Thursday 30 June 2016

Jay Power - The Bedford

Jay Power
Jay Power - vocals
Mikey Chan - guitar
Jack Baker - drums

Jack Baker
Date - 22nd June 2016
Venue - The Bedford, Balham, London
Current release - The Missing,

Upcoming dates
01/07/2016 - The Albion, Hastings
02/07/2016 - The Blue Zucchini, Tetbury
06/07/2016 - The Brunswick, Brighton
08/07/2016 - Sisters of Blues & Soul Festival Todmorden

Jay Powers' latest album The Missing was released just last week (20/06/2016) as she embarks on a UK wide tour. Her live shows combine dashes of urban beats, hints of funk and splashes of neo soul.  As a finalist for South Australian Female Artist of the year (2015) Power’s reputation as an act to follow is well and truly justified.

Mikey Chan
There is muscle in this performance, a sweating twitching pump, you feel it deep within your limbs. Weight, shoulder, thick, pull, molar gripping, the loss of control and the eating of dirt. Electric fires spark in an urban bagatelle, car led, the sound bleeds into the concrete heat. This isn't for our daylight hours of tedium but for those pockets of defiant pleasure that swarm from the city's open windows and lodge in the recklessness of night.


Monday 27 June 2016

Lauren April - Confetti Rises

Lauren April
Lauren April

Date - 16th June 2016
Venue - The Dublin Castle
Current release - Picture on the Wall

Upcoming dates
2nd July 2016 - Codnor Castle Inn, Amber Valley, UK
9th July 2016 - Afest, Allington, UK

Lauren April
Lauren April is a 20 year old country/pop singer/songwriter from Nottingham. She brings to the UK country music scene a new modern flair with her performances being fun and filled with energy, yet emotional and sensitive 
when needed. 

Shake the water filled globe and the confetti rises from the meadows and floats into the air. The currents cut through like gentle winds and the white of fine paper flowers are silhouetted against crisp sky blues. Unexpected yearning songs lie you back in the grass and high in the canopy above you the shape of leaves turn to teardrops.


Thursday 23 June 2016

King Harvest and The Weight - Aces High

Ben Adey
King Harvest and The Weight
Ben Adey - vocals/bass
Justin Edley - drums
Olly Smith - guitar/vocals

Justin Edley
Date - 10th June 2016
Venue - Aces and Eights, London
Current release - Maps (Harbour Song)

Upcoming dates
Saturday 25th June – The Glad Cafe, Glasgow
Sunday 26th June – Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
Friday 1st July – Pine Lodge, Cork
Saturday 2nd July – Roisin Dubh, Galway
Sunday 3rd July – Grand Social, Dublin

Released earlier this week, Maps is the debut album by Halifax-born musician Ben Adey – better known by his nom-de-plume King Harvest & The Weight. Charged on an undercurrent of eclectic revivalism; an ecstatic communion of face-melting riffage and a feverish delivery, Adey describes Maps as “a high energy, good times record. It covers so many bases, it plays like the greatest lost mixtape – a dashboard discovery for a hot summer’s day!”

Olly Smith
The peppering of a fiery set from King Harvest, short sharp strokes buzzing into Aces and Eights. No time for reflection these words came rapidly, usually no more than two at a time. Track shard, rat atat tat, chasm and plummet, beaten, keeled, broken. Spitfire. Spit fire. Split, roll, oil drum, tarred, you cannot wash them off your hands.

Ladder, rattle and drop from the sky as the buildings crash around you. Shrapnel and pavements crack, turned ankles, turned bile and metal fenders, scrape. Bumper to bumper escapes, light out and wait. wait. Light on in the dark. (New York Is Dangerous)

Hole in the wall that an eye looks through. Buzz, static, shock. Walls made of pulsing lines, feeding the populace. A nation that reads the safety advice and does the opposite. Upside down, up turn, cup flow, overflow, sweat, sweet up. (The Night)


Tuesday 21 June 2016

The New 52 - Aces and Eights

Darragh Cullen
The New 52
Darragh Cullen - guitar/vocals
Conor McLoughlin - guitar
Mikey Deasy - bass/vocals
Chris Pepper - drums
Mikey Deasy

Date - 10th June 2016
Venue - Aces and Eights, London
Current release - Album, produced by Boo Hewerdine, to be released in 2016

The New 52 are a rock 'n' roll group from Dublin.

The warp of the road on a carefree journey, rolling away. Staring into the distance as the wheel keeps on turning. Line after white line beating past when you look down below your feet, the rhythm of the known and the unknown. Tunnel hope, always hope along the autumnal fringes of the road. (Good Intentions)

Conor McLoughlin
School corridors, emptying halls, slowly dispersing the tensions as we look toward the summer ahead. I stand on the scorched grass, with sun on the face, a perspective on the skyline and a slow smile starts. There is the burn of the late night bonfire and after a little alcohol nothing else seems to matter but the flickers, and then the black which swallows all our cares. (Last of the Gang)


Monday 13 June 2016

Al Nicholls - Richmond Rhythm Club

Al Nicholls  demonstrating Nelson Riddle's slinky arrangement of I've Got You Under My Skin
Al Nicholls

Date - 31st May 2016
Venue - Richmond Rhythm Club
Current release - That Swing Thing by The Al Nicholls Quartet (Harlem Records HARLCD01)

Joe the Hat
Sketches from a talk by Al Nicholls (King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys, The Ray Gelato Giants) at the Richmond Rhythm Club on the theme of arranging. Normally I like to sketch musicians in action, in the thrall of the music, where the beat and swing push the pen. Here I had a rare opportunity to visit the Richmond Rhythm Club, documenting some of their patrons and learn more about the structure of music. It was a pleasure to discover new recordings and hear about the arrangers who were the architects of some of the biggest hits in Jazz.

a RRC listener
Al Nicholls gained a sound musical education at Leeds College of Music (1983/6) where, significantly, he completed a thesis on “The Texas Tenors” (Buddy Tate, Arnett Cobb, Illinois Jacquet, etc.), players whose muscular musical style became a strong influence, along with Ben Webster and Plas Johnson. After leaving college he cut his teeth in a succession of Jump Jive and Rhythm and Blues bands. Then in 1987 he joined Mike Sanchez’ Big Town Playboys, undoubtedly the best British R&B band of their generation.

Madame Iris
Al met Dick Laurie when he moved London (Putney) and played in various versions of Dick’s ‘Elastic Band'. In the 90s he became a major figure in the R&B/Jump Jive scene. After bringing some discipline and musicianship to the wonderful musical mayhem which was King Pleasure & the Biscuit Boys (1992/4), he fitted in superbly with the highly skilled masters of the JJ idiom, The Ray Gelato Giants (1994/6), becoming their principal arranger. At the same time he had a notable success with a recording project by “The Big Six” which led on to several extensive tours of the US (1995/9).

In recent times Al continues to be a sought-after session musicians and freelance swing saxophonists, regularly invited to appear at prominent jazz venues, clubs and festivals, with such as Pete Long’s Echoes Of Ellington and many others. He’s also a regular member of T.J. Johnson’s band, Tony Pitt’s All Stars and, of course, Blue Harlem.

Clive Evans
The Richmond Rhythm Club meet on Tuesdays from 2-4pm, with drinks in the bar before and after. Tomorrow (14/06/2016) listen to Tomasso Starace, followed by Jack Honeyborne (21/06/2016).



Thursday 2 June 2016

Lux Lisbon - Scala

Tom Cooper
Lux Lisbon
Stuart Rook - Vocals
Charlotte Austen – Vocals, Bass
Tom Cooper - Guitar, Vocals
Jamie Shaw - Drums

Stuart Rook
Date - 21st April 2016
Venue - Scala, London

Current release - Get Some Scars EP

Lux Lisbon are a English 4-piece who do harmony laden indiepoprock songs made with tag-team-boy-girl vocals, under the influence of Dog is Dead, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, Bloc Party, Simon and Garfunkel, Billy Bragg, Florence and Manics lyrics.
Charlotte Austen

They are a 100% DIY proposition, no label, manager, booking agent, publicist, or outside funding - *absolutely everything* is all handled by singer/songwriter Stuart Rook and a laptop.

The sketches below are from the 21st April 2016 when Lux Lisbon became the first 100% DIY band to sell out London Scala in advance - this following on from an exciting 2015, in which they sold out London Bush Hall in June, and 3 sold out nights at London Lexington earlier in the year.

Jamie Shaw
Lux Lisbon never fail to embrace us in their ethos. As we enter from London's abrasions they crunch underfoot the weary apathy that trails behind us. Pulp Pulp. A survival pulse that prepares us for the climb ahead. It is a see-saw night, more soar. We do not want to glide on their music though, part of the charm is in the wrestling, the haze and craze, the fug of 'live' nights like these.