Thursday, 31 May 2018

NEW MUSIC SINGLE REVIEW - BUFFALO BAY - "SAID IT ALL"

MUSIC ARTISTS? WANT YOUR NEW ALBUM OR SINGLE(S) REVIEWED TRACK BY TRACK PLUS FREE PROMOTION ON NEW MUSIC EAR AND SHARED TO TWITTER, LINKEDIN, INSTAGRAM AND FACEBOOK? IF YOU LIKE THIS REVIEW, PLEASE CONTACT ME :)

BUFFALO BAY


"SAID IT ALL"


By Andrew Goodwin for NEW MUSIC EAR www.newmusicear.com.

SUMMARY - Belfast foursome Stuart Miskelly (vocals/bass), David "D-Slide" Ferris (guitar), Davey Biff (keys) and Luke O'Neill (drums) make up the Indie Rock band Buffalo Bay.  Since writing songs and performing together since 2015 they plan to release a set of singles over the next few months.  After hearing "Here Inside", the previous single this brand new song "Said It All" is vastly different.  From sounding a little like a version of Cast and those 90s Liverpool bands they have entered a new dimension of anthemic Indie Rock with a little 80s twist and a modern feel not too distant from The Killers and the late 90s Scottish melodious Rock of Texas and Del Amitri.  Honing their creative talent in their sunhouse, recording demos and playing live this band one to watch out for.


"SAID IT ALL" - This track comes in an epic portion at 6 minutes 58 seconds but it is a memorable track and will stick in your head long after you've heard it.  It has an almost 80s feel with that modern twist I mentioned in the summary.  The vocals remind me of Andy "Greedy" Smith from the Aussie New Wave band Mental As Anything who had  a hit in 1985 with "Live It Up".  These gruff vocals perfectly intertwine with the almost melancholic but uplifting melodies.  The song opens with a fabulous slide guitar intro which hints at Country Blues styles and the twangy Rock Pop of Texas.   There is an awesome searing guitar segment at around the 4 minute mark which is a great Classic Rock/Country hybrid.  This Indie Rock ballad track has an anthemic catchy chorus which is repeated a few times but it doesn't detract from the whole feel of the track which is crafted superbly to make it an inspiring listen.  At almost 7 minutes it may be tough to be heard on the most popular music stations (this used to annoy me when they played "Purple Rain" and cut it off just before the best guitar solo ever at the end!).  However, it is a great listen and if you check their Soundcloud page (as the band have only just relased it they don't have a video as yet) you can hear the track for yourself.










Tuesday, 29 May 2018

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - ROCK BAND "STONEFIELD"

Once upon a time in Victoria, there were 4 sisters who started playing in the family shed...
No, this isn't the start of a whimsical little children's story, it is actually the start of the Findlay sisters' journey into being a superb all-girl Rock band, blazing a trail through their native Australia and beyond.  With the sounds of Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin the staple listening pleasure of the girls' parents, it was inevitable that if the girls were to embark on a music career it would be Rock based. 


The sisters' Amy (vocals/drums), Hannah (guitar), Holly (bass) and Sarah (keyboards, vocals) first caught my attention with the brilliant "Through The Clover".  I was hooked, great energy, superb vocals and great old style Rock riffs. Supremely talented and incorporating all forms of the Rock genre I knew they were going to go far so I gave them one of my first reviews on New Music Ear following their stomping debut album, "Stonefield" in 2013.


Since that review they have released a second album, "As Above, So Below" in 2016 and also just released a third, "Far From Earth" in April 2018.  The band have come of age and their albums to date are an absolute delight for the Rock lover.  From 60s and 70s Classic Rock to Psychedelia and Progressive, moving slightly into Gothic Rock territory these girls know how to "rawk". 


My last review of the girls had me stating references to Pat Benatar ("Bad Reality"), a feminine Ozzy Osbourne!("Who Are You") and Hendrix ("C'Mon"), but there's so much more to enthuse about, such a great band.  If you are a Rock fan or you think its a man's world, think again, to quote one of the great guitar bands Thin Lizzy loosely, "the GIRLS are back in town".  "Far From Earth" is out now on their new label, Flightless Records, have a listen, you won't be disappointed! these girls should be globally massive already.



THEME ARTICLE "REMEMBERING THE 80s - OUR MEMORIES"

For me, the 80s decade will always have a special place in my heart and soul.  They were my teenage years, no worries, schooldays, excellent TV shows, great films, and they made me who I am.  The music though, I lived and breathed for.  From buying those fabulous records in superb cover art to anticipating my favourite artists’ next video.  The cassette taping of the UK Top 40 every Sunday trying not to pick up the DJ’s voice was a must.  Now the vinyl has been replaced by the CD, the cover art is barely the size of a beermat and if you taped a record now you were “killing music”.  I am nostalgic for the Eighties and I remember it like it was yesterday, and the tunes will never die.


I wondered what it was like for others who experienced some of this decade’s music and what it was like for them.  I interviewed a handful of people about what it was like for them growing up in the Eighties.

The first record I bought was Cliff Richard's "Dreamin'", honestly, he was quite popular in the 80s and made some good records (before the Christmas annoyances!).  From the people I interviewed for this article I got very diverse responses about the favourite songs, artists and the fashion.  This was the beauty of the 80s, nothing was off limits, nothing was laughed at and everything was appreciated, unlike now with Social Media where everyone has an opinion and it is not always complimentary!


I didn't have the courage to dress like my first idol Adam Ant, but I did used to want my hair like Tony Hadley (in the "True" era) of Spandau Ballet (hair's gone now so that is never going to happen now!).  At school there were traces of Goth, Rock, Two Tone, Punk, New Romantic and many other cross-styles.


Did any of my interviewees dress up?

Gill said, "Rock, leather tassled leather jacket, denim embroidered waistcoat, wrangler jeans and airwear boots!"

Rob also went with the denim and leather theme.


Most unusual answer was from Lyndsey, who said,  "In the late eighties I tried to dress like Ya Kid K of Technotronic"


I saw a lot of girls in my school wanting to be like the biggest female music star of the 80s, Madonna and wearing the New Romantic frills and funky hairstyles.

Michelle said, "I dressed like Madonna and loved the New Romantic style!"
I thought the 80s music brought people together and helped me certainly to make new friends easier.  It didn't seem to matter what music you were into, everyone just accepted to be different.  Of course there were the groups and cliques of similar tastes, but nobody really hated each other.  This wasn't like the 60s and 70s when Mods, Rockers and Punks all went head to head in open warfare it seemed.

Lyndsey added, "Ska, Two Tone, Reggae and Punk brought lots of white skinheads together with Jamaican people in the UK, crossing racial divides".
Rob disagreed slightly and said, "I think the miners' strike and everything else (nuclear threat, cold war) had people divided into groups, only in the late 80s did it start to change".
Joanne thought the music didn't really make problems, saying, "I used to like to go to the Youth Club Disco and enjoyed the silly dances we did together... I think the songs just happened to be a backdrop of that phase in my life, rather than contributing to it." 


I had a few embarrassing moments in my musical 80s memories, usually trying to impress the girls with my lyrical understanding of songs then finding out I was totally wrong!  Also singing along with my boom box looking cool and forgetting the words! Most embarrassing was, being  amassive fan of Madonna, I wanted everything about her, magazines, newspapers, everything.  When the Penthouse magazine came out in 1985 with the old Madonna nude pictures in from her early days well I had to have it!  At 17, buying a top shelf adult magazine was a bit weird, but I did it.  A much older me had less of a red face and proved a lot simpler when buying 1992's "Sex"  book!


Interviewees, any embarrassing moments for you?

Joanne called her first concert watching The Kids From Fame "slightly embarrassing but I enjoyed it!"
Paula said her "silly dances under Runcorn Baths roof (with friends and a beat box" were her worst moments.
Rob thought watching Status Quo at Deeside Leisure Centre in 1982 was his biggest mistake!
Most embarrassed was Eva, who said, "I was singing in front of the whole class at the tender age of 8, accompanied only by a piano, to establish if I was suitable for the school choir.  It was discovered I was Tone Deaf!"
Lyndsey said her moment was having a crush on John Taylor from Duran Duran.

Most embarrassed was Eva, who said, "I was singing in front of the whole class at the tender age of 8, accompanied only by a piano, to establish if I was suitable for the school choir.  It was discovered I was Tone Deaf!"


I love being nostalgic about the 80s music, the songs make me happy when I feel terrible, they lift me, remind me of simpler and more exciting times.  

Does everyone feel nostalgic about the 80s?

Paula say, "those were the days".

Joanne stated, "I don't have a lot of nostalgia for the 80s.  Although the film The Wedding Singer does make me smile". 

