Monday 28 December 2020

The Countess of Fife (featuring Fay Fife from The Rezillos) Kickstarter Campaign to Raise Funds for their Debut Album

Fay Fife is best known as the lead singer and performer with seminal Scottish Art Punk bands The Rezillos & The Revillos. She is primarily a singer, performer and songwriter and has acted in a leading role within all the bands and projects she has worked on. Fay has initiated two further music projects in the last 5 years. She is musical director, songwriter, lead singer and musician with Multi-Arts project ‘Shamanic’. She is also the frontwoman and driving force of new band, The Countess of Fife (eclectic, alternative country). Begun in 2016 as a song writing project, it is now a live/recording band. The band have started up a Kickstarter campaign to help raise the funds to complete their debut album. There are various packages on offer at various prices which you can check out here. Here's the lowdown from Fay taken from the Kickstarter page.

"Hi, I’m Fay Fife, and some of you may know me as the lead singer in the seminal Scottish Punk band The Rezillos. I’ve had a long career in music with a lot of experience in “the biz”, being the creative mover in The Rezillos and The Revillos as well as several other music/art projects. I’ve seen a lot of changes in that time, including the demise of many record labels and the necessity to “do it yourself” and "do it your own way", which I've always tended to do anyway! My involvement in The Rezillos continues, but I've also formed a new Alt-country  band, The Countess of Fife. It began as a writing project which has developed into a band with a singular sound and a growing international following. After 4 years honing our sound, we have a bank of tried and tested material - and some brand new songs as well -  that we want to record and release as a high-quality studio album, digital, CD and vinyl. We loosely locate ourselves within an insurgent alt-country framework with a feminist bite in the lyrics. The influences are drawn from diverse sources that illustrate my personal journey, and we nail our colours to the mast as something earthy, real, and rooted to life. We’ve been described as “like The Cramps crossed with Johnny Cash” and while I don't like to pin us down too much, it captures something of my Punk roots coupled with a real-life Country bent. 

The band is a great mix of youth and experience with me on lead vocals and keys, Lord Allan McDowall from Scottish Post-Punk country outfit So You Think You’re a Cowboy, on guitars and vocals, with a great rhythm section of Sir Thaddeus G Pycroft (electric and double bass) and Lady Nora Noonan on drums and vocals. We've released an EP of live material, but now it's time to hit the studio for our first proper recording!  It will be produced by the hugely talented, award winning music producer Jim Sutherland who has worked with people including Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Billy Bragg, Emmylou Harris, The Bhundu Boys and Eliza Carthy. He’s also created music for a wide range of films including the recent The Outlaw King and Disney/Pixar’s Brave! Our plans have had to be adapted due to the COVID 19 pandemic, with extra costs to be covered to be able to record in a way which keeps everyone safe but doesn’t compromise the end result. The decision to self release also means a lot of upfront costs. Hence this Kickstarter appeal. This is your chance to jump in early, with rewards including early access to download tracks, pre-orders of the CD and vinyl, T Shirts, exclusive tracks, exciting opportunities to see behind the scenes and meet the band,  and the chance to get your name on the final product as a backer. And you won’t have to wait long, we aim to have it released around July 2021."

Thursday 24 December 2020

Retro Man Blog & Retrosonic Podcast's 25 Favourite Singles & EP's of 2020

Here's our favourite 25 Singles and EP's of 2020, please click on the highlighted Band/Artist/selected Record Label name for further information and details on how to purchase the records. With thanks to all the Bands, Artists and Record labels for releasing such superb new music in this most difficult of years. Sincere thanks to our contributors Paul Slattery, Mayumi, Adam Donovan, Amy K-B, Ms Sheringham-Boom and all those who have supported Retro Man Blog and Retrosonic Podcast this past year, it is very much appreciated. Happy Xmas and let's hope for a brighter 2021!
2. The Limiñanas "Calentita"
4. The Courettes "Want You! Like a Cigarette" (Damaged Goods Records)
5. Fleur "Petite Homme de Papier" (Bickerton Records)
6. The Damned "The Rockfield Files"
7. Melody Fields "Broken Horse"
8. 5 Billion in Diamonds "Weight of The World"
9. The Colour Collection "Ne Décide Pas Pour Moi" (Bickerton Records)
12. Wire "The Art of Persistence"
13. Cult Figures "Lights Out"
14. Jetstream Pony "If Not Now, When?" (Spinout Nuggets)
16. The Go-Go's "Club Zero"
17. The High Span "Quirky Miniboss Squad" (Spinout Nuggets)
19. The In-Fuzzed "Lost Time Rock 'n' Roll" (Satellite of Love Records)
20. Ian Person "Forever"
21. Palooka 5 "Drive You Around
23. Keller Machine "Songs About You"
24. Draculina "Strip Trip To Miracle Cove" (MuSick Records)
25. Spizzenergi "Christmas In Denmark Street" (Holy Dotage Records)

Check out our Retrosonic Podcasts Episodes 38, 39, 40 and 41 to hear songs from most of the featured records. You can find our favourite LP's of the year here. Here's the final Retrosonic Episode of 2020 entitled "Nosferatu Elegant Debauchery". Turn up the volume and enjoy!

Retro Man Blog & Retrosonic Podcast's 25 Favourite Albums of 2020

Here's our favourite 25 LP's of 2020, please click on the highlighted Band/Artist/selected Record Label name for further information and details on how to purchase the albums. With thanks to all the Bands, Artists and Record labels for releasing such superb new music in this most difficult of years. Sincere thanks to our contributors Paul Slattery, Mayumi, Adam Donovan, Amy K-B, Ms Sheringham Boom and all those who have supported Retro Man Blog and Retrosonic Podcast this past year, it is very much appreciated. Happy Xmas and let's hope for a brighter 2021!

1. 5 Billion in Diamonds "Divine Accidents"

2. Oh! Gunquit "Why Haven't You Watered The Plants"

3. Fleur "Fleur" (Bickerton Records)

4. The Galileo 7 "Decayed"

5. Elephant Stone "Hollow"

6. Bob Mould "Blue Hearts"

7. Groovy Uncle "The Man Who Calls The Shots" - You can read our review by Amy K-B here

8. The Jack Cades "Perfect View" (Bickerton Records)

9. The Fleshtones "Face of The Screaming Werewolf"

10. James Williamson & Deniz Tek "Two To One"

11. Jetstream Pony "Jetstream Pony"

12. The Sensible Gray Cells "Get Back Into The World" (Damaged Goods)

13. Eileen Gogan & The Instructions "Under Moving Skies" (Dimple Discs)

14. Sparks "A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip"

15. X "Alphabetland"

16. Guided By Voices "Mirrored Aztec"

17. Eight Rounds Rapid "Love Your Work" (Tapete) - You can read our review here

18. The Nettelles "Do You Believe In..." (Back To Beat) - Read Ms Sheringham-Boom's review here

19. Ruts DC "ElectrAcoustic"

20. The Vapors "Together"

21. The Speedways "Radio Sounds"

22. Hederosgruppen "Storstrejk"

23. Human Toys "Spin To Win"

24. OHMS "Horizon Lines"

25. The Lurkers "Sex Crazy" (Damaged Goods)

Check out our Retrosonic Podcasts Episodes 38, 39, 40 and 41 to hear songs from most of the featured albums. Our favourite Singles and EP's will follow soon. Here's the final Retrosonic Episode of 2020 entitled "Nosferatu Elegant Debauchery". Turn up the volume and enjoy!

Sunday 20 December 2020

Retrosonic Podcast Episode 41 "Nosferatu Elegant Debauchery" featuring Baby Shakes, Oh! Gunquit, 5 Billion in Diamonds, Autoramas, The Len Price 3, Spizzenergi & More

Cover Star Wanda De Lullabies by Steve Vonlanthen

Welcome to "Nosferatu Elegant Debuchery", episode 41 of Retrosonic Podcast and it's another totally non-retro show featuring some more superb new music. As it's going to be our last episode of 2020 I'd like to say a huge thank you to all those who have contributed to the Retro Man Blog and Retrosonic Podcasts during this extremely tough year, in particular my colleague the 'legendary' Rock Photographer Paul Slattery, Ms Sheringham-Boom, Amy K-B, Mayumi and Adam Donovan. I still find it hard to believe that since the lockdown started in March, I've managed to release four whole episodes solely dedicated to brand new releases and I have nothing but the utmost respect and appreciation for all those Bands, Artists and DJ's that put aside the incredible disappointment of not being able to perform live and channelled it into some absolutely fantastic records and/or on-line broadcasts that kept us all entertained. Also, to the record companies such as Spinout Nuggets, Dimple Discs, Damaged Goods and many more that made a lot of the records possible. I also thoroughly enjoyed doing the twelve episodes of the Lockdown Lowdown series too and massive thanks to my very special guests, Damian O'Neill of The Undertones/That Petrol Emotion/The Everlasting Yeah, Mary, Judy & Claudia of Baby Shakes, Duncan Reid of The Boys/Big Heads, Raymond Gorman of That Petrol Emotion/The Everlasting Yeah, Buddy Ascott of The Chords/Fallen Leaves, Mike & Elsa from The Jack Cades, Leigh Heggarty of Ruts DC/The Price, Ian Person of The Soundtrack of Our Lives/Pablo Matisse, Allan Crockford & Viv Bonsels from The Galileo 7, Ian Greensmith of The Dentists/Armitage Shanks and DJ Jawa Jones of Wanita Music. All of the episodes are still available at our Soundcloud site here. I hope you enjoyed listening to them as much as I did making them. Actually, as the lockdown looks set to continue and I have lots more interesting special guests on the wait-list, I might well do some more episodes in the New Year. Finally, huge thanks and cheers to all the regular readers/subscribers/listeners to Retro Man Blog and Retrosonic Podcast, it is very much appreciated and I hope to see you at a gig somewhere, sometime in 2021. So, pour yourself a drink, turn up the volume, sit back and enjoy Episode 41!


