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The Secret Showcase Presents… Franky And The Jacks ‘Yes We Do’ EP Launch

22 Jan
The Secret Showcase Presents… are delighted to announce that on Tuesday the 28th of January we will be having a party to celebrate the official launch of Franky and the Jacks EP “Yes We Do”

Expect raucous rhythms and frenzied crazy shapes when you get down to cut a rug with fun time Franky and The Jacks at Floripa.

 

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Set within the walls of the wailing harmonica and the screeching fiddle, the sometimes dark and often caustic lyrics belie the foot stomping swing of the double bass and guitar. Here is where comedy and tragedy meet head to head to deliver a full spirited testament to Franky and the Jacks’ one and only mantra …“Make ‘em dance”

You can expect this and more…

So there you have it, Don your BEST dancing shoes!

After the live entertainment TSSP Resident DJ Samantha Pink Panther will spin the very best Jazz and Rhythm & Blues 45s

As if that wasn’t enough info to take in Floripa have a great selection of cocktails on offer during happy hour between 5-7 and you can also sample Floripa’s brand new Brazilian influenced menu with mouth watering dishes perfect for sharing.

Doors at 5.00
Free Entry – Come early to avoid queues and to secure a table.

91 -93 Great Eastern St. EC2A 3HZ

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Ephemerals – Upcoming Gig and Releases

9 Jan

In September we introduced you to Ephemerals as they embarked on there début UK Tour. Just four months later they have so much exciting news I don’t really know where to start.

The pace of which this project has been moving does not surprise me at all, as heading up the Project is Hillman Mondergreen Producer, Songwriter, Guitarist and the brains behind, ‘A Hill Of Feathers’ (Hannah Williams & The Taste Makers), as well as a few other projects he has casually churned out in a jiffy. After ‘A Hill Of Feathers’ this is by far the project that excites me most. When I met Wolfgang who sings lead on this project  he told me he had only been singing for the last two years, a fact I find remarkably difficult to fathom as when you watch and hear him sing live, his performance belies his years of experience and his voice is just so damn gorgeous. Hilman Mondergreen really has nailed the art of writing songs to suit the vocals of the performer.

Ephemerals gig

So on to all this pressing news. Firstly if you missed their first tour then you can catch them play 229 on the 8th of may for AGMP, you can get tickets here and if I were you I’d snap yours up fast before they sell out.

Secondly, releases. If you haven’t heard the album ‘Nothing Is Easy’ yet go and check out the teaser on this page! Whilst there id recommend ordering the limited edition LP which comes with a digital download card and is packed with exclusive content that you wont get on the digital edition, if you pre-order now, you will get it before all the shops, promoters and DJ’s and be made to feel as special as you deserve to feel. The news on releases continues with Mocambo (DE) picking up “Call It What You Want” to be release on 7″ in February,  Colemine (USA) picking up “Things part one” to be release on 7″ in March and the band Independently releasing “Fall Back On Me” on 7″ through Hilman Mondergreeens label Mondegreen Records (UK) in May. Phew, Keep up!

Well that’s all quite a lot of excitement to digest and I’m sure it wont be long till there is more news from Ephemerals so until then check out this official video for the beautifully melancholic ‘Six Days A week’

The Secret Showcase Proudly Presents… The Golden Boys @ Floripa

19 Sep

SecretShowcase_v3-1The Secret Showcase Presents… Returns to host a night of wonderment at Floripa next week on Wednesday the 25th of September, introducing you to The Golden Boys and celebrating the recent launch of their EP ‘AAA side’.

I saw these Guys play at Latitude and knew strait away that I wanted to work with them and tell as many people as I possibly could how much I enjoyed them. These guys deserve wild and happy audiences… they really enjoy there craft and know how to work an audience, not only did they pull out the bag a hypnotically euphoric performance but they were incredibly humble with it too. On the Sunday at Latitude the Golden Boys were totally unaware of the stir they had caused among the huge audience they didn’t know they had pulled in, If you’ve been to Latitude you might know the stage in the far-away-forest and that its audience rises up hill and late at night, blinded by the stage lights The Golden Boys performed like their life depended on it.

Expect irresistible disco grooves, heart-wrenching bossa ballads, immaculate song craft and seemingly impossible commitment and energy. Add to the mix eight gold sequined jackets, some skin-tight gold leggings and a never-say-no attitude and you have something resembling the Golden Boys. The Golden Boys, have been bringing verve and exuberance to venues since 2010 and as the popularity for the band grew so did the band itself. Now boasting eight members they are able to create illustrious textures and realise ambitious sounds. Silky smooth horn lines, sweeping synth hooks and blazing guitars combine to create a unique and compelling sound that will have you dancing all night.

