Billy Bragg - Billy Bragg Volume 1 (Cooking Vinyl)
By Steve Rudd
An essential purchase for hardcore BB fans as well as those people who might
have heard just a few of his songs but who dare to delve further into the life
and times of Billy Bragg, this release is a box set comprising seven
CDs and a couple of DVDs.
In and amongst Billy Bragg Volume 1 there are four of Billy's earliest
and greatest albums, which are Life's A Riot With Spy Vs. Spy,
Brewing Up With Billy Bragg, Talking To The Taxman About Poetry and
Internationale/ Live & Dubious.
Billy Bragg scorched his way through the Eighties and Nineties with his
unique brand of Punk-Folk music, and he's still going strong, given his
latest 2006 Hope Not Hate tour.
An impassioned protest singer - and
lyrical genius - at heart, Billy has always possessed a sincere, soulful
and genuinely distinctive singing voice, while his earliest releases are
dominated by his awesome electric guitar playing.
The breathtaking Richard number, along with A New England, both from the
Life's A Riot... album perfectly showcase how all he needs is his guitar
and voice to conceive wonderful songs that are quite unlike anything that
had preceded their release, and quite unlike anything that has been
released since they originally were.
Tunes such as Like Soldiers Do and the crisp acoustic rawness of
Talking Wag Club Blues (both from Brewing Up With Billy Bragg) are
also highlights to listen out for amidst the many pleasures that this
box set offers up, which hail from a time quite removed from the sound
of the songs that make up the more commercial sounding
Talking To The Taxman... record, given the uber-melodic
Greetings To The New Brunette song that's to be found on there.
Still, Departees proved that Billy had a thing for dabbling in Country-styled
music, a truth further proved by the bluegrass twang of Joe Hill on the
Internationale/ Live & Dubious release.
In fits and starts some people might be reminded of Joe Strummer once
Billy opens his mouth, and there is indeed something about the sound of
Billy Bragg that is imbued with Clash-esque style, substance and spirit.
Still, fundamentally, Billy Bragg is a breed apart, and he sings from the
heart with a rare kind of soul. So, if you're not already familiar with
his work, this box set naturally provides the best excuse for you to
become better acquainted.
Album Reviews - Graham Coxon - Love Travels At Illegal Speeds (EMI) Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Since leaving Blur, Graham has proved himself to be one hell of a rock god, and right
from the off with this mesmerising thirteen track album, the focus is on loud guitars and swaggering
rock 'n' roll trials and tribulations. Fittingly, the album-opening tune is the hugely popular
single release Standing On My Own Again - a bona-fide anthem in every respect.
Album Reviews - Energise by Shatner By David Thurlby
Self-proclaimed common oiksShatner are made up of four, thirty-something nearly
men from Leeds who should really know better.
Fortunately, for our listening delights, they don't.
Numerous years on the local music scene have seen these blokes, notably
singer-songwriter and chief oik Jim Bower, gain a respectful reputation.
A hit among the younger and more media-savvy LeedsRead more...
Album Reviews, - Richard Ashcroft - Keys To The World (Parlophone) Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Thank God for the songwriting talents of Richard Ashcroft.
He is now some six years into his solo career since the nation's favourite band from
Wigan - The Verve, that is - split.
Luckily, the material that Richard has released as a solo artist has consistently
been just as enticing, and this latest 10-track album of his will have surely to
goodness attracted plenty more
Album Reviews, Music Videos - Torso Horse - Every Dog Has Its Day Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Calling all Torso Horse fans! Your favourite Goth-Metal maestros have recently
reworked their classic Every Dog Has Its Day anthem, and shot a brand new promo video
to boot, which - in a word - is stunning.
The original version of this track was fantastic as it stood, but Adam and band have felt
compelled to rework it a little, and have even added a short-but-sweet keyboard
Album Reviews - Faith No More - The Platinum Collection (Warner) Reviewed By Steve Rudd
A never-to-be-forgotten rock band for so many reasons, Faith No More hailed from
California, and for fifteen years they produced some amazing rock music, a fact
that is proven by this awesome collection of some of their best material.
