Distribution Problems

Unfortunately one of the companies we use to distribute our releases to streaming sites has decided with no notice, other than two weeks, to withdraw their services. This means that some of our releases will no longer be available on Spotify, Amazon, Google Play etc in around two weeks time. Also some releases that were planned for the next few weeks will unfortunately be delayed.

The good news is that the Bandcamp versions of all of the affected releases will still be available and you will still be able to access all of those releases direct from there. In fact we strongly recommend that you use Bandcamp instead of the major streaming sites.

With Bandcamp after a one off payment to purchase a release you have unlimited streaming via their App and also you can download the music in your favourite format – MP3, WAV, FLAC etc. The bonus for us is that we get immediate income from sales as opposed to the streaming sites where we get pitifully small amounts per stream three months later.

The following releases have been affected – we aim to get these back up on the streaming sites as soon as we can but it will take time as it is a very labour intensive process.

  • Loop-Aznavour – Les Idiots D’Electronique – in addition Loops new EP “In The Kitchen With Loop-Aznavour will be delayed
  • 2 Lost Souls – Liquorice Flavour
  • Mark Corrin – Washed Up
  • The Junta – Network and the Tech Noir (Single) – you can get Tech Noir the new album “J3” which is available via streaming sites
  • Crab Dance GIs – Stage Fright
  • The Parasite – Social Validation Feedback Loop
  • West Coast Sick Line – Colour Climax
  • Cosmic Panthers – Ball The Wall
  • Four Candles – Alternative Golf
  • Space Museum – I Have Seen Your Dreams
  • Elastikbande – Very Busy
  • The Screaming Love Collective – We Breathe Like This Now
  • Moss Skellington – The Lump
  • Matthew Hopkins – Love Don’t Do Logic
  • Space Museum – Histamine/Excruciate
  • The Right Side of Reason – Blue Sky – this was due next Friday but will be delayed unfortunately
  • Jed – Black Gold Texas Tea

August is looking busy!!

Hello again…..

We hope you are all well and safe in these strange times

Fortunately, due to the magic of technology and forward planning we are able to continue to share new music with you.

We are extremely grateful for recent support via airplay and features of our releases and for the new subscribers who have joined us, and, everyone who has purchased music from the label. We were very pleased to see The Peer Hat reaching its fundraising target and we encourage everyone to check out the first compilation album from the venue. We have some exciting news about a further compilation from Nick, Dom and co which we are keeping close to our chests at the moment. With the closure of The Deaf Institute and Gorilla, Greater Manchester has lost two key music venues so it is vitally important we continue to support grass roots music.

We have two new releases and a reissue to share …..all  digital only and available from August 7th. They can be found on Bandcamp and all of the major download and streaming platforms.

So, here we go again…….

sycloner – Running Interference EP

EP cover

From Brisbane on the gold Gold Coast, of Australia – sycloner band members have performed with everyone from Debbie Harry to The Sugarcubes and with good reason. Their spin on alt-pop gives way to energetic blasts throughout not only their career but also their latest EP.

Running Interference contains four tracks that set the record straight on alt-pop soundscapes. Fans will also appreciate that they have something to say on songs like “Awful” and “Worry Well”. Running Interference is reminiscent of existential anxieties found in earlier releases and buzzes with themes of loss, love, and self awareness. For fans of Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand, and Stereophonics, sycloner brings wry humour and melancholy to the material, producing thoughtful soundscapes which reflect on the hard work of living well.

This fourth release is the follow up to 2019’s In And Of Itself  but it’s far from their last. Currently, they are working on new material to be released in due time.

Filed Fangs – (I Am A) Utopian

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With debut release “Calcify” getting the thumbs up from John Robb in Louder Than War  and tin tin tin the emboldened Filed Fangs,  Boz Hayward and Paul Morley,  are back with a brand new track.

Searing synths kick things into a mesmeric melange of layered sounds and powerful beats – like Saturday night in the post punk grunge disco with pulsing strobing sounds revolving around your head-space as guitar riffs worm their way into your subconscious mimicking and adding to the penetrating lead sounds as chanting half-heard vocals float at the edge of things.

This second track confirms our expectations of this talented pair and we are excited about receiving future material from them.

Moss Skellington – The Lump (Expanded)

Moss Skellington The Lump

Just under four years ago we released singles and an album by Ian Moss and Moff Skellington under the collective name of Moss Skellington. Wider digital distribution of these releases was lost when we changed our distributor so we have taken the opportunity to reissue them as one package with a new distributor – an expanded version of The Lump album.

The combination of Eddodi and Manchester’s post-punk legend makes for a unique and compelling sound – the singles Boomerangs/Body Bad and The Wickedest Man In The World/Boys from the Bible Stories together with the original album gives you a complete set of the collaborations.

Moss (Hamsters, Four Candles. Cosmic Panthers, The Parasite, 2 Lost Souls) and Moff’s fecundity is legendary with both separately releasing many items in 2020 alone – this new  package of sounds adds to an already immense body of work.

What’s next……

August is looking busy with the following new releases planned

  • Staggs return with their last release (or is it?) –  The Death of Staggs
  • Matthew Hopkins release a new single – Love Don’t Do Logic – with another new one to follow in September
  • Our subscribers will receive a unique collection of Adventures of Salvador’s  Early Singles and EPs
  • Yes….. another new album from Moff Skellington – A Slapstick Life
  • In anticipation of a new album in September The Junta releases the Tech Noir Remixes featuring contributions from Night Operations, Positronik and Space Museum

News – brand new Mark Corrin album plus more releases in the pipeline

The latest news from The Kennel….

Our next new  release is on July 17th and is from the highly prolific Mark Corrin who has delivered another solo album. This one is  called Fabled Shore.

Featuring a selection of songs written over a number of years Mark brings us another  exciting and eclectic mix of music. Following the recent Elastikbande EP and his other solo album “Washed Up” and the La Capsula EP it has certainly been a busy year for Mark – he has also been profiled in the Eighth Day magazine.

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German Shepherd Records Bandcamp subscribers will also receive an exclusive  special release from Mark.

Further news…..

Cambridge band Lizard Brain are guests on Dave Hammond’s Smelly Flowerpot Show on Monday 29th June. In addition the band have prepared another podcast – their fifth – which will be released on our Mixcloud page on July 1st. Their new single “Featureless Zone” is already receiving a lot of radio airplay and is released on July 3rd

Julia from Matthew Hopkins is also a talented actress and appeared on Coronation Street last week. The band will be featured in the August edition of Eighth Day magazine and two new singles are due in the next couple of months.

We have received the new single from Black Limousine which will be released at the end of July. It is the first release with new drummer Neil Mykowski (The Ascension, The Sombre Watcher, Neural Dance).

New singles from Filed Fangs, and Inferior Complex, a new EP from sycloner, and a remix EP and album from The Junta are on the way also!

If you would like to subscribe to our label visit our Bandcamp page – for £40 a year you get everything we release plus 100s of back catalogue items, 10% off merch, and monthly subscriber exclusives. 

New Moff Album Due and a busy week….

July 19th sees a new album from Moff Skellington called “Chummy Warder’s Blackspot Honeymoon”.

It’s a busy time for Moff with a further three albums on the way over the next three months. The latest offering returns to Moff’s more experimental side with a host of characters and places which would not be out of place the worlds of Lewis Carroll, Flann O’Brien or Spike Milligan.

With exploding bicycles, gaslit moonjelly, wishing eggs and other alternative aural gifts this is Moff at his most Eddodi.

CWBH Cover

THIS WEEK

We have an incredibly busy Friday coming up with releases from

  • Crab Dance GIs – single
  • Four Candles – EP
  • Cosmic Panthers – EP with cassette version available from the Fuzzy Warbles Bandcamp Page
  • and
  • Moongoose – two EPs

The Moongoose releases will be supported by a podcast from Yorkie which will be released on Thursday on Mixcloud – videos supporting this release will be available from Wednesday on You Tube. All proceeds from the sale of these EPs go towards supporting the work of Shelter.

This months Eighth Day magazine which is out soon features an article about Mark Corrin – please check it out.

Subs Spec Moongoose

News, and lots of it!!

We live in strange and interesting times which means that our usual plans can often be changed at the last minute to accommodate the circumstances.

We had planned on telling you about just one release this week but events and their impact and consequences has lead us to a slightly different state of affairs.

So, we have four announcements in total  this week.

Lets start with the one we were planning to announce……

WEST COAST SICK LINE

Dusty Moonan returns with West Coast Sick Line after a more than two year wait – the last release was 2018’s album “Flat of Engels” – with a brand new five track   EP called “Colour Climax”.

Trademark Sick Line biting wit and slightly dangerous humour are in play for a great set of new tunes. The best description is alternative rock with a pop edge, Pounding beats, great guitars and riffs, and catchy melodies are to the fore for this set. Perhaps the overall sound is a little heavier and a touch more in your face than previous releases.

It’s mostly Dusty on his own this time with the main man providing  vocals, guitars, bass & keyboards. Main support is from Dragan Rolivic who adds Mandolin on track 3, Backing vocals on track 5 and  drums throughout, as well as mixing the release. Further support comes from Mark Shrieves who plays  Bass on track 4.

The whole affair was recorded at recorded at Tucky Park Studios,in Colwyn Bay, North Wales.

It will be released to the world as a download only on June 12th.

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FOUR CANDLES

One of the great things about owning your own record label is that you can make fairly quick decisions about when and what you can release.

A new four track from Four Candles was recorded with Simon “Ding” Archer at 6dB Studios in Salford just before lockdown.

With the ongoing impact of the lockdown materially affecting some of the important players in the live music business in Manchester the band took the view that their latest recordings ought to try and assist the financial impact on the venue that has been both the label and our musicians main provider of somewhere to play and present what we do. That venue is The Peer Hat, in Manchester City Centre, and all the proceeds from the Bandcamp sales of the new release “Alternative Golf” will be dedicated to that wonderful place with the hope that when the current situation has been resolved we can see Nick, Dom and co.  up and running again as soon as possible.

There are four tracks on the EP, one of which, Loose Lips,  was previously released as a live recording from the Yerrrr bar in Manchester.

Opener Doughnuts, with a video already up on You Tube, saw it’s live debut at The Eagle in Salford around a year ago with a memorable impromptu set of backing vocals from Julia and Anne from Matthew Hopkins performed from the audience. Basket Case is a typical punk infused rant and closer Requiem is a stunning attack on failings in the Care system for vulnerable people. All in all a great set of tunes.

Release date: June 5th – download only.

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS ANOTHER FREE FEE DAY ON BANDCAMP SO PURCHASE ON THIS DATE MAXIMISES OUR INCOME TO SUPPORT THE PEER HAT.

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2 LOST SOULS

If the decision on the Four Candles release was quick then we approached warp speed on the new release from 2 Lost Souls.

The behaviour of a certain individual and his boss sparked a flurry of activity on Sunday May 24th. The two Paul’s laid down guitars and bass and Ian added his trademark vocals to a pointed attack on the self-styled elite that “run” the country at the moment. Within two hours the finished track was sent to Bandcamp for release and sharing with the world.  A few hours later Ged Babey had penned a review for Louder Than War.

The release is offered for free on Bandcamp with a pay what you want option. Any money raised will as with the Four Candles release be dedicated to supporting The Peer Hat.

OUT NOW!!

and finally…..

COSMIC PANTHERS

NYC and Manchester have proud and distinct musical heritages , think of The Velvet Underground and the Fall , The Ramones and Buzzcocks , Suicide and Joy Division all different in location and output and yet there is something similar in terms of attitude that links them.

Fuzzy Warbles and German Shepherd as labels existing on separate sides of the Atlantic Ocean still share an ethos of releasing and promoting music of true quality by artists who exist outside the mainstream making music out of love and emotional necessity rather as a career choice , both champion the underdog.

And so what does a musical collision between these two cities , these music capitals sound like ? With the world in lockdown they decided , with the aid of smart phones and laptops, to find out.

Ben from Fuzzy Warbles and Ian from German Shepherd swapped ideas and wrote four songs long distance.  Happy with what they had created, they were recorded and, for  our fourth release this week, we give you rumbling synths, guitars that sting, and acid tongued vocals. We welcome you to the cross pollinated world of Cosmic Panthers and the EP Ball The Wall.

Fuzzy Warbles will release the EP in Cassette Format and provide digital download via Bandcamp. German Shepherd will facilitate wider distribution via A1 Music to all the major digital download and streaming sites. Release date is June 5th.

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The Junta’s Network gets new distribution…plus subscriber special live album!

We have recently been re-organising our distribution arrangements and this has given us the opportunity to relaunch several albums in the back catalogue. One of the first of these is the re-issue of The Junta’s Network album from 2018.

Now distributed by A1 Music this excellent album shows the self-proclaimed Techno-Head at his best with guest appearances from Loop-aznavour (Adventures of Salvador), Aidan Cross (Weimar) and legendary Salford City Radio DJ Stephen Doyle. Combining an encyclopaedic knowledge of modern electronica with some post-punk and pop smarts this album finds The Junta at his most inventive.

In addition to the above album we are releasing a subscriber only live album of The Junta playing at Manchester’s AATMA venue.

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Here are some highlights from Network

News -Debut album from Jed, Reissues and Gig News

Hello

Here is the usual weekly news update from the kennel.

JED DEBUT ALBUM

Jed

27th March sees the release of the debut album from Jed called “Black Gold Texas Tea”.

This is a digital only release which will be available from the services indicated on the image below.

Jed is Jed Stephens a multi instrumentalist with a passion for electronic music of all kinds, his music is a mix of electro, techno, D&B, house and ambient.

He has been a song writer, producer and performer for many years, previous bands include Bass Bandits and Exchange, he is currently in the North West UK based Synthpop covers band Elektrio.

Jed’s musical influences range from Sibelius and Bartok through to the Chemical Brothers and Orbital, via The Beatles, Kraftwerk, New Order, 808 State, Frankie Knuckles, Arthur Baker and Vince Clarke.

Those old enough to remember The Beverley Hillbillies will recognise the derivation of the album title!

The music on the debut  is modern electronic combining the best of elements of techno with the soundtrack feel of John Carpenter, Vangelis or Jarre. Using the best in modern electronic gear he creates stunning tracks which combine epic sounds with dance rhythms. His live show, complete with laser lighting rig, is stunning, a guaranteed dance fest for anyone who attends.

Find Jed on Facebook

Jed Promo One

REISSUES

This week sees a raft of reissues of some of our best releases, where Smart Links are available we have linked them below….

From Moff Skellington 

  • Golfer In Disgrace
  • On Flanders Moon
  • Plough Monday
  • Bargains are a hollow syrup
  • Fetch
  • Uncle Roy’s Utopian Vision Volumes 1 and 2
  • The Corduroy Bridge
  • Thorny Conduits

also released this week is another in our Moff Skellington back catalogue releases – available for the first time via download/streaming is Gliding Through Stone.

Three new albums from Moff are coming in June with a further release planned for later in the year.

Gliding Through Stone Cover

From Night Operations

A new Night Operations single is coming on May 8th

From Keltrix

 

GIGS

Due to the current situation you will be aware that a number of gigs are being cancelled – we are keeping our gig list up to date when cancellations occur – please check the list on the right hand side of this page regularly to see if a gig is going ahead or not.

 

 

28th February releases and re-releases

Here’s what we have planned for February 28th and also some gig news

CRAB DANCE GIs

The Crab Dancers return with another quality slice of Manchester Music. A two track single double A side entitled – Cover Aversion/I’m Sorry (But You’ve Got To Go)

Crab Dance GIs is the side project for KIT B’s Danny Cusick which also features Craig Bodell and Paul Smith, all three of whom were in the excellent band The Hidden Gem.

Packed with Cusick’s sardonic wit and great melodies this is a welcome addition to a collection of great tunes produced by the band

CDGIs Option A

MOFF SKELLINGTON

The bard of Abstercot is never far from our minds and in anticipation of a new EP in around a months time we are re-issuing Moff Skellington’s excellent album The Pukes of A Hot Cloister.

The dark days of January 2012 were brightened somewhat by the arrival of  The Pukes Of A Hot Cloister album. As usual there was a feast of lyrical athleticism, Moff plucks words out of the ether and re-arranges them in a completely unique and totally compelling way. This album is particularly full of memorable “Moffism’s”, too many to mention and all rather special, there is some degree of continuity from prior releases in parts, with several references to molecules, and the usual bovine references that are scattered across the albums, and the opening instrumental “House of New Bricks” is quoted in the words/music of the penultimate track “Four Peg Wooden Unit”. Two of the tracks “Time for Nervous Questions In The Pub” and “Confident of Pending Treats” formed part of the six song set Moff recorded for the “Reformation” radio show (Salford City Radio), the other four appearing on the previous years Embers from the Rapid Eye album, so there is some specific continuity between those two albums. As is usual with Moff you know what you are going to get – the difference with each album though is how he has progressed his art and which particular parts of his “dreamscape” he is addressing in this instance.

