Cowboys, Brollies and Krautpunk

There has been a lot of commentary about Manchester Music resting on its laurels recently. Supposedly bathing in some sort of fuzzy nostalgia as ongoing  bands from the late 70s and early 8os continue to plough a well known furrow, or their contemporaries reappear looking somewhat weathered due to inevitable catabasis but deliver more or less what they were doing 40 years ago. Or perhaps it is that new and emerging bands don’t quite cut it or tend to sound like what has gone before.  Maybe it’s a symptom of the predilection for tribute bands and promoters who know they can turn a fast buck with the latest iteration of musicians who have turned to copying rather than creating. However do not despair dear reader as beneath the veneer of that supposed nostalgia fest or perceived lack of forward momentum is a vibrant scene which demands but rarely gets a larger audience.  Two parts Salford and one part Manchester  (The) Sandells offer hope in a city that perhaps needs a kick up its musical fundament. Their album is called “Forwards!” and never was an album more aptly named.

Turn the clock back some seven years and venture into studio 2 at Salford City Radio on a Saturday afternoon and you will see a station manager pulling his hair out because I have crammed a live band into a very small room to record a radio session. The Sandells viz Johann Kloos (guitar) Tim Lyons (bass, vocals) and Brian Benson (heavily muffled drums) deliver a set of songs – with Dave Thom on guest keyboards. I was on a steep learning curve at the time and I thought I could record a four piece band with three microphones – foolish I know.  I just about managed to capture something and spent three or four days trying to craft something for broadcast that the band were happy with it. That band were and are (The) Sandells and at long last they have released an album which properly captures what I was attempting to record.

The music business is a fickle thing – Sandells recorded the album  a while back but matters conspired to delay the release until now. In that time Lyons has pursued the return of The Things with some success, Kloos has continued his remarkable solo career with a veritable deluge of albums and Benson has pursued his artistic endeavours. It was inevitable though at some point that the three of them would get back together to deliver this album, the quality of the music was obvious back in 2010 and has not lost any of its attraction in that extended period of delay. It needed to be heard.

The musical pedigree of the three protagonists is such that something new was going to emerge once they combined and began exploring what they could achieve. The result is described by the band as “Kraut-Punk” which to some degree reflects the content but also tends to underplay what is a remarkable distillation of various genres. Bensons’ polyrhythmic approach is at the heart of the successful delivery of remarkable music. Anchoring the pulse is Lyons enormous bass sound which serves as the punk end of the mix. His vocal dexterity is known of course from The Things and latterly the wonderful Harvey’s Rabbit and with The Sandells he reaches a new level of quality, especially lyrically,  taking a unique set of ideas into the rock idiom. Kloos is of course a master guitarist and great tune-smith and freed of the responsibilities of being the sole front man his delivery and execution are parless.

Two of the tunes from that aforementioned session make it onto the album – the hypnotic “No Way Out”,  and the exceptional “Cowboys Don’t Have Brollies” a title derived from an off hand remark from producer Joe Meek. Missing is the rather marvellous “Girl from Iphigenia” and perhaps the final track of the session “Glissando” finds itself somewhere in between closing tracks “Reach” and “NAC”.

At at time when so called “psychedelic” music is nothing more than watered down AOR copies of things that came out of Haight-Ashbury in the mid 60s how good it is to hear a band that deliver the essence of what that music should be about. Driven, intense and complex it sets an agenda for those who would wish to properly evoke the spirit of  what that music should be but adds that mid 70s punk drive which sets it apart and brings the unique element that hopeful audiophiles wait in anticipation for. I hesitate to bring Space-Rock into the conversation but there are elements of that beast of a genre in here as well but with a relative degree of restraint which means it does not descend into the pomposity that corner of the music world is want to engage in. Both more than all of that all of those elements and more have combined to create a fresh and exciting sound.

An album I have waited a long time for – well worth the wait and more than highly recommended.

The Sandells will be performing ‘Forwards!’ live at Gullivers, Oldham Street, Manchester on Saturday 29th July 2017 with support from Factory Acts and Shaking Chains. Doors open 7.30pm. Entry £5. I shall be there.


