Music Worth Listening To

This post is all about some of the hugely talented musical friends I've had the good fortune to cross paths with over the years. There's a lot of different styles but all are brilliant and well worth checking out. I'm not including any of the great Death2Disco bands I've seen over the years - that's for another blog.

For each, I'm writing just a few paragraphs and providing one video and some links. If you like any of the artists below (which you really should do) please do consider liking them on Facebook and supporting them by buying some of their music (if you're umming and ahhing about whether or not to buy a track, this is worth remembering). 

I make no excuses for gushing about each of these people and groups - they deserve it.

So, in no particular order:


Cara is a 19 year old singer/songwriter from sunny Aberdeen. She's already garnered TV appearances and numerous radio spins (including Radio 1). 

I could copy and paste reviews talking about the 'soft, lush tones to her voice' or the 'unparalleled talent for one so young' but really you should just have a listen.

As you may have seen in my last blog, Cara and I toured together last year and it was great to see just how well her music went down everywhere we played. Here's a live performance, enjoy!

P.S. I should mention that Cara is managed by Ross Calder from Aberdeen Gig Promotions.
He's a brilliant promoter who deserves a shout out! 

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Staying in Scotland but moving down to Glasgow, we've got the mastermind songwriter and singer from 'The Cosmic Rough Riders', Daniel Wylie. I remember buying their 'Enjoy the Melodic Sunshine' album in MVC (remember that?!) while at Uni and later doing a cover version of 'Revolution (In the Summertime?)' at various gigs around Exeter. The brilliance of the album was all down to Daniel and his great work has continued in his solo career. 

This track, 'Forgotten Songs' is really rather gorgeous:

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Speaking of Exeter, that's where I first met Ed Rome who was leading the hugely popular Ska/Rock band 'The Big'. While you might rightly say that Ed Rome is an 'acclaimed writer, recording artist and producer', in my mind he's basically just one of the most all round talented multi-instrumentalist musicians I've ever met. He plays guitar just as well with his teeth as with his fingers. He sees sound as colour. He's easily one of the greatest musicians you may not have heard of - this isn't hyperbole. I'm not over-emphasising. It's fact. 

His latest music project is rightly receiving a lot of BBC 6 Music airplay recently, check out 'Don't Believe the Hype (ft. Freddie Notes)' but in terms of the video, I'll leave you with the 'simple', class and musicianship of this folk instrumental.

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I first met Vinny when I was booking gigs for his band (with ex-Oasis guitarist Bonehead) 'Parlour Flames'.His new solo album 'Down The Bright Stream' is just as intelligent, poetic and thoughtful as his earlier work and well worth a listen. 

He's also got a nice looking tour shaping up for this year and I'm pleased to say I'm sharing the stage with him at Death2Disco at The Silver Bullet on 25th March. Full info here. 

Here's a dark and sweet track, 'Time for Bed':

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If ever there were a 'buzz band' on their way up who truly deserved your attention, it's these guys. Led by the mighty Lou Vainglorious (formerly of Death2Disco favourites Hoodlums) and now managed by the great Danny Watson, Asylums are a blast of joyful, guitar driven, melodic, attitude-filled, spirited, and brilliant indie/pop/punk/rock who've been getting loads of great radio play. Here's a track I've been dj'ing a lot recently, turn it up...

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Guitarist from The Foxes (whoever are they) Jon went to school with these talented sisters from North London. 

Soulful, clever musicianship, gorgeous harmonies and great song writing neatly sums up why you should check this band out. 

They recently headlined Club NME at Koko and don't be surprised if they're soon selling out venues like that across the country. The track below is called 'Faultline'. Enjoy.

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ft. Kerenza Peacock and Tali Trow

The Coal Porters just so happen to feature two incredible musicians I know from two completely different eras of my life...who just happen to have then joined the same band. Standard really. 

First is Kerenza Peacock, an astonishingly gifted musician and violinist whom I used to live next door to in Ipswich when I was 8 years old. We used to play Monopoly together and we both played violin. Nowadays she's plays with (and on the albums of) the likes of Paul McCartney, Adele, Noel Gallagher (at one point she was playing on ALL top 3 albums in the charts) as well as a host of classical albums. She also lends her talents to a track on my forthcoming album. 

On double bass is someone I met at my halls in the first week of uni, Tali Trow. He's the kind of brilliant musician who can play pretty much any instrument you put in front of him. And play it well. He's usually in at least five bands at once and much in demand as a session musician so I was fortunate enough to have him on board playing bass and a number of other instruments on my forthcoming album too, as well as co-producing. He's ace.

The band itself is 'alt-blugrass' - which is a kind of rootsy, country, folky mesh of loveliness and they mix original tracks with perfectly formed covers from 'War' by Errin Star to 'Paint It Black' by the Rolling Stones. The video below is a live version of an original track (featuring both Tali and Kerenza) called 'Save Me from the Storm' and also features Sid Griffin (a talented solo artist in his own right), Neil Robert Herd and Paul Fitzgerald.

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Have you noticed that musically, anything using the word 'Gypsy' is usually brilliant? (see Jimi Hendrix 'Gypsy Eyes' or Van Morrison's 'Into the Mystic' for example. No, I've not googled counter examples). 

Anyway, the duo who make up Gypsy Fingers, Victoria Coghlan and Luke Oldfield follow this fine tradition with their cinematic/olk/rock/pop.  As well as being a top musician, Luke (Mike Oldfield's son) also runs the brilliant Tilehouse Studios where I recorded my forthcoming album. He's got it perfectly set up for both digital AND analogue recording, which is a rare and special thing these days. 

The band have won rave reviews and sold out shows across the country, you'll see why when you listen to them.  You can hear not just the great song writing and musicianship on the track below, 'Eating Me' but the production is quite simply stunning. One listen won't be anywhere near enough. 

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Doug hails from the Isle of Wight where he lives and organises (or helps organise) most festivals and gigs worth going to see there.  On top of being also being a solo musician singer/songwriter he's also a drummer most often found with Pinstripe, Weatherkings, and Rachel's Reason - and a guest drummer for me on 'Dancing'.

There's currently no video for one of my favourite Doug songs, 'The Sun and the Moon and the Stars' from his Frequency Illusion EP, but you can hear it via Soundcloud below.

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Described as 'dreamy acid folk', these guys produce gorgeous, intelligent, slightly bluesy English folk. As well as being another of Tali Trow's bands, this also features the talents of master drummer Patrick Kenneally who drums on almost all the tracks on my new album - in addition to playing several keys parts. He's also the once of the nicest guys you'll ever meet  and drives an old taxi which can only be started with a screwdriver and has a 'pump and hope' break system.

The video below doesn't feature singer Michelle Griffiths (my apologies Michelle), but it was only put up just now and is too good not to show you - it's the remaining three quarters of the band (Mr Joe Woolley on vocal duties) playing live and straight to analogue tape at Tilehouse Studios. Sounding this good when live and stripped so bare on tape where you can hear everything isn't easy - you have to be good. I rest my case. 

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Last but certainly not least, we have the massive talents of Darling Boy, AKA Alex Gold.  He's so talented he was accepted to tour with the United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra before he even knew how to play one. 

Formerly the leader of 'The Wutars' his solo career has taken him up and down the country and all over the world, with his tracks providing a rare moment of class on TV shows such as Hollyoaks.

He's simply a great songwriter with genuine soul and pure heart, which might explain why he has admirers including Andy Partridge from XTC and Glen Matlock from the Sex Pistols...and you when you hear him. 

His recorded tracks are brilliant in themselves but I'm going to leave you with a little taste of the energy and passion from a live show - 'Oh Rosin!' Oh Darling Boy! 

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That's all for now - please support these great musicians!

Much love, 


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