Do you know what keeps this job satisfying? It's receiving something new to listen to, and in this instance it's by Us & Them. John from Mega Dodo kindly sent me a link to download their new single to be released shortly by the label. Many thanks again John!

I can become seriously lost in a reverie while I listen to this Swedish duo. Britt has one of the most beautiful voices. The music by Anders is sparse, but every instrument is well arranged. I can kick back and follow their songs forever.

Outside my window at the moment, Spring is slowly appearing. There's a hint of colour on the ground, but the trees are bare. There's a glint of sunshine. I'm listening to the new single and I'm amazed at how in tune with the season Us & Them put me, and they do this all year round, whatever release of theirs I listen to. Wonderful! I think I may have said all this before in a previous entry, but this is how they make me feel. I'm also too old to care if this makes me a hippy!

What of the new single? There are two tracks on the vinyl with a download code to receive two more, so four new tracks in total. A taster for their forthcoming album if you like. 'From The Corner Of My Eye', a new Us & Them track, has a reflective lyric but Britt remains defiant. It's backed by a cover of Woolly Wolstenholme's 'The Iron Maiden'. A tasteful arrangement featuring flute (or is it a Mellotron?) and even bells, I think! The songs available for download are 'When Life Begins', another new track, that reminds me of Nico a little in Britt's phrasing (with a wonderful uplifting harpsichord(?) passage) plus a version of Bowie's 'All The Madmen', not as sinister sounding as the original, but just as effective. Two vocals on 'Madmen' and I'm pretty sure there's a flute and Mellotron on board this time. Us & Them's arrangements are so subtle my ears can't always tell, or am I still lost in reverie?

I'm happy I listened.


London based Green Seagull release their self-titled debut album of high-end baroque-pop-psych on the Mega Dodo label shortly. Reminds me of Zombies, Left Banke, Mamas & Papas and a little of Simon & Garfunkel. There is that hint of melancholy and that feeling of Autumn/Winter that I also get when I hear those artists. The harmonies are really beautiful on this album. Lots of interesting changes musically too. It's a really strong album. Highly recommended. Thanks for the promo John.

Before Christmas I caught a charity show at Christ The Cornerstone Church here in MK, and the support act was a young four piece band from Northampton called The Keepers. Despite their age, they'd certainly got their 60's 'chops' together and I really enjoyed their set. They also played reasonable versions of 'Paperback Writer' and 'Song Of A Baker' too. Afterwards I bought their self released two track CD single of 'Another Night / Cerise' which has been on heavy rotation here at Heyday since. Nice to hear backing vocals and keyboards on the single to flesh out their sound. 'Another Night' is good psych with a neat Beatles touch, particularly when the Mellotron/orchestration appears towards the end. The second song 'Cerise' is a fine dose of reggae-psych! I'm impressed. Would love to hear a full album eventually and perhaps catch them live again some time.

About a week or so ago I also picked up a copy of the album 'Arced' by Welsh artist Andy Fung using the moniker Cymbient, in a local charity shop. I was drawn to the album by the artwork as well as the fact that Andy is Welsh. Ever since I heard Gorky's Zygotic Mynci I've had a high regard for Welsh psych-folkiness. This album doesn't disappoint either. It's not so much 'psych-folk' (although there are hints) but melodic and dreamy pop. A lot of the songs remind me of later period Elliott Smith. I've since looked into Cymbient's other albums, and will have them listed here at Heyday soon.

I'll check in again shortly.


Well, another year is nearly over. This has been a strange one. Maybe I'm getting older, but is time passing faster? I've realised that I can take more time off though. Perhaps that might be something to do with it!

Thanks to the labels and artists who've continued to support Heyday and supplied promos/download links for their releases this year. I still enjoy hearing new music and will continue to promote it.

Special thanks to Heyday's customers around the globe for their continued support. Without you, well...It's much appreciated!

Moving on, here in alphabetical order, is Heyday's Top Ten for 2017.

Thanks for brightening the dark days and making the bright days brighter...

Church / Man Woman Life Death Infinity CD – They can still do it. Possibly the best band in the last 40 years? I think so. I'm glad they're still out there making magical sounds. There's no one quite like The Church, but I'm hearing a lot of bands these days who sound like them. They continue to take the two guitar format forward.

Dawg Yawp / Same CD – I loved the whole 'home made feel' of this album. Two guys and a producer in a small room making an album that covers a wealth of styles of American music. It also has a sitar on many tracks too, hey, I'm not easily swayed.

Jack Ellister / Roots Conference LP – A collection of cover versions. I'm always interested in hearing Jack Ellister releases. He's a great talent. Not only can he write interesting and challenging material playing most of the instruments himself, but he's also pretty good at the odd cover tune too! Vinyl only for now. Some of the artists covered are Bowie, The Stones, The Beatles, Syd Barrett and also Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Vai & The Fool. Excellent selection!

exedra / Entropic CDEP – This collaboration of Darrall Knight and Jeremy Gluck continue to intrigue me. The music is very moving. There'll be a film waiting out there/somewhere for a soundtrack from exedra.

Nathan Hall & The Sinister Locals / Effigies 2CD – Maybe no longer a Soft Hearted Scientist, but still delivering sublime songs with feeling and insight. His is an interesting world view.

Honey Pot / Ascending Scales 3CD – I thought the double LP release was more than enough to keep everybody happy, but this release has an extra disc worth of material! Talk about having your cake and eating it. Hats off to Honey Pot and Fruits De Mer.

Mark & The Clouds / Cumulus CD – Second album released on Mega Dodo. Marco's songwriting continues upwards, and that voice man, that voice.

Rolling Stones / Sticky Fingers At The Fonda CD/DVD – Well, they're my favourite band! I'm quite fond of the 'From The Vault' series. It replaces a few tired old bootlegs and provides visual footage too, all in good quality and one place. This show from 2015 features 'Sticky Fingers' live in entirety. OK, so they'll never top the album version, there's no Mick Taylor for a start, but it's better than I expected.

Ravi Shankar / Ghanashyam : A Broken Branch CD – The most recent release in another series I'm partial to . 'Nine Decades' presents rare Ravi recordings, and this remastered recording of a music-theatre piece from 1989 features some quite beautiful musical passages. It's also expanded by 20 minutes from the first issue available in the early 90s. For a long time I always preferred listening to his raga recordings, live and studio, but in recent years Ravi's soundtracks and music theatre work have caught my ear. Amazing music!

V.A. / Kopf Musik 3CD – This is one wonderful listen! A limited (and now sold out) collection of Krautrock cover versions released by Fruits De Mer. Begin here, as they say and then work backwards. Some excellent music to be discovered if you haven't already.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2018!

See you next year.


CDRs of January's Fruits De Mer releases have arrived. Sendelica surface with the second instalment of their 'Cromlech Chronicles' and it's a wonderful chill out. I first listened to it after a particularly hectic day here, and it really calmed me down! Two long spaced out tracks. I'm impressed with this one more than the first actually. It saved my sanity that day for sure! Thank you!

The second release heralds the return of The Pretty Things to FdM. A four track EP featuring two studio and two live tracks. 'The Same Sun' & the cover of 'Renaissance Fair' by The Byrds are both taken from the band's recent 'Sweet Pretty Things...' album, whilst the live tracks 'She Says Good Morning' & 'Alexander', both from 1969, are taken from the 'Bouquets From A Cloudy Sky' box set. The studio tracks outweigh the live in terms of quality and are definitely worthy of a vinyl single outing. 'The Same Sun' sounds like vintage Pretties to me, all the ingredients are there, and it has been an earworm track for me since first hearing it. 'Renaissance Fair' is one of my favourite Byrds songs anyway, it's a good choice, and well played.

As an aside, I've finally begun going through my minidiscs recently (remember them?) and sorting them all out. I'd forgotten what I had! I used to use my minidisc player to record gigs years ago (with permission of course!) and I made some quite reasonable recordings which I've enjoyed listening to again. I also transferred other rarities I had originally on cassette (really showing my age now) to minidisc to preserve them, and I've been glad to revisit those too. Lots of memories of bands from the 80s and 90s, all of them still good thankfully. The minidisc format never really took off, but I still like it. I'm about halfway through it all and having the time of my life listening to them again!

Cheers for now.


It's been a while since the last posting, but there have been plenty of interesting new and upcoming things to tune in to and here's the pick of the bunch...

'Empyrian House' – Honey Pot with Curvey (Luck Of Eden Hall) From the special edition of 'Ascending Scales' - a 3CD set on Fruits De Mer. I'm a big fan of Curvey's songwriting and on this track he's at his Gothic/haunting best. If songs are picked from the air as the great songwriters say they are, then Paul Roland missed this one.

'We Used To Know' – Honey Pot with Jay Tausig Another track from the 'Ascending Scales' special edition CD set. Honey Pot this time tackle Jethro Tull, helped along by multi-instrumentalist and member of 'Famille De Mer' Jay Tausig. I'd never heard this song before and always thought 'Hotel California' was a little like 'Angie' by The Stones. Little did I know what it was a lot like, but I do now...

Chemistry Set – 'Legend Of A Mind' From the forthcoming FdM 7” EP. An absolutely amazing version of the Moody Blues track. Blimey, this is good, it really glides along effortlessly, but it must have taken some work to put together. Studio craftsmanship by this UK neo-psych duo making the recording process look easy. I'm waking up most mornings these days with this playing in my head. I really am in awe of this guys...

Chariots – 'Vimana' I've not been able to attend any of the FdM festivals since 2015's 'Games for May' all day event with Mega Dodo, but Keith kindly sends me the CD promos from the events to listen to. Thanks Keith, it's much appreciated. This track opens one of the 'Fifteenth Dream Of Dr. Sardonicus' CD promos. Now I'm very partial to Indian music and this Eastern sounding raga-like instrumental by Grimsby based band Chariots pushed all my buttons at the same time. I'd love to hear more.

Alain Pire Experience – Lazin' In The Afternoon Another opening track, but from the other 'Fifteenth Dream Of Dr. Sardonicus' CD. Honestly, I am listening to both discs in their entirety, but this and the Chariots really stand out. Very ELO sounding track by Belgian musician with a love for Brit psych. I seem to remember another track by Alain Pire Experience on another FdM CD promo that I quite liked too. Again, note to self, 'must hear more'...

Actually, this particular disc (promo 15 CD) features the Green Ray's stinging guitar led 'Silent River Ride' which is another excellent listen. Nice to know they're still around. Good on you guys, I enjoyed seeing you a few years ago! There's also the 'Service With A Smile' by The Golden Needles an interesting and groovy astro-instro – see I told you I listen to both discs all the way through. I'm sure more songs will also bounce around these four walls and make me sit up and take notice in the next few weeks as well.

The Sunstone label are releasing a couple of vinyl albums in the coming weeks.

Swiss keyboard wizard Balduin follows up his 2014 album and Heyday favourite 'All In A Dream' with 'Bohemian Garden', another lovely piece of Sunshine Super-psych-pop. The nods again are in the direction of The Beatles/Bee Gees/Fading Yellow and he covers 'Madrigal' by Paul & Barry Ryan (featured on Fading Yellow 1) here. I really rate this guy. The album also features his version of We The People's 'St. John Shop' too. I reckon this album will sell out just as quickly as 'All In A Dream'. Brilliant.

UK folk rock band Lord Of Thyme release their debut album 'Pellets' on Sunstone as well. This one is just settling in with me at the moment. Stand out track for the moment is 'Coming Down', but 'The Bird It Sang' and the closing 'Travelling' are becoming firm favourites too. Thank you Sunstone for the links.

I'll check in again shortly.


A couple of weeks ago I was handed a CDR of the new album by Sword In Air. I'm already familiar with this Manchester based one man band project of Mike Boyd's, I remember seeing an acoustic set of his a few years ago and listening to a CDEP he'd just released at the time. He reminded me of Jeff Buckley a little, such was the passion of his vocal performance. I have lost touch a little with his more recent activities, but I was intrigued to hear the new album nevertheless and I've not stopped playing it since! Maybe I've missed the link between what I remember of Sword In Air and this new eponymous release, but until I catch up, it seems a giant step forward. I hope it is.

The new 13 track release is sparse in arrangements (just voice and keyboard plus drum machine/bass for support) but it's an intimate, sometimes intense listen. It begins with the curiously titled 'What Henry VIII Did When His Father Went Away' with a near classical use of keys and drifting vocals, something like Syd Barrett fronting Procol Harum if you can imagine that. Spread over three parts, giving an air of the 'progressive' about it, I was totally thrown on first hearing. What has happened to that acoustic singer-songwriter of just a few years ago? This quasi-history lesson is laced with humour too, slightly irreverent, but very entertaining.

The balance of tracks are more 'song' based. The lyrics seem like snatches of dialogue (particularly 'Lancashire' – it follows like a conversation you might overhear), but it's all sincere. I still get that feeling of Syd's presence throughout, particularly the subtle humour ('When The Lights Are On'), but other than that I can't say they sound much like anything else I've heard.

I have to mention a couple of favourites. The intense 'Cavern Drip' features the best vocal on the album, I think he means it. The feeling cuts through. Musically it's like something off a Scott Walker album. Closing track 'The Diamond' ends with the vocals fading as the keyboard note swells, kinda like 'A Day In The Life', very effective. A strong album, with the minimum of tricks. It's all about the voice and keyboards. Brilliant. Available for download for now, but I really hope it sees a physical release. Check it out.

July's FdM releases have also arrived recently and for the moment Anton Barbeau's new EP is pick of the bunch. There's something slightly eerie about Anton's voice. His own 'Secretion Of The Wafer' sends shivers. I really like his version of Bowie's 'Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) for the same reason. Elsewhere, he tackles Traffic's 'Heaven Is In Your Mind' and Big Star's 'September Gurls'. Not quite as strong as the other two selections, but daily growing...

Fuchsia's double pack of 7 tracks is a fine release. This career overview of Tony Durant begins with a 1967 acetate track 'Look At The Sun' which is a real scoop! Always a feel-good factor about Durant's songs, he's justly entitled to his cult status too.

Finally Sidewalk Society release 'Strange Roads – The Songs Of Rolled Gold', covering The Action's 'Rolled Gold' album. For those not familiar with the pop-psych era of The Action, it's worth checking this release out. You'll end up seeking out the 'Rolled Gold' album proper. Fine songs.

Oh, I'm also quite into Chuck Berry's final album 'Chuck'. It's a lot better than I was expecting it to be. Now there was a poet...He will be missed!

The reissue of Game Theory's final album '2 Steps From The Middle Ages' with bonus tracks has just arrived. A seriously overlooked band. One of my favourites. 

I'll check in again soon.


A few weeks ago I got hold of a copy of Dawg Yawp's self titled debut CD and I was immediately blown away. It's really hard to pin down who this US duo could be compared to, but the mix of folk, blues, 'East Meets West sitar' and electronica they offer is unique. There's strong vocal harmonies too. Throughout the album there are many interesting twists and turns and considering it was recorded at home, Yawp's Tyler Randall & Rob Keenan together with producer Rob Fetters, have put together a well arranged listening experience. Worth checking out. Try 'Lost At Sea', 'Can't Think' and 'I'll Quit Tomorrow'. I can't hear enough of this album. Good on ya chaps!

The Mega Dodo label are set to release Richard Bone's 'Age Of Falconry' shortly. I know next to nothing about him, but the bio enclosed suggests he's very prolific with quite a few releases already. There's been soundtracks and ambient works and 'Age Of Falconry' is an interesting mix of both forms. Nine instrumentals of electronica mixed with the occasional piano that's very hypnotic. I've really got into this type of music recently - exedra are another outfit with similar ideas musically. A slight departure from the usual releases by Mega Dodo, but I welcome this. It's good news that some labels are still brave enough to try something different. I can imagine, like Dawg Yawp's release, this album was recorded on a minimal budget, but to these ears it sounds more interesting than some large studio efforts.

'Dismantle Me' is the debut album by Tiare Helberg, a Swedish/Australian/Polynesian musician and songwriter, who a few years ago released a couple of CDEPs which were well received here. This vinyl only, RSD 2017 release hits the mark too. Guests include members of The Church and Brian Jonestown Massacre and the guitar work suggests this. It's bookended by the title track, a wonderful piece of dream-pop and a cover of 'Let It Be Me'. Whenever I hear 'Let It Be Me', whoever it's by, I can easily weep. It's one of those songs! Tiare's emotionally charged version is stripped down to just voice and piano, and it breaks me up every time I hear it. There's a definite air of melancholy over this album, but a sense of release too. It can be quite an intense experience. Music has to move me in some way, and this music moves me. Thank you.

Just today I received a link for an album by Das Blaue Palais entitled 'Welt Am Draht'. It's yet another interesting album that slots among the above releases well. Mostly instrumental with nods to Kraftwerk, Neu & Can. I really like it. I'm looking forward to hearing this again over the next few days. Every time the beat kicks in I'm 'absolute elsewhere', as John Lennon would say.

There's so much good music out there and it continues to make this job a pleasure!

I'll check in again soon.


There have been a few new interesting items to listen to recently, all of which I hope to have for sale here at some point in the near future.

First up there's the solo debut by Soft Hearted Scientists guy Nathan Hall with The Sinister Locals. It's a four track CDEP entitled 'The Volga Sturgeon Face EP'. The sound isn't too far removed from the sound of recent SHS recordings, but there's a little more 'polish' to the song arrangements with subtle electronics on 'Everybody's Burning Effigies' and 'Catacombs Of Camden Town' plus ambitious strings on 'Like A Setting Sun'. The mood is mainly subdued, slightly eerie and the lyrics as always, reflective. I'm particularly partial to 'Catacombs Of Camden Town'. It's compulsive listening. I must also mention the stunning front sleeve photography by Roman Robroek. I find myself looking at it for ages and my imagination's let loose! A complete package musically and visually.

exedra, the London based collaboration of Darrall Knight and Jeremy Gluck hope to release a new CDEP soon. Musically it's similar to 2016's instrumental 'Illuminized', which I was really impressed with. An excellent mix of electronics with occasional piano that's always evocative. This time around Jeremy Gluck recites spoken word passages, not always immediate in meaning, but after a few listens certain lines begin to resonate and hypnotise. I find exedra fascinating. Very subtle. It'd be nice to have both the new EP and 'Illuminized' released 'physically', but for those who don't mind downloading I suggest you hear before they disappear.

On sale at the forthcoming Fruits De Mer psych/prog fests and gigs this year are two 3CD sets, 'Kopf Musik' and Kris Gietkowski's 'Three Of A Kind'. Thanks to Keith for the promo copies, much appreciated.

'Kopf Musik' collects all the krautrock tracks released by the label so far, but collectors please note - three of the tracks are new mixes. I've just begun listening to this set and I'm still impressed with how good a collection 'Head Music' remains. Probably one of the best FdM releases. I'm hoping to take in 'Three Of A Kind' shortly. Besides being a CD version of his sell out 'Tracks From The First Album By Egg', Kris tackles tracks from the first albums of Atomic Rooster and The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown'. Promises to be a treat!

Fingers crossed that these releases don't sell out by the end of the shows, as I'd love to offer these for sale here at Heyday! Watch this space.

Essential listening.


A promo of Astralasia's new album 'Oceania' (Fruits De Mer) landed just a day or two ago and I'm still lying on the ceiling. Shouldn't I be lying on the floor looking at the ceiling? I never thought I'd get into music like this, but slowly and surely, their releases and remixes for FdM have seeped into my consciousness. I surrender!

This double album isn't quite all chilled electronica, there are a few 'heavier' moments, but for the most part it leaves me safely some place else. Strange that both their albums so far released by FdM have an 'aquatic' based title. For me their music points towards the sky. I hear touches of 'Riders On The Storm' on first hearings, particularly the opening to 'Ghosts Inbetween' before it picks up flight. The synanthesia continues - title track 'Oceania' is more like a train journey 'Station To Station'. I'm really enjoying 'Kaleidoscopic' too, particularly the guitar – keyboard interplay. I only wish it was longer.

'Oceania' in my mind is a journey, cue 'Astral Voyager' and hear what I mean. 'Ishdan' has a touch of the oriental about it, and when that slide guitar begins and builds, just go with it! The closing 22 min epic 'Time & Tide Eternal' is the chill out that we've been waiting for. A gentle flute and tabla like raga to wind things down nicely. Ladies and gentlemen we have arrived at our destination, please make sure you take what's left belonging to your mind with you.

Honestly I can't believe I like an album like this the way I do, and I've only just begun listening to it. Epiphany!

Kris Gietkowski's 'Songs from The First LP by Egg' is another forthcoming FdM release in April on their Strange Fish imprint. I've never heard Egg's first album. I can make no comparisons, but I do like this interpretation of most of that album. Even the fiddly classical 'Symphony No. 2' – all four movements! It's the organ solos running throughout the entire album, changes of pace and overall tightness of the performance. It's very well played. You really have to admire Kris for his playing of the whole thing by himself.

Another interesting discovery by Keith at FdM too, up there with the mighty Tor-Peders album of a few years ago. I remain thankful. There's promise of more to follow as well. Can't wait.

I'm also impressed with Superfjord's take on Frank Zappa's monumental 'Peaches En Regalia' for excellent musicianship too. Yet again on FdM and released in April. Another progressive workout, but managing to keep itself within 7” constraints. Flip it over and Sendelica offer 'Don't Eat The Yellow Snow'. I like Zappa and I'm happy a couple of his tracks are now part of the esteemed FdM catalogue. Probably my favourite cover version performed by Sendelica so far. It's a creepy, sneaky interpretation, but losing none of the humour in the process. Guest vocals by Karen Langley – an inspired choice.

I'll check in again shortly.


I can't get the song 'On Her Bike' (from the new Mark & The Clouds album 'Cumulus' on Mega Dodo) out of my head at the moment. Smooth-as-you-like changes, particularly verse to chorus - it's good to know Marco's melodic sensibilities remain intact. Superb song. Excellent songwriter.

The album has been in heavy rotation here for a week or two now. No pretensions, just good 'n' honest pop-rock with a voice not afraid to let loose and holler if it suits either. Not to say the album is one-dimensional. There are quieter moments, check 'Road, Mud & Cold', the Zeppelin III - like 'I'm Stopping Here (Bombs & Guns)' and dreamy 'The Endless Road'. There's even a cheeky nod to The Sex Pistols in the intro to 'Don't Block The Sun' that never fails to raise a smile.

A worthy follow up to 'Blue Skies Opening' and right on target. I'll continue to listen with interest.

Jack Ellister has had a bit of a tidy-up of cover versions previously scattered over FdM single sides and rare promo CDs while at the same time turning up some previously unissued tracks too. The vinyl only 'Roots Conference' bridges the gap between his debut 'Tune Up...' and a forthcoming new album set for a Spring release.

I've fond memories of sunny days spent on Putney Heath, strains of his version of The Stones track 'Citadel' ringing in my ears, the chunky guitar riff cleverly replaced by piano – was it really two or three years ago, or longer? Then there are the bells in 'Dear Prudence' (here remixed) - another good idea for an arrangement. Syd's 'Matilda Mother' also gets a tweaking and sounds all the better for it as well. There's no pinning this guy down - elsewhere on the album we're treated to tracks originally recorded by Bowie, Open Mind, Mark Fry, Jackson C Frank, Dizzy Gillespie, The Fool and Steve Vai. 300 copies only and destined to sell out quickly. Don't miss out.

Richard John - Riley pulled the amazing 'I Can't Tell You (How This Feels)' out of the hat last year which showed what a versatile songwriter he is. Certainly blew a few people away, myself included. Well, he's putting his house in order in the next few weeks with the release of 'Holloway 1998 – 2016' collecting 7 tracks from the vaults still worthy of release. There's nothing here as experimental as 'I Can't Tell You', but plenty of slick songwriting. I hope I hear radio calling!

'Tesraine' is one 'Stones' song the Stones seem to have overlooked. Not the usual parody though, this is much more subtle. I can almost hear Jagger stretching the vowels, guitar-weaving too, not to mention a horn section.

I like it when Riley rocks, and 'Throw Me The Rope' does just that. Is it just me or can I hear The Clash here, or maybe it's Elvis Costello? Well, it's that good and my pick of the bunch actually. There's also 'Shut Up My Dear' a close second, coming across as a little angry perhaps, but in the nicest possible way at the same time. The temptation to twiddle a dial proves too much and from the middle onwards it becomes 10cc's 'I'm Not In Love' through the looking glass. Riley has a sense of humour, it's there in a lot of his songs.

I also believe Riley to be a romantic and the remaining tracks are ample proof of this as he tries to make sense of that mystery of all mysteries, the human relationship. 'Did You Say', 'Take Me On So Easy' and 'I Do' are all concerned with the matter wrapped up in unashamedly pop arrangements. 'Top Of The Pops' though is the rather wonderful 'Six And Nine'. After perhaps the most honest vocal performance of the entire seven tracks and all is laid bare, the music does the rest of the talking. One of those tracks that can carry on forever - 'Hey Jude', Clapton's 'Let It Grow' - you get the idea. I've listened to this track several times and no doubt will a few more times too. Gets me every time, as I said - Wonderful!


Heyday Top Ten 2016

Another good year! Here are my favourite releases. A big thank you once again to the labels and artists for their help and promo material. Thanks also to all Heyday customers for their continued support as well, much appreciated.

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2017 to everyone!

Hats off to the following...

Jack Ellister / Tune Up Your Ministers... CD

Exedra / Elemental CDR

Jimi Hendrix / Machine Gun – Fillmore East First Show 31.12.69 CD

Honey Pot / Ascending Scales LP

Octopus Syng / Hollow Ghost – Rochelle Salt CD

Orange Drop / Stoned In Love CD

Rolling Stones / In Mono CD box set

Ravi Shankar / In Hollywood 1971 CD

Starry Eyed & Laughing / To Try for The Sun CD

Us And Them / Fading Within The Dwindling Sun 10”

I'll be in touch again in the New Year.


As the saying goes, 'What a long strange trip it's been'. Fruits De Mer are set to release their 100th vinyl title in December. The honour goes to Honey Pot to mark the occasion, with a double album crammed with groove busting talent entitled 'Ascending Scales'. Check the guest list! Dick Taylor from The Pretty Things, James Lowe of Electric Prunes, Tom Newman & Peter Cook from July, Nick Saloman & Ade Shaw from Bevis Frond, Judy Dyble, Anton Barbeau, Fuchsia's Tony Durant, Cary Grace, Us & Them, Curvey from Luck Of Eden Hall and Jack Ellister and others. Phew! Oh, and if you like guitars, there are enough solos here to keep you going well through Christmas and New Year. They're burning bright, believe me.

Favourites so far? I'm quite partial to the version of 'America'. Completely unexpected, still a pomposity, but a bloody marvellous listen. It always works, I could never dislike it. 'Dr. Crippen's Waiting Room' with Anton Barbeau on vocals is lovely 60s grooviness - all together now repeat the mantra – 'Dr. Crippen guarantees a place in high society, stethoscope and his degree have bought for him his dignity'. The beautiful 'Into The Deep' is a real rainy day dream away song. Special mention for 'River Runs By' with Tony Durant sharing vocals with Crystal Jacqueline. I could listen to this one all day. Gentle. 'Half A Memory' featuring the guys from July is beginning to simmer nicely. Sneaky riff, eerie vocals. 'Lucky Spaceman' with Curvey from Luck Of Eden Hall also hit me clean right over after a couple of listens. There's something for everyone on the album, as another saying goes.

It must have been no small task to get this album together, but step up Honey Pot.

Congratulations too to FdM, there's no label quite like you. I was afraid of becoming cynical about certain aspects of the music biz until you came along. Thank you again.

Us & Them's 'Fading Within The Dwindling Sun' 10” is also released by FdM in December, featuring five tracks usually associated with Sandy Denny. There's something about this Scandinavian duo that evokes feelings of reflection in me. Not sadness though, I come out of it overwhelmed by the beauty. One day I'll be better able to put it into words, but for now, let's just say I love their music.

Their releases always arrive in tune with the current season. Nights are drawing in, the colours of Autumn now fading (they've been spectacular this year haven't they?) and Us & Them return with the perfect soundtrack yet again. There's a warmth in Britt's vocals, now missing outside, crystal clear yet slightly melancholic and Anders is always there with tasteful arrangements letting the songs breathe. The two tracks that really work for me are both Sandy Denny originals – 'Next Time Around' and 'Take Away The Load'. Both ideally suited to Us & Them. Lovely to have this duo around.

Finally, I'm becoming rather fond of two tracks on the FdM-Static Caravan split single upcoming in December – Art Of Memory Palace's 'First Flight Hymnal Collapse' and Jack Ellister's 'Reminder'. The former is an instrumental that's aching to be the theme to something (on the same note, or maybe not as the case may be, why wasn't The Bunnymen's 'Killing Moon' ever used as title and theme for a James Bond film?) and the latter because I'm always left in awe of Jack's talent as a songwriter and musicianship. This guy writes the most amazing songs and plays everything on them too! Take a bow!


Some interesting neo-psych pieces have caught the ears recently.

Mega Dodo continue a good year with Orange Drop's debut 'Stoned In Love'. This US outfit have a dreamy-incense swirled-narcosis about them that has always appealed to me. I think there'll be comparisons made with Brian Jonestown Massacre for the present, not unfair either, but it gives you the idea. Orange Drop are a lot tighter though. In my opinion there's a dose of dora flood in here too. No bad thing. 'Stoned In Love' gets better with each play and the guitars really work well. It'll be interesting to hear how these guys progress. Respectful cover version of Floyd's 'Julia Dream' included.

On a more experimental kick is 'AM in the PM' by Mind Monogram. Slightly rougher round the edges than Orange Drop with more basic arrangements, but there are a lot of interesting ideas packed into this seemingly short reverb-drenched 8 song release. Plenty of musical changes and shifts in pace. It's a roller coaster ride. I like the vocals, just slightly at the back of the mix - very free and expressive without being overpowering. It's scratched psych, but I like it...

Finally, promising UK label Those Old Records (TOR) are set to release Richard John-Riley's 'I Can't Tell You (How This Feels)' as a 300 copy only yellow vinyl edition. This is a masterpiece production! There's a four minute radio edit version here, but I'd plead with any radio station with the good taste to spin this to stick with the lead ten minute version. A wonderful experimental piece! So much to listen to. Weird voices, sound samples – sometimes harrowing in places. The lunatics have taken over the radio dial! Lovely acoustic guitar passages support the chant-like vocals. So hard to describe, I guess the title says it all. Chris from TOR told me to listen with headphones. I don't know if I dare...Beautiful!

I'll check in again soon.


There's been a slight return to pop sensibilities here recently after I dug out some 10cc tunes to listen to. Such fantastic arrangements and so many happy memories of hearing them on the radio at the time. Where does the time go? By coincidence, I've also received a copy of the new Simon Felton solo CD 'Return To Easton Square'.

Simon is a member of Garfields Birthday and the founder of indie pop stalwarts Pink Hedgehog records. He also has a knack for quintessentially English pop songwriting. It's easy to mention the name Ray Davies for these type of albums, but it gives you the idea.

This is a mature piece of work, with plenty of memorable melodies, humour and observations of everyday life. Well worth a listen.

The opener 'Will You Be There (By My Side)' is worth the price of the disc alone. I love the fuzzy synth bit in the middle of the track, it's fun!

