Travis Pike Feelin’ Good with State Records

 Travis Pike & The Brattle Street East - State RecordsTravis Pike & The Brattle Street EastWatch Out Woman / The Way That I Need You
500 copies on 7” vinyl State Records
Release Date: 10th July 2017

With a career dating back to 1963, Bostonian living legend Travis Pike has had more than five decades in the music business, but the casual listener could be forgiven for not being familiar with his name.

Releasing only 2 singles under his own name on obscure labels (the ballad “Don’t Hurt Me Again”, backed by The Montclairs’ “Feelin’ Good”, released on Pike Productions to tie in with the film release – more about that in due course, and the incredible garage-psych classic “If I Didn’t Love You Girl”, credited to Travis Pike’s Tea Party, Alma Records, 1967), Travis first found his love of song writing when he composed the title track for “Demo Derby”, a 28-minute featurette produced by his father, James A. Pike, which ran as second feature to “A Hard Day’s Night” in 1964, enjoying much success as a result.

Joining the US Navy and stationed in Germany, he then experienced a degree of fame in Hamburg’s legendary Star-Club, billed as “Teddy Pike—Twist And Show Sensation”, before a car accident and resulting shattered ankle brought his twisting days to an abrupt end, and Travis returned to the US in late 1964.

Fast-forward almost 2 years to early 1966, and Pike Productions was ready to make another film, this time aiming to produce the “antithesis of the beach party flicks”, then very popular on the West Coast. While recuperating from his injury and operation, Travis taught himself to play guitar and got busy composing. 10 of his original songs were eventually used in the movie “Feelin’ Good”, including the 2 tracks presented here, featuring Travis himself backed by Oedipus And His Mothers, renamed The Brattle Street East; mixed race group, The Montclairs, who also made a brief appearance in the film, performed two more of Travis’ songs. As inconceivable as it seems today, the inclusion of such a group caused a major issue for the film’s distributors in the Southern states, who declined to book the movie unless the ‘offending’ scene was cut. To his credit, James Pike refused to censor his film; unfortunately, it cost him the level of success he had experienced with “Demo Derby”, and the film sank with little trace.

Fast-forward (again) almost 50 years to 2012, and Travis was able to locate three of the film’s original five reels, successfully restoring 6 music sequences, which he subsequently posted to YouTube, so at least some of “Feelin’ Good” can now be seen and appreciated by a wider audience than its original (limited) theatrical release would have allowed.

State Records are to release 2 of the tracks for the first time, officially authorised and sanctioned by Travis himself, as a limited edition vinyl 7” single in glorious MONO!

Watch Out Woman / The Way That I Need You by Travis Pike & The Brattle Street East is scheduled for a 500 copies limited 7″ vinyl single release on State Records on 10th July 2017.

Theatre Royal …and another slice of pure psych pop brilliance

.​.​.​and then it fell out of my head by Theatre Royal
Theatre Royal’s fourth album, …And then it fell out of my head

Theatre Royal‘s fourth album, …And then it fell out of my head is yet another slice of pure psych pop brilliance.  Strong melodies, engaging lyrical content and well structured songs.

Dipping toes into past glories and offering the occasional nod to those who have gone before them, Theatre Royal effortlessly manage to place a contemporary spin sound on the so-called ‘Medway Sound’ and in doing so, act as the perfect conduit between past and present. A truism borne out at the recent ‘Medway Weekender‘ where they offered perfect baton-clenching support to Cliffe and Medway’s finest, The Claim, at the prestigious 100 Club in London’s Oxford Street.

…And then it fell out of my head continues their love and inspiration for the river and the sea and all that goes before it. Lyrics constantly return to the river and the waves either physical or metaphorically speaking in songs like Port Bou and Standing In The Land, with what I perceive to be a strong political statement (“how can we be free, when’s there’s dying in the sea, because of you and me”).

The ‘current’ fab four must ooze confidence being able to start their fourth album with a track as powerful as Port Bou. It sets the scene, “I swim in the midnight sea, just the waves and me”. Wave after wave, the song keeps crashing forward and has me nodding  metrical, measured, throbbing, beating, pulsating, cadenced, lilting, repeated, periodic, regular, steady paced approval, as if I’m already familiar with a first play.  A good sign of a great pop song; and this one is screaming Echo & The Bunnymen in their pomp!

…And then it fell out of my head is another very strong album, which being their fourth is a testament to their fine songwriting prowess. Twelve new songs, each with their own merits.  Along with Port Bou, Tune Out is a stand out track for me. A fast and furious, adrenaline rushing, foot-tapping, lipsmacking, thirstquenching, acetasting, motivating, goodbuzzing, cooltalking, highwalking, fastliving, evergiving, coolfizzing, wonderful psych pop tune from the evergreen Theatre Royal.

I really love the play out of this song, and only wish it continued for a few minutes longer, rather than a quick change and fade.

Where The Land Meets The Sky is another favourite from the album, with what I thought was a ‘ba baba ba ba’ homage to Cliff Richard & The Shadows ‘Out In The Country’.  But turns out I was wrong and a nod in The Velvet Underground’s later sunshine pop tunes is all that is referenced here.

If you haven’t already heard and fallen in love with Theatre Royal, you need to get out more!

…And then it fell out of my head by Theatre Royal is released on Vacilando ’68 Recordings on 31st March on limited colour vinyl and is available to pre-order now.

New single & album from electro pop duo Me And My Drummer

Berlin based electro pop duo Me And My Drummer
Berlin based electro pop duo Me And My Drummer

Berlin based electro pop duo Me And My Drummer are set to release second single, Pentonville Road,  from their forthcoming album Love Is A Fridge, out February 12th 2016 via Sinnbus.

Pentonville Road is “about a woman is looking into a photo album and she sees all the snapshots of a past relationship. Photos of places they have been together and of people the two have met – it’s about that sentimental feeling you get when you look back to a time that is over,” say the band.

New album Love is a Fridge is ten perfect tracks nothing short of an electropop masterpiece as Matze Pröllochs and Brandi traverse a wide and varied soundscape. Her vocals are stronger than ever, enough to match the soulful electropop tones of Florence Welch or Jessie Ware. An album that musically covers a huge range of styles and ideas maintaining its bold feel and flavour for experimentation all the way through. If you imagine Bat For Lashes meets Lykki Li you’re close, but there’s something somewhat celestial about Me And My Drummer that sets them apart.

Love is a Fridge is due for release on February 12th 2016 via Sinnbus.

Watch Me And My Drummer’s video for the previous single Blue Splinter View

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZv2-Fge5gc

Reverieme – Or Else The Light, EP Review

Reverieme - Or Else The Light, EP
Reverieme - Or Else The Light, EP

Young singer-songwriter Reverieme’s EP ‘Or Else The Light’ is a beautifully delicate selection of songs you will be immediately swept away by. If not by her voice, then it will be from the intricate musicianship or, failing that, Reverieme’s distinctive songwriting skills.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZOHvOVyyUc

Tracks such as ‘Venus’, ‘Plankton’ and ‘Outside’ give an instant feel of where Reverieme (aka Louise Connell) is going to take the EP; filling the tracks with beautiful imagery, soft acoustic melodies and warm, captivating vocals.

Other tracks on the EP take a much darker form in terms of songwriting whilst still managing to create a sense of effortlessness and warmth. Tracks such as ‘Outside’ and ‘Nocturnal Babe’ deal with extremely emotive and difficult subjects in a beautifully intricate manner that will set your mind wandering for miles.

Other stand out songs include ‘Golem’, which is one of Reverieme’s more upbeat tracks on the EP. You really get to hear Louise’s Scottish roots come through in her voice on this track as well as getting a chance to see more of a sense of fondness in her songwriting.

All in all, ‘Or Else The Light’ is an absolute delight to listen to but, it’s also an EP that needs to be listened to all the way through respectively. The sheer amount of emotion and delicacy that has gone into this record should be appreciated from start to finish. So, sit down, relax and enjoy.

Reverieme – Or Else The Light track listing:
1.Venus
2. Plankton
3. Outside
4. Golem
5. Nocturnal Babe
6. Datun
7. His

Or Else The Light’ by Reverieme (aka Louise Connell) is out now via 9th Story Records.

Sublime Pop from Leon Of Athens

Leon Of Athens
Leon Of Athens

Global is a mesmerising shift of oceanic energy and sublime pop from Leon of Athens. Pumped up, bright tones are infiltrated with soulful vibes and stirring brass, laced with an underlying melancholy. The song documents the life of a character who has been travelling forever, literally and metaphorically. He’s lived through thousands of years, searching for a resting place amongst the mayhem. He stands, his tears turned to ice, in the hope of humanity changing.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lamg2dCVvD4

Produced by Tony Doogan, who’s worked with the likes of Mogwai and Belle & Sebastian, this indie dance track brings together elements of electro and acoustic tones, as folk, pop and rock come together to paint a world of musical colours. Leon’s vibe is upbeat and euphoric, with social awareness running throughout.

Leon Veremis is originally from Athens in Greece, his sound evolved while living in the city’s counter cultural quarter, Exarchia. The first material he released was inspired by a country in crisis, making headlines there and in the US; within just a few months he was playing to audiences of thousands in Greece.

Now based in London, Leon’s music draws influences from acts such as MGMT, Grizzly Bear, and St Vincent, to name but a few. His album, Global, heralds a more optimistic point of view, incorporating themes of love, fantasy, dreams and ideas, all drawn together by a social documentary style.

Global is released by Leon Of Athens on 22nd June 2015 via Mimosa’s Dream Records through Believe Digital.