The Vipers
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The Vipers

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"Live Reviews"

THE TWISTED CIRCUS @ Saki Bar, Manchester

Tonight’s co-organisers THE VIPERS are the equivalent of a musical assault craft. Their two basses equate to two heavy forward facing cannons, but somehow the guitar is generously full. The Vipers catalogue snarls at you, with plenty of bite and street fighting energy. They share plenty of punk values with their peers tonight, revelling in the ethics of Search & Destroy, the rumble of basement rock and wild lightspeed paced beats. This is a high school bop, held in a barbed wire enclosure in the middle of no mans land. The Vipers also provide the shells; loud explosive rock and roll nuggets with a high impact, often distressing blast radius.


Ruby Lounge, Manchester

The Vipers are another reminder that Manchester's musical fabric is a little more diverse than the various flavours of post-punk and lad-rock of popular renown; sounding more like they're straight out of some downtown Detroit whiskey dive they play hard bluesy garage rock with a secret weapon - the simple reversal of the standard one bass and two guitars set-up to one guitar and two basses. Which renders their sound something like that of a large juggernaut coming at you full pelt. They resist the temptation, however, to dwell in the lyrical cliches trotted out by many of the black leather wannabe-Americans; the words we can pick out through Nathan's angry howls are of bitterness and disaffection closer to home, late nights around our city or any city, and with this much sheer volume and energy behind it they don't sound like the sort of people you want to get on the wrong side of.


DANSE MACABRE @ Night & Day Cafe, Manchester

Everyone keeps telling me about this fantastic Manchester based band The Vipers, so I sent the fabulously talented Nickie McGowan to Night and Day to check them out.

Nickie McGowan - "I turn up at tonight's venue early, as The Vipers are first on stage. The crowd is small and mostly older-rockabilly types. The floor starts to fill out a little just as The Vipers hit the stage and proceed to blow a good few heads off within the space of about two minutes. Even though the crowd isn't huge, all the people sitting down stand up when The Vipers are on to their second song…its no surprise that this fantastic band catch people's attention pretty quickly. Based in our very own Manchester, The Vipers are exactly what the UK music scene needs… a huge dose of proper Rock and Roll.

Rock and Roll has been completely lost in the ever-growing number of indie bands who are copies of other indie bands; it's a horrible circle of terrible music. Of course we have amazing Rock and Roll from other countries courtesy of Queens Of The Stone Age, Wolfmother and The White Stripes… and The Vipers would be perfect playing alongside all of those bands.

The best thing about The Vipers is the fact that they incorporate every sub-culture…Punks love them, Rockabillys love them and your average Joe love them. Not being a part of a scene is rare these days so when a band like this comes along take notice and go see them play. Each band member plays an instrument, which means you are going to get your face melted by not one but two bass guitars… loud as f**k. The bands debut EP 'Fear Of The Redheads' consists of six mind-blowing tracks with dirty, sexy vocals and dirtier, sexier riffs. The Vipers also released 'Satellite Boys' as a single and rightly so, it's a killer track. When the band perform Satellite Boys at the gig I want to move my whole body and shake my hips until they break, it's the same when they play 'Rats' and 'Little Princess'… two of the six tracks on the EP (which you should all buy, right now).

Near to the end of The Vipers set there were more people on the floor than for any other band that night, although it seemed unfair that The Vipers were first on stage when they were obviously the most exciting and energetic band there. Ok so I am being over the top in my enthusiasm for The Vipers, but it is truly deserved. I spend hours every day listening to new bands and being bored sh**less by them all, so when a band comes along that excites me and sits next to The Stooges in my record collection, you know you are onto a good thing. If you like your rock and roll dirty, savage and impossibly exciting, then this is the band for you".

Nickie McGowan - Suvbert Magazine


FICTIONNONFICTION@ Tiger Lounge, Manchester

The brash feel to the night continues with the conversely all male THE VIPERS. Being a subterranean venue is an advantage as this band execute a salvo of songs that batter the walls. It may only be a cold, Tuesday night, but the Vipers have brought a sizeable contingent with them and they all seem to want to move eagerly to the massive chords. There's only a narrow space available but the 3-man guitar line just about fit into it, and yet still twist and flail their instruments in a suitably theatrical fashion. When they need more space they simply take a step forward and right into the crowd. There are even cries for an encore, and the request is gleefully granted.


Late Rooms, Manchester (supporting The Ponys)

The Vipers are announced as a last minute support and they convincingly make themselves a hard act to follow. Trading in blistering hard edged punk rock, the two bass players providing a stunning bedrock of head slicing riffs beneath a razor sharp guitar. Powerful stuff, irradiating a violent vocal line that's fuelled by powerful post-grunge melody and thrash punk screams.

The Vipers aren't a rock and roll band, they're a weapon of mass destruction, military tight and louder than bombs, executing savage but brilliantly executed bursts of angry distortions. It's an exciting, spine tingling spectacle built from the essence of a riot, but destined for much, much bigger things. They're not only one of the most interesting bands I've heard this year, they're also one I know I will be definitely seeing again. Must see.

The Vipers have backed up their essential new Mancunian music (see current release and former MM E.P. Of the week, "Fear Of The Redheads") with a burgeoning attitude and a refreshing agenda that involves tattoos and unmissable counter-culture rock. Suck on that.

Jon Ashley


Night and Day, Manchester

Piled-up in a higgled, piggled bill The Vipers waste about as much time as Napalm Death did writing 'You Suffer' in discarding the shamefully trite Gallagher-isms of some dismal opening band with merely a shrug into the side-barrier of their crash course for the sages. Plugged into the effulgent drool that drips deliriously from Manchester's damp patches every so often front-fellow Nathan stands back arched before slamming the nail-gun three-for-the –price-of-two grebo-garbled-garage-blues- boogie grunge of 'Josef K', gargling astutely belligerent poetry like TV Smith directing Ramblin' Jack Elliott into his own 'Final Destination'.

With a sound only enhanced by a splendid sense of sobriety (full marks to the sound lady whose name escapes me) they manage to get around the old 'let's join several songs together and be really cool and disregarding of the audience' ooo-eck factor with sheer frenetic talent and passion. A nonchalant guitar mangler-deluxe matched by lead bassist (sssh, don't mention Ned's Atomic Dustbin) Johnny stomping on Eighties Matchbox's unmarked grave, Nathan bludgeons the slight traces of the angular indie-punk popular with music fans of these bygone days between beauty and untreated schizophrenia.

Seasoning weeping wounds with saucy creations recalling the literate gas-guzzlings of pre-grunge grifters Gaye Bykers on Acid and Crazyhead's rockabilly thrown off a motorway bridge, the ace in the f-hole is drummer Ral, hauling the juddering beast from its own jaws, causing shuddering cataclysms that could fall apart at any minute to soar, strike and, yup, viperise the quickly convinced crowd with the brontosaurus boot-print of whoever drummed for The Sonics.
'Temperance Street', by the way, rather rivals Black Fiction's 'Groupies For Jesus' and Kid Voodoo's 'Weird Scene Addict' as an anthem for Manchester's betterly-plumed youth.

Stu Gibson

and, from the same show:

THE VIPERS probably don't give a shit if they're soundtracking anyone's life except their own. Somewhat anomalously dressed like they drive unspecified vans for a living, they actually sound like they're wearing battered black leather. The Vipers play proper no-holds-barred head-shaking garage rock'n'roll, reminiscent of all those bands from Detroit that were loads better than the White Stripes but not as pretty, like the Soledad Brothers and the Detroit Cobras.

Singer Nathan has an authentically gravelled howl, and with two bassists hammering out a backline that's heavy enough to bother any nearby seismology labs they make one hell of a noise. There's a side order of bluesy rockabilly punk in there too, and sure enough we spot a genuine brothel creeper tapping in the decently sized crowd.

They're also gloriously unhindered by any genre restrictions - "This one's for any Talking Heads fans" turns out not to be a dig at any arty types quivering in the corners but an energetically deconstructed cover of the Heads' "I'm Not In Love", which they somehow manage to make sound like Mudhoney in their prime. Don't think too hard about that one, just go and see them. Just don't stand too close to the speakers.

