Sophia Marshall “Bye Bye” (Independent, 2017)

Following on from her solo debut EP last year comes a full album from Leicester’s Sophia Marshall, once half of the much missed Havenots.  It’s a slender little thing, with nine songs clocking in at a tad over thirty minutes but there’s much to like and indeed love.  All are Marshall originals bar Losing You, co-written with former Havenots partner Liam Dullaghan and it’s a little ironic that it’s the co-write that is the least successful piece here.  It’s catchy, poppy and boasts a great tune but just doesn’t quite seem to be Marshall in the way that the other songs are and some of the higher notes are somewhat strained. Continue reading “Sophia Marshall “Bye Bye” (Independent, 2017)”

Cameron Blake “Fear Not” (Independent 2107)

This is a very thoughtful and in some respects mystical album from Cameron Blake a classically trained music scholar now resident in Michigan. The album consists of twelve songs all written by Blake who is also the co-producer here. The tracks cover a wide subject range and lyrics are clever and sensitive. The album kicks off with the title track Fear Not featuring Blake on piano with viola, cello and upright bass accompaniment and strings. A love song of sorts the song is finished with choir backing the classical training of the artist clearly coming through. Continue reading “Cameron Blake “Fear Not” (Independent 2107)”

The Travelling Band “Sails” (Sideways Saloon Records, 2017)

First off, it’s nice to have a vinyl release to review. Vinyl has a warmer sound and a better tonal range than CDs or downloads, so it’s nice to hear a band making the most of the format. It’s a good quality pressing too and on white vinyl – very stylish. Of course, it doesn’t matter how stylish or upmarket the format is – it’s the music that matters and Mancunian rockers, The Travelling Band, serve up an extremely good selection of music on this album. Continue reading “The Travelling Band “Sails” (Sideways Saloon Records, 2017)”

Steve Grozier “A Place We Called Home” (1232 Records)

Steve Grozier hails from Glasgow and this is his second EP offering which has four tracks all dealing with love and loss in various forms. He wrote or co-wrote all the tracks on this CD which kicks off with the rocking Where The Roses Grow a brooding piece alluding to lost love and dreams. This is followed by The Hardest Thing a deceptively tragic song with intelligent lyrics delivered with an easy vocal. Continue reading “Steve Grozier “A Place We Called Home” (1232 Records)”

Heather Lynne Horton + Michael McDermott, Water Rats, London, 25th September 2017

“If you’d told me ten years ago, that I would put a song on one of my records about my kid, I would have thrown up!” was how Michael McDermott introduced his song ‘Willie Rain’, about the daughter that he and Heather Lynne Horton so obviously adore more than anything on earth, even each other; and that’s saying something, as the love and affection they have for one another is sooo evident from the way they relate to each other onstage. Continue reading “Heather Lynne Horton + Michael McDermott, Water Rats, London, 25th September 2017”

Daniel Wylie’s Cosmic Rough Riders “Scenery For Dreamers” (You Are The Cosmos, 2017)

There’s a track on this fabulously rocking album that reminds me of the day I went round to Crusty Nick’s house to get my piercings done. Before you could say abracadabra, he’d installed an Apadravya and a Prince Albert, (as a tribute to the great man, after watching the TV series Victoria), plus the obligatory nipple rings, with a length of chain connecting the two. Nick said “you’ll be the jingle jangle man when I’m finished with ya’.” He wasn’t wrong. So when Daniel Wylie asks ‘Where is the jingle jangle morning?’ on the Neil Young-meets-the-Flaming-Groovies-on-a-wild-night-out sounding ‘Jingle Jangle Morning’, I can tell him: right here, mate. Every bleeding morning there’s a jingle jangle now. Or at least there will be after I get the chain untangled from my chest hair. Continue reading “Daniel Wylie’s Cosmic Rough Riders “Scenery For Dreamers” (You Are The Cosmos, 2017)”

Blue Rose Code “The Water Of Leith” (Navigator Records, 2017)

It has to be owned that after seeing Blue Rose Code deliver a live show a few years ago that could generously be described as lacklustre this reviewer has taken absolutely no interest in his music since.  Which on the evidence of this album would appear to be a massive mistake as “The Water Of Leith” is a work laden with beauty, possessed of depth, heart and soul and sounds simply gorgeous. Continue reading “Blue Rose Code “The Water Of Leith” (Navigator Records, 2017)”