Tuesday, 4 September 2012


'Falling Down' is the new release from Manchester artist Periscope, teaming up with DJ Buzz Bee 'Falling Down' is a superb mix of guitar and beats, its euphoric vibe and stunning visuals stand out yet again which has become a fixture of Periscopes style. It's material that carries many influences that stem from the artists time on the Manchester music scene that's taken in the likes of The Inspiral Carpets (drummer) and his own band The Hungry Sox, Manchesters pre-super band that consisted of Clint Boon, Chris Goodwin and Mani with Periscope (Martin Swinny) on vocals. Falling Down is taken from Periscopes forthcoming debut album; available on......

 Zozak Records 2012 © http://zozac.webs.com/
periscope@live.co.uk (c) 2011
© Periscope / Martin Swinny 2012

By Carl Stanley - Sept 2012 

Friday, 17 August 2012

Blaggers N' Liars 

Mixing that classic British guitar sound with some big U.S rock influences and topping it off with a rep' for putting on some pretty amazing shows, Kav Blaggers is back and announces his support slot with Kasabian, Carl Stanley donned his Casual Musings coat and caught up with him to chat about his forthcoming releases...

Hi Kav,...its all go for you right now isn't it, new single due for release with your first album out to follow later this year, has it been a busy year for you up to now?

'Yeah man its absolutely crazy at the moment, our first release was the Blaggers and Liars EP with Howard Marks but this is the first full album, I play live backed by my band of blaggers- its more of a live thing to be honest, not anything we record under. Everything is performed and recorded under KAV, I suppose the closest way I could describe it would be Neil Young & Crazy Horse or Dylan playing with the band, that kinda vibe.

The albums influenced by the energy of both London and LA and was recorded in both cities, in the industrial part of down town LA- in an old factory, with the basis of some of the songs which were recorded in London at The Fortress. It was mainly me and Josh Ostrander (producer) who's in a band called Eastern Confidence Champions, and my drummer Jim Portas. I've been based over in LA for the past couple of years, trying the songs out on the west coast audiences and that's where the sound really developed- LA is a great city, you can play great gigs every few weeks. One minute your at Silverlake Lounge, The Echo, The Satellite and the next you could be playing The Viper Room, The Ely Ray or The Roxy.'

'Band of Blaggers', great name...how long have you been as a group and are they really good at blagging, the group?..who's chief blagger in the band?

'Yeah I thought I'd better give the band a name when I started to introduce them on stage, the name really comes from the single 'Blaggers n' Liars' which came out in March. I was nick-named Kav Blaggers so I thought yeah, sounds good and gave the musicians the same name- I think its more the type of thing the 50's-60's groups used to do.
I see as were turning the word blaggers into a positive rather than a negative word, you have to blag your self into situations to get any where in life. I think everyone is good at blagging when they've a gun to their heads (figure of speech of course) the song is actually dissing Blaggers 'n liars so we took the name back because it sounded cool, in the US nobody really knows what a blagger is, so its a cool name with no meaning but some thing that's just rock'n'roll.'

Really liked your last single which was all about the 'blag',... 'Blaggers and Liars', a full on rock'n'roll fuck-off to the phonies in the industry as well as a great tune to boot- next is the new single 'King Of The World' this coming September, is it anything like Blaggers and Lairs, that sex pistols energy and real catchy riffs or something totally different.

'Yeah that's a great way to put it, there are a lot of fakers out there. A blagger is a good way to describe them- We know your there and were coming to get you!, I come across them all the time and I can smell them a mile off. They spend more time on their haircuts than learning to play their fuckin instruments or listening to music that means something, the industry is full of them. They have the idea but just don't have the soul, opportunists rather than music fans as its something they do because someone else says its cool, I could never play music just to fit in (best not to get me started, its my blood boiling point) 

'King of the World' is definitely a rock'n'roll tune, Its got a fast-paced dirty vibe to it-but its not punk. Its about the underdog, the fighter and the individual, its about over coming and succeeding against all odds what ever they maybe. Everyone can be a king or a champion- it just depends what you measure it against.'  

