Monday, 4 June 2012

Band of Badgers Presents #3

The podcast is also available via iTunes by clicking here
Episode 3: Support & Sponsor

I'm a little frustrated it has taken another whole month to get podcast #3 out as I've had the playlist sorted for some time now. That said (or written, rather - why do I always write that?) I want things to be done properly and I've been waiting for the arrival of the new microphone. Now I no longer need to apologise for the lack of quality of my own ramblings. Well, by lack of quality I mean the sound quality of course and not my, at times, digressions.

There's a slight but not drastic change to the playlist but you can expect Nick Burbridge, Silverbox, Lightfire and Porthaven to be popping up in the next few podcasts. With having some much needed time off work I should finally be able to get ahead with recording at least the next two podcasts which means I'm hoping to get them out a little quicker from now on. There's also potential for some internet radio play which is another reason (but not  the only one) I've invested in the new microphone. 

Like it says on the website, Acoustic Spectrum is all about free music promotion and has been created by three truly amazing individuals who are staunch supporters of indie music dedicating so much of their time to numerous activities that do just this. Tom Oswald, an entrepeneur who has also set up his own indie record label, Red Dragon Records together with the editor of Fatea magazine, Neil King and station director Jody Goldsworthy utilise their links within the industry to import radio shows worldwide and export their own shows back to those stations. So, it's kind of like a big internet radio network if you like. If you're a band or artist who needs to get some airplay or promotion sorted then check out Acoustic Spectrum but don't forget the other two fantastic outlets offered by Tom and Neil in terms of Red Dragon Records and Fatea magazine.

While I'll be more excited than a puppy with a new bone (that sounds kind of wrong but you get my point), if I get some internet radio play for Band of Badgers Presents, this will be more so because I'll be able to fully pay back all those who have kindly let me feature their music so far. Aside from absolutely loving sharing these playlists, it is primarily to help with promotion and exposure so getting so many more listeners would be amazing!

The Playlist:
  1. Eve - fiN
  2. Turbulence - The Scholars
  3. Don't Worry - T J Courtney
  4. Dance on, Graves - Good Friend
  5. Dirty Stop Out - The Repeat Offenders
  6. Song for Infinity - One Cure For Man
  7. First Light - Under a Banner
  8. Storyteller - Sam Beeton
  9. I Held You Once - The Epstein
  10. Chasin Elephants - The Havenites
  11. Bowies in Space - Flight of the Conchords
Please check out the film Turbulence featuring The Scholars because from the promo bio below it's got me salivating in anticipation of seeing it:

When a failing music venue staffed by fools looks set to close, manager Keith launches a last ditch Battle of the Bands competition. More by accident than by design, musical genius is unleashed by a rapping transvestite, some precocious indie rockers and a barmaid with a golden voice, who together save the world they love. Turbulence, a laugh out loud comedy from a BAFTA winning team.

The Scholars also have a tumblr age >> here. It was here I read a really passionate post from band member Tim Mobbs about why people don't seem to be going to gigs these days. He writes about the quality of venues and the crazy drinks promotions on offer whereby it never seems to really be about promoting the great music on offer, rather just getting young people as drunk as they can for as cheap as possible.

I long for better gigs in Northampton lamenting I have to travel all over the place instead. I don't always mind this because I'm able to see such a great bunch of stuff but it would be nice to be able to just get back from work and take a leisurely stroll to the local venue. Tim's words are written like a sage; from one who just wants to perform good gigs at decent venues for music fans. Come on guys let's get to these gigs and provide the much needed support for these fantastic indie bands. Never forget it is all about your support that keeps the music alive. This is even more crucial for indie artists on indie labels (and even more so for those unsigned) struggling to get themselves out there!


I didn't have any time to talk about festivals as I'd like to have done given the season is now in full swing.

Next weekend (8th to 10th June) sees the mighty rockfest that is Download up at Donnington Park. But alas folks if you haven't already got your tickets I'm afraid short of risking being shot down as you parachute in you will have to wait until next year as it has sold out (I don't advise this method of entry by the way). It's little wonder with the the line up they've managed to knock up including Prodigy, Chase and Status, Tenacious D and Biffy Clyro. This is before even mentioning Saturday night headliners Metallica who are performing The Black Album in its entirety followed by a reformed Black Sabbath to close the festival on the Sunday. 

If you did manage to get tickets before they sold out and you're off to this please make sure you check out  and support two bands I featured in the last podcast, both who are appearing at Download this year too. It's really great they've bagged themselves these slots at such a prestigious event in the music festival calendar because they are so worthy and deserving of it. Page 44 open the Second Stage at 11am on Saturday morning while I Divide feature on the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Stage at about 14:15 on the Saturday afternoon. 

Although I could ramble on about many more of the bands I do want to mention just one more. Bedfordshire based Don Broco are quite simply phenomenal so don't miss their set on the Pepsi Max Stage at 12:30 again on the Saturday afternoon. 

Next weekend also sees Wychwood Festival make its annual appearance at Cheltenham Racecourse. I went along to this one in its early days in 2007 for what was my Levellers fix. I remember being already quite drunk sat down on a chair eating chips when 100 Years of Solitude started. Chips were left behind, drink was swiftly downed so that looning could begin as I weaved my way to the front.

Wychwood is much less rock heavy than Download of course with an emphasis on soft-rock, indie and folk. It's also one that focuses on family so there are loads of things to keep the kids occupied and entertained as well as a remarkable line up. 

Friday night sees headliners in the form of The Damned and Bellowhead while those psychedelic sirens of seventies space rock Hawkwind and indie rock band James entertain the crowds on Saturday night. I was fortunate enough to see James headline the main stage at Beautiful Days in 2010 and they were awesome! 

Welsh band Eric Unseen will also be appearing as part of the BBC Introducing collective of great new up and coming talent. BBC Introducing is a really great avenue for these new bands and artists to use to get themselves out there and heard. Eric Unseen offer a fresh new sound and already have a massive number of live gigs all over South Wales under their belt (with packed out venues to boot), which have received glittering reviews. They made the final of the 'Live and Unsigned' competition at the O2 Arena in July 2010. If you haven't heard them then get over to their Facebook page and check them out. They'll definitely be featuring in the podcast in the future.

Gigs & Other Mentions:

The We The Kings gig in Birmingham at the start of last month was gigtastic to say (write?) the least. Okay, perhaps I shouldn't use such a silly made up word as gigtastic. It sounds rather lame doesn't it? It was one awesome night of music entertainment though as the guys really know how to put on a fantastic show. Thankfully I wasn't the oldest person in the room even though it was beginning to feel like it with so many youngsters in attendance. At least I finally got to see this band who I've been enjoying since 2008. Lead singer Travis did come across a little (and by little I mean a lot) sex-obsessed with almost every word being sex or having a sexual connotation. Not that this bothered me in the slightest of course. The bar staff at the venue were acting a bit like tossers I must say as I was standing near to the bar and they seemed to just be taking the piss a bit, which I was quite annoyed about to be honest. Perhaps it wasn't their kind of music but they work in this place so they should either change their shifts or just shut up, serve drinks or get a job elsewhere!

As great as the headliners were, the highlight for me had to be UK band Don Broco. They're a four piece rock band from Bedfordshire, so as I currently live in Northampton that is kind of my neck of the woods (that saying creeping in again). Well, perhaps more my knees of the woods, I suppose. They are a phenomenal force of musical performance with such a charismatically colourful live presence on stage. They look, sound and feel like they've been doing this professionally for years already so it bodes very well for their future.

Last April, the band supported We Are The Ocean before setting out on their own headlining tour, which I guess explains why they are so damn good. Naturally, I don't wish to offend the more well established US band and like I've explained they were pretty amazing themselves but I honestly would go as far as to say Don Broco were even better. Perhaps I'm just coming down on the side of our very own home-grown talent but I don't think it is just that. To me, they proved to be the better band of the night!

Their single Priorities taken from their soon to be released debut album of the same name, was released on 11th May and is available via iTunes so get checking it out on there where you can also pre-order the full album for just £6.99, which comes out on 13th August (this is also available at They are both well worth it and I'm going to do my best to be able to play these guys in the future so keep your ears in full attention mode for that! The band are putting appearances in at a number of festivals over the summer including Download (as mentioned above), Rhythms of the World and the Boardmasters Festival in Newquay, Cornwall. This is in addition to a number of other dates across the UK so check out their Facebook page for all the details.

Another band worthy of a mention is Fort Atlantic. Hailing from Birmingham; not my home town this time round but from over the pond in Alabama instead. Their self-titled album has just been released and I admit I haven't bought it yet but will certainly be parting with the very respectable £5.99 for 10 tracks (search for it on iTunes). I was introduced to Fort Atlantic via the Noise Trade website I mentioned in the last podcast. I've been sent links to some truly amazing albums, EPs and what they call tasters. This particular taster left my ears and mind hungry for more and although I've been really busy with other music I noticed Fort Atlantic tweeting about this forthcoming release so thought I'd give them a mention. The music is an alternative indie rock sound with a few delicate numbers that are sublime.

It goes without saying (again, writing?) Sigur Ros have established themselves as a music group of a particularly high quality. I gave a few listens to their new album Valtari when the band kindly made it available for streaming via a number of websites prior to its release. It certainly doesn't disappoint! I find their albums so evocative and just so damn interesting. They're unlike anything else out there and definitely a group I MUST see play live as soon as I possibly can! A number of their US dates later this summer have already sold out but their only UK appearance so far is at Bestival on the Isle of White. This is just too much out of my price range (come on sponsors, send me to cover this festival or indeed send me over to the US for their tour and I'll cover this wonderfully dynamic Icelandic band). I must admit they're a band who I'd rather see their own full show as opposed to a festival slot but of course I wouldn't say no if someone offered me the festival.

Featuring next time round should be the following but as ever the playlist is subject to change:

Everybody Looks Famous
Falling Faster
The Slow Readers Club
Jody Has a Hitlist
James Vincent McMarrow
Nick Burbridge
Gypsy Fire

Until then, peace to you all and thanks so much for listening and all the support!

As always thanks to Mark Blasco at podcastthemes for the intro theme tune. 

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