Saturday 22 December 2012

Ralph's last Top Ten Blogged Band Chart of 2012

Well it's been a great year for unsigned Indie music and Ralph's had the best time listening to, reviewing and trying to get everyone in Twitter Land listening to, some of the best music out there. 

Image for 15/12/2012
Since he started blogging back in May, at no time did  Ralph expect to become so popular or to attain the level of influence with radio stations. A big thank you to Tom Robinson on BBC Radio 6 and Radio KC in particular.  

RKC - Radio Kaos CaribouShare the Radio KC experience by listening to their eclectic music mix non-stop on Freebox (FR), Orange Live Radio, TuneIn Mobile App (any smartphone), RadioLine Mobile App or simply from any browser in the world.  Needless to say in 2013 Ralph will be striving to get even more attention for up and coming bands throughout next year. 

Not everyone can get in the Top Ten.....but a special mention for just missing out goes to Whispery Club, Vukovi, Holy Pistol Club, Slydigs, Bauer and Bent Cousin.

The top ten blogged band chart this year has been dominated by a young Manchester band (They're only 16) who have grasped Twitter by the bollocks, squeezed very hard and due to that they're in the No 1 Spot (by over 1000 page reads).  The rest of the Top Ten has been harder fought but contains a load of quality music and therefore I give to you.....the last Top Ten Blogged Band Chart of 2012 as decided by me 'n' Snuggles.....

No. 1 Everyday Goldfish

Now it's not every day a goldfish brings out an EP so Friday 26th October was a big date for young Manchester band Everyday Goldfish who released their first EP, the aptly named 'Eyes On The Prize' at The Candence Cafe Tyldesley that very night!  The band are Alex Haslam, Jack Binks, (why do I imagine his nickname is Jar Jar) Laiton Price, Lee Whittingham and Lewis Tooby.

No. 2 Plum

I turned my nose in the direction of Plum, the alter ego of Edinburgh based Shona Maguire.  She'd just released a concept album 'The Seed' to much critical acclaim and quite rightly so.

Big news is the release on 19th of November of a new single 'Smile' from the album, with the 'B' side a result of a Tweet Ralph can remember seeing on Twitter some time back.  With some help from Auntie BeeB's Ally McCrae she's collaborated with top dubstepper TeKlo on the track, taking them both out their comfort zone.....

TEA STREET BAND GIT AWARD NOMINEE.jpgRemember the spirit of 88? Dole queues getting bigger, the Tories in power and class war on the streets.  But at the same time, shining out of the gloom, came the birth of Acid House which was one of the most significant cultural movements of the 20th Century. For those of you too young to remember the first time round Jack to Phono bring us the combined musical goodness that is Tea Street Band!

No. 4 Crystal Seagulls

Crystal Seagulls bill themselves as a new London-based four piece Brit Rock band whose music holds a mixture of the infectious sounds of the Sixties, the swagger of the Nineties whilst simultaneously paving the way for a whole new style of music.  Brave words but do they live up to their swag? 

Well you only have to listen to 'Yours For As Long As You Keep Me' to pick up the Brit Pop vibe, hints of those cheeky chappies Supergrass and just a sprinkling of Blur. you reading this.....wanna know one of the best kept secrets on the new music scene's London band The Bedroom Hour!  One can only wonder why, when these guys are turning out quality tracks .  'X Marks the Spot' (hint's of U2/Simple Minds, one for the big venues) was track of the day on View From The Music .

No. 6 Modern Faces

A bit of a big up for Modern Faces who were in the local press after their support gigs with Kasabian in May of last year.  Below are updates tour wise for this year and hopefully the North West of England will feature again on the list (a little bird tells me it will be and I'll be checking out The Citadel here in St Helens as a suitable future venue) in the meantime give this a listen like me.

 No. 7 Transition baby!

My Photos by Now here's a band that have recently come to my attention.  Transition Baby are an original indie/rock band with a dynamic sound and energetic live show. They consider their music to be a step forward in terms of their contemporaries in the indie/rock scene.  It's fresh and catchy yet its roots are clearly evident in their influences (The Strokes, We Are Scientists, Modest Mouse). They've a large and loyal fan base, ranging from 14-40+ years of age.

Stolen Haven are a band of mates who have been performing their own brand of indie music  the Manchester and Liverpool areas since last August and as proof of their pedigree they've secured slots supporting some well known acts like  Steve Craddock , Leeds Indie rockers Sunshine Underground and local singer Danny Mahon .

No 9 Fat Goth

Embedded image permalinkOk so I saw that these guys were called Fat Goth and I thought erk, but turns out the only thing that's dark and heavy about this Dundee band are their sounds.  They recently played The Wickerman Festival  alongside other Ralph's Life favourites Campfires in Winter and Olympic Swimmers.

No. 10 The Verdict 

The last time Ralph took a look at The Verdict was just after they won the Rock The House competition sponsored by The Cavern Club and held in The House of Commons back in September.  Since then they've had some successful gigs at The Zanzibar Club in October and The Cavern Club for BBC Introducing in November plus local and internet radio play for the new track they've brought out recently 'The Same Mistakes'.

So there it is until next year.....have a very Merry Christmas and an extremely Happy New Ralph x

Tuesday 18 December 2012

The Polyveldts

Ralph briefly had a look at The Polyveldts prior to their gig at The West Derby Festival back in August.  Just after that they released their first EP.  The Polyveldts are, Tom Barnes - Rhythm Guitar and Vocal, Dan Cummings - Bass, David Deegan - Rhythm Guitar and Vocals, Jacob Naylor - Drums and James Unsworth - Lead Guitar and Vocals and play an almost Sixties stylee, psychadelic guitar based brand of music.  Have a listen to some of their earlier releases like 'Stone Rosie' or 'Shoot Me Down' on the 'Waiting For George' and you'll see what I mean.

Live in the Living RoomThe second EP from the guys just out is a stripped back acoustic 6 track  called 'Life In The Living Room' and it's just that!  Recorded in the living room with a mic, a guitar and voices.  It's an honest, gritty piece of work showing once again their strong song writing abilities.  They were scheduled to record in the studio, but due to timings and lack of communication, that didn't happen. So they "turned a frown upside down, went home, cracked open a few beers and recorded a live EP in the living room, using one laptop, a mic and Joe Hyam" and this is the result...

It's time they were reaching a wider audience with their solid,  honest, guitar based psychedelic rock sounds.....proper tunes!  

With that in mind they're playing a gig at The Shipping Forecast Liverpool on 30th March 2013 and they're going to be featuring a couple of new tracks in their set.  

Keep your ears open for the punchy, guitar driven 'Oh Yeah' and you'll swear you're witnessing the rebirth of The Yardbirds.

The Verdict

The last time Ralph took a look at The Verdict was just after they won the Rock The House competition sponsored by The Cavern Club and held in The House of Commons back in September.  Since then they've had some successful gigs at The Zanzibar Club in October and The Cavern Club for BBC Introducing in November plus local and internet radio play for the new track they've brought out recently 'The Same Mistakes'.

Well the good news is The Verdict are having a Christmas party at The Zanzibar Club in Liverpool on Saturday 22nd December and you're all invited!  It's the perfect chance to hear the new material as well as the old favourites like 'Days Are Speed'.

Support on the night will be Gaffney.  He's been pursuing a solo career, writing new material and he'll be accompanying The Verdict on a couple of numbers. This is a great chance to catch why this young mans vocals accompanied by his solid acoustic guitar playing are all that's good about the current Liverpool music scene.  

Available to buy at the gig will be special limited edition T-Shirts at only £10...the perfect Xmas prezzie for any Vedict fan!

Even bigger news is their 'road trip' to New York where they're playing five dates in March 2013!  watch this space for more details soon.....

I'll leave you with Ralph's favourite 'Something I Said'.....

Saturday 8 December 2012

OK bands you know the score by now....

the more hits your blog gets by the fans, the higher up the chart you Tweet it, Facebook it.....and generally expose yourself.....

The chart is now on the interactive photo above and all you need to do is click on the links on it to check out your favourite band.....

No 1 Slydigs - up from last weeks No 3 & gigs in Dec

No 2 Tea Street Band - big interest & a re-entry

No 3 The Black Tears - new entry 

No 4 Bauer - down three places

No 5 The Winter Tradition - new blog - new entry

No 6 The Flutes - down 4 places

No 7 Franco & the Dreadnought - up one

No 8 Small Animal Calls - new blog - new entry

No 9 Stolen Haven - down four places

No 10 Everyday Goldfish - chart favourites

Friday 7 December 2012

Fun Lovin' Criminals.....Help For Heroes

Image of Fun, Live & Criminal Cover

Now Ralph does his best to write about and support unsigned bands but seeing as it's nearly Crimble he's decided to indulge himself and take a look at a little known combo he personally likes called Fun Lovin' Criminals.  OK, OK it's just Ralph's little joke, but seeing as it is Christmas, Huey did a bit of busking (he raised £131.67) for the Help For Heroes 'charidee' in London recently and it's being followed up with a release by Huey and the New Yorkers of the single 'Christmas By The Side Of The Road'.  All proceeds from the single will go to the charity and it can be pre-ordered on iTunes from this here.

Now I did mention Fun Lovin' Criminals earler and it would be unfair not to mention the Live album of which there's a very nice interactive picture above with all kinds of interesting stuff to click on.....go buy the album it's a Fun Lovin' Fest...and could Ralph not love a band with a song called 'Scooby Snacks'!  

 eat 15 bonio's yo,its like 1 scooby snack!

Thursday 6 December 2012

So Many Animal Calls.....

It's difficult to get away from blogging Scottish bands at the moment because so many of them are releasing great tunes and So Many Animal Calls fall exactly into that category.  They've just put out 'She Was Speaking From The Bottom Of The Sea' on Overlook Records and it's a great follow up to  the excellent 'Traps'.

Initially a trio, So Many Animal Calls are now Sean McKenna vocals/guitar, Ross Stewart vocals/guitar, Martin Johnston drums/vocals and Ross Coll on bass.  Their first EP 'Your House Is A Hospice' gained them almost instant recognition and acclaim, not to mention some impressive gigging credentials.  

They're playing Nice 'n' Sleazy in Glasgow Saturday 8th December and you should take your chance to catch them performing with all the energy and enthusiasm their musical youth can muster.  With tracks like the haunting 'Oh Dear' on their second EP 'Eulogy' or the heavier thrash of 'Broken Antlers' you wont be bored or disappointed.

Joining So many Animal Calls at Nice 'n' Sleazy are one of Ralph's early favourites Campfires In Winter and Of Holding Awake.  If this is how So Many Animal Calls are ending their year, it looks like 2013 is going to be a great year for them.....and their this space!  

The Devil's Pleasure Garden: Fellini

The Devil's Pleasure Garden: Fellini

Wednesday 5 December 2012

The Winter Tradition.....

In keeping with the tsunami of great music flooding out of Scotland just now The Winter Tradition will be one of 2013's must have, must listen to bands. Their debut album 'Gradients'  released earlier this year has gained much radio time, both local and national, including big Jim Gellately's In Demand podcast.

The Winter Tradition are Ewan Simpson (vocals, bass and synth), Mark Morrow (guitar and vocals), Stephen Furbank (guitar, vocals and keyboard) and Callam Moua (drums and Precussion).  Their latest musical taster is the thoughtful and melodious 'Tides and Telegrams' with accompanying poignant video by Shootback Productions which features the band and the lovely Karen Fishwick.

WinterTraditionA favourite of mine is the bouncier 'Firelight' which has a 'get the fans jumping, festival anthem' feel to it with it's slightly Big Country-esqe guitar riffage and punchier vocals.

They've got two shows upcoming before the turn of the year with Flood of Red.....get in there for tickets, they'll be immense!

December 2012
SAT29DECThe Winter TraditionFlood of RedThe Third DoorEdinburgh, UKFind tickets
SUN30DECThe Winter TraditionFlood of RedBroadcastGlasgow, UKFind tickets

Tuesday 4 December 2012

The Black Tears.....

The only people who might be lachrymose will be Shirley Manson and Garbage because The Black Tears are well on the way to stealing their crown as one of the top female fronted alternative rock bands with their recent album 'Lacrimal Lake'.

It's a real breakthrough for The Black Tears with Lischana Lane's gritty vocals reaching new heights and a more grown up level of musicianship very much in evidence, especially on the likes of the guitar driven 'Spoil me Rotten'.  The band have recently added bassist Kady Jones to the line up and she'll shine on tracks like 'Love Or Greed'.

They're backed up by Jacob Beaumont's stylish guitar and Barney Such's hard driving drumming style.  The lead rack on the album 'Tykhe' for instance is a proper rock tune with hints of QOTSA and guaranteed to be a fans favourite at gigs.  The thumping bass and drums on this one are unashamedly 'grungy' and it's an aural assault you wont forget in a hurry!

There's a new album squirreled away in there and assuming the world doesn't end at 12.12 on 12.12.12 you can expect big things from The Black Tears in 2013.  In the meantime enjoy these few tasters from the album, and go buy it if you like what you hear!

Upcoming gigs are.....

Mar 01Rock'it RockbarTamworth, United Kingdom 
Mar 16THE WATER RATSLondon, United Kingdom 
May 24Lechlade FestivalLechlade, United KingdomTickets
Aug 01Cosby Big LoveLeicestershire, United Kingdom 

Meet Baskum The Black Tears tour dog and roadie.....