Light The Fuse -We Were Promised Jetpacks Interview

“Quiet Little Voices” By We Were Promised Jetpacks

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People tell me that choosing a band name can be quite a difficult process. However as a former member of a thrilling musical ensemble I actually found bestowing a collective name upon our venture the least of our worries, our problems derived from an acute lack of musical ability and the fact that we weren’t exactly overwhelmed with a surfeit of decent material or even anything that even resembled a tune.  As songwriter I take full responsibility for penning such cringe worthy epics  as “Global Chernobyl”, “Lager Shandy With Rosie“Bryan Ferry, A Cross, The Mersey” “Bill Oddie Haircut Stigma“, “Multi-Coloured Sweat Shop” and the rather moving, evocative tale of unrequited love  “You Can’t Leave Me If You’re Dead”. Yes Distant Echos failed for one reason and one reason alone -we were utter shite. The lesson? Having a quirky, interesting or cool name simply won’t cut the mustard; it’s the tunes that matter!

Mercifully Scottish band “We Were Promised Jet Packs” have no such worries and have songs every bit as interesting and exciting as their name might suggest.   The Scottish 4-piece came to FatCat Records attention whilst they were having a gander at one of their signings, Frightened Rabbit’s, myspace chums.  A subsequent tour as main support for Frightened Rabbit followed and earned WWPJ rave reviews.   They have  been  featured in  NME, The Fly, WIRED, Vanity Fair and Clash, were chosen as Q’s Track of the Day and played by the unintelligible, hyperactive, kiwi fruitcake, Zane Lowe.  A demo version of ‘Quiet Little Voices’ also recently won Zane’s  ‘Fresh Meat’ vote.

Hot off the heels of a successful SXSW jaunt (performing alongside Glasvegas and Primal Scream) and with a debut album in the offing, 2009 looks set to be an exciting year for WWPJ . We had a word with lead singer/guitarist Adam Thompson about all things musical.

VP:  What was the motivating factor in forming a band?  Was there a catalyst or was it just something that seemed a natural thing to do?

ADAM: It just happened.  We were all friends who happened to be able to play instruments. There was no big meeting, or mission statement or anything like that!  We’re all pretty happy we did now though!

VP:  The band name is pretty unusual, did you have other names and what made you settle on this one?

ADAM: We had some more names that were floating about. We set ourselves a deadline, and when it came we had to settle on what we’ve got now. It’s worked out well, I suppose. It’s really hard thinking up band names! Everyone always goes “Aww that’d make a great band name” when they hear stuff, we all still do it now, but to pick one for your own band is pretty hard.

VP:  You’ve played SXSW , how did you get on the bill and how did you enjoy the experience?

ADAM: We applied for funding from the Scottish arts council who were amazing. They gave us and a bunch of other bands a pile of money so that we could buy plane tickets over and find a place to stay, they were brilliant. As they were sending us, that’s how the Scottish arts showcase came about, the other shows were all sorted by the guy who’s in charge of the U.S branch of  Fatcat, our label. Playing there was loads of fun! We didn’t really get a chance to take in many other bands, as we were pretty busy, but we got a real taste of the festival and enjoyed it a lot.

VP:  You have a single out, “Quiet Little Voices’ on May 4th, as the lead up to your debut album. How the process of choosing a lead single work does, do the band chose, the label, or is it a case of a consensus between the two?

ADAM: I think most bands just get told what it is, but Fatcat are such an artist-centred label that we have a compromise. This one was a natural choice anyway I think. It was good for the label as the demo had done pretty well; it’s been played on a few radio stations and all that. For us, it’s our oldest song, so it will be good to have it out of the way! We still enjoy playing it live, but can’t bear to hear it! We did a video for the song and had to stand in a room and listen to it 10 or so times. Not a fun day!

VP:  What have you got lined up for the rest of the year?

ADAM: The album comes out June 15th. We’ve got our first ever headline tour in June which is very exciting. We have a couple of summer festivals lined up and we have our final exams at university, getting them out of the way will be fantastic! We’re planning another single for after the album comes out, but anything beyond that will depend on what doors are opened with the album release, if any. Hopefully a couple of people will like it and we can have a bit of fun…

VP:  What sort of music has been an influence on your sound?

ADAM: A lot of our friend’s bands in Scotland, obviously Frightened Rabbit and Twilight Sad, like everyone else. Nothing that really goes back too far, we tend to listen mostly to music from the last few years, bands like Hot Club De Paris for the picky guitar stuff, or the Longcut for the soundscapes…

VP:  It’s a cliché, but have sites like myspace been influential in helping you get off the ground whilst awaiting your jetpacks?

ADAM: Definitely. One of us once said in an interview that it basically managed us for a few years, which is a good way of putting it. It was just so easy to find promoters in your city, and as soon as you find them they can instantly hear what you sound like and book you or not. Also, for finding local bands in a similar situation as you and keeping in touch with them, booking your own shows. it’s been incredibly useful.

VP :  What’s the music scene like up in Scotland these days? Any upcoming bands you’d recommend?

ADAM: It seems to be really good. In Glasgow, where we’re based, we’re not really part of a “scene” as such, it’s more just a bunch of friends who all play in bands. we thoroughly recommend Endor, Lyons, John B McKenna, Dupec, Big River. There are loads…

VP:  Last musical purchase was ………………..?

ADAM: For me, the newest Spinto Band album. I always loved the one before last, and we supported them in Edinburgh recently,  I was embarrassed that I hadn’t bought the newest one. We then saw them at SXSW and I still hadn’t bought it.  But I have now. Don’t tell them I didn’t have it all along…

VP:  Five words to sum up your hopes for 2009?

ADAM: We hope it’ll be alright.


On Myspace




“Quiet Little Voices” By We Were Promised Jetpacks

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Music News we/3/04/2009

News – Kids Love Lies, Manic Street Preachers, Kasabian, La Roux , We Were Promised Jetpacks, Levelload, Sound Of Guns and The Trouble with James Allan

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The ‘Power-Pop’ quintet play  @ The Lexington in light of their new single ‘Count In My Head’ released 13th April on Cherryade records. Frontwoman Ellen writhes around on stage with the same gusto as Karen O whilst Leigh Harrison, Claudia Mansaray, Matty Saywell and Raf Singer play  frenetic post punk.

‘Count In My Head’ refers to the Brit post punk scene and is a short, catchy jagged pop song that sounds like the Noisettes covering Sleater Kinney with Jemima Be Your Own Pet on vocals. Ellen melodically yips about a broken relationship and being tired of the constant fight “Only said what you want me to say, only did what you want me to do”. Other songs featured on the single are the girly angst ridden “Fight Face” and an acoustic mix of ‘Perfection’ which is a tirade against social climbers and name droppers!
Check out their amazing video (made up of 3,500photostills )

Kids Love Lies – Count In My Head


Manic Street Preachers

Official Site

Album ‘Journal For Plague Lovers’

18th May 2009

Columbia Records

Manic Street Preachers return this year with their ninth studio album, ‘Journal For Plague Lovers’ released on May 18th on Columbia Records.

Produced by Steve Albini and recorded live at Rockfield Studios in Wales during the Winter of 2008, the album features lyrics left behind by former guitarist Richey Edwards across all 13 new tracks. An original piece of Jenny Saville’s art is the cover of ‘Journal for Plague Lovers’, whose painting graced the cover of 1994’s ‘The Holy Bible’.

Nicky Wire said of the decision to use Richey’s words after all this time, “The brilliance and intelligence of the lyrics dictated that we had to finally use them.  The use of language is stunning and topics include The Grande Odalisque by Ingres, Marlon Brando, Giant Haystacks, celebrity, consumerism and dysmorphia, all reiterating the genius and intellect of Richard James Edwards”.

Musically the band draw on their classic Holy Bible sound with elements of Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’, as well as a delicate, acoustic side.

Track-listing for Journal For Plague Lovers:

‘Peeled Apples’

‘Jackie Collins Existential Question Time’

‘Me & Stephen Hawking’

‘This Joke Sport Severed’

‘Journal For Plague Lovers’

‘She Bathed Herself In A Bath Of Bleach’

‘Facing Page: Top Left’

‘Marlon J.D.’

‘Doors Closing Slowly’

‘All Is Vanity’


‘Virginia State Epileptic Colony’

‘William’s Last Words’

A UK tour will be announced shortly.



On Tuesday 31st March, Kasabian will release their new track Vlad The Impaler as a free download from It’ll be available until midnight on 3rd April.

The single is taken from their forthcoming album West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, out 8th June.



Spotify Session live at YOYO

The red haired one has teamed up with the digital service of the moment to release the La Roux – Spotify Session live at YOYO. In a first for the service, three tracks recorded during La Roux’s oversubscribed four-week residency at YOYO are available exclusively to Spotify premium users . The session features tracks from La Roux’s forthcoming debut album, due out in the summer, including both singles released so far, Quicksand and In For Kill, alongside live favourite Tigerlily. The session will be made available to all Spotify users from 3 April.

Free download bundle

Meanwhile, the original studio version of Quicksand is available to download free from for a limited time. The track is being paired with the demo version of Fascination as an exclusive digital bundle available only from the official site.

NME Radar Tour + US dates

La Roux has been announced as the headline act on the NME Radar tour with support from Heartbreak, Magistrates and The Chapman Family. The tour which has famously given a leg up to the likes of Crystal Castles, White Lies and Friendly Fires, will kick off in Nottingham on 29 April ending with a grand finale at London’s Koko on 19 May. Before then, they will play a handful of dates in the US . Head to for the tour dates in full.


