Johnny Lloyd’s Next Episode Starts In 15 Seconds

Johnny Lloyd, the former Tribes frontman, and famously, boyfriend of Billie Piper, is set to release his debut solo full album as a follow up to the Dreamland EP. Next Episode Starts In 15 Seconds is due for release on 3rd May via Xtra Mile Recordings. The announcement has been coupled with an exclusive first glimpse of the new material on the horizon, the title-track which also features backing vocals from longtime friend and label-mate Frank Turner.

Johnny has become a father, entered his thirties and spent time in America, which is reflected in his new sound. Pared-back of sound and pure of lyric, the delicately spindled and chiming melodies of  Next Episode… find Johnny making a considerable leap forward into lush and dreamy pastures new. After a 2-year period in which Johnny found himself busily scoring music for various high-profile projects for the silver screen (including the celebrated Rolling Stones Film ‘The Quiet One’), Next Episode… materialised somewhat out of the blue as the first music he had penned for himself in sometime, but would prove to be the first ripple in a wave of new material that would form his forthcoming solo album.

Very much indicative of his newfound direction and a bold departure from his indie-rock roots, Next Episode… sees Johnny’s sound metamorphosing to find kindred spirits with the likes of Nick Drake or Sparklehorse, channeling that hushed, alternative-folk sound that is so eternally enchanting.

Speaking about writing Next Episode…, Johnny reveals “[Next Episode…] was the first song I wrote for the album and it just landed out of nowhere. It marked a real turning point. It’s all about trying to enjoy the moment and not succumb to this modern idea of constant success. Everyone is different and that’s what makes life interesting, you don’t have to be anything or anybody you don’t want to be. It’s about trying to live in the moment.”

Johnny’s daughter, Tallulah, was born in January but he and Billie appear on the artwork for the album and in the video whilst Billie was eight months pregnant. The impending welcoming of a new life into the world adds to the context of the song

Checking into a 10ft square bunker in north London in late 2018 with producer Nathan Coen, the pair began to flesh out the bones of the record, operating with a hard-and-fast rule for each recorded track to be completed in “no more than three takes”. Though often a challenging process, the results as such were remarkable. With its rawest, purest and most endearing qualities perfectly preserved, the collection of tracks began to glisten like diamonds in the rough. Dusted with finishing touches from Frank Turner, Hugo White (The Maccabees) and Adam Prendergast of Harry Styles’s band, these esteemed guest appearances finessed the album with a touch of magic and drew the album into crystalline focus. Adding a last touch of class, the album was mastered at the infamous Abbey Road Studios by Frank Arkwright in late 2018.

Rich with personal renovations and revelations inspired by a whirlwind of changes in Johnny’s life over the past few years, the intimate and mature songs of the album tackle growth, getting sober and becoming a father, in a record that earnestly witnesses this songwriter enter back into the spotlight and truly come of age.

With the debut album and tours in the pipeline for the UK, Europe and further afield, Johnny Lloyd is back with a renewed sense of direction and a steadfast attitude that is echoed throughout this assured new album. Johnny is confirmed for Lost Evenings III in Boston in May, and 2000 Trees Festival in July.

 

Nick Waterhouse Releases New Single Wreck The Rod 

Nick Waterhouse, the fine purveyor of classic Rhythm and Blues, Jazz and Soul, has released new single Wreck The Rod taken from his upcoming self-titled album.  Nick says the throwback track was inspired by a conversation with “Soul Queen of New Orleans” Irma Thomas on “singers being used up by an industry (in addition to a larger swath of society), about riding it out, about rising above, about an unsettling pleasure / pain dynamic.”

The single is paired perfectly with a cheeky video of Nick performing on a fictitious late-night show Dan After Dark with legendary Villainous actor Danny Trejo, who you will have seen in Machete, Breaking Bad and Con Air among others, acting as host. He straps on his velour tuxedo, vintage frames, and white patent leather shoes to glide and groove on stage while embodying a hilarious “washed-up musician” persona. While the video breaks the song up it looked like Nick had a great time in the making off it, and it is worth it for the sax solo, let alone Danny Trejo as you have never seen him before.

 

“Wreck the Rod finds Danny as an alternate reality Mike Douglas and some version of myself living out the ravages and indignities of the very lyrics I’m singing,” says Nick on the video. “Where’s all this media and content heading in 2019? We posit right to 1978, baby.”

