Frank Turner LIVE IN NEWCASTLE

Frank Turner
LIVE IN NEWCASTLE
Xtra Mile Recordings/Polydor

Proof that Something as Simple as Rock ‘n’ Roll Will Save Us All.

I’ve been a big fan of Frank for about 5 years. I love his story telling and love that his catalogue of songs is like a personal diary of him and his friends and the life he has led. On recent releases he has moved away from that somewhat, but is still a brilliant songwriter, and any new release is always something I look forward to.
This album was recorded at my local Newcastle City Hall in 2019; opening with a very different sounding THE BALLED OF ME AND MY FRIENDS with Frank speaking the opening verse before bringing the song to it’s more familiar sound. He then introduces his band, The Sleeping Souls during I KNEW PRUFROCK BEFORE HE GOT FAMOUS, and there is already a great vibe on this album with Frank’s voice sounding strong and him coming across very relaxed and happy to be where he is. 
JOURNEY OF THE MAGI tells the story of Princes, Kings and Queens and travel, but is really just a metaphor for Frank’s life as a  non stop touring act.

But in the end the journey’s brought joys that outweigh the pain”.

SUBSTITUTE is another one of those great songs that reminds us have how bad we have been in relationships over the years – and Frank certainly seems to have been an awful boyfriend in his younger years (he pretty much admits that while introducing the song).

I’ve had many different girls inside my bed, only one or two inside my head” is a truly brilliant line. 
Frank takes time to explain a little about the songs before the band kick in and start playing, and his explanation of ISABEL creates plenty of chuckles from the audience. I wonder if Isabel has ever forgiven him?
Another of Turner’s stories explains the idea behind REDEMPTION and why we really need to look at ourselves more than other people when something goes wrong. 
REASONS NOT TO BE AN IDIOT is one of my favourites from Frank as I think I can relate to it in a big way. They play this completely differently to the album version with a three chord rock n roll intro, but the melody is instantly recognisable. 
Next up is I AM DISAPPEARED. A subject matter that a lot of musicians seem to struggle with. The never ending need to be on the road and travelling and playing and the hurt of missing home and family and being desperate to get back. 
TELL TALE SIGNS is a song I’ve loved since I first heard it. The way Frank sings “God damn it Amy” makes it such a powerful opening line and then the story of a broken heart and how you never forget certain people and they affect you for the rest of your life, but that’s ok. “You will always be a part of my patched-up patchwork taped-up tape-deck heart” is such a great lyric and it’s a gift poets and songwriters have to be able to come up with lines like that we mere mortals will never be able to experience. 
ONE FOOT BEFORE THE OTHER, is up next and we get another story to explain his thoughts on death when he was an earnest and serious 19 year old. Very emo.
THE WAY I TEND TO BE, and THE OPENING ACT OF SPRING are joined with the tale of another failed relationship and how, as men, we tend to be a bit crap. It’s not an excuse, I know, but Frank knows he screwed up and he also realised what an amazing person he hurt and how he, and more importantly, his ex, can move on.
LOVE FORTY DOWN is not about tennis, as Frank explains (and we all knew really) but about hitting the big 4.0 and how it’s all ‘downhill’ from there. (Joke).
Romance is in the air, as a now married Frank sings about his wife and maybe just proves that hitting 40 isn’t actually all that bad; and that he/we can get relationships right.
Another fun story introduces THERE SHE IS.
DON’T WORRY and BALTHAZAR IMPRESARIO follow next before leading into PHOTOSYNTHESIS. Simply one of the greatest sing-a-long songs ever written. A subject we can all relate to make this an ‘everyman’ song.
Talk of faded dreams from your youth and mortgages, and working jobs you hate before the repeated refrain of 
And I won’t sit down, 
And I won’t shut up, 
And most of all yeah I won’t grow up”
make you think “f**k it, life is actually great!
RECOVERY is another song of redemption from drink and drugs and another uplifting chorus and the perfect ending “…one day this will all be over
I STILL BELIEVE is the perfect song to explain the power of rock n roll. Music has saved so many of us over the years and is probably the main thing we all come back to in time of need. This is as punk as Frank Turner gets, but its pop and its joyful and it has some of the most uplifting lyrics that will always be among my favourite ever written. 
And I still believe (I still believe) in the need for guitars and drums and desperate poetry.~
And I still believe (I still believe) that everyone can find a song for everytime they’ve lost and every time they’ve won.
So just remember folks we’re not just saving lives, we’re saving souls and we’re having fun.And I still believe.
Now who’d have thought that after all, something as simple as rock ‘n’ roll would save us all”.
Perfect. 
The album finishes on a more subdued note with  BE MORE KIND. A song that we need right now with so much to deal with and it’s time we all just think about other people. 
This is a great record of a great singer and songwriter and his band. Newcastle City Hall is a two thousand plus seater venue but this album sounds like it was  recorded in a very intimate venue and that adds to its strength.
I love Frank Turner and if you give this a listen I think you will too. 

