Manchester – so much more to be proud of…

Local music, you would be forgiven for thinking it was all about a band from Stockport at the moment, or Oasis/Stone Roses revivalism,  nothing could be further from the truth. There’s a fundamental inter-connectedness at such a local level of course, and there’s so much going on it’s hard to keep up. I’m talking about Greater Salford of course, or Manchester, as it known by the inky press or the BBC.

So let’s start with Salford, as I take you on a short musical tour of the conurbation. Back when I was doing the local radio stuff one of the first bands I chanced upon was called The Souls, indeed we facilitated the release of a collection of early  songs. They became Stalagmites of course and have a new EP out called “Between City & Cellar Door”. Brad Lynch has been a great hidden Salford treasure of a Salford songwriter for too long and hopefully this new four tune collection will get some of the much needed attention they deserve.  There’s a growing strength to the bands’ work and the songwriting is just as strong. I guess you could call it epic indie but Lynch’s tunes are always something a little more than that. You can grab it at:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/48sz58nJKAO63hyNynRaj6
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/…/between-city-cellar…/id1167317627

Here’s featured track Binary…..

And while I’m at it check out Brad’s excellent solo project “Bedroom Abyss” which comprises two tunes at the moment but promises a great deal more in the future.

North to Moston, and I reviewed the launch of the new EP from The Madding Crowd a couple of weeks back. It would be remiss of me not to mention the actual EP itself, the locally referenced “The 78th Bridge on the Rochdale Canal”. The connected thingy here of course is that the four song selected has been expertly produced and engineered by Sam Smith who appears on German Shepherd Records as Franco Bandini and The Parish Church Fire. The Madding Crowd have always had an epic sound, which bursts out of the North Manchester suburbs with a swagger and bravado, however Sam has moved it up to eleven with this set. The potty mouthed opener, which  will struggle to get day time radio play due to the Ofcom rules, sets the scene, but it’s the massive “January Begins” that hits you like a Roman Reigns spear and slaps you around a bit until you sink into it the sound. Impressive. Sav Patels drumming on “Sinking Low”is an impressive bedrock to a bluesy chunk of pop music with a field hollar chorus, meaty guitar, and silky bass from Claud Corry. Closer “Where’s The Glamour” offers another side of the band and gets props for mentioning Failsworth (an area in north Manchester), there’s an interesting structure which is a more defined “Madding Crowd” sound, which indicates an impressive development and future direction.

Down to south Manchester now and The Speed of Sound who have their debut album “Everything Changes” out now. The connection here is one of the two vocalists is Anne-Marie Crowley, who is also a member of Poppycock, who just happen to be on German Shepherd Records as well. A mammoth one hour sixteen minutes 20 song endeavour it took some time to absorb what is a fascinating collection. It is hard to find a neat little genre box to put this band into, which is always a good thing. They’ve been described as “atmospheric alternative rock” which is partially true but there’s a great deal more going on. The songs are lead by hooky guitar sounds which are both 60s and post-punk in their sound. John Armstrongs’ vocals have a an early Zimmerman edge to them, the lyrics are both rich and complex, and Anne Marie’s vocals add a haunting cinematic feel to the songs. Kevin Roache, bass, and Paul Worthington, drums, provide a sympathetic and driving rhythm section. Lucy Power, also of Poppycock, amongst other things, provides flute on “Little Miss Restless”. You’ll find a lot of good things here, and it’s great to hear Anne-Marie taking the lead role especially on the excellent “The Moment Is Now” which has a great pop feel and sounds like something Dusty Springfield would have sung in her pomp. The variety on this album is impressive, with nods to a Californian sound at times, especially the occasional snippets of Stills/Young guitar breaks,  This album has all of the elements of great Manchester pop as well, you will have to invest time in it, as it deserves to be listened to as a whole, but that time will be well spent. Quality stuff!

One that slipped through the net earlier in the year is the delightful collection from Parent who are essentially Jason Brown, who has of course been plying his trade with Brix and Extricated more recently, and Rachel Kern, who has a superb voice. Comparisons have to be made with Nick Drake in that it’s all about guitar and voice but there’s the superior use of cello, viola and violin which harks back to “Five Leaves Left” especially on the exceptional “You’re Not Broken”. A marvellous collection of acoustic treasures, and looking up their Facebook page it appears that a pile of my chums are already aware of them, I wonder why they didn’t share the information?

And finally east to the rural idyll of Glossop where my erstwhile colleague Mr Moss has been busy with his new band Four Candles and a debut album is in the can. I’ve heard it and it is rather special, but I can’t say any more at this stage or I’d have to ostracise myself. Keep your ears peeled for 2017 especially a gig at Fred’s Ale House in Levenshulme in January with Poppycock (them again) and Patchwork Rattlebag. To dangle a large carrot here’s a fine video from Rick Sarko which includes a number of German Shepherd alumni and features the heady delights of Oldham Street in the city centre.

Until the next time….

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

Salford Music Scene – 10th May 2011

Firstly let me say that there is a fundamental error at the beginning of and at several other points some way into the show where I describe a gig at Islington Mill on Friday, what I meant to say was Thursday, it’s because I didn’t reverse the polarity of the neutron flow when I was putting the show together.

So to make it absolutely clear the Fucked Up/Kong gig is on Thursday not Friday!

Apologies.

Anyway on this weeks show more than a healthy selection of some of the excellent new music in the city at the moment including the very excellent new releases by Doctrines and Belle Vue, bits from our latest free download from Walkden’s finest The Souls, and more previews of the bands playing at the Mayfest event on May 21st.

Also I am pleased to note that bands have advised me that they have got bookings and promoter interest after being heard on the show…..that’s very gratifying the hear.

The play list for the show is…..

  1. Emperor Zero – Mental Health Cafe – Sways Mixtape
  2. Doctrines – Dirty Dirty Animals – O This Body Of Mine I Renounce You Your Style Is A Crime
  3. Belle Vue – Platform One – Belle Vue
  4. Kong – Blood of A Dove –  courtesy of Tony T
  5. Fucked Up – The Other Shoe –  courtesy of Tony T
  6. The Souls – Zulus – Salford City Radio Free Download
  7. The Souls – Lovers – Salford City Radio Free Download
  8. Well North of Watford – Tired of crying over you – direct from the artist
  9. Salford Media City – The Life and Death of Peter Sellers – direct from the band
  10. Positronik – Save it for me – direct from the band
  11. Kit B – A natural ending – direct from the band
  12. Fucked Up – David Comes to Life – courtesy of Tony T
  13. Kong – Leather Penny – courtesy of Tony T
  14. Belle Vue – I, The King – Belle Vue
  15. Emperor Zero – Berlin – Single
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

Salford Music Scene – 15th March 2011

Almost the calm before the storm as we gather our strength for a busy period of gigging over the next few months. On tonights show:

  1. Neuron No – Saving the World – EP : The Planets recently split with Stephen Evans leaving to join Twisted Wheel. The core of the band relaunched themselves as eclectic trio “Neuron No” whose new EP is absolutely spiffing. They play our Mayfest show on May 21st, expect exemplary musicianship and great tunes from Chadwick, Bowes and Roscoe.
  2. God’s Gift – Anaesthetic – Pathology : the legendary God’s Gift were the other great band to come out of Prestwich in the 1970s and produced a stunning set of classic post punk tunes. From the marvellous retrospective on the Mezzthetics lable.
  3. Kin – Flickering – Flickering – a stunning album which deserves constant airplay – Kin has now started her new solo career in Holland – we wish her success!
  4. Pearl Divers – Afro Pop – Demo – they are back, after a short hiatus the master of funky indie are ready to perform live again with a new line-up and they will also be playing at the Mayfest event.
  5. Kit B – Everything Sounds Like Something Else – Demo – The Hidden Gem have split up but Paul and Danny from the band have started work on putting together a new line-up and Danny has been demoing a few songs which he has shared with me, and rather good they are to!
  6. Mandrake – If I Had All the Answers -Glory Days – a Manchester band but they record and rehearse at Blueprint so they are part of the local scene. Melodic rock with an indie edge…..the album is on its way to me.
  7. Ha Ha Said The Car – Storm Petal Suzie – Demo – another stunning track from the fertile imagination and talented fingers of Johann Kloos of the Sandells. Johann has sent me an album’s worth of material all of which is excellent and I shall be sharing that with you in future weeks.
  8. Kin – The Humming – Flickering – another track from the excellent album – have I mentioned it’s excellent yet?
  9. Neuron No – Spiders Last Moment – EP – as above
  10. Twinkle & Co – Meltdown – Demo – another couple of tunes from the pop-tastic duo …..
  11. Twinkle & Co – Temptation – Demo – as above
  12. Kit B – A Natural Ending – Demo – as above – the melodies on this are stunning!
  13. The Souls – Caught In A Whisper – an acoustic version recorded on Tony Thornborough’s show which i’ve done a bit of mixing on….Brad with an acoustic guitar….hopefully they are playing Mayfest as well if they can sort out a bass player.
  14. Pearl Divers – Super Heavy Black – the Divers at their funky best with Midi Maestro Cap’n Black operating several dozen devices at once……. and the new line up is Lingard, Montague, Black, Byrne and Carter…..
To listen to the show hit the link below – but do it gently………
 

Salford Music Scene – March 15th 2011 by Bobonscr on Mixcloud

Salford Music Scene – Show Number 2 – March 1st 2010

Note the catchy new intro jingle thingy……by a certain band……

Anyway on tonights extravaganza

  1. The Asteria – You Look Good Tonight – Self released single – as discovered by Mr Thornborough and Mr Legge in their weekly focus on local talent. An exciting new band with a lot of potential – check them out on their website. They play Manchester Academy on April 15th.
  2. Well North of Watford – Run Deep – Demo Track – he plays the Willows on 27th, he’s been around the scene for a few years and this is his new solo project – check him out on My Space.
  3. Trojan Horse – Patricroft Way – Trojan Horse – from their debut album on Bandcamp which is a snip at £2. I doubt if they will be listening to the show as they are playing Academy 3 at the same time. You can catch them at Kraak Gallery on the 5th March. For the record there isn’t a road/street called Patricroft Way – the song is about the way people are in Patricroft (it’s in Eccles where the show is actually recorded!).
  4. The Fall – Petty (Thief Lout) – This Nation’s Saving Grace (Omnibus Edition) – indulgent behaviour by me in playing some Fall but MES is a Salford chap so he qualifies and I’ve always reckoned this was one of their better tunes. My increasingly out of date website on the gruppe is here – which reminds me I must spend some time updating it!
  5. The Fall – Cruisers Creek (Peel Session Version) – This Nation’s Saving Grace (Omnibus Edition) – as above and a nod towards those who feel that is one of the gruppes better albums, of not the best….don’t agree myself but this is another damn fine tune from the Fall canon.
  6. The Chanteuse and the Crippled Claw – Big Umbrella – Website download – Mister Adrian Flanagan is a Broughtonian who has been exorcised to Sheffield for over familiarity with small synthesizers. I happen to think he is a song writing genius as evidenced by this gorgeous duet with Candie Payne. More evidence of the man’s capabilities here.
  7. Stonestreet – One Dead Game – Single – they are from Latvia and they are residing in Salford at the moment.
  8. Missed You At the Show – Na Na Na – EP – a fine band currently being taught music and stuff at Salford University. I’ve played them before on the Aural Delights Show……My Space … they play Dry Bar on March 23rd and that thing at the Willows on March 27th
  9. The Souls – Supply and Demand – Demo Track – the immensely talented and rather wonderful Souls are coming to get you. Mr Thornborough had them on his show this monday and played this very track. Mind you you can’t have too much of a good thing.  Read more here
  10. The Happy Fallen – Move On – Demo Track – Mr Neil James is a very prolific man and this is his latest recording.
  11. Twinkle and Co – Jock Tally – Demo Track – if Dusty Springfield and Noel Gallagher had a child it would be making music like this. The 60s meet the crazy Madchester sound in a riot of fun!Info here.
  12. Gnod/White HIlls – Per Sempre –Drop Out – the psychedelic warlords of the Manchester/Salford scene – a prolific collective which releases fine music – check out their back catalogue here.
To listen to the show click on the link below…… 

Salford Music Scene – Episode 2 by Bobonscr on Mixcloud

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…..