Staggs Compilation released

A 15 track compilation, perversely entitled 13 Golden Greats, of pre-German Shepherd Staggs music is now released. Featuring the best of the duo’s early work this is a digital only release via Bandcamp, Spotify, I Tunes, Google Play, Amazon and many other digital outlets.

 

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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

Two Strays EPs released

We have now released the two EPs by The Strays to date. The first EP Explicit Content includes a previously unreleased track “Be Seen Not Heard”.  There is also a chance to purchase a CD version of the original version of that EP.

The two EPs are available via all the usual digital outlets as well as our Bandcamp page.

The duo have a number of dates planned to support these releases…..

  • 26th January – The Mulberry Tavern, Sheffield
  • 3rd February – The Globe, Glossop
  • 4th February – Fab Cafe, Manchester
  • 11th February –The Bunny Hop, Heanor
  • 16th February – The Mulberry Tavern, Sheffield
  • 24th March – The Crown Inn, Heanor
  • 15th April – Dublin Castle, London
  • 19th April – The Peer Hat Manchester
  • 2nd June – The Station Hotel, Ashton U Lyne

Strays

 

New Issac Navaro album “#Forensics” released

Two new tracks in #Forensics and Velvet Transmission and the remaining demo type things from the last 5 years. 22 tracks in all.

ANY AND ALL PROCEEDS ACCRUED FROM THE SALE OF THIS ALBUM ARE BEING DONATED DIRECTLY TO WATER AID SO THE POOREST KIDS ON EARTH AIN’T QUENCHING THEIR THIRST WITH PISS AND SHIT ON TOP OF EVERY OTHER MISERY THEY ENDURE,

Cover

This Is What Happens When A Fly Lands On Your Food

Our good friend Tony Thornborough (The Be Reet Radio Show) contacted us a while back with news of an album that Oldham band Drink and Drive had completed their album. Tony, a big fan of the band, who was one of the first DJs to share them with the outside world, suggested that the band had lots in common with the German Shepherd brand. The sample track that Tony sent through (see below) was more than enough to convince us that this was a band that would fit perfectly in the German Shepherd kennel. Contacts were made and ideas were swapped, Ian went to see them in Oldham, and Bob started on the background work to lead us to releasing the bands debut album “This Is What Happens When A Fly Lands On Your Food” on December 1st.

Here is a taster, the massive six minute opener “The Itch-Scratch Cycle” (the aforementioned sample track that grabbed our attention)

Forthcoming gigs for the band……

December 23rd – The Bank Top Tavern, Oldham 
December 30th – The Witchwood, Ashton 
January 24th – The Peer Hat, Manchester

The album was recorded at 6dB Studios (where a lot of releases are laid down) with the ever excellent Simon “Ding” Archer.

We will also be distributing the bands first EP in the new year which has only had a Bandcamp release so far.

Being lazy sods and far too busy watching Stranger Things 2 and Gotham we insisted the band to write their own interview and did far better job than we could ever hoped to have done…….. and this is what they came up with via Ben the vocalist…..

Brief history please…..

We formed in Oldham in 2008 because there was nothing else to do. They cut off our escape routes and we had to write songs to keep warm. The band was born out of pure spite and an utter disinterest in anything musical that was coming from our town. This makes us sound snobbish but we’re just being honest. We were bored and we wanted to make a racket for ourselves, we didn’t care if anyone liked us. Some people did, so we carried on.

What are the bands influences?

The horror of the mundane. I never wanted to write songs about girls or cars, leave that to the experts. I’m too emotionally retarded to write love songs. I write about the things I find on the street, found lyrics play a big part. Recurring themes are TV & Media, deviants, people I don’t like, bands I don’t like, awkward social situations and a complete bewilderment at modern life in general.

How would you describe the sound?

It’s basically the internal monologue of an alcoholic smartarse set to music. Heavy bass riffs, repetitive. Irritating.

What’s with the album title?

The title is taken from a health information poster of the early 80s. It was designed by Charles Saatchi and was in hospitals, doctors and clinics the length and breadth of the country. It had a profound and terrifying effect on me as a child.

