Friday, 27 August 2010

Wolf People and Spirogyra at Tapestry tonight

The fabulous Wolf People, as featured in BoB#74, and running up to the release of their fab new album Steeple, play the Tapestry Club tonight.

Also on the bill are the legendary Spirogyra.

Come down and see in the holiday weekend it'll be fab.

Tapestry Club

St Aloysius Church, 
Phoenix St,

Last Friday of every month 

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Charles Jessold Considered As A Murderer - Wesley Stace

It is a curiosity that the publication of Wesley Stace’s novel Charles Jessold Considered As A Murderer (Jonathan Cape) should coincide with that of Rob Young’s majestic survey of English pastoral music Electric Eden but it is safe to say that they complement each other. The milieu in which Stace sets his tale is that of English classical music in the early decades of the last century. This was the period in which composers were assiduously collecting folk songs to form the basis of compositions that would be particularly English, and from which the fictional Jessold attempts to create the first major English opera since Purcell’s Dido And Aeneas.

Thus the immediate fascination of the novel is the description over the first hundred pages of the modus operandi of song collecting. The famous episode of Cecil Sharp, John England, and ‘The Seeds Of Love’ which launched the whole process is briefly referred to, and then there are accounts of collecting adventures illustrating the bitter disputes over patch and method. Stace’s narrator Shepherd, an effete conservative dilettante, opposes both the use of recording equipment and the involvement of less socially-advanced upstarts.

These episodes culminate in the serendipitous discovery, in a barn sheltering from rain, of the shepherd Marsh who sings them the song ‘Little Musgrave’. ‘Little Musgrave’ is to provide the basis for Jessold’s opera and in its love triangle of Lord and Lady Barnard and Musgrave the dynamic of the whole novel. The multiplicity of three-way relationships; in the song, in the life of the sixteenth century composer Italian Carlo Gesualdo, and in that of Jessold; provide the thematic structure and allow the novel to reach its conclusion in the 1950s rather than in the devastating events of June 1923 which do for both Jessold and his opera.

There’s a further fascination in the information that’s fed as the tale progresses. In the life of Gesualdo himself, of whom Peter Warlock (in part a model for Jessold) wrote the essay Carlo Gesualdo Considered As A Murderer, about German internment camps of the Great War, about the origins of the Wigmore Hall (like the British royal family it anglicised its name) and more besides. Set partly in London and partly in rural Sussex it’s imbued with elements of English neo-romanticism, which has the reader at times seeing the action through a Powell and Pressburger patina.

This is particularly true of Stace’s superb account, with its walk-on part for Vaughan Williams, of the first night of Britten’s Peter Grimes at Sadlers Wells in June 1945; it certainly carries echoes for me of the opening scenes of The Red Shoes. Under most circumstances these pages would send the reader scurrying for a recording, except by this point the novel is un-put-downable; I actually read the final 200 or so pages in one sitting. That speaks to an easy prose style and a riveting read, which it absolutely is.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Benjamin Folke Thomas at The Scolt Head - Thurs coming

Ben plays a full band show on Thursday at The Scolt Head in De Beavoir Town. Josienne Clarke supports. Bucketfull editor Nick West provides the sounds between.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010



Saturday 21 August

at The Kings Cross Social Club, corner of Britannia Street and Kings Cross Road WC1.

Taking their cues from punk bands past and present The Despondents aim to bring us short sharp garage punk tunes that hit you like an atom bomb. If you like The Rip Offs, Teengenerate, and The Real Losers you will know where they are coming from. The ever-trusty Electric Roulette website says: “The Despondents are here and they’re ready to kick you in the balls with no chords and the fat well and truly trimmed. There’s nothing bad I can say about this record. It’s hard, fast, no frills, full to bursting with attitude and verve. In short, it’s fucking ace.“ Their debut album, on CD only, is out next week on Dirty Water Records.

