Friday, 28 December 2012


Anyone else get fed up with the way 'Christmas' seems to take over the entire month of December? In fact, it goes further than that these days doesn't it? When shops start putting their decorations and the like, out when Summer has barely shifted into Autumn. For me, I think it is less the 'jovial festivities' that frustrates me and more the hollowness of how commercial it has all become. Or perhaps I'm just getting old and bitter. It is for the kids though, to be fair. I have a niece and nephew with another on the way so I can fully appreciate the excitement of it all from their point of view. Aside from the fact we start off their young lives with such bare faced lies of course. But for adults? Am I really just being a miserable bah humbug? Honestly, I don't care if I am but I think that is an unfair judgement.

It's been a little on the quiet side on the blog so far this month and as ever I had so much more planned to get done and published. However I've just had one of the busiest weeks at work I think I've ever had the displeasure to experience. Now, don't get me wrong here because I'm all for working hard and getting on with a job I'm paid to do. When getting paid such a pittance for what I've been expected to do it just increases the existential woe factor. At the end of each day I could barely manage to look at my laptop screen after being sat in front of my work screen all day. Bah! It's over thankfully, although I only had the two paltry days off for Xmas this year. Rubbish! I'd planned to have podcast #12 done and dusted way before now but I've still not even written it up or recorded it yet.

Not really one for jumping on bandwagons - although if the band is good then I'll be jumping on it I can assure you - with all these countdowns and whatnot I thought I would share some of my own highlights and favourites from the past year. A kind of consolidation post, I suppose. But there has been so much to share I didn't want to waffle on at my usual length. So, that post is yet to come but you get all of this as an added extra special bonus. Consider it a little Christmas box if you must although I'm afraid you won't be finding any Christmas songs. Well, not the tired ones they drag out each and every year anyway. The only one I can stand to hear these days is Stop the Cavalry, something that also has me judged because of it's more melancholic nature. As far as I'm concerned all of those wretched and tired songs that get pulled out year on year ad infinitum, should all be wiped from history! I would much rather just listen to proper regular music thank you very much. Or at the least something new like the couple I have below for you. Now, who's for a (bottle of) sherry and a (six pack) mince pies? Can I make mine a bottle of bourbon instead please? In fact, while working at the weekend I stuck on some Planet Rock and they were playing my kind of 'Twelve Days of Christmas' in that the links to the song itself were tenuous. Living, Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman) by Led Zeppelin fulfilled the 'Maids-a-milking' quota. And while I mention that, 'Maids-a-milking..' That's a bit rude isn't it? Or is it just me?

#1 Sleepthief featuring Kristy Thirsk - Ubi Caritas
Right then. The first Christmas song is something rather special and beautiful. It sounds so ethereal it was hard for me not to trip out somewhat. I mean this in the most legal of ways and there were no drugs involved of any kind. When music is this tranquil there's no need for any substance to evoke some form of transcendentalism. The magic in the vocals combined with the production and everything else does the job very well enough indeed.

We have the hugely talented Sleepthief (who I hope you recall bought us Mortal Longing featuring the lovely Jody Quine - which I played way back on podcast #4) to thank for bringing this to our attention. This time it is the vocal talents of award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Kristy Thirsk who graces our ears with a rendition of an ancient Gregorian hymn. Ubi Caritas was composed sometime between the fourth and tenth centuries and you have to agree its quality is limitless. This is the kind of song that could be bought out year on year and not sound even slightly sleepy (as opposed to the hollow tat we have to put up with instead). I'm certainly not one for heavily religious music or anything that ties something down to any specific mode of thought, as such. When the message is as pure and true as this particular hymn, however, I believe it to be one that needs sharing. Even more so in today's fractured and broken societies. Its call for us to offer the highest form of love to others and ourselves, and for unification transcends beyond any specificity from which it may have been born.

You can check out loads more from Sleepthief via his Soundcloud page. Snow, featuring Zoe Johnston has just blown me away. I'm typing the rest of this with my 'go go gadget arms' (apologies for anyone who doesn't know of Inspector Gadget from their childhoods). He's also on Facebook of course as well as his own website

#2 Mary Gauthier - Christmas in Paradise
Christmas in Paradise by Mary Gauthier on GroovesharkChristmassy song #2 comes from an amazing songwriter and singer from across the pond as well. I feel privileged to have been introduced to Mary Gauthier's music earlier this year when I was sent her latest album, Live At Blue Rock, to review. Love, love, love it. There is such passion and depth to her songs or even just the way she works and delivers them if they're not her own. An amazing talent indeed! Christmas really is in Paradise but only if you sit back and listen to Mary sing it to you. Enjoy!

#3 Henrietta Harpist - I Giorni
We're back over this side of  the Atlantic for #3. Recorded in a conservatory to be precise and, and.....wait for it....wait for it! The music comes courtesy of Henrietta Harpist on a very real and amazing harp! It is sublime.The piece is I Giorni, a composition by Ludovico Einaudi and was recorded for the RTTV Sessions Christmas Specials. Who doesn't love the sensational sounds from the harp? I remember catching American harpist Joanna Newsom on an episode of Jools Holland's Later programme a few years back which put me in a trance I didn't return from for days.

#4 Jinnwoo - Woman
It is thanks to Jinnwoo from Leicester that I came across this via an update he shared on Facebook as Henrietta is a very good friend of his. I was fortunate to catch Jinnwoo play live himself as the first support opening for Willy Mason at my favourite live music venue in the Midlands, The Musician in Leicester, back in May. He has also recorded a song for RTTV called Woman which you should check out below. The other 23 videos are all well worth your time and attention too while you're at it. It was kind of an advent countdown I suppose and I'm just sorry I wasn't able to sort out any earlier posts to bring them to your attention as they were being published.

#5 Leo Stannard - Lose Yourself
Moving completely away from the Christmassy stuff now we get to Leo Stannard. How this guy not huge already I do not know but it is only a matter of time as more and more people learn of his amazing ability. His sound reminds me a little of Paolo Nutini and this particular video is via his own YouTube channel. It was filmed live at The Bedford.

#6 Mark Nichols - Guardian
This young rising star has somehow slipped by me up until now which is in no way his fault. It is just my big issue with time and the sheer amount of new music I come across. I'm thrilled with what I've discovered now I've finally checked out his stuff because it is damn good stuff! Go get listening to his tunes and watching his videos. Now please, less dawdling thank you very much. Mark Nichols is one of a number of artists at the top of my MUST SEE LIVE in 2013 list, that's for sure.

