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Brighton, May 15th 2009, a very good day beside the seaside

n536986742_2373245_5799696Friday the 15th was GOOD DAY, a very good day indeed despite the rip roaring hangover’s we were suffering from the night before after spending the night down in Brighton seeing the mighty ‘THE INVISIBLE’ & the ‘never a same gig twice’ ‘MICACHU & THE SHAPES’, both of which our essential viewing/listening but we’ll cover both of them at another time, this is about one of those days when everything falls beautifully into place without even trying or dare I say it a total lack of trying.

We stayed down in Brighton because on the Friday we were signing a new band to Heavenly called THE SOFT PACK – 4 cool as cool is, not cool does, kids from L.A via San Diego who truck out the kinda punk ROCK born out of the Velvets/Modern Lovers using a classic art punk V formation of perpetual tumultuousness at the back with a driven flank of chugging base and drivin’ guitar to the sides while a just got out of bed abandonement with fixed eye stare shoots it as he tells it – POW – !

We had all that to look forward to later in the day & we had a fine day ahead of us, firstly the superb breakfast at the Pelirocco hotel – Ginger Micks residential homage to rock n roll & veggie sausgaes SWARATHMAM then it was down to Brightons first port of call  ‘the pier’ for some clowning around & a lunchtime pint at the rough pub (Category C) that is Horatio’s, half past down by the dodgems.  We could hear music coming from inside so we ducked to bar, sunk in and took in the alternative sounds of the far east and then  . . . eh? what was a resplendent looking, hypnotic charming psych band from India doing playing in a pub on Brighton pier at midday?  The band were called SWARATHMAM & the singer had all the good vibes with his ‘the healing power of music’ chants, his Indian Hendrix Fro & eventually a wooden horse that he rode around in with far more charm than that Emu fella.  They were over not only for the Great Escape (where every club, pub & rug pop into gig venues for better or for worse) but as part of a program called Soundpad which involves the British Council & John Leckie.  They were good, it was a good lunchtime drink, we were in good spirits.  Well, so as not to bore you any further in the finer details of  our GOOD day I shall surmise the GOOD bits as thus;

3 x mighty Brighton Bling chains bought on pier (& we got a discount)

Free pairs of LEVI from the One to Watch backstage (given not stolen, suppose they owed us, spend a lifetime buying one brand of jean eventually it all pays off)

Free beer & Pernod thanks to the French music export bureau

Signing the deal with The Soft Pack

Eating the best Fish & Chips in town

Watching the best band in Brighton that weekend (photos attached)

then getting cosy in the bar at the Pelirocco till it blurred into morning, this is where the story ends as I soon realized it had stopped being fun – but only at the point where I had started realizing again – up until then it had been well good!

www.myspace.com/thesoftpack

The Soft Pack sxsw Daytrotter session

Extinction E.P out now on Merok

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Sunshine & Love

High praise indeed - Ed Reyes & his bird
High praise indeed - Ed Reyes & his bird

THE DEVIL WILL NEVER TAKE OUR SOULS AWAY . . .

The summer is creeping around the corner and we have been eager to come out and play.  This has been the first time in years that we have spent an extended period at home in Silver Lake and San Diego.  Lee and Ian have been surfing a lot and Brian and I have been exploring our dear city of Los Angeles.  Even though we were born and raised here in Los Angeles there is so much to discover and so much inspiration out there.  You tend to forget these things when you travel a lot.  There is a saying that the ‘grass is always greener on the other side’.  You know what?  Sometimes it is but you can’t beat the vibe and the weather here in Southern California.

We played a festival in Santa Monica called Revel With A Cause last Saturday.  It was basically a celebration of all things green and being ecologically mindful.  They even had valet parking for bicycles.  Now that is very LA!  Our show was great and there was a mosh pit full of kids and toddlers dancing to our songs.  Maybe the Little Ones are kid-tested and mother-approved?  It was good to see kids jump up and down to Lovers Who Uncover.  Not a bad demographic.  I think this will be one of our last live appearances for a while.

