Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Alan Triggs: Hey Mister - new song and video.

I've come across this little gem today which is rather good. Check it out and see what you think. Below is a small biography written by the man himself and a decent video to boot!

From the age of 13 when his Uncle placed a guitar in his lap at a family party, Alan was hooked. He managed to convince his Granddad to part with his 30 year old acoustic guitar and promised it wasn't just a phase by playing ‘Half the World Away’ by his favourite childhood band, Oasis.
Coming from the working class town of Birkenhead, Wirral, his Dad was often non existent being an ex-heroin addict and having spent numerous spells in prison. 
This made him even more determined not to turn out like his Dad and to make his long suffering Mum proud of the eldest of her 3 children. Alan continued to hone his craft as a guitar player and later at the age of 18 found he had a natural tone and ability to sing. From the age of 18-24 he was a bedroom musician, lacking the confidence to ever play in public. 
This all changed when he accepted a random request from an old school friend to sing at her wedding. This sparked something inside and he set about the start of a music career. 
He then spent several years earning his chops as a covers artist playing in local pubs/bars/restaurants and the occasional wedding. 

A chance meeting with Andy McCluskey from OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvers In The Dark) came about when Alan was working on Andy’s car at a local garage he worked at when he asked Andy for any advice to which he replied “start writing your own songs”
Six months later he self released his debut EP and gave a copy to Mr McCluskey. Days later Andy rang him to offer his compliments on the songs and urged him to keep writing. 

The lead track on his debut EP ‘Algy’ was written about his Dad’s struggles as an unemployed alcoholic. This catchy and tragically relatable bittersweet song quickly became a fan favourite with lines like “Wakes up in the P.M, Carpe Diem” and “Fiver on the leccy, beer for his brekky” - The song was released in  December 2015 along with a hard hitting and emotional music video that starred his real Dad “Sipping on Tennents Super, smoking roll ups to the bone”

In the last few years he has become a familiar name in the Northwest music scene, with an ever growing fanbase gaining internet and commercial radio plays, local TV performances on the “Made in Liverpool” channel playing numerous festival slots and supporting the likes of Ocean Colour Scene’s Andy Bennett and Inspiral Carpets front man Tom Hingley. He recently played an exclusive in-store gig for Pretty Green in their Liverpool store.
He has just recorded his next batch of songs in the world famous Motor Museum Recording Studio in Liverpool and is about to release his much anticipated single and music video “Hey Mister”

Drawing influence from the likes of Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Noel Gallagher and Richard Ashcroft.

The raw honesty, humour and empathy within his songs create finely balanced personal portraits of working class lives, told with toughness, wit and common wisdom. He captures the real issues the modern working class face in todays society, creating the soundtrack to our troubles.

Cold Water Swimmers: Live at Aatma - Manchester Friday 22nd November

Before I go on, these are words from the band as an introduction:

You begin to hyperventilate within seconds your heart begins to race and your blood pressure spikes.... Cold Water Swimmers tell stories of life and death and all the stuff in between, formed when the dark nights of February 2018 seemed never-ending. A simple formula of great songs, primal beats and raw emotion, call it punk if you like but in reality, it’s the sound of what happens when you have no choice but to keep on keeping on.

The three-piece fronted by guitarist and songwriter Chris Bridgett (dub sex, rude club, The G-O-D) along with Carrie Lawson on bass guitar and Selina Clements Woolnough on drums deliver a live performance soaked to the bone with rock n roll attitude and defiance.

This is more of a photo review courtesy of Neil Winward who I bumped into on the night of this half set I watched. I was originally out to review Shame for LTW (review here: but left early disappointed to try and catch some of the set from the excellent Cold Water Swimmers who I first witnessed at The Castle not long ago. What I actually do catch sparkles with energy and passion which can only come from Manc music stalwart Chris Bridgett and his new sidekicks Carrie and Selena. Great songwriting and dynamics are involved and you can see the chemistry between them. A very tight trio that stand out from the norm. The years of experience shows through from all angles and Chris actually tells me this is the best band he's been in. I'll agree with that one then! The forefront of the next wave. I can't say more as I only caught about four numbers, however I highly recommend you catch them live! Enjoy the pictures!

NOTE! These photos are all under copyright!!

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Blanketman: Sick & Tired / Flip It Over - new single

Another Manchester band that are starting to makes waves has arrived and they’ve been working hard. Three supports slots with Brix & The Extricated, Fall legend Steve Hanley joining them on stage and numerous gigs around the city. Wayne Carey says welcome to Blanketman.
I first caught these guys at The Ruby Lounge supporting Brix and had a good feeling they would be sticking around due to their vibrant energy and a frontman bizarrely looking like the son of Ian Curtis, his guitar almost touching his chin whilst he battered it. This new song Sick & Tired moves on from their pretty frantic debut The Long Arm Of Entrapment. It starts with a nice droning guitar sound reminiscent of Galaxie 500. Then the tribal drum sound from Ellie kicks in as do Adam Hoppers lyrics which are probably aimed at power figures he’s angry with. It goes all Velvet Underground in their own style and just builds and builds throughout. It’s dark industrial like post punk with that touch of a psychedelic undertone to make it stand out from the norm. Ones to watch.
Blanketman can be found via Facebook

Edits: Cold - Single review

Cold Art
Manchester duo Edits return on form with this chillingly warm synth pop effort. Wayne Carey unearths another first for Louder Than War.
Let me introduce you to the band if you didn’t catch their first EP Re-Surface. Liv Westhead (vocals / synths) and Chris Abbott (guitars / programming) met at the age of 15 and started their craft in Salford Uni’s Adelphi building (where Manc bands Everything Everything, Delphic and Dutch Uncles began their journey) They have a D.I.Y aesthetic, producing everything they make themselves, even their music videos.
The new single Cold continues where they left off, great soaring vocals by Liv which comes across all Cocteau Twins / Harriet Wheeler whereas Chris plays that guitar like it’s attached to him, against a backdrop of haunting synths which carry this song into the ether. Think a Manc version of the XX with a different twist. It’s ambitious synth pop that stands out from your average and they may well be ready to lay down a debut album of beauty. And they do great videos which helps!
The single is out on all major music streaming platforms on Monday 19th November. They play The Salty Dog in Northwich on Sunday 18th November for the launch.
Check out the video!

Find Edits on Facebook

Friday, 9 November 2018

Paper Buoys & The Pagans S.O.H: In Faith So Blind: New single and video.

In Faith So Blind is the explosive collaboration from two of the West Midlands most exciting new bands. Birmingham indie/punk rockers, Paper Buoys have joined forces with the barking mad Black Country rap/rock outfitThe Pagans S.O.H for a smack in the face of genre-melding alchemy.
The crossover track fuses elements of punk, grime, hip hop and rock in a combination of the two band’s defining sounds, superbly captured by producer Gavin Monaghan (The Blinders – Columbia) at Magic Garden Recording Studio.
Check out this fucking ace video where Andreus loses his shit as usual!!

Ian Brown: First World Problems - Video.

Ian Brown is back on his lowrider harking back to the days of his FEAR video recorded in The Northern Quarter. Great stuff as usual!!

Sunday, 4 November 2018

The Rising: Are You Ready To Fly - Album Review

The Rising

Are You Ready To Fly

Detour Records

Release date: Friday November 9th

There are not many albums that get to me on the first listen. There are no bands out to claim the throne of the big indie bands like Oasis, Courteeners, The Roses. Ok, I've mentioned all Manchester bands here but outside our fair city there's not many out there, maybe ermm Kasabian. This collective from Southampton are gonna fuckin blow you away. My fellow writer Ged Babey from Louder Than War has been backing them for years and now I know why. First let me introduce you to the band members as they all have a part to play in this and have worked their bollocks off (Emily hasn't got bollocks...) for years producing and recording this at the famous Rockfield Studios in Monmouth. Oasis, The Roses, Black Grape, fuckin Queen have recorded there. 

The band are:

Tommy Overington - vocals.
Jimmy Hayes - lead guitar.
Ryan Griffiths - rhythm guitar.
Barrie Jarman - bass guitar.
Liam Dixon - keyboards, Hammond organ, piano.
Matt Stanton - drums, percussion, backing vocals.
Emily Blackledge - backing vocals.

Before reviewing this I listened to their first album which is actually really good. Very retro, harking back to the days of The Kinks, The Small Faces, The Who, you get it. Three years of their own money, holding down days jobs, grafting like miners and genuinely loving music, they have totally upped their game although sticking to their original roots with added gloss and classic songwriting. I've been told Tommy Overington is the epitomy of a working class hero and first thing that strikes me is that the whole band have been credited for writing the songs, no Morrissey and Marr shit going on here.

First track Are You Ready To Fly opens like a classic indie anthem and drags you in straight away. The Liam comparisons are there but don't let this put you off. It's a masterclass of a tune that will leave you wanting more.

Feels Like I'm Dreaming But It's Real starts of with a Lennon tilted vocal but in Tommy's own characteristic charm. A slow burner which turns into a Hacienda flaked banger due to Emily's vocals which have a Rowetta effect and you can see this being a booty shaking number live. The synths just take away all the indie comparisons to make the sound fresh and modern. And that's the difference between most indie by numbers bands. They can change tact with effect.

Olympus is one of my stand out tracks. It's a sweeping ode to the sound of The Kinks and you can see the Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) influence on Tommy all over. It just screams catchy and you can hear their fans sing every word when they air it live. A classic.

Lord Please Show Me The Way To Go wanders into Northern Soul territory and gives you that Twisted Wheel and Wigan Pier feel and I swear Amy Winehouse could have an inkling of influence on this!

Kaleidoscope Eyes again starts off as a slow take on a love song but ups the tempo with that funky baggy sound going in with the upbeat drumming. Lots of psychedelia going in here which makes it stand out from the rest.

Talk To Me is just beautiful. A cracking ballad which again leans to Lennon. Emily's output gives it that, dare I say Beautiful South feeling. Fuckin cracking songwriting that is up there with Wonderwall, or Married With Children. If this song was A listed on the radio the band would be massive.

I Want You (I Need You) is another indie banger. It rocks out as good as anything around at the moment and the lyrics, I'll let you make your mind up... 'Wakey wakey, rise and shine, the man in the mirror is taking up all my time' mmmmm.... Again the synths will probably freak out the kids but may wake them up to bygone instruments that standard bands shun. Prog never died.

Bring Me Back To Life continues as another masterclass of songwriting. Tommy just sounds like a natural. Another nod to Oasis here but with their own original take. Even Brendan Benson gets a nod on this one. The band as a collective sound tight as fuck and if they continue in this vein they will hit the big time.

Carpet Ride is just wonderful. A psychedelic 8 minute cracker which builds and builds from the sitar entrance to the ganga cloud mist of wibbling synth and Hammond organs. It's like listening to ELO on acid at one point. A perfect ending to an album that just has that I Am The Resurrection vibe to it. I'd even say a hint of Funkadelic going on here (check out Maggot Brain).

Tommy and the band have been raised on a three L diet. Liam, Lennon and Lydon. You can hear the cockiness in there, the female backing vocals give it a twist and steer them away from your typical lad bands. This could make them massive and deservedly so. It's about time a band out of Manchester hit the big time with the same swagger of the big guns.

The indie kids need a new icon to look up to and I reckon Tommy Overington ticks all those boxes. Fuck the twee pop shit like Blossoms or The 1975. This is the real deal. If you love your indie then this should be in your collection. I've already converted some of my workmates after one listen. An essential album and one of the best this year.

Pre order the album here: