What a wonderful time of the year it is, the lambs are here and Britain’s in bloom! Last Wednesday morning at six fifteen in the morning, as I was entering the second half of my walk around Windmill Hill, north of Avebury, I found myself walking parallel but one hedge apart from an unsuspecting young buck, with a new set of antlers and a white tail. For about 300 paces/metres/yards we paced together until a huge hare crossed his path and drew the young deer’s attention at last to me, at which he bolted off towards Yatesbury. After the stop/start winter, it’s been incredible to see unbridled nature returning, more especially as I’ve chosen to end my new album YOU GOTTA PROBLEM WITH ME with ‘Shame Shame Shame’, a protest song that concludes with the chant ‘Deny Your God, Revere the Land!’ The ponds of the Marlborough Downs are teeming with life, there are Aberdeen Angus cattle in the fields and the above photo of a fox basking in our back garden was taken not at dawn or dusk, but just after midday. How casual is that? By the way, please excuse the slight hold up with the new album, but Bristol’s Invada Records has decided to do a vinyl version, so both will be now appearing at the beginning of June.
WE SLOWLY LIFT OURSELVES FROM DUST by Fear Falls Burning
C'E ANCORA VITA SU MARTE by Deadburger
NUDITY LIVE: BALTIMORE/OLYMPIA
BLOOD ISLAND RAIDERS
PLANETFALL by Litmus
In the meantime, I’ve got massive praise for the debut album by the Seattle trio Snowdrift, whose female lead vocals and spacious rural sounds evoke northern European farmsteads and long stretches of flat horizons. The eight long ballads range from a kind of cold Danish psychedelic folk to whacked out provincial torch songs, like in-breds pushing the envelope at a county fare. Get this record from www.paradigm-recordings.com
or visit them at www.myspace.com/snowdrift
. I’ve also been listening repeatedly to the guitar drones of WE SLOWLY LIFT OURSELVES FROM DUST, a 10” picture disc by Belgium’s dronaholic solo artist Fear Falls Burning. This ominous brew comes in ‘long’ size only and should be checked out at www.myspace.com/fearfallsburning
. Side one is like some post-punk band on a Gavin Bryars trip, while side two is bright and shiny post-Krautrock cyberdrone, twisted and cycling and always of the intense variety. Speaking of variety, the sheer range of Deadburger’s fourth album C’È ANCORA VITA SU MARTE took me a while to navigate through their sounds, but my persistence was surely rewarded as this band summons up everything from guitar maelstroms of the Overhang Party variety to Faust IV acoustic’n’sythesizer ballads via thunderous chorales reminiscent of the Associates. Because of the clever sequencing, listening to a track at a time is far less rewarding than just smearing the whole record around your room and just going with it! Released on Italy’s Goodfellas record label, you can also find Deadburger at www.goodfellas.it
. Now I know this next album is just an on-tour artefact (and a mighty good-looking one, at that), but I’ve included it here in order to persuade the band to give it a full release. I’m talking about NUDITY LIVE: BALTIMORE/OLYMPIA by American band Nudity, whose members now number two ex-members of my faves Tight Bros From Way Back When. Moreover, these gentlemen further betray their cool roots with their desire to cover both Alice Cooper’s classic MC5-alike ‘Long way to Go’ and Flower Travellin’ Band’s epic single ‘Make Up’. But really their whole fucking schmeer is moving up a gear. Hassle them at email@example.com
. Oh yeah, now excuse me for re-bigging up those already bigged-up in this section, but I gots to tell y’all about the very excellent debut LP by Blood Island Raiders. For those of you seeking essential re-excavations of pure sweet 1970 proto-metal and 1990 Sabbophilia, Blood Island Raiders have the riffs, the metaphor, and even the singer. Ja mein hairies, the singing is right directly between Bob Liebling and Kurt Cobain, and it’s a stunning combination. This self-titled debut is available on Invada Records, you need, you need… Finally, after many a year travelling in space (and a coupla years in suspended animation, I’ll wager), the great machine known as Litmus is back, with their second huge new album PLANETFALL, on Rise Above Records. It’s precisely the same behemoth as the first record, basking in its own metaphor as always but driven at an even more furious pace, casting it way beyond Hawkwind into ’69 renegade bikerdom; pure ragnarock’n’roll!
I shall be seeing many of you over the next coupla weeks, for I’m taking to the road on May 6th and heading north first, playing old songs and lots of new songs, even a coupla by the Teardrop Explodes in celebration of November’s 25th anniversary of that band’s dissolution. Those of you at the Barrow show will also see an acoustic performance by Earthling Society, while Doggen will be showcasing his Dogntank Unplugged at Stoke and Northampton. My friend and occasional Invada Records label-mate the experimental artist Team Brick will support at Gloucester and Exeter, whilst the other shows will just feature locals supports.
Okay, I’m out of here,