Rock band Massive Wagons talk about that mural in Lancaster and find out how you can get tickets for their secret gig in Preston
If you've been to Lancaster recently you may be wondering what that big mural is all about that has mysteriously appeared on the one-way system through the city?
Well you can thank Carnforth band Massive Wagons for that and their bid for musical fame, not just in the North West, but throughout the country and beyond.
But who exactly are Massive Wagons?
They are a five-piece anthemic rock act, led by charismatic frontman Baz Mills, formed in 2008 in their hometown of Carnforth, near Lancaster, and have become something of a mainstay in the rock scene since.
Baz explained their rise through the rock and roll ranks: "We're a rock band, originally from the Carnforth/Lancaster area and we've been going eight and a half years now I would say.
"We travel all over country and we've managed to get to a level where we've managed to do some amazing things, particularly over the last year or two.
"It's been a lot of hard slog over the first six or seven years.
"The last two years it's really started to come together - we've managed to play Download and we've played some big festivals, Steelhouse, Ramblin' Man down in Kent - and we've just signed to Earache Records, which is a pretty big deal for us. A new album - Full Nelson - is out in August through them. It will probably be the biggest thing we've done so far, in terms of albums. It's our fourth album."
And how does this all tie-in with the mural on the side of a pub in Lancaster?
"They [Earache] came up with an idea - they want to try and get this album into the charts, in the actual charts, not just rock charts - so they have a figure of how many albums they need to sell.
"They did some research and there has never been a Lancaster band that has ever charted an album apparently. So they want to go down that route. They want to try and get Lancaster behind the pre-order and to try and get the band into the charts. So they've got a press campaign going and they've had a load of beer mats made and they've gone out around Lancaster to the pubs with the pre-order on and with the album art on them and stuff.
"There's a place in Lancaster called The Pub, and before we started the band we always used to go in there and watch a lot of bands. It was kind of like a place we went all the time, a rock bar. So we always said we'd love to play there. That was kind of our goal at the time.
"And we managed to play there after a while, and then we played there more and more and it got busier and busier and we were sort of a bit of a regular thing in there. So it's kinda become our home I suppose, of the band.
"On the side of the pub a building got knocked down. Well the people that run the pub own the pub, so they own the wall - and it's on the side of the one-way system in Lancaster. And they said to us [the PR company] would you know anywhere where we could get some artists up from Nottingham, where Earache are based, and paint a huge mural of the album art on a wall anywhere. Would you be able to sort it out?
"Well, as luck would have it, we just thought The Pub. This big bare wall has just appeared. And yeah, the people that own the pub, they know us, they've known us a long time, they said 'Yeah, absolutely, no worries. We'll get that done.'
"Hopefully it'll be a bit of an expansion of the city's culture I suppose this big artwork on this wall. If it doesn't get graffitied in the first night, somebody draws a big moustache on it or something it'll be pretty cool!"
As with all rock bands, influences can come from all over the place, but Baz maintains that Massive Wagons are very much a British rock band, stating bands like UFO, Slade and Status Quo as making their biggest impressions on the band members.
"I think all the old British rock bands are unique really. There's no other bands in the world quite like them I don't think. There's that Britishness you know. We try and embrace that really. That's what we are about."
Massive Wagons are playing a sold out gig at The Platform in Morecambe on Saturday, August 4. But despair not, as they will also be playing a special promotion show right here in Preston.
To get your hands on tickets for this show you need to pre-order their new album, Full Nelson, in any format from Action Records. You can then just collect your purchase and ticket in the shop any time from August 10 onwards. Please note that for this gig it is one ticket per item ordered.
The gig is being held at Blitz Club on Thursday, August 16. Doors open at 8pm.
Visit www.actionrecords.co.uk/ to order your copy.