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Hereford Live Presents Anarchy in Hereford An Evening Of Punk- Line Up Special The Blissetts

October 5, 2014

10653329_314365712079425_4688567170184691339_nBy now we hope you are all familiar with the fantastic work of Herefordshire community group Hereford Live. A group of dedicated people joining forces and determined to put Hereford on the live music map.

The Hereford Live group have been meeting regularly for some time now, discussing ideas and planning strategies to revive live music in the county. The group is formed of bands, venue owners, promoters and music fans who would love to see a return to Hereford playing hosts to touring household names.

“Hereford is no stranger to best-selling artists; bands from the Rolling Stones, Manic Street Preachers, Stereophonics and The Beautiful South, to Pulp, James, Two Door Cinema Club and The Wombats have played in Hereford over the years.” said Anthony Murphy of The Jailhouse. “Some of them played in the county during sell-out tours, others have played to small groups of people before they were signed or became household names. There are some incredible artists in Herefordshire, many of whom are destined for great things. We want to get as many people as possible to support the live music scene we have in Herefordshire – not only will they be seeing the talent of tomorrow now, it will help us to stage bigger events in the future too.”

Following a string of successful events since their launch night back in September of last year- Hereford Live are continuing to grow, as is their support. Once again Hereford Live are hosting a special event on our doorstep, an event bringing in touring acts from further afield and introducing Hereford to a wide array of talent, a night we wouldn’t have otherwise be able to witness.

October 18th- Hereford Live Presents…. Anarchy in Hereford – An evening of punk. Featuring Headsticks, THE BLISSETTS and Abysmal

All the way from Stoke on Trent, headlining the evening we have the fantastic folk/punk band Headsticks. The gig is part of UK tour in support of their debut album “Muster”. With anthemic choruses, barbed lyrics, and infectious melodies their sound embodies punk ethics combined with a folk style delivery, a fantastic live band you won’t want to miss.

Support comes from rabble rousing Watford punk band The Blissetts

Opening up the evening are Herefordshire’s very own “punk nutters” Abysmal.

The punk ethics of the evening is set to cater for all, from the acts and their punk roots, to their attitude to their projection. This night is set to unite all music lovers, with all music tastes. An unmissable evening in Hereford.

To get us all in the mood of the event, we are thrilled to spend some time with each of the acts, from homegrown talent Absymal to the touring acts The Blissetts and Headsticks.  In the second of our Anarchy in Hereford gig preview special we speak to The Blissetts to find out what they will be bringing to The Jailhouse on October 18th

Before we get to the details of your forthcoming live appearance at the Hereford Live’s Anarchy in Hereford show, We want to get to know more on you. Please introduce yourselves and your role within the band. How long have you been playing and performing live?

I’m Paul, lead vocalist with The Blissetts. I’m also the main lyricist and I have a hand in song composition and arrangement. The Blissetts is the only band that I’ve been in, however I do occasionally moonlight as a barrel basher with industrial/folk cum builders merchant band ‘Jesus Hooligan’. Arup is The Blissetts guitarist, he’s been with us since 2006. He’s been playing live, mostly as a professional drummer since the early 1980’s when he was in anarcho punk band ‘The Astronauts’. He recorded several albums with them and has played in loads of other bands, most notably The Enid and Jesus Hooligan. Ajay is our drummer/powerhouse. He started playing with us on a stand-in basis when he was about 14 years old back in 2006. He joined us full time in 2008. Jason is our newest member, he replaced our former long standing bassist Ed earlier this year. He has also been in a few bands, he is also lead guitarist in Jesus Hooligan.

What was it that first got you to pick up your instruments, and then to write your own compositions and direct your creativity?

The first instrument I picked up was the guitar, but I was crap at it so I swiftly put it down again and swapped it for a microphone when I found out I had a really loud voice! I grew up listening to heavy metal but the lyrics didn’t hold much relevance to everyday life. I was young, angry and unemployed, so when I discovered punk it was like a gift from above. I’d been writing stuff down for years and never really thought of what I was writing as songs, so when The Blissetts came together in 2005 I already had a whole load of material. We initially started doing covers but that didn’t last long. I suppose we’re a punk band first and foremost, but we also have a few elements of heavy rock too. The reason I formed the band in the first place was because I had something to say, so when we’re writing new material we’re very careful to keep our foot on the brake and not let the song speed out of control. There’s no point being in a band with a message if you play everything at 1000 miles an hour and the audience can’t understand a word of it.

How did you form and where did the name come from?

We were mostly mates who were involved with the Chiltern Hunt Saboteurs. We were all into direct action and pretty much found ourselves out of jobs once the Hunting ban came in ha ha!! We’d been talking about a band for years but never had the time to do it. There were several versions of the band that became The Blissetts, but the first proper line up didn’t evolve until Christmas 2004. We could never agree on a name until I suggested ‘Luther and the Blissetts’ as a joke. The rest of the band only bloody went for it! However, we managed to finally agree on shortening it to ‘The Blissetts’. We are named after ‘Luther Blissett’, legendary striker of Watford FC, the team we all supported and the town where we were from.

How would you personally describe your own sound in one word?

‘Anarchic’. We have very serious song subject matter, but we’re also going to have a riot onstage while we deliver it.

Describe what you think you each bring to your live performances, sell your showmanship, sell us your sets.

A Blissetts show is very energetic. We don’t just stand there and play. I’ll be climbing up stuff, rolling around on the floor and doing god knows what to get everyone to pay attention. We always go down a storm whether we play to 20 people or 200 people. Like I said previously, we’re going to have a lot of fun whilst we deliver our ‘message’. Arup has a wireless guitar set up, so don’t be surprised if he shoots out of the building and plays in the street. If you don’t come to the gig but see a shaven headed Asian dude with camouflage trousers and massive boots running down the road playing guitar, that’s Arup! As I said before, he’s a professional drummer and loves banging things. He plays the guitar in a very similar punchy style that’s perfect for The Blissetts. Ajay and Jason are the rhythm section, they’ll just continue as normal and keep it all on track whilst the lunacy unfolds in front of them. By the end of our set we’ll have most of the audience onstage with us singing along.

What is it that you personally get from your performance?

For me, it’s seeing people singing my songs, getting into it and going mad down the front. I wrote ‘Dumped on the Scrapheap’ after I spent 2 years on the dole. I get people coming up to me and thanking me for writing those lyrics as they’ve helped them through their own time on the dole.

How would you describe the reception to your presence?

We always go down well. We’ve played to some fairly partisan audiences over the years, never really knowing how they’re going to react to us but we’ve always won the crowd over and had them leaping about like nutters down the front. We played to over 600 skinheads at the anti-fascist ‘United and Strong’ Festival last year. I thought they were going to eat us alive but we soon had them eating out of the palms of our hands!

Is there a particular track that you all just love to play?

We all have our own personal favourites, for me it’s ‘Nothing to Lose (But our Chains)’ as it was the first song I ever wrote, but the collective favourite has got to be ‘The God Delusion’, old skool punk meets classic rock! That’s the one where most of the audience get up with us.

Is this the first time you’ve teamed up with Hereford Live?

Yes it is, and hopefully we’ll get invited back! I’ve known Rich from Abysmal for about a year and it was him that suggested we come over, play the gig and sample the local cider!

What are you looking forward to most about the HL Anarchy show and what can we look forward to from your live performance that night?

I’m very much looking forward to finally meeting the boys from Abysmal and seeing Headsticks as Rich has been raving about them. From us? You’ll get pure energy, a set of classic punk and quite a few laughs! Anyone that doesn’t get up onstage with us at the end of the set will probably end up being dragged up!

Are you planning anything super special for this visit to Hereford?

We may resurrect our cover of Sham 69’s ‘Borstal Breakout’ for one night only! We play it so fast that we can play it twice in the time it takes Sham 69 to play the original.

Enlighten us to what can we look forward to from you in the future, many other plans set for the rest of this year, be it touring, recording, releasing etc?

We’ve had a fairly quiet year and only have one other gig, in November in Watford. I think it’s time we got in the studio and finally recorded our debut album. All the material is there, we just need to go in and do it. I already have lyrics for about six new songs which I’d like to record and put out next year as rumour has it, there’s a General Election coming up, the perfect opportunity for a bit of mischief making on the part of The Blissetts!

 And Finally any last words from you?

Get yourself ready for a night to remember by getting over to and downloading our last EP ‘We’re The Blissetts, Who The F**k Are You?’ for FREE!! Make sure you learn the words! By the time we’ve finished, when you look up the word ‘Anarchy’ in the dictionary, there will be a picture of The Blissetts.

A huge thank you to Paul- be sure to check back for our final gig preview interview with Headsticks and save the date for this unmissable hometown show.

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