Mark released his debut EP Guardian in 2011 which quite rightly saw him begin developing strong links with BBC Introducing. Things have pretty much snowballed for him since then as he received more and more airplay and ventured out on a national tour. Success continued as he was snapped up by Tanglewood Guitars who were smart enough to endorse him as a brand rep and with the release of his winter single The Storm back in January. The final quarter of 2012 has kept Mark busy following the release of his latest EP The Traveller on 17th September and a 3 month tour including a BBC Radio London live session, supporting for Juan Zelada (who I saw at Bakewell Music Festival and is full of energetic fabness by the way) and a headline set at The London Acoustic Guitar Show alongside many top well-known names. I say this about many of the acts I discuss and share but it is so evident that Mark is going to be a huge hit in the music world. He has what it takes to really break through into the mainstream but with all the depth of those that are yes equally fantastic but just who don't manage to make it through. Mark will be there for them, no doubt helping make the way for others to do so in the future in spite of how tough it is out there.

#7 Rita Payne - Stay
Not, as I was suspecting from the name, an individual female solo artist but a rather enchanting male/female duo. There are so many such amazing duos out on the music scene at present. From the folksters Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman to Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts and more recently for me the more Americana infused Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou to the beautiful Black Feathers. I am loving them all! Each member brings something crucially important that just can't work individually. That is certainly not to say each cannot be as amazing with any such individual or solo work or work with anyone else they wish to or even do. I guess what I'm trying to say is that when united as their duo outfit, they end up creating something so uniquely beautiful and magical, the world of music (and indeed beyond) is a much better place for it.

I've not yet had chance to check out more of their stuff but I have to admit I'm bursting and tingling with excitement at the prospect. Citing influences including Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, The Civil Wars, Bon Iver, Simon & Garfunkel, Seth Lakeman and Bruce Springsteen I can already guess Rita Payne will be featuring on my playlist a fair bit in the coming year. Visit Rita Payne's official page at

#8 Aaron Shanley - sometimes people just fall out of love
I'm not 100% certain (as usual) but it may have been indirectly via Sam Beeton I came across Aaron. Ah not, hang on a second...I'm pretty sure it was Adian Logan actually. I really should keep notes on how I come across some folk. Or was it Danny Burns or Tom Smith? Anyway, whoever it was I wish to thank them for the pleasure because this latest video is wonderful. Watch and enjoy it for yourselves. Also, make sure you visit his Facebook page at

#9 Nate Jones - We Are
Nate Jones will definitely be featuring in the post of my look back at 2012 because his music is so heartfelt and real I honestly wish I had a physical copy of his album in my collection right now. When it is out I will be snapping up my copy before it's even finished. When I featured him in one of my podcasts and on the blog a while back I did mention his age but at just 22 and writing songs like this, and even more so performing them with such soul is just....well, it is what great music is all bout. It is what it should be about. TV bosses can keep all that manufactured crap. We need more of the real talent hiding out there in the world, people like Nate. We Are is one heck of a deep and beautiful song. You will want to hear more that's a certainty.

#10 Sam Beeton - Red Gold and Green
I admit Sam has been featured on the blog a number of times since I first had the pleasure in discovering his music back in March/April. Red Green and Gold is the latest song in his Record Club Season 2 which you really need to be subscribing to if you haven't already done so. Check out loads more at his website

#11 Villagers - Nothing Arrived
Villagers really did not disappoint when I saw them at Truck Festival in July this year. Conor O'Brien is truly captivating to watch and listen to live and this latest single from forthcoming album Awayland (out next month) has whetted my appetite for more new tunes so much so my salivating may require a flood warning to be issued.


#12 Wild Beasts - Stray
These guys shouldn't exactly require any in-depth introduction as they have been out there for a number of years now. Their fanbase and audiences growing at a rapid pace they are most certainly on the original and interesting side of the music scale. Offering a trademark sound unlike any other UK band I can think of off the top of my head, I was gutted I was unable to see them live this year. The weekend I could have potentially made it (although lack of funds threatened to make is not so) I was away for a weekend in Wales. I couldn't pass up the opportunity for that weekend out in the middle of nowhere though. Out in the wilderness. Okay, it was a nice little holiday cottage but it was still out there in the middle of nowhere. Anywho, you don't want to be reading all about that. You want to be hitting play on this unreleased song from Wild Beasts gifted to fans for their support throughout the past year and beyond.

Well folks, that about sums up my kind of 12 days of Christmas. The right amount of Christmas songs if you ask me and no more (3). There are a few others that are worthy I'll grant you but with having so much to share I hope the above will suffice to keep you entertained over this period between Christmas and the new year. I'll get cracking on all the many things I have on the go and sincerely hope it will not be very long before my 2012 look back post makes it up. Hope you have all had a fantastic holiday and the best of new years to each and every one of you. Thank you so much for reading and coming back for more this year.

Monday, 10 December 2012


Welcome good listeners to a somewhat different type of playlist from Band of Badgers Presents. This will be the first of very many, I hope. It is my way of being able to share those more established bands and artists spanning genres and stretching as far back as the 1960s. There will be some epic anthems, some cool classics and I dare say many a guilty pleasure besides.

It is thanks to the genius of Mixcloud I am able to do this at all because their website and whole business allows people like myself to share their mixes of whatever music without breaching any copyright. These shows won't be downloadable like the podcast is, nor will they be available via iTunes but fear not - I am continuing with the regular podcast too.

These cloudcasts will run alongside the podcasts, being released on an alternate kind of pattern. The ideas for these just keep flowing so I have many themed episodes in production (that always sounds so technical and like this is all so my job - I wish!). There's a TV themed one where I'll be playing songs and music featured in many of my favourite TV shows across the years. Some of these shows, US ones in particular, have featured (and some continue to do so) such a great mix of quality music. I'm thinking more along the lines of the indie rock in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Smallville and Charmed, but that is just for starters. There's also a PR/Review one on the cards where I'd love to play some songs from many of the albums and EPs I've been sent to review. All the fantastic and totally FREE music I've been exposed to via Noisetrade as well is worthy of multiple episodes in itself. So, you can see I have a lot of work to get on with. All this in addition to the podcast of more independent new stuff (as well as some older stuff there too). I feel like I could do with a holiday before I start.

I anticipate the blogcasts for these cloudcasts will be on the shorter side but then this is me and I already seem to have kicked it off in true Rob style by waffling on and on. So without further ado let's crack on with that all important playlist shall we?

