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Thursday, 31 July 2014

Villiers



Ralph's been keeping an eye on Lancashire lads Villiers for a bit now and, with the imminent release of a Double A Side single (You're Not Alone/Nowhere Left To Run) as a follow up to the excellent 'Dancer', this seemed as good a time as any to spread the good musical word. They're very much in the same mould as London electro boys Thumpers or Resonate from Sheffield, but with a bit of a mean and moodier edge as shown on 'Dancer'.







With thanks to Andy Parsons - Photographer
The new tracks continue with that edgier feel and 'You're Not Alone' has an almost 80's anthemic feel to it, probably my favourite of the double A-sider. 'Nowhere Left To Run' is a touch softer and reflective but none the less listenable. The band seem to be getting much more comfortable in their own electro-plated skin.







Last summer saw Villiers break onto the UK festival scene with a slot at BeatHerder alongside Clean Bandit, TOY, Temples, Chic ft Nile Rodgers and Groove Armada. This year they played their first headline show at Manchester’s Night and Day, lauded as - 'sealing their reputation as one of the region’s most exciting and innovative new bands'. 










Villiers are...brothers Ben and Daniel Earnshaw plus long time friend Daniel Buckle. The new single 'The Dancer' is out now on...

Itunes/Spotify/Amazon. 

Upcoming gigwise, you can catch them headlining in The Castle Hotel on September 27th alongside Jade Ann, Tigers of Pluto and President Ray-Gun. Don't miss it!












Saturday, 26 July 2014

Ralph's Top 10 Blogged Band Chart - 26.7.14

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..... Wullae Wright


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Ralph's previously blogged Wullae Wright and it's proved to be the most well read of any over the last couple of years. Needless to say it was good news when Wullae Wright got in touch to say he was releasing 'Superhero' as a single. The story of the song is no less poignant than Wullae Wright's plaintive vocal which, overlaid on subtle acoustic guitar with an orchestral background is just as heart wrenching as the single's message. 










No 2.....The Holy Orders 



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It's almost exactly a year since Ralph first checked out Hull band The Holy Orders and the good news is that The Holy Orders announce the release of their brand new single, the 3 minute feel good 3 minute summer pop song: The New Asbestos on August 4th.  Well, it's a cynical, pessimistic, feel good summer pop song but anyone who is already familiar with last year’s debut album For the Ears of Dogs to Come from Ralph's blog, will expect nothing less.










Back in October of last year it was with a heavy heart that Ralph reported on The Invisible Ray, an album that was to be the swansong of The Low Countries (mainly comprised of Nigel Parrington and Els D'hooge). Ralph had a chat with Nigel at the time and he reported that he felt 'all songed out'.






No 4..... Millie Manders 


Having met the effervescent Millie Manders at the Ralph's Life All Day Charity gig in Proud Camden it seemed like the release of 'Little Big Mouth' was as good a time as any to ask a few questions and see how and why her music matches her outgoing personality.










Sonic Hearts Foundation - 'Afterlife'

Seeing as Ralph's heading on a road trip home soon, it's about time a few Scottish bands were featured. The first being Sonic Hearts Foundation from Glasgow, who Ralph gave a spin on last Sunday's Indie Show on Radio KC. They're releasing a new Single 'Afterlife' on August 11th and it's a follow up to their critically acclaimed 'Into Forever' EP.








No 6....Jane Allison


newfrontsmall

It's no secret Ralph's a fan of crowdfunding and when he heard that Welsh singer songwriter and actress Jane Allison Stanness would be releasing her debut solo Americana album “Just Another Girl” under the name Jane Allison using Kickstarter it was time to investigate.




No 7....Sisteray



Sisteray have been making big waves in the indie/garage rock scene since forming in 2012 however 2014 seems to be a breakthrough year for the London four-piece.  

Working with producer Michael Smith (12 Dirty Bullets) at RnR Studios, the Sisteray debut EP ‘She Likes The Drama’ was released on digital format back in February, with praise from RalphJim GellatlyThis FeelingMusic WeekXFMRTE RadioLouder Than WarMerc ClothingTime Out and The Londonist.


No 8.....The Bordellos

will.i.am, you're really nothing cover art

The Bordellos are the kind of quirky, lower than lo-fi band that John Peel would have featured and their current offerings, like the sultry 'Between Forget and Neglect' (think Morrissey on Prozac) leading in to the subtly funky 'Elastic Band Man' would probably have seen them playlisted on a regular basis.








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Ralph doesn't usually put blogs out on a Friday, what with the weekend being sacred and all, however when he heard that The Bedroom Hour were releasing their new album Hinterland on the 11th of July he made an exception and wound up the turntable.

There's a couple of old favourites on there in Nocturnal and Heart Will Haunt, but it's the new material that intrigues.

No 10.....Snippet


The Sunshine EP
Snippet aka Johnno Casson is the quintessential English musician.  Prolific, diverse, entertaining, clever, wistful and whimsical (no more so on his previously released mini-album 'DIY' and the track 'Let's Talk About Us' on which he comments on his winkle (and he isn't introducing us to his pet mollusc Bria

















Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Low Countries - A Prize Every Time



Back in October of last year it was with a heavy heart that Ralph reported on The Invisible Ray, an album that was to be the swansong of The Low Countries (mainly comprised of Nigel Parrington and Els D'hooge). Ralph had a chat with Nigel at the time and he reported that he felt 'all songed out'.

I remember commenting at the time that possibly, knowing the background story to this being the last album influenced my perception of the track 'The Invisible Ray' as it had a rueful feel to it and seemed to sum up the passing of The Low Countries.



Well it's with a much lighter heart that I can report that Nigel and Mark Lee (from The High Ones days) are colluding to bring some new tunes and more news on that soon I hope.







In the meantime a 'best of' album has been released of The Low Countries 'Greatest Bits' called A Prize Every Time, consisting of 22 musical highlights from Nigel and Els back catalogue. It will be released on the 8th of September and includes Ralph's favourite 'At The End Of The Day' which The Low Countries donated for The Ralph's Life CD to raise funds for the mental health awareness charity Rethink.

Ralph's advice? Go and order it now...here!







TRACK LISTING

  • 1.At the End of the Day

  • 2.Brian Cox's Locks

  • 3.The Weatherman
  • 4.Putty
  • 5.Don't Let It Be You

  • 6.Handmaid's Blush
  • 7.Summer's Last Hurrah
  • 8.Paracetamol

  • 9.Ache
  • 10.A Friend Worth the Name
  • 11.Wormwood Blues
  • 12.Long Story Short
  • 13.Gent!
  • 14.A Journey
  • 15.Sun Street
  • 16.Tell Her
  • 17.Still Time
  • 18.Saved
  • 19.Hoor Je Mij?
  • 20.Low Country
  • 21.The Invisible Ray
  • 22.Forever Comes


DISCOGRAPHY

Hypericum Perforatum
The Failing Of The Strains
a brown cafe at 3am
Summer's Last Hurrah
Deirdre & Michael
Hoor Je Mij

The Invisible Ray