The Von Pip Musical Express Podcast – January 2012

The VPME Podcast January 2012

The news is fucking depressing isn’t it ?   Cuts, cuts and yet more cuts and then when you think it can’t possibly get any worse you observe the ghastly school matronly visage of  The Daily Heil’s Obergruppenführer, Melanie Phillips  on BBC’s Question Time, blithely lecturing us about what is right

“We should lay off the bankers, I really don’t approve of this lynch mob mentality at all, instead  it is right and correct to attack the real enemy within,  I refer of course to the “undeserving poor”. In fact let us convince the “working poor” that it is actually the people who claim benefit who have caused this financial shit storm and not the cuddly and much maligned bankers.   And then I, Melanie Fuckwit of Fleet Street can continue to complacently chortle into my champagne flute with my rich privileged  friends, whilst the proles slug it out. They really are very dim, just give ’em X Factor and cheap booze and they are as happy as the proverbial  pigs in shit. Oh and let’s bomb Iran too – of course I won’t be sending my son or daughter into war , but hey , we can put the poor to work and get the unemployment figures down too – it’s a win, win!”

ARGGGH!   So turn off your TV, put your feet up, unplug your Jukebox and try another flavour.  Here at the VPME we’ll  try  to soothe away  your worries and provide escape and hope in the shape of our our latest pod-cast!  And let us not forget “hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”  I mean what are you without hope ?  A shrivelled, soulless slime sucking  shell, devoid of compassion and humanity. In short. . . Melanie Phillips.

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Songs To Learn And Sing – Dead Social Club, Sarah Williams White, Richard Earls And French Wives.

Dead Social Club.

Dead Social Club

 Dead Social Club are  six-piece electronic indie band formed in South London in 2009. There’s certainly a vaugue hint of a less doom laden Depeche Mode in the vocal delivery  combined with  a dash of  80’s post punk, yet they manage to make it sound fresh and vital with big chourus’s that stay on the right side of  epic without ever sounding over blown.  Their latest single “Stockholm” (below) is available as a pay what you like free download ( just click on the “Buy” button On the Soundcloud player)


Sarah Williams White.

Sarah Williams White

Had we had decided to lengthen our list of “Ones To Listen Out For” in 2012, we would have been remiss not to include Sarah Williams White or SWW to her friends.

Sarah’s a South London solo artist & producer and recently released ‘Hide The Cracks‘ which picked up support  from the likes of Huw StephensTom Robinson and was  playlisted on Amazing Radio reaching  no.5 on the Amazing Charts.

Below is a remix from  dubstepper Phaeleh , ahead  of a new release due in March 2012 . Sarah has also co-written on Dan Le Sac‘s new LP which is  due in May.


Richard Earls

Describe your music Richard ? 

” Well …. everyone in the club that night had a story to tell; the young woman doing shots at the bar, the middle-aged man crying into his beer,the boy on the edge of the dancefloor, the devil and the holy trinity over in the corner …..the rest is in my bio..” 

Which reads thus :

In the late 70s and early 80s, it was the 100 Club, the Marquee, the WAG Club, Ronnie Scott’s and Dingwalls, then Paul Murphy’s Paladin Label; CBS Get Wise; Capital and the BBC, memorably opening an episode of City Lights for Charlie Gillet with a blast of harmonica into the ether and his first demo appearing on the same presenter’s Radio London programme Honky Tonk when he was still at school.

Playing again after 21 years living in central France, he can now be heard shouting the odds and blowing blues harp in juke joints and dives from Bordeaux to London.”

So make of that what you will 😉 .. Richard  could be a  more eloquent, grown up and infinitely less annoying  Mike Skinner meets a pan european  John Cooper Clarke infused with the blues or perhaps The Indelicates long lost uncle armed with a harmonica. Decide for yourselves, below … 🙂


French Wives.

And from Richard in  Poitou-Charentes, France we present ………….. French Wives. Who are actually from Scotland, they may not be married and we’re pretty sure they aren’t all female either!  One of the joys of organising the “Blog Sound Of 2012″ list was that we discovered a number of  bands our blogging peers had been waxing lyrical about during the course of 2012.   Of course we can’t pretend we liked all their recommendations, but of the artists  we hadn’t really listened to before French Wives ( and Houdini Dax)  really stood out.

And as if to break the parsimonious Scottish stereotype … here’s a free track from them…:)

The Blog Sound Of 2012 – The Top Five

The Blog Sound Of 2012 - Top 5

You may recall to coincide with the BBC’s Sound Of 2012, we asked bloggers to vote for who they thought would produce music of note in 2012, the Bloggers long list is here  which we thought made a nice contrast to the BBC’s longlist here.   

As previously mentioned it wasn’t dreamt up to diss the Beeb’s list, but to highlight music UK blogs genuinely believe in and hope will do well in the coming year.

So without further ado here is the results of the bloggers Sound of 2012 Top Five.  Most of our own tips/hopes (which are HERE)  aren’t in there but hey ho  that’s democracy for ya, however we  would have had Freinds and Beth Jeans Houghton in our top 20 had we had not decided to keep our published list down to 15.  It can be quite difficult  because you are on occasion basing your opinion on just a couple of tracks …but anyway


THE WINNER – Friends

 Friends - UK Music Blogs Sound Of 2012

Brooklyn based collective ( isn’t everybody these days ? )  Friends took the UK airwaves by storm with the sexy, sassy “I’m His Girl”, a track that rivaled Lana Del Reys “Video Games” for being one the most ubiquitous songs of the year.  Lets hope their debut album doesn’t herald a “GroupLove” style false dawn of hipster style over substance  and the band can deliver on their promise!!

2.Theme Park

Theme Park


3.Beth Jeans Houghton


4.French Wives

French Wives






And there you have it , doubtless you’ll have your own opinions, but we felt it was a worthwhile exercise and with more time, better organistaion  and hopefully more bloggers involved at the years end  we see no reason why we cant give this another bash!!

Happy New Year !!!

Ones To Listen Out For In 2012

15 to Listen Out For  in 2012 ?

The VPME Tips For 2012

We’ve mentioned in the past that this tipping malarkey can often arrive deep fried and positively dripping in narcissism, garnished with a large sprinkling of ego- “hey look at me I’m a pop precognitive, I can predict the muthafucking future. And it would be easy to look at The BBC’s “Sound Of” list and slavishly copy much of that, throw in a few left field buzz bands, sit back and watch your big massive fucking fat head expand because acts with big label backing are invariably and often tragically the ones that tend to do well. Big labels know that best way to predict the future is to invent it and spend a lot of time, energy and cashola in doing just that this time of year.  Doubtless there are a number of artists on the Beebs list already being lined up by their labels for appearances on Jools Holland and there’s nowt wrong with that, not all record labels are intrinsically evil 😉 , still, I think there’s room for some unsigned bands on JH.

That being said  let’s try not to get involved in the “tipping politics” instead let’s just look at it from the view that here are a group of artists we’d love it do well in 2012, quite simply because we feel they have much to offer and will hopefully make some interesting music in the coming 12 months.  They may not be brand spanking new or wilfully obscure, but we love em !   You can also check out the BBC’s own Sound of 2012  and The Bloggers Alternative here which we helped organise.

Last year we tipped The Good Natured and Islington Boys Club as ones to watch, and we’ll continue to do so this year because we think they both have a huge amount to offer.  We also hope Let’s Buy Happiness get more attention this year as they are also another band who deserve greater recognition in 2012.  Anyway without further waffle as I’m sure all your brains are addled by festive spirit coupled with that gnawing anxiety and uneasy sense of guilt induced by flashbacks from your shameful antics at the office Xmas party,  here are our musical hopes for 2012.


1.Two Wounded Birds

Two Wounded Birds Pic By Andy Von Pip

Margate based four piece have been criminally overlooked by the printed music press in the past possibly due to the fact that they aren’t  A/ London hipsters and B/ have more song writing talent in their little fingers than your average NME hyped band will ever possess . Their debut album is set to arrive in the New Year and looks set to build on the huge promise of recent singles and 2010’s “Keep Dreaming Baby” EP. If you ever loved The Beach Boys, The Ramones, David Lynch, if you know your pop history than as sure as night follows day, you will love Two Wounded Birds.  Interview Here


2.Tashaki Miyaki

We first heard this lot on  6 musics “NowPlaying” show of which we have been proud to have been a part of in 2011 and immediately fell in love with them. They have never appeared in the Karate Kid and  are in fact a Californian collective who specialise in impeccable reverb soaked dream pop of the highest order. They’ve already been described as sounding like a female Jesus And Mary Chain (hang on wasn’t that Sister Vanilla ?) and that’s certainly a description that should pique anybody’s interest. We are very, very excited to hear what they come up with next!


3. Rae Morris.


Our Mancunian gig going chums first altered us to Ms Morris, insisting we really should catch her live, to be truthful we haven’t quite managed that yet but as soon as we heard her songs and her voice it was like fireworks going off in our head. A brilliant prodigious talent, ignore the blithe comparisons with other female songwriters (they are generally wider of the mark than a Chris Waddle penalty) and just sit back and allow yourselves to be swept away by the beauty of her voice and the poetry of her lyrics.

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4. exlovers

There’s a kind of bruised poetic nobility about exlovers music, bittersweet, heartfelt, honest and eloquent. They produce songs which give hope and inspiration to the lovelorn and the lost, and although their world view may suggest they have experienced their fair share of heartbreak and emotional turmoil, exlovers are not devoid of optimism, for within their shimmering melodies there is the hope of brighter days ahead. A debut album is set for release in the New Year, which we are sure will reward the band with more exposure and a bigger fanbase.


5. Trailer Trash Tracys

Another band who seem to have been around longer than they have* (*comment sponsored by Edward Lear)  who are set to release their debut album “Ester” on 9th January 2012, which will hopefully make a sizable, ethereal dent on the musical landscape. Everything we have heard so far by this band has been excellent, if melancholic, gauzy dream pop is your bag then the TTT’s may well set your loins aflame.


6.The Jezabels.

Huge lunged soaring melodies and intense live performances are what The Jezabels are all about.  Their emo-centric tendencies may be a tad theatrical for some, but there’s no denying the power of singer Hayley Marys vocals and what a great band they are live. Their debut album has already taken their native Oz by storm and is set to have the same effect over here in the New Year. Very surprised not to see them included in the BBC’s “Sound Of List”


7.Zulu Winter

If you have recently discovered Zulu Winter than ya- boo to you as we liked them before you did, in fact we liked them before they were even called Zulu Winter. We first featured them a few years back when they were called The Molotovs.   

At that time  it seemed they were on the cusp of making a breakthrough, yet somewhat bafflingly it never quite happened. However a name change has given the band fresh impetuous and 2012 could well be the year they make their mark.



Bird , from Liverpool

One of the most interesting bands to come out of my home town in recent years, and not a single twangy Merseybeat guitar in earshot. Bird is the brainchild Adele Emmas a young singer songwriter inspired by Kate Bush, the Cocteau Twins, and has a predilection for producing mesmerising mysterious ethereal soundscapes. Be prepared for Adele’s voice to cast a spell on you and draw you in to a world of seductive, dark magic, where nothing is quite what it seems.


9.Lana Del Ray

There was been much written about Lana Del Ray , some complimentary and some suffused with more than a hint of  rather disturbing misogynist frat boy spite. We really don’t give a flying fuck with regard to this ‘too cool for school’ hipster backlash because the question is this  -does Ms Del Rey produce bad art, or good art ? Does it stand on its own two feet; indeed does it add value to your existence?  From what we’ve heard so far the latter defiantly applies and Ms Del Rey has it all to play for in 2012. Really we should celebrate an artist who has a unique voice and style rather than castigate her for having the audacity to sign to a record label. Save your bile for the parade of the inane overseen by Cowell the musical ringmaster for the terminally bland. Which is pretty much what we wrote for GIITV zine about the “Double-Eged Sword of being a blog sensation”




Euan Hinshelwood - Younghusband Live Manchester © Andy Von Pip

If you thought Euan Hinshelwood’s band would sound anything like his work with Emmy The Great your ears may have been in for a rude awakening. younghusband’s sound is influenced by lo fi indie and is infused with a gorgeous, gauzy fuzz pop shoegazy vibe which owes more to Pavement  Kraut rock and MBV than Diane Cluck. After  a couple of fine releases this year in the shape of their debut single “Carousal” and the “Crystal” Ep we look forward to hearing more from these chaps in 2012.


11.Lucy Rose

Lucy posses a fragile yet husky smoke cracked voice and writes songs with the sort of honest straight forward sincerity that can only come from the heart.  She became well known at various acoustic nights and a chance meeting with Jack Steadman of Bombay Bicycle Club led to her appearing on the title track of the bands acoustic album ‘Flaws’.  Lucy has since gained an enthusiastic, dedicated; some may say besotted fan base and now regularly sells out venues weeks in advance, which is quite a rare thing for an unsigned act. She also makes a nice cuppa.  Interview HERE.


12.Alt J

The artists formerly known as Films are now called ∆.   (∆ =Alt-j on your Mac  keyboard apparently) and  seem to have derived as much attention from their name change as they have for their music, which I suppose means job done in one sense. These guys are quite difficult to pigeon hole, at times it sounds like understated folky blues rock, on other occasions like  a kind of electronic  trip-hop with a bit of anti-folk thrown in. But then again at other times it sounds bugger all like that, or indeed anything else out there at the moment, so we’ll shut up now.



Rebecca Stephens - The Projectionists

Projectionists are based in Manchester and feature former Pipette Rebecca Stevens on vocals and song writing duty. There may be a nod to her former girl group past in terms of harmonies, but this is much more grown up pop with lyrics that are introspective and tinged with sadness set against upbeat melodies. It’s top quality stuff, which may surprise some people but not us, their debut EP is planned for January and we’ll have more on that in the new year.


14.Mode Moderne

Vancouver’s Mode Moderne seem to like the dark side of life and come across  rather like  The Arcade Fire meets Depeche Mode in a graveyard, which believe me is a good thing. The darkness, which makes Nick Cave seem positively sanguine is all enveloping, like black velvet, which disturbs and yet comforts. Let’s face it if upbeat pop is represented by the unholy union, nay the shrill pop abomination that is  Mike Posner and Cher Lloyd  I’ll direct my feet to the dark side of the street any day of the week!


15.Cold Spex

We caught Cold Spex supporting Howling Bells and from the off it was glaringly apparent that  singer Al Spx  posses the sort of voice others can only dream about. Whether they quite have the songs yet is another issue, but if they are given time to grow and not given a hideous record label make over they certainly have the potential to be something very special indeed, – doom gospel with soul.

6 Music now Playing Xmas Special

The VPME on Six Music

Just a quick note to let you know we’ll be on Nowplaying @ 6 Music on Friday 23rd December between 7-9.  Tom Robinson will be asking listeners and bloggers to suggest their musical highlights of 2011.

Here’s our last appearance on the show on 9/12/2011 in which we played Mode Moderne, Victoria And Jacob , Two Wounded Birds, Rebekah Delgado, Bird and Drag Your Heels

The VPME Podcast Episode 3 June 2011

The VPME Podcast Episode 3- June 2011


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

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Songs To Learn And Sing – The Better You Look The More You See – Pris / VP At The BBC

"It's hotter than Debbie Harry in camiknickers feeding a beef vindaloo to Pan's People in a sauna in Bangkok." It's twice as hot as that.

Pris - " hotter than Debbie Harry in camiknickers feeding a beef vindaloo to Pan's People in a sauna in Bangkok."

‘The Better You Look The More You See” By Pris.

Here’s the forthcoming debut single from Pris  who we have featured a fair few times on The VPME this year (interview here)  Not only do they play power packed, post punk,  snot pop with a vengeance, they also spend their spare time pissing off fans of ‘serious’ bands on twitter.  It’s hilarious to see them winding up the purists in 140 charters or less.

And as my mates  Half Man Half Biscuit once sang “ Irk The Purists it’s a right good laugh “


Von Pip And Sarabeth Tucek.

Von Pip And Sarabeth Tucek.

Pris were one of our selections when the Beeb invited us along to Tom Robinson’s interactive show  “Now Playing  on 6 music” playing the song for the first time, like, anywhere.  We also wrote a blog in which we picked our favourite four albums of the year so far (HERE).

You can listen to our appearance on BBC6Music music at around 1(hr) 25 (mins) HERE on the BBC I-player where we feature the incredible Sarabeth Tucek  and Islington Boys Club alongside   Pris.  The Quietus also pop in & select an array of ear candy for your delectation and edification.


In other news we are  working on our latest podcast for the merry month of May,  which even if we say it our selves is f*cking amazing !!!!  April’s edition can be listened to HERE