One thing I didn’t expect to happen when writing posts about 50s music discovered by me in the mid 80s: to hear from any of the bands/artists’ family members. But not only has that happened, more so I’ve heard from a band member!
Incredibly, I’ve now had the immense pleasure of being in contact with ‘Wild’ Bill Lee Balsbaugh, piano player in The Jiants, having initially been contacted by Aaron Hedges, son of Jerry Hedges, the guitarist.
Not only can I set some of my own speculations—made in absence of any info—about the band straight, I can also correct a big inaccuracy found in the scant information that could be found online.
I can’t remember what took me to Mundo Primitivo’s Paisaje Interior, but Holy shit I’m sure glad who/whatever it was did.
Track 1: ‘Intro’ is an instrumental with a rock ‘n’ roll swagger reminiscent of Duane Eddy’s ‘Peter Gunn’; there’s menace and purpose in the brooding prowl, a cat on the move but always taught and ready to pounce; it turns out to be the calm before the storm.
Ian Arkley’s second solo album two is compellingly converse. Frequently touching on fiercely hunting, it equally remains subtle throughout. two picks up where one left of with bells on thanks to the addition of a dulcimer, lyre and pitched down acoustic guitar for bass. Mastering and layout are by Michael Shaffer of label Opa Loka Records, on which two is released; beyond that, Ian is responsible for all aspects including photographs and artwork. Continue reading →
Rich Brown wanted to draw a line under what was intended as a lockdown project, and having had enquiries about them, decided a CD—his first physical release—would do exactly that.
Revisiting old songs with a tweak here and there, plus adding three completely new, Down and out to sea contains ten tracks, all of which were recorded, mixed and mastered in Rich’s own home studio; a place that started as a duvet fort and has become something producing sound that one would be hard pressed to realise hadn’t been recorded in a real studio with all the engineering and mastering that goes with it.
Clue One. The three bands covered: The Paragons/The Nerves/Randy and the Rainbows.
Clue Two. My experiences of seeing them live: in 1982, when I was still at school, my mum—who I get my thing for music from—got us tickets to see this band, only for them to spilt up on the tour before playing the gig. They were my top band at the time; I was totally gutted.
In 1991, I was going to spend a weekend at the Hells Angels’ Kent Custom Bike Show. It turned out that on the same Saturday night, the lead singer of the band was appearing as a solo artist at Wembley, London, on a bill that included the likes of INXS, Jesus Jones and the Hothouse Flowers. Continue reading →
Whirring into life like a comet lowrider being fired up, Usurper of the Universe is an ever expanding cloud of trippy space dust gritty with derision. Who, or perhaps what, is SÖNUS is a question the answer to can change with every listen; the six track album as much space rock opera—a beer and bong infused version of Queen’s Flash Gordon score with SÖNUS playing both band and Ming—as a frustration-driven social commentary not only on the world we currently live in but always have.
A substantial aspect of DROME is the matter of time, so appropriate then that its first listen transports me back to the mid seventies and a trip up North to see relatives which included a visit to the fabled Yorkshire Dales.
Nothing of the actual visit remains in memory beyond it being uneventful. It’s all the things said about the place by family members beforehand that spring to mind. The potential for heavy mists to suddenly descend and leave anyone there disorientated on the vast expanse of open land hard enough to navigate at the best of times.