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Pennyblackmusic: August 2021 (reviews update)


Roger Chapman

Legendary singer and songwriter and former Family frontman Roger Chapman talks to Adrian Janes about his long career and his first album in seven years ,'Life in the Pond'

Earl Slick
Steve Howe

New York guitarist Earl Slick has recently completed the eleven-track, all-instrumental 'Fist Full of Devils,' will be touring the UK in November and has a memoir project ready for publication. Lisa Torem catches up with him to find out the details.
Prog rock pioneer and Yes and Asia guitarist Steve Howe talks to Andrew Twambley about his long career and the latest and seventh album in his solo ‘Homebrew’ series.
Colin Blunstone, the frontman with The Zombies, talks to Lisa Torem about their plans for a worldwide stream on September 18th, an upcoming album and how their classic hit ‘Time of The Season’ is being used to promote the launch of the new Chelsea FC kit.

Whispering Sons
Chris Connelly
Philip Jeays
Catenary Wires

Belgium post-punk band Whispering Sons talk to Eoghan Lyng about their critically acclaimed second album 'Several Others' and forthcoming British tour.
Edinburgh-born but now Chicago-based singer-songwriter Chris Connelly talks to John Clarkson about his new album 'The Birthday Poems', which recorded with Monica Queen, is a fictionalized account of the romance between Stella Cartwright and poet George Mackay Brown .
English musician Philip Jeays talks to Steev Burgess about his cinematic new double album 'Blossoms and Bicycles' and the influence of Jacques Brel on his songwriting.
Talulah Gosh, Heavenly and Tender Trap's Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey speak to John Clarkson about the expansion of their current band The Catenary Wires from a duo into a five-piece and 'Birling Gap', their just-released third album.

Sam Brown
Real Tuesday Weld
Mike Garry
Xan Tyler

In this 2008 archival interview, which she believes to be definitive,, renowned singer-songwriter Sam Brown chats to Nick Dent-Robinson about some of the highlights of her thirty year career, including working with George Harrison, Jools Holland and Pink Floyd, the massive success of her 80's single 'Stop' and her then recently released fourth album 'Of The Moment'.
Stephen Coates, the London-based songwriter and composer with The Real Tuesday Weld, speaks to John Clarkson about 'Blood', the first of three farewell albums for the group to be released over the next year, and why he has decided to finish with the band now.
With photographs from Amanda J, Window, Shirley Procter talks to poet Mike Garry about his success and working with Philip Glass and New Order.
Singer-songwriter and musician Xan Tyler speaks to Adrian Janes about her new album 'Clarion Call' upon which she has collaborated with dub pioneer Mad Professor.

Mad Professor
Long Earth
Elli De Mon

Adrian James chats to acclaimed dub produce/remixer Mad Professor about his long career and work on Xan Tyler's new album 'Clarion Call'.
Martin Haggarty, the vocalist with Glaswegian prog rock outfit Long Earth, chats to Andrew Twambley about his band's diverse influences and the affect of lockdown on them.
Italian blues musician Elli de Mon speaks to Julie Cruickshank about her dazzling new album 'Countin' the Blues', upon which she covers early female blues artists,, as well as her punk and garage influences and playing the blues all over Europe.
Andrew Twambley chats to Richard Jobson, lead singer of Scottish punk / New Wave legends The Skids about their new covers LP, 'Songs From A Haunted Ballroom', which pays homage to the Kinema Ballroom in their hometown of Dunfermline.

Visitor Comments


When our Leeds-based writer Spencer Robertshaw joined Pennyblackmusic in 2009, he offered us something different with his own poetry column, ‘Evidently Spencertown’. Spencer’s main influence is his fellow Northerner and punk poet John Cooper Clarke. ‘Evidently Spencertown’ is named in homage to Clarke’s classic ‘Evidently Chickentown’. it carries much of his humour and occasional causticness, but we would argue that, as great as he is, ‘Evidently Spencertown’ is more than simply a tribute to Clarke, and has an originality very much of its own with its compassion, observations on life’s surreal ....more


Neil Swift investigates the groundbreaking, one-off Granada TV showcase 'Blues and Gospel Train'.

Lucy in the Sky....
Per Nilsen
Doug Hoekstra
Michael Stuart Ware

Nick Dent-Robinson gives a thumbs-up to Annie Nightingale’s ‘Hey Hi Hello’ – a 'rewarding read' which includes 'fascinating back-stories spanning her five decades of interaction with the biggest names in music and culture.'
Adrian Janes examines Swedish academic Per Nilsen's new book which provides a gig-by-gig account of The Stooges' chaotic career.
John Clarkson examines Nashville-based singer-songwriter and author Doug Hoekstra's haunting new collection of short stories.
Nicky Crewe reviews Michael Stuart Ware’s must-read for fans of Love and their music, written by one who was there and who has lived to tell the tale with insight and understanding.

Live Reviews

Joe Bonamassa
Hector Gannet

For fans of guitarist and singer-songwriter Joe Bonamassa, Lisa Torem discovers that the Austin City Limits livestream is an exciting way to celebrate the old and the new in the comfort of one’s home.
Gus Ironside profiles a new video from acclaimed North Tyneside indie act Hector Gannet recorded live at the iconic Polestar Studios in Newcastle.
A terrific lockdown gig by The Wytches leaves Peter Cole musing about the nature of live music, what we've lost in 2020 and what we might gain in future.

Most Viewed (articles)

Favourite Albums

Joni Mitchell
Big Eyes Family

In our 'Re:View' section, in which we look at albums from the past, Nick Dent-Robinson examines Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell’s classic 1971 album, ‘Blue’, which is being released in various 50th Anniversary editions, which include demos and out-takes.
Nicky Crewe examines the not-to-be-missed latest album from Sheffield’s Big Eyes Family, which was first released in the Covid chaos of November 2020.
Stephen Duffy, sometimes also known as 'TinTin', formed The Hawks after quitting Duran Duran just before they were signed. Tommy Gunnarsson listens to The Hawks' previously unreleased only album 'Obviously 5 Believers', and finds that it isn’t without its charm.


Spencer Robertshaw returns after a break with the latest poem in his poetry column 'Evidently Spencertown'.
In her series 'A Life in Music', in which she talks to Pennyblackmusic writers about the personal impact and influence of music on them, Cila Warncke, discusses with Mark Rowland his changing musical tastes, the importance of solid music journalism and the hypocrisy of rock mythology.

In Dreams Begin Responsibilities
Bandcamp Explorer
Lisa Robinson

In his regular column ‘In Dreams Begin Responsibilities’, Steve Miles continues to looks at the issue of mental health and reflects on the positive effect of music and songs by The Gang of Four, The Fall, The Television Personalities, Black Uhuru, The Au Pairs and The Slits on his adolescence.
In 'The Image That Made Me Weep', in which a different writer with each edition writes of the impact of a photo or an image on them, Fiona Hutchings reflects on a photo of Queen at Live Aid.
In 'Bandcamp Explorer' Mark Rowland searches on Bandcamp for electronica and discovers some of its more unusual genres and subdivisions.
In her 'Raging Pages' book column Lisa Torem reflects on music journalist Lisa Robinson’s new book which looks at the changing role of women in the entertainment industry through a unique lens.


Nul Telexes

Kiefer Sutherland

Darren Aston photographs new indie/electronic duo Nul Telexes on a photo shoot in Liverpool.
Andrew Twambley photographs actor and now acclaimed country rock artist Kiefer Sutherland at a gig on a UK tour at the O2 Academy in Liverpool.

Elvis Costello

Andrew Twambley photographs Elvis Costello on his recent UK tour at the Blackpool Opera House.

Steel Panther
From The Jam

Andrew Twambley photographs tongue-in-cheek metal act Steel Panther at the O2 Victoria Warehouse in Manchester.
Andrew Twambley photographs From The Jam at the Manchester Ritz on a tour to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Jam's fourth album, 'Setting Sons'.
Andrew Twambley in the second of two galleries photographs the Libertines on the first of two gigs in Manchester.

Most Viewed (reviews)


Dim Gray
Jez Hellard and the Djukella Orchestra
David Crosby

Post-progressive debut album from Norway’s Dim Gray, combining magical, haunting soundscapes with folk and rock
Upliftinga and beautiful collection of songs from Jez Hellard and the Djukella Orchestra that resonate with the mood of the times
Optimistic fourth album in five years from David Crosby, who continues on this his late-life renaissance
Eclectic and fiery second album from powerhouse Bristol-born and now Nashville-based singer-songwriter Yola

Don Zilla
Serious Sam Barrett
Billie Eilish

Baffling avant garde wizard electronica from Kampala-based musician and producer Don Zilla which is graced with a divine touch
Fresh and authentic latest album from Serious Sam Barrett which is firmly rooted in the folk tradition and celebrates the part love songs play in that genre.
Compelling and thoughtful second album from multi-award-winning singer Billie Eilish
Celebratory and life-affirming third album from Bleachers. the project of acclaimed producer Jack Antonoff, which includes guest appearances from Lana Del Ray, St Vincent. The Chicks and Bruce Springsteen.

Craig Fortnam
Jake Bugg

Glorious orchestral avant garde and tongue-in-cheek English pop on debut solo album from North Sea Orchestra frontman Craig Fortnam
Impressive return-to-form on fifth album from Nottingham-born singer-songwriter Jake Bugg
Intimate but frank and socially conscious second album from American singer-songwriter Clairo
Delightful slice of post-punk indie pop with shades of Americana showcased in British band Huguenots’ re-issued and remastered EP. REVIEW Huguenots are the London-based duo of singer-songw

Desperate Journalist

Confrontational single sided 7 inch from Berlin-based experimental artist Peaches
Fourth LP from dynamic 80s postpunk-inspired Londoners Desperate Journalist proves to be a belter
Re-issue of abstract and new wave compilation from 1984.on Belgian label Crammed Discs
Excellent new live album recorded in Cuba from Blondie who late in their career continue to push boundaries

Snapped Ankles
Gary Kemp
Amusement Parks On Fire

Environmentally=concerned third album from Snapped Ankles who mourn forest demise with a set of cracking tunes.
Fantastic covers project and charity compilation album for NRBQ bassist and songwriter Joey Spampinato, who is undergoing long-term treatment for cancer
Impressive 70's rock influenced first solo album in twenty-six years from Spandau Ballet guitarist and songwriter Gary Kemp
Excellent fourth album and first in ten years From Nottingham-based shoegazing outfit Amusement Parks On Fire

Jack Savoretti
Lou Barlow
Tom Odell

Enjoyable retro and European-influenced seventh album from bestselling singer-songwriter ack Savoretti
Reflective and thought-provoking seventh album from influential Dunedin indie act The Chills
Fourth solo album from Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh member, folky and lo-fi in style, only partly justifies its existence.
Frank but uplifting pop on new album from Chichester-born singer-songwriter Tom Odell written as he recuperated from alcohol problems

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors