Tuesday, 2 October 2012


'Is it really time for another podcast already?' I hear you ask. Indeed, it is. I know. Zip zap zoom and it's 2020. Time features so heavily doesn't it? I actually had a dream a few nights ago where I met the last of the Timelords himself, The Doctor. Not just one of them however, no. In true Dr Who anniversary mode was I. Perhaps it was my own personal anniversary of when I came to the good Doctor but I can't recall any specific date to be honest. Anyway, Doctors #10 and #11 had a right old bicker and laugh between them, as you may expect if you've seen any of the previous multi-Doctor stories from the classic series. #10 was cracking me up with his incredible sense of humour. I do hope those involved do something truly special for the big anniversary next November. I'm thinking a full on two hour extravaganza. They can even satisfy their wishes of making a movie of the show only with it just being a proper for TV movie. Like an episode just outside of the main series itself.

Anywho, I am digressing. This is not a Doctor Who blog, nor a TV blog exactly. And this certainly isn't the post for it. My trademark waffles though. You know what to expect by now. On a side note I do want to work on an article about music in television. More so the great bands and music featured on many of the US dramas. I won't focus exclusively on US shows of course but thanks to many of them I have come to some amazing acts over the years. Programmes such as Smallville, The Vampire Diaries and the like. Lots more but I'll save waffling on about them until the actual post itself.

I do however, feel like having a jolly good rant about the state of trying to get Mumford and Sons tickets for their gig in Birmingham, UK this December. What a joke! It's not their own fault so I don't aim any of the rant in their direction. It is so sad when the mass media and mainstream jump on a band so great as Mumford and Sons though, because it means real time real music fans like myself (I have my flaws, I don't deny that) can hardly get a look in. I count myself very lucky I was selected to win the iTunes tickets for their gig at the 2010 iTunes festival. Had it not been for that I would still be waiting for my first time. Alas, it seems I must wait a lot longer unless I want to pay the extortionate prices the ticket touts and profiteering people are now charging. Anyway, to console myself I went ahead and bought some tickets for Sigur Ros next March. They too, were selling fast and all their three London dates were sold out by the time I could get mine. Nevertheless, I am satisfied I have my tickets for what will be an awesome gig! Back to Mumford, Babel is rather damn good isn't it?

I also have Band of Horses to come next month but not before I've been to about four gigs (at least) this month. Starting next Monday with Luke Jackson in Rugby, followed by Dry The River in Cambridge the week after. Then comes Blair Dunlop in Milton Keynes on 21st before ending the month with Gilmore & Roberts in Wellingborough. Somewhat quite a busy month but I'm loving it. I also have a The Scholars gig to fit into the schedule either this month or next. Or even both because to be fair that would be mighty fine! I shall get what reviews up I can although with all the other stuff they will probably be on the briefer side than you're used to from me. I heard those cheers from you at the back. Ssshh! I also received invites today for a special Bellowhead gig on 15th October and for their album launch show at the Water Rats on 17th October. Both these are in London of course which means I will not be able to make it. I'm really stoked I've been asked though and if I could work either of them into my schedule I so would. Again, please any potential sponsors or employers do contact me if you'd like to offer me a job doing this professionally and I will cover such events for you.

I shall now sush a while and get on with this blogcast! Just one more thing before I do crack on - please slap me hard for not having ever downloaded Firefox before now. It is so good!

The Playlist:
You may have noticed I've tweeted about these guys and featured them on the blog for the last few podcasts. It is with great pleasure I've now been able to play them on the actual show. It took an age to decide upon the two tracks in the end. I honestly love them all, even the covers they have produced are amazing. Not least and one that must be singled out as astounding is a cover of Stevie Nicks' Landslide. Ed's vocals are a joy to listen to on all songs but with Landslide it's like he takes it up to an even higher notch. There's a real gentle vulnerability. Similarly with a cover of the Avett Brothers' song Souls Like Wheels, the serenity of the way he sings this one evoke such a huge and deep emotional response I would honestly admit to the fact this guy could probably make me cry with his voice. You may well mock me with cries of, 'You wuss!' and the like but you know what? I really don't care. I am happy to have come to Pawns or Kings for their quality music, their amazing attitude to life (and the music) and to be able to bring out such emotion in me means these guys are damn good. Prepare to see and hear lots more about them because they need help with promotion and spreading the word. I'll hopefully be able to help somewhat, however small.

