THANK YOU …(and goodnight.)

Red and white.Red and white.Yup ….. that’s it – done!

Regular visitors will know that this year has been one of stop / start for LOUD HORIZON as I experimented with different things in an attempt to get the blog to where I wanted it.

But in truth, after seven years of writing, I am no longer sure of where that is / was! I really think that considering it’s a one-man-show, LOUD HORIZON has achieved all it’s ever going to. Its peaked! (Over the piece, there have been a few writers helping out, some more dependable than others …. my thanks to Kenneth John Porteous and Gary Moyes especially, but circumstances change and they moved on, as I must now do myself.)

So, in many ways reluctantly, I have decided that the blog is going on a very lo-o-o-ong hiatus. (When I win the lottery or retire – I know what will come first – I’ll definitely come back to it as I’ve loved every minute of writing about new / obscure music / bands.)

The blog itself has proved reasonably popular, rising to a ranking high of 63 in the Technorati Directory of over 13,000 music-related bogs worldwide. Generally-speaking it sat around the 200 (and better) mark, which was pretty respectable.

Quotes from the blog have been spotted in magazines; on press-releases; on album sleeves and even on a promotional video from the U.S. punk label, Epitaph!

It’s given me the opportunity to meet so many lovely people from the bands that I’ve featured both on LOUD HORIZON and ARTROCKER MAGAZINE. In fact, I can honestly say that I’ve not chatted with / interviewed any awkward types / prima-donnas at all. And when I think back to the early days and some of the cringeworthy things I asked of them, then the bands were obviously so patient with me!

It’s perhaps a little unfair to single a few bands out, but in particular the lads from BAD FOR LAZARUS were so easy to talk to; despite their on-stage antics and personas, the mighty BO NINGEN were true gentlemen; the effervescent COLLEEN CAFFEINE from Detroit punks CHOKING SUSAN was an absolute delight and ANDREA ZOLLO from the long-departed PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES was just so easy to chew the fat with. Even ERIC NALLY (Foxy Shazam) who has written songs for Meatloaf and had a bit of a ‘reputation’ was an absolute to gem and really interesting to speak with.

And of course, I really must mention the courageous POLY STYRENE (a punk idol of mine) who in spite of her ailing health and obvious discomfort, was happy to talk with me for best part of forty-five minutes.

I’m really proud to say that LOUD HORIZON was one of the first blogs / magazines to highlight the talents of several bands. Current ARTROCKER favourites THE SAVAGE NOMADS and THEATRE ROYAL were featured in the blog very early into their careers. Likewise, Irish mentalists FIGHT LIKE APES and Boston experimentalist / downbeat psych exponent, THE OCULAR AUDIO EXPERIMENT.  I was then able to get all four their first exposure in ARTROCKER. There were others, but I really need to retain a certain modicum of modesty!

All in all, contrary to some sanctimonious remarks on the blog’s Facebook page and one (unpublished!) comment on the blog itself, I feel I can take my leave safe in the knowledge that I’ve ‘done my bit,’ for ‘music,’ and the cause of ‘undiscovered’ bands and artists. Over the piece LOUD HORIZON has:

. opened its doors to numerous touring bands, providing alcohol; beds; showers; bacon butties & pizzas. Several became firm friends and returned on several occasions. (YOU SAY PARTY! And THE HOT PUPPIES in particular);

. contributed countless articles over a six year plus period to ARTROCKER MAGAZINE, affording many bands their first ‘mainstream’ coverage;

. written several thousand ‘reviews’ of new releases, helping raise (in the majority of cases!) the profile of the bands involved;

. introduced several bands to national radio stations that then played their recording(s);

. highlighted and become friends with bands from all over the world – especially Chile, Japan, Belgium, and of course USA and Canada.

Before I sign off though, I must give BIG thanks to all those who have supported LOUD HORIZON throughout the seven years or so. Obviously the bands and artists who have provided their music, much of which I still play to this day, but also to the numerous PR Companies who introduced me to much of their music in the first place. Cheers guys ‘n’ gals! It would have been a struggle without you.

But most of all, a big THANK YOU is due to all the blog visitors, many of whom I know were regulars / subscribers. 

So that’s it …. for the foreseeable future at least.

It’s been a blast.

THANK YOU & GOODNIGHT!

(There follows a small selection of some of my favourite sounds / bands that have featured on LOUD HORIZON. The second video features – @ 1:25 -well …..  let’s say no more!!)

COLIN

LOUD HORIZON

x










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CAVE

CAVE - 200 - November 2013Chicago psych-rockers CAVE have just completed the last leg of their USA tour, promoting their brilliant album ‘Threace.’

Formed in 2006, their influences were easily traced to the krautrock behemoths of the early Seventies – Can and Neu! amongst them. With this latest album though, whilst not dismissing their earlier inspirations, they seem to have coupled them with a bit of a Seventies Stoner vibe.

They recently took to the Chicago River, on a ‘party boat,” to blast out the songs from ‘Threace‘ one of which follows below.

And as if that wasn’t enough to convince you of this band’s pedigree, here’s another ….‘Shikaakwa.

CAVE could just be my new favourite band!

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TERMINAL GODS: ‘The Wheels Of Love.’

TERMINAL GODS - 200 - logo - November 2013London based TERMINAL GODS are set to release their new 12″ EP, ‘Machine Beat Messiah‘ this coming Thursday in a headline show at the city’s (Highbury & Islington) The Garage venue.

It was about eighteen months ago when LOUD HORIZON reported on the band’s debut release, ‘Electric Eyes’ and then the subsequent ‘Lessons In Fire,’ and it’s interesting to see how they have progressed in the intervening time. There is still a definite Eighties retro-electro type sound going on here, but it has less of a goth / industrial feel and more of a frantic, kick-ass rocking refrain. More my type of noise, I have to say.