Michelle said, "I have loads of 80s tunes, always put them on when I'm feeling down or low to cheer me up!".

That echoes my sentiments really.
The probable real reason is summed up finally with Eva who said this (about being nostalgic), "All the time because I was a kid and that is generally what kids do, don't tend to worry too much and just enjoy themselves."

I did enjoy myself, as people have differing opinions on the 80s, it will always be remembered for something that happened when you were growing up in that decade.  Personally, I have nothing but good memories, and the variety and positive nature of the music certainly makes me proud to be a "child of the 80s".  Even now, the 80s are coming back, the fashions are coming back, because people today are either remembering how it was back then, or kids have finally realised this is where the music began.


Many thanks to the following interviewees who participated:
Lyndsey Clewes, Runcorn, England
Rob Watson, Runcorn, England
Paula Skelhorn, Runcorn, England
Joanne Japp, Runcorn, England
Eva Nejezchlebova,, Runcorn, England
Gill Darlington, Cheshire, England
Michelle Delap, Warrington, England






Saturday, 26 May 2018

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - INDIE ALTERNATIVE BAND "PACIFIC"

I reviewed Pacific a couple of years ago for a published article entitled "Cheshire Rocks", after only hearing a couple of tracks, a single "Dream Of Mine" and the lead track "Time To Forget" from their debut E.P.  The band consist of the Orzel brothers, Anthony (vocals/piano) and Daniel (synths/bass/backing vocals) and are joined by Dave Bithel (guitars) and Drew Burns (drums/percussion).


Hailing from Northwich in Cheshire, Pacific play a piano led Indie Alternative style that can be likened to the band Keane but with an edgier rockier sound.  The band reached the semi-final of “Live and Unsigned”, the biggest original music competition for bands around the UK in 2011.  They have released a handful of singles and have had rave reviews from the likes of New Musical Express and BBC 6’s Mark Radcliffe.  They also played the Golden Square at the Warrington Music Festival.


After gaining critical acclaim for their aforementioned debut E.P. , "What Are You Waiting For" they have since released the brilliant single "Blinded" in 2017 which is a powerful Indie Rock track which reminds me of a hybrid of The Killers and Razorlight.  The song gained high praise from notable reviewers and music media.


"Life In Short" is the title of their new single and has already won Staffordshire and Cheshire's Best Local Single at the 6 Towns Radio Awards in 2018 marching past the 60k streams with ease on Spotify.  The song is a kind of Electro Rock and takes me back to the late 80s a little.  Another strong song and this band are sure to maintain their rapid rising popularity when their debut album drops!




Friday, 25 May 2018

THEME ARTICLE - "SPIKE ISLAND'S BAGGY WOODSTOCK WITH THE STONE ROSES!"

The Stone Roses arrived on the scene with the debut album "The Stone Roses" in 1989, although they originally formed in 1983.  The band consisting of Ian Brown, John Squire, Reni and Mani were touted as the most exciting British band in years.


As they have recently reformed I thought I would share my experience of The Roses especially at Spike Island in Widnes on 27th May, 1990.  As it was also the time of the "Madchester" craze including Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets, The Charlatans and The Mock Turtles to name but a few, Mr Brown and the boys were integral to it's success at the end of the 80s and start of the 90s.
The first album was brilliantly fresh and original, it sounded like nothing else around.  The heavy guitar based and superbly woven melodies matched with Ian Brown's anthemic vocals.

I got into the Madchester bands because not because it was popular, but because it was something new and fresh, the late 80s were so dull with all the Acid House, Rave and poor Stock, Aitken and Waterman tunes being churned out.


Anyway, songs like "Waterfall", "Made of Stone"and "She Bangs The Drums" were constantly played and my mates and I were waiting for a concert near us in little old Runcorn.  The only other decent bands around at this time were Deacon Blue, Texas, Del Amtri and a couple of others, of course my favourites Prince and Madonna were still huge.

The favourite track of most Roses' fans has to be "Fools Gold", a dancey but funky Rock number which made the Roses even more well known in other genres of fans.  The second album coudn't match the debut's success and it came 5 years later!.


So we heard The Roses would be playing Spike Island, across the Runcorn-Widnes bridge, tickets were £14.50 including a booking fee of £2.  We had heard about the drugs and drink fanbase that was supposedly going but we didn't care.  Although the most potent thing my mates and I had was a very poor beer and a burger with brown sauce on and mustard, we felt pretty much stoned all day!.

When we got there with the crowds marching across the bridge to our destination, we saw a massive DJ box and like a faint smokey cloud over everywhere.  Little did we know this was due to the mysterious and various drugs being smoked around!  Anyway, I digress, there were supposed to be 20,000 people expected, I am certain is was almost double that, it was totally packed.  The sun shone brightly and we thought it was going to be one of the best concerts ever.


It is ironic that this gig is named in rock history as the one that made The Stone Roses.  I have been to many gigs, the best being Prince at Maine Road and Bon Jovi and Van Halen at Don Valley Stadium.  This gig was, despite it's fame, very ordinary and not the mindboggling concert we expected from one of the most interesting bands of the time!.

For the first 8 hours at least, after many beers and burgers and walking round in a daze through the strange smokey air, we had a DJ playing some godawful Dance and Rave and Acid music, the very music I despised at the end of the 80s/beginning of the 90s!,  I kid you not, 8 hours!!.  In between , some Rap group came on, couldn't hear them very well, thank god, just prancing around and swearing at every word.  This was not what we expected, I know it was only £16 a ticket but we expected a gig of live bands!!. 


Anyhow, The Roses came on at 9pm or 9.30pm, can't quite remember, and did 45 minutes!  The sound was terrible, we could barely see them.  All I can say about this concert is "Hey, it wasn't very good, but I was there!".  Still glad I went though, just to be a part of Rock history, the new summer of love and baggy Woodstock!!

After all that, they were a great band and it wasn't their fault the gig was a shambles, they deserved better from whoever was organising it!


Although it wasn't the best gig I had ever been to, and suffering all that dreadful dance music for hours in the red hot sun it is still an iconc moment and will stick in my mind whenever The Stone Roses are mentioned!


Thursday, 24 May 2018

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - EURO POP ROCK ARTIST "ANNA MELINE"

Anna Meline is a 24 year old singer songwriter and guitarist from Sweden. The music variates from Dance to Pop to an almost Indie Country style.  It's hard to define but it is original.  Her voice is very unique and it takes time to tune in to the Euro Pop Rock voice with the English/Swedish accent vocalising over various genres of music.


Anna got her first guitar at 13 years old and started singing her own poems as a way to express herself and handle different problems in a productive way, performing.  Like other kids growing up Anna also suffered times of bullying and the feelings she endured at this time made her the person she is today.  Being who you are and going for what you want are important to her.




Since releasing her debut album, "I Couldn't Stay" a couple of years ago she has been working hard on her second album coming soon.  She hopes to make a video for each of the songs on the album being more creative with all the process.   Anna wanted to do things she hadn't done before, there are more slower songs but also some that are playful and catchy, and lyrics that are from personal experiences.



Anna has been playing a lot of Acoustic sessions with other musicians as she finds it a lot of fun and also makes time for her other love, photography.  Enjoying random trips around Europe and taking pictures of the scenery.  After my review of Anna just after her first album she sent me a copy of her album as a thank you.  A very humble lady and appreciative to those who have a positive infuence in her life.



Saturday, 19 May 2018

NEW MUSIC ALBUM REVIEW - RADIO DRIVE - "SHE COLORS MY WORLD"

MUSIC ARTISTS? WANT YOUR NEW ALBUM OR SINGLE(S) REVIEWED TRACK BY TRACK PLUS FREE PROMOTION ON NEW MUSIC EAR AND SHARED TO TWITTER, LINKEDIN, INSTAGRAM AND FACEBOOK? IF YOU LIKE THIS REVIEW, PLEASE CONTACT ME :)

RADIO DRIVE


"SHE COLORS MY WORLD"
 
 
  
By Andrew Goodwin for NEW MUSIC EAR www.newmusicear.com. 

ALBUM SUMMARY - "She Colors My World" is Kevin Gullickson's 5th album as Radio Drive.  Playing all the instrumental parts and all vocals and harmonies he enlisted recording engineer Robert L. Smith to finish the mastering.  Smith has worked with the likes of Bowie, Aerosmith and U2 and this album contains a plethora of styles. From 60s beat bands, 70s Psychedelic and Progressive Rock, Classic Rock and 80s anthems and soft ballads this has everything for the listener.  It's a cool set and a little tip, listen in headphones for the full effect of the pure "live" sound that Kevin has created.  Creative Rock in all its forms make for a formidable album!

01 HORIZON - The first track of the album gives you a bright start to your listening pleasure.  A strong 80s vibe is captured here, in the style of a U2/Simple Minds hybrid while encompassing a great Electronic Rock sound.  It's a mid tempo track but its one of those songs that would be awesome in a huge arena, anthemic Rock at its best.

02 A NEW START - Almost Psychedelic with a little Progressive Rock, this track gives us guitars in a medieval stye.  The ambience of the echoes and effects give a real 70s feel.  As with most of Kevin's songs this has a surprising diversion, at around 2 minutes 40 there is a small instrumental interlude has a distinctive Electronic Synth Pop element. 

03 SWEET THING - A light, lilting song in a slow almost Folk Blues style is a very nice, relaxing listen.  At 1 minute 40 comes another surprise as there's a move into early 70s Classic Rock before easing back into the song's usual style.  Nice harmonies make this an enjoyable cool Summer track.

04 FOREVER I DO - A sweet Rock ballad with heartfelt lyrics and emotive guitar parts and vocals.  A nice sing along chorus gives the song another "hit" contender nomination and it also reminds me of the band Yes. 

05 EVERY ROAD - More anthemic epic Rock with the U2/Simple Minds style as the 80s Pop Rock infuence can be heard as with the opening track "Horizon".  Oh and yes there is another Kevin Gullickson surprise in this track too.  At 2 minutes comes a segment where you think its going to end in a crescendo but then it stops as quickly as it came in and returns back to the song's original composition to finish.  Such a tease are Radio Drive!

06 HEY BULLDOG - This is a cover of The Beatles' track and as I was unfamiliar with it I looked it up.  This is a great cover version, if not better than the original purely for the better production.  It certainly takes you back to the 60s beat groups era.  The guitar solos within the song sound alittle heavier to me, which is probably why I like it.  More Rock than the original.

07 TIME TO RISE - Great Electronic Rock song with elements of Psychedelic, Classic and Progressive Rock.  My favourite on the album and could be a massive hit as well as a little of a Rock anthem! The echoes on this track give it a great "live" feel and pure sound, the guitars sound amazing.  A 60s style hippie interlude is also included at around 2 minutes 20 just in case you miss the Radio Drive surprises!

08 LIFE AS IT SHOULD BE - A piano led slow Pop Rock ballad with a little guitar solo at 3 minutes 11 thrown in for good measure.  Has a 60s and 70s feel and a very stylish, cool track.  It also reminds me of the 80s bands The Adventures and The Icicle Works, with great emotive vocals and an intellectual Rock feel.  Great song!

09 WAITING - Ambient sounds merge into a great Pop Rock track, with all the elements of the previous tracks.  Many genres included in just this one song and it kind of sums up the whole album.  With all the effects, echoes and vocal harmonies this is great to end the album.  Basically, what you just heard is a bit of everything, a creative tour de force.




Tuesday, 15 May 2018

THEME ARTICLE - "PRINCE - SPIRITUAL GENIUS AND MESMERISING SHOWMAN"

In 1984 something changed my perception of music.  That something was a single by Prince called "When Doves Cry".  It was a massive hit in the USA and soon became a hit here too.  It was a Funk-Pop-Rock-Dance infusion and had no bass line to speak of which made it an unusual hit on the Dance charts as most Dance records did!.


On hearing this, I instantly bought "Purple Rain" and of course became a massive fan of the man.  As a 16yr old boy this music (and Madonna) became a teacher of love, sex, faith and non-conformity.

Yes, most of Prince's lyrics bordered on soft porn but it was all done in a loving way, even the most scandalous songs like "Do Me, Baby", "Jack U Off" and "My Private Joy" all had a hint of fun and mentioned God saying it was ok to be sexual, sensual and loving.

The man played almost 20 instruments on his first album "For You" in 1978, produced it and sung all the vocals.  This was a genius in the making.  "When Doves Cry" was the track that started my admiration for the mystery man that was Prince.


Once this was a man who was shy and almost reluctant to accept the fame and adoration.  Down the years he has become an astute businessman and an expert in music business knowledge.  He has embraced the internet but now denounces it, he has fought for the right to make records using his own name, he has wrote some of the biggest hits for other artists.  He was STILL the ultimate showman until the day he sadly passed and everyone still reveres him and was honoured to work alongside him or be likened to him.  Prince was a teacher, an enigma, a superstar and a genius.


Prince was the only artist to be able to cross over to many genres, be it Dance, Funk, Pop, Rock or Jazz.  Every song he covered became his own, however big the original's artists.  He had some of the most legendary and ground breaking albums in his back catalogue.  He was the first artist to mention AIDS in "Sign 'O' The Times".  He wanted the right to release a double album every year or at least one a year (his unreleased tracks reach in the hundreds), hence the battle with Warner Bros when he put "slave" across his cheek.  Obviously the press just didn't understand until they got the full facts denouncing him as "potty prince".  The fact is, the guy was a genius and a superstar, there has never and will be never an artist like him ever again.  He stands there with Michael Jackson and James Brown and in my opinion is above them as the greatest musician and showman ever.


I have been lucky enough to see Prince live 4 times, an experience that you cannot understand unless you have witnessed the great man at close hand.  One such concert was 26th June 1992 on the Diamond and Pearls Tour, at Manchester City Football Club's old ground of Maine Road.  I decided to take along my friend Dave who had never seen Prince before and had only ever seen David Bowie (saying that he was the best live act ever, bear that in mind when I finish my story!).  I said to Dave, "you haven't seen anything yet".



It was a beautiful sunny day, roasting hot and we were supposed to sit in the stand but before the ground was filling up we went for a walk up in front of the stage and luckily somehow stayed there for the whole show.  At first we had to suffer The Pasadenas trying to look cool to Prince fans by swearing a couple of times (it did not help, they were a poor last minute substitution for C&C Music Factory).  Dave was excited but I had no idea how he was going to feel afterwards.  Once Prince's dancers Diamond and Pearl were writhing around in front of us and all these girls were grappling at our clothes in an excited frenzy Dave was in his element!.


It was an extra ordinary show lasting well over 2 and a half hours, Prince was apparently told he could play 2 hours but he said "I'm supposed to be going home, but I still wanna party wit y'all!".
He got 70,000 people to sing "god is love, love is god" (half may not have been religious at all, including me) and then everybody was singing Sexy MF at the top of their voices (which apparently was heard by discerning people close to the ground outside!.  The whole Prince experience is like a family, lots of love around and lots of fun and freedom and you just get sucked into the whole thing and feel alive when you leave.  This is what Prince gives you, an elation, a free spirited feeling that makes you feel re-born and energised.  It's hard to explain but I hope I gave you an indication.  By the way, my pal Dave, what did he think?.  During the concert he was bouncing up and down, loving every minute, at one stage Prince waved to the crowd, Dave said, "he's waving at me Andy", which made me laugh.


On returning to the car to go home after the concert, Dave was silent all the way, then after 15 minutess he said "ok Andy, you were right, he's the man!".  Mission accomplished!.  If only everyone could see the genius without criticising any eccentricities and concentrate on what Prince did best, the music, the live show and the creative magic within.

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today 2 get through this thing called life".

"A world of never ending happiness.  U can always see the sun, day or night".

This was Prince's world.  I am still a part of it and things may be a little scandalous but it's always gonna be a beautiful night in the purple rain even if the great man isn't physically here any longer.



Monday, 14 May 2018

THEME ARTICLE - "ADAM ANT - ANTMUSIC FOR SEXPEOPLE!"

The 80s for me is still the greatest music era, such variety and the emergence of the music video and the "stars" were justifiably named so.

From Abba and The Sweet to Blondie, from Bon Jovi to Prince and Madonna, my first proper fan experience was with Adam and the Ants. 


Adam Ant with his band epitomised the 80s.  With forays from Punk to New Romantic, from Pop to Rock and the mini movies Adam put the fun back into music.  He is still an idol to Antpeople everywhere.

From that first appearance on Top of the Pops singing "Dog Eat Dog", the Ants captured me as a 12 year old boy with their look, sound and originality.


This was going to be my first taste of fandom, I was hooked.  I bought magazines and the back catalogue of music, anything about this new refreshing, exciting band.

Rockers mocked Adam, punks said he sold out, but there was something unique about this guy.  Everything he said and did had teenagers, parents and grandparents keen to take him as an excellent role model.


I remember getting up early to watch Breakfast TV when I heard there was a first showing of "Stand And Deliver" and "Prince Charming", every video had a great fun storyline.  Not often seen today, Adam drew storybooks of every video to accompany the songs and had an input in everything.  

Adam inspired me to write more songs and poems and as he started as a graphic designer I dreamt of following in his footsteps into the world of music.  It didn't quite work out that way for me but the inspiration was there.


I still bought all his records after the Live Aid performance of "Vive Le Rock" when everyone assumed he was finished.  He went to L.A. to begin an acting career but records after that were quickly bought up by fans, although not major hits.

 My collection of Ant memorabilia and music still make me smile, as it takes me back to a good time in my life.  I had no worries, life was free and the future looked bright.


Adam's music was for me fun and honest, although in hindsight there were hidden messages of regret, despair and anger behind the smiles.  These only came to my notice when reading his recent autobiography which made me respect him even more.


He struggled with depression and fits of mania and once tried to take his own life.  Stalkers made his life hell and eventually he broke to pieces a few years ago to end up in a mental hospital.

Adam Ant is unique, through all of his trauma and pain and even the stealing of his first band by Malcolm McLaren he has fought back to do what he loves best, the music.


After a lengthy absence Adam came bouncing back with an Independently released album "Adam Ant Is The Blueblack Hussar In Marrying The Gunner's Daughter" in 2013, said to be the "Kings Of The Wild Frontier" sequel, a period that Adam thought was unfinished.  A single "Cool Zombie" was also released to critical acclaim.  A documentary film about Adam's life now by Jack Bond was also released called "The Bueblack Hussar". 

Sell out tours followed and it is clear there are still hordes of fans out there for the Antman.  Rumours of a new album have been around for a couple of years supposedly entitled, "Bravest Of The Brave" and we wait eagerly for this to appear.


Antpeople will always hold him in high esteem, a quiet genius with a vision who became an idol to millions.  Now he is a happy human being again and should be given respect for setting the platform for the 80s, a decade of the best music, video and artists of all time.


It's dog eat dog in this world, and the king of the wild frontier became a Prince Charming.  Whether you are friend or foe, he made life a tiny bit more wonderful.








Monday, 7 May 2018

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - INDIE ROCK BAND "LUNA BLUE"

Luna Blue are from Chichester and comprise of Tom High (rhythm guitar/vocals), Ryan Wellman (lead guitar), Seb Bowen (drums) and Nick Davie (bass/vocals).  Their sound is a mixture of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Razorlight with great Funk and Indie elements.


The band released a self-titled demo E.P. and the "Nightjar" E.P. which features the brilliant single "Borrowed Words".  This great raw sound and energy will surely take this band far in the years to come!


Based in Brighton the band won their University's Ensemble of the Year award and are touring constantly building up a rapidly growing fanbase.  While "Borrowed Words" is similar to the early 70s Funk bands, another song on the E.P. "Welcome Home" is a slowed down soulful Progressive Rock.  Proof that this band are mature beyond their years.


Their YouTube videos cite them as Alternative Rock but I think there's much more to them than that.  The funky basslines and the ability to slow it down into almost Gothic Rock territory like "The Chance" from the first E.P.  and the very eclectic "Take What You Get"! Check these guys out, its a unique sound and you have probably not heard anything like it for a long time.




Saturday, 5 May 2018

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - INDIE POP FOLK ARTIST "AMELIA LAPPERT"

Singer/songwriter Amelia studied at Liverpool University in music while gigging around the London area until graduation in 2015.  Originally from Hertfordshire this young lady makes a unique sound with both Country and Folk vibes incorporating sweet and quirky high ranging vocals with heartfelt lyrics and melodies.


A rare talent who released in 2017 her debut E.P. "Game Of Life".  This set shows her quirky and wholesome vocals but also some very memorable tunes.  Ranging from the almost Eliza Doolittle bouncy and bright lead track "Game Of Life" to the Country-esque "You Are My Light".


Amelia was Runner-up in the St Albans The Horn Battle of the Bands in 2016.  Adept at a variety of instruments after having lessons growing up playing the trumpet and piano as well as teaching herself to play guitar!  She has since appeared at festivals and also BBC Introducing...


Experimenting with writing songs at an early age she has said in interview that she finds the process therapeutic.  Writing from her experiences and also friends' feelings and emotions.  Amelia has released her new single, the bright and breezy Pop track "Gone Away" in February 2018.





