Friday 31 August 2012

Something for the Weekend.....This weeks top ten blogged band chart

C'mon Snuggles there's 
no way Nicki Minge is
going in this weeks
Top Ten Chart!

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.....

With the release of a new track and video of 'Forever' they take the top spot.....

Slipping down one place but big news on signing with Jagged Roots Music.....

2. Plum

Straight in the chart with a bullet it's young Guilford band.....

With news of a new track and video back up the chart it's Scottish Hip Hoppers.....

Up one place and with new tour dates being added as I type it's.....

With news of an album release and a European tour it's Glagow band.....


A young Fife band on their way up in the chart and playing EH1 LIVE it's.....

7. Boot Magna 

Another Fife band on a major tour and also playing EH1 LIVE it's

Long time Ralph's Life chart favourites and tipped for T in the Park.....

Third week in the chart for West Cumbria favourites.....

Monday 27 August 2012

The Online a venue near you!

So where's the best place to go for a varied selection of unsigned bands I hear you ask.....where can I listen to anything from Heavy Rock, Dubstep, electro-pop and acoustic flows......well it's The Online Festival of course.  

It's a one stop promotional shop for bands and individual artists to download their tunes and interact with each other whilst using its website and the social media phenom that is Twitter to promote themseloves.  

Better than that, they now have organised a showcase event in Grimsby on Saturday 22nd of September headlined by The Jebs and supported by The Supernormals plus introducing Tohaveistohold, Mog Stanley and Rob Crawford.

Headlining the event is The Jebs, a four piece indie band formed in 2010 and although new to the Grimsby/Cleethorpes music scene will definately not disappoint with their Ocean Colour Scene and Ordinary Boys influenced tunes.  A tight and tidy rhythm section, clever guitar riffs and strong vocals make this band one to keep an eye on for 2012. Making music that people wanna hear is their motto and the boys certainly live up to that !  Highlight for them to date was when they played 2 nights recently supporting Ralph's favourite Scottish band The View and have been gigging almost non stop since.  

Next on the line up is Supernormals a five-piece band from Grimsby performing all their original material.  Although studio experienced, the magic lies on stage. Their unique tone is drawn from an eclectic range of influences from Calvin Harris, Friendly Fires, Stevie Wonder and The Beatles to Scissor Sisters, Mo Wax, Michael Jackson, George Clinton & Massive Attack.  With an endorsement from Audio Technica, Supernormals continue to bring their idiosyncratic sound to audiences across the country. Their hard work and commitment is a great example to all up-and-coming artists and bands looking to make a name for themselves in these challenging musical climates.  They're  a confident, exciting and sharp sounding group that's got to be knocking on the door of bigger and better things.  check out their track 'For The Girls' if you don't believe me.

1330606003067.jpgThumbnailFirst of the Introducing acts is Chris Hallam aka S.K.S aka Tohaveistohold. He's 29 years old and plays a number of stringed instruments including guitar, ukulele, mandolin and bass (a little bit).  He's a singer/songwriter  acoustic flower and this is going to be his first gig.  He's never performed live and is "nervous but excited at the same time" He's been doing music for about three years but only been recording for the past year or so and has his own home studio.  He use to live in Manchester but now lives in Weston Super Mare with his wife and three beautiful daughters.  His lyrics are real and based around everyday happenings that he and everyone else can relate to.  He had me hooked from the first time I heard the clever lyrics and flow of 'Pull Out The Lappy And Type It' beautifully accompanied by the simple strumming of the uke.  You're going to hear more of this young man.....he's already been featured on Wolverhampton City Radio 101.8 fm           


The next act came to Ralph's attention already and was blogged back in June.  It's  
sharp dressed blues man Mog Stanley.  He describes himself as a song singin', guitar playin', foot tappin', blues, folk, indie musician and I know that sounds like he's got a sponsorship with Coca Cola but that really does sum up his stylee.  He's currently featured at No.7 in The Ralph's Life chart and it's no wonder why with his gigging pedigree.

His crisp bluesy guitar playing is complimented by his super smooth vocals.  You only have to listen to 'Little Bag of Bones' to get hooked on his immaculate, ultra-hip laid back vibes.
He's just returned to us from the Colne R & B Festival where he appeared on the acoustic stage.

Completing the line up is local man Rob Crawford a singer/songwriter, musician and producer of energetic rock songs, pop ballads, acoustic gems and full blown masterpieces from his studio.  He has been described by Jason Blume (writer for Britney Spears/Backstreet Boys) as 'a very talented writer'.

Rob is working on his 2nd album ’Cross Fingers’ and is inviting everyone to listen to the tracks for free at The Online Festival.  Bit by bit the album has been carefully put together and Rob has been busy blogging about the progress, keeping fans up to date with the latest developments and introducing some amazing incentives to get fans involved in the making of the album.  His sound is represented here by the addictively poppy 'Bright Young Things'.

Ralph's final word is.....if you're looking for somewhere to go to promote your music and get the chance to feature in exclusive musical showcase events, look no further than The Online Festival.....ask for @daveyhub and tell him Ralph sent you and if you're in Grimsby on Saturday 22nd September get yourself down to the Corner Lounge!

The Grumbling Gargoyle: Monster...

The Grumbling Gargoyle: Monster... The monster stirs within its pit. Blackened talons etch the trail of its departure As, through blood red eyes, It smirk...

Sunday 26 August 2012

The Greasy Slicks.....they slip down a treat!

So I'm sitting here after a couple of days of major computer downage and struggling for ideas when my good friends at tweeted a little gem of a track by The Greasy Slicks.  Now me old man wandered past as it was thumping out on the old jukeboxlappythingy and said..... 'They found some unreleased early Rory Gallacher track'..... and I was like OK whatever cos he's like really old and can remember when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

So further investigation being required I ventured out into the wilds of The Hinternet to bring you some info on The Greasy Slicks.

The Greasy Slicks
They've been together less than a year but have a total of 31 years musical experience between them. Not bad for a band whose average age is early twenties. 

They're from Guildford with influences far surpassing the leafy suburb. The group combine infectious guitar riffs, thumping basslines, and energetic percussion with an almost hypnotic vocal which will have any listener entranced. 

With influences ranging from John Lee Hooker to Nirvana (and everything in between) these boys exude a vast musical heritage far beyond their years, adding their own post-modern twist. 
With all the media hype around the death of guitar music, the Slicks are clearly choosing to ignore the naysayers, and are creating some barnstorming riffs in the vein of the ‘good old days’. Kendrew (vocal/guitar) lets his raspy vocal add to the texture of the extremely talented, explosive rhythm section of O’Grady (Drums) and Rasdall (Bass), creating an overall delta blues/rock & roll fusion.

They're playing The Boileroom Guilford on 29th December supporting the outsdanding All The Young  so don't miss a chance to catch them live and loud..... 

The Slicks refuse to be pigeon holed into a genre; they have clearly absorbed elements of rock & roll and blues as a means to establish their own style, also adding to the dynamics of the band. During live performances the genuine excitement and chemistry is wholly evident as they effortlessly captivate their audiences.


The Slicks see the underground scene as stagnant and predictable (not sure if I completely agree with that one) – but they’re here to shake things up! Already causing a stir in their local area and South London, they will soon be coming to a town near YOU, asking for some floor space in return for pleasuring your ear drums. The Greasy Slicks have youth on their side, and in the age of the throwaway band they truly bring something different to the table. 

Make sure you catch this band before a record label does, they're playin' old school proper rock yer socks off bloozy TUNES!

Friday 24 August 2012

Something for the Weekend....this weeks top blogged band chart.....

C'mon Snuggles our holiday blog 
isn't a group so can't get in
this weekends chart!

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.....

Holding on to the top spot it's the lovely.....

1. Plum

New in the chart this week.....

2. The Mazzoni

Still in the top three it's Ralph's favourites.....

3. Holy Pistol Club

Up one place it's long term chart survivors.....

4. Fat Goth

Down two places and ready to start a UK tour.....

5. Modern Faces

Much read this week, London boys.....

6. The Bedroom Hour

Sharp dressed man playing Colne R&B Festival.....

7. Mog Stanley

Down one this week but with eyes on the big prize.....

8. Boot Magna

Picking up some viewings again so back in the chart.....

9. The 1004's

Down six places for long term shy chart favs.....

10. The King and Queen of Sorry

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Top Liverpool bands playing The West Derby Village Fete

So I'm back from holiday.....lost my blog list.....and deciding aimlessly who to blog next, when a tweet caught my eye proclaiming the delights of a village fete in West Derby (outskirts of Liverpool). Now being a Jack Russell by name inquisitive by nature I investigated further thinking 'hmmmm summat to do of a Saturday afternoon, take in the delights of a countryside fete'.  So I headed for the West Derby Village Fete Facebook pages where; to my surprise, found they were having a mini-festival featuring a number of local bands  including none other than the excellent A Band Named King who I'd been previously keeping an eye on.....result! 

The Halton Castle, West Derby Village from 1.30pm till late. Sat 25th Aug

In Victorian times West Derby was changed from a rustic backwater to a bustling township housing some of Liverpool’s wealthiest merchants.  In the 1850s, Lord Sefton remodelled West Derby Village to make a suitable gateway for Croxteth Hall.  New buildings were put up around the newly-created Village square. This investment was matched by the merchants who built about 60 mansions in the district.  In the 1930s West Derby was transformed as many mansions were torn down and their grounds covered by private semi-detached houses. 

In the 1960s, the Beatles were associated with West Derby when they regularly played at the Casbah Club. Both Liverpool and Everton have training grounds nearby.

Anyway enough of the history stuff.....there's bands to blog, not the least of which is A Band Named King.  I first noticed them a few weeks back on Twitter (THE place to find new music) and this is the ideal time to check them out. The double-front-man combination of David and Joe have busked their way to prominence, picking their way from Jersey, through Brighton and London, before finding their musical home in the North-West.  The additions of Pierso on Vocals and keyboards with Tobias Gibaud on drums have helped to enforce the Merseyness of their sound, with catchy melodies and earnest lyrics telling the first chapter of their story, which has only just begun....personally I can't understand why we're not hearing more about A Band Named King with tunes like 'Little Cretin' and 'Not a Soul in Sight' with it's pleasingly punchy guitar work.  They recently played a gig at the legendary Cavern Club and recently did a spot with Ralph's friends at BBC Introducing.

Next on the line up is The Polyveldts and they're another band that seem to be bubbling under.  They're 5 local lads hailing from where else but West Derby.  After forming in the summer of 2009 they played their first gig on 18/11/09 in The Zanzi Bar, Liverpool. Since then the band have played a number of gigs around the city. and recently released the EP 'Waiting for George'.

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 bran of music.  Have a listen to 'Stone Rosie', 'Waiting for George' or 'Shoot Me Down' and you'll see what I mean.  Time they were reaching a wider audience with their solid,  honest, guitar based psychadelic rock sounds.....proper tunes!

@ Bad Format, LiverpoolA mention for The White Windows next ......they're an unsigned band from Liverpool (of course).  They style themselves as being the best band in Liverpool, which is a very bold statement to make. Although one thing you have to have when making music is a belief in yourself, and a belief in your songs and to believe that you are the best. On listening to their demos the potential is certainly there for them to go on and do great things. They feel like thy're trying to be all things to all people with a bit of Rock tagged on to Ska and a Mod feel but they make music that is exciting and makes your head nod. A bit of smoothing of some rough edges and I can see bright things for these likely lads.  'Hold On' has to be a crowd favourite at their gigs (there's the Mod feel) whilst 'English Sky has a funky little Ska vibe to it and then runs headlong into a rock it!

The New Caldera on the other hand offer you a more mellow laid back flavour straight out of San Fransisco's sixties.  They say they're less of a band and more of a musical collective brewed in the back-street watering holes of Anfield, Liverpool. They share a love of the blends and tastes of melodies, rhythms, riffs, grooves and beats. Playing their own unique cocktail of Scouse flavoured timeless Rock & Roll/Rhythm & Blues. They quote their influences as being  The Beatles, The Byrds, The Who, The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds (me I'm getting Buffalo Springfield) and if The Merrylees are ever doing a gig down this way these guys would go down well on the same bill.

Unfortunately there's not much I can say about Mistakes in the Media other than they played an O2 Academy gig earlier this month.  They even play it close to their chest on Facebook and with no Soundcloud tracks I can't even let you hear them play. A few lessons in marketing themselves  required for these aptly named bright young things.  A look at the bands above should give them a hint on how to build a presence, with a Twitter and Soundcloud account the first priotity!

Dominic Dunn is a 15 year old singer songwriter from Kirkdale, and despite his age has learned the benefits of putting yourself out there.  He's featured on the Billy Butler show on BBC Radio Merseyside and even has his own merchandise.  He writes songs inspired by a diverse range of musical influences from The Clash, Steel Pulse and Simon & Garfunkel to Mumford & Sons, Bombay Bicycle Club and Vampire Weekend with everything in between.  He works hard to create an innovative sound with lyrics that will engage an audience.  Yes he sounds Ed Sheeranlike but puts his own stamp firmly on his music.

Chris Dorgan is a 26 year old from Liverpool who's been in a few bands but now performs with The Hokes.   He's been playing guitar since around 2002 doing covers and writing originals. The Hokes, Chris and two of his best friends for years make the line up. They play a lot of blues style songs, people like Junior Kimbrough have been a great influence to him along with all the usual suspects. He's using YouTube to find out what peoples opinions are of some of his songs that are in demo stages and also his versions of some of his favourites That he likes to cover. 

