Salford Music Scene – 5th July 2011

Spot the silly mistake again on this show when I describe Still Down Gill  as Sit Down Gill – I’ve have no idea why I did this but I seemed to have got stuck in my head that they were called that – probably cause Kev Morel sits down when he plays his bongos, well that’s my excuse anyway. On this one I concentrate on the new Vinny Peculiar album whic h was released the day before the show was broadcast……anyway here we go again…..

  1. The Black Knights – Midnight in the Mausoleum – Fuck You Very Much : The Death of the The Black Knights – the swan-song from the dynamic duo who are now The Calimocho Club. Available as a free download from Bandcamp. Helmets have the new band lined up for a gig at The Kings Arms in Salford in August.
  2. Toska Wilde – I Am (Your Temptation) – from a forthcoming limited edition album called “Cindy Darling” this features Brucie from The Get. A definitely harder edge and more dance oriented tune from Toska.
  3. The Souls – Caught In A Whisper – not played anything from these lads for a while so I was pleased to get this version of this fab tune.
  4. Vinny Peculiar – A Vision/Art Thief – two tracks back to back from Vinny’s new album “Other People Like Me” which is rather excellent. You can get it from the usual download outlets.
  5. The Happy Fallen – Deadbeat Disco – NJ is back with another great tune.
  6. No Tokyo – Ego Healer – got this in as a demo and was impressed by their mix of funky bass and indie guitar.
  7. Toska Wilde – All Men Want Me – a radio edit according to Toska.
  8. Whipcord – Mista Vista – they are playing a gig at Ruby Lounge in a couple of week with Mr Heart.
  9. Still Down Gill – City Limit Sisters – got this via Tony Thornborough. Two ex Jannocks in this line up with is a good place to start. A modern take on a bluesy 600s/70s sound.
  10. Shanty Town – A Day In The Life of Edward – thanks to Mr Coupe for these tracks, another Facebook friend request sent and not responded to as yet – never mind. A fine band from Salford.
  11. Vinny Peculiar – Christo & John-Claude/Something and Nothing – another couple of tracks from Vinny.
  12. The Fall – Birthday Song – it’s getting to be a bit of a fixture to finish the show with a Fall tune. This is one from the recently released remastered version of the Marshall Suite. The Fall in reflective mood with excellent keyboards from Julia Adamson.
 Click the link below to listen

Salford Music Scene – 5th July 2011 by Bobonscr on Mixcloud

Metamorphosis Time

The Black Knights – Fuck You Very Much x…The Death of the Black Knights

Bandcamp

27th June 2011

Being a fan of The Fall leaves one with a peculiar mind set at times. You tend to think that bands are going to be around for thirty odd years or more and producing new material all the time. However in the real world (as opposed the Wonderful and Frightening one) – the life expectancy of groups is somewhat less lengthy and over the last few months or so I have seen several of my faves go to the wall as they split for any number of reasons. However this is not a bad thing per se as the result of change, or indeed in this case metamorphosis , may well result in something new, fresh and exciting.

In this context the news that The Black Knights would be no more came as a bit of shock until you read the small print where Gary and Tom made it very clear they weren’t actually going anywhere but had decided in a change of name, style, approach or what have you. So today we got a dual announcement –  a new name for the duo The Calimocho Club plus a brand new website full of tantalising new imagery and promises of new sounds….and as a farewell gesture from The Black Knights a free two track release from the chaps via Bandcamp.

So you get a new track “Midnight at the Mausoleum” and one that’s been a freebie on the (ex)-bands website for a while “Creep Show”.

Good to go out on a high as both these tracks attest. On the first a pulsing beat hangs on the edge of the blues as Gary stutters into a squawling riff which morphs into a howling chorus of glorious intensity. Rock steady drumming from TP3 acts as a bedrock to Hope’s both angelic and demonic vocalising. The closing minute of the song slows the beat into the sleaziest piece of blues rock you are ever likely to hear and then builds back up into the pulse as Gary out howls Percy Plant in the old erotic stakes there.

