Time to bid a fond farewell to another busy year, and 2015 was certainly that for me. As at the start I was presenting the Saturday morning show Electronic Breakfast; as I had been for a few years. It was time for a move and a change is as good as an expression. And so we moved to Tuesdays for SYNTH CITY. My first show had the joy of having the duo Shelter live and loud in the studio to launch the new show with great music. This continued over the next 7 month with me getting the chance to debut about 90 new tracks from loads of great artists over this period. We had a few more guests along the way and I personally had the joy of DJing at a few great live band gigs this year, as well as witnessing some great gigs too….. and meeting so many great people.
Now, you may come to know I like to look forward more then look back in review, but I have to say it was a great year, with new artists appearing on our radar, great music events and huge amount of great new material released by so many talented artists – So why not rerun my last Synth City of 2015, where we squeeze in an exclusive album track from Sinestar, a stunning track from Neil Francis, a spellbinding remix from Tenek and an exclusive new track from Martyn Bailey…….
Join my Facebook group for SYNTH CITY – Tweet the show @electronicrv – And catch the reruns of the live show via Mixcloud;
This week I sailed into the Phoenix FM studio, care of Barney….the cutely named string wind front we had- glad I didn’t wear a tall hat this week. On the show I did however have more new music, from Color Theory, Men in the Sky, Automatic Writing and exclusive track from the soon to be released new album from Tenek. We had also another live track from Under The Stars; which was recorded at our Creative Session back in August. Another cool Synth Legend and equally cool Under cover track…along with more great gig news and hi-brow banter for moi.
If you missed out on the live show, then why not catch up via Mixcloud below;
You know that saying? You know, the one that everyone says? I’ll remind you in case you’ve not been near any people lately. It’s the popular saying that people say about music and bands in general. “Every band needs a Piers in it“. You remember the saying now right? WRONG. Its a saying I just made up because Piers from Slowgun is in every band thats been on my show ever. Okay two, two bands, but you need to stop trying to pick fault in my words and concentrate on the below video of Slowgun doing ‘Stephen’ on my show. Its the tale of Toni’s (lead singer) friend who is coincidentally named Stephen as he gets into a fight, leaving the other guy “in bits”. It’s the best song about a Stephen I’ve heard since the one I sang in the playground at the tender age of 7 to my friend Stephen Appiah, provocatively titled “Stupid Stephen”.
You can hear the whole interview and session again using the links below and I rather think you should because “it’s better to listen to Slowgun, than to fight a man with a mouthful of tadpoles”. As you may have guessed, I have once again made up a saying, but rest assured, THAT one will catch on.
I love Slowgun alot and you be interested to know that their new single “Next Time/ Sidekick Me” was released last week 29.09.13 and they also just played with Japan’s very own ‘Shonen Knife’. I would like to one day play with Shonen Knife, but I don’t sing or have a band, so I will just have to play with Stanley Knife in my bedroom again.. (I don’t really dear readers – I’m not a Muse fan).
You can hear and read more about Slowgun and their many adventures with Tim Burgess in the below portals:
and buy the new single here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/next-time-sidekick-me-single/id695727264
this is the bio that someone else wrote which I recommend to read first before any of this. I shouldnt have put it at the bottom really, but I like each post to be a little like a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book where the narrative jumps all over the place to keep you on your toes:
SLOWGUN formed in 2005 and have been playing their catchy indie-rock-pop tunes on and off ever since. Toni sings and plays guitar, Piers plays another guitar and occasionally attempts to sing, Stef plays bass and Matt hits the drums with drumsticks. Slowgun have played gigs with Shonen Knife, Yuck, Bellini, The Primitives, Pete and the Pirates, Versus, Wussy and many more. Their self released green 7” single “Stephen” has been played on 6music and an earlier demo of “Sidekick Me” was played on Huw Stevens’ show on Radio 1.
p.s. If you are in a band and want to come onto my show, hit me up on twitter, or do what most people do and contact Phoenix FM and make it for my attention.. it will get to me! If you currently go to BIMM, you’re probably all following me on twitter anyway
pps. shout out to all the people who read this far down.
Every now and then I come across an artist that surprises me. It’s not often, but sometimes it happens. Disillusioned with years upon years of seeing singer/songwriters cross my path and then fade away into obscurity due to general lack of – dare I say it – the X Factor, it’s rare I actually sit up and take notice. The music blogosphere is currently overloaded with female singer/songwriters who all sound the same, writing the same old emotional song, using the same vocal nuances, until its almost all white noise. I’m sick of them. In fact I want them all to walk slowly into a river with their acoustic guitars and keep on going until the last thing I see is their capo, glinting in the moonlight while fishes cover their ears with their fins at the indentikit ‘heartfelt’ bullshit these clockwork female singer/songwriters spout.
ON THE OTHER HAND, Hettie Steinmore is not your typical female singer/songwriter. She’s got that indescribable aura of a girl who is going places and has the talent to take her there. I’d seen her on youtube and heard the track she sent me pre-show and the signs were all there – this was gonna be great. So she came in and I crossed my fingers she would even be half as good as what I’d seen/heard and luckily for all involved she not only exceeded expectation, she has almost restored my faith in female singer/songwriters (much like the amazing Emily Capell).
I’m used to seeing girls come in and so Adele covers and if Hettie had attempted ‘rolling in the deep’ I would have had to throw her out of the studio, but NO, she did two original songs (the incredible ‘Cut me Off’ and my absolute favourite ‘Bad Blood’) and a cover of The Staves song ‘In The Long Run’. I actually didnt believe that her two originals weren’t just obscure covers of established bands because they were so so good. Nope, she wrote them herself as you can tell from the audio/video within this post, the lyrics/music belies her years. IT’S LIKE SHE’S POSSESSED BY A 50 YEAR OLD FOLK SINGER (in the best way possible!).
If I had to compare Hettie to any artist currently out there it would have to be Laura Marling, but y’know, when Laura Marling actually had songs you could hum along to (incidentally, why is Laura Marling awful now? so much promise!). I’m mystified how Hettie manages that incredible vocal tone without youth conspiring against her to show her up as a false prophet of folk… she’s just damn good at what she does.
The thing about Hettie that should inspire every unsigned young artist out there is that she is just at the start of her journey; a journey that I have no doubt will take her to deserved fame and fortune, but I am confident she’s not in it for Facebook likes, she is in it to preach her story to anyone who is willing to listen, and people WILL listen. For those of you reading this now, you can say you were here at the start. You were there when Hettie made her first radio appearance. You were there when Hettie made a weird smoothie pre-show that tasted like blood and soil and you heard her talk about adventure time and her fave songs… and somewhere in the middle of all that played 3 songs that heralded her arrival. You can see/hear more by just sticking her name into youtube or visiting the below sites…
This was the day I had two lovely bands on my show! First up is NED featuring my mate Rob Glenister! It was so great to see him and his new band. NED is a 4 piece from London/Essex and they were amazing. Loud and amazing!
You can see and hear more about them at their website: http://www.nedhq.com/
but right now you can listen again to the interview and session by clicking on that link below. You can stream it or right click and save it to your computer for some ipod action!
It was great to welcome Iris, Asano, Koichin and Ken – TAFFY – all the way from Tokyo to Phoenix FM’s studios.
They’re in the middle of their first UK tour but very kindly took time off to visit us to give us acoustic renditions of So Long, HaaH and Jolly Orange. And you probably wouldn’t believe it if we were to tell you this was their first ever live acoustic session … if you missed them first time round you can see them again below.
The band’s debut album, Caramel Sunset, was released earlier this year to rave reviews and you can buy it from here.
Thanks to Bryan for stepping in at short notice to do the interview, to Alex for the excellent camerawork and to Dave from Creative Music Studios for the loan of the bass amp and bongos!
There’s still time to see them live – they’re playing the Wilmington Arms on Saturday along with Blindness and Haiku Salut – tickets still available from here. The band’s official website can be found here.
It has been a funny old week, and now we are finally in a world we are used to, winter…oh ok, Autumn. Still, its nice to be in the studio as always playing great music. We spoke of the big John Wayne costume sale….$180.000 for a Green Beret, worn by Mr Wayne in the classic gung-ho film- ‘Green Beret’. I was kind of after the Rooster cockburn Eye patch myself, but lost it to a bidder of $40,000!! – was that you Eddie Curry?
Todays toofers was for a man, a legend and soon to be married a third time – Sir Paul McCartney. So as he is getting wed today, we say…break a leg; oh no….thats his ex… I mean have a lovely day – We played ‘Jet’ by Wings and ‘Ticket to ride’ by The Beatles.
Sir Paul McCartney - third time lucky aye?
My Comedy show picks for this week…
Paul Merton at the Comedy Store – 9th Oct 2011 •
TV’s Paul Merton will be joining Josie Lawrence at the Comedy Store Players for a night of comedy improvisation. Other comedians on the bill include Lee Simpson, Richard Vranch, Andy Smart and Neil Mullarkey.
Lee Evans’ “Roadrunner Tour” – 11th Oct 2011 • O2 Arena
Bendy comic Lee Evans is embarking on his most ambitious tour to date… playing 50 nights in some of the country’s biggest arenas, to more fans than he’s ever played to before.
Paul Merton at the Comedy Store -16th Oct 2011 •
Paul Merton will be joining Josie Lawrence at the Comedy Store Players for a night of comedy improvisation. Other comedians on the bill include Lee Simpson, Richard Vranch, Andy Smart and Neil Mullarkey.
Live music pick for this week;
Mon 10 Oct
The Darkness – The 100 Club, London
Return of the exuberant hard rock band from Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Tue 11 Oct
Spiritualized – Royal Albert Hall
Space-rock indie group fronted by the enigmatic singer Jason Pierce.
Fri 14 Oct
Chase and Status – O2 Academy Brixton
A session of drum ‘n’ bass, electronic and dubstep from the duo.
Sat 15 Oct
You Me at Six – O2 Academy Brixton
Surrey pop-punk band You Me at Six formed in 2004 and cut their teeth on the underground UK circuit. Their debut breakthrough album ‘Take Off Your Colours’ was released in 2008 and peaked at number 25 in the UK album charts.
Such the busy show…..all the usual flim flam and stunning array of music, along with a great little chat with the Peter Steer and Geoff Pinckney from the band Tenek; whom, fresh from a late night gig in London town, visited us -(@PhoenixFM).
[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Tenek-studio-chat-10092011.mp3|titles=Tenek studio chat 10092011]
Twofer’s this week was kind of hidden within the Chat with Tenek, We played two from their forthcoming EP – ‘What do you want from me’ and ‘Elusive’, which gets released Oct 10th.
My Comedy show picks for this week……
Alan Davies: Work in Progress – 12th, 19th, 26th, 29th & 30th Sept 2011
It’s been ten years since Alan Davies last tried stand-up, as he’s been busy doing umpteen series of QI. But he’s decided to jump back in with a series of “Work in Progress” shows at the the Pleasance Theatre.
Lee Evans’ “Roadrunner Tour” – 14th – 19th Sept 2011
Lee Evans is embarking on his most ambitious tour to date… playing 50 nights in some of the country’s biggest arenas, to more fans than he’s ever played to before. Catch “Roadrunner” at the Wembley Arena.
Andy Parsons gets “Gruntled” – 15th Sept 2011
Join Andy Parsons for a special night at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, where the star of TV’s “Mock The Week” will be recording “Gruntled” — his second live DVD.
Live music pick for this week;
Fri 16 Sep
The Bluetones – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London
Britpop indie band from the mid-nineties who momentarily filled the gap that the Stone Roses left behind with their jangly pop melodies.
Sat 17 Sep
Gary Numan – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London
Hammersmith-born electronica pioneer, famous for Synth classics, such as ‘Are Friends Electric’ and ‘Cars’. Is on Tour with him new album ‘Dead Son Rising.