Friday 30 August 2013

Nina Persson, Ebbot Lundberg and Magnus Carlson "A Tribute To The Velvet Underground" live at Stockholm Kulturfestival August 14th

Nina Persson by Daniel Eriksson
Two years ago Ebbot Lundberg, of the now sadly defunct The Soundtrack of Our Lives, and Magnus Carlson from Weeping Willows and The Moon Ray Quintet, were asked if they would like to do a performance of The Velvet Underground's third album for an HBTQ Festival event at Haga Church in Gothenburg. It worked out so well that they both wanted to do it again and they got their opportunity at this year's Kulturfestival in Stockholm. This time Ebbot and Magnus wanted to widen the set-list to include songs from the iconic debut album "The Velvet Underground & Nico", so all they needed was a "Nico", and who better than Nina Persson from The Cardigans. They gathered an impressive cast of experienced musicans around them including, on guitars and keyboards, Gunnar Frick, who has toured with Weeping Willows and also played with Ray Davies among many others, bassist Sara Edvardson Ehrnborg, drummer Johan Håkansson, who is currently playing with Mattias Hellberg's excellent band The Fur Heads and on guitar, Tommy Sahlin, who plays at the beautiful Slussens Pensionat on Orust, with Robert "Biggles" Sohlberg's band. 

It was the first time for me to see Ebbot perform live since The Soundtrack of Our Lives emotional farewell shows at The Södra Teatern in Stockholm back in December last year, and it was great to see him perform again. The band took the stage and Ebbot and Magnus appeared and shared vocals on a sublime "Candy Says", which was followed by the rest of the first side of the third eponymous album in running order. So we got a thumping run through of "What Goes On", "Some Kinda Love", a beautiful rendition of "Pale Blue Eyes" and then "Jesus". Then we were treated to "I Found a Reason" from "Loaded" and back to the third album for "I'm Set Free". Ebbot and Magnus compliment each other extremely well, their voices blend perfectly. Magnus has a smooth soulful croon which is wonderfully suited to Ebbot's slightly rawer more "Rock" baritone. But, still no Nina, and some of the crowd around me are getting a bit restless. Considering Nina's name is very prominent on the advertising, I'm beginning to wonder myself. There's a buzz as songs from the debut album "The Velvet Underground & Nico" start to appear with a gorgeous "Sunday Morning", which is followed by a powerful "I'm Waiting For The Man" with Ebbot on lead vocals. 

Ebbot Lundberg - Photo by Steve Worrall
Then it's "Femme Fatale" with Nina finally making an appearance, to a huge round of applause. I know Nico didn't actually sing on many songs, but I do think they could have planned the set or song arrangements to get Nina more involved from the start. For example, "Candy Says" and "Sunday Morning" would have suited Nina's lead vocals perfectly. "Venus In Furs" is next, with Gunnar switching to bass and Sara impressively taking on the John Cale viola part . "All Tomorrow's Parties", "There She Goes Again", "I'll Be Your Mirror" are all brilliantly performed, and Nina's smile lights up the stage. Then it's over to Ebbot to close the set with the slowly unravelling classic "Heroin". The encore is a bright and breezy "Who Loves The Sun" from "Loaded", which is followed by "Temptation Inside Your Heart", originally recorded with John Cale in 1968 but left unreleased until the "VU" rarities compilation came out in 1985. It's not a widely known song, but actually turns out to be one of my highlights of the night. They don't go down the easy option crowd-pleasing route for the encore, so there's no "White Light/White Heat" (in fact they skip the second album completely) and there's no "Sweet Jane" or "Rock 'n' Roll", which some in the crowd were shouting for. Instead they close the show with a slightly downbeat but nevertheless emotional and impressive,"Ocean". It's over, and the band are called out to take a bow and lap up the generous applause. It was an excellent show, considering it must be very difficult to please everyone, as there are so many aspects to The Velvet Underground's sound, I think they got the balance just right. So, I'm intrigued to find out what the next project Ebbot, Magnus and Nina have in store...

