Sounds of 2012 : playlists & podcasts

14th August 2012

Set up as an alternative to the Mathew Street Festival which seems to be dominated by tribute bands, the Liverpool Fringe Festival aims to showcase new and unsigned talent from Merseyside and beyond. The sheer scale of the event is amazing : it takes place across 19 venues over the 4 days of the August bank holiday weekend. Dozens of bands will be performing, most of them local, with free entry to most gigs. This is just a small sample of what’s on offer, it’s basically what excited me most from some of the more recent releases. Dates may be subject to change.

El Toro! – You Ain’t Getting It  (Mello Mello,  Monday)

Dirtblonde – In Furs  (Baa Bar, Monday)

The Ragamuffins – Generosity Killed The Fat Cats  (Krazyhouse, Friday; Lomax,  Saturday)

James J Turner – How Could We Be Wrong (Studio 2, Sunday)

Clever Little Tramps – Whiskey and Heart Attack  (Lomax, Saturday; Studio 2, Sunday)

The White Widows – Hole In My Soul  (Lomax, Saturday)

Shannen Bamford – Change  (Lomax, Sunday)

The Balcony Stars – She’s Something  (Zanzibar, Monday)

The Romleys – Woah! Jambalaya!  (Krazyhouse, Friday)

The No Name Janes – Punkrock Girlfriend  (Krazyhouse, Sunday)


24th May 2012

Some more local bands  recommended by me. Check them out !

The Jaywalkers are a young folk band from Helsby who seem to be in demand at a lot of festivals this summer : their new album Early for a Thursday is out on June 4th, and this is going to be on it.

Jaywalkers – Cool My Body Down 

 Roughneck Riot offer exactly what they say on the tin : they’re a 6 piece folk punk outfit from Warrington, and they’ve given MTDF this teaser from their album This Is The Day which is due out July 16th.

Roughneck Riot – Same Again Tomorrow  

We Are Alien are a mother and daughter band from Wigan who say hopefully on their website “album coming soon”. Earlier this month they won a battle of the bands contest. This is a mighty song.

We Are Alien -If I Could  


Band of the moment, Liverpool’s Hummingbirds, have a new EP out called Doesn’t Really Matter. Here’s a track.

The Hummingbirds – Tonight

Anthony John Clarke is a veteran Belfast born singer songwriter living in Liverpool. This track from his latest album Laughing At Clowns (available from his website) shows his skill at story telling.

Anthony John Clarke – Pitlochry  

Is this the next Anthony John Clarke ? This is Dominic Dunn, a 15 year old singer songwriter from Liverpool. He tells me “I have lots of new material which I will be recording as soon as my GCSE module exams are over.”

Dominic Dunn – For the Night  

New Payper Tiger signing All We Are released their second EP (We Hunt) this spring. The songs were recorded at the church of St Margaret of Antioch Primary School in Toxteth and the launch show took place at St Bride’s Church, Liverpool. Don’t expect any gospel music though.

All We Are – Trainspotting

I know very little about The Romleys. They’re a new Liverpool band who haven’t released any music yet, but this is one stonking track.

The Romleys – Jail Boy  

The Wild Eyes are a psychedelic garage band from Liverpool. I Look Good On You is their debut single.

The Wild Eyes – I Look Good On You

Finally, a couple of critically acclaimed new bands from Manchester. The Slow Show make music which is … well, slow; but which is also beautifully composed, organic, and guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. This is from their Brother EP.

The Slow Show – Goodbye Rose


All girl band PINS released their single Eleventh Hour on hand packaged gold cassette. And the video isn’t bad either :

PINS – Eleventh Hour


18th April 2012

I’ve crammed some of the most exciting music I’ve heard since the new year into this 80 minute podcast. The bands are mostly British, and with a couple of exceptions none are receiving a huge amount of critical attention. Although there are a few slower melodic numbers here, the podcast is dominated by would-be troubadours and pirates, with large servings of folk rock and folk punk.

Download 2012 : troubadours and pirates


1. Ruth Angell & Sid Peacock – Vagabonds’ Lullaby (Love Forgiven)
Duo from Derbyshire and Northern Ireland

2. Matt Bentley – Life In Reverse (Something to Find)
Singer songwriter from Leeds

3. The Levellers – Truth Is (Static On The Airwaves)
First track from the new album by the veteran folk rockers, due out at the end of June

4. Jim Lockey And The Solemn Sun – Our Fathers (Death)
“Anarcho-Anglo” folk rock band from Cheltenham whose new album has been hailed by Frank Turner as “a fucking masterpiece”

5. Lucy Ward – For the Dead Men (single)
Big protest song by the award winning folk singer from Derby

6. The Science of the Lamps – 27 Club Reject (single)
Two Norwegian singer/songwriters and a button-tweaking wizard, based in MLiverpool

7. Jake Bugg – Trouble Town (free download single)
Debut by teenage songwriter from Nottingham

8. Julian Gaskell – Out of tune g (Kind words from home)
The Cornwall king of the garage klezmer accordion surf jazz sound

9. Jenny McCormick – British Man of War (Sweet Demon)
Mancunian folk singer

10. The Skullduggers – The Coast of High Barbary (Staggers and Jags)
Pirate band from California

11. Seas Of Mirth – Ly Ly Ladyboy (Single)
Landlocked English pirate band

12. Skinny Lister – If The Gaff Don’t Let Us Down (single)
Celtic folk rock from London

13. John O’Reilly – Jonah & The Whale (The Willow Men EP)
Irish singer/songwriter based in London

14. Ma Polaine’s Great Decline – Devil’s Touch (Ma Polaine’s Great Decline EP)
Blues/jazz duo from London

15. Violet Youth – Closer (Teleopsia EP)
Indie punk combo from Stockport

16. The Fucking Buckaroos – Hatchet’s Wife (II)
The bluegrass / folk punkers from San Francisco are giving their album away free “to prove we’re the most kick ass punkabilly pyschograss band you’ve never heard of”

17. Cathy Jordan – In Curraghroe (All the Way Home)
Solo offering from the singer of traditional Irish group Dervish

18. Robert Vincent – Blue (Live Acoustic) (free download demo track)
Singer songwriter from Liverpool, now based in Brighton, whose debut album is out soon

19. The Blue Pig Orchestra – Alright (Witches EP)
A piece of Americana from Blackpool

20. Lexington Field – Selfish Bastard (Poor Troubled Life EP)
Raucous celtic folk punk from San Diego

21. The Leg – Twitching Stick (Song, by Toad Records 2012 free sampler)
The Edinburgh indie rockers are launching their album at the end of the month

22. Happy Martyr – This Small Town (One Square Mile)
Boz Boorer, best known as Morrissey’s guitarist, and Alex Lusty

23. Admiral Fallow – Beetle In The Box (free download track)
Leak from the 2nd album from the Glasgow indie pop band, due out in May

24. The Girobabies – Overheard in the Westend (Bus Stop Apocalypse)
Glasgow band who take no prisoners and were my August 2011 band of the month


3rd March 2012

Thanks to all the bands who’ve sent me stuff recently. I do check out everything, but only a select few will end up getting a plug. Anyhow here’s a batch of recommendations of bands from my part of England.

Liverpool’s Hummingbirds are widely tipped to make it big in 2012. They’re playing the Zanzibar on March 9th and they have an EP due out at the end of April. This one’s from last year :

Blackpool 5-piece The Blue Pig Orchestra have a new EP out called Witches.

The Science of the Lamps is Kaya’s new band. They launched their new double-A side single on 10th February when appearing at Liverpool’s Threshold festival.

Two interesting but very different bands released free songs for Valentine’s Day. These are The Temps from Liverpool :

and here are Louis Barabbas & the Bedlam Six

Look out for more releases from both bands later in the year. OK, what next ? Manchester’s Janice Graham Band released an album last week called It’s Not Me. Here’s a single from it.

And another Manchester combo The Last Party (not to be confused with 80s/90s band Last Party) have just released a debut single :

In similar vein, here’s a Merseyside band who’ve appeared before on these pages, The Loud, from a 4-track pre-Christmas release.

Shades of John Cooper Clarke on this one from Teleopsia : a free EP from Mancunians Violet Youth.

The Woodbine & Ivy Band released an interesting folk album in December which featured different guest singers on every track. This song with vocals by Jackie Oates is my pick of the bunch.

The Beating Wing Orchestra are a Manchester based international music collective that includes musicians from refugee and migrant backgrounds. I’m not too sure what they’re up to, but they’ve just uploaded a few tracks onto soundcloud.

I’m going to slip one in from the North East. Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra have just released this “official video” – the song’s taken from their debut EP Teepy Eepy.

Last but not least, this is Derby’s Lucy Ward fresh from her success at the BBC Folk Awards with a new single which is also a protest song.


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