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Entries in Radiohead (3)

Friday
Aug102012

Bellowhead return with 'Broadside'. Out 15 October on Navigator / Proper

Album release: Broadside by Bellowhead
Release date: 15 October 2012
Label: Navigator Records via Proper Records 
Listenhttp://www.bellowhead.co.uk/ 

Bigger, bolder, brassier and more brazen than ever, Bellowhead blaze back with their mighty new album, Broadside.

While all things Bellowhead tend to be an event, Broadside is a positive spectacular, taking some of the wildest, most joyous and iconic songs in the richly colourful canon of the folk song tradition…and turning them upside down and inside out with their unique mix of drama and theatre, instrumental virtuosity, verve, humour and blind cheek that has seen them spearhead the new folk boom. 

Their third album Hedonism was the highest selling independently-released traditional folk album of all time, yet the new one, Broadside (a title that rather cunningly melds an early form of printed song sharing with an appropriately nautical reference to firepower) is set to eclipse it with its thrilling arrangements and non-stop party spirit.

Like Hedonism, Broadside is produced by the great John Leckie, who has previously done wonderful things with The Stone Roses and Radiohead; he’s now effectively captured all the explosiveness that has established Bellowhead’s undisputed reputation as one of the planet’s most exciting live bands and replicated it in the studio. In this case that studio is Rockfield, where Freddie Mercury once held court. Indeed, at one point the massed vocals even evoke Bohemian Rhapsody and Freddie would surely have identified with the electrifying dynamism and sense of fun conjured up by this very special band. 

A couple of the tracks are based on songs that initially found common currency in the form of those printed broadsides – the gruesome romp Black Beetle Pies for one and the spooky ballad The Wife Of Usher’s Well (all death, ghosts and “earthly flesh and blood”) for another.

Weirdness also abounds with Betsy Baker, a vigorous tale of unrequited love, while some of the most venerated songs of the folk revival – Northumbrian mining song Byker Hill, the Copper Family classic Thousands Or More, the rocking sea shanty Go My Way and The Old Dun Cow - the knockabout tale of being trapped inside a burning pub – are revived in startling ways. They may be familiar, but they’ve never sounded like this before. There’s even an irresistibly bonkers take on Lillibulero, a satirical song set to a tune attributed to Henry Purcell, on which the band flex their considerable muscles and gleefully explore their seemingly bottomless box of magic tricks, emerging with storming vocals, blitzing percussion, rampaging strings and mad, bad brass. 

Broadside, their fourth album, writes another extraordinary chapter in the story of Bellowhead, which began in 2004 when a disparate group of characters who initially knew one another from informal pub sessions thought it might be a good wheeze to pool their widely varied backgrounds, influences and talents and form a big band… just to see what happened. Even they couldn’t have imagined the results as their funny little enterprise -incorporating top-notch jazz, world, folk and classical musicians and a swathe of brass, strings, squeezebox, percussion and anything else that seemed like a good idea at the time - swiftly expanded into a gung-ho 11-piece line-up. Four albums, a glut of awards, sell-out tours and a long trail of thunderous festival appearances down the line, they’ve transported folk music into hitherto unknown territory, introducing a whole new audience to it with them. 

“The greatest live act in Britain,” says BBC Radio 2’s Simon Mayo. “One of the best live bands in the UK…or anywhere,” says Jeremy Vine. And the hordes of dancing fans grinning and singing along and treating every gig as a party clearly agree.

That party gains even more momentum with Broadside for, while some of the songs may appear graphic and brutal, this is above all, an album driven by a lust for life. And that’s a subject close to the heart of Bellowhead.

Bellowhead UK Tour

The album will be accompanied by the band's biggest ever UK tour (6th - 24th Nov). The 19 dates include Bellowhead's first show at Roundhouse, Camden's world-renowned venue (7th Nov). For tour dates, see the live section of the Bellowhead website.

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Friday
Jul152011

Sunday Recovery: Coma

EP release: Coma
Label: Mazepa Records
Release date: October 3 2011

Italian band Sunday Recovery formed in 2009 when main composer Gianluca Cucchiara began collaborating with singer Mirko Petrini and guitar player Fabio Staffieri. The latter duo were later joined by drummer Fabio Testaferrata and bass player Emanuele Nazzaro. Once a tight unit, the quartet wasted no time in recording their debut album, and the epic, ambitious rock of Coma is the result.