We Were Promised Jetpacks

‘Quiet Little Voices’ – 7″/DL out May 4th

‘These Four Walls’   – CD/DL out June 15th




15 Apr – Scala, London (supporting Frightened Rabbit – SOLD OUT)

30 Apr – Hinterland Festival, Glasgow

1  May – Hinterland Festival, Glasgow

14 May – Water Margin, Brighton (FatCat Showcase – Great Escape Festival)

15 May – DrownedinSound Stage, Brighton (Great Escape Festival)

09 Jun –  Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh

10 Jun –  Doghouse, Dundee

15 Jun –  King Tuts, Glasgow

16 Jun –  Night & Day, Manchester

17 Jun –  Bodega, Nottingham

18 Jun –  The Lexington, London

19 Jun –  The Cockpit, Leeds

20 Jun –  The End, Newcastle

We Were Promised Jetpacks’ ‘Quiet Little Voices’ represents the lead-up to a debut album that is already highly touted, several months before release. The band’s youthful energy (their average age is 21) explodes thunderously as ‘Quiet Little Voices’ reaches its indescribably huge chorus. Every space is filled, the tension bristles achingly in Thompson’s vocal delivery as the rest of the band crashes around him with a perfect balance of force and harmony, but the romanticism and accessibility of a pure pop sensibility is never hidden too deep. B-side ‘Let’s Call This A Map.’ is no different: an energetic, Interpol-esque introduction gives way to the kind of intertwining, effortlessly stirring chorus that has inspired such confidence in and excitement around this band.

Assembled in Edinburgh as high school friends in 2003, “We Were Promised Jetpacks'” first ever gig saw them winning their school’s battle of the bands competition. Proceeding shows were after-school performances around the city of Edinburgh which were well attended and fuelled the band with a hunger and ambition. The 4-piece came to FatCat’s attention when listening to some of the friends on the Frightened Rabbit Myspace page. Before even releasing a single, WWPJ have laid claim to some recent successes which suggest the heralding of a major talent bursting to emerge. A well recorded three-track demo was circulated and managed to pick up a KEXP track of the day over the pond, and plays on national stations in the UK were popping up on XFM, BBC and Q radio.

A tour through September 2008 as main support for Frightened Rabbit garnered great reviews for WWPJ.  This being their first jaunt into England, healthy crowds arrived early on each evening due to the huge buzz in Scotland now filtering down south of the border.   Already WWPJ have been reviewed by NME, The Fly, WIRED, Vanity Fair and Clash, have been featured as Q’s Track of the Day and played on Zane Lowe to great acclaim.  A demo version of ‘Quiet Little Voices’ recently won Zane Lowe’s ‘Fresh Meat’ as well.

Fresh off the heels of a successful SXSW jaunt (performing alongside Glasvegas and Primal Scream) and with an album scheduled for 15 June 2009 titled These Four Walls, the forthcoming year of releases and touring is set to be a busy one for We Were Promised Jetpacks.



‘I’ve Been Thinking’

Released on 25th May 2009 (Flightpath Records)

A snarling testament to obsession, mistakes, stalking and demented cruelty, ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ is simply a song about all the things that makes love painful and addictive.  Bringing together gleeful messiness and proper pop sensibilities with the duo’s trademark combo of electronics pushed to the point of meltdown, thrashing guitars and Karen-O-in-a-bitch-fight vocals, ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ harks back to the glory days of Devo and adds a pinch of Late of the Pier.

Mariko Doi and Tony Wade collided one night under Tokyo’s neon sky, bonding over a mutual love of Blondie, Gang of Four, Link Wray, and the colour yellow.  After the first song they wrote – ‘Palookaville’ – was instantly played by the venerable John Peel they realised that maybe they were on to something. Their quickly released follow up single ‘HND in RNR’ proved them right, setting the press and industry abuzz and even getting featured on ‘Dirty Sanchez the Movie‘.  Since then they’ve toured Japan, faced down blizzards whilst touring Germany, and shared stages with the likes of Metronomy, The Hives, XX Teens and Cornelius.

No other band around today could make the music they are making, smashing Japanese and British influences to create punchy, visceral, new wave punk, all in the laudable search for “the perfect pop song”.

With “I’ve Been Thinking”, they may well have just found it…


And in Local News …….

Liverpool indie band The Sound Of Guns found themselves at the centre of a firearms scare in Wakefield on Saturday (March 28) after a misunderstanding.

The group were preparing to play the Escobar venue with Detroit Social Club, when around 30 police officers sealed off the road. They were ordered out of their van by armed officers and told to put their hands where they could be seen.

Manager Paul Finney told theWakefield Express: “The only conclusion we can draw is that there was a gang of Scousers talking about The Sound Of Guns, and it got overheard.”

A police spokesperson said: “Police were called at 6.25pm on Saturday by a man who reported seeing a man with what was believed to be a handgun in the city centre. Police attended and a full search was carried out, which included speaking to a group of men in the area who were not involved. It proved to be a false alarm – with good intent. We have now apprehended the real villains ( pictured below)  and we deny that there was any stereotyping whatsoever …..”


And Finally

The Trouble with James Allan

” I drink Bollinger instead of Buckfast,” says Glasvegas frontman James Allan

This article also contains the following gems which sees James embrace, snog and enter  “luvviedom” with gusto.  Check out these gems

“” I hate to say that but my palate has become refined”

Or  “I have found it difficult carrying the burden of those songs”

Burden ? He wants to get a grip pronto , the countries in recession and singing songs are a burden ? A BURDEN!

“Every day, I am bombarded with thoughts” Wow ! Really ? Like the rest of us arent ? Ah, but ours arent sent by the muse are they ?

And the classic up my arse statement

I feel that my focus isn’t clouded by anything. A lot of the poems I have been writing have come to me because of my clarity of that focus . I need to make sure I get them down or I forget them. Certain words are coming into my head time and again and certain moods that will sum up the next record.  As an artist, the state of mind is what makes an album and my state of mind has changed

Dear God!  I think he should read this article ………here from last weekends Guardian by the always excellent Marina Hyde. Reality Check!

