Thank you to everyone who made it to the Blow Up 20th Anniversary last week and to all the bands Baltic Fleet, Trans, Big Boss Man and DJ's who performed. It was great to see so many old faces from far and wide - it was a blast!
A Hip Hammond hybrid of 60's and 70's drenched R'n'B, Funk, Latin, Jazz, Soul and Pop. Big Boss Man are currently in the studio putting the final touches to their fourth album due out this year on Blow Up Records, and alongside brand new tracks expect such classics such as 'Sea Groove' and 'Party 7' which have won them fans worldwide. Their last album 'Full English Beat Breakfast' was described as:
"Effortlessly hip"**** - Echoes
"Their best album yet" **** - Record Collector
"Big Boss Man are back and groovier than ever"Clash
Described as 'psychedelic post-punk krautrock', GIT-Award winner and Liverpool Music Awards Nominee (Best Album 'Towers', 2013) Baltic Fleet is the moniker of multi-instrumentalist and DIY producer Paul Fleming (ex-Bunnymen) who recently returned with his second album 'Towers' which was described as:
"Immense. Fleming has upped the ante on an already stellar debut"Rough Trade Shops 'Album Of The Week' & 'Albums Of The Month'
"A sublimely cinematic blend of kosmische musik, dream pop" 9/10 Subba-Cultcha
"One of the finest records from Liverpool in years"Liverpool Echo
Over at Blow Up Records, 2013 saw Baltic Fleetwin this year's Liverpool GIT Award, be nominated for Liverpool Music Awards Album of The Year (along side Miles Kane and Ian Skelly) and perform at Yoko Ono's Meltdown. more / listen...
After a long haitus Alfa 9 returned with the stripped back West-Coast influenced second album Gone To Ground and swung back into live action. more / listen...
Whilst Fay Hallam continued her UK & European tour dates in support of last year's 'Lost In Sound' more / listen... Meanwhile both Big Boss Man and The Bongolian have been touring around Europe, whilst The Bongolian returned for two storming sets at Blow Up this October and December.
"The judges believe that Towers captured the sprawling vitality of contemporary music and married this to a sonic landscape which is indicative of its birth. Flawless electronic melodies, breezeblock beats and an effortless futuristic edge"
Although Baltic Fleet is essentially the solo recording project of Paul Fleming, his live band have since played around the UK and Europe, shows including Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia, Soundcity, Sheffield Sensoria, Norwich S&V. This year they've played with Public Service Broadcasting (caught in action performing 'The Wilds' and 'Toire De'), Hookworms andThe Portico Quartetmore ...
This August Daiquiri Fantomas released 'MHz Invasion', the debut album from the Sicilian experimental Avant-Pop duo Marco Barrano and Dario Sanguedolce. A mainly instrumental cocktail of ideas with a Retro-Futuristic flavour, encompassing Prog, Sci-Fi movie soundtracks & Kosmische (youtube album sampler).
Single 'Moogchile' described as 'Air meets John Barry' receiving spot plays on BBC 6 Music from Don Letts, Gideon Coe, Radcliffe and Maconie and Chris Hawkins and Huey Morgan on BBC Radio 2. more ...
After a long haitus Alfa 9 followed their highly acclaimed debut with ‘Gone To Ground’ a much more stripped back affair, the most recent single from which 'El Morocco' was playlisted for 4 weeks on BBC 6 Music (1.9 million listeners UK & Worldwide) (other singles receiving numerous spot plays). They now haveBBC Radio sessions under their belt for 6 Music, BBC Stoke andBBC Liverpool.
The band have swung back into live action with dates up and down the UK including the Annual Liverpool Psych Fest and a support for Poltergeist in December more ...
Fay Hallam and Nasser Bouzida AKA 'The Bongolian' met when both playing a live show at Blow Up, and they soon discovered that they both shared a serious passion for 60's Hammond Beat and Soul. On 'Lost In Sound', their first collaboration, they immersed themselves in the music they both love, from Bossa Nova, heavier 70's grooves, Latin and Northern Soul, with a choice of classic instruments including old Rhodes, Wurlitzer and Hammond C3 keyboards and other vintage equipment, mixing in some analogue synths. The album was released to critcal acclaim and Fay Hallam continues to tour the album in both the UK and Europe with more dates lined up for 2014 more ...
"A great little pop record" STEVE LAMACQ, BBC 6MUSIC
"Essex has a bit of form when it comes to delivering maverick pop geniuses with a gift for mixing a smidgeon of music hall with a dash of 60s pop and creating inspired, but intelligent tunes"BRANDISH.TV
David Woodcock is a singer song writer based in his hometown of Southend-on Sea, who recently signed to Blow Up in 2012 and he has just finished recording his debut album, due for release early 2014
A pianist and prolific writer, with a strong local following around the pubs and clubs of Southend, he has been building up a solid songbook of sharp lyrics and great melodies that are have been distilled into his debut more ...
October 16th this year marked exactly 20 years to the day when doors opened to the Blow Up club for the first time. Since then it has become a bona-fide legendary club night, being at the centre of the early to mid Nineties Brit Pop explosion, cited as the catalyst and birth place of the Brit Pop scene and influencing the style and sound of a generation. Blow Up was voted as No.4 in Time Out's Top Ten Clubs of the 90s, one of '5 Classic Clubs of Out Time' by Vox Magazine (alongside The Blitz Club and Shoom) and as 'The club that changed the world' by Melody Maker. More recently Blow Up appeared in Time Out's London Calling which described the club as "the breeding gournd of the Brit Pop sound" and in NME's Original's Top Ten Britpop Moments. From its origins at The Laurel Tree, Camden Town (1993-1996), to Soho venues the Wag Club (1996-2001) the Metro Club (2002-2009), and through various London venues since (2009-2013), Blow Up is one of London's longest running club nights. We've hosted events in Europe, and further afield, with events in USA, Russia and Japan, whilst the Blow Up club compilations ('Blow Up A-Go-Go!' and 'Blow Up presents Exclusive Blend') have proved popular worldwide.
There is nowhere else quite like Blow Up, and in many ways it’s still unique. ‘Blow Up may be inspired by the ’60s,’ wrote Time Out years ago, ‘but their night could run and run.’ It looks set to do just that. Time Out London, January 2009
"Year after year, Blow Up just seems to get better"The Evening Standard No.4: Time Out's Top Ten Club's of The 90s
"The club that changed the world"Melody Maker
"This is the night which spawned a thousand bands, inspiring fashion designers and stylists to recreate the look for the mainstream"The Guest List
"Legendary"Time Out, Evening Standard, NME
The Roxy, Blitz Club, Shoom, Syndrome & Blow Up: Vox Magazine's 5 Classic Clubs of our Time
"The London clubland institution"The Guardian Guide
Just uploaded this week - Baltic Fleetperforming 'Toire De' from his new album 'Towers' back in May at Village Underground joined onstage by Public Service Broadcasting (Baltic Fleet's Paul Fleming later joined PSB for their last number 'Everest'). The sold-out show was supporting Public Service Broadcasting and they'll be playing with them again at Hebden Bridge Trade Club on June 22nd.
Last Friday we headed down to London's Southbank Centre to catch both of Baltic Fleet's sets at the opening night of Yoko Ono's Meltdown Festival as well as the lady herself in Yoko Ono's Plastic Ono band, joined onstage by Peaches.
Baltic Fleet's set was described by Bloomberg as "the psychedelic mid-point between Joy Division and Daft Punk". The band caught up with Sean Lennon at the aftershow too - check out the photos on Flickr.
As Liverpool's GIT Music Award winner Baltic Fleet are now confirmed to play at the opening night of Yoko Ono's Meltdown Festival at Southbank Centre on June 14th 2013 as part of Meltdown Future Sounds!
"Yoko Ono has long been a supporter of new music, and this year's Meltdown offers two new acts an opportunity to play the festival, including this year's GIT award-winner, Baltic Fleet"
They will be playing two FREE sets at 6.30pm and after the Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band's set (10.30pm approx tbc) in the Royal Festival Hall Ballroom.
We headed up to Liverpool on Friday to see our very own Baltic Fleet named the winner of the 'Scouse Mercury Prize' aka Liverpool's GIT Music Award 2013. Baltic Fleet's Paul Fleming received his award from the Liverpool Echo's Peter Guy, The Quietus' John Doran and Q Magazine's Andrew Harrison. Here's what they said....
"The judges believe that Towers captured the sprawling vitality of contemporary music and married this to a sonic landscape which is indicative of its birth; Northern working class cities which thrive on industry and making things happen. Flawless electronic melodies, breezeblock beats and an effortless futuristic edge"
Baltic Fleet said "Can't explain how much this means. An amazing night for Merseyside culture. Respect to everyone involved who made it happen. Best City in The World"
Merseyside's premier music prize, The GIT Award plays host to 12 shortlisted artists who compete for the £1000 prize and the chance to play Yoko Ono's Meltdown Festival at London's Southbank Centre. The shortlist was then decided by a 12-strong judging panel comprising respected music industry figures including BBC 6 Music presenter and son of John Peel, Tom Ravenscroft, the editor of rock and pop music bible Q Magazine, Liverpool-born Andrew Harrison, Matt Wilkinson, NME's new music editor, leading UK music website,The Quietus' editor, John Doran plus the cornerstones of Liverpool's music and arts scene. The twelve nominees were: Baltic Fleet, Barberos, By The Sea, Nadine Carina, Clinic, Conan, Dan Croll, John Heckle, Jetta, Tyler Mensah, Stealing Sheep, Wave Machines
The Justice Collective won the Inspiration Award for their Christmas No. 1 and tireless work in supporting the fight for JFT96. Tyler Mensah won the People's Choice Award.
The Blow Up club headed back to the USA twice this year, with shows in LA, San Francisco and Sacramento. And in October Blow Up took part in the annual Oxjam series of shows in Leicester. Plus our London residency in West London carried on from 2011 with live guests including Sulk, The Fractures, Thee Faction, Fay Hallam, David Woodcock, B-Movie....
Read more below....
BALTIC FLEET 'TOWERS'...
"Immense. Fleming has upped the ante on an already stellar debut," Rough Trade Shops 'Album of the week' & 'Albums of the MONTH'
"Exceptional motorik beats"NME
"A sublimely cinematic blend of kosmische musik and dream pop" 9/10 Subba-Cultcha
"Something very special indeed"Crack Magazine
"One of the finest records from Liverpool in years"Liverpool echo
"A wonderfully well rounded and complete album" Louder Than War 'Album Of The Week' & an Album Of The Year
AN ALBUM OF THE YEAR: LOUDER THAN WAR, VIVE LE ROCK, CRACK MAGAZINE, LIVERPOOL ECHO, RESIDENT RECORDS & MORE...
We're pleased to announce that we now have 3 new additions to Blow Up Records' roster for 2012: Fay Hallam & The Bongolian (a new collaboration), singer-songwriter David Woodcock from Southend-on-Sea and Sicilian duo Daiquiri Fantomas. Plus, 'Towers' the long-awaited follow up to Baltic Fleet's self-titled debut will be released this Summer, followed swiftly by the second album for Alfa 9 'Gone To Ground'.
The first 2 singles for 2012 will be 'Engage' from Baltic Fleet, and 'Dancing' from Fay Hallam & The Bongolian which we'll be giving away as free downloads for a limited time, links below...
'Dancing' will be the first track to be taken from 'Lost In Sound' the very first collaboration between Fay Hallam (Makin' Time, The Prime Movers, Phaze) and Blow Up Records' The Bongolian. Both share a serious passion for 60's Hammond Beat and Soul. Due for release very shortly, the album covers a variety of styles: Bossa Nova, heavier 70's grooves and a strong Northern Soul influence. Get ready to get Lost In Sound...
'Engage' is the first track to be taken from 'TOWERS' the 2nd album from BALTIC FLEET, released this Summer and which follows his 2008 self-titled debut which was an Album of the Year (No 29) for Rough Trade Shops. Baltic Fleet is the moniker of multi-instrumentalist and DIY producer Paul Fleming. The second record signifies a departure from the travelling and diarising of life on the road (whilst touring as keyboard player for Echo & The Bunnymen), and arrives home to the industrial backdrop of North West England. The album was written and recorded in a room overlooking the industrial landscape a stone's throw from Spike Island, the scene of another Northern band's finest hour.
Some Blow Up highlights of 2011, including HMV's Next Big Thing back in February, another return to the USA and Japan, Latitude Festival in July, The Bongolian's fourth album and the club finally coming of age (b. October 16th 1993).
Rough Trade Shops will be curating a night at this years Sensoria with a live performance from Baltic Fleet and Rough Trade Shops DJS - FREE ENTRY.
