Sunday, 24 March 2013


<Brrrrrr> Yes, I am still up here in the clouds. I made the mistake one evening last week of checking out a few videos of Sigur Ros at their recent UK shows. I did this not even for my own personal, selfish enjoyment but to find a couple to include in a blog post. Alas, I found myself unable to stop watching them. Reliving such a transcendental musical experience is not something one can just stop doing, once started. And thus any hope of me coming  back down to Earth for the foreseeable future have now been torpedoed out of the ocean. There's just too much snow down there right now anyways. I am well above the snowline up here. Cold, yes but I now have a fully insulated duffle coat. As almost a whole month after that gig I still cannot shut up about the AMAZING Sigur Ros, it is only right I should share a recent Press Release (<<click there) with y'all. Yes, it is some news on their next album Kveikur - due out in June (jeez, try saying that fast after a few beers). They have also announced some more UK and European gig dates for later in the year. After this last time I think I will need to get this fix in November or else wallow in despair at the vacuousness of life without Sigur Ros live! If only I could afford to get myself to Norway for that Oslo show on 28th November. I could attempt to combine it with seeing the Northern Lights. That would be it for me. I would never get back down from that experience.

On a serious note, this snow is now beyond a joke. I'm not one for moaning about it usually. This is the UK. This is our weather. Plus, it is a natural thing. Nature does as nature wishes based on how nature is operating (although I'm a believer in climate change and the mess of crap humanity has done and is doing to the world). Science. Meteorolgy more specifically, I think. Get over it. However, I will have a little whinge today because the snow the UK had yesterday prevented me traveling to Leamington Spa to see Stornoway at The Assembly. Gutted! I have only been looking forward to this gig for like, 18 months! The snow wasn't too bad in places but some of the roads I'd need to navigate on the way were treacherous. Add to that the sub sub sub zero temperatures making it all an ice-filled death trap late at night for the return drive and I just had to choose the safe option. As boring as that is, I do value my life. Still absolutely gutted though. Less annoyed about it being the snow's fault and more so about the lack of quality live music in Northampton. I still need to look into this more so but no bands I enjoy seem to really play here. It is frustrating. Anywho, I'm hoping I can catch the Stornoway boys at one of the four festivals I'm hoping to get my ass to this summer. Unless we really are in the lands of Westeros (Game of Thrones, apologies to you non-geeks), there should be no snow then. Although, I remind myself of the country I live in and the last six wash-out summer seasons we've had. I know we will all be moaning if a full on three month Indian Summer hits but bring it on, I say. Please!

Right, enough waffleage for now. I have so much music to share with you and MUST MUST MUST crack on with blogcast #13 as well. So I'll be limiting my waffle below. Enjoy!

This wonderful local indie rock band from Wolverhampton have had their moving song about a soldier, Some Stories, chosen to be an official charity song for Help For Heroes. It isn't released until May 4th but the video was released via YouTube a few weeks ago. Please please please view, like and share this wonderful piece of musical film and help promote the track for the release in May. A lot of hard work went into producing this and the quality reflects this. It's such a fantastic tune as well. One of my favourites from the band's album The Ragged Rhythm of Rain. You can get a digital download of this smashing album for just £4.99 from Under A Banner's bandcamp page >>here<<.

Also please check out all the gig dates on the band's own website and get yourself along if you're local to any. It is a crime I'm still yet to get to one myself but this is purely a logistics issue or else I'd be at more than just the one. My time will come and I really can't wait for it. In fact, I'm incredibly jealous of you folk who are near these current batch of dates. Always keep up to date as more will no doubt be going up over the coming weeks and months.

One gig, in particular that will be spectacular is the one at The Victoria Inn in Derby next month. For just three little pound coins you will have a superb night of live music. Support will be in the form of alternative rock band The Standby Setting who you can sample out below.

