Listen: A Phone Call From Oliver Reed (A Real Gone Sampler 2023)

The year end “sampler” has long been one of our year end traditions at Real Gone. Although in recent years, the sampler has taken the form of an online stream as opposed to a traditional download, we’ve continued to receive good feedback about the annual project, and still managed to introduce people to things they missed throughout the previous twelve months.

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The Real Gone End of Year Round-Up 2023

We seem to say it every December, but this year has gone so quickly. We’ve fit a lot into twelve months, of course. Over the last twelve months, Real Gone has picked up a truckload of new followers and regular visitors; we’ve discovered new bands, reconnected with a couple of familiar faces, and given more column inches to old favourites.


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From the moment their debut single ‘Love Got Me Into This Mess’ hit the internet in 2017, it was clear that Justine And The Unclean were something special. On that recording, the Boston band’s mix of pop punk and power pop greeted the listener in a fantastically upbeat fashion, and Justine Couvault’s distinctive, curly vocal style was impossible to ignore. As the follow up singles emerged, it was always possible to spot the band thanks to that vocal, and regardless of whatever style the music took, the Unclean continued to sound like a band with a real spirit. A little later, their first full length release ‘Get Unclean’ added some old school hard rock to an already potent mix, suggesting a great future ahead. Naturally, things went a little quiet in the Unclean camp during the pandemic years, but a trio of singles suggested the band had retained their sense of drive, and in 2021’s ‘Scorpion Bowl To Go’, it seemed as if they’d actually upped the ante in terms of catchy hooks.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS – Red On Red Hots: Year One Compilation

Throughout their first year in business, Justine Couvault’s Red On Red Records gave a platform to various great underground bands. The acts were often of the power pop or garage rock variety, but the coming together of the label and the largely US based acts provided a lot of entertainment during its first twelve months and often felt like a sister project to the equally fun Rum Bar label.

A few digital releases by Justine And The Unclean continued to give their fans enjoyable hook-driven sounds beyond their two excellent full length/EP releases, and label favourites Kid Gulliver more than showed how old style power pop will never die. With these artists providing something of a backbone, the label couldn’t fail, but their first year brought so much more. ‘Red On Red Hots’ pulls together seventeen tracks from the Red On Red stable, placing the familiar with the new, creating a perfect introduction for anyone who hasn’t yet stumbled across any of their releases, as well as a treat for fans looking for a couple of new tracks.

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