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

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

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 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

Thurs 7th April – Union Chapel, London

tickets and line-up

CD and ticket bundles are available from

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 for more information and for her upcoming UK tour dates!


Soft Toy Emergency: We just love these guys! They’re now signed to All Around The World Records and release a new version of Critical in late October. They made a huge impression at Reading and Leeds festivals playing on The BBC Introducing stage, blowing everyone away.

Following these performances, BBC Radio 1’s Grimmy and Huw Stephens both played a live track from Soft Toy Emergency’s set on their shows. No other artist from The BBC Introducing stage enjoyed this privilege! TV-wise, Critical has now also been added to the full playlist at Box TV, Chartshow Channel and NME Radar.

Honey Ryder’s new single is the title track from their debut album, Rising Up. It’s been given a new radio mix and some remixes that are making their presence felt in the dance charts.

Cosmo Jarvis: We think this guy is a genius! His debut album has just come in to the office. It’s called Humasyouhitch Sonofabitch and we know it’s going to be huge. He’s just supported Muse and has some London dates coming up.

The My Albatross single is going down exceptionally well at UK radio and we’re really pleased with how it’s been received. An Xfm Razor Cuts session will be broadcast on 13 September to coincide with the release of their new single.

Saving Aimee’s great new single, Fresh Since 88, is due out on 11 October and has a stunning video from the guys who worked on Guy Richies’ Rocknrolla. It’s been added to Kerrang TV, Chart show, Scuzz, Stars and The Box already. Saving Aimee’s album, We’re The Good Guys, is released on 26 October.

Alice Russell is a brand new signing to the Ask Me roster and we’re over the moon to be working with her. She’s playing KOKO in London on 1 October and releases her Pot Of Gold album remixes on 5 October. We guarantee you’ll be hearing lots more about Alice over the coming weeks!