Cheap Trick, The Knack and Nick Lowe might be the best known names from the late 70s power pop boom, but the genre and its various micro-scenes saw recordings and releases from other musical heroes between 1975-1980 just as worthy of attention. Fusing power pop and a spikier edge, The Real Kids’ debut is one of the greatest proto-punk discs ever; Earth Quake’s bombast showed the craft of gifted musicians; Fotomaker took the late 70s pop sound and made it even more retro by filtering it through a smoother vocal…and then there was PezBand. With a knack for bouncy tunes rivalled only by The Knack themselves, possession of quirky harmonies straight out of the school of Cheap Trick perfection and a natural gift for a chorus, PezBand were special.
Kurt Baker is the very definition of “cult hero”. He’s played in various bands since the 90s and been a very active member of both the punk and power pop scenes. He knows most of your punk heroes personally…and yet, chances are, many of you will still be unfamiliar with his work. In July 2017, Kurt completed his first UK tour in several years, promoting the Kurt Baker Combo’s first studio release ‘In Orbit’. Real Gone met him at his Brighton stop for various drinks and a lengthy chat. Nothing was taken down formally. It was decided that upon Kurt’s return to Spain, we ought to get something on record for posterity, since the visit was an important one in his ongoing musical journey.
Following the release of 1997’s ‘Mouth To Mouth’ – arguably the Levellers’ most commercial album to date – the band found themselves at a career high. That long-player spawned the massive hit single ‘What a Beautiful Day’, which although fell just short of the UK top ten singles chart, became one of their best-known and enduring songs, leading to extensive radio play. As part of the promotion for that single, various TV appearances were also made. The Levellers were arguably at their most visible to the general public. Following a greatest hits package and more touring, Mark, Jeremy and company retreated to concentrate on writing new material. Continue reading
On their earlier releases, Zeit’s music has an insanely intense quality. It’s heavy, cold and deliberately under-produced – everything you’d expect from a German depressive black metal/noise rock trio – but at the same time, those recordings push black metal into interesting and occasionally industrial climes. Listening to those EPs, you could wonder what depths of despair led to the creation of such confronting noise.
In the autumn of 1977, a most unlikely star made his big breakthrough on the UK music scene. A jerky and energetic man sporting Buddy Holly spectacles, Elvis Costello was to make regular appearances on Top of The Pops over the next couple of years. The power in most of his musical arrangements was immediate, but lyrically, this was a man who was a cut above. Spewing more sneering puns than anyone would likely hear on hit singles until Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine would make their breakthrough in 1989, Elvis cut a very distinctive presence.