ANNOUNCE FINAL NAMES FOR 2023 EDITION
TAKING PLACE ACROSS CARDIFF – OCT 20th-22nd
49 NEW ACTS ANNOUNCED INCLUDE:
THE UTOPIA STRONG
JOINING THE LIKES OF:
THE LAST DINNER PARTY, PIGSx7, SKINNY PELEMBE, BILL RYDER-JONES, MANDY INDIANA, BC CAMPLIGHT, DIVORCE, OPUS KINK, JESSICA WINTER, LYNKS, ETHAN P FLYNN, WESTERMAN & MOREDAY TICKETS + FINAL TIER WEEKEND TICKETS
https://swnfest.com/“There’s something for everyone at this charming festival – the only problem is deciding who to watch.” – The Guardian, 4/5
“Sŵn Festival is setting the benchmark for festival line-ups and really hammers in a ‘no more excuses’ approach when it comes to diversity on line-ups… A perfectly run event, glued together by beautiful, kind and community-driven people.” – Clash
Hot off the heels of the successes of its 2022 edition – and the announcement of their 20 For 23 highlighted artists earlier this year – Sŵn Festival today shares the latest and final batch of additions to complete the line-up for this year’s event, taking place across multiple venues in Cardiff from October 20th-22nd. An unmissable highlight of the live calendar, the award-winning tastemaker festival once again returns with a jam-packed bill full of established and upcoming artists, a celebration of the diverse, exciting nature of both British and Welsh music and beyond. It promises to be another year of nurturing the best local, national and international artists and offering a platform to bigger and better things.
Bringing the kitchen-sink realism of working-class life on the Isle of Dogs to the Welsh Capital is Hak Baker. The East London troubadour, with his street-level stories and confessionals of youthful nihilism and male vulnerability, has been described by Vice as “subverting what a British folk singer can be“. A vital, inimitable voice for those often denied one, Baker’s set promises to be a life-affirming wonder brought to you from the edge of armageddon.
Making a colossal entrance into the music scene – and what will be an even greater entrance into the streets of Cardiff – is the widely-lauded Picture Parlour. Observing their ravenously watchable live set that is fast becoming one of the hottest tickets in their native London, you might wonder if you’ve found yourself back in July 1976 awaiting a neo-noir screening. Be prepared for an interlude of mini motion pictures that vow to lure audiences with the lyrics of a born thespian, accompanied by a generous dose of spellbinding guitar and sleazy bass lines.Joining them for this year’s line-up is Acid Klaus, the moniker of cultural agitator and electronic innovator Adrian Flanagan – the man behind the curtain of The Moonlandingz and Eccentronic Research Council, and many more trailblazing sounds born from the North of England. Acid Klaus’ performance celebrates the “conceptual, alter ego-driven spectacular” (Loud and Quiet) that is his second album, Step On My Travelator: The Imagined Career Trajectory of Superstar DJ & Dance-Pop Producer, Melvin Harris. It’s a phenomenal vortex of excess, hedonism and vampires of clubland culture, and in Cardiff it all awaits you.
A firm favourite on the festival circuit across the UK and Europe, London quartet Flamingods are in town bringing with them their distinctive take on psychedelia, new wave, electronica and punk, blending in influences from their unique cultural heritages and a shared penchant for 70s British rock ‘n’ roll. As The Guardian aptly put it when writing about them recently: “prepare to be bombarded with bliss!”
William Doyle, fka East India Youth, comes to town with one of the most critically acclaimed back catalogues of the last decade in his pocket. From his 2014 Mercury-nominated debut album, Total Strife Forever, right through to his 2021 art-pop masterpiece Great Spans of Muddy Time, Doyle has been one of the most innovative sonic auteurs in British music in recent memory. Expect a suitably wondrous set from him in Cardiff.
Immensely charming, folk-tinged sextet – and recent Heavenly signings – Tapir! join in the festivities and promise to bring a touch of whimsy to proceedings, while LA’s Zzzahara – a frequent collaborator with Eyedress – will scratch the itch for anyone in need of reverb-laced break-up bangers. In the mood for some grunge-tinged dynamism? Brighton trio Our Girl have you covered. Psychedelic, motorik meanderings that clash with techno-tinged beats? You’ll be wanting to catch the inimitable The Utopia Strong. Alt-pop full of hefty guitar lines and infectious RnB energy, that’s as influenced by Fugazi as it is Frank Ocean? Rising Speedy Wunderground artist Viji might just be the one for you.
