A lot has changed in the last two and a bit years. When we first put Sam Fender on the cover of Dork back in August 2019, we were expecting some of what happened next. It was no shock to any of us that his debut album ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ went on to be a smash hit success. Nobody was surprised to see him book bigger and bigger venues, his star ascending as we always knew it would.
The rest was a bit harder to predict. It’s not just the constant shutdowns, half-guessed reschedulings and general ‘what-the-fuck-is-going-on’ of 18-months in a pandemic. It’s the other stuff, too. The division. The culture wars. The constant trolling of living under a Tory government seems to always pull the most inflammatory, comic book villain level move at each and every turn.
All of which is a long way round of saying it’d be easy to understand if Sam Fender had changed, all considered. What’s refreshing, as he once again takes the cover of this month’s issue of Dork, is that he really hasn’t. Sure, he’s topped that debut with the outstanding ‘Seventeen Going Under’. He’s done alright for himself. But at the heart of it all, Sam Fender is still a hometown lad. Still connected to the roots he grew from, it’s a record saturated in formative experiences, real thoughts and an honest, often raw expression of life in northern towns.
Though, saying that, he is now mates with Elton John. And his mate Paul has made his own Stonehenge. Indie rock stars, eh?
Elsewhere in this month’s magazine, we meet up with future-focused collective NiNE8, find hope with The Vaccines, and celebrate the continued indie brilliance of Spector. Plus, Amyl & The Sniffers show some punk attitude, and Tommy Genesis wants to make music to make people feel like a – quote – “bad bitch”.
We’re going in deep on the biggest festival of 2021, with 16-pages of Reading 2021 fun and frolics. As well as all the reports and photos from the front, you’ll find chats with Ashnikko, The Wombats, Girl In Red, Yard Act and more.
Add to that another packed edition of Hype, featuring introductions to Willow Kayne, SEB, ericdoa, Cherym and Evann McIntosh, plus all the usual news, reviews and ‘stuff’. You’ll be wanting to get your hands on a copy.