What is the band’s ethos?

We just want to do our own thing, make outsider art and be left the fuck alone. We have no desire to be included in any kind of “scene” and as such distance ourselves from Manchester, we are from Oldham – it’s a different kettle of fish. We’ve always done everything ourselves, artwork, videos, promotion and all that. We’re not a political band but we are political people, when it was the Jubilee a few years back, Oldham had just been named in the top ten most deprived towns. So we put a gig on and distributed every last penny we made round the town, in little plastic wallets for people to find. Although as a gesture it’s akin to pissing in the wind, I were dead proud of that bit of positive anarchy.

Are you Spinal Tap? How many drummers have you had?

Dunno. About six? All of them apart from Jonny are under my patio. We have an initiation ceremony where each new drummer has to dig their own plot before we’ll allow them in to rehearsal.

Who is FP Moonbridge?

He’s like our fifth member. He’s a Milk Lab Technician we contacted psychically. He didn’t really like it at first because we kept sending him dead cats in his dreams but he’s now like our unofficial biographer. He drinks mild in halves.

Why did your original drummer leave?

He was sacked. I won a bottle of bourbon on the football card and the little bastard drank it all.

What is the point of “False Lib”?

What do you mean? That it’s not about anything? Doesn’t bother me that it’s throwaway. The guitar riff is the bass riff from “Hate Song” by Fudge Tunnel but don’t tell em.

How many versions of “Stars Without Make-Up” did you write before this one that you still can’t play?

Several. But that’s not really on me, I wrote the guitar part so I can play it. It’s our guitarist who can’t play it the same way twice, which again is fine by me. You never saw Bob Holness wear the same tie twice on Blockbusters did you?

Which Fall album are you planning on pillaging next?

This is just getting lazy now. We sound fuck all like the Fall really.

D and D 1
Photo  – Craig Gill

 

Sjhaking all over

13th October sees the release of a new three track EP “Sjhake” by Cambridge self styled purveyors swirling keyboard-fuelled psychpop with horror-show freak-beat guitars and new wave post-punk bass-lines.

Lead track Sjhake previously featured on the bands second album “Haunted Mirror”, second track “Glossy Magazines” was featured on a German Shepherd compilation and the third track “Electric Line Terminus” is a new release.

Words and Music

German Shepherd co-owner Ian Moss is set to release two volumes of new material. The first “Words and Music” will be released on 22nd September, the second “Music and Words” a fortnight later.

Of this new body of work Moss says

“For a period during 2017 I had been unable to sing due to the pneumonia. Whilst I was recovering from I instigated a series of collaborations with a cast of musician friends with the starting point being a spoken word piece I provided them. What they have done has far exceeded my expectations and the fruits of their labours are provided via two albums of material.

All proceeds from the sales of these album will be donated to UNICEF.

I know what each of us regards as good or bad music is purely subjective but I think this is very good indeed and hope a lot of people will agree.

I need to thank everyone who has helped not least Bob Osborne and doff my cap towards JD Meatyard, CP Lee and Mike Kerins who have all encouraged me to proceed in this direction.”

From the first volume please find below Ian’s collaboration with Mark Corrin (Salford City Radio DJ and musician with Rose & The Diamond Hand, and his own solo projects). It’s called “Ali Baba” and is an indication of the strength of the material across the 39 song project.

The Bandcamp version of the album will also include a PDF booklet with background notes and images to view alongside listening to the tracks. The album will be released digitally only via all the usual platforms.

Collaborators on this first volume are

m.t. scott
Johann Kloos
Neil Moss
Guy Nolan
Space Museum
Andy T
Aidan Cross
The Screaming Love Collective
Steve of the North
Toska Wilde
Dave Thompson
Moff Skellington
Carl Lingard
Keltrix
Dominic Carlton Jones
The Scissors
The Junta
Steve Strode
and the aforementioned Mark Corrin

Ian can be found on Faceboook at : : https://www.facebook.com/ian.moss.146

WAM first atttempt