Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Sunday, 29 January 2012

LISTEN: Melksham:Music - Show #4 - The Melksham Music Anthology - 29/01/2012

This is the specially extended show that was planned for Christmas, but which didn't get made in time! An hour and a half of the bands and artists who have put Melksham on the map over the years, and no voice links just non-stop music. Some old (The Mental, Four Parts Water, Babyfood, Nishe, Buzztone, Armies Of Anger) some new (Terrapin, Home Taping Is Killing Music, Liveo, Jordan Whatley, Blake, Big Giant Head) and some just damn awesome (Thought Forms, Subhumans, Hell Death Fury, No Manifesto). Also featuring Port Erin, Osakastripclub, Thermal Error, Luke Johnstone, Lambsbread, Alex Sears and Sackful Of Sovereigns. If you're unaware of Melksham's musical history then prepare for an hour and a half of education...

THE MENTAL - OFF THE RAILS - The Mental were an anarcho-punk band formed in Melksham in the late 1970's, releasing a few EPs before splitting up.
SUBHUMANS - MICKEY MOUSE IS DEAD - The Subhumans were formed from the ashes of The Mental, who featured lead singer and lyrical genius Dick Lucas. The Subhumans went on to become one of the world's most influential punk bands, releasing classic albums and playing wildly energetic live shows.
FOUR PARTS WATER - SIDE OF MY EYE - Four Parts Water formed at the George Ward School in the mid 90's and were almost signed by Island Records. The band featured Dan Austin who is now one of the UK's top producers, working with the likes of Doves, Massive Attack, Cherry Ghost and The B-52's. 
BABYFOOD - TV - Formed in the late '90s, Babyfood created much excitement on the indie scene, and released a single on the legendary Shifty Disco label. After their popularity led to them being played on Radio One in the early 2000's the band went their seperate ways.
NISHE - MINORITIES TO MASSES - Nishe were a 'post-hardcore' outfit originally formed at the George Ward School in the early 2000s. After a couple of line up changes the band went on to record three EPs, win the Wiltshire Battle Of The Bands competition and tour with some well known groups. 
BUZZTONE - SCARS - A punk-pop band from Melksham who became big favourites on the local cicuit.
LAMBSBREAD - SELECTIVE BREATHING - Formed from the ashes of a metal band called Deadshed, Lambsbread featured Dom Bailey, Leo Goodhind and Keith Johnstone who now run Melksham's Nine Volt Leap studios.
ARMIES OF ANGER - SHACKLES OF SILENCE - Armies Of Anger were a critically acclaimed DIY punk group from Melksham who released 2 EPs, an album and a compilation before splitting in 2008. Their material was entirely home recorded, self-produced and self released.
OSAKASTRIPCLUB - DISCO - Osakastripclub feature former members of Babyfood and Buzztone and their debut EP was recorded at Melksham's Nine Volt Leap studios.
NO MANIFESTO - LIFE PEACE AND CREATION - No Manifesto were a short lived band who featured Armies Of Anger's Ben Scott and Todd McEntegart. After releasing an EP in April 2009  the band went through a brief line-up change before splitting in October 2009. 
THERMAL ERROR - WALKING WITH GHOSTS - A now-defunct group featuring Luke Bailey, Dom Bailey and Keith Johnstone formerly of Lambsbread.
PORT ERIN - THESE WOUNDS - Port Erin hail from Broughton Gifford, which no matter which way you look at it is still part of Melksham. Having played Glastonbury they are now recording their 2nd album at the legendary Real World studios.
THOUGHT FORMS - GOLDEN SUNSET SWAN'S TONGUE - Thought Forms are a mesmerising "post-rock" outfit who formed in the early 2000s and released their stunning self titled debut album on Invada Records in 2009. In their own words they specialise in "noise worship" and "pedal abuse". The band are currently preparing their second album for release and have just come back from a US tour supporting Portishead.
HELL DEATH FURY - ROB KILL BURN - Hell Death Fury are a ska-core punk combo who include former members of Nishe. Their debut album 'Free Porn' is available now and comes highly recommended.
LIVEO - EYE FOR AN EYE - Liveo are a four piece rap/rock outfit who take in a diverse range of influences and who have released their debut EP 'Ride Out The Waves' last year.
JORDAN WHATLEY - THE BRAVE - A young up-and-coming local singer/guitarist and an excellent songwriter who is quickly earning himself a great reputation on the local scene.
BLAKE - STAY HUMAN 1 - Blake is a brilliant solo artist from Melksham who has already released a number of fine albums, the latest of which is 'Stay Human', an impressive piece of work which was inspired by the murdered Italian peace activist Vittorio Arrigoni.
TERRAPIN - THE GLASSES THAT DIDN'T FIT ME - Brand new music from Terrapin, who feature Dom and Luke from Thermal Error as well as Leo Goodhind, vocalist Audrey Tietsz and Hell Death Fury's Reno.
LUKE JOHNSTONE - By Your Words (Rough Cut) - An instrumental track from Luke Johnstone, who as well as being a great musician is also the treasurer at Melksham Community Radio!
BIG GIANT HEAD - TUBE (DNB MIX) - Big Giant Head are a Melksham-based act who create Pendulum-esque rock-flavoured drum and bass. They have an album out and they are currently working on new music, some of which can be found on recent 'Melksham:Music' shows.
HOME TAPING IS KILLING MUSIC AND IT'S ILLEGAL - THE BIG DIRT - A track from the anonymous duo, brimming with peculiar sounds and heavy electro percussion. Taken from their debut album 'Dirt Everywhere'
SACKFUL OF SOVEREIGNS - TELL US A TALE - 'Tell Us A Tale' is a rather jolly folk ditty about the legend of Fred Kempster, a Melksham man from many decades ago who at the time was the world's tallest man.
ALEX SEARS - THE KIDS (MELKSHAM SONG) - An acoustic track from Alex Sears, who is also the singer in South West rock outfit Decade. And yes, this song DOES sum up a lot about Melksham.

