Stream: The Ghost Of Indie Top 20 (A Real Gone Playlist)

Back in the 90s, a series of compilation albums called ‘Indie Top 20’ provided exciting listening for a generation of NME readers.  The series of cassettes (and latterly CDs) brought together 20 indie hits and underground bangers of the day, providing what would become an important time capsule for future generations.

The compilers were unafraid to pitch the era’s heavyweights Pop Will Eat Itself and Carter USM against the then up and coming Sleeper and Salad; it also gave a huge platform to bands that now seem too often forgotten, like Tiny Monroe and 18 Wheeler.  Whatever appeared, fans absorbed like sponges.  Those compilations were often responsible for creating cast iron favourites.

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BLACK PISTOL FIRE – Look Alive

Somewhere near the beginning of their career, blues duo Black Pistol Fire released ‘Big Beat ’59’, a raw as hell album that cast them in a musical mould somewhere between The White Stripes and The Dead Exs. It didn’t always show a lot of invention in terms of garage blues, but it had a lot of balls, resulting in the kind of rough and ready record that should’ve appealed to all lovers of the style. The albums which followed showed a slight musical progression each time, along with a slightly slicker sound and the suggestion of a slightly bigger budget. This culminated in the release of 2017’s ‘Deadbeat Graffiti’ where the expected Black Pistol Fire raucousness was tempered by far more of an indie rock/blues hybrid sound in places. It was a sound that suited the band well, and on tracks like ‘Fever Breaks’ and ‘Bully’ they even appeared to give Arctic Monkeys a run for their money.

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Rubies & Rudders: The Real Gone Sampler 2020

It’s that time of year again when Real Gone takes stock of all of the great music that’s been sent our way over the last twelve months.  Changes in how people consume their music has meant shifting from providing a free download to offering an album length stream, but the variety and quality of the new music remains very high.

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THE ARTHUR BROTHERS – Nine

What would happen if you took some of the moodier aspects of Doves, the slightly alternative leanings of Arcade Fire, the grandiosity of U2 and a dual vocal that occasionally disarms the listener by featuring one voice sounding like Robbie Williams? Chances are, you’d end up with something that sounded something like ‘Ninth’, the opening track from ‘Nine’ by The Arthur Brothers. As far as first impressions go, it’s really striking – a reminder that adult pop/rock need not be bland. Better yet, although the track features elements of all of the above, The Arthur Brothers don’t really sound like a blatant copy of any of them. Here is a band who’ve somehow, against the odds, taken a lot of familiar sounding things but used them in such an inventive way, they rarely sound like anything other than themselves. ‘Ninth’ spends its five minutes wisely and fairly concisely; despite wedging at least three different ideas within the one track it never sounds forced. From a listening perspective, whether you choose to be absorbed the deep drum track, the echoing guitar lines or find yourself caught up in a great vocal melody that eventually descends into a simple wordless hook, there’s always something interesting going on. By the time the climax is reached where the band manage to weave complex harmonies in and out of a moody groove that sounds somehow like ‘AM’ era Arctic Monkeys, you really get the feeling that the gloves are off with regards to style. This is an album that promises so much, right from the start.

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