“Surfin’ Bird” -Two Wounded Birds Interview.

Two Wounded Birds Interview 2011- The Von Pip Musical Express
“Together Forever” By Two Wounded Birds.


One of the great things about Margate’s Two Wounded Birds is that they don’t piss about; there are no epic ten minute guitar solos, no ostentatious drum centrepieces and absolutely no narcissistic slap bass funkathons. Instead Two Wounded Birds just get the fuck on with it!   Take their previous single ‘ All We Wanna Do’  which clocks in at just over 1 minute and 50 seconds yet  manages to produce more excitement, more joie de vivre than most ego-centric prog rockers produce over an entire career. They also have an educated ear for the perfect  pop melody, if you don’t believe us then ask  master  architect of harmonic pop, Beach Boys legend   Brian Wilson, or maybe  Seymour Stein who declared Two Wounded Birds  the ‘best band since The Ramones.’   Whatever the truth and we would caution against hyperbole (see, the Vaccines and Lana Del Ray who seem to have suffered rather nasty on line backlashes before even getting started) Two Wounded Birds play adrenaline fuelled, sonorous surf rock whilst throwing in some pretty darn clever lyrics too.

They are about as likely to record forty minute mini rock operas based on the lay lines surrounding Stone Henge  as we are to vote Tory or as Kaiser Chief butter ball Ricky Wilson is to say “Hmm, y’know what ? I think I’ll skip desert tonight” instead they concentrate on the elements that made rock n roll so visceral and exciting in the first place. The bands deep and entirely genuine love for the music they are influenced by shines through and they certainly can’t be accused of hitching a ride aboard any particular band wagons, they play from the heart and to coin a phrase – they ‘mean it, man!’

Their latest single ‘Together Forever’ is another fast paced example of what the band do best and had us  leaping around the kitchen like a salmon out of water fused with Ian Curtis. We therefore resolved to have a chat with the band, and grabbed TWB’s front man and songwriter Johnny Danger for a quick chat-which went something like this ….

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VP :    Hello, there’s no denying your sound has been influenced by the heady  days of rock n roll combined with a head down and get on with it attitude of the Ramones.  When did you love of rock n roll begin?

JOHNNY: When I was very young I’d hear Beatles and Beach Boys records on round the house all the time, and you know what it’s like with those songs, they are so good and they just get stuck in your head. As soon as I got my first guitar, I was 9; I knew that all I wanted to do was make music. Everyone in the band has been exposed to music from an early age, which has been good for all of us.

VP: As a band do you all share the same influences or does someone nurse a secret love of “Euro Trance”

JOHNNY :We all like different things but it’s nothing to the extreme as to where one of us would be alienated by someone else’s taste.

VP: Your new single “ Together Forever” is another example of how to produce a great hook laden pop song with the minimum of fuss, I read that the way a song is recorded is as important to you as the  actual song ?

JOHNNY : Oh yeah its hugely important. Whats the point in writing a great song if you can’t record it properly? The sound of everything really important. Production is this whole other thing that needs a lot of focus. Like in Together Forever, the snare sound is quite deep; you know like a ‘boom, boom ‘ and that really aids the flow of the song.

VP: And is it true that Brian Wilson, of the Beach Boys, called up Johnny to complement him on his ‘great sense of melody? ’ That must have been a massive thrill?

JOHNNY: Yeah that was great. Brian’s the one person that I am in total awe of because of his genius, and for him to compliment the band is amazing. We were invited to his Royal Festival Hall shows recently, where he did the Gershwin album and then a load of Beach Boys songs.

VP: Given this seal of approval from Brian Wilson and  your no nonsense attitude to making music, what do you think makes for the perfect pop song, and which songs would you hold up as definite  examples of this.

JOHNNY :I think a good melody is the most important thing to me. If you haven’t got a tune you haven’t got anything. Examples? I’d say “All Summer Long” is one of Brian’s best songs. “Light My Fire” by The Doors is also amazing too, i love all those sections, i don’t think there is one definitive formula I just think when it’s right its right. I like those songs also when the first line or first words are the most memorable. Roy Orbison was great at that, “Love Hurts” and “Pretty Woman,” as soon as you hear those first words, it’s perfect.