Then the (as previously heard on Salford City Radio) four to the floor majesty of “Creep Show” takes a more leisurely wander around the dark corners of TBK land, moving between joyous riffing and  restrained moody insolence. The Dark Reverend gives out a series of howls at key junctures in the tune which punctuate the structure of the song, he then delivers a short and sumptuous solo before descending into the maelstrom of the end as Tom pounds the drums into submission.

An aposite and suitable closing note for one of the most exciting live acts around and the good news is that they will be back soon.

For the uninitiated a Calimoco is a heady mixture of 50% cola and 50% of the “cheapest and nastiest” red wine you can get. Sounds like fun.

Highly recommended.

Salford Music Scene – 31st May 2011

The south west corner of Salford gets a good airing to tonight with a lot of the tunes emanating from the Irlam and Cadishead area……
  1. Twinkle & Co – Temptation – Mag and Don have had their five recorded songs to date remixed and I thought it would be good to feature them all on the show as they sound rather excellent.
  2. Salford Media City – The Life and Death of Peter Sellers – another play for the rather marvellous psych tune from the denizens of the Islington Estate
  3. Twinkle & Co – Jock Tally
  4. Suzuki\Method – You asked for the moon and you got it – thanks to Tony T for slipping me these two new tunes from the superb Suzuki’s – and they demonstrate that the lads are going from strength to strength.
  5. Twinkle & Co – Meltdown
  6. Solar Race – My Enemy – a blast from the past
  7. Overeasies – Competitive Land – they seem to have lost the “The” from their name – and are being very productive at the moment. Check out their Reverbnation page.
  8. Suzuki\Method –  Be Cruel Be Kind
  9. Twinkle & Co – Fever
  10. The Black Knights – Bad Blood – Sickle Cell Saturday Night – a class track from a class album by a class band. If you haven’t got it yet shame on you!
  11. Twinkle & Co – Back into the light
  12. Belle Vue – Amber – the single from Salford’s Math-Pop specialists.
  13. Aethenor – Vivarium – En Form for Blå  – This is the international project of American (Stephen O’Malley), British (Daniel O’Sullivan, Steve Noble), and  Norway (Kristoffer Rygg) musicians. They play at Islington Mill at the weekend.
  14. Twinkle & Co – Lost in Ordsall
  15. The Fall – Reformation – Single Version – playing at Moho Manchester on June 3rd the group have recently signed to Cherry Red Records
 Click on the link below to listen

Salford Music Scene – Twinkle & Co Special by Bobonscr on Mixcloud

Salford Music Scene – April 12th 2011

  1. The Hired Help – Perfect Society – Direct from the artist – Simon “Ding” Archer has been operating “The Hired Help” for a number of years – Ding started the project back in 2004 with Josh Klinghoffer and since then has collaborated with several other musicians, all of who, have at some point earned money as ‘hired help’. The  tracks on the show, and in this instance, feature Tamsin A. The opener builds on the “classic” TV series “Logan’s Run” but goes somewhere else entirely. Magical stuff.
  2. Trojan Horse – Mr Engels Says – Trojan Horse – from the marvelous debut album which Tony Thornborough has been focusing of late. I was hoping to promo the Japanchester gigs that Nick from the band has been organizing on this show and on the following night’s Aural Delights but a combination of senility and other distractions means this sort of got kicked into touch. I reviewed the album some time back- this is the opening track which is rather fine indeed.
  3. Johann Kloos – Arndale – Direct from the artist – aka Ha Ha Said The Car – Johann plays guitar/keyboards in the excellent Sandells – he sent me a compilation of his work a few weeks back and I was very impressed by his material – he writes cinematic pieces as well as excellent songs – on tonight’s show a couple of his more ambient pieces.
  4. Flying Gypsy – Hailies Song – Direct from the artist – more music from the very talented John Lynam from Ordsall.
  5. Samir Harmim – Midnight – Quixotic – the exemplary balladeer with a great song – check him out on Bandcamp.
  6. The Rat Catchers – The Ballad of Billy Unsworth – Direct from the artist – the song is aimed to be released officially later in the year and be used to raise charitable resources for servicemen and ex-servicemen. More details will follow. A salutory tale of the horrors of war and of the heroism of the working class.
  7. The Hired Help – Feeling Graceless – Direct from the artist – as above.
  8. Well North of Watford – Stand Tall – Direct from the artist – another tune from a singer songwriter from Little Hulton.
  9. Ghost Outfit – I was good when I was young – Pre-release – will be released on Salford’s own Sways lable in due course – watch this duo they are going places!
  10. Johann Kloos – Market Street – Direct from the artist – as above.
  11. The Black Knights – Creep Night – Free Download – the strangely erotic and sartorially elegant masters of sleaze with a new song which is a free download from thier site.
  12. Gnod – A Very Special Request – Bored Fortress (split with Robedoor) – more psychedelic gorgeousness from the wonderful Gnod.

