Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Fay Hallam - House Of Now

Queen of the Vidal bob hair-do, Fay Hallam paid her rock dues fronting bands like The Prime Movers, Phaze, The Fay Hallam Trinity and Makin' Time (with a pre- Charlatans Martin Blunt). She has worked with Billy Childish, Graham Day, Alan Crockford and The Bongolian, and has toured the UK and Europe extensively.

2016 finds Fay having recorded possibly her strongest album to date; produced by Paul Weller collaborator Andy Lewis, House Of Now is a collection of progressive torch songs and filmic funk, ambitious and groovy; her rhythm & blues inspiration still very apparent but fused with a theatre-land soul reminiscent of musical freak-fests like Godspell, Superstar or Hair. 

All songs are written by Fay except for His Name Is King, a big band gospel arrangement by Luis Bacalov, rediscovered by Quentin Tarantino for his spaghetti film soundtrack, Django Unchained.

Curious and conceptual, House Of Now is a timely fusion of Fay Hallam's music and Musical influences.

Available from Well Suspect Records.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

SWEET & SOUR PSYCH. A Saucy Blend Of Contemporary Psychedelia.

This compilation features some of the best artist on the current psychedelic scene, and as the title suggests it's a broad kaleidoscopic church.

Kicking off with a garage psych cover version of a Girls Aloud track by South London's Dave's Doors Of Perception (see video), this is a trip that's varied, enthralling and potent.
      Girl groups of a less footballer-predatory nature also feature; Abject are a young garage-punk girl trio; Novella (except for the drummer) are a more melodic girl band, also from London, and Nottingham based group, The Soundcarriers, include an intoxicating female vocal texture.
A more typically sixties sound is provided by Miracle Glass Company, Chariots, and young guns on the scene, The Chessmen. Heavier tracks are care of The Oscillation and Psyence. Arguably the 'sweetest' number comes from Joel Gion, best known as a member of Brian Jonestown Massacre; and Fi-lo Beddow (Mark Morriss of The Bluetones under a pseudonym). The 'sourest', definitely the scariest, from Rex Speedway & The Fortune Tellers.

Available on the Well Suspect record label, on CD and vinyl, the artwork is amazing. The front sleeve is by an artist named Graham (MAC) McEachran (famous skateboarder and graphics wizard for Deathbox skateboards); the original drawing from which the sleeve is comprised is being offered as a competition prize in an issue of Shindig Magazine. The back of the sleeve looks like a menu of a Chinese resturant, it reads in English and Chinese, here's a sample:

 'Spacial Menu: 特別設置菜單:
Garage Punk Appetisers: fast and furious over-driven delights.
Wigged-out instrumentals:gland-expanding vocal-free treats.
Sixties spice: moreish modernist flavours.

This is one of the most interesting psychedelic collections around at the moment, Joel Gion's flute-tastic latin-psych-nik number, at odds with the furious garage punk of Abject or metal of Psycence, is counterbalenced by the atmospheric pop of Novella and The Soundcarriers; although audacious and ambitious, the balance of styles is perfect.

Track listing:
1.Dave's Doors Of Perception – Sound Of The Underground.
2.Novella - Land Gone. 
3.Miracle Glass Company - Higher Than High.
4.Abjects - Double Bind.
5.The Soundcarriers - Boiling Point. 
6. Joel Gion - Divide.
7. The Oscillation - Braindrainer.
8.The ChessmenGonzo. 
9. Psyence – Zebra.
10. Fi-Lo Beddow - Mother Moon. 
11.Chariots - God Only Knows.
12.The Myriad Synonym - Psilocybin Express.
13.Rex Speedway and Thee Fortune Tellers - I'm Gonna Make A Monkey Brain Fondue Outta You.

Friday, 1 July 2016

DIRTY MOD. Selected Finds For Filthy Minds.

'Sure, mod is about clean living under difficult circumstances, okay, I hear you, but sometimes you can put too much starch in your collar. From the very origins of the modernist scene, faces got down and dirty; box-suited and aloof in smoky Soho joints; ruining their chukkas in rhythm & blues crowd frenzies; dance-floors heaving with a heavy fug of hormones and hair lacquer; the blur of adrenalin and perspiration; blocked and bloodied as all-nighters spilt into weekends, sand in the hair and blisters in boots. Beatles or The Stones? I'll take the latter, the swivel-hip sex appeal that made bad girls screech, maddened and moist, torn hair in tufts, fitful nights of turning and tossing, crying themselves to sleep with guilty, filthy thoughts. The history of mod is sweat soaked and ear-splitting, limbs and microphones flaying; the loudest bands, the proudest; high-rise volume, distorted, disjointed, under the influence, pounding twelve bar, gritty rock and roll soul music that has influenced the groups on this compilation album; turn it up, jump, hump, shout and get busy ... to Dirty Mod!' (Searle, Dirty Mod, (2016)).

