If you’re a regular reader of this Blog (…you can insert your own joke at this point…), you may remember that about a year ago the Buzzcocks came to Gloucester, and I rather lamely suffered a perforated eardrum due to Steve Diggle’s obsession with getting the sound up to eleven.

Anyway, the best part of the evening was the support band for the evening Evesham’s Hoden Lane. I wrote about it here and they were good enough to answer a few questions for us, here. Well, a couple of weeks ago I received a CD from the same guys called The Mustard Tapes. I’ve only just got round to listening it, I’m afraid, but it’s pretty good, with the same mixture of bouncy guitar-driven Britpop that I enjoyed at the Guildhall last year.

Not sure what the band have been doing this year, although they seem to gig pretty heavily still, and regularly update their Myspace page with new songs, some of them very good. I said I’d post a couple of tracks, so here are my two favourites, a couple of belters that I’ll be humming for a good couple of days…

Mr Mustard

Love is a Riot

And a quick glance at YouTube brings up this…

Happy New Year!

I’m going to start the new year in fairly typical fashion in that I’m going to post a couple of things I meant to do a few days ago…

Am already regretting my slightly churlish decision not to present a list of 2007’s best releases. Having thought about it there were enough good new releases to make quite a comprehensive list after all – albums by Gruff Rhys, The Besnard Lakes, Deerhunter and, yes, Burial all spring easily to mind, now. But anyway the moment’s gone.

I did want to mention, though, a few new tracks and developments from some of the bands I’ve blithered on about this year.

Firstly I have a track from the new Poq release that was sent to me just before Christmas. It’s actually available on Emusic (God bless ‘em). It’s a remix of the “Disko” track which has been around for a while, but I rather like this new version.

Disko (Lifting Gear Engineer Remix) – Poq

There are also a couple of new tracks available from Birmingham’s Hoden Lane available on their Myspace page, and news of a demo cd which I am assured I’ll be getting a copy of. I’ll post one track, and you can flutter over to their Myspace to pick up the other

Prince Charming – Hoden Lane

Then there’s a couple of compelling, though a little crackly, songs from the great David Thomas Broughton, recorded live with fellow Green Man veterans 7 Hertz (also worth seeing if you get the chance). You can get the other track here.

So Much Sin to Forgive – David Thomas Broughton & 7 Hertz

Broughton has recently released an interesting single with a Swedish electronica producer called Chris Casati, which are pretty good too, and available here (or on iTunes, if you have to…).

Then finally, there’s one extra track available from the sulphurous lair of Michael J Sheehy. He’s also been recording this year, and performing with his brother’s band. See the videos here.

Flyin’ Shoes – Michael J Sheehy

And that’s cleared up all of that. Happy New Year!

Witness the majesty that is… the first Partly Porpoise Interview!

Pushing the boat out here…

In order to pad out a review I did for Fuse magazine on the Hoden Lane / Buzzcocks gig last month, I got in touch with Andy from Hoden Lane and didi a sort of e-mail interview thingie:

Fuse caught up with the youthful garage punksters and asked them what they made of the gig, a bit weird or an honour to support a legend?

We have played at the guildhall before, when we supported The Rifles so knew what to expect.” said singer Andy, “It’s always better playing to big audiences, whatever the age, luckily we like to think we branch out to anyone who likes listening to some decent tunes and it was nice to get some good responses from the Buzzcocks gig. We just wanted to play for longer, though !!!!

Definitely. Will we be seeing you again in the near future?

We love playing at The Guildhall and would play more around Gloucester if there were places to play. We play in Cheltenham at the 2pigs a fair bit but want to play more around Gloucestershire as the Birmingham scene is dead as a rabbit in the middle of a Robin Reliant. People who go on about how great Birmingham is are just complete nutters…the only thing Birmingham has got going for it is that its right on the motorway…so it’s dead easy to fuck off quickly to somewhere else!!!

According to your Myspace, Oasis, the Libertines and Milburn are influences, are you big showbiz pals with any of them?

Bands like The Libertines and Oasis are influences purely because of what’s happened in the UK over the past 10 years, we are quite close with Milburn after meeting them a few times, as well as meeting up with The Zutons. But we would never try and blag a gig off them or anything like that, they get that so much…

Any older influences?

The Small Faces and The Who are also big influences as well as the obvious ones like the Stones and The Beatles. You just really have to appreciate music whatever type and take whatever you can from it. The good thing about our music is that our influences range individually, for example me and our guitarist (Bez) are heavily into The Libertines, The La’s, Hendrix, The Who and The Beatles, with Smeg (bass) into Radiohead and The Jam and our drummer into everything from Dirty Pretty Things to Green Day. Its dead hard to try and get some notice as there are shitloads of bands out there, never mind just Gloucestershire, the whole of the south west and the Midlands has some cracking bands. The most important thing is that we are having a laugh, there’s no point going out with the attitude of wanting to be signed and thinking you’re a failure if you don’t. We prefer to write, play and record wherever, whenever we can and meet people and have a good time doing it…

So, where is Hoden Lane? What’s the significance? Hoden Lane is a place where Fenders and Rickenbacker guitars grow on trees, a place where ice cold beer runs from the taps and where stunning dark haired Latino women walk around asking if you would like… a refill… Don’t you think Hoden Lane sounds cool?

Well when you put it like that, it kinda does…

Such a nice sight to see your face, in such a scruffy town.

You get some funny looks from people when you say you’re going to see a classic punk band at the weekend.

You get a few standard what-would-you-want-to-do-that-for’s, a couple of Gawd-are-they-still-around’s, and even a “Do we really need any more old punk?”.

So by the time I tripped a little warily over to the Guildhall to see the Buzzcocks last Saturday, some of the gloss had been taken from a gig I’d been quite looking forward to at one point. Nobody else seemed to be similarly effected, however, and there were a few Mohicans in evidence outside the hall (from people who really should have know better, it has to be said). There were a good few student types, there but just as many more mature liggers too (In fact, for me the tone was set by meeting no less than three parents of children I teach or have taught recently, local celebrity, me…)

And at this point it would be good to say that Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle rolled back the years, stuck it to the doubting Thomases and put on a great night, but in truth, they were shocking, really.

I won’t waste your time, suffice to say I expect a bit more from a couple of forty-somethings (speaking as one myself). Something’s gotta have changed in the last thirty years, hasn’t it fellers? (Oh, and playing in front of videos of your younger selves wasn’t a particularly intelligent move either, let’s just say it wasn’t flattering…)

Hoden Lane

But…in true Partly Porpoise fashion, the support band were much better…

Hoden Lane are based in Cheltenham and Evesham and presuming Shelley and Diggle had some input into choosing their support band, it was the best thing they did all night. The Lane (can I say that?) have some bright poppy songs that had an obvious sixties feel to them, sounding at times like the Pretty Things or one of the classic garage punk bands of the time, but as well as that, there was also an eighties guitar band trying to get out too.

On stage they were brisk and business-like to say the least, keeping between-songs banter to an absolute minimum (often just the name of the next song). I don’t mind that, I’m not keen on staged chumminess with the audience and I guess they weren’t expecting a hall full of aging punks to be paying much attention. Actually, they went down pretty well and in the light of the rest of the evening, they undersold themselves a little – I could’ve listened to a whole lot more…

No website, yet but they do have a Myspace page, from which you can snag these two songs and another couple.

Life You Lead

Did You Look Twice

Good work, lads, you saved the evening for me. A damaged eardrum (courtesy of Steve “turn it fookin’ up!” Diggle) seemed a small price to pay…