Sunday, 28 September 2014

Charles Bradley: Soul Of America

***REVIEW*** Cymande - Koko, London (25/09/2014)

My last minute realisation that Cymande were playing just down the road at Koko in London last week saw a swift scrabble to secure a ticket. For the first time since 1974 all the founder members of Cymande were back to play together again for a special London one off show! Must see stuff!

I'd been lucky enough to see a reworked Cymande II at the Vintage Festival several years back on the open air Soul Stage which was a real pleasure. However the show on Thursday featuring the entire 9 piece was truly astounding and the band performed as if the last 40 years apart were irrelevant. It was a pleasure to see such accomplished musicians performing so effortlessly!

Patrick Patterson humbly thanked the crowd for the support that had led to 'The Message' being such a success and had given the group their break. A track which arguably now is a Funk standard. They literally blew the roof off of Koko and had entire venue singing along.

Cymande - Brothers On The Slide

Similarly 'Bra' and 'Brothers On The Slide' also stood out as big crowd favourites with bass legend Steve Scipio holding down the grooves faultlessly.

The group bought the show to a crescendo with a nod towards Bob Marley with a reworking of 'Get Up Stand Up' making this arguably one of the best live acts I've had the pleasure of catching!

Some of today's acts could do well to catch Cymande at Band On the Wall in Manchester on the 10th October. School's in session!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

***NEW*** The Blue Beaters - Toxic - Record Kicks

Release date 22 September on LTD EDITION 45 and Digital Download. Pre order the LTD EDITION 45 vinyl (600 worldwide) now.

Record Kicks proudly presents Italian Ska/RockSteady/Soul giants The Bluebeaters. Active since 1994 with 4 studio albums for King Size Records, V2 and Universal Music and several gold records under the belt, The Bluebeaters are top musicians in love with vintage Jamaican sounds: Ska, Rock Steady, Rhythm Blues and Soul. Blessed by Ken Booth, during the last 20 years of their career they've headline festivals like Rototom Sun Splash and International Ska Fest in 2012 and extensively toured around Europe, including a legendary sold out show at Dingwalls in London in 2011. Amongst their fans, there are folks like David Rodigan and the legendary late lamented Lloyd Knibb (The Skatalites).

The Bluebeaters lands on RK with two brand new tracks "Toxic (one drop version)" and "Catch That Teardrop". Produced by The Bluebeaters and mixed by Tommaso Colliva (Calibro 35) at Toomi Labs studio in London, this double-sider 45 features a storming early Jamaican cover up version, of pop single Toxic by Britney Spears (yes that Toxic!) able to set every dancefloor on fire. On the flip side the band keeps the pressure very high, bringing back to JA roots, Catch That Teardrop, a Northern soul/R&b single originally recorded in 1962 by The Five Royales from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Welcome Bluebeaters!

UK Cinema Listings For Northern Soul: The Film

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

***NEW*** Lee Fields & The Expressions - Just Can’t Win (Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band Remix) b/w Just Can’t Win (Marco Polo Remix)

Truth & Soul Records are proud to present the "Just Can't Win" Remixes. Marco Polo brought his signature slamming drums to the table balanced out by the smooth keys and the raspy delivery of the man himself, Mr. Lee Fields. Marco Polo has done production for the who's who of Hip Hop music including Pharoahe Monch, Masta Ace, M.O.P., and Large Professor to name a few.

Truth & Soul were really excited to see what he would do with Lee's tune and to put it lightly we are not surprised. Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band are set to release their full length debut on Truth & Soul Records in 2015. Here they lend their unique blend of steel drum melody and pounding drums to Lee's unmistakeable raspy tone giving the tune an upbeat sunshiney vibe.

Coming soon to a 45 near you on Truth & Soul Records.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Etta James - I'd Rather Go Blind (Live At Montreux 1975)

DJ Eops Presents Black Wax Solution

Fellow collector and all round nice guy DJ Eops is hosting a new Funk, Soul & Disco night called 'Black Wax Solution' at The Miller every second Friday of the month.

This guys crates run seriously deep so I would strongly advise you to add this night to your "to-do" lists for next month!

Tell 'em Mo' Soul sent you!

Check out DJ Eops on Mixcloud HERE

'Like' the Facebook page HERE for more information on the night

Adam Ben Ezra - Can't Stop Running

Brushy One String - Chicken In The Corn (Official Video)

The Kerouac Shack Pop Up Restaurant / Shake! 45rpm Launch Party For Smith & The Honey Badgers

Saturday 4th October sees an exciting new music & food pop up from team behind The Gastronome at a secret location in North London.

"The Kerouac Shack" will be taking over a 1950's garage for an evening of fine dining propelled to you by some of the best blues music modern day London has to offer.

I'll be guest DJing at the event in support of not one but two massive acts who will be performing live on the night at this great venue!

First up is Dollar Bill & His One Man Band, an act that has been making huge waves across Europe on the R&B, Blues and Rockabilly scene with his innovative act and stage presence.

His recent live album "Live At The Shake'Em On Down Club" released on a lovely shiny 10" Vinyl & CD through Rollin' Records showcases what a talented musician and excellent showman he is!

Grab the LP from Rollin' Records HERE

Next up, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, a crossover R&B, Country & Jump Blues influenced outfit from North London who have been causing a big stir recently having supported the likes of The Stereophonics, Billy Bragg, Mark Ronson & Razorlight.

They've just finished a successful festival program and are now back in the studio recording a new LP which should hit the racks in January 2015.

Pick up their LP through The Sunday Best label HERE

As if the musical treats weren't enough, Chef Joseph Curtis will be laying on a 5 course Americana inspired meal to ensure it's not just your ears that are filled with goodness!

Amuse Bouche

Spiced confit chicken leg/Truffled wild mushrooms with sweetcorn puree and pea shoots

Grilled Bavette steak/Squash and allium Wellington with mac'n'cheese, watercress, pickled shallot and peppercorn sauce

Orange and bourbon granita

Blueberry cheesecake

Limited tickets for this one off event are £50 and can be picked up from The Gastronome event page HERE.

My bi-monthly Funk & Soul night, Shake! will be hosting the after party at The Buffalo Bar in Islington. We'll be keeping the party rolling on until 4am. All Kerouac Shack ticket holders will get free entry on the door!

This month Shake! are pleased to host the launch party for Smith & The Honey Badgers new 45rpm “The Honey Badger Strut / Lets Pretend”. The 8 piece Funk outfit from East London will be joining us on the night to perform a LIVE set.

Like the band here:

Preview the new 45 here:

Band member and long time record collector, DJ Ferj Gainsbourg will be joining us at the controls on the night as well.

Check his recent mix here:

9pm - 4am

£5 on the door or Facebook/WeAreShake for special Two for One Guestlist (Free to Keerouac Shack ticket holders)

Don't sleep on these two great events!


Friday, 5 September 2014

***REVIEW*** The Lost Brothers / St. Paul & The Broken Bones - Camden Electric Ballroom, London (03/09/2014)

I had the pleasure of catching The Lost Brothers and St. Paul & The Broken Bones at The Electric Ballroom in London this week. This was a show that I had been anticipating for several months since the tickets went on sale and the 7 piece headlining outfit from Birmingham, Alabama certainly didn't disappoint me!

Warming up the huge ballroom in Camden and kicking off proceedings were a band I'd regrettably not heard of before. The Lost Brothers are an acoustic Irish duo consisting of Mark McCausland and Oisin Leech.

After their captivating set I went straight home and bought their LP and can now count myself as a fan! Be sure to catch them live as they are doing the rounds in London shortly!

St. Paul & The Broken Bones are really only in their infancy in the grand scheme of things, having been founded just 2 years ago by singer Paul Janeway and Bass player, Jesse Phillips. They have already made a serious splash on the scene and watching the way that they captivated and engaged with their audience, you would have thought that this was a veteran group in the twilight years of their career!

The tightly honed band took to the stage and after a rousing intro were joined by singer Paul Janeway who has an astounding vocal range and a level of delivery as good as any, his affable and humorous banter also had the crowd smiling throughout!

St. Paul & The Broken Bones led us through an hour and a half of solid Soul mainly comprising of tracks from their recent LP, 'Half The City', an album which comes highly recommended round these parts. Stand out tracks were crowd favourite "Broken Bones & Pocket Change" and the Stax tinged "Call Me" which had the whole venue moving.

The band also threw in a good nod to the Soul greats that have obviously influenced and shaped their sound. Rousing covers of "Shake" by Sam Cooke and "I've Been Loving You" by Otis Redding kept the audience on tenterhooks but for me it was a tightly rocked up version of fellow Alabama legend, Wilson Pickett's "99 & A Half (Won't Do)" that was the standout from the selection of covers they chose.

It was a highly enjoyable evening and I would strongly urge anyone to catch both these acts while they get a chance! Great stuff!