Thursday, 30 August 2012

PRESS RELEASE: The Young’uns – When Our Grandfather’s Said No



Right, moving swiftly on from the last podcast then. Although, actually no let's not move on too swiftly, I wouldn't want to cause any motion sickness now. If you haven't had yourself a listen yet then check it out via the sexy little menu to your right. Technically it is on the left of the screen but as you should all be facing your monitors or laptop screens then it will be to your right. Oh let's not get too pedantic. It can be a little fun at times of course but we just dooonae have the time at present. 'It's life, Jim..but not as we know it!' Jeez, you can see it gets a bit loud in my head sometimes. All this music helps. 

The chief reason for this quick post is another fantabulous press release from my friends over at Prescription PR. If I'd have managed to get Band of Badgers Presents #7 out a little earlier I would probably have been able to write up a Wob's Wednesday Waffle #2 but alas that will now have to wait until next week. Something to look forward to for you all. What will I find to rant about next time round? Oh there is plenty of stuff, believe me. I will try and maintain a degree of restraint, for the most part. Last time I had planned to include more music which is why I ended up packing so much into the blogcast that accompanied that last podcast. I believe that was the longest one so far. I'm not apologising although given time is such a bitch to us all (well, to most of us - yes I'm pointing the finger at you lazy student. No, that is a lie. I'm just jealous you are students because it was part of the best time of my life to be fair but I'm digressing so let's not visit my past. Not just yet anyway), I will try and keep future blogcasts a little shorter than that. There was just so much to get packed in to be fair and it still so much out.

Lightfire
I am rectifying the situation briefly by a big mention for Cannock-based band, Lightfire. These guys are a 5 piece progressive rock band and as they're from my very own neck of the woods up in the Midlands (UK) I want them to get signed up! I have only heard the three tunes they have up at their website and which I have included below for you to check out. These three are enough to demonstrate the huge talent they have. I am repeating myself there as I'm pretty sure I wrote the same when I featured their song Through You in podcast #5. It feels like much longer ago I played them but then time is just a weirdo.


Anyway, their music gets me going. It pushes all the right buttons with just the right amount of heavy without being too much. Not that too much heavy is necessarily a bad thing. Bring on too much heavy I say. I have little doubt Lightfire have it in them and their gigs will be amazing!! I like this kind of heavy though. It's melodic and tuneful. You can show your support for the mighty Lightfire by visiting their store >>here<<. Last day of the month tomorrow means it is payday for most of us so why not treat yourself to a little merch and if nothing else parting with just 1 little tiny of your English pounds will buy you these three delicious tracks. Do it!


It is fairly late notice but the guys are headlining a gig at The Flapper in Birmingham City Centre tomorrow. Read about the details right >>here<< AND do get along to support them. Especially if you are a local music fan. If I still lived near my home city I would be there for sure. This is where having that TARDIS would so come in handy. I will be catching them live soon. I will make it so and arrange a visit up to coincide with a future gig. It is actually a crime I have not yet been to a gig at The Flapper. Again, I am working on rectifying these dire situations.



TO THE PRESS RELEASE, ROBIN!

On to the Press Release then, which takes us across the deep and wide musical ocean to a totally different continent. To one with no less talent however as we beach the boat upon beautiful white sand shores and traverse the diverse landscapes up into Folksville. If you are a regular reader (and/or listener to the podcast) you will know how much I love great vocal harmonies, and this traditional folk band trio have some perfect ones to admire. What I've enjoyed personally about When Our Grandfather's Said No is that although it is very much steeped in traditional, it sounds fresh and contemporary nonetheless. This gives the album a great feel and one that should endear fans of wider genres of music to their work.

With a producer as skilled as Megson's Stu Hanna, The Young'uns are in perfect hands and set to take the UK folk scene by storm with this release of their fourth album.

The Young’uns – When Our Grandfather’s Said No

(Produced by Stu Hanna)

Navigator Records

Distributed in the UK by Proper Music Distribution

September 10th 2012

After bursting onto the folk scene 3 years ago, The Young’uns have fast become one of the most popular, entertaining and sought after live acts today. Hailing from the north east, the Hartlepool trio ooze  bags of charm, talent, and an abiding enthusiasm for traditional song. Sean Cooney, David Eagle and Michael Hughes bring freshness and dynamism to their arrangements of close harmony songs, both with and without accompaniment. Everything from traditional sea and working songs to more recent compositions is present in their repertoire, and is delivered with originality and flair. They are effortlessly entertaining, with an irreverent sense of humour that engages every audience they have ever performed for.

“When Our Grandfathers Said No” is their fourth album – and expected to launch them well and truly onto centre stage of the UK folk scene – under the watchful eye of  producer, Stu Hanna (Megson) – the  guys serve up an irresistible plate of traditional song and close harmony singing – backed on occasions by guitar, piano and accordion.

In  2012, they joined top names such as Bellowhead, Bella Hardy and Lau and signed for Navigator Records in London, and have just returned from, what could only be described as “triumphant” performance at this year’s Cambridge Folk Festival – “buzz” bands – do by their nature – attract an audience – The Young’uns were “buzzing” this weekend – and will continue to as their brand new album reaches parts and people that others have not as yet, done – as well as their substantial existing loyal fan base, as they continue to tirelessly tour – leaving NO ONE disappointed along the way.

Michael Hughes is a secondary school teacher. He and Sean grew up together and first started singing at The Stockton Folk Club. He found the experience of communal singing utterly inspiring, and still loves nothing more than a pub / festival sing-around with everyone joining in. Michael plays guitar in The Young’uns.

Sean Cooney – when not performing with The Young’uns – is a community artist, who has managed a number of projects with various local schools in Hartlepool. A history graduate, his projects focus on the heritage of the region, incorporating its stories, legends and historical events, many of which inspire his songs. His songs have received an abundance of praise.

David Eagle is a freelance producer, writer, presenter and voice-over artist. Introduced to Sean and Michael by a mutual friend they were quick to recognise their collective passion for harmony singing. David produced The Young’uns first two albums and plays keyboards and piano accordion.

“When Our Grandfathers Said No” is released on Navigator Records in the UK on
10 September 2012.

LIVE Dates

11th/12th August Dartmoor Folk Festival
19th August Hitchin Folk Club
24-26th August Dinslaken Festival, Germany
1st September Sedgefield Folk Festival
2nd September Fylde Folk Festival
8th September Private Party, Northampton
22nd September The Globe Inn, Glossop - Workshop at 4pm & Concert at 8pm
29th September The Sage, Gateshead
21st October Trafalgar Dinner - Private
26th October Crystal Folk Club
27th October Abingdon Guildhall
28th October The Ring O Bells, Warrington
2nd November Guildford Music Institute
3rd November The Louisiana, Bristol
15th December Newhampton Folk Club


Get The Prescription, our free guide to music promotion. Packed full of handy tips and advice about music promo, you can subscribe for free at  http://www.prescriptionmusicpruk.com/the-prescription/


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

BAND OF BADGERS PRESENTS #7



OR SUBSCRIBE VIA iTunes BY CLICKING >>HERE<<

Bonjour. Salut! Allo! Allo! Fear not, this episode is not going to be in French. As cool as that would be I don't have anywhere near the kind of language skills that would require. It was fun speaking French when passing through Paris last year on the way to Rome, however. I think I managed considerably well given the only use of the language I seem to make these days is during some office banter at work. Maybe in the future then (just kidding). This episode of the podcast I've reserved for a revisit to a number of bands and artists who I've played on previous occasions. I know I've played others twice already and I'll continue to play others from time to time as well. More than twice in fact. Take the likes of Sam Beeton. I'm surprised this is only his second appearance because like I mention in the show I purchased the amazing deluxe 2 CD album of season 1 of his Record Club, which you can buy >>here<<. Therefore, I could play several podcasts made up just from Sam's tremendous tunes. And I would but it would of course be unfair to the so many others I also want to share. I just wanted to do this one special show as a nod and thank you to all for letting me play their fantastic music on Band of Badgers Presents.

A huge thank you to US indie author of Joe Vampire, Steven Luna who has written some very kind things about me as a prelude to an interview he has featured me in on his blog. You can read me waffling on >>here<< and make sure you check out the other interviewees Steven is featuring as part of his Reader Spotlight series. I also thank Steven for his support in promoting Band of Badgers Presents and all my music endeavours. Read my review of Joe Vampire >>here<< and get your copy. It is out in hard copy now too so there's no excuses for those of you without an e-reader or for those of you who just still prefer real physical books. Links are via the blog. The follow up to Joe Vampire is due out later this year, I believe and I have read it already so can advise you're in for another Joetastic treat. Thanks again Steven, for your support. Follow Steven on Twitter @JoeVampireBlog.

I must mention I'm yet to complete a write up of the Campervan proposal I put out there last time but I am on it. I have a bit more time before I think I need to be approaching potential sponsors. I am so going to go ahead with it because what do I have to lose? The worst thing they can all do is say no or not reply. It's one of those kinds of things where you need to keep on going with it. To keep running with it and so I plan to do just that. I finally found time to catch up with another hilarious episode of Flight of the Conchords recently. What made me laugh so hard I was almost in pain was the mention of a campervan gig they did. It was a sell out. With an audience capacity of one it was going to be of course. So funny! The guys then went on to play several gigs in a lift (elevator). I hope the tour Down Under is going well for the guys and really hope they head over to the UK next for some dates. I am just about half way through season 2 now so I have plenty of episodes left to keep me entertained. And then the radio show to follow. Also in that last episode I watched, their crazed demented obsessive and only fan, Mel, got her own song. I'll stop rambling on about it now anyway but I urge you to check it out if you haven't before. You can also hear their Bowie's in Space song in podcast #3. There so should be more shows like this on TV. It would make TV a much more interesting place.

