Monday, 8 April 2013


Hola peoples of the music loving variety. Always with the apologies but I recorded this podcast way back at the end of February. Madness! I was supposed to be getting a quicker move on. I bang on about this each and every time, I know - broken record much. Still, it is here now for your listening and reading and whatever else pleasure. Happy Easter to y'all by the way, even though I've missed that now as well. Reading a news website to catch up with some headlines just before the Easter break I stumbled across this rather tasty looking badger. The title was Betty's Chocolate Badger which, if you ask me, invites a number of connotations I shall not go into here (cue some kind of traditional folk song). Very apt for Band of Badgers Presents, wouldn't you say?

I am still rather high from the Sigur Ros gig at the start of last month (yes, still on about that). That was boosted up by another chance to see the marvelous roots singer-songwriter Luke Jackson at Stratford Folk Club. Good Friday became Great Friday thanks to his ever-awesome and stunning performances. Insanely talented for such a young chap. Check out these couple of videos from that gig. The first, White Lies was a song I played on my very first podcast about a year ago now (Happy Birthday BOBP). Although I'd seen Luke twice before this gig, this was the first time he has played this song. Well done to the local opening act Hannah and Sam too, who were fantastic. I shall be keeping my eyes open for more from this pair as the year goes on so expect to see them feature in some way at some point.

Picture taken by myself
The latest gig I went to was in The City itself, London town. Misfit Barry (Simon) aka Iwan Rheon performed at Bush Hall on Saturday 6th April. As I'm on his mailing list (seriously so many mailing lists but hey, there are fantastic freebies involved sometimes) I got a FREE download of a track Iwan recorded in the studio. How he finds the time to do the music as well as the acting I do not know. Particularly as he is in so much stuff. Not least in season 3 of Game of Thrones which I didn't even know about before last week. How this little nugget of geekery information passed me by I do not know. A loss of geek points for me. Before I get on with things you should totally go purchase his new EP Bang Bang via iTunes >>here<<.

Anyway, without much more of a ramble as I'm so far behind I'm barely out of January (perhaps that's why it still feels so bloody cold), I will get on with this blogcast.

Picture taken from The Scholars' Facebook page
Indeed, I am so far behind I really am stuck in January as returning readers of the blog will note Love The Thunder was released by The Scholars back at the end of January. I did share it a couple of times at that time so I can be forgiven. And like I say, I did have it on the podcast by the end of February it's just taken me until now to get it on here. Anywho, you should get buying this wonderful track if you haven't already, although there's also a marvelous bundle you can probably still get your hands on for £15. This includes all the songs the band have released so far, a t-shirt and a mug. Check out their official Facebook page for more details and send the guys a message.

Alternatively and more appropriately, the band have a new EP collection which will be available exclusively at their live shows. Re-Wired features ALL their singles and is the only way to get Love The Thunder in a physical format.

With a few months gone it is time for another release for the guys and this time it is my personal favourite of the current batch, Spooks. Seeing them play this live in Banbury at the beginning of February just cemented its greatness for me. It has EVERYTHING! I'm a huge fan of all their music, as you can no doubt guess from how much I feature them, but this tune is just AMAZING! Spooks is released on 8th April and will be another FREE download so please please please get on that and grab some fantastic FREE music. Share it, review it, share it some more. And if you happen to have a spare quid floating about you can be kind and generous and pay for this top tune. You don't have to of course but given the quality I really think you should. As with their previous releases, there's also an official video at their YouTube channel, which I've included above. I understand now exactly what band member Leigh Taylor meant when he was discussing the editing mission ahead of him. It is stellar work. An excellent end result!

There are a number of gig dates up on their website so don't miss out on a tremendous live act. Get along to one and bring all your mates. You won't be disappointed. There's also a little something special from guitarist Chris Gillett to come in the next post as he's released his own solo EP, Secret Sin. Before I feature it you can (and you really should) of course check it out >>here<<

Another track released quite a while ago and I have also shared this one via a blog post previously. I nevertheless wanted to give it an airing on the podcast. Fresh from the disbanding of the marvelous band he belonged to (The Last Republic), Jonnie Owen teamed up with producer Tom Manning to collaborate with just a few ideas. The ideas grew and the results of their experimentation bore fruit in the form of a debut album. That fruit is still ripening but this first tasty offering in the form of Indigo bodes very well indeed. Grab your FREE copy via the music glue website by clicking >>here<<

There's also a really cool interview with Jonnie on the Alternative Music Press blog. Read that >>here<<.

Picture from Arcane Roots Facebook page
What a stonker of a tune! Resolve showcases all the amazing wonder of these guys and gives a sneaky peak at just what fantastic music is in store for us from their forthcoming debut album, Blood & Chemistry due out 6th May. There's also a headline tour to promote the release, the dates for which are on the band's website as well as below for your ease. In the meantime click on their Soundcloud page and grab yourselves these two FREE downloads. Music this good that is FREE astounds me. All FREE music astounds me but it is so difficult for artists and bands these days with music piracy as rife as it is.

Their sound is pure ROCK to the core but they mix together a number of other genres so seamlessly you'll notice no dividing lines. Moreover, they stand out from the mass crowd of what's out there currently, in my opinion. I'm quadruply mega uber-excited I should be seeing these guys at this year's Truck Festival. Live, I imagine Arcane Roots kick some mighty ass!

Tuesday 30th April - Clwb Ifor, Cardiff
Wednesday 1st May - Bacchus, Kingston Upon Thames
Thursday 2nd May - Liverpool Sound City Festival, Liverpool (various venues)
Thursday 2nd May - Rock City, Nottingham
Saturday 4th May - Kasbah - Coventry
Sunday 5th May - O2 ABC 2, Glasgow
Monday 6th May - The Think Tank, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Tuesday 7th May - Sound Control, Manchester
Wednesday 8th May - The Cockpit, Leeds
Thursday 9th May - Electrowerkz, London

I did indeed share the latest EP from The Como Brothers Band in the previous blog post. It needed sharing as I was running so late with this post. When I recorded it and played the awesome Parachute as part of the playlist, the EP Still Waters still hadn't yet been released. I was hoping to have this blogcast up and sorted by or shortly after that release date. It deserves another massive share so I'll push it again. Make sure you get to the band's Reverbnation page (click >>here<<) to check out the tunes it offers. Still Waters is accomplished and superb!

There are also some FREE downloads from these guys. I know! So much FREE stuff this time so far. Go get. No excuses! The songs Bad Karma and I Don't Like You are available right now with just a couple of clicks. Such is my enjoyment of this band's music I'll be sharing more of it by playing Bad Karma on podcast #14.

The brothers Como would be hugely appreciative if you'd kindly take a few moments of your time to vote for them in the Battle of the Bands so they can be in with a chance of getting selected to play on the US Warped Tour 2013. Click on this link >>here<< and after a few more little clicks you can help them on their way to being a part of that tour. They will thank you and so will I. And Poppy Cat too and given she's a deity you're being thanked by the divine, so come on folks. Get clicking and voting please.

It saddened me I was unable to make it to Lightfire's EP launch a while back. I had even put it in my diary months before. Such is the life of a penniless writer *violins begin to play mournfully*. Anywho, I am hoping I will get along to a show at some point this year. In the meantime I can't stop playing the tunes from Run Aground as well as those from a CD I bought from the band earlier last year. It takes a heck of a lot to beat their contemporary heavy rock sound. If you like your rock music, hard and heavy balanced with sublime vocals then make sure you get on board the Lightfire train. You can purchase Run Aground from iTunes by clicking >>here<<.

These boys have been rather busy lately. Not only have they been out on the road as part of the opening support for the mighty Funeral For A Friend, but they've been working hard on album #2. They have also just set off on the road yet again headlining for a string of dates as part of the OurZone FOUND Tour 2013. Tickets are a mere few quid paying for the transaction fee. A perfect way for you to enjoy some quality live hard alternative rock music in a cost effective way. Tickets are available via the OurZoneMag website >>here<<.

Also, following their slot at last year's Download festival they are returning again for more this year. I Divide are smashing it folks so get your piece of them now. I mean just listen to this stunning live piano rendition of Cold At The Bottom! AMAZING!

Picture taken from Poor Souls Facebook page

Here we have a truly international type of affair. The Poor Souls of Pompeii hail from London via Pakistan, Norfolk, America and South Korea. Quite a few continents included there creating a trans-continental band of sorts. Their sound is rather exquisite as well. The music is awesome, the vocals, stunning. When music is this good it deserves to be paid for in full. But you lucky indie music fans get their entire debut album totally FREE via their Facebook page (click >>here<<). 

Without Finesse belies its very name because there is finesse galore on the finished record. It is packed with tune after tune. This is a debut to be mighty proud of and like I say, the band deserve to be getting paid for their hard work. If they are serious about their collective interests they'll happily take world domination via sushi, a bottle of red wine and meat.

Making music to balance out the craziness you see every day in life is perhaps one of THE best reasons to make music. That is just what German rock band Anokato aspire to do. They do it rather well, if you ask me. Influences reach far beyond their home country, with their name meaning 'topsy turvy' in Greek. Doesn't have the same ring to it as Anokato does it? That said, Anokato suits them just perfectly and while the music is topsy turvy, it is in such a quality way you will not help but love it.

Further, DeZombification means the act of getting oneself out of autopilot. It is also the name of their album project. This is no ordinary way of releasing music. For every 10,000 followers Anokato get on Twitter, they release a new song. Follow them @anokatoband. I'll be honest, I LOVE this music. It really does what it claims to. It is different. It is rock. Sometimes hard, sometimes soft and sometimes there are heavy bass lines and a bit of rap thrown into the mix. There's ambient sounds thrown in too. There is so much and it all comes together beautifully. Plus, is it just me who thinks one of the vocalists sounds a tad like a certain Mr Bowie? Not intentionally but just how he sounds. Awesome stuff. Download your FREE EP via the website.

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I just could not resist getting Phil McMinn's debut 4-track EP, A Crystal / A Diamond / An End / A Start. Everything I was reading and hearing about it was making me get closer and closer. As you may or may not be aware, my finances are not great so I do have to be careful what I'm spending on music. If I had my way, I would happily spend all my monthly salary on buying new (and old, for that matter) music but sadly we can't all have what we want. It was only a couple of quid so it was cost effective anyway. Released in December last year, this was at a time when we all plough our hard-earned cash into the big commercial materialistic capitalist dream that used to be referred to as Christmas. Bah humbug! Don't get me started on that. Pennies become even less expendable is what I mean, but I was sure to set some aside for this EP and it was a worthy investment.

Phil is AMAZING! There it is! Nuff said. But hang on a minute. This tremendous talent needs more words. Yes, I do go on a bit too much a lot of the time but sometimes there is great need. The 4 tracks on this record are nothing short of musical perfection. His vocals are sublime. I could happily just stick a CD of his on repeat (or indeed, it's digital equivalent) and just relax, listening to it for hours on end. You may not be able to get hold of one of the original limited edition physical CDs (so glad I got mine) but you can buy the digital version via bandcamp above. What are you waiting for? Have a listen to it. Trust me, once you have you will not be able to stop your fingers clicking that BUY NOW button.

Sukh is indeed the King! With a debut album like the one he is gearing up to release, he has earned this regal status. There's a real warmth and a staggering depth to his folk-infused sound. The lyrics are contemplative and while darker sides are explored, Sukh brings us back into the light with a subtle yet refreshing objectivity. The single Kings is available to buy via iTunes for just 79 little pennies. Click >>here<< to buy. You can get a sneaky listen to a few other songs from the forthcoming album via Sukh's Soundcloud page, including the very beautiful Clear Horizon below.

He also has some wonderful videos on his YouTube page you should check out. Also, DO NOT miss out on the gigs listed if you are in the area because this guy is going to be unmissable, live. Dates below.

10th April - The Tiger Lounge, Manchester
19th April - The Constitution, London
4th June - TV Nights, upstairs @ Ronnie Scott's, London

In the last blog post I shared the recent release of Whitemoor's second single from the forthcoming follow-up to their self-titled debut album, Horizons. It's a case of just when you think you might have a band pegged down to some kind of sound they go and surprise you into next year. Not that Whitemoor have ever rested on any one specific pigeon-hole type label system but you know, things do at least often settle in a particular area. Hover. Yes, hover would be a more appropriate word because they do always move around. All I've Ever Known blows you right out of that area, though. With added vocals from MC Alex 'Motormouf' Young (from Just James), it features something magical. It really works superbly. This is the official video for the song so please watch, enjoy and share. Show some love please and if you haven't downloaded the single yet? Get on it by clicking >>here<<.

Mercia Events Ltd is a new events and promotions company. Specialising in live music, promoting new bands and hosting comedy events they also now have an artist and venue agency able to link performers with quality venues around the UK. Their mission, as they've chosen to accept it, is: to provide the very best in music, new music and comedy entertainment events in the UK. And the reason I'm mentioning them here? Well, they have kindly linked this blog to their page so I will be featuring lots more about them in due course. Listings and helping to promote various events for them. They do a great deal for unsigned indie music acts who, given the state of the music industry as it stands, struggle to get their feet in the door through the usual channels. For this alone they are to be commended. In a similar way to the great work of New Music Connection.

While their fantastic Live House shows are not exactly live in your very own house (house gigs seem to be really catching on though these days, so who knows what may follow), they do offer a night of quality live music from top emerging talent from all over the UK. These events provide a platform for brand new and existing bands/artists to perform to new audiences while building up some experience of playing professionally. Their next event is on Thursday 2nd May at Brewhouse Arts Centre in Burton on Trent. Tickets are available to purchase via their website (click >>here<<). Tickets cost £8.50 (or £7.50 for you students).

The line-up is garage flavoured rock n roll band The Cheap Thrills from Liverpool. OMG! Checking out their official video for Serfdom, it is beyond belief these guys aren't already huge! They sound rounded, polished and produce such quality I am gutted I won't be able to get my ass to this gig. I don't live a million miles away from Burton on Trent so I will be getting to one at some point. You know the score for me though. I don't earn enough and have ridiculously low annual leave entitlement (as does pretty much everyone to be fair). So, as it is on a Thursday night and with fuel costs involved it's not do-able, at present. I'm working on it, believe me! Gutted! The other band I'm already familiar with and can hopefully play a tune from both these on a future podcast. The Indieannas, I'm sure I've featured, or at least mentioned before as they are on the same label as Whitemoor - Sound-Hub. Again, gutted I can't get to the gig as I would love to review it too. I'll share a bit more about these two great bands before that gig anyways so fear not. The Indieannas new single is available for download from iTunes though, so click >>here<< to grab hold of that.

I MUST share this wonderful podcast with you while I'm at it. Mr Peeps Presents is a part of the Mercia Events network too and offers the best in unsigned music. I've listened to the first two podcasts thus far and cannot wait to catch up with the third. They are half the length of mine and Mr Peeps doesn't ramble on quite as much as myself, which is a blessing of course. Please don't all leave me though as we both offer great unsigned and indie music. You really need to be listening to this one as well and at just over half hour it is something you can slip in to your busy schedules quite easily. Podcast #1 is below for you. There will most certainly be some overlap, by which I mean I am so impressed by a lot of the music he plays, I will be featuring some in future blog post music shares.

Picture taken from Mercians' Facebook page
While in the Mercia region there's a stunning local alternative rock band called Mercians who have released 4 top tracks via their Reverbnation page. This is an awesome EP I had me appetite whetted for a few weeks ago after hearing just one of the tracks, We Are Kraken. The other three certainly don't disappoint so come on, get behind this fantastic local band! Keep up to date via both their Reverbnation and Facebook pages because there are some gig dates up you really shouldn't be missing too.

Picture taken from The Fireflys Facebook page
Their forthcoming album Embers of The Autumn is so damn HOT, The Fireflys are sure to set the summer ablaze when they release it. I've said before how every now and then I come across a band who are instantly adopted as a band of the moment. The Fireflys are just such a band and the latest on my list so rather than bang on too much about them here, they will be getting their very own blog post. It will include a review of the stunning Embers of The Autum, information on some previous releases, a bit about 3-piece alternative rock band themselves and in their very own words by way of some interview questions. Have a listen to the first song from this new album, Julianne, below.

