Wednesday 2 December 2015


With Wolves The Lamb Will Lie is M G Boulter’s second full length album release, following 2013’s The Water And The Wave. Relocating this time from the shores of the Thames Delta to the peak district of Sheffield, Boulter has worked closely with award-winning producer Andy Bell (Bellowhead, Seasick Steve and Teenage Fanclub, as well as BBC Folk Album of the Year 2014 winner) to produce an album of lyrical depth and quiet brilliance. As with former projects, Boulter has surrounded himself with an array of musicians from different genres to help create his music: here one finds Ben Nicholls (The Full English, Seth Lakeman), Toby Kearney (These New Puritans), Sheffield songwriter Neil McSweeney and folk artist Lucy Farrell, among others.

The weird and wonderful coastal characters that inhabit Boulter’s songs feature again here, from the drunk down-and-out who has illusions of being Ernest Hemingway’s reincarnation in ‘Sean or Patrick’, to the fatalistic smoker father in ‘His Name Is Jean’. With Wolves The Lamb Will Lie reaffirms M G Boulter’s ability to conjure up compelling stories and mesmeric musical arrangements.
M G Boulter is a singer, songwriter and musician based on the Thames coast in England. Since 2009 he has been the principle songwriter and lead singer of roots rock band The Lucky Strikes and is a much sought after session musician who has toured with The Duke and the King, Simone Felice and Blue Rose Code, as well as recording with Dirk Powell, Rosalie Deighton and Vera Van Heeringen among many others.  He released his first solo record in 2013 titled The Water Or The Wave and an EP in 2014 with Scottish singer Samantha Whates called The Boatswain’s Manual. He has most recently been touring as a member of BBC Folk Award-winner Emily Portman’s band.

M G Boulter plays.....

Sat 21 May      The Betsey Trotwood, Farringdon, London - TICKETS


“Lovely set… Wistful tales of flawed characters living coastal lives.” 4/5 Mojo

"Literacy without pretence and beauty without hippy indulgence. It’s got it all." 5/5 The Morning Star

“Highly recommended.” 4.5/5 Independent On Sunday

Praise for The Water Or The Wave….

 “Music you could happily drown in.... Major work, major talent.”  4/5 R2 magazine

“This is a wonderfully moving album that stays with you long after the last track plays.”  Folk Radio UK

“All the hallmarks of a minor classic.” 8/10 Whispern’ & Hollerin’

It should charm the socks of any listener…. I wouldn't say one song stands out above another; there is a genuinely sweet consistency throughout.”  The Rock Club

Wednesday 9 September 2015


Roots-rock and country-punk from the badlands of the Thames Delta!

The marshy hinterlands of South Essex have proved a fine breeding ground for bands over the past few decades. A wilderness where scores of musicians can practice their craft in isolation, giving them a distinct edge unlike their urban counterparts; from Dr Feelgood, Kursaal Flyers and Eddie & The Hot Rods to The Horrors, These New Puritans and The Lucky Strikes. It stands to reason that The Delta Jacks’ debut album will follow suit.

Formed in 2011, the band earned their spurs on the UK Americana circuit, saddling up and heading for The Smoke for gigs at such illustrious roots venues as the 12 Bar, The Gladstone and Camden’s Lock Tavern, as well as regular airplay on Resonance FM’s long-running Bonanza show. In that time headline shows have been interspersed with high profile support slots with the Jim Jones Revue, The Lucky Strikes, Mudlow and Son Of Dave.

Releasing their debut self-titled EP in 2013, over the past year the Jacks have been putting the finishing touches to their first full-length album Trouble Ahead at Church Road, Ford End and Broom Cupboard studios. The result is eleven barely-tameable tracks of banjo-infused hillbilly rock, destined to appeal to fans of Johnny Cash, Legendary Shack Shakers, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, Violent Femmes, Cormac McCarthy and Zane Grey.

Delta Jacks are: Dominic Bauers – drums and backing vocals; Greg Beager – bass, keyboard and backing vocals; Ryan Bradshaw –  lead vocals, rhythm guitar and harmonica; and Trevor Reeves – lead guitar, banjo, mandolin and backing vocals.

The Delta Jacks play an official album launch at The Asylum, Chelmsford on Saturday 31 October, with support from The Lucky Strikes and Southern Generals.

“Essex’s finest proponents of country, blues, deep-south choogling and the rawest rock‘n’roll” –Bonanza, Resonance FM

“The Delta Jacks are a rough and ready hard edged country rock'n'roll act. High tempo and hard as nails, they're the ideal Saturday night Americana band!” - Rory Carlile, The Gladstone


Pioneering record label celebrates its first decade!

First launched ten years ago with the Fruit Machine compilation, London label Blang Records was born out of the monthly Blang nights at celebrated West End venue, The 12 Bar Club. Now a decade on, the label celebrates this significant anniversary with an 18-track compilation of their favourite artists along with not one but two birthday parties on consecutive Thursdays back where it all started (nearly) at the (newly relocated) 12 Bar!

Started by label supremo Joe Murphy and his Sergeant Buzfuz project around the dawn of the century, the Blang nights were then labelled after burgeoning ‘antifolk’ scene, which had spread wings from New York’s East Village, bringing with it the likes of Jeffrey Lewis and Moldy Peaches and a penchant for punk-folk storytelling with edge and humour. Blang was the first club night in London to embrace this vibrant scene and word spread like wild hot cakes.

Alongside Buzfuz, other homegrown acts like Filthy Pedro, David Cronenberg’s Wife and Malcolm Kaksois would follow under the antifolk banner, but by the time of the Fruit Machine compilation – a response by Murphy to a suggestion from The Band Of Holy Joy’s Johny Brown – it was clear that such a heading was inadequate for the diverse joys that Blang had to offer.

And diversity is the key to Lucky Dip – within its grooves you will find both folk and antifolk, along with punk, funk, rock and hip-hop. Buzfuz, Pedro, Kaksois and DCW are here of course, plus contributions from indie chart stars Milk Kan, Sheepy, Thee Cee Cees, Emily Capell, Paul Hawkins & The Awkward Silences, Lucy’s Diary, Dexter Bentley, Slate Islands, Matt Dolphin, Thomas Truax and more. A veritable roll-call of the great, the good and the glorious.

The first of Blang’s 10th Anniversary events – Lucky Dip 1 – takes place on Thurs 1 October and features Matt Dolphin, Slate Islands, Lucy’s Diary, JJ Crash, Sergeant Bufuz and David Cronenberg’s Wife.

Lucky Dip 2 on Thurs 8 October features Malcolm Kaksois, Emily Capell, Scrappy Hood (of Milk Kan), Thomas Truax, Paul Hawkins & The Awkward Silences and Eugene Ripper.

Both events take place at The 12 Bar Club, 203 Holloway Road, London N7 8DL. Door 7pm. £5 entry includes a FREE Lucky Dip CD.

More info on artists at

Monday 7 September 2015


THE DAMNED and LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH founder returns with an album of high-octane garage rock’n’roll!!!

With British punk pioneers The Damned the subject of a major documentary by acclaimed director Wes Orshoski and about to celebrate their 40th Anniversary next year, the return of original guitarist and founder member Brian James could not have been more timely.

Following on from 2011’s acoustic blues album Chateau Brian and new interpretations of Damned classics on Damned…If I Do in 2013, James returns with his first all new solid rock’n’roll album since 2006. Marrying the twin influences of ’77 Brit punk and Detroit street rock, The Guitar That Dripped Blood is an abrasive, coruscating album of solid garage-rocking guitar anthems; exactly what one would hope and expect from the author of the likes of ‘New Rose’ and ‘Neat Neat Neat’.

Along for the ride are a couple of special guests: Dead Boys legend Cheetah Chrome and Adam Becvare (Black Halos/LustKillers). All wrapped up in a sleeve by noted horror poster artist Graham Humphries, the result is between the eyes trash guitar dynamite!!

Initially released on limited edition blood red vinyl for Record Store Day, this full album release will be accompanied by the release of a limited edition 7-inch of ‘Walkin’ ‘Round Naked’.

A member of legendary punk precursors The London SS, Brian James formed The Damned in 1976 with a string of UK punk firsts – first single and album (both on the legendary Stiff label), major support tour (with T Rex), US tour. They burned bright and fast, before James split to form Tanz Der Youth (replaced on Black Sabbath’s ’78 UK tour by Van Halen – the rest is history!) followed by Brian James’ Brains aka The Hellions. He then hooked up with Sex Pistol Glen Matlock to back Iggy Pop on his North American New Values tour.

In ’82 James teamed up with Sham 69 bassist Dave Tregunna, Dead Boys singer Stiv Bators and Barracudas drummer Nicky Turner in Lords Of The New Church, releasing three albums with considerable global success. James then saw off the 20th Century in supergroup Mad For The Racket alongside the MC5’s Wayne Kramer, Blondie drummer Clem Burke and Duff McKagan from Guns’n’Roses. More recently he’s toured with old Damned buddy Rat Scabies as Scabies-James.

“I didn’t do this to be rich and famous. I started off because it’s the only thing I wanted to do in life, and it still is.”

Monday 24 August 2015


Franc Cinelli’s new album The Marvel Age shows an artist continuing a determined path, not afraid to take chances and experiment. At its core this is a folk record, but its use of rhythms, the twists and turns in the arrangements with their vibrant colours and haunting undertones, create something much more.

The album was written over the course of Cinelli’s extensive tour in 2013 and 2014 playing throughout the UK, US and his native Italy. The people and places of that tour, from the Strait of Messina to England’s North East are all present throughout these ten songs, as is much of the listening material from the tour, from T Bone Burnett records to the mesmerising Sahara Blues. The album was recorded in his London studio, enlisting the help of his live band Laurence Saywood on bass guitar and Drew Manley on drums.

Following his previous record with Morrissey and Coldplay producer Danton Supple, Franc took the step of recording and producing his own music at his London studio where he also continues to produce a crop of new talent. 

The extensive 12-month tour promoting his last record I Have Not Yet Begun To Fight, which gave birth to this new album, saw him playing shows across UK, Europe and North America. Including sold out shows in New York and London, along with a televised performance at the Blue Note in Milan and two shows at the Royal Albert Hall. He’s gathered support from BBC Radio 2 to WFUV in New York and everywhere in between.

Franc will be playing a special launch show for The Marvel Age on Wednesday 23 September at Servant Jazz Quarters, Dalston, London N16. Tickets 

Watch the video for 'Alchemy'...

Praise for I Have Not Yet Begun To Fight…

An imaginative set from a troubadour whose songwriting career promises even greater things to come. R2 Magazine
A breathe of fresh air. Music Week
Franc Cinelli excels in the sincerest and most heartfelt song-craft whilst tipping his hat to melancholic heroes and six-string comradery. Mojophenia
All the ingredients within his sound to create a recipe for success. Alt Sounds

Saturday 20 June 2015


After setting their house in order with the widely approved career retrospective When Silence Was Sound, the reunited, reconfigured and reinvigorated Brainiac 5 return with Exploding Universe. This new offering shows the enthusiasm and drive of those recordings have not been dimmed, and that the Brainiacs are still developing in new directions. Horns have now been added and a wider range of musical styles mined, yet this is still clearly very much a Brainiac 5 record, brimming with energy and invention. As before, few areas are truly off limits as they traverse their psych-punk blueprint through the neighbourhoods of funk, reggae and jazz on what is their most adventurous, yet focused, recording yet.

Recorded at Alchemy Studio in Wood Green, North London, Exploding Universe features ten new songs performed by the Brainiacs’ nucleus of Charlie Taylor, Duncan ‘Mad Dog’ Kerr and John ‘Woody’ Wood plus drummer Wayne Worrell and Nick Onley on sax and flute, with contributions from Ethan Landis (Hackney Brass Band) on trumpet and percussionist Phil Overhead. It was lovingly mixed by their longtime engineer, Hawkwind’s Martin Griffin at his Roche Studio on the edge of Dartmoor. The album also features a cameo from founder member and renowned Cornish poet Bert Biscoe, alongside appearances from the equally renowned Gertrude Stein and G I Gurdjieff.

Formed out of the ashes of free festival favourites the Half Human Band (also featuring Griffin), The Brainiac 5 made a name for themselves on the isolated yet thriving mid-70s Cornish pub, club and festival scene. Praised by the NME for their Mushy Doubt EP, the band made the move to London to enjoy the fruits of a gig circuit enlivened by punk. Yet despite sharing stages with The Soft Boys and The Barracudas and coming to the attention of the likes of John Peel and Alex Chilton, they split before their debut album World Inside could be released. The album eventually saw the light of day in 1988 via Reckless Records, also responsible for releases by such psych legends as Bevis Frond, Black Sun Ensemble and Mu.

Fast forward to 2013 and the opportunity to reconvene the Brainiacs resulted in the Sun Ra-inspired Space Is The Place, a 10-inch EP of new recordings on Bucketfull Of Brains magazine founder Nigel Cross’s Shagrat label, garnering effusive reviews from the likes of The Wire and Shindig!, with the following When Silence Was Sound retrospective receiving similar praise from Mojo, Record Collector, R2 and Vive Le Rock magazines.

The Brainiac 5 play a special all-day launch party at The Betsey Trotwood, London on Saturday 27 June with special guest Mark & The Clouds, Jowe Head and more.

The group’s music has a freshness and verve that makes their recent reformation seem entirely justified. Prog Magazine

It’s like finding something you never knew you’d lost. The Wire

The West Country’s answer to Television. Shindig!

Punk energy harnessed to a serious Ladbroke Grove attitude, the result a wonderful cornucopia of sound. Terrascope

**** R2 Magazine 
**** Record Collector

Tuesday 21 April 2015


As the world awaits the next album from the reformed Rockingbirds, singer and songwriter Alan Tyler kicks back with a new acoustic trio aimed at taking his songs – and some well-chosen country covers – to the bars and folk clubs of the land.

Rounded out by longtime cohort Fiddlin’ Jim Morrison plus Rockingbirds new boy Patrick Ralla on harmonies, guitar and banjo, The Alan Tyler Show sets out their stall with neat renditions of songs by many of Alan’s favourite artists – including Gram Parsons, George Jones and Townes Van Zandt – alongside some of his previously unreleased ‘River Songs’, exploring London’s country heritage; the hidden waterways and the “fields beneath” which enrich and breathe life into England’s capital city.

Alan Tyler is best known for fronting Camden Town country-rockers The Rockingbirds whose trend-bucking releases for Heavenly during the early-90s anticipated the revolution alongside US contemporaries The Jayhawks and Uncle Tupelo. Touring widely, with memorable performances at Glastonbury, Reading and Cambridge Folk Festival, plus appearances on Jools Holland’s Later and Top Of The Pops, the band called it a day in November 1995. With various members going on to serve with the likes of Edwyn Collins, Manic Street Preachers, Beth Orton and Dexys, Alan released two solo albums and a further two with his band The Lost Sons Of Littlefield. He also founded the long-running Sunday afternoon club Come Down And Meet The Folks, now in its twentieth year.

A reunited Rockingbirds received a standing ovation for their part in Heavenly’s 18th Birthday celebrations on London’s South Bank in 2008. They made good on their reunion with the release of the highly praised The Return Of The Rockingbirds on Loose in 2013. A new album – More Rockingbirds – is due later this year.

“Tyler is one of the best songwriters of his genre and era.”  The Independent

1 May 2015 - The Green Note, Camden, London
15-17 May 2015 - Wood Festival, Braziers Park, Oxfordshire
10 June 2015 – What’s Cookin’, Leytonstone, London
28 June 2015 - Leigh Folk Festival, Essex
4/5 July 2015 – Maverick Festival, Woodbridge, Suffolk

The Alan Tyler Show is now taking bookings.

(photo: Dave McGowan)


Paris of America, the new album by The Payroll Union, continues the band's fascination with America's dark past. These eight songs explore the violence of the 'riot era' in Philadelphia during the 1830s and 1840s. Inhabiting the stories of radical writers, anti-Catholic brawlers, firebrand preachers, and violent ward bosses, the album imagines a city in great tumult, tearing itself apart. 

The record is a result of a collaborative project with Arts Enterprise at the University of Sheffield. Songwriter, Pete David, worked with historian, Dr Andrew Heath, to look at how stories of the past can be told in different ways. Along the way, they worked with a film-maker to chart the process of their work together, Sheffield illustrators and artists, and a number of other musicians, to bring to life these complex, interweaving narratives of a 19th Century American city. 

Formed in 2009 in Sheffield, The Payroll Union have shared stages with Johnny Dowd, John Smith and Bellowhead. They have played Galtres, Off The Tracks, Music In The Gardens, Tramlines, Magpie's Nest, Kendal Calling, Dragonfly and headline slots at both Sensoria 2012 and 2013. After releasing two EPs - Underfed & Underpaid and Your Obedient Servant - they toured the UK with their debut album, The Mule & The Elephant, in February 2013.

Album launch Friday 27 June at Club 60, Sheffield. London date to be confirmed…

Here’s what’s been said….

"Switching from indie rock riffs to the more familiar dark folk melodies complementing the murderous lyrics, the album keeps you on your toes, leaving you unaware of what is coming next… The emphasis is entirely on the dark lyrics, which combined with Pete David’s grizzly and delicious vocals makes for a real success. I really can’t wait to see the band play this track in particular live." Now Then

"Heck, some of the themes are so human that you’d assume they are as old as the human race." Sloucher 

"Dark, sombre and macabre, each track tells its own tale. This is a record that demands your attention. Your focus will be duly rewarded as you find yourself transported to a distant time and place. If you close your eyes you can smell the smoke, the air of despair..." Counterfeit Magazine


This is Thee Faction’s 5th album since re-appearing (as a result of the discovery of the At Ebbw Vale tapes) in 2010. They would be celebrating their 30th anniversary this year if that wasn’t so spectacularly bourgeois.

Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development encourages the formation of larger units of production at the expense of small ones. The result: an oligarchy of private capital - the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. Members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature.

So, representatives of the people have no need to protect the interests of the any other sections of the population but their paymasters. Private capitalists control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, TV, internet, schools). It’s very difficult for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of politics.

The artist, therefore must dissent, to provide a bulwark of criticism. Rock music has long been seen as a portal to intellectual freedom, but is, in fact, co-opted by capitalists and sold as a plastic rebellion. Large media organisations control music output, and therefore remove any art from it. This is why pop music is standardised. But you can take these traditional forms and add ANALYSIS.

It’s pointless complaining. We must show the joy of freedom. The power of the class. Squares out!

All wars traditionally have had marching bands and comradely singing, so why not the Class War?

Wed 22 April: Kick Out The Tories pep rally, 100 Club, London
Sat 4 July: Matchwomen’s Strike Festival - Canning Town, London
Sun19 July: Tolpuddle Festival

 “Wildly galvanising, blisteringly angry, insanely entertaining blue-collar rock ‘n’ roll… scalp-prickingly good with nagging, catchy riffs. Lyrics range from heartfelt polemic to Jake Thackray-style observation.” Mojo
“…a critique of societal hegemony on the back of a grimy blues’n’b twang, rife with the contagious energy of people who know they’re right. In short, meet Comrade Feelgood.” Q Magazine
“ .. carrying on a proud tradition by providing the soundtrack to our marches and strikes against this government of millionaires trying to undo all the things we have fought for.” Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of the PCS
“How much do I love Thee? I love Thee as chimps love bananas, as bankers love bonuses, as Jeremy Hunt loves Rupert Murdoch” Francis Wheen, Assistant Editor, Private Eye
“… sharply dressed and ready for action... essential” Morning Star
“..barricade storming, smart, fun, instantly energising” Daily Mirror
“Absolutely brilliant. Tell your mates” Billy Bragg
“..taking down the Tories one song at a time” The Guardian
“Guthrie and Seeger, Lennon and Baez, Dylan and Crass changed views through song. Thee Faction do just that through sheer force of joy de vivre … Capitalism is good for corporations; that’s why you’ve been told socialism is bad all your life” Huffington Post

Monday 2 March 2015


Following on from the success of their second album Banks Of The Lea, Italian blues-punks Stiv Cantarelli & The Silent Strangers return to the UK in May for four dates as part of their European Tour.

They will play…..

The Asylum, Chelmsford                                            Wed 20 May
The Moon, Cardiff                                                      Thur 21 May
Shakespeare’s, Sheffield                                            Fri 22 May
Biddle Bros, Hackney, London                                   Sat 23 May

They will then travel to the Netherlands and France (dates TBC).

Stiv Cantarelli & The Silent Strangers’ second album Banks Of the Lea (released last October on Stovepony Records) was recorded on the banks of the River Lea at Gizzard Recording, Hackney Wick with producer Pete Bennett of noted Lancastrian post-punks Monkey Island and engineer (and studio owner) Ed Deegan (White Stripes, Mudhoney, The Fall, The Cribs, etc). The album received considerable praise in print and online media, including major features in Vive Le Rock, R2 and Tattoo Planet, and substantial airplay, including BBC 6 Music, Resonance FM, NTS and TeamRock.

Stiv Cantarelli initially came to prominence as leader of Italy’s number one band Satellite Inn, who were recruited by North Carolina label MoodFood as a replacement for the ascendant Whiskeytown. Touring the States intensively, Cantarelli became firm friends with Portland, Oregon roots legends Richmond Fontaine, releasing several records on their El Cortez label and employing them as his backing band on his solo debut Innerstate. It was this connection that found him at the wheel of a tiny Fiat beside Bob Mould for an Italian odyssey during the miserable winter of 2009.

In the Silent Strangers, Stiv is joined by former Satellite Inn rhythm section Fabrizio Gramellini (bass) and Antonio Perugini (drums) along with Roberto Villa (guitar and sax). They released their debut album Black Music / White Music in 2013.

Check out Banks Of The Lea at

"A thrilling post-millennial blues joyride. Richly rewarding, but not for the faint of heart. 5/5" R2 magazine

"Crackles with electric intensity. A glorious racket. 9/10" Vive Le Rock

"A dark brutalist beauty. A hot contender for my favourite album of the year." Louder Than War

Banks Of The Lea is a triumph… Sometimes rock and roll can be scary as well as being very, very good!” Uber Rock

"In short this is all thriller and no filler. You won't hear anything else like this around. 9/10" Maximum Volume

"An album to throw yourself into, headfirst. Chase this one down. 4/5" I-94 Bar

Thursday 26 February 2015


Mountain King Music is proud to announce the full UK release of When We Were Young, the debut album by Cat Canteri of acclaimed Australian trio The Stillsons.

When We Were Young was initially released in Australia in September 2014. It has received outstanding praise in both the international press and on radio, with the song ‘See My Bones’ being aired on Bob Harris’ BBC Radio 2 show.

The album is a rare combination of emotional vulnerability and musical accomplishment. Canteri’s warm, charismatic vocal tones deliver her highly personal stories (e.g. anorexia, post-war friendship in an Australian timber town) with an easy, pop sensibility. When We Were Young is essential listening for fans of Carole King and Fleetwood Mac.

Canteri plays drums, guitars, and keyboards on the majority of the album, with contributions from highly regarded musicians such as Ben Franz (The Waifs, The Stillsons), Stevie Hesketh (The Drones, Jet), and Justin Bernasconi (The Stillsons).

When We Were Young was produced, recorded, and mixed by ARIA award-winning Craig Pilkington (Archie Roach, Gurrumul) at Audrey Studios, Melbourne. It was mastered by Adam Dempsey at Deluxe Mastering in 2014.

The Stillsons are a Melbourne based group, whose live performances are a must see for any fans of heartbreaking harmonies, eclectic songwriting, and high calibre guitar playing.

The band features two singers-songwriters, Cat Canteri (drums) and Justin Bernasconi (guitar). Their third release Never Go Your Way was voted ‘Country Album of 2013’ in the Rhythms Magazine (Australia’s premier roots music publication) readers’ poll, as well as receiving 4/5 stars in UK magazine R2 (Rock’n’Reel); and The Australian (national broad sheet).

“Canteri has strength and drive… so you're thinking a 1970s framework of rootsiness and rockiness… it's a very fine start” Sydney Morning Herald

“It’s great… sensual, warm and a ting of real quality, recommended” Americana UK 8/10 stars

Thursday 29 January 2015


Cracked Picture Frames, the bristling full-length debut of American-born, London-based songwriter Robert Chaney, opens with Black Eyed Susan - a scene of domestic violence sung from the point of view of an ashamed abuser - and sets off ticking through a further nine songs; chronicling assaults, traffic accidents (two, in fact), and all kinds of heartbreak.

"The record almost didn't happen," recalls Robert. "After moving from Florida to London, I didn't know anyone. I thought I was going to have to get into the open mic grind. So I went to one and showed up late and they put me on last." But it was on the strength of this performance that Robert was approached by producer Ken Brake (The Clientele, Louis Philippe), and the two started working in Ken's London studio, recording dozens of songs over a number of months. Most of the songs on the final record are first or second takes.

The negative space afforded by the spartan guitar-and-voice arrangements serves to bring the lyrical content into hyperfocus, and it is here the 33-year-old truly differentiates himself from his peers. “There was this great DVD rental place around the corner from me on Brick Lane,” Robert explains, “I started to get into old foreign films, art stuff. I started to think like a director or screenwriter. How to maintain tension, how to write from a character.” He pauses for a moment, and is then quick to add, “It’s not all exercises in storytelling, though. There’s a lot of personal stuff on there.”

This tension between love song and story song provides much of the motivating force behind the album. ‘The Cyclist’ is equal parts tragic romance and cliffhanging thriller, as a couple deal with the aftermath of a hit-and-run car accident. ‘The Ballad of Edward and Lisa’, written about a former co-worker of Robert's, offers a sly critique of organized religion as the song masquerades as an old-fashioned blood-soaked murder ballad.

Though he is still a relative newcomer, the past two years have seen Robert Chaney become one of the most talked-about performers on the London singer-songwriter scene, and with Cracked Picture Frames, he proves that the titular shattered glass isn’t the only thing about this record that’s razor-sharp.

See the video for 'Patch It Up'.

Robert plays The Railway Tavern, 2 St Jude Street, Dalston, London on Thursday 5 March.


South London indie-folk band Sergeant Buzfuz return with their sixth album, the long awaited follow-up to 2012’s highly-rated Go To The Devil And Shake Yourself. Recorded, as usual, at One Cat Studio in Coldharbour Lane, Brixton by Jon Clayton (Band Of Holy Joy, Chris T-T, Pete And The Pirates), if the album has a theme, it’s the city in which it was recorded: starting out in Manor House we visit Stratford, Kensington, Elephant & Castle, Hampstead and Kilburn along the way. The exception is ‘S6 Girls’, set in songwriter Joe Murphy’s hometown of Sheffield.

Balloons For Thin Linda is preceded by a single ‘Gold Feelings’, which has already been picked up for airplay by Gideon Coe on BBC 6 Music. See the video here 

Alongside Joe, Sergeant Buzfuz are Willie Barr, Ian Button, Polly MacLean, Joss Cope, Stu Crane and Eilish McCracken.

Joe’s songs are a mixture of the pop, post-punk and folk he grew up with and the Irish story-telling tradition of his ancestors. As well as fronting the band, he is a widely-touring solo artist and co-runs the Blang label. Sergeant Buzfuz’s fifth album Go To The Devil And Shake Yourself received substantial media exposure, including several plays from Gideon Coe, while novelist Ian Rankin listed it in his top 20 albums of the year. Joe and Polly performed Go To The Devil And Shake Yourself as a show at the Edinburgh Free Fringe in 2012. The band have also played live sessions on BBC 6 Music for Marc Riley and Tom Robinson.

Joe contributes a song to Shirley Collins Inspired, a triple vinyl album of covers of songs sung by the Sussex folk icon due Easter 2015 on the Fire label, alongside contributions from Alasdair Roberts, Will Oldham, Graham Coxon and Tuung. 

This is what folk have said about Sergeant Buzfuz….

“It's mental - in a good way! Absolutely hooked on it”  IAN RANKIN       
“It will be a long time before you hear the like again”  BEARDED
“I find myself almost lost for words...absolutely glorious”  PETER MUGGS, THE ARTS DESK
“Musically inventive, they are by turn complex, playful and challenging”  R2
“An eye-opener and an eyebrow-raiser”  GIDEON COE, BBC 6 MUSIC
“Absolutely brilliant”  TOM ROBINSON, BBC 6
“Ceaselessly inventive"  TIMEOUT
“Universally charming”  NME    
"Perverse and memorable, modern-day folk music"  MORNING STAR