Friday, 16 June 2017

FOLK DEVILS & INCA BABIES ANNOUNCE SUMMER DATES



















Encouraged by the media and fan reaction to last year’s Beautiful Monsters retrospective and accompanying reunion shows, the surviving members of Folk Devils are joining forces with Manchester's Inca Babies for a handful of summer dates around the UK.

Folk Devils - fronted by the charismatic Ian Lowery - and Inca Babies both released acclaimed music in the mid-80s that helped define the emerging adrenalized blues-inflected swamp-rock scene that had spawned the likes of The Birthday Party, The Gun Club and The Scientists, recording multiple sessions for John Peel’s legendary BBC Radio 1 programme.

With the release of the long-overdue anthology Beautiful Monsters (Singles & Demo Recordings 1984-86) last summer through Optic Nerve Recordings, original Folk Devils guitarist Kris Jozajtis and bassist Mark Whiteley decided to reconvene the band with late-period drummer John Hamilton and Dave Hodgson of post-punks Parting Shots taking the place of Lowery, who sadly died in 2001.

The Inca Babies reformed around founding member Harry Stafford in 2007 and have been active since, releasing their most recent album The Stereo Plan in 2014. Now a 3-piece, the band is completed by drummer Rob Haynes (The Membranes, Goldblade) and bass player Vince Hunt, formerly of A Witness.

Speaking about the Folk Devils reunion, Jozajtis says, “Getting back together for live shows happened because of the release of Beautiful Monsters last September, and the collective need of the surviving Devils to mark that event by doing what we used to do best - playing the songs live. It certainly wasn't about nostalgia, although there was always a sense of unfinished business after we called it a day in the 80s. Of course, we wanted to honour the memory and singular talent of Ian. Much of what he wrote is even more resonant now, as many critics realize. Finding Dave Hodgson, who knew Lowery and has a real connection with the material, was crucial to making the reunion work. However, we also wanted to see if we could rekindle the fire which had characterized the sound of the band. I guess audiences can judge whether we've succeeded in that for themselves.  But the fact that we're all investing time, energy and money in this project will tell you what we think.”

The full dates are....

Fri July 14: Manchester @ The Whiskey Jar
Sat July 15: London @ The Shacklewell Arms *
Sun July 16: Northampton @ The Charles Bradlaugh *
Thurs July 20: Leeds @ Brudenell Social Club
Fri July 21: Glasgow @ O2 ABC2
Sat July 22: Bethesda, N. Wales @ Neuadd Ogwen

*Also featuring Venus Fly Trap

Sat Oct 28: Middlesbrough @ Westgarth Social Club
Peel Regenerated w/ The Telescopes, Folk Devils, The Inca Babies, Eton Crop, Year Of Birds


Folk Devils Facebook
Inca Babies Facebook 

Friday, 12 May 2017

PROUDFOOT plus PHIL MARTIN - LIVE AT THE RAILWAY TAVERN, DALSTON

London-based Americana and mature pop act Proudfoot are to play an intimate semi-acoustic show in East London next month.

The band, who released their second album Flower Of London to some acclaim last autumn, play the Railway Tavern, St Jude Street, Dalston on Thursday 1 June.

The band is the brainchild of filmmaker and songwriter Michael Proudfoot, one-time frontman of 90s Brit honky-tonk band The Highbury Hotdogs, together with guitarist Duncan Kerr of legendary Stiff Records pub rockers Plummet Airlines, new wave powerpoppers The Favourites. The line-up is completed by bassist Wayne Worrell and drummer Joe Malone. Expect flavours of good-time 60s country, laced with the influence of late-70s new wave songwriters like Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello and Difford & Tilbrook.

Support comes from North Yorkshire-via-Brentford songwriter Phil Martin. An original member of The Shanakies (Blur's support band of choice on their Parklife tour), multi-instrumentalist Phil has also served time with The Men They Couldn't Hang, Vic Godard & The Subway Sect and The Bitter Springs. He's currently preparing the follow-up to 2013's Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark, which legendary music journalist Geoff Barton, writing in Classic Rock magazine, compared very favourably to Kevin Ayers.

Music starts 8.30pm. Admission is FREE.

Proudfoot on Facebook

Phil Martin on Facebook

The Railway Tavern on Facebook

Monday, 1 May 2017

THE MOTHERS EARTH EXPERIMENT

Swordfish Records presents the debut album by The Mothers Earth Experiment, a six-piece contemporary progressive outfit from the West Midlands.

With a wide range of influences from electronica, jazz, world music and psychedelia all the way to black metal and back, the band of childhood friends pride themselves in their eclectic inspirations to weave detailed sonic tapestries of dense psychedelic atmospheres and emotive melodies in order to propel their message of social consciousness and environmental awareness.

We feel artistic freedom has become feared within the music industry, and we aim to express what is close to us through our music and art.”

The release of their debut EP Don’t Speak Against The Sun in September 2015 and their first show supporting Gong has led to a series of dynamic performances across the UK, gaining a reputation as a band with a lot to say. In the past year they’ve supported the likes of Syd Arthur, Soft Machine, Acid Mothers Temple, Nicholas Allbrook (Tame Impala, Pond), Braids and Arthur Brown.

The band released their debut limited edition single 'Cool Down Mama' on Record Store Day.

The six-track self-titled album will be available on limited edition multi-coloured splatter vinyl in a gatefold sleeve as well as on CD and download.

Launched in 1987 out of their Birmingham city centre store, Swordfish has built a deserved reputation for high quality rock and psych releases from the likes of Acid Mothers Temple, Keiji Haino, Roky Erickson and Godflesh.

Catch The Mothers Earth Experiment live at....

Fri 19 May – The Night Owl, Birmingham (album launch allnighter)




A perfect fusion of jazz, funk and progressive psychedelia” Counteract






SERIOUS SAM BARRETT - LIVE AT THE RAILWAY TAVERN, DALSTON

Leeds' finest exponent of country-folk 12-string, Serious Sam Barrett returns to play The Railway Tavern Ale House in Dalston, London on Thursday 4 May.

Sam was invited to play MuleFreedom's first ever acoustic event at The Railway back in 2012, and this will be his sixth visit. It comes hot on the heels of his latest album The Dime Horseshoe, recorded with James The Fang from Alabama folk punks The Pine Hill Haints on an island in the mouth of Mobile Bay. Buy it here.

Says Sam, "Playing the Railway is a beautifully informal and intimate gig. Everyone is made to feel welcome and people are there to hear great music. It attracts a crowd as diverse as London itself. A great place to play."

MuleFreedom hosts an acoustic event at The Railway Tavern on the first Thursday of every month.

Sam will be playing two solo sets, kicking off at 9pm. Admission is FREE!



Serious Sam Barrett on Facebook

The Railway Tavern on Facebook

RED MOON JOE - TIME & LIFE


They say you can’t keep a good band down, and that’s certainly true of UK roots band Red Moon Joe. Buoyed by the success of Midnight Trains, the first Red Moon Joe album in more than 20 years, they return with the newly minted Time & Life. And as with their previous albums, they continue to move forward, reminding us of the true essence of time and life: to never stay in one place for too long.

This time around, the band headed down to Liverpool’s Elevator studios, laying down their bluegrass-inflected tracks, this time augmented with keyboards and a 3-piece brass section and a little help from some special guests including Del Amitri’s Justin Currie, Virginian singer-songwriter Cathryn Craig and Jason Isbell’s guitarist Sadler Vaden. The result is an album that brings together Red Moon Joe’s mid-80s cowpunk origins through 90s alt.country, making Time & Life an album for right now, that does both the band and UK Americana proud.

These songs move away from traditional themes of lost love and heartache, drawing on the universal issues of ageing and the maelstrom of feelings, joys and anxieties that come with it. ‘Slow Sun Wheeling’ takes its title, like the album, from a poem by Algernon Swinburne; it’s essentially about regret but also living life to the full and squeezing every bit of joy that you can into every day. ‘Elvis, Townes And Hank’ considers the price of fame, while ‘Shadows’ is about an old friend fighting a battle with the bottle after the breakdown of a relationship. Another standout cut is ‘Orgreave’, about the spirit of defiance and the dignity shown by miners and their families in the face of injustice and violence.

