Fascinating Things : Issue 12

So I majored on American artist Sterling Witt back in in August 2013 on Aural Delights 40 and his previous stuff is readily accessible at Bandcamp. He has just announced a pledge campaign for his new 13 track album, “Satyagraha”, which was recently recorded with Steve Albini. He has made the first single from it available. Loads more information can be found on Sterling’s website.

Cavemouth are a primal lo-fi funk four-piece who sound as though they live on the wilds of Exmoor on a strict diet of roadkill, making music to keep the neighbours away and lure the foxes in. Their gritty original sound blends blues, funk and hip-hop with African-influenced tunes and mind-altering lyrics. Fronted by Sketchy Lex on filthy guitar and vocals, Wreckless Richie on drums, Ms. Mo on funked-up bass and vocals and Mr. Duncan ‘The Hook’ Hook on Saxophone, the band have known each other for years. Growing up in rural Devon, they had to make their own entertainment by putting on their own raves and free parties, a past that has certainly helped to shape their sound. Inspired by everything around them from politics and religion to nature, Cave Mouth are influenced by Prince, ESG, Busta Rhymes, Leadbelly, Jack White, Queens of the Stone-age and Jethro Tull.

Yet another track from the forthcoming  Chelsea Wolfe album has emerged. I’ve got  a copy of the album now, and rather fine it is too. A more detailed appraisal will emerge shortly, Pending that have a listen to the haunting “Grey Days”.

Listening to the excellent Dave Hammond Smelly Flowerpot show on Cambridge 105 recently I was reminded of the excellent Violet Woods. They recently sent through a video of “The Dancer” from the excellent debut album. Excellent psyche  with a glorious keyboard sound. Rather groovy video as well. The album is highly recommended also – grab it on Bandcamp. Previously featured on Aural Delights 106.

Just caught up on this one again which I feel needs shouting about. Algeciras, Spain-based experimental space rock collective, Atavismo,  released their “Desintegración” debut Via Temple Of Torturous in June. Featuring within their ranks former members of Viaje a 800 and Mind!, their compositions are sprawling and consuming; echoing and hypnotic recalling the cosmic, jam-laden plumage of bands like Earthless, Motorpsycho, Wand and Dead Meadow.  Initially released on CD last year on Not On Label Records,  Desintegración was given the vinyl treatment via Temple Of Torturous on June 16, 2015 and comes in a gorgeous gatefold packaging limited to 300 copies. Previously featured on Sonic Attack 108.

Fell To Low was formed in 2009 in the sleepy town of Ojai, California, slowly honing their sound, creating angular ‘90s indie rock that takes cues from bands like Unwound, June Of 44 and Slint. Following the release of two successful 10” EPs and two 7” releases, “Low In The Dust” is the band’s debut full-length, and is a perfectly crafted record: every guitar note, every drum hit, every vocal howl has been painstakingly thought out and performed. Side A features four tracks that are at times heavy and technical, bringing to mind the more raucous moments of Drive Like Jehu with Side B featuring two tracks clocking in at over fourteen minutes each with a minimalist repetition made familiar by bands like Shellac. The record was mastered by Bob Weston of Shellac at Chicago Mastering to give it the perfect balance of cleanliness and grit, and is a testament to a band not willing to sacrifice quality over quantity in their output. Check out their previous releases on Bandcamp. The band is featured on Sonic Attack 114 this week.

Fell To Low live

The recent album from Luis Drayton “Inner Life” builds on the success of the excellent “Look Inside” release. Moving on from the more “punk” oriented nature of his previous work Luis has developed a driven electropop-sound (albeit with some punk elements), which when coupled with his voluble wordplay creates a heady mix.  The core Drayton menace is still in full effect but this time is contained within a rich electronic soundscape. Think Merrill Beth Nisker in faux fur, shades and a German Helmet and you are getting close.   Grab it from I-Tunes here.

Luis plays Settle Victoria Hall on August 1st , complete with lights, smoke machines and burlesque dancers he advises me- details below.

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The Time of the Wolf

The first day of February.

The venue – the recently theatre style outfitted concert room of the Kings Arms, Salford. Which makes for an interesting arrangement for watching rockin’ (teen) combos.

