GINGER WILDHEART solo shows & MUTATION gigs

Ginger Solo
Sat 24th June, Worcester Marrs Bar
Sat 15th July, Sheffield Leadmill, supporting The Levellers
Sat 19th August, London Union Chapel – Songs & Words

Mutation
To celebrate the release of Dark Black, the new album from Mutation, Ginger will be joined by Scott Lee Andrews (Exit_International) and Denzil (Ginger Wildheart Band, Young Legionnaire) to take the Mutation show out on it’s debut tour of the UK, in the following towns:
Fri 27th October, Leeds Brudenell Social Club (Tickets)
Sun 29th October, Manchester Deaf Institute (Tickets)
Mon 30th October, Glasgow Stereo (Tickets)
Tue 31st October, Newcastle Riverside (Tickets)
Wed 01st November, London Underworld (Tickets)
Thu 02nd November, Cardiff The Globe (Tickets)
Fri 03rd November, Brighton Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar (Tickets)
Mon 13th November, Osaka Fanj Twice
Tue 14th November, Nagoya Tight Rope
Wed 15th November, Tokyo O-Nest
Thu 16th November, Tokyo O-Nest

Hallowe’en Hootenanny
Sat 28th October, Wolverhampton Slade Rooms

PictureHouse to release summer hit “Sunburst” this July

PictureHouse have announced plans to release their smash hit single “Sunburst” internationally on their PHRC label in the summer of 2017.

For two years in a row this summer song was the most played song on Irish radio, used in a national TV advertising campaign for a major retailer and was used in the soundtrack to a film. It propelled the band to stardom and brought them on tours with the likes of The Corrs, Meatloaf, The Divine Comedy, Mel C from Spice Girls, Texas, Ronan Keating, their own tours and festivals which saw them headline Dublin’s Big Day Out in Marley Park to 35,000 people.

A dispute with their then record company ultimately contributed to the band breaking up, meaning the track never got released properly in the UK. They reformed, releasing 2014’s “Evolution” (which spawned the hit single “Rules of Science” which was playlisted on BBC Radio 2 as well as countless other stations across Europe.)

PictureHouse have now digitally remastered a number of their songs in a package that’s not meant to be a greatest hits – but instead be a “best bits” including some previously unreleased material. The record is called “How Can I Explain How This Came To Be?” and is due for release in August 2017. More details to follow.

The band hope to confirm a tour in Winter 2017.

Gig review: BOOTLEG BEATLES – Royal Albert Hall, 1 June 2017

The Bootleg Beatles were performing tonight with the Liverpool Philharmonic to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic albums of all time, ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. The sold out Royal Albert Hall provides a suitably grandiose setting for the evening.

The poet Roger McGough started the evening off with a potted history of the Beatles and their musical influences which led up to the making of the album. Of course Roger McGough is no stranger himself to the pop charts having been a member of the Scaffold (who also featured Paul McCartney’s brother Mike in their ranks). He had an easy storytelling style adding in a few one liners and some of his poetry.

The Bootleg Beatles have been touring since 1980 and feature none of the original members – perhaps that makes them a tribute act of themselves?!

Having a full orchestra was a master stroke as they played a series of snippets from songs that influenced the Beatles. After this the Bootleg Beatles took to the stage, each one dressed as the Beatles appeared on the album cover. Strange to think that for such a classic album the original band never performed it live.

Read the full review here

JOCASTA – NO COINCIDENCE – TIM ARNOLD’S LOST ALBUM

Before the release of his 16th album ‘I Am for You’ this autumn, UK solo artist Tim Arnold will re-release his first album: Jocasta – No Coincidence. The album was produced by Bruce Lampcov (Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Peter Gabriel) with all music, lyrics and string arrangements by Arnold, featuring The London Symphony Orchestra.  Whilst the band only performed live as a four piece, the album became a sonic canvas for the creative ideas Arnold had been developing since he was 17 and has continued to explore ever since as a solo artist.  Last year, Iggy Pop compared Arnold’s recent work to David Bowie.  

After a string of hit singles in the ‘90s, Jocasta were dropped by Sony on the day the album was released.  ‘No Coincidence’ remains one of the only albums released by Sony during that period not to have been added to iTunes or any other digital platforms for download or streaming, and never before released in North America. The album is now available for the first time in 20 years.

NME’s Roger Morton wrote of Jocasta in 1996:

‘Jocasta pour molten American rock guitar over peaking, clever-clever Anglo pop tunes, forging the kind of deep-grooved, glider high, everyman/woman heart-burst pop songs that everyone forgot existed.  Like a Thom Yorke or a Billy Corgan, Arnold is at the helm of a distended, inflated, killer melody machine, robust enough to skim right across the Atlantic and bed in deep’

Q Magazine’s Nick Duerden wrote of No Coincidence in 1997:

“Fronted by Tim Arnold, this is a highly impressive debut whose breadth of vision suggests an ambition not easily sated”

‘No Coincidence’ will be released through TA Music on 2nd June 2017 – exactly 20 years to the day of the original release. The album is accompanied by a video for opening song ‘Laughing’.

The video places Arnold’s song about the British parliamentary system (written in 1995) onto an apocalyptic take on the special relationship between Theresa May and Donald Trump.

Sparks announce new album Hippopotamus

Sparks announce new album Hippopotamus, The Hippopotamus Tour (EU dates), plus share video for title track

Musical mavericks Sparks – Californian brothers Ron and Russell Mael – will release their new studio album ‘Hippopotamus’ on September 8th 2017 on BMG, accompanied by the first European dates of The Hippopotamus Tour.

Recorded in Los Angeles, ‘Hippopotamus’ sees them take the pop form, shake it up, and create an album that is adventurous, fresh and idiosyncratically ‘Sparks’. Described as “the smartest, most consistently evolving band in the history of rock”, and internationally acclaimed as pop pioneers, Sparks’ music has always been innovative and instantly identifiable. The title track, first played on BBC Radio 6 Music, was released as a single at midnight Friday 24th March after the band performed it, as well as 3 other songs from the album, in their set at the 6 Music Festival in Glasgow.

Album tracklisting:
1. Probably Nothing
2. Missionary Position
3. Edith Piaf (Said It Better Than Me)
4. Scandinavian Design
5. Giddy Giddy
6. What The Hell Is It This Time?
7. Unaware
8. Hippopotamus
9. Bummer
10. I Wish You Were Fun
11. So Tell Me Mrs. Lincoln Aside From That How Was The Play?
12. When You’re A French Director (featuring Leos Carax)
13. The Amazing Mr. Repeat
14. A Little Bit Like Fun
15. Life With The Macbeths

Pre-order Hippopotamus album here: sparks.lnk.to/hippopotamusPR
Hippopotamus Store (D2C) link – sparks.lnk.to/HippoStoreWE

Sparks have announced the first run of European dates of The Hippopotamus Tour, with more dates to be added.
Monday 07 Aug Vega Theater, Copenhagen
Tuesday 08 Aug Rockefeller, Oslo, Norway
Thursday 10 Aug Cirkus, Stockholm, Sweden
Saturday 12 Aug Flow Festival, Helsinki, Finland
Monday 11 Sep Lucerna Music Bar, Prague
Tuesday 12 Sep Columbia Theatre, Berlin
Thursday 14 Sep Paard van Troje, Den Haag
Friday 15 Sep Den Atelier, Luxembourg
Saturday 16 Sep Ancienne Belgique, Brussels
Wednesday 20 Sep Queens Hall, Edinburgh
Friday 22 Sep O2 Ritz, Manchester
Saturday 23 Sep Rock City, Nottingham
Sunday 24 Sep O2 Institute 1, Birmingham
Tuesday 26 Sep 02 Academy, Bristol
Wednesday 27 Sep O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London

Tickets pre-sale Wednesday 29th March, general on sale Friday 31st March
See www.allsparks.com for ticket details

@sparksofficial /sparksofficial

ELO – Discovery

elodisc

Released back in 1979 and ELO’s first UK number 1 album, this saw the band go all out pop, even a little disco. There are some classic songs on here like floor filler ‘Shine A Little Love’, the lovely ballad ‘Midnight Blue’, ‘Confusion’ and ‘The Diary Of Horace Wimp’ (see the Lego inspired video below) . Plus the rockiest song and hit single, ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’.

Sadly this album marked the end of the string trio of cellists Melyvn Gale, Hugh McDowell and viloinist Mik Kaminski (although he popped up on later albums and tours). Louis Clark was still there on string arrangements and like Kaminski, stayed with the band as a touring member until they split-up in 1986.

The album still sounds good today, a credit to the musical vision and prowess of Jeff Lynne.

Christmas number 1 2016?

Last year the Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir won the race to be Christmas number 1. This year there will be the usual X Factor dross, but there are a few contenders who may steal the number 1 spot…

We have Sir Cliff Richard with ‘It’s Better To Dream (Christmas Mix)’, always a good seasonal bet. Then we have the John Lewis and Sainsburys adverts (the later featuring James Corden).

Charity singles include MP’s and various musicians have joined together to record a cover of The Rolling Stones’ ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ under the name Friends of Jo Cox. The London Hospices Choir have covered Mike & The Mechanic’s ‘The Living Years’, with proceeds going to support the hospice network.

There are a couple of Jeremy Corbyn related singles plus a seasonal song from Kylie!

Mind you two years ago this should have been Christmas number 1…