Exclusive Ticket and Album Offer for Adventures of Salvador Album Launch Gig!

The Masters of Urban-Punk-Surf-Rock are back with their second album “Welcome To Our Village” …… Adventures of Salvador will be launching the album on June 28th at The Castle Hotel, Oldham Street, Manchester, with special guests Electric Cheese and Umbrella Assassins. As a special offer we are offering tickets with exclusive early access to two tracks from the digital version of the album and the complete album on its release on 21st June.

Demand for tickets is bound to be high so get in early via this link

You will be sent an e-ticket and two exclusive download codes for two great numbers from the album. On June 21st you will be sent an exclusive download code for the whole album.

With three of the most powerful and punky bands on our label we reckon it’s going to be a hell of a night. Here’s a taster of what to expect at the gig :

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Lizard Brain release third album “Stray” with German Shepherd Records

Cambridge based band Lizard Brain join German Shepherd Records for their third album “Stray” . Released digitally on 18th January, 2019 the 12 track collection finds the band delivering a heady cocktail of beautifully crafted and diverse songs

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Lizard Brain are:

Richard Jones: songs, keys, bass, vox, arrangements, production
Mark Fleet: songs, keys, arrangements, production
David Carter: songs, guitars, vox, bass, flute, sax, arrangements, production
Tony Jenkins: songs, vox, guitars, arrangements

“Stray” was recorded in the purpose-built Lizard Lounge studio in Lode, Cambridge from late 2016 to late 2018. Album production was led by Richard and supported by Mark and David. Following on from their earlier self-released albums Hold The Mind (2012) and That Has A Nice Ring To It (2016), the songs on the new collection emerged from a series of writing sessions using different combinations of band members whose wide musical influences resulted an album rich with variety.

The album kicks off with the Moroder drenched alt-disco groove of “Lost In Sound”, switches to the impassioned rock of “Gannets” and then swerves into Jamaican grooves with “Am I Just A Name Now”. In these three opening tracks the group evidence their skill and competence in delivering lyrically strong, well produced, quality material. What follows is a varied menu of twangy psych pop, driving rock, Northern Soul, elegiac balladry, and an epic anthemic closer “Freedom”. Throughout there are strong melodies and hooks that will leave you going back for repeated listens.

Here as a taster is an early pre-release version of the albums’s opening track “Lost In Sound”

 

Lost In Sound achieved the maximum possible 20 weeks in East Anglia’s New Music Generator listener chart in 2018, against stiff opposition from the best bands in the Eastern region. It became the second Lizard Brain track in the NMG Hall Of Fame, alongside Sweet Blessed Miracle. This was a real tribute to the depth of Lizard Brain’s support as people voted consistently for both tracks over all 20 weeks.

The album will be available in digital format on Bandcamp, Spotify, I Tunes, Amazon, Google, Apple Music and loads more download sites.

ABOUT LIZARD BRAIN

Mark and Richard started working together as Lizard Brain in 2008. Richard had already been in various successful musical projects, including as founder member of Transoceanic, regularly topping charts and for some years the most successful UK-based artist on MP3.COM, at the time the most important global music web platform. You can find three Transoceanic albums on all major current music platforms – ambient electronica at its very best.

Mark was a fan of Transoceanic before realising Richard was the founder member. Mark hadn’t been in any bands before, but he was a passionate and knowledgeable consumer of a wide variety of musical styles, and quickly mastered powerful DAW and synth software and began to create highly original soundscapes. They began to consider releasing an album, later to be called Hold The Mind, in 2010. Tony joined midway through this period as a vocalist, guitarist and songwriter, and helped bring the first album to completion during 2012.

David, a talented multi-instrumentalist who spans classical and most pop styles, and teaches guitar, joined midway through the second album, That Has A Nice Ring To It. Richard and Dave had written and performed a live theatre soundtrack of alt-rock songs several years previously.

It was only on releasing this second album in 2016 that Lizard Brain began actively to promote their music, reaching out initially to Dave Hammond at Cambridge 105FM, who introduced them to other DJs and became an active supporter and champion of the band. The hugely positive reaction Lizard Brain received from that point on, led to their investment in the Lizard Lounge studio late in 2016.

OF THE NEW ALBUM THE BAND SAY……

Richard: “Several times we thought that we were ready to master the album, but ‘Good Enough’ doesn’t cut it round here. So, nuances were changed, possibilities tried out and reference tracks compared to our mixes. It’s been so painstakingly mixed and mastered that we could give you a dozen different mixes of all the songs. But now I can really hear the difference. There’s nothing that I hear and think: “Ah – we missed that detail”. It’s as close to perfect as we could make it, and I love that. Worth every moment spent in the studio. It’s a very exciting achievement for us, no doubt about it.”

David: “Yeah, well the album really hangs together in a way I kind of expected, but was still surprised by, if that makes any sense. Four different writers, but all coming back to that central theme. What are we doing here? How are we supposed to be? With each other? With ourselves? Songs of hope, failure, reflection… escape even. Should I stay or should I go? How can I be happy? And what does it mean to be a human being? How do I work this thing? How did I get here? What do I do now? I had a joke, you know, that it was only musical differences keeping us together. You can pretty much hear that on the album, there’s a whole range of different styles. But it turns out deep down we are all pretty much the same. Who would have thought it? “

Mark: “Stray is what happens when you take a rocker, a hippy, an ambient geek and a mod, and you shake – vigorously.”

Respected Cambridge 105 DJ Dave Hammond who has featured the band from the outset on his Smelly Flowerpot show had this to say about the new album:

Sometimes when you listen to an album, you can’t help but come up with reference points, whether they are bands, genres or a general feel. But what happens when you reach sensory overload on the references? You can only come to the conclusion that said album is its own beast, better than the sum of its parts and a perfect summary in 40 odd minutes of all that has been great in pop music the last 50 or so years.

Let’s get those references out of the way- Giorgio Moroder, Kraftwerk, Python Lee Jackson, Moody Blues, The Police, Gary Numan, Talking Heads, Duane Eddy, Nile Rodgers, Gil Scott Heron, 10cc, Dexys Midnight Runners, Led Zeppelin, Leonard Cohen etc- and celebrate the third album by Lizard Brain. Similarly to the great Teenage Fanclub, these four Cambridgeshire based guys share song writing and singing duties which may partially explain the dizzying array of styles, not to mention instrumentation (Japanese flute, crows crowing anyone?), on show.

Aside from the music there’s plenty to intrigue lyrically, from the unsettling to the upbeat with many stops in between, and plenty open to interpretation. It’s a rare delight in today’s polished, soundbite world to hear words and music unafraid to run the gamut from hedonistic, toe tapping delight to gut wrenching emotion. The album, which is meticulously and beautifully self-produced, has undoubtedly been worth its lengthy gestation period.

I’ve just recently sorted and broadcast my top 20 albums for 2018 , but I already have a contender for 2019 following a private preview listen to Stray 

Other comments about the band…..

“I heard it for the first time this morning. Catchy and well produced. You guys never fail to impress.”  Neil Whiteside, Cambridge 105 DJ of lead track “Lost In Sound”

“I’m reminded of 10cc at their best, a truly impressive collection of songs” Aural Delights Blog

“Great songs.” Phil Crowder, The End of the Week Show Sheppey FM

Stray is available on Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp and all major global outlets.

CONTACT LINKS

band photo

Mind Games

March 2nd sees the release of the debut album by The Mind Sweepers.

Based in Dumfries the four piece band has undergone a number of line-up changes over the last few years built around the core of singer/songwriter Paul Winter and drummer Bryn Thorburn. The current band also comprises John Mcinally- Guitar and Backing Vocals and Mark Jardine – Bass and Backing Vocals.

As well as the core members of the band other musicians appear – Win Liv Shak provides vocals and keyboards, Owen Fielding provides keyboards and harmonium and Al Price plays harmonica. The allbum was recorded and produced at Unit 7 studio Bladnoch , Wigtown , Dumfries and Galloway.

“States of Mind” offers a broad palette of styles moving from psychedelic grooves, via folk-rock into blues rock and should gain the band more followers.

We asked the band a few questions in preparation for the release of the album although bassist Jardine was extraordinarily reticent….

What bands were you in previously?

Bryn : The Garden Shed (mid 80s) ……..Dumfries based post-punk…Roger and Caz went on to form AC Acoustics in Glasgow. Lung….Manchester late 80s with Vicky MIddles on bass. Spacehopper….. 1991- 1998 Glasgow based Art Noise Terrorists( self proclaimed)…Signed to the Newly Formed Creeping Bent Records. Gram Solo……2002- 2005 Edinburgh psychedelic groovers. Currently also the main man behind The Screaming Love Collective…..A Psychedelic Post-Punk Dark Disco Groove Sensation.

Paul :  I got a band together in the mid-90s, The Comedown, we rehearsed for 6 months, played one gig, then disbanded. I then sang blues with a loose collective for a while, before moving into the singer/songwriter role for about a decade.

John : No past bands only jamming with some lads playing indie/madchester covers in 1990/91.

Influences?

Bryn : My biggest influence as a drummer is John Densmore of The Doors.
Musically…..PIL, The Fall, Joy Division, Crass, Northern Soul, Neu, Can, Krautrock in general, KLF, Scars, Josef K, NomeansNo, US Hardcore, Long Fin Killie.  (Glasgow early 90s). I could go on and on.

Paul : My influences are right across the board. Anywhere from early Elton John, to John Martyn, Pink Floyd to Bob Dylan. I’ve never had the money to buy a digital radio, so I’ve kinda missed the Radio 6 vibe. I’ve always found listening to other music kind of dilutes originality, and rarely hear anything ‘new’ that blows me away, with the exception of Doves, I love Doves.

John : The Byrds.. Hendrix.. Stone Roses.. 60’s psychedelia and soul.. The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Current album listening?

Bryn : Snapped Ankles – Come Play The Trees.

Paul : Well I just moved into a new flat and got my turntable in operation for the first time in over 10 years, so i’m currently reliving old vinyl. ‘Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy’ by Elton.

John : The Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour

MD Dumfries 2
Photograph – Brad Cain

The mix of styles on the album?

Bryn : Yeah a very mixed bunch of styles……as you can see from the answers above we are all into different styles of music and don’t want to tied down to a particular type, but we like to think that we can put our own sound on whatever style we are playing , so you’d know it was The Mind Sweepers.

Paul : Variance? Why not? I’ve found throughout my years of listening to albums that some bands end-up sounding ‘samey’, and you’re hard-pressed to even know the difference between certain tracks. In my view the vocals, and lead guitar, are what put the stamp on a band’s sound, obviously the rhythm section add to this, but to me it doesn’t matter what ‘type’ of song we’ve written, if it’s us playing it then it’s the Sweeper’s sound. I don’t think an album should be staid and stuck in a groove that repeats for an hour, with only tempo and lyrics changing. The Mind Sweepers are a sum total of all our parts. We can all play, and we’re all capable of original input, so why not go with that and see where it takes us. ‘States of Mind’ is the result of that ethos, and we’re quite proud of it.

John : The changes in line-up have definitely evoked a more psychedelic sound to the band

On the face of it, just the looking at some of the song titles there appears to be a nautical theme across the album?

Paul : My auld man was a sailor in the Royal Navy, and ended-up being a diver on cruisers. As a wee boy it was always my intention to join up and follow in his footsteps, but these hopes were dashed when I found out I was colourblind. Fast forward 20-odd years and it’s a motif that’s stuck with me. ‘Any Port in a Storm’ isn’t really about the sea, it’s about the beer-goggle ‘honey’ ye pull at midnight. ‘Taken by the Tide’ was an address to a female in my life as to whether I was actually any good to be around in the long run. (I wasn’t!) ‘Cast Away’ is a play on words , and not really nautical in all honesty. Had it been spelled as one word it would have taken on another meaning, and that’s why I named it as two separate words, to avoid that. ‘Nose Deep in the Sand’? ‘Sand’, in this instance, is what I thought a friend of mine called cocaine when he was on the phone, and it summed-up the getting ‘on it’ even when you were broke on the dole. Turns out I was completely wrong however, ‘sand’ was his toe-rag code for ‘cash’, but it’s interchangeable with regard to the rest of the lyrics, so it stayed, and it’s a good title too!

Ambitions? What’s next for the band? The making of the album?

Bryn : As a band we’d like to be able to make a living out of this….when me and Paul got together the plan was that it was self funding , and so far we have been able to keep to that, we have been able to fund the album through gigs . Of course we’d like to be a successful recording band touring the world but we are realists and will enjoy it while it lasts.

The album has taken 3 years and several line up changes to get to a position of recording our debut. This album is mostly a collection of songs written by Paul over the years that we’ve taken from being acoustic open mic songs that he would perform on his own , to them being full band multi-layered songs with honest lyrics about our everyday lives….I think that’s a very big part of the songs , that they are honest and raw, emotions laid bare for all to see….songs about one night stands , drinking too much, nights out on the town, broken dreams and life being unemployed.

Paul : All the lads in the Sweepers do ‘normal’ work, and I know for one that I’d be lying if I said I was happy at my age grafting my bollocks off emptying bins! It would be paradise to actually be able to jack the day job and be able to sit in my flat writing new material, but I’m a realist, and getting picked-up by a major record label isn’t something that generally happens to middle-aged men from market towns in south west Scotland. Nah, we just wanna build on our first album, keep getting gigs, and write the follow-up for ‘States of Mind’. Not too tall an order in all honesty, we’re just taking it one step at a time and keeping it realistic.

MS Dumfries
Photograph – Brad Cain

‘States of Mind’ is basically a collection of older material, all songs written by myself, except ‘Threesome’, which was written in 20 minutes at rehearsals by myself, John, and Bryn, hence why it’s called ‘Threesome’. Obviously we’re hoping it’s well-received, because that would give us the impetus to do another, but we’re all fully aware that ‘making it’ in the music business is as much about luck as it is artistic ability. We’ll see how it goes, and hope for the best. We’ve got a good producer, we’ve got a good band, we’ve got a cracking wee label to put it out on, and we’re all good mates. It’s a good mix, and there’s no reason we can’t keep at it.

John :  To write new material and record it. Keep on having fun and enjoy it.

Recording the album was a fantastic experience. Great fun working and recording with Hughie in a very chilled out relaxed environment

Mind Sweepers SOM Cover