Blaggers n' Liars 

Whats the new albums general sound and vibe like, you really get that mix of both the classic British stuff like the Stone's with the US sound of groups like Nirvana and Iggy, it has that trans-Atlantic cross/over in there doesn't it?

'That's pretty bang on to be honest, that's the vibe of the new album.'

You've grafted hard to get where you are haven't you, from starting the club nights at Turnmills to playing with the Mondays as well as the bands you've had yourself like Sonic Audio, not forgetting the 'Getloaded' fests which really took off and still going today, how have you managed to cover and deal with so much in such a short time?

'Well, all that came at once, In 2003 I'd just moved to London and I'd been running club nights called 'Groove Harder' up and down the country. With Mani, Shaun Ryder, Bez, Hooky and Clint Boon etc, guest DJ alongside my old band A.K.A Weave playing live. It was a fairly newish thing then so all the nights we did were pretty massive.
I moved back to London and no one was doing it that way so I started Get Loaded at Turnmills with the Turnmills crew and Shaun Ryder, it all just kicked off very quickly because we had a great team. Everybody was really good at their jobs and wanted to just get involved so it became really popular. Before we knew it we'd taken on the festival at Clapham Common. 
I was a kid barely in my 20's but it was great to have everyone respect you as part of it and it was great when Tony Wilson got involved- he DJ'd a few of the nights then he'd ring and make me book someone whether I thought they would work or not, you just couldn't say 'no' to him...that was the best.It was great to get his approval on what we were doing. 
It was mental at the time trying to juggle the promoters hat ,playing with my other band Sonic Audio as well as the Mondays stuff and DJ'ing but I loved every minute...the contrast was great! But now I couldn't imagine that because I'm so heavily involved with whats happening with the band, trying to do anything else would be nearly impossible right now.
Regarding the fests...I don't have anything to do with 'Getloaded' the festival anymore and I haven't since playing with The Mondays really.'

What are your roots then Kav? You're a Leicester lad aren't you? Asian background not to mention a pretty handy guitarist,..has it always been the guitar, singing and song writing for you?

'We have quite an international family really with a lot of different nationalities from all over the world but yeah I'm a Leicester lad and my main background is north Indian/Punjabi. My granddads were both fighting men with the British Army in World War 2, I believe the exact descendants of north India are the Aryans and the armies of Alexander the Great who made that part of the world their own. Then it was the Sikhs who fought against the Mughal invaders before the British came.
So my family has a lot of heritage and history, I suppose everyone does really if they look into there own background- the worlds been mixed a thousand times over- I'm not that bothered where you are from, more about where your going. 
But personally I'd class my self as a writer first, then a musician I guess.'

'I started real early playing with toy guitars when I was around 4yrs old. Writing was the first thing learning 3 chords from a Dylan song book so from there I went on to try writing my own songs, then my auntie left all her vinyls at my mums when I was 8/9. An incredible collection including the Stones, Elvis, the Beatles, Dylan and loads others which I just started playing, falling in love with the sounds, Sgt Pepper was my favourite. I loved it and from there I got into bands like Guns & Roses, Nirvana and Alice in Chains as well as Motown and old school funk but the band for me in my teens was Oasis, I was an Oasis kid...which opened me up to The Stone Roses and The Mondays. I was all over Black Grape and used to blast out 'Its Great When your Straight, Yeah' in my headphones walking home from school everyday, Primal Scream were also another big band for me. In my teens I carried on finding new stuff like Beastie Boys, NWA, Otis Redding, The Chemical Brothers and groups like the Space Monkeys and by this time I'd started fronting my own garage band and playing around Leicester, I was fourteen and knew straight away, this was it.

The singing just happened because I was writing songs but when the singer didn't turn up I just got up and did it and guess I've always kept that attitude and that's why I do the KAV thing now. I keep people in my band who are up for it all the time, keeping the energy pounding. The lads I have now are brilliant and I love em...Kieth from The Farm is also a professor at LIPA Music Academy in Liverpool and one of my best mates, he's just sent one of his graduates George our way a few weeks back who's an amazing bass player, Ive got a great Geordie lad Dan McGarrypn guitar and Jim my drummer who's been with me from the start.'

I also get the feeling your quite a respected guitarist/artist, especially stateside playing well known venues like The Viper Room as well as the people you've worked with over there, the US crowds seem to really take to the bands sound don't they?

'LA is a huge part of how this band has evolved, its like a home town to me and its where we've created the sound and vibe of the band, I've written a lot of songs over there. Ever since I went over there to play Coachella with the Mondays I just fell in love with the place, LA really seemed to welcome us in and yeah, they seem to really dig our sound, we've played some top gigs over there and made some great friends as well as supporters of the band.
This is the longest time I've been away from LA actually -almost a year but that's because we've just been so busy over hear, London's brilliant for us at the moment and I've have really enjoyed being back. We want to release the album and do the circuit in Europe first, then take it back to the States.'

I know you'll get asked all the time but what was it like, for you as an musician, working with Shaun and playing in the Happy Mondays? It seems Shaun really enjoyed performing and recording with you and you both worked well together.

'My time with Shaun was brilliant and I love and respect the man, I miss him as well because I haven't seen or spoke to him since my last gig with The Mondays at V fest 2007, but that's just the way things work out in music- you just get caught up in your own shit. I first booked Shaun as a DJ at one of my nights in Leicester then he started touring with my band A.K.A Weave. We became good friends and I DJ'd with him for a bit then the next thing  we were doing the Getloaded stuff and I said we should headline as SWR, but Shaun said lets get the Mondays back together and you play guitar, and that was it.
My time in the Mondays was eventful, you know...people say it must of been crazy, you couldn't of made it up. I was working with one of my all time favourite vocalists and we became good friends. I was a kid and he looked after me and taught me a lot, he trusted me and it gave me a lot of confidence with the role he gave me and let me go with it, he always said it was my apprenticeship. It was an absolute pleasure for me touring the world and playing the songs I listened to as a kid.

Its great all the members of the Mondays are back together now, they started it together, the magic and the name they built up so its great they're getting to do it again, yeah... I'm made up for them. When I had to learn Mark Day's guitar parts I realised what a great guitarist he his, I knew he was good but my respect levels went through the roof...and the best part of it all is that Paul and Shaun are talking again. The only person I've really seen since is Bez and its always good to see him! we both joined Datarock on stage at the Garage a few months back.'

August has turned out as a busy month gig wise, you've just headlined the club NME nights, played the Olympic shows at Hyde Park and looking next to supporting Kasabian at Brixton Academy on the 20th,..itching to get out there and play some of the new stuff?

'Yeah its been great so far...club NME was fantastic- it was packed and the place was literally bouncing, the energy in there was incredible- it was probably one of the best gigs we've played. I cant wait for the Kasabian gig, I've known the lads from Leicester since we were pretty young, they are one of the biggest bands and its massive for us, I'm buzzing about it and it shows we must be doing things right to be even considered as its one of the hottest supports in music at the moment, especially with it being Brixton Academy.'

...and if there was anything you would love to 'blag' Kav, what would it be...

'A time machine.'

© Carl Stanley / Causal Musings From Suburbia - August 2012

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Heaton Park - A Month On

Heaton Park - A Month On


I wanted to wait a while before i put my thoughts down on here about The Stone Roses playing their three comeback gigs at Heaton Park in Manchester. Not because i couldn't think of anything to write, but because i wanted to let the dust settle in my mind about just how good it really was. 
My initial reaction as i walked out of Heaton Park on the Sunday evening was that i had just witnessed probably the finest live performance in my lifetime. As i got back to the hotel in Manchester city centre i felt the same way. As i carried on drinking until 3am i felt the same. When i woke up bleary eyed and with the fucker of all hangovers on Monday morning i still felt the same. Would i still feel the same as the weeks passed by though? Would i still feel like it was a monumental moment when the effects of the booze and chemicals wore off and i had slipped idly back into the mundane and grey world of work?

