Expanding the template that English psychedelists The Chemistry Set successfully laid out in their recent releases, new long player ‘The Endless More and More’ is another essential record.
With a stunning gatefold sleeve and gold vinyl the contents live up to the presentation. Opener ‘The Splendour Of The Universe’ shows the best of the group bringing Arthur Lee, UK indie and English vintage psychedelia into one intoxicating mix.
Dave McLean and the guys had to much to dream with ‘The Fountains of Neptune’ before placing EP favourites wistful psych ‘Time To Breathe’ and instant anthem ‘Come Kiss Me Vibrate And Smile’.
‘Winter Sun’ reaches back production wise to 67 Hollies and Traffic tied to its gorgeous melody. ‘Albert Hoffman’ conversely gives us a more Barretesque, Arnold Layne, take on the era. ‘A Cure For The Inflicted Afflicted’ gives a cutting response to the vacuous social media celebrity culture tied to a blistering guitar riff.
The Maccaesque ‘Crawling Back To You’, and archetypal Chemistry Set tune, ‘Elapsed Memories’, share lyrical themes albeit different aural palettes. Closing with ‘The Open Window’, which brings their Indian influence to the fore giving us time to breathe.
Modern psych at its best, on sale early January 2016 on Regal Crabomophone:
“the greatest popstar that never was…” nick nicely continues to beguile with his third single release, London South, from last year’s unparalleled album Space of a Second. London South’s lyrical bite still grabs your attention however the remixes gave the listener the chance to hear two alternative boroughs.
nicely’s labelmates Grasscut flip the original into a gorgeous lullaby whilst capturing the psychedelic innovation that nick is so highly regarded.
Serbian former steel worker turned synth composer Mogard conversely bottles the song’s darker drones, spinning it off into a hypnotising 15-minutes. Again nicely continues to inspire fellow artists and listeners alike bringing psychedelia up-to-date.
Not to be confused with Big Jim Sullivan and Brian Bennett’s Krewkats, the European-based, Birmingham rock ‘n’ roll outfit of the same name took on the mantle in 1963 having received Sullivan’s blessing earlier in London during the summer of 1962. At the end of 1962, the musicians became French singer Dick Rivers’s backing group and they also recorded two French E.P.s under their own name.
During the early-mid 1960s, the band worked extensively in Germany, most notably in Hamburg where they performed at the famous Top Ten Club. The band also featured for a short time pre-Mooody Blues Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder.
Los Angeles couple Dan West and Azalia Snail of LoveyDove are hugely respected artists in their own right, from Dan’s mod-psych band Sidewalk Society to Azaila’s prolific lo-fi psych career. Together they’ve joined forces as LoveyDove, have a great new album out, and are currently on a tour across Europe. Before last night’s show at Wharf Chambers in Leeds England, Jason Barnard caught up with them.
Jason: Together, you are LoveyDove. How would you describe your music?
Azaila: Melodious, electro, modern, rock.
Dan: There’s also psychedelia and glam. It’s a tapestry of all our influences.
Jason: How does it compare with your individual work?
Azaila: I think it’s a good blend, I did a very low-fi off kilter pop but I have the same influences as Dan, old school soul, bubblegum pop, anthem rock from the 70s. The Kinks, The Troggs.
Dan: Psychedelia and orchestral pop – Scott Walker. The Hollies, The Zombies.
Jason: Is ‘Showstopper’ the first LoveyDove album?
Dan: It’s the second, the first one came out at the beginning of 2014. It’s just called LoveyDove and’s on LAs Fine . For this one we did a joint release with Powertool Records of New Zealand and a Hollywood label called Records Ad Nauseum.
Jason: And you’re now spreading the love across Europe!
Dan: That’s the idea! We played in France and Italy last year but this time we’ve took in a bunch of new countries including the UK, Spain, Holland and Germany.
Jason: I saw on Facebook that you’ve gone around all the rock landmarks over here.
Azaila: The first thing we did in London was go to Muswell Hill. We did the Magical Mystery Tour in Liverpool and went to all The Beatles childhood homes.
Dan: I’ve never been to the UK so to be here it’s reverential to see all those places.
Jason: So we’re here in Leeds. Where do you go next?
Dan: We’re playing London and then on to Paris.
Jason: So after LoveyDove are you going back to your own respective projects?
Dan: I’m finishing my third solo album and then I’m recording more things with Sidewalk Society. We have more LoveyDove tracks that we’ll continue to work on. All of it will keep on going when we’re back.
Azaila: In LoveyDove we also have our Bernie Sanders song and we’re going to do some musical benefits. We really believe in him. We also have an avant-garde free-jazz record called Snail Meets West on Union Pole which is based in Japan.
Dan: I play piano and Azaila plays drums. We started it as I teach at a home school and Azaila came in to see some of the kids perform and there was a piano and drum set up. We said ‘Hey, let’s play and see what happens and dedicate this to Ornette Coleman’ – he’d just died. We went into the studio and did nine tracks.
Azaila: My sister happened to be in town and recorded it. She loves stuff like this. It sounds pretty good.
Jason: You’ve got so much going on. How do people connect with you?
The Zombies and Colin Blunstone are responsible for producing some of the best tracks ever made – from ‘She’s Not There’, ‘Time of the Season’, to ‘Say You Don’t Mind’ and ‘I Don’t Believe In Miracles’. Their albums are equally memorable from the mighty ‘Odessey and Oracle’ to Colin’s orchestral epic ‘One Year’.
However Colin and the band are more active than ever and are currently embarking on an precedented assault on the US Charts, thanks to their universally acclaimed new album ‘Still Got That Hunger’.
The Zombies, 2015, photo by Andrew Eccles
With The Zombies at their most popular for over 45 years, Jason Barnard speaks to Colin about his favourite tracks; old and new, rare and legendary:
Psych master Jack Ellister’s long awaited new album, ‘Tune Up Your Ministers and Start Transmission From Pool Holes To Class O Hypergiants’, finally gets a release on 20 November. It’s been over three years since his excellent single “The Man With Biochopper”. On Jack’s new LP this startling track opens the nine tracks, its demented Spector-esque production, Flaming Lips atmosphere and brilliant guitar noise still burning as brightly as it did in 2012.
Since then Jack’s Fruits De Mer releases have caught the attention of Shindig!, NME, BBC purveyors of taste Stuart Maconie and Mark Radcliffe. On ‘Tune Up’ we see more sides of Jack, all with a psychedelic element, from Pete Townshend circa 1967 with ‘The Sun Sends Me Hails, Victory, Power, Peace and Shelter’ to the anthemic ‘Saddle Up The Horse’ heard here last year.
‘Old South’ then shows Jack’s reflective side with its pretty acoustic style demonstrating a talent that deserves a much bigger audience. After a chance to take a breath, ‘A Hunter Needs A Gun’ finishes on a Floyd high.
Unfortunately in true Fruits de Mer style the hand numbered run of 111 copies is already sold out! Join the Fruits de Mer mailing-list to avoid missing out next time and head over to www.jackellister.com find out more on this prodigious talent.