Warm Widow at Islington Mill

Courtesy of Tony and Tricia Thornborough I am able to offer you a video recording of the fabulous Warm Widow from Islington Mill from earlier in the year…..enjoy….segments will be added over time…..

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Salford Music Scene – 22nd March 2011

On this show you can hear……

1.       Death to the Strange – Drink and the Devil – Single – currently on tour in Germany but will be back soon and are appearing at the Helmets for Men Stage at Sounds From The Other City on May 1st and the Salford City Radio Mayfest at Islington Mill on May 21st.

2.       Mancini Fires – Ghosts – Rise EP – Formed in 2009, the North Manchester/Salford – based 4 piece have finally completed their line – up, and are now working hard recording their new material… Combining strong vocals with an acoustic guitar underpinning them, a solid, dynamic rhythm section and melodic echoing lead guitar. The sound the band have in mind is reminiscent of early Coldplay with a nod to U2. Their songwriting conveys both heartbreak and hope in equal measure, it’s clear that this is a band with a lot of potential… From the bleak desperation of Tomorrow Yesterday to the uplifting highs of I Am Not The Same, Mancini Fires put an atmospheric twist on the classic quiet – loud formula, and also an intimate sound with a hint of Damien Rice and Doves can be heard on songs such as Ghosts. Appearing at Mayfest.

3.       The Black Paths – Our North is Rising –  Ibiza & The Hangover – Little Hulton’s master of the synthesizer with tunes inspired by a trip to the Balearics.

4.       Neuron No – Digital Doom – Free Download – Also appearing at Mayfest – i’ve waxed lyrical about the new EP elsewhere on this blog – this is a track that did not quite make it onto the EP.

5.       Samir Hamim – Red Dress – Single – master balladeer and tunesmith from Salford with a lovely song.

6.       Mandrake – Last Orders – Glory Days – another track from the new album from the Manchester band that rehearses and records in Salford. Watch out for them they are great songwriters.

7.       The Fall – Last Orders – Live at the Witch Trial Expanded Edition – one of the earliest recorded pieces of work by longest surviving band in known history with any merit – featuring the second great line up of Smith, Bramah, Baines, Friel and Burns. Live at the famed Electric Circus in 1976.

8.       Jealous – Between the Streets and the Stars – Single – Swinton’s own with their new single.

9.       Kin – Flies – Flickering – another track from the best album so far this year – recorded at the remarkably groovy 6dB studios.

10.   The Black Paths – In the Zoo – Ibiza & The Hangover – more synth fettling from the western suburbs!

11.   Joy Division – Warsaw – An Ideal for Living – just after the switch from Warsaw to Joy Division and the band showing early punk leanings. 1976 when the summer was hot and the world was changing.

12.   Easterhouse – Get Back To Russia – Contenders – another blast from the past, a band which should have had much more success than it did.

13.   Mancini Fires – Paint White – Rise EP – as above

14.   Warm Widow – In A Blackout – Widower – amazing band with an amazing EP – check it out….

Click the link below to listen to the show

Aural Delights – 16th February 2011

On this weeks show a preview of Helmets for Men 2011 Episode 1 and lots of new stuff, plus a couple of classics……..

Bâton Rouge – Fragments D’eux Mêmes – a french Emo band made up of most of the members of “Daitro” and one from”12xu”. Slightly less “Screamo” than what “Daitro” deliver and therefore a little more melodic.

Fall Fan Dave & The Lap Top Dancers – Yelling Boil – as yet unreleased promo version of said artefact came my way last week – see a review elsewhere on this blog.

Danny Short – Darkened Corridors of Winter – from a limited edition private only release cassette. Danny is in full experimental mode here, more akin to his DDS work than his more melodic tunes……lots of psychedelic references……

The Happy Fallen – EP  – the first of three tunes from bands playing the “Helmets for Men” gig at Islington Mill on the Friday of the week this show was broadcast. Neil James (aka Tickle) has out together a fine band to deliver his particular band of pysche-garage rock.

Warm Widow – Widower – amazing trio from Manchester who are second up at the Helmets Gig. Their particular amalgam of post-punk tropes evokes a mutant offspring of Thurston Moore, Mark Edward Smith, and, Nick Cave…….

The Black Knights – Sickle Sell Saturday Night – the band that do not need a bass player – so bass players get over it! Voodoo trash from the darkest heart of “margarine town” with more attitude than a crazed werewolf out on a bender with bigfoot. Vampiric intensity and soul they are the third act on at Helmets.

Kayo Dot – Blue Lambency Dot – a real treat for Mancunians is the appearance of New York’s post jazz masters of incomprehensible rhythms and maniacally complex arrangements at Islington Mill the night before the Helmets gig.

Bill Davro – as featured before on the show – another fresh new talent from Warrington that came to me through our unsigned page, as did Salford’s very own….

Skankadelia – infectious ska pop of the highest order……. as did

Andy Hay – great singer songwriter who does all his recording at home….

Corinna Jane – I have been waiting for a while to play the last of three songs this Bristol artist sent my way….a great writer and a fine voice…check her out on I Tunes….

David Bowie – Hunky Dory – a bit a guilty pleasure – a classic bit of riffing from the time when Bowie had a little more chutzpah in his mojo…..I was making venetian blinds in a factory in darkest Northamptonshire when this came out…..

Bare in the Woods – Manchester four piece with a good raw sound……they will be playing in Manchester on Friday 25th of February @ Gullivers, and, Saturday 12th of March @ Manchester Academy. Band members are: David Cross – Vox & Rhythm Guitar, Adam Logan – Lead Guitar, Griff Tilley – Bass, Adam King – Drums.

Blue Orchids – went to see Martin Bramah’s Factory Star a couple of weeks ago and they were marvellous – in anticipation of their new album i’ve delved right back to Martin’s first release with Blue Orchids  when they signed to Rough Trade Records, and in November 1980  released their debut single, a double A side, “The Flood / Disney Boys” the latter of which gets an airing.

and finally

The Christophers – another Manchester band with a new single which has a great psyche sound….highly recommended……

To listen to the show click below

It’s the New (Leather) Thing #01

A run down of a few of things that have been sent my way in recent weeks……… an eclectic mix of a few local bands but drifting further afield when the tunes are good enough……

Lets kick off with Glassheads hailing from Wigan, they were formed in 2009. They comprise Ian McCluskey (Vocals/Guitar), Andy McKay (Guitar), Andrew Seddon (Bass) and Jon Davenport (Drums). They say they bring together “influences ranging from reggae, rock ‘n’ roll and hip hop to soul, disco and spanish guitar”.   Their debut single, “The Error Of Your Ways”, is out now, and got an airing on Aural Delights last week.  There are snippets of four of their tracks on their My Space Page and a You Tube video of the “Boys Don’t Cry” tune,  they are currently recording the video for the new single. Their muscular guitar lead tunes are infectious, they remind me somewhat of Suzuki\Method, but without the keyboards if you see what I mean. The new single is a great piece of power pop with marvelous guitars and a great melody – McCluskey has a good voice and the song is a good example of the bands approach. I was also mightily impressed with the riffing on “Don’t Worry”. You can see them live at Manchester Academy 3 on 19th February and the Ram & Shackle in Fallowfield on 28th February.

Completely out of the blue I got a 21 track CD from a band called The Alphas called “Cultra Sansa”.  Aside from a rather groovy postcard shoved into the CD which has a scribbled hello on the back it’s difficult to discern much about these chaps other than they are a  four piece from Glasgow.  Internet searching provides no clues at all. The music on the CD is certainly varied moving from indie pop, through trumpet laden calypso type stuff, some basic disco throbbing, wacky country blues, and delicate folky ballads. If I was going to draw a comparison it would be something like a slightly less psychedelic version of Nectarine No 9, although “Clearer Now” which is about a third of the way into the album gets pretty psyche in places. I need to find out more about these guys!

Warm Widow were sent my way by the inestimable Mr Tony Thornborough, He has booked them for the first of his “Helmets for Men” extravanganzas for 2011. They are a Manchester three piece with a suitably acerbic, loud and compelling sound. This is essential music for people who love challenging and intense playing. With a broad sweep of sound similar to post punk leaders like The Birthday Party and The Fall the band take that particular piece of history (the early 80s) and modernise it with a nod towards a more melodic sense – in a sort of Sonic Youth way. Their Widower EP was released in October 2010 and is well worth a listen. I’m just  pleased that there are still bands around making this kind of music. Like Darwen’s Monster Island they stand apart from the mainstream and provide a useful cultural and musical quality standard which the vast majority of bands who are clones of Elbow et al should pay heed to. Check out “A Million Butterfly Skulls” and you will see what I mean. Essential!

Isolated Atoms are from Dudley. Their new single “Play” has found it’s way to me. The slightly dodgy local connection i’ve made is that their name derives from “Isolation” on the second Joy Division album. They were formed in 2008 and have been building up a reputation over the last three years. They have been working with Peter Hook, and have  a four track EP out in March. They play a heady mix of industrial Killing Joke like pounding rhythmic alternative electro rock. Singer Grant Ashman has a singular vocal style, strident and suitably unique enough to grab my attention. The single is released on 28th May via PPS music.

Always keen to look at new talent from Salford it was great to hear Eddie Legge and Tony Thornborough interview The Asteria last week on Eddie’s show (a great show Friday’s 3-5pm which has a regular feature from Tony on new and unsigned bands from the city). You can download their brash and bright power pop single “You Look Good Tonight” here.  The band say about themselves “The Asteria were formed in July 2010, hoping to quickly burst onto the music scene of Salford and work their way onwards and outwards. With so many influences brought in by five different characters, ‘The Asteria’s’ music is unique and energetic with the odd twist – built around classic rock with the edge of the modern alternative genre.”

Canadian Dave Stephens is based in California and has a new album out called “Time will Tell”. It’s his third, following on from 2004’s “Here We Go” and 2006’s “Stories for Copper”. His melodic rock music has a suitably raw edge which takes it out of the mainstream, as exemplified by the massive “Mr Wonderful” which is the second track on the album. The album has some softer moments with, for example, “More Than Me” offering a melodic ballad. In general though , and it’s clear from the vid-chip below, that Dave can rock out and writes a mean tune. I will be playing a couple of Dave’s songs on my show in a couple of weeks. More information on the man and his work here.