ChartChatUK

talks about the latest releases in the music world

Chart Chat Edition 805 – W/C 10.05.15

Chart Chat Edition 805 – Week Commencing 10th May 2015

Introduction

For those reading this for the first time, Chart Chat has been in existence for over 15 years. We completed eight hundred editions reviewing the weeks charts and new releases before deciding it was time for a change of format.  Now we will be looking at new music ahead of its release, and it won’t always feature tracks released as singles. I have learned in recent years that the best music does not always make the charts, and to renew my love of music I have had to look to broader horizons.

So what have we been discussing in the Chart Chat offices this week?

Carolynne Poole – ‘I Love You But Shut Up’ (Single)

The name may be familiar to some of you as Carolynne made it through to the final stages of two X Factor series, initially being rejected at the judges house stage and then later being voted off after a sing off against Rylan Clark. However she hasn’t let that put her off the music industry and this week sees the release of her brand new single ‘I Love You But Shut Up’. The track is an uptempo rock / country number which would pick up lots of airplay if it had major label backing. Without that it may struggle, but if that is the case then that is a shame as it would have been a huge hit if it had Shania Twain’s name on it. “I love you but too much talking and not enough love making” sings Carolynne in the chorus, and after a couple of plays it lodges firmly in your head! A separate track ‘Cupid Must’ve Been High’ received some airplay on the Radio 2 country show and hopefully we will hear more from her as the year progresses.

Graham Parker & The Rumour – ‘Mystery Glue’ (Album)

Renowned singer / songwriter Graham Parker is back once again with his band The Rumour and ‘Mystery Glue’ marks their first release since 2012’s ‘Three Chords Good’. So far two tracks have been made available to download; ‘I’ve Done Bad Things’ is a typical uptempo blues number while ‘Railroad Spikes’ is another track which would sound great in a smokey late night bar. They are now heading off to the US where they have a series of gigs booked for June. During their prime they notched up four top twenty albums between 1977 and 1980 with the final of those ‘The Up Escalator’ narrowly missing out on the top ten. They also enjoyed three hit singles with both ‘Hold Back The Night’ and ‘Sweet On You’ reaching no.24. Now over thirty years on it is great to have them back and recording new music once again and this latest release is certain to keep their fans happy for a while to come.

Jess Mattic – ‘The Experience’ (Single)

Electronic / dubstep duo keep up their one single per month release rate with their latest track ‘The Experience’. It is an electronic instrumental track which clocks in at just under five minutes, although it does contain a couple of vocal samples too. They are from Orlando in American and consist of Matt Fair and Jessie Boerner. They already have their next seven singles in the new release schedule starting with ‘Funkin’ Dance’ in June and concluding with ‘Give It Up’ in December. In addition to their own work they have also worked on remixes of other artists tracks and the most popular mix on their Soundcloud page is their update of Jody Watley’s hit ‘Don’t You Want Me’. Although we are big fans of them here at Chart Chat they are yet to make any major inroads into the UK charts and unfortunately I’m not sure if this latest track will do anything significant to change that.

Paul Carrack – ‘Live At The London Palladium’ (Album)

Not everyone is aware of just how many huge bands Paul has contributed to. Through his career he has featured as part of Ace, Roxy Music, Squeeze, Mike & The Mechanics and Roger Waters backing band The Bleeding Hearts. This May sees him performing at the Royal Albert Hall as part of Eric Clapton’s band while he will return to action in his own right through a series of concerts later this year. This weeks sees the release of this live album which brings together songs recorded across his long career. Standouts include his cover of Randy Newman’s ‘I Think It’s Gonna Rain Today’ (which he originally updated for his 2010 album ‘A Different Hat’), the Mike & The Mechanics songs ‘Over My Shoulder’ and ‘The Living Years’ along with his nine minute version of ‘Time Wait For No-One’. It’s fair to say that he rarely gets the credit he deserves but this collection serves as an introduction to new admirers and a companion to long standing fans.

