Friday, 30 July 2010

Wolf People release Steeple LP in October

Our pals the WOLF PEOPLE , featured in BoB#74, will release their first album proper on October 11on Jagjaguwar.

 From Jagjaguwar's press release:

"Steeple represents the emergence of a fully fledged band from the fragmented, haunted bedroom meanderings of their Tidings singles compilation, released earlier this year. Recorded in a converted chicken barn on the grounds of a 17th century Welsh mansion, Steeple takes on a heavier sound while maintaining the arabesque electric guitars, groove-laden drums and ethereal vocals that characterised its predecessor.

Cheerfully aware of the English rock band cliché of 'getting it together in the country,' the quartet did it anyway, inspired by the rural isolation of West Wales to conjure shifting rhythms, entrancing folksong and smoke-fogged, riff-stoked jams. From the stuttered, flute-led earworm hook of 'Tiny Circle' to the churning, twisted ball of metal that is 'One By One From Dorney Reach,' Steeple sounds as massive as the setting in which it was laid to tape and is full of the nuggets that many a rock fan spend lifetimes among crates in search of.

And in true Wolf People fashion, the video accompaniment for ‘Tiny Circle’ brilliantly confuses the viewer/listener as to what era this art is coming to them from.

Steeple captures a band in metamorphosis, bridging frontman Jack Sharp's earlier solo efforts and the speaker-shearing attack developed in concert over the past four years. Now an accomplished live unit, Wolf People have shared stages with the likes of The Besnard Lakes, Dinosaur Jr, Dungen, Endless Boogie, Lightning Dust and Tinariwen.

Proud of their heritage, both musical and cultural, Wolf People's vision faithfully reflects the myriad environments the group's members move between — the British countryside and various urban centres (Bedford, London and North Yorkshire) — while offering a universally appreciable set of songs for this age or any other.

 Wolf People will embark on a UK headline tour in October, dates to follow. In the meantime festival goers can catch them at Green Man and End Of The Road this summer."

They also play the Tapestry Club in Euston on Friday 27th August.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Giant Sand news galore

On Monday I went over to the Bank Of England and the quiet Treadneedles Hotel on Threadneedle Street. This was in order to meet up with Howe Gelb. As always Howe was talkative and the whole conversation went all over the place covering many intended and unintended subjects. You'll be able to read an account of it in a forthcoming issue.

Howe had played the previous week at the Barbican with Giant Sand and A Band Of Gypsies, the musicality from Cordoba, Andalusia, that he's lately taken up with.  Also on the bill was Kristin Hersh reading from her new book, accompanied on those readings by Giant Sand. Intended as a 25th anniversary celebration of the release of Valley Of Rain there were no songs played from that album. Howe seemed a little surprised, though unperturbed, by that revelation. It is, of course, entirely in character with he and Giant Sand, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Howe and the gypsies have released an album, Alegrias, so far only available on the Spanish Eureka label. Here's some footage from the launch in Corboda earlier this year:

Presentación del álbum "Alegrías en la Posada del Potro (Córdoba) "Uneven Light of Day" from eureka music on Vimeo.

 There is also a Giant Sand album Blurry Blue Mountain scheduled for release on Fire in October. Fire are also enabling Howe to reissue all his back catalogue in one place and in a uniform series, and archivist Jim Blackwood is hard at work remastering. Over the next year we should see all of these avaialble:

September 2010

Giant Sand - Valley Of Rain
Giant Sand - Ballad Of A Thin Man
Giant Sand - Storm

September / October 2010

Giant Sand - Love Songs
Giant Sand - Long Stem Rant
Giant Sand - Swerve

October 2010

Giant Sand - Center Of The Universe
Giant Sand - Purge & Slouch
Giant Sand - Ramp

November 2010

Giant Sand – Glum
Giant Sand - Backyard BBQ Broadcast 
Giant Sand - Goods & Services

Giant Sand – Live Album (Volume 1 & 2)

January 2010

Giant Sand - Chore of Enchantment
Giant Sand - Cover Magazine
Giant Sand - Black Out

February 2011 (Howe Gelb re-issue series)

Howe Gelb - Dreaded Brown Recluse
Howe Gelb - Hisser
Howe Gelb – Confluence
Howe Gelb - ...Some Piano Triple CD
Howe Gelb – Sno Angel DVD / Live Album
Band Of Blacky Ranchette – The Band Of Blacky Ranchette
Band Of Blacky Ranchette – Sage Advice
Band Of Blacky Ranchette - Heartland

March 2011

The Band Of Blacky Ranchette – Still Looking Good To Me
Giant Sand - Is All Over The Map
Arizoner Amp & Alternator - Arizoner Amp & Alternator

BOX SET OF ALL “Giant Sand” releases – April/May 2011

July 2011
Howe Gelb - Sno Angel Like You
Howe Gelb - The Listener

BOX SET OF ALL “Howe Gelb” releases – September 2011

I did ask Howe about Lonna Kelley who I first bumped into playing with him at the End Of The Road in 2007 and was pleased to hear that she'll be back singing with him soon and to discover that Eureka have also released one of her records.

