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‘24 Hours 7 Days' by Euan Blackman

Review

Fresh in from Alcester based artist Euan Blackman is his brand new release "24 Hours 7 Days": just when I imagined that the products of lockdown writing & production were coming to an end, here pops up a very fine example.

As it was recorded in his "childhood bedroom" maybe it epitomises this very curious and unexpected sub genre. As he clearly agonised over every tiny detail in its creation, that too may be an aspect of creative lives which will become in time a tale to tell younger generations. Obsession can be a very dangerous mode but there is no doubt that those sitting in solitude with no other focus than getting it Exactly Right have these past months made some extraordinary music which we never anticipated.

Unsurprisingly, the lyrical focus seems to draw a lot from the lockdown experience (which I suppose sounds like ride at a very bad theme park), yet Euan has had the wit to twist it away from some sort of pandemic self pitying towards an exploration of the sense of separation within a romantic relationship: which is much more attractive as a listening proposition as well as probably setting the song up for greater longevity of popularity. Lockdown as metaphor maybe?

The subject matter therefore occupies a similar temporal space to The Chefs' 1981 "24 Hours" classic and despite being nearly the polar opposite in terms of lyrical direction, shares something of that song's infectious bounce: in this case also hinting at an eventual optimistic outcome which is most welcome: I don't think anyone wants to hear anything too doomed at the moment.  Another artist whose work immediately came to mind the first time I heard it was John Lennon:  "24 Hours 7 Days" shares a little of the DNA of his dreamy, late Beatles acoustic songs such as "Julia" or "Across the Universe" (with finger picking reminiscent of the former). As he is a student at Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, maybe that is fitting. Euan may be pretty upset by missing his beloved and being cooped up, but he seems to have a coping mechanism of pastoral mindfulness going on. This is not one of those taut, edgy lockdown paranoia fests.

Very ably aided by Olivia Mayall on backing vocals and Charlie Braddick who mixed and mastered the track, we are reminded too that in today's technological environment, working minutely on a song in your own bedroom by yourself does not automatically exclude others from the creative process nor limit you to a smaller piece of work than you envisage in your mind. I have been overwhelmed almost by how so many people I know have upskilled over the last year and a bit: thinking back to those first few fumbled livestreams on phones set at 90o through learning the basis of recording yourself to realising that you could collaborate on tracks with others anywhere in the world from the comfort of your own home & integrate them into the songs as if they'd been right beside you. I am not sure that people will continue in such a vein now (and I'm sure all my friends who run professional studios would rather that they didn't) but they now have useful extra talents to deploy at need. (speaking of extra talents, the photograph of Euan is by Jack Blackman & Euan himself designed the single's artwork).

 

You can see a video of "24 Hours 7 Days" at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtSP9MlABNo

I haven't reviewed Euan's work before, so I'm glad to have a chance to put that right, though I'm not sure how many previous formal releases he has had that I might have written about. He self describes as an artist who "…crafts introspective and evergreen songs for rainy road trips with wistful gazes. There is something of the past in his music, not retrospect, but memories we all share, tales of the human condition in soft focus" and I think either that encapsulates much of "24 Hours 7 Days" or else "24 Hours 7 Days" provides excellent evidence of these qualities. Since I gather an EP is being worked on, with luck, that will give me further chances, but in the meantime, this hypnotic and beautiful song has me hooked.

In the meantime you can catch him live playing in his brother Jack's (who is certainly no stranger to the pages of "Hot Music Live') band The Beautiful Wreck at Lakefest at Eastnor in Herefordshire on August 13th and the Moseley Folk Festival on Saturday 4th September: one presumes these will not feature his own material, so I hope solo gigs will follow in time.

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'Cocoon' by Tigermask

Review

When I wrote last month about the latest single from Tigermask, "Mirtazapine", I told you quite a lot about its parent album ‘Cocoon' which in turn has emerged from its own cocoon this morning. In fact I probably ought to have held back some of the detail for today. Oh well…. To recap though or jog your memories, just as "Mirtazapine" sits in the centre of ‘Cocoon', the album is second in a three album cycle, following 2015's ‘Ovum', so it would help to listen to the earlier album before ‘Cocoon' and if you want to hear how the issues resolve, you'll need to wait for the conclusion of the arc.

‘Cocoon' comprises ten other songs as well as "Mirtazapine": "Mother", "Into The Woods/Cocoon", "Ballad of a Blind Man", "Doppel", "Rear Window", "The Spider", "Seizing the Void",  "Homeless_Path #1", "Homeless_Path #2",   and "Fever" and as noted in June, the first part of the album concerns the protagonist before he takes the anti depressant and thence the second part charts its (hopefully beneficent) effects upon him: reflecting Tigermask's own decade in the darkness of poor mental health before emerging into the artist we know today, capable of articulating his journey from a safe perspective. Once you appreciate that, then the analogy of the album's title makes much more sense. In fact it was brave of him to remove one track, however pivotal, from the whole to act as a single, as its meaning is greatly enhanced within the context of its setting.

In addition, I recommend your reading the detailed account of the album he has revealed on his website (too comprehensive to reproduce here): https://www.whoistigermask.com/cocoon

It's hard to critique any body of work so intensely personal and playing the songs can certainly give you the impression of being allowed to peer into the privacy of someone else's trauma: not always easy listening, but then I hope that at "Hot Music Live" we do not settle for easy listening and help share more challenging material: especially where mainstream media might be more reluctant. That's not to say that ‘Cocoon' is dissonant nor harsh: there is a great beauty throughout in terms of the sounds, though shot through with melancholia and filtered through our own understanding of what the songs are about.

There are resonances too with the work of other artists whose work is so familiar to us: it's hard listening to "Mother" not to equate some of its sentiments to the pathos of John Lennon's song of that name nor (if you are of such a persuasion) the Pink Floyd one. Equally "Ballad of a Blind Man" may have you thinking of Dylan, though in Tigermask's case, instead of a fierce diatribe against another, the power of the song is aimed solidly inwards.  Which may make you flinch a little as I did.

Thankfully, the album is an arc and once past the critical point, the music does mutate into more upbeat forms and become less harrowing in content and if you travel the whole road of ‘Cocoon' then you'll be glad you did. The end of the album offers hope (though resolution presumably will arrive with the final part of the trilogy) and really does not hit you with the full effect of that unless you have experienced the preceding tracks.

Tigermask is a very individual artist and to date has been focused on recording & releasing auto biographical material (although his live set does also feature covers), so it's no surprise that despite the allusions to the work of others, he has adopted a style which not only serves what he wishes to say in the best way, but owes little to others. As I say, beauty and pathos predominate through the very sparse and plangent approach and the quantity of space is more than sufficient to allow the impressions to settle in your minds and ferment. Most tracks have only a single dominant instrument (apart from "The Spider") and thus his voice is central at all times. The music itself often departs into other, non-Western cultural forms, melodies and modes.

I suppose that catharsis plays a very significant role in the creation of the whole three album cycle, and the length of time Tigermask has been taking to hone it suggests not only perfectionism but an indication that the whole process of working through his experiences in song is of value to him. Nevertheless, that in no way suggests that the album comes across as self indulgent nor inwards looking. Quite the opposite: it gives the impression that he wishes primarily to share his experiences in order to help others & communicate to them what he has found beneficial. Each song does stand on its own if necessary & none disappears up itself in terms of accessibility to those of us whose story it is not.

I don't know whether Tigermask has plans to play the album through live as a piece (it needs to be done though) and I fear that not many radio stations would care to play it that way either, which is a shame as it works best as a single, long suite of inter relating pieces. Nevertheless, it is a remarkable achievement and I hope you'll considering listening to it in sequence on the platform of your choice. It may also offer some sense of hope and optimism to those on a similar journey to its creator. I look forwards to the third part of the story.