Today’s additions join an already jam-packed line-up that includes the abundantly hyped The Last Dinner Party, the one-man maelstrom that is Skinny Pelembe, British indie treasure Bill Ryder-Jones, brutally abrasive post-punk noire crew Mandy, Indiana, Manchester-via-New-Jersey auteur BC Camplight, filth-funk merchants Opus Kink, explorative Turkish-Sri Lankan experimental pop game-changer BODUR, Nottingham indie heavyweights and new Gravity/EMI signees Divorce, futuristic rock ‘n’ roll quintet Fat Dog, Dutch singer-songwriter Pip Blom, YALA! mainstay and much-loved indie staple Willie J Healey, and London mutant disco meets post-punk trio MADMADMAD.
Earlier this year, the festival announced their 20 For 23, in which Sŵn highlighted a selection of the country’s most promising newcomers in its first line-up reveal of the year.
Artists announced as part of 20 For 23 included pop disruptor Jessica Winter who crafts a world of gothic, dance-driven cabaret, the near-mythical Lynks whose your hook-up for ear-splitting bass with a queer punk ethos, subversive alt-pop visionary Ethan P. Flynn and the ever-fascinating Westerman, as well as hotly-tipped local talent including the romantic, driving post-punk of Slate and ascendant rapper Luke RV, a real gem at the centre of Wales’ burgeoning hip-hop scene.Speaking on the latest batch of names to join the 2023 edition of the festival, Sŵn head of music Adam Williams shares: “One thing that makes Sŵn so special and exciting to us is that we’re able to book the artists across the course of a full year. It means by wave three the focus is on those artists who have emerged in the past few months leading up to the festival like Viji, Picture Parlour, Trout and Flip Top Head. We also welcome better-known artists like Our Girl who make their long-awaited Sŵn Festival debut.”Keep your eyes peeled for more from Sŵn Festival as October approaches, but for now head to swnfest.com for more information and ticket pricing options. From today, single day tickets as well as two-day ticket bundles are available at the following prices: Friday – £20, Saturday – £40, Sunday – £30, Friday + Saturday – £55, Saturday + Sunday – £65. Early bird and tier one weekend tickets sold out before a single artist was announced, with tier two weekend tickets still on-sale.
Sŵn Festival is an award-winning multi-venue music festival based entirely in Cardiff’s city centre, which has been running since 2007. Since its inception, the festival has been focused on new music, emerging artists and homegrown acts.
Sŵn Festival – 2023 line-up (so far):Acid Klaus | Alaw | Alffa | Ani Glass | Artshawty | Baba Ali | Babymorocco | Banshi | BC Camplight | Bill Ryder-Jones | BODUR | Bonny Doon | Butch Kassidy | Car Boot Sale | CATTY | Cerys Hafana | Chilli Jesson | CHROMA | Cloth | Corella | Conchúr White | Crimewave | DasRADIAL | Death Cult Electric | Divorce | Elanor Moss | Ella Lockert | Ellur | Esther | Ethan P. Flynn | The Family Battenberg | Fat Dog | Ffenest | Flamingods | Flip Top Head | Frozemode | Getdown Services | Gillie | Grey FLX | Gwcci | Hak Baker | Half Happy | Hands Off | Hemes | Hex Girlfriend | Honesty | Hyll | The Itch | Jack Valero | Jasmine Jethwa | Jessica Winter | KEG | Lande Hekt | The Last Dinner Party | Living Body | Los Blancos | Luke RV | Lynks | MADMADMAD | Magugu | Malgola, No | Mandy, Indiana | Maria Uzor | Max Rad | Mercy Rose | Mickey Callisto | Minas | Moin | Monet | Morgan Harper-Jones | Murder Club | Muriel | The New Eves | New Wave Sound.Ent | Nookee | O. | Opus Kink | Oscar Browne | Oslo Twins | Our Girl | Pale Blue Eyes | Parisa Fouladi | Picture Parlour | Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs | Pip Blom | Rosie Alena | Safari Gold | Sage Todz | Salti | Shelf Lives | The Shunkos | Skinny Pelembe | Saloon Dion | Slaney Bay | Slate | Sleep Outside | Sophie Jamieson | Tapir! | Thord1s | Tiny Camels | Treeboy & Arc | Trout | The Tubs | TVAM | Twst | The Utopia Strong | Vanity Fairy | Viji | Waterpistol | Westerman | William Doyle | William The Conqueror | Willie J Healey | Y Dail | Ziyad Al-Samman | Zzzahara
