Google+ Badge

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Ralph's Top Ten Blogged Band Chart - 29.6.13


OK bands you know the score.....

the more hits your blog gets by the fans, the higher you go.....

So tweet it, Facebook it.....

and generally expose yourself.....






Now Mr Snuggles and me have been sitting with our heads down counting the hits on each bands blog to see who's got which place.  

So here it is.....

The Top Ten Blogged Band Chart .....













Martin Stephenson has been one of the UK’s best-loved musicians for 30 years.  The new album 'California Star' sees him reunited once more with The Daintees, the band he’s intermittently fronted through a string of albums - and hundreds of gigs - since his teens in the North East.  Always popular on the circuit, his 'must see' live performances are an exuberant tour-de-force combining heart-in-your-mouth intimacy with playful humour and warm self-deprecation.




No 2..... The Bedroom Hour



Ralph's sent his intrepid reporter Malcolm Parry out into the wilds - yes Bathgate no less - to bring you a live review of The Bedroom Hour, and this time he's come back with a corker.  The night was originally advertised as three bands, unfortunately the opening act from Fife - Calm As The Colour had to cancel, but never mind they still had Somerset's indie rockers The Darlingtons 









No 3..... Bombskare 
706327_455568577832843_501963227_o

Now normally to write a blog I'll sit down at the laptop, stick on the headphones and listen to the artistes I'm writing about.  Trouble is I'm writing about the nine man ska juggernaut that is Bombskare and the last thing you can do when you've got their crazy brand of ska playing is sit down.




No 4..... Jess Harwood




With a new EP out in May and some great gigs in the offing Jess Harwood is starting to make a real impact on the music scene.  Jess is a 20 year old singer-songwriter from Blackpool and has been writing and singing her own songs since her early teens. 








No 5..... Mog Stanley


mog stanley st pauls lifestyle session
The laid back, sharp dressed man that is Mog Stanley describes himself as a song singin', guitar playin', foot tappin', blues, folk, indie musician which sounds like he's got a sponsorship with Coca Cola but that really does sum up his stylee.  His crisp bluesy guitar playing is complimented by his super smooth vocals.  You only have to listen to 'Little Bag of Bones' to get hooked on his immaculate, ultra-hip laid back vibes and I'm tuned in as I write the blog.







No 6..... The 1004s



Last time I updated the blog on The 1004's I'd put out last year when they released 'SOS' was early this year after The 1004's had released 'Light's Out' and were heading to the studios to record their new single.  Well the good news is it's been worth the wait as they've just released 'Throes' with an indie folk/rock feel to it and has already been seeing some airplay both by Ralph on Radio KC and Jim Gellatly.







No 7..... The Tennents


Young North East band The Tennents from Hull have been showing up on Ralph's Twitter a lot lately with news of a new EP 'Belgium' coming out soonish, so Ralph invited them into the kennel for a chat to check out what they've done already and what's planned for the future.

 





No 8..... Wullae Wright



Everybody likes to make a comparison about artistes and Ralph's old man is no exception. He heard Wullae Wright's 'Halo Effect' playing on my laptop and next thing he was wiping the dust of his collection of vinyl, dug out Led Zeppelin I and stuck it under my nose 









No 9..... Clockwork Noise

Ralph's nipped over the Irish Sea to check out Clockwork Noise as they've recently released an album 'Whethermachines' and it ticks all the boxes. Clockwork Noise are Blathnaid Healy on violins, cellos and vocals - Dylan Nolan on Bass and Vocals - Michael Fenton- Drums and Vocals - Robert Maguire on Lead Vocals and Guitars - Chris O' Connor- Vocals and Guitars.



No 10 ..... Madness and the Film 




about_image2
Madness and the Film aren't your typical band.  The duo, David Breeze from London and Caroline Gorman from New York City, formed in the summer of 2012 when David moved to New York.  He met Caroline through a mutual friend,  and "madness" ensued, which resulted in the subsequent 'Scrapbook' EP downloadable now on Itunes and the debut single release of 'London Town'.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Cormac O Caoimh




Second artiste to be featured in Ralph's trilogy of Irish related music blogs is former Citadels frontman Cormac O Caoimh, a singer songwriter from Cork.  He has just released his second solo CD - 'A New Season for Love' - and the twelve track album is currently receiving rave reviews in Ireland.  He's currently Play Irish artist of the month and featured on  RTE 1  Arena.  His smooth vocal and exquisite guitar playing is attracting the attention of the music press and an ever increasing audience.  His latest single 'Remember When We Didn’t Kiss' topped the itunes download charts on its release.






'Remember When We Didn't Kiss' is a sensitive, poignant song mirrored by the simple but effective musicality of Cormac's  acoustic guitar, an Irish James Taylor.

Cormac O Caoimh has picked up some well-known admirers along the way including Ron Sexsmith and Tom Robinson.  He's shared the stage with fellow luminaries Damien Rice, Declan O Rourke, Josh Rouse, Mark Geary, Nick Kelly, Miles Hunt and Damien Dempsey to name but a few.  He also ventured further afield playing headlining gigs and slots in Edinburgh, London, Amsterdam and New York.





He's been variously described as 'a honeyed whiskey drink', 'a fine cognac on a cold winter’s eve', 'a warm woolly jumper in muted earthy colours' and 'a colour .. a rich mahogany - warm and beautiful'.  They all pretty much sum up his sensitive, intuitive and evocative songwriting style.  His music is best served up with a nice glass of warm red and the proximity of your significant other.  'Ghosts' is a classic example of that with it's light, intimate and romantic tones, a bit of a flash-back to the early days of Stephen Bishop.






Monday, 24 June 2013

Clockwork Noise


Guide-clockwork-portrait2




Having listened to a lot of Alt/Folk/Rock these last few weeks in a bid to bring you the best of the current Indie crop in that genre (and to release you from the tedium that is Mumford and Sons) Ralph's nipped over the Irish Sea to check out Clockwork Noise as they've recently released an album 'Whethermachines' and it ticks all the boxes. Clockwork Noise are Blathnaid Healy on violins, cellos and vocals - Dylan Nolan on Bass and Vocals - Michael Fenton- Drums and Vocals - Robert Maguire on Lead Vocals and Guitars - Chris O' Connor- Vocals and Guitars.





They say they are fascinated by juxtaposition. The marriage of quiet and loud, classical and contemporary, pretty and ugly, chaos and order -  'Whethermachines' being the culmination of a long journey exploring this concept.  After releasing an EP ‘Yes and No and Everything In Between’ in 2009, the five-piece band from Ireland set about collecting thoughts for a full-length album. A large number of songs evolved from two years of performing live, and the band began an intense pre-production phase, marshaled by Torsten Kinsella of God Is An Astronaut.




Months of editing, exploration, and experimentation left the band with nine songs, and the concentrated essence of an album.  Temporarily divorcing themselves from the live music circuit, Clockwork Noise focused on bringing the songs to life, recording material everywhere from high-tech studios to the streets of Dublin. Over several years the album evolved, and in 2012 was finally cemented into place by Ivan Jackman of Silverline Studios.  The finished product is crammed with juxtapositions – it features refined string sections and frantic digital noise; delicate harmonising and visceral screaming.







On first listening, the album may just be all things to all people as the lead track 'A Wake Up Serenade' goes from an orchestral intro into shades of QOTSA.  Second track in 'Advocate' kicks off with choppy 80's pop guitar work a la Roddy Frame but soars into a strong Alt/Rock vocal backed by violins.

'Egocentric' has Snow Patrol etched into it, high on musicality and lyrical content.  The fourth track 'The Brink' gets slightly heavier with some sublime strings although retaining the Snow Patrol-esque vocals.  'Wizard of Ill' on the other hand is more Alt/Pop with appealing folky strings.








Clockwork Noise

Six tracks in and 'Windows' takes us on a heavier rock trip.  The ever present violins backing a meatier vocal with more than a hint of Soundgarden to it (no bad thing).  'Great Escape' follows on with moodier vocals and builds to a powerful US Alt/Rock chorus.   

Live_at_the_village_lg


The acoustic intro to 'Simple Problems' lightens the music but not the emotions.  It's a seemingly introspective track and no comparisons to be made on this one...it's all Clockwork Noise.  The album finishes with 'The Tourists' and it's another strong lyric backed by more Folk/Rock violins and choppy guitar.  Another track that they've firmly placed their own stamp on and for me, possibly the best track on the album.  







Sunday, 23 June 2013

Ralph's Top Ten Blogged Band Chart - 22.6.13

OK bands you know the score.....

the more hits your blog gets by the fans, the higher you go.....

So tweet it, Facebook it.....

and generally expose yourself.....






Now Mr Snuggles and me have been sitting with our heads down counting the hits on each bands blog to see who's got which place.  

So here it is.....

The Top Ten Blogged Band Chart .....













Martin Stephenson has been one of the UK’s best-loved musicians for 30 years.  The new album 'California Star' sees him reunited once more with The Daintees, the band he’s intermittently fronted through a string of albums - and hundreds of gigs - since his teens in the North East.  Always popular on the circuit, his 'must see' live performances are an exuberant tour-de-force combining heart-in-your-mouth intimacy with playful humour and warm self-deprecation.




No 2..... Bombskare 
706327_455568577832843_501963227_o

Now normally to write a blog I'll sit down at the laptop, stick on the headphones and listen to the artistes I'm writing about.  Trouble is I'm writing about the nine man ska juggernaut that is Bombskare and the last thing you can do when you've got their crazy brand of ska playing is sit down.



No 3..... Jess Harwood




With a new EP out in May and some great gigs in the offing Jess Harwood is starting to make a real impact on the music scene.  Jess is a 20 year old singer-songwriter from Blackpool and has been writing and singing her own songs since her early teens. 






No 4..... The 1004s



Last time I updated the blog on The 1004's I'd put out last year when they released 'SOS' was early this year after The 1004's had released 'Light's Out' and were heading to the studios to record their new single.  Well the good news is it's been worth the wait as they've just released 'Throes' with an indie folk/rock feel to it and has already been seeing some airplay both by Ralph on Radio KC and Jim Gellatly.





No 5..... The Tennents


Young North East band The Tennents from Hull have been showing up on Ralph's Twitter a lot lately with news of a new EP 'Belgium' coming out soonish, so Ralph invited them into the kennel for a chat to check out what they've done already and what's planned for the future.

 





No 6..... The Bedroom Hour





Ralph's sent his intrepid reporter Malcolm Parry out into the wilds - yes Bathgate no less - to bring you a live review of The Bedroom Hour, and this time he's come back with a corker.  The night was originally advertised as three bands, unfortunately the opening act from Fife - Calm As The Colour had to cancel, but never mind they still had Somerset's indie rockers The Darlingtons there to warm them up.  Enter Malcolm stage left...







No 7..... The Indieannas

Following up on the success of 2012 including an appearance at the Y-Not Festival, Buxton band The Indieannas recently released 'Flying High' as a single and it's saw critical acclaim from music bloggers and fast become a fans favourite on the launch tour.  Why?  Because it's a high octane, in your face, Indie guitar thrashing, pounding beat, floor filling rock 'n' rolla.





No 8..... Mog Stanley


mog stanley st pauls lifestyle session
The laid back, sharp dressed man that is Mog Stanley describes himself as a song singin', guitar playin', foot tappin', blues, folk, indie musician which sounds like he's got a sponsorship with Coca Cola but that really does sum up his stylee.  His crisp bluesy guitar playing is complimented by his super smooth vocals.  You only have to listen to 'Little Bag of Bones' to get hooked on his immaculate, ultra-hip laid back vibes and I'm tuned in as I write the blog.






No 9..... Wullae Wright



Everybody likes to make a comparison about artistes and Ralph's old man is no exception. He heard Wullae Wright's 'Halo Effect' playing on my laptop and next thing he was wiping the dust of his collection of vinyl, dug out Led Zeppelin I and stuck it under my nose 









No 10 ..... Culann 




Culann have made no secret of the fact that they want to make 2013 their year and they made a great start by winning the 'Best Rock/Alternative' category of The Scottish Alternative Music Award earlier this month.  Comprised of PJ Kelly - Vocals/Guitar, Sean Kelly - Drums/Vocals, Greg Irish- Guitar, Ross McCluskie- Keys and Calum Davis-Bass, Culann are making rousing folk/rock anthems (sometimes with a hint of prog rock like - 'Beat Your Chest') with almost alarming regularity.