Well, exactly a month has passed and I'm still absolutely convinced that it was magical and that The Roses are still the most important band of my generation. I can't think of a single other act out there who could gather together 75,000 people from all four corners of these isles for three nights running and create a vibe where everyone was buzzing and getting off on the music without the merest hint of moodiness - see Oasis / Beady Eye / Kasabian live for details of this - or the feeling you'd wasted your money. The closest vibe to it that i'd experinced at a gig previously was Paul Weller at Finsbury Park in 1996, but i put that down to too many beers and being off my tits on Ecstacy, but that's a different blog for a different day. 

Having opted to cram in more valuable drinking time, it was decided to give the support acts a miss. Which was a bit of a shame really because i fancied seeing The Wailers but hey-ho when the beers are going down nicely not even the prospect of Marley's mates could tempt us away. After getting out of the taxi -shared with an old Portsmouth 657 Crew fella, his teenage daughter and her very odd, pilled up older mate - and making our way into Heaton Park it was a relief I'd left my desert boots back at the hotel and opted for a knackered old pair of Adidas Rekord, because the place was ankle deep in mud. Never mind though, more beers were consumed - the queueing system appeared to have sorted itself out from the Friday when people snapped at the waiting time and stormed the bar - and the sun started to dip down behind the trees. We found ourselves a spot to the right hand side of the stage, supped up our beer (but didn't collect our fags) and waited for the strains of Stoned Love by The Supremes to come wafting out of the PA. As it did so the atmosphere changed and you could see and feel people start bobbing up and down in anticipation of seeing Brown, Squire, Mani & Reni come onstage and smash out the tunes we loved so much in our youth. As a footnote to this can i just say that trying to Northern Soul dance in ankle deep mud is not really advisable and you will get mud on your favourite Harrington jacket as a result. 

I won't labour the point or bore you with a song-by-song review because lets face it, we all know that the set list runs something like this and if you don't know any of these songs then I'm not sure why you've read this far...

'I Wanna Be Adored'
'Mersey Paradise'
'(Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister'
'Sally Cinnamon'
'Where Angels Play'
'Shoot You Down'
'Bye Bye Badman'
'Ten Storey Love Song'
'Standing Here'
'Fools Gold'
'Something's Burning'
'Don't Stop'
'Love Spreads'
'Made Of Stone'
'This Is The One'
'She Bangs The Drums'
'Elizabeth My Dear'
'I Am The Resurrection'

... which lets face it - apart from missing out Elephant Stone - is as good a greatest hits set as you'll get from any band. The stand out moments for me were a beautiful rendition of (Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister, the absolutely nuts Don't Stop & The psychedelic outro of I Am The Resurrection. All topped off with an Olympic opening ceremony sized firework display to a soundtrack of Redemption Song by Bob Marley. You know it's been a good day when you manage to grab a cab back into town within 5 minutes of walking out of the gates for the knock-down price of twenty quid!

To all the know-it-alls and the 'i was there the first time round maaaaaan and they won't be the same' doom merchants, you were wrong. You were very, very wrong. They pulled it off in a way that will be talked about for years to come. In a way that made me look at the music industry today and wonder where another band like them is going to come from? A band with a front man as charismatic as Brown? A band with a guitarist as mind bendingly loud and brilliant as Squire? A band with a rhythm section of Mani & Reni that The Meters would be proud of? Let's face it, they are a complete one-off and for my money we'll never, ever see a band that can do what they do again. So a month later with the dust settled and my thoughts straight i am absolutely 100% certain it was by a country mile the greatest gig I'd ever seen.

As Mani said to the audience on the Friday night  "not bad for a bunch of old cunts!"

Rob H - Aug 2012 - dedicated to the memory of Chris Brahney. RIP kiddo - One love.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Stone Roses Inspired Art

Stone Roses Inspired Art 

by Carl Stanley 



Three very talented Stone Roses fans have each used their know-how and skills in creating their own very unique and beautiful pieces of 'Roses' inspired art. From mosaics and stone carvings to pin badges and t-shirts each one has caught the eye of many a Stone Roses fan on the net, and in some cases the band themselves.
'Stone Icon', 'Mosaink' and 'Minty' give some background on their art work.

Working under the name of 'Stone Icon' this Stone Roses fan's talent for carving stone has produced probably some of the most unique pieces of 'Roses' art-work with a wonderful collection of carved images and portraits of the band

'When I was in my mid twenties I was taken under the wing by an Italian sculptor ( Marcelo Nardi) who taught me a great deal but also encouraged my own style which is paramount to a carver. When I am carving you can guarantee that I will have some Roses tunes on...inspiration ey?...The buzz comes from when you know it is going to work, I only have one crack at it so when I see the form I want I have to admit I get a tad excited!. I never reproduce a carving twice so in turn each one is an original along with the stars that I like to add to them as they can have a magical quality. Before I begin a carving, off my own back or a commission I will always try and to get the photographers permission before beginning."

 Made of Stone

'It can take me months of deliberation/composition thought and basically headaches on how I want a carving to look. The recent Tilton Spike Island carving had been sat around for half a year before I touched it with a chisel. Just kept changing my mind. I just love to carve and if someone wants a commission then great. They know that they will own a unique piece of art that will last forever. I would say that my recent Spike Island carving which was featured in Ian Tilton's exhibition in Bedford, has proved to be the most popular to date.
The sizes will vary from the very small to a general increase in height and width. There is no small/medium or large, it just depends on the material that is available to me, which is usually Welsh or Italian slate. I would love to carve a huge image of Reni, he's the business ain't he?....and try and capture his fluidity....with some stars thrown in!. The price can vary from £50 to £400 and above......not that many £400 and above get sold though, especially these days.'




Return of the Roses

'Heaton Park meant the world to me, I was also lucky enough to be at Warrington and that was phenomenal, men crying, singing the chords and the feeling of happiness in that room was tangible, then I headed to Barcelona for 2 dates and that just pissed all over Warrington. Unbelievably superb!! And of course The Heaton Park gigs. A communal gathering of slightly older dudes having the best time - Great...still not come down from it I think!?!. As for a way to commemorate Heaton Park, I am not sure. Someone had suggested doing the poster as a stone one, like a big plaque, but it seems a bit final to me...like a memorial rather than a celebration and lets face it, The Stone Roses coming back has made a lot of people happy.'
A stunning piece of art I think most Stone Roses fans would love to see hung in their own homes is the beautifully detailed mosaic style portrait of Ian Brown, from his 'Un-finished Monkey Business' album its one of a kind and created by the artist Joel Turner aka 'Mosaink'.

'I produce art under the name ‘Mosaink’; a term I coined to describe my style, which is hand drawn mosaic patterns in ink. The Ian Brown ‘Unfinished Monkey Business’ piece was drawn with a 0.05mm technical pen on 8” X 10” heavy weight paper, anything much larger than an A4 would feel like a bit of a daunting task to embark on! I originally started it in April 2011. With the mosaic I kept doing little bits and then leaving it, so it wasn't completed until February 2012. All my pieces are one off originals. I usually post them to my Facebook and Twitter accounts, but I’ve not actually shown any of my work in an exhibition, yet!'