Groovy Uncle (featuring Miss Modus) "The Man Who Calls The Shots"

5 Billion in Diamonds (featuring Ebbot Lundberg) "Weight of The World"

Baby Shakes "Sweet & Sour"

Oh! Gunquit "Attack of The Killer Cranes"

Autoramas "Boneco"

The Len Price 3 "Weekend Hippies"

The In-Fuzzed "Lost Time Rock 'n' Roll"

The Ace "Nosferatu Seduction" 

Jetstream Pony "If Not Now, When?"

The Dupont Circles "Everywhere Girl"

OHMS "Horizon Lines"

Keller Machine "The Sink"

The Nettelles "You Lied To Me Before"

The Know Escape "The Eyes of Angel Blake"

Eileen Gogan & The Instructions "More Time"

Dragon Welding "Lights Behind The Eyes"

Hederosgruppen "Protokoll För Bohemer"

Mattias Bärjed "Jakten På en Mördare Intro"

Ian Person "Forever"

Jonny Magus & The Bursting Bubbles "Melody Delight"

Dirt Royal "Lose Our Way"

Human Toys "He Said Yeah"

The Folk Devils "Forever"

Spizzenergi "Christmas In Denmark Street"

Please click the highlighted link above to check out more information on the featured bands and more importantly, how to buy their lovely records. This episode's cover star Wanda De Lullabies photographed by Steve Vonlanthen. Title from "Nosferatu Seduction" by The Ace. Retrosonic Theme Tune by Adam Donovan. Retrosonic Podcast has a valid PRS Licence. You can subscribe to Retrosonic at Soundcloud, iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Mixcloud and we are now at Spotify - please subscribe/follow so you don't miss an episode!

Friday 18 December 2020

Southend Punk Volume One: Excellent New Compilation Out Now on Angels in Exile Records

I received this great compilation CD in the post entitled “Southend Punk Volume One” which has just been released on Steve Pegrum’s Angels in Exile label. Steve also runs the excellent, comprehensive web-site and archive Southend Punk 1976-1986 and being a veteran of some of the bands featured on the album, is perfectly placed to offer us some prime cuts of local talent. I’ve met Steve a few times over the years and can vouch for his dedication and enthusiasm to local Punk Music. Southend is a place I know a bit about, being originally from Essex myself and having some old friends in the town and other nearby places. I’ve been to the fabulous Adrian’s Record Store in Wickford, attended gigs at Crocs/The Pink Toothbrush and of course paid homage to those legendary musical landmarks such as The Kursaal and Dr. Feelgood’s Canvey Island. I also remember when I used to go and see The Damned at places like The Lyceum and Hammersmith Palais in London, there was always a large following of Southend Punks at the gigs. The Damned were a band that the area seemed to take to their hearts. Then, as the Positive Punk and Gothic scenes emerged, I used to regularly go to gigs and clubs like the Batcave with my pals from Southend. I even wrote about local bands like Anorexic Dread, The Hints and Puppets Prey in my old DIY fanzine “Out of Step” and put out some of their songs on my cassette label. Many years later, I kind of rediscovered Southend mainly thanks to the fantastic pub and venue The Railway, brilliantly and enthusiastically run by Fi and Dave Dulake, and ended up putting on a few Retro Man Blog nights there with The Len Price 3 and TV Smith of The Adverts in conjunction with help from local Podrophenia Podcasters and DJ’s Mondo & Piley and Steve Pegrum also helped out with the promo too. On one night, one of the support bands was the superb Eight Rounds Rapid who include Wilko Johnson’s son Simon on guitar and I was chuffed to bits when his Dad turned up to watch. 

TV Smith with Wilko Johnson at The Railway by Paul Hughes

So, I was really excited to receive the CD and check out some of those bands who I often only knew by name and reputation. My favourites include “How Did You Know” by the Steve Hooker Band, mainly due to the pumped up R’n’B feel and the harmonica which seems to capture the very essence of the area’s sound. The Garage Rock vibe of The Vicars “Radio Roy” also impressed as does the closing track, an instrumental by the Armless Teddies that reminds me of The Damned’s “Smash It Up Parts 1, 3 & 4”. It’s also interesting to hear The Prey as here they sound more akin to The Chords and The Jam, slightly different to the band Puppet’s Prey that they morphed into when I knew them. The compilation aims to document as many of the bands as possible from the Punk rock era that emerged from Southend and its environs. Many bands have contributed tracks that are making their debut appearance on CD. The compilation itself emerged as an idea after the success of the Southend Punk Rock History website, with many people asking to hear these bands whom they hadn't had a voice for a long time. Steve launched the website “Southend Punk Rock History 1976–1986” in 2006, celebrating the Punk and Alternative heritage of this seaside town on the Thames Estuary. The Punk explosion hit the town hard, and being only 32 miles from London, Southend Punks enjoyed not only their own thriving scene, but were also able to regularly inhabit all the London and surrounding area Punk gigs and clubs. 

Steve Pegrum with Gaye Advert at The Railway

The website celebrates Southend's own experience of The Punk Years though, and with the contributions of photographs and various items of memorabilia from many local Punks, the site’s archive has grown considerably since its inception. The Southend Punk Volume One compilation CD is an extension of the site, and it includes 14 tracks by many of the main Punk bands that the area produced during the period such as The Machines, The Steve Hooker Band, The Vicars, The Deciballs, The Psychopaths, The Shocks, The Bullies, The Icons, The Sinyx, Kronstadt Uprising, Allegiance To No One, The Burning Idols, The Prey & The Armless Teddies. If successful, further volumes will be released. The CD comes with an excellent 16 Page colour booklet designed by Viki Vortex, which includes detailed text on the bands and rare photos and memorabilia and it provides an excellent insight into this special era.

With thanks to Steve Pegrum. You can order the album from the Angels in Exile web-site here.   

There are some features on our Retro Man Blog/Podrophenia/Southend Punk nights at the Railway up at the Blog archive now, click the highlighted dates below to find out more... 

TV Smith, Dick York and Andy J Gallagher at The Railway Hotel, June 22nd 2012

TV Smith, Dick York and Tuppenny Bunters at The Railway Hotel, November 23rd 2012

TV Smith, Eight Rounds Rapid at The Railway Hotel, December 7th 2013

Flyer for our first Retro Man Blog gig at The Railway

Wednesday 16 December 2020

The Len Price 3 Return with New E.P. "The Strood Recording Company."

Long time Retro Man Blog favourites The Len Price 3 make their hotly anticipated return with a brand new four song E.P. entitled "The Strood Recording Company". It's released on limited edition coloured vinyl only and is available to pre-order from here. We'll be playing a song from the E.P. in the next episode of Retrosonic Podcast, but in the meantime the band have also released a great video to one of the tracks called "Noddy Goes To The Pentagon", check it out below.

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Retrosonic Podcast Celebrating 10 Years of The Galileo 7 - Part 2: Allan Crockford & Viv Bonsels with an Album-by-Album Guide and Band History

To continue our celebrations of the 10 Year Anniversary of The Galileo 7, we welcome back Allan Crockford and Viv Bonsels from the band to discuss their impressive back catalogue. Allan and Viv give us an album-by-album guide, picking out some of their favourite and most evocative songs. Along the way we discuss their song-writing process and some of the highlights of their time in The Galileo 7. This episode features a selection of superb tracks from all six of their albums.

Don't forget to check out our first special Galileo 7 episode where Allan and Viv entertain us with a track-by-track guide to their 7th and latest release "Decayed". You can stream/download that episode at Spotify, iTunes/Apple Podcasts or directly from our Soundcloud archive below:

Don't miss out on future Episodes, please subscribe to Retrosonic Podcast on Spotify, Soundcloud, iTunes, Apple Podcasts and Mixcloud. For more information on The Galileo 7 and details on how to buy their albums and singles please check out their official web-site here:

Friday 11 December 2020

The Nettelles - Ms Sheringham-Boom Reviews their New Album "Do You Believe In..." (Back To Beat Records)

Being a resident of Edinburgh I’ve been lucky to see The Nettelles play most of their gigs here, and was certainly in attendance at their first and last shows. It was always a pleasure to see this band live because of their contagious energy in doing what they did best; playing trashy girl-gang garage-punk. In this small city they were the band I had always looked up to and the band I wanted to be in. "Do You Believe In..." (released on the Norwegian label, Back To Beat Records) is a fantastically put together LP; artwork by friends Danny Carr & Bruce Brand and the sleeve notes, written by Lenny Helsing, are a fitting tribute to singer/songwriter and guitarist Clare Campbell, who sadly lost her life following a long battle with cancer in August this year. With production by Russ Wilkins plus offspring and partners helping with vocals and photography and recorded at band member Angus McPake’s prestigious Ravencraig Studios, this LP is truly a family affair. Onto the music, and there’s a few choice covers inside the tangerine fuzz forest if you dare to delve in, notably a cracking version of "Get Off The Road" from Herschell Gordon Lewis’s 1968 exploitation flick "She Devil On Wheels" and ‘66 garage-snarler "You Lied To Me Before", originally by The Treez. For me, it’s their self-penned songs where they really shine, and sting. I honestly cannot pick a favourite, but if you like proper garage-punk, then you should go and buy this record because it will not disappoint. Songs like "I Don’t Want To Talk To You", "You Better Go", "I’m Over You" are full of attitude, and I know that Clare was a huge fan of garage big sisters The Brood and The Pandoras (pre-hard rock phase), and I can hear their influence in her songs. Tracks like "Wasn’t Meant To Be" and "Baba Yaga" are both angsty teen rants. The darkly psychedelic sounds (think The Red Crayola rather than Sgt. Pepper) of "The Incredible Disappearing Woman" clearly has a deeper message. Overall, it’s rollocking good Rock 'n' Roll, no frills and no gimmicks required. Get yourself stung!
- Ms Sheringham-Boom, December 2020

