Saturday, 29 March 2014

Make Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey number one this weekend!

Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey's superb collaborative album 'Going Back Home' is currently sitting at number 2 in the midweek charts, one place behind the latest X Factor nobody. I don't think I need to explain why guitar hero Wilko deserves a number one album more than whoever Simon Cowell's latest puppet is. An utterly inspiration figure, Johnson's terminal illness has not prevented him from blowing audiences away with some terrific gigs, and now this fantastic album which was recorded with The Who frontman last year in 2013. 

While Datrey's vocals are powerful and spot on, it's Wilko who steals the show as he gets stuck into riff after riff and delivers a brilliant set of no-nonsense RnB crackers. A number one record for this musical legend would be a fitting gift, and also a reminder to the industry that manufactured karaoke bullshit is no substitute for real music. Go out an buy the album via the links below...   



Thank the guitar god that is Wilko for all he's given us. What a man. 

Track Of The Day: Elbow - 'My Sad Captains'

Along with the magnificent 'Fly Boy Blue/Lunette', this has to be my personal highlight of Elbow's recently released sixth studio album 'The Taking Off And Landing Of Everything', a record which has at last provided the band with a much deserved number 1. On the first few plays, I didn't think much of it. But I think the same thing every time I hear a new Elbow record. They take time to grow, and it's usually time well spent. Our man Nickolai Rainbow from God Is in The TV gave the album a remarkable 4.5/5 rating and remarked that "'The Take Off And Landing Of Everything’ is the first Elbow album since ‘Leaders..’ that will have you running to replay it once the record finishes, and not an everyman anthem in sight this time to ruin the flow, this is another quality Elbow album and though not their best (I’d still pick ‘Cast Of Thousands’ for that accolade) is definitely their best since their opening trio of excellence..."

My personal thoughts on it a week or so ago were that "after only three listens I'm currently of the opinion that some of it is Elbow at their best, and some of it is Elbow at their most mundane." I still stand by that, although the "mundane" is becoming slightly more interesting with each listen. One thing's for sure, the sadly uplifting, hymnal elegance of 'My Sad Captains' sees the Bury heroes at the top of their game. Beautiful.




REWIND: Idlewild - 'Everyone Says You're So Fragile'

Before they broke through to the mainstream with their 2002 album 'The Remote Part', Scottish combo Idlewild were a fiercer, sharper and more energetic band. I especially loved their first full length 'Hope Is Important', which I bought along with all those singles back in 1998 when they were released. Those singles featured some great b sides too, including the brilliant multipart 'Mince Showercap'. Here is the second Idlewild single I bought after hearing Steve Lamacq spinning it on The Evening Session. Wonderful days, wish I could go back. I remember being disgusted and shocked when this only made number 47 in the singles charts. If only I could have known how bad those charts would be in 2014...

Fast forwards to the present day and after being on hiatus since 2010, Idlewild are currently in the studio working on a new album, which will be their seventh full-length studio effort. Frontman Roddy Woomble confirmed "Idlewild are making a new album... it is being written and recorded slowly and intermittently, and I have no idea when it’ll be done. Not for a while. I’m just enjoying the process. It is always great to work with Rod and Colin, we have been making up songs together since 1995 - not far off 20 years! Gareth and Allan have not been involved much so far due to both their other touring commitments, but they will be in time, as will others." Looking forward to the results. For now, enjoy this vital blast of punky fury.



Friday, 28 March 2014

Track Of The Day: Jimi Goodwin - 'Didsbury Girl'

New releases hitting record shops this week included the debut solo album from Doves man Jimi Goodwin. Produced by Goodwin and Dan Austin, 'Odludek' is by no means a low-key affair either, more of a wild adventure at times. “I wanted it to be like that crazy mixtape you’d make your mate which had everything from Duke Ellington to some mad hip-hop track you’d just heard, and back again,” says Goodwin. “That’s how I listen to music, and I wanted to make an album that reflected that. The last thing I wanted it to sound like was some geezer who was in a band. I don’t like being pegged.”  'Didsbury Girl' unexpectedly starts as a sample driven piece trip hop before it blooms into a mysteriously dreamy highlight that is perhaps the moment here most reminiscent of his band. A surprising, diverse and strongly assured solo debut from a man who has defied and surpassed expectations. At times a slow burner perhaps, but plenty to enjoy. Read my full album review HERE. You can listen to a nice acoustic version of 'Disbury Girl' below that features the brilliant Cherry Ghost backing Jimi, as well as the album version (if you have Spotify). 



