SupaJamma 'Hope And Pray' Single Review

SupaJamma 'Hope And Pray' Single Review

By Andrew Barclay



SupaJamma features the exceptional vocal talents of one Mr Martin 'Sugar' Merchant' whom many will recall fronted the excellent 'Audioweb' who were criminally underrated.

This single, 'Hope And Pray' is a welcome one and it's very much a song of the moment. Economic, social and political unrest abounds and Sugar's lyrics spare no blushes in his indignation of the status quo.

The track starts off with a deep bass line and surges into a dirty funky almost dub sounding mixture of genres and it works well.

Sugars voice is one of the best in not only the UK music scene, but on the world stage, and this band, SupaJamma are easily able enough to transcend the success of Audioweb because without a shadow of a doubt, 'Hope And Pray' delivers on all fronts.

Sugar recently announced that he was retiring from vocal duties to concentrate on his DJing, and without wanting to sound disrespectful, WHY ON EARTH???

SupaJamma are a great band and Sugar is a great frontman and vocalist and whilst im sure his DJ skills match the very best, his vocals are truly something special and should he actually give up on making brilliant music like 'Hope And Pray', then the world of music will miss him dearly.

The single is out on 11.11.13 from iTunes here's the link




Cool Manchester - Hello Robert. Your new band 'Opium Kitchen' are now signed to theManchester label Eromeda Records. What's different about this new band sound wise for 'Scars'?

Robert King - None of the other Scars are in the band.

Cool Manchester - You reformed Scars in 2010 and we were told there was talk of a new album with them. That didn't happen but the gig was eagerly well received, did that make you consider doing more with Scars?

Robert King - It did. We also did a Marc Riley session which went very well. After that we swapped some musical ideas for possible new songs with the possibility of recording and performing them live.

Cool Manchester - Paul Research said online on YouTube that he couldn't work with you because you were unreliable, but when we spoke to Eromeda Records they say the new music is coming thick and fast, so was it just a case of a clash of ideals musically with Paul?

Robert King - No. Paul requested that certain topics I might write about should be left aside for new Scars material. So, I reminded him by means of a one word message that such an eventuality was not possible. As for reliability, I missed a rehearsal the day before the reunion gig because I had a bit of a cold and sore throat, and therefore concluded that a day in bed would not risk cancelling the show. Opium Kitchen are currently choosing from 30-35 demoed songs for the first album.

Cool Manchester - The debut single 'We Will Be' is expected to be released soon, what can fans expect from this new single and will there be an album to follow?

Robert King - It is an up-tempo number. A love-song actually. Guitar, bass and drums, with some keyboards and saxophone. We are, as I said, choosing the songs for our first album, to be called Hommagination. Hopefully ready for release around summer of 2014.

Cool Manchester - Gig wise do Opium Kitchen have any plans in the near future?

Robert King – Yes. We are playing at The Star and Shadow Cinema inNewcastle with Subway Sect on Nov 29, perhaps a support with The Fall at the beginning of December also. But we also plan to play gigs on our own and also with Gabrielle's Wish and Dub Sex.

Cool Manchester - Mark E Smith once described Scars as his favorite band because in his words ''they are everything The Fall are not", he's not known for his complementary side, do you get on well with him?

Robert King - Mark and various members of the Fall, such as Marc Riley, Martin Bramah, for example, have never been anything but extremely nice to myself and the other members of the Scars. We were and still are enjoyers of their music also. Favourite band is a category i would posit in that respect.

Cool Manchester - We were shown some photos for the new Opium Kitchen music video and it's all looks suitably moody, can you tell us anything about the video?

Robert King - I have not seen it, but we play poker and I win. That is all I know about it. Also, i think you might see the tile mural of Mark Smith that is in the window of Butterfly studios in it also. So... A nod to Mark.

Cool Manchester - Your label mates with some quite well known and respected artists such as Honey Bane, AAAK etc. Was it this that drew you to Eromeda Records and if not, what made you choose to work with them instead of a larger label like say, Domino Records?

Robert King - Our manager Kelvin Knight (ex Delta 5) of NMB management attracted their attention with some demos. We never knew who was on the label until after we signed. We were impressed by the enthusiasm and straight-forwardness of Andy Barclay from Eromeda quite simply.

Cool Manchester - Will there be any Scars music in the Opium Kitchen set lists? Akin to when Ian Brown started to play Stone Roses tracks before he reformed his band?

Robert King - No. Why should there be?

Cool Manchester - What are your interests outside of music Robert?

Robert King - Ancient languages, literature, art. My lady, our family and my son's band The Merrylees.

Cool Manchester - Robert thank you for chatting with us, we wish you every success with all your future projects.

Robert King - Et Tu Cool Manchester.

Opium Kitchen can be found online at

Missing Doctor Who Episodes Found? Christmas may have come early!


BBC to reveal a number of missing Doctor Who episodes

Could it be true? Could it???

One of the most frustrating things about being a Doctor Who fan is the knowledge that over 106 episodes of the greatest sci-fi show on Earth are missing. We have audio recordings, telesnaps, novelisations and more recently animated reconstructions of what we never got to see but it just isn't the same as seeing it for real

As of today [8th October 2013], this is the list of missing and incomplete stories:

First Doctor

Marco Polo
The Reign of Terror
The Crusade
Galaxy 4
"Mission to the Unknown"
The Myth Makers
The Daleks' Master Plan
The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve
The Celestial Toymaker
The Savages
The Smugglers
The Tenth Planet

Second Doctor

The Power of the Daleks
The Highlanders
The Underwater Menace
The Moonbase
The Macra Terror
The Faceless Ones
The Evil of the Daleks
The Abominable Snowmen
The Ice Warriors
The Enemy of the World
The Web of Fear
Fury from the Deep
The Wheel in Space
The Invasion

Completely missing from the BBC archives is the first regeneration and the Second Doctor's first story! Also missing is what could possibly be the scariest Doctor Who story ever - Fury From The Deep - all I have seen is the below clips and it looks bloody terrifying!

I could make a list of what I would like to see but, lets be honest, I wouldn't be completely happy until I finally saw every episode ever made!

When I get more information about what has actually been found I will update you here, but in the meantime I'll just get very excited....!

Eurovision Song Contest Rule Changes

Eurovision Song Contest UK Logo
From this is the logo for the UK and the Eurovision Song Contest


So, back in May, the Eurovision organisers commented on the voting complaints for the 2012 contest, last week Bonnie Tyler apparently overheard Russian's asking where their paid for points were. This week, the Eurovision rules have been tightened to hopefully provide more tightness and openness with the jury votes.

Under the new rules, the names of all jury members will be announced on the 1st of May, before the contest. Additionally, EBU/EUROVISION will publish the ranking submitted by each individual jury member for all shows right after the Final, and thus the split results of jury voting and televoting for each country. To increase diversity, music industry professionals can only take a seat in a national jury if they have not been in the jury during one of the previous two editions of the contest.

To me this sounds like an excellent plan. I've always thought that the jury voting in Eurovision was open to abuse. Nobody seems to know who the jury are or what points they gave which country. I have found a blog post from the BBC today, published in June 2013, which does list our Jury's decisions - - apparently they voted for Russia, are the UK Jury being bought too? I can't believe that they voted for such a hypocritical song!

"Tighter rules and increased openness are important for the Eurovision Song Contest to build on its success," Jon Ola Sand, the Executive Supervisor of the contest on behalf of EBU/EUROVISION, adding: "to make sure participants, viewers and fans know that we have done and will always do our utmost to secure a fair result. These changes show that the Eurovision Song Contest is an ever evolving tradition, which continues to adapt to the spirit of time."

All well and good I say, but why hasn't this been done before? There has always been "neighbour voting" - For example, Greece votes for Cyprus and vice versa every year. Since the introduction of the "Eastern Bloc" countries into the contest, they all generally seem to vote for each other too. But this is nothing new, it's always been done and will probably continue. All well and good you might say, but what can be done? Probably not a lot. Each year we all complain about voting like this, but little can be done without major rule changes that would never be agreed to and would probably kill the contest. For example, each year I say that if you have a direct border with a country, then you shouldn't be able to vote for it. To me, this is an excellent idea, but it would never work. 

Hopefully these rule changes will go some way to clarifying the votes received, and I look forward to seeing who the judges are, especially for our country!

What do you think of these changes? Please, comment below.

AAAK Review By Rob Haynes


Buildingscapebeat XXV

Eromeda Records

Here’s one for connoisseurs of the electro-industrial scene – back in the late 1980s, in a pre-gentrified Manchester a good few years away from Madchester dancebeats and scally ubiquity, industrial duo AAAK gestated amid a collection of drum machines, whacked scrap metal, primitive samplers and barked lyrics courtesy of programmer / metal hitter Ding Archer and vocalist Paul Rawlinson. Amid the city’s red brick and urban dereliction, their sound was self-christened Buildingscapebeat – the word coining the genre the duo had decided they represented, and also giving their first album its title. They never made too much of an impression in their home shores, being more appreciated on the continent, but they split in 1991.



A 2009 reformation saw Archer and Rawlinson joined by Mr Heart frontwoman Tamsin on backing vocals and keyboards, guitarist Neil and drummer Dan, giving the live sound a steroid injection. Now their debut has been given a 21st century reworking and release (kudos to diligent Mancunian label Eromeda for the quality double CD package). Back in 1988 of course technology was at a state which now seems Dickensianly quaint, and so rather than re-release a now-dated set of songs they decided to utilize the current line-up to reconfigure the songs and add a few new ones while they were at it.


From the pulsing Nitzer Ebb beat and skittering industrial hip-hop beats which open the first (new songs) disc on the appropriately named Never Stop Me, it’s clear the band have married their harsh, primitive origins to new technology and live playing to great effect. The punky new single Tough Luck wouldn’t be out of place on a Prodigy set-list and sits quite comfortably alongside the revamped twenty five year old Sharpshooter. On the second disc of old songs metal clanks and beats are retained, but souped up with female backing vocals, drums and guitars, and the distinction between older and new work is all but impossible to discern.

A twentieth century skeleton fleshed out with new millennium muscle and bulk , you’d be forgiven for not being in on this at the start, but AAAK is a project worth catching up on.


Review By Rob Haynes

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