To listen to the show – click on the link below….

keeping it local…..why the Salford Music Scene needed it’s own radio show, again….

The erstwhile raconteur, bon-viveur and all round good egg Mr Jon Coupe relinquished his radio show on Salford City Radio a while ago and we have collectively missed his contribution to the promotion and historical recording of the music scene in the city since then. He has been incredibly busy forging ahead with another career, and whilst he has, in some way, replaced his excellent show with the equally excellent Zeen (or is it zEEN?) with the exception of some sterling work by a number of DJs on the station to broadcast local bands there has not been a show, to my mind at any rate, which solely focused on the music scene in the city.

So what was the solution? Given the scene is pretty damn vibrant, and diverse, at the moment, and has been for a while now, it needed a broadcast outlet.  Attempts to develop some sort of presence for local bands on my Aural Delights show was always going to be difficult given the vast amount of non-Salford material that comes my way, and whilst my colleagues in the Nine O’Clock Alliance on the station have been able to assist, I felt, given the wide range of excellent material and bands in the Salford Music Scene we needed to find a slot for an hour dedicated to Salford bands.

An opportunity arose with one or two changes to the station’s schedule so we’ve neatly slotted a new show into the Alternative Tuesday Nights Schedule after two other  great shows – Roland Gent’s Punk Rock Extravaganza, and rather marvelous “Monty” Show. Both of whom are not averse to featuring local talent – so the programming seemed heaven sent.

The rules for getting an artists or band on the show are fairly straightforward – at least one of the people involved in making the music either lives in, or was born in Salford, or studies there. That gives us a bit of leeway for including a wide range of artists in the show and to delve back into the rich history of the scene in the city. And for those unsigned bands with no Salford connection fear not, as the Aural Delights Show and the Nine O’Clock Alliance, The Legges and a few more DJs on the station will be promoting unsigned bands from all over the place.

So how to start? – well I was still processing quite a few new bands when the opportunity arose and I had to put the show together rather quickly so I thought I would rely on a few favourites from last year to set the scene as it were, but also add a couple of newer tracks to indicate the type and range and music that will feature on the show in the future. On the first show you hear the following……..

  • The Souls
  • John Herring
  • Sandbox
  • Mr Heart
  • Vinny Peculiar
  • AAAK
  • Pearl Divers
  • The Black Knights
  • The Inflictors
  • The Happy Fallen
  • Precogs
  • Skankadelia

There is a real mix of different music in this first selection which effectively demonstrates the richness of the scene in the city, which gets us to the nub of why this show is so vital. We’ve always been a little in the shadow of our noisy neighbour on the other side of the River Irwell which can tend to drown out what we are up to. And there is always some sort of lazyitis in the inky press about describing any band from the Greater Mancunia area as being from “Manchester” which tends to annoy. The one thing about Salfordians is their fierce pride about the city and what it produces in terms of talent – I always recall Tony Wilson introducing Joy Division for the first time and saying “a Manchester band but one if them is from Salford – which is important” (or something like that anyway). So this show in some respect is an antidote to that generalisation of local talent as being from Manchester when in truth it is from Salford. Aside from the geo-political stuff you only have to catch Salford bands live at the moment to see what a great scene it is, so the show reflects that and celebrates our great bands and artists.

To listen to the show click on the link below…..

Aural Delights – 16th February 2011

On this weeks show a preview of Helmets for Men 2011 Episode 1 and lots of new stuff, plus a couple of classics……..

Bâton Rouge – Fragments D’eux Mêmes – a french Emo band made up of most of the members of “Daitro” and one from”12xu”. Slightly less “Screamo” than what “Daitro” deliver and therefore a little more melodic.

