Thursday 30 October 2014

No Hot Ashes

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If you're looking to get the funk out, you could do worse than grab yourself the No Hot Ashes debut single Goose which was released 22nd October with its choppy Haircut 100 stylee guitar and North West vocalising. It's a punchy, catchy release from this young Manchester band and produced by multi award winner Gavin Monaghan.

Their live performances are the stuff of local legend and Goose looks destined to become a firm favourite for getting the crowd bouncing. Backed by Skank which is no less catchy, they put the guitar work to good use against in your face vocals.

Thanks as always to trust a fox for the picture
Formed in 2012, No Hot Ashes are Isaac (vocal & guitar), Luigi (guitar & backing vocal), Matt (drums) and Jack (bass). Their brash funk-fuelled style is well formed for ones so young and should see them garner more attention with radio plays over the next few months. They've already been regulars on Ralph's Indie Show on Radio KC as well as Salford Radio and Pure FM.

The only upcoming No Hot Ashes gig to report at the moment is December 13th in Manchester's Soup Kitchen alongside Velocets, Black Light White Light and Sebastian Melmoth. Don't miss it - it'll be huge!

“They truly do have `Northern Swagger` in their music. What I like about these guys is that they’re not afraid to experiment with new sounds. They’ve clearly got talent and its exciting to see where they can push that talent.”

M.E.N Newsdesk (Music in Manchester)

Goose is available now from this link at just £1.58

Wednesday 29 October 2014


'I Should Have Gone to Uni'  sees hotly tipped grunge rockers Allusondrugs articulating the anxieties and pressures of young adulthood as only they can.

The band, whose touring schedule alone surely puts them in the running for the title off the hardest working musicians in the UK, recorded and mixed this track as well as producing, filming and editing the video themselves, in a two day break between gigs!

With airplay from Radio KC, Radio 1, Xfm, Kerrang and playlistings across the UK, Europe and America, an appearance at Reading & Leeds Festival this summer and a September UK headline run that was immediately followed by an October tour with Marmozets & Lonely The Brave it's been hectic for Allusondrugs.

‘I Should Have Gone To Uni’ is a stomping, retro-fuelled grunge single inspired by the anxiety of growing up and moving on that will be airing on Kerrang! Radio, Kerrang! Television and with the Kerrang! website as part of their new Fresh Blood feature.  The track's available as a free download on SoundCloud and it's up for a play on Ralph's Indie Show on Radio KC on Sunday the 9th November. 

"This song was written about 3 years ago while i was at a particularly low point” explains guitarist and songwriter Damo Hughes “I was watching all the people I used to know starting up families, moving towards higher education and going on to do great things while I wasn’t really doing anything with my life." 

"It’s basically about being depressed and feeling like you’ve done all the wrong things and don’t really have a place in the world. Musically I think the song is fairly upbeat though, I’ve always really liked the juxtaposition of dark, depressing lyrics over optimistic sounding music."

The five self-confessed fuzz-junkies from Castleford, West Yorkshire formed in the autumn of 2012 and their unique sound and DIY approach to releasing music (online as-and-when they like, sometimes before it’s even finished… streaming practices live on the web… hosting debauched release parties), coupled with growing praise for their explosive live shows, has seen Allusondrugs build a rabidly loyal following locally and beyond. 

NOVEMBER 2014 (headline tour with Lyger + Forever Cult + Prom)

Wed 25th           GLASGOW 13th NOTE
Sat 29th             LEEDS THE WARDBROBE
Sun 30th           STOKE THE UNDERGROUND


Mon 1st             NORWISH EPIC STUDIOS
Wed 3rd            LONDON BLACK HEART
Thur 4th           TUNBRIDGE WELLS FORUM
Fri 5th               CARDIFF CLWB IFOR BACH

Monday 27 October 2014

William Stead

There's a plethora of male singer/songwriters at the moment and; as Ed Sheeran recently proved with his dire performance on X Factor, not necessarily all of a standard, but with the release of his Indigo Bird EP, Bradford's William Stead is heading towards the top of the pile. 

William Stead has been writing and performing his distinctive brand of Alt Folk from 2010 and with the release of Indigo Bird seems to have very much found his niche.

Kicking off with the vocally plaintive yet nicely melodious Sleep the EP starts strong and continues in that manner with Silence. Its got a more laid back Brit Poppy feel as he uses the musicality of his guitar to compliment the vocal.

Title track Indigo Bird conveys a sense of longing and regret made all the more poignant by the wistful guitar work whilst Paris showcases the distinctive and compulsive vocal stylings of William Stead

Money has a soulful retro feel with the horns on intro leading into the final track Sometimes which emphasises the quality of his musicality and songwriting ability on this quietly understated gem of an EP.

Saturday 25 October 2014

Ralph's Top 10 Blogged Band Chart - 25.10.14

OK bands you know the score .....

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

the higher you go .....

So Tweet it, Facebook it .....

Generally and expose yourself .....

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

So here it is .....

The Top Ten Chart Blogged Band .....

No 1.....Roadidendren

Ralph's been spinning some tracks by London (and Luton) singer/rapper Roadidendren of late on his Radio KC Indie Show as her fresh, funky, funny yet ferocious style never fails to please and favours no small amount of favourable feedback (yes, I know that's a lot of f's) from the listeners.

Her upcoming album, The Empress's New Clothes focuses on and picks apart the trivialisation of many parts of the music industry by its stars and insiders. 

No 2 .....  Feral Five

Ralph  's been up to His ears Gunk in this week! No not the stuff for cleaning car engines ... 'Gunk' is a portmanteau of Geek Punk and it was Celebrated in style on the 5th-7th September at the    Music Tech Fest   in London ... and   Ralph  's chums   Feral Five   Were at the forefront with a live performance prior to the launch to celebrate the official release of   3D Print Me   single on 12 "Vinyl on September 17th in the   East London Design Store  .

No 3....Barstow Bats

Ralph's had a soft spot for Dumfries band Barstow Bats for a while now and has given some of their past tracks a spin on the Radio KC Indie Show, so it's good to hear they've just released a new single. It's called 'Partners In Crime' and it's a slight change in direction with its more poppy, zingy, guitar driven Indie sound in a slightly View-esque stylee which should help them make greater inroads with the mainstream radio stations.

No 4...The Inkhearts

North West band The Inkhearts are due to release two tracks - Temper Temper and Uptight - by digital download on November 17th of this very year.

The Inkhearts formed in 2010 when the members, then young teenagers, were introduced to each other at a music tuition initiative at The Engine Rooms, Skelmersdale.

No 5...Alex Highton


Never let it be said that Ralph doesn't have a softer side - and the Alex Highton follow-up album to the highly acclaimed Woodditton Wives Club appeals to just that. The Liverpool born singer songwriter has just released Nobody Knows Anything and it's an introverted collection of diverse musical gems.

No 6...Desert Ships

Ships Desert  are Composed of Mikey on vocals and guitar, Daniel on bass and vocals with Claude on drums and vocals and then forming in 2012 releasing Their debut album    Doll Skin Flag    in the same year. 

Ralph    played the    Steel Threads    track    It Goes On    During this week's Indie Show on    Radio KC    and such was the interest in social media via the kennel His That I was moved to take a closer look.

Describing Themselves as 'An Original band playing acoustic unique blend of Their Own Rock and Folk' and with influences as diverse as    Led Zeppelin   ,    Crowded House    and    Fleetwood Mac   , they '' 'are multi-talented duo of Neil Wardleworth (drums / guitar / vocals ) Wilcockson and Laura (violin / vocals).

No 8 ....  One Eyed Wayne

Photo courtesy of   Emma Marshall

Listening to North London band   One Eyed Wayne   is like having a flashback to putting on a   Blockheads   record (one of Those round, flat, black vinyl things) that's been re-mixed with a bit of   UK Subs   and no small amount of humor.  A case in point is Their latest release   After The Break   and Accompanying video. It's fast and furious social commentary at its televisually cynical, clever and best punk.

No 9 .....   Braver Than Fiction

Ralph's recently Been listening to a lot of 'proper' music for 'grown ups' and in this category comes the recently released EP  King Of Crows  by Sheffield band       Braver Than Fiction   . It's a collection of four live tracks off That September infused vocalist Mel's bluesy vocals against some snazzy      Steampacket   esque    Hammond    organ-ising.

10 .....   Wullae Wright

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Ralph's with with previously blogged   Wullae Wright   and it's Proved to be The most well read of any over the last couple of years. Needless to say it was good news When   Wullae Wright   got in touch to say I was releasing 'Superhero' as a single. The story of the song is no less poignant than   Wullae Wright  's plaintive voice Which, overlaid on subtle acoustic guitar with an orchestral background is just as heart wrenching as the single's message. 

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Alex Highton

Never let it be said that Ralph doesn't have a softer side - and the Alex Highton follow-up album to the highly acclaimed Woodditton Wives Club appeals to just that. The Liverpool born singer songwriter has just released Nobody Knows Anything and it's an introverted collection of diverse musical gems.

As a kid his time was split between his native Liverpool and Florence, Italy. It was there that his musical education began, as he took in everything from Talking Heads or Penguin Cafe Orchestra to The Band and David Ackles

He lost his twenties to bad decisions and train-wreck relationships and it was only after meeting his future wife that he started to take songwriting seriously. The songs he wrote (part therapy/part love letter his new life) formed the basis of his debut album Woodditton Wives Club, a record replete with tales of rural S&M, mental, emotional and economic collapse, and ultimately salvation through love and family.

Nobody Knows Anything seems a more personal inwards journey delightfully rendered in a North Western stylee.

From the melodious You Don't Own This Life to the quirkier It Falls Together you're immediately drawn into his introversy and the compulsive Panic makes sure you'll stay. There definitely must be something in the water in Liverpool that consistently produces songwriters of quality, whether it's Lennon and McCartney of yore or Ali Ingle currently and Alex Highton is floating towards the top of that musical H2o.

I won't go through the whole album on here but I will say  that the eponymous Nobody Knows Anything is a highlight and Mephisto an understated classic with it's moody horns and jangly guitar. As enjoyable to listen to as Richard Hawley or Robert Wyatt - I can pay no higher compliment.

Get yourself copy of Alex Highton Nobody Knows Anything, out officially December 1st on Gare Du Nord Records, pour yourself a glass of wine and stick the headphones on, you won't be sorry. 

Ralph doesn't do marks out of 10 however he's playing You Don't Own This Life on Radio KC this Sunday - which is nice...

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Barstow Bats

Ralph's had a soft spot for Dumfries band Barstow Bats for a while now and has given some of their past tracks a spin on the Radio KC Indie Show, so it's good to hear they've just released a new single. It's called 'Partners In Crime' and it's a slight change in direction with its more poppy, zingy, guitar driven Indie sound in a slightly View-esque stylee which should help them make greater inroads with the mainstream radio stations.

Barstow Bats are…Andrew Rendall (guitar & vocal) – Steven McKie (guitar & vocal) – Barry Gemmell (Bass & vocal) – Jonny Tait (drums) and formed just over a year ago.

Since then Barstow Bats have played two major Scottish festivals, The Wickerman & Electric Fields. They've also headlined at the world famous King Tut’s and played at the Dumfries Music Conference supported by Honeyblood & Ralph's long time favourites Hector Bizerk. Next year should see them go from strength to strength with their signing to independent record label smart indie.

Barstow Bats Press Photo