Thursday 30 April 2015

The Jade Assembly

With thanks to @PhotographyGaz ©
Ralph has had his beady eye on immensely popular Bolton band The Jade Assembly for some time now and with the release of their new single One Last Time on May 5th, what better time to look closer.

Keen to stand apart from their contemporaries, The Jade Assembly say - "We're in this for the long haul and for the right reasons." 

No fabricated or posed attitude and an absolute conviction in their music. One Last Time shows just that with it's on-point Indie guitar and honest North West vocals. A certain favourite with The Jade Assembly fans.

Their sound derives from the passion of Watson and Danny's rhythm section and the gritty power of Smed's guitar play juxtaposed with the self belief and commitment of John Forster, a true 'Northern Poet'.

As John puts it - "Every word counts. Some people can't see the wood for the trees, but if you don't see The Jade Assembly you're missing the best of the forest."

Upcoming gigs are...

Saturday 2nd May - Macron Stadium, Bolton

Sunday 3rd May - Blind Tiger, Bolton (single release party - One Last Time)

Saturday 9th May - Midland, Rochdale (Acoustic)

Saturday 16th May - Sound Control, Manchester with Danny Mahon & Friends

Friday 22nd May - Maida Vale, Sheffield

23rd/24th May - Liverpool Sound City (not yet announced)*

Saturday 20th June - Cadence Festival, Tyldesley

Saturday 1st August - Kendal Calling

Sunday 23rd August - Ralphstock, Night & Day, Manchester

Saturday 29th August - Red Lion four lane ends, Bolton (Acoustic)

18th/19th/20th September - Ramsbottom Festival (not yet announced)*

Friday 16th October - Kings Arms, Ashton

Wednesday 29 April 2015

Two Skies

Ralph has had his eyes on Sheffield band Two Skies for a little while now having previously played the deliciously heavy Stay on his Radio KC Indie Show. 

So it was with great interest that he heard that they were realeasing Feel as a single on May 11th.

It's a pleasingly psychadelic offering, evoking memories of early Pink Floyd or pre - Hawkwind the Hawklords.

Gaining critical acclaim including Q Magazine saying - "They deal in bass-heavy, freak out friendly reveries" and Tom Robinson no less was heard to say - "Soaring vocal and big drums".

Comprised of Dan Cutts on Vocals and Guitar, Jamie Cheetham on Bass and Oliver Harrap on Drums Two Skies are a powerful live band that are creating solid, eminently listenable indie psych music that will appeal to fans of many different genres.

To quote the band - "Two Skies were driven together by a mutual love of ethereal noises and powerful trippy grooves".

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My best advice would be catch Two Skies live in Carsons Bar in Middleton on May 21st as their powerful psychedelic guitar infused live sets are becoming legendary and with strong new tracks like Feel and the flip side Broken Hearts to add to their armoury of haunting anthems, it'll be a night to remember.

Other Live Dates are...


21 - Carsons Bar, Middleton
30 - Opium 10, Barnsley...with Blossoms


03 - Kraak, Manchester... with Dom Keller
24 - Tramlines festival, Sheffield
25 - Karma, Leeds


Multiplier cover art
Ralph has played tracks by Manchester band Multiplier previously on his eponymous Radio KC Indie Show and to good feedback. So when he heard they were releasing a shiny new EP in may he thought it'd be a good time to take a closer look and listen.

The Multiplier EP is three tracks of sublime Indie Pop goodness with shades of Thom Yorke overlaid on a smattering of fellow North West band Doves and wrapped up in some British Sea Power

No bad thing says I.

Multiplier will be releasing it on a limited edition CD at their launch night in Manchester's Fallow Cafe on May 9th and available to download thereafter from May 11th.

Evolving over the last four years, the band comprises of Andy Gardner on Vocals, Phil Hartley on Guitars, Danny Callaghan on Bass and Rod mcFarlane on Drums.

Multiplier kick in with lead track Choice which starts off with mean and moody percussion, building into an almost plaintive, evocative vocal. 

A strong start that's followed by Heart Of Gold with it's bouncier, poppier and radio friendly feel, an obvious choice for a single release and guaranteed to be a fans favourite live.

Final track Acres is probably my favourite of the three as Multiplier again descend into a dreamier more introspective soundscape. 

Strong songwriting combined with consumate musicianship which they describe as - "Rich passionate vocals, guitar that shimmers and roars, pounding yet melodic bass and driving drums that interweave the songs rather than merely act as a foundation."

Tuesday 28 April 2015


After the success of Ralph's All-Dayer for the charity Rethink Mental Illness in London's iconic venue Proud Camden last year in association with Radio KC who transmitted the whole day live; with 14 bands playing over 12 hours, he thought it was about time he did another but closer to home. 

So with that in mind Ralph's taking over another iconic venue on August 23rd and unleashing 11 bands on Night & Day Cafe in Manchester over 10 hours. 

Available to buy on the day will be the Ralph's Life CD to raise funds for Rethink Mental Illness.

In association with Hourglass Promo it'll be an outstanding day of live music and; as usual, Ralph's got something to say about everyone on the line-up.

Ambrose Chappel is a Southport DJ/Remixer par excellance who kicked of Ralph's Rethink All-Dayer last year. He collaborates with US Rap artist iKash Flo to produce some of the most funky ass hippety hop this side of the Big Pond. 

He creates a unique blend of Hip Hop fused with House and Electro and is always in demand for his remixing skills. His influences range from the ubiquitous Mr Oizo to Berlin based producer Siriusmo.

Mint are an East Coast (sounds better than saying Grimsby) Indie band fronted by Zak Rashid who are starting to make a name for themselves on the local music scene. 

what better time to bring them over to Manchester and spread the good word about their music which - and I quote - "makes you kiss strangers."

Pusher are a very much up and coming Barnsley band who are making a name for themselves on the live circuit and are a welcome addition to Ralphstock.

Their debut single Shoot Life was described by none other than NME as - "Hair raising slides of guitar and moody vocals make for an absorbing track."

The Loving Memory are another Grimsby band formed by Sam Simmons who performed an outstanding solo acoustic set at the Ralph's Life gig in Camden last year. 

Currently working on their first single Ralph's prediction is they're going to go on to bigger and better things whilst producing their self-proclaimed 'ethereal noise'.

The Fireflys are a highly acclaimed Runcorn band whose musical back catalogue has long been popular with Ralph's Life. Lee and Adele from the band will be performing an acoustic set which will include their recently released single Branches.

Focusing nowadays on their consumate brand of Indie Americana they've honed their music to a very fine point and are popular both locally and beyond. With a hometown gig coming up soon Ralph's glad they've found time to join him in Manchester!

The Mantells are a three piece Indie band from Manchester who have featured regularly on Ralph's Show on Radio KC thanks to their infectious brand of Alt Indie.

Their critically acclaimed debut single went straight into the iTunes Alt Chart and they've not looked back since. Thei new single Payday Playboys is released in June and they have some top gigs upcoming including the the BL9 Music Weekender which features among others The Happy Mondays and Razorlight.

Sixty Minute Man are another Manchester band that are making quite a name for themselves on the local live scene as well as some heavy radio plays.

They're a six-piece Alt Rock outfit that are just launching a new EP and will be playing the highly recommended Blackthorn Festival this year on the SOTN Stage.

The Jade Assembly from Bolton have just released a new single and are gigging fervently to appease 'The Jade Army', including a couple of the local Festivals.Their brand of guitar driven Indie is causing quite a stir in the North West, so it's great to have them on board for Ralphstock. 

Deja Vega are again from Manchester and making no small impact on that city's music scene. Described by Louder Than War as - "Manchester's best kept secret." - they're gigging relentlesly and Ralph's delighted that they've agreed to join the Night & Day line-up.

Ralph's Spinning one of their track Fun Time Jack on this Sunday's Indie Show on Radio KC.

Great Reckoning are a 5 piece Indie Rock band from Tyldesley that take no prisoners with their heavy guitar-based sound. Regulars on the Ralph's Life Indie Show on Radio KC this will be Ralph's first chance to catch their high-powered live performance. 

Culann from the West Coast of Scotland are no strangers to Ralph's Life featuring regulary on his Radio KC Sunday Show and coming all the way down to London to play at the Proud Camden charity gig for Rethink Mental Illness.

They won the Scottish Alternative Music Award Best Rock/Alternative category in 2013 and are high energy performers on stage. One not to be missed!

Duke and The Darlings are big favourites in Manchester's musical world and regularly perform sell-out shows. Their addictive brand of Alternative Indie Pop makes them a huge favourite with their 'Darlings' and Ralph's Life alike.

Such is the regard that Ralph holds them in they're the Ralphstock headliners!

So there you have it, a whole day of the best in UK Indie in Manchester and you can buy your tickets at the Early Bird price right now from the link below or the website - but be quick!

Come along and say hiya to Ralph!

Ticket Information

Early Bird100 Tickets23 Aug 2015£8.00£1.13

Saturday 25 April 2015

Ralph's Top 10 Blogged Band Chart - 25.4.15

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 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.  

The Top Ten Blogged Band Chart is played every Sunday 5-7pm on Radio KC as part of Ralph's Indie Show.

No 1...Officer

The Myriads album is being produced thanks to the love and generosity of Officer's friends as they crowd funded enough cash from his loyal fan-base who were desperate to have a physical copy of the tracks they loved from his live performances.

Both track and video are deliciously dark, atmospheric and well crafted. The video takes you on a soul-searching introspective journey as Officer (aka DC Logan) makes you feel his pain. You can experience it right here on Ralph's Life and it'll be played on Radio KC from this week.

There seems to be a trend just now for bands to lean on the influences of the 80's whilst bringing to that era a modern twist and very much at the forefront of that is Saint Albans band The Vaulted Skies.

The Strange EP, released recently is a concoction of mean and moody vocals over swirling guitars and orchestral synths.

No 3...1000 Mexicans

Why Do We Take This?

If you've reformed a band that nearly made it in the 80's what's new that you can bring to the table now? In 1000 Mexicans case it's quality grown up music like their new single Why Do We Take This. Ralph's already given it a spin on his Radio KC Indie Show.

With a name like Electric Discharge Machine it's no surprise that this young London band have a psychedelic feel to their extremely impressive musical soundscape. Their single Declaration Of War from their recently released EP is a flashback to the late 60's with a modern twist. It's Rock 'n' Roll Jim but not as we know it.

Electric Discharge Machine share their time between London and Paris gigging relentlessly so it's quite apt that Ralph's giving Declaration Of War a spin on his Paris based UK Indie Show on Radio KC this coming Sunday.

No 5...Kidsmoke

The last time Ralph had a sniff at Manchester based Kidsmoke was on the release of their debut EP Higher back in September of 2013. Well at the time I was hooked by their infectious 80's guitar and remain so with the advent of The Reason I Jump, just released as a single from the up-coming EP So Long, Emptiness.

No 6...Blair Jollands

Ralph's not averse to a bit of mean and moody vocalising and he's found it in spades with the release of the four track EP Stars Will Descend by Blair Jollands

New Zealand born and now based in London, Blair's style has been previously compared to Nick Cave or Rufus Wainright and I'm getting shades of a funky Leonard Cohen. 

No 7 ...The Phantom Sound

Working on a debut album, The Phantom Sound aka Californian born (now living in London) Marisa Schlussel strives to create honest, powerful and emotional songs, drawing on diverse influences from the late 70's and 80's including BowieBlondieThe Ramones and Duran Duran and giving them a contemporary feel.

Ralph's played Halifax based Glass Harbours on his Radio KC Indie Show recently so it was about time he introduced their self-financed EP release History Trails via the blog.

Drawing on influences like Shellac and Slint they've created two stylish Math Rocky instrumentals which will be available for download on May 5th.

No 9...The Clear

Now you know Ralph's a fan of unsigned Indie and that's mainly all he writes about. However he does indulge himself now and again when a truly classic piece of songwriting finds it's way into the kennel.

Sheffield's The Clear and their latest single America which is fresh, yet nostalgic and beautifully channels classic West Coast Pop is just such an example. 

No 10...Kynchinlay

dark age cover art

The last time I wrote about Liverpool band Kynchinlay was last year on the release of their Drink Me EP when I 'accused' them of sounding like SAHB (no bad thing says I) and exploring their darker side.  Well these post punkers have released another five track EP and it's no surprise that it's called Dark Age.