Tag Archives: shell zenner

The Orwells, PINS and TRAAMS on this weeks shows..

I’m happy to report that my eyes and ears have returned to normal about the Heretic / Sonic Boom and Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia Experience from the weekend. I’ve not managed to get a minute to hit the blog this week but when I do my loves will be up on Tumblr HERE

Pen to paper action happened last month and my September Exploratorium Column for The 405  is now up for your delectation HERE, Octobers ink is ready to splurge any second..

You can check out the September Wichita Recordings Podcast which has now been posted online, either on the Wichita Soundcloud account or by subscribing on iTunes HERE. The October installment is incoming and features an Interview with Sky Larkin about their new album ‘Motto’ and I also catch up with Aaron from Peaking Lights too.

02/10/13 Bolton FM 10pm – midnight

On tonights show I’ve got a Record Of The Week from Night Beats, it’s called ‘Sonic Bloom’ and i’ll be sharing three tracks off it whilst throwing shapes in the studio. One of my albums of the year for sure..

I’ll be chatting The Orwells about releasing an album in the US, working with Dave Sitek and playing house parties.

With a show sandwiched with fresh new flavours, there will be no chance of hunger tonight..

05/10/13 Amazing Radio 1 – 3pm

The Black Angels step onto the bandstand this week to tip an artist who I simply can’t wait to hear a record from.. I return to the fields of Beacons Festival (again – it was a busy weekend!) to chat to  TRAAMS about their current home, working with Rory Atwell and MJ (Hookworms) on their album, ‘Grin’, Fatcat Records and stacks more. Freshnet moderator and Arts Council bod Chris Bye returns to big up an underrated north west outfit. Finally, this week saw the release of PINS debut album ‘Girls Like Us’ and Faith joins us to talk about the album artwork..

Saturdays 1-3pm on Amazing Radio on DAB in Dublin, London and the south east, online at http://www.amazingradio.com or via our free iphone / android app


25/09/13 Bolton FM

The Black Angels Interviewed :: The Sufis ROTW :: NEW MUSIC


28/09/13 Amazing Radio

Fun Adults Interviewed :: Goldheart Assembly on the bandstand :: Von Pip Tips



Interviews sminterviews..


Just updated my interview list for the first time since July and have a looksy who I have spoken to over the past few months:

01/07/10 Chapel Club

04/07/10 Harper Simon

08/07/10 Dum Dum Girls

11/07/10 Smith Westerns

15/07/10 The Cheek

18/07/10 Goldheart Assembly

22/07/10 A Place to Bury Strangers

25/07/10 Male Bonding

29/07/10 First Aid Kit

01/08/10 School Of Seven Bells

05/08/10 Blind Atlas

08/08/10 The Hundred In The Hands

12/08/10 The Black Knights

15/08/10 The Black Keys

19/08/10 Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.

22/08/10 Peggy Sue

26/08/10 The Naughtys

29/08/10 Funeral Party

09/09/10 The Lysergic Suite

12/09/10 The Boxer Rebellion

16/09/10 Suzuki/Method

19/09/10 Marner Brown

23/09/10 Caitlin Rose

26/09/10 The Divine Comedy

03/10/10 Zola Jesus

10/10/10 Badly Drawn Boy

14/10/10 Neon Indian

17/10/10 Freelance Whales

21/10/10 Timber Timbre

24/10/10 Rachael Sage

As always got some really exciting interviews already lined up to air, kicking off with the wonderful Citay on Thursdays show at 9pm on 94.4fm or http://www.salfordcityradio.org

Check out this taster..

more blog stuff coming soon when i finally catch up from NYC and upload some vids/pics from CMJ.. *yawn*

Sex with an x…

Where to start dear blog?!

Exciting news! Salford City Radio is 3! Yes! Happy birthday to my no 1 radio station! and… to help us celebrate we have launched a brand spanking new website.. www.salfordcityradio.org Go Looksy..

My page is actually: http://www.salfordcityradio.org/shows.php?id=186 and I have managed to look reasonably human on it for a change! The good thing about the new website can be seen when you scroll down my page, I have a playlist box where I will be posting the latest playlists and giving you a preview of the weeks coming shows, which also allows me to drop in some music videos and photos to make it a bit more accessible for all..

