All Upcoming Events

Yak – Instore Outside at Staggeringly Good Brewery (The House Of Rapture)

8pm, Friday 8th February

We have an incredible one for you guys…

We are delighted to welcome ‘Yak’ as they celebrate the release of their incredible new album, ‘The Pursuit Of Momentary Happiness’

This will be a full live band performance, and FREE ENTRY but you must pre – order the album to get in (which will be collected and signed on the evening if you wish)

Also, rather excitingly, this will be held at Portsmouths newest venue, the beautiful ‘House Of Rapture’ at the Staggeringly Good Brewery.

We’ll be selling pies on the night, with the fillings chosen by the band themselves (may contain Yak – but maybe not). You’ll also be able to match the pie that with some incredible freshly brewed beer.

Eyes, ears and bellies sorted = heavenly times.

In brief:

When? – 8:00pm, Friday 8th February 2019

How much is it? – Free Entry – But you must pre order the new album to get in! Pre order on any format HERE

Where? – The House Of Rapture, Staggeringly Good Brewery (find more details HERE)

We will send you an e mail with some instructions on when to collect your record and enter the House of Rapture near to the event. 

More details on the band below, and we can wait to see you there!

Yak car

Few albums in rock ‘n’ roll history have seen its creator’s obsession veer so close to self-destruction, as Yak’s The Pursuit Of Momentary Happiness. For singer, guitarist and driving force Oli Burslem, making his band’s second album became about pursuing his artistic vision at the expense of all else, including his own financial security, and mental health. Who else these days invests every single penny available to them into recording, to the point where they become homeless, and have to sleep in the back of a Citroën estate?

Listening to The Pursuit Of Momentary Happiness, you frequently feel the white-knuckle monomania of Yak’s mission. It’s one of those once-in-a-decade records, whose sheer sense of belief and commitment pulsates through every nanosecond of boundary-breaking sound – like Spiritualized’s Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space, and Tame Impala’s Innerspeaker, both of whose creators had a part to play in its genesis.

“I don’t want it to be a boo-hoo story,” says Burslem, of the record’s tortuous gestation. “It was fun doing it. It’s nice to push yourself to the limit, and I can say now that I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks, because it’s a document of that time, and it’s honest and open, and I couldn’t have done or given much more, which is a great feeling.”

The story began after Yak had completed a debut campaign which itself had played out like a dream. After getting snapped up by Rough Trade management, and cutting one of several feral early EP’s for Jack White’s Third Man Records, the trio of Burslem, bassist Andy Jones (Oli’s childhood friend from Wolverhampton), and drummer Elliot Rawson, set an all-but-moribund UK alt-rock scene alight with 2016’s inaugural long-player, Alas Salvation, but for Oli, that year’s final career-high show at London’s Scala felt like an endgame, rather than an achievement to build upon.

“Andy and I had been friends since we were three years old,” he says, “and he was always gonna get married and move away at some point. We didn’t particularly think the band had a future, but then it took off, and it was ace, and after the Scala, there was an opportunity, and some money, to do another record, and I really wanted to give it a go.”

Jones, indeed, soon upped sticks for Melbourne, but after a chance meeting in a pub in Dalston with Jay Watson from Tame Impala’s touring band, Burslem hatched a hare-brained scheme for the band to convene in Melbourne to rehearse together for ten days, then move across Australia to lay down Album Two, on Watson’s invitation, at Tame mainman Kevin Parker’s place in Perth. “I thought recording would take ten days,” says Oli, sheepishly, “but it didn’t quite work out that way.” 

Things started going off the rails before Burslem and Rawson even got to Aus, as Oli decided to go to Tokyo for a month beforehand – “you know, for the isolation, to do all the writing”. Perhaps predictably, the first two or three weeks went by in a drunken blur with nary a note written. Landing ragged in Australia though, things got worse.

“It had become pretty apparent that the three of us in a room bashing chords out, wasn’t really turning me on,” shrugs Oli. “That was just going to sound like the first record. It was an eye-opener, like, what the fuck are we going to?”

On the plane back, Burslem ate and drank to excess, knowing that when he touched down, he had no money, no home, and, worryingly, no album. On arrival, he reduced his possessions down to two hold-alls, and “moved into” his old Citroën, which had no MOT. “It wasn’t ideal,” he admits. 

That was February 2017, and he says he has only the sketchiest memories of the ensuing 18 months. Some of the time, fellow musicians would let him crash at their place, like Martin Slattery, once of Joe Strummer’s Mescaleros, and Spiritualized guitarist John Coxon. 

On the plus side, after blagging into Glastonbury, he found a new bassist in Vinny Davies. They partied for two days straight, then back in London rehearsed together with Rawson for a few weeks, and “things started to get more focussed.” They booked a cheap demo studio, and in the pub with Coxon a few days beforehand, Burslem got chatting to Spiritualized chief Jason Pierce. 

“He was like, how’s your record? And I was like, it’s non-existent. I told him we were demoing around the corner, and he was like, Oh, I’d love to come and help you out. I was like, Okay! Thinking he wasn’t going to turn up.”

On day two, Pierce materialized, and had them rattle through all the band’s songs. “He was really supportive. I’d been thinking, no-one will like this, but he was like, No, you’ve got something good here – you should try and record them properly.” At one point, Burslem was casting around for small change for a tube fare, and seeing Oli’s woeful circumstances, Pierce urged him to get a record deal, and Yak duly landed up with mighty Virgin-EMI. 

Says Oli, “Then it became, Right, I can’t fuck this up now. I could’ve tried to house myself, but instead we put it all into recording, and getting a brass section. Then afterwards, I can sort my personal situation out.” He shrugs. “I probably took on a bit too much.”

Another chance meeting at a party brought Burslem together with Marta Salogni, an Italian producer now based in the UK, best known for her mix on Björk’s sonically adventurous Utopia album. Says Oli, “We met a few times, and talked about making a guitar record that wasn’t boring, and didn’t sound like UK indie rubbish. But we still wanted to capture a live element, and in my head, RAK is the best studio in London to do that, so it was, Let’s just do ten days there, and get some really good performances of us three playing together.”

In those ten days, Yak recorded some 29 songs, of which 11 ended up on the record. “The songs that went on are the ones I thought fitted together as a consistent story. Doing the writing, I couldn’t see further than the next day or two, so all the joyous and happier things were momentary, whether it be going out, getting drunk, whatever – no plan of any longevity, so all the songs have that destructive bent. They’re on the edge.”

Opener ‘Bellyache’, with its Tame Impala-esque wah-wah stomp, Oli describes as “angry and fuck-you”, the ensuing ‘Fried’ as simply “I’m fucked”, and the titular third track as “the comedown, like, what’s this all about?” The latter was apparently written, after staying up all night. He describes it as “blunt and to the point”. The song also acquired twinkling celeste, which launches it into the heavens. ‘Bellyache’, meanwhile, boasts crazy flute, and one of a handful of portentous brass arrangements. 

After the RAK sessions, Burslem withdrew to a small home studio with Pierce to apply some different vocals, and piece the album together. Pierce also added slide guitar and his own vocals to dazed finale, ‘This House Has No Living Room’, which sails out on Oli’s own field recording of birdsong. The complexity of all the layering in that track led to Burslem’s belief that the album needed a full-scale remix. Everyone involved was advising him to quit while he was ahead, but he flew to New York to mix it. “I just wanted a record with depth, as a piece of audio,” he says, “where you’ll still be finding new bits in 20 years’ time”.

Job done, Burslem’s existential status quo was such that he duly got smashed with a fellow homeless person, and, doing a runner from his hotel, jetted home, pockets totally empty.

A few weeks further on, he says he’s happy the album is now done, but those who’ve read this far may be worried about Oli’s welfare. Has he now, as intended, ‘sorted out his personal situation’, and re-entered normal society? “That’d be nice,” he smirks, a tad unrepentantly. Does he at least have a roof over his head? “Only for two weeks. I got told yesterday, I’ve got to move out of my current place.” He shrugs. “I’ll find somewhere…”

Roll on, that victory lap on the road…

 yak band shot

PVC in association with Pie&Vinyl presents…PLASTIC MERMAIDS at the Square Tower

PLASTIC MERMAIDS The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth - Friday 15th March 2019 Doors 7pm Tickets £10.00 advance

PVC in association with Pie&Vinyl presents…


The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth – Location details HERE

Friday 15th March 2019

Doors 7pm

Tickets £10.00 advance

Available from SEE Tickets

and in-store at Pie&Vinyl.

Join our FB event HERE

Come see us quick for tickets, and we’ll see you there!

Plastic Mermaids

We’ve done gigs before where we’ve spent the entire gig fee on as much confetti as we could afford and we’ve spent all our money on lasers more times than we  can remember.” Plastic Mermaids

Clad in tinsel capes and firing off sparklers and party poppers in place of pyro, they’re a captivating live act with a knack for a big beat and funky bassline.”– Dork

Following on from their recent ‘1996’ single release, the Isle of Wight’s Plastic Mermaids  have just announced a live tour, which will see them play four headline dates, sticking close to their roots along the South Coast, including the Lexington in London on 13th March 2019. Tickets are on sale today Monday 12th November available from (insert link).

Plastic Mermaids have previously sold-out every hometown show on the Isle Of Wight, which included their self-promoted 700 people across 2-nights in a boat shed,  simply because there weren’t any venues big enough for them on the island.

The band’s love of  The Flaming Lips is evident in their ecstatic live show, which has manifested itself into the sparkly-gold-cape-clad choir that has recently been accompanying Plastic Mermaids recent gigs alongside a mannequin covered in mirror ball tiles who is often suspended above their stage set.   Expect to see this and much more in their upcoming 2019 live shows, alongside new tracks from their upcoming debut album to be announced early next year.

The five-piece band recently released their new psychedelic pop single ‘1996’ which was warmly received by fans and critics alike, with Radio 1’s Jack Saunders supporting the record along with BBC6 Music’s Chris Hawkins.   You can check out their genius video for ‘1996’ HERE  which was entirely directed and produced by the band, featuring a love story between a robot and a human.

For further info on Plastic Mermaids please check out:

@plasticmermaids /

 More praise for Plastic Mermaids

 “Fantastic, ‘I’ve always thought of them as a bit of a British Mercury Rev.. They’ve been away for a while. So good to have them back” JOHN KENNEDY/RADIO X

“This is new now by Plastic Mermaids … That reminds me of something, that chorus line. I can’t think what. A new favourite of mine this one. A gigantic tune. A brilliant brand spanking new one.” CHRIS HAWKINS/6MUSIC – 19/10

 “Plastic Mermaids have just shared their new track “1996” and it’s fan-bloody-tastic: vibrant, psychedelic and packed full of dizzying, ingenious touches on the production.” THE INDEPENDENT

 “The Isle of Wight band fashion chamber-pop majesty that sounds somehow effortless and preordained.”– SUNDAY TIMES CULTURE

“Some of the most creatively deployed panning heard all year. Cinematic and gorgeously textural, this cut sounds like Mercury Rev going on a road trip with The Flaming Lips.” – Q MAGAZINE

 “Plastic Mermaids win me over from the start…the tones are all just right – there’s something very classic about this.”– THE FADER

“Plastic Mermaids combine the sounds of alt-folk, space-rock and chamber pop in a piano-led fantasy that The Flaming Lips would be proud of “ – NME