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"Wife Me?" by Rheo Uno featuring Chxmpion

Review

Unfortunately, it has been over a year since I last wrote about a Rheo release in the magazine and a similar timespan since her "Down For You" appeared on ‘Hot Music Live Presents Volume Three'. However she has been far from inactive in the intervening, admittedly difficult, months, creating a load of great new tracks and evolving into a new artist ID as Rheo Uno with a fresh signature sound.

First out of the traps in this new era is her latest single with the arresting title of "Wife Me?", released today, which has been carefully selected as a bridging track between her previous work and what is coming.

Rheo wrote the original song about two and a half years ago but has substantially reworked it in line with her new visions with the production assistance of Charles Drew of Monarchy Music plus a rap section created by London based artist Chxmpion.

It's intriguing to consider a transitional artefact such as this, but since I've had the chance to hear both Rheo's earlier work and the single due after "Wife Me?" (which is a cracker by the way), I can see her point.  If however her fans are thrown into dismay by the prospect of change, quite apart from reminding them that all good artists need to be able to grow and change to fulfil their potential, I can assure them that the development is just that: not violent change to an entirely new format but a building on current strengths by increasing the variety of ways in which Rheo can express herself.

In fact, if one could categorise her earlier work as being dance orientated, then it strikes me that "Wife Me?" and its successor will get you on your feet still. Equally I appreciate her wit & that's definitely still in evidence. The title, as I said above, attracts attention from the word go (no bad thing in the music business world) and from there the lyrics continue in an equally memorable way. In fact, if I had to single out one way in which her decision to move into what she describes as more "commercial pop" has created change, then I think that it would be the way that the mixing reveals the lyrics more boldly: I could also say that it highlights the quality of her vocals more fully, but I suppose the two things come together from the same one process.

As you'd expect with Rheo & her team, the track itself reeks cool class. Beautifully put together, it has a sultry vibe to it and is unusual in being so percussion centred which certainly caught my attention. In terms of Chxmpion's section, I must say I was a little apprehensive. I've heard superb melding of raps into the hearts of songs and I have heard some appallingly artificial ones with barely compatible sections crowbarred together because people thought to do so was on trend. In this case, it works a treat: his section slides in without a perceptible join (there is even a crossover which is a great idea) and he matches both words & delivery perfectly to the whole.

Overall, "Wife Me?" is a joyous track, the teasing being entirely in fun (I think) and as a route from where Rheo was to where Rheo Uno is going, it's totally successful. Which brings me to a crucial point, so I hope you are paying due attention. There is a real danger that in honestly signalling her intentions, Rheo might be suggesting that "Wife Me?" is merely a means to an end. I believe it is a great more than that, and although you & I both understand where she is going, "Wife Me?" is an excellent single in its own right and deserves every success. Not least commercially.

Rheo sounds very confident too: happy with what she is creating and feeling that each song "..is better than the last, developing and building upon the one before and diversifying a little too", which is very encouraging and hopefully will enable her to continue to build a substantial body of work with greater variety and depth than if she had not taken a bold artistic and career move.

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"Unbounded" by Dean MacDonald

Review

Following the very successful release of "Inflamed " in late May, today, Dean MacDonald shares with us the next track from his recent 14 Records recordings for his forthcoming debut solo album ‘Just Me', namely "Unbounded".

If unravelling why these particular tracks are appearing under his own name rather than with his very successful band The Session is becoming an interesting exercise, then I think that "Unbounded" is probably the easiest so far to understand as a pure Dean track.

Over the course of the many Session releases, Dean's lyrics naturally cover a wide range of topics and interests, but if you delve down into them and look for patterns, then you might be surprised how rarely he creates that absolute staple of the songwriter: the love song. I'm not at all sure that he sees this as anything which needs to be "put right": I find him a very confident writer who creates what he feels comfortable with and what he feels he'd like to address: including recently several clear challenges to racism & racists. Nevertheless, he has now written a genuine love song and he describes it as "…an open love song to the wife really. I tend not to write too much soppy stuff but this is definitely one of those", so we  can see why he is putting it out as a solo release and not with The Session, as it is simply too personal to do otherwise: it's purely his own message and needs to come across as such. I am interested in Dean's use of the word "soppy" though: it makes him sound rather defensive of writing such material and maybe opening his heart to the world on something quite so personal. However I think that in itself is a strength of "Unbounded": not only as a comparative rarity within his body of work (and let's face it, variety is always a positive), but the feeling that with this song he is stretching the boundaries of his own writing comfort zone only adds greater resonance to the emotional truth and sense of sincerity within it. If he feels a little uneasy in revealing these aspects of his feelings, then I suspect that just adds edge to the honesty. Great truths can sometimes hurt a little & not necessarily in a bad way.

And so it is with "Unbounded": the heart is definitely on his sleeve as we have long come to expect with this artist and the passion and  integrity of the feelings expressed unmistakeable.

As I said in reviewing "Inflamed", my initial assumption that "solo" tracks would be stripped back in terms of arrangement compared with his band was far from the mark. Once again Dean & producer Matt Waddell have come up with a rich tapestry of sounds, though admittedly not necessarily the ones The Session might have deployed and this is a joyful rock song with a very gentle intimate feel. He could so easily have gone for a ballad format given the lyrics, but that might have over sentimentalised them. Though gentle, it rocks along like no ballad & very thankfully they have side swerved the dreaded trap of the power ballad in doing so. At times one feels as if one is peering in to the intimate details of a real marriage (well of course that is what we are doing) but not in an embarrassing way: in fact the song, quite properly can be taken as more universal, applying to the experiences of the listener as much as the singer. This move should help ensure its popularity as audiences recognise their own relationships being described.

This single is as radio friendly as everything else Dean has done by himself or collectively and deserves to go onto appropriate playlists: quite what his intentions are for live performances of his solo material remain to be seen at this point, but judging by the myriad of Session gigs taking place (boy are they making up for lost time) there can hardly be the time at the moment for him to consider & schedule occasions on which to play these songs. Given time though, I'm sure people will very much wish him to do so.

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‘I Hear Voices' EP by Molotov Souls

Review

Many thanks to Fred from Molotov Souls for sending me their latest EP called ‘I Hear Voices' which they made with Matt Waddell at 14 Records. You may also know Fred from his work with bands such as The Session, Dubjamforce and Sophie Corona and in Molotov Souls he is joined by Dan, Stuart & Baz.

Apart from giving me  the actual tracks, "Dog Shed", "Bide My Time" and "Don't Bother Me", Fred was a little enigmatic on issues such as release date etc, but I gather it is now out & therefore ok to share with you.

With little to go on except the songs themselves, it has freed me to treat them perfectly objectively (I've not yet caught them live either). (Thanks also to Dan who did his best to resolve some of the enigmas surrounding this band but without very much success. I guess we'll just have to file them under "conundrum").

It makes reviewing easier that the sound is one I both personally like & can relate to: they describe themselves as a post punk/indie/rock hybrid & I certainly would not argue with any of those elements, though I'd strongly suggest that it's not purely post punk: there is definitely the energy of punk itself in there and the feel of the more melodic side of that genre is frequently to be heard (especially on "Don't Bother Me"), though not in a particularly retro way. In fact at times (especially with "Bide My Time"), the comparisons with more contemporary bands say the Ellipsis as their most rocky struck me. "Dog Shed" also shows considerable glam rock roots too in my opinion (compliment intended).

All in all, Molotov Souls appear to take a quite diverse range of influences (albeit compatible ones) and meld them into decent songs which have an identity of their own. They are actually quite catchy though I'm sure the band would prefer me to stop short of calling them "pop" or anything like that.

Well crafted & well played, the recorded songs have an admirable clarity thanks to Matt which tracks of this sort often abandon. It's good to hear the words. A really solid rhythm section supports a lot of the sort of riffing which contributes to the catchiness considerably.

 

I found a video online for "Dog Shed" which you can see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlifwLQPJ7M

 

They also have a number of gigs coming up including, I believe, at the Tin in September (probably best to check their page for precise details).

