Salford Music Scene – 26th March 2012

A bit of a departure for this weeks show ….. as you will note below…. for your aural pleasure I offer the following …..

  • Kit B – Dogma I am God – which you will have noticed is a palindrome. The latest offering from Danny C,  J Monty and co – and old Hidden Gem tune which has a new title and interesting backing vocals from the Montmeister (need to let them trousers out a bit young padowan…..)
  • Fall Fan Dave and the Laptop Dancers – another taster from the forthcoming “Beat on the Moans” album – this is a wonderful piece of Bromwich logic in which he makes the point that Untattoed Ladies are now the rarity rather than the norm.
  • Kingdom Lost – As Dawn Travels – from the debut album “Desire Lines” which is packed with great tunes……
  • Robert Mitchell 3io – Alberto Balsam – yes I know its jazz and they aren’t from Salford but they are playing at the Band on the Wall in Manchester on Thursday and previewing the gig on the jazz show which will be on after the gig has finished would have been a tad silly. From “The Embrace” album – and an Aphex Twin tune to boot.
  • Ambrose Akinmusire – Jaya – as above but in this instance the album is called “When the Heart Emerges Glistening” and Richard James has nowt to do with it. This guy is being touted as the new Miles Davis…..not sure about that but he is very good.
  • Easter – Begin Again – another track from the very excellent “Innocence Man” album which is out soonish.
  • One and A Zero – Pretty Please – impressive outfit from Salford/Manchester –  www.oneandazero.com
  • The Vow – Holy Roller – From the “For A Dreamer” album – more info at  www.noexit-thevow.co.uk
  • English Mutts – Someone’s Pinched God – another piece of class from the Mutts from Moston – new lad Martin takes the vocal chores from Stanley.
  • The Centrals – Naughty Romance – very good this band and another great track – hoping to get them in for a session in the near future
  • The Fall – a couple of classic cuts from Grotesque After The Gramme….catch them at the Frank Sidebottom thing on Saturday…..I guarantee they will sound nothing like this…..

And you can listen to it here…….

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Music Diary #43

Right then……

  • Just got hold of the new album from Easter – called “Innocence Man” – utterly marvellous……it will be out in the Spring – stay tuned over the next few weeks to the Salford Music Scene Show to hear tracks…..they will be on in March at the Band on the Wall and at the Paradox Stage on Chapel Street on May. If you are missing Sonic Youth then have a listen to this band …… but please note they write better tunes. You can download their excellent “Damp Patch” at their site.
  • Have received the new Mummy Short Arms single – rather bloody good, like all their stuff – also got a sneak preview of an album track (which is completely and utterly unsafe for radio play due to the number of times mo-fo is used in the tune – a pity it is excellent).   “Silicone Dream”  – the single –  is out on 14th May 2012, and “Old Jack’s Windowless Playhouse” – the album – is out on 21st May 2012 – both on Flowers In The Dustbin records. If you have not heard this band yet then I recommend you do,  as they are something special.
  • I am becoming increasingly fond of The Centrals – they do seem to be able to write great tunes.
  • Groovy new track in from the increasingly interesting English Mutts from up Moston way – it’s called “Jimmi Greenteeth”
  • …..and their chum Mr D Cusick of Kit B has sent me a new wonderous piece of Surf Dub called “Hulmenoid”  – he is after finding a drummer if anyone has a spare set of sticks doing nowt.
  • Got sent the new single by a band from Birmingham called The Destroyers which is very good indeed – imagine Beirut mixed in with The Bonzo Dog Band with a touch of klezmer thrown into the mix.
  • Got hold of the debut  album by Breton it’s called “Other People’s Problems”- a FatCat release it was recorded at Recorded at the Sigur Ros Studios in Iceland – after a shaky opener it really settles down to be a fine piece of work. They are playing Islington Mill on March 29th 2012. You can download their EP “Blanket Rule” for free when you become their friend on Facebook.
  • Tony T sent me some new Fall Fan Dave and Lap Top Dancers tracks – they appear to be from the new album…..as usual they are very good….

Aural Delights Radio Show – 28th December 2011 – Albums of the Year Part 4 and other whitterings

And so here we are with the top 14 albums of the year as selected by some SCR DJs, some Fall Frenz, and myself.

The big  pressure vote from a lot of folks was for Fucked Up’s “David Comes To Life” to win but the local vote swung it toward the eventual champion, which is both adjacent to Salford and excellent.

The final top 14  is heavily biased towards the North West of England and specifically the Greater Manchester conurbation mainly due to the fact that the music is current to these parts, and that’s what our community radio station is all about. Also notable that two of the american participants in this final list played in the city this year (albeit Ripley was in his Moon Duo guise when he did it).

The year has been dominated by the neu Prog and the neu Psyche – a lot of this featured in the preceding three shows to this one – but also the main emphasis has been those musicians who can craft albums at home and produce masterpieces – whether it be time served guys who have been around as long as I have, or the new breed.  Tony Thornborough coined an appropriate phrase at the Factory Star/Blimp gig at FAC251 earlier in the year viz “Old is the new Young”  spot on – and I have to say in all honesty the most aural pleasure this year has been derived from watching musicians who have spent many years crafting their art and have reached a new creative peak.  I just enjoy seeing these guys perform great material which is considerably superior to the Elbow/Coldplay clones attempting to forge a career in the biz. I think I am going to be a little harsher in my responses to bands submitting material next year – my first response will be to direct them to the artists featured on this show…….don’t copy Garvey and Martin look around a little wider.

Wooden Shjips –  Black Smoke Rise – West (September) – the first Shjips album to get proper studio treatment and their best yet.  Everything from pyschedelia, via psychobilly through to motorik rhythms – marvellous and mesmerising music.

Vinny Peculiar –  Artrockers – Other People Like Me  (October) – In which local residents Mr Wilkes demonstrates his flair for lyricism and great tunes. Some pure pieces of poetry on this album which reflects back to an older less complicated world.

The Fall – Cosmos 7 – Ersatz GB (November) – the 29th Studio album from the bard of Prestwich and his band of travelling troubadours. This one divided opinion quite markedly and led to wailing and gnashing of teeth in some quarters contrasted with unapologetic worship in others. Would have been higher but for a seriously loud no vote from the Clifton area.

Shoshin – Here Comes My Favourite – City of  Patience (July) – I guess the rest of them will catch up on this one eventually as I appear to be the only one who likes this – but I like it lots – I think I have played every track from it. Grab it – you don’t know what you are missing! Also if you can get the link between the preceding album and this one you win a patronising pat on the back.

Moff Skellington – In the Helter Skelter  Suburb – Embers of the Rapid Eye (?) – not released as yet I don’t think  but definitely Moff’s album of 2011. The usual mix of other worldliness and DIY musical ethic which makes this artist utterly unique and rather marvellous. Many of the tracks appeared on a session on the old Reformation show.  It just makes me smile to listen to this music and wordplay within it.

Fall Fan Dave and the Lap Top Dancers – Juggernaut – Yelling Boil (March) – Dave and Ian’s second outing and rather groovy it is too. Another productive year for the duo with a new album planned for 2012. A variety of selections on this one but this track is one Dave prepared for a Reformation session.

Danny Short – Your Kingdom – You Must Not Play (November) – the second of two albums released this year by the very productive Mr Short. His best yet I think as it captures both his punk-prog-pop side as well as his more experimental leanings.

Crystal Stilts – Sycamore Tree – In Love With Oblivion (April) – a stunning second album with some stand out tracks. Described as noise pop meets ’60s psych somewhere – I think they go beyond that and have created a signature sound which is centred around Hargett’s laconic vocal delivery.

Kin – Chemistry Set – Flickering (December) – actually out in physical form in rather groovy packaging earlier in the year but just made available on Bandcamp. This was all it promised to be in the “Dot Dot Dot” ep on Invisible Girl but took the form and schema to a new place entirely. New stuff on the way from the amazing talent that is Kin. I also get a mention on the album sleeve notes along with a few others….

The Wild Swans – English Electric Lightning – The Coldest Winter In A Hundred Years (August)  Claiming to have “unfinished business,” former Teardrop Explodes keyboardist Paul Simpson returned with  Wild Swans’ first album since 1990’s Space Flower and a new super-group line-up which included the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Ricky Maymi, Echo & the Bunnymen’s Will Sergeant and Les Pattinson, and Spiritualized’s Mike Mooney, just to name a few. The chosen track is just pure magic – wonderful lyrics. The first of two Occultation releases in the top 15.

Monster Island – Pilot Whales – Cathedral Steps (November) Stephen, Lewis and Wesley are back with their third album which further develops their unique approach to music and their lyrical genius in respect of the world that surrounds us and them. Utterly wonderful. Get it from Bandcamp. Note to self – make sure we get them at a gig in Salford next year.

Half Man Half Biscuit – Somethings Rotten in the back of Iceland – 90 Bisodol (Crimond) (September) – the 12th album in the canon and they show no signs of running out of ideas – the usual Blackwell obsessions remain – footie, indie bands and obscure soap stars. There are three constants in my life – the wife, The Fall and Half Man Half Biscuit (oh and Joseph Holts Bitter – so that’s four).

Fucked Up – Queen of Hearts – David Comes To Life (June) – a “Tommy” for the I-Pad generation? Possibly – but then again so much more than that. Immense vocals, searing guitars and exceptional tunes. As mentioned above many had this as number one for the year but the jury over turned that verdict and came up with the one below.

Factory Star – Stone Tumbling Stream – Enter Castle Perilous (April) – we said this immediately it came out – Album of the Year – a bit of a bold statement given we were only four months into the year. Having seen the new line-up do the whole album in order at FAC 251 and having been somewhat blown away it was good to get hold of it and revel in its quality. Some of Martin Bramahs’ most exquisite lyrics appear on this release revealing him as a poet of some distinction, and the tunes are just as memorable. The album was recorded “live” and this works on so many levels as it captures the intensity of the experience of catching this band in the flesh.  My review of the album is still the most read blog on this site. Occultation records again demonstrating exceptional taste.

So in conclusion:

ALBUM OF THE YEAR : Factory Star – Enter Castle Perilous ; Runner-Up – Fucked Up – David Comes to Life

RECORD LABLE OF THE YEAR : Occultation ; Runner-up – Bandcamp

To listen to this show click the link

Salford Music Scene – 27th December 2011 – Best of the Year Part 2/Mixcloud Overflow

Concluding a two part run through of the best of 2011. A very difficult show to put together as I had to leave a lot of fine music out of the mix, however due to the magic of  Mixcloud there is a way around that…..

As is usual at this time of year I have chosen my “best of” and these are:

  • My Band of the Year : The Blimp ;  runners up Factory Star
  • My Gig of the Year : The Hamsters final gig at the Crescent ; runners up Factory Star/The Blimp at FAC 251
  • My New Band of the the Year : Kill for Company ; runners up – Kill Pretty
  • My Session of the year : Kill Pretty on SDs Sonic Diary ; runners up – Bikini Test Failure on Aural Delights
  • My Event of the year : The Helmets for Men stage at Sounds from the Other City; runners up – Mayfest at Islington Mill
  • My Song of the year : Danny Short – Check For Response ; runners up – Factory Star – Angel Steps

I will be announcing my Album of the Year on tomorrow nights Aural Delights Show.

All in all a pretty spectacular year music wise and the following 15 songs I think demonstrate the strength and breadth of the local music scene (with an interloper from Margate who gets included because of his unstinting support and all round glamorous nature!)

