New music – THE MORNING YELLS

Always a treat when a band or musician contacts you directly via this blog. The Morning Yells are one such band, hailing from the US, they formed around brother and sister Phil and Laura Stancil. To date they have released one album in 2016 and an EP late last year. They have a new album due this summer and you can hear some of their music below – a beguiling mix of pop, rock and reminded me of Tom Petty in the vocals and laid back musical feel. I’d highly recommend you give them a listen…

 

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KINO are back!

Straight to the top of my eagerly anticipated releases of 2018. Kino’s debut album ‘Picture’ is still one I play regularly all these years later.

KINO return with new album Radio Voltaire; 13 years after their debut

kino

Kino have announced the release of their new album ‘Radio Voltaire’, arriving 13 years after the band’s much-loved debut ‘Picture’ back in 2005. Out on the 23rd March 2018, it sees John Mitchell (It Bites, Lonely Robot) & Pete Trewavas (Marillion) teaming up once more, with Craig Blundell (Steven Wilson) on drums & John Beck (It Bites) guesting on keyboards.

Recorded at the end of 2017, writing began at the end of that Summer. “We actually began the writing process in late August” says John Mitchell. “Pete had a few tunes and so did I, and we went from there.” Mitchell and Trewavas were both a crucial part of the original band more than a decade ago, with the former providing lead vocals and guitar parts, while the latter played his trademark bass lines and also contributed backing vocals.

Keyboard player John Beck, who is also a bandmate of Mitchell’s in It Bites, has been brought back. But while he was fully involved on the debut album, this time his role is that of a guest musician. “Yes, I am delighted to say we’ve got John on board. His keyboard playing is splattered throughout the album, and I’ve also done the odd keyboard part myself.” The task of drummer this time fell to Craig Blundell, as Mitchell explains: “This time around Craig was the obvious choice to be the drummer, as far as I was concerned. I have worked with him so much that there was nobody else in the frame.”

Of the albums direction, Mitchell illustrates: “The title sounds very cool and obviously there’s a connection with the band Cabaret Voltaire. But Voltaire himself (the 18th century French philosopher) had a fascination with death, which appealed to me. He also stood for freedom of speech and freedom of religion. On top of that, I love the idea of a radio station that would reflect his views on life and cut through the bullshit which seems to be all over politics. Now, that is the type of radio station I think would reflect what a lot of us want to hear.”

The album cover has been designed by Paul Tippett, who is one of the most in demand artists of the modern era. “I like what he’s done with this sleeve. It reminds me of Moulin Rouge meets ‘Live And Let Die’. It is very striking, and I am sure everyone will have their own interpretation of what it reminds them of.”

The album will be available on Limited CD Digipak (including bonus tracks), Gatefold 180g Double Vinyl (incl. CD) & Digital Download. The tracklisting can be found below:

1.       Radio Voltaire

2.       The Dead Club

3.       Idlewild

4.       I Don’t Know Why

5.       I Won’t Break So Easily Any More

6.       Temple Tudor

7.       Out of Time

8.       Warmth of the Sun

9.       Grey Shapes on Concrete Fields

10.   Keep The Faith

11.   The Silent Fighter Pilot

Bonus Tracks

12.   Temple Tudor (Piano Mix)

13.   The Dead Club (Berlin Headquarter Mix)

14.   Keep The Faith (Orchestral Mix)

15.   The Kino Funfair 

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Fifty Gigs In A Day – MOON SAFARI

Moon Safari appear on Cruise to the Edge and they are a band that know their way around a good melody and amazing harmony vocals. They plan to release ‘Himlabacken Vol.2’ later this year.

Fifty Gigs In A Day: FIVE GRAND STEREO

Big fan of Five Grand Stereo and delighted to have them involved as they will be doing the social media thing for Nordoff Robbins on 8 February. Their new album ‘Sex & Money’ is released on 26 January.

Thu 29 March The Islington, London

John Wetton and Geoff Downes’ iCon Zero now available on CD and download

iCon Zero is a revised presentation of the Wetton/Downes album and is a precursor to their iCon series of albums. It is essentially a collection of tracks mostly recorded in the late 1980’s through the time of their brief reformation in 1990.

