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John Clarkson


Interviews



John Clarkson speaks to Scottish guitarist and record label owner Douglas MacIntyre about his band Port Sulphur's second album 'Speed of Life', and 'Hungry Beat', his forthcoming oral history of the late 1970s and early 1980s Scottish post-punk movement.




Rob Pursey
Beth Arzy
Roy Moller

Rob Pursey from Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, The Catenary Wires and Swansea Sound, talks about his and Amelia Fletcher's new label Skep Wax, and its new compilation 'Under the Bridge' which features acts who were signed to the influential indie label Sarah Records as they are now.
John Clarkson speaks to Beth Arzy about her involvement with LA indiepop band Aberdeen with influential label Sarah Records, and her present bands The Luxembourg Signal and Jetstream Pony’s contributions to new Sarah-inspired compilation ‘Under the Bridge’.
John Clarkson speaks to Edinburgh-born singer-songwriter Roy Moller about the reissue of his 2014 album, ‘My Week Beats Your Year’, which is about the influence on him of Lou Reed, and his forthcoming 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.




Lida Husik
Simon Bromide
Vinny Peculiar
Volunteered

Washington DC-raised singer-songwriter Lida Husik speaks to John Clarkson about her 1997 fifth album 'Fly Stereophonic', which is being released on vinyl for the first time for Record Store Day.
South London-based singer-songwriter and Bromide frontman Simon Berridge speaks to John Clarkson about his debut solo album, 'Following the Moon', which he has released as Simon Bromide.
Singer-songwriter Vinny Peculiar talks to John Clarkson about his 'three quarters' modern art-themed latest album, 'Artists Only'.
Mark Rowland, the frontman with South London indie band The Volunteered, talks to John Clarkson, about its debut album 'We Fall Apart', which has expanded from an EP into a vinyl LP, and the change in its line-up from a duo into a five-piece group


Ava Cherry
Dire Straits Legacy
Ultrasound
Dot Allison

Ava Cherry, who was David Bowie's romantic partner and worked with him on 'Young Americans', speaks to John Clarkson about her forthcoming memoir, 'All That Glitters'.
Keyboardist Alan Clark speaks to John Clarkson about covers project Dire Straits Legacy, their forthcoming show at the 02 Indigo in London and his years in Dire Straits.
Ultrasound vocalist Andrew 'Tiny' Wood speaks to John Clarkson about the reissue in an expanded vinyl edition of their epic 1999 double album, 'Everything Picture'.
Edinburgh-born singer-songwriter and musician Dot Allison talks to John Clarkson about ‘Heart-Shaped Scars’, her first new album in twelve years.


Crazies
European Sun
Brinsley Schwarz
Kevin Hewick

An offshoot of The Sound frontman Adrian Borland's first band The Outsiders, The Crazies' only album 'A Simple Vision' was never meant to come out. Drummer Adrian Janes and clarinet player Bi Marshall explain why forty-three years after it was recorded it is finally being released.
Steve Miles from indie pop band European Sun talks about his group's recent first UK tour and how it has changed the band.
Guitarist-turned-songwriter Brinsley Schwarz talks to John Clarkson about his long career and second solo album, 'Tangled'.
Leicester-based cult musician and singer-songwriter Kevin Hewick talks to John Clarkson about his tenth solo album ‘Never Give Up on A Song’, working with the surviving members of Joy Division just after Ian Curtis’ death and also Adrian Borland and The Sound.


Profiles



John Clarkson examines Nashville-based singer-songwriter and author Doug Hoekstra's haunting new collection of short stories.




Miscellaneous
Doug Hoekstra
Anthony Strutt
Mary O'Meara

John Clarkson examines new five-CD box set 'Big Gold Dreams', which documents Scottish punk and independent music between 1977 and 1989, and proves to be the definitive account of a definitive era.
John Clarkson reflectson 'Unopened'. the debut poetry collection of Nashville-based singer-songwriter Doug Hoekstra.
Editor John Clarkson reflects on the music writing and his own friendship with our long-term writer Anthony Strutt, who died on March 25th after a lengthy battle with cancer.
John Clarkson pays tribute to our writer and his friend Mary O'Meara who died in December.


Live Reviews





Moon Under Water
Echo And The Bunnymen
Damned

John Clarkson watches Moon under Water play their official debut show in London at a tribute gig to Sound frontman Adrian Borland to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of his death, and sees them reunite his and drummer Adrian Janes' old band The Outsiders for the first time in forty years
John Clarkson at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh watches Echo and The Bunnymen play a gripping set which finds them reinterpreting for a new album their back catalogue with a strings section.
John Clarkson at the Hydro in Glasgow watches punk legends the Damned in a set in support of the Hollywood Vampires play a set of their classic singles and songs.


Favourite Albums




New Leaf
Ian Dury
Hipsway

John Clarkson ref;lects on Edinburgh-based band New Leaf's fourth album 'The Year of the Ox', which recorded originally in 2001, has finally seen release twenty years later.in an updated version.
In our Re:View section John Clarkson examines an impressive three CD Ian Dury retrospective.
John Clarkson finds that Scottish dance/rock act Hipsway's 1986 eponymous debut album, which has just been released in a double CD thirtieth anniversary edition, remains substantial


Features



Who

John Clarkson


In 'The Image That Made Me Weep' John Clarkson reflects on a photograph of The Who taken backstage after their performance at Live Aid.
In our new series 'Tickets Rewind', in which our writers look back at their old concert tickets and the stories associated with them, our Editor John Clarkson reflects on some of his favourite gigs.



Willard Grant Conspiracy
Lou Reed
Baptiste
Miscellaneous

In 'Ten Songs That Made Me Love...' John Clarkson pays tribute to Robert Fisher from the Willard Grant Conspiracy, who died at the age of 59 in February and who we interviewed many times and headlined our Bands Nights on four occasions
John Clarkson writes of ten of his favourite songs in the solo career of the late Lou Reed
In our 'Soundtrack of Our Lives' column, in which our writers describe the personal impact of music upon them, John Clarkson writes about hearing in 2000 London-based indie band Baptiste's first two singles, 'A New Career in a New Town' and 'The Quiet Times'
Pennyblackmusic photographer-in-residence Matt Williams’ latest photographic exhibition, ‘Shield Your Eyes, Shield Your Pies’, opens at the West End in Centre in Aldershot on May 7th and closes on May 30th. Find out more about it here.


Reviews



Paul Iwan
Moon Under Water
Launchers
Visions of Albion

Compelling and forceful second album from talented Liverpudlian singer-songwriter Paul Iwan
Excellent debut EP from brooding indie guitar band Moon Under Water
Upbeat and hopeful new single from West London nine-piece reggae/ska act The Launchers
Diverse debut EP from promising Merseyside-based Americana/folk act Visions of Albion


Morton Valence
Swansea Sound
That Will Be Lunch
Waterboys

Unusual and obscure album from London 'urban country' duo Morton Valence, which, originally released under the alias of Black Angel Drifter, is now being reissued on vinyl under their own name
Fine debut single from new indie supergroup Swansea Sound, which includes Heavenly and Tender Trap'S Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey
Offbeat but unique and endearing cover of classic 1976 hit by That Will Be Lunch, the project of electronic solo musician Alvin Spetz
Imaginative and literate latest from the Waterboys which proves to be an album of contrasts


Eight Rounds Rapid
Fabulous Artisans
Mark Eitzel
A Different Thread

Southend’s thuggy rhythm and blues kings Eight Rounds Rapid shine on their third album
Excellent first single in over five years from harmonic Scottish duo the Fabulous Artisans
First-rate vinyl reissue of Mark Eitzel's controversial eighth solo album which was recorded with a group of Greek traditional musicians
Hauntingly beautiful but melancholic new EP from 'British Americana' duo A Different Thread


Godfathers
Strokes
Cathode Ray
Vinny Peculiar

First-rate double A-sided single in a new line-up from alternative rock band the Godfathers, released to coincide with their 35th anniversary
Flawed sixth album and first album in seven years from much acclaimed New York band the Strokes
Fabulous third album from Edinburgh-based alt. rock band the Cathode Ray which merges punk and post-punk with pop, psychedelia, glam rock, disco, folk and reggae
Irreverent and frequently hilarious but also thought-provoking new album from singer-songwriter Vinny Peculiar about the current political landscape


Fariña
Roy Moller and The Chain Pier Group
St Christopher Medal
Raf and O

Low-key but evocative return from trio Fariña with tape-only release, the soundtrack to member Mark Brend's debut novel
Fine return after a long absence from Scottish singer-songwriter Roy Moller with his new band, the Chain Pier Group
Evocative and versatile Americana on second album from Scottish act St. Christopher Medal
Haunting and compelling fourth album from unconventional South London-based electro-acoustic duo Raf and O


STOOR
Duncan Lloyd
Lonna Kelley
Mutant Vinyl

Challenging but compelling and distinctive second album from Dundee-based alternative rock group STOOR
Enjoyable third solo album from Maximo Park guitarist Duncan Lloyd upon which he experiments with an orchestral pop sound
Mournful but compelling seven inch vinyl only single from Arizonian singer-songwriter and Giant Sand member Lonna Kelley
Emotive hybrid of electronica, jazz, dub and reggae on debut album from Mutant Vinyl, the project of London-based musician Edwin Pope






Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors