Live: Cherbourg @ Mad Ferret, Preston 12/06/09

Despite the venue being a small town pub, the atmosphere for the evening’s show is excellent. After the obligatory local bands The Agitator, Derek Meins’ and Robert Dylan Thomas’ new project, take to the stage. Right from the outset the duo amaze any new listeners present, making a fair few of them jump on walking through the doors. The ferocity of Meins’ onstage personality creates an enthralled silence that’s extremely refreshing. The Agitator fluctuate between the soulful and outright outrageous creating a stir amongst the ever growing audience.

Live: Slow Club @ ICA, London

It’s not often that you arrive at the venue and see the band you’ve come to see walking just a few steps ahead, guitars strapped on and using the same doors as you to get in.

OK, so I’ve arrived pretty late (“as per usual”, my friends will tell you) but Charles and Rebecca, better known as Slow Club, start their headline ICA show standing at the back of the hall, from where they launch into an acoustic, unamplified version of ‘Wild Blue Mile’, with their fans circled in reverential silence around them.

Album: Terry de Castro – A Casa Verde

Wedding Present bass player Terry de Castro’s debut solo album is a collection of cover versions written by her friends. The songs, which are not necessarily by well-known or famous artists, are recast by Terry on steel guitar and banjo to create a low-key, distinctly American feel.

Free pianos across London in June and July

Have you ever spent hours with an infuriatingly playable tune occupying your skull, with no instrument upon which to sate your desires? Have you wasted hours desperately seeking out anything with playable keys, only to collapse in a heap, eventually crawling to your nearest Pimm’s distributor for liquid solace?

Album: Pagan Wanderer Lu – Fight My Battles For Me

The beauty of Pagan Wanderer Lu isn’t that no two songs sound the same, it’s that no song ends the same as it begins with each track a miniature musical journey. And while your tour guide may be full of charming and witty anecdotes about places of local interest, driving the bus is an escapee from a high security institution coming down from a six week bender. Thus the energy of Fight My Battles For Me is motorway pile-up of musical styles and ideas.

Album: Parliament of Owls – Crow

As the achingly beautiful strings of the intro to Parliament of Owls’ debut Crow swelled beneath the singing of birds and a David Attenborough-like voice began to speak, I was stunned into awed silence. Any looming dread about having to review a two-disc album disappeared in one magnificent surge of music and, as commanded by the voiceover, all I could do was “wait and listen for the first songs to begin”.

FFS Interview: Butcher Boy

Butcher Boy have had quite a year. Their second album React or Die received rave reviews across the board with the Times rock critic Pete Paphides declaring “Butcher Boy have set a standard against which every other release this year must surely be judged”. The band are set to fulfil a long-held ambition this month by performing a live film score to Cocozza film Chick’s Day at Glasgow Film Theatre. Songwriter and frontman John Blain Hunt kindly agreed to answer our questions…