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Masters – Magnus Carlson

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Masters3

We recently caught up with Magnus Carlson, for a chat for NUTSMAG for a preview of his special live show on 21st October 2017 at CROSSFIRE,London.

1. Are you looking forward to our Crossfire night at 229 the Venue in October and what can we expect from a Magnus Carlson show?

Seriously. I can’t wait! I’ve been wanting to go to a New Untouchables event for ages. But I tour so much, the dates have never matched my schedule before. I love and collect your compilations and 7″ singles. I have with me a great seven-piece band. Horns, Hammond organ, congas. the works! Every musician is hand-picked by me for their individual skills and love for 60s style jazz, soul and rhythm-n-blues. Every band member release albums on their own. I’m so proud of them. It’s like I’m the manager for Sweden’s National soul team. Very groovy and danceable. You will love it. I promise!

2. All of us here at New Untouchables extend our congratulations to you on the tremendous success of ‘Long Way Home’. Did you think it would be such a hit when recording had finished?

I’ve been in the music biz full-time since 1997. I’ve always followed my heart and done what I felt like. As a result, I have had a lot of number ones in Sweden but also a few flops. You never ever know what will be successful or not. But I can look back at a career (16 albums in 20 years) and be proud. Most of the stuff I do has a kind of timelessness to it. At least in my mind. I almost only listen to 60s music but I try not to be too retro even if that’s the style of music I make. It’s made today about the world today I think this is the first ever mod number one in Sweden. At least since 1967. When was a mod album number one in the UK last? The Jam?

3. For those who are new to your music, how would you describe your ‘sound’?

If you refer back to question number 1, I think that about covers it!

4. You are a massive star in Sweden and you are following in the footsteps of The Cardigans, Jasmine Kara and a certain 70s pop band to name a few; who have been popular here. How important is it for you to have a higher profile in the UK?

I’ve been doing this for so long now so I know the ups and downs. I’m perfectly happy just with my popularity in Sweden. It all can wish for. But certainly, I’m eager to try the UK. There are more mods there and I’m part of the mod scene. It’s only natural to wonder what could happen. I’m so happy you want me over! I feel grateful and excited!

5. Of course, some of our readers will know you from your time with Weeping Willows. Do you have any plans to record with them?

Oh! We have never split up. It’s my mother ship. That band will exist forever. But sometimes I go out on solo missions outside the ship. Jazz, soul, electronic excursions. Stuff I can’t do within that group. We’re more of a ballad group. The Walker Brothers type of stuff. But we are bigger than ever. We do a lot of gigs with symphony orchestras in sports arenas and Concert halls. This year we go out on a Christmas tour. 17 gigs in December. Next year we will record and release a New album. All our albums are number ones in Sweden.

6. The new album is inspired by Northern Soul. When did you first become interested in that style of music?

I was born in 1968. I grew up with punk and then New wave. I started to listen to everything my idols recommended. Naturally, that meant all kinds of 60s music. All things mod. So, through The Style Council and Dexy’s Midnight Runners, I got to know about rare soul. Then we had a lot of Northern soul clubs in Stockholm in the 90s which I went to because I love to dance. I got to know all the people. The soul scene is my home. And I have always loved and collected 7″ singles. My favourite format since I was a Punk kid.

7. Sweden has had a healthy 60’/Northern Soul/mod scene for a number of years with organisations like Uppers and people like Frederik Ekander. Were you aware of that scene at all?

Oh Yeah! There are a lot of soul clubs and DJs/collectors over here. Club Soul in Stockholm has been going every Saturday for almost 30 years now! Could it be a World record?! They still only play soul on vinyl. I sometimes DJ there. And then there’s the monthly club Soulastatic in Gothenburg that Punky has been doing for about 20 years now. Very strong soul scene. With lots of great DJs!

8. You have recorded the new album in English and spent time at Black Barn Studios with Andy Lewis. What was that experience like?

I knew Andy before. He had heard my Swedish version of Beggin’ from 2003. We have DJ’d together and even wrote songs together before. So, when I finally had the time to make a soul album I knew I had to do it with him. Andy said we should record at the Black Barn. So, we did. It was perfect and a great 4-day session with a great band Andy put together. And a bit of a romantic childhood dream.

9. Who are your musical influences?

Too many to mention. When I was a Teenager the people who made me want to sing was (chronologic) Elvis, The Smiths, Weller, Scott Walker. Through them, I got into the rarer stuff. Now I mostly listen to 60s soul and 50s jazz. I’m going backwards. Next stop for me is probably Blues and old gospel.

10. Are there any current bands or artists that you like?

Goran Kajfeš Subtropic Arkestra is amazing! He’s the trumpet player in my band. He’s a genius. He has a new album out just this week.

11. What is your favourite song by another artist that you could not live without?

I have a big record collection and I sincerely can’t part with any of them. You know how it is. It never ends. I find new old favourite every week! That’s the thrill!

Thank you, Magnus, for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to With NutsMag. We can’t wait to see you on 21st October 2017 at CROSSFIRE,London.

Band Members:
Magnus Carlson singer
Goran Kajfeš trumpet
Jonas Kullhammar saxophone
Anders Kappelin bass
Anders Lewén guitar
Patrik Kolar organ
Johan Carlsson congas
Christer Björklund drums

Discography:  www.discogs.com/Magnus-Carlson

Social Networks:

facebook.com/magnuscarlson
twitter.com/carlson_magnus


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Graham Lentz

AKA ‘The Baron’ - Like many of his generation, The Jam started Graham's love affair with all things mod back in 1977. He is the author of 'The Influential Factor - A History Of Mod' which was originally published in 2002. An extract from the book was re-printed in Paolo Hewitt's 'The Sharper Word - revised edition' in 2011. Being a self-confessed 'broad-church' mod, Graham's interests range from Modern Jazz to today's up-coming new bands and everything in between. Although he has a passion for mod history, he also has a passion for the new. Whether it's music, clubs, media of every kind, clothing, scooters or art and photography, Graham supports, promotes and encourages as much as he can, because that's how we keep going. 'Give it a chance' is his motto. If it's not for you, that's cool, at least you tried it.

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September 19, 2017 By : Category : Articles Bands Europe Front Page Interviews Music News Picks Scene Tags:, , ,
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Newbreed – The Wheels

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Newbreed5

NUTsMag recent caught up with The Wheels, who hail from Mallorca, Balearic Islands for a quick chat.

1. How long have you been active and how did you get together?

Three of us started playing music together when we were around 14, it was then that we decided to make The Wheels something more serious. The years have seen members change, some leave and come back but finally we’ve got the final lineup and we’re stoked.

2. What influences do the band members have in common?

A list that no one has time to read. But we began being influenced by music from the 60s when we were starting up, purely because we couldn’t find anything contemporary to relate to then, artists like Kevin Ayers, The Beatles. We also love jazz and Brazilian music. Now there’s loads of great music out there, we think perhaps that the people making it went through a similar experience to us in that they delved back into history to find music that inspired them and when making their own, these influences were exhibited. Artists like The Lemon Twigs, Connan Mockasin, Mild High Club and Mac Demarco have had us pretty hooked recently.

3. Are there any bands you’d recommend in your area?

Definitely, good friends of our, los Nastys are a band people should check out, they’ve come from the underground garage scene in Madrid along with The Parrots and Hinds. All those bands have great songs and a lot of energy.

4. Tell us about the 60s/underground scene from Spain?

We don’t know all that much about what was going on in the rest of Spain during that time but we do know that Mallorca was a melting pot for artists from abroad. Deia was home to people like Kevin Ayers who founded The Soft Machine and later went solo, it also saw Robert Wyatt spend some time there and Yoko Ono is said to have visited as well. Hendrix even played in Palma in the 60s

5. How would you describe the style you play?

Hypnotizing psychedelia with a nostalgic flash from the 60s and a freshness that encapsulates the new wave of psychedelic pop

6. What are your live shows like?

In a way they’re like bringing a sonic painting to life. Having the songs performed widens perception and awakens different senses and emotions.

7. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? Who do you despise?

That’s like asking a poet to pick their favorite word, apart from the influences we adopted as teenagers we’re constantly discovering new music and forever going through phases of obsession with different artists. We don’t play covers but we’d probably do something by Kevin Ayers. Who do we despise? There are so many artists we love and probably more we have a more negative opinion of. But we’re not here to insult anyone… although we hate that fucking song ‘Despasito ‘that’s out at the moment. And Ed Sheeran is a pain in the arse too.

8. What are your main influences outside of music?

We read a lot of books, Siddhartha by Herman Hesse was actually an influence on our last album. We’re really into film and also get very inspired by painters like Matti Klarwein (who also lived in Deia), who was one of the psychedelic legends.

9. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

In everything released until now, Guille has been the main songwriter but the whole band was involved in the process and Tomi even wrote a song for the last album too.

10. What is your favorite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favorite song by another artist?

Dream On – Nó by O Terno

11. How would you describe the underground scene? Do you participate?

The current underground scene is thriving at the moment. And yes, more than participate, we live in it currently. There is brilliant music being made, you just need to look for it.

12. What has your biggest challenge been up to date?

This year it’s been finding time to work on new material because we’ve been on the road so much.

13. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record?

Rehearsing depends on whether there’s a tour or important gig coming up, in those cases its every day. We play live a lot. And we record when we get off tour.

14. What do you think of music coverage in the media?

We think there’s plenty of room for more coverage, especially in mainstream media, it’s embarrassing how little time is devoted to culture. It’s up to the independent magazines, blogs etc. at the moment. Although platforms like Pitchfork and Red Bull are pretty cool.

15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

All the ones mentioned above and more, we’d be here for days.

16. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

We were very happy with Paco Loco and his studio was a wonderful place to record an album, we’d definitely work with him again. At the moment we’d love to record with Jonathan Rado from Foxygen and the location… I dunno Brazil?

17. What should we expect from you in the future? What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting dates have you got coming up?

We’re already writing new material and we may release a single before the year is out, an album will follow sometime in the future. We’re busy in September with festivals like Ebrovision, Zaragoza Psych Fest, Monkey Week. We’re looking to get more dates in Europe as we toured Mexico before trying to sort out something in our continent. And we’ll be hoping to play more great festivals next summer.

Main Site: thewheels.band/

Social Networks:
Facebook: facebook.com/TheWheels.proj
Instagram: www.instagram.com/thewheelsband/

Band Members: Guille Borrás (Guitar and vocals), Tomi Solbas (Drums and vocals), Rick Sena (Guitar), Toni Sánchez (Keyboard, Synths), Andrés Alcover (Bass and vocals).

Discography: Great Frustrations EP (2014), Born to Fly LP (2015) The Year of the Monkey LP (2017)


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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September 19, 2017 By : Category : Articles Europe Interviews Music News Tags:, , , ,
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Chris Dale – Hey! Mr DJ

This entry is part 9 of 20 in the series Hey! Mr DJ 2

Chris Dale took some time out recently to talk to Dr. Robert @Nutsmag.

01. How and when did you get into music and what were you listening to then?

New Wave, Mod Revival and Two-tone, but my first ever gig in Dec 1979 at Lewisham Odeon, The Specials, Selector and Dexy’s on the same bill, and my future was sealed.

02. Where was your first DJ slot?

St Johns Tavern 1990, I can still remember how nervous I was. This was one of Alan Hanscombe’s many soul and reggae ventures, and still helping him out with RnB123 in 2014, should be due my pension soon.

03. What was your most memorable DJ spot?

Sunday night Brighton 2011, something really clicked and is up there as one of the best. I can’t go without mentioning my few 6Ts 100 Club experiences, The Boiler and the Hideaway Manchester, especially after a particular memorable football match. The Rimini Italian Jobs throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s were very special, and finally Scenesville at the Notre Dame hall, great nights and an awesome venue.

04. What, so far, has been your worst DJ experience?

I’ve been lucky to have DJ’d at some great clubs and nothing really stands out as a bad experience.

05. Your favourite DJ and why?

The whole 6T’s team at the 100 Club past and present, Colin Law at Shotts (he was untouchable around this time), Roger Banks and Mark Bicknell, Gary Spencer & Carl Fortnum and not forgetting Terry Jones at the Village.

06. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

Travelling around the country to various all-nighters and clubs, hearing fantastic music, taking a little bit from each experience, mixing in a little Ska, Reggae and Jazz, trying to mould this into my own style, hoping people don’t realise I’ve pinched it.

07. What was your best ever find/ discovery?

Laying claim to any find this day and age is a very rocky road, always someone out there to trip you up, but Manny Corchado – Pow Wow at the Mousetrap in the late 1990’s, would be a tough one to beat.

08. Who was your biggest influence musically and your favourite artist(s)?

The Motown stable, as it directs you to everything else, Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations. I also have a great love for Ska & Reggae, which stems from the Two-tone era.

09. Do you collect specific labels/ artist/ genres?

Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes – Tamla, Sue, Studio One, Blue Beat the list is too long…

10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

Mousetrap
RnB123
Brighton\NYE London
I’m also very fortunate to be asked to do fantastic clubs like VaVaVoom
(25th Oct 2014), Inner City Soul and The Boiler Barcelona.

11. What record you would most like to own?

George Pepp – The feeling is real – Coleman
Jimmy Bo Horne – I can’t speak – Dade
Ray Gee – I’m losing again – Soultown
The Wailers – Diamond baby – Coxsone

12. Please give us a top 10 all time favourites and a current top 5 spins?

Top 10 tracks of all time:

1. George Pepp – The feeling is real – Coleman
2. Paris – Sleepless nights – Doc
3. Flash Mckinley – I’ll rescue you – Bombay
4. Gene Toones – What more do you want – SimCo
5. George Lemons – Fascinating girl – Gold Soul
6. Cleveland Robinson – Love is a trap – Nosnibor
7. Prince Buster – Linger on – Prince Buster
8. Tommy McCook – Goldfinger – Treasure Isle
9. Little John – Just wait and see – Gogate
10. John Harris – Hangin’ in – Kerston

Current Top 5 Tracks:

1. Charles Sheffield – Got my voodoo working – Excello
2. Judy Hughes – Fine Fine Fine – Vault
3. Constellations – I don’t know about you – Gemini
4. Marvin Gaye – Loved starved heart – Tamla
5. Tan Geers – Let my heart and soul be free – Okeh

Next Club Spots: Nuts 20th Anniversary at Orleans, London – Sat November 18th 2017


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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September 6, 2017 By : Category : DJs Front Page Interviews Music News UK Tags:, , ,
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Anita Pallenberg – Fashion Icon

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Fashion Scene 5

Born to Italian and German parents, Anita Pallenberg was the mother of all rock chicks and with her passing in June we say goodbye to someone who embodied the style and sass of the mid to late 60s like no other.

She started her career as a model in her teens in Italy and New York, where she even spent time at Andy Warhol’s Factory. Her life was to change in 1965 when she blagged her way backstage at a Rolling Stones gig in Munich.

She began a relationship with Brian Jones, the two of them were often photographed about town in virtually matching outfits. They were the ultimate in rock & roll 60s cool. Drink and violence eventually drove the couple apart and Pallenberg and guitarist Keith Richards became an item soon after. They remained together for 12 years and had three children.

Although much of the press covering Pallenberg focuses on her intimate relationships with the Stones, her role as the so-called ‘Sixth Rolling Stone’ went way beyond sex and drugs. She was a muse in every sense of the word – a true, deep, visual and musical inspiration.

Jagger was said to have remixed tracks on the band’s 1968 album Beggars Banquet because she didn’t like it on a first hearing. The songs ‘Angie’ and ‘You Got the Silver’ were also said to be written about her and she also provided backing vocals on the 1968 ‘Sympathy for the Devil.’ Richards is said to have written ‘Gimme Shelter’ in reaction to the fact that his girlfriend was across town filming the, ‘not so simulated’ sex scenes with Mick Jagger in the raucous 60s romp ‘Performance.’

Beyond the sex, drugs and rock n roll, it was Pallenberg’s love of fashion that made her one of the coolest women of the era and in turn her natural ability to nail that ‘just got out of bed with a rock star’ look soon rubbed off on the band’s own style. These once suited and booted RnB boys evolved into cocky, dandyish, lolloping rock icons that they have been regarded as ever since. This transformation was largely down to Pallenberg. She just seemed to know what looked good.

Marianne Faithfull wrote of her friend in her biography ‘Faithful’: “How Anita came to be with Brian is really the story of how the Stones became the Stones. She almost single-handedly engineered a true cultural revolution in London by bringing together the Stones and the jeunesse dorée… The Stones came away with a patina of aristocratic decadence that served as a perfect counterfoil to the raw roots blues of their music. This… transformed the Stones from just pop stars into true cultural icons.”

For example, when she was with Jones she dyed his hair even blonder and dressed him in women’s clothes. He once asked her to dress him up to look like French singer Françoise Hardy. By 1967 the Stones were wearing Pallenberg’s trademark Fedora hats, scarfs and fur coats. Keith Richards once said that he started to become a fashion icon simply for “wearing his old lady’s clothes.”

She was the queen of the 60s accessory. The antithesis of the clean cut, butter wouldn’t melt, look of Twiggy. Every outfit was finished with either a low slung large buckle belt, a swishing boa style scarf draped over her long-legged frame and topped off with a wide brimmed hat. Mini skirts would be worn short as you like with knee length suede boots and full length fur coats.

Her flamboyant looks also saw Pallenberg carve out a decent career as an actress. She made 15 films, among them the iconic 60s kitsch classic ‘Barbarella’ where she played the ‘Black Queen’ alongside Jane Fonda in the lead role – her black cat suit cut away in all the right places by Paco Rabanne. After her split with Richards, Pallenberg went on to follow a career in fashion which saw her graduate from St Martins in the 90s and in later days was seen either strutting down the runway herself or hanging out with latter day ‘it girls’ such as model Kate Moss.

Sadly, she never wrote an autobiography because she said the publishers would only be interested in her dishing the dirt on the Stones. Her influence on fashion however will live on. She wasn’t styled by anyone else but herself – her look was hers alone but has been much imitated. A rare bird indeed. Rest in peace Anita.

 


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Claire Mahoney

At the age of 13 mod made perfect sense to me. I liked the look and the attitude - but most of all I liked the music. Secret Affair was my entry point, but they were soon playing second fiddle in my affections to The Jam. Paul Weller, of course, proceeded to break mine and many others hearts in 1982, when he put an end to that particular musical roller coaster – but what it meant was that, uninterested in anything else that was happening in music at the time, I had to look back. I was lucky enough to be given two plastic bags full of 60s 45s by my uncle who used to stock the jukeboxes back in the day. Their contents included a number of Stax originals, plus the Who and the Small Faces, as well as Motown classics from The Four Tops and the Supremes. So, when Phil Collins charted in the mid 80s with 'You Can't Hurry Love' it was nice to be able to say: “I've got the original of that!” It became quite an irritating habit of mine over the years. These days I still enjoy discovering new, old music, be it soul, rnb or jazz, as well as witnessing mod taken another turn among today's youth with bands like The Strypes. My day job as a journalist means I am lucky enough to be able to write about music and modernism now and again. Other than that you'll find me mostly on the dance floor or on eBay still looking for that perfect A line dress.