I have also made no secret that the first song I played, Come To Pass (in Time) has easily made it into my top few favourite songs of all time, ever! There's no replacing those kinds of songs. It is rare to add to them too. Particularly being such a big music fan and now as heavily involved with music as I'm becoming you can't just keep adding to that list. So, okay there is no real actual physical list. Even so, the songs exist as top all time favourites that will never move and ones without which life would be a barren wasteland (seriously!). An original song from their Letters To Lucy EP, the lyrics were written by Ed to a guitar progression Ben was messing around with. It is about coming to terms with your lot in life and fighting for your virtue (from the YouTube page). The inclusion of the penny whistle (played by Ed) was such an inspired choice too as it provides something serenely beautiful yet simultaneously haunting.

The guys are currently reworking on the Pomme de Terre EP that may well develop into a full album. I do hope so because I could sit and listen to Pawns or Kings all day everyday. This could mean I get the sack from my day job but with these songs playing in my ears that would so be worth it. I would crack on and get living the #folklife instead. Chopping down trees for the fire, that sort of thing. I seriously need to go live out there. Or a holiday, at least. I honestly doubt I would return though. The band are playing a gig as part of a Battle of the Bands type competition at the Jumpin' Jupiter Theater in St Louis, Missouri on Friday 19th October. I am working tirelessly on my teleportation device but I suspect I will not be able to make it over for the gig. If I had the money I would so be there. 

If you enjoy their music please do share and spread the word for them because they deserve a break to come their way. I will be featuring an article and interview with Pawns or Kings in a few weeks time.

The Scholars NEW SINGLE Wired - OUT MON 8th OCT!
If you have been paying attention you'll know how much I'm enjoying the music from this band at present. Well I say at present but I believe it is approaching about a year ago when I was first introduced to their tunes. I want an album from them but I'm being selfish and greedy because I just want as many new songs from The Scholars as possible. I make no apologies for featuring bands and artists more than once because when they are producing music of such high quality as this, they need to be shared and heard. 

Indeed, this is the third time I've played them on the podcast but this time with their BRAND NEW SINGLE, Wired. Released on Monday 8th October, Wired will be available as a FREE download so make sure you head to their Facebook page >>here<< and hit the 'like' button if you haven't already done so. You'll then get all  the updates of all things The Scholars. Be sure to get there from next Monday and grab your  download. This is top quality music and it is FREE. I do love to direct you to such freebies so make the most of them. Also please leave your feedback and get in contact with the band. I also highly recommend their first EP, Arrival/Departure which you can purchase via iTunes by visiting >>here<<.

I shall keep this briefer than usual but only because I have an interview with band to publish in a few days (which is now >>here<<). The guys kindly answered a barrage of questions I sent their way for which I will be eternally grateful. It is my first ever band interview so I hope I have done them justice. Here is a little snippet with regards what Adrian had to say about the new release:
Explain what Wired, is about?
Adrian: Lyrics I write about are normally based on a personal experience or an onlookers view to a situation. I try to, on the most part get away from telling the listener what I'm thinking and instead provide them with a story or an idea that they can make fit into their world. It always pleases me when people explain their idea of a song I've written even if it's not what I've envisaged. its boring to be told what to think, right? Wired is about how someone gets under your skin and knows how to push your buttons. “You know how I’m wired” refers to the fact that everyone feels in control but when someone can control you – just how hard it is to escape them and the effect they have on your life..
I will include the forthcoming gig dates on the interview post and they are up on the band's Facebook page but FYI they are as follows (please get along and support this electrifying band) :

Banbury Folk Festival - 12th October
Oxjam, Purple Turtle, Oxford - 13th October
AKA, Banbury - 26th October (Free Entry)
The Bell, Adderbury - 3rd November
The End, Birmingham - 23rd November
Winter Warmer, Fat Lil's, Whitney - 16th December

Danny Burns
This singer-songwriter from Belfast shows some real top talent with so many of his own original songs. Not least with Cocaine Avenue, the song I played on the podcast but the latest one he has up on his Soundcloud page, which I urge you to visit >>here<< . This is one that not only resonates with my personal obsession with time and time travel but it strikes so closely to something everyone takes for granted. The message is stop procrastinating! We are all born procrastinators, I believe but there are those able to just shake it off and get on with moving forward. For the rest of us, we put things off. Tomorrow, we'll say, or even next week. Then a year passes and opportunities pass by which we later look back on with deep regret. That's when Danny's Time Machine springs to life because who here, of any of us (okay there may be a few of you, but I'm betting it is only a few), wouldn't relish the opportunity to step back in time and kick our own arses into gear? Make sure you follow Danny on Twitter @dannyburns4 because he's a sound chap and you can better keep up with the latest tunes he pops up on Soundcloud.

Tom Smith
Also from across the narrow sea. Ooh, a bit of a Game of Thrones tribute there. The Irish Sea is a rather narrow one, compared with many others. Anyway, I digress and that will not do when writing about such awesomeness as Tom Smith, a singer-songwriter from Dublin. I mentioned him in a blogcast as soon as I'd heard just a little bit of his work because I couldn't contain my enthusiasm for his thought provoking, emotive yet delicate music. I even included the song I played on the podcast, Mr Carroll a few posts ago because it contains such quality it gives me goosebumps. We all know that goosebump-inducing songs have something that rustles us within. Something that leaps from the earphones or speakers and enshrines us with a musical mist. I love it when that happens. The music, the artist, the writing, the everything is connecting so directly - it is always something amazing. In addition to his stellar original efforts, his cover of The Beach Boys' God Only Knows is equally captivating.

Tom Forbes 
Listening to Tom sing Sleeping With The Stars you would be forgiven for thinking you were hearing someone in their mid to late twenties. He doesn't necessarily sound older but there is a maturity to the song and the music that belies how young he actually is. I mentioned in the podcast that young guys like Tom, who possess so much talent and use it wisely by directing it into producing such impressive end results as this - they are the kind of future the music industry so desperately needs. All the music I feature is, I suppose. It's not all going to be everyone's cup of tea (or coffee/juice/beer etc...delete as appropriate) but it is pretty much all independent and needs to be shared out there. It needs listeners and supporters. Which is the chief reason you need to get yourself along to a night at the O2 Academy 3 in Birmingham on Wednesday 24th October for Tom's own headline gig. There will be some amazing support artists before Tom takes the stage to close the show including Kid Conventional, as mentioned previously. Visit either (or both, as I think you should sample the music from both these wonderful chaps) Tom's Facebook page >>here<< or Kid Conventional's Facebook page >>here<< for more details about getting tickets and for all updates on what each is up to regards their music. You will also be able to hear more songs from Tom of course, which after the phenomenal Sleeping With The Stars is what I am craving.

Julie Lamb

Julie Lamb well and truly snook up on this playlist. She tweeted me a link to her song Undone which really caught my attention. There's something infectious about the sound on offer here. Something that got me wanting to hear more. Listening to more tunes I have not been disappointed with the likes of Trippin The Light Fantastic seeming to marry together so many styles I've enjoyed over the years. There's a bluesy soul there with a little bit of jazz too (*does jazz hands* - no really you can take out a contract if you see me do jazz hands in public, I quite understand). What I love about Julie is the variety as well because whereas Trippin The Light is a gentle(ish) bluesy affair, she leaps into a more rockier sound with Time Flies. Awesome stuff and I look forward to hearing more in the future. She is most definitely worth you checking out. You can grab a copy of the album Trippin' The Light from Julie's bandcamp page >>here<<.

Ben Glover
I first came to Ben Glover's music after receiving his latest album, Do We Burn The Boats, to review for Fatea magazine. It was a complete listening pleasure as you can no doubt tell from the review that followed (click >>here<<). Likened to a rising Ryan Adams via David Gray even up to The Boss man himself, Bruce Springsteen. Ben is a hard working chap indeed from the far green musical country of Prolificia (ok, that was lame, I admit). Ben is on the prolific train, bus and even the aeroplane too producing an ever increasing quality album after album. Do We Burn The Boats is his fourth full release but be sure to check out his back catalogue for the previous efforts because they are well worthy of your time.

Thanks to the delivery of said back catalogue, I stuck Before the Birds in the car stereo the day they arrived as I was travelling up to Birmingham to visit the folks. It is testament to how good I find this album that it is still in the car to this day. Naturally, I'll need to change it at some point as I have so many that I need to either try out or that I'd like to have as my driving soundtrack but even so to have lasted this long in the car means Mr Glover has done something very right indeed.

