Sunday 22 March 2015

The Len Price 3 and Pubmonkey Movie Screening at The Railway Southend-on-Sea February 27th

The Len Price 3 at The Railway - Photo copyright Retro Man Blog
This was a great double bill at one of our favourite venues, The Railway Hotel in Southend-on-Sea. First of all we had the screening of the excellent British indie film "Pubmonkey" followed by a live set by The Len Price 3, who wrote the movie's score. Lead actor Phil Deguara and the movie's writer Jamie O'Hara, who also plays the psychotic debt-collector Bingo, were in attendance to introduce the screening and chat to people throughout the evening. If you are not familiar with the movie you can check out the in-depth interview in our Retrosonic Podcast Pubmonkey special with Jamie and The Len Price 3's Glenn Page talking about the making of the film and how the band got involved with writing the music. It also features some exclusive music from the film's score and of course a selection of other Len Price 3 tracks that pop up during the movie. You can listen to and download the Podcast free of charge from our Soundcloud site or subscribe for free at the iTunes store.

Phil (left) and Jamie introduce Pubmonkey - Photo Retro Man Blog
Pubmonkey is the story of how a drunken shoe salesman's life gets turned upside down. Eddie is the Pubmonkey, an amateur philosopher, chronic loser and Sinatra fan whose only discernible talent is entertaining lowlifes for free drinks. His life has taken a downward turn, stuck in a dead end job in a shoe shop, one morning he receives a phone call from an irate addict known as Loony Noonie. He accuses Eddie of stealing a shipment of cocaine and gives him till 8pm that evening to return it or he’ll kill his girlfriend. Eddie knows nothing about the cocaine or why his girlfriend has been taken. He decides to rally a bunch of people from his colourful past in a bizarre rescue attempt. These include an aging gang of builders collectively referred to as The Berts and an unhinged debt-collector known as Bingo. Will Eddie be able to get this disparate group together in time? Will Loony Noonie’s sanity hold out? But, most importantly, will Eddie be able to keep himself sober enough to make it through the day and save his girlfriend?

Photos above copyright Retro Man Blog
The Len Price 3 followed the movie with a storming set of their razor sharp vignettes on modern life, bursting with so much energy that the Railway's P.A. system was almost on the brink of collapse! Tonight's set was one of the tightest and loudest I have seen from the band and it included a choice selection of tracks from throughout their career. So, we are treated to a rare outing of the excellent "Dorolia", the B-side of their first single right through to an as yet unreleased new song "Nothing I Want", which will feature on their forthcoming record store day single. The Len Price 3 will be appearing at our next Retro Man Blog Night at the Half Moon Putney on May 08th, together with Graham Day & The Forefathers and The Galileo 7, you can buy tickets in advance from here.

The Len Price 3 - Photo copyright Retro Man Blog
A right pair of Pubmonkeys - Phil and Jamie at The Railway
For more photos of the evening please head on over to the Retro Man Blog Facebook page and hit "Like" (if you are not already following or subscribing) to access the exclusive photo album. For news on future screenings and gigs please check out the Pubmonkey official Facebook page.

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Retrosonic Podcast Hipsville Weekender Special Edition

In the build-up to this year's Hipsville Weekender, we are pleased to announce this very special Retrosonic Podcast where Steve from Retro Man Blog talks to Mr A, one of the event's main organizers, and the man behind the "You Got Good Taste" Podcast and "Weirdsville" club nights. Generously sound-tracked by many of the bands that will be playing over the weekend such as The Jackets, Giuda, Les Gry-Grys, Oh! Gunquit, Thee Jezebels, The Autoramas and many more, Mr A not only explains about his various ventures but also gives us a fascinating insight into the world of the festival and gig promoter. Taking his inspiration from The Cramps and the early 80's Garage Rock and Psych scene, based around venues such as The Hammersmith Clarendon and Clapham's 101 Club, Mr A tells us about his influences, the current bands that inspire him to put on shows and the other people behind the scenes who help make it all a reality. Never taking the easy option, Mr A offers a stage for many international acts from far and wide such as Brazil's Autoramas and Japan's Kinoco Hotel, who will make their first ever U.K. appearance at this year's Hipsville. We also find out the elusive and mysterious band that is number 1 on his Hipsville wish-list!

