Saturday 29 August 2015

Ralph's Top 10 Blogged Band Chart - 29.8.15

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 .....


Follow Ralph's Life Indie Music Blog on Pinterest.

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

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

It's not often Ralph veers off the track from reviewing unsigned indie bands, however a recent road-trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to see Puddles Pity Party is as good an excuse as any to buck the often do you get the chance to see a seven foot clown that doesn't talk, has the voice of a proverbial angel, makes people laugh then cry then laugh again and likes dogs!

No 2...Zurich

Oxford based Zurich have just released their eagerly awaited debut EP Small Wars and Ralph was quick to give the single release from it, Alone a spin on his Radio KC Indie Show recently. 

They're described as post-punk with more than a smattering of eighties electro, which I feel they've managed to give a fresh twist.

No 3...Officer

The last time Ralph's keyboard vibrated as he listened to the sounds of London singer/songwriter Officer was when he was bringing news of his then forthcoming album Myriads whilst listening to Glass Ceiling which had just been released as a single back in March. 

No 4...Mog Stanley

ROLAND cover artIt's been a while since Ralph checked out smooth indie blues man Mog Stanley (three years) and in that time he's been slowly but very surely composing an album of his unique bloozy styled tunes and he's called it Roland.

Preston based and armed with only a vintage guitar and home-made percussion box to keep him company, Mog Stanley uses an old-school, DIY set-up to stand out like the proverbial sore thumb with his catchy blues-fuelled and melody driven songs.

Ralph's been spinning tracks on his Radio KC Indie Show recently by Blackburn band New York Tourists who interestingly described as QOTSA meets Foals.

Their debut EP received rave reviews from some of the UK's most respected music media outlets and Chew Me Up, Spit Me Out was selected as one of BBC Intro's top 10 tracks of 2013. 

Third in the mean and moody male vocalists Ralph's been checking out this week is Liverpool singer/songwriter Tony Steele who has returned to music with a new single Starting From Scratch, released on September 25th and showcasing a stripped down folk/rock sound.

Session musicians Charlie Landsborough Jnr, Laura Mackinlay, Peter MacParland and Grant Walker complete the line up of his band Tony Steele and The Massacre.

No 7... Vukovar

EMPEROR cover artRalph's ideally placed to find out what's happening musically in St Helens and a quick trip to Kaleidescope Records on Westfield Street proved to be worthwhile as local band Vukovar have produced a gem in the shape of their recently released album Emperor on Small Bear Records.

I may have invented the phrase Bleak Pop just for Emperor as it lays it's foundations in all that's good from the likes of Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground to The Fall and Joy Division

It's been a while in the making, but well worth it. Hull four piece and long-time Ralph's Life favourites The Holy Orders have released a new single on the indie Mono Sound Records and it's a corker.

Recorded at Mountain Sound Recording Studio in Hull with Patrick Tobin and mixed by Mark Osborne-LawnThe Deuce Of Hearts sees The Holy Orders taking their uncompromising guitar sound into new territory.

No 9...Cfit

Following the release of debut album, Triage and three singles Cfit are releasing Throwaway Survival Machine, an album that kicks off with the delightfully dreamy, moodily meloncholic and absolutely anthemic Salvo which trips into the Dream Poppy Dust Silhouettes.

If you've been following Ralph these last three years you'll know he's been a fan of Scottish band Vukovi as they've slowly but surely pushed their way to the forefront of the UK Indie scene. 

Well Ralph's tipping Manchester band False Advertising who have a similar feel to do exactly the same as they release their eponymous debut album. 

Thursday 27 August 2015

False Advertising

If you've been following Ralph these last three years you'll know he's been a fan of Scottish band Vukovi as they've slowly but surely pushed their way to the forefront of the UK Indie scene. 

Well Ralph's tipping Manchester band False Advertising who have a similar feel to do exactly the same as they release their eponymous debut album. 

It's brash, grungy, in your face, powerful, angsty and well crafted. From the first jangly chords of Breaker to the climax of the burgeoning Something Better they bring a power and intensity to the listener.

Whilst Jen's on-stage presence may not match the intensity of Vukovi's Janine Shilstone (few can) her vocal is no less impressive and just as addictive.

She's ably backed by the musicality of her cohorts especially on the pacy Dozer which is being released by False Advertising as a single this week.

