Monday, 27 May 2013



Picture taken from the band's website
It's that time again folks. Time to share the latest podcast via the regular blogcast. I've got lots of top tunes for you from some top quality talent. As mentioned at some point below, this is my current word of the moment - QUALITY! The Sun is out in a clear blue sky this Bank Holiday Monday and I'm struggling to keep my mind from descending into the dark and dank depression that is the awful return to work mindset required after 11 big fat superb stonking days off. The start of this saw me enjoying a wonderful 3 days in the south Oxfordshire countryside at Wood Festival. Time beats me as it always does or else I'd hoped to have had my review of the event up online by now. I've been caught up in a time eddy or a bubble of some sort though. I'm all over it, to use what appears to be one of those dreadful 'management speak' phrases in common use at the moment. Aren't they awful? And yet it is increasingly difficult to not slide down that slippery slope and adopt some such phrases in the day-to-day office culture.
Picture taken from Mark's Facebook page
On the OXJAM Northampton front, I have the main venue I want to host the gig at very interested offering up two provisional dates, so I will be meeting for a coffee to discuss more details and how to proceed with it. Exciting! More news when things are more certain. On the blog front, I've set up my WordPress account so am currently fine-tuning what I want the new blog to look like up on there. I also discovered as I was having a play, that it is possible to import a blog from Blogger. Thus, I hit 'import' but sadly lost all the pictures and media embedded on those posts. It's a learning curve but that only makes sense. I'll be working on it for a while to get it looking just right before launching but I will be adopting a new unique URL that you can store in your memory banks for later - I think this is the way forward and cannot wait to unveil it but needless to say the link isn't live just yet. I am so tired of all the technical issues with Blogger. It is most often such a painful experience to complete posts. There won't be much change in content. It will still host the blogcast for my podcasts and there will be the regular multi-music shares, reviews and time permitting some more band/artist profiles. And no, I have not forgotten nor am I neglecting the fabulous The Fireflys. That post, along with a number of others at present, is in the making.

Picture taken from the band's website
Now, without further adieu, let's get on with the show! 

  1. Gladiator - Wings Of Apollo
  2. Spooks - The Scholars
  3. Last Of The Hobo Kings - Mary Gauthier
  4. Never Letting You Go - Robb Murphy
  5. Birdsong - Mark Nichols
  6. In The Wreckage - Reichenbach Falls
  7. Microlove - Summa
  8. I've Been Waiting - Lavers
  9. Bad Karma - The Como Brothers Band
  10. Hold On To Saturday - Wings Of Apollo
What a way to open up a podcast. What a way to close a podcast. Yes, I was so torn over which Wings of Apollo track I should play from their tremendous self-titled debut album, I could only settle on two. The album is available to download 100% totally FREE (click >>here<<). If you haven't snapped it up already then you best be quick off the mark now. I have my tech guys* busy locating all your IP addresses so I can send round my cat to sort you out.

Gladiator opens up my playlist as it does the album, with a nice big heavy smack of classic rock combined with incredibly smart and nifty contemporary elements. And some impressive guitar riffs that will knock you clean out with their hurricane-strength force. HELL YEAH!! In contrast but with no less punch behind its impact, Hold On To Saturday helps me demonstrate in one podcast, the versatility and range this band manage to showcase via the album. You think that's amazing you need to get on downloading that full FREE album and checking out the other masterpieces therein. No excuses folks, just top quality banging rock masterpieces. Now GO GET!

*there are no such guys, just me.

Picture from The Scholars Facebook page
When stating how Spooks has always been my personal favourite of The Scholars' most recent batch of singles I feel like I'm a broken record. I've shared and bigged up all the other songs too because quite frankly in this alternative indie rock trio we have a top quality band putting out music that cuts right through to your soul and makes that all-important lasting connection. Make sure you grab your FREE download of Spooks below. Then check out the other releases from the band because there are some more ace freebies too.

The huge atmospheric sound these guys produce is simply put, phenomenal! And they master the live performance like true professionals. Following their recent performance at the O2 Academy Oxford as part of a BBC Introducing event, a number of new dates are set to be announced for June & July. The band is also currently mixing a few new tracks so please get 'liking' their Facebook page too keep on top of these updates. Get along to a show if you are nearby and let's keep music live!

There is one word I choose that befits Mary Gauthier and that is musical legend. Okay, that is technically two words but as I mention on the podcast itself, I hold her right up there with the likes of Wilco and Bob Dylan. She has the ability to render me just so in awe to be speechless.