Fall Fan Dave & The Lap Top Dancers – Yelling Boil – as yet unreleased promo version of said artefact came my way last week – see a review elsewhere on this blog.

Danny Short – Darkened Corridors of Winter – from a limited edition private only release cassette. Danny is in full experimental mode here, more akin to his DDS work than his more melodic tunes……lots of psychedelic references……

The Happy Fallen – EP  – the first of three tunes from bands playing the “Helmets for Men” gig at Islington Mill on the Friday of the week this show was broadcast. Neil James (aka Tickle) has out together a fine band to deliver his particular band of pysche-garage rock.

Warm Widow – Widower – amazing trio from Manchester who are second up at the Helmets Gig. Their particular amalgam of post-punk tropes evokes a mutant offspring of Thurston Moore, Mark Edward Smith, and, Nick Cave…….

The Black Knights – Sickle Sell Saturday Night – the band that do not need a bass player – so bass players get over it! Voodoo trash from the darkest heart of “margarine town” with more attitude than a crazed werewolf out on a bender with bigfoot. Vampiric intensity and soul they are the third act on at Helmets.

Kayo Dot – Blue Lambency Dot – a real treat for Mancunians is the appearance of New York’s post jazz masters of incomprehensible rhythms and maniacally complex arrangements at Islington Mill the night before the Helmets gig.

Bill Davro – as featured before on the show – another fresh new talent from Warrington that came to me through our unsigned page, as did Salford’s very own….

Skankadelia – infectious ska pop of the highest order……. as did

Andy Hay – great singer songwriter who does all his recording at home….

Corinna Jane – I have been waiting for a while to play the last of three songs this Bristol artist sent my way….a great writer and a fine voice…check her out on I Tunes….

David Bowie – Hunky Dory – a bit a guilty pleasure – a classic bit of riffing from the time when Bowie had a little more chutzpah in his mojo…..I was making venetian blinds in a factory in darkest Northamptonshire when this came out…..

Bare in the Woods – Manchester four piece with a good raw sound……they will be playing in Manchester on Friday 25th of February @ Gullivers, and, Saturday 12th of March @ Manchester Academy. Band members are: David Cross – Vox & Rhythm Guitar, Adam Logan – Lead Guitar, Griff Tilley – Bass, Adam King – Drums.

Blue Orchids – went to see Martin Bramah’s Factory Star a couple of weeks ago and they were marvellous – in anticipation of their new album i’ve delved right back to Martin’s first release with Blue Orchids  when they signed to Rough Trade Records, and in November 1980  released their debut single, a double A side, “The Flood / Disney Boys” the latter of which gets an airing.

and finally

The Christophers – another Manchester band with a new single which has a great psyche sound….highly recommended……

To listen to the show click below

ritual in the dark

Voodoo Trash Blues?
What’s that mean then?
Well it means two guys from Irlam, Salford who make a gloriously wonderful racket.
It’s blues Jim, but not as we know it. Guitar and drums delivering a powerful sound coming somewhere out of the marshy deltas surrounding the Manchester Ship Canal. These two don’t need a bass guitarist – they make a big enough sound between the two of them.
Their debut album after the – just as exciting – captivating Parade of the Piranhas EP – is a mind-blowing blend of riffs and drum beats that captures the attention in the same way that Dracula gets your attention by sinking his fangs into your neck. It’s called “Sickle Sell Saturday Night”.
Having been brought up on the blues in the late ’60s and been fed on any number of albums from the ‘States I can see the source – however this is a modern, refreshing and exciting reformation of the idiom. Gary Hope’s voice is mangled and melted through any number of octave/fuzz type thingies, and his guitar is both a sharp, chittering, rhythm instrument, as well as an earthy bass noise delivering the base riffs.  Thomas Richmond Pickford III delivers percussive bombs that drive the songs with a sort of unrestricted abandon that makes this listener smile.
Comparisons are odious with such a talented pair but musically I recall McPhee, Gallagher and any number of old blues chappies, with imagery derived somewhere from one the Italian gore fest masters (Bava, Argento, or more probably Fulci)  melded with a unique dress sense which makes the duo stand out from the drab mainstream of the music industry. The album cover should give you some sort of clue about the content – at least on a lyrical level.
The album kicks off with the memorable “LA Hayfever” and continues at a merciless pace which leaves this listener breathless – some respite is allowed with the relaxed and reflective “Bad Blood” – and the moody “Schiz” has moments of a darkly dreamscape nature that demonstrate the quality of the song-writing, and the arrangements.
The sleaze levels are raised to the maximum on the pumping “Vampire Rave” which manages to meld almost industrial riffs with an effective vocal performance from The Reverend – and frankly by the end of it you are, of necessity, “surrendering to the rave”.
I wasn’t quite sure why the 59 second “It was a scream” made it onto the album but this precedes the excellent “Generation Aberration”  which is for me the best tune on the album with its sultry riff and tension filled structure. Whoever Gary is having a go at in this song certainly gets a verbal hammering.
The album concludes on a more reflective theme with the elegiac ”Receiver” and couple of live acoustic cuts of the album tracks “Cult” and “Bad Blood”.  These offer a further glimpse of the quality of the song-writing and Gary’s voice and his guitar work.

