Roy Orbison – It’s Over

Today’s Song Of The Day is It’s Over by Roy Orbison.

It’s Throwback Thursday and today we go back to 1964 for It’s Over by my late father’s favourite artist Roy Orbison.

Roy Orbison
Roy Orbison

Growing up I got to hear a lot of Roy alongside bands like the Everly Brothers who my dad was also a fan of and at the time you don’t realise how good some of the songs actually are and for me that’s especially the case with It’s Over. It’s a perfect Rock Ballad.

Roy had a great voice and he really shows it when this song reaches it’s crescendo. RIP Roy, RIP dad.

Enjoy.

Rosie Bans – Q&A

Today Morphettes brings you an exclusive Q&A with talented Glaswegian singer/songwriter Rosie Bans.

A big thanks to Rosie for taking the time to do the Q&A.

Rosie Bans
Rosie Bans

Rosie will be launching her gorgeous new E.P. Opia on August 1st and you can read about that here.

Rosie will also be playing some UK shows later in the year. There are currently only three gigs listed but you can keep up to date here.

The Q&A…

Morphettes: How would you describe your music to people who have yet to hear it?

Rosie: My music is essentially pop music but with more emphasis on rhythm and slightly more complex harmony. Kinda Regina Spektor-y, kinda Amanda Palmer-y.

A lot of my writing has a jazz feel to it (like “Make Believe” and “Giving My All”) and some people call it ‘intelligent’ pop or ‘sophisti-pop’. I just try to write interesting, catchy songs with solid and thought out arrangements. I want people to feel a sense of satisfaction when listening. That said, I have heard some people describe it as ‘weird’ – not sure that was a satisfied customer, och well, can’t win them all!

Morphettes: Who are your biggest musical influences?

Rosie: I’d have to say my star trio are Amanda Palmer, Tori Amos and Imogen Heap. I find so much inspiration in their music, lyrics and attitude. I also totally love commercial R&B pop music. I am a 90’s kid and was brought up dancing around the living room with my little sister to Eternal and TLC. There is some really excellent songwriting going on in the pop world and I am sucker for a great melody.

I also went through (still going though) a phase of listening to a lot of metal, in particular In Flames and Disturbed and that part of my listening diet really seems to creep into my writing. I think it is the killer riffs these guys can sculpt. It has a lot in common with pop music. And you are listening to a song in 7/8 and don’t even realise it, your head is just banging to that groove. That’s great writing.

More recently though I have been listening to and studying jazz. I’ve been taking some jazz vocal lessons and learning to sing some classic standards, “How High The Moon”, “All or Nothing At All”, “I Fall in Love Too Easily”. Lyrically no one is screaming “I hate you”, “you cheated on me so go and die” or “fuck you” which is so refreshing!! They are singing about vulnerability and love.

Oh an when in doubt, the very best of Steely Dan will make it all better!! 🙂

Morphettes: First concert you ever attended?

Rosie: It was an unsigned band showcase at Glasgow’s Fury Murray’s as part of my college course. We were all put into bands and given gigs as ‘assignments’. Oh and I also skipped into see Kylie Minogue at the SECC in Glasgow with my pal Nicole. We got right up to the first row before finally getting thrown out, I think I was about 13? We were definitely very underage as I remember the police getting called to escort us home, so we just legged it. I promise I have grown up since then…a bit!

Morphettes: First album you can remember buying or owning?

Rosie: The Spice Girls – Spice.

Morphettes: If you could be in any other band, or be any other solo artist for the day, who would you choose and why?

Rosie: I adore the vocals and songwriting of Lianne La Havas. I would love to just sing and play (and look!) like that for a day. I am in love with her vocals, so controlled, soft and lush but she can also pack a punch with her belts, gives me goosebumps! I really admire her artistry, her song writing on ‘Blood’ is excellent. I want all that inside me for a day!!

Morphettes: Favourite song?

Rosie: This is a hard one… I don’t think I have one favourite. I love different things about different songs, some it’s the groove, some it’s the chords… suppose it depends what mood I am in.

Okay, I would start with Stevie Wonder – “As”.

If I am happy: Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T.”. If I am angry – Amanda Palmer – “Good Day” (I wish I wrote that song, so hard!) and when I am in Love – Lianne La Havas – “It’s What You Don’t Do”.

Morphettes: Favourite album?

Rosie: Imogen Heap’s “Speak For Yourself” drastically changed my musical life. I still enjoy it today as much as when I first heard it.

Morphettes: Favourite film?

Rosie: Labyrinth. Because Bowie.

Morphettes: What five people, dead or alive, would you choose to come to your dinner party and why?

Rosie: Okay, my Mum cos she is dead and that’d be kinda cool to catch up with her. Stevie Wonder to find out exactly where the groove lives and how I can convince it to come home with me. Elle Fitzgerald for a singing lesson and some life advice. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen cos those two are best pals and that’d be hilarious and amazing and we’d all get drunk and have a proper good sing along after Patrick and Ian win at charades.

Japanese Breakfast – Jane Cum

Today’s Song Of The Day is Jane Cum by Japanese Breakfast.

We’re nearly halfway through 2016 now and Pyschopomp by Japanese Breakfast, the project of Michelle Zauner, is still one of my favourite albums of the year.

It’s a beautiful and intimate album that deals with the sad death of Michelle’s mother. I only wish I had half the talent to be able to pay tribute to my father who passed away last year.

Japanese Breakfast
Japanese Breakfast

On August 19th Pyschopomp will get an official release outside of North America and it’s also the month you will get chance to see Michelle live in the UK.

Unfortunately all gigs are down south and I’m not sure if any more will be added but you can see dates below…

August 4th – Rough Trade (In-store) – London
August 6th – Visions Festival – London
August 7th – The Green Door Store – Brighton
August 8th – Banquet Records (In-store) – London

Enjoy.

Rosie Bans – Opia

Glaswegian musician/songwriter Rosie Bans releases her fourth E.P. Opia on August 1st and Morphettes has been fortunate to be given an advance hearing of the E.P.

Rosie Bans - Opia
Rosie Bans – Opia

I’m ashamed to say I’m not familiar with Rosie’s previous releases but after hearing Opia I will certainly be checking them out.

From the moment the piano starts playing on opening track The Fall you know this is going to be a gorgeous E.P. And if you did have any doubts once Rosie starts to sing they are completely dismissed as she has a really pretty voice.

But the song leaves me feeling sad despite the beauty. Every time you hope the song is going to rise to a happy crescendo it draws itself back in and reminds you that happy endings aren’t always possible. That these are going to be somber love songs.

The second track Walking In The Cold is my favourite of the three songs on the E.P. but again despite the song being gorgeous it’s tinged with a melancholic feel.

For me though it’s perfect as I’ve always been drawn to melancholia and Rosie completely commands my attention with the song. She makes me want to listen.

We all have pain and regrets in our life and I’ve always felt songs like this that come from the heart of an independent artist help in their own little way to let you know you aren’t on your own, sadness is something we all suffer from but you can find beauty in the sadness.

Rosie Bans
Rosie Bans

Final track On These Strings is probably the most hopeful of the three songs as Rosie sings about writing a song on her love interests guitar.

As well as piano this song contains acoustic guitar as you would probably expect given the songs story line. Fellow Scot Mike Nisbet plays guitar on the track.

It’s a nice ending to the E.P. but this song doesn’t do it for me as much as The Fall and Walking In The Cold do. If it had I would have to have given the E.P 10 out of 10 but as it is I’ll go with a very good 8 out of 10.

Opia is released on August 1st both digitally and physically on CD and is available to pre order from July 1st on Redpoll Records.

You can follow Rosie on the following links –
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube
SoundCloud

And look out very soon for an exclusive Morphettes Q&A with Rosie.

Twin Kidd – Hate On You

Today’s Song Of The Day is Hate On You by Twin Kidd.

Nottingham trio Twin Kidd yesterday released their debut EP Fold and it’s a really good listen with four excellent songs.

I had the pleasure of seeing the band live last month at Rough Trade in Nottingham and I was very impressed with them, so it’s good to see this debut release now available for people to hear.

You can actually download it free for the next week on their BandCamp page.

Twin Kidd
Twin Kidd

If you are in the Nottingham area then you can see Twin Kidd live at the Chameleon Arts Cafe on Thursday (June 30th) alongside three other bands. Info here.

I can’t make that event but I do hope to catch them live on August 6th at a free all day gig at Rough Trade that sees Twin Kidd share a bill with The Tuts, Doe, Junk and Kermes. It’s a great lineup as I like every band on it so I hope I can get across to Nottingham for that. Info here.

Enjoy.

The Cosmics @ The Sunflower Lounge

On Friday night I saw The Cosmics play at The Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham.

This gig was actually headlined by Exhailers and whilst I had planned to see them play the heat in The Sunflower Lounge sent me in to an early night.

Considering for most of the night there were only a handful of people in there I had never known it so hot. I don’t know if there was a problem with the air conditioning but the heat was draining and after seeing The Cosmics, who were the main band I went for, I just wanted to escape to a cooler place.

I also missed the opening act Riscas as I was enjoying a beer outdoors in the cool air so the first band I saw were a band called Creatures.

I’d been looking forward to seeing Creatures since I listened to them on SoundCloud after seeing they would be playing at the gig and I enjoyed their performance.

Unfortunately, here we go again with one of my biggest complaints, there were a fair few people in the room who were happy to talk over the band instead of listening so that annoyed me a bit. Especially one girl who commented that she really liked one song as it was about to start only to then go back to talking to her two friends. People huh…

The only negative comment I will make on the bands performance is that I would have liked to have seen singer Heléna’s vocals a tad higher as at times the music drowned her out. But Creatures are a band I would definitely like to see again.

They will be playing at The Sunflower Lounge again next Friday (July 1st) supporting Intrigue In Tangiers, so if you are in the area pop by and check them out. I’m hoping to be in Manchester than night but if not I will definitely pop along and see them again.

You can see Creatures playing their self-titled track below and also see one more from their set on my YouTube page.

I first saw The Cosmics play last December when they opened for Clean Cut Kid, again at The Sunflower Lounge, and I was very impressed. Since that night the band have slimmed down to a trio and I’ve been looking forward to seeing them play again. There were a few occasions where I could have caught them but didn’t manage to make it happen so it was great to finally get to see them on stage once more.

The first thing I noticed is they seem a much more confident band on stage now. I guess that’s to do with the experience they have got from the gigs they have played since I last saw them. Especially singer and bass player Erin. I may be wrong and my memory is playing tricks on me, quite possible given I’m now an old man at 44, but she seemed a little timid when addressing the crowd last time. This time she owned the mic and made it her stage.

As musician’s these guys are excellent. Especially guitarist Conor who to put it bluntly is pretty fucking amazing. The trio also have a knack for writing really catchy songs as you can hear on their SoundCloud page.

I’m really excited about the potential these guys have. They are easily one of my favourite local bands and they have a great future ahead of them.

And if you do go and see Creatures play at The Sunflower Lounge next Friday then why not pop down to Suki10C afterwards and see The Cosmics play there? Click here for info.

You can see The Cosmics perform Waste Of Time below and also see two other songs from their set on my YouTube page.

It was a shame I didn’t get to see Exhailers but I still had a fun night with the two bands I did see.

Doe – Avalanche

Today’s Song Of The Day is Avalanche by Doe.

Some cool indie punk today from a London trio that I’m really hoping to be able to get up to Manchester to see on Friday at the Soup Kitchen when they support Martha.

I have a ticket, it’s just whether I can actually make the journey up from the West Midlands on the day. I’ll keep my fingers crossed on that one.

Avalanche has great harmonies with a nice mix between the female and male vocal. And like all the songs they have on their SoundCloud page it pretty much fucking rocks!

Doe
Doe

Doe are also playing on a really good line-up at a free event at Rough Trade in Nottingham on August 6th alongside The Tuts, Twin Kidd, Junk and Kermes in what will be a great day of live music. So if you are in or around the East Midlands makes sure you get yourselves along to that!

I’m not sure if the band have any plans for any more gigs before then but you can keep up to date with them on their Facebook page here.

Enjoy.

The Cosmics – Q&A

Today Morphettes brings you an exclusive Q&A with rising Birmingham band The Cosmics.

A big thanks to Erin, Conor & Danny for taking the time to do the Q&A.

The Cosmics
The Cosmics

The Q&A…

Morphettes: How would you describe your music to people who have yet to hear it?

Erin: Garage Rock N’ Roll with a twist of punk.

Morphettes: How did you come up with your band name? Any other names you nearly went with?

Conor: It was just a random occurrence within a dream.

Erin: Yeah we had ridiculous band names in mind and almost resulted to the internet’s “Band name generator”. One name in mind was “The Lapels”. And I thought of the band name “Avacado”, that didn’t go down too well with the rest of the band lol.

Morphettes: Who are your biggest musical influences?

Conor: The Stooges, Ty Segall, Bruce Springsteen.

Erin: Ramones, Joan Jett, and a few bands from Woodstock 69.

Morphettes: First concert you ever attended?

Erin: The Killers.

Conor: Bon Jovi lol.

Morphettes: First album you can remember buying or owning?

Conor: Born in The USA by Bruce Springsteen & Live & Dangerous by Thin Lizzy.

Erin: It was Bon Jovi’s Crossroad album back when I was in primary school.

Morphettes: If you could be in any other band, or be any other solo artist for the day, who would you choose and why?

Conor: A member of the E Street band or the guitarist for Shakira.

Erin: I would want to be in Hinds because they seem like they have a lot of fun and they wear dungarees. But if I could go back in time, I would be Kim Gordon in Sonic Youth. (Morphettes: I also want to be in Hinds lol.)

Morphettes: Favourite song?

Danny: Freedom and Opening Set by The Gloaming, also The Homes Of Donegal.

Conor: Jungleland by Bruce or Sometimes by My Bloody Valentine.

Erin: Healthy Moon by DIIV at the moment, and I Wanna Be Forgotten by Bass Drum of Death, I have too many favourite songs!

Morphettes: Favourite album?

Erin: Crazy For You by Best Coast, but I also love Nevermind & Bleach by Nirvana.

Conor: Born to Run by The Boss and Raw Power by the Stooges.

Danny: To Pimp A Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar and Is The Is Are by DIIV.

Morphettes: Favourite film?

Erin: Heathers (1988) & WAYNE’S WORLD … PARTY TIME!! And not to forget ‘Dazed & Confused’.

Conor: The Departed (2005) and Shawshank Redemption (1994). (Morphettes: Anyone who likes The Departed should check out the Infernal Affairs trilogy that The Departed was a remake from.)

Danny: Apocalypse Now and Zero Dark Thirty.

Morphettes: What five people, dead or alive, would you choose to come to your dinner party and why?


Erin: Kurt Cobain cause he’s an idol, Ainsley Harriot for the spicy presence of the Oily Lord, Springsteen because I’ve seen him live around the country so much, Rebel Wilson for the lol’s, and Obama to make it official.

Conor: Bruce Springsteen, Iggy Pop, St Patrick, Ainsley and Alex Cash.

Danny: Danny Mcglynn, Eoin Power, Erin from The Cosmics, not Conor, Martin Sheen & Padraig Pearse.

Fish – Wished

Today’s Song Of The Day is Wished by Fish.

Other than the fact they come from London and appear to be a quartet I know absolutely nothing about Fish. They are playing at The Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham next month though and with that being my home venue so to speak I did some digging to see what I could find.

I did wonder at first if it was the old Marillion singer Fish and maybe he was doing a solo tour. With no disrespect meant to him though I’m glad it isn’t and I’m looking forward to seeing these guys live.

Wished is just a home recording so please bear that in mind when listening but it was enough to make me buy a ticket for their gig in Birmingham.

Fish
Fish

As well as The Sunflower Lounge you can also catch the band on the following dates…

July 22nd – Fallow Cafe – Manchester
July 23rd – Tramlines – Sheffield
July 24th – The Sunflower Lounge – Birmingham
July 25th – Crofters Rights – Bristol
July 26th – Electrowerkz – London

Enjoy.

T-Shirt Weather – Sometimes

Today’s Song Of The Day is Sometimes by T-Shirt Weather.

Some indie punk pop today from Durham band T-Shirt Weather with Sometimes. Sometimes is taken from the bands album Pig Beach that was released earlier this year and which you can purchase here, along with some of their past releases.

Pig Beach is a very catchy record containing eight songs that all have a great DIY vibe to them and that will have your head nodding as you listen.

T-Shirt Weather
T-Shirt Weather

The North East trio are playing on a bill supporting Martha in Manchester next Friday at the Soup Kitchen. It’s a gig I’m hoping I can get up to as it also features Doe who I really want to see live.

If you are in or around Manchester and fancy going then you can check the gig out here. It looks set to be a really good night so I hope I can make it up to the Northern Quarter.

Enjoy.