Friday, 30 July 2021

Channel Three "This Is London/Small Flat by the Sea" - A New Collaboration by French Boutik & Dr Bird Out Now on Static Wax Records

One of the things I miss about not being able to get out to gigs since the pandemic, is that every now and then you could be lucky enough to witness a very special musical moment that really sticks in the memory. One such happening occurred during a pleasant Sunday afternoon session at The Pelton Arms in Greenwich back in the summer of 2019. Serge Hoffman and Gabriela Giacoman from French Boutik were over on holiday from Paris and they teamed up with Bobby Tarlton from Dr Bird, Toby Kinder from Tiny Flaws and the DJ and percussionist Graham Lentz to entertain the crowd with a set of beautifully laid-back music. One of the undoubted highlights was Bobby's take on the French Boutik classic "Ici Paris" and in the true spirit of entente cordiale, he had re-written the lyrics as "This Is London" and turned it into a poignant, bittersweet tale of the gentrification of his beloved home-town. Luckily, I had my wits about me and recorded the performance, capturing it for posterity. I liked this version so much that during our special Retrosonic Podcast Episode with Serge, Gabriela and Bobby a few days after the show, I press-ganged the trio into playing it. Actually, looking back now I suppose that Podcast was the very first interview with what would be become Channel Three. For this is the name of the new collaboration that have just released a 7" vinyl single on Static Wax Records. It's a Double-A Side featuring Bobby's version of "This Is London" with Serge on guitars and haunting backing vocals from Gabriela and some lovely flute and organ floating effortlessly over this quite wonderful song. Then it's Gabriela's turn on the flip-side as she sings lead on her take of the evocative Dr Bird song "Small Flat By The Sea". If you've seen the trio play live together or listened to our Podcast for that matter, you can probably tell that the chemistry between them is so natural and warm, and this translates perfectly into the grooves of the new single. There's just one question left hanging though...could Channel Three treat us to a full length album one day in the future? On the evidence of this cracking debut single, I certainly hope so!

Here's a bit more info from Static Wax: "This collaboration combines the forces of Parisian "Pop Moderniste" style with a very English take on Mod Pop Soul to get results that should produce a rare point of agreement and delight ears from both sides of the channel. "This is London" combines a superb melody from French Boutik's Serge Hoffman, with lyrics decrying the gentrification of London from East End native son Bobby Tarlton (Dr Bird), featuring a melancholic flute, groovy organ, and a dance floor perfect rhythm provided by Brian Gosling on drums. "Small Flat By The Sea" sees French Boutik's Franco-American singer Gabriela Giacoman providing her hallmark vocals for a beautifully fresh and simple take on Bobby's original song, a Dr Bird favourite, originally released in 2018, once again ably assisted by Serge and Brian".

Bobby, Toby, Gabriela, Graham & Serge at The Pelton Arms in 2019
You can order the 7" Vinyl Single from Static Wax Records here and we'll be playing both sides in the next Retrosonic Podcast. Talking of which, don't forget the thoroughly entertaining special episode where I chat to Serge, Gabriela and Bobby about their influences, favourite songs and musical histories. Along the way we talk about the impact of Punk Rock and New Wave, the Mod Revival and Britpop - of political Pop songs, music genres, the differences between Paris and London's live music scenes and much more besides. Not only is there a pick of their own band's material but the episode is soundtracked by some great music from Tiny Flaws, The Stranglers, The Style Council, Charles Trenet, Nick Lowe, Popincourt, Billy Bragg, Etta James, The Kinks, Fay Hallam, Makin' Time, Supergrass, The Jam & The Prisoners and of course, the live debut of "This Is London"! Listen in below, or subscribe at Apple Podcasts or Spotify. 

Monday, 14 June 2021

Retrosonic Podcast Episode 43 "Kiss Me, I'm Vaccinated"

Welcome to Episode 43 of Retrosonic Podcast "Kiss Me, I'm Vaccinated" which is another non-retro show featuring 20 superb brand new International Garage Rock 'n' Soul, Punk, Indie, Psych and Power Pop releases from France, Spain, Sweden, Japan, Denmark, Switzerland, Ireland and the UK. Listen in and celebrate the creative talents and spirit of some of our favourite musicians, record companies and artists who are producing such great music in these difficult times. We kick off with the Garage Rock 'super-group' The Sanitizers, who provide us with this episode's title track and we spotlight Time & Matter Recordings with two new U.K. Subs related singles from Charlie Harper and Alvin Gibbs & The Disobedient Servants. There's The Limiñanas and their collaboration with the DJ and Producer Laurent Garnier and we play new releases from Jamie Perrett, Ian Kay and his former Missing Souls bandmate Elsa Capella. Then we have Mike Whittaker from The Baron Four's new project Paper Lips and some scorching Garage Punk Rock from The Jackets, Stupidity, Seeds of 77, The Routes, The Fadeaways and Las Aspiradoras. There's some classic Power Pop from Smiley's Friends and The Speedways and The Galileo 7's lockdown alter-ego Sounds Incarcerated offer up their take on a Punk Rock classic. Then there are new releases from two of our favourite labels - firstly Damaged Goods provide us with another immense wall of sound from The Courettes and there's a track from the highly rated Keeley's new EP which is out via Dimple Discs Records. We close the show with The Stranglers latest single, a beautiful and moving tribute to Dave Greenfield. I really hope you like this stunning collection of new music and I would kindly recommend clicking on the highlighted links below for more information on how you can buy the featured records and support these wonderful Bands, Artists and Record labels. Turn up the volume, sit back and enjoy!

Track-listing (please click on the highlighted links below for more info...)

The Sanitizers "Kiss Me, I'm Vaccinated"

Jamie Perrett "Masquerade of Love"

The Limiñanas & Laurent Garnier "Saul"

The Jackets "Steam Queen"

Ian Kay "Love Wasn't Built In A Year"

Elsa Capella "Good Woman"

Paper Lips "Up And Down"

The Courettes "Hop The Twig" (Damaged Goods Records)

Stupidity "Stupid Like Me" (featuring Keith Streng of The Fleshtones)

Las Aspiradoras "Chicoperro" (Hotel Records)

The Routes "Mesmerised"

The Fadeaways "Bad Dreams"

Seeds of 77 "Thief of Love" (Sounds of The Suburbs Records)

Smiley's Friends "Women Are From Venus"

The Speedways "Starry Eyes"

Charlie Harper And The Sub Machine "Post War Punks" (Time & Matter Records)

Alvin Gibbs & The Disobedient Servants "State of Grace" (Time & Matter Records)

Keeley "The Glitter And The Glue" (Dimple Discs Records)

Sounds Incarcerated "Gary Gilmore's Eyes"

The Stranglers "And If You Should See Dave..."

Retrosonic Podcast is available to listen/download from Soundcloud or you can subscribe and stream at Spotify and iTunes/Apple Podcasts - all for free! This episode's cover star Amy K-B.

Friday, 28 May 2021

Retrosonic Podcast with Saskia Holling on "Girlsville: The Story of The Delmonas & Thee Headcoatees, The Queens of The Medway Delta"

For episode 17 of our Lockdown Lowdown series we welcome Saskia Holling to discuss her new book "Girlsville: The Story of The Delmonas & Thee Headcoatees" which is out now on Spinout Publications. Saskia talks about the process of writing the book itself along with the history and legacy of both groups and each of the band members. We also find out more about Saskia, her own music with Sally Skull, Lord Rochester and Big Russ Wilkins & Lightnin' Hollings and her fanzine "Heavy Flow" along with encounters with Kim Fowley and the impact of seeing Poison Ivy of The Cramps. We then discuss the prejudices and barriers faced by women in music and the positive effect of the Riot Grrrl movement. The episode is sound-tracked by Saskia's personal selection of her favourite Delmonas and Headcoatees songs, a pick of her own music and some of her influences and most memorable musical moments. Here's a description of the book from Spinout Publications. "Following the arrival of Post-Punk in the UK, an explosion of musical wonders flourished in the South East of England. Two such wonders, The Delmonas and Thee Headcoatees added to the burgeoning flow of music from the Medway Delta; a current started by The Pop Rivets, The Milkshakes and The Prisoners. Fronted by women from the Medway area and beyond, The Delmonas and Thee Headcoatees are regularly labelled as ‘Billy Childish projects’, yet the women involved added their own stamp to the musical beat. Hear ye for The Queens of The Medway Delta! Here, we find out more about these women – Hilary, Louise, Sarah, Debbie, Kyra and Holly and just how their paths intertwined to create memorable records (without musical industry intervention) and just what has happened to them all since…Collated and related by Saskia Holling, herself a music maker (The Nettelles, Lord Rochester, Sally Skull, Big Russ Wilkins & Lightnin’ Holling) and fanzine writer, who is seeking to help keep women in musical history. Published under the Spinout Publications imprint, with front cover painting by Sarah Crouch (Miss Ludella Black), and packed with photos and contributions from key figures within the Medway Delta, and related, and beyond!"

Tracklisting (click on the highlighted links for more info)

Oscar Brown Jr - "Mr. Kicks"

B Bumble & The Stingers - "Nut Rocker"

The Cramps - "Human Fly"

Babes In Toyland - "Handsome & Gretel"

The A-Bones - "Take Up The Slack Daddy-O

Sally Skull - "You Better Go"

Thee Headcoatees - "Wild Man"

The Delmonas - "Wo' Now"

The Go-Go's - "We Got The Beat"

The Raincoats - "Fairytale In The Supermarket"

The Delmonas - "Black Ludella"

The Delmonas - "Farmer John"

Thee Headcoatees - "The First Plane Home"

Thee Headcoatees - "Teenage Kicks"

The A-Lines - "Nothing Personal"

Miss Ludella Black - "You Don't Know Right From Wrong"

Ye Nuns - "Higgle-Dy-Piggle-Dy"

Holly Golightly & The Broke-Offs - "Burn Your Fun"

The Nettelles - "I Don't Want To Talk To You"

Lord Rochester - "Don't Understand"

Sally Skull with Big Russ & Lightnin' Holling - "Sentimental Tuesday"

Skinned Teen - "Dancing Alice"  

Links & Credits

"Girlsville" can be bought directly from Spinout Publications at their on-line store here. The book is dedicated to the memory of Claire Scrivener of Sally Skull and The Nettelles and any kind donations would be greatly appreciated to either Maggie's Edinburgh or Girls Rock School Edinburgh. For Ms Sheringham-Boom's review of "Girlsville" please check out the feature here. Saskia has set up a new "Girlsville" Facebook page to share information on the book along with archive material of The Delmonas and Thee Headcoatees, you can check the page out here. Loads of lovely Delmonas, Headcoatees and Billy Childish records can be ordered from Damaged Goods Records and you can check out our Retrosonic Podcast with label boss Ian here. Our Podcast with Billy Childish can be found at our Soundcloud site here. With thanks to Saskia & Ms Sheringham-Boom. Retrosonic theme tune by Adam Donovan. You can subscribe to Retrosonic Podcast for free at Soundcloud, Spotify or Apple Podcasts/iTunes.

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Retrosonic Podcast Lockdown Lowdown Episode 16 with Gaye (Advert) Black

For the latest episode of our Lockdown Lowdown Podcast series we welcome former bassist with The Adverts, Gaye Black into the virtual Retrosonic studio to discuss her life in Music and Art. In this thoroughly entertaining episode, Gaye takes us on a musical journey from growing up in a small town in north Devon and discovering music for the first time to buying her first record. We then discover what lured her into Rock 'n' Roll and what inspired her to play the bass. There are tales of her experiences of moving to London, being right at the heart of the early Punk Rock explosion and of course her time with The Adverts. This leads onto the bands and the characters she met and toured with along the way such as Iggy Pop, Lemmy and The Damned. We also cover her DJ'ing and the inspirations on her own Art as well as curating Art Exhibitions and working on the artwork for record covers by U.K. Subs bassist Alvin Gibbs. The episode is sound-tracked by Gaye's personal selection of her favourite songs from The Adverts and some of Gaye's most inspirational musical moments including Black Sabbath, Rolling Stones, The Stranglers, The Damned, The Beatles, Mayhem, Motorhead, The Phobics, Mayhem, Turbonegro, Cyanide Pills, The Men Who Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing, Iggy Pop, The Stooges, A Place To Bury Strangers, U.K. Subs and the Fireball XL5 Theme...! So, crank up the volume, sit back and enjoy!

