A bit of a break ….

Dr Brian Cox

"Massive, vast bollocks " Yes it's Dr Brian Cox

Due to personal circumstances there will be a brief  interlude in blogging here at the VPME. Hopefully normal service will be resumed ASAP.

Until then we leave you with a Glastonbury review

“Muddy”

Here are some of our troops highlights ….

Emmy The Great

Sparrow

The Good Natured

Morrissey

The Good Natured - BBC Introducing Stage

Glasto Lasses At Primal Scream

Glasto Lasses At Primal Scream

Morrissey Spotted At Primal Scream

Sand Baby

Sand Baby

Stinking Fetid Nasty Mud

Stinking Fetid Nasty Mud

Metronomy Fans go WILD !

Chillin' @ The Park Stage

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The VPME Podcast Episode 3 June 2011

The VPME Podcast Episode 3- June 2011

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Yes, it’s back !  June’s VPME  podcast features classic tracks nestling coquettishly next to new and upcoming artists. Hosted by Ringo Von Pip there’s surely something here for everyone, oh and keep an ear out for some special guests too. Listen below

Vodpod videos no longer available.

or go straight to mixcloud


Songs To Learn and Sing – VVolves, Lucy Rose and Jonny Cola.

VVOLVES, LUCY ROSE AND JONNY COLA.

vvolves Free downloads

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Following on from their debut EP release back in February, VVOLVES,   have released two new singles as free downloads –  ‘People’ and ‘Strange Blood’ which highlight the two sides of the VVolves coin …..

“People” By Vvolves

“Strange Blood” By Vvolves.

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LUCY ROSE.

Lucy Rose

We think Lucy Rose may well be the name on everyone’s lips this time next yea. She’s young beautiful and talented, everything we are not, but are we jealous ?  Well actually, yes!  And oh what a voice,  one that  needs to be risk assesed as it could quite literally  stop traffic, Lucy manages to sound world weary and yet refreshingly new. Which of course makes no sense but luckily her music does.

Middle Of The BedLucy Rose

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Jonny Cola & The A Grades.

The angular Mr Cola and his A-Grades return with new EP which showcases their refreshing  mix of  “Oxfam glam” (New genre alert  © -Von Pip ) and astute social commentary , imagine if Suede had read Marx ( Groucho and Karl 😉 )

The Ep features …

“Postcode Wars” By Jonny Cola And The A Grades.

And


Bleech For The Sky – Bleech Interview.

Bleech Interview 2011 - The Von Pip Musical Express
“I Wanna Be Me” 
By Bleech.

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We’ve been fans of  Bleech for quite a while now. Tracks like ‘Are You Listening?’ Is It True That Boys Don’t Cry?’ and ‘Taking Over’ soon had our  musical radar beeping with unfettered joy. It therefore remains one of life’s great mysteries why we haven’t interviewed them before now. There’s no valid reason for such impropriety on our part, despite trying to adopt the maxim “don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count” some things occasionally slip through our big fat sausage fingers. The band are currently readying their debut album ‘Nude’ for release whilst preparing for a tour and their first jaunt to America, so we decided there was no better time than the present to feature them, before their ascendant star climbs way beyond the reach of the ‘humble bloggers’ orbit. 😉

Bleech’s music is loud, passionate and powerful, they’ve often been compared to grunge bands with a Britpop twist,’ the former makes some sense, the latter less so. Comprised of  sisters Jennifer (Vocals , Guitar) and Katherine O’Neill (Bass, vocals) with their old school friend Mat Bick on drums Bleech are certainly not jejune revivalists feasting on the fetid carrion of a long dead scene whilst drinking from the stagnant well of nostalgia. Yes of course they have their influences but they utilise them to create their own sound.  What they do have are epic visceral guitars, pounding bass lines and thunderous drumming allied to fantastic melodies more reminiscent of  The BreedersThe Joy Formidable and Blood Red Shoes than the brit-pop of say  Elastica or Sleeper. In essence Bleech play hook laden, loud, frenetic, rhapsodic rock with an intensity, passion and swagger that is difficult to resist. Their debut album should see them take their sound to a whole new level and hopefully ensure their fan base expands at the same rate as Dawn French’s waistline following a sale at the local cake shop. We had a chat with the trio about their background, their influences and their weirdest experiences to date!  – Thankfully this interview wasn’t one of them!

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VP:   Obviously with two thirds of Bleech being sisters would it be safe to assume the two of  you grew up in a very musical household. To what degree did your family’s musical taste influence you and are your folks very supportive of Bleech ?

Katherine: You are completely accurate! Our dad is a musician, in an old R&B band so we’ve grown up in a house always full of great music. Our mum is a Stones fan and Dad is Beatles so we’ve probably been more influenced by dads taste in music! They are both so supportive of the band…we wouldn’t of got this far without their help.

VP:   You’ve been together a couple of years now and have gained high profile supporters such as Andy Ross (Food Records,)  Lamacq, Laverne, the NME et all  and you’ve just recorded your debut album ‘Nude’ which I’m really looking forward to. Do you have a release date and did you enjoy recording the album? As a relatively young band did you feel you learnt a lot from the process?

Mat: At the time it was overwhelming the amount of support we had gained in such little time. Over the last few years we have learnt to take everything as it comes and try to use it to your advantage but the record should now speak for itself. In terms of release for us there is no rush to put out the album in its entirety, but there will some form of release soon.

VP:   How does a band go about sorting out the running order of an album, do you all discuss it and work through ideas  or does the producer say ..’This would work best’..

Jen: Trying to get to the finalised running order was absolute agony! There’s no structure to it, just who has the loudest voice! In the end we were all so sick of listening to the album back to back but finally got something we all agreed on.

VP:  So how did the man credited for discovering Blur, Andy Ross get to hear about you ?

Katherine: It was kind of through the grapevine. A radio plugger we were working with at the time mentioned us to Andy. Andy then got in contact with our lawyer and eventually met us. We worked with Andy for almost 2 years and played over 100 gigs in the first year with him! This helped us gain the stagecraft and experience to move forward. 

VP:   Journalists and bloggers and fans  always look for points of reference to describe a new bands sound, I’ve heard Bleech called  grunge with a Brit – pop sensibility, would you say that’s a fair summation or do you find comparisons and pigeon holing a bit irritating ? Have you read a comparison and thought ‘I have no idea where that came from?’

Mat: I understand where people are coming from when describing bands because they haven’t heard them before, but yes we do find pigeonholing very irritating just as regurgitating old scenes of music and pretending to be like your contemporaries is equally annoying. I don’t think we are really part of any scene really we just write loud rock songs and play them like it’s our last every time…so simple, no bullshit. But aside, we are massive fans of grunge and Britpop so enough bitching!

VP:  I’ve sadly not caught you live yet as I live in the frozen north , but my friends down south tell me you put on a fantastic show   what have been your favourite gigs so far and what’s been your weirdest gig ?

Jen: One of our best gigs was supporting Wolfmother in Berlin at Columbiahalle. We almost didn’t make the gig as we were travelling from Hamburg to Berlin that morning but the only road that takes you there was closed! 7 hours later we made it to Berlin and then got stuck in traffic for 1 hour when we were 10 minuted from the venue!! But played an amazing gig!

Katherine: The weirdest gig we played was in a wine bar/ salsa restaurant… we didn’t realise this until we turned up with huge amps, full drum kit etc….we literally played in front of people eating their dinner….don’t know who it was worse for.. us playing or the people trying to enjoy their meals!!

VP:    What’s the plan for the rest of the year, album release and lots of promo ? Touring? Festivals, America in your sights?

Matt: Lot’s and lot’s going on this summer! We have a few festivals over the summer, including The Reeperbahn, in Germany, First Day’s of Freedom in Maidenhead and Lollipalu in Scotland. We then have a tour of the UK in September/October in preparation for our debut appearance in NY!!

 

VP:   I hear Matt is a big Beach Boys fan and you are all pretty much agreed on the Queens Of The Stone Age but what other bands are you fans of, do you have any disagreements on the merits of certain musicians or musical genres?

Katherine: haha yep Mat is a huuuuuge Beachboys fan, he can even reach all the high harmonies, pretty impressive. He likes anything from Mastodon to Daphne and Celeste. I love a bit of Reggae and Jen is really into Joni Mitchell and PJ Harvey. But the one thing that never gets flicked on the i-pod in the van is QOTSA…its more than you lifes worth if you did.

VP:  What inspires your songs , personal experience, film, novels?  Do you all write the lyrics and then jam on the music, what’s the process?

Jen: Well I write all the lyrics and sometimes come to the table with a song and we jam through a basic idea and develop the arrangement as a band, but having said that “I Wanna Be Me” was completely improvised during a rehearsal as a result of complete frustration about everything at the time and it just came together, naturally….

VP:  If you where to sum up ‘Nude’ in five words what would they be ?

Mat: Raw

Katherine: Honest

Jen: Melodic

Mat: Big

Katherine: Songs

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‘Back to Basics’ – Love Inks Interview

Love Inks - Interview The Von Pip Musical Express

“Black Eye”  By Love Inks.

In many ways Texan trio Love Inks’ debut album ‘ESP’ is the complete antithesis of much of  today’s fast food, battery farmed pop. Unlike those hyperactive, homogeneous big label ‘stars’ who rely on heavy handed  high tech production trickery to obfuscate their glaringly obvious lack of talent,  Love Inks have no truck with such deceit. They have stripped down their music to its most elemental, thereby ensuring the emotional purity of their work  is preserved and  not lost in a hellish vortex of honking horns, synth strings and robotic auto-tuning.  Love Inks have adhered to the old maxim that ‘less is more’ and ‘ESP’ is an example of minimalist, D.I.Y. music at its finest with the whole project being self-recorded in their own homes and then mixed by a friend;  It’s a  debut rich in promise and shows that if you have the talent and the belief you don’t need a huge budget or ‘big name’ producers whose egos often far outweigh their talent.

The minimalist production affords tracks like ‘Black Eye’Leather Glove’Can’t Be Wrong’ and ‘Skeleton Key’  the space to breath and resonate with shimmering beauty whilst showcasing Sherry LeBlanc’s  warm, beguiling vocals. The listener may be drawn to  Mazzy Star, The Sundays and even the XX  in terms of  musical reference points, but Love Inks are very much their own band who knew exactly how they wanted this album to sound, as Sherry explains ‘The album reflects a time and place for everyone in the band. A time to pare down to what is necessary, essential. Cut out complexity, and you’ll find a deeper layer that is thicker and stronger. Like the human body, you’ll eventually end up at a nerve; once it’s hit, that’s when we know we’re there, and that’s when we press the record button.” .

It’s an album that effortlessly manages to weave its magic upon the listener  and has a poignancy and an almost timeless quality that is an increasing rarity in today’s musical landscape where the  ‘let’s cram EVERYTHING into one song” style of pop production is de rigueur.
Just because you have the technology and the budget doesn’t mean you have to use it all at once, indeed Love Inks prove you don’t need to throw everything plus the kitchen sink into the mix and that restraint and  subtlety are often  far more rewarding qualities than brashness and gimmickery.

We chatted to Sherry about, amongst other things, their ethos with regard to making “ESP.”

Album rating 8/10.

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VP: Hello Sherry congratulations on your marvellous album E.S.P. , it’s been described as stripped back and minimal, what was the ethos behind recording it?  Was it very important that there was room to breathe in a musical sense, that subtlety and nuance wasn’t lost under invasive and heavy handed production?

SHERRY: Thanks for the kind words – you’ve really hit the nail on the head. When Adam, Kevin and I set out to make music together, we started with long debates over what exactly we wanted to do. Before we had our first ‘practice’ we had determined that we wanted to make music that was simple, clean and emotive. We realized that silence in a song can be equally powerful to the music itself. That’s also why we insisted on recording it on our own, at our home on our reel to reel and trying to use as little reverb as possible. It’s hard though, because reverb is like butter, you don’t want to overuse it, but it just makes everything so much better! 


VP: You’re a trio, there’s a husband and wife team in there too, you’ve played in other bands before ?  but how did Love Inks take shape, what was your overall vision for the band and do you ever sacrifice domestic bliss for artistic vision.

SHERRY: The timing on this question is perfect, as I’m writing to you from the back of a van on a California highway, surrounded by piles of merch, sleeping bags, and clothes. Domestic bliss has been traded in for rustic, band living. On the other hand, we’re creating a new sort of domestic bliss with the band as a family. We all take care of each other in different ways. Adam, the guitarist, is our closest friend and was the best man at our wedding. We’ve just added a live drummer as well, who was one of our bridesmaids. It’s probably the closest knit friends you could have in a band.

To answer the other part of the question, we’ve all played in different bands before. Adam and Kevin have played together since they were teenagers. Forming the band seemed to be common sense with the amount we were all hanging around together and talking about music. 


VP: It’s been documented that “Love Inks” isn’t actually a rude name and has a rather more romantic origin, but “E.S.P.”  as an album title ? Is there a special meaning behind that?

SHERRY: E.S.P. was Adam’s idea and came to him in sort of a Gary Busey moment as an acronym for our music. Emotive, simple, pop. I’m sure part of the influence came from the fact that we’re all a bit intrigued by fringe sciences. 

VP : Do you all share the same musical influences?  Is there any music any you like that as a band you find particularly divisive? Heated discussions in tour vans etc ? 😉

SHERRY: Oh no! We have very different tastes and backgrounds. If you were to individually ask us our influences, you would such different answers; it would seem that we were in different bands. The only argument we’ve had in the tour van so far over music is about Jonathan Richman. He’s one of my very favourite musicians and on the first rotation of a Modern Lovers’ album I think Adam almost tore his own eyes out. However, we all agree on the classics – Dylan, the Beatles, etc. We also can all love the Strokes and Radiohead. I guess those all go without saying. Pick our brains sometime and we’ll most likely make you a mix tape. 

 VP: Would you say there was a defining moment in your lives that made you think …(maybe upon hearing a record or seeing an artist) you thought ‘YES, this is what I want to do?’


SHERRY:  I can’t speak for the guys, but I’ve always wanted to be a singer. I know we all have wanted to play music for most of our lives. I used to sit in my room for hours with my Little Tyke tape recorder writing & singing songs about Alf, flowers, taking baths – all the important kid stuff. My parents gave me a Monkees record and I’m sure I played the grooves right off that thing by the time I was five.

VP : On to song writing –  how do you go about it ? Do you pick up ideas as you go along or do you tak time out and say ‘Ok lets write some songs’. 

SHERRY: It’s more of a personal process with us than a group songwriting process. Kevin stays up until the wee hours of the morning, composing on his synthesizer. He’ll have tapes of twenty to thirty song ideas that might be from one night of writing and we pare them down from there. Sometimes he writes the melodies and lyrics & sometimes he just hands me a tape with chords recorded on it. Same with Adam, he comes with tapes full of songs and we each add our individual touch. 

VP:  Have you been to England yet?  The weathers an acquired taste and I’m sure you’ll love the unremitting grey skies that pass for summer….

SHERRY:  Oh man! Unfortunately our trip to England was postponed so we haven’t made it there yet! I’m sure we’ll love the change in climate and atmosphere. We’ve really enjoyed just the little differences playing the various cities in North America. We’ll be in the UK in September and we can’t wait to play there.

VP: Is there one song on the album which is one you sense is a fan favourite. For example I don’t think there’s a bad track on ESP, but ‘Skeleton Key’ is the song that really drew me toward your work..

SHERRY: Skeleton Key and Blackeye have gotten the best reception overall, but I’d say when we play live, people have really been into Can’t Be Wrong and Too Late. It’s a mixed bag, ya know? We played last night in a bar in San Diego, California and after we played Blackeye, this Rastafarian in the crowd kept yelling, “‘MORE PARTY MUSIC, MAN!” during each of the slower ballads. Really harshing the mellow vibe… ha ha. 

VP: What’s the one song you’d all like to cover giving it the Love Inks treatment, and why ?

SHERRY: This is hilarious. Since we’ve been on the road for weeks, there’s at least one song a day where one of us says, “We have GOT to cover this song!” It’s varied from George Michael’s ‘Freedom’ to Miley Cyrus’ ‘Party in the USA’. Kevin and I stayed in a hotel room the other night that had an upright piano. We were up until 5am hammering out Daniel Johnston’s ‘Why, Without You’. That song is mind blowing, so maybe that’s the next one… 

VP: Five words to sum up ‘ESP’

SHERRY: Hmmm… it’s extra hard answering this, especially since I told you E.S.P. stands for emotive, simple, pop. How about “astral, malachite, dusty, dreamy, love.” First five words that came to my mind… xo. 

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www.loveinks.com

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Songs To Learn And Sing – Milk Maid, Kyla La Grange, War Of The Wangs, The Good Natured remix, The Horrors and more.. Pris Video..

Songs To Learn And Sing – Milk Maid,  New Pris video- War Of The Wangs, Kyla La Grange, The Good Natured remix,   Paintings Of Ships,  The Dead Fronts and a new Mixcloud app!

Milkmaid New Single

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Milk Maid’s  single ‘Not Me’  sounds rather like one of those wonderful early Creation Record releases, there’s a hint of the chiming guitars of  The House Of Love combined the shambling laconic cool of  a lo fi Mary Chain . It’s surf punk for people who really couldn’t be arsed surfing and as such is ten shades of wonderful.

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 Pris – The Better You Look The More You See- Video!

We like Pris so much we gave them some our old vinyl. . . . and here’s the result!

We were also involved in a Twitter rumble, christened  #Warofthewangs or #Wanggate.  The always excellent  Breaking More Waves blog  gave an amusing and well balanced account of how events unfolded,  have a read HERE.  The over-sensitive may be offended and also have to google what a “wang” actually is before deciding to become outraged.  And of course we marked ‘War Of the Wangs”  with a slap-up meal, as you do !

Von Pip - Huge Wang

War Of the Wangs

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 Kyla La Grange‘Been Better’

Kyla La Grange, Photo credit to Debbie ScanlanPhoto © Debbie Scanlan


Kyla la Grange was one of our tips for big things over the next year or two and her latest offering  has confirmed we were quite right, it’s Marianne Faithful meets Stevie Nicks in a smoky, gin soaked bar  and it’s also available as free download. Which makes it a double whammy of goodness.

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 The Good Natured Remix !

The Good Natured Skeleton Remix

As regular readers will know, we love  The Good Natured and will shout it from the rooftops, because……, well,. . . that’s what blogs do!  And maybe that’s the  big difference between blogs  and at least someof the  bandwagon jumping hipsters who reside within the confines of the more  traditional music press ? These scamps are paid to be hip and wear twatty Camden hats whilst snorting Sadie Frost’s toe nail clippings and as such it could be argued that some of their number have no real emotional investment in their tips, it’s purely about the ‘being seen to be hip’ – one up-manship and a step ladder towards the nirvana that is writing for lads mags and Tog Gear monthly. Bloggers generally tend to  promote artists we love because we believe in them, sometimes naively, sometimes unconditionally but always genuinely, there are no agendas and  I think that matters …..in a small way. But I digress, the Good Natured have  just released a new re-mix from their forthcoming ‘Skeleton’ EP – Check it out below.

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The HorrorsStill Life.

Well, well, well , never in my wildest dreams (usually the one involving  Charlize  Theron and a deserted library..ahem.. ) did I expect to be blogging positively about the Horrors! As a bit of an old school punky/goth, I found their early work a trifle banal. You see I didn’t feel they were using their influences to produce anything remotely interesting …merely aping them… badly.   I didn’t soil my pants with unbridled glee at Primary Colours’  and although I felt it had a couple of interesting moments, I found the reverence  many bestowed upon it a trifle baffling. However I am nothing if not open minded and I must confess I love ‘Still Life’ . It’s moody,  majestic, joyous and magnificent, like being led from the darkness into the light!  Praise the lord I was blind, but now I see….Ok, Ok I’ll leave it at that.   Maybe The Horrors will finally win me over when their latest album ‘Skying’ is released? I really do hope so, I genuinely don’t listen to new music with the intention of being seriously underwhelmed.  And so for now I can forget the hair, the hype and the rather dubious name checking of some of my favourite bands if they continue to prouduce songs as enjoyable as ‘Still Life’.

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Paintings Of Ships – ‘Love Will Always Follow You’

Paintings Of Ships

Heavily influenced by guitar music of the 90s from Sonic Youth to Blur, Paintings Of Ships  is made up by Londoner Daniel Clancy on guitar/vocals, Middlesbrough lass Catherine Wilson on bass/vocals and drummer Matt Hill – the only thing to come out of Asby-de-la-Zouch apart from the  Young Knives and Cat from Pris.

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The Dead Fronts.

The will be releasing their first single ‘You And Me’ as a free download via their bandcamp page on 27th June , but you can preview it here.

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Mix Cloud Release I-Phone App

And finally,  there’s a new mixcloud app available for I phones/I-Touchs HERE,  enabling you to enjoy our podcasts where ever you are  (HERE). Imagine it ! A little scouse DJ in your pocket, like some sort of musical Jiminy Cricket !!! !!! What will they think of next !