Thursday, 12 July 2018

Michael's Mini Post #6 - Delayed Return.

Ahh erm. Yea. Not coming home just yet... Anyway that's my input on football for 4 years.

On to the task at hand, the real reason we are here. So what's happened in the 5 days since my last post?

Well a number 1 challenge has been laid to get pop punk legends Green Day to number 1 with American Idiot... And I doubt Frank Skinner will remain top for much longer, so will we see this Music protest to the presidential visit take off?
For anyone interested it's here:
https://open.spotify.com/track/6nTiIhLmQ3FWhvrGafw2zj?si=K6ht0NE-R_WQzlEXS28ZIQ


This week I've also been mixing up my playlist. Which is something I do very often, but when it comes to here I tend to keep all things Guitar and Drums based. Today I'm going to drop a playlist of a difference - Dance, Deep House, Trance & more... yea we're going all things Electronic!

We have some new, some old, some classics, some remixes and (in blog style) some upcoming artists!
Featuring: Gala, Florence & Calvin, Storm Queen, Marc Kinchen, Oliver Helden, Maya Jane Coles, Becky Hill, M-22, Felix Cartel and N.A.N.C.Y

These are some names you know some you might not, if you only listen to one track check out N.A.N.C.Y. She's got a handful of tracks and always dropping some live beats on Facebook & Instagram  as well as SoundCloud. Very talented and having seen her progressing over the last 10 years from residentials across the UK & Ireland to Closing major Festivals & massive gigs over in Ibiza, I can definitely recommend!















In other news : 

On the Synthpop front Years&Years released their 2nd album Palo Santo. Which is pretty decent, certainly a few good tracks on their which they haven't released as singles: All For You, Karma and Preacher to name a few.

On the Indie/Pop front: The Hunna release their 2nd Album Dare tomorrow. Their singles so far have been 50/50 some sounds a little too similar to last album see Summer/Brother. And Flicking Your Hair sounds a little sell out see Flicking Ur hair - Far too One Direction! However some of their tracks sound decent and hold that Hunna love we got from 100! 
Hope Dare holds more of the latter, especially since Warner have plugged it so much for 6months.

Finally - The Killers play Bolton Stadium this week and we're going :D. More on that over the weekend.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Foxon's Thoughts #4 - It's Coming Home

We've been rather quiet at this blog as of late. A mixture of amazing weather, hard work and football every single day, is my personal excuse. I've not found the time (or the need) to put pen to paper, or rather, thumb to phone screen lately.

I've still been listening to music though, lots of music. The sun does something to music. The sun makes punk rock faster, it makes metal heavier, it makes music more fun. Obviously it doesn't work for everything, I couldn't imagine listening to 50 Cent’s ‘In Da Club’ while sat in the garden, or ‘Mr Writer’ by Stereophonics isn't exactly BBQ music. Great tunes though.

Let's talk Spotify. Isn't Spotify brilliant? You want summer songs? Just type ‘Summer’ into Spotify and you will find endless playlists with Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, Sum 41, and Bruno Mars. My personal favourite summertime song is at the bottom of this post, and it's not up for debate, it's objectively the best summer song of all time, you will agree, and if you don't, you're stupid, wrong, and probably ugly!

On the subject of Spotify, and I realise I am just rambling on by now, have you ever had a school crush? A boy or girl that you fancied? Then you get on Facebook years later and have a little look for them. They are rarely how you remember. They are either absolutely stunning and living a life of pure glee, or they are a mess, and when you dig deeper, you realise they were always a mess, you just had bad taste. Well, Spotify lets us do that with records.
I recently gave it a go. I listened, for the first time in 10 or something years to ‘Californication’ by the Red Hot Chili Peppers in its entirety. I know you're probably thinking “Why has it taken this long for you to listen to it?”, and my answer is, I don't think it's Chili’s best album, probably not even in the top 3.


‘Californication’ came out at the right time for me, I was 15, music was the most important thing in my life. I was also hooked on awesome 90’s sci-fi films, and I had a crush on almost every single female on the planet. My hormones were a bit crazy and I liked a lot of things I probably shouldn't. So this listen to Californication was me searching through the Facebook profile of a girl I fancied, to see if she is still fit.

She is gorgeous! Californication is a wonderful album. A strange change in shape for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, they stopped rocking and started to roll. This is a chilled out, funky album, with a set of lyrics as deep as the North Pacific. It almost doesn't sound like a Chilis album, it's something else, maybe that's why I didn't want to like it. Personal highlights are ‘Parallel Universe’ and ‘I Like Dirt’. The album was the comeback for guitarist John Frusciante, and it sort of reignited the bands fire after the drug-fuelled shit-fest that was ‘One Hot Minute’, and it kicked off the bands later years, preceding their masterpiece ‘By The Way’. But 15 year old me didn't care about this. 15 year old me cared about these funky guys making catchy, soppy and almost spiritual music. 15 year old me had the right idea. It's not always about the bigger picture. If you like it, like it! It's a summery album, and it's fantastic.

Of course, there is always a flip side. The girl you fancied in school who, looking back, wasn't all that! You think about her and smile, but after a bit of research, she is a hot mess. In this case it's ‘The Gift Of Game’ by Crazy Town. Wow! I loved this album back in 9T9. I remembered that ‘Butterfly’ was a nice, summery song. It's shite, the whole album is shite. What was I thinking? ‘Revolving Door’ is degrading, its childish, it's disgusting. I didn't care when I was 15, she was a skank, and I fancied the pants off her.


Of course, I don't go through Facebook, stalking past flames. I don't even have Facebook. I just wanted to write a funny blog. I've grown from that 15 year old, I've matured, I accept people, I'm not shallow, and I take nothing at face value. However, that 15 year old loved music for what it was, never feeling the need to dig deeper, read between the lines or get involved in the politics. In that respect, that 15 year old was more grown up than this 34 year old.

Oh, and the best summer song ever?
Len - Steal My Sunshine
Told you you'd agree!

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Michael's mini post #5 - MxPx - Let's Ride & BST2018

It's been a few weeks since the last post. As usual life takes lead, on Job hunt and then Interview's / Presentations became life.

Now I'm back, new job in tow, ready to party. This week is ending with a smashing line up over at BST2018 in London: Pale Waves, Goldfrapp, Editors, Interpol & The Cure.
I'm looking forward to Interpol's latest single The Rover live! More from BST next week.

On the topic of 'coming back', MxPx did a Kickstarter a few months back and now they return with their 10th album. I donated, obviously, this is MxPx - I just hope they do Manchester UK on tour!

They release their first single - Let's Ride, and it's fucking awesome.

Check it out here:


Lyrics:

About the time that I turned 14
I got a job doing landscaping
Those days were long and my old boss was mean
About the time that I turned 16
I got a car and no place to be
I’d fill up the tank and drive out to the sea

The Rockies ain’t too far from here if we drive all night
The cold air will do you well in the mountain morning light

So let’s ride
Let’s ride on through the rain
Come on and take me anywhere that you want to be
So let’s ride

By the time that I turned 19
I’d seen so much and I was still green
It’s taken me a time or two
To learn the things I watch you do for me
There I was at 29
I can’t believe I’m still alive
Though it was never easy, yeah
You and me were born to survive

The Rockies ain’t too far from here if we drive all night
The cold air will do you well in the mountain morning light

So let’s ride
That was my escape
A way to change the tape
That was playing, that was playing in my head

The Rockies ain’t too far from here if we drive all night
The cold air will do you well in the mountain morning light

So let’s ride
Let’s ride on through the rain
Come on and take me anywhere that you want to be
Let’s ride, let’s ride
Let’s follow the skyline
And when we make it to the other side
We’ll find all the bluest skies



Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Time to digest INTERPOL'S - THE ROVER ... Michael's (not so) Mini Post #4

As we disembark the day colloquially known as 'Hump Day' I'm left marginally recovering from the weekend, on a train, finally absorbing some much needed Music Therapy to help settle my thoughts.

It's been a while since Interpol released their eagerly awaited single The Rover, announced an Album tour as well as the track names of their 6th studio album Marauder.

It's taken me a little time to really digest The Rover. Having taken themselves away from a post-production outfit, and focusing more on getting it 100% in 1 take on good old fashioned Magnetic Tapes. (Old fashioned to Gen-Zs/Gen-alpha anyway). No longer retro Vinyl aye? Retro Cassette! 



Got to say The Rover has grown on me! Check it out at bottom of the post.

Anyway, the thought of Magnetic Tape, no post production, fills me with dread and inquisition. Paul vocally is not the strongest, but that makes him unique, live he has been known to off on occasions.
Coupled with the loose creativity and minimal post production we received with their 4th Album ''Interpol" - which had 3 goods songs and a poor reception - I'm left wondering how number 6 will be.



Come and see me and maybe you'll die
But I can keep you in artwork, the fluid kind

That's enough for excitements today

Prostrated faded, it's pay-to-play


Come and see me yeah, maybe you'll try
I've been holding these pyros til they could fly
Open up and enlighten again
Enjoy the skyline, it's an incremental end





None the less, The Rover, offers a taste of 'El Pintor'-esq rifts coupled with a raw productions. With 'El Pintor' being a very good recovery for their 5th Album, I'm hopeful Marauder will land the Creative loose aspirations of 'Interpol' with the excellence of 'El Pintor' mixed with fresh love of their original work on the back of their 15year old TOTBLs tour.

Will we find Interpol provide a mediocre ablum, let say, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino part 2, or will they provide another album I can't turn off.


Either way, tickets bought, which will take it to 4 Interpol gigs this passed year.


"Walk in on your own feet"
Says the rover

"It's my way or they all leave"

Says the rover

The rover

Ca suffit, hell yeah, maybe it's time
You can't stick to the highways, it's suicide

I'm welling up with excitements again

The apex resolves, you need to tell your friends


Anyway here's my ode to the single!



Come and see me, yeah baby, let's cry
Satin face in some worlds we’d be too kind

Nature’s subjected to fires again

Falling for my independence

Sunday, 10 June 2018

The Breaks, Waiting for Titor & HoneySpider - Sanctuary, Burnley

It's Saturday, Burnley, and we're waiting on watching The Breaks.
A 5 piece band from Burnley / Manchester. The guys just recently signed a new manager, a  friend of mine Jason Wilkinson (who recommended them to us).

Getting to Sanctuary was pretty easy, as long as you park outside and don't try any of the mutli-story car parks around, which were shut #shouldhavecheckedfirst.
Alistair, the guitarist, supporting a broken wrist from what we will call a 'football incident'.

Soundcheck was delayed and the bands started a little later than expected. That wasn't the only sound hitch of the night, but this is live music, so... fuck it.

Starting out with Waiting for Titor, who we'd listen to a couple of times and like the sound of. These guys are tight 4 piece that we later found out were from Italy and made the travel to play tonight! Mega Kudos.
They reek of Angry Teen Rebellion, taking us back to the Angst of our youth. Which Mr Foxon was there to confirm is still a popular sub-culture today.




The influence from Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode is evident, you can draw similarities with Linkin Park and Poets of The Fall at time's.  These fellas definitely pack a heavy punch live, more than they do on studio recordings. Wish we got more hard energy and head banging metal through on their EP, so I can relive it.



Chuck in some good old head banging and mic swinging, they really kicked the night off!


Over to The Breaks. The 5 lads took to the stage, their front man, and distortion loving lead singer, Niall has an air of early Simon Niel cross Dave Grohl.
The guys sound much better live than comes across on their EPs. With all amps cranked to 11 and a distorted mic - giving them their signature sound, which at times reminds you of an amalgamation of Slipknot & System of a down with James-esq rifts, coupled with Alex Turner / Brian Molko lyrics.



The guys have a raw talent for writing catchy well rounded tunes, with stick in your head hooks and some sweet guitar rifts.

The Distortion is borderline between Good and too much, I can see why the band use it as it as a sweet distinctness, but I could also empathise with critiques from those who want to know, and sing a long to, everyword - sometimes it makes it difficult to follow. Don't let that put you off though, have a little patience and you're really in for a treat.



They even dropped a cover of Drake - One Dance which was pretty epic TBF!

We're going to catch up with the guys a bit more and find out about the meanings of some of their songs, there is a trail of mystery and story running through their tracks which we're eager to understand.


A little disappointed when it came to HoneySpider, on paper and on Spotify they sounded rather good - but the volume was far too high. When the lead singer of a metal hand has his finger in his ears  you know it's not going well, that coupled with a Distorted mic, distortion maybe carried over from the breaks, or maybe intentional, really damped their performance.

At this point we split for the journey home, HoneySpider sounded better from outside and we managed to appreciate them more.

Check out The Breaks over at
https://thebreaks.bandcamp.com

Or listen to the three bands on this playlist



🤘 Michael & Riche

FULL PICTURES AND VIDEOS HERE

http://blog.alifeofmusic.rocks/p/photos-of-waiting-for-titor.html




Saturday, 9 June 2018

Riche's Ramble part 2 - on second thoughts

I said heeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyy hooooooooooo
Wow second "weekly ramble"... Ok more like monthly mumble as my timings are all over place 

A lots changed in the past 4 weeks! We now have a "lady" in the ALOMR universe. We welcome Mrs Foxon to the chaos, hopefully you can do what Michael can't and organise us into a gig reviewing, mind blog blowing team.... Or we will just carry on our descent into a Fleetwood Mac madness. I personally love Fleetwood Mac madness but as I said in the intro heeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyy hooooooooooo. 