We are going to concentrate on writing, recording, and rehearsing  in our studio.  I have to say it feels good to finally be off the road and fully concentrate on creating new material.  As we look for inspiration we quickly realize that inspiration is all around us.  It’s outside our window and it’s on the street.  It’s in our conversations with each other.  You see, music will always be the music of life.  It’s the soundtrack for your feet and it’s a soundtrack for you and me.  Even though the world has turned to doom and gloom we will never subscribe to that sentiment.  The Little Ones have always been about escaping that.  I think that’s why we decided to play music in the first place.  Hopefully people will still want to hear what we will create in the next upcoming months.  I want to leave you with a video we did set to Heron’s ‘The Devil’…

And the devil will never take my soul away,  but leave me on my own to sing my song alone…

Here’s a video you can embed from us.

xthelittleonesx

www.myspace.com/wearethelittleones

& here’s one of my favourite tracks from the Morning Tide debut album  ‘Gregory’s Chant’.  It’s the UK version mixed by James Ford

The Little Ones – Gregory’s Chant

and here’s the classic Crystal Castles remix of ‘Lovers Who Uncover’  a track off the ‘Sing Song’ ep.  A fine fine piece of remixing!

The Little Ones v Crystal Castles – Lovers Who Uncover

When I get the chance I’ll dig out all the Little Ones remixes & put together a download bundle from this site, there’s some bonkers boombox sidestepping takes on the Little Ones from the poppers poppin X-press2 disco dub to the wonderful blissed out Electrelane mix – I will keep you posted

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Remember Roger Eagle?

Roger Eagle, DJ, born July 15, 1942; died May 4, 1999
Roger Eagle, DJ, born July 15, 1942; died May 4, 1999

You do? . . .  you don’t? . . . you should!

Next Monday, May 4th, is the tenth anniversary of the passing of Roger Eagle & all next week the ‘Caught by the River’ website will be remembering him with the help of those who knew & worked with him throughout an influentially concentrated life.

As resident Dj at the Twisted Wheel club he was responsible for importing the sounds of American Rock n’ Roll & Rythm & Blues which would become the sound of ‘Northern Soul’ which the club became infamous for.  However  I got very, very fed up having to call ambulances . . . and not being allowed to play the full range of music.’ he said in refrence to the amphetimine fuelled pace of the music he was having to play in order to keep the speeding dancers satisfied.

From there Roger then provided the focal point for the underground sound of Manchester at the ‘Magic Village’ importing US West coast sounds, light shows, filmscreenings & happenings.  He also managed Manchester’s first psychedelic band ‘Greasy  Bear’.

When he moved to Liverpool he helped set up the excellent Probe record shop which is still going today & promoted shows for David Bowie, Lou Reed & Captain Beefheart in an old boxing venue called the Liverpool stadium & then he went on to open ‘Erics’ the influential punk rock club ‘a second home for the new Mersey beatniks’.

“He studied music and bands, the way a gambler studies racing form”

Pete Fulwell co owner of Eric’s

“Roger always responded to inquiries about the music he championed with a barrage of information and frequently a compilation tape. His enthusiasm never let up. I remember him crying with joy when he secured a booking for his Tamla Motown hero, Junior Walker” Paul Wirral

Read an excellent piece on Roger Eagle here;

http://excoboard.com/exco/thread.php?forumid=58595&threadid=1477601

& find out more about his life & influence by signing up to the ‘Caught by the River’ site to receive Monday’s ‘Remember Roger Eagle’ download.

http://caughtbytheriver.net/2009/04/remember-roger-eagle

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Lets Get Metaphysical! HEAVENLY JUKEBOX & THE TIME & SPACE MACHINE

HVNJBX 001

Heavenly Jukebox Bank Holiday alldayerCosmic on the inside, Rough pub on the outside – The Heavenly Jukebox will be playing records from 5pm, that’s in 2.5 hrs time (if time was important here) down at the London Fields pub on Mare St with Richard Norris 1 half of ‘Beyond The Wizards Sleeve’ & the 2 halfs of ‘The Time & Space Machine’.  So a late & loose shout out to anyone in the East End today who fancies train wrecking their bank holiday Saturday by spending the evening with us . . . that’s Robin, Carl, Danny & Norris.  & its Free as a bird to get in!


