Aural Delights Radio Show 12th October

On this show….

Peter Hammill – Shingle Song – PNO GTR VOX – from a brand new double album on Fie featuring solo performances from 2010 including a gig at the Lowry Theatre which I was fortunate enough to attend – a classic piece of Hammill song-writing originally from the 1975 album “Nadir’s Big Chance”.

We Were Promised Jetpacks – Building Buildings – Medicine – the b-side of the recent single, whiich I actually prefer to the a-side. The new album “In the pit of the stomach” is impressive and I’ll be featuring it in future weeks.

The Computers – Surfin’ Bird – Rhythm Revue – another one where I prefer the b-side to the a-side – not sure about this band in general  but I do like their take on the classic “Surfin’ Bird” – originally by The Trashmen and then covered by The Ramones.

Half Man Half Biscuit – Tommy Walsh’s Eco House – 90 Bisodol (Crimond) – an album which gets better with every listen, my initial concerns about it have now disappeared, here we have Blackwell in full rant mode with the usual cultural targets getting the full force of his extremely acidic and very witty tongue.

Silent Cities – Gone Fishin’ – Dream – as featured last week, an impressive singer songwriter from Liverpool called Simon Maddison.

Audio Asylum – Pressure – Demo – another impressive Liverpool band i’ve featured before.

Down the Machine – Know Your Place – Single – north east band – they have a website with lots of info – latest vid-chip below….

Ides of Gemini – Matyrdom of the Hippolyte – The Disruption Writ – they have just signed to Neurot and will have an album out Spring 2012. This is a great track from their self released EP proving that you can do special things with this musical form.

Pale Man Made – Started in 1966 – another North East band don’t know much about them I’m afraid…..this was released on Monday on Tiny Lights Recordings

West Coast Sick Line – This Ain’t London – from Glasgow and the fertile mind of Dusty Moonan.

Tone Puppets – Ignore – it says “Full of eastern promise – and northern grit, resident band at The Lovely Job, Tone Puppets produce a fizzy, guitar fuelled indie laced sound with curious time signatures and mathy prog-outs that’s been likened to the Beta Band/Nirvana and The Doors.” Indeed.

Peter Hammill – Vision – PNO GTR VOX – another one from the great man – this was originally from his first solo album “Fools Mate” from 1971.

Van Der Graaf Generator – Scorched Earth – and to close the band that Hammill formed with a stunning track from the come-back album “Godbluff”…..

to listen click the link below
Advertisements

Aural Delights Radio Show – 14th September 2011 – Punk Weekend Special

This show promotes the Punk Weekend at the Crescent in Salford which runs from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th September – there are also some new tunes which have been sent my way……and a couple of classics

  • Early Mojo – Balloon Basket – they come from Walkden, they are a trio, and they open up the Punk Weekend on the Friday evening. From their “Beergasm” release which will be getting more plays on the Salford Music Scene show.
  • Kill For Company – Now You Know – the most exciting new band of the year so far for me…..a mancunian duo with a unique and compelling sound – also play Fridays event
  • Dead Circus – Paranoia – also on Friday – a trio from Manchester.
  • Wire – The Agfers of Kodack – Read and Burn 01 – the first studio collaboration by the band  since Manscape, proving that time had not mellowed them.
  • Moongoose – Stepping into Shadow – Silhouettes and Shadows – another track from the excellent EP by this great band.
  • The Distrakted – Mancunian Werewolf in Oldham – five piece from Manchester playing Saturday night at the Punk Weekend.
  • Total Bloody Chaos – NHS Death Squads – five piece from various parts of Lancashire…..also playing Saturday night at the Punk Weekend
  • Kick to Kill – Mushroom Cloud – excellent Glasgow quartet on the Flowers in the Dustbin lable.
  • Flying Man Shark – Just A Habit – another track from this excellent band from Scotland – click the link to access a free download of their music.
  • For Abel – On TV – another excellent band from the Flowers in the Dustbin lable.
  • Kill Pretty – Babes In The Wood-  out on the road soon with a settled line-up – more info on our website unsigned page – http://www.salordcityradio.org
  • Girlfixer – Casualty Condemn Me – four piece from Nottingham with an excellent lead singer with a great voice…..they close the Punk Weekend at the Crescent on the Sunday Night.
  • Baby Strange – Brick and Bones – the “headline” act of the Friday night at the Punk Weekend.
  • Van Der Graaf Generator – The Sleepwalkers – Godbluff – arpeggiating keyboards, manic time signatures and all out Hammill word mastery on this classic from the come-back album. I saw them do this in London on one the great come back gigs for the band – having been at the Cambridge Folk Festival watching Bert Jansch the day before it was a bit of a head spinner.
To listen to the show click on the link below…..