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July 3, 2017 By : Category : Articles Fashion Front Page News UK Tags:, , , , ,
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Masters -The James Hunter Six

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Masters3

Le Beat Bespoke 2010 was the last time NU had the honor of having The James Hunter Six grace our stage. I managed to have a chat with the main man ahead of the Margate Mod/Sixties weekend show on Friday 27 May 2017 @ Olbys.

You’ve had some rave reviews for the new album. How pleased are you with the way it has turned out?

Very much so! I know the phrase ‘We feel this is our best album’ is generally a coded way of saying ‘We feel this is our latest album’ but I would describe ‘Hold On’ as the record I always wanted to make. ‘Hold On’ is released on the Daptone lable.

How did that deal come about and were you a fan of their output beforehand?

We were between record labels and we wanted to work with a company whose ethos was the closest match to our artistic concept (or “a company who got our vibe” to use the parlance of today’s cider-addled youth). My barber played me Sharon Jones and the Dapkings’ stuff a few years ago and I liked it a lot, so at the first opportunity, we tried to get their label interested in us.

The producer for ‘Hold On’ (Gabriel Roth aka Bosco Mann) has compared you with Smokey Robinson in terms of your songwriting. That is high praise indeed, but how do feel about those kinds of comparisons?

I have been compared to Smokey before, although never favourably. I love his work, particularly his charming quirk as a compulsive rhymer, which effectively turns every fade out into a built-in bonus track.

How much of your life experience has influenced your songwriting?

I don’t think I’ve ever written anything explicitly autobiographical although some real-life moments end up in my songs. But that bit in ‘The Gypsy’ about whacking a fortune teller over the crust with a lead pipe is complete fiction. I deny all knowledge of this incident and I’m prepared to stand up in court and say so.

It’s fair to say your life has been anything but dull, from appearing on The Tube as Howlin’ Wilf, working with Van Morrison and Doris Troy (to name but two), then having to pick yourself up from a very low point to start again, what do you think has been the driving force that has brought you to this point?

Shortly after we appeared on ‘The Tube’ we had two record companies expressing an interest in us (neither of them went for it in the end) but when one of them invited us to the office he played the video of our performance and then turned to us and said: “Well you’ve done it now. You’ll never stop working!” And he turned out to be right, we never did, although there have been one or two lengthy holidays along the way.

The 2006 LP, ‘People Gonna Talk’ was a huge album in America, topping the Billboard Blues chart and earning a Grammy nomination. It was also critically acclaimed, what do you think was the key factor behind its success?

It might have been the novelty value of a middle-aged white bloke from England singing soul music, but hopefully, it was also because some of the songs were fairly catchy!

You have never recorded a cover version, but if you had to do a cover, what would it be?

We did attempt a cover of Allen Toussaint’s ‘Lover of Love’ for the ‘Hold On’ sessions but we didn’t really do it justice, so we’ll have another stab at it one day.

The other five musicians in your band have been with you for some considerable time now. What are their best qualities?

All of them have differing and eclectic tastes in music (anything as long as it’s good!) so each one brings a different element to the music, which stops it becoming too much of a slavishly copyist band. They also contribute to the arrangements of the songs after I’ve written them, which prevents them getting too samey. Oh, and availability is a strong factor as well.

We are really looking forward to seeing you in Margate James, thank you very much for talking to NutsMag.

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Graham Lentz

AKA ‘The Baron’ - Like many of his generation, The Jam started Graham's love affair with all things mod back in 1977. He is the author of 'The Influential Factor - A History Of Mod' which was originally published in 2002. An extract from the book was re-printed in Paolo Hewitt's 'The Sharper Word - revised edition' in 2011. Being a self-confessed 'broad-church' mod, Graham's interests range from Modern Jazz to today's up-coming new bands and everything in between. Although he has a passion for mod history, he also has a passion for the new. Whether it's music, clubs, media of every kind, clothing, scooters or art and photography, Graham supports, promotes and encourages as much as he can, because that's how we keep going. 'Give it a chance' is his motto. If it's not for you, that's cool, at least you tried it.

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May 15, 2017 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music News Scene UK Tags:, ,
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Masters – Corduroy

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Masters3

In the early 1990s, something unusual happened and something that has not happened since; two small independent British record labels were formed that defined the entire decade musically. On one side driving the Britpop era was Alan McGee’s Creation Records and on the other, Eddie Piller’s Acid Jazz which flew the flag for eclectic soul and funk. Part of that Acid Jazz roster was a band which may have had modest chart success, but retained a loyal fan base and critical acclaim for every album and single they released. NUTs caught up with frontman Richard Searle to talk about Corduroy and their forthcoming headline appearance at Le Beat Bespoke 12.

01. When did you get Corduroy back together and why?

We reformed in 2013 to promote a Corduroy CD box-set released by Cherry Red Records, featuring 3 of our 5 studio albums plus a Japanese live album; plus a previously unreleased live album via Acid Jazz Records.

 02. When did you first become interested in music?

We didn’t have a record player when I was a primary school kid. I grew up during Glam, (Slade, Sweet, T-Rex); but my oldest friend, who lived down my street (Elibank Rd), had a record player and his brother had two Who albums; so The Who were formative, and are still my favourite band.

03. Do you regard yourself as a mod? How did you get into it?

I bought punk records from 77 onwards, The Stranglers, The Damned, Generation X, Devo, Pistols etc, but I used to follow The Jam, they were ‘my life’. I saw them for the first time in 78 (supported by Generation X and Slade). My first parka cost £14 from Paraphernalia in Lewisham). My first bespoke suit, when I was 15, was from a tailor in Lewisham called James Joyce – the jacket still fits. When the ‘mod revival’ happened, I’d already started listening to psych stuff (the first Nuggets album, Velvet Underground, Shadows Of The Night, Electric Prunes, Love), so when the ‘New Psychedelic’ scene reared its head, I was already wearing more ‘swinging sixties’ gear, my hair was a ridiculous back-combed bouffant. I didn’t fit with the British ‘mod’ look, I was never into Two-Tone. When people ask, I say that I was a ‘psychedelic mod’.

04. How did the whole Doctor and the Medics thing come about?

The ‘psych scene’ was based around a couple of clothes shops, The Regal and Sweet Charity and a Soho club called The Clinic (in Gossips – Soho); the resident DJ called himself The Doctor he was my patrol leader in the scouts. The Doctor (Clive) was given the opportunity to record a single on Whaam Records, so he put a band together. It was only supposed to be for the one single, and a couple of gigs, but we had fun and carried on. I left after 8 years.

05. Which clubs did you visit during the late 80s and early 90s?

In the 80s it was mostly psych clubs, The Clinic, The Taste Experience, The Pigeon-Toed Orange Peel, and the Alice In Wonderland (a club which took over from The Clinic, in which The Doctor was resident DJ and The Medics played regularly). I went to The Bat Cave once – once was enough. In the 90’s I was going through a beatnik phase – Smashing, Frat Shack, Tongue Kung Fu. DJs like Martin Green and The Karminski’s were where it was at.

 06. How did you join up with Boy’s Wonder?

Boys Wonder were friends, they were truly great. They sacked the bassist Chris Tate and I filled in for a hand-full of gigs (a couple of head-lines at the Marquee and supporting The Hoodoo Gurus at the Town & Country, now The Forum).Tony Barber then joined.

Despite being ‘in vogue’ they were dropped by their record label, Sire, and then sacked Tony Barber. The Medics had stopped being fun by this point, so when they asked me to join permanently, I did so. The band then started a long downhill spiral of musical styles, band wagon jumping and failed attempts to get re-signed. By the time Boys Wonder finished, we were truly shit.

07. How did you meet Eddie Piller?

Acid Jazz was one of three record labels that the newly formed Corduroy went to see. Ed Piller booked us into his studio two days later.

His first words to me were… ‘Are you a mod?’

08. What is your assessment of the influence of mod on Acid Jazz and vice versa?

Acid Jazz became a refuge for displaced survivors of the mod revival, mainly because it was owned by one, (Ed Piller), but musically it was all over the place. The Sandals came from the ‘beat scene’, Emperor’s New Clothes were proper jazzers, and Mother Earth just wanted to be Traffic. Some bands initially did appeal to mods (JTQ and then Corduroy) but I think musical tastes changed with the labels’ output, which became quite ‘fusion’ orientated. Fifteen-minute hip hop, jazz funk, jam sessions by stone-heads with pubic beards wearing socks on their heads – just isn’t very mod.

09. What was the inspiration for the Corduroy sound?

We each had very different musical tastes, but we all shared a love of film music; this was the main inspiration for the Corduroy sound at its best (the first two albums). By the third album, that uniting force had vanished (lost through ego and endless Steely Dan records). I will always regret not actually leaving Corduroy after the second album.

10. What are you most proud of from your Corduroy years?

Record-wise, I guess the second album – High Havoc. Supporting Blur at Alexandra Palace, (with Pulp and Supergrass), was cool. Seeing the world, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia as well as traveling all over Europe. But my fondest memory is of pulling a girl’s knickers off with my teeth, during an excellent round of strip-dice (a game that I invented).

11. What was it like being signed to Acid Jazz and part of a vibrant scene in music?

The Acid Jazz ‘scene’ meant that people would listen to you, who normally wouldn’t, simply because they were into ‘the scene’. At its best, this meant that there was a family type atmosphere between the bands, and a sense of belonging, plus lots of work. At its worst, by the time Acid Jazz stopped being known as the record label and became regarded as a music genre, the bands couldn’t develop. When Brit-pop then over shadowing things, it became more fashionable than, the Acid Jazz scene, bands identified with ‘the genre’ were ultimately finished. The ‘scene’ itself moved back into the clubs – eventually with Acid Jazz Records buying The Blue-Note.

12. Which clubs did you visit during the 90s? Was Blow Up one of them?

I went to Blow-Up at The Laurel Tree a couple of times, more so when it moved to The Wag… Corduroy played a gig there. I had my own bar tab at The Blue Note.

13. Which bands, music, clubs or scenes have impressed you during the last decade?

Bands: Super Furry Animals, Spiritualised, Verve, Manson, The Dandy Warhols, Kula Shaker, The Prodigy, Earl Brutus,

Clubs: Smashing, was for a year or so, the best.

14. What has been the response to Corduroy coming back?

Very positive; getting lots of international invitations for shows as well as UK interest. We are currently writing new material with every intention of recording a new album.

15. What can we expect from Corduroy at Le Beat Bespoké this year?

Groovy, spy themed, organ-fueled, raw garage, punk-jazz, dirty mod, fun!

16. Are you looking forward to it?

Yes, very much!

 


We are too Richard. Thanks for taking the time to talk to NUTsMag

Corduroy headline Sunday night at lebeatbespoke.com at 229thevenue.co.uk Central London.

Check the bands facebook page here: facebook.com/CorduroyBand/

This interview was originally the one I did with Richard Searle for the updated Influential Factor.


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Graham Lentz

AKA ‘The Baron’ - Like many of his generation, The Jam started Graham's love affair with all things mod back in 1977. He is the author of 'The Influential Factor - A History Of Mod' which was originally published in 2002. An extract from the book was re-printed in Paolo Hewitt's 'The Sharper Word - revised edition' in 2011. Being a self-confessed 'broad-church' mod, Graham's interests range from Modern Jazz to today's up-coming new bands and everything in between. Although he has a passion for mod history, he also has a passion for the new. Whether it's music, clubs, media of every kind, clothing, scooters or art and photography, Graham supports, promotes and encourages as much as he can, because that's how we keep going. 'Give it a chance' is his motto. If it's not for you, that's cool, at least you tried it.

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February 23, 2017 By : Category : Bands Interviews Music News Tags:, , ,
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Leslie Cavendish: The hairstylist to The Beatles…

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Fashion Scene 4

I first became aware of the name Leslie Cavendish when I was researching for an article that I wrote a few years ago. That article was on the boutique ‘Dandie Fashions’. When the said boutique was taken over by the Apple Corp in the spring of 1968, the boutique then changed its name to ‘Apple Tailoring’. It was decided that it would remain in the hands of John Crittle to run the day to day activities surrounding the boutique. Within the premises there was an unused basement, which became a unisex hair salon. Clientele could be fitted for a garment and then pop down the stairs to the basement for a haircut! The person who was put in charge of running the hair salon was Leslie Cavendish. As far as my research went for the article on Dandie Fashions – that is as far as I got with the hair salon / Leslie Cavendish part of the story.

As I delved deeper into Leslie’s background, it became quite clear to myself that he was an important part in that whole time period of the mid to late sixties. With some more research, I eventually managed to get in contact with Leslie, and as our correspondence increased, a meeting was arranged!

On a cold and grey late November morning, my wife Susie and I headed to London to meet Leslie. The rendezvous venue was chosen by Leslie, so we headed over to Hampstead and a pub called ‘The Old Bull & Bush’. I have to admit that I was quite nervous as we entered through the doors of the pub – lots of anxious thoughts racing through my mind. Within seconds of meeting and exchanging pleasantries, I knew that we were all going to get on fine. Phew….

From the pictures that I had garnered from the internet, it is crystal clear that Leslie was a man of style and great taste. Dark-haired, handsome and mysterious looking – not dissimilar to the guy that used to front the old Milk Tray chocolate adverts! As I looked at Leslie while in our conversation – he still retains the same qualities.

I got to work on asking my questions, almost immediately! Leslie gave me a brief story of his childhood in London, which eventually got to the part where he started an apprenticeship with Vidal Sassoon. From working with Vidal, he eventually got onto the subject of The Beatles and how he become part of that inner-circle. While our conversation deepened, it became apparent that Leslie had incredible understanding and memory of what was happening, in and around himself – back in those heady days! Even within the short time that we shared Leslie’s company, he managed to regale us both in some wonderful stories. I got the feeling that Leslie was enjoying telling his stories, as he had found the perfect audience. Leslie is hoping to get his book of memoirs published in 2017, and I expect lots of these incredible stories to be in the book. So, until that time, the tales Leslie did pass onto Susie and myself will remain as our own special secrets!

We spoke about music, fashion and football. I have to mention that Leslie is a lifelong QPR supporter or sufferer! And like myself, every now and then he was looking to his mobile phone for football updates.

There were still lots of questions that I wanted to ask, but I was aware of not bombarding Leslie or overstaying our welcome. So I asked if I could email him some questions – and that way, he could spend a little more time in his answering.

Before you read the Q&A part of my article – I have to mention what a charming and warm natured man Leslie is. As we left the pub, I think that we both felt we had gained a new friend.

I emailed Leslie a number of questions – here is what I asked, and Leslie’s answers:

01. What age did you take up hairdressing?

I left school at 15. I then started an apprenticeship at Vidal Sassoon at 171 New Bond Street. The apprenticeship was for three years, where I became Vidal’s junior for three months, and I was then promoted to junior hairstylist at his Grosvenor House hotel, Park Lane, salon. Just before my eighteenth birthday.

02. How did you manage to find a job working for the world-famous Vidal Sassoon?

My best friend at school and still to this day, Lawrence Falk (he started the first unisex salon in the U.K. called ‘Crimpers’) started working in a salon in London. I thought why not try it myself – so I asked him where would be the best place to start out. He said ‘Vidal’s salon’. So I called the salon and managed to get an interview and from there I got an apprenticeship.

03. Tell us something about the kind of clientele that would frequent the salon?

The salon had a very mixed clientele. From wealthy ladies who wanted the latest Vidal style to young models (some of which became household names), famous actors, musicians, fashion designers, to big film directors, and Mary Quant, who with the ideal hairstyle, set off the swinging London scene.

04. The world’s music, fashion, arts and hairdressing seemed to all explode in the early to mid-sixties – did you personally feel like you were part of something special that was happening in London?

You didn’t really think too much about it at the time. Life was exciting anyway working at Vidal’s. Added to that, the music and fashion were part of my youth. You did feel like ‘the times they were a changin’!

05. How did you become the personal hairstylist to The Beatles – and what were they like as people?

At Vidal’s, a client of mine was Jane Asher (who was Paul McCartney’s girlfriend) – she asked me one day if I would like to cut her boyfriend’s hair! And I think you know what happened next…

I met them all at a time when they had all decided to stop touring. So they were all a lot more relaxed than I imagine they would’ve been if they were on the road. All four of them were different and I had a good friendship with them all. This also applied to the team that was around them. I was the only one who wasn’t from Liverpool, but because I never spoke to journalists about my link with The Beatles – and never hassled them for autographs etc – I become one of the inner circle that they could trust.

06. What are your memories of managing your own salon within the boutique that became ‘Apple Tailoring’?

It was an intimate salon and very personal to whoever came in to have their hair done. My clients came from the music world and from streetwise people who just found the salon – and loved to have their hair done in the remarkable atmosphere that was ‘Apple Tailoring’! Being in the boutique and watching the dandies of London being dressed up in velvet and frilly, patterned shirts, was extremely interesting. They came in the shop to be dressed, and left as peacocks!

07. What are your memories of working alongside John Crittle at ‘Apple Tailoring’?

At first, John was great to be around, and I used to like watching his friends, who were mostly from the ‘Chelsea Set’, hanging around the shop. After a while though, I lost a lot of respect for John, as he was often stoned and spoke to people in an arrogant manner. He seemed to think that he was a Chelsea via Australian aristocrat, who was doing everybody a favour in dressing them, and he didn’t have time for the regular customer – who were the ‘real’ customers!

08. You were part of the chosen entourage for the now cult Beatles’ film ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ – what are your memories of that journey?

The MMT was one of my great memories and to be on tour with THE BEATLES, especially as they had stopped touring, was something special. If you have watched the film, you will have seen the coach journey and it was great to be one of the passengers, and to be able to watch The Beatles close up. More of which will be in my book!

09. I know that you were very interested in the music that was happening all around you – what were your personal favourite bands, both live and on vinyl?

When I was young I used to like Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, and The Everly Bros. Later on, I discovered Buffalo Springfield, Jefferson Airplane, Vanilla Fudge, The Doors, CSNY, and many more West Coast bands. My taste in British bands were The Animals, Free, The Kinks, Dusty Springfield, and Cat Stevens. I was also into folk music – and Neil Young was a hero of mine. I saw many bands live, but CSNY at the Albert Hall, and David Bowie (Ziggy Stardust), and not forgetting The Beatles, were concerts not to be forgotten.

10. What are your thoughts on the clothing that you were wearing back in those days? From the photos that I have seen you certainly were a snappy dresser!

I loved the whole hippy look – Afghan coats and velvet jackets with ‘Anello & Davide’ shoes. I also got into suits from ‘John Michael’ and ‘Take 6’.

11. What are your thoughts on contemporary men’s hairdressing – and do you still cut hair today?

I am like a gunfighter who put his scissors away in a holster a few years ago. Today’s hairdressing is an art form. The use of electric cutters and the thinning outlooks, makes out for spectacular hairstyles. Hairdressing is like Punk music – nobody makes the rules – you do what you want and that is called fashion.

12. And finally – what other interesting things are you up to these days?

I have now finished my autobiography about my life as a hairdresser at Vidal’s, and this included my time with The Beatles. The book should be out this year. I have given lectures at universities about the culture and fashion during the sixties period. I have been asked to be a guest speaker at The Beatles week this year in Liverpool, which I am looking forward to doing.

I occasionally do VIP Beatle tours. My clients come from all over the world and instead of the usual Beatle tours that take place around London, I can tell them what it was actually like in the recording studios, as well as being in the building, while The Beatles performed on the roof!


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Peter Feely

Married to Susie, both actively involved in the UK 60s scene for many years. My personal interest in 1960s culture goes back over 30 years, with my main two passions being music and fashion, both in equal measure. I run my own menswear label – ‘Perfumed Garden’ clothing, catering for the discerning dandy male - in addition to sourcing and selling vintage mens’ gear, with a particular interest in those hard-to-find jackets and shoes! I also run the Facebook group, ‘Psychedelic Clothing for Men: Then and Now’, with 2200+ members. Although I have no formal training in the fashion industry, what I do possess is a real passion, and through the years I have gained valuable knowledge of many areas of mens’ fashion from the mid to late 1960s. I’m also a musician and have played in many bands in my younger years. I’m an avid collector of music and music-related paraphernalia. I started running my own club nights back in the mid-1990s, and at present I run a psychedelic night in Derby – ‘The Perfumed Garden Of Musical Delights’. Through this I also get to DJ at many exciting events up and down the country

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February 15, 2017 By : Category : Fashion Front Page Inspiration Interviews News Tags:, , , , ,
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The Lovely Eggs speak to NUTsMag

The Lovely Eggs bring their own artful autonomy and pickled noir humour to a growing list of original, vibrant and offbeat compositions, films, gig/parties with a bold visual and cinematic flavour that really should be on the National Schools Curriculum to dispel the whiff of ‘X Factor’ drudgery and all of its equivalents. Art meets real life talent, we introduce The Lovely Eggs, your own real, new favourite everyday band!

Members:
David Blackwell: drums, guitar, tamb, other stuff.
Holly Ross: Singing, guitar, tamb, other stuff.

01 How did the band get together?

In Paris in 2006.

02 Where did your name come from?

A pigeon laid two eggs in an abandoned nest on our bathroom windowsill.The eggs were incubating while we were writing our first songs. Then during the summer they hatched and that is when we flew back to England and formed our band. It just seemed a natural name. There were two of them and two of us and we were born at the same time.

03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

We are influenced a lot by everyday life. A lot of our songs are quite observational about the ridiculous things people get up to every day. So in a way just getting up in a morning and mooching round is a big inspiration to us. It’s good living in Lancaster, which is a small northern town, so you know everyone and its funny to see life tick along. We’re also influenced by the obvious poets and writers and artists and that predictable stuff. Our favourite is Richard Brautigan. We don’t despise anyone.

04 What drove you to make music together?

We just wanted to be in a band where there were no rules where we could be free to make exactly the music we wanted to hear.That seems hard for some bands these days but it is really easy!

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

We like to have a party at our gigs. Parties are timeless.

06 Who writes your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

David’s mum. We write about everything in the life capsule.

07 How did your music evolved since you first began playing together?

We maybe sound more powerful now. When we first started David had never played drums before. We had a lot of soft songs when we first started. Now we are more wild and raw.

08 What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

Our biggest challenge was probably touring across America for 21 days in a car with another band and all the equipment WITHOUT Strongbow!

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

We’re generally not into playing covers, although we once did a cover of It’s Spooky by Jad Fair and Daniel Johnston for a B side of our Halloween single Haunt Me Out. We also covered Hotpants Romance before just to make them scream!

10 Where did you envisage the band being in five years time?

Depends what day, but if it’s January 16th 2017 we’ll probably be mooching round our mums house.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

Well Jonathan Richman would be pretty good.

12 What should we be expecting from the band in the near future?

Some more records, some more gigs and a bit of falling about. We are playing at Le Beat Bespoke 12 Easter next year (2017) We are really looking forward to the whole event.

Thanks To The Lovely Eggs.

www.thelovelyeggs.co.uk/
www.myspace.com/thelovelyeggs
twitter.com/TheLovelyEggs
soundcloud.com/thelovelyeggs
www.facebook.com/thelovelyeggs

 

Thanks to eyeplug.net © 2011


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admin

Pip! Pip! Are the Creative Business Engine behind various music based organisations of the cool underground variety. Providing angst, confusion, bewilderment and annoyance in equal amounts. We design/host/manage great sites like this one! Why not hire us one day soon?

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December 7, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music News Tags:, ,
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Masters – Bronco Bullfrog

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Masters3

01.  For those new to Bronco Bullfrog, can you give us a quick account of who, how, when and why the band started?

Andy: 1996 (20 years ago – Jesus!). Mike and I had been in The Nerve and Louis had been in The Beatpack, Immediates, Morticians and probably others. He was in garage bands when he was about 10. These bands were playing the same ’60s/mod circuit in London and slowly got to know each other; dogs sniffing each other’s arses, so to speak. I joined Louis’ post-Immediates band Vibraphone sometime around 1990 but left after we were involved in a motorway accident after a gig in Spain. In ’96 all three of us found ourselves at a loose end and decided to try our luck together with something a little different. The garage/psych/mod approach had been mined pretty deep and we’d all started listening to a wider palette of music; country-rock, folk, powerpop, sunshine-pop. The aim was to absorb all of these influences into one cohesive whole while retaining our roots as Who/ Kinks/Small Faces worshipping fanboys. There were no rules at the beginning: if we liked the sound of it, it was in.

02.  You took your name from Barney Platts-Mills’ 1969 film, and your debut LP included ‘Del Quant’, based on the main character. What was it that captured your imagination about that film?

Andy: We’d all discovered the film around the time the band was starting out and I suspect, like many bands, needed a name for a poster in a hurry. It was to hand and it stuck. I had no idea there was a Spanish Oi! label with the same name. We watched the film endlessly and used to run off copies of my third-generation VHS, taped off Channel 4 in the ’80s, for our mates. When we were writing that first flurry of songs, it loomed large in our world and that’s where the lyrics to ‘Del Quant’ came from. Louis and I wrote it in the kitchen in the house we were sharing in Fosse Road South, Leicester. ‘Down Angel Lane’ is also named after a street in Stratford that appears in the film.

03.  Your debut album, Bronco Bullfrog, came out in 1998 on the small independent Twist label. In the preceding few years swathes of bands with even the slightest 60s echo were signed to big labels and had money pumped into them. Bronco Bullfrog had far more depth, imagination and superior songs (I’m allowed to say this, you can agree….) but got overlooked. Why do you think this was and was it a source of irritation?

Andy: We’ve talked about this a lot over the years (and over the beers) and we’re still not sure. Laziness? Nonchalance? Ignorance probably. When we started there was very little awareness of a lot of the stuff that most bands seem to crave from day one: we had no desire to get signed up or play at certain cool gigs or support Supergrass or whatever. We’d come up through provincial bands where playing to 40 people on a Saturday night was kind of enough. We weren’t chasing any kind of success or acceptance; we were literally doing our own thing. It all felt very insular; us against the world, getting stoned and buying obscure pop and psych records from Leicester market and writing these little songs.

We’d save up our pennies and when we had £150 we’d go into the cheapo studio in Leicester YMCA and cut three or four songs; that was our first album. Mark Le Gallez from Twist asked Louis if he had any Immediates recordings that he could put out. Louis said no but he had a new band, that was that. We recorded a couple more songs and all those short bursts of music on there and Twist put it out. We were on the same label as The Solarflares so all was well.

04.  You enjoyed a greater appreciation in other parts of Europe than in the UK. What were the differences at home and abroad and why do you think that was?

Andy: Again, we’ve asked lots people, particularly in Spain, where we’ve achieved a modicum of success, about this as we have no idea. The over-riding impression we’ve been given is that they like the songs primarily, and secondarily the way we try to put them across, with gusto and without fear of failure! Perhaps our tendency to “over-write” songs, to keep adding more musicality, more chord changes and structural elements, singled us out somewhat. I wasn’t hearing a lot of bands playing songs as naively adventurous as ‘Greenacre Hill’ and ‘7:38’ around that time. Still don’t actually. I guess the balance of downbeat, often melancholic lyrics in a spunky, super-pop framework isn’t that common either.

05.  Talk us through the Bronco Bullfrog albums. Are you self-critical? Some of the songs, particularly early on, appear very autobiographical and personal. What emotions do they provoke in you now?

Andy: Like I said earlier, this was 20 years ago, we were young men writing about the travails that young men go through: break-ups, breakdowns, high times, low times, girls, films, pubs and cake. Life was easier then – we didn’t have responsibilities like we do now.

What I hadn’t done before (as primary songwriter) was to write about myself and my emotions and those of my friends and the world around me. The Nerve was resolutely a psychedelic rock band; the lyrics were, for the most part, meaningless. The wah-wah and the Hammond were more important. It was only when people started telling me how much the words to ‘Paper Mask’ or ‘Sweet Tooth’ meant to them that I started to consider that there might be some emotional depth to what we were doing. Then we’d get on stage and try to be The Who in 1968 and any subtlety went straight out the window!

All three of us are incredibly self-critical of Bronco Bullfrog’s recordings, I can’t bear to listen to anything other than the first album and a couple of tracks from each of the others. They were all recorded cheaply, quickly and honestly – which is the way we wanted it – but that method can result in some rather, er, candid performances. We weren’t confident in the studio and would continually swap instruments if the other guy could do it better. That spirit was lost as time passed. And the red light syndrome always defeated us.

06.  Which three songs would you pick to give the best representation of Bronco Bullfrog and why?

Andy: Tricky. The first batch will always remain the most resonant as they represent a snapshot of our lives and our friendship at that time; precious, life-affirming memories. After that we tried our hand at all sorts of things but ended up gravitating towards a fairly regulation powerpop / power-trio format and some of that variety was sacrificed. Stylistically, a selection that I like would be ‘Paper Mask’ for its emotional heft, ‘Sweet Tooth’ for its blind pop optimism (poptimism?) and something like ‘Down Angel Lane’, ‘History’ or ‘One Day With Melody Love’ for almost capturing the essence of all those ’60s 45s we adore: punch, power, melody and dynamics. And mistakes!

07.  After years away Bronco Bullfrog have reformed in a very gentle manner, releasing a series of stand-alone 7 inch singles and the occasional gig. Tell us about those. What prompted the three of you getting back in the studio? Did you have songs you’d already written or did you write them once the idea had settled?

Andy: I guess we needed some time apart after the band split up in 2004; some growing up had to be done. I’m not saying any of us have grown up but we’re all best mates again now and that’s by far the best thing that’s come out of this reunion.

The singles were a natural by-product of getting back together and not wanting to go straight back on stage; we were more interested in writing and recording a bunch of new songs in as informal and low-key a manner as we could manage. We went to State Recorders when it was in Folkestone, then when it moved to St Leonard’s, as we’d known Mole and Marty since their Mystreated days and liked the rough and ready sound they were busy patenting. I emailed a few labels and low and behold! We’ve done four 45s on four labels so far.

08.  So many bands reform years down the line. People have mixed views about this, what’s your take? What makes a successful reunion, both from the point of view of a musician and a fan?

Andy: I can only speak from my own experience, which is that the whole time we were out of action we were still getting requests to go and play in Spain, Germany and Italy. After a while we realised that people remembered us and maybe we should give it a shot. We did a couple of warm-up gigs late last year to quell the nerves, then headed back to Spain in December and dived in at the deep end at Purple Weekend. We’ve done two tours over there since then and, while we’ve undoubtedly become less ragged, we’ve also realised that playing those songs for 90 minutes when you’re 47 is knackering!

09.  What can we expect from Bronco Bullfrog in the future? More gigs? Singles? An album?

Andy: We haven’t recorded anything for 18 months as we were preparing our sea legs for the Spanish shows. We’re all in other bands too and have assorted jobs and families that require our attention. The plan, however tentative, is to record an album and another single early next year. We’ll probably do it ourselves, in our time and space, on a couple of old four-tracks so a) it sounds more like the old records we dig and b) you can’t hear the mistakes so well.

10.  Finally, your 2013 single for State Records included ‘Never Been To California’ (my favourite track of the new BB-era). For someone whose songs have so often included Californian sunshine pop in their grooves, please tell me this isn’t true!

Andy: Sorry Mark, it is true. Neither Louis, Mike nor myself have been to the US of A so I thought I’d write a song about it and we’d try and make it sound like a Californian sunshine-pop band. Obviously we failed but that’s what Bronco Bullfrog has always been about really: creating something interesting and exciting by failing!

Weblinks:

broncobullfrog.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/broncobullfroguk

Gigs:

Sat 22nd October – Crossfire 29 @ 229 The Venue, London 


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Mark Raison

I've spent three-quarters of my life wandering the mod path with detours down its side streets and dark alleys. From an enthusiastic youth to a still-enthusiastic-but-harder-to-tell grizzled old goat, I've dabbled in all parts of the scene from writing fanzines 'Round Midnight and Something Has Hit Me; to promoting bands; attempting to manage bands; singing in the mighty garage combo The Electric Fayre; putting on indie, psych and soul clubs including Freak Scene, Orange Sunshine, and Shake!; writing liner notes for Reg King releases on Circle Records; and, in fitter times, tucking away the odd goal for the New Untouchables. I still DJ from my box of R&B humdingers but more often you’ll find me tapping away on my blog at monkeypicks.co.uk. I like the poetry of Charles Bukowski and dislike the taste of cheese.

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October 3, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music News Tags:, ,
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The Baron Four (Newbreed)

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Newbreed5

Band Members:

Mike Whittaker (Bass/Main Vocals)
Joe Eakins (Git/Vocals)
Kevin Smith (Git/Vocals)
Mole (Drums/Vocals)

Discography:

She Said Yeah (7”)
Yes I Do (7”)
Out Of The Wild Come (LP)
Walking Out (7”)
I Don’t Mind (7”)

01. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

The band has been going for about 4 years, the current lineup has only been together a few months. We knew each as we were all already in other bands and would end up on the same bill sometimes. We always seemed to be on the same page music wise.

02. What influences do the band members have in common?

Humour, we all have an immature sense of humour which is important when you’re around each other a lot. Obviously we all enjoy the same sounds and styles of music which is also quite handy…

03. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

Not particularly. There’s a few good bands around but not much new… The Missing Souls, The Masonics, The Thanes, The Teamsters, The Kaisers are all pretty exciting.

04. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

There isn’t one.

05. How would you describe the style you play?

Raw & Savage Beat Music.

06. What are your live shows like?

Unexpected.

07. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

Main influences would be mainly relatively unknown 60’s groups. Blues music has been a massive influence on my life – Howlin Wolf, LIghtnin Hopkins, Slim Harpo, Leadbelly to name but a few, also a lot of Soul music, Punk (70’s Punk that is).

We do a few covers – You’re No Good (Dee Dee Warwick/Clint Ballard Jr), I Just Wanna Make Love To You (Willie Dixon), Wild Angel (James Bond & The Agents).

I despise talentless mannequins who are marketed to make money.

08. What are your main influences outside of music?

As Cliché as it sounds, probably sights, sounds, experiences and feelings.

09. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

Myself (Mike), my strange thoughts and feelings, love, hurt, depression. Subjects that people might relate to but also subjects where people probably have no idea what I mean (or what I’m saying for that matter).

10. What’s your favourite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

My favourite song of ours at the minute is probably ‘Certain Type Of Girl’ simply because it’s brand new, fast and fun to play, pretty catchy too if I do say so myself.

11. How would you describe the current underground scene?  Do you participate?

Not really sure there is one? I’ll go to something if there’s genuinely something good on or a band I really want to see otherwise I’m not fussed.

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

Touring for 6 months at a time, that was in my previous band Thee Vicars though, that was pretty challenging being around the same 4 people for that long without killing each other.

13. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

We don’t get a lot of chances to practice as we all live so far apart. Generally we normally play often enough to stay tight together, or even practice just before a show. We record probably twice a year, it depends on how quickly the recordings get released. We have a 2nd LP to come out soon, we are taking our time to choose the label wisely, with a tour to follow.

14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

Shite.

15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

No, there was a spell where there were some great bands coming in but then they all went south very quickly. Bands like The Strokes, The Hives, even Kings Of Leon were great when they first came onto the scene but JESUS, WHAT HAPPENED!?

16. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

Joe Meek because he was incredible. Also Phil Spector.

17. What should we expect from you in the future?  What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

Release a 2nd LP, and then much more after that I’m sure.

18th November – Putney, London (Half Moon Pub) w/ The Masonics
31 December– Nutty NYE, London @ www.229thevenue.co.uk
4th February – Wachina Festival – Valencia, Spain.

 

Social Networks:

facebook.com/thebaronfour

Updated Releases and Tour Dates:

LP coming soon…


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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October 3, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music News Tags:, , ,
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Paul Orwell and the Night Falls (Newbreed)

This entry is part 6 of 22 in the series Newbreed4

Band Members:
Paul Orwell (Guitar,Vox)
Michael Parrett (Bass)
Stu Marsh (Guitar)
Scotty Roberts (drums)

Discography:
Tell Me Tell Me (vinyl only) single,
Only 250 made and sold out in just 7 days of Pre Order a month before release

Updated Releases and Tour Dates: Tell Me Tell Me / Little Reason 45 on Heavy Soul Records (SOLD OUT)

01. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

As a band not long, we have done around 14 shows, I met Michael at a gig we did ages ago in different shit bands, I trashed the stage before he got on, fun times!

I got him to trade the guitar in for a bass, the other members answered adverts I put out it’s worked out well.

02. What influences do the band members have in common?

The Beatles and 60’s fashion.

03. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

Nah, they are all bleak, boring and predictable… well from what I can see and hear.

04. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

I haven’t found one, a massive gap in the market I think.

05. How would you describe the style you play?

Freak Beat.

06. What are your live shows like?

Fun, tight, magical, raw.

07. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

A lot of early beat, R&B and RnR. We only play lively covers if at all that we enjoy, not your every day covers the more obscure the better.

08. What are your main influences outside of music?

Hard one as my whole life is music, from producing, writing, and finding new gems. I love record collecting and Art.

09. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

Me (Paul Orwell) and my tainted heart, messed up mind and butchered soul.

10. What’s your favourite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

My personal favourite is “Little Reason” as I sometimes get a chance to go and interact and dance with the crowd, we sometimes do a cover of “When The Night Falls” By The Eyes, that’s fun!

11. How would you describe the current underground scene?  Do you participate?

Not really, I’m only sociable around friends, family and fans. I’m not one of those who find it important to be part of a scene, just to do my own thing, that’s what is important. If people like it, great if they don’t, sod them.

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

Producing a track that takes me weeks to get right.

13. How often do you rehearse? Play Live? Record?  Anything interesting coming up?

We are good with rehearsals, we are perfectionists so we can get everything right to enjoy being loose on stage. We only play gigs that suite our style, sod playing a load of indie gigs, no fun in that. I record every day, lots of interesting things coming up including new releases, new videos, maybe some more gigs abroad. I would love to do a tour.

14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

It’s been along long while since I’ve read a music mag or listened to any up to date radio station, so I can’t really answer. I should imagine it’s all favouritism.

15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

Again I don’t listen to much past 1972, I like some, Hypnotic Eye and The Teamsters seem to have some magical sounds going on.

16. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

Producers: George Martin, Joe Meek, Phil Spector

Artist alive: Paul McCartney,

Artist Dead: John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Syd Barrett, Otis Redding

These artists all play big parts in the way I think and are very important to me and music.

17. What should we expect from you in the future?  What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

Record deal would be nice and some good support slots.
29 September 2014 – The Finsbury, London with Magnetic Mind
11 October 2014 – Crossfire 25, 229 venue, London

Web Links:

facebook.com/PAULORWELLOFFICIAL
twitter.com/PAULORWELLMUSIC
soundcloud.com/paulorwell


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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October 2, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music News Tags:, , , ,
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The Beatniks (Newbreed)

The Beatniks are based in Southend-On-Sea, Essex, UK, featuring band members: Andy (Hammond/Keys), Tony (Vox/Harmonica), Sean (Bass/Groove), Paul (Guitar/Fuzz), Heather (Drums/Beats) we caught up with them recently.

01. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

We started with the official line-up at the beginning of 2015, with our first gig together being Valentine’s Day at The Railway Hotel for Dandy Bloom. Sean and Andy were the original members with a different drummer and singer, and once they left Heather and Paul joined shortly after. The four of us were trying out different singers for quite a while. We really wanted to find someone who not only suited the style of music we play, but was fully immersed in the scene too and then we found Tony!

02. What influences do the band members have in common?

Musically speaking, we’re all into the general mod/sixties vibe but we all have specific genres that tie in together quite well. For example, Tony is more of a 60s psych man, Andy is into his acid jazz, Sean is more classic mod/scooter, Paul loves his funk and garage and Heather loves a bit of a northern soul. This dynamic works really well, especially when it comes to writing songs. We’ve got 4 new tracks in the pipeline that are completely different from the next, but they all fit in with the ‘mod’ scene.

03. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

Tuppenny Bunters are a fantastic husband and wife duo, really energetic and simply amazing to watch live. They’re also owners of our favourite local pub (and DJ residency) The Railway Hotel. Mo Fingers are a brilliant Hammond driven band (similar to us but more instrumental based). There’s so many, more though! Just off the top of our heads… The Scarletts, The Ends, Howling Black Soul and Rollin’ Machine. It goes on and on!

04. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

We usually head up to London for that sort of scene (mostly for your nights Rob!) but you’ve got Almost Grown at Saks, they also do a mod weekender in May which we’ve played at twice now and the only other one would be Dandy Bloom, both usually play Northern Soul/R’n’B sort of stuff. We’re actually thinking of starting our own local night which we can DJ and play live at. Because of our eclectic interests (as mentioned previously), we’ll have a mix of genres that we reckon could get a good crowd in. It’s just a case of coming up with a name and getting a venue sorted!

05. How would you describe the style you play?

It’s a mix of all the different styles of music we like collectively. Hammond stuff, garage, soul, acid jazz, psych and even a bit of indie thrown in. We don’t sit down and think we are going to come up with a Northern Soul or an instrumental track or whatever. We just jam it out and it ends up how it ends up.

6. What are your live shows like?

They seem to be getting better and better. Now we have a few gigs under our belt and working more originals into the set list, it’s getting more exciting and fun for us and we hope that reflects onto the crowd.

07. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

Again, it’s the mod scene in general. We started off doing covers by bands like The Small Faces, Brian Auger, The Kinks, Shocking Blue, Terry Reid and various other bands and we are not against cover versions, but is so much more satisfying playing our own songs. Who do we despise? Bono is pretty much universally despised and with good reason, so probably him… and Coldplay too. There are many to pick from.

08. What are your main influences outside of music?

Generally speaking. it comes back to music, but if we had to pinpoint specific influences we would say the fashion that comes with that 60s era/vintage clothes and the scooter scene too.

9. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

We are all involved in the writing process. One of us might turn up with a riff, a chord sequence or idea and we just jam it out. Tony has written pretty much all the lyrics so far, but that’s just how things have worked out. Any one of us can come up with a lyric or riff and if it sounds good, then we will use it.

10. What’s your favourite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

Our newer songs (Seven Suns, Soul Jive, Inspector 71) are probably more fun to play purely because they are the newest. By another artist, and it changes so very often, but we would say at the moment, ‘Dude’ by Pappy’s Haunted House or ‘If I Could Only Be Sure’ by Nolan Porter.

11. How would you describe the current underground scene? Do you participate?

We’ve noticed in the last few years there’s a younger generation trickling through the scene who seem to be influenced by the 60s Mod look and that seems to be growing. We do tend to go out as a band, whether we’re playing or just participating we try to get out to various venues within the scene.

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

Probably finding a singer. Since Heather and Paul joined we were rehearsing for about a year as an instrumental band, but really wanted a front man or woman. We had a few people come down to audition, but for one reason or another wasn’t right or didn’t fit. Then we met Tony through a friend of the band and he came down and it all seemed to work. Maybe it was fate as we sort of knew one another through friends of friends and we all seem to gel really well as a group and really got on. We knew he was the man almost instantly.

13. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

Well, we try to get at least one rehearsal in a week, but twice a week leading up to a gig. We book our own gigs at the moment, so it’s really when we are able to sort one out. We have had a few people contacting us now though and that always helps. Coming up, we are on a compilation called Dirty Mod which is out through Well Suspect Records with a launch party at Pretty Green in Carnaby Street, we are really chuffed with that. We would like to put an EP or album out this year, but on CD and vinyl, this time as our debut was vinyl only.

14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

Not great in the media is it? They focus too much on what makes a lot of money instead of what actual talent is. There’s still a lot great bands about, but you have to dig a little deeper yourself. There isn’t much coverage of the stuff we like in the media, but the internet is a good source of information, as are recommendations.

15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

Fogbound are really good. We played with them at Crossfire last year and they were excellent. Great band, great tunes and a really nice bunch of chaps too.

16. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

We could mention dozens of people, but I think we all agree that Steve Marriott would have been great to record with. I think we would all be in awe being in the same room as him, let alone record with him! They don’t make ‘em like that anymore sadly.

17. What should we expect from you in the future? What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

We have been coming up with quite a few new songs and ideas and recently recorded a few tracks that we are hoping to put out on an album or EP a bit later in the year. It all depends on how many songs we have got together and how quick we want to get them out. Getting signed would be amazing, but we self-financed our first single and would go that route again to get the songs out. Would love to play 100 Club or the odd gig abroad. Amsterdam or Spain would be really cool. We have Village Green, which is a pretty big festival in Southend we’re all looking forward to that. Other than that, we have a few local gigs lined up, but the Brighton Mod Weekender is the big one that we are really, really excited about. So see you there and hope you enjoy our set.

Discography:
Single: 2016 – AA 7” ‘CC (Love Surprise)/Ball & Chain’ (Self Released) – BNR001
Compilation: 2016 – ‘Dirty Mod’ (Well Suspect Records) – SUSSLP07/SUSSCD07

Weblinks:
Main Site: thebeatniks.co.uk
facebook.com/The-Beatniks
twitter.com/BeatniksBand
soundcloud.com/thebeatniksband


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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July 13, 2016 By : Category : Bands Beat Front Page Fuzz Garage Interviews Music News Scene UK Tags:, , ,
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Big Boss Man (Newbreed)

This entry is part 22 of 22 in the series Newbreed4

1. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

We’ve been together for 20 years and we met in a pub called the Dolphin.

What influences do the band members have in common?

Mexican Food-fine wine-an eye for the ladies.

3. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

The Wurzels are from our way and they are amazing.

4. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

I think the Godrergraig mod 60’s scene is among the best in the world.

5. How would you describe the style you play?

Hammond-Bongo-Fuzz.

6. What are your live shows like?

“The best live band in the uk” was a quote from alive and giving mag.

7. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

Soul-Funk-Blues. We don’t play covers though we did used to play im a man and Cloud 9 with congas in.

8. What are your main influences outside of music?

Baking, shed building and goat herding.

09. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

Nasser writes a lot of the songs and the band also write collectively in their Welsh Mountain Studio “Beat Mountain” Subject matters usually revolve around horses.

10. What’s your favorite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

Crimson 6ts is my live fave at the mo, fave song by another artist is
“summer holiday”

11. How would you describe the current underground scene?  Do you participate?

Thriving and yes I participate.

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

Getting the Hammond B3 down the stairs of the WAG club in an orthopedic shoe after ten pints.

13. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

We rehearse every week midweek and play live most weekends at the moment, the last few years have gone crazy, maybe down to BBC6 music plays I think. New Bongolian album is due for release in July.

14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

Rubbish.

15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

The Mynd Set are a great band.

16. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

Georgie Fame would be cool I think.

17. What should we expect from you in the future?  What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

A new album in the winter, we’re playing live all over UK and the rest of Europe, A US tour is on the cards and Japan so its easy to see us live.

Web Links:

Main Site: www.big-boss-man.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/bigbossmanofficial
Twitter: www.twitter.com/bigbossmanmusic 
Instagram: bigbossmanmusic 
Spotify: www.spotify.com/bigbossman

Band Members:

Nass Bouzida: Organ, Moog & Bongos
Des Rogers: Drums
Scott “the Hawk” Milsom: Electric Bass, Double Bass
Trev Harding: Guitar

Discography:

Vinyl Releases:
7” Singles:
2000: Sea Groove
2001: Big Boss Man
2004: The Hawk
2006: Party 7
Lps :
2001: Humanize
2005: Winner
2009: Full English Beat Breakfast
2014: Last Man on Earth

Updated Releases and Tour Dates:

22nd April ’16 Acapela Studio, Pentyrch Wales, UK
23rd April ’16 Destination Anywhere Swindon, UK
7th May ’16 TBA Cornwall, UK
27th May ’16 Blues Kitchen London, UK
29th May ’16 Mod & Sixties Festival Margate. UK
3rd June ’16 The Stoke Guildford, UK
24th June ’16 TBA FRANCE


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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April 19, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music News Tags:, ,
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Masters The Embrooks

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Masters3

1. When did the Embrooks form originally and why reform now?

We met in the summer of 1995, when Mole’s group at the time, The Mystreated, played with the group Alessandro was playing then, Head & the Hares, at the Italian beat festival in Castel San Giovanni (Piacenza). In September of the same year, Alessandro moved to London to study and stayed in touch. Mole and Lois first created The Lyds (Lois on drums, Merv on guitar and Mole on bass and vocals), they released one single as Lyds then Merv left and Alessandro was invited to join. The group really began to exist at the end of 1996 and lasted until the summer of 2005 (our last show was in Liverpool as part of The International Pop Overthrow festival). The main reason for reforming is the fact that, after almost 10 years of retirement, Lois and Alessandro re-started actively playing music (with Thee Jezebels and Merry-Men, respectively), before that it would have been a struggle to even think of getting us together in a practice room. Other factors are the fact that concrete offers came along to play at Festivals in the UK and Europe and possibly (this might sound silly) the fact that Alessandro recently bought a 1964 Vox AC30 amp and did not know who to use it with (laugh).

2. What influences do the band members have in common?

The aggressive pop (Easybeats, The Who, The Small Faces, Move, The Yardbirds), the freakbeat/psych bands (Eyes, Creation, Game, Smoke, Open Mind, The Koobas, anything on the Rubble compilation series), the rock of the late 60s early 70s (Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath), classic pop (the Beatles, Zombies, Left Banke), the US garage rock (Love, 13th Floor Elevators) but also lots of European and Australian beat. Many different things as you can see!

3. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

Because of recent involvement of Mole in the Medway Scene, we have to mention Galileo 7 and Graham Day and the Forefathers. We also like bands based where Alessandro currently resides (London) as the Magnetic Mind and See See/Hanging Stars among those with a more authentic 60s sound and Pacers for their 60s influenced but less nostalgic approach (Alex, the singer, has a brilliant voice!) and Little Barrie and Cat Black in the 70s rock/Stones/Flaming Groovies department. We are looking forward to share the stage with some of these over some of the future New Untouchables events.

4. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

There was a prolific scene in the 80s garage revival period mainly gravitating around the figures of Martin Ratcliffe, Tim Ray and Mole (Mystreated, Stewed). These bands subsequently gave birth or support to other combos that are still active today such as Higher State, Paul Messis and, of course, us.

5. How would you describe the style you play?

We started off by being a group inspired by USA “moody teen-punk” as of bands sounding like those included in the New England Teen Scene or Crude PA compilations. That period is reflected in our early 45s and our first LP, Separations. However, we have agreed not to include any of this material in our current live shows. Over the years we have gradually evolved into a more Euro-beat and British sound taking most of the inspiration from UK freakbeat and psych. Our latest LP Yellow Glass Perspections (YGP) could be described as “Mod Psych” and this is more or less the style that we are currently playing digging a lot from Our New Day, YGP and slightly earlier Toe-Rag sessions.

6. What are your live shows like?

Extremely loud! We also aim at keeping the energy high and especially to have fun on stage. There is nothing worse than seeing people not enjoying what they do.

7. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

We mentioned all our main influences above. Mole had roots also in the punk/post punk sound from the 70s and Alessandro is recently digging a lot the modern ‘psych’ bands from California (White Fence, Ty Seagall, Oh Sees) and Australia/USA (King Gizzard, Nightbeats, Heaters) although we still pretty much sound the same as we ever did. We are still performing most of the covers that we used to play in the early 2000s, personal favorites are ‘Dawn breaks through’ by the Barrier and ‘Francis’ by Gary Walker and the Rain as our versions have been often indicated to be superior(!?) to the originals. The latter is also our only song to be present in Spotify. We are not into ‘posers’ and people who are not genuinely passionate about what they do.

8. What are your main influences outside of music?

Alessandro digs cinema a lot, especially Italian movies from the most prolific era of the 60s and 70s (‘commedia all’Italiana’ and giallo/horror especially, which has implicit links to music via soundtracks Goblin and more recently Calibro 35).

9. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

Historically Mole and Alessandro wrote the original material separately or in collaboration and this is what still currently happens. Initial ideas from the writers are brought to the practice room and finalized as an Embrooks product altogether. Alessandro’s songs are typically autobiographical and related to heart-breaking love stories and daily life. Mole writing is a little more eclectic ranging from autobiographical experiences to more fictional/poetic material such as ‘Emilia Burrows’.

10. What’s your favorite Embrooks song? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

Emilia Burrows, Standing Upside Down and Helen are possibly our top three songs. Helen never came out as a 45, which is probably our biggest regret. One of the aims of us reforming is to try to go back in the studio to rectify this. The list of favorite songs by other artists would be rather long….we all probably agree that ‘You’re gonna miss me’ by 13th Elevators is one of the top tune ever written!

11. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

The USA tours in the 2000s were fun but also a bit of a challenge. The worst show we ever did was definitely one given in November 2000 in Iowa City. No one had come to the concert, the hall was empty and there were only us and our first parts! This city was a University town full of students and stupid farmers who have absolutely no interest in rock! The next day we had to reach New York after an almost 24 hour drive during which we were also stopped by the police for speeding on the highway and risked to be taken to the police station had not we paid the speeding fee on the spot!

12. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

Currently we are trying to practice twice a month, or at least monthly. After our first reunion show on Dec 31st 2015 as part of Hipsville NYE extravaganza, we have been committed to a number of festivals in the UK and Europe in 2016. We are planning to re-record Helen for a brand new 45 backed by a new original this summer. We are looking forward to do as much as possible in the near future. There are already offers to do more shows in 2017.

13. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

We tend to avoid mainstream publications, some have become even worse than they ever were (e.g. the new free version of NME, ouch!). There are a number of old and new mags targeted to a more niche audience whose coverage is excellent and some available in the main shops. Flashback is probably the most interesting one, not proposing features of acts already largely covered in the past. We also rate Ugly Things and Shinding! Mole was a contributor for the latter.

14. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

We look with interest to the ‘new psychedelic’ scene which includes a lot of different styles some of them which we would not personally classify as ‘psych’. There are definitely interesting bands playing at those festivals. Besides those mentioned above, other often neglected bands from the UK are Clinic and Archie Bronson Outfit for example. Their approach is modern but 60s influences are undeniable and they seem genuinely into what they are doing.

15. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

Most of our recordings were done at Toe-Rag studios in Hackney engineered and produced by Liam Watson, famous for his work with numerous 60s sounding recording over the past 20 years as well as the Grammy awarded work with Jack White on the album Elephant in 2004 as Best Alternative Music Album (White Stripes). More recently Mole has started his own recording studio (originally in a basement in Sandgate more recently in Hastings and now in his own living room) producing excellent material mostly featured in his own successful ‘State Records’ label. This will be also the home of next Embrooks recording session.

16. What should we expect from you in the future?  What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

We’d like to promote the new 45 and get as much exposure as possible. We still have some of our historical fans following us around but most of the ‘new generations’ have not heard or seen us live so the challenge is to try to impress them as well as retaining the old ones. As mentioned we are have interesting offers to play other festivals and mod-rallies across Europe and we hope to build on those and possibly attract attention even outside the usual niche of 60s aficionados.

Band Members:

Mole (Bass and vocals)
Lois Tozer (drums)
Alessandro Cozzi-Lepri (guitar and vocals)

Website:

facebook.com/theembrooks

Discography: 

Albums

Separations… (Dig the Fuzz; Dyonisus) 1999
Our New Day (Voxx) 2000
Yellow Glass Perspections (Munster) 2004

Singles and EP

The Embrooks EP (Sympathy for the Records) 1998
But I Didn’t Know Him/Fight Fire (Dig the Fuzz) 1998
More Than Ever/You Can Be My Baby (Guerssen) 1999
If You Let Me Go EP (Max Picou) 2000
Jack/Dawn Breaks Through (Circle) 2000
Back in My Mind/The Time Was Wrong (Butterfly) 2002

Compilations

45 & High Times (Munster CD) 2005


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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May 4, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music News Tags:, , , , ,
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