Best Of The Year 2018

New Albums

  1. Mildred Maude – CPA I-III
  2. Carlton Melton – Mind Minerals
  3. CB3 – From Nothing To Eternity
  4. Anna Calvi – Hunter
  5. Wooden Shjips – V
  6. Oh Sees – Smote Reverser
  7. Sons Of Kemet – Your Queen Is A Reptile
  8. Mein – Mein
  9. Hen Ogledd – Mojic
  10. Rival Consoles – Persona


  1. Lift To Experience – The Texas Jerusalem Crossroads
  2. Brian Eno – Before And After Science
  3. Giant Sand – (Rerecorded, not Reissue) Return To The Valley Of Rain
  4. Charles Mingus – The Black Saint Ant The Sinner Lady
  5. Alfonso Santisteban – Spanish Moog
  6. Various Artists – J-Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969-1984
  7. Follakzoid feat, J. Spaceman – London Sessions 
  8. Stereolab – Refried Ectoplasm (Switched On Volumes 1)
  9. Spectrum – Highs, Lows And Heavenly Blows 
  10. Causa Sui – Free Ride


  1. Damo Suzuki, Cluny 2, Newcastle
  2. Anna Calvi, The Boiler Shop, Newcastle
  3. Mono, Cluny, Newcastle
  4. Wooden Shjips, Sage 2, Newcastle
  5. Sons Of Kemet, Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds
  6. Mogwai, Northumbria Institute, Newcastle 
  7. Richard Dawson, Cobalt Studio, Newcastle
  8. Ty Segal, The Boiler Shop, Newcastle
  9. Oh Sees, The Boiler Shop, Newcastle
  10. (In apitation) Mercury Rev, St Nicholas Cathedral, Newcastle


  1. The Mighty Redcar
  2. Mother!
  3. Game Of Thrones season 7
  4. Vikings season 5 
  5. Bohemian Rhapsody 
  6. Dynasties
  7. Jessica Jones season 2
  8. Ozark season 2
  9. The End Of The Fucking World
  10. House Of Cards season 6

Electric Moon – Live In Kosmos

Electric Moon – Live In Kosm

‘Live In Kosmos’ is a 2.5 hour set recorded at Zeiss Planetarium Bochum, 2015. Initially a Bancamp album only, 2018 saw it gain an eagerly anticipated psychical release. Electric Moon play a slow build on album opener, its scene setting for what is to come and you are introduced to each individual player. Once fully underway it builds into a heavy tense riff. At twenty-eight minutes long it’s a reminder of the time commitment required. Sit down and buckle up, it’s going to be a long ride.


‘Air To Space’  is a huge rush with bass and drums locking tightly together, freeing up space for articulate space riffs and synth trickery.  It’s a pattern that is repeated for most the remaining four sides of vinyl, light and shade is gained as the tension builds and eases. It’s not all rocking out ‘Radio Contact Was Lost’ and album closer have an easy playfulness to them.


This is a (space) journey album, you can imagine it being the soundtrack to one. Obviously given the length of this live album it’s unlikely to win over a casual listener, but for those initiated it really delivers.

Anna Calvi @ The Boiler Shop, Newcastle

I knew this gig would be good, probably great. I was still taken aback. I’ve always thought Anna Calvi came on the scene fully formed as an artist, tonight proved she has morphed into a star. Touring her critically acclaimed third album ‘Hunter’, released earlier this year, my expectations were high. It’s been five years since the last studio album ‘One Breath’, and despite the lengthy gap the new album represents a linear progression in songwriting.


No support on the tour but ‘specially selected’ DJ’s. We were there an hour before the live show started and my assumption of the ‘specially selected’ is that they must be musically enthusiastic friends of Anna along for the ride. That’s not to say that great tunes weren’t played because they were, just not very slickly, which the DJ’s themselves seemed to be amused by. Tunes played were 90’s indie disco classic from the likes of The Breeders and Elastica, with some old school punk and retro electronica. Feet were tapping but it was no substitute for a live support band.


The Boiler Shop has fast become my favourite Newcastle venue for a number of reasons. It looks, feels and sounds great and it also has excellent access which as anyone who knows me is an important issue for me now. It’s quite a big room for a next step up from a dingy club and sadly that showed tonight. Only half full at best was a disappointing sight, perhaps that five year gap has affected fan loyalty. For the north east music fans not in attendance, it was your loss because tonight we witnessed something special.

