Browsing Tag Stone Foundation

NUTsCast – Sessions – part 16 (episode 25)

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Join the Baron for the latest NUTSCAST of  Summer 2017


Be sure to tune in to the latest Nutscast Sessions for a full preview of Euro YeYe and the Brighton August Bank Holiday events as we say a fond farewell to the Baron, Graham Lentz as he hosts his last show; with tracks by Gemma & The Travellers, Stone Foundation, Men Of North Country and DJ selections from our guests at Brighton.

 


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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 3, 2017 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:, , , , , ,
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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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Record Reviews – Sept 2015

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Record Reviews 2

rsz_nm_sept_2015_stone_foundation

Stone Foundation

A Life Unlimited – LP

This was another one that arrived a few days after the deadline for the last edition of NutsMag Reviews, so it feels a bit like ‘closing the gate after the horse has bolted’, but what a ‘horse’! Pure thoroughbred from start to finish.

‘A Life Unlimited’ sees a progression from the previous outing ‘To Find The Spirit’. Indeed, the opening track on the new album is really the only reference point to the former.

‘Beverley’ is also the title song to a Cass Pennant short film and it conveys that lilting relaxed blue-eyed soul feel that Stone Foundation produce with consummate ease.

The main departure from their previous work is the influence of soul and jazz funk on this LP. I’m thinking of artists like Donald Byrd for example.
However, ‘Pushing Your Love’ is a sumptuous ballad, ‘These Life Stories’ exemplifies the jazz funk groove while ‘Leaning The Hard Way’ is a more upbeat soul.

Add the guest appearances by Graham Parker, Nolan Porter and Dr Robert (Blow Monkeys) to name a few and once again Stone Foundation have produced another great album. Since it’s release, ‘A Life Unlimited’ has reached the official national album chart with no major label backing. Now that is something worth celebrating because it proves there is hope after all and one wonders just how much longer the mainstream media (including radio) will ignore this band. Not much longer I’ll wager.

rsz_nm_sept_2015_lois

Lois

The Polperro Horse Bus Company –  Album

If you can count Mark Radcliffe of BBC Radio 6 Music among your supporters, then you can’t be all bad. This four-piece from Nottingham have a knack of blending their various influences into a coherent and very appealing collection of songs on this album.

Radcliffe’s assertion that Lois sound both ‘retro and absolutely contemporary’ is spot on. The melting pot of Lois seems to range from the Kinks and the Zombies to Manic Street Preachers and Suede (at least, that’s what I’m getting).

Whether it’s the gently rocking along of ‘Jeanie (Ooh La La)’ or the up tempo ‘Monkey Girl’, the songs tend to grab you after just one listen.

For my money, ‘My Precious Love’ and ‘Star Is Falling’ are the outstanding tracks from this LP, and that is saying something when you have 16 gems to choose from. There is depth, a well-thought-out running order and texture to this collection and I am sure we will be seeing a lot more of Lois in the near future.

loistheband.com
facebook.com/loistheband
twitter.com/loistheband

rsz_nm_sept_2015_past_tense

The Past Tense

Heads Held High – Album

This album has been available for a few months, but it was kindly handed to me by the band shortly after the last edition of NUTsMAG, hence the delay in reviewing it.

For those unaware, Past Tense has been around for a few years, although the members of the band have worked together under various names since school days. Andy, Ken, Warren and Buzz believe this is their best work to date, and it is hard to disagree. Their influences are un-ashamedly Mod Revival, Punk, Garage and 60s Beat bands and this album encompasses all of them to a greater or lesser extent.

For me, the stand-out tracks are the ones that show Past Tense are not a one-trick-pony and have so much more in the locker.
‘Vision (From Another World)’ is a prime example with the inclusion of a Hammond organ growling away in the mix to give the song a different dimension.

‘Crying’ has a huge dose of Ray Davis about it with guest Paul R Osborn taking vocal duties on a song that is really catchy and thoroughly enjoyable.
‘No Apologies’ sees Past Tense dabble with a Northern Soul vibe that fairly rattles along. ‘Another Putney Sunrise’ is a pleasant surprise because it is unexpected and shows a real touch of finesse when it could so easily have been overcooked.

The closing track; ‘What’s Coming Next?’ has a touch of The Strokes about it and has another infectious chorus.
So, yes, I would agree, this is the best album by Past Tense to date. I’ve a funny feeling the next one might be even better.

thepasttense.fourfour.com
www.facebook.com/thepasttense

rsz_nm_sept_2015_jennie

Jennie And The Slingers

Tales Of The Unexpected – Album

Hands up all those who remember the Bellestars in the Eighties? How about the Polecats or Madness? Well, Jennie And The Slingers is made up of former members of those bands (although Lee Thompson makes a guest appearance). Apparently, this album was two years in the making, but it was well worth the wait.

It’s a combination of Rockabilly, Ska and R&B influences and with such seasoned professionals in the mix, it is a superb album. There are cleverly constructed lyrics (some done with humour sadly lacking in the last lot of decades) and some astute observations on society. It’s the kind of album we used to get on a regular basis 30 plus years ago and it made for an interesting mainstream music industry (which it certainly is not these days.)

The album gets off to a flyer with ‘Last Gang In Camden Town’, a solid rockabilly infused, catchy number. ‘Better Guy’ and ‘Gamblin Man’ provide the aforementioned humour and social commentary. In short, there is not a duff track to be found. The closer, ‘King Kong’ reminds me of that strange hybrid of rockabilly meets ska that Madness could deliver now and again.

I have to say though, Jennie Matthias (Bellestars) has never sounded better. There’s a quality to her voice and delivery that is an ideal match for the music. Take a listen to the ballad ‘Lady Sings The Blues’ (not the Billie Holliday tune I might add) and you will see what I mean. Jennie oozes class in a manner similar to the great ‘torch’ singers like Julie London.

If you like something a bit different, (and I do with bands like Rhythm Shakers, Dustaphonics, Gizzelle etc) this is definitely and album for you.

facebook.com/pages/Jennie…Slingers
diablorecordsuk.bandcamp.com/jennie-the-slingers


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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 22, 2015 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:, , , , ,
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Euroyeye 20th Anniversary

Gijon, Spain- 31 July 4 August 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pictures by: Eva Lussina Lopez Guisaraga
More photos and news at: www.euroyeye.es

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


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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September 18, 2014 By : Category : Bands Clubs DJs Europe Events Front Page Music Reviews Scene Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Modstock 3 Saturday Night 2014 Review

Modstock 2014: 50 Years of Mod

Saturday Night: Kenney Jones (Small Faces and Eddie Phillips (The Creation) featuring The Stone Foundation

Sat 19 April 2014 @ 229 Great Portland Street

So, another Easter weekender… only this time with a difference. Can it really be fifty years of Mod?  The fact the movement began before my birth, existed right through my youth, and continues unabated into my middle age, is flabbergasting. Also, while some talk with wry humour about how some Modernist culture can be viewed in 2014 as ironically quaint and/or retro, I would counter that like all things of substance, it remains timeless, and while other questions may surface (more of which later), tonight’s performances were a testament to that ideal.

House band the Stone Foundation (the best white soul act from the Midlands since Dexys) are not only a fitting warm-up, but an attraction in their own right: there’s an effervescence  about their performance and their own horn-laden, energetic material, particularly “That’s The Way I Want To Live My Life”, that even suggests possible potential in, horror of horrors, the mainstream market. And as long as they don’t end up sounding like Alice Russell in the process I’ll be behind them.

An interval precedes the arrival of our first co-headliner, the writer of the air-slashing riffs that shaped a generation, and the first guitarist to play with a bow, inspiring some geezer called Page in the process: Eddie Phillips (for ‘tis he) is an old friend of NUTs, but he’s also been inactive awhile, making his return more exciting for those who missed his last appearance. And what an appearance it is. Dapper, sharing powerful vocals with SF frontman Neil Jones, and still as commanding as in any vintage clip, he powers through whirlwind renditions of “Biff Bang Pow” “How Does It Feel To Feel” “Painter Man” and “Making Time” to our aural and visual delight: anthems one and all.

Kenney Jones has had less prior involvement with NUTs, but that in itself makes his appearance an event. Short of Ian McLagan guesting (which some were still hoping for up til the final notes) this is as close as it gets to a Small Faces show, and the crowd go bonkers to the opening strains of “Afterglow Of Your Love” accordingly. Therefore, it also matters not that his vocalist resembles not a Mod but a “Brother Of True Metaaaal”: he acknowledges as much in self-deprecating jokes anyway, quips about how he should’ve “had a haircut before coming out” followed by offers from Foundationers to “hold him down and get the scissors”. Yet ultimately, with flares, chest-length locks and mike-shaking attitood (dude), his closest resemblance is to Humble Pie-era Marriott, with the voice to a tee: close your eyes during “Tin Soldier” or “Get Yourself Together” and it really could be him. And at an event like this, surely that’s half the point.

Like Phillips, Jones also looks impossibly youthful, and, whilst other veteran drummers (Rob Townsend, Graeme Edge) now use secondary skinsmen to embellish their beats, he remains powerful enough alone, rolling across “All Or Nothing” like a barrage of friendly fire. He loses brownie points for not rehearsing an encore (“Rollin Over” “Song Of A Baker” “Itchycoo Park” – pick any from a prospective hundred) meaning the band play “….Soldier” a second time, but deserves credit for putting this together on the hoof.

