The Jemtunes best of 2014

For the Jemtunes 2014 swan-song, here’s my top ten of the albums I’ve purchased all released in 2014. I’ve thought long and hard about this (at least five minutes over a beer last night) and, although there are some obvious exceptions, it’s a pretty good crop I think. No brainer for the the number 1 slot though.

Here they are in reverse order:

10 – The Pixies – Indie Cindy

9 – Preacher’s Son – 10 Stories Tall

8 – Cage the gods – Badlands

7 – Rival Sons – Great Western Valkyrie

6 – The Zico Chain – New Romantic

5 – The Pretty Reckless – Going to Hell

4 – Dudley Taft – Screaming in the wind

3 – Henry’s Funeral Shoe – Comfortable Skin

2 – Wilko Johnson & Roger Daltrey – Going back home

1 – Royal Blood


December Download

Every month I put together an MP3 playlist for my i-Pod compiled from downloaded tunes and other tracks I’ve come across. Mostly new but some old, they form an eclectic mix of tunes to last until the next one. Here’s what I’ve added to that for December 2014.

[1] Samantha Fish – Money to burn

[2] J.P. Soars – More Bees than Honey (from the rather excellent album of the same name from 2011)
[3] Rival Sons – Electric Man
[4] Slash (ft Myles Kennedy) – Bent to fly
[5] Corobot – Nowhere to hide
[6] Lionise – Breather
[7] The Zico Chain – New Romantic

We caught The Zico Chain as first support to Royal Blood in Brighton on 20 December (review here). This track is from their 2014 debut album “The devil in your heart”.

[8] Marmozets – Good Days
[9] Purple – Wallflower
[10] Buzzcocks – Third Dimension (We saw The Buzzcocks again at Brighton’s Concorde II back in October – review here)
[11] The Dispersions – 12 Monkeys
[12] Jerry Case – Beyond Eyeshot
[13] The Wave Pictures – Pea Green Coat
[14] Huw Eddy – Winter Smile
[15] Royal Southern Brotherhood – Let’s Ride, and
[16] Dread Zeppelin – Ramble On

Royal Blood – Brighton II

I wouldn’t usually post two blogs about the same thing, particularly so close together. But there has to be an exception to everything – and this is absolutely exceptional!

Royal Blood at Brighton vids have started to hit YouTube and here you have the subliminal ‘Figure it Out’ Most of you don’t know what I look like – but I’m there, in the crowd, right at the front of the stage going completely mental!

Royal Blood played Brighton Dome on 20 December 2014. I was there!

And now the 90s #10 – 1999


For two nights in October 1999, Jimmy Page teamed up with The Black Crowes for a double-bill of back-catalogue Led Zeppelin and old blues numbers at the Greek Theatre, Downtown LA. This double album, released later that year, is therefore my final choice for this Jemtunes mini-series.


Jimmy Page & the Black Crowes – The Greek, LA

Strangely, for contractual reasons, The Black Crowes were unable to release any of their own material on the album. No matter though. For here you have 20 tracks of earth-shattering quality which help to take this, not only one of the best live albums of the 1990’s but maybe of all time. It’s that good.

To prove a point, have a bit of this…

Royal Blood – Brighton – 20/12/14


The waiting is over. I have at long last seen Royal Blood live. And they were absolutely everything I could have hoped for and more besides. I count this as a landmark moment in my gig history – and I’ve seen a fair few over the years. Last night though easily ranks in the top five amongst the creme-de-la-creme of live acts.


Everything about this sold-out leg of Royal Blood’s European tour was right. From the fact that it was on home turf (almost) – Brighton’s only ten miles from Worthing – to the sheer exuberant happiness of the crowd – to the brilliance of the support acts – to the post-gig conversational buzz about just how amazing all of that was. And my brother and I were there. Part of it. Proud to say we are now amongst the privileged masses to have seen the rock act of the 21st century to date live and loud and wonderful.


Zyco Chain – 1st Support

Royal Blood came complete with two top rate support acts. First up were Zyco Chain from London. Performing material from their 12 year history, the band set the scene with power and panache, particularly with their set piece ‘New Romantic’


Marmozets – 2nd support

Second up were the Marmozets. Fronted by Becca MacIntyre, the band from Bingley, West Yorkshire set out to prove that they could do stuff from their debut album (The weird and wonderful Marmozets) released back in September just as well live as in the studio. And prove it they most certainly did.

And then the house lights went down and stormed straight back up for two hours of blistering tracks from the men themselves – Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher. Close your eyes and you’d swear this was at least a five-peice. But you’d be wrong. So totally wrong. Two people – bass and drums but with a sound totally unlike no other. This is 21st century rock at its absolute best. The art of the loop-pedal for an axeman cometh and it is Mike Kerr. And the fifty-pound hammer is alive and very well thank you very much. Its name is Ben Thatcher. Rock is Royal Blood. End of.


And now the 90s #9 – 1998


For the penultimate year of the 1990’s in this mini Jemtunes series, I’ve chosen Deep Purple’s ’30’, an album celebrating thirty years of hits for the band back in 1998. 18 wonderful tracks from ‘Hush’ in 1968 through to ‘Any Fule Kno That’ in 1998. The track of choice though is this gem from 1996 – ‘Ted the Mechanic’.

And now the 90s #7 – 1996


I’ve long been something of a sucker for a good song or album title. And Underworld’s 1996 offering of ‘Second toughest in the infants’ takes some beating in my book. As album titles go, it’s up there in the proverbial top ten (if there was such a thing – hmmmm…thinks!)

‘Pearl’s Girl’ is the track of choice here and for very good reason. When the album came out, my middle daughter Gracey was five and, although the song’s repeated strapline is actually ‘…crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy…’, it sounded more like (and still does) ‘…gracey, gracey, gracey, gracey…’ No brainer really.

In March next year I have the chance to find out first hand what those words sound like live, as I have tickets to see the band at the Brighton leg of their ‘Dubnobasswithmyheadman’ (another superb album title) tour. Watch this space for a review of that.

And now the 90s #6 – 1995

jem tunes


In 1995 Pink Floyd released P-u-l-s-e, a live double album recorded on the UK and European leg of their Division Bell tour in 1994. Disc 2 is a complete live version of ‘Dark side of the moon’ and so includes what could well be one of my favourite Pink Floyd tracks, Money. There again, the opening track on Disc 1 is ‘Shine on you crazy diamond’ – so who am I trying to kid?


I got my copy of P-u-l-s-e from Atomic Sounds in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex (UK), a great little independent record store now sadly no more. I knew the album was out. In fact, I’d gone to the shop that day specifically to purchase it. But, truth be told, I was actually drawn in by the light! Or, to be precise, the pulsating red light on the sleeve’s outer spine which the proprietor, Tony, had placed at…

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