Our main influences are the good times disco of Chic, the English wit of Ian Dury and The Blockheads, the sincerity of Barry White, the intensity and experimentalism of David Bowie, and the dynamics and flow of disco influenced dance music”  – Dante Rendle Traynor – Lead vocals

“The Golden Boys will change the world. I don’t know how but they will.”
– The Independent

For those who also had parents that swirled around the lounge to Luther Vandross and screamed along to The Streets…our Latitude festival discovery – Gemma Cairney – Radio 1 & 1Extra

To add the icing to the cake so it were DJ’s Inigo Ugarteburu (our resident mix-tape extraordinaire) and Sister Sam will also be bringing you a selection of Jazz, Soul, Funk, Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll – Check out Inigo’s Mixtapes here.latinmusic1

This truely is an event you really DO NOT WANT TO MISS…..

Oh and did I mention it’s FREE? Well….. ITS FREE!

https://www.facebook.com/events/665493020130248/?ref=ts&fref=ts

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Melt Yourself Down – Debut Album

17 Jun

Today sees the release of Melt Yourself Down’s Self Titled début album! It is the perfect soundtrack to any summer madness you might have planned and I’m sure we will be hearing a lot of these guys at many festivals over the summer.

I first heard of these guys and this album at work last month and it absolutely blew my mind. I have to listen to a lot of music at work which is great when it’s good, but every now and then I’ll hear something outstanding that will literally stop me in my tracks! This was one of those moments. I went home that evening quite excited about what id heard only to see them on the tele-box on the Jools Holland show. As if that wasn’t enough of a coincidence, it turns out that they are the headline act at a gig I’m going to tomorrow at Electrowerks. Brilliant! Anyway hear for yourself…

 

 

 

 

CC Smugglers – New Roots Music

30 May

newrootsmusic

I’m a little late in bringing this to you hot off the press but it is well worth telling you about anyhow. The CC Smugglers are…

Mr Richie Prynne – Hollering & Harmonica
Mr Ryan Thomas – Lead Guitar
Mr Sam Barret – Rhythm Guitar
Mr Dan Edwards – Double Bass
Mr Carl Fredricksen – Drums & Percussion
Mr Dave Marks – Keys & Trombone

They are a 6 piece rag tag alt. Country rock outfit from Bedforshire. I first saw them play at a Stortford festival in Essex three years ago and there and then they became one of my favourite bands.

I have a lot of admiration for these guys, their persistence and motivation alone is outstanding. Where other bands have peaked then disappeared for what ever reasons the CC Smugglers have kept going, held strong and stayed true to the music they are clearly passionate about. They never seem to stop, Not even severed fingers or broken limbs could stop them. They are constantly gigging and looking for new ways to make sure people take notice, whether that be writing jingles and baking cakes for Fern Cotton, following on tour and busking outside every show of The Old Crow Medicine Show and Seasick Steve, amongst other things of a befitting manor that give an deserving nod to the history of their idols and peers.

February saw the release of their debut album “New Roots Music”, an album that I have been looking forward to hearing for the best part of three years. and it certainly didn’t disappoint. On First listen I was delighted to be familiar with with most of which I had seen them perform live. It had only been perhaps 5 times but their are songs are so catchy they are impossible to forget after just one listen. I will say that initially I missed the energy that you get when you see the lads live but this should simply encourage you to go and see them live if you haven’t already. The album has bags of energy but seeing them live is another experience altogether.

The album is beautifully crafted with a multitude of instruments, great lyrics and vocal hooks. Stand out performances for me from the album are trad song Reuben’s train, the Balkan vibes of ‘Temple of Bloom’  the romantic Bread and Water and the high energy of Travelling man and Jealous man featuring guest vocals from Mandy Peregrym.

You can check out the album here where you can also purchase it along with a limited amount of tee-shirts! (there are only 4 tee-shirts left!)

 

 

I caught up with lead singer Rich to ask a few questions and found some of the songs that influenced a few of the lads.

When and how did you guys first meet and form the band?

I pulled in friends from school, who had all gone their separate ways. I decided I wanted to form a band and didn’t settle until it happened. Dan and Ryan came back from Australia, our guitarist from Brighton, and our drummer from our friends band. It all worked well. Several replaced members later the solid core are still going strong!

Who and what are your influences?

