Browsing Tag Attica Revolution

Record Reviews – Sept 2014 (Part 1)


Big Boss Man

Last Man On Earth – Album

It’s been four years since we last saw a new release from Big Boss Man (BBM). Happily, it was well worth the wait. Nasser Bouzida, Trev Harding, Scott Milsom and Desmond Rogers have once again shown they are a force to be reckoned with in the studio or live.

While four albums in 15 years are not prolific, (they have had sideline projects in between times) this latest release further enhances Big Boss Man’s reputation. There is no finer example of the saying ‘less is more’. Each LP is top draw and ‘Last Man On Earth’ is a continuation.

Those of you familiar with their work, will know Big Boss Man are all about a hip hybrid of 60s and 70s drenched R&B, funk, Latin, jazz, soul and psych.

Interestingly, BBM include a couple of guest vocalists here. Princess Freesia who takes charge of the title track (an instrumental version is also included) and ‘Painted Rainbow’, while Al Greener assumes the duties on ‘Changing Faces’ and a very fine job they do.

I usually try to pick some highlights for my album reviews, but this is so good, I’m spoilt for choice. Let’s start with the title track and the only single so far, ‘Aardvark’. They happen to be the first two tracks on the album, but they really set the standard for the rest of it.

‘Crimson 6T’s’ rhythm is heavily influenced by Little Walter’s ‘My Babe’, but with the addition of a brass section, it is a slice of gorgeous Hammond R&B.

‘Shot Down’ takes into the realms of psychy, fuzzy groove, while ‘Hail Caesar’ with its Latin overtones is about as cool as it gets.

I do hope the lads do not leave it another four years before they put out their next release. More please.


Button Up

Beat Street – Album

Not long after I started writing the reviews for Nutsmag, I was handed an album, ep and single by a band from Glasgow called Button Up.

It was the first time I had heard their music and I was impressed by the sound, the writing and the performance, especially Sara Kerr, the lead singer.

I’m happy to say that, even though it has been a while since those releases, Button Up is back with this wonderful new album.

Dripping with danceable beats, stabbing brass and catchy choruses, this is a welcome return by our Scottish friends.

Garry John Kane (with assistance from Sara Kerr on four tracks) has written another raft of quality new songs.

‘Don’t Ask Me To Choose’ is a sumptuous mid-paced soul ballad, ‘I’m Going Home’ barely disguises the blues influences at play, while the band’s interpretation of Miles Kane’s ‘Inhaler’ is first class.

The mighty and funky tribute to Suffragette martyr ‘Emily’ Pankhurst is another fine song. ‘I Can Fall’ is about as close to a pop song as you get on this LP and it is a million times better than any mainstream pop song you may have heard in the past decade.

I’ve sang the praises of singer Sara Kerr before and based on this performance, nothing has changed. She is still one of the finest and most accomplished female singers in the UK.

Shortly after this LP was completed, Sara Kerr announced she was departing to pursue a solo project. I wish her well for the future.

As for Button Up, this album proves once again they are a force to be reckoned with in the soul genre. Long may it continue.

nm_sept_2014_dub rifles

Dub Rifles

No Town, No Country – Album

This is interesting. A collection of the best tracks from one of Canada’s finest. So to the history lesson; formed in 1980 and based in Winnipeg, the band recorded three EPs before their final gig at Toronto’s El Mocambo club on May 31, 1984.

Fronted by songwriter Colin Bryce, listening through this album comprised of all their studio recordings and some live tracks, it is difficult to figure out why they were not bigger.

They were definitely a band ‘of their time’, attitude a-plenty, with ska, power pop and punky influences. They would not have been out of place alongside the Two-Tone stable, Ian Dury or The Buzzcocks.

With today’s technological advances in communication, I suspect Dub Rifles might have faired a great deal better and certainly would have found a willing audience. As it is, we have to content ourselves with this terrific album and a sense of what might have been.

The title track ‘No Town, No Country’ is a manic rant at the self-appointed old guard of music who try to block new talent and perfectly sets you up for the rest of this collection.

‘Mine’ is a live recording that invokes the spirit of Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers. ‘Number One’ is a quite brilliant saxophone-led ska track that would have graced Two-Tone label.

While Canada’s musical heritage is patchy to say the least, here is a real gem of a band and a fine collection of their best material. It’s just a shame they were not able to make it to the UK at the time. I think they would have been very welcome over here.


Attica Revolution

Gimme Some Love b/w Blue Eyes – Single

I’m not sure the scene across Europe has been as vibrant as it is now. Great new music is making itself known across the continent and none more so than Spain where Attica Revolution sit very comfortably alongside fellow-countrymen I have praised in previous editions of Nutsmag.

Both sides of this single are catchy slices of brass-laidened soul. They are so good, I played ‘Gimme Your Love’ on the September Nutscast Sessions.

The band themselves come from Gijon, which will be familiar to NUTs members as the home of Euro YeYe.

On this evidence, Attica Revolution will be a band to watch out for in future.


Operation Two Fold

Hold Me b/w On Our Way – Single

When this single came in from Detour Records, looking at the personnel, it looked extremely promising. Karla Milton, Kym Bradshaw, Sara Kerr, Garry John Kane, Armand Thompson and Toby Hounsham.

The songs themselves are really good. ‘Hold Me’ has a nice Northern feel to it and rolls along, complimented by an infectious chorus hook.

‘On Our Way’ is a slower pace, but again a very listenable song. The production and arrangement of both songs are first-class as you would expect from such a talented bunch. Carla Milton’s vocals are spot on with just the right amount of emotion and delivery to do both songs justice.

There is only one improvement I would have suggested. A proper brass section would have given both songs a lift and an authentic sound. The use of a keyboard as a stand-in for the real thing doesn’t do the songs or the performance justice.

Both deserved better. A decision like that can be the difference between brilliant and good. This should have been brilliant.

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Graham Lentz

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

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September 18, 2014 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , , ,

Euroyeye 20th Anniversary

Gijon, Spain- 31 July 4 August 2014

Hundreds of Mods and 60’s lovers from around the World have gathered in Gijon every summer for the last twenty years for this unique festival in the northern Spanish province of Asturias. This means a great deal to us so we put probably the best line-up in our history together to celebrate this milestone.

Thursday kicked off in style with a free live gig in the main square of the city with local Spanish Soul band Attica Revolution warming up the 4000+ people with a great mix of originals and covers before Motown legend Brenda Holloway hit the stage for the first time in Spain and blitzed the audience with a magnificent performance. Brenda played almost the same set as Modstock covering big hits ‘When I’m Gone’, ‘Every Little Bit Hurts’ and ‘You Made Me So Very Happy’ and underground hits ‘Reconsider’, ‘Starting The Hurt’ and ‘Crying Time’. Two encores brought the show to close eventually leaving many happy smiling faces waiting for more action.

In truth the festival already begun a couple of weeks before with various art exhibitions and 60’s cult films which are free to visit for a whole month visit the website to view the full program. The first of four allnighters was a short walk away from the main square and after some tapas washed down with local sidra I was ready for one of the hottest bands around right now The Night Beats from Texas. A loud hypnotic beat pinned by the bass and drums with psychedelic guitars and a great front man whipped the crowd into a frenzy and all too soon for me it was over. The night continued with DJ’s doing a sterling job playing sounds from cross the 60’s spectrum.

Friday morning came around far too soon, the first Scooter cruise was a big buzz as usual. The scooters gathered at the open day at Laboral with Lambrettas and Vespas from all Spain (and a few from abroad including Marco & Steve Groves & Friends from Scooter Emporium) at midday to enjoy the live shows, djs, stalls and exhibitions. After the acoustic gig of Nolan Porter and Neil Jones the exhausts of more than 120 scoots begun to burn west towards what some said was the best sights they had ever had on two wheels. A couple of hours everyone came back to the LAB for the exper-i-mental  Rubayat live 8:2 set, something that has never been done before in our scene.

Doors opened at 10pm for the second allnighter with UK band Stone Foundation which many readers here are familiar with making their Spanish debut. Needless to say they won the crowd over with songs from the fantastic new album ‘To Find the Spirit’ before another US Soul legend Nolan Porter also making his Spanish debut joined them on stage playing his scene faves and choice covers. After the live music the allnighter was wild with two dancefloors and the best mod and 60’s music played by over a dozen DJ’s from around Europe.

Saturday morning at 11am we decided to meet at a fantastic new place, all the vintage scooters gathered in what we call “El Rompeloas” (“wave-breaking wall”), in the sports port with the luxury yachts and fishing boats making a great background for nice pictures. After lots of shots and beers the long love (and loud) caravan headed East towards a “walk & ride” called the Claretian Route, almost coming to a stop at very old pathways in the hills near Luanco. The ride finished at the posh Golf Club of Castiello for a vermouth and great Asturian lunch, price giving, raffle and yet more beers, wine and sidra. Lambretta Club of Spain annual meeting also took place with interesting news for members, some of them I know you will love and enjoy very soon (agree, Andy?).

Then it was off to The Battle of the Bands as Sala Acapulco. After watching 4 great bands the winners were Gamonides, they will record a single at Circo Perrotti studios for free as well as getting the support slot at the allnighter on Saturday night. The heavens opened with torrential rain from early evening into the early hours of Sunday morning making an interesting evening on the terrace at the Oasis. Our headline band from La Coruna Fogbound with Fernando from the Elephant band on Hammond gave a great performance with strong originals and great covers like the Artwoods ‘In the Deep End’ which was appropriate for the Oasis swimming baths. The allnighter afterwards was frantic and really crazy ending gone past 8am with lots of people asking for more… not me.

My brains showed me white flag on the Sunday so no scooter action for me. Any fragile souls will have had their bones and brain shocked to the core when Graham Day & the Forefathers hit the stage ripping through over thirty years of Prisoners, Prime Movers, Solarflares and Gaolers material. The Catalan support Los Retrovisores played a mix of US and Spanish Soul and Pop with clever covers and great arrangements of the scene classics. The last allnighter was a blast again with a short break for Mr & Miss YeYe which are always chosen for their party antics over the last four days. Worthy winners were Raul from Andalucía and Amanda from Brazil. Champagne popped and crowns and banners fixed and it was time to party like it was the last one ever at the Oasis. Dr Robert was scheduled to finish at 6am and after about 5 encores with Esther Phillips ‘Just Say Goodbye’ and The Animals ‘It’s My Life’ the songs I can remember, the party was over for another year.

A fantastic restaurant was booked for everyone Monday to enjoy the local dishes and Sideria before their journey home.

Join us next year from 31 July to 3 August 2015 for EURO YEYE 21.

Pictures by: Eva Lussina Lopez Guisaraga
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Many thanks to all sponsors and all the artists, bands, djs and everybody involved in the organisation or simply everybody that made it to the yeye in these difficult times to create this unique atmosphere.

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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: for rare vintage vinyl.

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September 18, 2014 By : Category : Bands Clubs DJs Europe Events Front Page Music Reviews Scene Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , ,
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