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NO OTHER love little reissue labels that put the music first and worry about sales afterwards. No Other adores psychedelia, garage, folk and country-rock, progressive, funky rock, orchestral pop, hard-rock, ’70s powerpop, soul and funk, chamber pop... and magazines and books that DON'T (always) put The Beatles on the cover!!! No Other is fanatical about quirky cinema, animation and music and culture documentaries. NO OTHER will also work with whatever you throw at us... Nothing is beyond us. Please email for rates.

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Monday, 19 December 2011

Anton Barbeau, Popjunkie


ANTON BARBEAU - EMPIRE OF POTENTIAL ALBUM REVIEW









Nope I had never heard of him either (well until a month or two ago) but Anton Barbeau is a prolific artist with a small but influential coterie of admirers. From his CV (started in Soft Boys covers band, moved to Cambridge for the vibe, namechecks from Julian Cope and Stuart Lee) you'd expect him to be peddling straight out of Itchycoo Park English psych, but Barbeau never quite ditches his American (he's from Sacramento) roots. There's plenty of Beatley pop here, albeit with a Californian hue, but also a whiff of the odder wing of grunge (Blind Melon, Jellyfish etc) as well as recent bands like the Dilletantes and Morning After Girls.

This compilation rounds up the best of nearly twenty years of music from his garage days in California through to hanging out with eccentric English troubadours and most of it is really rather good.
The tracks that hit home fastest are Fuzzchild, a quality chunk of English psych with an unusual extended droney chorus and Losing You Makes Crucifixion Easy, a jaunty acoustic strum apparently inspired by The Pretenders.
Barbeau also seems to benefit from a good partner as other highlights include a gorgeous duet of sorts with Allyson Seconds on If I Could Bring You Trouble and a thrashy rocker Octagon from the rather good album King of Missouri which Anton made in the mid noughties with Bevis Frond.
Also on board is the brilliantly titled This Is Why They Call Me Guru 7 from what many of his devotees consider his best work 2006's In The Village Of The Sun.
Anyone who likes the quirkier side of psych will find plenty to revel in here. As an intro to a very under-rated musician this is bang on.

Anton Barbeau, Morning Star







Anton Barbeau

Empire Of Potential (Transistor)
Monday 07 November 2011
Anton Barbeau
The idea of an "obscure hit" is an oxymoron in itself, but considering that Anton Barbeau has frequently been dubbed a cult hero it may be an appropriate term to describe his music.
This 18-track retrospective of 18 years of Barbeau's work explores his many different styles.
There's the nasal and infectious melodies of his Sacramento pop roots to more psychedelic forays with Julian Cope, showcasing Barbeau's undoubted songwriting gifts.
As an introduction it's perfect but some of the tracks have been reworked, presumably as an attempt to at least keep the most diehard fanatics interested.
The Banana Song was re-recorded in Berlin with Soft Boys bassist Andy Metcalfe and drummer Morris Windsor.
And former Pretenders member Robbie McIntosh plays electric guitar on a new version of opener Losing You Makes Crucifixion Easy.
The verdict?
A well-intentioned cash-in.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Duncan Maitland, Penny Black Music


Duncan Maitland : Lullabies for the 21st Century
Author: Andy Cassidy
Published: 27/10/2011



In February of this year, I went to a gig in Glasgow’s The Bay. I’m a huge Brian Wilson fan, and I was thrilled to see that Nelson Bragg, Brian’s percussionist, was playing at such an intimate venue.

Among the support acts on the evening was a youngish guy from Stoke via Dublin called Duncan Maitland. His credentials were exemplary: he had played with, among others, Pugwash and Picturehouse. Duncan’s set included songs from his 2004 'Live Alien EP' and his then recently released debut solo album 'Lullabies for the 21st Century'. I was blown away by Duncan’s song-craft, and promptly bought a copy of his CD.

The following day I must have played the CD six or seven times, and each time was better than the last. I was initially struck by Duncan’s gift for melody. Opening track 'Your Century' and second track 'Terry the Toad' are wonderful examples of Duncan’s gift. 'Terry the Toad' in particular proved to be a real ear-worm for me, and I simply couldn’t get the melody out of my head.

The mood of the album is light and breezy, with top-notch musicianship throughout. Duncan’s lead vocals are incredible, and his overlaid harmonies are pure Beach Boys perfection – just listen to the “ba-ba-ba-ba” on 'Crash Position' and you’ll understand.

