Salford Music Scene – 31st July 2012

This weeks outing concentrates on two events happening in Manchester and Salford over the forthcoming weekend.

Music Under The Tree Festival is a 2 day/evening Charity Event Founded By The Outreach Project (A local Manchester Band) in May 2012.

The First Ever Music Under The Tree Festival takes place on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th August.

The Outreach Project,  wanted to use their music to get involved in a charity called ‘School Under The Tree’ based in Awasa, Ethiopia. (Registered Charity Number: 1146128) – more details here.

So after a brainstorm, the lads decided to hold a 2 day/evening festival in Manchester City Centre, and went in search of a venue.  All proceeds from ticket sales and any other fundraising would go to School Under The Tree.

The Outreach Project came across a suitable venue  TV21, in the Northern Quarter on Thomas Street in Central Manchester , so they organised a meeting with the owner of the venue Adrienne Bennet and got the go ahead to put on the Festival.

The band told their school (St. Bede’s College) about the festival and ideas they had, and the headmaster of the School donated resources  for the hire of the pa system.

On this show and on tomorrow nights Aural Delights Show I will be playing music from some of the bands involved……

On Sunday at the Kings Arms we have Salford Salutes Don Macintyre.  Don who sadly died of cancer recently was well known in the Salford and Manchester area as being a first class musician, and what better way to celebrate his life than an afternoon of live music at The Kings Arms, Bloom Street, Salford on Sunday 5th August.

Organiser Tony Flynn says “Since Don passed away it seemed only natural to hold an afternoon of music in his honour and raise money for charity.  I’m glad to say that many, many musicians have asked to play at this gig. Acts include solo artiste, Tony Ridings, a familiar face at Salford Salutes Dylan events, Ian Bent, the singing bricklayer,  John “Boob Boom” McFadden, all the way from Moston, The Big Chickens aka Scott and John, from Salford and Warrington, The Midnight Sun, straight outta Moston, The Threat, knocking ’em dead in Salford, The Inflictors, one of Salford’s finest blues bands, Rockin’ Train! and one band that I am longing to see the multi talented, multi lingual, Bexley Square Blues Band!”

All this for a measly £5!   From 2pm to 7pm.

On the show you will therefore hear………(and you can listen in through this link)

1 Kill Pretty Hammer Blows Pre-release
2 Eve Mair The Dolphin Song Demo
3 Joe Keegan Tales of an Old Town Demo
4 Will Holehouse Use Somebody Demo
5 The Ordinary Jealousy Demo
6 Albino Gorilla Hindsight Demo
7 Purge Song for George Demo
8 The Outreach Project Go My Own Way Demo
9 Moral Panic Lights and Sounds Demo
10 Periscope Dandelion Clocks Single
11 Joe Thomas An Angel and A King Demo
12 Twinkle and Co Temptation Demo
13 The Inflictors Higher and Superior The Inflictors
14 The Fall How I Wrote Elastic Man Single

Music Diary and Salford Music Scene Radio Show – 3rd January 2012

Diary Day 3 and the first radio show of 2012.

Nothing much to report in terms of new music other than I spotted a various artists compilation called “The Great Australian Song Book” which perversely excludes The Go-Betweens, Dave Graney and The Triffids amongst others. Also got the new single in from The Silver Seas who appear to be able to write good, albeit derivative pop tunes (they used to be The Bees and had a lot of success last year which passed me by to some extent).

Also details of the new John Herring album and first gig of 2012 have emerged via the interweb viz (note the usual geographical attempt to annexe Salford into the place next door, it’s bad enough with the boundary commission doing daft stuff, we don’t need copywriters doing it as well)….

Singer-Songwriter John Herring is set to release the follow up album to, ‘Tales From a Northern City’ called ‘It Starts Again’ in 2012.

John has returned to Blueprint Studios (home of Elbow) to record the new material and is again working with engineer and co-producer, Gary Vaughan-Hadfield .

The new single, ‘It Starts Again’ is an interesting mix of soulful and driving song according to Herring. ‘It shows off my style of songwriting, and the talented line-up I am working with. Unlike the last album I now have a steady band of excellent musicians, so there is a real cohesiveness to the album.’

In addition to the four piece the album again sees Herring scoring strings, trumpets and choirs, and indeed a live choir features briefly on the new single – recorded at their last gig at Sacred Trinity Church in Salford. John’s first gig in his hometown (err no he is from Salford)  in 2012 at The Deaf Institute will be a gig to remember – with support from the excellent Phil Davies and the ninjasmokebombs.

No changes to the format of this show for 2012 – I’ll be featuring new, independent and unsigned music from Salford, Greater Manchester and the North-West, and featuring a track from the mighty Fall to conclude…..

So to kick off:

  • Handsome Shaun & The Swingers  – Break Out The Dansette – otherwise Shaun Maxwell of Taser Puppets with a little thing he knocked together at home. Caught the Puppet
  • Always Awake – Sparks – from the EP of the same name – which was released digitally on December12th – I will leave the words to my colleague Rebecca Marshall who says ““Always Awake are a perfect example of the fresh sounding talent Manchester has to offer today. A talented band and bunch of young singer songwriters with a really amazing sound which proves talent is not always found on a TV show.”
  • Kit B – Death of Clown – another tune from the remarkable work of Mr Danny Cusick. Still aiming to put a band together.
  • Kin – Awkward House – another of the new ones from the remarkable Kin.
  • Long Hat Pins – The Sound of Summer  In The Rain – another one from Tim, who will be a regular feature of the show in the next few weeks.
  • The Inflictors – Spits Fire – not seen this lot in a while, we keep missing each other, I aim to remedy that in 2012. Further evidence they still have their Mojo’s intact.
  • Younger Dryes – Implore – Stockport based band I have been featuring of late.
  • English Mutts – Ramdom Axe of Violence – woof! Ran into Stan from the band at the Crescent before Christmas
  • 7 Day Weekend – Seasons Like These – The PR says “All aged 18 or below, 7 Day Weekend are a pop punk/ alternative band from Warrington England. With catchy guitar riffs, and strong emotionally driven lyrics. Theyʼve drawn comparisons to You Me At Six and Young Guns (can’t say I have heard of either of those).
  • Kin – Make Way For The )Sad) Emperor  – another marvellous track from a real talent
  • Stupid Little Cars – Chico – before Taser Puppets Shaun Maxwell ran this rocking beat combo.
  • Younger Dryes – And We’re Still Here – another track from this great band
  • The Fall – Guest Informant – a marvelous example of riff-tastic magic from The Frenz Experiment – an album produced when the group were at the height of their chart success.

Anyway you can listen to it here….

Salford Music Scene – 21st June 2011 – Inflictors Special

The second, in what might become an ongoing series of detailed profiles of Salford bands – this time we are focusing on The Inflictors. As this lot tend to get a lot of respect from myself on this blog and elsewhere  they probably need no introduction but if you have not heard them yet this show encompasses a good deal of what they have done to date in four separate situations i.e. selections from their debut album, a rehearsal jam, a solo acoustic session lead singer Cameron O’Hagan did for the Tony Thornborough show (Monday nights at 9pm on Salford City Radio), and a live recording from Islington Mill in May 2011.

The band deal in raw, emotional and highly charged garage rock with a serious nods towards the blues, punk, country, and folk. They write excellent songs and Cameron’s lyrics are full of imagery including everything from eroticism, guilt, polemic, through to redemption bundled up in a bundle of  urban noire.. As a live band you will not see or hear many better at the moment – they play heads down no nonsense tunes with great technique and a great deal of passion. If you hanker for the days when rock got your mojo rising and made the hairs on the back of your head stand up then I strongly recommend you check them out.

The Band consist of :

Cameron O'Hagan - Vocals, Guitar, Harp
Simon Jones - Guitar, Vocals
Jim Watts - Guitar
Brian Fanning - Bass
Joe Salmon - Drums

The music played on the show is as follows:

  • One of Understanding (Album Track)
  • The Psalms (Cameron solo acoustic from the Tony Thornborough show)
  • Crooked and Bent (Live from Islington Mill)
  • Swing that Pick (Album Track)
  • Mojo Rising (Rehearsal Jam – Neale James is on bass on this track)
  • Dusty Demons (Cameron solo acoustic from the Tony Thornborough show)
  • The Whip (Album Track)
  • Clap Your Hands (Live from Islington Mill)
  • Been Down (Album Track)
  • Way Down in the City (Live from Islington Mill)
  • Hits You (Album Track)
  • The Fool (Live from Islington Mill)
  • Clap Your Hands (Album Track)
  • Dusty Demons (Live from Islington Mill)
  • Way Down in the City (Album Track)
  • Higher and Superior (Album Track)
To listen to the show click on the link below….

Salford Music Scene 26th April – Sounds from the Other City – Helmets for Men Stage Preview

I am joined on this show by my good friend, fellow DJ and promoter Mr Tony Thornborough who chats about the acts appearing at the stage he has put together for the excellent Sounds from the Other City Festival  on Sunday May 1st. In between music from Salford bands The Wonderland Trip, Twinkle and Co and Trojan Horse and a track from Day for Airstrikes the latter two of which  are also playing at the festival…….

  1. The Wonderland Trip – Bring Back The Sunshine – from the band
  2. The Inflictors – Higher and Superior – The Inflictors
  3. Death to the Strange – Shades of my mind – from the band
  4. Day for Airstrikes – Epilog the Traitor – Widows
  5. The Suns – Brooke Street Billy – EP
  6. Urchins – Lupine – from the band
  7. Sandbox – A million Marlborough Lights – single
  8. The Blimp – Mystic Sulkstress/Further Action – Curse Curse Bang Bang
  9. Twinkle & Co – Lost in Ordsall – from the band
  10. Factory Star – Black Comic Book – Enter Castle Perilous
  11. Trojan Horse – Ballad of the Swell Mob –  Trojan Horse
 To listen to the show click on the link below

Salford Music Scene – 29th March 2011

  1. The Inflictors – Mojo Rising – Unreleased Demo Track – the blues infused garage rock of The Inflictors is best appreciated in a live setting and you can see them at Sounds from the other City – Helmets for Men Stage on May 1st – at the Crescent – and Mayfest at Islington Mill on May 21st. Cameron O’Hagan has some new tunes up his sleeve and the band have a great sound. This track is from a jam session recorded last year and proves the often forgotten fact that you can do some rather remarkable things using one chord – Facebook
  2. Sandbox – Thin Ice – the Jon Coupe Archive – also playing at the Crescent are three-quarters of Sandbox who are currently finalising their album whilst drummer Andy Gilmore is in the Far East. They write great songs as exemplified by the four tracks provided to the show via their biggest fan the sartorially eloquent Mr Salford Music – Jon Coupe – Facebook
  3. Flying Gypsy – Bank Jobs in Baghdad – Unreleased Demo Track – essentially the work of Ordsall based Josh Ingham – his melodic approach to electronica, together with intelligent use of sounds and palettes makes for an intriguing and thought provoking listening experience. Check out his work on My Space
  4. The Souls – Stalactites – Unreleased Demo Track – the brightest thing to come out of Salford in a while with a great line in songs and a fantastic new sound – subject to finding a bass player will be playing Mayfest on May 21st – Facebook
  5. Sandbox – A Million Marlborough Lights – the Jon Coupe Archive
  6. The Overeasies – It’s Me – Unreleased Demo Track – Salford based trio who are playing at SCRs Auction Night on April 8th  – Facebook
  7. Sandbox – All of this used to be fields – the Jon Coupe Archive
  8. Mandrake – No One Ever Says Goodbye – Glory Days – as played before, due to the vagaries of the postal system the new album has not got to me yet. A rather fine band with a good melodic feel but who can rock out when the mood takes them – Facebook
  9. Danny Short – Shining City – Love Has Gone – from the new album. He has a new single out soon – Facebook
  10. Flying Gypsy – The things that make us what we are today – Unreleased Demo Track
  11. Sandbox – Mother Knows Best –  the Jon Coupe Archive
  12. The Inflictors – One of Understanding – The Inflictors

Listen to the show via the link below

Get Inflicted…..

Nice to get back into the routine of seeing gigs on my door step (well a five minute walk to Eccles Town Centre) and catch The Inflictors live at the Town Hall Hotel. I had not caught them live since the Old Pint Pot gig in December and I was looking forward to seeing how they had developed in the intervening months. The band now has a permanent rehearsal space on Chapel Street in Salford so there is a chance to hone the craft as it were. The Town Hall is a great performance space for bands and needs to be used more as a venue for gigs – plus it saves me a pile of cash on bus, tram and taxi fairs. The only gripe is the lack of a decent pint of hand drawn ale as all the beers on offer are pumped and cold. The sound system is good, the juke box is very tasty in terms of selections and the place is always packed with appreciative punters.

As is usual with the Inflictors we got most of the first album, but the unique thing on this occasion is the pub management asked the band to play three sets and so we got a few of the songs twice, and in the case of “Clap Hands” three times! However the treat was a new song called “The Fool” which is a rollicking bit of Tex-Mex blues with Mr Watts going all Hank Marvin at the end with some serious whammy bar worrying. Talking to Brian (on the bass) in between the sets it would seem the band have a few new tunes almost ready to roll so I’m looking forward to hearing those on forthcoming shows. We also got a seriously pyschedelic version of  “All Along The Watchtower” in the third set.

A face a first ghostly turned a pinker shade of pale.....

What needs to be pointed out , again, is the unique interplay between Simon, Cameron and Jim on the guitars. I took some time to study what they were up to this time and i’ve sort of worked out why they sound so good – in essence they are playing the same chords but at different fret-board positions and in different configurations which allows for almost orchestral affect in terms of three lead instruments. Brian and Joe are also getting incredibly tight as a rhythm section and they rival anyone around at the moment in terms of sheer power and movement through the songs.

Cameron is becoming much more assured in his role as a front man and the dual vocal line-up of himself and Simon works well in delivering the songs. Switching to a green shimmering Gibson half way through the set he took on a more prominent role as lead soloist – however Simon and Jim played their full part in adding solos, and Jim’s array of pedals (see below) can certainly conjur  up some interesting sounds – and the use of an original Jim Dunlop Cry Baby Wah-Wah pedal earns several million brownie points in the guitar nerd handbook anyway! I’m not sure how long Cameron’s Boss FX pedal is going to last given the hammering he was giving it on the night!