This special edition Retrosonic Podcast is available to listen to or download for free below from our Soundcloud site or you can subscribe for free at the iTunes store if you prefer.

Hipsville will be held at Bisley Pavillion in Surrey on May 15th, 16th and 17th and features 14 live acts, international DJ's, Go-Go Dancers, vintage market stalls, record stalls, an auto show and much more. For more information on all the bands and activities please check out their excellent and comprehensive web-site. Here's a great video with a taster of last year's Hipsville fun and games.

You can check out our Retro Man Blog archive for a feature on previous Hipsville's here, and our report on Oh! Gunquit and Les BOF! at Weirdsville here. With thanks to Mr A. Here's the Play-list.

The Cramps "You Got Good Taste
The Cramps "Queen of Pain"
Pussycat & The Dirty Johnsons "Trouble With The Devil"
Becky Lee & Drunk Foot "Lies"
The Felines "Daddy Walk"
The Jackets "Freak Out"
Sick Hyenas "Surf 'n' Blood"
Thee Jezebels "Cried Over You"
Les Grys-Grys "Hot Gully Wind"
Naz Nomad & The Nightmares "I Had Too Much To Dream Tonight"
The Cramps "Under The Wires"
Oh!Gunquit "Cindy's Got a Tiger"
Giuda "Number 10"
King Salami & The Cumberland 3 "Marabunta"
Autoramas "Lugar Errado"
Les Kitschenette's "Eh, Jolie!"
Kinoco Hotel "Peacock Baby"
Speedball Jnr "Beat Girl"

Monday 16 March 2015

The Galileo 7 "One Lie At a Time/God of Gaps" New 7" Vinyl Double A-Sided Single Out Now On State Records

The Galileo 7 have released a brand new Double A-Sided 7" Vinyl single on State Records (THS-018) entitled "One Lie at a Time"/"God of Gaps". It follows hot on the heels of the band's highly acclaimed third album "False Memory Lane" and is the first release featuring the new look line-up. Recorded in glorious mono, only 500 copies have been pressed, with an uber-hip push-out centre, in a simply wonderful picture sleeve - State Record's first since 2012's Suzi Chunk single. As an added bonus, the first 250 copies will include a 3-track CD featuring both sides of the vinyl and an exclusive track unavailable anywhere else! The CD copies will only be available direct from the band or label so place your orders here. It's what you might call a classic "Double A-side" single as both tracks are equally as infectious and highlight the band's strong points perfectly. "One Lie at a Time" is a storming head-on rush of a song with some Moon-like drums from State Records boss Mole crashing all around the fuzzed up guitar riffs by front-man Allan Crockford and Viv's swirling organ runs. It really captures the live energy of the new look band in the grooves of the vinyl and is sure to become a favourite at future gigs. "God of Gaps" is a bit more of a slow burner but it won't be too long before the melodies are embedded in your brain and it shows the quality of the song-writing is improving with each release. I know it hasn't been long since the release of the current album but I'm already looking forward to the next one with this new line-up, it should be something special!

Mole, Paul and Allan of The Galileo 7
Viv of The Galileo 7 - Photos Copyright Retro Man Blog
We'll be playing a track from the new single in our next episode of Retrosonic Podcast so please keep an eye on the Blog or sign up to our mailing list, follow on Twitter or "Like" on Facebook to be the first to get the news on the release date of that. The Galileo 7 will also be opening our next Retro Man Blog Night at The Half Moon in Putney on Friday May 08th. This will be a repeat of last year's sold-out "Medway Garage Rock Night" featuring Graham Day & The Forefathers and The Len Price 3. Tickets are already selling very fast and as this is an intimate show with a capacity of just 200 then we'd recommend booking tickets in advance, especially if you are thinking of going and have to travel. Tickets can be pre-booked directly from The Half Moon here.

Check out our previous Blog feature on our first experience of the great new G7 line-up here.

Sunday 15 March 2015

The Fallen Leaves, of Arrowe Hill and The Legendary Coffin Dodgers At The "New" 12 Bar Club, Holloway Road, London

The Fallen Leaves at the 12 Bar Club - Photo by Paul Slattery
This was our first visit to the new 12 Bar Club on Holloway Road and it was quite remarkable to see how quickly Barnet Mark and the staff had got everything sorted since the closing of the original, legendary venue on Denmark Street. It seemed to be a pretty seamless transition with barely a break in the 12 Bar's gig listings and they have certainly got their hands on a great alternative venue. The new place is certainly much larger, in fact there are three floors and a restaurant on the premises, with lots of space and bars upstairs and down, now the old 12 Bar had many great points, but space certainly wasn't one of them! There's a balcony overlooking a decent sized stage and a large pulpit-like DJ booth to one side and with the arched windows and mirrors it does feel like you are gathering for a prayer meeting. The sound is also excellent, something that despite the rather ramshackle appearance, the old place did also take great pride in. All those old familiar 12 Bar decorations, paintings and posters have been moved in and put up already so that, despite still missing the original location, I did feel at home.

Barnet Mark at his new 12 Bar Club - Photo by Retro Man Blog
Tonight, The Fallen Leaves blow a fond farewell kiss to the 12 Bar with a one-off version of their "Minimum R'n'B" club night at the new venue before re-locating to the St. Moritz in Soho. Starting things off were The Legendary Coffin Dodgers, dressed in matching black waistcoats and shades, who warmed things up nicely with a set of catchy and raw Garage Rock tunes - part Hamburg-era Beatles and The Milkshakes with a hint of Mod sensibility thrown in for good measure. The set includes a couple of choice cover versions such as "Heartful of Soul" and "Some Other Guy" and some originals that stick in the head such as "Ferretina" and the boisterous "Mitcham Goons".

The Legendary Coffin Dodgers - Photo by Retro Man Blog
Of Arrowe Hill kick off with "Whatever That Means" from their excellent new release "A Conspiracy of Clocks" which is fast becoming one of our favourite albums of recent years. It's a perfectly plotted collection of concise and literate songs that pack so many melodies and twists and turns into numbers that barely reach the three minute mark. The vinyl release is a work of art too, beautifully packaged and including a CD version, poster and postcards, it really is well worth investing in. The second song "She's Gone Off The Rails" I'm not familiar with, but it highlights singer, song-writer and guitarist Adam Easterbrook's admiration of Guided By Voices with it's strident chords and crashing cymbals, it's really excellent. There's also a touch of Pete Townshend's songwriting and guitar-work in this one and like GBV's front-man Robert Pollard, a self-confessed Who fanatic, Adam has no qualms of putting out songs in whatever raw format he feels fit.

Of Arrowe Hill - Photo by Paul Slattery
Of Arrowe Hill - Photo by Paul Slattery
So, the album has some real Lo-Fi recordings that seem to be captured at the moment of the song's birth nestling alongside full studio produced tracks. Live the tracks are brought to life by the impressive rhythm section of ex-Aardvarks band mates Jason Hobart and Ian O'Sullivan and on "All Roads To Quinn's" they lock into a storming disco beat that makes you wish the band might break the rules and stretch the song into a Prog-like (for OAH that is...) four or five minutes say! There are many highlights in the short set, but it was another unfamiliar song that really hit me, "You Wish (It Was That Easy)" which was a laconic, melodic masterpiece. The influences are varied, from the Beatles to more recent Scouse songsmiths such as Shack to the Californian psychedelic legends Love and the aforementioned Guided By Voices, Of Arrowe Hill are difficult to categorize and are all the better for it. Set closer "Cursing The Seasons" from the Hexadelica album, is another highlight of a thoroughly enjoyable set and then unfortunately it's all over much too soon.

The Fallen Leaves - Photos by Paul Slattery
There's no denying it's a bit of a shame that The Fallen Leaves and the 12 Bar are ending their long and extremely productive relationship, but the lure of their spiritual home of Soho was too strong and the band have decided to  re-locate the "Minimum R'n'B" club nights to another legendary venue steeped in Rock 'n' Roll history, the St. Moritz Club on Wardour Street. I'm sure it won't be the last time the Leaves play the 12 Bar but for now, here tonight, there's a slight bitter-sweet feeling of regret of what happened to the much-loved and missed Denmark Street site mixed in with the positive feeling around the new 12 Bar on Holloway Road. The Fallen Leaves are slowly introducing more new songs into their set as they prepare for the release of their fourth album, and tracks like "Lavender Girl", "Motorcycle Girl", "Prodigal Son" and "Funny World" slot in perfectly alongside those familiar and much-loved classics such as "Trouble" and "Shining". The Leaves never fail to put on a stunning show and tonight is no exception, so let's hope the move to the St. Moritz is a good one and even more people get the chance to see this unique band in action.

The Fallen Leaves - Photos by Paul Slattery
Thanks to Paul Slattery for the Fallen Leaves and Of Arrowe Hill photographs. For more photos of the new 12 Bar and all three bands, then please head on over to the Retro Man Blog Facebook page here, and click "Like" (if you are not already following) for access to the photo album.

Monday 9 March 2015

Graham Day & The Forefathers, The Len Price 3 and The Galileo 7 at the Retro Man Blog Night on May 08th at The Half Moon Putney

We are very pleased to announce that the next Retro Man Blog Night at the Half Moon in Putney will be a repeat of last summer’s sold-out “Medway Garage Rock” special featuring Graham Day & The Forefathers, The Len Price 3 and The Galileo 7. Since last year’s show all the bands have been very busy, The Forefathers released their debut album “Good Things” with a launch gig at 229 The Venue in London. The Galileo 7 released their third album “False Memory Lane”, re-vamped their line-up and will release a new single shortly. The Len Price 3, fresh from their excellent work on the soundtrack to the movie Pubmonkey, will release a one-off 7” vinyl single for Record Store Day. So, all three bands are at the top of the game and this gig is one not to be missed, especially as it is a rare chance to catch The Forefathers in such an intimate environment.

As last year’s show sold out well in advance we’d recommend pre-ordering tickets, especially if you are travelling, as it is highly unlikely that there will be any tickets available on the door. Tickets can be booked via the Half Moon web-site here or directly at the venue over the bar.

Graham Day & The Forefathers at last year's Retro Man Blog Night by Paul Slattery
Graham Day & The Forefathers are the crucial ingredients of The Prisoners, Prime Movers, Solarflares and The Gaolers extracted and squeezed into one stripped down power trio. Cranking out choice live cuts from four Graham Day-fronted bands, The Forefathers (triple) distil 30-odd years of high quality song writing, low-fi production and high energy performance to their raw garage-rock essence. After a handful of dates as the Prime Movers, Graham Day, Allan Crockford and Wolf Howard, now rechristened Graham Day and the Forefathers, are unashamedly pumping out the best material from all the line-ups, including the Prisoners, with an uncompromising verve and energy, undiminished from their earliest days. All of this was perfectly captured on the excellent debut album from The Forefathers entitled "Good Things". 

The Len Price 3 at the Half Moon - Photo by Paul Slattery
The Len Price 3 are an adrenaline pumped pop band from England, forged in the traditions of their Medway Delta roots. With each album and single release receiving glowing reviews and every live show leaving behind a highly satisfied audience full of enthusiastic devotees, The Len Price 3 are fast becoming a true national treasure. Expect a brand new 7" vinyl single to be released to coincide with Record Store Day, we'll be playing an exclusive track from the single on Retrosonic very soon!

Galileo 7 at the Half Moon - Photo by Paul Slattery
The Galileo 7 are a Psych-tinged garage-rock/power pop from The Medway Delta featuring Allan Crockford ex-Prisoners/Solarflares/James Taylor Quartet. The band are riding high on the praise heaped upon their latest album "False Memory Lane" and their new look line-up has upped the live energy levels even more. The band will soon release a brand new 7" double A-Side single on State Records entitled "One Lie at a Time"/"The God of Gaps".

Graham Day & The Forefathers and The Len Price 3 both contribute a track each to The Half Moon's "Live From The Moon" Ltd edition 12" vinyl album - available from The Half Moon website and over the bar. The tracks were recorded live at last year’s Retro Man Blog Night.

Don’t forget our special Retrosonic Podcast with Graham Day &The Forefathers, where we talk to Graham, Allan and Wolf about their illustrious musical careers and play a great selection of tracks from their back catalogue. There’s also the Pubmonkey Podcast where The Len Price 3’s singer/songwriter Glenn Page tells us about their involvement with the movie’s soundtrack and we chat to the writer and actor Jamie O’Hara about the making of the film. All three bands also feature heavily in our regular episodes of Retrosonic Podcast and in our next episode we will play the new Galileo 7 single and we also have an exclusive play of the forthcoming  single by The Len Price 3.

For a report and photos of last year's Retro Man Blog Medway Garage Rock Night check here.

Sunday 1 March 2015

The Fay Hallam Trinity "How To Be Here" New 7" Vinyl E.P. Out Now on Dr Soulmaker Records

The latest release by The Fay Hallam Trinity “How To Be Here” is out now on Dr. Soulmaker Records, it's a four track EP on purple coloured vinyl and is a limited edition of 250 copies only. The record features four excellent songs with the storming opening title track, which is much heavier than you might imagine, a short sharp shock that comes riding in over an organ riff that is reminiscent of The Doors' "Waiting For The Sun" underpinned by some fuzzed up slide guitar. Label boss Paul Phillips kindly gave Retro Man Blog a bit of background on the release, over to Paul: "The EP has so far proved to be a big hit amongst the loyal army of fans who have followed Fay Hallam’s music since those heady days of the early ‘80s when bands such as Makin’ Time, The Prisoners, The Scene and The Moment, amongst others,were key players in the Mod scene both through their vinyl offerings and their live gigs. For those in the know, Fay Hallam has consistently produced some of the greatest singer/song writing music in all our record collections with her groups such as Makin’ Time through various incarnations including The Prime Movers, The Gift Horses and Phaze right up until her current band The Fay Hallam Trinity. I’ve been a huge fan of Fay’s music since the early days with Makin’ Time and I’ve got to know Fay and her band over the years through the live gigs.

Photo by Steve Worrall
Last year the band put out an EP on CD format called "How To Be Here". This caused something of a stir amongst her diehard fans to the extent that there was something of a campaign on Facebook to get the EP released on vinyl. I have always been a vinyl fan since stealing my mother’s Jimmy Smith records as a kid growing up, and that might also explain why I have something of an obsession with the Hammond Organ. So, when I heard the latest EP on CD I immediately felt I had to try and help get it out on vinyl. Fay’s trusty drummer Kieran McAleer was also keen for this to happen. The recording of the EP was done at Yellow Fish Studios, the very same studio  in which Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey had recently recorded their album. Fay’s trademark intelligent lyrics, powerful vocal delivery, sublime melodies and Hammond sounds shine throughout this record. This is the first release on my new Dr. Soulmaker Records label. Due to the recent resurgence of vinyl it’s taken quite a long time to produce, as the manufacturers seem to be working flat out. I think everyone’s pleased with the final product though and I hope to keep the Hammond sound alive with future releases. This record has so far had some great exposure on the airwaves, featuring on Gary Crowley’s BBC Radio London Show, Ed Piller’s Modcast and Alan May’s Glory Boy Mod Radio Show. Copies of the vinyl EP are still available via the Fay Hallam Trinity official Facebook site. I might even still  have one or two signed copies available if you ask nicely! If you are a fan of the band please join the website as it’s the place to get the latest news on future gigs and maybe a new release in the not too distant future!" - Paul Phillips, Dr. Soulmaker Records.

The Fay Hallam Trinity at Retro Festival 2014 - Photo by Steve Worrall
Thanks to Paul Phillips