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July 17, 2014 by Robb Powell

I’m pretty much ten podcasts behind on the blog so I better get a move on with sharing them here. Be satisfied I have managed to focus my attention to compose this post because my Beautiful Days tickets arrived today. What with their arrival and the continuous banter going on over at the Facebook chat page my excitement levels are overloaded. Add to this a very hot run I just got in from after which I would love nothing more than a nice ice-cold beer but in doing so would defeat my ‘healthy living’ objectives it is a miracle I’m sitting at the laptop typing away. However, there is so much to share. And so little time. Oh so little time! Make sure you scroll down and check out the obligatory blogcast extras which will go some way to helping me share all the extra stuff I don’t have time to do individual blog posts for.

Show #21 was recorded way back in January on the day I was off to the Capitol for my first gig at The Barbican. That was to see the delightful James Vincent McMorrow and what a show it was too. Support came from Denai Moore who even slotted in a Band of Horses cover for good measure. She impressed me much. Then, James and his band were just magnificent!


  1. Luke Jackson – Sister
  2. Tom McRae – The Boy With The Bubble Gun
  3. White Clouds & Gunfire – Reflection
  4. Party In Paris – We Fly Kites
  5. Casual Engagement – Sometimes
  6. True Apothecary – Barracuda to Sparrow
  7. Sky Burns Red – You Can Stop…Just Saying
  8. Crowded House – Pour Le Monde
  9. James Vincent McMorrow – Cavalier
Picture from Luke's Facebook page

Picture from Luke’s Facebook page

Let’s start at the beginning though and I cannot believe Luke Jackson’s second album, Fumes And Faith, has now already been out for five months. I played the stunning opening track Sister to kick off this podcast and showcase more of Luke’s brilliance. Live, he is a tour de force that should NEVER be missed if he is playing anywhere near you so take heed and get booking tickets. All info, dates and important stuff at his website >>here<<. Bookmark it. Are we still even doing that these days? It is so easy to lose track, things move on so fast. I bet the Elves in Middle Earth never had this problem keeping up with things. Apologies, I digress (as is my wont), I am currently adventuring in Numenor and the coastlands of Middle Earth during the Second Age courtesy of re-reading Unfinished Tales. Yes, me is geek. It has been too long since I saw Luke last so I need to be sorting this out pronto!

There really is no end to his talents and he manages to astound me each and every time with whatever he puts out. The dual performance of Stories he co-wrote and worked on with his friend Sam King WOWed me to such a degree I don’t think it will ever be possible to recover from such WOWness. And why would I want to? I shouldn’t have been so surprised but you know, it just really grabs me when things like this are so incredibly amazing. I cannot stop listening to this video so do check it out yourselves and please share.


Picture from Tom's Facebook page

Picture from Tom’s Facebook page

It is back to the beginning with song #4 of 10 from Tom in what became a long running Tom McRae feature. Yes, I did end up playing a few more than just the ten songs but what the heck, it is my show after all. I can count, by the way. Just making that clear in case there are any potential employers out there perusing. It was a real pleasure to share so many songs from a musician and artist I have been following for what is now more than ten years and who’s music I dearly love. Being one of the biggest fan favourites I recall hearing The Boy With The Bubble Gun from Tom’s debut self-titled album for the first time prior to my first live gig of his back in October 2003. Needless to say the rest is history as I fell instantly in love with it (and the rest of the album).

Energetic alternative rock sounds come from the fabulous White Clouds & Gunfire and local Northampton lads Party In Paris. These two bands deserve your love and attention so have a look at and listen to their stuff please. Enjoy this recent video from the former right here, just hit play. Also among others on the playlist are US band True Apothecary with their superb unique brand of excellence. Then, Classics Corner saw veterans Crowded House woo us with a song from their more recent album, Time On Earth called Pour le Monde. Such a beauty!

Bringing the show to a delicious close is the very man I was then off to see on the day, James Vincent McMorrow with the single Cavalier, which he had just released from the new album Post Tropical. We missed the train by the way but of course I managed to get there. Stunning performance! Recalling it brings immense pleasure.


As ever, there is heaps, stacks and tons more for me to share. In the interests of getting this post published, I will need to remain brief and still won’t be able to share everything I would like here. Fear not, I am striving to post more entries so keep checking back here for more. Why not Follow while you’re at it? That way I believe you will be notified of any new posts? Go on, you know it makes perfect sense. 