The 11-song collection, which is out March 8th via Innovative Leisure, features ten new Waterhouse originals, plus a deep cover of I Feel An Urge Coming On, originally written by Nick’s friend and mentor Joshie Jo Armstead, who has previously written with Ray Charles and performed as both a Raelette and an Ikette in the 1960s and 70s.

There’s a reason why Nick chose to name this, his fourth album, his self-titled release. While he has always had a “style is all his own” according to NPR, this album is a deeper reflection of the cultural and emotional firmament that has made Nick the artist he is today: his passions and influences; his love and outrage. The music of Irma Thomas and Chico Hamilton; the films of Robert Siodmak and Adam Curtis. The good old bad days in San Francisco, Detroit and Los Angeles. It’s an intoxicating world, and this album invites you to get lost in it. Song For Winners was previously released from the album, and it is a sublime and gritty slice of Rhythm and Blues, full of keys, twangy guitar and lovely sax. The vocal is raw and gritty, which adds authenticity to the whole sound. .

 

Since releasing his debut single, Some Place, in 2010, Nick Waterhouse has toured the world (most recently on an extensive run with Allen Stone), and collaborated with or produced everyone from upstarts like Ty Segall, Leon Bridges and Jon Batiste, to septuagenarian soul legend Ural Thomas, and Latin stars the Boogaloo Assassins. He has released three previous albums, Time all Gone (2012), Holly (2014) and Never Twice (2016). If you like classic R ‘n’ B, from the likes of Van Morrison’s Them, then you could do a lot worse than trying the new album out, as well as Nick’s back catalogue. The video for Some Place, showed, even then, that Nick was happy to throw a little humour into his work.

Nick will head out on a run of European and UK headlining live dates in support of his upcoming album, including two Rough Trade in-stores announced at RT Nottingham and RT East.

2019 UK and European Live Dates:

March 18th – Manchester, UK – Gorilla
March 19th – Nottingham, UK – Rough Trade Notts
March 20th – London, UK – Rough Trade East
March 21st – London, UK – 229 The Venue

March 23rd – Brussels, BE – Botanique-Orangerie
March 24th – Paris, FR – Petit Bain
March 26th – Hamburg, DE – Mojo Club
March 27th – Berlin, DE – Columbia Theatre
March 28th – Amsterdam, NL – Het Zonnehuis
March 30th – Athens, GR – Fuzz Live Music Club
March 31st – Thessaloniki, GR – Fix Factory of Sound

J.J.Cale To Stay Around With Posthumous Album.

You may not have heard of J.J. Cale as he deliberately avoided the limelight, he spent his career as an “under-the-radar-giant” (New York Times). However he influenced musicians as wide-ranging as Neil Young (who wrote in his autobiography, “J. J.’s guitar playing is a huge influence on me. His touch is unspeakable. I am stunned by it.”); Beck (who, speaking to the L.A. Times, referred to his “effortlessness…restraint and underplaying” as “very powerful”); Eric Clapton (who, in his autobiography, called Cale “one of the most important artists in the history of rock, quietly representing the greatest asset his country has ever had”); and many, many others.

This is reason enough to check him out, but he is also considered to be one of the originators of the Tulsa Sound, a loose genre drawing on blues, rockabilly, country, and jazz. In the early 1970s his albums Naturally and Troubadour were always must haves for any guitar player.

Because Music will release Stay Around, the first posthumous album by beloved songwriter, guitarist on 26th April. Stay Around has been compiled by those closest to Cale, his widow and musician Christine Lakeland Cale and friend and longtime manager, Mike Kappus. Because Music has released the official video for the album’s debut single, Chasing You, featuring footage of Cale touring, which he seldom did, and performing across the U.S. The video is a breezily bittersweet glimpse at the life of the artist who died in 2013 and left behind a vital, resounding legacy.

All tracks on Stay Around are previously unreleased, a fact that’s not unusual considering Cale’s modus operandi: often Cale would reserve outtakes from one album for later release on another.

Mike Kappus, who managed Cale for 30 years and has worked with his estate since his passing, explains, “Roll On, the title track of Cale’s last studio album, was 34 years old. He would burn me CDs of demos, and one time I said, ‘You’ve got two good albums on here.’ Some of the tracks had detailed information, some of them had nothing. Some songs might be a full band of his buddies, others were him playing everything. These were songs he really did intend to do something with because they were carried to his typical level of production for release.”

On Stay Around, the only song not written by JJ Cale is Christine Lakeland Cale’s My Baby Blues the first song she and JJ cut as a four-piece combo in Bradley’s Barn studio in 1977, the year they met. She is not only his widow but was a member of his band for many years, she expresses that the song “brings everything full-circle” for her.

In compiling Stay Around, Christine Lakeland Cale pored over songs, both studio and home recordings that the public had never heard. She adds, “I wanted to find stuff that was completely unheard to max-out the ‘Cale factor’… as much that came from John’s ears and fingers and his choices as I could, so I stuck to John’s mixes…You can make things so sterile that you take the human feel out. But John left a lot of that human feel in. He left so much room for interpretation.”

Cale himself said, “I like a funkier sound. I really admire the people who get really good sound. That takes expensive studios, expensive musicians. I delved into that a couple of times, but it’s more fun when I create something to do it myself; it always has a unique sound. If I start doing it standard-wise, it becomes more polished and it doesn’t sound quite as unique; it sounds like everybody else.”

JJ Cale cut his teeth during the ’50s, playing guitar in bars in Oklahoma alongside fellow natives David Gates of Bread and Leon Russell, which is where he was credited with helping to develop the laid-back Tulsa sound, along with other native Tulsans.

He managed to gather a loyal fan following and the admiration of some of the most revered rock musicians while,in the unwavering desire to lead a normal life,eluding fame. It was via other artists recording and performing his songs that he became best known. Eric Clapton recorded After Midnight, Cocaine and several other Cale originals, his admiration culminating with the pair’s Road To Escondido collaboration in 2006, which earned Cale his first Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album and his first RIAA Certified Gold Award.

Among the many others who covered Cale’s songs are Jerry Garcia, Captain Beefheart, Spiritualized, Beck, Lynyrd Skynyrd, John Mayer, Bryan Ferry, Santana, Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, The Band, Widespread Panic, Freddie King, Phish, Waylon Jennings, Maria Muldaur, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Hiss The Golden Messenger, Dan Auerbach and Lee Fields, to name just a few.

This goes to prove that even though you may not have heard of J.J.Cale, you have almost certainly heard his work and are, probably like me, unaware of the value of his legacy that this hugely talented but modest musician has given us.

JJ Cale died on 26th July 2013.

Sleeper Release Album After 21 Year Hiatus

On 22nd March Sleeper will release their first album in 21 years. Sleeper enjoyed huge critical and commercial success in the mid 90s: achieving 8 Top 40 singles across 3 Top 10 albums with well over 1,000,000 sales.  Their music was characterized by astute, observational lyrics and big, hook driven melodies, typified by their most recognisable single, Inbetweener. Louise Wener was an iconic front-person, heading up a movement that brought women center stage in guitar music. Sleeper split In 1998 and walked purposely away from the limelight. Wener carved out a career as a successful novelist. Drummer Andy Maclure and John Stewart, Sleeper’s guitarist, both became lecturers in music studies.  Sleeper’s current line-up are joined by former Prodigy bassist Kieron Pepper.

The 90’s saw an explosion of strong front women in bands, in what was largely referred to as Britpop. Garbage, The Cranberries, Elastica, Skunk Anansie, Catatonia, Echobelly and The Cardigans to name a few. In fact this month The Cardigans released all six of their albums on vinyl, two of which are available on vinyl for the very first time.

Another album wasn’t meant to happen. In fact, the band had promised each other it never would.

“We had no plan to get back together. Sometimes life throws  you a massive curve ball. You end up jumping off the cliff, just to see what it feels like.”: Singer, Louise Wener

The band spent last summer recording The Modern Age with their long time producer, Stephen Street, a relationship that clicked into place again right away. They tracked live at Metway Studios in their adopted city of Brighton, before decamping to Street’s studio in West London to add the finishing touches. The Modern Age is the outward looking sound of a band revitalized and refreshed. Covering subjects from motherhood and social media to personal loss and, inevitably, relationships. It retains Sleeper’s classic pop sensibilities with a shiny, new, contemporary feel. The first single to be taken from the album is Look at You Now, which was released last December. Initially it appears to be referencing Sleeper’s comeback, but it’s a protest song at heart: a howl for the politically homeless in a landscape where reasoned debate has given way to vitriol. Having had a sneaky preview listen of the album, I can confirm that fans of Sleeper will love it. They have not lost any of the edginess that hey had during their peak, as Look At You Know demonstrates.

 

Sleeper will be touring the UK from March and will be appearing at various festivals. It has just been announced that they will be at the Cool Britannia Festival at the world famous Knebworth Park in August. More dates are to be announced so keep your eyes peeled.

Dates so far:

March

21 – GLASGOW Garage
22- NEWCASTLE Riverside
23- EDINBURGH Liquid Rooms
28- SOUTHAMPTON Engine Rooms
29- NORTHAMPTON Roadmender
30- LEEDS Church

April

04- DERBY The Venue
05- CARDIFF The Globe
12- BRISTOL- 02 Academy
13- LONDON KENTISH TOWN Forum

 

 

The Stranglers Present The Star Inn With PRS For Music Heritage Award

The PRS For Music Awards are something that I have not been aware of, and we should given the well publicised threat to local small venues up and down the country. PRS for Music, which protects the rights of more than 135,000 songwriters and composers, ensures music creators are represented whenever their music is used or performed in public. The organisation established the PRS for Music Heritage Award in 2009 to celebrate the important role that music venues play in supporting songwriters at the start of their careers, giving them a platform to perform in front of a live audience for the very first time. They are like the famous blue plaques that denote where famous people have lived. A list of previous awards can be found below within this article. These accolades are given to those live music venues across the UK that have played a crucial role in helping to create music history, by giving now-famous acts their first ever gig and helping them on their way to success.It has never been more important to keep music real in these days of manufactured corporate music for the masses played in arenas.

Nigel Elderton, Chairman, PRS for Music, said: “Ten years ago, we established the PRS for Music Heritage Award, to recognise live music venues that have given some of the UK’s most beloved and iconic acts their start. These small, local venues are where artists can earn their first bit of money from making music and often play a life-changing role at the very beginning of their careers, leaving an indelible mark on culture. Those artists go on to bigger stages, and bigger audiences, across the UK and indeed the world. I am delighted that we are honouring the Star Inn that has served as a music venue for more than 400 years – and continues to be a local hub for creatives and music fans alike.”

Legendary British band The Stranglers have presented a 400-year-old local pub in Surrey, the Star Inn, with the prestigious PRS for Music Heritage Award for 2019. Originally from Guildford, The Stranglers first performed at their local hometown pub, the Star Inn, on 21 December 1974, just three months after forming (initially as The Guildford Stranglers), in September that same year. This early act of generosity marked a turning point for the band which would see them become vital instigators of the UK punk rock movement, and release 23 Top 40 singles, 18 Top 40 albums, and a slew of now-iconic hits including Golden Brown, Peaches, No More Heroes and Hanging Around, in the years that followed. A lucky opportunity to play at their local music venue, saw the band attract a dedicated following from the very start, cementing a special relationship between band and venue.

The Stranglers, said: “The space that the Star Inn has created here is incredibly valuable to British music culture, they’ve played a huge role in giving emerging acts, like us at the time, a stage, helping them to thrive. They definitely deserve to be acknowledged with the PRS for Music Heritage Award to mark this pivotal moment in British music history.”

Grassroot music venues like the Star Inn provide a crucial environment for new and emerging acts to harness and develop their talent, try out new songs, experiment with creative identity, and build the foundations for a long-lasting fan base. These venues have witnessed the birth of some of the nation’s most loved music legends. Previous PRS for Music Heritage Awards have been given to venues that have helped the likes of Queen, Madness, Pulp, Spandau Ballet, UB40, Status Quo, Soul II Soul, Sir Elton John CBE, Blur and many more at the start of their musical careers.

Georgina ‘George’ Baker, Owner of the Star Inn, said: “We feel very much part of the fabric of The Stranglers’ history and so it’s an honour to receive this award. We pride ourselves on investing in emerging talent and giving them the platform they deserve and plan to do so for a very long time to come.”

This year’s PRS for Music Heritage Award plaque was unveiled by The Stranglers at a special red carpet ceremony at the Star Inn, Guildford. The unveiling of the plaque sees the start of what’s sure to be a hectic year for the revitalised band as they embark on their upcoming UK tour, Back on the Tracks, spanning 19 dates, 28 February – 30 March 2019.

Full List of PRS for Music Heritage Awards:

2009    Blur – East Anglian Railway Museum, 1989
2009    Dire Straits – Farrer House, Deptford, 1977
2010    Jethro Tull – Blackpool Holy Trinity Family Church, 1964
2010    Squeeze – Greenwich Dance Agency, 1975
2010    Sir Elton John – The Northwood Hills Hotel, 1962
2010    Snow Patrol – The Duke of York, Belfast, 1998
2010    Status Quo – Welcome Inn, Eltham, 1967
2011    UB40 – Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath, 1979
2011    James – Fac 51 Haçienda, Manchester, 1982
2012    Soul II Soul – Electric Brixton, 1991
2012    Faithless – Jazz Café, Camden, 1996
2012    Supergrass – The Jericho Tavern, Oxford, 1994
2013    Queen – Imperial College London, 1970
2013    Orbital – The Garage, Highbury, 1990
2014    Spandau Ballet – The Blitz Club, Covent Garden, 1979
2015    Pulp – The Leadmill, Sheffield, 1980
2017    Madness – The Dublin Castle, Camden, 1979
2019    The Stranglers, Star Inn, 1974

I think this is a great initiative and serves to inform us of the fabric of our music industry. If you are local then support these venues. If you are visiting the area then pop into one of the venues if you can and show your support that way. If there is a show on then the current artists will be following in the footsteps of some pretty illustrious predecessors. As a lot of these venues are local hostelries then you might be able to soak up a cold drinks as well as soaking up history.

Masters of their own highly original sound, that combines a brilliant melodic touch with dark aggression and effortless cool, The Stranglers are now recognised as one of the most credible and influential bands to have emerged from the punk era. With record-breaking, sell-out shows and festival appearances in the UK and throughout the world, demand to see and hear the band is at an all-time high, testament surely to their considerable musical talent and enduring quality of their songs.

During a hectic year of touring the Southern Hemisphere, Europe and the UK, The Stranglers have also been busy writing and rehearsing new material; audiences can expect to experience some of these new cuts, alongside classic favourites and lesser performed numbers drawn from their eloquent and extensive catalogue spanning over forty years.  www.thestranglers.co.uk

The Beatles New Film Based On Let It Be Sessions

Apple Corps Ltd. and WingNut Films Ltd. are proud to announce an exciting new collaboration between The Beatles and the acclaimed Academy Award winning director Sir Peter Jackson. The new film will be based around 55 hours of never-released footage of The Beatles in the studio, shot between January 2nd and January 31st, 1969. These studio sessions produced The Beatles’ Grammy Award winning album Let It Be, with its Academy Award winning title song. The album was eventually released some months later in May 1970, after the band had broken up.


The filming was originally intended for a planned TV special, but organically turned into something completely different, climaxing with The Beatles’ legendary performance on the roof of Apple’s Savile Row London office — which took place exactly 50 years ago today.

Peter Jackson said, “The 55 hours of never-before-seen footage and 140 hours of audio made available to us, ensures this movie will be the ultimate ‘fly on the wall’ experience that Beatles fans have long dreamt about – it’s like a time machine transports us back to 1969, and we get to sit in the studio watching these four friends make great music together.” 

Although The Beatles were filmed extensively during the 1960s – in concerts, interviews and movies – this is the only footage of any note that documents them at work in the studio.

The Let It Be album and movie, having been released in the months following The Beatles’ breakup, have often been viewed in the context of the struggle the band was going through at that time. 

“I was relieved to discover the reality is very different to the myth,” continues Jackson, “After reviewing all the footage and audio that Michael Lindsay-Hogg shot 18 months before they broke up, it’s simply an amazing historical treasure-trove. Sure, there’s moments of drama – but none of the discord this project has long been associated with. Watching John, Paul, George, and Ringo work together, creating now-classic songs from scratch, is not only fascinating – it’s funny, uplifting and surprisingly intimate”.   

“I’m thrilled and honoured to have been entrusted with this remarkable footage – making the movie will be a sheer joy.”

Jackson will be working with his They Shall Not Grow Old partners, Producer Clare Olssen and Editor Jabez Olssen. The footage will be restored by Park Road Post of Wellington, New Zealand, to a pristine standard, using techniques developed for the WW1 documentary film which has been nominated for a BAFTA for best documentary.

The untitled film is currently in production and the release date will be announced in due course. This film is being made with the full co-operation of Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon, and Olivia Harrison.

The Executive Producers are Ken Kamins for WingNut Films and Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde for Apple Corps.

Following the release of this new film, a restored version of the original Let It Be movie directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg will also be made available.