You can hear The Nettelles debut single "We Are The Nettelles" (released on Spinout Nuggets Records) in Episode 31 of Retrosonic Podcast. Listen/stream/download directly below:

All proceeds of the LP will be donated to Clare’s nominated charities, MacMillan Cancer Support and Girls Rock School Edinburgh. You can order the album from The Nettelle's web-site here or from the Back To Beat Records Bandcamp site here. With thanks to Ms Sheringham-Boom. Ms Sheringham-Boom is the bassist in Edinburgh's premier purveyors of Garage Rock, Thee Girl Fridays.

Sunday 6 December 2020

Retrosonic Podcast Baby Shakes Special - Mary, Claudia & Judy from New York's Finest Punk Power Pop Band on their Story, Influences, Favourite Music & their New Single with Damian & Billy from The Undertones

Photo by Nate Frohn
For this very special episode of Retrosonic Podcast we are very pleased to welcome Claudia, Mary and Judy from Baby Shakes, New York's finest purveyors of pure Punk Power Pop into the virtual studio to discuss the band's history and influences. We chat about what it's like in New York for bands during lockdown, how the girls met, what inspired them to form a band and their song-writing process. We learn about some of the great musicians and artists they have gigged with and their favourite countries to play, including a special section on their affinity with Japan. Along the way they pick some of their favourite and most evocative songs including those that played a part in shaping the Baby Shakes sound. Then, of course we concentrate on the band's own music, from their very first single right up to date with their fantastic brand new release, "Sweet 'n' Sour", a glamtastic 7" single featuring Damian O'Neill and Billy Doherty from their heroes, The Undertones. You can subscribe to Retrosonic Podcast for free at Spotify, iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Mixcloud or directly from our Soudcloud site below, so sit back, turn up the volume and enjoy!

Full Tracklisting

Baby Shakes "Love Song In Reverse"

Baby Shakes "Ooh La Love"

Baby Shakes "Really Really"

The Undertones "Get Over You"

Bikini Kill "Rebel Girl"

The Misfits "Where Eagles Dare"

Baby Shakes "Let's Go JetGlo"

The Incredible Kidda Band "Saturday Night Fever"

Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers "Let Go"

Slade "Gudbuy T'Jane" 

The Gymslips "Drink Problem"

Baby Shakes "Stuck on Blue"

Baby Shakes "Shake Shake"

Firestarter "Saturday Night (Is The End of The World)"

Carol "Funky Monkey Baby"


Baby Shakes "Wasurenai Wa"

The Starjets "School Days"

Baby Shakes "I'll Be Alright"

The Equals "Diversion"

Hector "Bye Bye Bad Days"

Jook "Crazy Kids"

The Rubettes "Sugar Baby Love"

Cock Sparrer "I Got Your Number"

Abba "Ring Ring"

Chron-Gen "Outlaw"

Tequila "Dime Que Me Quieres"

Baby Shakes "Cause A Scene"

Baby Shakes "Running Through The Night"

Baby Shakes "Sweet 'n' Sour"

Useful Links (please click on the highlighted link below for more information)

Baby Shakes Official Web-site

Baby Shakes Official Facebook page

Dimple Discs Records

Damian O'Neill & The Monotones

Retrosonic Podcast with Damian O'Neill

The Undertones

Poor Cow Bar, Tokyo

Surfin' Ki Records

Nate Frohn Artwork & Photography 

Profits from the sale of the "Shake The System" LP go towards the NAACP

You can check out the recent Retrosonic Podcast with Damian O'Neill from The Undertones here, where he also discusses working with Baby Shakes on the "Sweet 'n' Sour" single. Podcover Photo by Nate Frohn. Retrosonic Theme by Adam Donovan. For more information and news on Baby Shakes please check out their official web-site here. Here's the superb video to "Sweet 'n' Sour", the single can be ordered from Dimple Discs Records here. With thanks to Claudia, Mary & Judy.

Friday 4 December 2020

Killing Joke "A Prophecy Fullfilled" New Limited Edition Offical Book by Chris Bryans


Since late 1978, Killing Joke have been ripping up rule books. The original (and current) line-up of Jaz Coleman (vocals, keyboards), Paul Ferguson (drums), Geordie Walker (guitar) and Youth (bass) has been responsible for pioneering albums that have shaped music genres and pulverisingly intense gigs often likened to religious ceremonies. The band achieved mainstream success in 1985 with both the album "Night Time" and the single "Love Like Blood". But Killing Joke’s influence runs much deeper and darker. No Killing Joke no Nirvana, no Jane’s Addiction, no Faith No More, no Nine Inch Nails, no Soundgarden, no Marilyn Manson, no Metallica not in the form you have come to know them. This official release "A Prophecy Fullfilled" is an oral history of Killing Joke, mixing over 300 anecdotes from the fans known as Gatherers with a narrative by the band, other musicians and celebrity devotees. The book also features never-before-seen photographs, collectable memorabilia and fans’ pictures capturing Joke’s incendiary live performances. The book is now available for pre-order from This Day In Music Books here and the first 1,000 special edition copies come with an exclusive free "Wardance" (Liminal Twins disorientation mix) 7 inch vinyl single, numbered 1 – 1,000. Author, Chris Bryans can barely remember a time when Killing Joke were not part of his life. With three decades of experience as a journalist, writer and editor, he has worked/written for the BBC, The Observer and Time Out. He’s also been a writer and co-editor on "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die" and several other titles in the hugely successful "1001" franchise. But whatever Chris is doing, all roads usually lead him back to Killing Joke. There is no escape.

Photo from the first time I saw Killing Joke, Hammersmith Palais January 01st 1984.

Thursday 3 December 2020

Fleur - "Fleur" the Debut LP on Bickerton Records - Ms Sheringham-Boom Reviews a Contender for Album of The Year

Popping this much anticipated and fabulously packaged piece of vinyl onto my old record player for the first-time, kindles feelings of optimism. It has been a long year, and now we are into the darker end of 2020. Having lapped up Fleur's previous two singles, I knew that I was in for a treat with her self-titled debut album which is out now on Bickerton Records. Opening track is the uplifting "La Tribu Des Trompette", which gives rise to a severe case of hip-wiggling, oh and when that guitar kicks in during the middle eight, it lets you know that this isn’t just your standard ‘60s copy-cat affair. "Mon Ami Martien" (Fleur’s first single) is an easy-breezy two-minute pop song. Her martian friend, who could it be? It’s kitsch, quirky, and sunny. "Plus De Rouge" is just sublime. If I close my eyes I am strolling through Paris with Alain Delon on a pleasant sunny day (do not wake me up!). Unfortunately my schoolgirl French isn’t what it was, so I can’t fully translate the lyrics, but it matters not, because I’m whisked away somewhere else at the click of a switch, and oh my goodness, don’t we all need that this year? "Etoile Magique" evokes the ghost of Joe Meek, and he’s back to reclaim the song he wishes he’d made! That gently cantering rhythm, the otherworldly lowrey/clavioline-esque organ sound, coupled with Fleur’s dulcet tones, again making pop-beat perfection.  There is the obligatory kooky ode to "Monsieur Dracula", which has a bouncy rhythm à la Rhubarb & Custard. Ever wondered what The Electric Prunes would sound like with a female singer? Well now you don’t have to because "Moi et Toi, Toi et Moi" brings you just that; unadulterated psych-pop goodness. The album wraps up with Fleur's 2nd single "Petit De Homme Papier" and you can read about that here… In summary, Fleur, and her backing band Les Robots present a sound that is the musical equivalent of spring and summer (circa 1966 of course). Authentic yet modern, the reverberations of which fill my room full of sunshine, tulips, daffodils, and breathe new life into a very familiar sound. Even my cat Sandy is purring along! Outstanding.

- Ms Sheringham-Boom, December 2020


You can order the album from Fleur's Bandcamp site here and for more information check out the Fleur Facebook page here. You can hear a track from the album and Fleur's other band The Colour Collection in Retrosonic Podcast Episode 39. With thanks to Ms Sheringham-Boom. Ms Sheringham-Boom is the bassist in Edinburgh's premier purveyors of Garage Rock, Thee Girl Fridays.

Tuesday 1 December 2020

Retrosonic Podcast Celebrating 10 Years of The Galileo 7 - Part 1: Allan Crockford & Viv Bonsels with a Track-by-Track to "Decayed" & The Lockdown Sessions

Welcome to the first of two very special Retrosonic Podcast episodes dedicated to the 10th Anniversary of our favourite Psych Pop outfit The Galileo 7. Band-members Allan Crockford and Viv Bonsels discuss their superb brand new album of cover versions "Decayed", which is out now on their own Fools Paradise label. We go through the album track by track and find out the reasons behind the choice of songs and of course, give them a spin. This Podcast release comes with a bonus track not found on the album and a section on the Lockdown Sessions which saw Viv and Allan tackle even more cover versions for Kevin Younger's themed on-line open-mic evenings. These included songs by Katrina & The Waves, Haircut 100, The Stranglers, Robyn Hitchcock and The Dukes of Stratosphear and even the theme tune to Thames TV's Today programme! This thoroughly enjoyable episode spent in the company of Allan and Viv is soundtracked by The Galileo 7's stunning take on songs by The Who, Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Nerves, The Monkees, Pink Floyd, The Soft Boys, Julian Cope, Terry Reid, X-Ray Spex, Shocking Blue, The Stranglers, The Association and Haircut 100.

You can order the limited edition vinyl version of "Decayed" from the band's on-line store here or get a download version of the album from their Bandcamp site here. For more information and news on The Galileo 7, please check out their official web-site here. For loads of your favourite Medway Legends (often as you've never seen them before!) performing an eclectic selection of cover versions, please check the Mister Unswitchable YouTube channel here. With many thanks to Allan and Viv. "Decayed" album cover artwork by Darryl Hartley. Retrosonic Theme by Adam Donovan.

Coming soon - "Ten Years of The Galileo 7" in which Allan and Viv go through their previous six albums and pick out and play some of their favourite and pivotal tracks from each release. Along the way we discuss the band's history, inspirations and song-writing process. Don't miss out, please subscribe to Retrosonic Podcast on Spotify, Soundcloud, iTunes, Apple Podcasts and Mixcloud.

Friday 27 November 2020

Jetstream Pony "If Not Now, When?" - Ms Sheringham-Boom on Their Excellent New 7" Single on Spinout Nuggets

Jetstream Pony, a four piece from Brighton/Croydon, make a sound synonymous with my teenage years, when indie music really was indie, John Peel was god (kind of), and the NME was still worth the paper it was printed on. "If Not Now, When?" greets you with a bouncy bassline, lots of guitar-riffing, and is frustratingly short and (bitter) sweet. The opposing female vs male vocal style (think a post-punk version of Sinatra & Hazelwood) conglomerate to make this a refreshing shot of dopamine which will help to keep us afloat through the final months of 2020. From naturally induced neurotransmitters to the flipside; a cover of 20/20’s "Yellow Pills" which presents as a shambolic poppy-psyche slice of happy bunny kitty pony loveliness. Clearly, it’s not that straightforward, as the title suggests. JP’s take on this unofficial power-pop anthem (thanks Google!) is preferable to this listener’s ears than the original at least, and I’m off for a chemically induced dance around the kitchen. Whilst JP make undeniable nods to various nostalgic touchstones, their sound feels timeless. ‘Schrammelig’ as those in the know say. 

- Ms Sheringham-Boom, November 2020.

You can order the record from Spinout Nuggets or the band's own Bandcamp site here. For more information on Jetstream Pony please check out their official Facebook page here. Thank you to Ms Sheringham Boom. Please click the highlighted links for further information. Ms Sheringham-Boom is the bassist in Edinburgh's premier purveyors of Garage Rock, Thee Girl Fridays

Retrosonic Podcast Lockdown Lowdown Episode 9 with Ian Greensmith (A.K.A. Vic Templar) from The Dentists & Armitage Shanks (and much more...!)

Photo: Jokin Misterklin

For Episode 9 of our special Lockdown Lowdown series we welcome Ian Greensmith into the virtual Retrosonic Podcast studio. Ian, a.k.a. Vic Templar, Herbie Greensmith, Vic Flange or just Ian Smith is not only a man of many names he's also a man of many talents as drummer with Medway Indie legends The Dentists, Armitage Shanks, Ye Ascoyne D'Ascoynes, The Dirty Contacts, Sine Waves, Rubberman 12 and The Nuevo Ramon 5. He's also a DJ, one of the promoters of The Fratcave club night and Beatwave Weekenders, author of the hilarious semi-autobiographical "Taking Candy From a Dog", keen gardener, badger watcher and retired cricketer. So yes, you can guess that this episode is packed full of many fascinating musical memories, inspirations, tales and adventures and, of course, some bloody great music! Ian takes us on a musical journey from his very first memory of hearing Aretha Franklin in the canteen at Butlins in Bognor Regis (he was wearing a red cardigan with white piping at the time fact fans) to the first record he bought with his own pocket money, his first gig and first time behind the drumkit. We learn about the early shows with The Milkshakes and The Prisoners, discovering the MIC Club and some legendary Medway Delta names such as Billy Childish, Graham Day, Russ Wilkins, Sexton Ming and more. There's the stories behind his own bands including The Dentists, Ye Ascoyne D'Ascoynes, Armitage Shanks and Nuevo Ramon 5 along with a pick of the best of their music. Then there's a stash of great tunes from his DJ bag, the gig he would travel back in time for, his perfect LP and 45rpm single and some of his favourite bands that he has put on at his own Club nights and Weekenders. There are brushes (excuse the pun) with Buddy Rich, Mark E Smith, The Monochrome Set and Johnny Echols and the story behind his superb semi-autobiographical book "Taking Candy From A Dog". Includes music from The Dentists, Armitage Shanks, Ye Ascoyne D'Ascoynes, The Milkshakes, The Prisoners, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Sammy Davis Jr & Buddy Rich, The Fall, The Byrds, Love, Buzzcocks, The Kingsmen, Gary McFarland, The Monochrome Set, The Wildebeests, The Fallen Leaves, Ye Nuns, Ramon 5, Little Richard and The Allisons. So sit back, turn up the volume and enjoy!

Tracklisting (please click on highlighted links below to investigate further)

Aretha Franklin "I Say a Little Prayer"

Elvis Costello & The Attractions "(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea"

The Milkshakes "Shimmy Shimmy" & "After Midnight"

The Prisoners "Better In Black"

The Kingsmen "Haunted Castle" 

The Dentists "I Had An Excellent Dream" & "She Dazzled Me With Basil"

Ye Ascoyne D'Ascoynes "Favourite Stuff"

Ramon 5 "Amor Perdido"

The Fallen Leaves "Did You See Her"

Ye Nuns "Cuckoo"

The Wildebeests "Lucinda"

The Allisons "Surfer Street"

Love "The Daily Planet"

Little Richard "The Girl Can't Help It"

Gary McFarland "Fried Bananas"

Armitage Shanks "Look Out Here Comes Uncle John"

Sammy Davis Jr & Buddy Rich "Come Back To Me"

The Monochrome Set "Apocalypso"

The Fall "I'm a Mummy"

The Byrds "Eight Miles High"

Buzzcocks "Time's Up"

Louis Jordan "Bullitt"

You can buy "Taking Candy From A Dog" by Vic Templar from Blackheath Books here. Please check out the Facebook page for The Fratcave to keep updated on this and Beatwave as soon as things return to normal. Please do visit the excellent Spinout Nuggets Records for releases by Ye Ascoyne D'Ascoyne, Armitage Shanks, Treasures of Mexico and lots more Medway related bands.

Ian at The Marquee with The Dentists

You can also check out our other Medway related special Podcasts with Billy Childish, Graham Day, Allan Crockford and Wolf Howard at the Retrosonic Podcast archive here. Retrosonic Podcast is also available to subscribe for free at Spotify, iTunes, Apple Podcast & Mixcloud. With thanks to Ian.


Thursday 19 November 2020

Retrosonic Podcast Lockdown Lowdown Episode 8 with DJ Jawa Jones from Wanita Music

DJ Jawa Jones Photo by Damon Green

In Episode 8 of our special "Lockdown Lowdown" series we welcome DJ Jawa Jones from Monoloco Mixtape and Wanita into the virtual Retrosonic Podcast studio. Wanita is the Indonesian word for woman and is also the name of a night Jawa Jones founded and still runs in London. The night originally launched in Munich in early 2018 with the idea to promote women in music and offer a platform for female DJs to get more involved in the male-dominated music scene. The night was received positively in Munich and London, as it showcased female DJs playing an eclectic mix of music. Wanita focuses on offering female-fronted music from the 50's through to the 80's on vinyl, so it gives the DJs & listeners the incentive to dig & learn about female artists from different genres. 
Jawa enjoys digging in dusty old record stores searching for weird and wonderful music from across the globe, so in her Wanita Music show expect to hear a delightful mix of 60's R'n'B, Rock'n'Roll, Ye-Ye, Garage & Psych with the occasional 70's Punk all sung by fierce & sassy women. Here's the episode, packed full of DJ Jawa's eclectic choices along with her musical memories, experiences and inspirations...enjoy!

Here's the full track-listing, please click on the highlighted links below to investigate further.


Pink Floyd "Dogs of War"

Santana "Black Magic Woman"

L7 "Shitlist"

7 Year Bitch "The Scratch"

U.S.U.R.A. "Open Your Mind"

Beastie Boys "Sabotage"

Sandy Edmonds "Come See Me"

Ervinna & The Stylers "Get Ready"

The Gypsies "It's a Woman's World"

Rita Chao "Hanky Panky"

The Latins "Habibi Twist"

The Cramps "Human Fly"

Les Grys Les Grys "Gone By Dawn"

The Incredible Staggers "Go Go Gorilla"

Les Kitschenette's "Psycho!"

Amyl & The Sniffers "I'm Not a Loser"

LeGrand Mellon "Baby Please Don't Go"

Eileen "Ces Bottes Sont Faites Pour Marcher"

Girlschool "Nothing To Lose"

Recommended Links: 


Monoloco Mixtape

Soho Radio

DJ Honey

Barrelhouse Radio

DJ Jawa Jones will feature on Barrelhouse Radio please check out the Wanita Music and Monoloco Mixtape pages at the highlighted links above for information and updates on upcoming shows.

Thanks to DJ Jawa Jones and Damon Green for the Podcover photographer. Retrosonic Podcast has a valid PRS Licence. You can stream/download from our main site at Soundcloud but all episodes are now also available on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Podcasts and Mixcloud. Thanks for listening, please subscribe so you don't miss an episode!