This Friday, the super talented Liv Austen will release a song that I think is very important to her in so many ways because it is born of this love. ‘Why Don’t You’ is a song that tells us we should be as generous to ourselves as we are with the outside world. It is a song that on first hearing sounds like advice but on repeated listening evolves into a mission statement from the singer to herself.
Without any doubt, Lucy Spraggan is one of our brighter stars. Anyone that can release 5 albums in the past 9 years with an exciting sixth on the way early next year, play world famous Glastonbury twice, with this year’s third appearance sadly postponed, has certainly stood the most important first test for any artist, the test of time. That she should be more excited now about the future than feasibly at any time before, looking forward to a record she thinks might just be her best proves she has so much to give.
What happens when two genre defying forces of nature come together for a common cause? The answer is that, on 27th October, an incredible collaboration of talent will come to fruition when we see the release of ‘Stand By Me’ on Under The Apple Tree Records. It will be released in aid of something this pandemic can only have made more important. It will raise funds for ‘Help Musicians’, a 99 year old charity, that continues to provide vital support to thousands of music creators during this unprecedented time.
The time is near. Are you Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly? Are you Wyatt Earp or Ike Clanton? Life is full of choices and no more than nowadays. Even since the launch of Pete Gardiner’s excellent new single it seems the whole of the country have been deciding whether you-know-who should have driven 260 miles. So, the time is now…
Dave Wakeling is probably best known as lead singer of The Beat. After a debut hit on 2 Tone Records with a cover of Smokey Robinson’s ‘Tears of a Clown’, he and his band went on to gain almost legendary status within the two tone and ska music genre and continued to have hits until they split in 1983.
This Sunday will see the release of a very personal tribute from Pete Gardiner to his mother. ‘A Mother Like You’ is a song that was written especially for his own Mum but its a song that will resonate with men everywhere as they struggle, like many men, to put into words what their mother means to them.
It was July 1986 and I was standing at Wembley waiting to see Queen play their last world tour date at the famous National Stadium. I had watched support bands INXS, Status Quo and The Alarm whip the sold out crowd into a frenzy of expectant excitement that seemed almost impossible to match and yet, and unsurprisingly, Queen managed to not only match but surpass all expectations in what became remembered as an iconic gig.
Blancmange, the hugely successful British electronic band have a new album and a tour to go with it. Kicking off in Scotland on May 1st and working their way across the U.K. to finish in October. To go with the tour they have a new album ‘ Mindset’ which releases on May 22nd. Blancmange music has been used in so much recent music by La Roux, LCD Sound System and Hot Chip. So influential is the band and their music that electronic superstar Moby described the, as “the most underrated electronic band of all time”, high praise indeed. Since Stephen Luscombe was forced by illness to stop touring or recording after 2011’s ‘Blanc Burn’, the band’s evolution has continued with Neil Arthur at the helm and Essentially Pop were lucky enough to chat with him this week about the new album, the tour and even ABBA, who’s ‘Day Before You Came’ they superbly covered. It’s an honour to get a glimpse at what motivates one of our own electronic superstars.
Pete Gardiner is back and he’s definitely channelling his inner gunslinger; this time he’s shooting whiskey and honesty and he’s got something to say. New single ‘Bourbon and the Truth’ still boasts the searingly honest lyricism that defines Gardiner’s music but this time it’s complemented by a driving old country backbeat that screams Marty Stuart or early Cash…we are even treated to the sound of a spaghetti western style gunshot.