Tuesday, 27 February 2018


1.  Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band – ‘You Know You’ll Cry’ (1965)
The self-penned B-side to second single ‘Please Stay’ and one indebted to the rolling New Orleans sound of Allen Toussaint/Lee Dorsey.

2.  The Delicates – ‘Shop Shovin’ Me Around’ (1966)
Challenge Records were set-up by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. Gene had moseyed outta town by the time the Delicates cut this Motown soundalike, arranged by the phenomenally prolific and successful Gene Page.

3. Gela – ‘Pinta Mi Mundo’ (1967)
Swinging Spanish version of Pet Clark’s ‘Colour My World’.

4.  The Kindly Shepherds – ‘Lend Me Your Hand’ (1967)
Who you gonna call? No, not them, Jesus of course. Released on Checker this is happy-clappy gospel magic.

5.  Grant Green – ‘Iron City’ (1967)
It’s Green on guitar, Ben Dixon on drums and, according to the sleeve, Big John Patton on organ although there are plenty who swear it’s Larry Young. Listening closely, they may be right. Either way, this is supreme soul-jazz.

6.  The Impressions – ‘Stop The War’ (1972)
Curtis Mayfield had made way in the Impressions for Leroy Hutson to take over the lead role but still provided the songs and production to Times Have Changed. If Curtis hadn’t been cutting Superfly he would surely have been tempted to keep this for himself.

7.  Candy Opera – ‘Fever Pitch’ (1989)
Their recordings failed to see the light of day back in the mid-80s, only this month released this month as 45 Revolutions Per Minute, but what a revelation Candy Opera are. Although recorded at different stages the sixteen songs from this overlooked Liverpool band hang together as a superb, essential album. Fantastic all the way through, love it. Fans of Aztec Camera, in particular, take note.

8.  Men of North Country – ‘They Don’t Know’ (2016)
"We got some magic beans and we're rounding up the team". A joyous tribute to the secret underground topsy-turvy world of northern soul.

9.  Cabbage – ‘Arms of Pleonexia’ (2018)
Lyrically, musically and politically one of the most stirring bands around now, their 100 Club gig further cemented their reputation as an exciting proposition. The dark vibrating rattle and chant of ‘Arms of Pleonexia’ offers a taste of what’s to come from their first proper album, Nihilistic Glamour Shots, in March. Dictionary at the ready.

10.  Go-Kart Mozart – ‘When You’re Depressed’ (2018)
As gratifying as it is to see the Felt albums from the 80s reissued, don’t let that distract from Lawrence’s new Go-Kart Mozart album, Mozart Mini-Mart. Like music made for 1980s work training videos, here Lawrence deals with depression.

Friday, 23 February 2018


On the long list of things that make the mid-60s such an idyllic fantasyland to young pups such as I is the prominence of the musicians willing to lug a Hammond organ around seven days a week to play tiny pubs and clubs. There’s nothing like it, that sound, played through a Leslie speaker, swirlin’ and a-whirlin’. Bands these days either aren’t interested or can’t be doing with completing out a risk assessment to carry a ten-ton weight up some stairs and down again when smashed out of their skulls on pints of brandy. Only the other week I witnessed Jim Jones and the Righteous Mind disguise their use of a common-or-garden keyboard by quickly constructing a faux wood contraption to give the impression they were rocking an ancient organ. No backbone these bands. Or maybe it’s the old timers like Zoot Money who no longer have one; years of poor manual handling practices taking their toll. 

Some of the hard labours Zoot Money and his Big Roll Band put in are collated in Big Time Operator, a new 4-CD boxset, boasting their entire (original period) recorded output plus gigs and live performances for the BBC.

It’s clear Money comes alive whenever in front of an audience as the ebullient 1966 performance on Live at Klook’s Kleek which opens disc one demonstrates. You can almost feel the sweat of the band, the condensation running down the walls, as the audience soul-clap along to Ray Charles, Otis Redding and Curtis Mayfield numbers and go crazy for a throaty James Brown medley. This is an archetypal Hammond and horns stew, London (via Bournemouth) style, yet despite their full-blooded rambunctiousness the occasional use of flute, included on the fabulous instrumental ‘Florence of Arabia’, adds a shade of subtlety. The night closes with ‘Barefootin’’, a song Zoot would frequently take literally and remove not only his shoes but those of as many members of the audience he could, a procedure that invariably turned to chaos as Denson’s and Mary Janes flew through the air.

This colourful showmanship defined Zoot’s shows. You were gonna shout and shimmy, have fun, and Zoot would make you laugh even if it detracted from the band’s musicianship. Georgie Fame exuded an air of stand-offish cool sophistication; Graham Bond and his Organisation were dangerously unhinged madmen loaded with violent virtuosity; Brian Auger was happy to share the spotlight; George Bruno Money, meanwhile, jumped on tables, leaped on cars at festivals, gurned, dropped his trousers and knocked over glasses of whisky and Coke.

Another show from the same year, Live at The Flamingo, the venue where the band took over Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames' residency, features on disc two. The nineteen songs, all different from the Klook’s set, recorded by saxophonist Nick Newall on a Grundig tape recorder with two little plastic microphones barely a foot apart on the stage, are a riot of raucous rhythm and soul. Despite the low-tech recording technique the sound quality is very good and captures the atmosphere superbly as they tear through ‘Oh Mom (Teach Me How To Uncle Willie)’, a rip-roaring ‘Hallelujah I Love Her So’, ‘Hide Nor Hair’, ‘Ain’t That Peculiar’ and more. Although the band’s main preoccupation was unearthing American recordings to bring to British audiences they did, with the help of Tony Colton, have a few fine original numbers. ‘Big Time Operator’ the most obvious, gave the band their only chart single; the record buying public weren’t entirely stupid, it was by far the most hit-sounding. The mod-club friendly ‘Train Train’ could’ve been another but sadly was never completed in the studio.

Disc three’s Live At The BBC is wonderful. Eighteen songs (including many not appearing elsewhere in the box – ‘Picture Me Gone’, ‘I Can’t Turn You Loose’, ‘The Morning After’, ‘Cool Jerk’, ‘Ain’t That Love’, ‘You Can’t Sit Down’ etc) with plenty of chat with presenter Brian Matthew. By January 1967, Zoot’s discussing his interest in the emerging psychedelic scene, only to then perform ‘The Star of the Show’, which belongs in the same chicken in a basket cabaret bag as ‘Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde’ and ‘Simon Smith and his Amazing Dancing Bear’; even Brian Mathew cheekily ribs Zoot about its chart failure and being ‘best forgotten’. Within months Zoot got with-it, bought a kaftan, the Big Roll Band lost a few wheels, painted their equipment white and rode into the burgeoning underground scene as Dantalion’s Chariot on a wave of LSD.

Back to 1965 and It Should’ve Been Me, the Big Roll Band’s solitary studio album, is placed on the disc four; a typical collection of rhythm and blues tunes with a touch of jazz (John Patton’s ‘Along Came John’ and Jimmy Smith’s ‘The Cat’). Compared to the flat sounding lookalike reissue I’ve had for years it sounds miles better and comes to life in way I’d not expected (vinyl is not always king kids). ‘I’ll Go Crazy’ and ‘Jump Back’ get things off to a storming start and apart from a couple of bluesy numbers that drag it’s enjoyable if seldom catching the personality of the band like the live recordings.

Across the discs are spread the rest of the band’s singles, B-sides, EP tracks and rarities. Housed in a hardback book-style package with Zoot providing a track-by-track commentary plus guitarist Andy Somers/Summers sharing his Flamingo Club memories, the set is the same style as Repertoire’s Graham Bond Organisation: Wade In The Water and makes a welcome companion.

Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band haven't been as well served by the reissue market as their peers so Big Time Operator puts that straight. Nearly five hours of music, over 80 songs (very few repeated), the much-missed Brian Matthew brought back to life, and Zoot and co having the time of their lives, this joyful stuff. With no danger of losing your shoes, getting drinks spilled on your new strides or having a bulky Hammond player land on your head, enjoy Big Time Operator from the safety of your own home now.

Big Time Operator by Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band is out now on Repertoire.

Monday, 19 February 2018


In case you missed Mavis Staples on BBC Radio 6 Music yesterday, here's the link to catch up. Matt Everitt talks to Mavis about the first time she was aware of music, sung with her family, at home, in church, in the studio and much more. 

As you'd expect from anything involving Mavis, it's a joyous hour -with an undercurrent of righteous indignation. Not only is "Bubbles" possessed with an amazing singing voice, she also owns the most captivating talking voice. Oh, and if Matt Everitt doesn't have the above photo framed at home I'd be very disappointed. Shamone. 


Saturday, 17 February 2018


Boy Azooga is, according to press blurb, “the psych-flecked musical vehicle for Cardiff’s Davey Newington multifarious musical mission.” ‘Loner Boogie’ is two minutes of restless bees-trapped-in-a-tin garage rock and roll at odds with previous outing, the synthy ‘Face Behind Her Cigarette’, which makes Boy Azooga, at this early stage, intriguingly difficult to pin down. Debut album out in the summer.


Dressed in intergalactic superhero cloaks, made with some old curtains and a glue gun, and with faces adorned with stars and glitter, the Lovely Eggs last night transported the 100 Club to the centre of their cranky universe with a stupendous launch for new 45 ‘Wiggy Giggy’. Already destined to be one of the songs of 2018 it’s taken from the relentlessly brilliant This Is Eggland, officially released this week.


Taken from The Limboos’ second album, Limbootica!, which came out last year, this new video for ‘Blue Dream’ appeared last month. Effortlessly cool even in the Spanish sunshine. I wanna see this band so bad.

Sunday, 4 February 2018


Here’s some interesting footage of Kenny Lynch going about his daily business in 1965. Bit of boxing training in the gym, a drive in his Rolls Royce through his old East End stomping ground, cutting a business deal in his sumptuous West End office, joshing with market traders in Berwick Street, serving behind the counter of his record shop in Soho’s Walker’s Court (this scene being the highlight and, incidentally, his shop was dead opposite the sandwich bar Harvey Gould spoke about in recent Harvey's Soho post) before putting the finishing touches to a new song. All before teatime.

Friday, 2 February 2018


Famed for their fiercely independent DIY ethos, the Lovely Eggs have for the first time employed outside help, bringing in producer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips/Mercury Rev) to help the primitive kitchen table punk duo create a humongous sounding feast.

Built on Holly’s thick wall of distortion and wah-wah, propelled by David’s motorik drumming and adorned with bleeps, squiggles and mad scientist electronics, this is Eggs-deluxe. Some earlier scatter-brained whimsy is gone, or harder to detect beneath the Sabbath riffing, but they’ve kept their pop hooks, revel in their irritated outsider status and use language like few others. ‘I’m a twit, I’m a nit, I’m a shit and every single little bit of you is getting to me’ (‘Dickhead’).

From the dazzling, rave-bursting ‘Hello, I Am Your Sun’ to the pulsating, space-glam ‘Wiggy Giggy’ and the bubbling, Pulp-on-steroids ‘Big Sea’, This Is Eggland is impressively focused, relentlessly brilliant and a must-go destination.

This Is Eggland by The Lovely Eggs is released on 23 February but order from thelovelyeggs.co.uk and you'll get it next week... The band play their biggest headline show to date at the Scala, London on 28 October 2018. 

This review first appeared in Shindig magazine.