Friday 19th April - The Hole in the Wall - Shrewsbury
Friday 26th April - The Victoria Inn - Derby
Sunday 5th May - Woody's Music Bar - Hednesford
Thursday 30th May - The Islington - Islington, London
Saturday 1st June - The Old Beams - Stourport on Seven
Sunday 7th July - The Robin 2 - Bilston (Supporting Quill)
Friday 2nd August -The Shakespeare Street - Stratford Upon Avon

The Standby Setting

Picture taken from Aidan's Facebook page.
Another charity single I included on the blog and in a podcast a while back is Let Them Know from Belfast-based singersongwriter Aidan Logan. While on the subject of charity singles I thought it appropriate to mention it again here. It is heartfelt and full to bursting with emotion. Pips is a cause for suicide prevention and as with all charities, needs the kindness and generosity of folk to help it achieve its aims.

More recently, I've heard the finished version of what will be the first single to be released from Aidan's forthcoming debut album and it is a treat! I have to remain ssshhhh'd for the moment but the release of the single is imminent so you can share my excitement soon enough. In the meantime and to appease you why not have a listen to this free download Aidan self-produced. I've included it before but for those new readers or those who aren't reading posts in any particular order here it is again for you.

You can also download the song from Aidan's bandcamp page >>here<<.

Pic from fiN Facebook page -
On Monday 25th March one of my top bands from last year, fiN, release a digital download of their album Life Is Wasted On The Living. There is no limit to the quality these guys have. Their music is so rich and diverse. They don't rest on one sound, or one particular genre-defining concept. They remain indie to the core as well, which is humbling in today's messed up music market. Especially for a band that is so damn good! I don't believe an album release of this nature was ever pre-planned. Instead, fiN release their music in a truly unique and independent manner. No doubt it is down to the phenomenal demand for their music. Such phenomenal music will always induce a phenomenal response of course.

The whole lot here is nothing short of brilliance and perfection! There are always going to be places for musicians as strong as this to go in their future development but these really do have a complete package already. From instrumental The Artisan, which borders on progressive to the heavy rock infused pop of Rapture through to the divine Eve and beyond. There  really is something for everyone here. If you want to learn a bit more about the guys behind fiN and how the songs came together I highly recommend the 11 minute documentary below. It is enlightening. Then go buy the album via iTunes by clicking >>here<<.

If only their album launch gig was on Friday 5th or Sunday 7th I would have got my ass down to London so fast I would have left trail marks. I'm venturing down to see actor/singer-songwriter Iwan Rheon at Bush Hall on the Saturday night so would have made it a marvelous mega music weekend. Not to worry. My time will come soon.

What a fabulous tune Spotlight is. As you know I get lots of bands and artists following me on Twitter and I'm always grateful for them interacting and sending me links to their music to check out. This is precisely what Jonny Andrew from The Varese's did. Naturally, it is not possible to listen to everything as it comes through nor to feature it all. I really would if I could folks but I just don't have the time. Unless there's any music publication or radio station out there that wants to give me a job to do this all the time. I'll work 24/7 if so. Seriously! I do try my hardest to work through everything but there will most often always be some kind of delay.

Anywho, without digressing into the woes of lack of time as I always do (but cannot help it), I'll shut up and share this official music video for Spotlight from this tremendous indie rock band from Liverpool. Much more to come from these guys in the future.

Having featured on my podcast a couple of times already, it was only right we caught up with what's going on down under with the Lavers brothers Dom and Sebastian. My thanks to Dom for including me in the mail out alerting us to this latest new single from the band, I've Been Waiting. Recorded at Studios 301 in Sydney with producer Simon Todkill (Matt Corby, Kanye West, Catcall) it is another impressive tune from Lavers.

Now after enjoying this beauty why not get along to iTunes and buy a few of their awesome EPs please? Click >>here<< and support such brilliant indie music.