Another fantastic release from a Salford band in 2010. And I hope Gary’s bullshit detector is not twitching after this review…..

Get it here http://theblackknights.bandcamp.com/ you will not be disappointed

 

aural delights….show one

Broadcast : 1st September 2010

After wearing myself out somewhat with the “high pressure – lots of guests” show “Reformation” I decided to have a break from a radio show that was non-jazz, newer music. However after a lot of comments from friends about the abrupt ending of the old show, I reconsidered and  I asked the station if I could slip into a new later night slot where the emphasis would be more on music with less chat and no session guests – working on the assumption I could put together a show like that with less effort and stress. Fortunately a slot came available at 11pm on Wednesday so a new show called “Aural Delights” emerged. The emphasis, to kick off with, will be catching up on new releases or things I have come across via my nocturnal scouring of the ‘net. Eventually I will want to focus on unsigned bands from the Salford and Greater Manchester area, and this will tie in with a feature Tony Thornborough (Mondays at 9pm) and I will be doing on the station’s website.

So to kick the balance is towards a variety of material from across what might loosely be called the “rock” spectrum. I came across the first band “Meanwhile, Back in Communist Russia” on a progressive rock blog. They are best described as post-rock, they played between 1999-2004 before splitting into several directions. Their album “My Elixir, My Poison” takes the post-rock mores into a different area with Emily Gray’s monologues which make for interesting listening. The track played is “Chinese Lantern”.

Australian band “All India Radio” follow with “Four Three” from the 2006 album “Echo Other” – the music of the group described elsewhere as a mix of Portishead, Boards of Canada, Brian Eno, Massive Attack and Cinematic Orchestra. Frankly those comparisons are a tad weak and the band has a great  fresh feel of its own. I was taken with the arrangement of the songs and the atmospheric quality of the production.

“Johnny Dowd” is a not so guilty pleasure. Not necessarily a big Country and Western fan it’s of interest to me to find an artist who can de-construct the medium and make it a little more edgy and less glossy/glitzy than is the norm. There is a sense of the gothic with a rich undercurrent of black humour in his work as typified by “Rose Tattoo” from “The Pawnbrokers Wife” album. I’ve whittered on about the new “Dave Graney” album on these pages in a separate blog so I won’t over-egg the mix – suffice to say he is one of our greatest songwriters and the arrangements on the album “Supermodified” are stunning especially “All our friends were stars”.

In the same ilk as Johnny Dowd, “Those Poor Bastards” are “gothic” country and western and definately not for the faint hearted – with “My Last Dollar” from the aptly entitled “Songs of Desperation”. Californian band “The Plimsouls” have been around since 1978 and after a split in the mid 80s have re-united sporadically since then. The track “Shaky City” is from this years “Live, Beg, Borrow and Steal!” album which is a recording of a gig in 1981.

A touch of jamming psychedelia up next with “Major Stars” and “No Higher Meaning” from “Distant Effect”  who go at it full tilt in retro rock fashion calling to mind late 60s Cream and Hendrix albums … which reminds me I must track down their new album. After that a bit of a career shift from the “I’m having a gap year” work of “Ryan Adams” with the metal influenced “Disappyramid” from the “Orion” album, which is definate move. away from his most recent work with The Cardinals.

After all that loud rock music a bit of progressive ambient music with Boston-based indie electronic artist “Helios” (who is Keith Kenniff) and the track “The Toy Garden” from the “Eingya” album demonstrates his mastery of the post-rock world. Continuing in a similar vein “Hammock”, who effortlessly mix beats with guitar drones to create a lush sound – the track played is “Kenotic” which is also the title of the 2005 album from which it came; and then “God Is An Astronaut” who make a strong claim to being the best Irish indie export of the 2000s (maybe neck and neck with “And So I Watch You From Afar” , thanks to epic melodic of post-rock and a smidgen of Kraut and Space rock. To conclude the prog section of the show a dip in the archives to one of the earlier “Yes”  albums and “Sweet Dreams” from “Time and A Word” with the signature Hammond Sound from Tony Kaye and the pre-Howe stylings of Peter Banks.

The show concludes with a couple of local bands “Suzuki/Method” with “Purple Aki” from their forthcoming EP on Factory Foundation (the band is appearing on Shell Zenner’s show at 9pm Thursday 2nd September on Salford City Radio) and Irlam’s finest “The Black Knights” from with “Vampire Rave” from the great album “Sickle Sell Saturday Night”.

Listen Again Here

ep, single or demo of the year 2010

The Aural Delights Radio Show for December 8th 2010 included my top 15 artists of the year in respect of singles, ep’s or demo’s that had come my way. It’s unfortunate that I had to leave quite a lot out due to the wealth of good material and I should mention demos from Corinne Crabtree, and  Deadly Brotherhood of the Gun, plus The Black Knights – Parade of the Piranhas, the Kingfishers Catch Fire Demo, and Charlie Barnes brilliant “No Offenkk” EP’s  especially as I would have liked to included music from all of them. I might be able to remedy that omission in one of the future shows – but i’m not giving anything away.

So – who were the top fifteen? – first thing to say is that whilst these are ranked – with the exception of the number one spot which won by a country mile – the other fourteen are all equally as good as one another. Right then, enough waffling from me lets get on with it……

15. Borland – released three great EPs called “The Universe Trilogy” – I picked “Fox” from Supernova Lovers as its one of their shorter tracks and it meant I could get more into the show.

14. Danny Short – Dan has had a busy year and has released two great EPs – the first Collected Times 2 was released on Invisiblegirl, and I selected “Make Me Happy” from that. And given the man’s productivity I thought i’d include a track from his latest EP Celebrate the Day which you can get from Bandcamp, and from that I chose the infections Mr It which I think got its first ever radio play on this show.

13. The Hidden Gem – did two great sessions for me during the year and produced an excellent demo EP at Ding’s 6dB studio in Salford. The chosen track is the excellent “Flick of a Switch” a track is memorable live.

12. Pearl Divers – the Divers have had a busy year and took a sharp change of direction about half-way through with a number of line-up changes. The latest set of demos I got from the band will hopefully form their debut EP – Rebirth – I picked the great new track “You Gotta Do It”. They are currently recruiting a new drummer and it’s be hoped that they will be gigging again soon.

11. The Happen Fallen – until recently this new bands output has been created at home by the brains behind the outfit Neale James. Neale has recruited some other musicians and the group will be playing live on 21st December at Night and Day. I chose the excellent “Three Forty Seven” from the debut demo EP which you can get from Reverbnation/Facebook.

10. The Chanteuse and the Crippled Claw – I’ve waxed lyrical about the new single from Adrian Flanagan’s partnership with Candie Payne elsewhere on this blog. Let’s just say “Are You One” is a great piece of pop and deserves the widest possible listen.

9. The Hide EP from Mr Heart blew me away when I first heard it and my admiration for it has not diminished since – the launch party for the EP is at Gulliver’s  Manchester on 16th December. I picked “Boredom;s Device” as I am rather fond of Tamsin’s octave leap at the end.

8. The Dark Reverend Gary Hope of The Black Knights has a good ear for the type of music I like and he pointed me in the direction of Para Zali a week ago. I’m glad he did. Their second EP The Kindest of Thieves is fabulous. Pure sleazy erotic blues and free from Bandcamp. I picked the title track as I felt it was a good showcase from their talents.

7. AAAK have already done well in these shows and I’ve know doubt they will be featuring again. Ding has been sending me new tracks as they developed and this latest one “Everything’s Real” is a belter with more than a little Jamaican influence making it’s way into their Buildingscape Beats.

6. I’ve been an advocate for Darwen’s Monster Island for a lot of the year. I find them to be amazingly refreshing with a clear mission and mandate to play what the hell they like in the way they want to. Their latest ep The Green Room is simply marvellous and I’ve chosen the lyrically superb “Looking for a Leader”.

5. Facebook travellers will be aware of the very productive Periscope who has been sharing his work in progress with us all year. One of the latest demos “It’s just too high” is one of his best so far.

4. Macclesfield’s  The Ascension are a great band and it was a pleasure to receive their latest EP recently – reviewed elsewhere on this blog. “For the Guilty” is an excellent track. They support Mr Heart at the aforementioned gig.

3. Kin have been magnificent all year and the recent sampler for their debut album is stunning.  ”Reptile” finds the band at their inventive best marrying intelligent electronica with powerful post-punk-jazz sounds.

2. Well Wisher are developing a great reputation – their debut EP was packed with great tunes which appear to be able to match post-rock chops with wacky para-pop madness. The originally titled “How to grow a chin” now appears to be called “Tops Off”

and the EP of the year is…….

1. The Unobtainable by Fall Fan Dave and the Lap Top Dancers. A request by my chum Stephen Doyleto Dave Bromwich to cover a Freshies song resulted in this memorable four track release – you can getit from Bandcamp – which includes the exceptional “I can’t get the C Side so I’m going to the seaside”.

….next week “Gig of the Year”

listen again here….

 

album of the year 2010……

Always a difficult choice, made even more so difficult this year by the veritable cavalcade of excellent albums released in the general locality of where I reside so in order to fit it all into a 60 minute radio show I opted for concentration on the local stuff, with a couple of notable exceptions.  I make no apologies for focusing on Salford and Greater Mancunia artists as I honestly believe there is some excellent music being made around these parts at the moment.

This is the first of five shows over the Christmas period which will select best albums, single/ep/demo, gigs, session and finally band/artist of the year

So what got left out? – well I thought I’d compile a sort of list of the top 50 ones that have either made it onto shows, or have proved pleasurable listening. What’s been somewhat difficult has been a rush of excellent releases towards the latter end of the year and there are still four weeks of 2010 to go so perhaps I should have done this in January – never mind, what’s done is done. So this is the best of rest. The order and the numbering is pretty arbritrary and I’m pretty sure i’ve left out something which I really like but hey-ho it’s just a bit of fun. More importantly I think is the anticipated arrival of the new Amplifier album which sounds very promising indeed.

I have to thank my partners in radio Mr Montgomery, Mr Doyle, Mr Thornborough, Mr Coupe and Ms Zenner for sharing some excellent music with me throughout 2010 and a special “oi up me duck” to the Great Gibbo without whose diligent exploration of new music I would be less knowledgeable than I am.

Disappointments were the new Elvis Costello – which I thought was a little predictible and frankly lazy….and Darker My Love who I think lost the plot somewhat. There were a lot more vying to get on this list but I decided to go for a healthy mix of styles of genres which best reflected my listening. I’ve deliberately left out the more mainstream artists as they get enough column inches already – with the notable inclusion however of some of my particular passions in Mr Springsteen and Ms Newsom.

So in some sort of order here’s my favourites of the year 50 down to 14.

