29 December 2014

Music Of The Year 2014

Beans On Toast
The Grand Scheme Of Things
Xtra Mile Recordings
(Released Dec 1 2014)
 His greatest juxtaposition of metaphors so far.

Cult Of Youth
Final Days
Sacred Bones
(Released Nov 11 2014)
Apocalyptic rhapsodies....chirpy embitterment. 

Rave Tapes
Rock Action Records
(Released Jan 20 2014)
A sophisticated post-rock and electronica conjuration

World Peace Is None Of Your Business
(Released July 14 2014)
A mighty solid, cohesive and glorious piece of work

Sleaford Mods
Divide and Exit
Harbinger Sound
(Released April 28 2014)
Embittered punk/hip hop disturbers of the peace

Half Man Half Biscuit
Urge For Offal
Probe Plus
(Released Oct 20 2014)
A myriad of biting satire and joyous post-punk tunes.

Tony Wright
Thoughts 'N' All
Woodcut Records
(Released Nov 17 2014)
Awash with genuinely compelling musical carpentry

Brody Dalle
Diploid Love
Caroline Records
(Released April 28 2014)
Punchy punk rock, melodic grunge, catchy rock.

Fat Cat
(Released May 19 2014)
A stunning blend of grit edged rock and breezy sunshine fizz

21 December 2014

Jamie Gilroy RIP

Jamie Gilroy, well-known nationally as the co- founder of the Wickerman Festival has sadly died in hospital after suffering severe head injuries following a shooting incident at his Dundrennan farm. Jamie was rushed to Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary on Thursday after being found badly injured but died on Friday as a result of those injuries. Police have launched an investigation  but have confirmed they aren't looking for anyone else in connection with the incident. 

Jamie's family have issued the following statement...

It is with immense sadness that we confirm Jamie’s death.
This has come as a huge shock to us, to his many friends, and to members of the local and wider festival community in which he played such a vibrant part.
We’d like to thank everyone for their support at this very difficult time.”

14 November 2014

Stanley Odd

The Edinburgh based hip-hop collective are now a  thoroughly established part of a musical genre procreated in the Bronx, fostered by the rest of the world, but always considered a less than commanding presence in Scotland’s musical framework where it remained largely underground. But now it’s too powerful to ignore, nurtured well it’s grew up healthy and muscular and suddenly important to everybody. Stanley Odd give it the crucial human element and with their sweeping orchestration, insightful poetics and funky vivacity they have always been the essayists of exciting chapters. As you communicate through a shared taste in street culture raise a glass to Stanley Odd and catch them at a venue of your convenience.

9 November 2014

Kiss: Love Gun 40th Anniversary Special Edition

The theatrical, gimmick laden, cartoon glam/metal rockers legacy is a global brand that boasts more than 3,000 officially licensed products to its name which, if recent reports are to be believed, has earned the serpent tongued, flame spitting bass player Gene Simmons over $300 million. You don’t get that kind of wealth from playing live and releasing albums but from shrewdly planned licensing. Paul Stanley once excitedly blurted ‘ we’ll put our brand on pretty much anything’ and that’s pretty much what they’ve done. From the standard band merchandise stuff (badges, tshirts, hoodies etc)  to condoms, slot machines, a restaurant chain, a golf course, coffins, barbecue sauce and quite possibly the sky, your mum and the weather. Brand more important than band….their stage shows were visually jaw-dropping, a laser spinning, stage turning, pyrotechnic extravaganza, a real pantomime of exuberant, fired up sell-out crowds…Gene Simmons flying over their heads like a giant, overdressed fruit bat…as casually as you like. A Kiss show conjures an atmosphere somewhere between professional championship wrestling and an army of Sybaritic cyborgs marching across the landscape and splitting the land like an impulse...a discernable silence before the destruction, the never ending sabbatical….in a flurry of lights, stage trickery, fake blood and rehearsed exaggeration…a scripted hell, fire and damnation..If you will

This year is the 40th anniversary of their career and they are marking the occasion with a deluxe double cd special edition release of their 1977 album Love Gun. The first CD will contain the completely re-mastered album while the second CD is padded out with the much favoured ‘never before released’ rare demos, the standard interview (this time with Gene Simmons back in 77) and….wait for thissss……three never available live tracks and notes specially written by…..Joe Elliott of Def Leppard! Ooooh Kiss are a gift that just keep on giving….the Kiss Army must be urinating a tsunami in anticipation. The album is considered their best, musically….and the lyrical intellect Paul Stanley unfurls is a mesmerising delight…..be gob smacked at his poetic gifts, for example ‘no place for hiding baby, no place to run, you pull the trigger of my…love gun’ or the equally profound Plaster Caster narratives….’plaster caster, plaster caster, grab a hold of me faster plaster, and if you wanna see my love just ask her’ A cantering composition of delights…a nation sits in silent perplexity…not because of any below-par garbage oh no, they are hushed with admiration and startling wonder at his grasp of the English language. His finest hour though is the kleptomaniacs anthem ‘I Stole Your Heart’ and the biting lyrical swipe ‘I’m something different aint like the rest, how does it feel to find out your failin your test’ he taunts, (poetically), and quite clearly livid. It seemed a bit uncalled for but the woman in question must have really pissed off this literary icon or he wouldn’t write such exquisite vitriol. The acidic, backbiting rhetoric of the forward thinking essayist fills minds with a tumbling waterfall of delights and for the tiniest of moments the entire world want him to pull the trigger of their collective love gun....for he is  a pointless fucking tosser...I mean he isTh he Starchild! Aint he?? I always get those two descriptions muddled up....

Album Review: Tony Wright

Tony Wright
Thoughts 'N' All

As front-man for Terrorvision Tony Wright is the bloke with the upbeat, enthusiastic persona singing instantly likeable pop/metal songs crammed with top-drawer tunes and an infectious knees-up appeal that endeared them to mainstream affections. A cross-genre quirkiness that won them a number 2 slot in the UK singles chart with the mirth-filled tongue in cheek melee Tequila. Between lengthy Terrorvision interludes and ’other’ band projects (Laika Dog) he’s written a solo album that reveals a different side to the man you assumed you knew, a man you’d never have thought might one day turn around and be so philosophically reflective as to  sketch out the  intimacy of thought with nothing but wide open acoustic vulnerability. 

The ghosts of memories reveal their presence, a haunting manifestation of protagonists veering from  subdued reflection to outright dysphoria….Tony Wright is the versatile raconteur bringing it all to life,  slipping effortlessly from confessional narrator to finger pointing observer to name checking chronicler to introspective explorer he shakes out endless fistfuls of personal stuff and charts each in a tenderised, unobtrusive simplicity. Like the flagellating Self Portrait (Rock-a-Boogie-Merchant) uttering out it’s self dialogue with a skipping bounce, the tuneful admittance ‘I’m a lowdown, good for nothing, son of a gun weasel’ is a brilliantly vibrant guilt trip. The emphatic sentiments of Love Hold On span the songs entirety with a brooding regret and hopeful optimism like a self conscious route-map referencing the cause of every consequence that actualized such an emotional trek, 

Shallow Pool (Train Wreck) is a strung-out boozers lament while the stunningly under-produced Do You Love Me is a sublime, emotion jangling declaration of devotion…the bare bones of sincerity exposed in the pleading rhetoric of ‘do you think about me like I think about you’….is that snapshot of self doubt pasted on a million billboards for the world to gaze upon. The almost sentimental reminiscing melodrama Great Horton and the despondently likeable Little Things have a shared kaleidoscopic gravitas. There are those of us who often wondered if Tony Wright had a good solo album in him…..consider it confirmed!

13 September 2014

New Music: Gangs - Back To School EP

Dublin indie-rockers Gangs are set to release their debut EP Back To School on Sept 26th. Taking their musical inspirations from such iconic bands as The Jam, Stone Roses and The Who it's a sound dipped in retro 60's and continuing to the harder hitting 80's mod/rock movement...every inch forged from classic British pop/rock materials. They've only been on the go since 2012 but the momentum built around them is a metaphoric steam engine of force. The 4 track EP includes recent single 'Daisy' alongside 'Young Employment' 'Back To School' and 'Poison In Your Liffey Blood'. The band will launch their EP with a show at Dublin's Academy on Sat 27th Sept. 

12 September 2014

The Black Delta Movement

The Black Delta Movement plunder from genres and sub-genres to create kaleidoscopic hybrids of disjointed power-crunching post punk garage rock with searing guitars, sub-terrestrial bass thrums and occasional swathes of a cinematic electro sleaze underbelly. Developing a sound not only of their own but a reflection of their musical influences. As notable and as firmly embedded in their songs those influences may be the delivering musicianship is peerless. The unflinching backbone of The Black Delta Movement is a slew of raw melodic originality and a handful of personal influences with a nod to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Brian Jones Town Massacre and Iggy Pop in equally progressive parts.

Since their formation in 2010 the Hull based four-piece have been consistently hard to ignore, their recent Ghost Dance EP was their fourth release and follows God In Exile (2010) Peach Flavoured Hand Grenade (2011) and Lavender House (2012) Impressive live performances up and down the country earned them support slots with some of music’s bigger names including Shaun Ryder, Steve Cradock, The Moons and Twisted Wheel.

Their armour is a creative hot-streak of songs, among them the jarring bluesy rock number ‘Submariner’ hacking a serrated edge of disorderly dissonance across the thorax of a stomping guitar/drums combo thudding a beat into the heart of the sound. The tempo pushing ‘Sleeping Pills’ is grit-edged rock song with bone rattling fret work and soaring lead vocal stamping, it’s presence as clearly as a black inked footnote might upon the white of paper. And the fuzzy, scratched up garage track ‘Emissary’ is a cool bastard, a slick guitar driven swagger, a riff-laden anthem with a hint of darkness below the eyes and a look of nostalgia about its person.The Black Delta Movement will never be just a passing mention or a casual listen. They will be your conversations and your soundtracks. I promise.


29 August 2014

Overrated Songwriters: Jim Morrison

A series of paragraph-long articles about Overrated Songwriters (in my opinion) I begin with Jim Morrison.

The most criminally overrated songwriter in the entire history of music! All that pseudo-intellectualism…long winded paradoxical poetics and lyrical profundities abstract with depth, esoteric in their complexities! Bullshit! Jim Morrison wrote meaningless jibber jabber with no sense of comprehension because he wrote for effect rather than meaning - a pantomime of rhetoric as arrogantly grandiloquent and superficial as the man himself. It’s been well documented of how he lacked any redeeming qualities. He was egotistical, obnoxious, cruel and immature. A man who drank heavily and approached drug taking in the same manner. The Doors weren’t a good band because of him, they were a good band in spite of him! Morrison once said ‘. I see myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star. Everyone stops, points up and gasps "Oh look at that!" Then- whoosh, and I'm gone...and they'll never see anything like it ever again... and they won't be able to forget me- ever’ That’s the self-worshipping clap-trap of a wanker! He embraced the 'rock god' persona by exaggerating his talents. He hid his lack of intellect behind a constant carousel of over-the-top behaviour and attention chasing immaturity! The Doors last public performance with Jim Morrison was at The Warehouse in New Orleans on December 12, 1970. During the show, Morrison appeared to have a  mental breakdown on stage slamming the microphone numerous times into the floor until the stage was destroyed. He then sat down on the ground and refused to perform for the remainder of the show! May I finish by saying that he was far too arrogant and big headed to ever fake his death....to voluntarily remove himself from the public eye for ever is an act he wasn't humble enough to even consider.

23 August 2014

New Songs For September

Candy Darling
(Sept 1st 2014)

Sleaze grinding psychedelic post punk electronica dragged through a mire of heavy Suicide, Jesus And Mary Chain, Nick Cave influence lashed to the torso of their very own idiosyncratic style. As if that wasn't thrilling enough it will be available on pink vinyl. Splendide finale!

Damn Vandals
'Cities Of A Plastic World/Too Lazy To Die Too Stoned To Live
(Sept 22nd 2014)

Grit edged, ballsy rock & roll and in yer face. Featuring two tracks taken from the highly acclaimed recent album Rocket Out Of London for brand new double A side single by the band currently considered top of the heap. With no sign of weakening to be seen the way forward continues to be the way they shall be travelling!

Reptile Youth
(Sept 8th 2014)

A zestful soundscape interblend of the ethereal calm and fevered agitation. Crashing drums making way for tinkling piano...brazenly vociferous to harmonious composure. Taken from recent album 'Rivers That Run For A Sea That Is Gone' it's another gem of a single from the Northern Europeans.

10 August 2014

From My Archives: Interview With Le Reno Amps (2008)

Al Nero and Scott Maple ditch the heavy schedule in favour of a Q & A sesh.

Le Reno Amps have been climbing the proverbial ladder at a rather sprightly pace. With a creative spirit much bigger than any single genre of music they have brought new things to this table of ours. Things of great joy and pleasure. If you’ve a penchant for the unidentifiable then look no further than the band who make great music from a heterogeneous combination of ingredients.

The next few months look set to be busy times for the band. A new single, your third album and a number of gigs taking you through to April. As the single will be the first to arrive tell us a bit about it?

Al Nero - It’s called ‘Outlaws’ and it’ll be out on the 23rd February. Over to you, Mr Maple…

Scott Maple - Thank you Mr Nero. Yes, it’s a contusion of Bovine soundscapes, a herd of bison playing chicken with a runaway steam train. That is exactly how I feel most days.

It precedes the new album ‘ Tear It Open’ which is scheduled for release on March 23rd. I received a promo copy last week and it’s a brilliant piece of work. Do you feel more content and at ease with this one than you did with the previous two albums?

A.N - Thanks very much. Yeah definitely, it’s a funny thing making an album, what you set out to achieve rarely is how it turns out but with this one everything just seemed to fall into place, writing it, recording it, right up to deciding on the running order, we just all seemed to be on the same page.

S.M - The first album was entirely self-recorded, it was the first 12 songs we wrote as Le Reno Amps, and we were aware of our own limitations.  With the 2nd album we had great aspirations but maybe fell short of the mark in some respects.  That’s not to say we’re not proud of our previous output, it’s just as Al says - everything seemed to come together for us on this album.

Are there any particular songs on it that make you feel proud to be the creators?

A.N - Ha. It’s tough to pick particular ones cos each one has it’s quirks and merits, some came off really sweet though, Body, Gilded Road, Going Under but you know we just write the best songs we can, you invest a lot in each so it’s hard to pick… they’re all winners eh!

 S.M - Yeah, I’m proud of all the songs.  I think we managed to get a bit of ‘throat’ in all the songs, open up the choke a little.  I think we all agree that Andy’s work on ‘Body’ brought more to the table than we’d originally envisioned, adding an extra dimension to the song.

Andy Miller has quite an impressive employment history and he was onboard with you for the album. How did that go?

A.N - Yeah he’s a good lad. It went really well, we all just hit it off. He knows the studio (Chem19 in Blantyre) inside out and he’s got this great attitude, he’s really great at capturing the song as a performance then just throwing whatever you can at it no matter how weird or silly. If it works it works type of attitude which is really encouraging. 

S.M - :  Personally I think he was really lucky to get to work with us ha ha! Seriously though, when I heard ‘Love the Cup’ by Sons and Daughters I just felt that Andy would connect with us and bring what we were looking for out of our music.  I wasn’t disappointed.

You’ve already confirmed some dates you’ll play, obviously to promote the album and single. Are there any plans to continue that promotion into the summer with a few slots at the festivals?

A.N - Well the Amps never sleep! Hopefully we’ll be at a few festivals, we’ll definitely be gigging quite consistently throughout the year but right now the focus is on the album and the UK Tour which we’re all getting geared up for.

S.M - Yeah, it’s not a full-time career for us yet, so we’re definitely the hardest working band on the planet right now.  We have no festivals confirmed at this point but we’re very happy to play them.

Scotland is gifting some amazing new talent to the rest of the UK right now, and has done for years.  Do you have any particular favourites among them?

A.N -  I think De Rosa are pretty special, who else, The Elvis Suicide are brilliant fun and great guys to boot. Oh and our drummer, Jason, also plays in Cuddly Shark, Scott is actually mixing their album at the mo, it’s going to be a belter.

S.M - Too right it is!  Also the Hazey Janes are gearing up to their next release, they’re like a Scottish Musical Dynasty thanks to the fact two of them are the offspring of the brilliant Michael Marra.  Also Jesus H Foxx have really come together over the last couple of years.

What’s great about being in Le Reno Amps?

A.N - It’s genuinely a really hard working creative wee band, Scott and I write, demo, record pretty much constantly, in between gigging, promoting and sorting all the admin side of things. For me the best bit is buzzing off new songs and also getting to have a shared experience of all these things, touring, recording with Scott, Lindsey and Jase.  Good troops, good times!

S.M - It’s a huge amount of work, but we love what we do and we’re at the controls.  We get on really well together and – so far – haven’t pissed each other off.
Not that I know off anyway!!

Le Reno Amp is an anagram of Maple & Nero.  Did the internet delicacy ‘E Porn Meal’ crop up when you were juggling the surnames?

A.N - Well you’d have to ask Scott that one, cos he came up with it but if I know him well at all I’d say it definitely must have made an appearance!

S.M - Damn, I wrote down a number of anagrams but I may have missed that one. We should do a secret gig under that name. We should do a host of secret gigs under anagrams: Renal Mop, E-Male Porn, One Ampler, Roman Peel etc.

A.N - Ha yeah I’m up for that!

Have you ever played air guitar to your own songs when in the privacy of your home?

A.N - More of an air drumming man myself!

S.M - Sometimes I stand in front of my mirror with my guitar and pretend it’s a tennis racquet.  That is a really old joke, but it’s the first opportunity I’ve ever had to use it.  Thank you for that.
Anyway, to answer your question – no.

Do you think the internet enables artists to reach target audiences easier, and without spending a small fortune on marketing?  Is a bands growth now more dependent on ezine cyber inches than newspaper column inches?

A.N - I think the nationals are still very influential in reaching loads of people but yeah they’re not cheap at all, the internet is an avenue where not only can we maintain a more direct relationship with people that like our music but also in terms of garnering press, we’ve been very much embraced by many e-zines and independent fanzines and it’s nice that that can happen. I mean people like yourself are doing this cos they love music and feel compelled to write about, I’d imagine it’s over and above day-jobs etc so we really appreciate it.

S.M - I think because of some of the reasons Al cited, people are more likely to trust the opinion of a (respected) e-zine like yours.  People who want to have their ear to the ground are more likely to look on E-zines than magazines as you’re more likely to get in at the ground-floor of a new musical happening or band. I would say our target audience is more likely to be a person who reads Subba Cultcha than someone who reads…actually, we’re fucking great, everyone should love us, the world is our target market!

If you didn’t know what age you were what age would you THINK you were?

A.N - Ha, eh, generally people think I’m a bit older than I am, cause I’m so wise and stuff, ha ha. I’ll say 30.  Of course I’ m only just approaching my 19th birthday in real life ha! What about you Scott… bus pass at the ready?

S.M - Sometimes I don’t believe my age and I KNOW MY AGE!  When I look at what’s going on around me the only person I relate to is Larry David, and he’s in his 50’s!
Anyway, to answer your question - about 9!

Guys thanks for taking the time to do this.  Good luck with the single, the album and everything you do in the future. Next time you play Edinburgh let me know and I’ll be there. Be good to catch you live – and you can buy me beer and give me t-shirts and CD’s ha-ha!  Thanks again. All the best.

A.N - Ha ha ha! – thank you - good talking to you, Alan

S.M - Thanks for the support, Alan, – but why stop at beer, t-shirts and CD’s - you could come round my house, eat my tea and fuck my wife.

Would it be rude not to?

S.M: Ah hahaha NO!

Le Reno Amps are
Scott Maple - Vocals/Guitar
Al Nero - Vocals/Guitar
Lindsey Scott - Bass
Jason Sinclair - Drums

Le Reno Amps tour schedule is as follows…


2ND - NEWPORT, WALES, LE PUB (joy presents)
4TH -  LONDON, THE SHEEP WALK ( whats cookin)
16TH - HULL, HULL UNIVERSITY ( with Brakes)
19th - GLASGOW, KING TUTS WAH WAH HUT ( with Brakes)

New Single ‘Outlaws’ out Monday 23rd February. Digital Download.

New Album ‘Tear It Open’ out Monday 23rd March. CD/Digital Download.

Thanks to..Al Nero & Scott Maple.
And to Alan Souter at Armellodie Press.

7 August 2014

Meteorites: Yann Tiersen

Aidan Moffat (Arab Strap) is guest narrator on this stunning spoken word piece that reflects in beautiful poetics about street corner passion and clumsy fumblings in the darkness. It's the last track on French composer Yann Tiersen's album Infinity and shimmers with simple yet atmospheric orchestration. Dreamy and wistful, it brings out the deep Scottish brogue of Moffat's vocal intimacy snaking through the darkness and bringing voice to every frustrated heartache that was ever lost for the words needed to describe itself. The stunning video performance by Clemence Poesy brings every second of sheer emotion to life right in front of your eyes.


3 August 2014

Sinead O' Connor: Brand New Single & Album

The brand new single from Sinead O' Connor will be Take Me To Church and is the first track to be taken from the upcoming album I'm Not Bossy, I'm The Boss. Both single and album are set for release on the same date August 12th. The new song centres around the problems and issues she has spent most of her life battling.

Album Tracklist
1. How About I Be Me
2. Dense Water Deeper Down
3. Kisses Like Mine
4. Your Green Jacket
5. The Vishnu Room
6. The Voice Of My Doctor
7. Harbour
8. James Brown (With Seun Kuti)
9. 8 Good Reasons
10. Take Me to Church
11. Where Have You Been
12. Streetcars


How Much Does It Cost To Book Your Favourite Band?

Thanks to booking agents Degy Entertainment you can now price the cost of getting your favourite band to play at your event (for GB pounds just half the price shown) If, like me, your budget will never in a million lifetimes stretch THAT far then stick to what you've always done....buy a ticket and go watch them play at someone else's worry and expense. Who died and made Bruce Springsteen the fucking king? $1million+ per show!! Scandalous! I am informed some of these prices may not be absolutely precise in their accuracy as different situations create different costs...but the difference between actual and what's quoted here is minimal.

25 July 2014

Charity Single For Children's Hospice Association (Scotland)

A previously unreleased track by former Fife band Draw covering American band LOVE's 1967 hit 'Alone Again Or' will be released by the band's former manager Nicholas Russell with all proceeds going directly to the Children's Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) Draw recorded the cover in 2003.  The original single featured on LOVE’s critically acclaimed album Forever Changes, cited as of one of the most influential albums in history.  Mr Russell said he was delighted to be releasing the single and that it was supporting CHAS.“A reason behind releasing this never-before-heard single was to firstly show appreciation for the extraordinary talent of Draw, which had a relatively short but very exciting career within the music industry,” he said. “I am really excited to be able to share this unique and exceptional track, which is an absolute gem from the archive. Not even the band themselves ever heard the final mastered version'

The single can be downloaded for just 79p HERE

Further info can be found HERE

The CHAS homepage is HERE

Album Review: Morrissey - World Peace Is None Of Your Business

The Morrissey derision for anything has been consistently outright and unswerving in it’s honesty. The conjecture mutually antagonistic. The militant lyrical venom, defiant in it’s contempt for whichever vile agenda it attacks, is unleashed with stabbing resentment. Such breathtakingly public vocal onslaughts, along with the music of course, have earned him the unconditional love and loyalty of half the world…while the other half unconditionally  hate him. His post-Smiths solo career has built itself soundly upon the past glories of them good old days and, in the main, has been done so on his own terms. With only the distraction of his autobiography bridging the 5 year drought since 2009’s Years Of Refusal his fans will be desperately hoping the 10th solo album of his career isn’t only worth waiting on but good enough to be worth the wait of waiting on…if you get me!

The musical maturity you’d expect from someone like Morrissey has continued to age gracefully and continues to be in possession of enough intuitive nous for his craft and at times a creative step forward can be heard pacing around somewhere in the orchestra of more familiar arrangements. The title track is musically refined and lyrically acerbic - the sweet and the sour in a joined back-biting attack upon the government ‘ world peace is none of your business, police will stun you with their guns…that’s what governments for’ he croons in vicious objection. The belligerently menacing guitar chords of  Neal Cassady Drops Dead instigate and provoke for the entire song - a passive aggressive nod to the Beat Generation poet and his 20 year relationship with Allen Ginsberg ‘whippersnappers scurvy, urchin made of acne, get that thing away from me‘, growls Morrissey before it halts it’s savagery  in the middle for a puzzlingly random flamenco solo then reverts back to the skewed hard rock sound and marches onwards. Atmospheric Istanbul is all chopped guitars and poetic storytelling with a scattered Middle East ambience, fading chorus echoing and busy street noise that collectively drenches the entire song in a sound tapestry of muso-intellect orchestration.

For lengthy reflection comes the filmic 8 minute divulgence of I’m Not A Man developing itself through a distinguished Frank Sinatra croon it builds upwards as if heading towards an incendiary finale then pulls itself back downwards again, upwards and downwards it spirals beneath Morrissey’s lyrical listing of what he feels are the awful things ‘manliness’ brings…’wife beater vest, warring caveman, wise-ass, smart-ass, two fisted hombre, so very manly of you, you are the soldier’. The Spanish/Latino influenced acoustic buzz of Earth Is The Loneliest Planet Of All, gutsy marching anthem Staircase At The University and short 2 minute trumpet/accordion jangle pop tune The Bullfighter Dies all jostle for as much of the glory as the rest of the album has quite clearly achieved. For a grand finale there is no further to be looking than Oboe Concerto…’there’s a song I cant stand and it’s stuck in my head’ he continually repeats above a backdrop of electronica beeping/serenading guitar and a pleading clarinet.