So there you have it: probably all I can tell you at the moment about the band and their EP: so I think that constitutes good reason for you to have a listen yourselves & for both of us to try to catch a gig.

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"Female Pioneers"

Review

Saturday night was another real landmark for me: my first Saturday evening out since the pandemic struck. Thankfully, not only was it an excellent evening & well worthy of a review, but it harked back to two previous reviews.

Some three years ago, I reported on the "Remembering Coventry: Ghost Town Haunting #1" event at the Shopfront Theatre in Coventry (which included some excellent music related gems rescued from various archives), organised by Helen Wheatley.

Nearly a year later, I also told readers about a screening of the "Stories From The She Punks" film in Leamington: a documentary on pioneer female musicians from the punk era produced by Helen McCookerybook of the Chefs/Helen & the Horns and Gina Birch of the Raincoats.

Tonight, Helen Wheatley (whom I'm delighted to report is now Professor of Film and Television Studies since my last report) put together an evening at Coventry Cathedral as part of the Resonate Festival (of which she is Director) which included another chance to see this great film.

The focus was on pioneering women in music, with especial reference to the punk & 2 Tone movements and as such featured an initial discussion and Q & A with Pauline Black of The Selecter, Rhoda Dakar of The Bodysnatchers/Specials and Helen McCookerybook which Helen Wheatley led herself  as the planned chair Jennifer Otter-Bickerdike  had unfortunately had to isolate. Sign of the times….

What struck me about the quality of this part of the evening was how different it was to so many of the similar ones I've sat through (and in some cases endured). This one seemed quite short (or maybe I just wanted it to go on longer) but they packed a great deal in. Firstly it was uplifting how the ego of the interviewer did not intrude (as they often do) with succinct, to the point questions. Secondly, while the responses were clearly thought out, they also evaded the traps of simply telling us what we expected to hear and quite frankly thereby reinforcing increasingly stagnant mythologies. There was much humour, but also clear explanations of the issues faced by women involved in music especially in the 1970s era and reference to the broader lives and cultures they had to contend with. So much to do with 2 Tone and punk has been recycled ad nauseam but I was delighted on how much came out which was fresh & new to me: the general theme I guess of the whole event was that we were hearing stories both from the platform & on the films which had not been heard before and which had been swamped by those of male participants in the music concerned.  This evening sought to put this right as best it could & it certainly succeeded. Showbiz anecdotes were not in evidence: the nearest we got was Rhoda citing a phone call from Carl & Suggs of Madness inviting her to drop everything and pop round to help write songs. To Ibiza. Not the easiest option for people with other responsibilities and it worked well to illustrate the different pressures applying to male & female musicians. Equally, I guess the rather mainstream query from the floor to cite influences might have been expected to draw radical feminist credentials: instead we got pure honesty and the replies "Mick Jagger" (Pauline), "Bowie" (Rhoda) and "Linda Lewis" (Helen). Lazy audience expectations were thus confounded. Perhaps this very different sort of discussion is a gender issue itself… that's one to ponder over.

"Stories From The She Punks" followed the discussion and although I'd seen it before, screened in such a space & on a much larger screen, it had extra impact (I'd never heard the bass of "Oh Bondage Up Yours" have the resonance we enjoyed on this occasion). My comments on this excellent film (please do try to catch one of its special screenings if you can) stand from my previous review, though as always with such experiences, you pick up on bits you didn't notice as much before. As noted above, the film really does give voice to many people who simply have always been ignored by film makers putting together documentaries on punk (who virtually always concentrate on men) and Helen M in her introduction made the point of how delighted they all were simply to get the chance to tell something of their stories for the first time. Interviewees included Helen & Gina themselves, Palmolive & Viv Albertine from the Slits, Vivien Goldman,  Jane Woodgate & June Miles-Kingston from the Mo-Dettes, Ana da Silva from the Raincoats, Hester Smith & Rachel Lovell from Dolly Mixture, Lesley Woods & Jane Munro from the Au Pairs, Gaye Black (the Adverts),  Lucy O'Brien from the Catholic Girls, Karen Yarnell (the Gymslips),Trash (Ettes), Liz Naylor (the Gay Animals),  Enid Williams from Girlschool (the one real exception to the punk definition in the film)  & Shanne Bradley from the Nipple Erectors.  The film is a product of Helen's book "The Lost Women of Rock Music Female musicians of the Punk Era" which I thoroughly recommend if you want to explore these stories in greater depth.

The evening concluded with a showing of "Sisters with Transistors" (Lisa Rovner, 2020, 90 mins): the hitherto untold story of electronic music's female pioneers, including Clara Rockmore, Daphne Oram, Bebe Barron, Pauline Oliveros, Coventry's own Delia Derbyshire, Maryanne Amacher, Eliane Radigue, Suzanne Ciani, and Laurie Spiegel. Whereas the first film was composed of entirely contemporary interviews with no archive footage, this one reversed the polarity (which probably was essential given that it generally charted a much earlier timeline). Again, the voices generally have been lesser heard (and certainly most were revelations to me) and covered the global scene rather than the UK one alone.  I'd been waiting to see this film & am grateful I had the opportunity to do so now.

Credit not only to those already mentioned but to the rest of Helen's team on the night. A crucial aspect for me (and most of you I'm sure) is a sense of safety at events, without which I doubt I could derive any enjoyment whatsoever. They, plus the Cathedral team, had set things up excellently (the space made that easier) and so social distancing was observable & observed. They even managed to rustle up water for the audience when the advertised wet evening turned out to be a hot & dehydrating one instead. Thank you. My only regret was that subsequently I learned there were people in the audience I knew but had not spotted due to masks..

 

There is a companion event to this one on 8th August in the Cathedral ruins called "2 Tone and Rock Against Racism", which focuses on the rise of 2 Tone in the late seventies and early eighties and puts this in the context of the wider Rock Against Racism movement. It will feature screenings of "Rudies Come Back, Or the Rise and Rise of 2 Tone" (BBC2, 12/3/80, 40 mins), a documentary from the BBC archive about the scene and "White Riot" (2019, 84 mins) Rubika Shah's award-winning film charting Rock Against Racism. I've seen both & can highly recommend them. Guests include award winning author Daniel Rachel, Roddy Byers (The Specials), Mykaell Riley (Steel Pulse / White Riot contributor) and Jeff Perks (director of"Rudies Come Back….."). I have my ticket already.

If you like music documentaries, you might also look out for the Rock 'n' Docs shows at The Tin with CineCov: "Rock ‘n' Docs #1: Our Hobby is Depeche Mode (Posters Came from the Walls)" is on August 6th and "Rock ‘n' Docs #2: Sound it Out" on August 13th.

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Record Store Day 2021

Review

It is unfortunate that catching every artist on a multi musician event isn't always possible, but the short time I was able to be at the Record Store Day festivities at FarGo Village was a beneficial boost for me: hearing great music in the hot sun reminded me of glorious past times and made the experience that much sweeter than normal.

I regret not having the time to see much more than festival organiser & "Hot Music Live Presents" artist Sam McNulty open proceedings in his artistic guise as The Boy Who Invented Everything. Opening with a series of well received covers by artists such as, The Doors, Echo & the Bunnymen and James to warm things up, he was joined part way through by fellow HMLP musician Angelo Cardone to add filigree guitar parts and backing vocals to his original songs  which will soon appear on his ‘From the Land of the Broken Hearts' album and frankly these went down just as well as the non-originals with the audience soaking up the heat along with their RSD purchases.

I should have liked to stay for Angelo's own set as I'm sure that it would have been as excellent as every other one I've caught in the past, but sadly on this occasion it could not be.

Equally, from the short bit I heard of Rowan Evans & from Candid soundchecking, no doubt I missed great performances from both, but with live music starting to appear with greater frequency, I don't think I'll need wait too long: indeed I have a ticket for the reopening of The Empire in a few weeks which will include a Candid set.

Thanks too to Chris Field for the sound: the space was a good one for music but with all the mixture of space, canopies & buildings etc, getting the mix just right for each of quite different acts cannot have been easy.

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"What Goes in is What Goes Out" by Ian Todd

Review

The time is rapidly approaching (16th of July to be precise) when "What Goes in is What Goes Out", the sophomore single from his ‘Seven Signs of a Soul' album  (itself out on 6th August) by Ian Todd is released.

Following the really well received "Don't Forget To Breathe" from last month, it shares in some ways the theme of cognition but in this case moves from the idea of mindfulness to a rumination upon the processing of information & imagery and hence is concerned mainly with tracking down the roots of creative inspiration. To that end, we might well wonder whether Ian is carrying out this particular exercise on his own behalf initially & then sharing the results of his introspection with his audience.

"Immersive songs to soothe the soul" is his mission statement and this sort of contemplative experience is pretty central to what he is trying to enable with his music. To this end, he tries hard to distinguish his solo music from his work with say Shanghai Hostage where the accent is on provoking dancing and to not have it categorised as "pop". However, as my review for the earlier single pointed out, Ian has innate popular sensibilities which he cannot eradicate from his creation & these are present in "What Goes in is What Goes Out". Indeed when I first heard the introductory chord, I was struck by its similarity to "The Kids Are Alright". Admittedly it's just one chord & the rest of the song shares no great kinship with The Who, yet it's interesting how he still reaches out to grab our attention in a way which pulls us into the song.

Thankfully, once he's hooked us, he keeps us within it too. The song switches into a vibe not wholly unlike The Doors at their most laid back, with an incessant shuffling beat punctuated by an almost bewildering number of instrumental interventions: I'm guessing originating on guitars & various percussional items. The lyrics are a good match in terms of quality & this really is a song you need to play & replay in order to appreciate all the details and derive the full meaning of the words. It's a handy thing to be able to write a song which makes you want to go back and rerun it. Listen out too for the contributions of John Parker (double bass) and Kirk Hastings (saxophone) both of whom also played on the previous single & like Ian are "Hot Music Live Presents" alumni.

Please do not consider Ian's solo work as some sort of avant garde alternative to his more mainstream collaborative efforts: this is simply not true (though possibly "Hour Glass" might be of that ilk). If you enjoyed his "Citizens of Nowhere" on ‘Hot Music Live Presents Volume Three‘ then I think you'd be at that realisation already. However, although I said last time that "Don't Forget To Breathe" was "accessible and memorable", I feel that "What Goes in is What Goes Out" is even more so: there is no barriers that I can think of as to why this cannot gain appropriate & broad airplay nor to move on from there to capture some part of the public imagination. It makes you tap your toes & think at the same time.

Since we are still a fortnight away from release, I'm more aware of the music than all the accompanying visuals, but judging from the "Don't Forget To Breathe" experience, I'm anticipating similar input from the likes of Diana Stefanescu aka Dikira Art & Emilié Cotterill of Transluceo.

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Old and gold

"Money" by Abz Winter

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As her follow up to the popular "B.

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"My Phone" by Hannah Woof

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During the last sixteen bizarre months or so, coverage of Coventry & Warwickshire artists in these pages has taken on unusual patterns.

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Motofest 2021

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I'm much obliged to Rob Halligan who has been in touch with me to ask me to pass onto readers of "Hot Music Live" the details of Motofest 2021: ...

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"Break The Chains" by The Rising

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I hope you have been following the progression of singles released by The Rising from their upcoming ‘No Hope Without Love' EP?  ...

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"Bring Back the Feeling" by Danny Ansell

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The most recent occasion on which we reported on Danny Ansell and his music was back in April, with the release of his "Slice of Cake" single.

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Ellie Gowers at Kenilworth Arts Festival

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Strange and wonderful times: I find myself today writing my second live report inside a week.