Listening to 'Lullabies…' immediately made me think of the High Llamas. The joyful pop and sparkle of Maitland’s songs match Sean O’Hagan’s in terms of quality. Despite their pop sensibilities, however, Duncan’s songs are never fluffy, and a listen to the lyrics makes one realise that this is an artist with more to say than most. 

With a unique blend of harmony, melody and quirky subject matter, Duncan Maitland has created a micro-pop masterpiece. I have no hesitation in recommending 'Lullabies for the 21st Century' to anyone. 

Despite some very stiff competition 'Lullabies for the 21st Century' has been my album of the year this year. I can’t wait to hear what Duncan Maitland releases next.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The Best Seat In The House, Classic Rock Radio blog review


Jerry Shirley: Best Seat In the House
Rebeats/Hal Leonard Corporation
Jerry Shirley is famously the drummer for British band Humble Pie right the way through the life of the band. Not only does it document the life of Humble Pie in great detail from the bands formation in late 1968 through to its dissolution in early 1975 it also documents Jerry’s ;life covering the early days of his life  and includes stories about all the people he encountered during that time.
To be honest you may think that by the time of Humble Pie’s split in early 1975 that Jerry would have been a has been and possibly washed up amid a huge drink and drug problem. Thankfully that was not the case and Jerry would eventually go on to work with Steve Marriott again by way of bands like Natural Gas and Fastway, not to mention another stint with a re formed Humble Pie in the late seventies; all in all pretty impressive for a guy who was only in his early twenties when Humble Pie split the first time round.
Well in fairness to Jerry he had lived a life and a half by this point and possibly saw much and experienced even more but when Humble Pie split he was in fact only 23 years of age. Yeah, that young He actually joined Humble Pie when he was only 16 years old so you can imagine that not only was he in esteemed company  with Steve Marriott, Peter Frampton and Greg Ridley he was also thrown in at the deep end as Humble Pie very quickly gained a big foothold particularly in America
Everything is here in this book from the highs (Literally) through to the lows which unsurprisingly were also coming at him at various periods of his life remember it isn’t always bright and sunny being a rock star. Jerry goes into detail for example of having on the one hand success in America and then coming home to find his mother terminally ill and when she died he had to miss the funeral in order to embark on another American tour with Humble Pie. It is literally heartbreaking and something that stayed with Jerry for many years
Whilst the book is not all sex and drugs and rock n roll there is a fair bit of honesty here concerning what a musician’s life was like during the heady days of the late sixties and early seventies and particularly for a young successful musician as Jerry was.
The thing I like about this book is that it really is Jerry’s own words not some hack who just wrote down what he thought the story should be. I am sure that Jerry would want me to mention however that the book was very well edited by fellow musician John Cohan who has written for many music journals over the years. The writing style however is very natural and the words are all Jerry Shirley’s and I have to say the book is quite a page turner and whilst there are a few moments of sadness there are plenty of laugh out loud moments.
As I have said the book covers the period between Jerry being born and the first split of Humble Pie in 1975. There is an epilogue which brings you up to speed although what this book is really crying out for is volume two which I hope Jerry and the publishers get round to agreeing a deal soon. The book will definitely be high on the want list of Americans where Jerry Shirley and Humble Pie is particularly well known but anyone with a passing interest in rock music will enjoy this book. In fact many well known musicians have written very nice testimonials at the front of the book and the names in the list certainly show the esteem that Jerry Shirley is held in by his contemporaries.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough so what I suggest is that you dig out a copy of Humble Pie’s live album Performance Rockin’ The Fillmore and open the book; believe me you won’t regret it.
Best Seat In the House in one of the best rock biographies I have read and certainly evokes the period in which Jerry lived and earned his spurs.  You will be sad to reach the end of the book, it really is that good!

Jerry Shirley Radio Interview on Classic Rock Radio

Jerry Shirley interviewed by Jon Kirkman on Classic Rock Radio.

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Monday, 12 December 2011

Radio Moscow, Total Music


Radio Moscow
Radio Moscow
The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz (Alive Records)

For those of you that miss the days when music was heavy, psychedelic and played at full tilt, or those that seldom pick anything but worn Spirit, Mountain and Blue Cheer albums from their dog eared collection then chances are you are going to want to skin up and bliss out to this little beauty. Sounding exactly like some dusty old reel of tape unearthed from a recently demolished San Francisco recording studio The Great Escape…, The third, and definitely best thus far, album by Iowa based trio Radio Moscow makes no pretence of being anything other than a proud throwback to blistering psyched out blues rock.
Ruby Palmer

Anton Barbeau, Audioscribbler

ANTON BARBEAU
EMPIRE OF POTENTIAL

***1/2/*****
It’s no surprise to learn that comedian Stewart Lee is a fan of Anton Barbeau. Both acts share a left-field approach to their respective crafts, along with a fondness for de-constructing their material until it resembles something with a much deeper resonance than a mere joke/song. A treat then to come across this compilation which stretches back over Barbeau’s lengthy and prolific career — a career that has seen him make 13 albums. The fact that none of these have crossed over into the hearts and minds of the mass record buying public is by no means an indication of sub-standard product, it’s an irony neatly summed up by Empire Of Potential’s subtitle - 18 Golden Completely Obscure Hits By Anton Barbeau.For the most part his songs are offbeat and poppy, with a nicely skewed intelligence. The nearest comparison would be prime-era REM, which could be something to do with the combination of winningly catchy, upbeat tunes combined with obtuse and idiosycratic lyrics. It’s hard to resist someone who comes up with song titles such as “Leave It With Me, I’m Always Gentle”, “This Is Why They Call Me Guru 7” and “Please Sir I’ve Got A Wooden Leg”. It would be nice to think that in some distant, parallel universe, songs with such quirky titles would trouble the upper reaches of the charts. Barbeau sings with an English-sounding American voice, (fitting as he’s spent the last 10 years as a resident of Cambridge), it’s timbre similar to that of Big Star’s Alex Chilton.
There are guest appearances throughout from fellow psych-pop adventurers such as The Bevis Frond,Allyson Seconds, long-time collaborator Scott Miller and Soft Boys Andy Metcalfe and Morris Windsor, who are now also part of Barbeau’s current band Three Minute Tease. Their contribution here being a re-recording of “The Banana Song” in which our hero’s doctor recommends everyone’s favourite yellow fruit as a cure for acne. Yep, it’s that kind of album.

Trummor & Orgel, Audioscribbler

TRUMMOR & ORGEL
OUT OF BOUNDS
****/*****
Listening to Out Of Bounds, the fourth and latest long-player from Swedish brothers Staffan and Anders Ljunggren, aka Trummor & Orgel, it’s a difficult decision as to whether to shake some tail feathers or dig out a pair of cans and let the music take you on a journey of inner head-space exploration. It’s an album that works well for both options. Like most recent musical duos, (The Black KeysThe White Stripes et al), there’s an element of back-to-the-future retrogression, but what sets them apart is that they’re not dudes with guitars, or even microphones. The Hammond organ and a set of drums is where it’s at for these chaps. Theirs is a sound with its roots in the past but brought right up to with the modernising addition of synthesisers.
There are clues as to their sound in the brother’s attire: modish checked shirts and paisley patterned cravats hint at groovy 60′s London boutiques and hi-end clubs. There are echoes of Georgie Fame,Jimmy Smith, and that point in the mid 60s when pop music caught on to the fact it had some cultural worth but had yet to become overblown and disappear up it’s own backside. If they’d been around Soho at the time they could well have played regular late night sets at the Speakeasy or the Bag O’Nails.
Within its limited soundscape there’s still an array of styles and moods on the album, making it difficult to pigeonhole, yet it’s all played with a tight sibling’s understanding of where they want to take the listener. “Autopilot” starts things of with a simple yet thoughtful groove. “Letters In Red And Blue” has a more motorik feel before things really take off into the stratosphere with “Worlds Collide”, a progressive, pushing track which shows of the Hammond’s warm enveloping sound to maximum effect. “Making Sense” has echoes in 60′s beat, whereas “Corduroy” has a more laid-back contemplative side to it, much like a long lost Procol Harem gem.
It’s music that not easily categorised, which is where its strength lies. Part jazz with an awareness of the pop charts, part psychedelia with a sneaky glance at what’s exciting the northern soul crowd, or part soundtrack music for spy films yet to be made. Quite a trip.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Radio Moscow, Leicester Bangs review




Review: Radio Moscow


Radio Moscow - The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz (Alive Records)
The Los Angeles-based Alive Records have crept up on us over the last few years with compelling releases by the Black Diamond Heavies, Two Gallants, Peter Case and more, steadily establishing themselves as the cutting-edge label for experimental blues. We were mightily impressed with Ron Franklin’s eponymous debut in 2008, and gave an unequivocal thumbs-up to the Welsh duo Henry’s Funeral Shoes’ recent ‘Donkey Jacket’.

