Demons Of Ruby Mae – Beneath The Surface

Thursday, 14 November 2013, 12:28 | Category : Reviews
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SiZe Records UK

Review by Jason Barnard

Earlier this year I posted about a great new band, Demons of Ruby Mae who shared the the heart of many of my favourite acts from the sixties/seventies but with a modern indie sound reminiscent of Doves.

Beneath The Surface

The band follow up the excellent excellent Heliacal EP with the release of their single ‘Beneath The Surface’, available through their bandcamp page on November 11th and on other media a couple of weeks later.

Mastered at Abbey Road, ‘Beneath the Surface’ continues to highlight the always startling vocals of Jonny Gavin. At it’s plaintive indie core is its emotive subject matter and hint of electronica tied to indie giving it a memorable edge.

The flip side ‘Gold’ is another heart tugger, with reflective lyrics on a relationship building on the earlier sounds of the Heliacal EP.  The quality of the duo’s sound and song writing continue to set them apart to their peers:

Schnauser – Where Business Meets Fashion

Thursday, 14 November 2013, 11:24 | Category : Reviews
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Bitter Buttons records

Review by Jason Barnard

Bristol’s Schnauser has been crafting left-field psych pop  for the best part of a decade and recently released their latest offering Where Business Meets Fashion. Brewing elements of The Beach Boys, Odessey and Oracle and The Flaming Lips their new platter has been on constant rotation on the Strange Brew hi fi. This is due to the strength of their song writing that echoes the sort of thing that it would be lovely to see Andy Partridge doing these days.


Opener “Showers of Blood” is a rocky opener that blends into a gentle chorus and a Broadcast like middle eight, “Walking stick and cat” wouldn’t be out of place on a Bonzos LP with its quirky lyrics and Neil Innes melody. “I Would” goes all Burt Bacharach mixed with a smidgeon on Curt Boettcher.

“Dinner Party” and album closer “Westward Ho”" turns up Brian Wilson to 11. This is all washed down with lead singer Alan Strawbridge’s eye for a witty lyric plus always inventive musicianship from the whole group.

SCHNAUSER - Showers of Blood (live at The Cube 12/10/13)
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Please do check out this great band and their excellent new album Where Business Meets Fashion:

Beautify Junkyards – Rose Hip November

Thursday, 7 November 2013, 22:19 | Category : News
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To follow up the summer release of their excellent psych folk album Beautify Junkyards have just released their new video of one the LP’s highlights “Rose Hip November”; their lovely interpretation of the Vashti original.

beautify junkyards "rose hip november" (from a Vashti Bunyan original)
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If you like your folk with a hint of pastoral psychedelia, this and their album (which has eight other fantastic reinterpretations), is definitely for you.

Find out more with my interview with the band’s lead singer João Branco Kyron.



Sunday, 27 October 2013, 15:32 | Category : Morrissey
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Inspired by Morrissey’s new autobiography, the Strange Brew picks choice tracks that shaped Morrissey’s formative years:  ”we roar and rage through the 1960s, pinned together by pop music, and by the suspicious absence of money.”

morrissey autobiography

  1. Millie Small – My Boy Lollipop (Single A-side, Fontana, 1964)
  2. Marianne Faithfull ‎– Come And Stay With Me (Single A-side, Decca, 1965)
  3. Paul Jones – I’ve Been A Bad, Bad Boy (Single A-side, HMV, 1967)
  4. Sandie Shaw – You’ve Not Changed (Single A-side, Pye, 1967)
  5. Love Affair – Rainbow Valley (Single A-side, CBS, 1968
  6. The Foundations – Back On My Feet Again (Single A-side, Pye, 1968)
  7. The Small Faces – Lazy Sunday (Single A-side, Immediate, 1968)
  8. Barry Ryan – Eloise (Single A-side, MGM, 1968)
  9. Radha Krishna Temple ‎– Hare Krishna Mantra (Single A-side, Apple, 1969)
  10. Shocking Blue – Venus (Single A-side, Penny Farthing, 1969)
  11. Mr Bloe – Groovin’ With Mr. Bloe (Single A-side, DJM, 1970)
  12. Springwater – I Will Return (Single A-side, Polydor, 1971)
  13. Hurricane Smith – Don’t Let It Die (Single A-side, Columbia, 1971)
  14. T.Rex – Metal Guru (Single A-side, T.Rex Wax Co, 1972)
  15. David Bowie – Starman (Single A-side, RCA, 1972)
  16. Roxy Music – Virginia Plain (Single A-side, EG, 1972)

From sixties pop hits, psych, one hit wonders to glam rock. Listen to a soundtrack of songs from Morrisey’s autobiography.

Wille and The Bandits – Grow

Tuesday, 15 October 2013, 20:48 | Category : Reviews
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Review by Mark Waters

Do you remember “Play loud” printed on the inner sleeve of Let it Bleed, the Rolling Stones last album of the 1960′s? Here we have a trio whose album Grow needs to be played LOUD!


The first track “Got to do Better”, the antithesis of Street Fighting Man is a plea for us all to do better towards each other and not to be just a Street Fighting Man. O.K. Willie is not a Mick Jagger but with his limited vocal range he uses his voice well. In some ways he reminds me of Jim Morrison or Rodger Chapman of Family. The other two members of the Bandits, Matthew Brooks who plays 6 string bass and Andrew Newman on drums and percussion provide the delight and space to enable Wille’s voice and guitar to fly out of the speakers.

Wille plays a mean slide guitar which actually comes to the fore in the more gentle songs for instance “Still go marching In”. Here we have 3 musicians who can play off of each other and at the same time complement each other. The song writing is generally strong with consciousnesses which dose not preach and is relevant to today.

I have only listened to the MP3 download which I think does not do Wille and the Bandit’s album justice. Hopefully the CD will sort out the somewhat muddy mix for some of the more complex loud songs…. or even better please put it out on LP!

Gypsy Woman by Wille and the Bandits
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I would love to hear a couple of instrumental tracks because their instrumental skills are just waiting to be unleashed..Think Cream folks. However, it is a fine album which like any good record “Grows” on you with each successive playing. Buy a copy and enjoy. The single “Gypsy Woman” is a fine taster of the album. And do go to see them live! Touring now!

Will be playing a couple of tracks on my show Sounds Good!

The White Kites

Sunday, 13 October 2013, 16:34 | Category : Reviews
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Review by Jason Barnard

Important – great new band alert!!

After receiving a link to The White Kites Bandcamp site I gave “Love Doctor” a spin. “Hmmm” I thought, a jaunty pop-sike number with a Kevin Ayers style vocal, harpsichord with an an instantly catchy chorus and psych effects. “Lovely stuff!” I thought but who are these guys and surely their other tracks don’t cut the custard?

In fact they’re Polish based which is even more surprising. Singer Sean Palmer is originally from the the UK and they’re importing great pysch back over to the motherland, beating the Brits at what was their own game who packed up their paisley overcoats and mellotrons long ago.

The White Kites MISSING

Like The Beatles their “Love Doctor” single precedes a new album but doesn’t feature – and is no worse for it. The new album “Missing” is “a cycle of musical tales, encompassing constant themes in man’s search for something important – Love, Identity, Adventure, Soul Mates and New Lands”. The ornate album covers signals what’s in store: psych tied to music hall baroque and roll .

Kicking off with “Arrival” the song echoes a Blur Modern Life Is Rubbish out-take with a smidgen of Dukes of Stratosphear. “The Foreigner” is a piano led Brian Wilson style ballad with a vocal mirroring My Life Story’s Jake Shillingford – that’s a complement. These guys can play too – listen to that guitar middle eight. “Beyond the Furthest Star” is similarly gorgeous. ”Stowaway Sylvie” recalls July’s “Jolly Mary” and “Percival Buck” is also filtered through a pop-sike Britpop filter on these imaginary vignettes of life’s waifs and strays.

white kites recording

“Should You Wait For Me” presents a folksier sound – a psych Jethro Tull backed by The Zombies. “Turtle’s Back” and “When Will May Return” are rockier Syd Barrett-esque numbers. “Clown King” goes a bit more Court of King Crimson on the listener with lyrics wishing for a simple creative life. “The Missing” wouldn’t be out of place on Duke Special’s masterpiece “Songs from the Deep Forest” with its piano pop-orchestral feel. Finally, “Farewell” says goodbye to the cast we’ve met on this album brimming full of humorous character sketches and ballads with a Gilmour like solo on a Floydian ballad.

The album sounds great throughout, making the best analogue sounds in a modern setting. Simply the best release since Jacco Gardner. The psych scene welcomes with open arms The White Kites!