RMHQ Radio Show JUMPIN’ HOT CLUB Special Nova Radio NE Newcastle
30th October 2022
To the uninitiated, that means people outside Newcastle and the North Tyneside …. The Jumpin’ Hot Club are Roots Music promoters that are celebrating their 37th Anniversary of bringing acts both large and small to our region by bringing even more for our musical delectation; across November 2022. For tonight’s programme I eventually penned a list of near 50 acts that could/should be included …. just from my head! Most being acts I’ve seen my self in that time; but there a lot more that I wish I could have included too. The JHC history is on the website http://www.jumpinhot.com/about-us/ but paraphrased, they started putting on local acts in the basement of the Bridge Hotel and today they flit from venue to venue with consummate ease; although most people will associate them with Cluny II in the Ouseburn Delta ….. but in the last couple of years they have planted some roots in the Gosforth Civic Theatre too. The list of acts who these two crazy kids gave a first step up to is far too long for me to go into here, so just sit back and enjoy what I have managed to squeeze into two hours.
Far away from home, I found myself in the city of Fribourg, Switzerland with time to kill. As always when I’m on the move I like to check out the local music scene. I learned via the www that on the night in question Emilie Zoé would be appearing at a venue called Nouveau Monde (New World). Over morning coffee I watched a video of a young woman strumming an acoustic guitar and I saw that she had opened for Nick Cave at Montreux in July and has played most of the big European festivals, her only UK appearance seems to have been the 2019 Great Escape festival in Brighton. ‘Go and discover some new music’, a voice in my head told me, as I click the ‘buy’ button.
I arrived at Nouveau Monde early enough to have drink and to catch support band Glaascats, a three piece who set the scene up nicely for what was to come. They played a set which initially featured some Mazzy Star style dream pop and finished up sounding more like a Krautrock version of Pearl Jam. Eclectic stuff I must concede.
Checking the audience out I was struck by the demographic diversity – all age groups were represented and it was roughly a 50/50 gender split. The sense of anticipation was palpable prior to Emilie Zoé taking to the stage; and to be honest I had no idea what to expect, other than what I’d seen on line, namely this acoustic track I’d looked at earlier in the day. In fact, it was a two-piece that took to the stage, Emilie and drummer Nicolas Pittet. It looked to me like a kind of reverse White Stipes but when the music kicked in I was reminded more of Jehnny Beth of Savages fame. It was powerful, loud, dark fuzzy rock music and I loved it straight from the off.
Lucky for me all of the songs were delivered in English; but the between song banter was in French. I did pick up that the songs were taken from her latest release ‘Hello Future Me’ and were concentrated on the artists environmental concerns. Case in point, the title track which opens with the lines ‘It’s a shame that you can’t go back in time, In the year I live in, everything’s on fire, all we do is waiting.’ The song builds to a powerful crescendo and slowly fades out with the repeated line ‘See our houses on the shore, their stones rise only when the tide is low.’ A dozen backing singers join in the closing refrain – It was haunting stuff and the highlight of a blistering set for me. The other highlight was when Zoé seamlessly transitioned from a fuzz laden guitar close-out of Apollo; into the gentle acoustic sound of Tidal Waves. I was hugely impressed. It was an enthralling performance, rich in meaning, delivered with passion and precession. It hit me right in the heart.
Before she left the stage she gave her thanks and spoke emotionally (in French). That was mostly lost on me but had I had the feeling I had witnessed something extraordinary and as I went on my way into the clear Swiss night I was glad I had listened to the voices in my head that morning.
A Strong Musical and Lyrical Voice that Straddles the Fine Line Between Edginess and The Mainstream.
I must admit, I hadn’t come across Julianna Riolino until I saw her a couple of months back, playing in Daniel Romano’s Outfit and was immediately struck by her energetic persona and commanding stage presence. Based on this, I was half-expecting an album of uptempo stormers…well, I guess the lesson to be learned from that is not to totally judge from initial appearances! There’s energy in abundance here on “All Blue” but it takes varying forms.
Opening track “If I Knew Now” is a mid-paced strum-along with a delightful twangier Tom Verlainesque concluding solo – over this, Riolino’s vocals are reminiscent at times, of Jill Birt from The Triffids. “Isn’t It a Pity” seems to nod further to 80’s indie – musically it pootles along like an outtake off the final Orange Juice album, with its soulful indie vibe and jaunty organ (oo-er Missus!).