The Playlist:
Blind Guardian
I've mentioned this German power metal band and their phenomenal concept album Nightfall In Middle Earth a few times already as well as my waffle on the show itself. I'll therefore spare you some time and not repeat myself. Get to their website, check out the many videos and tunes on YouTube and get purchasing some albums. They don't come much more epic or anthemic than this! As well as Tolkien's works they have composed and produced tunes based on stories by Stephen King, Robert Jordan, Michael Moorcock and George R R Martin amongst others.

David Bowie
This is Bowie to Bowie, can you hear me out there man? Legend! He's always been there as I recall. Right back to the first time I heard Life On Mars and couldn't stop laughing with my cousin at the line, 'Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow,' to Space Oddity having a very prominent and profound meaning for reasons I really shouldn't divulge but wish I could.


Bob Dylan
I've been on the lookout for a copy of Bob's self-penned memoirs for some time now. I was reminded I still hadn't got a copy and was yet to read them when I stumbled upon an article on The Guardian website about how writing that first volume took a lot longer than he thought it would. This was due to him really enjoying the process and getting into it so much. Before the second volume is published I now finally have a copy of the first which I plan to devour as soon as I'm done with Sea of Trees by Robert James Russell (the novella I'm presently reading) and then A Storm of Swords Part 2 by George R R Martin (which I would have started already if the queue at the central post office hadn't been so ridiculously long).

Christy Moore
Looking up the video of the performance of Ride On I believe I saw on Later With Jools Holland in November 2007 I discovered it was actually in 2006. Crazy how quick time flies but yes it was a whole year earlier. Watching it back now takes me right back to then. Kind of like that old woman in Titanic who can smell the sheets from 84 years previous or something. See for yourselves.


The Cranberries
I'd already heard the mighty Zombie thanks to owning the double cassette album of Now 29. OMG! Did I just admit that? I owned a Now album! In my defense, it was at a time when there were some pretty decent tunes on it. Not at all like today's drivel of an excuse of 'popular' pop tunes. Anyway, I'd already heard Zombie on there. Taken from the band's second album released in 1994, it wasn't until 1995 I got my own copy of the album. On CD this time too, not cassette. Jeez, cassettes. Can you imagine still having to suffer them these days? Pen and pencils at the ready to wind the escaped tape back in hoping (most often in vain) that the sound quality wouldn't be all garbled. I'm digressing, apologies.

The Cranberries have been with me a long long time. More so No Need To Argue, one of the albums I should have included on my desert island discs type selection when I did that interview for Steven Luna's Joe Vampire Blog. I did mention I'd need a huge TARDIS style trunk full of music though. I could put this particular album on and lap it up from beginning to end. I'll even admit to singing in a very strong Irish accent to many of the songs. I also recall from my student days singing out words that Mrs Doyle from Father Ted may sing to the tune of Empty. 'Cup of teeeeeeheeeee, teeeeeeheeeeee, teeeeeheeee, would you like a cup of tea, father.' Silly I know, but I was a stoodent after all. Very funny though, at the time. What was also ironic is that one summer's day we'd got the back door of our student house open wide and heard someone in a house opposite playing the album at decibels so high, Health and Safety laws of the universe were most certainly being broken. Whoever it was, they were signing along as loudly and as accented as we used to. It kind of made us feel a little less odd, perhaps. Unless it was an auditory hallucination of course.

Death Cab For Cutie
I know I say it about many a song but then there are so many bloody fantastic songs out there worthy of saying it about. I Will Follow You Into The Dark, however is particularly special. I don't think it's just the fact that it is a song I think I can sing and actually sound not too bad in doing so either. It just resonates deep within me. Kind of how The Levellers' (or more particularly Simon Friend's) Believers and Elation both do. 

I only started listening to Death Cab thanks to a suggestion from a fellow student in 2008 (yes I was a student for a very long time!). Getting to see them at a gig in Birmingham just over a year ago was a chance I was not going to miss for anything. I had no doubt they would play this song and the stripped back acoustic from lead Ben Gibbard was simply stunning. That was a cracking show which also bought UK band Butcher The Bar to my attention. If you don't know Death Cab's stuff don't be pigeon-holing them based on this one song either. They have a whole host of bigger, much louder and rockier songs to offer.

Matchbox Twenty
Like The Cranberries, this US band, and the album from which this song is taken in particular, has been with me for many years. I never tire of hearing it from beginning to end and in doing so it brings back so many great and fond memories. That's one of the powerful things about music. Like smells, I guess. For some people. I'd rather have the music. There's a beautiful acoustic piano version of the song which you simply have to hear. I can't say I've been hugely enthused by the most recent album North but I wasn't expecting anything from it anyway. For me, there has been no better Matchbox Twenty album since this masterpiece. Not even Mad Season, which is a good album but just doesn't beat what came before. Yourself Or Someone Like You is a true classic in my opinion.

Every song on that album is awesome, even the very melancholic Hang. The talented Andrew Page has recently recorded his own acoustic cover of this song which is just breathtaking. See and hear for yourselves above.

Mumford and Sons
I was uber-excited about the release of Babel, as were most Mumford fans. I can't help feeling a tad disappointed with the end results however. The first listen was pretty good but for me, there is a repeated plays test. Babel, overall, just doesn't come anywhere close to passing that test. Sigh No More was phenomenal! Babel feels a little lackluster if I'm being totally honest. I hate being so critical. Even more so about a band I really like. Perhaps it will prove to be a grower and I'll end up loving it. If only I had the time to let that be the case but these days it is difficult. My thoughts on this album aside, there are some noteworthy tracks and not least their wonderful cover of Simon and Garfunkel's The Boxer. It actually shocked me as I wasn't expecting it on the album. I hadn't researched or read they were to include it. I bet it's cracking at a live show but that's a sore point of course. As the mainstream masses jump on every ticket the touts aren't able to get in bulk I'm left with the prospect of paying loads for a crap seat or missing out altogether at sold out gigs. 

I've decided to miss out as nothing will beat that free gig at the iTunes Festival in 2010. I need to be that close to the stage though and really feel the presence of them bleeding out. Even though I'm not exactly enjoying Babel at present I would still love to see them play again. I'm beginning to understand this just isn't going to happen unless they play at a smaller festival I'm likely to attend next summer.

Dry The River
I've made it quite clear how incredibly amazing I think these guys are. This year they have been building up a huge fanbase over in the States. This is amazing of course but I don't want them to do less shows over here as a result of it. Still, bands have to go and play where their fans are so I know they'll be back here again. It is my own sad sorry fault for having to miss out on their gig I'd bought tickets to months and months in advance of. I will not be making such a stupid error in future I can tell you.

Dry The River have had one amazing year and with an album as tremendous as Shallow Bed, their popularity is likely to go stratospheric in 2013! Very big things ahead for these guys.

Sigur Ros
What can I say about this Icelandic tour de force of ambient post rock folk? They are another band who have been with me for many a long year now. Over a decade so it's as though they are a part of me in some way. I've never seen them play a show before now but next March a dream will be fulfilled when I get to do just that! There are no words to express my excitement or the elation I will feel when I am standing there listening to them in the same room. I think the entire crowd will disappear though and there I'll stand taking it all in, in complete and utter awe. It is going to be special. The only thing that would make it better is being privileged enough to be one of those who were at one of the many shows they did in Iceland. The results of these shows are available on the DVD Heima which is magnificent to be quite honest. You get a really nice in-depth look at the band too as it is a documentary film rather than just of the shows on their own.

After a hiatus that left some wondering whether they would get back together to release new stuff, Sigur Ros did just that and released Valtari earlier this year. It is on the gentler side but with no less power than what they've done before. I am in love with it! It is certainly one of my albums of the year. I believe I read a few days ago that they are also working on new stuff they want to put out next year (or perhaps the year after). It is alleged to be something completely different but whatever it ends up being, it will be interesting and of the kind of quality they have become renowned for.


I have been a bit on the busy side recently, even with The Scholars gig I sadly missed. I am still beating myself up about that one. The guys have just filmed their next video and will be releasing snippets, I believe so keep your eyes open for those. This will be for their next single release Love The Thunder. I will reserve any words of review until nearer the release date but I will say it is a damn good tune to follow the awesome Wired. I'm well aware I've shared Wired with you on several occasions already but you know what? Here it is again because there are some of you who have not yet downloaded your FREE tracks. That's right! They are totally 100% completely and utterly FREE. So, what are you waiting for? Get Wired up NOW.

Tom McRae Solo Tour 2012
He admitted he went out on the road on his lonesome because he wanted to see if he could do it. How could he have doubted himself, I'd say. The man is a musical maestro of the highest caliber. He entertains, he involves his audience and most importantly he connects to them on a really personal and emotional level. He had us bop barring, whistling, clapping and all manner of things to back him up while he used many a trick to increase the presence of his lonesome self on the stage. He even sang a little tribute to Paul Simon's Graceland while singing One Mississippi. There were songs aplenty from his now extensive and ever-growing back catalogue. I would have like a few more songs from the latest album From The Lowlands but in true grateful style Tom responded to a few requests called out to him. This is certainly not a criticism as it was awesome to hear those older tunes as well, of course. And nice that he listens and gives his fans what they want from his show. It was a spectacular evening but I honestly never expected anything less.

Support came from Trevor Moss & Hannah Lou who have been very busy this year preparing and releasing their album La Ferme de Fontenaille. Their harmonies and delivery were flawless in spite of them suffering from this lingering cold that has been going around. You wouldn't have thought this at all from the perfect performances that ensued. I remember seeing Tom back in Birmingham in 2007 when he had a cold and once again you would not have known other than when he spoke in between songs or told us. Trevor & Hannah Lou have since stepped in to support Beth Orton on several dates of her recent UK tour. I saw Beth way back in 2000, or it could have been 1999. It was a long time ago however and I do need slapping for leaving it this long. The recent shows were sold out which doesn't surprise me. I'm happy Trevor and Hannah Lou got to share their delightful harmonic music with more and more people because they really deserve all the success that comes their way. Far from resting after their non-stop busy year they are currently on their very own Up The Club tour of social clubs. They are most certainly worthy of catching, believe me.

The Dreaming Spires Oxford Homecoming Show
I wrote a sort of mini review of this show on the last blogcast so I refer you to that >>here<<, rather than repeat myself here. It was a cracking show and one I'd like to experience again soon! Sadly, I was unable to film any videos myself. It is more so down to where I was standing because I didn't want to obstruct people's view. Too nice perhaps but you know, I can understand why people get annoyed and frustrated when their view is obstructed by someone in front of them holding up a camera for a whole song. I'd have loved to have got some of course but I thoroughly enjoyed just taking in the whole performance. Luckily, the whole gig was being filmed professionally anyway so check out one such video below.


Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman
I wrote a full review of the gig I went to in Leicester at the beginning of the year (>>here<<). This was another night of just perfect live music. From the traditional folk songs full of death or sex to the more upbeat reworkings of other classics, it was just perfect. Having seen this duo three times now since catching them at Beautiful Days 2011 they just get better and better. Although to be fair, Kathryn's voice is always note perfect and imbued with such a passionate depth, I'm always left wanting so much more. For this latest tour supporting their latest album Hidden People (released in the summer and reviewed by yours truly >>here<<), there was an addition to the line-up making it more of a trio, I suppose. A very welcome string section sprung up in the right corner (left from stage view) of the stage in the form of Patsy Reid. The extra layers of music courtesy of fiddle, cello and backing vocals built up the atmosphere so that my goosebumps even had goosebumps on their goosebumps. 

Huldra is a very powerful Norwegian folk tale and the female creatures it sings about wrap themselves tightly around you no matter what form or version is played. From the simple yet hypnotic solo I saw at The Musician in February to the multi-layered a cappella  version on the album featuring a number of female folk guests. To the latest, with Patsy adding her vocals and harmonies marrying up beautifully with Kathryn's. As is customary there was plenty of amusing banter between married couple Kathryn and Sean as well as the concluding part to the Flute saga. All songs, old and new were welcomed by an audience at The Stables in Milton Keynes who were mesmerized and transfixed by such star quality live music. This is what it is about folks. All the very best to Kathryn & Sean as they have been nominated for Best Duo at the next BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Also, Kathryn has bagged herself a nomination for Best Original Song with The Ballad of Andy Jacobs. Admittedly, it is a touch category (aren't they all) but this heartfelt song will have the tears pouring out of folk there'll be a need for urgent flood warnings. As sad as it is, it captures a period of our history so spot on it is like having a bit of a time travel adventure, albeit a very gentle one. Award-winning it certainly is.


Simon Friend's Seismic Survey
I will write up a little more about this gig on a future post. I knew it was going to be a special one but quite how special I wasn't prepared for. What a night!! I've mentioned before that although I am a really huge fan of The Levellers as a whole, I have always felt a certain draw to all of the songs Simon contributes, in particular. He just speaks to my soul so directly, I think. This was my third time at The Musician this year (Willy Mason was the second in May) and it was the first night of the Seismic Survey's current UK tour. It was a privilege to be in attendance and boy, did they deliver the goods.

It was difficult to balance what to film on the camera because I wanted to capture the lot of it. As they opened up the set I heard the tune begin and almost passed out. Believers is one of my favourite songs of all time. It has such a depth and is poetic to the core. I was so excited and hadn't expected it to be the opener so out came the camera and I managed to only miss the very start and first few words. Beautiful. As were all the rest, including the songs from other band members. More on these and the rest of the evening, soon then. To keep you going, check out the videos below.


And, well, that's it for the time being I'm afraid folks. As with the regular blogcast for the podcasts there is oh so much more I want to add, write about and share but, well you need to get yourselves to bed before 2am don't you? I'm currently already working on podcast #12 and Something Else #2 as well as writing up that review from the Gilmore & Roberts (themselves up for best duo at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards too) gig from the end of October. I haven't forgotten about that don't you worry. How could I, it was so damn good!! Just the same old excuse of lack of time. I needn't even bother saying as much in future had I? You know the drill by now. I'm also working on a kind of end of year post that will feature a few of my picks from the past 12 or so months. Top albums, best gigs and so forth. There may also be a Christmas song on there but we shall have to see about that. Anywho, I hope you have enjoyed something different to the norm and want me to do it all again. Until next time, peace to y'all!

Sunday, 2 December 2012



I know this one has been published and up for  weeks by now, but I simply couldn't withhold it having completed the recording and mixing. Share, share, share. That is what it's all about and there are the two amazing and fantastic new singles from Derbyshire's indie-rock ravers Whitemoor and Oxford americana maestros The Dreaming Spires, which I really wanted to play and get out there. Thank you if you have already had yourself a listen or download and thank you doubly for coming back for another one or even just to check out the blogcast. Finally, it is here, yes.

I must admit the weekend I spent in Oxford a few weeks back really made me realize I need to make music my life's work. The journalism, promoting and all that side of things I mean, not the music making. I don't have any talent in that respect (I will dare to admit I am seriously going to pick up and dust off the guitar I have and start learning though. Did I say dust off? I better book it in for some kind of industrial clean, it has been standing idle so long. Will probably take me an age just to tune it now. No excuses however, I'm getting right on it!). Just hanging out there and going to those two awesome gigs (The Dreaming Spires & Tom McRae) bought it home again. In fact, all gigs do really. And yet I have to turn down so many I could attend for free in London simply because of logistics and finances. I also missed my first real opportunity to see The Scholars in Birmingham thanks to this pain in the backside of a lingering cold that is inflicting so many people. My immune system is usually not too bad. It's all about the fruit and veg. Just not in this particular case, I guess. The guys even ended up headlining that night due to the main band pulling out. Well done to them and please do go grab yourself a FREE DOWNLOAD of the awesome alternate version of their latest single Wired, it is a treat! More gigs are to be announced soon and nothing is going to prevent me getting to one now I can assure you!

I was recently contacted by New Music Connection's very lovely Stephanie Wright to ask if I'd like a press pass to the TuneBreaker - New Music Connection Awards Launch Party so I could do a little bit of a write up for the event. Gutted, I had to decline such an amazing opportunity yet again. Mix of things, namely lack of annual leave from the day job and complete lack of funds. This doesn't stop me championing the event or put a dampener on such an awesome reason to party. Indeed, the two entities have recently formed a partnership that is only set to strengthen the masses of independent talent out there who struggle to make it via the regular industry channels. In fact, this way, although tough itself is a much better way for them to make it. They can do it their own way without the risk of having to sell out or being sold out by those in who they place their trust along the way. TuneBreaker and New Music Connection have the artist in mind, their integrity and passions and they will strive to allow artists to showcase their own unique styles and talents. Just the way it should be.

All you unsigned and independent artists wherever you are in the UK & Ireland need to get registering to take part in the TuneBreaker & New Music Connection Awards. The voting, as such, runs from now until February and there are two fantastic awards up for grabs. The first will be the award for the act at the top of the charts come the closing date, who will win £1000 in addition to other amazing opportunities. 

The second is the TuneBreaker & NMC Award as voted by a panel for the most "promising" act it sees in the TuneBreaker Live Chart(TM). Many factors will be taken into account in selecting the recipient including songwriting, music, videos,  and well, pretty much everything there is to do with the whole creative and performance process so come on, get yourselves signed up if you want a chance at winning. I know there are so many of you out there more than worthy at bagging first place! Click >>here<< to find out all the info on how you go about entering and if you're not already a part of this excellent online music community get yourself signed up - it is totally FREE! It is a global community so there is a potential global fanbase you will be reaching too.

The launch party was held at The Good Ship in Kilburn on Tuesday 27th November and would have been one heck of a fantastic night celebrating some of the best independent live music. While you're reading this do check out the bands and artists who performed their musical magic at the event: The Vinyls, Sebastian Blake, Ali Ingle & Hollie Trevis. I am more than certain some, if indeed not all, of these talented folk will crop up in one of my playlists over the coming months. I'm currently thoroughly enjoying Ali Ingle's EP, The Man and the Monster. Have a listen to the opening track Something About Jorj below.

The greatness does not stop there either! There is a 2013 tour in the pipeline too. Kicking off in March next year you can be a part of it by simply registering your act with and and sharing your hard work. It is 100% totally and completely FREE to join up so make sure you get sharing links to your music, YouTube videos and any gigs you have coming up wherever they might be. They would love to come along to check you out and support. Wishing everyone taking part and who is involved with this entire venture all the very best. I'm just sorry I could not have been there for it myself. *slaps self* Next time!

Righty-ho then, on with the blogcast!

The Playlist:

  1. High Lights - Whitemoor **NEW SINGLE**
  2. Just Can't Keep This Feeling In - The Dreaming Spires **NEW SINGLE**
  3. Strangers We Meet - The Black Feathers
  4. What It Takes - Russell Toomey
  5. The Man Who Had Everything - Scott Matthews
  6. On This Great Day - Andy Ruddy
  7. Threadbare - Everything On Red
  8. To Make You Proud - Page 44
  9. No Justice, Just Us - Go.Fly.Win
  10. His Voice - Brooke Sharkey
The awesome bunch of guys from Derby who make up indie-rock band Whitemoor certainly know how to push the right buttons and tease their constantly growing fanbase with this stupendously superific new single, High Lights. It is taken from their second album, Horizons which is due to follow in the lofty footsteps of their self-titled debut. Rather than repeat myself (yes, okay you at the back again - I know I sometimes repeat anyway but shush please), click >>here<< to read my review of High Lights.