MAD MACKA OF THE COSMIC PSYCHOS & THE ONYAS AND LOS ANGELES ROCK’N’ROLL/PUNK LEGEND PAT TODD OF PAT TODD & THE RANKOUTSIDERS AND THE LAZY COWGIRLS TO JOIN FORCES FOR ACOUSTIC DATES IN AUSTRALIA
ANNOUNCEMENT FOLLOWS THE NEWS THAT PAT TODD WOULD APPEAR AT RIVER ROCKS FESTIVAL IN GEELONG IN NOVEMBER AND THE COSMIC PSYCHOS‘ 40TH ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND IN CASTLEMAINE IN DECEMBER
NEW PAT TODD & THE RANKOUTSIDERS New single “ALL WE HAVE TO SHOW” OUT NOW, is taken from the forthcoming new album ‘Sons Of The City Ditch’ , OUT OCTOBER 13 ON DOG MEAT RECORDS
“Pat Todd is a true American Original. Raw, real and passionate – that’s what I think of when I hear the name, Pat Todd.” – Eddie Spaghetti, The Supersuckers
“Pat Todd is the most sincere Rock ‘n’ Roll singer/songwriter on the planet. He makes the rest of us look like a bunch of fakers.” – Blaine Cartwright, Nashville Pussy/Nine Pound Hammer
“So many great songs, so many great records, so many great gigs… PAT TODD is and always was, a rock’n’roll LIFER.” – Mad Macka, Cosmic Psychos, Onyas etc
PAT TODD & THE RANKOUTSIDERS’ SONS OF THE CITY DITCH IS OUT OCTOBER 13 ON DOG MEAT RECORDS. IT WILL BE RELEASED ON LP (BLACK VINYL & LTD ED RED VINYL), CD, AND DIGITALLY.
PAT TODD & MAD MACKA ON TOUR
Sun Nov 19 – Volta, Ballarat, Vic / Facebook Event / Tickets (Pat Todd Only)
Tue Nov 21 – Morts Brewing Co, Nambour, Qld / Facebook Event / Tickets
Wed Nov 22 – Foxy’s on Coolum, Qld / Facebook Event / Tickets
Thu Nov 23 – King Lears, Fortitude Valley, Qld / Facebook Event / Tickets
Fri Nov 24 – The Metro, Adelaide SA / Facebook Event / Tickets
Sat Nov 25 – Golden Barley Hotel, Enmore NSW / Facebook Event / FREE SHOW
Sat Nov 26 – Link and Pin, Woy Woy, NSW / Facebook Event / FREE SHOW
Wed Nov 29 – Merri Creek Tavern, Northcote, VIC / Facebook Event / Tickets
The new PAT TODD & THE RANKOUTSIDERS’ album Sons of the City Ditch is highlighted as usual by Pat Todd’s fantastic songs. A prolific writer with an eye on life in the margins – whether they be in small towns or the big sprawling city he has called home for 40 years – Todd routinely hits the mark where youth and the advancement of age find common ground in alienation and willfulness. Pat knows that rock’n’roll is not necessarily a young person’s game, and nor is it a glamorous one; the name he gave this band accurately points to where he and they are coming from. New originals like the new single ‘All We Have To Show’, the horn-riffing rocker ‘Living In A World of Hurt’ and the raucous country-folk punker ‘Goodbye to the World’ are up there with anything he has ever written. And the band is a powerhouse – their strengths are evident in the way they handle choice covers of JEFF BECK’s 1967 hit ‘HI HO SILVER LINING’ and DAVID JOHANSEN’s 1978 heartbreaker ‘DONNA’.
PAT TODD will be touring Australia solo, appearing at Geelong’s River Rocks Festival and at the Cosmic Psychos 40th anniversary weekender in Castlemaine, and in a double-bill with MAD MACKA from The Cosmic Psychos and The Onyas in November and December 2023.
Right at the top of their powers, Slade were a formidable live Rock n Roll band and one you most certainly wouldn’t want to follow on stage at a festival, like, Reading when it used to be a proper festival mixing styles and nationalities it certainly turned in some iconic performances throughout its original incarnation and one I can certainly remember reading about and hearing was Slades appearance.
Released on splatter vinyl, fans who’ve been paying attention will notice its another beauty and the sleeve is worth the price alone, absolutely outstanding picture that captures a Rock and Roll band in full flight and a dazzling spectacle of the times. Slade were unstoppable throughout the seventies becoming one of Europe’s biggest bands let alone the UK, releasing six smash hit albums, including three UK No-1, a run of 17 consecutive Top 20 singles which is an outstanding achievement that often gets overlooked.
