The Lurkers Although not as well known as many of the classic late 1970s punk outfits, The Lurkers produced some superb songs and have a high standing in punk mythology. Formed in 1976 the band recorded four sessions for John Peel and their debut single, ‘Shadow’, was number 12 in Peel’s 1977 ‘Festive Fifty’. Their album reputation was established by 1979’s ‘Fulham Fallout’, a collection of knockout songs including such gems as teenage anthem ‘I’m On Heat’.


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Fat White Family

Every now and again there is an iconic gig that stays forever in the memory. So it is with Fat White Family at Preston tonight. FWF have a bit of a reputation for incendiary gigs, so the expectation is there from the outset. As it turns out, tension is there from the very start, with the venue doors finally opening well over an hour after schedule, due to late and extended sound checks. There are anxious faces all round among venue and band staff, as the doors stay shut and the length of the queue outside grows.



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Trembling Bells Having seen the tour de force of Trembling Bells backing The Incredible String Band’s Mike Heron back in January and then hearing their newest material aired on Radio 6, I couldn’t resist a return visit to Preston’s Continental to see them perform in their own right. Trembling Bells have an eclectic musical palette. They’ve developed rapidly from their folky roots and they mix musical genres like no other band. What’s more, they are really exciting live performers.


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The Cloudspotting Music and Arts Festival There are people saying that there are too many music festivals these days. However, why should there only be a few major regional events, with the accompanying big crowds, travel chaos and heavy commercialisation? Why not have smaller events that we can all easily get to, which are more comfortable all round, can give more exposure to local bands and which still attract big names? The Cloudspotting Music and Arts Festival seems to fulfil this role admirably.


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Bridget St John Back in the days of my youth I was a regular listener to DJ John Peel’s Radio 1 ‘Top Gear’ programme (not to be confused with the TV programme of the same name associated with some chap called Clarkson). Peelie specialised in bringing to the attention of us listeners all sorts of bands and artists that were ignored by the mainstream. So dedicated was the man that, not satisfied with just playing such artists on his radio programme, he actually set us his own record label, ‘Dandelion’, to record and distribute their work. Of course, this was in the days before indie record labels and home recording. One of the major artists on Dandelion Records was Bridget St John, who Peel described as “the best lady singer-songwriter in the country”. Bridget emigrated to New York in the mid-1970s and largely disappeared from the public eye. However, she’s now re-emerged and is doing a rare tour of the UK.


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The Lovely Eggs It’s a bit of an odd coincidence, but with The Lovely Eggs I have now reviewed three bands in a row made up of married couples. The Eggs are Holly Ross and David Blackwell from Lancaster. Holly sings and plays guitar and David is the drummer, which sounds like a sort of English White Stripes, with gender reversal. However, the Stripes were steeped in the American blues and rock, whereas the Eggs look more towards a punk tradition with a distinct northern English edge.


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