SONG FOR TODAY : Jane's Addiction - Just Because

SONG FOR TODAY - 28/01/2012

Friday, 27 January 2012

SONG FOR TODAY : Iron Maiden - Run To The Hills

Chemical Brothers launch 'Don't Think' in front of Keira Knightley, Klaxons and Matt Smith

The Chemical Brothers launched their new live film Don't Think with a star-studded premiere at London's Hackney Picturehouse last night (January 26).

The film is a collaboration between the band and their visual designer/director partner Adam Smith and was screened last night in front of audience that included actress Keira Knightely, Klaxons and Doctor Who's Matt Smith and Karen Gillan. 

Don't Think was filmed during The Chemical Brothers' headline set at Fuji Rock festival in Japan in 2011 and is a mixture of footage of handheld cameras from inside the festival's crowd and the band's spectacular visual show. You can watch the trailer for the film by scrolling up to the top of the page and clicking. 

Speaking about the film, band member Ed Simons said: We wanted to have a film for us to keep as a record, but Adam had more ambition. There was footage from Glastonbury 2007 which was pretty amazing, it really started to capture what it is to be in the crowd, how the music and the visuals are intoxicating. You have to capture that thing that’s in the air.
Smith, who has also directed recent episodes of Dr Who and the Emmy-winning drama Little Dorritt, said of his ambition for the film: "It’s trying to get the experience of it [the live show] rather than the spectacle of it. To make people feel what it feels like."

Simons also spoke about why the duo chose to film Don't Think in Japan, saying: "The Japanese have a love of our music that is, I’m going to use this word, quite spiritual - people go crazy, there’s a quite repressed nature suddenly being expressive and lots of emotion coming up. The way the edit and cameras are done, it captures that distracted, buzzy thing, there’s a certain irreverence to it. The camera wanders off into the forest at one point, then you’re back to the gig."

Smith also said that they were extremely keen to capture as much of Fuji Rock's atmosphere as they could. He added: "We wanted to capture the festival, but every time we went out into the festival we tried to connect it to the show, so we took some projectors out and projected images from the visuals onto flags and trees. People were really playful with it."

The film will be shown for one night only on February 3 at selected cinemas across the UK. In the meantime, The Chemical Brothers also revealed that they have been working on music "connected to the cycling" for the 2012 Olympics. 

