Musical Highlights of 2016

Below is my annual recollection of some music highlights of the year, for the good guys and gals at [sic] Magazine who introduce me to so much of it.

Although the twelve months of 2016 are likely to be remembered as much for who left us, as for what was left for us, (not to mention leave-ing) there were as always some great records, including Savages, Kiran Leonard, Ed Harcourt and Radiohead. Bowie‘s Blackstar – with the mystique surrounding the timing of its release – was a great record to start a year, and set the tone for tragedy-turn-triumph; the late Viola Beach were immortalised at Glastonbury, and also by achieving a number one album of their own (crucially, not a cash-in job), and there were countless events such as the ‘Glabstonbury’ all-day event I attended, which saw a host of bands and musicians generously coming together for a worthy cause. Here follow my ten highlights of the year. Continue reading


Interview – Austin Brown, Parquet Courts – UWS 261

Interviewing Austin Brown, guitarist and singer of the band Parquet Courts (who made my number 1 album of 2013), and Man United fan, for United We Stand, we had a good chat about becoming a fan, supporting United whilst on the road in the States, and the emergence of New York City in the MLS. The interview was printed in issue 261 of UWS. You can order print or digital issues here.

As well as talking about football, Brown also talked me through the new Parquet Courts record, Human Performance, the themes behind the songs, use of the mellotron instrument, and how they capture that Parquet Courts sound. The full interview is available on the (sic) Magazine website.

“There was this crossroads we came to where we wanted to spend more time making the record because we wanted to evolve our sound, and we wanted to take some time to get some perspective on our sound. Some perspective on our lives, and what’s going on, and ‘Who are we? What kind of music do we make? And what’s the next step for us?’”

Click here for the full interview.

Parquet Courts website

Parquet Courts performs at the Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park on Saturday October 5, 2013.  JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Parquet Courts performs at the Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park on Saturday October 5, 2013. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN


Album Review – The Earth: Keltic Voodoo Boogaloo

Review of ‘Keltic Voodoo Boogaloo’, the second album by The Earth, for (sic) Magazine. You can read the full review here. There is also a Soundcloud link to preview tracks online at the end of the review.


Cian Ciaran, the Super Furry Animals keyboard player, sent me a copy and invited me to review the album. Daffyd Ieuan, the SFA drummer who formed The Earth, also got in touch to provide some info on the album. Ciaran mixed record, and is credited with playing Keyboards too.

“When compiling an end-of-year list of 2013′s greatest albums, [sic] proclaimed that one positive of Super Furry Animals taking a hiatus is that ‘we get even more records from the various members.’ Since that article’s featured album, (They Are Nothing Without Us, the second solo work by keyboardist Cian Ciaran), 2014 has already seen worthy releases by singer Gruff Rhys (his fourth solo album, American Interior) and bassist Guto Pryce (the debut record with his Gulp band). And now, as if we have not been spoilt enough,The Earth, formed by SFA sticksman Dafydd Ieuan and former Catatoniasongwriter-and-guitarist Mark Roberts, release their second album, Keltic Voodoo Boogaloo…”

You can read the full review here.