The Cryin' Queerwolf
The Cryin’ Queerwolf

The occasion the second visit by the multi-faceted performer currently known as Cryin’ Queerwolf to Salford. This time a more relaxed, organised and altogether cohesive arrangement than the previous visit,  which resulted in some, shall we say, interesting events and reactions from locals. Those of you who regulary listen to either The Be Reet Radio Show, The Monty Show SD’s Sonic Diary on Salford City Radio – or indeed my podcasts – will be aware of an affiliation of artists around a loosely gathered thrust of what one might call alternative or independent (not indie) music. The bill of fayre for the evening reflects that collective with a well constructed evening of music set before us.

The gangs all here –  Tony and Steve are on the door, Moff and Mrs Moff have come over from Leeds, Matt and Susan from Factory Acts, the pair formerly known as Tingle in the Netherlands,  the still drummer-less Ascension, Joey Mutant, Shaun Maxwell,   Johann Kloos, Ding, Jeff Black, SD and many more. Due to necessary organisational arrangements within the Kill Pretty Empire I am somewhat busy and only have chance for quick hellos to some and no chance to speak to others. I’m also taking snaps tonight so I try to position myself in the most advantageous spot.

The Cryin’ Queerwolf starts the proceedings with the first of three numbers for the evening – elegantly attired with a set of heels that probably need planning permission, the ‘Wolf warms up the audience with Brechtian bravura and bonhomie.

Bruce and Gary of The Get
Bruce and Gary of The Get

First up are Southend on Sea  four piece The Get whose effortless charm, via ever smiling front man Bruce Gordon, wins over the audience. We get “Feral Beryl”, “You’ve Made Your Bed” and “Hit” as well as a number of their other inventive and memorable songs. Gordon, as I have said elsewhere, has a passing vocal resemblance to Jello Biafra and their brand of proto pop punk is passionately delivered. At one point in the set the Queerwolf and the shy and retiring Luis Drayton join the band for a performance of “You’ve Got To Wear A Dress”.  All in all a great set and well received.

In between the sets DJ Monty bring back his “New Order Disco” and pumps out some classic dance floor hits before grabbing his bass and joining Kit B on the main stage,

After a breathless performance of the Queerwolf classic “More Camp Than Kirk” from the ‘Wolf incarnate,  Kit B take the stage and deliver a fantastic set. The highlight for some audience members is the inclusion of the Hidden Gem classic “Loudest Silence In The World”. This is my third time of seeing the band and they improve each time and I remain convinced that Tony Ashworth is one of the best drummers I have seen in recent years. The band needs to do more gigs and get some exposure because they deserve some attention. Danny Cusick’s song craft continues to amaze and now he has a band that can deliver the material live.

Danny and Mike of Kit B
Danny and Mike of Kit B

The Queerwolf returns with his “wife” Tamsin for a delightfully camp delivery of the rascally “She’s My Beard” with some serious dance steps and twerking being delivered by both participants. Tamsin then peforms a short but memorable solo set. There’s a couple of songs I don’t recognise, but an emotional reading of “The Hide” and her use of live looping to create a virtual choir of Tamsin’s is very effective.

Tamsin
Tamsin

Topping bill are Kill Pretty. For this appearance the band have decided to shake things up a bit and Josh plays guitar and Chris bass – a reversal of roles. The fascinating and somewhat impressive thing is that not only does this  work as an experiment but it creates a whole new dynamic for the performance. We get a lot of the new album – “Super Soaraway Sun”, “Wild At Heart”, “Swastika Girls” and the first performance of “Burnley” as well as the staples of “13 Moons” and “Rob A Bank”. The band generates a ferocious energy and creates a memorable live experience. Discussions within the band at the moment reveal a desire to keep the performances fresh and challenging and they certainly managed that on this occasion.

Chris Dutton on bass for this show
Chris Dutton on bass for this show

So all in all an excellent evenings entertainment – congratulations to Fast Lane Steve for all the organisation behind the scenes. Let’s do it again soon!

Once I Had A Secret Love……….

Luis Drayton/Toska Wilde

Glamoflage

Bandcamp

20th August 2012

It crossed my mind that this little artefact – which has had some considerable airplay on both the radio and the pod has not, as yet, been accessible in this nice little package (embedded below) as of yet. Plus the recent release of a remix version adds grist to the mill as it were……

What is interesting and new to me is the  bits and pieces that have emerged in between some of the tracks with Luis opining on a range of matters…..almost  a “Central Scrutiniser” role for you Zappa-philes out there.

Notable of course for guest appearances from Messrs Moss and Get and Ms Middleton and of course the universally loved remix of IAKK by AAAK……

This is as camp as a slender jar of chicory essence but marvellous fun and in the title track a bit of a modern electronic classic I would venture.

tw and tm
Beard and Wilde plus fan

And there is also of course the  rather fascinating remix album ….

The Last Aural Delights – 31st October 2012

To finish after three years and six months on the steam radio our Reverbnation Artist of the Week for this week and last week  and a selection of my favourite artists.

Notable by their absence are Moff Skellington, Danny Short and Fall Fan Dave & The Lap Top Dancers who will in all likelyhood be the subject of a special podcast  in the not too distant future.

Listen to the show here…..

  • The Happy Fallen – Ultrawave – a new track from the ever productive Mr Neale James
  • Easter – Damp Patch – a track from one of the albums of the year “Innocence Man”
  • The Gin Circle – Sinderella Story – our reverbnation artist of the week , a trio from Leicester
  • Factory Star – Incorruptible – one of the best bands around at the moment from the “New Sacral” release
  • AAAK – Regenerate – another one of the best bands around at the moment – stunning at Salford Music Festival – from “Totalitarian Tip Toe” and featuring another particular favourite – Kin.
  • Neuron No – Limonchik – from the “Little Lemon EP” – a band who never fail to amaze me with their musical abilities….
  • Taser Puppets – Wasp – yet another one of the best bands around at the moment – great songs and a great attitude……
  • We Could Be Astronauts – Loose Lips – were our Reverbnation Artist of the Week last week but I neglected to play them – and being a man of my word I am rectifying that omission.
  • The Gin Circle – Lost To Be Found – as above
  • Da Mutts – Albion Summer – an abiding love for this band and their song-crafting skills…..
  • Kit B – Hulmenoid – Danny Cusick is one of our best song writers and here is another example of his abilities
  • Positronik – Don’t Come Crying – this should be in the charts not that tedious N-Dubz crap
  • Toska Wilde and Luis Drayton – Glamoflage – so should this…..
  • Kill Pretty – The Year of 13 Moons – best tune of the year for me, so I thought I would go out on a high

Thanks for listening – Aural Delights will be back in podcast form in about two weeks on – http://www.mixcloud.com/BobonSCR/……

Bedtime for Bongo…or the mystery of the vanishing melodica….

I don’t usually go out on a Sunday – I usually prepare radio shows and listen to a lot of the new music material that comes in…..but this particularly Sunday the musical treats on offer were just too tempting to ignore….plus it was Shaun Maxwell’s birthday party (he of the Taser Puppets and Sinister Chuckles) so it would have been churlish, nay impolite, to turn down the invite.

I have commented previously on Mr Christopher Dutton’s navigational skills and I am pleased to report that this time around they were just as fascinating as they have been in the past – more of that later.

A pleasant Sunday afternoon/evening drive up the M61 to the people’s republic of Chorley and the delightful “Railway” pub. As we arrive we spot Dusty Moonan indulging in a swift ciggie and MJ Leigh unloading his gear. Into the pub and a quick hello to Mike, Shaun, Dusty and Luis Drayton who is up from the deepest south for the weekend.

Sound checks, melodica practising and then SD, Moet and entourage arrive, having been busy watching United beat Newcastle at the Salford Arms, and finding a train to get them to Chorley.

A few pints of “Boondocker” some technical jiggery-pokery and then it’s time for a short set from the aforementioned Mr Moonan. Dusty’s self-effacing approach is charming – he is actually a lot better than he pretends to be and delivers a handful of songs including a lovely rendition of “This Ain’t London” from the new album, and finishes with a Half Man Half Biscuit cover.

By this time it is safe to say that our host has exceeded the legal limit for alcohol intake and is having jolly old time of it. The Sinister Chuckles perform a set of manic punk classics and Luis joins in on a couple of tunes. Stand outs are “Wiggy Brown” and “Mono Brow” and the impressive “Picture of Dorian Gray”. Interesting to see Shaun without a guitar taking the centre stage role with a degree of aplomb, and some great moves. They are fun, fast and rather special.

