Author Archives: Eddie Curry

Indietracks is coming …

Indietracks has been wowing critics for 8 years now – for many people, its idyllic yet quirky surroundings and menu of indie, twee pop and post punk makes it the perfect small festival.

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Phoenix FM will be visiting for the first time this year and I spoke to one of the organisers, Nat Hudson, about what we can expect this year. You can hear the interview again here:

If you like the sound of that then tickets are still available from the official website at https://www.indietracks.co.uk/.

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Marika Hackman chats to Phoenix FM

Click here to listen to the interview again:

Folk rock singer Marika Hackman has had a busy time recently, with the release of her debut album “We Sleep At Last” and UK tour already this year.

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I spoke to Marika about her busy year and what else is in store by way of live performances and future recordings.

Marika’s new single “Ophelia” is out on Monday. You can keep up to date with Marika by following her on Facebook or Twitter.

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Interview with Stephen Barnes from Thousand Yard Stare

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One of the great lost bands of the early 90s for me was Thousand Yard Stare. This Slough five-piece released a number of EPs and a couple of albums on their own Stifled Aardvark label, with major label backing from Polydor, and gigged relentlessly in the few years they were active. After their 1993 split all has been quiet until this year, when they announced a one-off gig (already sold out) at the Borderline in London on 6 June.

I was lucky enough to catch some of the live performances first time round and also have a box full of vinyl and cassettes bearing their logo too! Music history has lumped them in with the shoegaze set of the early 90s but there was much more to their music than that, ranging from rock to folk to pop. I spoke to lead singer Stephen Barnes about the early days, the split and the reunion, and you can hear it all below:

When we finished the “official” part of the interview we had a long chat about the good old days of music and Stephen told me a great story about the making of the Buttermouth video back in 1991.

Stephen’s mum got a phone call from the makers of the Chart Show at ITV – the band had put Stephen’s phone number on their first EP, long before the days of internet and mobile phones, and someone from ITV had found the demo and given them a call.

They asked to feature Buttermouth on the Chart Show, as it was the lead track on the Keepsake EP which was the second highest new entry on that week’s indie chart. Stephen grabbed the phone, said yes, no problem, we’ll send it over by Friday, three days’ time. And of course, being a small indie band on their own label, they didn’t have a video.

The only person Stephen knew who could possibly make a video was Tim Smith from the Cardiacs – Stephen said that the band were obsessed with the Cardiacs, even though this never really came out in their music. The video was knocked out in two hours, which featured the band in Windsor Great Park with Stephen in a shopping trolley being whizzed around while Tim filmed it all on a handheld Super 8 camera.

The video was knocked out at a cost of £30 and delivered to ITV on time. The Chart Show tended to show ten second clips so Stephen said that as long there was ten seconds which looked half-decent he was happy!

That’s how a rare Thousand Yard Stare EP track ended up on national television … it’s hard to imagine bands having that kind of opportunity today!

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Gulag Vakation live on Phoenix FM

Click below to listen to the whole session and interview:

We welcomed local band Gulag Vakation into the Phoenix FM studios for the first time for a chat and acoustic session.

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The band are currently writing and recording a concept album about live in the USSR, drawing heavily on folk music from Russia and Eastern Europe. They also played some of the songs which you can see and hear again below:

You can discover more about them by visiting their Facebook or Twitter pages.

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“It’s all about big choruses and good tunes”

Click below to listen to the interview again:

London band SULK have been causing a few waves since the release of their debut album “Graceless” almost two years ago – and we’ve been giving the tunes plenty of support here on Phoenix FM.

The band are looking to put out their follow-up album this year and I spoke to lead singer Jon Sutcliffe before their gig at Oslo in Hackney about what the band have been up to and his thoughts on the current music scene.

Jon Sutcliffe from Sulk at Oslo

The show itself was a fantastic display of the band’s reverb-heavy rock, with new tunes including Queen Supreme (given out as a free CD on the night) sitting comfortably with classic tracks including Marian Shrine and Back In Bloom. The support band were great too as those who get there early enough were treated to an Americana/psychedelic set from Reading band Tail Feather.

Sulk live

You can keep up to date with Sulk at their official website here.

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The Novelty live on Phoenix FM

Click below to listen to the whole session and interview:

We welcomed Essex band The Novelty into the Phoenix FM studios for the first time for a chat and acoustic session.

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We had a chat on what the band have been up to and also got to hear acoustic versions of two songs which you can see again below:

You can discover more about them by visiting their Bandcamp, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter pages.

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Playlist for 22 January 2015 (AOTW: Pinkshinyultrablast – Everything Else Matters)

Click below to hear this week’s show again:

Our album of the week is a great debut from Russian pop/shoegaze outfit Pinkshinyultrablast. They’ve been compared to 90s bands like Lush and the Cocteau Twins but they’re a little more varied than that – not that I would complain to see a Lush comeback! The album is out next week – another winner on the Club AC30 label.

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We also had live music in the studio from the Novelty which you can see again here.

Tonight’s playlist:

Mansun – Take It Easy Chicken
Circa Waves – Fossils
Everglows – It’s Alright (For You And Me)
Honeyblood – (I’d Rather Be) Anywhere But Here

The Novelty live in the studio:
Novelty – Drama Queen
Novelty – Corona

Bohicas – To Die For
Primitives – Petals
Garbage – Subhuman
Bis – Twilight Cafe
Pinkshinyultrablast – Holy Forest
History Of Apple Pie – Tame
Ash – Kung Fu
Sleeper – Inbetweener
Inspiral Carpets – Monochrome
Cardigans – Hey! Get Out Of My Way
Pinkshinyultrablast – Umi
Ringo Deathstarr – Chainsaw Mornings
Kate Pierson – Bring Your Arms
Power Of Dreams – See You
Public Service Broadcasting – Gagarin
Sleaford Mods – Tiswas
Pre New – Psychedelic Lies
Sofa Pets – Awesome Time Apart
Pinkshinyultrablast – Land’s End
Tussilago – Say Hello
Viet Cong – Silhouettes
Superfood – Mood Bomb

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Midnight Barbers live on Phoenix FM

Click below to listen to the whole session and interview:

We welcomed Chelmsford duo The Midnight Barbers into the Phoenix FM studios for the first time for a chat and acoustic session.

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We had a chat on what the band have been up to and also got to hear acoustic versions of three songs which you can see again below:

You can discover more about them by visiting their Facebook or Twitter pages.

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Playlist for 15 January 2015 (AOTW: Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love)

Click below to hear this week’s show again:

Sleater-Kinney make a welcome return to the music scene with their 8th album and the first one for 10 years, No Cities To Love. It’s as good as the hype surrounding it.

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We also had live music in the studio from the Midnight Barbers which you can see again here.

Tonight’s playlist:

Radiohead – Planet Telex
Sleater-Kinney – Bury Our Friends
Bohicas – To Die For
Cable – Hexagon Eye
Primitives – Hidden In The Shadows
Desperate Journalist – Cristina
Django Django – First Light

Midnight Barbers live in session:
Midnight Barbers – Gimme Water
Midnight Barbers – It’s Appalling
Midnight Barbers – Puppy

Delakota – 555
Pond – Elvis’ Flaming Star
Idlewild – Come on Ghost
Viet Cong – Continental Shelf
Bis – Popstar Kill
Electric Six – I Need A Restaurant
Marion – Toys for Boys
Franz Ferdinand – Leaving My Old Life Behind
Sleater-Kinney – Price Tag
Pinkshinyultrablast – Holy Forest
Ghosts Of Dead Airplanes – Hair Metal Shame
Mogwai – Teenage Exorcist
James Atkin – Love Blind
Kate Pierson – Bring Your Arms
History Of Apple Pie – Jamais Vu
Powder – Afrodisiac
Prodigy – Nasty
Sleater-Kinney – Surface Envy
Supergrass – Richard III
Superfood – Mood Bomb
Damned – Nasty

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Playlist for 8 January 2015 (AOTW: Viet Cong – Viet Cong)

Our first album of the week was from Calgary four-piece Viet Cong with their self-titled album. I’ve been playing Continental Shelf a lot on the show over the last few weeks and the rest of the album is more of the same high quality.

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Superfood – Right On Satellite
Absent Kid – Retaliate First
Finding Miranda – Karaoke Singers
Viet Cong – Continental Shelf
Gerard Way – Millions
Pinkshinyultrablast – Holy Forest
B-52’s – Channel Z
Close Lobsters – New York City In Space
Marmozets – Irish Blood, English Heart
Public Service Broadcasting – Gagarin
Tenek – Another Day
Viet Cong – Pointless Experience
Inspiral Carpets – Spitfire
Earl Brutus – Come Taste My Mind
Lucius – Turn It Around
Kate Pierson – Bring Your Arms
Kenickie – Nightlife
CSS – Off The Hook
Republica – Bloke
Bis – This is Fake DIY
Kate Bush – Lily
Black Casino And The Ghost – Packd Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box
Asylums – The Death Of Television
Bohicas – To Die For
Viet Cong – Bunker Buster
British Sea Power – It Ended On An Oily Stage
Leave The Planet – Coasts
Sleaford Mods – Tiswas
Elastica – S.O.F.T.
Angelica – Take Me I’m Your Disease
History Of Apple Pie – Mallory

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