Tuesday 24 February 2015

The Pretty Things "Bouquets From a Cloudy Sky" Definite Deluxe Box-Set Out Now!

For over fifty years, The Pretty Things have proudly, unapologetically and righteously scorched their own, unique trail through contemporary music. A half-century (plus) of the raunchiest rhythm and blues, of punch-ups, dazzling highs and epic struggles, of innovation and exultation, lauded by their peers, vilified by authority, a crucial influence on successive generations of acts, The Pretty Things make it to the mid twenty teens with mojo intact and edge unblunted.

The Pretty Things created some of the most exciting and innovative records of the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 2009, the band were awarded the Hero award at the Mojo Honours and the band have been name checked over the years by an array of artists ranging from The Clash and David Bowie to Aerosmith and the Ramones. Produced with the full co-operation of The Pretty Things to commemorate the band’s 51st anniversary, "Bouquets from a Cloudy Sky" presents all of the band’s official works plus rarities galore in a superb deluxe package. The "nastiest, loudest, most controversial and influential band the world has ever seen" has never looked or sounded better!

The Box Set includes:
• All 11 studio albums on CD in gatefold digi-sleeves, including 42 bonus tracks.
• 2 ‘Rarities’ CDs with 45 previously unreleased demos, alternate versions, live recordings, sessions and outtakes.
• 2 DVDs with new documentary Midnight To Six 1965 – 1970, produced by Reelin’ In The Years, plus S.F. Sorrow Live at Abbey Road, The Pretty Things on Film, promo videos and interviews.
• 10″ ‘replica acetate featuring ‘Defecting Grey’ full length demo and ‘Turn My Head’ (studio version), plus 2 other previously unreleased tracks.
• A lavishly illustrated 100 page hardback book featuring a comprehensive Pretty Things history by Mike Stax (Ugly Things), plus rare photos and memorabilia.
• Family Tree and testimonial posters tracing the band from Little Boy Blue & The Blue Boys and The Rolling Stones to the present day and featuring hand-written messages from Pretty Things past and present.
• Court case history - Excerpts from confidential legal files from the band’s battles to retrieve their rights and songs.
• Brand new art print by Phil May the original of which will be randomly placed in one lucky set!

"BOUQUETS FROM A CLOUDY SKY" is out now on the Madfish label and you can order it from their web-site here. For more information, upcoming tour dates and news on The Pretty Things please check out their official web-site here.

Saturday 14 February 2015

Dig The Fuzz Records - The 7" Vinyl Singles Club

Dig The Fuzz Records recently came to the Blog's attention and it certainly seems to be well worth delving into further. Here's some information from the label. "With a great sense of pride, we will shortly be presenting a prestigious selection of exuberant sounds from the tasteful talents that have bent our ears in recent times. The fuzz never really fizzled out and with vigorous endeavour and a salivating appetite for discovering new sounds, once more we strive to bring forth obscure and precious sounds closer to your ears. Our intrepid voyage into the musical abyss takes hold, searching for intensely explosive, enigmatic, exotic and exciting sounds in the subterranean styles of Freakbeat, Psychedelia, Garage, Punk, Stoner, Acid Rock, Dub, Electronica, Folk and whatever else disturbs the senses. Dig The Fuzz embraces every colour, creed and sexual direction from Uganda to Glasgow to Gogogogo n Madagascar. If we can find that illustrious ingredient to bends the senses, we will do our utmost to grant it a place on a round piece of plastic pressed with love...!"

All vinyl singles will be extremely limited to 199 to 250 copies, numbered and housed in a specially designed handmade sleeve. To guarantee collecting every limited edition numbered 45 at the special price of £4.99 each including additional music, free downloads, posters, flyers, videos, inside information etc. join the DIG THE FUZZ Singles Club for only £2.50 which you can purchase from the online store or via eBay. If you are not a vinyl collector the music will be available to download for £0.75 per track. If you are not interested in joining the Fuzz Club, each single will be £5.99 per copy dependent on what stock is available.

Here's a great video of one of the label's acts The Tribe with a cover of The Sparkles 60's Nuggets classic "No Friend of Mine".