Featuring, the Uks finest garage rock bands, The Fallen Leaves, Dave's Doors Of Perception, and Eight Rounds Rapid. Parisian minxes, The Buns. Swivel hip rockers, Maker, and and The Sons Of Mod. Grunge Blues hipsters, The Monkey Gland Blues Band, The Beatniks, King Mojo and The Get-Go, enthusiastic youthful soul from Samuel Rogers and his band, plus another great cover version from The Third Degree, (the band that had that hit with Duffy's Mercy); Dirty Mod has little to do with the self-conscious preening of the generic spat of 'mod bands,' concentrating instead on the hard-grafting, gritty R&B outfits that splintered the boards of the original mildew stained nightclubs and jazz-bars of a scene first inventing itself in passion and sweat . This is a great compilation album.
Track listing:
1.The Samuel Rogers Band – Liven Up.
2.The Monkey Gland Blues Band – Shake It Down.
3.The Third Degree – Toxic.
4.The Buns – Thrill Me Up.
5.THE FALLEn leaVES – Did You See Her.
6.Eight Rounds Rapid – Bully Boy.
7.The Get-Go – Rockin' Girl.
8.Maker – Move Your Feet.
9.The Beatniks – CC (Love Surprise).
10.The Sons Of MOD – This Is Sound.
11.The Outcrowd – Booze Monkey.
12.Dave's Doors Of Perception – Sex & Drugs & Armed Revolution.
13. King Mojo – Ejector Seat.

Play Loud!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The Third Degree - TOXIC

The Third Degree was the band that fooled the nation that Duffy's hit record, Mercy, was a cover version of an older, much better, Northern Soul original; were you fooled?

Another modern classic gets The Third Degree treatment; this time it's Madonna-snogger Britney Spears' turn to be outclassed with this sexed-up version of Toxic, re-imagined as a heavy soul rocker. 

Sounding like the mutant lovechild of seventies stadium fillers, Chicago and Meatloaf, with a guitar riff reminiscent of The Knacks My Sherona, a driving bass line similar to The Spencer Davis Groups Keep On Runningplus moody horn section and soulful vocal, this red hot seven inch vinyl funk master-class will be an instant DJ deck essential, getting dancing shoes spinning on polished boards in late night dance joints everywhere.

The flip side is I Kissed A Girl, the song that made Katy Perry famous ... But whose version came first?

Taken from the forthcoming Well Suspect Records compilation album Dirty Mod.
Available from wellsuspect.com. 

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Generation Mod

Mod created the world in six days ... and it was good. On the first day, the be-suited sharp set distinguished themselves from duffel coated 50s traditional jazz fans (Trads) by identifying with the caffeine fuelled heartbeat of modern jazz; the Moderns established a precedent in music and style that spilled into the next decade. On the second day, a crowd of working class kids discovered 60s soul, invested their disposable income on multi-coloured amphetamines and gathered at all-night rave-ups; an offshoot clique of suede headed peacocks broadened the musical palette with Jamaican ska. On the third day a parallel of punk rock, with a fresh faced mod-father as its feather headed spokesman, inspired kids to stitch targets to musty parkas and glory to the new wave; this mod revival swelled in ranks and battled through to the early eighties. On the fourth day, a new decade witnessed an independent record label christen a music genre of the same name, as a family of beat bands reclaimed mod in all its acid jazzy moods and fancies. On the fifth day, a gathering of mid-nineties musicians re-invented lad-rock, reclaiming it as British. On the sixth day, inspired by the moderns, the suedes, the revivalists, beatniks and the brit-popper - yet another batch of bands site mod as their musical motivation. These bands and their fans are… Generation Mod! (Searle. Generation Mod. Well Suspect Records (2016)).

No matter how you choose to define your modernist self; be it Italian shoe obsessed, or mohair suit specific; three-finger button-down slim-fit fanatical, a bouffant comb-overed middle-aged polo-shirt wearing scooter enthusiastic... or simply a kid in a target T,  the mod scene has, and always will be, about the music; Generation Mod is a celebration of that fact.
       Released on the fresh faced Well Suspect record label, this compilation features an eclectic and contemporary musical reach that will appeal to most mod tastes, soul, ska, beat and psych.
Dogtooth - Get In Get Out; they are only 13,14 and 16 years of age and they rock!  A band to watch. 
Dave's Doors of Perception; south London's nastiest noisiest garage psych band, make their Farfisa drenched debut with Falling.
Motown legend, Martha Reeves, called Samuel S. Parkes "the genuine spirit of Northern Soul," Samuel opens side one with Let Me Go. 
Dirty rock slags, The Get Go, turn their attentions to the Ike and Tina Turner classic, Nutbush City Limits
Italy's finest, The Mads,offer the melodic stomper What I Need.
French Boutik, reinvent the torch song with Mieux Comme Ca.
Men Of North Country get extra Northern with They Don't Know.
There are a total of fourteen tracks including fine offerings from Andy Lewis, The Moons and New Street Adventure, but possibly the highlight is the track, also released as a limited edition seven inch single for Record Store Day, Private Jones - I Got By In Time; if you don't manage to get yourself the seven, then order Generation Mod now; it's gonna be hot!