Ok that's all that's changed but I have to build excitement somehow!

Is Manchester the greatest city in the UK for live music, I personally would like to believe this. Saw a guy the other week playing drums using a tea towel to dampen the snare and a suitcase for a base and that was it. Guess what it was amazing, this guy and his acoustic playing mate rattled off hit after hit, I would tell you what the hits were but I was out with uncle JD and well he was winning the battle of my mind.

Tonight and me and Pinky are off to Burnley to watch 3 bands (not sure my heart will be able to take it) so you never know I may come on next week (month) saying that is the music capital of the UK! A review will be being done and I believe a quick Q&A with the band's.

This week's musical listenings have been of the 3 bands I will be seeing later, the breaks, honey spider and waiting for Titor. Won't go into detail to spoil what comes later but they are 3 bands with big big sound....

Finally in my guilty pleasure corner (this is new - just made it up, probably won't do it again) this is the 11th year since scouting for girls released
She's so lovely and on that bomb shell I feel old!
Anyway enjoy the rest of your weekends guys and if your at any of the many festivals stay safe and rock on |..|,

Xxxxx

Monday, 4 June 2018

Intro To Summer

Good morning boys, girls and extraterrestrials!
I'm Jen and I'm here to bring a woman's perspective to the blog. I, similarly to my colleagues here at ALOMR love music, which I realise is such a non statement as a vast majority of people in this world could say the same, point is I'm really into it!  I listen to pop, pop punk, metal, heavy rock, house music, synth pop, 80s and electronic. A bit of everything really! I love fast-paced, upbeat anthems that ensure you can't be feeling blue.
Today I've made a playlist of those fun, extra summery tunes that are perfect to listen to when enjoying these gorgeous summer days.
Enjoy!

I Can't Stand It - Blossoms
Starting off this playlist is one of my favourite summery songs right now and potentially THE song of the summer, the catchy chorus and upbeat vibes makes it a must listen.
Red Flag - Billy Talent
Is it even a summer playlist without this banger of a pop punk tune on it?!
Billy Talent were made for summer, driound, windows down, sunglasses on, music loud!
Home - Nickelback
Now I know it's cool to hate Nickelback these days, however I defy you to listen to this song and not end up tapping your feet and bobbing your head, even singing along by the end. They make a catchy song, try and deny it!
Forget Me Not - Brian Fallon
Lots of pop punk vibes throughout this song from Brian Fallon's new masterpiece, 'Sleepwalkers'



Sunday, 3 June 2018

Michael's Mini Post #3

It's been a busy week for me, juggling Manchester and London Festivals in one weekend, work and travel clocking over 1200miles this week, meaning I've neglected my blog posting duties until today. Nevertheless I have tried to share and post what I can on our social media pages
Twitter @ALifeOfMusicRo1
Facebook @alifeofmusicrocks
Instagram @alifeofmusicrocks

Starting where I left off last week. Friday Night;

Dot-To-Dot Festival Manchester
We got down to see Pale Waves at Albert Halls. Then headed over to Aatma to see Fizzy Blood... Where we were surprised to see Turnover. Fizzy Blood had to pull out last minute, but Turnover were very good and filled the place out with many people left outside unable to get in.
We also saw The Nectars and Slydigs. More, Inc Pics over on Chris' post earlier this week: 
http://blog.alifeofmusic.rocks/2018/05/foxons-thoughts-3.html

The following day we caught a train to London to catch Day 2 of GoldenVoice's (Coachellas Organisers) newest festival 
All Points East Festival
In Victoria Park London, APE have taken over a quarter and turned it into Coachella in the UK. They take all of the good bits and also some of bad bits, from their American Festivals.

We went down purely to see The XX. The days other lines ups were OK but nothing major. The support acts from Friday and the following weekend were better, with the likes of The Hunna, Yonaka, Catfish & the Bottleneck and many more. 
Today we had Lorde, Lykke Li, Popcaan, Simpha & The XX. There's plenty more but that's who we saw.

The Festival itself was plagued with complaints of slow enterance queues, security checks, moving 10lanes of people through 1 lane with a sniffer dog. Thankfully we'd got VIP tickets to skip a large portion of the queues.
The queues didn't end there, Toilet and Bar queues were just as long. Again, VIP ticket, worth the extra to save time if you go.

Goldenvoice brought other features from Coachella, starting with lots of American staff and ending with mass capitalism that is "keep them on site and buying from our vendors". They make it as hard as possible to leave, even as far as saying No Re-entry, 1 step further than Coachella!

