Vote “Von Pip In” The Record of The Day Journalisim Awards 2011.

Vote Von Pip Musical Express Record Of The Day Awards 2011
Ok so we’ve been named in the Best Blog category at The Record of The Day Awards for the 4th year running. Now as we don’t have teams of writers to vote for us or our own PR company we thought we’d ask you, our dear readers, to help us out.  You can register below ( don’t worry about company name  if you don’t have one)- click on BLOG category on the left  and find us on the drop down list click and vote -Presto! – All done. Plenty of other good blogs there too but remember if you don’t vote Von Pip fairies will die, angels will lose their wings, Bedford Falls becomes Pottersville and  Cowell wins again – 🙂

Vote using the link below

Thank you x


Songs To Learn and Sing – Jim Reid And Jesus And Mary Chain Deluxe Albums

JAMC - Album reissues plus new Jim Reid song

“Black And Blues”  By Jim Reid.

Jim Reid of the Jesus And Mary Chain has previewed a new song on his soundcloud account and if that’s not enough to get fans of the Mary Chain excited  today also sees the first copies  of the much anticipated expanded Deluxe editions of all of the bands studio albums, starting with the seminal ‘Psychocandy‘. The deluxe expanded edition features all the non-album b-sides, as well as previously unreleased demos, rare outtakes including controversial early track “Jesus Fuck” which the pressing plant refused to manufacture at the time due to the blasphemous lyrics – Also included is a DVD featuring all the promo videos plus previously unreleased TV appearances, including their  live TV debut on the Old Grey Whistle Test,  and never before seen footage of the infamous riot at North London Polytechnic –including  interviews with all four original members, and scenes of the crowd destroying the venue!

3d Album Previews and Links to buy

The VPME Podcast – August 2011 – This IS Music



Hurrah and Huzzah ! It’s the  latest VPME podcast!!!  Featuring the best new music from the past, present and future and a Dj as intresting as socks .

Listen out for special guest appearances from the godlike  Jim Reid  of  80’s/90’s legends The Jesus & Mary Chain, Emma Andreson from Lush, plus songs by the likes of The Cramps, Suede,The  Psychedelic Furs nestling snugly alonside  new music from The Whip, Strangers, Seize The Chair, Pris, Freezepop  and Deep Cut. Click on the player below or if you prefer go to

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The VPME Podcast – Episode 2- May 2011.

The VPME Podcast - May 2011


It’s time for another pod-cast folks! After our triumphant appearance on BBC 6 Music it’s back to reality with the soothing, laconic,  sensual (sic) some would say semi comatose tones of  Mr Von Pip.  In this episode we have special guest appearances from Emma Anderson of Lush, Ritzy from The Joy Formidable, Sarabeth Tucek, Paul from The Primitives, Sarah From The Good Natured and much, much more . We hope you enjoy .

Listen below or on mixcloud

Vodpod videos no longer available.

As ever big love and manly handshakes to all involved 😉

The VPME And The BBC.

THE Von Pip Musical Express On BBC 6 Music.


Just a quick post to let you know I’ll be on the  “Now Playing @6Music”  show between 7-9pm this Friday night with Tom Robinson on  BBC 6Music, picking a trio of my favourite recent new tunes.   No Digital Radio ?  No problem you can  can listen online here.  So please tune in and be bowled over by my laconic John Peel-esque tones 🙂

To tie in with the show I was also invited to write a guest blog on the BBC website which you can read HERE.



Tears, Fears and Beers – Help Stamp Out Loneliness Interview.

Help Stamp Out Loneliness - The VPME - Interview - 2011‘Record Store‘ By Help Stamp Out Loneliness.

Help Stamp Out Loneliness formed when  indie popsters ‘Language Of Flowers’ disbanded in 2007 after  Bentley Cooke (guitar) and Colm McCrory (bass) decided enough was enough and maybe it was finally time to seek the more settled life on civvy street. Being stoic chaps they didn’t seek rehab or counselling, no, they simply went cold turkey turning their back on the C86 lifestyle and settled into mainstream ‘normality’… or so it seemed. For despite integrating themselves into polite society the allure of indie pop was proving a difficult beast to resist and whilst they were indulging in the odd Pimms or two and lunching in La Tasca they craved pear cider and festival mud. The thought of wearing a suit  symbolised  a  strait-jacket, a tie represented a  noose,  and they would suddenly awaken bolt upright in the dead of night with  new ideas for songs-  Something had to give,  and before long, like an indie Jake and Elwood Blues, they resolved to put a band back together. They recruited Ben Ambridge on drums, Louise Winfield on organ, pianist Kath McMahon, not surprisingly on  piano and when the final piece in HSOL jigsaw arrived  in the sophisticated form of  Nico-esque singer D.Lucille Campbell, a new band with a symmetrical gender ratio was born.

On May the ninth in the year of our lord 2011, Help Stamp Loneliness are finally set to  release their debut album, a beautiful bitter-sweet, collection of  shimmering songs, aching melancholy and intelligent literate modern-day poetry set against jangling guitars and giddy keyboard swirls . Such is the uplifting nature of many of the melodies you may initially be oblivious to the darker lyrical content which only truly reveals itself after repeated listens. The album contains themes ranging from obsessive pop star stalkers (inspired by The King Of Comedy) ,  the dying embers of doomed relationships, beer gardens and   alfresco sex,  all presented within a lovely whirling fuzzed up, kraut-pop, lounge- gaze shell.  Think Camera Obscura meets St Etienne meets the Wedding Present at the Star and Garter, with a dash of Belle & Sebastian.

Album Rating 8.5/10

We had a chat with Bentley and D.Lucille about the new album, the indie life and um,  David Gest!


VP:  Hello! So in time honoured fashion tell us about the bands inception.   I believe the ‘Star and Garter’ played a significant role?

BENTLEY: Colm (bass) and I (guitar) were in Language of Flowers together and when that finished we put up adverts on the Manchester Gumtree for people to join us. Ben (drums) joined first; he then brought along his girlfriend Louise (organ) who subsequently brought in her friend Katherine (piano).  We auditioned about 30 singers before we finally found D.

D. LUCILLE: I had fantasised about being in a band for a while so I advertised myself on Gumtree and received a message from Bentley via MySpace asking to meet up with me.  We got together in this tiny Cuban bar in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.  Bentley was stood propping up the bar with his oversized cowboy boots and a Hawaiian shirt, I thought, I can take this guy on!

BENTLEY: As for the significance of the S&G … I’d been going to their ‘Smile’ club night since I was 15/16.  Nobody can doubt the influence it’s had on Manchester’s indie community – it needs a blue plaque – although Derm (the owner) would be the first person to rip it down.   I remember I had to put my mam’s mascara on my bum-fluff sideburns to get past Derm and Andy (the S&G bouncer).

VP:  And the band name? What made you go for that? Stonewall Jackson? Nancy Sinatra?

BENTLEY: Colm’s a big fan of Nancy Sinatra and he was thinking of starting a night in London with Tara from Language of Flowers but I convinced him it would be a better name for a band.  Some girl I met on a train down to London the other day told me she thought we sounded like Emo-Rockers.  I can kind of see her point

VP: You’ve been around a while and your debut album is imminent (9th May) How did it work for you? Did you have a lot of studio time, or was it recorded quickly. Did you have any trouble deciding which tracks would go on the album?

BENTLEY: We’ve been around for almost 4 years – we started in early 2007 – D. Lucille joined us about a year after that and that’s when we started really writing and gigging.  Most of the album is recorded in my box bedroom, Ben and Louise’s front room and assorted warehouses in and around the city centre.  We’re a pretty tight arsed bunch so we just decided we’d record it ourselves and get Woodie Taylor (Comet Gain) to produce it.

D. LUCILLE:  We had to experiment in different places to find out what worked for us and found that Bentley’s box worked best. With ginger pussies and a honky tonk piano at hand to stroke, who could ask for more?

BENTLEY: My box is the best and don’t forget it!  As for the tracks we devised an experiment where we all wrote which songs should go on the album and in which order – when we revealed our choices to each other everyone’s list was the same – there were never any arguments about the track listing.  There were arguments about everything else … but not the track listing.

VP: You certainly have some interesting song titles and inspirations ‘Torvill And Dean’ for example and more recently a song referencing welsh boxer  Jimmy Wilde ‘The Ghost With The Hammer in His Hand’, would it be fair to say your lyrics are somewhat darker than the pop harmonies would suggest?

BENTLEY: Thank you.  Every song on the album is bittersweet – it may begin innocent and naïve but it’ll soon turn the wrong way down a one way street.  I like a twist in the plots of films so why not have one in songs too?  I’m not sure what D. Lucille thinks of all this but I feel it’s much easier inherit a character to tell your stories.  Pop music works on two levels – melody and content.  Just because a song has a catchy hook doesn’t necessarily mean it should have mundane lyrics.

VP:  So  is D.Lucille  really friendly with David Gest? Will he be coming along to The Deaf Institute anytime soon?

BENTLEY: No, a hack from the Manchester Evening News made that up.  D. was just doing some performance with Gest in London and this ‘journalist’ decided to run with it and invented some story about them going out for dinner to fulfill his copy targets.

D. LUCILLE: I serenaded David Gest in St John’s Wood.  He grinned and shimmied whilst clicking his fingers. I think he liked it.

BENTLEY: See what I have to deal with?  The entire piece was a complete and utter fabrication.

VP: What sort of music influenced you growing up?

BENTLEY: I was always fascinated by female pop singers in the 80s. I still listen to Kate Bush, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Bananarama and Kim Wilde a hell of a lot and obviously it was hard to ignore the Stone Roses when you grew up in Manchester.  In the early 90s I got into 4AD, Sub Pop and Too Pure and heard the likes of the Afghan Whigs, Belly and Stereolab … they really shape the way I put songs together.  When I met Colm he played me Colourbox and St Etienne and from there I fell in love with AR Kane.  The rest of the band’s influences aren’t as apparent on the album as mine and D. Lucille’s but – yeah – we all know our records.

D. LUCILLE:  I listened to Adam Ant, Bowie, The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins, Siouxsie, Kate Bush and had a bit of a fascination with Robert Palmer during puberty.  Early Suede saved me during the difficult times.  My taste has developed slightly; my love of Marmite voices has me listening to John Grant, Vashti Bunyan, CocoRosie, Diamanda Galas, Tim Buckley and Wild Nothing.  I adore The Associates, Moondog, Magazine, The Magnetic Fields, Beach House and Amanda Palmer.

BENTLEY: Don’t forget Cock Robin.

VP: Since forming Help Stamp Out Loneliness what have been your highlights thus far?

BENTLEY: I really enjoyed playing at London ‘PopFest’ a month or so ago – we’re just pretty lucky to be involved in a huge gang of like minded musicians, writers, labels, kitten kuddling kunts, etc.  Like SHRAG I’m not always sure how snugly HSOL fit into the indie-pop community but I still love it.  They’re our family now.

D. LUCILLE: For me Hamburg’s ‘Hit the North’ and London’s ‘Popfest’ topped all of the mind blowing moments so far.  I think we’ve almost persuaded the KKK at last.

VP: You are one of a growing army of bands who have stated you rarely use Myspace these days, where did all go wrong ? What’s your ‘social network’ poison (if any) these days ?

BENTLEY: Whoever redesigned MySpace needs to be given fifty lashes and called a “rotter”.  It’s impenetrable.  I couldn’t even work out how to find our band emails or update anything.  The only good thing about it is that Murdoch (who bought Myspace in 2005) is left looking like a spare prick at a wedding.

D. LUCILLE:  I think the rotter should be given fifty eyelashes and asked to stick them all on at once. Work than one out Murdoch!

VP: What have you got planned for the rest of 2011?

BENTLEY: Louise and I have started a new band called Lager & Lime (coz I like a drink and she’s a sour faced cow) and we’ll be putting out our debut single in the summer.  My wife’s having a baby so I’ll be lying low for a while after the album is launched.  Hopefully we’ll get some good gigs towards the end of the year and head over to America and Europe.  It all depends on how bad the reviews are.

D. LUCILLE: Oh let’s tempt fate.  I foresee the album doing well, live performances far and wide, smiling & confused faces, maybe a video. I have performances with Memoire and my band M coming up too and will hopefully be writing and recording too.

VP:  So…….  is it possible to maintain the indie lifestyle as you get older…. And keep your dignity?

BENTLEY: I wouldn’t class our lifestyles as being particularly indie but you are dead right – whatever dignity you have left automatically deserts you when you make that decision to get on stage.  As for the age factor – I’ll let you know when I reach 29.  Obviously I can’t speak for Colm who’s looking more and more like D. Lucille’s ‘mate’ David Gest every day.

D. LUCILLE: Here, here! I am looking more and more like Peter Pan each day!

VP:   A five word band motto……

BENTLEY: “Can We Borrow Your Equipment?” – it’s more of a plea than a motto.

D. LUCILLE: “Which part don’t you understand?”

BENTLEY: Actually – I prefer yours D.



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BBC 6 Music Launch New Interactive Radio Show Hosted By Tom Robinson.

Now Playing @6Music with Tom Robinson

As a music lover we  can all  be heard on  occasion, bemoaning  radio play-lists. Our grumbles are often wide and varied covering such topics as ‘why isn’t my  favourite upcoming artists  featured on the playlist, no fair!?Where the devil  is  all the new talent?’  ‘Yawn, too much plodding dad rock ‘ (yes Beady Eye I mean you) – ‘oh for  a genuinely interactive radio show’ and of course my personal bugbear ‘Oh god no!! Not Queen!! Arggh my ears , MY EARS! ‘ etc etc ,  yadda yadda yadda… Well now you can have your say and  help shape what music is played via a  innovative new  6music show presented by Tom Robinson whose mission it is  to highlight the songs and artists generating the most online buzz.

Now Playing @6Music is an entirely interactive and digital show on Friday nights between 7-9pm on BBC 6Music. It will reflect the most talked about tracks online, what is creating the most hype on blogs and most importantly invite the 6Music audience to contribute to the debate and directly mould the playlist for the remaining 166-hours of the week.

Each week there will be a playlist based on musical story from the week which is shaped by people via 6Music’s social media outlets and the blog –; a hijacking of Twitter where we will drop anchor into the flood #nowplaying during the show and randomly select a track to play; as well as a digital music round-up and contributions from some of the best music sites and blogs currently discussing music.

Listeners will also be given the chance to individually shape the end of the show by submitting a six-track themed playlist of their choice. These can be submitted by any means they choose – be it a link to a blog post, e-mail or even carrier pigeon if they so choose!

The show will be presented by Tom Robinson who is incredibly excited about the project. He said: “Without knowing it, we had a small foretaste of Now Playing last August when 6Music staged the Listener Takeover. We went into the show that day with only a skeleton playlist, a Facebook page and a Twitter feed buzzing with listeners.

“The next 120 minutes were both hair-raising and exhilarating as we tore up the playlist and simply went with the flow.

“It was the most exhausting radio show I’d ever done, but also the most fun. And the question everyone was asking at the end of the show – both online and in the studio – was “why can’t it be like this every Friday?”

Well, now it can. Not just for the two hours we’re on air every Friday but hopefully as a conversation about music all through the week. It’s a new show, a new team and pretty much uncharted territory: so nothing’s carved in stone.

We’re not just open to new ideas from the wider music community, we’re actively eager to explore them. As the only station in broadcasting history to have been saved by its listeners, 6Music has a unique relationship with its audience.

This show is about you and the rest of the music community – your opinions, your taste and your music, so to make sure your voice is heard and join in the conversation join us on Facebook ( and Twitter (@bbc6music) and e-mail – us with what you think the rest of the 6Music community should be listening to.