From the first note of Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” sixteen‐year‐old MarcusBonfanti knew he wanted to be a guitar player.
Now 29, Bonfanti has become the sum of all the great music he was exposed to as a young boy growing up in North London. His 2008 debut album, Hard Times, set the scene and sent some subtly effective messages about a new British voice demanding to be heard. 2010’s That Good Am I To You’(Listed in Classic Rock Magazine’s top 50 albums of 2010 & Single “Give Me Your Cash” top 40 songs of 2010) makes good on all those promises. The critical acclaim that both albums received earned him 2 nominations in both last year and this year’ British Blues Awards”for Best Male Vocals & Best Guitar. Last year he was also invited by Paul Jones to perform at his 25 th Year anniversary show at BBC Maida Vale Studios and as special guest at his legendary Cranleigh Arts Centre Christmas gig.
Born to an English Mother and Italian father who was still at University at the time, they preceded to play the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Beatles and Cat Stevens throughout his childhood but it wasn’t until a friend at school turned him onto Zeppelin and The Doors that his love for the guitar began.
After moving to Liverpool to study music at The Institute for Performing Arts, Marcus decided to leave the college after 2 years and follow in the footsteps of his idols by learning his trade out on the road. He formed a 3‐piece blues band and played 3 sets a night 7 nights a week all over the country picking up valuable experience of how to perform as well as a healthy appetite for late nights and strong Whisky along the way.
Also a member of UK rock band Saint Jude (Nominated as Best New Band in 2011 Classic Rock awards) and playing and recording with legendary singer PP Arnold, Bonfanti has managed to pack a lot into his early musical career. Opening for the likes of Chuck Berry, Robert Cray, Jack Bruce, John Mayal, The Yardbirds, Walter Trout, Ian Siegal, Philip Sayce, Sonny Landreth, Paul Jones, and Beth Rowley. As well as working with Joe Lewis Walker, Johnny Mars, The Selecter, Jimmy Carl Black, Hamish Stewart, Paddy Milner, Earl Thomas, Todd Sharpville
and Findlay Brown.
2012 will see the release of Bonfanti’ much‐anticipated third album as well as dates around the UK and Europe to promote it.
“People can call my music Blues if they want. I love the blues, it’s my favourite genre but I’m takin it somewhere else. I got my own music to play and blues to sing and I’ll keep doin it till the day I die…”
“Bonfanti deserves to become the next British Blues Guitar Hero” The Guardian
“As if Jimmy Page had been reborn as Seasick Steve, he has surely booked a place on the top table of Modern Blues. Utterly spellbinding” The Times
“With a voice like sand & glue, a punchy guitar technique & stockpile of careworn tales, his appeal becomes unisex. Highlights are plentiful” Classic Rock Magazine Blues album of the month
“Varied & confident album. This outing proves Bonfanti has the potential to take the blues somewhere intriguing”. Guitarist Magazine
“This blues guitarist will be loosening the plaster from the ceiling with outings from a powerful new album.” The Independent
ShyChlo bring a fresh and powerful twist to the music world. Creating a blend of Pop, Hip Hop and Rock, accompanied by catchy vocal hooks, sharp, honest, relevant and at times witty lyrics. ShyChlo plays on vocalist Chloe’s persona, the shy girl next door off stage vs the wild, explosive and thought provoking performer on stage.
Since forming in 2008, ShyChlo wasted no time in exposing their music to the masses after being invited to perform at BBC Radio 1′s Big Weekend: The Fringe Festival, the world famous Selfridges department store on Oxford Street, London and supported UK rapper Akala on two of his sell out UK tours.
Throughout last year, ShyChlo were asked to support chart topping acts including Pendulum, Chase & Status, Devlin, Lethal Bizzle, Modestep and P Money. 2011 was a big year for ShyChlo, with their single “Wake Up” receiving extensive radio and TV airplay. They have enjoyed airplay from BBC Radio 1, BBC 1Xtra, BBC 6 Music, BBC Kent, various independent local radio stations across the UK and the “Wake Up” music video is on regular rotation on Sky’s Greatest Hits TV.
Adrian Hall, engineer for Black Eyes Peas and Slipknot has expressed his love for the band, describing them as “Rage Against the Machine, born in Hackney, raised on Slipknot, with a secret love of pop melodies, fronted by a female MC. – Love it”
ShyChlo ventured out on their first UK tour last summer, including a date at the iconic O2 Academy, Islington and a slot at the Love Music, Hate Racism festival. More of the same is expected in 2012, with the release of their next single “From A Dream To The Young Supreme,” which includes a remix by Dubstep heavyweights Stinkahbell. They will be touring again this year and are renound for putting on an exciting, explosive, energetic, epic live show. 2012 is shaping up to be a massive year for ShyChlo having already been asked to support Ed Sheeran, Rizzle Kicks, Kids In Glass Houses and the legendary Rev Run of Run DMC.
Skinny Lister are not your average, modern day, gentrified English folk group. Fronted by Dan Heptinstall and Lorna Thomas; a vocalist with a lusty cackle and flirtatious presence, the London based five-piece hail from across England. Borrowing the nickname from the Lister family, pioneers in the use of anesthetic, the band have grown naturally and organically over the past two years. Yorkshire born songwriter Heptinstall, Lorna’s older brother Max, and long-time shanty singer Sam ‘Mule’ Brace, met some time ago at a folk club in London’s Greenwich area. The arrival of Tyneside bassist Dan Gray and the naturally exuberant Lorna lifted them into another realm.
Up on their stomping feet and clicking their heels, the Skinny Lister sound took hold as Dan’s perceptive ballads and folkie idylls were boosted by an eruption of a rambunctious free spirited rum fueled party music. Soon the Skinny Lister sound was charging down the nation’s canals and waterways, bursting into spontaneous song in pubs and clubs, kicking up a summer frenzy at numerous festivals. Over
30 festivals in fact, a nonstop work rate that saw them acknowledged and awarded by PRS as the ‘Hardest Working Band’ of summer 2011. “We travelled hundreds of miles together in a Land Rover with a double bass strapped to the roof, sharing the driving, playing gigs every night and going out to party afterwards. We didn’t make it easy on ourselves but it does bond you as family.”Dan recollects.
Their allure is immediate – at a time when modern homegrown folk music often spells designer bearded, theme park Americanisation, Skinny Lister are a welcome throwback to earthier bands. Their musical blend has something of The Pogues’ infectious camaraderie and jovial recklessness combined with the bucolic English landscape of Alfred Wainwright’s fell walking guides.
Now, captured by producer David Wrench (Bat for Lashes, James Yorkston) on debut album Forge & Flagon, the band’s distinctive qualities make their mark. Titled after a homemade pub ran by Lorna and Max’s family friends, Forge & Flagon marks Skinny Lister as an
outfit who are decidedly more than the sum of their parts. Galvanised by months of road action they transform traditional and contemporary influence into a singular sound. See them live and the impression is fortified. Not least as Lorna’s outgoing crowd connecting personality is replicated by the rum dispensing, skirt hiking, leg shaking, five strong, all female, party starting troupe the Skinny Sisters.
The group’s folk roots go back to Leicester where Lorna and melodeon playing Max spent much of their youth at local folk clubs, hanging out under the stairs as the traditional sound filled the air. When Lorna reconnected with Max and Dan in London she found their interest in the local Thameside folk scene had blossomed to provide an exciting outlet for her newly finessed singing and ukulele skills.
“As soon as they put the diddles, polkas and jigs in there, there was no holding me back,” she laughs.
“We never sat down again,” explains Dan logically.
The folk fever proved infectious and irresistible; “For years on the first weekend after Plough Monday every year, my dad has gone to sing songs and get legless with the local Molly Dancers. I disowned him at the time but now, of course, I join him!” notes Lorna.
“The idea of a whole pub belting out a good tune, it’s what pubs are for,” sighs Lorna.
In an era when singing a song in a pub can get you thrown out for rowdiness, Skinny Lister - not to mention the Skinny Sisters – are a joyful reassertion of community principles.
“If you can capture something like that in a gig, people are going to go away feeling part of something bigger rather than just standing around with a beer,” Lorna reasons.
“We aren’t taking the piss, it’s a serious primal thing. You don’t need to have been a sailor to appreciate a sea shanty.” insists Dan.
The debut album unfurls Skinny Lister’s charms in detail. Up tempo carouser John Kanaka, a trade sea shanty dating from Mule’s early Greenwich days, and stomping celebrations Trawler Man and Forty Pound Wedding; (a song written by Party George – Lorna and Max’s father – which they reinvent with characteristic verve) are winningly contrasted with the reflective coming of age waltz Seventeen Summers, the lovely nature appreciating Peregrine Fly and the skinny-dipping frolics of Colours.
Skinny Lister the stand-apart folk band – not afraid to match sensitivity with a high kicking free for all. Time to open the floodgates and get the deck party started. (But beware the Skinny Sisters, folks – those ladies take no prisoners!)
JANICE GRAHAM BAND BIOG:
Straight out of Wythenshawe, an area that hadn’t really been associated with the cutting edge of Manchester music since the post-punk days of the early Durutti Column et al, come Acid Jazz’s newest signing THE JANICE GRAHAM BAND.
The young Manc band age averaging 21 comprises of Joe Jones (lead vocals/bass), Andy Mortan (guitar), Josh Hunt (trumpet and backing vocals) and Tom Scott (drums and backing vocals), are a true garage band; they formed, rehearsed and played their first gigs in a South Manchester garage in October 2008. The lads had known each other from around the estate (school, playing football, parties, etc) for years. A chance meeting outside a charity shop where Tom and Andy had just bought a drum (Tom wanted to learn the drums) led to the formation of the band. Watching lead singer Joe Jones snake around the stage like he owns the place, you wouldn’t believe that he couldn’t play the bass and had never sung when the band was formed.
Endless jamming in the garage ensued , getting to know their instruments and each other as people
Convention is a difficult little island to skirt around. Stick too close and you end up getting sucked into a colony of sound-alike bands that are indistinguishable apart from subtle variations in the fraying of the tightly worn jeans. Steer too far away from land and you run the risk of becoming the master of your domain; but with pitifully few little souls and sailors to catalogue your mysterious and exotic voyage. Of course, no bugger told THE JANICE GRAHAM BAND any of this. Convention is a word that doesn’t exist in the Janice Graham vocabulary. And as a result the band are quite extraordinary. They kaleidoscope through musical influences at the flick of a plectrum in absolute precision, keeping every song full of deliciously danceable and immediate ideas that are never allowed to become tiresome before swiftly morphing into the next snaking groove or flourishing brass ‘n’ bass interjection.
The JGB sound is heavily fussed with Hip Hop , Funk , Soul , Garage Rock , Jazz , Reggae/Ska influences , but the band are none of these, somehow the band transcend their influences and come out the other side with there own sound.
Formed on Canvey Island in Essex in the early 1970s Dr. Feelgood remains one of the most popular and
exciting live rhythm and blues acts in the world. The raw and uncompromising
style of their performance resulted in the album Stupidity that immediately went to the number one position in
the U.K. charts.
Dr. Feelgood have also enjoyed global success with a string of hit
singles including Roxette, Back in the Night, Milk and Alcohol, Down at the
Doctors, She Does it Right, Going Back Home and See You Later
Alligator – which gave the group their first gold record.
The last album to feature Lee Brilleaux – Down at the Doctors, was recorded
live at the Dr. Feelgood Music Bar on Canvey Island, (now the site of the
Oysterfleet Hotel) just two months before he died.
The current line up features the rhythm section Kevin Morris on
drums and Phil Mitchell on bass, approaching 27 years in the band and Steve
Walwyn on guitar who has been with the band for 20 years. Vocalist Robert Kane (formerly of the
Animals) is the most recent addition – joining in 1999.
In 2000 EMI records released Chess Masters, Dr. Feelgood’s
tribute to the Chess Label, home to many of the finest blues artists of the 20th
century and the first album to feature Robert on vocals and harmonica.
Recent releases include a DVD – Live in London and CD Repeat
Prescription – a collection of some of the bands most enduring songs but
with a fresh approach.
Julien Temple’s film Oil City Confidential released on 2nd February 2010 tells the story of
the bands formative years featuring the Wilko Johnson era.
The band continues to tour extensively throughout the World.
Formed in the working class suburbs of industrial Birmingham in England in 1978 The
Beat arose at a time of high unemployment and social upheaval. From the outset
the band offered messages of hope and peace with an insight into sociopolitical
topics would later alongside The Specials see them heralded as forerunners of
the whole 2-Tone Ska movement
Ranking Roger and Dave Wakeling led with vocal duties while Andy Cox and David Steele
took guitar and bass duties with Everett Morton supplying the most distinctive
of drumming styles. Added to this mix was the renowned saxophonist Saxa, adding
the deliciously warm Jamaican ska instrumental flavour that is forever
associated with the bands sound. Having played saxophone with Prince Buster,
Laurel Aitken and Desmond Dekker in the first wave of ska The Beat on formation
seemed to immediately come of age.
The Beat’s first single was the infectious cover of Smokey Robinson’s ‘Tears of
A Clown’ which on release went straight into the National Top 10 at No.6.
The record, an effortless like fusion between a number of different musical
styles such as Ska, Punk, Pop, Soul and Reggae, immediately saw the band
finding themselves an overnight success.
Further hit singles from the first album included ‘Mirror In The Bathroom’, ‘Can’t
Get Used to Losing You’, ‘Hands Off… She’s Mine’ and ‘Best
Friend’, and with a catalogue such as this it was easy to see why the The
Beat would become one of the most popular recording and live acts in the UK.
Huge radio airplay followed in the US which saw The Beat head stateside and then
further with world tours alongside some of the biggest performing artists such
as The Clash, The Police, REM, Talking Heads, The Pretenders and
of course The Specials.
While The Beat could deliver with what almost seemed effortless ease songs of Love,
Peace and Unity. Songs such as ‘Stand Down Margaret’ saw them spearhead
a movement wanting real social change and multicultural inclusion. The
thousands that sang along in unison with the band at nuclear disarmament
marches bear testament to the uplifting feeling the band could evoke with their
musical swagger and genuine care for humanity.
After 3 Gold and Platinum top selling albums worldwide with ‘I Just Cant Stop It’,
‘Wh’appen’, and ‘Special Beat Service’ – The Beat’s musical
fluidity and openness, delivered in their explosive all encompassing live shows
allowed them to reach hundreds of thousands of fans across the world,
communicating positivity and freedom through not only their music, but their
actions and genuine commitment to causes.
Almost in reaction to the height of their fame The Beat to the disbelief of many
disbanded with Ranking Roger and Dave Wakeling forming General Public with
Mickey Billingham of Dexys Midnight Runners and Andy Cox and David Steele
putting together the Fine Young Cannibals. Though both enjoyed phenomenal
success, no other artist has sounded like The Beat or indeed is ever likely
too. Ranking Roger also briefly joined Mick Jones’ post-Clash band Big Audio
Dynamite injecting his toasting and vocal style that to this day remains his
After numerous offers to return to the stage The Beat returned in 2003 for a sell out
show at The Royal Festival Hall with the inclusion of Ranking Jnr taking vocal
duties to an accolade of critical acclaim. With Dave Wakeling heading to the US
Ranking Roger alongside Everett Morton, Ranking Jnr and Mickey Billingham
returned to their roots with deeper rhythms, a wall of sound that transcends
time and an unwavering dedication to real unity and love that leaves the future
still to be written, there can be no question…The Beat are back!
In 2011 Derek W Dick, better known as Fish, will rack up 30 years as a singer since joining Marillion in
Aylesbury in 1981. His powerful identifiable presence on and off stage was a
major factor in their worldwide success. He left them in ’88 to pursue a solo
career and return to live in his home country, establishing himself in
Haddington, East Lothian, and building his own recording studio where he still
This summer will see the writing and recording of his next studio album “A Feast of Consequences” and
this will coincide with his first countrywide tour of the UK in years. Some of
this new material will debut on the tour.
