Hereford City Centric Retail and Culture Blog introduces a new feature in our catalog of goodies. We have been anxiously awaiting this review and John Rose does NOT disappoint. John Rose is a Manchester native but likes to call himself “a Manchester Ledbury Local” since he has been a resident of Ledbury for ten years now.
A popular creative in Ledbury, well loved for his musical talent and for running the The Ledbury Poetry Festival Box Office, John ticks all the boxes that such a persona embodies. Always friendly, you are sure to be greeted with a smile and the lowdown on the local music scene. Oh and let’s not forget about his passion for his guitar collection. Certainly my ‘go to guy’ for what’s hot in music. His band Pablo Alto offer up Psychedelic Garage vibes ‘suped up’ with a a Post-Punk twist.
His long-term partner Jeanette McCullough is a prominent figure of the arts in Ledbury, known for her beautiful painting style, and her arts project supporting the elderly. They both recently had a well received art exhibit at Hereford’s Courtyard. What a team.
You see, John is an artist, as well as a photographer. His collage series speaks volumes about the whimsical melting pot brewing away in his head.
His hobby of concert photography has found him putting together limited edition books for the Ledbury Poetry Festival book artists exhibit, such as Every Second Counts, a photography series documenting 2012 Green Man Festival musicians for his own pleasure.
What can we say, the man is a star, and we are extremely pleased to have him on board Hereford City Centric as our official vinyl reviewer and a contributing photographer and music reviewer. Watch this space.
Look forward to John’s Reviews in 2016, featuring whatever is inspiring John at the moment, whether it be retro or current. We love the element of surprise and are certain you will too. Of course, keep an eye on Hereford City Centric, we are full of absolutely wonderful ideas to keep your hungry minds satiated.
Photography Below: Left: Natalie Prass, and on Right: Hookworms, Green Man Festival 2015, John Rose Photography
The John Rose Best of and End of Year Vinyl Review
As it’s Christmas (nearly), I decided to make this an End of Year Review of my favourite vinyl releases from 2015..and then I got carried away!
Ty Segall – Ty Rex (Vinyl Import) Goner Records 2015
This is the new release by californian garage / psych rocker Ty Segall and some of the tracks were originally released in 2011 as an EP of T-Rex covers for record store day and this new expanded version (for Black Friday RSD) includes a blistering version of 20th Century Boy and 2 more extra tracks. This is loud, fuzzy, gnarly garage rock at it’s finest, tempered by some heavy acoustic riffing and the usual scuzzy lo-fi production with no attempt made to mimic the overtly glam rock stylings of the originals. Brilliant!
Listen Here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8_FV3JoBc4
The Parrots – Weed For The Parrots (10″ vinyl) Luv Luv Luv Records 2015
Written in a haze of wild elation and intoxication, The Parrots debut release features 6 tracks of crazy, primitive rock’n’roll with energy to burn. From the wicked, raw guitar sound of opener ‘Terror’ which lasts all of 1:18mins through the punky reverb-soaked ‘White Fang’ to the frenzied uptempo blast of ‘All My Loving’ complete with trademark squawked vocals. I look forward to hearing more from this chaotic 3 piece from Madrid.
Listen Here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpa-bnY9OPU
Black Fruit/Factotum (split 12″ vinyl) Stolen Body Records 2015
This split LP from Bristol’s Stolen Body Records features Black Fruit from Michigan, USA and Factotum from Bristol, England on glorious red and clear vinyl. Both bands play a brand of raw, fuzzy garage rock with surf and blues influences…noisy and energetic with heavy, distorted guitars and reverb-soaked vocals. Black Fruit have some awesome garage punk numbers such as the hypnotic ‘Slugworth’ and driving ‘Mustard Frosty’. Factotum offer up awesome bluesy garage rock like ‘Snake Charmer’ and ‘Seasick Surfer’ with memorable heavy, garage riffs and Kurt Cobain like strangulated vocals. Both great bands and worth checking out.
Listen Here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0k-thdgPVo
Sleater Kinney – No Cities To Love (Vinyl LP) Sub Pop Records 2015
The Portland USA based Sleater Kinney have re-formed to bring us this new LP ‘No Cities To Love’ a serious return to form with the combined guitars and vocals attack of Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker.
First track ‘Price Tag’ is an anti consumerism rant taking in post recession anxiety. Other highlights include the hypnotic title track ‘No Cities To Love’, the catchy single ‘A New Wave’ and the charged, rock groove of ‘Bury Our Friends’ featuring the lyrics..”exhume our idols! Bury our friends! We’re wild and weary but we won’t give in”…a solid comeback.
Listen Here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kc1htX3q-F0
The Lily’s – Eccsame The Photon Band (Vinyl LP) Frontier Records Re-issue 2015
This is a re-issue of one of my favourite albums, The Lily’s second LP originally released in 1994 and now re-released on remastered multi-coloured splatter vinyl.
It’s a glorious, atmospheric LP with tremulous, shimmering guitars and dream-like vocals taking in elements of trance-like psychedelia and UK shoe-gazing bands. The songs melt away with an otherworldly production into another dimension. Some songs were different takes mixed together and enigmatic singer/guitarist Kurt Heasley running different effects pedals through 2 amps and sampled drums to create hypnotic loops.
Slower epics like the addictive ‘Day of the Monkey’ and excellent ‘FBI and their Toronto Transmitters’ are blended with faster, melodic tracks like ‘Hermit Crab’ and ‘Kodiac’ to create a brilliant, psychedelic and totally unique sound.
Listen Here https://youtu.be/MVk3B3VHUxw
Favourite Record shop
Carnival Records, Malvern
A quick mention here for Carnival Records in Malvern, a superb local record store run by Chris and Rachel Heard who stock a huge range of new and old Vinyl and CD’s. You can find almost everything here from kraut rock, punk and indie to Bulgarian folk music!. It’s a good place to be on Record Store Day when they have local bands and musicians playing live outside the shop and lots of rare records.
Top 5 Films
Kurt Cobain : Montage Of Heck
Who Killed Mr Moonlight – Bauhaus, Black Magick and Benediction by David J
David J was bass player in Northampton band Bauhaus who I saw several times in the early 80’s. If you’re a fan it’s a brilliant read about the post-punk years and beyond, describing the classic influential records the band made and their exciting, theatrical live shows, including various music projects and avant garde collaborations David was involved in.
The Green Man Festival 2015, Brecon Beacons, Wales
Featuring : Television, SFA, The Wave Pictures, Natalie Prass, Father John Misty, Hookworms, Vietcong, Slug, White Fence, Slowdive, Waxahatchee, Sexxwitch, Ultimate Painting, Jane Weaver, Syd Arthur, Steve Gunn, Calexico, Matt Sewell, Mark E Smith…
Best Local Event
Billy Whizz, The Youth Within, Pablo Alto, Koura The British Legion, Ledbury
Read Review here: Punk Allegiance at the Legion
Vinyl Review by John Rose, Front man and Guitarist of Pablo Alto, Photographer, Artist and Hereford City Centric Writer
Intro by Michelle Cuadra, Creative Director and Writer, Hereford City Centric