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 alt.country 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