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Archives for March 2013

INTRODUCING MIXTAPE. MONDAY 25/03/2013

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Tom Robinson Tom Robinson | 02:00 UK time, Monday, 25 March 2013

CLEAN BANDIT - photo by Laura Lewis CLEAN BANDIT (photo: Laura Lewis)

In the small hours of a Monday morning from 2-3am you can hear a selection of my favourite new tunes compiled into an hour-long mixtape of nonstop music. All the audio is sourced from the BBC Introducing Uploader - some of it recommended by friends and colleagues and some discovered via Twitter and my own Fresh On The Net blog.

From 3am each Monday the latest mixtape is available free via the 6 Music Downloads Page - where you'll also find archived episodes from the previous 4 weeks. All the tracklists and start times for each track are published here - together with a link to each artist's website. These are the listings for Monday, 25th March 2013.

CLEAN BANDIT - Mozart's House [START 0:13]
https://cleanbandit.com
Extraordinary song with an equally extraordinary video which producer and Adam and I fell in love with on first listening. We then found it had already been uploaded to BBC Introducing three years ago, and that it had taken two and a half years to get released. In the interim Huw and Sarah Cox have been playing it on Radio 1, and we're proud to bring it to you as a killer opening track for ythis week's mixtape.

SECRET RIVALS vs ALPHABET BACKWARDS - Once More With Heart [START 4:15]
https://www.secretrivals.co.uk
Secret Rivals are a three-piece indie pop band based in Oxford. Their split boy-girl vocals sing, they tell us, of "fall-outs, secrets and despair, with hope and longing to put things right."  In the past year they've played festivals including Bestival, Liverpool Sound City and Wychwood to promote their Make Do And Mend mini-album and followup EP Make Do And Mend (Part 2). A fan pledge campaign exceeded its target to fund the recording and production of their 10-song debut album Just Fall, which is now awaiting release. It includes the original mix of this song, although this version has been remixed by their Oxford contemporaries Alphabet Backwards.

THE LOOSE HEARTS - Morning Light (Rita) – [START 7:41]
https://www.facebook.com/TheLooseHearts
This four piece band formed at the University Of Liverpool towards the end of 2010 and at the beginning of this year released their debut album How We Are Now - from which this track is taken. They're currently writing and recording material for a second album and looking for new opportunities for playing live in 2013. Promoters, venues, festivals and entrepreneurial fans of their music are welcome to get in touch via their Facebook page.

VELCRO HOOKS - Girlfren' [START 10:19]
https://facebook.com/velcrohooks
"The faint origins of Velcro Hooks' formation was spawned in the distant city of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. This freak meeting between England and Canada occurred in a gnarly hostel amidst an ocean of bed bug ridden mattresses; indubitably through the improbable mutual admirations of machetes and moustaches. This introduction inevitably led to a suitably ridiculous following fortnight; including high minded temples, volcanoes, many a cerveza and general ruffianship. Obviously these endeavours had to end at some point. Farewells were made and Jenner Blank and Thomas Mason made the return visit to their respective origins in Vancouver and Bristol. A year later they were reunited in the latter city with an additional pair of English miscreants called Dominic Mitchison and George Garratt." They've since released a debut single The Surfing Song on Howling Owl Records, to which this is hopefully the followup.

NANCY ELIZABETH - The Last Battle [START 12:35]
https://nancyelizabeth.co.uk
The Last Battle is the first single from Nancy Elizabeth Cunliffe's forthcoming third album, Dancing - due out in May. It’s her first new material since her 2009 LP Wrought Iron and, her record company tells us, "more upbeat than anything she’s recorded in half a decade... a magnificent introduction to the new album - a soaring, celestial-soprano array that recalls Ennio Morricone and Arthur Lee, building to an irresistible climax. Like its parent album in miniature, it’s a trove of pure musical delights, all recorded in the singer’s tiny Manchester flat".  She plays London's Vortex Jazz Club this Tuesday March 26th with a full band to test the new material and is also performing and speaking as part of a TEDx University of Manchester event a couple of days later, at the Manchester Museum on Thursday March 28th.

BIRDBATH - Don’t Talk With Your Mouth Open [START 16:55]
https://www.facebook.com/birdbathband
About: Rock band from Bristol. Guitar, guitar, bass, drums: formed 1994. Members: Tim Gibbons, Simon Hewett, Ben Heal, Luke Tagney. Biography: some of us met at school and switched skateboards for guitars. Tim is a carpenter, Simon is a plumber, Luke is a sound engineer on Deal or No Deal and Ben is writing a PhD on William Burroughs.  We like scatological jokes and Touch and Go Records circa 1994. Band interests: knitting, amateur plastic surgery, dressing up as old women. Their first album Birth took 10 years to complete. Their second, And Then, was recorded live in one day. Both are available from Bristol micro-label Ingue Records.

SWAMI BARACUS - Way Of The Dragon [START 19:24]
https://facebook.com/swamibaracus
This is the latest single from good friend of the show Swami Baracus. We last spoke to him on my Saturday programme when he played T In The Park last Summer. His Introducing classic "The Recipe" was produced by Zaheer, won them both a place on the Radio 1 Playlist and is now the title track of Baracuda's  latest mixtape. This latest single shows him stepping up to new levels of eloquence: fast-flowing, sharp-witted, warm, eloquent, sharp and self-knowing - and I'd warmly recormmend the excellent video to this song.

