October 1997 was TWENTY YEARS AGO!

October 1997 was TWENTY YEARS AGO!

I know that headline is hardly a shock, it's simple Maths, but to me it seems like a few years ago at most!

Historically in the UK not much was happening.  Obviously,  too much had already happened in the previous month and after all the funerals, referendums and Candles in the Wind, the news decided to take a break :)

Personally though, and very significantly to me, this was the first month of my life that I had spent completely out of the UK as I had decided to complete my final year of studies at l'Université de Bourgogne in Dijon, France. If you have a spare few months I will tell you all about that!

October 1997 was TWENTY YEARS AGO!

Looking back at the Cinema in the UK, these were some of the biggest films you could see:

1 An American Werewolf in Paris
2 Bean
3 Volcano
4 Free Willy 3: The Rescue
5 Event Horizon
6 Air Force One
7 Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
8 Volcano
9 Spawn
10 Chasing Amy

This is not exactly the most classic list of films, in fact most of them are bloody terrible! Two films for me though stand out, Chasing Amy as I love Kevin Smith's films and Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery which at the time was a breath of fresh air after a long spell of bad comedies we had to sit through in the 90s.


This now leads me to look at the Top 40 Singles at the time:


1 Elton John - Something About The Way You Look / Candle In The Wind
2 Dario G - Sunchyme
3 Oasis - Stand By Me
4 Chumbawamba - Tubthumping
5 Louise - Arms Around The World
6 Janet Jackson featuring Q-Tip & Joni Mitchell - Got 'Til It's Gone
7 Will Smith - Men In Black
8 M People - Just For You
9 Backstreet Boys - As Long As You Love Me
10 Tina Moore - Never Gonna Let You Go
11 The Verve - The Drugs Don't Work
12 U2 - Please
13 Eternal - Angel Of Mine
14 Bellini - Samba De Janeiro
15 2 Eivissa - Oh La La La
16 The Lighthouse Family - Raincloud
17 Sly & Robbie featuring Simply Red - Night Nurse
18 Blackstreet - Fix
19 Puff Daddy & Faith Evans - I'll Be Missing You
20 No Doubt - Spiderwebs
21 Ricky Martin - (Un, Dos, Tres) Maria
22 Hanson - Where's The Love
23 George Michael - You Have Been Loved
24 Boyz II Men - 4 Seasons Of Loneliness
25 Foxy Brown featuring Dru Hill - Big Bad Mamma
26 The Rolling Stones - Anybody Seen My Baby?
27 Mariah Carey - Honey
28 All Saints - I Know Where It's At
29 House Traffic - Every Day Of My Life
30 Coolio - Ooh La La
31 Pixies - Debaser
32 The Seahorses - Love Me And Leave Me
33 Third Eye Blind - Semi-Charmed Life
34 Super Furry Animals - Play It Cool
35 Gala - Freed From Desire
36 Chris De Burgh - So Beautiful
37 Sleeper - She's A Good Girl
38 Mark Morrison - Who's The Mack!
39 DJ Flavours - Your Caress (All I Need)
40 Shola Ama - You're The One I Love


If the films around at the time were unremarkable, you couldn't say that about the music. Some of the biggest selling singles of all time are included on this list and there is plenty of variety to be had. In 2017 the UK Top 40 rarely sees Dance and Hard Rock sitting happily with cheesy pop and Chris de Burgh. Here are a selection of my favourites:

Do you have any favourite memories of the time? Why not share and let me know :)

Finally, here's picture of Foxy Brown for my little brother...he was a fan of her hits [autocorrected]

October 1997 was TWENTY YEARS AGO!




They Called Him Zone ‘Only You’ single review By Andrew Barclay

They Called Him Zone ‘Only You’ single review By Andrew Barclay

Reading the ‘About’ Section on this group’s page you’ll see the following;

“The music of THEY CALLED HIM ZONE combines sultry electronica with chewed-up, modulated guitars, evoking rain-drenched, neon-daubed streets, proscribed chemicals, and black-clad malcontents wearing mirror shades after dark. And it’s always dark where they come from…”

This is pretty much a fair assessment of ‘They Called Him Zone’.
Signed to the ever excellent Ambicon Records label the first single ‘Gonna Have A Good Time’ was drenched in electronica and Peter Hook esque style bass but this single is way more upbeat in a sort of Euro pop way, but never veering too close to parody, this is very much the real deal.
The upbeat song is from the forth-coming mini album ‘Crow Swan Wolf’ and if this, and the
Previous dark and haunting single ‘Devil Dying’ are anything to go by it’ll be a fantastically dark work of sheer genius.