Three rooms after the British Legends show and I head to the beat basement with Dr Robert and guests (including Carlo Sesto) spinning an invigorating selection, including an ear-syringing cover of the Moody Blues’ “Ride My See Saw” by Los Mustangs, several homages to the prairies of Texan garage, and an inspired choice of Turquoise’s “Tales Of Flossie Fillett” as the end-of-night anthem which I hadn’t heard since the old “two floor” days at Mousetrap. Yes, THAT long ago.

 


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Darius Drewe

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

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July 7, 2014 By : Category : Bands DJs Events Front Page Reviews Tags:, , , , ,
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Masters – Nolan Porter

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Masters2

The song ‘If I Could Only Be Sure’ is attaining something of a legendary status. It has been covered by many bands in recent years, but arguably it was Paul Weller’s interpretation on 2004’s ‘Studio 150’ album that really brought the song to more than just a Northern Soul audience.

The man who wrote and sang the original is Nolan Porter. Thanks to one of the UK’s foremost soul bands, Stone Foundation, Nolan Porter is having an ‘Indian summer’ (for want of a better term) in his career. The much-deserved renewed interest in the man and his work is long overdue and he (along with Stone Foundation) will be appearing at Euro YeYe this August at Gijon in Spain.

Welcome to Nutsmag Mr Porter. How do you feel about the forthcoming trip to Spain?

I’m overwhelmed with joy!! All the things I’ve heard about Spain, the beauty of the land, the history, what’s there not to be excited about! My father spent time in Spain, Madrid mostly. He always said it was one of the best experiences of his life.

Of course you are reuniting once again with the fantastic Stone Foundation. What is it about this band in particular that has been such an attraction for you?

There is a real musical camaraderie between SF and myself. We both really love soul music and SF’s sound really shows that these guys have been raised on soul music and have a deep understanding of its cadence and meaning. Also we have the same warped sense of humor!

I’ve read in other interviews, that you have been very pleasantly surprised by the reception and knowledge of your UK and European fans. Have you got used to it yet?

Every time I travel overseas to sing, I’m always amazed by the warmth and kindness of Northern Soul Fans. “It’s always like the first time”.

I was in the audience for the 100 Club show in 2012 which then became a live album. Listening to it, it’s clear you are having a great time and in fine voice. What can we expect when you hit the stage for Euro YeYe?

First of all, thank you for going to see me at the 100 Club. I hope you had a good time! I’ll bring awe and enthusiasm and a great band, SF. They have some new material some of which I’m singing on and we’re all very happy to perform these songs at YeYe. I’ve only thought of Spain in my imagination and now I’ll be there! I am grateful.

You have written some incredible songs that have legendary status among the Northern Soul fraternity. ‘Keep On Keeping On’, ‘Fe-Fi-Fo-Fum’ and ‘I Like What You Give’ for example, but have you been writing any new material? Could a new LP be in the pipeline?

Yes, I perform originals by other artists some of which I am friends with as well as my own. My wife Patrice and I have been discussing an album we’d like to do together with new material, collected and recorded by the two of us. Also you will be seeing a couple of new releases from Crossfire Productions that I have collaborated on with an old time friend, Forrest Penner of Wild Child fame.

It is fair to say your route into music was not one shared by a great many of your contemporaries, (ie Church-Gospel-band.) and living in LA with its diverse communities had some influence on you. So what was your route from leaving education to recording in 1972?

I’m a typical L.A. Child of the 60’s. The route I took was through my interaction with other L.A. Musicians with a multitude of cultural backgrounds. My first love was classical music. (Something I have in common with Brenda Hollaway who also grew up in L.A. with a classical background in music.) I didn’t go the Gospel route, yet somehow I always found myself in someone’s choir for one organization or another. Singing in choirs around L.A. Was a great way to prepare me for singing my own originals, showing me the basics of music and how to work with a crowd. Growing up in L.A. In the 60’s was great. I sang in soul bands, with Latin Bands and even a couple of rock bands. L.A. was the place to experiment.

It appears much of your early work was caught up in a tangled web of licences and ‘who owns what’ for a long time. Has it all finally been cleared up?

No it has not been cleared up, but I remain positive that it will.

You had some great musicians on that early work, like Larry Carlton, Charles Owens and Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson. How did that band come together?

I have to give Gabriel Mekler of Steppenwolf and 3 Dog Night credit for that. From his time producing many of Steppenwolf’s and 3 Dog Night’s hits, he made contacts and used some of the best musicians, in L.A. I owe a great big debt to Gabriel Mekler.

Brenda Holloway is part of the bill for the Euro YeYe weekend in Spain. I know you and your wife Patrice ‘Candy’ Zappa opened for Brenda in LA a couple of years ago. Do you know Brenda well?

I only met Brenda in 2012 and truly enjoyed working with her, however I was friends with her sister Patrice, in the early 70’s. My mother even knows and  has spent time with Brenda Holloway. My mother is crazy about her and her talent. I do hope this will be only one of several times I get to work with her, she is a truly amazing talent.

Stone Foundation revived another of your great songs, ‘Crazy Love’ for their latest LP. How much input did you have with the arrangement and what are your thoughts on the final product? Both the song and the whole LP?

I’m very happy with the product.  Much of the musical arrangement came from SF. The vocal was pretty much the same arrangement I had used all those years ago. The merging of the two, I feel, was very cool. Also I enjoyed recording it more with SF than when I recorded it all those years ago. Now the present vocal is how I sound at this time of my life. Which makes me happy.

You could say Stone Foundation have kept you pretty busy the last couple of years what with the tours, live album and the resultant dvd documentary about your time here. Have you got any other plans you can tell us about?

I’ve become such good friends with SF. I would like to personally keep it going with them for as long as possible. I owe them so much and we find it mutually gratifying to help each other’s careers.

Nolan Porter, on behalf of The New Untouchables, thank you very much for taking the time to complete this interview. I look forward to seeing you in London next month at the 100 Club again.

Photographs by: © Lee Cogswell


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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 8, 2014 By : Category : Front Page Interviews Music News Tags:, , ,
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Stone Foundation (NewBreed)

This entry is part 8 of 10 in the series Newbreed3

Stone Foundation started in earnest around 10 summers ago when the two Neil’s worlds collided, an instant mash. Ideas, songs and a vision formed but a band didn’t. Members joined and then left or were shown the door, a stable, solid line up took time. Any gang worth it’s salt (and pepper) does. This had to be right, more than music, a family affair. Once the team was in place they would still take the duration required to firmly knit the solid bond their hearts desired. The understanding between the seven was crucial. Yes, seven that’s right. We knew it had to be. Hammond, Horns over a solid soulful (stone) foundation, we didn’t want anyone just dipping their toes in the water. We were off to swim the channel.

Band Members:
Neil Sheasby (bass)
Neil Jones (vocals and guitar)
Ian Arnold (Hammond Organ)
Philip K Ford (drums)
Spencer Hague (trombone)
Lynn Thompson (trumpet)
Gary Rollins (saxophone/flute)

Discography:
‘Three Shades Of Stone Foundation’ album (2011)
‘To Find The Spirit’ album (2014)
‘That’s The Way I Want To Live my Life’ single (2014)

How did Stone Foundation get started?

Myself and lead singer, Neil Jones got together after I had become disillusioned with my previous band. We were kindred spirits and we started writing songs together, but it took a long time to find the right musicians.

We knew we wanted a horn section and a Hammond organ, so we knew the sound we wanted, but it took a couple of years really before we had a settled line up. It was important to find musicians who shared our vision of what Stone Foundation should be.

After a while we started recording and over the last three or four years we have found more and more people who like what we do and it’s just gathered pace from there.

What are the main influences for Stone Foundation?

It’s quite eclectic really. I’ve worked in record shops all my life so I’ve been open to lots of different things. Neil Jones’s Dad had a big record collection, so he inherited all of that, but it’s not one particular genre that dominates.

We are inspired by soul music, things from our youth like Dexy’s and The Jam, and then the influence of bands like Traffic and what we regard as the quintessential British bands. It’s lots of influences though. Not just one specific.

How did your association with the great Nolan Porter come about?

It started with a promoter who was doing things at Northern Soul events. He was bringing people over to sing live, but with backing tracks. One of the first guys that we came into contact with was Steve Calloway. The promoter said he wanted a band to work with him and he thought Stone Foundation fit the bill, so he asked us and we thought, well here is a chance to work with some proper, bona fide soul artists, so we jumped at the chance.

Steve Calloway was the first person we worked with, then Nolan came over and we just hit it off right away. Since then we have brought Nolan back ourselves and then we got Joe ‘Pep’ Harris from Undisputed Truth. It’s been a privilege and an honour to work with these people, and Nolan makes a guest appearance on our new album as well.

How does the creative process work for Stone Foundation?

Usually, it’s either Neil or myself who have ideas or, on occasion, fully formed songs, but for this album it’s been more of a collaborative process. Sometimes things have come through a jamming session, but everyone has had a part to play on the finished article, so it has been good from that aspect.

The band and your new album ‘To Find The Spirit’ are not easily pigeon-holed.

We have always been conscious of not wanting to sound pastiche or a parody of black American soul. As I said before, our influences are varied and our songwriting reflects that. We have jazz influences, soul, you name it, but what we always strive for is to sound like Stone Foundation.

You have become a much sought-after support band. Tell us about some of your recent engagements.

The arena tour with The Specials in 2011 was more by luck than judgment.

John Bradbury happened to be at Fiddler’s Elbow in Camden on the same night we were playing there. I think The Specials were looking for a certain kind of soul band rather than another ska outfit and we fit the bill. We got on really well with everyone and it has been one of the highlights of our career so far.

Since then we’ve supported The Blow Monkeys, The Selecter and The Beat. We’ve also got a support slot in the Midlands with The Truth, so we’re really looking forward to that.

You have also had some fairly high-profile names collaborating with you on the new LP.

Yes, we have been very lucky and it has been a privilege and an honour to work with these people. Carleen Anderson formerly of Young Disciples and Paul Weller’s band sang on ‘When You’re In My World’. Pete Williams from Dexy’s is a great songwriter. He plays on ‘Wonderous Place’ and ‘Stronger Than Us’. Paolo Hewitt does a spoken word piece called ‘Child of Wonder’.

Denis Bovell does a remix of ‘Don’t Let The Rain’ and Andy Fairweather Low was just great. His nephew, Lee, is a fan of the band and he kept on to Andy about doing something with us, and he agreed to do backing vocals, so we had a day trip to Cardiff and he sang on ‘Hold On’. It was great just to sit and chat with Andy and hear a few stories of those early days of modernism and the whole Sixties era.

You have recently returned from a mini tour of Japan, and now you’re preparing for Modstock. How was the tour and how hard is it to prepare for an event like Modstock?

Japan was an absolutely incredible experience, Tokyo is an amazing City, the crowds at the gigs we’re so enthusiastic too, culturally it is so different and leftfield to anything else you would experience.

The preperations for Modstock are underway, the only thing we have difficulty battling with are the time constraints of fitting it all in but we always manage to get there in the end.

How does it feel to be the house band on the British Legends Night, now you know exactly who you will be playing with?

It’s a great thrill and honour to be asked to be the house band and get the opportunity to not only meet but perform with people such as Kenney Jones and Eddie Phillips, who are artists that we grew up listening to, both the Creation and The Small faces made a great impact on our young tastes, I’m sure it will be a night to remember.

What expectations do you have for the British Legends Night and what can our audience expect from Stone Foundation and guests?

I expect it will be a lot of fun to play these songs with Kenney & Eddie and also get to do a Stone Foundation set and play a few of our new songs from the “To find the Spirit” album to an appreciative audience.

Neil Sheasby, thank you for talking to Nutsmag and best of luck with the new album ‘To Find The Spirit’ and the Modstock British Legends Night.

Web Links:

stonefoundation.co.uk
facebook.com/stonefoundation
twitter.com/stonefoundation
myspace.com/stonefoundation


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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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April 4, 2014 By : Category : Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , , , ,
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NUTsCast – Modstock 3 Special

Welcome to the NUTsCAST Episode 10 and our Modstock special with NUTsMag Review’s Editor Graham Lentz.

Over the next hour Graham will talk you through our Modstock program, playing tracks from all the artists appearing alongside some selections from our international DJ line-up. To listen to the Podcast, click the play button in the left hand corner of the Podcast Player above! Et Voila!

 Music Running Order For NUTsCast

01. The Apemen – Love Train
02. Jack Hammer – Down In the Subway
03. Secret Affair – Black Cat
04. Eyes – You’re Too Much
05. The Velvelettes – Lonely, Lonely Girl Am I
06. Brenda Holloway – When I’m Gone
07. Eddie Jefferson – Psychedelic Sally
08. Otis Lee – Hard Row To Hoe
09. The Turning – Stand Clear Of My Mind
10. The Caretakers – East Side Story
11. Tommy McCook – Goldfinger
12. Stone Foundation – To Find The Spirit
13. Impressions – You’ve Been Cheatin’
14. Les Cappuccino – Madison Agent
15. The Mergers – All I Can Do
16. Eddie Parker – I’m Gone


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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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March 7, 2014 By : Category : Front Page Music Podcasts Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Record Reviews – Feb 2014 (Part 1)

This entry is part 14 of 18 in the series Record Reviews

Stone Foundation

Stone Foundation – To Find The Spirit LP

There are many shining lights in our ‘broad church’ of mod culture. There are bands who are followed and supported by mods, scooterists, skinheads and Northern Soul fans. Bands who are slowly, but surely making a name for themselves outside of the parameters of
our world.

One such is Stone Foundation. This is a band you will hear about a lot during 2014 and this new album should put them into sharp focus in the mainstream world. They are becoming a much-sought-after support act for established bands and are the house band for the Modstock British Legends night this Easter. The reason why they are in demand is evident on this LP. I would suggest that here we have THE benchmark album by which others will be judged in 2014.

It is by far the best work Stone Foundation have produced to date and that really is saying something if you know about their previous work. When you have people such as Carleen Anderson, Andy Fairweather Low, Nolan Porter, Pete Williams, Denis Bovell and Paolo Hewitt contributing, you have to take notice. This is as finer collection of carefully crafted songs as you could hope for. The production is first class, the execution, faultless.

It is a work of substance, depth, feeling and at times, dance-ability. It’s British Soul at it’s very best.

The title track ‘To Find The Spirit’ is a wonderful piece of gently rolling danceable soul laced with sumptuous brass hooks and a catchy rhythm. It sets the tone for the album as all good opening tracks should. Then we have the ‘Northern’ infused ‘Bring Back The Happiness’ which has ‘classic’ stamped all over it. That said, the Dexy’s-inspired ‘Stonger Than Us’ gives the aforementioned a very good run for it’s money.

On the ballad-side, the lengthy, but thoroughly engrossing ‘Don’t Let The Rain’ opus, along with Nolan Porter’s rendition of ‘Crazy Love,’ is dripping with passion, feeling and soul. You really couldn’t ask for more. ‘When You’re In My World’ features a truly inspired performance by Carleen Anderson.

If this album does not see Stone Foundation move up several rungs on the slippery ladder of the music business, there is no justice in the world.

“To Find The Spirit’ is officially launched on 10 March, while pre-orders are available now at:

The Mynd Set

 

nm_january_2014_mynd_set_3

The Mynd Set – Mynd Set EP

This is one for all you psych, freakbeat fans. The Mynd Set comprise Glyn Tomlinson, Parsley The Lion, Leon Hewitt and Chris Punter.  The EP contains four Hammond, fuzztone, psych originals. Lead track ‘Tick Tock’ is a catchy little number while ‘Kaleidoscope’ picks up the pace with a driving beat and a guitar lick that sticks in the brain.

‘Maharishi’ as the title might suggest, eases off somewhat and takes us on a trippy journey circa 1969 with an almost obligatory sitar along for the ride. ‘Our Time’ heads back to the quicker fuzz-led groovier sound. The bonus track is a cover of The Kinks ‘Sitting On My Sofa’ and a fine, faithful cover it is too.

As far as I know, this is Mynd Set’s debut and a splendid one it is. Lets hope we see more from them in 2014.

Hypnotic Eye

nm_january_2014_hypnotic_eye_lp

Hypnotic Eye – The Optical Sound Of…. LP

Following on from last years cracking single, ‘Readin’ Your Will’ b/w ‘Satisfaction’, Hypnotic Eye return in 2014 with this acid-laced, psych-laidened belter of an LP.

They certainly have an unusual sound. Listening to the opener ‘Man From The CIA’, I wondered if I had my record player at the wrong speed. I’m pleased to say, I did not, but such is the pace of the track and the delivery of the vocals by Grace Lightman, I had to check.

Hypnotic Eye are quite unique with their style for a contemporary band. I’ve not heard any other band that sounds like them, although, as we are all aware, there is something of a psych-garage scene making its presence known. I would say, that having this album mixed by Ben Baptie at Electric Ladyland Studios would always guarantee an authenticity of sound that comes through loud and clear.

To all you psych fans who are usually to be found in the Beat Room at Crossfire, if you haven’t got into Hypnotic Eye, you should do. This LP is definitely for you. Coming from a dyed-in-the-wool, self-confessed Soul and R&B fan, this album is a pleasure to listen to and I was really getting into it.

With the inclusion of ‘Marianne’ and the aforementioned ‘Satisfaction’ as the two singles from this set, ‘The Optical Sound Of Hypnotic Eye’ is the most enjoyable slice of psych I’ve heard since Jacco Gardner last year. There is not a duff track among the twelve on offer. ‘Dark Part Of My Mind’, ‘Action Woman’ and ‘San Antone’ are my favs along with the singles.

I have to confess, I’ve not yet managed to catch them live, but I aim to put that right later this year. Let’s see if any psych or garage outfit can match this one in 2014. Great album!

The Pepper Pots

nm_january_2014_pepper_pots

The Pepper Pots – We Must Fight LP

Regular readers of the Nutsmag reviews will know about bands from overseas. In the 18 months since I’ve been doing this job (is it really that long?) I have reviewed new releases from bands from all four corners of the globe.

There are some terrific scenes going on and thanks to the internet, we in the UK, can find out about them. Spain is one such vibrant scene and for ten years one band has consistently flown the Spanish flag for great soul music. I refer to the Pepper Pots.

‘We Must Fight’ is their fifth album and it is arguably their most accomplished to date. It may be no coincidence that Binky Griptite of The Dap Kings has been a key collaborator in the production of this latest offering from the Pepper Pots.

Across the twelve tracks from the opener ‘Good Times’ to the last ‘Fallen Angel’, this is an LP of such quality, it reflects the very high standard of music coming from bands across ‘mod culture’. Oozing class, distinction and refinement in the soul pop genre, the production is top draw and the vocals provided by Adriana Prunell and Aya Sima are simply divine.

There are hints of every kind of influence in the soul range, from Motown to Northern, funk to pure soul. The arrangements are great with the brass section doing a great job providing the hooks and stabs that complete the sound.

If the Pepper Pots return to the UK, they will be one of the ‘must see’ acts of the year. I hope they don’t stay away too long.

Spoke Records

nm_january_2014_spokerecords

The Open Mind – Magic Potion b/w The Dakotas – The Spider And The Fly (7” Single)

All you psych and garage fans should be very familiar with these two tracks. The Dakotas and The Open Mind have been scene favourites for a very long time, so why have Spoke Records put out a single with both tracks when they have been fairly easy to find on compilations and other reissues?

It’s quite simply really. Spoke have managed to source alternative recordings from long lost master tapes. Those tapes were handed over to the sound engineer/producer known as Soundhog who has done a decent job with both these tracks.

‘Spider and The Fly’ and ‘Magic Potion’ both come in at over five minutes long and there is really not much else one can say about it other than they are classic tracks of their type and these are very good versions.

If you like psych, you love this single.

 


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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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March 7, 2014 By : Category : Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , , , , ,
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NUTsCast – NUTsMag: Newbreed Live Music

Newuntouchables.com ‘head honcho’ Dr. Robert and NUTsMag Review’s Editor Graham Lentz together select some of 2013’s best tracks from our Newbreed Bands. Well worth a listen! To listen to the Podcast, click the play button in the left hand corner of the Podcast Player above! Et Voila!

Music Running Order For NUTsCast

01. Last Of The Troubadors –  Never Forgive You
02. Gizzelle – I’m A Good Woman
03. Jacco Gardner – Puppets Dangling
04. Soul Naturals – If It’s War
05. French Boutik – Ici Paris
06. King Zoot  – Flying
07. DC Fontana – Devil Angel
08. The Sha La La’s – Twenty Five
09. The Faith Keepers  – You Got It
10. The Riots  – Hate To See You Go
11. Button Up  – Someday
12. Electric Stars  – Isolation
13. Alpha 9  – El Morroco
14. Stone Foundation  – Warning Signs
15. The Universal  – This Is A War CD


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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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November 18, 2013 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Picks Podcasts Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Record Reviews – Nov 2012

This entry is part 1 of 18 in the series Record Reviews

40 Motown Floorshakers CD

One of the few saving graces for the major labels is exploiting their back catalogue because they sure as hell don’t invest and make money from new artists. And you would think the Motown vaults are virtually exhausted by now. So many compilations have hit the shops and online retailers in the past 20 years, it’s a wonder that there’s any new, undiscovered material left. So here we have a compilation of Motown stock. What makes this so different from any of the others? Well, it helps that a genuine, knowledgeable enthusiast in the shape of Jo Wallace put this collection together, and a fine job she has done. There are some obvious choices like ‘Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart’ or ‘Nothing’s Too Good For My Baby’, but really they are few and far between. There are some absolute corkers here, not least of which are, Mavin and Tammi’s ‘That’s How It Is’, Odyssey with the un-Motown-like ‘Battened Ships’ and Jr. Walker’s ‘Tune Up’. 40 Northern Soul Classics? I’d say so!

 

French Boutik – Les Chats De Gouttiere EP

When you think of French music, and specifically French mod music, Jacques Dutronc is the first name to spring to mind. In more general terms, Piaf, Hardy, Greco, Gainsbourg, and Distel will be familiar to Sixties pop enthusiasts. So with that heritage, French Boutik unleash this four-track EP that acknowledges the past without being overly pastiche. It is all original material and it is very good. The French do have a unique musical style. There are songs that you know could only have come from France and so it is with this disc. ‘La Vedette’ is a slice of dreamy beat with male lead vocals, while ‘Le Clope’ hands over to the ladies and sees a faster pace with a hint of Bardot-esque charm about it. ‘Les Chats De Gouttiere’ is the type of quality beat that Blondie would have covered in their hey-day. ‘New Bossa’ is the only song in English and swings along nicely as a change of pace to the other tracks. This EP is a refreshing blast from across the English Channel. They also look cool. If you caught them on their recent visit to London, you’ll know what a good band they are.

