Totalitarians Turns

It was raining.

The hard rain that usually fell on the city next to the rainy city.

I pulled my chinos up so the bottoms would not drag in the puddles, and shuffled down the lane to the bus stop.

The 100 bus arrived on time, just – it meandered through the streets of the city, via the Precinct area,  and onto the main road into the other city.

It was diamond jubilee pageant day. Down south they were sailing boats, up here in the north we were playing music.

I got off the 100 at the end of Chapel Street, and strolled past the new developments to Bloom Street and the Kings Arms. It was unseasonably cold for June.

Annoyingly I had missed two of the bands I wanted to see – Zap Zap Zap, and Saturday Morning Cartoons (members of which were eating chips in the vestibule as I approached the pub).

A pint of Unicorn and a chance to see the last couple of tracks by Ben Peel and the Bradford City Wool Band  who got better as the set progressed. Then  the guitar and drum duo of Ruby Tuesday  who like The Calimocho Club and Kill for Company manage to deliver a big sound with just two players. Intense modern blues rock which demands further hearing. Another pint and then a listen to Dear Sherlock  who came over all Muse/Octopus and didn’t appeal so I nipped off for a bag of crisps and  a natter with Mr Jon Coupe who arrived in his usual dapper attire.

Neale James changes the line up of  The Happy Fallen  every time I see them – this time he has Mike Murray (of Easterhouse fame) alongside him and they work their way through some fine psych garage rock. Would really like to see Neale with a full band behind him as I reckon it could be a hell of a thing to witness.

Downstairs for a rum and coke –  and had a chat with Tamsin about the progress of the Mr Heart album – which is nearly ready.

Another line-up change this time for the next band  Stalagmites who are down to a trio with Brad and Alex sharing bass and guitar duties (“it’s easier for us to write the tunes with this line-up” says Brad) – hadn’t seen the band for a while (about a year) so there has been significant change and I confess I did not recognise a lot of the material. Most enjoyable though and I look forward to more from them – Brad is one our better singers and deserves a wider audience and the group certainly create a huge sound. They will be doing some recording at 6dB in the near future.

Downstairs for another rum and coke and a short chat with Doug and Neil from The Ascension and a meet up with Monty, who has arrived fashionably late, and then back upstairs to watch headliners AAAK. This time around it’s a five piece with Howard Jones on drum pads, Neil Rowbotham on guitar, and Tamsin on vocals and hitting things with sticks, joining Ding and Paul. They are launching the new album Totalitarian Tip Toe and are in breathtakingly good form. It translates well to the live setting and the  additional band members bring an added dynamic to the sound. This music is brave, bold and modern – totally in your face and top tappingly good.  Ding remarks that some of us are dad-dancing and wants us to move a bit more – doesn’t he know we are getting on a bit? Selected tracks from the new album, a new tune (whose name I didn’t catch but which was rather fine indeed) and then the return of the excellent “Sharpshooter” to the set list made for an entertaining 30 minutes – I could have done with a lot more frankly as the grooves were exquisite although I did get an Alannah Currie flashback with Tamsin’s moves when she was menacing the drum pad with a stick. If you haven’t caught AAAK live then I suggest you should as they an excellent outfit and deserve a large audience.

Afterwards a quick lager and another rum and coke with Monty and Chris from Factory Star and then home (thanks to Chris for the lift and the sneaky preview of some excellent music) – it had stopped raining by then.

Kudos to Paul Travis for putting on an excellent day of entertainment – sadly there were not a huge number of people there and if you weren’t and you are local then you missed a belter.

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Aural Delights Radio Show – 30th May 2012

On this weeks show (which you can listen to here):

1 The Happy Fallen What Good Is Your Rock?  Demo
2 Zap Zap Zap Brick Windows  Demo
3 Stalagmites Zulu  Single
4 Saturday Morning Cartoons The Ditch  Single
5 Ruby Tuesday Spirit and Soul  Single
6 AAAK Regenerate Totalitarian Tip-Toe
7 Chastity Brown House Been Burning  Back-Road Highways
8 Bruce Bherman Big Sized Untagged EP
9 The Membranes Everything’s Brilliant If you enter the arena….
10 Dope Body Alpha Punk Natural History
11 Charlie Barnes This Boy Blind  Living Room EP
12 E-mute Flying (Turning Point)  Too Proud to say loud
13 Moff Skellington Bring it home to me Thorny Conduits
14 Fossil Collective Let It Go  Single
15 Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band Tropical Hot Dog Night Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)

Notes in respect of….

1 -6 Featuring bands from this Sundays event at the Kings Arms – https://www.facebook.com/events/399012156788771/ – good local talent from Salford and the surrounding boroughs

7 – Excellent roots artist from the States – check her out! She’ll put a spell on you. Sweet as molasses and woodsmoke, clear and burning as summer sun, Chastity Brown casts magic. Her voice brings you to the crossroads with every turn, warms, comforts and challenges you. She is the inheritor of Leadbelly, Nina Simone, Bonnie Raitt and Roberta Flack. She is past, present and future. She is fire, earth, air and water. She’s a natural. http://www.chastitybrownmusic.com

8. Bruce Bherman is a singer-songwriter, fequent Europe-NY-Nashville flyer and a guitarafficionado deluxe. His backcatalogue consists already of 6 CD’s, some vinyl (12’ & 10’) and a load of singles – http://www.brucebherman.com

9. From the recent AAA single…..

10. From the excellent new album ….. http://www.dopebody.info

11. A recent EP of live stuff from the big voice of Charlie Barnes ….my favourite track from his album

12. As featured as last week – E-MUTE is a new band ready to shake the foundations of the rock scene! Some of the top musicians in London, who between them, have collaborated with artists such as Moby, TheDrifters, Scott James (Stereophonics), ChakaKhan, Vanessa Mae, Pip Williams and more, unite to deliver a new fresh sound under the banner of E-MUTE. E-MUTE is also the main singer and songwriter of the band. Great melodies, dark edgy rock, electronica and philosophical lyrics are the recipe of the band.  www.emutemusic.com

13. From the latest album “Thorny Conduits” – http://www.moffskellington.org.uk/

14. Playing Night and Day tomorrow night – Fossil Collective, a two-piece from Leeds, consists of multi instrumentalists David Fendick and Jonny Hooker. Their first recordings saw them taking inspiration from classic albums by Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac and Simon and Garfunkel and suggested comparisons with more contemporary artists such as Fleet Foxes, Midlake and Bon Iver. But in truth their exquisitely structured songs and glorious, rich harmonies owe as much, if not more, to a solid English song tradition, and their material holds that distinct English quality that many North American artists hanker after. http://www.FossilCollective.com

15. And a piece of magic from Don to conclude with….


Music Diary #24 – and Salford Music Scene 24th January 2012

Busy today but a lot of what came in was not up to scratch – the highlights of which were…..

Received a handful of tracks from Berks/Bucks band  Kieland Ridge  who have a good gritty sound – impressive.

Just taken delivery of the new Guile single “I Walk Alone” and very good it is too – of you sign up for their newsletter you can get it for nowt. Twangy guitars, scribbly guitars, plectrum worrying guitars and Cash-like vocalising. Also The King Blues single “Does Anybody Care About Us” made it’s way onto the dansette – not been too keen to listen to these guys because of all the hype but this is quite good.

Liverpool band Tone Puppets have been sent in our direction before – and they have new things to hear which are a good listen.

On this weeks show the emphasis is on a couple of upcoming gigs – the Salford City Radio Music Night at the Kings Arms on Thursday, and the Section 25/AAAK gig at Gullivers on Saturday…..also new band Hellbound Rebels, more from Ruby Tuesday and Long Hat Pins and another track from that new Borland release…… listen here

1 AAAK Any Kind of State Exclusive pre-release
2 Section 25 Colour, Movement, Sex & Violence Colour, Movement, Sex & Violence
3 Kill Pretty Brown Eyes Demo
4 Hellbound Rebels Vulture Demo
5 The Hymek Manoeuvre Find It Yourself Demo
6 Sandells Jewels Session Track
7 Ruby Tuesday Automatic Demo
8 Long Hat Pins Hurricane Compilation Album
9 Borland Polar Bears Romantic Animals
10 Ruby Tuesday Heartbeat of a Heartbreakr Demo
11 Factory Star Cheetham Bill Enter Castle Perilous
12 Factory Star Away Dull Care Enter Castle Perilous
13 The Fall Blood Outta Stone The Dredger

Music Diary #17 – 17th January 2012 – Salford Music Scene

The arrival, in the post, of a new Moff Skellington album cheered me up considerably. It is called “The Pukes of a Hot Cloister” and it is rather marvellous, as we have come to expect with Moff’s work. He advises me that the website will soon be updated to facilitate access to his back catalogue and the new one.

Ronin, the Italian avant garde quartet heavily inspired by Morricone, who blend country, psychedelia, jazz noir and americana  can be heard on their new release “Fenice”. The album’s opening three tracks – “Spade”, Benvenuto” and “Selce” – are a pure mix of country-pyschedelic, almost as if the soundtrack to Jodorowsky’s masterpiece “El Topo” had been played by Ry Cooder.

And so it’s time for Salford Music Scene again……the show is dominated by the new release by those cheeky ailurophiles Breen and Gregg aka Borland who have weaved  their magic to create a stunning new slab of electronic loveliness (reviewed elsewhere on this blog) ……i’m also introducing a couple of hitherto unheard bands Conquer Rio and Ruby Tuesday…..and delighting in the sound of Taser Puppets…..playing a couple of requests (I know it’s the slippery slope to being the hairy cornflake) and another excellent tune from Long Hat Pins.

On the show for today therefore …… and you can hear it here……

1 The Tapestry Rode Your Luck Single
2 Hunting Bears Routine Inebriation Demo
3 Kill Pretty Ace Tone Demo
4 Borland Wildlife Romantic Animals
5 Taser Puppets Wasp Demo
6 Ruby Tuesday Spirit and Soul Demo
7 Conquer Rio Down from Mars Demo
8 Long Hat Pins An Understanding Light Compilation Album
9 Borland Fire, Ice and Dynamite Romantic Animals
10 Taser Puppets James Bond in Drag Demo
11 Conquer Rio Stay A Little While Demo
12 Borland Moondog (Radio Edit) Romantic Animals
13 The Fall The Joke Cerebral Caustic

Music Diary 2nd January 2012

Now then the trouble with starting a diary like this is that the day you do it you get struck down with a virus and don’t really feel like doing much other than lying in bed and watching old episodes of Stargate SG-1 (one of those Guilty Pleasure things that Stephen Doyle likes broadcasting about). However a steaming cup of Lemsip and a deep breath and here we go again…….

  • Pleased as punch to see SCR get included by FMS as the station that does the best work for unsigned bands in its Independent Top Ten of 2011. Thanks Paul.
  • Interested to see Drowned in Sounds top nine Mancunia  of 2011 – i’ve played three of them (Gnod, Air Cav and FTKOSQ) but had not heard of any of the others which demonstrates to some degree the vast amount of music out there – not enough hours in the day.
  • Half way through reading an advance copy of Stephen Dobson’s excellent biography of Ian “Moet” Moss of Hamsters, Sicknurse and Kill Pretty fame. A fascinating read – will be writing a review once I have got rid of these germs.
  • Just trying to finalise the line-up for what we hope will be the first of a series of SCR nights at the Kings Arms featuring local independent artists – thanks to Roland via Paul and Zena for the support in getting this going. Watch this space for details.
  • A little embarrassed by the article on myself by a Mr Coupe (a teacher in Oldham allegedly) on the ‘Zeen webpages. Such things are very nice but do tend to divert one from the job in hand.
  • Another new track in from the excellent “Long Hat Pins” who I will be featuring regularly on the Tuesday night show in this new year of ours.
  • Three new tracks in from Ruby Tuesday – another guitar/drums duo (are bass players a dying breed I ask myself ?- not if Josh Dutton/Lord Sophie  are anything to go by – I quickly respond).  A great dirty blues sound with some serious rock hooks. Expect some airplay in due course.
  • Local band Ninetails can be voted for in one of those MTV new band of 2012 thingies – being technically inept in this etherweb nonsense I am struggling to find out how to vote for them mind you – which I would like to do. Ahah – the lads have responded quickly to my plea to them on Frazzlebuch – vote here and vote often!
  • Richard Youngs album “Amaranthine” is released on vinyl on the 16th January 2012.  You can stream 2 tracks from the LP here and pre-order it here – there are only 500 copies.
  • Rachmaninov got the number one spot in the Classic FM chart of charts – there you go.

Right – that’s enough for today – back to Major Samantha Carter and the other three.