Monday, October 31, 2011

An Indie Pop Compilation - FREE DOWNLOAD

Free Download HERE

Now the leaves are falling and the days are cooling, it is nice to have something that warms the heart and ears a little!

This Feels Like Summer is the 7th installment of Popscene MNL's mp3 compilation series. The title of the current collection is also the title of the most recent track by Carnival Park.

Time flies by so fast when you're having fun. After two years and eight compilations, we've made new friends and reacquainted ourselves with old ones. Hard to believe, but this is our story so far.

Sleeve design by Manny Gallo of Sodajerk/ Sunday Picnic Love Affair.



Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ben Sherman and his shirts!

I realised today that I have been wearing Ben Sherman shirts for 32 years, I had my first one at the age of 12, a black and white paisley patterned shirt, brilliant for a 12 year old Mod, I now have a wardrobe filled with various plain and patterned designs, so I thought it was time I paid homage to the man and his shirts and a staple part of fashion since 1963.

Mr Ben Sherman

Arthur Benajmain Sugarman was a born in Brighton, East Sussex in 1925, at the age of 20 he emigrated to America and attained American citizenship, he changed his name to Ben as this is what his family called him and  changed his surname to Sherman as he deemed this to be a good strong American name.
Ben married the daughter of a Californian clothes producer and raised a family in San Fernando Valley and started working for his father in law.
When Ben's mother fell ill, he relocated his family back to Brighton in England to care for her.  Having no work when he returned he decided to start up a clothing company with the experience he had gained in the states, he started this in a rented factory in Bedford Square and started work producing the shirts we know and love so well.

Brighton and Hove buses name their buses after famous residents from the town, here is Mr Shermans bus tribute.
The Mods who had a sharp eye for italian designs and styles soon embraced the design and wore the shirts with their tailor made suits and skinny ties.  Orders soon overtook Ben Shermans production capacity, it is famously quoted that in 1970 he ordered a million yards of Oxford fabric, a quater of a million yards of gingham fabric and a quarter of a million yards of striped material from an American fabric mill.

Sherman’s shirts with their button down collars and a button on the rear of the collar were an instant success. Soon he opened a showroom in Carnaby Street, London, and a shop in Duke Street, Brighton. Another two London shops followed. Sherman’s success was too much for the Brighton factory and production was moved to  Northern Ireland in 1969.

Ben Sherman had some great adverts in the 70's.  There is another one with a vicar that is rather amusing  but not embedded, so here is the link; BEN SHERMAN VICAR ADVERT there are several more on youtube to watch too.

Ben sold the company in the early Seventies and moved to Australia to start new ventures. He died aged 62 in 1987 after a heart bypass operation. But the business lives on and is particularly associated with Mods. The stylish and popular shirts are unique in design and high in quality.

The company was sold to Oxford industries in 2004 and it is heartening to see that they have kept some of the humour in their advertising as this advert shows.

Now having existed for nearly 50 years the Ben Sherman shirt and brand have been adopted by almost every youth culture or style movement of the last 5 decades, from the mods, to Two tone and ska, to brit pop and is today still worn by the current bands and style leaders of the current decade, this is surely testament that Ben Sherman gave us one of the most iconic pieces of clothing in modern times and now I have to go and do some ironing!

Cheers Ben!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Lance - The Massacre on Watergate Street FREE DOWNLOAD

The Lance come from my adopted home of Sweden, up in Borlänge, home of the Peace and Love festival.
The band have a great 60's feel to them and remind me a little of early Mando Diao, which is no bad thing, I hope to catch them playing around Västra Gotaland in the near future.

Download the album FREE here

The Lance formed in January 2007 by Olle Hägg and Gustav Good. They had no jobs, no money and nothing to live on and The Lance was a simple act of desperation and an insane obsession for rock n roll music. When they started they had two screaming guitars but still needed a bass guitar to back them up and keep the rhythm. Their friend Micke Bojfeldt was the only one they knew who could play a mean bass guitar and talk rubbish at the same time so he was their obvious choice. Although they knew from previous experience that most drummers were idiots, they found this guy Dan Lif in a basement in Borlänge, Sweden. They put him up for a quick audition and he totally blew their minds with his rhythmic and frenetic style of swinging the sticks. They were then a quartet and became The Lance.

The Lance was the obvious band name because it’s nonsense. A lot of things The Lance does is nonsense and nonsense is what they can identify themselves with. The true meaning of the Lance is “four stupid fools”. Handsome and clever fools.

At the first rehearsal they all sat down in Dan’s basement with only old guitars and old amplifiers at hand. They didn’t have any freaky effects or any overdrive pedals, just turned the volume up and suddenly had their own sound. Raw, natural drive with some help from electricity.

About a year later here they are with the same old raw sound, same old style and the same members. They’ve done a number of recordings in an old, small studio in Borlänge.

Friday, October 21, 2011

THE BLUE SQUARES - HARD TIMES Free album download

Download the album for free HERE

Another album I stumbled upon recently from a band that deserve your attention!


The Blue Squares emerge from Detroit's underground rock scene with their debut album, Hard Times. Featuring 10 songs reminiscent of The Kinks, The Zombies and MC5, the long-player draws from the sounds of an era long past, but eternally cherished for its cultivation of timeless music. From their beginnings as a 3-piece known as The Wednesdees, the group has since matured into a quartet while continuing to channel legendary underground rock bands from the Sixties and gaining comparisons to such contemporaries as The Greenhornes and The Len Price 3. The evidence of misfortune in Detroit is sadly difficult to avoid, and all too obvious. Using the dilapidated city as a backdrop, Hard Times delivers a sound full of grit and determination that speaks to both the city’s past and future.

Take the sound of early recordings of The Kinks, The Animals or The 
Doors.  Now add more power to the drums and more fuzz to the guitar
and you have The Blue Squares. Their new album Hard Times is going 
to make you proud of the musical talent and vision Detroit has to 
offer. With a '60s garage rock sound, this quintet harkens back to the 
days when music was simpler. They'll have you singing along in your 
car and entertaining the thought of pursuing a career as an 
international spy. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New Shouts Free EP downloads.

A few days ago I heard a tune that really grabbed my attention, it had a great 60's vibe to it, after days, well, a week to be honest, I managed to track down who they were, they are New Shouts, the band are based in Pittsburgh PA and are currently unsigned, quite why, I am unable to fathom because they have a great  sound and they look like pretty cool geezers too!

They say about themselves:  "We wanted to be a 60's r&b girlgroup, but couldn't get to the 60's and couldn't find the girls so we decided to be a rock n' roll band of dudes."

Get the EP's: here and here for free, you can also purchase the bands 7track EP/mini album: here for a mere $6.99

You can find the band on facebook here: New Shouts Facebook Page

Monday, October 10, 2011

Northern Soul. Lorraine Silver - Lost Summer Love

Back in the early eighties my brother, who was a scooter boy, very kindly made me up a compilation of Northern Soul songs as I had expressed an interest in the genre.  Having been really into RnB and Motown, it was no surprise that Northern Soul was going to grab, and hold my attention as it has.

Among the tracks, none of which were listed on the cover, was a track with a marching beat, punchy brass sound and great vocals, it immediately stood out as a really strong track among all the others, which were all great, but this song really stood out and I decided to find out a little more about Lorraine Silver and couldn't believe what I found.

In the school summer holidays of 1965, a 13 year old Lorraine headed out shopping in Oxford Street London and after looking through records, she decided to make a record and that wasn't as difficult as it sounds, as back in the sixties, Woolworths had their own record booths where you could record your voice and get a vinyl disc delivered in pretty much the same way as you get passport photos!

                                                   Record Booth.

Lorraine sung a rendition of  the Bryan Hyland song "Sealed with a Kiss" and then made her way to  PYE records at Marble arch and delivered the disc to them asking if anyone wanted to hear it.  A pretty bold gesture for a 13 year old girl.  About 2 months later Lorraine was invited to an audition at PYE and subsequently given a recording contract.

                                                               Lorraine Silver Aged 13.

The song  scheduled to be recorded was The Marvelettes song, "I'll keep on holding on" but then she was given a ballad by American Shelley Fabares and asked to cover that instead.  A band was arranged for the recording which included, on bass Klaus Voorman, who was a close friend of The Beatles and also designed the cover for  the "Revolver" album.

Lost Summer Love was well received and heavily played on Radio Luxembourg amongst many other radio stations, including Ready Steady Radio which was based in The Marquee Club.  Many articles appeared in the press and the teenager became a heroine amongst her friends at school and probably a figure for jealousy as she was allowed to miss out on lessons to appear at photo shoots and the like.

With everything going so well, the world was her oyster until The Overlanders turned up.  Lorraine was due to appear on Ready Steady Go with a rendition of Lost Summer Love which could have lifted her career to dizzying heights, however, this was not to be, Lorraine's agent was also agent to The Overlanders and their rendition of "Michele" was making a big impact on the charts and Lorraine was replaced by The Overlanders for the filming of the show.

Lorraine recorded one more record for Pye, "The Happy Faces" an original song written by Johnny Harris who had produced "Lost Summer Love."  The single didn't receive the backing it required and subsequently failed to chart.
Lorraine went back to school to finish her education but continued to perform in cabaret clubs and television talent shows like "New Faces."

"Lost Summer Love" continued to grow in popularity in the Northern Soul clubs, especially at the famous "Wigans Casino."

Jumping forward 23 years later in 1988, Lorraine's 2nd husband entertainment agent Barry Collings showed Lorraine an issue of Blues and Soul magazine that listed Northern Soul DJ Nick Greg's top ten Northern Soul tunes which, obviously, in my opinion, listed Lost Summer Love.  Lorraine was amazed and totally knocked out to learn how popular the record was, even now.
As a result of this Lorraine went on to perform at many Northern Soul functions and still performs to this day.

                                                                Lorraine Silver today.

Lost Summer Love has become something of a collectors item with original copies changing hands for £100.00 plus, in fact a copy sold on Ebay a while back for £360!  The track, along with all her other recordings, has appeared on numerous Northern Soul collections.

Lorraine is currently touring with Chris Farlowe and Steve Ellis (Love Affair) as part of The Mod All Star Band.

Sun 23rd Oct
Mod All Star Band :
The Mod All Star Band + Steve Ellis + Cliff Bennett + Lorraine Silver + New Amen Corner
Palace Theatre
Sat 18th Feb 2012
The Mod All Star Band + Chris Farlowe + Steve Ellis + Lorraine Silver
Martlets Hall
Burgess Hill
Sat 25th Feb 2012
The Mod All Star Band + Chris Farlowe + Steve Ellis + Lorraine Silver
Fairfield Halls & Ashcroft Theatre
Sun 4th Mar 2012
The Mod All Star Band + Chris Farlowe + Steve Ellis + Lorraine Silver
Theatre Royal
Sun 25th Mar 2012
The Mod All Star Band:
The Mod All Star Band + Chris Farlowe + Steve Ellis + Lorraine Silver + New Amen Corner
Assembly Hall Theatre
Tunbridge Wells
Fri 18th May 2012
The Mod All Star Band:
The Mod All Star Band + Chris Farlowe + Steve Ellis + Lorraine Silver
The Alban Arena
St. Albans
Fri 21st Sep 2012
The Mod All Star Band + Chris Farlowe + Steve Ellis + Lorraine Silver
The Kings Theatre

And if that wasn't enough, Lorraine is also appearing on The Northern Soul Tour 2012 as a guest singer with Edwin Starr's band The Team:



The late great EDWIN STARR’S brother ANGELO STARR is the original musical director of THE TEAM. He has now taken over lead vocals performing all the fantastic Edwin Starr classics, plus dynamic performances of some great Northern Soul covers.

EDWIN STARR’S original 8 piece band THE TEAM who backed Edwin on all his shows are still intact, with sax, keyboard, lead guitar, bass guitar, drums, percussion & female backing vocalist.They have a new CD out called “Keeping the Faith ”The first track is titled “Bless My Northern Soul”

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Riffbackers - The Curtain shop and alterations FREE ALBUM DOWNLOAD


The Riffbackers are headed by two members of the much-missed The Winnerys. Shot to the top of my Top 15 list for best of 2009, too! Fret not fans of The Winnerys. No diversions here; The Riffbackers will filled the void very nicely - arguably, even better. Taking cues from a long list of power poppy favorites, The Riffbackers DELIVER! Each song as a different frame of reference - Lead off track "Now It`s Fine" sounds like a long lost favorite from The Plimsouls or Paul Collins Beat, from there listen for Raspberries, Cheap Trick, The Who, early 70s McCartney and on and on.

Get it free: HERE

Offical Web site:

Friday, October 7, 2011


Another brilliant band giving away a free download of their latest album, so if you like a little indie rock go and get it now whilst it is still available.
The Hush Now have been compared to My Bloody Valentine and Guided by voices  and have been called "Audio candy for the art school crowd."  What that means exactly, I don't know, but it is a great album.

Get it free here:

The band are currently touring, check them out if they come your way.

Tour dates and other info available on their official site:


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Stuart Kidd - Junk Museum Free album download

Stuart Kidd of The Wellgreen, ex-BMXer, sometime Pearlfisher, Jonny drummer and ex-St. Deluxer is offering a FREE download of his album JUNK MUSEUM here:

Enjoy the lo-fi pop gems responsibly!

Monday, October 3, 2011


A few months ago, I found some old flyers of gigs I attended in a box in the basement.   It was interesting to see how the flyers had been made up approximately 23 years ago with a letter set, a picture and a photocopier, not as easy as it is today with home computers and printers, hey, kids even stood on the street and handed them out to you, hasn't the internet made things easier!

Some of these flyers, along with other memorabilia will be used in a C86 display (see my previous post) night by How Does It Feel To Be Loved  at The Canterbury Arms in Brixton, London Friday 7th of October .

The Chesterfields - Electric guitars in their hearts.