From the summer sun of down under all the way back to my snowed in doorstep of Northamptonshire now. Lew Bear tweeted this cover he put up on his Reverbnation page yesterday and I have fallen totally in love with it, if I'm being honest. It is a wonderful cover of Carleko's Jimmy Hammer Fist. It is breathtaking. It may well be that I am living most of my free time in George R R Martin's fictional Game of Thrones world of Westeros but listening to this song put me instantly in mind of it. I'd been there reading yes but it is as though listening to this song from Lew Bear somehow physically transports me there. I can feel the icy winter winds biting and I don't mean our own poor excuse for winter that doesn't seem to want to release its grip. It reminds me of the song played as the closing credits rolled to season 2 episode 9's Battle of Blackwater. Astounding.

I'm only a week late for this one! Still, it's now here so go get it folks and support this great local indie rock band. These guys are based around Aylesbury, Northampton and Dunstable. I would totally have gone to see them play on February 9th but I was booked up to see the marvelous Luke Jackson in Milton Keynes. My eyes are on their future gig dates though, so I will make it at some point this year. Their website describes them as The Stone Roses meets The Rolling Stones with an Oasis attitude. Check them out for yourselves and stop missing out. I'm really digging this, their official video for this latest single release. It is quality. 

Those Derby lads are back with yet another tune from their forthcoming second album that will knock you over with the sheer force of its excellence. It is awesome and has something really different added to the band's regular mix which makes it that extra bit special. I could barely contain my excitement for Horizons after hearing the last single, High Lights. If possible, this has taken my level of excitement up so high I'm soaring through the clouds. It is available right now via all the platforms. iTunes, Amazon and Spotify for starters.


OMG! AMAZING band! SENSATIONAL music! I love The Boxer Rebellion like you would not believe and yet they are still relatively new to me. I have Chris from The Scholars to thank for pointing me in their direction and recommending their album Union. Featuring them here just briefly to make you aware of a FREE 6-track EP they are giving away. This in return for you joining their mailing list. Given how stunning this music is, it is the least they should be requesting from you. It could be a rouse but it is a very clever one indeed. The EP features two tracks from their three previous albums in preparation for the release of their new one later this year. By signing up to the mailing list you will be notified first of any updates from the band. Those to do with the new album, videos, gig dates and tickets for these. After seeing The Last Republic play a cover of Depeche Mode's Enjoy The Silence at Truck Festival last year it took about seven or eight months for me to remove a Depeche Mode CD from the car stereo. Hearing The Boxer Rebellion's cover of that song makes me want to return it there.

I had fully intended to share this particular video on the last blogcast for podcast #12 but with how everything all comes down on top of me as I hurry to get them published, I did miss it. My bad, I know. This song was on Perry's second EP up on bandcamp which you can grab FREE >>here<<. You should also grab yourself his first one, Ropes. I'm a big fan of all his music but I absolutely LOVE this particular song!

Perry played at The Bullingdon Arms in Oxford last Thursday as part of an event run by New Music Connection. I'll have more details on that and hopefully some videos that will be going up soon. Not from me however. Unfortunately due to my day job, finances and the distance I was unable to get down to Oxford for it.

Something completely different to what I usually tend to share or play. Equally magnificent though! This is another one where the band sent me a tweet to check it out. I LOVE it! It sounds so big. I love how the electronic dance sounds come together. It's akin to a quality trance track complete with breakdown, yet with better vocals. Here I sit at my laptop writing away and it has me wanting to get on up and actually dance. Without having had a alcoholic drink to boot! I'm looking forward to more from You Can't Dance and will be sharing more in due course. Now say BYE and get up and dance. Download it for FREE too.

I guess what I really loved when I heard this was how it isn't like the run of the mill stuff that is out there in this genre already. That is the most important thing and should help these guys distinguish themselves from the rest.

Sorry, I'm a little late sharing this one too. I did play Parachute on podcast #13, which although I'm still yet to get the blogcast up online at least the podcast is available. I'm working as fast as I can but in the meantime I just had to share these fantastic songs from The Como Brothers Band's recently released EP Still Waters. This is quality music of the highest calibre. It is all very much self-produced and independent to the core as well. Their achievements are astounding quite frankly. 