“Lone Ranger” swerves off down a slightly more 60’s girl-group path with barroom piano and response backing vocals that “doo-da-doo” away merrily. It’s a catchy confection and if mainstream radio had any taste, it’d be played to death. “Archangel” which follows, keeps its drumbeat firmly in the same Spector-like territory as its predecessor, but there’s a thread of soulful confession which pierces the song. “Queen of Spades” adopts a more countryfied snare rimmed beat and explores some of the same sort of territory as the late Kirsty MaColl, but melody and confession are still to the fore. “Hark!” keeps the piano in an initially more stripped-back arrangement, before the guitars and vocals build with melancholy major-minor key shifting force.
“Memory of Blue” as its title suggests, is lyrically reflective over organ and musical echoes of Dylan. Things stomp along with greater urgency on “Why Do I Miss You?” with its T-Rex (the band, not the dinosaur) rhythm chops and strident double-tracked vocals. “Long Feeling” is looser in feel, in the way that the Rolling Stones are often loose in their mid-paced moments – and there’s some fine grungy guitar soloing too.
Moving towards the end of the release (if you’re listening in order – you should be) “You” keeps the tempo up with its repetitive title hammered out above a shuffling, pushing rhythm guitar and plinky-plonky piano dialled down in the mix. In an alternate universe, this would be a winning Scandinavian entry in Eurovision – it’s great fun. “Thistle and Thorned” draws the album to a close – picked guitar is all that is needed to frame the power in Riolino’s vocal and exposes cracks and shivers that add to the character and power of the song.
So, not quite the album I was expecting from my one encounter with Julianna Riolino, but it’s all good – on this entirely self-penned album, she has developed a strong musical and lyrical voice that straddles the line between edginess and the mainstream – and she’s quite the performer too, so catch her if you can – and if she’s not playing around your way, then get this album to tide you over in the meantime.
Ian M Bailey You Paint The Pictures Kool Kat Records
Timeless Cutting Edged Twang-Infused Psychedelia
There’s something really special about Ian M Bailey’s albums …. obviously the co-written songs with Daniel Wylie are all rather wonderful, the instrumentation (mostly Bailey himself plus Alan Gregson adding the string sections and Steel pedal guitar) is excellent throughout and even the production is sparkling; yet he remains in the shadows? Why? Perhaps it’s a case of right place/wrong time …. because this album alongside his previous releases are timeless; steeped in the Byrdsian sound that begat R.E.M and Teenage Fanclub to name but two. Perhaps his D.I.Y attitude precludes him from touring; where the student community would surely lap up songs like opening track Paint The Pictures as well as the psychedelic-lite Dreams of Love and the Twangtastic Change is Easy were they to hear them. I know that this is a universal problem for many acts out there; and the RMHQ demographic is 99% at the other end of the age spectrum; so what’s a poor boy to do? Personally I don’t have the imagination to work out what fulsome songs like Year of The Tiger and Hey Little Girl would sound like stripped back to the acoustic bone for a live setting; but with so many other ways to promote his music on t’internet, why should Bailey compromise his incredibly well constructed songs just to play in front of 20 people? There are more than enough fabulous songs here to whisper to friends in secluded corners who appreciate quality over quantity to make the likes of I Don’t Want to Start Again, I Wanted the Sun To Shine or Brazil to light up the online Indie charts surely? If only we can get the word out. There really is so much to like here; possibly too much, as selecting a single Favourite Song has proved to be as difficult as usual on an Ian M Bailey album. At first the finale, the whispering and almost transcendental Sitting In Silence struck me like a warm hug from a favourite Aunt; not that it’s decreased in my appreciation; but recently the enchanting Life Without You unravelled and I’ve found myself playing it over and over again a few times. This only leaves HLG-CIE, which is like an enigma wrapped inside a musical riddle with more than a hint of Roger McGuinn’s solo work oozing out of every groove …. which today; makes it my Favourite Song (for the time being). Songwriting always impresses me; but co-writing simply baffles me when it’s this good ….. as all of these songs sound so deeply personal yet come from two men’s lives and observations.
