Browsing Tag Nick Waterhouse

Reviews December 2016 – Part 1

Ian McLagen

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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

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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

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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December 7, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , ,
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Record Reviews – June 2014 (Part 2)

This entry is part 17 of 18 in the series Record Reviews

Studio 68

Portobellohello – LP

This is a very interesting release on the Paisley Archive imprint via Detour Records. Here’s the background; in 1992, Studio 68 recorded this LP during a two week period in August of that year. For some reason, the tapes were lost until Detour Records uncovered them recently, and it’s a good job they did find them.

For a band that were very busy on the scene in the early 90s, it would have been a shame to have lost this LP forever and Studio 68 were Paul Moody’s first band to boot. It is of it’s time and yet still sounds contemporary. Take a track like ‘Afternoon Sun’ for example. It could have been written and performed by Dodgy. It’s a great tune though, and had it been released at the time, it could and should have been among the Britpop elite.

There are a wide range of influences here, from the Small Faces to The Prisoners. Swirling Hammond laced with freakbeat grooves and garage rock. One of my favourites is an instrumental cover of Python Lee Jackson’s ‘In A Broken Dream’.

Other highlights include the Northern influenced ‘Get Out of My Hair’ and the psych rocker ‘Lighthouse’. This is a really good album, but it also leaves you wondering what might have been had this LP been released at the time it was recorded? Now there’s a thought!

The Electric Stars

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Belfast Boy – Single 

The main aim of this single was to try to make number one in the charts during the week when George Best would have turned 70. It did chart at a very respectable number 15 which is a great achievement in itself. ‘Belfast Boy’ is a cover of a song recorded in 1970 by Don Fardon when Best was setting new standards in his sport and as a sports personality.

For a time during the early seventies, George Best was everywhere. His own football coaching show on TV, clothing range, aftershave, cars, alcohol, books, magazines, collectable cards. He really was the original sports marketing dream long before David Beckham was even a twinkle in his dad’s eye.

If someone had asked me to pick a band to cover this song though, Electric Stars would have been one of the top contenders. Lead singer Jason Edge has all the right qualities to bring life back to this song and the Electric Stars have done a great job revitalising and bringing it up-to-date.

The Franklys

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Puppet b/w Imaginarium  –  Single 

Just about a year or so ago, I reviewed the debut EP from this four-piece all-girl band and I loved it. Punky garage with attitude. Memories of The Slits, early Blondie (when they were really quite good) that sort of thing.

And now the long awaited follow up single, and the girls have delivered an absolute belter. Lead singer, Jen Ahlkvist has the knack of getting the impassioned lyrics across with real force. When she sings “You never wanted me, smashed me in the face and left me there to die” the balance of venom and pain is palpable.

‘Puppets’ just rocks out and it makes you want to jump around the room doing some kind of crazy B52’s cod-sixties dance with arms flailing. (Not a pretty sight in my case).

The B side is ‘Imaginarium’ which was originally on the aforementioned EP and it too is a quality track. If I had a record label, I’d sign these girls up quick.

The New Mastersounds

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Therapy – LP

If you are a soul, funk and jazz fan, you will love this; the ninth studio album from the amazing New Mastersounds. What we have is an English band recording in Denver, Colarado and being released on a German record label – Legere. It is the same label that put out the incredible Pepper Pots LP recently.

This is a brilliant mixture of funky Hammond grooves such as ‘Monday Metres’ and soulful dancers like ‘I Want You To Stay’ featuring Kim Dawson on vocal duty. Kim also gives her best interpretation of Lyn Collins on the funky groover ‘Soul Sista’. New Mastersounds are comprised of Eddie Roberts, Simon Allen, Joe Tatton and Pete Shand. What they present here is quite simply the best album of its type so far this year and I doubt if it will be equalled.

It reminds me of the truly great jazz-funk LPs and singles of yesteryear. George Benson’s ‘In Flight’, Brand New Heavies self titled debut, Ramsey Lewis’s ‘Spring High’ or The Innversions “Mr Mack’ for example.

But, as usual, I have saved the best ‘till last. I have had the last track on this LP on repeat for weeks. As Eddie Roberts has admitted, this is the band giving a ‘George Benson’ twist to a contemporary pop song. That song is ‘Treasure’ by someone called Bruno Mars? I have no idea what the original sounds like as I do not frequent the ‘muggle’ pop world, but this cover by New Mastersounds is just brilliant. It hits the nail squarely on the head. It does sound like George Benson in instrumental mode (and that is no mean feat in itself !) It has a jazz-funk groove that rattles along at an infectious pace and it is just sublime.

The purists among you may reel in horror at this progressive modernist singing the praises of a jazz funk band, but I make no apology. My job is to review material that is sent to us and it is at times like this, when something very different comes our way, that my job becomes an even more glorious pleasure.

Nick Waterhouse

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Holly – LP

One of the first reviews I ever wrote for Nutsmag was about an EP by Los Angels based Nick Waterhouse. The EP was brilliant and the track ‘Is That Clear’ is still one of my favourites. So it was with great eagerness, I listened to Nick’s debut LP and what a piece of work this is!

Ten tracks of sublime quality, treading that delicate path between Rhythm and Blues and Rock and Roll. Mr Waterhouse has a voice of silky smooth tones that, at times on tracks like ‘Let It Come Down’ or ‘Hands on The Clock’ is reminiscent of melted chocolate. Think Mel Torme or Dean Martin with a slight edge to them, you’re kind of getting the idea. Dare I say, seductive?

The quicker numbers like the title track ‘Holly’ or ‘Ain’t There Something That Money Can’t Buy’ are top drawer R&B dancers. Each track has something that sticks in the mind; a guitar hook, a chorus, a mid-eight. After two listens, I was humming away to the entire LP.

I have to mention the production and mastering quality. I don’t have the info to hand, but whoever did the job on this LP, they sure as hell produced the goods. It’s absolutely crystal clear. Put your headphones on and you could be forgiven for thinking Nick and the band were in your lounge.

I know Nick was in London for a whistle-stop launch of this LP a few weeks ago, but I’m really hoping he comes back very soon. There is a lot more to come from this young man. Watch this space.

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 8, 2014 By : Category : Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , , ,
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