The festival aside from that's as really good, the setup and sound was as expected from Goldenvoice, alcohol selection seemed very wide and catering for most People. 

THE XX smashed it out the park, with added lighting from a heavy summers thunderstorm, but you hardly noticed that when immersed in song and dance & very drunk.



Oh one further point they didn't seem to sell cigarettes on site.


Aside from that music's been a little quiet, few new albums out this week, and next weekend where off to see The Breaks at The Sanctuary.

M.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Foxon's Thoughts #3 - Television Romance

I'm not sure what day I post this weekly round-up of my random thoughts on. Just when I post it, I guess.

It's probably best I don't mention the football, mostly because this is a music blog, but also because it will make me cross.


Me and ALOMR commander in chief, Michael, popped along to dot-to-dot festival in Manchester on Friday. We saw Pale Waves, they were sick! Such a wonderfully polished sound and a great live show. They made me wonder, though; they are the 4 most stylish people I've seen in ages, do stylish people think “I am stylish, i better get good at this guitar, because people need to see how stylish I am”, or is it more like “wow, I am very good at guitar, I'm going to be super stylish and learn loads of cool shapes to throw”?
I really am rambling on, arent I? Sorry.
Pale Waves were dead good. The main reason we went to the festival, and they made it very worthwhile. A wavy, dark, sometimes spooky and always catchy journey through their best songs, sandwiched between their 2 pop classics ‘Television Romance’ and ‘There's A Honey’. This ensured Michael sang the songs, well, an interesting blend of the 2, on our power walk to the next venue.



The venue in question was Aatma. We made it just in time to see The Nectars tearing up the tiny room. These kids from New Jersey were so much fun, if you put Garbage and Good Charlotte in a blender and served it up as 90s pop music, you'd get this belter of a band. We had a brief chat with singer, Jess, after the show. I hope it's something we can build on, because there is an exciting future for these guys.

After The Nectars, shit went down! Unexpectedly (for us, at least), hundreds of people crammed into the venue to see Turnover, who had been moved from The Albert Hall. Queues formed outside and a number of people didn't even get to see the Virginian alt-rockers. I feel this may be looked back on as one of those “I was there” moments. Turnover are already a massive band, and they are destined for the stars, so we may look back on this memory fondly. I also haven't stopped listening to them since Friday.

Elsewhere in music. Weezer finally answered the internet's random plea and did a cover of Toto’s ‘Africa’. The only song on Earth with better lyrics than ‘Buddy Holly’. So, nice one for that, Weezer. It's exactly as you'd expect, brilliant!

That's it from me, I can't be bothered writing any more. I'm gonna try reach out to The Nectars for some exclusive stuff. Song of the week has to be Pale Waves and their slippy new video.

Have fun and be good.

Selfie of the week
Song of the week

Friday, 25 May 2018

Michael's Mini Post #2

It's time for my 2nd mini post. I've been told to include a little more about me. So I'm Michael, just turned 30. I started this blog last year as a way to document some of the cool bands I was seeing. One as a way to remind myself but also to share with other people.

So a few weeks ago I turned 30 was lucky enough to have myself a decent party where 2 bands, Columbia & Weekend Debt, played. Making turning 30 a little less depressing.

Since then I've been focusing on work and not as much on the blog. So this week I jumped onto some of the recommendations and submissions we've been getting:

Recommendation from a friend is Manchester band  The Breaks. This distortion loving Indie band released a their 2nd EP in March - Trap Door. If Slipknot's were in charge of soundcheck at a James gig, this is what James would sound like. It works in most pieces, although at times its a little hard to hear the lyrics. Worth checking then out, plus they remind me a little of Sea Girls in their lyrics.

Notable songs:  Smoke and Lasers & Call Out My Name, also Misery off their first EP

Another band I've been listening to is a submission through the website Norphlet, American Electro Alt due from Texas and California, released their 1st EP self titled Norphlet earlier this month. They have a similar sound to Band of Horses - it's pretty cool. Check them out.

What else has been on the playlist?

Florence & The Machine new single Hunger, released 3 weeks ago. It's really good and grabs at the emotions. Gets you thinking about what you really want and desire.
Florence lead back round to listening to Banks & Steelz - Anything But Words, which Florence appeared on in track 'Wild Season'. That got a lot of play this week.

How about checking out these acoustic Daft Punk mega mix?



Which lead me to Daft Punk - One More Time and the entire Discovery album!

Finishing the week over at Dot-To-Dot Festival Manchester. Where were watching Pale Waves, Fizzy Blood and Slydigs. Wanted to watch Horrors but they clashed and 2 for 1 with Fizzy & Slydigs

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Foxon's Thoughts #2 - CDs are better than Spotify

Good day, Rockers, and indeed Rollers. I'm a little late with my weekly ramble, which doesn't say much for my punctuality, it’s only my second one.
The reason I'm late, is because I was busy putting together my interview and love letter to Bad Dream Fancy Dress this weekend.
I shouldn't need to go on about them again, i think we covered all grounds in that big long post, with a load of wacky pictures, and an interesting and heartfelt interview with frontvixen, Cat Rees.

Tough luck, I'm going to go on about them again!
Jeff, the guitarist of the band, and who Cat informs me has more than one knob that he likes to play with, was kind enough to send me a CD of their insane new record, Space Goddess. Now, you'd think that a music blogger would be able to listen to a CD, but the stereo in my car is broke, and all I have in the house is a record player and Bluetooth speakers. I'm either a hipster or broke. Make up your own mind. Ironically, Hipsters are rich kids pretending to be broke.

I listened to the CD on my Xbox. The Xbox One X confirms that i am, in fact, a hipster! I sat there in the morning on my day off work, and just listened to it. It was a lot to take in. It was a crazy ride to about 50 different planets in the form of 10 retro inspired jaunty stories.
It made me think 2 things. First, how cool are CDs? Now that we have Spotify and Apple music and stuff, how often do we really just sit there and listen to music, holding the case and taking it all in?
The second thing I thought was, how the hell am I going to write about this CD. I know I am a magician with the English language, but even modest little me can't put this into words.

So, I reached out to Cat herself, thinking, if I was lucky she would send me a link to their site and give me a few quotes to use. Nope! Cat spent the week chatting to me, telling me all about herself and what she's up to, and then took some time to do a great interview with me, and we even got an exclusive photo shoot in her sunny garden. She put her body on the line, trying to climb into a child's toy Audi. We can only imagine what the doctors and nurses would have thought, seeing her, in her shiny silver catsuit with a car firmly wedged in her bottom.
Thank you, guys, for keeping me entertained all week, and giving so much to this blog. We are truly grateful.

What else have I been up to?
In my last post, I mentioned I was going to see Foreigner. I did that, they were brilliant!
We saw them in the Manchester Apollo, the whole venue was seated. I confess, I was getting a bit bored as the support acts were playing. Not because of the music, but because we were all sat down, it drained the atmosphere.
As soon as Foreigner hit the stage though, the whole venue stood up, and the seats did little to get in the way of everybody's dancing and singing along.

So, a fun week for me. Even though I was working 6 days, I managed to cram in lots of music and enjoyment.
I'll hopefully be able to catch a bit of the Dot to Dot festival this Friday in Manchester, I really want to see Pale Waves!
Then Saturday is the Champions league final. Fingers crossed I only bite my fingernails and not my actual fingers, so my blog can be on time next week. Come on Liverpool!

Until next week. Be good.

Selfie Of The Week
Song Of The Week

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Bad Dream Fancy Dress, their story in their words

Before I start to tell you the many reasons you should become obsessed with Bad Dream Fancy Dress, I want to say a massive thank you to Cat and Jeff from the band. It's been such a pleasure chatting to them all week, we have shared many laughs, and I feel I have had an exclusive look into what makes them tick. I have fallen a little bit in love with Cat, my wife wants to dress up as her for halloween. This article was such a pleasure to put together. They have reminded me why I joined this blog, and why I do what I do. Thank you.

Ok, enough about me.


Bad Dream Fancy Dress was the crazy creation of 2 party animals, Cally and Katz back in the 80s. They achieved fame with their explosive first album Choir Boys Gas, and the single Curry Crazy, available on Spotify for all you young’uns to go check out.

Now, 30 something years later, Cat Rees has decided to join forces with her partner, Jeff, and mate, Joe, and do it all again. We will find out why from the lady herself in our snazzy little interview.


What we have is the 10 track album, Space Goddess, a riot of genres all mixed together. Catchy pop along side infectious punk rock. Cute vocals sung with a stern Welsh middle finger. More sexual innuendo than a carry-on film, with a whole heap of female empowerment. All wrapped inside what could be the soundtrack for a 60s interstellar B-Movie that you want to watch over and over again. It's sexy, it's unapologetic, its political at times, but most of all it's so much fucking fun.