Bakewell Music Festival was great. It was a really nice intimate and chilled out event. Any more laid back and I'd have been lying on a lilo floating on a swimming pool in the Bahamas, I think. Not a bad thing by any means. I'm currently finishing off part 2 of Truck Festival so once that's done and online I'll get right on to the Bakewell one because I have so much music from it I'd like to share I'm almost bursting to get on with it. I won those tickets as well so I'm doing pretty well so far this year.

I must mention briefly, Blue Ridge Mountains by Fleet Foxes came on my iPod shuffle for the walk home from work on Friday (that's right there was no jog this time - it was the end of the week and I was beat). It is amazing how it totally transformed the landscape. I was walking through greenery at the time near to the bank of the river Nene so it already wasn't too bad. This song however managed to raise mountains in the distance. It moved me somewhere else with considerable force. This is part of the beauty of music! 

The Playlist:
  1. Twenty Three - fiN
  2. Into the Sky - T. J. Courtney
  3. Shadow Kisses - Mutineers
  4. Three Words - Whitemoor
  5. Rain Down On You (Live) - Sam Beeton
  6. Less Is More (Live) - Angel Kelly 
  7. Butterfly - Andrew Page
  8. Tell Me - Aidan Logan
  9. Faults & Fears - Luke Jackson
  10. Back To The Sea - Under A Banner
  11. Lady of the Night - Winter Mountain
  12. Strength of Strings - The Dreaming Spires

Mutineers at Sound Control, Manchester
Friday 28th September.

The capacity for this venue is only 500 so this should be a really nice intimate gig for the Mutts but still of a decent size. Support comes from Amida, Bison & Wold and Andy James (acoustic) (no his name isn't Andy James Acoustic - seriously, people!). I am actually very tempted to move my whole life to Manchester or surrounding areas in order I can attend this to be perfectly honest. Mutineers are doing amazingly since the release of their sensational debut album, Friends, Lovers, Rivals. If you don't yet have this in your iTunes collection then I'd like to know why the heck not?? Get on it by clicking >>here<< because at the bargain price of £5.99 you'd be crazy not to. Then get on to this gig. Tickets cost just £7. Such great value for a Friday night of top quality true indie music. Tickets are selling fast so avoid disappointment and get yours right now by clicking >>here<<. If I do manage to move myself up there in time you may well see me about. Seriously though guys, let's get supporting such great local talent! You can also follow them on Twitter of course and I advise following @MikeyMutineer because he is one funny chap and will keep you well entertained.

Sam Beeton
Sam Beeton's Record Club just gets better and better! That isn't to say the long list of songs that came before what is now being offered are of any less quality. Indeed, the quality this young singer-songwriter puts out is so high it's a good job I don't suffer with vertigo. There have been 3 volumes in Season 2 so far. The latest offering is called The Night which you can sample below as well as watch a video Sam put up on his own website via YouTube. It shows him working hard on putting down the drums himself. So much talent! If you like what you hear don't forget you can join the Record Club at any point during the year. You will still receive all the songs that have been recorded and sent out up to that point. Much more from Sam to come in the future. In addition to checking out the below make sure you also take a look at the other amazing live acoustic videos Sam did for The Old Vinyl Factory Sessions. They are sublime!




Sam Beeton, Jeckyll and the man from The Old Vinyl Factory Sessions on Vimeo.

Angel Kelly
I cannot neglect to mention the track playing by Angel Kelly is available as a single via iTunes >>here<< so get clicking and buying. I'm eagerly awaiting the follow up EP to Angel Song which is sure to be another fantastic offering. Keep up to date via Angel's website and you can follow her on Twitter @AngelKellyB.


Andrew Page
Andrew Page seems to be one very busy chap I must say. Every couple of days recently he seems to be loading up a new video on YouTube. Be it a cover of some inspiring classic or one of his own fantastic tunes from debut album Open The Door, they always knock my socks off so to speak. Every time I've written or spoken about Mr Page I've made it crystal clear how desperate I am to see him perform and this need is thanks to the many videos of various performances, I have had the pleasure to watch. In fact, in light of all these amazing places he has played and is playing (on the sofa, rooftop, park bench) I wonder if he'd pop up and play in my front room?

He is appearing at Grendon Festival and while this is not too far away from me, it is unlikely I may be able to make it down that weekend. Unlikely is not impossible however so with a bit of added luck (come on luck, shine down on me) I may well end up down there and having this wish fulfilled. Andrew was kind enough to sign up as the first artist to play in one of my campervan live sessions next year. In spirit, I know, with nothing set just yet. But if it all does fall into place what a wonderful kind of gig it could make. Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrewpagemusic.


