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.

Brutalism – the wonderful debut album from IDLES

Brutalism - debut album by IDLES
Brutalism – debut album by IDLES

Following five years and two EPs, IDLES release their excellent 13 track debut album, ‘Brutalism‘ on Balley Records.

With a scream and spasmodic drum machine, Brutalism jumps into your face with the spitting angst of ‘Heel / Heal‘, quickly followed by the singles, ‘Well Done‘ and ‘Mother‘.  Three tracks in and I’m already thinking ‘Brutalism’ is going to one of my favourite albums of the year.

Idles have found their own path.  Their output has changed from whence they began.  It would be too simplistic to say they now fall somewhere between Sleaford Mods and original punk bands like The Lurkers, but that wouldn’t be too far from the truth; even though they sound much better than either of those bands. The musicanship is tight.  Like IDLES locked themselves away and practised until they bled in sync and reappeared last year to unleash their Frankenstein monster of a sound upon a deserving audience.

While the music is hard, fast and living somewhere in the darkness on the edge of town, lead singer Joe Talbot delivers his words with a snarling menace, spitting angst and equal measures of wit and political commentary. Shouty rap comparisons with Sleaford Mods are unavoidable, but that’s not to take anything away from Talbot and his sincerity.

The best way to scare a Tory is to read and get rich.

I know nothing, I’m just sitting here looking at pretty colours.

Mother. Fucker. Mother. Fucker.

 

Steeped in great music history, Idles hail from Bristol – home to Massive Attack, Tricky and trip hop; and equally as important The Pop Group, Adrian Sherwood and the On-U Sound label. Now Idles have taken up the baton as they offer something special from one of the most exciting cities in the UK.

Did you see that painting that Rothko did.

Looks like it was done by a two year old kid.

Did you see that selfie that Francis Bacon did.

Don’t look anything like him, what a fucking div!

If the music doesn’t give clarity, the videos show IDLES are having a great time and not taking themselves too seriously.

‘Brutalism’ is a wonderful album. IDLES are destined for bigger things.

Dreadzone – new album “Dread Times”

DreadzoneDreadzone
The new album “Dread Times”
Released February 17 on Dubwiser Records

Entering an impressive 3rd decade, Dreadzone, one of the most energetic, exciting and powerful live bands to emerge from the post-rave scene, release a brand new album “Dread Times” on February 17th 2017.

‘Dread Times’ is the band’s 8th studio album and the 3rd release on their own “Dubwiser” label. Their old skool dread sound comes bubbling to the surface on this album and it digs deeper into their dub and reggae roots whilst still keeping the beats fresh and the textures electronic. Conscious lyrics, social ills, matters of the heart and mind merge with 21st century dubwise flavours. The album is an eclectic rolling journey that recalls elements from an illustrious 23 year history while always looking ahead to the next phase.

Alongside core members Greg Dread, who produced this 12 track album, Leo Williams, Chris Compton, reggae vocalist Earl 16 and MC Spee, Dread Times introduces younger blood into the mix with newest member Bazil bringing an edge to the sonic process and Greg’s son Marlon expanding the musical range further. Don Letts also returns with lyrical contributions, as does Lena Cullen on vocals for one track, with 90s ragga duo Louchie Lou and Michie One guesting on another. Recorded again at Mick Jones’ Bunker Studio, arranged at Dread Central and mixed by fellow founder Tim Bran, this is classic West London Zone with an updated edge. Dread music for an unpredictable world, these are Dread Times.

Pioneered by former members of Big Audio Dynamite (and, by inheritance, carrying forward the heart and soul of The Clash) Dreadzone’s two decade plus career has been championed by the late John Peel, signed to the legendary Creation Records and Virgin before finally securing their independence by founding their own aforementioned Dubwiser record label.

Since their inception in 1993 Dreadzone have steadily been releasing underground storms of albums, progressively bettering, refining and perfecting their own unique and inimitable take on dub – mixed as it is with aspects of dance, sublime guitar riffs, folk roots sentiments and breakbeat bass styles – whilst bringing the party to every club, dancehall and field they’ve shown up at. Always blowing audiences away and steadily earning for themselves the best possible reputation as a live act in the process.

Dreadzone 2017 UK tour dates announced so far:

FEBRUARY
Fri 10 PONTARDAWE Arts Centre
Sat 11WOLVERHAMPTON Slade Rooms
Fri 17 SHEFFIELD The Plug
Sat 18 GLOUCESTER Guildhall
Sun 19 TUNBRIDGE WELLS The Forum
Thu 23 BRISTOL Fleece
Fri 24 BRIGHTON Concorde 2

MARCH
Fri 3 POOLE My Kyps
Sat 4 EXETER Phoenix
Fri 17 MALVERN Cube
Sat 18 MILTON KEYNES Craufurd Arms
Fri 24 PLYMOUTH The Hub
Sat 25 SOUTHAMPTON The Brook
Fri 31 NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms

APRIL
Sat 1 NEWCASTLE Academy 2
Fri 7 READING SUB 89
Sat 8 CARDIFF Globe
Sat 15 FROME Cheese and Grain
Fri 21 MANCHESTER Band on the Wall
Sat 22 KENDAL Brewery Arts Centre
Sat 29 LONDON Under The Bridge

Dreadzone
The new album “Dread Times”
Released February 17 on Dubwiser Records

www.dreadzone.com

The Blue Aeroplanes release new album Welcome, Stranger!

The Blue Aeroplanes release new album, Welcome, Stranger!
The Blue Aeroplanes new album – Welcome, Stranger!

The Blue Aeroplanes release a new studio album – Welcome, Stranger! this month and follow their twelfth studio album with a UK tour.

After a recent performance at the BBC Radio 6 Festival, playing at Stewart Lee’s request at the last ATP and a standout live session for Marc Riley debuting this new material, The Blue Aeroplanes are set to return with a first album in nearly seven years

Here Is The Heart Of All Wild Things‘ from the album Welcome, Stranger!

The Blue Aeroplanes’ unique amalgam of rock, folk, poetry, punk, dance and art has been an acknowledged influence on a wide range of bands including REM and Radiohead. Combining pop smarts with serious weirdness, they have released almost thirty albums on various labels, several of which have charted in the UK Top 40 and the US Alternative Top 10.

Their 1990 album ‘Swagger’ was ‘Rock Album Of The Year’ in many publications including The Sunday Times. Ex-members have gone on to play with Massive Attack, Suede, Placebo, Goldfrapp and Primal Scream, while for many years they shared multi-instrumentalist Ian Kearey with folk legends the Oyster Band. They remain the only group to have been banned from The Rainbow Lounge, Lemmy’s favourite hangout, and been invited to play at the Hay-On-Wye Literary Festival.

Elvis Festival‘ from from the album Welcome, Stranger!

Never having split up, The Blue Aeroplanes are not actually a part of the ‘trip down memory lane’ nostalgia euphoria that appears to have every band from the 1980s reforming; and ‘Welcome, Stranger!’ is a contemporary-sounding statement from a genuinely independent and creative band.

For Welcome Stranger! original members Gerard Langley (vocals), John Langley (drums) and sometimes ‘dancer’ Wojtek Dmochowski are joined by Gerard Starkie, Chris Sharp, Bec Jevons and Mike Youe.

The Blue AeroplanesThe Blue Aeroplanes UK Tour 2017

LIVERPOOL
O2 Academy 2 Liverpool
Wed, 11/01/17

MANCHESTER
Manchester Ruby Lounge
Thu, 12/01/17

NEWCASTLE
O2 Academy 2 Newcastle
Fri, 13/01/17

EDINBURGH
Voodoo Rooms
Sat, 14/01/17

GLASGOW
Stereo, Glasgow
Sun, 15/01/17

NOTTINGHAM
Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Wed, 18/01/17

LONDON
O2 Academy Islington
Sat, 21/01/17

OXFORD
The Cellar
Wed, 25/01/17

SHEFFIELD
Sheffield Leadmill
Thu, 26/01/17

NORWICH
Norwich Arts Centre
Fri, 27/01/17

BRIGHTON
Patterns
Sat, 28/01/17

EXETER
The Cavern, Exeter
Sun, 29/01/17

The Blue Aeroplanes release studio album Welcome, Stranger!

The Love Family – When Time Meant Nothing EP

The Love Family - When Time Meant Nothing EP

The Love Family release a new EP, When Time Meant Nothing, with all four songs about growing up in the Medway Towns in the 1980’s.

When Time Meant Nothing‘ – the lead track from The Love Family EP of the same name, delivers a no nonsense antithesis of prog rock – no thrills, wanky solo or pretentious showmanship.

The songs are produced stripped of over exuberance or false tones of excitement.  One vocal, two guitars, bass and drums. This works with, rather than against, the vocal delivery and intensity of the music. It was recorded in Newington at Squarehead Studios with Rob Wilkes.

The music drives a steady, constant speed against the alt rock hard-shoulder, with its post-punk spirit driven by solid, hard, powerful drone-like guitars, effortlessly powering the song like a tugboat against the effervescent commercial tide of X Factor-esque fizzy pop dirge.

The Love Family – When Time Meant Nothing EP tracklist:
When Time Meant Nothing
Escape
Missing Out Friday
Your Blood

The Love Family – When Time Meant Nothing EP is available as a limited CD & digital download.  Follow The Love Family on social media via  Facebook and Twitter.