Music Diary #39 – 22nd February 2012

A great new track from Kill for Company came in yesterday, looking forward to seeing them, with Mr Heart and Whipcord at our second music night at the Kings Arms on March 8th……

Great new track in from Scottish band – Kick to Kill,  plus a great new remix by AAAK  of Toska Wilde’s “Kathy Kirby”……

On this weeks Aural Delights…….click this link to listen in

1 Aperture Click Demo
2 Bacchanal Party Down there for the dancing Single
3 West Coast Sick Line Hanging at Picnic Rock Demo
4 Trevor Sensitive and the Locals Saving Albion From Itself Single
5 Comet Sands Hearing the Heartbeat Recordings and Live Demos
6 Buildings Born on a bomb Melt Cry Sleep
7 Et Tu Bruce Never Say Trevor Again Surburban Sunshine
8 gFrenzy Tonight the Kids Sleep In the Car A Lowtides Rising Compilation
9 Hookworms I Have Some Business Out West EP
10 Rebellious Jukebox Slave to Lust EP
11 The Finest Hour Feel the Same Album Sessions
12 Witch Hats Mahoney Pleasure Syndrome
13 Zombie Computer Honest Lies Indian Summer
14 Moff Skellington Ballflowerman Pukes of  A Hot Cloister
15 Hong Kong in the 60s You Can Take A Heart But You Cannot Make It Beat My Fantoms
16 This Wicked Tongue In Collusion Demo

Aural Delights Radio Show – 1st June 2011 – Bikini Test Failure In Session

My special guest in the studio is James Hill from Bikini Test Failure – a 21st century renaissance man who plays all the instruments and does all the singing on the two Bikini Test Failure albums to date. We talk about how he puts his albums together, songwriting, influences and lots of other stuff. The version of the show linked below is the unedited conversation that I could not fit into  the usual broadcast slot. Also to kick off the show another world exclusive new track from the very groovy Trevor Sensitive and the Locals.

  1. Trevor Sensitive and the Locals – Spring Morning – Exclusive to Salford City Radio – of which Trevor says “This has come out a little bit Field Mice, a little bit Eels, a little bit Mary Chain, a little bit Wedding Present…”
  2. Bikini Test Failure – Yes We Are Having A Good Time Now – Session Track
  3. Doves – There Goes The Fear – The Last Broadcast
  4. Bikini Test Failure – Not A People Person – Fleecing the Easily Pleased
  5. Morrissey – There is a Light that never goes out – Live at Earl’s Court
  6. Bikini Test Failure – Are we having a good time yet – Session Track
  7. Talk Talk – I believe in you – Spirit of Eden
  8. Bikini Test Failure – Smoke Yourself Thinner – Session Track
  9. Bikini Test Failure – Sarah Tonin – Fleecing The Easily Pleased

To listen click the link below

Aural Delights Radio Show – May 25th 2011

Mostly new stuff on this show with a welcome return to the utterly marvellous Trevor Sensitive and the Locals after a brief hiatus.

1 Trevor Sensitive and the Locals –  Saving Albion From Itself – Exclusive Singles Club Release Preview : those of you lucky enough to purchase the Sensitive album get to be part of the singles club – this is the first of what I hope will be a series of exclusives for the station. Mind you after getting airplay on the Tom Robinson show the band may well be headed for super-stardom!

2 Efrim Manuel Menuck  – I am no longer motherless child – Play High Gospel : The GBYE and ASMZ front man does his first solo album and it’s smashing! Lots of loops and Efrim’s trademark angst ridden vocals which always cause a split opinion in our house.

3 Bass Drum of Death – Nerve Jamming – GB City : brilliant album, track it down! Nuff said.

4 Verma – Salted Earth – Salted Earth : came  across this lot whilst researching The Cosmic Dead – rather impressive pysche rock.

5 The Home Town Secret – LSD Morons  -Demo : regular readers will know I record the shows well in advance of them being aired – sometimes it has unforseen consequences in that this band have now split up. Pity really they had a lot of promise.

6 Glassheads – Man in the Street – Single : just another gentle reminder to treat yourself to the latest single from Wigan’s finest.

7 Audio Asylum – Hitting Bottom – Demo : got contacted by the Rebel Soul collective from the other end of the M62 about this band and was rather impressed by their tunes. Expect to hear more in future shows!

8 The Smitten Ones – Crooked Cards – Single : from the very excellent Twister Records. I was immediately hooked by the excellent baritone vocals and the twangy guitar stylings – memorable stuff I reckon and the limited edition single can still be purchased from in person at Action Records (Preston), Townsend Records (Chorley, Leyland, Clitheroe), Piccadilly Records (Manchester), Norman (Leeds) and HMV (Southport). The single is also available and can be download from I-tunes, Amazon,, 7-Digital and streamed on Spotify

9 The Dead Texan – Glen’s Goo – The Dead Texan :  an audio-visual musical duo comprising of Adam Wiltzie and Greek video artist Christina Vantzou. Wiltzie is better known as one half of the ambient project Stars of the Lid. Thought I would dig this one out of the archives.

10 Lillies on Mars – Aquariums Key – Lillies on Mars : can’t remember how I tracked this lot down but I am glad I did. Also featured on T.Robinson – there must be some synergy going on here :). They have a new album out this week.

11 Entangled – This Way and That-  Demo : some excellent modern prog with a nod back to Bush, Gabriel and The Floyd. More to come from this band who sing and play well and have great arrangements. Prog is the new punk dont’cha know!

12 The Smitten Ones – Siren – Single

To listen to the show please click the link below

aural delights – 16th March 2011

A mixture of the old and the new on this show….

  1. Trevor Sensitive and the Locals – Kaliedoscope Pop – Show Exclusive – originally planned as part of a session that has had to be postponed because of other commitments…..Birmingham’s true masters of pure pop in fine fettle……
  2. The Counterpoints – Catalyst – Promo – I played this last week and I like it so much i’m doing it again.
  3. Shy and The Fight – How to Stop an Imploding Man – Self Released EP – local indie folk heroes from round these parts who appear to be getting a bit of a name for themselves.
  4. The Wookies – Black Dotted Devils – Demo – Warrington noise merchants having fun in the only way they can.
  5. Danny Short – Boat – Love Has Gone – from the new album which is out next month…..don’t forget the free download EP which you can get from here…..
  6. Fall Fan Dave and the Lap Top Dancers – Death By Chocolate – Yelling Boil – as interviewed earlier in the evening by Stephen Doyle on his Sonic Diaries – the fabulous new album is another masterpiece. It will be available soon I’m advised.
  7. Mogwai – Mexican Grand Prix – Hardcore Will Never Die – a return to form after the disappointment of Hawk is Howling. The true progenitors of post-rock.
  8. Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Anxiety –  Rush to Relax – thanks to the Great Gibbo for pointing out this noisy garage outfit. A great band with a unique sound.
  9. The Narrows – WTC7 – Through Constant Decay – local band with a new EP which is very good indeed – get it from Bandcamp.
  10. Covenant – Wir Sind Sie Nacht (Edit) – Soundtrack – swedish electro masters do a soundtrack from a new vampire movie.
  11. The Go-Betweens – German Farmhouse – The Friends  of Rachel Worth – one of the greatest songwriting duos ever…..the sadly missed Australian pair were masters of their craft as evidenced from this rocky Robert Forster tune from one their greatest albums. Some would argue that they were not as good when they returned from their hiatus – I have to disagree.
  12. Van Der Graaf Generator – Pilgrims – Still Life – new album out this week but back to the masterpiece second phase album. I saw them perform this at UMIST at the time of the release – a memorable evening – a packed room with sweat dripping off the ceiling. Hammill is in fine voice here in one of the bands most evocative songs… it a love song? Most of them are but you wouldn’t know it.
  13. Dave Graney ‘N’ The Coral Snakes  – Morrison Floorshow – The Baddest – the great man has a new album out soon but i’ve been meaning to play this excellent Coral Snakes track which has amazing lyrics and a great four to floor funky feel – Dave rips into tribute bands with his usual insouciant swagger.

To listen to the show……click the link below

Aural Delights – 9th February 2011

This show balances newer signed material with unsigned and attempts to be as varied as possible. The music out there at the moment is a broad church and this should be reflected in the programming of the show.

Social Distortion – they have been around since 1978 and since then have been through any number of line-up changes. Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes is their 8th album.  Essentially it’s American “punk” i.e. a raw garage version of traditional rock and roll.

What?Noise – Tim Harris, Julia Adamson and Chris Nagle developed a fresh dance oriented sound in the late 80s/early 90s. The “Nuance” EP released recently delivers previously unreleased material. Reviewed elsewhere on this blog.

The Happy Soul – as reviewed elsewhere on this blog – the lyrical acoustic bluesy sounds of this artist are well worth a listen.

Sey Hollo – hails from northern Sweden and  is the solo-project of Sebastian Larsson. The music is post-rock played on “rusty guitars and organs”. The new EP is out now.