Every piece of music has the ability and potential to influence, and that’s how I look at music. I hate writing off whole genres, or even specific songs, I’ll rarely say I dislike it, and try to always digest any music. Quite directly, we are influenced by Old Blues men, Old time American folk, swing, jazz, country ragtime and bluegrass. But also down to hip hop, hardcore techno/dubstep reggae… If I’ve listened to it, then its probably influenced us somehow.

With so many of you in the band how easy or difficult is it for you
to organise regular band practices and tours or regular gigs?

It can be hard. When we first started out, it was hard to persuade people to commit to the level it requires, but I’ve always pushed hard, and led by example. If no ones practising, I’ll be there on my own writing or recording, and you just have to hope that with time everyone believes in the project enough to pull together. When you have 6 people chasing each other up to practise, you become very productive, but that requires good team morale, which can take a while to build on.
Also there are always bills to pay, and organising full time commitments, around full time jobs is tricky. You’ll learn to use a rota system, and I think you have to accept when people can’t do stuff and carry on without them. If you kick off cos someone can’t come to practise, it just annoys them. Better to keep going with out them. If they feel they’ve been left behind, they’ll soon catch up!

We’ve seen you bake cakes and write a jingle for Fern Cotton and follow Seasick Steve and The Old Crow Medicine show on tour busking outside of their gigs. What exciting shenanigans can we expect from you this year now that your album is released?

Haha, yes, shenanigans, quite. Well we are in talks with some major labels, and have just been taken on by Jon Arnison (Previously managed Merillion, Noel Gallagher, Gabrielle). I am currently writing an album, which has been requested by the labels in light of a state-side deal.
That aside we are working our way to playing the Nashville Americana Music Conference.
And early summer, the feature length documentary about our Old Crow expedition will be released.
Also there is a small chance Seasick Steve might get a little visit from us sometime soon for old time sake.

Are there any acts that you have seen recently that we might not
have head of that we should know about?

Not really, I’ve had my head stuck in this new album for a month, but for good measure, what I are bin mostly hearin is – Pokey Lafarge, Chance McCoy, The devil Makes three. That’s a good start if you’ve not discovered any of those guys before

Can you all pick one song that you would say is key to you having
become a musician?

Rich

How tricky there’s so many things, like the first time I heard an electric guitar (Petty Fly for a white guy – Offspring) at 11yrs, that shook my world.
Before then, from the age of 8, I was hanging round the tape stall at the market, spending the money I earned cutting the grass, on Bill Haley, Elvis, Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry tapes. Before then, my very first singles I bought were ‘PJ and Harvey – Let’s get ready to rumble’, and ‘Mr Blobby – the blobby song’. An man I loved those tapes. (Remember what I said about everything having the potential to influence? Cheers Blobby!)
Before then I used to get taken to listen to my Grandads swing band practises, he’s a trumpet player and my God Father Geoff Shovleton was a guilbert and sulivan opera singer, and would sneak us in thru the back.
Then of course there was the obligatory ‘greebo’  Punk/Metal/Rock phase that helps so many kids thru adolescance (my first CD album being Best of the Beast – Iron Maiden)
So, so many, But if I had to choose one, it would be Mr Sandman by the Chordettes. I used to put this on every night for years on my tape walkman and fall asleep to it. When I hear it now, it transports me to an age where my imagination was still taken up with sword fighting, building dens and climbing trees. Hearing that song flicks a very sentimental switch in me. Good innocent times.

Luke

Tough to name just one. Mannish Boy by Muddy Waters. The family used to have a cassette called Blues Brother, Soul Sister in the car, and when it was just me and dad we’d play that song over and over.

Dan

Ante Up – MOP or The Man Comes Around – Cash because I loved the sound of the guitar at the beginning of the song. It made me want to learn it and play it.

Sam

Black dog-Led Zeppelin Because the guitar riff is fucking epic. It was also the first album I was bought.

Dave

Agadoo because of the awesome mullets

Jake Emlyn – Scandinavian Alien Mixtape

20 May

Picture 6The Secret Showcase Presents first introduced you to Jake back in 2011 and I can’t wait to show you all what he has been up to over the last two years. HARD WORK AND PERSISTENCE! Two things Jake knows all about and the results of his labour are outstanding.

This is Jakes 10 track mixtape ‘Scandinavian Alien’ available for free download. I can’t get enough of it. Listening to it feels just like having a chat with him. It’s upfront, naughty and honest.