If this is a typical reflection of their new material, then I’d suggest a TERMINAL GODS live show would be an evening well spent.

Yeah — definitely the best I’ve heard from these guys.

(Once again, the video has been shot by Andy Oxley of Screen 3 Productions.)

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15-60-75 (THE NUMBERS BAND): ‘Jimmy Bell’s Still In Town.’

xBack in 1976 like many of my age, my musical tastes which had been predominately rock / blues based, were about to be reshaped quite dramatically. This was the year I experienced Punk music for the first time (The Rezillos @ Gigi’s in Glasgow) while over the ocean in New York, punk was primed to blossom from the No Wave scene.

Little did I know that in Kent, Ohio a band (who were later to recognised as one of the forefathers of the Akron / Cleveland sound) were successfully blending all those exciting new sounds with those of the traditional rock / blues riffs of the earlier half of the decade.

Their debut album, ‘Jimmy Bell’s Still In Town,’ was recorded live at Cleveland’s Agora Theatre on the night that they opened for Bob Marley & The Wailers and now long out print,  is a highly sought-after slab of vinyl, with copies typically exchanging hands for upwards of £50.

Well, now Now York label, Exit Stencil Recordings are set to re-issue a limited run of 500 copies in a double-album, gatefold sleeve package. And quite rightly too – the more people get to hear / own this amazing album the better.

For me, this is one of the best albums of the year! I love how it embodies just about every musical genre that was floating around at the time: bluesy riffs; droned vocals; soulful sax; freaked-out sax! Rock meets proto-punk meets No Wave, meets Blues, meets Soul.

All nine tracks are on the money – but the title-track steals it for me:


(Released through Exit Stencil Recordings on 3rd December 2013)

(10/10)

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THE BELLE GAME: ‘River.’

THE BELLE GAME - 200 - November 2013Vancouver dark-pop exponents (if you really must pigeon-hole them) THE BELLE GAME are just about to head out on a European tour, which unfortunately takes in only one UK date … in London of course, at St Pancras Church on 28th November.

The tour is presumably to promote their excellent, long awaited debut album ‘Ritual Tradition Habit,‘ which was actually scheduled for release last year, but delayed by the label due to an ‘exciting new liaison with an international partner.’ But all good things come to those that wait of course and the twelve tracks of beautifully layered and textured melodies are quite often it would appear, juxtaposed with pretty dark videos.

The music itself reminds me a little of the ‘generic’ Brooklyn dream-pop sound and vocalist Andrea Lo’s  powerful yet dulcet tone rings familiar – especially so on ‘Wait Up For You.’ And yet, that said, the band still have a quite unique sound, blending the dramatic with the pained and the raucous with the gentle.

Perhaps next time, they can stop a little longer in the UK. (And Glasgow,, perhaps?)

 

(I really like how so much thought has been put into the videos, and that they are almost like stand-alone short-films.)

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THE CREATURE COMFORT: ‘Sally Sucks.’

THE CREATURE COMFORT - Sally SucksEveryone knows that the late Eighties / early Nineties saw the city of Manchester become the centre of the musical universe with the emergence of various Clubs, labels and of course, bands. And of course, everyone knows about the likes of the Stone Roses; Joy Division; Happy Mondays; James and Oasis who were amongst the forefront of the city and surrounding area.

But, THE CREATURE COMFORT?

Yup – they were there too. (As was I at that time!) But for whatever reason, although they held down a residency at the city’s iconic ‘The International’ venue and benefited from much local media coverage, they remained more of a ‘cult’ band as they were suddenly forced to disband without actually releasing their first album.

Now though,  original founder and front-man Ben Le Jeune has resurfaced with a new band around him to release that long (long, long) awaited debut long-player!

So here’s a taster of what we may expect. Let’s hope the band hang around long enough this time to fulfil their potential. (Does ‘potential’ have a sell-by date?)

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HRH: BLUES …. my kind of Festival!

HRH BLUES 2014 - PosterI know I’m getting soft in my old age, but mud-swamped music Festivals in some god-forsaken field in the middle of what we here in UK like to call ‘Summer’ have never appealed to me. Far better,as I experienced a few years back, is Rebellion – a weekend of old-school punk and Oi! – held in the warm and dry environs of Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.

So, news of the genre-specific HRH Festivals is always of interest, as these are held at Hafan in North Wales so there’s accommodation on site and as the shows are all under cover, I believe.

There are several ‘HRH’ (which I presume stems from the original ‘Hard Rock Hell’ Rock festivals) events nowadays – HRH AOR; HRH Prog, Hammerfest  and my favourite, HRH BLUES.

Several of my personal favourites are playing the two-dayer next March (21st & 22nd) including Dr Feelgood, and Gerry McAvoy’s Band of Friends. Of course everyone knows the former, but the latter features Gerry himself who was bass player for my ultimate Rock Idol, Rory Gallagher. He’s joined in the trio by Ted McKenna, who also played with Rory (on drums) as well as one of my other big heroes, Alex Harvey. Guitarist Marcel Scherpenzeel completes the line-up and is in the opinion of Gerry McAvoy, ‘the closest guitarist to Rory you will ever hear.’ Unsurprisingly, they revive many of the great man’s classics in their set!

And here’s a recent addition to the line-up – The Graveltones. I’d not heard of them before, but since forming in 2011, the Aussie duo have garnered great reviews for their ‘heavy blues’  music and I’m sure they’rs going to be around for a long time to come.

You can get al the latest news on the HRH: BLUES festival from the website, here.

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