Describing themselves as 'raw, gritty, sassy and ambitious', False Advertising release their self-titled debut on the 4th of September. They describe it as - 'an audaciously loud album loaded with dirty riffs, oozing grunge from every pore and crackling with an electrifying fuzz primed to set your hair on end'.

Having spent years behind the scenes working with a rich array of talent from the Northwest and beyond, the band have been absorbing the industry from the inside, biding their time and standing poised ready to strike the city with a very different type of rock’n’roll than it has become accustomed to.

At False Advertising’s core runs an integral songwriting relationship between vocalists Jen Hingley and Chris Warr that sparks the band’s creativity and surges their will power. Friends for years, the pair bonded through playing separately, then together on Manchester’s open mic circuit. 

Jen found her songwriting confidence in mid 2013, which marked the start of what would eventually become False Advertising. Fuzzy demos recorded in her studio flat sent back and forth to Chris began to establish a creative partnership fuelling a prolific output from both.

Alternating guitar and drumming duties and switching their line-up on a song-by-song basis, the duality of Hingley and Warr breeds a dynamic versatility that pronounces itself in the vibrant songcraft on the album from its bristling beginnings to its seismic finale.

Over the years, the pair have garnered experience from all facets of the industry they wish to conquer. Warr as a producer (The Orielles), Hingley as a digital designer (Royal Blood, Rolling Stones, The Clash). The fusion of this creative experience has provided False Advertising with enviable DIY credentials.

19th Sep 2015



Main support for JolangaBUY TICKETS
30th Sep 2015



w/ Odd Rival and Moonwreck
17th Oct 2015



18th Oct 2015



21st Nov 2015



Supporting The Hyena Kill

Wednesday 26 August 2015


In a list of bands with opaque names Dublin outfit Cfit are certainly in the Top 10. Formed in the bedrooms and homemade studios of that fair city they've developed into a very assured group who; in their words, produce 'an ornate collection of woozy, bruised and meloncholy anthems'.

Following the release of debut album, Triage and three singles Cfit are releasing Throwaway Survival Machine, an album that kicks off with the delightfully dreamy, moodily meloncholic and absolutely anthemic Salvo which trips into the Dream Poppy Dust Silhouettes.

Don't Be Discouraged on the other hand starts like Public Service Broadcasting before the chant-like vocal and underlying addictive drum beat veer off into the late lamented Wolf Parade type territory. 

Whilst Cfit draw on various influences they're fusing them into their own very individual sound.

Apres Moi, La Deluge is evocative and haunting in the style of many a classic Blue Nile track and it's ably followed by the orchestral Toska and All That Is Solid Melts Into Air.

The Lack Of Shark and Vitamin C are baleful and brooding before Tell Me I'm Okay sees a return to their familiar and obviously well loved roots. Throwaway Survival Machine is more grown up than Triage as Cfit look to have found their rightful place in the musical firmament. Needless to say Ralph will be giving them a further spin on his Radio KC Indie Show.



Tuesday 25 August 2015

New York Tourists

Ralph's been spinning tracks on his Radio KC Indie Show on a regular basis by Blackburn band New York Tourists who interestingly described as QOTSA meets Foals.

Their debut EP received rave reviews from some of the UK's most respected music media outlets and Chew Me Up, Spit Me Out was selected as one of BBC Intro's top 10 tracks of 2013. Hugely coveted support slots followed, with the band bagging appearances alongside the likes of The Subways, The View, The Sunshine Underground and The Buzzcocks plus a headline slot on the Alt Stage at Blackburn Festival.

2014 saw New York Tourists release their next record, an EP called Dead Man's Leather via London based label Kittiwake Records. Again, noteable support slots followed with the band playing alongside We Are Scientists, The Cribs and Shed 7.

Earlier this year New York Tourists began recording their debut album which was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign. In June they played their biggest gig to date in front of 12,000 people as the main support to Status Quo.

Well the good news is the kickstarter was successful and the You + Me album will be officially released on April 8th.

The You + Me album is composed of 10 tracks of varying degrees of anthemic Indie rock music which should seem them propelled from the local North West music scene to the headier hights of regular national radio play and the bigger festivals in 2017.

Speaking of anthemic Indie music, the album kicks of with the impressive and addictive Colours before moving into the choppier and more pop-like Fear. Following on Fools gets meaner and moodier, with a gritty vocal overlaid on driving guitar, what's not to like. 

It's Call after that with a dirty bass and sleazy vocal which made it a perfect pick as a single previously. Then Adrenaline kicks in before getting heavier again with Two Heartbeats.  It's the eponymous and aggressive You + Me after that, and it's got to be a live favourite.

On an album of continually strong tracks Lost Love is for me the weakest, but that's me being picky and it's OK as they quickly step it up a gear with the in-your-face A Kick In The Teeth before rounding off with the dreamy and extremely radio-friendly Sirens

With this album Blackburn's favourite sons New York Tourists are making themselves heard and certainly not to be missed live. Speaking of which, check out their gig listings below...

New York Tourists Live Dates:

27th March - White Bull Festival, Chorley

2nd April - King Georges Hall, Blackburn

8th April - Jakaranda, Liverpool

15th April - Box, Glasgow

16th April - The Blacksmith Arms,Doncaster

23rd April - Engine Rooms, Skelmersdale

29th April - Blind Tiger, Bolton

29th May- Darwen Live, Darwen Library Theatre

30th May - Darwen Live, The Belgrave

22nd - 24th July - Blackthorn Music Festival

29th July - Kendal Calling Festival

Monday 24 August 2015

Lynn Gerrard Live Review - Darkness & Decadence

Ralph sent his roving reporter Ella Godbold-Holmes off to Nexus Arts Cafe to review the Greater Manchester Fringe debut by spoken word poet and writer Lynn Gerrard. The show is a mix of comedy and poetry from her new book Darkness and Decadence.

It's the first of a four book deal with London's Wallace Publishing, the remaining three books to be released over a four year period.

The exciting thing about Lynn Gerrard's unique work is her ability to bring her words to life in her one woman shows. Next year she intends to expand on her performances taking in some of the other Fringe Festivals throughout the country as well as working on a play and a novel!

Darkness and Decadence - A review by Ella Godbold-Holmes

On Friday 24th July, I had the pleasure of being in the audience whilst filming Lynn Gerrard's poetry reading at the Nexus Cafe. It's an art cafe located in Manchester, and was the perfect venue for this comedic yet deep genre of poetry. As I entered the setting, I was greeted with a sense of warmth and friendliness, reinforced by the fact that Lynn herself was sat in the cafe, talking to her family members and the sound technician. 

As the cafe closed it's business and audience members began to file in, we realised the variety of people who had come to listen to her. Ranging from an older couple to a boy of about 13, the age difference in the audience would generally have affected the pieces read by the poet. But not with Lynn, which had not only a positive affect on the audience, but helped us view her pieces with a genuine air, as we knew it had not been censored for the audience.

Lynn with Elijah Blackmore and Ella Godbold-Holmes 
Lynn Gerrard read poems from her book whilst throwing in anecdotes of her family and life, giving reasons behind the poems and comedy to relieve any dark themes in the pieces. This constant stream of audience interaction and humour made for a comfortable atmosphere during her poetry reading, something which I found unique out of the poetry readings I had been to in the past. 

The first poem she read was entitled The Lovers and gave us a unique view of romance, as we listen to the relationship between Alice and Martin as it develops and eventually tumbles. The quick rhyme and sharp insults directed towards Martin give this generally angst filled theme a humorous twist, allowing us to see the comedic side of an altogether negative breakup. 

Lynn carried on with this theme, of taking negative situations and giving them a comedic twist, all whilst interjecting with anecdotes of her humorous family members.

One of the most memorable poems was Filth which began with many clich├ęs which people have come to expect from dirty poetry. 

Words such as 'member', emphasised the sexual nature of this poem. As I looked around the audience, I could see the second-hand embarrassment and, in some cases, fear on the faces of some of the people there, especially for the two teenage boys sat next to me. 

Therefore, it was clear to me that none of us expected the hilarious twist at the end, stating that it was not, as you'd expect, a dirty poem, but a poem about a dirty task. 

The relief and humour was clear for everyone in the audience, as Lynn Gerrard once again stimulates a variety of responses from her audience, the overwhelming one being awe at this woman's writing.

The night was wrapped up perfectly as she thanked the audience for staying and listening to her, staying behind to sell and sign copies of her book and get a picture with a few of the audience members, including myself. After this evening, I think it's safe to say that I not only feel privileged for the opportunity to film this performance, but for the fact that I got to meet such a talented poet. I would definitely recommend seeing one of her shows or buying her book!

Reviewed by Ella Godbold-Holmes

Photographs by Elijah Blackmore