Sunday, January 28, 2007

Thump, bump, bumpedy (pause) bump.

That’s the sound of my blogging reputation taking an ignominious tumble down a long flight of stairs, and ending up sprawled face down among the burger wrappings and old newspapers.

You remember I was feeling somewhat pleased with myself (not to say a little smug) about getting somewhere with this Blog? I was even beginning to privately entertain thoughts of a Kid Jensen-esque reputation amongst the Bloggers Who Know.

Additional Moog

Well, anyway, it’s official. I’m rubbish.

One of the bands, I … erm… “championed” in the very early days of PP, Birmingham’s Additional Moog, have released their first album, in fact it’s been out for over two months. Somehow, it’s completely skipped under my (clearly faulty) radar, and now I’ve been made aware of it by Lost Cat Records, I’ve a feeling the band themselves did let me know about it at the time. Even more embarrassing for me, is that it’s on Emusic, and I’ve somehow missed the release there too.

Anyway, first impressions are that it’s going to be pretty listenable, with a softer, better produced sound than the independent tracks available on their site. There’s still a real country tinge to their sound which I wouldn’t want them to lose, and some interesting choices of instrumentation which keep you on your toes. Stand out tracks at the moment would be "Soul Star" and the really beautiful "Alaska"

There’s also a single out, “The Bit War”, that has apparently just about sold out, but is also available as a free download from here.

New Wave of British Country anyone? [Copyright, Sounds c1980]

The Bit War

Friday, January 26, 2007

In different worlds but under the same stars

D’you know I am beginning to feel like a real Blogger, with proper, you know, contacts and that.

Last week after my Treecreeper post, the kind people at Rough Trade were good enough to send me a copy “Grain” the band’s newly released album, which, it turns out is a really good album, and well worth shelling out for (from here).

The band also mention on their Myspace blog that Rough Trade have included a Treecreeper track in their best of 2006 compilation, which all in all seems like a good reason to post another track:


Morning Bride

And then, on Wednesday, I got an email from Gav, at Letterbox Records, letting me know that they have a number of new downloads available. As a dedicated punter over the years firmly on the buyer’s side of the fence, I get an enormous kick out of anything that looks like a freebie, so these two developments have rather cheered me as I go through the normal winter onslaught of colds and flus.

Anyway, having had a listen to some of the good music that Letterbox have, I was particularly struck by Morning Bride, a five piece from Hackney who produce rather deft country-tinged pop songs and have an album recorded and due for release in March. They also have a “very, very pretty” website with a lot of content, particularly a journal which is well worth a read.

I rather like the idea that Brits can play traditional American music well enough to get noticed in the States themselves, (and not just because it gives me the opportunity to try and fashion another Coals-to-Newcastle type joke, just narrowly averted). It is apparently the case, however, as once again that sharp dude at Songs: Illinois has picked up on this lot earlier than everyone else – how we hate him!

I won’t host the Morning Bride track myself, but you can pick it up here at the Letterbox records site with artwork.

I would.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Burning Paintings of your Soul

I’m not going to do this a lot, OK?

But I’ve been reading this month’s issue of Fuse and have been encouraged to investigate a new (to me) band called the Lancaster Bombers. Fuse is a new-ish magazine you can have sent monthly to your e-mail with an exhaustive coverage of music in the Gloucester and Cheltenham area. It’s produced by a feller called Andy that I’ve met a couple of times whose energy to cover new music is quite breath-taking really. It’s full of bands and interviews that mainly make me feel just plain old these days, but the Lancaster Bombers tip off is a good ’un.

The Lancaster Bombers

Apparently the Bombers’ Myspace was dumped somehow without warning and doesn’t yield anything for the dedicated mp3 trawler (although the streamed tracks, especially the Stooges-y Your Girlfriend, all sound good). The website on the other hand is something else. Three live tracks, three other tracks and four acoustic tracks by band leader John-Paul Pryor is a pretty generous give away.

I found some of the quotes and the general image a little off-putting, speaking as a forty-something year-old bloke, but I’m told the kids love it, and I can see these guys becoming very big indeed. It’s all loud, raucous stuff, with some great Fall-influenced riffs and lyrics, and some interesting fiddlings and effects.

I’ve a feeling NME have done some sort of feature on the Bombers, but for those of us that only speak English the best source of further info is Andy’s Fuse interview, which you can get by contacting him or visiting his Myspace site and adding your name to his mailing list.

I’m posting some of the tracks available on their site, my personal favourite being the first with it’s slightly gothic lyrics and dubby extras. Good stuff.

Crack Francisco
Silent Show
Cruelty Boxes

Monday, January 08, 2007

Right There Black & White...

I’m not sure quite where I am with these tracks…

The Holloh

I went to see this band about 18 months ago at the Guildhall in Gloucester, and they were kind of OK, but I wasn’t especially blown away by them. As is my wont, I bought their CD (both of them in fact) and played it a bit, but then forgot it.

Going through the hard drive a couple of weeks ago I found a few extra tracks by this lot and they’re quite different. The tracks from the CDs sounded kind of standard heavy-ish pop, but the three tracks I found on my computer had much more of a garage punk feel to them, with good simple riffs and Pebbles-style guitar breaks. I really like them!

I know the Holloh are from Cheltenham, and are (how can I put this?) in the first flush of youth; I know they gig around Gloucester and Cheltenham fairly regularly; and I know that they have a couple of EPs out (Transit Express & Fallingundercarskills).

But I don’t know if the three tracks I’m posting here (the ones I really liked) are “new” Holloh or “old” Holloh… They’re all still available for download from here, so I’m guessing they’re not early demos…

I’m onto it and will find out for you… In the meantime, give these a listen.

Black and White


The Tango

Sunday, January 07, 2007

There’s no resurrecting the things that we lose

I’ve been trawling through the hard drive trying to catch up on some of the various bands I’ve downloaded at over the year. So one of the bands I seem to have snagged at some point or other is Treecreeper. And to be honest I’m kicking myself that it’s taken me a while to give it a proper listen.


Apparently (or so I hear) the rootsy Americana-type stuff that is coming out of the UK is getting a bit of a reputation in the US itself, and why not? There is of course a fair old tradition of Brits recycling American sounds and giving them a bit of a tweak in the process. Also (rather pleasingly) there is in Oklahoma a city called Newcastle which allows me all sorts of opportunities to make a “coals to Newcastle” joke, which I shall resist for as long as I can…

Treecreeper are four blokes from Wendover, the core of which seems to be brothers Will and Greg Burns, playing carefully constructed Country Rock songs which it is impossible not to compare to Son Volt or Wilco. Traditional American themes, such as change, regret and the natural landscape are well covered and the instrumentation is also traditional – banjos, harmonicas, and a good measure of reverb-driven guitar.

But any regular reader of this blog must know by now that I love all that stuff!

In truth, I guess Treecreeper aren’t yet taking the listener anywhere we haven’t already been, but the songs are strong and they are treated with such a deft touch that it is impossible not to love them.

Treecreeper are also buddies of another my favourite bands I’ve come across this year, The Tailors, and together they apparently run a roots evening in Brixton every month called Sadder Days at the Windmill. Sounds like a good time…

I’m posting two tracks here that come from their Myspace page (there are others available too). There is also an album available from Rough Trade called “Grain”.


When I Go