‘The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz’, Radio Moscow’s third release on the imprint does nothing to tarnish this growing reputation. Their Black Keys association (Dan Auberbach produced their first album) will do nothing to hold them back, but a better clue to their angle of trajectory is in their US support slot to up-and-coming retro-metallers Graveyard.

The crunching opening chords of ‘Little Eyes’ herald a storming romp through an electric compendium of heavy psychedelia to rival any power combo of the early seventies, all served up with empathy and enthusiasm, and the same high level of inventiveness, which characterises many of their stablemates. If you remember Grand Funk and Blue Cheer with any degree of affection (and you should) this is what they sound like crash-landing in the twenty-first century.
www.alive-totalenergy.com/x/
Neil B.



http://leicesterbangs.blogspot.com/2011/12/review-radio-moscow.html

Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Perishers, Audioscribbler


The Perishers – All These Years

The Perishers – All These Years
  • Head Records
  • Out Now
  • Duncan Fletcher
  • Long awaited 3rd album of guitar pop from Basingstoke's answer to Teenage Fanclub.
  • Most folks would plump for Bandwagonesque when asked what their favourite Teenage Fanclub album is. That said, there’s a strong case for the often overlooked Songs From Northern Britain. Its lovingly crafted blend of melodies, harmony and guitar chime is something it shares with the latest record from The Perishers, along with the big blue sky provincialism of the album’s cover.
    The band, whose name is taken from The Daily Mirror’s cartoon strip of old, use no bells or whistles, smokes or mirrors. More simply a case of heart-on-sleeve songwriting and unashamedly classicist indie guitar chime, it’s all topped off with vulnerable, English-sounding vocals that have one foot in the happy camp and another in the sad and reflective. Add to that a smidgeon of folk, a soupcon of country and you’re somewhere close to The Perishers’ sound — the Teenage Fanclub comparisons best exemplified on the album’s title track and the wistful why-me laments of ‘White Skies’.
    That’s not to say they don’t get to rock out a little bit — ‘Mean Old Man’ has an aggressive rock edge to match the spite of it’s lyrics, and the second half of ‘Two Parter’ borrows heavily from The Velvet Underground’s ‘What Goes On’, albeit with the sweetener of its vocal harmonies.
    If you can’t wait for next years Stone Roses’ reunion then you’ll enjoy ‘You’ll Never Learn To Leave It Alone’ as it’s the kind of song everyone’s hoping their new material will sound like. My advice? Why wait. Look no further, The Perishers are doing it here and now, and tickets for their gigs are a fraction of the price.

    DC Fontana, Audioscribbler



    DC Fontana – La Contessa

    DC Fontana – La Contessa
  • DCTone Records
  • Out Now
  • Duncan Fletcher
  • Kitsch, 60's inspired, foreign language pop from the Midlands? I kid ye not.
  • DC Fontana are the kind of group that are nostalgic for an era of dancefloor-centric mod music that existed for a few short months from the winter of 1965/66 until its first tentative steps into a more lysergic state of mind. It was a time when England was truly swinging, as was American R&B. The rest of the world looked on and took this two-pronged musical attack to their hearts, eventually coming up with their own take on it.
    The result in Europe was an ersatz version of beat music with foreign language vocals, most successfully in French or Italian. It’s this strain of music that Midlands based combo, DC Fontana (their name borrowed from a script writer for the original Star Trek series), have strived to re-create on their latest album La Contessa. In a bold move all but one of the songs are sung in either French or Italian, with the siren-like vocals shared between regular chanteuse Karla Milton and the band’s “girl in Paris” Kicca Andriollo.
    The album opens with ‘Abbesses’, a stomping Hammond-driven slab of freakbeat. You know the kind of thing — imagine the TV set of Ready Steady Go circa 1966, plenty of op-art on the backdrops, short skirted go-go dancers on podiums, and the cameras zooming in and out at nauseating depth and speed. From this point in it’s an unpredictable but never boring journey taking in soul, jazz, R & B, and augmented in places with sumptuous string arrangements. There’s even room for some medieval style folk and mystical sitar drone, along with a wistful ode to 90′s cinema screen goddess Winona Ryder.
    If I have one criticism it’s of this shape-shifting attitude towards the styles of music on offer, feeling at times more like an exotic re-issues label sampler than documenting a band’s moment in time. “Aural cuisine” is how bass player and band spokesman describes this pick and mix approach. Though each track is fine individually, when taken as a whole the album lacks coherence, so I’ve reluctantly knocked a point off for that. But then again each song is done extremely well, so hats (or should that be peaked white PBV “Lennon” caps?) off to them.