Magnus, Nina & Ebbot - Photo by Steve Worrall
David Liljemark, the renown comic book illustrator, film director and Wonder Boys main man, not to mention big Velvet Underground fan, gave me his perspective on the gig: "The "Ebbot Underground" gig with Magnus C & Nina P was most pleasant, but a bit too much focus on the third album and ballads, still no "Afterhours"...WTF?!...or "I'm Sticking With You" for that matter, a couple of songs should've been replaced by "I Heard Her Call My Name" and/or "White Light/White Heat" (or "Guess I'm Falling In Love"). I have never liked the song "Jesus" (with the exception of Smog's extremely good cover!) but here it got a heavier arrangement than the original, but "Hey Mr Rain" would've been a more urgent choice. The show closer "Ocean" was fantastic,  and very much in The Soundtrack of Our Lives style, but no one can top Lou's singing on "I'm Waiting For The Man" and "Some Kinda Love", but the evening's definite highlight was "Temptation Inside Your Heart"!"

Top to Bottom - Ebbot, Nina & Magnus by Daniel Eriksson
Here's a video from the gig, for more videos then please visit the Retro Man Blog YouTube channel.

We have set up a Soundtrack of Our Lives Facebook Group which encompasses all of the bands many off-shoots, collaborations, solo works, current projects and new bands - from Nymphet Noodlers and Union Carbide Productions to Free Fall, Tonbruket and beyond...please feel free to join the Group and contribute here...!

Ebbot & Nina - Photograph by Steve Worrall
Many thanks to Daniel Eriksson and Hans Selander for their excellent photographs, all are copyright 2013 as credited. You can check out more of Daniel's photos here...Also big thanks to David Liljemark. For more photographs please head on over to the Retro Man Blog Facebook page and "Like" for access to the exclusive Photo Album.

Johan, Magnus, Gunnar, Nina, Tommy, Sara & Ebbot - Photo by Hans Selander

Thursday 29 August 2013

Vela Eyes "Treasures" New Video from "The Pleasure Sunrise" E.P.

With a patchwork of influences (Siouxie and the Banshees, Echo & the Bunnymen, Sonic Youth, Led Zeppelin, New Order and My Bloody Valentine) and by fusing elements of Post-Punk, Shoe-gaze and Psych rock, San Francisco based Vela Eyes produce an ethereal and aggressive soundscape. The band started as a side project between guitarist Ian Zazueta and front woman Florie Maschmeyer.  Next up, Bassist Nate Higley, was added to the fold, and then Julia Johari was introduced as a second keyboard player, guitarist and background vocalist. The four of them wrote a batch of songs and by September 2012 landed Jef Pauly as drummer. Vela Eyes released their excellent five song debut E.P. "The Pleasure Sunrise" in June, from which we played the stunning "Morning Star" in the latest episode of Retrosonic Podcast. Here's the brand new video to "Treasures".


For more information on the band then please check out their official Facebook page, where you can also order copies of the "The Pleasure Sunrise" on a dazzling selection of coloured vinyl.

Vela Eyes - Photo by Gabor Beszeda

You can listen to a track from "The Pleasure Sunrise" E.P. in Episode 9 of Retrosonic Podcast.

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Jonny Cola & The A-Grades: New Album "Spitfire" & Launch Party at The Lexington on September 04th

Jonny Cola & The A-Grades unleash their new album "Spitfire" on September 04th with a launch party at The Lexington in Islington. The album was completed thanks to an extensive "PledgeMusic" campaign, which involved fans contributing towards studio, manufacture and production costs in return for, not only copies of the album, but a mind-boggling array of special privileges, exclusive material and some quirky packages. These included goodies such as album test pressings, T-shirts, posters and fanzines to a private acoustic gig, free entrance to A-Grades shows for a year and even a naked calender! Their target was met impressively quickly, highlighting the growing interest in the band at the moment and it has enabled them to get the record out quickly, not just on CD and download, but on 180g heavyweight vinyl too. The album starts with the hum of a Spitfire engine before taking off with "In The Woods" and a swaggering heavy rock riff that's part Guns n' Roses part Hanoi Rocks and part twin-guitar wielding 80's Hair Metal. You see, The A-Grades are unashamed Rock fans - there is as much an influence of early Elton John and Queen's complex orchestral songs as there is of the much mentioned Bowie and Suede running through this album. They are not afraid to embrace high production values and cleverly constructed songs and it means that "Spitfire" is a wonderfully diverse and satisfying album, that hits you on first listen but is also sure to grow and improve with repeated listens.

