THE REAL GONE SINGLES BAR #55

Welcome back to the Real Gone Singles Bar, the place where we explore some of the individual mp3s that have landed in our inbox over the past few weeks. As always, we’ve been swamped with submissions – although there’s always room for more! – and we’ve had a tough job picking out some of the best tunes. This week, the Singles Bar features some brilliant shoegaze, a couple of bluesy bits, a slice of indie folk, two very different styles of punk, and more besides. Hopefully you’ll find something new to enjoy…

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STRANGE MAJIK – NYC Animal

In 2016, David Pattillo released ‘Raised On Rock N Roll’, his second album under the Strange Majik moniker. The record cast aside all of the rap elements from the debut, and some of the funk, but in playing like a journey through the best 70s record collection in the world, its strong influences from Leon Russell, The Allman Brothers Band, Sly Stone and Todd Rundgren showcased a musician with great taste and a very broad talent.

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THE REAL GONE SINGLES BAR #36

Welcome back to the Real Gone Singles Bar, the place where we explore some of the individual mp3s that have appeared in our inbox over the past few weeks. With January 2024 now firmly underway, the submissions have really taken off, and we could have filled this column three times over. That, of course, just promises more great stuff for the coming weeks! This time around, we bring you a couple of great singer songwriters, some big rock with a commercial hook, some very light pop, and even a little country courtesy of an already familiar face. As always, we hope you find something to enjoy…

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VARIOUS ARTISTS – Shake That Thing: The Blues In Britain 1963-1973

The British blues boom was arguably one of the most important movements in musical history. Not only did it launch the careers of various guitar heroes – players much loved for decades afterwards – but the guitar driven sounds also paved the way for a whole universe of rock music. With that in mind, it’s interesting how few compilations have celebrated the British blues scene. Aside from Grapefruit Records’ excellent ‘Crawling Up A Hill’ box set, any other releases have been label specific, leaving a huge gap in the market for a set to explore some of the more niche sounds from the era.

‘Shake That Thing: The Blues In Britain 1963-1973’ is perfect in that regard. This three CD set from Grapefruit casts a much wider net than their earlier box set, but never loses site of its core objective. Bluesy sounds are out there, front and centre, at all times, but it also looks beyond the usual suspects to celebrate blues laden tunes shared by other singer songwriters, folkies and rock bands during a hugely transitional period.

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BIG RIVER – Beautiful Trauma EP

The extended periods of pandemic lockdown in the UK took their toll on most bands, but for Kent-based blues rockers Big River, that period of instability between 2020 and ’21 was particularly tough. Despite releasing their debut album ‘Redemption’ in 2019, they were still heavily reliant on regular live work to keep up momentum. Without access to venues and audiences, they were in danger of losing traction. The band suffered a further knock back in March 2021 when it was announced that long-serving vocalist Adam Bartholomew would be leaving the fold. For many, his big presence and big waistcoats had been a vital part of the Big River live experience.

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