Luis is up next and delivers a scatological tirade against humanity,life and more or less everything else in his eye-line – with some degree of venom – more or less every anglo-saxon epithet I am aware of plus one or two others that are new to me make an appearance. Luis is a force of nature but I would honestly prefer to see him with a full band, rather than backing tapes, as the evidence from his two numbers with the Chuckles is that there is something quite memorable about his style and delivery.

Hot Pot Supper is dispensed and then up next the always dependable and rather marvellous Kill Pretty – I am invited to play melodica on the opening “Dark Heart” but cannot hear what I am doing so I shake a few percussion type thingies – it lasts a good ten minutes and feels pretty damn good from where I am standing between the two Duttons. Back out into the audience, and we get the usual raft of memorable KP tunes including “Rob A Bank”, “Breakdown Man” and “13 Moons” which has Dusty beaming in admiration. There is a brand new tune – which I didn’t catch the title of – which sounds very promising indeed. SD and myself provide backing vocals on “I’m A Cunt”, the crowd demands an encore, and everyone is very happy with the performance.

By this time our erstwhile host has vanished into the night…..time for bed , it’s been a long day!

More ales are quaffed as Cactus Knife set-up. I had heard a couple of tracks from the band – courtesy of Shaun – which I found to be very impressive indeed – so I was looking forward to seeing them. I was not disappointed – the excellent twin vocal line-up of Bobby and Rachel sets the band apart from the general spiky indie morass of the current north west scene – they deliver quality music floating mysteriously between psyche pop/surf music and a general late 60s/early 70s San Francisco feel plus a fair smattering of post-punk energy and delivery. What is impressive is the tightness of the band and the arrangements, and it’s clear a great deal of thought has gone into the song-writing. Definitely a band to catch live if you are in a search for something new and exciting.

And it’s all over – a few more beers and a lively debate follows on the state of the music scene around Mancunia and then we notice the melodica has disappeared – fortunately after 24 hours of extensive investigation it turns out Moet has taken it home with him. It lives to play another day. Hoorah! The car is loaded up and we are off…..

And so it’s back onto the motorway network in the general direction of Salford but due to the aforementioned navigational problems – mostly down to me nodding off and missing the turn we end up heading toward Leeds for some reason – however a few quick alterations to direction and we are homeward bound again. We drop SD off and then for some reason Chris forgets you can’t go west from Swinton on the M60 so we head east and take a quick detour around Prestwich before heading back to the general Eccles direction.

A marvellous evening’s entertainment, a great pub with great beer, and a rather tasty hot pot….and great company.

Let’s do it again sometime!

Salford Music Scene – 28th August 2012

On this show I start a four week series of previews of the forthcoming Salford Music Festival…….i’ve also got the new Mr Heart album to play as well! Listen here….

1 Dirty Money Start All Over Demo
2 Mr Heart Amber The Unspeakable Mr Heart
3 Veladrome Boys 33 Demo
4 Dislocation Dance I Stop Breathing The Ruins of Manchester
5 The Distractions 100 times The End of the Pier
6 The June Brides Cloud Single
7 Factory Star Olympian New Sacral
8 West Coast Sick Line Blank Holiday Demo
9 Whipcord Dread Stop Bop Whipcord
10 Veladrome Die Neue Demo
11 Mr Heart Devolution The Unspeakable Mr Heart
12 Toska Wilde and Luis Drayton feat Moet Lullabye Glamoflage
13 Moral Panic Rubiks Demo
14 The Fall Life Just Bounces White Lightning EP

Aural Delights Radio Show – 22nd August 2012

On this show…. listen here…..just for clarity the Andy T album is called Life At Tethers End……not as announced on the show…..

1 Phil Davis and the Ninja Smoke Bombs All Mixed Up Single
2 Toska Wilde and Luis Drayton Glamoflage Glamoflage
3 Led Er Est Divided Parallel The Diver
4 Bacchanal Party Champagne Lifestyle, Buckfast Wages Single
5 The Stagger Rats Fuzzy Fuzzy EP
6 Factory Acts Fantasy Fantasy
7 Six Organs of Admittance One Thousand Birds Ascent
8 Nuclear Death Terror Crisis Chaos Reigns
9 Moff Skellington Goodbye Changeless Town of Attics Eddodi
10 Dead Sea Apes Dead Fingers Talk Astral House
11 Andy T Wooden Curtains Life at Tethers End
12 Factory Acts Stock Exchange Fantasy
13 The Go-Betweens Twin Layers of Lightning Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express