Also I should direct you to Mike Brewer's Sa-Wa-Ro site where you can find ludicrous amounts of information about Giant Sand, Howe and related artists.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

What's Cookin' quits The Sheep Walk - last shows this week

News from Stephen Ferguson aka Rambler that he and Ali are packing up gigs at The Sheep Walk in Leytonstone from the end of this week. Nobody can begrudge them a rest after nearly eight years of putting on two or three shows a week of consistent quality - but nobody can deny they'll be sadly missed. Here's Steve's bulletin:

Some sad news, and pay attention to this. We've decided to call it a day at The Sheep Walk. Why? Well, quite simply because we're knackered. I think that about sums it up. We've decided to have a good old rest. We told Joe & Helena (the guvnors at the Sheep Dip) Friday night after The Answer show, so tha'ts that. It's gonna be cheerio to our lovely old room upstairs. But hey, chin up, because we still have two shows left, and I tell ya what, we're gonna party like there's no tomorrow. This Wed 28th July we'll have tons & tons of great people, and on Sat 31st July it's The Fabulous Penetrators/Cowbell/Son of Buff (what a way to say cheerio!). So come on, stop crying into yer beer, and make sure ya come along and help us celebrate seven (!!!) fantastic years of pots & pans rattling rock'n'roll in the kitchen!    THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR ALL THE GREAT NIGHTS!  

Wednesday 28th July

The Lucky Strikes / Alan Tyler / Dave Desmelik & so much more!  @ The Sheep Walk

Its our last EVER Wednesay night at the Sheep Dip. We did have United Stoats of America booked in, but they've had to cancel. So instead I'm taking the opportunity to line up a great night of music to celebrate our last ever Wednesday night in the kitchen. All I can say at the moment is we'll have the awesomely fantastic delta blues of The Lucky Strikes, country legend Alan Tyler, and from North Carolina, Dave Desmelik, who has established himself as an accomplished and rising singer/songwriter with influences from country to bluegrass to blues to rock n' roll. And tons of other people have been asked, so who knows might turn up! Get yerselves down and give yerselves a big round of applause, because you people made it what it is, or should I say...sniff...was!

Saturday 31st July

The Fabulous Penetrators / Cowbell / Sons of Buff   @ The Sheep Walk

We're outta here with a BANG!

The Fabulous Penetrators are a group whose reputation precedes them! They play ultra good time garage rock’n’roll, wear matching outfits and give a full-on show, not just a performance. Imagine Hound Dog Taylor and Bo Diddley having a good old medieval jousting session with their gee-tars to the voice of the rotting corpse of John Lennon, with the drummer from Slayer just having heard Little Richard for the first time. They're gonna be 'fresh' from the Secret Garden Party and warming-up for Standon Calling. AND, at last their debut album is out! Called With Love, its released on Stag-O-Lee Records, and comes in CD, downloads, and gatefold vinyl (oh joy). They're gonna be bringing us to a close, and in their own words..."we return to What’s Cookin’ for their last gig of the summer and we are gonna finish with a bang! Lots of Bang! Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang!" You get the idea! of our favourite favourite favourite bands...EVER! Oh dear, you may wanna be there!

Our favourite boy/girl-guitar/drums duo, Cowbell, continue to go from strength to strength with the release of their debut EP 'Oh Girl' getting played on the nations airwaves and signing to Too Pure Records. Sexy soulful & funky rock'n'roll. 

The Son of Buff is Lance Cusack's LOUD garage rock'n'roll duo. We normally get the lovely songwriter stuff from Lance, but not tonight. It's our last show so it's all raucous folks! 

What's Cookin' 
@ The Sheep Walk, 692 High Road Leytonstone E11 3AA
Tube: Leytonstone (Central Line)
Doors: 8.30pm 
FREE! (with a voluntary whip-round)   
Tele: 020 8556 1131

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Bermondsey Joyriders news - Gary Lammin plays with Wobble and Scabies

I had a brief chat this morning with Gary Lammin before he set off to Dublin with Jah Wobble. The Joyriders played a really successful show earlier in the month with Rat Scabies on drums, and they're doing it again in September. So get your tickets kids.

The Wobble show in London is next Friday at Islington Academy.

 From the press release:

 After playing to a packed 100 Club in July, London punk-blooze trio The Bermondsey Joyriders are back in the legendary venue that is fast becoming their home-from-home on September 3rd.

July’s show saw original Damned drummer Rat Scabies take to the stage alongside ‘Joyriders frontman Gary Lammin (formerly of the Joe Strummer-produced Little Roosters) and bassist Martin Stacey (Chelsea), to form a bona fide punk rock supergroup.  Those missed it first time around will now get a second chance to see this line-up in action come September, and can expect to hear a clutch of new tunes - which the band are currently laying down in the studio under the guidance of renowned Cure and Depeche Mode producer David M. Allen. 

Support on September 3rd comes from London mod-punk favourites Long Tall Shorty and Roxy Club veterans The Plague.  Also entertaining will be the now (in)famous ‘Bermondsey Burlesque Gals’ and DJ Velvet Vespa.

Bermondsey Joyriders frontman Gary Lammin will also be joining PiL legend Jah Wobble on a 9 date UK tour across July and August, as special guest of Wobble’s ‘Nippon Dub Ensemble’.  This pair of punk veterans recently bonded over a shared loved of the beautiful game, to create World Cup anthem ‘England – Your Time Is Now’, which is available for free download via Wobble’s own 30 Hertz label at  Fusing dub sounds with far eastern influences, and featuring on-stage Japanese flower arranging (!) and Lammin’s slide guitar skills on three numbers, the self-described ‘Japanese Dub’ group’s debut UK shows are sure to be memorable nights!

The Bermondsey Joyriders play;

7th August – Fordham Festival, nr. Cambridge
(Bermondsey Joyriders appearing on main stage)

3rd September – 100 Club, Oxford St, London
(with Long Tall Shorty & The Plague – adv. tickets £10 / £12 door)

25th September – The Gaff, Holloway Rd, London
(Headlining ‘Bubblegum Slut Fanzine’s 10th Anniversary event)

Jah Wobble & The Nippon Dub Ensemble (feat. guest Gary Lammin) play;

26th July – O2 Academy 2, Sheffield
27th July – O2 ABC2, Glasgow
28th July – O2 Academy 2, Newcastle
29th July – The Ruby Lounge, Manchester
30th July – O2 Academy 3, Birmingham
31st July – O2 Academy Islington, London
1st August – O2 Academy 2, Bristol
4th August – O2 Academy 2, Oxford
5th August – O2 Academy 3, Liverpool

Friday, 23 July 2010

In a quiet moment before #75 drops

In a quiet moment before the finished copies of #75 arrive (later in the day, since you ask) I want to reflect a bit on the latest issue, and perhaps make a request. This issue will be the third new BoB in eight months. I should repeat that, as it’s pretty much unheard of in recent years. I suspect you’d need to go back to 1998 to find such fecundity, and if you look at the previous three (#70 to #72) they took 27 months. Ok there were some other external impingements and there has been a certain sea change in the ocean in which we swim. But that said it is a considerable improvement and I start to be quite pleased.

Except in a way I’m not. With all my bias admitted I think this is an incredibly good issue but hovering over it is a phantom issue with a chain of pages and stories drifting behind it. As we have to balance the number of pages we can have to the cost of post, which once you get to the continent and further becomes a serious matter (the printers used heavier stock for #74 without asking us and that put a significant excess on our overseas mail, especially as the issue did so well). So there’s been a lot of holding over, and as we all know holding over often means in reality dropping.

We do want to avoid that. We have some fantastic records here that should have been in, as we also have some fantastic records that we know are going to be current in the autumn. We have a fantastic piece in the pipeline on Mr Terry Edwards, and as our photographer of choice is making a brief visit back to these islands we anticipate some fine and exclusive shots of him. Plus we have a number of other old favourites who we’re in conversation with even now. So it’s hopeful that we can catch up a bit. Thus aiming bravely to have another magazine by early October. Though this does also depend on the kind people who took out three-issue subscriptions last autumn when the ‘BoB 400’ was mooted actually re-subscribing.

And it depends on advertising. In some ways we’d love to be self-sufficient so we could have 100% editorial content, though that’s not really desirable as we do see ourselves as something of an information exchange. However we do want to be exchanging the right sort of information, and I’ll freely admit that at times in the last years we’ve had to take ads that we’d prefer not to have run. What’s good is we do have in Alive, in Zip, in Easy Action, and a few others consistent supporters, but we’d also like to spread into the smaller ads. We do offer an 1/8 of a page for a very cheap rate and we’d quite like to run two pages with 16 different bands or shops or websites advertising themselves. So think about it kids and do drop us a line.

And the request: it’s to record labels and bands. Please don’t put out any new records between now and September, give us a chance to catch up.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Bucketfull Of Brains #75 - out at the weekend

Bucketfull Of Brains #75 will be available from the forthcoming weekend.

This issue has Iggy And The Stooges and Keith Richards, both C.1972, on the cover. Referencing to Simon Wright’s re-examination of Exile On Main Street and Raw Power. Simon talks to long time Stooges/Stones observers Nick Kent, Phil Shoenfelt and Bill Allerton.

There are two interviews from Mick Dillingham – with John Common and Salim Nourallah.

Will Bray talks to the Welsh blues duo and Alive recording artistes Henry’s Funeral Shoe.

Two New Jersey bands – Smash Palace and The Grip Weeds chat to Barry Gutman

There are also interviews with The Lucky Strikes and Dustbowl. Phil King completes his three-part epic on Rob Symmons of Subway Sect and The Fallen Leaves, and Paul Martin look at the current state of Junk Shop Glam.

Plus shorter reports on Roky Erickson playing live with Okkervil River and The Triffids/Blackeyed Susans visit to London, along with DD’s Garage and all the usual features.

Please be aware that #74 Rowland S. Howard cover is very close to selling out . Get it now or miss it. We will happily take subscriptions starting with that issue (or even #73) while stocks last. Please tell us regardless which issue you wish to commence your sub with.

BoB #75

BoB 3 Issue Subscription

Friday, 16 July 2010

Ben Folke Thomas - review from Blow Up (Italy)

Blow Up (Italy) Review


Benjamin Folke Thomas – Benjamin Folke Thomas - CD Bucketfull of Brains – 6 tracks – 22:02

To celebrate their new music label, legendary Bucketfull Of Brains has chosen another talented newcomer: Ben Folke Thomas, a Swede living in London, 21 years old but already an established name in the local folk scene, a past as the drummer of a grunge band that, inspired by Cobain’s version of Where did you sleep last night? (the circle closes), decided to pick up the acoustic guitar and become a songwriter.

The first good news is: the Swede doesn’t want to overdue things. Only six tracks that go by like fresh water and at the end it is a pleasure to start all over again.

The second good news is: Benjamin has got talent. Laid-back vocals, good songs and an incredible attention for the details of the sound: perfect arrangements, with Thomas’ fingerpicking in evidence, lap steel and mandolin and a wonderful female voice (Ange Boxall) supported by a rhythmic session that takes the reins when needed (the swinging country of Nothing Next To You, that smells of rural afternoons and grass just cut).

Timeless music, that could have been recorded in a parallel universe where time has stopped forever in ’72-’73. A bit of Dylan, Cohen, Tim Hardin, a lot of Americana and a pinch of acoustic blues that reminds of Mississippi John Hurt (Four letters).

All here is simply beautiful. And the best arrives at the end: Paradise lost (Heaven Found) for voice and guitar, and the promise of a shining future.

(7/8) Roberto Curti

Kindly translated by Trent Miller

More info here

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Fabienne Delsol - new Damaged Goods release


Format: CD/LP/Digi
Barcode : CD - 5020422036024
LP - 5020422036017
Release Date: 6th September 2010

The very welcome return of Fabienne Delsol with her 3rd solo album, a follow up to 2007's Between You And Me. Originally from Limoges in France, Fabienne was formerly the lead singer of legendary London garage band The Bristols and has been living and working in London with husband Liam Watson (Toe Rag Studios) since 1996.

Put together in studio down-time and ably backed by Toe Rag's stable of musicians, On My Mind features Fabienne's customary mixture of both English and French lyrics sung with plenty of coquettish charm. With songs and production so authentically 60's they could have been taken from tapes gathering dust in Serge Gainsbourg's garage for the last 40 years.

The album marks something of a departure from the jaunty beat-pop and ye-ye of her previous albums however, there's a definite autumnal feel to several of the tracks, putting you in mind of what the much mooted Francoise Hardy/Nick Drake collaboration might have yielded.

Lyrically the bulk of the album deals with the melancholic side of love and has a slightly trippy and introspective edge. Most notably on 'Strange Shadows' and the title track 'On my Mind' with its phased drums and 'Strawberry Fields' style moog motifs. You're unlikely to hear a better record this autumn!

There will be a launch gig for this album on October 3rd at London's 100 Club.

Damaged Goods

Monday, 12 July 2010

Burning down the house with the Jim Jones Revue - new album


New Album - BURNING YOUR HOUSE DOWN - September 6th
New Single - High Horse - August 23rd

“The greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world right now” - Phil Alexander, MOJO

The Jim Jones Revue's new album Burning Your House Down will be released by Punk Rock Blues Records / [PIAS] Recordings on September 6th. Produced by Jim Sclavunos (of Nick Cave's Bad Seeds/Grinderman), Burning Your House Down captures the roar of an untamed band at the top of their game. With the microphone shredding wail of the incomparable Jim Jones at the helm, fearlessly spurred by Rupert Orton’s six-string maelstrom, Elliot Mortimer’s savaged ivories and the jackhammer rhythm section of drummer Nick Jones and bassist Gavin Jay, The Jim Jones Revue swing like a giant ball and chain.

In the last few years The Jim Jones Revue have swiftly progressed from their earliest shows in the dive bars of East London to staking their claim as an unstoppable force on today’s British rock 'n' roll scene. Since the day Steve Lamacq announced on his 6 Music show "I think I may have something here" and proceeded to play tracks from the band's eponymous debut album, The Jim Jones Revue juggernaut has not looked back.

The first single off Burning Your House Down will be 'High Horse' due August 23rd. Complementing this release, The Jim Jones Revue play an array of UK Summer festival dates including Latitude, Hop Farm, Bestival, and Tapestry. Later this year a world tour commences, encompassing the UK, Europe, the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Extending from late 2010 into 2011, the band is destined to leave a trail of scorched earth in its wake.

A rabid fan-base and radio DJ champions like Marc Riley, Gideon Coe, Mark Lamarr and John Kennedy have made The Jim Jones Revue a true international underground sensation. Steve Lamacq’s on-air heads up to Jack White led directly to The Jim Jones Revue scoring a support slot with Dead Weather. MOJO has hailed them as one of the bands to look out for in 2010, with a nomination in this year's MOJO Honours List for a "Best Newcomer Award". With heaps of accolades, it’s no wonder the band’s star continues to rise; with Burning Your House Down there's a fair chance they'll soar straight into orbit.

Burning Your House Down Track Listing

1. Dishonest John
2. High Horse
3. Foghorn
4. Big Len
5. Premeditated
6. Burning Your House Down
7. Shoot First
8. Elemental
9. Killin' Spree
10. Righteous Wrong
11. Stop The People

All songs written by The Jim Jones Revue
Produced by Jim Sclavunos

Upcoming UK Tour Dates:

July 17th Latitude Festival, Suffolk
Sept. 11th Bestival, Isle of Wight w
Sept. 29th O2 Academy, Leicester
Sept. 30th Cavern Club, Exeter
Oct. 6th Komedia, Brighton
Oct. 7th Thekla, Bristol
Oct. 8th The Square, Harlow
Oct. 9th Chinnerys, Southend-On-Sea
Oct.12th O2 Academy, Oxford
Oct. 14th Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Oct. 15th Sound Control, Manchester
Oct. 16th Electric Circus, Edinburgh
Oct. 17th King Tuts, Glasgow
Oct. 19th The Cluny, Newcastle
Oct. 20th O2 Academy, Birmingham
Oct. 21st Scala, London

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Cordelia's Dad - An interview from January 1997

Strange how things come back. Got an email this morning from a friend asking if I knew anything about Tim Eriksen who's playing at The Betsey Trotwood with Steeleye Span's Peter Knight on the 20th July. Eriksen used to play in a band called Cordelia's Dad and he had a lot to do with the soundtrack to Cold Mountain. Now I just happen to have got a new hard drive and I've been moving loads of archive stuff off floppies and zip disks. And amongst this stuff was an interview that I did with Tim and Peter Irvine and Cath Oss in a cider pub in Bristol; it was cold and wintry so I reckon it was January. Anyway this piece never appeared in print and I'd forgotten that it was as complete as it was. This looks like it was ready for lay-out. So why not put it up here? Oh and by the way Cath Oss was there though she doesn't seem to have said anything and she's now Cath Tyler. So imagine yourself back in 1997 and take it from here:

In the wilds of last January I ventured to the nether regions of north-east London and a place called Highams Park. There, in an upper room. I saw three young Americans and an English friend mesmerise a bunch of middle aged unreconstructed folkies. They played a set of traditional American songs and tunes harking back to the nineteenth century, revitalising those tales of passion and intense emotion, gripping us with the starkness of their voices and the simple beauty of their acoustic instrumentation.

A couple of weeks later, at Bristol's Louisiana Club, the three Americans again mounted a stage, this time equipped for electric music. While the songs displayed unmistakably a traditional origin this was a set that was ragin' full on. Power trio stuff but with the poetry that only the finest protagonists aspire to; the balm inside the mayhem. Like Brass Monkey meeting Sonic Youth. In the hurly-burly of the extended 'Rapture Bird' my mind and my synapses were drawn back to the frenzy of Neil Young and Crazy Horse in Hamburg the previous summer as they deconstructed "Like A Hurricane". It was that good.

There are things we accept you can't do and so we don't even try them. It seems like nobody told Tim Eriksen, Peter Irvine and Cath Oss, or if they did they didn't listen. These guys have, in various combinations, been playing together as Cordelia's Dad since the late 1980s. Depending on where you see them, which records you get, they are a noise band, a folk band, a folk-rock band, a folk-noise band, a hard-core band or shape note singers. There's a dozen other categories, all as relevant and as meaningless. They're a band that has steeped themselves in the folk music of America and its English origins, they search out songs and variations on songs. The afternoon of the gig you may well find them digging in the local library.

For some years now they've been disconcerting the English folk music community, or the part of it with less catholic tastes, by presenting both sides of their coinage as Cordelia's Dad. They've now decided to be two bands. Cordelia's Dad for the acoustic shows and Io (pronounced eye-o) for the electric ones. It avoids confusion but lessens the surprise.

I spent some time with them the day after the Louisiana show, in the back bar of the Cotham Porter Stores, one of Bristol's renowned cider pubs. They were on the back of eighteen gigs in twenty days, playing the length and breadth of the kingdom.

BoB:This is an interesting time of year to come to England. You've probably played more gigs here in January than most English bands would play in England in the whole year? How does it work logistically?

Peter: We've only had one or two days off. It sort of worked out that this was when we had the available time. We're very busy on different projects. It's hard but it gets better each time. We've had more than one gig where someone's asked us how we do it as they're handing over the cash. Sometimes it doesn't make sense, but I think playing everyday, keeping expenses real low, staying with people, eating fish and chips a lot.

Tim: We're also, even for an American band, pretty hardcore into playing a lot. We like playing so we play every chance we get.

BoB: There's a feeling here that you should avoid the stage. That if you've done a lot of gigs and maybe haven't been picked up by a label there must be something wrong with you.

Peter: There's a certain amount of that at home. People don't understand how musicianship works, or they don't want to be perceived as people who have this job that happens to be playing music.

Tim: The other strange thing we have is that we play out of the way places. Io didn't do a gig in London on this tour. At home we haven't played in New York or Boston. I'd much rather play in Middlesborough or Newcastle. London's a pain in the ass. We played the outskirts. Cordelia's Dad did.

BoB: I saw you up at Hale End.

Tim: That was bizarre, but cool. Cordelia's Dad has done a lot of those shows on this tour and they've been a lot of fun. They're somewhat unintentionally exclusive. The folk scene is very insular and very unaware of the rest of the world.

Peter: There've been a couple of occasions when people under forty have shown up and this is viewed as unusual.

Tim:At home we've always played for rock audiences primarily. And the thing is when you have your generic rock audience, with the exception of certain real wicked trendy fourteen year olds, when you hear some real hardcore acoustic music they almost without exception get into it.

Peter: It's like Hale End. A nice room where acoustic music sounds good, but they have all these ways of keeping people out, membership rules and not having any signage. Some of the things here are very strange to us, but real interesting. Floor singers and the drinking culture, and just this very specific way of going about things. People seemed to think we'd know about it. Well now we know about it, but at first we thought what the hell's going on.

BoB: You'll go back on the road as soon as you get back to the States?

Peter: As Cordelia's Dad.

Tim: Io is still under wraps. We're figuring out exactly what it is we're doing, record wise and touring wise.

Peter: We really want it to be a new band. Getting away from all this confusion, to make a real distinction and a fresh start. For Io music, start off with a real record release, where people can actually get the record if they want to, and a real tour, where people will know we're playing, and people can come out and know what we're playing.

BoB: Tim, you started off in hardcore?

Tim: I was doing a lot of stuff, but hardcore was the first thing I was involved in really.

BoB: Under the influence of the SST bands?

Tim: Well Black Flag, but mostly not the big bands, a localised kind of thing that was happening. Bands listening to each other, and that was really vital. But being a scene it was really constricting, and I think my band at the time was considered strange within the scene. We did things you weren't really supposed to do. With any scene comes a whole series of rules, and the anarchist hardcore scene has as many if not more than any other.

BoB: Peter, I read you were in country bands.

Peter: I didn't listen to rock music at all till I got to college. Then I got the idea I should join a band. I played in various groups including a country band in Canada.

Their first album Cordelia's Dad came in 1990 after they'd been together two years and then had a year off. Tim had been off to India and other places and three days after he got home they did the album in twelve hours. They call it folk-noise and specify that it's not acoustic. At that point Tim was playing mostly banjo and Tom King was the guitarist. This was in Massachusetts. They then moved to Hoboken, New Jersey.

BoB: I wondered if that was a strategic move?

Peter: No. My girlfriend was going to law school. It was a real pain in practise. Probably the only good thing that happened was we met Dave Schramm, who's a great musician.

BoB: And Dave produced the next album.

Tim: That was a really good experience, but there were other people involved in the project. Unfortunately there were too many hands in the pot. If it had been just us and Dave it would have been a much better record. Most of the good things about that record have something to do with Dave.

BoB: What are you unhappy about with that album?

Tim: It's too measured. It's all overdubbed, just really good songs that I like and they don't have the flavour or energy they do on stage; they don't sound anything like they did live. I was doing all sorts of music, hardcore was still very much in my head and making a pop record grated on my nerves. Being in a studio was very difficult, you have a lot of pressure from the people involved. "Loud distorted music, that's a thing of the past, it'll never be big, you've got to do it acoustic". Couple of months later Nevermind came out - and if we'd done it the way we wanted to !! But I wouldn't say anything bad about Dave.

BoB: Did he do any live shows with you?

Peter: Yes, a couple of gigs. We hosted The Schramms up in Northampton a couple of times, had them play with us. He played slide guitar.

Tim: We learnt a lot in the studio, mostly that we didn't want to be there very long. Since then we've been dedicated to taping things as live as possible. The last records have been a hundred percent live, no overdubs. The next one will be pretty live.

Then Tom left and Cath joined.

Peter: There was an overlap period. We were a four-piece for a while. Then Tom decided to get a job. We had a European tour coming up so we asked Cath if she would learn to play bass. You could say Io started in the summer of 1994 when we spent a couple of months rehearsing five hours a day. That was the beginning though we didn't admit it. We should have changed the name then it would have made things a lot easier.

Tim: We were practising like crazy for this project Trio For Bands, a composition based on an idea by John Cage involving three bands performing different music simultaneously] and in the process we produced loads of material. It was very interesting. There were two performances, the first indoors. One minutes of continuous noise. The loudest thing I've ever experienced. I had earplugs and after a while I took them out and it didn't seem any different. Then there was this incredible physical sensation of noise. At the end I could barely stand up it was so physically draining. I felt like I'd taken some kind of, well something.

BoB: Would you do it again?

Tim: Oh yeah. We're into all kinds of things. We're not really careerists. We're into finding interesting things to do and staying alive. I'd like to do an album of Residents' covers.

BoB: Have you sold the idea to the others?

Peter: I'm into it.

Tim: I feel I've a lot more in common with the Residents than the folk scene. Just their whole take on American music. They had really open ears.

Peter: I heard about them a long time before I heard them and I was really surprised. They were much tamer than I though they would be

BoB: Comet you recorded in the Autumn of 1994.

Tim: With Comet we did a number of things we weren't supposed to do but they worked out exactly right. We went into a studio that does almost entirely noise and industrial stuff, and did really quick recordings with an engineer with no preconceptions of how unaccompanied singing should sound, and it was just fresher.

Comet was the last Cordelia's Dad studio album. In 1996 they put out Road Kill a two thousand copy limited edition compilation of live and radio tracks. They'd now call it an Io release except hardly anybody has heard it. Some of those songs will resurface on Io's first album.

What's so good about this band is that they don't accept limitations and demarcations. They demand an openness from their listeners which if you bring them they will reward. You don't need to be an expert in traditional Anglo-American music, just have the antenna for its gut emotion. Edwin Pouncey once talked about 'spiky music', by which he meant music that didn't just wash over you, that snagged you on its sharp edges. The band took to that, and it suits them.

The band made a brief return to the UK in June and July. They're now augmented by fiddle player Laura Risk. Earlier this summer Io cut an electric album in Chicago with Steve Albini. They got on so well with him that they've scrapped all current acoustic recordings and are going back to do a Cordelia's Dad record later in the year. They hinted at a new record deal soon. When we know so will you.



Cordelia's Dad (1990) OKra 33011

How Can I Sleep? (1992) OKra 33019

Ignore the band's reservations about this; it's a great collection. My choice: a super electric take on 'Delia', Tom King's 'San Francisco' - a grungey reworking of 'Scarborough Fair' - and a brace of banjo pieces 'Little Margaret' (from Bascom Lunsford) and 'Harvest Home'.

Joy Fun Garden (1993) Return To Sender RTS 3 / Limited Edition European Release

Comet (1995) Omnium 2011

Music of the invisible republic. Eleven acoustic tracks from the treasury of Anglo-American folk. A gap followed by three mighty blasts of electricity: first 'Jersey City' (aka 'The Butcher Boy') and then two Tim Eriksen originals 'Three Snake Leaves' and 'Hush'.

Road Kill (1996) Scenescof


Cordelia's Dad, Po Box 175, Northampton, MA 01061, USA.


Omnium (USA), Po Box 7367, Minneapolis, MN 55407, USA.

Normal Records (Europe), Bonner Talweg 276, 53129 Bonn, Germany.

Direct (UK), 50 Stroud Green Road, London N4 3EF.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Do we need another version of 'Dark End Of The Street'?

Pete O'Brien reckons so. I'm with him.

<a href="">Dark End of the Street by Andrew Combs</a>

Friday, 2 July 2010

New JonBoy Langford Album coming soon

Jon Langford Old Devils

BS 175 2010

CD and Limited LP release date: August 24th

That's right an LP!  First Langford vinyl since Thatcher was knocking around Number 10 Downing St!

Edition of 1000

LP contains download card with digital version of album, plus two songs not on the CD and extra artwork
  1. 1234 Ever
  2. Book Of Your Life
  3. Getting Used To Uselessness
  4. Self Portrait
  5. Luxury
  6. Pieces Of The Past
  7. Haunted
  8. Flag Of Triumph
  9. Death Valley Day
  10. Old Devils
  11. River Of Ice
  12. Strange Ways To Win Wars

Full of soulful urgency and longing, of lost sailors, cruel pirates and creeping inevitabilities, the new solo album by Jon Langford travels o'er the seas and malls, from the pubs of Wales to the swamps of the settled life, steeped in the haunted, never-ending search for place. Old Devils sits on the tuff wharves of the world and swaps stories and worries, the lies told much better than the truths, conjuring the ghosts of mates-in-spiritual-arms from Dylan Thomas to Johnny Cash

Old Devils starts with the premise that punk rock is folk music. From there, Jon and his Skull Orchard incarnation (fellow Waco Brothers Alan Doughty and Joe Camarillo on bass and drums respectively and the Zincs/Horse's Ha dapper, finger-picking Englishman Jim Elkington on guitar) bend, borrow and blend genres with energy, humor (grim and otherwise) and the Welsh gift of the tale. Ultimately, though, Skull Orchard rocks hard, "'cos," as Jon says, "that's wot we do."

"1234 Ever" and "Getting Used To Uselessness" go straight for the old school sweet spot--think a more muscular Hold Steady or Rockpile—the latter song masking the fed-up-with-the-quotidian-grind message with inviting opportunities to shout along and rousing handclap breakdowns. Elkington's clean guitar lines, well-versed in the ways of the hippie folk reinventions of Richard Thompson and Bert Jansch, provide buoyant counterpoints to Jon's chugging rhythm in "Flag of Triumph" and the woozy horns of "Haunted." Even when the band goes all gentle country-inflected SoCal rock like "Book of Your Life" and the lush "Death Valley Day," or charms with the pop-craft ooooohs and wicked rockabilly runs of "Self Portrait," Skull Orchard are never far from punk's energy or a honky tonk's piano.

Old Devils takes us to ports of ill repute as far flung as the Old World and the West Indies ("Pieces of the Past" where "the filthy streets of Bristol were paved with blood and gold"), New Orleans and the American suburbs ("Luxury") looking for the answers. Travel companions include soul godfather Andre Williams as the ominous rum drinking narrator, the Crescent City's horn tribe Bonerama and the incomparable Jean Cook on violin.

All taken from the Bloodshot Records website

The Mekons play in London later this month

Bull And Gate - Sun 25th July
The Green Note - Mon 26th July

Thursday, 1 July 2010

The French Girl - From Ian and Sylvia to Trembling Bells

Here are The Daily Flash doing Ian Tyson and Sylvia Fricker's 'The French Girl'. Aside from the Ian And Sylvia version there are fabulous readings by Gene Clark and Bob Dylan (on The Basement Tapes). It's a song that's close to my heart so I was very pleased to hear its melody used to stunning effect on 'Adieu England' the opening song of Abandoned Love by The Trembling Bells.

Three silver rings on slim hands waiting
Flash bright in candlelight through Sunday's early morn
We found a room that rainy morning

She took my hand through winding roads and led me home
Some red French wine when later waking
In her warm hideaway, she smiled and combed her hair

She laughed each time I asked her name
Made promises to meet again
But her friends down at the French café
Had no English words for me

So you may find above the border
A girl with silver rings, I never knew her name
You're bound to lose, she's too much for you
She'll leave you lost one rainy morn, you won't be the same

She laughed each time I asked her name
Made promises to meet again
But her friends down at the French café
Had no English words for me

She laughed each time I asked her name
Made promises to meet again
But her friends down at the French café
Had no English words for me

Trembling Bells play Tapestry Festival this Sunday.