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Scrounge
Scrounge Find Their Sugar, Daddy!
5th September 2022
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A well-baked fierce panda one sheet

The Act: SCROUNGE

The Release: 'SUGAR, DADDY'

The Format: DIGITAL & VINYL MINI-ALBUM

The Release Date: SEPTEMBER 9TH 2022

The Tracklisting: 1 'This Summer's Been Lethal' / 2 'HIT' / 3 'Starve' / 4 'Grid' / 5 'Night Stand' 6 / 'Forward' / 7 'Etch' / 8 'Badoom'

The Digital Link: orcd.co/scrounge_sugardaddy

The Physical Link: fiercepanda.co.uk/shop.php?release=743

"An exhausting, exhausted, exhilarating and pugilistic sort of record, but also, excitingly, the sound of a band who are just getting started, full of delicious coiled-spring potential. If this is what a “mini” looks like to Scrounge, the prospect of a full album should terrify." - 9/10 Loud & Quiet

The Sonic Truth: South London heat is intense. A city as tight and thick as this reacts to humidity and sunlight like stainless steel, the streets sizzling and charring as you feel each individual wave of thermal energy cresting and crashing over you.

The heat doesn’t tend to stick around long, but the atmosphere finds a way of lingering. It’s an intensity you can hear in the music of two-piece noise-punk project Scrounge, quite literally in the case of ‘This Summer’s Been Lethal’ and ‘HIT’, the first singles from their debut mini-album, Sugar, Daddy, as well as new promo track 'Forward'.

Recorded at a friend’s near-airless studio on the hottest day of 2021, these tracks consist of a dense slalom of machine-gun percussion, disintegrating drum machines and corkscrewing guitar, topped off by singer and guitarist Lucy Alexander’s snarled vocal. Taut, frustrated, but not without melody or tenderness, it sets the tone for much of Sugar, Daddy, which is a concise, gently shattered snapshot of the duo's career thus far, as partner in rhyme drummer Luke Cartledge explains:

'"This mini-album is a document of our early years as a band, quite literally scrounging ourselves together on instruments...We're learning how to play in real time and trying to create something cathartic and exhilarating, both for ourselves and as a way of engaging with the communities around us that we love and are the reason we've got this far with this project. More than anything, it's a love letter to the South London DIY scene – a love letter to our mates."

Since meeting at Goldsmiths University in the middle of the last decade, Scrounge – Lucy and Luke - have been trying to express how it feels to be a young person living and working in a fast-changing metropolis, balancing the constant pressure cooker of making rent and staying healthy with a desire to make art and properly engage with the communities that actually make London what it is. That latter engagement has been a massive part of their daily lives throughout their time as a band, through South Londoner Lucy's work as a primary school teacher, her time running community workshops at the Deptford Albany, and as an active member of East London LGBTQ+-inclusive women’s football team, Whippets FC; Luke, though originally from a small town in the North West, stuck around the capital after university, and through grassroots political organising (mutual aid, migrant solidarity activism, trade union activity and more) and work at a local foodbank, has found a real home in the city.

The duo’s shared social and creative perspectives first found public expression in a previous musical project, with Luke joining the backing band for Lucy’s folk-influenced solo vehicle, Lucy Cait, as a guitarist. Soon, they started putting on free-entry shows at community venues in Deptford and Lewisham along with collaborator Amanda Tooke as grassroots collective Fame Throwa Records, booking their friends and scene-mates like Italia 90, Talk Show, Talmont, Don’t Worry, Lou Terry, Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something, Great Dad, Ailsa Tully, Hussy and many more.

After graduating from university, the two decided to work on a new project, treating the inevitable upheaval of leaving full-time education as an opportunity to begin with a clean slate. Luke had messed around on drums before, but never particularly seriously and never as part of a band; Lucy had previously been fairly sparing with her use of effects pedals or signal-splitting to expand upon her guitar sound. Perhaps naively, they overlooked this inexperience and decided to work with it, eventually boiling down their ideas into a brand of sharp, concise art-punk that introduced elements of folk, techno and industrial music into a more familiar cocktail of noise-rock and riot grrl influences.

A period of hard work followed, as Scrounge sought to establish themselves on the wider live circuit as well as their local scene, playing regularly at venues like The Windmill, Sister Midnight Records and the much-missed DIY Space For London. They also continued to book their own shows at places like the Bird’s Nest in Deptford and the Fox and Firkin in Lewisham; sometimes it’s best to do it yourself. This culminated in their debut singles, ‘Etch’ and ‘Crimson’, and their debut EP, Ideal, released via Fierce Panda (who discovered them supporting fellow Goldsmiths graduates Another Sky) in 2019.

Then 2020 happened, which needs no elaboration here, other than to note that Scrounge spent the enforced pause writing new material, appearing on fundraiser compilations (including DIY SOS, an emergency fundraiser for beloved South London institution Sister Midnight, which hopes to reopen soon as co-operatively owned venue and community centre in Lewisham) and playing remote shows – including, in early 2021, the digital-only SXSW. Once the world reopened, this was followed by several packed sets at the IRL SXSW 2022 in Austin, Texas, as well as extensive touring across the UK and appearances at festivals like Mutations, Raw Power, Rockaway Beach and the Alternative Escape.

Sugar, Daddy is a living, breathing document of all that experience as a band so far. The title and artwork comes from a realisation Lucy and Luke had that as a DIY band, with full-time jobs, radical politics, and a lack of access to the kinds of resources that are often just beneath the surface of apparently organic creative projects, they couldn’t be relying on any mysterious benefactor to make this thing work. It’s sometimes easy to forget that ‘DIY’ has a material meaning. In a society stratified by class, frothing with bigotry, and radiating with naked hostility at the idea of ordinary people expressing their creative and intellectual ambitions, sometimes you have to be your own sugar daddy.

Come pour some sugar, daddy on Scrounge at these live shows here:
OCTOBER 22ND HULL The New Adelphi
OCTOBER 21ST BRISTOL The Lanes
NOVEMBER 1ST CARDIFF Buffalo Bar
NOVEMBER 4TH NORWICH Voodoo Daddy
NOVEMBER 10TH LONDON BERMONDSEY Social Club (w/ piglet)

www.facebook.com/helloscrounge

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