Showing posts from April, 2011

Jeff Green - Interview

Jeff Green, whose album Jessica is reviewed here kindly gave his time to this interview....why not play these demo versions of songs from the album currently under construction - Elder Creek - while you read it? I particularly recommend Mnemosyne...

Elder Creek Demos by Jeff Green

Hi Jeff, nice to be able to interview you. Tell us a bit about your background and your influences.

Hey Roger, Thanks for taking the time to interview me. Much appreciated mate!

Well, I started off as a recorder player after hearing “Billy Don’t Be a Hero” back in ’74 while living in and going to school in England. I eventually graduated to the clarinet a few years later before the guitar “bug” grabbed me after hearing David Gilmour’s “Money” solo from the “Dark Side of the Moon” Eventually, Rick Wakeman became a big influence after seeing him at the Hammersmith Odeon back in 1976.

My first exposure to your music was the album Jessica, an intensely personal work, describing the joy of impending parenthood, the…

Blow Up Hollywood - A Photo Montage & An Interview

This montage of the wonderful Blow Up Hollywood  was put together by my good mate Phill.
This band should be HUGE...investigate more here.

Below is a radio interview where leader Steve Messina gets a few words in edgeways!

Making Love To A Vampire With A Monkey On My Knee

Mr John Robert Parker Ravenscroft was more than slightly responsible for my tastes veering leftwards at some point in the early mid 1970s, opening my ears (well, ear actually, as this was in the days of monaural tranny radios listened to late at night under the covers so as not to attract parents' attention) to all sorts of strange sounds from Soft Machine, Robert Wyatt, Can, Krautrock, reggae, amonst many others, and especially the wildly veering Pachuco Cadaver that was the John Peel favourite, the quite fabulous and remarkable Captain Beefheart.

So it's October 1976 and Peely starts playing a new single called New Rose by the alluringly monickered The Damned, a band I'd read about in The Bible...sorry, the NME, and was curious to hear what Nick Kent et al hailed as one of the front runners of a new scene that was aimed at the kids, a scene in which you didn't need an MA in music theory to be able to play in one of the bands, bands whose songs rarely went over three…

Porcupine Tree - Trains (as you've never heard it before!)

An inspiring take on a brilliant song!

Jeff Green - Jessica

Inspired by and describing events leading up to the tragic still birth of his daughter Jessica in 1996, and Jessica's enduring legacy, Jeff Green's album was 11 years in the making, as he naturally needed to get it right and of course it must have been a painful and cathartic, but at the same time celebratory experience for him and his family. All profits from the sale of this cd are being donated to a hospital in the UK towards the creation of a bereavement room for families who suffer the same awful fate in the future. Read Jessica's deeply moving story here.

Jeff is a guitarist originally from Northern California, now residing in Ireland, via the UK. To help him make the album he called upon the vast experience of Mike Stobbie (keyboards - ex Pallas), Pete Riley (drums - John Wetton, Keith Emerson Band & Guthrie Govan) and top UK guitarist Phil Hilborne. The music they have created crosses all aspects of Classic Prog to produce a varied and interesting listen. Drawi…

Jakszyk Fripp & Collins

A taster of the hopefully soon come Jakszyk Fripp & Collins album A Scarcity Of Miracles:

Marvellous! More info here.

Blackfield - The Assembly, Leamington Spa, 6th April 2011

Let's be honest here, I would say around 90% of tonight's audience are here because of the Steven Wilson connection, and 5% are probably fans of support act The Pineapple Thief, who need no introduction from me, as you probably know! I'm probably being generous saying 5% are actually Blackfield fans first and foremost.

I find Blackfield the least compelling of all of Wilson's many side projects, as their first two albums come across as Porcupine Tree leftovers to these ears. Their latest offering, Welcome To My DNA, has been played a couple of times and has yet to make an impression beyond being more of the same.

The Pineapple Thief came on at around 7:45 and played a somewhat restrained set compared to the all-guns-blazing recent showcase gig in London. I can't see that they made many new fans on tonight's showing.

After a break of around half an hour, Blackfield enter stage right. First impression is that Wilson and main writer Aviv Geffen make a very odd pai…

Text Of Festival (9)

Some more videos and pics from gigs of yore...

Not unsurprisingly I could not find a video of The Jazz Butcher performing on his home turf in 1985, but here's the band from the same year in Munich..

Again, no vids of The Fall from '85 at the fleapits where I saw them, but here are Mark E Smith's slaves at WOMAD in the same year. Brilliantly mad!

My last Glastonbury - a collage from the 25th Glastonbury Festival 1995, before it got toooo big for its own good...

The best band at Glasto '95....

The Pineapple Thief, Camden Underworld, London, Last month! Marvellous. I'm somewhere on the right out of shot, luckily for you!

A selection from Shoesville............

Arthur Lee at Northampton Roadmender 2004. I think the guy who shot this must be about 4'10"!

The Copemeister at Northampton Roadmender 2004. Nice hat.

José Gonzalez at Northampton Roadmender 2008

That's all folks!

Matt Stevens - Ghost

Matt Stevens sent me this album a while back and it has been lying around waiting to be reviewed for a few weeks now, as I just cannot get a handle on it, beyond it being an unassuming record that for me never makes it past background music. Perhaps I'm the wrong person to review this, as I like my music to have an edge to it, and I'm not sure where any market for this might lie to be honest.

You can envisage Matt, a big bear of man, hunched over his acoustic guitar and effects pedals, being a permanent support act to an unending parade of pastoral prog bands as most of the audience remain fixed in the bar, or you could see him playing quietly in the corner of an upmarket restaurant, while disinterested patrons chase down foie gras with an eminently quaffable Chablis.

I'm not saying this is a bad album, it's just that after a number of listens it fails to grab my attention for any length of time. It is obvious from the track by track description that Matt supplied wit…