Now for the really exciting bit..if you’re sick of only being able to stream my show and want to listen to it on the move you can do, if you click on listen again you will see a list of my thursday shows that you can download! Theres currently a minor glitch in the system so you have to go into individual sundays to download those shows too, but now you can listen to me on the move which can only be a good thing!

In addition, in the last couple of weeks I set up a radio show archive on Mixcloud as the shows aren’t available for listen again forever on the SCR website.  In the coming months I will be adding more of my back catalogue of shows in order for those interviews to be available for listen again when required..  I’ll also be uploading all the new shows and they benefit from playlists and timestamping if you want to know what you are actually listening to at any one time.  Check it here:


New shows up for listen again are:

Caitlin Rose

The Divine Comedy


An Unconvention Preview (read below for a bit more about Unconvention 12: Salford

Unconvention returns to Salford again for its 12th outing working at the grass roots of the music industry.  Unconvention has operated in Macclesfield, The Netherlands, Columbia, and even Australia this year.  Salford stalwart and promoter Tony Thornborough joined me to talk all things Unconvention, the bands lined up to play and how it is possible to move away from pay to play gigs, as demonstrated in Salford. For more information on Unconvention check the hub: http://unconventionhub.org/

‘Rocktober’ has certainly kicked off with a bang and I’ve been running around like a headless chicken recently at gigs, doing interviews and working on a few exciting large projects – the details of which should be revealed in the next few months..

Looking back in my diary, the first interview I did after the last blog was with the lovely Two Door Cinema Club.  One of the most infectious releases of the year, they have been a hit with both the kids and the adults alike.. interview coming soon where they talk about their love of ginger beer, the album artwork cat and much more.. but in the meantime keep your eyes peeled for the re-release of I can talk..

Sex with an X is the brand new second album from The Vaselines, saying it has been a long time coming is an understatement, they released debut album Dum Dum back in 1990 (which incidentally alongside Iggy Pop’s Dum Dum Boys song influenced Dum Dum Girls with their choice of name).  It’s taken them 20 years of solo albums, alternative bands and side projects for Frances and Eugene to reunite.. they played a blinding and charming gig at the Deaf Institute recently and if you get to see them you can understand why Kurt Cobain was such a fan.. this old classic is a musical education in itself, and if it sounds familiar, yes, Nirvana did cover it on their MTV Unplugged session.

Last weekend was another classic ‘Zenner’ weekend, I interviewed two bands in the midst of the Captain America film set which was very surreal, interviewing a band on a street full of 1940s cars! The bands in question were the lovely Xcerts and local band Pegasus Bridge, check out their forthcoming single ‘Ribena’ for a little taster…

I think the highlight of my year occurred last sunday, I was on the same stage as MGMT..well they were playing and I was trying not to trip over things at the back of the stage on my way to interview Dee Dee Dum Dum for the second time, mightily excited to hear the fruits of their labours on their forthcoming EP with Sune from The Raveonettes and Richard Gottehrer. MGMT were on great form as always, a spectacular light show and rather normal outfits..

Then there was last night.. I got to meet the lovely Future Islands who were playing Salford’s revamped and sexy Islington Mill, all the way from Baltimore they joined me talk about their latest album ‘In Evening Air’, shopping at Reebok outlets and tons more.. the set highlight for me:

I also managed to squeeze in the lovely Danny Cawleys stunning art Exhibition, wow! It’s on at Preview Art on Tarriff Street for the next month and is well worth a visit. Then hotfooted it to see Exit Calm get the crowd that they finally deserve in Manchester , blinding gig as always despite a few bass problems.  But the suprise of the night had to be Wu Lyf and finally getting to see that Wu Lyf cross.. channelling the sound of the Walkmen with raw vocals.. loved it.

And now to absorb myself In Unconvention 12: Salford, and In the City, See you on the other side… xx

Start today, stop tomorrow..

What an amazing few weeks for Suzuki/Method – BBC Manchester Introducing artist of the week last week, the label launch for Factory Foundation Recordings last night, their debut EP due for release a week on monday and they featured on my radio show on thursday ( the highlight clearly 😉 )

You can listen to the show again here:

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I love to champion quality music and thats what Suzuki/Method are, quality music.. their musicianship and attention to detail is what sets them apart from the crowd in my view..

Lead singer Adam Leishman told me he was pretty nervous about performing the acoustic set at the label launch yesterday, maybe because its a step out of their comfort zone but he needn’t have been worried, they performed a stunning set of tunes.. Adam’s voice was accompanied by acoustic guitar and bass but still retained the tell-tale traits of the method.

We were also treated to a preview of the bands music video which is gritty and grounded, showing the lads are true to their roots and it even features the Salford institution that is The Kings Arms..
This was followed by a set of storming tracks to finish the night off but not before label mates Silverclub had taken to the stage..

Both bands EPs are released on the 27th September, I’ve personally only had the Silverclub EP for a week or so but I’ve been airing tracks of Suzuki/Method’s EP for months and can confirm its the best EP i’ve heard all year.. so keep your eyes peeled and invest, its well worth every penny..

Infact here’s a taster from their forthcoming album, in a video that I took last night, excuse the loud guy talking, I did give him a look that could kill..

Short but so, so, sweet..

Just a brief catch up..

Last week I was honoured to interview two absolute legends. The first is a guy that I once hugged on the streets of Chorlton after I told him I adored his gig but he looked like he needed a bloody good hug, to which he replied, well i probably could do with it..

Badly Drawn Boy is now a regular feature on the streets of Chorlton, and its a full ten years since he won the Mercury Music Prize.. he was rooting for mates I Am Kloot last week by the way.  It was great to catch up with him and hear how he is moving forward with his music, his forthcoming release trilogy ‘It’s what i’m thinking’ is in his eyes, a way to keep himself motivated and recording, and he seems happy with his influences and music which is resulting in more collaborations on his new record..You’ll have to tune in to hear what inspired  the title ‘photographing snowflakes’ but in the meantime this is the first single of the record and its ace..

The second legend was The Divine Comedy‘s Neil Hannon, just you wait til you hear what his snack of choice is..

I’m a huge fan of Neil’s lyrics filled with satire and can’t help but laugh everytime I hear this song off his new record Bang Goes the Knighthood..

Last weeks radio shows are up for listen again:

The Lysergic Suite:

The Boxer Rebellion:

The Boxer Rebellion Mixcloud

Thanks to Matty White for asking me onto his show on BBC Radio Manchester to help out with the single reviews again, we had a total blast and you can listen to it again from 1 hour 17 minutes below:


Lots more fun coming up this week, if I don’t pass out first! Don’t forget Postcards on Saturday at The Deaf Institute & Rock and Respite at Sound Control on Sunday..

Mercury Prize..

So I had this plan to do a blog in anticipation of the Mercury Music Prize the night before the awards… I had the macbook in one hand and the Mercury Prize cd in the other, and then the phone rang…

Lets just say that things don’t always go to plan, and with three fantastic bands (Citay, Timber Timbre & Phosphorescent) in the offing and an interview with Taylor (Timber Timbre) available I had to jump at the chance and leave the macbook on its lonesome.

So rather than an exhaustive guide to this years nominations.. i’m going to do a resume of my top 5 and who I ultimately think will win the prize:

1.  Foals – Total Life Forever

Whilst their debut album Antidotes caught you with its energy,  punchy melodies and Yannis’ addictive lyrics. It was best known for stand out track Cassius and the remaining tracks failed in my view to provide a cohesive product, with Foals struggling to find the tempo that suited them.  It was the type of album that I found myself flicking through at times, looking for moments of inspired genius such as Red Socks Pugie but ultimately resulting in a slight disappointment of what could have been.

Total Life Forever has, in my eyes, shown a leap in maturity and demonstrates a considered, mellow and  stunning approach to their craft.  Foals have finally found ‘Foals‘ in this record… setting their chilled but positive approach consistently to a mid-tempo backdrop. You only have to listen to Black Gold to paint a clear picture..’The future is not what it used to be’..you’re right Yannis, the future isn’t what it used to be, it has changed..for the better. The future is FOALS.

2.  Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More

Ever the deft multi-instrumentalists, Mumford & Sons studied hard to perfect their folk-rock-pop  sound over recent years..their setlist comprises musical accompaniment by banjo, mandolin, accordion and an array of instruments that in most circles were certainly not de-rigeur back in 2007 or so..

