Saturday, 27 August 2016

Track Of The Day: Dodgy - 'California Gold'

Underrated British combo Dodgy enjoyed success during the Britpop era of the 90s, but have enjoyed a major creative renaissance following their brilliant 2012 comeback album 'Stand Upright In A Cool Place'. They're about to release its long-awaited follow-up ‘What Are We Fighting For’ via Cherry Red Records later this week on September 2. The band will be playing a number of festivals dates before a full UK tour in September, October and November.

‘What Are We Fighting For’ is the fifth album from the original Dodgy line-up – Nigel Clark, Mathew Priest and Andy Miller, and also the first album to feature new bassist Stu Thoy, who has added new life to the band. The 10 track album was produced by frontman Nigel Clark, with additional production from the rest of the group. From it comes this wonderful, hazy helping of sun-soaked bliss, which closes the album and comes with an innovative "360" video.



REWIND: Kadoc - 'The Nighttrain'

More wonderful music from 1996 as RW/FF takes you aboard a musical TARDIS on a journey through musical history. If you weren't around or were too young to remember the mid 90s, consider this a lesson of enlightenment. If you (like me) were lucky enough to experience it all first time around, then these posts are a fine nostalgic blast from the blast.

1996 was a golden year for electronica and dance music. At the time I was a very young DJ, taking to the decks at a club that my Dad used to manage in Corsham. And this is a track that I would lay regularly back in those fondly-remembered days. I know very information about Kadoc, but my research suggests that it was a project helmed by Spanish DJs/producers David Penn and DJ Chus. The song samples 'Night Train' by James Brown and was originally a club hit in 1995, before gaining mainstream chart success the following year. It was released on the Positiva label and reached number 14 in the UK singles chart.
 
 

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Track Of The Day: James - 'Girl At The End Of The World'

Manchester legends James have been on a roll creatively, and their most recent album 'Girl At The End Of The World' scored them their highest chart position in years. From it here is the marvellous title track, featuring a video directed by Kris Merc. The album is highly recommended and cements the band's reputation as a musically evolving unit and one of British music's most loved groups.

This week on Friday night (August 26th), fans of the band will be coming together at The Zombie Shack in Manchester for The Gathering Sound, a club night dedicated to the music of James. For more info go here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1187151314671093/


 

REWIND: The Beatles - 'Real Love'

More wonderful music from 1996 as RW/FF takes you aboard a musical TARDIS on a journey through musical history. If you weren't around or were too young to remember the mid 90s, consider this a lesson of enlightenment. If you (like me) were lucky enough to experience it all first time around, then these posts are a fine nostalgic blast from the blast.

As I've said many times before, in terms of music the 1990's had everything. Even a Beatles reunion. Sort Of. I was raised on the music of the Liverpool four-piece from a young age, and became properly obsessed with them in late 1995 when the epic documentary series The Beatles Anthology was shown on telly. Produced by ELO man Jeff Lynne, this single was released in early 1996, reaching number 4 in the UK charts. 'Real Love' was written by the late John Lennon at some point in the 70s, prior to his tragic and senseless murder in December 1980. Years later, his home demo recording of the song was augmented with overdubs by the three surviving Beatles in the mid 90s, as was also the case with their previous single 'Free As A Bird'. To date, 'Real Love' is the final song credited to the band, and was included on the 1996 compilation album 'Anthology 2'.

Ringo Starr commented, "Recording the new songs didn't feel contrived at all, it felt very natural and it was a lot of fun, but emotional too at times. But it's the end of the line, really. There's nothing more we can do as the Beatles."
 
 
 

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Track Of The Day: Green Day - 'Bang Bang'

The last we heard of punk pop legends Green Day was four years ago in 2012 when they released a whole trio of new albums. I can't help but think that if they slimmed those tracks down to a single album, it could have been their finest moment. Four years later and they return with a new album entitled 'Revolution Radio', due for release later this year. The first taster from it is this frantic new single 'Bang Bang', which according to lead singer and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, is "about the culture of mass shooting that happens in America mixed with narcissistic social media." Armstrong also stated that the album is meant to reflect the current state of chaos in the United States.

The album is due on October 7 and will be the band's first entirely self-produced product.


REWIND: Echobelly - 'Dark Therapy'

More wonderful music from 1996 as RW/FF takes you aboard a musical TARDIS on a journey through musical history. If you weren't around or were too young to remember the mid 90s, consider this a lesson of enlightenment. If you (like me) were lucky enough to experience it all first time around, then these posts are a fine nostalgic blast from the blast.

As 1995 turned into 1996, Oasis became unavoidable. You could not escape from their music, and they were everywhere. Because all the talk was of the Gallaghers, it annoyed me that other great bands of the Britpop era were just being treated like their poor relatives, so in 1996 I went and investigated the "other" groups of the time. Already very familiar with Pulp, Blur, Suede and Supergrass, it was through buying compilations of indie hits that I became a fan of bands like Sleeper, Dodgy and this lot, a four piece from London called Echobelly. Often considered by some to be like a female fronted version of The Smiths, their jangly guitars and intelligent lyrics earned them a number of hits, including this lovely helping of mysterious beauty from their 'On' album. During the 90's, the Radio 1 Roadshows were still popular, and the ones hosted by Chris Evans attracted huge crowds. The whole thing peaked with a show at Weston Super Mare beach, where an audience of over 32,000 people (including myself) sang along to 'Wonderwall' as if it was the new national anthem, and jumped up and down in the sunshine to the sounds of Dodgy, Supergrass and even Sleeper, while being entertained by "live" performances from Skunk Anansie and Echobelly. Read more about that day HERE. It was the wonderful 'Great Things' that turned me on to Echobelly, and it was 'King Of The Kerb' that they "played" at the Roadshow, but the wondrous 'Dark Therapy' (which reached 20 in the singles chart) is a song from the era that doesn't ever seem to get the recognition it deserves... 

Following their fifth album 'Gravity Pulls', the band split in 2004. Core members Sonya Madden and Glenn Johansson returned in 2009 playing acoustic shows under the name Calm Of Zero. Since then, they have also done the same thing under the Echobelly name and released a a number of EPs.



Monday, 22 August 2016

Track Of The Day: Kula Shaker - '2STYX'

Underrated British guitar combo Kula Shaker returned earlier this year with their excellent fifth album 'K2.0' and have quickly delivered another brand new track that does not feature on the record. The mysterious and infectious '2 STYX' is Crispian Mills and co at their very best. A band who are certainly enjoying a creative resurgence. 




REWIND: Terrorvision - 'Perserverance'

More wonderful music from 1996 as RW/FF takes you aboard a musical TARDIS on a journey through musical history. If you weren't around or were too young to remember the mid 90s, consider this a lesson of enlightenment. If you (like me) were lucky enough to experience it all first time around, then these posts are a fine nostalgic blast from the blast.

The superb 'Perserverance' was taken from Britrock group Terrorvision's third album 'Regular Urban Survivors'. This song reached number 5 in the UK singles chart back in 1996. After initially disbanding in 2001, the Bradford-based band reformed in 2005.


Sunday, 21 August 2016

Track Of The Day: Metallica - 'Hardwired'

Rock monsters Metallica have made their return after an 8 year gap since their last full studio album. The sharp, furious 'Hardwired' is the opening track from their upcoming tenth LP 'Hardwired... To Self Destruct', and for a Metallica song is surprisingly short and straight to the point. The album is due for release on November 18 and was produced by Greg Fidelman, who engineered the band's previous album 'Death Magnetic', along with James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich.


REWIND: The Lightning Seeds - 'Ready Or Not'

More wonderful music from 1996 as RW/FF takes you aboard a musical TARDIS on a journey through musical history. If you weren't around or were too young to remember the mid 90s, consider this a lesson of enlightenment. If you (like me) were lucky enough to experience it all first time around, then these posts are a fine nostalgic blast from the blast.

