Games For May – Fruits de Mer and Mega Dodo Records – Live

By John Blaney

The best things in life are worth sharing, and for the last couple of years Fruits de Mer and Mega Dodo have been sharing bands as fast as our records have been flying out the door. When the respective label bosses began exchanging emails something bigger was bound to happen. Buoyed by the success of Fruits de Mer’s Crabstock gigs, Keith Jones suggested putting on a gig. But not just any old gig, oh no, something special, a ‘happening’!


The result is ‘Games For May’, a kind of post-modern homage to the Pink Floyd that features Tír na nÓg; Schnauser; Crystal Jacqueline & The Honey Pot; Mark & The Clouds and The Past Tense at The Half Moon, Putney, London, on Sunday 24 May.

The Moon Band

Saturday, 3 January 2015, 20:19 | Category : Reviews
Tags :

By Jason Barnard

The Moon Band are certainly a duo I expect big things from upon hearing their debut single ‘Cedar People’ b/w ‘Home’. Psych-folk is probably the nearest label that you can be applied with both tracks sitting neatly alongside material from period comp ‘Gather in the Mushrooms’.


Both Nicholas Tomlinson and Renee Forrester are clearing very talented playing a host of instruments and singing with Renee taking lead vocals. ‘Cedar People’ has strains of Tull (well flute does take centre stage), early Kate Bush and maybe a smidgen of Tyrannosaurus Rex. Nicholas and Renee hail from Canada and ‘My Home’ echoes Blue era Joni Mitchell – it’s really lovely stuff.

I understand this is a taster for their forthcoming album and if it’s anything near these two songs it’s going to be excellent:

French Boutik – Mieux Comme Ça

Friday, 2 January 2015, 21:00 | Category : Reviews
Tags :

Review by Jason Barnard

One band I always listen out for with interest is Paris based collective French Boutik. Their latest EP is the double 7″ release Mieux Comme Ça which features three original songs plus an excellent new version of a Madness track.


The title track, ‘Mieux comme Ça’, echoes some of the band’s sound from their last release ‘Ici Paris’ that worked so successfully with its insistent guitar and great melody line.

‘End of the Line’ has a rather unforgettable Kinks style bass run topping off a nod to the mid-60s encompassing mod and early Brit psychedelia.  ‘La comme ça’ then plays to French Boutik’s strengths with their mix of 60s cool with a 2014 twist.

French Boutik’s version of ‘Tiptoes’ sees the first vinyl release of a track that revisits an unheralded corner of Madness’ catalogue. As someone who’s rather fond of the Nutty Boys their French take on this on this dark tale of suicide is rather splendid.

Another excellent EP and I heartily recommend you grab a copy:

More information available at:

Jeff Christie

Saturday, 27 December 2014, 15:13 | Category : Podcasts
Tags : , ,

To coincide with the forthcoming release of Jeff Christie’s excellent new single For All Mankind due out on on 21 January 2015; Jeff, one of the best British songwriters of his generation, joins Strange Brew host Jason Barnard to talk about his career in The Outer Limits and Christie.

Jason Barnard and Jeff Christie

  1. Elton John – Yellow River (Chartbusters Go Pop! 20 Legendary Covers, Madacy, 1996 rec 1970)
  2. The Hondells – Just One More Chance (Single A-side, Columbia US, 1967)
  3. The Outer Limits – Sweet Freedom (Single B-side to Great Train Robbery, Instant, 1968)
  4. The Searchers – Great Train Robbery (Unreleased – IBC demo, rec 1968)
  5. The Outer Limits – Mr Magee’s, Incredible Banjo Band (Outer Limits/Floored Masters Past Imperfect, Angel Air 2008 rec 1968)
  6. Jeff Christie – Thru The Looking Glass (Unreleased, rec c1968)
  7. REM – Yellow River (Single B-side to All The Way To Reno (You’re Gonna Be A Star), Warner Bros, 2001)
  8. Satanic Surfers – San Bernadino (Concrete Cell/Satanic Surfers, Genet, 1997)
  9. Christie – Picture Painter (For All Mankind, CBS, 1971)
  10. Christie – If Only (For All Mankind, CBS, 1971)
  11. Christie – Iron Horse (Single A-side, CBS, 1972)
  12. Christie – Heaven Knows (No Turn Unstoned, Angel Air 2012, rec c1976/77)
  13. Jeff Christie – Turning To Stone (Outer Limits/Floored Masters Past Imperfect, Angel Air 2008, rec 1975)
  14. Jeff Christie – Turn On Your Lovelight (Single B-side to Both Ends Of The Rainbow, RK Records, 1980)
  15. Christie – Tonight (No Turn Unstoned, Angel Air 2012, rec 1975)
  16. Jeff Christie and the Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band – For All Mankind (Single, Academy Recordings, 2015)

For more information check out the official site for Jeff Christie:

Featuring cover versions of Jeff’s best songs, unreleased material, choice picks and hits; listen to a bumper show with the acclaimed hit maker.

Mark Nevin: Love = Love = Love

Sunday, 7 December 2014, 15:27 | Category : Articles, Interview
Tags : ,

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 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:

Ray Thomas – The Moody Blues Interview

Saturday, 6 December 2014, 20:29 | Category : Interview
Tags : ,

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: