The Strypes - I'm Shakin'

What was I just saying about a new generation of clued up bands? I've featured The Strypes on here before and this is a new video from them.

As guitarist Josh Mclorey explains at the outset, it is their cover of Jack White's cover of a Little Willie John song. It also features another great video from talented young film maker, Finn Keenan. The video comes in the wake of what was, by all accounts, a triumphant, star-studded show at Ronnie Scotts recently.

The Strypes are taking R&B classics and giving them a very strong, contemporary edge. As has been said before, they have a huge future ahead of them. It looks like it might be starting to kick off for them, which is very good news indeed.

Jake Bugg - Two Fingers

You sometimes get a feeling that there's a new wave of music beginning to emerge, of a new generation, who just instinctively get it. Nottingham boy Jake Bugg is a case in point. There are Bob Dylan comparisons, which are well documented, but to my ears he sings like a delta blues man.

He has a photoshoot in FHM this month where he dons his harrington and his impeccable street style. Equally importantly, he has a new album out soon, along with a single Two Fingers. This is the unofficial video. Top drawer, in my book.

Last Minute Glory

There's nothing like a brand new, well-crafted song, delivered by tunesmiths who sound like they have fire in their bellies, to take you through the day.  Goodbye Sunday by Last Minute Glory is a case in point.

Last Minute Glory are a promising young band from Edinburgh. Comprising Michael Byrne, Chris Karpacz, Lee Brown and Daniel Shearer, they are producing a raft of strong, contemporary pop tunes. Goodbye Sunday opens with some powerful chords, building into an infectious slice of guitar-fuelled pop, with lyrics that sound personal yet have a universal appeal. It's a song that you could very easily find yourself putting on repeat. And I love that bit of feedback at the end.

There are various clips of live performances by the band on You Tube which are worth a look. You can hear Goodbye Sunday at their Soundcloud page and download it from their Facebook page.

China Rats - N.O.M.O.N.E.Y

Following on from yesterday's post, this is expected to be the forthcoming single from China Rats. There are more than a few touches of the vibe of 1977/8 here. A little Buzzcocks, Ramones and Automatics, perhaps, but with a definite contemporary feel and a vibe that exudes optimism, in spite of the tune's serious subject matter. It's a record that I, for one, find genuinely exciting.  Time to play it again and start pogoing round the kitchen.


China Rats

Thanks to those nice people at Mod Generation for putting me onto this one. China Rats are an extremely promising new band from Leeds, with a musical sensibility that stretches right back to the masters, yet, at the same time, pushes forward into a technicolor, poptastic future. Check out this little gem To Be Like I. That guitar, those harmonies, the general confidence that is exuded. Definitely a band to watch out for.


Here Comes The Nice - Jeremy Reed

Imagine that you're living in a dystopian near-future London, when the effects from the imperialist adventures of the first decades of the twenty first century are beginning to be felt. By way of contrast, you're emersing yourself in a more congenial decade, working on a book about sixties fashion guru John Stephen. Then, in the course of your daily routine. you meet a character who calls himself The Face and claims to be from 1964. He has a look that appears authentic, that might just have come out of a glossy magazine from the time. He also has knowledge, a deep understanding of the era, that sounds too convincing to be fake.

In Here Comes The Nice, Jeremy Reed traverses the two disparate time frames with skill. The elements in the near-future setting are ingenious, combining the development of technology, the emergence of the underground post-military Blackjacks and the effects of global warming being felt in the capital.

Contrast this with the mod world, centred around the The Scene club in Ham Yard. The descriptions are detailed, containing large amounts of information about Rolling Stones' early shows at The Scene, John Stephen's concept of "The Look" and Carnaby Street and the sartorial preferences of the original Faces. It is to his credit that Reed includes elements of the gay aspect of the early mod scene - certainly the one evoked here - which can often be overlooked in the contemporary retrospective of the period. I particularly  like the recognition of the different strata within the mod movement, from Faces to tickets, which is illustrated in some detail.  Then there are the behavioural points, from how to stand in Ham Yard outside the Scene, to what this particular Face does with a drink and a straw when on the edge of the dancefloor.

I also love the fact that Reed takes a particular open air show in 1969 as marking the end of the sixties. The way he describes the audience that day, their clothes, their attitudes, and how this is contrasted with the descriptions of the early sixties, is masterful.  It illustrates perfectly how the decade moved by quickly,  times changing with hardly anyone seeming to notice - apart from The Face, that is.

The issues that stay with you after reading the book are universal ones.  What is the nature of time? Do some eras live forever? Are some influences so strong that they bypass the linear process? It is no coincidence that JG Ballard, himself no stranger to dystopian and time-related fiction, was one writer who endorsed the book.  He was right to do so.  There are a raft of questions that emerge from this fascinating novel.  And, quite apart from that, it is an entertaining read in its own right, especially if you have an interest in the sixties.

Little Night Terrors - Young Lion

So, you go to Ibiza for two weeks and what greets you when you get back? A brand new tune from Little Night Terrors, that's what. It's called Young Lion and is a definite slice of edgy pop. Check out that solid keyboard signature, the anthemic tune and infectious vocals.  This Leicester trio are acquiring a solid fanbase and it's not hard to understand why.  From where we're sitting they have a raft of classic pop tunes under their belt, ready for a waiting world to devour.  This is the official video and, as ever, you can find out more on their Facebook page.