  • The Suzukis – Are You Happy With Yourself – a stunning debut album from this band from Wigan
  • The Happy Fallen – The Wheel – Neal James continues to deliver great music from the depths of Crumpsall
  • Periscope –  Sleeping With Ghosts – Martin Swinney the most prolific man in Manchester – album soon I hope.
  • Toby Jughead and His Merry Drones – Media City Ditty – swathed in mystery, superglue and ceramic delight – the abiding question of 2011 is who is Toby J?  Limits Maid Found Corsets.
  • Salford Media City – The Life and Death of Peter Sellers – More please next year Mr Jackson.
  • Silver Sound Explosion – Sidekicks – an amazing trio delivering great tunes – featuring the omnipresent C Dutton esquire.
  • Whipcord – Dread Stop Bop – stunning album, great tune.
  • Fall Fan Dave and the Lap Top Dancers – Costa Del Fridge – from the second album – Yelling Boil – a true iconoclast.
  • Toska Wilde – I Am Your Temptation – Margate via Salford for the nail polish guru.
  • Danny Short – Check For Response – from the second of two great albums from the bard of Horwich.  The single most wonderful piece of music I have heard this year.
  • Electric Wood – A Tragic Satire – Kearsley’s finest….
  • Taser Puppets – Dim – the magnificent Puppets with a piece of pop class…
  • Kill Pretty – Babes in the Wood – from the Hamsters they came breathing fire – a phoenix rising – featuring two fifths of Dragnet, 2 Duttons and a Moey…..who could ask for anything more
  • The Blimp – Fake Tan – the best live band in the area at the moment – anchored by a memorable rhythm section and lead by a genuine certified genius, Word- Art!
  • The Fall – Fiery Jack – and to conclude, as I usually do, a bit of magic from the heart of post-punk

This selection of tunes proved to be best of the local material for the year and were broadcast on Salford City Radio.

However there were a number of bands I could not leave out so I put together a mix of my other favourites which was as follows:

  • Trojan Horse – Disciplining The Reserve Army
  • Irk The River – One Year Performance
  • Phil Davies the Ninja Smoke Bombs – Fixed Penalty Points
  • The Vanity Project – Structure of an Atom
  • The Mang Mang Mangs – Is it the Grouse?
  • The Black Lights – In the Dark
  • Emperor Zero – Mental Health Café
  • Kit B – Fear of Flying
  • Girl Peculiar – Destiny
  • Stalagmites – Supply and Demand
  • Death to the Strange – Shades of my mind
  • Positronik – When The Bitch Knows Your Name
  • The Hired Help – Perfect Society
  • Neuron No – Saving the World
  • Mi Amo Simmy – Up With This I Will Not Put
  • Mandrake – Last Orders
  • Well North of Watford – Make Sense of Loneliness
  • Twinkle & Co – Jock Tally
  • Syd Bozko – Come Get Me
  • Urchins – Cabin Fever
  • Wonderland Trip – Bring Back The Sunshine
  • Ha Ha Said The Car – Storm Petal Suzie
  • Open Party – Inertia
  • Warm Widow – Back the Class
  • TG Elias – Southbound Otley Highway
  • The Louche FC – Four Parts Bastard
  • Veladrome – Elvis
  • Early Mojo – Balloon Basket
  • Ghost Outfit – Boy
  • Belle Vue – Platform One
  • Skankadelia – Distinct Lack of Secrecy
This can be streamed from Mixcloud here.

Aural Delights – 7th September 2011

Decided to go a bit Audio Visual this week……so here we go again….and these are tunes featured on this weeks show….follow the links for Facebook stuff and other info….

You can listen to the show here
Or you can watch these vidchips……not quite in the same order as they are on the show….

Salford Music Scene – 6th September 2011

On this show….

  1. Fall Fan Dave and the Lap Top Dancers – Juggernaut – Yelling Boil : from the stunning second album a tune that bears repeat listening.
  2. Veladrome – Elvis – Demo Track : A two-piece band from Manchester. Have played only one show so far, at kraak, although  both seasoned musicians with plenty of gigs under their belts in different guises. Lisa – vocals and fx and Tom – bass and drum machine. Have  been writing together for about 4 months and are just at the stage to start promo/gigging. Tom Wilcox moved to Manchester in 1995 whilst in The Hum of Good Machines, who became regulars on the local circuit at the time. The band pretty much imploded due to various reasons, Tom and the singer quickly formed Sleepwalker. that band lasted a few years and released a well reviewed single – Sleepwalking – before disbanding. Lisa was in Roadstar, who were another 2-piece working the local circuit. Tom and Lisa met about 3 years ago but only  recently decided to give writing music together a go.
  3. Toska Wilde – Cindy Darling – Cindy Darling and other songs : from the latest release Toska says its all about Cindy Lloyd and her life story.
  4. Bill Davro – All She Requires – Bill Davro – released this year, these talented Warrington tunesmiths play The Ashley Brook on the opening night of Salford Music Festival.
  5. Baby Strange – My Neighbours A Killer – Demo CD : and Baby Strange will be playing along side Silver Sound Explosion and Salford Media City at The Hope on the opening night of the Salford Music Festival.
  6. The Mang Mang Mangs – Is It The Grouse – The Mangs are Tom and Jag and formed in 2001. Tom had previously played guitar in Sleepwalker and The Hum of Good Machines supporting the likes of Muse and being supported at the now-legendary CineCity gig by Elbow. The Mangs first live outing came at Moorfest where they played on a bill including The Fall, Haven and Mr Scruff, after which their local reputation was cemented when Mark Hart (In The City Director) championed their first demo. After that, City Life magazine became firm friends of The Mangs, and after a stint playing venues in London, indie label Fierce Panda began showing interest. Due to Jag’s procreating, The Mangs took a three-year hiatus and began tentatively sketching out a new sound two years ago. The result is the recently released and acclaimed Is It the Grouse EP. Any promoters wanting to book the band then contact them via Jag .
  7. The Hymek Manouevre – Find It Yourself – They say of themselves “We are a 5 piece band based in the centre of chorlton, we have been together collectively for one year. In such a short time we have strived to play our music for as many people as possible, from small gigs such as The Thirsty Scholar, to reasonably large sized crowds at beech road festival. Every member of the band works exceedingly hard at creating music, but more importantly, enjoying music as it is our joint passion. Towards the back end of last year we recorded our demo at astar studios. This was a learning curve and has given us something to promote.
    Our genre of music is hard to describe as we don’t quite know ourselves, I think we convey a lot different styles very well, whilst also having our own perspective on song writing. Upbeat and happy with an indie/rock base would be the most comfortable label. Having fun and expressing ourselves is paramount to the band’s existence. Hopefully this is portrayed in our music.”
  8. Sandells – Glissando 2 – Demo Track – following on from last weeks airing of a first take of his epic piece of Kraut-Punk from Sandells here is another version…..slightly remixed by myself to bring Brian and Tim out a little more in the mix.
  9. The God Damn Electric – Morning Injection – hard playin’ and boozin’ lads from Manchester bringing the rock back into rock and roll.
  10. Force of Habit – Human Delusion – They say of themselves “Force Of Habit are an alternative rock band from Stockport, Manchester. We’ve built a strong local fanbase which has helped us get successful gigs at venues such as Manchester Academy and secure radio airtime on High Peak radio and Salford City Radio! The band has had numerous different bassist but our current line-up is stronger than ever and is planning on recording their EP very soon to follow up from the Demo recorded early 2011. We are currently working on new songs and reworking old ones with the intent of going out and having a blast doing gigs.”
  11. Veladrome – Number 5
  12. The Fall – Backdrop – In A Hole : classic Fall from the Australian tour in 1982 – I saw them do this track at the Band on the Wall in the May of that year and it was that version of the group at the height of their powers with immense riffing and percussion and typical Smithy lyricism. Who did put the yellow pills in the Gordon’s Gin?
To listen to the show then click the link below…..