Salford Music Scene – 20th March 2012

On this weeks show…….listen here

1 Syd Bozko Hidden Soul Single
2 The Ninth Watch Concrete Boots Demo Track
3 Premise Beach Hold Me Now Working for a Nuclear Free City remix
4 Easter Never Me Innocence Man
5 John Herring In My Head It Starts Again
6 One and A Zero Code Decode Demo Track
7 No*Tokyo Ego Healer (featuring N.Trance) Single
8 Fall Fan Dave and the Laptop Dancers Funny Boys and Pretty Girls Beat on the Moans
9 GlassHeads Pressure Cooker Single
10 The Vow Spacedust For A Dreamer
11 Glass Ankle Something More Demo Track
12 The Centrals The Likes of Me and You Demo Track
13 The Fall Leave the Capital Slates
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Salford Music Scene – 13th March 2012

On this weeks show ( you can hear it here):

1 The Centrals Lack of Love Demo Track
2 Premise Beach Hold Me Now Single
3 John Herring I Haven’t Got A Clue It Starts Again
4 Emma Elisabeth If I Could The Coldness of Winter
5 The Kindest of Thieves Go To Town On Me Ever The Optimist
6 Easter Pages Innocence Man
7 Beyond Recognition The Illusion The Illusion
8 White Cliff You Know Demo Track
9 Today They Are Older Anger is more useful than despair Demo Track
10 Mandrake The Old Church Chapel Demo Track
12 Glass Ankle Without You Here Demo Track
12 John Herring Moments Like This It Starts Again
13 The Fall Impression of J Temperance Grotesque After The Gramme

A Movie Inside My Head……..

John Herring

“It Starts Again”

Self Released

March 9th 2012

Over the years Salford has produced some notable musical artists – some have gone on to national/international fame and in some instances notoriety. Salford, with its growing fame as the new media capital of the country, has also become the hotbed of musical production in the North West, with international stars choosing local recording and video production facilities to develop their craft. Blueprint Studios is a case in point, with any number of known artists using it’s facilities, How gratifying therefore to see local troubador John Herring recording his sophomore album at this establishment. And I  suggest that this album should set John on the road to wider recognition he richly deserves.

Herring is a local (Salford) treasure who deserves to be a national, if not international one. He has moved on considerably from his debut album “Tales from a Northern City” from a few years back. This release is packed with excellent tunes, played flawlessly, and bundled up in a production package which teaches the music world a few lessons about how to deliver a complete artefact which can be enjoyed on a visual and aural level.

Herring bridges that difficult divide between “popular music”, melody and “legitimate” rock with effortless aplomb. He has gathered round him an excellent band in John Miles (Guitar), Joe Nearney (Bass) and Chris Halkyard (Drums) with the support of the mysterious “That Girl Sue” on vocals. Co-produced with Gary Vaughan Hadfield (who engineered and mixed the album) Herring has a put together a premiership team delivering high quality music.

The interesting, and compelling, thing about John is that he manages to almost surreptitiously slip into your head – his melodic style moves effortlessly between the songs on the album – creating a relaxed but vital emotional state. Most of all he makes you smile while you are listening. Also, it’s good to see the lyrics reproduced on the very clever album inserts (each of them has a piece of art which can be displayed in the cut out slot on the cover – essentially giving the listener six different options for the overall look of the album) . Reading through them whilst listening I was struck by how much his lyrical imagery has developed since the first release. There are a number of themes here – modern life and all its challenges,  love, companionship, and a degree of social comment, perhaps not as overtly polemical as the first album – John can easily be compared to the likes of Kurt Wagner and Nick Drake as a master craftsman both lyrically and musically.

The  birdsong that opens the album opener – the  infectious “It Starts Again” (the single)- evokes both a pastoral feel that celebrates life and renewal – it’s early morning in the city and we anticipate the day ahead with some concerns balanced with a refreshing optimism that things might just be getting better. And we need that optimism in these times I would suggest. “Moments Like This” demonstrates that Herring is not afraid to rock it up a bit with a funky back beat, and a sublime chorus make this a stand out track on the album for this listener. I’d like to see John doing more of this type of thing as I think he can meld rock sensibilities with melody effortlessly.

“One Sunny Day” features trumpet from Mark Jones – with its stop-start off kilter time signature and vocal interplay this tune grabs the attention immediately, whereas the evocative “The Three Tuns” almost takes on a traditional folk form. The up tempo “I Haven’t Got A Clue” is one of those songs where you know the band are enjoying playing it – great lyrics also which manage to rhyme Yoda with coda – clever you are, young Herring.

The mood is slowed slightly for the start of the wistful and dreamy “Stop” with beautiful shimmering guitar from John Miles and a sultry easy feel which hides to some extent some fairly aposite lyrics about the state of the world. However the tune builds through a great middle section in a mammoth piece of cinematic sound. This is followed by the tender and reflective “Ghosts” and “You Are The One” which move effortlessly into “Here” which seems to act as a counterbalance to the opening track on the album. There is almost a narrative through the songs from the start of the day, the observation of the world through the intervening seven songs to the penultimate number which perhaps reflects on the lessons learned in the other tunes?