Thomas Barnes of The Polyveldts will be doing a solo set for your delectation so if you're a fan of The Corals you're in for a treat!

So there you have it, probably one of the best little festivals on this weekend, so if you aren't at Leeds Reading or Liverpool's Mathew Street Festival this weekend The Halton Castle West Derby village is the place to be! 

Ralph needs Bonio.....if you enjoyed this article please feel free to donate.....all contributions large or small gratefully Ralph x 

The Crumblin' Cookie....Do they take the biscuit?

So I said to the guys at The Crumblin' Cookie.....why no dog biscuit cookies.....I mean, what's a dog to do when he's out havin' a cup 'o' joe and nowt to nibble on of a crunchy dog biscuit like variety.

Now The Crumblin' Cookie has a particular place in Ralph's heart as it has it's own venue tucked away downstairs called (cunningly)The Cookie Jar and it has featured some of Ralph's blogged bands (and will again, hopefully in the future).  The Cookie Jar is a versatile space that is capable of hosting all manner of events from gigs to private parties, book launches to club nights, comedy shows to exhibitions; in fact they claim can cater for almost when's the dog show?

For the second year running, The Crumblin’ Cookie was named 'Best Venue' at Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival Awards, and to celebrate they’re launching The Cookie Jar Comedy Club, a new monthly club, featuring the best in stand-up.
Set in their newly refurbished 100 seater venue, the Comedy Club will showcase the best comedians on the circuit. Bills include Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival 2012 Awards Winner, Matt Richardson, nominee Andrew O’Neill; Former English Comedian of the Year Matthew Osborn and star of BBC1’s Epic Win, Joe Lycett.
The Cookie Jar 
Comedy Club recently presented the now established Edinburgh Preview Season throughout June and July. Acts included Mock the Week's Josh Widdicombe and Seann Walsh. The eccentric Mr Paul Foot, Mitch Benn and Edinburgh Fringe favourite Marlon Davis. All this was accompanied by an all-day event where you could have caught six Edinburgh Preview shows and been able to have a coffee.

Big news hot off the press is the launch of their free art magazine 'Extra Shot' for the benefit of the great and the good of the fair city of Leicester.  Highlight of the launch will be the Victorian Fete on the 1st Seprember which will feature music from the lovely Natalie Squance and Dan Wright among others.

Here's a round up of their other upcoming events.....

Frank Fairfield
Frank Fairfield
+ Weikie & Jinwoo 
23 August 2012, 8:00 pm
£5 adv

Rob Gee - SmartArseRob Gee - SmartArse
It's a thin line between clever and stupid 
24 August 2012, 8:00 pm

TDOL presents: This is Hell + Dead Harts
+ Up River, Black Shapes, Glass Cannons 
25 August 2012, 7:00 pm

Private Event
Jazz at The Jar
Lineup TBC 
30 August 2012, 8:00 pm

Charlotte Carpenter's Tea Party - Andy OliveriCharlotte Carpenter's Tea Party - Andy Oliveri
+ Charlotte Carpenter, Joby Hardwick, Theo Miller 
31 August 2012, 7:00 pm

+ Archean Soundtrack & Trash Coast 
4 September 2012, 8:00 pm

Private Event
Reportage Club
Monthly meeting for Community Reporters 
involved in the Citizens’ Eye Community 
News Agency & its associated news agencies 
5 September 2012, 8:00 pm
Free entry

Nightmare Air (US)
Nightmare Air (US)
+ You Slut! & Juniors 
6 September 2012, 8:00 pm
£4 adv

Private Event
Acoustic Ladyland
Acts tbc 
7 September 2012, 8:00 pm

Fear of a Brown Planet
Fear of a Brown PlanetDebut UK comedy tour 2012 
17 September 2012, 8:00 pm

Private Event
Jazz at The Jar
Acts tbc 
27 September 2012, 8:00 pm 

Al Lewis + supportAl Lewis + support
+ Joshua Caole & Nancy Dawkins 
12 October 2012, 8:00 pm

Robin Ince
Robin InceHappiness Through Science 
25 October 2012, 8:00 pm


Now all of the above aside, The Crumbling Cookie at heart is a comfortable, friendly coffee house where you can relax and enjoy a great cuppa and some nice nibbles. They're nice people, go pay them a visit.....tell 'em Ralph sent you.....and ask for a dog biscuit cookie!

Ralph needs Bonio.....if you enjoyed this article please feel free to donate.....all contributions large or small gratefully Ralph x