Anna takes to the unlit stage confidently resplendent in white patent leather ankle boots, black slacks and red shirt. She circled a couple of times before taking position front of stage for magnificent intrumental ‘Rider To The Sea’. Apparently written because she didn’t have enough songs to flesh out a full set, the tune really shows her talent as both writer and musician. The crowd listen with breathless silence.
Next followed a run of songs from new album ‘Hunter’.  We go ‘Away’, ‘Indies Or Paradise’, ‘Hunter’, ‘As A Man’ and ‘Don’t Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy’.


Anna has blossomed as a performer, so confident prowling and shutting the stage. Ringing out licks from her Telecaster guitar like every note means the world, and mic skills to show her voice to the full. She clearly enjoyed playing the new songs, never more so on ‘Don’t Beat the Girl..’. The rest of the main set was a good mix of songs from each album including more choice tracks from ‘Hunter’, with the stand out older tracks being ‘Desire’, ‘Suddenly’ and ‘Eliza’ all played masterfully and with flair.
First song of the encore was the mesmerising ‘Suzanne & I’ from the first album ‘Anna Calvi’. I’m so pleased I hadn’t looked at any setlists online prior to the night as it was a stunning surprise to see Anna Calvi channel her inner Martin Rev for the show’s climax, a fantastic cover of Suicide’s ‘Ghost Rider’, complete with guitar freakouts and a deconstructed end.


I’ve often likened her performing to that of a matador (not that matadors are to be respected), it’s like she slays the songs with a flourish and pride. Having only seen Anna once before in the open air at Green Man festival (with the company of the very lovely Russell and Val) what I wasn’t prepared for was the immense intensity of the set. I can only compare it to the intensity felt at Newcastle Riverside February 1992, when I saw Tori Amos touring  ‘Little Earthquakes’. But whereas the intensity Tori summoned was deliberately meant to make you feel uncomfortable to back up the harrowing subject matter of her debut album, Anna Calvi summoned up something that demanded your attention and sucked you in. It felt both incredibly potent and soul cleansing.


It’s rare that I say we were in the presence of greatness.
Tonight we were.

Gig Going With Illness – Thee Oh Sees

Although well rested for the gig last night, I did while there experience quite an array of
the symptoms I can get. Shame it seems to go hand in hand
with how emotionally invested I am in the performance. The more in to it I am the worse the kick back, especially in emotional overload and anxiety. I’m learning to manage it as best I can, and symptoms now drift in and out. Severe random pains are harder to manage and are something you simply have to tolerate. They do however exasperate other symptoms.
I’ve started to use a rollator as a mobility aid. I managed to picked up a used Uniscan model for £20 on Gumtree. I’ve been thinking about getting one for a while (pride comes before a fall, literally) as using a walking stick has become more tiring of late. I’d noticed on how easier I walked when pushing a small shopping trolley in a supermarket. Using the rollator takes pretty much all the balance issues out of the equation, and leaves more energy to be used for the ‘good things’. I still use the stick when a rotator isn’t appropriate.
The Boiler Shop has a disabled viewing platform with seating which I do make use of. Obviously standing for an extended period with ME/CFS s out of the question and secondly I am no longer good in a crowd. I used to love standing in a body of people all locked in to the rhythm of a performance, plus as my friend always says ‘you need to be able to see the white of the bands eyes’. Sadly those days have gone, but I’m still gig going and grateful to still experience music at it’s best, live.
One of my symptoms especially if anywhere busy or loud is a heightened need of my personal space. Infringement triggered anxiety. With this in mind it is disappointing that some people choose to creep up on to the access ramp of the viewing platform, the movement of some one tapping, nodding or full on dancing close by in my peripheral vision is disconcerting when all your senses are triggered. Plus if I had choice of being anywhere in the room, it wouldn’t be offset to the far right wall. And it’s just damn rude to be bothering people who don’t have a choice.
Anyway here is my gig review.
Thee Oh Sees/ Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs @ The Boiler Shop, Newcastle
Walking from car park to venue we were hurriedly passed by three Oh Sees. John Dwyer was clutching a branded doggie bag from Sachins Punjabi Restaurant, a good choice. We ate there before the Ty Segall And The Freedom Band gig. I did suffer that night eating out and gig going back to back, but timing made it unavoidable.
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs were good fun. On home turf they had a dedicated and enthusiastic mess of bodies in the pit.
They clearly impressed others in the room too as there was a noticeable absence in chit-chat for a support band. They shifted a good few albums from the merch stall. I still can’t commit to buying the album, I just can’t see me playing it much at home. It’s the Doom vocal thing, I really get the music. Live though it’s a different proposition and I did enjoy them. I was thinking of my friend Russel leaning on the barrier head nodding.
Moving on to Thee Oh Sees, as Sandeep said after the show ‘I really get what all the hype is about’. For that matter so did everyone in the Boiler Shop if they did’t already. They were great tonight.
Quickly setting their own gear up and sound checking their microphones and instruments. There were some issues surrounding the high gain guitar set up which the sound guy struggled with controlling on stage squealing. The on stage sound problems did spill in to the set and although annoyed John Dwyer remained up beat in his request to the sound engineer. If anything the frustrations were channeled in to the performance with vocal mic’s being jammed up against guitar combo’s to create a wall of noise during solo’s.
Front of house thankfully there were no sound issues, and on a balmy night Thee Oh Sees were on fire, drummers pounding in perfect sync, and Tim Hellman’s thumping bass providing the platform for John Dwyer to work his magic. And magic was worked. He makes it all look so easy, ace frontman, keyboard warbling and fuzz guitar wizard. With only three songs from Orc there was plenty time in the hour and twenty-minute set for song older and newer. Songs from Floating Coffin were stand out’s for me.
As they rip through their set you get references from a dozen bands. Early Damned often most to the fore, probably down to the pounding drums and speed rip guitar and sense of fun in the performance. They are possibly the best band currently on the circuit, and everyone left grinning tonight.
Yes it is contender for gig of the year.
It’s the best one so far.

The Creative Process #12 Father Sky Mother Earth

Excellent album by Father Sky Mother Earth.


When did you start making music and what was the contributor factor that made you to do so?

Nico: Around the age of 13 everything started, when an old friend of mine handed me out his guitar, that was plugged into his small 15 watts VOX amp. I couldn’t play a note or even did I know a guitar chord, so I turned around those potentiometers until there was a loud, distorted noise coming out of his amp. Feedback. That was the sound that made me start. My father’s music collection had also a big influence on me in my early days, think of classic rock like Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, Steely Dan, JJ Cale, Lou Reed, etc.

Niclas: I think I started with three of four when I got my first child snare drum. A few months later my plastic guitar with four electronic buttons on the…

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Make this homemade chicken curry recipe instead of buying a takeaway. It’s cheaper and healthier!


Serves 3 



•1/2 tbsp coriander seeds

•1 tsp cumin seeds

•1/2 tsp fennel seeds

•1 small onion, quartered

•1 red chilli, deseeded

•2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into chunks

•2cm piece ginger, peeled

•1 tsp turmeric

•1 tsp ground cinnamon

•2 tbsp vegetable oil

•6 curry leaves

•6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, thickly sliced

•400g tin chopped tomatoes

•200 ml chicken stock

•1/2 tsp sugar

•juice of 1/2 lemon

•50 ml natural yogurt


Continue reading BASIC CHICKEN CURRY

BBQ Lamb Kofta Kebabs

Ready in 50 min


Makes: 28 kebabs
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
450g minced lamb
3 tablespoons grated onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
28 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

Preparation method

Prep: 45 min |Cook: 5 min
Mash the garlic into a paste with the salt using a mortar and pestle or the flat side of a chef’s knife on your chopping board. Mix the garlic into the lamb along with the onion, parsley, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, cayenne pepper, ginger and pepper in a mixing bowl until well blended. Form the mixture into 28 balls. Form each ball around the tip of a skewer, flattening into a 5cm oval; repeat with the remaining skewers. Place the kebabs onto a baking tray, cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.

Preheat barbecue for medium heat and lightly oil cooking grate.

Cook the skewers on the preheated barbecue, turning occasionally, until the lamb has cooked to your desired degree of doneness, about 6 minutes for medium.

Serve with salad, humus, tahini and pitta.

Chicken & Chorizo Paella

Nutritional Information (amount per serving)

543kcal Carbs
70.6g Sugar
8.6g Fat
14.1g Saturates
4.3g Protein

Serves 4 to 6

Approx time: 50

Difficulty: super easy


2 cloves of garlic
1 onion
1 carrot
15 g fresh flat-leaf parsley
70 g chorizo
2 skinless, boneless higher-welfare chicken thighs
olive oil
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 red pepper
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 cube chicken stock
300 g paella rice
100 g frozen peas
200 g frozen peeled cooked prawns
1 lemon


Peel and finely slice the garlic, peel and roughly chop the onion and carrot. Finely chop the parsley stalks, then roughly chop the chorizo and chicken thighs. Put a lug of oil into a large lidded shallow casserole or paella pan on a medium heat, add the garlic, onion, carrot, parsley stalks, chorizo, chicken and paprika, and fry for around 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Deseed and chop the pepper, then add to the pan for a further 5 minutes.

Stir through the tomato purée and crumble in the stock cube, then add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes so it starts to suck up all that lovely flavour. Pour in 750ml of boiling water and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Pop the lid on and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly from the outside in and from the inside out, and adding a splash of water if needed. Stir in the peas and prawns, replace the lid, and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until hot through. Season to perfection, then chop the parsley leaves, scatter them over the paella, and serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over.

Windrush Scandal Keeps Growing

Theresa May wrongfully deported more than 60 MORE people with her ‘hostile environment’ policy

She thought she had dismissed the Windrush Scandal but she was wrong.

Now Theresa May will have to face up to the fact that 63 people – so far – have been found to have been deported for no reason other than to achieve the targets she defined in her ‘hostile environment’ policy.

The revelation by new Home Secretary Sajid Javid directly contradicts the claims of his immediate forerunner, Amber Rudd:

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott has leapt to the attack:

In a separate statement, she said:

“The hostile environment created by Theresa May has led to illegal deportations of lawful citizens. Their lives have been potentially destroyed and uprooted because of this Government’s immigration policies.

“Apologies and empty words of sympathy are not enough to undo the damage and great pain that has been caused to an entire community.

“Labour is demanding justice for the Windrush generation and all those that have been affected by this scandal.”

Yes. The best form that justice could take would be the resignation of the racist prime minister who designed the racist ‘hostile environment’ policy:

Many commentators have made the obvious point that a national government’s primary responsibility is to protect citizens, not deport them, and any government that is found to have done the opposite should resign.

To the best of our knowledge, Mrs May is responding to the latest revelations by sitting in 10 Downing Street with her fingers in her ears.

Up to 63 Windrush citizens may have been wrongly deported from the UK, the Home Secretary admitted today.

Sajid Javid revealed the shock figure in a grilling by the Commons Home Affairs Committee.

It comes just weeks after Mr Javid, whose predecessor Amber Rudd resigned over the scandal, said he was not aware of any Windrush citizens being wrongly deported.

The 63 people are Caribbean nationals who were removed from the UK since records began in 2002, and who are also over the age of 45.

Their age means some of them might have arrived in Britain before 1973 – a legal cut-off date.

Under UK law, anyone who arrived from the Caribbean before 1973 should have had an automatic right to stay in Britain, so should not be deported.

Of the 63 citizens, Mr Javid said 32 were removed because they committed crimes.

The other 31 were “administrative removals”, which includes people who were sent Home Office letters telling them to leave.

The cases were found in an ongoing trawl of 8,000 Home Office records on people deported from the UK since 2002.

Home Office officials do not yet know how many of the 63 should have been protected under Windrush law.

Only last week the Immigration Minister, Caroline Nokes, said she had not yet found a single wrongful deportation of a Windrush citizen.

Her officials also suggested only a “handful” of people – five – had been wrongly deported from Britain at all in the last five years, even beyond the Windrush scandal.

Yet today Mr Javid suggested the final total could be even higher than 63, telling MPs: “It’s not a final number at this point – it could change.”

Furious Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “The responsibility for these wrongful deportations stops at Theresa May’s door. Apologies are not enough for the lives that have been ruined and the deep hurt and pain that communities have suffered.”

Campaigning MP David Lammy added: “This is the worst human rights and home affairs crisis in my time in politics.

Source: Up to 63 Windrush citizens may have been wrongly deported from the UK admits Home Secretary – Mirror Online

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. Voltaire