Somewhere on an A road equidistant between the contemporary gothic pop of The Horrors and the intensity and mood of Joy Division there is a band driving on a journey of love.
There are elements of Tubeway Army, too. The gothic pop of UK Decay, Bauhaus and Danse Society; and the caged angst and noise of The Birthday Party. At the wheel is a five-piece band from Leeds called Autobahn.
Their second album, The Moral Crossing, released this month and portrays a band in love with post-industrial Northern landscapes and awash with a post-punk sound of intense power and darkness.
Frontman Craig Johnson says:
“Actually, as a band, we’re more optimists,” explains Johnson. “I don’t find talking about this stuff ‘dark’, but it’s stuff people don’t usually want to talk about—execution, rising from the dead, depression, feeling utterly lost and unsure where to go. To understand the moral crossing, to go one way or the other, and how it can change your life. For me, saying this stuff out loud gives the feeling that there’s a future.”
The album is available on Tough Love Records as a CD, a red vinyl pressing for indie stores, 100 red vinyl pressing with a poster available exclusively through Bandcamp / Tough Love Records and, finally, a 100 grey vinyl pressing only available for their hometown through Leeds record stores.
Following the praise awarded to their debut album, The Moral Crossing sees lead singer and principal songwriter Craig Johnson, guitarists Michael Pedel and Gavin Cobb, bassist Daniel Sleight and drummer Liam Hilton deciding to build their own studio space – on their own terms, all on their own.
“The first album hinted at emotion and feeling, but this record encapsulates that from the offset. The melancholic aspect of our music is often offset by an aggressive dissonance, but to me there’s also a romantic side to what we do, which isn’t always clear because of the 100mph drive of the band. That’s what we are exploring with this new album.” – Craig Johnson
They found a former double-glazing firm, under a disused bridge, in Holbeck (Leeds’ red light district), and despite having no experience of such a job, they undertook this feat. It took a year from ripping out the existing contents to finishing the album – which was then mixed in New York by Ben Greenberg, known for his work with the Sacred Bones label.
On top, Johnson taught himself how to make a record after the studio was built. “I was down there nearly every night,” Johnson recalls. “It was pretty horrible at times, but worth the pain to have control over everything. We’ve had the chance to create the sound we want, at times it’s more melancholic, and romantic.”
Autobahn – The Moral Crossing Track listing:
The Moral Crossing
Autobahn UK Dates:
4-November: O2 – Oxford
5-November: Brudenell Social Club – Leeds
8-November: Louisiana – Bristol
9-November: The Lexington – London
10-November: The Joker – Brighton
11-November: Heartbreakers – Southampton
16-November: The Cookie – Leicester
17-November: Record Junkee – Sheffield
18-November: Undegun – Wrexham
22-November: Broadcast – Glasgow
23-November: Sneaky Pete – Edinburgh
24-November: Ku Bar – Stockton-on-Tees
25-November: The White Hotel – Manchester
The Love Family Traces [drone attack] Remixed by Terry Lane Available as a digital single via Grip Records on 24th March, 2017
THROW OPEN THE WINDOWS. DEATH TO TIMID POP!
Watching fads, scenes and sub-genres come and go, The Love Family have quietly gone about their business producing hard hitting slabs of power chord-driven post punk flavoured alt rock from deepest Medway through the past two decades.
With a forthcoming album and epic 13 minute remix of the lead track to boot, original members Gary Robertson and Paul Ireland have been spending time locked away in Kent’s Squarehead Studio with producer Rob Wilkes and finding the unhinged freedom of not having to consider performing new songs live, a godsend.
“Allowing yourself the freedom to use multi-tracking and overdubs to produce a more perfect representation of what is in your head, rather than consider how we are going to perform songs live as a three-piece without any backing tapes, has been such a release,” said Gary Robertson.
Paul Ireland added: “That allowed us to work more as a group, rather than concentrate on our own instruments”.
The new album is simply called ‘Tracks’, consisting of an intro and outro version of new song, ‘Traces’ collate with the group’s 10 favourite tracks since their debut album ‘Out of Reach’ in 2013; and to celebrate their new found freedom to explore all possibilities, they asked Terry Lane to rework the lead single in whatever style he wished. His re-imagining of the track is as far removed from the original as it is breath-taking in its behemoth drone monster-like production.
Unconventionally, the Traces [drone attack] remix weighs in at over 13 minutes. The remix uses instrumentation from the original version while genetically engineering a hip hop beat to a slowly building, ever increasing wall of sound until it is unleashed like a wild pulsating sonic beast that gradually unravels before your ears, rolling forward into a space echoing experimental noise.
