The Granite Shore, Suspended Second – Review

Occultation Records, 9/10
Out now.

“What news from England, are they happy now they’re free?”

There isn’t much that needs to be said about the Granite Shore’s new LP Suspended Second that hasn’t been already. Whether it’s from band leader Nick Halliwell (it presents his – profoundly negative – feelings towards Brexit through metaphor and is released on his indie label Occultation Recordings), new recruit John Howard (it’s the band’s second album and this time includes backing vocals and piano from the Night Mail man) or the multitude of glowing reviews (it’s bloody good), most bases have been covered.

But if only to add to the chorus of positive voices, I think it might be worth me having a stab at explaining quite why it’s such a triumph.

Continue Reading…

An interview with Spearmint’s Shirley Lee: “I remember Joe Strummer talking about how the Clash did 30 killer gigs in a row – well we did two!”

Indie cult-heroes Spearmint play their last gig for a couple of years next month at London’s Water Rats. The setlist will be decided entirely by a fan vote on the band’s website. Frontman Shirley Lee told me about the unusual gig format, a recent trip to Paris and his eclectic current listening.

Continue Reading…

So what have the Paul Weller band been up to recently?

The Weller camp have been busy this year having already released two albums, completed tours of the UK, Europe (twice), and starred in various sessions and interviews on radio and TV. The band are currently on a month-long North American tour before they head East in January to visit Japan and Australia for two consecutive nights at the Sydney Opera House. Then comes their February and March UK arena tour which finishes at London’s O2 Arena. Here’s a round-up of some of the projects Paul Weller’s band have been up to recently away from the band, plus some other juicy morsels of Weller information…

Continue Reading…

Nick Halliwell Interview

Nick Halliwell runs Exeter-based label Occultation Recordings, who are now sending out online orders for his band The Granite Shore’s second album, Suspended Second, ahead of its official release on the 13th Octoober. Nick writes, sings and plays guitar on the album. We discussed, among other things, the LP’s main theme of Brexit, Shakespeare, the future of physical music and John Howard, who Nick recruited for Suspended Second after releasing his latest solo album last year.

Continue Reading…

John Howard on The Granite Shore

Things are going well for singer-songwriter John Howard, who recently announced that his memoirs, Incidents Crowded with Life, would be published by Fisher King Publishing. Next month, John appears on The Granite Shore’s second LP Suspended Second. I asked him all about the album and how he came to be involved with the band, and The Granite Shore singer and guitarist Nick Halliwell, whose label Occultation Recordings released John’s latest solo album Across the Door Sill.

Continue Reading…

In Focus: The Allianz Arena

Munich’s Allianz Arena, home to FC Bayern and on occasion the German national football team, is one of the world’s best examples of how a new build football stadium should be designed.

Like another of Germany’s more interesting attractions, Tempelhofer Feld in Berlin, the existence of the Allianz Arena is owed to a regional referendum, where almost two thirds of voters backed plans for the new stadium. After ground was broken in 2002, Bayern moved in to the 346 million euro arena during 2005 and announced that by the end of 2014 they had recouped the building cost, years ahead of their 2030 target. Minus the sponsor’s name (a financial services firm headquartered in Munich), it was used for six matches in the 2006 World Cup including the opening game and a semi-final, hosting Germany twice in two wins.

Continue Reading…