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Saturday, 31 May 2014

Ralph's Top 10 Blogged Band Chart - 31.5.14

Visit Ralph's profile on Pinterest.

Ralph's Pinterest
                                                

                                                    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 .....










No 1..... Thumpers 



Ralph normally concentrates on unsigned UK Indie however when he heard London Alt Pop Duo Thumpers (Marcus Pepperell on vocal, guitar, keyboards and John Hamson Jr. on vocal, bass, drums) are going to be playing just round the corner from the kennel at Central Library, St Helens in May it was time to take a look and a listen. They announced the release of their debut album 'Galore' on Sub Pop records and it's been receiving no small amount of critical acclaim and heavy airplay (yes Ralph's given them a spin on Radio KC) including on Radio 1's Huw Stephens show.






No 2.....Book Group



It's been a hectic time in the kennel for new tunes and it was with great interest that news of the new EP by Book Group (due for release may 17th) appeared in the inbox. Ralph took a look last year when they released the 








No 3... The Backhanders




Embedded image permalink

It's always nice when a hard copy of someones latest release drops through the letterbox, as is the case when; courtesy of the enigmatic Mr Peeps, the niftily designed CD just out by The Backhanders in the style of a vinyl 7" single arrived and its look fits in with the two tracks contained within.









No 4....The Actions



Normally Ralph only blogs unsigned UK Indie, but now and again some mainstream goodness drops in the kennel that peaks his interest and when 'Indefensible', the new EP by London based Alt/Rockers The Actions arrived it was time for some rule bending (Their first album 'Real' was licensed to Nikita Music, a Brazilian record label and released in Latin America).







No 5..... United Fruit





The four piece Alt Rockers United Fruit, who formed in 2009 describe their style as - 'fusing noisy, fast-paced, discordant, post-punk with catchy melodies and crunching riffs'.






No 6.....Cormac O'Caoimh


cormacocaoimhIt's second time round for Ralph having a listen to Irish singer/songwriter Cormac O'Caoimh. A year ago he'd released his second solo album since leaving The Citadels called 'A New Season For Love' and this time round it's 'The Moon Looses It's Memory' and he's bringing us 14 tracks of love and regret, hopes and dreams, cars and girls, (OK, OK,  I've run out of descriptive song titles).






No 7.....KynchinLay


The new KynchinLay EP (launch night May 9th) has just dropped into the kennel, giving Ralph the chance to have a listen in advance. The Liverpool trio have been working hard to provide a bigger sound and with this excellently produced EP ('Dogfathers' and 'Leave Me Alone' were mixed at Motor Museum)








No 8.....The Phantoms 




The Phantoms are Colin Simpson on Vocals and Rhythm Guitar, Colin McKillop on Lead Guitar, Peter Stewart on Bass and Backing Vocals with Brad Young on Drums. They began with local gigs in their home town of Broxburn, and have since branched out into Edinburgh and Glasgow, landing gigs at venues such as Cab Vol, The Electric Circus, The Liquid Rooms, Maggie Mays, Sneaky Petes and Pivo Pivo, getting them noticed on the way by Jim Gellatly et al








No 9....Wullae Wright




Wullae Wright is capturing the same raw intensity of vocals that an early Robert Plant did.  Not only that his almost psychadelic guitar on the track also has the same haunting tones found on early Zep tracks.  An old rock soul in a young body.









No 10.....The Darlingtons


THE DARLINGTONS - Rotations
Now it's no secret that Ralph's a fan of Sheffield band The Darlingtons so it's with no small amount of glee that I heard they've just released their second single as an autonomous unit and it's another gem. 'Rotations' bursts into guitar driven loveliness as they bring us more of their well conceived, lyrically strong, Indie music.












Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Westfield Music Festival

Unless you live in Glastonbury or Kinross it's not often a music festival turns up on your doorstep, however, Ralph's got lucky because the inaugural Westfield Street Festival in St Helens is just over a week away! Taking place over a number of venues in the town's Westfield Street and featuring some of the North West's best Indie bands it's a breath of fresh musical air for the towns live music fans.




The day kicks off at 12pm-ish with Becky Leigh in The Sefton, Cold Turkey in The Zoo Bar and 2 Piece Suit in Tank. Highlights for Ralph later in The Zoo Bar will be a first time viewing of the excellent Jeremiah Ferrari and a catch-up with St Helens own Titors Insignia who were good enough to travel down to London and play at the Ralph's Life CD charity gig in Proud Camden.




From Manchester, the four young men in Jeramiah Ferrari fuse reggae, rock, ska, punk, and more to create a sound influenced by the likes of Bob Marley and Sublime, yet unique enough to call their own.

They won the 2012 Key 103 City Soundwave competition appearing at The MEN Arena with Will Young, Labrinth, Tulisa, Taio Cruz, Professor Green, Rizzle Kicks & One Direction.










Titors Insignia formed mid 2008 and have supported Paloma Faith, Alabama 3, Don Bronco, Steve Craddock, The Guillamots and Proud Mary, building themselves a solid reputation in the process with a crowd pleasing live set and pride themselves on raw performances show after show. Their debut album "Fair City Riots" is an electrifying concoction of influences ranging from Britpop to classic rock with a sprinkling of Indie, and healthy dose of Punk thrown in for good measure.

They released the single 'Freedom Fighter' to help raise funds for ABF The Soldiers Charity.  The single and video was launched in The Cinema Bar, St Helens to a full house including a number of local celebrities including Andy Reid, a former corporal with the 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment and was the inspiration for the song. 











Another highlight is local band Stillia, who also played the Ralph's Life CD Camden gig. They're self-taught musicians who've come together to create a unique sound influenced by their rock 'n' roll heroes.  They've spent time in the rehearsal studio refining their sound and their musicianship and the end result is a tight hard rocking unit with strong songwriting ability.  Whilst they have many influences they've managed to carve out their own style.







I'm also looking to catch Scarlet. in Bar Java so I'll be wearing my running shoes! After touring the UK as lead guitarist and backing vocalist of up and coming band The Thespians, being signed in Japan with Vinyl Junkie Records and supporting bands such as Catfish and the Bottlemen, Findlay and SPACE, as well as receiving support from Elbows Guy Garvey, Radio 6, Radio 2, and XFM, Jessie Scarlet launched her solo project Scarlet. in February of this year.







Needless to say there are a legion of acts playing over the day and at a number of different venues, so I'll leave you to peruse the list and make your own mind up as to who you'll go see on the day. 






The Actions


Normally Ralph only blogs unsigned UK Indie, but now and again some mainstream goodness drops in the kennel that peaks his interest and when 'Indefensible', the new EP by London based Alt/Rockers The Actions arrived it was time for some rule bending (Their first album 'Real' was licensed to Nikita Music, a Brazilian record label and released in Latin America).


Indefensible
Comprised of five tracks that range from the EP's dark and brooding eponymous 'Indefensible' to the light almost La Roux-esque synth pop vocal of lead track 'The Echo' (Ralph's giving that a spin on Radio KC this Sunday) with its inbuilt, choppy 80's pop guitar al la Haircut 100 and Marta's consistently impeccable vocals.

There's almost a 'Manchester bands' feel leading into 'Counting All Days' but the second track on the EP continues in an 'all things to all men' vein, drawing from different genres to make one complete whole as The Actions drift into dreampopiness.




By way of an update and in the good news vein is, as of December 9th 'The Echo' will be released as a single via Niteo Records and will include the original plus a bonus 5 remixes Should be interesting as the remixes cover Dub, Electro and most things in between!






'So Still' reaffirms the darker side of the band that previous track 'Indefensible' brought to the table, with an ethereal vocal sprinkled between some driving guitar with menacing drums and bass creating an almost psychedelic dreamscape.


The Actions change a gear slightly on the trip-hoppier instrumental fifth track 'Clouding Over Pt 1' and it's an almost prog rock concept album hat tilt which personally I love and have on repeat.





Check out their immaculate live performance of 'Indefensible' at London's Proud Camden - where Ralph recently held the Ralph's Life CD all-day charity gig...






Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Cormac O'Caoimh

cormacocaoimhIt's second time round for Ralph having a listen to Irish singer/songwriter Cormac O'Caoimh. A year ago he'd released his second solo album since leaving The Citadels called 'A New Season For Love' and this time round it's 'The Moon Looses It's Memory' and he's bringing us 14 tracks of love and regret, hopes and dreams, cars and girls, (OK, OK,  I've run out of descriptive song titles). Speaking of 'Love and Regret' and 'Cars and Girls I'm getting hints of Ricky Ross and Paddy McAloon (this is a good thing) especially on second track in, 'Yellow Crumbs' or track five, 'Solid'.





 YELLOW CRUMBS by Cormac O'Caoimh




The album as a whole is a very atmospheric affair, beautifully held together by Cormac O'Caoimh's silky vocal and consummate, distinctive guitar strumming. Throughout, it exudes quality lyrics and exceptional musicality, augmented by Colum Pettit's intoxicating violin and Aoife Regan's stunning backing vocals. Ably assisted by Cormac O'Connor on drums, bass and keyboards.




Maze Of Your Heart by Cormac O'Caoimh





I've listened to the album in it's entirety several times now, and it's one of those 'once it gets it's hooks in you it doesn't let go' offerings that'll be my summer listening as I'm (hopefully) chilling in the sunshine with a glass of wine. I'd heartily recommend you do the same as it's Cormac O'Caoimh at his very best and there's advance copies available by clicking on this link.



Upcoming gigs are...



Mon, 16 Jun
Dublin

Fri, 27 Jun
Dingle

Wed, 02 Jul
Galway

Fri, 18 Jul
Cork





Saturday, 24 May 2014

Ralph's Top 10 Blogged Band Chart - 24.5.14

Visit Ralph's profile on Pinterest.

Ralph's Pinterest
                                                

                                                    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 .....










No 1.....Book Group



It's been a hectic time in the kennel for new tunes and it was with great interest that news of the new EP by Book Group (due for release may 17th) appeared in the inbox. Ralph took a look last year when they released the 








No 2..... United Fruit





The four piece Alt Rockers United Fruit, who formed in 2009 describe their style as - 'fusing noisy, fast-paced, discordant, post-punk with catchy melodies and crunching riffs'.








No 3..... Thumpers 



Ralph normally concentrates on unsigned UK Indie however when he heard London Alt Pop Duo Thumpers (Marcus Pepperell on vocal, guitar, keyboards and John Hamson Jr. on vocal, bass, drums) are going to be playing just round the corner from the kennel at Central Library, St Helens in May it was time to take a look and a listen. They announced the release of their debut album 'Galore' on Sub Pop records and it's been receiving no small amount of critical acclaim and heavy airplay (yes Ralph's given them a spin on Radio KC) including on Radio 1's Huw Stephens show.




No 4... The Backhanders




Embedded image permalink

It's always nice when a hard copy of someones latest release drops through the letterbox, as is the case when; courtesy of the enigmatic Mr Peeps, the niftily designed CD just out by The Backhanders in the style of a vinyl 7" single arrived and its look fits in with the two tracks contained within.







No 5.....KynchinLay


The new KynchinLay EP (launch night May 9th) has just dropped into the kennel, giving Ralph the chance to have a listen in advance. The Liverpool trio have been working hard to provide a bigger sound and with this excellently produced EP ('Dogfathers' and 'Leave Me Alone' were mixed at Motor Museum)







No 6.....The Phantoms 






The Phantoms are Colin Simpson on Vocals and Rhythm Guitar, Colin McKillop on Lead Guitar, Peter Stewart on Bass and Backing Vocals with Brad Young on Drums. They began with local gigs in their home town of Broxburn, and have since branched out into Edinburgh and Glasgow, landing gigs at venues such as Cab Vol, The Electric Circus, The Liquid Rooms, Maggie Mays, Sneaky Petes and Pivo Pivo, getting them noticed on the way by Jim Gellatly et al.













A lot can happen in 18 months and that's certainly the case with Burnley band Ring Ring Rouge who Ralph first checked out back in October of 2012 when they released their debut single 'Today'. April of 2014 sees the release of Ring Ring Rouge’s debut album ‘Head Full of Fog’ which was recorded in London with Michael Page and was released on April 28th supported by a tour of the North West and Yorkshire.








No 8....Wullae Wright




Wullae Wright is capturing the same raw intensity of vocals that an early Robert Plant did.  Not only that his almost psychadelic guitar on the track also has the same haunting tones found on early Zep tracks.  An old rock soul in a young body.









No 9.....The Darlingtons


THE DARLINGTONS - Rotations
Now it's no secret that Ralph's a fan of Sheffield band The Darlingtons so it's with no small amount of glee that I heard they've just released their second single as an autonomous unit and it's another gem. 'Rotations' bursts into guitar driven loveliness as they bring us more of their well conceived, lyrically strong, Indie music.







No 10.....Fatherson



Third of the Scottish bands featured this week (Tijuana Bibles on Monday and Laykiller Caterpillar on Tuesday - do pay attention) is the increasingly impressive Fatherson. With the long awaited, much vaunted album released (7th April) they're embarking on a UK album release tour and only this morning have released a video for one of the new tracks - 'I Like Not Knowing'. The good news for me is I've had a listen to the album on the QT and I can assure you the hype is not without merit -