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How valuable is an interesting band name? For some, a truly awful moniker (I’m looking at you, Arctic Monkeys) is no barrier to huge success, but for those of us without Josh Homme on speed dial, it pays to have a name that makes people think.

Cauls fall into that bracket – their name has generated almost as much discussion as their music in the short space of time they’ve been together (gigs so far: just the five). A quick look on Wikipedia (unreliable blah unverifiable blah whatever) has this to say: “A caul (Latin: Caput galeatum, literally, "head helmet") is a thin, filmy membrane, the amnion, that can cover a newborn's head and face immediately after birth”. “Ew,” you might retort, but Cauls’ drummer Chris McManus will come right back at you about why they find this concept so interesting: “When the baby is born with a caul, it’s technically breathing under water. Sailors used to take these to sea with them, thinking that if the ship went down, they would save them from drowning.”

Which – for me, and them – is pretty interesting. As is their music, which draws influences from At the Drive In, Far, mewithoutyou, Owls, Radiohead, The Mars Volta and Tears For Fears (no, really). Their one available recording to date, Four, is a taut, melodic exercise in building tension and then releasing it, with startling effect. As a taster, it’s tantalising, showing a band with real promise, yet already fully formed, all the more impressive given how short a space of time they’ve been around.

Cauls started playing together in October 2009, initially as a three-piece without a vocalist. Chris continues: “I was mates with Andrew (McCaffery, bass) from college and he grew up with Graham (Morris, guitar), but we were all in bands before this. Andrew was in Mass and Uglyhead, Graham was in Karva Checkpoint, and I was in The Mercury League and Goddamnminivan, but this time around we wanted to do something different. The three of us wrote songs for a year or so, and then started looking for a singer. We couldn't find anyone in the beginning, and then a guy called Michael Marwood came to record at Blank Studios. After I heard him do his solo stuff I showed the lads and we asked him down for a jam, and it went from there.”

After some great feedback, the band have been confirmed to play Evolution Emerging at the end of this month, and plan to release a digital single in the lead up to the festival via their Bandcamp page. According to Chris, that release will be the first of three planned for the coming months, as well as a slew of gigs, which is exactly what you’d expect from a band that undoubtedly is in their element in the live arena: “We really just want to get as many gigs under our belt as possible in 2011 with the hope of maybe touring next year and releasing more material,” says Chris. “We already have a few dates lined up outside of the North East for July/August time, with people such as Crash of Rhinos from Derby, so we're well excited for them.” - NARC Magazine

"Gig Review: Month Of Fridays #3 @ The Cluny – And Now For Something Completely Different"

Excerpt from review:

So we’ll get straight down to it. The first band of the evening were Cauls, a Newcastle four-piece who appeared to be part-human and part-effects pedals in almost equal measure. Taking to a stage which, strewn with plugs, wires and lit only by a few floor lamps, looked like a space-age IKEA dungeon, the band rattled through a set as technically and ideologically stunning as anything seen in this venue previous. At first I was a bit surprised that I’d never heard of them before, then I was embarrassed, and finally ashamed.
Between the conventional trinity of guitar, bass and drums that seemed to include hell’s own cymbals, they unchained a performance that was as sudden and thunderous as god stubbing his toe. Whilst at times I did over ape its influences, borrowing the odd idea isn’t cheating the audience when you’ve got the technical mastery to pull it off. Post-hardcore, if that’s the label you’d feel most comfortable giving them, is a very dangerous game to play. Do it badly, and there’s almost nothing worse; do it well, and there’s almost nothing better. Cauls, I’m pleased to report, are lodged very firmly in the latter camp.

Then there was the singer. Devoid of the usual local patter and dulcet Northern tones, his slight Durst-ian twang was made instantly forgivable by his arsenal of shrieks and sermons that bled into the work of the other three. He was perfectly syncopated, but still seemingly oblivious to the ear-splitting ferocity of what was going on around him, like some sort of Asperger’s megaphone.
They even possessed a workable dynamic, the proverbial golden hen of every band who’ve listened to At The Drive-In and thought “we could do that”. Breaking up a set of monstrous snaps, crackles and pops with the odd subtle and experimental waltz, which still somehow reflected their ferocity, bubbling Vesuvius-like under the surface, Cauls managed to appeal to the head, as well as the fist.

"BBC Introducing: Cauls from Newcastle"

Cauls from Newcastle have been together just under two years but, in their short career, they have taken the north-east of England music scene by storm.
Influenced by everything from jazz to minimal electronica, the likes of At the Drive-In, Owls and Tears for Fears have inspired their own musical sound.
This year they have already played Evolution Emerging and are set to play a series of gigs throughout the summer.
They are also releasing a series of online and CD singles later in the year.
The four piece band is made up of Michael Marwood (vocals), Chris McManus (drums), Andrew McCaffery (bass) and Graham Morris (guitar).
Bassist Andrew, said: "I think music has always been a part of all of our lives and is very important to each of us. The band is important to us as it's as much like four friends getting together and playing music more than anything else.
"I think as a band we're still developing our sound and I feel like we've still got countless avenues to explore. I don't think we've scratched the surface of using Michael's voice or what we can create yet."

Great atmosphere
In May, Cauls played a gig at Evolution Emerging, which they describe as their best gig to date.
Drummer Chris, said: "The highlight of what we have done so far was being asked to play the Evolution Emerging Festival. It feels quite rewarding to get asked to do things like that after putting a lot of effort in practice in a cramped, dingy room.
"It was probably the best gig we've been part of so far. Great atmosphere and playing outside under the bridge was an experience too.
"The venue was packed out and the feel amongst the crowd was really great. I think this really shows that the Newcastle music scene for emerging artists is better than ever and we're really proud to be part of it."
Cauls are playing several gigs throughout the summer, including theLeave Me Here Festival in County Durham.
They are also releasing the first of three two-track CDs on July 15 onbandcamp and at a gig at the Head of Steam in Newcastle - BBC Introducing



If Bored, Pull Tab Marked Tab w/ Interlude I

Crave Divan w/ Interlude II


Currently Recording - Release Date 27.5.12



Cauls are a four piece band from Newcastle upon Tyne who formed in early 2009 and have since moulded their own sound reminiscent of acts such as At The Drive In, Radiohead and Mewithoutyou. Comprised of a driving rhythm section which is complimented by effects laden vocals and guitar, they conjure soundscapes akin to Brian Eno and Boards of Canada which lead into powerful riff-based choruses.

Since self-realeasing two singles in summer/autumn 2011 Cauls have created an online buzz and have gained a large amount of press through interviews and live reviews with publications such as NARC Magazine, websites such as BBC Introducing, and through gaining airplay with radio stations such as BBC 6 Music and Amazing Radio. They have also gained recognition from music organisations such as Generator, having been identified as a band to take note of in their Tipping Point feature.

They began playing live in late 2010 and have quickly developed a reputation for their exhilarating performances after blistering sets at gigs such as Evolution Emerging and by performing live throughout the north of England with established acts such as That Fucking Tank, Crash of Rhinos and Eagulls.