East of the M60 looks at a local unsigned group from the early noughties
Thursday 30 August 2001, The Witchwood, Ashton-under-Lyne. The writer of this piece, then a young 22 year old wannabe Lester Bangs type (powered by real ale and Hollands Meat Pies of course), went to see a friend’s group. Topping the bill that night was his friend’s group Scapa Flow. They were supported by two other groups.
Fourteen years on, 36 years of age and far removed from being A Future Lester Bangs, yours truly stumbles upon the group’s CD. From a charity shop in Stalybridge that does good coffee. One of the groups during that gig is the focus of our latest article. The gloriously named “When Animals Attack”.
The 30 August 2001 gig that I attended was probably one of their first. Founded in Ashton-under-Lyne and championed by Clint Boon, their music had heavy rock/indie rock leanings. Unsigned at the time, they won plaudits for their self-promotion skills and had their own website. With a solid local following, they looked set for bigger things.
As a support act for Scapa Flow that night, the five piece group had potential. A former railway sign (1990s BR Regional Railways era) was used as a stage prop.
On the 25 July 2002, they supported Oceansize at The Witchwood. This was shortly after their fellows were signed to Beggars Banquet records. They also supported Fi-Lo Radio and Puressence.
Their self-titled demo CD released in 2003 was also available for download – back in the day when MP3 players were in their infancy. The CD was also available free for anyone who subscribed to their mailing list. Clint Boon hailed their demo disc as one of the best he heard. In his words:
“There was me thinking they were some local unsigned Herberts with no more to offer than the next bunch of northern chancers… This stuff is ready for daytime mainstream national radio.”
The demo single and self titled album were produced at Studio Studio in Spodden Mill, Whitworth, a few miles north of Rochdale.
Unfortunately, When Animals Attack didn’t get the success they deserved. After a number of gigs in 2004, they disbanded and morphed into Cody. Under the guise of Cody, they did a few gigs and vanished.
Outside of WAA/Cody, one of the guitarists was Store Manager at the Ashton branch of Music Zone on Warrington Street.
* * *
- Nick: lead vocals and guitar;
- Hugh: bass guitar;
- Jim: drums;
- Nick (2): guitar;
- Ben: guitar and keyboards.
* * *
ALBUM: When Animals Attack (demo disc), 03 July 2003 (CD/MP3)
- I Am;
- Found Me Out;
- Let’s Get Lost;
- I Know Better;
- Lightbulb Song;
- Need You Around;
- Too Fast;
- Don’t Feel The Same.
SINGLE: Driving, 23 February 2003 (CD/MP3)
* * *
Selected gig archive:
- 30 August 2001: The Witchwood, Ashton-under-Lyne (second support group with Scapa Flow);
- 25 July 2002: The Witchwood, Ashton-under-Lyne (supporting Oceansize);
- 13 July 2003: Satan’s Hollow, Manchester;
- 28 July 2003: The Water Rats, King’s Cross, London;
- 02 August 2003: The Castle, Oldham;
- 28 August 2003: The Witchwood, Ashton-under-Lyne;
- 07 September 2003: The Station, Ashton-under-Lyne;
- 25 March 2004: Night and Day Café, Manchester;
- 02 April 2004: The Castle, Oldham;
- 07 April 2004: Lite Room, Lite Café, Manchester;
- 17 April 2004: The Witchwood, Ashton-under-Lyne;
- 16 May 2004: Star and Garter, Manchester.
* * *
- Archive.org: archived version of When Animals Attack’s website;
- Manchester Music: an archive of Manchester groups past and present.
* * *
Did you see When Animals Attack or Cody at any of the gigs detailed above? What are your opinions of their début album and single? Feel free to comment. Who knows, we might have met before at The Witchwood gig in August 2001.
S.V., 26 June 2015.