Mark Nevin: Love = Love = Love

Sunday, 7 December 2014, 15:27 | Category : Articles, Interview
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By Jason Barnard

When I last spoke to Mark Nevin, he reflected on his music career; from the huge success of Fairground Attraction, songwriting partnership with Morrissey and others. At the time he’d found his voice with the acclaimed solo album ‘Stand Beside Me in the Sun’ so I was especially intrigued what he’d do next. However when I first heard the first single ‘Love = Love = Love’  from his new album ‘Beautiful Guitars’ it was clear he was making his most personal statement yet.

Mark_Nevin

Mark and I met at the Coach and Horses Soho, London, a pub that is significant to his story, to talk about ‘Beautiful Guitars’ and how this new album reflects his life today:

http://thestrangebrew.co.uk/articles/mark-nevin-love-love-love

Ray Thomas – The Moody Blues Interview

Saturday, 6 December 2014, 20:29 | Category : Interview
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By Jason Barnard

As a founding member of The Moody Blues, flutist, singer and songwriter Ray Thomas chartered a path with the group from their early r’n’b days, psychedelia into symphonic prog rock.  

Ray Thomas 1968

Now that Cherry Red/Esoteric releases a definitive 50th Anniversary Remastered Edition of  The Magnificent Moodies album; Ray looks back on his whole career with Jason Barnard, including the Moodies’ formative years, shift to global superstardom initiated by Days of Future Passed as well as his solo projects:

http://thestrangebrew.co.uk/articles/ray-thomas-the-moody-blues

The Mirrors – Spectral Sunshine Parade

Saturday, 6 December 2014, 20:10 | Category : News
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Hailing from Norfolk Virginia, The Mirrors create an anglophile sound that at times is reminiscent of some of the best sounds flowing over the channel in the late 60s/early 70s.

They have just recorded an excellent new album Spectral Sunshine Parade; however they need your help to get the album pressed and released on gold vinyl.

Mirrors

Listening to the album there’s some delightful material,  for instance “In Our Eyes” kicks off a la Ray Davies c1972’s “Sitting In My Hotel” with a  few nods to Macca’s “Maybe I’m Amazed”. There’s also the choppy Doors feel of “Love Is Hard” and the Barrett-Floydian “The Golden Dawn”.

“I Know For Sure” is like The Electric Prunes playing “And I Love Her”. Ending with “The World Remains In Motion” closes Spectral Sunshine Parade on a Beatles 1967 high.

Get yourself over to Kickstarter and give The Mirrors your help to saving the parade from the Evil Archduke:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1245796331/the-mirrors-spectral-sunshine-parade

Hot Knives

Wednesday, 3 December 2014, 16:47 | Category : Reviews
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By Jason Barnard

Got Kinda Lost Records, the new reissue imprint of Guerssen, digs our rare and/or privately pressed rock and reissue them for a wider audience; Hot Knives are one such group enjoying a release on the label. Hailing from San Francisco they were fronted by brother-sister combo Michael and Debra Houpt plus two ex-Flamin’ Groovies (guitarist Tim Lynch, and drummer Danny Mihm) as well as bassist Ed Wilson. This LP brings together their single releases and unreleased tracks from the late 70s.

Hot Knives band

Their sound echoes some of the best acts from the Bay area a decade earlier tied to a pop-garage heart. Indeed I hear echoes of of early Fairport Convention who initially took their lead from San Fran but filtered it through a folk/rock lens.

Ultimately however you have to judge any release by the strength of the songs and this 12 inch largely delivers across the board. This release kicks off with the instantly catchy ‘Sooner Or Later’ and moves into ‘So Fast’ which opens with a ‘Green Manalishi’ style riff into a power-pop chorus.

In fact the weakest track is arguably their cover of Moby Grape’s ‘Hey Grandma’ which conversely highlights the quality of their own songwriting. Other tracks to check out include folk ballad  ‘I Hear The Wind Blow’, the lovely band and vocal harmonies interplay of  ‘Secrets About Me’ and anthemic garage rock of ‘Around The World’. ‘Turning Into’ ends on a commercial note a song that begs the question why they weren’t ripping up the charts like Fleetwood Mac at the time.

Don’t get bound up in thinking this release is just for those in the know, Hot Knives created instantly accessible music deserved of a mainstream audience:

http://gotkindalostrecords.bigcartel.com/artist/hot-knives

Ray Thomas – The Moody Blues

Friday, 28 November 2014, 17:47 | Category : Podcasts
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To celebrate the release of 50th Anniversary Remastered Edition of  The Magnificent Moodies album, Ray Thomas, founding member of The Moody Blues, joins host Jason Barnard to talk about his incredible career.

The Magnificent Moodies

  1. The Moody Blues – Go Now! (first version) (The Magnificent Moodies – 50th Anniversary Remastered Edition, Esoteric Recordings, 2014 rec 1964)
  2. The Moody Blues – It Ain’t Necessarily So (The Magnificent Moodies, Decca, 1965)
  3. The Moody Blues – From the Bottom of My Heart (I Love You) (“Saturday Club” session) (The Magnificent Moodies – 50th Anniversary Remastered Edition, Esoteric Recordings, 2014 rec 1965)
  4. The Tangerine Zoo – Another Morning (Outside Looking In, Mainstream (US), 1968)
  5. The Outside Toilet – Legend Of A Mind (Psychedelic Schlemiels, Vol. 3, Wooden Hill, 2009 rec 1970)
  6. The Moody Blues – Eternity Road (To Our Children’s Children’s Children, Threshold, 1969)
  7. The Moody Blues – For My Lady (A Night at Red Rocks with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Polydor, 1993)
  8. Ray Thomas – Adam and I (From Mighty Oaks, Threshold Records, 1975)
  9. Ray Thomas – Migration (Hopes, Wishes & Dreams, Threshold Records, 1976)
  10. The Moody Blues – Nice To Be Here (Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, Threshold, 1971)
  11. The Moody Blues – Veteran Cosmic Rocker (Long Distance Voyager, Threshold Records, 1981)
  12. The Moody Blues – Celtic Sonat (Keys of the Kingdom, Polydor, 1991)
  13. The Moody Blues – My Little Lovely (Strange Times, Universal, 1999)
  14. Tim O’Brien – Dear Diary (Moody Bluegrass Two…Much Love, BunnyRaeRecords, 2011)
  15. The Moody Blues – Stop (The Magnificent Moodies, Decca, 1965)
  16. Ray Thomas – The Last Dream (Hopes, Wishes & Dreams, Threshold Records, 1976)

Listen to rare tracks from the newly remastered The Magnificent Moodies set, classic Ray Thomas penned Moody Blues tracks, covers and solo material.

Mark & the Clouds – Blue Skies Opening

Thursday, 27 November 2014, 20:09 | Category : Reviews, Welcome
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Review by Jason Barnard

Hailing from London, Mark & the Clouds are fronted by singer/guitarist and songwriter Marco Magnani. They released the excellent ‘Blue Skies Opening’ album back in the summer and if you haven’t heard this long player, now definitely is the time to take a listen.

blueskiesopening

The moment you give it a spin it’s clear there’s a host of great songs in the timeless mold; guitar laden pop-rock with a lysergic twist; or the best indie that used to assault the charts in the 80s and 90s.

From the rock swagger of ‘You Call Me Brother’, anthemic melody of ‘The Grudge’, country pistols at dawn ‘Darkened River’ to blending this all together for ‘Spirit In The World’ this really is lovely stuff.

‘Faraway Laughter’ is another that really delivers in its Beatles-Kinks jaunt.

You could say this is a retro-trip digging into those recycled vinyl blues. However it really isn’t easily to cram in all those hooks in a tight 4 minute track; as Noel Gallagher would attest to from the more bloated moments of his alma mater.

Take Mark & the Clouds to your heart and spread the word:

http://www.mega-dodo.co.uk/products/mark-and-the-clouds

http://megadodo.bandcamp.com/album/blue-skies-opening