Thursday, 3 May 2018

CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEW - SUPPORT LESBIENS - "REGENERATION"

THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)

SUPPORT LESBIENS


 "REGENERATION


I first found aout about Support Lesbiens while talking with Czech friends online in the early 2000s.  Along with Monkey Business, also from the Czech Republic they sing mostly in English with the obligatory track in their native tongue.  When I heard the song "Bet My Soul" I instantly loved it and sought out the album from the Czech online store Bontonland.  The band have since started anew but all the albums featuring charismatic lead singer Krystof Michal I soon acquired.  On watching the videos on YouTube I saw Krystof as like a music version of James Marsters (Spike in Buffy The Vampire Slayer).  He was cool, and almost looked and sounded like him with his quirky English accent.  I was not happy when the band went their separate ways as the vocals of Krystof were an integral reason for my liking of the band.  After I bought the follow-up "Tune Da Radio" I also bought a live DVD which is excellent.

Although no singles were released as far as I can find in the UK they had a huge following around Europe even though they had a tough time in the Czech Republic for "selling out" singing mostly in English, but they soon won them round with their success.  "Regeneration" is a great album and it just reminds me that if you only look as far as your own country for musical talent you will miss out on a whole lot more.


"Bet My Soul" as I said was the song that got me hooked, it just sounded so unusual.  An almost mostly Folk Acoustic Pop with a manic Rock ending.  

"Fisherman's Friend" is full of Classic Rock riffs with a slight Blues Country hint.  Great "as love" sound the band produce.

"Bubblebrown" is a very bluesy track with moments of Country twang throughout and some excellent atmospheric Classic Rock guitars.

"Please Look At Me" brings the tempo down a little, a really lovely almost Acoustic Rock ballad with lots of emotion.

"Her Eyes" is a Pop Rock track that isn't one of my favourites, it kind of meanders along a little too much, although it has some tender moments.

"Let's Just Sing" is an almost Jazz Blues hybrid complete with "do do do do" singalong vocals.  The guitars are very summery and it gives off a good feeling vibe.  Let's just sing!

"Tear But Not Torn" starts off very Eastern sounding and more Electronic 90s Pop than anything Rock related.  Minimal backing to Krystof's vocals, lots of Electro effects. 

"Someone Else's Lies" is similar in vein to "Bet My Soul", an Acoustic Folk Pop track.  Krystof's vocals are the focal point of this track, a very nice song.

"Apology" is an angry Heavy Rock/Punk track, going back slightly to the band's previous releases.  

"Wet Dream" is a summery Pop Rock track with electronic sounds, effects and some funky musical backing.  

"Scholasticus" a half slow tempo ballad, half mid paced Rock with nice Acoustic Blues guitars.

"Fight Club" reminds me of INXS at times, funky guitrs but with the Classic Rock influence, great track.

"September Rain" is a beautiful soft, gentle ballad in the style of 60s Psychedelic sounds.

"W4C" is a Czech language track and has a Swing Jazz style, which is very unusual even if I can't understand the lyrics.

"Nejsi 2 Nas" is sung in Czech once again and seems to be a version of "Let's Sing", correct me if I am wrong!


CHECK NEW MUSIC EAR FOR MORE COLLECTION FAVOURITES!



Tuesday, 1 May 2018

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - COUNTRY POP ROCK ARTIST "WHITNEY ROSE"

Whitney Rose is a Canadian singer-songwriter who gives her music the genre name of "vintage-Pop-infused neo-traditional Country".  Sometimes channeling her inner Olivia Newton-John, Katie Melua and Patsy Cline.  There is a vulnerability in her voice, a sultry feel at times and also fun.  It is classic Country with a twist!


I first saw the video to "Chivalry Is Dead" with Whitney wearing a cute little white dress complete with cowboy boots and then she started singing.  A very pure vocal which you just have to be drawn to, comparable with the great female Country singers of the past.  With only her debut album, "Whitney Rose" on the streets, she toured with The Mavericks in 2014.  She captured the imagination of The Mavericks' producer Raul Malo who produced the second album, "Heartbreaker Of The Year".  


I especially liked the songs "The Devil Borrowed My Boots" with that sultry bad girl vocal similar to Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles, and "Lasso" has a little 60s vibe complete with slide guitars and lots of twang! Since I last reviewed Whitney she has released a 6 song "South Texas Suite" mini album in 2017 and has just released her third full album, "Rule 62".
  

The new album is full of great tracks, including the Bangles style Pop Rock of "You Don't Scare Me" and the Blues Country number "Time To Cry".  My favourite has to be the 60s swinging "Can't Stop Shakin'.  Whitney is about to start a European tour at the time of writing.  Whitney is becoming a major star not only in Country circles as with her ability to change genres is taking her to everyone's hearts!