VP: You’ve released a couple of EP’s singles, played the festival circuit , when can we expect an album ? Do you have an idea of which songs will be going on?

JOHNNY: We have been together since early 2010, and we want the album to come out about February I think. It’s done and it sounds great. Maybe one or two of the older songs will go on there but there is a lot of material people haven’t heard. There are certain songs we really like playing live, like “Night Patrol.” We have quite a lot of songs so when we play live there will be stuff from the album, singles and EP. A good selection.

VP: What’s Margate like for a young band? Is there much of a scene there?

JOHNNY :Its great for us. It’s nice having a beach on your doorstep. It’s a good place for writing- its home, comfortable. There are some bands around, but there are more metal bands round here, sadly. I find Margate inspiring.

VP: There’s been yet another band reunion in the last few weeks, what do you make of it all? Is it a great chance to see a band for those who weren’t there the first time, cynical money making exercise or something else again?

JOHNNY: They didn’t get their moment the first time round did they? I think it’s great. I would love to hear those songs, obviously it’s not the same as it was the first time around but only a fool would be nonchalant about it. If it gives people a chance to hear great songs then it’s great.

VP: This time next year what would you like to have of achieved?

JOHNNY: A great debut, some good shows, and by this time next year be working on the second record.

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Together Forever, the new single from Two Wounded Bird is out October 31st.

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“All We Wanna Do” By Two Wounded Birds.

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The VPME Podcast Episode 6 – October 2011

The VPME Podcast - October 2011 Episode 6

The VPME Podcast, featuring the best music from the past present and future! Curated by Andy Von Pip whose unique upbeat, effervescent presenting style has been compared to Eeyore the donkey in a coma on a wet Tuesday in Hartlepool

…. With special guest appearances from Dum Dum Girls, Sarah Nixey, Howling Bells, Kyla La Grange, Lush and loads more.

Listen below or on Mixcloud here

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Songs To Learn And Sing – The Bookhouse Boys, Convaire, This Frontier Needs Heroes, Bjork, Friends ,The Inevitable Pin Hole Burns,

This Week The Bookhouse Boys, Convaire, This Frontier Needs Heroes, Bjork,  Friends ,The Inevitable Pin Hole Burns.

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The Bookhouse Boys.

The Bookhouse Boys - The Von Pip Musical Express

The Bookhouse Boys return with a sultry new single from their recent album “Tales To be Told.”  “Fever Lullaby” see’s the rather beautiful Catherine Turner take over full vocal duties in typically femme fatale fashion and proves you don’t have to be an OTT booty shaker to provide oodles of sex appeal. To be quite honest she makes Rhianna look like Peggy Mount. Great song from a great band.

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Convaire.

How our heart sinks when people say “if you love [insert band name here] then you’ll so love etc, etc.’  Not unlike “Ping” or “Last FM” generating a play list based on your musical preferences they are usually woefully wide of the mark by the proverbial country mile-  [If you love the Jesus and Mary Chain then you’ll surely LOVE Queen tribute band ‘Vest n’ Tache’- erm actually no, no we fucking won’t !  ]

And so when Aussie electro poppers Convaire were described as the antipodeans answer to Friendly Fires we did wonder if that was a question that really needed asking y’know ?  We are no fans of the  incongruous, jerky pelvic thrusting pissed uncle at a wedding white boy electro funk shtick I’m afraid.  Thankfully the comparison didn’t bear fruit and their latest song the yearing“The New You” put us in mind of a less hysterical Robert Smith on happy pills, which for us at least is a jolly good thing.

The New You” By Convaire.

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This Frontier Needs Heroes.

This Frontier Needs Heroes

Given the admirable ‘Occupy’ movements that are growing a pace around the world, alt folk duo This Frontier Needs Heroes  have a collective name that seems very much to capture the zeitgeist. As you might expect their songs relate tales of love, loss and hope for a better, more equal world and provide a musical wormhole between Woody Guthrie and Jack White. And it’s all rather lovely.

” Cat Fish And Cornbread” By This Frontier Needs Heroes.

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Bjork.