Musically, the band pay close attention to songcraft whilst pushing boundaries with progressive overtones, whilst lyrically the album deals with everyday issues such as love, sex, politics and the environment. Mirko, Fabio and Tancredi Gaetani worked together with lyricist Andrew James Whelan to create meaningful, empathetic lyrics that would resonate outside of their native Italy in order for their intended emotion and mood to be shared and enhanced. Whelan is the author of four tracks on the CD.

The band secured Porcupine Tree bass player Colin Edwin, a fan since their inception, who contributed to the project by playing bass on the tracks In Front of You and Side C. The band wanted to create an international feel to their debut album, which led them to mix the CD at Sphere Studios in London.

Taking influence from the likes of Colin Edwin’s afformentioned Porcupine Tree, King Crimson and the melodic soundscapes of Muse and The Bends-era Radiohead, Sunday Recovery more than meld a sound of their own. Undeniably a brew that contains as much dark as it ever did light, the band are proving experts in the field of hard hitting rock music. Already a leading name in Italy, they are set to break further waves elsewhere when Coma is released to the rest of Europe in September.

The band have announced the following live dates in London around release date:

24 September – The Purple Turtle
5 October – The Underworld
12 November – The Barfly

For more information please contact James Parrish on 01223 505328 or email james@prescriptionpr.co.uk

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Friday
May062011

Sarah Jarosz: ‘Follow Me Down’ 

Album: Follow Me Down 
Release date: May 17 2011
Label: Sugar Hill Records

Sarah Jarosz, the artist that Word Magazine describes as a ‘wonder kid’, will release her sophomore album Follow Me Down through Sugar Hill Records.

Sarah’s approach to acoustic music is expansive and vital; she sees no need to choose between old-timey and modern material; between picking, singing and writing; between experimenting and reviving tradition. She does all of it, and pushes it all further, on her new album. 

“I definitely could have just made a record that was similar to the last one—pretty rootsy,” reflects Jarosz. “That would have been a representation of a side of me. But I have all these new sounds and ideas and I just didn’t want to hold back on this one.” 

A lot has changed in the two years since the world outside the festival-going bluegrass and old-time music communities — home to many long time Jarosz fans — was introduced to the young singer/songwriter/instrumentalist.

Her music caught on quickly with audiences across the age spectrum. There have been Grammy and Americana Music Award nominations, a trio of Austin Music Awards, invitations to perform on “Austin City Limits” and “A Prairie Home Companion” and appearances at Bonnaroo, Newport and Telluride — and lots of digital downloading, a rarity for a roots act. 

The most important difference is that Jarosz cannot be called a kid anymore. She’ll turn twenty within a week of Follow’s release. Instead of going straight to work as a full-time musician, as many before her have done, she left her hometown of Wimberley, TX — 30 miles outside of Austin — and headed to Boston’s New England Conservatory to study contemporary improvisation on an elite scholarship. 

“I wanted something to push me out of my comfort zone,” Jarosz says. “I wanted to be playing things that I might not normally play.” And she has had plenty of opportunities to do just that, from Jewish and world music ensembles at school to wildly unpredictable live jams with Punch Brothers and Mumford & Sons. That keen, open-minded attitude speaks volumes about her maturity. 

Like her first album, Jarosz co-produced Follow Me Down with Gary Paczosa (Alison Krauss, John Prine, Chris Thile). The grooves are more adventurous, for starters on the first single “Come Around”.  She comments, “I know for some purists out there, it’s like, ‘Why do you have to have drums?’ For me, it’s like, ‘Why not?’” And she has explored alternative ways of using her already-strong voice (see her Radiohead cover The Tourist and Radiohead-inspired original My Muse; Bob Dylan’s folk hymn Ring Them Bells is the album’s other cover). 

There’s no missing the breadth in Jarosz’s songwriting. She is just as comfortable penning the tragic old-timey Annabelle Lee - an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s final poem, or a modernized Appalachian ode to secret love like Run Away as she is cultivating contemporary singer-songwriter introspection in a song like Here Nor ThereFollow Me Down is an album highly anticipated by many. 

For more details please contact James Parrish at Prescription PR on 07758216559 or email james@prescriptionpr.co.uk

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