FEATURE: Spotlight: Working Men’s Club





PHOTO CREDIT: Lewis Johnson-Kellett 

Working Men’s Club


I feel a lot of attention is still trained the...


 PHOTO CREDIT: Rosie Butcher

way of London when it comes to artists to watch. Maybe there is a tip towards other parts because, at time when there is so much varied music and incredible sounds, the capital no longer holds the same sway and dominance than it did years ago. Maybe Grime and Rap means eyes are always going to look to London for some hard-hitting truth and those street-level sounds but I think we should be consider the wider music scene and areas like Yorkshire. This county has always boasted great bands and, with acts like allusinlove and The Orielles rising and turning heads, it seems like there is a fire burning there. I think there is an honesty about Yorkshire that means the music speaks louder and flies freer. Among the great raft of acts rising at the moment are Working Men’s Club. Not only do they have one of the best names around – I can’t believe more bands haven’t snapped up that name – but they have some seriously great tunes to match. Whilst the band find themselves in the North West at the moment, you feel they have the potential to travel the world and play some mighty stages. It is evident Working Men’s Club are on the move but they very much have northern openness and roots. Some have compared the band to The Fall and, when you listen carefully, there is a lot more working under the surface than you’d imagine.

Yes, there is a touch of Mark E. Smith to the vocal tone but Working Men’s Club produce big synths, fascinating lines and a range of emotions that leads to this distinct and proprietary cocktail. They have recently added a new member and, as there are few photos online with their fresh recruit, one will forgive a few photos depicting them as a trio. I hope the band get some more photos done because it will help build their online base and a few of the ones on their social media pages are not that sharp in terms of clarity. That said, there are some great snaps but I assume more shoots will come as new music arrives. I will talk about their latest single in a bit but, before then, let me give you a bit of overview on Working Men’s Club (information taken from their Bandcamp page):

Madding crowds may have found their bounce to the beat of ‘Bad Blood’s post-punk groove but Working Men’s Club will defy all expectation with their eagerly anticipated follow-up. Forcing backs off the wall and deeper onto the dancefloor, electric stomper ‘Teeth’ possesses enough bite to set pearly whites on edge and induce a wildly ecstatic feeling that’s anything but comfortable.

“It is a metaphor,” teases the band’s singer, guitarist and beat-maker, Sydney Minsky-Sargeant. “It could be about going insane or what you see, what you think you feel inside, a lot of things… put through a drum machine… basically we just want to confuse the fuck out of people, in a good way!”


PHOTO CREDIT: @brandontaylorphotog 

For Syd, alongside fellow Club members Giulia Bonometti, Jake Bogacki, and recently recruited bassist Liam Ogburn, the last 12 months has seen the 4-piece buckle up for a meteoric rise that’s been a hell of a ride. “Signing to Heavenly was a big deal for us,” offers Jake. “We’ve worshiped the label and its bands for a long time so it’s nice to be part of the family. It’s a culture; we’re all running in parallel.”

Shows with Fat White Family and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and a day of packed-out Great Escape appearance have paved the way for the band as they hone their rhythm ahead of Bluedot, Manchester Psychfest, Latitude and Manchester International Festival later this summer, before a tour with Bodega and their first headline tour though October and November.

After ‘Bad Blood’ received early support from Steve Lamacq, demand brought about a third repressing of their debut 7”, and it topped the vinyl charts; giving rise to a band subconsciously making us all slaves to the rave. “We do this because we love it.” says Syd. “But it’s not about us, we’re just faces. Working Men’s Club is about the music, the vibe, and that feeling, forcing you to move. Anyone can join”.

In terms of sound, I guess one can say they are a bit Post-Punk but there are other genres working away. One cannot deny there is a rawness and drive that gets into the blood; the band does not want to follow the pack and know there is a problem with guitar music at the moment. I will bring in an interview NME conducted with Working Men’s Club’s lead, Sydney Minsky-Sargeant in a second but, before then, take a listen to their new single, Teeth.

It takes quite a while for the song to sink in and fully strike. At first, it sounds a little grungy and groaned; it has potency and punch; there are all sorts of things happening that create this hypnotic mood. One can hear bits of others acts but, really, it is the distinct and uncompromisingly individual sound of Working Men’s Club that makes the music sound completely fresh and relevant. When talking with NME recently, Sydney Minsky-Sargeant definitely kept his tongue loose – just what you want from a young band that are on course to become legends of the future:

The mercurial, teenaged frontman for Working Men’s Club is not one to mince words. We’re less than 10-minutes into our interview with Sydney Minsky-Sargeant and he has already made it quite clear that he’s got no enthusiasm for indie music circa 2019. “The reason there aren’t as many popular guitar bands right now is because they keep reproducing the same shit,” he tells us from his bedroom in Todmorden, West Yorkshire. “No one should be surprised it’s dying.”

There’s a certain irony here (not lost on Minsky-Sargeant) considering his band – rounded out by Jake Bogacki, Giulia Bonometti, and Liam Ogburn – has been hailed as leaders of a burgeoning post-punk renaissance. Breathless reviews greeted their debut 7”, and the blistering salvos of ‘Bad Blood’ and b-side ‘Suburban Heights’ earning them comparisons to Manchester royalty 
The Fall, and as well as contemporary acts like Brooklyn’s indie-rock kingpins Parquet Courts.

It remains remarkable how much they’ve achieved with so little. After all, he is still just 17, fronting a band that has been together scarcely more than a year. In addition to the avalanche of accolades it has received, the aforementioned 7” sold out a week prior to its street date thanks to pre-orders. And to top it off, there is a rumoured record deal allegedly in its final stages.


Heady days indeed, but Minsky-Sargeant would never let on if he’s feeling the heat. “For a lot of bands, their first single is meant as the overview of the first album, but I don’t think that is going to be true for us. There is much more to Working Men’s Club, and what’s to come is going to be even better than ‘Bad Blood.’” Clearly, he much prefers to fan the flames”.

The band has some live dates around the U.K. coming up and they are growing in stature and strength with each passing month. Although they have not put out too much music at the moment, there is a lot of momentum their way; stations like BBC Radio 6 Music have spun their tracks and it looks like next year will be very prosperous and busy for them. I love what they are doing and, maybe, some more information on social media would be good. I would like to know where they came from and the artists that compel them; a few more photos and tweets would not go a miss. They are bringing in new followers but I think they can increase their numbers more with a bit more self-promotion, images and push. Their live shows are speaking volumes and, with some terrific songs out there and their arsenal growing, it is only a matter of time before this northern army find themselves at some huge festivals. There are a lot of great and interesting bands coming through at the moment and, to be honest, a lot of them are quite limited or overly-familiar. Working Men’s Club have teeth and some bad blood in the veins but they are overflowing with nuance and depth. Their songs are incredible and, in 2020, a lot of doors will open for them. You might be new to the Yorkshire-formed band but, with such a sound concocted and flowing in the world, these guys will be huge…


BEFORE too long.


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