Wille and The Bandits: Living Free

Like a pint of hand-pulled beer and a log fire after a long day’s walk in the hills, this double live CD is instantly comforting and familiar. Wille and The Bandits are predominantly a live band and we’ve never heard of them before, but frontman Wille Edwards is a consummate guitarist, playing lap steel and […]

The Limiñanas: Shadow People

The last Limiñanas album we had to review was cool but a little dull, the highlight a song with Hooky on bass. This new album from the hip French duo is much better, so much so that the apparently statutory Hooky song is something of a jarring oddity on an otherwise fine album. (We assume […]

Trudy and the Romance: Junkyard Jazz EP

It’s always good to see a band marching to the beat of its own drum, and Trudy and the Romance are such a band, managing to cross Libertines and Metronomy, and coming up with something new. We say the Libs because TatR have something of that band’s ramshackle charm, combined with a flavouring of the […]

The Americans: I’ll Be Yours

This is an odd album; classic rootsy American rock played by excellent musicians that doesn’t quite add up to the sum of its parts. The Americans are from Los Angeles and worked with Jack White and T Bone Burnett on the documentary American Epic, the soundtrack for which we reviewed. They’ve also played backing for […]

Skinny Lister: The Devil, The Heart, The Fight

Roaring drunk in Hamburg. Locked in a bunker in Berlin. Tearing up the road in New York and Tokyo. Dreaming of Cairo. Originally recorded in Newcastle-Under-Lyme. They get about. We saw these live at Rode Hall’s Just So festival in 2016 (we think; possibly 2015). This album was put together while they were on the […]

Cliff Richard: Stronger Thru the Years

The title is loosely based on his 1989 album Stronger, and the double CD opens with Stronger Than That, a tight, upbeat pop tune from the late 1980s, with a fast beat and typical 80s sound: we kept expecting Crocket and Tubbs to kick the door in. After that, it’s a compilation of his hits […]

From The Jam: Live!

We’re not really into tribute bands but this one seems pretty good, not least because an original band member is in it. Former Jam drummer Rick Buckler, then working as an antique furniture restorer and dealer in Woking, formed From The Jam, playing old material from The Jam’s back catalogue. In 2007, Buckler’s former bandmate […]

Hawklords: Six

The whole Hawkwind / Hawklords thing is a bit of a problem: if you’ve liked the space rock mothership nonsense since 1823, when Dave Brock first strapped on a guitar, you like what you know and want what you like, and this is it. The rest of us, maybe not so. Hawklords feature former Hawkwind […]

Stax Classics Otis Redding / Sam and Dave

Released as part of Stax Records’ 60th anniversary celebration, the Stax Classics series highlights some of the label’s biggest stars from the 1960s and 70s, budget-priced albums offering a dozen songs that “transcend the obvious hits”, as the PR says. (Also see the Bookers and Carla Thomas) According to one review, Otis Redding arrived in […]

Royal Blood: How Did We Get So Dark?

Royal Blood’s début did that clichéd thing of exploding on the music scene, literally and figuratively. Literally for the jaw-droppingly confident, Bonham-esque intro of the first song, Out Of The Black, distilling decades of rock from Zep to Muse in its opening moments. Figuratively, as they were held up as the vanguard of a new […]