Pretty much the entire album is played by Simon on his home studio set up and it has a lovely intimate feel to it. I'm playing it everyday.

One of my favourite releases this year has been exedra's self-released 'Elemental' CDR. Superb kraut/psych/mood music from Darrall Knight and Jeremy Gluck. As a stop gap until the new album, Darrall has recorded a set of instrumental mood pieces under the exedra name entitled 'Illuminized'. I'm grateful to have been sent these to listen to. The hope is that some of these tracks will see release on a label eventually, I hope so too!

Seven pieces - five hardly rising much above a murmur. Absolutely perfect late night/early morning listening. This is beautiful music! There's the air of ambience of Bowie & Eno's German experiments, and it's not a million miles away from Fruits De Mer's Strange Fish label output either.

'Miracle World' has bold 'orchestrated' intentions, while 'Salacia', 'Further Along The Sacred Way' and 'Exoplanet Transit' drift gently bringing calm - it's all very atmospheric. Only 'Music For Ocean Swell' and 'A Reaction For Mark Blanco' have a beat, but gentle piano progressions to continue the laid back mood - and talking of piano, check 'The Velvet Gentleman' for reflection. There's a real fragility and vulnerabilty about the performance. Contrast this with the assured electric guitar 'outro' of 'Blanco'...I'm hooked.

Ah man, this is bliss!


Thank you to Keith at Fruits De Mer for the CD promos of the label's August releases.

Vibravoid are back with a solid version of 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida'. There are a few interesting effects at the back of this to justify the 'psychedelic' tag and actually, it's grown on me quite a lot. I was prepared not to like it as I find the original a little ponderous, despite owning the album! Go figure...

It is also to be one of those releases where the song is too long for the 7" single format, so it spills over to side two where it continues. I love that. I treasured my 7” copy of 'Marquee Moon' for years. I've never liked edited versions and the 12” format is a waste of vinyl besides harbouring filler material too, so top marks to band and label for being resourceful. The customer still gets value for their money.

Sidewalk Society also return to the FdM fold with a four track EP featuring two covers of David Bowie and two covers of The Action. Again, well performed and as much as I loved The Action's 'Rolled Gold' release from which 'Look At The View' and 'Strange Roads' are taken, the Bowie choices win hands down – 'Can't Help Thinking About Me' and the beautiful 'Let Me Sleep Beside You'. Ah, the memories...

I'm no sci-fi fan, and I know nothing about 'Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy' either, but the third release for August is three interpretations of 'Journey Of The Sorcerer'. Unlike the the other two releases, the music is new to me and I've nothing to compare it with. That's rather refreshing! As a result, open ears and an open mind greet the amazing Astralasia, Icarus Peel and Blue Giant Zeta Puppies, the latter showing a little restraint in comparison to their other FdM outings. The Icarus Peel track is the standout. I've not heard him sound this spacey before. There's a little bit of Hendrix in the arrangement.

My favourite single of the bunch too.

Luck Of Eden Hall have a new single on Mega Dodo due shortly too. Thanks for the promo John. A very strong coupling of the 'exclusive to this format' 'The End Of The Lane' and 'Blown To Kingdom Come' (taken from 'Acceleration Of Time'). 'The End of The Lane' is moody with 'White Album' era picking. Highly addictive listening actually. 'Blown to The Kingdom Come' is a powerhouse with the trademark drums driving everything along. It's all over too soon. Hit repeat...

I'll check in again shortly.


'Hollow Ghost / Rochelle Salt' is the new album by Octopus Syng and currently in heavy rotation here. You can lose yourself in the haze of this slow burning, haunting psych - a perfect example of the legacy of solo Syd Barrett, but with a melancholic twist all of its own. From the murmur of the beginning of instro. 'Carbon Dust And Latin Romances', the album gradually fills the room with eeriness through 'Woman' and 'Echoes From The Past Centuries' until turning strange on 'Surrealistic Room' (' typewriter is singing...' oh yeah!) - this is one star turn of a song for sure.

The titles of the tracks alone are intriguing and sometimes that's all I need to lend an ear. 'Lady Florette', 'Melancholy Of Delight', 'Walking In The Pale Light', 'Reverberating Garden Number 7', what more can I say?

'Melancholy Of Delight' is a rare beauty, one of the best songs Procol Harum never wrote. Reflective to the point that I start to get very emotional when listening to it. I love songs like this to bits and back again - every time. 'Belle And Ville' is just plain weird, almost vaudeville. It sounds like it's speeding up as it plays and probably is, but who cares – I'm still along for this ride.

Another excellent album for 2016.

For those who like a dash of the mysterious with their music.

I'll check in again shortly.


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