The set concludes with “In My Head” where John takes us on a slow journey through the images in his mind. A beautiful closer to a fine album.

Many thanks to John for letting me have a preview copy to review – a most enjoyable experience.

The John Herring band will present the album in their first gig of 2012 on March 17th at the Deaf Institute. The support is Glass Ankle.

Salford Music Scene – 6th March 2012

Another slice of the increasingly exciting music scen (sic) around the Salford and the North West…….

Starting with another cut from the great new EP from Warrington’s “Kindest of Thieves” – as reviewed elsewhere on this blog – moving swiftly on to an excellent band from Manchester called The Centrals. Next up the ever glorious Mr Heart –  one of the three bands playing at SCRs gig at the Kings Arms on Thursday night…..then a nice taster from the soon to be released album from John Herring (listening party for the album on Friday Night at the Kings again!).

Then the second band playing on Thursday – Kill for Company – utterly chuffed that they are featured in the NME website with a vid filmed by fellow SCR DJ Tony Thornborough, and then the excellent new single from the stunning Ninetails – and very good it is. Then the bill toppers for Thursday – Whipcord – it’s their 150th gig!  You’ll be sorry if you missed this august point in the bands history. Moston madness from the gorgeous English Mutts is followed by surf reggae genius from the always inventive Kit B.

Another John Herring track is followed by some rock from a great Manchester band – Beyond Recognition – and then a quick trip west up the M62 for a great Liverpool band called White Cliff.

Matters conclude with a track from the very excellent new album from Easter – “Innocence Man” – a stunning debut! – and a bit of Fall magic from 1980.

Listen here ……

1 Kindest of Thieves Amelia Ever The Optimist
2 The Centrals Saturday Night Shenanigans Demo Track
3 Mr Heart Dynamo The Hide
4 John Herring It Starts Again It Starts Again
5 Kill for Company Tongue Tattoo Singles Collection
6 Ninetails Rawdon Fever Rawdon Fever
7 Whipcord Mistlead Whipcord
8 English Mutts Jimmi Greenteeth Demo Track
9 Kit B Hulmenoid Demo Track
10 John Herring Ghosts It Starts Again
11 Beyond Recognition Who is 67? The Illusion
12 White Cliff Last Time Demo Track
13 Easter Something American Innocence Man
14 The Fall City Hobgoblins Single

Music Diary #10 – (Salford) Music Scene 10th January 2012

A pop orientated influx of music today from Mausi, Thom Cross, Soulmagic and the oddly named Rainy Boy Sleep – all fine stuff but unlikely to be played on my shows as they just don’t fit – however I have shared them with colleagues at the station and hopefully they will pick up on them. Some interesting rock music from America’s “BrokenRail” (sic) which again doesn’t quite get on my playlist but might get picked up by others.

Pleased to see another release from “Danny Short” in his DDS guise – this is the more experimental side of his music which is closer to ambient and free improvisation – anyway you can get it here free.

Taking the opportunity for this show to play some four of the five demo tracks “Kill Pretty” laid down earlier in the month in Stockport. They have further recordings planned in February and March with Craig Scanlon and Larry Gott guesting which should be interesting.  As I’ve said elsewhere on this blog I’m somewhat excited with what Ian Moss and his band of merry funsters are cooking up.  In terms of gigs you can catch them- Thursday January 26th , with Sandells/Factory Star at Kings Arms , Salford; Saturday February 25th , with Taser Puppets at the Railway Chorley. Dates to be confirmed but also March gigs at the Verge, Hyde with Subway Sect , and Ashton under Lyne’s Guzzlin Goose with Taser puppets.

In their usual perverse way the Day for Airstrikes chaps released a three track EP on bandcamp on Christmas Eve  (fascinating marketing concept chaps!) – comprising of music from three of their component parts ( Adam Skerritt (aka Little Idiot), John Simpson (aka Mi Amo Simmy) and Ian Breen (aka Claw The Thin Ice))  – regardless of the Christmassy association this music is required listening. Fascinating also that those components separately sound nothing like the whole.

Featuring also – as I will be for the next few weeks – music from the excellent “Long Hat Pins” – who continues to amaze with the variety of music he produces. Also another track from recently featured “Hunting Bears” – and the new single from Turrentine Jones which is a remarkably good move on from their previous work.

Also very pleased to be featuring the new single from John Herring – which is a precursor to his second album which will be out in due course. You can catch him at the Deaf Institute on March 17th he has a hell of a good band behind him now and this latest song is damn fine indeed. Looking forward to hearing the album.

In tonights fun packed radio spectacular therefore the playlist is : (listen in here)

1 Turrentine Jones Candy Snake Single
2 John Herring It Starts Again Single
3 Kill Pretty Emperors New Clothes Demo
4 Claw The Thin Ice Lonely Animal EP – A Christmas Miracle
5 Kin No Outline Demo
6 Kill Pretty Stupid Club Demo
7 Long Hat Pins Men Marching, Men Running Demo
8 Hunting Bears My Own Child Demo
9 Mi Amo Simmy Yes Is The Answer to Everything EP – A Christmas Miracle
10 Turrentine Jones Slam the Door Single
11 Kill Pretty Brown Eyes Demo
12 Little Idiot It Aint Easy being Svarte Piet EP – A Christmas Miracle
13 Kill Pretty Black Dog City Blues Demo
14 The Fall Get A Hotel The Frenz Experiment

Music Diary – 1st January 2012

New Years Resolution – as the New Year starts – keep a daily diary of new music received so as to have some sort of record – not a bad idea given my memory…..so to kick of…and from the last week or so ….

  • Five new demo tracks from Kill Pretty – which will form part of a twelve track album coming out in January – all rather marvellous. Recorded in Stockport. Some classic Ian Moss lyrics and great playing from the Duttons and Mr Leigh. The band to watch in 2012 I prophesy somewhat giddily.
  • Got some new demos from The Coke Authority just before Christmas which are all rather good – and include a new version of the rather excellent Act A Fool. Another band to keep an eye out for.
  • Three tracks from various members of Day For Airtrikes (all getting a bit Animal Collective this lads!!) viz Little Idiot, Mi Amo Simmy (as featured earlier in 2011) and Claw The Thin Ice (aka Ian Breen) – all great especially the Breen track. Perversely, released on the edge of Xmas, meaning calling it an Xmas release was a little odd, the music transcends any seasonal association. Catch the seperate Little Idiot release on Bandcamp,  an interesting ambient work-out, plus the EPs etc from the other two – all good stuff. Fascinating how the various elements of DFA sound totally different from the combined sound.
  • New music from Toska Wilde received – now working with Luis Drayton. Three tunes which mix sci-fi melodrama, oriental melodies and electro-pop. The menacing blend of Drayton’s deeper voice and Wilde’s lighter tones with the ambient sounds are interesting indeed.
  • New album received from Lisa of Magnetic Island – rather fine – will definitely get some serious airplay – able to mix dream pop with a harder New York sound with ease.
  • Very impressed by Comet Sands who gave me a link to the their Bandcamp stuff – definately a band to watch out for in 2012. Their tune Andromeda has an immediacy and quirky likeability that demands hearing.
  • The interestingly named Curry Quiche sent me some tunes……..they have an acceptably listenable blend of 60s garage sensibility and psychedelic weirdness that sets them apart from the rest.
  • And at a local level the new single from John Herring has arrived (starts in the usual JH reflective fashion and then builds into a memorable piece of motorik melodicism) , also  have new tunes from Turrentine Jones and Hunting Bears. All great!
  • Marcus Miller has “revisited” Miles Davis first Warners album “Tutu” – two CDs of live stuff wherein the original vignettes are extended to overlong funky jams – also includes music not on Tutu – e.g. Jean Pierre (wherein we get three or four minutes of slap bass before the theme kicks in) – quite impressed with the ambient reworkings of some of the source material – nice loose feel – and Christian Scott does a passable Miles impression, but generally I guess I wish it was one CD shorter and he had got a producer in who knows when less is more. Can’t fault the production which is as sharp as you can get.

You can hear most of these, if not all, on my shows week beginning January 4th and 9th.

Salford Music Scene – 28th June 2011

Mostly about previewing gigs this week……

  1. Silver Sound Explosion – Sidekicks – new single and rather fine it is to…..a trio featuring the ever busy Mr Chris Dutton on the bass guitar
  2. Positronik – Superheavy (Party’s Gunna Soon Be Over) …… another trio arising from the ashes of Pearl Davies and delivering some of funkiest tunes this side of the Irwell….
  3. AAAK – Out Here ….. demo track from the mighty Ding…..excellent
  4. Kranius – My Darkened Soul…. from the Evilution album which you can get from Bandcamp
  5. Whipcord – I Get Ahead In My Head My Headlines I make – alternative rock from the mighty Whipcord. They say “Doobie Brothers in Bad Brains t-shirts, whistling The Hollies on the way to a Pentagram gig, reading The Wire”. That’ll do for me.
  6. John Herring – Don’t Go …. a live track from John as a preview to his special gig at Sacred Trinity Church on Friday July 1st. Where he will be supported by…..
  7. Love Locked Out – All Her Lovers ….. and
  8. Quiet Rebellion – Hitcher In My Soul
  9. Silver Sound Explosion – Telephone Wired – the other side of the new single
  10. The Fall – This Perfect Day – The Marshall Suite Reissue – nice to hear this again, not so sure about the remastering though, seems a bit bass heavy.
  11. Positronik – Give Me Some Passion – Demo
  12. John Herring – City Boy – Live
  13. Kranius – Futures End – Evilution
To listen in click on the link below