NEWS: Skindred Announce New Album

It was announced today (10 November) that Welsh Ragga Metal 4-piece Skindred are releasing their fourth studio album next year, titled Union Black. It’ll be released 2 May 2011 and is currently being recorded at Britannia Row Studios in London. On the bands official website front man Benji Webbe had this to say about his new album,

“This is the first album we have written and recorded in the UK, it’s a big departure from our usual sunny California or Florida surroundings, its bloody freezing! The album will be darker and heavier than any of our previous recordings and I’ve not been this excited whilst writing since I was a kid! “Union Black” is bringing the darker side of the Dred out for sure!!!!!”

Having previously toured with Gogol Bordello, Flogging Molly, Korn and Disturbed they are set to bring their high energy live show to Rob Zombie‘s sold out UK tour next February. Skindred have been fighting their way into popularity ever since the success of their first album Babylon and the inclusion of a number of their songs on various video games.

I am personally greatly looking forward to this album. I really enjoy the combination of Benji’s screeching Ragga vocals, the Drum n Bass beats and Heavy Metal guitars from the first two albums (I haven’t yet had a chance to hear the third). Shame it’s half a year away. Lets hope they release some teasers soon.


NEWS: Cheltenham Underground This Friday

Yes folks it’s that time again! It’s time for me to bleat on about my local music scene and big up my favourite music promotion team The Cheltenham Underground.

After successfully returning from their summer sabbatical with a tremendous show, The Cheltenham Underground have hardly given us time to get our breath back before presenting their next event. Returning to the Frog and Fiddle on the 8th October, The Cheltenham Underground are promising an evening of upbeat, uplifting, dance-your-socks off music.

On the bill for the evening are Waiting For Kate with their brand of alternative ska rock which never fails to get the crowd moving. Get ready to skank the night away!

Next are Emmett Brown and we aren’t talking about the character from Back to the Future here. A funk rock fuelled explosion of ska-esque reggae this band gives a quite unique live experience.

And finally there is Zen Elephant and apart from having one of the best names for a band that I have heard in a while they create an acoustic-based groove accompanied by passionate vocals, and rhythms which encompass elements of traditional folk, reggae and roots music.

Once again it looks like it’s going to be a great evening and I’ve got my dancing shoes (or at least my skanking boots) ready, so come on down and join me for a fun filled evening.

Doors 8pm, £4 entry/£3 NUS


NEWS: Counter Culture launch a success – plus Mumdance, Starsmith and Harvard Bass this Friday

London’s 4-month multi-arts festival Counter Culture finally opened its doors for launch night on Friday to a capacity crowd and a guest appearance by the one-and-only Suggs.

Held in a pop-up venue (formely Jacks but now happily Counter Culture for the next 4 months) under London Bridge, the project held a first class night featuring performances from A.Human, Viva City and Man Like Me (joined by the aforementioned Suggs) and The Subs. In the second room were DJ sets from Sunday Girl, Anti Chris, Hatesy, The Invisible, Rotating Leslie and RightClickSaveAs, the place was busy until the early hours of the morning and the organisers can be immensely pleased that the project kicked off with such success. I’ll include some photos from launch night once they’ve been published.

The party continued on Saturday with the Counter Culture house DJs, and on Sunday was the first weekly film night, with a free showing of Withnail & I (whilst supping White Russians and eating the free nibbles). Sundays will, from next week, by hosted by Short & Sweet, showing short films, music videos and animations from a range of known and unknown directors.


NEWS: What’s On – Gloucestershire Music Festivals 24-26 Sept

Those of us around the Gloucestershire area have a feast of music to choose from this weekend with two music festivals happening simultaneously.

In Cheltenham, the Frog and Fiddle pub is hosting Frog-Fest. Last year this was a one day event but this year for the first time they’ve decided to make a weekend of it. Starting with an opening gig tonight, the weekend will see two full days of gigs both in the Frog and Fiddle’s barn stage and on a new acoustic stage outside (hopefully the weather will stay away, then). Over the weekend Frog-Fest presents a host of local talent and some bands from a bit further afield, including Jim Lockey and The Solemn Sun, Midnight Mile, Rookie/Error, Orchid Fever, Brown Torpedo and Emmett Brown.

Meanwhile, over in Gloucester at the Guildhall there is the Underground Festival. This is a new music festival featuring emerging and unsigned bands from all over the country. Boasting three stages on both Saturday and Sunday the line up includes The Joy Formidable, Pulled Apart By Horses, Morning Parade, Tubelord, The Xcerts, Little Fish and Wild Palms.

This is looking like a good little festival with a great line up promoting smaller bands so I hope that it does well and returns next year.

Tickets are still available for both events on a daily basis or for weekend passes. Further details are available, with complete lineups and times, from the websites for each event (just click the links above).

If you’re attending any of them, let us know – a few Spotisfaction staffers will be in attendance at each, so come say hello.


NEWS: My Chemical Romance – Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys

So this video was brought to my attention today. It appears My Chemical Romance are releasing a new album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. No official news as to when yet, although internet rumour tells me November 22nd (who in their right mind believes internet rumour, though?).

MCR appear to have taken a slightly new direction in their artistic style; gone is the gothic style military look of old and in comes a brand new live-action comic book style. Whether or not this will change the musical style in any way is an entirely different story, though. I’m still not completely sure if I like My Chemical Romance as their last album was spoilt for me by far too much radio play. Looking forward to giving them another go.

From what we’ve heard of new track, ‘Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)’ which was premiered on Zane Lowe’s BBC1 show yesterday, I think this album could be a fun one.

Hit the link for their teaser trailer for Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.


NEWS: Dreadzone – Eye On The Horizon Winter Tour

British Dub-Electronica institution Dreadzone are about to embark on a huge 27-date UK tour this Winter in support of their Eye On The Horizon album, released earlier this year.

Starting at The Button Factory, Dublin, on Wednesday 29 September, the band are on the road for nearly 3 months, ending at The Duchess, York on Sunday 12 December.  Along the way they’ll be visiting all four corners of the UK, including Edinburgh, Exeter, Norwich, Birmingham and London.

Still a phenomenal live experience after 15 years, if Dreadzone are playing near you, we recommend you go and see them. For the first leg of the tour they will be supported by Reading-based roots-dubstep collective Engine-Earz Experiment (6 Oct – 14 Nov), and then for the second leg by experimental dub duo She Is Danger. Tickets are now on sale, full listing below.


NEWS: The Cheltenham Underground Returns

After a summer-long hiatus to recharge the batteries, Gloucestershire based music promotion team The Cheltenham Underground return with a new show to tantalise the taste buds.

Returning to their spiritual home of Slak on Friday 17th September, Cheltenham Underground once again present us with an exciting and eclectic mix of music.

The line up for the evening consists of the following:

Johnny5thWheel&TheCowards. With The Ark Magazine describing their music as ‘transporting you to a tavern in the 17th Century with a tankard of ale in hand’, this upbeat folk band sounds like a great way to start the evening.

Next up, Stressechoes. Having played the taverns of Cheltenham as a two-piece performing mainly covers for the last couple of years, they have now expanded into a four piece and are concentrating on producing their own material. The addition of drums and bass has seen Stressechoes go from strength to strength.

Finally, headlining are The Wilderness of Manitoba. This five piece Canadian folk outfit choose not to rely on electric instruments, but rather the strength of their melodies and vocals which include intricately weaved three and four piece harmonies wrapped around traditional folk elements.


NEWS: Mark Ronson & The Business Intl. – Record Collection

This is not entirely up to date news, but on the 27th September Mark Ronson releases his new album Record Collection, this time releasing the album under the name Mark Ronson & the Business Intl. Ronson’s all star team of contributors includes Dave McCabe (The Zutons), Kyle Falconer (The View), Simon Le Bon (Duran Duran), Jake Shears (Scissor Sisters), Ghostface Killah (Wu-Tang Clan) and many more. This list of contributors seems a lot more on the pop/indie side of life than his previous albums, especially 2003 offering Here Comes The Fuzz, which has a decidedly more hip hop feel.

In a brief bit of blurb taken from his website, there is a description as to how he got started with this project:

“In July 2009, Mark Ronson and his musician friends went into Dunham studios in Brooklyn […] Inspired by working with Duran Duran […] he brought with him some of the vintage keyboards he’d found on eBay. And they began playing. He and the other musicians would try their hand at different instruments “to stop anyone getting too comfortable”.


NEWS: Glassjaw – All Good Junkies Go To Heaven… new album on the way?

So we’re admittedly a little late to the plate on this one, but on 20 August Glassjaw released a new vinyl-only single All Good Junkies Go To Heaven.  This was the first official Glassjaw release since 2005’s El Mark EP, and we’ve just stumbled across the best vinyl rip of the track we’ve heard, and wanted to share it with you all.  The audio via YouTube is embedded below.

The new Glassjaw album has been a slow burner since their 2002 sophomore release Worship and Tribute.  Guitarist Todd Weinstock left the band, writing and recording for a new record began – as a four piece – as early as 2006, and they’ve been hinting at new material ever since.

It’s been a long ride, but we’re glad that more and more material is now being released for our consumption.  We really like the track (and if you can find an even better quality rip please do let us know!) and we hope it wets everyone’s appetite enough for whenever we finally get our hands on the new record!

Enjoy. (PS, don’t be confused by the live sample halfway through, that is on the track!)


