Leeds band Ultimate Thunder have shared new single ‘Holiday Camp Holiday Inn’ from their forthcoming self-titled debut album, released on July 29. A collaboration recorded in person and on Zoom with producer/musician James Mabbett (Napoleon III), the band will release their debut in collaboration with their longtime supporters at Pyramid.
Championed by The Guardian and described by The Big Issue as “Britain’s most punk-rock band”, the new single “Holiday Camp Holiday Inn” is a gripping explosion of industrial electronics, surreal lyrics and soulful lyrics. and krautrock-adjacent rhythms, however, as with all comparisons to the band, any similarity is entirely accidental and of no real significance to the members of Ultimate Thunder.
Infinitely curious, absolutely open-minded and completely absorbed in their own musical world, the band create music without worrying about how it is received – the result being the unique, idiosyncratic and captivating album “Ultimate Thunder”.
First reunited in 2013 with the help of Leeds charity ‘People In Action’, original members Dan Milligan (vocals), Thomas Neil (drums), John Greaves (bass), Alex Sykes (keyboards) and James Heselwood (mentor, guide and guitarist) started writing, playing and performing in Leeds, Wakefield and Bradford.
After numerous line-up changes, the band began working formally with Leeds arts charity Pyramid in 2017, with Heselwood remaining to guide and mentor the band, and Pyramid providing the band members with the support they need. needed for the group to thrive. While the current line up of Matthew Watson (vocals), Scott Anderson (drums), Stuart Illingworth (synth), John Greaves (bass), Alex Sykes (keyboard), John Densley (percussion) and Kenneth Stainburn (guitar/synth ) settled in, the band made their live debut at DIY space Wharf Chambers before collaborating with Lumen on a sound/art installation at the Tetley in 2019.
After spending much of the last decade focusing on their live performances, the band had to re-evaluate their plans once their weekly sessions went live during the pandemic. With the help of famed Leeds artist and producer Napoleon III, the collective set about writing and recording their first album on Zoom under the guidance of Mabbett and Heselwood.
The band will unveil their record a week early tonight at Duke Studios/Sheaf Street in Leeds. A free-entry showcase, attendees will be treated to the free-flowing, chaotic, improv performances the band have become known for – who knows what might happen…
‘Ultimate Thunder’ will be released digitally and via 12-inch vinyl produced at Press On Vinyl in Middlesbrough.
This project is supported by public funding from Arts Council England.
James Heselwood, Ultimate Thunder said:
“Summer camp, Holiday Inn. What a title. Loved doing this one with its glitchy bass, robotic drums and surreal lyrics… “Monday is Saturday” – makes sense to us…”
James Mabbett, Napoleon III says:
Making this record with Ultimate Thunder was one of the most enjoyable and rewarding projects I’ve been involved in! I feel very lucky to have spent these unforgettable pandemic years experimenting, creating and reinventing the way you make a record with these fantastic musicians. Years and years of work have gone into this record and we are all thrilled that people are finally hearing it.
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