Every so often, a submission in my email reminds exactly why I write the blog. To champion music that I feel deserves to be heard by a wider audience. Tonight, an email from one Marilyn Roxie, a synth musician who runs a label called Vulpiano Records made me feel I had to write before sleeping.

The band in question are a three-piece called Vukovar. They are Rick Clarke, Dan Shea, and Buddy Preston. They claim to come from the Brutalist wastelands in the North of England. Amongst their interests and influences appear to be ‘Ultra-Realism. Depravity. Monotony. Concrete. Hedonism. Silence’. Vukovar describe themselves as idealists, voyeurs and totalitarians. Whether any of this is true or not doesn’t really matter. (It’s a hundred times more interesting than a band who claim that their main influences are Oasis and the Beatles and that they just make music for themselves and if anyone else likes it, that’s a bonus.’) They produce music that sounds like the meeting point of post-punk with post-rock. I have played their new single ‘The Three Shades’ incessantly tonight.

The video for the single can be seen here:

The single and b-side can be downloaded legally for free at the Vulpiano bandcamp page here .

Additionally you can check out more music from Vukovar’s bandcamp page here.

A song for today #36: My Pleasure


Many moons ago, NME (back when it was better than the sadly-depleted freebie it is now) ran a feature on the most rock’n’roll films. A Clockwork Orange came out top.

Anthony Burgess may not have liked Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of his novel, but it seeped deeply into popular culture. Even though it was banned in the UK for the best part of thirty years (Kubrick withdrew it), it informed so much of popular music. Blur’s video for ‘The Universal’ is an obvious reference point, but an entire book could be written about how it informed youth culture in Britain for decades afterwards (there probably has already been a book or two on this). As a teenager growing up in the early 90s it had a whole mystique attached that’s harder for a younger generation to figure out now, much of it in the fact it was so hard to see legally in the UK.

I mention this because a video popped into my inbox that’s very much informed by A Clockwork Orange. Not so much the ultraviolence, hanging out with droogs or even Beethoven but more the controversial ‘cure’ (if you have seen the film, you will understand the quotation marks). Jon Mills is the director and he has produced a great pop video.

My Pleasure is a Hull-based solo musician who has received acclaim from the likes of Steve Lamacq and Tom Robinson. This track ‘I Want To Keep This Feeling Going’ is a joy, like Momus covering XTC (and I mean that as a compliment). This is taken from the EP Party Popper which is available for free (sic), you pay only P&P (see here for details).


Album Review – Wedding Present


Wedding Present  -‘Going, Going…’ (Scopitones)

‘They’ may say not to judge a book by its cover, but the fog, rain and shadow on the cover of the Wedding Present’s ninth studio album certainly sets the tone in a most apt way…

In many ways, this might well be the Weddoes’ most ambitious album to date, and overall, this largely succeeds. The first quarter of the record has more in common with post-rock acts like Mogwai or Godspeed than it does with the band’s contemporaries on that legendary c-86 tape (now, of course, thirty years ago). The opening ‘Kittery’ is as atmospheric as the album cover, and hell, you don’t even hear David Gedge’s voice until the third track.

In their decades long career, the Weddoes have, of course, been here before. 1991’s Seamonsters album, produced by Steve Albini (who would go on to make records with the likes of PJ Harvey and Nirvana), was contrary to the expectations of those expecting more records like their first two more janglier records George Best and Bizarro.

Yet to paraphrase what John Peel (one of the band’s most vocal champions) used to say about The Fall, with the Weddoes they’re always different, always the same. The two singles (well, promotional tracks, whatever we want to call them in 2016) to do the rounds ‘Bear’ and ‘Rachel’ are perhaps more immediately accessible than some of the other tracks on the record, and might more immediately find a home next to the likes of classic tracks like ‘My Favourite Dress’ ‘Montreal’ or the great comeback that was ‘I’m From Further North Than You.’

How do they all fit together on one album? Well, at times it might seem a lot to take in – but remember, children, indie is shorthand for independent and not just white boys with guitars. That’s music that thinks outside of the box, and that’s what Mr. Gedge and his men and women over the years continue to do once again.

Long may their chimneys smoke.


Going, Going is out now on Scopitones





A song for today #35: Stillhavet

…and so the days get shorter, the weather gets colder and it just needs a soundtrack, right?

Stillehavet come from Bergen, Norway. They are a newly formed band consisting of Marit Elisabeth Svendsbøe and Gaute Stedje. There doesn’t seem to be much information about them, other than that they used to be part of a band called Funin.

‘Gola Malimbe’ is a beautiful, ethereal track that sounds wonderfully original. Over the course of the six and a half minutes running time it reference alt-folk, electronica, Radiohead, Sigur Ros and the Cocteau Twins. What more could you ask for?