NightPorter are based in Newcastle in the north east of England. We play Alternative Rock with a Psychedelic ambience and we gig all over the UK....
Something Wicked this Way Comes...
The time had come; all the elements were in place. The co-conspirators had completed their circle and their work was nearly done.
Working solely by night, under the guiding vision of I'l Dottore, they had honed and perfected their formulae and now their nocturnal experimentation was beginning to bear fruit. Deep within the labyrinth of passageways and halls within the long abandoned asylum, surrounded by technology of the past and present, they breathed life into their mutant creations. Hidden away from prying eyes and ears, they manipulated science, music and magic, bending it to their will until everything was note perfect like clockwork.
Now the time was coming to release its dark power on an unsuspecting world.
I stood in the laboratory that lay at the heart of this fortress-like shell of a building. Moonlight danced a melancholic hue over the long abandoned passageways and halls as a haunting serenade filled their emptiness. Shadows crossed in and out of sight, too quick to pin down, blurry phantoms in the weak light. I turned to I'l Dottore…. “You’ve seen them too…” He murmured in a low voice “They only come out at night, fleeting shadows that seem to be everywhere at once…don’t worry.. it’s only NightPorter” “But this place is emp…” His sudden absence cut short my sentence. I was locked in the abandoned asylum, cold, a little bit disturbed and with no-one for company but the shadows and NightPorter.
It was on a dark cold Belfast in February 2009 that NightPorter first emerged as a concept, the original idea was a band that release tracks, videos and live streamed web performances and using all aspects of modern technology to get their message of post punk fundamentalism out to the world.
Back in their native Newcastle upon Tyne, they set about putting their feindish plan into action. In keeping with their Post Punk DIY ethic, all material would be written, played and produced in house. From the very early stages, the band wanted total control over everything they wrote and performed. This extended to artwork, graphics and video; this meant very few compromises had to be made with their sound.
April 2009 saw NP’s first demo release, in the form of "Victoria". The accompanying video, a haunting sepia stained homage to the era of German expressionism quickly gathered a cult following on YouTube and My Space and the band’s fan base began a rapid expansion across the world. This led to the inclusion of an early demo being included on a NightBreed compilation CD and a bootleg video of the track appearing on YouTube. A few weeks later, an unreleased cover of the Doors’ Riders On The Storm would also find its way onto YouTube, this unique reworking proved a favourite with viewers and fans although the band themselves had never intended for it to be heard.
With interest growing in possible NightPorter live performances, the original idea of the band mutated and the monster lurched out of the studio and onto the stage. The initial live line up comprised: I'l Dottore on Bass, Raven on Vox and Dr Ordinaire on keyboards and new recruit Zee on guitar. Early gigs were played with a rhythm track providing the drums but this proved too limited for the band and the search was immediately on for a drummer.
Ade, a superb sticks man and long time partner in crime of I'l Dottore stepped up to the plate but due to touring and recording commitments with another band had to step down after several blistering live shows throughout summer 2010. With an important show at the 2010 Batcave reunion looming, the band had to find a new drummer and fast, The Preacher was quickly drafted in to fill Ade’s place and NightPorter were London bound for two gigs in a row. The Friday night date at the Gaff in north London was played as a warm up for the following Evening’s Batcave reunion playing alongside seminal Goth Glam bands "The Specimen" and "Gene Loves Jezebel". The band played a blinding set and won themselves a new audience in the process. A psyched out cover of Pink Floyd’s “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” circulated on YouTube for a while, its heavy psychedelic redux impressed even hardened Floyd heads.
Returning to Newcastle saw further line up changes. Dr Ordinaire had already stepped into the background to concentrate on Video, art work and writing whilst The Preacher would also depart after only two gigs with the band. With a clutch of gigs under their belt, it was time for the band to go back and do what they originally set out to do and get the debut album, written, recorded and released.
This was an intense time for as well as working under the NightPorter banner recording covers of The Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind” and the Open Mind’s “Magic Potion”, they also recorded under the production team name, "The Laboratory Obscure" producing several original tracks. This side project became known as "The Maldine Square Tapes" which included “The Box” and "The Black Lodge" and "The Demon is a Liar" and were mainly intended as homage to certain pivotal movies from the recent past.
So its 2011 and NightPorter finally have a stable line up with the addition of Joe on drums, he has a natural flair and style that is totally in keeping with the band’s sound. They interrupt their recording with a handful of local gigs and a side project or two but then its back on track, The band release a reworked version of an earlier favourite, The Sickness 2011, it’s the first taste of what the new album will sound like, a brutal video accompanies the track on You Tube and somehow its now more relevant than ever after a series of riots and protests have swept the UK.
By now, NightPorter was getting quite a lot of international attention with interviews appearing in several magazines and Radio shows all over the world. As they prepare for the launch of their long awaited debut album, “Alarming But Charming” and on the 20th of August, they made their triumphant return to the London stage for the album launch party. The live set goes down a storm with the crowd and the album is officially launched in style.
The same date will see the album released, to excellent reviews, written-recorded-produced and paid for by the band themselves, it’s a throwback to the old days of Punk and the beginning of the Independent era. Comprising of 10 original compositions, the album is a riot of social commentary and observation over a collage of melodic power and intricate rhythms. Many reviews make note of the originality of the sound and the diversity of songs on the album, this reflects the wide and varied influences that NightPorter have assimilated.
To summarise, NightPorter are a high octane mix of melody and raw power. They combine the best elements of Alternative Rock, Psychedelia and heavy Post Punk to create a blistering wall of sound of their own. Think Killing Joke going toe to toe with The Doors while Joy Division sticks the boot in and you have the NightPorter sound. It’s the dark end of the street, part melody, part menace but overall very infectious.
Photography by Stan Miedziak. Sean Duval Todhunter and Marie Maynard.