Songs To Learn And Sing – Tiger Love – Gio, Gio.

Tiger Love - Gio Gio - New Single

“Gio Gio”  By Tiger Love.

Tiger Love’s name suggests they could  well be Charlie Sheen’s favourite band to compliment his redoubtable ‘ tiger blood.’ However, they are in point of  fact  a London based collective formed in 2010 by brothers Roy, Gigi (Originally from New York), and Loral. They produce songs so catchy that even Sir Douglas Bader and Fred Titmus may have been induced to tap their imaginary toes to Tiger Love’s hard to resist grooves who are unquestionably  funkier than Funkadelic getting their funk on at the world funk championships on national funk day.

The band first attracted media  attention with their last single and self directed music video made it to the top 10 chart on Hypem.com within a few days of release and was posted on hundreds of music blogs from all over the world. Their new single ‘Gio, Gio’ is the sort of song that makes you really want to get on the dance floor and vigorously shake your thing. Alas that particular avenue of pleasure is closed to me as any attempts at coordinated rhythm make Ian Curtis appear as lithe and as fleet of foot as   Fred Astaire.

Below is their ‘eggscellent’  video and contains the immortal line ‘sleep with people you want to, fuck the people you hate’.  (Apologies for the lamentable egg pun, which makes some sense if you watch the video. Obviously  omlettein’ myself get rather over eggscited.)

Songs To Learn And Sing – Skeleton – The Good Natured.

The Good Natured - Skeleton EP

Skeleton’ By The Good Natured.

The Good Natured, our top tip for 2011 have recently signed to Regal / Parlophone Records, release a new EP on the 20th June 2011. Full of  catchy dark Gothic  Electro-Pop noir it will surely see them reach a wider audience. The Good Natured consists of Sarah McIntosh; the songwriter and front-woman; George on drums and her brother Hamish McIntosh on bass. The lead track ‘Skeleton’  is about being stripped of emotional and physical coverings, leaving you with nothing to hide and sounds a little like a less sexually frustrated Ladytron, a more passionate Dubstar perhaps… Hmm, well whatever the comparisons it’s  catchier than that virus thing on ‘The Walking Dead.’

Here’s the video.


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Songs to Learn And Sing -“A Woman, A Woman, A Century of Sleep” – Emmy The Great- Free Download.

Emmy The Great - Virtue

“A Woman, A Woman, A Century of Sleep” By Emmy The Great.

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Here’s a new song (which you can download for free here )from Emmy The Great’s second album, “Virtue,” which will be released in the UK on June 13th. You can  pre-order via Rough Trade or Play.com or  via the website…www.emmythegreat.com


‘David Koresh Superstar’ – The Indelicates.

David Koresh Superstar - The Indelicates

‘I Am Koresh’ By The Indelicates.

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Download the Album HERE

Ok, so I don’t generally do musicals, all that  scripted ‘spontaneity,’ bursting into song at inappropriate times, ham-fisted lyrics and jazz hands a go-go, sorry but y’know, it just ain’t really my bag.  My prejudice has  been further reinforced over the years by being made  to watch cringe inducing student theatre after dating a drama student,  Ben Elton’s dreadful rock opera vanity projects, ‘American Idiot’ on Broadway and of course  the utter shitefest that is “Glee”.  I’m also deeply suspicious of the ‘concept album,’ the reason is really quite simple and can be summed up in two words,  ‘Rick Wakeman.’   I suspect anybody who has had the misfortune to  listen to something so fundamentally narcissistic, dim-witted and crass  as “Myths and Legends of King Arthur and The Knights Of The Round Tablewill concur that you can actually feel your ears wither and your intellect recede when faced with  such utter tosh.

Given my introductory paragraph you’d think that when news reached me  of a band  set to  release a concept album based on the life of David Koresh and the Waco siege I’d run a mile.  Under different circumstances  that scenario is entirely possible , but the band in question is no ordinary band, the band in question is the Indelicates.  Their third album ‘David Koresh Superstar’ tells the story of failed rock star turned cult leader David Koresh in linear fashion based on the assumption that the persecuted messiah is possibly a tad  mistaken about his divinity. Of course to base an entire album on such a premise, not unlike the authorities handling of the actual Waco siege, could  go horribly wrong, but due to the intelligence of the narrative and the quality of the songs The Indelicates somehow pull it off.  It works as a piece of musical theatre, as a contemporary pop album but perhaps what makes it such an achievement is the fact that the story stays with you long after the album’s finished playing, leaving you with a very real sense that you have experienced the album rather than just listened to it.  There’s a very definite  cinematic quality; you can almost taste the Texan dust and feel the sting of tear gas which makes listening to ‘David Koresh Superstar” a genuinely entertaining and thought provoking experience. Hell, this is surely the musical that Quentin Tarentino was born to make, with Christian Bale as the charismatic, manipulative cult leader perhaps?

The Indelicates - David Koresh Superstar

The album also features a number of guest stars including Carter USM’s Jim Bob, Lily Rae, David Devant & his spirit wife and Philip Jeays as well as  featuring Simon and Julia’s trademark intelligent word play and great melodies. It’s hard to pick out highlights as it all works so well as a whole, but if I  was trapped in a barn surrounded by armed officers from the ATF and forced to pick a favourite I’d probably have to go for ‘ A Single Thrown Grenade” which is strangely moving and encapsulates all that is good about the album.

Julia And Simon visited Waco and recorded the album in Texas funded by their own ‘pay what you like’  label, Corporate records, I asked Simon if he felt it vital to the whole project to visit the scene of the siege – ‘It felt necessary to go (even though there’s very little to see) but I don’t think we made any changes based on it. It confirmed my sense of what the air felt like – and you can really get how fast and awful the spreading fire must have been in that hot, Texas wind – and I was pleased that it didn’t make me feel like I’d got the tone of it wrong. The only real change we made on the basis of stuff we found out in texas was changing ‘blood group’ to ‘blood type’ on the advice of our Texan producer...’    It’s certainly an album that you feel could only exist outside of the mainstream, but is  there  a danger that people who are loud of mouth and short on logic could misinterpret the album? Indeed when the project was first mooted  The Indelicates  have , on occasion, received some  rather bizarre e-mails on the subject. I wondered if such misinterpretations  gave them pause for thoughtSimon : I’m not saying I don’t worry about it, but there’s me worrying and there’s things we make – the two don’t cross over. It will bother me a lot if I get attacked, but that doesn’t even approach being a reason to do or not do anything.”

Simon Cowell knows  never to overestimate the great British public and it would of course be churlish and somewhat patronising for me to do the same. However my only concern for the album is that in the age of the single track download and dwindling attention spans I do wonder how people will  react to a concept album based on religious extremism, sex,  salacious media coverage,  a bumbling government, madness and death.  Again this would not be a reason not to do anything, because pandering to the mainstream gets you N-Dubz and Take That and this is an album that deserves to be heard.

For my part and there is no road to Damascus conversion here, I will still generally avoid musicals ( Aside from ‘My Fair Lady’ obviously) like the plague, I will yield to no-one in my apparently controversial view  that ‘Tommy’ is complete and utter piffle and will no doubt feel my soul contract when I hear Ben Elton is set to write  a  series of rock operas about the fall of the Berlin wall based on the collective musical output  of The Scorpions ,  Scooter and  David Hasslehoff .  However ‘DKS’ stands apart from these things, it is in some ways almost the  ‘anti-musical’  for it avoids many of the genres pitfalls such as  hysterical melodrama,   awkward lyrics and  mawkish sentimentality.    It is also unquestionably an artistic, musical and conceptual triumph  and whilst being born of the mediums we label as ‘the musical’ and ‘pop music’ it somehow transcends genres to become something else entirely.

   Album rating 9/10.


Songs To Learn And Sing – Lover Lover, Trogons, Cosmo Jarvis, Paloma Faith/Graham Coxon.

LoverLover VPME
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Lover Lover are Eleanor Bodenham, a remarkable new singer, and Martin Craft (M. Craft, Jarvis Cocker), two long-time musical friends from London.

Freebirds’ is the debut single to be released on May 2 on Cross Keys Records.  B side entitled, ‘The Fire’ is a tale of squandered talent and broken dreams.  ‘Freebirds’ will be released as a limited 7” vinyl and as download.

Here’s an exclusive acoustic version of the song.

‘Freebirds’ By Lover Lover. (Acoustic Version)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Trogons.
Trogons VPME
Trogons new single ‘Contina’, available on limited edition hand numbered transparent flexidisc through X-Ray Recordings  a new London-based record label with just one simple mission; to release music they love. Their first releases will be available on limited edition flexidisc and digital download. The name X-Ray Recordings originates in the fact that x-rays were used as a readily available material for making flexidiscs to distribute underground punk and jazz records, which were prohibited in the Soviet Union after World War. ‘Contina’ is availabe from April 25th.
‘Contina’– By Trogons.
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Cosmo Jarvis - New EP 'Sure As Hell Not Jesus'

Cosmo Jarvis will release the second single from forthcoming sophomore album “Is The World Strange Or Am I Strange?” on 29th May in the form of “Sure As Hell Not Jesus”. The single-led EP will be backed by three brand new tracks – “What’s Wrong With Betty (Part I)”, “Road Closed” and “Why Do Angels Make Me Cry?”

‘Sure As Hell Not Jesus’ By Cosmo Jarvis.

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Graham Coxon, Paloma Faith and Bill Ryder-Jones – DESIRE

Graham Coxon, Paloma Faith and Bill Ryder-Jones - DESIRE  - FREE DOWNLOAD.
‘Desire‘ By Graham Coxon, Paloma Faith and Bill Ryder-Jones.

Put Paloma Faith, Graham Coxon and Bill Ryder-Jones together in a studio and what do you get? Desire. This track was created  for one of a number of exclusive music collaborations for Converse and it rocks .
Download it for free  HERE.


Record Store Day 2011.

Probe Records Liverpool

As it’s Record Store Day I thought I’d get all whimsical and recall the olden days spent at my favourite Indie Record Store !

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If you’re of a certain vintage you’ll doubtless recall those halcyon days when supermarkets sold food, Burtons supplied gentleman’s clothing and the best music was discovered via your local independent record stores.  As it should be.  These Record Stores were not the neutral homogeneous metrosexual Megastores we now have in our midst today. They were not owned by ‘big music’ their window displays did not promote the latest big label karaoke monstrosity, nor did their sound systems blast out the ear cancer that is N-Dubz.. These stores had soul, they were individual, edgy, dimly lit Aladdin’s Caves, rammed with all manner of weird and wonderful vinyl treasures. A place where the record enthusiast could lose track of time searching for obscure musical gems they’d doubtless heard on John Peels hugely influential radio show the previous evening.  The people who ran these stores where generally curmudgeonly individuals, a couple of olives short of a pizza, whose idea of customer service was to mock your musical taste (after of course pocketing your money). In actual fact they were also huge music fans, which meant they were not always necessarily the most astute of business men. A fact I’m sure, Geoff Davies the owner of my home town record shop would readily admit. Geoff  started Probe Records in Liverpool in the 70’s after becoming frustrated with regard to the lack of decent musical outlets in the area and in doing so created something far more  important than just a mere record shop. Probe Records became synonymous with the underground scene in Liverpool, drawing musicians, artists, poets, fans and lunatics into it’s hallowed walls.

By the time I’d discovered ‘proper’ music Probe was based in Button Street at the bottom of Matthew Street, way before the boom in Beatles Tourism infested the area like a mop topped plague. It was at the very heartbeat of Liverpool’s vibrant alternative culture.  You’d more than likely bump into folk like Pete Wylie, Ian McCulloch Julian Cope or Jayne Casey if you hung around Probe or the nearby Armadillo Tea Rooms long enough, as I often did. Admittedly Probe initially terrified me, it seemed to be populated and staffed by alien invaders from Planet Weird. But it had items of such beauty within, obscure imports, coloured vinyl, picture discs, badges, fanzines and T-shirts that resistance was futile, Christ even the shopping bags they popped your purchases in were works of art.  It genuinely did contain a veritable cornucopia of everything the alternative music fan could wish for, a secret world away from the mainstream and a home for the distressed, depressed and the fantastically dressed.

 On one occasion my dear old mum took me into Liverpool City Centre in order to buy my birthday present, and although being spotted shopping with your Mother wasn’t generally considered cool, the promise of a new piece of vinyl was too much to resist.  WH Smiths, my mum’s first point of call had refused to stock the album upon which I’d set my heart on. It was not a new album by any means and I knew the only place in town that would stock it would be Probe Records. To my horror my mother steadfastly refused to furnish me with my birthday money and to wait, as I had hoped, in nearby cafe, instead she insisted on marching straight into Probe to ‘see the funny haircuts’   Thankfully the shop was almost deserted inhabited only by the most gorgeous gothy girl I’d ever seen and an inebriated punk with a rather splendid Mohican.  I loitered by the door, distancing myself from my mother ( hey I was an anarchist right?) but from my vantage point could maintain a cool aloofness whilst still being able to keep a watchful eye on the old dear as she hailed a member of staff  by rapping her brolly on the counter.

‘Young Lady, young lady, excuse me miss, do you have ‘The Bullocks’ please’, she shouted shrilly across the counter to the assistant who immediately span round (right round, somewhat like a record). The ‘young lady’ in question was none other than Mr. Pete Burns, glammed up to the nines replete with scary contact lenses.

‘Hello love,’ he replied ‘did you just ask- do I have bollocks?’

Yes it’s a gift  for my son, he says he’s a  Punk New Wafer these days, daft if you ask me-There he is  over there- Andrew, Andrew come here lad ‘… and yes I prayed the floor would swallow me up as my mother jabbered on ’What’s it called son ? ‘Minding Those Bullocks’ By Six Pistols?  

I regularly visited Probe and Pete would often ask how my mum was before he went about berating customers musical choices-‘No idea why you’d wanna buy that shite mate’- ‘Oh My God now that is a total waste of  four pounds’etc, etc  –You see back in those days as Pete was well aware,  shit music wasn’t ironic or knowing (now marketed as ‘guilty pleasure pop’)– it was what it was- shit fucking music!  You just don’t get that sort of entertainment with I Tunes do you?  I loved Probe for many reasons, the social aspect, and the fact that their record label Probe Plus released my old mate  Nigel’s first album and has continued to support his music to this day.   It wasn’t just a record shop it was a place that fuelled my passion for music, it was outer space, and it was a place where I met some wonderfully weird and creative characters.

I do feel a twinge of regret that the local record store isn’t quite the focal point for youth culture it used to be and that some people appear to spend so much time amassing music via the Internet that one wonders if they have time to actually listen to it. Of course  the advantages the net brings far outweigh  any whimsical misty eyed nostalgic reverie about days gone by, but they were genuinely exciting times growing up, feeling part of a subculture that your parents, your boss and even some of your friends didn’t really understand.  It bonded you to the people and tied time and place to the music, you were part of the tribe and felt a sense of belonging, which, after all is something we are all looking for. It would be a fitting way to end this recollection by describing how I married the gorgeous gothy girl mentioned earlier. But I didn’t. However I did ask her out, her reply was so profound, so eloquent, that even today it moves me…’Fuck off you fucking big nob ‘ead’


Happily Probe Records is still going today having recently moved (again) to new premises at The Bluecoat on School Lane in Liverpool and any self respecting music fan who visits this fair city should call in,  after all you never know who might serve you!




Songs To Learn And Sing – The Jezabels, Islington Boys Club And Freezepop.

The Jezabels - UK Debut Single Hurt Me ‘Hurt Me’ By The Jezabels.

Wow, I mean like WOW!! As soon as I heard  Hurt Me the debut UK single by Sydney based quartet The Jezabels, I knew I’d listened to something very special indeed.  Lead singer Hayley Mary has  the most incredible voice which totally blows you away. Elizabeth Fraser, Juanita from Howling Bells first sprang to mind but there’s a  bluesy, soulful undertone which imbues it with a  genre traversing, timeless quality –  I mean seriously what a voice!!!  If this lot don’t make it big I’ll eat my own feet.  And they are coming to England in May ( Including Sound City, Liverpool -Huzzah!)

Check out another track here

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Islington Boys Club Misfit Sugar Free Download.

‘Misfit Sugar’ By Islington Boys Club. (Free download.)

(  For the technologically challenged just click that little arrow pointing down 😉  )

‘Misfit Sugar’  is another offering of glammed up  goth pop from Islington Boys Club and  once again demonstrates their huge potential. Watch out for an Ep in the summer from the band.

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Freezepop -Doppleganger Free download‘Doppleganger’ By Freezepop. (Free download)

Boston Electro popsters Freezepop has always been something of an oxymoron: embraced by both hipsters and nerds; serious about irony; and retro-futuristic. A synth band in a guitar videogame, singing pop songs about rock. And it all somehow makes sense when you listen to the music. They are giving away a free download of  ‘Doppleganger’ to get your feet tapping and your heart skipping.

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