Latest Blogposts

MAN-agement - The Latest Albums by Man and Son of Man 1 Anachronism Tango by Man came out in 2019, coinciding with a mini-British tour by a band which was then in its fifty-first year of existence. The band’s previous album had included songs, vocals and keyboards from Phil Ryan, who died in 2016. Is there as much depth in the material and texture without him? Maybe not, but there are still some interesting moments and some good sounds. With the loss of Ryan, we are back to the father/son dichotomy of Martin (bass/vocals/songs) and Josh (guitar/vocals/songs) Ace*. The contrast between the… Read More
The King Of Social Funk - For some reason, the term ‘singer-songwriter’ seems to be frowned upon when the person being referred to works in the dance music or pop genre. I haven’t heard Michael Jackson, Prince or Robert Palmer given that description, nor, for that matter, Gil Scott-Heron. It’s true that Scott-Heron was many things, but he did sing and he did write songs. His memoir, ‘The Last Holiday’, is available to read, and at least two biographies have been written, one of which is ‘Pieces of a Man’ by Marcus Baram. The Last Holiday Scott-Heron’s first thirty-two years encompassed some rich and varied experiences.… Read More
Impermanent Review - The Impermanent Resident album has received some airplay on college radio here in Canada, getting into the top 10 at CFBX in Kamloops, BC, and CJAM in Windsor, Ontario. It’s also been great to hear many of the tracks on Robbie Martin and Molly Kenyon’s programme Into the Buttercup on BCB radio in Bradford, UK. Coincidentally, another Yorkshire resident, Ian Taylor of Rock n Reel magazine, wrote this review for the July/August 2021 issue: Hopefully the album will continue to reach sympathetic ears in the future!… Read More
Comrades Reunited - Jazz guitarist and composer Patrick Naylor has a new one out, called ‘Winter Dream’. The album contains nine varied tracks, each with singable tunes, comparatively simple chords and emotional light and shade from all the participants. ‘Where Are My Glasses’ starts the ball rolling. The feel is based on a three beat phrase followed by a five beat phrase, with ample space between the melodic statements. ‘Satori’ begins with engineer/producer David Beebee on piano playing a guitar-like figure in a jazz waltz that sounds a little influenced by Egberto Gismonti. The title track comes next, and deserves its status. The… Read More
Is This Some Kind of Record? - ‘The Mystery of the Green Street Underground’ is an enigmatic product. Is it an album or an EP? Is the artist ‘The Green Street Underground’, ‘The Investigators’, or ‘Shannon Siblock’? Was there really a Hardy Boys book by that name, as the cover photo suggests? This recording is reminiscent of a few equally unique cult-status items that were put out in the late nineteen-seventies and early nineteen-eighties. ‘Hex’ by Poisongirls and ‘Life’s a Riot with Spy vs Spy’ by Billy Bragg are thought of as albums, but were actually 45rpm 12”s. ‘Girl at Her Volcano’ by Rickie Lee Jones was… Read More
A Rich Sample of Nottingham - Great Guitar It’s rare to hear folk guitar played so that every string rings out clearly when a chord is played, while at any moment the musician may switch modes and start playing lead or flatpick; where the strumming is not out of time but neither is it metronomic, in the sense that Charlie Parker stated harmony which wasn’t strictly within the bounds of the written changes but it still sounded right; where the player changes styles on a whim, just like Davey Graham. Earlier this year, guitarist and now singer-songwriter Richard Sample, based in Nottingham UK, released Don’t Stop… Read More
The Benefits of Incapacity - Some recollections have popped up relating to Kill or Cure, a CD I put together in 2007-8, which I thought I would share. In the summer of 2006 many people I knew were either turning forty or getting married. I had been a grateful recipient of Gordon Brown’s government’s Incapacity Benefit for two years. I was getting migraines for as many as five days a week. Sometimes these came with a rash. I rang NHS Direct (the helpline of the UK’s National Health Service) once and they thought I had leukaemia. On another occasion I had to get off the… Read More
Background to an EP - A few notes on the EP ‘If You Want Love (Have Mine)’, now available on Bandcamp: I tried to get a few record companies to release the Bahaudin album (made between 1999 and 2001) on the basis that it was produced by Nigel Stonier, featured Rod Clements and to a lesser extent Thea Gilmore, all of whom had solo albums out on independent labels. There were other recording projects which followed, but the main lesson I took from the experience of self-funding an album, and then trying to tout it around, was that it would have been better to do… Read More