s the story behind the band’s name?

“We wanted something short and snappy the same as how we intended our songs
to be short and snappy. We originally wanted to call ourselves MUCK but
that name was taken.”

Which song would you pick to introduce MEMES to people who never heard of you?

“Probably Blah Blah Blah as it captured the true essence of what the band is.”

Well, BLAH BLAH BLAH worked for me. With that nasty bass riff,
it made me an instant MEMES fan. What’s the song about?

Blah Blah Blah was recorded in a bedroom in 2 hours, no overdubs no fancy production tricks just one take of everything and wham bam it was done. You can’t get more punk than that. We were just having some fun and I think you can hear it in the recording.”

Who/what inspired your blistering post-punk sound?

“When we started experimenting with the drum loops on the laptop we realised it sounded good with a heavy distorted bass guitar, we wanted to keep it simple and angry. No gimmicks and focus on the essence, this is what people we admire like Lou Reed and Chuck Berry wanted to achieve .”

My number 2 on my fav MEMES list is CHEER UP. There’s not a lot
to cheer about lately. Name 3 things we should cheer up for anyway.

“The lyrics to Cheer Up change every time we gig depending on who we want
to poke fun at that day. You are right there is not much to cheer about
lately that is for sure. Cheer Up because 100% of nonsmokers will die.”

Suppose you were asked to write your own version of the national
Scottish item how would it sound and what would it be named?

“It would definitely sound angry and we would name it ‘Jock Around The Clock.’”

You played several shows in Europe this year. Any special tour memories?

“We loved touring in Europe it was so much fun, especially after being locked down like caged animals for a year and a half. A particular favourite was playing Supersonic in Paris, good times.”

Cheering Up In Belgium (Photo by Turn Up The Volume)

There’s a lot of media attention, fortunately, for the growing financial costs/problems of touring, affecting obviously smaller bands/acts.
How do you manage to do want you do in these difficult times?

“As we mentioned earlier, the price of van hire and petrol etc is making it really
difficult for bands to tour, we are stripped down to the bare bones and it is still
very difficult. But where there is a will there is a way.”

Which artist(s)/band(s) would you love to tour with and why?

“We really love Black Midi and would love to tour with them.”

Black Midi – Antwerp, Belgium (photo by Turn Up The Volume)

If MEMES music would soundtrack a movie, which want would it be?

“It would have to be Braveheart then we could put our version
of the Scottish national anthem in the soundtrack.”

The best track and album you heard this year?

‘It’s a few years old but we have been listening to it a lot this year which is Damo Suzuki from CAN with Black Midi as his backing band, live from the Windmill in Brixton, London. Damo Suzuki and Black Midi together it doesn’t get much better than that and we highly recommend it.”

If MEMES would cover a Xmas song,
which one would it be?

“Last Christmas by Wham!”

Which song (s) will you play on New Year’s Eve and why?

“Hopefully one of our own songs if we can get a gig that night.”

Name three things you really want to happen in 2023 for the band?

“Our priority for 2023 is to make our debut album. We would also love to tour Europe more and see some new countries. Thats only 2 things but we can’t think of a third.”

Thank you for this chat, John and Paul.
May the road rise with Memes in 2023

One more for the road.

MEMES: Facebook – Spotify – Bandcamp – Instagram

MEMES – Scottish Noise Tandem Unleashed New Funk-Punk Ripsnorter ‘LEADER’

Daily electricity to load your batteries

4 November 2022

Who: A noisy Glasgow duo (cousins) called John and Paul – not that John and Paul, obviously. And as band name John Paul II would be ridiculous, they called themselves Memes, and hit the scene in 2019, and have been twisting heads ever since

New single: LEADER

After their eponymous bonkers debut EP (2020) followed by some staggering singles,
the high-decibels tandem nail it with another sucker punch. Leader is a funk-punk riff ripsnorter that kicks forth and back before a freakish guitar outbreak slashes and
trashes its way to the end.

About time for indie-label leaders to leave their desks
and go and see/hear this fuzz and buzz couple.

Watch out for the pigman,
he looks like a meme in disguise…

MEMES: Facebook – Instagram – Twitter

Antwerp, Belgium – 8 April 2022 – Can’t wait to see them again and do a little dance on stage

Scottish Noise Turbo MEMES Cheered Up Belgium

On stage

9 April 2022

Where/when: Trix, Antwerp – 8 April 2022
Who: A noisy Glasgow duo called John and Paul, not that John and Paul,
obviously. As band name John Paul II would be ridiculous, they called
themselves MEMES. Turn Up The Volume is a fan since day one.

MEMES‘ gig was actually an aftershow one, following Irish fury Fontaines D.C.
who turned the main hall upside down. And, that’s exactly what this 2-motor
turbo did too in the big building’s bar. One should think that the audience, after
almost 90 minutes of those Dublin heroes, would be too tired or too drunk, or
both, to be bothered to let their minds blow up again by two Scottish noiseniks.
Wrong, within a minute the bar was packed. And rightly so.

John and Paul rocked their sweaty tails off with their bloodcurdling hullabaloo that guarantees them a place in my British post-punk-rebirth team along with young indie gunslingers like Yard Act, Crows, Ditz, Lice, Black Midi and The Mysterines.

The Glaswegian tandem’s sharp-teethed and politically/socially outspoken uppercuts
like Blah-Blah (their prickly debut single), So What, and newest smack Second Thought cook your brains and your ears on the spot. Oh my, oh my, do I love 30-minute blitzkrieg gigs without brakes and breaks (except when the digital drummer is a bit stubborn).

One Meme down

As you may expect you don’t get birds and bees tunes from these two mavericks, although in the end they know and we know, that we all need to Cheer Up in these bloody messy times in order to survive. That’s what Antwerp did, that’s what I did (on stage), we all cheered up. Thanks MEMES, for turning up our adrenalin production.

Check their debut EP here…

MEMES: FacebookSpotify

Thanks for the shout-out, guys!!

(concert photos by Turn Up The Volume)

Up And Coming Glasgow Mavericks MEMES With Brand New Brawny Cut ‘SO WHAT’

Daily fuel to load your sonic batteries…

28 September 2020

Turn Up The Volume featured Glasgow’s cutting-post-punk duo MEMES several times before. Their full-charged electricity and manic turmoil is what you need to ventilate
your isolation demons.

On their brand new cut SO WHAT they ramble, rumble, and rattle with jagged puissance and saw-edged Sleaford Mods like vocals. More infectious than that horrible coronavirus, deeper carving than a Swiss knife, 103 seconds of high-energy swagger.

Can’t wait for their new EP, coming in November via the pretty cool Fierce Panda label.

But first SO WHAT

Also on Spotify

MEMES: Facebook



A stream of rattling rippers, jagged jams, and magnific musings

All 20 on Spotify

Track by Track

Stoogefather IGGY POP still wants to be your dog.
Next January he launches a new album, named Every Loser.

First lead single FRENZY is a motherfucker of a punk bomb
featuring an all-star band including Watt, Guns N’ Roses‘ Duff
and Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ Chad Smith.

I’m in a frenzy
Fucking prick
I’m in a frenzy
Goddamn dick

Turn it up!

IGGY POP: Facebook – Instagram

Last April grime-rape/punk-rock duo BOB VYLAN caused noisy waves
with their second longplayer Bob Vylan Presents The Price Of Life

But they’re not done yet this year. They teamed up with Laurie Vincent
of London‘s punk duo Slaves for a brand new hammer blow called

It goes like this…

BOB VYLAN: Facebook – Instagram

Who: British noise trio

Debut single: LOVER

Both a gloomy and foot-tapping drum/bass are the backbone of this ominous post-punk stroke. Haunting guitar layers inject this jaw-dropper with edgy electricity, grim vocals add a kind of dark tension, while the sickly catchy groove rattles on and on, before a surprising finish with a weeping violin.

The video features the English comedian Sean Walsh in a much darker tone than his usual TV appearances, as he is seen battling his inner demons through the bottom of a whisky bottle.


Who: Cold/darkwave duo – Sam Huge
and Gaelle Souflet
– from Brussels


Turn Up The Volume: Can you believe this? Even before the music comes
on I’m already moving furniture to make room, because with ULTRA SUNN
it’s always shake your booty time.

The tantalizing combination of boosting beats, shadowplay sound textures,
reverberant vocals, and a pumping chorus at work here, attract you to act the
whole way through. Just irresistible. With ambitious artists like ULTRA SUNN
darkwave music will never age.

Dance into the night here…

ULTRA SUNN: Facebook – Instagram

Toronto label We Are Bodies releases Remix The Universe on 27 January 2023.
It’s a compilation of new perspectives on The Upsetter’s final collaborative LP, 2021’s acclaimed Lee “Scratch Perry’s Guide To The Universe by NEW AGE DOOM.

