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Jazz for Modernists 11 Blue Note 45s

The iconic status of Blue Note’s catalogue of LPs from the 1950s and 60s in the field of funky and soulful modern jazz is, of course, a testament to the high quality of its recording artists, the general excellence of the music and the production values instilled by owners Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff and perfected by audio engineer Rudy Van Gelder (RIP). However, it would be fair to state that the cover art, designed for the most part by Reid Miles, and with informative sleeve notes by the cream of contemporary jazz critics, together form an integral part of both the listening experience and the overall modernist package. Of those who own the vinyl, especially, who can disassociate the music of, say, John Coltrane’s Blue Train from its cover, or Dexter Gordon’s Our Man in Paris?

One consequence of this is that this most revered of labels tends to be valued for its 33 rpm products almost exclusively, something perhaps a little unusual for the world of mod music collectors. So it may come as a surprise to some (it was to me) to find out that, in addition to the 400+ LPs recorded on Blue Note between 1955 and 1972, the same period also saw something in the region of 350 7” 45 rpm singles released by the label. A handful of rare export copies came in picture sleeves, but on the whole we’re talking blue and blue and white label in paper bag territory.

The first thing to say is that virtually all the singles were sides already cut for an LP. Certainly this holds true for the ‘A’ sides, though a notable exception is the 1958 vocal version of Horace Silver’s ‘Señor Blues’ (see number two in list). The ‘A’ sides are overwhelmingly the ‘catchiest’ track on the LP, and in some cases, such as Horace Silver’s Tokyo Blues LP (1962), as many as three tracks were released on separate singles (as parts 1 & 2), such were the commercial possibilities of that finger-snapping record. Some tracks recorded in the studio for an album were edited in length for the singles or divided across both sides as ‘Parts 1 & 2’. Whether always the same take is something I haven’t yet been able to ascertain.

In future articles, we will look in more depth into the Blue Note singles catalogue (even acknowledging some of the 78s that were released from 1939 to 1955). This will involve examining the social context for their releases and their audience and reception compared with the albums. For now, though, here is an introductory selection of 10 major releases, many of which have been played over the years on the mod scene.

 


sonny_rollins

01. Sonny Rollins, ‘Decision (pts 1 & 2)’ (1957) – Blue Note-45-1669

After nine LPs for Prestige, New York-born tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins recorded four for Blue Note between December 1956 and November ’57. Four singles were culled from these sessions, including this marvellous mid-tempo slice of soulful hard-bop taken from the 1957 LP now known as Sonny Rollins, Vol. 1 (BLP-1542). A stellar line-up featuring future Miles Davis pianist Wynton Kelly, drummer Max Roach, bassist Gene Ramey and trumpeter Donald Byrd trace out over 8 minutes the transition from bebop to soul jazz.

WATCH & LISTEN HERE


02. Horace Silver Quintet (with Bill Henderson), ‘Señor Blues’ (1958) –Blue Note-45-1710

Horace Silver initially recorded this Latin-tinged tune as an instrumental in late 1956 for the 6 Pieces of Silver LP (BLP1539) and a shorter, alternate take was duly released as a single coupled with ‘Cool Eyes’ from the same session. Then, in 1958, a new lyric version, with a different line-up (though Donald Byrd remained) was recorded with Chicago-born actor and vocalist Bill Henderson. Apparently one of the labels best-selling 45s, ‘Señor Blues’ turned up on the excellent 1993 compilation Blue ‘n’ Groovy. Henderson, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 90, also recorded two singles with Jimmy Smith in 1958.

WATCH & LISTEN HERE


03. Herbie Hancock, ‘Watermelon Man’/ ‘Three Bags Full’ (1962) – Blue Note 45-1862

Covered by John Hendricks, Mongo Santamaría and Manfred Mann, among others, Chicago-born pianist and composer Herbie Hancock’s ‘Watermelon Man’ is now a jazz standard both in this, its original form, and the electro-funk version he made over ten years later for the 1973 Head Hunters LP. Some see this track, taken from debut LP Takin’ Off as the first blueprint of one of the label’s key signatures of the next five or six years: the inclusion on an LP of at least one exotically-titled funky, latin-tinged soul-jazz number which, in edited form at least, could get dance floors moving. Featuring Dexter Gordon on tenor sax, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and, with Hancock, a rhythm section comprising Billy Higgins (drums) and Butch Warren (bass), ‘Watermelon Man’ was written with commercial success in mind and evokes from Hancock’s childhood the cry of a Chicago street vendor and the rhythmic beat of his wagon wheels.

WATCH & LISTEN HERE


04. Jimmy Smith, ‘Can Heat’/’Matilda Matilda’ (1963) – Blue Note 45-1905

Taken from his penultimate Blue Note LP, Rockin’ the Boat (BLP4141), featuring Lou Donaldson on alto sax, ‘Can Heat’ is just one of over 40 singles released by Jimmy Smith on the Blue Note label between 1955 and 1972. This one, a nice slice of mid-tempo r & b/soul jazz, is classic mid-60s Smith, one for getting the dance floor bubbling as opposed to an out-and-out mover. A lovely tune, though, for relaxing to with a glass of cool beer or camomile tea for more adventurous souls.

WATCH & LISTEN HERE


05. Stanley Turrentine, ‘River’s Invitation’ (pts 1 & 2) (1965) – Blue Note 45-1917

Another stalwart of Blue Note’s soulful side, Pittsburgh tenor man Stanley Turrentine (1934-2000) had already recorded with R & B heavyweights Lowell Fulsom and Earl Bostic before teaming up with Max Roach in 1959. In 1960, he married organist Shirley Scott, going on to record with her for Prestige and Impulse! ‘River’s Invitation’, a sparkling orchestral version of Percy Mayfield’s gospel-drenched blues, is taken from Joyride (BST84201) and features Herbie Hancock and guitarist Kenny Burrell.

WATCH & LISTEN HERE


06. Lee Morgan, ‘The Rumproller’ (pts 1 & 2) (1965) – Blue Note-45-1918

Readers of our recent top 10 soul-jazz LPs will know that trumpeter Lee Morgan’s ‘The Sidewinder’ (both as single and LP) was a massive success for Blue Note in 1964. ‘The Rumproller’, released in late 65/early 66, was the follow-up single and LP (though in the meantime Morgan had recorded the excellent Search for the New Land). A funky blues in the ‘Sidewinder’ fashion, this track was written by pianist Andrew Hill, one of Blue Note’s more experimental artists whose LPs for the label are highly recommended.

WATCH & LISTEN HERE


08. Lee Morgan, ‘Cornbread’ (pts 1 & 2) (1965) – Blue Note-45-1930
Recorded at the end of the funky summer of 1965, the Cornbread LP (BST84222) reached the Billboard top 10 when it was finally released in early ’67. Featuring the great ballad ‘Ceora’, the record holds a special place in this writer’s heart as the first Blue Note LP he bought as a teenager. The title track, another infectious bit of bluesy funk, was released as a single.

WATCH & LISTEN HERE



09. Duke Pearson, ‘Sweet Honey Bee’/’Ready Rudy?’ (1967) Blue Note-45-1931
The next single in the catalogue after ‘Cornbread’, ‘Sweet Honey Bee’, by in-house Blue Note pianist and composer Duke Pearson was taken from a late ’66 LP of the same name. At this time, Blue Note was often pairing its funky players with modal modernists and here Miles Davis bassist Ron Carter provides a more spacious and contemplative feel to the rhythm section. Flautist James Spalding, though, dominates with the melody that structures this bouncy mid-tempo track.

WATCH & LISTEN HERE


10. Lou Donaldson, ‘Alligator Boogaloo’/’Rev Moses’ (1967) Blue Note-45-1934

Coming on like a slower-tempo ‘Hot Barbecue’ (Jack McDuff), with Lonnie Smith at the organ, this Lou Donaldson swinging groove remains a bona fide mod jazz favourite. Though the album version weighs in at over six minutes, the single, as can be seen from the picture, is an edited version of less than 3 minutes and thus ideal for the discotheque. However, many mods will want to find the (original) vinyl LP for the iconic cover of Peggy Moffitt wearing a psychedelic Rudi Gernreich gown.

WATCH & LISTEN HERE


11. Bobby Hutcherson, ‘Ummh’ (pts 1 & 2) (1970) Blue Note – 1966
And so into 1970! This list is completed with a brief homage to the late great vibes player Bobby Hutcherson (1941-2016). LA-born Hutcherson was a regular featured artist at Blue Note and played on key dates such as Eric Dolphy’s Out to Lunch (1964). His own series of dates for the label, including Dialogue (1965), Components (1966) and Happenings (1967) are among the most thoughtful and atmospheric in the entire catalogue. By the time of San Francisco (1970), he had moved from the fringes of the avant-garde into the realm of jazz fusion and funk. Taken from this album, Ummh (pts 1 & 2) features Jazz Crusader Joe Sample on electric piano, John Williams on fender bass, drummer Mickey Roker and tenor sax player Harold Land (he that inspired the title of a song by Yes). It is one relentless gargantuan groove which hopefully Bobby above is still playing along to.

WATCH & LISTEN HERE


Postscript
In 1998, Dean Rudland compiled a selection of Blue Note 45s under the title ‘Blue 45s-the ultimate jukebox’. I don’t have a copy of this, but it might still be available and will no doubt have more useful information.


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James Thomas

James Thomas was born in Bristol just the wrong side of 1970 (1971). His first encounters with the 1960s were his two-year-old elder brother’s reminiscences of the Moon Landing (since deleted by the BBC) and an afternoon in 1975 listening to the Beatles with his parents. He remembers 2-Tone and the ’79 revival, but was the one in his primary school still wearing flares until he persuaded his mum to buy him a black Harrington jacket (a stylish-enough copy by Burtons) and asked a hair stylist to make him ‘look like Suggs’. In the 1980s he became obsessed with almost every aspect of the 1960s, whether it were Star Trek, the length of George Harrison’s hair in March 1965 or the first colour TV broadcast of a cricket match (he thinks it was 1968). After being side-tracked by progressive rock (an ongoing guilty pleasure), James came to his senses in 1986 on seeing footage of Booker T and the MGs and Otis Redding on a programme celebrating the 60th anniversary of television. A flirtation with ‘indie pop’ (in the bowl-cut and anorak days) led to too much introspection, but also a new interest in the psychedelic sounds of the 1960s that seemed to go hand in glove with a liking for The Pastels and The Razorcuts. A summery afternoon in the jazz tent at Bristol’s annual (and long gone) Ashton Court Festival in 1989 opened his mind to the sounds of Lee Morgan, Horace Silver, Art Blakey and most forms of modern jazz. In 1990, James attended his first proper 60s club night, the revered Kaleidoscope Pop! in Leeds. On his return from the North in 1992, he developed a new commitment to Mod culture. He recalls early Untouchables Brighton New Year rallies and in 1994 moved to London. A real education for him (in so many ways...) was a period in Barcelona (1997-2002) where he helped out with the Magic in the Air club for a year or two and where his IQ was permanently reduced by a record dealer who made him clean vinyl for four weeks in a windowless room. After a decade or so in the West Country, he is now living again in London, where he plans to write about jazz, meet like-minded people and study the history of the cravat.

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December 6, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page ModJazz Music Picks Tags:, , ,
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Jazz for Modernists 8 – Interview with Julie Tippetts and Keith Tippett (Part 2)

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series James Thomas on Jazz

Here is part 2 of JTM’s interview with Julie Tippetts and Keith Tippett.

09: The period 1967-1972 was generally one of great dialogue between jazz, blues, folk, improvisational forms and rock music. On a personal level, did you experience this as a process of mutual discovery, each of you learning about the other’s musical backgrounds?

KEITH: As in our lives where we have grown together, also in the music. And may I take this opportunity to state that Centipede and the composition Septober Energy (1971) encompasses all these genres. Performing live with an orchestra including Jazz musicians/Soul and progressive rock musicians/improvising musicians and classical musicians had never been done before or since.

Centipede, Septober Energy (1971)

10: In April, 1971, Julie, you recorded Quartet Sequence, with The Spontaneous Music Ensemble. How did this come about and what was it like to step into this new area of improvisational singing?

JULIE: Our shared manager at the time, Giorgio Gomelsky, was also recording people like John Stevens and John McLaughlin, so I had the opportunity to listen to and try out all sorts of diverse musical areas of creation. Joining The Spontaneous Music Ensemble with John Stevens, Trevor Watts and Ron Herman was part of a natural progression moving into a freer approach to playing. As was (Ovary Lodge (with Keith, Frank Perry and Harry Miller), and collaborations with [previous SME member] Maggie Nicols. She and I set up our friendship and teamwork in Centipede. We did lots of improvising together in preparation for the concerts. We have always had an incredible rapport.

Spontaneuous Music Ensemble, Frameworks 

11: Much of this music is considered ‘improvisational’ or ‘experimental’. Is improvisation primarily a response to another musician’s performance or is it aiming to represent something tangible (a landscape, an idea, an emotion etc)?

KEITH: It is definitely not experimental. Composition is frozen improvisation. The ability to solidify on paper the idea you have created in sound. This is just the start. Likewise with the technology available today, what starts as an improvisation in a Dartington concert can be heard on a beach in Bali on cd 5 months later. All composers are improvisers.

12: Julie, you have periodically returned to more ‘conventional’ song forms throughout your career, working again with Brian Auger on Encore (1978), Fire in the Mountain (1989) with Working Week and quite recently, Sessions (2008) with Nostalgia 77 (with Keith). How would you describe the main differences in approach to structured song and improvisational singing?

JULIE: I love music… My privilege has been, being open enough to be part of many genres. I feel comfortable in composed or spontaneous music.

13: In 1975, you recorded Sunset Glow, a recording that in parts evokes for me works like Tim Buckley’s Starsailor (1970), Robert Wyatt’s Rock Bottom (1974) and Linda Perhac’s Parallelograms (1970). For those who love your 1960s work, could this LP be the gateway into your more experimental work, perhaps the one they could relate to most?

JULIE: I don’t think so really. For me personally, I can’t possibly make that statement. I have loved every limb of the body of work I have produced or been part of producing. It’s all part of the same journey. How people conceive it, or accept it, is part of their journey.

Julie Tippetts, Sunset Glow (1975)

14: Keith, during the 1980s and 1990s, you actively promoted the Rare Music Club in Bristol, an arena for experimental and collaborative music, based in part around your group Mujician. What were the major successes of that and did the experience make you optimistic about future music in Britain?

KEITH: The Rare Music club put on a programme of improvised music/jazz/20th century/contemporary western classical music/ and folk music from various countries. At least 3 different musics per night. Wonderful idea. I thought it would be commercial. I was wrong. Mujician was the house band and we were subsidizing guest artists. There was no profit whatsoever. Even with a hard-working committee raising small amounts of money, we could only sustain the club by the musicians’ good will. We had some headline, internationally known artists, and prosperous Bristol (a University city) did not have interest enough – particularly local musicians and students. The future of non-commercial music is in more danger now in the UK than it has ever been (with the exception of contemporary western classical music, which the establishment funds)… Thank God for Europe… ps…I worked more in Tokyo last year than my home town Bristol!!

Mujician (Paul Dunmall, Keith Tippett, the late Tony Levin, Paul Rodgers)

15: Keith, teaching has been important to you and you include many younger musicians in your improvising groups and write scores for younger musicians to perform. When you perform, you always seem to be interested in how they respond to your musical cues and suggestions…..

KEITH: Younger musicians are the future of course… musical cues and suggestions are of course discussed and rehearsed. I also am still working with many of the older comrades who were first-generation creators of improvised music.

16: Are you hopeful about the future of jazz and improvisational music?

KEITH: I am hopeful to an extent. However Europe (East and West) is where the work place is. The audiences also seem to be more knowledgeable.


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James Thomas

James Thomas was born in Bristol just the wrong side of 1970 (1971). His first encounters with the 1960s were his two-year-old elder brother’s reminiscences of the Moon Landing (since deleted by the BBC) and an afternoon in 1975 listening to the Beatles with his parents. He remembers 2-Tone and the ’79 revival, but was the one in his primary school still wearing flares until he persuaded his mum to buy him a black Harrington jacket (a stylish-enough copy by Burtons) and asked a hair stylist to make him ‘look like Suggs’. In the 1980s he became obsessed with almost every aspect of the 1960s, whether it were Star Trek, the length of George Harrison’s hair in March 1965 or the first colour TV broadcast of a cricket match (he thinks it was 1968). After being side-tracked by progressive rock (an ongoing guilty pleasure), James came to his senses in 1986 on seeing footage of Booker T and the MGs and Otis Redding on a programme celebrating the 60th anniversary of television. A flirtation with ‘indie pop’ (in the bowl-cut and anorak days) led to too much introspection, but also a new interest in the psychedelic sounds of the 1960s that seemed to go hand in glove with a liking for The Pastels and The Razorcuts. A summery afternoon in the jazz tent at Bristol’s annual (and long gone) Ashton Court Festival in 1989 opened his mind to the sounds of Lee Morgan, Horace Silver, Art Blakey and most forms of modern jazz. In 1990, James attended his first proper 60s club night, the revered Kaleidoscope Pop! in Leeds. On his return from the North in 1992, he developed a new commitment to Mod culture. He recalls early Untouchables Brighton New Year rallies and in 1994 moved to London. A real education for him (in so many ways...) was a period in Barcelona (1997-2002) where he helped out with the Magic in the Air club for a year or two and where his IQ was permanently reduced by a record dealer who made him clean vinyl for four weeks in a windowless room. After a decade or so in the West Country, he is now living again in London, where he plans to write about jazz, meet like-minded people and study the history of the cravat.

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September 29, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews ModJazz Music UK Tags:, , , ,
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Strange Cages (Newbreed)

Strange Cages are based in Brighton, UK featuring band members: Charlie McConnochie (Guitarist, Singer) Elliott Loughridge (Bass player) Ellis Dickson (Drums), we caught up with them recently for a nice chat.

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

Just over 2 years. I found Ellis in a ditch. His legs were sticking out. They’re far too large for any ditch.

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

We have many influences in common. Some examples are: The Cramps, T Rex, The Jesus and Mary Chain.

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

Wax Machine are a great band of groovy freaks with good solid tunes. Skinny Milk is another band worth checking out too, they are a two-piece bass and drums combo with a great sound (they’re much better than Royal Blood).

04. How would you describe the style you play?

Noisy rock and roll for reptiles. Music that makes you want to run around in the woods downing wine, smoking and dancing until you pass out.

05. What are your live shows like?

There is a lot of sweat. We recently played Green Door Store at 2am and things got quite wild. There was a woman swinging her jumper round, then she knocked the mic over and tried to get on the stage. At first, I thought she was really enjoying the gig, but then realised she was trying to get on stage to kill me. A bouncer had to stand with her for the rest of the gig.

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

We like to occasionally play ‘Jack the Ripper’which is an old garage song, covered by a lot of artists like Screaming Lord Sutch and The Horrors. We’re inspired by The Horrors’ version mainly. There’s not a lot better than howling “Jack the Ripper” down a microphone. I don’t like boring bands who play boring music and look bored whilst playing it. What is the point? Do you not feel anything? Do you want to be the same as everyone else? It baffles me.

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

In our set: I like to play ‘Ego-Killer’ because I get to make a lot of noise. It’s usually our last song and it will be out on the EP next month.
Another artist: I keep listening to Autumn’s Child by Captain Beefheart because it’s just so so right. As is the rest of the album “Safe As Milk”

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

It’s great, there are loads of great things going on Brighton. We’ve recently started a new night called Strange Cages’ Deadbeat Disco. We’re getting our favourite bands to play in a tiny space and it’s all free. It’s once a month, so come down and do a little dance.

09. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

The hardships of having to work and play music. It’s a bit of a nightmare working until 4pm, travel to a different city to play a gig and then leave straight away to get to work at 8am. Of course it’s worth it though and it obviously takes a long time for anyone to make money from music – if ever.

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

It’s okay. There are plenty of good sites etc. I wish there were better magazines on paper. The NME has clearly gone downhill, a good example of this is that Chris Moyles was on the front cover. I also wish people would write more honest reviews of bands rather than just throw in superlatives.

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

I watched Goat live at Field Day festival and it was incredible. I didn’t know what the fuck was going on but loved it. If you don’t know who they are you should go and see them live as soon as you can.

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

I’d like to record with Josh Homme in his desert studio. I think we’d quite a lot of fun if that happened. I’m also looking forward to recording at Hermitage Works Studios with producer Margo Broom again. It’s where we recorded our upcoming EP and I don’t know if there’s anywhere around that’s better.

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

Our first EP will be out late July/August. We’ll be doing an EP launch at our Deadbeat Disco. I can’t wait to play 1234 Fest in September with Jesus and Mary Chain and Gang of Four. We plan on recording and releasing stuff at a much better rate in the future.

Discography:
Free download – Desert (2014)
Single on Strong Island Recordings – Pony (2015)
Free download – Catharsis (2016)

Web Links:
facebook.com/strangecages/

Updated Releases and Tour Dates 2016:
6th July – Shacklewell Arms, London
17th July – The Lock Tavern, London
28 August – Sticky Mikes Frog Bar, Brighton Psych Fest


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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 5, 2016 By : Category : Bands Beat Front Page Fuzz Garage Interviews Music Psych Scene UK Tags:, , , ,
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Marta Ren (Newbreed)

Marta Ren & The Groovelvets are based in Porto, Portugal with current band members: Marta Ren (vox), Hugo Danin (drums), Bruno Macedo (guitar), Sérgio Marques (bass), Sérgio Alves (keyboards), Manu Idhra (percussion), Fábio Almeida ( tenor sax), Nelson Ferreira (trumpet) and Hugo Marinheiro (baritone sax)

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

I started to sing professionally at 16 years of age, my first band “Sloppy Joe” were together, playing for 10 years, then came “The Bombazines”, I was already thinking of doing a solo album before the band finally ended. Three years ago, I started finding and talking to the musicians that I needed to make the album that I wanted to and I named them “The Groovelvets”, and then the adventure started!

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

Classic soul and funk, that’s what unites us. We also like other genres but what we really have in common is the love for that core music.

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

Almost every band coming from Daptone Records, Record Kicks or Timmion Records, I think the reason it’s obvious, they are releasing great classic soul and funk often with a modern twist.

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

In the 60’s in Portugal, most of the bands played a lot of covers with adapted lyrics in Portuguese. We also have our famous ‘Fado’ singers and our traditional Portuguese songwriters.

05. How would you describe the style you play?

Classic soul and Funk.

06. What are your live shows like?

Normally we have nine musicians on stage, giving it all they’ve got. They’re energetic shows, you have little spaces to breathe, but we came to get you right after you catch your breath.

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

I love music in general , if I like a song it doesn’t matter what genre, but my main influences are soul and funk singers or bands. We play a cover from The Doors and another by Lucille Mathis. I despise everything that’s not done with truth and soul.

08. What are your main influences outside of music?

I like arts in general , I studied graphic arts from my 10º to 12º grade, but I think what influences me more are the movies.

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

I always wrote my own lyrics and melodies, I think it’s important to really feel what you’re singing, the compositions came from different composers, some from the producer “New Max”, others from the bass player “Sérgio Marques” others from the guitar player “Bruno Macedo”, one from “Lino Matos” and other from “Eurico Amorim” former Bombazines. I mainly deal with life, with love relationships, frustration, unconformity, sometimes I write about friends stories or stories from movies that I relate to.

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

That’s a tough one… it depends, on Monday my favorite is “So Long” and “I wanna go back”, Tuesday “Let’s talk about the kids” and “2 kinds of men”, Wednesday “Release Me” and “It’s today”, Thursday “I’m coming home” and “Smiling Faces” and Friday “Be ma Fela” and “Don’t Look”. It’s so hard to say one, I have many, the first it came to my mind was “Try a little Tenderness” from Otis Redding.

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

If you asked me that 10 years ago, I could answer, now I don’t really know. I’m very focused on my family my dogs, my rehearsals with the band, I always try to suggest new arrangements for the songs or live show.

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

Every record or show are big challenges, but I think the biggest is yet to come.

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

We try to rehearse every week, with or without shows. Playing live, it really depends on various things, but normally we have three/four shows per month, it depends on the season. We have a lot of interesting shows coming up in Spain, France and England and at this moment we have a new video for “Release Me”.

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

It’s the same I think in other similar subjects or arts, normally they cover with high-attention what they are told to do or paid to do, not what has real quality and new potential interest. It’s supposedly dangerous to cover interesting things, people could get clever with that and have their own new ideas!

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

The past days I spend listening to the new Red Hot Chilli Peppers album ‘The Getaway’.

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

Every record or producer has their own charm, I don’t really have a favourite. When I start recording I always feel like it’s going to be the first and last thing that I’m going to do in my entire life.

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?

I expect to play this album as much as I can live, everywhere, all over the world, and make enough money to pay my bills and make the next record. Fortunately I have more than I expected , in Portugal a few new Festivals (not despising the other gigs, every gig is important and interesting to me) and I’m excited to go to Euro Yé Yé and Blues Kitchen and Brighton Weekender.

Discography:
2002 – SINGLE ‘An Easy Night’s Day’,
2003 – EP ‘A Watchjob Apple’,
2004 – LP ‘The Profile Fillers Sing Your Destruction’, 2007 LP ‘Jimmy’

Web Links:
profilefillers.com
facebook.com/marta.ren
instagram.com/martaren_groovelvets
facebook.com/MartaRenTheGroovelvets
myspace.com/profilefillers
twitter.com/martagrooveren
soundcloud.com/profilefillers

 


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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 Club Soul Europe Front Page Interviews Modern RnB Scene 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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Super Lungs (Newbreed)

Super Lungs hail from Brighton, UK with band members: Billy Doyle (main vocals & rhythm guitar) Ben Varnes (Lead Guitar) Kieran Mansfield (backing vocals & bass guitar) Markus Sasse (backing vocals, drums & keys)

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

About a year and half ago Ben and Billy started working together at a bar in town, Then Ben had to go on tour with the growlers, and Billy got really jealous and asked Ben to be in a band with him, I think he’s regretted it since. Once we got some songs together Ben asked Kieran to play Bass and Billy got his “mate” Markus to play drums. The first band practice turned out to be pretty sweet!

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

We all have our own influences that we bring to the table, but we have somehow managed to agree on freestyle jazz as a common one. Although we just play 60’sesque, RnB, surf, rock, blazecore.

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

Gang are the most unique garage-y grunge guys I’ve seen for a while in the sea of Brighton bands, they have some really unusual melodies and tones that make us all really happy at SL. And Post-Heather having well written songs and melodies served up as an explosive 2 piece that sound like grace slick merged with Unkle. Bosco Rogers from Hastings are pretty sweet too!

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

You see a lot of sixties fashion in Brighton, and a lot of appreciation for that era of music it just seems to be the norm.

05. How would you describe the style you play?

We like catchy vocal and guitar melodies driven by tight groovy beats and bass. Our guitars are nearly always clean in tone and appearance. I’d say we go for a spaghetti western vibe sometimes – kind of hard to describe.

06. What are your live shows like?

If they’re not awkward, they’re funny!

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

We play a mean rendition of George Michael’s careless whisper, its Kierans favourite – he really loves singing it. We would like to cover “Tu Fais partie du passé” by ZouZou but its all in French and Bill can’t do that.

08. What are your main influences outside of music?

Being kind to strangers.

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

Writing process varies from song to song, but generally Billy writes rough songs that we all work on together until they’re ready for your ears! But we’re still changing things on songs we wrote a year and a half ago. Our songs are about life – a very broad subject. haha

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

Our new song “Leave it all behind” is quite the “banger”. And we are really enjoying The Seeds – “Pushin’ too hard”

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

All of us had been in bands before SL about 2 years ago that you could say were in the scene, but I wouldn’t say that now we participate as much. Although we do maintain a good network of friends that do great jobs promoting a lively garage rock scene in Brighton like Acid Box, Teen Creeps and so on.

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

Our drummer Markus had to be deported after the EU referendum result. Just joking he’s gone to Uni in Cologne for a while, so were in an international band now by default.

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

We rehearse when we can, Ben and Billy live together so they jam and write a lot. Kieran comes over a fair bit but Marktin is in Cologne. We have a new drummer but we thought we’d make sure that the man himself got a mention for all his hard work… Marktin – we couldn’t have done it without you. The mystery drummer will be unveiled soon.

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

I don’t think mainstream media really reports much new music but channels like KEXP do a great job getting all sorts of styles on film with great sound! We would love to feature one day!

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

Tame Impala, Doug Tuttle, The Seeds, Fairport Convention, Mac Demarco, Home Shake, UMO, BJM , Vague, Magic Castles and all the nice bands out there.

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

We’d like to record on our friends boat at the marina but sadly none of the tech to do it with or on top of Kilimanjaro.

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?

At the moment we are just trying to get our new songs mixed and mastered so everyone can hear them. We have also been focusing on bringing a longer set to our live shows with some fresh songs to dance to, Ultimately we are looking to go on some sort of tour maybe in foreign lands! Peace out!

Discography:
2015 “Smoke forever demo” – I lost my way.

Weblinks:
facebook.com/SuperLungsUK
twitter.com/SuperLungs
soundcloud.com/super-lungs
instagram.com/SuperLungs.UK


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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 Front Page Fuzz Garage Interviews Music Psych Tags:, , ,
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Lie Detectors (Newbreed)

The Lie Detectors are based in Donostia/San Sebastian, Basque Country (Spain) with band members being: Eneko Etxeandia: guitar & backing vocals. I also work as a graphic designer, Aitor Txiki: bass guitar & backing vocals: Also works in a factory, Txema Babon: Vocal & maracas. Works in a warehouse – Urko Ros: Drums. Also works in a warehouse. We caught up with them recently.

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

It’s now two years that we are together. One year and a half since we played our first show. I had been away several years (Berlin and Barcelona) and when I came back to Donostia/San Sebastian, I was looking for a band in which I could play guitar or bass again (I had been singing lately) and we met in the process.

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

Pub rock would be a meeting point, early punk-rock too. But influences go from early rock & roll, sixties, garage, a little of psychedelia, glam rock, pub rock, early punk. Our singer is a man in love with the 60’s, Spanish Euroyeyé, so I guess that is what gives us that 60’s touch.

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

We like the Lookers a lot. They have great songs, their live shows are great. Plus, they are an amazing young trio.

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

I don’t see a clear 60’s scene around here, to be honest. The underground scene, I see everything a bit lame lately. There are bands for sure, and venues to play, but not too many interesting bands in my opinion. I like the Pow Pow Pows from Pamplona and the Dealers from Vitoria too.

5. How would you describe the style you play?

It is a mixture of pub rock – garage and punk-rock&roll with a Spanish sixties moustache nutcase fronting.

6. What are your live shows like?

That’s difficult for me to answer… For what people says, they are fun, energetic and crazy. I think we are different.

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

Me, I would say early punk-rock, proto-punk, 50’s-60’s-70’s rock & roll, garage, glam-rock. We play covers by Moris, GG Allin and the Jabbers, the Rolling Stones, Jesse Hector… we then try to adapt them to Spanish. Despise? Too many to mention.

8. What are your main influences outside of music?

Travelling, family, clothing, cooking, eating, drinking, the street, laughing, drinking beer with friends, the hash of “the barbarian”.

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

Before we started playing live we used to work the songs together. Someone would get an idea to the practice room and we’d develop there. When we started playing shows, we didn’t rehearse as much and that stopped being a method for getting songs together. Lately, I’ve been writing most of the songs and I try to bring them quite well-shaped, as we don’t see much of one another too so there’s no time to build them. We don’t spend too much time rehearsing, so if we want to keep bringing new songs into the setlist and being able to record, it’s the only way of doing it… Lyrics normally is Txema who writes them, sometimes with help from the others. Subjects would be: Txema’s beloved Chelsea Boots, the ancient joy of finding good cheap vinyl 7 inches in a shop, the pursuit of happiness, getting out of depression, partying, travelling.

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

The most enjoyable one for me to play is “Felicidad” (Happines). Favourite song by another artist: Today I have to say Alex Chilton’s cover of “The singer not the song” by the Rolling Stones. Tomorrow will be another one.

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

I don’t really know what to answer. There’s always great bands recording, touring. I like les Grys Grys in concert, who like the Lookers, are young, good-looking and a great band. I saw Kelley Stoltz last year and he was great.

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

Having been able to play shows, releasing two singles last year, planning to release two more this year. We are a lazy bunch, and havin’ done all this would have looked like a joke two years ago.

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

The most we rehearse is once a week. Always on Friday night which is not always fruitful but it sure is fun. I would like to rehearse more often but our working schedules are complicated. We play more or less 2 shows per month. Last year we played 22 shows, in Spain and France.

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

Is there such thing as music coverage in the media? I don’t have a TV Set, don’t read newspapers and rarely listen to the radio except for El Sotano in Radio 3. I’m not the one to answer.

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

I like Giuda, Les Grys Grys, Kelley Stoltz and still like The Damned!

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

I would love to be able to record and produce records myself, maybe in a nice farm not far away from home.

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 are releasing a new single (believe it or not, the third one) in September/October, and we hope to release another one in Christmas. We would like to record a video clip for “Me gusta la calle (Hey! Hey! Hey!)” which is going to be the A-side for our next single, we are playing in the beautiful Costa Brava the 23rd of July, Euroyeyé in Gijón the 6th of August and we’ll probably open for Giuda in September. Berlin in October is very likely to happen too!

Discography:
2015 – SINGLE: ‘Chelsea Boots,
2015 – SINGLE: ‘Pínchalo’

Web Links:
www.profilefillers.com
facebook.com/liedetectorstute
liedetectors.bandcamp.com

 


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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 Front Page Fuzz Garage Interviews Music Tags:, , , ,
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The Limboos (Newbreed)

The Limboos are based in Madrid/Galicia (Spain) with band members being: Daniela Kennedy (drums), Roi Fontoira (vocals, guitar), Sergio Alarcón (organ, guitar, percussion), Dani Niño (baritone sax) and Santiago Sacristán (double bass). We recently caught up with them to chat about their music.

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

Daniela and I (Roi) started the band in Galicia while I was working on a newspaper. It was summer 2012, that fall we moved to Madrid and start rehearsing with the original line up. Marky came from The Phantom Keys (this time, with bass) and Sergio is my cousin, so it’s kind of family band. Later on, we added a baritone sax and now we have Santi with his double bass.

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

Well, we wanted to play R&B as that’s our main thing, but we share a variety of musical tastes, from bossa nova, mambo and latin American roots to early jazz, blues, soul, etc.

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

There’s a lot of interesting bands in our area right now. To start with, our neighbours from Porto, TT Syndicate, killer R&B soul… To name a few that you might not know… Los Chavales from Galicia, finest Spanish YeYe Bravos alike, or Valencia The Vertigos with his garage-psych texas style.

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

As your readers must know, in Spain there are plenty of weekenders and parties, and ¡good news!, it seems that 50’s and 60’s scenes are closer to each other than ever, maybe because of the R&B fever in both sides… You can hear John Lee Hooker or JB Lenoir no matter where, and that’s cool… Having said that, we don’t feel part of any particular scene, we try to play our music for the wider audience possible.

5. How would you describe the style you play?

We call ourselves an ‘Exotic R&B band’, so something like that will work. Latin stuff mixed with rock and roll, jazz and R&B.

6. What are your live shows like?

Our audience should answer this question, but I think both public and band have a good time and if it ends with a conga I think that’s quite a party.

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

We started the band with some Ike Turners’ instros on Flair, Cubano Jump and all that. New Orleans and all the R&B is our main thing. We play mostly our own stuff, but we cover songs from Little Walter to Antonio Machin, that wide range.

8. What are your main influences outside of music?

Well, everybody has their own thing, but Daniela and I live in the countryside surrounded by our animals and vegetables, so mother nature I guess… I think we all like to write and read a bit too, so I think literature will work, and Sergio it’s really into cinema.

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

Most of the songs are written by Daniela, Roi and Sergio. Subjects? First of all, fine music, good arrangements and a real cool groove. Then, we just fill it with some nice lyrics about not having much money, longing a girl or that kind of stuff. The basics really!

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

I don’t know, we like to play always the “new ones”, so it’s changing every few months. I will name a real newie, not recorded yet, Danzón #13! Other artist fav? One answer for each day, but let’s say ‘James Hunter’ Hold On to name an artist currently playing.

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

Yes, of course. There’s a lot of R&R clubs all over the country, and that helps to build a solid circuit for live bands.

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

As we are real working musicians and it is a big part of our lives, paying the bills is quite hard sometimes. Musically, our latest line-up change I guess and also getting ready to record our second album, which is gonna be really accurate to what we want to really sound like!

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

We play a lot all over the year, so we don’t rehearse every week as many bands do, anyway, we should really ! Well, we are rehearsing right now arrangements for the second album sessions, that we cut always in Big Chief Studio (Madrid), recording live directly into a Studer tape machine and some other toys… We really like being in the studio!

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

As a journalist, I’m pretty critical with media routines! I have never worked in a musical magazine, but I guess it works the same. Just one word of advice, get a good PR to promote your band or you won’t get much coverage!

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

We are all devoted James Hunter fans, and there’s plenty of cool bands around here including our Penniman Records mates The Excitements, Fogbound, Le Grand Miercoles, Pelo Mono, Los Bengala.

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

We are pretty happy working with Mike Mariconda and Big Chief Studio, but if I had to choose one, Bosco Mann and Daptone Studio is THE SOUND. We love the latest James Hunter record, it sounds incredibly good.

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 will release a second album early on 2017, and we are pretty happy with the new songs. It’s coming less R&R and more exotic, jazzy and latin maybe, but I think it’s going to be a good record, we can’t wait to get into the studio! We are looking forward to play in Euro Yeye (Gijón) a lots of different festivals all around Spain, France and Germany. Hopefully we can make it to the UK with our second album, as we never played there!

Discography:
2013 – SINGLE ‘Space Mambo b/w Not a Soul Around’,
2014 – LP – “Space Mambo’, 2014 SINGLE ‘Big Chef b/w Limbootic’,
2016  SINGLE ‘I Need Your Lovin’ b/w I’m a Fool’….
2017 SECOND LP coming soon

Web Links:
thelimboos.com
facebook.com/thelimboos,
twitter.com/The_Limboos
soundcloud.com/the-limboosthe-limboos
instagram.com/thelimboos

 


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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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

July 13, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page General Interviews Music RnB Tags:, , , , ,
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Jazz for Modernists 8 – Interview with Julie Tippetts and Keith Tippett (Part 1)

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series James Thomas on Jazz

Julie Tippetts and Keith Tippett have been at the forefront of improvisational British music and composition for over 45 years. Considered “one of the foremost vocalists in the field of European contemporary jazz and improvised music”, our readers will, of course, be familiar with Julie’s wonderful, soulful singing in the 1960s with Brian Auger and Steampacket. Since 1969, she has worked with Keith and many others in the fields of free jazz, poetry, improvisational music and, occasionally, soul and r ‘n’ b. Keith has led various ensembles such as Centipede, Ark, Tapestry and Mujician and collaborated with dozens of musicians across the fields of contemporary jazz, rock, improvisational and classical music since 1967. His brilliant piano playing can be heard on recordings made with, among many others, Louis Moholo, Stan Tracey, Howard Riley, John Tilbury, King Crimson, Robert Wyatt, and Shelagh Mcdonald. Julie and Keith kindly agreed to talk to Jazz for Modernists about their long musical partnership, thoughts on music-making and plans for the near future.

01: What projects are you both currently working on, separately and together?

KEITH: Plans for another CIS (Couple in Spirit) album. Masterclasses and solo performances in Australia this year. Incidentally, a new solo album has just been released, Mujician Solo IV Live in Piacenza (Dark Companion Records, 2015). Working with Pino Minafra’s Minafric at festivals in Italy…working at the Ravenna Festival as a duo and future work with the Archipelago Orchestra in Europe.

JULIE: Keith and I are planning a new “Couple in Spirit” CD. We’re performing in Italy with the duo and Pino Minafra’s Orchestra. Martin Archer and I are preparing CD number 5 and have put an ensemble together which has been invited to perform in Canada in May.

02: A couple of years ago, Julie read her poetry at the Vortex in Dalston, London, to improvised accompaniment from Keith. How do you both conceptualise the relationship between poetic sound/meaning and the piano and other instruments?

KEITH: There is a big difference between the spontaneous composition of CIS (with or without Julie’s poems) and my accompanying of Julie’s poems. In the latter, the words are the primary focus. The poems that Julie decides to use/or not with Couple in Spirit are part of the whole sound world. Actually, we have only ever done one poetry/music concert. Perhaps as it was so well-received, we should do more.

JULIE: As long as I can remember, I have written thoughts down in the form of poems or lyrics, whether fabricated imaginings or drawn from true-life experiences. Several years ago I compiled an anthology of selected poems which I began to take on stage to recite, sing or half-sing during improvisation performances. Total improvisation is completely unprepared and ‘plucked from the air’ with no preconceived structure or landmarks. A selection of my poems is treated in the same way as my various small percussion instruments. They are there to draw from, either partially or in completion, or not referred to at all. Sometimes I have a table prepared on stage and never use anything, but they are there if I hear a place for them. Many of my poems, or parts of them, seem to work well with other instruments, and Keith is a master at colouring and creating atmosphere, so there can be many such inclusions in our duet performances.

03: Poetry enjoys a long association with jazz. In Britain, for example, Michael Horowitz, Pete Brown & the New Departures crowd in the 1960s, Michael Garrick’s collaborations with Norma Winstone and John Smith and, of course, Stan Tracey’s Under Milk Wood suite, based on Dylan Thomas. Other than Julie’s work, Keith, have you ever set a poetic work to music or been inspired by a particular poem?

KEITH: The short answer is no. However, sometimes I put the music to the words (eg “Sun-the Living Son” (from Mary Wiegold’s Songbook), the last song of From Granite to Wind etc.). But more often than not, the words are sculpted to the music (for example, “The Monk watches the Eagle”, “Film Blues”, “A Song”).

04: Julie, how long have you been writing poetry? What and who are your poetic inspirations and what are your aims when writing?

JULIE: As with music, my love of poetry covers many types and styles of writing. Reading a wonderful poem can trigger off your own thought forms in streams of imaginings. Likewise, certain states of mind or moving situations or observations can start the unstoppable flow. When writing poetic forms to music, it is the music which tends to dictate what to write. It’s unexplainable really.

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05: Can you tell me a little bit about how you both met and started making music together in the late 1960s?

KEITH: Julie came to a gig at the 100 Club, Oxford Street. She was managed by the late Georgio Gomelsky who had just signed myself and the Sextet. I, of course, was well aware of who she was, and a few days later was excited to be asked to play and write some arrangements on her 1st solo album 1969. A fantastic album, with some fantastic musicians performing on it.

JULIE: We had the same manager for a while, and he introduced us. He played me some of Keith’s recordings, and I remember thinking…”I’ve been waiting to hear music like this, without even realising it”. I was preparing pieces for the 1969 album, and it became obvious that Keith would be ideal to do some arrangements for it. Luckily, he agreed, and it became our first collaboration. I loved, and still love the outcome. That album was my first solo in my own right. The musicianship was fantastic, and I can’t really fault it to this day. It holds so many memories and opened so many musical doors.

06: Keith, you were born and raised in Bristol. What was your introduction to jazz and did the city have many modern jazz clubs or venues when you lived there?

KEITH: My introduction to jazz of any sort was Kenny Ball and his version of the Russian folk tune known to the record buyers as “Midnight in Moscow”. All the music I had heard up to that point (1962) had been western classical music and church choral music. I was studying piano, had been a chorister, was playing with the Bristol Youth Brass Band and was to go on and study the organ. However, this was pre- television (in our house) and it was the radio that delivered this wonderful music to me. I formed a ‘trad’ band with friends at school and performed traditional jazz at weddings/care homes/1 radio broadcast (BBC Bristol)/cabaret at weekends (at Talk of the Town nightclub) chaperoned by the banjo player’s dad. We were not allowed to attend pubs or jazz clubs as we were too young.

07: Julie, you came to improvisational music and freer jazz singing styles after a career as a successful rhythm and blues singer with Steampacket and Brian Auger’s Trinity. During that period, did you listen to or see much free jazz in London, perhaps Ornette Coleman or Albert Ayler?

JULIE: I was working constantly with Brian Auger for 4 years and seldom had the chance to hear other performers unless they were on the same bill as us. I remember there was a festival with Pharoah Saunders playing, which enticed us to try our set beginning with an unprepared “free” improvisation. Not sure how it worked at the time, but it was a taster of what was to be later developed on my own musical journey. As a band, we all took our favourite types of music on the road with us, and jazz was always one of the choices. My dad, being a trumpeter and band leader, who I sang with when I was 16, introduced me to many different musical forms, including jazz, Latin American and also Caribbean calypso. My mum loved Nellie Lutcher, Louis Jordan, Frank Sinatra etc, so my musical hunger was well fed from a variety of recipes. My own particular passions were Ray Charles, Tamla Motown, Oscar Brown Jr, Nina Simone and the Blues greats like Howling Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee etc, and lots of African music and Flamenco guitar.

08: Keith, your first two LPs as leader of the Keith Tippett Group were you are here…I am there, recorded in 1969 and Dedicated to You, But You Weren’t Listening, from a year or so later. Both feature the brass triumvirate of Elton Dean (alto/saxello), Marc Charig (cornet) and Nick Evans (trombone). Were these records the summation of ideas going back to 1967?

KEITH: They were not the complete spectrum of the various music we were involved in during this period. But it would be true to say that at that moment Dedicated to you was typical of what the sextet was playing at that time.” You are here was released so late after the actual recording (a problem between Giorgio and Polydor) that we were not playing that material anymore and as young musicians, we were maturing rapidly. Also, we were working with many other musicians and ensembles.

PLEASE VISIT THE WEBSITE HERE!

