Monday 18 January 2016

The Senior Service, French Boutik & Of Arrowe Hill at The Half Moon Putney January 30th - Update

I'd just like to say thanks to everyone that has helped promote The Senior Service launch party at the Half Moon Putney on January 30th. We've had some great support including being part of the Independent Venue Week campaign. There's a real buzz about the gig as it will see the next chapter in Graham Day's illustrious music career and what with the news about the Billy Childish gigs and the Medway Legends Weekender in San Sebastian, this is a great time to experience some of that Medway magic! But don't just take my word for it, check these great comments out...

"Looking at that line-up of Medway magnificence it doesn’t require me to say much more than they sound exactly how you would hope and expect: bespectacled spy walks into a nightclub as a swingin’ 60s go-go soundtrack is played by musicians with a long streaks of ash hanging from their Players No. 6 as half-drunk jugs of Watney’s Red Barrel sit on their amps. If that doesn’t sell it, nothing will". - Mark Raison, Monkey Picks Blog.

"Citing influences of high calibre - Barry Gray, John Barry, Ennio Morricone and Booker T & The MG’s, you can certainly catch glimpses of them all here. 'Depth Charge' could have been lifted straight from of an episode of UFO or Space 1999, or incidental party music from a late ‘60s Hammer film. Opening with phasing that puts the Electric Prunes to shame; It’s groovy, sexy, psychedelic, distinctly British, unmistakably Day, and perfectly paced for a shimmy around the floor." - Debbie Sheringham, Muso's Guide Web-site.

With many thanks for the much appreciated support goes to Mark and Debbie for the above feaures, Carrie at The Half Moon, Ged Babey and John Robb of Louder Than War, Wayne Lundqvist-Ford at The Ice Cream Man Show on Radio Andra, Alan May at The Glory Boy Radio Show, PJ & Paul at Dirty Water Records and their excellent Gig listings, Artrocker Podcast, Gideon Coe and Mark Radcliffe at BBC Radio 6 Music. Please do take the time to check out the highlighted links if you can, these people deserve your support too, after all they obviously have great taste in music!

The Senior Service debut single "Depth Charge" is now available from Damaged Goods Records on-line store here, or if you prefer the good old fashioned way, you can pick up a copy at the gig. For more information, news, announcements, details of our flyer competition not to mention lots of videos and tracks from all three bands in the build up to the gig, please join in our Facebook Event Page here. Advance tickets for the gig at a bargain £11.00 can be ordered from the Half Moon here.

Joining The Senior Service on the night we are very pleased to have special guests French Boutik and Of Arrowe Hill - Venue doors open at 7:30pm and the live music curfew is 11pm but the bar will be open for dancing and drinking until 1am.

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Billy Childish London Gig announced & New 7" Single released on Damaged Goods Records.

The inspirational Medway Garage Rock legend, author and artist Billy Childish has finally announced his long-awaited return to the stage with a gig at The Lexington on Pentonville Road in London on May 21st with his latest line-up Wild Billy Childish & CTMF. The band will play two sets, an all-ages matinee kicking off at 3pm and then an over-18's only set from 8pm. Please note that tickets only went on sale this morning and already the evening show has SOLD OUT! Tickets for the matinee are still available at the time of writing but I can't guarantee they won't have sold out too by the time you read this. It just goes to show the overwhelming interest in seeing Billy play live again.

Thee Headcoats - Photo Copyright Paul Slattery
Damaged Goods Records have also released a brand new 4 track 7" vinyl EP by The CTMF entitled "A Glimpse of Another Time" which precedes their forthcoming (and fourth) album. The title track of the EP is a song about the scene based round Slim Chance’s Club at the Wild Western Rooms in the 1990′s (The club was out the back of the St. John’s Tavern in Archway, North London). The club later moved down the road to the Boston Arms. Billy’s  group Thee Headcoats used to play a regular monthly stint there, which explains the cover photo taken in 1991 of  Billy fronting Thee Headcoats with Bruce and Johnny on that tiny, legendary, wild west themed stage. The cover photo was taken by my Retro Man Blog colleague Paul Slattery who worked closely with Billy during that period. You can order the single from the Damaged Goods Records on-line store at this here link.

The New CTMF Single with cover photo by Paul Slattery
In our Retrosonic Podcast Billy Childish special at our Soundcloud site here. Retro Man Blog and Photographer Paul Slattery visited Billy in his Medway studio to chat about some of his musical influences such as Hamburg-era Beatles, Link Wray, Muddy Waters, The Voidoids and more and the effect they had on his own work. Along the way we discuss and play some tracks from a selection of his many line-ups including The Pop Rivets, The Milkshakes, Thee Mighty Caesars, Thee Headcoats, The Buff Medways, The Musicians of The British Empire and his latest band The CTMF.

For the Blog feature to accompany the Podcast which has some exclusive Paul Slattery photographs of Billy from throughout the years from the crowd at the Sex Pistols Brunel University gig in 1977 right through the various line-ups to the present day, please check out the link here.

Billy at work in his Medway studio - Photo by Retro Man Blog

Tuesday 12 January 2016

Hipsville Carnival A-Go-Go Weekender May 13th, 14th & 15th 2016 Line-Up Announced!

The line-up for the 2016 Hipsville Weekender has just been announced and mighty fine it is looking too! The whole event has moved from Bisley to Bordon & Oakhanger Sports Centre, Bolley Avenue, Bordon, Hampshire GU35 9HG and dates are confirmed as May 13th, 14th and 15th. I don't think the sleepy Hampshire countryside knows what it is in for! There will be free camping on-site and free parking for cars, camper vans and caravans and you can check all the accommodation and transport options at the Hipsville website here. The Sports Centre has a fully licensed (and cheap) bar open until 3am and there will be various food outlets and a vintage market on site too. Not forgetting all the Hipsville favourites will be present and correct - the vintage car and bike show, the Tiki Bar, gorgeous Go-Go girls such as Dottie Gooseberry, Venus Raygun, Alexandra Beat Girl, Celia Aloha and Wanda de Lullabies and marauding stage-diving Gorillas. Then we get to the superb line-up of international bands which include Retro Man Blog favourites The Jackets, The Baron Four and The Missing Souls, all three responsible for some of our "Best Gigs of 2015" and a host of other great acts such as Archie & The Bunkers from America, The Wildebeests, The Weird Omens from France and The Stompin' Riff Raffs from Japan, who do some strange things with a theremin!

You can still check out our Retrosonic Podcast Hipsville 2015 Special in which we chatted to Mr A one of the main organizers in the build up to last year's event, talking about the history of Hipsville and their monthly Weirdsville club nights and You Got Good Taste Podcasts. The episode is generously sound-tracked by loads of great bands who have appeared over the years as well as a few of Mr A's favourite tracks and it's free to listen/download from iTunes or Soundcloud.

You can search through the Retro Man Blog archives for lots of glowing reports, reviews, photos and videos of previous Weirdsville and Hipsville gigs from 2014 here, 2015 Day 1 here and Day 2 here, including some excellent exclusive live and backstage photos of Giuda, Les Grys Grys, The Autoramas and Kinoco Hotel by the legendary Rock Photographer Paul Slattery.

Here's a great video by Out of This World Pictures showing Hipsville In Space back in 2014.

Needless to say Retro Man Blog will be packing our rucksacks, donning the pith helmets and heading off on an expedition deep into the Hampshire countryside to file a report on Hipsville 2016! We'll also be previewing some of the bands who will be appearing here on the Blog and playing some tracks in future Episodes of Retrosonic Podcast, in fact you can hear check out tracks by The Baron Four, The Missing Souls and Archie & The Bunkers in our latest Retrosonic Podcast Episode 20.

You can buy tickets for Hipsville 2016 at the website ticket link here.

Monday 11 January 2016

Haertz "Them Jokes" featuring Kim Fransson (Free Fall) & Martin Hederos (The Soundtrack of Our Lives)

Martin Hederos in Atlantis Studios - Photo by Sören Carlsson
Here's a little P.S. to my recent feature on what the ex-members of The Soundtrack of Our Lives are up to these days. "Them Jokes" by Haertz is a one-off collaboration that started off as the brainchild of Producer & Lyricist Daniel Haeggström who was to secure the talents of Kim Fransson and Martin Hederos. Kim is the lead singer with Free Fall, the band formed by TSOOL guitarist Mattias Bärjed along with his ex-Nymphet Noodlers colleague and bassist Jan Martens and drummer Ludwig Dahlberg from The (International) Noise Conspiracy. Of course Martin Hederos will be well known to fans of Soundtrack of Our Lives but also as a hugely respected and in demand keyboard player, arranger and composer, having worked with such diverse acts as Tonbruket, Ane Brun, Nina Persson and most recently Sofia Karlsson, among many others. "Them Jokes" was an idea that was to take three years to complete as Daniel wanted only the best musicians, the best studio and the best mixing and mastering that he could find to fully realize the sound he wanted to achieve.

Haertz in Atlantis Studios - Photo by Janne Hansson
The track was recorded in Stockholm's legendary Atlantis studio which has hosted sessions from pretty much every notable Swedish band and artist from Cornelis Vreeswijk, Jerry Williams, Lill Lindfors and Abba to The Hives, The Cardigans, Teddybears and Lykke Li. You can read more about the history of Atlantis studio here. Daniel, Kim and Martin were joined in the studio by Robert Eriksson on drums, Heikki Kiviaho on bass, Hannu Kiviaho and Sören Carlsson on guitars with the Stockholm Strings and additional contributions from Linn Segolson and Calle Olsson. 

Martin Hederos in Atlantis Studios - Photo by Sören Carlsson
You can download "Them Jokes" from Spotify and iTunes and get more information on the background of the song at the Haertz Facebook page. Photos courtesy of Daniel Haeggström.

Monday 4 January 2016

The Soundtrack of Our Lives - Update on the Band's ex-members for 2016 with Photos by Nellie Selander

Ebbot Lundberg with The Soundtrack of Our Lives - Photo by Nellie Selander
It's going to be a busy year for fans of The Soundtrack of Our Lives who have been missing the band since their split at the end of 2012. Lead singer Ebbot Lundberg will be releasing two albums, one with his new band The Indigo Children and the other will be a collaboration with Nirvana and Sonic Youth producer (and drummer with Garbage) Butch Vig and various musicians that include members of Portishead and Spiritualized. You can hear Ebbot talking to us about these two exciting projects in our Retrosonic Podcast special here. 2016 will also hopefully see Ebbot playing his first solo show in the U.K. and we will be sure to keep you updated on all the news as soon as possible.

Ian Person is also working on his first solo album via a Pledgemusic campaign and this is due to be released in the Autumn with an E.P. preceding it sometime in Spring. You can join in the campaign here, contribute and get lots of exclusive goodies such as demos, videos and the chance to bid for various packages in the build up to the album's release. His superb collaboration album with Jerry Williams "Ghostrider" is out now and features ex-TSOOL bandmates Fredrik Sandsten and Kalle Gustafsson. The album is a kind of Johnny Cash style reinvention of the Swedish Rock & Roll legend where Jerry performs covers of tracks by bands such as The Stooges and Suicide. "Ghostrider" is available via CD-On or you can download it via iTunes. Ian and Fredrik also talk to us about their work with Jerry, their time in TSOOL and of course what they have been up to since the band finished in our Retrosonic Podcast special edition here.

Martin Hederos has been busy as always, not only as a member of Tonbruket and touring with Ane Brun but he has just released an enchanting Xmas album with Sofia Karlsson entitled "Stjärnenätter" which has been extremely well received in Sweden and is also avaialble to order now from CD-On. He has also played some acoustic shows with Nina Persson from The Cardigans recently and you can see some photos and a feature on the gig in Ystad in the Blog archive here. Nina and Martin will play at the beautiful Södra Teatern in Stockholm on February 22nd, tickets are available here.

Ebbot & fans at Slussens Pensionat - Photo by Nellie Selander
Mattias Bärjed has been touring with legendary Swedish Punk band The Refused while Free Fall has been on hold. He is also establishing a critically acclaimed reputation as a film score composer with work on successful Swedish movies "Gentlemen", "Upp Till Kamp" and "Call Girl". Here's another Retrosonic Podcast special from the archive when we spoke to Mattias before The Soundtrack of Our Lives' last ever shows at the Södra Teatern in Stockholm.

Thank you to Nellie Selander for the photographs. Nellie has a company The Nellie Selander Fusion which covers her main job as a make-up artist along with her great photographic work, you can check it out at the official Facebook page here or at the Blog.

Mattias, Ebbot & Ian at Slussens Pensionat by Nellie Selander

Friday 1 January 2016

Savages at The Boston Arms - Review & Photos by Sonic Yoof

Savages - Photo by Sonic Yoof
This is going to be novel, a straight rock gig by Savages! It’s only the second time I have seen the band playing in this format and I’m full of expectation. The previous couple of gigs being the rather brilliant broadcast gig at the Ministry of Sound when the band were on fire surrounded by the audience and then the sonic assault of the Savages/Bo Ningen collaboration that spawned the shared album “Words to the Blind”. There is no support band tonight, instead we get some tunes selected and broadcast by Johnny Hostile but no one really takes a lot of notice as we are here for the main act.

Savages - Photo by Sonic Yoof
The lights dim and the stage looks like a reminder of the Birthday Party. Black figures enter and white light picks out the four members. Jehnny Beth starts singing with no backing and then the band come crashing in, Fay Milton beating hell out of her kit, Ayse Hassan’s thundering bass beat and then a wall of noise from guitarist Gemma Thompson. It’s some unholy symphony otherwise known as “I Need Something New” a new song from the forthcoming album “Adore Life” and more new tracks form the opening salvo. In fact they play eight songs from the soon to be released album and on this showing we have no fears of the second album syndrome so many bands suffer from after the triumph of the debut platter.

Savages - Photo by Sonic Yoof
There are small influences of Siouxsie and Xmal Deutschland which flicker occasionally but the music is immense with new single “The Answer” already becoming a firm live favourite. Next is the first old song “Shut Up” which the entire crowd joins in with. “T.I.W.Y.G.” and “Sad Person” are more new songs and they just sound so powerful, then we get “Evil” but the gig is far from that. Jehnny has a charismatic stage presence and she has the audience eating out of her hand. “Do you want it louder?” she asks and the retort is an emphatic “yes, and faster too!”, the band oblige with another great song “Hit Me” then “Slowing Down the World”, Fay keeping a perfect beat to the guitar and thumping bass. “She Will” and “Adore”, which for me is the standout track on the new Album, are brutal and inspiring. 

Savages - Photo by Sonic Yoof
Old favourites “Husbands” sounds every bit as intense as that first listen and the Band finish with a triumphant “Fuckers” which sums up exactly what the Savages are about with the refrain of “Don’t let the fuckers get you down”. It’s a fitting end to a quite brilliant night with a group who are on top form and who know where they are going. With the next London gig being at the spacious Roundhouse I can see no problem with Savages making that next jump up to bigger venues, which will be a shame in some ways, but will mean a bigger audience which on this showing tonight they thoroughly deserve. If you haven’t ordered the new album I suggest you do, it’s going to be a killer!

Savages - Photo by Sonic Yoof
Savages - Photo by Sonic Yoof
Thanks must go to Sara Jane who got me the ticket but missed tonight after coming to a whole host of Savages shows since they first started - Sonic Yoof.

Savages - Photo by Sonic Yoof
For more information on Savages please check out their official web-site and Facebook page. Thanks to Sonic Yoof, you can see more photos at the Retro Man Blog Facebook page here.