Sunday, 22 April 2018

IPO Liverpool 2018

This year's IPO is almost upon us, just over three weeks away. I've moaned enough about the state of Power Pop and Gig Attendance in the UK lately, so I'll lead you over the barricades etc etc by attending most days apart from the Saturday and Sunday.

I will also be previewing artists who will be appearing in the three week lead up to the event starting midweek. This may be in the form of short interviews, a piece about them or a review of their current album. All will be appearing on here.

The other Reviews and Radio Show will continue as normal. The IPO articles will just filter in with at least one article a day. The full IPO Schedule can be found here.

I've already contact the relevant artists and will be back in touch with them from Tuesday onward. There will also be an interview with David Bash towards the end of the Previews. I'd like to make it clear that I'm not interfering with what David does in any way. I'm about promoting Power Pop in the UK and the local North West Scene.

Some of the articles will be in a longer form and appear elsewhere and the local North West bands will be featured on an additional site that I am not involved with.

Nick Frater - Goodbye Kayfabe

Now this is in far more familiar territory. Nick Frater is from Croydon. I know that I moan about the frustration that more UK artists aren't coming forward to show that there are still great Power Pop and New Wave purveyors here.

I've only been to Croydon twice. Once was to visit Beanos and that was a whistle stop visit. I wanted to stay longer, but was with an older Music Fan who lived in the Smoke and was disappointed at the selection of Gentle Giant Offerings, so moved us on rapid.

The second time was whilst I lived in London Monday to Friday in the Mid Nineties. I spent a night with my great friend Rob Jukes. Rob is a top man, but all I really remember was that the Chip Shops didn't sell Pies or Gravy. What I do know though is that Croydon is not the Pop Rock capital of England.

That may be about to change though with this 7 Song Gem. Contained within is probably something of everything that I've been rattling on about in the last year or two. It's like a I Don't Hear A Single Sampler.

The absolute gem is the opener, Built To Last, which you may have heard on the Radio Show. It's so good that it's gonna appear again next week. It's all New Wave Harmonies, a bass driven melodic wonder of a song.

Away from the Built To Last Joy, Fruit Punches is Bossa Nova Psych Pop, whilst is More Than This is all Sixties Kitchen Sink Film Drama. You can imagine John Howard playing Piano on Hold On Caroline, it's Andrew Gold like.

Remoaner is all jaunty Glam Rock, Paperchase comes over as if Squeeze are covering The Seekers. It's left to the closer, Asking For A Friend, to reveal Frater's love of McCartney Pop. That could be Ringo on Drums.

Goodbye Kayfabe is an absolute joy of a listen. Right up our street. You can listen to and buy it here.

Plastic Knights - Unclever Noise

Plastic Knights hail from Vaprio d'Adda, about 20 miles from Milan in Italy. Following on from the If I single, the band have now released their debut album. It's a great 40 minute listen, although the album is more in Classic Rock territory than we usually venture.

Unclever Noise will probably be promoted as Indie Rock, but the material here is much more variety led than in that catch all genre. The Four Piece dabble with Grunge, Metal, even Prog, but all of it is melodic and beautifully played.

Everlasting is a sort of Funk bordering on AOR. But the nearest comparison that I can come up with is Muse, certainly on songs such as I Can't Breathe and Kaleidoscope. This wouldn't be a Muse of Gizmos and Gadgets or Voice Changers. The album is far more straight ahead than that.

If I is Soundgarden like and the album really doesn't feel like a debut. Plastic Knights seem to know what they want to achieve and it is at it's best when it isn't slowed down. Unclever Noise is a really accomplished opening album.

You can listen to and buy the album here.

City Mouth - Hollows

We've had the Pop Punk debate on here in the past, so that's boring, if only would go beyond the label. The better bands are not wearing baggy shorts and backward caps, they are stretching out way beyond and can't and won't be labelled.

Many of these upcoming bands have more in common with Power Pop, New Wave and Pop Rock. Take Chicago's City Mouth! The five piece do not want to be Green Day, their influences, both old and new, are from far further afield.

The arrangements include unusual Brass and keyboard runs, played by Jackie Heuser. She also adds additional vocals which again adds to the variety. The seven songs here come in at just under 24 minutes, but there is so much packed in that the album feels really substantial.

Take the opener, Lay Awake, which was played on this week's radio show. It's 1:56 and packs a slow hand clap start and rock out end sandwiched between a superb trumpet riff. It's chock full of stuff in under 2 minutes. It's melodic joy.

The other end of the album has an anthemic much longer Stay Awake, very different to that opener, although there's a closing reference to it.  In between, Anywhere But Here could be early 70's Prog, think of Lamb Lying Down on Broadway.

Don't get me wrong, City Mouth Rock and Boy do they Rock, but this isn't mindless, it's built on hypnotic riffs, unexpected arrangements and changes of direction at will. Special mention has to be made of the accompanying vocal arrangements. Hollows is one of the best things that I've heard this year.

You can listen to and buy the album for a paltry five dollars here.

Major Murphy - No. 1

Major Murphy's debut album is a double celebration. It underlines what a great label Winspear is becoming, a real mark of quality. More relevantly, the band offer up Pop Rock of the highest order, a hark back to the glory days of the 70's when this album would have sold oddles and oodles.

No 1 is a glorious 37 minutes. The ten songs offer up so many references to what has gone before, but essentially are the Grand Rapid Trio's own and throughout the versatility shines through. For all the influences that you hear, the album never veers into pastische or tribute.

There's a wonderful laid back feel to all of this, nothing seems rushed. Jacon Bullard's vocals are suitability fragile, providing a lead for splendid arrangements and Backing Vocals. The type of songs that Major Murphy produce don't lend themselves to noise and speed. That's not what they are about.

However when they do break out, it's when the album excels. The riff led closer, Lisa, Robbi And Me is a joy and the stand out Radi-Yum is pure Glam Rock, a real Bolan reminder. Normally I'd pick out more songs and references, but to be honest the whole album stands up as an entirety.

The band are a really tight trio that enhances the strength of Bullard's songwriting. No 1 is a corker of an album, a testament to band and label. You should buy it now, the Summer is almost here.

You can listen to and buy the album here.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 40

I Don't Hear A Single's Radio Show returns this week to liven up your lives. Number 40 brings you 16 New songs and 2 Archive Tracks.

Nice to have IDHAS firing on all cylinders again. The planned new 2 hour additional show is still a couple of weeks or so away. Delays are down to me.

The I Don't Hear A Single Radio Excitement is broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm.

You can listen to it here.

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the other thirty nine shows and two Xmas Specials here.

Here's this week's playlist :

01 The Motors - Love And Loneliness
02 The Supahip - Running Blind
03 The Stayawakes - Slumbers
04 City Mouth - Lay Awake
05 Simon Love - Golden Boy
06 The Covasettes - Wondering Why
07 Michael Simmons - No More Girls
08 The Penske File - Kamikaze Kids
09 David James Situation - Waste Of Time
10 Yachts - Box 202
11 Major Murphy - Who I Will Be
12 Blake Jones And The Trike Shop - Take A Look At The Stars
13 Caravela - Car
14 Annexe The Moon - Full Stop
15 Ocean Mind - Victim Of Gravity
16 Easter - Open Grave
17 Red Sun Rising - Left For Dead
18 The Wellwishers - Come Out And Play

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

The Supahip - The Two Sided Face

Since I've returned to the writing chair, I keep getting surprises, most I knew where coming, some I didn't. Well I didn't know The Supahip's second album was on the horizon and so it would appear my Pop Rock credentials need renewing.

It's well known that I worship at the altar of Michael Carpenter. Australia hasn't been as abundant in the Power Pop / Pop Rock division over recent years. Music from Oz seems to have got have got more meandering or lowest common denominator. There are exceptions that I, as well as you, will readily name.

The Supahip's Seize The World remains one of my favourite albums from the Naughties. Songs that shot off in all directions but were centred around great melodies. So over a decade on, it's ace that The Two Sided Face has appeared.

The Supahip are a collaboration between Carpenter and Mark Moldre. Those not familiar with The  Supahip might expect a slightly country folk tinged album, because the former can head that way at times and the latter's acoustic solo stuff certainly does. No No Not at all.

Four Arms and Got To Keep On Moving certainly fit that bill, but the album is largely a real melodic pop rocking joy. When I Started Falling Apart is jaunty Rock and Roll. Motor feels like Stealers Wheel, in fact quite a few of the songs do.

Both Running Blind and Domino are great examples of Psych Pop. Wonderful examples! The real standout though is the moody meandering closer, Time To Turn The Page. I wouldn't have chosen to wait almost 12 years for the follow up to Seize The World, but it has been worth that wait. The Two Sided Face is outstanding, it'll certainly be high on my end of year chart.

You can listen to and buy the album here. You should!

Monday, 16 April 2018

Bram Tchaikovsky - Strange Men Changed Men : The Complete Recordings 1978 - 1981 (3CD)

First up, I've always been a massive fan of The Motors, right from seeing them on The Old Grey Whistle Test doing Dancing The Night Away. I even eventually became a fan of the band's finale, Tenement Steps.

When Anything Should Happen started, a decade or so ago, it became apparent that New Wave fans were far more plentiful than I had imagined. The Blog always had a far larger following Stateside and the Power Pop fans from those shores adored Bram Tchaikovsky, even more so than The Motors. Girl Of My Dreams was a real anthem to them.

The Motors had three great songwriters, so it was always a little top heavy in the writing process. Although it was no surprise that Bram went out on his own, it was heaven that Bram headed a Power Pop trio, I saw them in Manchester in 1978 with Fast Cars as support. They were suitably and splendidly noisy.

The three Bram Tchaikovsky albums have been fetching big money for quite some time and there have been plenty of voices wanting a proper CD release. Cherry Red have done just that, following on from the superb Yachts collection.

This three disc set contains each album in individual disc wallets with the original artwork. There is also a bumper 16 Bonus Tracks which round up Singles and B Sides from the time. The liner notes are quite exhaustive and will introduce freshers to the delights of these fondly remembered recordings. Indeed, all Power Pop fans should invest in the set.

The gem here is the debut album, Strange Man, Changed Man. It's an absolute New Wave Classic, containing at least half a dozen songs that could have been singles. The title track remains one of my favourite New Wave Songs ever and it was even heavier live.

Add to that Lonely Dancer, Lady From The USA, Sarah Smiles and Robber and you have wall to wall quality. Plus there's Girl Of My Dreams, perhaps the only UK Top 40 hit about a Blow Up Doll.  Julian Cope has said that it's a song that defines the late 70's.

It was always going to be hard following this outstanding opening album. The follow up was sophomore, although a little lighter. The title track and the magnificent, Can't Give You Reasons are worth the admission alone. The Bonus Live Versions of Whiskey And Wine and Robber show how powerful the band were.

Nick Garvey was back in the Producer's Chair for the finale, Funland. Major label money seemed to be spent on Over Production, something that wasn't necessarily needed, the rawness was part of the appeal.

Funland also seems to run out of steam a little. Soul Survivor, a great Motors' B Side, sounds as ace as ever and Breaking Down The Walls Of Heartache is an absolutely storming song. Having said that, Funland still knocks the spots of most around at the time.

Cherry Red have done a fine job here. The 3 disc set is retailing for £17.99, a bargain considering how long we've waited for the. The label is also doing a fine job with UK New Wave reissues at present. I have a long list of things I'd love to see released by them. These albums headed that list.

You can buy the album here.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Mick Dillingham Interviews : Chris Church

Chris Church is one of those unsung musical heroes. You'll discover his background in the interview. He's firmly in the Power Pop crowd, but really his songs have greater depth than your average Power Pop initial comparison. Think Chris Price!

Limitations Of Source Tape was in my Top 10 albums of last year here. If I was compiling that End Of Year Chart now, it would be higher. The album is a corker. Pop Rock at it's very best.

Here Mick Dillingham talks to Chris Church about his career and influences.

North Carolina’s Chris Church has been ploughing the same fertile guitar driven, hook filled powerpop field as Matthew Sweet and Tommy Keene for nigh on twenty years. With a brilliant new album Limitations Of Source Tape now upon us his always impressive creative abilities show no sign of dimming at all.

Melodic memorable songs, beautifully realised are at the heart of his music with strong veins of classic Todd Rundgren sparkling throughout.  Despite all these convenient comparisons as with all truly great talents Chris Church’s unmistakable individual take on the genre is the one thing that shines brightest of all.

The highest compliment you could pay to his new album is to say it sounds like Chris Church and that says it all because that’s a guarantee of quality par excellence second to none. Time to sit down with this good man and talk about his career so far.

What are your earliest memories of first getting into music? 

I guess my early fascination with fingers plucking steel was brought on by hearing Bobby Fuller Four's "I Fought The Law". I also must admit being drawn to the finger-picking folky sound of John Denver and James Taylor albums my folks had. It was all about guitar for me. Always.

Which music artists first made you sit up and take notice?

On my own, discovering Frampton Comes Alive at thirteen was earth shaking for me. I went from there quickly to Zeppelin, Blue Oyster Cult and Be Bop Deluxe. My first few albums also included Kansas, Van Halen, Foghat and Starz. I was mostly into hard rock and some fairly heady stuff. Somehow I just knew, even at a young age, that melody and hooks mattered a lot to me.

When did you start playing an instrument? 

I was eleven. It was not very good for quite some time.  I used to lock myself in my room as soon as I got home from school to try to practice. No lessons, still don't read music. Around age thirteen, I could suddenly change chords quickly enough to complete a song.

"Can't Get Enough" by Bad Company comes to mind.  It was about that time when my brother Mike got a drum kit. We made quite a racket. We did improve but I wouldn't say that happened quickly. My poor parents........

