Carl Douglas – Stampeding the Mod Scene – Part 1

Monday, 9 June 2014, 19:54 | Category : Articles
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Forty years ago this summer, Pye Records issued Carl Douglas’s disco anthem “Kung Fu Fighting” to an unsuspecting public. Shipped just as the chopsocky film craze was taking hold, the Jamaican singer’s best known recording initially struggled for airplay. However, by the tail end of 1974, the single had stormed to the top of the UK and US charts, eventually selling over 11 million copies worldwide.

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To mark the 40th anniversary of his global chart topper, Carl Douglas is preparing a new CD, for release this September, his first collection of new material since 2008’s Return of the Fighter, which includes a re-recording of “Kung Fu Fighting”.

The long awaited release follows hot on the heels of a superb new compilation LP from revered collectors’ label Acid Jazz, issued on 30 June. Pulling together much of Carl Douglas’s recorded work during the mid-late 1960s, including a number of previously unreleased tracks, the album finally throws a light on the singer’s little known, formative years.  


Indeed, between 1966 and 1968, Carl Douglas led a succession of promising London soul outfits, starting with The Charmers and culminating with The Big Stampede. 

During these golden years, the future star of “Ku Fu Fighting” fame released a cache of memorable singles, most notably the mod/dance floor classic, “Crazy Feeling”, recorded with the cream of London’s session players, and originally released in August 1966. Nick Warburton looks back:

Hi Fiction Science – Curious Yellow

Saturday, 7 June 2014, 12:51 | Category : Reviews
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Esoteric Recordings 

Review by Jason Barnard 

With an arresting front cover Hi Fiction Science’s second album ‘Curious Yellow’ instantly intrigues but nonetheless its contents take much longer to digest revealing hidden pleasures. 

Curious Yellow

Like my favourite artists, Hi Fiction Science, draw from elements from the past (krautrock, psych, electronic) but create new, vibrant sounds to move the music on. We should have more acts like this today, neither retro nor middle of the road, crafting excellent cutting edge rock music. 

Rewarding repeated spins, the vocals of Maria Charles are frequently mixed as part of the group’s guitar electronica washing around the listener with first track, ‘Digitalis’, a case in point. If you’re interested also try seventh track (and over seven minutes long), the exquisitely sung and played ‘1000 Years’.

Hi Fiction Science 'Curious Yellow' Album Preview
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However I don’t want to give a track by track run down as Curious Yellow artistically works best as a whole; a whole that rewards patience and thought to feed the creative spirit.

Octopus Syng – Reverberating Garden Number 7

Saturday, 7 June 2014, 11:54 | Category : Reviews
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(Mega Dodo)

Review by Jason Banard

Led by Jaire Pätäri, Finland’s Octopus Syng have been releasing psych-themed wonders for about 10 years and have recently released the new album, Reverberating Garden Number 7. 

Octopus Syng

The whole long player has a retro psych sound with its’ excellent tracks well worth seeking out. Bringing some Jefferson Airplane sensibility to its Syd Barrett core is no bad thing as doomy psych opener, the aptly named ‘Avant-Garden’, attests. 

Octopus Syng "Avant-Garden"
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‘In The Middle of Nowhere’ brings in acid folk and ‘Cuckoo Clock Mystery’ recalls The Blossom Toes. 

Octopus Syng - Cuckoo Clock Mystery (Official music video)
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‘You Are The Poem’ and ‘Mirror of Our Memories’ are lovely haunting Barrett-esque psych-folk numbers. Closing with the nine minute finale ‘Listen to the Moths’ the record branches into a proggier direction whilst keeping the group’s psychedelic undertones. 

More information on this and more of Mega Dodo’s aural goodies are available at

Tír na nÓg

Saturday, 31 May 2014, 15:55 | Category : News, Tír na nÓg
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Listen to Irish folk legends Tír na nÓg share the stories behind some of the most gorgeous songs ever recorded.


  1.  Tír na nÓg – Time Is Like A Promise (Tír na nÓg, Chrysalis, 1971) 
  2. Joni Mitchell – Songs to Aging Children Come (Clouds, Reprise, 1969)
  3. Matthews Southern Comfort – Woodstock (Single A-side, UNI, 1970)
  4. Tír na nÓg – Looking Up (Tír na nÓg, Chrysalis, 1971) 
  5. Tír na nÓg ‎– Two White Horses (A Tear and a Smile, Chrysalis, 1972)
  6. Bob Dylan – It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry (Highway 61 Revisted, Columbia, 1965)
  7. Tír na nÓg ‎– Teeside (Spotlight: BBC Recordings 1972-73, Hux Records, 2001)
  8. Tír na nÓg – Strong In The Sun (Single A-side, Chrysalis, 1973)
  9. Nick Drake – Free Ride (Pink Moon, Island, 1972)
  10. Ray Dolan – Hey Friend (Restless Night, EMI Ire, 1975)
  11. Scullion – Eyelids Into Snow (Balance and Control, WEA, 1980)
  12. Leo O’Kelly – Will (Will, Life & Living Records, 2011)
  13. The Rolling Stones – Play With Fire (Single B-side to The Last Time, Decca, 1965)
  14. Tír na nÓg ‎– I Have Known Love (I Have Known Love, Fruits de Mer, 2014)

As always, listen to tracks from and related to our guest artist. Host Jason Barnard travels virtually to Ireland to speak to  Tír na nÓg’s Leo O’Kelly and Sonny Condell.

If you like the show you can also read the full interview here:

Allan Crockford – From The Prisoners to The Galileo 7

Saturday, 31 May 2014, 15:19 | Category : Interview
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Allan Crockford is best known as the bassist in Medway’s seminal act, The Prisoners, who paved the ground in the 80s for the British baggy scene and 90s Britpop. However latterly as his song writing has bloomed he’s stepped out as lead for The Galileo 7. They have a great new album out, False Memory Lane, that is arguably more reflective than his collaborations with former Prisoner Graham Day.

The Galileo 7

 The Galileo 7 (Allan Crockford centre)

Allan speaks to Jason Barnard to share his thoughts on his career, various projects (including the new, rather splendid, Graham Day and The Forefathers single) and flourishing creative outlet in The Galileo 7:

Totem Psych Fest

Friday, 30 May 2014, 19:34 | Category : News
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The aptly name Heavy Psych Sounds, present the Totem Psych Fest. 

This exclusive festival is located one hour north east of Rome, in the small village of Roccasinibalda. It takes place in the courtyard, gardens and underground cellar of a large, scorpion-shaped castle dating back to the 10th century. totempsychfestival

About 25 bands including former Hawklord – Nik Turner Space Gipsy are playing live– ranging from heavy-psychedelic to space rock, sludge doom, stoner, acid-rock, hard-blues and one-man bands.

Given the capacity of the location, tickets are very limited: but it is possible to purchase a three-day pass or single day tickets. Along the castle there will be shows, food stands and many other events. More details are on the Totem Psych Fest website.

It looks extremely cool, gotta love the promo poster artwork too…