Friday, 7 March 2014
New Book: ‘Dexys Midnight Runners: The Team That Dreams In Caffs’ by Geoff Blythe, Ian Snowball, Mike Laye and Pete McKenna (Countdown)
The Team That Dreams in Caffs is the first book written by a member of Dexys Midnight Runners from the period of their debut album ‘Searching For the Young Soul Rebels’.
This book is the story of the making of that album and what it was like being a member of the band and working with the genius Kevin Rowland. Alongside Geoff Blythe and the author’s narrative the book includes contributions from a selection of fans and people that were connected with the making of the album and the band at the time.
The Team That Dreams in Caffs also includes photographs from Mike Layes collection. Mike was the bands official photographer between 1979 and 1980 and captured that iconic image that the band displayed of donkey jackets, wooly hats, brogues and carrying northern soul style holdalls. All the photographs are black and white, which adds to the atmosphere of the book.
‘Searching For The Young Soul Rebels’ was the album that gave the world such songs as Geno and There There My Dear and put Dexys Midnight Runners on the map. The album is regarded as many as one of the greatest debut albums of all time and this book is an attempt to celebrate that fact.
It's a book that will resonate with a generation and appeal to those still searching for the young soul rebel in themselves.
PRE-ORDERs NOW BEING TAKEN - RELEASE DATE 14TH APRIL
Thursday, 6 March 2014
Scottish band, Soldier On, to play March of the Mods in Manchester and announce their new EP release
Scottish band, Soldier On, have been invited to play two legs of March of the Mods, a month long music festival that tours the UK to help raise money and awareness for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
To date the band has played its majority of gigs in Glasgow but the first leg of the doubleheader will see Soldier On travel south of the border for the first time, to Manchester, where it will give the mother city of Madchester a taste of things the Soldier On way.
Lead singer of Soldier On, Jordan Bastock, said of the invitation down south: “Heading to where it all began for the likes of Oasis, the Happy Mondays, and The Stone Roses is a huge step for us, we can’t wait!”
However, less than a week after the band’s England debut the Ayrshire based band will be back in its adopted city of Glasgow to make its second appearance at March of the Mods, this time at a venue its not played before, the O2 ABC.
But the busy month doesn’t stop there for the band. Exactly a week after the performance at the O2 ABC Soldier On’s first EP will be released online and will be available to download on a number of platforms including iTunes and Spotify.
Jordan continued: “Since we formed the band at the start of last year we’ve worked tirelessly to get our music heard and to get in front of as many faces as possible.
“The last year and a bit has been working towards this, playing our first gig outside Scotland and releasing our first EP. It’s been hard work but it’s been great.”
Amongst the mod scene March of the Mods is an established event which last year raised £50,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust. With the help of Soldier On it hopes to eclipse that figure this year.
Soldier On is Ayrshire's fastest up-and-coming band known for its energetic performances and mod style.
Secret Affair kick off their first live show of 2014 at Wakefield's 'Warehouse' 23 on Friday 14th March. The following night will see them play the Skamouth Festival in Great Yarmouth and then 'The Fleece' in Bristol on Saturday 22nd March.
April shows include The Mod Weekender at the Marine Court Hotel in Bangor, Northern Ireland on Saturday 5th April and then they will make an appearance at the 4 day Modstock: Celebrating 50 years of Mod Culture (17th-20th April) at the 229 club, Great Portland Street on Thursday 17th April.
Limited edition and numbered vinyl copies of their new album 'Soho Dreams' are still available at all of their forthcoming shows, so if you'd like to get a signed copy get down to one of there shows before they run out!
The new 2-CD collection, ‘Ooh La La: An Island Harvest’, is out next week.
It unearths previously unreleased alternate takes of classic Ronnie Lane compositions including his BBC concert performance from 1974.
You can pre-order your copy at http://po.st/RonnieLane
Track Listing: -
1. Ooh La La - Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance
2. Don't Try & Change My Mind - Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance
3. One for the Road - Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance
4. Buddy Can You Spare Me a Dime - Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance
5. Steppin' and Reelin' - Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance
6. Harvest Home - Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance
7. 32nd Street - Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance
8. Give Me a Penny - Ronnie Lane
9. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down (And Write Myself a Letter) - Ronnie Lane
10. You Never Can Tell - Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance
11. Back Street Boy - Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance
12. Snake - Ronnie Lane
13. Burnin' Summer - Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance
14. Anniversary - Ronnie Lane
15. Country Boy - Ronnie Lane
16. What Went Down (That Night With You) - Ronnie Lane
17. Tin and Tambourine - Ronnie Lane
18. Little Piece of Nothing - Ronnie Lane
1. The Poacher - Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance
2. Street Gang - Ronnie Lane
3. Nobody's Listenin' - Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance
4. Stone - Ronnie Lane
5. G'morning - Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance
6. Bottle of Brandy - Ronnie Lane
7. Single Saddle - Ronnie Lane
8. Lovely - Ronnie Lane
9. Ain't No Lady - Ronnie Lane
10. Blue Monday - Ronnie Lane
11. Anniversary - Ronnie Lane
12. Last Orders - Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance
13. Done This One Before - Ronnie Lane
14. Flags and Banners - Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance
15. Tell Everyone - Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance
16. How Come - Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance
17. I Believe in You - Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance
18. Debris - Ronnie Lane
19. Ooh La La - Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance
"The guys and girls in the scooter scene are into the '60s vibe."
The Pressure is, bar none, the best '60s-style ska-and-rocksteady band in Pittsburgh. Of course, The Pressure is basically the only '60s-style ska-and-rocksteady band in Pittsburgh.
"It's often like, ‘What shows can we play where we just play by ourselves?'" says guitarist and founding member David Riel. "We play a lot of shows where we do two sets, or play with [DJs] we know who spin this kind of music. There are a couple of more third-wave ska bands we've played with, but I think when we play, their fans feel like they're watching the oldies channel or something."
The Pressure has been holding down the subgenre since forming in 2008; Riel founded the band, singer Mz. Annie M. came soon after, and the rest of the band has come on board since, after a few lineup changes. The current roster took form when Eric Mazurak moved to Pittsburgh from Detroit and joined; he writes most of the band's material now, and recorded The Pressure's new LP and 7-inch single, both of which are being released on March 1.
Riel and Mazurak had already known each other through the vintage-scooter scene — which plays a big role in the band, as folks who care about vintage scooters tend also to know a thing or two about vintage music.
"The guys and girls in the scooter scene are into the '60s vibe," says Riel. "They know the ska and reggae of that era. We always try to play shows at scooter rallies."
While it can be lonely out there in Pittsburgh for an old-school ska band, though, there are some advantages. When an old-school ska or reggae name comes through town on tour, The Pressure is an obvious choice to open the show — the band has been booked with the likes of The English Beat and Toots and the Maytals.
"I like to think it's not just because we're the only ones around here doing this, though," Riel says with a laugh. "I like to think it's because we're good."
Pauline Black’s music in her re-formed band is still highly relevant, writes Tim Hughes
Riven by racism, strife and unemployment, the England of the late ’70s and early ’80s was a very different place to now. Or, at least, we like to think it was.
Growing up in Coventry, a once-proud manufacturing centre poleaxed by industrial decline, the young Pauline Black was shocked by those divisions and was stirred into action — giving her voice to a movement which aimed to bring people together through a shared love of music.
Fusing ska, rocksteady, reggae with new wave and punk rock, the city’s 2 Tone scene, centred on the record label of the same name, was a blending of Jamaican and British sounds, represented by its black and white chequerboard motif. And at the vanguard of that mission were the Specials, The Beat and Pauline’s band, The Selecter.
Taking their oddly-spelt name from the Jamaican term for a DJ, The Selecter gave voice to disaffected youth with a life-affirming sound based on an infectious ska rhythm.