Track-listing (click on the highlighted band name for further information)

The Beatles "She Loves You"

Don Spencer "Theme From Fireball XL5"

The Rolling Stones "19th Nervous Breakdown"

Black Sabbath "Paranoid"

The Adverts "Gary Gilmore's Eyes"

The Stranglers "Walk On By"

The Adverts "One Chord Wonders"

The Adverts "Bored Teenagers"

Motorhead "Motorhead"

The Damned "Neat Neat Neat"

Iggy Pop "Lust For Life"

Iggy Pop "Tonight"

The Adverts "Love Songs"

The Adverts "Great British Mistake"

Mayhem "Freezing Moon"

Turbonegro "Are You Ready (For Some Darkness)"

The Phobics "When You're Dead"

Ramones "Teenage Lobotomy"

The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing "Victoria's Secret"

Iggy & The Stooges "Search & Destroy"

Cyanide Pills "Suicide Bomber"

A Place To Bury Strangers "I Know I'll See You"

U.K. Subs "Warhead"

With many thanks to Gaye. For further information on Gaye's Artwork please check out her official Gaye Black Art web-site here. Retrosonic theme tune by Adam Donovan. Podcover photos and artwork by Minna Waring (top left), Retro Man Blog & Gaye Black. You can subscribe to Retrosonic Podcast for free at Soundcloud, Spotify or Apple Podcasts/iTunes

Correction from Gaye: "I meant the Marquee, not the 100 Club when I was talking about The Stranglers!" (22mins:23secs)

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Retrosonic Podcast with Inge Johansson on Gatuplan, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, CSS, Imperial State Electric & Much More...

For the latest episode of our special Lockdown Lowdown series we welcome former bassist with The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Inge Johansson into the virtual Retrosonic studio to discuss the excellent debut album "Kampen Går Vidare!" by his new solo project Gatuplan. In this thoroughly entertaining chat, Inge takes on a musical journey from the isolation of growing up in a small town in the north of Sweden to finding hope and creative inspiration in the music of Heavy Metal and Punk Rock. There are tales of his first forays into becoming a musician and the early influences on his bass playing. This leads onto touring and recording with acts as diverse as Totalt Jävla Mörker, CSS, Nicke Andersson's Imperial State Electric, Cryssis and The Most and Inge cheerfully recounts his time spent with each of these bands and the characters he met and worked with along the way. Of course we cover his time with The (International) Noise Conspiracy and of running Ny Våg, a record label and club night with frontman Dennis Lyxzén. The episode is sound-tracked by superb songs from each of the featured bands along with a selection of some of Inge's most inspirational musical moments from Kiss, Black Sabbath, The Exploited, Chumbawamba and The Specials. Of course, we also concentrate on Gatuplan and Inge explains the story behind the project, introduces his new bandmates and confesses the somewhat surprising influence behind the choice of band name. So, crank up the volume, sit back and enjoy!

Tracklisting (please click highlighted links for more information)

Gatuplan "Skandinistas"

Gatuplan "Millennial Blues"

Kiss "Heaven's On Fire"

The Exploited "The Massacre"

The (International) Noise Conspiracy "Up For Sale"

Black Sabbath "War Pigs"

Totalt Jävla Mörker "Under Sions Kalla Stjärna"

The (International) Noise Conspiracy "Hiroshima Mon Amour"

 The (International) Noise Conspiracy "Black Mask"

The (International) Noise Conspiracy "Capitalism Stole My Virginity"

CSS "City Grrl"

Imperial State Electric "Deride & Conquer"

The Most "Really Good"

Cryssis "Time of Our Lives"

Gatuplan "Min Revolution"

The Specials "Nite Klub"

Gatuplan "Dee Dee Ramone"

Chumbawamba "Give The Anarchist a Cigarette"

Gatuplan "Cashen Dom Tas"

With many thanks to Inge. Retrosonic theme tune by Adam Donovan. Podcover photo by Diego Aldabaldetrecu. You can order the Gatuplan album "Kampen Går Vidare!" and 7" singles from Sound Pollution Records here and check out more info on the band at their official Facebook page here. Subscribe to Retrosonic Podcast at Soundcloud, Spotify or Apple Podcasts/iTunes.

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Girlsville: The Story of The Delmonas & The Headcoatees - The Queens of the Medway Delta by Saskia Holling (Spinout Publications) Review by Ms Sheringham-Boom


I have been waiting for this book "Girlsville" for what seems like forever so I was over the moon to find a copy dropping through the letterbox a few weeks ago. Before I go any further, I should declare that I was asked to contribute to the book by the author Saskia Holling. I was thrilled to be asked and it was an absolute honour to be part of a book that so badly needed to be written. Saskia had mentioned that she was in the process of writing a book about women involved in the Medway music scene, one of the main reasons being that unfortunately these women had mostly been ignored or only briefly covered by previous authors. For example, "The Kids Are All Square - Medway Punk and Beyond 1977-85" (pre-Headcoatees times) by Bob Collins & Ian Snowball does mention The Delmonas somewhat in passing yet none of the female voices of the band are heard, Maybe they weren’t asked to contribute, who knows? I haven’t read "Do It Yourself: A History of Music in Medway" by Stephen H Morris, so can’t comment on that, but have sadly heard similar things said. Time to put that right? You bet. Saskia herself has been involved in music since the 1990’s and the book gives the reader a glimpse into her own musical life having made her escape from a small Scottish island to form her Riot Grrl band Sally Skull. She then went onto Lord Rochester and Big Russ & Lightnin' Hollins (with her partner Russ Wilkins of The Milkshakes and The Wildebeests) and latterly The Nettelles. Indeed, not a musical heritage to be sniffed at. 

Sarah (Ludella Black) on stage with Billy Childish & CTMF in 2016

Here she relates the stories of the women of two of the most important bands in post-1960's U.K. Garage & Beat history, The Delmonas and Thee Headcoatees. Meet Hilary, Louise, Sarah, Debbie, Holly and Kyra. The story of these wonderful women (told in two parts) is warm, amusing, dark, joyous, and lots in-between. Saskia has clearly gained the trust of these women and there is a stark similarity in their musical experiences. The frustration, the not being heard and to a certain extent of being controlled. Regrets and resentments can be expected, such is band life. I shed tears when I read these stories because there was a side of their musical lives that I had not anticipated. They were and always will be so much more than the sum of a Billy Childish project. Saskia has evidently carried out her research very thoroughly and has firmly put their stories into context by including musical reviews from those times, not only reviews of their bands, but of a wider variety of female musicians. It clearly shows the pervading misogyny of the male music 'journos' of that era and whatever one’s musical tastes, it makes for very uncomfortable reading. I’m happy that these women found their own ways of being creative. They have all since (and with Debbie The X-Men before) blessed us with numerous musical treasures such as The A-Lines, Ye Nuns, and The Buffets (to name a few) as well as Holly, Sarah and Kyra’s solo careers, in fact a new recording from Kyra is in the offing which is certainly something to get excited about. From start to finish "Girlsville" is an unputdownable read and I must mention the striking cover art provided by Sarah Crouch. Props also to Saskia for including a comprehensive discography, links and references and the book features many previously unseen photos of the band on and off stage, record covers and more.

Kyra on stage with Billy Childish & CTMF in 2016

With many thanks to Ms Sheringham-Boom. Ms Sheringham-Boom is the bassist in Edinburgh's premier purveyors of Garage Rock, Thee Girl Fridays. The book is the first from our friends over at Spinout Publications and you can buy a copy directly from them at their on-line store here. For your listening pleasure don't forget our Medway music related Retrosonic Podcast interview specials with Billy Childish, Ian Greensmith (Vic Templar), Graham Day, Wolf Howard, Allan Crockford & Viv Bonsels of The Galileo 7 and Ian Ballard from Damaged Goods Records. All episodes can be downloaded at our Soundcloud site or streamed/listened to at Spotify or Apple Podcasts all for free.

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Retrosonic Podcast Episode 42 "The After-Party After The Party From Hell"

Welcome to Episode 42 of Retrosonic Podcast entitled "The After-Party After The Party From Hell" which is another non-retro show featuring 19 Brexit-busting brand new International releases from Brazil, Italy, France, Canada, America, UK, Portugal, Ireland, Berlin and of course, the Medway Delta! Listen in and celebrate the creative talents and spirit of some of our favourite musicians, record companies and artists who are producing such great music in these difficult times. In this episode we spotlight the new Vinyl Singles Club from our good friends at Spinout Nuggets Records with The Embrooks, The Pastel Waves, The Link Quartet and The Hannah Barberas (who provide this episode's title). Then there are cracking exclusives from Les Envahisseurs, new singles, E.P. and album tracks from former Fatima Mansions and Microdisney frontman Cathal Coughlan, Pearl Harbour, Spizzenergi, The Flaming Sideburns, Stony Sugarskull, Autoramas, April March, Monsieur Paul & Les Solutions, Nika, Cult Figures, The Electric Stars and we close the show with a superb instrumental from The Parkinsons guitarist Victor Torpedo's latest solo album. I really hope you enjoy this stunning collection of new music and I would kindly recommend clicking on the highlighted links below for more information on the featured Band/Artist/Label and find out how you can buy the featured records. Thanks! Turn up the volume!

Retrosonic Podcast is available to listen/download from Soundcloud or you can subscribe and stream at Spotify and iTunes/Apple Podcasts - all for free!

Tracklisting - please click the highlighted links for more information.

The Link Quartet - "The Saint Tropez Heist" (Spinout Nuggets Records)

Les Envahisseurs - "Millénial"

Nika Leeflang Project - "Broken Bones"

Cathal Coughlan - "The Knockout Artist" (Dimple Disc Records)

Autoramas - "Carinha Triste"

The Hannah Barberas - "Puppet Show" (Spinout Nuggets Records)

The Embrooks - "It's Time You Realised" (Spinout Nuggets Records)

Stony Sugarskull - "Empty"

The Flaming Sideburns - "Freak Out"

April March - "Sauce Piquante"

Monsieur Paul & Les Solutions - "Plagier Dutronc"

Cult Figures - "Chicken Bones"

The Electric Stars - "Sunshine"

Pearl Harbour - "Trouble"

Spizzenergi - "Valentine's Day" (Holy Dotage Records)

The Pastel Waves - "I Wasn't Convinced" (Spinout Nuggets Records)

The Hannah Barberas - "Party From Hell" (Spinout Nuggets Records)

Les Envahisseurs - "Cazzo"

Victor Torpedo - "Sound & The Fury" (Lux Records)


Saturday, 10 April 2021

Retrosonic Podcast: "The Rhythm Method with Buddy Ascott" New Episode in which we nominate, play and discuss our favourite Drummers & Bassists

In the latest episode of Retrosonic Podcast we welcome Buddy Ascott (former drummer with The Chords, currently with The Fallen Leaves and The 79ers) into the virtual studio to discuss that often overlooked and undervalued component of a band - the Rhythm Section... Buddy nominates and discusses the merits and influences of five of his favourite drummers, Keith Moon, Mitch Mitchell, Chris Sharrock, Pete Thomas and Topper Headon and he talks us through some highlights of their playing. Find out who features alongside Gaye Advert, Peter Hook, JJ Burnel and Tessa Pollitt in our top ten chart of iconic Bassists, there's five underrated Bassists including Inge Johansson of The (International) Noise Conspiracy and Serge Gainsbourg's session bassist Dave Richmond and to top it all off there's even a quiz to name twenty superb Bass intros including classic riffs from The Stranglers, U.K. Subs, The Damned, Joy Division, Spizzenergi, Public Image Limited and Sparks. The episode is generously sound-tracked by superb examples of our Rhythm Section heroes including music by The Who, Elvis Costello & The Attractions, The Clash, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Talking Heads, The Limiñanas, Ian Dury & The Blockheads, New Model Army, Magazine, The Slits and of course... The Chords! You can subscribe to Retrosonic Podcast for free at Spotify, iTunes/Apple Podcast, Soundcloud or listen/download directly from the link below.

Saturday, 13 March 2021

The Prisoners: Your Stories and Memories Needed for New Book on the Medway Garage Psych Legends (feature includes rare Paul Slattery photos)

The Prisoners at The Hope & Anchor - Copyright Paul Slattery

A new book on Medway Garage Psych legends The Prisoners is currently being planned by an Anglo-German collective of fans and they are asking for your memories and contributions. They would like to hear what the band means to you, when you saw them, what records you bought and any memorabilia or photos you would like to share. The book has had the official blessing of the band and here's a few words from bassist Allan Crockford in support: 

"I thought I'd bring this to your attention, if anyone's missed it. My sister Elinor is teaming up with a couple of friends and fans in Germany to put together a book about the Prisoners. It will be from the perspective of fans of the band (and maybe people who hated us - that would be an interesting perspective!) who came to the gigs and bought the records. They want your stories and memories of the band and the times. Me, Graham, James and Johnny have given it our gracious blessing and look forward (with some trepidation) to reading your stories. At least we finally might find out what happened..."

The Prisoners at The Hope & Anchor - Copyright Paul Slattery

As regular readers to Retro Man Blog will know, The Prisoners and all their many and varied spin-offs are a huge inspiration on what we do so we'll also be keeping a close eye on the progress of the book. You can send in your contributions to be considered for publication via email to

Don't forget our thoroughly entertaining Graham Day & The Forefathers Retrosonic Podcast special with Graham Day, Allan Crockford & Wolf Howard on the complete story of The Prisoners, The Solarflares, The Prime Movers and all their other projects and bands over the years.

Photos of The Prisoners at The Hope & Anchor, London March 24th 1983 copyright Paul Slattery.

Friday, 12 March 2021

Nika Leeflang Project "Bad Sunday" New Album Out on March 19th

Two years after her EP "Hey Right" and a long tour with The Limiñanas, Nika Leeflang returns with the excellent album "Bad Sunday". "This Record balances between French and English, calm and storm, melancholy and euphoria, introspection and the desire to break everything. As always, to make a good record, you need a good mixer then, good ingredients. Take Kurt Cobain's blond hair, Kim Gordon's class and flow, add the Bardot/Gainsbarre period, the co-arrangements of Aymeric Severac, Romain Preuss and David Darmon and finally, PJ Harvey's guitar and you'll get Nika". (Translated from Gaëtan Chapiteau's Bio). "Bad Sunday" will be released on March 19th via M.A.D. Pias (Mutual Artist Distribution) at all the usual streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer and iTunes and then physical copies will follow via Bandcamp, so please keep an eye on Nika's official web-site or Facebook pages for news on how to order. The band's new music video "Good Sunday" will be released on March 15th, but in the meantime, here's a superb video for another track off the record entitled "Broken Bones".


Shouting her Lyrics and Guitar: Nika Leeflang. Hitting the Drums: Yannick Gomez. Playing Bass, Guitars, Backing Vocals, Organs: Aymeric Severac. Swinging additional Guitars, Organs, Backing Vocals: Romain Preuss. All songs written by Nika Leeflang. All tracks were recorded at Vox Studio Montpellier by Jeff Saboy and John Chapman except "Night Call" produced by Ty at Noisy Bay Records. Mixed at Mirador Sound Studio by David Darmon. Mastered at Vintage Sound Studio by Luis Mazzoni. For more information on the official release date of "Bad Sunday" and how to order, please check out the official Nika Leeflang web-site.

Friday, 5 March 2021

Sounds Incarcerated "Unswitchable Hits Vol. 1" - New Album of Lockdown Sessions Cover Versions from Allan Crockford & Viv Bonsels of The Galileo 7

In the long and depressing wait for the return of live music, one of the undoubted musical highlights of Lockdown has been Kevin Younger's on-line open-mic evenings broadcast and available at his Mister Unswitchable YouTube channel. These thoroughly entertaining events see lots of his (mainly Medway based) musician pals submitting videos of a hugely eclectic range of cover versions based around various themes. So, for example the theme of 'Animals' saw a be-wigged Graham Day performing a wicked version of the Osmonds' Glam racket "Crazy Horses" and Bob Collins of The Dentists with his version of "And Your Bird Can Sing". The "Boys & Girls" themed night saw Groovy Uncle's Glenn Prangnell tackle The Monkees "Forget That Girl" under the name The Unkees, so I'm sure you get the drift. However, it's probably Allan Crockford and Viv Bonsels of our favourite Psych-Pop band The Galileo 7 who really took to the task with aplomb - treating us to witty, often very well produced videos for a variety of unexpected and superbly executed cover versions. We've seen the duo take on songs by bands and artists as diverse as Robyn Hitchcock, Haircut 100, Buzzcocks, John Denver and The Stranglers all of which were so well received that it was decided to put them all together and release as an album "Unswitchable Hits Vol. 1" under the name of Sounds Incarcerated. It's a fantastic companion piece to the recent LP "Decayed" which was a brilliant collection of all the cover versions that were recorded by The Galileo 7 over the years and released to celebrate their 10th anniversary. In fact, don't forget you can still check out our special Retrosonic Podcast episode with Viv and Allan treating us to a track-by-track guide to "Decayed" and of course, their involvement with the Mister Unswitchable nights below. 

Allan and Viv have just released a great promo video to tickle your taste buds so, over to Sounds Incarcerated for a little explanation. "Here's a high budget promo for our pandemic-induced side project...When you can't play with your regular band, what do you do? In our case we made a load of D.I.Y. cover versions for our Mister Unswitchable's themed open-mic night. Eventually we realised that we had an album's worth of material, and that it was actually pretty good. We called ourselves Sounds Incarcerated and put it out on our own label. What else could we do...? Vol. 2 is now in the works!"


Don't forget there's also our other special Retrosonic Podcast episode with Viv and Allan looking back over 10 years of The Galileo 7 and that's available at our Soundcloud archive here. "Unswitchable Hits Vol. 1" and "Decayed" are both available to order from The Galileo 7's on-line store here. You can check out the Mister Unswitchable YouTube channel here.

Sounds Incarcerated by Darryl Hartley

Monday, 1 March 2021

Killing Joke "A Prophecy Fulfilled" New Promo Video for Limited Edition Offical Book by Chris Bryans


The publishers have just released a new promo video for Chris Bryans' Killing Joke book "A Prophecy Fulfilled" as previously featured in Retro Man Blog, take a look below...


Here's a reminder...
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.

Friday, 19 February 2021

Music From The Edge of The Universe: The 5 Billion In Diamonds Story, a special Retrosonic Podcast with Butch Vig, Andy Jenks & James Grillo

Portraits by Helen White

We welcome 5 Billion In Diamonds founder members, the legendary producer and drummer with Garbage Butch Vig, Bristol UK producer Andy Jenks and UK DJ James Grillo into the virtual Retrosonic Podcast studio to get the definitive and fascinating story on how this star-studded Transatlantic project came to fruition. The band's second LP "Divine Accidents" released on Make Records (our Album of The Year 2020), the follow up to their eponymous 2017 debut is another imaginary soundtrack to another imaginary film - a dazzling sonic and thematic journey to the heavens, a reaction to and escape from the insanity of these times. The band have brought some 80's vibes into the cinematic mix of Psych Rock and Folk sounds and expanded their sonic palette using the same stellar cast of collaborators including singers Ebbot Lundberg of The Soundtrack of Our Lives and The Indigo Children, David Schelzel of The Ocean Blue, Damian O'Neill of The Undertones, Sandra Dedrick of The Free Design, singer Helen White and musicians including the Bristol Wrecking Crew of Alex Lee, Sean Cook and Damon Reece on guitars, bass and drums. The album also features new sublime contributions from James Bagshaw of British psych rockers Temples and gorgeous vocals from Martin Barnard from Jenk’s '90's combo Alpha. In this thoroughly entertaining journey through 5 Billion In Diamonds musical universe, Butch, Andy and James play and talk us through some of the many and varied influences on the 5BiD sound including John Barry, Ramases, John Carpenter, Jimmie Spheeris, The BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Michel Legrand, Linda Perhacs, Faust, Jeff Bridges and Richard Rodney Bennett. 


There's also a pick of their own music from both albums including the forthcoming single and a special sneak preview of the as yet unreleased vinyl-only bonus track featuring Jimmy Chamberlin from The Smashing Pumpkins. There's a comprehensive introduction to all of the 5BiD special guest musicians and vocalists and a Butch Vig edited medley of examples of their music. Along the way we find out how they all met, the influence of movie soundtracks and about the collaborative songwriting process. We also discover how bureaucracy got Butch and James drunk and their unorthodox tactics for approaching prospective special guests. If all that is not enough, James tells us who is next on his special guest wish list, Andy plays a track from his new project Ree-Vo and Butch gives us an update on the new Garbage album. We even find out how TV presenter, naturalist and conservationist Chris Packham is involved with 5 Billion In Diamonds. So, sit back, relax and enjoy this very special episode, packed full of music from the edge of the universe.

James Grillo, Ebbot Lundberg & Andy Jenks - Photo Copyright Paul Slattery

You can listen, download or stream directly from the Soundcloud site below or subscribe to Retrosonic Podcast at Spotify, Apple Podcasts/iTunes and Mixcloud. There are also special dedicated episodes with Ebbot Lundberg and Damian O'Neill in the archive where both discuss their involvement with 5 Billion In Diamonds and much more besides.

You can check out our 2016 feature on Five Billion In Diamonds in our archive here, which includes exclusive Paul Slattery photographs of recording sessions from Press Play Studios with Ebbot.

Ebbot Lundberg 5 Billion In Diamonds Session - Photo copyright Paul Slattery

The double vinyl version of "Divine Accidents" is available to pre-order from Make Records here and for more information on 5 Billion In Diamonds, please check out their official Facebook page here