Cath Aubergine - Magazine/

"Fear Of The Redheads Reviews"


Wearing its wickedness on its sleeve, the dark, Buzzcocks, riotous traditional rock punk of The Vipers comes armed with same malevolent spirit that unites the Cramps, MC5 and Xtrmntr era Primal Scream. With a nod to Kafka on its forceful first track, "Josef K" which snaps vigorously that "they made me a monster" and the EP continues from them in a relentlessly demonic vein of underground thrash fuelled US grime rock.

An uncompromising six tracker of intense three minute marvels like "Little Princess", "Roaches" and "Your Eyes", The Vipers heavier credentials hopefully wont stop them reaching the audience they deserve.<>


MancheseterMusic EP of the Week

After last Mays "Seven Dogs" , The Vipers have been quietly building a following and it seems, a vaster sound. This six track mini-album is chock full of quality social comment, slick, but resistance style agendas and the kind of political climate that mixes the post agit-punk of Crass with the guttural new wave punches of American rock and British punk. "Fear Of The Redheads" is a landmark development for the band.

"Josef K" is one big riff delivered by Nathan, over which he sings with a throaty roar that could fill both a big stadium or an intimate leather jacketed basement bar. The choice is theirs. "Dogs" throws itself around the room, a dangerous whiplash of sound anchored by heavy bass rumbles and three chord chorus lines. "Little Princess" has the band packaged into mean, sharp edged growling pop songs – with a dirty sound that takes the 80's Matchbox a step further. It's not long before "Poor Kieran" takes a similar plot and throws it down a steep hill – only the bodies of unsuspecting members of the public can stop it. By the time we're at the end of the E.P. "Yer eyes" is carving out huge mounds of melodic flesh by means of some gothic rock and roll, slabs of bass lines and churning guitars.

The Vipers – and the nearest local connection I can make in attitude and forceful bluster is Black Fiction – have forged a new heavy sound that sidesteps any current trends – it's as fresh and exciting as warned



Skulking around the desolate wastelands of the Northern wilds for several months and several line-ups, The Vipers' second self-release and follow-up to the glorious (and gracelessly dropped from the set)"Seven Dogs" single sees them stabilised. Well, stable enough to bear the brunt of unleashing this six track Katushkya rocket-launcher of a record.

Barricaded behind a two bass-player assault and sternum-stomping rhythms from Keith-Moon-with-a-sense-of-timing drummer Raul, The Vipers are far more prone to the rumble of The Birthday Party and the fall of the Berlin Wall than Ned's Atomic Dustbin. These are missives from behind enemy lines, pertinent when you consider their polarity to most everything that filters out from their Manchester base. Nathan's astulely literate lyrics cast an Orwellian glare over whatever dystopia his retinas retain from his travels around the bog-brush end of Britain and his own little underground.

Bristling all the while with righteous mantras erupting from the splenetic gut of this particular beast, their cliche-free caterwauls will cater to anyone corrupted by the crackle of schismatic K.O. - be that the pre-Seattle Subpop of early Mudhoney and Tad, but bereft of the supposed slacker cool and frothing over with fervent ardour and acerbic disdain, or grimy UK grunts from Crazyhead to Groop Dogdrill.

Arcane yet uproariously unambiguous, step into an atmosphere at once foreboding but electrifying, fascinating, valid and vital, or simply get in the pit and writhe around. Delirium will prevail.

Rock n Reel Magazine.
- Clash Magazine/ n Reel Magazine


THE Vipers' rehearsal room is, by their own admission, something of a 'rotten filth pit'.

Located on the outskirts of Failsworth, behind a tile factory, the Manchester rockers' secret HQ is a grimy, grubby shoebox-sized den, with only one concession to rock star indulgence.

"We now have a functioning kettle," sighs the band's mop-topped vocalist/lyricist Nathan Whittle. "Making brews is our one big luxury! Our last rehearsal place didn't even have windows, so this current place is palatial by comparison."

Nevertheless, this unwelcoming pit seems a fitting environment for these bedraggled Manc rockers. Described by the NME as 'Manchester's grimiest garage rock b******s', The Vipers are a band with filth, decay and squalor firmly etched on their minds.

