Aug 19, 2019

The Black Watch special with John Andrew Fredrick

The Black Watch special with John Andrew Fredrick in conversation with David Eastaugh

The Black Watch is an American independent rock band from Santa Barbara, California, United States, whose only constant member has been singer, guitarist, and primary songwriter, John Andrew FredrickThrough their twenty years in the recording industry, the group has affiliated with at least eight different record labels.

Fredrick formed the band in 1987 after earning his Ph.D. in English from University of California, Santa Barbara. After recording St. Valentine and releasing it on eskimo, Fredrick's own label, violinist J'Anna Jacoby joined the group and the two of them formed the nucleus of the band until she left the group in 2003.

The Black Watch has recorded and toured consistently throughout its history except for a brief period in 1997 when the band broke up. During this hiatus, Fredrick wrote The King of Good Intentions, a semi-autobiographical novel about an indie rock band. The band recorded a CD of the same title intended as a companion piece to the novel.

In 2008, guitarist and singer Steven Schayer (formerly of the New Zealand band The Chills) joined, and Fredrick published another book of fiction, The Knucklehead Chronicles.

In 2013, The band released The End of When on Pop Culture Press Records.

Aug 12, 2019

Blyth Power special with Joseph Porter

Blyth Power special with Joseph Porter in conversation

Blyth Power are a British rock band formed in 1983 by singer and drummer Joseph Porter, formerly of Zounds and The Mob. Blyth Power's music shows strong influences from punk rock and folk music, and the band members have described their sound as a cross between The Clash, Steeleye Span and The Rubettes.

Established in 1983 and named after a railway locomotive, the one constant in an ever-shifting lineup has been drummer, vocalist, and songwriter Joseph Porter (real name Gary James Hatcher, born 21 February 1962 in Templecombe, Somerset). The band's lyrics often deal with episodes from history, ranging from the Trojan War to the Cod War — as well as aspects of English culture such as cricket, village life and trains. Porter is an avowed trainspotter, and in August 1998 the band appeared on the LWT television programme Holy Smoke! in a slot in which musicians discussed their individual religions — with trainspotting cited as his religion.

Since 1993, Blyth Power recordings have been released on their own label, Downwarde Spiral. Since 2000 they have cut back on their touring schedule due to various personal commitments, but they have organised an annual mini-festival, the Blyth Power Ashes. The festival takes place in August of each year, and combines live music with a cricket match featuring band members and their associates. From 2011 the event moved to The Plough, in Farcet Fen near Peterborough due to its ever-increasing popularity. From 2015 The Ashes takes place at The Hunters Inn in Longdon, near Tewkesbury.

Joseph Porter has also been involved with various side-projects, such as doing solo guitarist/vocalist performances and collaborating in two other bands, Red Wedding and Mad Dogs & Englishmen.

Aug 6, 2019

Nirvana special with Danny Goldberg

Danny Goldberg - Nirvana manager from 1990 to 1994 - talking about life in music, Kurt Cobain & much more PLUS his new book 'Serving The Servant - Remembering Kurt Cobain.'

 

Aug 4, 2019

Holly Lerski special

Holly Lerski talking about her life in music

Holly Lerski formed Angelou with guitarist Jo Baker in 1996. They recorded their first demo in the winter of that year, which included a cover of the Leonard Cohen song "Hallelujah". Inspired by Jeff Buckley's version, Lerski had been a fan of Buckley's, corresponding with the artist. Local Norwich label Haven Records heard the demo and signed Angelou in the beginning of 1997, scheduling the release of the Hallelujah EP to coincide with a UK summer tour supporting Eddi Reader and Boo Hewerdine. 'Hallelujah' came out a week after Jeff Buckley's untimely death, ending the year on novelist Nick Hornby's 'Best of 97' compilation.

In 1998 Angelou released their first album 'Automiracles'. Now including drummer Phil Di Palma, the album was written by Lerski, and recorded in 10 days by producer Calum MacColl. The album featured guest vocals from Eddi Reader and Boo Hewerdine and received comparisons to The Sundays' debut 'Reading, Writing and Arithmetic'.

Their second album 'While You Were Sleeping', released in 2000, received further acclaim and established Lerski as one of the new crop of up and coming female folk artists. Written and produced by Lerski, and recorded in studio down-time, the album finished with a moving tribute to Jeff Buckley. Lerski went on to contribute this to the Buckley documentary 'Amazing Grace'.

In 2001 Spanish label El Diablo released an Angelou compilation called Midnight Witcheries. Now joined by new drummer Cath Evans and bassist Anne Richardson, this record allowed the band to be heard for the first time throughout Europe. They completed 2 extensive tours of Spain, appearing on national TV and radio. They also went on to release a further EP and 2 videos.

On hearing of their success abroad, UK music independent giant Sanctuary Records offered Lerski a recording and publishing agreement and at the end of 2001 Lerski finally signed a major deal. Angelou were soon off on the road again, this time as a duo touring Scandinavia and Europe with blues legend John Hiatt & The Goners.

On their return from Europe the band went into rehearsals for the third album, staying in a wooden hunting lodge in Derbyshire. Recorded both in Denmark and Manchester throughout 2002, 'Life Is Beautiful' was a much poppier record. It was finally released in 2003 under Lerski's own name. With the launch of the album came lives dates with The Cranberries, Jason Mraz and Josh Rouse, and support from BBC Radio 2 and most notably Wake Up To Wogan producer Paul Walters. There was also news that Lerski's song 'My Love' would be featured in a Hollywood film. It looked like the bands hard work had finally paid off, however it was not to be. In 2004 after disagreements with Sanctuary over lack of promotion for the record, Lerski was forced to leave the label and her songs behind.

In the summer of 2004, tired of the music industry and following a break up, Lerski relocated to Manchester where she began to write new material with the intention of releasing on her own imprint Laundry Label. 'Greetings From N.Y.' was Laundry's first release. Featuring on the cover a hand written postcard to Lerski from Jeff Buckley, 'Greetings' was a 'best of' CD showcasing Lerski and the band's music to date. BBC Radio 2's Wake Up To Wogan once again championed the record and 'More Than A Storm' featured weekly on his show. Starbucks at the time was also featuring tracks from 'Life Is Beautiful' on their in-store compilation.

By 2006, following the news that Sanctuary had been bought out by Universal Music Group, Lerski returned to Norwich to begin a new chapter.

Aug 3, 2019

The Stupids special with Tommy Stupid

The Stupids special with Tommy Stupids or Tom Withers in conversation 

 

Formed in Ipswich, England in the mid 1980s, The Stupids released four albums and six EPs, and recorded three sessions for John Peel's BBC Radio 1 show in the 1980s, and toured the United States (with Ludichrist) and Australia (the Hard-Ons) as well as Europe, the United Kingdom, and, most recently, Japan.

The band have featured on various CD re-issues, compilation albums (e.g. Sounds and the U.S. skate magazine, Thrasher), collector singles, and BBC session releases released by Strange Fruit.

A live video tape, Drive-In Hit Movie, was released shortly after the band broke up in 1989.

Aug 2, 2019

Heather Nova special & in conversation

Heather Nova in conversation

After graduating from RISD, Nova moved to London, a place she called home for twelve years (she already had British citizenship due to her Bermudian origins). In 1990, she released her first recording, Heather Frith, an EP; she had not yet changed her name. The new name debuted in 1993 with her second EP entitled Spirit In You and her first full album, the critically acclaimed Glow Stars, produced by Felix Tod, after being discovered by Big Cat label manager Steven Abbott. The success of the album led her to record and release her first live album Blow the same year.

In 1994, she released Oyster, her breakout album that was produced by Youth and Felix Tod and began almost two years of touring. Another live album, Live From The Milky Way, was released in 1995. Siren, the follow-up to Oyster because of the hit single "London Rain", was released in 1998, after which she joined Sarah McLachlan and others on the North American Lilith Fair, a music festival with only female performers.[citation needed] After the release of Siren and a world tour to promote the record, Nova took a break while various television show and film soundtracks licensed some of her songs and her record company (Sony Records/The WORK Group) released various singles from the album, which received only moderate play on America's MTV2, Europe's MTV and Canada's MuchMusic and on mainstream radio, although she was popular on college radio. Also during this time, she recorded a version of the often covered traditional song "Gloomy Sunday", for the German WWII feature film drama Ein Lied Von Liebe Und Tod (released under the international title, Gloomy Sunday). In 2000, Nova released yet another live album entitled Wonderlust.

Over the years, Nova has written and recorded over 120 songs. With the release of South (2001), she returned to the international spotlight with an appearance on the soundtrack of the John Cusack movie Serendipity. She also appeared on the soundtrack to the Sean Penn film, I Am Sam and sung on The Crow: City of Angels. A collaboration with Swedish indiepop band Eskobar, for a song called "Someone New", led to its music video being played primarily on America's MTV. Storm, Nova's fifth studio album, recorded with Mercury Rev as her backing band, was released in late 2003 on her own Saltwater label, went top 5 in Germany, followed by a tour during which Nova became pregnant. She quickly followed the birth of her son with her next record Redbird, released in 2005, again Top 10 in Germany.

In December 2005, Nova released Together As One, an EP supporting the Bermuda Sloop Foundation which operates the Bermuda sloop Spirit of Bermuda. In 2002, she self-published The Sorrowjoy, a 72-page book of her poetry and drawings. An album of the same name was unofficially released in March 2006, which featured Nova reading the poems from her book set to ambient music. She also collaborated with the German trance artist ATB on tracks like "Love Will Find You", "Feel You Like A River" and the international hit "Renegade". In 2008, she released an album called The Jasmine Flower, a solar powered acoustic album recorded in Bermuda, before touring as an acoustic tour.

In late 2010 she embarked on another European tour promoting her The Jasmine Flower album. On this tour, she played four unreleased songs ("Save A Little Piece Of Tomorrow", "Everything Changes", "Burning To Love", and "Turn The Compass Round") that are included on her most recent album, 300 Days At SeaProduced by Felix Tod.. This full-band album was released on May 27, 2011. In late 2014, she began work on her most recent project, a new studio album called "The Way it Feels" which was released to critical acclaim in May 2015. Her new album, Pearl, will be released in Spring 2019.

Jul 31, 2019

Mick Houghton special

Mick Houghton talking about his life in music & new publication - Fried & Justified

The list of bands and artists Mick Houghton worked with in an illustrious career in the music business reads like a Who’s Who of some of the greatest, most influential and downright dysfunctional cult groups of the post-punk era and beyond – Ramones, Talking Heads, The Undertones, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Felt, Sonic Youth, The Wedding Present, Spiritualized and Elastica among them. Often judiciously (or unintentionally) sidestepping the major trends in music – baggy, grunge and Britpop – his reputation for attracting outsiders led to him working with artists as disparate as Sun Ra, Andrew Oldham, Ken Kesey, Bert Jansch, Stereolab, Mercury Rev and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci.

But the three acts Mick is most closely identified with are Echo & the Bunnymen, Julian Cope (and the Teardrop Explodes) and the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu/KLF in all their guises. Between them, these three played a significant role in shaping the musical landscape of the eighties and nineties, and – as confidant and co-conspirator – Mick was with their chorus along the way, carefully navigating the minefield of rivalries and contrasting fortunes. It is Mick’s indefatigable belief that it was always the music that came first, and it is his knack of attracting so-called difficult and troubled artists that makes Fried & Justified such an amusing, honest and insightful tale.

Jul 29, 2019

Collapsed Lung with Anthony Chapman

Collapsed Lung with Anthony Chapman talking about his life in music

Collapsed Lung was originally formed as a bedroom studio collaboration between Anthony Chapman and Steve Harcourt. The pair had met at Harlow music venue The Square, and despite coming from contrasting musical backgrounds (Harcourt had previously played guitar in metal band Bomberz, whereas Chapman had previously played bass in pseudo-C86 outfit Pregnant Neck) found they had a shared love of funk and the Amiga tracker software Med/Octamed. Eventually, the duo decided to perform a live show, using an Amiga computer on stage as well as live guitar from Harcourt.

After their debut performance they were invited to play an all-day music festival in Harlow at which Harcourt first met Nihal Arthanayake, a school friend of Chapman. Nihal was a rapper of Sri Lankan descent who was studying law in Twickenham, Middlesex. He was consequently invited to record some of his raps over the duo's existing tracks. Chapman later took up co-rapping duties alongside Arthanayake, with the line-up completed by bass player Johnny Dawe (previously of Hull band Death By Milkfloat). However, Arthanayake left the band in 1994 after signing a deal for his own group Muddie Funksters with Go! Discs.

Collapsed Lung replaced him with rapper Jim Burke and drummer Chris Gutch. Chapman also bolstered his reputation with DJ work at a variety of London venues. He was keen to reinstate Collapsed Lung's rap credentials, stating "at the end of the day, it's just hip-hop", while promoting the release of 1995's Jackpot Goalie. In late 1995, drummer Chris Gutch left the group to join a band called Rehab. Gutch was replaced by Jerry Hawkins, previously of Atom Seed and The Fuzz.

In 1996 they released their second album 'Cooler' (written as 'C**ler' - the type on the album artwork reflecting the use of stars to denote the refrigeration level of a domestic freezer). In June 1996 a double A-side "London Tonight" / "Eat My Goal" was released which reached number 31 in the UK Singles Chart. "Eat My Goal" was used as the soundtrack to Coca-Cola's "Eat Football, Sleep Football, Drink Coca-Cola" advertising campaign that tied in with the Euro 96 football championships in England.

"Eat My Goal" was re-released in May 1998 and reached number 18 on the same chart, and was subsequently used on many TV programmes, most notably SMTV Live in which the song was used for a segment of the same name. It also featured in the video game LMA Manager 2001.

They reformed again in 2014 to support Senser on 26 June at the Dome in London, and have since been playing shows around the UK, including gigs with Jesus Jones.

"Eat My Goal" continues to be used extensively on TV and radio, including as the theme music for Mark Steel's 2009 BBC Radio 4 series "Mark Steel's In Town".

Jul 28, 2019

Momus special

Momus special talking about life in music, art & much much more with David Eastaugh

For over thirty years he has been releasing albums on labels in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Japan. In his lyrics and his other writing he makes seemingly random use of decontextualized pieces of continental (mostly French) philosophy, and has built up a personal world he says is "dominated by values like diversity, orientalism, and a respect for otherness."

 

Jul 27, 2019

The Janitors with Tim Stirland

The Janitors special with Tim Stirland in conversation

The Janitors were Andrew Denton (vocals), Craig Hope (slide guitar, keyboards), Pete Crowe (bass guitar), and Tim Stirland (drums). Denton, Hope and friend Phil Storey recorded demos in Leicester's Highfields which Yeah Yeah Noh's John Grayland brought to the attention of some indie labels. Described as "a mixture of Membranes meeting Captain Beefheart", they signed to Marc Riley's In-Tape label, releasing their debut single, "Chicken Stew" in July 1985 (on which Hope played all of the instruments). It went on to reach the top 10 of the UK Independent Chart. In anticipation of the single's release, Denton and Hope moved to Newcastle to recruit bassist Simon Warnes, however Crowe took his place bringing along fellow art student Tim Stirland as drummer (replacing the drum machine of the first single).

Second single "Good to be King" was also an indie hit, reaching number 14, and debut album Thunderhead, produced by Jon Langford of The Mekons, peaked at number 6 on the indie albums chart. The band recorded three sessions for John Peel's BBC Radio 1 show, one each year between 1985 and 1987. Pete Crowe was ejected over a dispute with Denton and replaced by Jeff Murray. The band then moved to the Abstract label. In 1988 Phil Storey joined on rhythm guitar. After two further singles, their second album, Deafhead, was released in June 1988. The band released one more single and in late 1988, Dentover left the band. American Bobo Nando picked up the mike, contributing to one new song "Billy Psycho". The band dissolved in August 1989.

Stirland went on to perform with The Mekons. Hope (Hoppy) is currently guitar technician for Chris Martin of Coldplay. Denton is now an incredible history teacher and top class lad. Jeff Murray formed G.R.O.W.T.H. with Kev of Gaye Bykers on Acid and Tommo of The Bomb party, but they split after one album. Crowe moved to New Zealand. Nando (Paul Touche) sang briefly with Birthmark. Phil Storey died in July 2014.

Jul 26, 2019

David Balfe special talking about Teardrop Explodes, Zoo & Food Records

David Balfe special talking about his life in music, the Teardrops, Zoo & Food records and much much more.

Balfe and Drummond, having met while playing together in Big in Japan, founded the Zoo record label in 1978 in order to release Big in Japan's posthumous EP From Y to Z and Never Again. The label went on to sign and release the early work of The Teardrop Explodes and Echo & the Bunnymen.

Balfe and Drummond did their production work under the name of The Chameleons, and also released the singles "Touch" and "The Lonely Spy" – credited to Lori and The Chameleons – on the Zoo label, later licensing them to Sire/Korova.

Although they released a few other artists, The Teardrop Explodes and Echo & the Bunnymen grew to take up most of their time. Eventually, due to lack of finance, they signed both bands to major London Record Companies and continued to manage them, while letting the label fade into inactivity.

Balfe and Drummond's publishing company, Zoo Music, signed many of the above and below artists, as well as multi-million selling acts The Proclaimers in 1987 and Drummond's later band The KLF.

Balfe began as The Teardrop Explodes' label head, manager and producer, but after their first single, on the departure of their original keyboard player, Paul Simpson, Balfe stepped in for what turned into four years in and out of the band, having a famously tempestuous relationship with their singer, Julian Cope. He played keyboards on their Top 10 single, "Reward", and their two gold albums, Kilimanjaro (1980) & Wilder (1981).

After The Teardrop Explodes disbanded in 1983, Balfe moved to London where, after managing Strawberry Switchblade (UK top 5 Hit, "Since Yesterday") and Brilliant (the post-Killing Joke band of subsequently famous producer, Youth), he then founded the Food record label in 1984.

Food, initially funded by Balfe alone, signed Voice of the Beehive, Zodiac Mindwarp (both of whom moved on to major labels, while Balfe continued to manage them for many years), Crazyhead, and Diesel Park West, before signing a deal with EMI to fund and distribute the label worldwide while retaining creative independence.

They then signed Jesus Jones who went on to have a number one album in the UK and multi-million sales internationally with their second album, 'Doubt', and a number one single in the USA with 'Right Here Right Now'. A year after signing Jesus Jones they signed Blur.

Balfe, along with later label partner Andy Ross, convinced the band to change their name from 'Seymour' to Blur on signing in 1989.

Balfe also directed Blur's first two music videos, "She's So High" and "There's No Other Way".

Disenchanted with the alternative scene in the years of "Grunge", Balfe decided to sell the Food label to EMI in 1994, and semi-retire with his young family to the country – inspiring Damon Albarn to pen Blur's first No.1 hit, "Country House"

 

Jul 25, 2019

Datblygu special with David R. Edwards

Datblygu special with David R. Edwards in conversation with David Eastaugh

The band was formed in by vocalist David R. Edwards and instrumentalist T. Wyn Davies in 1982 while they were at Ysgol Uwchradd in Aberteifi, with instrumentalist Patricia Morgan joining in 1984. Edwards' lyrics were almost entirely in the Welsh language, the subject matter reflecting his "extreme disillusionment" with life in Wales in the early 1980s era under Margaret Thatcher. After four cassette-only releases on Casetiau Neon, the band had their first vinyl release in 1987 on Anhrefn Records, with the Hwgr-Grawth-Og EP featuring just Edwards and Morgan, which was picked up by John Peel and led to a session being recorded for his BBC Radio 1 show (the first of five such sessions).

While Welsh radio gave the band little airplay, they also found an outlet through Geraint Jarman's Fideo 9 television show on S4C.

The band's first album, Wyau (Eggs), was released in 1988, and was followed two years later with Pyst (Posts) on the Ofn label. Davies left in 1990 and the group continued as a duo for a while, before being augmented by a series of musicians, notably drummer Al Edwards. Moving to Ankst Records, the Christmas-themed Blwch Tymer Tymor cassette was issued in 1991. Edwards collaborated with Tŷ Gwydr and Llwybr Llaethog on the 1992 album LL.LL v T.G. MC DRE, before releasing a final Datblygu album in 1993 with Libertino.[1] After a single, "Alcohol"/"Amnesia" in 1995, the band split up.

In August 2008 a new 7" single "Can y Mynach Modern" (The Song of the Modern Monk) was released. The song recounts (over its brief ninety seconds) the turmoil and madness that engulfed Edwards as the band fell apart in the mid nineties and the long road to recovery that resulted from the fallout. The track is intended as a full stop on their legacy rather than a brand new start.

Datblygu have been cited as a major influence on the generation of Welsh bands that followed, including Gorky's Zygotic Mynci and Super Furry Animals (who covered Datblygu's "Y Teimlad" on their Mwng album).

In a rare TV appearance, David featured on S4C documentary programme O Flaen dy Lygaid in 2009, presented by Cardiff-based broadcaster and friend of David's, Ali Yassine, which followed David and his battle to recover from mental illness. The programme also featured Datblygu bandmember and former Pobol y Cwm actress Ree Davies and her own battle against mental illness.

In 2012 an exhibition celebrating the band's history was held in a Cardiff coffee shop. Edwards and Morgan reunited in 2012 for the EP Darluniau'r Ogof Unfed Ganrif ar Hugain. A new mini-album, Erbyn Hyn, was released in June 2014.

Jul 24, 2019

The Hard Ons with Peter Black

The Hard Ons special with Peter Black in conversation with David Eastaugh

The Hard-Ons are an Australian punk rock band which formed in 1981. Founding members included Keish de Silva on guitar, vocals and Peter "Blackie" Black on guitar, Ray Ahn soon joined on bass guitar with de Silva switching to drums. The group issued eight studio albums before disbanding in 1994. They reformed in 1997 to release further material. In 2002 de Silva was replaced on drums by Peter Kostic, who was replaced in turn by Murray Ruse in 2011. De Silva returned as a guest vocalist in 2014 and permanently rejoined the band in 2016. During their first 12 years, the group issued 17 consecutive number-one hits on the Australian alternative charts. During that time they became Australia's most commercially successful independent band, with over 250,000 total record sales.

The Hard-Ons' origins are traced to Western Sydney's Punchbowl Boys High School, where three founding members were students.[1][2] In 1981 the first version of the band, then-known as Dead Rats, included Peter "Blackie" Black on guitar, Brendan Creighton on drums and Shane Keish de Silva on guitar and vocals.[1][3][4] In 1982 Creighton left to form Thrust and Raymond Dongwan Ahn joined on bass guitar with de Silva taking over on drums, the group began playing as The Plebs before being renamed as The Hard-Ons by the end of the year.[1][3][4] Initially being too young to play in pubs, the band featured at birthday parties and school dances.[2] On 20 June 1984, The Hard-Ons played their first official show at the Vulcan Hotel in Ultimo.[2]Black later recalled "We wanted to be punk rockers ... We didn't want Keish's parents to see so we had bags full of these jackets and chains and stuff and went around the corner of the street and put all these clothes on. Keish's dad busted us".[2] Quickly gaining a considerable following, in August 1985 the band released its debut extended play, Surfin' on My Face, on ViNil Records.[1][3] This was the beginning of a series of releases for the band that netted them a run of 17 consecutive No. 1 listings on the Australian alternative music charts.[1]

The band demonstrated an independent punk spirit, with the members deliberately controlling their own careers: recording, booking and promoting themselves, creating their own artwork (mostly by Ahn), choosing support bands and even managing the merchandise stand whilst on tour.[1][4] During 1987 the group were promoted as part of the Australian skate boarding scene.[5] While maintaining a solid if underground following in Australia, The Hard-Ons were popular in Europe, scoring a Top 10 hit in Spain and a Top 5 slot in Greece with their 1989 album, Love is a Battlefield of Wounded Hearts. It also reached the Top 5 on the NMEchart; this made The Hard-Ons the third Australian band after Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and the Go Betweens to do so.

In 1989 the group recorded a split EP with British band The Stupids. Two years later they teamed up with Henry Rollins and released a cover version of AC/DC's hit, "Let There Be Rock", which was released in a limited edition on 10" vinyl. In January 1992 the group performed at the inaugural Big Day Out and were joined on-stage by Rollins on four songs. Following the release of 1993's album, Too Far Gone, and after recording a live album for Your Choice Records, the band announced their break up, to pursue projects outside The Hard-Ons' style of music: "after more than ten years of playing the same songs, they were just not interested in doing so any more".

 

In 2012, the band began re-issuing their early catalogue as bonus re-packagings featuring unreleased songs and live tracks. The first to be released was a new 60-track version of Smell My Finger and The Hard-Ons promoted it with a national tour. While working a shift as a taxi driver between legs of that tour on 18 May 2012, Black suffered a severely fractured skull when he was assaulted with a skateboard. Several fund-raising shows were held to raise money for his care and recovery, including special Hard-Ons shows in Sydney and Newcastle on 1 and 2 June that featured the line-up of Ahn, Kostic and de Silva on vocals and guitar. Within three months, Black had recovered sufficiently to perform a short tour in support of his solo album No Dangerous Goods in Tunnel that was followed by a Hard-Ons tour of Europe and Japan. Another Australian tour to wrap up the previously cancelled shows was completed in October, with a 51-track re-release of Dickcheese coming out around the same time.

Jul 23, 2019

The Lucy Show with Mark Bandola

The Lucy Show special with Mark Bandola in conversation.

 

The band was formed by Mark Bandola (vocals, guitar, keyboards) and Rob Vandeven (vocals, bass), with Paul Rigby on drums, under the name "Midnite Movie". Rigby quickly quit, and Pete Barraclough (guitars, keyboards) and Bryan Hudspeth (drums) were added to the line-up, and the band changed name to "The Lucy Show". Bandola and Vandeven, two Canadian-born friends who had moved to England in the late 1970s, shared song writing and lead vocals equally, although the bulk of the early (pre-album) material had been written by Vandeven.

In 1983, they released their first single, "Leonardo da Vinci," on independent record label Shout Records, which managed to receive some airplay by John Peel.[1]Guitarist Barraclough provided lead vocals on the B-side of the single for his song "Kill The Beast". In 1984, A&M Records signed the band, releasing two singles and an EP during that year (on an offshoot label imprint called Piggy Bank Records). After providing a cassette recording of their material to R.E.M., The Lucy Show was invited by the Athens band to support them on their 1984 UK tour.

In 1985, the band's debut album, ...undone, was released. With a guitar-heavy, lushly atmospheric, brooding sound reminiscent of The Cure and Comsat Angels, it received generally favorable critical notices and, even more importantly, eventually went to the No. 1 spot on the CMJ album charts in the United States. The band's momentum had been steady up to that point and they naturally assumed continuing chart success would be in their future. However, they were shocked when they learned that A&M UK decided to abruptly drop the band at the end of the year.

In 1986, the band signed to indie label Big Time Records, who released their second album, Mania. Produced by the now-legendary John Leckie, the band's songs were much more upbeat and bouncy this time around, with added acoustic guitar and piano, harmonica, synthesizer - and most noticeably, brass , making the group sound very different from their previous incarnation as a "jangly" guitar and new wave group. The change in direction initially promised to be effective, as the album once again topped the all important CMJ charts, and MTV began playing their music video for the first single off the album, "A Million Things". Both this song, and subsequent single "New Message", were substantial college radio hits.

Bad luck would strike the band again, this time when Big Time Records went bankrupt, leaving The Lucy Show adrift. Barraclough and Hudspeth were asked to leave and Bandola and Vandeven stuck together, releasing one final single, "Wherever Your Heart Will Go", in 1988 on Redhead Records. When that single went nowhere, both Bandola and Vandeven realized it was time to quit, and they permanently disbanded The Lucy Show.

Vandeven and Barraclough have continued to work within the music industry under a variety of differing names and projects.

Following the breakup of The Lucy Show, Bandola released an EP under his own name in 1993 entitled 'Til Tuesday, a collaboration with Let's Active producer Mitch Easter, and, for a short while, was a member of London post-rock group Ausgang. From 2003 until 2010 Bandola released experimental pop CDs under the name Typewriter ( mostly a solo effort but with contributions from various guest musicians ), with debut album Skeleton Key in 2003, a second, Birdsnest in 2006, and finally, Pictures from the Antique Skip in early 2010.[1] After the third Typewriter album all seemed quiet until 2013, when Bandola formed psychedelic instrumental vehicle The Ramsgate Hovercraft - a duo with saxophone and synthesizer player Kit Jolly - in his recently adopted hometown of Ramsgate. Their first album ( January 2014 ) is the double vinyl LP, Arcane Empire on local indie label Galleon Records, which Record Collector magazine granted four stars and described as "... an ambience that’s both worldly and cosmic" and "a delicately layered, sumptuous odyssey". In March 2015 the duo released their 2nd album "Cinema Verite'" which also gained positive reviews. Since then, The Ramsgate Hovercraft has expanded to a quartet, adding drummer Paula Frost, as well as synthesist & pianist Paul Naudin to their ranks. The group have also played occasionally flamboyant & theatrical shows in their native East Kent. And, their new Album (third in total) will be released early in 2017 alongside a launch concert at the Ramsgate Musichall in early February 2017.

In 2005, Mania was reissued on CD by the Words on Music label, with numerous bonus tracks. In 2009, ...undone was released on CD for the first time by Words on Music. In 2011, Words on Music released Remembrances, a compilation album of rare and previously unreleased songs recorded by the band during the mid-1980s.

