Paul Weller: Other Aspects, Live At The Royal Festival Hall

For many bands the obligatory album with an orchestra is a sign they’ve run short of ideas, their egos are too big or they’re dead. For Weller not only does it work — his songs suit gentle string arrangements — but it takes his music to a different place, that place being St Tropez, about […]

The Blood Choir: Dartmoor (EP)

We’ve got a good knowledge of music but we’ve never heard of The Blood Choir. This EP is billed as “an object of pure fable among Blood Choir fans”; its four tracks comprising a “long-rumoured collection”, initially recorded between 2007 and 2009, long before the band’s 2012 debut album No Windows to the Old World. […]

Willard Grant Conspiracy: Untethered

We first came across Willard Grant Conspiracy on a compilation, a song called Soft Hand, a great downbeat blues/Americana tune with hypnotic vocals and addictive inputs from strings and guitar; it’s about lying in bed. We’ve bought albums since and the quality is always good, if you like gloomy Americana. Their songs always have atmosphere […]

William the Conqueror: Bleeding On The Soundtrack

William The Conqueror has stepped up a notch for this album, in the same sense that Rocky Balboa steps up from debt collection to world title contender; we exaggerate a little as the last album Proud Disturber of The Peace was pretty good but this is world class. We’ve been fans since we saw him […]

The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band: Poor Until Payday

  The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band do one thing and do it well, playing their old-fashioned country blues at 250 gigs a year from bars to festivals. The Rev plays authentic guitars, too: a 1930 steel-bodied National, a 1934 wood-bodied National Trojan Resonator and a 1994 reproduction of a 1929 Gibson acoustic, while drummer […]

Lindsey Buckingham: Solo Anthology: The Best Of

Another boxset, this time from the guitarist fired by Fleetwood Mac; he’s so good they needed two players to replace him on tour, Mike Campbell and Neil Finn. Buckingham’s solo albums have always been gems, his voice good and his guitar work (obviously) outstanding. Unlike the Mac, it always sounds intimate and personal, as if […]

Echo Town: Kin

There’s an obvious link between Cornwall and Australia — sun, surf, er, cheese factories — and the musical links run as close. A couple of weeks ago we reviewed the latest album from the Australian John Butler Trio, a sound we heard in part replicated by Cornish band Wille and the Bandits. Now comes Cornish […]

Henge: Attention Earth

We lamented over people complaining about the lack of new music in the Sons Of Bill review but Henge is an even better example: they’ve invented, or lest re-invigorated, a whole genre of music. It’s music like you’ve never heard before but it’s also instantly likeable. The basic sound is space rock, though as it […]

Handsome Jack: Everything’s Gonna Be Alright

There’s a bad moon risin’ down the bayou with Handsome Jack, who resurrect 60/70s bluesy rock ‘n’ roll to perfection on this album. Opener Keep On kicks things off: swampy blues guitar, tight drums and a voice so marinated in smokes and whisky it makes peak Rod Stewart sound like Walking In The Air era […]