Japanese Fighting Fish

Japanese Fighting Fish is KarlostGarethPhil and Joe a London England  based alt-rock band.

Japanese Fighting Fish - alt rock from England

Japanese Fighting Fish

A well measured and paced sound is delivered by Japanese Fighting Fish and you immediately know this is an act with experienced musicians as they allow the power of the compositions to make the statement rather than attempting to add needless flourishes into the mix.

Percussion and bass seamlessly coexist laying the foundation for the pieces with the guitars laying on a scintillating wave of colour and the vocal brings the material together with a voice that, layered with gravel, suits the music to a tee. Whilst I enjoy the sounds I am left with a feeling that to some extent this is a band who are trying a bit too hard to be interesting and although the music sounds genuine there is a perception that threads through the music that they are not enjoying the music for its very originality and are seeking to deliver a ‘sound’. Their live performances may mitigate this sense, I couldn’t say. Don’t take that as a reason not to get involved, as you know, I like my music with the scuffed edges and I find it all a little too polished.

Having had the opportunity to listen to the new Japanese Fighting Fish ten track LP Day Bombs which is set for release on the 30th September I can confirm it is a fine body of work and well worth getting hold of when it comes out as the strength of the compositions and musical prowess nullifies my minor criticisms.

website (be aware music starts immediately).

Greatest Excuse – Single – Japanese Fighting Fish is available on iTunes*

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The High Ones

The High Ones is Mark Lee and Nigel Parrington a psychedelic indie pop duo from St. Albans in England.

The High Ones - psychedelic indie pop from England

The High Ones

Mark will be a familiar name to established readers as part of The Pocket Gods, a perennial favourite on the Indie Bands Blog. On this occasion, whilst the material remains as lo-fi as to be expected it is somehow more accessible and whilst the distinctive laconic vocal of Mark Lee remains as recognizable as ever, the audience is offered a more dance orientated sound.

There is a distinctive funk undertow which snaps the hips into movement with a plethora of alternative new wave synths which flow through the tracks giving them a sinuous movement.

Whilst The Pocket Gods remain very active, The High Ones have more sporadic out-put, more akin to the cycle of Halley’s Comet, but welcome none the less for it when they do arrive and knowing that Lee has an almost obsessive interest in all things celestial and beyond, perhaps that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.

This is music to take at any-time of the day when you fancy exploring something a little different, but nonetheless easy to engage with.


Pox Popz – EP – The High Ones is available on iTunes*.

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Lieutenant Tango

Lieutenant Tango a kwela beat outfit from Edinburgh in Scotland is David Scobie (Guitar / vocals), Alexander Betty Lambton (Saxophone), Calum Michie (drums) and Chris Pasquill (Bass).

<b>Lieutenant Tango - kwela from Scotland</b>

Lieutenant Tango

Somehow it seems that my wish for more bands taking references from Africa is ringing true as I find in my inbox Lieutenant Tango who throw in a saxophone to give this a real fillip with more than a hint to ska to the kwela influences. The only problem I am finding is locating the keyboard which is skittering across the desk in unison with the lively beats that are reverberating off the walls. The only way this could be improved in my opinion is with the addition of bagpipes just to round off the whole thing.

What a wonderful life reviewing the bands that so many other reviewers want to leave behind as they don’t have a high enough profile, oh what wonders they are missing and I know that as a regular reader, you feel that way too. Lieutenant Tango offer everything that is needed in music – fun, creativity and a sense of perspective with sounds that ripple through the nervous system firing the neurons of the audience.

They are not attempting to reinvent the wheel, but add a touch of Tabasco Sauce to the mix and leave the audience wreathed in huge smiles and sweating brows. There are some good Independent labels in Scotland and I would anticipate Lieutenant Tango will not be waiting too long for some offers. On the down side, I can envisage this as being highly licensable music and there is a danger that they may be encouraged to forgo their exuberance and joy to create sounds that suit the advertisers – I hope not. But just in case – catch them now.

So, Go is a great introduction to Lieutenant Tango as they have the confidence to hold an introduction for 1:55 and then another 50 seconds of instrumental before getting to the meat and grist – well worth a listen for the full 4:45.


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Birthrite is Erazamus Voss (Vocals), Jonny Zygen (Guitar), Mark Thinsliced (Bass) and Dek La Plombier (Percussion) an alternative indie band from Tipton in England.

Birthrite - alt indie from England


A delightful combination of New Romanticism, Funk and Steampunk floats its way into the ears as Birthrite deliver sounds that contain depth and clarity all wrapped up in one go. If you are of my vintage, think Black Arabs on Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle and you will get the gist, though that isn’t to say it is all retrospective and for those who haven’t got a clue what I am referencing in that last bit and don’t fancy doing a search – The darker edges of the music are given a spit and polish with an up-tempo lift that gives the material a lighter quality delivered complete with wry smile.

I happily find myself bouncing around the room and returning back to the keyboard for a few words of text whilst my mind is entranced by the core focus of the out-put which has a sardonic and incisive reflective. The combinations delivering sounds that are pure enjoyment on many levels.

It is through the very disparity of the influences that Birthrite are able to offer compositions which raises them well above the parapet, though sadly I feel, as with many of the best bands playing now, they will remain sidelined from the far broader audience they deserve.


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Blood Sport

Blood Sport is Alex Keegan (Guitar), Sam Parkin (Drums) and Nick Potter (Vocals) an alternative indie band based in Sheffield, England.

Blood Sport is an alt indie band from England

Blood Sport – photo credit Guy Smith

Lilting rhythms and melodies with influences of Dan Mugala and later derivations of the style of Kadongo Kamu from Uganda interspersed with reminders of Alternative TV give the music an hypnotic timbre in which tracks could become never ending hypnosis of sound and to give the material the time to flourish and develop in the listeners ears they do run pieces to over seven minutes duration, which could happy be doubled in length without loosing any interest.

The transformation of well established cohesive influences dipped in the box of existentialism provides for a triumph of experimentalism which in many ways provides a backdrop to social fracturing across much of the world today, delivering music, which in many ways due to its disparate roots is precisely of its time and an exciting commentary of the second decade of the 21st Century in the so called ‘developed world’.

This is not the first time in recent weeks that I have come across a new band taking influences from the rich seam of Ugandan music and I for one do hope this becomes a wider trend as the journey on which the brain can be taken is breathtakingly extensive.

With a new album – Life In Units – set for release on the 9th September I look forward to hearing more from Blood Sport.


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