Simon, Jonny & Marco
New single "Tropical Beach" is, as the title suggests a great uplifting summer pop song with a superb chorus and with it's vivid images of a couple holidaying with a "bottle of gin and head full of sin" in a caravan park under the shadow of a nuclear reactor (Dungeness springs to mind...), as they dream of escape together to a sun-kissed beach, "pylons or palm trees?" they ask. There's an encouraging optimism in the song, "In a cold dark room there's a corner where it's always summer", could it be the result of Jonny's brush with serious illness I wonder? "Straight To Video" is next and this song was previously released as a double A-side 7" single, on glorious orange vinyl no less, with "Marlborough Road". It's a piano led ballad with the insistent chorus refrain of "hold it together boys..." repeated over a military drum beat. It is reminiscent of Suede's excellent B-Side ballads such as "The Big Time" or "Where The Pigs Don't Fly". Now, I must admit that next up is my favourite aspect of the A-Grades, "Rain Stopped Play" is a great raucous Punk blast. I like it when they let loose a bit and draw on a bit of sleazy New York Punk, the band even invited NY Doll Sylvain Sylvain to DJ at one of their club nights recently, and personally I'd like a bit more of this. It's an immense wall of guitar interrupted suddenly by a nice blast of bass riff from Simon, lovely stuff. The next number, "Blow Up" is in a way the essence of the A-Grades distilled into a real Glam-stomping classic, driven along by some fantastic drumming from Marco, great call and response vocals and a subtle stabbing sax. The sleazy chorus, "...don't talk with your mouth full", which seems to be about the dubious delights of being backstage with a band, flies off into an unexpected tangent  that made me think of The Super Furry Animals at their best. This song would make an excellent follow up single to "Tropical Beach" I think.

Marco, Mauro & Jez - Photo by Steve Worrall
"Going Over" is a great number built round a guitar riff that builds beautifully and "Semaphore" is a slow burner that shifts the album's tempo and highlights the great guitar interplay between Mauro and Jez. "Sunset/Sunrise" is over six minutes of brilliantly constructed orchestral rock music, it's almost a mini-opera with distinct passages and strings that build and swell  into a magnificent climax. Gospel backing vocals and hand claps can be heard as the sound of planes battle with the guitars. Then the song breaks down into a beautiful piano motif and suddenly, a brief reprise of "Tropical Beach" emerges from the mix, before ending abruptly with a star-burst of synth.

Jonny Cola - Photo by Steve Worrall
I can sense some of the Bowie influence on next track "Wronghead" and I really like the lyrics on this which could be about the unattainable against the reality, or just simply a blind date gone wrong  "...this is what they thought they looked like, this is what I hoped you looked like, this is what I dreamt you looked like...". "Spitfire" draws to an ultimately satisfying, if somewhat mellow end with "Out Of The Woods, and the last things we hear, quite contrary to the brash album opening, are a simple piano and Jonny's voice. So, overall, although there is still an undoubted hedonism to Jonny Cola & The A-Grades, "Spitfire" is a very accomplished and ambitious album, and with it's reflective subject matter the band seem to moving on from their more London-centric songs of drunken debauchery and life in the Capital. Let's hope they don't lose that edge completely though...

Here's the video to the great new single "Tropical Beach"...enjoy!

After The Lexington Launch Party on the 04th, the band will play a few gigs in September to promote the album outside London. They will play at The Square in Harlow on the 06th, UnPlug in Birmingham on the 12th and The Prince Albert in Brighton on the 28th. Please check the A-Grades web-site for more details about venues and tickets.

