Tir na nOg – The Dark Dance

Sunday, 26 July 2015, 10:31 | Category : Reviews
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By Jason Barnard

Tír na nÓg, the Irish songwriting duo of Leo O’Kelly and Sonny Condell, wrote and recorded some of the finest music to come out of the early 70s folk scene. After releasing three fine albums they separated to embark on new projects before recapturing their muse in recent years.

Since then they’ve released tantalising snippets of new material and have now issued ‘The Dark Dance’, their first studio album in 40 years. It can stand proudly with their work on Chrysalis Records all those years ago.


As before, this marriage of equals inspires the duo to their best work, with four tracks a piece and two covers. Sonny’s ageless folk melodies are treasured in Ireland and embodied here with the reflective ‘You In Yellow’ and ode to the Irish institution ‘The Angelus’.

Leo mixes humour and wisdom with the instantly memorable ‘I Pick Up Birds At Funerals’ alongside the touching ‘Time Is Gone’. Leo’s ‘Ricochet’ also revisits their psych prog sound, and also heads up another great single on Fruits de Mer that also has an exclusive live version of their classic track ‘Tir na nOg’.

Dipping back to the album we close with the set’s title track, the traditional sound of Elly Lucas’s ‘The Dark Dance’, a wonderfully gothic folk instrumental. A fitting end to a superbly strong set.



The Luck Of Eden Hall To Set Sail For Second UK Tour

Tuesday, 7 July 2015, 21:32 | Category : News
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After completing a successful Kickstarter campaign, one of The Strange Brew’s favourite bands, Chicago natives The Luck of Eden Hall have confirmed the dates for their second UK tour.


The tour, which will begin with a show at London’s 12 Bar Club on July 30 and wrap up with a headlining performance at the book release party for Dave Thompson’s A Séance at Syd’s at The Half Moon, Putney on August 11, will also touch down in Sheffield, Cardigan, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Liverpool. In addition, the band will be recording a live album for Fruits de Mer Records at MWNCI Studios, August 3-5.

Upon returning to the states, The Luck of Eden Hall will be supporting The Psychedelic Furs at Skokie’s Backlot Bash on Saturday, August 29 and will be putting the finishing touches on their upcoming album, The Acceleration of Time.

Further information at: http://theluckofedenhall.com/

Hang Loose With The Surfin’ Lungs

Tuesday, 7 July 2015, 21:19 | Category : Articles
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By Dominic Picksley

The Surfin’ Lungs have been at the forefront of the UK’s (and Europe’s) surf music scene for over 30 years and their 1996 album Hang Loose With The Surfin’ Lungs is being given an overdue airing across all digital platforms this month, including Spotify, iTunes. Amazon and Google Music.

Hang Loose

The group’s fourth release, Hang Loose not only represents a high point in the quartet’s long career, but for the modern surf music genre as a whole, with the Lungs’ trademark punchy and harmonic vocals layered over pulsating beats, catchy riffs and galloping drums, punctuated with surf-punk attitude, drenched in reverb, and sprinkled with a large dollop of fun-in-the-sun vibe, symbolic of their musical outlook.


Dust on the Nettles

Monday, 29 June 2015, 20:27 | Category : Podcasts
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Take a journey through the British underground folk scene 1967-1972 with David Wells, compiler of  a new 3 CD box set ‘Dust On The Nettles’. Speaking to Strange Brew host Jason Barnard, David plays highlights of this new collection, balancing the familiar with the obscure. 

Dust on the Nettles

  1. The Pentangle – Let No Man Steal Your Thyme (The Pentangle, Transatlantic, 1968)
  2. Wight – Come All You Travellers (Single A-side, Disques Festival, 1970)
  3. Synanthesia – Peek Strangely and Worried Evening (Synanthesia, RCA Victor, 1969)
  4. Mary-Anne – Black Girl (Me, Joy, 1970)
  5. Melton Constable – River Lane (Dust On The Nettles: a journey through the British underground folk scene 1967-1972, Grapefruit, 2015 rec 1972)
  6. Moonkyte – Way Out Hermit (Count Me Out, Mother, 1971)
  7. Warm Gold – Searching For Lambs (Sounds Like North Cornwall, Sentinel, 1972)
  8. Frozen Tear – You Know What Has To Be (Single B-side to The Hunter, RA, 1969)
  9. Moths – Halfdan’s Daughter (The Moths, Deroy, 1970)
  10. Bill Fay – Garden Song (Dust On The Nettles: a journey through the British underground folk scene 1967-1972, Grapefruit, 2015 rec 1969)
  11. C.O.B – Music Of The Ages (Spirit Of Love, CBS, 1971)
  12. Everyone Involved – A Song For The System (Either/Or, Acturus, 1972)
  13. Music Box – The Happy King (Songs Of Sunshine, Westwood, MRS, 1972)
  14. Fuchsia – Me and My Kite (Fuchsia, Pegasus, 1971)
  15. Folkal Point – Scarborough Fair (Folkal Point, Midas, 1972)
  16. Mother Nature – Orange Days And Purple Nights (Single A-side, B&C, 1971)

On the show we hear the various overlapping strands of the underground folk scene: the acid folk experimenters, the folklorists and trad song updaters, the more metaphysical element of the burgeoning singer/songwriter genre and the newly-electric folk rockers.

More information on this fantastic set is available at the Cherry Red website.

Side Effects

Thursday, 25 June 2015, 21:49 | Category : Reviews
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Review by Jason Barnard

Fruits de Mer have increasingly been pulling off some ambitious projects typified by their long sold out epic Strange Fish instrumental set. Their latest project is similarly bold, Side Effects – a four LP box set, eight bands doing a side each of 60s/70s covers.

side effects box

Pink Floyd are represented of course, now de rigueur at FDM, with The Soft Bombs playing the hell out of ‘Echoes’. Arcade Messiah get brownie points for picking Aphrodite’s Child masterpiece ‘Four Horsemen’, a fitting tribute to the sadly departed Demis Roussos.

Neo-psych stars The Bevis Frond rock a rare cut in ‘China’ by The Electric Sandwich, a version previously appearing in much edited form in another of FDM’s bold statements ‘Head Music’. Superfjord bring a Hawkwind cum electronic feel to The Byrds’ ‘CTA-102’, whilst The Luck of Eden Hall breathe new live to the previously well tread ‘Starship Trooper’ by Yes. Julie’s Haircut kick out Miles Davis’ ‘Shhh/Peaceful’ before branching into a more tranquil soundscape.

Finishing off Sendelica make an arguably brave choice with the genre defining electronica of ‘I Feel Live’ but morph it into a space-prog-disco monster.

And maybe that’s it. Yes, Side Effects, an octo-headed monster, surprising but at times strangely beautiful.

Released on 21 August: http://www.fruitsdemerrecords.com/

The Road Is Long: The Hollies Story

Sunday, 21 June 2015, 14:03 | Category : Hollies, Interview
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Jason Barnard speaks to Brian Southall, author of ‘The Road Is Long: The Hollies Story’. 

The Road is Long: The Hollies Story

With exclusive guest interviews and contributions from band members including Graham Nash, this new biography re-evaluates The Hollies place in the history of popular music: