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Wreckless Eric and Rosco (and Amy and Barry) on tour

14 Nov

Eric Sterling

Eric Goulden aka Wreckless Eric is in Europe for a bunch of shows kicking off next week in Cologne and finishing up in the UK in December. His band comprises Amy Rigby, Barry Payne, and Sterling Roswell. Sterling’s going to be opening the shows solo.

Fire Records are continuing their reissue programme on Eric and the latest, out on 1st December, is The Hitsville House Band’s 12 o’clock Stereo. This combo with drummer Denis Baudrillart and bassist Fabrice Lombardo was originally formed to back up the legendary guitarist and bibliophile Martin Stone but outgrew the project, and thus in 1996 12 o’clock Stereo appeared, while Martin went on to release Les Homewreckers with Laurence Barma.

It’s a cracking album and it’s great to have it back. No introduction’s needed for opener ‘Kilburn Lane’ a live staple; then there’s classic country tune ‘Friends On The Floor’, and the rockabilly shuffle ‘The Guitar Shaped Swimming Pool’ (check it out below). Dire warnings of the perils of country living inhabit ‘The Marginal’ and ‘The Twilight Home’, while ‘Miriam’ and her interplanetary romance and Eric’s passion for ‘The Girl With The Wandering Eye’ skirt the borders of teenage perversity; so yes that good.

Touring from Friday next week:

21 Nov: King Georg, Cologne, Germany
22 Nov: Merleyn, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
23 Nov: Le Guess Who, Utrecht, The Netherlands
25 Nov: Hafenklang, Hamburg, Germany
26 Nov: Crystal Club, Berlin, Germany
28 Nov: Blau, Mannheim, Germany
29 Nov: Atomic Café, Munich, Germany
01 Dec: El Lokal, Zurich, Switzerland
02 Dec: La Popartiserie, Strasbourg, France
05 Dec: Purple Weekend Festival, Leon, Spain (The Len Bright Combo)
06 Dec: Purple Weekend Festival, Leon, Spain (Wreckless Eric solo set)
10 Dec New Adelphi, Hull, UK
11 Dec: Broadcast, Glasgow, UK
13 Dec: 100 Club, London, UK
14 Dec: The Prince Albert, Brighton, UK


Ambassadors Of Soul: The Delines at Hoxton: 12th Nov

13 Nov
Delines: June 2014 Line-up

Delines: June 2014 Line-up

The record I’ve played most this year, and I’ll always switch from shuffle when they show up on the iPod, is The Delines’ Colfax. A gorgeous country-soul concoction summoned up by Richmond Fontaine’s Willy Vlautin and realised by a crack selection of Portland musicians and the voice of Austin’s Amy Boone, once of The Damnations.

When they were here in the summer they were finding their way a little ; there’d been but one show in the States before their arrival in Europe, and building a set required a couple of covers and dips into individual member’s back catalogues. Nothing to complain about, the shows I saw at Rough Trade East, the Lexington, and the Hare & Hounds were all cracking, but the sign of a new band.

Six months later and they’re back, having played in the States, taken a trip to Australia and New Zealand, and worked on some new material. What was apparent from the get-go last night at the Hoxton Bar & Grill was a road-hardened band even allowing for the absence of bassist Freddie Trujillo. His stand-in is Dave Little, last spotted on the six-string with Pete Bruntnell, who they plainly like; Amy jokes warmly about next time doing “the double bass thing, like Ministry”, and certainly he’s hitting the mark from the start.

As is the band period. Kicking off with the album opener ‘Calling In’ they deliver perfect live renditions of every song from the album bar the Randy Newman cover. A performance that’s graceful, intense, but spare in the sense of no grandstanding; one’s stuck continually by the awareness that while everybody’s doing just what’s necessary the end result is sublime. I’m very close up to Cory Gray’s Korg but while I’m bewitched by his keyboards and trumpet I’m still drawn to Willy’s guitar and Sean’s percussion.

Interspersed through the set are a choice selection of new songs. ‘He Don’t Burn For Me’ and ‘I Ain’t Going Back’, both soulful and a continuation of the Colfax vibe, are going to be growers. But ‘Roll Back My Life’ is set fair to be a shimmering, atmospheric masterpiece; as the piece enters its instrumental endgame the room seems to darken, the crowd fades from view and it’s as if we’re each singly transported to another place entirely.

Amy takes to the keyboards for a couple of tunes, allowing Cory to concentrate on his trumpet. This includes the instrumental ‘Rudy’ (“about my horse” claims Willy) with its super Mariachi/Forever Changes vibe. The Record Store Day single, Colfax-outtake, ‘Sonny’, about fighting in the Walgreen’s car park and leaving, also gets another deserved rendering.

They say goodbye after ‘He Told Her The City Was Killing Him’ but you know they’ll be back. Firstly it’s Amy and a chair for a fine reading of ‘Ode To Billie Joe’ (minus the frog verse) and then everyone’s there for ‘The Golden State’. This country duet introduced in the summer is wild and witty, an alcohol-fuelled, would-be romantic, weekend in San Francisco, inevitably a crowd-pleaser and if Willy won’t have it on an album it’s got to be a single. It has a great ‘Fairytale Of New York’ vibe and they’re starting to ad-lib a bit too. Then lastly back to Colfax for ‘I Won’t Slip Up’ reminding us what bought us here and once again the sheer strength of the material. Songs that in six short months have become classics.

An interview with Willy Vlautin will appear in the next print edition of Bucketfull Of Brains (#83)


The Immenence of John Murry: UK & Ireland Tour Jan/Feb 2013

8 Jan

John MurryTour 2013

In just under two weeks John Murry begins his first solo headline UK tour. This follows the release last summer of The Graceless Age; an extraordinary collection of personal, soul-baring songs and performances assembled with the support and assistance of Tim Mooney, once of American Music Club, whose untimely death coincided with the release of the record.

The Graceless Age is a barbed album; once it has its hooks in a listener it won’t let go, and they can’t let go. Over the last six months it has infiltrated its way into many lives, and the consequence is that Murry is here shortly for the first of what will be a series of visits to Europe in the coming period.

But 2013 is the year when John Murry comes into his kingdom and this is the one sure chance of seeing him in relative intimacy, in small venues. Its an opportunity not to be spurned, to grasp the moment of watching these songs as they grow and transmute in live performance.

It’s a short tour, a little toes in the water, and this time some parts of the country are better served than others but if you can find yourself anywhere in the vicinity these are the shows that are not to be missed.

And though a Southern bias is quite deplorable if you’re anywhere near the Home Counties you could actually do four of them (Brighton, Oxford, Winchester, and London).


Mon 21st Jan : BRIGHTON: Sticky Mike’s
Info and tickets

Wed 23rd Jan:  GLASGOW: Celtic Connection,

Thurs 24th Jan: EDINBURGH: The Voodoo Rooms,

Sat 26th Jan: BELFAST: The Green Room at The Black Box,  (3.00pm show)

Sun 27th Jan: DUBLIN: Whelans,

Tues 29th Jan: LONDON: The Borderline

Wed 30th Jan: WINCHESTER:  The Railway

Thurs 31st Jan: OXFORD: The Bullingdon
Info and tickets

Fri 1st Feb: HOLMFIRTH: The Picturedrome,
with Steve Cropper and The Animals

Sat 2nd Feb: NEWCASTLE: The Cluny

Jack Day set to launch long-awaited debut album The First Ten on Bucketfull Of Brains on Tues 27th November

3 Nov

The First Ten is the long awaited debut album from much-loved London songwriter Jack Day. Set for release on Bucketfull Of Brains on January 14th, the album contains ten self-penned songs beautifully written and performed by the young singer-songwriter who has been become a ‘must see’ on the thriving London scene.

The First Ten is a solo record – raw and intense. As Day says, “It’s also formative, the first record I’ve made about some of the first things I’ve learnt and some of the first things I’ve said goodbye to. There’s a lot of love in there, a bit of London and a bit of hurt. The songs are delivered straight, recorded by beautiful old mics by veteran engineer Brian O’Shaughnessy (Primal Scream, Beth Orton, Denim, lots of 80s dub and more) at Bark Studios in Blackhorse Road, North-East London. There was a gorgeous old Fender valve amp for the telecaster and upright piano sweet with age; you can hear the foot pedals on the recording. It’s that type of deal. At the front end of recording I was listening to blues and country, from Son House to Townes and all of those; at the back end I was on Otis Redding and Springsteen”

There is an underlining passion and integrity that permeates these songs giving them a truly up-front and personal feel. The opening ‘I Often Think Of You,’ driven along by heavy fast fingerpicking and hand clapping, reflects Day’s early years on the road whilst ‘Birdsong’ offers an altogether different sonic template, a driving telecaster the background to a now trademark blistered voice. The folk-esque ‘Snow and Sleet’ falls in the storytelling acoustic tradition of the likes of Rambling Jack Elliott (a major influence on the young North Londoner) whilst the truly stunning piano-led ‘No One Moves Like You’ just underlines what an incredible songwriter Day has become imbuing within its powerful verses self-reflection, hope, and the trials and tribulations of being an artist. There is even a sublime acoustic gospel vibe on the glorious ‘I Have Been Conveyed’, a track that echoes Dylan in his more religious periods.  The album features Bryony Afferson, Pepe Belmonte and Graham Knight.

Jack Day grew up in Hornsey, North London, yet began his musical career whilst living in Brighton. Inspired by likes of the afore mentioned Elliott and Woody Guthrie he began appearing around the capital’s ‘folk’ clubs like Easycome and the famous Lantern Society, then run by Trevor Moss And Hannah-Lou. In 2011, with fellow London troubadour Benjamin Folke Thomas, Day took over running the club that has always been a bedrock to London’s emerging singer-songwriters.  Day has toured Europe and the UK and is lining up a tour to support the release of The First Ten.

Prior to the UK release The Greatest Records have a vinyl-only release of The First Ten available from 29th November. Jack tours Europe from 14th November.

Jack plays a UK launch show for The First Ten at The Servant Jazz Quarters in Dalston on Tues 27th November where a limited quantity of pre-release CDs will be available.

John Murry UK Tour: January 2013

26 Oct

We are very pleased to announce John Murry’s debut solo tour of the UK in January 2013; tickets are now on sale for all shows.

Wed Jan 23:   Celtic Connections at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow
Appearing as special guest of The Cowboy Junkies
Info & tickets

Thurs Jan 24: The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
Info & tickets

Sat Jan 26: Open House at The Green Room at The Black Box, Belfast (3.00pm show)
Info & tickets

Sun Jan 27: Whelans,  Dublin
Info & tickets

Tues Jan 29: The Borderline, London
Info & tickets

Wed Jan 30: The Railway, Winchester
Info & tickets

Thurs Jan 31:  The Bullingdon,  Oxford
Info & tickets

Photo by Amoreena Berg

Edward Rogers plays The Half Moon, Putney next Monday 27th Oct

23 Oct

BoB’s own Edward Rogers whose Porcelain album we released in Europe earlier in the year is playing at the Half Moon in Putney next Monday evening. He’s opening up for The Kennedys at their London album release show. Ed will be joined by Pete Kennedy and James Mastro; the latter last spotted in the capital last Friday night in Ian Hunter’s band at the spectacular Shepherds Bush Empire show.

The Kennedys’ new album is Closer Than You Know

“In a career that now spans two decades, New York duo Maura and Pete Kennedy have traversed a broad musical landscape, surveying power pop, acoustic songwriting, organic rock rooted in their early days in Austin, and a Byrds-inspired jangle that drew the attention of McGuinn, Steve Earle, and most notably Nanci Griffith. The duo co-produced Nanci’s latest CD, and are currently touring the US and the British Isles with the Texas songstress. Alan Harrison of Made in Newcastle said “Opening act, the Kennedys, had a nice line in Country-folk with a quaintly English edge to it and songs like When I go and The Midnight Ghost, won them plenty of new fans, as was witnessed by the long queue buying up their CD’s at the intermission.

On their new release, Closer Than You Know, out on August 21, 2012 via Burnside Distribution in the United States, and October 15, 2012 via Proper Distribution in the UK, The Kennedys strike out into new territory, this time inspired by a sojourn in Paris, where they immersed themselves in the turn of another century, the time when Debussy and Ravel were inventing the sonic palette of modern music. No strangers to reinvention, Pete and Maura came up with a cappuccino-fueled concept at a small café in Montmartre: music inspired by the Impressionist composers, married to the rock and pop sounds for which the duo have long been known. In the spirit of Paris-trained composer Burt Bacharach and his lyricist partner Hal David, Pete took on the task of creating musical landscapes that would cushion Maura’s lyrics and bell-like harmonies. The songs have a quality, inherent in Maura’s voice, that is both soothing and urgent. As writers and producers, the Kennedys continue to mature, from their early style-conscious pop to today’s burnished sheen. Always tuned to their own muse, Pete and Maura have once again come up with a unique sound that is as uplifting as it is unclassifiable.”