PART 2 coming soon…

 


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James Thomas

James Thomas was born in Bristol just the wrong side of 1970 (1971). His first encounters with the 1960s were his two-year-old elder brother’s reminiscences of the Moon Landing (since deleted by the BBC) and an afternoon in 1975 listening to the Beatles with his parents. He remembers 2-Tone and the ’79 revival, but was the one in his primary school still wearing flares until he persuaded his mum to buy him a black Harrington jacket (a stylish-enough copy by Burtons) and asked a hair stylist to make him ‘look like Suggs’. In the 1980s he became obsessed with almost every aspect of the 1960s, whether it were Star Trek, the length of George Harrison’s hair in March 1965 or the first colour TV broadcast of a cricket match (he thinks it was 1968). After being side-tracked by progressive rock (an ongoing guilty pleasure), James came to his senses in 1986 on seeing footage of Booker T and the MGs and Otis Redding on a programme celebrating the 60th anniversary of television. A flirtation with ‘indie pop’ (in the bowl-cut and anorak days) led to too much introspection, but also a new interest in the psychedelic sounds of the 1960s that seemed to go hand in glove with a liking for The Pastels and The Razorcuts. A summery afternoon in the jazz tent at Bristol’s annual (and long gone) Ashton Court Festival in 1989 opened his mind to the sounds of Lee Morgan, Horace Silver, Art Blakey and most forms of modern jazz. In 1990, James attended his first proper 60s club night, the revered Kaleidoscope Pop! in Leeds. On his return from the North in 1992, he developed a new commitment to Mod culture. He recalls early Untouchables Brighton New Year rallies and in 1994 moved to London. A real education for him (in so many ways...) was a period in Barcelona (1997-2002) where he helped out with the Magic in the Air club for a year or two and where his IQ was permanently reduced by a record dealer who made him clean vinyl for four weeks in a windowless room. After a decade or so in the West Country, he is now living again in London, where he plans to write about jazz, meet like-minded people and study the history of the cravat.

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July 9, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews ModJazz Music UK Tags:, , , , ,
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UK Tamla Motown singles Part 2: Stateside

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Collectors Corner 2

“In my lonely room – UK Tamla Motown singles Part 2: Stateside”

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After beginning to make bigger leaps into the UK record buying markets in 1963, the Tamla / Motown / Gordy group found themselves under the umbrella of the EMI subsidiary label, Stateside in October of the same year. Stateside was formed in mid 1962 by EMI to release singles under licence from American labels such as Swan, Wand and Vee-Jay in a similar style to Decca records very successful London American imprint. Licensing tracks from many independent USA labels ensured Stateside released a whole slew of great current rhythm’n’blues and soul releases, and the label soon endeared itself to mods and soul fans on this side of the Atlantic. As well as having hits with Freddy Cannon and Gene Pitney, early releases included such stellar names as The Isley Brothers, Jimmy Reed, Chuck Jackson and The Shirelles. When Oriole’s UK contract with Motown ran out the previous month the new distributor launched its first release on Stateside on 11th October 1963 with Martha and the Vandellas all time classic “Heatwave” (SS228). When sales were quite brisk, the label then released three more singles the following month by Little Stevie Wonder, Mary Wells and Marvin Gaye’s fantastic “Can I get a witness” (SS243).

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By January 1964 Motown was causing quite a stir on these shores, being regularly name checked by the UK’s biggest pop combo, The Beatles, who took Mary Wells on tour with them and mentioning Motown artists numerous times in interviews. Add to this the burgeoning underground mod and soul club scene which was hungry for the dance floor friendly sounds coming out of Detroit and it wouldn’t be long before Stateside had a bona-fide hit single on their hands. Between January and April 1964, no less than twelve 45’s were released in the UK, including tracks by The Miracles, The Marvelettes and debut UK releases from The Temptations, “The way you do the things you do” (SS278), and the group that would soon hit the top spot, The Supremes “When the lovelight starts shining thru his eyes (SS257). On May 8th 1964 Stateside released a hook laden single written by Smokey Robinson, and it was sung by Motown’s number one lady of the time, Mary Wells, “My Guy” (SS288). Two weeks later, on the 21st May 1964, “My guy” entered the UK charts at number 37, finally hitting the heady heights of number 5 the following month. Berry Gordy’s company had now scored their first of many big hit singles in Britain.

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Between May ’64 and March 1965 Stateside issued a further 30 singles, including debuts from The Velvelettes, Earl Van Dyke, Four Tops and Kim Weston. Most of these were steady sellers, with titles by Marvin Gaye, Martha and the Vandellas, Mary Wells and The Temptations all scoring top fifty placings. On 28th August, and eight months after their initial flop, The Supremes “Where did our love go” (SS327) was released to an impressed public, who bought the single in droves, sending it number three in the chart. Less than two months later, and capitalising on the nation’s newfound love with the sounds from Motor City, “Baby love” (SS350) was released and hit the top spot soon after, with the group actually having two songs in the top ten at the same time for one week in October! Unfortunately not all releases were massive hits and some are now hard to find. These always sell for good prices when they appear on the market, especially in mint condition. Martha & The Vandellas “In my lonely room” (SS305), Brenda Holloway “Every little bit hurts” (SS307), The Tempations “Why you wanna make me blue” (SS348), Earl Van Dyke “Soul stomp” (SS357), Kim Weston “A little more love” (SS359), Four Tops “Without the one you love” (SS371), Carolyn Crawford “When someone’s good to you” (SS384) and Tony Martin “Talkin’ to your picture” (SS394) are probably the hardest to find, especially the last two. Also coming with a ridiculous price tag, all the Stateside EMI singles were sent to pluggers and radio DJ’s as red and white label demonstration discs and all are extremely collectable, and valuable too!

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EMI was also loved to release EP’s and hundreds of them were released across their labels from the early ’50’s to the late ’60’s. After no EP releases on Fontana or Oriole, Stateside bit the bullet and released no less than five of them in the time they were licensing material. Little Stevie Wonder was afforded the only single artist EP, “I call it pretty music but old people call it the blues” (SE1014) which is ridiculously hard to find. There were also four editions of a cracking new EP series, concentrating on material otherwise unavailable in the UK on 45, “R & B Chartmakers”. The series featured some great tracks, including two stellar previously USA only releases from Eddie Holland, “Just ain’t enough love” and “Leaving here”, all came in amazing picture sleeves too. Although steady sellers they’re hard to find in great condition nowadays, expect to pay between £50-£100 for each of them. By March 1965 the label was as big, if not bigger than Atlantic over here in the UK so it came as no surprise that, with a little help from super fan Dave Godin, Berry Gordy signed an exclusive deal with EMI to set up a brand new record company in Britain, Tamla Motown records. On 19th March 1965, clad in an iconic orange and white company sleeve, record stores took release of a new disc, TMG 501, “Stop! in the name of love” by The Supremes and the rest, as they say, is history.


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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.

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May 4, 2016 By : Category : Articles Club Soul Front Page Music Picks Reviews UK USA Tags:, , , ,
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Hey! Mr DJ – Lee Petryszyn

This entry is part 18 of 19 in the series Hey! Mr DJ 3

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

Growing up there was always music & records about, me old dear loved Motown, the old mans a huge soulie (DJ’s himself still) but was my older brother who introduced me to everything that was good growing up through the 90’s with Blur, Oasis, The Verve then the inspirations to those bands like The Who, Small Faces etc… It was The Horrors fanzine that I first got my early glimpse into Psych with a track off a CD that used to come with it… Hooterville Trolleys – No Silver Bird, which blew my mind and opened up a new one seeking similar sounds!

Where was your first DJ slot?

Used to play a couple of mates indie nights but the first 60s bash was as resident for a night that used to be called Psychedelic Sunday’s at the Lexington with my pal Jamie Cook a few years back with mostly cheap nuggets singles.

What was your most memorable DJ spot?

My second time at Mousetrap, one of my favourite 60s haunts as a punter, always a game crowd in a nowadays rare club that has all the right ingredients for a top night. At the brilliant Margate Mod weekender – playing records with my old man for a good while in the day. The farewell night at Berlin Beat Explosion which was open deck at Wowsville bar playing back to back with Riccardo Para from Italy.

What so far, has been your worst DJ experience?

Fortunately in my thus far short-lived Dee Jin escapades I’ve not endured any too drastic, My first time at Mousetrap had a couple of hiccups with the mixer not working to start with which didn’t help calm the nerves!

Your favourite scene DJ’s and why?

Joseph Spurgeon was the first DJ that initially captured my psychedelic imagination! Rob Bailey, Carolina Pastore, Rhys Webb, Peter Feeley, Holly Calder, Stephen McConville – in fact anyone who collects and plays as it’s not a cheap game to be in!

What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

Mostly anything from 66 to 71 that’s uptempo, fast and frantic with a good groove.

What was your best ever find/discovery?

Discovering Psychedelic Music and all the nights that play it like Hidden Door Club/Cave/Le Beat Bespoke/Mousetrap.

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

My Brother, My old man for the thirst for Vinyl, Cave Club & Mousetrap nights and the DJs that play. Brian Jonestown Massacre being my favourite artists.

Do you collect specific labels/artists/genres?

If I could choose it would be British Demos & Pictures sleeves but any great tune will do,but predominately French Psych/British & Dutch/Belgium Freakbeat.

Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

Hidden Door Club at Mascara Bar in Stoke Newington Friday 8th April. Margate Mod & 60’s Weekender on Sat May 28th 2016, see all the details HERE!

What is the record you would most like to own?

Adams Recital – There’s no place for lonely people.

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

Top 10 Tracks of All Time:

The Fox – Hey! Mr Carpenter (CBS)

Legay – No one (Fontana)
The Accent – Red Sky at Night (Decca)
July – Dandelion Seeds (Major Minor)
Ruperts People – Dream on my Mind (Columbia)
The Mickey Finn – Garden of my Mind (Direction)
The Koobas – Royston Rose (Columbia)
Dragonfly – Celestial Empire (Philips)
The Orange Alabaster Mushroom – Tree Pie (POP 24)
Pink Floyd – See Emily Play (Columbia)

Current Top 5 Tracks:

Peshka – Danse Du Ventre (JAG)
Glass Sun – Silence of the Morning (Sound Patterns)
Sheephouse – Ladder (Decca)
Joys of Life – Descent (Columbia)
The Fairytale – Guess I Was Dreaming (Decca)

Web Links:

Facebook: facebook.com/LeePetryszyn
MySpace: myspace.com/drfloorshaker
Twitter: twitter.com/LeePetryszyn
Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/drfloorshaker


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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 : Beat DJs Front Page Fuzz Garage Interviews Music Psych Tags:, , , ,
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Roky Erickson Live – Darius Drewe

ROKY ERICKSON plays the music of the 13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS

Forum, London

13 April 2016

In “popular” music, most performers, once they pass 50, tend to find themselves tagged into one of several loose categories. There are greats, and there are not-so-greats: there are heroes, there are unsung heroes, and also-rans. And then there are legends.

But what exactly is a legend? And how do you become one? While there are obviously no easy answers to these questions, my own personal estimation would run something like this: any artist, performer or musician who, either by default or design, presaged an entire sea-change in their chosen field, pioneered developments before their widespread popularisation, and whose reputation, irrespective of all later achievements, continues unabated several decades after these events first took place.

In which case, it’s a term that definitely applies to Roky Erickson. The minute he sets foot onstage, white hair cascading over purple suit, the applause that follows can only be likened to the kind usually reserved for a Dimitri Payet goal. Not, of course, that it’s in any way unjustified: as the man who, with the 13th Floor Elevators, was among the very first if not the first to describe his music as “psychedelic”, and who genuinely dragged U.S. rock kicking and screaming from the quiffs of the greasers, the shorts of the surfers and the pop of the preppies into an altogether darker, dirtier and more twisted palace of mind-bending eargasm, he deserves more respect than any white American musician of his era (with the possible exception of Brian Wilson, Van Dyke Parks and Mike Nesmith) still living. Yet even their greatest works were polite and subdued compared to the Elevators’ output, which (to the relief of those who remember his puzzling, blues-oriented shows at the South Bank six years ago) forms the entirety of Roky’s set tonight: 50 years on, even played by younger musicians (including his eldest son on jug) it still sounds like the incendiary work of frenzied demons, and even the slightly muffled sound, which is soon remedied anyway, can’t stymie the power of Fire Engine , Earthquake or Slip Inside This House (how’s THAT for an opening triumvirate) in all their twanging, spingalanging glory.

Riffs echo, bass lines thud, drums bash: just as the Sonics did a year ago in this very same venue, Erickson and his merry band lay down an 80-minute crash course in the essentials of rock’n’roll, only augmented by the unique floating strains of electric jug rather than honking sax. Unbelievably, there are still some today who complain about the instrument: yet to these ears, it was always the establishing factor in the Elevators’ unique identity, the next logical step in the evolution of American music from the concept of the folk, rag or literal “jug band” to what we now casually refer to on a daily basis as “garage psych”, and, in the absence of any back projections (obviously the budget didn’t quite cover such things) a reassuring pleasure to still see in evidence.  Faced with the relatively prosaic environs of the Forum on a foggy Wednesday, we still need at least one direct line to outer space: besides, without it, Erickson’s music has never been quite the same, and though his “horror songs” of the 70s and 80s were undeniably great, without that hollow, echoing boop, there was always something missing.

By marrying such a unique instrument to screeching feedback that reflected the band’s love of the blues (lest we forget, Texas is officially in the South) and primitive rhythms that took as much influence from Gene Krupa as they did Ringo Starr or Jerry Allison (though the structures and dynamics of the Crickets were inevitably writ large throughout Roky’s songwriting and Stacy Sutherland’s guitar playing) the resultant sound, though undeniably that of a rock’n’roll band, couldn’t fail to be anything but psychedelic in nature. And, five decades on, even with different musicians though during the last 12 months, the actual Elevators have reformed and played back at home it still is. More to the point, so is his voice: sure, towards the end, there are a few sploughs and cutters, but mostly, his banshee-like wail is exactly as you imagine it to be, his unique mixture of eloquence, menace and pained emotion untroubled by the passing years.

She Lives In A Time Of Her Own, I’ve Got Levitation and my own personal favourite Reverberation (how many 90s bands named themselves after these tunes?) are both angry and joyous, uplifting and sultry: depending on which sector of the audience one stands next to (scenester Mods, bowl-bonced Nuggetheads, ageing punks, bearded hipsters, headbangers and my personal favourite at any psych gig, the dreadlocked crustie who dances like a twat, entirely oblivious throughout as to how much of your personal space he’s encroaching on) the reception is exultant for these, yet perhaps more muted for mellower numbers from the underrated Bull Of The Woods. The combined population of all those subcultures, however, are evidently gearing up towards one moment and when it finally arrives, You’re Gonna Miss Me is the thunderous finale of finales, the man himself practically drowned out by the yellings of 1500-odd acolytes who probably thought they’d never see this happen.

I don’t think he can quite believe it either: though the lead guitarist and bassist (again, probably still pinching themselves) do step in with the odd fumbling introduction on his behalf, Erickson’s only non-sung words to the audience throughout have, almost by way of sheer incredulity, been “thankyou”, and like many musicians who’ve spent their entire lives in North America, both he even though this is his third visit now and band are clearly overjoyed to be in London. As a result, they can’t quite leave yet, and so it’s with the screeching proto-metal thrash of Two Headed Dog that they take their exeunt: at least for now it’s final, though as with all musicians of a “certain age”, you hope that you’ll see them again soon and that the next time won’t be the last. Nevertheless, if this does prove to be my sole encounter with Roky Erickson, it’s one that will remain forever imprinted on my memory, regardless of its relatively brief duration: maybe, on reflection, that’s the definition of a legend…


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Darius Drewe

Darius Drewe was born in East London in 1974. As a small child, both parents inflicted their musical tastes, from The Beatles and The Moody Blues to Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis, on him, and he was never the same again. Despite being born and bred a 'Cockney tosser', Drewe actually spent his teenage years in and around Birmingham, attending his first 60s/50s-themed nights there at The Ship Ashore, before "coming home" in 1993 to the South, where, with the exception of three years spent in Glasgow between 2007-2010, he has remianed ever since. In the almost two decades that have passed he has trod a strange meandering path from a shy 60s/70s-obsessed teen with no 'scene' to speak of to a Metalhead, sleaze-glammie, Goth, indie kid, glam-punker, garage-rocker, eventual Mod and psych freak (first attending Mousetrap in 2000) In that time he's also written for Shindig! Britmovie, DarkSide, Black Velvet and Get Ready To Rock, promoted various vintage and veteran acts at Camden Underworld, Glasgow Ivory Blacks and several other venues, DJed everything from psych, garage and soul to Metal at practically every well-known club in central London. Drewe is trying to build a time machine that will enable him to visit any period between 1960 and 1980 but still be able to use a mobile and Facebook. His ambition, aside from directing films and building said machine, is to morph into a cross between Jason King, Timmy Lea, Jerry Cornelius and Richard Hannay, and drift about the ether having adventures in a kipper tie, pinstriped flares and camel hair coat.

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April 27, 2016 By : Category : Front Page Fuzz Garage General Music Psych Reviews USA Tags:,
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Bowie in the 1960’s

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Collectors Corner 2

It’s fair to say that most music lovers were shocked and deeply saddened when the death of one of the world’s most revered music legends, David Bowie, was announced early on Monday 11th January 2016. David was an ever-present in most people’s musical tapestry, from his first break in 1969 with ‘Space Oddity’, through proto-metal with ‘The man who sold the world’ the following year, and then releasing a whole series of groundbreaking and innovating albums on RCA throughout the decade. He followed this run with the stadium years of the 1980’s, and then had a creative rebirth in the 1990’s, releasing a fine succession of critically acclaimed albums, ending with the wonderful ‘Blackstar’ which was released only two days before he died. Although the many tributes tended to concentrate on his hit making heyday, most headlines hardly gave a mention to the many wonderful and varied released Mr Jones released before he hit the big time and that’s therefore what we’re going to have a look at in this article.

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Born David Robert Jones in Brixton, 8th January 1937, the family moved to Bromley when he was seven where in the mid 50’s he discovered rock’n’roll and decided music was what he wanted to pursue. He took up piano, ukulele and later saxophone, and like most musical fans of his age, joined and formed various skiffle, then beat groups in his early teens. At 15, Bowie and some friends formed The Konrads, but he soon left and joined The King Bees who were one of many of the British R‘n’B bands playing around the country in 1964. Taken under the management of Leslie Conn, the band were signed to Decca and on 5th June 1964 ‘Liza Jane’/‘Louie Louie go home’ was released on subsidiary label Vocalion V 9221. Both tracks were good but unremarkable British rhythm’n’blues and sank without trace in the busy release schedules of the time. By far the most desirable and expensive of Bowie’s UK singles, this single nowadays can fetch up to £2000 in mint condition. Be careful buying this disc as the record was bootlegged in the 1970’s with a large centre hole, a genuine original would have a four prong push out centre and should come in a red and white Vocalion company bag. A great and cheaper way to own this piece of musical history is the Decca mid-seventies reissue which can be picked up for around a tenner!

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After the failure of Davie’s first single, he left the band and joined another Rythym & Blues band called the Manish Boys. The group was signed to EMI in 1965 and placed under the guidance of the company’s top selling label of the time, Parlophone. On 5th March 1965 the label released a cover of ‘I pity the fool’ backed with a great Jones written mod-jazz track ‘Take my tip’ (Parlophone R5250). Like the release before it the single stiffed badly and is also hard to find, especially as a stock copy. Yet again, copies of this single in mint condition can reach the £1000 mark, that’s when they rarely appear on the market. The B side had the added attraction of being the first Bowie song to be covered when Kenny Miller released his single ‘Take my tip’ (Stateside SS 405) in April of the same year. Also rare but decidedly cheaper than Bowie’s original, this can usually be picked up for around the £100 mark. In August, now firmly encased in the amphetamine filled Soho mod scene and regulars at the Marquee club, Davy Jones and The Lower Third as they were now known released another single on Parlophone, the manic, pop-art masterpiece ‘You’ve got a habit of leaving’/‘Baby loves that way’ (Parlophone R 5315). Produced by the legendary Shel Talmy, it should have been a hit in a chart full of Yardbirds, Who and Them singles but yet again it sold absolutely nothing leaving yet another £1000 rated 45. Both Parlophone singles are essential listening but luckily have all been reissued on EP’s in the last couple of decades, most recently on Record Store Day 2014 with a stunning 1965 era Bowie picture sleeve.

1966 and London was in full swing when Jones decided on the name change (to avoid confusion with future Monkee Davy Jones) to David Bowie, the surname he’d take to the grave. After parting company with Leslie Conn, the newly christened David Bowie and the Lower Third were signed to Pye records and released three fantastic 45’s during the coming year. The first, released on 14th January 1966, was possibly the highlight of his early career, ‘Can’t help thinking about me’, with the almost as good ‘And I say to myself’ on the flip (Pye 7N 17020). Despite plenty of publicity and airplay the song only managed to scrape into the bottom of the top 50 in a couple of music magazine charts. Even though it sold a few copies it’s still an in demand item and regularly sells for £200-300 for a copy. The next release came out three months later on 1st April, ‘Do anything you say’, backed with the jazz tinged groover ‘Good morning girl’ (Pye 7N 17079). Now billed solely as David Bowie this release was not as immediate as it’s predecessor and is the hardest of the three to locate, usually hitting over £500 in top condition. The final release on Pye was released in August 1966, a proper swinging London affair called ‘I dig everything’ coupled with another strong B side ‘I’m not losing sleep’ (Pye 7N 17157). Although this sold more than the second single this still reaches prices of £300+ at auction.

 

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After three great commercial singles that just didn’t seem to click with the record buying public Bowie started 1967 joining the last days of pop-art mod band The Riot Squad. At this time David had come into possession of one the earliest pressings of the seminal Velvet Underground debut album and soon incorporated ‘I’m waiting for the man’ into the band’s live act. The track along a handful of others were actually recorded and finally secured an EP release on Acid Jazz in 2013. Now under the management of Kenneth Pitt who tried to steer Bowie down a more all round entertainer route he was signed to Decca’s new progressive label Deram as a solo artist. The first fruits of this new direction was the lightweight single “Rubber band” (Deram DM 107) which was a surreal mix of Anthony Newley and Syd Barrett. The B side ‘The London Boys’ is a lost nugget, Bowie’s sombre tale of mod London gone wrong. It sold incredibly poorly on release and is by far the hardest single of this period to find, especially as a stock copy. The next release, the novelty track ‘The laughing gnome’/ ‘Gospel according to Tony Day’ (Deram DM 123) released in April 1967 was another flop but this one would come back to haunt him when it hit the top ten six years later at the height of glam-era Bowiemania.

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First pressings are much harder to find, original copies have an upside down matrix number on the label and flat push out centres rather than 1973 double ridged style centres, this is the difference between spending £5 and £50+ on a copy! After three years of non-hit singles, on June 1st 1967 the debut album ‘David Bowie’ was released to the world in both mono and stereo pressings (DML / SML 1007). It’s a mixed bag of English popsike and vaudeville, with Bowie himself later explaining his influences at the time as a mix of Max Miller and Elvis Presley. Unfortunately the music loving kids of 1967 decided to spend their money on another album released the same day, ‘Sgt Pepper’s lonely hearts club band’ and the album sank without trace creating a £700-1000 item nowadays. In July Deram had one last try with the catchy ‘Love you till Tuesday’ being released as a 45 (DM 145) which was one flop too many for Decca causing artist and label to part company soon after. In 1968 without a contract, Bowie, with mime artists Hermoine and Hutch, made a small series of promo films featuring remixed Deram tracks and also an embryonic version of a song that was to finally into the charts in the summer of 1969, ‘Space oddity’… But that’s a whole different story!


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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.

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February 12, 2016 By : Category : Articles Beat Front Page Inspiration Music Reviews UK Tags:,
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Nige Brown – Hey! Mr DJ

This entry is part 11 of 19 in the series Hey! Mr DJ 3

We caught up with Nige Brown recently who lives in Stafford to talk about his passion for good music.

Current Residency: Top of the Nags – Manchester

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

As a young man in the 60’s my first interest in “music” was the Beatles which influenced me into listening to Tamla Motown, as their early albums were influenced by writers such as Smokey Robinson and Arthur Alexander. My first “soul club” was Stafford Rugby club in 1970. The Dj’s played the sounds of the Twisted Wheel in Manchester. Unfortunately I never got to go to the “Wheel” but I did become a regular visitor to The Catacombs in Wolverhampton and also the now iconic “The Golden Torch” in Stoke-on-Trent

2. Where was your first DJ slot?

Lots of local soul nights but my first major venue was as TSOP
Prestwich Manchester.

3. What was your most memorable DJ spot?

I have worked on the soul scene for a number of years doing all the major venues such as Kings Hall Stoke, Tony’s Empress Blackburn,  Bretby, Blackpool Tower and Winter Gardens, Stafford TOTW, Prestatyn weekenders, also Ibiza, Sweden, Italy, Germany, and Spain but to answer the question the most memorable spot for me was playing the 100 club in London.

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

Having to stop a playing record because someone who had consumed more beer than he could handle actually fell onto the decks.

5. Your favourite scene DJ’s and why?

Soul Sam, the reason being he always been innovative from day one and still is even though he is now in his early 70’s. He still has the same drive and passion to champion new sounds.

6. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

I always trust my own judgement in exploration and sampling of what is out there, taking into account new trends but I also take into account the need to play with a responsible attitude in that I try to satisfy the paying public.

7. What was your best ever find/discovery?

My first best ever find was Barbara McNair “You’re gonna love my baby” on UK Tamla Motown TMG544 in a Stafford junk shop in the early 70’s. My best ever discovery was a sound by Terri Mathews “Round & Round” on the mystical “Preview” label.

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

Without a doubt Marvin Gaye.

9. Do you collect specific labels/artists/genres?

I collect anything that sounds soulful, my first criteria is that it has to be good to the ears and feet. I don’t impose any rules upon myself with regards to label artist and genre. The only set criteria are that it is an “original” release.

10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

This year all over the UK, Rome and the South of France, see flyers and internet for details. I also have a number of mixcloud sets available on the internet.

11. What is the record you would most like to own?

Sandy Golden Your love is everything on the Masterpiece record label.

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

Current top five spins:
1. Four Tracks – Like my love for you – Mandingo
2. Aquamen – Line and track – Hiback demo
3. Lil Major Williams – Girl don’t leave me – Williams111
4. Johnny Rogers – Gonna make a change- Amon
5. Little Tommy – Baby can’t you see – Sound of Soul

Top 10 Tracks of All Time:
1. Jackie Lee – Darkest Days – ABC
2. The Invitations – What’s wrong with me baby – UK Stateside demo
3. The Sharpees – Tired of being lonely – UK Stateside demo
4. The Charades – Key to my Happiness – MGM
5. Willie Tee – Walking up a one way street – Nola demo
6. Maxine Brown – Let me give you my lovin – Wand demo
7. Masqueraders – That’s the same thing – Soul Town
8. Patti Young – Head and Shoulders – Enstrat
9. JJ Barnes – Please let me in – Rictic demo
10. Jackie Wilson – You brought about a change in me – Brunswick demo

Next Club Spots:
Soulstew – Manchester
Westward Ho Weekender – Devon
Different Strokes – Manchester
Go Go Children – Bristol
Toon Allnighter –Newcastle
Horse & Jockey – Doncaster
Trabant Bar – Rome

Le Beat Bespoké 11 – London (Easter 2016) 24th to 27th March – see all the details HERE!

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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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March 2, 2016 By : Category : Club Soul DJs Front Page Music UK Tags:, ,
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