by Chris Parkes (@rocknrollparksy)
Welcome to the first of the Electone Records Blogs, where I’ll be doing regular round-ups of what’s been happening, what’s coming up and what’s been turning us on here at the label and beyond.
Firstly, it’s been a busy year for The Wicked Whispers who have been recording their debut album here in Liverpool. Being produced by frontman Mike Murphy along with Steve Powell at his Track Studios (The man behind Mick Head’s fantastic new EP, more on that coming up!), and the album is sounding radically evolved from ‘The Dark Delights of..’ EP (Electone’s first sell out release) and the 2 limited edition singles, ‘Dandelion Eyes’ and ‘Voodoo Moon’.
I’ll be popping in next week to see how it’s coming along and I hear it’s almost finished, with some very special guests on the album. The band have recently played a number of UK shows to warm up the LP and to introduce new drummer Nathan Sayer, and so far getting some incredible reviews (including Shindig! Magazine, who caught their headline show at Glasgow’s Double Sight Festival).
Now all eyes are turning to their huge Liverpool event at the amazing Camp & Furnace on Saturday 23rd November with the awesome SANKOFA and JIMMY & THE REVOLVERS in support.
Get your tickets HERE folks
The Wicked Whispers’ Mike, Ste and Nathan were in session with Dave Monks for BBC Radio Merseyside this week promoting the gig and airing an exclusive new track and introducing a track from their live fan only show at The Cavern last month.
It’s been an exciting time for Electone’s newest signings RED SANDS who announced their latest single and debut album details last month. Hailing from Glasgow and already getting play from BBC Radio 2, 6Music and finding fans in Paul Weller, the band will release their debut album on Electone Records available on 12” vinyl with downloadable codes on Monday 9th December 2013.
You can pre-order the LP here
Watch debut single and claim Free Download here
This ties us up nicely to the exciting news of the Electone Records Club Nights which will start in December, and soon appearing across the UK which will start with a Red Sands LP launch special. More details coming soon!
Lately on the Liverpool music scene, one of most highly anticipated gigs of the year took place last week, and although I’ve only been a fan of Mick Head for the past few years now though like even his most veteran long term fans, I’ve seen him at his worst, and at his best.
After a bad end to 2011 for Mick, fast forward a year to Leaf Tea Shop, Mick Head was reincarnated yet again, with a performance of biblical proportions. Almost a year on again, and his upcoming EP, Artorious Revisited is on the tongues of Liverpool music lovers and tickets for the Red Elastic Band gig were regarded as gold dust.
Heading over to the venue with half of The Wicked Whispers in tow who have been recording their album with Mick’s producer Steve Powell at his Track Studios, who would also be performing on the night, while swapping Shack stories and experiences on the way to The Kazimier, not even the pouring rain is putting anyone down.
Ark, are the opening act for the night, with Alex Evans on vocals flanked by producer extraordinaire Steve Powell and The Springtime Anchorage’s Philip Ryan-Melville on guitars and backing vocals. The three piece provide a big sound, with Alex’s vocals at the forefront. Definitely someone to keep an eye out for.
In between acts, I overhear a punter at the bar cradling his Pale Fountains vinyl under his arm, who summed up everyone’s mood and feelings on the night, ‘he could blow us all away or leave in an ambulance, either way, I fucking love him!’
After a few chants, Mick steps out with his Red Elastic Band in tow. A quick hello and a thanks to the gathered crowd, before launching into an over an hour’s worth of classic song writing.
After a few thumbs up and nods from the band around him, they kick off with the majestic ‘Santa Fe’ set the bar for the night, the first taste of the new EP came in the form of ‘Cadiz’, sounding like a thunderbolt and a breath of fresh through a once concerned Kazimier crowd, and the delightful ‘Newby Street’ is one of the most well received songs of the night, as is ‘Lucinda Byre’ and an audience joining in with the inspired lyric of ‘you’re gonna need better wood to crucify me..’
The highlight of the gig comes as Mick thanks people for ‘answering his phone calls at 3am..’ as his daughter raises her hand as the main call receiver before a quick laugh from Mick he dedicates an incredible version of ‘The Prize’ from his 1998 album ‘Introducing The Strands’.
Mick turns to his onstage rock for the night, Cast/Shack bassist Pete Wilkinson for the final time and one whisper later the ensemble are breaking into ‘Meant To Be’ for the 2nd time of the night, as Mick thanks everyone once again for coming out and for the support, as he gazes out at the near 500 people crammed into the venue, thumbs up and arms raised all round, as the audience shout along and bounce to the trumpets, before the gig comes to a glorious end, the band departs to rapturous applause, a job well done.
Once again Michael Head has been re-incarnated, and The Red Elastic Band are with him and Mick has taken the crown for the gig of the year once again.
Another happening on the scene and another band to keep an keen eye out for is MOTIVES. Described as “a combination of 60s garage laced with subtle hints of psychedelia…” with a demo of an instant guitar classic ‘Not Your Lover’ uploaded to YouTube, things were bound to happen, and the band have recently supported The Jim Jones Revue at the East Village Arts Club as well as The Dirty Rivers at District, and are starting to turn heads. Catch them support another upcoming act Findlay, who has been touring with Jake Bugg and The Courteeners at the recently re-opened Korova on November 18th.
Some nice new 7” 45s out also over the last couple of weeks with some Electone Picks here from the label. Electone and The Wicked Whispers favourites THE SEE SEE release ‘Featherman’ (The Great Pop Supplement), the mighty VERONICA FALLS release the anticipated single ‘Broken Toy’ (Bella Union), growing cult heros WAVE PICTURES release ‘Lisbon’ (Moshi Moshi) and JOHN LENNON MCCLULAGH’S ‘North South Divide’ arrives on Alan McGee’s 359 Records.
All our picks are available from Electone’s Stockists including Probe Records, Love Music, Piccadilly Records and Rough Trade, Records London.
Coming up, look out for THE CITY WALLS new EP Launch in Liverpool at Leaf, Bold Street on Friday 1st November with HUMMINGBIRDS, SUGARMEN and RED SAILS in support. It’s going to be a great night. We will have news on Electone’s next signings, club nights and all artist updates via the usual channels as it happens.