Something For The Weekend w/e 8/10/2010

This week- Little Comets, The Good Natured, Ash, The Third Sound, Blindness, the Adverts.


Little Comets-“Isles”

Little Comets

Little Comets release a single on a new Indie label called “Dirty Hit” , but I’ll shut up and let them explain “This is the first single we’ve released since parting company with our old label Columbia at the start of 2010. It’s taken us a while to break from their grizzly clutches as initially they wouldn’t let us have our album back…. but after deciding that it didn’t sound enough like Kei$ha they did”.. It’s accompanied by a fantastic video, think ‘This Is England’ meets Blur by way of the Kinks,  and they are even throwing in a free orchestral download of said single…

“Isles” (orchesteral mix)-Little Comets

and here’s the video


The Good Natured-“Be My Animal.”

The Good Natured AKA Sarah McIntosh is back with a new single, which is already receiving Radio 1 support from John Peels natural successor …Oh wait no it’s Scouting For Girls biggest fan, Fearne Cotton ..Oh well the law of averages dictates that Fearne will get it right occasionally, and she certainly has here. Mind you we were onto the Good Natured a while back and we interviewed Sarah earlier in the year  – click here, oh wait sorry , try here . She will certainly be on many blogs ‘ones to watch in 2011” list.

And here’s a free download of ‘The Prisoner’ the b-side to‘ Be My Animal.’ Sarah  was  inspired to write the song by Pedro Almodovar‘s  film, ‘Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down’ and asks  why some lovers have both emotional and physical power over us.


Ash– The A-Z Series

As Ash’s year long A-Z singles series – in which they released 26 singles over 52 weeks – draws to a close the band have been asking their fans to vote for their favourite single from the series.  The clear winner was Arcadia and so they’ve produced a new video to honour it !


Now then now then, ow’s about that.. erm Ok, so we (well me) on this blog are big fans of bands such as Curve, Lush and the Jesus and Mary Chain.  If you are also share such impeccable taste, we doth our cap to you and hope you enjoy the following two bands.

First up is  The Third Sound

The track below is from the  solo album from Hakon of Singapore Sling. The album conjures up of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Jesus and Mary Chain, with plenty of white noise and rock n roll insouciance and let’s face it after viewing the shit fest that is Gary and Robbie’s pseudo gay fest , this can only be a good thing. Proper, no f**king about, visceral music.

“Going Down” By The Third Sound

Next  is a band called Blindness who have recently released the ‘Confessions EP’. Fans of Curve MBV, Lush, NIN and the JAMC will no doubt be impressed by the throbbing beast of a song that is “Confessions” (below) which fuses loops, beats with searing guitars to devastating effect.


Photo by Lubert Daz

Blindness features Beth Retting-  Programming/vocals, Kendra Frost –Bass, Debbie Smith (ex- Curve and Echobelly) on guitar and Alex Lutes (ex Nightnurse) playing live drums.

“Confessions” By Blindness


Talking of the Mary Chain, it seems our recent interview with Jim Reid has started a few rumours!! Jim saying he “wouldn’t rule out playing “Psychocandy” has been interpreted as “Mary Chain to play 25th Anniversary shows” …The NME, Clash and Spinner all picking the interview up.


Retro Track of the Week

“Gary Gilmore’s Eyes” –The Adverts



Something For The Weekend -W/e 28/05/2010

This week Marina And The Diamonds Free Mp3, Ash release infamous “Slashed” footage, Scroobius Pip, Sound Of Guns,  Johnny Flynn, Bridezilla, Emii.



Marina & The Diamonds

A short version this week as I’m afraid playing out on a school night has left me a bit knackered. The reason being was Marina And The Diamonds show and here’s her awesome version from that very show of “Starstruckk” . Marina is  giving away a live version of  this track from her official website.  To download a live version of the track, go to her official website HERE

She’s also announced release of new single “Oh No” on July 26th through 679.

Recorded last year in LA with recent Ivor Novello award winner, Greg Kurstin, “Oh No” was the final track completed for her debut album, but has already become a firm fan favourite. The video will be directed by Kinga Burza, who last worked with Marina on her “Hollywood” video and the single package will feature remixes by Grum, Jaymo and Andy George, Steve Pitron and Max Sanna as well as Active Child. She has also announced she’s supporting Goldfrapp at the Itunes festival and will be appearing in the John Peel tent at Glastonbury.


Ash –Binary

Finally some footage from Ash’s never before released self made horror movie, “Slashed”, written by our old chum Jed Shepherd and featuring the likes of Chris Martin, Dave Grohl, Neil Hannon, Moby and Charlotte Hatherley


Sound Of Guns

Sound of Guns present the blistering video for their latest single ‘Architects’

‘Architects’ is taken from the band’s forthcoming debut album ‘What Came From Fire’, to be released on the 28th June through Distiller Records

‘Architects’ will be released on 7″ and download on the 21st June.


Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip

Awesome new video for the duo’s awesome  new single Sick Tonight which  out on May 31st as a double A-side with Great Britain.

Fusing Pips laser like social commentary with Dans slamming beats, ‘Sick Tonight’ is another slice of hypnotic urban poetry which has plenty to say and gets your feet heading firmly in the direction of  the dancefloor!

There’s also a free download available, Hyetal remix of Great Britain, below


Johnny Flynn

Johnny Flynn has made a five track sampler of his forthcoming album ‘Been Listening’ available It . features standout tracks from the album including ‘The Water’ (with Laura Marling), ‘Barnacled Warship’, ‘Churlish May’, ‘Been Listening’ and recent free download ‘Kentucky Pill’. Been Listening’ is released on the 7th June through Transgressive Records.



Straight from the heart of cool alt Australia comes the unconventional quintet Bridezilla. Comprising of the unusual collective Ms Pia May(Guitar), Ms Daisy Tulley(Voilin), Ms Millie Hall(Saxophone/Keyboard), Mr Josh Bush (Drums) and led by Ms Holiday Sidewinder (Vocals/Guitar) like a mesmerising dream. Drifting through the music with ultra cool carelessness, Bridezilla mix a sound, likening it to everything from Dirty Three’s instrumental explorations, to Cat Power’s country-noir and PJ Harvey’s darkened outsider-pop.  Here’s the video for “Western Front”



Move over Britney, there’s a new girl in town, who could well steal the pop crown from the Britsters fully restored noggin. Her name’s Emii and her debut Ep ‘Magic’ is imminent….



Something For The Weekend w/e 12/02/2009

This week free (legal) Mp3 from Operator Please, plus videos from Yeasayer, The Maccabees ft Roots Manuva, Teenagers In Tokyo,Enter Shikari, Stornaway, Ash, Kate Nash news an Cop On Edge.

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This is the new single ’Logic’* from young Australian band Operator Please…. who are back to announce their forthcoming album ‘Gloves’.

Operator Please

*The Mp3 is provided by Anorak PR- London, on behalf of the band with the message“Feel free to host, post and share this item across the web”

Yeasayer– ‘Ambling Alp’


The Maccabees feat. Roots Manuva – ‘Empty Vessels’


Teenagers In Tokyo-‘Peter Pan’

Enter Shikari -‘Thumper’




Kate Nash is also offering a freedownload if you sign up to her mailing list here

Cop on the Edge-‘I Want Don’t Get’*

(*Provided by the band)

Retro Video Of The week

Sneaker Pimps – ‘6 Underground’

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Something For the Weekend w/e 22/01/2010

Some new tunes/ videos/ free downloads  from The Kissaway Trail, The Raveonettes, Eels,  Run Toto Run,  Ash, Laura Marling, Bony Ghosts, Lucky Soul, Hurts and a track I have loved since I was but a small egg , one which will forever remind me of  John Peel shows in the 80’s… 😉

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The Kissaway Trail“SDP” (free download)

The RaveonettesBoys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)

Eels-“Little Bird”

Bleed ElectricThe Last Night Of 1989″

Run Toto RunCatch My Breath”

Ash– “Spaceshot “

Laura Marling– “Devil’s Spoke”

Bony Ghosts“The Curse” (free download here)

Lucky Soul -“White Russian Doll”

Hurts“Wonderful Life”

Retro track of the week

The Passions– “Hunted”

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From A-Z-The Ash Interview

ASH -"Space Shot "

Ash  -Space Shot (Loverush UK! Club Mix)

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The Noughties, whilst producing some great music also seemed to be a decade in which the hype machine went into overdrive.  Obscure bands you’d never heard of suddenly started to appear on the front pages of the music press with taglines such as “saviours of pop” or “the future of music”. Problem was, in their desperation to generate “buzz” and discover the “next big thing”, the press had overlooked the simple fact that a lot of these bands weren’t actually very good.  Alas “the next big thing” often found, within the space of a few short months, that their careers were effectively over, killed by the unfair burden of expectation placed upon them.  Hype based on nothing more than a nice haircut and well chiselled cheek bones  meant that “this weeks T-Shirt” became “next week’s dish cloth” with heart sinking regularity. To achieve longevity during the decade in which the music industries collective arse started to twitch like a rabbit’s nose over file sharing and illegal downloads, it seemed you had to either  be very bland and reproduce variations on the same theme or alternatively be Tom Jones.  But there are always exceptions to the rule for there still exists a clutch of bands and artists who continue to demonstrate that consistently great song-writing and innovation can transcend the blandness of a music industry unwilling to take risks and forever looking for the “safe bet”.

Downpatrick rockers Ash are one such band which has sustained the sort of longevity that many acts can only dream of in this brave new world of convenience, disposability and instant gratification. They’ve been together since the early 90’s embarking on their first tour (supporting Elastica) whilst still at school. Since then they have gone on to become one of Northern Irelands most successful acts, topping the charts around the world and selling over 8 million records in the process.  Given the quality of their recent output, the good news is it looks like they’ll be with us for some time yet!!

During their career the nature of how music is “consumed” by fans has radically changed, due in no small part to the internet, the mp3 and the I-pod. Where as the industry itself adopted a belligerent King Canute style stance, aimlessly threatening anybody found in possession of ears with legal action, Ash sought to develop innovative ways of working within the digital framework.  The trio quickly recognised the fact that “the way people listen to music has changed, with the advent of the download the emphasis has reverted to single tracks” and in 2007 they revealed that ‘Twilight of the Innocents’ would be their last album. Instead Ash channelled their creativity into setting up their own label “Atomic Hearts” and  a new project,  ‘The  A-Z Series a subscription service consisting  of  26 limited edition 7″ vinyl  and digital download singles with a new  track  released every two weeks over the course of a year. This week sees Ash reach the letter “H” in their release schedule with the full on pop splendour that is ‘Space Shot’. It’s an unfeasibly catchy , swirling ,electro, sci-fi pop behemoth which boasts the sort of sky scraper levelling chorus that really should see the band back in the charts and  also demonstrates once more, that Ash have a great ear for  killer pop hooks.

In between recording, managing a record label, recording songs, arranging tours, shooting videos and changing nappies, one third of Ash Mark Hamilton, found time to talk with us about survival in the digital age, their unreleased “teen-slasher” movie and the Charlotte Hatherley rumour mill!

VP:  How did the idea for the A-Z series come about? Didn’t The Wedding Present try something similar a number of years ago on a smaller scale? Was that what inspired the idea ?

MARK: Basically we became a bit disillusioned and uninspired with the traditional album cycle. Our last album, ‘Twilight Of The Innocents’, came out through Warners and they dropped the ball on it after the 2nd single didn’t get play-listed at a particular radio station. After more than a year of writing and recording it, it was a tough pill to swallow… all that work was essentially hinged and dumped on one decision. Tim then came up with the idea of regular download releases rather than a one-off album (that are usually 3 years apart), each track taken on it’s own merit, and then the A-Z Series became a lightbulb moment, ie. 26 fortnights in a year. We were aware of the Wedding Present doing the 12 singles in a year so we wanted to expand on that and do something even more ambitious. 52 weekly songs seemed too much and 12 too little. 26 songs is basically 2 album’s worth of material in 12 months. More than we’ve ever released previously. The A-Z concept is a cool way of tying it all together into a collective body of work.

VP:  Given the value for money of a subscription service like The A-Z singles do you think it could be a template for bands to adopt in the digital age?    Have you recorded all 26 songs in the series now?

MARK:  We’re just about to go back into the studio to finish a bunch of new tracks that will complete the A-Z Series. We do already have enough songs recorded to cover all 26, 44 in total, but we like to record more so we can choose the best and keep the quality up. I think our new model is definitely a great way to work and is great value for the subscribers, £13 for 26 songs as well as a bunch of bonus tracks that we’re sporadically throwing into the mix for free (2 so far and we’re only on G). I wouldn’t be surprised if more people follow our lead and do something similar. Fans hate the wait for albums, they want regular content and we’ve had very positive feedback from our fans about the new approach.

VP:  Obviously since starting out as a band the whole way people consume music has radically changed. What do you make of it and do you think the “industry” has failed to keep up with technology and attitudes, how do you see it evolving

MARK : The industry really kept it’s head in the sand for so long (regarding downloading) and they’ve been paying of price for the last few years now. The industry has contracted so much, with massive layoffs and there just isn’t the money there used to be. There’s little or no artist development going on and the majors are mostly only signing safe bets, like the reality crap that’s sure fire chart material. Basically it’s tough out there and it’s become all about survival and financial sustainability rather than the glitz and excess that was rampant in the 90’s. It’s still kinda like a new frontier and people are watching to see how the dust settles. We’re taken a very bold and pro-active move with the A-Z Series and I think people are waiting to see how it plays out. The fact you can download an artists entire back-catalogue in seconds from a torrent site has completely devalued music. The reality is that large numbers of people, especially in the net savvy younger generation, will not pay for music. Why would they when it’s so readily available?

VP:   How have you been finding running your own label, Atomic Heart Records?

MARK : It’s been a lot of work, especially with all the logistics of releasing 26 vinyls in a year. There have been a few teething problems but we’re working them out as we go along. We also don’t have the finances that a major label has at hand so we have to be a lot more thoughtful on where our own money’s going. It’s also kinda cool because it has put us back into the D.I.Y. mode that we were in when we were releasing our own demos, before we got signed.

VP:  When Ash started out as teenagers, did you have any idea of how long you’d be involved in music?  Do you think the “teenage you” would believe that you’d still be producing great music some 18 years later?

MARK : We had no idea but we did have a blind self belief and unshakable determination to succeed. In our teenage years we played in some tragic bands that were known as the worst in our town. That sort of ridicule certainly gave us a lot of purpose, to prove people wrong and ultimately flourish. I don’t think the teenage me would think I’d still be alive 18 years later never mind that we’d still be making music! Having witnessed the excess of the 90’s and the ensuing crash of the music industry in the past decade, we’re just happy to have survived so long. We still have a lot of gas in our tank and a lot of goals we still want to achieve.

VP:  One of my favourite singer/songwriters  Emmy The Great has been involved in Ash a fair bit lately. How did that come about and will she be getting more involved with the band in 2010?

MARK : She’s great and has an awesome voice. She first caught our attention when we heard her cover of ‘Burn Baby Burn’ and when she sang ‘lick my shit’ during the solo that got a quite a laugh. Tim got in contact with her and they’ve played together acoustically for some online videos. She recently joined Tim on stage during our encore in Tunbridge Wells to play our ‘D’ single ‘Tracers’. I believe a recorded version of this is in the works and will be available later this year.

VP: Will the horror movie “Slasher”you produced featuring the likes of Chris Martin and Dave Grohl  ever see the light of day?  Is it true some of the footage is being used in your next promo video?

MARK : Yes, watch or follow ashofficial on twitter for developments. I doubt very much that the full movie will ever materialize but the footage will see the light of day in some form.

VP: Any truth in the rumour that when making “Slashed” there was a ouija board scene that went a bit wrong ?

MARK : Yes there is truth in that. That happened in a dressing room in LA and it went very wrong. Precise details won’t be expanded upon, real or purely psychosomatic it wasn’t pleasant. The actual footage was wiped from the camera and it’s best forgotten.

VP:  What have been your highlights as a band during 2009 ?

MARK : The A-Z tour was a definite highlight and a lot of fun. We got to go to so many strange places and Zennor, the final show in Cornwall, was one of the most fun nights we’ve ever had. Having Belfast’s Panama Kings with us for the whole tour was also a real trip. The day we got the vinyl copies of ‘Return Of White Rabbit’, Atomic Heart’s first release was also a real thrill.

VP:  What plans for 2010?  Will there be more tours and festival appearances?  Any truth in speculation that Charlotte Hatherley may join up with Ash again at some point in the future ?

MARK : After finishing recording in Feb, we’ll be on the road in April / May in the UK to continue promoting the A-Z Series. We’re also currently working out our schedule for the festivals and trips to Japan, Australia, SE Asia and across Europe are on the cards. As for Chaz, I think she’s pretty busy at the moment with her own career. I know that you should never say never, so you never know… : )

VP: What were your favourite albums of 2009?

MARK : I had a baby daughter in 2009 so the only music I really heard was a screaming baby and the insanity of Yo Gabba Gabba! on Nick Jr. I really like the new Muse and Biffy albums, also Humbug was a brave move by the Arctic Monkeys. I changed my mind on The Horrors, they’re quite good really.

VP:   Five words to sum up 2009 ?

MARK : Reality-check, Fatherhood, Alphabet, Sustainability, Vision.


Official Site & A-Z Subscirption





“Space Shot” By Ash

“Joy Kicks Darkness” By Ash

“Tracers” By Ash (Acoustic with Emmy The Great)

“Jesus Says” By Ash

“Burn Baby Burn” By Ash


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