Sunday 3 December 2023

New Retrosonic Podcast with Tom Powell, Bassist with Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band on his new solo project

In our recent Retrosonic Podcast Episode 53 you would have heard the excellent track by called "Play It Cool", well we liked it so much we named the episode after it and even featured the man behind the project, Tom Powell, on the cover. You might recognise Tom as the bassist with former Shack and Pale Fountains frontman Mick Head's latest outfit, Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band and here, in a thoroughly entertaining show, Tom discusses the concept behind and the superb album "Eternity", some of the varied musical influences that helped to shape the sound and the contributors that played their part in creating one of the best albums of 2023. "Eternity" is a concise and perfectly plotted debut that effortlessly moves between an eclectic mix of genres, from 60's West Coast Californian harmonies, pastoral Folk Rock with lush orchestral arrangements to 90's  Trip-Hop and contemporary Neo-Psychedelia, but despite the varied reference points, it all sounds completely fresh and unique. It brings to mind the similarly studio-based project 5 Billion In Diamonds which was created by Nirvana Producer and Garbage drummer, Butch Vig along with the Bristol based Producers and DJ's James Grillo and Andy Spaceland and a list of impressive studio guests including Ebbot Lundberg from The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Damian O'Neill from the Undertones and members of Ocean Blue, Massive Attack, Spiritualised and The Blue Aeroplanes. 

With, Tom has called on dad, Steve Powell from Ark Recording Studios in Liverpool who has worked with Mick Head, The Stairs, Cast and Echo & The Bunnymen among others and here his production and guitar work, lifts "Eternity" to another level, the album just sounds fantastic, especially on vinyl. Then there are contributions from Tom's Red Elastic Band colleague Phil Murphy on drums, Chris Geddes from Belle & Sebastian on keyboards and Mick Head himself, who adds vocals to a couple of songs and also more intriguing, the bongos! In fact, the time spent working with Mick Head, who the NME once dubbed as Britain's "Greatest Songwriter", has certainly rubbed off on Tom as "Eternity" is packed full of immediately memorable songs, ringing with superb guitar riffs, beautiful melodies and choruses that will stick in your head for days after the very first listen. His Red Elastic Band boss must be very proud. Talking of which, during our chat, Tom also covers the amazing reaction to the "Dear Scott" album and the wonderful experience of playing in Japan with Mick and The Red Elastic Band earlier this year. We were lucky enough to be there to catch one of the Tokyo shows and you can see videos over at our YouTube channel here. Anyway, please enjoy Tom's company in this latest episode which is also soundtracked with a selection of songs from the "Eternity" album - you can subscribe to Retrosonic Podcast for free at Spotify, iTunes, Apple Podcasts or direct from our SoundCloud site below.

You can order "Eternity" directly from the official website here and check out more news and information at the Facebook page here. With thanks to Tom and to John Johnson photography for use of the excellent photo in the Podcover. We recommend the Pale Fountains fan's Facebook group here for all Mick Head music-related chat and resource. Retrosonic Podcast has a valid PRS licence. 

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