When did you start writing songs?

When I was eighteen. The first one I remember writing was actually not nearly as bad as many others that followed. It was called "Going Through The Motions", a Cheap Trick-influenced song with no bridge, but a decent chorus about dating a "good" girl in high school. You can probably fill in the blanks there.

Were you in any early bands?

Yes, the first band was a hard rock cover band called Sabre. A very good, very tight band. I was seventeen and we played a lot, had some good and bad gigs in our region. I learned a lot about things, but what stuck with me and influenced me artistically was the song building knowledge I got from playing rhythm guitar on all those Priest, UFO, Queen and AC/DC songs.

It wasn't long before I felt I needed to try to write my own songs. I was the new kid, I had no say and the set list was very regimented. Not yet being an artist, that was just as much a confusing time as it was fun.

Talk about the first album Auralollipop

That was a project I put together to capture the existence of my first three original bands and some of the early songs that I'd begun writing. The band I was in called The Jones was a good alternative pop rock band with my late great brother Mike Church and a bassist named John Green, who at that time was the best songwriter I had met.

We got pretty good and our set list grew to over fifty songs, most of them originals. At one point we entered a regional band competition that was kind of a big deal at the time. It was set up impressively at a popular club and judged by outsiders who had some supposed pedigree and knew nothing of our local norm. The norm pretty much consisted of exclusively cover bands, not creating or giving venues much of a reason to support much originality.

The fifteen or so other bands in the competition were pretty much all cover bands. We did our own stuff and won the competition...but never got our prizes. It was an eye opening experience to see how we got plenty of divisive flack from certain other bands' members, but in retrospect, that was apropos for that time and place. Almost no one from our area in small town western North Carolina understood us. We wore our oddness as a badge of honour for over two years and called it a day.

After this band fizzled I switched to bass and my brother and I teamed up with my college buddy (now lifelong best friend) Scott Cornette, who had been writing some very complicated and just plain weird progressive hard rock things on guitar. I had endured a personal tragedy in that time, was fairly checked out for that period and the period of The Jones' existence.

With this band, Flat Earth, I dove into extremely personal and ponderous lyrics, but we all wanted to play and co-wrote the weirdest things we could. Flat Earth were a very tight band, largely because of my brother's advanced drumming skills and the odd time signatures that we incorporated and performed at a pretty high level.

Scott had worked in radio and built connections that got us a gig opening for Billy Squier, then Joan Jett and before we knew it we were opening big shows for Kansas, Kings X, Blue Oyster Cult, The Kinks, Peter Frampton and more.

We did absolutely nothing to capitalise on whatever momentum we may have had. There was very little focus on any goal, no management and our first CD was printed with the manufacturing error of leaving our address out of the liner notes. No one could have reached us had they even tried!

From Flat Earth, I was drawn into the Power Pop / Alt Rock band Junkflower, which I actually played in concurrently. We gigged quite a bit in a very active college town scene in the 90s. Being in both bands simultaneously was exhausting, but provided some amazing memories and playing guitar and writing some pop rock riffs in a band where I was not the singer was a good experience for me.

So yeah, "Auralollipop" was an attempt to capture a bit of a whirlwind time and to not only catch myself up, but also clear the deck for the next phase.

Goodbye Blue Monday

"Goodbye Blue Monday" (title inspired by my favourite novel "Breakfast Of Champions" by Kurt Vonnegut) was directly influenced by my "holy grail" moment sometime mid 90s. The music of The Posies, Sloan, Teenage Fanclub and a few other bands converged in my psyche to reveal what is still my favourite way to present a song, melodic pop rock with loud guitars.

The band was me, my brother, and a bassist named Keith Suddreth, who is also sadly no longer with us. There were a few good ones on that record, but the lyric writing was not quite there yet to some degree. I saw a copy of the CD for sale on Amazon for something like 80 dollars the other day. Believe me, it's not worth anything close to that amount!

Your Own Chosen Speed

This album was self-released, recorded on seven working tracks of an eight track reel tape machine at a very prolific point for me. I made a lot of records in the little Sweathouse of a studio that my brother and I created in my house's spare bedroom.

All of this album was just me with Mike on drums and though it sounds a bit rough and is by no means perfect, I do still like all the songs on it. I guess this is probably the first good album I ever made. I remember being very happy to see a positive review in a cool magazine called Amplifier that called it "a rare thrill in this digitized age." It was.more like a guy who doesn't know a lot about gear or producing, but don't tell them that.

During that period I was also able to release recordings by Chalky (A Power Pop duo with John Hawkins), Jack Sabbath (23 song Bizarro Guided By Voices meets Zappa album) and Frank Burns (Grungy Alt Rock Vinyl EP with Jimi Robison, the other guitarist from Junkflower), to name a few. I didn't sleep much for the last few years of the Nineties.

Let The Echo Decide

This one is okay with me. I had definitely progressed as a songwriter, but looking back on it, the album probably could have used a bit of editing. The band for this record was called Automatic Pilots and I got my buddy Scott Cornette back into the fold on guitar, with brother Mike on drums and a bassist named Rick Sumpter.

Scott also employed his valuable skills behind the console as engineer at this point, a partnership that remains since. This includes his responsibility for a lot of the sound of our Heavy Rock Band, Dang.

Not what I'd call a real fun experience, as tension came from things like stylistic musical differences, weird gigs, proximity issues and having to record in several different places. Although it possibly could have been a shorter album, it doesn't make me cringe too much. There are some good tunes here, a few that I feel are some of my best.

The Heartbreaks You Embrace

So, the first version of this recording was to be called "Your Sun Is About To Shine". There are versions of the CD from a label in Chicago that are in circulation. For several reasons, I had gotten out of the contract, but some copies of that version leaked out anyway. To anyone who may have one, I didn't sanction or make a dime off those.

So, after some time goes by, the record is altered slightly and a new version of this CD called "The Heartbreaks You Embrace" was released in 2009 by a label that quickly folded and no longer exists, including the complete dissolution of their website.

Basically, a decent album became a ghost. Too bad, it sounds professional, it was recorded at a lovely studio called Epiphonic, which was built inside an old church and is mixed well. It also features a range of extremely good players, including Chad Davis from black metal legends Hour Of 13 and world-class Dobro player Jaret Carter.

The record was born out of a bad breakup, so the overall wistfulness and the Alt Country touches sitting in with my Pop Rock melodic tendencies may have made this an uneasy listening experience for some, I don't know.

It wasn't exactly marketed or distributed and was barely available even then. I still like it and have just released it digitally with some bonus tracks on my Bandcamp page under the title, "The Heartbreaks You Embrace - Revisited". It's free, of course. Just wanted to get it out there...and off me.

Tell us about your brother 

My brother and I were friends who did a lot together. We sometimes got along, sometimes not, like brothers do. This was evidenced musically by the fact that even though he didn't like playing a lot of my songs and complained or shut off sometimes, he stuck with me and did it anyway.

