Sunday, 12 May 2013


Pic taken from billboard website, all rights reserved to original photographer
Howdy folks. It do be time for another share post although I intend on keeping this one a much much much briefer affair. Yes, it's true I intended that for the previous one too. Finally, a bitesize Band of Badgers you can be sure you won't get indigestion from. We shall see how I get on with that anyway. As always, the more and more time passes while I compose it, the more great music comes my way or buffers up the lengthy list compelling me to share it. Kind of like that scene in The Exorcist when Father Merrin is yelling 'THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU' over and over and over again as he tries in vain to exorcise Regan. Okay, perhaps not exactly like that but you get the picture of how much this awesome music compels me to share it sooner rather than later? With all the fantastic unsigned, indie or independently signed stuff I've been sharing lately, I've not had chance to mention a few tasty morsels from some of the bigger artists and bands who have been releasing records. Now, naturally these certainly don't need my promotional assistance but if I'm a fan of stuff I'm not going to just ignore it because they were lucky enough to have been signed up or some have been around for so long they have legendary-status.

I'm talking of course, about the superb Mr David Bowie for starters. I will admit, when I first heard Where Are You Now, I wasn't overly struck on it. Slap me, call me names, do whatever you want to do - I'm just being honest. I don't think I have to feel bad either because I've been a big fan of Bowie since I was about five years old, thanks largely to my uncle. He would play Bowie classics in the car on a Sunday morning when he took us swimming. It was my uncle too, I recall, who bought us the VHS of Labyrinth once it had been released. Back in those days (only the 80's folks, I'm not ancient....although I'm starting to feel it given the lingo differences with the 'youth' today) you'd be lucky if you saw a new film released on video any earlier than a year after its cinematic outing.

Anywho, back up to date and Bowie's latest album offering. It is rather very good! There are some stonking tunes on the record. The title track sounds like a little bit of a throw back to yesteryear but nevertheless brings with it something very fresh. And the star-studded videos he's putting out for some of the songs, The Next Day itself is wonderful. It's great this legend of glam rock and not just that because labeling him thus diminishes the greatness he has brought to music overall. It's great to have you back Bowie. While I would love to go see him play live I imagine that any potential shows will attract phenomenal demand and have to be staged at arenas as opposed to anything more intimate. It is unlikely I'll get my wish to see him so I better stop rambling and get back to work on the rest of the post. Not before sharing Bowie's In Space by Flight of the Conchords once more. Superb stuff! I imagine Bowie howled with laughter when he saw this for the first time. He'd probably be up for a cameo in any future recording of the song too.

It appears I've gone and signed myself up to plan and execute an OXJAM gig for Northampton. Now, I did apply yes but after not doing so until after a two day event for organizers and not having received any welcome pack, I thought I'd not been accepted. Or at least not yet anyway. Not so, according to a voicemail from the lovely folk at OXJAM, the organizer pack will be on  its way in a few weeks so I best get planning this shindig! WOW. I'm a little bit scared. More so excited though as this will be a great opportunity. Not only to gain some valuable experience in organizing a great local music event but also in raising money for a worthy cause. Not much to report at this stage given I've only just had the news but I will be posting updates on the blog as I go. One band already confirmed will be The Scholars for their first appearance in Northampton. I don't even have a date fixed yet, nor a venue. This is going to be busy work but I feel totally elated to be getting involved! I best get on with this post so I can get writing to potential venues and contacting some more bands and artists. I may be getting a little ahead of myself but maybe I can even arrange two events. I'm thinking one at the excellent venue a few minutes walk from where I live, The Picturedrome and one at the University via the Student Union. Hmmm, EXCITING!

Pic from Facebook by David Vagg, @ The Vanguard, Sydney
While on the subject of gigs I must mention the Sean Taylor one I went to in Wellingborough at The Castle Theatre last Saturday. It was phenomenal. A night of class and quality live music from a master of the art. Sean is a vibrant and intelligent personality with an ability to nail his sound in a way that captivates the audience. His chats in between songs revealed a true honorable soul who wants to connect with people on a fundamental level. With his bountiful mix of blues, several heavy touches of jazz and guitar playing that is dazzling to watch, Sean achieves just such a connection with anyone fortunate enough to be watching and listening. We were treated to some top new songs from his next album as well as many from his rather impressive back catalogue. Having put out six albums in as many years and each being of such high calibre, his enthusiasm for music washes over you like a tidal wave. It is so infectious I feel the urge to pick up a guitar and play (even though I can barely stroke out the chord G).

Pic taken from James's Facebook page
A mention MUST also go to percussionist James Taylor as well (no relation, I don't believe). When at a gig and appraising live music, I like to think I take in the whole shebang. Even when primarily going to see one artist play, there will often be another session musician or two providing back up and the like to bolster up the live sound. Seeing James alongside Sean was mesmerizing! That's putting it mildly too because I feel quite lost for words (and yet still I ramble) with how monumentally outstanding James' percussive skills are. Seeing him just this one time I don't believe there is anything he could not do. The synchronicity in how he blended together with Sean's tremendous playing and vocals was magnificent! I was left truly stunned by the end of the night. I want more please! Having been a fan of solo drum pieces since first seeing and hearing John Bonham's Moby Dick there's something about this element of music that connects directly with one's soul. That's how I think of it anyway. If you get chance to see James with Sean then don't miss it. Or both individually for that matter. I could not recommend these two highly enough.

With the release of their fourth album Promises, The Boxer Rebellion have had the album streaming on a US website (link in >>here<< to check it out) for the best part of the last week. It is released Monday 13th May so apologies if the link is no good and it is out by the time I publish this post. I received an email directing me to it on Monday (6th) and admit I've found it very difficult to stop listening to it. This CD is going in the car and on repeat play as soon as it arrives. It will probably stay in the car stereo ad infinitum. It has good company because their second album Union currently resides there too.

With my backlog of approximately 9 or 10 albums to review I can't get into any extended review here, sadly but I will no doubt be featuring much and more about this outstanding band over the next few months. They have been consistent in producing phenomenal album after album thrice and now make it a fourth time with Promises. They really are in a league way above so much out there. If you're lucky enough to be near any of their scheduled live shows on their forthcoming US and Canadian tour, do yourselves a favour and get along. You will not regret the experience you will have as a result! Meanwhile, I believe there are also a string of dates in Europe and just two shows for London, one at Hyde Park in July and then one at The Forum in October. They have advised they will be playing more UK shows with dates to be announced in due course. If you've not heard their stuff before then you are missing out. Like I was, until thankfully Chris from The Scholars set things right by suggesting them to me. Quite how I had managed to miss them before recently I do not know. *Slaps self*

One of my all-time favourite bands ever, Editors, are back this summer with a brand new album. The Weight Of Your Love is due out July 1st. At this stage I just wanted to share the video for their new single and the first to be taken from the album. Naturally, being as big a band as they are Zane Lowe got there first with airing the song on his show. Get me on BBC 6 Music and I will bring you such exclusives. As well as lots of great unsigned stuff too of course.

This is one of the most eagerly anticipated albums of the year I think, not least by huge fans like myself. After seeing the band perform at one of the only two UK dates in Birmingham last June when they played some of the new material, I'm in no doubt album #4 is going to be a smash! Now, if only I could secure the Editors for my OXJAM gig. *picks up phone*


Okay, back to some more indie stuff now I've got the above off my chest. I was planning to stick with just 5 to share with you at the moment so this really would be a bite-sized post. Well, perhaps a bite and a bit  of a chew. A nice kind of mastication though, no grissle. *pulls face* I seem to be using a lot of these *expressions/actions* today. Not sure what's happened there. I will try and cease with this folly. Anywho, I wouldn't put any money on me sticking to just 5 bits to share. The list has already grown by about 3 more. Why am I still rambling on then? Good question!


I was rather taken aback when Mike Cavanaugh sent me a lovely message on Facebook. When a musician already has over 70,000 'likes' on his page there's something really warm and fuzzy about being contacted so directly. He chose to message me because there are many musicians we have both 'liked' on Facebook and so there was a good chance I would like his music too. He was not wrong. I don't just like his stuff though, I pretty much love it. It is such quality and thus I have to share it with you all. I'm really grateful for him getting in contact because although I may well have stumbled across his music at some point in the future, hearing it now is making my present a whole lot better.

Mike currently has two albums out, both which can be sampled and purchased via iTunes. Check out Hold On by clicking >>here<< and then Lovely Lonely Place by clicking >>here<<. Both these pieces of work are packed to the hilt with outstanding song after outstanding song. His songwriting, the musical arrangements and the vocals are simply put, stunning! I say this about most music I feature but I'll repeat myself, you can expect lots more from Mike on this blog in the coming months.

What a band! What a sound! Just a demo too. There have been quite a few times where I've been left astounded by what bands and musicians claim are merely demos. When they are this great it bodes oh so very well for future tunes.

I must admit I feel profound excitement (is that a thing? If it wasn't then it is now) for what is to come from these guys. Bring it on, I say!

It's back to that music-hub of a city Oxford for some pure unsigned musical bliss. I was already following Jordan on Twitter but this is one on that lengthy list I've told you about. He buffered all the way to the top when I read a tweet about how he's now sold 300 CDs of album Desperation, My Dear. This is an excellent achievement for an unsigned musician such as he, and one he can be incredibly proud of.

Jordan creates such a beautiful ambient atmosphere via his music and delicate vocals. Then there's the high calibre of his writing thrown into an already tasty mix. Like his Facebook bio states, '..making music you can escape to; let's get lost...'. That's what we want music to be. To carry us off into new worlds for adventures, for respite, for something different. Jordan O'Shea manages just that with this wonderful album. Check it out and let's help his numbers sold to keep rising.


WOW. There's so much WOW factor packed into debut album Cannibals With Cutlery from alternative indie rock band To Kill A King. I have an ever expanding list of 'Band of the Moment' and while no band ever truly leaves that list once they make it, To Kill A King are the latest addition. You can check out the album in its entirety below and see just how incredibly WOW their music is. Given the quality here, it's no wonder the band have been receiving comments like:

'A broad stroke of an album - all jaunty guitars, massive choruses and intimate moments of romance' Artrocker

'Their debut album is dressed in beautiful epic indie and new wave pop threads' Q

'Choral swells of melody conjured by bright cyclical guitar parts and carefully woven vocal arrangements' The Fly

'Most likely to seek redress for the years of indie landfill' The Guardian

They were recently out on the road promoting these superb tunes while supporting Dog Is Dead (I deserve a slap for missing these guys at last year's Truck Festival). They are also set to play a number of festivals over the summer including a slot at Reading and Leeds. Unfortunately for me they are playing Reading on the Saturday whereas I'm due to attend just the Sunday. To Kill A King remind me of Noah And The Whale to an extent but only insofar as there is that same originality of and confident sense of musical style. Just look how far that band have come over the last few years. I predict the same success is due for this latest tremendous group. Long live the music!

All the tracks are sensationally stunning to be fair but Choices in particular induced my goosebumps on goosebumps to produce goosebumps. This song ripped off my scalp so it could get right inside my brain such was its power and oomph. My ears will detach themselves and find a new head to host them lest I hit repeat on that song at least a hundred times. No need for them to worry though because I plan to be listening again to this album as often as I can.
Wolf James Photography

Just to keep up the FREE music theme, there are some available from this great band too. Click >>here<< to get your FREE digital copy of their My Crooked Saint EP. You can also part with a little bit of cash for even more tasty tunes, not only via the album Cannibals With Cutlery via their shop >>here<< or iTunes >>here<<, but also The Word Of Mouth EP >>here<< or via iTunes >>here<<.

I'm not exactly new to The Koniac Net. My first brush with this awesome artist came via Twitter a little under a year ago. At least I think. It is one of those that has been unfortunate to have been lost amidst the whirlwind of new music I have. As you know, because I keep banging on about it, there's tons of it still to get through and share. What is further striking about The Koniac Net is that David Abraham is based in Bombay, India. I guess I find that striking because this is really not the kind of music I expected to come out of this region of the world. Now, I'm certainly not the kind of person to subscribe to stereotypes but I was expecting something more along the lines of traditional Indian music.

Picture by Scott Tellis

As you can hear, my ears were faced with some inspiring indie alternative rock music. Debut album One Last Monsoon is available for the amazing low price of $3! This little amount for 10 spiffing tracks. There are some superb tunes contained therein too. One Last Monsoon was written and performed entirely by David and furthermore was primarily recorded in his bedroom. As stated on the Facebook page, it plays like a love letter to the indie/alternative genres and the bands and artists that allow these genres to thrive. So very true. There's so much amazing new indie/alternative music out there just waiting for people to find it, or for people like me to bring some of it together via blogs or websites like this. The Koniac Net acts as a kind of bridge between the older stuff and this new stuff. At the same time it would be wrong to deny this is also promising and original work.

Picture by Scott Chalmers
Ooooooooh! This is my kind of music! I know, pretty much everything I share is to be fair but The Lost Souls Club have something more. This music touches me deeper than most. Given how into music you know I am from doing all this in my spare time, you should be able to appreciate what this means. It is the best way I can put it anyway. The acclaimed alternative band have been making waves with the release of their High Noon EP and their dark, dirty, psychedelic rock sounds. Released way back on the 25th February, they didn't reach my inbox until the beginning of April so I apologise it has been over another month before I've got round to featuring their tunes. Especially as this stuff is so kick-assingly* amazing!

High Noon is just superb! Like the kind of record I've waited years to hear. Granted, I've said how amazing a lot of stuff I've featured is and I totally stand by that. This is even more so. The eerily ambient atmosphere these guys build up, hint at and then explode all about you is pure magic. First track Romeo is phenomenal, from its epic opening riff and vocal line but it gets even better with Kiss Away The Sun. Shoot Me Down will seek you out wherever you think you might be safe, and then blow you to smithereens with its feral yet guided ferocity. Just see below what some of the movers and shakers have had to say about The Lost Souls Club so far. I was late catching on to these guys but I don't intend on letting them go. Not even if they blast me into a fiery pit of hell with their huge flamethrowing sound. There is another side to them that should not be overlooked, though. A brooding acoustic alter ego charged with a raw intensity and capable of giving the same kind of thrills as their heavier, darker side. This is glimpsed nicely with the closing track on High Noon, I Know I Spoke Too Soon.

There's also a FREE download available via their bandcamp page you should be checking out. It's funky and it's FREE. Go get! An iTunes link for High Noon is >>here<<

Romeo has a great opening riff and vocal. The lyrical themes are suitably they sit alongside bands like The White Stripes and The Black Keys...and look like a junior Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds.
Simon Price - The Independent

Their dark, pulsing rock swirls with a sinister malice that sets the tone perfectly...

The Lost Souls Club may be a musical home for the heartbroken and dreamers, but on this showing I think they'll soon have to start booking larger venues in which to hold their meetings, as they are about to explode.
Uber Rock

*Hey, this is my blog so I'm entitled to make up a few crazy words from time to time. It was either this or a naughty expletive.

It is high time for a catch up with Bradford's finest singer-songwrtier Andy Ruddy. Facebook updates advise the lad has been continuing with recording sessions in Cambridge. Exciting stuff! I'll be playing another tune from Andy on podcast #15 by the way. Some beautiful new stuff up on Andy's Soundcloud page you have to check out below.

Like it? Exactly, how can you not! Now get listening to loads more fantastic songs up there and he also finally got all Twitterized. Follow him @AndyRuddyMusic. Those vocals are stunning aren't they? Well on Boy he raises the bar even higher. So high I'd be surprised if the bar is still visible. In fact that bar is so high, it is now making its way out into deep space. Andy doesn't just excel vocally either of course. His songwriting and musical arrangements are sublime.

My Thursday was made last week when I returned home to find the official debut EP Find, Follow by Winter Mountain had arrived from Prescription PR for me to review. I already count myself a huge fan of this indie folk duo after being fortunate to catch them supporting Seth Lakeman last year. Joseph Francis and Martin Smith met totally by chance as each was backpacking across the US in opposite directions. A train journey down to Memphis later and no germination period was necessary for the mystical seed that was Winter Mountain. As I expected it would be, it sounds fantastic. Even their own EP they put together held within it the quality of more established acts. Find, Follow builds on their towering strengths and fine-tuning things by adding some extra layers and production touches.  
Opening track Shed A Little Light does just that. Although, rather than just a little light, you're able to bask in the midday sun beaming down from high up in the summer sky via this music. With its ambient americana soul and upbeat melody, it will entice a smidgen of a jig. The subtle changes to the track Sarah have bolstered it up but that's not to say it lacked anything previously. It just sounds even more pristine and perfect. The kind of polished finish its sheer quality deserves. Just like the beautiful and flawless harmonies these guys produce together. These are so tight they sound like they've been singing together since they were toddlers. Either that or there's some serious sorcery going on here. Each voice fully compliments the other. They fit together like butter and bread. Or birthday and cake or roasted chestnuts and Christmas. The soft melodious Whenever You Lay Your Head Down brings the EP to a close with a tantalizing tranquility that will leave you begging for more. And soon. Let's all chant together, 'FULL ALBUM! FULL ALBUM! FULL ALBUM!' I do get impatient, apologies. You can't blame me when the music is this good, though.

With how rigid and materialistic the world seems at times it can be easy to lose faith in such things as fate. The chance meeting that led to this magical music collaboration restores my faith somewhat. Find, Follow is released on 20th May and you can pre-order it via iTunes >>here<< and via Amazon >>here<<

Winter Mountain are playing live at The Barfly in Camden on 10th June so get your tickets >>here<<. Also keep up to date with any future gig announcements because take it from someone who has seen them live, it is not an experience you should miss!

This acoustic rock band from Leeds are one for the 'just in' category. I simply cannot keep this from you or hold it off until a future post. They entered my line of vision (and hearing) via a post on Facebook in which they were tagged by New Music Connection. Their debut single Something Beautiful is released Monday 13th May. You can get it via iTunes >>here<<, via Amazon >>here<<.

The Nigel Passey Band are going from strength to strength and it is quite clear to see why after just seeing this official video for Something Beautiful. With two successful UK/Ireland tours, a headline festival appearance in Denmark and a rising level of radio play both across the UK and the US, there are huge things heading their way.

Make sure you check out their awesome EP The Lights, The Sound & The People at their Soundcloud page too (>>here<<) and the bonus track You Should See Me Now (above) which is also a FREE download. Yes, I know - more FREE music. This is turning into a bit of a FREE giveaway post. Now it remains for me to get my ass into gear and get to a live show. Fingers and everything else crossed I can make the Milton Keynes gig at The Watershed on 7th June.

As regular readers will know (and folks reading the posts in some kind of chronological order - I do love this word 'chronological'), I featured the single Hold Your Breath from Richie Ashwin on the last general share post. What a tune and what a talent! The guy is brilliant. Time and space prevent me expanding here for the moment but as his stunning 5-track self-titled EP has been released via his Soundcloud page I wanted to share it in all its splendid glory here. Enjoy the below, there's no doubt in my mind that you will. 

What's more, to keep with the theme of great FREE music you can download each track via Richie's Soundcloud page totally FREE. So come on folks, get clicking those 'download' buttons. This guy is going places! 

To cater for those music fans who don't have any problem with digital downloads but prefer not to use iTunes (and to be fair I certainly don't rate iTunes, if I'm being honest), those great Levellers boys have set up a bandcamp page. There are loads of their previous albums and collections been made available but I want to share with you their most recent EP The Recruiting Sergeant

This is a charity record and ALL proceeds go to War Child, helping children affected by war. There are some wonderful tracks contained including a live version of Another Man's Cause which as I listen right this minute is covering me in goosebumps! AMAZING! Learn more about War Child >>here<< and get parting with £6 for this superb collection. If iTunes is your preferences you can buy it from >>here<<.


There's no way I could not feature this video here. It was shot on a whim via an iPhone at The Button Factory in Dublin on May 9th 2013, the day after Robert Johnson's birthday. Mary and Ben completed the song the week before while on the road somewhere in Denmark. Beautiful! 

I need to see both of these live like you wold not believe. If my OXJAM gig is a success I'm going to want to start doing it for real. One of the first would be getting Mary to Milton Keynes or somewhere nearby along with Ben.

This one passed me by when it was released I'm afraid. I had fully intended to feature it on a previous post but you know how it is. More and more gets added (wasn't this one supposed to be featuring just 5 acts?? - hmmmm yes, yes it was) and things can slip by. I've tweeted links for it because it is a smart video for a wonderful song from this excellent americana/alternative country band.

More from Turnstile Junkpile at their website

Another for the 'just in' category as two Facebook friends liked their page and this video. It is a banging tune and a marvelous video. I'll be looking into more of their tunes as soon as I can.

I really do need a TARDIS or to move to The Capitol. If so, I could get to such wonderful gigs as those Andrew Page does at the National Theatre. Not just those though, I'd have got to see him elsewhere before now.

Yet another fantastic cover from Mr Page with Try by Pink. Stuns me every time without fail. It's been a while since I featured one of his videos so I won't leave it so long next time.

Well, well, well! *hides face* Yes. I failed. But then you all knew I was going to anyway, right? There's just too much of it to leave some out. Heck, when I include all this I still inevitably miss something I wanted to include. I'll try harder next time and still aim to get them out shorter and more frequently. This will be it for a short while in any case as I'm right back on finishing off and recording podcast #14 tomorrow. Then back on the mountain of reviews I've got so expect a few posts with those over the next couple of weeks. Also the Fireflys feature and there's Wood Festival which happens in just 5 little days now (unless you're reading this after this evening of course). That reminds me, I have to fit in my ritualistic naked sun dancing. Did I just type that thought out loud on the screen? *blushes* Oh dear, the *asterisky* actions are back. Thought I'd chased them off. Oh and I seem to have a gig to organise. Christ, this is going to be a busy summer. I best stop rambling and get on with it all. Peace folks, hope you enjoy this latest installment from Badgers HQ.

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