Creation Records

RATS: The Social, London

“When Jake Bugg went to number one it made national news headlines. Why? Because he never went to stage school nor graduated from Brits academy. He didn’t enter Britain’s Got Talent nor summit himself to the humiliations of X-Factor. He made headlines because he is just an ordinary kid from a state school……I can’t believe there aren’t plenty of teenagers out there with an ear for a good tune and a chip on their shoulder who have something to say to us.”

Billy Bragg, The John Peel Lecture, 2015

Introducing to you, Liverpool’s Rats! They headlined Creation23’s night at The Social Tuesday night and displayed said fire and skill.

Their brand of working class indie-punk always gets lost in the mix when the majors and x-factor types dominant the industry. However, with singles like ‘Weekend’ and ‘Figure It Out’ in their arsenal, eventually the keepers of the gate will be forced to open.

The latter, was explosive and right in the slot that will carry them to big venues. Throughout the set, elements of all their songs threatened to reach this level. Despite not being as fully formed; Rats are very much a band in the ascendancy. The wit and angst in their delivery of upcoming single ‘Jack’ and the emotive hooks of ‘Dreams’, it’s easy to imagine them as Liverpool’s answer to The Courteeners.

Awash with tales of sex, drugs and violence, Rats, like Jake Bugg in 2015, shouldn’t be considered an anomaly. On this showing, it won’t be long before they are lauded in the same light as Bugg. Woe betide anyone who stands in their way.

Friday 2nd August marks our 8th birthday. Come down to the New Cross Inn for a night of great live music. Tickets available here:



Ride – Future Love

Ride are back and once more teaming up with Erol Alkan on their new single ‘Future Love’.

There were some genuine moments of quality on ‘Weather Diaries’ (‘Lannoy Point’, ‘All I Want’, ‘Lateral Alice’) but, a lack of clarity at times (‘Charm Assault’, ‘Weather Diaries) meant the disappointment of ‘Tarantula’ had not been fully laid to rest.

However, it was clear from the ‘Nowhere’ tour in 2015 and the supporting tours of ‘Weather Diaries’ and EP ‘Tomorrow’s Shore’, the band were in sync again.

This is self-evident on the happiness permeating ‘Future Love’. Iconic singer/guitarist Andy Bell told Pitchfork it is “about the beginning of a relationship, when everything feels possible.” The romanticism of this notion is everywhere. Lyrically, it’s as sweet a pop single you’ll hear all year.

Ride diehards though, may make a different leap. One which imagines the lyrics being about Ride members being in love with the band again. It has the pop ecstasy of ‘Twisterella’ and the escapist warmth of ‘In A Different Place’. They may have been back for five years, but now they are home.

Friday 2nd August marks our 8th birthday. Come down to the New Cross Inn for a night of great live music. Tickets available here:

Jasmine Minks: 100 Club, London

Former Creation Records pioneers Jasmine Minks returned to the 100 Club this past Saturday to support Kent brothers in arms The Claim.

They came out of the traps firing with the punk funk masterclass of ‘Think!’, the righteous ‘Work For Nothing’ and ‘Where The Traffic Goes’. The latter showcasing just how great Tom Reid is on the drums.

They’re back promoting a new double a-side ‘Step by Step’ and ‘Gravity’. ‘Step By Step’ (Reid on vox) walked right back into 1988’s classic ‘Another Age’ sound.  The “take life by the horns” attitude brings the London crowd both physically and mentally out their shell. The positive spirit in the room is almost tangible. ‘Gravity’, with Jim Shepherd back on vocals, is equally as uplifting but, takes a more measured approach.

As if with so many from the early Creation Records days, jingle jangle guitars underpinning 60s art pop was crucial to the records. The performances of ‘Time For You’ and ‘Poppy White’ demonstrate that the Minks were among the best exponents.  On ‘Cut Me Deep’, it’s easy to see where fellow Scottish bands The Orchids and Teenage Fanclub took their inspiration from.

There is so much to admire about this set from their catalogue both old and new. Former Television Personalities keyboardist Dave Musker further enriches the evening with a touching tribute to the unwell Dan Treacy. However, in ‘Cold Heart’, they have a stone cold classic. Smiles beam from ear to ear as this sun kissed anthem gently meanders its way to the hearts of the London crowd.

Be sure to catch them at The Islington on 20th April!

*Images courtesy of the band

The Love-Birds – In the Lovers Corner

No sooner you post your top 20 albums of the year, a tip comes your way and your left screaming “The Love-Birds” like Dr Johnson screams “sausage” in Blackadder the Third.

The four piece from San Francisco released their debut album 'In The Lovers Corner' via Trouble In My Mind records last May. As us Brits brace for winter, The Love-Birds recipe of 60s California and the 90s US underground circuit will warm both hearts and minds.

Embracing their love of Teenage Fanclub, they hired Norman Blake to master the album and, on ‘Weak Riff’ and Gerrit’, duly pay homage. ‘Weak Riff’ has the hallmarks of a Creation Records single with its hazy take on pop music. Meanwhile, ‘Gerrit’ harnesses the Fanclub’s fuzzy-grunge take of The Byrds and big emotive guitar breaks to conjure, perhaps the albums true moment of stardust.

Jangle pop reigns supreme throughout, in fact, it’s hard not to imagine the album sound tracking Friday Night Lights Matt Saracen throwing a winning pass to Tim Riggins. There are fleeting moments where they splice in other influences. ‘Hit My Head’ has a touch of Grandaddy’s eccentric production, ‘Failure and Disgrace’ is a lost Decemberists classic and on ‘Clean The Air’, singer Thomas Rubenstein manages to blend Gene Clark and Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst.

The Love-Birds have delivered a superb introduction to themselves on this influenced led debut. Now it’s time for them to flee the nest and test themselves. Can they sail unchartered waters and find a new route?

*Image courtesy of Ava Rose and Trouble In Mind Records

Pete Astor - Spilt Milk

Any fans of Astor's early work with The Loft and The Weather Prophets will be delighted with his return to the jingle-jangle indie spectrum. After two decades of more experimental music, 'Spilt Milk' is a welcome return home.

The opening two tracks 'Really Something' and 'Mr Music' could easily be part of the Kinks’ greatest hits collection due to Astor’s fine vocals. 'Really Something' is a simple and beautiful number which will have fans of Real Estate drooling.


'Mr Music' is the star act on this album. Astor nails the Kinks classic 'Waterloo Sunset' vibe so well that you'll believe you have heard this song a thousand times before on first listen. ‘Mr Music’ is more than just a Kinks pastiche though. Astor’s skill of supplying wit, charm and melancholy in a character within a song gives him a great identity of his own.

Astor’s sombre route continues with ‘Perfect Life’ which has healthy dose of Ian Brown’s ‘Deep Pile Dreams’ about it. Switch off mentally you'll mistake this for a love song. Dig a little deeper and the sarcasm and bitterness come to the surface as a partner continually lets an unwanted third person to a relationship.

'Oh You' closes the album with more straight forward pop brilliance. The opening riff is similar to Lemon Jelly's classic hook on the 'Staunton Lick' and as the track meanders along it conjures memories of Belle & Sebastian's glorious 'Boy With The Arab Strap'.

With the loss of Lemmy, John Bradbury and Bowie within two weeks, Astor's foray into his past delivers richness and warmth much needed in the alternative music community. They say timing is everything and this mid to slow tempo pop music is the perfect tonic for the recent swelling of sadness.