Mike Barnes

Mike Barnes  |  May 17, 2024  |  0 comments
Released in 1981, the third album from the UK kings of Gothic rock built upon the stark sounds of its predecessor, added even more melancholy, and contained a song that the band's leader and singer Robert Smith would later describe as 'life-changing'

From 1976, UK punk produced such a surge of energy that it was like riding a wave, both for musicians and fans alike. The Cure began in earnest in Crawley that year, as The Easy Cure, having grown out of a number of other bands dating back to their schooldays. Robert Smith was on guitar and vocals, Lol Tolhurst on drums and Michael Dempsey on bass. Their sound was sparse and urgent, fuelled by punk but with a finger on the pop pulse.

Mike Barnes  |  Apr 29, 2024  |  0 comments
This month we review: Ministry, Slift, Yard Act and Anna Calvi.
Mike Barnes  |  Apr 10, 2024  |  0 comments
The teenage singer with the vibrato soprano shunned the commercial trappings of a major label deal to record this stripped-back collection of traditional folk songs, launching a career that would later see her performing at the White House...

In July 1959, aged just 18, Joan Baez played at the first Newport Folk Festival at Freebody Park, Rhode Island, and created an instant reaction. Coming off the stage she was approached by newspapers, the student press and Time magazine, who all wanted to speak to the unknown teenager with the astonishing pure soprano voice and who had duetted on a few songs with singer, guitarist and banjo player Bob Gibson.

Mike Barnes  |  Mar 29, 2024  |  0 comments
This month we review: Laetitia Sadier, Black Grape, epic45 and The Fallen Leaves.
Mike Barnes  |  Mar 05, 2024  |  0 comments
The politically infused post-punk of the band's early singles morphed into meticulously crafted electronic pop for their major label debut album in 1985, although singer Green Gartside's philosophical lyrics would remain as elusive as ever...

In 1985, Scritti Politti had enjoyed chart success with their second album, Cupid & Psyche 85, and had achieved hit singles both in the UK and the US. And with his dreamy demeanour, honeyed vocals and dyed blonde mullet, lead singer and occasional guitarist/keyboard player Green Gartside had become a bona fide pop star.

Mike Barnes  |  Feb 29, 2024  |  0 comments
This month we review: Madness, Cat Power, Raze Regal & White Denim Inc. and Micko And The Mellotronics.
Mike Barnes  |  Feb 02, 2024  |  0 comments
Take the inventive, 'un-linear' musical approach of charismatic frontman Don Van Vliet, add the guitar skills of a youthful Ry Cooder, and you get this groundbreaking 1967 debut album that throws blues, rock, soul, doo-wop and more into the melting pot

Few groups have a history as complex and convoluted as that of Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band, not least because of the tendency of vocalist Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart, to imaginatively embellish aspects of the story. In that respect we can start right back at the group's name.

Mike Barnes  |  Jan 29, 2024  |  0 comments
This month we review: Gong, Beirut, Flamingods and Teen Jesus And The Jean Teasers.
Mike Barnes  |  Dec 28, 2023  |  0 comments
This month we review: Lol Tolhurst X Budgie X Jacknife Lee, Emma Anderson, Animal Collective and Catatonic Suns.
Mike Barnes  |  Dec 15, 2023  |  0 comments
Not content with being part of the 'rock 'n' roll revival' of the early 1970s, this Canvey Island-based band took inspiration from Detroit's MC5 and the Delta Blues to develop a unique sound that would be captured in all its glory on their 1974 debut album

Dr. Feelgood grew out of a 1960s teenage skiffle band who played in Canvey Island, Essex, at the edge of the Thames estuary. The members included John 'Sparko' Sparkes on guitar, while Lee Collinson – who later became Lee Brilleaux – was originally on banjo but became the band's vocalist by default. The reason? He was the only member who could remember the words to the songs.