Richard Warren and Bob Rafkin play Milfords: Friday 6th July

4 Jul

Richard Warrens musical career began in the mid 90s and has encompassed everything from the dynamic power-pop of The Hybirds, to an ephemeral burst of cult success as sonic explorer Echoboy, not to mention a few revolutions of the planet with Spiritualized and the legendary Mark Lanegan. Richard’s latest studio album The Wayfarer is the follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2010 solo debut Laments, and a masterpiece of driving folk-punk, full of fire and working class pride, stripped to a brutally sparse frame and conjuring up spirits of the death-balladeers of the Fifties.
“An accomplished guitarist with an ear for the dramatic. Like Richard Hawley’s accursed brother.” THE INDEPENDENT ****
“twanging Like Roy Orbison and kicking up dust Gun Club style.” UNCUT

Now resident in Florida, Bob Rafkin was originally part of the Greenwich Village folk community in the 60s, where his exceptional guitar work led to him playing for legends such as Phil Ochs, Joni Mitchell, The Everly Brothers, Randy Newman and Tim Buckley. He’s also a very fine singer-songwriter in his own right, with a number of acclaimed solo albums to his credit. Bob returns to the UK with his tenth CD, Twenty Eleven, just released.

From São Paulo, Brazil, Gus Garcia sings in English, and his fascination with UK artists and culture is evident in his highly distinctive music. He released an excellent EP, Many Hiding Places, a couple of years ago and the even better, long-awaited follow-up, Medieval, is available now.

A stripped-down mix of Richard Warren’s The Wayfarer is cover-mounted on BoB#78/79. There is also an interview with him. Bob Rafkin talks in the same issue about his times with Phil Ochs. Still available here.

About Milfords

Chuck Prophet and The Spanish Bombs perform London Calling in London

1 Jun

Earlier this year Chuck Prophet and backing band styling themselves the Spanish Bombs toured Spain playing The Clash’s London Calling album in its entirety. This was the second such enterprise enterprising Spanish promoters had initiated as a little while before Howe Gelb had toured a performance of Johnny Cash’s At San Quentin. The difference is that while Howe didn’t then go to San Quentin, Chuck is now bringing the enterprise to London and beyond: “It’s our contribution to Guy Fawkes Night. The Gunpowder Plot lives on in our gentle hands.”

Chuck’s performing the whole double album, from start to finish, at four UK shows including the Garage, less than a mile from where London Calling was recorded at Wessex Studios – or a mere 5 minutes “on the route of the 19 bus” in Highbury. Clash tour manager, Johnny Green, who oversaw the demoing and recording of London Calling, will also be reading from his book A Riot of Our Own (a memoir of his time with the Clash) before each show.

Johnny said of London Calling: “London Calling was conceived & written by The Clash touring the highways, byways ‘n’ freeways of the USA. The tunes were hatched back in a dingy garage, down by the river Thames. The wholeness was polished, with Guy Stevens, in a Highbury, London, studio, plus furious Stateside gigging. It suits here, there and maybe the whole world. Chuck Prophet has perfectly caught the essence in his re-interpretation, like some rockin’ jazz singer while sometimes he rides along true to the originals. I recently toured Spain with Chuck and watched every show from start to finish so I was there too.” Continue reading

Bucketfull Of Brains shows at The Bull & Gate

9 Mar

Ben and JasonHere’s a quick announcement of a number of shows we’re involved with over the next few weeks and months.

After a break of just over two years we’re putting on shows again with Piers Miller of Stuntfox at The Bull & Gate. These will be happening regularly on the third Sunday of every month. The first is on the 20th March featuring JASON McNIFF. Then on 17th April TRENT MILLER will be playing. The rest of the year is being set up and as those shows are finalised they’ll be announced. For at least the first four or five shows the opening act will be BEN FOLKE THOMAS. The good people at Club Fandango who run the pub were so impressed when he played there in February that they want him to see him there regularly.

Shows run from around 5.00 – 8.00 with opener on around 5.30 and the headliner about 6.30. There’ll be Bucketfull DJs playing tunes before, after, and in-between. happily the pub serves decent beer.

Two other dates for your diary are Saturday 9th April when we’ll be putting on a line-up at The Windmill, and Tuesday 24th May about which later.