Aural Delights Radio Show – 31st August 2011

A mixed bag of old and new featuring three fumbles from Farley……

  • Van Der Graaf – Cat’s Eye, Yellow Fever (Running) – The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Demo – they dropped the “generator” part of the name for this 1977 release, possibly the coolest prog rock band in the universe at the time given Hammill’s approbation by the likes of Smith and Lydon….this finds Hammill and Evans reunited with Nic Potter and adding Graeme Smith from “String Driven Thing” to create a unique mix of punk ethic and prog excess. A great album and well worth searching out for a listen.
  • Moongoose – Slumber (There is light) – Silhouettes and Shadows – well we’ve all been getting a little bit excited about this band at Salford City Radio and my chums SD and Monty have been playing their music – thanks to James for getting this one to me. Exceptional stuff.
  • Voix Bulgares – Polegnala E Todala – Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares – fond memories of this album from the Peel show and thanks to Farley for recommending it as a “fumble” for this weeks show.
  • Siglo 21 – She’s The One – Residents of Temporary Homes – I received a pile of CDs from the lovely folks at Sleepy Music and was impressed by all of them. This band write great tunes.
  • Steamkings – The Heavenly B&B – The Full English – Songs about illicit weekends in Brighton, encroaching adult responsibilities and how to avoid them. Unreleased until recently , and with extra bonus tracks from the sessions. Great album.
  • Twin Atlantic – Make A Beast of Myself – Single – out soon, not been too keen on this lot until now but this single is damn good.
  • Robedoor – Solid State – Bored Fortress – another Farley recommendation – this band have had a split release with local heroes “Gnod” – in essence Alex and Britt Brown doyens of the underground scene who run the Not Not Fun lable. Loose, improvisational and trancey.
  • Moongoose – Dark Forces Walking – Silhouettes and Shadow – another excellent track from a rather marvellous combo.
  • Forgery Lit – Innocence – Demo – as featured on last weeks show.
  • Honey – Counting Seasons – Taste It and See – as featured for the last four weeks this is the remaining  track from the recent EP that I have not played yet.
  • Sen Segur – Cyfoeth Gwylb – Pen Rhydd – as featured for the last four weeks this is the remaining track from the last but one EP that I have not played yet. Loosely translates from the Welsh as Power Wet….or is it Wet Power?
  • Orchestra of Spheres – Spontaneous Symmetry – Nonogonic Now – the last Farley “Fumble” of the evening, barking mad and rather fine indeed.
  • Scientist and Prince Jammy – Buck Rogers in the Black Hole –  Scientist and Jammy Strike Back! – Linval Thompson and the Roots Radics at their dubby best.
To listen to all of this click on the linkage below…..

Aural Delights Radio Show – 30th March 2011

All new stuff on this show with a couple of tracks from the first release on new lable Gulf Records and some things that have been sent my way by bands and lables:

1. Mummy Short Arms – Cigarette Smuggling – Single – very excited by this band out of Glasgow. They are  James Allan (voc), Stu Brown (gtr), Fraser Gillies (gtr), Cammy Findlay (bass), Craig Brown (rhythm gtr/percussion), Dean McClure (synth), Gary Pinkerton (drums)  http://www.myspace.com/mummyshortarms.
The single is released on 30th May on  http://www.flowersinthedustbin.org
2. Van Der Graaf Generator – Bunsho – A Grounding in Numbers – from the amazing new album which has just been released. Peter Hammill advises they were aiming to deliver one of the great concept albums in the style of “A Wizard/A True Star” – it’s an amazing piece of work and you can get more info here
3. From the Kites of San Quentin – Chet Beaverbrooke – Split 12″ with Borland – to celebrate the launch of the new Gulf lable I am playing both lead track from  the split 12inch…..the launch party is at Centro on Tib Street in Manchester this Friday – details on Facebook. There will be a remix CD available with the ltd. edition screenprinted vinyl from April 4th, and also digitally from http://gulfrecords.tumblr.com/. The latter of which I am quite excited about for reasons I will not go into. FTKOSQ have always demonstrated a great feel for soulful moody chilled out electronica and this track is no exception – an excellent way to launch the new lable.
4. Periscope – Afterlife – Unreleased direct from Artist – Martin Swinney continues to produce excellent music and this latest piece of work raises the bar even further – hopefully the long awaited album will emerge soon.
5. Miacca – The Cat – Unreleased direct from Artist -another track from this amazing band from Swansea – really great songs and a fantastic voice as well.
6. Half Man Half Biscuit – All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit – Back Again In the DHSS – pure poetry from the Wirral Peninsula
7. Borland – Clockmen – Split 12″ with From the Kites of San Quentin – the other part of the Gulf release with the cheeky Borland chappies in their element with an absolute classic. I played an earlier iteration of this tune on the show some time back and they have fettled it in their inimitable way since then. As usual with Rob and Ian it builds into a mammoth piece of noise from small beginnings. There is a hell of a lot to listen to here so its worth concentrating on the laminal nature of structure.
8. The Love Load – Candy Dish – The Human Resourceful – as played last week – an excellent band from the other side of the Atlantic.
9. Boris – Jackson Head – New Album – the jury is still out on this album which oscillates madly between J-Rock and Techno – not what I was expecting. This is a more traditional Boris tune.
10. Letters to Fiesta – Traveller – Unreleased direct from Artist – another track from this band from Mancunia – I see great things for them as they are unique and rather refreshing in a scene where indie wailing clones predominate.
11. The Suuns – Up Past the Nursery – Zeroes QC – a rather fascinating Canadian band with an altogether unique feel…..from the impressive new album.
12. Garfield Mayor – Let Love Be Your Energy – Take and Take – In 2007 Garfield Mayor finally got the break he’d been looking for… Picked up by 3 times Grammy Award winning US artist Rob Thomas he was immediately signed to Thomas’ new label RTEL Records (Sony BMG). Mayor’s debut album ‘Take and Take’ was made in between London, New York and his home in Coventry.
13. Greenfire – Constant Rewind – Time is the Enemy – Manchester band featuring ex Sicknurse bass player Jon Rowlinson.
To listen to the show 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 http://www.salfordcityradio.org 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…..is 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

riffs, time signatures and other familiar things……

Van Der Graaf Generator – A grounding in numbers – Esoteric

Released – 14th March 2011

A VDGG album with tracks on it less than 3 minutes long?

Heaven forfend!

This should irk the purists somewhat.

Well not really, as they are back with bang!

Hammill, Banton and Evans return after a three year break and are in fine form indeed.

This is a marvellous album – in some ways a distillation of what has gone before in the history of this band, but in other ways a look forward.

In the first four numbers you have to contend with such a degree of variety that you begin to wonder what the hell is going on. “Your time starts now” is almost Still Life territory – a strident Hammill ballad, “Mathematics” is similar but offers that trademark busy VDGG sound and the unique PH lyrical content . “Highly Strung” ups the tempo with a rocker which would  not have been out of place around the time of Vital. Peter is especially good vocally on this adding that manic tone to his voice which singles him out as one our greatest rock singers. Things then start to stretch into something new with the ambient spacey improv feel of “Red Baron” and then we are back to signature Graaf with the stunning “Bunsho” with classic riffing, sturm und drang, and the light and shade of  their complex arrangements.

“Snake Oil” moves almost breathlessly through complex keyboard parts, rich lyrics, and those quirky off kilter time signatures that we know and love.  Hammill is vocally very strong, Evans is a master of his kit and Banton provides his usual excellent and eclectic range of sounds. The density of the riffing here is back to VDGG at their best, the arrangements are both complex and progressive (in the true sense of the word), they have managed to capture the heart of their oeuvre and add a 21st century feel, in that where it would have taken them ten minutes to do a song like this in the past, they knock it off in just over five.

This is true of the whole of the album which takes the best of what they have done in former work and make it new and fresh.

“Splink” floats is a gorgeous ambient haze over Guys’ busy drumming as Peter and Hugh trade sounds between guitar, organ, piano and other keyboards until a clockwork harpsichord like serial-ism kicks in to disturb the quietness. Ricky Nadir is back for “Embarrassing Kid” both garage rock and progressive riffing bundled up in one tight song, the poly-rhythmic interplay between guitar riffs and drums is stunning – music for the noggin and not the pogo gene – bloody marvelous! And frankly i cannot fathom how much can be shoved into a song just over three minutes long. The mood shifts again with “Medusa” which waltzes along with unbridled menace almost slipping into a John Barry sound-scape, well I think its a waltz, but I gave up trying to fathom VDGG time signatures 35 years ago – therein lies madness! It moves seamlessly into the busy Banton led “Mr Sands” which again takes us back to the classic Van Der Graaf riff/melody approach.

“Smoke” is playfully funky and a great new sound  for the band with a mad clash of words a mutant blues feel – almost early Bowiesque in parts – and again demonstrates the level of variety on the album – utterly modern but also demonstrating a degree of reverence to the bands previous output. A trademark of the album is one tune morphing into the next and this happens again  with the maddeningly complex “5533” as guitar and drums again interlock as Banton provides waves of sonic complexity to make it even more busy. This is what I like best about this group of musicians in that they can deliver something which is both incredibly unique and also strangely familiar.

The album concludes with the longest track (at 6:03) in “All Over The Place” whose insistent riff/breakdown builds from the strident Hammill polemic into a glorious piece of melodramatic (in a nice way) progressive rock – a great way to finish a fantastic album.

I’m glad they got back together – I wondered what would happen when David Jackson departed the band and I have to say I was vaguely disappointed with Trisector however this album demonstrates they’ve still got the Van Der Graaf sound and have moved it on several dozen levels.

I’m inevitably and unapologetically biased about this band – they are the only group from their era who didn’t lose the plot and go off into self-absorbed nonsense – so please take that into account. If you’ve never been able to get what they are about I doubt this will do much to convert you. If however you enjoy complex music delivered with more than a small portion of humour and joyful abandon then you are in for a treat – this wipes the floor with the vast majority of shoe-gazing post-rockers out there, and lessons can be learned by a lot of musicians about how to put  music together in a unique and compelling way.