While mentioning this terrific band though I will request/instruct/command* (*delete as appropriate as long as it is only the first word) you to go and do yourselves a favour by purchasing that first album. It is a stonker that will have you bopping and singing along like a loon. A happy loon however, so it's all okay! With 11 tantalising tracks that are pure indie rock at its very best you will thank me for demanding you buy it. I cannot choose favourites when albums are this good but With Landscapes does always jump out at me when it plays. Strike that! They all do to be fair. These guys are definitely one of those bands where you'll say, 'Ah, this one and this one are my faves....,' before continuing, '...ah, hang on a sec....actually, that one and this one are too....oh and this one and that one.' So don't be a fool any longer and get on the Whitemoor train before those ticket prices rise through the roof. If you're new to them too, remember where you heard them first and who advised you. No, I don't get a cut but I absolutely love the band and their music so if you get chatting to them on Twitter or via Facebook feel free to mention yours truly in passing.

The Dreaming Spires
What a year it has been for the brothers Bennett! Their debut album Brothers in Brooklyn has been gathering lots of very well deserved hype throughout the music journalism world, which is fantastic news. I reviewed it shortly after its release back in June and to save you scrolling through the menus you can simply click >>here<< to read my thoughts on it. You see how nice I am to you lovely folks? It is a smashing debut marinated in the americana tradition and although there are very heavy influences that come through from the likes of The Byrds and Teenage Fanclub (indeed, as mentioned in opening track Singing Sin City) The Spires use their influences very wisely. They utilise them to perfection to be honest.

This comes through even more so on the stage and I've been fortunate enough to see them play twice this year now. First at their very own Truck Festival back in July. Okay, so it's no longer their's, strictly speaking but it is clear they still play a big part in the event (and quite rightly so). That half hour set was no where near long enough but I was uber excited to get to see  a full set at their homecoming Oxford gig at the Bullingdon Arms a few Saturdays ago. What a special evening it was too for their homecoming date. It was awesome to hear them perform every song from the album. I was looking forward to a few of the quieter numbers just because I hadn't heard them live and I was not disappointed. Robin delivered the vocals beautifully but I hadn't expected anything less. Laughing and Dancing, Woman That You Are and the brief but sublime The Dream Inspires were flawless.

The more upbeat songs were delivered with a boundless energy such as this latest single to be released, Just Can't Keep This Feeling In, Everything All The Time and what is one of my top favourites Look At The Stars (They're Really Out Tonight). It is just so grand sounding, and live they really pull no punches. The life they imbue it with is just unstoppable. Then there's the solidness of the hook-laden chorus on Singing Sin City. The music may not lend itself to moshing but there were many in the audience that night bopping up and down to the ravishing rhythms pouring out from the stage. We were also treated to a few other songs including their version of Bruce Springsteen's Atlantic City. Recently recorded for Clubhouse Records' Nebraska tribute album, it was performed with such intensity every single one of the crowd couldn't help but be transfixed. With so many bands and artists out there to see and such limited funds, it is not always easy to get to one gig but for The Dreaming Spires I'll get where I can when I can, even if it means seeing them several times throughout the year. They put on a show that is warm and inviting. You cannot help but just feel like a big part of an extended family of fans.

On another note but tied in, Nebraska Sessions is now available digitally via iTunes >>here<<. It is well worth parting with a little bit of cash for this celebratory album featuring a host of hugely talented independent artists. You can also read more about the album and the artists involved >>here<<.

The Black Feathers
WOW! Yes folks, another gobsmackingly gobsmacking duo that have the WOW factor in abundance. The ticklishly tantalizing sounds of The Black Feathers will put you in a trance and leave you begging for more! They come together so perfectly and harmoniously and are on my list of people I cannot wait to see play live. Yes, there are lots on that list I know but these are right up at the top. I get my wish granted too, in February next year and I'm grateful I don't have to spend a fortune on fuel to get there, as it is in a neighbouring town that is actually within the county I live in. Bonus!

They are hard at work on what will be their debut 5 track EP, due out early next year. In the meantime they have a 4 track EP of demos that are less demos and more crisp and pristine tracks. Each and every one of them demonstrate why The Black Feathers are going to keep on climbing up to become very well known on the music circuit. Just get listening. They are sublime and flawless. I am counting down the seconds to February for what will be one of the gigs of the year for me. I feel confident in making such a claim based purely on these demos and a couple of videos I've seen. Make sure you visit their own website for lots more.

Andy Ruddy

Now, as you may be aware (and for those of you who aren't, well you're about to become aware) - I discovered the terrific talent of Bradford singer-songwriter Andy Ruddy via the 'sponsored' advertisements on Facebook. So, they do work and they do, at times, suggest some truly amazing stuff. This is one of those times because, well, you will have heard for yourself and if not then take a listen, check out his page(s) and get liking. There are downloads a-plenty available at his Soundcloud page, which you can access by clicking on these embedded players.

In fact, there are so many awesome tunes on his soundcloud page I'm really hoping there is an album on the cards because it will definitely be one that will be joining my collection. The sooner the better too! Andy's list of influences makes interesting reading too. Although his own songs have that all-important and necessary mark of distinct originality (and star quality to be fair), I can understand how those influences have been utilized for him to produce such excellence. From Neil Finn and Dan Wilson to Aqualung and Oasis, it still cannot be ignored how Andy brings that touch of something deeply personal to his work. When all songs are so damn good it gets very difficult to pick out any stand outs. They ALL stand out as excellent. I do really enjoy the piano version of My Energy (above) and Only Now is beautiful. But then, I chose On This Great Day to play on the podcast too for the reason I think it has such a life to it and it sums up Andy's style just perfectly. Then there's the contrast which demonstrates his versatility with Fly By Night, you really shouldn't miss.  If you enjoy these then get checking out more and drop him some feedback.

Everything On Red
This northern rock band produce a sound that is immediately infectious! It isn't only infectious but highly contagious too. It may be necessary to request scientists get working on a vaccine to contain it before it threatens to spread across the UK before taking on the world and eradicating all other forms of contemporary rock music. It is great stuff and if other alternative rock bands aren't careful and don't step up to the mark themselves then they only have themselves to blame when Everything On Red leave their mark - which yes, is red - on every corner of Rockdom.

The band's wide range of influences can be heard clearly in their banging tunes. From punk rock to power pop they combine crunching guitars, sweeping synths and heartfelt vocals to create a vibrant, rich and diverse sound. What I think works really well too, is how each of the three members contribute their own individual songs to the band, sharing vocal duties. This means you really do get something different as opposed to having just the one vocalist, as is traditional. Not that there's anything wrong with the traditional of course but, you know, it's always nice to have something different. You can buy a copy of their latest release, Songs For Sirens by visiting the store on their Facebook page .