Traces [drone attack] will be released on 24th March as a digital download. While the original versions of ‘Traces’ will be available on The Love Family’s second album, ‘Tracks’, which is scheduled for release on 12th May. Both will be available to buy from iTunes and Amazon and available to stream on Spotify.
From a small basement club to Shea Stadium. Within a matter of a few years one group exploded onto the world stage and changed the course of pop music; and Liverpool would be forever known as the city where The Beatles are from. But it didn’t start with The Beatles and certainly didn’t die with them.
Get Back – The Story of the City that Rocked the World tells the story of Liverpool’s music scene from the 1950’s to present day. It explains how the local music scene was influenced by the docks, the influx of people from around the world, and seamen bringing home records from the United States. Music was already happening in Liverpool in the 1950s with skiffle bands and jazz, along with rock ‘n’ roll artists such as Billy Fury. But by the early 1960’s, clubs like The Cavern and groups began popping up all over the city, and a ‘scene’ was born. Get Back features interviews and live performances from bands, club owners and managers from what was to become known as ‘The Merseybeat‘.
While The Beatles went on to become the biggest and most popular group in the world, others followed in the crush to sign Liverpool artists. Though, within a few years whether, as the documentary suggests, there was a backlash from the London-based music industry against signing bands from Liverpool, or bands failed to move with the times, other cities became the focus of attention, as pop music turned psychedelic and rock replaced pop.
In the late 1970s, following The Sex Pistols and the London-based punk rock scene, the Liverpool music scene was rejuvenated . Once again there were clubs and like-minded musicians coming together. The scene appeared to resonate from a club called Eric’s where the likes of Big In Japan, Echo & The Bunnymen, Teardop Explodes and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark began hanging out, before forming bands. All of whom very quickly went on to sign for major labels, except Big In Japan who, along with Jayne Casey, would later give the world of pop music Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes To Hollywood), Ian Broudie (Lightning Seeds) and Bill Drummond (KLF).
In the late 1980s Liverpool was overshadowed by neighbouring Manchester, with its club The Hacienda and the so-called ‘Madchester’ sound of the Stone Roses, Inspiral Carpets and the Happy Mondays. But Liverpool still had a thriving music scene. Baeleric beats and house music found a home in Cream, while bands like The LA’s, The Farm and The Christians continued to add to Liverpool’s rich music history. But with all that had passed throughout the last 60 years, even current bands such as The Wombats, Zutons and The Coral get asked ‘what’s it like coming from the same city as The Beatles?’
Get Back – The Story of the City that Rocked the World is available as a DVD and digital download from Revolution Films & Bulldog Film Distribution.
The Jam was formed in Woking, Surrey, in 1972 by Paul Weller and various friends at Sheerwater Secondary School. In the early days The Jam played local pubs covering early rock and roll songs until Paul Weller discovered My Generation by The Who and became interested in Mod music and lifestyle. Rick Buckler played those early gigs but Bruce Foxton joined the band much later.
On 29 April 1977, Polydor released The Jam‘s debut single,”In the City“, hit the UK Singles Top 40. They went on to become one of the most successful pop bands of their generation racking up no less than 18 consecutive Top 40 singles in the UK, from their debut in 1977 to their break-up in December 1982, including four number one hits.
It’s 40 years since Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton & Rick Buckler began performing live as The Jam. The band had a phenomenal impact on pop music and wider youth culture. In their short career, they influenced a generation with their music, style, politics and inspiration.
With Somerset House’s current exhibition and Universal Music’s recent CD ‘About The Young Idea’ which both trace the band’s story in hits and images – Universal/Polydor now announce a live box set that follows the journey through incendiary concert recordings.
Named after the legend painted on Paul Weller’s amp, ‘Fire & Skill’ is a superb six disc box set – featuring six previously unreleased concerts, one from each year of their major-label career….
1. Starting with an early gig at London’s famous 100 Club from 1977, the show featured took place 10 months after they first played the venue in November 1976, and was recorded for broadcast on American radio ahead of the trio’s inaugural visit to US in October 1977 for a six-date tour.
2. A Music Machine show from 1978, featuring most of the 2nd album – ‘This Is The Modern World’. This was The Jam’s sixth live show of the year and one of four low-key shows in the capital to fanfare their new ‘News Of The World’ single under the banner ‘The London Blitz’.
3. Reading University – Feb 1979. Playing material from their breakthrough album ‘All Mod Cons’, this was The Jam’s first live appearance of 1979, and found the band in a radically different place to their showcase at the Music Machine 12 months before. In that time, their third album, ‘All Mod Cons’, had been released to critical acclaim, and their status as one of the New Wave’s most musically substantial and exciting bands had been secured. And Weller was still only 20 years old…
4. Newcastle City Hall – October 1980, previewing songs from forthcoming album ‘Sound Affects’. In the time between the show at Reading University (on Disc 3) and this appearance at Newcastle City Hall 20 months later, there had been more extraordinary developments in the group’s world. ‘Setting Sons’, their fourth album, had given them a Top 3 hit with ‘The Eton Rifles’, which was followed in February 1980 with the stirring Number 1 single, ‘Going Underground’. After three years on Polydor, The Jam had finally become the biggest group in the UK.
5. London’s legendary Hammersmith Palais – December 1981. Part of The Jam’s four consecutive nights, previewing material from the forthcoming final album ‘The Gift’. The shows took in the innovative form of a ‘60s soul revue, showcasing new acts including Bananarama, Department S and TV21.
6. One of the band’s final ever gigs at Wembley Arena – December 1982. Late in 1982 The Jam announced they were splitting up – there would, though, be a final chance for fans to experience The Jam’s astonishing live shows, with a 14-date ‘farewell’ tour announced. The centrepiece was a five-night stand at Wembley Arena, the 10,000-capacity shed next to the London football stadium (the recording here is from the second date), the biggest live venue in the capital.
* Packaged in mini, lift-off lid box with 72-page, colour hard-back book.
* Individual gatefold wallets for the discs, designed as facsimiles of the original tape boxes.
* Includes new essay, period photos, rare memorabilia and set of five postcard prints.
* Remastered at Abbey Road.
* Featuring stunning live versions of all the band’s classic hits and favourites of which only 11 tracks previously released.
‘Fire & Skill: The Jam Live’ Tracklisting
Disc One Live at the 100 Club – 11th September 1977
1. I’ve Changed My Address
2. Carnaby Street
3. The Modern World
4. Time For Truth
5. So Sad About Us
6. London Girl
7. In The Street Today
9. All Around The World
10. London Traffic
11. Heat Wave
12. Sweet Soul Music (b-side of ‘Modern Word’ single)
13. Bricks And Mortar (b-side of ‘Modern Word’ single)
14. In The City
15. Art School
16. Back In My Arms Again (b-side of ‘Modern Word’ single)
17. Slow Down
18. In The Midnight Hour
19. Sounds From The Street
20. Takin’ My Love
21. In The City (encore)
Disc Two Live at the Music Machine – 2nd March 1978
1. The Modern World
2. London Traffic
3. I Need You
4. The Combine
5. Aunties And Uncles
7. Here Comes The Weekend
8. Sounds From The Street
9. News Of The World
10. London Girl
11. In The Street Today
12. Bricks And Mortar
13. In The Midnight Hour
14. Carnaby Street
15. All Around The World
16. Slow Down
17. News Of The World (Sound-check – bonus track)
Disc Three Live at Reading University – 16th February 1979
1. The Modern World
2. Sounds From The Street
3. Away From The Numbers
4. All Mod Cons To Be Someone
5. It’s Too Bad
6. Mr Clean
7. Billy Hunt
8. In The Street Today
9. Standards (Originally released on ‘Dig The New Breed’ album 1982)
10. Tonight At Noon
11. Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
12. News Of The World
13. Here Comes The Weekend
14. Bricks And Mortar / Batman
15. The Place I Love
16. David Watts
17. Heat Wave
18. ‘A’ Bomb In Wardour Street
Disc Four Live at Newcastle City Hall – 28th October 1980
3. Thick As Thieves
4. Boy about Town
6. Going Underground
7. Pretty Green
8. Man In The Corner Shop
9. Set The House Ablaze
10. Private Hell
11. Liza Radley
12. Dreams Of Children
13. The Modern World
14. Little Boy Soldiers
15. But I’m Different Now
17. Scrape Away
18. Strange Town
19. When You’re Young
20. The Eton Rifles
21. Billy Hunt
22. Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
23. To Be Someone
24. ‘A’ Bomb In Wardour Street
25. David Watts
Disc Five Live at Hammersmith Palais – 14th December 1981
1. The Gift / Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
2. Man In The Corner Shop (originally released on ‘Live Jam’ album 1993)
4. Absolute Beginners
5. Town Called Malice (originally released on ‘Live Jam’ album 1993)
6. Set The House Ablaze (Originally released on ‘Dig The New Breed’ album 1982)
7. That’s Entertainment / Tales From The River Bank
9. Happy Together
10. In The Crowd / David Watts
11. Boy About Town
12. Pretty Green
13. Funeral Pyre (originally released on ‘Live Jam’ album 1993)
15. Going Underground
16. Big Bird (Originally released on ‘Dig The New Breed’ album 1982)
17. Little Boy Soldiers
Disc Six Live at Wembley Arena – 2nd December 1982
2. It’s Too Bad
3. Beat Surrender
4. Away From The Numbers
6. In The Crowd
7. Boy About Town
8. Get Yourself Together
9. All Mod Cons
10. To Be Someone
12. The Great Depression
13. Move On Up
14. When You’re Young
15. David Watts
16. Private Hell
17. Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
18. Mr Clean
19. Trans-Global Express
20. Going Underground
21. The Butterfly Collector (originally released on ‘Live Jam’ album 1993)
22. Dreams Of Children
23. The Gift
‘Fire & Skill: The Jam Live’ is scheduled for released on 30th October 2015 on Polydor / Universal.
