Category Archives: Release

@MoseleyFolk Festival Headliners Goodnight Lenin to release debut single on Static Caravan @sttccrvn

by Charlotte Payne

Birmingham boys Goodnight Lenin have only been at it a year or so but they caught the eye of the Moseley Folk team back in December after releasing a YouTube video of a simple acoustic performance in which they sat perched on the counter tops of their kitchen. In the last eight months or so they have supported a host of top folk and not so folk acts including First Aid Kit, Features and Darwin Deez.

On the 6th August they will be releasing their debut single ‘Crook in the Creek’ on local label Static Caravan. 500 limited edition 7 inch singles will be available featuring beautiful folk artwork by Clare Rojas and it will also be available to download via iTunes.

'Crook in The Creek' out 6th August

Liam and Matt from the band were kind enough to answer a few questions and here are the answers we got:

First things first, what’s the reasoning behind the name Goodnight Lenin? What’s the association with the film ‘Goodbye Lenin’?

Liam – “We did not want to be another generic ‘The’ band. The band loves the film, its imagery, and the mise-en-scene. We were slightly worried about the communist connotations of ‘Lenin’ but we don’t think people have taken too much notice of that really.”

When you’re on stage you often talk about your love of travel (or John does at least); how come you have all ended up back in Birmingham?

Matt – “It’s not a case of ending up back in Birmingham. We’ve chosen to be here. We have a lot of pride in our hometown and are determined to play our part in putting Birmingham back on the map, in the musical sense.”

If you could fly off tomorrow where would you go, and why?

Matt – “South America is a place we would jump at the chance to visit. It would be an unforgettable experience to tour there, taking in the major capitals like Bogota, Rio, Buenos Aires, Santiago etc but also getting off the beaten track and exploring places like Cartagena and Mendoza. There’s something mesmerising about the continent and the people.”

What music did you grow up listening to and how has this influenced your sound?

Liam – “We grew up listening to a lot of 60’s music, mainly through our parents with the likes of The Beatles, The Faces, Hollies, The Zombies, and Simon and Garfunkel. I also think 90’s Brit guitar music was still fresh when we were young and if it wasn’t for Noel Gallagher I personally would not have picked up a guitar.”

If you could cover any song, what would it be, and why?

Matt – “There are a whole range of songs we would love to cover but above all else ‘Changing of the Guards’ by Dylan is a track we always seem to be drawn to whether it be rehearsing in the lock up or driving to a gig listening to music. At over six minutes long it would be audacious to say the least but if we could nail it, it would be spectacular. That or B*Witched’s ‘C’est La Vie’. It’s a toughy.”

Are there any other bands or records you’ve encountered recently that you think people should know about?

Liam – “As well as Bob Dylan’s 70’s live bootlegs such as ‘Rolling Thunder Revue’, we’re big fans of First Aid Kit with their fantastic harmonies, The Crookes from Sheffield, and a bit closer to home the likes of Boat To Row. Spoken word artist Jodi Ann Bickley is also someone we have a lot of respect for and are very excited to see her and Boat To Row at our debut single launch on August 6th (at The Hare and Hounds).

“Yes that’s a plug!”

Over the rest of the year what are you looking forward to most?

Liam – “It has to be our festival dates. The big one is obviously headlining the Lunar Stage at Moseley Folk Festival before Donovan – it’s something we’ve been working towards for a long time now and it’s personally very rewarding for us to be playing before someone who has had a  massive influence on our music. We can’t wait to see him live. It will also be a nice moment for our family and friends who have got behind us from the outset so they can see how their support has helped us progress. Other festivals we’re really looking forward to are Bestival on the Isle of Wight and Shambala.”

Why should people listen to you if they haven’t already?

Matt – “Because Stone Cold said so.”

What was your favourite toy as a child?

Liam – “I had the Bat Mobile which was the dog’s bollocks. You could fire rockets out of it. Amazing.”

What TV programme do you wish they still made or aired?

Matt – “‘Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?’ purely for the theme tune. Superb.”

If you could travel back in time and meet yourself what would you talk about or do?

Matt – “I think I’d most likely try and come up with some elaborate criminal master plan that involves me always having a stone cold alibi elsewhere. I’d plunder millions. On an unrelated note, the question for some reason reminds me of Bernard’s Watch, the ITV children’s programme where Bernard finds a stopwatch at the end of a rainbow that can stop time. I always detested the little clown as he used it for purely boring purposes like sleeping in late on school days or at his most extreme cheating on an exam. I’d like to think if I had Bernard’s watch I would pillage and steal till my heart was content. Probably wouldn’t make parentally friendly children’s telly mind.”

“I think Hermione Granger had a similar device that was vastly superior to Bernard’s.”

Do you have a lucky charm? If so, what is it?

Liam – “John Joe’s shirt. Whenever he wears it we seem to play well. He always wears it.

Which fictional character would you like to have in the band, and why?

Matt – “Prince… What, Prince is real????”

As it’s festival season, if you had your own festival who would headline, and why?

Liam – “We would take Bob Dylan and his band from the ’75 ‘Desire’ period. Truly amazing. Neil Young would support and Chris Moyles would compere the festival but only so he could be hung, drawn, and quartered on stage post Dylan’s performance.”

You can catch Goodnight Lenin’s Official Single Launch Party at the Hare & Hounds in Kings Heath, Birmingham on Friday 6th August. Support will be provided by Boat to Row, The Young Runaways and Jodi Ann Bickley. This is Moseley Folk Festival’s Lunar Society offering for August and so advance tickets can be purchased for £5.00 + booking fee from here.

Free Mix and Interview with @callumjoynes of Brave or Invincible Records

Brave or Invincible Records celebrate the Easter holidays by unleashing the ‘Hotel Radio’ EP by Tiny Cinema for free from Bandcamp.

Tiny Cinema 'Hotel Radio' - Out Now

The label has initially been set up by five Media and Communication students from Birmingham City University to release records by Tiny Cinema, with the debut album ‘Designs‘ available as a ‘pay as much as you like’ download. As BOI’s Callum Joynes explains, this was the necessary decision to make to guarantee wider exposure for their artist.

“We all very much believe that we want people to be able to hear the music and so it seems right to have the album as pay what you like. If you haven’t heard Tiny Cinema before, you’re not that likely to spend money on the CD. We like to think that we’re not just selling a product but creating a fan base, and allowing them to enjoy the music that we have as easily as possible. After all, the reason we started the label was to allow more people to hear music that we love, so allowing people to pay whatever they want for the album seems the most logical thing.

“Also, to encourage people to get down to see some live performances, we are now offering the CD copies of ‘Designs’ for ‘pay what you like’ at Tiny Cinema gigs.”

But don’t free releases devalue the music or art?

“Not at all, we’re still firm believers in the physical package, as long as it’s done in an interesting and exiting way, and will actually mean something to a fan. People have been sharing music for years, whether its through lending your mate a CD, or playing someone a song. Music should be accessible, the value comes in creating desirable packages and giving something extra.”

How do you you think that the music industry will survive free file sharing from your fledgling record company point of view?

“In short…I think that many “big names” in the music industry and in the politics surrounding it, think they can stop free file sharing and claim that it’s killing them off. Basically, the internet has empowered the independent record industry again, for those that wish to embrace it; and for those who choose to fight against it, it’s really a losing battle.”

There was a noted resurgence in vinyl in 2009, is vinyl here to stay and grow and do you think CDs will become obsolete?

“I don’t think any physical product is becoming obsolete, if it’s packaged in the right way. Most of us have decent vinyl collections and are all known for probably spending too much money on them. Vinyl is generally a nicer product aesthetically than CDs, but I don’t think they’ll totally die out just yet.”

Students Callum, Nick Moreton, Ryan Smith, Chris Williams and Chris Moore met in the first year of their course and through several encounters at the pub discovered shared passions for music and a natural collective instinct for forming a record label. Once they had worked with Leicester based solo artist Tiny Cinema in a live capacity and then hearing the ‘Designs’ album they urged themselves to release it.

“At the moment we have Tiny Cinema [on the roster] and we are in talks with three or four other artists, so will be expanding the roster very soon,” continues Callum. “Aside from that we are also going to be releasing a ‘Brave or Invincible Mixtape’ on a limited run of coloured cassette tapes, where by the covers will be hand made by local artists.

“Along with Steve Thornton; Nick, Chris and myself also broadcast as part of ‘The Forum on Rhubarb Radio’, which is every Saturday from 3-5pm on www.rhubarbradio.com
We have previously had a live session and will look to do more in the future. Generally though, the show is a mixture of chat, football and competitions, with music ranging from Hip-Hop, to Motown, to Alternative rock, to Acoustic and Folk, to Drum and Bass and Dance music. So we cover a lot of ground, but we think it sounds good.”

Boldly venturing into the world of independent record labels, Brave or Invincible are showing that they are capable of living up to their name with their fresh and flexible approach to building and rewarding their artists fanbase as well as nurturing a solid communication foundation through local networks and social media sites. This progressive approach matches their indestructible moniker.

What’s more, they’ve only gone and given you lovely Blue Whale Blog readers a free mix for you to lend your lugholes to…..

Upcoming: Rogue States @hareandhounds 10th March

Rogue States by Jeremy Cowart

On the road to success, Rogue States are back with new single, ‘Lights’ out on Monday 8th March. To celebrate the release, the four piece indie band from Birmingham will be performing down at The Hare and Hounds next Wednesday 10th March.

'Lights' EP available from iTunes on 8th March

As well as performing their latest release, it will be the first live performance to include brand new songs recently written by the band.

Set to be a considerable hit, the new video for ‘Lights’ has already been play listed on the Q Channel and been video of the week on the A&R Worldwide network, while the song has been played on XFM and regional stations across the country.

With a style consisting of upbeat and melodic songs, their music reflects the band’s experience and progress of getting to where they are today. With a classic indie vibe spreading across their collection of music it is only a matter of time before Rogue States break through.

Supporting Rogue States will be East Strikes West and Black Dollar Bills, doors open at 7.30pm. Tickets available from here.

Jennifer Isles


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Album Review- Business Ducks by Graham Parsnip Liquidiser Torture Think-Tank (Revival)

Graham Parsnip Liquidiser Torture Think-tank (Revival) – Business Ducks
Confused By Geese Records

Busines Ducks - now available from http://www.theparsnips.com

Primarily an astounding barrage of nonsensical whimsy, the GPLTT(R) are a particular favourite of mine as a live act. They’ve managed to get themselves into a studio and recorded an album chock full of tongue in cheek… actually tongue in cheek is a wrongness, I have a feeling that songs like ‘Tractor Love’ are earnestly serious recollections of a joyous experience in the country with a David Brown. I can relate.

Business Ducks is a true celebration of the normality of living in Birmingham. When I say normality, I don’t mean the mundane, wet weather, shaven headed yobs, being approached by tramps for nine pence and a fag butt normality that affects us all on a daily basis. I’m referring to the fact that life is filled with moments that we fail to recognise as worthwhile or noteworthy. The Parsnips have done exactly that. Or is it the opposite. Anyway, largely Birmingham centric with tales of the Sealife Centre, happenings in Victoria Square and major geo-movements in Rowley Regis, mixed with instructional musing on matters such as trout and household cleaning, the Graham Parsnip Liquidiser Torture Think-Tank (Revival) have updated the Bonzo Dog Doodah Band’s template with a distinct West Midlands slant.

If I have one criticism, it’s that the recorded Parsnip does not have the tasty crunch of the live Parsnip. But, it’s a small issue. This album is still highly entertaining and a lot of fun. And any band that includes the lyric “I’m gonna do me some dark disaster, I’m gonna wear all your socks” can only get a massive clip art tick in the Stuka spreadsheet.

Jeff Stuka

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‘They are sickening creatures’ – Anna Palmer on joining Tantrums and her Bigger Than Barry release

After receiving swathes of attention for her bellowing voice and nimble ivory tinkling, Anna ‘Little Palm‘ Palmer has not only joined math-pop upstarts Tantrums, but is the focus of a forthcoming release on Bigger Than Barry Records.

Two of her signature tunes, ‘Rag Doll’ and ‘Run Little Rabbit’ have been recorded at Blue Whale Studios and shipped off to various producers for them to slice, splice, remix and re-fix for the burgeoning Brum based label.

We caught up with Anna after her session at The Whale to see how she feels about being chopped up by a load of filthy producers:

“As long as they do a good job of the chopping I don’t mind how filthy they are… But seriously, I’ve always been open to working with other artists, producers or genres so I’m very excited to hear what they come up with.”

How did the project come about?

“Well, I was on the same bill as Scarlet Harlots at a BrumNotes magazine gig at The Vic around Christmas time and I got chatting to (lead singer and BTB Records string puller) Sam about Bigger than Barry and their future plans and he just asked if I’d be up for letting them remix one of my tunes. The rest is history.”

It certainly is an interesting collaboration, are you into much dance music yourself?

“Yes, well I’m not the type who’d sit at home listening to it but on a night out it’s what you need really. I’m not going to try and name any artists as I’m not down with the times at all. I’m partial to a bit of drum and bass but most recently the Tantrums lads have shown me the wonders of dubby wub step.”

Jumper-in Jack Flash - Anna with her new Tantrums team mates - by Rhianon Jones

Anna recently joined forces with the notoriously boystrous post-genre Brummies, Tantrums, adding a soulful vocal and textured synths to their already comprehensive sound, which has been widely received as an inspired move for both parties and according to Anna, came about due to a mutual appreciation of their work.

“I met the lads at the Coffee and Cake Summer Festival. We’d both done acoustic sets and had both commented on how much we enjoyed each others’ music and performances. Later on the conversation shifted to Alan Partridge, Will Farrell and all the other loves we had in common. We had a good laugh that night and said it would be cool to hang out again and maybe write a tune. So we did. We collaborated on ‘Steal it Back’ and played a few gigs with the track. Then around Christmas they called me up and asked me to join the band and I squealed at them!”

Are the boys well behaved around you? They can be quite uncouth at times.
“Well behaved?! Ha! They are sickening creatures. I have to issue a few clips round the ear from to time but they’re harmless really. Bless ’em.”

Not only are Bigger Than Barry Records arranging for Anna to be nipped and tucked by the heaviest producers around, they are currently working on a release by the afore mentioned Tantrums (details to be announced shortly). Sam from BTB explains the three reasons behind choosing to work with Anna: “Her voice, her voice, her voice!”

However, he is more tight-lipped about who will be working on the two tunes recorded at Blue Whale; “I don’t want to give the game away but in the past we have worked and have releases with Enigma, Dub Melitia and Shorterz, who I work with on the label, which are all available to download from Beatport. We have releases lined up with local legends Will Bailey and Mickey Slim and Welsh wizards Chesus and Rodski to name but a few. So hold tight for these future releases!”

Sam from Bigger Than Barry Records in Scarlet Harlot mode

You’ve straddled genres with previous Scarlets’ remixes and pending Tantrums and Anna releases, I assume the Bigger Than Barry brand is big enough to be a genre-less label with a strong enough identity to succeed with its releases whatever sub-section they fit into?

“When we started the parties it was never about genre, it was about the party and that idea is at the heart of what we are trying to do with the label.”

And what is it that you want to achieve with the record company?

“To be canonised in the annals of musical history! No, it feels good to form a community through things that you love and we are doing the things we love. The fact that we are doing this on a shoestring probably means that nine times out of ten, the artists we put out won’t reach a wider audience, unfortunately. But it’s something we don’t dwell on because we are doing it for the love and hopefully people have faith in what we are trying to achieve and help in what ever way they can.”

Are there any plans to release Scarlet Harlots material through BTB?

“My lips are sealed at the moment. Hold tight though!”

Anna is thankfully slightly more forthcoming about where she sees herself in the next few months; “I’m going to be working on Tantrums mainly, trying to push the band as much as possible. I’ll still play the odd gig as Little Palm so I can moan away my thoughts from time to time. The next one is at the end of March at the Arcadian Kicks club night at Sound Bar, but yeah, me and the lads are going to be working very hard on getting a few EP’s out.

“In September I’m due to be going to the Conservatoire in Brum but who knows what the future may hold! I’m really chuffed to be in a band with some brilliant musicians and what makes it even better is how well we get along, they’re such a great bunch of lads and I’m so glad we crossed paths. I’ve got quite a bit to juggle though as I’m working full time at a school but I’m really looking forward to the upcoming releases on Barry, cheers Sam! And all the live shows – should be a great year!”

Keep them peepers peeled on this very blog for more details on Bigger Than Barry Records output.

Andy Roberts

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‘Log Off’ by Tom Peel out now

Tom Peel dropped by to have a look around Blue Whale Studios and very kindly gave us a copy of his fantastic new album, ‘Log Off’ which is available all over the shop (i.e. the internet) including Spotify of all places. Fancy that.

Our copy is one of a number mounted on canvas, made by Mr. Peel himself, which we have hung on the wall in The Blue Whale office:

Listen to ‘Dutdadadutdadadut(one about the phone)’ below and then go and buy / stream the rest of the album.
Dutdadadutdadadut (one about the phone) – Tom Peel



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Shards by Idiosync – Out Today

Shards by Idiosync - Available Now

Art-beat deviants Idiosync are today releasing their awesome new single, ‘Shards’ on Godmonkey Recordings which we thoroughly recommend that you go and buy from here.

Earlier this year, Idiosync came into Blue Whale Studios to record a number of re-workings of their songs for our In The Belly podcast which was also filmed by Alex ‘The King Singh‘ McIntyre Singh.

Idiosync In The Belly

Enjoy, then go buy the single version.


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