And in another first for The VPME we give you the world’s first visual interpretation of what Bork’s new album actually sounds like.

Bjork Nails Down A Blackboard

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Friends.

Friends - the Von Pip Musical Express

Friends new single “I’m His Girl”  is out on 31st October and you may feel  as well acquainted with it as Ricky Wilson is with his local pie shop such is the airplay the song is getting. Alongside Metronomy and the ubiquitous Lana Del Ray , ‘I’m his Girl’ is difficult to escape, mind you we have no wish to , as it’s a bloody great pop song.

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The Inevitable Pin Hole Burns .

The musical comparison is an oft over used tool by bloggers and journos , but hey they are also a heck of a  lot of fun  and much  less irritating then the use of the word “sophomore.” So when we say The Inevitable Pin Hole Burns sound a little like Art Brut meets Dinosaur Jr we mean it very much as a positive point of musical reference.


“Finite Amount Of Lunatics” By The Inevitable Pin Hole Burns .

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In other news we have busy been Von Pip’s, popping up  on Liz Kershaw’s Saturday show [ at around 1:39:27 on the I-player. Here = http://tinyurl.com/68rrfhj ]

talking about our fave album …here’s a rather large clue….

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We were also interviewed, as part of  The Recommenders  excellent“ Behind The Blog” Series and we bare our very souls, well maybe not quite  http://tinyurl.com/3dkpfgr

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GUESS THE SONG COMPETITION.

Name That Song ?

Name that song from the visual clue to win a VPME mask.

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JUST IN –  REUNION NEWS  Despite having no plans to split Mumford and Sons plan to reform in 2022 with headline show at The Pig And Whistle. In case you’re wondering….


Oh yeah and some one album wonder band from Manchester have reformed The Stone Carpets  or The Inspiral Mondays or something, the bookies have already started accepting bets on how long it will take John Squire to twat Ian Brown and walk out.  6 Months ?  But seriously all this  Stone Roses fever is a bit like “Ramones T -Shirt as fashion statement syndrome” .. Remember Actor  Martin Freeman’s superbly withering dismissal of this phenomenon ? Pure class .

“Freeman was being interviewed on a British radio show when he noticed the host, Tim Lovejoy, wearing an oh-so-fashionable t-shirt.

Martin: “Is that a Ramones T-shirt Tim?”

Lovejoy: “Er, yes.”

Martin “Do you actually know any Ramones songs?”

Lovejoy: (silence)

Martin: “Can you name two albums?”

Lovejoy: “Er, no.”

Martin: “Thought not.”

Danza De La Muerte! – Veronica Falls Interview and Album Review.

Veronica Falls The Von Pip Musical Express Interview

“Come On Over” By Veronica Falls.

“Bad Feeling” By Veronica Falls.

Before interviewing a band it’s always best to do a little research. For example asking Morrissey if he’s tried the succulent  new “Mc Donald’s 1955 burger” or U2’s diminuitive Messiah, Bongo if he can perhaps recommend a decent firm of  Dutch accountants may be considered  something of a faux pas. Similarly whilst researching some background info on up and coming Indie Poppers Veronica Falls one thing stood out like the proverbial sore thumb,  don’t mention C86!   [I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it!]

So let’s get this one out-of-the-way, lest it becomes the lumbering musical elephant in the room, yes there is a certain smattering of C86 goodness imbued within Veronica Falls debut album, but I’d hardly say it defined their sound. There’s also a touch of shoegaze, a splash of scratchy punk guitars amongst  joyous melodies, spooky reverb and lyrics which at times make Edgar Allan Poe seem a bit, well, Enid Blyton perhaps? Imagine if Belle and Sebastian had been influenced by The Cramps or maybe Warpaint  had produced a concept album based on the works of M.R. James, these could provide some sort of reference for a new listener, but twee ? Nah, file that description away under ‘dickhead.’

Their eponymous debut album, called somewhat surprisingly, ‘Veronica Falls’ is  raw, edgy, melodious and mysterious. “Found Love In A Grave Yard” is, excuse the pun, a killer tune and has been rattling its ghostly chains about the internet for some time. It’s a perfect album opener, laying the ground work for some dark sparkling indie pop nuggets such as “Right Side Of My Brain”, “Misery” “Stephen” and “Come On Over” whilst “The Fountain” vocally conjures up  Lush’s Miki Berenyi [Hurrah!] Given some of  slightly macabre subject matter,  graveyards, loss,death and everybodys  favourite one way destination  “Beachy Head” you may think this could be an earnest, po-faced hipster ride through angst and existentialism. You would of course be very much mistaken. Veronica Falls’ sunny pop shimmer belies the dark lyrical thematics, which you sense are sung with a knowing wink and a sense of mischievous fun. It’s an album that certainly doffs it’s cap to a certain quintessentially British form of indie, giving it a timeless,  almost Peel Session type vibe but expertly demonstrates that misery hasn’t been this much fun since Kathy Bates hobbled James Caan with a massive fucking hammer!   A delightful melancholic indie gem.

8.5/10

And we spoke to Patrick from the band  whilst they were on tour in the U.S. ( no expense spared here at the VPME you see and wow what a flight!  😉 )

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VP:  Hello, congrats on your debut album, was it fun to record and when you heard it, played back for the first time and had the physical product in your hand  how did it feel ? 

 

PATRICK: When I first listened to the masters of the album I was really happy. It felt like we’d managed to successfully document the band up until this point, which I guess is exactly what an album is supposed to be.

VP: Beneath the seemingly upbeat melodies there’s a lot of darkness which verges on the macabre.  But dare I ask where do you get your ideas for the songs, are you dark troubled souls?

PATRICK: Roxanne writes the majority of the lyrics from the album, so you’d have to ask her really. But we’re not depressed or gloomy really – I think we just have a rather dark sense of humour. A lot of the lyrics are to be taken with a pinch of salt…

VP: Does it bother you that some critics keep bringing up the whole rose-tinted C86 thing when describing your music? I did get a slight hint of The Shop Assistants , but do you find comparisons can help people relate to your music, or do they became an irritant ?

PATRICK: Obviously people need to make comparisons as it’s an easy way for people to get an idea of what a band sounds like before they listen to the record, but I think the thing some people are missing is the fact that all those C86 bands were influenced by 60s girl groups and Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound productions. Which is probably an influence more closer to our hearts.

VP: You’re about to tour with Dum Dum Girls, which sounds like a match made in heaven, given your musical styles and influences. How does it work when bands tour together? Do they approach you; is it a management thing, what’s the score?

PATRICK: It differs, but we’ve played with Dum Dum Girls before and we get on well, so I guess when you’re going on tour with another band, it makes sense to go with a band that you already know you get on with. Those girls are really fun, I can’t wait to hang out.

VP: You’ve also toured with The Pastels, Teenage Fan Club and Belle and Sebastian, did touring with such well established bands give you any insights into how to things work or how to achieve longevity as a band ? 

PATRICK: It’s funny to see how bands function at that level. I can’t ever imagine having such as big a team as Belle and Sebastian have, but it’s nice that they have a real family feel about the people they work with. I think Teenage Fanclub have had the same tour manager for years and years, which is really cool.

VP: Is it true that you re-recorded the album in just a few days to get a rawer sound?  Was the first version not a true representation of the band’s sound? 

PATRICK: Yeah, the first version album didn’t really sit well with us. It was a way too clean and sterile sounding, which worked for a few of the songs – but the majority of the album we re-recorded again with all of us in one room for more of a garagey sound. I’m glad we recorded it again; we learned a lot about how best to record ourselves.

VP: What have been your best experiences as a band so far?

PATRICK: Travelling is the best. I hadn’t really travelled much, then this year I think I’ve been to more cities than I’ve been in my whole life. You also get to meet really amazing people along the way and feel welcome wherever you are in the world. I love it.

VP: If I came back in a years’ time and had a chat what do you think you would have liked to achieve?

PATRICK: Shoulder length hair and maybe a nice collection of cool stuff from around the world.

VP:  Imagine you were given a tour budget in which the only limit was your imagination , what would you add to the Veronica Falls live experience ?  Dancers? Flame throwers ? 🙂 

PATRICK: I’d like to do a show at each of the 7 wonders of the world. Is Mount Rushmore one of them? I’d definitely like to do a show there, anyway…

VP :Five words to sum up your debut album would be ……

PATRICK: Loud. Quiet. Catchy. Sometimes. Sad.

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Songs To Learn And Sing – Bird, The Bandana Splits, Dum Dum Girls, Two Wounded Birds,Emmy The Great, Kyla La Grange, Peter Murphy And Red Kite.

Phantoms Ep” By BIRD.

Bird - Phantoms Ep - 31/10/2011 - The Von Pip Musical Express

The “Phantoms ep” is released 31st October digitally from the highly promising Liverpool based , Bird. Fronted by 22 year old songstress Adele Emmas they are influenced by the likes of laughing Lenny Cohen, Kate Bush, The Cocteau Twins, PJ Harvey. The timing is of course no coincidence as Adele explains  “We knew we wanted to put Phantoms out as our first release from day one, it’s already become our signature track live. We decided when we first recorded it that the lyrics and mood of the track leant itself perfectly to a Halloween release.”


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THE BANDANA SPLITS

Bandana Splits - Ricky Dee - The Von Pip Musical Express

 “Ricky Dee” By The Bandana Splits.

Just the right side of cutesy, freshly minted Brooklyn doo-wop retro trio The Bandana Splits release a new single that’s possible more infectious than the laughter that greets David Cameron when feigning sincerity.  As huge fans of the girl group sound The VPME gives resounding thumbs up to this incredibly catchy ditty which is kinda like the Pipettes meet the Puppini Sisters on the set of West Side Story and therefore by definition, great fun.

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‘When The Tide Creeps‘ –ELLEN AND THE ESCAPADES.

Ellen and the Escapades release a  new single ‘When The Tide Creeps In’ on October 24th through their own label, Branch Out Records. The band first rose to prominence in 2010 when they won the Q Magazine / Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition and played the BBC Introducing stages at Leeds and Reading Festivals. Their debut EP followed later that year and saw them sell out headline shows across the UK.

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‘Bedroom Eyes’  By DUM DUM GIRLS.

Not much more we can say about Dum Dum Girls new album, we gave it a perfect ten and ‘Bedroom Eyes’ is quite frankly a wonderful  example of their all round awesomeness.

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“Together For Ever”TWO WOUNDED BIRDS.

Margate’s fave surf punk power pop quartet return with yet another rollicking, fast paced gem. Yeah, yeah I know, they do take inspiration from a certain band, but that is in no way a bad thing.  In fact US music legend  Seymour Stein went as far as  declaring them the ‘best band since The Ramones’

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 ‘Paper Forest’  by EMMY THE GREAT.

A great video and  possibly our fave song off Emmys album ‘Virtue’

She even interrupted Lammo on six music to say hello to us recently!

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“Heavy Stone”KYLA LA GRANGE.

Kyla will be popping up on our next podcast, in the meantime here’s the video for her new single.

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“See-SawSway ” By PETER MURPHY .

‘See Saw Sway’ is from ‘Ninth‘  the latest album from the godfather of goth Peter Murphy and his  first solo album since the successful Bauhaus reunion tour in 2005. His voice is still full of  brooding menace and he manages to retain his dignity even when wearing what appears to be  a tea cosy on his noggin in the video below!

 

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“Call Me An Animal” By I Am In Love.

We’ve blogged about  Iam In Love a few times now, and they are set to release a free EP in November which includes a VPME fave –“ Call Me An Animal”

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RED KITE.

Red Kite -  The Von Pip Musical Express‘Montreal’ By Red Kite.

 

Not much info with regard to Red Kite and the bands official bio is interesting to say the least but tells us bugger all about them. Still, enigmatic is good.    Bio- “Once so common that Shakespeare described London as “a city of Red Kites and Crows”, the Red Kite (Milvus milvus) was persecuted and hunted to extinction throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Its reintroduction, initiated in 1989 by the RSPB and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, is now the most successful reintroduction of any bird species in Europe. In 2006 The Independent newspaper reported the first sighting of a Red Kite over London for 150 years.”