Fire Suave – a mix of alternative country, acoustic and indie rock, from the 2008 album “Sand Fastened”

Apparently We Fly – an unsigned “post hardcore” band from Derbyshire.

Robin James – born in London, December 1980, with Romany Gypsy and Argentinean roots.  His fragile, yet powerful, voice, and carefully crafted lyrics, evoke early Nick Drake.

Psycho Charger – a NYC trio with drum machine  offering up an interesting mix of styles, a blend of the Cramps and Reverend Horton Heat. From their most recent album “Mark of the Psycho”.

Spencer Cloud and the Range Brothers – a new single from one of my favourite bands of last year.

GlassHeads – unsigned band from Wigan with a new tune

Andy Hay – unsigned singer songwriter who I played on last weeks show

Seven Deadly Sins – scottish band who are well worth checking out – nice sound!

Glass Ankle – excellent Manchester band with a keen sense of melody.

Trevor Sensitive and the Locals – from the new album “Sensitive” the ever reliable and utterly groovy Birmingham style icons.

You can listen to the show through the link below

twelve inches of thirty year old plastic joy

Trevor Sensitive and The Locals – Sensitive – Bandcamp

The music historians will look back at the first months of the beginning of the second decade of this century and marvel upon its fecundity of great product. Despite the prevailing zeitgeist of grim and hippity-hop (sic on both of them) those in the know will marvel on the veritable slew of guitar based product that emerged from the minds, mouths and hands of musicians around this time. And they will speak in hushed reverential tones about the unique product that was “Trevor Sensitive and the Locals” debut album – Sensitive.

From the opening paean to the wonders of the Casio VL-Tone, and  the garage based joy of “Allergies” through to the Morrisey-esque “As Free As Air” we are transported to a land of wonder where the pop history of the last thirty years or so are deconstructed and reformed into a vital and aposite sound. Both true to the traditions that spawned it, but also with an eye to eclectic modernism this album, unlike any others, manages to create an exciting melange of the work of Booth, Glennie, Marr, Blackwell, Smith, and Oakey.

There are elements of pure indie pop mixed with darker things here – the marvellous “Codeine” for example manages to retain a clear pop sensibility but imbue it with a  menace redolent, in its approach, to something from Beggars Banquet era Fall in an unholy union with the dark recesses of Nick Cave’s imagination. There are all clear hommages to the 60s with the “wall of sound” of “A Penny On The Floor” evoking memories of Dusty Springfield, and The Byrds, with its fragile organ sound, back-beat, and glorious melody. A proper pop-song! I can quite see Bruce Springsteen doing a cover of this in his usual Cameronesque style (that would be James and not David).

This band are not afraid to get the rock out and the marvellous “Oh, Poor Gerald” with its submarine fuzzed bass and guitar delivers an in your face performance and a closing sumptuous guitar section, and manages to mention the word “transubstatiation” – a not inconsiderable feat on a pop album. Similarly “I’ve read Finnegan’s Wake” allows guitarist Justin Brewood to cut loose with some fine changes, and the simply wonderful “My New Shirt” with its scratchy rhythm guitars and bonkers changes is a masterpiece of kitchen sink drama.

The album closes with the sparkling guitar of “Let’s Head for the Country” – a piece replete with hope and yearning for a simpler life where past mistakes are erased and emerging love bubbles through with joyous abandon.

The album is available from the bands Bandcamp page  here and you can get more detail about them from here. The cover is by the talented Manda Rin. I’m advised by my spies that a mysterious music industry figure is somewhere behind the production of the album and if this rumour is true then he is to complimented for his fine eye and ear.

As my chum Stephen Doyle would say “pop-tastic”!

Band of the year 2010?

When I started the radio show (Reformation as it was then) back in 2009 I decided I would try and select one band each year which had caught my attention and I felt needed some exposure . At the time I had other things to fill my day so there was not the chance to absorb newer music – this year has proved different with a lot more material coming my way. With over 300 albums to take in, plus lots of gigs attended, it’s proved difficult to narrow things down to the 14 bands that made it on to the show for “Band of the Year”. Picking the top band was difficult, I sort of had in mind around October time who was going to get the “title” as it were, but there were one or two others who were making it difficult to settle the final order, the hard bit was  leaving out some of the great acts that were runners-up (for want of a better phrase). The solace is, I suppose, that some of them got played during the year, and I’ll be making a conscious effort in the first few shows of 2011 to catch up with some of the great albums which didn’t get anyairing, however that’s proving difficult, as there is already a pile of new demos which have been sent in which deserve some airplay.

