Sunday 30 July 2017

Introducing Dead Man Fall

I first heard of the band named Dead Man Fall a few years ago when they somehow managed to get their song Bang Your Drum involved in a big way on the Craig Ferguson Show in America. The results (noted in the interview below) were nothing short of staggering for a young unsigned/DIY band from Scotland.

That success is only part of their story. Like every band or artist I am friends with or have spoken to; there are challenges, frustrations and thankfully moments where you are reminded why you do it.

Despite hearing about them back in 2014 I never managed to see them live until May when they supported their friends Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 at their Academy show. I was thoroughly impressed and said as much in blog review.

I dug deeper and what I have heard mixes a celtic melancholy with euphoria, heart and soul with hope  and dreams. They are impressive. I should have checked them before now!

The band have released a string of singles over the last few years, check this Spotify playlist;

I got in touch with the band to find out more about their history, what makes them tick and to find out what else they have planned ahead of their headline show at the wonderful St Lukes in Glasgow on Saturday 5th August. TICKETS HERE

Check their most recent video below for What's The Point which, for me, mixes Doves with Hot Chip.

1. How did Dead Man Fall form? Where and when?
DES: I intially started DMF in my own bedroom in Cumbernauld. I was drumming in another band called Odeon Beatclub and was writing tunes in the background. Once that all came to an end in 2013 I started pushing forward with the songs on my own. I had recorded a few songs to get things going then gradually got the guys involved by letting them hear the recordings and the kind of sound I was pursuing. We all went to school together and had been in many other bands, but never in the same one. The name Dead Man Fall comes from a game we used to play out in the street, sometimes I think it makes us sound a bit darker, almost like a goth or metal band but It's grown into itself.

2. Did you have a sound in mind when you formed, songs written?
DES: In the early days the sound was very electronic based. I would program beats, synths and all that then start to put real instruments and vocals over the top of that. It started to go in the way of the bands I had grown up listening to such as Joy Division and New Order as one of my older brothers always blasted that out when we shared a room, combined with the bands I was starting to listen to round that time such as The Rapture and Hot Chip. I had about five songs written before anybody else joined. Nowadays songs come from myself in the same way, but also from jamming as a band in the Studio. That's exactly how Bang Your Drum came about so it's helped to add a different element to our sound.   

3. You received some incredible exposure in America, how did that come about?
VINNIE: It all started from me sending Craig Ferguson a tweet with our video for Bang Your Drum which I just hoped he would retweet to his 2 million followers.  He then set up his own tweet saying “another great band from Glasgow” which included our video.  Then about 5 minutes laterhe followed us and sent us a DM asking us to come over and play on the Late Late Show. I nearly passed out when that came through.  My hands were shaking when I was trying to phone the guys.  Anyway to cut a long story short we never got the Visa but he then asked if he could use our song for his final episode. We of course said yes.  When we seen how it was used it blew our mind.  He had all these A-List celebrities lip synching to our song and then a live performance in the studio after that with guys like Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols on guitar.  It was mad.  Then about two days later we went to number 1 on the American iTunes Rock Chart, number 1 on US Amazon digital downloads, number 2 in Canada and around number 25 in the uk.  Our social media exploded.

4. Was it frustrating not to be able to get over there afterwards?
VINNIE: Like you wouldn’t believe.  A lot of time and money was wasted to not even get a sniff.  It took up so much of the band’s time so we looked as if we were doing nothing for a while.  We also couldn’t get a Visa this year to go over and play the Firefly Festival in Delaware.  The whole American visa process is a farce.  It’s just a big money making industry in it’s own right.
5. What else have the band achieved to date? What has been your favourite live show to date?
DES: A highlight was playing the Tbreak stage at the first time T in The Park headed to Strathallan. I would't say that was my own personal live favourite. We played The Record Factory and King Tuts within about two months of each other, and both of them were rammed, hot and sweaty. It was also the first gigs were we had people singing the lyrics back to the tunes. Our recent support slot with Colonel Mustard at the O2 was a brilliant show although we had a few stressful technical difficulties up on stage. Gareth our Drummer loved that one! Mainly because the audience were great but also he thought it was a buzz wondering what was going to go wrong next....My Bass decided to cut out mid song(s), My acoustic guitar slipped out of tune with new strings the day before. Gareth's bass drum beater also flew off mid song, he had to run and grab another kick pedal and screw it on before the beat was supposed to come back in. He managed to do it though!   

6. What have you been up to most recently?
VINNIE: We’re just back from Amsterdam last weekend after going over to film our video for our next single Andy Warhol.  We filmed it all ourselves and got a lot of good footage.  We were all dressed as Andy Warhol although we could have easily been mistaken for Tim Burgess.  It got a bit messy later on.  I lost my mind then lost my phone.  Luckily most of the footage was on Gareth’s phone.  It was only minimal footage on mine although some of it would’ve been good stuff.  It was a great trip though.  By that I mean the trip to Amsterdam.

7. What have you got planned?
DES: We really need to hit the festivals next year. We're playing a brand new scottish festival 'Argyll Gathering' down in Helensburgh in August. It's a cracking line up with Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5, The Lafontaines, Mickey 9's and Bwani Junction playing too. We're also playing a Musicians against Homelessness show in the Drygate in September but after that we're going to be applying for every festival we can. When we play to a new crowd more often than not we really win them over. I would like to think that the set we can blast out is more than deserving and suitable for a number of festival stages.    

8. What music are you all listening to at present?
VINNIE:  I’ve become slightly obsessed with Arcade Fire of present.  I had been wanting to see them for years and got to see them at the Corn Exchange only last month.  It blew me away.  Now I’m just watching clips of them on Youtube and stuff like a little teenage girl.  It’s not healthy.  The past few weeks I’ve been jumping between them, LCD Soundsystem, Nick Cave, Radiohead and Coldplay….and I don’t care who knows that, I love them.
Gareth’s just been listening to the song Everything Now by Arcade Fire, Kev has been listening to Suuns.
DES: I probably don't listen to as much new music at the moment. Today I had on AM by the Arctic Monkeys. It's one of the rare albums I never ever skip a song on. The other day I was delving back into The Prodigy reliving the glory days. Sometimes I'll stick on older stuff like Marlena Shaw and Motown stuff, Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell must be one of my favourite tunes ever. 

Saturday 29 July 2017

Songs From Northern Britain

Last year I came to the conclusion that Songs From Northern Britain (SFNB) is the best Teenage Fanclub album. I dug back into the treasure trove of the bands back catalogue after seeing the band 4-times over a 3-month period when they were promoting their fantastic new album Here.

Songs from SFNB featured heavily in the setlists to the delight of the Teenage Fanclub Fanclub.

My favourite TFC album is still probably Bandwagonesque, given that I discovered it (and the band) at the age of 15 - it was perfect timing.

I was 21 when SFNB was released, 20-years ago. 1997 was a seminal year for music with many bands and artists pushing boundaries and highlighting their musical and songwriting development - Spiritualized with Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating In Space, Primal Scream with Vanishing Point, The Chemical Brothers with Dig Your Own Soul, the Super Furries with Radiator, The Verve with Urban Hymns ..... the list goes on. Google best albums of 1997 and you'll be met by a lengthy list of online features to mark the 20th anniversary of some incredible releases. (can any match SFNB track for track?)

The title of the album was a marked response to Britpop and 1997 was the year that music moved on. It is notable that Oasis released Be Here Now - a backward step - while everyone else was moving forwards, including their arch rivals Blur with their eponymous album released in February of 1997.

Teenage Fanclub never followed or jumped on trends, even if Creation/Song attempted to get them involved with Britpop and multi formatted singles for the release of Grand Prix. It was notable that the bands next release was the Teenage Fanclub Have Lost It EP.

The album begins with the aptly named Start Again written by Norman Blake. Warm guitars usher us back into the Fanclub's world and what a wonderful world it is - hooks, harmonies, glorious guitars and the sound of a band gelling with ease.

Gerry Love's first offering is Ain't That Enough with its sky scraping chorus that has caused me to punch the air with delight and pogo like a teenager every time I have been at one of their live shows.

Here is a sun rise ain't that enough?
True as a clear sky, ain't that enough?

Can't Feel My Soul may well be my favourite Raymond song. It flows superbly, like all of his best work, and it also contains ferocious guitar to lift the chorus. The guitar solo is electrifying.

Back to Norman for the wonderful I Don't Want Control Of You. The Fanclub melodies and harmonies are set for stun - this is simply beautiful, written for Norman's young daughter.

This song took on a whole new meaning for me when I caught Norman playing a solo set in Blackfriars basement many years ago and he explained who it was about. Then it went to a new level when I became a father myself. It brings a tear to the eye every time I hear it now, particularly when the key change lifts it even higher.

I don't want control of you
It doesn't matter to me
The very heart and soul of you
Are places I wanna see
And every day I look at a different face
The feelings getting stronger with every embrace

Planets is a Blake and Francis MacDonald co-write and the opening lyrics fit perfectly with the album title and probably with how the band were feeling at the time. The strings are exquisite.

We're going over the country and into the highlands to look for a home
We're leaving nothing behind us and no-one will find us when we're on our own

McGinley's It's A Bad World is classic Raymond, picked guitar, soothing lyrics and voice and a natural flow around the circular riff.

Enter Gerry Love with the glorious Take The Long Way Round, this guy knows how to bring a smile to my face with genius guitar pop with a sense of euphoria.

Sunshine every beat when I'm around you
Feels like maybe I've been here before

The guitars kicking in after the first chorus are brilliant - chiming and lifting the song and listener. Love is at his best.

Pull the subway to the station
For that golden light sensation

The break down is unexpected and clever, before building to an epic and euphoric conclusion.

On Winter, Blake writes again about getting away from it all to a place where he and his love are cut off from everything. It is a theme that Blake and Love both return to regularly in their writing; romantic dreamers wanting to head out of the city to the sunshine and peace and quiet.

Sky is forever clear
Road never made it here
Forest so deep and green
Like nothing we've ever seen

McGinley's guitar playing is outstanding throughout SFNB, especially on the aforementioned Can't Feel My Soul and his next offering I Don't Care. He coaxes brilliant sounds and riffs and the harmonies on the choruses are the Fanclub at their best. Listen to Blake on the headphones, helping to lift the song - stunning.

Mount Everest has a beautiful extended guitar intro before Love sings in that glorious almost hushed voice of his.

Although Can't Feel My Soul may be my favourite Raymond song, Your Love Is The Place Where I Come From is arguably his finest moment. Acoustic, considered, loving, simple, soulful....

One of McGinley's many strengths is in his almost unique songwriting - it's so (seemingly) simple and at the same time so meaningful and soulful.

My sadness don't lie
My feelings can't hide
I just can't deny
What I feel inside

Again, McGinley finds his knack for creating something that flows superbly, hitting the sweet spot with the chorus and keeping it going. This song is a favourite of many of Teenage Fanclub's Fanclub when played live with Norman on the glockenspiel.

Gerry Love closes under 44-minutes of guitar pop genius with Speed Of Light. It is heartfelt, romantic and has a melancholic euphoria that Love seems to hit time and time again with his songwriting.

Need a changing face
When the wind's around you blowing
Don't forget to let your feelings go
Waste in space
If you're looking for persuasion
Everything you need can grow

So there you go; Teenage Fanclub at their very best in under 44-minutes. It leaves you wanting more, you want to play it again....and again - the sign of a good album.

As a Teenage Fanclub fan I am fortunate that the band have so many good albums to play again....and again. From the wonderful sound of a band finding themselves and having fun on A Catholic Education right through to the most recent Here - Teenage Fanclub deliver - love, dreams, romance, the sunshine, the city, the country, guitars, harmonies, choruses, warmth, melancholy, beauty

You'll find all of that and more in Songs From Northern Britain and anything else the Fanclub have written, recorded and produced. It's what they do.

Thursday 27 July 2017

I Heard It Through The Grapevine

Cover version of the month #27

Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Slits
cover I Heard It Through The Grapevine

I Heard It Through The Grapevine is one of the most famous and loved songs ever to be released by the legendary Motown Records.

3 of their biggest stars recorded and released the song between September 1967 and October 1968; beginning with Gladys Knight and the Pips. The song became an instant hit, reaching number 2 in the charts and deservedly so.

Everything about the song is exceptional - the story of hearing of a lost love, the groove, the beat, the organ.....

The Gladys Knight and the Pips version has a stunning vocal - Gladys talking directly to her lost love and telling of how she is just about to lose her mind, pleading for him to listen.

Losing you would end my life you see
Because you mean that much to me

The song was originally recorded by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Smokey has/had an incredible voice but for me this version doesn't capture the hurt that the song portrays.

The song was then recorded by Marvin Gaye in the Spring of 1967 but wasn't deemed a single so it was sidetracked on to his In The Groove album.

It was only after the Gladys Knight version became a hit that DJ's also began playing the Marvin version on radio, so Motown put it out as a single and it reached number 1.

The Marvin Gaye version is the definitive version. He captures the song in a way that Gladys Knight (who had to change the lyrics ever so slightly) and Smokey Robinson don't. He lives it, or he lived it, you hear it in his voice. It is sensational, rising at all the right moments, hitting notes others can only dream of. Check this incredible a cappella version. His band get the groove and they play it with an edge that the song deserves and demands.

Gaye may have recorded the definitive version, but my own personal favourite is the mind-blowing 11-minutes and 11 seconds version by Creedence Clearwater Revival that I discovered in my teens on their Chronicle Volume 1 (best of) album.

It really did blow my mind; the way the band lock into a groove, John Fogerty has the soulful voice to deliver the song, the guitars and the way they head off on a 8-minute jam that takes the song into previously unexplored territory. Gaye's version ends at 3-minutes and 12 seconds, just as the Creedence version really gets going with an explosive guitar solo.

Fogerty comes back in for a chorus and then the guitar is really unleashed, all the time backed by a rhythm section as tight and funky as they come.

The drums are outstanding throughout - from 5-minutes on they are let loose with the guitar with just the bass and rhythm guitar keeping the groove. I recall hearing this for the first time and then playing it to one of my best friends (remember this Reddy?) to marvel at it together. 

Doug Clifford on drums may well deliver my favourite drums ever on this version of a Motown classic. He ups it at 6 minutes and 48 seconds and then just keeps it going, hammering his symbols, making up fills, sounding like he is having the time of his life.

Fogerty joins in and at 8-minutes and 20 seconds he finds a brilliant playful riff and his sensational band keep on going. Fogerty then comes out of that groove and slows it down slightly at 9-minutes and 9 seconds, his band still lost in the magical groove they have found.

The rhythm groove is allowed some breathing space, I like to imagine Fogerty just standing back and enjoying the groove. The song is faded out - how long did it go on for?! Is there a longer recording?!

Many other artists have recorded I Heard It Through The Grapevine. The Slits version, below, captures the song in the heady days of punk and has an explosive raw quality to it.

However it is the Creedence version that grabbed me - and it still does. Hope you enjoy.

A list with links to previous cover versions of the month is noted below.

Friday 21 July 2017

My favourite Beatles song

Don't Let Me Down has been my favourite Beatles song for a long time now. Probably since my late teens or early 20's. There are many, many others I love - Got To Get You Into My Life, Tomorrow Never Knows, I Saw Her Standing There, Something, Here Comes The Sun, Strawberry Fields Forever, I'll Follow The Sun, Two Of Us......

However, at least for today, I thought I would write why Don't Let Me Down is my particular favourite.

In a nutshell, it is the bluesy, soulful rawness that is evident from Lennon's count-in (on this version) that brings in Billy Preston on organ, beautiful guitar by Harrison and Lennon's rich voice. McCartney and Starr lock in to a groove and create a solid platform for the others.

Lennon is so head over heels in love with Yoko Ono that he had to say it in 4 words rather than the usual 3. Lennon lays himself bare, committing himself completely and urging (pleading with) Ono not let him down. It is soulful, powerful and emotional. Lennon leaves the listener with no doubt.

The middle eight is possibly my all-time favourite, Lennon really goes for it and I love the melody and flow.

I'm in love for the first time
Don't you know it's gonna last
It's a love that lasts forever
It's a love that has no past

Don't let me down

The legendary rooftop performance

This is my favourite Lennon vocal performance and he is singing a love song like no other - he sings to Yoko in the choruses and his friends and the world in the verses, telling his tale, so good he had to tell someone.

And from the first time that she really done me
Ooh she done me
She done me good

By the last choruses Lennon is shouting 'hey' and 'whooping' as he really goes for it, his vocals are raspy and raw, Billy Preston plays some exquisite organ and just listen to Macca's bass.

The rooftop version (above) is my favourite; The Beatles last stand. They look fantastic - Lennon with his classic long hair, middle parting, side burns, round granny glasses and fur coat; McCartney in black suit, shirt and brown shoes complete with beard; George somehow making green jeans, converse and a fur coat look the coolest outfit going, Ringo looks a little cold and stoned in his red mac.

There are smiles - look at the way they all look at each other at times. They not only look fantastic, they sound AMAZING. If I ever get my hands on a delorean, some plutonium (or the knowledge of where and when a bolt of lightning would strike) and a flex capacitor - then I would head back for this show rather than the Cavern Club, Shea Stadium or Hamburg.

It's a tantalising glimpse of how good they still were - despite the differences between them at this stage.

Sunday 16 July 2017

Introducing Sun Rose

Sun Rose - great name, positive and warm - Everything Flows

Maximalist melodramatic funk-pop outfit from Glasgow - band description on Facebook

We like to take our time - Gus Wemyss, Sun Rose

For fans of Todd Terje, ESG etc - Maioux Miaoux

Sun Rose are a brand new band signed to Last Night From Glasgow (LNFG) who have just released their debut single Smirk ahead of their debut album later this year. Check the video below or head to iTunes to download or Spotify to stream.

Inspired by the likes of Talking Heads, Daft Punk, ESG and Kraftwerk, Calum Muir and Albert Kawmi began writing the songs which would form the basis of the Sun Rose debut album over the winter of 2013/14.

The friends had previously in a band together - Nevada Base - but then life got in the way. Things stalled a little until Gus Wemyss (also a previous member of Nevada Base) got involved in 2015 and by late 2016 Julian Corrie (Miaoux Miaoux and now Franz Ferdinand) was involved with production and mixing.

The completed album is an absolute gem - techno, electro, melodic, funky, disco, harmonies.... I'll be blogging about that nearer the time of release.

One of the beautiful thing about this band is that their only ambition was to release it on vinyl and play a couple of shows! It is all about the music - so much so that they have only recently set up a Facebook page. And the band name was only confirmed shortly before the release!

Smirk is fantastic - the guitar playing, vocals and changes in pace mean that there is an edge throughout. The piano break is sublime and then the synths and beat take things higher. The final 30-seconds take things even higher and leave you wishing for an extended mix. I can't wait to see and hear them play it live.

The Brian Sweeney produced promo video features members of the band and members of the LNFG label in a kaleidoscope style effect - keeping with the flow and changes of the song.

Check it out below.

Wednesday 12 July 2017

Never Ending Mixtape part 10

Welcome to the latest additions to the Never Ending Mixtape.

We flow through hip hop, euphoric disco, a synth masterpiece from Drive, punk pop and some stunning guitar pop from Scotland.