To download the new album and back catalogue please visit the official Bandcamp site.

Live photos from The Buffalo Bar July 11th 2013 copyright Steve Worrall 2013.

Monday 26 August 2013

The Travellers at The Lexington Saturday August 10th & News of Forthcoming Single "Stay"

Robert & Gemma, The Travellers - Photo by Steve Worrall
I was really looking forward to seeing The Travellers live for the very first time, after all, the St. Malo based band don't play over here in the U.K. very often, and I finally got my chance as they were appearing at a fund-raiser for the Checkemlads charity at The Lexington in Islington. They are responsible for one of my favourite double A-Side 7" singles of recent years in the faultless "Summer With No Sun/74 Times" - where everything from the cover art, production and most importantly, the quality of both of the tracks, just comes together into a perfect package. As the band are based mainly around the songwriting duo of Gemma, who sings and plays keyboards and guitarist Robert, I was intrigued to find out how they would come over live. Pretty damn excellent is the answer to that! Live their songs take on another dimension and are locked into a tight soulful groove, thanks to the excellent rhythm section of drummer Moses and Fred on bass. The really good thing is that there is an underlying edge to their sound and they are much more powerful than I imagined.

Robert, Gemma, Moses. Gildas & Fred - Photo by Steve Worrall
Gildas on rhythm guitar lays down a nice foundation for Robert's catchy fuzzed up riffs that eat into your head and won't come out for days afterwards. Then over this, vocalist Gemma sings her heart out, with a slightly melancholic tinge in her voice that has the habit of tugging at your heart-strings and creating some genuinely moving and emotional music. The band can cut loose though as they prove on their choice of cover versions, the Goffin/King classic "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" and a stomping version of Martha & The Vandellas "Heatwave" that has the audience grinning and clapping along. The set tonight is a mix of those covers and a healthy selection of promising new, as yet unrecorded songs, including both sides of the upcoming single "Stay" and "Don't Look For Me". Then of course the excellent "74 Times" and "Summer With No Sun", and my personal highlight "Leaning On The Wind" from the "For The Waves" E.P. Unfortunately there was no "Waiting" but then again, I suppose you can't have everything!

The Travellers - Photo by Steve Worrall
The next day the band performed an acoustic set at London's best record store, Casbah at The Beehive in Greenwich, which I unfortunately couldn't get to, but judging from the videos I saw afterwards, it highlighted another facet to the band - that they can just get up and play their songs stripped back in that environment. It shows their skill and class as songwriters and performers.

The Travellers (L/R) Fred, Gildas, Gemma, Robert & Moses - by Steve Worrall
The new single from The Travellers is another Double A-Side, "Stay"/"Don't Look For Me" and will be released in October. For more info on the exact release date and news of gigs then please check out The Travellers official Facebook page. For information on the Checkemlads cancer awareness and support charity, then please take a minute to visit their web-site. Here's a video of "Leaning On The Wind" from The Lexington, for more videos of the show, including new song "Stay" please head over to the Retro Man Blog YouTube channel and subscribe.

For more photos of The Travellers at The Lexington please go to the Retro Man Blog Facebook page and hit "Like" for access to the exclusive photo album. We have also played tracks from The Travellers in two episodes of Retrosonic Podcast which you can check out at our Soundcloud page.

Retro Man Blog Recommends Part 1: The Sonik Seeds, Theatre Royal & The Atlantic Thrills

Theatre Royal, the Medway based band have just released their second album "At The End of a River, The Sea..." and there's an excellent new single to go with it called "Here It Comes". It's a really great track, an unashamedly bright feel-good number riding a superb guitar riff that conjures up Maurice Deebank's crystal clear sound with Felt. There's an uplifting chorus that Julian Cope in his old Pop pomp days would have been proud to have written. Listening to the single you can see why the respected BBC Music DJ Steve Lamacq commented that the band are "the paisley-shirted sound of the Medway Towns meets the West Coast of the States." You can purchase the album from the band's Bandcamp site.

