The Roadie Cookbook: Toured There, Ate That is a new charity publication created by live music crew members with the mission of funding Mental Health First Aid training for every tour bus in the UK. 

Borne out of an idea by Production Manager Nick Gosling (Nile Rodgers & Chic) in April 2020 and curated with friends Production Coordinator Julie Cotton (Massive Attack), Production Assistant Athena Caramitsos, Backline Tech Rich House (Elbow) and Kel Murray (Stagehand, Music Support). The team set out to help their peers re-engage in the much-missed mealtime connection of crew catering by sharing recipes over social media and Zoom.

Crew photo credits: Jody Hartley
Julie Cotton and Nick Gosling at the Albert Hall, Manchester

When the devastation of Covid-19 hit, live music stopped overnight, and tour buses stood still. While almost every venue in the world closed, home kitchens became the new catering hub for unemployed music workers. As stories of memorable meals and secret ingredients in roadie comfort food took hold, so did the stark reality that isolation and mental ill-health was becoming commonplace within the forgotten touring business. The team met through the Manchester music scene and recognised first-hand how food can bring people together when touring the world. The idea of an industry cookbook was formed and soon turned into a fundraising initiative tasked with generating enough sales to secure crisis prevention training for those travelling on the road.

Carefully crafted by backstage professionals, the book showcases a collection of 50 recipes, anecdotes and advice for staying healthy on tour. Recipes include The Killer Sandwich (you’ll have to buy it to find out more), Stage Left Satay Bowls, Tour Bus Nachos, and an anonymous ‘Loose Cocktail.’ 

Contributors have worked with artists and events ranging from Dolly Parton to Bryan Ferry, Chemical Brothers, Kylie Minogue, Glastonbury, Linkin Park, Robbie Williams, Anastacia and Jay Z – the list goes on. They work in a variety of skilled roles; lighting designers, bus drivers, sound engineers, tour managers and video directors, to name a few. These are the people whose skills ensure the show goes on and, even when it can’t, still come together to get each other over the line. 

For each copy sold, 100% of profits will go towards charities Music Support and Stagehand to help continue funding and delivering Mental Health First Aid training and, importantly, normalise taking the Mental Health First Aid course.

One in four people in the UK will experience ill mental health in their lifetime. When we consider those working in high-pressure environments such as touring and live entertainment, those figures jump to a shocking three in four. In many cases, the pandemic has accelerated episodes in those who had never previously experienced problems. 

With the industry now acutely aware of its fragility, The Roadie Cookbook crew want to focus on helping each other in preparation for when tour buses hit the road again full time.  

Julie Cotton comments: “Although Covid-19 was devastating beyond anything we could have imagined, a positive to have come out of the situation was for the industry to have an unexpected opportunity to reset. 

“During the last 18 months, we’ve all had a chance to reflect and work together to create positive change by working towards a healthier and more sustainable future in touring. With thousands of people being used to a different routine now, the transition back to working on the road will bring about its own challenges, yet delivering concerts and the experiences they bring to people is a vital part of good mental health.” 

She continues: “By undertaking the Mental Health First Aid course, many of us have been able to learn how to better support those around us, and we want to extend that knowledge free of charge to our touring colleagues, funded through book sales.” 

The 124-page book’s aesthetic design has been handcrafted with art direction by Manchester-based designer Paul Hemmingfield, known for his promotional artwork with the city’s Warehouse Project and Freight Island venues. In addition, the foreword has been written by Skunk Anansie drummer and Music Support founder Mark Richardson, who eloquently shares his own experiences of the dark side of touring. 

To help future-proof the wellbeing of the UK’s live music industry, you can pre-order a paper copy of The Roadie Cookbook: Toured There, Ate That now. 

Carol Hodge – ‘Stopped Believing In You’ 27.11.2020

“A (modern) equivalent to the Tapestry-era Carole King” – Louder Than War

Play – Carol Hodge – ‘Stopped Believing In You’

British singer-songwriter Carol Hodge releases ‘Stopped Believing In You’ – the second release from her Savage Purge album. The track marks a slight departure from Carol’s usual piano-led style. Here she dips her toe into the Darkwave genre, with synths and EBM drums. The song will put a smile on your face, her soaring vocals will transport you back to the 80s. Put this on the ‘radio-friendly’ pile.  

Carol is a uniquely able keyboard player. She describes herself as a “seven-fingered pianist”. Carol was born with a rare condition called cleft type symbrachydactyly, which appears roughly every one million births.

“I only have two fingers on my left hand. Sometimes the absurdity of my life, touring the world playing keyboards in bands, really hits home! Having a disability definitely colours my life; it’s always been in my nature to defy expectation. To me, normal is boring. I wouldn’t change it for the world.” 

Carol was born with a rare condition called cleft type symbrachydactyly 

This hasn’t held her back as her impressive CV is testament to. Carol performs as a keyboardist/backing vocalist with various touring bands including Ryan Hamilton, Crass/Steve Ignorant, Ginger Wildheart and The Membranes.

‘Stopped Believing In You’ explores sobriety and reflects upon Carol’s experience of quitting alcohol in late 2018. It’s all very positive. Carol explains:

Over the years, my relationship with alcohol became more complex and dangerous. It’s very easy to slip into bad habits when you are a touring musician, with drug and alcohol problems treated as banal, just part and parcel of the music world. It got to the point when I realised I needed to make a decision: either slip into oblivion or take the harder route of getting clean and sober. I am thankful every day for choosing the latter. “

Keeping with the 80s theme the video pays homage to the iconic British music television show The Old Grey Whistle Test. It was made during the lockdown, shot at alternative music venue The Parish, in sunny Huddersfield where Carol is based. Using live footage, light trails, retro filters, and on-screen text give the nod to the aesthetic of OGWT. 

‘Stopped Believing In You’ pays homage to The Old Grey Whistle Test 

All links in one place here:

“If ever there was a case of “the one that got away” then here it is. Huge crossover-appeal on this one… ‘Savage Purge’ is, simply put, life-affirming.” – Devilsgate Music

“Carol shows she’s a musician who can switch genres at will, which makes for an eclectic listen.” – IPA Music

“Gathering her musical mojo, Carol has created something special in her vision for Savage Purge. (It) delivers the wholehearted proof… a profoundly wonderful album” – Planet Mosh

To Celebrate National Coming Out Day Roseanna Jones Releases ‘Breathe Out’

‘Breathe Out’ is the first solo release from Roseanna Jones and celebrates National Coming Out Day on Sunday 11 October. 

Roseanna is a singer/songwriter from East London. Best known for her work with UK duo Worry Dolls, who have performed alongside the likes of Robert Plant and Mumford & Sons. This solo single is a departure from her Worry Dolls Americana sound. A tender and beautiful coming-out song in several ways – not only does it mark a new chapter in Rosie’s career – but also establishes her as a queer artist, something she has not previously spoken about publicly. 

It seems more important now than ever, to live openly and honestly, and stand up for our human rights, Breathe Out is about the weightlessness I felt coming out – I tried to capture that feeling to help give others strength who maybe haven’t got there yet.” –  Roseanna


Released on National Coming Out Day, Sunday 11 Octoberthe music video features a group of LGBTQ+ people sharing their profoundly personal experiences of coming out. 

100% of the profits from ‘Breathe Out’ will go towards UK-based charity The Kaleidoscope Trust. The charity works to uphold the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in countries where they are discriminated against or marginalised due to their sexual orientation, gender identity and or gender expression. You can donate here: GoFundMe

Breathe Out was written by Roseanna Jones, Rebekah Powell & Zoe Nicol and was recorded virtually during the lockdown. It features Jo Dudderidge (Lissie, The Travelling Band) on piano – Jo also co-produced the track. Georgina Leach (Seasick Steve, Ethan Johns) plays strings, CJ Hillman is on pedal steel, Dan Wiebe on drums and Harry Fausing Smith on bass. All the parts were recorded remotely and safely around the UK. 

Social media and music links are here in one place:


(31.7.1963 – 27.7.2020)

Release date: Friday, October 2, 2020

Physical formats: Limited vinyl & CD will only be available from Piccadilly Records:

Lead track: Steal Me Easy

Tim’s Twitter Listening Party: Tim Burgess is featuring the album on Monday 5 October (9 pm UK time)

Digital/Streaming: on all platforms


  • True Faith (New Order)
  • I’m Not In Love (10CC)
  • Nothing You Can Do (Denise Johnson)
  • Evangeline (Cherry Ghost)
  • Sunshine After The Rain (Ellie Greenwich)
  • Well I Wonder (The Smiths)
  • Steal Me Easy (Denise Johnson / Fabien Lefrançois)


When the news broke on July 27 that Denise Johnson ~ one of Manchester’s most talented and cherished singers ~ had died, so much love poured out for her from across the world. 