The Never Ending Mixtape now has 157 songs - over 11 hours of music for you to explore and enjoy!

So delve in from the start, or skip to the end to play the songs listed below.

Know How - Young MC
The bassline was 'borrowed' by the Stone Roses for Fools Gold.

Le Freak - Chic

Testify - HiFi Sean
A current fave in our house.

Thinking Of You - Sister Sledge
Possibly my favourite Nile Rodgers song.

A Real Hero - College featuring Electric Youth
I still remember hearing this in the old Captains Rest and demanding to know what the hell it was - it still (and always will) sounds incredible!

I Want To Kiss You - The Spook School
Punk pop perfection - full of energy

Alison's Starting To Happen - The Lemonheads
Contains one of my favourite lyrics ever She's the puzzle piece behind the couch, makes the sky complete

Stutter - Elastica
A reminder of why Elastica were so well loved when they burst on to the scene

Baby Gets High - Blake Babies
A gorgeous song by Juliana Hatfield and co

Panic On - Madder Rose
I have this on 7-inch and it remains a fave

Say Something New - The Concretes
You Can't Hurry Love - The Concretes
2 moments of pop perfection from The Concretes

Let's Get Out Of This Country - Camera Obscura
Lloyd I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken - Camera Obscura
2 moments of exceptional music from Scotland's Camera Obscura

Nothing To Be Done - The Pastels
Thank You For Being You - The Pastels
And 2 moments of brilliance from the legendary Pastels

Vapour Trail - Ride
I blogged about their new album last month, but check this guitar gem

April Skies - The Jesus and Mary Chain
Another stunning piece of Scottish guitar pop

Discolite - Teenage Fanclub
Radio - Teenage Fanclub
And 2 Gerry Love beauties

Tuesday 11 July 2017

Introducing new Scottish music

The Second Hand Marching Band
Featured in a few blogs over the years

While my blog is completely free range - allowing me write about anything I desire at any time - I do love to discover new and up and coming bands/artists on the Glasgow/Scottish music scene.

I am now in the tenth year of writing my blog. So I've enjoyed looking back over some old blogs and I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised at the number of live reviews, interviews or features of DIY/unsigned artists that I have covered and in some cases championed (or managed/advised).

Here are links to blogs written on discovering bands/artists for the first time. Sometimes literally on formation, maybe at their first gig and on occasions - a long time after I should have heard about them/seen them/listened to them. (I have blogged about many of them more than once)

As a co-founder/board member of Last Night From Glasgow, I'm taking even more of an interest in the Glasgow and Scottish unsigned and DIY scene, determined to use the label to give artists a platform or a leg up to the next level. So look out for (semi)regular 'introducing' features.

Feel free to get in touch with recommendations.

Previous introductions include (note the list isn't exhaustive)

Sonny MarvelloSecond Hand Marching BandSeventeenth CenturySkies FellAdmiral FallowMiaoux Miaoux Conquering Animal SoundRoddy Hart and the Lonesome FireDiscopolisLady NorthPawsAdam StaffordThe Moth and the MirrorNevada BaseRemember RememberRachel SermanniErrorsThe Son(s)Warren McIntyre and the Starry SkiesTeenCanteenRick Redbeard ChurchesVelveteen Saints ,Flash TalkSkinny DipperDr Cosmos Tape Lab ,Tuff LoveKloeNeon WaltzInsomniac ProjectNovember Lights , Best Girl Athlete , Wuh OhColonel Mustard and the Dijon 5Catholic ActionKiDDSpinning CoinSaint PHNXMark W GeorgssonEtteEmme WoodsStephen Solo, BooHooHoo, The Vegan Leather, Outblinker , Gerry Cinnamon , Medicine Men , The Bar Dogs , Fnuf and the Fairylights , Mark W Georgsson , KVASIR ,

Also see 16 for 2016 

The Moth and the Mirror

Monday 3 July 2017

Introducing - Radiophonic Tuckshop

Do you fancy discovering a band full of melodies, hook, humour, invention and a touch of psychedelia who sometimes record on an old Tascam Cassette Recorder? A band that are still evolving and haven't even played a handful of shows yet but have an EP coming out?

A band who describe themselves on Facebook as wonky pop, looney tunes and merry melodies, all swimming in nutty effects with a rich Beatleish undercurrent, clattering along like Supergrass doing Badfinger by way of an XTC Bond theme, all compressed vocals, ringing and lightly toasted guitars, stop/start riffs and a brilliant rhythm section. Extradordinary - slightly psychedelic and Super Furry super-tuneful!

I hope so!

Well look no further than Radiophonic Tuckshop, the new band formed by Joe Kane, the effervescent fizzbomb who has been in (and still is in) a number of other bands including my personal favourite Dr Cosmos Tape Lab. If you haven't read any of my previous blogs on them then check them out HERE Their Beyond The Silver Sea LP was my album of 2015.

Joe has recently contributed to the latest BMX Bandits album that you can read about in last months blogs, produced the Ette Homemade Lemonade album (and played on it and co-wrote the brilliant Heaven Knows) and still travels the world playing in Beatles tribute bands, including the famous Them Beatles - not a bad way to make a living and one that indicates his talent.

That talent has transferred to his recent project - Radiophonic Tuckshop who I caught at Nice n Sleazys back in April when they supported TeenCanteen. They played brilliantly and sounded superb and from a chat with Joe it all sounded very spontaneous and exciting - so I thought I would email him some questions to find out more.

You can read the interview below and look out for their debut EP coming out via Last Night From Glasgow in July with a launch show at the Hug and Pint. Excuse the cut and paste format, something went wrong when copying Joe's answers - hope you think it looks cool!

1. How did the Radiophonic Tuck Shop form?

I'd been toying with the idea of a new project for the best part of last year but wasn't keen on making it the ONLY JOE KANE solo ego-fest type thing again. I fancied more of a fake band ethos and Radiophonic Tuckshop was one of the names I had floating around that I was quite keen on. I started working on new songs and recordings at the end of last summer but was getting a bit fed up with me playing everything. It can get a bit hard to surprise yourself musically doing all the instruments.

The guys from Freckfest contacted me around March and asked if I fancied supporting BMX Bandits which I thought sounded fun but I didn't have a band and told them to leave it with me. I contacted a bunch of my longtime friends (who mostly happen to be musical) and luckily found a bands worth that were free and up for it. Sessions were easygoing and within 2-weeks we had a set. Everyone didn't hate it and seemed quite keen to carry on past the initial gig. Quite good!

2. Does this mean the end of Dr Cosmos Tape Lab, or is that a project you might return to in the future?

We're very together and in constant contact but just a bit busy with other things. I got a bit busy with being away for a long spell (or two) so we lost momentum but we have a full LP in the can awaiting release and we will record again in the near future. Side 2 is one long song suite/ghost story entitled Dead Man's Pyjamas and it's the best thing we've ever created. We recorded 4 albums plus a bunch of b-sides in two years so everyone deserves a rest!

3. You've got an EP coming out - tell us about the sounds and the songs on it

We knew we were going to do an album but had fresh arrangements of some older songs of mine that I thought had fallen by the wayside in the past so we decided to do them as their own little thing. The new live versions were all improvements so it seemed like a good idea to get them down. We decided to record the band live to the Tascam 424 mkiii 4-track cassette recorder (last used on Beyond The Silver Sea) at the room we rehearse in (Ian our drummers magical 'Bunker'). It took us one evening to record all of the backing tracks then another few weeks of drop in overdub sessions for vocals etc. 

Running Commentary is the most obvious poppy one and in a previous life it was a less rocking more ornate arrangement that didn't work quite as well. It's more power-pop now and it suits it. We had fun on the video (coming soon) wearing silly trousers and taking over a street for an afternoon.

