Songs To Learn And Sing – Oh Minnows(Mary Chain cover) Kathleen Edwards and exlovers

Oh Minnows Just Like Honey- VpmeOh Minnows


Oh Minnows has done a beautiful cover of Jesus & Mary Chains ”Just Like Honey” for part of the Just Like Honey charity cover compilation. The album itself is basically twelve reimaginings by different artists of this classic track.

100 % profit from all the songs will be donated to Breast Cancer Care (

Oh Minnows plays every instrument on the track himself and recorded it in his home studio in Brookyln, New York. A great song, an ace cover and an excellent cause.

For more info and the full list of bands involved on the ”Just Like Honey” compilation please check out –


Kathleen Edwards.

We recently played Canadian songstress Kathleen Edwards wonderful song “Chameleon/ Comedian” on our latest podcast, now if you liked that, it should follow that you’ll love her
new album ‘Voyageur’ produced by Edwards and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver)

Her next single “Change The Sheets” is out on 20th February and is currently doing the biz on 6 Music.




And finally VPME favourites exlovers release a new video for their recent free download “Starlight Starlight“, which coincidently is one of  Jimmy Two Times from Goodfellas favourite ever tracks 😉


Songs To Learn And Sing – School Of Seven Bells And The Good Natured

Oh my, we are currently caught up in the tinselly  vortex of the festive season, what with Christmas shopping festive podcasts, Six music appearances 😉 & interviews with pop star types we are sure to be fit for nothing come the big day.. But there’s just time to bring you the following musical snippets.


School Of Seven Bells Pic By JUSTIN_HOLLAR_

School Of Seven Bells Free Download

School Of Seven Bells return in 2012 with their third album, Ghostory, out on February 28 via Vagrant Records/Ghostly International and are giving a away a track from the album simply entitled “The Night” free.


The Good Natured- Free Download and New Video.

The Good Natured return with a free download (get it here) taken from their debut album which is due to drop in April 2012. There’s also a rather ‘stalkerish’ video to go with it. There’ll be an interview with Sarah and the boys very soon, where we presented them with THIS…

The Video


The Wedding Present

David Gedge and his Wedding Present are playing three gigs to mark the end of 2011 at

29 December: Glasgow Garage

30 December: Leeds O2 Academy

31 December: London Camden Dingwalls

They’ll also be releasing a new album in 2012, embarking on a US and European tour which will include their new album, plus playing their classic “Seamonsters” in its entirety.


And finally I’ll be on 6 music on Tom Robinson‘s Now Playing show on 9/12/2011 between 7-9 , so tune in if your in. You can follow the show and me using the twitter hash tag #blog6music

Ciao !

Songs To Learn And Sing – Exlovers, Emmy The Great And Tim Wheeler. Plus Scouse Gits and Action Aid.

“Starlight, Starlight” By Exlovers.

Almost time for us bloggers to start tipping who we hope will do well in 2012,  well here’s a spoiler, exlovers are definitely on our  list. They may not be new kids on the block but their debut album  ‘Moth’ is due in Spring next year and promises to be one of our (and hopefully your) major musical highlights in 2012. “Starlight, Starlight” is available as a free download (above) and hints at, rather like an elegantly flaunted stocking top,  the promise yet to come. We are excited !   With another single due early next year Exlovers will be rounding off 2011 with  a headline show at London’s XOYO on 16th December.

Here’s an interview we did earlier in the year


Emmy The Great And Tim Wheeler Xmas Album.

Lets face it after pasty faced, unctuous, slug-man George Osborne’s latest gloomy economic  announcements we could do with something to cheer us up. So we have two suggestions, close your eyes and  picture George being dragged, cold, naked and sobbing along the south bank to be unceremoniously deposited in the Thames by an angry public, who have said “no more. ” Chortle as his shrill falsetto screams for clemency provoke nothing more than bitter but totally justified laughter and scorn from the angry mob. Ahem… or alternatively check out Emmy The Great  and Ash’s Tim Wheeler’s Christmas album ( more on this later in the week). They were apparently going to be called Sleigher at one stage , which of course would have left my love of woeful puns fully sated, anyway here’s a freebie to get you feeling a little bit festive.

Christmas Day (I Wish I Was Surfing)By Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler.

Ohhh and a video packed with festive cheesiness  in which, somewhat disturbingly, Tim manages to look 12 years old. I do hope the landlord of the hostelry in the video insisted on some form of appropriate ID, or it’s fizzy pop all the way for you young man.


In Other news , watch out, it’s the Scouse GITS

Locally  we hear news of The GIT Awards, created by Liverpool music blog,  aimed at celebrating and promoting Merseyside’s upcoming new musical talent. From the thriving hip hop scene to its electronica artists, from its long-established country and roots community to punk, folk and metal, the GIT Award is open to all. Peter Guy, Liverpool ECHO journalist and editor of Getintothis, says, ‘Think of it as the Scouse Mercury Prize – but, the only criteria being that it has a clear connection with Liverpool; ie: the record was made, produced or recorded by Liverpudlians. Prizes include   a day’s free recording time with a top producer, while the winners will play next year’s Liverpool Sound City and Liverpool Music Week. Vice Magazine, meanwhile, has asked Getintothis to promote an exclusive gig at their London-based bar, The Old Blue Last, featuring the winners.

On top of this, Skelmersdale film-maker Ian Gamester, who has been shortlisted for the prestigious Virgin Media Shorts film, will make the band’s video promo which will be screened at FACT’s boutique Box cinema

Liverpool Sound City, Liverpool Music Week, Cream, Creamfields, Vice Magazine, The Quietus, Liverpool Vision, ACME, It’s Liverpool, Liverpool City Council, Culture Liverpool, FACT Cinema and Art Gallery, Liverpool Museum, Probe Records, The Music Consortium, Bido Lito! Magazine, WAXXX Magazine, Sandhills Recording Studios, Elevator Studios, The Motor Museum Recording Studios, Dawsons, Resurrection, Lost Art, LIPA, Weavers Door, Bold Street Coffee, The Green Cauldron, Cains Brewery, The Bluecoat, Static Gallery, The Masque, Leaf, Sentric, CMU Daily, EVOL, Mellotone, Harvest Sun, Samizdat, Another Media, Obscenic, Mercy, Hive Collective, Jon Hillcock’s New Noise, UR BEATZ, Seven Streets and Liverpool Live. To apply send your four tracks to Or alternatively post to Peter Guy, The GIT Award, Liverpool Daily Post & ECHO, PO Box 48, Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L693EB. Closing date: Spring 2012. Exact date TBC

We applaud anything that promotes new music as undoubtedly times have never been tougher for musicians , hindered by an assemblage of philistine  fuckwits (ie the government) that places zero value on the arts. This, despite the fast that the arts  is a huge export earner for the UK economy,  worth around £16 billion.

Add in the fact that Liverpool 08 was the most successful European Capital of Culture ever, with 15 million cultural tourists and £800 million worth of local economic benefit and you can see why the Tories policies are loathed and despised here in scouseland ( and beyond.)


Action Aid

We are not ones to generally cut and paste PR’s but this is a worthwhile cause. In fact to set the ball rolling I’ll donate to keep Everything Everything away from a recording studio for the next five years. But jesting aside….

The charity ActionAid today launches the world’s first ever emergency music network, backed by music stars including The Wombats, Everything Everything, Chapel Club, Cancer Bats and Radio 1’s Huw Stephens. ActionAid Live is a nationwide network of bands, musicians, promoters and venues primed to spring into action and raise funds the next time a humanitarian emergency strikes in one of the world’s most vulnerable areas.

Radio 1 DJ and ActionAid ambassador Huw Stephens said: “When an emergency strikes – whether it’s an earthquake, flood or tsunami – we all want to do what we can to help. ActionAid Live brings together music fans, bands and promoters in a united effort to save lives both in those vital first few days following a disaster and in the long term.

“I’ve seen for myself the amazing work ActionAid does, and they’re one of the most inspiring charities out there – by raising money for them in an emergency, the money you raise will make the biggest difference possible.”

Bands, musicians and promoters can now sign up to ActionAid Live at to support the humanitarian response during the next big emergency by putting on a fundraising gig – or donating money from an existing show they’re already involved with – creating a UK-wide network of events united to raise money and save lives.

ActionAid Live launches on 22 November as part of the charity’s wider emergency fundraising network, called the Global Emergencies Team. This is a way for every individual – whether they’re in a band or not – to get involved in an emergency response: hundreds of people around the country all set to fundraise, whether in their workplace or local community. To find out more about the wider emergency network, visit


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.



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.



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.


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.



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



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.


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 .


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 = ]

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


We were also interviewed, as part of  The Recommenders  excellent“ Behind The Blog” Series and we bare our very souls, well maybe not quite



Name That Song ?

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


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.”

Songs To Learn and Sing – Veronica Falls, Howling Bells, Zola Jesus and Dirtblonde

This week,  Veronica Falls, Howling Bells, Zola Jesus and Dirtblonde



Veronica Falls Debut Album news - Von Pip Musical Express

 Veronica Falls  release their self-titled debut album released 17th October on Bella Union and will be touring the UK with VPME faves Dum Dum Girls in November.

“Bad Feeling” By Veronica Falls.


VPME – Six Music.

Last week we returned on all our gory (sic) to Auntie Beeb‘s  Now Playing on 6 Music Show hosted by Tom Robinson which is broadcast between 7-9pm every Friday. The overall direction of the radio show is dictated by the listeners who are encouraged to discuss, throughout the week, what’s been happening in the digital world of music via the BBC website  and social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter .  The audio may have disappeared from the BBC’s I-Player but fear not,  you can listen again below as we play The Good Natured, Prince Edward Island and Dum Dum Girls.


Howling Bells

The Bells new album “The Loudest Engine” is released on September 12th 2011 and is being streamed on their facebook page . It’s an album which Juanita describes as “a modern psychedelic record.The first (album)was about that great initial leap, the second was us exploring different waters. This one is us, all having met at one place, at one time. I think this record will change people’s perspectives of the band.”  Catch ‘em on tour, they really are fantastic live.










Zola Jesus New Single and Album - The Von Pip Musical Express 2011

Zola Jesus makes a welcome return with the release of a new single, Seekir (Oct 3rd, Souterrain Transmissions) and UK dates this November.  The single and tour follow the release of her  new album, Conatus, on September 26th .

‘Seekir’ By Zola Jesus



Dirtblonde Von Pip Musical Express

Pic By Sakura

Liverpool noise terrorists  Ivan Hell (guitar) and Lula Blue (vocals, bass) or Dirtblonde to you and I,  return with a new song ,’In Furs.’ It’s the first track to be made available online from Dirtblonde’s forthcoming ‘Token Rose’ E.P. which will be released on digital and CD formats on 6th October.

The E.P. is a taster for the band’s 2nd album, ‘Hours’, which will come out in the new year.

‘Furs’ By Dirtblonde.

Songs To Learn And Sing – Ladytron, Prince Edward Island, Howling Bells, No Ceremony,The Icarus Line.

Today we feature Ladytron, Prince Edward Island, Howling Bells, No Ceremony and The Icarus Line.


Ladytron - Gravity The Seducer,’  Album art


Let us be clear so there is no misunderstanding, I love Ladytron, their icy, hauntingly sinister goth electronica continues to fill my heart with unbridled joy. Their latest offering “Mirage” which appears on their forthcoming album,’ Gravity The Seducer,’ has reaffirmed and indeed justified my infatuation… It’s  in stores September 12 (UK) / September 13 (US).

‘Mirage’ By Ladytron.


Prince Edward Island.

Prince Edward Island

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND release their long awaited debut album ‘This Day Is A good Enough Daythrough Crocfingers Record on Monday the 29th August.  Brutal, dark scottish wit, melancholy and regret, all viewed through a fug of ciggies and beer ( or so it seems) make this an album that never fails to engage the listener. If  Belle and Sebastian had met The Band Of Holy Joy at Rehab and  decided to make an album it may sound something like this.

‘Sex in the Morning (I’m Coughing, You’re Moaning)’ By Prince Edward Island.


Howling Bells.

Howling Bells

Having more than made up for Jason Donavan and Stefan Denis, Sydney’s finest, Howling Bells release a new video, the title track from their upcoming new album The Loudest Engine, which is released September 12th 2011 and you can pre-order your copy now from










No Ceremony – Hurt Love.

It’s becoming quite the thing to release a piece of music without letting on who you are. So maybe No Ceremony should change their name to No Info because  all we know about ‘the band’ is that they come from Manchester and on the evidence of ‘Hurt Love’ they do a rather fetching line in ambient haunting choral electronica. I’d provide a link to their website, but there’s not much point as there’s probably more info here than there.

” Hurt Love” By No Ceremony


The Icarus Line.

The Icarus Line

The Icarus Line return with a new album entitled ‘Wildlife’  which is apparently inspired by fleeing “Desperation, Drugs and Record Industry scum”

King Baby – Icarus Line

Now I’ve never been much of a one for copying and pasting press releases, but Joe Cardamone’s statement with regard to  The Icarus Line’s album pretty much demands your attention!

“Wildlife presents the newest chapter in a bizarre saga of sonic ambition and utterly stubborn will. A rock n’ roll nuke followed by a couple months of radiated fallout. This record did not just make itself and get into your hands by accident today, it was written, produced and recorded under the constant threat of extinction. As we all know the bills keep coming long after the money is gone. It is another document from a distant corner of Los Angeles that believes in Rock N’ Roll music as art and religion. This collection of songs is finer than the last and those before that. We, The Icarus Line may never get to make a record again and so every record has been made as if it’s the very last one. That’s how this music is supposed to feel though isn’t it? Like a fight to survive in a musical landscape dominated by frat boys in ships clothing. If you love Iggy, If you miss Roxy Music, if you feel Funkadelic, if you need a flash of danger in your life, if you want a little lust around, if you love Rock N’ Roll music that is actually made by motivated f**k ups who had no other choice, then this is for you.


Songs To Learn and Sing – Deep Cut and Le Emu Tavern.

Deep Cut And Le Emu Tavern.



Deep Cut’s  new single ‘Something’s Got To Give’  from their superb   album ‘Disorientation’ is out on 5th September on Club AC30 Records.  A band who encapsulate possibly every musical style we love. If you like this you will love the album. If you don’t … well the exits are clearly marked .. hand your ears in at reception for you have no use for ’em.




We’ve been a friend of  Le Emu Tavern since the dawn of time …  they are not so much a band, more  an ancient mythical tavern where sailors weave shanties about all that is  long lost……..gramaphone records, ladies who would only spit in public if they were choking , a compassionate NHS staffed by vocationalists not careerists, folk yearning for the time  when news readers had wonderful names…. such as Reginald Bosanquet ! Lovely, witty, sarky tales relating to the unremitting  shitness of superficiality  ,  imbued with ennui but ultimatley full of  compassion ..  Oh Lordy – the albums free too … go and get it….quick …It’s bloody  great!