This was first released on CD in the 2022 boxset ‘All the World Is A Stage’, The bands legendary 1980 performance at Reading festival and includes some of those smash hits like the anthemic ‘Cum On Feel The Noise’, ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’, ‘Get Down and Get With It’ and ‘Born to Be Wild’ closes an absolute barnstorming performance along with ‘the racaus ‘When I’m Dancing I Ain’t Fighting’.
I love the banter and Noddys Brummie drawl as he introduces songs like ‘Wheels Ain’t Coming Down’. The frenzied medley of ‘Something Else’ and ‘Pistol Packin Mama’ will have the listener daydreaming about the size of that crowd all going fuckin mental and how it was everyone for themselves as the band mesmerized a field of smelly denim and platforms. ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ makes me giggle but the singing of ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ is an absolute hoot.
Remember kids this is pre-internet and mobile phones but their 70s heyday was disappearing in the rearview mirror but this last-minute slot (replacing Ozzy) turned that around and gave the band a second wind. Slade lovers or casual curious music fans would find this live document a firm favourite in any collection. This is a fine example of how to rock a festival audience. Sublime! Full Poke!
Ambrose Slade – ‘Beginnings’ (BMG)
Interesting part of these Slade rereleases is this pre Slade album as the title would suggest the begginings of the band and love it or loath it its deserving of its place as a catalogue of what came before their rise to the top of the Glam Rock table as kingpins of the genre and rightly so. ‘Genesis’ opens with its swirling psycadelic hypnotic bass riff on whats a bizzare instrumental opener.
Most of the songs here are other peoples tunes which I guess was pretty common in the final knockings of the 60s whilst only three are original songs. ‘Everybody’s Next One’ is a Steppenwolf song from their debut record but has Slade sounding more like a Who wannabe band. Other weird covers would have to be the Zappa ‘Ain’t Got No Heart’ even if does have a good energy to the rhythm. Justin Hayward’s ‘Fly Me High’ rolls along with its carefree chorus with a really interesting vocal peeking through. The ballad of Marvin Gaye ‘If This World Was Mine’ sees Holder push his vocal range to its limits is interesting to say the least. To wrap up this fascinating release they obviously take on a rarer Beatles song before the familiar ‘Born To Be Wild’ which is not unknown to even casual Slade fans but having two Stepenwolf songs not on a Stepenwolf album does look a bi tweird even now but hey it is what it is and this is a great take on a classic and that bass line is top drawer as is the thumping rhythm that went on to prove to be an absolute power house of a pairing.
The album closes with a galloping version of ‘Journey To The Centre Of Your Mind’ a song I’ve heard covered twice this excellent take and of course the Ramones version both crackers. Enjoy this one for sure but if you’re on a budget then I’d highly recommend the live one first its all killer for sure.
Buy Ambrose Slade Here
THE SPEEDWAYS have announced a new compilation album ahead of their first US Tour. The 12-track album entitled ‘Triple Platinum’ features four newly rerecorded tracks from the 2018 debut ‘Just Another Regular Summer’, with four from 2020’s ‘Radio Sounds’ and finally four from their latest offering, ‘Talk Of The Town’. the album is set for release next month through Snap!! and Beluga records, ‘Triple Platinum’ and you can pre-order here.
The November US dates cover the East Coast and they’ll be accompanied by Kansas City’s THE WHIFFS.
Ok folks sit up pay attention set your volume control at a respectably loud setting and pour yourself a cold one before slipping this bad boy on the turntable. Backstreet Girls are in the house and they are showing no sign of mellowing out or slowing down. From the get-go the boogie is set on the max and this Norwegian powerhouse is up for the gig.
This is the band’s 16th studio record since their 1984 debut and with the motto of If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, they boogie n Roll the living shit out of these ten songs. ‘Beef Chop Suicide’ gets proceedings underway with that familiar Petter Baarli raw overdriven tone and whisky and no filter cigarette rasp of Bjørn Müllers cool vocals the song ushers in the album by blowing off the doors rather than gently easing the listener in. Hell, the full-fat production from Stamos Koliousis is perfect for the DC meets Stones tones these boys love to knock out. It’s bullshit free baby and they’re up for a good time and not a long time. ‘Waste Side Story’ is bruising but the thunderous shuffle of ‘Boogie Woman’ (of course that’s what it is called) is like being clubbed over the head by a Les Paul and the guitar break at the end kind of stops which is a bit weird I wanted it to continue my tennis racket wasn’t finished yet and I was looking to do a knee slide for a finale. Shit, that is one dirty tone Baarli is chopping up on ‘Too Cool For You’ as the band eases back for one sloppy dorty fucker of a song, and who isn’t going to dig that riff on the chorus before easing back into the verse, quality overload beware anyone feeling a little feeble this might be too tough for you.
Sure theres nothing original going on here nothing at all its just a cadalac of style with the best sounding stereo on the strip ‘Sister Satan’ is a brooding beast of a song cruising round impressing the shit out of any impressionable young man or woman. The quality of whats on offer is right up there and ‘Norma Jean’ is like Lemmy fronting Cheap Trick using AC/DC’s equipment to impress a particularly good-looking lady.
The next few tunes are all about that guitar tone with ‘Rocky Lee’ cooking up a bitches brew that’s made with equal parts gasolene and gunpowder the licks n fills are fantastic at volume and on headphones it’s like being in the room as the band strikes up a chord knowing exactly how damn good at this they are.
Before we’re done ‘Not Sorry At All’ is a blast of fist-pumping before ‘Doomday Hell’ is a purposeful thump on the drums and the gang vocals to close it out are spot on, so put on your shades, buckle up the leather trousers and pour another cold one Backstreet Girls are dishing up a Rockin good time (of course they are) and it’s fantastic to hear a band just rockin out because that’s what they love hearing and nobody is gonna tell them there is anything cooler than this. Top band, Top album, Top class. Buy yourself ‘In Lust We Trust’ and rock the fuck out – you’re worth it.
Author: Dom Daley
Since re-assembling Avengers-style in 2020, Black Spiders have continued to make a loud and compelling case for heavy guitar music from the sin city streets, with three chords and the truth – revelling in the glories of the genre, its sacred lore, with a top-shelf collection of riffs, a sly dash of humour, plus an iconic logo that sits alongside the best.
Released in May of this year, ‘Can’t Die, Won’t Die’, the bands fourth studio album, was unleashed to critical and fan acclaim by Spinefarm Records. It was a cocktail fans have come to expect – 42 minutes of back-street trouble, produced by regular studio compadre, Matt Elliss.
“Destroyer is a spanker off the new record and sets the tone nicely for the September tour dates,” says frontman Pete Spiby. “We can’t wait to get out there for some hot summer nights, pizza sandwiches and beer!”
The tour starts tonight at The Forum in Tunbridge Wells and winds up in Plymouth on September 25th with friends The Hot Damn! in support.
Full dates below. Don’t miss your chance for some proper rock n’ roll action!
Catch Black Spiders live at the following dates on their September tour.
The Hot Damn! to support on all dates.
Fri 15 Sep – The Forum, Tunbridge Wells
Sat 16 Sep – New Cross Inn, London
Sun 17 Sep – Moonshine, Portsmouth
Mon 18 Sep – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
Tue 19 Sep – The Warehouse, Leeds
Thu 21 Sep – Live Rooms, Chester
Fri 22 Sep – The Garage (Attic), Glasgow
Sat 23 Sep – Anarchy Brewery, Newcastle
Sun 24 Sep – The Patriot, Crumlin
Mon 25 Sep – The Junction, Plymouth
Farewell to touring then as the long anticipated UK Tour hits the road and a sold out Globe is bathed in sweat in anticipation for the regular South Wales show which has always formed part of the bands UK tours from way back the Subs have never done the easy tours they’ve always shown up in the nooks and crannys of the UK in the far flung forgotten corners, not that Cardiff is a forgotten corner of the UK but you know what I mean. Charlie has obviously thought long and hard about how he should spend his retirment and one of the hardest working frontmen throughly deserves to put his feet up and enjoy his retirment but theres one last huraah as the band who’ve become one of the finest live bands anywhere on this spinning rock regardless of age because Charlie is proof that it is merely a number as he pogos on the stage in stupidly hot venues.
Menace are on the stage with their 77 punk rock anthems and they seem to be having a ball it has to be said and the nicely filling venue is reciprocating the love being given the punks dancing down the front. Reliving the days of the Roxy with songs like ‘GLC’ which are lapped up by many in attendance. It must be great being in a band who were on the fringes of punk back in its inception still being able to knock out the songs you wrote as young men and still seeing older people singing back like not a single day has passed – call it nostalgia call it heritage whatever but remember these songs meant something to the writers back in the 70s and they still mean something to the listeners now almost fifty years on.