Highlights for me were the excellent “Dusty Demons”, the incredibly bouncy “Going Down Woo” and “The Whip” but frankly all the songs – even hearing them twice on the same evening are excellent. I suppose one change I noticed was that there was a bit more soloing than usual which got a bit wild as the evening went on. Overall the band just gets better and better and make sure you catch them soon as they deserve to be seen and appreciated.

Mr Watts' pedals.....whatever would Hank have said...?

To get a sense of the band in full flow here is something I captured on my camera …..not the highest fidelity as it was taken on a cheap camera but you can get the raw power of being “Inflicted” live…….

Salford Music Scene Edition #03

On this show

  1. The Hidden Gem – Flick of a switch – Demo – now sadly split and soon to be replaced by a new band featuring Danny and Paul from the band.
  2. Suzuki Method – Balthamos – EP – working in the studio as I understand it, we need them to be gigging as we are missing them
  3. The Inflictors – The Whip – The Inflictors – catch them at Night and Day on Saturday! Miss them at your peril
  4. Death to the Strange – Shades of My Mind – Demo – Salford’s masters of cool rock – they play Sounds from the Other City on May 1st (Crescent) and Mayfest on May21st (Islington Mill)
  5. Well North of Watford – Make Sense of Loneliness – Demo – does the Live and Unsigned Thing at The Willows soon….
  6. Tony Glynn – The Lennon Son – Demo – currently working on new tunes with Carl Lingard from Pearl Divers
  7. Kingfishers Catch Fire – The Apocalypse Song – Promo EP – in the studio soon to do new tunes…..hurrah!
  8. Kingfishers Catch Fire – This Ship Is Singing – Promo EP – as above
  9. Solar Race – Get Ahead – Homespun – the greatest Salford band you never saw in your life
  10. Jealous – Stardust – EP – glam rock is live and well and living in Swinton
  11. I Am Kloot – Salome Maloney – Promo – not sure if this is ever coming out – thanks to Tony Thornborough for getting it to me.
  12. Frog in the Wall – Pretty Nigella – Promo – thanks to Becs Marshall for getting this to me – they are on at Mayfest on 21st May with an acoustic set
  13. Ha Ha Said The Car – Plastic Windmills – Promo – aka Johann Kloos from the Sandells – I have loads more of his music and it’s all great…
  14. Twinkle & Co – Fever – Demo – Local talent keeps emerging and its all good….thanks to Mags for the tunes!

Salford Bands And Singers –  please send me your music to

To listen to the show… 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…..

and i’m feeling alright

Saturday Night in the heart of Salford – the Weaste Hotel stands proud on Tootal Drive offering entertainment to compete with the dire offerings on the television. Those who braved the chilly night air to get there were given a glimpse of something special – something new , something that frankly deserves a huge audience.

We are talking about the most exciting live band in the city at the moment in my opinion. A band that somehow captures the essence of rock and roll and in doing so delivers one of the tightest and funkiest sets around.

Ladies and Gents I give you The Inflictors.

A short acoustic set from Cameron O’Hagan warms up the crowd – his effortless bonhomie demonstrates that this chap has talent oozing out of his pores – mixing cover versions with a few of his own songs Cameron is able to capture his folk roots and make them relevant to today’s sound.

A short break and then an excellent set from the full  band. This group has a  great set of songs which have stunning hooks great structures and are so tight that it’s almost breathtaking. Cameron’s, Jim’s and Simon’s guitars lock into a groove which is best described as psychic. I’m advised that the band practise and jam regularly- this explains their almost uncanny ability to hit the ground running and deliver rock music that gets the leg and booty twitching instantly.

The set builds inexorably to a memorable climax. The songs – underpinned by a great rhythm section in Brian Fanning and Joe Salmon – are stunning, and have “future classics” written through them like a stick of Swinton Rock. Tunes like “Going Down” , “The Whip” and “Hits You” are so infectious that they should be stamped with a government health warning “Danger : This Music is good for your Mojo”. The penultimate song  “Down in the City” with its urban blues Heart of Darkness sensibility has a great rock and roll moment as Cameron searches his pockets in vain for his mouth harp – only to see it on a table several feet away  he beckons for it to be handed over and launches in a an excellent solo with not a beat dropped. The set closer “Higher and Superior” is perfect winning over the crowd with a great build of tension before the main chords kick in.

I thought these guys were good on record but they transcend that in a live situation – there is no overt showmanship here – just five great musicians with their heads down delivering fantastic music.   I strongly recommend you catch them before they get signed up by one of the majors and get taken away from us to fame and fortune – because if these guys don’t break then there is no justice in the musical firmament.