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Saturday, 30 May 2020

Henry Priestman And Les Glover, The Brothers Steve and Berling Noise Laboratories - I Don't Hear A Single Audio Extravaganza Volume 100 Live Specials




I’m more on home territory for the first of tonight’s three sessions. Henry Priestman and Les Glover are a fantastic double act, great songs and a wonderful hilarious chemistry bond them. Les lives in the same village as me, although he lives at the posh end.

Henry is known to many from his time in Yachts, It’s Immaterial and The Christians as well as for his writing and production credits. Les has worked with Graham Gouldman, Ian McNabb and Nick Harper among others. He’s also responsible for one of the best solo records of recent years, Loved Up Les.

For the last six years, the pair have toured as a duo, delighting sold out audiences with their mix of splendid songs and laugh out loud interaction.  They play an Acoustic Session here featuring four songs from their acclaimed Six Of One Half A Dozen Of The Other album and a Yachts classic, Love You Love You.

As a special treat, the session closes with a wonderful cover of Yachts Suffice To Say from Henry, accompanied by five others, including Les, recorded on iphones. The video went up on Henry’s Facebook Page today, here you can hear the audio exclusive.







The Brothers Steve hail from Los Angeles and a reboot of a legendary band that prefigured the much-missed TSAR. Tsar’s debut album, in my opinion, the best ever Power Pop album. In exclusive news, the band have signed to the Big Stir Records label and will start with a single and the first ever digital release of their superb #1 album.

The band encompasses much of the celebrated Tsar's lineup (including Jeff Whalen, whose acclaimed 2018 release, 10 More Rock Super Hits, showed him still on top of his game and their album featured on many of last year’s Top 10 lists.

This five song acoustic session features Jeff Whalen, Os Tyler and Dylan Champion from the band playing three songs from their album and two wonderful surprises.






Nick Bertling is probably the finest artist that you’ve never heard of. Known extensively for his engineering and production work as well as his drumming, his own music under the name Bertling Noise Laboratories is simply stunning.

Multi styled, he offers up hard edged Pop Rock that compares with anyone around. As well as a fine back catalogue, he has a new album released on the 5th of June called Green Meadows Sketchbook. You can pre-order the album now following the link on the I Don’t Hear A Single site.

As an exclusive here, we add an exclusive listen to one of the songs from the new album, Bought And Sold.

Thanks as always to Jim Moody for his technical excellence. The details of our fourth special are below:


01 Henry Priestman And Les Glover Intro
02 Old Man Of The Sea
03 Not In My Name
04 Ghosts Of A Thousand Fishermen
05 Love You Love You
06 Suffice To Say (With Jo Bushell, Dr. Nick, Jimmy Rae and Sarah-Lou Fletcher)
07 The Brothers Steve Intro
08 She
09 Good Deal Of Love
10 C’mon Pappy
11 Love Of Kings
12 Mr. Blue
13 Bertling Noise Laboratories Intro
14 Miss Fortune
15 My Love
16 Bought And Sold




IDHAS Audio Extravaganza Volume 100 Live Special 6




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You can still listen to Monday's Caper Clowns Session here.

You can still listen to Tuesday's Sessions by Spygenius and Chris Church here.

You can listen to Wednesday's Sessions by Nick Piunti, The Vapour Trails and Dolph Chaney here.

You can listen to Thursday's Sessions featuring Ex Norwegian and John Howard here.

You can listen to Friday's Sessions featuring Curvey of Custard Flux, Blaine Campbell and Blake Jones And The Trike Shop with exclusives from Nick Frater and Ulysses here.


You can buy Six Of One, Half A Dozen Of The Other and Henry's solo albums here. You can also buy it and Les's albums here .I will post the Big Stir link to purchase CD and download here when it is available.

You can buy The Brothers Steve album hereYou can buy Jeff Whalen merch hereYou can listen and buy Luck Of Eden Hall albums here.

You can listen to, buy Bertling Noise Laboratories albums and pre-order Green Meadows Sketchbook here. You can discover more about them on the website here.



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Friday, 29 May 2020

Custard Flux, Blaine Campbell and Blake Jones And The Trike Shop - I Don't Hear A Single Audio Extravaganza Volume 100 Live Specials




Welcome to the Fifth of our week long Audio Extravaganza Live Session Specials. Today we have exclusive sessions from Curvey of Custard Flux, Blaine Campbell and Blake Jones And The Trike Shop. If that isn’t enough excitement for you, we also have two exclusive recordings from I Don’t Hear A Single Favourites.