Page 44
Now these guys are from Birmingham so I demand you go and get yourself a copy of their smashing EP Leave The Last Man Behind right NOW. DO NOT pass GO & DO NOT collect £200. Okay, you can collect the £200 but make sure you take out the £2.70 for this excellent EP. You can grab it via iTunes for one and why would you not part with just £2.70 for the 5 fantastic tracks it will get you. One of them, Watch Me Fade features twice but its second time is a live version recorded at the London Roundhouse. It closes the little collection in perfect style and will whet your appetites for seeing the band live when they head out for shows again next year. 

They play one awesome set, something you can be assured of because they didn't get hand-picked to support The All American Rejects for nothing, you know! They also opened the second stage at Download Festival, I must add! The band are currently in prolific practice mode for their headlining closing show of the year at The Birmingham Ballroom (Other Room) on Saturday 15th December. Tickets are £7 and what a rocktastically rockarific (I really shouldn't should I?) night of quality banging alternative rock music it is going to be. If you're a Birmingham resident then get your tickets >>here<< and get along to support local live music. When it comes in such a quality package as Page 44 you really should not be missing out. These guys are growing and they are going to be big!

It seems like there is just lashing after lashing of FREE music this time round. All of the songs from this alternative rock band are available for FREE via their bandcamp page >>here<<. Make sure you drop by and sample some and then of course download for yourself. Enjoy, share and let's get a mass download going on. It's great stuff and you can hear the passion they will bring to their live shows as it smashes through the music with full force.

Brooke Sharkey
Independent in all senses of the word and with its 5th December release date fast approaching there's no stopping these wondrous gypsy and blues inspired folk ballads from stunning music lovers. With her unique vocal sound reaching you in a mix of both English and French, married with some brilliant and beautiful music, Brooke Sharkey should prepare for Later With Jools now because it is only a matter of time before we see her up on the box. One Dress is a stunning album destined to dazzle. There's a lovely review of it you should read >>here<<. All this clicking but it is totally worth it. Get clicking folks!

While you're in the clicking mood, click play on the video for Our Ways, above to see Brooke in action. I love, love, love her use of flipping between English and French, on this song in particular. Some of those strings sound very 1920's and so elegant how it speeds up too. It is just a wonderful piece of music. Very different to His Voice which only serves to demonstrate how diverse One Dress is, as an album. Make sure you download your FREE copy of His Voice too before you move on. Then buy the album for more greatness!


It's been a heck of a year for this 4-piece indie-rock band from Wandsworth. I wouldn't be surprised if they have to keep pinching themselves. Highlights have been the release of some truly amazing singles, not least the boisterously banging Twenty Three and ethereally electrifying Eve (I've played both these on previous podcasts). Gigs-wise they set off on the road supporting US Rock legends Incubus before being selected to open for the mountainous and magnificent Muse more recently after another band pulled out of a London show.
Determined to end the year up on a lofty high sees the release of their latest 2 track single. Pretty much everything about fiN is amazing and what helps this along is how incredibly interesting they are. They manage it once again with two songs which couldn't be more distinct to previous releases, if they each took up a banjo and started strumming. They haven't of course but what we have to enjoy are two further songs that demonstrates the phenomenal degree of talent they possess. This entertains by way of them creating, exuding and generating such a buzzing energy with everything they do that it immediately pulls you in for one amazing journey. If you're yet to sample their tunes, then get on board but make sure you're strapped in. Even if you're not secure they will take good care of you. Just get listening because you really are missing out on something spectacular.

Life Is Wasted On The Living is a perfect way to end their successful year. Its intro pulls no punches in forcefully sucking you out of the emotional vacuum of reality to deliver lyircs alerting you to be aware of what makes for an enjoyable life. They are just wonderful words with an important message given how so many people grind themselves into the ground. Folk get caught up in the whole rat race, wanting what someone else tells them they should because it's what is 'in' and so-and-so has it. All the while such people are missing the real point and taking for granted those things that are there to make them happy. It sounds hugely philosophical but it's really quite simple and dressed up in such great musical attire, you'll be singing along to the words after just one listen. A hit at their live shows, it's easy to understand why because it is one that will unite the audience in a big sing and dance/mosh along. 'Now, what are you waiting for?'

Lucky You is different yet again. The band move you along effortlessly with the musical arrangements and Luke exercises his vocal range by way of sublime sounding somersaults, with a fiNtastic falsetto that will have you hitting that <repeat track> button because you can't get enough! It wraps things up percectly and is no doubt another kick ass tune on their live set. I so need to see them and SOON please! We have to get on it and quick though because they are so bloody good I can see them selling out huge venues before long.
You can pre-order your limited edition 7" Vinyl, which includes an MP3 download from >>here<<.

Previous releases you really need to be checking out below include the delightful and largely instrumental The Artisan with the die-hard alternative rock of Rapture. The band showed a more delicate side with the very Muse-esque Everybody Dies Alone as it builds to colossal heights, gathering up some truly inspiring instrumentals. It already sounds like it is one of those well-known anthem-type songs played all the time on the radio. This was accompanied by the lovely and hook-laden It Changes Everything, which has some fiNtastic synths. Then prior to the latest, as mentioned above, came Twenty Three and Eve. All these should be available as a full album sometime early next year and I believe it is going to be released digitally following all the double singles being released throughout this year on limited edition vinyl. Such a wonderful way to sell their music, in my opinion. These guys don't just have everything, they have the universe when it comes to originality and I think even with the industry in the kind of disarray it is (same as most industries these days I suppose), there aint nothing gonna stop fiN from breaking out there and getting in everyone's faces (and ears while they're at it of course). It's one lucky world to have them to entertain it, if you ask me. There really isn't any other band out there like them so if you haven't already, get yourselves acquainted. You can interact with the cheeky chaps directly via their Twitter account @fiNuk.


What a remarkable and beautiful song this is! Thanks once again goes to the marvelous folk at Prescription PR for sending this single my way for me to stream on the blog. I'm just sorry I couldn't have got it up sooner and before the release date. Reborn was released by Klak Tik on 26th November so I'm not too late I guess. It is just so atmospheric and listening to it I can feel the kind of cool breeze that just makes the hottest day, perfect. Or, and I know this may be an odd comparison, when you turn over a hot pillow while you're trying to get to sleep and your world feels complete at the calming coolness of the underside of it.

