by Chris Parkes (@rocknrollparksy)
It’s been a while since our last instalment, but at the same time, Electone Records have been going into overdrive!
On the live show front, The Wicked Whispers kicked off their UK tour dates with a great gig at Edinburgh’s Sneaky Pete’s, and then appearing at our very own Showcase night in Glasgow (which for the first time featured Electone’s entire current roster, The Wicked Whispers, Red Sands and The Levons) and a show at Birmingham’s Hare and Hounds.
The Electone Showcase night in Glasgow was an emotional one for fans of Red Sands (we will return to that shortly) and having these 3 current Electone acts share a stage was justification of the level of talent that currently sits under the labels umbrella.
The Wicked Whispers debut album has gone live for pre-order, as has The Levons’ debut EP both available on iTunes with everything brewing towards The Wicked Whispers debut album release date and the very special launch show at Liverpool’s Kazimier.
Alongside all this, our monthly club night Liverpool residency at The Baltic Social has been going strength to strength with acts such as Viola Beach, Beatnik Hurricane (who could forget Barry Sutton’s table top adventures!?), myself (Chris Parkes), a guest spot from Natasha Murphy and even The Wicked Whispers making a surprise full band appearance.
With BBC Introducing’s Dave Monks now giving a pick of the month, it has been nothing short of special and we can’t wait for more (watch this space!)
The Wicked Whispers
So first things first, The Wicked Whispers are now in full velocity heading towards the release of their debut album ‘Maps of the Mystic’ released Saturday 22nd September 2014 on 12” LP, CD and Digital Download. You can Pre-Order NOW from here :
In the meantime you can download The Wicked Whispers new single and album opener ‘Chronological Astronaut; taken from the forthcoming album here:
For those who haven’t yet seen the amazing video go here :
On a more downbeat note, Whispers drummer Nathan Sayer unfortunately suffered a back injury earlier this month and The Wicked Whispers full band shows saw Mike Murphy leading the way with a special acoustic set with Andy Smith and Ste Penn in tow, appearing at District Liverpool, Broadcast, Glasgow and Hare and Hounds, Birmingham.
But don’t fret as Nathan Sayer will be back in action for the ‘Maps of the Mystic’ album launch Saturday 13th September at The Kazimier. It’s surely going to be a great night with once again an all-round impressive outing, with Steve Powell’s supergroup project ‘Ark’ and label mates The Levons heading up support, we are in for a treat.
Tickets are flying out and are just £6 advance and can be purchased from See Tickets here:
So far, The Wicked Whispers are scheduled to play the following UK shows with more to be announced :
The Kazimier, LIVERPOOL (SEPT 13) *ALBUM LAUNCH PARTY*
Night and Day, MANCHESTER (SEPT 23) **
Crossfire @ Venue 2, LONDON (OCT 11) *ALBUM LAUNCH PARTY*
The Ruby Lounge, MANCHESTER (OCT 31)
100 Club, LONDON (NOV 1)
Georgian Theatre, STOCKTON ON TEES (NOV 6)
Think Tank, NEWCASTLE (NOV 7)
Last week we sadly bid farewell to our very own Red Sands as they provided a sell out crowd at the Electone Showcase event at Broadcast with one final swan song performance.
From the beginning, Red Sands had a dedicated and cult following recruiting straight from their previous popular incarnation ‘Figure 5’, whom exploded on the 2004-2005 Glaswegian music scene and beyond touring with likes of ‘Chelsea Dagger’ rockers The Fratellis and The Enemy. Having met at the mod culture inspired hangout ‘Friday Street’ the band including Neil Donaldson, Martin Keith, Brian Calderwood, Graham Gordon and Gerard Espie, eventually went on to work with LA producer Tony Hoffer on their debut EP and prepped an album.
For a band who did everything right and had all the elements to succeed and with a rumoured (and well earned) record deal that never followed, Figure 5 understandably became interested in change.
Red Sands became the new project. A project that would just be about the music and not following the industry trial of breadcrumbs. After a lengthy recording process taking their time crafting the sound and a small handful of shows Red Sands had an album ready with no definitive plans at that point on how they wanted it released.
It was when Red Sands opened for The Wicked Whispers at Glasgow’s Nice n’ Sleazy during their 2012 UK tour of ‘Dandelion Eyes’ , frontman Mike Murphy watched in wonder.
‘They were one of the best live bands I’d ever seen’ Murphy notes.
‘They were full of passion and belief yet vulnerable with such amazing heartfelt songs that sum up their heritage and environment.’
When the Red Sands and Wicked Whispers frontmen Neil and Mike both got chatting it all seemed all so clear Electone Records could, and eventually would be, the answer.
A few months later Red Sands album was done and Electone Records released their self titled LP. For Electone Records it become a an essential passion for the band to receive the recognition and immortalisation they deserved by releasing this very special album.
The collective of Red Sands are all now looking to move onto pastures new, hopefully satisfied that something special has been accomplished. From the early Figure 5 release to the self titles timeless album, ‘Red Sands’, Electone Records are proud to have been a part of what we believe are some of the most genuine and talented musicians Glasgow has produced.
The Red Sands debut LP will always be a part of the Glasgow musical heritage and an important release for this label and even though we are sad to see Red Sands call it a day, we wish them all the best for their ventures new!
BUY one-of the 1st Edition 12” here:
Electone’s newest act, Liverpool rockers The Levons revealed plans of their debut self titled EP this week which we are incredibly excited about.
With the band turning heads at every performance they give, will see the band surely shake up the scene with their fresh and energetic sound. Despite their young age, the band are already Liverpool music scene veterans with duel frontmen Danny Murphy and Nathaniel Cummings bringing Merseybeat and Americana together with sensational poptones and harmonies to die for, fans of The Band, The Beatles and The Beach Boys won’t be disappointed!
The Levons also recently did a live session for LFC TV with a wonderful acoustic performance of live favourite ‘The Beauty Of It All’ so keep an eye out, whether red or blue!
You can hear the first offering from The Levons below, with their debut video from Jonathan Gregory for the wonderful EP opener ‘The Other Guy’ with talk of amphetamines that taste like strawberries, get a taste for The Levons while you can!
The Levons debut EP can be pre-ordered now from iTunes
The Levons will be supporting The Wicked Whispers at their album launch party on Saturday 13th September at the Kazimier and will then be headlining their EP launch show at District on Saturday 4th October 2014 with a special Electone Records and Milk Presents collaboration. Hopefully the first of many!
The Springtime Anchorage
Another local band of late, The Springtime Anchorage who are no strangers to the Liverpool music scene for the past decade, have set sail with their folk rock debut album, ‘Labour Of Patience’. The solid four piece, consisting of drummer Nick Walker, lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Marc Hannon and bass guitarist Stu Irwin, who all share a perfect harmony. Heres a little review of what we thought of it.
A lively opening of ‘Farewell to Adrianna’ the band’s country influences of Neil Young and Crosby Stills and Nash shine on through, setting a tone for the lively album. Once again, the album produced by Electone favourite, producer Steve Powell at the legendary Track Studios in Liverpool, having previously worked with the likes of Mick Head and Edgar Jones.
An immediate follow up track, opening with strong harmonies ‘I Don’t Know’ is another familiar tune and a personal favourite, sounds incredible upon hearing, with the lyrical hook and harmony of ‘you may have a heart of stone, but it can break like skin, like bone..’ will have you whistling and singing along in no time at all.
Live set highlight and the band’s calling card and epic soundtrack-esque ‘Bird Of Prey’ a shining gem in the band’s songwriting crown, is perfectly emotive in all the right places, and the chorus is absolutely effortlessly uplifting and brilliant, be sure to check this tune out at least!
The band kick it up a gear for tracks like ‘When We’re Apart’ with some fantastic vocals and guitar work, ‘Wedding Day’ and ‘I’ll Be Following You’ but they know when to mellow their sound out with tracks like ‘Nightingale’ and ‘Don’t Let It Pull You Under’ and another live favourite, the fast paced ‘A Face Like Her’s’ is another popular tune of the much loved Liverpool music scene veterans.
The record is a delightful collection of well written and performed songs, sure to take you from one place to another.
Closing with the delightful acoustic laden solo ballad ‘Love Has Changed’, rounds off the album as a perfect bookend. Delightful harmonies, bouncing bass lines, intricate guitar work and catchy melodies are The Springtime Anchorage’s blueprints throughout the runtime of just under forty five minutes and will have you singing along and toe tapping from start to finish.
With the band having played music together for over ten years, they’ve the chemistry of the Brazil 1970 World Cup squad and the thirteen track record flies by, begging for a second listen as the songs all sound so familiar, even on a first listen and truly is a labour of patience, but it’s a wait worth waiting.
You can hear the record first hand at their now sold out album launch gig at The Casa Pub on Hope Street, with support from Liverpool veterans and cult heroes Rain on Saturday 18th August, so I hope you got your tickets early or find a crack in the wall!
Tickets are/were available here:
‘Labour Of Patience’ is released on 18th August and is available here: http://www.springtimeanchorage.co.uk/shop/
Local round up and beyond
Former Coral guitarist and ‘Wild Swans’ singer songwriter Bill Ryder Jones recently announced a co-headline tour alongside the wonderful Saint Saviour. The two have collaborated on a number of tracks the last few months, bringing a whole new dimension to the music.
The tour opens early December in Cambridge, taking in Glasgow, Manchester, London along the way, before concluding at Liverpool’s Kazimier on December 13th.
On the back of a stand out headline performance at Astral Coast, Ryder Jones has gone from strength to strength as a frontman, with a unique performance and vocal style makes him one of the most interesting performers on the scene of late.
Ryder-Jones will also perform a very special one off performance of ‘If..’ the orchestral instrumental soundtrack to Italo Calvino’s novel ‘If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller..’ at Manchester Cathedral on October 9th, tickets priced at £15. Surely to be a must see in the surroundings and collaboration with Camereta providing strings.
Rogue Gallery Promotions returned this month with at The Pilgrim Pub with stunning line up that featured Sophie Anderson, Juveniles, Chris Parkes & Raw City, the latter who have recently released ‘Heavy’ with a video filmed in and around the city and featuring The Lomax’s very own chaos commander Frank Hedges.
The last few weeks has also provided some great shows. Lucky London dwellers caught psych folk western rockers The Merrylees at The Camden Barfly on 7th August for a free lock out show after the Scottish rockers have gained many followers supporting the likes of Babyshambles and Paul Weller at his forest concerts over the past few months. Be sure to check out Farewell Dry Land and Turn For The Strange. Wonderful songs!
Happy Monday’s member Bez, headed to Liverpool’s Lomax venue to promote his Anti Fracking Rally. Recently the cause has grown in support with members of The Zutons’ Paul Molloy and The Sundowners’ Niamh Rowe and Fiona Skelly.
The Viper Kings recently supported Hollywood action hero Steven Seagal’s Blues Band at Liverpool’s 02 Academy, the solid four piece supergroup consisting of Coral drummer Ian Skelly who was most impressive on the skins, Zutons’ Paul Molloy’s most lively guitar, Tramp Attack’s James Redmond’s pounding bass and Neville Skelly’s rough and raw vocals were the perfect energy injection for the night.
The Glimmerman himself on guitar and vocals, and a solid ensemble kept the Liverpool crowd going for a few hours, with many quotes being thrown around from the crowd simply shocked to be a few feet away from Seagal.
You can catch The Viper Kings at East Village Arts Club on Seel Street on Friday 15th August, with The Anfield Wrap party, also featuring KOF and The City Walls’ Paul Crowe with a stripped back performance. Tickets are £3 advance, which is a bargain for a night of this calibre.
Also making waves on the scene, and tipped from the start is Scarlet. After a well-received support slot with Bob Geldof’s Boomtown Rats and a storming headline set at Liverpool’s Chavasse Park, the band, headed up by Jessie Robinson formerly of The Thespians, who is enjoying the spoils of the spotlight with Scarlet now announcing they will be supporting Pulled Apart By Horses alongside God Damn on Wednesday the 20th August at East Village Arts Club (EVAC) and the band surely soon to be hitting even bigger heights once a release is on the horizon!
Tickets are £7 and available via See Tickets: http://www.seetickets.com/event/pulled-apart-by-horses/east-village-arts-club/804185
Our selected choice of cuts this week involve Emilio Pinchi’s Lament (For Now) with a unique sound and outstanding lyrics, and a few EP’s under his belt, this Elliot Smith influenced singer/songwriter is one to watch after catching him perform around the city, and more recently at Tate Liverpool, which surely must have been an honour!
This month’s flashback record is Townes Van Zandt’s eponymous 1969 album, featuring some undiscovered gems such as Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel; Lungs; Waitin’ Around To Die and Colorado Girl.
The third release from the country singer/songwriter, recorded in Nashville, blends together the harsher side of country folk music, with gritty vocals and emotional acoustic riffs, make this album a standout for its time, it’s more Woody Guthrie than Bob Dylan, and we love it.
That’s all from us this month at Electone, we will be back leading up to The Wicked Whispers debut album launch party and release!
Stay tuned! CP.