I make it no secret how much Last Of The Hobo Kings has been formally enshrined into my top most favourite songs of all time EVER list. The instrumental opening few seconds of this song move me through space and time. When finally settling and opening my eyes, Old Steam Train Maury is standing right there in front of me as this obituary song plays out. His entire personality is relayed with such vividness I do have to check to ensure I'm not hallucinating. If you don't have Live At Blue Rock then there is something very wrong with you.

Just have a listen to closing track Wheel Inside The Wheel above. You'll notice there's also a hidden track therein. This is a wondrous tasty treat in the form of a heavenly version of Mercy Now, complete with gospel choir on backing vocals. Then the video of a performance of Mercy Now at the Frog Pond. You can thank me later but most of all thank Mary by buying her marvelous music. You can read my review of the album, Live At Blue Rock by clicking >>here<<.

The song featured, Never Letting You Go, is available as a FREE download from Robb's bandcamp page. When musicians of this stature are giving away music you really MUST NOT pass it by. Entice you into buying some more of Robb Murphy's perfect blend of gentle acoustic alternative indie pop. The acoustics are sublime. The songrwriting is first class. 

With a musicianship to rival the greats, you need to stop stalling and get on board. Robb has debut album Take A Stand out and with it smashes through all barriers with something magnificent. Have a sample of the singles from the album below and judge for yourselves. This is accomplished stuff. Little wonder he's been receiving so many amazing reviews and heady praise. You really need to also be having a listen to the three live demos he's got up on his soundcloud page because they are quite something!

Take A Stand is available in a variety of formats all to aid in your purchasing and thus listening pleasure.

For you iTuners click >>here<<.
For you Amazoners click >>here<<.
Or from Robb's own online shop click >>here<<.

What a talent Mark Nichols has. He's no one trick pony either, as he's a rather stunning photographer too. Although even if he was a one trick pony on the side of his sensational music, it would be one incredibly impressive and successful trick to have.

Following the release of the stunning and original EP Traveller last year, Mark followed it up with the release of a FREE acoustic track called In The Arms Of Angels. I'm rather excited about the live acoustic EP he is currently working on and it goes without saying I need to catch him live at the first opportunity I can.

I certainly won't miss out because as I've said before when featuring Mark on the blog, this is one talented young singer-songwriting musician who is going to be HUGE!

These guys certainly didn't disappoint when I caught them live at Wood Festival on Saturday 18th May.  They performed superbly although I regret I couldn't hang around to say hi after their set ended for the only reason I had to mozy on over to the other stage so as not to miss Flights Of Helios. It was great to hear a few more songs that will be featuring on the Reichenbach Falls full album, Reports Of Snow. Some videos of some of the songs are already up on t'intertweb, the one for Stay Home, Elizabeth which is below for you to see in all its gorgeous glory.

Stay Home, Elizabeth from Reichenbach Falls on Vimeo.

I can't believe it was so long ago now I reviewed the wonderful EP I'll Never Go Anywhere Without Her Now. That was back on Band of Badgers Presents...#12. Go >>here<< to read that and make sure you buy a copy so you are fully prepared for Reports Of Snow

Seeing the videos of some others songs and seeing the band play those and the more familiar tracks from the EP has well and truly whetted my appetite for the LP even more. I am positively ravenous for it. A superb title as well and yes it does remind me of Game Of Thrones but how can it not? Winter Is Coming after all. Please do go and 'like' the Reichenbach Falls Facebook page so you can keep up to date with all the latest news and the live dates that are soon to be going up. 

I use the phrase a lot but then it tends to happen to me quite a lot, so it is only down to the superb music dancing its way to my ears. Blown away. Yes, that's the one - and Summa blew me to Timbuktu with the song Microlove. It was a FREE download and I just had to share it on the podcast after featuring it and the band on the blog a while back. An alternative indie rock duo from Boulder, Colorado I was quite surprised how amazing they sounded. Not that I was being prejudice or expecting it to be anything bad you understand. It just completely blew me away.

Checking out more music and Jake O'Neal's YouTube page I've uncovered even more phenomenal music that has blown me away yet again. I am indeed having to write this bit of the post while whirling around in a hurricane. I will cover Jake's solo stuff separately in a forthcoming post but with how wonderful the music is I cannot but share it here as well, while I'm on the subject. You can check out and buy his own self-titled EP/single from iTunes by clicking >>here<<.