Most of my music is Pop Rock based and he much preferred Progressive Rock and spent lots of time emulating Neil Peart of Rush in his drumming. He could have joined any band, but turned down several chances to play with other people so he could play music with me, as we had been doing since our early teens.

He was amazing. A very good competitive cyclist, a creative and talented carpenter, a perfectionist in any project he undertook. A handful to be sure, but a hilarious, unforgettable guy and his contributions to the overall sound of my music are vast and very special to me. I wish he were here to argue with me right now.

Onto the latest album Limitations Of Source Tape

The recording of "Limitations Of Source Tape" began in my basement, with drummer John Hawkins (of past collaborations Chalky and Junkflower) and of his own continuing musical project The Yancys. We played together live with my wife, Lori, doing the initial engineering and production.

My final touches and Lori's co-production and co-mixing began a bit later with Scott Cornette at his house. I had never allowed others to completely take the production and mixing choices out of my hands before on a record. However, I felt strongly about a new approach and insisted they do it while I cooked meals for them in Scott's kitchen.

I couldn't be more pleased with the results. I gave them the tracks and they built them, more decisively and in far less time than I would have been able to do it.

Were there songs you didn’t use?

No, actually this was another first for me. I knew which fourteen songs to use. They fit and I never doubted that. Lori and Scott didn't always completely agree. For a brief period Spyderpop Records wanted to trim it down but I insisted. It always just felt like this batch of songs belonged together. It's over fifty minutes long, but always seems shorter when I've listened to it, which is a good thing.

What are your favourites on the record?

I honestly like every song on the album and I definitely can't say that about every other one I've done. Some of my favourite moments are what some of the others did, like Lori's Glockenspiel or "Rockenspiel" as we call it for example. I won't forget how she coached John and me to keep speeding up for the end of "Perfecto" with her arms flailing in increasingly wacky motions.

 Also, I was very lucky to have Scott and Charles Shoemake contribute a few truly great guitar solos. Scott's work on "I Can Feel The Echo" is profoundly excellent and Charles's chiming perfect solo on "Pollyanna's Going Dark" are two big highlights for me. I am fortunate to have the help of some good friends on this project and I truly appreciate the fact that their contributions made it a better record.

How does the song writing process work with you, where do you lyrical ideas come from? 

The song writing process has come to me in just about every way over the years. There have been a few that just landed completely as a fully formed idea, which take only minutes to finish. That's rare, of course, but it has happened. Most often, my process entails recording riffs or chord ideas and going back to them later to work on, somewhat like a puzzle.

Lyrical ideas can come from just about anything. I have written some ridiculously bad lyrics and sometimes on purpose. It's not really unusual for me to rewrite an entire song if I really like the music. The words need to fit the mood of the music and I believe it's up to the artist to know when and whether that happens.

Are you slow or prolific?

I was extremely prolific when I was younger. I am much slower than I used to be. Some of that is laziness, but some of it is that I actually do edit and revisit things now before just throwing it out there into the world.

What would you say were your biggest influences?

If I had to narrow it way down, my biggest musical influences are probably Bob Dylan, for setting the bar on writing lyrics. Todd Rundgren for his beautiful genius melodies and completely fearless approach. Townshend, Page and Buckingham (to name a few) for the guitardation and the entire genre of what could loosely be called Power Pop.

There are so many songs to love, to be absolutely obsessed with, that you only want to hear and nothing else 25 times in a row and I'm still finding more, both the occasional new ones and the nuggets I've missed before and find a thrill in discovering.

I'll never ever get tired of "Tonight" by the Raspberries. It's everything. One two three FOWAH! That song contains all that excites me about the entire prospect of enjoying or creating art. I know that sounds like hyperbole, but I mean it and I don't ever want to hear myself trying to explain that. I just want to know it and believe it.

You can listen to Limitations Of Source Tape on the Spyderpop Site here. You can buy the album there or at Kool Kat here. You can download the album at CD Baby here.

Chris Church's Bandcamp site features plenty of his archive here.  You can download from there, much of it is free.

Monday, 2 April 2018

I Me Mine - Ellipsis

IDHAS is Guitar Centric, I like it that way and dig in more because of the constant Guitar Is Dead articles inflicted on me. That's not to say that I don't appreciate anything else because I do. I was a very early adopter of Electronic in the 70s, but now it all sounds so samey, all Garage Band and Pro Tools and definitely over processed.

I Me Mine are a real exception and deserve a mention here. There's real intelligence and depth in the arrangements. There are also plenty of nods to the past, but they are certainly one of the better crop from the 2010's.

Elipsis is the French Trio's second album and you can certainly hear the progression. The two part Here Comes The Man bookends the album and it's a joyous anthem. Think of a modern Alan Parsons Project, less words, more harmony.

Those older references spring out. At times you hear Supertramp, 10CC, mid 80's Sparks, but you also can relate it to more modern masters like Tame Impala and Ooberon. The lack of guitar doesn't matter, because you become consumed in the melody and arrangements.

The closer, Feel, adds an Acoustic strum and could almost be The Verve, it is wonderfully moody with a stunningly arranged backdrop. It even breaks out into a Radiohead Ok Computer wannabe. Aviator is all jaunty pop and singalong in complete contrast.

A Special mention though must be noted for Elephant In The Hallway which is all Beatlesque Psych, a crackerjack of a song and completely unexpected. Maybe the band's future may be in Prog. I Me Mine is a corker of an album. Something that many of us wouldn't ordinarily listen to and that's to our detriment.

Let me know if I've got it right if you aren't convinced. Links to Spotify etc are here, as well as links to buying the download.

The Incredible Vickers Brothers - Torch Songs For Swingers

Bob Vickers returns 10 years after the debut of the poptastic Gallimaufry and Album Number two doesn't disappoint. As a founder member of The Orange Peels, it's fitting that Vickers is back with Allen Clapp at the Boulder Creek version of Muscle Shoals, Mystery Lawn Music.

The 60's pop references are still present, the opener is very Hollies like, whilst Faded Away is all UK Beat 1967. But in between those songs, you realise how varied Vickers can be. Money Can Buy Me starts all protest song before delving into a White Album psych chorus. It's a revelation.

Bleaker And Bluer is all Lollipop Shoppe jaunty Psych, whilst In Memory is a lounge torch song. Blue Collar Cruel contains another outstanding lyric, it's a noisy dismayed joy of song. An ode to self expectancy. A perfect anthem for the me generation.

Walkabout reminds me of one of those Break Up songs that Brit Pop bands added to an album to show that they were self aware and not just one riff. There's a lovely chiming jangly riff, a mix of Mid 80's Scots Pop and a Creation discovery.

Bored is all aching tedium, the type of song belted out on Ready Steady Go, well more mimed out. Hungarian Girl is stripped down singer songwriter fayre whilst Wreck Up Ahead is a splendid moody closer accompanied by a haunting slide riff with a real Go-Betweens feel.