The King howls like Screaming Jay Hawkins with Bo Diddley chasing his coat-tail and with Andre Williams trying to offer up some of his bacon fat. This man never stops shakin' and twistin' and groovin' while the Cumberland 3 (former members of the Ulcers, Chinese Lungs and Parkinsons) play their own branded mix of vintage rockabilly desperate rock'n'roll and a bit of soul with fire, energy, gusto and fun! Their debut album, collecting all their 7” sides and more, is available now on Dirty Water Records (CD) and Soundflat Records (LP).

Cowbell play simple but effortlessly catchy songs, performed with understated ease and charm; this is a band that all can enjoy. Really. Go and see them play. It is guaranteed you will enjoy the experience. Cowbell are Jack on guitar and vox, and Wednesday on drums. Although they formed less than a year ago ago, this duo is already tight tight tight, churning out country-tinged blues in a wholly unclichéd and cheery fashion. The on-stage chemistry between the pair is palpable, and in their wonderfully unassuming way, they hooked the ear of every person in the room. Influenced by the likes of the White Stripes, CCR, Hasil Adkins, John Lee Hooker, The Sonics, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and a host of other greats, you can get their debut single “Oh Girl” on vinyl or via iTunes now.

Plus Dirty Water & Karate Boots DJs playing garage, beat, soul, rhythm’n’blues, and more.

Dirty Water Records 

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Kill City

Our good friends at Alive Natural Sound / Bomp are putting this out on Oct 19th.

I like what this album has to say.
It is rather high concept, and the music is well thought out.
It adheres to no particular genre.
A lot of people have borrowed its ideas.
It's one of the very first independent LPs I know of.
I hope you like it.


Kill City was by all measures a desperate effort, a singularly honest and heartfelt performance, a genuine progression of our song writing, and another in a long line of flops that were later resurrected and heralded as masterpieces.

By the time it was released as a record, both Iggy and I were off doing other things with our lives, but with this rerelease we are not only reunited in our musical endeavors but in our appreciation of this album, its remix, and its importance to us as artists.


Kill City is Iggy Pop and James Williamson’s often overlooked, yet ultimately essential album that musically bridges the gap between The Stooges’ volatile 1973 studio masterpiece Raw Power and Iggy’s first two magnificent solo efforts, The Idiot and Lust for Life. Originally recorded in 1975 and later released by Bomp! Records in '77, critics have long lauded the songs and performances on Kill City but have also regarded the overall sound as “sludgy.”

The sound quality of Kill City was compromised from the get-go, as it originally suffered from a bad pressing (on the infamous green vinyl), and over the years the quality of the record itself managed to get even worse. When the original distributor went out of business, the 2-track album production masters vanished and every subsequent pressing of the album - on record, cassette and CD - used a copy of that deficient green vinyl as its master.

Now 33 years later, Alive Naturalsound and Bomp! Records are co-releasing the long overdue restored, re-mixed and remastered version of this historically important record. James remixed the album with engineer Ed Cherney at Capitol Records in Hollywood, and as the guitarist states, "He just made this record sound, well, like it should have sounded all along. It has finally reached its full potential."

The October release of this album also follows Iggy & The Stooges' current world tour (featuring the reunited James Williamson on guitar), where they’ve been performing material from Kill City live for the first time.

Kill City will be available on October 19th as a CD Digipak featuring the original 1977 artwork and a 24-page booklet with rare and unseen photos. The vinyl first-run is a limited edition of 1,000 on clear green vinyl (as an homage to the original 1977 pressing). There are no bonus tracks, but, with this newly restored version, people will be able to discover, or re-discover, a truly great album as it was intended to sound.


1. Kill City
2. Sell Your Love
3. Beyond The Law
4. I Got Nothin'
5. Johanna
6. Night Theme
7. Night Theme (Reprise)
8. Consolation Prizes
9. No Sense Of Crime
10. Lucky Monkeys
11. Master Charge

Southend Hits Hoxton - Tues 24th Aug

Our pals The Lucky Strikes, featured in BoB#75, and a load of their mates from Leigh-on-Sea and Southend are up to the big city next week to play at Hoxton Square. It should be quite a night.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Nineteen Magazine

Apropos of absolutely nothing here are a few exquisite covers of the French music mag Nineteen. As you can tell from the subjects they had impeccable taste, apart from giving space to the one malign creature whose name has been dirt in the Bucketfull Towers these thirteen years now. Though it doesn't say so on the cover the French Daniel issue also has a piece on Gary Lammin; that particularly impressed me.

Ben Folke Thomas - Sunday Times review

 Stewart Lee says nice things about Benjamin Folke Thomas.

Rockingbirds and Redlands play Jonny Minge tribute show on 4th September at The Luminaire

A Celebratory Tribute to the life of our friend Jonny Minge.

Bon vivant, man of integrity, strong opinions, and very specific tastes, Jonny was a friend to musicians and a music lover to the core. He ran two of the largest country music festivals in Norway and brought over several of the bands playing tonight.

This night, he is honoured and remembered by his friends and family. A powerful line up of London, English, and Norwegian musical acts will be performing to show their appreciation for his guidance, support and hard work.


The self-titled debut album of The Rockingbirds was initially released back in 1992 to critical raves. Much-loved equally by alternative music fans, country aficionados and singer-songwriter buffs, the North London-based outfit stamped their maverick country-rock brand on the young Camden Town scene. Defiantly bucking UK trends of the early ‘90s, The Rockingbirds anticipated the alt-country revolution, and sit comfortably alongside like-minded contemporaries like The Jayhawks and Uncle Tupelo.

The short version of The Rockingbirds saga is that they released two acclaimed albums, but effectively burned out due to an over-enthusiastic lifestyle and imploded. However, when their label, Heavenly Recordings, threw an 18th birthday festival in London in 2008,The Rockingbirds arose phoenix-like to play the South Bank on September 13th.

The 2008 reunion prompted Sony to re-master and re-release The Rockingbirds debut album, and more live dates and fresh recording sessions are in the works as The Rockingbirds try their method on a new generation. To echo a line from their song ‘Gradually Learning’, being late is better than never.

After a break from regular touring, the UK’s Redlands Palomino Company are set to release their third album, Don’t Fade, in late 2010.

Like their first two albums – the critically acclaimed By The Time You Hear This… (2004) and Take Me Home (2007) – it features the trademark harmonies and heartfelt songwriting of husband-and-wife partnership Hannah and Alex Elton-Wall. Recorded in rural Wiltshire and the Wye Valley in a relaxed and laid back environment over the past 18 months, the album was produced by Alex and features nine new songs, plus a cover of The Dillards’ country rock classic ‘One A.M’. As before, the songs range from heart-stopping ballads featuring Hannah’s gorgeous vocals, through country-tinged powerpop, to gritty rockers, while the band have continued to hone their craft and sound better than ever, with the addition of recent recruits Tom Bowen (electric guitar) and Dan Tilbury (drums).

Over the years, The Redlands Palomino Company have gained many devoted fans across the UK and beyond – thanks in part to their often-riotous live shows and enthusiastic support and radio play from BBC Radio 2’s ‘Whisperin’ Bob Harris amongst others. They have made various high profile festival appearances and have toured extensively with a range of Americana artists including Richmond Fontaine, The Sadies, Peter Bruntnell, Tift Merritt and The Deadstring Brothers.

Norwegian born country music singer-songwriter Morten Vestly has a rich traditional country sound with a southern rock edge. His guitar driven music is a perfect compliment to his deep raspy voice. He sings and writes music about everyday experiences, bringing to life emotion we can all relate to. Born in 1974 in Kodal, a small community north of Sandefjord, Norway, Morten got his first guitar at the age of 13. In his teens he played rhythm-guitar in various rock and metal bands, and drums in a punk-rock cover band called The Raymonds. It wasn’t until Morten discovered his father’s collection of old country and western records that he fell in love with honky-tonk music. Morten says, “it was The Highwaymen that made me want to play country music.”

"Steve Earle told me I had one of the best country voices he'd ever heard, but I don't know, he mighta been high at the time...." Cheyne Pride x

CHEYNE PRIDE BAND (Original Rockin' Country)
QUEEN CREOLE SHOW (Elvis Tribute with a Twist)
07847 302 572

Based in Bury, Lancs., Stuart Warburton fronted the Manchester-based retro outfit The Rhythmaires for over two decades. Long a mainstay of the European rockabilly live scene, the band released four albums and served as the backing band on European tours by such legendary performers as Billy Lee Riley, Johnny Carroll, Eddie Fontaine and Rudy Grayzell.
In recent years, as well as playing session harmonica for such diverse acts as Doves (on their Mercury-nominated Lost Souls album) and Austin, Texas' Two Hoots and A Holler, Stuart, in what he describes as 'mellowing with age,' performs, mostly solo, on the singer-songwriter circuit. His material, whilst musically leaning heavily towards Americana, has a definite 'British' feel to it lyrically and owes as much to his roots in the industrial north-west of England as it does to the period he spent as a (‘just about legal!’) resident of San Antonio, Texas.

Subject matter is mostly time-honoured 'universal' themes such as failed relationships, but there are occasional excursions elsewhere, such as football (‘Brian Turner's Rosamar Cafe’), life on the road in a band (‘Three Chords And The Truth’) and a tongue-in-cheek look at the political 'hot potato' of self-harm (‘If I Thought I Could Change Your Mind’). Whilst generally steering away form the 'protest-song' genre, Stuart's song ‘La Jilguera (Voices Without Echo)’ was written as an attempt to raise awareness of the issue (largely ignored by the world media) of the hundreds of young women who, over the last fifteen or so years, have been murdered in and around the northern Mexican cities of Juarez and Ciudad Chihuahua.

DJ Gonzo Steele

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Tony Poole's 60th Birthday Celebrations

Last Sunday afternoon I was fortunate enough to be asked along to the celebrations for Tony Poole's 60th birthday. Tony was the 12 string guitarist in Starry Eyed And Laughing - the 'English Byrds' - who put out a couple of excellent albums Starry Eyed & Laughing and Thought Talk in the mid 70s. Peel used to play them relentlessly and I got to see them at a free gig at the Anson Rooms in Bristol in Spring 1975.

Tony played a mesmeric set; both his own songs and songs of others that mean much to him; swapping between electric and acoustic, 12 and 6 string Rickenbackers. Like many of us, bemused to have attained these high numbers, he paid rich tribute to some of those who've already gone, starting with Alex Chilton and Andy Hummel, and playing 'America' for John Platt. This is, as I remember, the set list (unsurprisingly it led to a lot of broad smiles at a number of points) :

'Ballad Of El Goodo'
I Wasn't Born To Follow'
'Money Is No Friend Of Mine'
'The Girl In The Gene Clark Song'
'Going Back'
'Never Say Too Late'
'Renaissance Fair'
'Chimes Of Freedom'

'The Dutchman'
'In The Madness
'And More Again'
'Beat-up Old Guitar'

'Lady Came From The South'
'The River'

'Chasing Cars'
'Flames In The Rain'
'So You Wanna Be A Rock'n'Roll Star'
'You Ain't Going Nowhere'

'Mr Tambourine Man'
'Eight Miles High'

'For What It's Worth'
'Helpless' -> 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door'

There were also fine short sets from Tom Dean and Pete O'Brien (pink shirt on the sofa).

I had a little chat with Tony and hopefully he'll play a few more gigs this autumn. Meanwhile here's Starry Eyed And Laughing back in the day.