The KooksThe Kooks bassist Max Rafferty has left the band, it has been announced though no reason has been given for his departure.

The band says it will play up-coming shows in April and May with stand-in bassist Dan Logan. Their second album “Konk”, the follow-up to best-selling “Inside In/Inside Out”, will be released in April.

Proclaimers - Life With You album2005’s “Restless Soul” was the last album from The Proclaimers, and I have to admit that it passed me by – along with the majority of the bands output since the days of “500 Miles” and “Letter From America”, more than twenty years ago.

Without much of a view of the lads output since then, apart from one or two tracks I have stumbled upon over the years, I was mildly interested in hearing what sort of music they are producing after all these years. Read more

The AshbiesAfter an unpromising start trying to find the venue and discovering that it looked like the kind of place where your Nan would celebrate her 70th birthday, things got very much better. The door and reception staff were very friendly and the atmosphere was very relaxed; not a poseur in sight and lots of people really interested in the music.

The Ashbies were first up and after the inevitable sound problems at the start of the set, they got the night off to a great start. They look very young (and probably are), but they play as if they’ve been doing this for years. It’s difficult being the first band on, but they had the audience with them by the second song of the set. Read more

Marillion Live in London DVD 2007The problem with concert DVDs is that they never really compare with the ‘real thing’. And if you’ve ever seen Marillion live, you’ll know where I’m coming from. I caught them (and they caught me) on their ‘Snowhere Else’ tour just a month or so ago (see the earlier review on this site). This DVD arrived on my doorstep for me to review just a few days later.

I tried, I really did, but I couldn’t do it. The screen just looked like a screen with some colours and sound added, and I had to switch it off before the end of the first track. I cherished my last memory of Marillion, almost like a close friend who had died – and I didn’t want it sullied by some flat electronic signals dancing on a lifeless silver box. Read more

Meet the Eels CDI have to admit right from the start that I am an Eels fan, and have even been known to partake of E’s pre-Eels catalogue. So it is quite shocking to see that they have been going for so long, this CD celebrates their first 10 years, and even then it only takes us up to two years ago.

The problem with any Best Of compilations is that the fans already have the majority of the songs on it, but this release adds not only a couple of “Previously Unreleased” tracks, but also some wonderful liner notes.  Mark Edwards from The Sunday Times gives us a potted history of the band, and E himself gives a few notes on each track.

The album clearly demonstrates the artistic growth of Eels as a band, and Mark Everett as a song-writer. From the 1996 introduction to the Eels, the hit “Novocaine for the Soul”, through the heart-rending tracks from the “Electro-Shock Blues” album, to the full rock-out of “Souljacker”, the album is one hell of a collection of great music.

Essential for Eels completists.  Recommended for the casual fan.  Vital for any music fan who has yet to be touched by the Eels.

Sonic Spells - ClingFirst off, let me say I loved this CD. I won’t keep you guessing by giving a vague review. Sonic Spells is less along the lines of songs you’ll be humming on the bus and more of an ambient journey. There’s certain music you’ll sing along to, dance to, drum on your steering wheel to and then there’s the other type; Music that serves as background music, sleeping music or something to chill out to. Cling fall in to this category.

Right now it’s serving as great music to write to. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be less devoted to an artist because you regard them as providing ‘mood music’ though. They’re just less likely to inhabit your iPod and more suited to driving home to after a loud gig.

To give you an idea they run along the same lines as Leftfield and Portishead but less emphasis on the Trip-hop. They display similar moods to Sigur Ros but closer to dance music. Now I think I’ll stop embarrassing myself by trying to describe a sound. All I can say is for some reason i can smell incense burning.

Flamboyant Bella - 2Flamboyant Bella, faves of MusicRiot and featured on two MusicRiot Presents podcasts, have announced dates for early 2008. We highly recommend getting out to see them live. *DATES UPDATED*

Saturday 9th Feb – Leicester, The Charlotte
Sunday 10th Feb – Liverpool Academy
Monday 11th Feb – Manchester  Academy 3
Tuesday 12th Feb – Glasgow Barfly
Thursday 14th Feb – Stoke, The Sugarmill
Friday 15th Feb – Northampton Soundhaus
Saturday 16th Feb – Tunbridge Wells Forum
Friday 29th Feb – Hitchin, Remix Night Club

RadioheadRadiohead fans are queuing outside an east London record shop after the band announced they are to play a gig there later today.

They will play a short set from their latest album “In Rainbows” at the Rough Trade East shop on Brick Lane. The band said on their website that the gig should be “interesting”. “Us being us, we’re taking far too many instruments,” they added.