For more info:
facebook.com/frenchboutik
myspace.com/frenchboutik
frenchboutik@gmail.com
also available from I-tunes

 

July – Temporal Anomoly CD

Psych is a genre that has just passed me by. It’s just not my bag. However, being a professional, I’ve done the research. I do know that July recorded their one and only LP in 1968 which has become a sought-after psych classic and they released two singles: ‘My Clown’ b/w ‘Dandelion Seeds’ on Major Minor and ‘Hello, Who’s There?’ with ‘The Way’ on Ariola I have listened to tracks from the 1968 period and I can see the attraction for psych fans. With context firmly in place, Temporal Anomaly is no reflection on the 1968 self-titled album. To my untrained ear (in all things psych) this sounds like a rock album. I can’t say if there’s anything that would appeal to psych fans because it would be unfair to make comparisons with July’s output of 44 years ago. To me it’s more Mike Oldfield than 13th Floor Elevators or Strawberry Alarm Clock. That said, the opening track ‘I Like It’ along with ‘Dreams’ and ‘All The Hours’ were high points. It may not be to my taste, but these guys have done something creative, I salute them. There will be people out there who are better qualified to judge than I.

For more info email: july@neddysongs.com and at www.neddysongs.com

 

Nolan Porter with Stone Foundation – Live at 100 Club CD

If you haven’t heard of Stone Foundation yet, believe me you soon will have. This seven-piece outfit from the Midlands are steeped in soul and are even better than Dexy’s… for my money. They impressed so much last year they supported The Specials on their UK tour. Joining them on stage for this official bootleg is Northern Soul legend Nolan Porter and the set understandably includes a handful of Nolan’s best known work. ‘Fe-Fi-Fo-Fum’, ‘Keep On Keepin’ On’, and ‘If I Could Only Be Sure’ will be more than familiar to Northern fans and they stand the test of time given the Stone Foundation treatment. Stone Foundation are no slouches themselves with ‘To Find the Spirit’ and the utterly infectious ‘Tracing Paper’. Throw in a couple of rip-roaring covers of Darrell Bank’s ‘Somebody Somewhere’ and Brenton Wood’s ‘Gimme Little Sign’ and it’s clear to see why the audience were making so much noise. I hear a new studio LP is in the making by Stone Foundation and that should be hitting the streets in the coming months.

www.stonefoundation.co.uk, on facebook and I-tunes where you will also find their back catalogue including the last studio LP Three Shades Of…

 

Phoenix City All-Stars – Two Tone Gone Ska CD

This is one of those “does exactly what it says on the tin” LPs. Seven of the eight tracks are familiar Two-Tone label monsters given the slightly more laid-back feel of ska. ‘One Step Beyond’ and ‘Stereotype’ get things underway and are a taste of things to come. Throughout, it’s clear that the Allstars are quality musicians giving each song it’s due respect. However, the whole set really comes to the fore with the inclusion of vocals from reggae legend Dave Barker (he of Dave and Ansell Collins fame). My personal fav is their version of ‘I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down’. Barker is in fine form and clearly enjoying every moment.

 

Sidewalk Society – Venus, Saturn And The Crescent Moon CD

So, who are Sidewalk Society? Hailing from Long Beech, California, they are a three piece whose influences range from the Kinks, Small Faces and the Move to T Rex. By far their greatest inspiration is The Who’s ‘Sell Out’. Comprising Dan Lawrence on guitar and vocals, Jerry Buszek on drums and Dan West on bass and vocals, by all accounts they have been keeping very busy gigging regularly up and down the interstate highway between San Francisco and LA. This LP is their second and what an interesting work it is. Having listed some of their influences, it is easy to identify them throughout this album, but Sidewalk Society uses those influences very well. It is very well put together and well produced. I did have a couple of questions for the band, but, at time of writing, I have not heard back. The main question was if this was a concept album? It certainly has the feel of one. Made up of 12 tracks, with an interlude and chorale finale, this is definitely a two-parter. Side one (or tracks one to six on the CD) are of a distinctly sixties flavour. The use of orchestration and choice of instruments helps to enhance the feel of that decade. Over on side two (tracks eight to 13) the mood shifts into the seventies where the Bolan influence manifests itself on the title track. Occasionally I found myself thinking Dave Grohl had crept into the consciousness, but that’s not a bad thing. This is a contemporary album by a band using their influences to create new material. The fact that I have listened to this more than once because I liked it says a lot. If this is the standard of mod/power pop stateside, then it’s pretty high and in very good shape. www.sidewalksocietymusic.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.

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November 15, 2012 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , , , ,
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