It is as if they read my mind for as I was compiling the many lists I do for both the blog and the podcast my mind wandered upon Salute Something. I hadn’t seen anything on Twitter for a good while but then again I get so much coming at me through my feed I do end up missing much anyway. Then just yesterday I clocked a tweet about the release of their debut EP Machine Myth

It is sounding awesome too! A very strong debut that will cost you just £3 little quids. Unless you’re feeling generous and up for paying a little bit more and to be honest, this music is well worth it! Have a listen above now and get buying. Also, while you are enjoying the tunes go like their Facebook page too.



A tremendous intro on this latest single release from indie band Whitemoor. With me being tied up on my course and so busy in the catch up I’m doing the release actually passed me by. As an owner of the band’s brilliant second album Horizons, from which the single is taken, I did already know the quality of the music and include my summary of this particular track in the review of the album I wrote last year. The B-side is another stunning tune called What’s Going On. A real nice breathtaking sound to this one folks. 

My words from the album review: On Top Of The World has an elevating musical intro that throws you up in the air, catches you by the legs only to soar you back up into the atmosphere. No restraints. Crash helmets are an advisory. This song is perfect for mainstream radio play and I can already hear it being hummed by even the most casual listener. A summer hit! I love how it embraces an almost dance-like kind of vibe too, demonstrating the dimensionality of the band. They are experimenting and progressing with the sounds they can make come together, with some astounding results. (You can visit >>here<< to read it in full). On Top Of The World is available from iTunes >>here<<.




house of jacksI appreciate I am now almost two full months late with this but as I have been thoroughly enjoying House of Jacks for even longer than that I couldn’t let any more time pass without sharing at least some brief words on it.

This is not just a brilliant follow up to the debut from Blair Dunlop, Blight and Blossom a few years ago – it is a magnificent gem of a second record! More so a Mansion as opposed to House of Jacks, such is its grandeur. I was pulled in immediately from my very first listen way back in April and since then I have lost count of the number of times I’ve played it from beginning to end in its entirety. Try it, you will soon see.

What I love instantly about opening track (and what was the first single) Something’s Gonna Give Way is the richness and depth of the characterisation. It is not isolated to just this song though, there are others like The Ballad of Enzo Laviano and Different Schools to name just two of many more. The songs come alive via the musical arrangements and the delicious dexterity of Blair’s voice. The lyrics, the music, the whole package builds up providing a real atmospheric experience. Something you can touch, or that touches you, rather. I feel like I step into these songs when I’m listening to them. Sometimes an observer only perhaps, but nevertheless actually there on the inside of them. Present. This is something that has struck me as so remarkable about it. Blair was certainly a worthy winner of that BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Horizon Award a couple of years ago. If House of Jacks doesn’t go on to win numerous awards then  there is something seriously wrong with the award awarding committees out there.

I would highly recommend you go buy the album of course but if singles are more your thing, Blair has just released The Station so check out the links at his website to get buying. I have a serious need to see Blair live and soon!! I was hoping he would be announced for this year’s Beautiful Days after I was unable to venture over to Bristol earlier in the year to see him on his UK tour. It has to be soon!



STEVIERAYOh StevieRay, I cannot express how much I wish I was heading to Truck Festival on the morrow. Even just to catch this guy live once again. Seeing him last year in The Saloon Bar he instantly captivated me so much I don’t ever want to be without his music in my ears ever again. Ever. Seriously! I played another song from him on my most recent podcast #30 (>>here<<) but only then saw the news of the release of Modern Attitudes, which is superb!

You can pre-order his album of the same name at iTunes right >>here<< which currently has an expected release date of 4th August. Excited beyond words! Download the Modern Attitudes single from iTunes >>here<< or add it to your Spotify playlist, if that’s your bag, click >>here<<

The video is a live session of a song called Feather down Blues. Stunning! It is a crime I am missing the likes of this at Truck Festival. *sobs uncontrollably*


As I shared them in the last blogcast and on the recent podcast #29 (>>here<<), just wanted to share this new video from Fort Hope. Top band, I am loving the album Courage. I was compelled to buy it after discovering them a few weeks ago.


A stunning cover by Frank Turner here filmed for Ont’ Sofa. Sublime! Tickets released for his Northampton gig tomorrow morning. I am there!!


Sticking with the magical Frank Turner and another cover. This time of a Levellers classic Julie, featuring the Levs too. I only heard/saw it for the first time yesterday and blown away to be honest. Can’t wait for the Greatest Hits album this September on which this will feature. I have tried to embed the video so you can just hit play but having difficulty as NME don’t seem to want me to do so. I even registered to be able to. Ah well, just click right >>here<< and enjoy! Actually I believe I have just posted the video on its own. 

Do your best not to melt into pools of sweaty slush. Relax, don’t move and chill with the chooooooooooons!


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