New Year – New Albums

German Shepherd Records return on January 8th with two new albums……


Flea and Filed Fangs guitarist Boz Hayward returns with a new album – the follow up to 2017’s highly acclaimed “Tennessee Ten” album

Hayward, a mainstay of the Manchester Music scene since the late 1980s has been working on his new release for some time.

Of the new album he says: “The roots of this project stem from the wake of John Lennon’s death on December 8th 1980. I was 15. Suddenly, the world turned upside down.

I was just starting to write songs on guitar and had just discovered minor chords. I mourned Lennon through a melancholic 3-chord sequence that came into my head and transported me back to the days of the early Beatles. It never found a home until 35 years later in the days following David Bowie’s death in January 2016. A death which, for both myself and millions of others, was equally devastating. ‘Blackstar’ had just been released. There were many hidden messages and unanswered questions sowed by the enigmatic genius Bowie, not just in this album, but throughout his career. People were trying to figure it all out, trying to join the dots of his life. So ‘Dot to Dot’ was written and happened to be perfect for a certain lonely chord sequence 35 years on.

‘Alert’ was written a few days later. In it, I am imagining what David Bowie might have felt like in the last few months of his life. It was like he planned to go out with a bang and be as alive as ever, even in death.

Every song has its story. In these uncertain times, we reflect on humankind and continue the journey of trying to understand ourselves. If we are to continue living by ‘binary absolutes’ instead of the oneness of both sides (light/dark, good/evil, right/wrong, etc.) we will never be able to move on.”

CD Versions of the album will also be available in early January.


Bert Weill Productions in association with German Shepherd Records presents V Years

Drums recorded at Airtight Studios, Chorlton, Manchester by Seadna McPhail.
Music mainly recorded in our homes and gardens in lockdown Manchester 2020 excluding ‘Alert’ at Phil’s from Jan 2019: trumpet in Sale; sax in Knutsford.
Mixed by Boz Hayward (Vile Villa) and Seadna McPhail (Airtight)
Mastered by Karl Sveinsson, Queens Ark Audio, Levenshulme, Manchester
Artwork by Boz/Bert Weill Productions.


Ed Bottomley – saxophone
Rick Burrows – trumpet and flugelhorn
Pat Clarke – harmonica  
Mark Greer – garden slide guitar
Rob Haynes – drums and percussion
Boz Hayward – vocals, guitars, glockenspiel, keys, programming
Clive Mellor – harmonica  
Phil Robinson – electric and guitarron bass; bass keys (III), tremolo guitar 
Mike Seal – piano 

Boz Haywards V Years


Ember Rev frontman Dan Ecclestone releases his debut solo album on January 8thEmber Rev came together early 2016 to play the nervous & neurotic accordion-driven tunes of Cambridge singer-songwriter Dan Ecclestone. Initially ploughing a folk-rock furrow, debut album …it was all fields around here was all ukuleles and autoharps.  2018’s  critically acclaimed Premonition & Ruin shifted the sound up several gears and the complex asymmetrical rhythms heard in their current set are pushing the band in a darker direction. The band joined German Shepherd in June 2019 for a wider distribution of Premonition and Ruin and the aim to release future material with the band. Reworking and repurposing familiar forms that recall the percussive Africana of Talking Heads and the accordion-led romance of Arcade Fire; alternately rattling and stuttering then piledriving at breakneck speed, it’s a sound that demands you keep coming back.

For the solo debut Ecclestone strips back the sound to just piano and vocals with additional musicians providing colour and context to six achingly beautiful songs. Raw and emotional this stunning debut is a work of exceptional quality.

Musicians on the album are 
Trumpet: Jake Hatter
Violin: Julia Black
Viola: Katharine Parsons
Cello: Abby Wollston
Piano & Vocal: Dan Ecclestone
Double Bass: Richard Partridge
Drums: David Youngs