Sunday, 30 June 2013

ANNOUNCEMENT: THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO http://bandofbadgerspresents.com

Howdy y'all. As per the above announcement the process of moving this blog to WordPress is now in full swing. My first post is up at the new website so it is onwards and upwards from here on out.

This does mean I will no longer be updating this particular webpage. All of the posts will remain here however and I do hope that any of you new to this blog will still take the time to check out the amazing music contained herein. It is my intention to import the pages into the new website at some point but as this is likely to prove quite a lengthy process I don't envisage this being anytime soon.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank EVERYONE who stops by to check out my ramblings, thoughts, opinions and words on the music I feature. Thanks also to Blogger for providing me with the platform and resources to start this blog 18 months ago. It has spiraled and snowballed so now I am in a position to launch the new website.

So, all future blogging from Badgers HQ will now be done via http://bandofbadgerspresents.com

Thanks to you all.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

BAND OF BADGERS PRESENTS MORE BITESIZED MUSIC

Picture taken from the band's official Facebook page
It is just non stop madness right now. Who am I kidding, it has been that way since as far back as I can remember trying to juggle all the things I am doing. Still going strong though so here's some more. As always I have so much on my list - no I mean lists. You should see the collage of post-it notes on my laptop desktop. Then there are physical post-it notes with scribbles and lists on all over the place too. If we had those fridge magnet letters you can get (they were a source of fun in my student house years ago) I dare say there would be notes about music even there. Ever-expanding lists getting longer and longer. It's almost like a nightmare of lists but the music is all so incredibly awesome it could never be a nightmare. Again, there are some top new albums being put out by some of my more established favourites I'd like to cover but there just isn't enough time in the day. Most recently, 30 Seconds To Mars have released their latest record and I haven't even had chance to take a first listen yet so I couldn't even say hit or miss or maybe or yey or need another listen. I'll try and get on that soon.

Picture taken from the band's official Facebook page
Exciting me like I'm Charlie having just won the most coveted prize of all time in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, complete with those little orange and green fellows the Oompa Loompas (who can serenade me all day long with their wise little Oompa Loompa melodies) is the prospect of new Kings Of Leon material. Not only this but every time I hear one of their previous classics on the radio lately I'm instantly reminded I'm actually going to be seeing them live in Birmingham next month. NEXT MONTH! As in roughly 4 or 5 weeks people! If only you could see how high up this makes me float. I've seen some recent footage on YouTube and the new stuff is sounding good. I know these guys got a bit of stick when they just had to stop and take some time out but jeez guys, lets cut them some slack. It doesn't matter how much money they end up commanding and thus earning from their music they are only human and the kind of extensive touring and recording schedule they were working to makes me collapse from exhaustion just reading about it. Even after going for a run this evening. They seem to have gone away, had that much needed R&R time they requested and are now ready to return fully rested and fresh to make us fans quiver at their brilliance. Here's to the 10th July!! I may just faint like one of those screaming girls you see at the front of One Direction concerts. Yuk - I had to go and ruin it and mention something like that atrocity didn't I? Or as my five year old niece refers to them One Directions. Fear not, I am on the mission of vastly improving her music tastes!

Anywho, as time is so precious I will cease immediately with the waffleage and crack on sharing. It's not like I don't have a million other posts on the go right now! Wood Festival review is coming folks, I promise. 

fiN **NEW VIDEO**
Certainly no strangers to this blog, the thoroughly hardworking and deserving, truly one of, if not the, most independent indie bands there is out there at the moment, fiN! This is a brand new video for the song The Truth Lies In Honesty, taken from their superb debut album Life Is Wasted On The Living.


As described too, everything you see and hear has been completely 100% done, performed and produced by the members that make up fiN. Even the releasing they do themselves. You see why these are indie to the core. On their website they mention the fun they had making the video and this shines through like a beacon from deep space! http://www.lifeiswastedontheliving.com/


LET'S GET LOCAL AND PARTY IN PARIS

Forget Paris for a wee moment (although I do love the name of this band), this 4-piece alternative indie rock band certainly know how to put Northampton on the map. Hailing from the town where I live, their sound is smack you in the face fantastic! You know the kind of way I mean. You hear a band play and they sound so tight and accomplished - so ready to rock the roof off any venue they're at, you kind of get smacked in the face but absolutely love it. It ends up being a huge talking point. Party In Paris manage to do this. Admittedly I'm yet to see them live but I'm fully prepared and will ensure I do ASAP!


Just have a listen to their big banging single Distraction. You will get well and truly distracted but only from anything and everything else you were thinking you might do while having that listen. The music via this song will hook you in and probably not even release you by its end. Presence! That's what I'd say these guys have and I'm gutted I missed their gig last Friday as it would have been an awesome opportunity to catch them and to hear more tunes from the album in a glorious live setting. 



They have been working hard recording and finishing off their debut album Desolate which is coming out on JULY 29th so not too much longer to wait. The great news is you can even pre-order a copy and receive it the day before its release by clicking >>here<<. For just £8 too! Bargain! Desolate will also be available via all the usual digital platforms too of course. The single Distraction is available NOW via iTunes >>here<<. You know the drill by now - let me hear those clicks as you get that single and pre-order what promises to be one of the indie albums of the summer! Do have a watch of the band's Video Diary too because they are rather funny (YouTube channel is >>here<<). And what a remarkable b-side they have for Distraction with The Replacement, above. The full single including both these songs is available from their online store >>here<<. https://www.facebook.com/PartyInParisband

THREADS
Stay right where you are. For me that means right here in my (current) home town for another amazing indie rock band from Northampton, Threads. These guys supported Party In Paris at that gig I missed on Friday. Seriously, me missing these gigs is not good. I need shooting. But then I won't be able to go to the gigs as they roll in the future as I'll be recovering in some hospital. Possibly with missing parts. Let's get back to the awesome music and I will be catching Threads live at what for me is an old student haunt, The Pennywhistle. Oh the memories. I will no doubt feel as ancient as a crone but I do not care because music this awesome needs supporting and when it's local I'm getting right on board that bus.


This 4-piece group are off on the road for a mini tour next month with Essex-based pop punk band Forever After who I will follow up in another post shortly. The bands will be taking in Harlow, East London, Birmingham, Colchester as well as that date in Northampton. So please, any of you folks in or near these areas please get down and support them. Like Party In Paris, Threads have a real accomplishment to their sound but it is something rather different to those guys. They compliment each other of course but naturally it is only a great thing they each sound so distinct.

Picture from the band's Facebook credit: Matt Taylor Photography

I was hugely impressed when checking out their stuff and went so far as to pay for their superb EP Surgery, available via bandcamp and for you to check out above. It is a name your price deal so of course you can get it absolutely FREE. This blog and my podcast is all on that fantastic FREE music BUT please if you can spare a quid or two or even more then please do. Then Threads can continue making more marvelous music for you and venture out even further afield to woo you in the flesh. If you want a physical copy of the EP you can get one from the band's online store >>here<<. http://www.wearethreads.co.uk/

FOREVER AFTER
Well, it would be rude of me to mention another band and not feature at least a song or video or something to showcase their music to you. Here's Game Over to whet your appetite.



I will still be following this up with more from Forever After in due course! https://www.facebook.com/foreverafteruk

LEW BEAR HEADS 
DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE
I grieve that my lack of time prevents me including a proper write up review of this truly stunning album, Down By The Riverside from Lew Bear (aka Lewis Robinson). Once again we need not travel afar for great independent, heartfelt music. Isn't Echoes Of The Past just so stunning? It is one heck of a magnificent song. Off the page amazing! I really love Merry Tom too. Heck, there's so much to love about the whole thing.


Please take a listen to these couple of superb tracks featured on the album and get clicking crazy as you pre-order it from >>here<<. The music, arrangements and style of this record isn't all that makes it unique. Oh no. It was also fully recorded live and outside in nature. Various backgrounds and ambiances were featured, including birdsong, running water and wind. There has been no overdubs or effects added afterwards. It really makes for such a wonderfully atmospheric layered sound. Naturally layered though, as opposed to in a studio as is the typical way.


I can only apologise my review isn't up and ready yet but I can assure you I have many more words of praise to share with you about Down By The Riverside. And soon! The album is released on 16th June so don't miss out! Click >>here<< to pre-order NOW! http://www.lewbear.co.uk

FUCHSIA's GIRL FROM KANDAHAR
Yes, you older readers have read this name correctly. 70s progressive folk legends Fuchsia are soon to release their first album in 40 years. I know. That is a mighty huge gap between records but you know what, who cares? Progressive folk music is well and truly back on the scene and rightly so. The young ones such as the likes of Syd Arthur are doing some pretty amazing and mind-bending stuff but there's always room for some of the originals to step back up to the mark and show the world they still have what it takes. Not only to bring back a fresh piece of that psychedelic decade so you can smell the herbs in the air, but also to show they have something original to offer multiple generations and 21st century music fans.

If Girl From Kandahar is a shape of the forthcoming album then we are in for one heck of a tasty banquet. From Psychedelia...To A Distant Place is released on 17th June and has already been delighting the ears of reviewers from the national press. Please click >>here<< to have a listen to Girl From Kandahar via Soundcloud

Talking of the track, band leader Tony Durrant said;

“I wandered past a news agents and something caught my eye in the window, a photo of a girl. But something about the photo, something I could not quite process, drew my attention to it. Something not quite right. As I got closer I noticed the 'Time Magazine' header, and then I suddenly drew back, as I saw what had caught my attention. It was this beautiful dark haired Afghani girl, who stared out proudly, but there was something strange about her, something I could not put my finger on. I moved closer to the shop window. Then I realised in shock what was wrong... where her nose should have been was a dark crater, a hole, a shadow . She was this poor girl who had defied what parental and tribal convention had decreed, much to the chagrin of her parents. And that was where the Taliban stepped in, slashing off her nose and her ears as a warning to others.

So there it was. The girl from Kandahar. What must life be like for a young girl like that? Where do you go? Who to talk to? What possesses people to do this sort of thing? And so the song tells the story of the innocent girl trapped in a system where there seems little hope of escape. How thin is this veneer of humanity and we all shy at the horrors of what people are capable of..”


...shades of Robyn Hitchcock, latter day Lilac Time and pastoral-Psych Floyd.. Uncut

Returning with dignity and verve, Durant's created a worthy follow-up to his age-old gem.. Record Collector


JAMES YOUNGER
BACK FOR ANOTHER MONDAY MORNING
I covered this excellent tune Monday Morning from James Younger a few posts ago and now James is back with a unique video for the track.


It is unique because of its originality. Deliberately lo-fi, it features a nice little visual tribute to XTC's Making Plans for Nigel at the end. James has his album Feelin American due out soon. This record is a collection of songs influenced by classic US bands and artists such as The Strokes, The White Stripes and The Cars. https://www.facebook.com/jamesyoungermusic

TIME FOR THE BRIEFS
I have to do it almost EVERY TIME don't I? Sorry. So....yea.....there's always just way too much so I can't but share some things with much less waffleage. Enjoy!

TRUE APOTHECARY - LOW ON GAS BUT THERE'S FUEL IN THEIR MUSIC
These guys followed me first on Twitter, I believe and checking out their tunes I was mesmerized and captivated. Check out their wonderfully titled EP I'm Low On Gas And You Need A Jacket below and be sure to grab your copy. There are FREE downloads available peoples of the blogosphere. 

Picture taken from the band's Facebook page

If doing so via bandcamp this is a name your price deal, like with the Threads offer earlier. If you really dig this music (and if you don't I want to know the reason why because it is quality), and you can afford to part with a couple of little £'s or $'s or whatever your currency is converted from based on where in this wonderful world you find yourself then please do so. Right, this is supposed to be the brief section I hear you all shouting loudly in my direction. I shall cease rambling now and get on. Lots more from True Apothecary to come on the blog soon. http://www.trueapothecarymusic.com/

SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN THOSE
NARROW PLAINS
It was via some tweet I stumbled across the beautiful music of Narrow Plains. They remind me of a cross between The Lumineers and Dry The River (well, the more acoustic side of them) after a fashion, to name just two. And I mean this as the biggest kind of compliment to them and their music. I never feel like they offer up an amalgamation of those bands' music though of course. Narrow Plains are original and play some pretty damn impressive tunes!


Just this sample of three tracks from their recent EP Somewhere In Between will get you exstatically excited and working on finding your way somewhere in between to demand plenty more music from them. You can get the EP via iTunes >>here<<. You'd do well to keep your eyes and ears on this stunning 3-piece acoustic folk rock trio. They are currently unsigned which is a crime. I don't foresee this being the case for too much longer, that's for sure. Needless to say (but I'm typing it), much more from these guys in the future. http://narrowplains.com/

SEAN GRANT
Returning back to Northampton for more tip top local talent with singer-songwriter Sean Grant. One word for the moment - IMPRESSIVE. HUGELY IMPRESSIVE to be fair. Okay, that is indeed two words. I can count. So great I'm struggling to know if I should share the video or the soundcloud. And so to hopefully assist with more listens for Sean I'm sharing both. Not that music this amazing needs my help. Support is what it is all about though and that is my thing.


The soundcloud track is We The Working Class, a song about Sean's grandfather. It is a rather beautiful and poignant life story piece. Real music about real people. I know musicians write about these things all the time but there are some who really connect with a listener in a more fundamental kind of way. Sean Grant is one of these from what I've heard so far.


The video is for Hoist The Sails and serves to demonstrate even more so how Sean has that really special something. I just know this will translate tenfold or more when he performs live. I best get on top of my schedule then and make sure I get to a local gig soon! http://seangrant.co.uk/


LEVELLERS - THE BOATMAN
It's always difficult to choose a favourite song from a band's music. This is even more so for one of my very first ultimate top favorite bands of all-time! This is a coveted position the Levellers have held for me ever since I was first introduced to the mood-altering epic nature of folk rock masterpiece Levelling The LandThe Boatman is just such a song too.


For the first time since 2005 I was unable to get my ass to one of their gigs last year although I certainly made up for it in the years before. One year I clocked up about five Levellers shows. This video was taken as they appeared at Bearded Theory Festival last month. Their own festival Beautiful Days sold out last week too, as it does each and every year. I am so glad I made sure I got my tickets early. Counting down the days. http://www.levellers.co.uk/

I REALLY MUST GET BRIEF NOW...

Yes, even now there is still more music I MUST share. No waffle as no time but I'll revisit these over the next few months.

THE EPSTEIN **Live Video**
I will be revisiting this awesome alternative indie folk band sooner rather than later as I have their stunning new album to review. It is breathtaking to be quite honest and I cannot wait to share my words about it up here on the blog. Check out this wonderful LIVE VIDEO of the band as they were featured on Radio 1 in The Netherlands. It is a treat. http://www.theepstein.com/

WHITEMOOR ON THE HORIZONS 
**NEW ALBUM**
I have my copy and I will get a review up. I am drowning in new albums to review but I've said many a time before, I quite like this state of affairs. I'll be sure to get some words up soon as I can but in the meantime please do check it out and get yourself a copy.

It is available via iTunes >>here<<. Or visit the band's website at http://www.whitemoor.co.uk/ for more ways to bag it including the beautiful snazzy hard copy CD.


ROB JOHNSON IS ONT' SOFA
For the Ont' Sofa Gibson Sessions with the instrumental tune Eve. WOW!


BEN GRANT 
MAKING THE MOST OF THINGS
This one literally just in as Ben Grant shared this track on his Soundcloud via Twitter this afternoon. It is superb! Wish I had time to write more about it here but in time, I will do. In the meantime enjoy and check out more of his stuff please.




Well, that is it then for the moment folks. Apologies for having to rush the ending and leave right now but I have Star Trek Into Darkness to go see. I know, I know, I am about 6 weeks late or something but I'm a busy fella. Loads more coming at ya in the next few weeks. I'm doing my best but there's so much. Lots of reviews to come as I keep saying but they are coming. And also a second cloudcast via Mixcloud, finally. It is the TV Tunes special I mentioned a while back and I am really excited about it as there are some really great songs from bands and artists on the playlist. It will be longer than the usual podcast hour though, so be warned. Anywho, must dash. Peace to you all!

Monday, 27 May 2013

BAND OF BADGERS PRESENTS...#14



 OR

Picture taken from the band's website
It's that time again folks. Time to share the latest podcast via the regular blogcast. I've got lots of top tunes for you from some top quality talent. As mentioned at some point below, this is my current word of the moment - QUALITY! The Sun is out in a clear blue sky this Bank Holiday Monday and I'm struggling to keep my mind from descending into the dark and dank depression that is the awful return to work mindset required after 11 big fat superb stonking days off. The start of this saw me enjoying a wonderful 3 days in the south Oxfordshire countryside at Wood Festival. Time beats me as it always does or else I'd hoped to have had my review of the event up online by now. I've been caught up in a time eddy or a bubble of some sort though. I'm all over it, to use what appears to be one of those dreadful 'management speak' phrases in common use at the moment. Aren't they awful? And yet it is increasingly difficult to not slide down that slippery slope and adopt some such phrases in the day-to-day office culture.
Picture taken from Mark's Facebook page
On the OXJAM Northampton front, I have the main venue I want to host the gig at very interested offering up two provisional dates, so I will be meeting for a coffee to discuss more details and how to proceed with it. Exciting! More news when things are more certain. On the blog front, I've set up my WordPress account so am currently fine-tuning what I want the new blog to look like up on there. I also discovered as I was having a play, that it is possible to import a blog from Blogger. Thus, I hit 'import' but sadly lost all the pictures and media embedded on those posts. It's a learning curve but that only makes sense. I'll be working on it for a while to get it looking just right before launching but I will be adopting a new unique URL that you can store in your memory banks for later - www.bandofbadgerspresents.com I think this is the way forward and cannot wait to unveil it but needless to say the link isn't live just yet. I am so tired of all the technical issues with Blogger. It is most often such a painful experience to complete posts. There won't be much change in content. It will still host the blogcast for my podcasts and there will be the regular multi-music shares, reviews and time permitting some more band/artist profiles. And no, I have not forgotten nor am I neglecting the fabulous The Fireflys. That post, along with a number of others at present, is in the making.

Picture taken from the band's website
Now, without further adieu, let's get on with the show! 

THE PLAYLIST:
  1. Gladiator - Wings Of Apollo
  2. Spooks - The Scholars
  3. Last Of The Hobo Kings - Mary Gauthier
  4. Never Letting You Go - Robb Murphy
  5. Birdsong - Mark Nichols
  6. In The Wreckage - Reichenbach Falls
  7. Microlove - Summa
  8. I've Been Waiting - Lavers
  9. Bad Karma - The Como Brothers Band
  10. Hold On To Saturday - Wings Of Apollo
WINGS OF APOLLO
What a way to open up a podcast. What a way to close a podcast. Yes, I was so torn over which Wings of Apollo track I should play from their tremendous self-titled debut album, I could only settle on two. The album is available to download 100% totally FREE (click >>here<<). If you haven't snapped it up already then you best be quick off the mark now. I have my tech guys* busy locating all your IP addresses so I can send round my cat to sort you out.


Gladiator opens up my playlist as it does the album, with a nice big heavy smack of classic rock combined with incredibly smart and nifty contemporary elements. And some impressive guitar riffs that will knock you clean out with their hurricane-strength force. HELL YEAH!! In contrast but with no less punch behind its impact, Hold On To Saturday helps me demonstrate in one podcast, the versatility and range this band manage to showcase via the album. You think that's amazing you need to get on downloading that full FREE album and checking out the other masterpieces therein. No excuses folks, just top quality banging rock masterpieces. Now GO GET! http://www.wingsofapollo.com/

*there are no such guys, just me.

THE SCHOLARS
Picture from The Scholars Facebook page
When stating how Spooks has always been my personal favourite of The Scholars' most recent batch of singles I feel like I'm a broken record. I've shared and bigged up all the other songs too because quite frankly in this alternative indie rock trio we have a top quality band putting out music that cuts right through to your soul and makes that all-important lasting connection. Make sure you grab your FREE download of Spooks below. Then check out the other releases from the band because there are some more ace freebies too.

The huge atmospheric sound these guys produce is simply put, phenomenal! And they master the live performance like true professionals. Following their recent performance at the O2 Academy Oxford as part of a BBC Introducing event, a number of new dates are set to be announced for June & July. The band is also currently mixing a few new tracks so please get 'liking' their Facebook page too keep on top of these updates. Get along to a show if you are nearby and let's keep music live! https://www.facebook.com/thescholarsofficial

MARY GAUTHIER
There is one word I choose that befits Mary Gauthier and that is musical legend. Okay, that is technically two words but as I mention on the podcast itself, I hold her right up there with the likes of Wilco and Bob Dylan. She has the ability to render me just so in awe to be speechless.


I make it no secret how much Last Of The Hobo Kings has been formally enshrined into my top most favourite songs of all time EVER list. The instrumental opening few seconds of this song move me through space and time. When finally settling and opening my eyes, Old Steam Train Maury is standing right there in front of me as this obituary song plays out. His entire personality is relayed with such vividness I do have to check to ensure I'm not hallucinating. If you don't have Live At Blue Rock then there is something very wrong with you.


Just have a listen to closing track Wheel Inside The Wheel above. You'll notice there's also a hidden track therein. This is a wondrous tasty treat in the form of a heavenly version of Mercy Now, complete with gospel choir on backing vocals. Then the video of a performance of Mercy Now at the Frog Pond. You can thank me later but most of all thank Mary by buying her marvelous music. You can read my review of the album, Live At Blue Rock by clicking >>here<<. http://www.marygauthier.com/

ROBB MURPHY
The song featured, Never Letting You Go, is available as a FREE download from Robb's bandcamp page. When musicians of this stature are giving away music you really MUST NOT pass it by. Entice you into buying some more of Robb Murphy's perfect blend of gentle acoustic alternative indie pop. The acoustics are sublime. The songrwriting is first class. 


With a musicianship to rival the greats, you need to stop stalling and get on board. Robb has debut album Take A Stand out and with it smashes through all barriers with something magnificent. Have a sample of the singles from the album below and judge for yourselves. This is accomplished stuff. Little wonder he's been receiving so many amazing reviews and heady praise. You really need to also be having a listen to the three live demos he's got up on his soundcloud page because they are quite something!


Take A Stand is available in a variety of formats all to aid in your purchasing and thus listening pleasure. http://robbmurphy.com

For you iTuners click >>here<<.
For you Amazoners click >>here<<.
Or from Robb's own online shop click >>here<<.


MARK NICHOLS
What a talent Mark Nichols has. He's no one trick pony either, as he's a rather stunning photographer too. Although even if he was a one trick pony on the side of his sensational music, it would be one incredibly impressive and successful trick to have.



Following the release of the stunning and original EP Traveller last year, Mark followed it up with the release of a FREE acoustic track called In The Arms Of Angels. I'm rather excited about the live acoustic EP he is currently working on and it goes without saying I need to catch him live at the first opportunity I can.


I certainly won't miss out because as I've said before when featuring Mark on the blog, this is one talented young singer-songwriting musician who is going to be HUGE! https://www.facebook.com/marknicholsmusic


REICHENBACH FALLS
These guys certainly didn't disappoint when I caught them live at Wood Festival on Saturday 18th May.  They performed superbly although I regret I couldn't hang around to say hi after their set ended for the only reason I had to mozy on over to the other stage so as not to miss Flights Of Helios. It was great to hear a few more songs that will be featuring on the Reichenbach Falls full album, Reports Of Snow. Some videos of some of the songs are already up on t'intertweb, the one for Stay Home, Elizabeth which is below for you to see in all its gorgeous glory.


Stay Home, Elizabeth from Reichenbach Falls on Vimeo.

I can't believe it was so long ago now I reviewed the wonderful EP I'll Never Go Anywhere Without Her Now. That was back on Band of Badgers Presents...#12. Go >>here<< to read that and make sure you buy a copy so you are fully prepared for Reports Of Snow


Seeing the videos of some others songs and seeing the band play those and the more familiar tracks from the EP has well and truly whetted my appetite for the LP even more. I am positively ravenous for it. A superb title as well and yes it does remind me of Game Of Thrones but how can it not? Winter Is Coming after all. Please do go and 'like' the Reichenbach Falls Facebook page so you can keep up to date with all the latest news and the live dates that are soon to be going up. https://www.facebook.com/ReichenbachFalls 

SUMMA
I use the phrase a lot but then it tends to happen to me quite a lot, so it is only down to the superb music dancing its way to my ears. Blown away. Yes, that's the one - and Summa blew me to Timbuktu with the song Microlove. It was a FREE download and I just had to share it on the podcast after featuring it and the band on the blog a while back. An alternative indie rock duo from Boulder, Colorado I was quite surprised how amazing they sounded. Not that I was being prejudice or expecting it to be anything bad you understand. It just completely blew me away.


Checking out more music and Jake O'Neal's YouTube page I've uncovered even more phenomenal music that has blown me away yet again. I am indeed having to write this bit of the post while whirling around in a hurricane. I will cover Jake's solo stuff separately in a forthcoming post but with how wonderful the music is I cannot but share it here as well, while I'm on the subject. You can check out and buy his own self-titled EP/single from iTunes by clicking >>here<<.


Picture taken from the band's Facebook page
Not only one incredibly talented young guy, Jake is also a part of funk/reggae/soul group Intuit along with fellow Summa member Max Grossman and a bunch of other really great individuals. I've checked this out too of course and there is some superb stuff. You can check out some of these tunes on Intuit's Reverbnation page >>here<<. You can expect them to feature on the blog at some point in the future as well. Back to Jake for a moment though, please visit his Facebook page and hit that 'like' button. You will want to know as his updates go up and being as busy a bee as he is, Facebook will help you do this. Jake O'Neal on Facebook is >>here<<.

Back to Summa and I really can't wait to hear more from these guys because like I say, Microlove just blew me clean away. I explained how it gets really embedded in my head and I play it endlessly on repeat afterwards. On mind radio, I mean. When it no longer pops up on loop I simply ensure I listen to it again and wham bam, it's there for another long stint. I really could listen to it just endlessly. http://www.summamusic.com/

LAVERS
Picture taken from the band's Facebook page
Third time round on the podcast for this Australian band with a song I featured previously on the blog. I've Been Waiting is available from iTunes >>here<<. Let me here those clicks, folks and get downloading this fabulous music. It was recorded at Sydney's Studios 301 with Simon Todkill (Mark Ronson, Matt Corby, Kanye West). You also need to check out their other records up there, The Street Is A Symphony >>here<< and Endless Corridors >>here<<. These two marvelous EPs are also available via bandcamp >>here<< for those of you who prefer to avoid iTunes.


Brothers Dom and Sebastian work ceaselessly to get Lavers where they want to and should be. With added depth and layers from drummer Matt Barnes and bassist Chris Law, the band have a bright future ahead of them. Gigging extensively last year, they became known for their electrifying live shows, complete with mass sing-alongs and crowd participation.


I'm saving hard (seriously? on my salary? if only I could) to get myself over to Australia soon where I can take in the musical delights of Lavers before moving on to New Zealand to soak up the superb sounds of Julie Lamb. Keep yourselves up to date with all things Lavers because the word is out they have another new single due out soon! www.laversband.com

THE COMO BROTHERS BAND
Taken from their most recent EP Still Waters, Bad Karma is the second outing on the podcast for The Como Brothers Band. And why not? Music this great needs to be shared as often as possible. It is a top track as well! Another couple of brothers who are working endlessly to make a success with their music, Matt and Andrew Como are talent incarnate.


Quite rightly so, success is heading their way after a very busy and exciting 2012 that has seen their profile bought to the attention of some movers and shakers. How these guys remain unsigned at present is a mystery but such is the way of the music industry these days. Still, there is no disputing they have more than enough talent to carry them on and through to the big time. Amongst a number of other exciting things, the band's music has been placed on MTV's Real World Portland and the instrumental version of their song Your Love has been placed in adverts for Quicksilver. Not only this, but they have music featuring on a soundtrack for indie film Wingman Inc, due out later in the year.


Having been selected to play The Warped Tour at Nassau Coliseum last year, the band are vying for a place on the Vans Warped Tour 2013. You lovely people can help them get there by voting for them in the Ernie Ball Battle Of The Bands >>here<<. Thank you please. Here's to another big year for a great indie band! Oh, and before I finish, if you don't already have the Still Waters EP you should head to iTunes for it >>here<<. http://comobrothersband.com/

MERCIA EVENTS PRESENTS....LIVE HOUSE
It is always with regret when I am unable to get myself to live events when I am asked and welcomed so nicely. I urge ALL of you live music fans who live nearby to Burton-On-Trent to get yourselves to Mercia Events next Live House gig on Thursday 6th June. Even just you music fans who don't usually extend yourselves to the live circuit. You are missing out on something so special. All the bands or artists featured are top quality indie musicians who live for playing their music and sharing it with you, the people. It will make for a cracking night so get along please!


Following on from last month's amazing night featuring the excellent bands The Cheap Thrills and The Indieannas, June's gig sees the tremendous Trouble With Tuesday and vivacious The Velocets take over the evening to entertain with their remarkably accomplished music. Pure quality from both these bands! That seems to be my new word of the moment - quality. Totally justified by such quality I'm hearing and seeing. I'll be taking a closer look at both the bands in future posts.


So, yet another top night of live music ahead. I really need a helicopter! The venue for you lucky folks who will be able to enjoy this is Brewhouse Arts Centre, Burton On Trent, DE14 1EB. Tickets are just £5 so there is no excuse not to part with such a small sum for such a superb night as this will be. http://www.merciaevents.com/


NEW CASSETTES
Closer to home and the town where I live for this band. Thanks to Craig Gibson of The Puppet Rebellion for pointing me in the direction of Northampton's very own New Cassettes. Another amazing band from this town I had no idea of until they were suggested to me. Just goes to show how much I need to be looking around here a bit more for some top music.


Their second album Winterhead is now available and have a listen below, it is quite something! You can buy it via iTunes >>here<<. This  is crisp and fresh indie rock I am becoming rather a huge fan of. http://newcassettes.com/



THE MID-SUMMER CLASSIC
It's a while since I first came across this US alternative pop rock band. As usual it is just lack of time and space as to why they haven't featured in a post before now. At least, I don't recall them having done so. If they have it will have been quite some time ago now. Either way, their sensational track Space Queen really needs a share. It is AMAZING! So big and atmospheric. I am seriously loving this tune!




Picture taken from the band's Facebook page
The Mid-Summer Classic are as yet unsigned, which given the quality (yes, that word again) of this music, is just a crime. Their bio on Facebook sums them up really well, 'Energetic songs filled with heart-felt relatable lyrics and catchy choruses'. Space Queen is the first track on their most recent EP Euphoria which contains a further 4 stunning tracks. Buy it from iTunes >>here<<. Euphoria is also available via bandcamp and you can have a listen below. https://www.facebook.com/themidsummerclassic





THE SHALLOWS


WOW! Yes, my extreme WOW for this post comes thanks to The Shallows with Honestly. Honestly, how AWESOME is this tune!? Available as a FREE download too. You know what to do by now. Let me hear those clicks, folks. Seriously, there is so much superb music that is totally FREE these days.


There's also a superb animated video for the song. The band strike me as enigmatic with an air about them that is mysterious but honest.


Also for your enjoyment is the acoustic video of Get Gone, filmed down on The South Bank in the Antarctic March temperatures. This is some fantastic music and tuneage here. More to come from The Shallows soon! http://theshallows.co/ << And as the guys have to point out, it really is just .co.....no .uk or anything after it.

WHITE CLOUDS & GUNFIRE
Another fairly local band, this time from neighbouring Peterborough (okay not exactly neighbouring but it isn't far from Northampton). While researching some local talent a couple of weeks ago my ears bathed me in gratitude for stumbling upon White Clouds & Gunfire. Their distinct alternative punk rock sound is instantly catchy and infectious. Infectious in the kind of way that you want to lick them to ensure you catch what it is they got. Perhaps that is taking the metaphor a little bit far but just listen to the sounds, folks! Then get licking, oh, excuse me, I mean clicking...to find lots more from this awesome band.


Hit 'like' on their Facebook page as they have an important tour announcement coming on 7th June you won't want to miss. There's already lots of live dates up on the page for you to get scribbling in your diaries or setting reminders on your digital devices (I did that last time, right? about does anyone still use pens and paper now?). Their band profile page on facebook is actually one of the smartest I've seen and as you can imagine I've looked at quite a lot over the last year or more.



They are giving away a FREE download of the song Satellite too so make sure you click, click and grab it! Superb tunes from a very tight sounding awesome band here. https://www.facebook.com/wcagf

TIME TO GET BRIEF...

CASTRO
From across The Narrow Sea to beautiful Belfast (where they doth film a great deal of the great Game Of Thrones of course) for the latest song from alternative indie band Castro. The opening guitar to this track does things to me. It is top notch stuff. The song overall is impressive, lyrically, vocally and musically. It leaves me yearning for more from these guys.



Make sure you get to their Facebook page and 'like' so you can keep updated on all things Castro Music. https://www.facebook.com/castrobelfast

PHOENIX FOUNDATION
Just a brief one from this New Zealand band for the moment but I could not go without at least sharing something from them. Thanks to the lovely singer-songwriter Julie Lamb for sending me a link to the band on Facebook. It was for a show they were doing in London a few weeks ago, which as I don't live there or near enough (or more importantly don't get paid enough to get myself there often enough for such things) I was unable to make it.


