Aural Delights Radio Show – 28th December 2011 – Albums of the Year Part 4 and other whitterings

And so here we are with the top 14 albums of the year as selected by some SCR DJs, some Fall Frenz, and myself.

The big  pressure vote from a lot of folks was for Fucked Up’s “David Comes To Life” to win but the local vote swung it toward the eventual champion, which is both adjacent to Salford and excellent.

The final top 14  is heavily biased towards the North West of England and specifically the Greater Manchester conurbation mainly due to the fact that the music is current to these parts, and that’s what our community radio station is all about. Also notable that two of the american participants in this final list played in the city this year (albeit Ripley was in his Moon Duo guise when he did it).

The year has been dominated by the neu Prog and the neu Psyche – a lot of this featured in the preceding three shows to this one – but also the main emphasis has been those musicians who can craft albums at home and produce masterpieces – whether it be time served guys who have been around as long as I have, or the new breed.  Tony Thornborough coined an appropriate phrase at the Factory Star/Blimp gig at FAC251 earlier in the year viz “Old is the new Young”  spot on – and I have to say in all honesty the most aural pleasure this year has been derived from watching musicians who have spent many years crafting their art and have reached a new creative peak.  I just enjoy seeing these guys perform great material which is considerably superior to the Elbow/Coldplay clones attempting to forge a career in the biz. I think I am going to be a little harsher in my responses to bands submitting material next year – my first response will be to direct them to the artists featured on this show…….don’t copy Garvey and Martin look around a little wider.

Wooden Shjips –  Black Smoke Rise – West (September) – the first Shjips album to get proper studio treatment and their best yet.  Everything from pyschedelia, via psychobilly through to motorik rhythms – marvellous and mesmerising music.

Vinny Peculiar –  Artrockers – Other People Like Me  (October) – In which local residents Mr Wilkes demonstrates his flair for lyricism and great tunes. Some pure pieces of poetry on this album which reflects back to an older less complicated world.

The Fall – Cosmos 7 – Ersatz GB (November) – the 29th Studio album from the bard of Prestwich and his band of travelling troubadours. This one divided opinion quite markedly and led to wailing and gnashing of teeth in some quarters contrasted with unapologetic worship in others. Would have been higher but for a seriously loud no vote from the Clifton area.

Shoshin – Here Comes My Favourite – City of  Patience (July) – I guess the rest of them will catch up on this one eventually as I appear to be the only one who likes this – but I like it lots – I think I have played every track from it. Grab it – you don’t know what you are missing! Also if you can get the link between the preceding album and this one you win a patronising pat on the back.

Moff Skellington – In the Helter Skelter  Suburb – Embers of the Rapid Eye (?) – not released as yet I don’t think  but definitely Moff’s album of 2011. The usual mix of other worldliness and DIY musical ethic which makes this artist utterly unique and rather marvellous. Many of the tracks appeared on a session on the old Reformation show.  It just makes me smile to listen to this music and wordplay within it.

Fall Fan Dave and the Lap Top Dancers – Juggernaut – Yelling Boil (March) – Dave and Ian’s second outing and rather groovy it is too. Another productive year for the duo with a new album planned for 2012. A variety of selections on this one but this track is one Dave prepared for a Reformation session.

Danny Short – Your Kingdom – You Must Not Play (November) – the second of two albums released this year by the very productive Mr Short. His best yet I think as it captures both his punk-prog-pop side as well as his more experimental leanings.

Crystal Stilts – Sycamore Tree – In Love With Oblivion (April) – a stunning second album with some stand out tracks. Described as noise pop meets ’60s psych somewhere – I think they go beyond that and have created a signature sound which is centred around Hargett’s laconic vocal delivery.

Kin – Chemistry Set – Flickering (December) – actually out in physical form in rather groovy packaging earlier in the year but just made available on Bandcamp. This was all it promised to be in the “Dot Dot Dot” ep on Invisible Girl but took the form and schema to a new place entirely. New stuff on the way from the amazing talent that is Kin. I also get a mention on the album sleeve notes along with a few others….

The Wild Swans – English Electric Lightning – The Coldest Winter In A Hundred Years (August)  Claiming to have “unfinished business,” former Teardrop Explodes keyboardist Paul Simpson returned with  Wild Swans’ first album since 1990’s Space Flower and a new super-group line-up which included the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Ricky Maymi, Echo & the Bunnymen’s Will Sergeant and Les Pattinson, and Spiritualized’s Mike Mooney, just to name a few. The chosen track is just pure magic – wonderful lyrics. The first of two Occultation releases in the top 15.

