Pottery: No. 1

Pottery — who should play Stoke Sugarmill, in The Potteries, as soon as possible — have drums/bass driving the songs along, and all very interesting. They’re the kind of band who’d go down well at the Blue Dot festival — a strong dance groove coupled with psychedelia. Although it’s not particularly innovative, we’ve been enjoying […]

Stevie Nicks: Stand Back, 1981-2017 (Box set)

A bit like Michael Jackson, we can overlook our favourites’ flaws if they turn out good tunes. Nicks not only turned a blues band into Fleetwood Mac but bashed out some good tunes of her own, for which we forgive her the cocaine abuse, the brandy, the champagne and the chain-smoking that ruined her voice. […]

Ten Tonnes: Ten Tonnes

Just when you thought landfill indie — disposable tunes from bands with guitars — had gone away, up pops Ten Tonnes. He’s at the posher end of the genre, more The Kooks than Pigeon Detectives, but it’s formulaic. He lifts it above the routine by being bright and breezy, and he (Ten Tonnes is Ethan […]

Nouvelle Vague: Curiosities

Nouvelle Vague the band passed us by, we must confess. Nouvelle Vague to us was an album curated by David Byrne of a new wave of French folk bands, which was excellent. This was still French — from a man who speaks it so well he could write “Qu’est-ce que c’est” in the Psychokiller lyrics […]

SWMRS: Berkeley’s On Fire

SWMRS are from the US but they really should be English; equally this CD is ostensibly punk but in reality it’s a gang of lads having fun and playing songs that are the modern equivalent of Knees Up Mother Brown. Opener Berkeley’s On Fire has a guitar riff and some wonky singing — as well […]

Johnny Lloyd: Next Episode Starts In 15 Seconds

Lloyd is the former Tribes frontman: Tribes were an indie band, formed in 2010 and splitting in 2013. They might not have bothered your pop radar much, but it’s all part of a learning curve for a musician. Lloyd next appeared (to us anyway) with the Eden EP in 2017, which was a flawless pop EP, showing […]

Weezer: Weezer (Teal Album)

Covers albums are a weird concept, especially for a big band like Weezer, though the backstory is amusing. Weezer have always played covers, including War Pigs by Black Sabbath (also covered by Flaming Lips for a spell), and fans pressured them to do a cover of Toto’s Africa. After trolling fans with a cover of […]

Sparkling: Felonious

We thought this lot to be a US hip hop group — that’s what the title puts us in mind of — but it’s not: it’s vintage 80s synth pop delivered to a high standard. We’ve been playing the new Foals album a lot, and it’s a bit Foals, 80s style. Sparkling are Danish — […]

Sleeper: The Modern Age

Sleeper were (to us, you might disagree) a middle-ranking Britpop band, formed in 1993, notching up eight top 40 hit singles and featuring in the soundtrack of Trainspotting. They split in 1998 but reunited in 2017, and this new album is the first in 21 years. We’d forgotten they existed and can’t hum any of […]

Foals: Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1

Foals are one of the best bands in Britain. They’ve improved and matured on every album and each release has a different sound. For this they’ve lost a bass player but replaced him with a synth, the backbone that supplies giving the music more of a groove; a lot, in fact. In some ways it’s […]