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"Rain Again" by Ivy Ash

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And so here we are at the third single from the irrepressible Ivy Ash, namely "Rain Again" (which is released on 2nd July) though really ...

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Stone Bear at Leamington Canal Festival

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It seems almost unreal and a bit transgressive to find myself writing a live review after so many months of reviewing the recorded activities of ...

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"Mirtazapine" by Tigermask

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It has been a while since we were able to feature Tigermask in the magazine (and in the interim, his standalone track "Timeless" appeared on ‘Hot ...

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"Come By" by Taylor-Louise

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It's been quite a while since I had the pleasure of reviewing a Taylor-Louise release: in fact it was about eighteen months ago when the title ...

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"Too Long" by Contacts in the North

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You might perhaps have spotted that the track of the week from BBC Introducing in Coventry & Warwickshire  is the new single by Contacts in ...

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"Psalm 2" by Rob Halligan

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Although his spirituality informs & enriches virtually all his work, in April 2019 Rob Halligan released a very explicitly sacred collection of ...

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"Pray With Me" by Chasing Deer

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I have not had a chance to review a Chasing Deer release for you since "Scared" came out in December, so I'm pleased to do so now in reaction to ...

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"Wonderful Day" by King of the Alps

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In one of those interesting serendipities which real life offers us occasionally, not twenty four hours after reviewing the debut solo single by King ...

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"Always Be Coventry" by Avidfan

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If you do not yet know the name of Simon Ward as well as you might do, then you could do worse than check out the credits on the various ‘Hot Music ...

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"Totally Together" by Brothers From Another Mother featuring Kirsty Brewerton

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Fresh out today is the song "Totally Together" by Brothers From Another Mother featuring Kirsty Brewerton and recorded at 14 Records in Leamington.

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"Gloriana" by Paul Mccormack

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Today Paul Mccormack has a new release for us, "Gloriana", a follow up to "Thoughts" (which I advised you of last month) and which can be found at ...

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'Leamington LAMP Album Volume 1'

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I appreciate that I've introduced reviews before saying that I'm excited about them, but I'm afraid it's the truth: I review what ...

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'Hot Music Live Presents Volume Six'

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Today saw the release of "Hot Music Live Presents Volume Six", the follow up to the previous five albums in the series: another free download ...

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"Addiction" by Aaron Woodhouse

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I last reviewed Aaron Woodhouse back in March when he released "Fire In The Air" as a single: now, he has followed it up with "Addiction" which is ...

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"B.S." by Abz Winter

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Abz Winter has only gone and done it again hasn't she? I love the way that although her game has never needed raising (it's been at the top ...

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"Bruise You Left" by The Rising

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The 4th of June marks the release date of the second single from the upcoming 'No Hope Without Love' EP by The Rising, namely "Bruise You ...

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"Maybe With You" by The Boy Who Invented Everything

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It's with a great deal of pleasure that I write this particular review.

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"The Calm" by Dave Pepper

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The latest release from Dave Pepper is called "The Calm" and is now available for you too to enjoy via this link: https://davepepper1.

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"Don't Forget To Breathe" by Ian Todd

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Having reviewed "Hour Glass" (an hour long ambient piece ) by Ian Todd last summer, I am now pleased to say that I can return to his work again, this ...

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"Inflamed" by Dean MacDonald

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This is exciting: we have often told you about releases from & performances by one of the area's most respected & popular bands The ...

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"Pensacola" by Jack Blackman & Chessi O'Dowd

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Here's a slightly rhetorical question: what is better than a new release by one of the most respected & popular Coventry & Warwickshire ...

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"I Want Your Blue Sky" by Lemon Boy

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"I Want Your Blue Sky" , the next single by Lemon Boy (Luke Bates) is not in fact released until 26th May, but already, thanks to some advance ...

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"Faker" by Abz Winter

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It's actually been a year since we shared the news about "Jump" by Abz Winter with you, a period of time between releases which would have ...

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"Thoughts" by Paul Mccormack

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Although I have written about singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Paul Mccormack in the magazine before (in the context of a Merrymaker live ...

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