A Slapstick Life

A Slapstick Life is Moff Skellington’s 45th release and is a collection of tunes based around an early recording of his called “Remembering a Slapstick Life”. It is released digitally via German Shepherd Records on August 21st 2020.

The music on the new release is rooted in old jazz and ragtime recordings, described by Moff as a Hal Roach fever dream.

The track entitled ” Remembering a Slapstick Life ” is a montage of recordings from the original project from 1985-90. Moff took the Picasso/ Matisse path and used only what was irreducible, so it could be termed “Atomic”. The track has echoes of Viv Stanshall and the construction of the varying layers and elements is very good indeed – we were reminded of John Zorn’s “cut-up” music as evidenced on “The Big Gundown” and “Spillane” albums.

The recordings are full of jazz ghosts and narration is delivered by Babe Handy i.e. W C Handy meets Oliver ‘ Babe ‘ Hardy, thereby consummating the marriage between jazz and slapstick. Handy’s voice might be perceived as belonging to an overweight and seedy northern comic from the early seventies.

The listener is transported to Weimar Republic Berlin where Brecht and Weill might be constructing an entertainment for the theatre. And there’s a piece of synchronicity in that Chaplin’s “The Gold Rush” had a significant impact on Brecht. Slapstick is omnipresent.

The track “Fragile Comfort Seeker” is a particular favourite with a “wandering” sound underneath the narrative.

Moff has captured the music of the slapstick era wonderfully although it is heard through the prism of Eddodi – if indeed you can hear things through a prism.

Introducing “A Comet Full of Pigeons”

In the latest of an ongoing series of podcasts Moff Skellington introduces his forthcoming album “A Comet Full of Pigeons” with a unique and compelling narrative about the purchase of tobacco and Rizla Papers and the attendant tales associated with that commercial endeavour. A surreal dream like journey around the nooks and crannies of Abstercot with echoes of Lewis Carroll, Flann O’Brien and Spike Milligan.

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

GERMAN SHEPHERD RECORDS NEWS – Dominic Carlton Jones, 2 Lost Souls, Longsight, A Raffle, Charitable Work

Hello

We hope you are all well and coping in these strange times.

Firstly, many thanks to those DJs, Bloggers and websites  who have featured us recently. We really appreciate the support and time you are giving to the label and its artists.

This news is for releases on June 26th plus details of a new signing to the label and progress on some of our fundraising activities….

DOMINIC CARLTON JONES

Eccles based singer, songwriter, and troubadour Dominic Carlton Jones returns with a new double A side – Reach Out To Your Far Horizon/German Bombers

Dominic Carlton Jones  won the Salford Star Best Band/Act 2018 Award for his debut album Salford Punk Poetry Sadness Death New Life, which judges hailed as “inspired and original”. and his work has been rightly praised. The new single sees the seven minute plus “Reach Out To Your Far Horizon” exploring ambient soundscapes with an evocative and emotional spoken word delivery from Dominic. The guitar focused “German Bombers” provides another side of Dominic’s work with layers of picking and riffs building to create an atmospheric bed for more spoken word developing an epic soundscape where vocals kick in with a heartfelt song.

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2 LOST SOULS

The ever productive 2 Lost Souls duo of Ian Moss and Paul Rosenfeld are back with another charity focused single. The harrowing “Don’t You Call It Love”, which Ian premiered at his virtual Stonehenge festival performance, is a direct attack on child sex abuse and the evil people who perpetrate it. All proceeds from the sale of this single will be donated to Childline.

DYCIL Cover Final

LONGSIGHT

We are pleased to announce we will be working with Stockport, GreaterManchester band Longsight starting with a single.

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Longsight are a new indie guitar band from Stockport, North West England. Started in August 2019 their first few gigs have caught the imagination of their peers and music journalists alike.

Si Wolstencroft (The Fall/ Ian Brown’s band) “Absolutely love Longsight. They sound like a cross between The Buzzcocks and New Order”.
The Big issue: “Beg, borrow or steal the entrance fee. Longsight are about to go stellar”.
Cassie Delta KBYD radio California: “The songs have a hurting, haunting, heart-breaking echo to them.”
Manchester Evening News, “No wonder current music sounds banal, Longsight have taken all the best songs”.
Chester Chronicle: “Top new band. Every track sounds like a hit single.”
Glasgow Herald. “Beautifully crafted songs delivered in an unnerving style”.

The band comprises of:

  • Keo (Guitar/vox) formerly in Jez Kerr from A Certain Ratio’s solo band, The Family Bizarre and The Treatment Organisation.
  • Adam Halford (Drums/vox) formerly in The Trainset.
  • Johnny Stringer (Bass/vox) Formerly in The Stipe band.

Longsight’s first single ‘These Chains’ is out now on limited edition 7″ vinyl through Discogs. Produced by Jez Kerr from A Certain Ratio. Their first album is due out early next year through German Shepherd Records pending that a new single is coming soon.

Here’s the band live:

Catch them on Facebook

A RAFFLE

Moff Skellington has made available the original artwork for three of his albums plus the poster designed for his gig at The Peer Hat, Manchester. There are four prizes so four chances to win. All punters need to do is purchase one or more tickets for the chance to enter the prize draw. Entrants get a free copy of Moff’s EP Uncle Roy’s Utopian Vision #1
The closing date for the raffle is Monday 22nd June and winners will be notified by e-mail by Friday 26th June when arrangements will be made for Moff to mail the artwork to the winners.

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All proceeds will be donate to The Peer Hat Fundraiser. Tickets can be purchased from this link.

….AND MORE FUNDRAISING

Our recent releases from Four Candles, 2 Lost Souls and Crab Dance GIs are all dedicated to raising money to support The Peer Hat, Manchester a much loved place by everyone at the label and where we hold our annual Meltdown events. We have already raised £265 through these releases but more would help if you are able to support us.

Our recent releases by Moongoose also have a charitable aim with homelessness charity Shelter being the recipient on any income from sales of the EPs.