NEWS: Stream Abe Vigoda’s New Album

Bella Union, one of the most accessible record labels around at the moment in my opinion, have very kindly uploaded Abe Vigoda‘s new album, Crush, to their SoundCloud page for our aural pleasure. It’s a delightful listen and you should certainly check it out.

We’ve embedded the stream below. Let us know what you think in the comments, and check out this Friday’s Gig Rig for info on when they’ll be touring near you.

The album is out on the 20th of this month.

Abe Vigoda – Crush by Bella Union


NEWS: Stream Röyksopp’s New Album

Evening folks. Some grand news for you – Röyksopp have uploaded their new album Senior to SoundCloud so that we can stream it before the September 13th release! Here’s a little information from the band’s SoundCloud page:

“Senior is the introverted, dwelling and sometimes graceful counterpart to last year’s Junior: brim-full with dark secrets and distorted memories, insisting I’m old, I’ve got experience… Senior is furthermore an album about age, horses and being subdued, with devils breathing down your neck. Each track is equally as important as its predecessor and successor. We feel that none of the tracks should be regarded outside of this context. Quite a “brave”/stupid thing to do in this day & age of iPods and cherrypicking, one might suggest. We couldn’t agree more – hell that’s even probably why we did it.”

I’m only a couple of tracks in, but so far it’s an awesome listen. I encourage you to check it out below, and head over to their website where you can pre-order the album.

Senior by Röyksopp

News Reviews

REVIEW: Everything Everything – Man Alive (Geffen 2010)

Following our news post last week, informing you that Everything Everything were streaming their new album Man Alive (Geffen 2010) on Myspace, I requested that it make an appearance on Spotify soon. Seems like they were listening to me, because I’m pleased to inform you all that it is now on Spotify too!

Everything Everything don’t need me to wax lyrical for them. In December last year, they were shortlisted for the BBC’s Sound of 2010. MY KZ, UR BF was featured on Zane Lowe’s Hottest Records blog, and they can count Take That amongst their biggest fans. In other words, they’ve got previous.

Its reach is understandable.  From the synth stabs of the Lowe-endorsed MY KZ, UR BF, you could be forgiven for thinking you were listening to 1986’s Please.  The falsetto melodies could be from the Beegees (though there’s a distinctly Futureheads vibe about Jonathan Higgs’ vocal when he’s not grabbing his balls).  The rhythm section bounces along like something straight out of disco-era funk.  It’s distinctly accessible.  And yet, not…  The chops are severe, the amalgamation of styles so abruptly put together – they want you to dance, but they don’t want you to draw breath.  Everything Everything are an enigma.

Features News

NEWS: Counter Culture pre-launch

The end of summer sucks.  Fact.  The weather fades, it gets dark, and festival season grinds to a saddening hault pretty much after Bestival (next week!).  Fear not, though, for help is on the way.

Counter Culture, a new 4 month multi-arts ‘festival’ taking place under London Bridge Station, launches on 24 September and their site launched this morning with extensive listings (but far from fully announced – expect some great announcements as time goes on) of what to expect to see going on there until 1 January 2011.

Get your name on their mailing list, because the first 100 names will be added to the guestlist and get free admission for their launch party on Friday 24 September.  Special Guests are still to be confirmed, but with Man Like Me, the Streets-esque London-techno three-piece, and Rumours, ‘the worlds smallest 80s disco’ – which has been converting Isle Of Wight, Camp Bestival and V Festival into 80s time-warps in recent summers – already in place, it’s going to be one hell of a party.


NEWS: Download Juey feat. Tom Mitchell – “Live at the Vine”

I’ve been a huge fan of Cheltenham Underground regular Juey for quite some time and was lucky enough to catch her recently at Vinestock 2010, where she was accompanied by Tom Mitchell on acoustic guitar.

If you missed her, you’re in luck. Juey managed to source a pretty handy BOSS BR series digital recorder and recorded the whole set. Woop etc.

You can download the set here:, or, alternatively, please feel free to listen to the stream below. Either way, make sure you check her out when she’s next playing near you!


NEWS: Everything Everything Debut Now On Myspace

Awesome news!  The debut album from Everything Everything, entitled Man Alive (Geffen 2010), is now streaming via Myspace!  Here’s hoping it’s on our very own Spotify soon, but in the mean time, wrap your ears around this promo.  We can confirm the album is literally fantastic.

The album will be released for general sale on 30 August 2010.

    1. MY KZ, UR BF
    2. QWERTY Finger
    3. Schoolin’
    4. Leave The Engine Room
    5. Final Form
    6. Photoshop Handsome
    7. Two For Nero
    8. Suffragette Suffragette
    9. Come Alive Diana
    10. NASA Is On Your Side
    11. Tin (The Manhole)
    12. Weights

Update! Man Alive is now on Spotify too!! Listen now!