Travis singer, Fran Healy joins petition opposing facility application to keep animals in small cages

Travis singer, Fran Healy joins PETA petition
Travis singer, Fran Healy joins PETA petition

Fran Healy, the lead singer of indie rock band Travis, is hopping mad following the submission of a planning application to build an intensive rabbit farm in his native Staffordshire. Healy joins over 17,000 locals and concerned members of the public who’ve signed a PETA petition urging the Stafford Borough Council to reject the application, which, if approved, would condemn countless rabbits to lives of misery. Campaigners warn that the proposed farm could also pave the way for fur farming to sneak through the back door, as it appears the farm would derive a substantial part of its profits from selling rabbits’ skins – despite fur farming being illegal in the UK.

“PETA, Fran Healy, and thousands of concerned citizens are urging the Council to see the light – something rabbits on factory farms seldom get to do – and reject this application”, says PETA Director Mimi Bekhechi. “Rabbits raised on factory farms rarely, if ever, smell fresh air or feel the warmth of the sun on their backs before they’re sent off to slaughter.”

As PETA warns in its petition, the cages that the rabbits would be kept in appear to be only around 70 cm long and 40 cm high, meaning that the rabbits would be unable to stretch out, rear up on their hind legs, hop, dig, or carry out other natural behaviour. It’s also likely that they would be kept in individual barren cages without any enrichment or bedding, causing great distress for the highly social animals.

The proposed farm would probably also generate large quantities of environmental pollutants, such as manure and toxic chemicals, and the resulting contamination of water supplies could have a negative impact on wildlife. On a larger scale, the meat industry is among the main contributors of the greenhouse-gas emissions that cause climate change.

PETA’s letter to the Stafford Borough Council is available upon request. For more information, please visit

Talk To Angels – Christmas Charity Gig and Single

Talk To Angels have announced a charity Christmas gig in Leeds, the band famously recorded at the Embrace keyboard player Micky Dales studio and he has been with them ever since!

The Christmas charity gig is to take place on December 23rd at Milo in Call Lane in Leeds and Talk To Angels will be supported on the night by Penguin. The gig is a fund raising event for the St Georges Crypt Homeless Charity in the city.

Craig from the band said; “Every year we play a Christmas show in Leeds and it has always been very busy and a lot of fun. I read about St George’s Crypt and how they had been helping homeless people in Leeds since 1930 and I felt we should try and help somehow. We’ll give all money taken from tickets, merchandise sales and donations to the Crypt. Christmas is a time where so much money gets wasted on unnecessary things. It would be amazing if people wasted less and directed a bit of that towards those in need or without shelter.”

Following the recent release of their debut single Enemies Closer, Talk To Angels have released a digital only version of the excellent Christmas song A Fairytale In New York, with all proceeds going to the same charity.

Talk To Angels – A Fairytale Of New York


Talk To Angels Christmas Gig info;
Date – 23rd Dec 2010
Venue – Milo, Call Lane, Leeds, LS1 6DN
Bands – Talk to Angels / Penguin
Doors – 7.30pm / Price – £4 / Tel – 0113 245 7101

Stephen Dale Petit – Taking the blues into 2011

Stephen Dale Petit
Stephen Dale Petit

As well as raising money for the campaign, Stephen Dale Petit’s recent gig at The 100 Club in London on December 1st has brought the new blues pioneer to the attention of many who would otherwise not have heard of him, something which we should all be grateful for.

In his chosen vocation, playing the blues guitar, Petit is already a legend, having performed with all of the modern greats most of whom he can count as personal friends. Such is his personal appeal that he was able to entice the likes of Mick Taylor and Ronnie Wood to join him for the 100 Club gig even before the word ‘charity’ had been mentioned.

He will none the less feel that he has acheived something special over the last month or so, along with the broadsheet press he is responsible for making the public aware of the plight of the 100 Club and whats more he has done something about it.

The gig on December 1st was of course a sell out and attracted plenty of media attention along the way, it has also raised the profile of Stephen Dale Petit which in turn will ensure decent sales of his next single, the proceeds of which will be donated to the 100 Club campaign.

Asked why his feelings run so deep for the club, after the recent show, Petit explained;

“The first gig I went to in the UK was Alexis Korner at The 100 Club. There is no other venue like it on earth – when you walk downstairs it’s like entering a magic portal. I always feel honoured to perform there, and this show was just extra special.”

Stephen Dale Petit Live

Stephen Dale Petit released his second album The Crave earlier this year to huge acclaim, the collection includes some new ferocious blues monsters alongside updated classics by the likes of Robert Johnson, Fleetwood Mac, Little Willie John and Albert King. Number one blues fan Paul Jones of Radio 2 noted upon the release of The Crave, “updates of classic blues songs often don’t work but this one certainly does.”

So what do we know about the man tipped to be the blues guitarist on the tip of every tongue in 2011? Well, quite a bit actually!

  • Born by the roadside just outside Joshua Tree, California
  • Delivered by a passing black doctor who was also an enthusiastic blues musician
  • Weaned on 60’s & early 70s UK Blues-influenced rock
  • First guitar – a Gibson SG Special aged 8
  • Playing (illegally) and raising Hell in California rock clubs aged 16 alongside Randy Rhoades and co
  • Met – and played with – both BB and Albert King
  • Descended into drug and alcohol addiction
  • Relocated, as a teenager, to his own personal ‘Blues Mecca’ – London – in early 90s
  • Fell in with stellar musicians and guitarists – Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Mick Jones, Joe Strummer, David Gilmour
  • Got clean and sober in UK
  • Was first official TfL/Carling London Underground Busker 2003
  • Recorded 1st album Guitararama in studio downtime, paid for by busking income
  • Sold all of initial 2,000 Guitararama pressings within 6 weeks in London Underground
  • Petit progresses from Leicester Sq Tube to selling out London’s 100 Club – the first of eight times in three years!
  • Guitararama independent 2007 release through Proper sells out 5,000 repressing
  • First of many BBC appearances on BBC Radio 4 Midweek, BBC News and in session on BBC Radio 2 Paul Jones Show
  • Guitararama (now picked up and distributed by Universal Music) voted Guitar Magazine’s Album Of The Year 2008
  • Guitararama makes HMV Top 10 Blues Album Chart
  • Major features/articles Classic Rock; Guitarist; Blues Matters; Guitar; The Independent; Sunday Express; News Of The World
  • 2008 eight week College/University Guitar Masterclass and Blues Lecture Tour attracts thousands of new fans
  • 2009 major sell-out UK Tour with Special Guest – Rolling Stone Mick Taylor

What others have said about The Crave:

“Petit occupies a stunning middle ground between the fire of Freddie King, the instinct of Jimmy Page and the soul of Eric Clapton(Classic Rock magazine)

“Petit is sheer class. He’s incredible” (BBC 6 Music)

“The Crave is absolutely the most personal album that has been released this year and possibly the most important – simply brilliant” (Blues Matters Magazine)

“The Crave is a seventeen track masterpiece. This album should see Petit vie for the King of the Blues title” (

“Fantastic” (Bob Harris BBC Radio 2)

Sir Peter Blake and viral master Jon Morter join Save 100 Club Campaign

British artist Sir Peter Blake has joined the growing list of stars and celebrities to get behind the Save the 100 Club campaign that was launched by blues guitarist Stephen Dale Petit last month.

Blake has designed the cover for the special limited edition Souvenir Programme for the 1st December 100 Club Benefit night that will feature Petit along with musician friends Mick Taylor, Ronnie Wood and Chris Barber.

Sir Peter’s bold and striking signed design will adorn the cover of a limited edition souvenir programme to be sold at the 100 Club event which is being staged at the iconic venue this Wednesday night. The programme also features many hitherto unavailable historic photographs of the myriad legendary performers at the venue and is certain to become a ‘must have’ item for arts and music connoisseurs alike.

Stephen Dale Petit will release the benefit single Need Your Love So Bad (Save The 100 Club) on December 1st at the gig and there are high high expectations for the single as Jon Morter, the man behind the success of Rage Against The Machine last Christmas, has joined the 100 Club campaign.

Morter is the latest in a rapidly growing list of names who are uniting to pledge support for the club currently threatened by closure due to massive rate and rent increases.

Jon Morter regards this as an important a campaign as RATM’s and has a 100 Club Facebook Campaign Army of over 20,000 to call upon to buy the single in its first week of release. It could be the highest Blues single chart New Entry EVER!

Chart pundits are watching for an historic chart entry as ALL proceeds from Petit’s appropriately-named single “Need Your Love So Bad” (already garnering vital national airplay on BBC Radio 2) will go to the Club’s rescue fund.

Leader of the Starry Skies – Tribute album for Cardiacs Tim Smith

Leader of the Starry Skies is a tribute album for Tim Smith, lead singer of The Cardiacs who has been hospitalised for the last two years after suffering a heart attack.

The seventeen tracks are a tribute to the creativity of Smith, whose beautiful music inspired a generation of underground musicians to pick up an instrument to create something that they wanted to hear rather than settle for what was being played to them on the radio.

Smith’s experimental and cryptic songwriting style has influenced many of the current British new wave of alternative music artists and it is hoped the tribute album will continue the trend, showing potential artists that you don’t always have to paint inside the lines to be creative.

Organised by ex-Cardiacs Bic Hayes and Mark Cawthra, Cardiacs’ guitarist Kavus Torabi and Spratley’s Japs singer Jo Spratley, Leader Of The Starry Skies features contributions from Oceansize, Steven Wilson (of Porcupine Tree) Andy Partridge (of XTC), Max Tundra, Knifeworld, North Sea Radio Orchestra and many more.

Each track has very much been a labour of love for the artists involved, impeccably recreating the signature sound that made Cardiacs stand head and shoulders above their contemporaries.

Leader of the Starry Skies creates an atmosphere that’s almost carnival like in nature, plunging the listener into a world of psychedelia, soaked in progressive punk.

All profits from the sale of this album will go directly to Tim Smith.

You can download “The Stench of Honey” – covered by Kavus Torabi’s band, Knifeworld, below:


Leader of the Starry Skies is available to pre-order now from the Genepool website. This pre-order will entitle fans to a free exclusive limited edition album of Tim’s songs covered by friends and family. This will only be available to pre-order customers.

The tribute album will be released on Believers Roast on December 6th.