One of the many great singles released that year was 'Ready Or Not' by The Lightning Seeds, which reached number 20 in the UK singles chart. This song was can be found on 'Dizzy Heights, the group's fourth studio album, which reached No. 11 in the UK Albums Chart. The LP was recorded at the Eel Pie Island studio, a barge on the River Thames that frontman and songwriter Ian Broudie had rented from Pete Townshend of The Who.


Saturday, 20 August 2016

Track Of The Day: Whyte Horses - 'Promise I Do'

A sublime piece of jangly indie pop. Whyte Horses are a Psychedelic Pop group from Manchester, and 'Promise I Do' can be found on their debut album 'Pop Or Not'


REWIND: Supergrass - 'Going Out'

More wonderful music from 1996 as RW/FF takes you aboard a musical TARDIS on a journey through musical history. If you weren't around or were too young to remember the mid 90s, consider this a lesson of enlightenment. If you (like me) were lucky enough to experience it all first time around, then these posts are a fine nostalgic blast from the blast.

Here's a mighty track that took me by surprise when it came out, due to its lumbering riffs, tasty organ hook and psychedelic vibes. I also remember buying it on cassette the week it was released and being intrigued by its video. 'Going Out' was released in February 1996, and reached 5 in the UK Charts. Apparently the song was originally written in the key of E, because the engine of Supergrass' tour bus would tick at that same musical pitch. The song was featured on their second album 'In It For The Money', which was released the following year in 1997.


Thursday, 11 August 2016

Track Of The Day: Michael Kiwanuka - 'Love And Hate'

The beautifully sorrowful title track from British soul artist Michael Kiwanuka's excellent second album, which went to Number 1 in the UK albums chart a few weeks ago. 

Ed Jupp at God Is In The TV reviewed 'Love And Hate' a while back, saying "It is not exaggerating to say that this is the same kind of leap forward for a second album as the likes of Blur, Foals or Radiohead made." Read the rest of that review HERE

Meanwhile The Guardian described the record as "the work of an artist coming into his own."

HIGHLY recommended.



REWIND: The Chemical Brothers - 'Loops Of Fury'

More wonderful music from 1996 as RW/FF takes you aboard a musical TARDIS on a journey through musical history. If you weren't around or were too young to remember the mid 90s, consider this a lesson of enlightenment. If you (like me) were lucky enough to experience it all first time around, then these posts are a fine nostalgic blast from the blast.

The non-album song 'Loops of Fury' is the title track from an EP by English big beat duo The Chemical Brothers, released in 1996. It reached number 13 on the UK Singles Chart, but only stayed in the top 75 for one week.


Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Track Of The Day: Paul Draper - 'The Silence Is Deafening'

Former Mansun frontman and creative force Paul Draper recently returned to the world of music with his debut solo release 'EP One', which scored the hugely underrated songwriting legend a Number 1 position on the UK vinyl singles chart.

Shortly after the demise of Mansun, Draper began recording a solo album, which was scrapped due to his disillusion with the music business. After years away from the public eye, Paul played with Leeds band Menace Beach on a session recorded for Marc Riley's BBC Radio 6 Music show a few years ago and was surprised to find that the show had received a deluge of emails from Mansun fans wishing for his return to music. And now 'EP Two' is on its way, followed by the tentatively titled 'Spooky Action' album, which is due for release later in 2016.



Until then, 'EP One' features three brand new tracks that each show a different side to this hugely gifted songwriter. 'The Silence is Deafening', which was co-written with Catherine AD (aka The Anchoress) whose rather fine album 'Confessions Of A Romance Novelist' was co-produced and co-written by Paul. You can get the track as a FREE download by signing up to Draper's mailing list via this link HERE.

RW/FF spoke to Paul a few years back in an interview that you can read HERE.




REWIND: Oasis - ‘My Big Mouth' (Live At Knebworth Park)

Today (August 10) marks the 20th anniversary of the first of Oasis’ era-defining Knebworth gigs, the event of a generation. To celebrate, ‘My Big Mouth' (Live At Knebworth Park), taken from the upcoming special edition re-issue of Be Here Now, has been made available to stream and download as an instant grat: https://Oasis.lnk.to/MBM. The expanded edition of the band's massively hyped 3rd album will be released in October, as will 'Supersonic', a documentary film about the band's glory years.