Her stunning voice can be heard on many iconic singles and albums over the last 30 years. Denise is best known for the two albums she recorded and toured with Primal Scream in the 1990s, Screamadelica and Give Out But Don’t Give Up. Others include New Order, Johnny Marr, The Charlatans, Michael Hutchence, 808 State, Electronic, Bernard Butler, Ian Brown, The Waterboys and A Certain Ratio – whose album released later this month will also feature Denise.

Denise had been working on her debut album before she passed away, which means it will now be a posthumous release when it comes out on Friday, October 2. The album is acoustic, just Denise’s vocals and an acoustic guitar – apart from Steal Me Easy which has an organ – it was near completion, mastering and cover images and design were signed off. Denise’s delight at finally getting it to the point of release was immense. She was hugely proud of this album, and responses to her twitter comments about it show that this was going to be an incredibly well-received record.

album artwork

Working with Manchester-based guitarist Thomas ‘Twem’ Twemlow since 2013, Denise had found the perfect accompaniment for her astounding voice. Their arrangements of covers had already seen two single releases: 10CC‘s I’m Not In Love (2017) followed by New Order‘s True Faith in 2018. Both tracks earned great reviews and – most importantly to Denise – approval from both 10CC and New Order.

Twem first met Denise in 2003 and she sang on a couple of his tracks as he describes:

“Denise got back in touch a few years after we’d first worked together, asking if I’d play acoustic guitar for her. We set about doing our own version of her favourite songs from various Manchester acts. One of the first she asked me to play around with was True Faith: my first thought was “how the hell can I make an electronic track work on acoustic?” But, to be honest, when you’ve got someone like Denise singing, you can make anything work!”

Where Does It Go was recorded at Hope Mill Recording Studios in Ancoats, Manchester. Alongside Denise’s previous singles – and Well I Wonder by The Smiths – is Evangeline, a song by one of her favourite writers, Simon Aldred of Cherry Ghost. Another song Denise wanted to include on the album is her version of Ellie Greenwich‘s Sunshine After The Rain, a song Denise performed in her role as Mary, in the BBC’s incredible live staging of The Manchester Passion in 2006. Denise always cited this event as one of the highlights of her career, for the simple reason that she knew it had made her mother incredibly proud.

The album also features Nothing You Can Do, written by Denise, and Steal Me Easywhich was penned with former collaborator, the French guitarist Fabien Lefrançois

With the exception of Steal Me Easy, the recording of the album is completely live and features no studio tricks or computer wizardry. It was engineered by Twem and produced by Denise.

The desire to capture the essence of their live sound was borne from the joy of performing. Early sets at Denise’s friend Terry Christian‘s ‘Mad Manc Cabaret’ events led to one-off shows, appearances at several UK festivals, and a number of intimate acoustic performances at wider events such as Tim Burgess‘s ‘North by Northwich’Festival No 6 in 2018 saw a joyful mass singalong to their set finale, an acoustic version of Primal Scream’s Don’t Fight It Feel It, with Twem playing bass guitar for a change. And at Bluedot 2019 Denise and Twem opened with The Carpenters’ Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft – a fitting nod to a stage in the shadow of the Lovell Telescope at the Jodrell Bank Observatory.

Noel Gallagher in-conversation at Salford​ Lads’ Club

Photo Credit Sharon Latham

Noel Gallagher was back in Manchester on Friday (25 Oct 19) to take part in an ‘in conversation’ charity event at the iconic Salford Lads’ Club. Dr Kirsty Fairclough asked the questions and Noel didn’t disappoint with his answers, he had the audience in the palm of his hand with his funny responses. My iPhone footage is at the point when Noel talks at length about one of his musical heroes David Bowie: 

I’m a huge fan, and I’m always suspicious of anyone who is not a huge fan…he was a genius! One of my biggest regrets is that I met him once, and I was a bit too stupid to appreciate him. I went to see him at Wembley Arena and someone came up to me and said “David would like to see you and I was like, ‘course he f**ing would!’ But when I went to his dressing room, he was putting on make-up and I was a little bit too young and stupid to appreciate that I was there. I just said, ‘Have you got any beers in?’ if I could only meet him now and tell him what he means to me… but back then I was just shrugging my shoulders.

Kirsty went on to ask Noel about what he thought of Bowie’s final album, Blackstar. Noel replied,

I didn’t like it at much as The Next Day…I thought that was a masterpiece. When he won an award at The Brits, I presented it to Kate Moss because he wasn’t there. I’d been out all night and the next night I was sat on the couch and hungover to f**k and there was an email on my iPad. It just said ‘Thanks for the shout out. Keep writing. DB’ and I was like ‘who the f**k is DB’ but it dawned on me. I emailed back something like ‘Great f***ing night (I’m such a knobhead) and he emailed me back immediately. Then I shit it, thinking ‘I’m having a conversation with David Bowie!’ He is one of the all-time greats!

