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)

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.

Crystal Jacqueline – Rainflower

Thursday, 26 February 2015, 21:12 | Category : Reviews
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Review by Jason Barnard

Crystal Jacqueline’s superb Floyd cover, ‘Grantchester Meadows’, featured on the recent Fruits de Mer Podcast, so it’s timely that it forms part of her forthcoming album ‘Rainflower’ available on Mega Dodo Records. Like her previous long player ‘Sun Arise’ intersperses a few choice reinterpretations of vintage material; however new material is the focus again, written and produced by Icarus Peel.

RainflowerThis modern take on 60s/70s influences works well throughout and Jacqueline’s voice consistently enchants the listener. Highlights include the acid-folk tinged ‘Winter Deep / Dress of Winter Lace’ recalling a Gathering The Mushrooms outtake, ‘Daisy Chain’, a war tinged ‘Dandelion Seeds’ plus the sultry psych of ‘Strange Bloom’.

The album’s title track ‘Rainflower’ is a memorable acoustic number recalling Nick Drake, with the moody closer ‘Again… Dragonfly’ providing a fitting climax.

Rainflower is released on 25th May as a 180g LP the first 100 of which come with an A5 postcard and scented rainflower petals. Also available as a limited edition digi-pack CD featuring the bonus track ‘In My Chair’.

Crystal Jacqueline and The Honey Pot launch ‘Rainflower’ at the Half Moon, Putney on 24th May as part of the Fruits de Mer and Mega Dodo ‘Games For May’ extravaganza.

Rainflower can be purchased here:

If you like this you’ll also love her other release: ‘Crystal Jacqueline & The Honey Pot; Electronic Memory’. It’s a splendid 60s style jaunt, encapsulating the best sounds from the original technicolor era:

nick nicely – Rrainbow

Monday, 23 February 2015, 21:08 | Category : Reviews
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Review by Jason Barnard

Last year, psychedelic electronica pioneer nick nicely released one of 2014’s best albums Space of a Second. The album creatively saw experimental acoustica meet a house influence. His new single continues this theme presenting the original version of ‘Rrainbow’, one of the slow burning melancholic acoustic numbers with a Numan-esque tinge; and adding two new remixes with a more conventional dance edge.

nick nicely rrainbow

Ariel Pink producer Rusty Santos loops an acoustic riff and sped up nicely vocal, that takes the nicely sound back to his acid house days. Flemish rising stars VUURWERK in turn present the more conventional side of this musical maverick, with a ghostly nicely vocal hinted at amongst washes of synth.


The ‘Rrainbow’ single highlights how nick continues to be mutually influential to the rock and dance scene. Long may you run, nick:


Saturday, 21 February 2015, 15:09 | Category : Reviews
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Hot on the heals the of the great late 70s Fleetwood Mac-esque release Hot Knives, Got Kinda Lost Records have dug out another rare gem. Promise’s self titled album was released in 1980 but shares a post-Beatles sound made famous by the likes of Badfinger in the early 70s.


Promise were actually from Boulder, Colorado whereas their sound reflects an English McCartney sensibility. With its upbeat chiming acoustic and electric guitars ‘Back In My Heart’ certainly epitomises power-pop.

Like Liverpool Express without orchestration, the songwriting and playing is strong throughout. From Mersey rocker ‘Hand of Luck’, the acoustic gentle psych of ‘Lucky Star’ to the upbeat Blackbird sounds of ‘Captain Domino’ .

Finishing with electric guitars and harmonies in force with ‘Putman’s Ranch’, it highlights that Promise deserve to be included in the pantheon of power-pop’s finest.