The Von Pip Musical Express Christmas Special Podcast

The VPME Christmas  Podcast 2011

Ahead of our album of the year special it’s time to . . . .

Jingle your bells, polish your baubles and roast you chestnuts on an open fire along to this special festive edition of the VPME podcast.  Including festive tracks from The Ramones, the Cocteau Twins, Low, The Raveonettes, Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler, The Pogues and much more

Listen below or via mixcloud

Vodpod videos no longer available.


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 – Mode Moderne, Two Wounded Birds, Eleanor Friedberger, Young Husband, Ellie Lawson, Flow Machines, Emily Barker, The Finger, Little Daggers and The John Peel approved Festive 50

This week featuring Mode Moderne, Two Wounded Birds, Eleanor Friedberger, Young Husband, Ellie Lawson, Flow Machines,  Emily Barker, The Finger, Little Daggers and  The John Peel Approved Festive 50.


Mode Moderne.

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!


“Undiscovered Country” By Mode Moderne.

‘Real Goths’ by Mode Moderne


Two Wounded Birds Free Download.


Following one from  our interview this week with front man Johnny Danger, Two Wounded Birds are giving away a free song below. The band has been gaining fans in high (and low) places for example Brian Wilson contacted Johnny and complimented him on a ‘great sense of melody.’ Debbie Harry watched the band at Camp Bestival and was struck by ‘such a beautiful voice, great songs, great future’, US music industry legend Seymour Stein declared them the ‘best band since The Ramones’ and the ever cerebral, music blog worlds answer to Benny Hill, Andy Von Pip declared they had “the best looking bassist in the history of rock n roll.”  Even Tracy Emin and Spongebob Squarepants have jumped on board. Their new single “Together Forever” has just been released on Moshi Moshi.

“I Think The World of You” By Two Wounded Birds.


  Eleanor Friedberger.

Eleanor Friedberger, is one half of Chicago’s The Fiery Furnaces and she releases her debut solo album ‘Last Summer’ on November 14th through Merge Records. The autobiographical lead single from the album ‘My Mistakes’ is  released on November 7th and for some reason it had me musing thus ; what if David Cameron decided to list his ‘mistakes’ using the medium of music ? I mean surely it would break some longstanding record as the longest (and doubtless the shitest) song ever.  Thankfully Eleanor’s much nicer than our beloved Prime Minister and ‘My Mistakes’ is a lovely whimsical introspective tune, which somehow has you yearning for summer again. Recently released stateside, ‘Last Summer’ has received great reviews and is now ready to make its European debut. Eleanor will also be playing a show at well-loved East End boozer, Bethnal Green’s Working Men’s Club on December 1st, accompanied by her full band.

“My Mistakes” by   Eleanor Friedberger.


Flow Machines.

Who are Flow Machines? Dunno , they don’t do interviews, they haven’t played live and there are no press photos about. Rumours that they are in fact Robson Green and Jerome Flynn pursuing a radically new  musical direction to recapture former ‘glories’ would seem somehwhat wide of the mark as they don’t make people want to rip their own ears off.  They mystery of their identity prevails, so instead lets not pamper lifes complexities, lets instead marvel at the smooth musical leather on the passenger seat..or something.

“Any Other Day” By Flow Machines.


younghusband New Ep on Sonic  Cathedral records

younghusband have a new  EP released  on the Sonic Cathedral label on the 21st of November 2011.

Younghusband’s front man guitarist and keyboard player  Euan Hinshelwood is  also an integral  part of Emmy The Great (the one who isn’t Emma Lee Moss) and if you were expecting poetic introspective acoustic musings you’d be very much mistaken. younghusband provide fuzzed up shoey gazey psych-kraut shimmer pop and sound like they’ve been doing it for years, let’s hope they do!

“Tropic Of Cancer” By Younghusband.


Ellie Lawson Free Download

South London Singer-Songwriter Ellie Lawson may be something of a new comer to many UK music fans but she’s spent several years writing and performing in  the US and Amsterdam, she’s also been signed to Atlantic records and appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show , two things I have yet to do.  However she’s back in Blighty  and her new EP  ‘Lost Without You ‘  is out on 15th November 2011. With another EP planned for next  year  with Communion Records co-founder and producer Ian Grimble (Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Everything But The Girl, Manic Street Preachers) it seems the UK is about to wake up to what the U.S. already know !


Emily Barker Free Download.

Emily Barker, one of the most critically acclaimed female folk artists of recent years  tells us  her excellent album “Almanac” is getting a re release. To celebrate here’s a free download (below). If you recognise Emilys voice chances are you’ve watched Wallander or The Shadow Line , as her songs were used as the theme to both shows. She’s also on tour with Frank Turner.

“Rope” By Emily Barker.


The Finger.

The Finger

We mentioned The Finger a few months back and  they have just released a new single from their forthcoming debut album, which is available from all major digital stores and is self released, which is something we always admire.  A melancholy lament which you could also pogo to (unless you have no legs.) Nice!

In A Fragment Of Time by The Finger.


Lil Daggers.

This is the first single release from the forthcoming Lil Daggers debut album, out on Song by Toad Records on 5th December 2011 and we like it! Without sounding like Oz Clarke beating himself off in a vineyard we are getting, shades of The Cramps, hints of the Mary Chain, motorbikes, leather jackets, Marlon Brando and snarly, sleazy rock n roll. All is well in the world.

Da Da Brown -’By Lil Daggers.


The Official 2011 Festive Fifty – Vote Now.

Dandelion Festive Fifty 2011

The Festive Fifty is an annual chart featuring the previous year’s best tracks, as voted for by listeners. Legendary BBC broadcaster John Peel presented the first ever Festive Fifty on Radio 1 back in 1976, and continued to do so until his death in 2004. Radio 1’s One Music show hosted the poll in 2005, before Peel’s former production team asked Dandelion Radio to become the new home of the Festive Fifty from 2006 onwards.

Virtual Reality -Emmy The Great Interview/Review

Emmy The Great Interview 2011 The Von Pip Musical Express.“A Woman, A Woman, A Century of Sleep” By Emmy The Great.

It wasn’t quite love at first listen with regard to  Emmy The Great’s debut album ‘First Love’, purely because we’d become smitten with Emmy’s oeuvre long before her debut.  She was probably one of the first artists  we’d discovered via myspace (remember that kids? Back in the day before Murdoch’s money poisoned the well rendering it completely unusable?) We were drawn to her wit, her natural melody, her poetic lyricism and her idiosyncratic musings. So in a sense, it was love at second listen in relation to ‘First Love’,  an album we also bestowed our much coveted album of the year award upon in 2009.

If ‘First Love’ proved that Emmy ‘s rough demo’s and EP’s scrubbed up rather well, then ‘Virtue’ sees her music in full make up wearing killer heels and stepping out onto the red carpet. It’s an album of such delicate heartbreaking beauty that it would leave only the stoniest of hearts unmoved. Informed by some life changing experiences, it demonstrates a keenness of mind and a hugeness of spirit that is sadly lacking in a lot of big label music these days.

The albums starts slowly with ‘Dinosaur Sex’  a song which  is possibly bleaker than catching Morrissey’s  worbegone visage refelcted in a coffin plate.  But after this  rather disquieting  opener the album really finds its feet and demonstrates that  Emmy has taken her  song writing and melodies to a whole new level. Gone is the naive whimsy of some of her early work, and the occasional self conscious pop culture references, replaced by somebody finding a new perspective, taking risks and not being afraid to express their most intimate thoughts.  ‘Virtue’ is  informed by the spectre of lost love and contains the sort of erudite  lyrical observations that elude most songwriters.  She shows that  just one of her softly sung couplets contains more wit wisdom and insight into the human condition than a thousand overwrought yodels from the likes of self proclaimed ‘people’s poet’ James Allan.  Subtlety is so often overlooked in favour of bombast in a lot of modern day music and so we should cherish somebody who’s intelligent song writing deftly holds a mirror up to our own hopes and dreams as she makes an album that is deeply personal and yet universal.  The album closes with ‘Trellick Tower, a building that many perceive as a brutal architectural scar on west London’s skyline which in this  instance  becomes emblematic of emotional scarring, it’s also probably  Emmy’s most personal song to date. The building acts as a kind of austere  memorial to a relationship, to a love lost,  an implacable spectator that casts a mighty shadow and still prevails when life has moved on. It’s a tale of heartbreak, acceptance, and is a tender goodbye….

So is ‘Virtue’  better than ‘First Love?’  We think so . Is it a contender for album of the year? It will surely be there or there abouts , and does it prove Emma lives up to her nom de plume? Definitely.

Album rating 9.5/10

We had a chat with Emma about the album, weddings and the life changing events which helped ‘Virtue’ take shape.



VP:   Hi Emma, congrats on the new album which is fantastic.  What made you go down the Pledge music route and how did the experience work for you? Any bizarre pledges to fulfil?

EMMA : Thanks Andy! I went down the Pledge route for a number of reasons. I didn’t feel like I had to demo the songs to record them for the album, and in order to get label funding before we recorded it, I’d have had to. As well as that, you probably know that I was in the middle of some gnarly personal stuff, and the idea of interacting with strangers and possibly expanding my uses as a musician with things like workshops was incredibly attractive.  Anything to get me away from my house and my own thoughts.  I’m really glad I did it. I met some amazing people. I can’t think of anything bizarre right now but there were definitely unique experiences, like meeting some of the people I now consider friends.

VP:   As you know I loved ‘First Love’ but ‘Virtue’ sounds like a much more confident and mature body of work. Without prying I know you had quite a turbulent time personally whilst writing the album, did that provide a seismic shift in terms of the tone of the album?

EMMA : I think I was already heading towards new pastures sonically, but in terms of the personal tone of the record – I didn’t realise it was going to be like that until the second half of the writing, after my wedding got cancelled. If you had told me in March that I’d spend the summer living with my parents and researching theology, I’d have been shocked, but a month later, that’s what happened, and the album became what it is.

VP: The pop culture references from the first album have all but disappeared, ( 24, M.I.A. etc) was this a conscious decision ?

EMMA : There are still references in this record. Maybe they’re less pop culture and more myth and literature, but those things are closely related. There’s Cassandra in Cassandra, and the last verse of that is based on the poster for the original film of Lolita, and there’s Rapunzel in Trellick Tower, there’s Trellick Tower…there are a couple songs based on the Sylvia Plath quote ‘Character is fate’, and Paper Forest is lifted from the last line of a Patti Smith song, which is lifted from the Bible. So there are still pop culture references, they’re just less direct.

VP: I guess  ‘Trellick Tower’ is your most personal song to date but  what’s the actual significance of the building in terms of the song ? (Apparently it ‘s also the inspiration for High Rise By JG Ballard so you’re in good company!)

EMMA : I lived really close to Trellick Tower when I was engaged and it was something i talked about with my ex a lot. When he did his thing I was there alone and the Tower took on extra significance, like it linked me with him, or with our past. Then as I got over what happened, it became something that was mine. I was the one who was still there; I was the one who still had a relationship with the building etc. I still use it as my personal sat nav replacement when I’m driving in London and need to get home.   I’ve been recommended High Rise by a few people now and I’m definitely going to read it.

VP:  How’s your relationship with religion these days?

EMMA : It’s funny, because I always thought I’d be really angry at Christianity after this, but I can’t be. When I went soul searching, I discovered such lovely branches of Christians – liberal ones, who actively fight for gay and female clergy – that I can’t possibly be mad at the entire religion. But there are certain types of Christianity that I came across that shocked me. It tends to do with taking the Bible literally and patriarchy/ moral conservatism/ science denial. To my mind there’s rational religion and irrational religion, and rational religion is something I have lots of time for.

VP: Ha the way you go about song writing changed over the years? For example do you sit down and think, I will write till 1.30 , clock off for lunch and then come back and write till five ? Or is it a case of writing as and when you feel inspired?

EMMA : I need routine. I take notes when I’m inspired but I don’t put it all together until I sit down to work. And then, yeah, it’s a case of starting at 11, taking lunch, finishing at 5 etc. It’s not like that’s the only time I come up with ideas, but that’s the time I know I’ll have something solid finished, and that gives me licence not to be thinking of songs when I’m doing other things.

VP:   You said that with “Virtue,” it’s the first album that you really wanted people to hear?  Could you explain that statement? Is it a question of being more confident in your song writing?

EMMA : I think just being more confident overall. Now that this album is out and I feel like I’ve got a body of work behind me, I don’t mind people hearing First Love either. I was always so insecure that people wouldn’t think that I could move forward, now if people hear the first, and know what the second sounds like, I feel like they’ll believe me that I can do something interesting for the third as well.

VP:  And you’ve just played Glastonbury, how was the festival for you ?  And how did you come to be involved in Water Aid?

EMMA :  I wrote to Water Aid before my first album I think. Not as a musician, just as a supporter. But as it happened Joe and Mel from Water Aid had been to one of my gigs (maybe just Joe?) and they asked me to come down. We were all going to Glastonbury that year so I said I’d spend my free time campaigning. I’ve campaigned for them every summer now. I really love them, as a charity and as people.

VP:  I gather from your recent comments that you were a big fan of the Royal Wedding? Let’s face it , it really did unify the nation and make us all forget about public sector cuts and old Etonians lording it over the serfs didn’t it ….erm …nope…

EMMA : The thing I heard most over that period was, “What’s wrong with a bit of escapism?” But the reason we all felt the need for escapism was because the establishment had let us down (repeatedly) and we were watching things like libraries and the arts crumbling around us. In this instance, you’ll have to explain how paying out of our taxes for a couple of already wealthy people to tie to the knot in incredibly regressive circumstances, in the company of a crowd so right wing that ex-PRIME MINISTERS were considered not posh enough to attend, counts as an effective form of escapism?

And I don’t know Kate Middleton, so I don’t know if the focus of the press coverage was reflective of a pathological interest in fashion on her part – but seriously – could there have been just the tiniest story that wasn’t about the make of the her boots and the gloss of her hair?

VP:  And you and Tim [ Wheeler] have recorded a Christmas album ?? What can you tell us about that?  Are they originals? Covers ? What’s the deal ?

EMMA : They’re mostly puns. We got snowed in over Christmas 2010 – like literally snowed in – and ended up missing four flights between us and so we wrote the songs (or at least the titles) for the Christmas record. There’s only one cover and it’s a full album.

VP: Finally five tips that would help us all become more ‘virtuous’

EMMA : Don’t stray from the path/ Appearances can be deceiving/ Keep your promises/ Do the right thing/ Follow your heart (full version of my guide to virtuosity can be found here:


Official Site

Emmy the Great Facebook

Emmy the Great Twitter

Emmy the Great Myspace

Large Image.


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

Vodpod videos no longer available.

or go straight to mixcloud

Liverpool Sound City Part 2 – Emmy The Great, Kurt Vile, The Jezabels.

Sound City Liverpool 2011 Review

And so on to part two of our Liverpool Sound City round-up.

(PART 1 featuring The Good Natured, Pete And The Pirates and Let’s Buy Happiness can be found HERE

And it’s our first rant of the festival !  😉

Emmy The Great @ Parr Street Studio2.

‘A Woman, A Woman, A Century of Sleep ‘ By Emmy The Great.

 With such a varied and eclectic mix of musicians performing over three days and festival wrist bands enabling fans and industry types to dip in and out of gigs at numerous venues, it’s perhaps inevitable that at some stage you will come across most music fans number one bugbear. I talk of course of the cretinous, boorish, bassoon voiced simpletons who think it’s perfectly fine to talk through an artist’s set at a volume that makes Brian Blessed’s  thunderous, booming baritone come across as a breathy, camp, high pitched whisper. Nobody expects unwavering reverential silence but there’s a fine line between a lively, vibrant atmosphere and downright rudeness.

At Emmy The Great’s performance in Parr there were times when the latter defiantly applied. It’s discourteous not only to the artist but also to fans who are there for the music. So irritated were we with this sort of behaviour, we have started our own  “Talk When Artist’s Terminate Songs’ campaign or  ‘T.W.A.T.S’  if you prefer. It  basically sets out to inform droning bores on gig going etiquette and it can be downloaded HERE. We welcome any further suggestions, as this is by no means a definitive list. (Email us here.)

The constant chatter in some quarters did somewhat taint our enjoyment of Emmy’s set, which was a shame because she’s  a lovely person and extremely talented and this was our first chance to hear songs from her soon to be released second album ‘Virtue.’  On the positive side, what we did hear suggested that this album could match or even surpass her  debut and former VPME album of the yearFirst Love.’ We chatted with Emmy after the gig and she seemed unruffled by the lack of manners displayed by the few.  We also met Sean Adams from Drowned In Sound and he too shared our annoyance at this seemingly growing trend of inane, invasive, chatter at gigs. (Emmy The Great Interview HERE)


Kurt Vile In Liverpool.

Portrait By Matt Thomas.

Kurt Vile @ The Kazimier.

‘Jesus Fever’ By Kurt Vile.’

Later we joined Sean for the D.I.S. curated gig at the excellent Kazimier venue, primarily to see Kurt Vile And The Violators. Despite a few technical difficulties Kurt’s set was a much louder affair thanwe’d anticipated based on the studio version of his latest album ‘Smoke Ring For My Halo’. Live Kurt’s sound  was a revelalation. His  laconic drawl, residing somewhere between a young Bob Dylan and a ‘medicated’ Evan Dando was still in evidence but the  rootsy guitar plucking was replaced by a much louder sonic experience, veering  towards Loop and even a stoner style My Bloody Valentine wall of sound, which was as impressive as it was unexpected. The venue itself was an excellent setting for Kurt’s introspective, off the wall songs in front of an appreciative audience.


The Jezabels @ Heebie Jeebies and Parr Street Studios.

Haley Mary - The Jezabels By Matt Thomas @Heebee JeeBees Liverpool

Photo By Matt Thomas.

“Easy To Love” By The Jezabels.

The Australian music industry’s early afternoon barbecue at Heebie Jeebies was buzzing, the lure of  free food to soak up the previous night’s hangovers certainly provided a draw, as of course did the promise of some top quality music. Top of our  ‘to see’  list  was The Jezebals, we’d recently described them as a band on the cusp of greatness in a  panel piece for Music Week  regarding their fabulous UK debut single  ‘Hurt Me’  (READ HERE)  and as a live proposition they really did blow peoples socks off.  The focal point is Hayley Mary’s amazing voice that swoops and soars and is as on occassion as  dark and  dramatic as  Kate Bush as strident as Siouxsie , but is never histrionic, self indulgent or warble-mungeous in the style of  Florence. But if Hayley’s vocals are what draws you in, you soon discover what fantastic musicians the  band are with thunderous drumming, great keyboard riffs and Sam Lockwoods massive guitar licks, this is undoubtedly a band going places. Hayley herself described her band mates as the best musicians she’s ever heard and  the audience, many who may have been here purely for the food, were soon transfixed by the band . We also caught up with them later at Parr Street Studio’s and the response was equally enthusiastic.

Photo By Matt Thomas.

So that was Sound City 2011, the best one yet for us, and not a Beatles tribute band in sight (unless you count Cast 😉 ho,ho!  ). As we made our way home to brave ‘The Walking Dead’ on the night bus, we met a Liverpudlian in exile who had travelled back to the city for the first time in years.  He worked in the music industry and  explained he had become disillusioned with the insular attitude, the dreary self indulgent Scouse muso retro wankery, which he felt had strangled and stagnated the music scene  here for years. He had also tired of the City’s music promoters figuratively cutting each other’s throats instead of working together. Sound City had opened his eyes  enabling him to see how things have moved on and what great venues are now dotted around the city. Slightly worse for wear but with genuine emotion he told us  “the last three days, have made me fall in love with music and my home city all over again. That’s what I’ll take from Sound City.” And really,  that’s what it’s all about, we rather felt the same, indeed the first thing we did upon arriving home on the final night was to update our facebook status with four words “People Are F***ing Great’.  And maybe those two simple anecdotes neatly encapsulate the entire spirit of  Sound City 2011?

See you next year.

Liverpool Sound City 2011 The Aftermath

Heebie Jeebie Cout Yard By Matt ThomasThanks To Matt Thomas for the photos, where credited  and be sure to check out his website here for some amazing musical photography.

Songs to Learn And Sing -“A Woman, A Woman, A Century of Sleep” – Emmy The Great- Free Download.

Emmy The Great - Virtue

“A Woman, A Woman, A Century of Sleep” By Emmy The Great.


Here’s a new song (which you can download for free here )from Emmy The Great’s second album, “Virtue,” which will be released in the UK on June 13th. You can  pre-order via Rough Trade or or  via the website…