Dead Captain – EP

Once upon a time there were a few friends that got together and decided to form a band because of… naaa that’s been done before, try this one… Dan Adams (Cornelius Crane) along with writer/illustrator friend Dunstan Carter find a shoe box outside a pub in Ashton-Under-Lyne filled with a mix mash of scribbled notes, drawings and grainy old VHS tapes. Beneath the box is a message simply stating “Do something with this”.

Dead Captain

So the Dead Captain released their 4 track EP on the 17th of July drawing influence from discarded shoe boxes, classic Americana & the 90’s college rock scene.

First up is ‘This Old Village’, a micro glance over a northern village traditional event i.e. Morris dancing, stalls, kids with ice creams etc , yeah why do these things happen, I remember such things but now I have grown I truly do not know why (as a kid) I bought into this. Sure it still happens, it has a purpose and a public face but I still don’t get it. Beautiful meandering track, laid back rift with perfect lyrics to such a memory, thanks for that.

We’re out of the village and into the suburbs with ‘Looming Moon’, not so much as painting a picture in the mind but more like a walk through the dark streets with a paranoid tour guide. It’s a slight shift in style too, I’m loving the distortion guitar that’s slowly grinding away throughout the track.

‘Who Knows’ follows on in every way and by now I’m getting a real feel for the Captain and their general vibe, a sort of Northern abandonment which we up north tend to accept and in part don’t give a shit about anyway. Just the odd gripe but hey it’s grim up North mate. ‘Finale ‘Toddler Democracy. Is more up front with this theme and I completely agree, we live in echo chambers & democracy is spoon fed to us all.

I have to say I really like The Captain, it sounds fresh yet familiar, a ramble inside the mind of a Northern enigma. Back to that shoe box with the note that simply read “Do something with this”. Well they did something and here it is. Now your turn to do something after reading this article, get yourself a copy of this excellent EP, it’s here for a reason.

Out 17th July 2017 (Stereo Kill records)

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Zero Le Creche – Last Years Wife

I have just unearthed a classic that obviously has completely passed me by; then again, it was 32 years ago.zerolecreche01

Goth band ‘Zero le Creche’ released the Single ‘Last Years Wife’ (Flicknife) in 1984 hitting number 11 in the indie charts and was featured as runner up single of the week in the Melody Maker. Produced by Henry Padovani, it was their biggest hit in their short career and at the time was popular on the Goth scene.

I discovered this gem whilst reading the brilliant book ‘Sharp! Flicknife & Other Adventures’. On page 152 Zero Le Creche become Flicknife Records first Goth band signing and 32 years later, here I am searching them out on the Internet. I love the melodies and particularly the silky smooth vocals; the style is of the goth era, I’d say it has a commercial slant, sort of a ‘Psychedelic Furs’, early ‘Cure’ meets Bauhaus.

The band line up consisted of Andy Nakanza (vocals), Terry Miles (bass), Richard Ollie (drums) & Andy Mitchell (guitar). Not too long after this release Nakanza (real name Andy Manning & sometimes credited as Nkanza) quit the band and was replaced by vocalist Jamie Lord. In 1985 second single ‘Falling’ (Cherry Red) was released but without anything near the same success as their debut, soon after they disappeared from view. I suspect losing the original vocalist played a big part in this turn of misfortune which is a shame really.

They re-surfaced in 2008 with a 21 track album featuring all of the songs from the ‘Last Years Wife’ EP, second single ‘Falling’ and a host of previously unreleased studio recordings (plus one live). Another EP was released in 2010 entitled ‘Silence Speaks’.

Original vocalist Andy Nakanza resurfaced in 1986 fronting ‘Boom Boom Room’ releasing ‘Here Comes The Man’ (Epic) which peaked at 74 UK national charts in 1986.

Hindsight is always a better judge in life; for whatever reasons Andy Nakanza departed from the band, in my opinion, had he stayed, I think that both he and Zero Le Creche would have steered a much more successful direction and who knows! Maybe gone on to much bigger things.

Johnny Come Latelys – Messiah Complex Part 1 (EP)

Manchester, the sprawling metropolis of the north, home to so many of the coolest bands ever to have graced our music scene and within this melee of clambering talent sat Supajamma, fronted by ex Audioweb vocalist Sugar. Sadly the band with the wonderful fronting Sugar demised and dispersed into the world of ex band members.

Two of these ex band member, Simon Collier (bass) & Dan Adams (drumjcls), re-emerges in the form of ‘Johnny Come Latelys’ where Simon conceived, composed and performed almost all of this 4 track EP alone with a little help from Donna Marie Stevens (backing vocals). Take the vocals away and the overall sound still carries the ghost of Supajamma.

It oozes northern urban grit, harsh reality, just getting out of bed and trying to survive knowing you can see what others seemingly pass unnoticed.  It’s all rolled and mangled into one in this, the ‘Messiah Complex Part 1’…

Kicking off is ‘The Truth Behind The Lies’, with its harsh undercurrent of distortions and wavering vocals (aren’t pretty but suit to a T) washed in echo, its angry, its real and raw. A politically charged rant at the bad world we get spewing from our TV sets, the evil that men do, the lies that glorify and the possible bleak future facing us all etc. It’s a biting snarling track making its point very clearly and in the context of the whole offering is the ideal starter.

The following three tracks (from this 4 track EP), have more of the same subject wise but do vary the groove, being clever, well produced & interesting. The vocals are nowhere near sublime but suit the style and blend into this dark world of the Messiah Complex Part 1. For me, the stand out track has to be ‘Saved the Day’. A beautiful slow groove that drives on and on, the message remains the same but the feeling has dropped into a more acceptance of the World and society that we have no choice but to live within it.

It’s a solid EP, with a true message that’s delivered well, so head on over to Band Camp (links below) and downloads your copy of the Messiah Complex Part 1. Get mad about it!

Links – Band Camp

 

Suede new LP “Night Thoughts

The new Suede album “Night Thoughts” is truly magnificent ! a relentless collage of ambient guitar driven lyrically philosophical stream of consciousness. Just like a maturing fine wine Suede get better and better so who needs Coldplay and their embarrassing leader Chris Martin. Watching him hamming it up with Beyonce last night at the Super Bowl what an unpleasant spectacle.WE HAVE SUEDE we don’t need stylized U2 soundalikes like Coldplay. 20 years on from “Coming Up” (1996) always my favorite Suede album that record now has a rival. as the NME review states “it snubs consolidation and takes a daring, defiant leap into the unknown”