Time was when entertainers knew their place. Today they run riot, adopting orphans by the pramload, extolling oddball religions and even brokering peace deals. What’s going on?”

One Bono’s enough for any civilisation surely ?

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Music News w/e 20th March 2009

Slow Down Tallahassee, Gomez, Glasvegas, The Answering Machine, Black Box Revelation, Liverpool SoundCity

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Slow Down Tallahassee New Single

Trick By Slow Down Tallahassee

Slow Down Tallahassee follow up their highly acclaimed debut album “The Beautiful Light” with new single “Angel Of Death”/”Trick”. These two new songs continue to display their knack for perfectly fuzzy pop and the darker side of life.

Joining them on this release are the latest band to join Thee SPC roster, Standard Fare. They’re a three piece fronted by Emma, who’s soaring vocals are a mix of Isobel Campbell and Debbie Harry.

Slow Down Tallahasse on Myspace

Standard Fare on Myspace


Glasvegas predictably take the stadium Rock route

Bono -Mrs Doubtfire

After saying “B’ Jeezus that song, ‘It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry’ is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard in all me days so it is “ in the NME last month, Mrs Doubtfire look alike Bono, and his roadies U2, have specially invited Glasvegas to support them on a number of their UK stadium shows this summer, including the following dates:

Friday 24th July – Dublin Croke Park

Tuesday 18th August – Glasgow Hampden Park

Saturday 22nd August – Cardiff Millennium Stadium.

One wonders if the venues will be big enough to accommodate both Bongo and Mr Allan’s  gargantuan ego’s?





On their new album Gomez mark a return to their freewheeling and experimental roots. With those distinctive voices, breezy harmonies, ceaselessly evolving rhythms and a melodic restlessness that sees vocals shared and verses cut in two, A New Tide is released on Eat Sleep Records on APRIL 6th.

Gomez have stood apart from the very beginning, earning critical praise and an ardent fanbase for their eclectic and ambitious musical tack. In October 2008, Gomez celebrated the 10th anniversary of their Mercury Music Prize-winning debut BRING IT ON, with a string of live dates showcasing the classic album.

A NEW TIDE also sees Gomez accompanied by a number of illustrious guest musicians, including vocalist Amy Milan (Stars/Broken Social Scene), bassist Josh Abrams (The Roots /Godspeed You Black Emperor!), cellist Oliver Krauss (Paul Weller / Beth Orton), and multi-instrumentalist Stuart Bogie of Brooklyn’s world renowned Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra.

As ever, a wide range of styles is incorporated into Gomez’s matchless musical brew.  Flavours of Delta blues, psychedelia, and Krautrock all come into play, resulting in a musically mischievous and remarkably forward-thinking collection.  In short, A NEW TIDE is Gomez at their inimitable, incomparable best.

Gomez will tour the UK this spring


The Answering Machine

(Hit or Heist Records)  Free Mp3 of ‘Another City, Another Sorry’Here (right click save as)

Single ‘Cliffer’ out now

Official site:


The Black Box Revelation

The Black Box Revelation are are 19-year-old Jan Paternoster (guitar/vocals) and 17-year-old Dries Von Dijck (drums).
BBR are the dirty, sleazy, blues offspring’s of Jack White, Mick Jagger and Jimmy Page, a flaming hybrid of rock ‘n’ roll guitar excess.
The Black Box Revelation were born in Brussels, Belgium in 2006 out of the ashes of  4-piece The Mighty Generators, when two friends formed a unholy union, to use up the spare time of the studio they’d already paid for. There they recorded demos for the aforementioned contest, from which ‘Love In Your Head’ still survives to this day.

Since then BBR has built a solid fan base in their native land with several number one singles and a formidable reputation for their ferocious live shows and the news is starting to spread further afield.

Having already toured America, Europe with The Eagles Of Death Metal and now showcasing at SXSW, BBR will release their debut album “Set Your Head on Fire” on 20th April.

The album will be followed a week later by single “Love, Love Is On My Mind” on 27th April.

Watch the video


Liverpool SoundCity 2009 Launch Party  26th March 2009    O2 Academy Liverpool

Having already secured the esteemed services of chart-topping White Lies, sonnet starlet Little Boots, as well as Jon McClure and co. from new super group Mongrel for the festival – the Liverpool SoundCity Launch Party on Thursday 26th March will get things going with a bang.

In the underground, innovative and free-spirited style of SoundCity, the headline acts for the launch party – presented by Liverpool-based promoters Evol and Meshuggy – are representative of what the festival is all about.

Animal Collective and Dent May are two names synonymous with creativity and, with both having released albums celebrated for their startling originality in recent weeks, they will take to Liverpool’s O2 Academy on Thursday 26th March for the official festival Launch Party

SoundCity: Wednesday 20th – Saturday 23rd May

In total, more than 400 acts from around the world will play to 25,000 people across 30 of Liverpool’s most prestigious venues for four days. Early Bird tickets cost £35, with regular tickets £60 in advance and £80 on the door. Festival and conference passes are priced at £99 for Early Bird and at £120 for regular tickets.

SoundCity champions up and coming talent and captured the zeitgeist of 2008 with highlights that included: Santogold, Hercules and Love Affair, Glasvegas, Hadouken, Reverend and the Makers, Laura Marling, The Whip, Iglu & Hartly, Crystal Castles, Ladyhawke and The Wombats.

Liverpool SoundCity

Wednesday 20th May – Saturday 23rd May 2009 /

Festival Pass – entry (capacity permitting) to all live events and showcases at SoundCity:

Advance: £60

Walk up: £80

Festival and Conference Pass:

Early Bird: £99

Standard: £120

Tickets are available online at: /


Retro Song Of  The Week

“Crash” by The Primitives

The Primitives were a British alternative pop band from Coventry formed in 1985 by Keiron McDermott (vocals), PJ Court (born Paul Jonathan Court) (vocals, guitar), Steve Dullaghan (bass) and Pete Tweedie (drums). Keiron was soon replaced by Tracy Tracy (born Tracy Cattell in Australia).

After a successful first album, which presented them with their UK Top 5 hit single “Crash” in late-1987 (and made the Top 3 in the U.S. Modern Rock Charts), their career began to fade in the early-1990s. They split in 1992 following the commercial failure of their final album, 1991’s Galore. Their major rivals within the ‘blonde pop’ scene were Transvision Vamp and The Darling Buds, both of whom bore a similar look and sound.

The Primitives emerged from the independent scene of the mid-Eighties that begat, amongst others, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, the Soup Dragons and the Wedding Present. They shared a love of melody, the Sixties, fast Ramones-influenced guitars and the pop sensibility of the Buzzcocks and Orange Juice.

Dullaghan died in Coventry on 4 February 2009

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Music News 27/02/09

This Week ; The Indelicates, Keane, Gloria Cycles, Royal Treatment Plan, Little Boots , Ono Palindromes, Grammatics, Lizzyspit and The NME Awards

Song Of The Week

“Undercurrent” By Royal Treatment Plant



Keane have set-off on the South American leg of their world tour but have still had time to commission a remix by Innerpartysystem of their album’s title track ‘Perfect Symmetry’. You can listen to it  below or “right click save as” to download it here



‘Chancer’ is the third single from Gloria Cycles, a four piece from Brighton who look set to make their mark in 2009’s most. If you like your indie accompanied by intricate guitars and heavy bass, then this could be the band for you.

They spent most of last year on the road playing up and down the country wowing audiences with their snappy basslines, catchy melodies and never-ending hooks. They were asked to go on tour with Cage The Elephant and Fight Like Apes, as well as playing to 25,000 eager German music fans at Taubertal Festival. They also played unmissable sets at Great Escape, Liverpool Soundcity and Offset.

‘Vegas’ and ‘No Zero’s’ (released on limited coloured vinyl) grabbed the attention of those odd folk at Radio 1 and their debut single whizzed straight into the top 30 of their indie chart on word of mouth alone. The band have a true DIY ethic, they make their own dazzling artwork, promote their very own club night in Brighton and also direct their own videos.

Their debut album mixed by John Cornfield (Oasis, Stone Roses and Supergrass) is due for release later this year. Keep your ears out for a full UK tour around the release of the single.



The Indelicates are playing the opening night of Club Cog at The Lexington on Saturday the 7th March. Ticket links are here: and here:

They have also written a Recession Song, featuring Mikey Art Brut, Keith Totp, and Nicky Biscuit, as well as the usual Indelicate lot. The song is accompanied by a video specifically designed to make you buy the T-SHIRTS. I think you’ll agree, it does a very effective job of explaining quite how super cool you’ll be if you wear one, especially if you team it up with a brown cardigan handed down to you from your sisters first trip to a charity shop in the 80’s. It’s recession chic, it’s hot, it’s glamourous, it’s dirty, it’s…Indelicates Recession wear!!!

Download the song on here:

Watch the ahem… HILARIOUS! video

And buy the T-SHIRTS here:
Simon Indelicate has been writing and recording a concept album about Waco called “David Koresh Superstar”. It’s really quite something, you can listen to some of the songs here:

And you can buy Merchandise for David Koresh Superstar, as well as T-shirts based on the signs used in “Julia, We Don’t Live In The 60’s” here:



“Meddle” By Little Boots

27th February – Mad Hatters, Inverness – Tickets

28th February – Moshulu, Aberdeen – Tickets

1st March  – The Sub Club, Glasgow – Tickets

7th March – JD Set Gig, Manchester *SOLD OUT*

12th March – 53 Degrees, Preston – Tickets

13th March – The Cornerhouse, Middlesborough – Tickets

14th March – The Faversham, Leeds *SOLD OUT*

2nd April – Bucks Uni, High Wycombe – Tickets

3rd April – Carling Academy, Bristol – Tickets

4th April – We Are Rockstars, Unit, Southampton – Tickets



Talented singer songwriter Lizzyspit has a free download of her latest double A-side single available “Little Dan/Stars In The Water “here. And you can read an interview with her here



Blur’s Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon played a surprise reunion gig at this year’s NME Awards. It was their first performance together since 2000,  thankfully they only played one track. Those yearning to hear more will have to wait for the band’s full reunion concert at London’s Hyde Park in July. Personally I really CAN wait. Blur’s other members, the posh farmer fella who smells of cheese and the one who sounds like a pack of fruit gums were also at the ceremony, although they didn’t do anything to merit anything more than this ill formed sentence.

Brit-pop’s resurrection continued with Oasis winning the best British band gong. The decision was not without some controversy, amusingly large parts of the crowd started to boo when the winner was announced. Hapless host Mark Watson appeared confused, saying: “I don’t know why you’re booing, you lot voted for them, c’mon people, if  not for the Gallagher’s sake then please show some respect for the venerable Alan McGee”. Unfortunately for Watson this was like fuel to the fire , and he was soon engulfed in a tidal wave of rage, he was last seen being carried in the direction of a huge rudimentary Wicker Man that had been hastily erected on Hampstead Heath. The Gallagher’s were not in attendance, due to technical problems with their “mono-brow”. James Allan from Glasvegas, was apparently still sulking yesterday after hearing a word his ears have not been accustomed to of late.Namely a “no” from The NME, when he asked that a huge ice sculpture be provided at the awards show.

Sadly the ceremony was also horribly marred by a series of cheesy pop duets that seem to be in-vogue at present, but which invariably have the audience mumbling “god, make it stop”. Franz Ferdinand teamed up with La Roux to cover Blondie’s Call Me, and Florence and the Machine joined Glasvegas to tackle the Elvis Presley hit Suspicious Minds. Not wanting to be outdone, Friendly Fires brought out a troupe of Brazilian dancing girls and glitter cannon. Nice to see bands still being as subversive as ever isn’t it ? The spirit of Phil Collins is alive and well and in safe hands.



“Eat Your Make Up”

We like this lot, they are a bit on the cuckoo side of the clock. Yes, Exeter 5 piece Ono Palindromes unleash their latest offering of perfectly crafted art pop, the Kitty Magic EP looks  set to enhance their rapidly increasingly critical and commercial reputation.

“Eat Your Make Up” is a song influenced by an early John Waters movie where young girls are taken in from the streets, and forced to live on a diet of make-up from their matron/pimp. Including a verse which centres on the concept of Alice in Wonderland being a crazed alcoholic it clearly indicates their effortless ability to combine well known popular culture with an artistic twist – surely the very definition of art-pop or what we called in my day “mad as a clown with TWO balloons “





From its staccato opening, of linear cello and guitar, to its achingly beautiful coda, Shadow Committee is the epitome of Grammatics’ heroic art rock.  It’s a-side companion Time Capsules And The Greater Truth a second movement of glacial acoustic wordsmithery, or something,  released 16h March.

Grammatics are about to head out on tour with Red Light Company, here are full dates:

10 March – Glasgow – Nice’N’Sleazy

11 March – Newcastle – The Cluny

13 March – Sheffield – Leadmill

16 March – Nottingham – Bodega

17 March – Birmingham – 02 Academy 3

18 March – Manchester – Roadhouse

20 March – Southampton – Joiners

21 March – Cheltenham – Frog and Fiddle

22 March – Bristol – Thekla

23 March – Cardiff – Barfly

24 March – London – Borderline

25 March – Norwich – Arts Centre

Official site


What the critics are saying:

“An epic slice of paranoia-pop mixing bass and twinkly keys to mesmeric effect… ” – NME

“Grammatics bowl you over with washes of high-IQ indie. Great stuff.” – THE SUNDAY TIMES

“The summit of a glittering sonic scape.” – ARTROCKER

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Glasvegas-Liverpool University 29/01/2009


After reading Mr Mc Gee’s  usual tedious  hyperbole with regard to Glasvegas and their  gig in Glasgow, (here) I feel,  maybe some balance is needed . His depressingly familiar “Scotland’s  best export  since malt whiskey and Sean Connery ” is becoming  oh, so predictable that it surely hardly constitutes being termed “newsworthy?” Who knows maybe, the Glasgow gig did moisten the great mans trousers; however that was not my experience in Liverpool.  ……

Glasvegas have had their critics, in the past, over hyped , dreary, Mary Chain wanna-bes etc, etc,  but having  previously defended  them this performance left me with no small amount of egg on my face , I was actually looking forward to seeing them headlining their  biggest  ever  tour …But oh dear ,oh dear ,  tonight  at Liverpool Uni, maybe, just maybe,  I too,  caught  a glimpse of the emperors’ new clothes,  and I must confess,  I have  started to re-evaluate my feldgeling relationship with the band. For example, have we all thrust greatness upon Glasvegas  at far too early a stage in their career? Is it fair to do so ?   Do the band  believe the  hype already ? Have I been conned ?  Is James Allan Jim Kerr in waiting, or worse …?? Sadly, the  Liverpool show  was an extremely unpleasant experience from start to finish, from the badly organised venue,(as per  usual for  Liverpool Uni, which really  is one  the WORST venues in the area, Manchesters Uni is far more agreeable) to the aggressive drunken , under age White Lies fans, all pouts, shouts and stylised misery.  And all crushingly, dreary little turds to boot.

Upon entering the venue, there was a palpable sense of expectation and a tension in the air which later, sadly erupted into pockets of violence on a number of occasions. Kick offs and fist fights were developing left, right and centre, which certainly soured the occasion somewhat. Of course being threatened by a group of White Lies fans is about as intimidating as being reprimanded by John Inman armed with a feather duster, but was still, I must confess,  an irritant.

Having seen Glasvegas on a number of occasions during 2008, in smaller and better venues, I had thought there was potential  but this show just didn’t cut the mustard. It seemed to lack the sparkle and pizzazz of last year’s shows. The sound mix was as  weak as freshly strained  cabbage water and all the qualities normally associated with the band , the passion,  the heart, and the  excitement seemed strangely lacking in what  could be described as, at best,  a subdued performance. Maybe being the first night of a long tour,  the band hadn’t  quite  settled into the touring  groove, or maybe we spied the first signs that a Bono-complex  is starting to manifest itself within Mr Allan, (hopefully not, but only time will tell .) None of this mattered to the crowd, who seemed to treat Mr Allan’s mere presence on stage with the sort of reverence the Santalese reserve for their Sun God. It also appears that the “band of the people” tag that’s been thrust upon Glasvegas is now attracting the Oasis/football fan type of sub-Neanderthal, who perhaps might not quite appreciate some of the subtleties within Allan’s song writing.  It was noticeable that the line which seemed to resonate and echo around the capacious vacuum between the ears of  these drooling oak-headed oafs  was in fact,  ” liar liar liar liar liar, pants on fire.”  A line which they heartily embraced,  as if  they had discovered one  of the most insightful and deeply  meaningful lyrics  ever to be  set to popular music.

And oh dear, that cover version?  The sentiment I’m sure was entirely  genuine, a tribute to Ian McCulloch, who was apparently in the audience tonight, wearing James Allen style sunglasses no doubt, ( when they meet up it must be like an accident waiting to happen, like the time Ray Charles met Stevie Wonder ) although a cynic may think  it could also be interpreted as a  little bit of  a “indie luvvie-in”, but  if there has been a worse  cover of “The Killing Moon” I’ve yet to hear it ….  So where does it leave me and my relationship with Glasvegas?   I think it may well be  a case of “F**k You, it’s Over” as this sounded like somebody yodelling over the Mary Chains “Upside Down”, played backwards, down a well relayed via an ear trumpet. Horrid!

As for White Lies, I must confess, I did have a surreptitious love affair with the overblown  gloom-fest  that was  “Death” but  any band that cites the Killers as a massive influence should be treated with extreme caution, if not avoided altogether…Let us not forget that White Lies where not so long ago, a lighter, cuddlier, indie pop collective called Fear Of Flying a band who made a huge impression on ,erm  ….well, nobody really , and happily stated they were  influenced by  the likes of Paul Simon, The Talking Heads and (probably) Alan Sugar   …But how times have changed ….in what appears to be a cynical  cash in on the popularity of gloomy post punk angst they’ve changed their name,  started to dress in black, and produced studied, heavily stylised songs that veered towards the maudlin side of pop. You know the sort,  all about fear, dying, death, fear of dying, fear of dying a death .  Dying a death somehow seemed apt as their rather unconvincing performance left much to be desired , but hang on… whats going on??   The crowd reaction verged on  orgasmic, a  baffling response and one which can only be explained   by cheap cider, hormones a go-go  and fake ID’s. Regrettably the overall impression that just couldn’t  be dislodged , was that I had just been watching Scouting for Girls enjoying an Editors themed Karaoke night, or maybe  Keane, having a hissy fit  or if you prefer, a Matalan Joy Division for the X box generation. I suppose there are worse ways to spend a Thursday night –I just couldn’t think of any !

The whole evening left me confused, bruised and deeply disappointed.  I make no apologies for sounding negative as a night which promised so much, delivered so little.  But maybe the last word should go to my friend,  a veteran gig goer , who simply said “ Well that made  me yearn for a F*cking Phil Collins come back” He and Alan McGee may have some common ground after all ( Me ? I’ll wait for the non ironic Alan McGee revival thanks.

“Death” by White Lies Live . Does it look fun ?

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Merry Christmas

Illustration  Mister Lion

Thanks for your support in 2008.  Too many to mention but Mark the tall man, Paul T and Ad, Laura, Ollie, Neal, Chris, Elz, Fran , Nicole, Julia, Simon, Rob Dobbs, Neil at Planting Seeds, Jim And Julie Reid, Saint Rachael, John Moore, Dave (pronounced Siadwell ), Emma, Miki, Emma, Phil, Kerry,  Marcella, Dave Cromwell, Dogwood, Bethan Elfyn, Spencer, Czoe, Philippe, Linda, Ben, Nick, Sorcha, William, Dandelion Radio, Matt and Jason, Alistair, JK, Becki, Richard the Goth,Paisley & Charlie, Probe Records, Sally Shoegaze, the Holmlands Estate  and all the good guys out there, you know who you are…And of course all the great f**king bands out there who keep doing it, despite the setbacks, the sh*t and the corporate bollocks that sometimes goes on , we salute you !…. Have a lovely Christmas folks…see you soon.

“Don’t Murder Hallelujah” By Mitch Benn

Xmas Greetings From the Von Pips  and “Stay Another Day” – Glasvegas


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Viva Glasvegas-Glasvegas album and gig review

“Lonesome Swan” By Glasvegas

Alan McGee has described them as “the greatest Scottish band of the last 20 years,” Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand was recently quoted, reiterating,almost word for word McGee’s sentiments, a case of great minds think alike? Or fools seldom differ?  It’s is great debut of that there is no doubt, although album of the decade might just be cranking up the hyperbole a wee bit  too much, and place unnecessary pressure on the bands shoulders. The album itself discards the tired pseudo Beatles Oasis template used for so long by corporate Indie and harks back to a time before the mop-topped ones changed music forever. James Allan’s incisive, heartfelt lyrics address a wide range of issues which are very much of the here and the now, guilt, hope, regret, despair and provide a profoundly moving snap-shot of modern Britain today. “Daddy’s Gone” is a heart-wrenching indictment of the pain caused by failed relationships and absent fathers who seem to regard responsibility as tiresome,  told primarily from the kid’s perspective “All I wanted was a kick-a-bout in the park/For you to race me home when it was nearly getting dark/How I could’ve been yours, and you be mine/It could’ve been me and you until the end of time”

When the guitars gloriously crash into “Its My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry” it provides one of THE most thrilling moments in recent rock n’ roll history. The song itself is an epic tale of self loathing, guilt and infidelity which makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and quiver “…me on my knees and wondering why? /cross my heart, hope to die/its my own cheating heart that makes me cry” Allan doesn’t tackle, what you’d describe as straight forward subjects, writing a song about a social worker friend, “Geraldine,” and her relationship with her client (“when you say that I’m no good and you feel like walking/I need to make sure you know that’s just the prescription talking”) isn’t what you’d call an obvious subject for a pop song. The fact that it works beautifully, is a testament to the songwriting talent on show, a poignant reverb soaked drama that begs to be sung along to. But as stated, Allan doesn’t do the obvious, he tackles difficult, emotive issues with honesty and empathy, and whilst lyrically, he wears his heart on his sleeve, is never overtly sentimental or mawkish. His wish for a better society in “Ice-cream Van”, which has an atmosphere of Billy Braggs “Tank Park Salute” ….“ bring back the glory days/active citizenship and pure community/freedom of faith“ an ideal we should all relate to and crave.

Album opener “Flowers and Football Tops” demonstrates Allan’s rare gift of adroitly being able to deal with potentially difficult subject matter, which in less skilled hands could sound trite or clumsy. Based on a murder involving a stabbing near his own home it reflects what tabloids have labelled “ Britains knife culture.” (Allan:“I find it hard to get my head around how somebody else can harm another human”) . He also addresses within the song title, the compulsion people now seem to have to express grief publicly with vast floral tributes and football tops marking the scene of a tragedy. It’s really become a little voyeuristic, almost as if the depth of grief has to be expressed by the size of the bouquet. Private grief has almost become public property under the unblinking, puritanical eye of the media; it’s a rather disturbing trend. Look how disgracefully Kate McCann was treated by the media for not shedding tears on cue, how dare she! The GMTV viewers felt cheated, they demanded tears, real tears…she should feel their pain ! But Allan cuts through this sort of bullshit – “My baby is six feet under/just another number/my daughter without her brother/baby, they don’t need to show/its over, I know/baby, they don’t need to show flowers and football tops, I know/ my baby is gone” …. And that says it all, simply, yet beautifully.

Finally we have an album that shines like a beacon on the turbid sea of Indie -kack, one whose range, depth, scope and incandescent beauty should have the indie by numbers brigade hanging their heads in shame. This is music that matters and music that comes from the heart made by a band whose humanity shines through and who, as McGee says could well be the band who will “define a generation.”

The day after the album release I caught the band live in Liverpool, and they were on blistering form, just a pity about the venue (Yes I know Glasvegas are from Glasgow , but did the venue really have to provide a toilet that wouldn’t have looked out of place on the “Trainspotting” set? I half expected Ewan McGregor to suddenly pop up from the lavvy and say, as he wiped the shite from his eyes ,  “you got any skag, mon ?”) ….…. With a capacity of only 500, it wasn’t exactly the most comfortable of gigs, but from the moment the band struck the first chord, the less than salubrious surroundings were quickly forgotten as the audience were swept away in a swirling sonic rush of euphoria. Later, as I left the gig, I realized just how good this band are and reflected on the fact that it’s probably the last time I’d get to see them in a venue of this size… greatness beckons. On the evidence of the album and the live performances I’ve seen from them this year, it’ll be richly deserved . Viva Glasvegas !

Ps / The self titled debut album will not be the only release this year, as there is also a Christmas EP planned, which is, not surprisingly going to be released over the festive period. So far the only confirmed tracks are “Dream, Dream, Dreaming,” “Cruel Moon” and “F*** You It’s Over” (which Cliff Richard really should cover one year.) Allan explains “It’s not necessarily going to be “Merry Xmas Everyone” By Slade -It’ll be some of the moods of how I feel Christmas is for some people. There are people with different experiences at Christmas from a wide eyed kid to people for whom it is not so magical.”


“Geraldine” (live Jools Holland) By Glasvegas

“Go Square Go” By Glasvegas (liverpool 9/09/08)

-Bad sound due to me being right by the amp)


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