It carries on from where the band left off 3 decades ago. I urge you to go listen to it, it will improve your mood and make you wanna dance. It appeals to fans of Lady Gaga just as much as fans of The Misfits. The only people this won't appeal to is people who take themselves a little too seriously. Emo kids, stay away. Everyone else, strap in!

Let's hear it from the mouthpiece of the band though. Cat was kind enough to take the time for an exclusive interview. If you want to find out about her alien friends and what happened to her tickets to the Royal Wedding, keep reading.

...

ALOMR - First of all, welcome back. Many of our readers weren't even born when you started this insane creation. What made you think “Yes, the time for a new Bad Dream Fancy Dress record is now”?

Cat - To some extent it decided itself to re-birth through a bizarre set of events:

While I was making the first Album ‘Choir Boys Gas’ I had a part-time bar job at the Grand Hotel in Leigh-on-sea, where all the local musicians hung out (Dr. Feelgood, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Ian Dury) and I met a guitar player, organizing an anti-poll tax festival in Basildon, who wanted me to play live. Instead we ended up recording a single on an old eight track called ‘Moaning Mini’ which we sent to John Peel.

To cut a long story short he phoned us back and said he was NOT going to play it, as it wasn’t ‘ready’ material, but he liked us and asked us to send him the next recordings and he would play them. He kept true to his word playing Bad Dream Fancy Dress and Jeff’s band, Foreheads in a Fishtank. But Jeff and I split and never recorded any tracks together again until the Space Goddess Album.

We met up by chance twenty-two years later while I was being strangled, stabbed and disemboweled for a Channel 5 Jack the Ripper documentary and I told Jeff about the Bad Dream Fancy Dress facebook group which I’d recently joined and he agreed to film the Lemon Tart Video.

We then recorded a series of covers for the fans, Last Christmas, Happy Mondays ‘Step on You’ and 'The Party from El'. Then, Christmas day 2013 the River Medway decided to change course in the middle of the night passing through our front room and leaving us both destitute. In that darkest hour, a strange man knocked at our door offering us a shower and some strange Jewish, Italian, Irish stew he’d made, and following copious amounts of alcohol, we were invited to jam in his recording studio, and the first song BREATHE was started (first to start last to finish).

Then my inner ‘Diva within’ journey began. The Space Goddess song, was followed by Film Noir and The Longing. Some songs were planned; Tokyo Toy was written deliberately to create Bubble Gum Punk, in the vain of the original Bad Dream Fancy Dress single ‘Curry Crazy’ which had done well in Japan.

Now for the boring bit, my health deteriorated. My feet were rebuilt, I had a spine fusion operation that left me in a wheelchair, and lots of drugs to curb the pain. The recording process for the album slowed for a while, when, again by chance, Christmas 2016 a doctor in Cardiff sent me to have my hips x-rayed. They had completely disintegrated and they wanted to operate straight away, so a decision was made to finish the vocals on the ten most completed songs. Andromeda (Fifth Element extravaganza), Typing Pool of Love (Retro Fun), Samhain (Something Darker), Route 69 (Suzi Quatro road trip) and Morpheus, which captured my sporadic presence on planet earth at that time.



ALOMR - If I had to describe your music to an alien, and I suspect you have run into a couple of them, I'd say your music is bubblegum pop with plenty of sex wrapped up in a punk rock catsuit. How would you describe your sound, and what inspires you, musically?

Cat - Well I love your description. Especially the Punk Rock Cat suit!

We tell stories. We love exciting visuals, old films and retro images. Counter moods the juxtaposition of rhythms with light and dark pattern. We enjoy satire, pain, joy, innuendo, and layers on many levels of sound. We don't just do a single genre. The songs have to have something to say, an energy. It’s about empowerment, regardless of sex, gender, appearance or age. Music should talk to everyone, self-expression, self exploration and always entertaining, there’s nothing worse than being dull.

ALOMR - That's exactly what this blog is all about. Why we started this.

Cat - We don't like the current homogenized X factor warbling, musical happy meals, where most of the contestants end up in rehab singing someone else’s words to someone else’s tune. We want passion! It’s about bands trying to be different not all the same. A band should seek its own unique voice. There are no personalities in the industry anymore. At least back in the nineties we had the likes of Jarvis Cocker. We might not like Liam Gallagher, who is increasingly becoming a parody of himself, but at least he hasn't sold his soul, at least he’s still vaguely interesting. What ever happened to Music scene Manchester back in the 90’s needs to be re-discovered, X factor was a crime against humanity. Simon Cowell should be sent to the Hague.

ALOMR - Can’t argue with that!
There was a massive, like proper massive 25+ year gap between the last album and Space Goddess. How easy was it to pick up where you left off? How did you manage to keep the distinctive sound of the band after such a long time away?

Cat - I’m the only original band member. But we tried to capture the original energy, lots of loose takes and spontaneity, especially on the vocal. Followed by the hard work, I lay the keyboards and virtual instruments and Jeff and Joe did the guitars. I choose a more grown up direction, no good denying twenty-five years of life. We were ‘labeled’ as school girls on Choir Boys Gas. I’ll label myself this time, this little girl has grown up to be a ‘space bag’.

ALOMR - Space Bag? Love it. It seems you speak fluent innuendo, do you also speak any alien languages?

Cat - Oh you are awful.. how very dare you! But yes I do have a close friend who is a Klingon who insisted on translating the lyrics. He’s also teaching me Klingon sign language, which apparently you can get arrested for on most galactic planets if used in Public.

English is actually my second language, I know some people consider Welsh an alien language but I only use my native tongue a little on Samhain. We like to explore languages we also love nonsense rhythm Roald Dahl-isms, if we can't figure out the words we just make the words up, it's all about context and having fun with language.

ALOMR - Space Goddess is a tailor made soundtrack to the best sci-fi b-movie of all time. It's full of whirrs and beeps, sultry vocals and a ton of sexual innuendo. Can you give us a little insight into the creation of the album?

Cat - We sort of answered that earlier and all the songs are so different. But Space Goddess was inspired by the ‘Barbarella’ opening title sequence. It's a housewife breaking free from the domestic chains in her head. Breaking free from conformity, negative relationships. Re-discovering sexual freedom and breaking the transgender chains. Holding her vibrator high and proud instead of hiding it away in the closet. It's a ‘yes you can’ song, we can all break free, to infinity and beyond!

I’m not sure what you mean by ‘Creation’, but we have a spare room which we call the Fishtank Studio it has Pro Tools. It’s full of instruments, Keyboards and guitars and it has a toilet tent as an improvised vocal booth, but it seems to work. I write Keyboards and melodies, occasionally synth bass. Jeff plays guitar, samples drums and twiddles his knobs (Oh yer) and Joe occasionally turns up from Ireland and adds some musical genius to the plot. Lyrics are written on scraps of paper all over the house and random Jams are recorded on the phone. But we always see the songs and have ideas for songs first, recording tracks happens down the process.



ALOMR - My favourite track on the album is Route 69. What's yours?

Cat - It's difficult you don't have favourite children and it always depends what mood I’m in. By and large my favourite song is the one I’m currently working on, so at present it's a song called ‘OMG We Thought We Were So Retro’ which gives a nod and wink to Prefab Sprout. The idea for a song is the most important bit.

ALOMR - What's your favourite dinosaur?

Cat - A Orgasmasaur or Uranusrexsus

ALOMR - Are you the hero or the villain?

Cat - Neither, I’m a witch. However about eight years ago I did play a villain in a Welsh soap opera called Pobol Y Cwm. I’m the welsh equivalent of Phil Mitchel, but in leopard skin outfits, called Judith, a very naughty drug dealer and gangster. So young children used to flee from me in terror when I was seen on the streets of Cardiff. My character finally got sent to prison in a big Crown Court trial and as far as I’m aware I’m still in prison now.

ALOMR - Did you ever find your plasma gun from behind the sofa?

Cat - Yes, along with the bloody amazon Stick! A time travel belt, a big red button (Bigger than Trumps!) and my invite to the Royal wedding, which I promptly stuck back behind the sofa.

ALOMR - What's next for you and the boys?

Cat - First some videos. We like filming videos. The next Album was started when I finished ‘Space Goddess’ there was incomplete material and some new songs being penned. It’s called ‘Bionic’ for obvious reasons, as I’m now more metal plate than human.  But there’s still lots of work to do to get that out next year. We have also been asked to do some live dates, so we are thinking about that possibility depending on my recovery. We would love to play LA and Japan.

ALOMR - Come to Manchester, too.
Lastly, what is your Good Dream Fancy Dress costume?

Cat - Last night's bedtime outfit was a wetsuit but that was rather Bad Dream. Possibly a onesie with a boned corset and fluffy slippers…One should always look one's best in the boudoir.


See? So much fun. A great story!
I honestly would never have guessed that Prefab Sprout would ever be mentioned in this blog.



Please go give Cat plenty of love on Twitter, the band have Facebook and a really fun website www.baddreamfancydress.com where the lyrics to the songs on ‘Space Goddess’ are translated to Klingon.
Still not sold? Go check out the album on Spotify.