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Pennyblackmusic: January 2024



Chris Thomson, the frontman with acclaimed Scottish act The Bathers, speaks to John Clarkson about their first album in 24 years,, 'Sirenesque'.

the black watch
Steve Hackett
James Whild Lea

John Andrew Fredrick, the frontman with LA cult band the black watch, talks to John Clarkson about his book trilogy, 'The King of Good Intentions', which is about a 90's indie rock band, and his group's two forthcoming albums, 'The Morning Papers Have Given Us the Vapours' and 'Weird Rooms'.
Prog guitar legend Steve Hackett talks to Eoghan Lyng about his new album ‘The Circus and the Nightwhale’ and his years with Genesis,
Slade violinist and multi-instrumentallst James Whild Lea with his brother Frank Lea talks about his career with the 70's rockers, working with legendary manager Chas Chandler and his and Frank's underrated other band The Dummies.

Johny Brown
Jane Duffus
Steve Wynn

Band of Holy Joy frontman Johny Brown talks to John Clarkson about his group's latest album 'Fated Beautiful Mistakes' and his forthcoming debut solo album 'Gut Feels'.
Writer Jane Duffus speaks to John Clarkson about her new book on Sarah Records, 'These Things Happen'.
The Dream Syndicate's Steve Wynn talks to Philamonjaro about his new live CD 'Journeyman' and his recent European acoustic tour.
Sharks’ frontman and 70’s punk influence Steve ‘Snips’ Parsons talks to Eoghan Lyng about their new film documentary, ‘Not A Rock Doc (A Shark’s Tale)’.

Nicola Black
Roy Moller
Robert Davi
Black Hill Transmissions

Film producer Nicola Black speaks to Andrew Twambley about her new project, ‘The Light Pours Out Of Me. an in-depth film about the life of guitarist John McGeoch,
Edinburgh-born singer and songwriter Roy Moller speaks to John Clarkson about his new album ‘Be My Baby’,which is about his discovery that his birth parents were Canadian and that his mother flew from Toronto to Edinburgh to give birth to and put him up for adoption.
Actor Robert Davi speaks to Eoghan Lyng about his other career as a singer and playing a Bond villain in ‘Licence to Kill’.
Experimental musician Mark Scanlan talks to John Clarkson about his project Black Hill Transmissions and its new release 'Transmissions #3'.

Louise McCorkindale
Ken Loach
John Philip Shenale

Aberdee singer-songwriter and former Only A Ghost frontwoman Louise McCorkindale talks to John Clarkson about her debut solo release, EP ‘Her Art’.
James Taylor, the keyboardist and the organ player, with legendary 80's garage-rock band The Prisoners talks to Denzil Watson about their reformation for a show at The Roundhouse in London and their forthcoming first album in almost forty years.
Adam Coxon talks to film director Ken Loach about his long career and the making of his films including 'Up The Junction', 'Cathy Come Home'. 'Kes' and 'I, Daniel Blake'.
Los Angeles composer and arranger John Philip Shenale is associated with Grammy-nominated artists: Tori Amos, Jane’s Addiction, Tracy Chapman and Billy idol. To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of ‘Night of Hunters,’ he shares excerpted highlights of his five-decade career.

Visitor Comments


Hello and welcome to the January 2024 edition of the Pennyvblackmusic Magazine. Several of our writers and photographers had a tough 2023. There are few of us under 40 now, and, with an average age of 57/58, and some of us older still, a large number of us have had to contend with our own health problems, or those of i4ncreasingly frail parents. There have also unfortunately been some bereavements. Rather than do what we have always done, which is bang up a magazine just before Christmas and then move on as we have always done, we decided that we owed ourselves a break over Christmas. ....more


Nick Dent-Robinson pays tribute to Annie Nightingale, who was the first female DJ on Radio One,

Squaring the Circle: The Story of Hipgnosis
Hardcore Never Dies
John Lennon

Nick Dent-Robinson finds Sofia Coppola’s new film ‘Priscilla’ about the relationship and marriage of Priscilla and Elvis Presley uncomfortable viewing.
Maarten Schiethart finds the new documentary by Anton Corbijn ‘Squaring The Circle' about the Hipgnosis sleeve design company striking.
Maarten Schiethart introduces us to an unusual Dutch crime drama set against a 1990s hardcore rave backdrop.
Nick Dent-Robinson assesses a new three-part documentary from Apple TV+ about the murder of John Lennon.

Live Reviews

Rod Stewart
Music of Big Star
Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies

Philamonjaro watches and photographs Rod Stewart play an age-defying and visually stunning set at the IFEMA Palace in Madrid.
Philamonjaro is impressed by supergroup tribute to Big Star which features original member Jody Stephens as well as The Posies’ Jon Auer, R.E.M.s Mike Miles, DB’s Chris Stamey and Wilco’s Pat Sansome.
Philamonjaro enjoys Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies’ unique brand of southern blues rock at two shows in Madrid and Barcelona.

Most Viewed (articles)

Favourite Albums

Standard Fare
Speed of the Stars

In our Re: VIew section, in which we look back at records from the past, Dave Goodwin examines two Peel Sessions from 1995 and 1996 from Scottish indiepop trio Bis, which have just been released on 10" vinyl by Precious Recordings of London.
Dave Goodwin enjoys a 2010 radio session from Derbyshire indie pop trio Standard Fare, who are the latest band to get the beautiful Precious Recordings treatment for a vinyl re-release.
Steve Kinrade is impressed by a reissue the reissue of the eponymous 2016 debut album from Speed Of The Stars, the project of The Church's Steve Kilbey and Cactus World News' Frank Kearns.


Our writera provide their albums of the year for 2023.
Steve Miles talks in his 'In Dreams Begin Responsibilities' column to Illinois musician and former Beauty Shop frontman John Hoeffleur about the empathy behind the songs that he has started publishing on Bandcamp under the moniker of Green Boots.

Best of Vinyl 2023
Rock Against Racism
Bob Dylan
Luke Haines

Rounding up what Pennyblack contributors have been spinning on the turntable this year, Dave Goodwin brings us his own list and commentary on a eclectic selection of vinyl purchases
In our new series ‘Those Were the Days’ our writers will be writing about a gig which they wish they could attend again. In the first in the series, Andrew Twambley recollects attending a Rock Against Racism gig with The Clash, X-Ray Spex, The Tom Robinson Band and Steel Pulse in Victoria Park in London in April 1978.
For her 'Raging Pages' column, Lisa Torem gives ‘Bob Dylan 1962 to 1970 : Every Album, Every Song’, Opher Goodwin’s new book on Dylan’s studio work high marks.
In ‘Raging Pages’ guest reviewer Eoghan Lyng enjoys The Auteurs and Black Box Recorder Luke Haines’ satirical overview of pop in his first book in a decade, ‘Freaks Out!: Weirdos, Misfits and Deviants – The Rise and Fall of Righteous Rock ’n’ Roll'.


Marie Hazelwood takes photos of indie pop supergroup Swansea Sound at our 25th Anniversary gig at The Water Rats in London.
Marie Hazelwood takes photos of acoustic pop act Keiron Phelan & Peace Signs at our 25th Anniversary gig at The Water Rats.

Marie Hazelwood takes photos of indie band The Volunteered at our 25th Anniversary gig at The Water Rats in London.

Sisters of Mercy
Pale Blue Eyes
Australian Pink Floyd Show

Andrew Twambley takes photos of Gothic group The Sisters of Mercy at thre Manchester Academy.
Robert Hadley takes photographs of electro-modernist guitar group Pale Blue Eyes at the Hare and Hounds in Birmingham
In the first of a two part gallery Andrew Twambley photographs The Australian Pink Floyd Show at a gig at the Manchester Apollo.

Most Viewed (reviews)


Shaw's Trailer Park
Nick Cave And Warren Ellis
Richard Hawley

Epic and diverse second album from acclaimed Nottingham-based band Herds, who were previously known as The Amber Herd
Exciting debut album from neo-prog/progressive Brighton band collective Shaw’s Trailer Park
Exhilarating latest album from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis recorded over three nights ar the Sydney Opera House
Double CD collection from Richard Hawley spans over twenty years of the now legendary Sheffield musician and songwriter’s career, and proves a real treat for fans as well as a wonderful introduction for those only just discovering his music

Cult Figures
Cat Power
Shed Seven

Excellent post-punk on third album from Midlands-formed band Cult Figures
Splashing dream-pop on third album which proves a change of direction for Spanish group Melenas
Accomplished covers album from Cat Power, in which she recreates Bob Dylan’s famous 1966 concert at the Manchester Free Trade Hall
Infectiously enthusiastic first album in seven years from 90’s Britpop act Shed Seven

Laura Cantrell
Rita Braga
Pale Blue Eyes

Enjoyable mix of recent songwriting and covers of favourite songs on seventh album from Nashville-raised singer-songwriter Laura Cantrell
Fourth album from Portuguese singer Rita Braga is a strange mixture of the past and anticipations of the future. Rita Braga is a Portuguese singer and multi-instrumentalist. In these songs she has
Surprisingly upbeat synth pop on second album from Devon trio Pale Blue Eyes, which was recorded against a backdrop of personal tragedy
Enigmatic but appealing mix of angst alt-pop rock, with new songs sung in English, on updated version of 2023 album from Italian group Maneskin

Kristin Hersh
Peter Gabriel
Tina Turner

Immaculate-sounding yet melancholic latest solo album from Throwing Muses’ frontwoman Kristin Hersh
Excellent first album of new material in over twenty-one years from Peter Gabriel
Irresistible, chronologically-ordered box set compilation of Tina Turner's solo work
Eclectic indie rock and pop on debut album from Sands, the project of London-born multi-instrumentalist Andrew Sands

Katie Melua
Sundara Karma
Chouk Bwa and The Ångströmers
Ryan Young

Fine twentieth anniversary reissue of Katie Melua’s 2003 acclaimed debut album which includes extra tracks and demos
Infectious yet thought-provoking indie rock on third album from Reading-based group Sundara Karma
Haïtian big band trance frenzy on second album from Chouk Bwa and The Ångströmers
Delayed second album from Scottish traditional musician Ryan Young us a personal triumph as well as a musical joy

Kate Rusby
Chris Hludzik
Freschard and Stanley Brinks
Van Morrison

Eclectic combination of traditional carols and original compositions on seventh Christmas album from folk artist Kate Rusby
Impressive first release in three years on new EP from Pennsylvanian solo artist Chris Hludzik
Reflective and gentle Euro indie pop on vinyl only joint third album between French-born duo Freschard and Stanley Brinks
Surprisingly upbeat double album of 1950s rock and roll and 1960s pop covers from Van Morrison

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors