Album Of The Year?

Yes it’s that time again……and with it being a very busy year I thought i’d better prepare the long-list early on…..so in no particular order the candidates for this years “Best Of…..” not jazz albums… I’ll whittle it down to a top ten in due course, and I may well include some other ones I have missed and some things in the pipeline which look like they make the list.

There are a couple of very strong front-runners at the moment and after that it all gets a bit difficult…………

  • The Seven Twenty – The Seven Twenty
  • Niche – Heading East
  • Heroin In Tahiti – Sun and Violence
  • Dilly Dally – Sore
  • The Holy Soul – Fortean Times
  • Mammoth Penguins – Hide and Seek
  • The Lancashire Hustlers – What Made Him Run
  • Moff Skellington – Scribnalls
  • Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Just Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Think
  • Robert Forster – Songs To Play
  • Bouquet of Dead Crows – Of The Night
  • Dave Graney – Once I Loved The Oceans Roar
  • Monkeys In Love – Take The Biscuit
  • Corrections House – Know How To Carry A Wip
  • Esmerine – Lost Voices
  • Dead Sea Apes – Spectral Domain
  • Moff Skellington – The Corkscrew Tongue
  • Liberez – All Tense Now Lax
  • Vienna Ditto – Circle
  • JD Meatyard – Taking The Asylum
  • Ken Mode – Success
  • Dead to Dying World – Litany
  • Myrkur – M
  • The Creeping Ivies – Your New Favourite Garage Band
  • Ought – Sun Coming Down
  • Big Brave – Au De La
  • The Happy Fallen – Lost and Found
  • Cryin’ Queerwolf – Diva
  • Alif – Aynama -Rtama
  • Dave Graney ‘n’ The Coral Snakes – Night of the Wolverine  (Expanded)
  • ZX+ Don’t Drink The Water
  • Author & Punisher -Melk En Honing
  • Dave Graney & the mistLY – Play mistLY for me – live recordings vol 1
  • Flies On You – Etcetera
  • Brothers of the Sonic Cloth – Brothers of the Sonic Cloth
  • The Go-Betweens – G stands for Go-Betweens : Volume One 1978-1984 (yes I know it’s a box set but it’s too good to ignore)
  • Moff Skellington – The Corduroy Bridge
  • The Fall – Sub Lingual Tablet
  • Minimi Deutsch – Minimi Deutsch
  • Anna Von Hauswolff – The Miraculous

Fascinating Things : Issue 21

And still they come, it has been a bumper year for new music, and this week in particular has been replete with fantastic, fascinating things:

Mark Corrin – EP7 0 Earthbound (Bandcamp)

Mark continues his run of EPs with three slices of ambient, glitchy, soundscapes. Lots of things going on here, all of them interesting, continuing the quality of material released to date this year.

Dave Graney – Night of the Wolverine demos​/​Early 90s songwriter demos

Seven songs recorded in 1991 on a 4 track cassette that eventually ended up on the Coral Snakes album, “Night Of The Wolverine”, which was recorded in a weekend late in 1992.  The other songs were recorded around the same time. Dave Graney felt hollowed out after the failure to get the album “I Was The Hunter and I Was The Prey” out. Recorded in London with the original Coral Snakes in 1990. It eventually came out in 1992 on Fire Records in the UK. The idea of gathering another head of steam or bunch of songs as strong as that seemed impossible and Dave thought his future lay in being a songwriter for other artists. The last four of these songs were intended to be sung by a female. “I walked with a Saint” and “I’m gonna live my life” which was eventually covered by Lisa Miller.  “Somewhere in the world” was recorded by Tex Perkins for his debut solo album, “Far be it from me” in 1996. This is a stripped down and laid back Dave exploring other avenues and trying out ideas. Historically important as it demonstrates the eventual way forward as well as a different direction that was never embarked on.  The first seven songs are included in the expanded version of Night of the Wolverine recently released on I-Tunes/Amazon so be careful!

 Northern Uproar – Hey Samurai! (Pledge Music)

Effortless, beautifully recorded, laid back superior pop music, a unique blending of classic indie with Spanish influences. It releases on October 9th.  I must admit I missed out on the first phase of the band so this is all relatively new to me.

Theologian – A Means By Which To Break The Surface Of The Real
(Nothing Under The Sun)

Further extends the immense catalog of  recordings through labels including Crucial Blast, Handmade Birds, Malignant Records, the artist’s own Annihilvs Power Electronix. The latest tortured auditory from the soloist and collaborator, Lee M. Bartow (a.k.a. Theologian Prime), comes in the form of four  sequences, nearly forty-five minutes of new material, the closing track taking up nearly twenty-two minutes on its own. This work was created through Bartow’s collaborative explorations with David Castillo (Primitive Weapons, White Widows Pact) and Daniel Suffering (Whorid), with contributions from Matt Slagle and engineer Kevin D. Reilly, Jr., who has periodically worked with Bartow since the earliest incarnations of Navicon Torture Technologies in the mid-late 1990s. “Tortured screams reach out over the tumbling industrial workings below. Low register whispered meanderings slowly rise to meet those screams. Machines’ rhythmic drones fold in on the voices. Sirens invite and warn. Sink into the synthetic abyss” says the promo. Yep, pretty accurate. Not for the faint-hearted. Out on 28th August.

The Happy Fallen – Lost and Found (Bandcamp)

The Happy Fallen is a solo project by Neale James. He has played in many bands over the years, and played with many well respected Manchester musicians/artists including Craig Gannon (of Aztec Camera/ The Smiths), Ivor Perry (Easterhouse/The Cradle), John Bramwell (The Mouth/ I Am Kloot), Stella Grundy (Intastella), and still working on occasional musical projects with Monica Ward (Happy Mondays/Domino Bones).  This album is a collection of old and new recordings. The older recordings have been remixed, remastered with new vocals and instruments added. I have been featuring much of Neale’s work over the last five years and it is really great to finally get a full album from him. Neale creates of heady brew of garage and psychedelic rock – but he does explain that he thinks all music is psychedelic.Highly recommended.

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/……

Salford Music Scene – 23rd October 2012

Listen here

Tunes played were:

Salford Music Scene – 16th October 2012

Stream the show from here

….and this is what I played

1 The Blimp Art Job
2 Factory Acts Senseless (Radio Edit)
3 Skeleton Suite  Sloth
4 Kit B Capo D Monty
5 The Happy Fallen Ground Zero
6 Uncle Paul Anne Sellors Last Chance
7 Dan Solan Hands On Another
8 Naked (On Drugs) Death Dance
9 Kit B Blood In Blood Out
10 Ste McCabe Did You Really
11 Positronik When The Bitch Knows Your Name
12 Streetswimmers Falling
13 Dan Solan We Didn’t Kill Anyone
14 The Fall Idiot Joy Showland

Aural Delights Radio Show – 4th July 2012

Listen here

1 Kit B Beat Those Drums (On A Saturday Night) Salford City Radio Free Download
2 Dave Graney and the MistLY Midnight Cats You’ve Been In My Mind
3 The June Brides A January Moon Moon/Cloud
4 From Ashes Rise Rejoice The End Single
5 High on Fire Blood from Zion The Art of Self Defense
6 Opposite Sex Listen Opposite Sex
7 Moff Skellington Blue Arthritis Thorny Conduits
8 The Wind-Up Dolls Ready to Burn Death By Misadventure
9 Van Der Graaf Generator Extractus Alt
10 Van Der Graaf Generator Tuesday, The Riff Alt
11 Yes Perpetual Change The Yes Album
12 Ded Rabbit Navajo Ice Cream EP
13 General Fiasco Bad Habits Single
14 The Happy Fallen Fire Baby (Disco Remix) Demo

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.

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….


Salford Music Scene – 17th April 2012

On this weeks show which you can hear at this place

1 Deadbeat Echoes Surge of Youth Single
2 GlassHeads The Error of Your Ways Single
3 Seahawk This Place Is A Dolls House Promo
4 Bourbon Street Beat Save Me Promo
5 The Happy Fallen Planet X Demo
6 GlassHeads Man In the Street Single
7 India Mill Caribesque Single
8 Shauna Mackin Holy Ghost Promo
9 Raised On Replicas OMG Single
10 Bears! BEARS? A Lament for Living Promo
11 GlassHeads Latin Maxim Promo
12 Velocets Push Me In Single
13 GlassHeads Pressure Cooker Single
14 The Fall Choc-Stock Totales Turns
15 Sinister Chuckles Tony Thornboroughs Sock Promo

Notes

1/9. The initial releases on the new “local”  “Louder Than War” record lable both of which are being released on Record Store  Day. There is one by The Membranes but it arrived to late to include in the show. “Deadbeat Echoes are further proof that the North West is still capable of creating fab twisted guitar bands. They combine rabble-rousing lad pop with sharp and angular riffs and that natural psychedelic twist that the greatest NW bands have – that trick of making reality sound strange and twisting the mundane into genius.”   Based in Cheshire, the band (who are all about seventeen) seem to have an endless stockpile of great songs, arriving with punk band nous, yet are thrillingly versed in rock n roll and understand all the fascinating nooks and crannies and are not trapped into a genre. They are more than just lad rock – they are taking the arid and wonderful and translating it back into a language that the mass audience will understand. It’s a great trick and another hallmark of great NW music – the trick of making high art for the people, taking the esoteric and putting it onto the terraces and into the council estates. As the ones with everything right now; from the tunes to the attitude to the innate genius and the work ethic, they’re pegged to be massive.

Raised On Replicas are two boys and two girls from Brighton who deal a discordant pop/noise that is full of the joys of hypnotic loud guitars, driving bass and really fab metronomic, motornik drums that are entwined with sharp melodies and hip, witty cutting lyrics. Somehow they manage to surf the possibilities of noise and tunefulness all at once and soundtrack the bedsit bohemian twilight zone of early 21st century UK. With their innate charm and their wired melodies they are pop, a real pop of the everyday cranked through a fuzzbox and brimming with the joy of guitars and intelligence. They are in love with the likes likes of Pavement, Pixies, Blur, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Sonic Youth and whilst they have some of that American scuzz to their sound there is something very British about them. They look great as well, a mix of Oxfam chic and ballroom glam and are steeped in music culture and their band name, like their music, is really hip, funny and cool.”

2/6/11/13 – a sort of potted history of GlassHeads to date – the first two singles, a promo track, and the latest single – read my interview with them here

3/8/10 – there is a new festival (we have a lot of festivals in Salford these days) from 21st-23rd April more info here. These are three of the bands that are playing – all seem to eminate from the University of Salford which is good as i’ve been trying to get some sort of linkage with bands  from that fine establishment – I tried with the lecturers/course tutors etc and got nowhere so I’m pleased to have an “in” at last – I mean what’s the point of a local community radio station if it doesn’t support local emerging talent….. eh?

4. As featured in previous weeks – excellent local band with a good rock sound.

5. Neale James is back with an excellent piece of psychedelic guitar magic.

7. From Blackburn and rather groovy – check out the video – it’s a hoot

12. The other side of the new single …..

14. A classic from Totales Turns featuring my chum Mike Leigh……

15. A tale of hedonistic onanism emerging from the Chorley area and inspired by the impact of progressive rock on the ears of a certain DJ – filth! I’d ban it ….several times…and then bury it…..

Salford Music Scene – 27th December 2011 – Best of the Year Part 2/Mixcloud Overflow

Concluding a two part run through of the best of 2011. A very difficult show to put together as I had to leave a lot of fine music out of the mix, however due to the magic of  Mixcloud there is a way around that…..

As is usual at this time of year I have chosen my “best of” and these are:

  • My Band of the Year : The Blimp ;  runners up Factory Star
  • My Gig of the Year : The Hamsters final gig at the Crescent ; runners up Factory Star/The Blimp at FAC 251
  • My New Band of the the Year : Kill for Company ; runners up – Kill Pretty
  • My Session of the year : Kill Pretty on SDs Sonic Diary ; runners up – Bikini Test Failure on Aural Delights
  • My Event of the year : The Helmets for Men stage at Sounds from the Other City; runners up – Mayfest at Islington Mill
  • My Song of the year : Danny Short – Check For Response ; runners up – Factory Star – Angel Steps

I will be announcing my Album of the Year on tomorrow nights Aural Delights Show.

All in all a pretty spectacular year music wise and the following 15 songs I think demonstrate the strength and breadth of the local music scene (with an interloper from Margate who gets included because of his unstinting support and all round glamorous nature!)

  • The Suzukis – Are You Happy With Yourself – a stunning debut album from this band from Wigan
  • The Happy Fallen – The Wheel – Neal James continues to deliver great music from the depths of Crumpsall
  • Periscope –  Sleeping With Ghosts – Martin Swinney the most prolific man in Manchester – album soon I hope.
  • Toby Jughead and His Merry Drones – Media City Ditty – swathed in mystery, superglue and ceramic delight – the abiding question of 2011 is who is Toby J?  Limits Maid Found Corsets.
  • Salford Media City – The Life and Death of Peter Sellers – More please next year Mr Jackson.
  • Silver Sound Explosion – Sidekicks – an amazing trio delivering great tunes – featuring the omnipresent C Dutton esquire.
  • Whipcord – Dread Stop Bop – stunning album, great tune.
  • Fall Fan Dave and the Lap Top Dancers – Costa Del Fridge – from the second album – Yelling Boil – a true iconoclast.
  • Toska Wilde – I Am Your Temptation – Margate via Salford for the nail polish guru.
  • Danny Short – Check For Response – from the second of two great albums from the bard of Horwich.  The single most wonderful piece of music I have heard this year.
  • Electric Wood – A Tragic Satire – Kearsley’s finest….
  • Taser Puppets – Dim – the magnificent Puppets with a piece of pop class…
  • Kill Pretty – Babes in the Wood – from the Hamsters they came breathing fire – a phoenix rising – featuring two fifths of Dragnet, 2 Duttons and a Moey…..who could ask for anything more
  • The Blimp – Fake Tan – the best live band in the area at the moment – anchored by a memorable rhythm section and lead by a genuine certified genius, Word- Art!
  • The Fall – Fiery Jack – and to conclude, as I usually do, a bit of magic from the heart of post-punk

This selection of tunes proved to be best of the local material for the year and were broadcast on Salford City Radio.

However there were a number of bands I could not leave out so I put together a mix of my other favourites which was as follows:

  • Trojan Horse – Disciplining The Reserve Army
  • Irk The River – One Year Performance
  • Phil Davies the Ninja Smoke Bombs – Fixed Penalty Points
  • The Vanity Project – Structure of an Atom
  • The Mang Mang Mangs – Is it the Grouse?
  • The Black Lights – In the Dark
  • Emperor Zero – Mental Health Café
  • Kit B – Fear of Flying
  • Girl Peculiar – Destiny
  • Stalagmites – Supply and Demand
  • Death to the Strange – Shades of my mind
  • Positronik – When The Bitch Knows Your Name
  • The Hired Help – Perfect Society
  • Neuron No – Saving the World
  • Mi Amo Simmy – Up With This I Will Not Put
  • Mandrake – Last Orders
  • Well North of Watford – Make Sense of Loneliness
  • Twinkle & Co – Jock Tally
  • Syd Bozko – Come Get Me
  • Urchins – Cabin Fever
  • Wonderland Trip – Bring Back The Sunshine
  • Ha Ha Said The Car – Storm Petal Suzie
  • Open Party – Inertia
  • Warm Widow – Back the Class
  • TG Elias – Southbound Otley Highway
  • The Louche FC – Four Parts Bastard
  • Veladrome – Elvis
  • Early Mojo – Balloon Basket
  • Ghost Outfit – Boy
  • Belle Vue – Platform One
  • Skankadelia – Distinct Lack of Secrecy
This can be streamed from Mixcloud here.