Thursday, 26 January 2012

SONG FOR TODAY : Interpol - Barricade

LISTEN: Thought Forms - Live 08/08/08 The Cooler, Bristol

Melksham noise-rock geniuses THOUGHT FORMS have uploaded their entire set from four years ago at The Cooler in Bristol to their Soundcloud page. 

Get your ears around this now....

Dodgy - Stand Upright In A Cool Place - Preview

The legendary DODGY release their first album in over a decade in February. A wonderful album inspired by love, loss and old folk tales, 'Stand Upright In A Cool Place' is being released on Strikeback Records in a number of formats....

  • Tripped and Fell
  • What Became Of You
  • We Try
  • Shadows
  • Did It Have To Be This Way
  • Waiting For The Sun
  • Raggedstone Hill
  • Only A Heartbeat
  • Find A Place
  • Back Of You
  • Happy Ending


Box Set includes:
  • Copy of Stand Upright In A Cool Place
  • Bonus CD featuring rare unreleased tracks and demos
  • 28 page deluxe booklet
  • 2 x artist postcards
  • "Stand Upright" beer mat
All in a clamshell box.

  • 300 hand screen printed sleeves numbered and signed by Russell Hardman (artist)
  • 180g Heavy weight vinyl

Bundle includes:
  • Copy of Stand Upright In A Cool Place
  • Bonus CD featuring rare unreleased tracks and demos
  • 28 page deluxe booklet
  • 2 x artist postcards
  • "Stand Upright" beer mat
All in a clamshell box.



Bundle includes:
  • Copy of Stand Upright In A Cool Place
  • Bonus CD featuring rare unreleased tracks and demos
  • 28 page deluxe booklet
  • 2 x artist postcards
  • "Stand Upright" beer mat

  • Vinyl -  180g Heavy weight vinyl
  • T-Shirt

Video interviews - track by track 

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

PREVIEW: Feeder - Generation Freakshow

Generation Freakshow is the forthcoming eighth studio album by the Welsh rock band Feeder. It is set to be released on April 23rd 2012. 

It was due to be the second in a series of two albums released in 2010 by the band, following up previous album Renegades. However, the band decided to hold more recording sessions for the album, leading them to delay the album until 2012.

1. "Oh My"   3:39
2. "Borders"   3:25
3. "Idaho"   3:03
4. "Hey Johnny"   3:21
5. "Quiet"   4:07
6. "Sunrise"   3:59
7. "Generation Freakshow"   3:32
8. "Tiny Minds"   3:48
9. "In All Honesty"   3:22
10. "Headstrong"   4:05
11. "Fools Can't Sleep"   4:29
12. "Children of the Sun"   4:11

In 2010, during the Renegades sessions, a number of tracks were left off the album before then being considered for inclusion for the follow-up to that album. As there were not enough to fit on the album, more were recorded during the closing stages of the year, with the band taking a break from recording on 19 December, before resuming recording on 10 January 2011. Between 16 January and 24 January a production session began in New York City, this included overdubs, guitars and keyboards with Grant also flying over to record vocals, while some of the album was already recorded in London. On 19 January 2011 a photo of song lyrics written on a sheet of paper was posted on their official Facebook page. One song is already in public knowledge, being so far played live on tour under three different working titles, with those being "Jessie", "White City Rock" and "Borders". In an interview with Heineken Music, on 27 January 2011 Grant revealed that 19 or 20 songs are so far in the recording stages, while the album is planned to be released after their tour of the United Kingdom and Europe ends in March, and like Renegades, looks likely to be released domestically on their own Big Teeth Music imprint.

In an interview with The University Observer, Grant describes the new album: "Its eclectic, much more eclectic than the Renegades album... "Its definitely a more commercial record. I think if you liked Comfort in Sound and you liked Yesterday Went Too Soon, then I think you’ll like this album" ... "There are some real tunes on this and some anthems; there are some rocky moments as well". Grant also revealed in the same interview, that there will be rock songs and melodic songs on the record. There were also plans to release a single or a free track download during their February - March tour which may or may not be on the new album. This later went on to become "Side By Side", which was a chart-eligible paid download in aid of the victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The single charted at #91, marking their first top 100 chart visit since 2008's "We Are the People", while becoming their 25th top 100 single in the process. It ultimately did not appear on the album. Grant Nicholas cited on the band's Facebook page, that the single was released purely for the Japanese Tsunami disaster with the chart position not being as important. During their 2011 touring, Feeder introduced drummer Damon Wilson as a live regular and session musician. On 23 September 2011, Grant Nicholas posted on the band's Facebook page that the recording of their yet-untitled eighth studio album is complete with only mixing on the final song to be finalised, before mastering then began on the 30 September in New York. Feeder announced on 10 October that they were currently doing artwork on the new album, before an announcement was made on 14 November, that acoustic versions of some of the new songs are being recorded while Taka is staying in Tokyo. On 29 November 2011, the sequencing process of the album began.

Feeder hosted a teaser trailer on YouTube titled "Coming Soon" on 2 December 2011 and had a message written in Morse code as "-... --- .-. -.. . .-. ...", which translates to "Borders" in plain English. On 6 December 2011 another trailer was released, announcing "Borders" as the first single from the new album, including a four-date tour. "Borders" will be released on CD, cassette and 7" on 30 January 2012, with the parent album Generation Freakshow set to be released on 26 March 2012 but later delayed until April 23rd 2012. This will be the first time Feeder have released a cassette single since 2001's "Just a Day".

SONG FOR TODAY : Hundred Reasons - I'll Find You

SONG FOR TODAY : Humble Pie - Black Coffee

SONG FOR TODAY - 23/01/2012

SONG FOR TODAY : The Human League - Being Boiled

SONG FOR TODAY - 22/01/2012

SONG FOR TODAY : Howlin' Wolf - Smokestack Lightning

Apologies for no 'Song For Today' for the last four days, this has been due to me falling ill and not being able to go out to gain internet access. Normal service is resumed with this...
SONG FOR TODAY - 21/01/2012

Friday, 20 January 2012

Etta James dies at 73

(CNN) -- Etta James, whose assertive, earthy voice lit up such hits as "The Wallflower," "Something's Got a Hold on Me" and the wedding favorite "At Last," has died, according to her longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon. She was 73.

She died from complications from leukemia with her husband, Artis Mills, and her sons by her side, De Leon said.

She was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010, and also suffered from dementia and hepatitis C. James died at a hospital in Riverside, California. She would have turned 74 Wednesday.
" This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world," De Leon said. "She was a true original who could sing it all -- her music defied category.
"I worked with Etta for over 30 years. She was my friend and I will miss her always."
2003: Etta James reflects on her career...

The powerhouse singer, known as "Miss Peaches," lived an eventful life. She first hit the charts as a teenager, taking "The Wallflower (Roll With Me, Henry)" -- an "answer record" to Hank Ballard's "Work With Me, Annie" -- to No. 1 on the R&B charts in 1955. She joined Chess Records in 1960 and had a string of R&B and pop hits, many with lush string arrangements. After a mid-decade fade, she re-emerged in 1967 with a more hard-edged, soulful sound.
Throughout her career, James overcame a heroin addiction, opened for the Rolling Stones, won six Grammys and was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Despite her ups and downs -- including a number of health problems -- she maintained an optimistic attitude.
"Most of the songs I sing, they have that blue feeling to it. They have that sorry feeling. And I don't know what I'm sorry about," she told CNN's Denise Quan in 2002. "I don't!"
Through it all, she was a spitfire beloved by contemporaries and young up-and-comers.
"Etta James is unmanageable, and I'm the closest thing she's ever had to a manager," Lupe DeLeon, her manager of 30-plus years, told CNN in admiration.
British songstress Adele named James as one of her favorite singers, along with Aretha Franklin.

"If you were to look up the word singer in the dictionary, you'd see their names," Adele said in an interview.

Etta James was born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles to a teen mother and unknown father. (She suspected her father was the pool player Minnesota Fats.)

Her birth mother initially took little responsibility and James was raised by a series of people, notably a pair of boardinghouse owners. But she was recognized from a young age for her booming voice, showcased in a South Central Los Angeles church.
In 1950, her mother took her to San Francisco, where James formed a group called the Peaches. Singer Johnny Otis, best known for "Willie and the Hand Jive," discovered her and had her sing a song he wrote using Ballard's tune as a model. "The Wallflower," with responses from "Louie Louie" songwriter Richard Berry, made James an R&B star.
Her signing to Chess introduced her to a broader audience, as the record label's co-owner, Leonard Chess, believed she should do pop hits. Among her recordings were "Stormy Weather," the Lena Horne classic originally from 1933; "A Sunday Kind of Love," which dates from 1946; and most notably, "At Last," a 1941 number that was originally a hit for Glenn Miller.
James' version of "At Last" starts out with swooning strings and the singer enters with confident gusto, dazzlingly maintaining a mood of joy and romance. Though the song failed to make the Top 40 upon its 1961 release -- though it did hit the R&B Top 10 -- its emotional punch has long made it a favorite at weddings.

James' career suffered in the mid-'60s when the British Invasion took over the pop charts and as she fought some personal demons. But she got a boost when she started recording at Rick Hall's FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Her hits included the brassy "Tell Mama" and the raw "I'd Rather Go Blind," the latter later notably covered by Rod Stewart.
She entered rehab in the 1970s for her drug problem but re-established herself with live performances and an album produced by noted R&B mastermind Jerry Wexler. After another stint in rehab -- this time at the Betty Ford Clinic -- she made a comeback album, "Seven Year Itch," in 1988.
James mastered a range of styles -- from R&B and soul to jazz and blues -- but she was always one step behind the popular genre of the day, said Michael Coyle, a Colgate University professor who has written about jazz and R&B and reviews records for Cadence Magazine.
"She never really got her moment in the sun," Coyle said.
But James soldiered on, and by the end of her life she had made so much meaningful music that she was considered a living legend. "By the mid-'90s, she's survived so long that people start to look up to her," Coyle said.

James was portrayed by pop star Beyonce in the 2008 film "Cadillac Records," about Chess. After Beyonce sang "At Last" at one of President Barack Obama's 2009 inaugural balls, James lashed out: "I can't stand Beyonce. She had no business up there singing my song that I've been singing forever." She later told the New York Daily News she was joking.
Earlier this year, news reports revealed that the singer's estate was being contested in a legal struggle between her husband, Artis Mills, and son Donto James. (Donto and her other son, Sametto, both played in her band.)

Over the years, James had her share of health problems. In the late 1990s she reportedly weighed more than 400 pounds and required a scooter to get around. In 2003 she had gastric bypass surgery and dropped more than half the weight, according to People magazine.

However, until her latest issues, James maintained a steady touring schedule and appeared full of energy even when sitting down -- as she sometimes did on stage, due to bad knees and her weight battles.

Even while sitting down, James gave it her all on stage, singing as though possessed, caressing every note like a long-lost love. If that seemed a little much to critics, well, the legendary singer had a show to put on, she told Quan.
"They said that Etta James is still vulgar," she said in the 2002 interview. "I said, 'Oh, how dare 'em say I'm still real vulgar! I'm vulgar because I dance in the chair?' What would they want me to do? Want me to just be still or something like that?
"I gotta do something."

SONG FOR TODAY : David Holmes and Bobby Gillespie - Slip Your Skin

SONG FOR TODAY : Buddy Holly - That'll Be The Day

SONG FOR TODAY - 19/01/2012

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

MUSIC MEMORABILIA: #7 - Signed Frenzy picture

So since discovering the awesome Frenzy a few years ago, I try and attend their gigs as often as I can. 

Because of this, and because of the fact that Frenzy are funny, down-to-earth guys who appreciate their fans it has meant that the band have signed quite a lot of merchandise and records for me. 

But this is a signed postcard that came with the super-limited Deluxe box set edition of their last album 'In The Blood', which hangs proudly on my dining room wall in between pictures of The Beatles and The Living End. Definitely in good company.

SONG FOR TODAY : The Electric Sound Of Joy - Total Turn

Today's 'Song For Today' is a track that I hadn't heard for years and one which I forgot even existed. That is until Jarvis Cocker played it on his 6Music 'Sunday Service' show a few days ago, reminding me of how great this track was. I first came across it back in 1998 on a compilation called 'Fresh', one of the many great free CDs given away with the much-missed Select magazine....

The Electric Sound Of Joy released two more EPs and an album before splitting up. And I need to discover more of their music.