Three Trapped Tigers

Monday, 29 June 2009, 23:06 | Category : Good new stuff
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So you’re the keyboard player for Emmy the Great. Of course, this isn’t your full-time occupation, so how do you spend your time away from knocking out sweet folk-pop melodies? How about creating spiky instrumental math rock which pitches your band as the British Battles? This might not seem like the most obvoious direction, but [...]

Here’s to you, Peggy Sue

Wednesday, 24 June 2009, 0:18 | Category : Good new stuff
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Peggy Sue haven’t been on this blog much, though they really ought to have been. I’ve got a couple of live radio sessions going back over two years which I never got round to posting. And somehow I never featured any of their singles, most of which have been very good. In that time they’ve [...]

Seven Songs: She Keeps Bees

Monday, 22 June 2009, 16:13 | Category : Reviews, Seven Songs
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She Keeps Bees like to keep it brief. The 11 tracks on their latest album Nests clock in at less than 27 minutes, so it’s clear that they’re not pissing about. It’s this brevity that’s part of their appeal. No flab, just straight to the point bluesy rocking that ought to have Jack and Meg [...]

Inspiration Information

Monday, 22 June 2009, 11:49 | Category : Reviews
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Bringing musical legends together to collaborate and record stuff can be a great idea, but it can come with the great burden of expectation, which may cloud your judgement on how good it is. This is the case for me with the first two albums in the Inspiration Information series, released on the revitalised Strut [...]

Seven Songs: Fanfarlo

Friday, 19 June 2009, 12:06 | Category : Seven Songs
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There’s been a belated rush of stuff on this blog about Fanfarlo lately, but rightly so. Their brilliant recent album Reservoir has been on steady rotation round my way; so what next to do other than invite lead singer Simon Balthazar (that’s him in the middle) to answer my seven questions. Oh, and you’ve got [...]

End of the Road: the final word?

Thursday, 18 June 2009, 12:30 | Category : Festivals
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Since I last talked about End of the Road Festival, a whole bunch of new artists have been announced since the start of June. It’s shaping up quite nicely.
First we had the unsigned bands who applied to the competition to play at the festival. 950 bands applied and only 9 have been chosen. They are [...]

Singles Going Steady 33: Richard Hawley

Tuesday, 16 June 2009, 13:19 | Category : Singles Going Steady
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Although I’m well overdue another retrospective look at my singles collection, it seems timely this week to come to Richard Hawley. After all, the Sheffield balladeer has just announced the release of his sixth solo album, Truelove’s Gutter, which is due in September. Looking at the tracklisting, it seems a brief affair at only eight [...]

MAP June

Monday, 15 June 2009, 12:49 | Category : Music Alliance Pact
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Oh, it’s that time of the month again. Music Alliance Pact time, when the collected recommendations of a motley bunch of international bloggers are unleashed on the world. Last month’s edition caught the attention of American music website Spin, which featured the full May MAP on its pages. So onwards and upwards then. This month [...]

Seven Songs: The Young Republic

Friday, 12 June 2009, 21:52 | Category : Seven Songs
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It’s been a while since there’s been any Young Republic on here, but that’s about to change because they’ve got a new EP out this week. It’s a nice little taster for their new album Balletesque (previously touted on this blog here), previewing three songs plus a couple of extra tracks - an alternative version [...]

She Keeps Bees

Friday, 12 June 2009, 11:27 | Category : Good new stuff
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One of the great joys of Spotify for me this year has been discovering all these PJ Harvey albums that I never bought. I mention this because Dorset’s Polly Jean was my first reference point for Brooklyn band She Keeps Bees. The duo may not share the visceral nature of much of Harvey’s work, but [...]