Fascinating Things : Issue 61

It has been relatively quiet of late. No bad thing really with lots of other distractions to keep me occupied. However there have been a couple of sad pieces of news.  The recent passing of local music business figure Alan Wise came as a shock.  Alan was instrumental in developing a lot of opportunities for  the young talent in the Manchester area which blossomed out of that infamous gig at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in 1976, which of course has been much covered over the last few days. I was still down in Northampton in that June, working in a Venetian Blind factory of all places so I missed it, but I lived around the aftermath of that event  for many years. Alan was the key players around the birth of Factory and also in later years looked after The Fall for a while. I should also note the passing of Lost Cassettes bass player Gary Bamforth who was taken at far too young and age.

On to matters around new music and a catch up on a few of things that have caught my eyes…..

Local musician, record label guru and DJ Mark Corrin has released a “double album’s” worth of selection from his raft of 2015 EPs many of which have been featured on my podcasts. The 16 track release covers a wide variety of styles and genres and is a perfect introduction to the work of one of the most important talents living and working in the Greater Manchester area.

“Parking Lot”, the new self-produced EP by the critically-acclaimed, young, genre-bending, female-fronted trio The Accidentals, tells the powerful story of coming of age and coming home. For the band that launched their career in high school with over a thousand concerts, to becoming Billboard Magazine’s top breakout artist at SXSW 2015, their story is packed full of opportunity, pitfall, and resilience. High quality folky Americana with a good melodic feel.

New Zealanders Civic Union had an album out in May which I have just been sent details of. The band have a memorable post-punk sound which is added to by a remarkable vocal style which sort of hangs around the grunge area but and is vaguely in the direction of The Birthday Party meets Sonic Youth in the dark end of town. You can get the album at Bandcamp  in the usual way. Anyone who name checks the legendary Country Teasers is OK by me.

Also notable, and on the same label as the above, i.e. Melted Ice Cream, is the breathless shuffle punk of Invisible Threads whose recent release is called Oxide.  Quality stuff and well worth a listen.

And further, on the same label, is Wormstar, which appears to be the vehicle for Auckland based multi-instrumentalist Alex Angrignon  who delivers a jangly punk sound, again in the Moore/Renaldo area but also maybe a bit of Ty Segall and people of that ilk. This album is a “name your price” release and you would do well to drop a few coins in their direction.

Turning to more noisy matters I strongly recommend Greek Hardcore band Sarabante who have a second album out on June 10th. Pretty intense stuff!

And to conclude the ever excellent Dogs Got A Bone label has a compilation out featuring the best of new bands from north of the border. There are some exceptional bands on the label, including the excellent Girobabies , so I recommend you give it a listen.

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