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Shaking Chains: The Masque of Anarchy

SEEN wishes to bring the following literary punks to your attention. We can guarantee you won’t have heard anything quite like them.

Shaking Chains borrowed their name from The Masque of Anarchy, a poem written when Shelley was in exile, to portray his disgust with the Peterloo Massacre and the encroaching parochialism of the England in which he fled.

More Chartists than chart hits, they are a four-piece produced in the north long after production halted, currently treading water under the dark streets of London (having played music together, in one form or another since they were at school).

In an age where groups live and die in the time it takes them to amass student loan debt, they have stayed together, like a dysfunctional family – chained – through mutual misunderstanding, begrudging love and harrowing shared experience.

They’ve seen the changing musical landscape gorge on itself and spew out pale imitations, enough times, to innoculate themselves from hype and ceremony. Instead, they’ve concentrated on their neurotic craft and sullen art.

This AA single is the band’s first release. The vinyl release date is 24th March 2017.

If all the best music is that mercurial mix between passion, danger and intelligence – delivered with brilliant lyrics, a command of drama and real streetwise, black velvet, lived in voices, then Shaking Chains are a walk on for your heart.”
John Robb, Louder Than War

“I think a shrink would jail the fink
My demon man and his demon – drink”
Carol Batton, Poet Laureate for Mental Health Survivors

‘Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you
Ye are many – they are few’
Percy Shelley, ‘The Masque of Anarchy’

Photo by Ren Rox
Photo by Ren Rox

Shaking Chains are:
Jack Mahoney – Lead Vocals/Guitar
Nathan Mcilroy – Bass/Vocals
Alex Solo – Guitar/Vocals
Jack Hardiker – Drums/Vocals

Single Launch Live Dates:

MARCH 25th Salford, Eagle Inn

March 29th London, The Islington

The single is being released digitally and physically, on 500 hand-numbered 7″ vinyl (100% analogue).

Shaking Chains: Biography by Austin Collings

I don’t believe in a lot of things that I used to believe in but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in anything. As with all of us, I may well have become an accomplice in my own annihilation, but I still believe in music and I definitely believe in Shaking Chains.

When too much modern culture induces that sad-dip feeling of youth, of walking back home from a mate’s house on a Saturday evening and looking around – at trees, houses, lit windows and unlit windows – and thinking to yourself: this is it, this is life, my life; when that’s the case your stomach pleads for something to make it sing again.

Listening to Shaking Chains, I got what I needed instead of what I wanted and that’s just about the best kind of luck you can have. They appear to have created ceremonies out of air.

Jack Mahoney’s vocals are like wisps of flame. They project their own world. McIlroy’s lyrics are like holding bullets: you can feel the devastating weight and potential, the sound of clever anger, of distrust and opposition. Hear the guitar playing of Alex Solo; so full of colour: blood reds, morgue yellows, and poison greens. And Jack Hardiker’s drums – that to me is the sound of somebody telling Death to fuck off.

They may well be singing into the howling void of a screwed-up England, where history is taught as sequences of violence, battle after battle, but it’s the sound that Terry Hall once channelled: cool, but caring. (Let them carry the fire like Terry once did).

We still believe that music can be a worthy outlet to vent and decry the stupidity of man. Or celebrate it. Ultimately, we want to provide a befitting soundtrack before humanity is rubbed out and the only sounds you hear are the hooves of the four horsemen crushing your spirit into the dirt.

Anybody who dares to continue the heroic history of rock and roll deserves praise. The idea is to provoke a different understanding of the times we live in and there’s enough early drama in Shaking Chains to suggest that they can create their own musical-Frankenstein. I’m excited by the prospect of them digging deep, where the dead voices gather, and cobbling together the essential elements that silence those sad Saturdays and make our bodies sing again. Just remember that the things you put into your head are there forever.