Red Moon Joe were originally formed in Lancashire in 1985 by Mark Wilkinson, who was already forging a career as the go-to guitarist for visiting Nashville legends. With cowpunk and paisley underground in vogue, the band toured constantly throughout the UK and Europe, releasing the album Arms Of Sorrow on the iconic Run River label, also home to Bert Jansch and John Renbourn. The band split in 1993, with Wilkinson resuming his career as a ‘hired gun’, sharing stages with the likes of Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Guy Clark and Emmylou Harris. Wilkinson reconvened Red Moon Joe in 2010, eventually releasing Midnight Trains to considerable praise three years later.

Time & Life is released on 28 July through DBS Recordings



Praise for Midnight Trains....

 “A comeback LP that’s as fantastic as it is unexpected. 9/10” Whisperin’ & Hollerin’

“An awful lot of reunions are a massive disappointment; this one is long overdue and the only disappointment is that they didn’t do it sooner. 8/10” Americana UK

“As fine an example of UK Americana as you’re likely to find.” Flyin’ Shoes

“This album deservedly marks another highpoint.” Netrhythms

Thursday, 27 April 2017

LIL' LOST LOU - DEBUT ALBUM!

She’s like the girlfren’ of Jonathan Richman, the sister of the Stanley Brothers and the daughter of Jack White”

London-based country/rockabilly songwriter Lou Psyche alias Lil’ Lost Lou here presents her debut solo album. Not one to do things by halves, she travelled alone to Nashville to work with revered producer, songwriter and musician Billy Livsey, a man with the likes of Ronnie Lane, Kenny Rogers, Tanya Tucker and George Strait on his CV.

Setting up in the analogue Welcome To 1979 Studios (housed in a former Motown, Chess and RCA pressing plant), Livsey corralled the cream of Music City sessioneers, including bassist Dave Roe (Johnny Cash, Chet Atkins, Sturgill Simpson); pedal-steel player Russ Pahl (Glen Campbell, Patty Loveless, Kacey Musgraves); guitarist Stuart Mathis (Chris Isaak, Lucinda Williams), and drummer Justin Amaral (Junior Brown, Tommy Womack).

Let’s let Lou tell the story.... “This Nashville LP was about finishing a journey. It’s a bit more slick than my London skiffle punk/country band, but It’s still pretty raw and I think it has a great cross-cultural sound going on . I’m still so excited that these amazing guys wanted to collaborate on it.

The last song on the album, ‘Song for Bob Dylan’, I wrote 20 years ago in New York just before my dad died. I’d heard a poem by Dylan called ‘Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie’, which said, ‘If it’s hope that you’re seeking …you’ll find it at the Grand Canyon at sundown”. Last year I finally flew back out to the USA to see the Grand Canyon. I watched the sun go down, then caught a train across America. 32 hours later I arrived in Nashville, Tennessee where I recorded that same song about the Grand Canyon that I wrote 20 years beforehand. In 12 hours we had recorded a whole album.”

Once Lou was back in the UK, finishing touches were applied to the album with the help of producer Sean Kenny at his Ten21 Studio in Maidstone.

Born and raised in Camden Town, Lou has shared stages with the likes of Wanda Jackson, Billy Childish, Pete Doherty, Wilko Johnson, The Urban Voodoo Machine and Fat White Family and sang ‘Don’t Bogart That Joint’ over the closing credits of the 2010 film Mr Nice. She plays an Epiphone Casino guitar.

"Lou attacks each song here like a train coming down the track, full-pelt!" Country Music

One of those rare finds, like finding a £20 note behind the back of your old sofa. You don't expect anything but by the end there's a big old smile on yer face!” FATEA

Of all the women haunting the secret smog filled outsider art scene in London, Lou is by far the sassiest and dirtiest of them all. A princess of a weird dark country/punk night life.” AAAmusic.com


Sunday, 26 February 2017

NEIL McSWEENEY - A COAT WORTH WEARING

Friday 10 March 2017 sees the release of Sheffield songwriter Neil McSweeney’s fourth album, A Coat Worth Wearing. Produced by award-winning folk producer Andy Bell and the second release for new imprint Hudson Records, the album builds on the success of its predecessor, Cargo, displaying a marked development in Neil’s sound and approach. Its nine songs were conceived as a piece and subsequently recorded together, largely in full-band live-takes, over seven days in the beautiful Welsh countryside.

