Allan Clarke Part 1

Sunday, 30 March 2014, 15:09 | Category : Hollies
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In the first of two landmark podcasts, Allan Clarke former lead singer of The Hollies, talks about his incredible career to The Strange Brew’s Jason Barnard. The first show takes us through the Clarke, Hicks and Nash Years as well playing two choice cuts from his excellent solo collection, Sideshow on RPM/Cherry Red

The Hollies from

  1. Allan Clarke – Born To Run (Single A-side, EMI, 1975)
  2. Evie Sands – I Can’t Let Go (Single A-side, Blue Cat (US), 1965)
  3. The Rokes – Grazie A Te (Single A-side, Arc (Italy), 1965)
  4. The Everly Brothers – Hard Hard Year (Two Yanks in England, Warner Brothers (US), 1966)
  5. The Hollies – Stop Stop Stop (Single A-side, Parlophone, 1966)
  6. Dana Gillespie ‎– Pay You Back With Interest (Single A-side, Pye, 1967)
  7. The Hollies – On A Carousel (Single A-side, Parlophone, 1967)
  8. Peter Sellers & The Hollies – After The Fox (Single A-side, United Artists, 1966)
  9. The Teenmakers – Lullaby to Tim (Teenmakers, Elite Special (Den), 1968)
  10. The Socitie – Bird Has Flown (Single A-side, Deram, 1967)
  11. Nicky James – Would You Believe (Single A-side, Philips, 1968)
  12. The Strangers – Step Inside (Single B-side To I’m On An Island, Pye, 1968)
  13. The Hollies – Wings (No One’s Gonna Change Our World, Regal Starline, 1969)
  14. Allan Clarke – Blinded By The Light (I’ve Got Time, EMI, 1976)

Listen to a mix of legendary, rare and cult tracks from and connected to the fantastic Allan Clarke, one of the greatest voices the music scene has ever produced. 

The Soul Sailor – Multicolour Brain!

Sunday, 30 March 2014, 14:44 | Category : Reviews
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Urban Records

By Jason Barnard

About 18 months ago The Strange Brew posted about Perugia Italy’s Simon Francesco Di Rupo, aka The Soul Sailor, and his band The Fuckers. Their release at the time ‘The Effects Of Getting Wilder And Wilder’ that was a potent brew of classic rock, soul and psych rock.

Building on this success they’ve digged deeper down the 60s rabbit hole this time around with ‘Multicolour Brain!’ a blend of rocking tracks and reflective tunes echoing the psych madness of Kula Shaker with a mod-soul edge a la Ocean Colour Scene.

Multicolour Brain

It’s 10 tracks don’t waste time finishing after a breathless 35 minutes. Typical of this is opener “Sad But True” that clocks in at just over one a half minutes but is jammed pack with 60s rock and mod licks.

At its core there’s plenty of cool tracks, “She Came To Me La La” is a jaunty shuffling acoustic love song, “Sunny (Eyes of Pearls)” a Beatles Rain style number, my favourite ‘Move Over’ a gorgeous duet and lead single “Living In A Ballroom Scene” with its incessant riff lifting the mood.

THE SOUL SAILOR & THE FUCKERS - "Living In A Ballroom Scene" [Urban Records 2014]
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Album closer “Democracy Is Just An Old Illusion” ends the long player epically, starting contemplatively before lifting a startling 1977 interview from John Lydon gradually building to a guitar laden climax.

Also noteworthy is the stunning album cover which is “The Roses of Heliogabalus” where the Emperor suffocated his enemies with petals after inviting them to a sumptuous banquet.

Again, there’s huge ambition at play and more often than not The Soul Sailor meets his heady objectives.

More information can be found at:

Rolling with Michael Des Barres

Saturday, 22 March 2014, 21:12 | Category : Articles
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With a CV to die for Michael Des Barres has successfully straddled the music and acting worlds for almost half a century. Already ahead of the curve by the early 70s fronting glam punk pioneers Silverhead he continued to release exciting, hip-swaying rock with bands Detective, Chequered Past and The Power Station plus his solo work.

After taking an extended break to act in countless TV and film releases Michael recently re-lit the touch paper to reacquaint listeners to authentic rock music with long player ‘Carnaby Street’ and live album ‘Hot and Sticky’.


     Michael Des Barres (from

Michael spoke to The Strange Brew’s Jason Barnard to put this all in perspective and share what’s truly important in 2014.