With fifteen of their own classic tunes being included, along with a live
version of their old classic We Care A Lot, and their infamous cover
Music News - Shine On at Hull City Hall By Alex Firth
I'm currently studying at Northumbria University in Newcastle though I
shall be back home in Beverley on the 29th April. Why, you ask?
I have a concert to go to at Hull City Hall ...
Last year, I couldn't believe all the fuss that was being made about a local
(to Newcastle) band doing their first show at the most famous venue in town -
the City Hall.
The band was called Shine On, and was a tribute
Single Reviews - The Waking Eyes - But I Already Have It (Coalition)
Release date: March 20th 2006. Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Probably the finest rock 'n' roll band to have busted out of Winnipeg, Canada, in
recent years, the four guys that comprise The Waking Eyes clearly sound to have
been born for this type of life in the limelight.
This is the quartet's eagerly-awaited second single, and the follow-up to
their awesome Watch Your Money debut.
But I Already Have It comes packed
Album Reviews - Rising Sun - Dirty Daisy EP Reviewed By Steve Rudd
An indie-gilded rock 'n' roll quartet with a difference, Rising Sun here present
eight extraordinary tracks that prove to be sound testament to the band members' collective talents.
The title track in Dirty Daisy is up first and is bolstered by guitarist Dan's
heavyweight and swaggering riff. Nathan's raw, soul-inflamed vocals work a treat,
while the music is both
Album Reviews - The Soledad Brothers - The Hardest Walk (Polydor) Release Date: March 6th 2006. Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Potentially the perfect support band for any future Rolling Stones tour,
these three lads that make up The Soledad Brothers are such a talented
trio that they seem to be leaving most Blues-based rock 'n' roll bands
in their wake right now, especially on the back of this astonishing
twelve-track album that runs for almost an hour.
Opening cut Truth Or Consequences is a riff-raring
Single Reviews - Yellowcard - Lights and Sounds (Parlophone) Release date: March 6th 2006. Reviewed By Steve Rudd
They're back! And they're sounding better than ever!
These punk-loving Emo-rockers return with a new single and a new album (both entitled
Lights And Sounds), ready and willing to follow-up the astounding success that was
the band's globally popular Ocean Avenue album that has sold well in excess of two
million copies worldwide.
The lads have been
Single Reviews - The Marshals - Make Her Cry (Vertigo) Release date: March 6th 2006. Reviewed By Steve Rudd
What's in the stars is never meant to be, so croons Marshals band-leader Michael John.
That might be the case, just like this song might literally MakeHerCry -
whoever she might be,
for this is an extraordinarily moving tune that is proving to be a wise choice for the band's
debut single release, given the widespread acclaim that it's receiving.
The Marshals is an Irish trio,
Album Reviews - B-Movie - The Platinum Collection (Warner) Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Cast your hazy minds back to the glory days of the Eighties, and the Synth-Pop Brit bands
that were scaling the charts, and does the band name B-Movie ring any bells?
It might do for a few people, but this band isn't as much of a household name as it
deserves to be, given the quality of the music.
This 15-track retrospective is comprised of ten of the band's best tunes
Album Reviews - Dialog - Feel EP (Deuce Management) Reviewed By Steve Rudd
This band is interesting from the off, with all four of its members hailing from a different
Frontman Plamen is from Spain, and is clearly a terrifically talented singer,
while lead guitarist Adam Petty is English through and through.
Dialog ply a rare brand of rock music. The strong and catchy riffs do hark back to
that Classic Rock era of the
Album Reviews - Teddy Geiger Stepladder EP By Jimmy Reed
Teddy Geiger has a voice, a look and a song writing style which will appeal
to a wide spectrum of listeners; which is always a good start.
