Monday, 7 December 2015

Matt Berry And The Maypoles Live.

Matt Berry is a very busy chap; what with his writing and acting in the award winning comedy series Toast Of London, a part in the recent Vic and Bob sit-com, plus a successful recording carer, mod only knows how he finds the time to go on tour … but he does, and this album Matt Berry and The Maypoles Live, his fifth on Acid Jazz Records, is the proof.

Berry's studio albums are always interesting to say the very least, from the bedroom twiddly experimentation of Opium, the melodic tune-smithery of Witchazel, the Hammer Horror-esque folk of Kill The Wolf, to the frankly masterful prog-psych instrumental epic that was Music For Insomniacs; he has a large and varied catalogue from which to craft his live set.

Each album is represented here (except the brilliant Insomniacs concept album, not surprising considering the nature of the tracks). There are head-nodders, foot tappers, moog wig-out and virtuoso noodley bits, the rhythm section (featuring Mark Morriss of The Bluetones) is tight and vibrant and Berry hits all the right notes in all of the right places; impressive stuff to be sure.

Available in many formats including cassette, the delicious blue vinyl track listing runs like a greatest hits album:

Side A.

2. So low.
3. October Sun.
4. Take my Hand.
5. Sorry.
6. Solstice.

Side B.

7. Snuff Box.
8. Song For Rosie.
9. Medicine.
10. Devil Inside.
11. The Pheasant.

I believe there is a t-shirt available too.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

E.P Choice 2 - the Rare Mod e.p collection: series 2.

The first series of Acid Jazz's Rare Mod E.P series became a box-set and CD comp,
E.P Choice 1; this compilation, as the name suggests, is the second series. No less ambitious than it's predecessor, this beautifully packaged CD features eight artists,The Aphex, Geno Washington, Jimmy James and The Vagabonds, The Ossie Layne Show, Dave Anthony's Moods, John's Children, and David Bowie's first group, The Riot Squad.

Most of the individual artist E.Ps are reviewed elsewhere on this blog (follow the links) so I won't go into great detail, but standout tracks include, The Aphex's storming garage rocker She's Got The Time, John's Children's original version of Smashed! Blocked!,The Ossie Layne Show (feat, Norman Watt-Roy of The Blockheads) Sing A Simple Song, Dave Anthony's Moods' storming classic New Directions, Geno Washington and The Ram Jam Band's floor-filler Holding On (with Both Hands), Jimmy Jame's Northern Dancer She's Looking Good and a fascinating version of The Velvet Underground's I'm Waiting For My Man by The Riot Squad featuring David Bowie on lead microphone.

If you haven't managed to track down each of the very limited edition 7” vinyl E.Ps in this series, or just fancy having the lot on a disc to play in the Jag, this compilation is another fantastic, and often thrilling, journey through the swinging sixties music scene.


Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Mark Morriss - The Taste Of Mark Morriss

This album makes me smile; more alluring than interesting, more cute than alluring, its hard to define in typical record speak - other than 'makes me smile'... and that's a good thing.

Mark Morriss, formally of Brit-popper floppy hairs The Bluetones (recently reformed) has recorded an album of formative cover versions, hence the album title; not a new concept by any means, but Mark's choice of song really is not what you might expect. There are no punk classics, no generic Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Zeppelin or Small Faces; there is no rock n' roll meat and potatoes, instead is a menu of unashamedly lite bite pop tunes.

Chart hits of the Eighties feature throughout, OMD's Souvenir, Madonna's Angel, and Love Comes Quickly by The Pet Shop Boys. Admittedly two Sixties tunes make an appearance, but these are neither ubiquitous or bloated, Buffalo Springfield's Rock and Roll Woman and Scott Walker's Duchess. Rock is represented by Laura Branigan's Self Control, and Weezer's Don't Let Go; there's even a Jesus and Mary Chain number, Almost Gold. Mark's sense of humour is flexed by covering Jess Conrad's awful waxing, as featured on 'The Worlds World Records' album, This Pullover. All of the above and more are delivered with a love and respect that makes each recording seem natural, effortless, and sits easily alongside Morriss' previous work; this is not an album of pastiche, it all sounds like Mark Morriss.

The stand out track, see video, is a version of Lucretia (My Reflection) by dry-ice chokers Sisters Of Mercy, again delivered with perfect Yacht Rock sensibility; and again, like every title on this very brave makes me smile.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Rare Mod 6

Here lies treasure, the golden rarities of the swinging sixties, lost to generations in the dusty storerooms of antiquity, recently discovered on acetate and quarter inch tape; Rare Mod 6. 

Supposedly the last in the Acid Jazz Record's seminal Rare Mod series, the usual track listing packs full a plethora of the strange, fascinating and rare oddities from the oh so swinging sixties.

Seventeen tracks in all, featuring:

Blinkers – Hello Blinkers
The 'Blinkers' nightclub was an exclusive 'A' list celebrity watering hole during the sixties in Manchester; George Best liked it so much that he bought the building above it to turn into a boutique. The club's 'theme-tune' was released on a rare 1967 private pressing 7", only available to people who frequented the club. Legend has it that the uncredited band were The Mockingbirds, fronted by Graham Gouldman of 10cc fame, and as such demands high prices amongst collectors. However, we tracked down the bassist of The Mockingbirds, Bernard Basso, who listened to the track and swears blind that it is not Graham Gouldman's voice and is definitely not The Mockingbirds playing on the record. So, we're glad we could clear that up!

The Koobas – Money Go Round
The Koobas will no doubt be familiar to all readers; hailing originally from Liverpool they started life as The Kubas and appeared in the Brian Epstein produced film Ferry Cross the Mersey. They released a 45 for Columbia Records before signing to Pye records and releasing a string of Mod friendly gems. They switched back to Columbia in 1967 and went on to record one of the defining albums of the British Psychedelic era; they were at that time managed by Tony Stratton-Smith who was also taking care of The Creation. The track featured here was recorded in 1967 and used in The Money Go Round - a short film set in London’s banking district which featured the future Star Wars legend Boba Fett, Jeremy Bulloch as the male lead.

The Montanas – Miss McKenzie
Regulars of the Rare Mod series, this rarity was recorded after The Montanas left Pye and when John Jones and Terry Rowley returned to the band after their stint with Trapeze; a rare studio session between record labels, shortly before the band signed with MAM. 

The Roscoe James Good Good Band – Out Of Sight
The Roscoe James Good Good Band were a solid hard working mod Soul band straight out of Surrey. The track featured here was recorded live at Kingston University when they supported the mighty Cream. Although there never actually was anyone in the band called Roscoe James we have managed to identify some of the members as Terry on Vocals, Dave Crocker on Guitar, Ian Thompson on Bass, and Mike on Drums. 

The Ossie Layne Show – Higher And Higher
Featuring the legendary bass player from Ian Dury & The Blockheads, Norman Watt-Roy and his brother Garth; this live recording was recorded and released as a single in Spain in 1969. Check out the The Ossie Layne Show E.P – Barcelona 69 for more.

The Storytellers – Just A Friend
The Storytellers were Graham Dee and Tony Lucus, the pair met in 1964 when Tony was lead singer with The Pickwicks who’d had a couple of minor hits for Decca Records, one of which featured a B-Side I Don‘t Wanna Tell You Again written by Graham. After quitting the band to become their driver, Tony was quickly recruited by Graham to form a duo. They recorded material written by Graham and Brian Potter and released two singles for Decca Records.

Sharon Tandy – The Spell Of Your Love (Demo)
A good friend of Acid Jazz Records; Sharon sadly passed away on March 21st 2015. This previously unreleased Demo written by Graham Dee and recorded in 1968 is our tribute to a beautiful lady who was blessed with a beautiful voice.

Full tracklisting :
I'm Coming Home To You - The Penny Blacks
Hello Blinkers - Blinkers
The Finger Points At You - Dennis Lotis
Money Goes Round - The Koobas
Miss McKenzie - The Montanas
Out Of Sight - The Roscoe James Good Band
Sunshine - Smokey Beare
Save Me - The Unknown Mod Band
Higher And Higher - The Ossie Layne Show
Hey - Paul West And Compass
Just A Friend - The Storytellers
I've Been Lonely Too Long - The Montanas
The Spell Of Your Love (Demo) - Sharon Tandy
Maharajah - The Max
Lonely Journey - The Society
Tomorrow's Children - Tony Rivers
Hold On I'm Coming - Mr Hip Soul Band

Buy Buy Buy!!!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Modern Northern Soul

Acid Jazz Records have been at the forefront of contemporary soul artists, releasing their modern take on the traditional Northern Style genre. Now, twenty-one of the best modern takes on Northern Soul have been compiled on this CD; starring Men Of North Country's brilliant reworking of the Lou Pride classic I'm Com'un Home In The Morn'un, spectacularly remixed by Smoove especially for this release. (M.O.N.C appear on this CD a stonking four times).

The compilation contains the best tailor-made soul of the decade, including Andy Lewis & Paul Weller's top 20 hit, Are You Trying To Be Lonely; Andy Lewis (bassist in the Weller band) features three times in all. The Third Degree’s Mercy (the track made famous by Duffy) is another stand out tune, as is Night Trains’ version of the Stranglers hit No More Heroes. Soul legend Dean Parrish collaborates with Lord Large on Left Right and Centre (a song written by Paul Weller when he was 16, which features Steve Cradock (Weller band) on Gtr and Richard Searle (Corduroy) on bass.
Look out for the new kids on the scene and their tracks, Lucky Lady and The Big AC from those fresh faced New Street Adventure boys, delivering old school new cool soulful vocals and horn section with vigor and verve.

Admittedly, at least half of these tracks feature on the compilation,Soul Potential, also released by Acid Jazz recently (minus the funkier numbers) but this is a solid effort none the less; highly recommended.

Full track listing:

Men Of North Country – I'm Com'un Home In The Morn'un.
Andy Lewis & Paul Weller – Are You Trying To Be Lonely?
Lord Large & Dean Parrish – Left Right And Centre.
Magnus CarlsonFrom Now On.
New Street Adventure – Lucky Lady.
The Third Degree – Mercy.
Night Trains – No More Heroes.
Lord Large feat Clem Curtis – Stuck In A Wind Up
Jasmine Kara – Ordinary Joe
Andy Lewis feat Lynda Lawrence - See You There
Smoove feat Jess Roberts – Coming Back
The Filthy SixGirlfriend
New Street Adventure – TheBig A.C.
Tony ChristieNobody In The World.
Andy Lewis feat Keni Burke – (Love Is) Alive In My Heart.
Men Of North Country – Pandora.
The Third Degree – Can't Get You Outta My Head.
The DilemmasFahrenheit.
Men Of North Country – MirrorMan.
New Street Adventure – She's An Attraction.
Men Of North Country – I'm Com'un' Home In The Morn'un' - Smoove Remix

Released June 22nd