Monster Island – Pilot Whales – Cathedral Steps (November) Stephen, Lewis and Wesley are back with their third album which further develops their unique approach to music and their lyrical genius in respect of the world that surrounds us and them. Utterly wonderful. Get it from Bandcamp. Note to self – make sure we get them at a gig in Salford next year.

Half Man Half Biscuit – Somethings Rotten in the back of Iceland – 90 Bisodol (Crimond) (September) – the 12th album in the canon and they show no signs of running out of ideas – the usual Blackwell obsessions remain – footie, indie bands and obscure soap stars. There are three constants in my life – the wife, The Fall and Half Man Half Biscuit (oh and Joseph Holts Bitter – so that’s four).

Fucked Up – Queen of Hearts – David Comes To Life (June) – a “Tommy” for the I-Pad generation? Possibly – but then again so much more than that. Immense vocals, searing guitars and exceptional tunes. As mentioned above many had this as number one for the year but the jury over turned that verdict and came up with the one below.

Factory Star – Stone Tumbling Stream – Enter Castle Perilous (April) – we said this immediately it came out – Album of the Year – a bit of a bold statement given we were only four months into the year. Having seen the new line-up do the whole album in order at FAC 251 and having been somewhat blown away it was good to get hold of it and revel in its quality. Some of Martin Bramahs’ most exquisite lyrics appear on this release revealing him as a poet of some distinction, and the tunes are just as memorable. The album was recorded “live” and this works on so many levels as it captures the intensity of the experience of catching this band in the flesh.  My review of the album is still the most read blog on this site. Occultation records again demonstrating exceptional taste.

So in conclusion:

ALBUM OF THE YEAR : Factory Star – Enter Castle Perilous ; Runner-Up – Fucked Up – David Comes to Life

RECORD LABLE OF THE YEAR : Occultation ; Runner-up – Bandcamp

To listen to this show click the link

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Salford Music Scene – 11th October 2011

A cavalcade of gorgeousness on this one…….

  • Monster Island – Pilot Whales – Pilot Whales/Secret Shopper – a simply marvellous band with their new EP which you can grab here 
  • GlassHeads – Boys Dont’ Cry – a cover of the Cure classic by Wigan’s finest – watch the vid-chip here 
  • Shoshin – Here comes my favourite – City of Patience – a great band….
  • Mancini Fires – Ghosts – Rise – they are in studio so expect new product soon….
  • Danny Short – Sing Song – Every Now and Then – our latest free download here
  • Jez Kerr – Technicolour Dawn – Numb Mouth Eat Waste – from the new album
  • Vinny Peculiar – The Ballad of Vinny Peculiar – Gone – from the first album
  • Periscope – Ride – a new track from the rather wonderful Peri…..
  • Wonderland Trip – Wonderland Trip – saw this band during the Salford Music Festival
  • Shoshin – Levity -City of Patience
  • Monster Island – Secret Shopper – Pilot Whales/Secret Shopper
  • Jordan Madani – Oh Soldier(I Told You) – he’s appearing at the regional finals of Open Mic live at the Willows on the 16th October…..he says “now signed to Major Sinner Records! Expect a lot more to be going on the near future, including the ‘I L**e You EP’, singles, photography, music videos, a website and so on!”
  • Moff Skellington – Inside The Marrow – Embers from the Rapid Eye – not sure when this album will be out but check out the website for more info on the magical Moff…
  • The Fall – Free Range – Code : Selfish – new album out soon…..bite on this to tide you over
To listen to the show click on the link below….

Salford Music Scene – 19th July 2011

Mostly gig previews again this time around…..

AAAK – We Fall  Alone – The Collection –  a recent remake/remix of this tune with additional vocals from Tamsin and guitar from Neil Rowbotham.

Forthcoming gigs …..

22nd July –  The Galleon Bar, Blackpool

29th July – Helmets for Men, Islington Mill, Salford – with Humanizer and Madpack

16th December – Bimfest, Antwerp

Mr Heart – Boredom’s Device – The Hide EP – still not found a bass player since the departure of Kin, for a forthcoming gig one Ding will be the special guest bassist.

Whipcord – I got ahead in my head my headlines I make – this lot are growing on me rapidly.

