BBC Mixtape 30 Dec 2013

The October Game

Artists at a glance


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The BBC Introducing Mixtape is a 60 minute radio show and podcast broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Music from 2-3am every Sunday night/Monday morning. Tonight’s episode – which will goes out at 2am features some of my favourite tunes that we discovered  in 2013 both through BBC Introducing and via submissions to our blog here at Fresh On The Net:

THE OCTOBER GAME – Answers & Keys [Starts 0:17]
I’ve long been an admirer of The October Game (pictured above) who describe themselves as “a 5 piece alt.rock band originally from Hertfordshire and now based in London.” The darker and more expansive sound of Beg Cycle was the first taster we heard from their long anticipated third album Balancing – which was released by Scylla Records in October – and recorded with producer Jake Robbins.
Washington Irving
WASHINGTON IRVING – Palomides [Starts 04:40]
Washington Irving are an indie-folk band based in the great city of Glasgow, their numbers started small but grew and in time they were a sextet – adorned with musicians capable of wielding instruments such as the flute, mandolin and singing saw – not as background tidbits but as the main focal points of their arrangements. They’ve just released their first EP – Little Wanderer, Head Thee Home. You could argue the songs tell tales ages old in new form, or it’s a warning for those still young at heart to not stray too far from the embrace of their friends. The band are constantly trying to break free from Glasgows shackles and plan some dates in London yet to be announced”

GYMNAST – Away The Sun [Starts 08:16]
Cathy Wilcock and Chris Lyon previously wrote and performed together as part of the much-missed Edinburgh quintet Mayhew who were voted onto Glastonbury’s Acoustic Stage by public vote as part of the festival’s Emerging Talent Competition – before going their separate ways in May 2011. As Gymnast, Cathy and Chris played their first gig at the Olympic Park during London 2012 and are now busy making fine new music in Manchester – such as this track Away the Sun.

WE ARE KNUCKLE DRAGGER – Get The Horizon Yourself [Starts 11:37]
We Are Knuckle Dragger emerged from the underground scene with two EP’s and a Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, Helmet) produced debut album receiving wide spread support from Radio 1, Kerrang!, XFM, 6 Music, Scuzz and national press. Ross Robinson (Slipknot, Korn, Deftones, Glassjaw, ATDI) started production on album #2 February 2013, due for release Summer 2013. The Newcastle trio toured with Meshuggah, Dillinger Escape Plan, And So I Watch You From Afar and released a song on Xbox RockBand3. We Are Knuckle Dragger hold an underground ethos networking direct with fans and bands via social networks, iPhone & Android App and their website.
TANAOU – A Nursing Home In Full Swing [Starts 13:49]
“After an unexpected and extended hiatus of 4 years since the release of their cult debut full-length Best Loved Goodnight Tales, Tanaou resurfaced at the start of 2012, fresh from travels, studies, literary projects, squatting in rehearsal spaces and touring other musical ventures to start work on a follow up album & EP. Recorded in a converted chapel in the English countryside, the recordings are shaping up to be a much more ethereal and somewhat sombre affair. Not so much as to say ‘sleeping through the sophomore-slump’, but a definitive step away from chaotic sound of The Flaming Lips’ unwieldy offspring and towards the sound of sweeping strings, rolling roads and the refusal to look back over your shoulder. Let’s call it ‘Post-Pop’, or even ‘ Post-Apocalyptic-Pop’ and be done with it. It’s the sound of leaving.”
Bearfoot Beware
BEARFOOT BEWARE – Trellum [Starts 17:18]
“Energetic, scrappy; Bearfoot Beware are an alternative rock band from Leeds. Merging the elemental characteristics of math, noise and alternative independent rock, and displaying a knack for pop sensibilities, their third EP ‘Bruises And Business’, out on Nottingham based Mountains Of Records, further advances the endless quest to define their sound. After previous festival slots at Reading & Leeds, British Wildlife and Live At Leeds, the band follow their UK tour in October 2013 with dates in Europe next April.”

CLUB SMITH – Beautiful & Useless (Dave Bascombe / Lance Thomas Mix) [Starts 20:27]
These are exciting times for Club Smith. They are about to do their first European gig, are working on a publishing deal and experimenting with a ‘revolving-door’ of new members – not least since their drummer Vijay left to join Kaiser Chiefs. You can see how these experiments are panning out by checking out the live videos they’ve put together at
The Shallows
THE SHALLOWS – Running For Cover [Starts 23:45]
The Shallows have been longstanding and favourites at Fresh On The Net – both when it was a radio show at BBC 6 Music – and subsequently online as a music blog. Team Freshnet’s Johnno Casson interviewed them for his Prick’n’Ding series last November and Running For Cover comes from their second EP Same Space Vol.2 – released at the beginning of May and available via their website.
Over The Wall
OVER THE WALL – Radiator [Starts 27:35]
Glasgow’s cult euphoric pop duo Over the Wall consists of multi-instrumentalists Gav Prentice of old steel town Bathgate and Ben Hillman of old seaside town Bridlington who met in 2002. In 2006 they began inflicting their relationship on others through euphoric pop music, keyboards, laptop beats, guitars, mandolins, trumpets, cowbells, harmonicas, hurdy gurdys and kazoos. In 2008 I fell in love with their debut EP The Rise And Fall Of Over The Wall from which the lead track Thurso became the theme of BBC comedy series Burnistoun. How great to hear this new song Tell Her I Love Her – which is released today on a split 7″ and download single shared with their fellow band of Glaswegian reprobates The John Knox Sex Club who contribute the song “Animals”. The record is available from Gerry Loves Records.

TANKUS THE HENGE – Lying [Starts 31:15]
Tankus the Henge are six gentlemen outcasts who specialise in what they describe as “having an anarchic good time.” They are currently touring the country with “their high octane live show… (which) will break your heart, lift your spirits and leave you dancing”. Their selftitled debut album took three years to finish, and was finally released in March 2013.
Fat White Family
FAT WHITE FAMILY – Heaven On Earth [Starts 35:24]
Described by The Quietus as “tomorrow’s cult artist today”, Fat White Family  are a band who’ve “crawled out from the crevices of Peckham and Brixton” to receive acclaim for their debut album Champagne Holocaust. Still battling what they describe as “the yuppie gentrification of Brixton”, Fat White Family’s controversial (but key) presence at the Brixton Thatcher Party saw their faces beamed all around the UK and landed them on the front page of The Independent’s “I” newspaper. “Despite the inevitable incidents of chaos, blood, nudity and weirdness that seem to have plagued/fuelled this first year of their mission,” we’re told, “they’re still the band that everyone in London wants to see.”l.

GRACE PETRIE – Orbit (Radio Edit) [Starts 38:24]
Leicester songwriter Grace Petrie has earned herself an awesome reputation and following on the alternative acoustic music scene where she is known as a kind of “female Billy Bragg for the 21st Century”. It’s the kinds of tagline that’s all too glibly handed out by lazy journalists reaching for the nearest cliché, but in Grace’s case it’s pretty close to the mark. Here is an artist who not only talks the talk, but walks the walk – from countless benefits in obscure corners of the country through to the guerilla gigs of Josie Long’s Alternative Reality tour in 2011. An artist who’s equally at home playing Glastonbury, opening for Emmy The Great or performing for a handful of strangers in th eopen air, lit only by a streetlamp. This song is fresh proof that Grace can not only write impassioned anthems of defiance and protest but – like Mr Bragg himself – also chart the territory of loss and longing with equal, heartbreaking eloquence.
Grace Petrie - click to zoom in new window
WILD SWIM – Call On The Rain [Starts 41:55]
Wild Swim is a five-piece band from Oxford. They have played together since they were early teens, and have spent the subsequent time developing and honing their sound. They have been writing and recording their debut album this autumn, which will be released in 2014. The album is produced by Steve Osborne, and being recorded at Riverside and Real World Studios in Wiltshire. New Dawn follows Echo and Another Night as the band’s third self-released single. Their music has been acclaimed byThe Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Times, Listenbeforeyoubuy, Clash and Artrocker amongst others. They headline Oxford’s o2 Academy in the New Year.

COURTS – Refresh [Starts 45:06]
Basildon five-piece Courts consist of Chris Moody, Dan Baker, Joe Choppen, Luke Baker and Reece Baker who met through college and describe what they do as ‘guitar-based hiphop-influenced music’. They’ve already been guests on my  6 Music Introducing show and have also played London venues including Barfly, The Old Queen’s Head, Notting Hill Arts Club’s Death 2 Disco, and The Queen of Hoxton’s Session. Their 2011 debut EP No Knowledge No Heart was given away as a free download, and well received among blogs, tastemakers and specialist DJs. Press interest from magazines like Artrocker, and strong support from BBC Radio resulted in the band playing the bBC Introducing stage at T in the Park in 2012.
Ice Sea Dead People share a joke with Uncle Freshnet
ICE SEA DEAD PEOPLE – If It’s Broken Break It More [Starts 48:42]
“If It’s Broken, Break It More…” writes Craig Sharp from my favourite Bedford-born boyband distortionists Ice, Sea, Dead People “is the title track from our second album, released in April this year on our own Lost Toys label. The song is probably our most melodic and references a lack of responsibility with politics, life, relationships, and a destructive (but… exciting) outlook on life. We’re writing our third album right now and we optimistically aim to release it early next year whilst the iron is relatively lukewarm!”

O MESSY LIFE – Challenger [Starts 52:38]
“We released three EPs and two singles in the last couple of years” says David Littlefair of O’Messy Life (pictured below) “and are currently writing a two-EP set of Doom Ballads, based on the the NASA Constellation programme. We’ve played shows with The Vaccines, Cursive, Phosphorescent, Frankie & The Heartstrings, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Fruit Bats, Air Waves and others, and still nobody…” (except for BBC Introducing – TR) “…gives a toss about us. We also play occasionally as backing band to Withered Hand and our current collaborators are also members of Bridie Jackson & The Arbour.”
O' Messy Life
ARTISTS: A Word Of Warning…
After appearing on The BBC Introducing Mixtape you may well receive unsolicited email from at least one plugger saying they heard your track on the show, thought it “sounded fantastic”, and are wondering if you’re looking for promotion for your releases. Please check out The Pros And Cons Of Pluggers before responding to any unsolicited emails from anyone suggesting that YOU should pay THEM for services of any kind.

Tom Robinson

London-based broadcaster & songwriter, born 1950. His best known songs are 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Glad To Be Gay and War Baby; he has also co-written songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. Read More...


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