Control of the Going
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Control of the Going

Manchester, England, United Kingdom

Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Band Rock Psychedelic

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"Delamere / Vynce / James Christy Band / Control Of The Going - Manchester Academy 3 - 10th October 2015"

Four very different bands make up the line-up of Scruff Of The Neck's latest showcase of the North West's best emerging talent at Manchester Academy 3. Headliners Delamere are launching their new single Heart, whilst Vynce, James Christy Band and Control Of The Going seek to make the most of the opportunity of the big stage to showcase their talents and win over new fans.

This is by far the biggest gig of Control Of The Going's fledgling life as a band, but it's also the night they make a significant step up. Most of the crowd have got down early for them as word spreads with every gig. They're assisted by a superb sound set up as well which allows the nuances that often get lost in the mix with a six-piece to be heard and it's in those details where Control Of The Going excel and stand out from their contemporaries.

Icy atmospherics, chiming guitars, subtle keyboards and drums that dictate changes of pace in the songs provide the thrilling backdrop for Liam's voice, which might not be to everyone's taste but is distinctive and perfect for the mood of the songs. He's also more animated than we've seen him before finishing War Crime by smashing his tambourine repeatedly on the floor, lost in a world of his own.

The six song set features songs from both their EPs to date - Epilepsy Bus Ride and Wild Flower - as well as some new additions to the set and whilst the more familiar songs such as If Only, The Message and Wild Flower are forever evolving, it's the two newer songs - War Crime and Control - that really hit home that they're developing into something quite special and prolific. - Even The Stars


"Freakout Honey / Control Of The Going - Manchester The Castle - 30th August 2015"

Two of the best new bands in town joined forces for the opening acts of Astral Elevator 6, the latest instalment of what is becoming one of Manchester's best underground gig and club nights. We made our way to a packed Castle to catch up on two bands that can still count the number of shows they've done on their fingers.

First up are Control Of The Going, an exceptionally prolific band in the studio already two assured EPs into their career. With six of them on stage, there's always going to be a lot going on, so much that could get lost in the mix as it did in parts of their last gig at The Yard, but tonight's sound man gets a mix that works perfectly for them and allows the full house to experience their full glory.

What's so great about them is that they so clearly fit like a hand in glove with so many other bands on the scene at the moment, yet there's something intrinsically unique about them, the way their three guitar and bass set-up combine and collide to create something thrilling and challenging to the listener. Liam's vocal drawl might be an anathema to some, but in that deep rich tone there's shades of Curtis, Cope and a hint of Waits that makes it curiously addictive and incisive in its impact on the audience.

The set is a mix of tracks from the two EPs (Reflection, If Only and The Message from their debut Epilepsy Busride and the title track and In Line from the follow-up Wild Flower), plus three as yet unreleased songs. They open with Bleed For Me, a claustrophobic song that builds and wraps itself around you and doesn't let go as keyboards chime and do battle with those guitars. Step Back is a bit of a departure for them as it trades in more familiar guitar rock territory and features dueling vocals between Liam and Tom whilst Mindless Generation talks of youth "struggling for inspiration" and "trying to find a way out of town with the train stuck at the station" which relates to them growing up in the Tameside town of Denton. As they finish with an extended version of The Message with all six of them lost in the music they're creating and taking the audience with them, you feel they're only a start of a journey. - Even The Stars


"Control Of The Going - Manchester The Yard - 9th August 2015"

For a band only playing their second gig tonight Control Of The Going have got a bit of a buzz building around them, already having secured a support slot with local heroes Purple Heart Parade and an Academy 3 show in October. They're already onto their second release as well - the single Wild Flower following quickly on the heels of debut EP Epilepsy Bus Ride. We went along to The Yard to watch them overcome technical problems to impress again.

Preceded by an act with just a keyboard, the band's first challenge is to set up without the aid of a soundman and with limited space to fit all six of them on the stage. With Ashley hiding behind Tom and Liam they just about manage it and start the set with Open Your Eyes. It's almost a public soundcheck as it sounds great in its component parts but the mix isn't right. They do a bit of shuffling around and fix most of the issues.

This set is quarter of an hour longer than their recent debut so there's more new material added in that we haven't heard before. The new single Wild Flower is debuted towards the end and they capture the thrilling essence of the song as the multiple guitars collide and bounce off each other as the introduction grows in intensity before Liam's first vocal comes in. The other two new songs Reflection and Step Back demonstrate that they're a band still developing before us. The latter sees them experimenting more with their sound, a more direct forceful style and Liam and Tom sharing vocal duties.

The Message, our favourite song of theirs so far, has immense potential to be stretched beyond its three minutes into something more expansive and mind-blowing and they know it, but for now, it's there as a taster and a teaser of what's to come. It'll ultimately replace Don't Let The Sun Go Down as a set-closer when they inevitably revisit it, but for now that's a fitting end to their show, dark, brooding, chiming guitars, keyboards popping up then dropping back down and a rhythm section driving it along at just the perfect pace.

Tonight's a test for them. The venue's only really set up for solo artists and the lack of sound man and time to set up properly poses them a challenge they won't have faced before, but it's one they deal with in their stride.

We'll leave the last word to the group of blokes sat at the back of the pub coming to the end of their Sunday drinking session who think they remind them of Joy Division in parts but who stop their conversations to listen and at the end of the song ask us why they're playing in a pub rather than bigger venues. That'll come with time. - Even The Stars


"Introducing Mancunian Psychedelia: Control of the Going"

A real differentiator on the local scene, Control of the Going (CotG) offer a progressive experience that will send your head on a journey through fields of technicolour and watermelon sunsets. These boys are on another planet and they want you to come join their Epilepsy Bus Ride...

This being only The Stiff Upper Lip's second real post, we'd like to point out that this band don't really represent what one may describe as 'the norm' in the Manchester music scene. Put it this way: if you were planning on going shrooming this weekend with the lads, give it a swerve and allow your ears to feast on this band instead.

Their current release Wild Flower (https://soundcloud.com/cotg1/sets/wild-flower) is merely a drop in a kaleidoscopic ocean that'll take one's mind excavating through the sounds of the 60's. CotG bring their own contemporary edge to a movement that still lives in the heart of a generation of music lovers. It's hippy, trippy and haunting at times.

Another notable track is The Message (https://soundcloud.com/cotg1/the-message1), which wouldn't find itself out of place on Revolver or The Magical Mystery Tour. The melodic and rolling drums aligned with ghost-like vocals and distorted guitar creates a floating feeling within the mind that is reminiscent of Lucy in the Sky, or Strawberry Fields. There is no criticism of CotG obvious influences from the swinging days of sexual liberty and experimental freedom, as they're more than capable of delivering an authentic experience.

Imagine a cocktail of Prog Rockers Caravan and Pink Floyd, stirred with the mind altering effects of Sargent Peppers' Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite infusing an evocative sound that is redolent of everything psychedelic. The Stiff Upper Lip would like to suggest Manchester should be extremely proud of CotG and will continue to receive our support. - The Stiff Upper Lip


"Control Of The Going - Wild Flower EP"

Control Of The Going are one of our favourite new bands to emerge this year. Their debut EP Epilepsy Bus Ride was released a mere two months ago, but they're not resting on their laurels and have released a new EP Wild Flower. Even in such a short space of time since their debut, the lead track demonstrates just how quickly and how far they're progressing.

Wild Flower was apparently written, recorded and mixed in under a week. But you'd never tell from listening to it. Dispensing with any pretension to radio play, it starts with a thrilling, chiming intro that lasts a minute and a half before front man Liam comes in. Already his voice sounds fuller, richer and ever more confident, and, most importantly in a world of identikit Gallagher / Turner / Fray wannabes, instantly recognisable. It won't be to everyone's taste, but as he enunciates each word by means of emphasis, the impact on the listener is undeniable. The EP concludes with an instrumental version of the title track - a statement of intent that this band is as much about the music as they are about the words in the songs and emphasizes just how brilliant they are.

In Line follows in a similar, but far from identical vein. A rich, deep sonic landscape created by the six of them, never claustrophobic or suffocating but still enveloping the listener and coming at you from all angles. Yet, the beautifully crisp production lets you hear the subtlety of the bass line, the keyboard that lurk beneath the surface and the rhythmic thrusting drum beats that drive the song along. Like Wild Flower it has a hook that you'll struggle to get out of your head.

This is a band in the early stages of their development, with a modus operandi that is all about writing songs and recording them quickly and capturing a moment, a place in time and not over-thinking, over-crafting their songs. It's a refreshing change for a band to be so spontaneous, so of the here and now. And if this is what they come up when they start off, imagine how good they're going to become. - Even The Stars


"Control Of The Going - Manchester Night And Day - 10th July 2015"

Tonight is Control Of The Going's first ever gig. On the back of their debut EP Epilepsy Bus Ride, we're intrigued to see if they can pass that mandatory litmus test of any band's mettle - whether they can cut it live. They pass with flying colours.

First song Open Up My Eyes sets the tone for the rest of the set, a persistent forceful drum beat that doesn't try to be too clever but which makes its presence felt throughout around which the bass, guitars and keyboards wrap themselves. With so many people on stage, it feels odd to say that the songs feel understated - that they are built around a ethic that, if you pardon the preposterous pun, has them in total control of where the songs are going. Not for them the traditional verse / chorus / verse / chorus / middle eight / big chorus ending of so many bands, these are sublime and almost delicate pieces of music, elegantly crafted and focused.

As they move into second track, In Line, that formula is still in place, but with a different set of variables. The keyboard, stuck at the back of the stage, makes itself heard as the guitars drop down but the effect is no less impressive. Reflection, with its chiming, addictive, repetitive guitar riff and that earworm lyric "now that we're older we're wiser" to the fore, is the first song from the Epilepsy Busride EP and it's transformed perfectly into the live environment.

The next two songs - If Only and The Message - make up the trio from the EP and cement that impression that they can transform the studio into venues like this. On the former, Liam sounds like Ian Curtis for one small moment and then the song lifts itself away. He's not the sort of front man who's going to jump around the stage and tell the audience he loves them at the end of every song - but then Control Of The Going are much more about the collective unit than they are about individual personalities.

They save the best for last though. Don't Let The Sun Go Down is a sprawling, threatening epic that bowls you over with the unstoppable momentum of the song. Despite there being six of them up on stage, including three guitarists, they don't try and overwhelm you with noise in a way lesser bands would. There's an intuitive control of volume and pace that they've mastered that works equally well on songs that last three minutes as on those that last more than double that.

As we make it back to the soundboard, we're stopped by a man in a shirt and tie, who assumes we're their manager (we're not), who gushes enthusiastically about them for several minutes. He'd never heard of them before yet alone heard them, but he's overwhelmed by their distinctive sound and the fact that they don't sound like anyone else, but grabbed him immediately. There's your recommendation. - Even The Stars


"Introducing - Control Of The Going"

This week we're very excited about our tip on Shell Zenner's Amazing Radio show. A drunken chat outside the Night And Day, a scribbled name (if iPhone notes count as the modern day equivalent) and a listen to the songs the next morning and Control Of The Going had us hooked. As well as their debut EP, Epilepsy Bus Ride, there's lots on their soundcloud for you to get your teeth into ahead of their debut show at the very same place we met them on July 10th. We had a bit more sober chat with them to find out more.

Could you introduce the band please and tell us how you got together?

(Liam) We are Liam Hart on vocals and guitar, Ashley Hart on 12 string guitar, Matt Byrne on guitar, Tom Sillitoe on bass guitar, Minesh Mistry on keyboard and Alex Reid on drums

We initially formed the band on a night out. We were in Mojos in Manchester three years ago and we came to the conclusion that, although we were all very different, we had a common love for psychedelic music. The founding members were myself, Alex, Matt and Minesh.

We have all known each other since school or college, so we were all very good friends. Initially we practised at Alex’s house in a tiny room with some of the most rudimentary equipment available, but as time moved on we improved and chemistry began to flow. What took us to another level was when we looked like we were going to break up. Alex left the band and my brother Ashley joined as a bassist originally. We booked into a rehearsal studio and began putting a serious effort into working on our music. Ashley added a cutting edge to the band; we began to approach our music in different manner. A more critically minded yet creative approach to our sound.

We began to write better songs. Gained a temporary drummer and started to sound like an actual band. A year later, Alex made a spectacular return. Three months later we released our first EP, a month after that Tom joined us on bass, and now here we are.

It's an interesting name - Control Of The Going - how did that come about?

(Liam) We are all from East Manchester, the majority of us are from Audenshaw. Despite many of us being hard working young lads, none of us have ever been able to get away from here or to even manage to find a job in the areas in which we wanted to work. I came up with the name, because personally I have always been prevented from where I want or need to go; this has been the same for the lads in the band too. Someone or something is controlling where we want to go.

The EP's called Epilepsy Bus Ride - again an interesting name - where did that come from and other than us not liking it in our review, have you had anyone have any issues with it?

(Ashley) It's a name I came up with whilst I was making my way home one day. I was on a Bus. It seems almost everyone didn't like the name but I thought it would have made a cool band name. When we were thinking of a name for the EP, we couldn't resist calling it Epilepsy Bus Ride, largely because it divided opinion and we believe it's rather eye catching and memorable.

(Matt) To me, the name of the EP meant to signify a journey which was influenced by experiences within the mind, which describes the mood we have tried to create.

(Liam) Some people believe it is a reference to Joy Division and Ian Curtis. However, this wasn’t initially thought of. Without a doubt, there is some influence in the band from Ian Curtis and Joy Division, but this did not motivate the name for the EP. I believe we selected this name due to us struggling to find a name which was different, which would stand out, would create interesting conversation and would be memorable.

You've not played a gig yet but you have more than a dozen songs on your soundcloud. That's a different approach to most bands who are very secretive and protective about new songs. Do you think it's important that these get heard as they are formed?

(Liam) As a band we decided to upload early demos and concepts straight out of the practice rooms. I agree, this is different. However, we decided to do this because we didn't want to be seen like we were hiding away in a studio somewhere working on something obscure. We all enjoy how music develops and how it is created, so we had to do this to show our own development.

Your first gig is on July 10th at the Night And Day. How are the preparations going for that and what can we expect from the set?

(Liam) Without a hint of bias, the preparations are going fantastic. We cannot wait to get going. We have been together now for three years and have been developing and nurturing our sound, and now we feel like we are at a level where we are going to turn some heads now we are out and gigging. There is no doubt, we are still relatively unknown, but we relish being the dark horse and we can’t wait to surprise everyone. Two six string guitars, a twelve string, bass, keyboard, drums and vocals, there will certainly be plenty going on.

How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn't heard you yet?

(Ashley) I'd say its "Neo psychedelic garage rock". I had a plan to bridge the gap between Joy Division and the early Rolling Stones stuff, I'm not sure if I've done that but we've certainly been influenced by the late 80s & early 90s shoegaze and sychedelic bands and even a lot of new and contemporary ones.

(Alex) Original. I can't really think of any band that sound similar to us. I believe we are fairly unique. The lyrics and metaphors are dark but the actual sound is catchy and upbeat, some have described it as having a heavy influence from the 60s and 70s.

(Liam) Describing your sound is very difficult, however, I would certainly agree with both Ashley and Alex. Our music is dark, life round here can be grim. However, we hide the dark lyrics in a fantasy which sometimes sounds like a juxtaposition. It is a reinterpretation of the music which we grew up with and the music we discovered growing up. It is also very different. Something new, but familiar.

We write music which is heavily focused on composition. Composition is key. Our music contains lyrics that mean something to us, catchy guitar work, a dominating bass line, with sometimes minimalistic drum lines and a guitar lick which is designed to get you humming it later. In listening to us, you can close your eyes and find something new every time. - Even The Stars


"Control Of The Going - Epilepsy Bus Ride"

Control Of The Going describe themselves an "psychedelic / shoegaze alternative sounding band" and they've just released their debut EP Epilepsy Bus Ride following a number of demos revealed on their Soundcloud. What we found is an interesting proposition, a sound that instantly feels familiar, but not like anyone else around the Manchester scene at the moment.

Opening track Reflection kicks in with three guitars creating a loop with an insistent hook that isn't in your face, but which manages to burrow its way into your conscience even before Liam's voice comes in. That theme is repeated across the three songs here, there's a vein that they tap into, you can hear echoes of some of the sparser darker elements of Joy Division at points and on the EP's highlight The Message we can also hear Pavement banging against the walls begging to be let out. They're far from copyists though, they appear to have found a niche around which they can evolve - and with a little of bit of research you can find another fourteen songs on their Soundcloud that amply demonstrate that they're doing their development as a band in public rather than hidden away in a rehearsal room somewhere.

Front man Liam's vocals are intriguing too. On first listen, they feel a little deadpan, droll even (and there's plenty of lyricists who have a catalogue of wonderful records forged around that), but as you become familiar with it, the warmth starts to exude out even when the subject matter of the song is dark ("page is wearing thin, how will I ever win, desire fades away, fire burns away" on If Only as an example) as you make the connection between voice and music and between the music and the words. In The Message the half-spoken, half-sung approach around which the insistent guitar hook is wrapped is perfect in pitch and tone for the mood that the song creates. It's to be hoped that this isn't something that they lose as they develop further.

Epilepsy Bus Ride is a stunning debut EP from a band that's been prolific in writing, demoing and previewing songs over the last few months. It gets better on every listen too, so needs time to fully appreciate its modest charm. The title of EP is, of course, awful, but everything else around it suggests that, just like Ist Ist, they're going to be a band that's going to stand out from the crowd and make people sit up and notice them. - Even The Stars


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

An eclipse formed from surreal psychedelia with post-punk overtones.

Control of the Going are beginning to emerge from the... dark and uncertain streets of East Manchester to become one "of the best new bands in town". So far, they have featured as the Real Radio XS "Future Classic" band for July and have drawn comparisons from Joy Division to early Pink Floyd.

COTG are currently touring Manchester supporting their latest releases: the Epilepsy Bus Ride EP and Wild Flower.

"the warmth starts to exude out even when the subject matter of the song is dark"

"What's so great about them is that they so clearly fit like a hand in glove with so many other bands on the scene at the moment, yet there's something intrinsically unique about them, the way their three guitar and bass set-up combine and collide to create something thrilling and challenging to the listener"

- Even the Stars

"Fans of The Brian Jonestown Massacre should find much to enjoy with Manchester shoegaze reprobates Control Of The Going, whose waves of subtle shimmers evokes Anton Newcombe’s estimable band. Or for another comparison, maybe Control Of The Going are a baby version of Helicon, Glasgow’s 3D demons of space rock"

- Colourhorizon

Band Members