Joanna Newsom, London Eventim Apollo

London Eventim Apollo 09/11/15
The elfin American dazzles and wins hearts.

To see Joanna Newsom live is to experience a complex cornucopia of shifting sounds and sudden tempo changes that to the unconverted could seem bewilderingly elaborate.  However, judging by the hushed reverence that greets every song tonight, this is an audience of very intentional listeners.

Starting the final concert of her mini European tour with ‘Bridges & Balloons’ from her debut album  (also featured on the seminal psych/freak folk compilation Golden Apples Of The Sun from way back in 2004) Newsom appears confident and comfortable. The volume at the venue is low, which draws the listener’s ears ever closer to what’s going on and heightens the sense of fragility and sparseness of the overall sound; this in contrast with the intricacies of the music itself.  Moving to piano to play the delicate opening of  ‘Anecdotes’, Newsom is ably assisted by Miribai Peart on violin before changing mid-song to the harp and back again to piano for the closing part.  This dizzying performance is only the first song of many this evening that remain as spellbinding as their studio counterparts. An accomplishment all the more striking given the pared-down band -alongside Peart is one of Newsom’s skilled arrangers, Ryan Francesconi on a variety of stringed instruments, and her brother Pete on percussion and keyboards.

There is little in the way of changes to the lights or backdrop – neither the music nor Newsom’s performance requires it – but her remark to “Put a little more light on the strings” of her harp illustrate the complexity of what she undertakes.  In all, it’s hard to pick out highlights or make criticisms when the level of musicianship and sheer originality of Newsom’s work dazzles throughout. Audience reactions to new songs such as ‘Time, As A Symptom’ and ‘A Pin-Light Bent’ are as enthusiastic as for fan favourites like ‘Have One On Me’ (now much faster and almost jaunty compared to the slower-paced original) and the epic ‘Emily’.

Closing the evening with an encore including ‘Baby Birch’ and ‘Peach, Plum, Pear’, Newsom remains a revered figure to her fans and seems to gain new admirers with every tour and album.  Joanna Newsom inspires what can only be called worship from those that love her unique sound and marvel at the fact that such music exists.  Despite her growing popularity this is one artist who will never be mainstream.

Marc Le Breton

4th Coming – LA soul-rock on Now-Again

They Are Risen


PAUL OSBORNE delves deep into the incredible hidden legacy of LA’s soul-rock innovators, 4TH COMING


Eothen Alapatt’s LA-based Now-Again Records has shown increasingly fine pedigree as a label over the last five years, specialising in unearthing long-forgotten and often unreleased psychedelic soul, funk, Afro-rock and world music from the last 40 years. Following hot on the heels of Never Satisfied, the superb collection of lost 45s by Atlanta guitarist Richard Marks, Alapatt has struck gold with the label’s latest piece of musical archeology.

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Shindig!’s 10 Of The Best: The Songs Of P F Sloan

P F Sloan in 1967

Philip ‘P F’ Sloan passed away on Sunday 15th November at the age of 70 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.

The NYC-born singer-songwriter released his first single, ‘All I Want Is Loving’, in 1959 aged just 14, then became a staff writer at Screen Gems Music, working for the likes of Jan & Dean, often in conjunction with writing partner Steve Barri. He formed surf band The Fantastic Baggys and appeared on countless recordings as an on-off member of The Wrecking Crew before going to pen a string of era-defining hits during the remainder of the ’60s. He continued performing and recording intermittently up until his death.

As a tribute to this monumental and unique talent, Shindig! is proud to present 10 interpretations of Sloan’s most popular ’60s songs.

1. Secret Agent Man – Johnny Rivers (1966)

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The Buried Treasure label presents “The Delaware Road”

Radiophonic-esque fun from the ’60s through to ’80s reimagined in sunny Reading


The Buried Treasure label presents The Delaware Road
South Street Arts Centre, Reading
November 14th 2015



Departing South London on a rainy Saturday evening we travelled to Reading for the launch of Buried Treasure’s new compilation, The Delaware Road, at The South Street Arts Centre. Bumping into Jonny Trunk at the parking metre was fortunate as we’d run out of change and, after a battle with an unruly £1 coin which refused to stay inside the machine, we entered the packed room. Promised a night of radiophonics, tape loops, vintage synths and spoken word we braced ourselves for an eight band line up held together by a narrative from Dolly Dolly. Seated at a table under angle poise lamp to one side of the stage for the entirety of the gig and looking for all the world like a broadcast announcer of old he was a revelation, holding the audience captive between acts as the night and story unfolded. Written by Dolly aka David Yates and label manager Alan Gubby, the tale of The Delaware Road is loosely based on two members (“the man” and “the woman”) of a sound studio reminiscent of The Radiophonic Workshop. The clues are all there, the BBC being referred to as “the corporation”, and the tale includes shades of The Stone Tape Theory, the occult, the swinging ’60s, orgies and demonic powers released through sound recorded on copper wire.

The evening was an ambitious production including visuals, smoke and lighting to compliment the soundscapes for the three hour duration. Proceeding chronologically from the late ’60s through to the ’80s, each act soundtracked the period in time perfectly, kicking off with Robin The Fog’s Howlround project of tape loops strung around mic stands, mirroring the early tape experiments of the Workshop. The Twelve Hour Foundation duo tickled us with synth-heavy ditties redolent of the many radio and TV themes produced for the BBC and repopularised by the likes of The Advisory Circle today. Ian Helliwell’s set up consisted of a small pub table crammed with small boxes (I’m sure I saw an alarm clock too) which throbbed and pulsed with all manner of devilish tones as he bent sine waves out of shape, accompanied by his own amazing animations. As the narrative moved into The Swinging ’60s it was the perfect moment for The Dandelion Set’s first public performance, oil wheels revolving and Op-art shirts waving. Despite a technical hitch with the Moog during the first track, a setback which had the crowd cheering once fixed, they didn’t let it phase them and ran through several tracks from their forthcoming album, ‘A Thousand Strands’.

Alan Gubby’s own band, the unpronounceable Revbjelde, produced a stunning set with bow scraped cymbal, metal percussion and lute, unleashing a Wickerman-esque medieval suite for the releasing of spirits. Loose Capacitor paid thrilling homage to the golden age of TV, climaxing with the joyous ‘Theme From Robin’s Nest’ which had part of the crowd clapping along whilst Tim Hill’s sax and FX pedal set up changed musical tack again. Each performer bought a new dimension to the story as images of vintage synths, solarised landscapes, ’70s Britain, Morris dances and electronic components were projected overhead. A compilation of ’70s celebrities flashed by to the glam beat of ‘The Shag’ by Trouble & Strife – Basil Brush, David Essex, Keith Chegwin – ending in Gary Glitter and Jimmy Saville to the collective gasp of the audience. As the night and narrative wound to a close we entered the ’80s of “suits”, buttons replacing dials and microchips on the ends of fingers with Robin Lee’s synths perfectly capturing the cheesy “business funk” of many library albums of the era. Finishing with a second set from Revbjelde, this time accompanied by Tim Hill, the band closed with a storming rendition of ‘Tidworth Drum’ from the new compilation to huge applause and a heartfelt thanks from Alan, surprised at such a turnout for such an esoteric event. It was presented with such love and care that it felt like a family occasion where the label had found a common ground amongst its roster – so far a mix of reissues and original material – that pointed the way forward. All in all a genuinely unique night with many unknown names now firmly lodged in the subconscious, seek out the compilation and keep an eye on the Buried Treasure label, still not even up to their tenth release.

Kevin Foakes


Baby Woodrose unreleased video unearthed

An until now unknown Baby Woodrose video has recently been discovered. Back in 2009 the director Adam Olsson began the recording of a video for ‘Countdown To Breakdown’ taken from the self-titled Baby Woodrose album released the same year. The video was never finished and has since then been collecting dust on an old hard drive. Olsson recently found it again and decided to finish it by adding some psychedelic visuals


Read more Baby Woodrose unreleased video unearthed