Reviews

The Kinks on Pye: Part 2 – “I’m not like everybody else”

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Collectors Corner 5

During our last article, we concentrated on The Kinks hit-packed period when they never seemed to be off the charts. As psychedelia took hold of 1967 and strangled most British bands in beads and flowers, The Kinks took off in a different direction and released some wonderfully wistful and melancholic masterpieces. These songs seemed to hark back to a more innocent time which probably only existed through rose-tinted (psychedelic) spectacles anyway. Ray proceeded to write a series of genius 45’s, and more importantly, albums which unbelievably sold less and less with each release. 1968 started well for the boys with the budget LP release “Sunny afternoon” hitting the top ten during the important Christmas market and selling very well indeed. So when Pye released the first new material of the year in April 1968, the lovely and restrained stand-alone 45 “Wonderboy” would have been assumed to sail into the top ten, but it unbelievably stalled at a lowly number 36 in the charts. This began a run of wonderful, yet underappreciated single releases which were low sellers, hence the rarity of some of them today.

Two months later in June ’68, one of Ray’s most loved compositions, “Day’s” was released and fared much better, just stalling outside the top ten at number 12. Though all the bands singles contain nuggets hidden away on their B-sides, this one had one of the bands hardest rockers on the flip, “She’s got everything”. Originally recorded and shelved two years earlier, it could have been a big hit in 1968 as The Stones, Beatles and Move all had massive rock’n’roll influenced hit singles. Luckily it wasn’t forgotten and still fills mod dancefloors to this day as soon as it starts up. Into 1969, the thumping “Plastic man” was released and again reached no higher than number 31, a flop by the band’s lofty standards. It seemed the better Ray’s songwriting became, the fewer people bought the bands records. “Drivin'” was released in August 1969 and became the first 45 to miss the hit parade since “You still want me” in early 1964. Even worse was the total no-show of “Shangri-la” in September which sold incredibly poorly and is one of the hardest of UK Kinks singles to find. In December, the upbeat album track “Victoria” at least managed to hit the low 30’s in the chart but it took a tale of a Soho nightclub meeting with a transsexual to have the band visiting Top of the Pops again. “Lola” was soon flying up the charts and hit the number two slot in August, kept off the top by Elvis. Shortly after “Apeman”, backed with the wonderful “Rats” on the flip, became the group’s last UK top ten hit when it reached number five in the summer. “Days”, “Lola” and “Apeman” apart, these 45’s are now quite hard to find, especially in top condition and prices have risen in the last few years. Expect to pay between £10-20 for the low sellers and up to £30 “Shangri-la”. All were pressed up as yellow demo copies, these are also really sought after and can reach £100+ at auction. A quick shout must go out to Dave Davies at this point. In between 1967 and 1968, he released four cracking solo 45’s and a super rare EP, “Dave Davies Hits”, which is a £200+ artifact nowadays. All four singles (Death of a clown, Suzannah’s still alive, Lincoln County and Hold my hand) are worth seeking out, the last one, in particular, is hard to find and is coveted for it’s fantastic psychedelic B side “Creeping Jean”.

The decline of fortunes in the singles chart was mirrored with the blue label Pye album releases, none of which charted at all. The 1968 release “The Kinks are the village green preservation society” needs no introduction to Kinks aficionado’s, it’s simply one the all-time album masterpieces. Originally envisaged as a twelve track album, a handful of white label promos were pressed up before the track listing was changed to the fifteen track album we all love today. It’s impossible to put a price on the promo copies, but even the released album reaches £200+ in top condition as it sold in small amounts. This album, and it’s follow-up were both released in mono and stereo, the former the harder to locate and more valuable to collectors. They were both encased in very flimsy laminated gatefold sleeves which are invariably damaged and worn, make sure you look after any mint copies out there! “Arthur (or the decline and fall of the British empire)” was released the following year in 1969, and although similarly full of stellar Ray Davies songwriting, this one sold in small amounts too. Hence it has a £100+ price tag nowadays with the “Queen Victoria” insert still there (it’s invariably missing!). 1970’s “Lola vs Powerman and the money-go-round” was the first to be a stereo only release and sold more than the previous two, mainly due to the massive hit singles released at the same time. For a band to release so many groundbreaking and classic songs on Pye, it’s a shame that their parting shot was a soundtrack to
the 1971 Hywel Bennett film “Percy”, a comedy about a man who has a penis transplant. The album still sells for a good price, mainly due to its creators, and Pye also released four tracks from the album as a “maxi-single” with a picture sleeve at the same time. The band signed a contract with RCA in 1971, becoming the “Muswell hillbillies” of that decade who would, at last, have massive success in the USA. But it’s that catalogue on the iconic pink and blue Pye label that will always hold a place in most collectors hearts.


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

James Clark

Loves collecting records. My main loves are 50's rock'n'roll, 60's soul and r'n'b, beat, mod and psych and hopefully will be sharing some nuggets with you over the next few months. Apart from being a vinyl junkie I'm a Arsenal obsessive and a hopelessly romantic drunkard, but don't let put you off, we all have our faults.

More Posts - Website - Facebook

May 9, 2017 By : Category : Articles Bands Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:, , , , , , , ,
0 Comment

Reviews May 2017

 


Gemma & The Travellers

‘Too Many Rules And Games’  – Album

Legere Recordings are well-known for being one of the foremost soul, R&B and funk labels in Europe and are absolutely the right home for Gemma & The Travellers. This is their debut album and it has been a long time in coming. Over the last four or five years, Gemma & The Travellers have released a succession of danceable, catchy R&B/soul infused singles and slowly building a fan base across Europe. The New Untouchables recognised the potential and have welcomed the band to Shoreditch Got Soul and the Brighton Weekender in the past, but we were particularly pleased to host the official UK launch of this album. What we have are nine original compositions that show exactly why they are on a label that includes New Mastersounds, Mighty Mocambos and Nick Pride to name but three. From the first track ‘I Keep On Thinking’, you know this band is the real deal. With Gemma Marchi giving her customary fine vocal performance, superbly backed by Damien Barbe on keyboards, Kevin Hoffman on saxophone, Robert Petersson on guitar and a top-notch rhythm section of Alan Beckman on bass and Robin Tixier on drums. ‘Where I Lived Before’ is a slice of pure proper R&B, while ‘Take My Heart And Breathe’ is as fine-a-ballad as you could hear anywhere; oozing with emotion and soul. The showstopper for my money is ‘Please Don’t Forget My Name’, delivered with real punch and power. You know the saying ‘good things come to those who wait’? Well if you have been waiting for this album, it really has been worth it. If you have never heard of this band before now, you need to check them out. After all, Craig Charles isn’t a bad judge of music, and he’s a fan.

facebook.com/GemmaAndTheTravellers
legererecordings.bandcamp.com


Stone Foundation

‘Street Rituals’ – Album

Stone Foundation are a band that has defied all the odds. Their success story should be a shining example to any band or artist that is hoping to progress their career without selling your soul to a ‘major’ label or Simon Cowell. This album came out just after the last edition of Nutsmag, hence the slightly late review. It has entered the official UK charts and the band is currently on a sell-out tour to support the album. So how have they got to these dizzy heights? In my opinion, the mark of a great band is when each album is better and surpasses the previous one. Such is the case with Stone Foundation. ‘Find The Spirit’ was great; ‘A Love Unlimited’ was brilliant, this album, ‘Street Rituals’ is a masterpiece. It is the latest installment from a group of musicians who have remained dedicated, committed, determined and focused on the art of writing great songs in the belief that their hard work will eventually be recognised, and so it has proved to be. ‘Ah yes’, I hear you say, ‘but they had Weller helping on this one, so they couldn’t lose.’ It’s a fair point, but I would argue, a misguided one and I will address the ‘Weller’ issue a little later. For now, let’s look at the product. To pick a few highlights from these ten tracks is a task I find very difficult such is the high standard. As I have listened through it, my ‘favourite track’ has changed six times already. Whether it’s ‘Limit Of A Man’(shades of Style Council here), ‘Strange People’, ‘Back In The Game’ or the title track, I can’t choose. They are all unbelievably brilliant. They are songs of hope inspired and influenced by 70’s American soul, while being undeniably British soul. It’s that ‘je ne se quoi’ that sets British soul apart from the Americans. Soul2Soul had it, as did the Brand New Heavies for example and now Stone Foundation have it. As for Mr Paul Weller? He should be given the 2017 Producer Of The Year award right now for this album. Yes he plays and sings on the album and co-wrote a few tunes, but I get the sense he was energised by the whole project and it comes across in his performances. Neil Jones’ voice works so well with Mr Wellers’, ‘hand and glove’ come to mind. And I think two people also deserve special mention; engineer Charles Rees and percussionist Rob Newton. Great job fellas.

stonefoundation.co.uk
facebook.com/stonefoundation


SoulNaturals

‘Love Says Yes’ album

It has been some time since I last reviewed a release by SoulNaturals. Apart from a small handful of impressive singles, the output has been sparse, but that has mostly been due to this album being recorded and it is well worth the wait. With Tony Cannam at the helm, SoulNaturals tend to use an array of vocal talent rather than one focal singer. This album of 11 quality tracks features 10 different vocalists and each one gives a great performance. Arguably, the most notable among them is Mr. Dave Barker (of Dave and Ansell Collins fame) on ‘Let Freedem Ring’; as sweet-a-ballad as you could wish for. Other standout tracks include ‘I Got Sunshine (Enough For The World) featuring Jo Kelsey, ‘I Never Knew A Hell Like You’ with Gloria Pryce and ‘Oh Lord When Will You Free Me’; a lilting gentle reggae-meets-gospel corker with Nadia Pimentel taking the vocal duties. A couple of years ago, it really looked as if SoulNaturals were going to explode on to the soul scene. They were certainly very popular on the live circuit, so with this album to promote, they have a winner on their hands and the live dates can’t be far off.

soulnaturals.bandcamp.com/
facebook.com/soulnaturalsUK/


The Neighbourhood Strange

‘Let’s Get High’ b/w ‘One Last Chance’ – Single

This new single from the ever impressive Neighbourhood Strange brings two quality cuts of garage/neo-psych. All the component parts are present and correct; jangly guitars, catchy hook-lines and Hammond organ. ‘Let’s Get High’ is a mid-paced grower, while ‘One Last Chance’ is a slower, more deliberate song delivered with just the right amount of gusto. This Salisbury outfit is definitely one to watch out for and I, for one, will be keeping a keen eye out for the next installment.

facebook.com/TheNeighbourhoodStrange
theneighbourhoodstrange.bandcamp.com


 The Missing Souls

‘The End’ b/w ‘Mom, Won’t You Teach Me How To Monkey’ – Digital Single

The French scene is thriving right now with some really great bands making their presence felt and the Missing Souls from Lyon are no exception. They have been together for three years and gaining decent support for their brand of 60s influenced garage. Zaza, Ricky, Ian and Lester have been very impressive and this digital single continues to build on their repertoire. ‘The End’ is a proper rocking good time, while ‘Mom…’ is a slower R&B-styled groover. It all bodes well for the future and here’s hoping they will be tempted to come to the UK for live shows. I think we would all be in for a treat.

themissingsouls.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/themissingsouls


Mayfield

‘Spring’ EP

I first became aware of Mayfield with their album ‘Tempo Of Your Soul’ in 2013. Last year they released ‘Keep On The Soul Side’ while simultaneously band leader Domonic Elton built a new studio facility in his neck of the woods. But something a bit special has happened in the meantime and this EP shows exactly what that is. Their 2013 album was very good indeed, but it didn’t show just how good Mayfield are, especially when you see them play live. This EP carries three tracks, two of which are tunes given a total make-over from that album. ‘Fling’ and ‘Sunshine’ are almost unrecognisable from their previous arrangements. What is most notable is that Mayfield has found the polished soul that was lacking four years ago. I had to revisit the old versions just to remind myself and what a transformation has taken place. Superb. ‘Fling’ is now a sumptuous jazz-funk belter, while ‘Sunshine’ is descended from the great days of Acid Jazz; punchy brass, great hook-line and typically British Soul. However, I have saved the best until last. ‘This Time Around’ featuring Decosta Boyce is a soul/northern crossover monster of a tune. I love the ‘What’s Goin’ On’ style ‘Ooos and Ahhs’, the chugging guitar, driving drums and Dacosta delivers the lyrics with stylish aplomb. Of course, Andy Lewis deserves great credit for the mix as well. So welcome back Mayfield. I’m told the vinyl will be available in October, so this is download only for the time being.

facebook.com/mayfieldstudioband
mayfieldtheband.co.uk


 


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

May 9, 2017 By : Category : Articles Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:, , , , , , ,
0 Comment

The Kinks on Pye: Part 1 – “I’m not like everybody else”

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Collectors Corner 3

Although The Kinks have long been one of our most influential and cherished groups, in the last couple of years since the hit musical “Sunny Afternoon” and especially since Ray Davies joined brother Dave onstage in London back in December 2015, fans have been hopefully awaiting the reformation of this most wonderful of bands. Although The Kinks back catalogue spans over forty years it’s the halcyon Pye years from 1964 to 1971 in which the band constantly released classic hit records which have collectors scouring record shops, fairs, and the internet for hits and rarities, and a full set of UK releases will set you back a fair few quid should you wish to complete the set. For this two-part article, we’re going to give you a run through of the hard to find releases from the debut 45 back in early 64 to the “Percy” soundtrack eight years later. The first part will concentrate on the “Pink” years, when the band had a string of top ten singles, including three UK number one hits, the second part will then concentrate on the “Blue” years when Ray was at his songwriting peak but the record buying public were not buying the records in such great numbers. Hindsight shows how wrong they were.

Hailing from Muswell Hill in North London, Ray, Dave and bassist Pete Quaife were originally an R’n’B combo called The Ravens who came to the attention of ace producer Shel Talmy after he heard a demo tape and helped get the group signed to the Pye record group where they were enlisted drummer Mick Avory to complete the classic first line up. On 7th February 1964 their debut single “Long tall Sally”, a R’n’B cover of the Little Richard classic was released on the pink Pye label (7N15611) was unveiled to the record buying public. Although the single hit the lower reaches of the NME chart it was a commercial flop making copies a nice rare collector’s item today with prices usually reaching £75-120 depending on condition. The next 45 was released in April 1964 and like all the Kinks singles after the debut, it was a Ray Davies penned number “You still want me” (7N15636). Although the first single sold in respectable amounts, this one was an unjustified complete flop and is by far the hardest Kinks UK 45 to locate in nice condition. Expect to pay at least £200 for a copy of this, one even reached the amazing price of £400+ at auction in 2016! With Pye threatening to cancel the band’s contract if they didn’t have a hit single, Ray composed one of the most influential two and bit minute slabs of musical perfection ever committed to vinyl, “You really got me”. With Dave’s incendiary and groundbreaking lead guitar bursting through the track, it couldn’t fail when it was released on 7th August 1964 (7N15673). And fail it didn’t as it shot up the UK charts, reaching the coveted number one spot shortly after where it stayed for two weeks. The Kinks had arrived.

From then on every single the group released up until 1968 hit the upper regions of the UK charts, with every single release apart from “Everybody’s gonna be happy” hitting the top ten, two of them reaching the top spot. As runs of stellar 45’s go, the following one takes some beating for songcraft, influence and sheer greatness: “All day and all of the night”, “Tired of waiting for you”, “Everybody’s gonna be happy”, “Set me free”, “See my friends”, “Till the end of the day”, “Dedicated follower of  fashion”, “Sunny afternoon”, “Dead end street”, “Waterloo sunset”, “Autumn almanac”. Being massive chart smashes these are usually findable in nice condition for around £3-5 each, with a premium for truly mint copies. All the Kinks singles were also pressed as demonstration copies in small numbers, these are very desirable to collectors and can reach top prices at auction, especially in top condition with unblemished labels. Also look out for UK export release 45’s, mainly for the European market. There are four in total, including album tracks “David Watts”, “A well-respected man” and “Milk cow blues” on a 7″ format. Ray’s songwriting prowess also resulted in some fantastic and very rare releases by other artists around this time. “I go to sleep” was covered by The Applejacks, Peggy Lee, Marion, Fingers and The Truth in 1965-66 although none were hits and it wasn’t till a few years later The Pretenders took the song into the charts. Other great, obscure and coveted releases include Barry Fantoni “Little man in a little box” (Fontana), The Thoughts “All night stand” (Planet), The Cascades “I bet you won’t stay” (Liberty) and Leapy Lee “King of the whole wide world” (Decca). Ironically it’s Dave’s composition “One fine day” which was covered by Shel Naylor and released on Decca in 1964 which fetches by far the most money, with prices sometimes hitting the £500+ mark!

With the band constantly having smash hits Pye also released a nice series of EP’s in wonderful colour laminated sleeves. Five were released in total, the first three”Kwyet Kinks”, “Kinksize hits” and “Kinksize session” are not particularly hard to find, but the fourth “Dedicated Kinks” from 1966 is more elusive and the final EP “The Kinks” from April 1968 is incredibly scarce easily reaching £200+ at auction in top condition. The band’s first three LP’s “The Kinks”, “Kinda Kinks” and “The Kink controversy” were good sellers but easily sell for £50+ in nice condition with clean sleeves. Particularly coveted are rare export Stereo pressings of the first two LP’s with stickered UK sleeves as they were mono only releases in the UK. “Face to face” from 1966 was a move towards Ray’s late 60’s songwriting style and is an absolute classic but strangely failed to chart resulting in scarcity of copies today. This was followed by the live album “Live at Kelvin Hall” in early 1967 and lastly by the masterpiece “Something else by The Kinks” in September of the same year. All were released in both Mono and Stereo, the latter being the scarcer of the two, especially with the Stereo sticker still attached! Prices vary wildly from one week to the next but be prepared to have a large bank account if you want a truly mint copy of any of them. As 1968 approached Ray’s songwriting grew more world-weary and pastoral and the band embarked on an influential but poorly received at the time run of releases on the newly redesigned light blue Pye label. We’ll have a look at these next time around…


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

James Clark

Loves collecting records. My main loves are 50's rock'n'roll, 60's soul and r'n'b, beat, mod and psych and hopefully will be sharing some nuggets with you over the next few months. Apart from being a vinyl junkie I'm a Arsenal obsessive and a hopelessly romantic drunkard, but don't let put you off, we all have our faults.

More Posts - Website - Facebook

February 15, 2017 By : Category : Articles Bands Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:, , , , , ,
0 Comment

Rob’s Round-Up 5

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Rob’s Roundup

Massive thanks to all those who joined us for yet another fun NYE party.

Despite the madness going on all around us the one thing that is still in our destiny is having a good time and enjoying the music and style, we are all passionate about. Our team have been working hard on our annual Easter extravaganza in central London.

Le Beat Bespoké attracts pleasure seekers from all over the globe, with only one thing in mind having a real damn good party. So, with that firmly in mind, we have assembled yet another exciting line-up across two fantastic venues in the heart of London.

Check out our brand-new website www.lebeatbespoke.com for all the info you need. We booked ten stellar live bands featuring some of the best up and coming talent alongside two stellar acts from the 20th century.

However live music is just part of what makes Le Beat Bespoké such a fun and unique event. For your dancing pleasure, we have booked a dynamic DJ line-up from across Europe armed with explosive sounds on 100% original vinyl across 3 rooms of clubbing after the live bands.

Our guest club nights for the Rhythm & Blues Weekend include Crossfire, The Pow Wow, Lady Luck & Mousetrap all at the forefront of good times and taste. The menu is served All-night and includes authentic Rhythm & Blues, Northern Soul, Jazz, Latin, Boogaloo and Ska/Reggae.

The Beat Basement hosts the wildest and grooviest Freakbeat, Garage and Psychedelic ‘nuggets’ known to man to a back drop of eye candy visuals and groovy Go-Go girls.

A brand-new location for our daytime treats on Sat & Sunday afternoon is Dingwalls one of London’s most beautiful venues, situated right next to Camden lock in the World-famous Camden market. Expect DJ’s, bands, Easter egg hunt, record fair and market.

Contact drrobert@btinternet.com for trade stand.

But before Easter, we have celebrated an incredible 26 years at Mousetrap in the same venue with the same owner virtually unheard of these days, let alone in the ever-changing landscape of London. All those that attended would have got a free 45 with two rare tracks from the club’s playlist including one that has never been released on 45 before.

Hope to see you all Easter for an epic party!

www.lebeatbespoke.com

Cheers Dr. Robert


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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?

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

February 21, 2017 By : Category : Articles Bands Clubs DJs Events Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:, , ,
0 Comment

Reviews February 2017 – Part 2

Les Darlings

nm_january_2017_les_darlings

‘Le Tourbillion’ b/w ‘Hey Baby’ – Single

When you find out who the members of Les Darlings are, it’s easy to see why these two infectious slices of Garage-power pop are so good. Comprising of Pascal, David Peter, Thomas and Dorian, they have joined forces from some of Europe’s top psych and garage bands; namely The Norvins, The Youth and The Wilde Sect. For this single, they have also been joined by Cecile Wurlee (Curlee Wurlee) and to complete the perfect circle it was recorded at Yeah Yeah Yeah Studios with the splendid Dennis Rux at the controls. What else can I tell you about this single? Two full-on Beat belters with all the expected component parts and another success for all involved. Let’s hope Les Darlings are not just a passing phase.

facebook.com/lesdarlingsband
lesdarlings.bandcamp.com

The Seen

nm_january_2017_the_seen

‘The Seen’ – EP

The Seen were formed in 2014 and are from Bonn, Germany. This is their debut five-track EP. Ania, Peter, Max, Vic and Tobias have all been in previous bands before, so they are not exactly novices. The opening track is a cover of ‘Big Sensation’ by Cool Stove which was originally released in 1969 and is something of a rarity, but The Seen have given it a new lease of life. The other four songs are original compositions and are loaded with psych, garage and Beat reference points. Ania’s vocals are perfect for this style with a hint of punk delivery. ‘Time Of Change’, Trouble’ and ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ are all belters, while ‘Make It Right’ is a well-arranged change of pace. This EP is out on the excellent Copase Disques who also have French Boutik among their roster, so you know this release is going to be good…..and it is…..very good.

www.theseen.de
facebook.com/theseenbn/
theseen1.bandcamp.com
copasetic.de/theseen

Wolf People

nm_january_2017_wolf_people

‘Ruins’ – LP

Arguably, Wolf People are the finest exponents of folk-rock in the UK right now and this new album certainly enhances that reputation. Following on from their previous two studio albums Steeple (2010) and Fain (2013), ‘Ruins’ is not a concept album (as the band insist), but songs linked by a common thread; what would the world be like without humans? Indeed, it is fair to say that this is unmistakably a ‘Wolf People’ album. They have such a wonderfully eclectic range of influences that shape their music, but still retain a very distinctive sound of their own. While that sound may come across as quite heavy at times, there is a genuine intelligence, passion and complexity that makes this album well worth listening to. ‘Ninth Night’ sets the tone, interspersed by tracks like ‘Kingfisher’, ‘Not Me Sir’ and ‘Salts Mill’. Jack Sharp’s rounded, deft vocals fit beautifully around the sterling work by Tom Watt on drums, Dan Davis on bass and Joe Hollick on guitar. For those with a penchant for folk-rock, you’ll be hard pushed to find a better album than this one.

www.wolfpeople.co.uk
facebook.com/WolfPeople
wolfpeople.bandcamp.com

Alex Cooper

portada_club45-ok.cdr

‘Club 45 Again’ – Book

Alejandro Diez Garín, former leader of Los Flechazos and now in charge of Cooper, unpacks his collection of records and memorabilia sixties to offer us 90 unforgettable songs. I know this because we have handy things like translation apps that mean I can understand Spanish sentences, but I’m not likely to use said app to translate the whole book, which has been published in the Spanish language. Yes, I know this will put a lot of people off, unless you are fluent of course, but that said, the publisher; Ediciones Chelsea have done a magnificent job on the production side. Obviously, I can’t vouch for the text, although you do get a sense that Alejandro has done his homework here and to be fair, the selection of songs are very good indeed. But by far the most appealing aspect of this book is the quality of the print and the reproduction of some really great photos and there are lots of them. Most are in colour and the layout of the book is really tidy, allowing your eyes to skim over the pages with ease. It is a shame there does not appear to be an English language version, but let’s hope they can get one organised, as I think a lot more people will find this a welcome addition to their ‘mod-related’ library.

www.edicioneschelsea.com
facebook.com/club45


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

February 21, 2017 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , , ,
0 Comment

Reviews February 2017 – Part 1

Creamer and Wesley

nm_january_2017_creamer

‘Geoffrey Porter’ b/w ‘Carnivals’ – Single

This was one of those that just missed the deadline for the previous Nutsmag Reviews. Dean Atkins (aka Eddie Creamer) and Kieran Wilson (aka David Wesley) released their debut single on the newly formed Psych-A-Rella Records before Christmas. This is definitely for those with a preference for folky-psych ballads. Acoustic 12 string guitars and whimsical lyrics abound on both sides, with ‘Carnivals’ being mixed by Andy Lewis. As debuts go, it is a solid-enough performance and one that gives a glimpse of good potential by the duo. I’ll be interested to see what comes next.

facebook.com/CreamerandWesley
www.psycharella.com

The Dustaphonics

nm_january_2017_dustaphonics

‘Johnny & Bo’ – LP

It’s been three years since Dustaphonics last outing, the splendid ‘Big Smoke, London Town’. They went down a storm at Le Beat Bespoke in 2016 and now they’re back with yet another cracking slice of manic surf, hi-octane rock’n’roll and a pinch of funky groove on this new album due out early February. Led by the London club scene legend Yvan Serrano, this LP is in keeping with the overall Dustaphonics ‘sound’, but it also has some truly charming diversity. The opening track, ‘You Don’t Love Me Any More’ is familiar territory for the band; helter-skelter, aggressive rock and roll. The title track is a superb blend of Mr Serrano’s influences; those being Bo Diddley and Johnny Ramone (and believe me, it works!), while ‘Q Sounds Groove’ is the first of a couple of collaborations with the French studio’s house band; the very same band that works with Adelains and Little Clara to name but two. We also get a couple of fantastic covers. The Special’s ‘Gangsters’ gets the surf treatment, while Ike Turner’s ‘I’m Hurting’ gets the unmistakeable Dustaphonics stamp. There is a fitting tribute to actress Tura Satana of Russ Meyer’s ‘Faster Pussy Cat Kill! Kill!’ fame and the latin-flavoured ‘Cachaca’ which is a nice, unexpected surprise. Vocal duties are split between Hayley Red, Aina Roxx and Kay Elizabeth, all of whom are first class.
This is a really great album and should do very well.

thedustaphonics.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/TheDustaphonics

Goldie

nm_january_2017_goldie

‘Could It Be’ – EP

It’s hard to understand the rationale of the record industry back in the Sixties. How often have we heard previously unreleased gems which have gone on to gain huge popularity on the scene? One wonders what the ‘decision-makers’ thinking when they ‘canned’ such great songs? Thankfully, for us at least, there is a small, dedicated army of people investing their time and money to unearth these tracks and make them available. This latest release on the Top Sounds label (responsible for 2015’s brilliant The Action EP) is another prime example. Goldie, who arrived on the shores of the UK with her Gingerbreads in 1962, made a handful of great records for Decca as a solo artist and these three previously unreleased gems prove that claim. The A-side; ‘Could It Be’ is a wonderful slice of early blue-eyed Northern, with a lush production. The B-side starts with Goldie’s version of the Goffin & King penned; ‘Goin’ Back’, which, (according to the story contained in the excellent booklet that comes with the EP) Dusty Springfield ‘stole’ from Goldie and got it out before Decca knew what was happening. By that time Goldie was so angry with Dusty, she refused to have it released. If it had been released, I think it would have given Dusty a run for her money. The final track is the Andrew Loog Oldham composition; ‘Headlines’, which again, is a British stab at capturing the Tamla sound. So thanks to Nigel Lees at Top Sounds for delivering another lost belter.

www.topsoundsrecords.co.uk

The Beatpack

nm_january_2017_beatpack

‘Back, Behind and In Front’ – EP

It’s hard to believe it is twenty-seven years since Beatpack released their debut EP, but thankfully they are still going strong with this latest offering on the excellent State Records. If you still know nothing about the band, what you get is an uncompromising, hard-edged fusion of R&B and Garage. Opening track; ‘Loopin’ With Lucy’ is a prime example, while ‘A Fog Is Lifting’ and ‘If I Look Outside’ show they have never been a one-trick-pony with monastic chants and jazz influences shining through.
‘Met Myself Coming Back’ is more familiar territory, but one thing you can be sure of is it’s always top quality. Beatpack have recently completed tours of Germany and Spain and I’m sure there will be UK dates this year. If you get a chance, go see them as it is always a great show. In the meantime, this EP is well-worth the investment.

thebeatpack.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/TheBeatPack
www.staterecs.com/store-uk


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

February 21, 2017 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , , ,
0 Comment

Reviews December 2016 – Part 2

The Urges

nm_dec_2016_urges

Time Will Pass – LP

This is a welcome return for one of Dublin’s finest, Formed in 2003, there has not been a great deal of recorded material from The Urges, but when a new release does appear it invariably turns out to be top quality as this, their second album will bear out. After the troubled production of their debut ‘Psych-War’, you could forgive the band for being a little disheartened by the whole process. Happily, they are now signed to Mersol Records and one hopes this is the new beginning for The Urges.
The album is pure psych/garage heaven with all the component parts in play. The songs were written by vocalist and guitarist Jim Walters and each one is as jangly and catchy as the next. ‘Passing Us By’, ‘Time Will Pass’ and ‘Now I See’ are arguably the high points, but the standard is pretty high anyway. Great to have you back Urges. Let’s not leave it quite so long for the next LP.

www.facebook.com/theurges

Speed Of Sound

nm_dec_2016_speed_of_sound

Everything Changes  – LP

This is pretty good value from the Manchester-based quartet comprised of John Armstrong, Ann-Marie Crowley, Kevin Roache and Paul Worthington. In essence, if you buy the vinyl you get a bonus cd which is an albums worth in itself. This is their debut LP and they have made a good job of it. With tracks like ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ and ‘Girl On The Roof’, Speed Of Sound definitely have their own ‘sound’ (if you’ll pardon the pun). It brings to mind a combination of Bob Dylan meets Velvet Undergound influences which is no bad thing. The album is out now on B E Records.

www.thespeedofsounduk.blogspot
www.facebook.com/thespeedofsounduk

Various Artists

nm_dec_2016_soho_scene

Soho Scene 62  – CD

This is the first in a series celebrating the Soho Jazz scene from Rhythm And Blues Records, ’63 and ’64 are also available, but if this compilation is anything to go by, the other two will be well worth investing in. With comprehensive sleeve notes by Paul ‘Smiler’ Anderson, this double cd package showcases the best of British modern jazz on disc one and the US equivalent on disc two. Featuring names like Tubby Hayes, Victor Feldman, Don Rendle. Lee Morgan, Chico Hamilton and Paul Desmond, you really cannot go far wrong. The recordings are first-class as is the packaging and liner notes. If jazz is your bag, it doesn’t come much better than this.

www.rhythmandbluesrecords.co.uk

Sidewalk Society

nm_dec_2016_sidewalk_society

The Bowie/Action Covers – EP

Four years is a long time between releases, but such is the case with California’s Sidewalk Society. 2012’s LP ‘Venus, Saturn And The Crescent Moon’ was one of my first reviews for Nutsmag, so it’s nice to finally hear some new material from this band. My view on covers is that it’s only worth doing if you’re going to add something or give the song a new lease of life with a new and different arrangement. I think Dan West, Jerry Buszek and Dan Lawrence have got the balance just about right. They have injected their own vitality and personality on the songs without making a mess of it. I would like to think some youngster will hear these songs and discover the joys of The Action and Bowie’s early career for themselves while remaining fans of Sidewalk Society. Comparisons to the originals is pointless, these are new interpretations and they are done very well. The EP is out on Fruits De Mer Records.

www.sidewalksocietymusic.com
www.fruitsdemerrecords.com
www.facebook.com/sidewalksociety


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

December 7, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , ,
0 Comment

Reviews December 2016 – Part 1

Ian McLagen

nm_dec_2016_ian_mclagen

All The Rage – Book

There is nothing I can say about Ian McLagan that has not already been said a hundred times before. Reaction to his untimely passing was testimony enough as to his high standing among his family, friends, peers and fans around the world. This third edition of Mac’s autobiography, originally published in 1998 is out on the Pan imprint in a paperback format and for my money, still one of THE must-read books of its type. The reason I say this is simple enough. This is a warts-and-all account of the man’s life. The good, the bad and the indifferent. His honesty is faultless, his ability to tell the tales of the shenanigans he got up to with the bands he played in are utterly entertaining, but crucially, you feel like you really get to know the man behind that cheeky, mischievous grin. This is a book that any self-respecting fan of the Small Faces and The Faces should have, but what may surprise some is just how many great songs Mac played on and how many great artists he worked with over the years. He was always in demand and when you reach that level in the music business, you must be a supreme musician, which he was of course. So if you need an ideal Christmas present for someone, you can’t go far wrong with this book.

www.macspages.com
www.ianmclagan.com/my-book

The Lancashire Hustlers

nm_dec_2016_lancashire_hustlers

Adventure – Album

Brent Thorley and Ian Pakes return with the final instalment of their concept trilogy of albums which began with ‘She was Just An Opportunist’ and ‘What Made Him Run’. ‘Adventure’ continues the same pop-perfection as the previous two outings with the title track, ‘Desert Drive’ and ‘What Are You For She Said’ being prime examples of the sheer quality of song writing from this multi-talented duo. I’ve noted before that Mr Thorley’s vocal style and sound reminds me of Neil Finn, and I would say if Britain has an equal to Crowded House, Lancashire Hustlers are it in every respect. ‘Sunny Interval’ from the ‘What Made Him Run’ album has become one of my ‘Desert Island Discs’ and I was interested to see if there was an equal to that sublime track on this LP. Low and behold, they did it again with ‘Where Am I?’
So well done Lancashire Hustlers, consistency in the music biz is a hard nut to crack, but you’ve achieved it with consummate ease.

www.lancashirehustlers.com
www.facebook.com/lancashire.hustlers
www.lancashirehustlers.bandcamp.com

Nick Pride & The Pimptones

nm_dec_2016_nick_pride

Go Deep – Album

The sad news of Sharon Jones’s passing has shocked the soul world, but it is a testament to her influence that a new generation of soul acts have been inspired by her career. Nick Pride and The Pimptones certainly fall into that category and since 2007, they have been producing consistently great soul. This is their fourth album and the best to date. A myriad of influences are evident, from James Brown to Etta James, Flack and Hathaway to Archie Bell. Beth Macari handles the vocals supremely well and the Pimptones are as tight as could be. Stand-out tracks include ‘Gotta Leave The Lady Alone’, ‘Good Day’ and ‘What The Heart Wants’. The album is out on Legere Records which is by far and away one of the foremost soul labels in Europe and the perfect home for this Newcastle-based outfit.

www.facebook.com/pimptone
www.nickprideandthepimptones.bandcamp.com
www.twitter.com/npandpimptones

Nick Waterhouse

nick_waterhouse

Never Twice – LP

If there is one artist who has continually represented the modern sound of mod, it has to be Nick Waterhouse. He has always managed to give Rhythm and Blues a new refreshing slant and (as far as I know) he is the only current artist to have his songs played at club nights. His recent appearance on ‘Later’ is much deserved and I know his UK fans were delighted to see him educate the ‘muggles’ in class and style. This album follows on from the superb ‘Holly’ and Nick Waterhouse shows no sign of slowing down. This is just brilliant. Simple as that. Be it ‘The Old Place’, ‘It’s Time’, or ‘I Had Some Money’, each one is a classic in the making and ones that will be played in mod clubs for many years. On ‘Katchi’, Nick is joined by the wonderful Leon Bridges. What Nick does so well, is to tap into the very essence of proper R&B and work with it to create something very special. Do yourself a favour, put this album on your Christmas present list and insist that it had better be under the tree on the day or there will be tantrums!

www.nickwaterhouse.com
www.twitter.com/nickwaterhouse
www.facebook.com/nickwaterhousemusic


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

December 7, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , ,
0 Comment

NUTsCast – Sessions – part 13 (episode 22)

NUTsCast October 2016
In this episode of the Nutscast Sessions, The Baron looks ahead to the mighty Crossfire Allnighter with tracks by the bands representing the Heavy Soul Records showcase, selections by our guest DJs and new songs by French Boutik, Missing Souls and The Embrooks. Also listen out for a one-off special ‘The Baron’s Belters’. Three tracks from his lordship’s personal collection.