Picture taken from the band's Facebook page
Not only one incredibly talented young guy, Jake is also a part of funk/reggae/soul group Intuit along with fellow Summa member Max Grossman and a bunch of other really great individuals. I've checked this out too of course and there is some superb stuff. You can check out some of these tunes on Intuit's Reverbnation page >>here<<. You can expect them to feature on the blog at some point in the future as well. Back to Jake for a moment though, please visit his Facebook page and hit that 'like' button. You will want to know as his updates go up and being as busy a bee as he is, Facebook will help you do this. Jake O'Neal on Facebook is >>here<<.

Back to Summa and I really can't wait to hear more from these guys because like I say, Microlove just blew me clean away. I explained how it gets really embedded in my head and I play it endlessly on repeat afterwards. On mind radio, I mean. When it no longer pops up on loop I simply ensure I listen to it again and wham bam, it's there for another long stint. I really could listen to it just endlessly.

Picture taken from the band's Facebook page
Third time round on the podcast for this Australian band with a song I featured previously on the blog. I've Been Waiting is available from iTunes >>here<<. Let me here those clicks, folks and get downloading this fabulous music. It was recorded at Sydney's Studios 301 with Simon Todkill (Mark Ronson, Matt Corby, Kanye West). You also need to check out their other records up there, The Street Is A Symphony >>here<< and Endless Corridors >>here<<. These two marvelous EPs are also available via bandcamp >>here<< for those of you who prefer to avoid iTunes.

Brothers Dom and Sebastian work ceaselessly to get Lavers where they want to and should be. With added depth and layers from drummer Matt Barnes and bassist Chris Law, the band have a bright future ahead of them. Gigging extensively last year, they became known for their electrifying live shows, complete with mass sing-alongs and crowd participation.

I'm saving hard (seriously? on my salary? if only I could) to get myself over to Australia soon where I can take in the musical delights of Lavers before moving on to New Zealand to soak up the superb sounds of Julie Lamb. Keep yourselves up to date with all things Lavers because the word is out they have another new single due out soon!

Taken from their most recent EP Still Waters, Bad Karma is the second outing on the podcast for The Como Brothers Band. And why not? Music this great needs to be shared as often as possible. It is a top track as well! Another couple of brothers who are working endlessly to make a success with their music, Matt and Andrew Como are talent incarnate.

Quite rightly so, success is heading their way after a very busy and exciting 2012 that has seen their profile bought to the attention of some movers and shakers. How these guys remain unsigned at present is a mystery but such is the way of the music industry these days. Still, there is no disputing they have more than enough talent to carry them on and through to the big time. Amongst a number of other exciting things, the band's music has been placed on MTV's Real World Portland and the instrumental version of their song Your Love has been placed in adverts for Quicksilver. Not only this, but they have music featuring on a soundtrack for indie film Wingman Inc, due out later in the year.

Having been selected to play The Warped Tour at Nassau Coliseum last year, the band are vying for a place on the Vans Warped Tour 2013. You lovely people can help them get there by voting for them in the Ernie Ball Battle Of The Bands >>here<<. Thank you please. Here's to another big year for a great indie band! Oh, and before I finish, if you don't already have the Still Waters EP you should head to iTunes for it >>here<<.

It is always with regret when I am unable to get myself to live events when I am asked and welcomed so nicely. I urge ALL of you live music fans who live nearby to Burton-On-Trent to get yourselves to Mercia Events next Live House gig on Thursday 6th June. Even just you music fans who don't usually extend yourselves to the live circuit. You are missing out on something so special. All the bands or artists featured are top quality indie musicians who live for playing their music and sharing it with you, the people. It will make for a cracking night so get along please!

Following on from last month's amazing night featuring the excellent bands The Cheap Thrills and The Indieannas, June's gig sees the tremendous Trouble With Tuesday and vivacious The Velocets take over the evening to entertain with their remarkably accomplished music. Pure quality from both these bands! That seems to be my new word of the moment - quality. Totally justified by such quality I'm hearing and seeing. I'll be taking a closer look at both the bands in future posts.

So, yet another top night of live music ahead. I really need a helicopter! The venue for you lucky folks who will be able to enjoy this is Brewhouse Arts Centre, Burton On Trent, DE14 1EB. Tickets are just £5 so there is no excuse not to part with such a small sum for such a superb night as this will be.

Closer to home and the town where I live for this band. Thanks to Craig Gibson of The Puppet Rebellion for pointing me in the direction of Northampton's very own New Cassettes. Another amazing band from this town I had no idea of until they were suggested to me. Just goes to show how much I need to be looking around here a bit more for some top music.