I believe there is a headline tour pencilled in for around Spring next year although this hasn't yet been finalised. In the meantime, as well as hopping between Nashville and Belfast and working on the next record Ben is heading out on tour supporting the sensational Mary Gauthier. He has co-written with Mary on more than one occasion - most recently with the wonderful Rampart Street - and has supported her on tour before. The dates are below and I know I say this often but I kick myself daily - actually, more than daily (thrice daily and in the shins too *ouch*) - that I will not be able to make it to the show at Bush Hall in London. It sucks I cannot go! I need them there sponsors or music companies of whatever kind to offer me a job so I may be able to do so more easily.

To keep me satisfied for the moment there is the video above, filmed in Glasgow last May (2011) featuring Mary with Ben and the delightful Tania Elizabeth (on violin and vocals). Then I'm reminded that this is the very kind of thing I will be missing and I have to kick myself some more! I currently have Mary's latest album Live At Blue Rock (iTunes link >>here<<) to review which I need to get a move on with considering it was released today (Monday 1st October). It is a stunning record, I will say here, in brief with Last Of The Hobo Kings being my favourite track of all. The whole lot of them are bursting with quality, however. Get yourself to one of these forthcoming gigs and see what Ben Glover has to offer in a live show. It is something very special. Mary too, will completely blow you away with her performance. You will smell the Mid West as you're transported to other times and places. Pure musical gold!

Perry Hood
Since his first appearance on podcast #6, I've been far too quiet about just how amazing Perry Hood is. I have tweeted here and there, yes but there needs to be much more. More sharing, more listeners, more fans and most definitely more likes on his Facebook page. Get clicking please folks! Don't just do it because I say so though. Check out his music and I have little doubt you'll be hitting that 'like' button. If you're not a Facebook fan, (there are many of you, I know) but you like what you hear then you can still show your appreciation by visiting his bandcamp page directly and grabbing yourself his latest EP, Lost. The title track is the one I played and I was lucky enough to hear this quite a while ago. It really bowled me over. What a range and versatility to that voice. Perry has a quality to his vocals far beyond so many established singer-songwriters, in my opinion. Then there's the quality he demonstrates with playing the guitar. Finished nicely with engaging, thoughtful and emotive lyrics. He certainly has the whole package leaving me with no doubts about where his future is heading. The direction is onwards and upwards. 

Currently hard at work on the next record with a backing band to elevate the sound, we are in for something bigger and somewhat quite special, with the results of that. I already need more from this guy but I need to leave him alone to be able to get on with it and produce what I think will be one of my personal albums of the year. Watch this space for more news on that record as it comes. If you don't yet have the first EP, Ropes make sure you rectify this folly immediately by downloading it while you're at the bandcamp page. If you don't then my cat will come and beat you up. She's not just any old cat either. She's a ninja. You have been warned. Go! Get some top tunes! I am itching to see Perry live and hope I won't have to wait too much longer.


I have no idea what the above title is about. On An On we go though leading me right into the first of my extra bits. I will however, attempt to be briefer than the last couple of blogcasts otherwise I'll still be here come next weekend.

Syd Arthur - NEW SINGLE - Dorothy - Out November 12th
On An On is the title of the debut album from this wondrous psychedelic band from Canterbury. It totally passed me by when I reviewed the album (read that >>here<< and then go buy it please :-) that band member Raven Bush is nephew to the Kate Bush. On An On is a stunning debut showcasing an ability these guys have for immersing listeners fully into a complete transcendental musical experience. The latest single they're releasing is Dorothy

As with the album, this single was self-recorded at home and is being released on the band's very own record label, Dawn Chorus. Syd Arthur are independent in all senses of the word. They have worked hard to get to where they are today and they are taking the music world by storm. Drawing comparisons to the likes of Soft Machine, Caravan but also with contemporaries such as Wolf People and Tampa Impala. I went as far as comparing their closing track Paradise Lost to what I think sounds on the east side of Led Zeppelin. I don't think there is any other band out there like Syd Arhtur though, to be quite honest. I speak (write) of originality with many of the acts I feature or review but with these guys, originality is taken to a whole new level. And yet they capture the right amount of elements from the past like the late 60's, early 70's  psychedelia scenes. A masterpiece, in sum. I made the last podcast a streaming special just so I was able to play Paradise Lost.

With its ethereal and calm intro, Dorothy soon has you sucked into its own electric atmosphere as Liam Magill begins lamenting on the swift passage of our lives before the poetic lyrics hit on some further, deeper existential musings. For all the relative calmness there is chance for the eccentricity to shine as the song progresses. The keys swirl with an effortless grandeur producing sounds that wrap themselves around you to hold you in place while others are free to tease and entice. I think if you wait for the single you will certainly be wanting to hear more after it which will encourage you to go buy the critically acclaimed On An On.  

Forthcoming Live Dates:
The Blind Tiger Club, Brighton - 31st October
Communion Present at Wilmington Arms, London - 1st November
Old Road Tavern, Chippenham - 2nd November
Augustine Hall, Canterbury - 3rd November
Louisiana, Bristol - 5th November
Firebug, Leicester - 6th November

Praise for debut album On An On (July 2012)

'Dorothy begins with a calmative wash of heat-have guitars, then cedes to a lazy, joined at the hip groove that's a small marvel of poise and subtlety.... Enchanting'

‘Dizzyingly intricate… they bristle with energy and ideas’

‘Strong compositional ideas… a careering piece’

‘Absurdly talented’

‘Syd Arthur are sons and heirs of those Canterbury musicians who did sometimes whimsical, sometimes intense things with psychedelic and progressive rock’
The Guardian.co.uk 


Flight Brigade

I saw these guys perform at Bakewell Music Festival in August (I know, still no review. If you can catch me feel free to punish but I need to get on with these things. Review will come, I promise). They played an awesome live set and as a relatively young band they show expert musicianship with a timing that flows effortlessly. Check out this video for Creature which has a unique story about its own conception. You can read more on that at the website >>here<<.

Luke Jackson 
Following the release of his full debut album More Than Boys on 13th August, young Master Luke has not slowed down one bit. Continuing in his true prolific style he's been gigging it up massive as well as penning more original songs of his very own to add to the smashing collection recorded for the album. I mention him again here because I'm excited about next Monday's (8th October) headline gig Luke is doing in Rugby, Warwickshire. You can get tickets >>here<< but if you can't make that one as you are elsewhere in the UK then keep posted on all of Luke's gigs via his >>website<<. At the end of October through November, Luke is supporting the great Martyn Joseph on a UK wide tour.

This latest original song, Mary May is every bit as poignant and emotive as what has come before but each and every time Luke astounds me with his ability to really hit home the message through the music and lyrics he has written. I am super busy as you know (I do keep on about it, but it's true) but I will get together a quick review of next Monday's gig to post on the blog.

Eric Unseen 
If you still haven't yet seen Eric Unseen what the heck is wrong with you people? This 4 piece indie rock band from South Wales will rock your head off. Just watch this video of their song Missing and you'll see what I mean. What a phenomenal sound they have. I want more. I need more. Their EP Meat & Razorblades is available via >>iTunes<< and while it doesn't feature this kick ass track, Missing, there are four equally worthy and amazing songs for you to relish. These should satisfy you while we await the next release.

First Things First
Having played Let The Good Times Roll, Kid from First Things First way back on podcast #2 it is about time they got another mention. They released a brand new single on 4th September called We All Fall Down which you can preview and purchase via >>iTunes<<. The lyrics video is also below for your listening pleasure. To me, these guys from Philadelphia capture everything that contemporary pop rock should be doing right now.

There's also the official video for Love Is For The_____. Yes, this is the official video as opposed to the unofficial video which the guys are currently on an epic road trip to save it falling into the hands of......no, wait. That was a movie wasn't it? I may have got my wires crossed, apologies. Not hard though because the sound of First Things First is reminiscent of the types of songs used on many US television shows like I mentioned at the beginning of this post. Such music from these kinds of bands is also used in films, and predominantly those with a young adult audience as the target. I wouldn't be surprised if we don't hear something from these guys appear in something at some point and I hope we do because it will give them some great exposure to a wider audience.

On an On The Road
I'm going to ignore the negative reviews I've read about the forthcoming release of the On The Road movie. Based on a book from one of my favourite authors, Jack Kerouac, I will wait to see it for myself before passing judgement. After its premiere at Cannes Film Festival, it hasn't received all bad reviews, with some being quite positive but there seem to be many niggles about it and some of the performances. It has been many years in the making having been through many changes and alterations. There have been multiple projects to bring the book to the screen. With Francis Ford Coppola on board and heavily involved I have to say I'm not worried overmuch about what it will turn out to be like. I first read the book in May 2001 as I embarked upon a little trip all by myself. It wasn't exactly a road trip across the country but I did hop over to Massachusetts and travel the length of Cape Cod after passing through Boston. It was an amazing experience. I recall walking almost ten miles up Route 6 from Eastham (my main camp) to Welfleet on one blisteringly sunny day. By the time I reached Welfleet I was almost a pool of Rob, having been melted. The tunes I had playing at the time included many a Bob Dylan track. I then read it again in 2010 as I set off on a two week road trip around the southwest and south coast, starting with the Beautiful Days festival in Devon. I've read several other of Kerouac's books, my favourite being The Dharma Bums. I have a huge pile to read but I'm making Big Sur one of my next ones for sure. I will write more about the movie and the books after I've seen it.

Time for a Celebration Day
'And if you listen very hard....' as Robert Plant sings on one of Led Zeppelin's most famous songs, Stairway to Heaven. And yes, if you listen very hard you may be able to still hear the echoes of my shouts, screams and squees (seriously, squee is a word used as slang these days) from late November 2007 when I was selected from the 20 million applicants worldwide (yes 20 fucking million - apologies for the profanity but OMFG 20 million people) to attend. Sure my seat was so far away I needed binoculars to see the band with my own eyes (well, technically via the binocules - yes I know but I prefer to call them binocules) but so what? It was worth every single hard earned penny. I would spend it again although as huge a fan of Zep as I am I'm not crazy for any kind of reunion tour. I think this one off gig was enough and was at the right time. Now we finally have the DVD. I was there yes and the DVD won't be the same as being there that cold December night but it is the next best thing. I just watched the trailer for it and moments later I still have goosebumps. In fact, I will likely be having goosebump attacks all night long.

Anyone who knows anything about me at all will know Led Zeppelin, for me are the ultimate top best favourite bestest bestest best band of all time. There are no exceptions and no one has ever come near to pipping them from that post. Well, I say near but some are close to be fair to them. Don't get me wrong here either. My eyes are not covered (nor are my ears) from the fact they had their own fair share of duff tunes on albums, some not exactly great albums too. And there are a few reunion gigs that some of the surviving members participated in that should most definitely be left in the past. BUT and it is not a huge BUT, it is just a genuine BUT. BUT when they were on fire, they heated up the universe for an eternity. For all eternities in all possible worlds across the Multiverse. As a group of four musicians and musical aritsts the way they had the ability to come together and just play with the energy they did, is what truly captivates me still to this day.

Another BUT, this time for me. BUT I will leave it there for now because otherwise I really will be here until 2020 rambling on about all things Zep. I'll be hoping to get a front row seat at the cinema for this in a couple of week's time. I do believe it is time to do the stroll!

And finally....
I just want to leave by posting the full length video for the Mouth of Ghosts first single. Covered on the previous blogcast, you'll be aware When the Sun Sets is released at the end of this month. Make sure you get on this and support them. The song has been getting continuous play on BBC6 Music as well as gathering up a long trail of great reviews. These are certainly a band to watch out for with great things in store for 2013.

As always, thanks so much for your time and attention. I really hope I've bought you something good again this time round. I'm already working on the next podcast although with a weekend to see the family coming up it may be delayed by another week getting it produced. Working hard as always so I will get it done as soon as I possibly can. If anyone ever wants to offer any contributions to the blogcast or suggestions for the podcast please do get in touch. Please accept my humblest of apologies if I've missed out some great acts but there just is never enough time or space (there they are again, the tricksy little things, now where did I leave that TARDIS?). I do frequently compile a million lists so everyone I've come into contact with is on one of those and in various other places for me to remember to check out more and include you somewhere. I will get round to it.

Also a huge thanks to The Scholars for the interview, the post for which I will be working on immediately after this is published. I hope to have that next post published tomorrow night, at best but no later than Thursday evening. In plenty of time for the release of the amazing Wired next Monday 8th October.

Until next time then peoples and tweeples, peace to you all!

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