Totally digging the sound of this band though so will be covering more about them soon. http://www.thephoenixfoundation.co.nz

LEWIS WATSON
I was well and truly put in some kind of trance when mooching through some music videos and finding this one. It was likely a tweet or a someone 'liked' it on Facebook. I think Lewis sounds phenomenal so please check out his stuff for me and give some more support.

You can pre-order his EP Four More Songs (due out 1st July) from iTunes >>here<<. This video is for the song Into The Wild, taken from a previous EP, The Wild which can also be purchased from iTunes >>here<<. http://lewiswatsonmusic.com/

LUCAS GULLIFORD
A stunning demo track from Lucas Gulliford up on his soundcloud page. This was another WOW for me, make no mistake. https://www.facebook.com/lucasgullifordmusic


FIRST THINGS FIRST 
THIS IS WHO WE ARE (DOCUMENTARY)
Get to know US alternative rock band First Things First a whole lot more by watching their full documentary on their YouTube channel First Things First TV >>here<<. The trailer for this is below.


These guys are heading out on their This Is Who We Are tour from June 22nd to July 27th across a nice wide range of States so if you're a US reader of the blog and this superb blend of alternative indie rock is your bag, you HAVE to get along to a show. It is going to be something special as this band aims to leave its mark on America. https://firstthingsfirst.bandpage.com/

GUY VALARINO ON THE WALL
This is kind of 'just in' but Guy Valarino has been on my music radar for a wee while now. Well, not The Wall in The North of Westeros, no - but rather beautiful song City Walls, from a wall. Sublime! Guy is a British singer-songwriter from Gibraltar and brings you a warm sound to render those Mediterranean shores beneath your very feet.


I'm way too late in sharing the info but for any London-bound/based readers, Guy has a gig at the famed Ronnie Scott's Bar on Tuesday 28th May. Please do not miss out! To whet your appetite even further there's a video below he did for Garden Gnome Sessions. http://guyvalarino.com/



AND NOW FOR SOMETHING 
COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

TIM MINCHIN'S STORM:
THE ANIMATED MOVIE
I count myself fortunate to have seen the brilliant Tim Minchin perform live twice now. Sadly, I've not seen him billed at any of the festivals I'm attending this summer but I sincerely hope I get to see him again someday. He is one of the most intelligent singing comedians out there, something proven by this short film he released a few years ago.


Well, I must come to a close. If only so I may get on with the mountainous tasks I still have ahead of me. I hope you enjoyed podcast #14 and found some great new music as a result, from the show itself as well as from this extended blogcast. Still so much more I wanted to include but it was already beginning to grow large so the line must now be drawn. Expect lots more posts in quick succession (he says). Album reviews aplenty are still on their way, apologies as always for my ridiculous delay. I seem to be rhyming, it's always the timing, so let's shut my face and get out of this place. Peace to you all and catch you soon.

Friday, 17 May 2013

BAND OF BADGERS PRESENTS **BITESIZE**

Howdy ho folks! Yes that is what Mr Hankey the Christmas poo doth sayeth but let's not go to the gutter just yet. We have a whole post to go for that. Well, not exactly. Or rather a bit of a yes and no. A contradiction - that just about sums me up proper. What I mean is this is a post that could not wait. It's spontaneous. Not exactly random as I have so much music and music news queued up to share and some of it really needs sharing ASAP. So I figured why not add this to the vast mountainous pile I already have backed up so far I can't even see out the windows of the flat? And here it is. And I'm still waffling on. It is finally time to see if I can do it. A bite-sized Band of Badgers Presents. As the name suggests and my time available is pretty much zero, there will be as little waffle from me as possible. I just need to share this stuff with y'all. Let's get cracking then!!

JOYCE THE LIBRARIAN HIT THE ROAD
A band I've featured on the blog in some capacity before when they released the first single Follow Me I'm, Right Behind You. This was taken from their excellent album They May Put Land Between Us, which was also one of my top albums of 2012. I needed to share the news regards their May/June tour that is happening and as it is now mid-May I thought waiting until next week (with me being away at the wonderful Wood Festival this coming weekend) would be eating into that live date schedule. So, please see the dates for this below and ensure you have a jolly good reason for not getting to a show if the band are playing near you because you will have an amazing time. Also for your enjoyment is the latest video from Joyce The Librarian for the opening track on the album, Traps. Traps is out on Folkwit Records on 1st June as a download only. http://www.joycethelibrarian.net/

Way to go getting on the bill of the How The Light Gets In Festival. I've had my eye on that particular event for years now but never been able to go. Live music just cannot be beaten. As a huge fan of it and music in general, yes I am biased. But it is like Katriona Gilmore said at the Gilmore & Roberts gig I went to last October, live music really needs supporting right now and it makes for such a better night than slobbing in front of the TV watching half-arsed reality rubbish. Alright, I added that last bit but it is true. I'm all for slobbing about in front of the TV at times and have nothing against that. While there's music to go see though, that couch is staying lonely.

GROUND CONTROL TO MAJOR CHRIS
With 11.3 million views on YouTube already I'm well aware this video needs no promotional assistance and it has done the rounds by now that most of you will likely have seen it already. The Bowie fan in me just couldn't not share it here, though. It is fantastic stuff. An amazing production and reworking of the classic, Space Oddity.


This song from Bowie, in particular has a special place in my heart and soul. Commander Chris Hadfield has done a remarkable job reworking it here.

VOTING BUTTONS AT THE READY 
FOR JOSH SAVAGE
Well, voting clicks is more apt, I guess. I shared this video for the beautiful Mountains In Hurricanes a few posts ago and it is back here again. While watching it when I voted for Josh Savage to play as support for Gabrielle Aplin at her Bournemouth O2 gig, I found myself HAVING to watch again immediately afterwards. Then last night as I checked the link to Tweet about it again I watched it about four times. The song is just sublime. Please hit this link >>HERE<< and follow the instructions to vote for Josh to win the competition.


Josh has been working hard and performing a number of intimate gigs over the last couple of weeks. Please enjoy the above video but I do warn you to set aside some time to enjoy it on repeat. Then please please please visit this link right >>HERE<< and vote for Josh to win. He is in second place at the moment but needs your support to get right on top! Your assistance is much appreciated. http://joshsavagemusic.com/


To further demonstrate why Josh deserves to win the Gabrielle Aplin support competition you should check out and enjoy his most recent video for the new song Horoscopes, above.

JESS HALL'S LITTLE SONGS 
WITH HUGE PRESENCE
I saw a Tweet from Jess Hall about her playing at Wood Festival on Friday. With having such little free time with everything I've got on I've not been able to check out all the acts on the line-up like I would usually. Just to put the feelers out, if you will please pardon the horrid expression. Anywho, I hadn't got a minute to spare but as she'd shown up on my musical radar during the day I checked out some of her tunes on Soundcloud.



Stunned! Speechless! The first song melted my ears with bliss. Bookshelves moved me. Jess' voice is phenomenally strong and beautiful. I am one lucky chappy to be getting to see her play live this Friday. Excited doesn't even come close. https://www.facebook.com/jesshallsongs

AIDAN LOGAN - TELL ME 
**SINGLE RELEASE**
Yes, I did feature Tell Me from the excellent Aidan Logan a couple of posts ago when he put the single up to stream for your listening pleasure. You can read what I wrote about it by clicking >>here<<. I wanted to follow that up now it has been released (14th May) by diverting you to where you can purchase it. 



It is available via Bandcamp by clicking on the above, of course. It is also available via iTunes and for which you just need to do a nice little click >>here<<.


NIC BENNETT - LONG TIME BLUES
It was thanks to a comment on a post by superb roots singer-songwriter Luke Jackson I saw that Nic Bennett was himself a musician. In the 'just in' category comes this stunning original song from Nic, Long Time Blues.



WOW indeed! This is great stuff and there are a number of other hugely impressive songs his Soundcloud page you need to be checking out. Now please folks. There will be much more from Nic in future posts I can assure you. In the meantime make sure you check out the FREE download he's offering via his bandcamp page below. This Is 6th Form Poetry (Not Keats Or Yeats) really is something.

THE DODOS HAVE CONFIDENCE
You can stream this stunning, epic and melodic return from The Dodos below. Confidence is the first single taken from their forthcoming album Carrier which is out on 27th August on Polyvinyl. There's a big international flavour as it gets releases in Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Japan and Thailand. The formats the release will come in are rather interesting too because as well as the standard CD and digital outlets, it is being produced on LP (180 gram blue vinyl) and cassette (100 limited edition white cassettes).


Confidence is a superb track to be released from the new (and fifth) record and acts as one rather delicious taster for what's in store. The single gets a digital release on May 21st so you can own it then. I will likely cover more on the release of Carrier in the coming weeks. http://www.dodosmusic.net/ 
My thanks to James at Prescription PR for this.


SABIYHA - LIESEL
Watching this Official video for her song Liesel it is easy to see why Sabiyha has already been played on Tom Robinson's BBC 6 Music show. Indie Music News say of her, '..music to cleanse the soul..' I agree wholeheartedly, which is why I just had to share this here on this brief post. There will most definitely, without any doubt of any kind, be more from Sabiyha on the blog in one of the next few posts. Of that I can assure you. I will also be playing one of her songs on the podcast.


The sound is wonderful isn't it? There are more stunning tunes up on her Soundcloud page, which you can get to by clicking on the below. Yes. Space and time are short on this post but I simply could not resist sharing Sabiyha's beautiful cover of House Of The Rising Sun.



Like I say, I will be featuring more about Sabiyha very soon, including something special from The Old Vinyl Factory. http://www.sabiyha.com
Thanks to Patrick at Sweet Luigi for this.

Okay folks, I thought I'd be able to add some more this morning but, ah, what am I saying it is now already afternoon and I have to get off on the road to Oxfordshire for the wonderful Wood Festival. I am simultaneously finishing off podcast #14 too. So I can get it up on my Soundcloud page and its main home on PodOmatic. This is multitasking! So, without further adieu as Justin Waylon Morgan said in a Tweet earlier this week I'm signing off but not before sharing some more great music below. All music with none of my waffleage. Peace all!

THE MAROON MANE 
FROM UMBRELLA HARBOR



WHERE WE'LL GO 
FROM TROUBLE WITH TUESDAY
Big thanks to Mercia Events for sharing this and thus it coming my way. Great stuff. More news from Mercia Events coming VERY SOON!


HOLD YOUR CARDS 
FROM JESSE WILL


STAY HOME, ELIZABETH (LIVE & ACOUSTIC) FROM REICHENBACH FALLS


AN ADDENDUM
Ooh, look at me go with the fancy Latin words. I am just fresh back from the wonderful Wood Festival so I'll be busy working hard on my full review as well as the mountain of other stuff on the 'to do and get done' list this week. It was an amazing event. A real treat of an experience. More on that soon though or else you know me, I'll end up getting into a preview of the review and extend this post by several long (even if interesting and informative) paragraphs.


I just wanted to chiefly embed Band of Badgers Presents...#14 in via my Soundcloud page. For anyone who wants a listen. I'm getting this up on PodOmatic now too and will try and get the full blogcast sorted this week too. Busy busy bumblebee. Ah, bees. The car park at Wood was next to the abode of rather a lot of bees and walking up to the car at one point on Saturday afternoon to see a massive swarm was rather enchanting. The sound as well. It was a magnificent experience. Anywho, more soon.