Their second album Winterhead is now available and have a listen below, it is quite something! You can buy it via iTunes >>here<<. This  is crisp and fresh indie rock I am becoming rather a huge fan of.

It's a while since I first came across this US alternative pop rock band. As usual it is just lack of time and space as to why they haven't featured in a post before now. At least, I don't recall them having done so. If they have it will have been quite some time ago now. Either way, their sensational track Space Queen really needs a share. It is AMAZING! So big and atmospheric. I am seriously loving this tune!

Picture taken from the band's Facebook page
The Mid-Summer Classic are as yet unsigned, which given the quality (yes, that word again) of this music, is just a crime. Their bio on Facebook sums them up really well, 'Energetic songs filled with heart-felt relatable lyrics and catchy choruses'. Space Queen is the first track on their most recent EP Euphoria which contains a further 4 stunning tracks. Buy it from iTunes >>here<<. Euphoria is also available via bandcamp and you can have a listen below.


WOW! Yes, my extreme WOW for this post comes thanks to The Shallows with Honestly. Honestly, how AWESOME is this tune!? Available as a FREE download too. You know what to do by now. Let me hear those clicks, folks. Seriously, there is so much superb music that is totally FREE these days.

There's also a superb animated video for the song. The band strike me as enigmatic with an air about them that is mysterious but honest.

Also for your enjoyment is the acoustic video of Get Gone, filmed down on The South Bank in the Antarctic March temperatures. This is some fantastic music and tuneage here. More to come from The Shallows soon! << And as the guys have to point out, it really is just .uk or anything after it.

Another fairly local band, this time from neighbouring Peterborough (okay not exactly neighbouring but it isn't far from Northampton). While researching some local talent a couple of weeks ago my ears bathed me in gratitude for stumbling upon White Clouds & Gunfire. Their distinct alternative punk rock sound is instantly catchy and infectious. Infectious in the kind of way that you want to lick them to ensure you catch what it is they got. Perhaps that is taking the metaphor a little bit far but just listen to the sounds, folks! Then get licking, oh, excuse me, I mean find lots more from this awesome band.

Hit 'like' on their Facebook page as they have an important tour announcement coming on 7th June you won't want to miss. There's already lots of live dates up on the page for you to get scribbling in your diaries or setting reminders on your digital devices (I did that last time, right? about does anyone still use pens and paper now?). Their band profile page on facebook is actually one of the smartest I've seen and as you can imagine I've looked at quite a lot over the last year or more.

They are giving away a FREE download of the song Satellite too so make sure you click, click and grab it! Superb tunes from a very tight sounding awesome band here.


From across The Narrow Sea to beautiful Belfast (where they doth film a great deal of the great Game Of Thrones of course) for the latest song from alternative indie band Castro. The opening guitar to this track does things to me. It is top notch stuff. The song overall is impressive, lyrically, vocally and musically. It leaves me yearning for more from these guys.

Make sure you get to their Facebook page and 'like' so you can keep updated on all things Castro Music.

Just a brief one from this New Zealand band for the moment but I could not go without at least sharing something from them. Thanks to the lovely singer-songwriter Julie Lamb for sending me a link to the band on Facebook. It was for a show they were doing in London a few weeks ago, which as I don't live there or near enough (or more importantly don't get paid enough to get myself there often enough for such things) I was unable to make it.

Totally digging the sound of this band though so will be covering more about them soon.

I was well and truly put in some kind of trance when mooching through some music videos and finding this one. It was likely a tweet or a someone 'liked' it on Facebook. I think Lewis sounds phenomenal so please check out his stuff for me and give some more support.

You can pre-order his EP Four More Songs (due out 1st July) from iTunes >>here<<. This video is for the song Into The Wild, taken from a previous EP, The Wild which can also be purchased from iTunes >>here<<.

A stunning demo track from Lucas Gulliford up on his soundcloud page. This was another WOW for me, make no mistake.

Get to know US alternative rock band First Things First a whole lot more by watching their full documentary on their YouTube channel First Things First TV >>here<<. The trailer for this is below.

These guys are heading out on their This Is Who We Are tour from June 22nd to July 27th across a nice wide range of States so if you're a US reader of the blog and this superb blend of alternative indie rock is your bag, you HAVE to get along to a show. It is going to be something special as this band aims to leave its mark on America.