50. Bullets in Madison – We Became Your Family When You Died

49. Conductive Alliance – Water Glyphs

48. Amurekimuri – Amurekimuri

47. Deerhunter – Halycon Digest

46. Eleh – Location Momentum

45. Eluvium – Similes

44. Ty Segall – Melted

43. The Sadies – Cut Corners

42. The Unwinding Hours – The Unwinding Hours

41. The Spacious Mind – The Mind of a Brother

40. Midlake – The Courage of Others

39. Archie Bronson Outfit – Coconut

38. Amiina – Puzzle

37. Invisible Elephant – The Lights Go Out

36. Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me

35. Stars Make Shapes – These Mountains are Safe

34. Robin Hitchcock and the Venus Three – Propeller Time

33. Red Sparowes – The Fear is Excruciating but Therein Lies the Answer

32. Silver Mount Zion – Kollaps Tradioxionales

31. PVT – Church With No Magic

30. Killing Joke – Absolute Dissent

29. Bruce Springsteen – The Promise

28. Fang Island – Fang Island

27. AMM – Sounding Music

26. Martha Tilston – Lucy and the Wolves

25. Salem – King Night

24. Maserati – Pyramid of the Sun

23. Gazpacho – Missa Atropos

22. Hammock – Chasin’ After Shadows…Living With Ghosts

21. God is an Astronaut – Age of the Fifth Sun

20. Forest Swords – Dagger Paths

19. First Aid Kit – The Big Black and the Blue

18. ZX+ – +

17. The Strange Boys – Be Brave

16. Sakert! – Facit

15. 65daysofstatic – We Were Exploding Anyway

14. Chrome Hoof – Chrush Depth

So i’m down to the top 13 (this is the number of tracks that fits best in the show length – no other arcane reason than this…..)

13. Rob Jungklas – Mapping the Wreckage

I was blown away by the dirtier sound that Jungklas has continued to use since his return from a sabbatical away from the industry. This years album was full of down and dirty blues with some exceptional slide playing.

12. Day for Airstrikes – Into the Comet

Manchester’s post-rock heroes have been away for far too long and this release – which was extremely long in its gestation – finally emerged at various points in 2010 in various forms – they are stunning live and this album effectively captures their work in 2010.

11. Charlie Barnes – Geekk

I first saw Charlie at a Kin gig in late 2009 and was mightily impressed with his song-writing talents and great voice. He did a great session for me in 2010 and released his debut album which is packed with excellent songs.

10. Moff Skellington – Sperm Jingle Harvest

For a man who released four albums in 2010 its difficult to pick one out as a highlight so i’ve done it at random. The other three are equally as good. He is a true iconoclast and a really nice chap. He deserves a much wider audience.

9. Fall Fan Dave and the Lap Top Dancers – Mind Carved Canoe

Another unique and compelling artists. Someone whose music I have been listening to for a few years now and with this his first album delivered a fascinating set of tunes – diverse and challenging music.

8. AAAK – The Collection

After a long lay-off Ding and Paul brought back their pulsating E.B.M. Building Scape Beats back with great danceable tunes with a great industrial feel. A fantastic double CD which remakes their old tunes on disc one, and provides a great history of the early work of the band on disc two.

7. Dave Graney and the Lurid Yellow Mist – Supermodified

The high priest of cool remaking some older tunes in a new setting. Excellent and memorable song-writing and performing of the highest quality.

6. The Blue Orchids – Slum Cavern Jest

The re-release of the last Blue Orchids album which contains some memorable performances from Martin Bramah – in the absence of studio recordings from Factory Star this is an ample substitute. Martin’s reading of Fred Neil’s “Green Rocky Road” is a particular favourite.

5. The Jannocks – The Jannocks

An exceptional debut from a great band somewhat spoiled by their dissolution in the Autumn when singer Tom Warden emigrated to the Antipodes. Some amazing guitar work and a treatise on the use of feedback in rock!

4. Spencer Cloud and The Range Brothers – Spencer Cloud and The Range Brothers

Another great debut from a band which prides itself on great song-writing and strong vocal performances. Mostly recorded in a garage in Marple and a front room in Romiley this is a class album.

3. The Black Knights – Sickle Sell Saturday Night

A blistering first album from the Irlam duo – voodoo trash blues of the highest order with enough chutzpah to blow a hole in anyone’s ozone layer.

2. The Fall – Your Future Our Clutter

Another great album from the Bard of Prestwich who seems to be turning into a heavy metal fan – a wonderful collection of Fall riffs and repetition.

1. The Inflictors – The Inflictors

A stunning collection of fantastic songs from a band that are so tight they make the bottoms of aquatic fowls look like a wide expanse. One of the best debut albums i’ve ever heard. Stunning song-writing, three great guitarists and fantastic rhythm section. The most read review on this blog and album that demands your attention!