Last year Jake was snapped up by ie music and has gained high praise from Robbie Williams and plenty of interest from various record labels and publishers. Since joining the ie music team he has been working hard on refining the world of Jake Emlyn and preparing to unleash it onto an unsuspecting audience, starting with these three music videos in the run up to the release of his Debut EP  ‘The Wonka Hath Landed’. Available to pre-order exclusively on www.jakeemlyn.com as of today. (All CDs are personally signed by Jake and are available to ship to your door globally through the JakeEmlyn.com shop.)

Expect to see and hear a lot more from Jake very soon. In the meantime, enjoy his wonderful world.

Barbie and Ken EP by Jude Cowan and Wim Oudijk

9 Jan

Something slightly bizarre and fantastically Bonkers…

Chances are if you’ve seen Jude Play then you wont have forgotten her work and energy in a hurry. I don’t know if its the same for everyone else but her performances do to me what her recording do to me too, They both give me that lovely warm feeling you get when you are being read too or being told a story by a child with a great imagination. I don’t really know what that feeling is, I used to get it when I was a child and my mum would tie my shoe laces before I knew how, and when my class mates would doodle on my books at school. I still get it when I play with my nephew, I guess it’s a mix of anticipation, excitement, enjoyment and carefree involvement. What ever it is its a lovely feeling and anything that can give you that feeling should be shared…

Jude Writes poems based on true stories she happens upon in her role working for a TV news channel. Her selection of stories are silly and fun with slightly serious undertones at times, I’m already familiar with some of Jude’s poems which are also recorded separately but I must say that with the musical accompaniment of Wim Oudilk, I can close my eyes and imagine that I am seeing exactly what Jude was imagining at the time she wrote them, and it’s all in cartoon.

Barbie and Ken was release December 10th 2012 on Folkwit records, Have a Listen, chances are you you’ll either love it or hate it. If you hate it… I suggest you spend some time with a child and/or take life less seriously…

Enjoy

Soapy Jefferson – Debut Album “Balloon”

12 Dec

Soapy Jefferson- Balloon- Album coverIt’s hard to start writing something when the opening and title track ‘Balloon’ of Soapy Jefferson’s debut album makes me want to lay down and drift away in to unconsciousness and forget about actually doing anything I’m suppose to. Especially when it’s been on repeat 5 times now. It’s a good job then that the next song, a re-work of a previous release ‘The Fury-Belle’ (a epic tale of a wayward love) is an absolute belter and stirs up a healthy anticipation of what’s to come… and I am not disappointed!

Soapy Jefferson are an alternative blues folk band from South London. Drawing comparisons to some of the most distinctive musical figures of the past century, which are evidently clear at times when listening to ‘Balloon’, in particular they have cited Leadbelly, Tom Waits, Sparklehorse, Arcade Fire and Nick Cave as being influential to their sound today.

Fronted by the strikingly distinctive voice of Josh Mills and supported by a band of instinctive, sympathetic musicians, Soapy Jefferson have created a unique sound that is familiar yet difficult to define.

One of the things that I like most about this album is that no two songs are alike narratively or instrumentally, giving the listener something new to digest every few minutes, also, the lyrics, the vocal delivery and the instrumentation compliment as well as endorse one another really well. The passion in which the story is narrated in ‘The Fury-Belle’ goes hand in hand with the howling harmonica and the pounding tom, enter the cello which weeps with pity before the fury of the subject is set alight and erupts.

I would compare the composition and production of each song on the album to looking at a chest of treasure, every piece is a unique and well crafted gem. The rich multitude of well placed instrumentation and subtly delightful sound-scapes, combined with Josh’s beautifully understated voice and at times, laid back delivery makes for a very inspiring and uplifting listen indeed.

You can listen to ‘Balloon’ and ‘Resurrection’ on preview until the album is released on the 17th of December next Monday. Check out Soapy Jefferson’s  Bandcamp page where can find full credits and more information about ‘Balloon’ and Soapy Jefferson but more importantly where you can pre-order the debut album.

INTERVIEW…


–        Firstly would you like to introduce yourselves – who are you and what do you contribute to the band?

Josh: I sing, play guitar and write most of the songs.
Jim: I play bass and sing a bit of backing vocals. I also co-produced the album with good friend Shelley Uprichard.
Joe: I play guitar and sometimes a few other things… I played some harmonica and piano on the album.

–       When and how did Soapy Jefferson Form?

Josh: Well, me and Joe have been friends since we were 5 and have played guitar together on and off since we were about 10. When I returned to Croydon in 2009 with some songs I had written at Uni, the obvious thing to do was to start a band with Joe. We were joined by a couple of his friends (including x-member James Mallett) pretty much immediately and then met Jim via a gumtree ad. We’ve gone through a few line up changes since then… we’re constantly forming and reforming even if the members stay the same for a while. I think you can hear that in the album, there are a lot of different elements and styles involved but we’re careful to make sure there are constant strands holding it all together. For me it’s got to be that way… it keeps things interesting and versatility is one of the things that distinguishes us.

–       I understand that being a working musician goal posts always move once you’ve achieved something, but ultimately What are you working towards achieving musically?

Josh: Our standards are always rising and ultimately I want us to be a world class band and to write a genuinely great album.

–       How do you all balance your music with other commitments? 

Jim: I work part-time as a lecturer in sound recording as well as playing in another couple of (very different) bands. Juggling it all can be a bit stressful but I feel very fortunate to spend most of my time involved with music in some capacity.
Josh: I work full-time at a charity… I spend as much of my free time as possible working on music or writing scripts.

–       What does roots music mean to you?

Joe: roots music is music played directly from your balls.
Josh: I can’t really add anything to that.
Jim: Yeah, I’ll go with that.

–       Can you tell us about the influences behind your sound?

Jim: I think the sound of the band is really a combination of all our unique personalities and playing styles. Personally I’ve always been influenced by anything bluesy and gritty, anything that sounds like it’s got some life in it. I’m a big fan of older music – I love The Band, Dr John, The Stones. Me and Joe are huge fans of The Coral too, that’s an influence I’d like to get more involved in the future. And Tom Waits is the man.
Joe: For me, peter green, marc ribot, django reinhardt, george harrison. Err music im listening to at the moment if that counts as influences are serge gainsbourg, moondog, john coltrane, richard hawley, tony allen. i could go on…
Josh: I grew up listening to grunge- Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains but I also listened to delta blues musicians like Blind Willie Johnson and jazz musicians like Charlie Parker, Miles Davis from my early teens. I listened to a hell of a lot of John Martyn. Sparklehorse is a big influence too.

–       The production and the array of instruments is really impressive, How does this translate when you play live?

Josh– Yeah, Shell (Shelley Uprichard) and Jim did a lot of work on this album and recorded a hell of a lot of instruments and people. When we were recording this album we were a 5-piece with 2 members functioning as multi-instrumentalists so we would switch around a lot on stage. There would often be 10+ instruments featured in a 6 song set at a gig and we would sometimes take a hammond organ to use in one song. We were the bane of sound-men everywhere.
The live set up’s simpler now. If we decide we’ve lost something we might add a 5th member but a lot can be said for keeping things simple. It’s also become more common to include strings and generally not-traditional band instruments in bands recently so I’m not sure what we’d introduce. When we first started people would always mention the Cello, by the end of last year it wasn’t that out of the ordinary.

–       Would you like to tell us about any new bands/musicians that you think people should know about?

Jim: I’d recommend a band called Like Spinning, the singer Kari is originally from Oslo but based in London now. They’ve got a kind of folky, rocky thing going, a bit like Midlake at times. I’m going to be very self-involved and suggest another one the bands I play in too – Sashi & the Wild Beans. They’re great.
Joe: I like that guy Ivor Game.
Josh: I can’t even remember the last time I listened to music… when I do I haven’t been listening to new people really. The Morphine album ‘The Night’ is probably what I’ve been listening to the most.

–       Do you have any gigs/events/Tours coming up?

The album is released on December 17th. We wont be gigging until February at the earliest.
So There we have it… Soapy Jefferson are a band who have always surprised me, whether it is seeing them play live or listening to new material, They are a dedicated and hard working band and I for one am always excited to hear what they will be up to next… Go Buy there amazing Debut album ‘Balloon’, go see them live, buy them a beer and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
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‘I Am Not Yet Here’ Subzar

19 Nov

Gav Sirisena of Subzar recently sent me an email enlightening me of their new EP ‘I am not yet hear’. I opened the email in the morning and clicked the link to listen whilst preparing to set of for work. I’m not sure if it was the calm and melancholy charm of the cold morning that made the music seem rather special or whether it was the music that gave the morning a calm and melancholy charm, either way it was a delightfully wistful way to start the day. It also made for a charming way to end the day, It had made such an impression on me that I made sure it was the last thing I listened to before bed.
Don’t take my word for it tho, have a listen for yourself, to the collection of songs with beautifully woven melodic interjections and soundscapes which make for a very thought provoking ep.

It is also available to buy for a limited time only here

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