Beau – Fly The Bluebird

Wednesday, 19 March 2014, 19:40 | Category : Reviews
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Cherry Red

By Jason Barnard

Beau (aka Trevor Midgley) has released another album of highly intelligent and compelling folk music with ‘Fly The Bluebird’.

Beau, Fly The Bluebird - cover

After last year’s excellent vinyl set “Twelve Strings To The Beau” captured recordings made almost 40 years ago; Beau proves that his new recordings, 14 tracks released this time on download only, maintain that high standard.

It’s difficult to adequately articulate the themes as eloquently as the lyrical thickets that Trevor superbly sings but here goes.

‘Fly The Bluebird’ conveys the troubles of the modern world and the hope after the storm. There’s a return to political themes in Lenin with the memorable line “Where was the communism please, in your community?” whilst ‘Rooks & Ravens’ conveys the corrosive effect of Guantanamo Bay.’

Beau 'Lenin' Official Video
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The diverse subject matter is always engaging and sets Beau apart from his peers. ‘All The Way Down The Line’ is classic 12 string folk whilst ‘When Gabriel Turns’ is a moving elegy to cruel effects of dementia.

The twists and turns continue to ‘Singapore’ (decline of the British Empire) then ‘The Hum Of The Cable’ highlighting how turning a blind eye to atrocities can lead to tyranny. Nonetheless the enchanting final track ‘Wings’ ties together this contrasting collection neatly on a positive note.

In summary this is an album to make you think, but more importantly one that inspires you to listen to its ageless chiming folk melodies.

‘Fly The Bluebird’ will be available for download from all major download sites from Monday 7th April. More information can be found at:

Hello Everyone – Popsike Sparks from Denmark Street 1968-70

Wednesday, 12 March 2014, 19:45 | Category : Reviews
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Grapefruit Records

By Jason Barnard

The new Grapefruit Records compilation ‘Hello Everyone: Popsike Sparks from Denmark Street 1968-70′ collates records released on the cult British label Spark. Although capturing fairly obscure releases for just a few short years it’s bursting at the seams with was is now known as pop-psych. 


I don’t like this era just for the lysergic lyrics, experimentation and the gorgeous sound. Well that’s good enough on its own. Indeed Spark was set up as the new recording arm of Southern Music the tracks frequently used the same musicians in the Denmark Street building ensuring a unity of sound throughout its 27 tracks. 

However ultimately it’s the songs – strong melodies, hooks and a pop sensibility. This collection has that in abundance. It’s not progressive nor particularly groundbreaking, but just marvel how incredibly there’s barely a hit to be had, despite the quality. Typical of this is the ridiculously rare Sir Ching I’s ‘Hello Everyone’ that kicks off the CD with its insistent beat and mellotron backing played by Barry Kingston, the single’s producer and co-writer.

Sir Ching I - Hello Everyone
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Those familiar with the Electric Lemonade Acid Test sets, long out of print, will know many of these tracks but this new Spark anthology ensures each track is presented in this best sound quality possible in one place with comprehensive sleeve notes. If you are already acquainted to Spark then tracks like Timothy Blue ‘Room At The Top of the Stairs’ and A New Generation’s  ‘Sadie And Her Magic Mr. Galahad’ will already be seen as classics.

The New Generation - Sadie and Her Magic Mr. Galahad
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Other gems include Val McKenna’s ‘House For Sale’ with its  sumptuous baroque backing tied to soulful vocals. John Carter and John Alquist’s gentle 68 release ‘Midsummer Dreaming’ echoes much of The Flowerpot Men sound that John has such such success the year previous.

Wanna hear Eartha Kit psychedelicise Donovan? Of course you do! Her versions of ‘Wear Your Love Like Heaven’ and ‘Hurdy Gurdy Men’ are worth the admission alone.

Ultimately there’s far too much to capture here in just one post. However if you want little known Sorrows side projects (The Eggy), short-lived pseudonyms (Just William) tied to magnificent pop-psych, and much, much, more this is an essential purchase.

Say Yes to Schnauser

Sunday, 9 March 2014, 13:31 | Category : Articles
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Bristol’s Schnauser have been producing left-field psych/prog pop for the best part of a decade.

Last year’s album ‘Where Business Meets Fashion’ showed them at their peak with elements of The Beach Boys, Odessey and Oracle and The Flaming Lips in just one delicious platter.


With an imminent new vinyl release on Fruits de Mer where they ambitiously reinvent two prog works by Yes and Soft Machine; Fruits de Mer’s very own Keith Jones speaks to Schnauser’s Alan Strawbridge and Duncan Gammon.