Review Courtesy Mr. Chris Harrison http://www.chrisharrisonphoto.co.uk
Released April 24th 2020
https://frank-turner.com/

Lightning Seeds at Sage Gateshead

Lightning Seeds
Sage Gateshead
12th March 2020

Here’s a thing; back in the day I’m sure I saw the Lightning Seeds at least three times (once as a support act); plus Son #2 had a couple of their albums; including Jollification which is what tonight was celebrating (where did those 25 years go?) but …….. this afternoon I really had to stretch to name four of their songs.
The whole evening managed to produce surprise after surprise after surprise; starting with Hall 1 at this venue being Sold Out ……. that’s 2,500 people btw, then thinking six of the band members probably weren’t born when the album was released.
Quite a few fans hadn’t read the details on their tickets and constantly wandered in during the first set; which was the Lightning Seeds playing Jollification in all its glory.
After all these years I’d forgot how intense many of these songs were; still catchy melodies; but intense and occasionally quite dark; although Perfect was whimsical in a Beatles White Album kinda way.
Back to my ‘surprises’; it was probably around the fifth song when the first of the middle aged ‘ravers’ began standing up and ‘dancing’ …….. you know the type; both hands in the air; one holding a plastic beer glass while the other points at the stage; all the while cajoling those around them to ‘get up …… DANCE!’
Then by the last song of this set; the fantastic Lucky You, the whole downstairs (including the arthritic me) were all standing …….. I’ve never seen a crowd so excited this early on.
Being the professional I am, I made it first to the bar btw!
Then, the second half started a couple of minutes early; meaning our beer was gulped down and I had to scurry down the aisle in the dark fumbling to get the camera out of my bag ….. tripping over another photographers bag on the way.
The second half; as billed was a veritable Greatest Hits and again; quite a few were darker and less recognisable than my aging my mind remembered; but nearly everyone around us knew every single word; and weren’t afraid to sing out loud. Bless ’em.
One of these was You Showed Me, from the DIZZY HEIGHTS album; which tonight was almost a Reggae DUB version, the bass was so high in the mix….. hopefully intentional; oh …… following a false ending Ian segued into All You Need Is Love, during which his guitar really earned its wages as he squeezed every ounce of passion out of every note. .
Don’t get me wrong; me and my big brother were thoroughly enjoying ourselves …… just I was hoping for a more raucous party type atmosphere; although those around us were ‘enjoying themselves’ a little too loudly and exuberantly; possibly due to drinking strong beer on a school night.
The mood did get cranked up; with the first of two songs I never expected to hear …….. a rip-roaring version of Wreckless Eric’s Whole Wide World which had absolutely everyone back on their feet; then next out of the traps was my favourite ever Lightning Seeds song; Sugarcoated Iceberg ….. which even had me mouthing the words.
As this ended, the opening chords to Pure and Simple received a huge cheer of recognition; but also had me checking my watch ……. 9.20; and the second half only started at 8.40 …… the hit single was every bit as fun and exciting as I’d hoped; but I couldn’t think what else they could have in the locker, especially as the accompanying light show seemed to highlight the end of the night; and even allowing for the deliberate false ending and reprise; the band thanked the audience and left the stage at 9.30.
AHA!
The house lights never went up and the band came back for an obligatory encore.
But, by my reckoning all of the Hits had been played?
More or less in darkness, Ian regaled us with a wonderful version of Be My Baby; which was actually one of the highlights of a marvelous evening.
I was still baffled as to what was left in the locker …….. then …….BLOODY HELL! ……. No ….. it can’t be ……… HELL YES!
“It’s coming home ……. it’s coming home ……. football’s coming home!”
Never in a million years did I think Ian Broudie would ever resurrect the second best football song ever……. but he did and I not only danced but sang the chorus at the top of my voice.
Now, with Coronavirus about to wipe us all out, this may be the last gig I see for a long time; or possibly ever if the doom-mongers are right; but what a way to go!







The Twang AMSTERDAM (EP)

The Twang
Amsterdam (EP)
Jump The Cut Records/

Acoustica Rustica From Indie Stalwarts.

Talk about ‘too many years having passed’ since you saw a band for the first time – in this case it was 2007 at Newcastle Uni and that’s a long, long time ago; even at my advanced age.
At the time, it was what I would describe as very raucous event, although so were many gigs with other ‘new bands’ like Milburn, Little Man Tate and The Courteeners etc so I was looking forward to this pre-Tour 4 track offering.
Ahead of that I listened to tracks from their oldest and newest albums to see if I could notice any appreciable difference over the 12 years and what I did discover saw why I liked them as much as I had in 2007.
The Tour is described as ‘a month of Sundays’ and the Amsterdam EP is an excellent entree for the main course of the Tour.
Musically, the first thing that stands out is the instant recognition of a voice that highlighted their initial offerings all those years ago.
In Amsterdam a guy hates his job (‘inspiration scarcely comes around’) and plans a trip to Amsterdam (because he can) – very catching with the harmonica backing.
Life On A What If sees someone musing on ‘what ifs’ and discovering that ‘I can’t do without you’ is the answer to the question.
In People Stop ‘life could be so good’ if we all just stop and contemplate the better aspects of our existence.
The plaintiff plea in the live track Dream is to ‘not wake me or shake me as I’m only dreaming’ – life might just be better if you don’t wake up!
A smashing little EP showing off the melodic leanings honed over  all those years of touring and studios – a very welcome addition to their discography before they hit the road again.
Fans can look forward to their acoustic Sundays if this is the standard the lads (now blokes) aim to achieve in their numerous venues.
A pleasant reminder of those oh so long ago raucous gigs – longevity rules in Indie Bands music.

Review courtesy “Newcastle’s answer to George Clooney”…. Mr. Bill Redhead

Released February 28th 2020
http://www.thetwang.co.uk/

Rob Vincent IN THIS TOWN YOU’RE OWNED

Robert Vincent
In This Town You’re Owned
Thirty Tigers

An Atlantic Crossing Beckons For Our Favourite Liverpudlian.

The much-anticipated new album from Mr Vincent starts with the gentle-paced single “This Town”, easily bearing the ear for melody and sympathetic accompaniment that he’s displayed on earlier releases.
Following this, another single, “My Neighbour’s Ghost” lifts the tempo with echoes of Bo Diddley and Buffalo Springfield on display to create something of a toe-tapper from the Liverpudlian.
“The Kids Don’t Dig God Anymore” might alienate the Bible Belt, because its impassioned low-key gospel energetically spits plenty of fire and fury, as sparse instrumentation – mainly kick and snare with sympathetic fills push the vocal to the fore with a Memphis country soul feel.
Track 4 is “The Ending” – it’s not, but that’s its title – again, the tempo is chilled and there’s a Latin lilt to matters with accordion and shakers – the message is one of uncertainty, but it’s neither optimistic or pessimistic; hence …… “Nobody knows the ending”.
Second single “Conundrum” also tackles the issue of the effects of love and our lasting influence and strikes a note of hope about the world “leave it better off when you go”.
“Husk of a soul” again pares the backing away to move the vocal to the fore and push a narrative about individual strength and is followed by “I Was Hurt Today But I’m Alright Now” another song about emotional resilience and independence.
A further song about endings – “End of the war” brings in the motif of hope after bad times that permeates the album.
“If You Were You” is an ode to self-revelation and being honest to one’s self and a partner and explores the ache for honest emotional connection in a way very few of Vincent’s peers can dream of matching.
The album ends with “Cuckoo” – “forgiveness works in strange ways” – a postulation about the nature of repairing things that have gone wrong. Such almost – dare I say it – religious – themes are laced throughout this album; hope, loss, forgiveness and other matters spiritual, whether linked to a fixed deity or not.
Mature, intelligent writing and playing are on display throughout with a gentle southern country-soul feel that enhances the strong melodies and lyrics that are Robert Vincent’s trademarks. Such quality deserves an audience – the issue – as ever – is going to be putting this music in front of those who will appreciate it in both the UK and; if I’m not mistaken …… the USA too.
Success is almost guaranteed in the UK with this release; but if someone could get RV a USA support tour with the likes of Elvis Costello, John Prine or even Mark Knopfler, he could yet “Do a Yola” across the Atlantic too.


https://www.robertvincentmusic.com/news
https://www.musicglue.com/robertvincentmusic/
Released UK & USA 14th February
Guest Review by Nick Barber aka EFSB

Jerry Leger TIME OUT FOR TOMORROW

Jerry Leger
Time Out For Tomorrow
Latent Recordings

Classy 60’s and Indie Inspired Contemporary Canadiacana

We only stumbled upon the genius of Jerry Leger in 2018; but are now the proud owners of 5 of his albums and playing any of them couldn’t make us any happier.
Although appearing on the Cowboy Junkies label Latent Recordings and being produced by fellow Canadian, Michael Timmins, TIME OUT FOR TOMORROW couldn’t sound any more different from his previous offerings or those of the Cowboy Junkies by a country mile.
While Jerry says it was Lou Reed’s Coney Island Baby, and Nick Lowe’s The Impossible Bird that inspired him to record these songs in this particular style; it appears to me that Messr’s Leger and Timmins immersed themselves in 60’s Classics before going into the studio, as the shimmering 3 mins and 20 seconds of opening track Canvas of Gold has elements of the Burrito’s, Byrds and even the Beatles circa Revolver in the harmonies and jangling guitars that surround Leger’s dreamy words.
The single Justine follows in a similar vein with an acoustic intro that leads into ever more sweet electrical guitar and Jerry pouring his heart out in a timeless and beautiful love song.
Okay, I’ve repeated myself too much about the 60’s ‘feel’ to these songs; and there’s no denying it; but don’t think this album and the songs therein are ‘retro’ or even a pastiche …….. no sirree Bob; the punchy Read Between The Lines and Corner Light are as contemporary as songwriting gets; it’s just that the delivery of the melodies that will have you tapping your toes as Jerry Leger’s words break your heart.
As he sings in Corner Light,
“She treats me like a person/She don’t treat me like a clown.” Good stuff? Huh?
The enigmatic Survived Like a Stone actually has a Cowboy Junkies back-beat to it; but Leger’s distinctively expressive voice sweeps and soars in a way that makes this song a stone cold killer!
I can’t really express how exciting these songs are to me; Leger’s storytelling just goes from strength to strength, especially with Tell a Lie and Tomorrow in My Mind which are both stunningly outstanding IMHO.
For my Favourite Song I’m erring towards the lovely I Would; but have probably gone for Burchell Lake, mostly because of the fearless melody that has me tapping both feet and fingers in tandem; and Leger’s words, while not actually having a noticeable chorus still had me singing along with carefree glee each time I’ve played it.
I haven’t got all of Jerry Leger;s back catalogue, but have enough to know this is a really classy step up for my Canadian friend and there’s nothing here for radio or national magazines across the globe to dislike; so reviews everywhere should be as glowing as this one and that should surely beget radio plays, which in turn will beget sales.
Fingers crossed.

Released November 8th 2019
https://jerryleger.com/
Buy it here https://jerryleger.com/merch/

Adam Grant MY WORLD

Adam Grant
My World
Self-Released

True Confessions From The Love Parade.

Although originally released in May 2018 this album, from Northern Irish singer-songwriter Adam Grant arrived at RMHQ in November just as I was overrun with pre-Christmas music and my ‘day job’ was leaving me the wrong side of exhausted, meaning it has kinda got a bit lost.
But, because of the magic of modern technology and the fact that Adam Grant, from Co. Down in Northern Ireland, doesn’t expect to Top the Pop charts, his debut album is as relevant today as it was 6 months ago.
Grant cites Indie-Punk as the music he grew up listening to, and I’m sure he did, but opening track the Rifftastic My Crowd crosses many musical thresholds for me – not least of all The Undertones and possibly even the lighter side of another gang of Northern Iris legends, Stiff Little Fingers in the way Grant makes the minutiae of every day into a glorious sing-along anthem that will have the kids pogoing as if their lives depended on it!
He slows things down just as neatly on the bittersweet love song Closed Doors which follows; which shows what a clever and diverse songwriter he is.
Grant takes to the piano, in an Elton John manner on the emotion drenched Avalanche; but it’s with an assortment of guitars that he really shines. The punchy title track My World is a take on ‘what could have been’ scenario as he thinks back to a teenage disco when he should have ‘asked the girl to dance’; but didn’t. Now I think about it, there’s a lot of Byrdsian type guitar playing here; most notably on This Feeling which also has more than a bit Teenage Fanclub pathos in the chorus too.
But, what I most like about this album; which is very well put together for a debut; is Grant’s storytelling and the imagery that he conjures up; none more so than in two songs that sit side by side, The Fighter and the glorious four minutes of teenage unrequited love of Punk Girl, which will ring bells for many men in their upper-middle age today.
Perhaps because it’s an expression I use myself; but mostly because it’s very well constructed Power Pop song with an infectious chorus and another song that is heavily influenced by The Undertones; but What Ifs and Buts is by far and away my Favourite Track here and deserves heavy rotation on Radio 6; or whatever it is students listen to when they aren’t doing exams!
In theory I’m too old to appreciate MY WORLD; but a) I’ve never grown up and b) apparantly I’m regressing back to my teenage years anyways….so I’ve enjoyed every minute this has been on the stereo in the car.

Released May 1st 2018
https://www.facebook.com/adamgrantmusic/


Tom Heyman SHOW BUSINESS, BABY

Tom Heyman
Show Business, Baby
Self-Release

More Than Enough Energetic Power-Pop to Make Any Pub Rock!

I’m a week or two late with this review, as although the record was released in the US of A back in October it Tom sent it to me to coincide with a UK Tour with the legendary Dan Stuart from Green on Red……and it’s sat gathering dust on my desk for 10 days!
With that in mind I haven’t really had time to give it ‘due diligence’ so this is going to be one of my ‘knee jerk’ ‘write as I listen’ reviews…….which are always quite exciting (I think).
MMMMMM MMMMmmmm mmmmm; I love the 60’s surf style guitar on opening track Baby Let Me In, and Heyman’s droll singing style on this tale of unrequited love gives it a cool ‘Cinema Noir’ feel, you know the type of song Tarantino used to litter his early films with?
For the time being I’m going to bypass the second track, as it’s instantly a contender for ‘Favourite track’ status!
There’s a glorious hint of Twang on the title track Show Business, a swoony tongue in cheek Indie ballad that conjures up memories of many acts on the greatest ever label ever to come out of England, Stiff Records.
I just love the slow and seedy What In The World, especially the Dick Dale like crunchy guitar breaks and Heyman’s ever so sad story too.
There’s a whole lot going on across these 13 songs; with each one slightly differing from each other; as there’s some sub-Prog on Daddy Rollin’ In Your Arms, which is immediatly followed by a Diddley Rocking Beat of Whiskey Wolf that may even have a dash of the Doors to it too, if I think about it!
But, that’s the joy of this record, Tom Heyman has a great ear for a melody and isn’t afraid to go back into the history books to create razor sharp 21st Century Indie-Rock……which is a fabulous combination…..try listening to Handshake Deal with a blindfold on, then tell me which decade or country it was recorded in……cool? Huh?
Come Back Home and All Ears are both great examples of a modern American artiste trying to sound like his British heroes that were trying to sound like their American heroes, and the end result is Pop Music Dynamique!  
Baby My Heart which closes the disc is a real doozy; full of lush harmonies, swinging guitars and Heyman dropping his best Nick Lowe ‘vocals’ on a song that could easily have been a Beatles b-side that the Flamin’ Groovies covered for a single.
Which now brings me to the Award of Favourite Track; and on an album that is now destined for the glove box of the MagMobile, it’s officially a tie between the punchy NY East Side Power-Pop of All Ears and track #2 Etch a Sketch which is every inch as pithy as anything Costello wrote and recorded on his first three albums; and Heyman wishing his ‘heart was an Etch a Sketch/I would shake it/shake it/shake/so you wouldn’t hurt me so much’ just has to be one of the best metaphors I’ve heard in years!   

Now I’ve played the whole album a couple of times, Stiff or even Chiswick would have been a perfect home for the LP, as it may even be some kind of homage to that gloriously energetic era of ‘sloppy DIY Rock & Roll’ that begat Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Dave Edmunds, Squeeze and a whole slew of others that have now been airbrushed out of history; but who also helped change Music in Britain in the 1970’s.

Released October 2017

http://www.tomheymanmusic.net/



 


  


Carrington MacDuffie KISS MAKE BETTER

carrington v

Carrington MacDuffie
KISS MAKE BETTER
Indie Extreme

Sweet Dreams and a Richly Lived Life in Song.

Here we go again; my eyes were immediately drawn to the cover of this CD well before I’d even looked at the track listing (3 songs with kiss in the title) and even longer before I’d heard a note, but I prayed I was going to like the contents.
That photo on the cover? Carrington looks like one of those 1990’s LA Rocker vixens, but she’s holding an odd acoustic instrument…..very odd combination methinks.
Kiss Make Better opens proceedings and…..wow…..it lives up to the billing; sensual, sensitive and openly passionate with a yearning lyric and some razor sharp guitar from Tim Galloway combine to make a timeless Alt. Indie soft rocker that perfect for late night radio.
It’s difficult to choose a peg to hang Carrington’s music on as it’s certainly Indie Rock but quite a few tracks have a synth behind the guitars; making Hot Sun of the Summer and Like Sonar make me think especially of Annie Lennox or more specifically the Eurythmics…..which isn’t a bad thing.
It appears Ms MacDuffie is something of a renaissance woman, travelling extensively, writing poetry, providing voice-overs, flying Airplanes and even writing music, which perhaps explains the maturity in writing on songs like I Let You Kiss Me and Over Again with it’s sitar and Euro-Pop Country rock out…..have a listen and then tell me how you would describe it!
There are a couple of intriguing cover versions here too, Blue Moon is delightful and errs on present-day updating of the Cowboy Junkies version but she releases her inner Post-Punk Diva when she takes on Why Can’t He Be You, and the Patsy Cline classic never sounded punchier or indeed sexier.
While the synth/Electro beat has been hard work for me personally I know plenty of people who love it so with them in mind I’m going for the divine and slightly quirky Red Kiss/Blue Halo as my favourite track, mostly because the lyrics touched me in a somewhat poetic fashion and the backbeat again harked back to those heady days of the 1980’s in the pubs of Newcastle’s Bigg Market with my jacket sleeves rolled up and my perm cascading along my shoulders.
All in all an enjoyable album that will be more suited to the European market than the one I know in the UK or probably North America either; but that’s not meant to be a criticism just an opinion.

Released 13th April 2018
http://carringtonmacduffie.com/

EXCLUSIVE : Dharmasoul – CHOSEN ONE (Single)

DHAMARSOUL C

Dharmasoul
CHOSEN ONE

We get sent a lot of music that people ‘think RMHQ will like,’ sometimes they are right but more often than not they are poor judges of our taste……but every so often a Video arrives that blows us away…..this is one such!
I know very little about this band from New Jersey….basically they have an album coming out on June 1st called Lightning Kid, that I can’t wait to hear; until then here’s their single CHOSEN ONE.

https://www.dharmasoulband.com/

Capone and the Bullets – THIS IS FUSION

CAPONE D

Capone and the Bullets
THIS IS FUSION
Self-Release

A Cracking Album of Sparkling and Sparky Skatastic Songs From Scotland.

Where I live in NE England there are 3 or 4 Ska covers bands doing the rounds of the pubs and clubs to pretty much packed houses and a good night is had by all; but take away the Madness and Specials greatest hits alongside a couple of Bad Manners songs there ain’t much left; certainly nothing original.
Yet In Scotland there is and always has been a thriving scene with at any time 5 or 6 bands (with intertwining members) supplying their own original twist on all things Skatastic and not necessarily just the 2 Tone blend.
One of those bands is Capone and the Bullets and I can’t believe it was in 1998 that I bought their debut album on Jam Down Records from the Do The Dog website……20 years? Ye-Gads where does the time go?
With world domination looking ever more unlikely they split the following year; but due to popular demand they reformed in 2012 and have subsequently played numerous festival and Scooter Weekends to huge acclaim; and here have the ‘difficult follow-up album’.
To a Ska aficionado like myself opening track Freedom Train #1 is a really exciting instrumental that blows the speakers off their stands; very much in the style of originators like Harry J’s Allstars
and their ilk……a power-bass, swirling Hammond organ, sparky guitars and enough trumpets and trombones to bring down the Walls of Jericho…..what a start!
That Classic Ska sound prevails throughout the album; with ‘Fusion’ being a very apt description as there are definite elements of Soul, R&B throughout and even Power-Pop on Good Times and perhaps Hypocrite with both are as skankingly danceable as the rest.
Biff! Bop! Pow! Cruel To Be Kind and Love Story are the type of 100mph sing-along/dance-along songs that made The Specials famous and the stories interred inside both sets of lyrics are every bit as thought provoking and sharp as anything Coventry’s finest ever recorded too.
Then there is Detective, a deep Ska-Noir instrumental, and now that the tune exists we need someone like Ian Rankin to invent a Jamaican Detective who solves crimes in the hinterlands of Airdrie and Falkirk for this to be the theme tune. #Fact.
As I inferred earlier This Is Fusion is a perfect description of Capone and the Bullets ‘sound’ and nothing defines that better than our favourite song here, There’s a Light That Never Goes Out. Yes, that one …..the Smith’s classic and a long time favourite of me and my football buddies; but now Skanked Up and Slowed Down to become an edgy Ska love song; seriously it’s amazing, and if a band has the temerity to cover such a powerful song there’s no point in copying the original is it?
So, is the world finally ready for Capone And The Bullets? I certainly hope so as this is a cracking album of sparkling and sparky songs from a bunch of musicians who obviously love what they do….and you will too.

Released April 01 2018
https://www.facebook.com/CaponeAndTheBullets/

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