‘My Big Mouth’ was originally premiered at the legendary 1996 shows, where the band played to 250,000 fans over two nights after over 2.6 million people applied for tickets for the shows... The highest ever demand for concert tickets in British history! The new video for the live version of the terrific 'My Big Mouth' includes previously unseen footage of the crowds at Knebworth from the band’s helicopter.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Track Of The Day: Garbage - 'Empty'

It's been over 20 years now since Garbage made their arrival with their much-applauded debut album, and after many musical highs and lows, they returned a few months ago with their sixth studio album 'Strange Little Birds'.

While lauded as a return to form by many sections of the music press, a review on the God Is In TV website expresses a point of view that is closer to my own: It’s not really going to surprise anyone. Maybe it’s not meant to. If you like the band, you’ll like this. That’s the beginning, the middle and the end of it... Will not disappoint the fans one bit. For the more circumspect, there are three or four killer tracks and the rest is good but no more. A third of a genuinely brilliant record, two-thirds simply decent." Read that full review HERE. One of the album's stand-out tracks comes in the form of the Breeders-esque 'Empty', where tasty guitars wail and Shirley Manson is at her icy best.



REWIND: Northern Uproar - 'From A Window'

More wonderful music from 1996 as RW/FF takes you aboard a musical TARDIS on a journey through musical history. If you weren't around or were too young to remember the mid 90s, consider this a lesson of enlightenment. If you (like me) were lucky enough to experience it all first time around, then these posts are a fine nostalgic blast from the blast.

Underrated Stockport combo Northern Uproar formed during the Britpop explosion of the mid '90s. After causing a bidding war amongst various record labels, Manic Street Preachers frontman James Dean Bradfield produced the tracks that made up the band's self-titled debut album, along with Manics producer Dave Eringa. The enjoyably lively 'From A Window' made its impression on the UK charts and earned them a Number 17 hit. Full of wide-eyed excitement, rattling with optimism and running on a wave of punky guitars, 'From A Window' was the group's biggest hit and a perfect taster for their first album.

After splitting in the late 90's, the band reformed in 2006 and have released another 3 albums since, each one an interesting develpment of their sound. RW/FF interviewed frontman Leon Meya a few years ago, in an article that you can read HERE. I was honoured when the band asked me to write a full biography for their website, and what I wrote can be found HERE.





Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Track Of The Day: Blossoms - 'Charlemagne'

There's been lots of false hope over recent years, but right now it seems that indie pop is enjoying a new lease of life. Stockport-based five piece Blossoms are at the forefront of this new renaissance, and their self-titled debut album is out now.

On this rare occasion, the hype around this new band is entirely necessary, since the album is a wonderful piece of work, packed full of brilliantly written songs which put melody first and truly catch the ear.

To call the opening track 'Charlemagne' "infectious" would be a massive understatement. It may never leave your head... Do youselves a favour and pick up a copy of this record.



REWIND: Skunk Anansie - 'Weak'

More wonderful music from 1996 as RW/FF takes you aboard a musical TARDIS on a journey through musical history. If you weren't around or were too young to remember the mid 90s, consider this a lesson of enlightenment. If you (like me) were lucky enough to experience it all first time around, then these posts are a fine nostalgic blast from the blast.

Today's selection is from the much-loved Skunk Anansie, who (in some ways) were the first big band that I ever saw live, at a Radio 1 Roadshow in Weston-Super-Mare back in 1996 which was hosted by the then-omnipresent Chris Evans. My memories of that day can be found HERE. Skunk Anansie formed in March 1994, disbanded in 2001 and reformed in 2009. The terrific 'Weak' was released as a single in January '96 and was taken from their debut album 'Sunburnt And Paranoid'. It reached number 20 in the UK singles chart. Bizarrely, the song was covered by none other than Rod Stewart a couple of years later.