Browsing Tag Pip! Pip!

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.

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.


‘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.

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.

 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.


‘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.


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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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May 9, 2017 By : Category : Articles Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:, , , , , , ,
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Le Beat Bespoké 6 LP Preview

I recently caught up with NUTs Head Honcho and DJ Dr Robert and spoke to him about the 6th in the series of the mighty fine Compilations Le Beat Bespoke. You can also get the latest Mousetrap Anniversay Single here at the NUTSTORE!

01 When did you first start on the road to becoming a DJ?

My interest in Djing started in 1985 at our local Cool Running Scooter Club nights in Ditton Community Centre. The system was rudimentary with two old hi fi turntables wired together to an amp and some old 100 watt speakers. No one really wanted to DJ back then everyone just wanted to have fun and get trashed but I got the bug and never looked back.

02 Le Beat Bespoke is an Event that it now in its tenth year, tell us about it?

The story begins in 2004 after a highly successful Modstock that celebrated 40 years of Mod. John Reed at Sanctuary records had contacted me about putting a compilation together of popular dance floor winners from the Mousetrap and New Untouchables events for his discotheque series. John had picked up my earlier compilation series on cassette called Hipshakers during the mid nineties. The New series would be on vinyl and CD and called Le Beat Bespoke. After the success of the Modstock I wanted to do an annual festival with a similar format but a wider musical and cultural compass.

With Pip! Pip! on board the first Le Beat Bespoke event was held at the Rocket over the Easter bank holiday 2005. The live music highlights included Love with Arthur Lee and Johnny Echols together for the first time in eons. It also turned out to be the last time Arthur would perform in London. A personal blow for me as I never managed to get my records signed by the great man as he locked himself in the dressing room before the performance and disappeared immediately afterwards. Two U/S garage heavyweights from different eras the Chocolate Watchband and The Fuzztones also performed. However the live music is just part of the LBB philosophy, International DJ’s and guest club nights at the top of their game feature at the allnighters. Other attractions include a market, record fair; go go dancers and light show. We also programmed a sorta pop-up cinema showing long lost vintage cult flicks!

03 How many LPs are there in the series?

There are six albums in the series available on both vinyl and CD except Le Beat Bespoke 4 vinyl which has sold out. We offer deals on the full set from the NUTSTORE.

04 Any personal favourite tracks that stand out?

Too many to mention as they are nearly all songs that have featured in my DJ set over the last decade. Right now I would say Jerry Holmes, Samurai or The Tears from the new LBB6 album. You always think the current tracks you spin are the best of course but I believe the new comp is the strongest collection so far.

05 How has your approach to compiling these collections changed over the years if at all?

The concept was to try and recreate a DJ set with songs sequenced like I would in a live DJ setting with short gaps between the tracks. I wanted to make an album that could also be played in a house party as well as your car and personal hifi. With the advent of downloads the new album will also be available on I-Tunes but the bespoke artwork from Pip! Pip! is part of the LBB experience IMO.

06 How do you technically set up for the Studio sessions, how does that develop over time?

I learnt a lot of valuable lessons over the years when compiling these albums. I have a good idea after researching and compiling several versions of the album at home before going to the studio. Getting masters for all the tracks is impossible so a studio with good restoration skills is important when using original vinyl.

07 If people are yet to explore the series, how would you describe the concept behind the sounds and why should they buy them?

I may have touched upon this one earlier but he overall concept has been ‘all killer no filler’! I remember buying many comps down the years and only listening or buying for a couple of tracks often. Well it’s a good way to listen to a few thousand pounds worth of songs often never compiled before for a tenner. They might be songs you have enjoyed from my DJ sets or a good introduction to what you can expect to hear at Le Beat Bespoke.


08 Are there any themes that root into each individual compilation or are they quite freeform?

My tastes are always changing there is more Garage sounds on Le Beat Bespoke 6 but still plenty of Psych, Girl Groups and Funky Rock sounds.

09 How difficult is it to continually source quality tracks to include?

As every year passes since the golden era and more comps are released it gets more difficult to source interesting tracks of the same standard. I had a three year gap since LBB5 which is why I feel this is the best compilation so far.

10 Le Beat Bespoke 6 is just about to hit the shelves, tell us the story on this one?

As I mentioned above after a three year gap gave me that extra year and more time to compile a set list largely based on what I have played out over that period and given those songs more time to gain popularity.

11 You have tried various different labels to spread the good word about Le Beat Bespoke?

Sanctuary done an amazing job on the first New Untouchables production which set the bench mark for the series but they went bust shortly before LBB2. The series moved to new home fellow NUT’s DJ Speed’s Circle Records for the next four releases. Pete’s knowledge and meticulous standards helped the series develop with artistic freedom. The Modstock project on Detour Records worked very well together last summer so a move to Detour for Le Beat Bespoke 6 made perfect sense.

12 How tried and tested are the tracks that make the final selection, what is the process?

Many of the tracks are tried and tested on the dance floor at Mousetrap first and then other events I DJ at around Europe before being compiled. One or two have great potential and a couple have been revived from the past that deserved another lease of life.

13 How do you see the market for CDs against say Vinyl and downloads in today’s world?

I’m very happy vinyl is having a renaissance it’s the best way to experience music IMHO. CD sales are falling all over the World and won’t stand the test of time like Vinyl has but are useful for the car especially. Download is killing music in some respects and takes away half the pleasure of experiencing music, but it’s the twenty first century and you got to work with it.

14 What types of tracks tend to work in the UK as opposed to the European dancefloors?

In the same way as different regions and crowds in the UK have varying styles and sounds; there have always been fads within the scene.

 15 You did the Rolling Stones post Glastonbury set a while back; can we expect anymore non-scene sets such as this?

Yea that was a real eye opener it was like watching a heard of wildebeest with all the dust and noise getting ever closer when The Stones finished their epic set, a real honour to be asked to DJ at Glastonbury. I have played Japan, Canada and the USA including events with a wider audience. The thing I always notice when playing these festivals/clubs is that the crowd dance to the beat and if it has a good groove it doesn’t matter if it’s fashionable on the scene they will dance.

16 Any future plans that you wish to share or talk about?

The new Mousetrap 45 is out now and features a mind blowing Psych track from San Francisco in late sixties by Dirty Filthy Mud and on the flip from just down the Californian coast Judy Hughes groovy tune ‘Fine, Fine, Fine’. Two tracks that will take you well over your overdraft limit if you can find a copy.

Le Beat Bespoke 6 is out soon, available on CD and LP from the NUTSTORE.

Grab Tickets Here for Le Beat Bespoke 10!

You can also get the latest Mousetrap Anniversay Single here at the NUTSTORE!

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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 31, 2015 By : Category : Beat Front Page Fuzz Garage Interviews Music Psych UK Tags:, , ,
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Le Beat Bespoké Video!

Le Beat Bespoké is an annual indoor festival @ 229 The Venue in London, promoted by the — spotlighting 21st Century Modernist & Sixties inspired underground music culture. There is also a series of sought after Compilation LPs with selections from DJ Dr Robert, picked from the dance ‘floorshakers’ of various NUTs events that compliment this wonderful, inclusive Event! Go to:

Shake Yourself Down Remix by Pip! Pip!

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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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February 27, 2012 By : Category : Events Film Front Page Music Scene UK Tags:,
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College Scarves – Via Uppers

The most stylish way to defend your neck from the icy north wind is with a college scarf.

The college scarf is a simplepiece of unisex outdoor wear: made from cloth, it is long and wide, a joy to wrap several times around the neck. Unlike knitted scarves and most cravats, the college scarfeschews dangly tassels, and its simple rectangular shape is a minimalist’s delight. Yet it still carries with it a dandyish charm, consisting of long stripes of colour; each design consisting of at least two, and sometimes up to six, different colours.

It is an item that carries much semantic meaning: it appears at scooter rallies and mod clubs in the winter, but kids still wear them at uniform-obsessed schools (usually of the fee-paying or academically selective variety), and they are sold in university gift shops along with crystal paperweights and tiepins.

Prestige – both social and academic – comes with the wearing of the college scarf, originating as it does from the dreaming spires of Oxbridge (the ancient Medieval university cities of Oxford and Cambridge). According to the company Luke Eyres, manufacturer of scarves for Ede & Ravenscroft, “To our knowledge Mr Hopkins and Mr D Eyres were the instigators of the traditional University scarf. In1938/9 a Mr Hopkins worked for Almonds in Cambridge who used to supply knitted scarves to the Universities. Due to the war, wool was in short supply so they had to find an alternative material to use. Mr Hopkins met Mr D Eyres and they came up with the idea of using woven material in replacement. This woven material was torn into strips and used for the university scarves, thus starting the beginning of the vertical striped scarf. After the war although the knitted scarves were then available most of the Universities decided to stay with the new cloth arrangement. The scarves were mainly produced for the Cambridge Universities and Boat clubs but soon became popular within all the Universities.” The scarf colours are based on each college’s crest, and are also used on the blades of each college’s rowing club oars, as can be seen at the Queens College scarf site.

At Oxbridge, undergraduates are traditionally supposed to wear their gownsto dinner, lectures and exams. This does not seem to have been the tradition at the newer British universities, the ‘redbricks’ established in the 1800’s. Here, gowns were only worn at the tradition-laden graduation ceremony. To identify themselves as students for the rest of their time at university, the college scarf was adopted. As with those from Oxbridge, former redbrick students sometimes wear their scarves when they’re middle aged, just as old men wear their proud regimental ties.

College Scarves

Unlike Oxbridge, the redbricks aren’t (usually) amalgamations of colleges, so at some universities student pride is displayed by the different scarves available for different departments. At my alma mater (lit. trans. ‘soul mother’!), the University of Birmingham, the Arts & Humanities Department scarf is black with blue, purple and yellow stripes, whereas the scarf for the School of Dentistry is mainly green, and there are separate scarves for Engineering and Medicine as well. The colour choice of the departmental scarves is unfathomable. It isn’t only from the university crest, as it is only red, blue and gold. It seems possible that the colours could be influenced by the different colour hoods worn at graduation with the gowns, which are different colours to show the degree. At Birmingham, the BA hood is black and blue-grey, for MBA it’s terracotta and white, for MPhil it’s black and green, and the PhD hood is maroon and mid-green (along with a fantasticHenry VIII-style hat). At Sussex, Bachelors hoods are made from fake fur – well, it is in Brighton.

At some point in the early twentieth century, the college scarf was adopted by schools. Its clean shape is perfect for the neatness required in school uniform and the colour-coding of the stripes could easily incorporate the school colours already used in the tie, blazer and hat. The development of school uniform is oddly fascinating, so I recommend the website mentioned below. It focuses on boys’ uniforms, so I still don’t know why my primary school uniform included a felt hat like an air hostess – not that I minded having to wear it, of course.

This is where problems arise: the very simplicity of the college scarf means that not many colleges, universities and schools need to adopt it before several institutions end up with identical scarves. Here is an example. The scarf for my primary school was 3 navy blue stripes and 2 white stripes (the hat mentioned above was navy blue with a navy blue band zig-zagged with a white stripe). When I reached the sixth form, I considered myself to be a mod and, though I no longer needed to wear school uniform, wore my blue and white scarf from primary school. The History teacher approached me with excitement – “Who do you know who went to UCL? I went there!” And so (thanks to my teacher’s failing eyesight – the UCL scarf colours are actually purple and light blue!), had the identification and camaraderie of the college scarf gone slightly awry. Do not, therefore, be surprised if, when trolling about town in the college scarf you bought at a jumble sale, a random stranger clasps you to their bosom, wanting to reminisce with you their fond memories of their own Rag Week and the ‘fun’ drunken nights at the student union bar.

But why was the college scarf adopted by the mod fraternity? In the 1950’s,beatniks in Britain wore the college scarf with duffle coats (another WW2 innovation, worn by the navy in the North Atlantic. The toggles, instead of buttons, were to make fastening the coat easy with cold-numbed fingers). The beatnik posing intellectualism required a hint of academic background. Perhaps the college scarf shows how, yet again, some aspect of mod evolvedfrom beatnik. But maybe, like the parka, the college scarf was adopted by mods for purely practical reasons. Scootering in Britain, you are at risk from rain, muddy puddles and chill-blains. Whereas the parka – youth cult signifier and whopping cliché – was a way of defending suits from muddy splashes, the college scarf was a neat, sharp item that would keep drafts from freezing exposed necks.

Unlike the schools and universities the college scarf was stolen from, there have never been mod colours prescribed. Yes, how amusing, anyone for red, white and blue? But then, it would be better to make use of the different stripe colours to coordinate smashingly with your outfit.

© Helen Barrell 2003 – 2011
[Published via Uppers 8 September 2003]

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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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January 30, 2012 By : Category : Fashion Front Page Style Tags:, , , ,
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Pip! Pip! Beat 10

To listen to the Beat 10 from Pip! Pip! simply play the video below and all 10 tracks with auto play one after the other in a Beat 10 Audio/Visual Loop! You can turn the sidebar Jukebox off by clicking the player controls in the right hand Column! How frightfully wonderful and Fab! Please enjoy in your own spare time!

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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?

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

January 2, 2012 By : Category : Beat Genre Picks Tags:, ,
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