Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Look-in: New video and sleeve art revealed for The Ends - You Write The Hits (I Write The B-Sides). On Podrophenia Records

Buckle up and behold pals: as we bring you, blasting their way out of Canvey's sea-walls- The Ends. As featured in session here on Podrophenia last year.

A live session in fact, that sowed the seed for the idea of our second release on the Podrophenia record label.

When can we get our sticky mitts on a copy they chorused. Febuary 28th...with a live night in Southend, Natch!

Tune in and and tell a pal...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dixieland, that's where he was born, early Lord one frosty morning

Elvis actual birth certificate - photo by me

Elvis' death was my JFK assassination moment. I remember precisely where I was when the news was first whispered around the room - at my paternal Aunt Shirley's, well her ladies hairdressing salon in Salisbury (the glamour!). It was like being caught in a morbid tornado hearing this omnipresent superstar had faded, flat-lined and was now, gone forever.

Although I was too young catch the sonic boom of his Rock 'n' Roll years - the aftershock of Elvisness was still resonating in my era - the seventies. His films were repeated in the schedules during the summer holidays, record shops and department stores had endless variations of compilation albums (Separate Ways was a standard) in the racks (including budget tribute LPs - 'insert name here' sings Elvis). Regular radio play for hits from the fifties to the seventies, while Live via Satellite gave a white-suited Elvis the aura of a rock 'n' roll astronaut.

But more than this, his influence was at the core of popular culture: from ginger quiffed, crepe-booted Teddy Boys to prime-time impressionists - whether comic (Freddy Starr) or musical (Alvin Stardust, Cliff, Les Gray) and any number of white suited popsters The Osmonds, showaddywaddy, The Rubettes. At the more respectable end of R.O.C.K  Bryan Ferry and Bowie both lent heavily on Elvis' legacy...

An indicator of Presley-power is: long before I had any real awareness of The Beatles, Stones or in fact who any of Rock's heavy-hitters were - Elvis seemed - to me anyway - like an untouchable international idol with a seemingly god-like presence and super-hero stature, revered across the world - while other rock and rollers had come, copied, gone or been forgotten. For perspective, thumb through David E. Stanley's The Elvis Encyclopedia and you'll find Clapton and Led Zeppelin desperate to get an audience with Elvis..

Should you (and you really should, as it's his 80th birthday this year) fancy coming as close as possible to The King, book yourself a trip to Elvis at the 02. It houses the largest collection of Elvis' items ever to appear in the UK, all imported from Graceland and overseen by Priscilla Presley.

Items that include.....

The Heartbreak Hotel Acetate

Dress down casual Elvis-style

 The American Eagle suit cape

Front detail 

 Suits you 

68 Special 'Trouble' outfit

A gift from Ali 

The Vegas Room

A defining performance is, of course the 68 Special - where you could lucky dip any clip for pure-brewed musical-boom. Although this medley, with Elvis in full flight, revisiting his Rock 'n' Roll back catalogue with a renewed and unrelenting energy is explosive. 


But for the essence of Elvis - this outtake is the key to his magic as I wrote a few years back..

' While the offstage boffins were making technical tweaks and possibly 'checking levels' between takes, Elvis asks for his guitar, kicks off the riff for 'Baby What You Want Me To Do' the orchestra jump in, start jamming and the audience go wild'

If you're a Bookfacer - you can see the full set of my Elvis 02 pics here 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Old Mondo's Almanac

An annual tradition where local paper the Essex Echo asked locally-sourced bods and whatnots for reviews, rear views and a reading of the musical tea-leaves for 2015. Have a squizz and scan above and you'll find my findings and future doings for '14 and '15.

And what's that at the bottom of question 3 - a new single on Podrophenia Records! Watch this space, and Happy New Year playmates.....

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Planet Mondo Annual 2014

It's the annual Sadlads CD swap tonight, and my contribution -volume Five (we started back in 2010 with this) of the Planet Mondo annual brings you my favourite finds of 2014, threading together new nuggets and vintage discoveries. Although this is possibly the most contemporary-heavy set to date. Soul, funk, electro and power-mod and acoustic tunes are all in the mix. Along with a solid spread of Southenders: Wilko Johnson, Howling Black Soul, M G Boulter, West Weston & Martin McNeill and The Ends

And behold - two PM exclusives from Dave Woodcock, and Steve Weston with Martin McNeill - live in session versions of unreleased tracks.

It's yours to grab/stream  below

The Planet Mondo Annual 2014

A couple that I just didn't have space to squeeze in were ...

Friday, December 19, 2014

My Top Five from 2014....

An annual tradtition at Vive Le Rock HQ is the writers' Top Fives of the year. No surprises from me really - as these are names getting mutiple mentions on the blog, podcast and various scribblings and mags for the last four years...

Dig around the back pages and you'll also find reviews from for  Marriot and Lane's Magic Mijits and The Quireboys

In case you have hadn't had the chance to check out any of the above - dig in below....

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Saturday Night Tweeter - Happy Holidays in The Sun (aka Jehoovers Witness)

So, sitting in the kitchen of a Saturday evening with a few scoops, a few tunes, and thumbing through Facebook updates - I stumble across this picture of a local electrical shop (Sales Appliances, Westcliff) by Sam McDonagh, and, within a blink, share Sam's shot on the Twitter. Which, at the time - seemed to be probably the most flat-line time to repost, with bods either being out and about, or tucked up indoors for cozier doings

I couldn't have been more wrong - a few clicks of the clock later, and notification alerts were pinging in by the second.. comments , responses and retweets. By Sunday and with a run of Celtic flavored names commenting on the picture, noticed the story had been picked up by The Daily Edge in Ireland... 

Monday saw usvsth3m feature my pictures (now with added a stable and star) and an interview with the shop owners. Shortly after that - The Poke The Scotsmen were on it,  BBC local  and BBC national

By Monday evening and nearly 3,500 RTs and 300,000 views of Sam's original picture later - London paper The Metro were checking in on our festive chums. And today sees the Essex Chronicle The Huffington Post ,Charlie BrookerCaitlan Moran  - and The Sun spotlighting the nativity scene  (with self and Mrs M reflected in the window)

I wouldn't normally endorse anything to do with the shadowy world of  Murky Murdoch - but as the picture supports a local electrical business, was originally shot by Sam from Argosy Toys and most importantly the display is in aid of HARP - Southend's Homeless Charity -  that pretty much seems to sum up the essence of Christmas to me.

As a festive epilogue, why not donate to HARP hereabouts 

New testimonials...... from the Daily Mirror (top) and Metro. - shouts on Chris Evans breakfast show, the Express and ITV News and local paper The Echo confirms Henry is viral:official

Today's #nationalanthem is about a Henry Hoover Nativity Scene in a shop window. Can you think of a song? The link: http://t.co/gYdZdVUAvH

Friday the 12th - Henry makes HIGNFY...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Radio Podrophenia - Duets edition. Now up for download

It’s a fully loaded edition for the last Podrophenia of 2014 (theme: couples, team-ups, duets)

In the folk and acoustic corner: a suite and sweep of five songs from the fantasticus Matt Boulter – three newbies getting exclusively aired for the first time hereabouts. So freshly pressed one track is still untitled…

In the effing and jeffing corner: Sadie Hasler with tales of her TV and festival work, book news and background on her award laden newspaper column. Plus a surreal reveal on Mount Rushmore…

Quotes from this edition include .. ‘

'You wouldn't get me doing that into a kettle’ ‘Squinting through a different eye’ ‘he had the biggest tomatoes I’d ever eaten’ But who said what – find out below…

Download here

Or via iTunes..

And behold the Rattus edition cushions from Paisley Power

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Podrophenia: team-ups...

It's an evening of double billed wins tonight on Podrophenia as we're joined by award winning columnist and comedienne Sadie Hasler along with local folksy bloke M G Boulter...

We'll be getting the lowdon on Sadies scribblings and some live music from Matt's solo album The Water or The Wave..

The usual playlist of Podrophonic picks will be threading together:

Old-jazzers swinging with punks,
Old punks accompanying Hammond jazzers
Hip-hoppers rapping with ex Pistols
Bollywood legends with Wolfmen

All this and James from The Ends working the desk - and will Piley make it back from Warwickshire in time before we go live on air....

All live from 8PM on Ship Full of Bombs

Friday, November 21, 2014


Photos by Paul Hughes

What a wingding. What a Shakedown. What a tear-up. An evening of  triple win amazingness was had by Howling Black Soul Dr X , The Ends - and the Railway's assembled drinkers and dancers.As Piley says it was like having three headliners.

Huge salutes due to everyone who played, danced and drank and Duncan on the desk for the wall of sound..

Howling Black Soul were majestic. Their album is already one of Podrophenia's highlights of the year, but live they somehow even outdid that! Incredible sound, proper R.O.C.K vocals!

Leicester's Dr. X were playing their first ever show in Southend (possibly Essex, maybe the South in general!), and what a treat it was. Mesmerising seeing them create such a amazing sound from home made, hand-crafted instruments, ingenious! Loads of great feedback on them during the rest of the evening and the CDs seemed to be selling well too!

And The Ends? They are like an incendiary bomb going off! A sonic boom of unrelenting energy . Power-pop punk tunes, super-chargedstage presence, and an electric bunch of musicians.

And behold our first moshpit - so lively that even lead Mike dived in! .Southend rocks..

And watch out for the large format poster of the Ends new single sleeve (and vinyl debut) out on Podrophenia Records in 2015

Hurrah, hats aloft and here's to the next five years

Friday, November 14, 2014

Five Years, Three Bands, One shebang of a night

I've chewed enough internet ears about tonight's Podrophonic extravaganza - so will leave the always excellent Echo to load you up with the low-down.. See above from their Wednesday 'Scene' feature

All you need to know - dates, deets etc are here and here.

See you on the other side

For a selection of our Echo back issues - zip yourself hereabouts