Various Artists The Skippy White Story Yep Roc Records
1960’s Amazing R&B, Soul and Gospel From Downtown Boston
It’s never been a secret, but I was a Soul Boy in my younger days; not just the Pop stuff; although you simply can’t get better than either of my Motown box-sets; but I still regularly squander hard earned cash on albums by acts in the many sub-genres, sects and totally unknown labels that neither you or I have ever heard of. So; when this exciting album arrived a month back, the cover pic was enough to make me put it straight into the CD player before I’d even unfolded the Press Release or looked at the track list to see if there was any acts I’d heard of. Before we go any further; 99% of people who grew up listening to Motown in particular and Stax/Atlantic too won’t give this album a second glance….. but the other 1%? They are in for a rare treat indeed. The biggest surprise here, and with hindsight it shouldn’t have been a surprise at all; is that this album (and others in the series) was curated by Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed; of course it was! Who else? Personally, and I’m not an expert anyway, I’d never heard of the ‘Boston scene’ in the 1960’s that these songs; some never released before, come from; but in the Soul World at that time, labels sprung up like mushrooms to promote local musicians and played on radio stations with only city wide/regional wavelengths. First on the dancefloor is Junior Washington giving it his best ‘Smokey Robinson/Gene Chandler impression on an absolute belter called, coincidentally The Skippy White Theme pt2; named after the record store / label owner who promoted all of these songs. This is followed by the swoonsome ballad Sleepwalk by Sammy and the Del-Lards, which given a good tail wind and some financial promotion could easily have been a huge National hit if licenced to one of the Major labels; but it wasn’t and like everyone else here has lain gathering dust unto Eli found it and dusted it down. Even listening to these long lost songs today in my semi-detached house; I still feel that tingle that the acts and their extended families and friends must have felt when these songs came on local radio stations ‘back in the day’ …. not least the spine tingling ballads by The Precisions; I Love What I Found In You and Me & My Girl. Without wanting to sound even the slightest bit pedantic it’s quite easy to play ‘spot the influence’;’ on songs like Georgia Chain Gang and Evil Woman Blues by the charmingly monikered Guitar Nubbit and The Earl Lett Quartet’s smooth as silk, Now Is The Time and even Lynn Harmonizer’s Gospel drenched, I Was Standing; but that matters not a jot; and doesn’t spoil your listening pleasure for a single second … even enhancing it at times. It’s actually been interesting to find that the label; and this particular album is so diverse introducing music fans to the Blues and Gospel as well as the Soul tracks themselves. It’s certainly not been easy selecting a single Favourite song, as many if not all have their merits; not least The Precisions heartbreaker, Treason as it features an amazing brass section, whereas Crayton Singers, Master on High is a wonderfully arranged Gospel-Pop song in the style of Aretha and/or Gladys Knight and boy has this girl; 13 year old Joyce Crayton got a fantastic voice! Which only leaves The Sons of David with another Soul infused Gospel belter called I’ve Been Lifted out of Sin, which made me go to the volume dial and turn it to the right when I was in the car. HALLELUJAH Brothers and Sisters … send me more like this. As I said at the beginning, this album is for and dedicated to the 1% and those who unearth it are in for a veritable treat from start to finish Last but not least; like so many others over the years, I’m not aware of anyone here going on to make a career in the music industry; but what a blast they must have had being a Star for a few weeks or months when these songs and their like even on a local basis; and … think on …. if you live in or around the Boston area and someones Grandma or Grandpa regularly regales the family with tales of Fame and No Fortune when they were Popstars in the 60’s ….. dig deep, they may be on this album.
Julian Taylor Beyond The Reservoir Howling Turtle, Inc
Overflowing with Shimmering Soul-Searching Songs And Deeply Steeped in Cool Country Canadiana.
I knew absolutely nothing about Toronto based country/folk singer-songwriter Julian Taylor until I pressed play on this new release, yet I have never before felt so instantly ‘at one’ with a new-to-me artist. Wow, he tells you his life stories like you’ve been there right from the outset, revealing some dark challenges growing up: we are brought up close to all he holds dear. Now here’s a surprising fact I’ve since discovered……you would be forgiven for thinking Mr Taylor has been singing this way for the entire two decades he’s been treading the boards in the music business, as his intensely rich gravel vocal tones lends exquisitely to his own brand of cool, passionate Country Twang. HELL NO! It’s very early days for this musical reincarnation, as previously he has taken on an impressive array of roles to earn his crust, including fronting the Canadian rock band Staggered Crossing. But perhaps all the more perfect for the wait, for it takes a special kind of artist to answer a new calling and deliver a bundle of standout songs that reel you in only to then blow your mind once you dive beneath the surface.
The album opens with the monumental old-time acoustic strums of ‘Moonlight’. At just shy of 7 mins long, it does an epic job by way of an introduction: oh so softly rocking us with a steady beat whilst narrating the backdrop of Julian Taylor’s life. The album title makes sense now: the ‘Reservoir’ which was his teenage hangout and the length of this track splendidly emphasizes every step of his long road out of there. This artist is straight in with recounting painful memories of when, as a young man (with West Indian and Mohawk roots) he was often picked on and arrested by the police:
“The sadness and the sorrow and every tomorrow makes us who we are…… our troubles and worries and all of our stories makes us who we are”.