Torch Songs For Swingers is a remarkably well made album. Plenty of depth, more than enough to keep you rapt. It's a proper album to be listened to from start to finish. A large round applause please fro Bob Vickers and another of the mountain of plaudits that should be aimed at Mystery Lawn Music.

You can listen to and buy the album here.

The Yancys - The End

John Hawkins hasn't been in the public eye for a decade or so, but his pedigree has never been in doubt. His involvement with the underground Indie Rock scene is noted, encompassing the likes of Yo La Tengo, Archers Of Loaf and Cracker.

He has a lot of history with Chris Church (look out for an interview with Chris In the week), including work on Church's Limitations Of Source Tape album, which is in many Top 10's from 2017. The most striking thing about this album is that it is a guitarathon, it certainly rocks and not gently.

Hawkins's vocal is a sort of Tom Petty who has just woke up, maybe imagine Petty fronting an alt rock outfit. The guest guitar players are a who's who of the underground. The likes of Chad Nance, Rod Night, Jon Kirby and Chris Church himself are featured.

These guitarists add a paint stripping melody to the songs. The solo on Deplorable is  a wonderful thing and the riff on Institution could be Thin Lizzy era Brian Robertson. Yet Brown Shirt is pure Power Pop with a killer chorus.

The End could be described as rocked up Power Pop or even melodic Indie Rock. Either way it's never boring. It is a concept album, although you would never really know that. It doesn't come up for air until the slowed down closer, Silver Ships, and why should it?

There's an in your face Anti Trump lyric to most and again that's all well and good. An album will stand or fall with the quality of it's songs. There are 12 gems here and you will shake your fist with most. This is an outstanding rock out, classily done and I can't wait for the next album.

You can listen to and buy the album here or the disc is available from Kool Kat.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

All I Wanna Do Is...........................Review

IDHAS was only meant to be in a little cupboard in the corner of North West England. It has become so multi faceted that it's a bit frustrating. It's all wonderful of course, but I fret it's losing sight of what it is actually about.

It was started to review new and under appreciated artists on a if I like it, you may too sort of basis. As I Don't Hear A Single branched off in all directions, it's main aim has been put on the back burner.
Today was set aside for reviews, as was the Easter Weekend, there are potential 60 albums I could tell you about and yearn to do so.

I've spent most of the day talking to musicians about future projects and although it's a great situation to be in, those Reviews are still waiting to be written. Skype Life is fun, but it leaves the IDHAS Pages blank.

So I'm thinking the plan will be to avoid all distractions for the next week. I can reply to messages, emails, etc as and when I break away from the Reviews. It may result in overload for readers as they see lots of Reviews. Buck it gives the Blog a restart and makes me feel more comfortable with what is happening there.

If you've been waiting for a Review, it will appear during the upcoming week. After tomorrow that will be UK Evening Time onwards. Nothing changes in the IDHAS world and other things continue to evolve. I just feel that the Blog needs to get back to where it was and then it can progress at the leisurely pace that suits us all.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 39

Number 39 is hot footing it to KOR HQ and it's another Crackerjack (Crackerjack!!!) hour of top tuneage.

Whilst preparing for the new additional show, it's great to hear that the quality hasn't lessened on the IDHAS adventure.

Prepare yourself for an Easter barrage of reviews. Don't buy that chocolate, buy an album.

The show is broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm.

You can listen to it here.

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the other thirty eight shows and two Xmas Specials here.

Here's this week's playlist :

01 Chris Richards And The Subtractions - Half Asleep
02 Nick Frater - Built To Last
03 Bram Tcahikovsky - Girl Of My Dreams (Us Promo Single Version)
04 The Kut - Mind Games
05 Young Statues - Somebody Else
06 No Fun At All - Runner's High
07 Caddy - Miracle Turn
08 The Great Heights Band - All In
09 Kissing Clouds - Ring Fight
10 The Black Delta Movement - Let The Rain Come
11 McCafferty - Paper, Pencil, Copyright
12 The Super Fuzz - Speedball
13 The Gold Needles - Ghost In The Airwaves
14 The Deep Six - Brand New Day
15 Brian Jay Cline - Last Of The Great Atomic
16 Drones - Anchors
17 The Pandoras - Stop Pretending
18 Space - Give Me Your Future

Monday, 26 March 2018

Word Up

It has been quiet here lately, Review Wise, that's because there's been lots of working in the background. The Reviews will be coming at you thick and fast from midweek and all through Easter. Meanwhile, I can now tell you about the first of the new things in the IDHAS related world.

Next week, we begin a second Radio Adventure. The I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show remains as is, the new addition is very different to that format. These are some of the way it differs :

It's 2 Hours long.

It's fortnightly.

The Music selection will not only be the new, but plenty of the old. Still Unappreciated Artists, but I will be raiding my archive.

There will be chat. As well as Intros to songs, there will be talky regular features, serious and humorous.

There will be Interviews.

There will be regular Artist Sessions.


There will be Guest Presenters and Regular Contributors.

Look out for future teasers on here, Facebook and Twitter. In the meantime if you would like to appear on nthe show, please get in touch via the various ways you can e-mither me as shown on the I Don't Hear A Single Blog Front Page.

More details will follow very soon.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 38

Howdy doody all! I'm back after an extended break and lots to catch up on, particularly review wise. This week's Radio Show is already winging it's way to KOR and look out for announcement over the weekend about a new additional fortnightly two hour show that will feature more archive tracks with interviews and sessions etc.

Details will appear on here after a spate of reviews that are to be posted in the next few days. This week's show is a cracker. After the repeat last week, it's left a surplus of great stuff and it has been really hard getting it down to an hour. So just one Archive track this week amongst the 18 songs.

The show is broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm.

You can listen to it here.

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the other thirty seven shows and two Xmas Specials here.

Here's this week's playlist :

01 Albert Hammond Jr. - Far Away Truths
02 Caper Clowns - The Way I Dream
03 New Sincerity Works - Wonder Lust
04 The Orange Peels - Running Away (Mountain Towns Version)
05 The Noise Figures - Strange Medium Child
06 Belinda Carlisle - California
07 The BellRays - Brand New Day
08 The Magic Gang - All This Way
09 Eric Harrison - Millionaires
10 Beaulieu Porch - Simeon Touches The Ground
11 High Up - Your System Failed You
12 Brian Lisik And The Unfortunates - Hey Zelienople
13 Alfa 9 - Different Corner
14 Victims Of The New Math - Paul Knows The Way
15 Big Eyes - Alls I Know
16 Three Man Cannon - Sun Poison
17 Goodbye Nova - California
18 The Amazing - Asleep

Thursday, 8 March 2018

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 37

Number 37 has just been completed. It's a cracker, a little bit psychy at times. A great instrumental opener that is slightly different to what I normally kick things off with. Two Archive songs. The Orange version of Judy Under The Rainbow remains in my Top 10 songs ever, although I know Rick Corcoran himself, prefers the Orgone Box version.

Look out for next week's show, it will have chatty song intros, something a few have asked for. The 2 hour show coming in the near future will be far more focussed on chat, we'll see what people think of next week's. I'm not fully convinced. I only have an hour and intros will mean at least one song less.

The show is broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm.

You can listen to it here.

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the first thirty six shows and two Xmas Specials here.

Here's this week's playlist :

01 Wess Meets West - Skylar There's Rot
02 The Filthy Souls - I'm Gonna Take You To My Show
03 Orange - Judy Over The Rainbow
04 Barely Civil - Lost // Found
05 Hurry - Read Between The Lines
06 Nick Batterham - Nothing Lasts
07 Lord High Admirals - Who Killed Kentucky
08 Farrah - Do You Ever Think Of Me
09 Tax The Heat - Change Your Position
10 Desario - Down Among Them
11 Chimpanbee - Fell In Love
12 Phil Reynolds And The Big Day Out - When It Hits
13 Ponctuation - Fleur
14 Papa Satch - Soulful Intent
15 Spielbergs -  We Are All Going To Die
16 Shannon And The Clams - Love Strike
17 Scrambled Limbs - Plasterboard

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Mick Dillingham Interviews : Mothboxer

I'm delighted to welcome the return of Mick Dillingham to our little corner of the world wide web. People remark about my taste, well I bow to the masterful way, Mick picks the old and new from out of the ether.

Mothboxer are one of those bands that you hope will breakout. Similarly to Spygenius and Captain Wilberforce, Dave Ody's excellence should be admired by the world. I often bemoan the lack of truly great Guitar Pop coming from out of the UK, there are certain exceptions and we should celebrate them. 

Mick Interviews Dave Ody about his career and as you listen to some of the back catalogue, you will hear what you are missing. Mothboxer should no longer be our little secret.

What an utterly glorious band Mothboxer are. Centred around the prestigious talents of Dave Ody, they have spent the last ten years recording five virtually faultless, albums and three EPs of such quality and grace. These adventures effortlessly propel them right up there into the highest echelons of modern day classic combos alongside the beloved likes of The Luck of Eden Hall and Pugwash.

Entering the spellbinding musical world of Mothboxer you cannot help but be helplessly dazzled by the winning songs swathed in beautifully crafted, inventive playing and multilayered production values that are second to none on the listening pleasure scale.  Musically they dwell in that most cherished garden of delights, yes its all our favourite P’s: Power Pop, Psychedelia and Progressive.

While the influences are there to notice on first play it isn’t too long at all before they fall away from the consciousness leaving only the unmistakable individual sound of Mothboxer to delight in. This is the hallmark of true talent and it’s a wonder to behold.

The past decade or so as home recording equipment has grown to rival the sound delivered by a professional recording studio, there’s been a quiet revolution in creativity unhindered by record company meddling and the constraint of budgets.  A joyous artistic autonomy of creative freedom that at its finest can be cherished both by the artist and the listener in equal measure.

What you get in such circumstances is not some corporate money men’s often arbitrary idea of what an artist should sound like but instead the true sound of what the artist themselves think they should sound like. Obviously the artist is not always right, the third Semisonic album springs to mind, but when they are right, as is the case here, then just sit back and watch the majesty unfold.

Anyway I think I’ve drowned you all in enough superlatives for one day and anyway half and hour or so spent listening to their output on Bandcamp will effortlessly show you that each and every gushing word is well deserved. But enough of my thoughts, let us, gentle reader, get on with the business at hand which is sitting down with the esteemed Mr. Ody to find out the story so far.

What are your earliest memories of first getting into music?

Most of my early memories have music associated with them. I distinctly remember hearing David Bowie’s Jean Genie on the little kitchen radio my parents used to have. I must have been about two to three years old.. There was always music on in the house, either The Beatles or The Beach Boys with a bit of The Kinks for good measure.  I remember trawling through my parents record collection around the age of six and discovering Revolver for the first time.  To this day, Tomorrow Never Knows is, as far as I’m concerned, the most impressive three minutes of audio production there is and is probably what planted the seed for my interest in production.

In fact, from about that time onward, I remember figuring out that if I held down the record button on my music centre tape deck half way it would record at half speed or even slower. I also discovered that if you plug headphones into a microphone jack they would become a basic microphone… try it! Somewhere there are cassette tapes with these “experiments” on them.

Which music artists first made you sit up and take notice?

I suppose it would have to be The Beatles and The Beach Boys. My Mum was very into Fifties Rock n Roll too, which was the music of her youth, so I remember being very impressed as a small child with artists like Fats Domino, Little Richard and Elvis among others. It was obvious even as a kid that these guys did something that changed music forever and the bands in the sixties and seventies and beyond owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

I still discover artists that make me sit up and listen which is great. I know a lot of people who have an “era”. Usually the music that was around in their formative years and have great difficulty looking beyond that but there’s still SO much great music out there.  Mainstream TV, radio and press do just not cover it as they’re forced to play it safe and are unlikely to take a risk. Same story with labels and publishers. I get it, it’s all about return on investment, sadly.

Stuff from the last couple of decades that has had the same goosebump effect on me as music I heard as a child include Fleet Foxes, Grandaddy, Jaguar Ma, and Field Music.  Particularly, there's a cult English band who’ve been around since the late seventies, Cardiacs, who had an enormous effect on me as they are totally original. If you don’t know about them, you’re missing something special, although be warned, they are very, very unusual at times!

When did you start playing an instrument?

I remember having a Bontempi organ when I was again, around five or six. When you switched it on it sounded like a broken vacuum cleaner or some kind of industrial machine! It sounded horrible but I worked out basic chords and musical intervals on it. I had a Beatles chord book that I got one Birthday or Christmas from my parents, one of the greatest presents I ever received, it had notation of every Beatles song which I couldn’t read, still can’t to this day.

But usefully, it had the chords listed above the notation so I learnt from there. I progressed (regressed?) to guitar around the age of fourteen or fifteen after re-stringing my Dad’s electric guitar to left handed, I am right handed but for some reason play the guitar left handed… just makes more musical sense to me.

When did you start writing songs?

I started attempting to write songs around the time I was learning guitar. None of them had any merit whatsoever….what can a fifteen year old really write about in all honesty!  The first song I wrote where I thought.. “ah, that’s not too bad” was a song called “Help Me Out Now” which was lyrically diabolical but musically had enough going for it for me to carry on writing and improving my skills.

Were you in any early bands?

Yes indeed. My first band was at school. It was called “Concrete Tonsils” and was about as good as the name suggests.  We played covers and not very good ones at that, but you have to start somewhere and we were having a good time! In fact, two of the members of that band are still very dear friends and in fact, the drummer Phil Davies plays on many of the earlier Mothboxer tracks.