While the rest of Manchester music gorges itself on kitchen sink drama and frilly pop escapism, The Vipers would much rather speak of 'Dystopian nightmares' and 'Orwellian visions of the future'. The Vipers choose to challenge their listeners with swathes of discordant, feedback-splattered garage rock noise with lyrical themes relating to the ugly, unsettling and psychotic.

Manchester might be currently bathed in sparkling summer sunshine, but inside The Vipers' HQ, it's always an eternal winter of discontent.

"I don't think there's enough anger in bands anymore," snarls bassist Johnny Brown.

"There's too much happiness in bands these days. If you're in a band, I think you have a duty to comment on the real world around you.

"Right now, it's almost like the whole world is being taken over by bands like The Hoosiers. It's awful.


"Of course, music should be about celebration. But right now, there really isn't that much to celebrate in the world."

But for all their tough talking, The Vipers are far from being insular miserablists. The band's (always packed out) clubnight, Disco Apocalypso at Ruby Lounge, has become a real magnet for the REAL Manc music underground, firmly proving that DIY punk values and old-fashioned guitar noise still have a place on the local music scene.

The Vipers might speak of death, decay and apocalypse, but that doesn't mean you can't party hard at the same time.

They're the band who can bring the apocalypse to the rock 'n' roll party.

"We're most comfortable when we're performing," insists Nathan. "We're a serious band, but the entertaining side is very important to this band. Whether it's the clubnight that we do or the fact that we play random places like Hartlepool or Bradford, it's very important for us to pay our dues and do things on our own terms. It's like that old-fashioned DIY ethic punk thing, which doesn't exist anymore.

Bands are so careerist these days, getting signed up to major record labels after two minutes just 'cos they sound a bit like Arctic Monkeys. They are so naive."

As a student, Nathan plied his trade in covers bands, at a time when he was so poverty-stricken he would have to ..sing for my supper. "I was so poor, I'd play cover versions in pubs and they would pay me with a meal and a bed for the night. The most popular cover version I did was Ricky Martin's Livin' La Vida Loca. It got always audiences going."

After numerous line-up changes which earned Nathan the nickname, ..the Mark E Smith of the Manchester garage scene', The Vipers have now settled into a clinical line-up. With newly recruited drummer Kyle Larkin, and twin bassists Johnny Brown and Scott Tyson (yes - TWO bassists), The Vipers are firmly paving the comeback for old-fashioned filth-rock.


Like a more compact Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster or The Horrors without the arty fashion pretence, The Vipers summon up brilliant garage rock snarling and spitting with political dogma.

Recent single Satellite Boys lambasts Britain's rampant drinking culture, whilst standout track Rats is a withering comment on Manchester city centre's plush redevelopment.

Nathan explains: "Rats has quite a dystopian feel to it. It's me commenting on areas like New Islington in Ancoats, which is currently being redeveloped. But why the hell are they developing these posh flats in one of the poorest areas in Manchester? It's a total insult to those people who live in that area. Manchester council should be putting money into these poor areas rather than endorsing posh flats for yuppies to buy. I mean, does Manchester need more s**t like the Hilton Hotel?"

Obsessed with dystopia and apocalypse, but still determined to party hard and raise smiles, The Vipers are a genuine oddity in Manchester music. But they're also a vital one.

"We put everything into this band," concludes Nathan.

"Whether we fail or succeed, we know that we've put absolutely everything into this band. We've been truthful and committed all the way."
- Manchester Evening News/City Life

"Mabel vs Tiger Feature"

With all the music scenes, styles and general shit we have all become familiar with over the years, what the fuck happened to real ROCK AND ROLL? We have to rely on old and bored pioneers to re-form just so we can have a decent gig experience. Okay, so I'm being slightly dramatic… after all we do have some good rock and roll bands around with the likes of Wolfmother, Kings of Leon, Queens of the Stone Age etc., but it's about time someone else got to rock out with their cocks out. Well, maybe just the rocking out part.

Just when all hope was lost and music was being handed over to terrible indie bands and teenage wet dreams, I heard a band that represented everything I love about rock and roll. The Vipers' debut EP 'Fear of the Redheads' is a record everyone should own… the songs are so fucking good it's like a fist to the face.

Hard and heavy with every amp on the planet turned to eleven, The Vipers are the best band in England right now. Not suprising they are from Manchester then, a dirty rock and roll city for a dirty rock and roll band. Last year The Vipers made their mark on the UK by playing a shit load of gigs in a shit load of places, and needing bigger venues every time. I went along to a few Manchester shows and a London show, proving that not only have the band gained fans in the north, but also a ton of fans in the south.

So amazing are the band that they were picked to support The Damned. Whereas most other bands have had difficulty supporting The Damned in the past, with drunken crowds and impatient fans, not only did The Vipers win everyone over, they put on such a great show and created so much noise that everyone's heads exploded. Just kidding, but they WERE a hella lot louder and a hella lot better than The Damned.

With the release of new track 'Satellite Boys' and new tour dates to boot, missing out on a Vipers gig makes you one very silly rabbit. There are so many shit bands and fake idols on radios and in magazines, it would only take one really good band to kick start rock and roll, and they are right here. The Vipers are here to give everyone a punch in the ribs and inject you with a heavy dose of rock and roll. So for anyone who ever loved Black Flag, The Cramps and The Stooges, and any one who has been waiting for a band to come along and tear your face off, The Vipers are for you.

Stop Crying over Black Flag and go get some hip-shaking ball-squeezing rib-cracking action from The Vipers: - Mabel vs Tiger Magazine

"The Twisted Circus - Feature"

There's nothing like the festive season to unite any large family. And as far as Manchester music goes, you certainly don't get as broad or wide-reaching a family as the many disciples of the website.

Nearing 10 years since it first launched, the website has long been an essential HQ for all goings-on in Manc music world: loaded with news, reviews and advice, it's invariably the first destination for all young bands eager to stamp their name on the Manc music map.

Infamous message board

Run by Jon Ashley and Mike Gray, the Manchestermusic website was possibly the first Manchester vehicle – predating the likes of MySpace and Facebook – to harness the web to create a true 'Manchester music community'.

It's a place for new bands to swap contacts, promote themselves, and even have a bit of a bitch about each other (on their infamous message board).

But like any big, over-demanding family, they've hit upon tough times of late (well, there is a credit crunch after all).

Financial hard times have left the website in trouble with their operational costs, and as a completely non-profit organisation, Manchestermusic's long-term prospects look bleak.

All guns-a-blazing

So that's hopefully where the Manchester music family charge in, all guns-a-blazing and save the day. When news first broke of the website's financial woes, there was no shortage of Manchester bands eager to step in and help.

As support gathered momentum, and with hundreds of bands keen to repay their debt to Manchestermusic, there seemed like only one course of action – plan a massive fundraiser festival and raise cash in true Live Aid style. But all given a Manchester dirty rock'n'roll twist.

"We'd been planning to do a festival for quite a while," explains Nathan Whittle, frontman from local garage rock heroes The Vipers.

"But when we heard about the trouble Manchestermusic were in, we knew we had to step in and help.

"The website has been an invaluable resource for so many bands over the years. When you're first starting out in a band in Manchester, you're pretty clueless about all the little things. Like contacts for promoters, for music venues, for studios, for good rehearsal room. The Manchestermusic site has always been a great place to get all that information. There's so many bands in Manchester who've been given their first break from that website."

True rock'n'roll menace

The result of all this fantastic good will is Twisted Circus – a Manchester festival packed with true rock'n'roll menace, but (most crucial) all done with a brilliant cause in mind.

Taking place tomorrow at Saki Bar, the 12-hour event is one half-special fundraiser, another half an enticing ticket into Manchester's gritty DIY rock underworld.

It makes perfect sense that the event has been commandeered by a band like The Vipers – a band CityLife described earlier this year as 'Manchester's dirtiest, grimiest garage rock band'.

The Vipers stand at the forefront of a Manchester underground scene which firmly touts old-fashioned DIY punk principles.

Dirty, old school punk

"Well, this festival is primarily about raising money for Manchestermusic," says Nathan. "But it's also about showcasing a bunch of Manchester bands who've got something in common – bands with a definite, dirty, old school rock'n'roll feel.

"There is this amazing underground punk scene in Manchester, but it's one that probably doesn't get as much media or publicity."

Twisted Circus festival seems like the perfect place for that underground punk world to finally peep their heads overground.

Headlined by The Vipers, the event will feature performances from Kid Voodoo, The Witches, The Dead School, Kutosis, with DJ sets courtesy of Fiction Non-Fiction, Disco Apocalypso and Liam Revenge.

In keeping with the dirty rock'n'roll theme, the whole event kicks off with a special screening of the lost MC5 documentary, A True Testimonial.

For Jon Ashley, the head honcho of, the sheer volume of the support has been hugely humbling.

"It's wonderful that all these bands are prepared to chip in and help out," Jon gushes. "I mean, the website has been up and running for nearly ten years now, so I guess there are possibly thousands of bands who've all used the site as an outlet for advice. That's the thing I'm most proud of – how approachable we are. I'll get emails from about forty bands a week, and because our website is so comprehensive, I'll respond to all of them. We are a true A-Z of every new band in this city."

This weekend's fundraiser is just the start of's fight for survival. Early next year, Jon is planning a series of events to mark ten years of the website, and most excitingly, he's promised to revive his Chairsmissing band night, the seminal event which helped launch the careers of early-noughties Manc starlets like Fi-Lo Radio, Oceansize and Moco.

"It's weird to think the website has been up and running for nearly ten years," says an exasperated Jon. "It's really rewarding, but there's a lot of work involved."

Cocky, temperamental, restless

He needn't worry. Cocky, temperamental and maybe a little reckless they might be, but this is one Manchester music family who'll always step in and help when the chips are down. - City Life

"Satellite Boys Reviews"

MancheseterMusic Single of the Week

Look at the picture cover. That's my face after extensively smashing my face against the wall as this track took over brain and bent it in half. Driving, forceful, genuine punk rock with two savage basses tearing at the leash like two hell hounds. The orderly guitar stabs go off like a well timed battery of three inch guns and singer Nathan cooks the whole thing in a big steam driven oven with the heat setting set to "hate". Fuck I love this.

If that wasn't enough the blood soaked B-Side is a surfing heavy rock twang with dead pan vocal lines, that holds everything back until the chorus goes off in your face like a skip full of illegally imported fireworks. Officially one of the most powerful rock and roll bands in Manchester right now – if you don't believe me stand in front of one of their amps and I'll happily mop up the blood coming out of your ears.



Not to be mixed up with the 80's garageband, this combo hails from Manchester and is ready to let your speakers explode with their loud & raw Turbo-Rawk!! A two song kick in your face with hard paced guitars, a wailing bassline & a singer that eats alive rabbits!! B-Side even has some surf-influences, but explodes after a while in a bursting punk-rock hit tune! -


Fear Of The Redheads EP (Feb 2007, Northern Hoodoo Recordings)
Satellite Boys/Icarus 7" (Jan 2008, Dirty Water Records)



Born in the summer of 2006 out of the malevolent noxious gases of Manchester’s underbelly, when the hope of the city’s music had been handed over to teenage wet dreams and those hell-bent on drowning in the nostalgia of Madchester, The Vipers burst onto the scene with a punch in the ribs and a heavy dose of rock n roll. Wearing their wickedness on their sleeves, The Vipers dish up an Orwellian glare over whatever dystopia their retinas retain from their travels round the bog-brush ends of Britain and their own little underground.

Since self-releasing their debut mini album, Fear Of The Redheads, they’ve had the pleasure of opening shows for The Bellrays, The Beasts of Bourbon, The Damned, Bob Log III, The Black Angels and The Dirtbombs.

Not giving a flying fuck if they’re soundtracking anyone’s life except their own, with missives from behind enemy lines, The Vipers aren’t a rock and roll band , they’re a weapon of mass destruction, military tight and louder than bombs, executing savage but brilliantly executed bursts of angry distortions. It’s an exciting, spine tingling spectacle built from the essence of a riot, but destined for much, much bigger things.