Jim McCarty

Sunday, 19 February 2017, 20:09 | Category : Podcasts
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Jim McCarty, legendary Yardbirds drummer and songwriter, talks about the re-release of the lost gem of album that he made as part of Shoot, alongside music from The Yardbirds, Renaissance and much more.

Jim McCarty

  1. Shoot – The Neon Life (On The Frontier, EMI, 1973)
  2. The Yardbirds – I’m A Man (Five Live Yardbirds, Columbia, 1964)
  3. The Yardbirds – Heartful of Soul (Single A-side, Columbia, 1965)
  4. The Yardbirds – Still I’m Sad (Single B-side to Evil Hearted You, Columbia, 1965)
  5. The Yardbirds – Happenings Ten Years Time Ago (Single A-side, Columbia, 1966)
  6. The Yardbirds – Shapes Of Things (Single A-side, Columbia, 1966)
  7. Keith Relf/Jim McCarty (Together) – Shining Where The Sun Has Been (demo – 1968) (The Yardbirds ‎– Little Games Sessions & More, EMI USA, 1992)
  8. Renaissance – Wanderer (Live Fillmore West 1970, Angel Air, 2016)
  9. Shoot – Sepia Sister (On The Frontier, EMI, 1973)
  10. Shoot – On The Frontier (On The Frontier, EMI, 1973)
  11. Jane Relf (featuring Illusion) – Please Be Home (bonus track rec 1976) (Live Fillmore West 1970, Angel Air, 2016)
  12. Box Of Frogs – Back Where I Started (Box Of Frogs, Epic, 1984)
  13. Pilgrim – Dream Within A Dream (Search For The Dreamchild, New World Music, 1998)
  14. Yardbirds – Crying Out For Love (Birdland, Favored Nations, 2003)
  15. Jim McCarty – Sitting On The Top of Time (Sitting On The Top Of Time, Troubadour, 2009)

Here the stories behind the consistently superb tracks Jim has made over the past 50 years, from early Yardbirds to the present.

Five’s Company – Friends and Mirrors

Thursday, 16 February 2017, 20:48 | Category : Reviews
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By Jason Barnard

For the first time Grapefruit/Cherry Red have compiled the complete recordings from Chelsea based beat band, Five’s Company.

Five's Company

The band released three singles in 1966, Ango-Dylan hybrid ‘Sunday For Seven Days’, the jaunty 60s pop of ‘Some Girls’ and excellent Ray Davies cover – ‘Session Man’. Rejected 4th single ‘Friends and Mirrors’ is arguably the strongest with its pop-psych sitting neatly alongside ‘Session Man’, reflecting mid-60s swinging London.

After being dropped by Pye the band went their separate ways. Bassist Bob Brunning would join the nascent Fleetwood Mac and it was though Bob’s link to budget label Saga that Five’s Company were reactivated. To cash in with the times, Saga gave a swiftly reconstituted line-up the opportunity the record a psychedelic album in 1968. When ‘The Ballad of Pixie Fred’ was released the next year it was clear that it would have benefited from a lusher production but nevertheless a core of songs shine through.

‘I’m A Big Boy Now’ and ‘Now I’m 64’ wouldn’t have been out of place on Kinks and Bowie releases of the period, whilst ‘Happy To Be Here’ recalls Manfred Mann in early D’Arbo mode.

With extensive sleeve notes, rare photos and a slew of rare material it’s a great window into London beat scene. Recommended for fans of Manfred Mann, Hedgehoppers Anonymous and early Kinks.


The Hives – Howlin’ Pelle Interview

Friday, 3 February 2017, 20:49 | Category : Interview
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Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist is frontman for The Hives, the Swedish band responsible for a string of insanely hypnotic rock tracks. With a back catalogue containing anthems such as ‘Tick Tick Boom’, ‘Go Right Ahead’ and ‘Walk Idiot Walk’, ‘Main Offender’ and ‘Hate To Say I Told You So’ their live shows are always hotly anticipated.

Howlin Pete of The Hives

Jason Barnard speaks to Pelle about The Hives’ debut Hyde Park appearance this summer: thestrangebrew.co.uk/articles/the-hives-howlin-pelle

Gordon Giltrap – The Last of England

Thursday, 19 January 2017, 20:12 | Category : Interview
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By Jason Barnard

Gordon Giltrap is most well known for his crossover hit ‘Heartsong’, however his stature as one of the UK’s most respected guitarists is more notable. It’s 50 years since Gordon’s first release and the quality of his material has rarely dipped. 

His new album ‘The Last of England’, made with with keyboardist Paul Ward, is another record gathering critical acclaim, so Jason Barnard speaks to Gordon about his career and new release:


Fairground Attraction – The First Of A Million Kisses: Expanded Edition

Sunday, 15 January 2017, 16:54 | Category : Mark Nevin, Reviews
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By Jason Barnard

Fairground Attraction, now notable for the songwriting prowess of Mark Nevin and peerless vocals of Eddi Reader, are a band of contrasts. They were incredibly popular but produced music that cut against the grain of the late 1980s  pop scene. They live long in the memory thanks to chart topper ‘Perfect’ and Brit Award winning album ‘The First Of A Million Kisses’ but whose core output was released in just over 12 months.

Mark previously explained to me: “I just wanted to do everything opposite to what was current as possible and didn’t expect anything to happen with it except producing a record that I really loved. That’s what I wanted to make. When it took off no one was more surprised that we where. We thought “What on earth is going on?!” We made this record that we though was indie, with a few hardcore devoted fans and ignored by everybody because it was so unfashionable. It flew against everything. It was very surprising.”

This newly expanded re-release includes the classic album – unreleased demos for it plus ten tracks written for the never completed follow-up. 

‘First Of A Million Kisses’ still sounds as great today with tracks you may have forgotten such as ‘The Wind Knows My Name’, ‘Whispers’, ‘The Moon Is Mine’ and b-side ‘Mythology’ shining through. 

Of special interest will be the second CD that comprises tracks from the rare ‘Kawasaki Live in Japan 02.07.89’ album – songs that didn’t see an official release. It’s interesting to hear their version of tracks that Mark would eventually record with Brian Kennedy as Sweetmouth (a lost classic that’s well worth seeking out). This live material includes some of Mark’s best songs – ‘Dangerous’ and ‘Broken By A Breeze’, tracks that were also revisited on Mark’s excellent solo album ‘Beautiful Guitars’.

Mark said of ‘Broken By A Breeze’: “It’s probably my favourite song of all and I’ve always thought it should be up there with ‘Perfect’. If the Everly Brothers or the Righteous Brothers had done it, it would have been one of those songs that everyone slow dances to at the end of a disco in the old days.”

With sleeve notes from Mark and Eddi shining a light on the period, this edition is now the definitive Fairground Attraction release. It sweeps away the various budget releases since their split, and finally does this fine band justice.


Bob Young – Status Quo

Wednesday, 4 January 2017, 20:41 | Category : Podcasts
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Bob Young, Status Quo’s unofficial fifth member, talks about the re-release of his album In Quo Country and the classic tracks he wrote with the band.

Bob Young

  1. Bob Young ‎– Down Down (Back In Quo Country: Expanded Edition, Hear No Evil, 2017 orig. release 1986)
  2. Status Quo – The Price of Love (Single A-side, Pye, 1969)
  3. Status Quo – Antique Angelique (Spare Parts, Pye, 1969)
  4. Status Quo ‎– Shy Fly (Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon, Pye, 1970)
  5. Status Quo ‎– In My Chair (Single A-side, Pye, 1970)
  6. Status Quo ‎– Gerdundula (Single B-side to In My Chair, Pye, 1970)
  7. Status Quo ‎– Mean Girl (Dog of Two Head, Pye, 1971)
  8. Status Quo‎ – Paper Plane (Single A-side, Vertigo, 1972)
  9. Status Quo‎ – Mystery Song (Blue For You, Vertigo, 1976)
  10. Status Quo ‎– Living On An Island (Whatever You Want Deluxe Edition, Vertigo, 2016 orig. release 1979)
  11. The Young & Moody Band ‎– Don’t Do That (Single A-side, Bronze, 1980)
  12. Status Quo ‎– All Stand Up (Never Say Never) (Heavy Traffic, Universal, 2002)
  13. Bob Young ‎– Caroline (Back In Quo Country: Expanded Edition, Hear No Evil, 2017 orig. release 1986)

Recorded before Rick Parfitt’s sad passing, Bob talks about his 50 year connection with Status Quo and wide range of solo projects.