The opening “House of New Bricks” sets the scene with a stately waltz around the accordion with bluesy harp wailing – this soon transforms into the strange and somehow beautiful “Crap and Ugly Toys” which is Eddodi in its purest sense. From there on we are gently led through a journey of fascinating words and unique music. A contemporary “manifesto” of Moff’s work, whether it be his art or his music, described a reality comprising three interacting factors – octoberness, perfection and slapstick. Simply put these three elements , anticipation, entropy, and the essentially comedic nature of existence, intertwine to allow innovation, expression and interpretation. We are resisting the urge to release spoilers about the content of this album as we believe that the listener should absorb this marvellous work and draw their own conclusions from the text/sound. All we will say is that the other-worldliness of Moff’s output is never more apparent as it is here. He has always been unique. no one else is doing music like this – it just seems he has built on his work to date to create something rather special. Variety is the watchword here and it is all good. Comparisons, bench-marks, yardsticks etc are impossible so the listener needs to approach it from his/her perspective.

It is with great pleasure that we re-release this album for wider consumption.

RE-INTRODUCING THE SCISSORS

We thought it was timely to bring the oft neglected and rather marvellous band The Scissors back to forefront.

The Cambridge based band offer a unique sound encompassing carnival freakshow organ, primitive synths, and rock’n’roll guitar powered psych-punk-pop. Their influences are varied, but their sound has been likened to The Teardrop Explodes, The Doors, The Chameleons, Wire, The Damned, and XTC.

The current line-up of the band is: Stewart Harris – vocals/bass, Toby Lefever – guitars, Simon Powell – keys/tronica, Huw Wallace – drums

The Scissors 1
Photo credit : http://www.annielovettphotography.com

The Scissors started in 2006 in Cambridge as a trio; adding organ and primitive analogue synths a year later to mould their sound into a mix of psychpop and post-punk that they continue to develop.  They  have played alongside great acts including Glasvegas, Hey Sholay, Raglans, ex-Kook Max Rafferty, James McCartney (son of Sir Paul), Make Model and Jakil. In terms of venues they have delivered well-received sets in London (Dublin Castle, Camden Enterprise, Hope and Anchor), and in the East of England (The John Peel Centre in Stowmarket, Epic Studios in Norwich). In their home town they’ve played at the Portland Arms, Cambridge Junction, the Corn Exchange, Mill Road Winter Fair and comic/sci-fi convention CamCon. They have even ventured north to play the Salford Music Festival They’re no strangers to local radio, especially Cambridge 105’s ‘Stagger Indie’ show and Dave Hammond’s Smelly Flowerpot on Cambridge 105.

We re-release their two latest offerings to a wider audience from the 28th.

FILED FANGS

As trailed last week the debut release (it’s not a single!) from Filed Fangs is officially released on 28th February – here’s a link to a review from Louder Than War.

GIGS

Gigs for the remainder of February and March

Umbrella Assassins
21 Feb 2020
Haverhill Art Centre, High St, Haverhill CB9 8AR, UK

Electric Cheese
22 Feb 2020
The Whip & Kitten, 8, 12 Burnley Rd, Rawtenstall, Rossendale BB4 8EW, UK

Adventures of Salvador, Loop-Aznavour
28 Feb 2020
Shangri-La at the Carlton Club, 279 Bury Old Rd, Prestwich, Manchester M25 1JA, UK

Elastikbande
28 Feb 2020
The Whip & Kitten, 8, 12 Burnley Rd, Rawtenstall, Rossendale BB4 8EW, UK

Bouquet of Dead Crows
29 Feb 2020
The Blue Moon, 2 Norfolk St, Cambridge CB1 2LF, UK

The Junta with Section 25 Industrial Unit
29 Feb 2020
Aatma, 1st Floor, 14-16 Faraday St, Manchester M1 1BE, UK

Poppycock
8 Mar 2020
The Spinning Top 20 Wellington Road South, SK4 1AA Stockport

Inferior Complex
13 Mar 2020
HOLROYD ARMS, 36 Aldershot Rd, Guildford GU2 8AF, UK

Weimar
13 Mar 2020
Railway Inn (Didsbury), 3 Lapwing Ln, Manchester M20 2NT, UK

The Mind Sweepers with The Red Propellers
14 Mar 2020
The Peer Hat, 14-16 Faraday St, Manchester M1 1BE, UK

Inferior Complex
14 Mar 2020
The Acoustic Couch, 11 Market St, Bracknell RG12 1JG, UK

Inferior Complex
20 Mar 2020
Winchester Football Club Hillier Way, Winchester SO23 0JD, UK

Four Candles and Adventures of Salvador
20 Mar 2020
The Salty Dog, 23 High St, Northwich CW9 5BZ, UK

The English Disease
23 Mar 2020
The Hatch Sheffield

Kit B and Inferior Complex
26 Mar 2020
The Dublin Castle, 94 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7AN, UK

Inferior Complex and Bouquet of Dead Crows
29 Mar 2020
The Smokehouse, South Street Studios 6 South Street, Ipswich IP1 3NU, UK

Latest news – Inferior Complex and Filed Fangs, plus more

Here we are again with some more new music for you….we have one new release for February 14th plus one pre-release……. and some other news

INFERIOR COMPLEX – LIVE ON SHEPPEY FM

Southampton’s post punk trio are back with another release.

This time a recording from a radio session for Phil Crowder’s End of the Week Show on Sheppey FM. Phil has been steadfast supporter of our label and has had sessions with our more southern based acts.

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This six track mini-album, recorded in October 2019,  covers music from all of the band’s releases and the stripped back feel of these recordings is a fine example of their live sound. The release was engineered by Jamie Ryan at Sheppey FM an edited & mastered by Matt at Untapped Talent in Southampton.

The band have gigs coming up in Southampton (7th February) Guildford (13th March) London – Dublin Castle (26th March) Ipswich (29th March) and Southampton (10th April). Please see the gig list page right for more details.

FILED FANGS – WHEN IS A SINGLE NOT A SINGLE?

As trailed last week on 14th February we  pre-release the first offering from new Manchester based duo Filed Fangs.

To remind you what we said last week.

Time for something new?
It is “Calcify” – a track NOT a single.

A hint. An introduction. The first of many tracks from a staggered album – a collection of songs that will track by track / drip by drip / bite by bite reveal a body of work

Distressed sounds, walls of guitars (bass and lead), layers of keyboards

Snatches of vocals, needle hitting red, music from a broken radio just off the dial through a splintered culture, motes of sound breaking through.

Calcification – hardening, insoluble deposits, disruption of systems and functions

They are Filed Fangs – Paul (Slum Turkeys) and Boz (Flea) collaborating – echoes of sound from Manchester 30 years back brought up to date. Time flowing back and forward, echoes and future memories.

Grunge, dub, electronica, noise.
Hypnotic.
Epic and enigmatic.

When everything else these days sounds like somebody else’s stuff  (recycled post punk brit pop blah blah blah) this sounds unique, special. compelling. Something to get your teeth into?

Hyperbole? You decide……full release will be on February 28th and CD versions will be available. The track has already been featured on “Standing In The Shadows of Lev” show on ALL FM, Manchester

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SUBSCRIBER SPECIAL – IAN MOSS AND SPACE MUSEUM

We are releasing today the second volume of Ian Moss’s Spoken Word series to our subscribers – with 14 brand new pieces, supplemented by the sonic tinkerings of Space Museum, Moss covers a wide range of topics close to his heart including aging, the climate crisis, politics, relationships and tribute bands. This release is exclusively for our subscribers and will not be available anywhere else.

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Subscriptions to the label are £40 a year. With that you get everything we release in the next twelve months, a series of subscriber only specials, 10% of all merch and over 230 previously released albums, singles and EPs which you can stream or download. To subscribe please follow this LINK

MORE MELTDOWN – CRAVATS TICKETS SELLING FAST

The next edition of Manchester Meltdown has been expanded to a two night affair. Good Friday (April 10th) sees Four Candles and Adventures of Salvador (currently back in the studio) plus ex Notsensible Stephen John Hartley (Sage) at The Peer Hat, Faraday Street – there a no pre-tickets for this event and the entrance fee is a mere £5.

Meltdown Saturday Poster Amended

 

The following day sees a bumper bill of bands from across the north west – Unseasonal Beasts, Factory Acts, Matthew Hopkins, Andy T Band and Horsemeat – plus headliners The Cravats back in Manchester after a two year absence with a new album to promote.
Tickets are £8.50 in advance and are selling fast so we recommend people get on board as soon as possible. Tickets are available HERE. Entry will be £10 on the day early purchase saves you loads!

