Browsing Tag Graham Lentz

Reviews May 2017

 


Gemma & The Travellers

‘Too Many Rules And Games’  – Album

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

facebook.com/GemmaAndTheTravellers
legererecordings.bandcamp.com


Stone Foundation

‘Street Rituals’ – Album

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

stonefoundation.co.uk
facebook.com/stonefoundation


SoulNaturals

‘Love Says Yes’ album

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

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


The Neighbourhood Strange

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

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

facebook.com/TheNeighbourhoodStrange
theneighbourhoodstrange.bandcamp.com


 The Missing Souls

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

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

themissingsouls.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/themissingsouls


Mayfield

‘Spring’ EP

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

facebook.com/mayfieldstudioband
mayfieldtheband.co.uk


 


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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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

May 9, 2017 By : Category : Articles Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:, , , , , , ,
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Masters – Corduroy

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Masters3

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

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

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

 02. When did you first become interested in music?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

07. How did you meet Eddie Piller?

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

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

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

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

09. What was the inspiration for the Corduroy sound?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

16. Are you looking forward to it?

Yes, very much!

 


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

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

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

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


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Graham Lentz

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

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

February 23, 2017 By : Category : Bands Interviews Music News Tags:, , ,
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Reviews February 2017 – Part 2

Les Darlings

nm_january_2017_les_darlings

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

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

facebook.com/lesdarlingsband
lesdarlings.bandcamp.com

The Seen

nm_january_2017_the_seen

‘The Seen’ – EP

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

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

Wolf People

nm_january_2017_wolf_people

‘Ruins’ – LP

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

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

Alex Cooper

portada_club45-ok.cdr

‘Club 45 Again’ – Book

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

www.edicioneschelsea.com
facebook.com/club45


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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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

February 21, 2017 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , , ,
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Reviews February 2017 – Part 1

Creamer and Wesley

nm_january_2017_creamer

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

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

facebook.com/CreamerandWesley
www.psycharella.com

The Dustaphonics

nm_january_2017_dustaphonics

‘Johnny & Bo’ – LP

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

thedustaphonics.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/TheDustaphonics

Goldie

nm_january_2017_goldie

‘Could It Be’ – EP

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

www.topsoundsrecords.co.uk

The Beatpack

nm_january_2017_beatpack

‘Back, Behind and In Front’ – EP

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

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


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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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

February 21, 2017 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , , ,
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NUTsCast – Sessions – part 14 (episode 23)

NUTsCast December 2016
Join The Baron for a look back at some of the highlights of the last twelve months with live tracks recorded at Le Beat Bespoke, Margate and Crossfire by Graham Day & Forefathers, The Stairs, Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind, Wicked Whispers, Dustaphonics, Big Boss Man, Bronco Bullfrog, Paul Orwell, Cat Black and The Mynd Set.

We look ahead to our Nutty New Year’s Eve Party with DJ selections by Irish Greg, Jim Watson, Lee Miller, Peter Feely, Joel Maslin, Ady Lupton & Carolina.

So join The Baron for the last Nutscast Session of 2016.


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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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

December 4, 2016 By : Category : Bands DJs Front Page Music Picks Tags:, , ,
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NUTsCast – Sessions – part 15 (episode 24)

*ROLL OVER IMAGE TO SEE CONTROLS*

Join the Baron for the first NUTSCAST of 2017.
On this show, we have special guest Rob Bailey talking us through the Easter extravaganza that is LE BEAT BESPOKE and the brand new LBB album.

To get you in the mood for LBB12 we have tracks from Corduroy, Novella, Lovely Eggs, Pink Floyd, New Candys, The Arrogants, Los Retrovisores, The Pacers, Stags, & Eliphant as well as selections from our DJ team.

Explore the line-up and event here at: www.lebeatbespoke.com


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

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March 16, 2017 By : Category : Bands DJs Front Page Music Picks Tags:, , , ,
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Reviews December 2016 – Part 2

The Urges

nm_dec_2016_urges

Time Will Pass – LP

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

www.facebook.com/theurges

Speed Of Sound

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Everything Changes  – LP

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

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

Various Artists

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Soho Scene 62  – CD

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

www.rhythmandbluesrecords.co.uk

Sidewalk Society

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The Bowie/Action Covers – EP

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

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


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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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

December 7, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , ,
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Reviews December 2016 – Part 1

Ian McLagen

nm_dec_2016_ian_mclagen

All The Rage – Book

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

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

The Lancashire Hustlers

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Adventure – Album

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

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

Nick Pride & The Pimptones

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Go Deep – Album

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

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

Nick Waterhouse

nick_waterhouse

Never Twice – LP

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

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


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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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

December 7, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , ,
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NUTsCast – Sessions – part 13 (episode 22)

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


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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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

October 11, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Podcasts Reviews Tags:, , , , , , ,
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Record Reviews October 2016 – Part 1

The Alloy Six

Ross Ellis 12" 3mm 11073

‘Turn Out The Lights’ – LP

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

facebook.com/thealloysix
bandpage.com/TheAlloySix

Chris Pope & The Chords UK

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‘Take On Life’ – LP

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

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

The Embrooks

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‘Nightmare’ b/w ‘Helen’ – Single

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

facebook.com/theembrooks

The Fast Camels

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‘Tales Of The Expected’ – LP

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

www.thefastcamels.com
facebook.com/thefastcamels

French Boutik

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‘Front Pop’ – LP

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

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

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

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


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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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

September 27, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , , ,
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Record Reviews October 2016 – Part 2

The Sound Of Pop Art

rsz_nm_sept_2016_sopa

‘Drama’ – LP

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

facebook.com/thesoundofpopart

Teetotum

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‘Mind Your Teeth’ EP – Download

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

teetotum.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/teetotumofficial

The Missing Souls

rsz_nm_sept_2016_missing_souls

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

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

facebook.com/themissingsouls
themissingsouls.bandcamp.com

The Ace

rsz_nm_sept_2016_the_ace

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

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

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


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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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

September 27, 2016 By : Category : Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , ,
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NUTsCast – Sessions – part 12 (episode 21)

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


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admin

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

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

July 23, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Podcasts Reviews Tags:, , ,
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Musical & Magazine Reviews July 2016

All Or Nothing – The Mod Musical

nm_july_2016_all_or_nothing

At The Hawth, Crawley, West Sussex

I always have some apprehension when stage plays based on popular music appear. It either works or it doesn’t. It’s either brilliant or a disaster. So, it was with some trepidation that I went to this leg of the UK tour of this show. Tagging it as ‘The Mod Musical’ really had me concerned. I knew it was about the Small Faces, but if it was going to be a half-arsed concert, I’d rather go to see the Small Fakers who don’t do it half-arsed and they do it better than anyone. The audience was mostly of a certain age and I have to say, the parka, for all its associations with mod, should really be put in the dustbin of history. As a functional item of protection against the elements, yes, I can understand that, but it sure ain’t evening wear ! Rant over and on with the show. I can honestly say, this was really well put together, well scripted, directed and acted.

All the key elements of the Small Faces story were in there, but what really made the show was how the story was presented. Steve Marriott’s ‘ghost’ played by Chris Simmons carried the narrative while the rest of the ensemble played out the story. The choice of songs was a tad predictable, but this show is as much for non-fans who like theatre and may recognise the big hits. Carol Harrison has had much to do with bringing this show to the stage and I guess it is she we should thank for a script that is full of emotions. The aforementioned Mr Simmons, Ms Harrison and an old friend of mine from years back, Russell Floyd who played Don Arden were just superb. The rest of the cast was all extremely good, the ‘band’ all play their own instruments, so there’s no fakery.

If I had one criticism, I felt Mark Newham didn’t quite do it for me as the young Marriott. His acting was good enough, but something seemed lacking when it came to the vocals and performance. That said, it was well worth going to see.

Bananas Magazine

deadbeat_02

Issue 13

With so much online content around these days, it’s a refreshing change to have something tangible that you can actually pick up and flick through. What is left of the mainstream music print media is pretty dire, lacking in innovation, stylistically tired and don’t get me started on the content! Thankfully, there are some very worth-while exceptions available. Shindig and Ugly Things are the obvious choices, but Bananas Magazine sits nicely alongside those publications. There are no frills with this ‘fanzine’ styled mag, but the important bit is the content. If you are a garage/punk/60s/psych fan, this is definitely for you.

What makes it so interesting is the world-view approach. In this edition, we find articles and interviews about bands from Brazil, Denmark, USA, France, Portugal and Russia. Names like The Rosalyns, Missing Souls, Cavemen, Courettes and Karovas Milkshake all get decent coverage. Some earlier editions of Bananas were a little too random in their design and layout, but this is a massive improvement and I can honestly say it has done its job. I’ll be checking out a few of these bands based on what I’ve seen in this mag, so Bananas must be getting it right.

www.bananas-magazine.com
www.facebook.com/bananasmagazine
www.bananasmagazine.bandcamp.com


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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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

July 13, 2016 By : Category : Front Page Literature Music Reviews Tags:, ,
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Record Reviews July 2016 – Part 1

