I Feel Good: The Essential Purple Flashes Of Larry’s Rebels 1965-1969

Sunday, 29 March 2015, 13:19 | Category : Reviews
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Review by Jason Barnard

This new collection from one of New Zealand’s top beat bands, Larry’s Rebels, tracks the band’s progression from 1965 to 1969 showing why won over the likes of Jimmy Page and Tom Jones. At first they largely relied on covers and things really took off with their breathless remake of The Artwoods ‘I Feel Good'; a chugging beat anthem on it’s 1966 release.

larrys rebels

Almost as good is a rocky retake of The Small Faces ‘Whatcha Gonna Do ‘Bout It’ which refashions it into a Yardbirds style monster. Continuing in the same vain is 1967’s ‘Painter Man’ that holds it’s own with The Creation’s original bringing them their first national hit. In fact touring with The Yardbirds saw Jimmy Page inspiring embyonic songwriting although ‘Flying Scotsman’ stayed a little too close to ‘Train Kept A-Rollin’ for comfort. But it was a start and ‘Dream Time’ and ‘Let’s Think of Something’ showed a progression, with harmonies becoming more prominent.

1968’s ‘Fantasy’ saw a further advancement into psychedelia. Taking their lead from the English childlike take on the genre, the strings back this Snow White tale splendidly. ‘Halloween’ also brings psych into this youthful ghoulish number.

Psych was only a flitting period and they soon returned to the straight ahead pop of ‘Mo’reen’. However in 1969 lead singer Larry Morris left to start his solo career and the band carried on another year as The Rebels, with ‘My Son John’ being the highlight.

In January 1970 they split leaving some of the most notable records from New Zealand in the beat era. Whilst not as prolific or producing the range of material as compatriots The Fourmyula, Larry’s Rebels left behind some of the best 60s pop from down under. This CD is part of a new RPM series with Frenzy Music on artists from New Zealand and Australia so here’s to some more excellent releases.


Davy O’List – Second Thoughts

Friday, 20 March 2015, 17:03 | Category : Articles
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By Jason Barnard

David ‘Davy’ O’List is universally known as one of the most groundbreaking and talented guitarists of British rock scene.

Springing from the innovative 60s scene with psych-rock band The Attack, he moved to The Nice where he played and produced on one of the first progressive rock albums in ‘The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjak’. Since the 70s Davy has been instrumental in launching Roxy Music, played with Jet plus a string of talented artists before branching into an solo career.


Davy has an exciting new album due out, ‘Second Thoughts’ so Jason Barnard speaks to him to hear about his new project and look back over his incredible career:


Phill Brown – Still Rolling – Part 1

In the first of a two part interview with Jason Barnard, legendary engineer Phill Brown looks back on his incredible career.

Phill Brown

Part 1 takes us from Phill’s experiences as a young tape operator on sessions for Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, Small Faces, and Traffic at Olympic Sound Studios; to engineering for Mott the Hoople, Led Zeppelin, Nilsson, Bob Marley and more: 


The audio version of this feature, including selected tracks, can also be found on the Phill Brown Podcast – Part 1

Thirty Pounds of Bone – The Taxidermist

Wednesday, 4 March 2015, 16:26 | Category : Reviews
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Review by Jason Barnard

Thirty Pounds of Bone’s new album ‘The Taxidermist’ blends folk with a brooding indie edge. Johny Lamb plays everything on this record, particularly impressive given the wide range of instrumentation used. Opener ‘The Glass of an Iris’, for example, is an instantly arresting listen; its simple intensity draws the listener in.

The Taxidermist

At the same time there’s a measured anthemic nature to some of the tracks, from ‘Ribbon’ (that can be heard below) to ‘All Your Sons’ that ties this sound to its bitter lyrics. Other highlights include alt-rock robbery tale ‘Pasganger, Or The Wagon’, and memories recounted in the form of melancholic love song ‘As You Held Me’.


Ending with ‘I’ll Go To’, which builds from  acoustic guitar before building up layers of instrumentation; it shows ‘The Taxidermist’ as a uniquely unsettling but compelling release.


Instant Flight – Around the gates of morning

Wednesday, 4 March 2015, 15:28 | Category : Reviews
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Review by Jason Barnard

Late last year I posted a review of Mark & the Clouds’ latest album, the excellent ‘Blue Skies Opening’. Fronted by singer/guitarist and songwriter Marco Magnani they play guitar laden pop-rock with a lysergic twist.

However Mark & the Clouds were formed by Marco from the ashes of Instant Flight who have also released a collection of unreleased tracks under the banner ‘Around the gates of morning’.INSTANT-FLIGHT-Around-The-Gates-Of-Morning-CD

Formed in London in 1999, Instant Flight released a series of well received records and toured as Arthur Brown’s band and support act. Cut from a similar cloth as Mark & the Clouds, Instant Flight’s ‘Around the gates of morning’ is another psych-rock delight, typified by its title track.

A bumper 17 tracks enables you to pick out a number of favourites, from the Lewis Carroll inspired ‘Drifting into wonderland’ that takes the listener on a trip to 67, the timeless jangle of ‘Rainbow Man’ and the touching ballad ‘Tears We Didn’t Dry’.

Penultimate closer is the plaintive acoustic acid folk of ‘Lost in the Sun’ that draws us into the end track, the choral Smile influenced ‘Requiem’.

As with ‘Blue Skies Opening’, ‘Around the gates of morning’ demonstrates the ambition and consistent talent of Marco Magnani to reinterpret the 60s psych scene into something fresh and vibrant for the indie era.


Phill Brown – Are We Still Rolling? – Part 1

Saturday, 28 February 2015, 18:31 | Category : Podcasts
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In the first of a two part podcast, legendary engineer Phill Brown shares stories from his incredible autobiography ‘Are We Still Rolling?’.  From being a young tape operator on sessions for the Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, Small Faces, and Traffic at Olympic Sound Studios, Phill worked his way up engineering sessions for Mott the Hoople, Led Zeppelin, Nilsson, Bob Marley and more.

Phill Brown

  1. Jimi Hendrix – All Along the Watchtower (Electric Ladyland, Track, 1968)
  2. Small Faces – Afterglow (Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake, Immediate, 1968)
  3. The Rolling Stones – Sympathy For The Devil (Beggars Banquet, Decca, 1968)
  4. Traffic – 40,000 Headmen (Traffic, Island, 1968)
  5. Mott the Hoople – Waterlow (Wildlife, Island, 1971)
  6. Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin IV, Atlantic, 1971)
  7. Nilsson – Without You (Nilsson Schmilsson, RCA Victor, 1971)
  8. Pink Floyd – Time (Live At The Empire Pool, Wembley, London 1974, EMI, 2011)
  9. Robert Palmer – Sailing Shoes (Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley,
  10. Bob Marley and the Wailers – No Woman, No Cry (Live!, Island, 1975)
  11. Murray Head – Say It Ain’t So (Say It Ain’t So, A&M, 1975)

A written version of this podcast can also be found here: http://thestrangebrew.co.uk/articles/phil-brown-still-rolling-part-1

Part 1 takes us from the psychedelic scene to the mid-70s with Phill’s insights from recording some of the greatest rock music ever produced.