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The Good, The Bad & . . . the not so photogenic – The Rockingbirds ride back in to town

The Rockingbirds Rough Trade instoreLast Saturday saw The Rockingbirds celebrate the re release of their classic – eponymous – album, with a performance in the basement of the Rough Trade record store in Talbot Road, West London.  The room was packed with ‘old’ faces who were treated to to a bunch of tunes from said album plus the debut live performance of new song ‘Man in the Moon’ (available on 7″ from our e bay shop)

The 2008 reunion prompted the re-mastering of this great, lost record, but more live dates and even fresh recording sessions are in the works as The Rockingbirds try their method on a new generation. To echo a line from ‘Gradually Learning’, being late is better than never.

LIVE DATES:
14 April- St. Bonaventures – Bristol £11 Adv – Doors: 7.30 pm- Tel: 0870 4444 400 or here
15 April – Norwich Arts Centre – £9/£7 concs – Doors: 8 pm, Tel: 01603 660352
16 April The Musician – Leicester £ 10 Adv Doors: 8 pm, Tel: 0116 251 0080 or here.
Friday 17 April – The Engine Room Brighton £ 10 Adv Doors: 7.30 pm – Tel: 01273 728999 or here
18thApril–London –The Dome £12.50- doors 8.00pm

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The Dissident sound of New Cross

Veros Artis - dedicated to the art of making it up as you go along.
Veros Artis - dedicated to the art of making it up as you go along.

Andy Blake, Dissident Distribution

Andy runs one of our favourite dance labels around, Dissident based down in New Cross  but spiritually somewhere between Rimini and Chicago in  1984.  We were hooked after being given a copy of Dissident Vol 1 at the beginning of last year.  It was just what we needed to stoke the fire of the Heavenly Jukebox as we spent the summer playing records out of the back of a Function 1 loaded green Model T Ford on the Rizla festival tour.  Saucy acid minimalism laced with audiophile psych that you can really get stuck into . . . & we most certainly did.

Anyone with the slightest interest or fervor in electronic/dance music should track down Dissident cd 1/2: ‘Veros Artis’ vol 1 & 2 and take it from there.  All the labels releases are beautifully pressed 12″ &  ltd to 100/200 copies and there’s not a dud one amongst them & they’ve got great label artwork as well.  There’s no Dissident website, myspace & pretty much fack all information on the label at the moment but I’m sure that will all change very soon.  You can check the all the releases on Discogs and also Phonica and Juno seem to be on it with stocking their releases. DISSIDENT on DISCOGS

Check out one of the first tunes we bit on from Vol 1 here.  Go jogging with this menacing puppy for the whole 11 mins!

BINARY CHAFFINCH – FALSE ENERGY

WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET JACKING& if you want to hear a selection of what Andy likes to play when he’s feeling Sevenly here’s a 7″ only mix that he sent us in anticipation of his set @ The Social on the 31st March when we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the release of the first 7″ 45 & we kick off celebrations for The Social’s 10 yr anniversary.

BLAKE 7 – Andy Blake – dissident jukebox vol 2

WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET JACKING
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SEVENLY a celebration of the 45!

It will be 60 years to the day that Eddy Arnold’s ‘Texarkana Baby’ was released by RCA, pressed in translucent green vinyl it was the first ever 45 record released, so never shy of a celebrating anything worth celebrating we’re throwing a birthday party at The Social for the beloved 7″ record.

Djing on the night will be some of our friends who we deemed wholly holy qualified to come down and play you some of their favourite 7’s from the last 60 years.

Digging through their crates to unearth you some gems and provide back to back 3min slices of Sevenly music will be ;

EDWYN COLLINS (7″ label champion!)
EMMY THE GREAT (music sounds better with her)

YOUNG & LOST CLUB (Great label, great 7’s)

ANDY BLAKE (DISSIDENT)

(keep your ears posted on here for a Superb &  exclusive 7″ mix that Andy’s done for us, coming v. soon!)

HEAVENLY JUKEBOX ( 7evenly music)
ROUGH TRADE (They sell 7’s, they play 7’s!)

& BOB STANLEY (Vinyl guru, is it you?)

7evenly

There will also be a mini Rough Trade stall selling 7’s on which you will be able find some exclusively signed  for the early birds and in between sets there will be some Heavenly freebies to give away.

Come celebrate with us & hear some of the finest music ever cut to 7″ of vinyl, doors 7pm & its well free to get in! @ THE SOCIAL, 5 Little Portland St, W1w 7JD

Both Bob and myself managed to pick up a copy of ‘TEXARKANA BABY’ on Gemm for under $10 within minutes of finding out about the track.  I love the fact the first 45 came on translucent green vinyl which was designed to colour

reference musical genres, ahh the innocence of product marketing back in the day . . .  literally!

