The Talks

The Talks – ska – from Hull in England is Patrick Pretorius (Vocals / Guitars / Sax), Jody Moore (Vocals / Guitars / Keys), Iain Allen (Bass) and Richard Lovelock (Drums).

The Talks - ska from England

The Talks

The Talks are a pure delight, but reviewing ska comes at a price – time – inevitably I spend more time dancing than I do typing and when it is delivered as well as this quartet, the desire to get anywhere near a keyboard fades to a distant memory, but finally I have reached the keys. Whilst rooted in the sounds of the past the band is far more than a throwback as they have managed to add a warming glow to the sharp edged notes which gives it an even more inclusive feel.

It is the keys which have been given a new twist with a wurtlitzer effect and the saxophone is more muted whilst a rap derived vocal gives it a modernity. The Talks stay mainly with ska, but are not averse to dance-hall reggae diversions, which they deliver particularly well and it is of little surprise they are gaining an increasingly international appeal, with festival appearances across many European countries.

A new single Radio is scheduled for release on the 30th June with thoughts of an LP – Commoners, Piers, Drunks and Thieves for later in the year.

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Don’t Look Behind You – Single – The Talks is available on iTunes*.

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The Hertz Complex

The Hertz Complex is an alt-rock band based in London (England), comprising Chris Keelan (Bass), Neil O’Keeffe (Vocals / Guitar), Paul Keane (Lead Guitar / Vocals) and Benjamin Balan (Drums).

The Hertz Complex - alt-rock from England

The Hertz Complex

Combining musicians from Eire and Canada ending up in Deptford in South London may sound like an unlikely tale, but therein sits The Hertz Complex. Juxtapositions of clarity and haziness flow through the material which reverberates through the room and for some bizarre reason I am craving liquorice as the warming, though slightly bitter-sweet sounds spin around my head.


The Hertz Complex have the ability to compose songs which immediately inject themselves into the veins as the lower registers rattle the blood cells whilst a dreamy flow of guitar and vocal drift the brain away in a world of its own. The quartet deliver sounds which drift slowly through the mind in a dream sequence as the lo-fi fuzz is combined with a slow progression of notes, that allows the mind to dwell on each component and enjoy it to its full.

An inauspicious – forwarded email – was my introduction and as with all forwarded emails I was somewhat ill-disposed on opening it, but I am delighted I did as the music contained within was a pure delight and the forthcoming début EP A New Habit which appears on the 14th July, that I have had the pleasure to hear, is a cracker.

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Natalie McCool

Natalie McCool from Liverpool in England is a singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

Natalie McCool - Photo © Gaz Jones 2014

Natalie McCool – Photo © Gaz Jones 2014

A sparkling apodictic voice greats the listener on hitting play and in many ways that would be enough, but Natalie McCool is able to deliver songs which are steeped in thematics and emotive context. Performing songs with like-minded musicians enables the full sound to communicate with the audience.

The voice seems to hover in the air before the vibrato descends in a triumphant swirl and the mind becomes transfixed in the distinguished underlying power. Natalie McCool is able to emote the sentiments of the songs in an evocative, but not schmaltzy manner, thereby retaining the credence of the material. Having learned her craft within a band she has developed the ability to ensure all parts of the track, sum more than the individual constituents.

The natural flow of the tracks and cohesion in delivery enables Natalie to provide music that transcends usual genre preferences by those who come in contact with her work.

A new single Wind Blows Harder is scheduled for release on the 16th June.

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Wind Blows Harder – Single – Natalie McCool is available on iTunes*

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The Four Disorders

The Four Disorders, an alt-synth duo – Joe and Mi-Shan – are from London in England.

The Four Disorders - alt-synth from England

The Four Disorders


With only a couple of tunes to hear at present, The Four Disorders is a new band who produce music laden with luscious textures. The combinations of electronics and rumbling bass lazily roll around the room, whilst a vocal sets off the over-all sound, that captures the ears in its velvet glove.

There is a retrospective sound to the compositions, which are creatively written and performed, as the duo wrest maximum effect in their morose luxuriant, flowing songs.

Given The Four Disorders thus far fleeting existence, by the quality of the tracks currently so far available, this is a duo I look forward to hearing much more of during the course of the year.

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Art Block

Art Block is an alt-folk singer song writer from London in England.

Art Block - alt-folk from England

Art Block

One man and one acoustic guitar, with the occasional dash of additional instruments and percussion creates prophetic tracks in the guise of Art Block. It is the synergy between vocal, lyric and composition which marks out the sounds that consider the intangible. There is an emotionally charged evisceration within the music, that scores deep into the mind of the listener. As evidence that in the right hands a flow of notes and voice can connect those who are intrinsically disconnected Art Block is a fine example.


Demanding of the audiences’ attention, the music doesn’t just lay quietly in the bye-way, rather grabbing hold of fleeting passing ears and forcing focus. Given the sparse garb, that is a testament to the emotive context and no matter where the brain may have been headed, it becomes transfixed by the sounds.

A top-notch singer-songwriter who is able to emote vocally the context of the lyric, whilst creating a frame-work in which the overall delivery becomes one and the same, I wish Art Block every success.

Inevitably, we all have  contexts that work particularly well on an individual level and my choice is one that reminds me of the vocals of Siouxsie Sioux and is replete with additional backing, whilst this is atypical of the context of the music. Therefore a couple of tracks, rather than the usual one, follow…

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