DENISE JOHNSON – WHERE DOES IT GO

(31.7.1963 – 27.7.2020)

Release date: Friday, October 2, 2020

Physical formats: Limited vinyl & CD will only be available from Piccadilly Records: https://www.piccadillyrecords.com/counter/product.php?pid=134933

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  https://cdbaby.lnk.to/WhereDoesItGo

Tracklisting:

  • 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)


DENISE JOHNSON – WHERE DOES IT GO

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.

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

‘FEATURED ARTIST’ ON GUY GARVEY’S FINEST HOUR (01.09.19)

OUT 4 OCTOBER 2019, VIA SKINNY DOG RECORDS

 DEBUT SINGLE ‘HEY LOVER’ 

ALBUM LAUNCH SHOW – FRIDAY 4 OCTOBER Tickets here

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


City Reign’s ‘Anchor’ played on Steve Lamacq’s BBC 6 Music show

ImageNew music champion Steve Lamacq lent his support again to Manchester’s  City Reign by closing his 6 Music show (28th Jan ’13) with ‘Anchor’ from their soon-to-be-released debut album ‘Another Step’. You can hear the clip of them on air below!

Hear their new single ‘Making Plans’ here  – it is released on Car Boot Records on February 25th.

 

Blind Atlas – Brother Moon Animation

Impact Date: 13th June 2012

Label: Fallen Swine

Manchester’s own Anglo-American band Blind Atlas will release their debut album Kodiak Bear on the 18th June 2012.

Their live session for ‘WhisperingBob Harris’s BBC Radio 2 show was broadcast on 8th July.

Brother Moon will be the lead radio track from their debut album with another beautiful animation from collaborators Volkerfirma who have also animated a video for the title track Kodiak Bear. The animation will be released on 13th June a week before their album launch party. The song was engineered by both the Earlies and Blind Atlas themselves, with the Earlies again producing the track adding the haunting phaser and reverb to the vocals. The track also features Christian Madden of The Earlies on the Hammond Organ. 

PJ Harvey wins the 2011 Barclaycard Mercury Prize

PJ Harvey was announced on Tuesday, 6th September as the winner of the 2011 Barclaycard Mercury Prize for Album of the Year.   The announcement was made by musician and broadcaster Jools Holland at the Awards Show at London’s Grosvenor House.

Simon Frith, Chair of Judges commented, “In a very fine year for British music, PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake is a record off exceptional depth, passion and imagination: a musical meditation on Englishness that is gripping and profound ”.

Polly Harvey said of her win.  “Thanks for the recognition of my work on this album. It took a long time to write. I wanted to write something that was meaningful, not just for myself but for other people – something that would last.  I’m delighted and happy to have won the Prize tonight because I put so much into this album.  It’s wonderful to have this recognized and to have the opportunity to reach out to a wider audience”.

The Prize recognises and celebrates music in the UK and has a reputation for highlighting a wide range of bands and artists.  The shortlist of 12 ‘Albums of the Year’ is chosen by an independent judging panel, which includes musicians, producers, presenters and music journalists.  The panel’s decision is based solely on the music on the albums and all genres of music are treated equally.

Ten – Various Various (inc Elbow, Doves, Liam Frost, Cherry Ghost

Release Date: 4th April 2011

makonline.org

Twitter: @McrAidKosovo
Facebook: Manchester Aid to Kosovo

Album launch gigs: Manchester – 4 April 2011 at Deaf Institute, London – 7th April 2011 at Union Chapel

“We have always been proud to be associated with MAK (Music Aid to Kosovo). Aside from the great work they do in Kosovo, they have brought together Manchester’s music community on many occasions. MAK events are always a document of the times”. – Guy Garvey, Elbow

Early in 2001, the release of Manchester Aid to Kosovo‘s compilation, ‘Cohesion’, gave many music fans outside of this rainy Northern city the first chance to hear the then little known group Elbow. The band donated the sublime ‘Scattered Black and Whites’, whilst other emerging Manchester legends, Doves gave the track ‘Valley’. In the intervening years both bands plus a host of other notable names included on that first album at the start of their careers (such as I Am Kloot, Badly Drawn Boy, Mr Scruff) have supported MAK in helping recovery from ethnic cleansing in the Balkans. Check out makonline.org for more information about the work of the charity.

10 years on and follow up compilation ‘ten‘ sees the now familiar voices of Guy Garvey and Jimi Goodwin surrounded by a new group of emerging Manchester artists. This 18 track album, curated by The Travelling Band‘s Jo Dudderidge, demonstrates how the poetic grandeur from the likes of Garvey, Goodwin, Frost et al has influenced a u-turn in the city’s musical output. Where the grey, overcoat of ‘dancemiserabilism’ h as been cast aside, not to reveal a post-Oasis hangover, but in fact a deep, warmly humorous and slyly experimental slew of artists intent on reclaiming the Manchester music scene for themselves.From the skittering, heart stopping afro-folk of Josephine Oniyama’s ‘Fun In The Dark’ through to the gorgeous slow-core balladry of The Travelling Band’s ‘Hindsight’, ‘ten’ is littered with countless gems, each a gateway to understanding how Manchester found a new voice for itself in the late 00’s.

Manchester Music has funded much of the work of MAK (approximately a third of its total income) enabling MAK to create the 22-acre Manchester Peace Park in N.E Kosovo at the request of children medically evacuated to Manchester. One of these children, Jehona Bogujevci, who survived the massacre of her family, went on to study graphics in Manchester and the artwork for ‘ten’ is Jehona’s first commission since her graduation.
MAK is involved in art, education, ecology, sport and human rights, as well as the Peace Park and music projects. The new republic of Kosovo remains the poorest country in Europe, and its young people lack the freedom to travel. So in 2009 ‘The Travelling Band’ became one of the first British bands to perform in Kosovo, playing at the Peace Park, in theatres, cafes, on the streets and even on horse drawn wagons, with the aim to inspire. Kosovo musicians around them to get out, go public and make it happen.

It’s hoped the album will both facilitate more projects and encourage creativity.  MAK has proved that linking recovery and creativity creates strength, opportunity and of course, great music.

Check out Elbow‘s Some Riot (Live at Abbey Road), which appears on ‘ten‘ here:

To mark the release of ‘ten’, there are launch events in Manchester and London featuring, MAK Patron Badly Drawn Boy, Liam Frost and many other artists featured on the album:

Mon 4th April – Deaf Institute, Manchester

tickets and line-up http://bit.ly/dSxCo6

Thurs 7th April – Union Chapel, London

tickets and line-up http://bit.ly/en8fRq

CD and ticket bundles are available from http://www.makonline.org/ten

Cosmo Jarvis – Cosmo Jarvis

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Out Now!

“…West Country Jamie T or Eminem…” Q Magazine

 

 

“Cosmo Jarvis has made an album of teenage angst and the like and it’s perfectly adequate. But he has a new song called ‘Gay Pirates’ which hints at a deeper talent. It’s vivid, violent and the most tragically moving love song we’ve heard all year….evidence we might have a miniature Tom Waits on our hands ”

Dan Martin, NME Magazine Sept ‘09

“His debut album is a crammed double album of teenage angst, desire and social comment. It’s a bold intriguing mess that suggests he has an exciting future”

Neil McCormick, Daily Telegraph Nov ‘09

“Inarguably gifted he makes films as well as writing, playing and brilliantly engineering his inventive music. A fab new talent with imagination overload.”

James McNair, MOJO, Nov ‘09

“A man who believes in letting everything out. His debut album comes across as a daffy West Country Jamie T or Eminem

Ian Harrison, Q, Nov ‘09

“Jarvis has the potential to be a future Springsteen. Certainly his songs would do the young Boss proud. One of the best debuts of the year and a force to watch in the years ahead

Daily Mirror, Oct 30th ‘09

“A veritable one man band his toe tapping and foot stomping tales of love and lust slot in well with the modern troubadours such as Jamie T and Frank Turner. His confidence reigns on this accomplished double album ”

AOL Music online Oct ‘09

“It’s a completely extraordinary record – it’s homemade, all by himself. He shot a video himself for a total cost of  £125 which looks like a really really great  cinematic black and white movie”

Tom Robinson BBC 6 Music


Cosmo Jarvis

Championed by the undeniably influential Zane Lowe (Radio 1), Cosmo’s self-titled debut album is almost guaranteed to make waves. This young, new, self-reliant artist doesn’t believe in conformity, cop-outs or half measures. With so many ideas, musical styles and inspiration pumping through his 19-year old imagination it is little wonder that his eponymous album was going to be anything other than an unconventional affair. The two disc album delves into every corner of the teenage mind, from upbeat, poppier tracks such as Jessica Alba’s Number, She’s Got You  and Crazy Screwed Up Lady to the darker, more sinister Mummy’s Been Drinking and Problems. Utilising everything from recorders to banjos, Cosmo Jarvis proves beyond reasonable doubt that he is the musical troubadour we always suspected he was!

Cosmo is also a film-maker, and contributes regularly to Babelgum and YouTube. Check out his videos for ‘She’s got You’, which was his first single and ‘Problems’ (see post below), from his current single.

 

Alice Russell – Let Us Be Loving video


 

The video for Alice’s forthcoming single ‘Let Us Be Loving’ has finally seen the light of day. And we’re glad that it did! Directed by Brighton-based photographer and film-maker Steve Glashier (who has previously created music promos for the likes of Fatboy Slim, Juliette and the Licks and The Rakes), the video was shot entirely with a Canon 5D mkII (for those photography buffs amongst you).

You can also see Alice’s stunning cover of Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’ on Canal + TV here

Alice embarks on a short UK tour (once she returns from the European tour of course) during November. Check out her MySpace for details.

And as if that weren’t enough, Mr Scruff’s remix of Alice’s Got the Hunger? (available on the Pot Of Gold Remixes album) will be iTunes Single of the Week from 10th November. Let Us Be Loving and Got the Hunger? (Mr Scruff Remix) will both be available on iTunes to download for FREE, and you can still download the other remixes from the album for just 79p each.

Alice Russell - Pot of GoldAlice Russell - Pot of Gold RemixesMr Scruff

Saving Aimee – We’re the Good Guys

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 Release date:

26th October 09

Saving Aimee - We're the Good Guys

Hot on the heels of the single Fresh Since 88, Saving Aimee’s hotly anticipated debut album We’re the Good Guys is due to see the light of day late in October.  With a string of UK live shows in the run up to the release date (including some high profile slots supporting Fightstar and the much talked about Go Audio), check out the band’s website or their MySpace for details.

Alice Russell – Pot of Gold Remixes

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 Release date:

5th October 09

Alice Russell - Pot of Gold RemixesAlice’s big soul voice is matched in scale by an enviable soul pedigree as she names Roy AyresThe Roots, Massive Attack, Femi KutiLonnie Liston SmithDe La SoulQuantic and The Quantic Soul Orchestra among her collaborators past and present. Pot of Gold Remixes boasts the likes of Mr Scruff and DJ Vadim reworking  tracks from her acclaimed debut album. She’s been garnering some excellent reviews of late, not least in this month’s Blues and Soul Magazine. You can also check out alicerussell.com for more information and for her upcoming UK tour dates!