First taster LIFE IS AN EXPERIMENT (Cloud Climber Version) is vintage dub electronica honoring Lee “Scratch” Pery wonderfully. The Jamaican dub music pioneer who gave reggae another vibe with his revolutionary studio wizardry and visionary production technics. He passed away last year, aged 85. R.I.P.

Hear the ghost of Perry at work…


(Keira-Anee Photography)

Who: Female pop quartet from London blending cherry-liqueur lyrics,
bubblegum-kneecap bass electrics, goth-heavy drum compactions and
hi-rise guitar sculptures.

New single: SIGNS & EXIT

Middle-finger to bullies. Stay home, dress funky, paint yourself up,
turn up Bugeye, pirouette yourself in a trance and let the sweat flow.

The clip is directed by Laura Jean Marsh and inspired by psychological
drama movie We Need to Talk About Kevin from 2011.

Watch it here…

BUGEYE: Facebook – Instagram

Swedish electro-pop artist FEVER RAY (born Karin Elisabeth Dreijer, 47 years ago)
canned her 3rd album and named it RADICAL ROMANTICS. It comes out on
10 March 2023. More info here.

Spicy taster CARBON DIOXIDE is an edgy
Björk-esque disco-pop stomper. Bingo!

Tune in.

FEVER RAY: Facebook – Instagram

Who: A noisy Glasgow duo (cousins) called John and Paul – not that John and Paul, obviously. And as band name John Paul II would be ridiculous, they called themselves Memes, and hit the scene in 2019, and have been twisting heads ever since

New single: LEADER

After their eponymous bonkers debut EP (2020) followed by some staggering singles,
the high-decibels tandem nail it with another sucker punch. Leader is a funk-punk riff ripsnorter that kicks forth and back before a freakish guitar outbreak slashes and
trashes its way to the end.

Watch out for the pigman,
he looks like a meme in disguise…

MEMES: Facebook – Instagram – Twitter


(photo by Turn Up The Volume)

DEATH VALLEY GIRLS, the garage rock fury from Los Angeles, led by vocalist/guitarist/organist and charismatic voodoo doll Bonnie Bloomgarden,
who love to doom boogie while glowing in the dark, have their new – 5th – album,
baptized ISLANDS IN THE SKY out on 24 February 2023. Pre-order info here.

Along with the great news, DVG spoil our ears with the first single WHAT ARE THE ODDS.
It’s a ridiculously sticky juiced-up power-pop chant triggering your limbs to get up and move. And when the under the spell of joy choir joins Bonnie Bloomgarden on the elated chorus you just feel that the odds are huge for the simulated Californian girls having another top album are huge. Fact!

We are living in a simulated world
And we are simulated girls!

the track here…

DVG: Facebook – Instagram

Who: fervid post-punk 4-piece
from Romford, UK.

The first piece of the band’s
upcoming second longplayer.

TUTV: Great news for all Cross Wires fans, including myself, out there.
Their 2nd album is finished/recorded and ready to leave its vault early
next year through Culture Wars Records. It follows the band’s album
A Life Extinct
. One of the most poignant debut records of 2019.

Lead single. Mourning is not a happy story. It’s a post-break-up cry out,
a cathartic shout out. Sixties psychedelic-sounding wah-wah guitar fuzz,
alternated with cutting six-string fervor stoke up the energy of this crackerjack
all the way, along with a steadfast drum/bass tandem, and back up frontman
Jonathan Chapman‘s harrowing confession of lovesickness.

Press play here…

CROSS WIRES: Facebook – Instagram

Who: Musician, composer and performer, describing himself
as a “natural born underdog.” With over 15 years of experience
in the industry


Payne describes how his life is changing throughout the song, but no amount
of fame or distraction could deviate him from the one he loves. The tender lyrics
contrast in the baddest way possible with Justine‘s gritty delivery.

TUTV: Expect a slow-burning slacker cracker with poignant Dinosaur Jr echoes and
garage rock reverberation stoked up by cranked-up guitars. As the song progresses
Payne spellbinding voice takes over. Breathtaking.

Get puzzled.

JUSTIN PAYNE & CO: Facebook – Instagram

return with a new single, titled PRETTY BOY.

A speedy psych roller featuring guitar lines from Johnny Marr.
The song is the first piece The Chief shared from a new album
coming next year. Details follow later.

Gallagher: “For this new record it was the first thing I wrote, the first thing I demoed and the first thing I finished, so it’s only right that it’s the first thing people get to hear. Massive shout out to my mainest man Johnny Marr for taking it somewhere special. Oh… and watch out for a cameo from me in the video… first one to spot me wins a bag of Flamin’ Hot Wotsits Giants!!”

Music, maestro, please


Band: VAZUM (Detroit, Michigan)

Who: Zach Pliska and Emily Sturm. The project started in 2017.
They describe their sound as deathgaze, combining the raw energy
of deathrock with the depth of shoegaze. So far the duo released
four albums and a handful of singles and EPs.


TUTV: Vazum ventilate their anger versus the money-greedy corporate music industry
with this brutal straightforward shocker generating a wall-of-fuck-the-elite-labels sound that bulldozes its way on repeat with schizo guitars, a non-stop spiteful rant and Emily Sturm‘s freakish backing vocals. Bang-on!

Buy/stream here…

VAZUM: Facebook – Instagram

Who: Committed indie quartet based in New York, fronted
by wholehearted singer/songwriter Eline Chavez

New single: IT’S NOT OVER.

Lyrically and sonically it follows Lin Manuel closely. Lyrical guitar play
stars along Chavez‘s fervid soul/blues voice. She still has hope for the
future. No, it’s not over yet.

Onism E are survivors.
No doubt about that.


ONISM E: Facebook – Instagram

(Photo credit: Keira Anee)

Who: Electro-punk dance music duo – Kat and Drew Five – from London
with bite, fusing snarling guitars, sparkling synths, and ferocious beats.

Fresh piece from their long-awaited debut album, named
The New Truth Is Gold out on 10 February 2023 through
Reckless Yes.

FF: “‘The golden rule is people come together. This is a shimmering
anthem of renewal, and a clarion call for people to come together.”

TUTV: Golden Rule is a desirous pick-me-up pop tune. Airy, breezy, instantly catching and an invitation to get together in these troublous times. Kat Five‘s vocals float all over this romantic reflection and glossy synths sparkle throughout. The most notable component, to my ears, of this new piece, is the distinctive Cure-like guitar sonority. Feverish, shadowy and arresting. Pretty cool. Bring on the album FF.


FERAL FIVE: Facebook – Instagram

Who: A hard-rocking alternative band from Vancouver Island, Canada with a musical foundation planted firmly in catchy melodies and multipart harmonies. Set on making music that feels unique, yet unafraid to wear the boys many influences on their sleeves, this powerhouse of a band has created a sound that is undeniably and unmistakably VV.


TUTV: Hells bells! This nasty motherrocker of a hammer blow speeds up your adrenalin machine from the kick-off. VV mix blues rock, classic rock and hard rock seamlessly into a red-hot-blooded wall-of-riff-sick sound. A boiling mishmash of intimidating guitars, a powerhouse rhythm section, a Herculean chorus, boogie-woogie flashes and vociferous vocals is what your stereo speakers will spit out. Just what you need to bang your head against a wall. Hells bell, indeed.

Here come the bloodthirsty villains…

VV: Instagram – Facebook

Who: This new duo project draw inspiration from the music they listened to when
they first picked up their instruments as enthusiastic teenagers: Indie rock induced with infectious choruses, catchy guitar riffs, and huge drums. After an involuntary break due to the corona epidemic, they have spent the past year working on their debut album.

2nd piece, following lead-single Not Going Home,
from their upcoming debut longplayer

TUTV: Expect a multi-layered, towering and schizophrenic wall-of-guitar-electricity propelled by a pushing rhythm section. When they take the decibels a bit down it’s
only a foreplay moment for a stormy finale. Breathtaking stroke!

Check it out.

TAPE TRASH: Facebook – Instagram

(Photo: Josh Cohen and Max Marren)

Band: SUEP
Who: A stubbornly high-spirited combo creating oddball music with
a touch of theatrical storytelling. Fronted by Georgie Stott (Porridge Radio,
Garden Centre, The GN Band
) and Brain Wastefield. SUEP is born out of a
near-decade of wearing silly clothes and deconstructing pop together.

News single: IN GOOD HEALTH

TUTV: I love the vivid vibe here. In Good Health resonates like a comforting chant with friends, hand in hand, taking care of each other. It’s a frisky tune that plays instantly on your inner stereo in your head. It’s an all-together ditty that puts a big smile on your face.

More of that is expected when SUEP release their debut album, named Shop,
It lands on 27th January 2023 via Memorials Of Distinction.

Listen/watch and feel in good health…

SUEB: Twitter – Instagram

Who: Three young indies from
Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK


TUTV: Both wayward and playful. I hear early Talking Heads guitars, vibes
from Manchester’s legendary Factory Records (A Certain Ratio, The Durutti Column,
Section 25) and also from Welsh daydreamers Young Marble Giants (1978-1982).
All indie music that never ages and still is around today.

The Short Causeway are a notable 2022 example. They zig-zag their way through
this debut single with capricious tempo changes, with glimmering guitar sparks,
breezy melodiousness, and moony vocals. Welcome!

Tune in.

THE SHORT CAUSEWAY: Facebook – Twitter

American nightdreamer GREG GONZALEZ and his combo
CIGARETTES AFTER SEX shared their first piece of new music
in over two years.

PISTOL brings together all of the elements that have made CAS such a celebrated band, while also introducing a subtle yet impactful increase in tempo. Equal parts transportive and romantic, the song’s driving rhythm meets a stark, minimalistic atmosphere that is given dimension by dreamy, washed-out guitars, swelling synths, and intimate, yearning vocals from Greg Gonzalez.

Listen/buy here…
Lit a candlelight
and listen…

CAS: Facebook – Instagram

SUMMER JUKEBOX PARTY- 20 Far-Out Knockouts Part 3

Weekly playlist for all party animals out there

It’s summer.
It’s cocktail time.
It’s shake your hips time.

Move your furniture, make some room,
pick your favorite drink, and start
a wild Wurlitzer jukebox party.

20 Far-Out Knockouts
Old and New

This week’s entertainers

Pere Ubu
Beastie Boys
Royal Trux
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
The Coral
Jill Daisy Max
Ava Vox
James Domestic
Monsieur Pompier
Melody Lee Hayden
Red Hot Chili Peppers

Senseless Optimism
Feral Five

Feel the beat
Turn up the heat
Turn up the speed.

Shake your booty here…


Fiery Glasgow Duo MEMES Shakes Things Up Again With… ‘HAPPY SHOPPER’

Daily fuel to load your sonic batteries…

12 August 2019

Fresh barbed wired Scottish duo MEMES already made some stirring waves earlier on with their very first hot-blooded ripsnorters Go Tweet MeBlah Blah Blah and Funny Man. And with their newest cut ‘HAPPY SHOPPER‘ the pair nails it again. A steady tambourine beat, a sickly sticky bass riff and a whole lot of The Fall-esque spitting and sneering all over it. Electric-powered uproar! Manic turmoil! Catch the commotion right here…

MEMES: Facebook

Rip-Roaring Lockdown Paranoia – Here’s ‘PUTAIN ROYALE ‘By PINK ROOM

15 March 2021

Band: PINK ROOM (Belgium)
Who: Three vociferous noiseniks

Released: 12 March 2021

Turn Up The Volume says: The essential message of this new powerhouse album is
loud and clear: noise-challenging turbo Pink Room is here to stay! Their tsunami energy
is beyond any decibel regulation. Again, loudmouth Bart Cocquyt leads the rip-roaring troops. As I said before his vocal range is out-of-this-world. He easily could front a death metal band (Stay Black/Stay White) or a Nirvana reunion (Losing/Skin) or kick Ozzy Osbourne‘s ass (Hail Satan). Expect ear-shattering jackhammers, over-the-top frenzy, and an overall sonic lockdown paranoia.

Putain, putain, c’est vachement bien, nous sommes quand même tous des bohemiens.

Single: Losing

Alert your neighbors
before you press play…

PINK ROOM: Facebook

Buy PUTAIN ROYALE right here .


New sonic impulses

14 October 2020

SHARON VAN ETTEN has a song featured in Feels Good Man, the documentary
about Matt Furie, the American cartoonist/creator of internet meme Pepe The Frog.

During the 2016 US presidential election, the meme was connected to Donald Trump‘s campaign and later associated with the alt-right. Last year Matt Furie sued the users of unlicensed use of his image of Pepe the Frog on far-right themed posters.

“After watching the documentary, I just followed the feeling of coming to terms with something and tried to evoke peace through my melody and words” said Van Etten about LET GO, the new song she wrote and contributed to the docu’s soundtrack.

It’s another sweet pearl from a singer/songwriter who keeps on shining, time after time…