Marta Ren And The Groovelvets

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‘Stop, Look, Listen’  – LP

Portugal is not a country synonymous with soul music, which is perhaps a little unfair as the Portuguese have probably had a very healthy music scene for many decades, it’s just the rest of Europe has not caught up with them or been aware of it. But there has been a scene and it is one that gave a young Marta Ren her introduction into singing and performing in the mid-nineties with ska band Sloppy Joe, then break-beat exponents Bombazines and finally the covers band Funkalicious. Now Marta has decided to go out under her own name with her backing band The Groovelvets and ‘Stop, Look, Listen’ is her debut LP. Marta’s brand of soul is one in common with the emerging style that arguably began with Sharon Jones and Daptone Records. It is a brand of soul that continued with Pepper Pots in Spain or Little Clara and The Adelians in France. Of the eleven tracks on Marta’s LP, the single ‘Two Kinds Of Men’ and ‘Don’t Look’ are great examples of what I mean. ‘Be Ma Fela’ gives the Groovelvets a good workout and ‘Smiling Faces’ is a lovely ballad and change of pace. All in all, a very tidy debut by this young lady. New Untouchables are delighted to welcome Marta to the UK for two shows in August at Shoreditch Got Soul, Blues Kitchen, Curtain Road, London and an afternoon session at Volks Tavern on Maderia Drive for the Saturday of the Bank Holiday weekend. I’m sure Marta Ren will win new fans.

facebook.com/MartaRenTheGroovelvets
recordkicks.com/Marta-Ren-The-Groovelvets
martarengroovelvets.bandcamp.com

The Bongolian

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‘Mood Maximus’ – LP

If you don’t know already, I shall enlighten. Bongolian is the occasional side project for that maestro of multi-instruments and dab hand with bongos, Mr Nasser Bouzida. Of course, Nas is known as much for his work with Big Boss Man as he is with Bongolian. ‘Mood Maximus’ is the fifth album in the series and follows the established style of eclectic rhythms, beats and sounds that is the Bongolian melting pot. For example, the title track is a space-aged trip of swirly synth, whereas ‘Googa Mama’ is a belting slice of Latin Boogaloo. ‘Kids Love Moogs’ is a wonderfully warped Northern Soul groove meeting the piano riff from ‘Wild Honey’ by The Beach Boys. Sheer brilliance in my book. This is a superb follow-up to the well-received ‘Bongos For Beatniks’. Is there no end to Mr Bouzida’s talent? I doubt it.

bongolian.com
blowup.co.uk/the-bongolian
facebook.com/TheBongolian

Freedom 35s

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‘Dante’s Peak’ b/w ‘Black Mamba’ – Single

What a brilliant single this is ! Freedom 35’s are from Keady in County Armagh, Northern Ireland and are a four piece instrumental band. Comprised of Anthony McKee, Gordon Lee, Jimmy Hagen and Aidy Lee, these guys really hit the spot with their brand of hard-hitting funky hammond-driven grooves. Both tracks reflect their influences; Booker T, Jimmy McGriff, Meters and I would suggest (on this evidence) a touch of early Deep Purple and groovy psych. There is not much to choose between the two sides. Both are of top quality. There has always been a healthy scene in the Emerald Isle North and South of the Border. The Freedom 35’s are great ambassadors for the region.

facebook.com/freedom35s
facebook.com/mersolmusic

The Gentleman’s Agreement

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‘Shake It Out’ b/w ‘(Your Love For Me Is Like A) Yoyo’ – Single

Following on from their popular debut LP ‘Understanding’, comes this single from Gentleman’s Agreement. The band is essentially made up of five friends who have a love of 60’s garage, freakbeat and mod that inspires their music. This single shows just how good they are at it too. With fuzzy guitars and Hammond in place, ‘Shake It Out’ is one of those ‘groovy’ garage numbers that effortlessly chugs along. ‘Yoyo’ is a more upbeat freakbeat tune that is just as catchy as the ‘A’ side. It’s good to see them back with this release and very much on form.

facebook.com/The-Gentlemens-Agreements
soundflat.de

The Kumari

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‘Abyss’ b/w ‘Space Witch’  – Single

The Kumari were formed in 2012 and this latest release on Soundflat Records is their fifth to date. Featuring ex-members of Vinyl Stitches and Speak and The Spells, they are very much in keeping with the current psych/garage/rock scene. ‘Abyss’ is loaded with reverb, grungy guitars and ‘distant’ vocals. With any decent track, it needs a good hook and this certainly has a good theme running through it. On the flip side, more of the same with another rocking track that reminded me of that early 70s period when Quo were still experimenting with Blues in a rock setting. If I’m honest, ‘Space Witch’ is my preferred choice of the two, so it’s lucky this is a double ‘A’ side. Good stuff fellas.

facebook.com/TheKumari
thekumari.bandcamp.com
soundflat.de
facebook.com/Soundflat-Records


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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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July 13, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , ,
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