May 30, 2016

Jumble Hole Clough: Live at the Nutclough with Mick West, 21st May 2016

A change of pace happened at the most recent Jumble Hole Clough gig omn the 21st of May at the Nutclough Tavern in Hebden Bridge. This time prolific avant-gardist Colin Robinson went for concise, improvised guitar excursions. Four of the five tracks have single word titles, foregoing the longish (and often funny) names of his previous output. Michael Linden West joined him on synthesizer for Saint and Star, adding an eerie Doctor Who vibe.

Cramming ideas into a shorter time frame might win him some new listeners with a limited attention span, but one cant escape the feeling that the tracks could have been even better if they had been allowed to develop more fully. Castle is the best of the crop. It's a trip through possibly haunted and crumbling edifice, with Robinson leading the way through dusty rooms and creaky staircases, nearly coming to a halt at times to admire the view.

May 29, 2016

Popincourt: A New Dimension To Modern Love

Jazzy mod Britpop is a genre that pops every now and then, with The Small Faces and The Style Council as the most familiar names. French musician Popincourt taps into the same source with his first full-length A New Dimension To Modern Love, an album that has written "happy sounding Summer holiday songs" all over it. Like most Frenchmen Popincourt has trouble properly pronouncing the "W" and the "S" in English, but it only adds to the charm of his songs. Plenty of radio-friendly tunes sit alongside more adventurous tracks.

The lead single I Found Out, the old school French pop songs The First Flower Of Spring and Happy Town, and the lazy lounge title track with Sixties inspired backing vocals- the latter two with the inevitable trumpet dropping by - will appeal to the latte loving crowd. The short instrumentals Improvisation / Part 1 and Part 2 are mere interludes to appease to the musically adept listeners, who will dig the use of vintage keyboards. A New Dimension To Modern Love is an unashamedly mainstream album. Pop, jazz and a hint of blue-eyed soul all get their turn in the spotlights.

Rob Klerkx & The Secret: new album "Fever Dream" in December

Dutch explosive Americana band Rob Klerkx & The Secret will celebrate the release of their new studio album Fever Dream with a show at the Paradiso in Amsterdam on December 8th. They might throw in a couple of Johnny Cash tunes.


HCTF review of Live at IJland Studio.

May 28, 2016

Words about music (405): Phil Campbell

I like a good tone. Just because you’re hitting the high notes, well, some dogs might like it. You might get a pack of dogs following you round. Some people like it too. I couldn’t sing like that. I don’t think many people can sing like that. Those that do, and with so much ease, they think it’s really cool but it’s not for me. I’d rather listen to Johnny Cash. He wouldn’t have been into the screamers, would he? He’d probably have just taken a gun out and shot them. He wouldn’t have put up with that bullshit, anyhow.

Phil Campbell

May 27, 2016

Multiverzal: Multiverzal

photo: Juli Rec

Argentinian duo project Multiverzal is a collaboration between Mariano Azcurra (Clusterbeat) and Juan Pablo Mazzola (Baby Scream). For their self-titled debut EP they reworked four songs, two from each band. Mazzola's songs were translated into Spanish and sung by Azcurra, and vice versa. Honoring the boundaries of the concise pop song, they keep it short and sweet. The piano driven Triste en Berlin is all over after one minute and 48 seconds and You Lost the Keys Again needs a little over three minutes to tell a full story.

Mazzola leans to melodic rock and Azcurra is a more self-conscious singer, choosing his notes with care. If they want to carry this project any further, it would be nice to hear a couple of new co-written songs. They might end up with a torch song embedded in glam rock and power pop.