Forthcoming Gig – 21st July, Ruby Lounge, Manchester with Mr Heart

The Taser Puppets – Slow Death By Karaoke – supporting The Blimp (see next) on a forthcoming mini-tour of the North-West. I know not a jot about them other than the singist is from Chorley – which is a fascinating place with many roundabouts.

The Blimp – 50CC No Silencer – Curse Curse Bang Bang – one of the most exciting live bands around with a pop classic from their debut album.

Gigs coming up….

22 July – The Railway, 20 Steeley Lane Chorley Lancashire PR6 0RD…..with the Taser Puppets

30th July – The Crescent, The Crescent, Salford with The Hamsters and Baby Strange

14th August – Dog & Partridge 44 Friargate Preston Lancashire PR1 2AT….with the Taser Puppets

18th August – The Imperial 59 Union Street, Chorley PR7 1AB…..with the Taser Puppets

8th October – Guzzlin Goose 115 Bentinck Street, Ashton under lyne, OL6 7SN…..with the Taser Puppets and Danny Cusick’s Kit B.

Vinny Peculiar – Judy Wood/Something or Nothing – a couple of session tracks from the mighty Vinny recorded on the Becs Marshall show. Both from the latest album which is rather marvellous.

Class Actions – Hooligan Sound – Con Dem Killers Mixtape – a radio edit of the opening track from their free download mixtape from their site.

Madpack – It’s Official – Swinton’s finest mashing it up and having a go at some deserving targets. Check them out at Islington Mill on 29th July at the next Helmets for Men extravanganza as are….

Humanizer – 4th Feb  ’02

and

AAAK –  Pain Amplifier

but not

Shanty Town – Follow Me

and to close….. a weekly slice of Fall goodness

The Fall – Gross Chapel/GB Grenadiers – Bend Sinister – magnificent riffs and chords from Brix and Craig on this……

To listen then click that link……….

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 – 14th June 2011

On this show a lot of new material which has come my way recently……

  • Girl Peculiar – Destiny – (Single)- released last week – great new single from Jenny and co available from I Tunes/Amazon.
  • Vinny Peculiar – My Generation (I said Goodbye) – Other People Like Me (Album)  – fantastic new album from Vinny is out digitally on 4th July and as cd/vinyl on 12th September. His first album “Gone” (not Get Gone as I say on the show) can be downloaded free from the website.
  • Black Lights – We Can Fly – In the Dark (EP) – play Manchester Academy on 9th July
  • Kranius – Crucified (Single) – I’m not sure how many metal bands there are active in the city at the moment but Kranius are the front runners with a great sound. Check out their Bandcamp page for lots of older material. The gig I announced on the show on 23rd has now been put back to 29th  and they are also on at the Crescent on 2nd July along with Not Above Evil. Soma Dark and one TBC.
  • AAAK – Everything’s Real  (Exclusive Demo) – Ding has sent me some new work which I will be featuring in a fortnight. The dynamic duo play The Bar Galleon, Blackpool on 22nd July and the next Helmets for Men at Islington Mill the following week. This is a great track that they put together a while back. Looking forward to seeing them live again.
  • Periscope – The Sunshine House – the ever ebullient Mr Swinney has been extremely busy as the album draws towards its inevitable completion around Christmas time (approx) – this is a rather marvellous up tempo glorious celebration of stuff with a stunning bass riff
  • Gods Gift – Another Government Day (Exclusive Track to Salford City Radio) – worth playing this again – excellent return for a great band.
  • Vinny Peculiar – Artrockers – Other People Like Me (Album) – evoking the great times in mid 70s when Art Rock emerged in full force…..excellent song. Any song which mentions Cadbury’s Flake is ok with me.
  • Magazine -I want your heart –  Second Hand Daylight (Album) Given Vinny mentioned Howard in the previous song I thought I would play a classic from the ex denizen of Lower Broughton Road.
  • The Blimp – Art Job (from the band) – do not play Ruby Lounge on 23rd June now as I announced, cancelled unfortunately,  and I’m not sure about the Guzzlin’ Goose gig on 25th June – I suggest you check their Facebook page for updates.  A remarkable track  this from a remarkable band. All three of them are adopted Salfordians now. And it completes a nice little trilogy of arty tunes.
  • Kranius – All The Same – Evilution (EP)
  • Periscope – Ethereal (Pre-release)
  • Black Lights – In the Dark – In the Dark (EP)
  • Periscope – Quicksand (Pre-release)
To listen to the show click 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…..