That’s the essence of this album in a nutshell, by sharing his stories with us, we gain a deep understanding of his world and of how the past can affect the present for all of us.
This album very skilfully balances his bleak moments with sunshine and hope, making it as uplifting as it is reflective and angry at times. Two tracks that really focus on the nostalgic, happier memories are ‘It Hurts’ (Everyone Was There) and ‘Wide Awake’. The former picks us up like we are boarding an old-fashioned steam train and sweeps us along at a steady and reassuring pedal pace. The lyrics refer to by-gone times of old friends together at gigs having heaps of fun, although underpinned with regret at later in life going their separate ways. The latter almost makes my top slot with it’s gorgeous and insanely sweet hook, the guitar brightly bounces round the melody sprinkling happiness as Julian Taylor recounts his family life growing up and how these experiences have changed him, radiating positivity he sings:
“There is an abundance of hope that lies within the oceans of time”
This overriding sense of optimism is also entrenched in the grooves of the marvellously crafted up tempo single ‘Seeds’ which compellingly turns the focus from oppression back to regrowth and hope for the future:
“They tried to bury us, but they didn’t know we were seeds”
‘Stolen Land’ then expands, displaying anger at injustices, including poignantly referencing the unmarked graves of many Indigenous children recently discovered by a school in Kamloops: the drums beat out like an echo of furious thunder: “this land was taken, and built on slavery”.
Onto my Favourite Song, a tough call but this one is emotive and gripping. Often an opening lyric can be the most memorable part of many a fine tune, but it is much rarer for a closing lyric to have that same impact. On ‘Murder 13’ this is exactly what happens. Soft picking leads that lulls us in to a seemingly gentle tale recounting youthful memories, yet the dreamlike chorus hints at demons below the surface:
“And I’ve had enough, excuse me I’m leaving, I just don’t feel like being here anymore”
It is not until the very last line that we realise the whole song has been narrated from the perspective of a deceased boy as the song shockingly finishes with:
“My name is Alex, I was murder thirteen”
The song itself is hauntingly moving, a truly fitting tribute to the artist’s lost friend and a hard- hitting message about the dangers of drugs in Schools.
To close, 100 Proof is an unexpected bonus track, a song begging to be strummed by a camp fire. Written by his musician friend Tyler Ellis and with a vocal delivery by Mr Taylor to give you goosebumps, in my book it sits proudly next to any recording by Johnny Cash: a man’s life cleverly summed up in a song, wonderful sentiments to close an album such as this one:
”If you’re sad you cry, if it’s funny you laugh, If you lose your way, just stop and ask and if someone asks you how you feel, just tell them the truth And if kindness were a spirit be 100 proof”
‘Beyond The Reservoir’ is a thought-provoking yet delightful musical adventure. Trust me, I’ll be swimming backstroke to spin his critically acclaimed previous album, ‘The Ridge’, which kick-started this whole new chapter for him in 2020. And I get the feeling there are a whole heap more stories Julian Taylor has stored up to share with us. Bring it on, it’s as if we’re old friends now.
IlluminatingSongs That Not Just ‘Tell a Story;’ But Touch the Heart In Many Different Ways.
Just when I think I know or must have heard about in the Americana/Roots Music scene, along comes Angela Easterling; who alongside Brandon Turner has been making records and touring for well over ten years now; only pausing for her to have a baby girl a couple of years ago! But; it’s discoveries and albums like this, which are what the main reason behind what we do here at the Rocking Magpie. The first thing you notice in the opening song, California is the way Angela uses her voice; sliding between a Linda Ronstadt purr and an Emmylou Harris vocal that simply aches with longing. While sad at its core, the song itself will resonate with not just many in the industry; but music fans who still ‘chase dreams’ no matter how inaccessible. Now I’ve played the album a few times, the arrangements herein are magnificent, and bely the DIY nature of the recording; seamlessly straddling Olde Worlde Classic Country, Americana and even Alt. Country with sheer mastery. The Olde Worlde Classic Country, comes courtesy of the slow Twangfest that is Little Boy Blues (which has a really infectious chorus!) as well as the Honky Tonky toe-tapper, Keep Your Head Down Johnny which are both quite refreshing as they tun up when least expected. I’m not sure when people start thinking about the ‘ageing process’ but Angela looks far too young to worry about such things; but a few songs here certainly tackle that subject in the most articulate and tender ways. Track #2 finds Angela journeying ‘home’ …. not where she lives now, with her married family; but the ‘home’ where the heart is …. and she sounds a little sorrowful and wistful as she tells us … “Stepping up to the front porch, My fingers find the key, All these roads I’ve traveled just to see… The faces of family, An old friend’s smile, Yes, I know it’s been a while, since I was Home. Home.” It’s sad, of course …. but charm personified at the same time. Even Halfway Down touches on that feeling of neither being old nor young; whereas Grow Old tackles it head on … as she sings about her children in the chorus …. “I wanna be there for those first smile lines To watch your hair turn gray. Follow the map of scars and tattoos that marks your days. All of your triumphs, your loves and losses, your big mistakes, I wanna know how your life unfolds. I wanna see you grow old.” Perhaps it’s Angela’s voice that keeps drawing me back to this album; but the songs, even individually are all worth listening to and sometimes associating with, time and time again …. which is how I feel about Halfway Down and the charming Baby Bird … which is about a family of birds that return year on year to Angela’s garden …. but methinks there’s a metaphor for life in there too. This neatly brings me to the two songs I’m having difficulty choosing between as mt definitive Favourite Song; Woody Guthrie’s haunting Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos) is magnificent and sadly all too relevant in 2022; but as is my won’t I’m choosing a song written by Angela herself; and one that again tackles the age-dilemma; and made me think of my own two sons who are in their 40’s too ….. one of whom first went to College at 31 and is now finishing his Masters at 44 …. with no real idea if it will get him the job of his dreams …. “When I turned 40, I went back to college With some kids who never heard of Kurt Cobain Thought I could gain some useful knowledge, Make a buck or two before it got too late. Well, I’m afraid I didn’t last long The only thing I got out of it was more debt. And a new appreciation for a life I can’t seem to let go of yet” Just when I was having a ‘blip’ reviews wise recently, along comes Angela Easterling (AND Brandon Turner) who have re-awakened my love of a well written, constructed and arranged song that not just ‘tells a story’ but touches the heart in many different ways.
A Humdinger of a Contemporary Country Album That Sits Nearer the Cutting Edge of Alt. Country
Somewhere in the shadows of time I’m 99% sure I reviewed at least one, possibly two of Nikki Lane’s early albums …. but for some reason they didn’t make the transfer here when I went solo. So; I was pretty excited when I received this album on the day of release; although I normally like a bit more time to savour the delights contained inside the packaging. The fabulous and breathy First High introduces us to the razor sharp small town observations that make Ms. Lane one Helluva singer and songwriter; as she describes the peer pressure many feel in High School. It’s odd that she hasn’t delivered an album in the last five years; but fear not …. she didn’t stay at home watching soap operas; no she spent that time wisely in the company of well heeled Popsters like Sierra Ferrell, Lana Del Ray and Spiritualized; plus Queens of the Stone Age frontman Joshua Homme who helped in the writing and production departments on the album itself. Yep; that’s the background combination which makes these songs different (different = good) from most everything else you will hear this year. Don’t worry, her regular steel player Matt Pynn makes sure that these songs are as Country as Country Rock gets. Now that’s out of the way; let’s talk about the songs – especially as this is ‘all killer – no filler’! Born Tough is pretty much what it says on the label, with Nikki battling a funky ass guitar/bass combo for first place and winning on what sounds almost biographical. Black Widow is a real ‘zinger;’ as she compares this spider; which kills its lover straight after mating …. to an ex. Try Harder is a heartbreaking ballad that plenty will have a kinship with; and Pass It Down; about her relationship with her father and her deeply religious upbringing. “It could be about religion, it could be about AA,” she says. “It’s simply about getting it off your chest in order to move on.” Others will certainly have their own interpretation about what it means to them … I know I have. Possibly/probably because of the company Nikki has been keeping; there’s a cutting edge that I hadn’t expected to the melancholic Faded and Chimay as there’s a skewed passion that simply aches with longing on and in both songs. Selecting a single Favourite song has been devilishly difficult as every song here certainly has its merits; but I have narrowed it down to two songs; the magnificent title track Denim & Diamonds, which conjures up images of the young Dolly, Loretta or Reba being transported 50 years and going into a 21st Century Studio and ripping Country Music ‘a new one’ with this song! The other is a much gentler song, Live_Love which has just as biting set of lyrics as Denim and Diamonds and will no doubt have women of all ages thinking “that song could be about me!” This is a humdinger of an album sitting somewhere towards the Alt. Country edge of the Country Music spectrum; but with some very contemporary additions to its arrangements; meaning it’s unlikely that Nikki Lane will be troubling the Americana or CMA Awards Committees any time soon …. as they are sadly, too conservative with a small ‘c’ than they would have you believe. So it’s up to you, me and ‘word of mouth’ to make those Committees feel left out by spreading the word around the world.
