Having worked their way through the ranks of the UK’s DIY punk scene, London-based pop-punks Great Cynics are well-placed when it comes to forking out recommendations on where to start with the country’s prolific underground movement.
We caught up with frontman Giles Bidder for an insider’s view of the 10 best DIY punk bands you should be checking out right now.
“When we were 15 we got offered a show at the Birds Nest in Deptford [a well-known punk pub in South East London], and the guy who came on after us was a guy with a golden tooth, eloquently delivering poems about plastering and shitting in his nan’s house. This funny, kind and genuinely enthusiastic bloke turned out to be [Wonk Unit’s] Alex – always supportive, always nice and buzzing on creativity. For me, Wonk Unit represent South London punk rock.”
“Jay and I have been friends since we met on MSN [messenger service] through a love of The Get Up Kids. He’s an interesting, satisfying songwriter. While he plays drums in a load of really great bands like ONSIND and Personal Best, his project Crushing is a total Weakerthans-goes-Osker swoon. They haven’t released anything yet – but I bootlegged them on my phone using voice notes last time I saw them, so get to jam it on the reg.”
“A band of best friends – which I’m lucky enough to be part of – to me, Honey Joy are one of my favourite bands. I can say that ‘cos they’ve [been] my friends since puberty, and [even] though I’m in them (and so is Jay Cav), I can objectively say that they rock. The new record, which I don’t think I can say anything about yet, was produced by MJ (Hookworms, Martha) and is loud and totally DGAF. Favourite lyric on the record: ‘Life is shit, babe’.
“I really can’t believe more people outside South East London haven’t heard this. Myles seems to write these lines that curve and sway into each other, offering a tone which is sympathetic and comforting. Any fans of Front Bottoms would dig this super-hard. I’m getting excited about thinking of when I’ll see him play next – probably somewhere on [Peckham’s] Queens Road.”
The latest, coolest bunch of crusties playing sweet Jawbreaker-style jams. Stu (who used to play drums in Murderburgers) writes these amazing melodies that make you wanna launch a pot of yoghurt and watch that shit blaze. Great band – recording in their kitchen next weekend.
“Kinda Cheap Girls, kinda Trust Fund, Austeros are a sweet trio of gorgeously self-conscious people who quench that thirst of something that you wanna put on in the background and relax to.”
“Em used to play acoustic songs that I’d listen to on the bus to school. She was a few years older than me and her friends didn’t like my friends (probably ‘cos we were young and enthusiastic), but Em seemed ok. The song Easily Done was semi-covered on our new record (with some extra bits added). Em’s kept on playing and the new band is fucking SICK. Check it.”
Jesus And His Judgemental Father
“Saw this band the other day without hearing them prior, and I loved the way it made me feel like I was watching a band who didn’t give two fucks, and instead put energy into writing socially-conscious pop hits. Total shredders.”
“This band don’t need to be here or anywhere, but thank fuck they exist. The best punk band in London. Fuck off.”
“Saw these the other week and it blew me away – just guitar and bass, their tunes are fat and exactly what I’d wanna be dancing to into the morning, dancing somewhere I can’t see 4ft ahead. This truly hits unprecedented ground of groove and power.”
Great Cynics’ new album POSI is out now via Specialist Subject. You can catch them on tour at the dates below:
13 Apr: Urban Bar, London, UK
14 Apr: Urban Bar, London, UK
20-22 Apr: Manchester Punk Fest, UK
[Supporting Bouncing Souls]
Jun 18: The Haunt, Brighton, UK
Jun 19: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK
Jun 20: The Hairy Dog, Derby, UK
Jun 21: The Owl Sanctuary, Norwich, UK
Jun 22: The Dome, London, UK