 

The original version of the album was released in 2002 and in retrospect seemed like an iCon album from a previous era, so both John and Geoff readily agreed to it being brought into the iCon family. John came up with the name Zero, and both John and Geoff approved the new front cover artwork.

 

The album has received a 2017 remaster and includes two previously unreleased bonus tracks.

 

Geoff Downes reminisced about this time period in their joint career with these comments:
“Icon Zero brings back many fond memories of working with John back in the early-mid 80s. Despite being the principal writers for Asia, we both felt there was at least one other string to our bow. This manifested itself in later years as the Icon project, and this album is an insight into the inner workings of our early relationship, not just as members of Asia, but also as songwriters. These recordings were made largely at weekends when we rented demo studios to try out our ‘other’ ideas and simply – have some fun time away from the pressures of the music business. Most of these songs were put together in a few hours, and written on the fly. Then, they were recorded straight down that same day. One great aspect of this was, we always seemed came up with something new, and as the inspiration flowed it was captured there and then even in its embryonic form.”

 

Sadly John Wetton passed away in January 2017, but this release was already on the cards, with his Estate and Geoff Downes approving it going ahead as originally planned.

 

Geoff Downes had these further comments about his late bandmate:
“John was a genius in every sense of the word, and I am most privileged to have been a big part of his career. The Icon project in itself stands alone as a complete cycle of our work together, and this album (Icon Zero) displays an important part of that development. The great John Wetton’s unique presence can be felt on every note and lyric of these songs. Please enjoy.”

 

iCon Zero will be followed by definitive edition re-releases of the subsequent three iCon albums, with bonus tracks, during 2018 with Geoff Downes’ personal approval.

 

To purchase John Wetton & Geoff Downes iCon Zero:

 

Amazon CD: http://geni.us/icon0

 

iTunes: http://geni.us/icon0dig

The Darker My Horizon – Acoustic Couch, Bracknell

Second time seeing the Darker My Horizon this year and like February’s gig, again at the Acoustic Couch in Bracknell. Joining the core duo of Paul Stead and guitarist Mark Stephenson are drummer Steve Hauxwell (ex-Marshall Law/Winter In Eden) and bass player Paul Hamilton, who was in a previous line-up of Sacred Heart with Paul and Mark.

A nice, up-tempo and hard rocking set for a Saturday night, with a little acoustic interlude from Paul Stead as the support band never materialised. Plenty of riffs to be had in ‘Perfect’, ‘No Superhero Part 1’ and ‘Closure’, and it is always good to hear ‘Dear Olivia’ played live.

The new boys slotted nicely into the band’s sound, a steady bass from Paul Hamilton and as for drummer Steve Hauxwell, he had the flash and style more associated with American drummers like Eric Singer and Tommy Aldridge. Impressive to watch and a great addition to TDMH.

Two new songs were aired from the band’s new album ‘Seize The Day’ due next year – ‘Carpe Diem’ in acoustic mode and ‘Sleaze’, a nice and loud hard rocking tune. Bryan Adams’s ‘Summer Of 69’ was given an enthusiastic run through and the other cover as Bob Dylan’s ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’ (popularised by Guns ‘N’ Roses), which will form part of an EP ‘Phoenix’ due out in January. The other songs on the EP are re-workings of Sacred Herat songs with this new line-up.

KINO – remastered ‘Picture’ to be issued on vinyl for the first time

Kino – the band formed by John Mitchell (Lonely Robot, Frost*), Pete Trewavas (Marillion), John Beck (It Bites) & Chris Maitland (ex-Porcupine Tree), released their much-loved debut album ‘Picture’ back in 2005. Now the album has been remastered by John Mitchell, and will be issued on vinyl for the very first time on the 17th November 2017, as well as returning to digital and streaming services.

Mitchell had this to say: “The Kino ‘Picture’ album has been unavailable for a while but a lot of people have been asking about it so it’s clearly got a place in a lot of people’s hearts which is wonderful. It was never released on vinyl previously so it’s great that Inside Out have made that happen. A lot of people have also asked whether there will be a new Kino album one day….that’s a good question and one day it may be answered.”

‘Picture’ is available on Gatefold 180g black 2LP, including the CD as bonus, as well as digital download. Pre-order your copy here

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