THEATRE ROYAL - Here It Comes by Theatre Royal

The Atlantic Thrills play rowdy garage-rock for punk slime dance parties. With the galloping beats of '60s garage, the Atlantic Thrills make rampant rock'n'roll in the shadows of dark psychedelia. Simple but considered chord structures hold together heartfelt songs that range from snarling punk to surfed-out desperado anthems. Known for chaotic live shows and Bourbon soaked belligerence,  the band's  new single "A Day At The Beach" is out now on Almost Ready Records. Hailing from Providence, Rhode Island, Atlantic Thrills have opened for Thee Oh Sees, The Black Lips, Os Mutantes, Deer Tick, Vivian Girls, Those Darlins, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Bloodshot Bill, M.O.T.O. and more, check them out here.

Day At The Beach by Atlantic Thrills

The Sonik Seeds are lead vocalist Josh Boydell, brothers Lee and Josh Wade, and Jack Wakelin. Playing together for just 12 months, The Sonik Seeds are creating quite the buzz, having just landed a TV sync with one of the world’s oldest cosmetic brands, Rimmel London, which sees Georgia May Jagger go retro to the sound of the band's "English Rose". “The advert is being played in Times Square, on New York Taxis, Spotify – you name it. The last Rimmel campaign had over two million views on YouTube so the vibes from it are massive, the track's audience could be huge!” says Josh Boydell. The band formed in Leeds, writing songs and practicing in the infamous Old Chapel Studios in Holbeck, South Leeds. A chance meeting with George Moran (Miles Kane’s rhythm guitarist) set up by Tim Hampton of the Sheffield band ‘Bromheads’ meant that an almost instant friendship was forged between George and the band. All night studio sessions, vintage equipment and a producer with their finger on pulse meant that The Sonik Seeds have been able to hone a unique sound that derives from an eclectic mix, drawing influence from Hendrix right through to Miles Kane and anywhere in-between. Since then, the band have headlined the legendary Dublin Castle in Camden Town and their demos have received early support from BBC Introducing. And what do you know, Mr. Kane is apparently a huge Sonik Seeds fan! The debut single "English Rose" is out now on iTunes and you can check out the cool Rimmel advert here...but as the band themselves don't actually appear in the video, here's the great "I Don't Mind" instead...

French Boutik "Ici Paris" new E.P. out now!

French Boutik, the Paris-based pop moderniste soul stylists will release their new double 7" single on September 06th on the excellent label copaseDisques. This is the highly anticipated follow up to their stunning debut 7" "Les Chats de Gouttière" (copaseDisques 2012) which made quite a stir on the International independent music scene, receiving rave reviews: "Never has French pop sounded quite so good...Quite simply, it’s stunning" (Pennyblack, UK) - “This EP is a refreshing blast from across the English Channel" (New Untouchables Nutsmag, UK) - “The title may mean “ordinary cats” but this is not an everyday release” (Record Collector, UK)” - "As perfect pop music is timeless, this record is a must-have and not just for the retro fan" (Dynamite, Germany) - “a freshness of inspiration and execution that is good for the spirit” (Distortioni Net, Italy) – “impressive and delicious four songs are sure to arouse much interest (Nos Somos Las Muertos, Spain) – “Listen…and you will be conquered” (Scootitude, France) – “they deliver exactly what the doctor ordered – sensible pop for this day and age (Sussed, Ireland). We already played the title track of their debut single on our special Retrosonic Podcast episode looking at the contemporary International Mod scene - check it out at our Soundcloud site.

Recorded and mixed at Yeah!Yeah!Yeah! studios in Hamburg, the new E.P. is a tribute of sorts to Paris, but it's probably not something that the Tourist Board will be using to advertise the City. As across the four songs, the subjects covered include greedy landlords, cynical city planners, disgruntled employees, corporate culture and Metro strikes. However, on the English language tracks (I can't understand French unfortunately...) there is a humour in French Boutik's lyrics and a deftness of touch in the songwriting that prevents this becoming just another rant against modern life in a big city. The four varied tracks each have a distinct sound of their own, whether it's the soulful title track "Ici Paris" or the Spy movie theme guitar twang on "Pousse Au Crime", the swinging humour of "Kinki Allumette" or, on my personal favourite, "Facile", where they crank up the organ and guitars a bit and power along nicely. These four tracks highlight the band's consummate skill in melding their French and American roots with the Brit-pop Indie sensibility of Saint Etienne and Belle & Sebastian. There are touches of classic Motown, Burt Bacharach and Serge Gainsbourg and of course fans of those great Sixties Yé-yé records by artists such as Clothilde, Annie Philippe and Sylvie Vartan will find much to admire. But like the playful Japanese outfit Pizzicato 5, they bring all these influences up to date perfectly. Here's a great preview video of the new E.P.


The band will be playing some dates in September and October:

14.09.2013 - Le Lautrec, Paris
26.09.2013 - Amersham Arms, London
27.09.2013 - Brunswick Pub, Brighton
28.09.2013 - The Watershed, Milton Keynes
19.10.2013 - The Tivoli, Buckley
20.10.2013 - The Poetry Club, Glasgow
24.10.2013 - Sumo, Leicester
26.10.2013 - The Fiddler's Elbow, London
27.10.2013 - Brunswick Pub, Brighton

For more info on venues and tickets, and of course how to order "Ici Paris", then please check out the French Boutik Facebook page for more info or contact copaseDisque Records.

With thanks to Alex and Gabriela.


Saturday 24 August 2013

Introducing: The Mobbs "Stiff Upper Lip And Trousers To Match"

I got sent this great new album from Northampton's The Mobbs, entitled "Stiff Upper Lip and Trousers To Match" and it's a real cracker. You can probably guess from the album title that the band have a rather splendid Britishness about them, not only in their lyrical content but with an image to match, with their proud, but slightly dubious, boast that they have been responsible for a "250% increase in sales of cravats and moustache combs". When the opening track "Blast Off" screams out "Put the kettle on, have a cup of tea, put your feet up" you are reminded of the Tweed and crushed velvet smoking jacket clad Fallen Leaves and their on-stage PG Tips tea ceremony. But the album is not quite the genteel leather-on-willow thwack of The Duckworth Lewis Method and their cricket obsessed songs though, more like echoes of The Len Price 3 and their tales of the slightly seedy underbelly of the British way of life. The album positively bursts out of the speakers, crackling with a manic energy that sometimes threatens to spill out of control. Occasionally, it's not exactly easy listening as certain songs veer into slightly off-kilter melodies almost like The Membranes, and lead singer Joe B. Humbled's vocals can get a bit theatrical at times, taking on some of the characters as they appear in the lyrics. In fact he occasionally reminds me of Jello Biafra, errr...if he were played by Terry Thomas in an Ealing Comedy that is... 

However, it's probably this slightly out-there approach that differentiates The Mobbs from a lot of the more formulaic 60's influenced bands around at the moment, and this can only be a good thing, for example there are certain numbers that to me, again conjure up the Dead Kennedys manic Punk Rock. "White Collar Worker" is one of my favourites, it's a great track that starts off by lifting the riff to King Salami & The Cumberland 3's "Do The Wurst" and then bursts into a Wilko Johnson style stuttering and spitting guitar frenzy powered along by some great drumming from Cheadle behind the kit. Single "Ruby Sol" is for me the stand out song on the album as it has a memorable riff and chorus and some bubbling bass work from The Bishop. "A Damn Good Thrashing" is a swaggering two minutes of prime Garage Rock and "You Disapprove" highlights Joe's impressive fret-work in another short sharp song. So overall, it's a thoroughly spiffing long playing record in fact it's rather Jolly this track from their previous album says...

The Mobbs will play Billing Aquadrome Northampton on August 26th, then they will be in Montpelier, France on September 07th and The Vic Northampton on September 28th. Check out their official web-site for more details on gigs and how to order their albums and merchandise.

Introducing: The Romleys "We Love Everyone"

Here's the Liverpool based trio The Romleys with an excellent video for their debut single "We Love Everyone", which is as fine an example of catchy modern-day Mersey Beat as you are going to find. The band are Gary Eager on guitar and vocals, James Walsh on bass and vocals and John Currie on drums and vocals and they will be playing at The Lock Tavern in Camden London on September 01st. The Romley's will be releasing their second single "Hey Diddle Diddle (It's Alright)" on Heavy Soul Records sometime in September and the B-Side includes a cover of one of my favourite French singer's Jacques Dutronc's brilliant "Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi", so I'm looking forward to hearing that.

For more info on the band's upcoming shows and the release date of the next single, please head on over to their official Facebook page for news and updates.

Friday 23 August 2013

Morgan Howell SuperSizeArt Giant 7" Single Replicas Exhibition at Snap Gallery, Piccadilly Arcade, London

There is a great exhibition of Morgan Howell's giant SuperSizeArt 3D reproductions of 7" Singles on at the Snap Gallery in Piccadilly Arcade. Entitled "45 rpm", the exhibition runs until August 31st so if you are in London be sure to pop along and check it out - the Art is quite breathtaking. I had a look as I have been a long time admirer of Morgan's Art, and it is an excellent exhibition that's for sure. The detail on the singles is remarkable, from tears and scuffs, price labels and the odd bit of handwriting - Morgan can reproduce a copy of an actual single from your collection, giving it an ultra-personal feel. Here's some photos of my visit to the exhibition so you can get a good idea of the excellent pieces that are on display in the Gallery.

You can check out more about SuperSizeArt at the official web-site and visit the Snap Gallery site for opening hours and directions and also news on future exhibitions. We previously featured Morgan's Art back in 2011 on the Blog, and you can see the feature here with pictures of Don Letts and Jerry Dammers with their singles.

Saturday 10 August 2013

Introducing: Fuzzy Vox "Technicolour" New E.P. out now!

Fuzzy Vox, the Paris based trio, have just released a rather splendid new E.P. called "Technicolour" on vinyl and download. It's a really impressive record, positively bursting with an energy that sometimes veers into Hives territory, particularly on the one and a half minute Garage Rock blast of "Same Old Story". The title track "Technicolour" is a catchy, sinewy number that packs a real punch. Lead vocalist Hugo is a mean guitar player too and on "I'll Be Gone" he slams out some great riffs while his rhythm section colleagues, Nico on drums and bassist Gregoire, keep a tight Rock 'n' Roll grip on proceedings. "Hurricane" is a Bluesy stomp with a great call-and-response chorus and a quick-fire Who-style drum break that stops for a little mini-My Generation bass riff. The E.P. ends with a punky version of "Great Balls of Fire" which I can imagine being a live favourite at their shows. In fact from what I have seen of the band in gig photos and YouTube videos, they look like a really exciting live act. The band cram in a wide range of influences in their short songs from classic Rock 'n' Roll to Power Pop and Sixties style Garage Rock - but they also have a cool touch of Soul that reminds me of some of Little Barrie's better material. Fuzzy Vox have some gigs lined up in France including a show supporting Garage Surf legends The Barracudas in Paris on October 11th. Check out the band's official Facebook page for more details on dates, venues and tickets.

You can purchase the "Technicolour" E.P. from the Fuzzy Vox Bandcamp site, in the meantime here's the great video for "Technicolour" check it out here...


Thanks to Hugo for the photos.

The Jetsonics "EP Four" Out Now!

The Jetsonics have just released their brand new E.P. entitled "EP Four" on their own Volume Control label and it's available to download now on iTunes or Amazon. It features four tracks, "Never Been Here Before", "Seven Foot Drop", a re-recorded version of "Cruel Lizzie Vickers" and finally, a long awaited studio version of the band's live favourite "She Wolf of London". CD's will be available at the band's next gig which will be at The Six Bells in Brentford on September 13th.

Jetsonics Bassist Adam is a co-host on our Retrosonic Podcast and in the latest Episode we chat about the band and play a track from the E.P. check it out here...

Thursday 8 August 2013

Mattias Hellberg "Wait For The Morning": New single out now with new album "Gurimolla!" to follow in September

Mattias Hellberg has just released "Wait For The Morning" as a taster for his forthcoming album "Gurimolla!" which will be out on Moozy Music on September 11th. If you have already heard the last single "Coffee and Croissant" or seen Mattias live recently with his excellent band, The Fur Heads, featuring Swedish bass legend Nikke Ström from Nationalteatern, then you will know that the new album is promising to be his best yet. Here is the great video to the new single:

You can buy the single now, and check out his back catalogue at iTunes. Don't forget our special edition Retrosonic Podcast where we talk to Mattias Hellberg about his eclectic, genre-defying career as he finishes off the recording for his new album "Gurimolla!". It's a varied and exciting journey - from his early days in Karlstad putting on gigs in the college canteen for bands such as Union Carbide Productions to forming his own bands including the influential Nymphet Noodlers along with future Soundtrack of Our Lives members Martin Hederos and Mattias Bärjed and Free Fall bassist Jan Martens.

Along the way we discover admirers like Wayne Kramer from the MC5, Van Morrison, Ryan Adams and Iggy Pop and his numerous collaborations and side projects. These include The Solution with Scott Morgan from Sonic's Rendezvous band, Kanzeon, The White Moose, Jaqee, Nationalteaterns RockOrkester, The Hellacopters, The Soundtrack of Our Lives and of course Hederos & Hellberg. If that wasn't enough there are also his two excellent solo albums...

The Episode is generously soundtracked with lots of great music from a selection of his many phases. We're also honoured to have some superb exclusive and unreleased songs from his forthcoming album. You can listen to/download for free from our Retrosonic Soundcloud site.

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Eight Rounds Rapid "Writeabout": New Single Launch Party at The Railway Hotel, Southend on August 09th

Southend-On-Sea's Eight Rounds Rapid launch their new single 'Writeabout' with a free gig at The Railway Hotel in their hometown on Friday 09th of August, and it will be the very first chance to get your hands on a copy. The title track has never been available in any format prior to this single, which is the first release on Podrophenia Records and it's strictly limited to 500 hand-numbered copies. Support comes from the always excellent Tuppenny Bunters, and then join Podrophenia DJs Piley and Mondo downstairs in the bar for the aftershow party!

Piley and Mondo may be better known for their DJing and Podrophenia Radio show and Podcast, not to mention their joint gig promotions with me at The Railway Hotel for The Len Price 3 and TV Smith. Here, Podrophenia give us the low down on the new single 8RR single "Writeabout".

Photo by Paul Hughes

Who are Eight Rounds Rapid?
Southend's rising stars and estuary bred Rock ‘n’ Rollers, filtering Dr Feelgood Thames-Delta grooves through post-punk punch and new wave clout. 

Describe 8RR.
"Window-licking, channel-flicking, TV dinners, sniffing thinners, lotto-playing, fare-evading, shoplifting, jumble-sifting"

Where might I have seen 8RR?
Supporting Wilko Johnson on his Farewell Tour.
Supporting Thee Faction.
At Podrophenia live event nights.

Where might I have heard 8RR?
Previous single (Channel Swimmer) was played by...
Mark Radcliffe (6Music and Radio 2)
Gary Crowley (BBC Radio London)
Radio Podrophenia
Retrosonic Podcast

What do I need to know about the new single?
It's a limited edition 7" vinyl release - and the only format that "Writeabout" will ever be available on. The flip-side "Steve" is long-haul live crowd pleaser and fan favourite.

Check out The Eight Rounds Rapid Facebook page for up to date info and news. 

Photo by Paul Slattery
Photo shows Piley & Mondo in action at The Railway Hotel, Southend-on-Sea at the very first (and packed-out) Retro Man Blog/Podrophenia night with The Len Price 3 back in March 2012.