REWIND: Levellers - 'Four Winds'


An underrated track from an underrated album by a VERY underrated band. I've been a fan of folk-rock Levellers since hearing their awesome 'Just The One' single in 1995. I got the cassette single as one of my Christmas presents that year and also loved the B sides. This particular track is from the 2002 album 'Green Blade Rising', where the band found themselves on an independent label once again after parting ways with China Records. Not a lot of people know this, but the Levs scored more gold and platinum albums than any other British act during the 90s. Still one of the best live bands around, the Levellers are on a UK tour throughout May, June and July. Shows include stops at venues in Frome, Wick, Worthing, Aberdeen and Worthing. A full list of dates can be found HERE

The band's own label On The Fiddle Records has also announced some releases for this year's Record Store Day. 'Carry Me', the band's first ever release is being re-issued as a limited edition, numbered 12” in its original artwork. Frontman Mark Chadwick is releasing a brand new solo single entitled 'Red Sky', with his second album ‘Moment’ due later this year. Also being released is a 7" single featuring the classic 'Dirty Davey', an uplifting, floor-stomping tale of death in police custody hasn’t lost any of its relevance in the 25 years that have passed since it first saw the light of day. Side 2 will feature the original version of the song by the brilliant McDermott's 2 Hours.



Thursday, 27 March 2014

Track Of The Day: Broken Records - 'See You On The Way Down'

Following on from their critically acclaimed second album 'Let Me Come Home', March 24th marks the return of Broken Records with the release of their new EP ‘Toska’ and a short run of UK live dates. The four track EP precedes their third full length LP, 'Weights And Pulleys', which is due for release in May. Produced by Tony Doogan (Mogwai, Delgados, Belle And Sebastian, Astrid) the ‘Toska’ EP is according to the press release "a visceral cathartic body of work that revisits the masterful orchestration of the first album while combining the intense, relentlessly aggressive and turbulent sound of the last. "

The second track 'See You On The Way Down' is where a dark, graceful waltz meets unhinged, emotively intense vocals, sometimes a little reminiscent of Nick Cave. Brushed drums, striking piano and defined hums of bass feature in a brilliant arrangement that matches the quality of the songwriting and grabs the ear like nothing else on the four track EP. Formed in 2007, Broken Records are an indie folk band from Edinburgh, Scotland.



PHOTOGRAPHY: Photos of Temples (Bristol, March 2014)

Photos of the excellent Temples, who played a fine set in Bristol last night as part of the NME Awards Tour 2014. Along with Circa Waves, Royal Blood and headliners Interpol, the Kettering based four piece treated the Academy to a great night. A full gig review will be coming very soon, in the meantime here are photos of Temples from last night. RW/FF has quite rightly been supporting Temples for quite a while now, and the site has so far featured every one of their singles as Track Of The Day entries.

You can read my review of their magnificent Top 10 debut LP 'Sun Structures' HERE.












REWIND: Ian Brown - 'Nah Nah'

A track from Ian Brown's 1998 debut solo album 'Unfinished Monkey Business'. Bizarrely, I discovered John Squire's other band The Seahorses before I even got into The Stone Roses (although I was a fan of 'Fool's Gold') and only knew the Manchester legends as "the band the guy from The Seahorses used to be in". Blimey. In late 1997 I heard a documentary on the Roses which was broadcast on Radio 1, and immediately fell in love with the music that I heard during it. It was actually just before Brown released his first solo material. I actually bought a promo CD copy of the 'My Star' single, which came in a black bin bag sleeve. 

The album certainly didn't make a secret of the feud he and Squire went through in the late 90's and 2000's. From it 'Nah Nah' contains the line "you stuck your neck out, gosh at least a thousand times", probably a dig at the guitarist's cocaine use. Who ever thought they'd patch things up and get back together? Proves that anything is possible. Now where's that third album lads?

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Track Of The Day: Neville Skelly - 'Falling Leaves'

This album was released over a month ago and I'm only just featuring a Track Of The Day from it now! Why? Because as I have said before, I only select what I know is the very best new music around. It took me two weeks to really absorb this album, and now I am at the point where I know what the best tracks are from it. I could have just rushed it and featured any old song, but I work hard to ensure RW/FF readers don't miss out on the best stuff. The second album from Liverpool singer songwriter Neville Skelly is a warming collection of songs highlighting his gift for graceful balladeering and hushed moods. Featuring a couple of relatives from The Coral and partly inspired by his experiences of being a father, 'Carousel' is an intimate, heartfelt record which has an atmosphere that could partly be attributed to it being recorded in the kitchen of a terraced house. Skelly's alluring croon recalls echoes of John Martyn on the gentle acoustic breeze of 'Falling Leaves', one of the LP's most captivating moments. Read my full album review HERE.


REWIND: Portishead - 'All Mine'

The magnificent Portishead. How many other bands from the last few decades have become so well regarded after just three albums in 20 years? Still waiting on that fourth, but we shall not hold our breath. If previous gaps between albums are anything to go by, it will be worth the wait. 

'All Mine' still (criminally) remains the band's only Top 10 single over here in the UK, and was the first single to be released from their self-titled second album. The music video is apparently based on an 1968 Italian music show and 'The Outer Limits'. 

After truly OWNING Glastonbury last year, Portishead will be playing in Lyon, France as part of the Les Nuits de Fourviere Festival on July 15th. The mighty trio Thought Forms (much loved on these pages) will be supporting.



Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Track Of The Day: The Moons - 'Heart And Soul'

Available now, the new single from The Moons is the first taste of their upcoming third LP, due in July and titled 'Mindwaves'. A dangerously infectious glam rock stomp boosted by vigorous Britpop-flavoured brass and Mick Ronson-esque riffs, 'Heart And Soul' finds The Moons sounding bolder and more assured than ever. Just when you thought retro-rock was dead and buried, this newly invigorated outfit pull out an ace card like this. This next album of theirs is suddenly looking like a very promising prospect...

The band are currently on a UK tour, where you can pick up a very limited 7" copy of this cracking tune...



REWIND: Blur - 'You're So Great'


So the Blur saga goes on. Will they or won't they release a new album? After a series of mixed messages from all band members, at the moment it seems very unlikely. And judging by Damon Albarn's latest announcement, it seems that sadly the end could be in sight. The band were due to headline Australia's Big Day Out festival but cancelled their slot in November, stating that they were unhappy with the way the festival was being run. Damon said: "That was going to be the last Blur show – the end of playing together – and I didn't want it to finish on anything other than a very positive note, because Blur is incredibly precious to all of us." So if their "final" show was cancelled, then presumably there will be plans for one very last gig. It would have felt VERY wrong for such an important British band to end their career on the over side of the world. I just hope that Damon's playing games with the fans again and doesn't mean it. I hope that someday the time will feel right for them to get in the studio together and create something special. 

So here's one from the 1997 album 'Blur', a record that signalled a rebirth and rejuvenation. Upon hearing it for the first time back in the day, there were many surprises, including this one. No brass bands, no silly Benny Hill-esque videos, no Phil Daniels... just Graham Coxon and his guitar. The raw, heartfelt 'You're So Great' marked the first time a Blur song was performed solely by Coxon, but contrary to what some believe, it isn't actually the first song to feature him singing lead vocal. It was in fact the 'End Of A Century' b-side 'Rednecks', which was also written by Graham. 



LISTEN: RW/FF Radio - 24/03/2014

This week's show features new music from Spectres, Teleman, Broken Hands, Nudybronque, Jimi Goodwin, The Fauns, and more, as well as magic from the past courtesy of Curtis Mayfield, The Shamen, Peter Tosh, Jurassic 5, Future Sound Of London, and others... There's no edition of The Blind Selector this week because I left the mystery CD at home. Bugger. But the so called "regular" '1 To Z' feature does return, with a classic from The Adverts...

Ben P Scott hosts RW/FF Radio every Monday night 7-8pm. As well as the most essential new releases, you'll hear lost treasures and classics from the past. Expect everything from indie, shoegaze, electronica, krautrock, psychedelica, funk, soul, punk, alternative, rock and much more.


Monday, 24 March 2014

Track Of The Day: Spectres - 'The Sky Of All Places'

Here's another one that's been a out for quite a while and has only just caught my attention. Well, I couldn't feature it without knowing that it was good could I? This excellent track from Spectres was released in January on the Too Pure Singles Club as a limited edition 7" single. The Bristol-based psych rockers are currently in the studio working on their debut full-length long-player, until then you can check out their already-impressive cannon of tunes by visiting the links below the video. On the superb A-side 'The Sky Of All Places', hazy, washed-out vocals penetrate through a sheet of noisy guitars and driving rhythms as weird melodies shine over a space rock drone before exploding into the stratosphere towards the end. Keep an eye out for them.



REWIND: Future Sound Of London - 'Calcium'

Here's an act who I have only investigated recently after seeing some of their tracks shared on a Facebook group that I regularly visit. I have also been aware of them for a while, since they have also released a number of compilations and remixes as Amorphous Androgynous. Their psychedelica-flavoured work under this alias attracted the attention of a certain Noel Gallagher, who was planning a whole collaborative album with the duo. Sadly this LP seems to have been shelved after all parties decided they didn't have the time to make it as perfect as they wanted to. One day maybe? Let's hope. In the meantime I have been investigating their acclaimed work as Future Sound Of London and have started with the more "club orientated" debut album 'Accelerator' from 1991. From it here is the superb 'Calcium'.


Saturday, 22 March 2014

RW/FF With Ben P Scott #44

After a week off, there's a lot of stuff to fit into this week's RW/FF round-up. New albums from Jimi Goodwin, Neveille Skelly, Elbow and the Minibus Pimps are reviewed, while elsewhere there's new music from The Horrors, Eels, The Fauns, SJ Esau, Nudybronque, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Esben And The Witch, Tensnake (ft Nile Rodgers), Teleman, Black Submarine and Broken Hands. All that plus the new RW/FF Compilation, this week's RW/FF Radio show, as well as news on Charlie Clark and the BBC's Britpop season... In the 'Rewind' part, a classic for the late Stooges drummer Scott Asheton.


A lot of the time when a frontman of a well loved group goes solo, the resulting material can sometimes end up sounding a bit like their usual band but not quite as good. While Manchester trio Doves have been on hiatus for the last four years, Jimi Goodwin steps out into the musical world with his very own debut offering. It's by no means a low-key affair either, more of a wild adventure at times.

Blaring bursts of brass open the album with the Bond theme-like drama of the mean 'Terracotta Warrior', where the hunger in his delivery is evident. You soon realise this is neither a Doves album or a little side project. 'Didsbury Girl' unexpectedly starts as a sample driven piece trip hop before it blooms into a mysteriously dreamy highlight that is perhaps the moment here most reminiscent of his band. On the striking 'Live Like A River', 90's dance flavours that have been lying dormant inside the former Sub Sub man for the best part of two decades rise to the surface again as urgent hooks partner infectious melodies and almost EDM-like sounds. Characterised by piano jazz and brushed beats, the elegantly reflective 'Keep My Soul In Song' provides one of the record's best bits, as does the fantastic 'Oh! Whiskey'. With an air of bar room wisdom, bright acoustic guitar and harmonica take part in a lovely organic arrangement before effortlessly progressing into a beautifully fitting middle section and slipping into a alluringly melancholic outro.


A surprising, diverse and strongly assured solo debut from a man who has defied and surpassed expectations. At times a slow burner perhaps, but plenty to enjoy. You can read my full 7.7/10 album review HERE.






The second album from Liverpool singer songwriter Neville Skelly is a warming collection of songs highlighting his gift for graceful balladeering and hushed moods. Featuring a couple of relatives from The Coral and partly inspired by his experiences of being a father, 'Carousel' is an intimate, heartfelt record which has an atmosphere that could partly be attributed to it being recorded in the kitchen of a terraced house. An compellingly understated string arrangement lends itself wonderfully to the folk jazz backdrop of the opening title track, and Skelly's alluring croon recalls echoes of John Martyn on the gentle acoustic breeze of 'Falling Leaves', one of the LP's most captivating moments. 

It's probably a bit too laid back to hold the attention of certain listeners, but it's definitely suitable for those looking for something warm, tender and sumptuous. Hardly original or groundbreaking, but a pleasant listen all the same. Read my full 7/10 review HERE.





Below is the 15th edition of The RW/FF Compilation, which you can listen to via the Mixcloud player below. It showcases the music that has featured in the column over the last few weeks, mostly stuff from February and early March. Just imagine if the 'Now!' albums featured the best recent music instead of a load of lowest-common-denominator shite... they would sound like this! I don't have regular dates set for each of these mixtape-type things, instead I just wait until I have an 80 minute CD's worth of great new music to make up each compilation. Contrary to what some ignorant people think, there is plenty of excellent new music out there, as is proved by every one of these brilliant mixes. The idea is to buy all of these tracks and burn onto a blank disc, hence why each compilation will be roughly the length of a CD.

Featuring: YUCK, TOM WILLIAMS AND THE BOAT, STEPHEN JONES, SPIRITUALIZED, COLOURMUSIC, TEMPLES, EAST INDIA YOUTH, CuT, MICHAEL KIWANUKA, VELVET MORNING, BUDADA, DAMON ALBARN, GRUFF RHYS, THE LUCID DREAM, THE HORRORS, SJ ESAU, MARK MORRISS and THE HOSTS.




In terms of other things I've been listening to over the past couple of weeks, there are plenty. Elbow have released their sixth album '', a record which initially received some rather mixed reviews. Some are saying it's their finest work yet and others reckon it's a bit boring. After only three listens I'm currently of the opinion that some of it is Elbow at their best, and some of it is Elbow at their most mundane. The only thing I know at the moment is that I don't quite understand it all yet and none of it has really sunk in. It clearly needs more plays. As well as upcoming albums from Merrymouth, Horse Party and the superb split LP from Thought Forms/Esben And The Witch, a fascinating record from The Diaphanoids has also been infiltrating my headspace. An instrumental beat-driven cosmic mind bender, 'LSME' consists of eight tracks and comes out in May. 

Recently I have been tidying up the RW/FF site, correcting the layouts and fonts on old posts, and fixing dead links. Since a lot of these entries were posted when the site didn't have so many readers, I've decided to start sharing them on Twitter and Facebook for those who missed them first time around. After posting guitar music from the mid 90's every day throughout February to coincide with God Is In The TV's Britpop Month, I've tried to make the daily 'REWIND' entries a bit more eclectic during March. So after some ambient techno, krautrock, Detroit soul and 60's Californian pop, this last week has featured a mixture of hip hop, garage rock, early 90's dance and other stuff. So for those upset at the lack of the usual indie stuff, fear not for some shall come next week. Plenty of it too.

RW/FF now has it's own weekly radio show, broadcasting live every Monday night on my hometown's self-funded station Melksham Town Sound. I have in fact been doing a weekly show since last summer entitled The BPS Broadcast, but since every show features the same stuff I feature on the site every week (ie the best new music and picks from the past) I thought it would make more sense to just name it after the site. After all it is pretty much RW/FF in a radio format, so renaming it RW/FF Radio seems logical and appropriate. You can now listen again to the shows online, with this week's episode from Monday night (March 17) available below.





One of the finest bands of the last decade The Horrors are ready to release their fourth album 'Luminous', which the group have been busy recording over the last 15 months or so. This tremendous single 'I See You' is the first taste of what they have in store for us this time around, with the full LP coming on May 5 through XL Records. As well as a rebooted modern touch of 'Baba o Riley' at the start, hints of 'I Feel Love' are present throughout the first few verses too, as are heavy flavours of Echo And The Bunnymen, and that bridge even recalls Manchester legends James. But overall these are just little edges to a sound that ultimately belongs to The Horrors, an expansive thing with a cataclysmic groove and a beaming, anthemic chorus. Brightness shines from it in a most euphoric fashion, before moving towards the light in search of higher orbits. Bassist Rhys Webb has said of the upcoming LP: "It’s not so much about heavier guitars as a heavier potency… We want to make music you can dance to, music that elevates…". With this, they've certainly not failed.



A new Eels album is on the way. If the first two singles are anything to go by, 'The Cautionary Tales Of Mark Oliver Everett' seems to be a more introspective outing than last year's 'Wonderful Glorious', and indeed the seventh Eels LP has been described as "his most personal project to date". Where the sombre 'Agatha Chang' was tinged with regret over lost love, 'Mistakes Of My Youth' is where Mark 'E' Everett finds a new sense of purpose in amongst all the self-doubt and back luck, determined to keep his head held high. Both new songs aired so far seem to be slightly reminiscent of the 1998 classic 'Electro Shock Blues', also a very personal record. In my opinion there hasn't been a truly great Eels album since 2000, but signs are looking very promising for this new one... It's out April 22.




The brilliant Charlie Clark will be playing an exclusive online gig for fans this Sunday (March 23). The Scottish singer-songwriter and ex-member of the fantastic 90's indie combo Astrid will be doing the live webshow on the Concert Window service. It starts at 9pm UK time (4pm EDT, 1pm LA time) and tickets can be purchased via the link in the comments section below. Charlie will be performing songs from the wonderful 'Feel Something' EP (one of 2013's best releases, review and interview HERE) and will also playing some new songs. Joined by the hugely talented Brandi Emma and their band, it promises to be a real treat. And since Charlie lives in Los Angeles, this is probably the closest any of us UK folk will come to seeing him play live. Wherever you are in the world, you can tune in! Online tickets are for sale on a pay-what-you-want basis.




"What the fuck?" I hear you cry, "have you lost the plot?". Well if liking the new album from Sophie Ellis-Bextor is losing the plot, then people are going to be surprised when they themselves lose it too, because the formerly lacklustre pop star has recently released an LP that is rather brilliant indeed. People will be surprised. 'Wanderlust' is her fifth album and was co-written with Ed Harcourt, featuring 11 wonderfully atmospheric songs that bring out the very best in SEB's talents, including this elegantly haunting slice of melancholy. On this album Bextor abandons the disco-pop in favour of beautifully organic moments that are perfectly suited to her voice and sometimes recall her early days as lead singer of late 90's post-Britpop indie types theaudience. I still love that band and always will. 'Wanderlust' debuted on the UK Albums Chart at number four, becoming her highest-charting solo album since 2001's 'Read My Lips'...




Regular RW/FF readers may remember indie three piece Nudybronque from a while back when their marvellous 'Allsorts' featured as a Track Of The Day. As well as that lovely number, four other songs feature on their new 'Moondog' EP, released today (March 22) at a launch gig, more details of which can be found HERE. The one that's caught me most is the charmingly vibrant 'Peachy Keen', a sharp character assassination veiled under a nice melody. They're definitely not another group that are "a bit like Franz Ferdinand", but certainly a band that share the same influences. You can definitely hear Orange Juice and Pulp in there, along with sharp post-punk flavours and touches of melancholic pre-Britpop indie. However this Wiltshire-based trio present these influences in a different manner, with a greater emphasis on dynamics for a start. The new material takes a darker, more reflective look at things and pulls away from the bright indie pop of their debut 'Bottled Blonde' EP. Developing well and showing signs of growing up while still retaining plenty of quirks, it's very much the sound of a band taking a confident step forward. 

The group spoke to RW/FF about their new material and the background behind the EP in an interview which you can read HEREThe band release the EP today (March 22), and play a launch gig at Riffs Bar in Swindon later on tonight, with a host of support acts. Details about that show can be found HERE. Copies of 'Moondog' can be purchased from Secret Chords Records at their website HERE.



While they're working their second album, Carlisle-based four piece The Lucid Dream have released of a brand new 7" single. 'Moonstruck' b/w 'The Emptiest Place' via Too Pure, as part of their singles club. The Lucid Dream were formed in 2008, and after three 7" single releases ('Love In My Veins' 'Heartbreak Girl' 'Hits Me Like I'm Stoned'), the band found themselves playing support slots with A Place To Bury Strangers, Death In Vegas, Spectrum, Crocodiles, Captain Beefheart's 'The Magic Band' and The Aliens to name just a few. Their debut album, 'Songs Of Lies and Deceit', was released in August 2013. The thrillingly hallucinogenic 'Moonstruck' recalls Clinic's early work in places, driven by urgently pulsing organs and hypnotic vibes before it works itself into a climactic fury. On the awesome b-side 'The Emptiest Place', reverb drenched vocals and spacey guitars embed psych moods into spaghetti western flavours and dark rockabilly elements...




Thought Forms (championed by this site for quite some time now) and Esben and the Witch are to release a split LP on Invada Records on April 7th, available on 12" vinyl and digital formats. It features 6 new songs, including this absolute monster from the Esben And The Witch side. Here's what Invada say: "The release recalls the classic era of split singles in the US underground – think of those heady early Sub Pop days, where you’d get Mudhoney and Sonic Youth covering one another on either side of a 7”. In other words: record collector heaven. Both bands will be touring together in the UK, Europe, and the U.S around the time of release to promote this split. Read a gig review that I wrote when I went to see both bands play on a joint tour with the mighty Teeth Of The Sea HERE.




Not the sort of style usually found on these pages, but I guess decent pop/dance music is hard to come by these days. Last week Tensnake (AKA German DJ and producer Marco Niemerski) released his highly anticipated debut album 'Glow', which features a wide range of collaborations including Stuart Price (AKA Jacques Lu Cont), MNEK and the legendary Nile Rodgers. The superb 'Good Enough To Keep' is one of two tracks on the album which features Rodgers. This is snappy, insistent 80's funk-pop with 90's dance undertones, and if you;re going to make music that's this unoriginal, then it needs to be do the business tune-wise. Luckily, it's a cracker. May have to listen to the album now...




Teleman have announced the details of their debut album 'Breakfast', which will be released via Moshi Moshi Records on May 26. The LP was produced by the legendary Bernard Butler (also busy with his own new band Trans), so it's ironic that Teleman were the support act when I went to see Butler's former group Suede last year. Without a doubt the finest thing I've heard from them yet (and that includes the material they released when a couple of them were members of Pete And The Pirates), 'Lady Low' is a sleepy helping of lovelorn melancholy that slips into some absolutely stunning saxophone towards the end. Most enchanting indeed. Brilliantly, this wonderful track is being given away as a FREE download! Get it here: http://bit.ly/LadyLowFreeDL

They play a full headline tour in May following support stints with Maximo Park in the UK and Franz Ferdinand in Europe.



Out now, an absolutely cracking new track from a Kent-based four piece with a bright future ahead of them. This track has even made it through to the Radio 1 playlist! Real music? On Radio 1? Wow. Bold and wild, the sound that Broken Hands make is infectious, loud and in your face. On the fantastic 'No One Left To Meet', fierce, full blooded riffs snarl over what could possibly be described as a grunge/shoegaze hybrid. One thing it can definitely be described as is exciting. Just back from an appearance at SXSW, the band are due to play the Camden Rocks festival on May 31.



When December comes every year, new albums can sometimes slip under the radar due to the distractions of Christmas and us music journo folk focusing on our end-of-year lists. In my case, I somehow missed checking out an album by Bristol indie noisepoppers The Fauns entitled 'Lights', which was released at the end of 2013. It's not technically a new release, but because of it only coming to my attention recently, and of course due to it being wonderful, the blissful 'Seven Hours' is featuring as Track Of The Day. Through shoegazey guitars, hazy beams of colour crash through a beautifully explosive daydream as sweet, soft vocal tones drift across the surface with a cooling effect. Sublime stuff which means I'm DEFINITELY going to have to listen to that album now! 

I'm also featuring this because The Fauns have just announced a set of tour dates for the coming months, which can be found HERE. The video for 'Seven Hours' was directed by John Minton, the man behind Portishead's live visuals and Savages' clip for 'Husbands'. The LP was released through Invada Records and was co-produced by well-respected Bristol figures Jim Barr and Tim Allen along-side the band’s own Michael Savage.


Last week saw the release of the debut full-length offering from Black Submarine. No they're not a gothic Beatles tribute band, but a five piece who include Nick McCabe and Simon Jones, who were both members of The Verve

The pair are joined by Davide Rossi (multi-instrumentalist/string arranger for Goldfrapp and Coldplay), Michele ‘Mig’ Schillace (ex-drummer for Portishead and Santa Cruz) and Bristol-based vocalist Amelia Tucker. A refreshing burst of euphoric vitality, the new single 'Here So Rain' is a mysteriously graceful breath of fresh air, where the epic power of McCabe and Jones' former band is very much evident. Swirling guitars provide plenty of atmosphere, while Tucker's evocative vocal lends the song plenty of class. For years everyone was depending on Richard Ashcroft to reprise the magic of The Verve, but a string of patchy solo albums later and it's his former bandmates who are moving onwards and most definitely upwards.



One of the more tranquil moments from his mad-as-fuck second full-length album, 'Remotely' shows a more reflective side to the music of SJ Esau, the Bristol-based maverick whose real name is Sam Wisternoff. As I said a few weeks ago when I featured 'Stubborn Step' as Track Of the Day, "it's fair to say that the gracefully tranquil hum of the gorgeous 'Remotely' is a world away from the utter insanity found elsewhere on the joyfully polylithic 'Exploding Views', an album that skips around genres, bringing its musical vision to life with bizarre instrumentation and many unusual ways to twist melodic yet skewed pop melodies into the sort of stuff that could seriously mess with one's head..."


Monolith Cocktail also reviewed the album recently, in a report where editor Dominic Valvona writes: "Esau returns with a cyclonic ‘explosion’ of brash barracking drums, algebra rock and skittish mind-melting dial trickery: the stars look very different indeed where we’re heading. Fluctuating – in a promising, madcap manner- through a musical landscape that evokes (in my tiny ill-adjusted mind) visions of an English comprehensive school version of The Flaming Lips, or the Klaxons covering XTC’s calico wall shenanigans (The Dukes Of The Stratosphere)…or even, a hallucinogenic neo-geo Adam and the Ants. Questioning song titles (‘’Who Isn’t?, ‘Why Angry’, ‘What Is It Now?’) give a faint and obscure guidance to this peregrination, which shoots off like a rocket into some imaginable kaleidoscopic, but often ominous and seething with dark matter, expanse of space." Read the rest of that piece HERE



Appropriately, last week marked my debut contribution to Monolith Cocktail where I reviewed the new album from Minibus Pimps, the rather challenging experimental project from Helge Sten and Led Zeppelin legend John Paul Jones... That review can be found HERE.

Lots of exciting news bits from the last few weeks include the BBC's announcement of a special Britpop themed series of shows that take place in April. More details HERE. The weekly RW/FF news round-ups can be found HERE, while the latest stories are often posted on the RW/FF Facebook page, which you can follow HERE



Rewind
So while I'm busy writing the next instalment of my musical memories (which shall deal with the year 1996) you'll have to wait a week or two for my story to continue. In the meantime all my previous "Rewinds" through my musical past can be found HERE.

So in the absence of a new batch of musical memories, here is a selection is in honour of the memory of Scott Asheton, the drummer for The Stooges who died a few days ago on March 15 2014. Making the news public, Iggy Pop wrote: "My dear friend Scott Asheton passed away last night. Scott was a great artist, I have never heard anyone play the drums with more meaning than Scott Asheton. He was like my brother.He and Ron have left a huge legacy to the world. The Ashetons have always been and continue to be a second family to me. My thoughts are with his sister Kathy, his wife Liz and his daughter Leanna, who was the light of his life.”

Scott Asheton was a founding member of the group, and retired temporarily in 2011 after a stroke. He rejoined the band for the 2013 album 'Ready To Die' but did not tour with them due to ill health. He was aged 64. Here's the excellent 'Down On The Street' from their second album 'Fun House', released in July 1970 through Elektra Records and considered "integral in the development of punk rock."

See you all next week. Maybe.

http://rwffmusic.blogspot.com/

Track Of The Day: Nudybronque - 'Peachy Keen' plus interview


Regular RW/FF readers may remember indie three piece Nudybronque from a while back when their marvellous 'Allsorts' featured as a Track Of The Day. As well as that lovely number, four other songs feature on their new 'Moondog' EP, released today (March 22) at a launch gig, more details of which can be found HERE. The one that's caught me most is the charmingly vibrant 'Peachy Keen', a sharp character assassination veiled under a nice melody. They're definitely not another group that are "a bit like Franz Ferdinand", but certainly a band that share the same influences. You can definitely hear Orange Juice and Pulp in there, along with sharp post-punk flavours and touches of melancholic pre-Britpop indie. However this Wiltshire-based trio present these influences in a different manner, with a greater emphasis on dynamics for a start. The new material takes a darker, more reflective look at things and pulls away from the bright indie pop of their debut 'Bottled Blonde' EP. Developing well and showing signs of growing up while still retaining plenty of quirks, it's very much the sound of a band taking a confident step forward. 

The band spoke to RW/FF about their new material and the background behind the EP.

"We've been working on 'Moondog' for quite some time now, some of the older songs going back as far as July 2012. A lot of the time we spend together socially is spent listening to and sharing records with each other, which is not something we often did before, but it definitely contributed to the sound on this EP. We discovered some great bands that way, Talking Heads, Neutral Milk Hotel, people like Todd Rundgren and Lou Reed. Though the main focus for us was just to remove any previous ideas of what Nudybronque sounded like and perhaps create a new identity for the band. There's never any point in repeating yourself, we're all proud of Bottled Blonde but we'd never want to feel like we're repeating ourselves."


"'Peachy Keen' was the first song since 'Allsorts' we wrote for the EP. It was written in April 2013 along with several others that were originally demo'd for EP but 'Peachy Keen' was the only song from those sessions that made the cut. It originally sounded like 'Sunday Morning' by the Velvet Underground, if you can imagine... The chord phrase is kind of similar, but it's quite far removed from that now. When we first put it together in the practice studio it felt like a revelation as we'd written a lot of slower songs around that time. It was chosen as the first single because it felt in keeping with some of our previous recordings, 'Bottled Blonde' and 'Allsorts'... It's always been a fun song to play live and we're all really pleased to finally release it."

The band release the EP today (March 22), and play a launch gig at Riffs Bar in Swindon later on tonight, with a host of support acts. Details about that show can be found HERE. Copies of 'Moondog' can be purchased from Secret Chords Records at their website HERE.