Anyway, the reason why I’m in attendance is to witness the South Wales date of the end of the road tour tour by the magnificent UK Subs and as the band take the stage and rip straight into ‘Scum Of The Earth’ and without the blink of an eye were into the drum intro of ‘Born A Rocker’ this school night Globe audience is determined to lap up every single sweaty second of this and the band minus a few guitar hic ups are giving it back in spades knocking out what is effectivly the longest encore I’ve seen in a while. It’s pretty much the very best of the UK Subs played by a band who are right on it and sounding fantastic as well as looking like their having the best of times as well. ‘New York State Police’, ‘Barbies Dead’, ‘Emotional Blackmail’ are all dispatched with aplomb.
Its fair to say Charlie sounds good and when he says humbly, thank you it means a lot you genuinely know he means it and its fair to say tonights crowd are giving it everything and its a joy to witness. ‘Kill Me’ and ‘Limo Life’ take things to the next level but when Alvin introduces the best song Guns n Roses never wrote there is much merriment in the room as ‘Down On The Farm’ is despatched with menace and venom that Guns n Roses never mustered no matter how hard they tried but good on them fo rdoing a good job on a monster song.
By the time we reached the singalong of ‘Warhead’ even the walls of The Globe were soaking wet but ‘Riot’, ‘Stranglehold’ and ‘Disease’ brought the main set to a crushing stop its hard to believe that almost an hour had just been dispatched. This could or shold go on for hours but then signing off leaving your audience wanting more is always a good place to be. I’ve been lucky enough to see the band over 30 times and its fair to say that this is easily as good as they’ve been at anytime in that period and they are nailing it time after time and it’ll be good to see how they sound after laying back on the touring which Charlie explains several times hes no tdone yet just no tdoing these mental long “get in the van” tours across europe and the UK year in year out which is cool with everyone in here whos beaming from ear to ear after winessing a band on fire.
The encore delves right back into classic Subs territory as ‘CID’ makes way for an emotional ‘I Live In A Car’ a song my son used to love hearing when he was a toddler and struggling to speak and would nag to hear the subs car song, fair to say I rather enjoyed hearing that again. As we neared the finale of ‘I Couldn’t Be You’ and ‘Party In Paris’ the band bounded off only to be hauled back on by the baying masses to play a well deserved second encore that almost brought the roof in – ‘Squat 96’, ‘Keep On Running’ because sing-a-longs before the curtain finally fell on a fitting ‘Teenage’ and then a beaming and clearly emotional Charlie left the stage. It was done the final night in south Wales as part of one of their ever winding UK tours was done and dusted.
Thank you for some epic shows along the way and I for one can’t wait to see the UK Subs live again somewhere sometime in the reasonably near future. what a fuckin’ band, and what a way to sing off. Brilliant!
Author: Dom Daley
The former frontman of The Temperance Movement returns after a tumultuous period in his life with a solo album that has been decades in the making. Musical differences and personal issues saw the gravelly-throated singer leave not only The Temperance Movement in 2020, but also last year he parted ways with The Byson Family, the band he left to form and concentrate on.
But following a series of acoustic shows and a recent EP release, Philip has exorcised whatever demons he was carrying and is back stronger than ever with his debut long player.
Seeking redemption and filled with retrospection ‘City Lights’ is a journey of a storyteller who explores new territories while tipping his worn and tattered hat towards his past glories throughout its 12-track length. There’s a self-assured confidence and a sense of rejuvenation to leading track and first single ‘Magical West’ that sees Philip shed the heavy rock and americana leanings of his previous bands and embrace a more commercial and eclectic direction. Upbeat and euphoric in equal measures, it has a Springsteen style power and delivery with a rousing chorus that will excite the listener and induce goosebumps as well as repeated plays.
‘City Lights’ is an album filled with unexpected directions that take you on a definite journey. The liberating ‘Hasta Luego’ is a tale of eloping to Mexico, and you are with him on the road as he invites you to “get away through LA and San Diego”. Sound wise, with urgent beats and stabs of keys it builds like Hothouse Flowers to a rousing chorus worthy of Butch Walker.
The mellower, more soulful moments such as ‘Revelation’ and ‘Break The Curse’ nod their heads to Van Morrison with gospel-tinged backing vocals, brass and stabs of piano to accompany the stunning vocal delivery.
The needle drops on side two for the funky title track with a blast of horns, crisp drum beats and gospel harmonies, coming on like an outtake from The Black Crowes sophomore long player meets Paolo Nutini, and that ain’t a bad place to be. But if there is any one song that would be a showcase for Phil’s vocal prowess on this album, I would probably go for the celebration that is ‘Soul Fire’. The performance here exudes confidence, power and depth and just seems to flow perfectly. A killer guitar solo adds some fire. It’s worth noting that considering he plays most of the instruments and self-produced this album, it has a very ‘live in the studio’, full band sound.
Elsewhere, ‘Silent Symphony’ mixes up americana and soul with sweeping strings and gospel backing to create a heart-wrenching, cinematic soundscape. And that is something that continues on the honest and confessional ‘Sober Boy’.
He may have left TTM to get away from the screamers, but closer ‘Gut City Blues’ leaves us with a reminder of his past. Killer riffs and even more killer vocals give us a whiff of AC/DC meets Ike & Tina goodness, plus the addition of founding TTM guitarist Luke Potashnick, who turns of to lay down a tasty solo. A glorious rocker that is sure to be a live favourite when he hits the road later this year.
While I was saddened when he left TTM and The Byson Family, Philip Seth Campbell has risen like a phoenix from the flames and delivered an album that exceeds all expectations. ‘City Lights’ is an instantly familiar album that is hard to not fall in love with from the very first listen. With enough rockers, ballads and ravers to satiate his fanbase, it exudes the confidence and charisma of a songwriter who has been around the block and has lived to tell the tale.
Author: Ben Hughes
Wow, Can I start by asking you all before you read any further to get on your feet and give this record a rousing standing ovation, c’mon get up, pour a glass of something strong and run your fingers across your stereo turning the volume right the fuck up!
Have some respect kids, Jim Jones Allstars are in the house and they’ve brought all the devil’s tunes and his head on a stick it would seem. ‘Aint No Peril’ is a bonafide masterclass in Rock and Roll and oozing class, style, decadence, and a whole shitload of rhythm.
Having been lucky enough to catch the band as they rampaged across the UK earlier this year, Jim Jones All Stars were on fire and my excitment began for what was to come as Jim explained they’d been in the States recording the album and finally that time is upon us. ‘Ain’t No Peril’, is smart, cool, drenched in Rock n Roll whilst twisting the melon with enough originallity and class to kick up a stink and hopefully give this genre a much needed shot in the arm and lead the charge with tune after tune.
Put simply, ‘Ain’t No Peril’ confirms Jim Jones as the true keeper of red raw rock’n’roll faith and the high priest of groove and zero fucks given style. Hell knows what they had to offer bealzibub in exchange fo rthese tunes but man it was worth it. Dancing with ole nick must have been one hell of a jive off as the band is connected, in the zone whatever cliche you care to use ‘Devils Kiss’ has been left on me for sure. as the ivories get tinkled filling in the gaps left by those horn honkin’ saxophones and Gavin Jays wandering fingers. Taking the band to Memphis Magnetic Studios in the balmy heat of Tennessee with hindsight was inspired. The swampy delta groove is hot as and adds a gravitas to these tunes they just wouldn’t get recording in ole blighty.
Across its 12 tracks, ‘Ain’t No Peril’ is an album that ducks and dives between the shadows and that sweltering heat its sticky, and there is no way of avoiding it. There is a bitches brew cooked up in the Southern state, fusing roots rock’n’roll, rhythm and blues, gospel , and the all-out weight of Jim’s previous poured in with equal measures. It can only be Jim Jones but this time it’s amped up with an air of something extra special that X factor ingredient maybe his other projects were lacking.
Joining Jim is long-time co-conspirator Gavin Jay (bass) with Elliot Mortimer (piano and keys), as well as drummer Chris Ellul (The Heavy), veteran punk blues guitarist Carlton Mounsher (The Swamps), singer Ali Jones and the three tenor/baritone saxophonists Stuart Dace, Chuchi Malapersona and Tom Hodges. This motley crew has it locked in and knows how to groove as the lead single ‘Gimme The Grease’ can testify from the shuffle to the horn honking it’s infectious and highly contagious in its groove, earworm, and rockability.
If there is to be any criticism to be aimed at this album its the inclusion of three instrumentals. Now I’m warming to one maybe two but these songs are crying out for some of Jones dancing with the devil cries a yelp and certainly some of his speaking in tongue screams but its only a minor gripe because in isolation they are bangers or maybe I’m just being greedy.
The sax on ‘It’s Your Voodoo Working’ gives me the chills as they honk through the speakers. I’ve not heard somethign this god damn groovy for years and the duet is a joy to behold, I think my voodoo is definately working but thanks for asking.
‘Your Arms Will Be The Heavens’ ushers in some sweet keyboards as the gentle soulful number ushers in a little light relief as Jim croons with the sould of a man whos heart is bursting out of his chest as the sun goes down on another day oozing class and a sidestep you probably weren’t expecting.
‘I Want You’ gets its groove on as brothers and sisters are urged to get on their feet and clap their hands and move their feet as the band gets juiced up and rocks out. Again the sweet spots all over the song from the tinkling ivories to the horn stabs and that drill n shuffle on the snare its addictive and in full flight a most beautiful thang.
Now ‘Hot Sauce’ is a motherfucker of a song kickin its groove down the line hypnotising the listener with the decaying snare and that crackle on the guitar but hey Jim get on it brother. ‘Troglodyte’ gets in the swamp and takes this record to places Jones hasn’t been before. Its a mega groove thats primal and filthy and totally nailing the lyrics.
‘You Got The Best Stink (I Ever Stunk)’ is a song title that nails the vibe and sound perfectly. It must have sounded like magic being created in the studio when laying down these cuts. The title track situated just at the hump of this album before we freewheel towards the finale is probably the most Jim Jones Revue song on offer (fans of the band will know what I mean).
‘Drink Me’ is the eleventh track and penultimate and sounds like the perfect muzac for a swinging sixties movie staring some dandy is maybe one that could have been kept for a B Side. Ending the record with ‘Evil Eye’ is Jim Jones in full voice as he summons the devil and strains every sinew of his vocal chords to banish away the demons with a tremendous performance to bring the curtain down on this most wonderful album.
Brothers and sister its time to get excited fo ranother Jim Jones led excertion into the deepest darkest shadows of soulful music its not soul music but music for the soul. Every path Jim Jones has taken has led him to this moment and this record – ‘Ain’t No Peril’ because this is a bona fide winner – Buy it!
Author: Dom Daley
Losing my sense of taste – There is an air of darkened intent and menace ‘Losing MY Sense Of Taste’. Hynde sounds fantastic as she leads the band into this wonderfully sounding rocker. As the subtle melody unfolds behind a wall of guitar noise as the solo howls with delight as every ounce of emotion is rinsed out of the fretboard. Hyde has hit paydirt finding James walbourne who has tone and a swagger that is instantly likeable and has a style that makes the guitar sing in whatever mood he so wishes.
‘A love’ begins with that jangly chorus laden guitar that is something of a Pretenders / Hynde trademark but yet again the standout feature of the track is the mix – it sounds huge. Excellent guitar pop.
On ‘Domestic Silence’ with its slow groove steeped in controlled overdrive gives the song an air of a well-oiled group locking in on each other, that small club tour they undertook to break these songs in as a unit was a masterstroke. This album sounds like a band, and not a solo Hynde project with hired top-tier session players which it could have sounded also co-writing with Walbourne is a winning team. Again the solo is exceptional as Walbourne delivers with feeling and some.
‘The Copa’ kind drifts Into the promise of love with its melancholy piano sounding like a late night in a smoky hotel lobby after one too many cigarettes and cognacs. The vocal is spot on here and Hynde is peeling back the years sounding as good as twenty years ago.
Side one taps out with ‘Merry Widow’ and another smokey slow number takes center stage. I think three in a row is a bit much as good as they are individually back to back they would have benefitted from being broken up with a more uptempo rocker. Even if the oriental drifting works well. It’s the guitar tone that pulls the end of side one through.
‘Let The Sun Come In’ is more on it, with a quality mid tempo feel and guitar lick lapping round the lips of a really good deep album cut. I like how the chorus soars. Next ‘Look Away’- is a melancholy acoustic pick through a sparse arrangement. Works well with the minimal percussion shaking it up from being just another slow album track it has room to breathe. The theme continues as ‘Your House Is On Fire’ continues with the laid back ambience a more relaxed Pretenders record than the last one but no lesser quality album. ‘Just let It Go’, another bordering on balladeering but is a fuller more traditional slow dive.
Hynde and James work really well together and their songwriting is in sync showcasing a unique voice that is instantly recognisable and can pull through a less than excellent song and with the addition of some superb guitar work throughout the record it’s a really good listen.
‘Vainhlorious’ is exactly what I was looking for as the album heads towards its conclusion, Turn the amps up and let’s play some loud rock n roll because when this band goes for it they can rock out with the best of them.
The record closes out with the beautiful ‘I Think About You Daily’ with strings arranged by the Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood on what is a perfect album full stop with some great arrangment of the finely balanced strings for the pick of the slow songs on offer. Very decent album yet again from The Pretenders who show no sign in giving up their craft just taking it to different destinations along the rocky road.
Author: Dom Daley