Until we get set up in the new office and wire up the vinyl/,p3 thing you can make do with a youtube version of Eddy Arnolds 45, which sounds better than my copy in any case.

EDDY ARNOLD-TEXARKANA BABY

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Songs of Innocence and of Experience

Pete, Stephen & God
God, Stephen & Pete

As the breath of a new season breathes life into the ground it was a  pleasure to be walking through Bunyan Fields cemetery as the colour of Spring was taking hold, rallying against the weight of the moss coverd tombs.  I was on my way to see Pete Greenwood who was recording in an abandoned school located close by, so close in fact that when I got there a party of archeologists outside the window were packing up their tools after a hard days bone hunting.  The school had been built on ground that was once part of the cemetery where amongst other heavyweight divines, poets & non conformists one William Blake is buried.  Where he is buried no one is quite sure but I wouldn’t be surprised if the archiolegists were getting pretty close.

The reason Pete was recording in this particular abandoned school was because of Mr Stephen Cracknell.  A member of the musical collectives The Memory Band & The Accidental, friend of Heavenly’s and also the current live in caretaker of the empty building where he has set up a studio for recording and is working with Pete on a b side for the next single ‘Penny Dreadful’ and hopefully an Ep’s worth of recordings for a summer release.

To walk around the empty school littered with leaves on the inside and the first wave signs of abandonment taking hold it had a post apocalyptic air about it.  Was there life here, had anyone survived, had the disease made it this far?  There was some coughing coming from down the hall, there was life! whether it was unaffected I wasn’t sure, hairy and bent over on a school chair on the carpet where once the children sat was Pete rolling himself a cigarette.

The set up is perfect for Pete, no airs, no graces, all the kit was to hand, laid out and propped up on the remaining classroom furniture, a mic taped to the ceiling & a PC weighing down a computer table built to accommodate a BBC micro and all of this within the confines of the brown square of carpet.  This was his second day in & he’d so far laid down the bones of 3 tracks.  From what I got to hear it already sounds progressively different from the recordings for his debut album ‘Sirens’.  Pete’s debut album is a document, a document of honesty and purity in the way that ‘Five leaves Left’ is except Pete isn’t playing at being Nick Drake, Pete isn’t even playing at playing Pete he’s just playing beautifully. Its the real deal.  The album came out last summer and we are taking the track ‘Penny Dreadful’ to radio with a new B-side which if recording goes to plan will be a cover of Orange Juices ‘A Sad Lament’.  The 2 other tracks I heard were ‘Me & Molly’ & ’24 & Counting’.  I’ll post 2 of the new demos which he took to the session & laid down in typical Pete style, 12.30am, post pub, one take, done!   The other track I’ve posted is a cover he did for a Mojo Beatles cover mount, I love it.

Pete Greenwood – ME & MOLLY (demo)

Pete Greenwood – 24 & COUNTING (demo)

Pete Greenwood – SAVOY TRUFFLE

PETE’S MYSPACE – www.myspace.com/petergreenwood

THE MEMORY BAND – www.thememoryband.com

THE ACCIDENTAL – www.myspace.com/theaccidental

A BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN THE CITY – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunhill_Fields

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Little Bird

Little bird up in a tree
Looked down and sang a song to me
Of how it began

Na na na na na na
Na na na na na na
Na na na na na na

The trout in the shiny brook
Gave the worm another look
And told me not to worry
About my life

Na na na na na na
Na na na na na na
Na na na na na na

Tree in my own backyard
Stands all alone
Bears fruit for me

And it tastes so good
Where’s my pretty bird
He must have flown away
If I keep singing
He’ll come back someday

Dawn, bird’s still gone
Guess I’ll go mow the lawn

What a day, what a day
Oooo, what a
beautiful day this
is

Ooooooooo

Little bird up in a tree
Looked down a sang a song to me

The trout in a shiny brook
Gave the worm another look
And told me not to
worry about my life

Little bird looked down
And sang a song to me
Little bird looked down
And sang a songto me
Little bird looked down
And sang a song to me

Little Bird (Dennis Wilson)

dennis-wilson