Monday, 29 December 2014

Album Of The Year & 2014 Review

It's that time of year again and we're looking back over the 12 months of 2014. We've enjoyed a good year as we moved to hosting the show weekly on Phonic FM, which has meant more output than ever before.  And of course as well as bucketloads of quality tunes from the nineties there has been a steady stream of great new music from both established names and new artists alike.

We promoted our first ever gig (former Geneva singer, Andrew Montgomery) which was a fantastic night.  As well as Andrew I've been fortunate enough to attend gigs by a number of Britpop bands including Suede, Dodgy and former Bluetone Mark Morriss and the Gene re-issue launch party but the undoubted highlight for me was seeing Speedy perform live for the first time in 17 years as their debut album finally got its release.

It's also been a pleasure to interview so many people this year for the show, from new unsigned bands to the legend that is Sir Bernard Butler.  

These are just some of the people we had on the show in 2014:
I'm already drawing up the a list of potential names for 2015!

One of the bands I want to get onto the show is our New Band Of The Year... Superfood.  A fantastic new band with a sound that owes a clear debt to the nineties without sounding like a pastiche. Their debut album Don't Say That was released in October to rave reviews and they've been nominated for Best New Band at the NME awards (though they'll undoubtedly be more chuffed with getting the nod from us!)

And now to our Album Of The Year. Last year it was Suede's magnificiant comeback, Bloodsports but with none of Britpop's big names in the studio this year, what will take the honours?

Album Of The Year - 2014

1. Speedy - News From Nowhere

2. Manic Street Preachers - Futurology

3. Superfood - Don't Say That

4. Mark Morriss - A Flash Of Darkness

5. Andrew Montgomery - Ruled By Dreams

Yes,  perhaps no surprise this one given the fact that we played this album before anyone else and played a (very minor) part in helping to get it finally released.  A time capsule of classic 90s indie-pop from a band who were always on the edge of something big but never quite made that final step, News From Nowhere is the missing piece of your Britpop record collection.

Album Of The Year... Speedy - News From Nowhere

You can listen to our review show here:

Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Mark Morriss Interview

When Tim, landlord of the Rose and Crown in Calverleigh, sent me an email to say that Mark Morriss was coming to play in his skittle alley, I knew that we had to get along to interview him.

The Rose and Crown is a great country pub and had hosted a fantastic Dodgy gig in their beer garden back in the summer.  And now the former Bluetones frontman would be performing in the skittle alley.  What's next?  I'm half expecting that the first Ride reunion gig will be in their beer cellar!
Mark Morriss live in a skittle alley near you
I'd sort of met Mark a couple of times.  He was due to be a live guest on one of our very first shows until a monumental cock-up on my part put pay to that. Then we'd chatted briefly at a Shed Seven gig where he was supporting and he'd promised to get back on the show sometime. Plus he's an active Twitterer (@thequill) and will often comment when we play his songs. So we asked and he said yes and we had chat about his old stuff and his new stuff and you can listen to it all below.

The gig itself was a delight. Old songs and new songs, plus a couple of bizarre covers, lots of chat (I'm avoiding using the word banter) and a wonderfully engaging evening in a skittle alley in a pub in rural Devon.  He even played Life Without Friction for me, which he says he doesn't normally play live acoustic as it's a bit tricky, because I said it was my favourite song on his latest album.

I enjoyed the interview and the gig and the next time he is playing round your way I strongly suggest that you go and see him.  More info at