ORANGE FROM THE BLUE - And We Danced [START 22:24]
https://soundcloud.com/orange-from-the-blue
Orange From The Blue is the project of Tim Phillips in Broadstairs plus assorted featured vocalists. Up until 18 months ago Tim ran my own business but had to close it due to the prevailing economic situation. The upside is that this has given him the time to start making music.  He modestly claims "I have no singing voice of my own, so I use guest vocalists on my tracks. This one features a vocal loop - edited to fit - from a freebie disc given away with a music magazine. It evolved quite quickly over a couple of hours one Sunday night when there was nothing on TV so I messed around with some music instead. Being in quite a chilled mood I just imagined two people dancing slowly all through the night on a deserted old bandstand. Producing these tracks is a learning curve at the moment, but I'm loving every minute of it and working on new stuff all the time."

VASCO DA GAMA - Brigadiers [START 26:08]
https://www.vascodagamalive.bandcamp.com
The Reservoir blog once quipped that if "instruments could smile, the guitars of Vasco Da Gama would have grins as wide as the Mersey." This powerful and innovative four-piece are longstanding favourites on this show, and Brigadiers is the opening track ontheir new EP Geography, due out on April 22nd. They play Dada Bar in Sheffield this Thursday March 28th and The Village night at Camp and Furnace in their hometown of Liverpool on Saturday (30th).

THESE CURIOUS THOUGHTS - Brain In A Jar [START 29:12]
https://www.thesecuriousthoughts.com/
Sean Dunlop and Jim Radford were originally the main songwriters for Detroit-based five piece Shock of the Cold. However love tore them apart (in a good way - family commitments, the responsibilities of adulthood, etc) and the band broke up when Jim returned to his native Kent in the South East of England.  For the last six years, in the absence of a live-performing band, Sean and Jim have continued to craft songs by long distance like high-tech pen pals. To date they have written over 100 songs and released several albums under the project name of These Curious Thoughts.

SATURDAY SUN - Like a Stray [START 32:28]
https://www.saturdaysunmusic.co.uk
Saturday Sun are Alex Hedley (guitar and vocals), Bill Merrick (guitar), Alec Harrison (Bass) and Luke Kill (Drums). "Alex" we're told "with his sublime and powerful vocals combines a wonderful songwriting partnership with Bill where they create charming and affective music that strike an emotional chord with the listener." You can verify these claims for yourself by checking out last year's Seagull EP on their Bandcamp, this newer recording on our current mixtape, and on their debut album which is due out next month. Their busy date sheet includes numerous club gigs in London and three shows in April opening for The Fossil Collective in Brighton, Bournemouth and Bristol.

HITCHCOCK BLONDE - Sexy Like You [START 37:24]
https://www.hitchcockblondeband.com
Hitchcock Blonde are a 4 piece indie punk rock band from London, fronted by singer Ella Grace. Their latest EP Five Pounds has, we're told, "seen them earning comparisons to such bands as Skunk Anansie, Hole, Foo Fighters, and more". They'll be releasing their second single, Animal, at the end of April. At the moment they are recording new tracks for a late summer 2013 release. Hitchcock Blonde will soon be announcing dates and venues for their June UK tour - please check their website for updates.

THE FOLK REMEDY - Jack And Mac [START 40:27]
https://www.thefolkremedy.com
"We are a three piece folk/indie group, comprising of band members Matt Whoriskey, Maria Bonner and Rob Ryle, formed in Manchester, England in 2012.  Matt, originally from Derry, Ireland, has been writing and playing music for more than a decade. He has lived in Manchester for four years, where he hosts a regular open mic night at the Bay Horse in the popular Northern Quarter.  Rob Ryle, the only English-born member of The Folk Remedy, Ryle, from Bolton, has played in a number of bands over the years after starting out with the psychedelic Jesus Franco. Maria Bonner also hails from Derry, Ireland though she has lived in Manchester for more than a decade. A classically trained violinist, she is also an accomplished piano and bass player. We've been on with Michelle Hussey on BBC Manchester and also on the Liam Bradford show.  Thanks to the powerhouse of twitter, we've fortunately been able to meet many bloggers/radio DJs online, who have given us so much exposure in the past number of months." 

THE GANG - Mania [START 42:30]
https://www.thegangband.co.uk
"We're a raw three piece with big hooks consisting of brothers Eric Tormey (Vocals, Guitar), Jimi Tormey (Vocals, Drums) and close friend Joseph Hunt (Bass). Formed in 2011 and based in Canterbury, we have played shows all around London, Sussex and our home county of Kent. We've also had airplay on BBC 6 Music, BBC Kent, Absolute Radio and on independent radio stations in both the UK and the US." Mania is the opening track on their free EP BLVDEVARD available via their Bandcamp page.

JIMMY DAVIS - A Prayer [START 44:36]
https://www.jimmydavisdavis.com
This month saw the release of Jimmy's official video for this single. "I feel this is my most important work to date" he says "in terms of the message that is embodied in my music. My prayer is for the world to hear this song. Not for any rubbish egotistical, popularity-driven, fame-craving, attention-seeking nonsense. But because there's a need for an awakening in the consciousness of humankind, and I hope my art will help to encourage and inspire the beginnings of a new dawn. Get in touch with the organisations that this message is sure to resonate with such as Oxfam, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace etc. Strength in numbers is our only hope. Thank you. I Love you. And if you don't watch or share the video ... I still love you."

ALAN BONNER - Talia [START 48:58]
https://wwwalanbonnermusic.com/
Alan Bonner is a singer-songwriter based in London. Talia - an ode to his best friend and drinking partner of the same name - comes from his current 2nd album Balladeer - available now on itunes and via his website. Said album is, we're told, "bursting with pathos-filled ballads that are earnest, beautifully crafted and laced with nostalgic yearning for a simpler time". Having toured extensively  Europe-wide in recent years, Alan ends this month's run of UK dates at Zigfrid Von Underbelly in London this Wednesday (March 27th) before heading off for his first US Tour in May. He is currently looking for management and label representation.

BENJAMIN MASON - Oh To Be A Drifter [START 52:15]
https://soundcloud.com/benjamin-mason
Online information about Benjamin is sparse, to say the least, and when we asked him to email us a little about himself and his music he sent the following: "As the legend goes, Benjamin Mason was reared by wild wolves in the weird West Wales woods. This upbringing led him to reject the human concept of genre. Expect the unexpected. Benjamin has a new album of songs from his One Song A Day period coming up in the next month and another more eclectic band album due in the summer."

OLD MAN DIODE & RICK HOLLAND Ft. CHRIS JAMES - Still Silver [START 55:54]
https://www.facebook.com/oldmandiode
Old Man Diode and Rick Holland met in the midst of a haze of London music making, smoke and petrol fumes in the first years of the new millennium. A coterie of young musicians and artists lived a blurred city life under a loose banner of fresh collaboration and partying. This was a generation that started sharing and distributing home-made demos and gigs, and music began shifting from the shiny coated wrapper towards more and more easily shared worlds. After ten years of crossing paths in bands, workshops and cross-genre collaborations OMD and Rick Holland decided to officially join forces for the ‘Diode + Rick Holland featuring…’ series, to showcase the experience of ten years of open source experimentation along with, we're told, "the unique inputs of a dazzling array of co-writing vocalists. Giants from the development of UK dancefloor styles join forces with lesser known voices to present a story of mixing worlds, and a fresh challenging new sound."

INTRODUCING MIXTAPE. MONDAY 18/03/2013

Post categories:

Tom Robinson Tom Robinson | 02:00 UK time, Monday, 18 March 2013

JOHNNY KOWALSKI AND THE SEXY WEIRDOS
JOHNNY KOWALSKI AND THE SEXY WEIRDOS

In the small hours of a Monday morning from 2-3am you can hear a selection of my favourite new tunes compiled into an hour-long mixtape of nonstop music. All the audio is sourced from the BBC Introducing Uploader - some of it recommended by friends and colleagues and some discovered via Twitter and my own Fresh On The Net blog.

From 3am each Monday the latest mixtape is available free via the 6 Music Downloads Page - where you'll also find archived episodes from the previous 4 weeks. All the tracklists and start times for each track are published here - together with a link to each artist's website. These are the listings for Monday, 18th March 2013.

CLUB SMITH - Beautiful & Useless [start 0:12]
https://www.clubsmith.co.uk
These are exciting times for Club Smith. They are about to do their first European gig, are working on a publishing deal and experimenting with a ‘revolving-door’ of new members – not least since their drummer Vijay left to join Kaiser Chiefs. You can see how these experiments are panning out when play the Cockpit in Leeds on April 6th. Alternatively, check out the live video they’ve put together at https://youtube.com/joinclubsmith

ANNA CORCORAN - The Show [start 3:46]
https://soundcloud.com/annacorcoran
In keeping with the fine musical heritage of the city, we feature many superb young artists from Liverpool on the Mixtape. Anna Corcoran is no exception. This track is taken from her debut EP, Anything Better. With Anna’s live performances creating a stir, she recently sold out the Roldwalde Suite at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall. 2013 Summer tour dates are currently being compiled.

THE CUT THROAT RAZORS - Dr. Gelati & The Lemon Garden [start 06:38]
https://www.thecutthroatrazors.co.uk
A sharp dressed, Glasgow based, 8-piece, The Cut Throat Razors are fronted by the energetic and theatrical Scott Crawford. This is the title track from their first album - the wonderfully-titled Dr Gelati and the Lemon Garden, which they launched at Stereo in their hometown at the end of last year. According to the band, it taps into 007 mania – with a cinematic Barryesque groove exploding into a crazed Balkan polka.

EMBERHONEY - Smoke [start 11:55]
https://www.facebook.com/Emberhoney @emberhoney
Formed in Brighton in 2011, Emberhoney are singer-songwriter Taylor Madison Damion, guitarist/producer John ‘The Baron’ Kent and bass-player Ben King. SMOKE – which the band describe as Indie Noir - is their debut EP, released via their own Honeytone Recordings label. The trio are currently preparing to record an album and seeking a permanent drummer.

DEATH RATTLE - The Blows [start 16:08]
https://www.deathrattle.tv
‘The Blows’ is the follow-up single to London-duo Death Rattle's debut EP HE&I, released in October 2012. With much of the band’s music written and recorded at their own pop-up studio in a derelict 17th century abbey in France, they have now finished recording their second EP Fortress, which is due out in April. This will be followed by a European tour in May revisiting some of the countries they played on their last tour, including Germany, Romania, Hungary, Belgium, Holland and, of course, the UK. Keep an eye on their website for dates.

DRUNK MULE - Sunshine Stoners [start 19:43]
https://drunkmule.bandcamp.com
Glenrothes duo Drunk Mule have been together for about 3 years, during which time Rich and Steve have become firm friends of my various shows and my Fresh On The Net blog. To date they’ve released two albums – Crash Test Y'self and I Built A Death Ray – plus various EP's. Album Number 3 is currently in the works, under the working title of Self-Harmin' Voodoo Doll. Their songs are available via bandcamp – all you have to do is name your price.

GREENCLOUD & EROS - W.A.R. [start 23:25]
https://soundcloud.com/greencloud-1
GreenCloud (Joe, 21) and Eros (Phil, 21) are two music lovers from Kent who describe their collective style as Hippie Hop. Inspired by funk, soul, and hip hop artists. and chart music, they began to make their own songs with an emphasis on meaningful lyrics, while addressing current issues that fans can directly relate to. It's a great blend of talents and having followed their progress via BBC Introducing for a while now, it seems to me that W.A.R. is their tightest, angriest and most focussed work to date.

TEDDY QUICK - It Ain't Enough To Know That You’ll Miss Me When You Go [start 27:56]
https://soundcloud.com/teddyquick
Now based in Norwich, Teddy Quick formerly fronted the London outfit Rev78. He left the band at Christmas to go solo. "I'm a huge fan of songwriting as an art form" he says. "I wanted it to be just me and my 12 string guitar." Citing Roy Orbison, ELO, Lennon and Bowie as influences, he is planning to record a debut EP, and has his debut gig tomorrow Tuesday March 19th at The Birdcage in Norwich.

BIRDPEN - A Thousand Followers [start 31:01]
https://www.birdpen.com
A singer with Archive, Dave Pen has collaborated with numerous musicians and regularly tours and plays Europe. BirdPen is his project with longtime friend and Mike Bird.  This track comes from Global Lows, their second album, recorded in Stockport with producer Jim Spencer. Dave and Mike launch their album with a hometown at Roxx in Southampton this Thursday, March 22nd.

JOHNNY KOWALSKI AND THE SEXY WEIRDOS - Night Before [start 36:25]
https://www.sexyweirdos.co.uk
Johnny Kowalski and the Sexy Weirdos (pictured above) first began to make their presence felt on the Birmingham scene in early 2010, honing their unique brand of musical lunacy in backstreet boozers and underground venues. 2012 proved to be something of a breakthrough, with a main stage slot at Nozstock, 2 sets at Boomtown (on the Hanging Garden stage), plus sell out shows at Hare and Hounds and The End in Birmingham. They also played many small festivals around the UK plus shows in London, Manchester and Bristol, and are currently taking bookings for 2013.

HELENA DUKIC - Grow Up [start 40:47]
https://soundcloud.com/helenadukic
Helena is 24 year old songwriter from Croatia/ Slovenia, currently based in London. She comes from a classical background, having studied classical music at Cambridge. She started writing songs a few years ago, all of which have a homespun feel: they are recorded and produced on a laptop in her bedroom. Head to her soundcloud page to hear more.

AFFAIRS - Cressida [start 42:49]
https://soundcloud.com/affairsband
From Hull, Affairs comprise Liam Grindell, Daniel Parker and James Robinson, Michaeal Bradnam and Jack Richards, who met while studying at university in the city. In their relatively short life, they have already supported the likes of Alt-J. They have a show tomorrow at the Linnet and Lark in Hull, followed by outings in Cambridge, Norwich, Lancaster and London.

RUN/LUCKY/FREE - Red Blood, Blue Heart [start 46:46]
https://www.runluckyfree.bandcamp.com
Sadly, Run/Lucky/Free are no more, having gone their separate ways having been together since 2009. They have, however, continued to make music. Singer Rachael Cormack and guitarist Daniel Crichton write together, and have already gone on to support the likes of Marika Hackman. Bassist Sam Dick and Daniel Crichton, meanwhile, play together in a newly formed band called Stampede Road.

CONSCIOUSNESS CLUB - Lay Low [start 50:34]
https://www.consciousnessclub.com
Consciousness Club came together while working for north London music charity, Music for People. By day they’d perform to older folk and people with disabilities in homes and day centresl; by night, they’d step out on the capital’s live circuit. Singer and guitarist Peter Crockett penned this, their first single. He and Jake Chisholm, Patch Benjamin, Barry Stilwell and Tommy Ca$h are now looking for an agent to secure more high-profile gigs.

SHEMAKESWAR - Never Was (CAJITA Remix) [start 54:15]
https://www.shemakeswar.com
She Makes War is - you'll remember - "the gloom-pop solo project of Laura Kidd" - multi instrumentalist, visual artist,  digital polymath and longstanding friend of my 6 music Introducing shows. Her debut album Disarm was released in September 2010 to high praise, and led to support slots with Midge Ure, Chris T-T, Viv Albertine and Tom Williams and the Boat. Laura makes some of the best use of digital media I've seen and is starting up a digital DIY collective My Big Sister. As Shemakeswar she is currently touring with Josie Ghost, formerly of King Blues, and will soon be commencing work on album number 3.

INTRODUCING MIXTAPE. MONDAY 11/03/2013

Post categories:

Tom Robinson Tom Robinson | 02:00 UK time, Monday, 11 March 2013

Tankus The Henge - by Simon Harvey Photography
Tankus The Henge - image courtesy of Simon Harvey Photography

In the small hours of a Monday morning from 2-3am you can hear a selection of my favourite new tunes compiled into an hour-long mixtape of nonstop music. All the audio is sourced from the BBC Introducing Uploader - some of it recommended by friends and colleagues and some discovered via Twitter and my own Fresh On The Net blog.

From 3am each Monday the latest mixtape is available free via the 6 Music Downloads Page - where you'll also find archived episodes from the previous 4 weeks. All the tracklists and start times for each track are published here - together with a link to each artist's website. These are the listings for Monday, 11th March 2013.

TANKUS THE HENGE - Recurring Dream [start 0:13]
https://tankusthehenge.com
Tankus the Henge (pictured above) are six gentlemen outcasts who specialise in what they describe as "having an anarchic good time." They are currently touring the country with "their high octane live show… (which) will break your heart, lift your spirits and leave you dancing". Their selftitled debut album took three years to finish, and gets its launch in London at The Lexington this Wednesday March 13th.

SPARROWHAWKS - Living Man’s Disease [start 04:28]
https://sparrowhawks.bandcamp.com
Sparrowhawks are an alt/folk. pop four piece from the North Wales border and Living Man’s Disease is taken from their new EP - available as free download from their website. You can catch them live this Wednesday March 15th in Chester at the Rake & Pikel, and in Wrexham on March 28th at The Royal Oak and April 25th at the Focus Wales Festival.

THE BOO-HOORAY THEORY - Helen Lane [start 08:08]
https://theboohooraytheory.bandcamp.com
Songwriters Ben Heneghan and Ian Lawson somehow managed to take thirty years to release a first album and Follow The Gleam has been worth every minute of the wait. Several of those years must have been devoted to this track Helen Lane alone - and it captured my heart and ears within the first ten seconds. The Boo-Hooray Theory is the 12-piece band assembled by Ben and Ian to perform this outstanding collection of songs and occasionally they even manage to herd these disparate musicians together for a live show. Although these events are, they say, "vanishingly rare" our heroes are nevertheless "open to offers from anyone with a big enough stage".

PARK PLANET - The Youngest [start 13:04]
https://www.facebook.com/parkplanet
Glasgow's Park Planet consist of guitarist and frontman Graham Duff, close blood relative Gordon Duff on bass and drummer Leon Breakey. Although they've been registered with BBC Introducing since July 2010 they seem to have escalated activities around the end of last year, posting tunes on Soundcloud that caught the ear of music blogs such as Instantfilter, Musicyouneed and my own Fresh On The Net. They began work on their debut album in earnest last month at Graham's studio The Outhouse. "First day in the studio finished" he posted on February 16th. "Two songs down, twenty one to go."

YEAH & SHE HAS RED LIPS TOO - (Get Down And) Disconnect [start 16:40]
https://yeahandshehasredlipstoo.com
How great to hear new music from so many old friends this week. Jez and Caz were formerly known to 6 Music listeners as Molloy - whose splendid debut single Hoxton Hips we featured back in April 2008 on Fresh On The Net. With a change of style and a change of sound they've taken their name of their new project from a David Lynch painting. "Yeah And She Has Red Lips Too’s post-apocalyptic new wave rock" they tell us "carries you away on a dark tide of what it is to be human". This single was launched on March 7th in Islington, London.

SHELLSUIT - Death Or Bongo [start 20:47]
https://www.shellsuit.co.uk
I'm also a longstanding fan of the radical Merseyside trio Shellsuit and their 2010 masterpiece of laconic understatement, the selfproduced Walton Prison Blues album. The band have not been idle over the last two years and Death Or Bongo bowled me over with its ambitious expansion of their sound. Bass guitar ! Funk Grooves ! Electric guitar riffs ! Piano chords ! Tempo changes! While all the while retaining Shellsuit's trademark elliptical edge to the lyrics. As a first single, this bodes extremely well for the band's forthcoming second album Wednesday Morning Bootle Strand. I can't wait.

NATALIE ROSS - Feels Just Like I’m 17 Again [start 24:30]
https://www.natalieross.co.uk
Natalie Ross was one of the first artists ever played on 6 Music Introducing back in 2007 and I've followed her career with interest ever since. Feels Just Like I’m 17 Again comes from her new 5-track EP due out in May called The Thrill of it All. Like Shellsuit, Natalie hasn't let the grass grown under her feet and this record features her newly-recruited band and Alt-J producer Charlie Andrew, no less, behind the controls.

TINHEART - A Million Winters [start 27:52]
https://tinheart.bandcamp.com
Tinheart - or tiNhearT as he prefers to style it - is the solo project of Piers Blewett - songwriter and frontman with Brighton's Stick In A Pot. This comes from his EP "tiNhearteD" which was recorded in Piers's bedroom on a borrowed guitar and released last month on his own Sad Sentry Records imprint. It represents a conscious effort to "write concise songs with plenty of melody". Gigs - including the Brighton Fringe Festival - are in the pipeline, along with plans for a followup EP.

GLASS CAVES - Muscle [start 30:18]
https://www.facebook.com/glasscavesmusic
Pontefract five-piece Glass Caves, we're told, "fuse agitated rhythms, yo-yoing guitars and dissonant keyboard sounds with vocals that splinter then soar through their songs. They come at you like a band channelling the spirit of American alternative bands, such as Local Natives and Fleet Foxes, through a very British filter to produce perfectly formed morsels of ballsy alt-rock." So now you know. They've just passed 4,000 likes on Facebook and sold 5,000 copies of their selftitled EP - and you'll certainly need to book early for their headline at Fibbers in York on April 12th.

YAKURI CABLE - Line of Sight [start 33:44]
https://soundcloud.com/yakuri-cable
Yakuri Cable is is a Japanese funicular line in Takamatsu, Kagawa. It's also an indie/synth/pop band formed in Glasgow early last year by Andy, Ross, Jo and Chris who had alrady met as bandmates in the lineup of some previous - and unspecified - local outfit. By the end of the year they had composed five songs, and recorded their EP Beginnings (on which this is the opening track) at Green Door studios in Glasgow. The EP is now available from Bandcamp and they hope to make their live debut in April.

ABIGAILHUBBARD - People Watching [start 38:12]
https://soundcloud.com/abigailhubbard
Abigail Hubbard is, we're told, "a refreshingly original solo artist who collaborates tastes of trip-hop, jazz, classical and folk to create a ensemble of humbling melodies and incomparable beats." Her lifelong career began "as a music loving embryo tapping beats on her mother's navel" and developed through shouting at the sea at age 7, dancing around to Mary Poppins, and first picking up a guitar on her 11th birthday.   Since recording her People Watching EP, from which this track is taken, Abigail has been working with a full time band, who will  begin recording a debut album this summer with producer The Assembly Worker. Their next gig is in London at The Rattlesnake a week on Tuesday, March 19th.

HEART-SHIPS - Five Forks Of Lightning [start 41:32]
https://facebook.com/HeartShips
Leeds’ six-piece Heart-Ships will release their debut EP1 both digitally and on 12" vinyl on April 29th. By way of an incentive, if you pre-order it from their website you get a free download of this track Five Forks of Lightning. I'd like to tell you a bit about this band but they give away absolutely nothing of themselves - or about themselves - online. Their Facebook contains only descriptions of their music by various pundits, for example "BBC INTRODUCING: Absolutely Brilliant." Hmm. Thanks for sharing. They play a London show at Camden Barfly on April 22nd and Live At Leeds on May 4th.

WINTER SON - Acid Rain [start 44:50]
https://www.iamwinterson.com/
"I make dance music halfway between classic house and goth inspired post-punk using a studio jammed with old analogue equipment" says Manchester musician Thomas Ragsdale - aka Winter Son - and also one half of Ghosting Season. His Winter Son manifesto is so evocatively written it bears repeating: "I play live using a battered 30 year old TR-808 drum machine and a host of percussion pads, and am sometimes joined on stage by Jozef K. The name 'Winter Son' comes from those cold Northern English nights walking around Manchester to the sounds of Depeche Mode, Bauhaus, The Cure, and old Chicago house tracks. It comes from immersing yourself in a darkened room packed with sweaty bodies moving as one to the sound of the bass drum and synth line..." Now that's what I call an artist biog. It doesn't have to be factual but it does need to be interesting. The debut Winter Son EP is due for release this Summer on Sasha's label Last Night On Earth.

BROMHEADS - Gonna Let You Melt [start 47:00]
https://www.bromheads.tv
At the end of last year we featured Bromheads' Holding The Gun on the mixtape - their first "official" recording with the new duo lineup - having previously released a dozen singles for free download. They describe themselves as the "Sheffield lad duo" of Tim Hampton and Dan Potter, "a 50’s inspired garage band" formed in 2009 from their acclaimed previous trio lineup as Bromheads Jacket. This track comes from their new album Choro which they'll release on April 15th, and promote by playing 11 cities in 12 days, finishing in Stoke on April 26th. Visit their website for full details.

SWIMMING IN SPEAKERS - Teach Yourself [start 49:16]
https://swimminginspeakers.bandcamp.com
I first played the Saranac Lake duo Swimming In Speakers shortly after they formed and released their eponymous debut EP in early 2009 - two songs from which ended up on Grey’s Anatomy. The band consist of Meadow Elizabeth on vocals and Christopher Clarke provided pretty much everything else that you hear on this languid, captivating track from their longawaited debut album Guessing The Others - which finally arrived this year at the beginning of February.

LEAVING ATLANTIS - The Hill [start 53:12]
https://www.facebook.com/leavingatlantis
Our final track in this week's mixtape also comes from a boy-girl duo formed in 2009 - in this case by Danish lyricist and singer Signe Gry Thorup, who joined forces with the Finnish-born, London based drummer and producer Vesa Haapanen to create Leaving Atlantis. This track comes from their debut album Strange New World which was recorded in a variety of locations  (London, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Lapland and Zimbabwe) and using a variety of supplementary musicians (Wayne Urquhart, Andy Parkin, Tom Marriott and more). It was recorded, mixed and mastered by James Towler. They're already planning a followup album for this summer and play a live show in Copenhagen next month.

 

INTRODUCING MIXTAPE. MONDAY 04/03/2013

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Tom Robinson Tom Robinson | 02:00 UK time, Monday, 4 March 2013

Francis Lickerish - click to zoom image in new window
Francis Lickerish - click to zoom image in new window

In the small hours of a Monday morning from 2-3am you can hear a selection of my favourite new tunes compiled into an hour-long mixtape of nonstop music. All the audio is sourced from the BBC Introducing Uploader - some of it recommended by friends and colleagues and some discovered via Twitter and my own Fresh On The Net blog.

From 3am each Monday the latest mixtape is available free via the 6 Music Downloads Page - where you'll also find archived episodes from the previous 4 weeks. All the tracklists and start times for each track are published here - together with a link to each artist's website. These are the listings for Monday, 4th March 2013.

CARA WINTER - Picking Up The Pieces [Starts 00:42]
https://www.soundcloud.com/cara-winter
We enjoyed Cara Winter's earlier song Butterfly on the mixtape last September, but to these ears this material moves her up into a different league altogether. Cara is a 25 year old pianist, vocalist and composer based in East Anglia on the north-east borders of Essex and Cambridgeshire. She described herself to us last year as "A shy self-taught pianist who has recently started experimenting with live shows featuring a string quartet" but there's nothing shy or tentative about her incandescent performance on this track. She's put out two selfreleased albums to date and has just completed album number three: Do You Have A Heart - a collaboration with cellist and string arranger Nick Cooper who has worked with Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel and Goldfrapp among others.

SEATTLE YACHT CLUB - Same Old Questions [Starts 05:02]
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Seattle-Yacht-Club/355391661145118
Seattle Yacht Club are from Liverpool, Southport (or possibly both) and consist of multi-instrumentalists Tom Dale and Denis Brice. The duo share a bond approaching brotherhood, having grown up next door to each other, and indeed their playing shares much of that telepathic tightness often heard in bands of siblings.  Having played & made music together in various bands over the years they've gradually refined their sound and shed superfluous musicians from their lineup to end up with Brian Eno's ideal of the "small, mobile intelligent unit."

CYMBIENT - Trailers and Gliders [Starts 07:34]
https://soundcloud.com/cymbient
Cymbient is the musical project of Trinidad born, Cardiff based artist and musician, Andy Fung. Andy's previous musical incarnation Derrero recorded 4 Peel Sessions  and toured with Super Furry Animals, Grandaddy, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci and Sebadoh. Cymbient's 2008 album, Out On The Waves, received 6 Music airplay from, among others, Shaun Keaveny, Gideon Coe and, er,  Tom Robinson This track Trailers and Gliders comes from Andy's latest full length offering I Saw Energy and you can see examples of his visual artworks and psychedelic painting at andyfung.co.uk

RUEN BROTHERS - Aces [Starts 09:42]
https://ruenbrothers.com
A great sounding track from Ruen Brothers - with a wonderful classic garage rock groove, and a bravura vocal performance. This is the kind of pared-down, deceptively simple song structure that formed the backbone of early 1960s rock'n'roll. Songwriting like this has been an increasingly lost art with the subsequent rise of first multitrack and then computer-assisted recording, but this band manage it effortlessly. The band are actual brothers Rupert and Henry Stansall - on lead guitar and lead vocals respectively - whogrew up in the industrial badlands of Scunthorpe before moving south to seek fame and fortune in London. They come highly recommended not only by Katy Noone from BBC Introducing in Humberside but also the ever-reliable Dean Jackson who presents BBC Introducing's legendary East Midlands show The Beat

SUPERMASSIVEELEPHANT - Pterodactyl [Starts 12:24]
https://facebook.com/itsanelephant
Elephant (or SupermassiveElephant, UKElephant, TheElephant, ElephantInTheRoom or ItsAnElephant, depending on which of his websites you visit) is an interesting creature hand-reared by multi-instrumentalist/producer/songwriter Alex Hall from Milford-on-sea near Lymington in the New Forest. Armed with a laptop and a modest collection of instruments, he spends his time piecing together a collection of recordings inspired by his love of experimental indie, 60’s surf pop and more contemporary lo-fi electronic music. Alex is also a passionate enthusiast of Apple computers and an ex school music teacher with strong skills in Logic Pro and Garageband.

GYMNAST - Build A Boat [Starts 16:14]
https://www.gymnastband.com
One of my great regrets in recent indie music has been the demise of the immensely fresh and promising Edinburgh band Mayhew - who not only featured regularly on my 6 music Introducing shows but also won themselves a place on the Acoustic Stage in the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition in 2011. However the financial and logistical pressures of keeping a five piece band together on the more interesting fringes of the record industry are immense, and over the following year the band finally ceased to be. So imagine my delight - after choosing Build A Boat by Manchester duo Gymnast for this mixtape purely on the basis of what came out of the speakers - to learn that this new band consists of core Mayhew members Cathy Wilcock (on lead vocals and guitar) and Chris Lyon (on, er, synth, cello, guitar, backing vocals, programming… you name it). It's a case of Mayhew is dead, long live Gymnast, and we await more music from them with keen interest.

UNIVERSAL DISAPPOINTMENT SPONGE - Lost Art Of Steeplejacking [Starts 19:52]
https://www.facebook.com/UniversalDisappointmentSponge
Easy listening it ain't, but giving your spine and ears an enjoyable jolt, it's hard to beat "The Lost Art Of Steeplejacking" by the splendidly named Universal Disappointment Sponge - who accurately describe themselves as "Post Modern Art Rock Noise Nonsense from the very bowels of Essex". Namely the towns of Rayleigh and Leigh near Southend On Sea. The group features members of a number of Essex based bands - including Southend based satirical noise wranglers Fashoda Crisis - "playing music loudly, but never playing in Essex". Them's the breaks I guess. It's challenging music, but always a thrill to discover great players making music as barkingly deranged as this. It's only a shame they weren't doing it ten years ago - John Peel would have adored their debut EP Time To Surrender Puny Earthlings, which you can hear in full on their Bandcamp page. They play Cardiff on March 31st

TALK TO ANGELS - Lead Balloon [Starts 22:16]
https://www.talktoangels.co.uk
Indie guitar rock is a universal language of which Bradford quartet Talk To Angels are clearly fluent  speakers - having not only toured the US Eastern Seaboard for CMJ and played South By Southwest in Austin, but also played La Ferme Du Rock in France, Live At Leeds, and headlined their own ten date UK tour. The band's latest incarnation aims to move things up a gear with the release of their forthcoming debut album This Broken Home on March 22nd (band member Mickey Dale's birthday!) from which this single Lead Balloon is an advance taster. It can be pre-ordered from their Bandcamp page although a full-scale tour to promote it won't take place until at least May, due to family and other commitments.

SPARROW AND THE WORKSHOP - Shock Shock [Starts 26:09]
https://sparrowandtheworkshop.co.uk
Glasgow trio Sparrow & the Workshop release their new single ‘Shock Shock’ through Song By Toad Records on March 18th. It's the first new music we've heard form them since last year’s sophomore album Spitting Daggers and a first taster from the 11-track followup Murderopolis which is due in May. The group consists of vocalist Jill O’Connor, drummer Gregor Donaldson and Nick Packer on guitar, bass and, erm, something called a basstard. "We've never done an album launch before" they exclaim on Facebook "and now we're doing two. Cowabunga! The first one is in Mono, Glasgow (on May 8th) with support from the excellent Strike The Colours". Having supported the likes of Brian Jonestown Massacre, British Sea Power, The Lemonheads and taken to the stage at Glastonbury, Green Man and Bestival to name a few, the band make a return performance as session guests on The Marc Riley show on 6 Music on Monday March 18th - the very day this single hits the digital shops.

WILL AND THE PEOPLE - The Game [Starts 29:52]
https://www.willandthepeople.com
Will And The People describe themselves as "multigenre heavy chilled pop music... it's a reggae sandwich situation" After forming at Glastonbury festival 2010 the band immediately moved into a house together where the recorded the majority of their second album 'Friends.' It has been a very busy two years for the band relentlessly touring from Australia to Cambodia and collaborating with artists ranging from Passenger to Ed Sheeran. They've had a top 10 single in Holland which they followed up with a sold out tour. "Currently" we're told, "the band, the magician and the producer all live under the same roof.. which means they can afford to be spontaneous, as they can read each other very well… the band don't really argue, and they work together... because of this they are doing very well this year.. they have managed to book all their own gigs and do all their own paperwork (nearly)....

LITTLEMORES - Blue Eyes Black [Starts 32:53]
https://www.facebook.com/littlemores
Littlemores have built a live reputation in their native York and the surrounding county for their high-energy live performances. To my ears they're unlike any other guitar-based indie band working in this musical or geographical area because of the sharp, thoughtful lyrics of firebrand frontman Conor Hirons. Few bands could turn a song about domestic violence into a riproaring set-closer, yet that's excatly what Littlemores have done with Blue Eyes Black. Three weeks ago they posted a new song called "Have You Seen The News Master" on their Soundcloud page. "Very Billy Bragg" sniffed a user known as The Vineland. "We take that as a great compliment" reorted Littlemores. And so they should.

CREATURE THAT BITES - Hole in the Sky [Starts 36:19]
https://www.creaturethatbites.com
Keyboardist and drummer Christian Barton joined forces with bass/guitar player George Haworth in April 2012 to write, sing, record, produce and release their own music. "Having been music men for many years" they say, "we decided it was time to get our act together, so to speak. We hope others enjoy and get a sense of the fun we had putting this work together".  This track is taken from the band's self-titled concept album which came out last Autumn, from which we already featured their debut single Plane to Caracas on the Introducing Mixtape at the beginning of this year.

DUOLOGUE - Push It [Starts 39:59]
https://www.duologuemusic.co.uk
The first incarnation of Duologue deserved its name back when vocalist Tim Digby-Bell and techno DJ/programmer Toby Leeming were a two-piece indie/electronic band gigging around London and the festival circuit. They've since recruited longstanding friends Seb Dilleyston (violins) Ross Stone (bass) and Toby Lee (lead guitar) to form a fully-fledged band. They just released their long-awaited debut album Song & Dance this week on Killing Moon Records, from which this single is taken. It also includes a re-recorded version of Talk Shop - a track that we first featured on 6 Music Introducing back in December 2007. They play a short run of UK dates next week in Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham and Bristol before heading off the Austin for South By Southwest 2013.

OWEN DUFF - Dying For The Money [Starts 46:30]
https://www.owenduff.co.uk
Northern-Ireland born, London-resident Owen Duff sings, plays piano, guitar, ukulele and drums. He also writes, records, produces and makes videos with a tendency, he says, "to prioritise unusual chord progressions & extended metaphors over most other things."  He's released four EPs since 2006, and completed one (deliberately) unreleased album in 2008 after challenging himself to write and record 20 songs in four weeks. Six of those songs were reworked 15 months ago to form Owen's fourth EP Realityicide, on which this is the seventh, bonus, track. You can hear and buy the whole thing on his Bandcamp, which also includes a link to his various other web pages. We aprticularly recommend the vintage black and white promo clip for Dying For The Money on his YouTube channel.

FRANCIS LICKERISH - Broceliande [Starts 50:42]
https://www.secretgreen.co.uk
Back in the early 70s I was friends with Francis Lickerish (pictured above), whose band with Steve Stewart and Neil Kavanagh later went on to become the much-loved orchestral rock cult heroes The Enid. Francis and The Enid parted company in the early 80s, and to my great joy he's returned this year with one of the most original solo albums I've heard in ages called Far And Forgot: The Lost Lands. The music is a refinement of his trademark widescreen orchestral rock yet performed by members of a live gigging combo of multi instrumentalists. This is at its most surprising when they put down their guitars and play a pastoral gem like this one, Broceliande. However the album has an astonishingly wide range that includes full-on drums and electric guitars - as you can hear on his Secret Green website.

VASQUEZ - Pow [Starts 55:40]
https://vasquez.bandcamp.com/releases
Vasquez was originally three guys who met following a post on Gumtree by guitarist/founding member Ciaran Mckenna looking for band members. They named the band after a hard-as-nails, heavy-machine-gun-wielding badass character in the film Aliens. In December 2010 new permanent bassist Sean Quinn joined the band. Inspired by the likes of Talking Heads, Don Caballero, Torche, Steve Reich and Meshuggah the group has released two EP’s (EP1 and EP2) and gigged extensively around the UK. Their latest EP "EP-426" contains six tracks and was released in January 2013. Their next live booking is on April 13th at the Limbo Live night at The Voodoo Rooms in their hometown of Edinburgh.

 

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