Meltdown Saturday Poster Amended

Next up – new single from Inferior Complex! – and other news

31st January sees the release of a brand new single from Inferior Complex called “Dome” plus the re-release Drink and Drive’s “This Is What Happens When A Fly Lands On Your Food” album. There’s also the return of The Harveys to the live stage in Liverpool.

INFERIOR COMPLEX

Led by brothers Andrew and Ray Missons, Inferior Complex was originally formed in 1979 .  Andrew plays guitar and keyboards and Ray plays bass and is the vocalist. Original drummer Jimmy Faye left the band late 1980 but the band continued with another drummer and later on with a drum machine until the band split in 1983.

The brothers then  played in various other bands together until they reformed the group in January 2011 using an online drum machine.  In 2015 they added Paul Jenman on drums to complete the current line up.

Their influences are  early Factory Records bands including  Section 25,  A Certain Ratio, The Wake, Joy Division and New Order.

They self released their album “In Your Life” in June 2017 on Bandcamp and hooked up with German Shepherd in July 2017 for wider distribution.  A series of singles and EPs followed.

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new single called “Dome”. An instrumental, this epic track brings a cinematic feel to the bands trademark post punk sound.

Here’s a version of the release captured live at The Joiners in Southampton

A radio session by the band at Sheppey FM on Phil Crowder’s End of the Week Show will be released in a few weeks, and recordings with fellow German Shepherd artist Dominic Carlton Jones are planned for later in the year.

As usual the trio are gigging regularly with the following dates already in the diary….

  • 1 Feb 2020 – The Red Lion, 44 Fore St, St Columb Major, Saint Columb TR9 6AL, UK
  • 7 Feb 2020 – The Alexandra, 6 Bellevue Rd, Southampton SO15 2AY, UK
  • 13 Mar 2020 – HOLROYD ARMS, 36 Aldershot Rd, Guildford GU2 8AF, UK
  • 29 Mar 2020 – The Smokehouse, South Street Studios 6 South Street, Ipswich IP1 3NU, UK
  • 10 Apr 2020 – with  Bouquet of Dead Crows,  and The Get  – The Hobbit, 134 Bevois Valley Rd, Southampton SO14 0JZ, UK

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DRINK AND DRIVE

We are pleased to announce the availability of Drink and Drive’s stunning album “This Is What Happens When A Fly Lands On Your Food”. Due to technical/administrative issues the album has not been available on digital sites for the last few months but now it is back and can be streamed from January 31st onwards.

THE HARVEYS PLAY LIVERPOOL

The Harveys are back on stage with the first gig of the year at Jimmy’s , Liverpool on February 1st, they are supporting The Monochrome Set. Liverpool based DJs and Bloggers are invited to contact the band for pre-gig promo opportunities. Drop us a line at German Shepherd Records we will hook you up with the band.

We’re Back! New Releases from The Get and The Screaming Love Collective…..

After a few weeks off to recharge our batteries we are back with two brand new releases on 10th and 17th January..

We kick of the new year with a new single from The Get.

The Get are a band from Southend On Sea. The main songwriter is Gary Smith who is also a member of another band on the label Angry! Vocals and lyrics are provided by Bruce Gordon who is also the partner in crime of Toska Wilde as Brucie Bitch. Drums are provided by Jon Smith .Bass, Keyboard and Production is from Jordan Ayriss

Their release is called “Genre Reassignment” and consists of three new songs and one which appeared on our recent charity album “Off The Leash”.

Genre Reassignment Artwork

Unashamedly lo-fi the quartet distill the spirit of punk into short pithy songs covering everyday occurrences and foibles.

This is a digital only release which will be available from Bandcamp, Spotify, You Tube etc from 10th January

The Get
Jon, Bruce and Gary

Our release for January 17th is from The Screaming Love Collective.

Human Traces Opt 2

It is their 11th release with us and follows on from last years “Do What You Love”.

The Screaming Love Collective are a psychedelic punk rock dark disco groove sensation  – they take electronic dance music and add some extra layers from a variety of other genres to create an infectious and sometimes dangerous aural cocktail.

Sounds vary between motorik dance repetition via mutant reggae/dub, hypnotic arpeggiating, grime leaning sonic attacks and slow funky workouts and even a little bit of post-punk.

The new album is called Human Traces and is a digital only release – it comprises 11 brand new tracks. Here’s a taster……

It will be available from Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music and all of the other digital outlets.

Bryn from The Screaming Love Collective  will be appearing on the drum stool with The Mind Sweepers on the following dates:

  • 24 Jan 2020 – Box Bar & Club, 431 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3LG, UK
  • 1 Feb 2020 – Big Burns Supper, Eskdale House, Crichton Business Park, Dumfries DG1 4UQ, UK
  • 15 Feb 2020 – The Vaults Arts Centre, Newton Stewart
  • 14 Mar 2020 – The Peer Hat, 14-16 Faraday St, Manchester M1 1BE, UK

In addition to the above further releases are already planned for the next few weeks

  • A new album from Issac Navaro
  • A new single and a new EP from Inferior Complex, the EP is of their recent radio session on Sheppey FM
  • A new EP from Positronik
  • A new album from Auster Boys

It’s Matrimony!

8th November sees the release of the second single this year from The Harveys.

Previously known as Harveys Rabbit the band reconvened a few years back after success in the 1990s. With that name change and a new line up the core members Tim Lyons and Mick Pullen have brought back the melodic charm and crossover Manchester pop stylings for which they are rightly remembered, and currently appreciated.

Harvey FGMSOTW b
The new single couples a remake of an old Harvey’s Rabbit number “Frank Got Married” with a newer song “Shadow of Wind”. It will be available in digital download and CD formats and accessible from all of the main streaming platforms.

Embracing the Brel/Brecht elements of the bands work this exciting new double A side will be launched on 14th November at The Castle Hotel, Oldham Street, Manchester with support from Vee VV and Four Candles.

The band have also produced a podcast for the German Shepherd Mixcloud Select Channel to support the release of the new single.

Further gigs for The Harveys have been booked:

  • 14th December 2019 – The Peer Hat, Manchester supporting TV Smith – with Matthew Hopkins
  • 1st February 2020 – Jimmy’s, Liverpool supporting The Monochrome Set

 

New Moff – Strange Acrylic Night Custard

We are pleased to announce a brand new album from the master of Eddodi – Moff Skellington.
Entitled “Strange Acrylic Night Custard” the 12 track release is the latest in Moff’s unique journey through the Brigadoon of Dreamsleep – Abstercot
It is released in digital format only on 4th October via our Bandcamp Page as well as via all the usual digital platforms through AWAL.
Moff-Skellington
Moff, whose given name is Andy Quayle, is an iconoclast blessed with a unique talent with words and music that defies convention and operates in a separate and quite distinct time continuum to the rest of the world of entertainment. His prolific and prodigious output, over thirty albums, EPs and one DVD since 1999, offers some of the most exciting and challenging work you are ever likely to hear. Aside from his musical endeavours he is also a gifted and talented visual artist who has exhibited his unique painting and drawings in many different locations.
Moff also works alongside Ian Moss as “Moss Skellington” and “The Colourful Disease”, and has also collaborated with Auster Boys, and with Hazel Fairburn in the project Sleeping Ducks.

The vast majority of the Moff Skellington albums are home recordings, on which Andy sings, talks and plays a variety of instruments, including accordion, melodica, harmonicas, whistles, ukulele, guitar, huttyphone, stylophone, bodhran, jaw harp, kalimba, dulcimer, metronome, tenor horn, baritone euphonium, various percussion and elastic bands.. The results are then mixed and mastered to create amazing collections of songs and poems. Everything is recorded in real-time, there is no cut and paste, no sampling,  in fact nothing artificial at all, except perhaps the stylophone and the occasional drum machine.

Moff’s manifesto is simple and quite direct

“The chosen musical form is that of Edoddi, a species of folk music which celebrates the very individual and often skewed perceptions of the world engendered by modern life. Edoddi provides a refreshing alternative to the prescriptions and formulas of mainstream and “alternative” folk music. Edoddi philosophy: nothing is arbitrary. Make it up as you go along, it’s bound to be authentic!”. 

Moff’s is inspired by a disparate variety of artists from Pere Ubu, through to Tom Waits via Cabaret Voltaire and The Red Krayola. This is “folk music” viewed through a post-punk prism.
Our promotional package for this release  includes a  thirty minute audio presentation from Moff on the thinking behind the album where he introduces each track this will be available on release date from our Mixcloud Select page.
 
In addition to the above Moff has prepared a one hour podcast for our Mixcloud Select channel which will include three songs from the album and a fascinating selection of music that has inspired him over the years including some rare and unique artists that we hadn’t even heard of here at German Shepherd HQ.
Strange Acrylic Night Custard will be followed by a second album “The Infrasound Guest” on October 25th and a new Sleeping Ducks album “The Radio People” on November 29th.
Strange Acrylic Night Custard cover Hi res

The Return of The Parish Church Fire

The Parish Church Fire are an Alternative Rock band from Manchester, UK fronted by Sam Smith. As loud as they are soft, the band have carved a unique dynamic with elements of heavy metal, trip hop, punk, jazz and blues. Comparable to Afghan Whigs, Radiohead & Pearl Jam. They have a new single out on May 10th called “Hunger” followed by two high profile gigs at Strummercamp and The Eagle, Salford in May and June.

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Here is a recent interview with band front man Sam Smith carried out by German Shepherd co-owner Bob Osborne.

Hi Sam, can you give us a brief history of The Parish Church Fire?

I put together the band in July 2014 after the disbanding my previous outfit ‘Sam Smith & Company’. Although The Parish Church Fire has solely been a studio project for the last 5 years an original live band was assembled upon formation but were only together for just 21 days. The line-up was myself, Chris Gilman & Rick Jarvis (and also Dave Wooley, Jack Farnworth and Peter Toner briefly). In that time Chris, Rick and I rehearsed relentlessly almost every day to get the wealth of material I had written up to standard for a busy gig schedule which had been booked for autumn of 2014. We had even managed to complete a studio session, recording 5 songs. Unfortunately, shortly after the sessions, the band split very abruptly due to the sudden departure of Rick Jarvis and my own ongoing health problems.

What have you been up to since 2014?

In 2015, I signed to German Shepherd Records and adopted the moniker ‘Franco Bandini’ as a result of increasing discomfort using my birth name due to the global rise of Universal Music Group artist Sam Smith. I released a solo EP as Bandini, entitled  ‘2014 Was a Bad Year’ and supported Australian rock legend Dave Graney at The Eagle Inn, Salford. I also did a radio session with Stephen Doyle at Salford City Radio and that was also released by German Shepherd. The ‘The Parish Church Fire EP’ which contained 3 of the 5 songs recorded with the original Parish Church Fire line up was self released at around the same time.

You pursued your vision of the Parish Church Fire band though?

The idea of assembling a band of musicians to represent the vision of The Parish Church Fire and also the desire to perform the songs written specifically for that band never went away. Whilst continuing to work as Franco Bandini, I met drummer Joe Roberts when we both rehearsed with a metal band which sadly never quite got off the ground. We stayed in touch after that band disbanded and we would occasionally meet to discuss the downfall of Manchester United, brewing methods and music production whilst sometimes exchanging demos via email. In 2016, we released the first Parish Church Fire single ‘Locamente’ on German Shepherd Records which was largely well received and we discussed putting together a live band, however as a result of personal circumstances for both of us getting in the way, this would not happen for another 2 and a half years.


Things picked up a little in 2017 though?

Yes! I returned to using my birth name in early 2017, releasing two singles and a live album along the way whilst performing live as a solo artist across the UK with just a guitar and piano. However I always felt that the Parish Church Fire band would come together as a live entity when the time was right. I was booked to appear at Strummercamp Festival in 2019 on the strength of my solo material and the time seemed right to assemble a band.  I contacted former Sam Smith & Company bassist John Bardsley, who is currently one of the key forces behind The Ombudsmen, and asked him if he would be interested in joining the band in its early stages of rebirth. Joe contacted friend and former Confucius Saint guitarist Timothy Hughes to see if he was interested and an initial rehearsal was soon set up.

So where are we up to now?

From the get go, due to various difficulties each of the four of us was dealing with in our personal lives, the rehearsals took place on the provision that they would always remain light hearted, humour would be at the forefront, and ,that a large amount of beer would be drank during each session!  Building on this foundation, a bond was carved between the four of us and despite the alcohol, professionalism ensued and a set of new material I had written was soon ready to perform, leading to a second gig being added for summer 2019 at The Eagle Inn in Salford.

On Initial listening to the new release we found a newly reborn Sam Smith, an artist with the potential we always knew was there, bursting through  With this new band drawing on the strengths of each individual member whilst always respecting the composition of Sam’s songs, there is a unique dynamic sound, emerging through this rebirth, which can be as heavy as it can be soft.  We took the view that there was a perfect marriage of the rock and punk ethos, exciting!

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German Shepherd Records Newsletter #35 – Moff Skellington, Weimar Single Launch, Award for Dominic Carlton Jones, New Single from Crab Dance GI’s and Gigs!

Hello and welcome to the regular newsletter from German Shepherd Records, this week:

  • We reissue Moff Skellington’s “The Corduroy Bridge” album
  • We report on the successful single launch from Weimar
  • We celebrate an award for Dominic Carlton Jones
  • We tell you about a new single from Crab Dance GI’s
  • We let you know about some gigs

MOFF SKELLINGTON – THE CORDUROY BRIDGE

If you have not heard the work of Moff Skellington before then you are in for a fascinating experience.

Moff, whose given name is Andy Quayle, is an iconoclast blessed with a unique talent with words and music that defies convention and operates in a separate and quite distinct time continuum to the rest of the world of entertainment. His prolific and prodigious output, over twenty five albums/EP’s and one DVD since 1999, offers some of the most exciting and challenging work you are ever likely to hear. Aside from his musical endeavours he is also a gifted and talented visual artist who has exhibited his unique painting and drawings in many different locations. He has recently moved into the world of video to create a fascinating marriage of his paintings and music.

The music is described as Eddodi – a kind of mutant folk music which incorporates elements of post-punk, rock and blues. Imagine Pere Ubu, Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart and Harry Partch thrown into a blender and mixed with the English Folk Tradition and you are getting somewhere near the sound.

The album “The Corduroy Tongue” was originally released in 2015 and we are reissuing it on 15th February in digital format as part of our plan to eventually release all of Moff’s back catalogue.

Moff is a “Marmite” artist you either are 1000% committed to his work or you are left scratching your head and wondering what you have just listened to. We understand if you don’t “get it” we are used to the mixed reaction.

As a taster of his work here is Moff defining entertainment

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WEIMAR ENJOY TRIUMPHANT SINGLE LAUNCH

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Photo courtesy Victoria Egan

Weimar packed out The Eagle Inn in Salford on February 1st for the launch of their single “John Doe/Curse The Songs”. With an hour long set and a rapturous audience the band played both sides of the new single, were joined on stage by a very soulful Rose Niland for a couple of songs, featured new material, and, blew the roof off with a stunning version of “Nights In Spanish Harlem”. The set concluded with a couple of old tunes from Aidan Cross’s previous band The Bacillus (album still available on the German Shepherd bandcamp page). Press reports were effusive in their praise of the evening with Louder Than War and the Salford Star writing positive articles,. The single has gained airplay throughout the UK and the States and a series of very positive blogs have reviewed it also. Aidan will be appearing on Dave Hammond’s Smelly Flowerpot show on Cambridge 105 on Monday 11th February from 9pm where he will be chatting about the band and the plans for the forthcoming album.

DOMINIC CARLTON JONES

dom win 1

As well as receiving praise for his opening set at the Weimar gig mentioned above Dominic Carlton Jones has won the Salford Star Best Band/Act 2018 Award for his album “Salford Punk Poetry Sadness Death New Life”, which judges hailed  as “inspired and original”. Salford Star Live Editor Ian Leslie presented the award to Dominic at the end of his set last Friday. A full report from the Salford Star can be found here. Many congratulations to Dominic from everyone in The Kennel. Thanks to Michelle Leslie for the photograph.

CRAB DANCE GI’S INTRODUCE DAYGLO DAVE

Danny Cusick (KIT B, The Hidden Gem) side project Crab Dance GI’s have a new single out on March 15th called “Dayglo Dave”. The first of two forthcoming singles from this project the song is the tale of a regressive music fan who “only listens to New Wave” and will countenance any other forms of music. Watch this space for more details!

 

 

GIGS

Details of forthcoming gigs featuring German Shepherd Artists:

February
9th – Scissors play NCI Club Cambridge (Cambridge Central Aid charity fundraiser, Scissors headlining, other acts TBC)
10th – Pearl Divers play Fab Cafe, Manchester
15th – Bouquet of Dead Crows play Bury Sound at Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds
23rd – Electric Cheese and Four Candles play The Railway, Chorley
24th – Positronik play Fab Cafe, Manchester

March
2nd – Four Candles, Johann Kloos and Rose Niland play the Peer Hat, Manchester, a benefit for Macmillan nurses as a memorial for Modal Roberts
2nd – Pearl Divers play Malaga Drift, Eccles Town Centre (Near the station and not far from German Shepherd HQ!)
2nd – Electric Cheese play The Village Inn, Skelmersdale
2nd – The Mind Sweepers play The Normandy, Dumfries
13th – Bouquet of Dead Crows play West Street Live Sheffield
15th – Adventures of Salvador play The Deaf Centre, Chester
16th – Bouquet of Dead Crows, The Scissors and Umbrella Assassins play The Smokehouse Ipswich.
16th – The Mind Sweepers play Midnight Breakfast Club at Bathgate.
23rd – Electric Cheese play The Ferret, Preston
29th – Bouquet of Dead Crows play The Blue Moon Cambridge + Burning Codes, Basement Strippers & Matt Hammond

April
20th – Toska Wilde plays The Venue, Southend On Sea

His mother called him Phil

We were saddened to hear of the passing of Modal (Phil) Roberts yesterday. He was one of the earliest collaborators to the German Shepherd  experiment and released two EPs and a joint project with Ian Moss (in his Ion-Morph phase)  before leaving us to form his own label “Altitude Records” as well as embark on a range of projects including “Alt. Karaoke” and “Polymatherapy”.  Always an entertaining and rule breaking DJ his radio shows often supported and promoted our early releases

Probably best known for his work with the latter versions of Marc Riley’s Creepers and the remarkable and memorable track “Derbyshire”  Modal was a talented multi-instrumentalist, artist, and film-maker.

We have set all Modals releases to pay what you want but and anyone does contribute to the music  we will donate the money to Cancer Research.

Modal

 

 

Mesmer Disciples in search for new singer

Leeds Based Psychedelic band, Mesmer Disciples are looking for a new singer.

In a recent statement the band say:

“We are not seeking someone to try and replicate our previous singer as we are open to a new approach . We have our own rehearsal space where we meet to jam, improvise, write and rehearse . Over the last year we’ve played with the likes on The Jim Jones and the Righteous Mind, The Fleshtones, Thee Hypnotics ,Snapped Ankles. Currently signed up with German Shepherd Records.”

Prospective vocals are asked to check us out the band on Facebook and through this recent interview with Backseat Mafia.

Mesmer Disciples logo

Press…..
“Leaps out at you as an unctuous mix of Arthur Brown and Tex-Mex imbibing something mind expanding in an opium den in a Bill Burroughs tract. Moody, brooding and sensuous” – Aural Delights Blog

” creating an all-enveloping throbbing and entrancing psychedelic rock experience of two guitars, vocals, drums, and the occasional tamboura. Like a stoned early Cramps jamming with the Buffalo Springfield. Indeed – menacing, experimental and at times unhinged. Gorgeous, subversive, and completely mesmeric!” Micheal Canning, Music research Uk

“Musically they are moody, psychedelic, and gritty with tracks building in layers creating a truly menacing atmosphere” – Counterfeit magazine

“Their double guitar attack was brilliantly executed creating a blues-infused wall of sound, , the guitars and drums were rhythmically very tight and they all played brilliantly, one of the guitarists at hyper-speed. Mesmer Disciples are definitely a band to watch out for “- Leeds Music Scene

Interested vocalists should contact the band at :  Mesmerdisciples@hotmail.com

Four Candles get huge praise for Spiritual Rapture

The new Four Candles album has been getting loads of praise and some very positive reviews. Spiritual Rapture was released as a CD on 22nd June via our Bandcamp Page and will also be released digitally as three separate two-track singles in June, July and August.

Lead track “Strange Things Are Happening” has a video which has had over a 1,000 streams and is now available on You Tube….

 

The bands gig at Manchester Meltdown on 23rd June, which was also the album launch was caught on video by Paul Forshaw….and reviewed by Emily Oldfield

 

Reviews of the album have come from Ged Babey via Louder Than War and also via Aural Delights.

The available stock CD is very low, although some copies have been held over for sale at gigs. Grab your CD now at our Bandcamp Page before they sell out.

SR Cover

 

Keltrix to release stripped back acoustic album

Keltrix return with a new release on 8th June. In a change from the recent electronic approach of the band they have stripped back the sound to acoustic and the new album is appositely titled “Naked”.

Violin and acoustic guitar dominate the soundscape and Keri’s voice is brought to the fore. Sharon’s playing on the album is exquisite with melody being the watchword.

The album consists of two new songs and a selection of re-imagined material from Beneath and Beyond Storms and Bobby Says.

The band will return to the more electronic side of things however with the album that follows “Naked”, which is planned for early 2019.

Keltrix

Mesmer Disciples to release debut EP

Leeds based Mesmer Disciples release their debut EP “The Big O” via German Shepherd Records on 20th April.

Mesmer Disciples formed relatively recently and they have had many comparisons suggested to them by their audience members, including Can, Captain Beefheart, Butthole Surfers and Edgar Broughton band.

Mesmers
Not wishing to be constrained by genres, Mesmer Disciples have no intention of recreating a sound from a by-gone era, or a desire to sound like anybody else.
With a constantly evolving sound, and set-list they will continue to jam, play and record for as long as it seems appealing.

The band is

Stewart Kinloch – vocals lap guitar percussion and Tanpura simulator
Dave Royston – guitar
Mike Smith – drums
Mark Stainton – guitar

Check out their full biography elsewhere on the site.

Here is a taster from the EP the mesmerising Preetam Bobo…….

 

 

Mesmer Disciples logo

It’s A Dog Life – Dog Year 5

As they approach the fifth year of their existence we sat down with Ian Moss and Bob Osborne of German Shepherd Records to discuss progress so far, the business of running a small record label in a world dominated by streaming and obsessed with vinyl, and their plans for the future……

GS LOGO B & W

After four years of doing this what have you learned from the experience…..

Ian: I’ve learned that there are a lot of very talented artists with little or no opportunity to earn a living from that talent and that they deserve a platform to be heard and deserve great respect for their refusal to be silent

Bob: To keep on top of things you need to be at it 24/7. There is so much competition out there, even just in Manchester, that you are always fighting for limited time in peoples listening or watching space. Also to ignore the nay-sayers who said we were wasting our time at the outset.

You have remained mostly digital, with very limited sales of CDs and Vinyl, why is this?

Ian: Sheer practicality , to release as much as we do in physical formats would cost far more money than we have.

Bob: As Ian says, practically speaking it’s the only way we can remain not for profit. The upfront costs of producing CD and Vinyl and then finding a place to store it means we would soon be losing cash. We know we have a limited/niche audience and our sales are always going to be within a range that makes producing physical product costly. Personally I think vinyl has been the biggest con the record business has foisted on the public in years, I much prefer CDs as my main source of music although more and more I am listening digitally via I Pod or direct from the laptop. Someone will invent something in a few years which will replace all this any way.

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How easy has it been to get people listening to what you do?

Ian: It isn’t easy to get people to listen to music that hasn’t been hyped and sold as the new thing by outlets with a vested interest , therefore we owe a debt of gratitude to the people who are not taken in and seduced but have based their judgements on the evidence of their ears and  who have supported the label and our releases

Bob : The first two years were tough, we were still learning the ropes, and still trying to find a distribution deal that worked for us. We went through two companies before settling on our current partner Ditto. Social media has been a huge help, and we have slowly built up a contact list of DJs, Bloggers, and Journalists, with a hard core of around 30 people who regularly feature what we do and understand what we are about. Last year we saw a slow and steady rise in interest and a broadening of the fan base. The hardest nut to crack has been national radio, and specifically the BBC. We just don’t have the resources to pay a promo company to hammer on the door of the Beeb. Which is ironic really given that Media City and 6 Music is not far from here. I’m not sure however that the eclectic nature of our releases is just too much of a stretch for “Aunties” taste. Our biggest support has come from Community and Local Radio with people like Dave Hammond (Cambridge 105) Brad Cain (Nevis FM/Radio Kaos) Stephen Doyle, Ian Rothwell and John Montague (Salford City Radio) Garry Lee (Starship Overflow) and Graeme Walker (Container Drivers) and many others giving us lots of support. We also have had support from writers like Mike Middles, Emily Oldfield and Ged Babey.

You have occasionally run gig promotions for the label – how has that gone?

Ian: The live performances we have promoted have tended to be artistic triumphs though attendances are erratic, I find the pressure of promoting painful because I can’t bear the guilt I feel if attendance is low and consequently their is only a meagre amount of money that doesn’t even cover expenses for the performers , it leaves me very reluctant to promote events

Bob: Despite his comments the Manchester Meltdown residency Ian has just curated has been successful with decent crowds for a Wednesday night in dire weather , well I enjoyed it anyway, and it was great to see the local music community supporting us. Dom and Nick at the Peer Hat have been excellent and their venue is a model place for small bands and labels. Before that gigs were either a few towering successes or mostly abject failures in terms of attendance. The main problem is a lack of small venues in the city centre, and the whole “pay to play” culture which still exists. Also it is a source of constant puzzlement to me that people will pay between £10 and £20 to see a covers/tribute band but won’t shell out £3 to see an act doing original material. The other key issue in Manchester is that there is just so much going on and people are spoiled for choice. We made the mistake of double booking two gigs involving our acts last year which split the crowd. Ironically one of the best nights we had was at the Salford Music Festival in 2016 where it was free entry – that says it all really, people are used to getting music for free or next to nothing these days. I’ve personally stopped doing gigs more or less completely, but I will make an exceptions for when our Australian friends like  Dave Graney & Clare Moore and Harry Howard come over for a tour. We have Australian Charlie Marshall coming over in September for a gig and we have helped him with gigs in other places. Stephen Doyle is our go to guy for gig promotion these days. Favourite Venues are The Peer Hat, The Eagle and Fred’s Ale House.

What is different about German Shepherd compared to other labels?

Ian: We are what we are as other labels are what they are , I know that we are honest and ethical and am proud of that , others are too of course, but not all of them

Bob : We are not for profit, anything we don’t make for the artists goes to charity. The main reason for setting the label up was to find a way for people who traditional record labels wouldn’t countenance to help them get their music out there. We aren’t doing that much different from what an individual who self-releases would do but by doing it collectively we can cut down on overheads and fees. Also we don’t “sign” people, there are no legal contracts etc which makes life easier. We agree with artists from the outset either side can walk away with a months notice. So if you see a press report that says such and such has “signed” to German Shepherd Records that’s nonsense.

How Many People Work for the label?

Ian : There are two of us though my role is largely ambassadorial, Bob works tirelessly putting in many hard hours ensuring our releases reach people’s ears , writing press releases and keeping the website up to date and lines of communication open, so in terms of work Bob carries the load , the label couldn’t function without him.

Bob :  We have also had much appreciated help from Vicky Egan and Stephen Doyle as well which has helped,  but as he says the core of the business is Ian and myself. We have also worked with Dave Hammond on two charity albums for Cambridge musicians.  And we have to thank, amongst others,  Ciaran Humphries, Michael T. Scott, Bryn Thornburn and Stewart Harris for their excellent artwork and designs for the label.

Any Regrets?

Ian : Probably the act we released with the most potential to cross over into the mainstream was Alana Bondi whose music and presence were magical , tragically she passed away , I’d love it if her music were to find an audience belatedly,

Bob: We released an album with Stuart Estell under the Lachenalia brand early days which was absolutely superb, however because we were still on a steep learning curve, and a combination of ill health and other distractions we weren’t able to get it the attention it deserved. Stuart decided to leave us which was understandable. I think I learned a lot from that experience and it helped shape our future direction but I still regret not being able to do more for him.

Biggest success to date?

Ian : There’s always something new , something exciting , something to look forward to , that’s the beauty of being in it for the music rather than it being a shop selling product to consumers

Bob : Our two front runners in terms of sales/streams are Drink & Drive and Issac Navaro.  Both totally different but equally successful but it’s all relative given the price per play returns from the likes of Spotify. However success for me is the joy of sharing the work of the works of the bands and artists we work with. Mind you we could do with a few more of the 655 people who follow us on Facebook buying a few things every now and again! If they did that we might be able to do a bit more.

What can we look forward to in the future?

Bob : A new partnership between Ian and Simon “Ding” Archer, a new West Coast Sick Line album, the debut album from The Mind Sweepers,  three new EPs from Moff Skellington, an EP from Drink and Drive, and a new single and a greatest hits from the mighty Staggs!! We will be releasing something every week more or less so there is a lot come including Ian doing some excellent new tunes with his brother, Neil, and also working with me on our “The Parasite” project.

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The Mind Sweepers to release debut album “States of Mind”

We are pleased to announce the release of the debut album from The Mind Sweepers. Entitled “States of Mind” it will be released on March 2nd.  Recorded and produced at Unit 7 studio Bladnoch , Wigtown , Dumfries and Galloway, the album features ten tracks including a revised version of the groups debut single “The Mating Game”.

The line-up of the band for this release is…

Paul Winter – Vocals and Acoustic Guitar
John Mcinally- Guitar and Backing Vocals
Mark Jardine – Bass and Backing Vocals.
Bryn Thorburn – Drums.

…and there are guest appearances from Owen Fielding on keyboards, Win Liv Shak on keyboards and backing vocals, and Al Price on harmonica.

Here is the lead track from the album “Threesome”

Watch this space for more news

Mind Sweepers SOM Cover

 

Poppycock return with new line-up

After a short break Manchester collective Poppycock are back with a new line-up which debuts at Fred’s Ale House on 6th October supporting Dave Graney and Clare Moore.

The band now comprises – Paula Darwish -Guitar Vocals,  Stuart Quinn-Harvie – Drums ,Matt Crawford -Bass , Jane Goetzee and Lucy Nyland – Vocals , Lucy Power – Flute/Guitar and Una Baines – keyboards/guitar

Lucy, Stuart and Una remain from the previous line-up, the rest of the band having been brought together over the last few months.

This will be a welcome return for a band that has been building a huge reputation as a much see live act.

Tickets are available from our Merch Page priced at £5 plus booking fee. Interested music lovers are advised to book early as tickets are selling quickly.

uNA
Una Baines

 

 

 

Introducing PrunX

We are pleased to announce the addition of Berlin based band PrunX to German Shepherd Records. Introduced to the label by Cannonball Statman,  the band were formed in 2000 and have gone through several line-up changes.

The current line up of the band is :
FrankOz Pfeil – Guitar, Vocals; Mikado K. Schütt -Keyboards, Vocals ;  Joushi Schütt – Guitar, Vocals;  Stilgar T. Krennrich – Bass, Vocals, and Tom Schneider – Drums
The ep “vol.III” released on June 19th 2017 and features three tracks – The Iron Dream, Sick of it All, and Welcome To Your Nightmare.  Special guest metal percussion is provided by N.U.Unruh, of Einstürzende Neubauten on The Iron Dream.
PrunX-2017-2

Second Statman Release coming soon

We are extremely pleased to announce we are releasing a second EP with Jesse “Cannonball” Statman. After the mercurial New Yorker performed a stunning set at the Eagle in Salford recently, which had audience members describing his show as “pure genius”, we have agreed to release some of his recent recordings made in Germany. Watch this space for more details which will be coming soon.

 

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photograph by John Montague

 

 

Fresh Cheese

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Introducing the new Electric Cheese.

Joining Jason Gorgonzola are the two Al’s. Both with Antipodean connections.

On drums we have Al Superstar Green (left). A former member of pioneering New Zealand beat combo Captain Fogpocket, Al has told at least two internationally renowned artistes to F off.

On bass, Allan ‘Cheddar’ Tanner (right). Allan recently returned from Australia after moving there as a child and played in various top bands down under including Daktari, Urban Wildlife and Wolf Club.

The band are now available for gigs, festivals, bar mitzvahs and supermarket openings.

Rose and the Diamond debut on German Shepherd

It is with great pleasure that we announce the release of the debut EP from Rose and the Diamond Hand.

Rose is Rose Niland, whose soulful and memorable vocal style has dominated the Manchester music scene for several years now. We released her debut solo EP “From Now” in 2014 to wide critical acclaim.

Rose is an active singer, songwriter, producer and musician, as well as Rose and The Diamond Hand, she features in Poppycock, vVULVa, and The Little She Girls.

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Rose, Bob, Mark and Leonie

Rose is joined by Bob Clowrey on Synthesizer/Samples and Keyboards, Mark Corrin on Bass Guitar, and Leonie Fox on Drums for this release.

This debut EP “Universe Is Woman” delivers four atmospheric songs which have already become live favourites. The glacial and gothic tinged down-tempo sound of the band has evoked comparisons to both Portishead and Siouxsie & The Banshees. Rose’s soulful, melancholic vocals and enigmatic lyrics are delivered over a striking and minimalist musical backdrop. Hypnotic bass and drum rhythms are intertwined with subtle experimental electronic textures to create an evocative mood. The songs on the EP include the yearning, catchy shimmer of “Icicle” and the cyclic, pulsing soul of “Universe Is Woman”. Also included is “Dominate”, a fierce, attitude packed cut, and “Extended”, a haunting, otherworldly number.

The EP is released as download only on August 12th on our Bandcamp portal at £2.75 (exc VAT)

A gig to support the release takes place at our regular venue The Eagle Inn, Collier Street, Salford on 13th August,  Rose and The Diamond Hand is also part of our Salford Music Festival German Shepherd Showcase on October 1st, also at The Eagle, and supports Georgio “The Dove” Valentino at his EP launch on December 3rd, again at The Eagle.

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100 Releases – where do we go from here? Part One….

We sort of fell into a record label by accident.

Moet, and to some degree myself, were getting frustrated by the amount of time it was taking to get the third Kill Pretty album released, a process which would eventually end up in me resigning as the bands’ manager, and eventually Moet leaving several months later. But that’s another story for another time.

Moet was frustrated, he wanted to release lots of material, he was brimming with lyrical ideas, and wanted a market place for new and older material. We started the discussion in the car when driving over to a Kill Pretty gig in Liverpool.  Over several subsequent chats I explained that it was relatively easy to set up a label via Bandcamp. I had set up a series of releases for Salford City Radio several years back, and also released a series of albums under my Passage of Time side project with relative ease. The only issue was that it was digital only. The idea was taking shape though.

The Hamsters
The Hamsters

I had got a new piece of software for Ableton and recorded a couple of new tracks and Moet had come up with some marvellous lyrics, we didn’t want to spend money in a recording studio so we asked Steve and Laura from Monkeys In Love if they could help. One Friday Night in January we met in their rehearsal rooms in Stockport and recorded the two tracks that would eventually be our first release. Chatting afterwards by the cars in the dark Stockport night, I said what do you want to call the label? Moet said German Shepherd. We agreed we would think about CDs and Vinyl after we had got established. The bottom line was that we were going to be not for profit, there would be no contracts or lawyers, and it would be about the artists and the music.

19th February saw the first release of “Smack-Head Band/Humble Bee” with Steve and Laura on backing vocals. KP2 was born (a clear reference to Moet’s desire to get music out) and a new project from me, Space Museum. We had no pre-formed plans other than to try and get things out on a weekly/fortnightly basis.

Smack Head Band Image It took a little longer than anticipated and it wasn’t until March 3rd that a new Passage of Time album saw the light of day. I had taken the view that I wasn’t in this to make money for myself so this was our first free download. Mike Leigh had handed me 20 or so copies of the original Twisted Hand singles for sale at Kill Pretty gigs so I got his OK to market them via the new label. This proved popular and was our first and only, to date, vinyl release. We got those out into the world the week after the Passage of Time album, and they have proved popular, although as you will see later our level of popularity is not what you would expect.

One of the original intentions of the label was to release an extensive back catalogue of Moet oriented material, this included the first set of recordings by the band Sicknurse (his group before Kill Pretty). We released this next but subsequently we have had to withdraw it from sale.

Our friend Tony Thornborough (Salford City Radio DJ and Local Promoter) had facilitated a meeting with Bury based musician Loop-Aznavour and Moet. This resulted in a remarkable single called Justin Beiber (Must Die)/When The River Rises. Loop’s unique style, including the use of a Theremin, perfectly matched Moet’s style and content. We were beginning to gain some momentum.

Cyrus Beiber Final

24th March saw the beginning of a partnership with Dusty Moonan, and his West Coast Sick Line project which we continue to be extremely excited about. Dusty had done a couple of support slots with local bands and after many years of internet friendship I had finally got to meet him personally. He had already been hawking around the first WCSL album “I Hope You All Have Nightmares, except Kirsty” with varying degrees of success, but Moet and I felt we needed to take him under our wing (or should it be paw?) and give him a market place. He has produced continually exciting and improving product with us since then

The end of March saw the release of an early 90s project with Moet, Eddie Fenn and John Gill, a collection of marvellous songs under the guise of The Stepbrothers. “Switched at Birth” was the great lost album of it’s era and we were very pleased to finally get it out into the world. This was swiftly followed by a collaboration between Moet and his brother, an album length selection of the original Twisted Hand master tapes, the re-release of the exceptional Prick Jaggers album “The Golden Ass” and an EP from ex-Creeper Modal Roberts.

Switched at Birth_Cover

Ten releases in three months was a bit fast from a standing start, but the material kept flowing in and more releases came to fruition. Moet recorded tracks with local polymath Johann Kloos, and we also released a compilation of Johann’s tracks derived from his own extensive back catalogue on Bandcamp. We re-released the second West Coast Sick Line album, with a new cover, a stunning debut EP from Rose Niland, a politically pungent tune from the Moss Brothers around the time of the elections, and a massive retrospective of Moet’s first band The Hamsters.

June saw a Loop-Aznavour solo EP, a new six track KP2/Space Museum release, and a breathtaking collaboration between Moet and Ding.

I had been various bits of marketing work for the Emmaus Charity in Salford and was painfully aware of their lack of funds. I suggested we might do a charity compilation of various local artists, and people from our label. I called in a few favours and we managed to assemble a 34 track charity album which has been our biggest success to date. It was released on July 1st. The rest of the month saw re-releases from Babakin (one of Dusty’s old bands), and The Get, plus an exceptional new collaboration between Moet and Johann called Strange Angel/Oasis. I managed to compile various older tracks in a new Passage of Time release which finished the July run.

Dusty Moonan of West Coast Sick Line
Dusty Moonan of West Coast Sick Line

August kicked off with a stunning third album from West Coast Sick Line called “The Road To Billinge Hill”, still one of my favourite releases from our label, and the eventual album of the year on my podcasts. The pace was still pretty relentless and Moet was supercharged with ideas and new partnerships. We released a four track EP with Scratching No Gravy and Moet worked with old pal Dave Thompson on an exceptional selection called “Taken To See The Tiger”.

We began to get serious radio play from local legends Stephen Doyle, Tony Thornborough, Steve Nicholson, Monty, the Middles, Fiona Ledgard and Ian Rothwell. Airplay was achieved further afield from a range of DJs and stations but our biggest out of town supporter is Dave Hammond at Cambridge 105 with his wonderful Smelly Flowerpot show, which has led to an interesting development for the label (see part 2 of this tale for the detail).

September saw a second ep from Modal Roberts, the opportunity to re-release Aidan Cross’s Bacillus album, and experimental ambient music with Phil Mill. A conversation with John Montague and Jeff Black at a Salford Music Festival event at Wangies in Eccles led to agreement to release an album from Positronik and for us to be the label for Monty’s new project The Junta.

We moved swiftly to get the Positronik album out and followed it with first EP with us from the amazing Staggs, a new collaboration between KP2 and Loop-Aznavour, and a selection from legendary punk poet Andy T. We also put on two nights of concerts from German Shepherd artists and friends at The Crescent in Salford.

November saw a step in the electronica direction with first solo album from Space Museum quickly followed by the debut from The Junta. An EP from West Coast Sick Line which picked up unreleased tracks from the Billinge Hill recordings concluded the month.

The Teenage Propshafts
The Teenage Propshafts

Around this time I had got into a lengthy correspondence with Andy Quayle aka Moff Skellington about releasing his work. After a bout of ill health he had built up a backlog of four releases which we agreed to host. I was aware he had an existing relationship with Invisible Girl records for four of his earlier albums, however we agreed we would start to retrospectively release his other material and do this over a number of months. December kicked off with a brand new Moff album called “Marine Sugars (locally glimpsed)”.

After a lot of thought Moet decided it was time to discontinue with the KP2 project at the end of 2014.  We agreed a compilation of the best of the tracks released in the year and a limited run of CDr’s. We also agreed to attempt wider marketing through Tunecore to Amazon and I-Tunes, a relatively expensive business given the margins we operate under.

Johann Kloos
Johann Kloos

The first year ended in festive style with a marvellous Christmassy EP from the mighty Staggs. We had not sold much, a lot had been streamed via Bandcamp and we had made a lot of new friends……

Part 2 of this overview will be out in a couple of weeks looking at our 2015 releases to date , our future plans and  the run up to our 100th release, which will be a compilation of new and old tracks from artists on the label.

As journalist Ged Babey said in a recent review:

“Practically once a week German Shepherd release a bizarre, haphazard, mutant disco, agit-prop un-pop bit of Salford electro weirdness. Its probably the most prolific label in the country – and OK the quality might range from the sublime to the ridiculous, but its never dull!”