Here's a message from the label along with little bit of small-print stuff. "Your Help, Your Support, Your Social involvement and input, is much appreciated, valuable, very welcome and also very important to the development of this club and unsung underground new music and a kick in the cogs of the overly manufactured music machine. All proceeds from the sales of vinyl are solely used to produce the next release. So please get involved too, & join the Fuzz Club. Dig The Fuzz Records stress that by no way or means are you under any obligation to purchase anything if you join the club, this is totally against our ethics and you are welcome to take advantage of the freebies once you have paid the small fee and joined the club, so if you’re struggling financially enjoy the cubs free music, videos & websites. Membership is a one time fee only & stands valid as long as the club continues running (thanks to your good selves). The current single price (Especially being limited press) may alter due to price increases enforced on us by production increases or government Tax increases. However our aim is to keep the prices as low as possible so everyone can play!"

Here's a Dig The Fuzz Records promo video that will give you an idea of where the label is coming from - tune in and turn the volume up!

Check out the Dig The Fuzz web-site for more details on their upcoming releases...

Thursday 12 February 2015

Great West Groove at The Brewery Tap, Brentford - Raw Blues from the West Thames Delta! Photos and Review by Paul Slattery

The Great West Groove - Photo by Paul Slattery
The Brewery Tap in Brentford is one of those superb little pubs which has been offering live music for over thirty years and long may it continue. Having survived the eye of the developers who wanted to demolish it against massive local public opinion, it goes from strength to strength. Blues is at the heart of pop music tradition and to see the blues played this well is indeed a treat. The Great West Groove have been playing together for some time and they play with passion and humour. It's also played on acoustic guitars, electrified of course, the sound is intimate for a small room and echoes that of the first electric blues players who played in someone's front room. And that's just where we are, it's the front room of a pub and that is what makes it great. 

Bob Hokum - Photo by Paul Slattery
Bob Hokum's vocals seems to have been honed in Mississippi rather than Brentford, or the West Thames Delta as it's known round here and as he launches into Muddy Waters'  languid "I'm Ready", and you are momentarily transported south, and then off to Chicago with Bo Diddley's "Can't Judge A Book" which get things moving right along. The band really comes together on Bob's own song "Django's Ghost" brilliantly supported on acoustic fretless bass by a nimble-fingered Steve King, and on side drum and brushes by Paul White who just adds that subtle touch of percussion that this small room needs. Also superb mouth harpist Paul Stewart from 60's band "The Others" has crossed the river tonight and boy, can he play. Then we get "Highway Shoes" by Johnny G, "Why The Hell Wasn't I Born Rich" another Bob Hokum classic and then the first half is brought to a storming end with Blind Willie Johnson's "Nobody's Fault But Mine", Paul Stewart's mouth harp providing us with some great flourishes. 

The Great West Groove - Photo by Paul Slattery
Paul White - Photo by Paul Slattery
This is a pub room gig, so you got to give the band a beer break but this seems to quicken the pace when the second half starts with the Clovers "Your Cash Ain't Nothin But Trash" and then they fly through Robert Johnson's "Walkin' Blues", John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom", and Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love" to rapturous applause and the sight of two couples whirling around the crowded bar! Well this is turning into a really great evening, the band are hot and the crowd love it. Bob's a great frontman, as good with the humour as he is with the guitar. I've never seen an acoustic electric bass before and Steve King's playing is a really unique style which adds so much to this bluesy sound. Guest Paul Stewart's mouth harp is truly mind blowing and Paul keeps the beat moving right along. 

Steve King - Photo by Paul Slattery
Paul Stewart - Photo by Paul Slattery
Then a couple of Bob's self penned blues numbers "All Play No Work" and the excellent "Gospel According to John Lee Hooker" bring proceedings to a temporary halt with wild applause, and the crowd just can't wait for the encores, so it's straight into one of my favourites, Robert Johnson's "Love In Vain". I've always loved those lyrics "...Well, the blue light was my baby, and the red light was my mind."  She gets on the train - he stays behind. Heartbreak which is often what the blues is all about, but it's not for long as the band crank into "Get Your Kicks On the A66", the Lake District version! This is really a truly great night, an intimate but thoroughly rocking gig in a small pub room - it really doesn't come any better for fans of live music. And big thanks too to Paul Stewart for crossing the river with his mouth harp. I can't wait to see them play again.

The Great West Groove - Photo by Paul Slattery
They'll be playing at Ain't Nothing But in Kingly Street, London on Wednesday 18th Feb as The Robert Hokum Blues Band which is the same band but with the full solid electric guitar line-up and full drum kit, and the next evening 19th Feb at The Sussex Arms, Twickenham, as the Great West Groove. Checkout the Robert Hokum Facebook page for more news on upcoming gigs. 

You can also check out what Paul Stewart and The Others are doing at their Facebook page here

Thanks to Paul Slattery for the review and photographs. All photos copyright Paul Slattery 2015.

Tuesday 3 February 2015

The Len Price 3 + "Pubmonkey" Movie Screening at The Railway Hotel Southend on February 27th.

Our favourite music venue, The Railway Hotel in Southend-on-Sea, will be hosting a very special event on Friday February 27th when they will screen the excellent black-comedy crime and booze-fest "Pubmonkey", followed by a live set by The Len Price 3. We first reported that The Len Price 3 were going to feature in the movie Pubmonkey back on the Blog here in November 2012, and after two and half years of filming, recording, editing and a lot of bloody hard work from Director Jean-Claude Deguara, Writer Jamie O'Hara and their team, which mostly consisted of an impressive number of family and friends, we finally got to see the completed film when we attended a private screening of the first ever showing of the movie at the British Film Institute on the South Bank along with the crew, cast and their families. It might have been a long wait, but it was certainly worth it, the film is a resounding success and testament to all those involved. I spoke to lead actor Phil Deguara after the screening and said how impressed I was that an Independent movie could look so impressive, "It's not really an Independent film" Phil said "as most Independents have some sort of financial backing and we didn't". The Len Price 3 provide lots of great songs along with incidental music to the film's soundtrack and also make an appearance too as featured in this video.

You can hear more about the fascinating story behind the making of the movie and The Len Price 3's involvement in our special Retrosonic Pubmonkey Podcast with the movie's writer/actor Jamie O'Hara and the LP3's singer and songwriter, Glenn Page. We are also very pleased to announce that the Podcast features unreleased incidental music from the movie's soundtrack. The promo video to "Swing Like a Monkey" above also features footage and characters from Pubmonkey and was performed during the last day of filming at the Antelope in Tooting, South London. You can listen to the Podcast below or download for free at our Soundcloud site or iTunes.

Check out the Pubmonkey Facebook page for regular updates, here's a trailer to give you a taster...

To book tickets please check the The Railway Hotel web-site or give them a call on 01702 343 194

Monday 2 February 2015

Graham Day & The Forefathers & The Len Price 3: Exclusive Live Tracks Featured on Charity Compilation from The Half Moon Putney, Recorded at Last June's Retro Man Blog Night

We are very pleased to announce that Graham Day & The Forefathers and The Len Price 3 each have an exclusive live track featured on a brand new limited edition 12" vinyl compilation album called "Live from The Moon". Both songs were recorded at last June's sold-out Retro Man Blog night at The Half Moon Putney and I can assure you that they are blistering versions of much loved classics. All contributions on the album were recorded live at the venue over the past year from a mixture of their regular artists, such as Dr. Feelgood, Eddie & The Hot Rods, Terry Reid and The Kast Off Kinks, John Bramwell (I Am Kloot) and some of their newer acts, including Du Bellows, Millers Daughter and the recently discovered Jazz band The Blue Mondays with all the proceeds of sales going to the Nordoff Robbins music therapy charity. Here's a brief explanation on Nordoff Robbins, but please do have a look at their web-site for further information on the great work that they do.

Graham Day & The Forefathers at The Half Moon Putney by Paul Slattery
"Nordoff Robbins is a national music therapy charity dedicated to transforming the lives of vulnerable children and adults across the UK. We use music therapy and other music services to help a range of people with a range of challenges such as autism, dementia, mental health problems, stroke, brain injury, depression and life-threatening or terminal illnesses, such as cancer. All of the people we help have one uniting factor - music dramatically improves their quality of life. We provide professional Masters training for music therapists, along with various short courses and workshops which are open to everyone interested in learning more about music and well-being. Our Research work is building the evidence for music therapy and helps us inform and train the practitioners of the future. We work with people of all ages - babies, children, adults, those nearing the end of their lives; everyone can be reached through music. No one course of music therapy is the same, because all the individuals we work with are unique. Our work is all about the relationship between the individual and the music". 

The Len Price 3 at The Half Moon Putney by Paul Slattery
Many thanks to Carrie and all the door and sound staff at The Half Moon Putney for helping make our Retro Man Blog nights so successful and enjoyable. Please keep an eye out on the Blog for news on our next gig which is promising to be very special indeed...! You can see the feature about the Retro Man Blog gig where the tracks were taken from in our Blog Archive here.

You can order the album from The Half Moon's web-site or give them a call on 0208 780 9383.