Port Isla – ‘A.L.I.V.E.’ (EP)

Norwich based four piece Port Isla release their new four track EP later this month. Entitled ‘A.L.I.V.E.’ it features the title track alongside new songs ‘Ready For The Fight’, ‘Penny Red’ and ‘Raleigh’. I have to say that I am a big fan of the title track as it has a real anthemic feel to it and would sound great on the radio. This EP follows on from their last outing ‘In The Long Run’ which was released last November, and fans signing up to the bands mailing list will receive a free download of ‘Volcano’, a track taken from that release. They have been building their following with a series of live shows earlier this year as support acts to James Bay and Kodaline but they also performed as joint headliners with Walking On Cars. They are a band who display great promise and look as though they may go on to bigger and better things. For now this may come a little early for them to secure a first ever hit single.

Public Service Broadcasting – ‘Go!’ (Single)

It seems strange in some ways to be reviewing this as a single as really this needs to be heard in the context of their excellent album ‘The Race For Space’. It stands up as a song in its own right, although I have to say I prefer the track ‘Gagarin’ which also features on the long player. For those unaware of their work the band consists of the duo J Willgoose Esq and Wrigglesworth who specialise in mixing samples from old news reels and propaganda films into electronic music. The results are often stunning, as are their live shows and fans wishing to see them in the UK should get themselves along to the Lunar Festival in Warwickshire on 6th June. The single is released on 7″ vinyl and as a digitial EP which features the Radio Edit, the Errors Remix, the Louis La Roche Remix and the Kauf Remix. I don’t think we will see this inside the top forty, but if it serves to bring in a few new fans then it will have served its purpose.

Sarah Cracknell – ‘Red Kite’ (Album)

You would have to go back to 1997 to find Sarah’s debut solo album ‘Lipslide’ although it did get a deluxe reissue in 2012. Now, some eighteen years on, comes the follow up ‘Red Kite’ which hits the shops in mid June. It has been produced by Carwyn Ellis and Seb Lewsley who both previously worked with Edwyn Collins and features guest appearances from Nicky Wire and The Rails. Fans have been able to listen to the track ‘On The Swings’ via her Soundcloud page, and it does not disappoint. It is a jazzy laid back piece which perfectly suits Sarah’s distinctive vocals. She is undertaking a five date tour in the UK to promote the album, and will be playing in Brighton, London, Glasgow, Manchester and Leeds. Her last album did contain one top forty hit in the shape of ‘Anymore’ but I suspect that a similar feat is unlikely  this time around. That should not detract from its success and I for one can’t wait to hear it.

Simply Red – ‘Shine On’ (Single)

It was a big surprise to many fans when Mick Hucknall announced the return of Simply Red for a series of 30th anniversary concerts this December. However even after that few expected the news that a brand new album had been recorded and will be released this June. It will be entitled ‘Big Love’ and the first single to be released from it is entitled ‘Shine On’. Already available as both the album mix and the Max Bidda Radio Mix it is very reminiscent of the ‘Stars’ era for the band and received its first play recently on the Ken Bruce Radio 2 show. The bands previous success speaks for itself with twelve top ten albums to their name including five which reached the top spot. Whether they can recapture that level of sales remains to be seen but this new track is impressive.

Wendy James – ‘Bad Intentions And A Bit Of Cruelty’ (Single)

Wendy returns this week with the first taste of new material from her forthcoming new album ‘The Price Of The Ticket’. Her band now boasts the impressive line up of Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith), Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols) and James Sclavunos (Grinderman / Bad Seeds) and the album promises to deliver. This comes released as a 7″ single which also features ‘Indigent Blues’, a track which is getting a standalone download release. The video was uploaded to her YouTube account at the end of April and has been picking up views since then. The track is a decent punk song with a driving acoustic beat interspersed with menacing bursts of electric guitar. Wendy’s vocals sit well amongst the mix and hopefully will pick up some airplay along the way. She has no  confirmed live appearance at the time of writing but fingers crossed we may see her playing festivals or concerts in the UK before the year is out.

Next Week…

As always there are lots of new singles and albums which don’t generate an in depth review. We expect Lunchmoney Lewis to storm the top three with his new track ‘Bills’ while Anne Dudley’s soundtrack to ‘Poldark’ is also worthy of a mention. Leonard Cohen has a new live album ‘Can’t Forget : A Souvenir of the Grand Tour’ while fans of Doctor Who will be keen to snap up Murray Gold’s latest soundtrack album. As for us we will be back with a new edition soon so please keep an eye on our Twitter feed @ChartChatUK. We hope to see you here again soon.

Ian Anderson (@ChartChatUK)

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10 May, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment

Chart Chat Edition 804 – W/C 03.05.15

Chart Chat Edition 804 – Week Commencing 3rd May 2015

Introduction

For those reading this for the first time, Chart Chat has been in existence for over 15 years. We completed eight hundred editions reviewing the weeks charts and new releases before deciding it was time for a change of format.  Now we will be looking at new music ahead of its release, and it won’t always feature tracks released as singles. I have learned in recent years that the best music does not always make the charts, and to renew my love of music I have had to look to broader horizons.

So what have we been discussing in the Chart Chat offices this week?

Ben E King – ‘Stand By Me’ (Single)

The legendary soul singer Ben E King only made the top forty on four occasions, and two of those were with this hit ‘Stand By Me’.  It originally made no.27 back in 1961 just after his debut hit ‘First Taste Of Love’ had reached the same position. ‘Amor’ reached the top forty later that same year but there was then a twenty six year wait to see ‘Stand By Me’ top the UK charts mainly thanks to its use in a television jeans commercial. It also featured as the lead track on the soundtrack to the film of the same name while a cover by John Lennon reached the top thirty in 1975. It has enjoyed a revival over the past few days thanks in part to Ben’s passing at the age of 76 and thanks also to the track being discounted to 59p with some online retailers. Whatever happens this track is established as a true classic of its time and will continue to receive radio airplay for many years to come.

Cinerama – ‘Valentina’ (Album)

Later this month sees the return of David Gedge’s other band Cinerama as they release their take on the Wedding Present album of the same name. This fulfills a long held dream of David to record two versions of the same album, one as the Wedding Present and the  other as Cinerama.  Originally he had hoped to release both versions simultaneously but he soon realised that this was a project that would take some time to achieve and hence the releases were staggered. It will be fascinating to hear the album in its entirety to hear just how different these new versions will sound. It was produced by Spanish Indie legend Pedro Vigil which itself should only serve to add to the magic. To celebrate their return they will perform with a thirteen piece band at a headlining concert in London next month but for now this release will be more than enough to keep fans entertained.

The Crowd 2015 – ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ (Single)

Back in 1985 a tragic accident at Bradford City’s stadium saw 56 football fans killed in a fire which swept through one of the stands. Later that year a charity ensemble took a cover of Gerry & The Pacemakers classic ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ to the top of the charts, and now to mark the 30th anniversary of the disaster a new version of the track is being released by The Crowd 2015. Among those who have joined up this time are the Chuckle Brothers, Dene Michael, Clive Jackson (Dr from Dr & The Medics) and Billy Pearce. It has been the brainchild of Bradford fan Lloyd Spencer who worked with fellow Bantam Nigel Hunter to turn the idea into a reality. Football songs can still have a big impact in todays charts with the Justice Collective’s cover of ‘He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother’ becoming the Christmas no.1 back in 2013. I’m not sure how well this will chart, but it’s a good chance for fans of all clubs to come together and raise money for the Bradford Burns Unit.

Dr & The Medics – ‘You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)’ (Single)

It was 1986 when Dr & The Medics topped the charts with their cover of Norman Greenbaum’s ‘Spirit In The Sky’. The followed it up with ‘Burn’, a top thirty hit later that year, but their version of ‘Waterloo’ fell short of the top 40 and that was their last appearance on the mainstream charts. They continued to record with ‘The Adventures Of Boadacea & The Beetle’ surfacing in 1992 and ‘Instant Heaven’ being released in 1996. Their current line up has the same Doctor but different Medics, but they are continuing to record and tour. They release their latest single, a cover of Dead Or Alive’s ‘You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)’ later this month on the 25th May. The track comes complete with a video recorded live at the 12 Bar Club in London. There are plenty of chances to catch the band live this year (see link attached) http://doctorandthemedics.com/gig_list.php and a live DVD is set to follow in subsequent months. This is a good fun single and it would be fantastic if we were to see them back in the charts some twenty nine years on.

