Brooders Interview

Describing themselves as 'loud, proud and full of psychy sounds', Leeds via Notts trio Brooders are everything that a grunge band should be: fuzzy, manic and a load of fun. They’re headlining The Bodega stage on 31st January, so we caught up with the boys ahead of the show about pre-show rituals, organising their own festival and grungey goodness.

Welcome Brooders! What can we expect from your headline show at the end of Jan?

We’ve been waiting to play at The Bodega for a long time now. Having visited many times as I grew up in Nottingham it was always a special place for me and my discovery of what live music was all about. Now having the chance to headline a show at the venue is a special kind of thing. 

We’re really excited to be playing and we’ll be pulling out all the stops for a fantastic show with plenty of crazy heavy manic screams, relentless pounding drums and the ferocity that our live shows have become known for.  

We’re excited to be back after about six months of live silence. We’ve been itching under our skin to bring back our riffs to the public eye, and where better to do it than the place that birthed our desire to make the music we play?!

Take us back to the birth of Brooders, how did the three of you get together and start making music?

Myself (Adam (Singer/Guitar) and Liam (Drums) attended a college together in Nottingham for several years before moving to Leeds to pursue our passion for music. We both were great friends in the college years, and it was a more than happy coincidence we both ended up in Leeds at the same uni. We never actually jammed until we came to Leeds though, as beforehand we’d both just pursued our own projects. When we got to Leeds, we figured something was missing. We began jamming with Speare (Bass) and the fuzz intertwined in a glorious manner.

The songwriting at the start was really just so natural. Every squeal from the guitar sat hand in hand with the rumble of the bass while the drums locked so relentlessly. It was a match made in riffy heaven. 

Your sound is a massive mix of fuzzed up guitars and grungey goodness, how does a song usually form? Is it a fairly collaborative process between all of you?

Aw, you do flatter us. Fuzzy grungey mayhem is all that we’re about. It’s a fairly natural blend really. Like a good cup of coffee, we have the beans, the sugar and the milk and it just works. I really shouldn’t be allowed to use analogies, but you get the gist. We usually get locked into a practice room and create some seriously bone shaking noises until one of us has a eureka moment/we receive a noise complaint. 

This January marks your biggest Notts headline show to date, how excited are you to get to The Bodega?

As I mentioned earlier, it’s such an influence for myself as a musician now to have seen as many bands as I have at The Bodega in the past. Some of the early gigs I attended like The Wytches, Drenge and Pete Doherty (don’t ask) were eye opening in ways I’d never seen before in any walk of life. It was exciting, raw, raucous and all revolved around the idea of making loud noises for people to sing along to. It was something that not only I wanted to be a part of, but something I was keen on creating for myself. 

In short. Very. But the longer answer is that it’s going to be a meaningful moment to top the billing at a place that has built the very foundations that we riff on.

You’re busy at the minute with preparations for your own festival in Leeds. How’s that going and where did the idea for RIFFFEST come from?

We ran the first instalment of RIFFFEST last year with False Advertising, Hands Off Gretel, Faux Pas, Bloodhound, Household Dogs and Adore//Repel on the billing. We were absolutely hooked on the festival buzz following the event and felt that we had to do something to really blow it out the water for this year. 

The idea for the festival was born of the love for underground riff-based music that was missing the spotlight it deserved. We were especially keen to celebrate this in our birthing town of Leeds too as we see so much heavy music in the north that is overlooked when locked in with very dense music scenes that are often dominated by more accessible genres and styles. We had a big ‘fuck that’ moment and just wanted to create something to really melt the faces off people. I like to think that we achieved that successfully and efficiently this year. 

With that in mind, this year is going to create a pile of sonic destruction like no other. It’s been an amazing experience so far and we’re ready to let the ground shake and the walls ache again. 

Any chance of taking future editions of RIFFFEST elsewhere? (hint hint)

Take us out for dinner first...

And finally, have you got any wild diva-style pre-show rituals we should be preparing for?

Back rubs, vicious wordplay and shouty vocal warmups.

Brooders will be at The Bodega on 31st January, with special guests Faux Pas and Marvin’s Revenge. Tickets are on sale here.

Bodega Radio 03

We're very excited to have our own Bodega radio show on City Beat Radio! We'll be live the first Friday of the month from 7pm until 9pm and episode 3 is now available to listen back to. This month, we share some of our favourite tracks of 2019 and look forward for ones to watch in 2020.

Listen below now!

We have merch!

Scrambling for last minute Christmas presents? We’ve got some sexy T-shirts and tote bags for sale online and behind the bar.

Deadline for online orders to ensure Christmas delivery is 3pm on Thursday 19th December so act fast!

Pick one up here or head into The Bodega to pick one up in person, open Monday - Saturday from 4pm until 23rd December.


JOHN Interview

A tour de force on the live circuit, London punk duo JOHN create the best kind of awesome, loud and thrashing punk. 2019 saw them release their blistering second album ‘Out Here on The Fringes’ and soon they’ll bring their immense riffs and introspective lyrics to The Bodega on 30th January. We had a chat with them below on the album, the upcoming tour and any wild pre-show routines.

John and John, welcome! What can we expect from a headline JOHN show?

Hello there Bodega, we’re very much looking forward to visiting. You can expect four arms, four legs, wood, metal and plastic… and probably a fair bit of sweat too.

You’ve recently released your second album, how was the recording of that? Any “difficult second album” syndrome?

After a humbling response to our debut, it was great to know more about the process this time round - especially returning to the same studio and producer (Wayne Adams/Bear Bites Horse Studio, East London). We actually recorded in three interspersed sessions because of touring commitments. In that sense, it gave us time to develop a well-rounded group of songs whilst not over-labouring them.

Out Here on The Fringes was recently picked by BBC 6 Music as their Album of the Day, how has the reaction been to the record and is it how you expected it to be received?

It’s been a very humbling response on the whole. Seeing the album make the UK Vinyl Chart off the back of our own label/distribution showed us that it is possible to make a dent even on modest terms; I can’t say I expected that would be possible. The extended radio support was also very surprising. I’m still trying to get my head around Iggy Pop’s voice saying some words that I wrote down on my iPhone notes.

Last year you headed out on tour with IDLES, how was it on the road with those guys? They played here on the Brutalism Tour and it was a memorable one!

We’ve had the pleasure of calling the IDLES chaps friends for a long time now, and also supported on a couple of the Brutalism Tour dates too. 2018’s tour was a phenomenal journey spanning 27 shows in 13 different countries. It was a truly unique experience, and it was fantastic to play numerous historic European venues that we may not have visited otherwise.

Have you got any previous experiences of a Nottingham crowd?

It’s been a long time ago now, but we played a great DIY show at JT Soar in Nottingham years ago. I’m sure many locals may be familiar with the place, but it’s an old fruit and veg store that has been converted in studios and rehearsal spaces. We’re very excited to be back in Nottingham, especially on the hallowed ground of The Bodega.

Any wild pre-show rituals we should be preparing ourselves (and the venue) for?

I suppose Manuka Honey is partially ‘wild’, so a cup of tea and plenty of stretches will do me fine. Johnny likes a couple of beers but only an amount that enables him to remember where his hands are.

And finally, we’re coming to the end of 2019, what tunes have you been enjoying this year?

2019 has been a great year for music with friends such as USA Nails, Drahla and Dry Cleaning all releasing music. Nick Cave’s ‘Ghosteen’ was also a wonderful surprise, let’s hope that 2020 continues in the same vein.

JOHN will be at The Bodega on 30th January with tickets on sale here.

Announced this week - 13.12.19

Still looking for a last-minute Christmas present? Maybe these tasty new gigs may take your fancy…

Emerging with one of the most life-affirming, honest, empathetic and heart-stopping records you’ll hear in 2020, White Tail Falls will join us at The Bodega on 3rd April.

Armed with their infectious blend of indie-pop, Scottish quintet Dancing On Tables will bring their energetic live show and anthemic storytelling to The Bodega on 24th March.

Legendary California record label Yep Roc Records will showcase a couple of their rising artists with a show at The Bodega on 3rd February, featuring the wonderful Jack Klatt and Michaela Anne.

And last but certainly not least, Notts alt-blues outfit 94 Gunships will bring their blend of intricate guitar licks, rasping heartfelt vocals, grooving bass lines and pulsing drums to The Bodega on 15th February.

Tickets for all shows will be available over on Alt Tickets.