Tell us about some of your previous recording projects prior to Mothboxer, Kid Galahad and The Furze

So, post “Tonsils”(classic, musical differences split obviously.) I met local bassist Paul Seaman. We had loads of favourite bands in common and we enjoyed jamming over Hendrix and Cream covers! Writing wise, we were both finding our feet and a few line-ups later we had the first iteration of the band that became Kid Galahad.

KG was the first band I was a member of where we all wanted to do it seriously and we chased the elusive record deal. When we were good, we were very good, if a bit musically all over the place. We never had a solid musical direction and that was ultimately our downfall, but it was fun while it lasted.

In fact, we achieved quite a bit looking back. We had NME single of the week, a few primetime Radio One plays and some MTV2 heavy rotation. We also supported some pretty hefty bands at the time, Supergrass, Kaiser Chiefs first iteration “Parva” and on our first US visit we supported the legendary Elliott Smith at the Silver Lake lounge in LA. It was the first time I was starstruck, sitting in the same dressing room as him and his entourage while he jammed through Beatles White Album tracks. Amazing and sorely missed legend of a man.

When, inevitably our deal expired as Kid Galahad in 2004 we re-thought it all.  After self releasing a few EP’s and singles as Kid Galahad we decided, stupidly as it turned out, to change the name to The Furze, a reference to the senior school three out of four of us attended in Furze Platt. When it didn’t really happen again for us, the band kind of naturally went into hiatus in 2006.

How did the Geen album come together?

By the time of Kid Galahad, Paul and myself had become pretty prolific and accomplished songwriters and along with singer Ash Bull, who contributed many of the lyrics and drummer Dave Strows we had a tight unit.  This meant I’d built up a huge catalogue of songs from the late nineties all the way up to 2007. Most were for and used by KG but there was a collection of tracks, particularly around the time of the band’s dissolution that sounded like an album waiting to happen.

I was becoming more confident in the studio and as technology became more and more advanced and accessible, I was teaching myself modern music production and it became “my thing”. I enlisted the help of a local friend and label owner Bob Barker of LineOut Records and he kindly agreed to release Geen on his label. It got some pretty good reviews and a fair bit of local radio and internet play so I was encouraged enough to continue. It does still sound like a collection of demo’s but that’s it’s charm I suppose.

You then put together a live band, who were the other members and how did you enjoy playing live?

The live band came about after a lunchtime pint and chat with Bob. I had Phil Davies in mind as drummer and I was working with and producing a local musician and songwriter, Robbie Burley a.k.a. Finchey who was an obvious choice to be involved on guitar and vocal duties. I asked Paul initially to join on bass but for one reason or another it didn’t pan out, so we enlisted bassist Jon Hawes from Phil’s previous band Mother Black Cap.

As a live act, Mothboxer only played about five or six gigs. Mostly in and around London with the exception of 2013 when we played the prestigious IPO festival at the Cavern in Liverpool. That was a great gig but ultimately, it was getting harder and harder logistically and financially to keep playing live. It felt like I was starting from scratch and being older and having responsibilities like being a Dad and trying to hold down a day job, something had to give.

Add to that the fact that I always suffered horribly with stage fright, it was an obvious decision to stop gigging. I am quite often asked if Mothboxer will ever play live in some form or other again and I usually say something like “you never know”. That’s still the case. I like to keep my options open but there’s no plans currently.

Weirdly though, there is a Kid Galahad one off reunion at PennFest this July in the UK, which will be the first time that line up has been on stage in about twelve years.  I better start re-learning that material. This news has just been confirmed, so you have an exclusive here. We’re on Friday July 20th, one of the main stage supports, stage time still to be announced.

Tell us about the first album proper.

Yes, back to Mothboxer… As a kind of follow on from Geen, in 2009 I booked our local studio for a full day to record the drum tracks for what would become “Mothboxer”. By this stage I had loads of new material so as well as re working some of the Geen tracks to include live drums and a somewhat improved production, the album ended up being a mammoth fourteen tracks. This album was totally self released, as are all the Mothboxer albums to date and the response was encouraging getting favourable reviews as well as local BBC radio exposure.

Frequency followed in 2011 and was very much a studio based project. For me, it was more of a production learning album. so I took more of an electronic approach and it was all done “in the box”. It does still have one of my favourite Mothboxer tracks on it though, namely “Somehow, Somewhere”

2012’s Three was the first album where I felt I’d nailed the production. It was also the album that I’d had more time to work on as like a lot of people around the time of the financial crisis, I’d just been made redundant from my day job. Not ideal financially but it made me focus on music to stop myself going totally off the rails.

This is also the album that gave Mothboxer wider exposure, particularly in the US, thanks to endorsements from Power Pop luminaries like David Bash who named Three as his number one album for the year which was such a great accolade to receive.

After Three was so well received, Sand And The Rain came very quickly. I wanted to get back to a more concise pop record, it’s just 10 tracks. Again, very positive reviews for this one which was lovely.

It also contains another track that I really enjoyed writing and recording  “In The Morning”. There’s also the inclusion of a debut album outtake called “Everything’s Changed” recorded in 2009, which had sat on a hard drive for four years gathering dust.  Amazing what you forget about.

You also have three EP releases. What makes you decide to do an EP rather than save the songs for an album?

I think it boils down to the fact that sometimes I have songs that either don’t fit in with an album but are too good to discard. Or more usually, I’ll write a few songs that I’m really happy with and just want to get it out there as it’s own thing.

So onto the new album The Secret Art Of Saying Nothing

I think this album contains some of the best material I’ve released under the Mothboxer name. It was a tricky one to write and record though as it was all a bit disjointed. I had a lot of stuff going on during the writing and recording, a busy day job involving a fair bit of travel, amongst other things. So considering that, it turned out pretty good.

How was the recording process?

To go into a little more detail, it was no different really to the previous albums. I tend to get ideas pretty quickly once I latch onto something I like, a melody or a chord sequence and a lot of songs are written and the basic tracks recorded in the same process.

For this record I wanted a back to basics sounding band record even though a lot of it was recorded in the box. In fact, as a whole it’s Mothboxer’s heaviest record to date. I’m pretty happy with my studio setup now so the workflow is a lot more fluid than it was even three or four years ago. I’m a huge technology geek so as far as production is concerned I’m always learning how to use new plugins and software and always trying to hone my skills not only as a writer but as a producer.

The producer hat is something I’ve been wearing for a while now and while I was working on Secret Art, I was also working on two other projects. Firstly for upcoming artist Patrick Martyn, the best singer songwriter I’ve heard since Elliott Smith and also Finchey’s second album, both of which are quite stunning in their current state and they’re not even finished.  Both of these will be out this year if all goes to plan.

How happy are you with the finished album?

Very happy with it to be honest, as I mentioned earlier, it was a strange period but it all came out well in the end! I think it flows pretty well as an album, not that people really listen to albums in order anymore, shame really…

Were there songs you didn’t use?

Only a couple of things as I recall. They had a few promising moments, but didn’t end up making it to a “song” as such. I had enough tracks that made sense as a cohesive whole already. I’m sure some elements of them will end up on the next record though.

What are your favourites on the record?

I keep going back to “Right Time To Say Goodnight”. I’m happy with the feel of it and also lyrically, so that’s a favourite. I also really like “Way We’re Gonna Live Tonight” which closes the album. It’s a bit of a rousing chorus that one.

How does the song writing process work with you?

Wow.. Big question. So usually, I’ll be playing around with a chord sequence on the keyboard, trying out a new sound on a synth plugin or even just jamming a few chords on the guitar and more often than not, something starts to form as a verse or chorus. Then it’s just a question of building it out into a song structure.

That’s not to say it happens like that all the time. There’s many occasions where I pick up the guitar with the intention of writing something and literally nothing decent appears but thankfully those moments are still few and far between.

Are you slow or prolific?

I suppose because I dedicate a lot of time to music I’m pretty prolific. Having said that, there was a long gap between Sand And The Rain and Secret Art, nearly two years, but I suppose the workaholic side of me decides that working on at least three projects simultaneously is just fine and not in anyway impacting on my mental health.

What would you say were your biggest influences?

There’s probably two threads to this answer:

Musically, I have influences that are very different and not all of them reflect necessarily in the music I release. Obviously The Beatles are ingrained in my DNA, as are The Beach Boys, especially the Pet Sounds, Smile era naturally. But I also listen to some fairly obscure stuff too. I mentioned Cardiacs earlier. Leader Tim Smith is one of very few artists I would describe as a genius. Speaking of geniuses, Frank Zappa also had a huge affect on me and I suppose in some of the Mothboxer madder moments his influence is noticeable.

Secondly, I’m influenced by people. Friends and family particularly. My daughter has a huge influence on me as a person and therefore there’s a lot of her influence in what I do.

How’s the feedback to the album been so far?

Very good so far, thankfully. Some blog reviews have described it as the best album yet which is so nice to hear. It validates the work that goes into creating the records and keeps me keen to release stuff that I would want to hear.

I think that’s the key to writing and producing music. I could try and second guess what would “hit” for want of a better word but ultimately I would be chasing my tail and never get anything done.

I’ve seen this happen first hand where very talented writers continue to tweak and change things to sound like stuff that’s popular and going viral but they always end up two steps behind. It’s far better to stick to your guns and create stuff that you yourself would buy/download/steal. Whatever it is that people do nowadays!..............................................

You can listen to and buy any or all of the Mothboxer albums here. The latest album, The Secret Art Of Saying Nothing is a wonderful affair and a bargain at £5. It was in my Top 10 albums of 2017. I've chosen the song selections here, but there are others that Dave suggests. I would say that Mothboxer albums are essentially best from start to finish, there is obviously a lot of thought that goes into the track order.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

The Beach Blanket Fort Bingo Podcast

It's good to be back and there's a lot of stuff to come after my break as you'll see over coming days. Can I just take a minute to let you know about a splendid podcast that started it's adventure this week?

Many of you may know Stephen Schnee from Discussions Magazine and the But Is It Power Pop? Broadcasts and Forum on Facebook. I'm delighted that he has been encouraged to branch out with The Beach Blanket Fort Bingo Podcast.

It's a heady mix of music, interviews and chat that will interest all. The first episode is a specially extended episode that includes interviews with Jeff Murphy from Power Pop Gods, Shoes and Mike Baron, Comic Book Supremo and Music Reviewer.

There's also some great songs and a special acoustic performance from Adam Marsland. Most importantly, you can hear my dulcet tones as part of the regular Round Table Discussion that will appear in each episode.

We discuss Music Streaming here and with Stephen and I are John Borack, Mike Lidskin, Victor Erwin, Brad Beard, Rex Broome and Christina Bulbenko.

You can listen to or download the podcast on Buzzsprout or iTunes. You can also subscribe to future episodes at both. There is also a dedicated Public Facebook Group here. It's a great way to spend an hour or so being entertained. Well worth you joining the listeners.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 36

We reach the round 3 dozen tomorrow night and there's plenty here to enjoy.

I'm back in action and can feed myself now without a bib, allegedly. I can even tie my own shoelaces. Reviews are back from Saturday and there are plenty of them to come.

The show is broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm.

You can listen to it here.

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the first thirty four shows and two Xmas Specials here.

Here's this week's playlist :

01 The Skids - Animation
02 The Young Hearts - Bloom
03 Anton Barbeau - Magazine Street
04 The Temperance Movement - Caught In The Middle
05 Elk City - 25 Lines
06 Augie March - The Long Wait And See
07 The Rationales - Ready To Go
08 The Regrettes - Red Light
09 Alisha's Attic - The House That We Built
10 Martin Gordon - Political Correctness
11 Chris Church - Something Completely
12 Ken Sharp - Utopia (feat. Fernando Perdomo & Rob Bonfiglio)
13 The 286 - Time Immemorial
14 The Earthmen - Figure 8
15 They Might Be Giants - By The Time You Get This
16 Milestones - Once Upon A Time
17 The Osiris Club - Ringing The Changes

Monday, 26 February 2018

Be Back Soon

Apologies for the delay in posting new reviews. This is simply due to illness and I will be back in full swing at some stage this week. I remain contactable in all the usual ways, including Carrier Pigeon and via Bow And Arrow.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 35

Reviews are way behind because I'm still under the weather, but I'm over the moon with this week's show. I'm also apparently mixing metaphors like a journalist for The Express. Number 35 is so good that I've made a crib sheet to celebrate it. Number 5 - I'm Hearing You.

17 Top Tunes including two archive songs. Those two songs are an underated gem from UK New Wave and my favourite Joe Pernice song. The rest is largely new and out the wrapper. The show closes with The Foreign Films and the pop masterpiece that is Fall Of The Summer Heart.

Proving IDHAS is the home of the three minute pop song, the closer is almost 13 minutes of wonder. Apparently Guitar Bands are dead according to Matt Twiddly, I'd worry more about the godawful compressed production Matt.

The show is broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm.

You can listen to it here.

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the first thirty four shows and two Xmas Specials here.

Here's this week's playlist :

01 The Headboys - The Shape Of Things To Come
02 Lannie Flowers - Dayglow All Night
03 Afterpartees - Call Out Your Name
04 Diamond Hands - Now Or Never
05 Cinderpop - Yokohama
06 P76 - Northern Gaze
07 Emperor Penguin - Moth, Meet Flame
08 Mickelson - No Such Luck
09 Joe Pernice - Jimmy Coma
10 Brave New World - Penelope Freelove
11 Chris Church - Joke
12 The Obleeks - After The Sunrise
13 Mothboxer - Place I Go
14 Et Tu Brucé - The Light
15 The Whips - Fire In The Mist
16 The Crooked - Tarot Cards
17 The Foreign Films - Fall Of The Summer Heart