Fast Forward to the back end of 2009 when Mumford & Sons are relatively unknown, Sigh No More has just hit the shelves and the band is heading out on the promotional tour trail.. who could possibly envisaged how much of a hit their energetic and involving live show would be and what a difference 6 months would make to them..

Whilst Sigh No More is probably the album to have received the most commercial success with singles like Little Lion Man, The Cave, Winter Winds & Roll away your stone riding high in the charts.  This commercial success often rules out success on the Mercury stage..

3.  I am Kloot – Sky At Night

I am Kloot are one of those bands that quietly plug away at their trade, producing one amazing album after another… previous albums Gods & Monsters, Natural History and their self titled album being prime examples of their songwriting genius, awe inspiring melodies and general quality musicianship.

Whilst on a local level they have developed a hardcore fanbase over the 11 years that they have been together, commercial success has so far eluded them.. hindered by a lack of record label financial support amongst other things.

Latest album Sky at night is back to basics I am Kloot, simple stunning musical arrangements overlaid with Johnnys bittersweet tones.  Elbows Guy Garvey and Craig Potter  have worked their ‘Seldom Seen Kid‘ magic on production duties, finally delivering an album that I am Kloot deserve..  It hit me when listening to ‘Radiation’, from the simple xylophone to the extensive string sections, this is the sound that we have been waiting for, almost reminiscent of The Beatles in places..  I am Kloot have finally arrived.

4.  Wild Beasts – Two Dancers

In my view, the most musically evolved album residing on the list. Tom and Haydens voices are so diverse but work together in such harmony…as instruments in their own right.  Wild Beasts are a band that you either ‘get’ or you don’t, something I realised after a lengthy chat with a local musician on the matter..Raised to my attention by LA band Local Natives who couldn’t get enough of this album, I was intrigued to check it out for myself..

The thing that I adore about Wild Beasts is the great attention to detail and freedom of expression present in their music..its hard to categorise, but remains instantly recognisable as Wild Beasts and seems to have engaged a wide eclectic audience.  I dislike using the word ‘pretty‘ to describe music, but Two Dancers IS pretty;  from the moment Haydens soaring vocals lift off in Hooting and howling to the tempered bongo opening of  This is our lot. Stunning.

5. The xx –  xx

From the opening chords of Crystalised I knew I was hearing something special.. little did I know that I was listening to something that would be so seminal.  xx adored on so many levels by so many.. the understated rawness, simplicity, and the intricacy of it all from a band so young is still hard to comprehend as I sit here listening to it just over a year after its release..

I could detail the vulnerability expressed in Romys voice as she sings ‘can I make it better‘ to a backdrop of minimal synth or I could explain how the isolated and haunting sound of the solo guitar makes my spine tingle when I hear it… but suffice to say the unbelievable talent, emotion and excellence encapsulated in xx speaks for itself.

Whilst the Mercury Prize winner is often not an obvious choice, this year I feel The xx have it in the bag.  Whilst their album is stunning and works on an array of levels, I couldn’t help but feel that the intensity of the sound was difficult and limiting to replicate live. Wild Beasts on the other hand offer a sublime record alongside an energised live show.. all I’m going to say on the matter to finish off is……thank god it’s not my decision.

Goodluck to all the nominated artists, in my view you are all WINNERS…and kids – remember to buy your music legally – then everyone’s a WINNER..

Backstreet Lovers

The Crookes are an awesome calypso influenced Smiths-esque indie band that I adore!!

They  formed at University in Sheffield in recent years, previous single Bloodshot Days received widespread radio airplay and earned them a couple of sessions on 6 music, including a joint session with Richard Hawley on a special edition of the Evening Session with Jo Whiley and Steve Lamacq.

I saw them for the second time last and was suprised by the lack of real music fans turning out, Mancs have always been known to be so discerning in their music taste but they don’t seem to open their ears and eyes to new music til its thrust in the face these days..

The Crookes new ep is one that i think everyone should hear, this band are going to be HUGE.. mark my words, their new single is ‘Backstreet Lovers’ which is the lead track off their forthcoming 8 track ‘Dreams of another day’ EP and the new video sums up their playful nature to a tee!

Last thursdays radio show featuring an interview with Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly is up for listen again :

Coming up on tomorrows show an Interview with Peggy Sue and more of the best new music from James, The Charlatans and more.. and on thursdays show there will be a break from tradition to learn a bit more about Thai Brides and Teacakes, a new play by the makers of Angels with Manky faces.  If you didn’t hear or see it, its a northern gritty play with an amazing soundtrack and lots of familiar faces.. Aces

Things on my headphones:



Ariel Pinks Haunted Graffiti

Frankie Rose and The Outs

Oh and this is just amazing, so gutted i didn’t get to interview them last week due to a traffic jam on the M1..


Black week..

Black week… hell yeah!
Following thursdays show with the Black Knights, I continued the theme with more black and dark tracks – Black Angels, Black Mountain, etc etc and an interview with The Black Keys.
I also said I’d play the Lysergic Suite featuring Tom Meighan (Kasabian) again, so here you go, click on the link below and listen in at 13.58.
Summer Sundae festival on friday was a blast, despite copious amounts of gin I managed to chat to Peggy Sue about their debut album Fossils and other phantoms.. more of that later though..
An interview with Sam from Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. on thursdays show, I know what his favourite revel is… 9pm Thursday on 94.4fm or http://www.salfordcityradio.org and more of the best new music as always!
oh and something to think about..

Going the distance..

If ever there was an apt name for a film and for the band featured in it, it’s going the distance…I heard about this film some time ago from a member of the band in question, but seeing the advert in the Odeon really brought the reality to life..

The band are The Boxer Rebellion, some people say are they still going? Yes, they are.. they’ve been quietly plugging away at their craft over the past number of years, producing two of the most stunning records that I own… and I own a LOT of records.

Infact their second album Union topped my top 20 albums of 2009, it was so mindblowing there could be no other choice..

I have been lucky enough to see them in tiny venues, have my albums signed, grab an interview with them and generally get to know them a little bit.  Amazing guys, so humble and down to earth and they’ve clearly worked so hard for this over the years. You could say they’ve ‘gone the distance’..

Now it’s their time to shine, and if theres any justice in the world this film will propel them to the heights they deserve.

With a third album wrapped up and ready for airing I can’t wait to see what they have to offer, so if you care about quality music and you don’t mind a rom com, check out Going the Distance for a pleasant and refreshing suprise.. or if you can’t wait that long, check out these..

Evacuate – The Boxer Rebellion

Flashing Red Light Means Go – The Boxer Rebellion

Channel M Session – The Boxer Rebellion

Transit Transit

Not only the name of the Autolux album but a form of transit took me to this years Indietracks festival, yep it was almost Thomas the Tank isn’t it?!

Indietracks has to be the twee-est festival i’ve ever been to, everyone was good spirited and the surrounds were very cute, but there needed to be a bit more going on to keep me entertained if i’m brutally honest.  There were some massive highlights in the name of :

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart , Allo Darlin’, The Tender Trap, This Many Boyfriends & Slow Club

Both the Pains and Slow Clubs new material sounding amazing.. i must say!

This week heralded in my view three great releases by Best Coast, Autolux and Arcade Fire..  they’re that good they deserve a taster of each on the blog..


Arcade Fire

Best Coast

A quick radio update.. www.shellzenner.com is now online, although if you’re reading this I guess you may have already found it!

It’s listen again time too, get on the Male Bonding interview quickly as it will be removed on sunday..

Male Bonding:

First Aid Kit:

School of Seven Bells:

Blind Atlas:

I had a Wigan road trip last week and fortunately i managed to maintain a clean car in Leigh unlike a fellow co-hort who gained a pizza slice to the windscreen, but it was worth the trip.. for the stunning intensity that is Exit Calm.. shame a few of the drunk crowd members insisted in shouting (yes not just talking) over their music..

Now for the exciting bit.. things i’ve been listening to:

Savoir Adore – wacky but so catchy i can’t tune my ears out..

Everything Everything’s debut lp Man Alive is what i expected and so much more..

The Vaselines return..

Coming up on the next two shows, The Hundred in the Hands join me on sundays show and Salfords White Stripes/Black Keys influenced duo The Black Knights on thursday their album is a real statement and joy to behold..

So don’t forget to tune in!

s x