Dr Fairclough also read out selected questions from members of the audience, including ‘What’s the greatest party you’ve ever been to?’

My 50th was f*cking amazing. Madonna turned up, and she wasn’t even invited. Like a true Mancunian, I said: “who the f*ck invited you?

 ‘What’s your favourite thing about Manchester?’

 “Manchester City.

 ‘What’s your favourite B-side?

Half the world away. John Lewis made me a fortune for it, ironically I’ve spent a fortune in John Lewis.

The event was a huge success, raising £8.5K for Salford Lads’ Club. 

Skylark and the Scorpion – Weather the Storm & Hey Lover.





Weather The Storm by Skylark and the Scorpion is both a record of majestic folk beauty and a breathtaking cinematic experience from Skylark aka Petra Jean Phillipson (David Holmes/Martina Topley Bird/Marianne Faithful) and the Scorpion aka Nick J Webb (The Lea Shores/Nadine Shah).

The ambitious musical odyssey tells the tale of two haunted souls on their search for re-connection. It’s a conceptual project formed around the pairing of creator, producer, songwriter Nick and vocalist Petra. The album finds the duo assume the roles of two ill-fated lovers as they traverse through a turbulent story arc told through the album’s captivating song cycle. A real labour of love, the record arrives at the end of a journey almost as epic in reality as it is in its fiction.

To mark the album’s announcement, Skylark and the Scorpion are revealing the first two chapters of a 40-minute short film that accompanies the entire record. The film follows the emotional journey of the two lovers. Viewers will be able to tune into a progressive narrative that will gradually unfurl their destiny with a string of videos, each soundtracked by a song featured on the album with a new instalment set to be unveiled every week leading up to the full release in autumn.

You can watch the videos for ‘Hey Lover‘ – the first track for radio – and the film trailer for ‘Weather The Storm’ below.

Guided by Petra’s inimitable siren song, the lead single (and fittingly the first song Petra and Nick ever recorded together), ’Hey Lover’ flows through layers of languid orchestrations and rippling acoustic arpeggios, with a glorious opening salvo.

Weather the Storm film trailer. Director: Finlay Mackay / Producer and Editor: Nick J. Webb / Director of Photography: Peter Bathurst

Nick and Petra were joined by a talented array of hand-picked musicians and friends. Contributions from ambient music composer Roger Eno (brother of Brian Eno, who added piano and accordion to the mix) and orchestral arranger Nell Catchpole (on violin/viola), with additional contributions from Tim Harries (double bass), Jamie Spencer Smith (guitars), Fontane Liang (harp) and Nick Foot (percussion). Webb, who also plays the cornet, then completed the album by adding brass arrangements, before sending the results to celebrated producer Ben Hillier for mixing the elegant finished article we hear today.

Featured Artist on Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour BBC Radio 6 Music

Weather the Storm album launch show. Friday 4 October at:

St Matthias Church, Wordsworth Rd, London, N168DD. Tickets here

The Winachi Tribe – Time for Love – (Dave Tolan remix) – 4.12.2020

“The Winachi Tribe are a phenomenon… there’s no question they have IT!” (Heidi Cuda L.A. Times Entertainment) 

 A Daft Punk & Nile Rogers fusion of electronic dance club beats, Donna Summer New York disco chic and a dash of Giorgio Moroder synths. – A1 Music

The Winachi Tribe – Time for Love (Dave Tolan Remix) -official promo clip

The adrenaline-fuelled groove machine that is The Winachi Tribe release a remix of their debut single ‘Time For Love’ through A1M Records. Initially released five years ago, David Tolan (Primal Scream, Tears For Fears) has given it a thumping update ahead of the release of their debut album in early 2021. 

Lead singer, Liam Croker‘s voice is a gritty fusion of the eccentricity of George Clinton, delivered with Shaun Ryder attitude, tempered with a white northern soul funk-rock style, reminiscent of Sly Stone. ‘Time For Love’ is full of swagger and funk. Adding to their unique funkadelia sound is acclaimed percussionist Inder Goldfinger who is best known for his work with Ian Brown and Fun-Da-Mental with his neo-classical tribal rhythmic style.