Baltic Fleet's eponymous debut was a Rough Trade East Album of the year back in 2008, and they'll also be showcasing new material from the forthcoming 2nd album:
"A faultless piece of instumental music that captures the spirit of Eno, NEU! all the way through to modern post rock and chamber music. The album swerves from haunting piano pieces ala donnie darko full of melancholy to driving upbeat kraut inspired propulsive grooves"ROUGH TRADE
"BUNNYMAN HAS FUN ON THE AUTOBAHN - Sombre, Sigur Ros-like post-rock, fuzzy bass grooves [and] energising NEU!-style motorik"UNCUT
We're pleased to announce that Blow Up will be hosting a night at Upstairs @ The Garage as part of the second year of HMV's Next Big Thing festival. Spread over 6 London venues (plus one in Birmingham and Edinburgh) and running between 4th - 13th February 2011, the festival's aim is to showcase and celebrate the very best new and emerging talent drawn from all genres of music tipped to breakthrough in 2011. The Blow Up night is the first date of the festival on Friday 4th February, and Blow Up Records' artists Baltic Fleet, Silvery and The Bongolian will be playing live, following by the Blow Up club at 11pm until 3am with DJs Paul Tunkin & Ian Jackson bringing you the classic Blow Up mix of Orgasmic Pop, Psych, 60s Mod Soul and New Wave Glam action. Expect to hear a selection ranging from The Beatles to Bowie to Blur mixed with 60s moves and grooves (Soul, Boogaloo, Garage, Ska, Beat and Swinging Soundtracks). Entry to all events for the festival will be for the bargain price of a flat £10 (incl. b/f), whoever the artist and whichever the venue. Tix here
14/1/2011 UPDATE - BIG BOSS MAN ADDED TO THE BILL - playing a late night show as part of the Blow Up clubnight that follows.
Baltic FleetPhoto: Adam Banister
BALTIC FLEET is the work of Warrington based artist Paul Fleming. Influenced by artists such as Eno, The Doves, NEU!, Sigur Ros and DJ Shadow, his 2008 eponymous debut (written and recorded whilst on a World Tour playing keyboards for Echo & the Bunnymen), was picked by Rough Trade Shop for their monthly Record Club, and went on to be placed in their Top 50 Albums of 2008 (and also in Piccadilly Records' Albums of 2008). His first show since 2008, Paul will showcasing material from his second album, due for release mid-2011.
"BUNNYMAN HAS FUN ON THE AUTOBAHN - Sombre, Sigur Ros-like post-rock, fuzzy bass grooves [and] energising NEU!-style motorik"UNCUT
"A faultless piece of instumental music that captures the spirit of Eno, NEU! all the way through to modern post rock and chamber music"ROUGH TRADE
"A thirteen-track industrial drive along roads of ambient melodies . Skin pricklingly authentic"CLASH
SILVERY are an eccentric London four-piece whose music has been described as anything from Artrock, to Glam to Britpop. Lead singer and songwriter James Orman immerses us in a unmistakeably English world of Victoriana and wit. This show follows a headline spot at Club NME @ Koko in January, and comes just before the release of their new single 'Two Halves Of The Same Boy'. Playlisted on BBC 6Music (15/1/2011) the third from their critically acclaimed second album 'RailwayArchitecture':
"Exhilarating art-pop from band bordering on greatness"★ ★ ★ ★ UNCUT
"Hunt down this album"★ ★ ★ ★ Artrocker
"Genius twisted pop. A truly original pop masterpiece"★ ★ ★ ★ BIG CHEESE
"Stylish, literate and witty but properly hook-aware"TIME OUT
THE BONGOLIAN is the alter-ego of Big Boss Man's main man Nasser Bouzida - a multi-instrumentalist who blends elements of Funk, Soul and Jazz with grinding percussion and heavy Bongo rhythms, resulting in dirty percussive bongo driven Funk and Spaced-out Latin Soul. His releases have become recordbox essentials for DJs, finding a wide appeal from Dance and Hip-Hop to rare groove and funky 45s fans, and to date The Bongolian and his band have toured USA, UK and Europe. Following his 2008′s 'Outer Bongolia', The Bongolian will release his 4th album 'Bongos For Beatniks' in early 2011.
"Nasser Bouzida is a man with talent to spare. A Latin-flavoured jazz-funk odyssey"Q Magazine
"Forget your preconceptions, this is the REAL incredible bongo band"CLASH
"Mightily funky. Part mod, part Sergio Mendes, very swingin"TIME OUT
BIG BOSS MANjust added to the bill for tonight. They'll be playing a late night show as part of the Blow Up club.
"Excellent"Mark Lamarr, BBC Radio 2
"The Sgt Pepper of boogaloo - and you can't go without breakfast, can you?"music 4/5, sonic 4/5 Hi-Fi Choice