We begin with a song from Nick Frater. Who leads the way in bringing Power Pop to a new audience. His fourth album, Full Fathom Freight Train from last year was marked high up in many critics Best Of Year Charts. It was in the I Don’t Hear A Single Top 10.

Frater has already recorded a new album, Fast And Loose which will be released in the Autumn, marking his debut for the Big Stir label. He also is currently involved in a ground breaking Instagram project, called 59 Viganettes in which he releases a track each day, each being under 59 seconds. Today he provides a wonderful cover of Gilbert O’ Sullivan’s Alone Again Naturally.






For the past 30 years or so, Detroit’s Curvey has been the driving force behind the magnificent Luck Of Eden Hall. The band’s mixture of Psych and Prog with big hints of Pop has been a revelation. Custard Flux is Curvey’s largely electricity free project utilising traditional instruments.

The first two albums, Helium and Echo were in Prog Magazines Top 10 End Of Year Chart in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Both albums reveal the breadth of the man’s inventiveness. A third album, Oxygen has just been recorded and will be released on the 5th July.

This outstanding solo session reveals both the range of music that I Don’t Hear A Single covers  and the talent that Curvey has.






Los Angeles’s Blaine Campbell released his fourth album, Under The Tidal Wave in December of last year. Campbell is known for exceptional harmony driven melodic songs. I suppose you could frame it as Beach Boys Pop.

However Under The Tidal Wave reaches out far further encompassing many different styles in songs that beautifully arranged and sung. The album gently Rocks. Here’s a four song session that Blaine recorded for us pre-lockdown.






Bristol and Bath quartet Ulysses are a revelation with their mixture of Glam and Chorus led Rock. There is a real joy and wit that they bring to their singalong songs. Without ever taking themselves too seriously, their four albums offer up real earworms that are immaculately produced.

A breath of fresh air in what has become a po faced musical climate, the quality of the songwriting is overlooked in all the fun. The band’s latest album, On Safari was second in I Don’t Hear A Single’s Top 10 albums of 2019. Here they perform an exclusive Acoustic Version of a new song, Supply And Demand.






Fresno’s Blake Jones And The Trike Shop have been around since 1993, this five piece since 2005. Their fifth album, Make, is a joyous Art Pop listen. Indie in the truest sense of the word, they offer up great pop songs with unusual arrangements.

Imagine a Psych band playing songs that should be in the Top 40 and you’d not be far away. Highly original and now part of the Big Stir stable, the band play four songs recorded pre lockdown. Three are from previous albums, including Soft Rock Girlfriend from Make and Shake Your Dress is exclusively new.


Thanks as always to Jim Moody for his technical excellence. The details of our fourth special are below:


01 Nick Frater Intro
02 Alone Again Naturally
03 Curvey Intro
04 Extraordinary Man
05 Magazines
06 Custard Raga
07 Helium
08 Blaine Campbell Intro
09 Someday You'll Be Mine
10 Happy Faces
11 Shoutin' Dont Count
12 Surrender
13 Ulysses Intro
14 Supply And Demand (Acoustic)
15 Blake Jones Intro
16 Soft Rock Girlfriend
17 Shake Your Dress
18 Forestiere Gardens
19 Sun Up



IDHAS Audio Extravaganza Volume 100 Live Special 5



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You can still listen to Monday's Caper Clowns Session here.

You can still listen to Tuesday's Sessions by Spygenius and Chris Church here.

You can listen to Wednesday's Sessions by Nick Piunti, The Vapour Trails and Dolph Chaney here.

You can listen to Thursday's Sessions featuring Ex Norwegian and John Howard here.


You can listen and buy Nick Frater's albums here. You can find more about him on his website here .

You can listen and buy Custard Flux albums hereYou can listen and buy Luck Of Eden Hall albums here.

You can listen and buy Blaine Campbell's albums here.

You can listen and buy Ulysses's albums here. You can find more about the band on their website here.

You can listen and buy Blake Jones And The Trike Shop's albums here. You can find out more about the band here.



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Thursday, 28 May 2020

Ex Norwegian and John Howard - I Don't Hear A Single Audio Extravaganza Volume 100 Live Specials



The response to this week of Live Sessions has been really heart warming, we were heavily over subscribed and so we hope to do more in the future. However, we don’t want to to divert too much from the reviews and interviews that I Don’t Hear A Single is known for. So they’ll be the occasional treat, rather than the norm and the Audio Extravaganza will continue with its fortnightly mix of the best new music.

The next two days underline the range of music that we cover. Our fourth evening features Ex Norwegian and John Howard. Two Ex Norwegian Sessions recorded this year, bookmark John’s.  The heavy Electricity of Ex Norwegian contrasts beautifully with the piano Singer Songwriter’s calm.

I have described Miami Beach’s Ex Norwegian as the best band of the past decade. Roger Houdaille’s outfit have an exceptional back catalogue that majors on Pop Rock and Psych Pop. The Power Pop of 2018’s No Sleep made it I Don’t Hear A Single’s Album Of The Year and Last Year’s 2 CD Best Of, Something Unreal was our Compilation of the year.

2020 is Psych Pop year for the band. Two albums are released by the band on June 5th. Hue Spotting is an original Psych Pop masterpiece. Spotting Hues is a sister album of wonderful obscure Psych covers. The first of two sessions was recorded this month.

The second session was recorded early this year for I Don’t Hear A Single. The only repeated song is Making Deals which is no hardship as it was my favourite single of 2018.






John Howard is a national treasure. Born near my neck of the woods in Bury, he now lives in Murcia. People will talk about Elton John and Billy Joel as 70s Singer Songwriters with a piano, but no album from either tops Kid In A Big World.

His 70’s Output was and still is extraordinarily good. The early 2000’s saw a welcome realisation of how great an album, Kid In A Big World was and all that attention led to the album being reissued in 2003. There began the revival of Howard’s career.

John left behind A and R and Marketing to begin a second prolific career. Since then we’ve had nine new albums plus three Live albums ,a Best Of, A collection of rarities on vinyl and numerous EPs. All receive critical acclaim and rightly so.

His autobiography, the first of three intended volumes, is a fascinating, at times shocking account of Life in the 70s. I’d recommend Incidents Crowded With Life To All. Here is a five song session from John, recorded earlier this month.

Thanks as always to Jim Moody for his technical excellence. The details of our fourth special are below:


01 Ex Norwegian Intro

02 Dance Trance Pants
03 Bloody Patriots
04 All The Time
05 Making Deals
06 Post Post Malone
07 Baby You’re Lame
08 In The Land Of Grey And Pink
09 Something 2020

10 John Howard Intro

11 Kid In A Big World
12 Permanently Temporary
13 The Time Of Day
14 Family Man
15 In The Stillbeat of A Silent Day

16 Ex Norwegian Intro

17 Team No Sleep
18 Fear Backwards
19 Making Deals
20 Look Around


Ex Norwegian and John Howard - IDHAS Audio Extravaganza Volume 100 Live Special



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You can still listen to Monday's Caper Clowns Session here.

You can still listen to Tuesday's Sessions by Spygenius and Chris Church here.

You can listen to Wednesday's Sessions by Nick Piunti, The Vapour Trails and Dolph Chaney here.


You can listen to and buy the two new Ex Norwegian albums and Back Catalogue here. You can find more about the band on the website here.

You can find out more about John Howard and buy his albums here.


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Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Nick Piunti, The Vapour Trails and Dolph Chaney - I Don't Hear A Single Audio Extravaganza Volume 100 Live Specials



Welcome to the third of our Live Audio Extravaganza Specials. Tonight, there are three sessions from Nick Piunti, The Vapour Trails and Dolph Chaney respectively.

Detroit’s Nick Piunti has released his fifth solo album in just over 6 years. Downtime came out last Friday and is the first album is his first with The Complicated men.  There is a lot of nonsense written about what is and isn’t Power Pop, Piunti is Power Pop.

Melodic singalong songs with great riffs and big choruses are his speciality and Downtime excels in all three. Here is a solo set, recorded last week at Big Sky Studios and it’s an absolute cracker.






Five piece, The Vapour Trails are Aberdeen’s answer to the likes of Teenage Fanclub and The Byrds. Specialising in Jangling Guitars and Big Harmonies, the band release their second album, Golden Sunshine on June 19th on Keith Klingensmith’s superb Futureman Records Label.

