Dave O’Higgins: It’s Always 9.30 in Zog

If the title alone doesn’t want to make you buy this — it’s surely the coolest album name ever — the sleeve, evocative of the old Blue Note house style, should. O’Higgins is a Birmingham-born jazz saxophonist, who has recorded 19 albums as a leader, so while he’s new to us, proper jazz fans must […]

Stick in the Wheel: Follow Them True

This is the most likable folk album you’ll ever hear; with punk folk already taken they need a name for the genre they have created. It’s not punk in sound, but they take traditional folk and modernise it, with distorted guitar, tapes and Auto-tunes, without losing the folkiness. If wandering troubadours remained in existence, this […]

The Wombats: Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life

Another decent album from The Wombats, who survived being lumped in with the landfill indie mob and morphed into a decent pop band playing upbeat tunes. It’s more than a decade since the band’s Let’s Dance to Joy Division was a hit, and they’ve managed to keep going despite a lack of hits. We’d guess […]

The Eagles: Hotel California

This is going to make some people feel old: it is 40 years since this album came out, celebrated with this two-CD package (the bonus CD is a live album). It’s clearly a classic, particularly for the title track, but it’s not quite as close to perfection as Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, which is well-nigh flawless. […]

Three Fall and Melane: Four

You’re just getting to think you’re going to hear nothing new, and then along comes this little treasure. We can’t find fault. For a start, it’s that rare beast, a band with no information on Google. It’s like the days before the internet, the mystery of discovering a new band and waiting for serendipity to […]

Liam Gallagher: As You Were

All the boy Liam has got to do to stay in the game is turn out stuff that’s not actually bad. He’s got the name and everyone likes him; the career is his to lose. But his post-Oasis output has been patchy. Even mad-for-it Oasis fans who’d buy any old rubbish Oasis released (and did) […]

Michael Malarkey: Mongrels

Malarkey is an American actor and musician though he sounds English: his father is Irish American, his mother British and he studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He is best known for playing the role of Enzo in the series The Vampire Diaries (apparently). Some actors make terrible musicians, but Malarkey […]