Aural Delights – 16th February 2011

On this weeks show a preview of Helmets for Men 2011 Episode 1 and lots of new stuff, plus a couple of classics……..

Bâton Rouge – Fragments D’eux Mêmes – a french Emo band made up of most of the members of “Daitro” and one from”12xu”. Slightly less “Screamo” than what “Daitro” deliver and therefore a little more melodic.

Fall Fan Dave & The Lap Top Dancers – Yelling Boil – as yet unreleased promo version of said artefact came my way last week – see a review elsewhere on this blog.

Danny Short – Darkened Corridors of Winter – from a limited edition private only release cassette. Danny is in full experimental mode here, more akin to his DDS work than his more melodic tunes……lots of psychedelic references……

The Happy Fallen – EP  – the first of three tunes from bands playing the “Helmets for Men” gig at Islington Mill on the Friday of the week this show was broadcast. Neil James (aka Tickle) has out together a fine band to deliver his particular band of pysche-garage rock.

Warm Widow – Widower – amazing trio from Manchester who are second up at the Helmets Gig. Their particular amalgam of post-punk tropes evokes a mutant offspring of Thurston Moore, Mark Edward Smith, and, Nick Cave…….

The Black Knights – Sickle Sell Saturday Night – the band that do not need a bass player – so bass players get over it! Voodoo trash from the darkest heart of “margarine town” with more attitude than a crazed werewolf out on a bender with bigfoot. Vampiric intensity and soul they are the third act on at Helmets.

Kayo Dot – Blue Lambency Dot – a real treat for Mancunians is the appearance of New York’s post jazz masters of incomprehensible rhythms and maniacally complex arrangements at Islington Mill the night before the Helmets gig.

Bill Davro – as featured before on the show – another fresh new talent from Warrington that came to me through our unsigned page, as did Salford’s very own….

Skankadelia – infectious ska pop of the highest order……. as did

Andy Hay – great singer songwriter who does all his recording at home….

Corinna Jane – I have been waiting for a while to play the last of three songs this Bristol artist sent my way….a great writer and a fine voice…check her out on I Tunes….

David Bowie – Hunky Dory – a bit a guilty pleasure – a classic bit of riffing from the time when Bowie had a little more chutzpah in his mojo…..I was making venetian blinds in a factory in darkest Northamptonshire when this came out…..

Bare in the Woods – Manchester four piece with a good raw sound……they will be playing in Manchester on Friday 25th of February @ Gullivers, and, Saturday 12th of March @ Manchester Academy. Band members are: David Cross – Vox & Rhythm Guitar, Adam Logan – Lead Guitar, Griff Tilley – Bass, Adam King – Drums.

Blue Orchids – went to see Martin Bramah’s Factory Star a couple of weeks ago and they were marvellous – in anticipation of their new album i’ve delved right back to Martin’s first release with Blue Orchids  when they signed to Rough Trade Records, and in November 1980  released their debut single, a double A side, “The Flood / Disney Boys” the latter of which gets an airing.

and finally

The Christophers – another Manchester band with a new single which has a great psyche sound….highly recommended……

To listen to the show click below

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Aural Delights – 9th February 2011

This show balances newer signed material with unsigned and attempts to be as varied as possible. The music out there at the moment is a broad church and this should be reflected in the programming of the show.

Social Distortion – they have been around since 1978 and since then have been through any number of line-up changes. Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes is their 8th album.  Essentially it’s American “punk” i.e. a raw garage version of traditional rock and roll.

What?Noise – Tim Harris, Julia Adamson and Chris Nagle developed a fresh dance oriented sound in the late 80s/early 90s. The “Nuance” EP released recently delivers previously unreleased material. Reviewed elsewhere on this blog.

The Happy Soul – as reviewed elsewhere on this blog – the lyrical acoustic bluesy sounds of this artist are well worth a listen.

Sey Hollo – hails from northern Sweden and  is the solo-project of Sebastian Larsson. The music is post-rock played on “rusty guitars and organs”. The new EP is out now.

Fire Suave – a mix of alternative country, acoustic and indie rock, from the 2008 album “Sand Fastened”

Apparently We Fly – an unsigned “post hardcore” band from Derbyshire.

Robin James – born in London, December 1980, with Romany Gypsy and Argentinean roots.  His fragile, yet powerful, voice, and carefully crafted lyrics, evoke early Nick Drake.

Psycho Charger – a NYC trio with drum machine  offering up an interesting mix of styles, a blend of the Cramps and Reverend Horton Heat. From their most recent album “Mark of the Psycho”.

Spencer Cloud and the Range Brothers – a new single from one of my favourite bands of last year.

GlassHeads – unsigned band from Wigan with a new tune

Andy Hay – unsigned singer songwriter who I played on last weeks show

Seven Deadly Sins – scottish band who are well worth checking out – nice sound!

Glass Ankle – excellent Manchester band with a keen sense of melody.

Trevor Sensitive and the Locals – from the new album “Sensitive” the ever reliable and utterly groovy Birmingham style icons.

You can listen to the show through the link below

january 2011 overview

The latter weeks of December 2010 and January 2011 have proved to be particularly busy in respect of new music and unsigned bands coming my way. I’m struggling to find space in the radio show to fit them all in and whilst my chums at the 9 O’clock Alliance at Salford City Radio are assisting by picking up on some of the tunes I am still wading my way through a pile of MP3s and albums that arrive on a daily basis. It’s difficult to see how I can fit them all in and I need to give some thought to how some of the better acts can get some exposure.

An opening observation after all this listening would be that “rock is not dead” – I read an article in some inky newspaper somewhere that “comedy” and “wintendo” (Sic) had replaced “rock” as the new “youth” obsessions. This type of narrow thinking tends to obscure the fact that a lot of people over 25 (say) still listen to music and have the disposable income (even in these times of belt tightening)  to spend on it and there are an awful lot of musicians out there keeping the rock sub-culture alive.

So here is a quick canter through the material that has come in the last eight weeks or so (and which has not got a “big” review on this blog) – of which, as I say, there has been a lot….i’ll pick up on the more recent stuff in the February overview.

Skankadelia – from Leicester and Salford play an up tempo pop ska which is immediate and catchy. All excellent musicians and with a front woman with a marvellous voice they have been away for a while but they are back with a plan for world domination and they have the songs to do it. Brimming with great melodies, choruses and hooks they are destined for something great if they get the breaks.

Bill Davro – are from Warrington and play sharp indie pop songs – they have a current sound but they don’t copy the London groups of the moment and have set themselves aside from others of that ilk. I don’t normally listen at length to music which follows current fashion as it all tends to get a bit samey but these guys have a certain something that requires listening.

John Snow Band – are from Norway and manage to meld a great guitar sound with pop idioms which transcends into indie rock. They have good control over light and shade in their songs which gives a great cinematic feel. They are recording an album at the moment which I certainly am looking forward to listening to.

GlassHeads – hail from Wigan and play driven dual guitar tunes – and are well worth a visit to their My Space page to listen to their current single “The Error of Your Ways”.

Andy Hay – sent me a couple of his songs.  He writes beautiful tunes and self produces his stuff at home on “£200 gear”  you wouldn’t know it given the quality of the recordnigs, and he has a great voice and plays well. I am anticipating a CD with some more music which should be good based on what he has sent me so far.

Glass Ankle – have been getting a lot of exposure lately- they were in the Metro paper the other day – not suprising really, marvellous tunes and a good acoustic/folkly/indie feel….

Robin James – has a unique voice and a style which manages to grab elements of early Nick Drake and push them into a dreamy psychedelic landscape…..

The guitar wizardry of Apparently We Fly is right up my street. Somehow they can grasp Marr like picking and put it in a math-rock agenda. Almost like the offspring of a coupling between something post-punk and post-rock with a bit of genetic tampering around the edges. I’m blissfully ignorant of what might have inspired this sound but regardless of that I love their brashness.

Secret Garden Gathering are a 5 piece band from Liverpool formed in 2010.   Their sound is somewhere between the realms of Indie, Folk and Psychedelia. Comparisons have been made to Jefferson Aeroplane, The XX, Fleetwood Mac and The National.

Danny Short has sent me a copy of his limited cassette only release “Darkened Corridors of Winter” which combines his more experimental sonic stuff  with his melodic pop side into something rather special indeed. I aim to play some of this during February.  His new album “Love has gone” is due soon.

Nick Warren sent me the latest single from Spencer Cloud and the Range Brothers an absolutely breathtaking piece of garage rock – with an amazing vocal from Mark Range. Hopefully 2011 will see this band get the exposure it deserves. It’s called “Hypnotise” by the way!

Guile are from Manchester and make a wonderful racket – their “Alone on the West” song is simply marvellous.

Albums which have tentative recommendations and  which I intend to play on the show eventually are listed below. They are in the pile to be listened to again which seems to be growing a little to quickly for my liking:

  • Baton Rouge – Fragments D’Eux Memes
  • Braids – Native Speaker
  • Covenant – Modern Ruin
  • Ducktails – Arcade Dynamics
  • Glassjaw – Our Colour Green
  • Iron and WIne – Kiss Each Other Clean
  • James Blake – Echoes
  • Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die
  • Sey Hollo – Growth
  • Social Distortion – Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes
  • Talib Kweli – Gutter Rainbows
  • The Decemberists – The King is Dead
  • Wire – Red Barked Tree

Hopefully I will get round to reviewing these in the next few weeks.