Tuesday, January 29, 2013

BBC Radio Playlist for 25th January 2013

Well this week on BBC radio Devon I had a true mixed bag of tunes to play.
First off was the opening track ‘All that patience brings’ from the debut CD album by ‘Laurence made me Cry’ AKA Jo Whitby, I saw LMMC at a gig in Cardiff a couple of years ago where they were on the same bill as my friend Erin Lang, it was a great gig so I very much looked forward to the album that does not disappoint one little bit. 

Following that was a CD re issue of the Trader Horn album ‘Morning way’, an almost impossible album to find, and a great mix of acoustic folk inspired tunes by miss Jusy Dyble and Jackie McAuley. I picked the title track a wonderful song.

The band that had the most feedback was Exeter’s ‘Hurricane Horse’ I picked a track from the bands debut cd ‘Reflections’ they have a great Neil Young inspired country rock sounds. The song picked ‘Fog of Confusion’.

Last was my vinyl pick this was ‘Michael viners Incredible Bongo Band’ from the album ‘Bongo rock’ and his take on the track ‘Apache’ of course made famous by ‘The Shadows’. This was a LP that was a flop at the time, but by the rise of sampling by bands like The Beastie Boys it has a cult status and has since been re issued.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Secrets back on stage..

Thursday night and Secrets For September took to the stage for the first time this year. It was an informal kind of show at the Picturehouse and it was just myself and Ellie for this one. 

As we are working on the new EP we thought it a good idea to play some of the songs from the ep.

The Set went

To Behold
The Man From Torquay
Letting Go
Friends Forever

We played pretty well though I must confess I had a senior moment during reflections and played the chorus back to front. Still the gig was a good start to the year. 


All Living Fear - Some Great Reviews

Well I thought id post a couple reviews of the All Living Fear album I'm genuinely very touched that the album has met with such favorable reaction.

This is one from 'This is Gothic Rock'

All Living Fear - Coming Home (2012)

All Living Fear
Coming Home
Danger Noise Rec.

All Living Fear is a band from the UK which has been active since 1992, and has built a name in the European underground scene. And now 20 years later, founder member Matthew North presents this record “Coming Home”. It is an exquisite, relaxing, and very pleasant experience. Their music is a rich mixture of styles  : Gothic Rock, Dark wave, Alternative Rock and even some influences from Progressive Rock bands .The tracks are mid-tempo and each one has been finely crafted, the producer  (Matthew itself) did such a great work.
Mike Soundy (drums), Dave Holwill & Niall Parker (bass) , has joined forces with Matthew (Guitar, voice) to create this record. Have to mention the contribution of Roger O’Donell  (The Cure) with his Keyboards. “Broken Child” is the opener: beautiful song, very relaxing with a fine acoustic sound.”Broken Dream” is very 80’s in spirit, and it’s a fine mixture of Darkwave and Goth Rock in the vein of the Mission UK.”Feel” is melodic and catchy. ”Wait For Yesterday” is closer to the definition of Alt. Rock.”Destiny” is Gothic Rock with passion and some introspective feel.”Dark Out Here” brings more introspection and nostalgia .The title fits quite well to this great song. Then, they step on the accelerator and bring us “Breaking The Fire”. This song is a brilliant Piece of Trad Gothic Rock , ¡Fantastic track! “All Living Fear” is quite an interesting song. In this one, they displayed all of their wide range of sounds and influences from different musical styles.
All Living Fear has lots of experience. I’m pretty sure that they have influenced to some of the new bands from the European scene, hints of their sound can be found in some of them. 20 years after the foundation of the band, Matthew has decided to close the cycle of All Living Fear. “Coming Home” has been announced as the last record of the band, and it’s a closure very emotive and with great music. Hope that Matthew North has something new to offer in the near future.
This one from Alteria Motives

CD Review: All Living Fear - Coming Home

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This year marks All Living Fear’s 20th anniversary together as a band.  Matthew North is the man behind All Living Fear.  They have just released Coming Home which is the culmination of over 3 years work for Matthew.  With this album Matthew is marking the end of All Living Fear, I was personally fortunate to see All Living Fear in what was maybe their final show at Whitby Goth Weekend on 3rd November 2012.  I cannot deny their set was amazing and I couldn’t help making my wallet a little lighter and walking away with a good chunk of their merch stand.
In Matthew’s own words he says “Things have really come full circle for me. This has been the most satisfying project that I have ever undertaken with All Living Fear.”  So what do we think? Read on and you shall see.

The album starts with a track called Broken Child, this starts with a beautiful melodic resonance.  Vocally calm but yet it is all that All Living Fear is known for.  Broken Child is such a great sounding track, I cannot get past the amazing sounds of the guitars as well as the superb vocals.  What a great start to this album Broken Child is.

Broken Dream starts setting up the atmosphere to perfection, again the guitar work is amazing.  It is melodic but yet it carries those riffs the guitars carried in the 80’s goth we all love and the vocals truly resonate the same feeling.  This is good goth music but yet with a wonderful careful calm feeling added.  To me if Pink Floyd could do goth music it would sound like Broken Dream.

Feel is yet another track that has been pulled kicking and screaming from the height of 80’s goth music.  It has all the elements you would expect from decent 80’s goth but yet with added All Living Fear melody and style.  The synths are perfectly intermingled with harmonic vocals and beautiful guitar riffs until the track ups its pace.  It gains additional momentum which carries through to the end of Feel.

Wait For Yesterday starts with amazing bass work followed by guitars that almost cry to you.  As the vocals come on the guitars take a step back to lightly serenade the vocal harmonies.  All I can say is, Oh My Good GOTH.  What a superb track Wait For Yesterday is.

Destiny is one track that I adore so much, the guitars carry that element of The Cure’s finest work and this echoes through the whole track.  You get Matthews signature vocals here and they are so prominent here.  The track is emotional to the max here, you really get the feeling of pain in Destiny.

Dark Out Here is just as the track titles suggest, if you close your eyes the music really paints a picture of being out in the cold.  To me it shows true talent when the culmination of the music, vocals and words are able for you to feel the song.  The painted picture is what may be a bleak one, but yet the picture is perfect in every way.

Breaking The Fire to me carries one of the some of the greatest memories of my life.  To me this track sums up a great night I had a Whitby Goth Weekend, of all the songs in the All Living Fear arsenal I must admit Breaking The Fire is my favourite.  I can be described as none the less a perfectly designed goth track.  Breaking The Fire is to me the pinnacle of All Living Fear, a work of sheer genius musically.

All Living Fear crowns of Coming Home to a tee, 20 years of musical experience summed up in one track.  Be honest I didn’t want to hear All Living Fear, the music is amazing but it marks the end of the album which I have really enjoyed.  Plus also the feeling that this may be the last we ever hear of All Living Fear is a sad thought. 

Coming Home to me is a modern gothic masterpiece which is the best that All Living Fear has ever created.  It’s a great album that leaves you sad knowing this may mark the end of such a great band.

Coming Home is available from Bandcamp or search for All Living Fear on iTunes

And last one from Jackson Cooper from the Torbay Herald

All Living Fear return with a new album recorded between 2009-2012  "Coming Home" A glorious mix of dark cure overtones with the light and shade of great songwriting . Think The Cult/ Sisters OF Mercy.
2012's line up of Matthew North ( guitar & vocals) Steve Williams ( Bass) and Michael Soundy ( Drums )  create and draw you into a world  containing just eight songs. They may not be in current musical vogue  but it makes you wish they were.
Melodic opener Broken Child sets an acoustic atmospheric tone with follow up Broken Dream kicking its quieter sibling into touch .Its guitar strides giving a defiant  two figures to its mother .Almost like a five year old growing into a teenager in the space of  5 glorious minutes. You get lost in its soul then it's over.

The albums textures and feel become more important with every listen.The gaps in the music ,breath and take on a life of its own  within the recording space.
It's the new breed dressed in old clothes.
Highlights  include the almost poppy sounding "Feel "with its simple hypnotic child like riff and "Breaking the fire" A solid drive through the rock landscape of old with its twirling guitar harmonies .Mirage rock is born and represented  on an irresistible hook shaped platter.
Forgotten how good this music can be ? Then remind yourself today, with giving it the repeat listening it deserves.Its good to hear something real before music retreats again into the digital ether . Eight tracks and no filler. Yes please I say !
Jackson Cooper( Riviera FM )
Album out now .For more details go to their Facebook page


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Last Shop Standing? Not HMV!

So HMV are calling in the receivers, is that surprising? No not really I posted a while back that it was the last straw for the last chain store standing selling second hand cds at 2 quid a pop as a lost leader.
So is filesharing to blame, is it the downloading culture, is it I tunes?
Well in my opinion its several things.

HMV.COM for a start, its web brand, sells everything in the shop cheaper due to the tax laws of being based in the Channel Islands there is no price consistency that is apart from one artist, The Beatles. The Beatles are never discounted, you pay full price for Beatles CDs and albums wherever you go. This I guess is one reason why the Beatles are still one of the bestselling bands in the world and one of the reasons that EMI stayed in business for so long.
So HMV who have The Pink Floyd Wall Box Set at 135 Quid in Exeter, 99 Quid in Plymouth and £139 online! 

As a tandem to that doing a little bit of research there are quit a few independent record shops in just Devon alone that are dong quite well. Yes most charge around a tenner as a stand price for a CD or around 15 for an LP these are reasonable prices in my book. But the special thing is that they also know the product they are selling, up until about 10 or 15 years ago the same could have been said for anyone that worked in HMV, Virgin, Our Price MVC or wherever people were passionate about the product that they sold, the same went for Comet, believe it or not I went into Comet with my dad as a kid when they sold high end Japanese HiFi, Reel To Reel tape machines and all sorts.
Sadly the high street has gone the way of the general consumer who wants rubbish and wants it cheap. Thankfully there is a strong union of real music fans that want something more substantial to listen to and don’t mind paying the proper price for it either. 

So what’s the future? 

My prediction is that music will be more and more specialist more like Art and Books, if someone really values something then they will pay for it, yes some will only want downloads or iTunes but that’s because we have a mass media culture of a throwaway society where people have fake prints on the wall and not a painting, where Ikea wins of a craftaman making something by hand.
I just hope that the indie shops are still there for me to buy my records from.
I am as far as possible going to avoid buying new music from anywhere other than the bands themselves, or indie shops, especially seeing the amount of tax Amazon.co.uk pay each year.


As an addtion here are some locals shops

Exeter Local Records  http://www.exeterlocalrecords.co.uk/

The last shop (new business) http://www.thelastshop.co.uk/
There is also Really Good Records next door

Exeter Rooter Records http://www.roosterrecords.co.uk/

Black Cat records Taunton http://www.blackcat-records.co.uk/

Phoenix Sounds Newton Abbott http://www.phoenixsound.co.uk/

The drift record shop Totness http://thedriftrecordshop.net/



Sunday, January 13, 2013

11th Jan 2013 - It was all about Bowie

Because of the shock release of a new single by David Bowie this week on my spot on the Late Show on BBC Radio Devon / Cornwall I decided to talk about and pick out some tracks by the great man himself. 

They were all from the 80s, an era that often gets forgotten in comparison to the heyday of the 70s or the 're invention' that was the 90s.
The songs that I picked were

Loving the Alien – A superb tracks with great production

Tin Machine – Baby Can Dance – I’m always in the minority but Tin Machine to me was his finest hour especially the first album every single track is excellent, this is one of the best, and more importantly for local radio it doesn’t have any swear words in it!

Cat People – the Lets Dance version – Not that there is anything much wrong with the original but this one has Stevie Ray Vaughn on guitar so it wins. 

Where are we now – We ended with the new single, I have to say I like the song, but I’m not mad keen for the video. Let’s see what the albums like.