World Peace Is None Of Your Business may not be Morrissey’s most immediately accessible album but, after several listens, it grows on you just like the others did and it’s then that you realise….it’s just as good as they are.

29 April 2014

Elastic Sleep

Elastic Sleep are an Irish dream pop/shoegaze band currently earning all the attention thanks to a series of brilliant live performances supporting bands like The Chameleons and Fight Like Apes. In 2013 they released the debut single 'Anywhere', a breezy dream pop delight....quickly followed by a swirling cover of Nancy Sinatra's 'You Only Live Twice. Their brand new EP 'Leave You' has just been released on Big Tea Records and shall propel them to the greatness so beautifully earned.

22 April 2014

Courtney Love UK Tour 2014

No words are required. No words, just joy and the most amazing butterflies of anticipation! Love always. Always love!

20 April 2014

Sloop John B: The Beach Boys

The harmonies, the melodies, the inventiveness, the academic nous. This band created the greatest summertime soundtracks in the history of summer itself. The exuberance of surf rock resonating along Californian shorelines are, in every single way, the sole property of this band. And let’s not even begin the deserved sycophancy which Pet Sounds so glaringly earned itself. It's a struggle to say anything about the Beach Boys without stumbling off into the precious stones of their majestic masterpiece- it would just seem terribly uneducated not to give it a nod on the way through. Best song on the album (in my opinion) is seventh track Sloop John B. Smooth guitar chomping with a full band arrangement and the shared vocal duties of Brian Wilson and Mike Love.

They are legends though, aint they? (starting a new paragraph with an observation built on something from a previous paragraph is incorrect grammatical structuring by the way) Traditionally a West Indies folk song the Beach Boys version is musically different from the original and employs tambourine, electric bass, clarinet, organ, glockenspiel, flute and saxophone throughout the transformation. Brian sang the first and third verses while Mike took charge of the second verse. Released as a single in March 1966 it charted highly throughout the world and remains their most popular hits...and the only track on Pet Sounds that isn't a Brian Wilson original.

We come on the sloop John B
My grandfather and me
Around Nassau town we did roam
Drinkin' all night, got into a fight
Well, I feel so broke up, I want to go home

So hoist up the John B's sail

See how the mainsail sets
Call for the captain ashore
Let me go home, let me go home
I wanna go home, yeah yeah
Well, I feel so broke up, I wanna go home

The first mate, he got drunk

And broke in the captain's trunk
The constable had to come and take him away
Sheriff John Stone
Why don't you leave me alone? Yeah yeah
Well, I feel so broke up, I wanna go home

So hoist up the John B's sail

See how the mainsail sets
Call for the captain ashore
Let me go home, let me go home
I wanna go home, let me go home
Why don't you let me go home?
Hoist up the John B's sail
Hoist up the John B
I feel so broke up, I wanna go home
Let me go home

The poor cook he caught the fits

And threw away all my grits
And then he took and he ate up all of my corn
Let me go home
Why don't they let me go home?
This is the worst trip I've ever been on

So hoist up the John B's sail

See how the mainsail sets
Call for the captain ashore
Let me go home, let me go home
I wanna go home, let me go home
Why don't you let me go?

The Beach Boys Official Site

19 April 2014

A Playlist Compiled For Subba Cultcha

A selection of tracks from bands  featured at Subba Cultcha this week including Kirsty MaColl, Wilko Johnson, Dexters, The Whereabouts, Chuck Ragan and more…

Red Fang: Voices Of The Dead
 (from the album Whales And Leeches)

Dexters: They’re Blind
 (from the album Shimmer Gold)

Chuck Ragan: Wake With You 
(from the album Till Midnight)

Saintseneca: Bloodbath 
(from the album Dark Arc)

The Whereabouts: Emmalene
 (recent single)

Kirsty MaColl: They Don’t Know 
(from the album All I Ever Wanted-The Anthology)

Wilko Johnson & Roger Datrey: Ice On The Motorway 
(from the album Going Back Home)

The Chap: What Did We Do
 (from the album We Are Nobody)

Ema: Dead Celebrity
 ( from the album The Future’s Void)

Ginger Wildheart: Body Parts 
( from the album Albion)

Lykke Li: No Rest For The Wicked
 ( from forthcoming album I Never Learn)

The Melodic: Come Outside
 ( from the album Effra Parade)

Eno.Hyde: Daddy’s Car
 ( from the forthcoming album Someday World)

We Were Evergreen: False Start
( from the forthcoming album Towards)

Ratking: Canal
( from the album So It Goes)

12 April 2014

Louise Distras: Love Me The Way I Am.

Homophobia isn't as courageous, unconstrained or point-blank as most of us assume it to be. It doesn't shout loud but insinuates quietly. It rarely has the guts to stand up tall and verbalise so permeates with negative suggestion, it's poisoned malignance and bitter resent too unsophisticated to advocate with anything of any pertinence. It worms and it tunnels and it burrows with whispered prejudice until it becomes internalised in it's victims through their own perception of how they see themselves. That is the very worst of prejudices, the least visible but the most damaging. Thankfully it doesn't always win...but when it does. I am neither homosexual, bi-sexual or homophobic. I don't know how it must feel but, through the words of those I know who do, I can appreciate how it feels. The new single by Louise Distras 'Love Me The Way I Am' is her very personal and very tasteful interpretation of that very subject, based on and written about the experiences of a close friend and, regardless the narratives or the musics genre or even the 'protest singer' tag she has inherited....love IS love no matter what. I don't have the intellect or proper understanding to furnish it with anything other than the worthless opinionated conjecture, lousy with cliches, that seem to dress the bones of a review - and which are rarely about the context and all about the music anyway...so I wont even bother.


New Artist Of The Day: The Whereabouts

The effortless personification of retro cool…

The Whereabouts are teenagers, the mod youth, defined in the narrow cut of their tailored suits they are the poster boys for the approaching generation. They play outstanding R&B influenced catchy rock/pop that is confident enough to emulate the era it traditionally belongs to yet sharp enough to cast a modernity of it’s own competence should there ever be some doubt that it may not. Their youthful energy conjures a bombastic 60’s pop sound consistent with British Invasion bands like The Merseybeats while their deeper edged bluesy guitar work is an endearing nod to their Rolling Stones and Chuck Berry influences. They resonate with a definite profoundness and are remarkably perceptive to the aesthetics of the genre they operate in. They’ve already attracted the attention of the industry with last years rollicking ‘TwentyThirtyThree’ EP and the hook laden single ‘Emmalene’. An extensive gig schedule including a support slot with American band Daughtry earned them play-listing on America’s leading radio station KROQ…. A hugely significant indication of their merit surely. Further grooviness continues with tremendous follow up single ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’. The world, it would seem, might one day be theirs!” 

29 March 2014

Classic Albums On Spotify: Psychocandy

Disturbingly dark and distorted with a monstrous intravenous drip-fed thrum that pulses and reverberates across every inch. The squealing fuzz drenched feedback bleeds a wall of sound as bare-bones drumming echo with sinister simplicity and doom. It's fucked up surf rock/heroin pop/ psycho shoegaze enveloped in a swirling hypnotic gunfire of raw energy. The catchiest white noise explosion on earth. Standout tracks - Just Like Honey, Taste Of Cindy, The Hardest Walk and Something's Wrong.

25 March 2014

Review: The Exploited: The Massacre. Beat The Bastards. Fuck The System

My generation is the one that was just too young to properly catch that whole 1976 UK punk revolution thing and though I can understand the cultural importance it had on that specific era and appreciate the individualism and creativity that grew instinctively and confidently from its encouraging liberation I will never be anything more than a victim of the wrong birth date forever imagining it through the second hand stories and opinions of those who were part of it’s brief but infinite glory. Sadly the sneering anti-establishment battle cries that were once so consequential have been laundered into harmless mainstream domesticity by years of over exposure, dragged from the past to ghost the antithetic generations of today and becoming nothing more than a pantomime of itself for a society that exists in a state of such perpetual disintegration you can buy Sex Pistols t-shirts in Primark, so it’s possibly best to stick with the authentic stories of others rather than looking to the vapid cash guzzling philosophies of high street commercialism to fill in your blanks.

Second generation British punk rock was ’our’ 1976, The Exploited were ‘our’ Sex Pistols and their debut album ‘Punks Not Dead’ our ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’. Not only one of the biggest bands but quite possibly the main instigators of that entire second generation and, in Wattie Buchan, they have, undoubtedly, its most recognised front man. The line-up may have changed far more times than they’d have liked but what hasn’t changed are the ethics and the honesty that first booted them into action. Whether it be a small venue gig or festival headlining slot you still get what you got the first time you saw them play and with just as much aggression and commitment. Their legacy has been built upon ferocious, anti-establishment frustrations and the dole queue politics of disaffected youth. Unsophisticated and straight-to-the-point The Exploited have always delivered a more urgent and believable message than their first generation comrades – simply because they themselves have lived the very life their lyrics narrate. The art/punk style and far fetched rhetoric of Matlock and Rotten’s compositions are a million miles from the clearer and more relevant style of The Exploited for getting the message across without poncing around it. Their debut may not, to most, emulate the legacy of the Pistols in terms of musicianship and initial effect…..But their significance? That can never be doubted


You can literally hear the birth of the next stage of hostility emerging from the fracas of this, their sixth studio album. First released in 1990 it’s here that the heavier sounding hardcore Exploited of today can first be heard. The thundering drumbeats and powerhouse guitar riffs and solos are far more of an obvious force here than on previous albums (though some consider Death Before Dishonour the greater) and Wattie Buchan’s volleying vocal delivery crashes through the brick-wall of noise with steel edged dominance and muscular defiance. This is thrash metal influenced punk rock – and not only is it that – but it remains one of the best first examples of what such specific genre-chiselling could spawn. The subject matter hasn’t changed, and why should it? But there’s extra venom to the acid tongued havoc – especially on the brilliant ‘Police Shit’ (lying bastards, police shit) the provoking working class anti-establishment hymn ‘Don’t Pay The Poll Tax’, slower paced masterpiece ‘Blown Out Of The Sky’ and the incendiary missile ’Fuck Religion’ The less political but possibly more relevant (for most) ‘Porno Slut’ and the fired up outrage of ‘Sick Bastard’ are further stand-out tracks on what proved to be the start of a new chapter in the bands history.


The thrash metal/punk rock crossover first introduced on The Massacre has been superbly refined on the follow up album Beat The Bastards which was released, following a 6 year gap, in 1996 This was their 7th studio album and is widely considered one of the best second generation British punk albums ever made. This is The Exploited at the very peak of their career and at the top of their game – a clear and precise representation of a genre by the band who have so obviously mastered it and, on this evidence, made it exclusively theirs. It’s a step-up in creativity, an update in sound, that many others failed and still fail to match. The brawling antipathy bristles with the combined force of punks aggression and metal’s heaviness – every song a backbiting serenade of grievance and non-acceptance to be forever the soundtrack that signifies the working classes answering back. The intimidation is everywhere, beginning with the title tracks opening sea of sampled dialogue that culminates in a menacing ‘Who the fuck are you?’, triggering the brutally powered song to explode into life it’s rallying defiance immediately revealed in the first verse ‘slaves to the system there’s no way out, slaves to the system do you have a shout, you’ve got to beat the bastards, beat them now, sick of policies putting me down’ he howls, with enraged resentment from within the fast-paced thrash-fuelled masterpiece. The equally paced ‘Affected By Them’ , ‘Law For The Rich’ (with it’s I know the law you bastards, Clockwork Orange sampling) the riff laden guitar tune ‘Fightback’ and the energetic finger pointing ‘They Lie’ ‘hospital trusts, more Tory fuck ups…lie lie lie lie, they lie to you’ The musicianship of The Exploited is remarkably accomplished throughout this entire album and is especially so in the towering leadership and confident injection of the guitar and the forceful beat providing excellence the drumming delivers, a service that’s brilliantly displayed on ‘If You’re Sad’ and ‘Serial Killer’. The album that suddenly convinces you The Exploited are a little bit special


Released in 2003 and currently the last of their studio albums to date Fuck The System is a raging ‘fuck you’ inferno of anger and hatred fuelled by some of the most deeply personal lyrics Wattie Buchan has ever penned. The scathing ’Fucking Liar’ is a tirade of wounded abuse from the cheated to the cheater ‘you told me he was just a friend but now I know the fucking score’….you’re just a fucking liar’ he roars from the frantic paced war zone before hurling the boot into the same, or another, protagonist with the confidence shredding ‘You’re A Fucking Bastard’ by simply repeating the line ‘you’re a fucking bastard and a shit fuck too’ with mocking viciousness, for the entire song. The atmospheric drum opening that eventually explodes into the pleading tirade of ‘Was It Me?’ (you never told me what we fell out about….was it me? Was it me?) he continually sings above wailing guitars and marching drums. A collection of their most meaningful and catchy compositions from the aforementioned songs to the bouncing ‘Never Sell Out’ , the riotous ‘Chaos Is My Life’ and fast-off-the-blocks ‘Holiday In The Sun’. Worldwide popularity isn’t something that can be gained through luck or default – you need to achieve it, sustain it, prove it and show it. The Exploited have achieved, sustained, proved and shown their right to have it. You don’t even need to look to this trio of albums for confirmation of that…but it’s a great place to start!

Everyone here at Subba Cultcha would like to take this opportunity to wish Wattie a fast and full recovery and we hope to see him back in the places he belongs very soon.

2 March 2014

One For Sunday Night: Wendy James - The Nameless One

The perfect girl singing the perfect song.
Sunday evening can now fuck off and bother us no more
It may have been written by Elvis Costello
 but Wendy James has a remarkable singing voice
and a stunning presence.
This was her debut solo single released in 1993
 and first to be taken from her debut album
 'Now Aint The Time For Your Tears'

Nobody could have done it better.

22 February 2014

Carter USM Announce Last Ever Show

The Final Comedown
This year Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine will play their LAST ever show. It will take place at Brixton Academy on November 22nd 2014

A Statement From Jim Bob
On November 22nd this year at Brixton Academy a very good thing will sadly come to an end when we play our final ever Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine live show. I say 'sadly' but the sad element will come afterwards. On the 22nd we're going to have a big party. We're going to celebrate all the fantastic Carter shows that have taken place since we got back together in 2007. Those first two 'one off' shows in 2007 that completely blew us away and made us desperate to do more. The Drum Machine Years gigs where we played the first four albums from start to finish, even 'Evil', which I completely fucked up. There was the incredible Beautiful Days festival, the Glasgow King Tuts benefit show, all of them, all of the reunion gigs have been amazing. I'm sure other bands say it but we genuinely have got the best audience in the world.

That's you that is. It wouldn't just not be the same without you it would be rubbish. Join us for one last time this November. Come and meet old friends, make new ones, dance yourself lame and sing yourself hoarse. Let's go out on a high that makes Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic project seem subterranean by comparison. Have a bloody good laugh, shed a tear, raise a glass or two and let's see if we can break the venue's bar record one more time before we go.

Jim Bob x