The Fall – ‘Sub-Lingual Tablet’ (Album)

Part of my reason for switching to covering weekly single releases was to be able to review artists that I am passionate about. I am proud to own each of the studio albums by The Fall, although it has been impossible to keep up with their array of live and compilation albums. They tend to release a new studio album each year, and 2015 is set to be no different with ‘Sub-Lingual Tablet’ due to hit the shops on 11th May. Mark E Smith is proud of his bands latest offering with the record taking four to five months to record. It consists of original tracks with only one cover ‘Stout Man’ while highlights for me are ‘Dedication Not Medication’ and ‘Junger Cloth’. As John Peel famously said The Fall are “they are always different, they are always the same” and that rings true here. While it is quite clear that this is a new Fall album it is also not a radical reinvention from the 2013 release ‘Re-Mit’ or later EP ‘The Remainderer’. Still one of the best releases of 2015 though.

Lucy Rose – ‘Our Eyes’ (Single)

One track that you don’t have to wait for is ‘Our Eyes’ by Lucy Rose which is released this week. It’s a bright and breezy song, perfect as we head into sunnier days, and the video has already received over 200k views since it was first uploaded in March. It is the first track to be taken from her forthcoming studio album ‘Work It Out’ which is scheduled for release in July. It will mark her first new material since her critically acclaimed 2012 debut album ‘Like I Used To’. She is appearing live at the Catherdral Quarter in Belfast this week and has confirmed appearances at Bushstock and Smoked & Uncut next month while fans who sign up to her newsletter at her website can claim a free live EP containing versions of ‘Shiver’, ‘Cover Up’ and this new track ‘Our Eyes’. On this showing the album should certainly be something to look forward to, and 2015 looks to be a promising one for Lucy.

Magnum – Escape From The Shadow Garden Live 2014′ (Album)

Last year saw British rock band Magnum back inside the UK top forty album chart with ‘Escape From Shadow Garden’, the first time they had been there since ‘Sleepwalking’ in 1992. Now comes a live album of the same name featuring tracks covering seven of their eighteen studio albums which was recorded on their worldwide tour last year. It is released as a download, a super jewel CD and a good old fashioned double vinyl LP. For me highlights to be found on this album include a version of their 1978 album title track ‘Kingdom Of Madness’ and a ten minute version of ‘How Far Jerusalem’ which originally featured on their 1985 outing ‘On A Storytellers Night’. While this live album is unlikely to win them many new fans it will serve as a great souvenir for fans who attended their critically acclaimed live shows last year while also serving as an introduction to older material for more recent converts to the band.

On Guitar…Dave Edmunds – ‘Rags & Classics’ (Album)

Dave hit the top spot back in 1970 with his debut single ‘I Hear You Knocking’ and has gone on to achieve eight top forty hits, with half of those reaching the top ten. Fast forward to May 2015 and he is set to release his brand new album ‘Rags & Classics’ which is his first ever completely instrumental release. It contains a variety of cover versions ranging from traditional pop hits ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale’ and ‘Wuthering Heights’ to Mozarts ‘Symphony No.40 in G Minor’. Fans wishing to catch him in action can do so at the Summer Rewind festivals which are scheduled for Perth, Remenham and Macclesfield. Last year may have seen him turn 70, but he is very much still an artist to be reckoned with. While others from his era may be content to play greatest hits tours it is testament to Dave that he is still releasing brand new material. Cover albums are ten a penny but this looks to be one which will make you sit up and take notice.

Roisin Murphy – ‘Hairless Toys’ (Album)

Although she originally rose to prominence as the singer in Moloko, Roisin Murphy has been making solo albums since 2005. ‘Hairless Toys’ marks her first long player in almost eight years. Nine minute epic ‘Exploitation’ stands out, and it will get an official single release in early June complete with an EP of remixes while ‘Gone Fishing’ displays a similarly stripped back electronic sound. Both offer a musical landscape to complement Roisin’s jazzy voice but other journalists have pointed to ‘Evil Eyes’ and ‘House Of Glass’ as the stand out tracks. When an artist takes this long to put an album together the result is often worth the wait as opposed to those kind of artists who churn out an album every couple of years to maintain the bank balance.  If you are looking for four minute pop singles you may be in the wrong place but if you appreciate a stylish and well produced album then this may be just up your street.

Next time…

There look to be a few exciting releases to come over the next couple of months and among those which may make our shopping list are ‘A Purple Album’ by Whitesnake, ‘The Desired Effect’ by Brandon Flowers, ‘Saturns Pattern’ by Paul Weller, ‘English Graffiti’ by The Vaccines and ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ by Florence & The Machine. So don’t forget to keep an eye out on Twitter for our next edition.

Ian Anderson (@ChartChatUK)

4 May, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment