Tuesday 28 January 2014

Dub Sex

Ralph's pleased to announce that legendary Manchester band Dub Sex are have announced their first full set headline show for over 25 years, on Thursday 10th April at Sound Control.
In 2013 the band reformed for a special fund-raising event at Manchester’s Ruby Lounge in aid of the Manchester Special Care Baby Unit which helped raise over £1600 and brought together almost 300 fans old and new.

DUB SEX frontman Mark Hoyle said of the evening; “The Halloween show in Manchester was very special. Putting us together in the same place, with a common aim was such a blast and so satisfying that we simply had to do more!”

Guitarist Chris Bridgett “Rehearsals are sounding amazing; we’re adding tunes like Tripwire and Push to the set, the tunes we didn't get to play back in October. Expect a pretty special gig.”

Pic courtesy of © Elspeth Moore
Sound Control is the first of only a handful of carefully selected shows and festival performances planned for 2014. The band is in discussion to release a comprehensive box set collection of their recordings later in the year that will include their John Peel Sessions and previously unreleased Martin Hannett recordings. Current line up is Mark Hoyle - vocals, Cathy Brooks - Bass, Chris Bridgett - guitar, Kev Clark - drums and Stefan Hoyle - guitar.

DUB SEX are often cited as one of Manchester’s greatest “lost” bands. Formed in the concrete landscape of 1980’s Hulme they had a unique, raw and at times brutal sound all of their own. The band came to prominence in the late 80’s releasing 4 critically acclaimed EP’s, recording 4 John Peel sessions and performing on local and national TV (Snub TV and Tony Wilson’s Granada TV show,The Other Side of Midnight) with the release of the classic Swerve EP in 1989. 

Monday 27 January 2014

Puppet Rebellion

Puppet Rebellion
After catching a set by PUPPET REBELLION back in July last year Ralph's been sitting waiting patiently for some new material.  Their last EP saw much critical acclaim and the lead track 'Chemical Friends' garnered a good many plays on Ralph's Indie Show on Radio KC.

Well the good news is, a follow up 5 track (including a rather spiffy re-mix of 'Chemical Friends) EP - 'No Means Yes' - is to be released on February 25th and it's already had a spin or five in the kennel and of course with the inimitable Mr Peeps Podcast.

Track one 'Pirouette' kicks in with an infectious choppy guitar, almost ska-like rhythm making it guaranteed radio play material. A tale of deceit and regret told with a strong vocal, the chorus is a real stick in your brain tune and it's my top track on the EP. 

Follow up track 'Cupboards Painted Red' is more melodic with a stylish guitar intro and softer vocal. Shades of del Amitri or Roddy Frame (I can pay no bigger compliment) with a nicely written, plaintive lyric in a PUPPET REBELLION style which builds to a crescendo nicely throughout the track.

Third track in is 'Loner In Disguise' and it's a very Manchester-esque sound. never let it be said I wasn't contentious, but for me not the strongest track on the EP but with a well written, reflective lyric with a good melody and sound vocals none the less.

Fourth of the newly written tracks is 'Green Eyed Monster' with a nice bass lead in to short, sharp vocals and solid guitar work. One to get the fans jumping at their upcoming Manchester gig in Gullivers on February 22nd...

The new PUPPET REBELLION EP finishes of with a re-mix of fans favourite 'Chemical Friends' by Cai Caslavinieri.  Great for a DJ set to kick off any of the following gigs...and thanks as always to trust a fox photography for the pictures.

Sat 22 FebGulliversManchesterTickets
Sat 08 MarThe ExchangeStoke on Trent (Hanley)
Fri 21 MarZanzibarLiverpool
Sat 19 AprManchester Academy 3Manchester
Sun 22 JunHeadlander Festival (Stockport RUFC)Stockport

Saturday 25 January 2014

Ralph's Top 10 Blogged Band Chart 25.1.14

                                                   OK bands you know the score.....

the more hits your blog gets by the fans..... 

the higher you go.....

So Tweet it, Facebook it.....

and generally expose yourself.....

Now Mr Snuggles and me have been sitting with our heads down counting the hits on each bands blog to see who's got which place.  

So here it is.....

The Top Ten Blogged Band Chart .....

No 1.....Sisteray

SISTERAY - She Likes The Drama (out 17/02/2014)

Ralph checked out London band Sisteray back in August last year when they released the single 'Take It Away. Since then they've been gigging relentlessly and have also got a new EP 'She Likes The Drama' coming out on 17th February 2014.

No 2.....The Mule Affair 

Ralph recently reviewed The Gravity Drive who are a very happily married couple whose love and devotion to each other is reflected in their music. Well they're not alone as The Mule Affair are another husband and wife team whose love shines through in their music.  Anthony & Catherine Lane met in Plymouth, capital city of roundabouts. Unable to face a life spent going round in circles, they got the hell out of town, stumbled in love, got married and began singing and writing together as The Mule Affair.

No 3.....The Mars Patrol

After successfully raising the £5,000 target on the Ralph's Life Charity CD through crowd funding I thought I'd take a look at other music crowd funder projects currently active.  Scottish (but London based) six-piece Alt Pop/Rockers The Mars Patrol are currently in the middle of their second Pledge Music Campaign after successfully raising the funds for their first EP 'Young Lovers'

No 4..... Feral Five 

Feral Five - Skin EP

Ralph played London duo Kat and Drew Five aka Feral Five the other week on his Radio KC Sunday Show to positive feedback. Describing themselves as - "raised by wolves on a diet of punk rock, disco and roots" - they've had no small amount of critical acclaim for their debut EP 'Skin' including a 9/10 review from LouderThan War who said they “might just have released the best single of 2013”. They’ve also had the nod from Alan McGee.

No 5..... Brynovsky

Time is Now cover art
The new album from Brynovsky is the aptly titled 'Time Is Now' as it's bringing a classic yet fresh Reggae sound into 2014 melding the smooth tones of Jah (Leroy Jones) Dave with those of Scottish songstress Idana (the name picked for the Edinburgh singer by the seminal Reggae producer Lee 'Scratch' Perry). 

No 6.....Graham Marshall

Freedom Call cover artGraham Marshall has been a singer/songwriter for over 15 years; success always eluding him. Three and a half years ago, he took matters into his own hands when he self-financed his first EP, a collection of five acoustic guitar driven songs he appropriately titled, 'Ten Years Stuck in Traffic'. Without much fanfare, Graham took to the road, something he knew a little about, to celebrate his self-released collection of music performing his way from John O'Groats to Land's End, busking his way through 18 cities in just 7 days.

No 7.....The Ninth Watch

It's just over a year since Ralph first took a look and had a listen to Manchester four piece The Ninth Watch. At that time they'd fairly recently formed and I caught their storming set for The Online Festival in Manchester's Dry Bar back in October of 2012. That was followed up by another top set at the Mancunia Promotions All Dayer in Barca July of 2013. It was obvious then that they were becoming a tight unit with well crafted tracks based on the Manchester music scene's rich background.

Ralph's been listening to the new single 'Circles' by The Broxton Hundred and they've brought a funky, psychedelic guitar driven sound to the table with this latest release available now on itunes

Formed in early 2012 The Broxton Hundred are Richard Lucas on Bass and Lead Vocals, Gary Yari-Gerrard on Guitars and Backing vocals and Richard Ormond on Drums and Backing Vocals. 

No 9..... The Gravity Drive

Since Ralph playlisted the forthcoming single 'Circles' by The Gravity Drive back on the 20th October for his Indie Show with Radio KC he's had numerous requests for more info, so being a Jack Russell and inquisitive by nature, dug deeper. 

The Gravity Drive are husband and wife duo Elijah and Ava Wolf who release their music on their own label, the aptly named Elijah Wolf Music. 

No 10..... The Assist

One of the tracks that's had a lot of feedback since Ralph gave it an Intro spin on his Radio KC Sunday Indie Show recently was 'Control' by up and coming young Walsall band The Assist.  They're a four piece Alt/Indie group with an infectious, bouncy Brit Pop-esque style that's proving popular not only locally, but country-wide despite their only being fully formed this year.

Wednesday 22 January 2014


Time is Now cover art
The new album from Brynovsky is the aptly titled 'Time Is Now' as it's bringing a classic yet fresh Reggae sound into 2014 melding the smooth tones of Jah (Leroy Jones) Dave with those of Scottish songstress Idana (the name picked for the Edinburgh singer by the seminal Reggae producer Lee 'Scratch' Perry). 

With songwriter/producer Tim Brynovsky they've produced a perfect match of well written, chilled out reggae/dub/funk with a sprinkling of soul throughout the tracks and 'Time Is Now' is currently on repeat in Ralph's kennel.

Leroy Jones
Leroy (aka Jah Dave) was an original member of roots reggae band The Congos and has worked with artists like Gregory Isaacs, Horace Andy, Johnny Clarke and Dub Syndicate. He joined Brynovsky in 2012 after Tim's band had supported The Congos back in 2011. 


He's proper 'old school' and his pedigree shines through. Backed up by Idana's jazz based alto vocalising and Tim's musicality, their sound guarantees a pleasurable, mellow listening experience.

Tim Brynovsky, photo by Graeme Jenkinson

This is the second studio album from Brynovsky and it's already garnered no small amount of critical acclaim from the likes of Fresh On The Net contributor Johnno Casson and of course Tom Robinson himself. Hardly surprising with the sublime vocal harmonies of Jah Dave and Idana bringing out the best in 12 well crafted musical gems from Tim. 

Tim on stage in Scotland, photo by Florencia García ChafuénIf I was being picky, there's no stand out track, but for me that's no bad thing as the whole album melds together to provide just shy of an hours perfect chill out listening. 

OK...OK...if you're going to push me 'Freedom For The People' is my favourite! I'll be keeping an eye open for them heading south of the border, but in the meantime up-coming Brynovsky gigs are...


29th January - MacSorley's, Glasgow, Scotland

Reggae Burns Night and Time is Now album launch - FREE Entry after 9pm.
With DJs Hectorrr, Harri & Dirtsman (aka BassWarrior).
Private seated dinner 7pm - 9pm (enquiries call 0141 248 8581).

1st February - Glencairn Institute, Moniaive, Scotland

Time is Now album launch with DJs including Sunny Govan's DJ Hectorrr.
8pm - 2am. £5.00 on the door.

Tuesday 21 January 2014

The Ninth Watch

It's just over a year since Ralph first took a look and had a listen to Manchester four piece The Ninth Watch. At that time they'd fairly recently formed and I caught their storming set for The Online Festival in Manchester's Dry Bar back in October of 2012. That was followed up by another top set at the Mancunia Promotions All Dayer in Barca July of 2013. It was obvious then that they were becoming a tight unit with well crafted tracks based on the Manchester music scene's rich background.

Their track 'Forever' was selected to be one of the 40 on the Ralph's Life Double CD for the charity Rethink Mental Illness and their musical journey of late has seen them work with producers Neil Treppas and Seadna McPhail who's worked with Happy Mondays and Inspiral Carpets among others and a recent signing with Manchester DIY record label Longevity. Alongside a series of gigs including headlining Night & Day in Manchester.

The band is fronted by vocalist and guitarist Stephen Ahern formerly of Dirty Circus (Sony Columbia Records), with Mike Fieldhouse also on guitar, Ian Holden on bass and Matt Ryan on drums.

There's a fresher sound emerging too with the guitar driven, 60's sounding 'In Soul City' and it's keyboard and horns taking it to another 'old school' level.  The likes of 'Dead Man Walking' on the other hand is a pure Manchester anthem and guaranteed gig favourite. If you're in Manchester and looking for a band to follow that have their sights set high and playing no nonsense Indie music, look no further than The Ninth Watch

Monday 20 January 2014

Jimmy Blue

Given his recent Crowd Funding success it's no surprise that Ralph's attention was caught by Jimmy Blue, a Kickstarter project that's based in Liverpool and features the music of one of his favourite Scottish bands, del Amitri. As with all good Kickstarter projects it gives people the chance to be involved by pledging for rewards.


Written by Dave Ross, Jimmy Blue is the story of a young man, his dreams, his band, his girl, his baby, his demons and his downfall. With a script that is honest and real and songs that lift the spirits with heart rending lyrics and simple melody to produce a play with music that fits, no shoehorn required. 

Jimmy Blue will appeal to fans of del Amitri who want to hear familiar songs used in a completely new context. Also to those who enjoy new, exciting, projects that try and break free from the pomp and ceremony of most music based theatre.  With rewards that include mounted copies of the programme by Justin Currie and tickets to the performances it's a del Amitri fans dream.

In the words of Justin Currie...

"I'm incredibly curious about this project and as a result have pawned all my mother's jewellery to lend a hand with the crowd funding. It's just a shame she always shops at Claire's Accessories. Please help!" - Justin Currie

pledged of £3,000 goal

days to go