This is the first single to be taken from their forthcoming sophomore album, The Servants - due out next Spring. It follows hot on the heels of their 2010 acclaimed debut Must We Find a Winner, which I am yet to hear but it is the very next on my long list, I can assure you. Reborn is wonderfully written with opening lyrics that instantly grabbed my attention because of how deeply they speak to me:

I thought I knew at least,
What freedom really means
A job that I hate
Work every day
I could be wrong

The chorus is magnificent, 'Now I've finally woken up, to the beauty of the world through a love song, through a love song that I heard from the rivers and the birds,' how it captures the reality of the powerful dream in breaking free of the drab and mundane city life. The epiphany is delivered through a rich mix of instruments (acoustic guitars, soft banjo and a brass section) providing a catchy melody that remains on the right side of ethereal, not least by the way of the gentle harmonious vocals of Søren Bonke. It's serene pace renders you instantly restful to enjoy it and get you ready for what is to come next year. Given the quality of this single I am rather excited to hear the rest of The Servants.

Recorded in a makeshift studio deep underground beneath the Parys Mountain in Wales, it seems a perfect place to have recorded a song about escaping the rat race to appreciate the countryside. The breathtaking Welsh landscape no doubt provided some important influences in the recording of the rest of the album. As I've already mentioned, I am incredibly excited indeed about hearing the end result. Now it is time for you to part with just 79 little pennies for your very own digital copy of Reborn by clicking >>here<<.


I've been intending to include at least a video from these punk-rock melodic maestros (in their own words) for so long I need shooting for not sharing something sooner! But hey, instead of wasting your time lining up to take turns at trying to shoot me I urge you to use your precious time more wisely and hit play on this video for utoXator's The Seas Will Rise. Go on. Do it now and enjoy this f***ing amazing tune! I cannot but use an expletive to express how loud, banging and amazing I find this band. I just love how this tune takes your scalp off with its big heavy sound and yet does it in a very smooth and painless way. More please guys. You can (and bloody well should) grab yourself a copy of the band's first EP, Stop & Listen from their Merchandise site >>here<<.


What I think would make one fantastic night of proper hard rock/metal music would be the awesome Lightfire and utoXator being on the bill. I sincerely hope something like this happens and soon!! Perhaps I should get arranging this although I have no idea where to start. So what, I can learn. Ooh! I'll keep you posted if I manage to get anywhere near it. In the meantime keep your eyes peeled (ears open too) for any dates utoXator announce around their local area and get along because live music is where it's at folks! Listen to Paint On Walls below. Another song that kicks your ass so hard there will be bruising. When it's this good though, bruises are totally worth it.


The Emperors of Wyoming
It may have taken them thirty years to finally get this record off the ground but there's no stopping it rising up the ranks of alternative country and americana lists now it's finally been unleashed. Why so long? All of the friends who make up these mighty musical Emperors have been rather busy with numerous other projects. Not least, Butch Vig producing some of the most successful post-punk records of the 90's (Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins) and drumming for alternative rock band Garbage. You can read my review of The Emperors' self-titled debut album >>here<< and just hit play on this, the first video to be released for Avalanche Girl and enjoy.


Boat To Row - LOYAL LIGHT **NEW EP**
This indie-folk band wowed me at Truck Festival earlier in the year and continue to do so following the release of their latest EP, Loyal Light. Contemporary folk music has been undergoing a revival of sorts over the past decade and it just keeps going from strength to strength. This collective of highly skilled musicians and singers (from the Midlands no less) have just completed a tour supporting this release. I regret I was unable to make any of the dates near to me and so I do hope a new tour or set of dates will be announced for early in the new year. There are many places they are yet to grace with their stylish musical tones and these places will be at a loss until they play them. Loyal Light will cost you just £3.50 for 5 awesome tracks which you can check out in full below. Ode To Work A Day fits well the theme covered by the two singles I reviewed above (from fiN & Klak Tik) and while I like them all, Old Scenes is a particular favourite.

While we're hanging around in the more folky arena I'd like to mention the sublime indie alternative folk band The Epstein have announced a gig in their hometown of Oxford. Tickets are flying out so if you're nearby or can make it down I suggest you get purchasing your ticket(s), which are just £10, from >>here<<. Support for this PinDrop Mid Winter Festival comes from Wild Swim, Flights of Helios and Danny George Wilson. So, an afternoon and evening of rather splendid and top quality music for you. If only I could make it along myself. No luck with my teleportation device I'm afraid but it is being worked on. I'll try not to collapse a wormhole or create a black hole in the process but I assure you that if I do, there will be some kick-ass tunes playing as everything gets sucked in. I intend to cover more on The Epstein early next year.

Now, if only a lovely empty yellow VW campervan would just drive up and open its door for me to own it.

In Brief...
A very quick stop in Norway to just share a song from singer-songwriter gonnabe, hoola hooper wannabe Johnny Andre Nesje. I believe he began following me on Twitter so naturally I checked out his tunes. He has some fantastic stuff up on his Soundcloud page, which I advise you to check out once you've had a listen to Summertime.

I have recently joined the Mixcloud army! It's a fantastic way for me to be able to bring you lots more playlists of copyrighted music I'm not able to use in my downloadable podcast. Therefore, in between the regular podcasts I'll be running a Band of Badgers Presents Something Else cloudcast. The first one is recorded and will be up soon with a blogcast to follow it. It may be a little while before I get to publish it on the blog but just check by my Mixcloud page for a listen. At this stage and to help keep me producing things as quick as I possibly can, I'm thinking the blogcasts for those cloudcasts will not be anywhere near as long as the likes of those for the podcast. I'm sure I'll pack in as much information, links and other stuff as I can though. Any regulars (I do have some don't I? Or do I scare you all off too quickly?) will know me well enough by now and thus my tendency to waffle on somewhat. Like now, in fact. 

Time to make this a wrap so I can go make an Ovaltine (with lashings of Baileys I must add) and get to bed. I am so rock and roll and cannot believe I just shared with you that I drink Ovaltine. It's not a regular thing by any means but it is the only thing with which my taste buds will allow me to consume Baileys. So it is kinda rock n roll isn't it? No? Okay, I'll work on that and come Christmas I should have a nice bottle of JD or something similar. How's that sound? 

TweetAs ever I've missed out loads of stuff I just don't have the time or space (cue Doctor Who theme) to include but I am working through the list. It grows daily and I will need to be doing this into my second century to fit everything in but I'm up for that. The next show will be a Cloudcast as I mentioned above but the podcast will be back after that with another playlist of top indie talent. Keep safe and I will try not to get sucked into George R R Martin's A Storm of Swords Part Two too badly or else another blog post this month would be unlikely. Remember folks, WINTER IS COMING! Peace.

PS - If you've managed to make it all the way down here, well done. May I ask you if you would be so kind as to vote for me in the European Podcast Awards via this wee little player? My humblest of thanks to you.