What I found particularly puzzling during the year was the large amount of dross which purports to be “indie” music which seemed to captivate a lot of people. What I find irritating is that this material gets airplay to the detriment of genuinely talented artists out there. I was pondering on this the other day and I thought back to the early 1970s when I first started to listen to music properly, and it struck me that there is a definite parallel to those days where “safe” music is the stuff that is selling rather than more challenging and “interesting” music. What is clear is that there a lot more music available so the need for some sort of critical barometer is needed. The return of some sort of DIY Punk ethic which allows wider sharing of  good music is needed. The key problem is there is not a John Peel on the national stations who can act as a champion for these artists. The Nine O’Clock Alliance and Aural Delights at Salford City Radio will do it’s best to fill the great man’s shoes and bring you bands and artists which will challenge the existing moribund status quo.

I’ve posted a list of 50 albums that I liked the most during the year elsewhere on this blog a few weeks ago – that’s now horribly out of date as a number of other bands have been brought to my attention. Was it ever so, and I guess I will always be playing some sort of catch-up. I think, however, the music which has dominated this year has been the return of good garage rock, exciting new electronica, a surge of new psychedelia, and the maturing of post-rock into something more interesting.

Over the five weeks of Christmas Shows I’ve tried to play bands which I wouldn’t have time to get into the final best bands show and I have to give a special mention to Borland who I would have definately played had not their tracks have an average length exceeding 8 minutes which would eat far too much into at 60 minute show – in any event they got a good ten minute airing at the end of last weeks show. Rob and Ian constantly amaze me with the variety of sounds and textures they tease out of Fruity Loops 9 and I look forward to new material from them in 2011.

It was disappointing to see the break up of The Jannocks and the Planets – two great local bands – but other bands have emerged from the remains of those two great bands and you can expect to hear music from them on my show in the new year.

The top 14 sort of picked itself in the end as it was those bands who I found it impossible to leave out. So in the order of being played on the show my artists of the year for 2010 were

Charlie Barnes – Charlie did a great session for me, released his album, and guested on the new Amplifier album (more of which elsewhere). I hope he gets the recognition he deserves in the coming year. His album is called Geekk and is highly recommend.

Craig Scanlon – When Moet of Sicknurse told me he was going into the studio with Craig (the legendary guitarist from The Fall) I nearly fell over – many Fall fans were convinced Craig would never return to the music business and it was great to see him back again. I understand more material is being recorded but we were lucky to get three early rough demos of the material is compiling.

Trevor Sensitive and the Locals – at long last Trevor has started to produce material which he has long promised and his askance look at indie rock (with it’s smatterings of black country metal) and gentle irony provides a welcome respite. An album is due soon and I think he has promised to do a session for me.

Pearl Divers – last years best band had a turbulent year with a number of line-up changes and a strong change in direction. A fledgling EP is slowly making its way through the ether to us. This is a band that I saw a lot of last year and I hope to see more of them during 2011.

The Fall – remain the most important band ever for me and they had a great year, with a fantastic new album. With their most stable line-up ever the group goes from strength to strength.

The Black Knights – one of the most exciting live bands I have ever seen – Gary and Tom’s particular interpretation of the blues is both refreshing and compelling.

Mr. Heart – an exciting trio with a great sound – and the bass player also features later on….

Kristin Hersh – like The Fall I class Kristin as an essential artist. She has dominated my listening this year with her great songs. Check out the new Throwing Muses album.

AAAK – gig of the year, reunion of the year, and another duo which defies logic by making a hell of a noise.

Spencer Cloud and The Range Brothers – an exceptional debut album and great song-writing make this band a must listen.

Monster Island – a fantastic new EP called the Green Room and an approach to music which defies the conventional. Lyrically brilliant and unique.

Fall Fan Dave and the Lap Top Dancers – a great year for Dave and Ian with a fantastic debut album, and then a marvellous EP. Also a great couple of session tracks for the show.

The Inflictors – without doubt album of the year, and pretty damn close to live act, and band of the year. A fantastic band.

and Band of the Year


Kin – fantastic live, great musicians who are locked into a mesmerising groove, brilliant song-writing and a totally modern approach to music. Probably the best rhythm section round these parts in Howard and Ding, great sounds emerging from Jonn’s tangle of wires and machines, and a front woman who has a simply amazing voice and plays a mean guitar.  Saw them twice last year and they are simply amazing. Album due soon and if the demo tracks are any sort of indication of the content then it will be incredible.

Click on the link below to listen to the music…….

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