Manchester’s Shaking Chains have announced their debut AA-single ‘Midnight Oil’ / ‘Drunk No More’ for release on April 21st via Concrete Recordings, along with two release shows in March.
Taut and tense, ‘Midnight Oil’ arrives inspired by life in the desolate lane. You can feel the devastating weight and potential, the sound of clever anger, of distrust and opposition. “Before Jon Voight stood beside the Capitol Hill Building to lick Trump’s ego, he played a far more respectable prostitute in the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy,” lyricist Nathan Mcilroy explains. “This song is a paean to Joe Buck and Ratso Rizzo and their interminable friendship that radiates onscreen, from life unto death,” he adds.
Elsewhere ‘Drunk No More’ sees Mcilroy inspired by Carol Batton, Poet Laureate for Mental Health Survivors. “Drunk No More is the thirteenth step of a twelve-step programme – one foot into the abyss. When you get to the bottom but before you’re physically and mentally capable of going back to the top of the slide. Homer’s Night Out,” he explains.
Shaking Chains borrow their name from ‘The Masque of Anarchy’, a poem written when Shelley was in exile, to portray his disgust with the Peterloo Massacre and the encroaching parochialism of the England in which he fled (‘Shake your chains to earth like dew, which in sleep had fallen on you. Ye are many – they are few’). More Chartists than chart hits, they are a four piece produced in The North long after production halted, currently treading water under the dark streets of London (having played music together, in one form or another, since they were at school).
In an age where groups live and die in the time it takes them to amass a student loan debt, they have stayed together, like a dysfunctional family – chained – through mutual misunderstanding, begrudging love and harrowing shared experience. They’ve seen the changing musical landscape gorge on itself and spew out pale imitations, enough times, to inoculate themselves from hype and ceremony. Instead, they’ve concentrated on their neurotic craft and sullen art. See them live in March through Salford and London on the dates below.