This Just In!


News Flash!

Well, the Partly Porpoise hoodoo has started…

Just about an hour after I made the last post and e-mailed Phil from the Klappers, I got a rather sad reply back saying that the band had just (that afternoon, I think) split, and rather acrimoniously by the sound of it. Phil Faulds is the singer and songwriter and without going into details, I think it would be safe to say that an exchange of Christmas cards is looking unlikely…

Shame really, I genuinely liked the sound they had. Phil assures me that he is going to carry on recording. And he’ll let us know…

I black out. I wake up. And you know I don’t recognise where I’m stood…

“High voltage man kisses night to bring the light to those who need to hide their shadow deeds”

The Klappers

“Some people have likened us to Captain Beefheart and his amazing band…make up your own mind” say today’s band, The Klappers, on their Myspace page, which is kind of a grand claim. The band come from Manchester and are a four-piece including two brothers, Phil and Joey Kinsella. They’ve had spots supporting the Paddingtons and Babyshambles, and are also big Screaming Jay Hawkins fans, which you can definitely hear in Phil Faulds’ howling vocals.

Actually, when you listen to any of the tracks I’m going to post here, you’ll catch the Beefheart-style vocals pretty quickly. There’s also a lot of trebly guitar work going on here which reminded me immediately of Electricity or Sure Nuff and Yes I do.

They’ve got a good Magic Band blues vibe going on, but I don’t think they can really claim to match the barking brilliance of the Captain, nor equal the sheer wonkiness of lines like the one with which I’ve started this post.

Having said that, these tracks really rock in a very basic, unfussy way which appeals to me at the moment. I think you’ll like them too… I’m posting all four of the tracks offered on their Myspace page, bundled up with a couple of surprises, and posted at Rapidshare.

The Klappers bundle

Are there, perhaps, any crack-whores in tonight?

It’s been a bit longer between posts than I would have liked, and I’m sorry for that. As soon as work starts up again, the time just seems to slip away.

I’ve not been entirely work-obsessed, however, I did find time to go to Cheltenham to the Slak Bar, to see the weirdest singer I have seen for some time. The Slak Bar is a smallish pub which hosts some of the Calmer* series of events.

(I should, perhaps explain that Cheltenham is somewhat up-market from Gloucester and has certain pretensions that us simple Gloucester folk don’t always appreciate. Some people, for example, would have you believe that those in the know refer to Cheltenham as ‘Nham. I mean, I ask you? Calmer* is a series of acoustic events responsible for bringing a few interesting and exciting bands our way, which I whole-heartedly applaud. I just can’t bring myself to ask anyone about that bloody asterisk though…)

Anyway, Calmer* is the classier version of Gloucester’s Acoustica evenings (or so I’m led to believe), and last Thursday they hosted a fairly unique singer in Baby Dee, a transgender classically-trained harpist and circus performer, who used to be part of Anthony and the Johnsons.

The evening started rather inauspiciously with a no-show from first act James William Hindle, who I was quite looking forward to hearing. I was quite disappointed, really, because he’s a pretty good songwriter, I reckon. I won’t post any of his songs, but there a good few available on his website

The second act was Pantaleimon. And well, I’m at a loss to say much about her, really. The Calmer* site tosses a few words like “Appalachian dulcimer”, “drone-based lullabies” and “ancient as the hills”, and drops a few names like Devendra Bahnhart, Will Oldham, and even Allen Ginsberg. But to be honest, she was shocking, and if I could be bothered I’d do some clever punning about her name. It was best summed up by my sister, who reckoned I should make a request for “Smelly Cat”…

So far, so not very good. When it came to Baby Dee, however, things changed round completely. If there was a very large element of Emperor’s New Clothes about Pantsaleimon (damn, I wasn’t going to do that…), then Baby Dee reassured me that there are still some genuinely barking special talents around, living on planets I’ve never even heard of.

Crooning and warbling her way through a series of delightful and weird-as-whisky ballads, and accompanying herself on harp or accordion, she really made me smile. By turns beautiful and then bawdy (“And though I may not know who’s humping me, at least I’ve got some company”), she was well worth the evening on her own (which as it turns out was just as well).

Next week, Calmer* is putting on Richard James (Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci). As I can’t post anything from their site or from Baby Dee’s (though do go there and listen to the samples), and I refuse to post anything from James William Hindle or that woman with her Appalachian bloody dulcimer, instead here’s a track from the Soft Hearted Scientists who are also appearing next week and sound like they’ll be pretty good to me.

I’ll Be Happy I’ll Be Sleeping

(I did also go to the rugby and had a fun afternoon watching Glaws beat local rivals and jolly-come-latelies Worcester. I won’t talk about the game, I’m sure you’re not interested but if you are, this feller will…)

Don’t Wanna Hang For This…

My Broken 101

My Broken 101 count as three of their influences The Stooges, The Pretty Things (although not the Small Faces) and King Tubby, which is a fair old mix, I think. They are from Bournemouth on the South Coast and describe themselves as being “like a modern day Velvet underground,” and that “the sound slides from white noise to melodic blissed out drops of psyclobin induced hypnosis”.

(Did you get that? Not sure I did… images of street luge-style wheelie bins come pleasingly to mind though I’m guessing we’re not talking that sort of psyclobin this time.)

Can’t argue with the “blissed out” part, though, there’s a real Primal Scream / Stone Roses vibe going on here, with loads of … sorry I can’t think of a better word than “swirling” guitars, and you get the impression their gigs must be pretty exotic affairs, as you can find out if you’re any where near Bournemouth, Boscambe or Nuneaton over the next weeks (see Myspace for the details). The vocals are way down in the mix in the best My Bloody Valentine and Spacemen 3 traditions, so I’m taking a bit of a stab in the dark with the title quote. Perhaps someone can tell me if I’ve got it wrapped round my neck?

They’ve written a cracking profile on their Myspace page, it has to be said, which knocks spots of the usual “currently gigging on my own … er… that’s about all” type profiles that you see a lot (if you spend too much time lurking around Myspace, that is). This is what My Broken 101 say their mission in life is:

To destroy all coffee table supermarket music and bring the danger and excitement back into a rock’n’roll revolution. Hail Hail Rock’n’roll!

(Would it be patronizing to say, “Ah, bless…” at this point?)

I’m posting two songs, the first is “Monday’s Tune”, of which there’s another version on the Myspace page (it’s almost as good as this one). The second track “dubbroken” gives them a more of a breakbeats-type sound, where you can see the King Tubby influences introducing themselves.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you My Broken 101…

Monday’s Tune

Dubbroken

Tell people we play Maximum Garage Soul!

Hey, try this! Myspace has a facility to search through it for bands’ influences, and if you search through for bands influenced by the Small Faces, you get a whole host of really good sounding groups.

The other week I posted about Fuzzface (those tracks are still on my i-Pod); they were the first band that came up from a Small Faces search, and you could really hear it with their obvious fondness for Steve Marriott. Here’s another band with a Small Faces thing – Roundabout from Swindon.

Roundabout

I really liked the email I got from Lee from the band. He said (and I quote)

Tell people we play Maximum Garage Soul. Maximum as in “The Who”. Garage as in Sixties RnB and Freakbeat. Soul as in Blue Eyed Sixties a la Steve Marriott, Eric Burdon, Chris Farlowe.

Pressing all the right buttons fellers!

The garage punk thing really comes through on the first track I’m posting here – “Without Her” – the Shadows of Knight or the Music Machine, maybe. The second track I’m posting though – “Oldtown” – has a much more British, slightly jazzy feel to it – a bit of Georgie Fame to it.

Roundabout are playing a Small Faces tribute gig on April 20th in Chippenham (have a look on the Myspace page for details) to commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of the death of Steve Marriott (whom I once saw play in London supporting Chuck Berry, but I’m ashamed to say I didn’t really pay much attention to his set, being largley ignorant of his real importance and also more than a little distracted by the prospect of seeing Chuck Berry in the flesh).

Again (I feel obliged to mention) these tracks are both links from Myspace, and so might be a tad slow. (I’ll be putting together a compilation of tracks in the next few days, if this isn’t working for you…)

Without Her

Old town, Friday PM

Blake

As well as this, I’m posting a track by a band called Blake, who was also turned up by a Small Faces search and does a pretty neat line in “Maximum Garage Soul” himself (copyright, Lee, Roundabout).

To be honest most of Blake’s tracks are not quite like this one though still worth a listen. “Solomon’s Tump” is a real stormer, though, and it seems to fit in neatly with this post. Blake tells me that “Solomon’s Tump” is a track he recorded four years ago and that he’s recently quit his Cheltenham-based band to concentrate on his own work. He also has a website and a Myspace page.

Solomon’s Tump

Blake says that the album he’s now working on might just be his last shot, which to my ears would be a bit of a shame…

Keep at it, I say!

A Good Thing

The other thing I meant to mention yesterday was that a couple of weeks ago I was sent a completely unsolicited e-mail from a new band that you might want to have a listen to. At the time I couldn’t decide what I thought about this. I think my judgement might have been initially influenced by another email I got on Myspace from an earnest young lady who suggested I “might like to meet up with her”. Tempting as the offer was, I decided not to encourage “this sort of thing”.

Geezer

Having thought about it, I’m pretty convinced Birmingham-based indy band Geezer are not in any way linked to young Tatiana, and so I gave their site a visit, and listened to their tracks. To be honest It’s not really my sort of thing, and their site doesn’t actually offer any full length mp3s to download, so it’s not really suitable for PP, but still worth a visit, I’d say. They have a single due out in May, and in a rather democratic fashion allowed their fans to vote and choose which track it should be. The fans chose “Ellie May”, a sample of which you can hear at the website.

But overall I feel this is A Good Thing. I like the idea of bands contacting me and asking me to listen to their stuff – it makes me feel like a real blogger! So, at the risk of asking for trouble, I will say that I am quite happy for bands to contact me or even send me their stuff. Can’t guarantee I’ll plug it, of course, quality control procedures being as stringent as they are at Porpoise Mews…

A few bits and pieces, links etc today.

(Some new music in the next few days.)

I’ve been meaning to put up a link to Acoustica for a while now, should’ve done it a while ago really. Acoustica is a monthly evening dedicated to “acoustic and semi-acoustic music” at Gloucester’s Guild Hall. It can be a bit hit and miss, but I look forward to it every month with a certain desperation, as it’s often the only live music I get to hear for a good few months. Last night’s affair was probably more miss than hit, with none of the acts being really my cup of tea (though I did buy David Francis’ CD), so I won’t post any mp3s. I do, however, have enormous admiration for anyone who can and does get up on a stage, so here are the websites of the three acts that appeared last night:

Kat Flynt
David Francis
Jane Taylor

Also wanted to post a link to another Blog – Uprock Narratives and Unknown Pleasures – which I’m enjoying reading regularly, partly because Martin is a regular at Kingsholm, the home of club rugby (as am I), but also because it’s kind of nice to hear someone else writing about and referring events to in my home town.

Lastly, I’ve heard from Additional Moog who have a couple of new songs available on their website, which sound pretty good at first hearing. I’m posting a link to “California Stars”, but get along to their website where there are three others.

California Stars

They’re also playing in Newport on 1st May, I wonder if I can get along?

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