Jul 22, 2019

10,000 Maniacs special with Steve Gustafson

10,000 Maniacs special with Steve Gustafson talking about life in music, recording, the creative process & much much more

The band was formed as Still Life in 1981 in Jamestown, New York, by Dennis Drew (keyboards), Steven Gustafson (bass), Chet Cardinale (drums), Robert Buck (guitar and Newhouse's ex-husband) and Teri Newhouse (vocalist and Buck's ex-wife). Gustafson invited Natalie Merchant, who was 17 at the time, to do some vocals. John Lombardo, who was in a band called The Mills (along with brother guitarist/vocalists Mark Liuzzo and Paul Liuzzo and drummer Mike Young) and used to play occasionally with Still Life, was invited to join permanently on guitar and vocals. Newhouse and Cardinale left the band in July, and Merchant became the main singer. Various drummers came and left. The band changed its name to Burn Victims and then to 10,000 Maniacs after the low-budget horror movie Two Thousand Maniacs!.

They performed as 10,000 Maniacs for the first time on Labor Day, September 7, 1981, with a line-up of Merchant, Lombardo, Buck, Drew, Gustafson, and Tim Edborg on drums. Edborg left and Bob "Bob O Matic" Wachter was on drums for most of the 1981 gigs. Tired of playing cover songs—though their first notable American hit was a cover of the Cat Stevens hit "Peace Train"—the band started to write their own music, usually with Merchant handling the lyrics and Lombardo the music. In March 1982, with Jim Foti on drums, the band recorded an EP album called Human Conflict Number Five. More gigs followed in 1982. During this time they lived in Atlanta, Georgia for a short while at the encouragement of friends who said that many gigs were available there. Discouraged by the lack of actual gigs, and by having to sell plasma and rake leaves to buy food, the band moved back to Jamestown in November 1982 to regroup.

At the beginning of 1983, Jerry Augustyniak joined the band as their permanent drummer. The Maniacs met Augustyniak when they played in Buffalo, New York, where he was in a punk band called The Stains. Between March and July, the band recorded songs for a second record, Secrets of the I Ching, their debut full-length album, which was pressed by Mark Records for the band's own label Christian Burial Music. The record was well received by critics and caught the attention of respected BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel in London. One song, "My Mother the War", turned out to be a minor hit in the United Kingdom, and entered the independent singles chart. The band toured extensively during 1983 and 1984, and played gigs in the UK.

Peter Leak, an Englishman living in New York City, became interested in the band, made contact and was made their manager. With the help of Leak and Elektra Records A & R man Howard Thompson, 10,000 Maniacs signed to Elektra in November 1984. In the spring of 1985, they recorded their second full-length album, The Wishing Chair, in London at Livingston Studios, with Joe Boyd as producer. Though the album was not a blockbuster hit, its status as the band's major label debut did win it some notice, and it received significant critical acclaim.

Co-founder Lombardo left 10,000 Maniacs during a rehearsal on July 14, 1986. The remaining five members started recording a new album in Los Angeles with Peter Asher as the producer. In My Tribe, a more pop-rock oriented record, was released on July 7, 1987. The album stayed on the charts for 77 weeks, peaking at No. 37, and established a large U.S. audience for the group. It was also well received in the UK. The album originally contained "Peace Train". It was removed from subsequent pressings after Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam) made comments implying he agreed with a death Fatwa against author Salman Rushdie.

10,000 Maniacs' next album, 1989's Blind Man's Zoo, hit No. 13 and went gold, further increasing the group's following. In May 1989, the British music magazine NME reported that 10,000 Maniacs had won the songwriter category prize at the New York Music Awards. In 1990, with the help of Lombardo, they remastered their first two records, Human Conflict Number Five and Secrets of the I Ching, and released them as a compilation called Hope Chest: The Fredonia Recordings 1982-1983. Lombardo and Mary Ramsey, who had formed a folk act called John & Mary, opened gigs for the Maniacs on the Hope Chest Tour in 1990.

In 1991, during the recordings of a new album, Merchant revealed to the other members that she would be leaving 10,000 Maniacs for a solo career in two years' time. The new album, Our Time in Eden, was released on September 29, 1992. In 1993, the band performed at the MTV Inaugural Ball for President Clinton in January and on MTV Unplugged on April 21. Merchant announced her departure from the band on MTV on August 5, 1993, saying she "didn't want art by committee anymore." The MTV Unplugged album was released on October 26, 1993. "The last 10,000 Maniacs gig was the first time I'd got drunk in nearly two years," Merchant later recalled. "I laughed a lot and threw lots of flowers out of the hotel window."

Jul 14, 2019

Toyah Willcox special

Toyah special - talking about her life in music and much much more

Toyah musician, singer, songwriter, actress, producer and author. In a career spanning more than 40 years, Willcox has had 8 Top 40 singles, released over 20 albums, written two books, appeared in over 40 stage plays and 10 feature films, and voiced and presented numerous television shows.

Between 1977 and 1983 she fronted the band Toyah, before embarking on a solo career in the mid-1980s. At the 1982 BPI/Brit Awards Toyah was nominated for British Breakthrough Act, which The Human League won and Best Female Solo Artist which Randy Crawford won. Toyah was nominated a further two times in this category in 1983, which Kim Wilde won and in 1984, which Annie Lennox won. Her biggest hits include "It's a Mystery", "Thunder in the Mountains" and "I Want to Be Free".

Toyah continues to tour both with her full band and also with an acoustic line-up for her "Up Close And Personal" shows.

In 2018 Toyah toured her #Toyah60 show, which marked her sixtieth birthday and fortieth year in music. This was accompanied by the release of her Four From Toyah- Birthday Edition EP of new material, which charted highly in the digital charts.

In 2019 Toyah charted at #74 in the UK album charts with a re-issue of her 2008 album In The Court Of The Crimson Queen. It also peaked at #22 on the Official Charts Company's sales chart and #7 in the independent chart. This was Toyah's first appearance in the British album charts since 'Minx' in 1985.

 

Jul 8, 2019

The Chesterfields special with Simon Barber

The Chesterfields special with Simon Barber in conversation

The Chesterfields were an English indie pop band from Yeovil in Somerset. Hardcore fans tended to refer to them as "The Chesterf!elds", with an exclamation mark replacing the "i", following the example of the band's logo.