Monkey Business

'Unfinished Monkey Business- Ian Brown's debut album as a solo artist has always felt like a very special piece of work to me. I love its raw lo-fi feel, I always look for images with plenty of contrast and distinct features that will look great in the finished work. I do like drawing Ian Brown because he has an interesting face with sharp prominent features that I can easily pick out, he’s instantly recognisable to a lot of people, especially in Manchester where I've lived and worked for most of my life. I’ve always been a massive Stone Roses fan and have loved all Ian’s solo work, so they have featured in quite a few pieces over the years. I think it’s my way of expressing my love and respect for them and their art, a piece like the Ian Brown mosaic from start to finish can take around 15 to 20 hours or more to complete.
The monkeys in the image are because they are my favourite animals and they do pop up in my work quite a bit, either as the image or as part of the image. The chimp in Ian’s eye has featured in an earlier piece I produced; a wedding gift for my monkey loving sister. The pattern usually contains hidden images which are camouflaged within the detail; stars and hearts regularly appear alongside images associated with the subject I’m drawing. In other drawings of Ian I have hidden things like his astrological sign, dolphins and monkeys, the Adidas Trefoil; things which would be considered a part of his public profile.'
Spreading the Love
'I sent the finished ‘Unfinished Monkey Business’ piece to Dave Atkins (Stone Icon) after seeing the video of him producing the same piece in stone; I thought it would look nice above his fire place, and I can’t keep them all - it’s nice to spread the love around!. I've no idea if Ian has seen this piece but I would imagine he’s probably seen some of my other works; I did a collaboration t shirt with a clothing label called ‘Retreat’ and some of the players in Ian’s solo band have them (I've also seen a picture of Gruff Rhys- ex-'Super Furry Animals' wearing one). Earlier this year I ran into Maxi (the drummer from Ian's solo band) on Oldham Street in Manchester and he referred to me as the 'man who does the patterns'.

I was lucky enough to be at both the Friday and Saturday nights at Heaton Park, and from where I was stood the Roses were mind blowing. The atmosphere was electric; they were without a shadow of doubt the best gigs I have ever been to. The reunion has already inspired a drawing of the four of them together; I always love drawing the Roses and I'm sure they will be the focus of many a mosaink to come. '

Mosaink website; http://www.mosaink.co.uk/

Known as 'aguycalledminty' this fellas artwork has become quite popular on line with a collection of prints,
T-shirts and some pretty cool pin badges, again the work of another big 'Roses' fan Minty's work has caught the attention of many Stone Roses fans with his trademark colourful cartoon-ish style of Stone Roses images.

'I've been drawing and painting since I was old enough to pick up a pencil. Loved Music since day 1, I always remember my first LP when I was 7 which was "The Beach Boys greatest hits" never looked back. If I wasn't an artist I would love to been in a band. As for the roses work...I've basically been painting different images of Ian Brown for about 8 years now, beginning of last year I started to sketch and paint the roses on brown paper and it seemed to get a good response and then one magical day they announced they'd reform after yrs of speculation around it all, but it was happening and the Stone Roses commissions started coming in. '

'I think I've kinda got my own style, though I don't set out automatically thinking I'm gonna paint it this way...it just happens from an early sketch to a finished design / painting. A lot of my work I do commission wise comes from word of mouth. I usually hear how people have asked others where they got a piece of mine from, their reply "aguycalledminty" so this name stuck. Been using it for about four years ...even my kids call me it.
Studied art GCSE A level, even went to art college. But probably my biggest regret is not getting a degree for my passion. Cut a long story short at that age Id rather of earned crap money in an office job and going on the lash with the boys, what lad wouldn't at that age. It wasn't till I bought my first house at 25 I decided to get back into I. creating pieces from around the house. But I can honestly say that everything Ive done or created from then until now has all been from being self taught, I have a few pointers here and there in school- so that's probably the proudest achievement' in how I've created my work.


'The hardest piece I've took on would be the recent 'Stone Roses' in Japan and trying to colour a painting from a B&W photo. Most popular Id say are easily the Cartoon Roses. My Jaw dropped to see the pin badges sell out in hours and then again on the rerun. The 'roses' pin badges were originally limited to 100 pieces and I was adamant that they'd stay like that, but I've had countless emails and tweets to do a rerun,..so I buckled. But 200 sets out there now and that's me done, there may be other roses idea's in the future though.
I wasn't aware the roses knew about my work until I received an email from Mani one morning, my jaw dropped and my hangover soon disappeared. It means everything...and it means I'll just keep keeping on....and yeah, I was at Heaton on the Sunday. The place was rammed as you'd expect and full of mud. Didn't see or meet anyone with my tee's on though,.. though I wasn't looking because the atmosphere was buzzing and the roses were immense, I'd love to see one of their gigs in an arena.'

aguycalledminty website; http://aguycalledminty.bigcartel.com/

  © Carl Stanley / Casual Musings From Suburbia July 2012

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Taurus Trakker

Taurus Trakker 

Carl Stanley is back to Casual Musings to run the rule over a West London duo with Clash connections....

Meet west London punk-blues duo Taurus Trakker. Their recently released album 'Building Ten' is raw, honest and adhering absolutely to the ‘write what you know’ principle as well as having the West London skyline looming over it and its roots literally buried beneath the Westway; because front-man Martin Muscatt is Mick Jones's cousin but rather than just the family connection Martin couldn't help but soak up and take on some of that same glory The Clash had about their music as he grew up closely with the band and their music. 

The energy, realness and the ability to play head-on / exciting rock'n'roll comes from straight from the heart. Both Martin (vocals, guitars) and Allison Phillips (drums) stride that line between classic late 70's London and some thing that's totally their own, something fresh.

“A most impressive album indeed” - Rich Deakin, Vive le Rock

“a masterful example of swamp-tinged classic rock” - David Ellis, Tour Times 

With songs like ‘West London Rock‘n’Roll’ you can hear their celebration in both a personal history and the broader Portobello tradition which remains something of a hidden gem in London’s ‘music capital’, ' 21miles To A Water Pump' is another highlight, its almost jazzy fused intro settling into a mix of blues/punk topped off with a fantastic rhythm and chunky riffs makes it one of those songs you instantly take to.

'21miles to a water pump'

But the track 'Building Ten' itself is definitely a stand out on the album, its the sound of that generation from the capital that made rock'n'roll important again so not surprising to discover Mick Jones playing with Martin on this one, its total suss and no messing foot-to-the floor drive makes it probably the albums best tune.

'Building Ten'

In fact Mick's known to make last minute appearances with Taurus Trakker on stage when he can make it as well as contributing in the studio and in the words of the man him self  "Martin is all about some thing and that's what I feel what's really important these days, I love the band".

April/May dates to be announced soon...www.taurustrakker.co.uk

Mick Jones & Taurus Trakker, Train in Vain

Carl Stanley - April 2012 

Friday, 13 April 2012



I like Ricky Gervais. I loved The Office and Extras. I think An Idiot Abroad is a work of art, although that is mainly down to Karl Pilkington. I even think he hits the spot now and again with his stand up comedy.

In thirty five confusing, pea brained, mealy mouthed, poorly thought out minutes last night he undid all that good work with his latest offereing 'Derek'. Thirty five minutes of confusing, poorly acted nonsense that was billed as a 'comedy / drama'. Unfortunately this mean spirited and unlikeable piece of television offered neither. As far as i could make out it was Gervais in a comedy cardigan, with a comedy comb-over, jutting his chin out and shuffling around the place. The problem with that is Gervais is just not a good enough actor to pull it off. Dustin Hoffman as Rainman? Yes. Ricky Gervais as Derek? No. It says something about your limited ability when you're acted off the screen by Karl Pilkington in a wig.

As far as I'm concerned if you're going to portray an eccentric and obviously mentally disabled middle aged man and try and play it for laughs you at least have to try and appeal to the viewers sense of pathos. Gervais was as far away from hitting the spot than a Fernando Torres potshot at goal. Therefore i sat there perplexed as to exactly what he was trying to say. Were we meant to laugh at Derek? Were we meant to laugh with him? Were we not meant to laugh at all and realise halfway through that the joke was on us for finding any of it amusing? If anyone can offer an answer to these questions I'd be intrigued to hear it because i still can't fathom it out. Perhaps Gervais should have treated himself to a DVD copy of 'That Peter Kay Thing'. The Episode 'Leonard' where Kay plays an old eccentric man and Britain's oldest paperboy was dripping in pathos. He knew where to play it for laughs and where to stop it in it's tracks and tug at the heartstrings. Gervais decided that doing a comedy fall into a garden pond was the level he wanted to pitch Derek at. The only time he came within a mile of showing a delicate touch was when he arrived back at the old peoples home with his lottery tickets only to be informed that his old lady friend had died. For a brief moment we saw what might have been before he reverted to hamming up the comedy walk and jutting his comedy chin out even further.

The signs were there with 'Lifes Too Short' which i managed to persevere with for one episode. Not because i found it particularly offensive but because it was achingly shit and unfunny. At the moment watching Gervais trying to be edgy and difficult is like watching your favourite band put out a double album of freeform jazz and white noise. He appears to have no-one around him to say 'Ricky, that is absolute bollocks and if you commit it to film you're going to undo ten years of undeniable brilliance'. 

Gervais has said in the past ‘just because someone is offended it doesn’t mean they’re right’ and he's absolutely correct. Although if you're going to try and offend people at least do it with a sense of style and panache and at the very least be funny.

Rob H - 2012

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Rusholme Rock

The Stone Roses are back.......and so is Aziz Ibrahim with a new solo album. Carl Stanley runs the rule over his new offering.

Rusholme Rock

April sees Aziz Ibrahim return with his new solo album Rusholme Rock, described by the man himself as kind of 'Asian Blues', this blessed and extremely talented guitarist has both re-visited past material and created new songs for this his second solo release.
With only Aziz and Tabla master Dalbir Singh Rattan playing on the album they create a big sound for two guys, these two very accomplished players come up with a host of beautifully layered sounds and traditional re-workings on some of the guitarists most renowned work, the classic Ian Brown tune 'My Star' re-christened here as 'My Sitar', Aziz's acoustic version brings out his and the songs roots which is just as hypnotic as the original.

Rusholme Rock's enlightening opener 'Xen and Now' is a traditional Pakistani sounding piece made almost cinematic with amazing guitar work but the albums interest point could well be the return to songs like My Star, Kills Me and Middle Road which go closer to the guitarist's own interpretation and how he probably heard these songs the first time round, like the track that has had much bearing and influence on his own musical journey, 'Morassi', a song first released on a Melody Maker compilation many years ago it turned into a personal favourite and has been re-worked into one of the albums highlights, an uplifting beautiful feel of time and space and as you'd expect his playing is awesome, and though some of it might sound electric don't be fooled as everything on here is played on acoustic guitar.
Again songs like 'Kills Me' have appeared before but its the chemistry between these two players that takes them somewhere else, his ability to showcase his own style over his Pakistani traditional background and rock'n'roll chops is felt no more than on 'Middle Road', heard before on a earlier release he offers up probably his best version to date, sounding like a rock tune but played in his eastern style with some great lyrics its just a fantastic cross over and example of what he does so well.

Aziz Ibrahim's overall influences and love for all music comes through in the albums closer 'Heavens Rain', that of something very oriental and bluesy at the same time, which is quite an achievement in its self but also something very delicate and probably offers the best window to the mans appetite and understanding and playing of a whole range of genres, sounds and traditions of music.
Rusholme Rock also includes a fantastic and outrageous version of Sonny Curtis's 'I Fought The Law' which plays as the perfect centre piece providing the albums middle ground, we all know it but it comes at you from a totally different place, its clever, fun and sounds great, and its one The Clash would of tipped their hats to no doubt.
So if Lahore to Longsight was Aziz going back in time and tracking the roots of his families journey in music then Rusholme Rock is showcasing his own unique journey in sound, style and influences and bringing them together, a truly beautiful album.

Playing Friday the 4th of May at Monto Water Rats Aziz launches 'Rusholme Rock' performing several tracks from the album