Hannah Bayfield & Dan Feeney // Photography by Craig Marchington
Who are you, and what do you do?
Hello there Team Scenewipe. We’re Pull Yourself Together, a fanzine, clubnight, website and record label based here in Manchester. Important things to know about us: Hannah enjoys drinking good quality cider whilst singing loudly to Idlewild; Dan bakes bread whilst listening to Lloyd Cole records.
Were there any bands or artists that inspired you to get into music?
Well the obvious one would be Hefner, the band from whom we stole/borrowed our name. Darren Hayman et al are easily one of the most underrated British bands of the late 90s/early 00s period – they just made album after album of great music. They can’t claim full rights for inspiring this here venture though. If anything, that belongs to Belle & Sebastian, a band who we would probably both put right at the top of our all time favourite lists. PYT actually came about after a trip to check out nights and zines in Glasgow, where there was definitely still a residual B&S indiepop vibe knocking about.
How did PYT start?
Both of us had been involved in documenting musical happenings in Manchester through High Voltage, and Dan was one of the members of PopCult (zines and gigs, including Los Campesinos!’ first gig in Manchester) while Hannah co-founded the webzine The Fugitive Motel. It seemed like a good idea to combine forces and the aforementioned trip to Glasgow – featuring the National Pop League’s ace and sadly departed night and zine, and eating toast in the middle of the night at the Flying Duck – set the wheels in motion. A few months later Common came to our aid and agreed to host our little night and zine. That was summer 2008 and here we are now!
Are there any zines in particular that influenced PYT?
Cool answer – it’s all inspired by Sniffin’ Glue and A Pack of Lies, we’ve got loads of back copies.
Real answer – The first fanzines Dan got into were football ones actually, in fact he’s still doing bit of writing for a Blackburn Rovers one. In terms of music zines, we both served our apprenticeships in music zines doing online stuff, then writing for High Voltage during it’s heyday in 2005/06. From there Dan started his own zine Popular Cultured (No Longer Applies To Us) with some good friends, whilst Hannah was one of the brains behind the birth of The Fugitive Motel website, and its paper forms. So we’d both done a load of stuff separately before, and then we got our real spark of inspiration from The National Pop League mini-zine…
What was the motivation behind turning your hand to releasing music?
As Manchester Scenewipe know all too well, this city is full of fantastic bands who work incredibly hard on perfecting their sound, many of whom then reach a point where they have all the material for a release but don’t have the means of releasing. Having supported local bands in various ways, the next logical step was to help them get their music released. It was kind of a pipe-dream, and then Patterns came along and PYT Records took the plunge.
And how have the first few months been?
Unexpectedly positive! We were confident that Patterns were the perfect band to launch the label, but obviously you can never guarantee a success. 2 1/2 months later and the first run of New Noise has sold out, Patterns have been played on local and national radio including 6Music and Radio 1, and they’ve been invited to play at great shows like Chameleons Vox at Band on the Wall and Huw Stephens’ night in London. Now we’re getting some great feedback from Christopher Eatough’s debut album A Creak in the Cold (our second physical release) and are already discussing our options for future releases.
It seems that there is wave of young and creative music ventures starting up in Manchester at the moment, is this something that you have taken notice of?
Of course! The amount of creativity in this city is a constant inspiration, and we feel privileged to have collaborated with some of the best, from Underachievers Please Try Harder to Sounds from the Other City to Hey! Manchester. No two ventures are the same, and yet there are so many like-minded individuals to work with and learn from. It’s great that there are so many people doing different things, but Manchester seems to have this really communal spirit. With people like Now Wave putting on the kind of shows that push the name of the city around the world, it’s a great time to be involved in supporting music in Manchester right now.
What music is getting you excited in Manchester at the moment?
Patterns and Christopher Eatough, of course, alongside The Answering Machine whose second album, Lifeline, is stunning; Young British Artists who are quite possibly the best underground band in the country; Air Cav, whose long awaited debut is so nearly ready; plus new exciting prospects like With That Knife, Beat The Radar (their single Animals is possibly Dan’s favourite thing in the world right now), Golden Glow, Weird Era, and Uranium Lake who are making some of the finest indiepop around.
What does the rest of 2011 hold for PYT?
Unsurprisingly we’ve actually got loads coming up! First stop is our gig at Islington Mill on Friday 11th March with PYT favourite Napoleon IIIrd. This will be the third time that we’ve put him on, and will also be the biggest gig we’ve ever put on – exciting times! After that we’re off on our travels to Cardiff to DJ at the fantastic Modern Life Is Rubbish clubnight on 1st April. We’re stupidly excited to have Those Dancing Days headlining the Postcards From Manchester stage at this year’s Sounds From The Other City on Sunday 1st May; we’ve also got some tasty DJ slots at festivals all over the place in the summer, more on that later…
Oh, and don’t forget that Pull Yourself Together is at Common every second and fourth Wednesday of the month, and keep an eye out in your local independent record shop for the fanzine!
For all the wonderful sights and sounds of Pull Yourself Together, check out the links below!
SoundCloud – pullyourselftogether