Do you want to know a secret? Billy J Kramer is back and very soon it will be common knowledge, as he has been busy recording a comeback album, which has spawned a single To Liverpool with Love. A native of Merseyside and now happily residing in New York, yet it seems he has never forgotten his roots, and why should he as he was at the centre of the Merseybeat in the early sixties? Young northern teenagers inspired by American rock ‘n’ roll artists like Buddy Holly and The Crickets, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and of course Elvis, making music.
A Light That Never Goes Out, is a recent biography of one of Manchester’s finest bands, The Smiths, formed in 1982 and disbanded in 1987. Their first single, Hand in Glove, was released in May 1983 on Rough Trade. With the jangling guitar intro of Johnny Marr coupled with Morrissey’s unique melancholia and melodic vocals, backed by Mike Joyce’s 50’s rock ‘n’ roll meets 70’s funk drumming and the beating and pulsating bass lines of Andy Rourke,
These were the last words Paul Weller penned on The Jam's final album "Dig the New Breed", and I fondly recall where I read them for the first time. It was the 8th December 1982 (coincidentally the second anniversary of John Lennon's murder) late afternoon, and I was sitting in a Wimpy bar in the centre of Birmingham with my brother and his girlfriend, killing time whilst waiting for the doors to open to see The Jam at Bingley Hall.
The Zolas are a duo from Vancouver, Canada with Zachary Gray on vocals and guitar and Tom Dobrzanski on keyboards and piano, who use a variety of session musicians for live and recording work, which is a good thing as their songs, overall, are certainly epic affairs that are catchy and well thought out.
ABBA first found success at the Eurovision Song Contest February 1974, with their pastiche to the British Glam Rock Sound, Waterloo. An anthemia and melodic pop song with catchy hook line chorus, a wall of sound production and powerful horn sections that penetrated the brain with the harmonious 'Waterloo'.
Getting it from the horse's mouth is definitely the best way to hear a story, and that certainly is the case with Peter Hook's Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division. A title that says what it does on the tin, as Hook shares the highs and lows of the short but successful career of Joy Division. A band that only spawned two albums, Unknown Pleasure and Closer, records that have stood the test of time and still cited by many as a major influence. The story of Joy Division is as tragic as it is inspiring,
Marcus Reeves is a new singer/songwriter from Clapham, London, who is stylish, focused and talented. He is just about to release his debut album Quicksilver – The Masquerade, which has spawned his debut single Black Tears.
The Cult's latest album, Choice of Weapon, has been a success, charting on both sides of the Atlantic. As reviewed previously in ZANI (Choice of Weapon Review), proving The Cult continue to evolve with their music.
The Cult's Choice of Weapon, their first album since 2007, is a tour de force, with opening cymbals on the first track Honey From A Knife, followed by the heavy dabbing guitar of maestro Billy Duffy. The setting is primed for an exploration in attitude, anger and belief. Coupled with baritone vocals of Ian Astbury, it's pure rock and roll, a musical pandemonium that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Similar to a heavyweight boxer fighting for a title, the album as a whole is merciless, skilful, strong and daring. Moreover like a boxing match, there is a break to catch your breath, then the harmonious mayhem begins, as each track takes us into the wonderful sound of The Cult.
As I step off the train in a semi-rural picturesque northern town on the outskirts of Manchester, my mood is heightened as the sound of Motown, (a frequent fixture on my MP3 Player), is making me feel vibrant and inspired. I love the honesty, the soul and well crafted songs of this iconic label, and since my discovery of the sound of young America as a teenager, it is a label