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The Great Leap Forward

Revolt Against An Age Of Plenty

    Former bIG*fLAME singer and bassist Alan Brown returns with his long term solo project The Great Leap Forward, releasing a powerful and trademark new album ‘Revolt Against An Age Of Plenty’.

    Vigorous, scintillating and life-affirming, this 13-song album sees Brown reach a milestone birthday, as explored in 'Can You Kanreki?’ - the Japanese concept of second childhood and re-birth. Then there are the trademark political and social vignettes, such as the title song of the album 'Revolt Against An Age Of Plenty' – railing against mass consumerism and media control; the wistful 'dEBRA 2021' (a re-working of the bIG*fLAME classic 'Debra'); and the ascerbic 'It's A Wonderful Lie' – a scathing attack on the lack of openness, honesty and humility of our political leaders.

    Brown featured on the legendary and influential C86 NME cassette as singer and bassist with Manchester agit-post-punk trio bIG*fLAME, and recorded nine John Peel sessions for BBC Radio One in the 1980’s with bIG*fLAME (4), The Great Leap Forward (2), A Witness (2) and Inca Babies (1).

    Formed by Brown following the disbandment of bIG*fLAME in 1986, The Great Leap Forward is essentially a solo project in which Brown writes all songs and lyrics, and plays / programs all instruments on recordings.

    The style and sound is more melodic and accessible than bIG*fLAME, but still with overtly political lyrics and a socialist / humanist ethos: incisive political and social commentary layered over sharp yet melodic guitar pop – and with a touch of electro and humour thrown in for good measure…
    Stuart Maconie, writing for NME, summed up the band's sound: "First there's the jagged guitar melodics, sweet but never tacky. Then there's the ferocious rhythmic drive. But best of all there's the stylish and witty use of found voices...snatches and snippets of speech and propaganda that are integral to the songs."

    Little wonder that as with McCarthy, The Great Leap Forward were loved by a young James Dean Bradfield.

    Brown writes- “This album is the culmination of four year's writing, and it has a much more varied approach than previous releases. Whereas previously I've concentrated on a political approach, this album takes a wider view of the world. Of course I still provide the trademark political and social vignettes - how could I not - such as the title song of the album 'Revolt Against An Age Of Plenty' – named after a collection of works by the English writer Jack Common in which I rail against mass consumerism and media control; the wistful 'dEBRA 2021' (a re-working of the bIG*fLAME classic 'Debra'); and the ascerbic 'It's A Wonderful Lie' – with what I think is a scathing attack on the lack of openness, honesty and humility of our political leaders.


    1) Songs To Die For
    2) Things That Make Me Happy
    3) Revolt Against An Age Of Plenty
    4) Losing Faith In The Wall
    5) Giving Back Is Good For You
    6) DEBRA 2021
    7) Words On Fire
    8) Can You Kanreki?
    9) A Life More Ordinary
    10) It’s A Wonderful Life
    11) My World Is Not My Own Anymore
    12) When Our Kingdom Comes 1
    13) Songs To Die To Reprise

    The Wolfhounds

    Electric Music

      Having now been recording and gigging for longer than their original 1980s incarnation, The Wolfhounds continue to hone the blade of their sound to outclass their whippersnapper competitors on Electric Music.

      From the desperate narrator of the opening anthem ‘Can’t See The Light’, unable to see an end to his descent into darkness to the sad urban reminiscences of the rural immigrant in ‘Song Of The Afghan Shopkeeper’ and the unwilling draftee in ‘Pointless Killing’, to the powerlessness of people tossed around on the waves of history and progress in ‘Like Driftwood’ – Wolfhounds ask where our emotional and actual lives are heading, as the world seemingly freefalls into barbarism. With the dreaded feeling that ‘Lightning’s Going To Strike Again’, we lack even the appealing soundtrack to the catastrophe of the past described in ‘… and Electric Music’, and the band ask will ‘The Roaches’ once more rule the world (if they ever stopped)? Is the solution to ‘Stand Apart’ from the chaotic crowd or admit, cynically, that ‘We Don’t Believe Anything’ and roll with the movements of the masses?

      Featuring the glowing sleeve notes of comedian Stewart Lee, and a new expanded line-up including electric violin and bassoon (from Scritti Politti’s Rhodri Marsden), and peppered with the barbed lyrics and stinging guitar of David Lance Callahan and the home-made hybrid stringed instruments of guitarist Andy Golding, Wolfhounds have never sounded more alive, energetic and contemporary.


      Barry says: Part post-punk, part rock and with a healthy dose of electronic influence chucked in there too, the Wolfhounds soar effortlessly between swooning, instrumental soundscapes and driven fist-pumping groove. Top stuff.


      1) Can’t See The Light
      2) Like Driftwood
      3) Song Of The Afghan Shopkeeper (after Ben Judah)
      4) Lightning’s Going To Strike Again
      5) ..and Electric Music
      6) The Roaches
      7) Pointless Killing
      8) Stand Apart
      9) We Don’t Believe Anything

      The Black Watch

      Brilliant Failures

        “One of music’s most perfect and unheralded rock outfits” – Magnet Magazine John Andrew Fredrick has written and released seventeen the black watch albums of sparkling, literate, jangly-distorted indie rock since the LA band’s inception in 1988 (as well as four works of comedic literary fiction and one book on the early films of Wes Anderson). For this record Fredrick had the idea of letting producer-friends Scott Campbell, Rob Campanella (producer for The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Beachwood Sparks, Dead Meadow) and Andy Creighton be his band and record the album. “I have had, I think, too much control, musically speaking, in the past.’ Fredrick says, “And the thought of experimenting this way was really thrilling.” The result was far from a failure, in fact this approach may have yielded TBW’s best album in years.

        "The Creation band Alan McGee never signed!"--Stereoembers “Should’ve become a household name a long time ago” – USA Today "Bright but with dark undercurrents, brainy but not pretentious, the music here on the new album from The Black Watch is proof that some Americans have a knack for this sort of thing. Full of big and bold music, The Gospel According to John is a record of luminous beauty in spots."--A Pessimist is Never Disappointed “Sounds like the holy union of Guided By Voices, The Wedding Present and any number of New Zealand pop heroes. In other words, it sounds truly indie: immediate, honest and just-enough lovingly rough” – Buzzbands L.A.


        1) Julie 2
        2) Crying All The Time
        3) Brilliant Failures
        4) Twisted Thinking
        5) Red Dwarf Star
        6) The
        Personal Statement
        7) Mind You Now
        8) Hodophobia
        9) One Hundred Million Times Around The Sun
        10) Anywhere/ Everywhere
        11) Julie
        12) What I Think
        13) Technology

        Big Tide

        Sync Or Swim

          Founded by Liverpool native Ben Thomas in 2017, Big Tide was born out of Thomas’ disillusionment with the electronic music scene. His previous output as French House producer L’Etranger spanned for six years gaining attention from the likes of Clash magazine, Earmilk & Amazing Radio amongst others.

          The impetus to form this new project came in 2013 while touring with Spectrals as lead guitarist. A stay in Paris was the final catalyst for a change in musical direction when Ben picked up his 12 string and the chiming sound of Big Tide was born.

          The second single ‘Hide Me In Your Spaceship’ (link above) features drums by Jonathan Nash, former drummer for Hookworms and guitarist for Cowtown. Thomas sings in his signature northern vocal style whilst shimmering 12-string guitars form the cornerstone of the Big Tide sound.

          Taking queues from bands like Big Star and Teenage Fanclub, Big Tide’s music blends elements from ‘60s power pop like The Byrds and the ‘70s folk rock of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.


          1) The Crash
          2) Hide Me In Your Spaceship
          3) Wrong Number
          4) Make A Baby
          5) You Can’t Live Your Life On An Email
          6) Half The Time
          7) Sync Or Swim
          8) Thirst For The Limelight
          9) When The Tide Turns
          10) I Could Walk Away


          Thirty Years Of Shouting Quietly

            Thirty years ago a young Northern band named Bradford were very publically handed the baton by Morrissey to blaze a trail in English indie music after the demise of The Smiths. Top British producer Stephen Street immediately signed the band to his brand new label and the scene was set for Bradford who in the words of Sounds magazine in May 1988 were "Five guys with strict haircuts – their image conjures up short, sharp shocks but their music tells a different story.. creating intelligent and distinctive, finely crafted pop songs. There are no jangly jaunts through well- trodden paths of predictability – the image, the name, the songs, the intelligence and the voice see to that".

            Alas two things destroyed their chances: the collapse of Rough Trade, sending Stephen Street’s new label into ruin and the overwhelming avalanche in music that became known as ‘Madchester’. Bradford’s brand of sleek English pop was suddenly completely out of step with the times.

            Thirty years on and it’s time for a reappraisal. Here it is in its remastered form containing 3 top twenty indie singles, one being the renowned indie classic ‘Skin Storm’ which Morrissey also recorded and released in 1991.

            This newly re-mastered re-release also contains ‘In Liverpool’ (a Record Mirror Single of The Week) their first single for Stephen Street’s Foundation label, b sides, the eponymous French mini album and some never before released material. 30 tracks in all on gatefold double cd and vinyl with extensive liner notes by Fergal Kinney (Louder Than War), lyrics and photos.

            TRACK LISTING

            CD Tracklisting:
            1. Greed And Peasant Land 2. To Have And To Hurt 3. Gang Of One 4. Always Torn 5. Lust Roulette 6. Adrift Again 7. Radio Edna 8. Everything At Once 9. Gary's Going Down 10. Skin Storm 11. A Wounding 12. In Liverpool 13. Boys Will Be Boys 14. The Loss 15. A Pint Of Bitterness

            1. Tattered, Tangled And Torn 2. Headful Of Dreadful 3. Saturday Insanity 4. Laughing Larry's 5. Gatling Gun 6. Quality Of Mercy 7. Here Endeth The First Lesson 8. Little Boy Lost 9. Hard Feelings 10. Lift Your Eyes To Where She Dwells 11. Fallen Open 12. Swim 13. The Swing Of Things 14. Gang Of One Revisited 15. Skin Storm (Original Single)

            Vinyl Tracklisting:
            1. Greed And Peasant Land 2. To Have And To Hurt 3. Gang Of One 4. Always Torn 5. Lust Roulette 6. Adrift Again 7. Radio Edna 8. Everything At Once 9. Gary's Going Down 10. Skin Storm 11. A Wounding 12. In Liverpool 13. Boys Will Be Boys 14. The Loss 15. A Pint Of Bitterness 16. Tattered, Tangled And Torn 17. Skin Storm (Original Single) 18. Saturday Insanity 19. Gatling Gun 20. Quality Of Mercy 21. Here Endeth The First Lesson

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