The band was formed in summer 1984 by Dave Goldsworthy (vocals, guitar), Simon Barber (bass, vocals), and Dominic Manns (drums), joined in 1985 by Brendan Holden (guitar). Early recordings included contributions to the Golden Pathway tapes, that captured the West Country music scene of the time, such as "Stephanie Adores" and "The Boy Who Sold His Suitcase", the latter with a female lead singer, Sarah.

The first vinyl release was as one half of a flexi disc; "Nose out of Joint" shared a single side with The Shop Assistants' "Home Again", and was given away free with copies of London's Legendfanzine and future Subway Organisation boss, Martin Whitehead's own Bristol fanzine.

They signed to The Subway Organization, releasing three well-received singles, before Holden was replaced by Rodney Allen. The debut LP Kettle was released in July 1987, with a compilation of the early singles, Westward Ho! issued later the same year. Allen left to join The Blue Aeroplanes, to be replaced temporarily by Andy Strickland of The Loft/The Caretaker Race, before a more permanent replacement was found in the form of Simon Barber's brother Mark. 

The band then moved to their own Household label, issuing two more singles and a third album, Crocodile Tears. Manns left and was replaced by future PJ Harvey drummer Rob Ellis but when Goldsworthy departed in late 1988 the band effectively split. The Barber brothers continued as The Chesterfields for a final single, "Fool Is The Man" in 1989.

The band split for good in the summer of 1989, Simon Barber forming Basinger, and Mark Barber joined Grape. Goldsworthy fronted several more bands, including Furnt, Diceman and Mujer 21 (Band). The Chesterfields reformed briefly in the 1990s to tour Japan after their material was re-issued there. Dave Goldsworthy (Davy Chesterfield) was killed by a hit & run driver in Oxford, UK, on 9 November 2003.

The band's continuing fanbase saw much of their back-catalogue re-issued by Vinyl Japan in the 1990s.

In June 2014 to celebrate the legendary NME C86 tape, Design (fronted by Barber) along with Andy Strickland of The Loft/The Caretaker Race played a set of songs by The Chesterfields at the 92 Club in London. Following the success of The Chesterfields set at the NME C86 gig, Design continued to play classic Chesterfields songs such as'Johnny Dee', 'Lunchtime for the Wild Youth' and 'Last Train to Yeovil' throughout 2014 & 2015.

In 2016, The Chesterfields with their new line up of Simon Barber, Andy Strickland, Helen Stickland and Rob Parry played Exeter's Cavern Club and The 100 Club in London, with further gigs announced including a return to Yeovil with The Haywains. The Chesterfields have been announced as playing the NYC Popfest in New York, from 19–22 May 2016 to coincide with a new EP release, the title of which is still to be confirmed at this time.

 

Jul 2, 2019

Chris Connelly special talking Finitribe, Revolting Cocks, Ministry etc

Chris Connelly special talking about life in music, Finitribe, the Revolting Cocks, Ministry & much much more

Chris Connelly  became famous for his industrial music work of the late 1980s and early 1990s, particularly his involvement with the Revolting Cocks and Ministry. He has since established himself as an alternative singer-songwriter, and continues to release solo albums.

Connelly began his music career in 1980 with the formation of Finitribe. Through subsequent years he fronted or was heavily involved with numerous notable industrial, dance, and new wave acts. In 2008, Connelly published a memoir of his early years in the music industry, Concrete, Bulletproof, Invisible, and Fried: My Life As A Revolting Cock. It describes his professional debut in Finitribe, meeting Al Jourgensen in London, his involvement with the Revolting Cocks, Ministry, PTP, Acid Horse, Killing Joke, and Pigface, and the development of his solo career.

In contrast to his industrial roots, Connelly explored various genres in his solo works. In 2013, he has started two projects more in the vein of industrial: Cocksure, with Jason C. Novak (Czar and Acumen Nation), and Bells into Machines, with Paul Barker (Ministry, Revolting Cocks, and Lard).

Jun 24, 2019

Doctors of Madness special with Richard Strange

Richard Strange in conversation - talking about music, art, culture & much much more 

Doctors of Madness were formed in 1974 in a cellar in Brixton, south London by the composer and lead singer/guitarist Richard Strange, known as ‘Kid’ Strange.

To provide a platform for his musical ideas and compositions analysing urban culture neurosis and systems of control, Strange joined forces with Urban Blitz (electric violin, baritone violectra and lead guitar) Stoner (vocals, bass guitar) and Peter DiLemma (vocals, drums) to provide the link between the early 1970s progressive rock and glam rock of David Bowie and Roxy Music, and the later 1970s punk rock of the Sex Pistols and The Clash. Doctors of Madness cited The Velvet Underground and writer William S. Burroughs as major influences on their music which fused avant-garde hard rock with warped quasi-classical tones.

 

Between 1975 and 1977, Doctors of Madness recorded three albums for Polydor records - Late Night Movies, All Night Brainstorms produced by John Punter, Figments of Emancipation recorded at Abbey Road studios with producer John Leckie, and Sons of Survival. A posthumous compilation, Revisionism, was released in 1981, the band having split in late 1978. 

Doctors of Madness were BBC Radio John Peel Show featured artists on 25 November 1976, and received British television exposure during 1975/76 on the Twiggy Show and also the Janet Street-Porter Show.

Their support acts during their heyday included The Sex Pistols (Middlesbrough 1976), The Jam (London Marquee on several occasions 1976), Joy Division (as "Warsaw" Manchester 1976) and Simple Minds (as "Johnny and the Self Abusers" Falkirk 1976). Furthermore Richard 'Kid' Strange was best man at Dave Vanian's (of the Damned) wedding.

Early in 1978 Urban Blitz was ousted from the band after musical and personal differences, and was briefly replaced by singer Dave Vanian of punk rock band The Damned, who had recently split, albeit temporarily.

Richard Strange, Stoner and Peter DiLemma continued as a trio until October 1978 before disbanding due to withdrawal of record company support. Recognition of Doctors of Madness influence on the emergence of British punk rock was documented in the book An Unauthorized Guide to Punk Rock: The Early English Scene, including the Deviants, the Doctors of Madness, David Bowie, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, which was published in 2011. The band's reappraisal as an important influence in British punk rock prompted their albums to be re-released in 2002 on CD.

Richard Strange has promoted Doctors of Madness music in recent years with performances in Japanbacked by ex-Pogues multi-instrumentalist David Coulter and local band Sister Paul in 2003, and also performances in Leeds and Doncaster, Yorkshire, England, with bassist Stoner in 2006.

The Doctors of Madness reunited in October 2014 for a one-off performance, as part of Richard Strange's "Language is a Virus from Outer Space", a multi-media centenary celebration of satirical US writer William S Burroughs.[10]Joe Elliott of Def Leppard made a guest appearance, duetting on "Suicide City". Stoner died just one month after the October 2014 reunion, and received an obituary in The Times citing his contributions to music.

In May 2017, Cherry Red Records released a comprehensive three CD boxed set of the entire recorded works of the Doctors of Madness, entitled Perfect Past - The Complete Doctors of Madness, and the release was celebrated with a string of live performances by the band, featuring Richard "Kid" Strange, Urban Blitz, and the Japanese rhythm section of Susumu (bass) and Mackii (drums) from the band Sister Paul. This line-up toured in the UK and also in Japan.

In November 2017 Strange and Urban Blitz, joined by protest singer Lily Bud, performed an evening of "Unplugged" Doctors of Madness songs in the neo-gothic chapel of The House of St Barnabas, in Soho, London The event was filmed and released as a DVD, In The Afterglow.

Strange tours annually in Japan, with the Japanese power duo Sister Paul taking bass and drum duties, and has also lectured students in Otaru University, Sapporo.

In 2019 Strange return to the recording to studio once more, to record the first all-new Doctors of Madness album for 41 years. The songs were written by Strange in a short period of feverish activity, and were recorded at Doghouse Studios, Oxfordshire, with world famous producer John Leckie once again at the helm. The album, entitled Dark Times, will be released in September 2019. 8 songs (So Many Ways To Hurt You, Make It Stop!, Sour Hour, Walk Of Shame, This Kind Of Failure, This Is How To Die, Blood Brother and Dark Times) comprise this highly political, passionate album. Guests who were asked to participate in the recording include Joe Elliott of Def Leppard as backing vocalist in 5 songs, Sarah Jane Morris of the Communards sings on 4, and there are contributions from Terry Edwards (Tindersticks, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey and Madness), Steve 'Boltz' Bolton (Paul Young, The Who and Atomic Rooster as well as the young protest singer Lily Bud, and the Japanese power duo Sister Paul, comprising Susumu Ukei on bass and Mackii Ukei on Drums, who appear on all tracks.

The Doctors of Madness will tour Japan again in September 2019.

 

Jun 18, 2019

Band of Holy Joy with Johny Brown

The Band of Holy Joy with Johny Brown in conversation

The band was formed in 1984, by Johny Brown in New Cross, South London. Early experiments revolved around cheap junk shop instrumentation and rudimentary electronics. After two self-issued cassettes, they signed to South London indie label Flim Flam for a string of singles and two 1987 albums; More Tales From The City and the live LP When Stars Come Out To Play.

The band reached a commercial and critical peak after signing to Rough Trade, with Manic, Magic, Majesticin 1989, and Positively Spooked in 1990, supported by a tour of the U.S.S.R. The label was forced into receivership in 1991 following cash flow problems and eventual bankruptcy. The band re-emerged in 1992 as Holy Joy, with the album Tracksuit Vendetta. They split up in 1993 and Brown moved into freelance journalism, playwriting and production.

Band of Holy Joy reformed in 2002 and released an album Love Never Fails. After a number of live dates the band became inactive between 2003, and 2006, pursuing other musical projects. In May 2007, the band began playing live again. October 2007 saw the release of Leaves That Fall in Spring, a best of released on the Cherry Red label.

In 2008, after playing nine warm-up dates in and around London during April, May and June, the band set off to the USA for the first time in their 24-year history and embarked on a successful tour of New York City.[5]Punklore, a six-track CD was released and initially only available at the New York gigs.

In 2009, the band started to explore theatrical and multimedia based performances. As their alter ego Radio Joy, they performed two song plays Troubled Sleep and Invocation to William. Troubled Sleep was a fictional account of Sid and Nancy's last days at the Chelsea Hotel in New York. It played out over several nights in the Shunt Theatre Lounge in London and Star and Shadow Cinema in Newcastle.[2]Invocation to Williamwas performed at The University of London Institute in Paris at the event celebrating the 50th anniversary of William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch, 'Lunch @ 50'.[6] The songs from this show were released as a mini album CD A Lucky Thief In A Careless World on band's own Radio Joy label. In October 2009, they were invited to play The Wire magazine's 'Into the Vortex' festival, followed by a series of shows in Athens, Greece, later that year.

Paramour, the band's eleventh album was released on 8 June 2010 and featured eight songs that had evolved from the song play Troubled Sleep.

In 2011, the band embarked on another tour of Greece, playing in cities of Athens, Thessaloniki, and Larissa. They made their first appearance at Glastonbury Festival and performed their third song play BeuysWill Be Beuys in London and Thessaloniki. A CD release titled How To Kill A Butterfly was released on 28 October 2011 on Exotic Pylon Records.

On 15 March 2012, a CD release entitled The North Is Another Land was released on German independent record label Moloko Plus.

On 28 January 2013,a double cassette and digital download titled City of Tales: Volume 1 & 2 was released on Exotic Pylon Records. Volume 1 contains previously unreleased material from 1985 found by former band member Brett Turnbull, restored and accompanied by a second volume of recordings from 2012. This was followed up in 2014 with Easy Listening which was released on Exotic Pylon Records with an accompanying UK tour.

Their album The Land Of Holy Joy was released through Stereogram Recordings on 21 September 2015.

In 2017, the band release an EP on 10" vinyl entitled Brutalism Begins At Home followed by an album, Funambulist We Love You on vinyl and CD. Both put out by Tiny Global Productions.

Band of Holy Joy host their own radio show, Bad Punk, on Resonance FM every Friday from 10pm until 11pm.

A new album entitled Neon Primitives was released on the Tiny Global Productions label in June 2019 on vinyl and CD.

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