A 5-year unstoppable journey has led The Winachi Tribe to the suburbs of Hollywood from the urban streets of Manchester through relentless hard work and a good slice of hustling. They’ve jet-set around the world, wowing at festivals and played with Grand Master FlashSugarhill Gang & Furious Five and The Happy Mondays. Along the way, they’ve received global radio support and clocked up hundreds of thousands of streams, picked up acclaimed U.S. songwriting awards and appeared in the L.A. Times

The band recently signed to Howie B‘s management company ‘BeeManaged’. Howie is better known as a record producer, musician and collaborator who has worked with artists including BjörkU2Tricky He said:

Working with Winachi is an absolute pleasure; their enthusiasm and commitment to their art/songs/funk/soul is infectious and inspiring.” 

Influences: Parliament-Funkadelic, Talking Heads, Massive Attack, Happy Mondays, Primal Scream.

Denise Johnson #7 on UK Record Store Chart

Denise Johnson’s posthumous debut album ‘Where Does It Go’ entered the UK Record Store Chart at number 7. Limited vinyl and CDs were available only from Manchester’s Piccadilly Records and sold out immediately. 

Digital/Streaming: on all platforms 

UK Record Store Chart, Top 20:

1 – (new) Working Men’s Club – Working Men’s Club
2 – (new) Sufjan Stevens – The Ascension
3 – Idles – Ultra Mono
4 – Oasis – (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
5 – (new) The Stone Roses – The Remixes
6 – (new) Melanie C – Melanie C
7 – (new) Denise Johnson – Where Does It Go
8 – Thurston Moore – By The Fire
9 – (new) Queen & Adam Lambert – Live Around The World
10 – (new) Lana Del Rey – Violet Bent Backwards Over The Grass
11 – (new) Roisin Murphy – Roisin Machine
12 – (new) Hunna – I’d Rather Die Than Let You In
13 – (new) Pan Amsterdam – Ha Chu
14 – Michael Kiwanuka – KIWANUKA
15 – (new) Stone Foundation – Is Love Enough
16 – (new) Roger Waters – Us + Them
17 – Deftones – Ohms
18 – New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies
19 – (new) Jonsi – Shiver
20 – (new) The Jaded Hearts Club – You’ve Always Been Here

The Official Charts Company launched the UK Record Store Chart in 2012 to reflect the last decade’s drive to support independent music outlets and the concurrent surge in vinyl sales. It is compiled from the best selling albums at 100 of Britain’s leading independent music shops.

Tribute to Denise Johnson by renowned street artist Akse appears just before the release of her posthumous debut album.

French-born Graffiti Artist, Akse has painted a tribute to Denise Johnson in Hulme, Manchester just before the release of her posthumous album ‘Where Does It Go’ on Friday 2 October.

Denise’s family said: “We’re totally stunned into silence. Really cannot find words for how brilliant this is. We’re genuinely lost for words in the nicest sense”.

BBC producer and close friend of Denise, Natalie-Eve Williams tweeted: “Our girl is on the streets where she grew up. Cannot thank you enough @Akse_P19 for your kindness and generosity”.

Akse is a French-born Graffiti Artist of Vietnamese heritage, based in Manchester since 1997. Akse started painting in 1992 and is a member of the P19 Graffiti Crew. Over the last few years, Akse has focused on freehand High-Definition HD photo-realism graffiti portraits. His work around Manchester always commands people’s attention and often reflects the social, political and cultural mood of the city. His highly acclaimed work is featured in other cities including Liverpool and London.

James Holt – Little Green Light

Label: 63 Steps Records

Impact date: 27 September 2019

ISRC: UK9HH1900020

‘Little Green Light’ by James Holt is the followup to ‘Come Out to Play’ and continues in a similar vein while exploring new sounds and drawing from different influences.

It’s probably the most upbeat track I’ve released so far,” says singer/songwriter. “It’s a hybrid of sorts, fusing elements of disco, Latin American rhythms, and Johnny Marr jangly guitar lines, all with hints of The Beatles throughout.

James provides lead vocals, backing vocals and plays all instruments apart from drums and saxophone on ‘Little Green Light’ and has continued to use the production skills of Jim Spencer (Johnny Marr, The Charlatans) that has proved successful on his previous single releases.

Describing the lyrical themes James said, “Lyrically, it explores the fading glow of the American Dream from an outsider perspective, a central theme in The Great Gatsby (symbolised by a green light at the end of a dock). It traces the early-American ideals of freedom of opportunity, which encouraged many to emigrate there in the early 20th century, to the fulfilled dream of the moon landing (the event celebrates its 50th anniversary this year).”

James plays headline shows at the Deaf Institute, Manchester on Friday 4 October and Hope & Anchor, London (Islington) on Thursday 17 October.