To some, The Jam were the most influential group to come out of the punk movement. Whereas their contemporaries referenced Velvet Underground and The Stooges, The Jam introduced a new generation to The Who, Small Faces and 1960s Mod culture. From the outset they looked different. They stood out from the punk crowd when they played the famous punk rock club, The Roxy by wearing sharp, tight fitting black suits, white shirts and black ties as they raced through cover versions like the Motown hit ‘Heatwave‘ and ‘Slow Down‘.
By 1979 the UK was in the grip of a Mod revival courtesy of the film Quadrophenia and new bands The Specials and Madness. At its helm was The Jam and the voice of a generation, Paul Weller – the Modfather. But in 1982, at the height of their commercial success, Paul Weller decided to disband his boyhood group he started with two school friends Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler and start afresh. He very quickly formed The Style Council with The Jam’s session keyboardist Mick Talbot and in the late 1980’s pursued a successful solo career.
Since their demise there has been countless compilation albums of The Jam’s greatest hits, singles and digitally remastered editions of the studio albums. But with an army of followers that never appears to wane, there will always be space for another compilation, so it seems.
‘About The Young Idea – the Very Best of The Jam’ is a limited compilation released to coincide with a new exhibition at Somerset House of the same title and organised by among others, Paul Weller’s sister, Nicky.
The 2-CD 47 track compilation features the hit singles, b-sides and a couple of demos including the previously unreleased ‘Takin’ My Love’.
The Jam – About The Young Idea track listing:
1. In The City (radio ad)
2. In The City
3. Art School
4. Away From The Numbers
5. Takin’ My Love (demo – previously unreleased)
6. All Around The World
7. The Modern World
8. In The Street Today
9. News Of The World
10. David Watts
11. Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
12. Billy Hunt
13. To Be Someone (Didn’t We Have A Nice Time)
14. English Rose
15. In The Crowd
16. ‘A’ Bomb In Wardour Street
17. Strange Town
18. The Butterfly Collector
19. When You’re Young
21. The Eton Rifles
22. Thick As Thieves
23. Private Hell
24. Saturday’s Kids
25. Burning Sky (demo)
1. Going Underground
2. The Dreams Of Children
4. Liza Radley
5. Pretty Green
7. That’s Entertainment
8. Man In The Corner Shop
9. Boy About Town
10. Funeral Pyre
11. Absolute Beginners
12. Tales From The Riverbank
13. Town Called Malice
16. Just Who Is The 5 O’Clock Hero?
18. The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow)
19. Beat Surrender
20. Move On Up
22. Pop Art Poem
The Jam – About The Young Idea Tracklisting:Disc: 11. In The City (radio ad)2. In The City3. Art School4. Away From The Numbers5. Takin’ My Love (demo – previously unreleased)6. All Around The World7. The Modern World8. In The Street Today9. News Of The World10. David Watts11. Down In The Tube Station At Midnight12. Billy Hunt13. To Be Someone (Didn’t We Have A Nice Time)14. English Rose15. In The Crowd16. ‘A’ Bomb In Wardour Street17. Strange Town18. The Butterfly Collector19. When You’re Young20. Smithers-Jones21. The Eton Rifles22. Thick As Thieves23. Private Hell24. Saturday’s Kids25. Burning Sky (demo)
Disc: 21. Going Underground2. The Dreams Of Children3. Start!4. Liza Radley5. Pretty Green6. Monday7. That’s Entertainment8. Man In The Corner Shop9. Boy About Town10. Funeral Pyre11. Absolute Beginners12. Tales From The Riverbank13. Town Called Malice14. Precious15. Ghosts16. Just Who Is The 5 O’Clock Hero?17. Carnation18. The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow)19. Beat Surrender20. Move On Up21. Shopping22. Pop Art Poem
‘About The Young Idea – the Very Best of The Jam’ is released on Polydor via Universal. It is a timely reminder, if one is ever needed, just how dynamic and powerful The Jam were.