Here is a splendid four song set recorded earlier this year, pre-lockdown for I Don’t Hear A Single.  Listen out for a superb cover of Something.





Homewood Illinois’s Dolph Chaney has a 33 year and counting career behind him. Six years after his previous album, Shenanigans, he has joined the Big Stir Records fold and recently released his new album, Rebuilding Permit.

His special brand of Indie Rock is still there, as are his trademark lyrics and unexpected Guitar runs. However, the album feels like a much deeper personal offering, even though he has lost none of his wit. Here is a four song session recorded this month for I Don’t Hear A Single.

Thanks as always to Jim Moody for his technical excellence. The details of our third special are below:

01 Nick Piunti Intro

02 Upper Hand
03 Gonna Be Good
04 Every High
05 All Over Again
06 Bright Light
07 Going Nowhere
08 All This Time

09 The Vapour Trails Intro

10 Behind You
11 The Inner Truth
12 Something
13 The One That Got Away

14 Dolph Chaney Intro

15 The POTUS Is The Breitbart Bimbo
16 The Handling
17 If I Write It Down
18 Game Of Pricks



Nick Piunti, The Vapour Trails and Dolph Chaney - IDHAS Audio Extravaganza Volume 100 Live Special



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You can still listen to Monday's Caper Clowns Session here.

You can still listen to Tuesday's Sessions by Spygenius and Chris Church here.


You can listen to and buy Downtime and Nick Piunti's Back Catalogue here. You can find more about Nick on his website here.

You can buy Rebuilding Permit and Dolph Chaney's Back Catalogue on the Big Stir site here. You can find out more about Dolph at his website here.

You can pre-order Golden Sunshine here. You can listen to  and buy The Vapour Trails first album, See You In The Next World hereA Selection of Home Recordings And Demos are available at Name Your Price here


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Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Spygenius and Chris Church - I Don't Hear A Single Audio Extravaganza Volume 100 Live Specials



Welcome to the second episode of the week long celebrations of the IDHAS Audio Extravaganza. Tonight features two sessions from artists that are very dear to the heart of I Don’t Hear A Single, Spygenius and Chris Church.

Of all the music that I listen to, Psych Pop resonates most. Few master it, Spygenius do. The ability to mix the classic Psych influenced sounds of the 60s with a more modern Indie Pop makes the band a joy to listen to. Influences abound, including Lounge and Folk.

The Croydon and South London Quartet release their fifth album on Big Stir Records in July. Man On The Sea is a magnum opus and builds on their stellar reputation on the live circuit. This affinity makes them The Band Most Likely To, due to the sheer diversity of their fans.

This session was recorded pre lockdown and the band were all struggling with the flu at the time, although you wouldn’t notice that when listening to these six songs.

The UK has become very fragmented musically lately. National has been replaced by Regional and it is to the band’s credit that they have adopted and grown a community through their Live Showcases. Hopefully this will expand in all genres, it is about the music not all the outside influences.






Lenoir, North Carolina’s Chris Church is one of the few artists that can move between genres successfully.  He has combined a multi album Pop Rock solo career with varying projects and bands, playing Prog, Folk, Hard Rock and left field music.

2017’s Limitations Of Source Tape marked a debut on the Spyderpop Records label and was one of the great albums of that year. Critically lauded, it took Power Pop to new heights. His second album for Spyderpop is this year’s Backwards Compatible. The new album is a much rockier affair, at times seemingly influenced by the better Rock albums of the 80’s. It is as though all this is the album that Chris always wanted to make.

This ten song Acoustic Session is a revelation. Backwards Compatible is such an electric album that these songs appear to take on a new life, the quality of the songwriting shines through and as Chris and I are big Rush fans, there is a nice surprise for the closer.

Thanks as always to Jim Moody for his technical excellence. You can still listen to the Caper Clowns Session on Mixcloud here. The details of our second special are below:

01 Spygenius Intro

02 Watch Your Back
03 Shall I Show You In My Mirror
04 Gilgamesh
05 The Friendly Stars That Glow
06 In A Garden
07 This Heart Was Truer Than You Cared To Believe

08 Spygenius Outro

09 Chris Church Intro

10 Someday's Coming Fast
11 Coulda Fooled Me
12 Take A Knee
13 Ostinato
14 You Better Move On Now, Baby
15 Oh So Gone
16 This Ain't No Way
17 Swallow
18 Hey Tomorrow
19 Time Stand Still

20 Chris Church Outro



Spygenius and Chris Church - IDHAS Audio Extravaganza Volume 100 Live Special



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You can buy the Spygenius back catalogue at Big Stir and see the label's fine roster here or listen to and buy via their Bandcamp site here.

You can buy and listen to Chris Church's extensive Back Catalogue on his Bandcamp site here or via the Spyderpop Bandcamp site here, where you can also catch up with the label's superb roster.


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Monday, 25 May 2020

Caper Clowns - I Don't Hear A Single Audio Extravaganza Volume 100 - Live Specials




Welcome to our week long of Live Specials, recorded to mark the 100th Volume of The IDHAS Audio Extravaganza. Seven Daily shows are planned this week. Each hour long broadcast will feature up to three Live Sessions.

It is fitting that the first show features Caper Clowns. These five Danes released their debut album, The Buca Bus, in September 2016, a couple of months after I Don’t Hear Single began. I can think of no other band that best explains the type of music that I Don’t Hear A Single majors on.

The Bucas Bus was followed by A Salty Taste To The Lake in October 2018 and the third album has been  recorded. The release has been delayed due to the Coronavirus implications which has meant cancelling May’s planned tour. That release is now scheduled for September to October this year. However a new single, Bonsai Tree, is released today and you will hear that after the live session.

Caper Clowns specialise in superb Pop Rock that is not a million miles away from Crowded House.
So sit back and enjoy this splendid 52 minute set. Thanks as always to Jim Moody for his technical excellence.

Here are the contents of the first of our seven specials.


01 Intro By Don Valentine

02 Live Session

(Entrance Music)
Me For A Friend
Sacre Bleu
Crossword Puzzles
Lifeline
Kissing Daylight
The Way I Dream
April Fool
Mirror Me
Loops
Space & Time
In Your Kaleidoscope
Sleeping On The Edge Of The Rainbow
Pockets
Paper Trail

03 Bonsai Tree Intro by Don Valentine

04 Bonsai Tree (New Single)



Caper Clowns - IDHAS Audio Extravaganza Volume 100 Live Special



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Saturday, 23 May 2020

Various Artists - Big Stir Singles The Sixth Wave





Wow! This is the sixth volume of Big Stir's Singles Collection, where does the time go? In these past few years, I've delighted in seeing the growth of what I believe is the most important label in the Pop Rock world. From humble beginnings as a monthly live event on the West Coast of America, something small and hopeful has become worldwide.

At first, to me, this was something great that was happening thousands of miles away. Really cool, but distant and my tasted and network was largely around people who had been around for years. It is a testament to both Christina and Rex that they are the most influential people, bar none, of the scene that I mainly inhabit.

As they've got bigger, they haven't changed. They don't label bands, there is no ego or wanting to be the voice of a generation. They just release great music and promote a fantastic community spirit. If they can help, they will and they are uninterested in any nonsense that should rear its head. Big Stir is about people and spirit, not about any one individual.

Indeed as I look at the track list of this latest batch of singles, I know all of the artists and I consider them friends not musicians. When I talk to them it is more about family and recent experiences, not necessarily about music. It is a real community.

I look forward to these Weekly Digital Singles every Friday, everyone is different, artists are not just from the Big Stir roster, there are many guest appearances because Big Stir wants everyone to feel a part of it and for all to prosper.

I could easily do one of my standard reviews telling you all about this, but I won't because I'd rather you listen to these As and Bs. Make Up Your Own Mind. If you do want an inkling, I've posted the Cover Notes above, written by my good friend, Ian Canty. Ian is a splendid music journalist and one of the few beacons of light in what fields like a barren UK at the moment. Musical Tumbleweed blows past all regions.

You must have heard the magnificent album by The Corner Laughers already and both Librarians With Hickeys and Spygenius have upcoming albums on Big Stir, which I look forward to with great anticipation. The sheer mix of artists and genres on show here is heartwarming.

There is so much to delight here. I can generally take or leave compilations, but these volumes feel like proper albums. An All The Music That's Fit To Play sort of thing. But I would really rather shout loudest for all that this magnificent label does for the music we love. You can start your applause for Christina and Rex......................now.


You can listen to and but the album here. The album is also available to buy on the Big Stir site here where you can learn all about the magnificence of all that Big Stir do.



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