Aidan Logan
Aidan's most recent gig was at Auntie Annies in Belfast last Thursday. He has kindly offered to chip in for my own personal helicopter so I can get over for the next gig. In which case I can probably make the Mutineers gig on 28th September too. Without the upheaval of moving all my stuff and life up to Manchester. I guess it is bad for my carbon footprint, however. Fear not though as Aidan is also working on a teleportation device I can use instead. Although to be fair I wouldn't want this scientific project to interfere with the recording of his album, which I believe is entering its final phase. Exciting. I cannot wait to hear more of this guy's songs. The album is set to be quality and definitely one for the collection. Follow Aidan on Twitter @AidanLogan.

Under A Banner
The website describes them perfectly as an intense and powerful alternative/acoustic rock band with an impassioned core of two musicians. Adam Broadhurst on vocals, all guitars, keyboards, harmonica and the mighty writer of such wonderful lyrics. Jonathan Millington plays drums, percussion and cajon. 
The whole ethos to these guys is one that encourages the value of the worthy but so far as music being about human nature and experience as opposed to the hollow tosh current pop music seems to be. Perhaps some music has always been such tosh (thinking back to the 80's PWL era, here but people still buy this stuff so the debate can go many ways I suppose)? For some proper well written, powerful and emotive songs make sure you visit Under A Banner's website where you'll find all kinds of links. 



Also keep up to date with them via Twitter @underabanner where I am certain Adam will be tweeting about the release of the album! It is going to  be a corker!


A Tribute to Nebraska - 30 years on.... at:

The Slaughtered Lamb in London - Sunday 30th September.

At the time this blogcast is published there may well not be any tickets left for this amazing event. I am gutted beyond belief that I will not be able to make it down for it. It is just because it is in London (as perfect a place for such an event as that is) and the cost to get down on the Sunday is too expensive to a poor moi. We have our unfit for purpose rail networks (well most of them anyway) to thank for that. Oh and of course the incompetence of the Government on the other hand too. Then there is the added fact I have work on the Monday morning. Tristan Tipping from Clubhouse Records did say he'd spoken to the bosses where I work so they knew to expect me in late that Monday nursing a hangover but I'm doubtful they would be so accommodating. Appreciate your efforts though, thanks mate. Gutted beyond belief like I said (typed?).

The event is being run by Clubhouse RecordsArkster Promotions and friends who are all coming together '...to celebrate one of Bruce Springsteen's most enduring records, Nebraska, 30 years to the day after its original release'.

It runs from 19:30 to 23:00 and performing on the night will be:

Danny George Wilson // Case Hardin // Jack Day // Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou (more from these guys below) // The Redlands Palomino Company // The Dreaming Spires // The Hi & Lo // The Cedars // The Arlenes // Mad Staring Eyes and more....

It is set to be something truly special so grab one of the final remaining tickets (8 at time of writing this) because at just £6 per ticket what is the excuse for not going along? I mean for those of you in and around London or who have the ability to get there. Sadly, that is not my case at present. *cries* Click >>here<< for tickets.

I caught the tail end of Hi & Lo's set at Truck Festival a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it. I wish I'd have made it earlier for the whole thing but I have no doubt I will be seeing them play at some point over the next few months and if not then next year for sure.

Get listening to the below too. This is currently a FREE EP, The Proud Surrender from Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou recorded on a 4-track cassette in a barn in rebel country, the Pay De La Loire, France. Songs are taken from their forthcoming album La Femme De Fontenaille due for release on 5th November. You can pre-order this now should you wish by clicking >>here<<.



More Chess Anyone?

Well if more chess means more music from US indie folk band Pawns or Kings then yes please. I will have as much chess as I can possibly manage. And then I'll have some more. Not that I'm greedy. Okay, when it comes to music this great then yes I can be very greedy but that's the whole point, surely? After writing on the blogcast how I 'fell in love' with their music when listening for the first few times I looked back thinking, was that really the right kind of thing to say. Many many repeated listens later I totally stand by it. In particular, the song embedded on the last blogcast, Come To Pass gets me every time. It is so beautiful, so emotive and so....well, perfect, in my eyes. It has something. It has THE something, which excites me for what is to come from this bunch of guys from the American mid-west. 

I have been exchanging messages with Ed from the band regards music including the Avett Brothers, who's album 4 Thieves, I did already have but hadn't listened to at that point. After seeing a cover Ed put up on YouTube I checked out the album and loved it so I will be looking more into the Avett Brothers soon as I get chance. In addition to this, he pointed me in the direction of Matthew and the Atlas, a London-based UK folk band. Ironic that it took this message exchange with an American musician for me to be introduced to a UK band that are based just over an hour's drive down the road. I'm very grateful for the recommendations though, thanks Ed.

When checking out the videos Pawns or Kings have on offer up at YouTube I stumbled across a few covers as well. The guys have their new EP, Pomme de Terre, due out imminently and I was sent an MP3 of one of the tracks, Names and Maps which is outstanding. The guys actually filmed them recording it as part of their popular Silo Sessions and you can watch that video below. At first I thought the name of the EP was just something to do with France or the french language but I am informed it comes from the Pomme de Terre river. Oh to live amongst the magical lands of the Ozarks. It sounds like my kind of place with some amazing people to boot. Right, I think my plans of relocating to Manchester and Ludlow to take in gigs will need revision. I am moving to the Ozarks. End of discussion. *checks flights* It is certainly a place now added to my long list places in the US I still need to visit.



Because there are just so many I could not resist including a couple more either. The second is Down by the Riverside Part 1 featuring another new song from Pomme de Terre EP, called Wandering. Don't forget to follow Pawns or Kings on Twitter @pawnsorkings.



Their cover of Souls Like Wheels by the Avett Brothers blew me away (there, I've said it for the first time this show). Watch, listen and see if it does the same to you. I know it will! You can view that >>here<<.

IN BRIEF...

Tom Morris And You Were The Hunter ALBUM release
I do wish I didn't have to be so brief here but I had to include another piece about Mr Morris as his brand spanking new album and follow up to We Were Animals, And You Were The Hunter is out NOW. I won a competition last week via Facebook and Twitter thanks to Tom and now have all the available downloads of everything he's released solo since last June. With many artists that wouldn't be too much exactly. Welcome nonetheless but still, an EP or two and perhaps an album. Not so with Tom and the epic nature of his prolificness. It's great for me as I have so much to get listening to from the quality musician. I've also completed the set by purchasing the downloaded version of this new album too. All that remains is to get myself to a gig soon. I am working on it. Big thanks to Tom although my friend and companion Randomness was involved. I do so like randomness.

Out of Fiction, in to Fact:
Having been recently signed up to Engineer Records, Kent-based alternative rock band I.R.I.S have spent most of this year out on the road playing various gigs in support of their smashing EP Out Of Fiction. It is one hell of a banging selection of songs that really blows the roof off wherever you might play them (unless you're outside in which case it may just blow the first few layers of the atmosphere off instead). They released the EP independently just before getting their deal which saw them re-release it in full splendour. These guys are ones to watch so please sample the EP below and get buying if this is your style. Keep updated with them because they are due to announce some exciting tour news very soon. You can follow them on Twitter @irisbanduk.

Meet Mr Carroll courtesy of Tom Smith
I simply MUST include another song from the amazing Tom Smith from Dublin. I will be playing a song from Tom in a podcast very soon and will be featuring much more about him in a future blogcast. For the moment just enjoy this latest offering from him, which is magnificent!
Don't Throw Stones at Grimsell in the Glasshouse
Another great recent find. Or actually, I believe Rob Hirst followed me on Twitter first. Some amazing songs up on the soundcloud page which really ended my Monday in true style last week. Music like this is how all Monday's need to finish. It is Monday today (hopefully, if I finish writing this up in time), so why not end yours with this tasty track.

Sean Taylor
I first saw Sean Taylor at Beautiful Days festival last year and thoroughly enjoyed his set. I must admit with so much new music all about me this year I had not followed up on him as I should have done. I am seeking to rectify this and will start by featuring this inspiring video featuring his song, Stand Up. The video itself was put together by Colm McCarthy and the song is from Sean's forthcoming album Love Against Death. Sean dedicates the song to the anti-cuts and Occupy Movements all over the world. You see, very inspiring indeed! More from Sean to come in due course.



The Reckless Shrimp Festival
Ludlow - 15th & 16th September

Ludlow has a castle. Ludlow also has its very own festival of folk, americana and roots music. Therefore, before moving my life to Manchester so I am able to get along to the Mutineers gig mentioned above, I plan to also move to Ludlow along the way. Then I'll be able to get myself to this magnificent event. The added bonus with Reckless Shrimp (I know that sounds like some dodgy Chinese dish the way I wrote that) is that it is all indoors so whatever the late summer weather, you'll be covered. Now, following the majority of this summer featuring endless downpours it is most likely September will be as dry and hot as hell. However, even if it isn't there is no risk of being rained on at Reckless Shrimp. I speak (again, type!) from experience after attending Bakewell Festival which was all indoors too. For the most part the weather for that weekend was great. It was dry and hot, sunny and warm. However on the Sunday the downpours came so it was handy to be indoors for the majority of it.

The festival itself has a beautiful ethos at its core which you can read more about at the website >>here<<Amongst the many artists playing are the below I'd love to be able to make it for. The others will no doubt be every bit as amazing as these but the below are just on my own personal list at the moment:

Jim Moray
The Dreaming Spires
Butch Hancock (2 sets)
Ewan McLennan
Danny George Wilson
The Hi & Lo
Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou

iTunes Festival 2012 - SEPTEMBER

Who can complain about a totally FREE music festival held at such a prestigious venue as The Roundhouse in Camden, London? The iTunes Festival is in its third year this year and for a reason I've not researched I'm afraid, the month long event is happening in September as opposed to July. I applied for a handful of the nights last year as I did the year before but I was unsuccessful. That first year however, I managed to bag what I'd say were probably the most sought after tickets. It was the year of their breakthrough into the mainstream even though they have a sound as far from it as you can probably get. Mumford and Sons who were supported that evening by Laura Marling. Larua was amazing showcasing what was her latest album at the time, I Speak Because I Can, I had a bit of a strop because so many people were talking so loudly it was drowning out her beautiful music. I could have hit people, honestly. But then that would not have been in the spirit of tranquility and all that jazz. Thankfully I refrained from doing so and proceeded to enjoy Mumford and Sons while surrounded by an ocean of youngsters. So yes, thanks iTunes. Made me feel ancient. It was totally worth it to see the band live and perform a catalogue of their smash hits from Sigh No More.

I am yet to see them again having failed to secure tickets for one of their stopover gigs at several lesser played at towns throughout the UK. I tried on three different devices simultaneously but it was crazy!
I've said before, it is strange this band specifically have been accepted such as they have in this way. It makes it so hard for true fans to be able to get to them and enjoy. That isn't a swipe at those sheep who follow what they're told to. Or who follow what is trendy and 'in the news' even though it kind of is the way of it. I'm all for Mumford and Sons having their place in the limelight because they do deserve it. I just think it's a shame for so many other similar bands who aren't given the time of day. Even though they play a similar style. Anyway, apologies this wasn't meant to be a rant about the music industry or anything like that.

I've applied for a handful of nights again this year and I have everything crossed I get at least one of them:

Band of Horses & Jack White
Jake Bugg & The Killers
One Republic & Matchbox Twenty 
Frightened Rabbit & Biffy Clyro
Willy Mason & Mumford and Sons

AND FINALLY:

Time to bring this blogcast to a close. I honestly just keep going on but there is always so much I want to share or feature. Sadly, there are always going to be things I have to neglect or miss out but they will have their place at some point. This little nugget is so late an addition if I'd have not have had the technical issues with my laptop (the damn mousepad) it wouldn't have featured. It was only uploaded a few hours ago and I saw a Facebook update from the band's Jay Tennant. This is a demo from new band The Silent Union. I don't have room to say more just now but expect to hear more from them in the future.
The next podcast will be something a little different. It will be a streaming only special so I may feature a few bands and artists I'm not able to get necessary permissions from to feature on the downloadable podcast. There will be a few more established but still indie based acts, which I'm really looking forward to playing. Normal service will then resume with podcast #9.

Until then, peace to all of you. Thanks for listening and reading.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

WOB'S WEDNESDAY WAFFLE #1

Band of Badgers Weekly....ish.

Due to the time constraints you hear (see?) me hark on about so much, I'm not able to publish the podcasts weekly or to complete everything I'd like to. Sponsors and job offers to do all this stuff on a more full time basis are still yet to come my way. I need to increase output. I need to be getting more out there. So, I'm aiming to do a little write up once each week, or more likely fortnightly at the very least. It will cover either new music I've come to throughout the week or over the weekend prior and any new stuff from other bands and artists already featured. Kind of a Band of Badgers Weekly Digest type thing. Unless it does become more a fortnightly thing in which case it will be a Band of Badgers Fortnightly Digest.

It is also so I can try to keep on top of it all. There is so much of it, that some bands I've contacted months ago now I still haven't managed to fit into a podcast. I will do of course but there is only so much room and I only have so much time. There it is again. A whine about time. Wow I even made a little rhyme. 'Shut up about sodding time!' I hear you all crying. Without much further ado. What the heck does that actually mean anyway? I know what it hints at but isn't it an odd turn of phrase? I may well have bought that one up before but there are giant holes in my memory thanks to being subjected to so much crap music when some of my office colleagues used to play radio 1 all day long.

Oh the trauma! I am still in therapy. It is touch and go whether I'll pull through yet but all this great new indie music is part of my treatment so I am getting there. I'm sure you don't need me to explain how I'd come home each night and the same infernal noise lingering inside my head would torture me all evening. Boom, boom, screech, scratch, bang, boom, boom, boom, boom, nonsense lyrics interlaced with more boom, boom, boom, screech, screech, screech, scream, boom!

How did I survive? Don't get me wrong here either. I'm not against certain types of trance or techno or the like (apart from Garage - my ears just will not permit any of it). I too have lived through clubbing days where I've danced from dusk til dawn (okay, more so my sorry excuse for dancing) on a hot summer's Gatecrasher night surrounded by an ocean of contemporaries who all feel as one being in tune with the music. Then comes the breakdown as everyone slows before the beat kicks off once more in a race to the end. In fact, in those younger days (which yes, still sat nicely alongside my growing fascination with the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Doors and Bob Dylan) I admit I rarely did do much of the dancing. Unless I was blotto as the saying goes. That does mean drunk, right? I do recall one night in the height of summer and actually at a Gatecrasher night in Birmingham, I danced like a crazy dancing fool. Apparently I danced quite well. That was always what stopped me you see. I was always too conscious of myself or what I looked like. Always believing I couldn't dance. But what is dancing exactly? Especially when people are all moving about to any kind of music. Isn't that all it is? Moving about to the music but making it appear to others that you have some kind of rhythm? Precisely. I didn't even drink that much on this particular night either. So what did my good friend at the time say of my new found dancing ability? Well, he was convinced I was on drugs. Typical. I honestly wasn't. I don't see the point in denying it if I had taken anything. I'm not ashamed. But I hadn't. I was rather annoyed at the time but looking back it makes me chuckle. I should have been in that movie, Human Traffic if my acting was that good. Then perhaps the badgers really would be playing banjos.

Oh dear. My penchant for digression seems to be seeping in. Don't worry. I won't be doing this too often. That said, this update can also be my area to vent or explain such things. Musical things for the most part and most certainly all things to do with music. That's the same thing isn't it? Oh dear, I best get on with it.

First off please do check out the single, Yr Not Alone from Cat Martino below. I was downloading the many albums and EPs I'd won from a competition run by Tom Morris (more on that in the next blogcast, but yes you read that correct, I won a competition, yey me) when Cat's bandcamp site with this link to the single popped up in the 'other artists you may be interested in' bit. Or something of the like. Seeing the name something in my mind made a loud chinging sound. It could have been a clink. Or even a ping. Anyway there was something that reminded me I'd come across the name before, if not the music. And sure enough Cat co-wrote Singing Sin City, with Robin Bennett of The Dreaming Spires. That's the opening track on Brothers in Brooklyn, the Spires' fantastic debut album which I really think should form part of your collection. It also featured on my walking to/from work soundtrack this evening, courtesy of my iPod shuffle. I believe another track Robin wrote called Cathie (Carry On) is loosely based on Cat too. Please don't quote me as such but I am almost pretty certain I read that. Anyway Yr Not Alone is a taster for a forthcoming full album which I have to admit now I've finally heard Cat, I am looking forward to hearing more. The single is just $1 so even less than £1 for anyone on this side of the pond (come on, I haven't said or typed that for some time now). Bargain! Go get!



If following this sensational taster, you are unable to wait for the new album then I kindly offer you the chance to check out her previous album, The Sea Closet (2009) below. This is available to buy. $8 for 10




While writing the majority of this post earlier this evening there was a bit of a summer rain shower. 'Summer?' I hear you gasp in shock. Yes we do have one in the UK. After a fashion, I guess. And yet we all still complain about how hot it is. How humid. How dry. That's just us Brits. It's like a third of us complain about pretty much everything all the time (always brings Everything All The Time, from The Dreaming Spires on to my mind radio - good times). Another third are so laid back they just take everything in their stride while the remaining third are a mix of both. There you go. Even some psychology of a nation in this post. I'm digressing again but please stick with me. There will be more music I promise. Anyway, I was typing away when I looked up out the front window to see a double rainbow. 'What's so exciting or wondrous about that?' You may well ask. To this I respond with the fact this double rainbow on 22/08/12 looks to be at roughly the exact same spatial coordinates as one I took a picture of on 18/08/2010. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, as fun as some of them can be when you really do start running with them. I don't believe it is due to some top secret government project testing the opening of interdimensional portals. Or creating doorways into a parallel universe. Or it being a time travel portal. As fun and interesting as all those things are I'm sure there is a regular scientific explanation.

That's it. Apologies the story didn't go anywhere else much. I too was hoping, nay I was actually preying I'd find a doorway into 1973, Madison Square Garden, New York. There I would be able to attend all three nights of Led Zeppelin's gig. To be honest I probably wouldn't return. I would be in so much awe I would lose all bodily and mental capacities. I would be stranded in 1973 and have to find my way back somehow. At least I wouldn't have to encounter the tosh that is trashy mindless, thoughtless pop these days. I try and steer as clear as possible but, you know, some seeps through here and there. Don't worry though, I do make sure I disinfect myself thoroughly when it does. I'll save my waffle about the return of The Crap Factor for the blogcast that will be up in a few days.



Ah. Watching this has bought forth a yearning to watch The Song Remains The Same again. It has been far too long. Years in fact which just isn't right. No wonder there are crazy interdimensional fluctuations occurring. You can guess what I'll be doing at some point over the coming bank holiday weekend. Yes as well as finishing off the mountain of writing I have to do. Including the Truck Festival review part II. I honestly haven't forgotten and can only use the excuse of time being a bitch. It may become a lame one but it is nevertheless very true. I also have to make sure I do the write ups I do, proper justice. If I don't then what's the point, right? Exactly. It will be very soon though I promise. As well as three more reviews plus the Bakewell Music Festival review. And another few albums after that. And more podcasts. I better stop listing here as it starts to make me dizzy. All good things. I am getting better organised.

Walk to Work Soundtrack Snapshot - being a peek at my iPod shuffle from this morning/evening.

Morning:

Fuel Up - Stornoway
Thou Art Loosed - Dry The River
Oxygen - Whitestar
Someone You'd Admire - Fleet Foxes
Mime To The Night - The Scholars
No Death - Or, the Whale
Immaculate - Shearwater
Clay & Ottie - Walsh & Pound
Ship - Andrew Page



Evening:

Silent Boulevard - Tom McRae
Glorious #1 - Remy Zero
If I Wanted Someone - Dawes
Look At The Stars (They're Really Out Tonight) - The Dreaming Spires
Get Over It - Guillemots
Walking to Hawaii - Tom McRae
Munich - Editors
Sleeper 1972 - Manchester Orchestra
Singing Sin City - The Dreaming Spires
White Blank Page - Mumford & Sons
Me, Myself & I - The Survival Code





Well I will leave it there for the moment or else this will turn into a Thursday post and not a Wednesday Waffle, meaning I'll have to come up with another name. Hope you enjoy what's here anyway and there'll be plenty more in due course.

Have a great weekend one and all and keep up to date as the podcast #7 will only be a few days away.


Sunday, 19 August 2012

KARINE POLWART LEAVES A TRANCE LIKE TRACE

ARTIST: KARINE POLWART
ALBUM: TRACES
LABEL: HEGRI MUSIC
TRACKS: 10
RELEASED: 13th AUGUST 2012

Just hearing opening track Cover Your Eyes, Scottish singer-songwriter Karine Polwart had me strapped down tight before sending me off on a jaunty and thrilling ride of pure melodious splendour. The ebb and flow of the tides, the tremendous crashing of twenty foot high waves down to the calm ripples upon the shores through a gentle foam breeze of dense ocean spray. The simple yet ethereal element to the melody is stunning. Traces is so aptly named as it takes you through all manner of weathers and sea conditions leaving behind a lingering trace of the sheer richness of her musical poetry.



King of Birds continues the journey, managing to waft you up with the power of a jet stream while the words hold you tightly in place. Then with a change of key in the melody you soar higher before your wings spread wide to glide back down. Swimming through the lightest clouds on a bright summer’s day, the beauty of nature rolls out below. After playing these opening two tracks for the first time I needed to get a flight back home in order to hear the remainder. They blew me that far away! It is rare but always wonderful when an album from someone previously unknown to me achieves such a thing. Traces induces a euphoric listening experience that becomes personal. Through both the lyrics and music, you are pulled deep into the soul of what each song is about.

The narratives are sweeping and yet they remain just on the right side of overwhelming. Each is an intricately told story, delicately woven into its own pattern. Karine’s vocals are always astounding, fitting flawlessly with the well-crafted musical arrangements. The end result is a rich multilayered buffet of all the tastiest delicacies you could possibly want. There is an overarching theme of darker more depressing lyrics but I reiterate what is fast becoming my mantra. These are the kinds of songs that move us. They are the stories that need putting to music and the ones which serve to create the most atmospheric and memorable records.
Another thing I love about the album is the diversity of the subject matter. From the subtle political motives of Close Your Eyes (protesting against the Trump Foundation’s butchery of the landscape for the golf complex) and King of Birds (a nod to the Occupy movement, particularly in London), even these run far deeper than that thanks to the writing being so personal. Tinsel Show takes what may be considered the raw grotesqueness of industry, power stations and the like, turning it on its head. Teasing out the magical and fantastical stories such places hold for children it builds up into a crescendo before coming to a rest with a gentle swaying of harmonious ‘ahs’. Then there’s the heart wrenching sorrow poured out via We’re All Leaving, Strange News and Half A Mile. I issue a warning for you to prepare to be deeply moved but only because of how involved you will become in these, real-life, tales.
It is impossible to pick out any tracks as the stand outs because each and every one deserves to be labelled as such. This will always be one of those albums you’ll listen to from start to finish because to not do so would be a crime. More or less all songs are stories but some musicians and songwriters produce works of art so accomplished if they were paintings or sculptures they’d be exhibited in the finest museums. This album is one such piece of art and Karine is an artist worthy of such renown.