The B-Side Monday MegaMix

(I was asked to write this piece for B Side Magazine; sadly it folded before this was published so you have the dubious pleasure of it here)


The Chills – Pink Frost (2013)

Seymour asked me to pick some new upcoming tracks so I thought I'd start with something from 1982. This version was recorded in 2013, and that's pretty modern for me. But thirty years on and I am still discovering more about the understated southern wordly magnificence that is The Chills and their music. For anyone who doesn't know them, The Chills spearheaded The Dunedin Scene in New Zealand, based around the label Flying Nun in the 1980s. Indie pop with a warped and wonky magical centre. Drugs, dreams, disasters and delights, their songs have the lucky knack of combining both a specific sense of place with a siren like appeal across oceans and hemispheres. They are currently crowd funding for a film to tell their distinctive story – support it if you can, it won't be like any Rockumentary you've ever seen before.


Deep City – Love

If ever think I am getting too old for this POP! music malarkey and am too far stuck in the past (see track choice above), I just listen to Deep City. Yes, I love Deep City. They really stand out and startle for the way they marry the indie guitar band template with something rather different. Poppy, dancy, infectious and with huge catchy-cold choruses, their moodily dark atmospheric samples and darkpop depths combine with their guitar tunes and vulnerable vocals, mixing a love of 80s/90s synth sounds with a vibrant 21st century pop sensibility. Live they are mesmerising, haunting and startling. You can't take your ears off them. As you'll probably know. And if you don't, get yr ass down to the first heat of BurySound and see of you can manage to keep it still. You won't...


GasMan - Samurai

Gasman were an undoubted highlight of the Love Music Hate Racism stage at Strawberry fair. 200 black and white kids going absolutely nuts moshing to an intelligent mix of beats, basslines, hip hop, samples and passion. This pic just begins to paint the story of that set. Since then, Lijah has moved to Bristol and started work on reinventing, refining and progressing his sound. Here's an example: “This is what it should sound like when you go into that box Church to confess ya sins!”



Saltfen must be the most exciting young band in Cambridge. And beyond. Their songs are muscular, angular and riff laden, their live shows taut and attention grabbing, their song writing accomplished and their approach professional while playful. While some have mentioned The Strokes or The Maccabbes, they don't sound like any other band I know. Whenever they play, they create ripples of excitement and admiration, even when they have to battle Bury bugs. If my fairy Godbadger was to grant me some wishes, one of them would be that someone with more money and influence and cool than me could get Saltfen the audience and success they deserve. Until that time, they can remain a special secret just for us. Currently recording new stuff, here's something old and (white) gold.


You Flexi Thing vol 3 – Venus Envy
I can hardly write a piece about new music without blowing my own squeaky recorder – no other fucker's going to. And this features 2 tracks from all female bands, taking the toys off the boys. The Baby Seals song has the reined in subversive feel of Huggy Bear before erupting into an orgiastic celebration of masturbation, while 'Intimidation' by Beverley Kills perfectly showcases their punky mix of attitude, snarl, riffs and melodies. You can buy this on lovely bendy orange vinyl (if you're quick) or listen and enjoy online.


Buy your flexi thing here

The Batts

While not working in a local Junior School / education factory, I fund the worldwide R*E*P*E*A*T entertainment empire by teaching 3 chord punk rock guitar and working with young bands. Some of my favourite students and bands haven't been the slightly annoyingly perfect pitch prompt musicians but those (like me) who've had to work darn hard to make the noise they do to say what they want to say. I don't think I'm being rude if I say that this applies to at least some of The Batts (aged 14-15), yet they've created something which is completely theirs, completely cool and which they are pleased with. Plus it has an articulate worthwhile message. Which is enough for me. And I was doubly pleased when Sam Marsh (who mastered their debut ep) agreed. Here's a track from it. I know it has imperfections (not least, in my recording and mixing) but it's something I'm very proud to have been involved with. Sample lyric - “Generic pop songs, factory made, mass produced and uncomplicated, Insert name here”.


Buy yourself some Batts bits here


Eeyore have just played just a couple of gigs, but these have made a big indented impression for their intense, growly, shouty racket. Not 'nice' at all, we need more bands with the take no prisoners in yer face sonic assault of this 3 piece. They claim that 'If Mastodon and the Prodigy formed a band together it would probably sound like Eeeyore' but I think they're more exciting than that. Check out the energetic ear mauling live experience at Bury Sound Heat 5...

If we had but world enough and time...

I'd have included Idealistics and Eternal Remedy. The former are a bunch of teenage Manics fans from Derby and Cambridge whose intelligent reworking of MSP's template instantly appeals to me. I recorded 5 (still unmixed) tracks with them last month and, and while doing so, sought to indoctrinate / inspire them with Kinesis and Miss Black America. As you'd expect, their songs are full of ideas, attitude, intelligence and honesty, delivered with an indie rock punch. Eternal Remedy are a year 10 band who are musically very striking and interesting, trying to do something original and different in a way very few other 'indie' bands are, let alone ones their age. If I was to compare them to anybody, it would actually be to Deep City. They've been beset by a few challenges recently, and I am impatient to see where their thoughtful and creative talent takes them next.

Rosey R*E*P*E*A*T, December 2017