    Friday, 25 November 2011

    Duncan Maitland, Audio Scribbler


    Duncan Maitland – Lullabies For The 21st Century

    Duncan Maitland – Lullabies For The 21st Century
  • Indigo Octagon Records
  • Out Now
  • Duncan Fletcher
  • Good old fashioned easy on the ear pop, big on tunes and refreshingly low on cynicism.
  • Every once in a while a record comes along that may be out of step with current fashions, but is so well written and executed that it deserves a wider audience. This debut solo effort from Duncan Maitland is that sort of record. It’s a shame that, quite often, such records fall through the cracks press-coverage wise, losing column inches to lesser-talented attention seekers.
    The LP is composed of 11 songs, all with big catchy melodies that hark back to a time when tunes were considered an essential part of a record’s make-up. (Strange to think that melodies are now often an afterthought to a lot of today’s song-smiths.) This album sounds to me like the latest addition to that peculiarly English or Anglophilic thread of music and songwriting that began with McCartney’s White Album contributions, continuing with the melancholic baroque-pop of The Bee Gees and Gilbert O’Sullivan. Also evident in ELO’s less bombastic moments, it was carried further with XTC and the adult-orientated pop of Crowded House and The High Llamas.
    It’s the early 70s sound that resonates most loudly throughout this set of songs — instruments well recorded with an analogue warmth, treated with just the right amount of minimal effects, making an album that would sit nicely in your collection next to any of the artists mentioned above. The XTC comparison is particularly pertinent, with Maitland having previously contributed keyboards to their recordings, and also having written songs with Andy Partridge. The artistic cross pollination is returned by XTC’s Colin Moulding guesting on Maitland’s album.
    Highlights include the ascending “ba, ba, ba” backing vocals on ‘Crash Position’ (Jimmy Savile would have approved), along with the fairground-organ-gone-wrong intro of ‘Horror Stories’. There’s even room for some Sinatra-style crooning for album closer ‘Insect Under The Stone’. In truth there’s not a bad track here, and though it may be a little too soft rock for some folk’s tastes that would frankly be their loss.

    The Bloody Hollies, Audio Scribbler

    The Bloody Hollies – Yours Until The Bitter End
  • Alive Natural Sound
  • 19/11/11
  • Duncan Fletcher
  • Fifth album of paint-stripping punk rock from US quartet.
  • I have to say, I like The Bloody Hollies. Their first couple of albums passed me by but I came across them via 2005′s If Footmen Tire You…, and its follow up from 2007, Who To Trust Who To Kill Who To Love. Both records were released by the ever reliable Alive Natural Sounds label. It’s been a long four year wait but there’s finally a new album and it may well be their best yet. The album’s title hints at their desire to keep on rocking, along with their dedication to their audience. Or, it may well be a more prosaic touring reference in the no-sleep-til-Booklyn/Hammersmith mode, (The Bitter End being a famous Greenwich Village venue.)
    The move from the band’s native Buffalo, NY home to San Diego may have broadened their musical horizons as, along with the no-nonsense pedal to the metal drive and hard riffing sonic attack, there’s a more diverse array of styles and instrumentation on this latest platter.
    ‘Dirty Sex’ is a case in point with its sleazy slide guitar and more laid back southern boogie feel and there’s even a violin solo on ‘Goodnight, Sleep Tight’. The most revelatory departure, however, is the acoustic talking blues of ‘John Wayne Brown’ — a toe tapping tale of old time religion over harmonica, guitar and mandolin backing. For the most part the blues-punk of old is still intact with just the right amount of tunefulness in their Stooges style rock ‘n’ roll, while still maintaining a healthy distance from any frothy pop-punk nonsense.
    There’s almost certainly going to be some Jack White comparisons for vocalist Wesley Doyle. His fast anguished howl on ‘Leave That Woman Alone’ occupying similar ground to that of the garage rock wonder boy. The truth is that both the White Stripes and The Bloody Hollies came through as part of the early noughties garage rock uprising. The one major difference however, is that The Bloody Hollies are still with us. The fact that Detroit rock legend Jim Diamond produced the album will only compound the comparisons but it’s a pairing that works. He seems to have brought out all that’s good in them. Long may they both continue.