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

October 11, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Podcasts Reviews Tags:, , , , , , ,
0 Comment

Collectors Corner – “The UK Atlantic Records story Pt 2”

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Collectors Corner 3

In mid 1964 Britain’s hit parade was in the middle of a musical hurricane sweeping the country, home-grown guitar and harmonica wielding beat groups. From a chart ruled by Cliff Richard, Frank Ifield and Billy Fury barely a year earlier, 1964 found 45’s by young, modern and decidedly hipper groups such as The Animals, Rolling Stones, Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames and The Kinks hitting the number one spot. One thing all these artists had in common was the great big influence of American rhythm & blues, and more recently soul music. This in turn made the kids who bought records by those artists want to hear the original music itself. Along with constant name checking from stars like Dusty Springfield, John Lennon and Eric Burdon, soul music was coming out from the underground discotheques and into households via plays on the new pirate radio stations and Redifusion’s Friday evening must-see TV show “Ready, Steady, Go!”. This was where you could hear, and also see, the latest releases from Martha & The Vandellas, James Brown and Otis Redding (who even got a whole episode to himself, watch it on YouTube!). Although R’N’B had been released in the UK in large amounts since the mid ’50’s, the major labels now realised this stuff could sell, and in large amounts too. Pye records set up the International imprint back in 1958 which was followed in 1963 with an R&B series, EMI followed suit with it’s Stateside imprint which released heaps of great black American soul music, and Decca had London American which did the same thing, the jewel in it’s crown being the licence to release Atlantic tracks over here. On 24th July 1964 Decca took the plunge and Atlantic Records UK received its first proper British release, the recent US hitbound smash by The Drifters “Under the boardwalk”. This was given the number AT 4001 and was issued over here on the classic black and silver designed label with a plain white sleeve. Over the next two years nearly another 100 45’s were pressed up and released, encompassing classic soul, jazz, garage and even a number one hit single.

at4057

After the first AT release by The Drifters hit the UK charts, albeit hitting a lowly number 45, they were graced with a further eight releases in the series including such classic tracks as “Come over to my place”, “Saturday night at the movies” and “At the club”. Like a lot of the black label Atlantic series, even though most releases didn’t hit the top of the charts they were all mostly steady sellers and apart from a few nuggets (more about those later) can be picked up for under a tenner each. Despite continually releasing great singles in the sixties, including the legendary “Everybody needs somebody to love” (AT 4004), Solomon Burke didn’t crack the charts until 2003. This didn’t stop him having seven AT releases, including “Peepin” and a great driving version of Bob Dylan’s “Maggie’s Farm”. Otis Redding was a massive success in Britain and narrowly missed the top ten when his cover of “My girl” (AT 4050) reached number 11 in 1965. He had four releases on the label including his storming version of “Satisfaction” (AT 4080), but his 45 of “I’ve been loving you too long” (AT4029) was never released, instead being relegated to the B side of “Respect” (AT 4039) a short while later. Rufus Thomas had US singles released as far back as 1953 and had a great two sider pressed up over here in 1965, “Jump back” / “All night worker” (AT 4009). Stax favourites Booker T and the M.G’s continued their run of great R’N’B instrumentals with two releases “Boot-leg” (AT 4033) and “Red beans and rice” (AT 4063) , another two dance floor winners. Amongst the other legendary names you’ll find in this glorious run include Barbara Lewis, Joe Tex, Don Covay, Wilson Pickett, Carla Thomas, Sam & Dave and Patti Labelle.

at4071

Two releases stood amongst the release sheets of 1965, the first was AT 4035, “I got you babe” by Sonny and Cher. None of the previous releases (apart from Bobby Darin) had been straight forward pop, but this fantastic duet was a perfect commercial nugget and duly sailed up the UK charts, nestling up at the number one slot in the autumn of 1965. If you haven’t seen the legendary Ready, Steady, Go performance of this, have a look on YouTube for a visual feast complete with members of the Rolling Stones hamming it up for the cameras along with the loved up couple. The second, and a taster for the shape of things come for the ever-expanding label, was Bocky and the Visions “I go crazy” (AT 4049), a prime slice of American garage. This was swiftly followed by Levon and the Hawks “The stones I throw” (AT 4054) which featured future members of The Band, The Young Rascals “I ain’t gonna eat out my heart anymore” (AT 4059) which came out shortly after, and then in March 1966 came the release of garage legends The Shadows of Knight with their killer version of “Gloria” (AT 4085). All of these are very collectable, not just with UK garage release collectors but with Atlantic label completest too and prices do reflect this.

at4076

But in 1965 and 1966 soul was still Atlantic’s main selling point and the label released a whole glut of classic tracks, some of which somehow managed to sell next to nothing over here, becoming long-term expensive rarities in the following years. Although it was a UK top five smash in the early 70’s, Tami Lynn’s all time classic “I’m gonna run away from you” (AT 4071) originally was released in March 1966 and sold nothing hence it’s rarity and value nowadays. Esther Phillips end of night favourite “Just say goodbye” (AT 4077) is another hard one to source, and can easily reach £100 in nice condition. Googie Rene Combo’s jazz tinged 45 “Smokey Joe’s La La” (AT 4076) is another hard to find great, as is Travis Wammack’s instrumental classic “Scratchy” (AT 4017) and The Astors “Candy” (AT 4037) also goes for top money. Other tough but great tunes to seek out include Joe Turner’s “Midnight cannonball” (AT 4026), The Isley Brothers “The last girl” (AT 4010), Jimmy Williams “Walking on air” (AT 4042), “Chills and fever” (AT 4053) by Paul Williams, and Jackie Ivory’s “Hi heel sneakers” (AT 4075). As with most soul releases in the UK never forget that black label “Stock copies” will usually be available at a cheaper price than the more prized yellow label “demo copies”. Luckily these can be found without spending the ridiculous amount of money you’d need to collect the classic Atlantic R’N’B released by London in the 1950’s and most should be findable with a bit of luck, patience and a full wallet. And when it’s complete you’ll be the owner of one of the best runs of musical genius released, ever.

at4077


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

James Clark

Loves collecting records. My main loves are 50's rock'n'roll, 60's soul and r'n'b, beat, mod and psych and hopefully will be sharing some nuggets with you over the next few months. Apart from being a vinyl junkie I'm a Arsenal obsessive and a hopelessly romantic drunkard, but don't let put you off, we all have our faults.

More Posts - Website - Facebook

September 22, 2016 By : Category : Articles Bands Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, ,
0 Comment

Record Reviews October 2016 – Part 1

The Alloy Six

Ross Ellis 12" 3mm 11073

‘Turn Out The Lights’ – LP

This is an impressive debut outing for Sweden’s newest psych/garage band, Alloy Six. In truth, the band emerged from the pieces of Stockholm based The Moving Sounds and The Fortune Tellers in 2013, so it has taken a while to get this first album together, but it has been well worth the wait. With twelve cuts of jangling and fuzzy guitars, swirling organ and solid vocal harmonies, I can see this being pretty popular among the Mousetrap Psych crowd. ‘You And I’, ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Each Night’ give you a good idea where Alloy Six are coming from musically. It’s all very tight, well-produced and has those quirky melodies that you often find in this genre. It’s available from Copase Disques who are putting together a decent catalogue of releases by some of Europe’s best. This album sits very comfortably among them.

facebook.com/thealloysix
bandpage.com/TheAlloySix

Chris Pope & The Chords UK

rsz_nm_sept_2016_chris_pope

‘Take On Life’ – LP

For all those die-hard Chords fans and lovers of the ’79 revival period, let’s get one thing straight. The original line up will never get back together for a whole host of reasons. End of. There has been much debate about the rights and wrongs of Chris Pope continuing The Chords name. It’s a pointless exercise. The Chords (be they the original line up or the current one) deserve their place in British music history and if the current line up gains new fans with this album which in turn will guide them to the back catalogue, then the band and its members past and present will be remembered and appreciated for what they have achieved. It’s the difference between being just a ‘tribute’ band or being relevant to your fan base and beyond. It worked for Secret Affair a few years ago and with ‘Take On Life’, I see no reason why it should not work for Chris Pope and The Chords UK. Some of these songs are revived demos that never saw release way-back-when. To be honest, you would be hard pushed to tell which were which as Mr Pope has proved he still has an ‘angry man’ in there somewhere. His observations on society, like ‘Burning All Around’ or ‘Heart Of The Matter’ are as sharp today as they have ever been. ‘A Life Less Ordinary’ is a splendid tale of a modern-day Bonnie & Clyde, while ‘Dreams Of Yesterday’ finds him in reflective mood. It helps that Mic Stoner on bass, Kenny Cooper on Drums and Sandy Michie on guitar do a great job and they are joined by Mick Talbot on keyboards as a guest on the album. ‘Take On Life’ is full of that aggressive energy that typifies Chris Pope’s song writing and he and The Chords UK deliver.

www.popemusic.co.uk
facebook.com/TheChordsUK

The Embrooks

rsz_nm_sept_2016_embrooks

‘Nightmare’ b/w ‘Helen’ – Single

The Embrooks are one of those bands fondly remembered by those on the scene back in the mid-nineties when the trio was formed by bassist/vocalist Mole (ex-Mystreated/Stewed), guitarist/vocalist Alessandro Cozzi Lepri (ex-Head & The Hares), and drummer Lois Tozer who is currently with Thee Jezebels. Their output was pretty damn good and they were firm favourites on the live circuit. Eventually, life took the three in different directions and the band disappeared for a while, but they are back with this corking single and they’ve not lost any of the mod/freakbeat vitality they were known for. Full-on thrashing drums, driving bass lines and fuzz guitar a-plenty makes both sides sound authentically ’66 or ’67. Only the band know if there is more to come, but on this evidence, let’s hope so!

facebook.com/theembrooks

The Fast Camels

rsz_nm_sept_2016_fast_camels

‘Tales Of The Expected’ – LP

It’s great to see The Fast Camels back with their third album following on from their highly successful debut in 2007 ‘The Magic Optician’ followed some years later by the excellent ‘Deadrooms & Butterfly Dreams’. Hailing from Glasgow, Fast Camels comprise of original members: Drew Sturgeon (Vocals and Guitar), Mark O’Connor (Vocals and Guitar) and Stephan Mors (Drums). They were joined by Allan McGarry (Vocals and Keyboards) and Neil Menzies (Bass). ‘Tales Of The Expected’ is sure to be a hit with those of a psych/garage tendency. It has the feel of a concept album, but it is a collection of ten new songs about a disparate and desperate group of individuals. Be they ‘Madame Matron’, ‘Dead Celebs’ or ‘Chicken Bo’ they are all acutely observed portrayals of ‘ordinary people’ who all have an un-nerving, dark quality about them. Co-produced by the band and Paul Gallagher, it’s fair to say the Fast Camels are back with a bang.

www.thefastcamels.com
facebook.com/thefastcamels

French Boutik

rsz_nm_sept_2016_french_boutik

‘Front Pop’ – LP

If you want to sound ultra-cool and sound like you’re a ‘finger-on-the-pulse’ type on the scene, French Boutik are one of a handful of bands to mention among your peers. Three critically acclaimed and successful EPs, regular contributors to ‘Specialized’ and ‘March Of The Mods’ fundraisers for Teenage Cancer Trust and a growing UK fan base attending their now customary three-date mini tours, this really is one of THE bands of the moment and on October 22, they release their debut LP on Copase Disques.

I’ll admit I am and have been a huge fan and make no apology for praising this album. It typifies their sound, their unique style and highlights exactly why they are so popular. One of the best facets of French Boutik is that they do not fit into a predetermined category. They don’t sound like a ‘mod’ band (whatever that is supposed to be?!) In fact they don’t ‘sound’ like anyone except French Boutik and that can only be a good thing. ‘Front Pop’ features the digital single ‘Le Mac’ and ‘Hitch A Ride’ which were part of the crowdfunding campaign for this album and have been reviewed here before, so I will concentrate on the other tracks.

There is the sophistication of ‘Costard Italien’, the superb cover of Francois Hardy’s ‘Je Ne Suis La Pour Personne’, the rip-roaring ‘Regard Les Tigres’ and the delightful ‘Impitoyable’. The vocals are shared between Gabriela Giacoman and Serge Hoffman with drummer Zelda Aquil providing her usual high standard of backing. Indeed, Giacoman and Aquil are becoming much-sought-after session vocalists with other bands, such is the perfection of their harmonies. Hoffman’s guitar work and Aquil’s drumming are all underpinned by Jean-Marc Johannes’
perfect baselines.

There is nothing predictable about this album, except its ability to surprise. It’s not often I say this about any album, but there is not a duff or throw-away track anywhere. ‘The Rent’, ‘La Chemise’, ‘Le Casse’, ‘Je Louche’, all of them instantly becoming ‘ear-worms’. There have been some great releases this year and a few still to come, but ‘Front Pop’ by French Boutik will take some beating for album of the year in my book.


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

September 27, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , , ,
0 Comment

Record Reviews October 2016 – Part 2

The Sound Of Pop Art

rsz_nm_sept_2016_sopa

‘Drama’ – LP

If memory serves, this is the third album by Cambridge-based Sound Of Pop Art. The band is becoming more of a loose co-operative of musicians with head honcho Chris Free and stellar bassist Sara Onyett the two permanent members. ‘Drama’ sees the pair joined by such outstanding names as Big Boss Man’s Nasser Bouzida, Simon Wells, Dave Oakley (keyboard player with The Fliks), Gary Malby, Tony Jenkins, Gabriela Giacoman from French Boutik and the delightful Louise Turner from Turner and Electric Stars fame. Mr Free is a dab hand at infectious sixties-inspired pop, a skill he honed during his time with Paul Weller’s Respond label. In my humble opinion, this album is the best from the band to date and without doing the splendid Tony Jenkins a disservice, I do think Chris Free’s compositions suit a female vocal. The lead track ‘Freedom’ is a delightfully lilting dancer and the title track ‘Drama’ has a nice haunting quality to it. There are shades of the old Respond days with tracks like ‘So High’ and ‘Generation X’ which is so blatantly inspired by that early Style Council period that gave us ‘Long Hot Summer’. ‘Kiss The World Goodbye’ sees Madame Giacoman’s distinctive backing vocals adding a pleasant dimension to the ballad. For my money, ‘Universal’ with Tony Jenkins on duty was the pick of the male led-songs.With mixing duties shared between Andy Crofts, Graham Potter, John Metcalfe and James Parrett, the balance is well maintained across the album. It will be interesting to see where Sound Of Pop Art go next, but this album will take some beating. Very enjoyable quality pop.