Top Ten Albums of 2017, so far

Seems like everyone else is doing half year lists so I may as well have a go… helps to remind me when I’m totting these things up at the end of the year as well….there’s no one in the list from our record label as it’s taken as read that they are top notch anyway and it would be a tad self indulgent to include them so I’ll deal with them at the end of the year…anyhow as for the rest here they are  in no particular order


Strictly speaking this came out in 2016 but it’s only made its way over here recently from Buenos Aires. A sublime mixture of rock in a shoegaze kitchen. Scuzzy guitars, howling and gurgling synths and bubbling drums however add a space rock vibe. It’s relentless and fun filled and I would imagine quite exciting live.


Delicious and lush music which hovers between country, blues, and rock. Snarski’s velvet voice is delightful,  the words observational and compelling. A band at their peak, delivering quality material.


A much anticipated  third album . They have a unique sound and they remain steadfast in their delivery of their music.  We were kept happy with an EP compilation last year but its been a long while since National Service. They are big in France but no so much in their own back yard which is bleedin’ typical of the scene in general around hereabouts. Dan Brookes vocals and words are as usual unique and outstanding and the band create mesmerising post-punk vistas.


This emerged as a series of singles over twelve months so it’s a bit hard to regard it as an album from 2017, but it is. A playful collection, a mixed bag of styles, with DG and CM exploring new angles and options. Dave’s observations on the music world and the wider world at large are always apposite and often give pause for thought.  They can do no wrong.


Seems odd that a band this talented only manages an album release once every seven years. Anything with Davey Henderson’s name associated with if is guaranteed to be good and this is no exception.  A rich sound which matches Henderson’s unique vocal delivery with superior guitar music.


Extremely difficult to keep up with these chaps who appear to be as prolific as Acid Mothers Temple with three albums so far this year, this being the first, and two more planned. The motorik repetition of Rattlesnake sets the tone and demonstrates a band that seem to be totally attuned and in sync. The important thing is that they continue to develop and explore.


Long delayed debut from the recently reformed trio. Self described as Kraut-Punk the sound is refreshingly unique driven by Brian Benson polyrhymic drums. Some of Tim Lyons best work lyrically and with the signature sound of Dr Johann Kloos’s hypnotic guitar this beats the so called psychedelic bands out there back into their Haight-Ashbury contrived miasma. Forwards is the correct title, it explores new territories and does not dwell in the past.


OK i’m pushing my luck here as it’s really an EP but it’s so damn good I’m including it. Susan and Charlie exceed at writing and delivering exceptional tunes with a literary angle. It blew me away when Charlie sent it my way and it still provides intense listening pleasure never losing its power to please.


He seems to be constantly busy with the Transmitters these days so It’s a wonder he has managed to find the time to record and release this album. A mix of powerful pop punkery interspersed with more languid pastoral pieces. Another Boltonian who deserves wider exposure of his considerable talent. Some fantastic tunes in this collection.


Impressive stuff. In which I learned the difference between Psych and Psyche. Vignettes of American life merging an abstracted country sound nestling in a mesh of guitars and vocal washes – the best music defies genre conventions and this does that very well.




All the sad drops are falling down….

It was with some unabated glee that I received a post on Facebook of some mixes of the forthcoming Sandells album – an album which has no title as yet as I understand it…

Having “recorded” the band some time back in a cramped studio in the radio station I was, and am, very aware of their capabilities. Tim Lyons has been around the Manchester scene long enough to absorb all of the best elements of music and distill them into something special, and his vocal qualities, bass playing and trumpet skills are well known. Johann Kloos is the current renaissance man of the Salford Music Scene, producing as nearly many albums as that basto Passage of Time and offering a sometimes quirky, often eclectic, and always high quality set of tunes, melodies and lyrics (see below). Add to mix the exceptional drumming of Brian Benson, a man whose dancing skills are legendary, and you have the perfect trio.

Some of these songs are known from that session, some were released in live form on the “Alien Intelligence” album which is still available – here. However it is always been a given that a studio recording of this music was an essential desire for any discerning audiophile.

The continuity clause on this review is that these are not the finished articles that I am listening to…..Johann has been remixing the tracks and still needs to get Tim and Brian’s final say so on what is released. Having spent some time trying to get approval to the radio session recordings I am aware of their attention to getting the final product “right” however I would say that this latest batch of mixes is pretty good indeed. Johann has captured the live feel of the band whilst also managing to add some layers of studio fun. There is an open, almost panoramic, feel to the sound.

It is unashamedly psychedelic in parts, viciously kraut-punk ish mostly, and generally all rather marvellous. I continue to wait with some anticipation for the final product – pending that you can listen to the mixes yourself….

And talking of Mr Kloos and his productivity I do feel bound to share with you the details of his excellent work this year…..

In an attempt to recuperate my aching back I had all of these on a loop on the nano for a very slow amble around the highways and by-ways of Greater Eccles today and I have to say I was very impressed by Johann’s continued inventiveness, eye for detail and slightly whimsical view of the world. I would highly recommend all of the above – but if you want a place to start try “Teeth” which is packed to the gills with excellent tunes.

So here’s hoping 2014 is the year when Sandells album gets released, that they start gigging again, and perhaps, dare I suggest that Mr Kloos gets a band together to showcase his talents?


The Ups and Downs and Ups of a Rock and Roll Band…….

The perversity and downright awkwardness of the rock and roll biz, together with the occasional glorious wonder that emerges from it, has been perfectly embodied, reflected and demonstrated in three gigs featuring Kill Pretty over the last fortnight. This trio of musical events perhaps sums up the year for me in respect of “Aural Endeavours” and places to see artists perform in the Greater Manchester area, and in this instance just beyond in the Lancashire Hills..

What is clear is that the appetite for live music in local pubs and clubs appears to have rapidly deteriorated as 2012 has unfolded. I don’t suppose the weather has helped and the combination of bone chilling temperatures, and more rain than is absolutely necessary to make the flowers grow, must deter people from venturing out into the night. However it is profoundly disappointing to see only a few hardy souls at these gigs.

Tim Lyons of Sandells

Friday 7th December saw (The) Sandells and Kill Pretty at the Crescent public house on the Crescent (naturally) in Salford. It’s a damp night but the “gangs all here” including several noteable faces from the post-punk scene of the late 70s , and a lot more faces from the current Manchester music scen(e). It’s gratifying that some people do make the effort to come out of Manchester City Centre on a Friday night to see two bands that have, in one way or another, dominated my listening through the year.  Another band – Belter from London – have broken down on the way up the M6 so consequently the two remaining acts get to do longer  sets.

The concert room at the Crescent is relatively full as Sandells invite us into their unique and hypnotic world of Kraut-punk…..the band are in fine form moving effortlessly between “songs” and collective improvisation. The extra time for the set allows the band to stretch out and explore new areas. Kloos, Lyons and Benson seem to have developed a telepathic understanding their aural soundscapes are refreshing and new, but also reverential/referential to the music that has influenced them. It was all a bit Ornette Coleman meets Damo Suzuki round at Michael Rother’s place for a jam and a good time.

This is my 11th Kill Pretty gig this year and tonight they are wonderfully anarchic and a little bit heavy. New song “Back Passage Boys” seems to borrow a riff from Tony Iommi and is full of the usual Moss baleful intent. The band has consistently moved the set list around over those eleven gigs and there has been significant development in the last 12 months from the power punk pop of the Shangri-La gig to this more overtly assertive approach. The whole thing revolves around Josh’s lead bass and MJ Leigh’s drumming with Dutton Senior creating waves of Sonic Youth like guitar noise as the palette on which Moet paints his word pictures. The collective view from the band was that it was bit loose this time around but generally good fun as an enthusiastic crowd join in with some serious moshing around. The down sides are broken guitar strings and broken bass strings that litter the set. Josh ends up using Tim Lyons bass after snapping one of his own strings.

20121208 ML1
This man looks nothing like Arthur Lowe

Onto the following night at the Blue Cat Cafe in Stockport – a place I have always reckoned as a great venue for live music, but has gone down seriously in my estimation since this event.  A double shift with MJ Leigh playing a set with Kill Pretty and then The Blimp. Well that’s the theory. Unfortunately Kill Pretty  are struggling with the monitors and the owner thinks Chris’s guitar is too loud. Chris explains he is on notch one on his volume and that turning down means turning it off – the owner still thinks it is too loud and the band decide that they cannot continue. A great pity because the sparse crowd that were there seem to enjoy what is played. Messrs Moss and Dutton decamp into the night obviously at odds with the “man” whilst Mr Leigh stays behind to play with his other band. The only observation I would make was that two songs from Kill Pretty is significantly more satisfying than whole sets from a lot of other bands I get to see. Why it was felt that Chris’ guitar was too loud when The Blimp were at a similar volume is a complete mystery to me. It may be that a band with the power and intensity of Kill Pretty was just too much for a small venue of this nature. Anyway it may be closing soon so the point is moot.

The Blimp are just as good as when I saw them a couple of weeks back, better in fact. The “General” is still snapping guitar strings at an alarming rate and goes through two in the one set this time around…..we get the rare appearance of “50 CC No Silencer” which Mike has never played before. and a brand new song, which again Mike has not played. “Wonga” makes an appearance as the staple tune when the guitar is being restrung, and it’s good to hear “Art Job”, “Snowglobe”, and “Rifleman”. The band move from power punk mania, through psych/kraut to Zappaesque almost jazzy workouts. This lightens the mood somewhat after the earlier shenanigans.

Move on seven days and up the M61 and across the M65 to Blackburn for an Anti-Fascist Awareness event at the Sir Charles Napier. A fine establishment with a great concert room on the first floor which has a couple of very interesting murals featuring scantily clad fantasy maidens and a Conan type figure flexing his muscles and magical powers. Four bands this time around with Kill Pretty headlining. First up are Corned Beef who hail from Clitheroe and describe themselves as punk/ska/hardcore – I enjoyed the majority of their set which had a lot of variety and was impressed with some of the less obvious material they played – some very interesting chord sequences were in play. I guess the only observation is that the variety of genres of music they play is a tad confusing – but I did like the slower more measured stuff a lot. I shall be checking out their album on Bandcamp on the back of this performance.

The mural at the Sir Charles Napier
The mural at the Sir Charles Napier

Next up are The Sanity Clause who deliver old style punk of The Clash ilk with some venom, great hooks and an honest attitude. They hail from various parts of the M65 corridor. I caught them at the Salford Music Festival in October and they improve on a second listening. They are very tight and they get some of the audience dancing.

Third on the bill are Addictive Philosphy  who are from Derby and comprise the interesting line up of trumpet, twin guitars, bass and drums. My immediate reaction to the band was this was a ska version of Fucked Up – they describe themselves as “slow rocksteady into ska and punk finishing with thrash” which is pretty aposite. The variety in the music is pretty compelling and the use of trumpet in this setting is remarkably fresh, and more importantly, it works. They will require further investigation I feel.

Finally it’s Kill Pretty. 

Of the three gigs mentioned in this review this is by far their best performance. It’s the best sound the band have had over the three performances and I think that allows them to deliver a more polished and , dare I say it, professional set. Highlights are the second ever appearance of the excellent “Devil Resides” and the increasingly potent “Super Soaraway Sun”. Having seen the band 13 times now I have to say this is their best performance to date with all of the various elements falling into place to create a barrage of sound which is unmistakably unique, extremely varied and immensely satisfying. About half way through the set I started to get the buzz I got when I saw The Fall at the Band on the Wall in May 1982 – this is a band you can invest your time and energy into. I like bands that make me think and this group both energise me and stimulate me mentally. A truly fantastic performance and this is the last gig I shall be attending in 2012 a rather wonderful way to finish the year.

20121208 JD1

Music Diary #27 – 27th January 2012 – Old is the New Young the live experience

The arbiters of taste, style and hip would have you know that reforming Madchester Acts, or the latest thing to seep slowly from south of the Mancunian Way, into the rabid musical fleshpots of Manchester are the things to be lending your ear to at the moment.  There are any number of blogs aiming to ram this, that and the other down your lug-holes. I suppose I am as much to blame with my monomania on specific genres or “family trees” in the wacky world of rock and roll.

On Friday Night I heard Paul Morley enter into a conversation with himself, on that Late Night Review thing that Kirsty Wark does, about the validity or otherwise of BBC Introducing, and be remarkably clear on the dilemma of bands wanting to “make it” in the biz. Paul, like me, has been around a few years so he is seasoned in the experiences of watching musicians try to make progress in an increasingly unfriendly world.

You may wish to absorb all of this fresh new talent but I suggest you balance that out by taking in some of the newer bands emerging from the, shall we say, more experienced end of the business.

Tim Lyons of Sandells (Katie Waring)

Last Thursday night I caught three bands at the Kings Arms who have collectively (with one exception) been around the business in this conurbation for long enough to be dubbed “elder statesmen” (although they will probably give me a good telling off for using that form of words). I had put this particular bill together in an attempt to get some experienced localism together for the first of the Salford City Radio Music Nights at the pub. There are, as there always are, linkages between the three bands in terms of past history, and there was sufficient old and new material between the members of the three bands to fill my colleague Stephen Doyle’s Sonic Diary show for an hour on the preceding evening. I use the word “caught” specifically here as for most the three sets I was outside the concert room on the door collecting money and stamping hands and generally chatting with punters who had come to see the gig. However the set-up of the Kings means whilst you don’t get the visual spectacle you can indeed catch the aural element of the performances in all its glory.

Sandells (Katie Waring)

First up were Sandells who delivered 40 minutes of intense, loud and insistent music. From the mutant space rock of “Alien Intelligence” through the Can-like rhythms of “No Way Out” the band delivered a powerful set. They covered Neil Young, they did some improvising and generally they blew the roof of the place with Benson’s polyrhythmics, Lyons’s gargantuan bass, and Kloos’s pyschedelic guitar mastery.  The first time I had caught a full set from them and well worth the wait.

Factory Star (Katie Waring)

Next up a stripped down Factory Star. Since the last time I saw them Tom Lewis has left (having migrated down south) to be replaced by Joe McKechnie who some readers will remember from The Passage (the Fall alumni family tree gets even more complicated as a result) and Pete Wylie’s band. Hop Man Jr has also hopped off having secured a solo gig nearby at Islington Mill for the evening. So we get a faster, more spiky and altogether less restrained iteration of Bramah’s band where the guitar comes very much to the fore. It’s at this point you realise how damn good a guitarist the man is with much the rhythm and lead work being combined into one excellent whole. After three rehearsals only this band managed to pull off a tour de force with Chris Dutton holding the centre with a bravura bass performance. Much of Enter Castle Perilous was delivered with vigour and passion.

photography by J Coupe

And to close the utterly mesmerising Kill Pretty. Starting with the aforementioned Mr Doyle introducing the band by tearing a toy animal to pieces and then the band rumbling through a selection of their tasty tunes including “Brown Eyes”, “Emperors New Clothes”, “Stress” and the new and very wonderful “Year of the 13 Moons”. The drums are from the master of rockabilly Michael John Leigh, the bass is from a 15 year old whose skill and dexterity belie his years, his dad plays a mean guitar and the living legend that is Ian “Moet” Moss is the ringmaster, master of ceremonies and chief agitator over a group of musicians who, if you read the rock text books, should not be doing this together. Screw the text books say I, you don’t learn craft, toil, art and song delivery like this in a lecture hall on a BA(Hons) course in music performance. You learn this through experiencing life and all its’ ups and downs, by sweating in front of small crowds in small backrooms of pubs and by absorbing years of experience. Ian Moss’s masterstroke here is combining the youthful exuberance and technical excellence of Josh Dutton with the experience of dad Chris and Mike Leigh.

And is has to be said that the three lyricists for the evening, Lyons, Bramah and Moss could give a masterclass to any aspiring song-writer about how to put words to music.

An amazing evening – even if I did have to listen to most of it through a door.

Kill Pretty (Katie Waring)


Music Diary #25 – 25th January 2012 – Aural Delights Radio Show

To commence a Happy Birthday to Farley my ex-pat chum who resides in Christchurch, New Zealand and provides me with regular scoop fulls of interesting music from the other side of the planet.

Now then – yesterday proved to be very busy with a ton of new stuff coming in – so I will point out:

Stolen Mushrooms – who are from Luton and sound a little like the RHCPs but have their own style and stance, there’s also a slight smattering of Marr guitaring mixed in with a crisp afro-beat feel and the interplay is reminiscent of early Yes to some degree. If you are confused by that confusing description I suggest you give them a gander via Facebook and reach your own conclusions.

The Ascension – Macclesfields’ finest rocking beat combo are still looking for a drummer but have put together a new five track EP  “Blood Upon The Rose” which will be out shortly. Recorded in Salford and then mixed/produced by Mr Archer at 6dB studios I am advised. Doug (bass, vocals, keys) has sent me a couple of tracks over and they are rather marvellous.

– Kit B  – who don’t appear to have a Facebook page yet – have been joined by my chum Mr John Montague on the bass guitar – they are looking for a drummer as well (bit of a trend here) – and the fruits of their early collaboration have emerged with a new tune “Rock-Ola Rocket”. Both Mr Leigh and Mr Montague (ex of the very excellent Pearl Divers) are getting very close to the “three band” magnificence of Mr Dutton – one wonders if Mr Dutton will form another combo in order to maintain a reasonable gap?

– Joy Division – the 10CD/7 vinyl/download compilation “Plus Minus” appears to be excellent value for money as long as you don’t opt for the vinyl option. In terms of rescuing the planet from environmental meltdown I don’t quite see the logic of producing all the plastic and paper but I suppose it’s art. Whether you have all these already and want to splash out your cash is a moot point which I guess reflects the pricing structure. In any event the re-mastering does refresh the sound somewhat and it’s good to have all the stuff in one place on the hard drive I guess.

– Lambchop’s new album – out in three weeks – is dedicated to Vic Chesnutt. It’s called “Mr M” – i’ve always been a fan of Kurt Wagners pained lyricism and this album is packed with it – whether it is just a little bit too lacking in grit I suppose is the key issue. It’s late night music, relaxed, reflective and to some degree a little too laid back for me.

– In a similar vein – The Hello Strangers – play a laid back and utterly melodic form of bluesy Americana. The promo is pretty good on this one – “Texas country-folk, and roots rock, all tied together with lilting harmonies that only sisters can accomplish. Timeless imagery and fables accompany each song, from tales of a boggy creek bottom where a murdered man sleeps, to a Texas roadhouse with bawdy dancers and clinking beer bottles, to more poignant reflections on the loss of winter and a man gone wrong.” I was particularly struck by “Conococheague”  with it’s eerie guitar intro and insistent folky sound. I got six tracks from their “Introducing Max Schmidt” release from a couple of years back. Very impressed.

And on this evenings Aural Delights Radio show you will find the following dear listener:

The Nectarine No: 9 Holes of Corpus Christie D’un Echantillon De Marchandises EP
The Sexual Objects Here Come The Rubber Cops Cucumber
Kill Pretty Stress Demo
Hero and Leander Collider Collider EP
Ronin Benevento Fenice
The Umbilical Chords Evil Idle EP
Future Pilots Assange Future Pilots EP
Vic Godard End of the Surrey People D’un Echantillon De Marchandises EP
Kill Pretty Joey Stefano Demo
Factory Star When Sleep Won’t Come Enter Castle Perilous
50 Foot Wave Rushing With Love From The Men’s Room
The Sexual Objects Outta Place Again Cucumber
Moff Skellington Dashboard Photo Pukes of  A Hot Cloister
Kill Pretty Babes in the Wood Demo
Sandells Girl from Iphegenia Reformation Session (TFAB Remix)

You can listen to the show here

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 #4 – 4th January 2012

Busy Busy Busy

Anyway lets kick off with a bit of math/prog from Gravesend

Interesting …… that was one of the many e-mails I got in today. I will be playing that on the show next week. The hyperbolic promo wordage says

“After The Ordeal (better known by fans as ‘vanguard UK four-piece of prog-rock awesomness’) is fired up to announce the launch of hotly anticipated single “We Divide” – track 8 off the band’s yet-unnamed new album due for release in 2012. Recorded with Dan Lancaster of Studio Glasseye (We Are The Ocean, Lower Than Atlantis, Don Broco), “We Divide” is the first of several singles set to drop before the Big Album Launch.

To coincide with the release of the single is a conceptual video that reflects the band’s penchant for the innovative and passion for the experimental.  Filmed with Blackpapersky and starring hot model Mel Clarke from FRONT magazine, the video is a visual metaphor for the dismembering confusion that is so often invoked by lack of communication – in life, in love and in everything else. The video for “We Divide” encompasses the story driving ATO’s forthcoming album.

So, other than making smashing music and rocking up a storm, what has ATO been up to in the last while?

The band has been riding a wave of momentum following 2009’s ‘Red Bull Bedroom Jam’ streamed live at Download. ATO went on to play live on the ‘Red Bull Bedroom Jam’ stage at Sonisphere 2010 and at the Camden Crawl in the same year. The guys have opened for the Cancer Bats and supported Madina Lake, Mayday Parade and We Are The Ocean. 2011 has seen the five-piece become a four-piece which, along with a manic gigging and recording schedule, has incited a cutting-edge spark of alternative genius that is set to grow the band’s already massive following.

ATO encourages liberal thinking and embraces deeper meaning, all of which translates charismatically in recording as well as on stage.

Of ATO’s first single, Ian Camfield from the XFM Rock Show said: “Not very often you hear a debut single which is that strong. How good does that sound?” “The first time I’ve heard any of their music, and it’s very, very strong.” “A band I’m sure you’ll be hearing a lot more from in 2010.”

…“We Divide” betters this!”

Indeedy…..anyway what else have I had in……?

Conquer Rio from Warrington contacted me – also sent a couple of tracks from their debut recording – we will be squeezing them into the Salford Music Scene Show (which is rapidly turning into the Greater Manchester Music Scene Show but there you go …….) – some great potential here from this band.

Spent a lot of the day finalising the line-up for the first Salford City Radio Music Night at the Kings Arms on 26th January – we will be featuring bands which have had a lot of exposure on our evening shows in the last year – Factory Star, Sandells and Kill Pretty – and they are all sort of linked with one another in one way or another in that the bass player is in two of the bands, his son is in one of them, one of the drummers played with one of the guitarist in another band in 1979, the bass player has recently played in a band with the keyboard player from another of the bands (in another band completely), the drummer of the latters band used to be in that other band but has left….etc etc Pete Frame would have a nightmare!!! Anyway it’s only a fiver to get in and there will be Salford City Radio DJs there as well playing music and standing around looking cool. More details to follow…….

…….and that’s your lot for today (given it is now tomorrow)

Salford Music Scene – 20th December 2011 – Best of the Year Part One

Part One of two weeks worth of what I consider to be some of the best music to come out of Salford and Greater Manchester in the last year. So many good bands and singers had to be left out to fit everything in. Also new bands get an airing, a new track from Kin, and an exclusive radio mix of a track from the forthcoming AAAK with a special guest on vocals! But we start with some festive cheer from The Fall from 1978……

  • The Fall – No Xmas for John Key – from the first Peel Session, a seasonal ditty from the gruppe…..
  • Pacific – See What I See – from Northwich – out now on I-Tunes
  • Younger Dryes – All The Questions – from Stockport – more of these in the new year
  • Kin – Nervous Grins – new demos from the rather talented chanteuse
  • AAAK – Into Stranger Times – an exclusive track from Ding and Paul for me for Crimb0 – features Kin and Howard from the Kin Band….
  • Glassheads – Double Hard Bastard – from Wigan
  • The Loaded Dice – Maniac – From Manchester via Wales – great album this year
  • The Calimocho Club– Baby’s  Got A Switchblade – from Whoa Whoa Hey Hey
  • Rawcuss – John Travolta – one of the many singles this year
  • Doctrines – Anglophobia – another great release this year
  • Suzuki Method – Be Cruel Be Kind – the future is Suzuki Shaped
  • Zap Zap Zap– Brick Windows – great tune
  • Bare in the Woods – Bare Faced Liar – another one of those great tunes
  • Sandells – Alien Intelligence – the psychedelic warlords

To listen to the show click this link

Salford city Radio Music Scene Show – 25th October 2011

On this show

  • Irk the River – Vallette – Sways lable trio with a fine turn of tune – I went to see the Adolphe Valette exhibition at The Lowry last week which prompted me to dig this one out from earlier in the year…..
  • The Louche FC – Hands – new single, free download – very nice!
  • Sandells – Alien Intelligence – new recording from the Salford Music Festival – best capture of the band so far – guitarist Johann Kloos has a solo gig at the Crescent this Friday…….
  • White Noise Box – Selective Hearing – from Stockport – just had a name change and show great promise with this rather impressive tune….
  • Our Day Remains – Lights Go Out – new single released last Friday, Bolton based band….
  • Positronik – When the Bitch Knows Your Dub – Captain Black delivers a great reworking of the new single in a rub-a-dub stylee…….tune-age as the bass player is known to say
  • AAAK – Get in the real world – EP out in December on Electric Tremor – exclusive track from the latest recording sessions – which features “special guests” ….. looking forward to finding out who they might be……
  • Stop the Blackout – Headlights – debut single out in November….from Manchester
  • The Rainband featuring Rowetta – The Prodigal – new single out in November…..been around for a couple of years and have a lot of good words being said about them…..
  • The God Damn Electric – Something More – catch them live at Dry Bar on December 5th……
  • White Noise Box – Black Cider – another track showing the versatility of this band…..
  • Shoshin – Ridiculous – another great track from the “City of Patience” album – one of my albums of the year
  • Ash Mountain – Tequila – from the new album Flux and Limbo – Fall nerds will note that Mr Dave Milner appears on this album, and the main songwriter in the band is Tim Scott who used to be in Trigger Happy.
  • The Fall – Fantastic Life – one the great Fall singles , took this one from the Hip Priest and Kamerads compilation
to listen click the link