Now, 35 years after the release of their seminal album Too Much Pressure, Pauline is back on the road with her reformed band to play the record in its entirety.
And, just as Pauline has stayed close to her Coventry roots, so her music remains as relevant as ever.
“Obviously we are very tied to our past,” she says, talking from her home — an end-of-terrace house in the city’s Chapelfields district. “How can we not be when people are still interested in what we were doing back then? The whole point of what we were doing was to highlight what we saw around us. And in many ways things haven’t changed between 1979 and 2014. Racism and sexism both seem to be alive and well.”
She adds: “It’s good to share the message of 2 Tone, which is about the ideal of harmony among people and burying any racial differences between us. And I’ll fight for that ‘til my dying breath.
“It has always been more about being in a band than earning money. I stand on stage and sing about what I believe in — rather than churning out love songs. We were not politicians but wanted a way to educate people at the time — and they have passed that onto their kids. A lot of young people come and see us.”
Formed in 1977, by songwriter Noel Davies and John Bradbury, The Selecter’s eponymous debut single was released as the B-side of The Special AKA’s Gangsters, which reached number six in the charts. The line-up expanded into a seven-piece, with Pauline being signed up in 1979.
Their breakthrough came with the single On My Radio, followed by Three Minute Hero and Missing Words, which featured on their top five debut album, recorded in 1979, released the following year, and which is currently being performed in full.
The band’s line-up continued to shift, with Pauline leaving after the release of their second album Celebrate the Bullet in 1981, to pursue a career as a film and television actor. The group broke up shortly after. It took 10 years for the band to reform, with Pauline at the helm. Davies initially joined her, but left after a year. The band continued to release new songs until 2006, when she again quit — this time to write a book of her experiences, called Black By Design, and to record solo material.
When Davies attempted to launch his own version of The Selecter, five years later, the two former bandmates were pitched into a dispute, only settled when Pauline, and original lead singer Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson, won the right to use the name. Pauline and Gaps have led the line-up since, resulting in the current tour, which reaches Oxford on Sunday.
“The best woman won,” she laughs. “Neol gave it up two years ago; I wish him well in all he does. The Selecter has always had a torturous path through life - but so have lots of bands. We are a huge band and everyone has equal input.”
And, she insists, it is a happy band. “We are enjoying it more than ever,” she says. “We feel musically and business-wise more in control of what we are doing, and it’s an actual joy.
“We are longer in the tooth, but wiser.
“Because it’s the 35th anniversary we’ve been doing the whole album and bringing it up to date,” she says. “Of course, we should have done this five years ago, but being The Selecter we do everything back to front. We thought then it would be a good idea to do new material. Now we also want to show people what we’ve been doing for the past few years.
“We are enjoying bringing our message of multiculturalism from across four decades to venues up and down the land.
“What 2 Tone represents is a chance for people to get together to celebrate their differences. We are all human beings and should treat people with respect regardless of colour and creed.”
Despite fame, she has resisted any temptation to leave her home town. “I’m keeping it real,” she smiles. “I like to live in a place that feels like home. Most people on my street are immigrants, but everyone knows who we are. Coventry is like a little Motown. And even though all the factories are gone, lots of people in bands have their roots here and we know each other. It’s good to stay grounded and rooted in your community.”
She adds: “Coventry is the city of peace and reconciliation, and that whole thing still burns quite brightly here.”
And what differences has she seen over the past 35 years?
“I think personally things are more harmonious these days and people do see through the jaded attitudes of right-wing people trying to stir up racial hatred.
“All you can do, though, is educate people through song.”
What is she most proud of? “Still being able to do what I want to do,” she says.
“As you get older it gets more difficult to keep up that energy, but we are at a good time now with all these other pop stars getting older — look at Mick Jagger!
“Women especially get into their 40s and disappear into the woodwork, and I think ‘why does that happen?’ I certainly don’t intend to let that happen to me.”