Blue Rose Code – Ebb And Flow

A cold, grey wintry Monday morning and it’s hard to think that ‘everything is alright’. It’d no doubt be easier to hibernate under the bed covers until the next tint of blue creeps through my curtains. It’s so easy to say that I can’t be bothered with today.

But that’s hardly adopting the principle of ‘Carpe Diem’. I can grumble as much as I like but the truth is I’ve got a fair bit to live for at the moment – the progression towards redundancy; getting the house ready for rental and the year of living in Spain. It’s not looking at things through rose tinted specs to say that today is full of opportunity.

And as I grasp these thoughts I pull back my curtains and see some blue sky.

I’m drawn to this uplifting tune and new video from Blue Rose Code.

Blue Rose Code, aka acclaimed singer-songwriter Ross Wilson, released his latest album, The Water Of Leith, in Autumn 2017. It met with some top-notch reviews from Folk, Acoustic and Americana magazines all declaring that this was Wilson’s best release to date. The previous ones had hardly been flops. 

(See what Sonic Breakfast thinks by clicking on page 2)

Be Like Pablo – There She Is

There’s so much great music out there. February’s been a busy month and, because of that, my Sonic Breakfast mailbox has been piling up with fantastic new tunes. There aren’t the hours in the day to both do the day job and to listen to everything I’m sent – but there’s surely no excuse for not posting more regularly here. I’ll do better in March.

 A fine PR company sent me a note on Friday suggesting that the new ‘Be Like Pablo’ video was likely to be the best thing I’d see all week. I’ll take their word for it. I’ve not seen many this week but this Scottish powerpop does have a pure, unfettered simplicity that can’t help but make you smile.

 Sitting here in bed on a Sunday morning and procrastinating over the procurement tenders I have to read for the day job, it’s undeniable that ‘There She Is’ is providing suitable diversion. I’ve watched the video a few times now and love the contrast between vinyl and billboard, indie and Hollywood. From the opening vocal ‘oo’s’ before the lead joins in, this is a tune that had me bouncing on the bed. 

 For sure, in weeks to come, Sonic Breakfast will feature stuff of more serious intent. But for now, as a way to break my blogging malaise, Spring is in the air and Be Like Pablo have helped to give me a spring in my step.

 

Elle Exxe – Love-Fuelled Hate

Today marks the official release of Love-Fuelled Hate, the debut album from Elle Exxe.

Over the course of this year, I’ve received various E-mails from her excellent PR company informing me about new singles, videos and gigs in traditional and non-traditional venues.

My response to the E-mails has largely been the same; general acknowledgement that there’s a real talent blossoming here but never quite getting me excited enough to write a Sonic Breakfast blog post about Elle.

This week, I found some time to listen to an advance copy of Elle’s album; frankly, it knocked me sideways. Whilst the singles do stand up on their own, it’s alongside the other album tracks that they really come to the fore. 

Designed to be listened to as a vinyl LP, both sides kick off with short introductory prologue pieces which then merge into stunning tracks. Side one belongs to the hard-sexy-brash-soul of ‘Lately’ whilst side 2 funks along with the deceptive pop of ‘Lie To Me’.

Broadly, side one has tracks where the songs are about the wide spectrum of emotions associated with love whilst side 2 has more songs with hate in the title. In reality, there’s little difference between the sides with both containing ballsy belters about the first throes, commitment, insecurity and revenge. 

You sense that there’s a diva waiting to get out in Elle and the album is at its best when the young Scot really goes for it. But, she doesn’t shy away from moments of uncomplicated tenderness either as the doting vocal-only mix of ‘I Do’ pays testament to.

Sonic Breakfast goes pop and heartily recommends Love-Fuelled Hate. 

The Ramisco Maki Maki Rocking Horse – Holy Barnacles

I was delighted to receive an E-mail from The Ramisco Maki Maki Rocking Horse a week or so before Christmas. 

The E-mail began:- 

‘Holler Sean, how be yo’self? 

These here hooves were just over at the Fresh on the Net Listening Post and I noticed you thew my hooves a vote for that there Holy Barnacles ditty o’ mine, mighty kind of you captain, these here hooves sure appreciate the support. Anyways, I thought I might yodel forth and make acquaintance, throw you a copy of the EP and such. ‘

This was no ordinary press release and I immediately warmed to Ramisco, the horse.

It was true that earlier that weekend I’d been enjoying the Fresh On The Net listening post. One of the stand out tracks had been Holy Barnacles, a short and sweet, banjo-fuelled, cowboy country stomp. I was hooked before the drinking/thinking couplet but that cemented my admiration.

I confess I was a tad surprised to discover that the man behind The Ramsico Maki Maki Rocking Horse was not some nutty, grizzled American from Austin, Texas but a Scottish Highlander, Ray McCartney, with his own label, Planet Groucho records. It was on this label that the EP, Possessed by the Gods of Cowbell Oblongata, was released back in November. It’s a fabulously inventive record, deliciously offbeat with quirky twists and casio-punk turns. 

It’s exactly the sort of release that I first set up Sonic Breakfast for. I’m sure regular readers will approve.

 

 

Eliza And The Bear – An E-mail interview

So, here’s something I’ve not done before on Sonic Breakfast….

But I got the chance to E-mail some questions to Eliza And The Bear in advance of their headline tour that kicks off at the end of this week in Brighton. I’m planning to see them live when they reach Leicester in a few weeks by which time the internet will be full of tales of the quintet’s rock n’roll excesses (perhaps). 

It was Martin from the band who responded….

For the uninitiated, how would you describe Eliza And The Bear?

Id say we are simply five guys making feel good pop-rock.

Given that none of you are ‘Eliza’s’ or ‘Bears’ (from what I can tell), has the name ever proven a hindrance?

Its never really created any problems, we just get asked “where is the bear” or “who’s Eliza” a lot. We always just tell people that the closest we have to a bear is our bass player Chris who is undoubtedly the hairiest member..

A summer of festivals completed. What’s been the best thing to happen to you at a festival this summer?

We played a lot of awesome festivals this year. It would have to be between the moment when Thom Yorke of Radiohead camped next to me in Leo and our set at Y-Not.

And now a pretty big headline tour.. What might the audience expect? Any special surprises? Which of these shows are you most looking forward to?

We are playing quite a lot of new material on this tour which we are all looking forward to. To be fair i am bias, but i would have to say that London is the one I’m looking forward to most. Its the one in which all our family and friends are at and always cause for celebration!

What’s the best and worst thing about touring?

Best thing is meeting people and seeing what each place has to offer in terms of hardcore nightclubs. Worst thing is the hygiene of some of my fellow band members. I won’t name names….

Early reviews of ‘Eliza And The Bear’ that I read suggested that you were a happier version of the Flaming Lips. Fair comparison or is there something else you aspire towards?

I think its a fair comparison. To be fair we have had that a couple of times but i think the Flaming Lips reference is unintentional as most of the boys haven’t really listened to them that much or at all!

Your music has accompanied quite a few adverts and TV programmes over the past year. Which of these has made you proudest? Are there any products that you wouldn’t endorse and if so, what are they?

Mine would have to be Match Of The Day. Im a West Ham fan and they actually managed to lose on the day we got played on it. Didn’t make it any less special though to be fair. Well Callie (our keyboard player) is vegetarian so i can’t see us doing Meat Weekly or something like that..

Scottish people are about to vote on whether Scotland should go it alone. How would you vote?

In the words of Al Green “Lets Stay Together”

And finally – I’d say it’s been a year of steady progress for Eliza And The Bear. What are your hopes and dreams for the next year?

I think we just hope that we continue the way we have been, seeing a rise in people hearing our music and coming out and enjoying our shows!


So – there you are. Anybody who managed to catch Eliza And The Bear at Y-Not will probably already have tickets to one of their shows. Live music is there to be supported. You’ll have a fun night out. It’ll certainly be better than staying in watching Strictly or The X Factor.