Buried Alive is the oldest song on the EP and has never been released in any form. It originated around 2004 and existed only a a skeletal late night demo for a long time but I always enjoyed its spookiness and thought it had a bit of potential.

Rockingham Palace Revisited started out as a drone jam which I banked thinking later on it could be reversed and used as the basis for something and that's exactly what I did. I sat up until 5am the other week recording bird song out of the window and harmonising with myself through a pedal basically trying (and failing) to do Dennis Wilson. Bring It On Girl was recorded (with Marco Rea) a few years ago for a Shindig magazine cover CD that never actually happened so I suppose it's never been released. This new version was fun to do with the whole band. It's about accidentally getting married and trying to escape an island of misery (true story). My favourite one is maybe As Hard As I Feel which is a song that doesn't make much sense really but is more of a feel and sound piece (!) than a standard song. It's like 3 and a half minutes inside my head. I can see us going down more of this route sonically than the standard guitar pop direction in the future.

4. Do you have future plans for the band? Things have happened quite quickly to date

We are now officially in album writing and recording mode. It's very exciting and I think it will be a real mix of sounds. We have the full band to play with but I also like the idea of more electronic sessions and bringing in additional instrumentation. I feel like I've made variations of the same weird pop record for the last 15-years and want to push myself production wise and experiment a bit.

5. What kind of stuff are you listening to at the moment?

I enjoy lounge and exotica stuff, late 70's and early 80's groove stuff, especially the extended 12-inch versions of things. I love a lot of the Bollywood stuff from the 70's too and I think arrangement wise there's a lot of stuff I'd like to draw on from those genres. I obviously listen to all the usual good stuff as well and will probably f**k off all these exciting ideas and just re-write another 12 Beatles and Beach Boys songs. That's OK too!

6. You are well known for your love of The Beatles - what do you make of the Sgt Pepper 'makeover'?

It's mostly a worthwhile endeavour but there's a few things I wasn't so sure about, like panning the lowery organ part of Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. What was all that about? When it becomes someone who has nothing to do with the original music creation and production taking liberties like that then I think they need to have a word with themselves. The 2 bonus CD's of outtakes is where it's at for me.

7. Do you have a favourite Beatles album? Is it possible to choose just one?

I love different albums for different reasons! Love them all. White Album has probably been the most influential though as it was a favourite for a long time as it made it OK to put out a whole bunch of wildly varied stuff on an LP. It's like a catalogue of brilliant production sounds.

8. How do you write your own songs?

When I write songs I either start on a piano, guitar, ukulele or even a Casiotone and just feel about to see if anything's there. Usually not. Sometimes things can write themselves quite quickly or you just get a wee bit that you can bank for later. I'll hear a section in my head when I'm out occasionally and just whistle it on to my phone and pick it up when I get home. That's quite good. A lot of the time I just start working on a piece of music for fun and the song comes over it later and it ends up the finished thing. It's good to not have one way of doing things and to try out different methods from time to time.

9. Is there anyone you would like to write with?

Always Stu Kidd. We always come up with something. That will happen again. Same with Nic Denholm my old writing partner from The Owsley Sunshine. We always come up with something even though he is in LA now. Duglas and Marco I'm also a fan of and enjoy working with them too so more of that would be good. Aside from people I've worked with before though I'd love to write with the Radiophonic Tuckshop guys. There's a lot of scope there and I hope they all contribute to new material and it's not just my hackneyed old ideas! I really enjoy collaboration and I'll write with anyone if it's fun and fruitful. It usually is.

10. What can we expect from your live shows?

Silly trousers and weird loud pop songs. We want to become a bit electronic so we'll gradually ass new songs and instruments. We'd like to do more festivals and have our own dancing troupe. It might happen. We're having fun creating and we hope we can entertain people with it. If no-one likes it and we still have fun that's the main thing.

Radiophonic Tuckshop play the Hug and Pint on 30th July to celebrate the release of their Running Commentary EP via Last Night From Glasgow on 28th July. Tickets and ltd edition physical EP HERE