King Pest
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King Pest

Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos




"King Pest, apparently named after a little known short story by Edgar Allan Poe seem to reflect their choice of name in their music, not in an eerily atmospheric, ghosty kind of a way, more in the way that they take leads from classic well known entertainers and then use the little known portions of their influences to create something that you may not have heard before.

King Pest’s demo CD is unlike most other acts of recent time in that they’re not afraid to connect much more directly with what I hesitantly describe as more ‘classically’ styled rock. They sound like they merge Kiss successfully with Built to Spill and the Pixies to create an original hybrid that is wholly unlike the aforementioned in their entirety but take the key bits that make them work and meld them together to create a breath of fresh air in this copycat wannabe climate. The band’s subtle references are apparent from the get go from simply listening to their first two tracks, “On the Town” and “Holiday”, side by side where their styles and versatility are fully in evidence. They also seem to have a few tinges of the Wildhearts on “Holiday”, which is a nicely honed rock ballad that for once doesn’t sound shameful.

Effectively, King Pest dare to be different and as they say themselves, they’re “too fat to fit into skinny jeans...” this is as big a compliment as anybody could give them as the music instead fits into a nicely King Pest sized hole in the market."

(Paul Walters)
- Octopus Reviews - Facebook

"Rise of Pest-er power"

STEVEN Twentyman - vocalist and songwriter for new Manchester band King Pest - is sat in a Northern Quarter bar and guiding CityLife through the edited highlights of his interesting employment CV so far.

"I've had some cool but crazy jobs in my time," recalls Steven glugging on a pint of lager.

"The one that sticks out most is when I worked in a large casino. The working hours were mad. I'd start work at seven in the evening, then leave at five in the morning. All these people betting so much money. A few guys in nearly morning till night."

Now, it's Steven..s turn to make that massive personal gamble. Describing himself as something of ..a quiet outsider', he spent the majority of his twenties in self aware terminal underachievement - he played for a few local bands, worked in many, many dead-end jobs, and he even wrote a book (which he then binned the minute he completed it).

It's only now, that Steven is making a last-ditch to attempt to succeed in the music biz.

His new band King Pest - completed by best friends Gary O'Callaghan (guitars), Adam Day (bass) and Stephen Toal (drums) - have quietly pitched themselves as indie-rock outsiders, albeit ones who eschew the usual archness for lots of heart and soul instead.

Neither bookish nor rocking self-conscious ..geek chic', they are not Manc pop outsiders in the studied, arch tradition of Morrissey.

King Pest deal more in the language of the scrapheap and reject pile - offering up glorious, tub-thumping pop songs which manage to be simultaneously intelligent, romantic, universal AND gloriously championing the real underdogs in society. More outlaws than outsiders then.

"We're not afraid to lose," says Steven. "It's not like we're a bunch of teenagers trying to make cool indie music. We just do what we do and if we fail, we'll do it gloriously."

These gambles came as a result of personal trauma. Three years ago, Steven had what he looks back on as, he says ..a pretty dark period of clinical depression... "basically something you're not taught about, y'know..."


"I wasn't a very happy person and was out of the world out for a long time'.

But out of that dark period came a renewed musical vigour. In a rapid burst of creativity, he wrote around new 30 songs, and all of them rather special - songs which tapped into his first teenage influences, The Pixies, The Beach Boys, Nirvana, The Beatles; but lyrically booted by his recent personal troubles.

Steven's rehabilitation became complete when his best friends - bassist Adam, guitarist Gary and drummer Stephen - cajolled him into forming a band, naming themselves after their favourite Edgar Allan Poe poem ("We love the contrast of the word ..king' and ..pest'", says Steven). Within weeks of uploading some home demos up on MySpace, gig offers came flooding in; fans and venue promoters charmed by witty, macabre but ultimately chest-beating songs like Holiday, Reasons and life-affirming future hit On The Town.

"When people see us on stage, we kinda blind-side them. They're expecting us to be rubbish 'cos we don't look like the average Manchester band. 5 minutes in they hear the songs and they're hooked.


The Manc four-piece have perfectly pitched themselves as indie-rock late developers whose troubled outsider schtick is striking a chord with a Manc music audience growing increasingly antipathetic of skinny-jeaned indie facsimiles.

Like a Longsight-raised hybrid of Frank Black, Brian Wilson and Jarvis Cocker, vocalist Steven has finally wrestled with his inner demons and emerged with a distinct musical voice; one which roars with a buffalo's heart and a bulldozer's rage. Clearly, there's a new rock aristocracy in town, and these King Pests are inviting everyone to join the royal party.

"That's the thing with these songs - they're all big sounding," insists Steven. "I mean, I can imagine all of them being sung by 10, 000 people in a massive stadium.

"They're all songs with a real sense of epicness and positivity - I want them to touch people and for people to roar out the words at the top of their voice."


As the initial rumble of the bass line bobs along and drives into gear, the incoming jangling guitar riffs allow King Pest to stir in an edgy vocal line. It’s a sprightly song that shifts easily between two chords and thrives on the kind of melodies that seem to be resident somewhere between China Crisis and the tougher tumbles of a crunchier, indie pop version of The Jesus And Mary Chain. “On The Town” is a perfect American indie chart hit, this time sneaking in the odd Fine Young Cannibals reference and a timeline from somewhere around 1981 - and with even more of those infectious flyaway vocal lines, this song could stand up on its own with little effort. “I Know” maintains the transatlantic fever and the final chord strums of “Vesuvius” provide the darker but no less attractive moments on this finely written EP. A hugely original and spectacularly individual demo.


Still working on that hot first release.



After an extremely dark period in his life, singer Steven Twentyman sat down and wrote a novel which he promptly trashed on completion. He then decided to put together a string of low-key CDr albums and EPs which most people will sadly never hear until they are reissued as part of an unfeasibly expensive career-spanning box set many years in the future.

School friends Adam and Gary joined forces with Steven after a period of inactivity. After 15 years of not playing drums, drummer Stephen then joined as a result of hearing these remarkable demos.

With a sound and image a world away from the scores of Oasis/Arctic Monkeys/Libertines wannabes who infest Manchester’s scene, King Pest are more a throwback to the great anti-image groups of Manchester past.

A recent profile described our music as "glorious, tub-thumping pop songs which manage to be simultaneously intelligent, romantic, universal AND gloriously championing the real underdogs in society".

You may hear influences in our music but we have no peers.

Thank you for listening.