This is kind of 'just in' but Guy Valarino has been on my music radar for a wee while now. Well, not The Wall in The North of Westeros, no - but rather beautiful song City Walls, from a wall. Sublime! Guy is a British singer-songwriter from Gibraltar and brings you a warm sound to render those Mediterranean shores beneath your very feet.

I'm way too late in sharing the info but for any London-bound/based readers, Guy has a gig at the famed Ronnie Scott's Bar on Tuesday 28th May. Please do not miss out! To whet your appetite even further there's a video below he did for Garden Gnome Sessions.


I count myself fortunate to have seen the brilliant Tim Minchin perform live twice now. Sadly, I've not seen him billed at any of the festivals I'm attending this summer but I sincerely hope I get to see him again someday. He is one of the most intelligent singing comedians out there, something proven by this short film he released a few years ago.

Well, I must come to a close. If only so I may get on with the mountainous tasks I still have ahead of me. I hope you enjoyed podcast #14 and found some great new music as a result, from the show itself as well as from this extended blogcast. Still so much more I wanted to include but it was already beginning to grow large so the line must now be drawn. Expect lots more posts in quick succession (he says). Album reviews aplenty are still on their way, apologies as always for my ridiculous delay. I seem to be rhyming, it's always the timing, so let's shut my face and get out of this place. Peace to you all and catch you soon.

Friday, 17 May 2013


Howdy ho folks! Yes that is what Mr Hankey the Christmas poo doth sayeth but let's not go to the gutter just yet. We have a whole post to go for that. Well, not exactly. Or rather a bit of a yes and no. A contradiction - that just about sums me up proper. What I mean is this is a post that could not wait. It's spontaneous. Not exactly random as I have so much music and music news queued up to share and some of it really needs sharing ASAP. So I figured why not add this to the vast mountainous pile I already have backed up so far I can't even see out the windows of the flat? And here it is. And I'm still waffling on. It is finally time to see if I can do it. A bite-sized Band of Badgers Presents. As the name suggests and my time available is pretty much zero, there will be as little waffle from me as possible. I just need to share this stuff with y'all. Let's get cracking then!!

A band I've featured on the blog in some capacity before when they released the first single Follow Me I'm, Right Behind You. This was taken from their excellent album They May Put Land Between Us, which was also one of my top albums of 2012. I needed to share the news regards their May/June tour that is happening and as it is now mid-May I thought waiting until next week (with me being away at the wonderful Wood Festival this coming weekend) would be eating into that live date schedule. So, please see the dates for this below and ensure you have a jolly good reason for not getting to a show if the band are playing near you because you will have an amazing time. Also for your enjoyment is the latest video from Joyce The Librarian for the opening track on the album, Traps. Traps is out on Folkwit Records on 1st June as a download only.

Way to go getting on the bill of the How The Light Gets In Festival. I've had my eye on that particular event for years now but never been able to go. Live music just cannot be beaten. As a huge fan of it and music in general, yes I am biased. But it is like Katriona Gilmore said at the Gilmore & Roberts gig I went to last October, live music really needs supporting right now and it makes for such a better night than slobbing in front of the TV watching half-arsed reality rubbish. Alright, I added that last bit but it is true. I'm all for slobbing about in front of the TV at times and have nothing against that. While there's music to go see though, that couch is staying lonely.

With 11.3 million views on YouTube already I'm well aware this video needs no promotional assistance and it has done the rounds by now that most of you will likely have seen it already. The Bowie fan in me just couldn't not share it here, though. It is fantastic stuff. An amazing production and reworking of the classic, Space Oddity.

This song from Bowie, in particular has a special place in my heart and soul. Commander Chris Hadfield has done a remarkable job reworking it here.

Well, voting clicks is more apt, I guess. I shared this video for the beautiful Mountains In Hurricanes a few posts ago and it is back here again. While watching it when I voted for Josh Savage to play as support for Gabrielle Aplin at her Bournemouth O2 gig, I found myself HAVING to watch again immediately afterwards. Then last night as I checked the link to Tweet about it again I watched it about four times. The song is just sublime. Please hit this link >>HERE<< and follow the instructions to vote for Josh to win the competition.

Josh has been working hard and performing a number of intimate gigs over the last couple of weeks. Please enjoy the above video but I do warn you to set aside some time to enjoy it on repeat. Then please please please visit this link right >>HERE<< and vote for Josh to win. He is in second place at the moment but needs your support to get right on top! Your assistance is much appreciated.

To further demonstrate why Josh deserves to win the Gabrielle Aplin support competition you should check out and enjoy his most recent video for the new song Horoscopes, above.