It has taken blood, sweat and tears to get to the point they're at today and produce this latest album but when it is as amazing as the end result here, it all becomes completely worth it. Find out just what it took to get this made in this forthcoming dedicated post. To keep you going until then you can listen to their album Cathedral For Your Ashes at their Soundcloud page. Just click >>here<<. This is also available to buy via Amazon >>here<< or via iTunes >>here<<. And yes, there's more of that stunning guitar work at play in Embers.

Daniel started following me on Twitter (follow him @daniel_pearson). This is how I was introduced to his acclaimed music. Needless to say I snapped up the FREE download of Waves In The Sea that is on offer. Get your copy via bandcamp by clicking on the below.

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There is oh so very much more from Daniel though so check out the sample via his Soundcloud page. These include a number of songs from his albums Satellites and Mercury State. Both these albums are available from the online store at his official website (click >>here<<). Alternatively you can buy Daniel's music via iTunes, if that is your preferred method (click >>here<<). This is a singer-songwriter with a pure UK americana soul offering up some of the best contemporary folk, soaked in soft rock with liberal dashes of alternative country. While multiple genres get their look-in, demonstrating the scope to his talents, I've included the mellow Factory Floor with its beautiful build up. This song is on the more recent album, Mercury State. It gave me mega goosebumps. Now go. Stock up on those marvelous albums.


I class this as a VERY special feature. I'll be honest, I had not heard of Nynke before receiving an email from one of the wonderful folk at Prescription PR (thanks Jay), about her forthcoming album. She hails from Friesland and the thing that makes her even more special than her beautiful voice is that she sings in one of the world's rarest languages. Frisian is only spoken in the northern parts of The Netherlands. With a dedicated commitment to cultural diversity, Nynke's music helps to preserve and develop one of Europe's final remaining minority languages. The title of the album, Alter, is an inspired and important choice, having several meanings. It is Latin for 'other', the English verb for 'to change/transform'. In Frisian it means 'altar' connecting it to the very rituals of life. Enjoy the above track (and please share it), translated in English as Dance Of The Seeds and look out for a complete album review coming soon. It is a beauty!

Monday Morning is the new single from British-born but Canadian-based singer-songwriter James Younger. I've read it described as pop sorcery and have to agree there is certainly something magical about it. I think James is going to prove he has some mighty power to wield in the pop world. It isn't strictly pop but it leaps into the market quite comfortably. It is much more than that, though. The first listen had me going from the off. It makes me want to move. It pulls you up, demanding some active listening. It wouldn't sound out of place among the greatest of the indie alternative rock type stuff and although there's much more yet to come from James, I think Monday Morning deserves to be up there already.

Go and buy your copy of Monday Morning NOW from >>here<< and make your Monday Morning a better one. Heck, listening to this tune will make every moment of every day much better for you. Thankfully, we shouldn't have too long to wait for more top music from James, with his debut album Feelin' American due out this summer.

Late, late AND late! That's me. Apologies. Typically, a little bit more traditional than I tend to go for but after listening to Broken Down Gentlemen just once I knew I had to write some words about it. I love this album. It's easy to understand why Faustus were nominated in the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. The triumvirate consists of Saul Rose (Waterson: Carthy, Whapweasel), Benji Kirkpatrick (Seth Lakeman Band, Bellowhead) and Paul Sartin (Bellowhead, Belshazzar's Feast), each individually distinguished and accomplished yet they come together as the Faustus fellowship to produce something magnificent.

Broken Down Gentlemen is their second album. It actually excites me I still have another whole record to enjoy, even if I am doing this backwards. It opens with the title track featuring Benji on lead vocals and while cemented in the traditional folk sound, it has a totally fresh and contemporary feel to it. It instantly brings to mind a tavern common room full of folk enjoying their ale and wine. The torches burn bright and the people are in their cups having a good ole' dance to just such a group of musicians as you might find out on the road during peacetime in Westeros (Game of Thrones). That might have something to do with the accompanying melody being the Cotswold morris dance tune, Bobbing Joan. The arrangement is wonderful. In contrast American Stranger stirs up the emotions with its lamenting vocals, this time from Paul. It concludes with a near two minute instrumental that is no less moving. The fiddle in particular, is sublime.

It's Saul's turn at the vocals for Prentice Boy and here comes a tune that while upbeat and jig-inducing, it completely subverts the dark nature of its lyrics. A few tracks later and Captain's Apprentice tugs harder at the soul. No upbeat jig for this sad tale; rather a solemn memorial for this prentice boy, killed at the hands of his master's mistreatment. Murder and death are subjects all folk fans are familiar with. Indeed, they are as prevalent as sexual innuendo in many a traditional song. I'll leave the closing track Thrashing Machine with you *blushes*. When a chorus comes along it tends to be one that entices you to sing along with a passion. Altogether now, 'Blow The Windy Morning, blow the winds I-O...' and 'Steady on the tiller with your Hog's Eye O, You are the Hog's Eye Man.' The former has a marvelous magical melody that enchants, the latter so hook-laden it's impossible to shake off.

These three talented musicians have taken ten traditional English folk songs and produced perfect, pristine musical arrangements. They have added to this their flawless vocals with some beautiful backing harmonies, to produce a folk masterpiece. The arrangements on the likes of The Banks of The Nile, Lovely Johnny and American Stranger showcase their supremacy in the genre. It is easy to see why they work ceaselessly on such numerous other projects, because their outstanding musicianship is quite rightly in high demand. 

What a sound! Ambient and atmospheric. Seasfire are an electronic band describing themselves as 4am melancholy, drifting pianos and desolate songs of heartbreak from the shadows of Bristol. It sounds mighty grim doesn't it? It really isn't. While many of the songs may very well touch upon the darker side of human emotion, Seasfire express them with such a succinct perfection the results are sublime. And their remixes are revolutionary.

This is electronic pop as it should be. Talented musicians producing quality experimental music! You can preview the new EP We Will Wake via iTunes >>here<<.

Time to don those briefs again. Oh dear! Why do I do that? For those of you who aren't currently throwing up and hitting the little x button in the top right hand corner, here's a couple of final pieces to share with y'all.

This is the second time I've included a video from this marvelous folk roots duo and this second one is every bit as aurally tasty and sublime as the last one. As soon as time allows I'll feature more about them but there are all the regular links for you to go hear and see more of their stunning music in the meantime. This gem is a video for the Ont' Sofa Gibson Sessions. Rita Payne performed a few original songs, this one is Not A Penny To My Name.

In fact, I really need to by ass into gear and feature their awesome debut album Stories From A Suitcase. Check it out at their bandcamp page >>here<<.


Yet another stunning little session of a live video. This time from the hugely talented Mark Nichols. Swapping the sofa for a Sofar room, this was one of Sofarsounds secret gigs filmed in Paris while Mark was venturing off on tour recently.

It was thanks to Twitter for bringing David's music to me. I was asked to check out this video and I really enjoyed it. He is an unsigned singer-songwriter who's been building a bit of a name for himself over in LA. His debut album, The Game We Play is OUT NOW and if you buy your music via iTunes you can check it out and purchase it >>here<<.

 I really have no choice but to share this briefly. My huge thanks to the wonderful singer-songwriter Thomas Smith (@Tom_Smith_Music) for messaging me a link to this earlier today. He said I'd love it and love it I do. I wish I had more time to write about it here. In due course. It so beautiful I just had to share it, at least.


This is a beautiful arrangement of the Game of Thrones theme tune by cello rock band Break of Reality. Love, love, love it! What? You seriously didn't expect me to get through a whole blog post and not mention Game of Thrones again? Come on folks, you should know me better than that by now.


Absolutely fell in love with this Game of Thrones parody. I stumbled across it on YouTube and am hooked. I've only seen the first two episodes but the second one is awesome. I can't wait to check in on more.

Well, well, well. That is a wrap for this one guys. As always thanks so much for your time and attention. I hope you've found something to your liking and will help out those unsigned and indie acts to keep doing what they need to do. I know I say it each and every time but I have so much on the way and so much to be getting on with so I'm off to get on with it all. Well, after watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones of course. Sooooooooooooooo much music to share there will be another general sharing post to come shortly. I figure I should be aiming to share between five to ten artists/bands each time to hopefully help with posting more often. Then there's The Fireflys post and there will be a special feature on Wood Festival given that it is only a smidgen over a month away. Let's hope by time Band of Badgers Presents #14 goes live, Spring has finally sprung. Until next time, peace to you all.

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