He returned to live performances last Summer with acoustic shows featuring his long term friends
and musicians Frank Usher on guitar and Foss Paterson on keyboards playing
stripped down acoustic versions of songs from throughout his career in preparation
for the writing sessions for his new studio album.
By the time he begins the tour he will have completed over 100 shows in a format which had originally intended to be a reintroduction to live work but which has captured the imagination of
his fans and taken him across Europe followed by rave reviews and a
re-examination of his work as a singer and writer as well as a consummate
performer whose act is both dramatic, comedic and hugely entertaining on all
Backed by Frank and Foss , who have both played in John Martyn’s celebrated line ups, the deconstruction of songs from the Marillion era like “Fugazi” and Incubus” and “Jigsaw” stand well
together in an acoustic format with classics “Kayleigh” and “Lavender” while
the solo years are represented with “State of Mind”, ”A Gentleman’s Excuse Me”,
”Brother 52”, “Just Good Friends”, ”Zoe 25” and the epic “Vigil” in a set that
embraces a recording career which includes 13 studio albums.
The acoustic versions take on a new majesty and intimacy, shining a new light on his song writing talents
and, together with Fish’s stories and anecdotes, come together to make a fascinating
and rewarding evening of entertainment that shouldn’t be missed.
worldwide, released three albums and 12 Top 40 singles, including 3 Top 10s and the Top 5 hit Good Enough, still a staple of the Radio 2 playlist; sold out the Brixton Academy for three nights in a row and were awarded an unprecedented 90-minute Saturday evening slot on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury Festival in 1997 just before Radiohead. Not bad, considering that they also partied harder than an Ewok.
signing to A&M Records, around the same time as they inked a publishing deal after they made two A&R men battle for their signatures in a pub video football competition. The partnership with A&M generated three albums of life affirming, beautifully crafted songs – The Dodgy Album (1993), Homegrown (1994) and Free Peace Sweet (1996).
and still does, working with troubled, “difficult” kids which the mainstream schooling system has almost given up on – bringing them into his studio, writing songs with them, finding out what they’re good at and trying to make them feel that they are not ‘worthless’.
into the set, slowly and surely building up enough songs for new album which they are recording in Malvern and getting mixed in Denton, Texas by Matt Pence who mixed the John Grant and Midlake albums, amongst others
last one… and that was brilliant. The fans deserve it, they’ve waited long enough, so they don’t mind waiting a bit longer”
choruses and stronger melodies, recorded mainly over the month of May in an old farmhouse in Malvern, the original members, Nigel Clark, Andy Miller and Mathew Priest have recorded their best work to date.
based on an old Malvern myth about a pissed off monk.
Records to coincide with the tour in Autumn.
Michelle Shocked was born Michelle Johnston in Dallas, TX, in 1962, where she spent her early childhood traveling around army bases. In 1977, she ran away from her Mormon fundamentalist mother to live with her father, who introduced
her to country bluesmen Big Bill Broonzy and Leadbelly, as well as contemporary songwriters Guy Clark and Randy
Newman. She spent the next several yearsexploring the folk underground, spending the early ’80s in Austin, where she
began honing her own songwriting skills. After dropping out of the University of Texas, she moved to San Francisco, where she quickly embraced the city’s punk scene. When she returned home, her mother had her committed to a psychiatric hospital. She was released when her insurance ran out. Her treatment included electric shocks hence the adoption of her stage name. Shocked left Texas in 1983, travelled throughout the U.S., and became an activist in the squatter’s movement in New York. In 1984, she moved to Amsterdam.
In 1986, Shocked returned to the U.S. and, while volunteering at the KerrvilleFolk Festival, English producer Pete Lawrence was impressed by her campfire-side playing and recorded her on his Sony Walkman. The recordings surfaced in the fall of that year as The Texas Campfire Tapes on Cooking Vinyl Records and became a surprise hit in England, eventually topping the independent charts. The success led to her signing with Mercury Records in 1988. Short Sharp Shocked, produced by Pete Anderson in 1988, displayed even more talent, combining the informal, tradition-rooted folkiness of The Texas Campfire Tapes with a strong postmodern feminist perspective and punk attitude. The album quickly earned her respect among the alternative community and critics. In an unexpected move, Shocked returned in 1989 with Captain
Swing, a ’40s-style big band swing outing that surprised her fans initially but had no shortage of strong material. In
1992, she took something of a step back with Arkansas Traveler, a rootsy collection of songs based on the blackface minstrelsy that covered all forms of early American, homegrown music. In 1993, Mercury finally became fed up with her confusing style jumping
and refused to release her proposed gospel album. She then left on a solo tour, selling her newly recorded, independently produced (with Tony Berg) Kind Hearted Woman. Late in 1995, Shocked began legal action against Mercury Records to break her contract.
By 1996, Shocked was released from Mercury and embarked on the First Annual Underground Test Site Tour, with Fianchna O’Braonain. Another independent release, Artists Make Lousy Slaves, was sold at the shows. Kind Hearted Woman was picked up for commercial re-release by Private Music in 1996, and as a condition of her release from Mercury, her old label released a “best-of” compilation, Mercury Poise: 1988-1995, the same year. After laying low for several years, in 2002 Shocked re-emerged with a new album, the gospel-influenced Deep
Natural, and her own record label, Mighty Sound. In addition to releasing new work from Shocked, Mighty Sound began a program of expanded reissues of her back catalogue, which she gained control of following her release from Mercury. In mid-2005, Shocked audaciously released a new trilogy of very different albums all on the same day, June 7: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Mexican Standoff, and Got No Strings. Mighty Sound also made the three albums available as a set called Threesome. To Heaven U Ride, a collection of covers and originals recorded live from Shocked‘s 2003 performance at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, appeared in 2007, followed by Soul of My Soul, an all-new set of originals in 2009. 2010 saw the launch of her ROADWORKS project - a 5 year touring project which curates
audience’s favourite songs while developing new, unreleased material.
In 2009, The Blockheads – one of punk and new wave’s best loved bands, returned to the studio to record a brand new album “Staring Down The Barrel” for EMI Records.
Originally known as Ian Dury & The Blockheads – the current line-up, consisting of four of the original members; Chaz Jankel (piano, guitar), Mick Gallagher (keyboards), Norman Watt-Roy (bass) and John Turnbull (guitar), are joined by Derek Hussey (vocals), Dylan Howe (drums) and Gilad Atzmon (sax)
With music written by Jankel (who wrote the music for the hit singles, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, and Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick), the lyrics are penned by new Blockheads vocalist, Derek Hussey (aka Derek The Draw), Dury’s personal minder from 1990-2000.
The album’s release coincided with the 30th Anniversary of “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” that reached No.1 in the UK singles chart in 1979, selling in excess of 1 million copies.
Classics from the band’s repertoire, such as “Clevor Trever”, “Sweet Gene Vincent”, “What A Waste”, and “Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 3” feature in the band’s set lists to this day, and have most recently been aired at Glastonbury. Other festivals have included The Big Chill, Cornbury Festival, Madstock at Victoria Park, Rewind Festival in Henley, Retrofest in Ayrshire and the De Montfort Hall’s award winning Summer Sundae Festival.
The unconventional film biopic about the iconic Ian Dury, entitled “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll” starring Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings) as Ian Dury, and also Ray Winstone, Mackenzie Crook and Naomie Harris, was released on January 8 2010. Jankel was the music producer and The Blockheads recorded tracks for the film soundtrack. The film, along with an award winning Radio 2 documentary about the band, and a new biography about Ian by Will Birch, tied in with the 10th anniversary of Ian Dury’s passing.
Ian Dury owed his brilliance to no one. But he owed his stardom to The Blockheads The Word
Staring Down The Barrel is a great, adult album full of good tunes, witty lyrics, steaming great grooves bbc.co.uk
Given the times, those ancient Blockheads sound more here-and-now than anyone Uncut
It sounds like vintage Blockheads Record Collector
Dury would be proud Mojo