facebook.com/thesoundofpopart

Teetotum

rsz_nm_sept_2016_teetotum

‘Mind Your Teeth’ EP – Download

At our Nutsmag Review Night at Blues Kitchen back in August, I introduced this band. I’d not heard of them before, but I did recognise one member of the band from somewhere. It turns out he was Ross Robertson who I had last seen as a member of New Street Adventure four years ago. Along with Larry Marks and Simon Gledhill, Teetotum played a great set which included the four songs on this debut ep. They may not thank me for this, but they are like Lindisfarne on acid (having got to meet them, they have a great sense of humour and hopefully won’t take offence.) My point is, they are a superb three-part harmony rock band that are as good as any you are likely to find. All four of the tracks on this EP bear me out. ‘Day & Night’ is a prime example, but it doesn’t end there. ‘Heart of The Sun’, ‘Just My Luck’ and ‘One More Time’ ooze sophistication with a late Sixties, early Seventies influence. It’s rock for grown-ups. The Brighton-based trio are using guest drummers at present while they search for a full-time replacement, so if anyone is interested, now’s your chance to hook up with a class act.

teetotum.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/teetotumofficial

The Missing Souls

rsz_nm_sept_2016_missing_souls

‘Sweet, Sweet Sadie’ b/w ‘The Aligator’ – Single

Another blistering single released on one of the best garage/psych labels around, State Records. Both tracks are covers; ‘Sweet, Sweet Sadie’ originally by The Teardrops and ‘The Aligator’ by The Us Four. This single came about after State Records owner Mole played some shows alongside Missing Souls in France as drummer with The Baron Four. He brought the band over to the State studios in Sussex and the result is two sides of unbridled fuzz-tone, rip-roaring psych. Missing Souls have an album available via bandcamp and on the evidence of this single, I had to investigate. If you’re into psych/garage, get into this band. For a combo from Lyon who have only been together two years, this is mightily impressive stuff.

facebook.com/themissingsouls
themissingsouls.bandcamp.com

The Ace

rsz_nm_sept_2016_the_ace

‘Riot Of Sound’ – LP
‘I Dream Love’ b/w ‘Man Out Of Time’ – Single

This was a happy coincidence, the album and the single arrived independently, but within a few days of each other. The album is released by Wedigthis on cd, while the single is available on 7 inch vinyl from Crocodile Records. Both tracks on the single are also on the album. So let’s deal with the single first. As a sample of the album, these were two very good choices. Both tracks are full of reference points that inspire The Ace. ‘Man Out Of Time’ has a Foxton-influenced bass line that reminds me of The Jam’s ‘Monday’, but that is where the similarity ends. ‘I Dream Love’ could be a Monkee’s track in another era. Both songs are laced with jangly guitars and harmonies-a-plenty. The rest of the album is in a similar vein. Really well-crafted and produced psych/garage/freakbeat songs which have just the right amount of variety to make them all worth a listen. ‘ Misunderstood’ and ‘Somewhere In The Back Of My Mind’ are the two from the album that really stood out for me. Great stuff from the Leeds outfit.

facebook.com/The-Ace
wedigthistheace.blogspot.com


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

September 27, 2016 By : Category : Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , ,
0 Comment

Rob’s Round-Up 4

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Rob’s Roundup

1. Tell us how the Annual Brighton Weekender is shaping up, its getting bigger every year how does that equate?

It’s looking good, I’m very excited about Marta Ren first UK show, the album is brilliant and I have heard the live shows are very exciting. The event continues to grow, we started in 2004 with 250 people and now have three venues in close proximity. Our main venue the Komedia and venue 2 have an authentic Modernist playlist and atmosphere. The recently added third venue is a cool cellar bar club just off the seafront and caters for those of the paisley persuasion. Freakbeat, Garage & Psych are on the menu and features Graham Day & Forefathers and Wolf People live this year. Our daytime events at the Volks are an incredible spectacle with scooters lined-up both sides of Maderia drive, we have a sun terrace, two bars and food served all day. The daytime activities include a market, live bands, DJ’s and a Scooter run and competition on the Sunday. Tickets sell fast and are always on sale to members of our own network first you can join up here for FREE

2. The Euro Ye Ye is looking fresh with all sorts of new features, can you run us through one fo the best Events in the Calendar?

We lost our home The Oasis in 2014 to McDonalds. Our new home the Casino is a fantastic venue right in the centre of town with a great live music and DJ set up together with air con and big dance floor. The weekend starts Thursday night at 10pm with a free live show from Marta Ren in the main square of the City to between 3-4K people, followed by our first allnighter in the Casino. The event attracts visitors from all over the world and has busy program including exhibitions, film festival, live bands and dj’s. There are also scooter runs organized each day to different locations either in the mountains or coastal villages close to Gijon with a restaurant booked for lunch.

3. How was Margate and what can we expect in the future with that event?

We made a good start in 2015 and this year was a significant improvement again with numbers up and a great atmosphere. The town is rapidly improving especially the old town where our events are. Old town has a Brighton/European feel about it with vintage and retro clothes shops, boutique restaurants, coffee shops and tea rooms. The venue is perfect for a Mod/60’s event with two rooms, low ceiling, good sound system and live music set up. Our outside space during the day has a more festival feel about it with a stage on the seafront, scooters all around the piazza and this year we were blessed with beautiful sunshine which transformed the event. 2017 we aim to deliver another strong program including an exhibition in the TURNER this year and hope for more beautiful weather.

4. What else is coming up in NUTsWorld? Anything you wish to say to Bands, DJs, People of the Scene and beyond?

Plenty of great live shows at the Blues Kitchen venues over the summer months with Marta Ren and Stone Foundation two of the highlights. Mousetrap takes a summer break and returns in September and before you know it Crossfire returns on 22 October.

The new NUTSCAST will be online around 20 July and will give you an idea of what to expect at Brighton this year with tracks from the artists and DJ performing.

A limited edition Brighton T-shirt will be available at the Volks Saturday and Sunday lunchtime this year.

Over the last twenty years we have championed many new bands and DJ’s that have gone on to have successful careers. If you think you would fit in well at our events by all means send us a demo or playlist or copy of your record to review/play in our radio show. If it works for us too we will be in touch, you can use the contact button on our website at newuntouchables.com.


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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?

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

July 9, 2016 By : Category : Bands DJs Front Page Interviews Music Reviews Tags:, , , ,
0 Comment

NUTsCast – Sessions – part 12 (episode 21)

NUTsCast July 2016
Join the Baron for a look ahead to Euro YeYe and the Brighton Mod Weekender with tracks from some of the featured bands playing these events. The live session comes from The Beatniks, plus new tracks from The Kumari, Bongoloian, Senior Service and classic floor-fillers as chosen by our stable of guest DJs.


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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?

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

July 23, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Podcasts Reviews Tags:, , ,
0 Comment