RMHQ Radio Show Nova Radio NE Newcastle 23rd October 2022
Sunday nights wouldn’t be the same without our eclectic mix of Roots Music; this week as well as Americana, Alt. Country and Folk I slid in some Australian songs and a couple of Cajun songs to spice things up.
Dig The New Breed! 1960’s Psychedelic Modernism Rekindled
I’m always confused with Bruce Foxton’s releases as to who they are actually by; which I know sounds odd; but to all intents and purposes they really are courtesy of his ‘touring band, ‘From The Jam’ (who will play these songs on tour) mercifully though, this is being billed as a collaboration with his musical partner Russell Hastings; therefore it’s a Foxton & Hastings release. My first reaction to listening to these songs , is that it’s a Concept Album of sorts; although I don’t know what the concept is …. as it doesn’t sound remotely like anything Foxton (and/or Russell Hastings) has released previously, in any guise. Right from the ‘git go’ Electronic Lover simply oozes a late 1960’s Modernist ‘groove’, albeit dark and beguiling as Russell goes down an octave or so from his normal tones on this odd little love song. Is he describing a lover with no feelings or is it really an actual Electronic Lover? Will we ever find out? While there are nods to lots of other influences here (Motown? The Who circa Quadrophenia? Even the Jam!) the over riding ‘band’ that springs to mind to me, starting with second song Feet Off The Ground is the Small Faces; specifically when they morphed from the Mod scene into psychedelia and didn’t quite get the balance right …. Bruce Foxton and Russell Hastings most certainly do. One of the things about Modernism was the way it always evolved, moving on …. challenging concepts and ideology, and while embracing their and our past, musically Foxton & Hastings do just that here, as the songwriting is a lot more thoughtful; and possibly even cerebral throughout, and none more so than on She Said, the delightful Rain and especially Walk With Me; which is a melody rich ballad that will turn their fan’s heads upside down as it’s about ‘them/us’ now …. who are no longer re-living our teens. If only BBC Radio 2 and 6 weren’t so obsessed with ‘algorithms’ …. there are a couple of songs here; Lula and the crunchy and eminently danceable Circles, that are just perfect for those stations’ listeners, if only they had some imagination. ‘Age’ is actually a theme that underpins many songs here; with Foxton writing about the ageing process not least on the swinging Time on Your Side, which features Russell giving us his best Georgie Fame impression on the keyboards; and boy does that horn section get the toes a tappin’! Even on the Love Songs here; Two of Us and especially the enigmatically gentle Walking With Me; the lyrics describe our ‘feelings’ now … today …. in our Golden Years, rather than that first flush of youth we want to re-live when we see From The Jam in concert! Skipping back to the beginning, track #3 the bewitching Lula; apart a young woman who has everything a person could want ….. but L.O.V.E and the ability to attract it; just might be one of the best songs Foxton has ever written; and the way the saxophone cuts through Russell’s magnificent vocal performance is spellbinding. This is followed by She Said, which is possibly the most obvious nod to the (latter day) Small Faces, with a catchy chorus, twangy guitar that Marriott would have been proud of and as for the rolling and as for the mandolin and rolling and tumbling bass; surely that’s Bruce channelling his inner Ronnie Lane … yes/no? While the singles are certainly catchy and memorable enough to be considered for the title of RMHQ Favourites; there are a couple of leftfield songs here that are genuinely captivating, the chilled out Wanted with it’s gorgeous layers is the best song Paul Weller never wrote. Then there is the explosive Anything You Want, which closes the album and will be an absolute stomper when played even louder and faster in concert! But, there is one other song here that surpasses every song that’s gone before it here or comes after it …. and that’s the desperately emotional Too Old To Cry, Too Young To Die. Man! Will this song tug at your heartstrings like no other in your Mod record collection? Yes it most certainly will and tears will be shed too; hence this being by far my Favourite Song here. While it’s patently not possible to compare and contrast this album with anything Bruce Foxton has released before; as it’s so very, very different in every aspect from any album he’s recorded previously, that we have to think of it as a brand new and exciting direction for him and us too.