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CYCM End Of Year Review 2022

https://fc-utd.co.uk/files/images/CYCM/cycm4_400x400.jpg?no-cache=1672775568111Twenty twenty two was another wonderful year for FC United’s ‘club night in the afternoon’ Course You Can Malcolm with sixteen pre-match events under the SMRE showcasing everything from spaghetti western surf rock to the first ever soul band to grace the Caring Stage. Here CYCM’s resident archivist Mike Noon takes a look back at the year and also offers a sneak peek at what's on offer at CYCM during the coming weeks.

Course You Can Malcolm, named for the perpetually-mithered-Quentin in ancient telly adverts for Vics Synex Nasal Spray (and nobody else) is FC United's pre-match night club in the afternoon. Compered by Baz and catered for by domestic kitchens in Colwyn Bay, Openshaw and town.

It's been happening since 2007, initially tucked away in Starkey's Bar, a cosy corner of Gigg Lane, Bury, but is now firmly ensconced under our very own SMRE. The past calendar year has been its busiest since those Gigg Lane days, with an event taking place before almost every Saturday home game. Over the past year there have been 16 events, representing an opportunity for us to showcase the best in local talent. And for fans, home and away, to appreciate those bands. Forgive us the misty-eyed nostalgia as we take a look back over the past year and look forward with us as we give a sneak peek at what's to come in 2023.

https://fc-utd.co.uk/files/images/CYCM/CYCM%20-%20The%20Notion.jpg?no-cache=1672595874399We got the year up and running with The Notion, who played before the Witton Albion fixture in the first week of February. As with many of the bands we feature, The Notion had a good 2022, starting off with a gig at the lovely but compact Castle Hotel on Oldham Street and finishing with a headlining set at stepping-stone-to-the-top venue, The Deaf Institute. The only downside was them having the plug pulled before they could play the last song at Deaf. Something to do with an all-night Teenage Hair Hop having precedence.

Andy had to turn his Scuttler Signal on and ask on Twitter for a band to play before the game against Matlock Town. This was duly answered by Middleton's The Demo, who laid down a set of quality indie rock before bravely finishing with a very well-received cover of The Jam's 'That's Entertainment'. (Although, to be fair, they had started their set with a Beatles cover, so they obviously knew about playing with fire).

Plain Navy currently occupy a unique slot in the CYCM guide book as they are the only band to have played before a European fixture, this being the day of the AKS Zly Fenix Trophy game in March. They can play before every game if we win 10-0. :D 

The day of the game against Basford, there was something of a home-coming for Ben and Dom from The Battery Farm, who both grew up in Moston and were keen to lay their self-styled violent sounds of a violent world before their native crowd. This was a great year for the band as they released their debut LP, Flies Out. They ended 2022 supporting bass-driven monsters Evil Blizzard at Go-Go-Gorilla in town. 

https://fc-utd.co.uk/files/images/CYCM/CYCM%20-%20Plain%20Navy.jpg?no-cache=1672597672283It was suggested that if the blistering set of Trashy Surfabilly, Spaghetti-Western, Murder Balladry provided by The 99 Degree had been piped into the home dressing room before the Atherton Colls match the game would have been over in the first fifteen minutes. The band were making their return to Broadhurst Park having previously been one of the few acts to have performed pre-match in the Main Stand Bar. They’ve gone eerily quiet of late, but you can’t keep a good zombie down.

We’d been trying to arrange a date with The Goa Express for what felt like ages and we were finally able to flag them down before the game against South Shields in April. Their set of ‘scorching garage rock with psych undertones’ (© nme.com) went down a treat and it’s no surprise that they’re heading to Austin, Texas for SXSW in March next year. Before then, you can see them headlining the Lexington Arms in London in January.

The final turn before the stage was turned under the SMRE were Mancunian legends Cold Water Swimmers. The punk rock power trio provided a welcome injection of pace to end the season on a musical, if not footballing, high. Featuring Chris Bridgett, late of dub sex, Hypodelic and The G-O-D alongside Carrie Lawson and Selina Woolnough, they are currently recording their second LP for a 2023 release.

https://fc-utd.co.uk/files/images/CYCM/CYCM%20-%20pea%20urn.jpg?no-cache=1672775482970The Accident Group played before the Doncaster Rovers friendly in pre-season and were the first act to enjoy the newly-redeveloped SMRE bar, along with the new positioning of the Caring Stage. Happenstance meant that turning the stage, although taking the focus away from the middle of the bar, gives a more ‘giglike’ vibe. Something mentioned by a number of subsequent acts. The AG had supporters from both FC and Doncaster. Which was nice. They’ve since been a little quiet on the old socials. We hope they haven’t had an accident…

The first League Malcs of the 2022-23 season featured Spin Klass and George Irwell performing before the match against Atherton Collieries. George is a CYCM mainstay, having provided tantalizing pre-match quizzes for us for a number of years. This time round, the table was turned on him as he was quizzed about his recently-published FC book, ‘From RMI to Rimini’, a completists’ look at the games and participants in FC’s first sixteen seasons.

This was the first appearance by Spin Klass, but more about them later…

https://fc-utd.co.uk/files/images/CYCM/CYCM%20-%20Ventrelles.jpg?no-cache=1672597107548If you’ve ever had a slapdown in the form of an Iambic Pentameter, you’ve probably met returning poet Angry Bear, who laid down the literary law before the game against Curzon Ashton. Hopped up on absinthe and tater hash, he showed no mercy for the enemies of the reds, with Pep Guardiola coming in for an appropriately sharp verbal slap down. Main band on the day were Ventrelles, who delivered punchy, sun-soaked guitars, energetic rhythms, life-affirming vocals and soulful bass lines. They were so good that some Malcolmses regulars watched them again at the Castle Hotel in town a few days later.

Next up, before the Marine FC game, was former Scuttlers lead voice, Kaiden Nolan. He brought along his new line-up.  In a year which seemed to feature many firsts and returns, Kaiden managed both. This was his return to the SMRE as the Scuttlers had been one of the first bands to play under the stand back in … and this was our first event with the newly-configured PA. (Thanks for which go to Dan Ford). And speaking of returns, at that initial opening of the Caring Stage, Scuttlers had been joined by Martin Buchan and MAD Theatre Co.

There was no sign of United’s former captain at the next game, against Liversedge, but our old pals from MAD joined us in joining the dots between Gigg Lane (where they appeared a number of times) and Broadhurst Park (here making their second appearance). They also brought along Jake Hardman, who performed with MAD, then later confirmed his status as The Disco Prince of Blackley with a lively set of electropop. Moston Active Drama performances always raise a smile and this was no different, they even managed to charm a family of Liversedge supporters who, pre-warned about the ‘fruity’ language, agreed it was the best thing they had ever seen under the stand of a non-league football club. (Humble brag).

https://fc-utd.co.uk/files/images/CYCM/CYCM%20-%20Narcissus.jpg?no-cache=1672596607119Main band on the day of the Lancaster City match were Narcissus, another local band destined to join the ‘I saw them at a football match and now they’re playing The Ritz’ CYCM alumni. The appearance was part of the launch week(end) for their debut LP A Sense of Place and before the match we asked them a few questions via the CYCM Instagram feed including if they had any tips re other new bands:

“There are too many to list!!!” they told us. “Our advice would be to get down to one of the many small local venues the city has to offer on any night of the week to discover new music of all different kinds”. We hope that in future people look on CYCM, the Moston Music Machine, as an opportunity for doing the same.

Also this day we had our first Meet the Brewer event, with Salford’s very own First Chop providing four of their award-winning gluten free brews and their head-brewer Callum giving us an inside look into how they work. This was incredibly successful and we hope to be doing more of these events in future.

It was definitely a case of good things come in twos before the Warrington Rylands game, as the recently-spied Spin Klass made their second visit of the season. It was serendipity all over the shop, as we had a gap to fill and they had their latest release Feral Bop ready to share with the masses. "It's actually a 6 track EP, so goes at about 780bpm if you wanted to play all 6 tracks at once. We love a good 130bpm tune tho. It's 6 power pop, synth - dance infused bangers!"

19 November brought us Gainsborough Trinity, John Darwin and The Maitlands. There was a real sense of history about this bill. The Maitlands first played for us way back in February 2019 - and then were kind enough to allow us to use a video set of theirs for one of the virtual Malcolmses you may well have thought you hallucinated but actually did happen in the spring of 2020. They lie, in their own words, 'somewhere between a drunk Smiths and a sober Fall', and according to another source sound 'like Hawkwind playing at being indie-punks'.

And who should be popping up alongside them in our occasional Poetry Corner slot than FCUM's very own John Darwin, whose new book ultrasilence was launched at Central Library. John's new collection explores life’s three stages of arriving, staying for a bit, and then leaving. And to think he first cut his teeth as a performer at Malcolmses in Bury...

https://fc-utd.co.uk/files/images/CYCM/CYCM%20-%20The%20Honey%20Drops.jpg?no-cache=1672596653923The final event of the year, before the Belper Town game, gave us a welcome change of direction as we were able to showcase The Honey Drops, our very first soul band. This five-piece act hail from South Manchester and have previously played at Chorlton’s The Carlton Club and Dulcimer and the bijou and perfectly-formed Peer Hat just off Lever Street in town.

Laying down the law, they declared, “It'll get hazy, we'll go crazy and you'll wish it doesn't end. The Honey Drops will take away your blues. It'll be rhythmic. Danceful. Sweet. Mellow. Fierce”. And so it was. They went down extremely well, playing an extended set as well as a much-deserved encore.  They’ll be buzzing off down the studio in the new year, so keep an ear open for their sweet, sweet (sorry!) sounds.

You can take a look back at this year's acts on Huw Davies' ace YouTube page here. And it's also worth keeping an eye on CYCM's social media channels on Twitter and Instagram to see clips of bands and find out more about forthcoming Malcs events. 

Coming soon we have:

Liam McClair – 7 January. Whitby Town.

The Zangwills – 14 January. Hyde United (to be confirmed as it's derby day)

The Institutes – 28 January. Warrington Town.

The Empty Page – 18 February. Stalybridge Celtic.

The Concrete Club – 4 March. Liversedge.

Graceland – 25 March. Marske United.

Redeemers – 8 April. Bamber Bridge.

Senses – 15 April. Stafford Rangers.

We hope to see you there.

First Posted ~ 18:30 Tue 3 Jan 2023
News ID ~ 9474
Last Updated ~ 07:39 Tue 17 Jan 2023