I saw a Tweet from Jess Hall about her playing at Wood Festival on Friday. With having such little free time with everything I've got on I've not been able to check out all the acts on the line-up like I would usually. Just to put the feelers out, if you will please pardon the horrid expression. Anywho, I hadn't got a minute to spare but as she'd shown up on my musical radar during the day I checked out some of her tunes on Soundcloud.

Stunned! Speechless! The first song melted my ears with bliss. Bookshelves moved me. Jess' voice is phenomenally strong and beautiful. I am one lucky chappy to be getting to see her play live this Friday. Excited doesn't even come close.

Yes, I did feature Tell Me from the excellent Aidan Logan a couple of posts ago when he put the single up to stream for your listening pleasure. You can read what I wrote about it by clicking >>here<<. I wanted to follow that up now it has been released (14th May) by diverting you to where you can purchase it. 

It is available via Bandcamp by clicking on the above, of course. It is also available via iTunes and for which you just need to do a nice little click >>here<<.

It was thanks to a comment on a post by superb roots singer-songwriter Luke Jackson I saw that Nic Bennett was himself a musician. In the 'just in' category comes this stunning original song from Nic, Long Time Blues.

WOW indeed! This is great stuff and there are a number of other hugely impressive songs his Soundcloud page you need to be checking out. Now please folks. There will be much more from Nic in future posts I can assure you. In the meantime make sure you check out the FREE download he's offering via his bandcamp page below. This Is 6th Form Poetry (Not Keats Or Yeats) really is something.

You can stream this stunning, epic and melodic return from The Dodos below. Confidence is the first single taken from their forthcoming album Carrier which is out on 27th August on Polyvinyl. There's a big international flavour as it gets releases in Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Japan and Thailand. The formats the release will come in are rather interesting too because as well as the standard CD and digital outlets, it is being produced on LP (180 gram blue vinyl) and cassette (100 limited edition white cassettes).

Confidence is a superb track to be released from the new (and fifth) record and acts as one rather delicious taster for what's in store. The single gets a digital release on May 21st so you can own it then. I will likely cover more on the release of Carrier in the coming weeks. 
My thanks to James at Prescription PR for this.

Watching this Official video for her song Liesel it is easy to see why Sabiyha has already been played on Tom Robinson's BBC 6 Music show. Indie Music News say of her, ' to cleanse the soul..' I agree wholeheartedly, which is why I just had to share this here on this brief post. There will most definitely, without any doubt of any kind, be more from Sabiyha on the blog in one of the next few posts. Of that I can assure you. I will also be playing one of her songs on the podcast.

The sound is wonderful isn't it? There are more stunning tunes up on her Soundcloud page, which you can get to by clicking on the below. Yes. Space and time are short on this post but I simply could not resist sharing Sabiyha's beautiful cover of House Of The Rising Sun.

Like I say, I will be featuring more about Sabiyha very soon, including something special from The Old Vinyl Factory.
Thanks to Patrick at Sweet Luigi for this.

Okay folks, I thought I'd be able to add some more this morning but, ah, what am I saying it is now already afternoon and I have to get off on the road to Oxfordshire for the wonderful Wood Festival. I am simultaneously finishing off podcast #14 too. So I can get it up on my Soundcloud page and its main home on PodOmatic. This is multitasking! So, without further adieu as Justin Waylon Morgan said in a Tweet earlier this week I'm signing off but not before sharing some more great music below. All music with none of my waffleage. Peace all!


Big thanks to Mercia Events for sharing this and thus it coming my way. Great stuff. More news from Mercia Events coming VERY SOON!



Ooh, look at me go with the fancy Latin words. I am just fresh back from the wonderful Wood Festival so I'll be busy working hard on my full review as well as the mountain of other stuff on the 'to do and get done' list this week. It was an amazing event. A real treat of an experience. More on that soon though or else you know me, I'll end up getting into a preview of the review and extend this post by several long (even if interesting and informative) paragraphs.

I just wanted to chiefly embed Band of Badgers Presents...#14 in via my Soundcloud page. For anyone who wants a listen. I'm getting this up on PodOmatic now too and will try and get the full blogcast sorted this week too. Busy busy bumblebee. Ah, bees. The car park at Wood was next to the abode of rather a lot of bees and walking up to the car at one point on Saturday afternoon to see a massive swarm was rather enchanting. The sound as well. It was a magnificent experience. Anywho, more soon.

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.