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Olga Sladeckova


Simon Raymonde

The owner of the populat Bella Union Records, former Cocteau Twins guitarist, Simon Raymonde, back for a second interview with us, talks to Olga Sladeckova about his label and Snowbird, his and his partner, singer-songwriter Stephanie Dosen's new band

Joe Gideon and the Shark
Bikini Atoll

Olga Sladeckova chats to former Bikini Atoll front man Joe Gideon about his new duo which he has formed with his sister Viva and who will be playing the Pennyblackmusic Bands Night on the 3rd March
After the collapse of the Jesus and Mary Chain, singer Jim Reid and guitarist Ben Lurie formed a new band, Freeheat. Olga Sladeckova talks to Ben Lurie about the group and their posthumously released debut album, 'Back on the Water'
London-based band Bikini Atoll have been gaining increasing acclaim during the last year. Back for a third interview with us, front man Joe Gideon talks to Olga Sladeckova recording their second album 'Liar's Exit' in Chicago with Steve Albini


Instrumental post rockers Rothko have a new line-up and have just released a seventh album, 'A Place Between'. Olga Sladeckova chats to main man Mark Beazley, back for a third interview with Pennyblackmusic, about both
New punk group Dead Fly Buchowski have recently signed to Beggar's Banquet and have just released their debut single 'Blackout'. With their debut album on the way, singer Roddy Campbell speaks to Olga Sladeckova about the group's rise
Sheffield indie act the Repomen, who first formed in 1990, recently released their fifth EP in five years 'Out of Here'. Olga Sladeckova chats to front man Denzil Watson about their longevity, the new recordand why he sees change as a good thing
One of the great Creation Records bands, psychedelia act Telescopes returned in 2002 after long absence with their third album, 'Third Wave'. Frontman Stephen Lawrie chats about the band's rapidly evolving style, and plans for their firuth and fifth album

Stone Roses
Jesus And Mary Chain
Dandy Warhols

It has been eight years since the Stone Roses broke up. Cover band the Complete Stone Roses backstage at a gig at the London Mean Fiddler talk to Olga Sladeckova about copying their heroes
Ben Lurie was the guitarist with both the Jesus and Mary Chain and Freeheat. He chats to Olga Sladeckova about working with both Jim and William Reid, and his recent decision to return to his native Australia after 15 years away
One of the rising names in the British wave of Americana bands, the Redlands Palomino Co have just released their debut album. Vocalists and guitarists Alex and Hannah Elton-Wall talk to Olga Sladeckova about the album and their future plans
The Dandy Warhols are currently one of the best known indie rock acts in the world. Singer Courtney Taylor and drummer Brent Deboer chat to Olga Sladeckova at their first show in Prague about the success of their band and the group's ten year history

Very Things
Urge Overkill

Since appearing in Quentin Tarantino's 'Kill Bill', the 5, 6, 7, 8s' profile has escalated. Frontwoman "Ronnie" Fujimaya talks to Olga Sladeckova about the sudden success of her garage rock trio after nearly twenty years in the business
For Damo Suzuki, the former frontman with Can, improvisation has become his only way of playing music. He chats to Olga Sladeckova about his remarkable roadshow and way of touring
Since leaving the Cocteau Twins in 1998, Robin Guthrie has developed both an instrumental solo career and formed a new band, Violet Indiana. He chats to Olga Sladeckova about Violet Indiana's new second album, 'Russian Doll'
Urge Overkill are best known for their cover of Neil Diamond's 'Girl You Will Be A Woman Soon’ on the 'Pulp Fiction' soundtrack, but have another five albums to their credit. Singer Eddie Roeser speaks to Olga Sladeckova about his band's long history



First established in 1994, Cheltenham-based label Ochre Records now has over 50 albums and many more singles to its credit. Founder and owner Talbot chats to Olga Sladeckova about its eclectic history and first ten years


One of Scotlands biggest independent labels, Creeping Bent is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Label boss Douglas MacIntyre speaks to Olga Sladeckova about its history to date.
Up-and-coming post-rock label Tenor Vossa already has three acts on its roster and is rapidly expanding. Owners Ari and Dominic tell how looking for a label for their own band, Breathless, lead them onto greater things
In the first part of a two part interview, which we are running concurrently this month, Simon Raymonde talks with Olga Sladeckova about Bella Union, the label that he first set up with his ex-Cocteau Twin band mate Robin Guthrie six years ago
In the second part of our interview, Olga Sladeckova continues to talk to label boss Simon Raymonde about Bella Union, which is now one of Britain's biggest indepedent record labels

Live Reviews

Richmond Fontaine

At the Luminaire in London, Olga Sladeckova watches Willy Vlautin do a book reading from his debut novel 'The Motel Life', before bringing on his band Richmond Fontaine to play a thunderous set of country rock
At the Borderline in London, Olga Sladeckova watches rising alt. country bands Viarosa and Hey Negrita, the latter playing its first gig in a new line-up, play stunning sets
The Headlines are a new five piece band from Manchester. At a support date at the Fierce Panda and Pointy Records-sponsored Club Fandango at Dublin Castle in London, Olga Sladeckova finds their music radiating with energy

Favourite Albums

Primal Scream
Urge Overkill

In the latest in our Re : View seires, in which our writers reflect upon alnums from the past, Olga Sladeckova looks at Primal Scream's under-rated 1996 album, 'Vanishing Point'
Re-released in 2004 as 'One True Passion : V2.0' with extra tracks, New Order and Joy Division bassist Peter Hook's side project Revenge's debut album 'One True Passion' received a critical pounding upon its original release in 1991. Olga Sladeckova re-assesses it 15 years on
Urge Overkill will always be best known for their cover of Neil Diamond's ‘Girl You Will Be A Woman Soon’, but Olga Sladeckova, examining their 1992 mini album 'Stull', finds they are a much more diverse band than often accounted for


Soundtrack of Our Lives

Paul Cannell

Olga Sladeckova writes of an evening at her parents' house in Prague in 2001 spent with her late father and watching with him Eric Clapton perform 'Tears in Heaven' from his 'Unplugged' album
Paul Cannell, who created the artwork for Primal Scream's 'Screamadelica' and various other early 90's iconic record sleeves, died on the 5th July. Olga Sladeckova looks back and reflects on his life and career


Our latest Pennyblackmusic Bands Night on the 22nd January featured strong sets from Bikini Atoll, Heist, the Repomen, Lewd and Moly. Olga Sladeckova writes about what was an excellent night of music
At the fifth Pennyblackmusic Bands Night on the 15th April, we had the pleasure of putting on 4 great bands, Nectarine No. 9, Applecraft, the Scoundrelles and Air Formation. We look back on a very enjoyable night
"Music and lifestyle" website Melstars recently ran its first DJ night in London. Featuring sets from Elixir, one part of Phobos 3, and former Elastica guitarist Sheila Chipperfield, Olga Sladeckova finds it an event well worth attending
The third Pennyblackmusic Bands Night took place on August 2nd, and featured excellent sets from Lupine Howl, Bikini Atoll, the Lazarus Effect and Kelman. We look back on a fantastic evening


Primal Scream
Primal Scream

Experienced-sounding debut vinyl only single from young London band Goldhawks, who have drawn comparisons with the Ryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen, Echo and the Bunnymen and the Cure.
Poppy-sounding, excellent ninth album from the ever durable and versatile Primal Scream
Eclectic new fourteen song compilation from Sheffield-based label Phantom Power Records which includes tracks from the Repomen, Screaming Mimi and Deltasound, and has something for all tastes
Excellent country-blues influenced eighth album from Primal Scream, back after a four year break from recording

Robin Guthrie
Primal Scream
New Order
Dandy Warhols

Excellent second solo instrumental album from one-time Cocteau Twins guitarist, Robin Guthrie
First single from their new 'Riot City Blues' album for Primal Scream, which is accompanied by a controversial video
Definitive double CD and compilation comprising together all of New Order's many singles, released to coincide with the influential Manchester band's 25th anniversary
Disappointingly over-experimental and self-indulgent fifth album from the usually far more reliable Dandy Warhols

Bikini Atoll
Harper Lee
Tanya Donelly
Agent Blue

Compelling second album from London-based art rockers and Pennyblackmusic Bands Night stars Bikini Atoll, which was recorded in Chicago with Steve Albini
Slightly predictable but otherwise thoroughly convincing melancholic indiepop on third album from Brighton-based duo Harper Lee
Affirmative third solo album from former Breeders and Throwing Muses star, Tanya Donelly
Fiery, but ultimately rather predictable punk rock from latest Fierce Panda signing, Agent Blue

Charles Atlas
Violet Indiana
Nectarine No 9
Air Formation / Tempertwig

Engimatic fifth album from San Francisco post-rockers and avant-garde instrumentalists, Charles Atlas
Dreamy ,long-overdue second album from Violet Indiana, the latest band of former Cocteau Twin Robin Guthrie, which proves to have been definitely worth waiting for
Unpredictable and unique fifth album from the long-serving Scottish group Nectarine No 9, which is fronted by Davy Henderson, the former singer with the Fire Engines and Win
Limited to 300 copies 7" split single which features both post rockers Air Formation and indie rockers Tempertwig

Detroit City Council
La Motta

Third release from Guildford post-rock group and recent Pennyblackmusic Bands night stars, which proves to be their finest recording to date
"Unpredictable" and experimental second album from Lupine Howl offshoot project, Applecraft, which takes in elements of both punk and psychedelia
Promising funky guitar rock on debut single from new Michigan-based project, which includes an unusual cover version of the Electric Six's 'Gay Bar'
Lively new EP from California trio La Motta, which features Sean Friesen, the former frontman with the Asexuals

Explosions In The Sky
Rothko And Blk W / Bear

Inspiring and provocative post rock from Texan band, Explosions in the Sky, who have just signed to the Bella Union label
"Moving and unforgetttable" post rock from the always excellent Rothko, recorded in reaction to the events of September 11th
"Inspirational" and "original sounding" entirely instrumental debut album from British post-rockers, Moly
Impressive a double compilation, which features songs by all the bands that have appeared on ex-Cocteau Twins Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde's Bella Union label, and also a few extras

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors