Saturday, October 18, 2014

Nick McCabe and Mig Schillace interview for BBC Radio Bristol

Nick McCabe & Mig Schillace of Black Submarine were recently interviewed by Richard Pitt for BBC Radio Bristol's Introducing in the West, a radio show which supports unsigned, undiscovered, and under the radar music. 

Introducing in the West airs tonight at 8 pm UK time and can be heard at this link or on BBC Radio Bristol, BBC Radio Gloucestershire, BBC Somerset or BBC Wiltshire.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Video premiere: The Charlatans "Talking In Tones" featuring Pete Salisbury

This week, the Charlatans announced their as-yet-untitled 12th album. The band’s new material is their first output following the death of drummer Jon Brookes last year, and will honour the late musician: “Jon was adamant that there was going to be another Charlatans record, and you have to put that into your own thoughts,” Tony Rogers says of the release.

Out through Quietus Phonographic Corporation, the first glimpse into the record comes in the form of Talking In Tones. Sewn together with a subtly baggy rhythm, it features that distinctive Charlatans organ sound from Tony Rogers, with drums from Pete Salisbury of The Verve. Speaking to the Quietus, Tim Burgess says that the phrase “talking in tones” is about “telepathy in relationships”, a theme which came to the singer in the strangely inspiring location of outside Barclay’s Bank in Islington, London.

Starring Nico Mirallegro as a young Tim Burgess, the video for the track was directed by Nik Colk Void of Factory Floor.

  • Source: The Guardian 
  • Kudos: Joe Col

    Friday, May 23, 2014

    Former Verve guitarist Nick McCabe selling equipment to fans via Facebook

    Items include guitars, amps and effects pedals

    Former Verve guitarist Nick McCabe is selling off various guitars, amps and pieces of musical equipment via his Facebook page.

    McCabe announced the sale on May 18 and has been regularly updating the items on sale. Among the sought-after pieces are a 1972 Telecaster Deluxe seen on the 'Love Is Noise' video, and pedals used on 2008 Verve album 'Forth'.

    In a May 18 post, McCabe concedes that "The past two years have been hard on my bank balance" but later writes that he's finding the clear-out rewarding. "I'm actually extracting a lot of joy from selling all this stuff off, who'd have thought," he wrote. He's also been posting pictures of himself packing and signing items bought by fans.

    McCabe has let sentimentality get the better of him when it came to one item, his red Fender Stratocaster, named Spike, which was removed from sale.

    "I've had all kinds of reactions to selling that guitar, but generally people closest to me say, 'You can't'," he writes. "I've managed to autoerase most of my history several times, maybe it's time to [stop] doing that. Everything else is still up for grabs."

    McCabe's current band Black Submarine features his former Verve bandmate Simon Jones, as well as Davide Rossi, Michele 'Mig' Schillace and Amelia Tucker. The band's debut album, 'New Shores', was released in February.

    Friday, April 25, 2014

    Ola's Kool Kitchen with guest DJ's Black Submarine

    Ola's Kool Kitchen show on Radio 23, Rock XS Radio, Magic Monster with special guest DJ's Nick McCabe and Si Jones from The Verve, Mig Schillace from Portishead/Santa Cruz UK and Amelia Tucker from Black Submarine playing an eclectic range of ace tunes.

    Recorded April 19, 2014. Verve talk from 41:42-52:22. Full show link here.

    Back with added Verve

    Black Submarine are a five-piece band consisting of former The Verve members Nick McCabe and Simon Jones, Davide Rossi, Michele ‘Mig’ Schillace and Amelia Tucker.

    They released their debut New Shores earlier this year, will be on tour with Echo And The Bunnymen and have announced their own headline tour for October when they head to Preston’s 53 Degrees. We spoke to Simon to find out more about taking time to form, finding the perfect singer, and the honorary Wiganers talking a bit less about pies.

    How are you feeling now the album is finally out?

    Great. We did a few gigs earlier in the year and it’s brilliant to be out there, playing for fans. It’s been a couple of years that we’ve been together, although it was announced we’d formed this band as soon as The Verve split up and it was on all the online forums, but really it was just an idea in our heads at that stage. It was reported in the papers we’d got this new band, but we didn’t have a singer or anything.

    Why so long though?

    Well it was finding the singer. That’s always the hardest thing, and it took ages to find Amelia. Pete from The Verve was going to be in the band to start with too, but he bowed out for political reasons within The Verve camp, and fair enough, he’s a great friend of mine. Mig had worked with Nick before, and runs the Louisiana in Bristol, so we came together as musicians easily but we were missing that key ingredient.

    And then?

    Well, we thought we might like this Massive Attack-style thing, where we had a cast of revolving singers, but that was more difficult than we thought.

    Where did you find Amelia?

    Mig had been doing a bit of management, and he was managing her. The rest of us had been to Denmark to a studio there, and come back with hours and hours of recorded material and we were auditioning people.

    Then Amelia sent in what is now Here So Rain, virtually complete, with a total understanding of what we were trying to do, and of song structure. My jaw was on the ground when I heard it, so fully formed and beautiful. I wanted to get Amelia in straight away, but we stuck to our guns and tested out other singers, but it became clear very quickly that Amelia was more than a singer, she was perfect for the band.

    You can hear traces of The Verve on the album.

    Yes, that’s always going to come across in our playing. But we didn’t want to just make a Verve record, that isn’t what we’re about at all. There is a darkness in our music that was there on The Verve’s albums, and that’s going to come across, of course it is. But this album is stepping back to how we played before Richard (Ashcroft) learned to play the guitar, when it was just me and Nick and Pete.

    And having Amelia in the band now is a very different proposition, and she’s a calming influence on us all. It seems like it’s taken longer to get to this point than it actually has. It’s definitely less blokey when she’s around, we don’t talk about pies as much.

    How did the Bunnymen tour come around?

    They just asked. We can’t wait for it, and you can’t underestimate how important a good tour support slot is. When we were in The Verve, we supported some great bands, Spiritualized, Smashing Pumpkins and so on, and we had bands like Oasis support us, too. It’s a massive thing and you can really pick up an audience by playing to the right people.

    I know we’re a good band, and we’re going to raise the roof on this tour.

    Thursday, April 24, 2014

    Stereogum: The 10 Best Verve Songs

    This article by Ryan Leas first appeared on Stereogum as part of Britpop Week

    Few British bands from the 1990s, Britpop or otherwise, have been pushed to the sidelines more forcefully than the Verve. I can think of, well, quite a few reasons for this. You’ve got their singer, Richard Ashcroft, a perfectly arrogant British rock star who continues to play that role even as his solo output has devolved into a mixed bag of adult-contemporary singer-songwriter-isms (the similarities between Ashcroft and Russell Brand’s Aldous Snow character are too striking to be coincidental). Ashcroft doesn’t possess the cartoonish hilarity of the Gallaghers, or the mellowed-out likeability of Damon Albarn, or the bookishly, charmingly avuncular vibe of Jarvis Cocker. Having only released four albums and having broken up three times, the Verve’s statistics are somewhat Spinal Tap-worthy, or at the very least make them Britpop’s answer to Jane’s Addiction. (Which I guess isn’t terrible? But still.) There’s the very simple fact that they are associated with Britpop while actually being quite a bit different tonally and thematically. Where the big three of Oasis, Blur, and Pulp, all grappled directly with topics and images of Britishness, the Verve were always looking pretty much exclusively inward. They sounded like they had more to do with U2 and that they listened to American alternative well before Blur opened up to it. Unfailingly, they sounded very serious, when even Britpop figures as self-inflated as the Gallagher brothers provided punchlines at rapid-fire speed.

    Very simply, though, the Verve were never firmly a part of the American conception of the Britpop narrative. Our main pop interaction with the band was a handful of successful singles from 1997′s Urban Hymns, which was the band’s final album for a long time until they released Forth in 2008 (which was actually a good deal better than it had any business being, though it isn’t represented on this list). If you went to college in the last twenty years, you heard some guy playing “Wonderwall” in his dorm room enough that by the time you graduated you were ready to burn everything in sight made of wood as soon as that first chord echoed out. Blur and Pulp both remained relevant for the fact that you can hear their influence in a young indie band every now and then far more than, say, you’d hear the influence of an American contemporary like Pearl Jam or Soundgarden. Even if they don’t know the name Damon Albarn, plenty of American listeners know Gorillaz. None of this happened for the Verve. Inescapably, people remember “Bittersweet Symphony” as “that song that plays at the end of Cruel Intentions,” which, let’s be real, has Ryan Philippe in it. When I mentioned I was revisiting the Verve’s catalog to write a top ten list, a friend quipped: “The Verve have more than one song worth writing about?” which was the exact joke I’d anticipated. He followed it up: “Semi-honest question.” 

    Quite frankly, that’s why we’re talking about the Verve. Because, somehow, they’ve disappeared a bit, at least for American listeners under a certain age, and the reality is that they have some woefully overlooked music. First and foremost is that if you just hear a few stray Urban Hymns tracks, the Verve come off as a late-’90s pop-rock band. They’re more than that. It depends on how widely you define shoegaze, but their debut A Storm In Heaven is probably one of the unsung works in the genre; or, alternatively, it’s an excellent psychedelic record and an overlooked ’90s classic. When I first got into the Verve, A Northern Soul was my distant least favorite, but my appreciation for it has grown over the years. It’s a harrowing thing of multiple emotional peaks and valleys, often within the same song. It occurred to me that A Northern Soul will turn 20 next year, and probably won’t qualify for the sort of retrospective we’ll bestow on Pulp’s His ’N’ Hers or Blur’s Parklife this week. And, fair enough — the Verve had demonstrably less influence and reach than those bands at the time, only becoming true pop successes with their then-swan song Urban Hymns, and then only really in the UK. 

    So it’s with some degree of irony that Stereogum’s Britpop Week struck me as the right time to talk about the Verve’s ten best songs. I’m not sure we’d think to write about them at any other time, or that you would’ve thought to listen to them at any other time. They, to a certain degree like Spiritualized, were more so a British band making excellent music that happened to have some similarities with the big, overarching Britpop movement, but weren’t quite part of it themselves. There’s some degree of counter-narrative here: this is one of the great British bands of the ’90s, but they aren’t entirely relevant to the story of Britain in the ’90s. And here are ten of their songs that you should listen to.