Online Links



Online Links



Paper Mache Kisses

Paper Mache Kisses
Paper Mache Kisses

“Singles 2017” album review by Andrew Barclay

 Checking the info on ‘PMKs’ FB page you’ll see the following;

“The Band formed May 2014 in Los Angeles, CA. PMK has recorded 6 studio Albums and 5 E.P.s since the inception. The CD "Little Black Heart" was released on November 4th of 2016 and the new “SINGLES CD” will be out summer 2017. PMK's sound is a mix of old 80's synth pop (The Cure, Duran Duran, David Bowie), 90's Goth Rock (Marilyn Manson, Plabeco) and a little bit of all dance genres”

It’s always hard to condense a band’s sound into a neat little paragraph so needless to say there’s way more going on within the Californian groups music than what’s listed above, and the only way to know for sure is to dive in for a listen.

The groups forthcoming CD is simply called ‘Singles 2017’ is littered with semi industrial dark electronic gothic guitar pop with lush female backing vocals and seriously cool lead vocals by front-man Valentine Mache. Although there’s plenty of exciting Primal Scream type faster dark tracks like ‘Blank Photographs’ and ‘Down The Rabbit Hole’, it’s the steamier slower electronic funk of ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ (the latter being my track of the year) or the heart tugging ‘Erase Me’ me stand out the most. I assume the idea is that all 17 tracks will be released as singles throughout next year as this albums slated for a November 2017 release but luckily for you these awesomely contemporary singles can be freely streamed on the band’s Sound-Cloud page.

Papar Mache Kisses are an electronic cool cacophony of excellence and should be on any serious music fan’s list of bands to check out.

Online Links






Daher review by Andrew Barclay

Daher review by Andrew Barclay

Daher review by Andrew Barclay



Daher is young Mexican singer songwriter whose debut 4 track EP is a fantastic authentic work and it’s a joy to listen to. Daher describes his sound as “healing” music, music to help soothe the soul.

There’s no cool façade with Daher he just IS cool.

His Facebook page is marching toward four thousand ‘likes’ and it’s justified.


The first track on his self-funded EP is ‘Alive’, a gorgeous mixture of acoustic guitars horns and steeped in Mexican music tradition yet still retaining an extremely catchy happy vibe that is something of a signature with Daher as he sings in the opening lines of “Alive”


“There are many possibilities there many ways anything you want it’s yours to take”


Dahers passionate vocal delivery is extremely endearing and you’re hooked on the first listen.

“Beautiful” is next up and is another celebration of love and nature and really lifts your spirits.

The backing music is slick and even has a twanging banjo in the background, along with other stringed instruments and a soft percussion.


“One” has a more danceable feel and is crying out for a full on dance remix.

It’s a lush mixture of acoustic guitars, Dahers soaring vocal horns and electronics.

“Soldier” is a more reflective serious track and darker in musical tone but still has such an uplifting chorus “I’m a soldier and I fight for love” sings Daher with conviction.


I firmly believe it won’t be long before a major label picks him up and quite right too,

Daher is a positive breath of fresh air and a beguiling listen, I wish him all the very best, and will be listening to his music for years to come.


Dahers Online Links; 


Twitter: https://twitter.com/official_daher

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/officialdaher/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/officialdaher

Bandcamp: https://daher.bandcamp.com








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The Madding Crowd ‘Gods Greatest Flaw’

The Madding Crowd ‘Gods Greatest Flaw’

Single Review By Andrew Barclay


Before I get to the review, here’s a little bio provided by the group to give you a background of this excellent band.

“We are The Madding Crowd; weary purveyors of songs of love, hate, happiness, chaos, rebellion, glamour, intelligence, wit, imagination, bile, passion, despair, rejection and sheer humanity. Hailing from Manchester, formed in April 2010, we are comprised of Singer and Guitarist Ben Corry, Lead Guitarist Dominic Corry, Bass Guitarist Claud Corry and Drummer Sav Patel. Our music contains elements of Glam, Punk, Rockabilly and Prog among other influences, and we have often been told that we possess a sound that is hard to describe and pigeonhole.”

Today Cool Manchester review the bands most recent single ‘’Gods Greatest Flaw’’.

The single begins with a deluge of fuzzy bass and frantic drumming before the vocals take us from a Stooges like intro into something more akin to the pastoral psychedelic moments from Pink Floyds ‘’Atom Heart Mother’’ and ‘’Meddle’’ albums, which comes as a pleasant surprise. The single weaves its way through dynamic changes and somehow remains catchy, a strong single and one that’s wetted my appetite for the bands forth-coming EP.

B Side ‘’Sylvia Burned’’ is a slow haunting acoustic track with soaring vocals and an almost Brett Anderson type lyric and delivery. Of the countless Mancunian groups around right now The Madding Crowd are certainly one of the best and I really hope they gain a mainstream audience.

 The Madding Crowd have received radio airplay and made live appearances on North Manchester FM, Sine FM, All FM, Salford City Radio, Mersey Radio, Roundsound Radio among others. They have also been played by Stuart Maconie on BBC 6Music and quite rightly too.  Highly Recommended.

The Madding Crowd online links

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/Vivalamaddingcrowd/?fref=ts

Sound Cloud https://soundcloud.com/vivalamaddingcrowd






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