Doubtless most of you will already have stumped up a small fortune for your major festival ticket of choice this summer but we will once again be spending our leisure time perusing the less well known but no less enjoyable smaller (and less pocket worrying) gatherings in the south east, our pick of the crop this year being The Walled Garden Music Fest in Brightling Park Sussex. Only in its second year this lovely little venue has already grown immeasurably beyond its debut outing - which was mainly built around high quality cover bands - having this year put together a collection of '70s and '80s themed 'names' including Tom Robinson, Steve Harley, Nik Kershaw, Marc Almond and Go West, fear not however as big hair styles and shoulder pads are not a dress requirement. You'll probably find us somewhere near the pop up Greek restaurant should you wish to join in a rousing chorus or two of 'Come up and see me, make me smile'. More info can be found here
8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016
Having recently lost, the seemingly indestructible, TM favourite Lemmy to cancer it seemed the 2015/16 Christmas period could not get much more grim (especially if you were paddling around in your own home), but apparently grim was just the kicking off point as legendary performer David Bowie also succumbed to the disease prompting some very, very long faces around TM-Towers and a, previously unheard of, request from the Ed to say a few words... "It's highly unlikely that I will be the only person picking Bowie's performance of 'Starman' on TOTP's as one of the most pivotal in my life but back in the 1970s TOTP's and the OGWT were the only worthwhile music television shows on in the UK so all of my major formative musical moments are to be found on those shows. And it's not just thousands of us fans, everyone from Joe Elliott , Bono, Boy George, Morrissey, Gary Kemp, Jim Kerr, Brett Anderson and Pete Murphy to Gary Numan have all pinpointed that TOTP's performance as a major eureka moment in their musical careers. Now it looks pretty tame but in a sexist, homophobic, grey miserable UK it was genuinely groundbreaking and became the first of many Bowie 'moments' that would enrich and delight this particular music fan. It's a sad, sad day but there's a wealth of great material out there to remind us of the man, personally I will be playing Hunky Dory rather a lot for the foreseeable future, I'm sure you will have your own favourite." Andy Basire (Editor)
More Vinyl Please
Little bit late on this one (as all of these were released as part of Record Store Day on 19th April) but you may still be just in time to bag one of these individually numbered limited edition coloured vinyl version of The Ruts Live At Deeply Vale Festival, String Driven Thing's The Steeple Claydon Tapes, Don (Captain Beefheart) Van Vliet's Son Of Dustsucker - The Roger Eagle Tapes or short lived Manc punkers Accident On The East Lancs double disc Rainy City Punk Vol 2 and when we say coloured vinyl we mean proper lurid blue and purple efforts all on 180 gram vinyl with delightfully heavyweight gatefold sleeves, and no they won't fit on your ipod, but you try and roll a joint on an MP3 player (more here)
Fans of Joy Division, The Buzzcocks, The Invisible Girls and the Collossus that is Jilted John who find themselves in the environs of Manchester on April 10th will find much to fascinate and enthral during 'An Evening Dedicated To Martin Hannett' at Gorilla (54-56 Whitworth Street). Featuring performances from musicians who shared the stage or studio with the great man, people who knew Martin including his wife and children, an exhibition of Hannett related artefacts (synths, studio gear, images etc.) and a preview of an upcoming DVD release (an abandoned film project about Martin Hannett started in 1995 by Manchester video and flyposting entrepreneur Tosh Ryan which has subsequently been rescued and expanded by Ozit Records Chris Hewitt). There will also doubtless be news of the upcoming book Pleasures Of The Unknown (more here)
Having been spoilt rotten with possibly the best summer we've had in years it's even more depressing to note that not only are the nights drawing in but it's got bloody cold again! But fear not because not only can you still wander around out in the real world listening to music but you can also do it with a snuggled up bonce courtesy of Midland Subzero Music ear warming headphones. Ho yus mate, engineered for winter sports and activities letting you listen to music on the move no matter what it's like outside they are available in various colours and feature two high-quality Hi-Fi stereo speakers, inline Controls (Answer/End Call, Next/Previous Track, Pause/Play), noise isolation, mic and wind noise reduction and can also be used with your mobile phone, these little lovelies retail at a very reasonable £12.95 and can be had by toddling along to Nevada Music
Rory Gallagher Meets John Rebus?
With record companies squeezing every last penny out of their back catalogues by fleshing out sonically buffed up classics which are then loaded up with dubious outtakes and so-so live cuts it’s a genuine delight to see someone actually doing something new and exciting with classic old rock like this ‘immersive album’ project inspired by the crime noir passion for, and music of, Rory Gallagher. Featuring a specially compiled album of Rory Gallagher’s best crime novel influenced music, an exclusive new novella by Ian Rankin fully illustrated by graphic artist Timothy Truman and a special narration of the story by actor Aidan Quinn. Entitled Kickback City this combination of the words of Ian Rankin, the illustrations of Timothy Truman and the music of Rory Gallagher results in a brand new kind of concept album – a must have for fans of Rory Gallagher, Ian Rankin, graphic novels and newcomers alike. Released on Sony Music on 28 October you can find more info here.
Genesis Revisited Live And Boxed
Steve Hackett seems to have hit something of a creative seam of late with numerous album and DVD releases arriving almost weekly but it is this, the winner of Prog Magazine’s ‘event of the year’ that has got most people’s knickers in a proper old twist. A five disc box-set, Genesis Revisited – Live At Hammersmith was originally recorded on May 10th at a sold out London’s Hammersmith Apollo show complete with with an ecstatic audience and guests including Nik Kershaw, John Wetton, Jakko Jakszyk, Steve Rothery and Amanda Lehmann. Due for release on October 21st through Inside Out/Universal Records. The 3CD+2DVD (with 5.1) box set coincides with the return of Hackett’s Genesis Revisited Tour to the UK for a second round due to popular demand...
George Duke R.I.P.
We were very sad to learn of the death of keyboard pioneer, composer, singer and producer George Duke who managed to garner critical acclaim in both jazz and popular mainstream musical genres, working with numerous acclaimed artists including Jean-Luc Ponty, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, David Axelrod, Chaka Khan, Flora Purim, Billy Cobham, Stanley Clarke and of course with Frank Zappa as part of the greatest ever Mothers line-up. Working as an arranger, music director, writer and co-writer and record producer Duke remianed in demand throughout his career releasing thirty-odd solo albums (several of the better ones are currently available through Cherry Red/Soul Music see review here) and featuring on some all time classics. He will be greatly missed and what better way to celebrate his passing than with this terrific outing with FZ and the Mothers.
The Return Of The Shining Stars
Delighted to see that Earth Wind & Fire are back in action, and whilst not many of the original line-up are still around (and let’s spare a thought for Maurice White who sadly now has Parkinson’s disease, although he is still very much involved in the business side of the band), with only Verdine White, Philip Bailey and Ralph Johnson surviving from the ‘70s, the sound is still unmistakably their own, and the early signs are this album is going to be a worthy addition to their fine catalogue. Check out the following video piece of them talking about the album...
One Last Fix for Weird Al J
After the bands messy demise in 2008, it seemed those keen on their continent shifting sturm und drang would have to be happy with the back catalogue, however the story picked up again in 2011 when it was announced that they would be playing at the Wacken festival in Germany and, hurrah, they filmed the event and the results, entitled Enjoy The Quiet, are due out in August. Sadly the new impetus in the Ministry camp (including a new album From Beer To Eternity, due out later this year), all came grinding to a halt on December 23, 2012 when guitarist Mike Scaccia died following an on-stage heart attack, while playing with his other band, Rigor Mortis. So this time it really does look like it's all over bar the shouting (on this DVD and the new album that is). Watch out for the upcoming review but in the meantime…
Following the sad news of Wilko Johnson's terminal illness (see below) it's nice to be able to report something positive about the worlds most famous Canvey Islander and his rhythm and blues buddies Dr. Feelgood. Those of you lucky enough to have seen Julian Temple's terrific documentary Oil City Confidential (more here), will already be aware just how important the Essex seaside resort is in the history of the band and that link is expored further at the Dr Feelgood Exhibition, which is set to run from May 10th through to May 26th 2013, at The Canvey Club (162 High Street Canvey Island), and celebrates the band in all its incarnations, with a feast of memorabilia including rare photo shoots, concert posters, album and single sleeve artwork - plus items such as a Lee Brilleaux waistcoat. More info can be had at www.drfeelgoodexhibition.com
Wilco Johnson's Final Live Dates
TM-O is very sad to learn that Wilko Johnson, the guitarist and founding member of Dr. Feelgood, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the pancreas and has chosen not to undergo chemotherapy. Fans of Dr. Feelgood (check out our review of the excellent Feelgood biopic Oil City Confidentialhere), will already be well aware of Johnson’s very stylistic, stuttering style of guitar playing - those of you that aren’t can check out the video below - and whilst he will never be held up as any sort of guitar hero there are many guitarists out there that owe an enormous debt to the staccato rhythms of Wilko Johnson and he will be hugely missed.
Limited Edition Lord Swansong
As regular readers will already be aware (see our recent Class Act feature for the full retrospective on the great man’s remarkable career), the last piece of work that Jon Lord worked on was a studio version of his Concerto for Group and Orchestra featuring Lord himself, Bruce Dickinson, Steve Morse, Joe Bonamassa and Paul Mann and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – an expanded, limited edition BOOK, CD and DVD version of which is out on 3rd December – and to whet your appetite we have a trailer from the DVD…...
Crazy CD Comic Capers
If, like many of the older boys here, you are fond of a taking a comic into the toilet with you then we feel it behoves us to let you know that you can now happily waste time reading them on your computer as well thanks to CD comics - and whilst you may think that the CD is a play on their slightly larger rivals DC it is in fact more to do with the fact that you purchase the comics/graphic novels on CD (oh and the writer/artist, who sets all of his action in his home town of Sheffield is called Craig Daley). Thus far you can get titles like The Attercliffe Prowler (nasty Jack The Ripper type goings on), Meadowhell (nasty shopping mall slasher type goings on), Manhatten 1930 (super heroes for hire meet devil worshipping and Nazi types) and just released Football Crazy, which we haven’t read but we’re guessing is about nasty goings on at the footy. Why are we telling you all of this? Well the Mr Daley in question used to supply a monthly cartoon called the Jerks for much missed Making Music magazine (under the Pseudonym Dan Daley) which we remember very fondly indeed. Check out CD comics at either cddcomics.webs.com or cdgraphicnovels.blogspot.com.
News In brief
Free Stuff Bit of a rush if you want to make the most of this offer as delightfully weird U.S. prog/jazz label MoonJune are celebrating their fifteen year anniversary by offering a free download of the MoonJune Sampler which is a whopping great 85 track 9 hour long selection of cherry picked nuggets from the labels back catalogue - which includes several incarnations of Soft Machine (plus solo efforts by Elton Dean, Hugh Hopper and Allan Holdsworth) alongside rather well less known but no less brain frying bouts of furious fusion (our current fave being Mahogany Frog's 'Demon Jigging Spoon'). However you only have until 30th June to grab this so pop along here download, have a listen and then get out yer credit card and grab yourself some primo prog from the
********************R.I.P. Jon Lord We were very sad to learn of the passing of Jon Lord, the former keyboard player with Deep Purple, Whitesnake and more recently the man behind some very fine classical works (more here). Aged 71 Lord had been receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer since last August but died at the London Clinic on 16th July and, needless to say, the tributes have been rolling in from fans as disparate as Rage Against The Machines Tom Morello to Jazz pianist Jamie Cullum. It has also been announced that a new studio version of the groundbreaking Concerto For Group And Orchestra which was already in pipeline - featuring Steve Morse, Joe Bonamassa, Bruce Dickinson and more - will still be released on Oct 1st, watch out for more news on this very soon.
******************** Jacko Get's Easy Star Treatment After a great deal of speculation The Easy Star All Stars have announced that the next album to get the ESAS treatment will be Michael Jackson's Thriller - having run a teaser campaign on their website to guess which album it would be for the past month or so, we guessed Pet Sounds, (doh!). Being big fans of their previous Pink Floyd, Radiohead and Beatles efforts we can't wait to hear the results, and if you're like us you might like to know that you can get a free download of 'Billie Jean' here.
Leven R.I.P. We were very sad to learn that Jackie Leven passed away on 14th November having suffered for some time now from cancer. In a career stretching over forty years, Leven carved an impressive reputation as a uniquely gifted singer-songwriter, from his emergence as leader of the underrated Doll By Doll in the seventies, through well documented addiction problems which Leven overcame with remarkable strength of will, culminating in a solo resurgence through the 1980s to his recent passing. Jackie amassed an amazing body of work which we suggest you discover for yourselves, starting with this.