A very simple formula employed on 6 track EP Step Ladder - the production is very
understated, which is good to hear, and Teddy combines the elements of dusty vocal,
acoustic guitar and at times, strings and a
Music, Columns - Andy Tullock's Music Column January 2006
Hey, hey! Welcome to the first of my monthly columns, running you through the crazy, crazy world that is the modern music scene. Every month I will be going over the previous month's key events, as I see them (i.e. my get-out clause in case I forget some painstakingly obvious stuff, which, in time, will become painstakingly obvious that I do).
Alright, so first
Single Reviews - Your Vegas - Flybuzz By David Thurlby
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not accusing decadent Leeds based quintet
Your Vegas of having ideas above their station, but Flybuzz has
the air of a song which was composed, arranged and recorded purely for the Rock Stadium.
From the opening tinkles of the piano, which would be used to portray glacial rain
in a music class devoted to sound association
Album Reviews - Vib Gyor Five track EP By Michelle Dee
The chiming keyboards and guitars opens Fallen followed by a soft breathy
vocal then, as the song continues it takes on a definite Bono sound.
As the guitar quickens, you find yourself exploring a fresh wind swept arena.
Quiet, quick passionate wavy lines of guitar underpinned with urgent drumbeats,
floating falling into deep wells of white noise.
Plaintive pianos will oft be
Album Reviews - The LVRs - Death Has Become Her (Undergroove) Release date: March 13th 2006
Reviewed By Steve Rudd
This dazzling spoken-word album is a side project for two of the members of
LA rockers My Ruin, with the singer in Tairrie B doing the talking and musician
Mick Murphy providing the background noise, mainly in the form of
atmospheric soundscapes that are genuinely dark and deadly.
Listeners of a nervous disposition might want to give this a miss, especially
Single Reviews - The Somatics - Elemental (Engine Room) Release date: 27th February 2006. Reviewed By Steve Rudd
After the sad demise of cult heroes Ultrasound, ace guitarist Richard Green wasted
no time in forming the Leeds-based trio The Somatics.
Thus, we have Richard on lead vocals and guitar, backed up by bassist Stephanie
and drummer Bruce.
This single was also recorded and produced by Richard, to further prove just
how talented he is both in front of and
Album Reviews - Yeah, It's Supposed To Sound Like That Vol 2 (17 Track Compilation Album - Colchester Recordings) Reviewed By Steve Rudd
The second compilation release on the label that's run by the singing and
songwriting force behind the ace band The Party, James Sherry has once
again collated seventeen hugely exciting and varied tracks from some of
the best underground and unsigned bands/ artists not only from around the
UK, but from around the world.
Having said that, most of the tracks
Music News - Zhain on Tour in USA By Rocky
Three guys from Hull prove U.K. bands can still successfully play the U.S!
We prove not only older people can still rock 'n' roll but that U.K. bands
can still successfully play in the U.S. contrary to articles in The Times etc.
We left for Los Angeles for our first shows in 27 years with, due to
circumstances beyond our control, Anners daughter being born
Music News - Barmby Bash Could Kickstart DJ's Career
Hull DJ Chris Plant has warmed up for a transatlantic trip by taking to the
decks at a party held by Hull City star Nick Barmby.
Chris is heading to America to meet with radio station bosses
and representatives of broadcast giant CBS, hoping to hit the big time.
But, just days before the trip, the star in the making agreed to play
at Barmby's birthday party.Chris said: "Nick told me
Album Reviews - Babar Luck - Care In The Community (Rebel Music) Release Date: March 13th 2006 By Steve Rudd
Rewind a few years back into the early 90's, and a hugely original band called King Prawn
was taking the underground music scene by the storm, especially on the back of superb
albums such as Surrender To The Blender.
Fast-forward back to the present day - 2006 - and the former King Prawn (RIP)
bassist/ backing vocalist in the