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Dominic B. Simpson


Piano Magic

Dominic Simpson speaks to Glen Johnson, the front man with London-based art rockers Piano Magic about his decision to disband the group after twenty years together, their final album 'Closure' and the recent farewell gig.

Raf and O
Black Site

Dominic Simpson speaks to Raf Mantelli from South London-based elecro-acoustic duo Raf and O, who will be performing at the next Pennyblackmusic Bands' Night, about their history and soon-to-be-released new album
The Black Site are a new raw blues/avant-garde rock duo which features ex-members of Madam and Sophia. Dominic Simpson talks to them about their forthcoming appearance at our next Pennyblackmusic Bands' Night
Dominic Simpson speaks to Adam Franklin, the front man with 1990's Oxford-based cult alternative rock outfit Swervedriver about their reformation and 'I Wasn't Born to Lose You', their first album in almost two decades

Ninety Nine Tales
Peter Fij/Terry Bickers

Dominic Simpson talks to Leeds-based musician Dominic Deane about his evocative instrumental project TEN, whose music combines modern classicism and post-rock
Dominic Simpson chats to fuzz bassist Adam John Miller from London/Leeds-based lo-fi indie pop/Krautrock trio T.O.Y.S. about their two EPS to date and how its members balance playing in it with being in two cities and also having various other groups
Justin Paton, the front man with London-based band NOW talks to Dominic Simpson sbout his group's experimental edge, it constantly evolving music and its forthcoming appearance at our next Pennyblackmusic Bands' Night in November
Peter Fij was the front man in Adorable and Polak, and Terry Bickers the guitarist in the House of Love and Levitation. The new duo, who will be playing the next Pennyblackmusic Bands' Night, reflect on their years on Creation Records and forthcoming debut album, 'Broken Hearted Surgery'

Brilliant Mind
Pains of Being Pure At Heart
Hall of Mirrors
Altai Rockets

Dominic Simpson talks to Mark Kluzek, the front man with alt.rockers the Doomed Bird of Providence, who will be playing the Pennyblackmusic Bands' Night in Herne Hill, London on October 29th, about the influence of Australia's savage early history on 'Will Ever Pray', the band's debut album
New York-based indie pop band the Pains of Being Pure at Heart's vocalist and songwriter Kip Berman speaks to Dominic Simpson about 'Belong', his groundbreaking group's second album
Dominic Simpson chats to Jessica Spencer from London-based group the Hall of Mirrors, who will be playing the Pennyblackmusic Bands Night on the 26th March, about her band's unique blend of sixties and seventies space-age pop
Altai Rockets is the new band of Madam and Sophia bassist, Nick Bergin. Dominic Simpson speaks to him about his band's brooding indie guitar sound and their forthcoming appearance at the Pennyblackmusic Bands' Night at the Half Moon in Herne Hill, South London, which will be only their second gig

Damon And Naomi
Comets On Fire

Dominic Simpson speaks to the critically acclaimed and autumnal-toned the Clientele about their five albums, various EPs and the impact that their native London has had on their work.
Dominic Simpson talks to distorted country blues artist The Rebel, who will soon be opening the Pennyblackmusic Bands Night, about his musical career
Dominic Simpson speaks to husband-and-wife team and art rock duo Damon and Naomi before a show at the Luminaire in London about their time with lo-fi psychedelic rockers Galaxie 500 and their own subsequent hightly acclaimed career since then
After a one-off gig at the Luminaire in London, Dominic Simpson speaks to Erthan Miller from much acclaimed Californian garage/psychedelic act Comets on Fire about his band and its members' other successful projects


David Bowie

Dominic Simpson reflects upon and assesses the extraordinary career of David Bowie

Bill Hicks
Lou Reed
Conny Plank

Dominic Simpson reflects upon 'Ultimate Bill Hicks', a new three DVD box set from the late comedian Bill Hicks
Dominic Simpson looks back on Pennyblackmusic's 15th Anniversary show at The Lexington in London, which saw sets from Madam, Morton Valence and Rotifer
Dominic Simpson reflects on Lou Reed's often prickly relationship with the journalists and the media
Dominic Simpon examines the influence of the late German producer and sound engineer Conny Plank, whose work is celebrated in a new four CD box set

Live Reviews

Adam Donen
Charles Hayward

Dominic Simpson watches experimental musician Adam Donen, who is now based largely in Berlin and becoming increasingly known as a classical music composer, play a rare rock show to promote his third solo album 'False Bay Echoes' at Shoreditch Church in London
Dominic Simpson discovers reformed leftfield experimentalists, Seefeel, having released their first album in fifteen years, not willing to settle for former glories at a show at Kings Place in London
Dominic Simpson at the Cafe Oto in London sees This Heat drummer Charles Hayward as part of a showcase for the Gravid Hands label accompanied by a saxophone and a bassist play an explosive free jazz set

Favourite Albums

Velvet Underground

In our 'Re View' series, in which writers look back at albums from the past, we are revisiting after Lou Reed's death in October a column from last year from Dominic Simpson on the Velvet Underground's classic 1967 debut album with Nico
Dominic Simpson, in our 'Re View' column, in which writers look back at albums from the past, reflects on the Velvet Underground's classic 1967 debut album with Nico


Pennyblackmusic 20th Anniversary Bands' Night

Band of Holy Joy

Dominic Simpson reflects on our 20th Anniversary gig at the Water Rats in London, which included sets by the Bitter Springs, Idiot Son, Oldfield Youth Club and Raf and O.
Dominic Simpson looks back on our first Bands' Nights of 2015, which at the Macbeth in London, saw sets from the Band of Holy Joy, the Bitter Springs and Idiot Son


In 'Gig of a Lifetime', Dominic Simpson writes about being evacuated from London venue the Corsica Studios after German avant-garde rockers Faust set off a smoke bomb
We profile our next Pennyblackmusic Bands' night which will take place at the Macbeth in London, and will include sets from the Band of Holy Joy, the Bitter Springs and Idiot Son
We profile our Pennyblackmusic Bands' Night 15th Anniversary Gig, which will take place on Saturday May 31st at the Lexington in London and feature sets from Madam, Morton Valence and Rotifer
We profile our next Penny Black Music Bands' Night, which will take place on Saturday November 3rd at the Half Moon in Herne Hill, South London and feature sets from the Willard Grant Conspiracy, Rotifer, Bromide and NOW


Psyche Bugyo
Halo Halo
Acid Mothers Temple
Doomed Bird of Providence

Accessible and upbeat psychedelia/Krautrock on debut album from Psyche Bugyo, the side project of Acid Mothers Temple bassist and vocalist Atsushi Tsuyama
Off-kilter and unique debut album from London-based trio Halo Halo, which is partially sung in Filipino and fronted by electric banjo-player Rachel Horwood
Stunning Krautrock and 60's prog rock-influential latest album from erratic but often brilliant Japanese psychedelic collective, Acid Mothers Temple
Compelling new double A-sided single from unique-voiced London-based outfit the Doomed Bird of Providence, which looks at the gruesome fates that fell upon two different sets of early Australian explorers

Jackie-O Motherfucker
Flowers of Hell
Sunburned Hand Of The Man

Erratic and inconclusive latest album from Portland, Oregon-based experimentalists, Jackie O Motherfucker, which lacks the coherence of their previous offerings
Meticulously layered third album from Canadian-British collective the Flowers of Hell, largely inspired by leader Greg Jarvis's synaesthia, which is on the borders between classic music and rock
Minimal and bleak, but compelling fourth album from Picastro, the project of genetically deaf singer-songwriter Liz Hysen, which includes a guest appearance from Owen Pallett on violin
Engrossing vinyl only latest album from Boston-based act Sunburned Hand of the Man, which released under the moniker of Sunburned, proves remarkably comprehensive despite the band releasing another twelve albums last year

James Blackshaw
Wooden Shjips
Jack Rose

Long-awaited and more lighter-toned third album from brooding Philadelphian psychedelic folk set, Espers
Spellbinding latest album from distinctive London-based fingerpicking guitarist, James Blackshaw, who, despite being still in his twenties, has already managed to release an impressive back-catalogue of material
Innovative and triumphant psychedelic space rock on compilation of early material from San Francisco-based group, Wooden Shjips
Evocative, but patchy 30's-influenced bloues on double CD from Philadelphian guitarist which eventually ends up being too much of a good thing

Six Organs Of Admittance
Sunburned Hand Of The Man

Accessible latest album from tbe blues/drone-influenced Six Organs of Admittance, the solo project of Comets on Fire guitarist Ben Chasny, which seems potentially set to lead him to a bigger audience
Adventurous fourth album from the Akron/Family, wwhose music incorporates elements of American folk blues, jazz, electronics, noise and free psychedelic rock
Accessible latest album from freeform psychedelic collective Sunburned Hand of the Man, which in their large catalogue proves to be their most coherent and concise in a while
Lyrically-stunning whiskey-soaked blues rock on second album from brooding Australians, the Drones

Wolf Eyes
Comets On Fire
Red Krayola
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

Scabrous industrial electro rock from abrasive Michigan three-piece Wolf Eyes, which proves to be possibly their strongest release yet
70's inspired psychedelic and free-folk inspired rock on fourth album from much acclaimed Californian group Comets on Fire
Experimental, but messy psychedella from influential Texan 60's act the Red Krayola, back after a long absence
Baffling, demanding and ulitmately grating 80's nostalgia kitsch from Ariel Pink, which despite being released on the Animal Collective's Paw Tracks label, long outstays its limited welcome

Mandarin Movie
Mice Parade
Animal Collective

Atmospheric, experimental debut album from Mandarin Movie, the project of Rob Mazurek, a co-founder of the Chicago Underground Orchestra and who has previously worked with Stereolab, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Tortoise and Royal Trux
First album under his own moniker for former Slint, Papa M and Tortoise guitartst David Pajo, which finds him putting aside some of the abtractness of his past work, but also in the process laying "claim to be a great songwriter"
Compelling genre-defying electronica from Mice Parade, the alias of New Yorker Adam Pierce, which never overstays its experimental indulgences
New single from psychedelic ethno-folk New York trio the Animal Collective, which finds them collaborating with mysterious cult 60’s British folk singer Vashti Bunyan

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors