Eric Ambel “Lakeside” (Last Chance Records / At The Helm Records, 2017)

Serial collaborator and producer Eric Ambel returns with his first solo record in over a decade. “Lakeside”, supposedly named after Ambel’s favourite former boozer, delivers ten tracks that would feel right at home in any dive where the floorboards are seasoned with spilled beer and the pool tables’ resale value ruined by cigarette damage. Continue reading “Eric Ambel “Lakeside” (Last Chance Records / At The Helm Records, 2017)”

Tildon Krautz bring their “Anti-rational Rabbit Folk” to the UK in June

The ever so slightly eccentric Tildon Krautz, a French based band who offer bluegrass, folk, jazz and blues all wrapped up (on their albums) in homemade collages and artwork that one reviewer likened to “Hieronymous Bosch meets Monty Python in Yellow Submarine land,” embark on a lengthy schedule of intimate shows starting on June 7th. Americana UK rated their 2014 album, No. 2 or Blumen Schmarren, 8/10 commenting that band leader Gregg Weiss “manages to write songs that sound as old as the hills.” Continue reading “Tildon Krautz bring their “Anti-rational Rabbit Folk” to the UK in June”

Dirty Dozen: Chloe Foy

Chloe Foy has previously been likened to such artists as Julien Baker, Laura Marling and Sharon Van Etten. Her songs are imbued with lyrical and textural inflexions evocative of much of the music she loves – taking inspiration as much from neo-classical music as much as wider trends within indie-rock, Chloe’s new EP comprises carefully constructed arrangements that delicately compliment her cryptic lyrics. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Chloe Foy”

Morton Valence “Europa” (Bastard Recordings, 2017)

Were it not for the declaration on the album cover that “millions of us…consider ourselves as both citizens of the UK and Europe” Morton Valence’s latest release would represent the subtlest political album you’re ever likely to encounter. At first glance it’s a collection of multi-lingual cover versions, capped off with a reworking of the band’s own Sailors’ Return. Look a little closer and there’s a subliminal message here : je suis venu te dire que je m’en vais takes Serge Gainsbourg’s song and makes of it a lament for the EU Referendum vote, following it up with a crackling Weimer republic version of Wenn ich mir was wunschen durfte that hammers home the message. Continue reading “Morton Valence “Europa” (Bastard Recordings, 2017)”

Joe Purdy has something to sing about.

It is often said that hard times, or difficult times, bring forth the best music. You know – Woody and the Dust Bowl, the Civil Rights Movement and Dylan, Thatcherism and Bucks Fizz. Or should that be Billy Bragg? Anyway, that kind of thing. It does sometimes make one pause and wonder if the hard times are worth going through just to get the music, but then if they’re unavoidable at least having someone who’ll stand up and be counted, point a few fingers and tell a few home truths makes them a little easier to take. The craziness of the last couple of years has thrown up more than a few protest singers worth the name, but none more worthy than Joe Purdy. Continue reading “Joe Purdy has something to sing about.”