Saturday, 6 September 2014

Interview: Fish

Singer/ songwriter, Fish, has just broken a lengthy period of enforced silence with his new album, "Internal Exile." The past year has seen him become a father. He's also had to swallow a bitter pill to escape his recording contract with EMI Records and sign to Polydor. Alan McCrorie donned his hiking boots and took the high road to Fish's East Lothian home to get the story straight from the horse's mouth.


Football always seems to loom large in FISH's life. Over the last twelve months, the big fella seems to have been knocked around from pillar to post by paperwork and the desire to put his new fifty-six track recording studio, 'The Funny Farm,' on the map. His home is a beautiful converted farmhouse, just a bus ride east of Edinburgh. Far enough away from civilization to avoid the crush, but not too far to be completely out of it. Wandering up the driveway, after hopping off the bus just a little too early, my exasperation evaporates as I'm met by a bouncing German Shepherd dog and a friendly white haired gentleman who, as it turns out, is FISH's dad.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Interview: Chris Collingwood, Fountains of Wayne

Offbeat band a hit with white-collar songs

American popular music is notoriously selective in its choice of topics. This is something that the New England power pop/alternative rock group Fountains of Wayne has tried to challenge with its quirky, humorous, and often incisive songwriting since it was founded by the two main songwriters Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood in 1995. With a new album of songs Traffic and Weather released in April this year, the band will tour Japan in October.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Song by Song: "The Joshua Tree" by U2

The Joshua Tree was U2's most important album. It marks the point at which they became a global brand as big as The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. They had laid the groundwork for this success with previous albums and working relationships, most particularly with producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, who had both worked on The Joshua Tree's predecessor, the excellent The Unforgettable FireThe Joshua Tree had the same lush aural textures as that album, but it also had a stronger dynamic, greater accessibility, more artistic unity, and less filler. Although written at different times and with various inspirations, the songs on The Joshua Tree work together as a whole in ways that were not entirely intended by Bono & Co., and which give the album its power.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Live Review: Jethro Tull, Portsmouth Guildhall, 19th May 1990


The enigma of Jethro Tull is captured in the opening moments of their show. As an introductory tape of a classical piece given the rock treatment by Tull themselves concludes, guitarist Martin Barre leaps into view stage right, crashing out a succession of searing chords which hit the audience like thunderbolts. Seconds later Ian Anderson strolls on stage left strumming an acoustic guitar and softly singing the whimsical love song Wondrin' Aloud. Heavy metal folkies? Rustic rockers? Twenty-two years on the road and Jethro Tull still defy categorization — and long may it continue that way.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Preview: Maceo Parker

Saxophonist Maceo Parker brings a funk legacy to Tokyo, Osaka on Japan visit

Maceo Parker will be carrying a heavy load of history on his shoulders when he visits Japan for a string of gigs this month, but you wouldn’t know it from his carefree attitude. The 71-year-old musician is best known for his seminal sax work with James Brown’s legendary funk lineups of the 1960s, and George Clinton’s Parliament and Funkadelic outfits in the ’70s.

“I smile when I reminisce about the early years, and feel lucky that I came up with James Brown, and that I can quote names like Brown and George Clinton, which sort of led to me being where I am today,” he tells The Japan Times. “So in the words of James Brown, ‘I feel good!’ ”

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Overview: U2

In a recent world exclusive with Hot Press magazine, Bono talked at great length to Joe Jackson about, well, just about everything, including the Zooropa album, which, at the time of the interview was in the final stages of completion. So, here's a brief "satellite overview" by Riff Raff's own Mark Liddell:

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Album Review: Laibach, "Spectre"

There have always been doubts about just who Laibach are and what they are up to. First who are they? The band is a collective so it is never too clear where "who" ends, although it seems to begin with Milan Fras, the doom-laden vocalist who chants and growls rather than sings most of their lyrics.

Next, what are they up to? This question often crops up as the Slovenian collective often plays with Communistic and Fascistic imagery. This might seem a little edgytarian to those of us from the more Beatlesque or Miley Cyrusy parts of the cosmos, but let’s not forget that Slovenia, the band’s homeland, was, is, and has been perched much closer to the great Fascist/Communist fault line that ran through Europe for most of the 20th century. Any musician from those parts who doesn't reflect that in their music and style is probably making a conscious effort not to.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Interview: Donnie Vie & Chip Z'Nuff, Enuff Z'Nuff

Donnie Vie, Chip Z'Nuff, DerekFrigo, & Vikki Fox


Joe Mackett finds out how Enuff Z'Nuff have survived record label upheavals and an absent drummer saga to return better than ever with Animals With Human Intelligence

Enuff Z'Nuff's debut left me a little high and dry. Strength the second album however was a different kettle of cod, chock full of classic rock tunes. One thing it didn't provide for them though was commercial success. However, in March '93 Enuff Z'Nuff released an album entitled Animals With Human Intelligence, which, on the basis of the sheer quality of the songs contained could break the band in a huge way.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Interview: Leigh Matty & Craig Joiner, Romeo's Daughter

Wild and Willing

British rock music is making a comeback. Well, that's what everybody reckons. With the success of bands like the Quireboys and Thunder, some believe that the time is right for many acts to make their mark in the competitive 'dirty thirty' and shake the proverbial plastic world of chart music to its very foundations!

Romeo's Daughter are one such act who are determined not to get trapped by the 'hit and miss' philosophy currently inherent on the rock scene. Instead they intend to 'carve their names' by sheer hard work and the will to succeed. By the time you read this they will have completed a short UK tour with Manchester hopefuls Sweet Addiction, and will be looking towards a prestigious support slot with a major band.

Having just released a single Heaven In The Backseat and backed up by the fact that it's been used on the soundtrack to the latest Nightmare On Elm Street blockbuster, the band are convinced that their 'big break' is just around the corner! So we decided to hook up with guitarist Craig Joiner and 'vogueish' leading lady Leigh Matty to find out the facts for ourselves.