Neil McSweeney emerged from the flowering of Sheffield music that gave the world Richard Hawley and Slow Club and has since established himself as ‘a songwriter of rare ability’(R2). Setting lyrics that deal with the contrasts and contradictions of life to romantic melodies as hopeful as they are melancholy, McSweeney’s finely-crafted songs have been championed by his peers as well as across national radio and mainstream and specialist press. Since the release of Cargo in 2013, McSweeney has made increasingly big waves on the English folk scene picking up main stage festival appearances and collaborating with the likes of Jon Boden and Fay Hield. 


McSweeney has toured extensively throughout the UK and mainland Europe on his own and as support for the likes of Richard Hawley and Bellowhead. He will continue to tour around the release of A Coat Worth Wearing, then throughout 2017 and beyond.

Tour dates...

8 March Biddulph Arms, Stoke on Trent
10 March Queen’s Social Club, Sheffield.
13 March Green Note, London 
17 March Labour Club, Retford
18 March Indiependant Cafe, Scunthorpe
23 March The Musician, Leicester
25 March LV21, Gillingham
31 March Herman Chapel, Oswestry
1 April Garmon View House Concert, Conwy

Praise for Cargo....
Deeply felt, brooding songs rich in imagery” The Guardian
A songwriter of rare ability” R2 Magazine
Songs so subtle and well-crafted that you can’t help but be drawn in” Drowned In Sound
Steelier than your average troubadour” Q Magazine
McSweeney is the genuine article. Highly recommended” Express



Wednesday, 4 January 2017

THE BRAINIAC 5 - JOURNEY TO X

Rejuvenated psych-explorers THE BRAINIAC 5 return with Journey To X, their second full-length outing since their 2012 reunification. Buoyed by the success of 2015’s Exploding Universe, and an appearance on Cherry Red's acclaimed Another Splash Of Colour psych box set, the band have made a quick return to Alchemy Studios in North London and with the help of producer and engineer Kenny Jones and the arrival of new drummer Joe Malone, have stripped back to the two guitars, bass and drums format of past glories, yet continue to move forward with renewed energy and fresh ideas.

Say the band, “After experimenting with sax and flute for our last album, we thought that this time we would revert to our core four-piece psych/punk guitar orientated template. With the introduction of the powerhouse drumming of Joe Malone, we’ve certainly come up with some blistering music in this vein. However, somewhere along the journey we seem to have also wandered off on some other new paths. A touch of the smoky jazz cellar and African influences, a slight nod to country-blues and beyond. With lyrics inspired and influenced by Elizabeth Jennings, Robert Graves and The Golden Bough, we think this makes for a heady and intriguing mix, yet still all somehow manages to sound like The Brainiac 5. The journey has been exciting and fulfilling and has resulted in what we feel is our most complete and accomplished work to date.”

Emerging in the mid-70s out of the UK’s isolated yet thriving South-Western scene, the Brainiac 5 relocated to London, where their Mushy Doubt EP had already caused a stir. Sharing stages with the likes of The Soft Boys and The Barracudas and finding fans in John Peel and Alex Chilton, they split before their debut album World Inside was released through celebrated psych label Reckless (Bevis Frond, Black Sun Ensemble, Mu).

With frontman Charlie Taylor returning from years in the US, the Brainiacs reconvened, resulting in 2013’s Sun Ra-inspired Space Is The Place EP which garnered effusive reviews from the likes of The Wire and Shindig! The following year’s When Silence Was Sound anthology and the all-new Exploding Universe also received praise from Mojo, Record Collector, R2 and Vive Le Rock magazines, as well as from psych and outsider websites around the world. Journey To X will be simultaneously issued on CD, download and deluxe 180g gatefold vinyl.

Release date 20 January 2017

Album launch at The Gunners, Blackstock Road, London N5 on Saturday 21 January from 4pm, with special guests Morton Valence, Mark & The Clouds, The Green Ray, Proudfoot and more.... FREE admission!


The group’s music has a freshness and verve that makes their recent reformation seem entirely justified. Prog
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
This is acid punk at its best. **** R2