While relaxing and enjoying these top tunes please please please lend your support and vote for these guys to play the Warped Tour. You can do this by visiting this BATTLE OF THE BANDS page >>here<< and following the instructions. The members of the band will be hugely grateful to you. As with almost ALL the artists I feature, they rely on your kind support to get them further and further with their music and they don't forget this. It is what makes them different and better than many of the 'top' bands who are signed to big labels.

Back to their astounding achievements thus far. There's more to come as their music is about to feature on the premiere of MTV's Real World Portland - March 27th.

More on this band another time as this post is turning into a longer one than the blogcasts. Typical me isn't it? A few things to share becomes a mountain of things to share. After hearing this only today I just have to include it though because it is lashings more of the beautiful Q-word - QUALITY! A stunning and breathtaking song. This bodes extremely well for Summa's future.


To bring things to a close I've opted to share an episode of a Vlog I've recently started following. Or should that be vlogisode rather than episode? Mere details.....Daniel Kai is an all-round entertainer who also happens to be a part of a new musical project called Waiting For Hollywood. More on the band side of things another time as I should be able to bring you an EXCLUSIVE live acoustic performance.

This vlogisode is of the utmost importance to EVERYONE in the WHOLE world so please make sure you watch it, take down the crucial zombie survival tips and then share it on.

I too, happen to be a huge geek for The Walking Dead. I think it is the utter grimness I seem to love so much. And of course watching people get eaten to death alive. I don't quite know what that says about me but there it is. Kai's take on it here is hilarious and the characters he slots in throughout demonstrate how talented he is at this entertainment business. 

Don't forget - take down these tips! Geeks like us know what we're talking about when it comes to this. When it comes to Z-Day (Zombie Apocalypse (and you know it is a when, not an if)) we will no longer be laughed at. We will be the ones who survive the longest. Hopefully. Maybe.....Erm..... Whatever happens, you're more likely to survive after watching this awesome video than if you don't watch it. Do the sensible thing and hit subscribe to Its Daniel Kai when you've watched and shared it.

One thing that sticks with me - NEVER LISTEN TO MICHAEL JACKSON's THRILLER!! Musical dancing zombies are even more freaky!

Until next time folks, blogcast #13 - ciao. Unless of course Z-Day arrives. *shudders*


  1. Some great music on here and I'm honoured to be a part of it - thank you for the review, brought a warm feeling :-)

    PS - saw your comment about live music in Northampton. I'm only in touch with the acoustic scene (get mellower as I get older. It's only a matter of time before I release a lullabyes album lol) but I'll let you know whenever I know a good acoustic show x

    1. Thanks very much Lew. It was a pleasure to include you. I really loved this cover and stand by my word to check out much more of your stuff. It is only lack of time that prevents me getting on with more and quicker :-)
      Regards my comment about live music in Northampton. I just get frustrated sometimes as it doesn't seem as lively and great as it should and could be. I've been trying to contact a couple of venues myself on behalf of an awesome band, for them to play but I've been met with little to no responses. I'm all for acoustic so appreciate your offer to keep me posted. I will no doubt see you somewhere at some point this year. :-)

    2. Welcome to the world of the muso lol. Sadly, this isnt just Northampton. Pretty much anywhere works on the basis of who you know, not what, and even if you were (or were representing) the next Elvis, if they dont know you, odds are the venue wont even open your email

      The only way around that, is to get out and meet people so that they do know you (or if you're really committed, hiring a venue and putting the act on yourself. I've done it, it can work brilliantly, but it's also going to be a financial risk to someone - either you if you promise a set fee, or the band if they work on split of ticket sales)

      It'll be good to see you. Might be headed into Northampton for an open mic tomorrow night as it happens at the Jekyll and Hyde. Good mate runs it and the special guests are Mel and Magnus of Tarantism doing an acoustic set (a proper treat, they've supported Levellers, Peatbog Faeries and played countless festivals)